Love Notes by Jari Love

Posts in the healthy lifestyle category

Break These Bad Health Habits

by Jari Love

Are you health conscious? Good for you! If you exercise regularly, eat whole foods, keep up to date on the latest health concerns, don’t binge on sugar and have cut out all processed and fast foods, well, then, you are doing better than most people.

 However, you may still have some bad habits that are preventing you from achieving the body and lifestyle you would like. Based on my experiences with clients, I have put together a list of the top 5 bad health habits, even health conscious people make. If you find one or more of these habits apply to you, try to break your bad habit and watch the huge benefits in your life and on your body. 

  1. You’re Dehydrated

Dehydration is when more fluid leaves your body than is taken in. Seems simple right? But, roughly 75% of the population is chronically dehydrated. When was the last time you drank at least 8 glasses of water in a day? 

Dehydration causes a whole host of symptoms including: fatigue, headache, nausea, irritability—and in severe cases death. Hopefully you are never so dehydrated that the last symptom listed here is a problem for you, but I put it down so that you know dehydration has serious consequences on our bodies. Our bodies need water in order to function efficiently and this is true of our weight loss goals as well. Dehydration actually slows down your metabolism—which hinders weight loss. 

Don’t wait until you are thirsty, or your mouth feels dry to drink. If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Begin each day with a large glass of lemon water to kick-start your system and keep drinking throughout the day. Keep a full water bottle with you during the day and constantly rehydrate throughout the day. Get into the habit of drinking a full glass of water before every meal and snack You shouldn’t wait until the feeling of thirst or dry mouth hits you, at that point damage has already been done. Instead, constantly rehydrate throughout your day to avoid dehydration. 

The best way to do this is to incorporate water into your daily schedule. Have a water bottle at your desk and train yourself to sip on it often, and get into the habit of drinking a full glass of water with each meal and snack. If water isn’t really your thing, try adding some lemon, cucumber, ginger mint leaves or orange slices to flavor it. 

  1. You Eat Out Too Often

In today’s hectic world it is easy and convenient to eat out, order take out or pick up something “quick” on the way home. Research suggests that most people eat out one out of every 4 meals and snacks. That’s an average of once a day. 

Even when you order healthy items, or choose places to eat that are health conscious, you are taking in more calories than if you had prepared the same meal at home. Restaurant food is designed to taste good, and the reason it tastes so good is that the food is often loaded with fat, sugar, salt, or some combination of those three. 

Healthy and quick meals are relatively easy to do with a little preparation. On the weekend sit down and plan out your meals for the week. Then go to the grocery store and stock up on everything you’ll need for those meals. You can even prepare make- ahead meals for the week and put them in the freezer, or invest in a slow cooker. Prepare your meals the night before, turn on your slow cooker in the morning and have a healthy and delicious hot dinner waiting for you when you get home. Pack your lunch and snacks each night before bed, then grab it on your way out the door in the morning. When you prepare dinner at home, make enough for at least the next day as well. Your efforts will pay off both in terms of weight loss and in money saved. 

  1. You Don’t Get Enough Sleep

You’ve heard it before, you’ll hear it again—sleep deprivation leads to a whole host of health issues, including weight gain. 

Do you feel tired in the middle of the day or early afternoon, or do you crave something sweet to help pick you up around 11 am? If yes, then you are one of the 56% of adults who, according to polls are not getting enough sleep. By enough sleep I mean at least 7-8 hours of good quality rest! When you fail to meet this need your body goes into sleep debt, which continues to accumulate indefinitely until you catch up. 

A lack of sleep negatively affects your immune system, your nervous system, and interferes with healthy hormone release and cellular repairs. Lack of sleep can affect your memory, concentration and reaction time. It can also have more serious consequences like an increased risk of serious diseases. 

If you have trouble falling asleep once you’re in bed, then try these tips. Sleep in complete darkness, don’t eat before bed, Avoid stimulating foods like caffeine or alcohol (yes, contrary to popular belief alcohol actually disrupts, rather than aids sleep), and also try sleeping in a cooler room temperature—cooler temperatures mimic the body’s natural sleep patterns, so a cooler room temperature may help prepare your body for sleep. 

  1. You’re Stressed Out

I don’t have to tell you that we are living in a fast-paced world and that most of us have stress levels that are through the roof. But what you might not realize is that your stress levels are making you fat. 

