Simply put, the sun and environmental pollutants don't discriminate. They’re constantly at work, attacking your face, scalp, forehead, neck, and ears. While men who shave their heads or have a receding hairlines are at additional risk, ALL men need to protect and treat ALL exposed skin.
Yes Dad, I'm Talking To YOU....
Skin Cancer is the most prevalent of all cancers and overexposure to sunlight is the main cause. Over one million Americans develop skin cancer every year. Sun exposure has also been linked to the formation of wrinkles and "age spots." Even on cloudy days you need protection.
Penetrate deep into skin layers.
Are 20 times more abundant than UVB rays.
Affect long-term skin damage.
Can pass through window glass.
Are not affected by a change in altitude or weather.
Are present all day, every day of the year.
Are related to more than 90% of non-melanoma skin cancer.
Cannot pass through window glass.
Strength varies with the season and weather conditions
They are more intense in the summer than in the winter.
The Science Of Skin Damage
Environmental factors such as pollution, cigarette smoke, and radiation can lead to the formation of "free radicals" which are basically unstable molecules that contain an "unpaired" electron. When cells in the skin encounter one of these free radicals, the free radical may cause destruction to the skin cell, which can lead to signs of aging. Antioxidants are substances that neutralize these free radicals by donating an electron to them to make them more stable. This helps prevent cell and tissue damage, slowing down the signs of aging… and with the right products and treatments prevention and reversal of damage is possible.
So What To Do?
Wear sunscreen - The sun and its damaging rays are potentially the biggest threat to your skin. Keep in mind that even on cloudy days your skin is under attack.
Some interesting facts:
-A white t-shirt has an SPF of 3
-Wet clothing has decreased SPF
-No sunscreen is "waterproof"... reapply sunscreen after swimming or excessive sweating
Moisturize - It is important to replace and "seal in" the moisture your skin naturally has. Without maintaining your skin's proper moisture level, you are headed for flaky, dull, dry skin.
Get facials every 6 weeks to clean and protect the skin and treat and help heal existing damage. It is also a good way to stay aware of any changes in your skin.
Father's Day Skin Treatment - Specials just for Dad
Purchase a Gift for Dad of either a Gentlemens’ Classic or Straight Up Facial and receive $25 towards the service of your choice or free custom foundation matching ($30 value)
1. Issue: Cracked Heels - Winter Feet
2. Issue: Bumpy Arms or Red Dots
3. Issue: Cellulite and Poor Texture
4. Issue: Pigmentation and Brown Spots
5. Issue: Dry Dull Skin
6. Issue: Pasty Skin
Eat Healthy Real Food. And Enjoy it.
That means shop the perimeter of the store. Avoid the aisles where processed food resides. Instead choose seasonal and diverse food. Enjoy eating and you will eat less. Take some time to not only plan your meals, but where you will eat them. Make where you eat as appealing as what you eat. If you need inspiration, Pinterest is great for this.
Develop Good Skincare Habits Early
In Europe, this often begins as early as 10 years old for both girls and boys and usually starts with their first facial. Teaching your son or daughter the importance of good skincare leads to a lifetime of healthy skin.
Make Facials and Massages a Part of Their Health Plan.
It’s really not a luxury. Skin is our largest organ — and it needs to be protected. Adults carry some 8 pounds and 22 square feet of it. This fleshy covering does a lot more than make us look presentable. In fact, without it, we would literally evaporate.
Move Their Bodies
Hike, lift weights, walk, ride a bike, take a class. We have wonderful weather here and there is really no excuse for not taking advantage of it. Your body is designed to move, and to do so frequently. When you think you are too tired, that is usually when you need it most. People who exercise always look better, feel better and have youthful energy
Smile More and Be Happy
Ok, maybe you're thinking “I can’t just be happy.” But actually, you can. The reality is that our thoughts create our experiences, because our thoughts determine what we notice, how we think, and therefore, how we feel. "Happiness" is not only a choice, but an active decision. Even if sometimes you don’t feel like it, smiling and positive thoughts can become contagious and lead to genuine happiness.
Less Media, More Interaction
While I believe there is a place for social media and computers in our lives, it is also important to be sure to disconnect. People who consciously turn off all electronic stimulation - yes, that means your phones, computers and headsets - and focus on the world around them are happier and more productive. Consider it the new conscious uncoupling ;)
More Maintenance, Less Extremes
While I always support doing what makes you feel better about yourself, there is more to be said for balance. Those who maintain their health and wellness will find more extreme measures less appealing. Ask Christie Brinkley. Small tweaks as you go result in a beautiful, more natural appearance. Asking an unhealthy body or neglected skin to respond well from extreme measures is unrealistic and will often result in a more artificial appearance. Start with the basics and build from there.
Develop a Sense of Style
You aren't missing the style gene. A sense of style is typically a learned and practiced skill. It is also one of the benefits of aging. As we realize what looks better on us, we care less about the fads and instead focus on our personal style. Getting a color analysis done to determine what works with your skin tone is a great start. Look towards cuts that flatter your body. Nowadays, it's less about dressing your age and more about dressing for your body.
