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’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

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’ve taken the last few weeks of the year off to be with family! I look forward to seeing you on the other side of January 1, 2015, fresh and ready for another year. Until then, enjoy these articles and recipes 🙂

Articles

Fitness Myths You Still Believe

Are Activity Trackers Accurate?

6 Bosu Exercises for the Core

Total Body Circuit Workout

Balance Training for Glutes/Abs

Preventing Shin Splints

Fascinating Facts about Fascia

Self-myofascial Release without the Ouch

Everything in Moderation: Does It Work?

Mediterranean Diet May Slow Aging

Recipes

Roasted Beet Hummus

12 Perfect Party Appetizers

Brown Rice Crisps (GF, vegan)

One-pot Gluten-free Pasta

Peppermint Chocolate-covered Coconut Cookies

Holiday Gingerbread Cookies (GF, vegan, nut-free)

Gingerbread Bundt Cakes (Paleo, grain-free)

Gingerbread (Paleo, GF, dairy-free, egg-free)

Orange Cranberry Bread

Chocolate Chip Raspberry Bread

Dark, Fudgy Chocolate Brownies (GF, DF, vegan)

Simple Apple Crumble (Paleo, GF, vegan)

Homemade Eggnog

I had no idea that I’d be away from this blog more than two weeks. It’s been a full month. Due to the need to prepare to move (we did a lot of packing the first week of October), taking a much needed vacation to Colorado (it snowed there!), moving, and trying to keep our tiny tot calm and happy throughout the turbulence, I’ve not had a spare moment to sit down at a computer.

 

Oh, I haven’t forgotten all of you, though. All the baby posts I’d planned on putting up this month (it’s been a full year since I had our sweet little one!) are pushed back to last month. I’m going to leave you with all the articles and recipes that have been collecting in my inbox, plus a few that I’ve found on Facebook or that I don’t have links to 🙂 Enjoy, and happy autumnal days to you! I’m so glad the weather is cooling off and the leaves are turning their happy shades.

 

Articles

Men’s Health Research Review

Pre- and Postnatal Training

Seniors and Self-Myofascial Release

6 Types of Metabolic Damage Caused by High-intensity Workouts

8 Exercises Every Woman Should Do

Fantasy Football Workout

Lower Body Fat-blasting Workout

IT Band Self-care

Tai Chi and Anti-aging

Restorative Yoga for Fitness Professionals

How to Eat and Train for Mesomorphs

Buy Ugly Produce, Reduce Food Waste

Hydrophilic Foods

5-a-day Keeps the Blues Away

My Summer as a Food Addict (Part One)

Jump Start Gut Health in 21 Days

The Skinny on Happiness

How to Render Tallow

3 Toxins to Kick Out of Your Beauty Routine

Essential Oil “Mythstakes” (Part One, Part Two)

 

Recipes

15 Paleo Fall Recipes

Pumpkin Spice French Toast

Roasted Golden Beet Salad w/Bacon and Feta Crumbles

Root Veggie Loaf

Sandwich Bread (grain- and nut-free, Paleo)

Apple Bread with Brown Butter Glaze

Southwestern Shepherd’s Pie

Shredded Pork Tacos with Pear Salsa

Stuffing (GF/Vegan)

Italian Sausage Ragu w/Fettuccine (grain-free)

Roasted Vegetable Stuffed Shells

Spinach Artichoke Pesto Tortellini Soup

Non-dairy Ways to Make Creamy Soup

Creamy Carrot Ginger Soup

Fall Vegetable Quinoa Soup

Easy Homemade Tomato Sauce

Fall-inspired Cheese Platter

Allergy-friendly, Paleo Spice Cookies

Vegan Pumpkin Breakfast Cookies

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Streusel Cake

Lemon Curd Ice Cream

Blueberry Cacao Green Smoothie

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Chia Green Smoothie

 

Pumpkin Cream with Prawns

(From Everyday Paleo Sept. 2014 e-Newsletter)

For the pumpkin cream:

1 small sugar pumpkin, peeled and cubed, yields approximately 6 cups (you can also use butternut squash or sweet potato)

2 tablespoons butter or ghee

2 cups leeks, finely diced

1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves

Chicken broth, enough to just cover the cubed pumpkin

Sea salt to taste

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

For the prawns:

12 large prawns, shells removed and deveined

3-4 tablespoons butter or ghee

1 tablespoon white wine

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

Sea salt to taste

Minced fresh oregano leaves or chives for garnish (optional)

Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Serves: 4-5

1.     In a large soup pot, heat butter of ghee over medium heat. Add the leaks and sauté until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
2.     Add the cubed pumpkin and enough chicken stock to cover the pumpkin.
3.     Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil.
4.     Turn down the heat to low or medium low and let simmer for approximately 20 minutes or until the pumpkin is fork tender.
5.     Add the oregano leaves and let simmer another 3-5 minutes.
6.     Remove the pot from the heat and using either a handheld immersion b
lender or by transferring the contents into a food processor, blend the pumpkin mixture until completely smooth.
7.     Add the extra virgin olive oil and mix well.
8.     Season to taste with sea salt and set aside.
9.     Now, it’s time to prepare the prawns! In a large skillet, melt the butter or ghee over medium high heat.10.  Once the butter is nice and hot, add the cleaned prawns and the minced garlic and sauté quickly for about 1 minute, turning often.
11.  Add the wine to the hot pan with the prawns and garlic and stir. Cook for another 1-2 minutes or until the prawns are pink and firm.
12. Turn the heat off and add the extra virgin olive oil and a little bit of salt and toss the prawns in the oil to coat.
13. Serve the pumpkin cream in soup bowls topped with 2-3 prawns per person.
14. Drizzle each serving with the olive oil and juices from the pan that you cooked the prawns in and also some minced fresh oregano leaves or chives if desired.

I can’t believe August is already drawing to a close! Where does time go? Before we know it, the leaves will begin to turn beautiful colors and the temperatures will drop–perhaps this is already happening in some areas of the country.

 

As I always say around this time of year, take advantage of farmer’s markets! This is when they have a ton of produce (both summer and fall varieties) readily available for great prices. For those into do-it-yourself projects, consider taking up something self-sustaining like canning or drying foods. The initial set-up cost might be higher than you’d like, but it pays off in spades over the years to come.

 

FYI: many of the recipes below are allergen-free, whether labeled or not, so please read them carefully!

 

Articles

Recovery: The Rest of the Story

Loaded Movement Training

Metabolic Effects of HIIT

Best Biceps Exercises

Tone Up Those Triceps

Dynamic Delts

6 Moves for a Stronger Core

Best Exercises for Great Legs/Pain-free Knees

The 3D Booty: Training the Glutes for Form and Function

6 Moves for Stronger Glutes

Improve Your Balance

Beyond Rolling

Science and the Pilates Method

Pilates-inspired Moves to Sculpt, Strengthen, and Tone

Rethinking, Disrupting, Transforming How We Eat

6 Ways to Use Zucchini (When You Don’t Like the Taste)

 

Recipes

Mixed Berry Granola Muffins

Apple Zucchini Muffins

Blueberry Lemon Muffins with Cinnamon Crumble Topping (dairy-free)

Raw Donut Holes

Grilled Halloumi Salad (gluten-free)

Melon Arugula Salad

Lilikoi Cheesecake with Macadamia Nut Crust (gluten-, refined sugar-, and grain-free)

Cardamom Peach Ginger Crumble

Key Lime Cheesecake Bars

No-bake Triple Layer Chocolate Mousse Cake (gluten-free, vegan)

Mini Pound Cakes with Peaches, Blackberries, and Cream (grain-free)

Brown Butter Toffee Milkshake

The temperatures are climbing, and so I like to reiterate something that I say each summer to my own students. Drink plenty of water to fend off dehydration (and, therefore, headaches and dry skin)! With that being said, and because it’s getting late here (and my daughter is an early bird), I’ll waste no more time but give you the articles and recipes I’ve been saving, including one on the most important drink we can enjoy! Have a happy rest of June, friends!

 

Articles

Maximize Muscle Growth

Train Like an MMA Fighter

Anaerobic Training: Program Design

The Metabolic Effects of HIIT

How to Add Speed Training to Your Workout

Fat-blasting Upper Body Workout

Arms Workout

Overcoming and Eliminating Rotator Cuff Injuries

Abs Circuit Workout

5 Exercises for Runners

Fat-blasting Step Mill Interval Workout

Total-body Barbell Workout

Loaded Movement Training

Functional Fitness for Pregnancy

Can Pilates Improve Sleep?

“I’m Not Flexible Enough for Yoga”

How to Find the Right  Yoga Teacher

Yoga Legs in 7 Minutes

One-arm Plank

Weight-loss Lies

Exercise and Appetite

When You Eat is Important

Why H2O is Your Friend

4 Food Myths

Top Superfoods that Heal the Body

The Need for Magnesium

Cherry Juice and Insomnia

How to Substitute Sweeteners

How to Choose the Right Oil

Your Neck and Your Health

DIY Bath Bombs

Homemade Sunscreen Lotion Bars

 

Recipes

Blueberry Bars (gluten-free, vegan)

A Salad for Salad-haters

Roasted, Easy, Herby Spiralized Vegetables

Pumpkin Chili

GF/V Spinach Tortillas

PB Banana Cookies

Mocha Ice Cream (vegan)

Lemon Poppy Seed Ice Cream (vegan)

Chocolate Coconut Bars