The holiday season can be such a magical time of year. However, with all the parties, holiday shopping, decorating and food preparation, your fitness and health goals can drop to the bottom of the totem pole, fast. Perhaps the holiday parties make it the hardest to stay on track. There is good (and caloric dense) food all around, what is one to do?! Check out my guidelines on how to bake healthy goods during this time of year (and really any time of year!).
TOP 5 WAYS TO MAKE HEALTHY COOKIES!!
1) Swap out the white flour! Do you know how many alternatives there are for flour? Perhaps you could use whole wheat flour or oatmeal flour to decrease the spike in insulin. OR my all time favorite, nut flours! Try using a mix of coconut flour, almond flour or hazelnut flour. There are also flours made from chickpeas which can make a great base for cookies!! All are A-OK in the CW Kitchen!
2) Say no to the butter! I am always so shocked when I see recipes that require absurd amounts of butter! To be honest, I always cut it in half because it never needs as much as it says (and no one ever notices). It wasn't until late that I started swapping out butter for coconut oil though. Coconut oil is a great substitute for butter and you'll need way less!
3) No refined sugar! Refined sugar is so 2005. No one uses it anymore. Plus as much as we hate to use it, it doesn't like us back (there's no nutritional value, sorry). Try using coconut sugar or apple sauce (or both!). Both coconut sugar and apple sauce will give baked goods the sweet taste without the massive amounts of refined sugars. Did you know that coconut sugar has a lower sugar content and it doesn't spike insulin levels as quickly as regular sugar? Now you want to try it, don't you?!
4) Egg whites only, sorry yolks! Did you know 2 yolks a day is your total cholesterol intake for ONE day? EK! That's not good. So why not ditch the yolks and eat up the egg whites (typically add one extra egg white depending on the recipe). This will NOT change the flavor of the cookies but it will make them healthier!
5) Recipe call for chocolate? No problem! Who doesn't love a homemade chocolate chip cookie (especially Santa)?! Opt for 70-80% dark chocolate chips when making these cookies AND for an extra touch, sprinkle in some cocoa powder (great antioxidant). This will help decrease the sugar content and increase the taste! Now we are talking..!
Try these tips out for some healthy baking and happier waistline this holiday season! Send us your recipes and pictures! We would love to share your baking tips and tricks on our social media. Email firstname.lastname@example.org!
In good health,
Owner of CW Physique
Tis the season for holiday parties, eggnog, cookie platters and more! Who doesn't love that? It's all great until you realize that the holiday season caused you to gain an extra 5-10lb. It's not uncommon and unfortunately most people do gain a few pounds during the holidays. So how do you avoid it this year?! There are ways to stay fit during the holiday season and NOT gain weight! Here are my top 5 tips on how to avoid the weight gain while still enjoying the season.
How To Prevent Holiday Weight Gain:
1) Bring a Healthy Dish:
Every holiday party is usually an eclectic mix of dishes, right? Do you often bring something? Why not offer to bring a HEALTHY dish. I mean, you are in control of what your making. You might be surprised at how many people are grateful for something nutritious and delicious! Offer to bring a healthy side dish to your next party. Try something like spaghetti squash casserole, green beans tossed with slivered almonds and coconut oil, or perhaps cookies made with almond flour and coconut sugar. There's ALWAYS a way to make something healthier!
2) Limit Alcohol:
Skip the fancy drinks. Yes, eggnog sounds wonderful, but have you checked out how much calories, sugar and cholesterol it has?! Ek. It makes my heart hurt just reading it! Water and tea is always a great bet but if you need to have an alcoholic drink, stick to red wine that is packed with antioxidants.
3) Don't Skip A Meal:
Don't skip meals! So you have a holiday party this evening, are you thinking of skipping a meal to help save up some calories? DON'T. Skipping meals is the worst thing you could do! You'll end up putting your body into a starvation mode that will take longer to burn calories later in the day and you'll end up storing even more fat. Start your day off right with a good breakfast. This will keep you satisfied and starting on the right foot. You're more likely to keep the rest of the day good if you start it off good!
4) No Leftovers:
Give away the leftovers. Don't pack your fridge with all the goodies from your party. Give them away! Let everyone take a little bit home that way not one person is stuck with a ton of food to finish (that is most likely not healthy). Sharing is caring.
