- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- ½ cup honey
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons sriracha
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 (6 ounce) boxes Long Grain and Wild Rice
- 2 avocados, sliced
- 1 bunch scallions, chopped
- Crumbled queso fresco
- Combine honey, olive oil, and sriracha in a small mixing bowl. Season with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Place chicken and all but ¼ cup of the marinade into a ziploc bag. Shake, jiggle, and massage the bag around gently to cover the chicken in the marinade. Let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight. Refrigerate and reserve remaining ¼ cup marinade.
- Preheat grill over medium-high heat and grill chicken until just cooked through. Brush the reserved ¼ cup marinade on the chicken as a glaze. Let chicken rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
- Meanwhile, cook rice according to package directions. Divide between four bowls, and top with chicken, sliced avocado, chopped scallions and crumbled queso fresco. Devour
Recipe Credit: http://sharedappetite.com/recipes/grilled-honey-sriracha-chicken-rice-bowl/?pp=0
So recently we’ve been talking a lot about INTENTIONS vs Resolutions.
About 6 months ago I started seeing a new mind-body coach named Steve and we began doing a lot of deep cathartic work together. My whole career I’ve been blessed with amazing mentors and Steve is becoming one of them. I believe in soaking up and learning as much as I can from those who have a wealth of knowledge to share. Not just book knowledge, but life knowledge and spiritual knowledge. I promised myself I’d do this exploration with Steve for a year and assess the results. So far, it’s amazing!
Steve holds my feet to the fire and helps me grow into unchartered territory and sends me home with homework and things to practice.
He asks me to text him after I’ve completed something that in the past, I’ve struggled with. “Are you doing your homework?!” he asks me.
See, I’m the stubborn type. If you think I’m just working out like a maniac, meditating and doing everything I Should do. You are wrong. Sometimes I’m on the short bus and need a fair amount of nudging.
What I’ve been doing is saying yes, following through and doing the things I only ever wish I’d follow through on for myself. Especially on subjects that have held me back. Together, we are going after them with vigor! Steve has a way with me. I Like the way he encourages me. It’s not with a judgmental stern attitude but one that is firm but loving. And the homework he sets up for me is attainable.
Sometimes little steps get the biggest results
It’s about the marathon, not the sprint
Small course corrections can make the biggest difference and by not setting myself up for failure, it’s been a great way to build self esteem and a deeper trust in myself. Step by step, day by day i’m doing things that lay a foundation in the areas that have been problematic in the past.
You can do this, too.
What a difference a promise can make. When we promise and make a commitment to others, we do it for ourselves. The simple act of stating that we WILL do something can cause us to actually do something. Aligning ourselves with our integrity and truth and having our fellow friends hold us to it. We don’t want to let them down, so we don’t let ourselves down.
I know it’s not an easy thing for any of us to really stick with our promises, especially when life gets in the way. That delicious piece of cake at the birthday party, work got busy and you had no where to get clean food, you want to go to the gym but your tired – you’ll go tomorrow. Life is always happening. There is never a “good” time to start sticking with the things you want to do for your life. The only time is NOW. It’s what we’ve got.
Actions follow intentions
What are YOURS?
Personal responsibility and taking care of ourselves is paramount. We can have others teach and guide us, but at the end of the day it’s YOU following through for you. No one can do it for us! The more we eat in alignment with our metabolic type from good clean sources, exercise and listen to our body, take time in nature to restore and pay conscious attention to our thoughts – the more energy we have for all the FUN stuff we want to do. Pretty exciting right!
Surround yourself with like-minded people who are going to hold YOU to the fire and help you to go the extra mile when you are tired, support you when your mind and negative thinking are trying to get the best of you.
Here’s your homework
— Make a list! Who are the top three people whom you can set intentions and make them a promise and they will lovingly hold you to it.
— Make a list! What are the top three things you want to accomplish with your fitness and health in 2017 and you are really ready to put the juice behind those three things (notice I said three, not ten)?!
Imagine yourself one week, one month, one year into BEING this person who follows through!
How good does that feel?! DAMN GOOD!
