Love Notes by Jari Love

Posts in the weight loss category

Coffee Lovers Rejoice!

by Jari Love

Ask the Diet Doctor: The Workout Benefits of Coffee

Q: Is it best to drink coffee before or after a morning workout?

A: I recommend drinking your java before a.m. exercise so you can take advantage of the shot of caffeine to optimize your workout.

Caffeine has powerful nootropic effects, meaning it manipulates neurotransmitters to alter how the brain functions. While we all think of caffeine as a stimulant, it doesn’t directly stimulate as much as it prevents or blocks the action of neurotransmitters that promote sedation and relaxation.

Your pre-workout caffeine-packed cup of coffee isn’t just going to give you the mental edge, though—it will also help you burn more fat. The exact mechanism in which caffeine works to enhance fat-burning has yet to be conclusively nailed down (as it probably works via several different mechanisms), but it primarily seems to work by increasing the breakdown and release of fat.

Now let’s get to the nitty-gritty.

What kind of coffee should I drink?

An easy way to adjust how much caffeine you consume is to change the type of coffee that you are drinking. Dark roasted coffee has less caffeine, and light roasted coffee has more. After a short night of sleep, you might want to opt for the New England or Half City roast (light roast), but most days you’ll do fine with the French roast (dark roast).

How much caffeine is enough? How much is too much?

While research shows that caffeine is extremely safe to use—you’d need to drink 130 cans of Red Bull to get a fatal dose of caffeine—caffeine tolerance is very individualized. Just because I’ve seen studies safely use upwards of 600 milligrams (mg) of caffeine to test its effects on pain perception doesn’t mean that you could pop two NoDoz with your venti Pike’s Place before you work out. Too much caffeine prior to exercise may actually decrease performance, as it can make you feel nauseous and lightheaded. I’ve personally tested multiple different dosages of caffeine before workouts and found that 300mg is the most my body can tolerate before I start to feel nauseous.

So how much coffee should I drink?

When it comes to stimulants like caffeine, less is always better, and know your body. Those new to caffeine should start with around 100mg (a shot of Starbucks espresso has 75mg).

If you’re drinking coffee for the fat-burning effects of caffeine, studies show this seems to start around 200mg. Sticking with Starbucks coffee as our delivery mechanism for caffeine, this would equal a grande Americano (225mg caffeine) or slightly less than a tall regular brewed coffee (260mg caffeine).

One downside to caffeine is that your body adapts to it overtime. Any serious coffee drinker or energy drink fiend will tell you that it progressively takes more and more caffeine for them to reap the benefits of alertness compared to what they used to need to get the same effect.

And a final piece to consider with caffeine levels in coffee is that it can be very variable. In a test of six different samples of Starbucks Breakfast Blend, the caffeine levels ranged from 259 to 564mg. This is a huge range.

But doesn’t caffeine dehydrate you?

No; this is a very common myth about caffeine. While caffeine is a diuretic (e.g. it causes increases in urination), studies looking at caffeine use in high-temperature exercise situations show that it does not lead to dehydration or subsequent decreases in performance.

By Dr. Mike Roussell

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.

Does Exercise Make You Hungry?

by Jari Love

If you’ve stuck to a new workout routine, chances are you know what the fuss is all about: the exercise-induced endorphins, the sense of accomplishment after you crush a workout, the realization that you actually like being sweaty. But one thing that may not make you love your workout routine: that ravenous, want-to-eat-everything feeling you get after a workout. 

Since weight loss is a combination of burning enough calories and eating fewer calories to create a deficit, if you’re trying to drop pounds, chances are you don’t exactly love the fact that you want to eat all the calories in your fridge when you’ve spent the last 45 minutes burning just a fraction of that. So what exactly makes you hungry after you work out, and how can you change your habits? 

Why You’re So Hungry After a Workout 

It could be the type of workout you’re doing. Studies have shown that the more intensely you exercise, the less ghrelin (the “hunger hormone”) your body produces, so a long, low-intensity session could be the reason why you’re ravenous. But other research in women shows that even those who exercise intensely eat more calories after exercise than those who don’t work out, so this isn’t the only appetite-inducing culprit. If you’ve just finished an intense session and still feel like downing an entire pizza, it could be dehydration. Many times our bodies mistake thirst for hunger, so if you’re not adequately hydrated during a workout, you may feel superhungry afterward. 

One study found that the more fit you are, the less you feel like rewarding yourself with food after a workout, so another reason why you’re famished after exercise might be your body and brain haven’t gotten used to your workout habit yet. 

