I just heard you groan. You’re thinking, But you just told me that dieting does not necessarily help me lose (or gain) weight. Yes, yes I did. Dieting does not help maintain healthy body weight. In fact, more and more research suggests that dieting actually harms your basal metabolic state, making you prone to regaining even more weight than you’ve lost and having a hard time losing it (again). (Please excuse the advertising at the end of the article linked. It’s the research surrounding Biggest Loser that fascinates me most. Here is also a great article by IDEA.)

 

So, the bad news is that yo-yo dieting can slow down your metabolism and a slow metabolism means that you are prone to working harder for fewer results. And then there are genes, which do account for a certain (if small) percentage toward whether or not we are naturally inclined toward thin or not-so-thin. But here is where the good news comes in!

 

Epigenetics. It’s a word most of us have never heard of before. Translated as “control above genetics,” this is the study of how environment plays a role in “turning on” and “turning off” our genes. Food is one of the main environmental factors we have in our lives and it perhaps plays one of the biggest roles in how our genes function (exercise being another main player).

 

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It seems that Hippocrates was right when he said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Scientists have discovered that bioactive compounds like phytonutrients and antioxidants play a huge role in turning on genes that help us lose and maintain a healthy weight. Healthy lifestyle and diet choices can change the expression of at least 500 genes! This is great news for those of us who struggle with things like sugar addiction because it means that a wide, varying diet full of colorful fruits and vegetables nurtures your entire body right down to genetic expression. It means that you can start remaking yourself one bite (and one activity) at a time–and in 7-10 years, you’ll literally be a whole new person!

 

In my next post on this series, I’ll be sharing the small steps that I have been taking to help reduce my sugar cravings. I knew going in to this that it wasn’t going to be something that happened overnight, but I’m happy to say that I’m slowly seeing results. Looking forward to sharing more soon!

 

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Read the Whole Series here:

Part 1

Part 2

Matcha Tea

I haven’t been on hardly at all lately. I’ve been caught between three giants that are taking all of my time:

  1. My family, because that’s just where it’s at 🙂
  2. Getting ready to move to MI in December–this is fast approaching!
  3. National Novel Writing Month because it’s awesome!

I suppose I should add Jamberry onto that list. It is taking my evenings and I’m having SO MUCH FUN doing it! I cannot get enough of this product or the company, and am so glad I signed up! Have questions? Ask me, please!

But on to the real reason I’m writing! I’m trying to play catch up this morning, so I’m going to leave you with all the links and articles I’ve collected over the past few months. I really need to share them with you and get them out of my mail box! Because I have so many, I’m going to share them in three installments. This is the first! Enjoy and please feel free to contact me! I’d love to connect.

Articles

Are You Wearing the Right Shoes?

What are the Benefits to Fasted-State Cardio?

Build Your Biceps Workout

Turkish Get Up

Improve Wrist Mobility

TRX Plank Variations for a Stronger Core

Pilates/PNF for Improved Balance?

15 Yoga Poses that Improve Balance

16 Poses for a Strong and Stable Core

A Yoga Practice that Won’t Bear Weight on Hands/Knees

5 Lessons Yoga Taught Me About Failure

But I Thought All Yoga Was Therapeutic

How to Incorporate Pumpkin Into Your Diet

Food Swaps for Increased Energy

The Encyclopedia of Chicken Stock

5 Ways Einkorn is Different From Wheat

Emerging Male Eating Disorder Tied to Supplement Use

Free Radicals: Antioxidants and Exercise

Using Essential Oils for Kids–What is Safe?

Choosing a Carrier Oil to Enhance EO Therapeutic Properties

Tisserand Institute Special Report: Undiluted Truth: Cinnamon Oil

Argan-Avocado Soap-free Face Wash

How Well Does Before School Exercise “Build Our Kids’ Success”?

Regular Exercise before Pregnancy Key to Minimizing Common Pregnancy Pains

Recipes

Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal

3 Vegetarian Recipes to Try

Chop Fall Salad

Paleo Chicken Tenders

Oatmeal Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pumpkin Maple Cookies

Autoimmune Protocol Pumpkin Pie Spice Blend

I’ve had one of those weeks. The ones that drag you through the mud. In fact, today I’ve rather felt a little like mud. But that’s okay! Days like this can get you down but you don’t have to let them! One of the most valuable lessons I have learned is the power of positive thinking! It’s as simple as recognizing a negative thought, acknowledging it, and replacing it with something positive. It’s not always easy, but it is important! I hope you’ll give it a try. In the meantime, enjoy these articles and recipes!