It's something that you already know, but let's go over it again. You can lose weight and rev up your metabolism simply by walking. You can also elevate your mood and in many cases, crack the code to overcoming the cravings that often come at the end of each day. By taking a walk after dinner, every night, you are going to become a believer. I'm not talking about some arduous pilgrimage through rough terrain or walking the local shopping mall. I'm talking about getting up from your meal, passing on dessert, and walking in your neighborhood for even just two tiny miles. In a month, even if you only walk four days a week, you will cover forty miles, and burn 4000 calories. Those are results that everyone has time for.
It Fixes More Than You Think
When you keep this appointment with yourself, the benefits really go beyond what exercise offers. I do my walk without my phone. Don't be scared. You can do it. Just leave it at home, and walk out the door. The freedom you get may surprise you. Not only that, but in the absence of your phone, you may understand how reliant you are on this technology - which is not always a good thing. Simply be present in your walk, and see what 40 minutes can do. A tech diet is good for everyone. You really won't miss a thing.
Killing The Cravings
It can take 20 minutes for the signal to go from the receptors in your stomach to your brain that tell you to stop eating. By eating a sensible dinner, and getting up and heading out, you give time for that process to occur. I have never come home after a walk and been hungry. I find that the method of "Eat and Walk" will also completely erase my desire for something sweet. I don't know how. It just does.
Sticking With It
When I return from my walk, I make a little note on my calendar (yes - my paper one) so I can see how far I've gone in a "week by week" and "month by month" basis. It makes it more fun, and if something isn't fun, chances are, you won't stick with it. I keep it fresh by walking different routes and exploring streets I haven't been down. I like seeing the different landscaping designs and color schemes that people use on their homes. It gives me something to look forward to, and I use a very simple "20 minutes is a mile" method to track my distances. It's not exactly accurate, but for this, it's close enough.
You Have The Time
I had friend tell me a long time ago, that no matter what you do, the time will pass. So this summer, get out there and walk after dinner. I bet by August, many of you have gone beyond 100 miles. That is real. So, as the summer passes, you can get out and be a part of it and cover the distance of a few marathons, or you can have that second helping everyday and complain that your bathing suit must have shrunk. Totally up to you.......
Makes 24 Mini Muffins
1 scoop Quest All Purpose Protein mix
1 pouch of METRX chocolate protein blend
¼ cup Unsweetened Applesauce
Unsweetened Almond milk
⅛ tsp baking powder
3 tsp stevia bakeable blend - Pyure
Dramatic, but true. I know you realize that sugar is bad for you - but sometimes a little reminder is a good thing. High levels of dietary sugar will erode your quality of life. It will age you prematurely, both inside and out, and put you on a path to numerous health issues. Sugar is hidden in products we use everyday. It has created generations of unknowing addicts that have suffered physically and emotionally as it has taken hold and become a major part of our diets.
The "No Added Sugar" LIE
I read the label on everything I buy. I have noticed that some products are trying to hide added sugar by labeling the ingredient as another form of sugar such as fructose. To be perfectly clear, this fruit derived sugar is sugar. In nature, we are meant to eat an orange or an apple, not have some factory extraction process delivering us the juice without the fibrous material inherent to the fruit itself. So, when you see products with "no added sugar", look to see if they have simply added a sugar analog. It's a dirty trick that harms your health. Sugar can even sneak in to seemingly innocent products like taco seasoning and almond milk. Stay informed, read labels, and make good choices.
Do You Have A Wine Gut?
Let's be honest - no one is a fan of the beer belly. Wine will do the same thing. I do enjoy a very occasional glass of wine (and by glass I don't mean bottle) - but I partake with the caveat that I'm going to pay for it the next day in the form of additional cardio. I think of an alcoholic drink as a glass of sugar, because it is. Alcohol places your metabolism in low gear, and leaves it there until you work it out of your system. It also erodes your will power. How many of us have over eaten as a result of having a couple of drinks? All of us. Also, the terrible sleep you will have on nights you drink is due to the alcohol and the sugar being processed out at different rates. Be aware that a serving of wine is 5 ounces. Many restaurants will pour a 10 ounce double serving. So if you have two glasses of wine, you have had four servings. No one has ever stopped drinking and gotten less attractive. If you want to drop your wine gut, drop the wine. It's fine occasionally - which means on occasion - the daily arrival of 5:30 doesn't qualify.
The Sugar Emotional Roller Coaster
Sugar is a jerk. The more you eat it, the more you want it. It gives you amazing highs only to drop the bottom out with soul crushing lows. It's a major player in depression, mood imbalances, attention disorders, and completely sends your hormones into a spin trying to regulate your levels. If you aren't quite feeling yourself, maybe all you need is to reduce your sugar intake and reassess. Sugar depresses immunity, making you vulnerable to colds and flu, not to mention diabetes, tooth decay, heart disease, and, new research shows Alzheimer's can be linked to the damages caused by this sweet little creep.
Completely eliminating sugar is very, very hard. Reducing it is an attainable goal that can be done today. Read your labels, make good choices, and show your body the respect it deserves. Sugar is a tough one - but you are tougher.