How to Prevent Disproportionate Hunger After a Workout 

If you’re noticing that you’re eating more than you should after a workout, it can be discouraging to want to keep up with your routine. But regularly exercising at least 20 to 30 minutes a day is important for not just weight loss, but also for preventing diseases, boosting immunity, and feeling happier — which means quitting your gym routine because you may be eating a few extra calories is not a good excuse. Instead of forgoing fitness altogether, try these habits to see if they make a difference in your post-workout meal habits. 

– Try doing HIIT (high-intensity interval) workouts instead of low-intensity ones; these bursts can help suppress your hunger hormone.

– Drink enough water before and during your workout; here’s how to make sure you’re getting enough.

– Make sure you’re strength training at least three times a week; muscles boost your metabolism so you’re burning more calories all day long, even when you’re sitting at your desk.

– Eat a small pre-workout snack at least 30 minutes before your session so you perform better and won’t deplete your body of all its energy stores.

– Have a high-carb, high-protein snack after a workout, then eat your dinner a little later. It will help build muscle and energy stores, and eating a low-calorie pre-workout snack before sitting down to a meal can prevent you from overeating when you’ve got a full plate in front of you.

– Stick with it. As your body adapts to your new healthy habit, you’ll figure out what works for fueling it while still sticking to your weight-loss goals. 

via popsugar.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.

Mistakes Stopping You From Building Muscle

by Jari Love

Sometimes it seems like you’re doing everything you can to eat right and stick to your training program, but that tape measure around your biceps just doesn’t want to budge. You’ve reached the dreaded plateau. Nearly every athlete goes through this type of training blockade at some point, and it can be seriously frustrating. You obviously don’t want to throw in the towel, but overdoing it could leave you susceptible to injury. If lifting doesn’t seem to be getting you anywhere, you might be making some huge errors that you haven’t considered. Avoid these five mistakes, and you’ll be back on track before you know it. 

  1. Not eating enough of the right foods

Sticking to carrot sticks might seem like a good way to lose the pudge and pack on muscle, but restricting your diet too much is one of the worst things you can do. Men’s Fitness said muscle growth isn’t possible without a calorie surplus. The article went on to explain that insufficient food intake forces your body into starvation mode, which causes you to shed muscle and store fat. And if you just hit the gym, you need to feed those ailing muscles as soon as you can. According to Men’s Health, eating shortly after exercise helps repair muscles. Skipping that post-workout meal could cause your muscles to break down, so pack a snack or recovery drink. 

Don’t kid yourself into thinking you can eat whatever you want, though. Even the most intense exercise regimen won’t make up for a crappy diet. About Health said eating too many refined carbohydrates and high-fat foods will keep you from achieving your ideal physique. And don’t forget about protein — BuiltLean said every individual is a bit different, but men interested in losing weight should try to eat their desired body weight in grams of protein. If you’re looking to lose weight to get to 190 pounds, that means you’ll want to aim for 190 grams of protein. If you’re trying to gain weight, you’ll want to increase the amount a bit. 

  1. Always sticking to the same routine

Many guys in the gym always head for the same weights, do the same number of sets, in the same order every single time they work out. It might be easier on your mind, but it’s also easier on your muscles. If you want to see improvements, you’ll need to step away from the arm curls occasionally. Muscle & Strength explained the body adapts to stress, so it no longer sees the need to grow once it’s used to a certain level of exertion. Thankfully, it’s pretty easy to work past this plateau once you recognize the problem. Muscle & Fitness recommended changing your order, switching exercises, increasing weight, or doing more repetitions. You don’t need to develop a new routine for every session, but expect to alter your workout every 4 weeks or so. 

Changing your routine will also keep you from getting bored. According to Men’s Fitness, you’ll struggle to make gains if your workouts aren’t interesting anymore. That might mean trying something you’ve never done before, which could seem a little bit intimidating. Instead of shying away from something because you’re afraid you won’t be any good, Outside Online says to embrace the challenge. Incorporating new moves will help prevent muscle imbalances that can lead to injuries. 

  1. Screwing up sets

Even if you’re trying your hardest for every lift, you aren’t going to see results if you’re taking a 10-minute break between each set. Besides, you don’t want to be the obnoxious guy who hogs the same bench for an hour while swiping through photos on Tinder. Muscle & Fitness reported one study found people who rested less than 1 minute between sets actually burned up to 50% more calories than those who rested for 3 minutes. 