All types of stress cause a physiological response in our bodies. An increase in stress will kick-start your adrenal glands to release adrenalin and cortisol. This is a problem because is slows your metabolism, leads to cravings and is linked to greater levels of abdominal fat storage. 

One of the most effective ways to instantly eliminate stress is to sit down and write out a list of all the things that are bothering you. This should include things that you need to get done, issues that weigh on your mind and anything you believe contributes to your stress level. 

Once it’s all down on paper, organize it like a to-do list and start resolving each item. Doing so will get the stress off of your mind and will put your body into the motion of resolving each issue. 

Get some good sleep—sleep helps to regulate your cortisol levels. 

  1. Your Workouts are Always the Same

Did you know that your body can adapt to a workout in as little as 20 sessions? If you are not constantly challenging your body, then plateaus can occur where you don’t see any improvement and may actually see a regression in your weight loss efforts you’re your exercise routine feels comfortable, then chances are you are not getting the results you want. 

You don’t have to increase the amount of time that you spend exercising in order to see quicker, faster results. It’s all about challenging your body. To keep your body guessing try switching up the order of your exercises, the intensity at which you work out, the type of exercise you are performing, or do something totally new. If you regularly use weight machines then start using free weights. If you normally jog on the treadmill then start using the bike.

Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

Cardio Moves That Aren’t Running

by Jari Love

The cardio workout anti-runners will love.

We don’t all need to slap a 13.1 sticker on the back of our cars to feel good about a tough workout. In fact, contrary to what many runners would have you believe, running isn’t a requirement for staying healthy. 

While running has many benefits, if you’re just looking to keep your heart healthy while attaining a toned physique, any exercise (or series of exercises) will do. All that’s necessary is sustaining said exercises for a prolonged period of time. 

How long, you ask? 

That depends. Most “cardio workouts” typically last 30 to 60 minutes, but if you ramp up the intensity — à la high-intensity interval training or Tabata workouts — you can get a killer workout in as little as 20 minutes or less. 

To give it a try, choose any four of the 16 following exercises. Perform each exercise as a Tabata: putting in all-out effort for 20 seconds of work, then 10 seconds rest, for eight sets. Each Tabata lasts four minutes. Rest one minute between Tabatas. 

After this 20-minute workout, check back in. I guarantee you’ll be sweaty, tired and out of breath. The perfect cardio solution — no running required. 

  1. Inchworms

From a standing position, roll your torso forward and reach your hands to the ground. Walk your hands out in front of you until your body forms a plank, then reverse the movement and return to standing. 

Bonus: Add a push-up at the bottom. 

  1. Mountain climbers

Start in a plank position, then bend one knee, drawing it to your chest and planting the ball of the same foot in a forward position. In one movement, hop both feet into the air, supporting your weight on your palms and switching the position of your legs. Extend the bent knee and bend the extended knee. Continue hopping your feet back and forth as fast as you can. 

  1. Burpees

Stand tall, feet hip-distance apart, knees slightly bent. Bend forward, plant your palms on the ground just in front of your feet and hop your feet backward in a single movement to a plank position. Immediately hop your feet forward again and return to standing. 

Bonus: Add a push-up when you’re in the plank position and add a jump as you return to standing. 

  1. Broad jumps

Stand with your feet hip-distance apart, knees slightly bent, your weight in your heels. Squat down, pressing your hips back as you swing your arms behind you. Then in a powerful movement, press from your heels through the balls of your feet as you swing your arms forward and jump as far forward as you possibly can, landing softly on your heels with your knees bent. Turn around and immediately do another broad jump back to start. 

  1. Squat jumps

The squat jump is just like the broad jump, but instead of jumping as far as you can, you’re jumping as high as you can. Make sure you’re using proper jumping form and landing with “soft” knees — slightly bent to absorb the impact. 

  1. Grapevine

Takin’ you back to your elementary school dance curriculum. Simply step out laterally with your right foot, cross your left foot in front, step out again with your right foot and cross your left foot behind. Immediately reverse the movement, leading with your left foot. Continue “grapevining” back and forth. 

  1. Side shuffles

Like the grapevine, you’re moving laterally to the left and right, but this time you’re not crossing your legs as you move back and forth. Step to the right with your right foot and bring your left foot to meet it, then step to the right again. Shuffle a few steps to the right, then reverse and shuffle back to the left. 