As a skin care clinician I spend a lot of time with clients analyzing their individual issues, and creating an at home skin care program that complements the treatments we perform at the spa. Ideally, your home care regimen should be customized to your personal skin profile to help get the results you want and still be completed in a reasonable amount of time.
After selecting the products, and explaining why the key ingredients work best, I started asking my clients if they know the technique to apply their products. I found that many of us just don't know. We do what we have always done, or what is fast and gets us on to the next task. Let's take a minute to establish the best way to get the most out of your home care regimen.
In the following, when you see the word "face", think face, neck, and décolleté
A.M. Routine P.M. Routine
It's All In The Technique
By using these techniques, I feel you can improve the quality of your skin while getting the most out of the products you buy. My mom was right when she said, "Treat your skin like your eyeball". It was one of those things that sounded funny at the time, but really makes a lot of sense. She also calls blue jeans "dungarees", but you can't win them all.
Ladies, we all need to up our calf game. There is no better time than the legging covered winter to work on the body part that gets all the attention when you throw on your favorite heels. Carving out a nice set of calves takes persistence. But all that constant work means nothing if you aren't doing things the right way to get the look you want.
In knowing how to build and shape the calf muscle, we need to first understand what we are dealing with. The calves are constantly working and always under load from everything we do all day long. As a result, the muscles in the calf are very dense, and are a unique combination of both slow and fast twitch muscle. Additionally, the calves can be a couple of degrees colder than the more central muscle groups, so getting them to respond takes strategy.
Hollywood legend Steve Reeves was known to spend his mornings on his tiptoes. He felt that immediately stimulating the calves after lying down all night was a good way to force them to grow. He also had an amazing body at a point in time when no one had an amazing body - so he may have known what he was doing. Want to give it a shot? Just try standing on your toes when you brush your teeth. Even small, incremental stimulation can push your muscles to change.
Three Ways To Get Them Going:
The Seated Calf Raise : This is a staple to build lower calf strength. I like to do these as a starting exercise to really get my achilles stretched out as I get the blood flowing. I keep the weight light and move slowly through the movement like a ballet dancer getting up on her toes. Bouncing is not the way. Keep control - and keep your weight low and your reps high. I feel that overloading on this exercise can create a thickness in the lower calf area that doesn't benefit the desired shape.
Leg Press Calf Raises : Here is where I add the weight. I put just enough to make 20 reps challenging. If you load it right and get a full range of movement, 20 will be more than enough. I also change my foot position here during my three sets. I go from inline, to slightly outward , to slightly inward. If you start bouncing, you are going too heavy. Lighten up and do it right. Think about how you would press if you were trying to look over a wall. Pay attention not to shock load your knees here as well. A slight bend is all it takes - just keep them from being locked out - but don't let the quads sneak in to help you either. That's called cheating.
Standing Calf Raise : I have a love/hate relationship with this one. I love the feeling of the deep muscle stretch it gives me, but I hate the marks it can leave on my shoulders. To combat this, I use a lighter weight, and really relax at the bottom of the movement to get the full benefit of that elongation. When you feel it, you will know you are in the right spot.
If you don't want to risk the shoulder marks from the standing calf raise, try the standing dumbbell calf raise. Flex hard at the top and relax the muscle as you lower back to the floor. It's not exactly the same, but if you don't enjoy your workout, you aren't going to stick with it, so alternatives are always a good thing. Using a couple of weight plates under your toes can give you an additional range of movement that you wont get from just being on the floor.
Simple But Effective
To get good calves, you have to plan your work, and then work your plan. Accessory muscles can be overlooked. Don't do that. Training your calves regularly will not only give your legs an overall better shape, but will give you more balance and confidence in every move you make. Brush your teeth on your toes, don't bounce in the gym, keep them stretched out, and the next time you put on your favorite heels, you're going to steal the show.
There is a lot of talk today about turmeric and it's potential health benefits. With every trend, I like to take a step back and go to the science to separate the hype from the facts. I gave turmeric a solid skeptical hippo gaze, and here's what I found out.
What is Turmeric?
Turmeric is a spice that has been used in India for centuries. It gives curry that beautiful yellow color and adds the flavor that is distinctive to many East Asian dishes. It has recently been hailed as an antioxidant that reduces inflammation and provides relief for a whole host of ailments.
What Makes Turmeric Effective?
The active ingredient that provides the benefits is curcumin. Unfortunately, there is only about 3% curcumin in turmeric, making it virtually impossible to get the healing benefits from just turmeric alone. You just couldn't consume enough of it to hit a meaningful therapeutic threshold. Curcumin is also very poorly absorbed in the bloodstream, so you need to combine it with piperine - which is found in black pepper. Once those two get together, their absorption rate can go up as high as 2,000% over just taking curcumin alone. Knowing this, taking turmeric is pretty pointless.
Curcumin Is The Real Hero
Now that we know turmeric won't give us all the benefits the mob is telling us, what is curcumin good for?