How does it feel to follow through with the promises that at one time you let mow over you and NOW you are really doing them. Step by step we rebuild integrity with ourselves as our accountability partners keep us on the path to being the best we can be. The most alive and authentic versions of ourselves.
Be THAT person.
It takes a village! I encourage you to make a list of your top three fitness and wellness intentions / goals and your three support people. Call them now and get your goals out of your head and breathe life into them by sharing them with your support people or support communities.
Here at Ascend our 30 day Fitness and Nutrition Challenge is meant to do just that!
6 steps for successfully creating and getting to the groove of your intentions:
(The first 3 of 6)
Hey hey good morning!
Can you remember a time that you accomplished something, but it was incredibly hard?
The whole damn thing was just… hard?
Has there been a time you can remember accomplishing something and it just flowed? It wasn’t “easy” per se, but you just felt good, invigorated, and alive?
This second thought represents a change in attitude as opposed to a forced change in behavior.
Resolutions are a change in behavior, which feel restrictive to me. Hard. Boring. Like forcing myself to do something I know I should do, rather than something that I choose to do or want to do.
As promised, I’m sharing my map for creating a truly successful New Year that is not about resolutions, but what I prefer to call “setting intentions”.
Here’s the first 3 of 6 for your map:
—- 1. Get into the airstream –
Getting in the airstream is the first step toward fulfilling your dreams because it is what you are in-tend-ing, what you desire.
As Deepak Chopra shares with us; “The classic Vedic text known as the Upanishads declares, ‘You are what your deepest desire is. As your desire is, so is your intention. As your intention is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny.’”
What is the airstream?
This airstream is a place of neutrality, where everything you want can manifest because you are not pushing against or pulling anything toward you. Careful! It’s not about controlling specifics. It’s about allowing, shifting and opening to something new.
Getting the most out of what you’re wanting or intending for this year can be achieved in part by simply relaxing and aligning with the flow. The easiest way to do that is by developing a meditation practice. True meditation is not about relaxation, though it can be relaxing. It’s certainly not about effort, though it does take focus and a real precision of mind. There are so many different meditation techniques. Don’t fuss. Just choose one that suits you and practice finding the airstream.
<I’ll post one for you to practice soon.>
The airstream is a place in between wanting and desiring or pulling toward you, and not wanting or pushing against or away from you. It’s in the middle. It feels like being guided down a current or river where you have access to energy that is much bigger than your own. To me, it feels like I’m jumping into an airstream or energy stream. A meditation practice helps you ride the current and allows you to guide it at the same time.
—2. Be Where you are —
“That which you resist, persists”
Accepting and loving who, what and where you are is the most overlooked practice that there is when people are intending or looking to make change. This is especially true if the subject has some “heat” to it. The practice of acceptance and and even self love is the key to transformative change.
For most of us, the big things we want to change do have heat to them. We’ve wanted them to go away or shift for a long time. But we often forget that the first place to start when we desire this big change is with true acceptance of everything that IS in this moment. You don’t have to stay here long, but you do have to practice it until you get it.
Look at your feet. Be where you are. Practice truly accepting the thing that you want to change right in this moment. Breathe into it. Love on it. Don’t go anywhere. Be still.
For me, when asked to practice acceptance, it always sounds like someone is trying to trick me into eating a teaspoon of medicine at which I cringe, but that has not been my experience when I actually try it.
We often want to retaliate with statements like; “How can I be in total acceptance of this thing I hate?!! I’ve wanted these thighs to go away for 20 years!” “You want me to accept and even love that I don’t feel athletic and even hopeless? N-O- no! We say, I won’t do it.
And so we stay stuck.
Look at it this way. It takes a lot of energy to push a boulder up a hill. And that is what you are doing when you are not in a place of acceptance and even love with the thing you are trying to change. Some of us can will our way through things, but it takes significantly more energy and struggle.
For some, the idea of acceptance may trigger more fear and despair because it sounds like a guarantee that the thing we are accepting will never change. Actually, it doesn’t work like that. Not if you practice.
It’s all irony, I know. Love and acceptance shifts the energy of that thing so it can transform through the fire of desire. In Tantra, we call that force of creative power “Spanda”.