Articles

8 Hormones Involved in Exercise

Concurrent Training Can Jeopardize Strength Gains

The Effects of Alcohol on Muscle Gains

How to Dead Lift

Steady State vs. Interval Training

4 Moves to Help You Master the Pull Up

6 Effective Squat Variations You Need to Try

Heart-pumping Plyometrics Workout

Upper Body Explosive Training Workout

10-minute Core Workout

10-minute Glutes Workout

What You Don’t Know about Food Labeling Could Undermine Your Health

Post-workout Tips

15 Ways to be Kind to Your Adrenals

Citrus Oils and Breast Health

About Carrier Oils

Recipes

Zucchini Bread Baked Oatmeal

Cinnamon Oatmeal Pancakes

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Pancakes (vegan)

Caprese Avocado Toast

Greek Tacos

Grilled Polenta Rounds with Black Bean & Avocado Salsa

Chocolate Chip Blueberry Bars (w/flourless option)

Pineapple Mango Sorbet

Almond Biscotti (gluten-free)

Pie Crust (gluten-free)

Wow! I totally forgot it was the last week of the month last week, and so forgot to post these! Here are some awesome articles and recipes! Enjoy and stay cool!

Articles

A Girl’s Guide to Weight Training

6 Benefits of Using Weightlifting Machines

The Science of Suspension Exercise

7 Squat Variations

Master the Push Up

Summer-inspired Core Circuit

3 Exercises to Do Instead of Burpees

3 Arm Balance Secrets

4 Ways to Avoid Yoga Injuries

Hip Anatomy: Build Stability

The Science of Breathing

Fuzzy Thinking?

Should You Go Grain-free?

Women, Alcohol, and the Snack Attack

35 Homemade Spice Mixes

Natural Sunburn Relief

Recipes

Coconut Raspberry Bread

Cucumber, Chickpea, and Pita Salad

Fried Rice Recipe (with Cauliflower option)

Grilled Steak Fajitas

Indian Street “Burger”

Zucchini Cake

Peach Almond Crisp

Homemade Chocolate Pudding Pie (No Tofu)

No Bake Dark Chocolate Almond Cookies

Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream

5 Green Smoothie Recipes

Holy smokes! This month totally got away from me! Here’s to getting back into a routine come July! Until then, enjoy these fantastic articles and recipes (yes, there are more than two this time LOL)!

Articles

Mental Toughness Techniques for Peak Performance

Reciprocal Superset Training Burns More Calories (Study)

The Secrets to Behavioral Change: Principles & Practice

Pregnant Instructor FAQs

Tips for Group Fit Instructors

5 Exercises Every Runner Should Do

6 Exercises for a Stronger Core

5 x 5 Workout to Improve Strength

15-minute Drill to Rev Up Cardio

Strengthening Techniques to Alleviate Muscle/Joint Pain

Which Physical Activities = Better Sleep?

How to Tell if You’ve Reached a Plateau

5 Exercise Mistakes that Could Get You Hurt

Become a Healthy Road Warrior

Best Approach to Recovery: Passive vs. Active

Stretching for Men

Plank Pose

The Art of Falling on Your Face

Pilates Practice and Cholesterol Levels

Help for Pregnant Women with Depression

Meditation and Healthy Aging

Mindful Tips to Avoid Technology Addiction

America’s Top 5 Diets

Navigating the Summer BBQ (Podcast)

What You Need to Know about Coconut Water

Sugar Shock: Why It’s Time to Get Serious about Taming the Sweet Tooth

Mindfulness is the Best Sweetener

Make Natural Bug Repellent

About Beautycounter Products

Recipes

Berry Quinoa Salad

Lamb Tacos

Honey Sesame Chicken (Paleo)

Healthy Chocolate Pudding

Raw Fudge Brownie Chunk Ice Cream

Matcha Chip Ice Cream

Best Iced Coffee You’ve Ever Had

I’m finally getting back into the swing of things. It’s slow and sometimes I’m not going to get to blogging, but I’m trying to get back to this as often as I possibly can! I really love writing and sharing all the wonderful information I learn each month along the way!

A few small tips to take your fitness routines to the next level:

  • If you’ve not checked out Yoga International’s website, you should. They do free week-long mini-immersions that might pique your interest.
  • Recent studies state that cross-training is vital to overall health and the prevention of muscular imbalances in the body. Whether you’re a mind-body enthusiast or CrossFit pro, consider doing something completely different from your norm.
  • I’m a huge proponent for barefoot running (I love my Vibrams!) but I also know that barefoot shoes are not for everyone. Consider researching forward- and mid-foot strikes to minimize the extreme forces placed upon your joints and lower back from heel-strike running patterns.

I’m chuckling to myself because apparently I forgot to keep recipes this month! There are two tasty breakfasts for you to try, but most of this edition of articles and recipes is dedicated to strength training!