The number of sets, as well as repetitions, you complete also has a huge impact on your ability to grow muscle. Bodybuilding.com said you should be aiming for 12 to 20 sets of eight to 15 repetitions for areas where you’re trying to see growth, but you can get by with less for muscle groups where you aren’t looking to build as much. And while your ego might tempt you to pile on the weight, it’s not the best idea. SimplyShredded.com said you’ll see more gains if you stick with something managable, maintain good form, and go for more repetitions. 

  1. Not getting enough rest

Inadequate sleep can lead to all sorts of health problems, like heart disease and diabetes. It could also be the culprit behind your fitness plateau. Men’s Health said getting enough sleep is crucial, because it’s the best way to help your ailing muscles recover from lifting sessions. The article also said that constant exhaustion can make you feel like you’re working out harder than you actually are. If you find yourself tossing and turning at night, make sure you’re doing everything you can to wind down. The Huffington Post suggested reducing the amount of caffeine you consume in the afternoon and shutting off all electronics at least an hour before you turn in. 

Sleep isn’t the only type of rest you should consider, because you can still be overdoing it while getting plenty of shut-eye. If you’re hitting the gym for hours every single day, that’s just too much. MuscleMag said no one should be lifting more than 2 to 3 days in a row without taking a day off. For folks who have hit a serious wall, taking a little break will do a world of good. 

  1. Overdoing cardio

Any good fitness routine involves a combination of cardio and strength training. Figuring out the proper balance is the hard part. Men looking to build muscle can completely derail their efforts if they’re spending too much time on the treadmill. Men’s Fitness revealed going overboard on cardio sessions depletes your cumulative calories, which are necessary for muscle growth. It’s especially problematic if you’re exercising on an empty stomach. The article went on to say this will force your body to burn muscle as fuel. 

So how much is too much? It really depends on the individual. Born Fitness suggested keeping it to three or four sessions, lasting between 30 and 40 minutes. If you prefer high-intensity intervals, stick with two to three sessions. Even with these guidelines, though, you may have to adjust depending on how your body reacts.

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.

5 Plateau-Busting Plyometrics Exercises to Swap for Cardio

by Jari Love

If you’ve been hitting the gym double-time and still aren’t seeing results, you could be hitting a workout plateau. It’s everyones worse nightmare when it comes to weight loss. That scale just isn’t budging. There are ways you can break the plateau, plyometrics on the Get RIPPED workouts. Instead of spending more time sweating, shorten your routine by using plyometric movements that combine cardio and strength to give you a well-rounded workout in less time.

“Practicing plyometrics regularly will increase your speed and power, plus get you shredded,” says Grace Menendez, a trainer at Crunch gyms in NYC. The goal is to exert maximum force in short intervals of time, she adds. In other words, adding these few movements below can totally replace your regular cardio routine.

 Kettlebell Swings

A Stand with feet hip-width apart and place a 12kg kettlebell (for newbies) or 16kg kettlebell (for advanced users) on the floor about 18-inches in front of you. Push hips back and bend knees enough to place hands on the bell handle.

B Tilt the bell back towards you as you hike it through legs, hinging at hips as you inhale.

C Stand-up completely straight as you exhale, squeezing glutes and straightening knees at the top of the swing. Continue the swings for 10 minutes. At the top of each minute, swing the bell 10 times, then rest.

 Plyo Pushups

A Start in a pushup position, fingers spread wide to create a firm foundation, belly-button drawn in towards spine.

B Inhale and lower chest towards the ground like in a standard push-up. As you exhale, push forcefully off the ground as hands lift off. As you land, be sure to land with elbows bent to protect joints. Make it easier by placing knees on the ground, or harder by adding a clap in between push-ups. Work up to 3 sets of 10 reps.

 Box Jumps

A Stand in front of a surface around knee-height. Use a bench, plyo box, or even stairs to practice this move. Start with feet about as wide if in a squat.

B Bend knees, and bring hands behind you at your sides. Jump onto the box, making sure to stand up all the way by straightening knees at the top and extending hips fully.

C Jump or step back to start. Set a timer for 5 sets of 30 seconds with a 30 seconds rest and jump as many times as possible.

 V-Ups

A Start lying on back, palms facing down, arms at sides.

B Sit-up as you bend at the waist, keeping legs straight and reaching hands to toes. Set a timer and go for 5 rounds of 30 seconds with a 30 second rest in between each set.

 Body Saws

A Start in a plank position, forearms on the ground. Place a towel under toes.

B Press firmly into the ground with arms and pike hips up using lower abs as you slide back and forth on the towel. Do 3-5 rounds for 30 seconds.

Via shape.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.