Coming from a place of love gives you access to power. If we are not railing or pushing against anything, suddenly possibility opens and we have access to a new inner strength and power with the ability to do more, create more, and be more!
<<I’m going to post a guided meditation for you in the few days to practice this, so hold tight this is a very important step.>>
This stuff takes practice!
—3. Make a vision board —
Some might say this is the first step but really it comes later after we have found the place of love within ourselves. Once we have achieved acceptance and self-love and ignited a new place of power within, we can come from a place of play, of joy, and of non-restriction. My mentor used to say to me;
“If anything were possible, what would you want to see happen?”
Do it on a big piece of cardboard with painting colors and pictures. Get your hands dirty. Play like a child. Let yourself dream.
OK! There you have the first three of six! Practice and let me know how it goes.
We’ll be launching into some awesome stuff this coming Saturday for our BE GIGANTIC 30 day New Year’s Challenge.
Understanding Metabolic Rate
There are many factors that effect your metabolic rate such as your daily activity level, dietary choices, lean muscle mass, stress levels, nutritional supplements, age, sleep patterns, etc. This post is not an attempt to provide a complete summary of everything you could possibly do to speed your metabolism in support of fat loss, energy production and general health; rather, it is a presentation of some of the key nutrients/supplement/factors that are great to emphasize to speed metabolism, as well as mention of that which you will want to avoid with that same goal in mind.
Much of the science and thinking behind these lists is derived from an understanding of how our cells prefer to make energy; a process cellular respiration. I don’t want to lose you on the scientific details of that process, but do want to point out where you can learn a great deal about it if you’re interested in deeper understanding. If you want to know then I highly recommend you start your exploration of knowledge with this article by my favorite biochemist, Dr. Ray Peat, PhD.:
Dr. Peat has many eye opening articles on his blog, so after you read that article, explore his site further and search through his article listings for any titles that catch your eye. After doing so you’ll better understand the reasoning behind these lists.
Things to Emphasize
Things to Avoid
- Nitric Oxide: so avoid pre-workout supplements that induce nitric oxide production and shy away from protein sources rich in arginine (e.g. hemp, pea and rice protein)
- Stress Hormones: Elevated Estrogen, Cortisol
- PUFA’s: Transfats / PUFA’s – hydrogenated oils, heated plant oils, and the supposedly “Essential Fatty Acids“
- Starvation: long gaps between meals / Nutrient Deficiencies
- D-lactic acid
- Intestinal toxicity / exotoxins
Thanks to our trainer and holistic health & fitness professional, Will Schmidt, for providing us with this awesome blog!
Recommended Food Chart: Get Will’s recommended food chart to accompany the tips above!
Muscle memory is a term that often pops up in the fitness and health industry, and yet its relevance is often disputed amongst different fitness professionals. Even though this term often refers to the way in which our brain remembers repetitive movement, such as learning to play a song on a guitar or to touch type on a keyboard, in the fitness industry it is actually referring to something a little different.
It refers to the ability to regain strength, definition, movement and efficiency at a faster rate in muscles that have been trained in the past.
The term ‘muscle memory’ describes the phenomenon of how a person who has been training for an extended period of time can cease their training, allowing their muscles to atrophy and deteriorate, then gain their muscle fitness back much quicker when they resume their training, than it took to gain it in the first place.
Our muscles don’t actually have memory, not in the way our brain does, so how do our muscles remember what it was like to be bigger and stronger before?
The answer is to this question is actually twofold and quite interesting.
The first answer looks at the actual DNA retained within each and every muscles fiber.
To understand this we need to look at what makes up a muscle fiber. These fibers, or muscles cells, are also known as ‘myocytes’. Myocytes are unique cells for a couple of reasons. Firstly their shape is long and tubular. They are made up of a combination of different protein formed filaments, within which the glycogen and oxygen are stored and utilized to form the energy and movement our muscles need.
These myocytes are actually formed from the joining of numerous ‘myoblasts’, which are like embryonic myocytes, each bringing their own nuclei to the mix. So because of these numerous myoblasts joining and making up each myocyte, the muscles cells essentially have numerous nuclei, which is the second reason why they are such a unique cell type.
