IT’S 2015 GAME TIME

WE’VE GOTTA GET GOALS

If you haven’t read my “story” I was 180+lbs post college. My journey has brought me to where I am now, a 36 year old fitness professional in NYC, the healthiest I’ve ever been. Now it’s time to take it to the next level. I always have excuses for why I’m not where I want to be physically, “I’m fit enough” “This is as good as it gets”.  I’ve decided that there are no more excuses. It’s time to put up and (no or, it’s not an option) shut up.

GET HUNGRY

One of the items on my “bucket list” has always been to compete in a fitness competition. It’s official I’ve signed up for a bikini fitness competition (for those who think I’m tryin’ to look like Arnold check out the photo above) on April 18th 2015. I’m totally pumped. It feels great to have a goal and get hungry for something I’m committed to, literally and figuratively. I’ve hired a nutritionist who specializes in competitions like these, a trainer (yes, I need one too) to get me there and a coach to take me through the posing, shaving, tanning all all the other crazy details that I’ll need to know for THE day. I’m in it to win it, my friends and I’m HUNGRY to win!

WHACHU WANT?

It’s your time to ask yourself, “How am I gonna GET FIERCE this year?” It doesn’t need to be your body, it can be any aspect of your life, but now’s your time to commit to something that’s uncomfortable, that’s challenging and something that you’ve always wanted. Stop waiting, make a plan and attack it.

If fitness is your goal, I gotchu covered! Below is my schedule for the week and I’m PUMPED to see you in classes. GAME ON!

MONDAY 1/5

6:30AM Signature FHIXThe Fhitting Room (w/Java) 1166 Lex. Ave. (@80th St), Register HERE

7:30AM Signature FHIXThe Fhitting Room (w/Java) 1166 Lex. Ave. (@80th St), Register HERE

8:30AM Signature FHIXThe Fhitting Room (w/Eric, El Capitain), 1166 Lex. Ave. (@80th St), Register HERE

6:30PM CyclingSWERVE, 30 West 18th Street Register HERE

7:30PM CyclingSWERVE, 30 West 18th Street Register HERE

The Fhitting RoomWEDNESDAY 1/7

5:00AM Cycling, SWERVE, 30 West 18th Street Register HERE

6:00AM CyclingSWERVE, 30 West 18th Street Register HERE

5:30PM Signature FHIXThe Fhitting Room (w/ Java), 1166 Lex. Ave. (@80th St), Register HERE

6:30PM Signature FHIXThe Fhitting Room (w/ Java), 1166 Lex. Ave. (@80th St), Register HERE

7:30PM Signature FHIXThe Fhitting Room (w/ Java), 1166 Lex. Ave. (@80th St), Register HERE 

SWERVE instructor pageTHURSDAY 1/8

6:30PM CyclingSWERVE, 30 West 18th Street Register HERE

FRIDAY 1/9

6:00AM CyclingSWERVE, 30 West 18th Street Register HERE

7:00AM CyclingSWERVE, 30 West 18th Street Register HERE

SATURDAY 1/10
9:30AM CyclingSWERVE, 30 West 18th Street Register HERE
10:30AM CyclingSWERVE, 30 West 18th Street Register HERE

xxx D

GET FIERCE 2015!

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You Hot? Eat Cool!

A Lil’ Something Different

Summer’s here, and thanks to “global warming” it feels crazy hot in NYC and all over the country. An ancient form of healing, Aryuvedic medicine, can help keep you cool during these hot summer months. Ayurveda emphasizes re-establishing balance in the body through diet, lifestyle, exercise, and body cleansing, and on the health of the mind, body, and spirit. This ancient form of healing contains secrets to staying cool when the temperature is reaching record highs.  Summer is fire or Pitta season in Aryuveda, and when you learn what to eat and how to act to balance this element, you will feel cooler and more comfortable all season.

Cool Foods

Pitta is made of fire and water. During summer season you can reduce Pitta heat within your own body by eating a diet of cooling foods. The best foods to keep you cool during summer are watermelon, cucumber, mint, coconut, summer squash, fennel, cilantro, and aloe vera. Makes sense, right? Eating foods that are grown in the season and that will keep you cool. It’s best to avoid spicy, salty, acidic and greasy foods during summer as they will increase the heat in your body and make you feel hotter.

Below are some basic Aryuvedic guidelines to help you keep cool this summer season!