1 - It's a proven anti-inflammatory that in some tests proves as potent as a pharmaceutical agent
2 - It increases your anti-oxidant capacity - and getting rid of those free radicals is always a good thing
3 - In your brain, there is a hormone called "Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor" (BDNF) - This hormone helps create the pathways for neural activity - which happens in childhood. Studies show that curcumin can increase your BDNF levels, and put those pathway crews back to work. It can help repair and potentially slow some of the aging processes in the brain. Amazing.
4 - Heart Disease is a killer - and curcumin works to improve the function of the lining of the blood vessels. When the lining isn't functioning properly, the negative impact of heart disease can accelerate rapidly. Combine better function with reduced inflammation and you are on your way to a happier heart.
The list truly goes on and on. When I turned my hippo gaze deeper into my bowl of curry, I found the answer was not turmeric, but curcumin. Remember, curcumin alone is not enough - it needs piperine or you will literally be flushing your supplements down the toilet.
So Here's What You Do...
When the hype tells you to take turmeric, get on some curcumin with piperine - and keep the spices in the kitchen. Hey - don't be sad turmeric - being delicious is a big benefit too....
After a few months off of sharing "My Favorite Things", I've had a lot of requests to bring it back and share the little gems I have found that I really enjoy. I'm going to try to kick off each month with another edition, so let's get into it...
Quark isn't yogurt - it's a crafted German Cheese that is made in Los Angeles and delivered right to your door. Elli created 16 delicious flavors that have a smooth and creamy, cheesecake like consistency. Its higher protein to sugar ratio than yogurt, and clean ingredients make it a clear winner. For me, it's an easy way to satisfy my desert cravings and not call it a "cheat day". Try the apple pie. I love it. Click on the pic to go to their website and select your flavors today.
Bragg Organic Sprinkle
Bragg Organic Sprinkle is awesome. When I first opened it, the smell was amazing. I knew it would be good on so many things - chicken, fish, salad, even eggs. It adds a ton of flavor with no dietary impact. It's available everywhere. Just click the pic to check out the macros...
How Good Does All This Sound???
INGREDIENTS: rosemary*, onion*, garlic*, thyme*, red bell pepper*, carrot*, tomato*, black pepper*, basil*, Bragg Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil*, parsley*, tarragon*, lemon peel*, orange peel*, Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar*, celery seed*, dill seed*, oregano*, savory*, sage*, ginger*, coriander*, bay leaf*, turmeric*. * organic ingredients
Outer Aisle Cauliflower Thins
Do you remember my blog about my homemade cauliflower bread bites? Well, after the blog came out, a client ( Thank you Melissa) turned me on to these. They had the exact same ingredients as my recipe. They are a great bread substitute that you can get in some Whole Foods - or even have them shipped to you. Outer Aisle Cauliflower Sandwich Thins are the BEST. They cook up nice and crispy in a toaster, and are an excellent gluten-free bread alternative. They are made in Goleta, California, and I love them!!! They also do a pizza crust that comes in a two-pack, so be sure to try that as well - it's the same formulation as the sandwich thins - but gives you the option of a healthy pizza night in your own kitchen. Click below to read more from Outer Aisle and my blog.
I wanted to share an article I wrote for a trade magazine. It will give you a little insight into my business philosophy and give you a look inside what makes S-Team work. Click the link below...
Your Man's Feet Are A War Crime
You know it's true. You can be sound asleep, and that cracked hoof slides through the sheets and touches your leg, waking you up like you've been scratched with a dragon's claw.
This Valentine's Day, give yourself a gift that you both with enjoy. S-Team has put together a his and hers home foot peel treatment for the first 50 customers, that will bring you closer together, and end your embarrassment when he wears flip flops around your friends.
We have assembled a limited amount of Baby Foot Exfoliant Foot Peels, in a his and hers combination that will make this Valentine's Day your best ever. No candy, no flowers, none of that stuff. Lavender scented for you and minty fresh for him - it's a can't miss.
Here's What You Do...
At just $40, it's a perfect evening that works for both of you - He gets fixed up, you get fixed up, and later that night, when he slides a little closer, it's going to be a lot better. Ahhh Romance...
Click The Button To Order Yours
I like things to be easy when it comes to nutrition. My gluten free She-Hulk shake is about as easy as it gets. It's power packed with protein and iron and easily processed fat from avocado. If you are training hard, or just needing a meal replacement pick me up, it's the perfect fuel to power you through any challenge - and the best part is that everything you need is at your local Costco.
The She Hulk Shake
1 & 1/2 Scoops of ON Vanilla 100% Whey Protein
1 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
2 Cups Spinach
1/4 Sliced Fresh Avocado
Put all the ingredients in the Magic Bullet. It's just that simple. It works out best to put the almond milk in first. The protein is less likely to stick to the bottom that way. If you want a smoother shake, just add a little water and give the Bullet another spin.
1 - High in niacin and zinc - for healthy skin and hair
2 - Low in calories, high in protein
3 - Rich in fiber
4 - Vitamin packed to help with mental clarity and brain function
5 - Did I mention the antioxidants?
Calories = 287
Fat = 10.5
Protein = 40
Carbs = 4.6
It's a delicious , protein rich shake that is a great addition to any diet. The caloric count is perfect for me and keeps me going through a tough work out. It's easy to make, feels great to drink, and once again, Costco has it all.