It is within the nuclei of a cell that the DNA is stored, which in the case of muscles cells includes all the information it has gained in how to build and repair itself stronger and more resilient than before.
So essentially each muscle fibre contains numerous little ‘brains’, all of which have retained the information needed to regain its current size and strength.
Recent studies have shown that contrary to what we have believed in the past, the nuclei do not atrophy along with the rest of the muscle fibre. Instead, as the rest of the cell withers away due to lack of use, these nuclei remain intact for an extended period.
This means that when you apply the right circumstances, including a healthy protein rich diet coupled with appropriate training, the process of rebuilding your pre-existing lean muscle mass back to its former glory, will occur quicker than it had initially taken to build them.
So yes, muscles do have memory. Not the kind of memory that we store within our brains, but a special kind of memory that is unique to the myocytes, or muscle fibres themselves.
Then there is the second train of thought that applies to muscle memory and how we are able to regain former strength and ability at a faster rate than which it took to gain it initially.
This train of thought focuses on your neuromuscular system. It looks at how developing your muscles strength and ability through consistent training over a period of time, enhances your motor neuron excitability. Ben Greenfield talks about this in depth in episode 115 of his podcasts, when he says that “[muscles memory is] The ability to recruit motor units, recruit more of them and recruit them more efficiently”
In his podcast he refers to how even though it may take 4-6 weeks for your musculo-skeletal fitness to return through training, after a period of neglect, your ability to return to your previous movement and efficiency will take less time (between 2-4 weeks) because your nerves within you neuromuscular system have learnt to be more efficient in communicating with each other and engaging each of the motor units in the process of muscle movement.
This means that even though your muscle mass might not yet be entirely regained, the ability of your nerves to stimulate the motor neurons within the muscle fibers is re-established quicker, making the process of retraining in a specific exercise seem quicker and easier.
The need to take a break from our regular fitness routines can come about for many different reasons. Perhaps our health demands that we take it easy, or life commitments come into play, or we have simply taken the time out for a relaxing holiday. Whatever the reasons, it can be frustrating returning to the gym, or to our yoga session, only to discover that we have set ourselves back in our progress.
However with a little love and dedication, we can regain our previous health, and even take it further!
Get Outside and Put Your Feet in the Dirt!
The season is changing and it’s time to stop hiding behind your computer, get outside, and plan something fun! I dare you to do something you haven’t done before. Hike a mountain, try surfing, host a picnic in the park! Summer is about making memories and getting outdoors to enjoy the natural beauty that surrounds us. Me? Well, I’m heading to Hawaii in August! I haven’t been there since I was about 20 and you bet your boots I’m in for some high time adventure fun! Now is the time to take off your shoes, put your feet in the sand or the dirt, and let the rhythms of the planet sink deep within your soul. Allow nature to work its healing and energetic magic on you to allow you to connect and feel joyful.
Get in the Zone
Check this out. We talk a lot about working out, but how about “working-in?” When was the last time you took the time to reflect and replenish your energy stores? We spend so much time expending energy throughout the day and often forget to take the necessary time to regroup, breathe, and prioritize. All it takes is 5-10 minutes a day to disconnect from the outside world and reconnect with yourself. Silence your phone, put away the computer and get into some meditative Zone 1 exercises to reconnect with your breathing.
Get into a slight, easy squat position, breathe, and imagine your feet are rooted into the earth. Feel the vibration of the planet and become unified with the energy that surrounds you. Allow the power of the earth to envelope and love you. Inhale deeply as you scoop the energy; lift up from the dirt at your feet, feel it flow into your legs, and breathe as it travels up into your pelvis, then up along the vertical shaft of your spine, and up to the top of your head. Receive this healing earth energy and connect with all you’re thankful for.
Stretching has got to be one of the most effective and beneficial forms of training and we so often rush through it to get to the “real stuff”. Truth is, the benefits of stretching are innumerable and allow your body to heal and repair itself. Complete these stretches gently allowing your body to feel the immediate benefits of loosening up and stretching it out!