  • Eat more foods that are Sweet, Bitter, Astringent / Cold, Heavy, Oily: such as salads, smoothies, fresh fruit.
  • Eat less foods that are Spicy, Sour, Salty, Hot, Light, Dry: such as spicy foods, hot beverages.
  • Choose fresh ripe berries, melons, apples, apricots, grapes, peaches, pears, pomegranates and ripe plums.
  • Favor asparagus, bell peppers, broccoli, cabbage, celery, cilantro, leafy greens, seaweed, snow peas, and summer squash.
  • Sip cool or room temperature water with cucumber slices or drink coconut water to keep cool and hydrated.
  • Drink herbal teas such as mint, hibiscus, dandelion and chicory.

Stay cool!

xxx

D

I can see you GETTIN’ FIERCE!

UGH! WTF…The Scale’s NOT Moving!

What’s the Deal? 

Lemme share a little story with you. I have a dear friend who’s a fitness instructor. She’s tiny, has a six pack and she stands at 5’5” tall. When she told me her weight I nearly dropped dead (well, not really dead, but I was shocked for sure!) She weights 145 lbs! Now, I’m 4 inches shorter and I weigh about 124lbs. I for sure don’t look like I weigh 20lbs less than her! It’s proof positive that you can ONLY compare yourself with YOURSELF, but it also breeds the questions…how come she looks SO much tighter, but weights so much more?!

What Weighs More…? 

It’s that same ol’ riddle-esque question. Of course a pound of fat weighs the same as a pound of muscle, right? A pound is a pound, BUT it’s the volume that we need to talk about. 1 lb of fat has nearly 3x the volume as does 1 lb of muscle. The size of 1 lb of muscle is roughly the size of a baseball while 1 lb of fat is 3x that size. Think, if you have 10 lbs of fat it’s like taking on 30 baseballs to your bod (distributed throughout,,,but still)!

Don’t Be Fooled!

Now when people say, “I’ve been training so hard and eating right, but I haven’t lost any weight…it MUST be muscle.” That’s not necessarily true. Dr. Michael Colgan, PhD, a leading sports nutritionist, has done studies to show that the maximum level of muscle gain that he recorded in 1 year was 18.25 lbs. These studies were done on high level athletes with optimal training, nutrition and recovery. Dr. Colgan also says that due to the limited amount of turnover in the cells the maximum amount of muscle weight it is physically possible to gain in one day is 1 oz (16 oz in 1lb). With that said the maximum amount of weight it’s possible to gain in 1 year is 22 lbs.  Whoof all the math, let’s keep going!

SO WTF Then…

Why ARE you gaining weight if you’re eating well and working out more than before? The most likely answer to this question is that much of the increased bodyweight is largely due to increased body fat stores, glycogen and water. When your body begins to adjust to all the added working out and nutritional adjustments it will begin to release the glycogen and water. Make sure to keep drinking water (click HERE for more info) in order to appropriately hydrate and keep your body from retaining water.

Remember…love yourself EXACTLY as YOU are! You’re only getting better…FIERCE(R) every single day!

xxx

D

I can see you GETTIN’ FIERCE!

What the pH#ck?

Can We Change the pH of Our Body With Food?

The answer to this question is not really. WHAT? My philosophy is that food is medicine and we are what we eat…so then WHY would this not be the case that we can’t drastically shift our body’s pH?  A little background; the pH scale runs from 1-14. Fluids that have a pH below 7 are considered acidic and fluids that have a pH about 7 are considered alkaline. Our blood has a pH of 7.35-7.45 which is slightly more alkaline than pure water.

Our bodies have buffering systems which keep our blood Ph in the normal range in order for our bodies perform at optimal levels. So, while we can’t drastically change the pH of our blood through good nutrition we DO reduce the amount of stress we put on our bodies under.

Does This Make Sense?

If you’re eating loads of acidic foods your body has to work that much harder to bring its levels slightly alkaline…the reverse is also true. Ahhh, this is what I like to hear. Food DOES have an effect…I knew it! Over time this overuse of the body’s buffering systems can cause weakness of the bones and teeth and kidney stones. SO, the moral of this story is to eat a healthy diet filled with both alkaline and acid forming foods (eating slightly more alkaline food remembering that blood pH is slightly alkaline at 7.4ish).