Stupid fitness questions you’re too afraid to ask

by Jari Love

We all have fitness questions, especially with all the information there is out there on the internet. But who do you ask? How do you know what is the right answer? You need to find a reliable source that will provide you the answers to the fitness questions you have, and stick with that trusted person. Let me be that trusted person, since I have over 20 years experience in the industry and have worked with scientists to find out the best ways to lose weight. So here you go…

 The Debrief: Real exercise advice. No BS!  Now on to stupid fitness questions… WHY ARE YOU NOT DOING THIS?

 As a female working in the magazine industry, I know this generally isn’t what people want to hear, let alone pay to hear. It’s a sign of the times that we want get rich quick, get famous without working hard, look-like-JLO-in-a-week type spiel. He’s always loved me for who I am and whilst he wants to share his knowledge for my well being, has never pressured me to look/feel a certain way as you’d maybe think, or have experienced super fit people do. 

But I realized that women need real advice, from someone who isn’t trying to sell them something. So, I asked him for genuine advice, because a lot of people (me included) just don’t know what to believe after reading countless diet stories in trashy magazines. 

I would love to say there’s going to be an easy revelation ladies… but I wouldn’t hold your breath. The truth? We ladies can handle the truth… or can’t we?

‘Help! I've never exercised 'seriously' before, where do I start?’

 The important thing to remember here is that you can only start from where you’re at! 

As a complete beginner the best thing to start with is the basics. For the average person with fairly typical fitness goals, more often than not the most effective routine is going to come down to a mixture of compound resistance exercises (squats, lunges, presses, rows etc) and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT, short). 

To get there it’s a case of building up your aerobic fitness (whether from jogging, cycling, CrossTraining etc, I’d be lying if I said it mattered which) and learning the compound movements (remember doing movement properly and safely comes first! If you can’t squat low and your lunges make you look like Bambi on ice then there’s no point adding weight yet!) 

To a point the details don’t matter, it’s much more important that you start with realistic expectations (if you’ve had 3 years of takeaways and beer then you’re not going to transform in a matter of weeks), consistency and dedication. If you can’t bring those things then you need to ask whether or not you genuinely want it. 

That magazine told me I could drop 5 pounds in 5 days, sorted, right?

Remember that ‘weight’ applies to everything, not just fat. You’re not going to lose 5lb of actual fat tissue in 5 days. What you will do by crash dieting for 5 days is lose a ton of water and deplete the glycogen from your body (carbohydrate which is mostly stored in your muscle cells). Being dehydrated and glycogen depleted is not the same as burning fat! I can tell you from first-hand experience after I ‘lost’ 12lbs of sweat and glycogen after doing a 24 hour boxing circuit for charity and then put it back on the next day after eating and drinking again.

 Once your body has depleted water and glycogen, you’ll find the ‘weight’ loss stops. There’s no magic workout, magic diet or quick fix… just patience, hard work and CONSISTENCY is key. 

How many times have you seen a ‘D-list Celeb’ on the front cover of a magazine telling you how she’s lost 2 stone in a month, only to see her in the same magazine a couple of months later and 3 stone heavier? 

I can't afford a gym membership, I can't get fit.

You already own the most effective piece of exercise equipment out there and that’s your own body! You can walk, run, jump, press, dip and pull. You need little more than a floor to get fit. Try a 3-4 Tabata Circuits (20 seconds of all-out effort, 10 seconds of rest for 8 rounds) of movements like squat jumps, thrusters, skipping or burpees every other day for a month and then try and tell me that you haven’t gotten fitter! 

If you’re against getting tied down to a gym membership then why not shell out as a one off on a few bits and pieces for the house? Some dumbbells and an aerobic bench won’t set you back much and jogging is free. More and more budget gyms are opening up everywhere for little more than a tenner a month and I’m sure if you really looked you’d be able to save £2.50 a week somehow. 

I want a butt like Kim Kardashian!

Go back in time and pick different parents. Or failing that get implants (as it is alleged she has.) 

I’m half-joking here, but you have to be realistic. Everybody can improve and build upon what they’ve got, but we’re all born with a particular body shape. I’m built more like a swimmer, I can get leaner, I can build my muscles to look a certain way, but no amount of training, food or *ahem* ‘supplements’ is going to make me the size of a World’s Strongest Man competitor, nor could I starve myself enough to get into a pair skinny jeans without ripping them when I sat down. There is no ‘right’ body type, everyone is valid. 

How do you feel about ‘cheat days’ is it the best way to stick to a diet, or do I have to always deprive myself of stuff?

If it works for you then it works for you! Some people can be strict 100% of the time, but anything too restrictive probably won’t work in the long run for most people. 

Just make sure that you don’t confuse cheating with binging. 

Ok, what's the secret?