5) Keep moving:
Just because it's cold out and your schedule might seem busier doesn't mean you can stop what you were doing before! Keep on moving! Keep going to your yoga class, don't cancel on your personal trainer, keep working out with your girlfriend... whatever it is you do, keep doing it! When we stick to our routine we are less likely to veer away from it.
Try these tips this holiday season and keep off the holiday weight gain! Do you have a healthy trick you use during the holidays? A fun and clean recipe your family and friends love? We'd LOVE to hear about it! Send us a note at email@example.com and you could be featured in our newsletter!
In good health,
Do you find yourself eating out a lot at work? Do you have to entertain clients constantly? Or perhaps your social circle loves trying new restaurants? All of the above can make fitness and weight loss goals difficult. Have no fear, I'm going to let you in on my TOP secrets for staying healthy while eating out. There is no reason to become a hermit and hide from restaurants!
Top 5 Ways on Eating Healthy While Dining Out:
1) Avoid the alcohol. This is an EASY way to avoid unneeded calories (plus more drinking can lead to mindless eating). You can stick with water or get seltzer water with lemon if you want something "refreshing".
2) Skip the appetizers. When the waiter comes around asking if you'd like appetizers, say, "no, we are pretty hungry so we will go straight to the entree." If not everyone is on board, then pick something that isn't fried or cheesy.
3) Remember these three things: protein, veggie, complex carb. For example, you can order fish, broccoli and brown rice. Or perhaps you want grilled chicken, brussels sprouts and a sweet potato. Most places always have a lean protein option. The trick to ordering a HEALTHY version is to say NO butter (and in some places no oil too). You'd be surprised how many dishes are misleadingly unhealthy. Make sure you ask how it is made and then get modifications.
4) Opt for a clean salad. You knew this was coming, but it's always a safe bet, as long as you order it correctly! Be careful, many salads might seem "healthy" but they can be loaded with extra calories. Stick with a house salad but add some protein and fat. I love to get a house salad and adding grilled chicken and avocado. I dress it with balsamic vinegar. This is a staple of mine!
5) Eat something small beforehand. Sound crazy? Maybe I am, but trust me here. If you eat something small (and healthy) before you got out to dinner, you'll be less hungry and won't want to opt for bad items. Try just eating a small piece of chicken before you go out or perhaps an apple with almond butter just to hold you over. You'll make better choices in the long run.
Do you have health, nutrition, or fitness questions? Shoot as an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We LOVE hearing from you!
In good health,
Owner of CW Physique
So you want to become more fit, healthier, stronger, leaner and everything else that screams, "I'm fit!" Sure, it's easy to say this and want it, but what does it really cost? How do some people make it look easy and others can't seem to loose the weight for the life of them!?
I've been a trainer for 11 years, (yah, you read that correctly). I've seen many walks of life come in and out of the gym telling me they want X, Y and Z. So how do I know when someone is going to be successful at their goal? I don't. You can tell me everything you THINK I want to hear, but it doesn't mean anything. When someone is successful in their fitness journey, it's because they are MENTALLY committed to it and READY for a change. That is something I cannot see (maybe in the future there will be a brain camera that will let me know, but until then..).
Here are the top 5 things you need to do to become successful in your goals:
1) Mentally commit to WHAT it is you want. If you don't have goals then you're mindlessly working! You have to be strong in the mind to be strong in the body. Point blank.
2) Have a good support system. Too often I hear that significant others, family members, or co-workers are NOT supportive of weight loss goals. It blows my mind! Would you rather see someone unhealthy and eating crap all day OR see someone who cares about living well and taking care of their body? Hint: option 1 is the correct answer.
3) Just do it. I absolutely have no tolerance for excuses. I don't buy them. If you are serious about taking care of yourself, then get your butt to the gym! Wake up early and get it done. There is plenty of time to take care of yourself, but it comes down to MAKING time. Just DO it.
4) Out with the bad, in with the good. We've all heard this, but try applying it to fitness and wellness. If you have bad food in the house, nothing good will come of it! Get rid of it! If you are going out regularly on Friday nights for drinks and pizza, you need to change it! Take out the bad and replace it with some good habits! Maybe make Friday nights a regular "cooking at home" night.