Acid and Alkaline-Forming Effects of Common Foods

Most vegetables and fruits have an alkaline-forming effect on your body fluids. Most grains, animal foods, and highly processed foods (think anything in packaging) have an acid-forming effect on your body fluids.

Below are 2 list that indicate which common foods have an alkaline-forming effect on your body fluids, and which ones result in acid ash formation when they are digested in your bod.

Foods that Have a Moderate to Strong Alkaline-Forming Effect

  • Watermelon
  • Lemons (shocking right?!)
  • Cantaloupe
  • Celery
  • Limes
  • Mango
  • Parsley
  • Seaweed
  • Sweet, seedless grapes
  • Watercress
  • Asparagus
  • Kiwi
  • Pineapple
  • Raisins
  • Vegetable juices
  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Alfalfa sprouts
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Peaches
  • Nectarines

Foods that Have a Moderate to Strong Acid-Forming Effect

  • Alcohol
  • Soft drinks (pop)
  • Tobacco
  • Coffee
  • White sugar
  • Refined Salt
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Antibiotics (and most pharmaceuticals)
  • White flour products
  • Seafood
  • White vinegar
  • Barley
  • Most boxed cereals
  • Cheese
  • Most beans
  • Flesh meats
  • Most types of bread

Note that the above lists of are not comprehensive.

To learn more about the science of Ph there’s an fantastic blog by Dr. Ben Kim, “The Truth About Alkalizing Your Blood” where he explains this process in depth if you’re interested in learning more, check it out!

Cheers to a beautiful day and a slightly alkaline diet!

xxx

D

I can see you GETTING (pure &) FIERCE!

Stretch It Out

Benefits of Stretching

Studies about the benefits of stretching have had mixed findings. Some show that stretching helps, while others show that stretching has little if any benefit. The main benefits of stretching are THOUGHT to be:

  • Improving athletic performance
  • Decreasing the risk of activity-based injuries

Stretching can help improve flexibility. And better flexibility may improve your performance in physical activities or decrease your risk of injuries by helping your joints move through their full range of motion.

Stretching also increases blood flow to the muscle. What I find best about my stretch time and you may also come to enjoy, is the ritual of stretching before — or better yet, after — your workout regime.

Stretching Basics

Before you plunge into stretching, make sure you do it safely and effectively. While you can stretch anytime, anywhere — in your home, at work, in a hotel room or at the park — you want to be sure to use proper technique. Stretching incorrectly can do more harm than good.

Note to Self

  • Don’t consider stretching a warm-up. You may hurt yourself if you stretch cold muscles. So before stretching, warm up with light walking, jogging or biking at low intensity for 5 to 10 minutes. Or better yet, stretch after you exercise when your muscles are warmed up. Also, consider holding off on stretching before an intense activity, such as sprinting or track and field activities. Some research suggests that pre-event stretching before these types of events may actually decrease performance.
  • Focus on major muscle groups. When you’re stretching, focus on your calves, thighs, hips, lower back, neck and shoulders. Also stretch muscles and joints that you routinely use at work or play. And make sure that you stretch both sides.
  • Don’t bounce. Bouncing as you stretch can cause small tears in the muscle. These tears leave scar tissue as the muscle heals, which tightens the muscle even further, making you less flexible and more prone to pain. So, hold each stretch for about 30 seconds. Repeat each stretch three or four times (I know it sounds like a long time, but you’re worth it!)
  • Don’t aim for pain. Expect to feel tension while you’re stretching, not pain. If it hurts, you’ve pushed too far. Back off to the point where you don’t feel any pain, then hold the stretch.
  • Make stretches sport specific. Some evidence suggests that it’s helpful to do stretches tailored for your sport or activity.
  • Keep up with your stretching. Stretching can be time-consuming, but you can achieve the best benefits by stretching regularly, at least two to three times a week. If you don’t stretch regularly, you risk losing any benefits that stretching offered.
  • Breathe into your stretching. Although it’s challenging to hold your breath for the duration of the 30 second stretch, it’s what most people aim to do. Breath in slowly and fully and exhale deeply. This will help your body to relax into the stretch.

Know when to exercise caution

In some cases, you may need to approach stretching with caution. If you have a chronic condition or an injury, you may need to adjust your stretching techniques. If you already have a strained muscle, stretching it may cause further harm.

Let’s stretch it out this fine Wednesday!

xxx

D

I can see you GETTIN’ FIERCE!

 

Why Am I Sweating So Much?

What’s the Deal?