It's bound to happen at some point. The system you have been using for optimum performance stops working : It's time to mix it up.
The human body (and the mind) are highly adaptable. You can get into a non-optimal performance pattern with your training regimen, your sleep schedule, and even your diet. We are looking for a constant upward progression, no matter how small, and the first step toward assurance of success comes in two simple words. Let go.
Let's pretend everything in your life is exactly the same, but you aren’t performing at your physical or mental peak. Go to the gas tank first. What are you eating? What are you not eating? What have you let slowly slip into your diet that seemed so benign at first but is now firmly in the rotation and is stealing your thunder? Fix it. The simplest way to achieve this is to do a five day diary. For five days, (one weekend day and four weekdays) write down everything you eat and at exactly what time you are eating. A simple entry of “coffee” isn’t good enough - You even need to log the 1 oz of creamer (even if it's sugar free). Try it. I think you will be surprised what has gotten off track. It’s not easy to maintain the discipline of a healthy diet day in and day out. Unfortunately, it is easy to allow variations in your diet become standard. It's those standards that make or break your efforts toward optimum health.
What about your work out? You have it down….its totally predictable - you know exactly how long it will take and what level of fatigue you can expect to have (or not have) as the day progresses. Plus it’s brainless and automatic. Headphones on, brain off, magically its over and you didn’t even realize it. Time to let go. You need a new way to reach your destination, and it’s going to take some new thinking. Get outside. Go plyometric. Do something different. Whatever you do, mix it up. You body is dying for a new challenge.
If your sleep is suffering, take a look at your nightly rituals. Do you stop looking at your computer or phone a few hours before bed? Have you started the nasty habit of eating anything close to bedtime that can disrupt your sleep cycle? Are you so overtrained that you are restless during the night and tired in the morning? Never forget that you train in the gym and you grow and repair in bed. Maybe you need a few weeks of conscientious under-training. Sleep is a precious commodity essential to both body and brain function. Never sacrifice your sleep. Remember - alcohol can significantly disrupt your normal sleep cycle. Be honest about the reasons you aren’t resting. Fix it. And get some new pillows……you deserve it.
When you make an investment, you are looking for a return. When you invest in yourself, you should expect no less. If your time is not paying the dividends you should be getting based on your honest efforts, then revamp your routine and let go.
Flashback to my high school days, wearing my yellow polyester uniform, standing behind the counter at Ken's Donuts, serving up the hottest, freshest, and quite possibly least healthy things you could ever eat. I don't miss those early morning shifts, but I still love a good donut. So I made my own...
I got the idea to try to make these little gems while walking through Marshall's (because I love a good deal), and I saw the donut pan. I went home to the "test kitchen", and after a couple of flat attempts, I found a combination that is tasty and good for you too.
Time To Make The Donuts...
One packet of Vanilla Met-Rx Protein Powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
Optional - Dark Chocolate Chips (8 per donut) - but seriously - we all know this is totally a must add
Preheat your oven to 375, and coat your pan with non stick canola oil spray
Put two egg whites and one whole egg in your Magic Bullet
Add in the Met-Rx Vanilla Protein Powder, along with the vanilla and baking powder
(I put a splash of almond milk in the empty Met-Rx envelope to get all the powder that sticks to the sides - You know - the old Kool-Aid trick)
I use the Magic Bullet, (which I got at my beloved Costco), because it mixes with no lumps and clean up is a breeze - it's a perfect time saver in an early morning rush. If you don't have a Magic Bullet, just be sure to get the mixture smooth and lump-free. You may need to add a little water to get the right cake batter consistency...
Bake for 20 minutes...
Without Chips With Chips
Calories = 60 Calories = 77
Fat = 1.2 Fat = 2.4
Protein = 8.7 Protein = 9
Carbs = 6.6 Carbs = 8.5
I love these because they are delicious, healthy, and very portable. When I'm on the run, I take them with me to eat throughout the morning. It keeps my diet in check - and hey - Who doesn't love a donut?
I’m always trying new things in the kitchen, and let me tell you, they are not always winners. Recently, I created a gluten free “bread” from riced cauliflower, and it has become a staple of my diet. Easy to make, delicious, and every ingredient comes from Costco.
I have two pans that I make the “bread” in - a standard muffin pan, and a whoopie pie pan. I end up with two different thicknesses, but they taste almost identical.
My Now Not So Secret Recipe
4 Teaspoons Almond Flour
3 cups riced Cauliflower
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
½ cup Shredded Parmesean Cheese
Organic No Salt Seasoning (I don’t know the measurement here – I just put it what looks right)
Preheat the oven to 375 and spray your pans with non-stick canola oil spray
Combine all ingredients in a bowl until well mixed, and place equal amounts in the cups of the pan. Put a little pressure on it as you put the mixture in to sort of pack it down. Bake for 20-25 minutes (My oven is good at 23 minutes, so somewhere in that range should work)
When I take them out , I give them a few minutes to cool just a little before removing them from the pan to finish on the rack.
That’s all there is to it. They are good in the fridge for about a week, or you can freeze them for later. I like to heat them up in a toaster oven to keep the edges crispy.