  1. Washing machine hops

Stand with your feet together, knees slightly bent. Bend your elbows and clench your fists, holding them in front of your body. Hop into the air and twist your legs and hips to the right while keeping your torso facing forward, landing with your feet together and knees bent. Immediately jump into the air and twist your legs and hips all the way to the left. Continue twisting your lower body from left to right repeatedly. 

  1. Skaters

Stand with knees bent in an athletic position, your arms in front of your body. Step to the right with your right foot and cross your left foot back and behind the right foot as you swing your left arm down to the ground to touch your right foot. Immediately reverse the movement, hopping to the left and leading with your left foot. But, this time cross your right foot behind your left, reaching across and down with your right hand to touch your left foot. Continue this “speed skating” motion from left to right. Remember to keep your core tight and torso straight to protect your low back. 

  1. Jumping jacks

You know how to do these! Hop both legs outward from your midline while swinging your arms out and over your head, then hop your feet back to center as you swing your arms back down to your sides. Continue jumping as fast as you can. 

  1. Frog push-up to low squat

This one’s a toughie! Get down on your hands and knees, planting the balls of your feet on the ground. Press through your feet and palms, lifting your knees from the ground. Bend your elbows into a mini push-up as you simultaneously rotate your hips outward from midline, almost like a frog, pointing your knees out to the sides. 

Press yourself back up, then hop your feet forward — outside your palms — picking your hands up off the ground to enter into a low squat position. Hold for a second, then return to start. 

  1. Bear crawl

This one starts just like the frog push-up. Balance on the balls of your feet and your palms, your knees just off the ground. Maintaining this position, step forward with one hand, then one foot, then your other hand and other foot, crawling forward with your knees off the ground while your back remains low and flat (Don’t let your butt point up to the sky!). Take several steps forward, then several steps backward and continue. 

  1. Crab walk

Flip that bear crawl over for the crab walk. Balance on your palms and feet, your butt off the ground and take several steps forward, then several steps back.

  1. March and twist

Stand tall and march in place — high knees, please! — while simultaneously twisting your torso. Aim to touch your opposite elbow to the knee you’re lifting. 

  1. Hacky sacks

Remember hacky sacks? Pretend you’re playing a game without the ball itself. As you lift one leg, rotate your knee outward so the inside of your foot crosses in front of the standing leg. Reach down to tap the inside of your lifted foot with the opposite hand. Lower your foot to the ground and repeat on the opposite side. Try to pick up your pace and hop from side to side as you perform the exercise. 

  1. Cross jacks

Very similar to traditional jumping jacks, cross jacks are exactly what they sound like: jumping jacks with a cross-body component. Start with your arms and legs spread wide like a star fish, then hop your feet toward your midline, crossing your left foot in front of your right as you simultaneously cross your left arm in front of your right. Reverse the movement: Hop back to start, then hop inward again. This time crossing your right leg in front of your left and your right arm over your left.

 via sheknows.com

Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

Why Is Sugar So Bad for Us?

by Jari Love

Sugar is an addiction, and the worst part is most of us don’t even know how much sugar we are ingesting during the day. Sugar somehow sneaks into all kinds of products. Baked goods and desserts are of course obvious culprits, but what about your cereals, yogurts, granola bars, breads, soups, dressings and pasta sauces? If your food is coming out of a box, bag, jar or wrapper chances are it has hidden sugar. Let’s get rid of our processed foods and switch to whole fresh foods!

 Sugar contains no essential nutrients. We all know it contributes to weight gain, but did you also know that high sugar consumption has been linked to chronic and debilitating diseases like diabetes, cancer, liver disease and even heart disease? There is no doubt that in excess highly processed and refined sugars can significantly damage our bodies’ systems and can suppress our immune systems lowering our chances of fighting off colds, flu and other viruses.

 Not only does it promote rapid fat storage, here are sugar’s other dirty little secrets:

  • Sugar weakens Your immune system
  • Sugar causes insulin resistance
  • Sugar is as addictive as hard drugs
  • Sugar speeds up the aging process
  • Sugar raises your risk of disease
  • Sugar is empty calories 

The good news is you don’t have to give up sweet things entirely. There are many wholesome sweeteners available like fruit, stevia, raw coconut sugar, and raw honey. Just remember because these sweeteners are higher in nutrients and lower on the glycemic index than white or brown sugar doesn’t mean you get a free pass to eat as much as you want. Add these sweeteners sparingly to enjoy their health benefits.