- Lateral neck stretch. While sitting or standing, tilt your head to the side as though you are pouring water out your ear and use your hand to give a gentle tug. Reach your arm opposite side of the stretch towards the ground. Hold for 20 seconds per side and repeat 3x.
- Pec Minor Stretch. Using a Swiss Exercise Ball (the large blue ones), place your arm at a 90* angle onto the ball and press your shoulder firmly into the ball. Keep your body square as you rotate slightly to the opposite direction, feeling a secure pec stretch. Hold for 20 seconds per side.
- Upper Abdominal Stretch. Is your core feeling sore after a kick ass Ascend Body workout? This stretch is absolutely perfect for targeting your upper abdominal muscles. Do a very gentle backbend over a Swiss Exercise Ball. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 3x.
- Hamstring Stretch. Depending on your body’s particular imbalances, you may find your hamstrings are super tight! Lie down flat on with a small towel under your lower back. Using a stretch strap, slowly pull one leg towards your head while flex ing your toes towards your nose. Hold 30 seconds per side and repeat 2x.
- Hip Flexor Stretch. Start by trying an easy variation by putting one knee down on a mat and keeping the opposite leg at a 90* angle. Squeeze your glutes and gently push your pelvis forward until you feel a stretch at the front of the hip. Hold 20 seconds per side. Repeat 3x.
- Thoracic Mobilizations. Place a vertical foam roller directly behind the heart, clasp your hands tight behind your neck, and let your wings (bent arms) fall out to the side using gravity to help weigh them now. Now, relax as much as you can over the roller. Focus on opening the spine and opening the heart. Hold 1 minute.
Drink Plenty of Water
Yes! It’s warmer and the days are hotter. Are you getting 1/2 your body weight in oz. per day of good clean filtered water? Your body is 75% sea water, so make sure you are staying hydrated. Of all the things I teach, it’s the most simple, and yet most important. I recommend finding a portable glass or stainless steel container and figuring out out how many containers full you need in order to reach your daily quota. Remember, if you exercise, you will likely need to drink more. If it’s extra hot, you may need even more! Don’t forget to add high quality sea salt, as sea salt has up to 80 minerals that your body uses for it’s vital functions. It’s nature’s gatorade!
Focus on Fresh Food
We teach a type of nutrition at Ascend called metabolic typing which allows us to map out a diet rich in fresh, local, organic foods. Your metabolic type, for simplicity’s sake, is your individual macronutrient ratio. It is unique to you and will be different from mine and everyone else’s! It’s our job to help you identify what your body’s specific needs are. Your macronutrient ratio needs will change depending on the amount of stress you are under and also on the season. Summer has just arrived and bodies tend to want lighter, brighter foods. Just think of the difference between a winter squash and a summer squash. The summer squash’s skin is thinner, the meat is lighter, and thus tends to feel lighter in the belly.
My homework assignment for you is to notice the following: Do you want more protein or less? Does your body crave more green vegetable or fewer? What about fruit? How much is too much? Start paying attention to what your body craves and you’ve already started mapping out what you need to fuel your body effectively.
Sync up Your Sleep
Whether we like it or not, we are creatures ruled by the sun and the moon. Yes, we can cheat nature and pull all nighters for a school or work project, drink some caffeine, or turn the lights up brighter when it’s 11pm, but I assure you, you can’t get away with this forever. And, as someone who once suffered from adrenal burnout, trust me, it’s a long road to health once burnout happens. Let’s spare you from it!
We are ruled by our circadian rhythms and when in sync, we rise with the sun. We focus by placing our eyes softly in the sun and when it goes down, we are ready for bed. Early to bed, early to rise. It can take a few weeks to get in sync, but when you do, your workouts will be better, your fat loss will be more efficient, and your energy levels will skyrocket.
Move and Exercise Outdoors
After reading last week’s blog, I hope you understand that cardio is not the answer to fat loss. While it is the answer to heart health, spending hours running on a treadmill is not nearly as important for fat loss as many people have been led to believe.