5) Live in the present, not the past. More often than not, I hear, "when I was like this," or "my body is like this." Stop letting your mind go to what was and go to what is. You need to live in the present and not dwell on the past. If your constantly thinking of what your body was like your whole life or your most fit state, then you'll never grow. Worry about this moment right now.
Now, how are you going to change? Figure out 3 points that will help make your life healthier. What do you have to lose?
For comments, questions, or topics, please email us at email@example.com
In good health,
If you've been around the fitness world long enough then you've seen a WIDE variety of personal trainers who come in and out of the gyms. Some stay long, some stay not long enough, some you never see and some live at the gym. So you want to hire a personal trainer? Which one do you pick? HOW do you pick? WHAT do you look for? Trainers are NOT created equal. If you have your body's health and safety in mind, then choose a trainer wisely.
Here are 6 top things to look for when choosing a personal trainer:
1) Credentials. PLEASE make sure you choose a CERTIFIED personal trainer. Organizations such as NASM, ACSM, and ACE are well known and trusted in the industry. A degree in a related field such as Kinesiology, is even better.
2) Philosophy. All trainers have their own philosophy and beliefs that they choose to follow. It is important to understand YOUR trainer's beliefs and make sure it's a right fit for you. If you don't agree with them, then it may not be the best fit.
3) Friend's Trainer. Does your friend train with Bob? Then you should too! Not necessarily. Having a good trainer doesn't mean that trainer is meant for everyone. You want to make sure you match well with that trainer: personality, beliefs, accountability etc. Not one trainer is right for everyone. Make sure you find the right one for YOU.
4) Practice what they preach! Your trainer is telling you to hang from the ceiling with 1 hand while curling weight in another and eating egg whites. Well that's good and dandy but you want a trainer who has BEEN there and DONE that. In order to believe the process, they have to know it works... and they better make sure it works on themselves before they test YOU!
5) RESULTS. Sure a trainer can tell you they can get you to fitness model status in no time. But what is their track record? How many success stories do they have? Can you chat with previous clients to hear feedback? Yes, results come from the CLIENT and the work is put in by the CLIENT but without the right tools (insert trainer), you will not get to where you want to be. Make sure you are in the right hands of an experienced expert.
I hope these 5 tips of finding a personal trainer have helped you and that your journey to getting to the best you is on it's way. Having the help and guidance of an experienced expert can always benefit you. I always tell clients and potential clients, the best investment you'll ever make is the investment on yourself. Take of your body and it will take care of you.
In good health,
How often do you workout? Everyday? 5 days a week? How long do you workout for each time? An hour, maybe 2?
It really amazes me that many people think that working out and being in shape means spending hours and hours at the gym! NO WAY. I love the gym and I love working out, but common, don't we all have better things to do?
My motto for training is: train smarter, not harder. And rightfully so. Wouldn't you want the most results from less time? I know I do! So what does this mean?
Our bodies are super smart. They know exactly how to use the energy (aka calories) they are given and in the most efficient way. This means, the body will learn how to work at the least amount of energy expenditure in order to preserve the calories. Why? Because that's how the body operates. In order to not let this happen, you simply have to trick the body. This means DON'T DO THE SAME THING OVER AND OVER AGAIN! Sorry runners, but your the best example. Ever notice that if you keep running 5 miles a day every day for months that the body stops loosing weight and maybe even starts to gain weight? This is because the body gets comfortable with those 5 miles and realizes it doesn't need as much energy for those runs so it keeps it stored and in turn, you can actually gain weight. So how do we avoid this? Interval training and strength training. Aerobic training (and steady state training where the heart rate remains relatively at the same rate) will be the easiest form of exercise for the body to get used to. I'm not saying its not good for you, but you need to switch it up. Interval training or HIIT (high intensity interval training) is one of the best ways for burning fat and avoiding plateaus. Not to mention, it works your heart even better than steady state cardio. Jump on any cardio machine (really, I'm not picky), and do 20 second intervals for 15 minutes. Try sprinting/going really fast for 20 seconds and then bring the pace back down for 40 seconds. All you need is 15 minutes and you already worked your heart much harder than if you were to run for 5 miles. You'll also be burning more calories longer post workout. Couple the HIIT training with strength training (that is constantly doing different exercises and pushing boundaries with good form) and you're on your way to a new and more fit you.