I use these “bread bites” under poached eggs for breakfast, to make grilled cheese for lunch, (only in the toaster oven – a pan or panini press destroys them), or even under a nice piece of grilled salmon at dinner.
Makes 12 Bread Bites
Each Bread Bite contains:
Calories = 60
Protein = 7.6
Fat = 5.3
Carbs = .6
Super easy to make, super delicious, super good for you and everything comes from Costco too. What could be better than that?
What is the deal with coconut sugar? Is it really better than just regular sugar? Is it the same? With so many options for “all natural” and man-made sweeteners, sometimes it’s hard to see the forest for the trees.
Coconut sugar is made by taking the sap of the Coconut Palm, and drying it under heat until all of the moisture is gone and the sugar remains.
("coconut palm sugar" isn't coconut sugar... it's from a different type of palm tree - I know...It's confusing....but don't worry about that now...)
This natural production process actually leaves the final product with some additional minerals that you won’t find in white sugar. Zinc, Iron, Calcium, and Potassium are all found in coconut sugar, but the amounts are pretty small. Knowing that, I would say you should seek other sources for these nutrients. However, Inulin is the magic in coconut sugar. It’s a fiber that is believed to reduce the glycemic index of coconut sugar by lowering the absorption rate. In a nutshell, (pun intended), you won’t get the major spike in your blood sugar level you would get from normal sugar.
WARNING...SCIENCE CONTENT COMING UP...
What is the glycemic index anyway? The glycemic index is a scale that uses pure glucose as the top performer. Table sugar has a glycemic index of 60, so it can be assumed that it is 60% as potent as pure glucose. Coconut sugar has a glycemic index of 35. Pretty simple.
The real villain is fructose. Fructose has been linked to insulin resistance (which can lead to diabetes), and when the liver gets too much fructose, it gets converted to fat. Table sugar, or “sucrose”, is 50% glucose and 50% fructose. Coconut sugar is typically 70% sucrose. Which means half of that 70 is fructose. Pretty not simple...I know...
At 16 calories a teaspoon, for both table and coconut sugar, it appears that neither is any better for you on a calorie restricted diet. I do feel that the lower absorption rate can help you overcome some of the sugar crash you could get from your morning coffee. In the end, I would say it’s a good addition if you like the taste and the more natural production process appeals to you. It’s not going to cure your sweet tooth, but could be a good band-aid for the peaks and valleys that come with a white sugar fix.
With every New Year comes the inevitable New Year’s resolution. One of the most popular of these is the vow to clean up the diet, eat healthier and hopefully drop a few pounds along the way. In order to provide my clients with real evaluations I test every new cream, treatment and diet trend out on myself. The day after Christmas, I started the trending ketogenic diet.
The basic idea behind this diet is that you convert your body from burning carbohydrates to using fat as your main fuel source. This means eating more fat. Lots of fat. Lots and lots of fat.
If you look at my normal food intake, you would probably say that I’m a very clean eater. I track my macros, and in the past, have always been able to tweak what I’m already doing to drop weight. This diet was a complete departure for me, and I fully committed to it just to see what would happen.
The most interesting thing for me was that I never got the “Keto Flu”. I think this is probably because I don’t eat a lot of refined sugar or processed carbs, so the purge wasn’t so bad on me. I did feel less mentally sharp. I know this will happen when you diet, but this was different. It felt bad. It wasn’t craving or hunger related. It just made me feel less capable of functioning at my normal mental ability.
I also found that I didn’t enjoy eating all that fat. It just felt wrong. I recognized that it would not be sustainable in the long run. It’s not a diet that you can put to work out in the real world. It takes a lot of in-home prep, which is normal on a restricted diet – but to create a ketogenic lifestyle, it seems a bit consuming.
I lost a pound. That’s all. It was a painful pound to lose. After diving into the ketogenic diet, I am positive it ‘s not for me. I prefer a rounded, heathy diet that keeps me feeling good and holds the scale in check. I went back on my regular diet and dropped two pounds in the first four days. The results speak for themselves.
That being said, I understand the therapeutic use of this diet for certain medical conditions and that it can be a vital part to health for people meeting specific criteria. If your doctor tells you that the keto diet is best for your individual medical needs, as always, follow his/her advice.
I feel that the solutions for managed health and wellness through diet can be summed up with eat lean, eat green, and eat clean. There is no mystery. If you are eating wholesome healthy foods in the right amount, you are going to see your health improve. Be good to yourself in a way that’s sustainable each and every year. That’s a resolution we can all live with.
With the year drawing to a close, many of us have plans for a fitter and healthier new year. So why wait? You can start today. You don't need to get to a gym to begin your new program. Go outside and enjoy the weather wherever you are. Take a walk, a hike, or a run. All you need is a few minutes to start turning those resolutions into a reality. Just changing your scenery can get you motivated, recharge your workout and make you feel great. So get out there!
You never know who you may meet...
OK Ladies - I know all the excuses. It's the holidays, your kids are home from school, you have shopping to finish, parties to attend, and blah, blah, blah. Save it. None of these things should keep you from taking care of yourself during the holiday season.