Clients often ask, what kind of cardio should I do? Before assessing goals, body type, and relationship to other workout factors, I often ask, what do you like to do? I haven’t had one person say they love the elliptical. I mean, really love it, for real. They do it because they think they need it, maybe because it’s what’s there for efficiency’s sake, but not for love. Find out what you really enjoy because that will keep you coming back for more in the long haul.
Think about what you can do outside in the sun, the breeze, and good ol’ Bay Area climate! Try going for a long walk, a hike, a bike ride. Breathe some fresh air and have some fun. Do something different!
And, if you’re looking for some outdoor workout inspiration, don’t forget to join us Sunday July 17th at 10am at Golden Gate park (FB event listing coming soon)!
“Easter Bonnets & Bunny Tails” is a special workout hosted by Ascend Body. There will be a lot of sweat but in the end, only one team will take home the “ASCEND BUNNY!” Choose your Team Captain wisely!
WHEN: Sat, March 26th at 9am (Meet at Ascend Body)
WHERE: Meet at the studio at 9am or at Dolores Park at 9:15am
Meet at the studio – 2973 16th St., 4th Floor at 9am and we’ll head to Dolores Park for a challenging, fun, extra special Easter workout. If you prefer to just go to Dolores Park, meet us at the center staircase on Dolores Street at 9:15am. (Text Shane if for some reason you can’t find our bunny ears: 415-724-7164)
WHO: Ascend members and their friends come for free (last chance to win dinner for 2 at Bar Tartine for the referral contest!)
SIGN-UP: $27 non-members, FREE for Ascend Members.
Register in advance by signing up here.
Email email@example.com for questions or to bring a friend.
Participants will arrive no later than 9:00 am at Ascend Body and will join the team they have chosen in advance to be part of. At 9:15 am, the workout competition begins. It’s an outdoor event, so dress appropriately.
Dress up in your spectacular “Bunny” outfit!
YOUR FRIENDS ARE WELCOME TO JOIN US, SO FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS EVENT ON YOUR FACEBOOK PAGE!
Kimberly joined us here at Ascend in July and is one of our most dedicated Boosters! She had been searching for a place where she could get her body moving but she wan’t interested in a typical gym environment. We’re super excited to have her here and to help her achieve her fitness goals, one of which is running a 5k in under 30 minutes. Watch Kimberly’s video to see what she has to say about her experience and the progress she’s made here at Ascend Body!
(Photo by Stuart Locklear Photography)
When we talk about the benefits of regular exercise, we tend to focus on physical rather than emotional, mental, and spiritual benefits. Trust me… rock hard abs, solid glutes, and strong, lean arms are only the beginning of getting up and getting going!
Exercise absolutely transforms the way you feel and the effects are immediate.
While significant weight loss takes time and extended effort, all it takes is one quick workout to begin reaping the rewards of a more energetic and capable body.
WIth regular exercise, you’ll cultivate energy and vitality, alleviate lingering aches and pains, and feel happier and more confident. Sounds good to me!
1) Cultivate Energy and Vitality
How are your natural energy levels these days? How do you feel in the morning before your cup of coffee? Do your eyes pop open at the sound of your alarm or even before it goes off? Do you bounce through your day with a spring in your step or do you hit snooze half a dozen times before begrudgingly waking?
While you may not instantly feel like the Energizer Bunny, your energy levels will dramatically increase once you begin a consistent, challenging exercise routine.
Research consistently finds that regular exercise increases your body’s natural energy levels and reduces fatigue. It actually creates energy in your body. Basically, your body rises up to meet the challenge for more energy by becoming stronger and anticipating higher physical expectations.
2) Alleviate Aches and Pains
If your life is largely sedentary and inactive, you’ll quickly find yourself developing nagging aches and pains that just won’t seem to go away. You’ll feel it when you stand up – a throb in your back, creaking in your knees, and stiffness in your legs. This is pain due to underuse.
Your body is meant to move!
Movement improves flexibility and range of motion, and releases natural pain-reducing endorphins, which means that with a regular exercise program, you’ll be moving smoother and with less pain than ever before.
3) Exude Happiness and Confidence
The way you feel about yourself will improve drastically when you move just 30 to 60 minutes a day!