There isn’t one. In an online and instant age were we’re used to effortlessly getting everything when and where we want it, is it any surprise that telling people they need to be patient, dedicated and hard working to get even close to what they want is a something that even Jordan ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ Belfort couldn’t sell? 

The reality is that anybody promising you something easy or something quick is simply trying to flog you something. 

If I was to do one thing to get fitter, what would it be?

Something that you enjoy, I can program something scientifically to stimulate the adaptations your body needs to make to meet your goals, but if you hate it then you’re not going to do it consistently or for very long. 

Try stuff; cycle, swim, run, play tennis, dance, box… it doesn’t matter. Anything done with consistency and enthusiasm will serve you better in the long run than something you do infrequently and halfheartedly. 

I get bored in the gym and don’t like any sport, what can I do?

You’re either going to have to want the results badly enough that you can produce the discipline to overcome that or you’re going to have to try harder to find something that you like. Maybe you need to change your gym routine more often? Have you tried group fitness classes? Training with a friend can make things enjoyable and makes you feel accountable when you don’t show up. 

Sometimes you might just need to force yourself for a while, write a note and stick it in front of your bed ‘I will exercise 3-4 times a week for a month’, keep it up and eventually this forced routine will become just another habit. 

I don’t have time to train/go to the gym but want to get fit?

The best thing you can look to do is to boost your metabolism so that your body is burning more calories even at rest. It makes sense that although you can spend an hour or two in the gym, you’re always going to use more calories in the 23 hours that you have away from the gym, so use that time well! 

If you really don’t have 2 hours a week then start looking at ways you can keep active, clichés like taking the stairs instead of the lift, walking to the shops etc, it all counts for something. 

I am naturally slim and happy with my weight, why should I exercise, I feel fine!

Exercise can have benefits other than weight and body composition control, everything from balancing your hormones, fighting stress and depression, lowering your risk of osteoporosis, diabetes and heart disease (to list just a few illnesses) and there’s also a great social side to it. Above all exercise can just be an enjoyable and cathartic activity, challenging yourself to set and meet goals can be immensely fulfilling. 

But if your health and appearance aren’t something you care about and you simply don’t enjoy exercising then nobody is going to force you to! 

Do I need protein shakes? I’m confused? I don’t want to get big Madonna arms?

Whilst protein shakes definitely won’t give you ‘big Madonna arms’, they’re also not something that you need, per say. Protein supplements are there to supplement (the clue is in the name!) your diet, if you either don’t get enough of a nutrient or your body requires more of it due to being physically active etc then supplements have their uses but most, if not all, nutrition should come from food. 

It’s key to understand that protein doesn’t make you ‘big’, testosterone, a lot of calories and genetics will (and if you weren’t built like a female Olympic shotputter in school then it’s probably not going to suddenly happen now). The great thing about protein is that it isn’t very high in calories and also takes more calories to digest and metabolize than carbohydrates do. And unless you’re using testosterone and HGH like half of the woman over 40 in Hollywood do, you probably won’t get arms like Madonna anytime soon.

Via thedebrief.co.uk

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.

Secret Ingredients Every Vegan Should Have

by Jari Love

When you first start cooking vegan food, you know that beans, veggies, fruits and grains are your best friends.

 But what about those secret ingredients that make everything taste just a little bit better? These are my favorite flavor-packed, workhorse, vegan pantry items that I turn to again and again in my quest to make the best cruelty-free, vegan food possible. 

  1. Dried mushrooms

When you’re craving that umami flavor you used to associate with meat, dried mushrooms are your best friend. You can steep them in hot water and use the liquid as the base of soup broths, add it to pan sauces or use it as the liquid when making couscous or risotto. The rehydrated mushrooms can be chopped and added to any dish in which mushrooms are called for or can be subbed in to take the place of beef in many recipes. Shiitake mushrooms are especially flavorful. 

  1. Ground flaxseed

Baking without eggs can be tricky at first, but ground flaxseed is all you need to make the magical “flax egg.” Add 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed to 3 tablespoons of water. Stir, and let sit for 5 minutes or until gelled. This “flax egg” works in any recipe calling for eggs as a binder, like pancakes and cookies. 

  1. Miso

Some people complain that vegan food is bland, but it doesn’t have to be. The trick is to replace the savory flavors that come from meat with something equally flavorful. Miso, a salty, sweet and slightly funky fermented soy paste, is just the ingredient. You can add a tablespoon to soups just before serving to add a new layer of depth (and give a healthy dose of probiotics to your meal). It makes salad dressings sing, marinades more merry and a glaze that will make mild tofu or eggplant star entrées. There are different types of miso; try white or yellow for a milder flavor or red if you’re feeling bold. 