Articles

8 Ways Strength Training Creates Change

Train This, Not That: Legs

Complex Training: Strength and Conditioning

Strength Training for a Cardio Fan

9 Exercises You Didn’t Know You Could Do with a Barbell

Plank Variations for Core Strength

Resistance Training for Endurance Athletes

Outdoor Functional Training Exercises

Total Body Battle Ropes Workout

Which Comes First: Strength or Cardio?

Alleviate Muscle and Joint Pain with Self-myofascial Release (Part 1)

Alleviate Muscle and Joint Pain with Stretching Techniques (Part 2)

Uniform Movement is Injurious, Cross-training is Essential

The Easiest Mistake to Make in Backbends

Releasing Tension in the Psoas

Yoga for School Teachers (video)

Yoga for Strengthening Your Back (video)

Progressive Muscle Relaxation for Pregnant Women

Mindfulness Meditation Restructures Brain’s Gray Matter

New Findings On Alzheimer’s Risk

5 Tips to Detox Your Body and Get Back on Track

Eating More Whole Grains/Bran Tied to Lower Mortality

How to Get to Sleep When You Have a Cold (EO’s)

Heliochrysum and Lavender EO’s for Bruises

Essential Oils for Teething?

All About Hydrosols

How to Melt Shea Butter/Natural Oils for Body Care

Recipes

Raspberry Coconut Creme Brulee Oatmeal

Pumpkin Macadamia Nut Pancakes (gluten-free)

April Fools! No, not really. I meant to get this post up last week, but it didn’t quite happen. I ended up giving birth instead! We have a second beautiful little girl whose bringing much joy to her entire family.

I plan on taking the month of April off from blogging so I can get used to the changes two children under two bring to one’s life. (However, I do plan on putting up an April articles/recipes post at some point so I don’t have an overflowing email account, haha.) In the meantime, I hope you are doing well and enjoy what this blog has to offer. Until May, then: May Spring rains bring you beautiful flowers!

Articles

5 Compound Moves for Your Workout

8 Creative Ways to Use a Medicine Ball

No Equipment Needed Workout

Functional Strength Training Combos

TRX for Mobility and Flexibility

CrossFit Study

Maximize HIIT with Metabolic Strength Conditioning

7 Signs You May Be Overtraining

5 Tips for Weight Training for Weight Loss

Pre- and Post-workout Nutrition for HIIT

Food Labeling and Your Health

You May Live Longer Eating and Mediterranean Diet (Study)

Wake Up Your Glutes

Menopause and Mind-body Fitness

How Upward-facing Dog and Cobra Differ

Tennis Ball Techniques for Tight Muscles

Homemade Cheek Tint

Gelatin Hair Mask

Recipes

Maple Pumpkin Scones (gluten-free, vegan)

Asparagus, Goat Cheese, and Pistachio Flat Bread

Curried Pumpkin Stew

Cabbage Slaw with Cilantro Lime Dressing

Smashed Chickpea, Avocado, and Pesto Salad

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Avocado, Goat Cheese, and Candied Pistachios

Roasted Mushroom, Kale, and Goat Cheese Tacos

Lemon Curd Cupcakes

Passover Lemon Coconut Macaroons (gluten-free, vegan)

***

I’ve also added April’s doTERRA specials! Please feel free to visit my website if you are interested in anything, and as always, feel free to ask questions. There are quite a number of new products that have been rolled out in the past few weeks. Check them out!

Extended through April 15!

Extended through April 15! Deep Blue is an excellent way to reduce aches and pains.

Melaleuca (tea tree) oil is fantastic for treating the skin; and DigestZen Blend is great for balancing gut health.

Melaleuca (tea tree) oil is fantastic for treating the skin; and DigestZen Blend is great for balancing gut health.

I’m about four weeks out from my delivery date with Bumpkin 2, which means a lot of waiting and taking care of last minute things. I honestly can’t wait for the pregnancy part to be over 🙂 Until then, however, I’m trudging on and wanted to leave you with some health and fitness articles and recipes for you to try! Enjoy, and hope your March is nicer than your February. (I know a lot of you have been slammed with snow!)

Articles

The Essential Link Between Emotional Intelligence and Behavioral Change

Lack of Exercise Deadlier than Obesity?