So many people charge into the new year behind the eight ball because they put their fitness on the back burner, and over indulge in every way. Why put yourself in a position to be under the power of a huge New Year's Resolution? By keeping yourself on track throughout this time of year, you can start 2018 with a head start on making it your best year ever.
I'm encouraging all of you to get in just 30 minutes of cardio a day from today through January 6, 2018. It doesn't matter what you choose - just put the time in. It comes to 20 sessions - just 10 hours out of the 480 hours between now and then. I'm not asking for much.
My best advice for this challenge is to set your alarm and knock it out early. Not only will this free up your day for all your holiday fun, but it will be a good motivator to hold back on the alcohol. Make this appointment with yourself and keep it.
If this is the only thing you do for yourself between now and then, you will be well on your way to a healthier new year. Keep your fitness as a lifestyle choice that you commit to daily. The reward of a better you will be the best gift you can get.
Let me know how you do!
Summer is behind us, and the days are shorter, darker, and even here in California, a little colder. In conversations with my clients, I find that many of them feel that sunscreen is a fair weather friend. This is simply not true.
Just because the sun seems weaker, don't let that fool you. Even in the darkest of days, your skin is under attack through incidental damage. These are the UV rays that come from ambient light sources, and even, brace yourself, a cell phone screen. We all lift our phones to our faces to check our messages or make the now almost extinct phone call. We are placing a device right next to our unprotected skin that is emitting the rays that we work to prevent all other times off the year. These rays break down collagen, and can lead to age spots, freckles, and even hyperpigmentation. Don't think of it as sunblock...Let's start calling it "light block".
Something to also consider are the environmental factors that can affect your skin. Here in California, we have had a year of wildfire after wildfire. Even in areas not directly impacted by these factors, there is a cost for your skin. Particulate matter is carried on the wind for miles and miles, and those micropollutants will find their way into your pores. The same goes for heavy pollution environments, like major cities. To be sure you are doing the most for your skin in these conditions, it's crucial that you use a product that has an anti-oxidant property to combat all the unseen particles that you come into contact with every day.
Shameless Product Endorsement....
To meet the need for year round protection with antioxidants, I fully recommend M.A.D. Hyper Sheer 50 daily moisturizer and body sunscreen. It is Broad spectrum with SPF 50, and disappears on application leaving no residue or "white lines". The antioxidant formula with vitamin C & E will help to keep airborne pollutants at bay, and with formulas for both face and body, you really can't go wrong. Additionally, it smells clean and fresh, making it ideal for both men and women to use daily. And by daily I mean even in the winter...
So, just because you put up the tree, that doesn't mean you should put the sunblock away. It's always going to be a daily part of a healthy skin care routine, and anyway, don't you want to look your best in all those holiday photos?
The cold weather has finally come and with it, all of the tempting foods that show up every holiday season. This fall, I’m giving a big recommendation to Ancient Nutrition Chocolate Bone Broth as a way to kill those cravings and add some powerful nutrients to your diet.
I am a fan of this particular bone broth for its simplicity. Six ingredients make up this dairy free, gluten free, soy free treat that adds only 100 calories while giving 20 grams of protein per serving. Those numbers work when you use water - I primarily use almond milk. Both ways are delicious.
I’ve tried it both hot and cold, and I prefer it hot. When I make it hot, I put the powder in a blender with some almond milk, and let it get completely mixed. The also gives it a nice froth, and a "chocolate mousse” kind of texture. I then pour it out of the blender into my microwave safe mug (with room at the top - the heat makes it expand) and just a few seconds later, its ready. Additionally I’ve found that for some reason, making it hot brings out a deeper dark chocolate flavor that is really, really good.
If you are drinking it cold, use the blender or a shaker cup to ensure all the lumps get broken down. It just makes it better.
I know there are lots of brands out there that you can try, but Ancient is my go-to. The nutrition is balanced, the flavor is excellent, and my sweet tooth is completely satisfied.
I dont know about you, but when I crave chocolate, only chocolate will do. Now that I've placed Ancient Nutrition Chocolate Bone Broth in the rotation of my nutritional arsenal, those cravings can be eliminated with no straying from my diet.
I love pizza. I really do. I know exactly where to go and what to order when I get that craving, and it is always just right. However, we all know that pizza is not the best choice when trying to maintain inner and outer fitness. But sometimes you just have to have it. My favorite local pizza is thin and light, organic and fresh, and (luckily) - available by the slice.
What can you do when you want your favorite pizza, but you also want keep your diet on track? I did a little looking around, and I found a couple of alternative options that should be pretty easy for everyone to find when you are looking to satisfy that craving - but not pay the full price by sacrificing your fitness goals.