  1. Cashews

Isa Chandra Moskowitz, vegan culinary superstar and cookbook author, has one rule all vegans should always follow: ABS, as in “always be soaking” cashews. Cashews soaked in water overnight can be blended in minutes into a luscious cream. Use it as the base for vegan jalapeño poppers, sour cream, ice cream — basically anything that calls for a rich and creamy base. 

  1. Nutritional yeast

Nutritional yeast is a great ingredient, and not just for flavor alone. It contains vitamin B12, which vegans usually have to take in supplement form. Luckily nutritional yeast is a vegan source of this important nutrient. Better yet, it has a cheesy flavor that can accent a wide array of dishes. Use it to make vegan mac and cheese, sprinkle it over pasta, add it to casseroles — the options are endless. 

  1. Chickpea flour

You can use tofu to make a breakfast scramble, but what if you’re craving a classic omelet? For that, you can turn to chickpea flour, also known as besan. You create a sort of pancake out of the chickpea flour that is a super-close approximation of a folded omelet. Stuff it with your favorite veggies or vegan cheese, and get ready to break that fast. 

  1. Aquafaba (chickpea brine)

Aquafaba, the water that’s in a can of beans, is all the rage in vegan baking. Strain the beans, then beat the liquid until it forms stiff peaks. You can use the fluffy mixture in any recipe that calls for meringue. 

  1. Vital wheat gluten

Veggies are great, but sometimes you just want something more substantial. Vital wheat gluten is the key. You can use it to make seitan, which you can then marinate and use in everything from vegan French dip sandwiches, vegan “beef” and broccoli and more. You can also use it to make vegan “chicken.” It’s the perfect cruelty-free and cholesterol-free way to sate your cravings for the foods you grew up with. 

  1. Canned, full-fat coconut milk

Coconut milk is a real lifesaver. Not only can it be used for classic vegan Indian and Thai curries, but it’s great for baking too. Use it to make the frosting for your favorite cake, or refrigerate it overnight, skim off the solid cream, and beat it until it can be used as a whipped cream. You can also use canned coconut as a base for vegan ice cream, or add some to make your next smoothie taste more like a shake. 

  1. Nut butter

Nut butter is so versatile. You can schmear some onto apple wedges or celery sticks for a quick snack, spread it over hearty toast and drizzle with agave and sea salt for breakfast, or you can use it as the base for more complex things like almond satay sauce, creamy cashew butter sauce or peanut salad dressing. 

 

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.

Obesity Prevention: Screen and Sedentary Time

by Jari Love

In today’s age electronics and screens surround us. T.V, ipads, computers and smartphones are part of our daily lives. But more and more studies are linking the amount of time we spend with these screens and the associated “sit time” with obesity. In a recent article published by Harvard, researchers found that higher amounts of screen and “sit” time negatively impact both Body Mass Index (BMI) and overall health.

There is strong evidence to suggest that cutting back on T.V time can help with weight control in both children and adults.

