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Month: March 2014

Stop Storing Fat!

interval-training-workouts

Having the motivation to stick to a diet is hard enough when your hormones are balanced, but what do you do when your hormones are out of balance and out of control? Do you crave sugar? Are you constantly in the fridge late at night? Are you having a tough time dropping those extra pounds?

Let me tell you about a little thing called Leptin. Leptin is a master hormone and is stored in our adipose tissue or our fat tissue. If you have a higher body fat you most likely have higher leptin levels. This hormone controls our feelings of hunger, our cravings and even controls how clear our head feels.

High leptin levels typically correlate with high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, stroke and blood sugar problems. High leptin levels have also been found to reduce our fertility rates and age our bodies at a higher rate. If you are trying to lose weight and you can’t seem to get your body to get the message that it’s time to change, it’s time you faced Leptin head on.

If you want to see your body start to respond to all the hard work you’re putting in, you need to balance out your Leptin levels. If you continually fail at making lasting health changes and sticking to a plan, it’s OK! Most people struggle with the very same thing, so first of all you need to stop beating yourself up over it! High Leptin levels mess with the state of our hormones & increase cravings, so you are going to have to get serious to beat this ugly hormone.

Leptin loves fat. When we carry extra weight/fat around we are 1)damaging our metabolism 2)blocking thyroid use 3) removing the ability to actually burn fat!

What are some of this things that increase the Leptin Resistance in our body?

Consumption of Sugar, fructose, simple carbs

Overeating

Stress

Lack of sleep

Exercising too much or too much cardio

High insulin

Gluten

So now that you how Leptin Resistance can affect your goal , how do you fix it?

Food

Eating good, healthy foods not only makes you feel positive it also feeds your healthy hormones. Increasing consumption of foods with good protein and healthy fats first things in the morning helps our bodies to balance and produce healthy hormones early on in the day. Now you may not want to start the morning off with steak covered in almond butter, but you could make yourself a fantastic egg scramble with tons of vegetables cooked in coconut oil!

Skip The Treats

Lets repeat this again so you really get it. Sugar increases fat store, messes with your hormones and lowers your immune system which affects your training and performance. So before you go snacking on the chocolate bar before bed tonight, change your snack options to something healthier that will taste great but feed the body.

Get Your Sleep

I know for some of us this is easier said than done. I have a three-year old and a one year old. There are weeks I probably get 8 hours the whole week let alone in one night. Last night I actually slept 3 hours, so I’m preaching to the choir but I can not stress the importance of sleep enough! Sleep increases our human growth hormone which feeds our recovery, the building of muscle and fuels the supply of healthy hormones. It’s also super important for brain function and keeping a clear mind in decision-making like choosing healthy food options. Lack of sleep increase our Leptin levels and brings on the cravings. So SLEEP!!

Move With Purpose

High intensity training increases our healthy hormones and raises our metabolic levels. If you are going to lift weights, stop taking cell phone breaks and move with purpose from one exercise to the other. If it’s cardio day, get on that treadmill and set your mind on sprints. 40 seconds to 1 minute all out as hard as you can push, combined with a 90 second active rest (you can throw some push ups, squats or lunges in here.) Long drawn out cardio stresses the body out and increases your fat stores. So retire your old school cardio routines and get the job done in a quick 20-40 minutes.

Use Clean Products

Chemicals & toxins do nothing but effect our hormones in a negative way and leave our body fighting to get rid of the junk. Get rid of dryer sheets, soaps, deodorants, laundry soaps and dish washer soap that are stressing your body out and causing it to raise your Leptin Resistance.

Lower your inflammation and help support healthy hormones with these following foods…

Chia seeds

Raw cacao

Bee Pollen

Maca Powder

Organic meats

Stay away from gluten

There is this rumour that goes around saying that we increase our metabolic burn by consuming small meals! Wrong!! Your body actually increases growth hormone and balances our hormone levels out when we give our digestive system a break. Try to give your body 3-4 hours between meals. Yes, this will be hard at first because your body comfortable with always snacking, but push through and it will adjust. Just don’t allow yourself to dip too low or else you will eat everything in sight:)

Heres to healthy hormone levels and making smart decisions for the end result!

Video Blog: Healthy Snacks with Jillian Harris

Jill and I are back again with some healthy, delicious snacks that will impress your guests and won’t sacrifice your waistline!

Delicious Yam Hummus

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound yams (peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces)
  • 1 can (19.5 ounces) chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 garlic clove (chopped)
  • sea salt and pepper (to taste)
  • sliced raw veggies and tortilla chips

Directions:

  1. Set a steamer basket in a large pot. Fill with enough water to come just below basket; bring to a boil. Add potatoes; reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a food processor.
  2. Combine chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini, oil, cumin, and garlic in the food processor. Puree, about 1 minute; thin with water if necessary. Season with salt and pepper and let cool; refrigerate, in an airtight container, up to 1 week. Serve with raw veggies and tortilla chips.