Now that it’s getting warmer out and more humid, I’m getting the question, “Why am I sweating so much?” more than ever. Here are the ins and outs of why we sweat…it’s a VERY good thing!

Sweating and Heat Loss

The evaporation of the water from the skin takes heat away from the body and so sweating is essential for our temperature control. If we didn’t sweat at all, we could overheat especially during and after exercise or on very hot days.

Why Do I Sweat SO Much More When Its Humid?

Normally, the body cools itself by opening pores on the skin and releasing water and salts. As the water evaporates, it transfers the body’s heat to the air. Because water has a high latent heat (the heat required to change liquid water to vapor) this process usually carries away enough heat to do a good job of cooling the body.

But the rate at which water—or sweat—evaporates depends on how much water is already in the air. On dry days, sweat evaporates quickly, which means it also carries away heat faster. On humid days, when the air is already saturated with water, sweat evaporates more slowly aka HOT and SWEATY.

This explains why it feels so much hotter in high humidity. When humidity reaches a high enough level, the body’s natural cooling system simply can’t work. Sweat evaporates very slowly, if at all, and the body heats up. In extreme cases, people begin to suffer from heat cramps or heat stroke, which is basically organ failure as the body begins to cook itself.

How To Help Cool Yourself

To help athletes stay cool in extremely hot and humid conditions, engineers have developed special clothing that wicks moisture away from the skin. The clothing pulls sweat off the skin through tiny channels in the fabric and deposits it on the outside of the fabric where it evaporates. Fabrics that do not wick moisture away from the skin, like cotton, simply soak up the moisture and retain it—leaving you feeling soggy and hot.

Where Does It Come From?

Sweat is produced from the “Sweat Glands” – the watery sweat comes from the Eccrine glands deep in the skin and the more “greasy” type of sweat that can smell comes from the Apocrine glands, that are usually found around the hair follicles.

Toxin Removal?

Sweat is made up of mainly water. As it is produced from the blood, it does have some salts in it – sodium ions, chloride ions and urea. In people with heavy metal poisoning, some of the metal can be found in the sweat. However, despite many people thinking that sweat gets “rid of the toxins”, it is not a major way for the body to remove toxins.

May sure to replace all the water your body is sweating out with more water…rehydrate your bod!

xxx

D

I can see you GETTIN’ FIERCE!

Get Your Zzzs: It’s a Challenge!

So Thursday’s on the GETFIERCE page are all about challenging ourselves. These challenges are meant to build ourselves up, to feel good, to be strong and to grow! This week’s is all about getting rest despite ALL we HAVE to do.

Go to Bed

I wrote one of my first blogs about the importance of sleep to our health (and to weight loss), but I never made it a challenge.  Now is the time…why? On average we need about 7.5 hours of sleep per night. I’m totally guilty of sleep deprivation too! I’m up late training, working and up early and at it again!  I’m finding that I’m so busy lately that I’m foregoing my own sleep for work, but no more.

From January 10th, 2012

Sleep Diet? 

Have you heard of this, the ‘sleep diet’? The main takeaway is that you lose weight while you’re sleeping…ummm, amazing right? Well, this is can be true. You need good quality sleep for your bod to function properly.

The two hormones that are key in proper function of a healthy bod are ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin is the  hormone that tells your body when to eat, and leptin is the hormone that tells you to stop eating. When you are sleep-deprived, you have more ghrelin (picture Chris Farley, “Don’t touch me I’m Starving!)! and when you are sleep deprived, you have less leptin (aka your stop button, so you just keep on eating). Less sleep equals more ghrelin plus less leptin equals weight gain, double UGH!

What to Do?

The best thing to do to combat these hormonal hindrences…go to bed! You’ll not only save yourself the calories of those late night munchies while watching the Kardashians take over New York (pr whatever YOUR guilty TV pleasure is), you’ll be, physiologically speaking, doing your body a favor by restoring is best hormonal balance.

Week 13 Challenge!

The Goal is to put down whatever you’re reading or working on, turn off the TV and lay your pretty little head down in your bed when you’re 8 hours away from your alarm going off. I KNOW this is a challenge, but give it one week. You’ll be filling up your body’s ‘sleep tank’ and maybe even losing a few lbs along the way!

Sweet Dreams my Fierce Friends!

It’s a Challenge Thursday: Past Challenges

xxx

D

I can see you GETTINGFIERCE!