Let me know how your workouts are going at firstname.lastname@example.org OR ask me questions! We love to hear from you!
In good health,
Are you a mom? If so, you've probably felt lower back pain or hip pain at some point during motherhood. Being a mom is no easy task. It can be rewarding and exhausting. From pregnancy to early years of childhood, our children usually are attached to our hip, literally.
I've had many female clients who are mothers find themselves with muscular imbalances and/or alignment issues that could lead to much bigger things if not taken care of (hence why I feel the need to address it). Why is this you ask? Well, if you're carrying around a child who starts off at 7lb but gradually grows to 15lb then 30lb and so on, it will eventually take a toll on your body. Many of us tend to carry our children on one side of the hip as well (yes, you know you do it). This causes postural issues and will lead to imbalances in the body which will only get worse over time if not corrected.
How do we correct this? We have to pick up our kids and try and multitask at the same time, so what's the solution? Well, there's no easy button for this one, but there are steps you can take to make sure you're taking care of your child AND yourself. If you love carrying your baby on your hip, switch hips. I know it's easier said than done, but DO IT. This will help even out the weight. Also try carrying your baby in front of you (as pictured above). This will keep the weight distribution even and take less pressure off of your hips (be careful not to push hips forward because that will put pressure on low back). And lastly, my favorite: baby wear. I love my Ergobaby. The Ergobaby free's up your hands, keeps your weight centered and has low back support. You can also wear it on your back to help change up weight distribution. The Ergobaby carrier works from newborns up until 45lb! I highly suggest a baby carrier if you do not have one.
Whatever option listed above you find useful, just make sure to do it! I'd hate to see you walk lopsided because you hauled around a kid on your hip for 4 years OR worse, suffer in pain. Be mindful of your posture and enjoy the journey!
For questions or comments, please email us at email@example.com.
In good health,
Ask yourself, why do I workout? Why do I choose to eat healthy? What is the purpose of it all? Do you want to look good in a bathing suit? Are you trying to loose some weight so you can fit into a dress for your friends wedding? Maybe you use exercise as a form of stress relieving. Everyone probably has a different answer, but I encourage you to think a little harder on it.
Looking good is great and feeling good is even better. But WHY is exercise so important? WHY is eating healthy so important?
Exercise and healthy eating has always been a top priority of mine and many have poked fun at it. However, I take it a lot more seriously than just "looking and feeling good." Getting diagnosed with a health problem later on in life that could of been prevented is a huge scare. Much research has suggested that living a healthy life NOW can help prevent illness and poor health later on in life. So why not do everything you can to make sure you stay health now and for the long haul?
I remember going to the grocery store one day and a man was taking blood pressure measurements on customers coming in and out of the store (I'm pretty sure to gain clientele). I told him I wanted to try it. He looked at me and said, you aren't our clientele. You're too healthy. My numbers were the best he had seen but he didn't like that. He wanted someone who was unhealthy because it was the norm and he could gain business. He was shocked to see someone who actually cared about their health (and that shocked me).
I've seen too many family members and close friends with relatives loose their livelihood and reason to live because of bad health choices. We become who we are because of the choices we've made in the past. Ask yourself again, why are you doing this? Are you choosing to eat grilled chicken and veggies because you want to look good AND live a long and for filling life for yourself and your loved ones? Well then good, that's the way it should be. Make good choices because they will directly effect your life now AND for later.
Do you have a story or experience related to the topic that you would like to share? Send us your story at firstname.lastname@example.org.
in good health,
I was recently at a family/friend party where everyone was catching up and chatting about life. I couldn't help but notice the amazing spread of food my mother had prepared (per usual). I consider her pretty health conscious so I was super surprised when I saw healthy food. I was however caught off guard when EVERYONE else was too! Before we ate I heard a few people say, "the paelo options are over here, and we have vegan here, and gluten free there." Then a huge applause came after everyone noticed they could eat according to their diets! I couldn't help but chuckle. While I was VERY happy that everyone was so aware of what they were eating, I was just very curious as to WHY. Why are you choosing to eat this way? Was it because you read about it online? Did you get a blood test telling you are intolerant to gluten? Are you trying to stop bloating?