Try this make ahead dairy and sugar free Banana-Peach ice cream with raspberry sauce to keep in the freezer for the next time you are craving something a little sweet. 

Raspberry sauce

1 cup raspberries

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1tsp coconut sugar (optional)

1 tbs chia seeds 

  1. Puree all ingredients together in high speed mixer until smooth. Pour into serving jug and refrigerate at least 4 hours (this will give the sauce time to thicken), if you are short on time you can still use the sauce, but it will be runnier than the chilled version.

 

Banana-Peach ice cream

4 very ripe bananas

1 ripe peach

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp cinnamon

 1 Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth. Transfer to a container and keep in the freezer until needed. Serve with raspberry sauce.

 ENJOY!

 Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

Benefits of Eating Clean

by Jari Love

What does it mean to eat clean? Here’s an even better question: What really happens to your body when you jump on the clean eating bandwagon?

 Clean eating is a buzzword that you have seen used by celebrities and thrown around in hashtags on Facebook. Simply put, clean eating means: Don’t eat crap. “Crap” may be defined as processed foods, grain-fed meats, dairy, starchy carbohydrates and sugar, depending on which diet you ascribe to.

 Clean eating can be as complicated as you make it. For me, clean eating translates to eating fresh, whole foods (with as many vegetables as possible), making every meal count with high-quality nutrients and, of course, cutting the crap.

 More than a year after drastically changing my diet, I can personally vouch for 10 unexpected clean eating “side effects”:

  1. Better mood

While I still struggle with mood swings at a certain time of the month, my overall outlook and general happiness have improved after cleaning up my diet. As Drew Ramsey, M.D., The Happiness Diet co-author and assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University, explains in Yoga Journal, how you feel is directly affected by what you eat. He says, “Emotions begin in biology, with two nerve cells rubbing together, and those nerve cells are made of nutrients in food.”

  1. Boundless energy

Here’s all the proof you need: Even as a working mother of two toddlers, my energy soared after I quit eating processed foods. Devon D. Herndon, L.P.C.C., L.A.D.A.C., N.B.C.T., C.P.T., of BeMeBetter cites an energy boost as one of the prime outcomes of eating clean, saying, “If you are chronically exhausted or experience a post-lunch midday slump, it could very well be your diet. Diets that are high in refined sugar and carbs cause dramatic spikes in blood sugar. They might provide a temporary surge in energy, but it is followed by a crash.”

  1. Deeper sleep

Eat better, sleep deeper — what more can you ask for? The Balanced Brunette explains, “Vitamins and minerals found in whole foods will allow your body to regulate hormonal function throughout the day and promote deeper sleep at night. Eating healthy foods will also calm your nervous system and trigger a sleep-inducing hormonal response which helps you rest better at night.”

  1. Fewer cravings

From personal experience, I can tell you that clean eating takes a while to get used to, but the longer you do it, the better your body responds. Sugar and carbohydrate cravings may be a struggle at the outset, but months later, you’ll find it hard to muster up a taste for a sweet treat.

  1. Flat stomach

When asked about the good side effects of clean eating on the Bodybuilding forum, user Ayekay put feeling leaner and less bloated at the top of his list. In translation, if you want your pants to fit better, load up your plate with Mother Nature’s foods.

  1. Gorgeous hair

Looking for long, luscious locks that would make a Pantene model jealous? The Lean Clean Eating Machine says that plant-based foods are the secret — specifically, radishes, pumpkin seeds, dulse and carrots.

  1. Higher self-esteem

What are the pros of clean eating? One Redditor keeps it short and sweet: “I feel better about myself, [along with] knowing I’m getting all the goodness of micronutrients.”

  1. Perfect poop

Sorry, but I had to go there. As Wellness Mama points out, bowel movements are a prime indicator of your inner health. Clean eating yields cleaner poop with a digestive tract that is neither moving too fast nor too slow.

  1. Radiant skin

Your skin is the largest organ in your body, and refined sugar is its enemy. The Clean Eating Survival Guide stresses that a no sugar diet is the number one rule for a clear complexion.

  1. Raging libido

According to Cosmo, Gwyneth Paltrow attributed the state of her union to her clean living. Though dear Gwynnie is now consciously uncoupled, research still proves that nutrient-rich foods, like asparagus and watermelon, can help to heat things up in between the sheets.

 via sheknows.com

Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

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