Think back to the last time that you accomplished something. Maybe you performed well at work and received kudos from your boss, or you finished a project at home that took weeks of your time and concentration.
Do you remember how that accomplishment made you feel?
You stood a little bit straighter, you smiled easily, and deep down you felt alive with excitement.
When challenging exercise becomes a regular part of your life, feelings of happiness and confidence also become a part of you.
From now on I want you to forget the idea that exercise is nothing more than a means to achieving a slimmer body.
Instead, look at exercise as a complete life enhancer.
Reach out to me and I’ll show you how to integrate a consistent, challenging exercise routine into your lifestyle so that you’ll begin to reap the benefits of an energetic, more confident you.
Don’t wait to begin enjoying the benefits of an active lifestyle – call or email now!
Sure, it’s August, but that doesn’t mean summer’s over in San Francisco! You and I both know there will be plenty more opportunities to throw off your shirt and show it off. The sun’s out, the days are still long, and the Bay Area is ripe with opportunities and sun-filled adventures. Plus, if last December was any indication, you know you still have time to look great for some warm winter weather!
Are you ready?
It’s true. Most people want to slim down before baring it all, so I’m here to warn you of the 5 Flat Tummy Myths that will slim your time (not your waistline!) and provide you with 3 steps to achieve the flat stomach of your dreams.
Myth #1: Do extra crunches to flatten your abs.
Excessive crunches are definitely not the answer to achieve rock hard abs. In order to flaunt a toned look, you’ll have to focus on burning off the layer of fat that is covering up your tummy, first.
- Tip: Don’t obsess about crunches – focus on total body fat burning workouts instead.
Myth #2: Take diet pills to speed weight loss results.
I know it’s tempting! So many television, radio, and internet ads make compelling claims about the power of popping a ‘magic pill’ to speed results. Truth is, diet pills are more likely to burn through your pocketbook than your gut.
- Tip: Don’t pop a pill – burn calories with high intensity interval training workouts and holistic food choices instead.
Myth #3: Eat packaged diet products to boost results.
Don’t fall for the highly-processed foods that are packaged as ‘diet’ or ‘weight loss’ aids. More often than not, these products are packed with refined sugar and other artificial ingredients that your body doesn’t need and certainly won’t help you attain that tight tummy.
- Tip: Don’t eat packaged diet foods – focus on well-rounded, wholesome nutrition and meal planning.
Myth #4: Avoid all carbohydrates in order to achieve tight abs.
Carbohydrates have been given a bad rap, which is unfortunate because you can (and should) eat carbs while slimming down. If your body can tolerate it, the key is to stick with organic fruits and vegetables, oatmeal, and brown rice while avoiding processed and refined flours and sugars.
- Tip: Don’t give up all carbohydrates – stick with wholesome carbs instead.
Myth #5: Starve your way to toned abs.
Trying to lose weight by starving yourself is not only ineffective but can also be dangerous. It may seem that severe calorie restriction would deliver the quickest weight loss, but your body is complex and doing so will disrupt your metabolism and actually slow your results!
- Tip: Don’t starve yourself – eat several small, well-balanced meals throughout the day and have plenty of high protein snacks on hand to stave off hunger and reduce impulsive cravings.
Now, it’s time to go over your flat tummy game plan! Here’s what you need to know in 3 simple steps:
Step One: No more junk.
The best way to do this is by purging your kitchen. Throw out the sugary, processed and fat-filled foods. Once the junk has been cleared out, don’t buy any more of it. Remember that your abs and health depend on what you eat.; flat stomachs are made in the kitchen.
Step Two: Eat whole foods.
Replace the junk food in your life with plenty of the following: cooked and raw vegetables, fresh fruits, whole grains, moderate amounts of seeds and nuts, lean meats and low fat dairy. Clean eating really is that simple.
Step Three: Train at Ascend Body
This is the most obvious step. You’re ready to get into great shape and I’m in a unique position to make that happen for you. Get started on an individualized, holistic wellness plan that will get you those amazing abs and more. #Ascend with us to a higher, more sculpted level.
Photo by Russ Anderson (Creative Commons)