All About Overtraining

Targeted Training vs. Functional Fitness

4 Core Movements for Beginners

Increase Mobility/Strength with This Bodyweight Circuit

A Beginner’s Guide to Yoga: 5 Widely Practiced Poses

Yoga Beginner Series (Part III)

Prenatal Gentle Flow (yoga)

Vets and Chronic Pain

How to Fall in Love with Whole Foods

Clash of the Food Titans

Flavonoids for Healthy Aging

Artificial Sweeteners and Gut Microbiota

Aromatherapy for Muscle Tension: Make an Inhaler

DIY Mustard Bath

7 Ways to Remove Toxins From Your Life

Recipes

4 Green Smoothies to Kick-start the Day

Italian Hot Chocolate

Banana Pancakes

Yeasted Belgian Waffles

Homemade Greek Yogurt

Herb-roasted Chicken with Herb-infused Gravy

Flourless Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Homemade Samoas (grain-free)

Orange Poppyseed Bundt Cakes (grain-, nut-free, Paleo)

24 Rhubarb Recipes

I hope this year has been a terrific one already. January is drawing to a close (already?!) but not before I leave you with this month’s articles and recipes. Enjoy them, and may you find many ways to apply them to your new lifestyle habits!

Articles

Yoga-inspired Dynamic Warm-up

20-minute Calorie-burning HIIT Workout

Little Black Dress Workout

Boost Your Workout with Metabolic Drills

Top Exercises to Gain Thoracic Mobility

Does Exercise Order Really Matter?

Diabetes and Exercise: What Every Fitness Professional Should Know

The Physiology of Fat Loss

Cold Winter Temps Trigger Brown Fat Burning

Improving Chronic Neck Pain with Pilates

Pilates and Chronic Lower Back Pain

Pilates for Larger Bodies

Sun Salutations Solutions

Seniors and Self-myofascial Release

Stretching for Men

Sleep: Fueling Brain and Body

Laughter, Brain Fitness, and Older Adults

The Skinny on Happiness

The Mental Aspects of Chronic Pain

Bust Out of a Food Rut

Eating with the Seasons

Understanding Iron-deficiency Anemia and Sports Anemia

From Farm to Doorstep with a Click

From Heirloom Seeds to Heirloom Breeds

How to Handle a Whole Chicken

DIY Cayenne/St. John’s Wort Salve

Natural Herbal Foot Care

The Wonders of Bergamot

Recipes

Avocado Toast

Banana Blueberry Muffins

On-the-go Breakfast Oatmeal Trail Mix Cupcakes

Baked Peanut Butter Apple Oatmeal

Meyer Lemon, Kale, and Goat Cheese Flatbread

Baked Mozzarella Sticks

Power Salad with Lemon Chia Seed Dressing

3 Ingredient Split Pea Soup (vegan)

Spaghetti and Olive Rosemary Meatballs (grain-free)

Goat Cheese Chicken Alfredo (gluten-free)

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili (vegan)

Easy Chickpea Vegetable Stir Fry

Apple Berry Crumble (grain-free)

Mini-Carob Brownies (gluten-free)

Coconut Custard

I know this is coming a few days late. It is December, after all. Thanksgiving holiday sneaked up on me, and with it, a sick household. So my good intentions to get this out around Thanksgiving came to nothing.

 

Be that as it may, I hope that you find these links useful for the rest of the holiday season, and beyond. I’ll leave you with a word of encouragement: consider branching out this year, trying something different for your holiday meals. Also, try to begin a healthy habit (i.e. not overeating, etc.–make it your own) before the new year begins. There’s no reason you should have to wait to begin a resolution. Start today!

 

Articles

Best Biceps Exercises

8 Reasons HIIT Workouts are So Effective

HIIT vs. Super-slow Training

Rehab Your Back with Core Exercises

Core Stability Ball Workout

Myofascial Release for Back Pain

Healthy Fall Food Lineup

How Sugar Affects Your Body

Dieting Myths

Action TV Content Causes Overeating

Training the Brain to Prefer Healthy Foods

Eating Fish May Lower Risk of Hearing Loss

DIY Deodorant for Sensitive Skin

 

Recipes

Butternut Squash Apple Hazelnut Muffins (Paleo)

Baked Brie with Apples and Salted Caramel

Fresh Fig and Roasted Butternut Squash Salad

Roasted Lemon Parmesan Green Beans

Sweet Potato and Kale Grilled Cheese

Brie, Fig and Apple Grilled Cheese

Kale/Brussel Sprouts with Butternut Squash, Pomegranate, and Candied Pecans

Brown Butter Pasta with Sweet Potatoes and Brussel Sprouts

Pumpkin Pie (Paleo, Gluten-free)

Pumpkin Custard (Paleo)

Orange Rosemary Cake

Peanut Butter Apple Oatmeal Cookies

Soft Pumpkin Cookies (Gluten-free)

 

doTERRA's December deals: www.mydoterra.com/leahrnovak

doTERRA’s December deals: http://www.mydoterra.com/leahrnovak