 

Comfort Almonds

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups raw almonds
  • 4 tbsp raw honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • sea salt

Directions:

1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl

2. Spread out over a cookie sheet on top of parchment paper

3. Bake at 325 for 20 minutes

4. Remove from oven, let cool, and DEVOUR!

 

 

Workout Video: Upper Body Slide ‘n Sculpt

Get ready for an amazing upper body workout that will simultaneously challenge all the various muscles groups in your upper body. Don’t be fooled by the tame look of this workout – it’s actually a killer that will leave your muscles begging for mercy! The name ‘Slide ‘n Sculpt’ is no coincidence – it’s all the small muscles and tendons in your upper body that can really help tone and sculpt when activated properly. And lucky for you, all you need is 2 sliding disks, or 2 dish cloths – that means you can do even do this workout on the road in a hotel room bathroom if you need to!

Here is the complete workout written out. Try to complete 10-15 reps of each exercise with 10 seconds recovery in between. Your goal is to complete 3-4 rounds! Can you handle it?

  1. Ab slide out
  2. Sliding spider man push up
  3. Plank chest fly
  4. Plank spider man push up
  5. Alternating arm push up
  6. Push up with alternating knee
  7. Push up with mountain climbers
  8. Mountain climbers with disk

 

Free Video Blog: Turkey Lettuce Wraps with Jillian Harris

Turkey Lettuce Wraps with Jillian Harris

 

Turkey Lettuce Wraps

You think you’ve had turkey lettuce wraps before? This recipe will no-doubt raise the bar! Great as a quick snack or a full meal, these amazing wraps are bursting with flavour and very healthy. Once you’ve sunk your teeth into these tasty little lettuce folds of joy, you’ll probably wish you would have doubled up the recipe…so do yourself a favour and just start by doubling up the recipe. Your welcome 😉

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbs of coconut oil
  • 2 tbs of peanut butter
  • 1 tbs of light soya sauce
  • 1 tbs of Hoisin sauce
  • juice from one lime
  • 1 tbs of sesame oil
  • 1 lb of lean ground organic turkey
  • 1 head of lettuce (butter or iceberg)
  • 2 carrots finely diced
  • 3 celery stalks finely diced
  • 1/2 can of diced waterchesnuts
  • 3/4 cup of diced crimini mushrooms (can omit if you aren’t a mushroom fan but I try to get in as many veggies as possible)
  • julliened green/red/yellow peppers
  • crushed peanuts
  • sunflower or pea sprouts
  • chopped cilantro
  • hoisin sauce as garnish

Directions:

In a heavy skillet, on medium, melt the coconut oil, sesame oil, peanut butter.

Add turkey and cook until lightly golden.

Add soya sauce, Hoisin, lime, carrots, celery, mushrooms & waterchesnuts. Cook until mushrooms are well cooked.

Serve up on pieces of lettuce and layer with peppers, peanuts, sprouts and lots of cilantro…finish with a teaspoon of Hoisin cause & a squeeze of lime & ENJOY!!

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Free Video Blog: Healthy Chocolate Cake with Jillian Harris

Jillian Harris and Rachel Doell - Healthy Chocolate Cake

Healthy Chocolate Cake

This healthy chocolate cake recipe is going to blow your mind, and is proof that you can use healthy ingredients to make a delicious dessert! I challenge you to only eat one piece. Watch as Jillian Harris and I discuss the simple steps to making this cake, and how easy it is to substitute in healthy ingredients. There are a multitude of great, healthy alternatives you can use for any recipe, such as raw honey instead of sugar, or coconut oil instead of butter. Get adventurous try some variations out! The worst that can happen is you toss it out and try again. Remember, it’s not always about the end result, but about the learning you do along the way.

Ingredients:

Cake

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk (or preferred milk)
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean
  • 1/2 cup melted Coconut butter
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup raw honey
  • 1/2 cup Xylitol
  • 1 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Whipped Chocolate Coconut Cream Frosting

  • 1 (13.5 ounce) can of full fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
  • 1 (10 ounce) bag chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Preheat your oven to 350°F and line two round cake pans with parchment paper.

2. In your blender, mix the eggs, almond milk and vanilla bean together.

3. Next, add the cooked quinoa along with the melted and cooled Coconut Butter and coconut oil into the mix and blend until the entire mixture is completely smooth. This could take between 30-45 seconds (maybe less if you have a Vitamix)

4. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl (Xylitol, cacao powder, baking powder, sea salt, baking soda).

5. Add the ingredients from the blender to the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix until you have a desired consistency.

6. Split the batter between the two cake pans and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool.

7. In order to make the frosting, you will need to place the coconut milk in the fridge overnight so that the cream separates.

8. To make the frosting, melt the chocolate in a sauce pan on low-medium heat. Take the coconut milk out of the fridge, and be sure to not shake the can. Open the can and scoop out the solid parts with a spoon, placing them into the pot with the chocolate. Melt the coconut cream and chocolate together. If you would like to lighten up the flavour, just add some additional coconut milk (to taste).

9. Allow the mixture to cool, then cover and refrigerate for several hours or until  the mixture has thickened. Remove from the refrigerator and beat on high for thirty seconds to one minute, until a fluffy icing has formed.

10. Carefully remove the cakes from the pan and parchment paper. The cakes can be somewhat brittle, so make sure to move them around as little as possible.

11. Frost the cake and place in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.

12. Sit back and watch the smiles on everyone’s face as they devour this cake!

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