  1. Early TV habits have long lasting effects. The more TV children watch, the more likely they are to be overweight. This tendency is particularly apparent in children who have T.V’s in their bedrooms. Not only this, but children who watch a lot of television are at a higher risk for obesity well into adulthood and mid-life.
  1. Trials designed to reduce children’s TV use, have found improvements in body mass index (BMI), body fat, and other obesity-related measures.
  1. In The Planet Health trial, for example, students assigned to receive lessons on the benefits of reduced TV time had lower rates of obesity in girls. While another trial found that third- and fourth-graders who received an 18-lesson “TV turnoff” curriculum cut back on TV time and on meals eaten while watching and had a relative decrease in BMI and other measures of body fatness.
  1. There is also evidence that the more television adults watch, the more likely they are to gain weight or become overweight or obese. Related to T.V linked obesity issues is evidence that too much TV watching also increases the risk of weight-related chronic diseases.
  1. The Nurses’ Health Study, as one among many similar studies, followed more than 50,000 middle-age women for six years. A summarized analysis of these studies found that for every two hours two hours spent watching TV, the risk of developing diabetes, developing heart disease, and early death increased by 20, 15, and 13 percent, respectively.
  1. A small pilot study in 36 men and women found that adults who cut their TV viewing time by half, compared to a control group with no limits on TV, burned more calories each day, and had a greater reduction in BMI than the control group.
  1. Screen and TV watching may contribute to obesity and poor health in several ways: by displacing physical activity, promoting poor diets, enabling poor snacking choices and by interfering with sleep.
  1. Many studies show that TV viewing is associated with greater calorie intake or poorer diet quality: food-related TV ads often promote high-calorie, low-nutrient foods and drinks; TV shows and movies frequently feature Branded products which are overwhelmingly for unhealthy foods; TV food ads influence food consumption, shows that feature food ads saw an increase of 45 percent in snack consumption than in shows with non-food advertising
  1. TV food and drink advertising to children ages 2–11 decreased from 2004 to 2008; however, advertising to adolescents (12–17) and adults (18–49) rose substantially in the same period. A recent review of the sugary drink advertising market found that children’s and teens’ exposure to sugary soda ads doubled from 2008 to 2010, with Coca Cola (a CFBAI member) and Dr. Pepper Snapple Group (not a member) leading the way.
  1. There are no overarching nutrition standards for what constitutes a “healthy” food or drink—and the future of such standards is a matter of hot political debate. Proposed standards, released in April 2011, have been met by strong resistance from the food and beverage industry and have been stymied by Congress.
  1. Game playing, sitting at work, driving, and obesity—have not been studied as extensively as TV watching. But there is evidence that these other forms of “sit time” can contribute to obesity
  1. There’s evidence that spending too much time sitting—at work or at home—increases the risk of becoming obese, and may also increase the risk of chronic diseases and early death. It is unclear whether sitting itself is the culprit, or whether sitting is just a marker of another unhealthy aspect of lifestyle. It’s also possible that other types of modern sedentary behaviors promote overeating in different ways: Reading or working on the computer, for example, may increase people’s stress and lead to overeating, while listening to music may distract people from noticing whether they are hungry or full.
  1. Overall, there is little doubt that time spent watching TV is an important risk factor for obesity—and a modifiable risk factor. There’s evidence that excessive marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages on television contributes to the TV–obesity link.
  1. Ways to curb exposure to TV and media: limit children’s screen time to no more than two hours per day–The American Academy of Pediatrics also recommends no screen time for children under the age of 2; Make children’s bedrooms TV-free and Internet; advocate for stricter regulations on TV/media food and beverage advertising to children.
  1. Staying active helps with weight control, as does limiting sedentary activities—recreational computer time, driving, and the like. Replace “sit time” with “fit time”—walking or biking for part or all of a workday commute, instead of driving, or playing in the park instead of playing video games. Help creating an environments that supports active lifestyles, and be aware of media and advertising’s influence on your food intake and choices.

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.

How to Eat an Avocado Seed for Weight Loss

by Jari Love

Eating the meat of the avocado and throwing away the pit is a lot like going for a jog but skipping your weight-room session: It’s bound to slow your weight loss results.

 Thanks to its metabolism-boosting oleic-acid content, noshing on the mighty green fruit can help shrink your waist. But eating the meat and the pit may bolster your results. How? The pit is filled with calcium, soluble fiber, magnesium and potassium, four nutrients that have been shown to support total health, fitness recovery, and weight loss. And once you crush the seed with a meat mallet and grind it in the blender, there are tons of tasty ways to eat it. Here are a few of our favorites:

 The easiest way to consume an avocado seed is through a straw. To make a smoothie with the oft-overlooked superfood, combine:

  • two apples
  • a peeled lemon
  • half a banana
  • a half-cup of spinach
  • ginger to taste
  • half a ground avocado seed

and blend until smooth.

 Believe it or not, a grated avocado seed is a perfect ingredient to balance the flavor of spicy mole recipes. Since the pit is quite bitter and has a strong flavor, we suggest using no more than one ground pit per batch.

 Invest in a tea ball infuser and throw a chopped avocado pit inside (a pulverized seed will seep out through the holes). Toss the infuser into a mug and then pour boiling water over it. Since avocado seeds are a bit bitter, you may need to add a bit of sweetener or honey to make your drink more palatable.

 h/t eatthis.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.

Celery Root Bisque (Dairy Free!)

by Jari Love

Here’s a deliciously creamy (yet dairy-free) way to enjoy your veggies. This wholesome, tasty soup is perfect as a light meal.

Celery Root Bisque 
Servings: 8 

Here’s what you need…  

  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • dash of sea salt plus 1 teaspoon
  • 1.5 lb celery root
  • 32oz organic chicken broth
  • 1 (13.66 oz) can coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup fresh chives, thinly sliced
  • black pepper

 Directions:

  1. In a large soup pot, place the coconut oil over medium-low heat. Add the scallions, onion, and dash of salt. Cook for 15 minutes, until tender.
  2. Peel the celery root, then chop into small pieces. Add the celery root pieces, 1/2 cup of water and the remaining 1 teaspoon of sea salt to the pot. Cover and cook until the celery root is tender, about 15 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken broth and coconut milk then cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Let cool slightly.
  4. Use a hand blender to puree the soup into a very smooth consistency. Garnish with chives and black pepper. Enjoy! 