While everyone may have a different reason as to why they eat a certain way, I thought I'd give my two sense on eating ORGANIC. I could go into every "diet fad" out there right now, but I'm sure you have better things to do besides read a novel. I'll save it for next time..
Let's talk about eating organic and if it's REALLY that much better for you!?
What does Organic food mean? Do you know? Many don't.. so I'll explain.
While organic foods do not contain more vitamins or minerals than non organic food, it does have it's perks.
-Organic food typically (yes, typically but not always), has less pesticides and hormones than non organic food. They will still contain some pesticides.
- Organic fruits and veggies usually don't last as long because they are more fresh and don't have added preservatives.
-Organic farms are better for the environment because they don't use harmful chemicals that hurt the earth.
-Organic meats and eggs (the one thing I make sure to always buy) are typically raised with no added hormones, animal byproducts and antibiotics. In my eyes, this is a big one! You need to make sure the food your eating was also eating well.
-Organic food does not always mean that is isn't genetically modified. That is another label. Check the packaging to see if a food is NON GMO.
-When a product says "organic" it is usually not 100% organic. A food that is just labeled "organic" may not even be 60% organic. However, if you see the USDA label on a package, the product should be 95% or more organic (still not 100%) and "certified organic" foods are 70% organic. So you never really know just how "organic" your food really is..
While what I'm saying isn't to scare you, it's to get you thinking. Yes, I am a big believer in buying organic BUT do I think what I'm buying is 100% organic. Absolutely not. I do think it can be better than buying certain non organic items. Foods with thicker skins (like bananas, grapefruit, oranges, etc) are fine to buy non organic because it's harder for the pesticdes to seep into the actual fruit. Foods with thinner skins you might want to buy organic such as berries.
While there are many different ways of eating out there right now, one thing is for sure... foods you grow are much better for you than food like products from a box. Which ever "diet" you are thinking of trying, just try eating WHOLE foods and see what happens first. Whole foods are much better for you than fad diets.
In good health,
You've heard that eating 5-6 small meals is good for you, right? But then you hear eating 3 bigger meals a day is better. Which one is right? And WHY? Well, I'm going to explain the benefits of smaller meals verses bigger ones and why they work.
3 meals a day is the old school way of eating. It's great if you're not worried about your metabolism working at it's most optimal level. But what about the people who want to get the MOST out of their metabolism? Small meals for the win.
You see, when you wait too long between breakfast and lunch you probably feel your body crashing. Am I right? That's because your blood sugar isn't stable and all that energy (calories) that you consumed at 7am are now gone leaving your blood sugar to come to a crashing halt. You might feel like you need a cup of Joe right around this time to keep you going. Having caffeine instead of nutrient dense food is just not going to cut it for your metabolism and will throw off your hormones even more. When you go for your lunch, chances are you're having WAY too many carbs and not enough protein which will leave you hungry in a few short hours after eating. Let the cycle repeat. Do you feel fatigued, not fully rested and hungry throughout your day? Chances are you're not using your metabolism to it's fullest potential.
So what's the solution? Small meals throughout the day. You want to aim for 5-6 small meals throughout the day and ones that are protein rich. This will keep your metabolism working at an optimal level AND it will constantly be working. This is a GOOD thing. When your metabolism is working, it's breaking down calories and sending them to where they need to go in the body. It's like going on a long car ride (12 hours or so) and driving with a full tank of gas. When you choose 3 small meals, you're trying to get to your destination with an empty tank. Which one will win? You pick.
Aim for small meals every 3-4 hours throughout your day and see how you feel. Chances are you're going to feel energetic, alert, have mental clarity, and satisfied.
For questions on specific nutrition needs or to try our monthly nutrition plan, email us at email@example.com
In good health,
Cristina Walterman, owner of CW Physique, let's you in on fitness and nutrition tips, recipes, exercises and much more. With over 8 years of experience in the industry, she loves to inspire and motivate individuals. She always practices what she preaches and leads by example.