The next choice comes from Real Good, and is available in some health food stores that offer frozen items to take home. The pizzas are smaller - what could be considered personal size, and are made of chicken and three different cheeses. I cooked two - one according to the exact directions, and the other directly on the pan. (The instructions suggest leaving the paper backing on the pizza - but I just wanted to see what would happen, so I did it my way). Coming out of the oven, I could see this was not a traditional pizza, but it did smell authentic, and knowing it was almost carb free kept me hopeful. This one can’t be hand held - its definitely a "cut and eat with a fork" pizza due to its softer texture. The flavor was very, very good. The cheese blend had the right consistency and flavor to satisfy that pizza craving. The “crust” is the chicken breast itself, flattened out to hold the sauce and cheese. In my opinion knowing you aren’t taking on the carbs that you would get from a regular crust makes up for the lack of crunch. Real Good definitely is, but if you choose this one, know you will be having a satisfying treat that is similar to an unbreaded chicken parmesan. And when considering quantity, one is definitely enough
So what's the takeaway here? For me - there is nothing as good as my favorite local pizza. I feel pizza is a treat that I indulge in occasionally, and I maintain strict portion control when I choose to go that route. Having tried these, I feel like I have found a couple of excellent alternatives that can get me over the hump when the cravings kick in. Try them and let me know what you think. I am keeping both on hand for those occasions when I’m running short on time but want to keep my fitness on track. And when my appetite for pizza strikes, I'm doing my best to drive by my favorite spot and make it home to one of my new options. But sometimes...
September is finally here, and I have my house back again…It's time for back to school. While that gives many of us loads of new challenges, schedules and stress, for those going away to school it could also mean loads of extra weight
The freshman fifteen is no myth. And it isn't only reserved to first year college students. We have all seen it, but it doesn’t have to be that way. So this year, let’s make a collective back to school resolution that will bring us into the holidays healthier and happier. So whether you are headed off to school, or missing someone who did, you can try these three simple things to maintain your summer fitness throughout the fall and winter.
Rule #1 - Avoid eating white food, specifically white and processed. Exceptions are cauliflower and almond milk. This means no refined sugar. No white bread. It’s very simple. We can all do it.
Rule #2 - Do not bat clean up. When your kids still have food on their plates, throw it away. You should have already eaten your meal. Imagine if you took just a month and added up all those tiny bites you took in the kitchen while cleaning up. That's a lot of extra food that serves no real purpose toward your ultimate health goals. So don’t do it. If you are at college, this applies in the same way. Just because there is leftover pizza around doesn’t mean you have to eat it. By maintaining good nutrition, you also maintain your ability to process information effectively. You are learning many new things and you need to be at your peak. Eating garbage at 2 a.m. is not going to get it done.
Rule #3 - Pay attention to those coffeehouse drinks. You may be getting much more than a boost of caffeine. I have watched adults, teenagers and now even middle-schoolers making their morning beverage purchase with the hopes of increasing their energy only to have the complete opposite and a much more detrimental effect. Drinks ranging from Iced Blended Frappuccinos to hot chocolates with whip have people consuming approximately 500 calories, up to 18g of Fat, and Carbs that come primarily from sugar. I can’t think of anything better designed for lethargy and weight gain than these so called "pick-me-up" drinks.
Your best choices are unsweetened or very lightly sweetened drinks. Iced teas without syrup, regular coffee, or if you must have a blended drink, the light varieties will at least save hundreds of calories.
I challenge all of you and your kids to take on these three simple rules for the next few months. By doing so, the freshman fifteen shouldn’t be an issue - for the kids or the parents.
Having a fit lifestyle starts at the dinner table, and unfortunately that is often the first thing that slips in times of stress. School can be stressful for parents and kids alike. Take the time to refocus on being good to yourself with a clean healthy diet. Your energy and sense of well-being will increase and lead to a remarkably productive and beneficial time for everyone.
I confess I am a pusher. “Drink more water", I say to all my clients. “Your body needs to stay hydrated.” “It helps with a clear complexion.” But to be completely honest I have to force myself, or at least make a conscious effort everyday, to drink enough water. So I have come up with a couple of strategies and alternatives to ensure I get enough fluids while still leaving enough calories to eat all the food I want.
My favorite way to drink water is from my VIA Crystal Water Decanter. You can select your own crystals. I chose fitness energy crystals. There are also wellness, vitality, purity and focus crystals to name a few. I have yet to establish why it works for me but the company states that the gem vibrations create:
Braggs Organic Apple Cider Vinegar Drink in Apple Cinnamon flavor. I seriously love this stuff and it only has 32 calories. It tastes like apple pie and I like the ingredients. Pure Distilled Water, Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Organic Apple Juice, Organic Cinnamon and Stevia Extract
Celsius is my go to appetite-curbing thermogenic drink when I need a bit of a boost. I like the sparkling options but they have non sparkling selections as well. The new lime flavor is not sweet at all which is great. Their claim to fame is
Next challenge for me was to find a grab and go style protein shake. I don't always digest milk based products very well and my son is gluten free. I found Evolve plant based protein shakes. They come in chocolate, vanilla, almond and mocha. They are delicious and lack the grittiness you often find in plant proteins.
In one 12oz bottle
Ingredients: Water, Pea Protein, Soluble Vegetable Fiber, Organic Cane Sugar, Less than 1% of: Natural Flavors, Calcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Organic Stevia Extract, Gellan Gum.
Drink Up! If you have a favorite you'd like to share let me know. I love to hear about any great finds.
This blog was created to provide information as it relates to skin, body and food health.