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 154 calories, 11g fat, 430mg sodium, 7g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, and 4g protein.

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.

Habits to Keep You Fit Forever

by Jari Love

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle isn’t easy. It’s not something you figure out once and forget about it. It requires an immense amount of discipline, adaptability, and patience, spread over years and years of everyday life.

 As you get older, maintaining your level of health and fitness gets trickier. There are injuries — or simple wear and tear — to take into account. As your body chemistry changes, you’ll need to adapt your diet to get the vital vitamins and minerals you need. You’ll even need to adjust your schedule to get enough sleep, which becomes hard if kids are in the picture.

 Simply put, maintaining a level of fitness, over the course of a lifetime, is a monumental task. But you can tackle it — with a set of established habits and routines, as well as resolute willpower. 

To help get you there, we’ve compiled a list of six things you can do today to help you get fit, stay fit, and take your fitness seriously. Things will change with time, so be ready to adapt. But these habits will give you a baseline, and hopefully keep you fit forever. 

  1. A solid sleeping schedule 

It’s really hard to understate the importance of sleep. Sleep is when our body recovers — whether it is from exercise, stress, or something else entirely. Getting a solid amount of sleep every night has been linked to higher productivity, increased ability in the gym, and higher levels of mental activity. In short, sleep is important. 

Do your best to establish a solid sleep schedule. You’ll ideally need between six and eight hours per night, which can be more difficult as family obligations mount, or if you’re spending more time at work or school. But get in the habit of making sleep a priority. Your body will thank you. 

  1. An easy morning routine 

The morning — or whenever you wake up — may be the most important part of your day. That’s why you need to develop a routine, keep it, and use it as a springboard to set you off for another round of victories. 

A morning routine can be simple — shave, shower, eat a healthy breakfast, make your bed, and you’re off. Maybe mix in some meditation. The point is, develop a healthy routine that works for you, and stick to it. It may be the only constant in your life during stressful times, so let it be a comfortable, therapeutic process. 

  1. Drop the sugar 

Sugar is linked to all kinds of negative outcomes. So, your best bet is to kick your sugar habit now, and never look back. Start drinking your coffee black, your tea without any sweetener, and opt for a piece of fruit instead of having a bowl of ice cream or reaching for a Snickers. 

Sugar is addictive; but if you can crush the habit in your early years, you won’t even crave it after a while. And if you can save yourself years of sugar intake by kicking sugar now, you’ll live a longer, healthier life. 

  1. Concentrate your diet 

Many of us struggle to control our diet, but one easy way to do so is to concentrate the things we eat. That is, centralize your diet around a select group of foods, and only occasionally stray from your plan. By all counts, you’ll want to construct a diet that is vegetable-based — not necessarily vegetarian or vegan, but heavy on the greens — and not so dependent on meats, breads, and fats. 

Pick some foods, such as eggs, fish, and vegetables, and build a diet around them. These will be your dietary staples, although you can obviously add some variety to the mix, and adapt as time goes on. By concentrating your diet, you’ll be healthier and more knowledgeable about the caloric and nutritional content you’re consuming. 

  1. Stress relief 

You’re going to need to find a way to decompress, or blow off some steam. Some guys like to go to the shooting range or play pickup basketball or soccer. A great habit to get into is weight lifting or running to relieve stress. Other fantastic, stress-relieving habit to pick up are meditation and yoga. 

Whatever gives you peace of mind for a brief amount of time, you’ll want to adopt it as a ritual. Everyone needs some solace from time to time, so find a way to let your daily frustrations go. Again, this is something that changes with time, so don’t be afraid to strike out of your comfort zone. 

  1. Learn to love exercise 

Finally, you’ll need to exercise. And learn to love it. You may be a runner, lifter, swimmer, or hiker. Regardless, it’s important to develop a love for physical activity, and to make it a mainstay in your life in some form or another. 

Some people make gym trips a centerpiece of their day — no matter what, they make sure they get their workouts in. For some people, it’s a daily run, a weekend hike, or a camping trip. No matter what it is, you’ll want to get “addicted” to some kind of physical activity. 

In the long-run, you’ll set yourself up for success. Just teach yourself to view exercise and the rest of these habits as simple parts of your day; something you enjoy rather than a chore to be completed. 

via cheatsheet.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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