Dandelions aren't just a pesky weed! They contain a surprising amount of health benefits. In fact, tea from dandelion leaves and roots has been used in traditional Chinese and Native American medicine for centuries. I discovered the magic of dandelion root tea a few years ago when I was researching ways to shed water weight. I was really impressed with how quickly the tea went to work alleviating bloat. Within hours I felt leaner and less puffy. Since then I've been using the tea for a variety of reasons. Here are a few of my favorite reasons!
Burnout is more than just a sign you need to slow down, it's a serious psychological response to stressors in our lives. We live in a world where "busy" is a badge of honor, and feeling burned out is all too common. R&R seems to be so far down on our list of priorities yet is so important for our mental, physical, and emotional well-being. As a small business owner, I know all too well how burnout can take a toll on our bodies. So this year I've been on a mission to learn preventative strategies to keep burnout at bay. Here are the most effective tips I've found:
We all know sleep is an important ingredient for a healthy lifestyle. Without it, we feel like zombies the next day, as we reach for our coffee to help us perk up. Our appetites also increase as our bodies seek out extra energy sources. When we don't log 7-9 hours of shut eye per night, our hormones get out of whack. Specifically, ghrelin and leptin, which regulate our appetite. Recent research has come out showing just how much more we do eat when we are sleep deprived.
Everyone has different ways of coping when life knocks them down. I think most of us can admit to downing a pint of ice cream after a stressful day at the office, and I've witnessed many guys resort to punching walls when they're angry. Of course, some people just shut down and mope on a couch when they're feeling depressed. No matter what's bothering you in life, health and fitness can help get you back into a routine and moving forward. I called off my wedding this year, and it was hands down the most miserable I've ever been. I felt like crawling in a hole to die (with a bottle of wine of course!), but I learned that my healthy life habits really helped me to cope with the curve ball life had thrown.
Sodas are so addictive, they should be classified as a drug, in my personal opinion. Bubbles, sugar, and caffeine are truly a magical combination, but as a fitness pro, I know all too well the health dangers beneath the magic. From the ten teaspoons of sugar per can to the phosphoric acid that causes cavities, there is just NO GOOD REASON to be drinking soda! We all know how bad soft drinks are for our health, so I won't bore you with a list of reasons to skip the bubbles. Let's get straight to the fool-proof plan for quitting that nasty habit.
5 Reasons to Start Kickboxing TODAY!
At Fitness 51, we LOVE kickboxing, and you should too. Here are the top 5 reasons we incorporate boxing into most of our workouts.
Stephanie Paige- 50 lb Body Transformation
I always laugh when someone says to me "you just don't understand what it's like to struggle with your weight." That's when I whip out the photo on the left- which is now affectionately known as "pink sweater Stephanie" - me at 17 years old and 50 pounds heavier. I have been hesitant to post my personal before and after because I never wanted Fitness 51 to be about me (exactly why I didn't name it something like "body by Stephanie" or "Stephanie Paige Fitness"). I started my company because I believe in fitness. I believe in fitness because it creates confidence by turning a shy, self-conscious girl into a vibrant, self-assured woman. I believe in fitness because it can take the new mom who is uncomfortable in her post-pregnancy body and remind her how strong and beautiful she is...(Read More)
Change Your Skin With These Three Simple Diet Tips!
My skin started to change drastically in my mid 20s. After a bad night's sleep, I had dark circles. After a few cocktails, my skin was red and poofy. I was beginning to see fine lines on my forehead, and I definitely didn't feel cute running around without makeup anymore! After hearing Gwyneth Paltrow claim that her beautiful skin is a direct result of clean eating, I decided to tweak my diet until my skin radiant and healthy again. Here is what works! ...(Read More)
Fudgy Protein Brownies
As a personal trainer, I love finding alternatives to my clients' favorite "less than healthy" foods. This fudgy protein brownie recipe is comparable to Ghiradelli's triple chocolate brownies...and no one will ever guess that the main ingredient is black beans! They are client tested, man approved, and you don't need Betty Crocker skills to make them. Here's the recipe...(Read More...)
Homemade Almond Milk
Almond milk is a great alternative to cow's milk for those of us who can't eat dairy, or for those that choose not to for health reasons. These days, almond milk is readily available in most grocery stores, but it is incredibly easy to make and customize to your tastes! Oh, and homemade almond milk is much creamier (translation- more satisfying!) Here's my recipe for fresh, preservative and sugar free almond milk :) (...Read More)
Our Nutty Green Smoothie is full of heart healthy fats and metabolism boosters. **This is a VERY thick, satisfying smoothie so we recommend it as a meal replacement.
This recipe yields 3 10 ounce smoothies. I like to make extra to store in the fridge :) Always store in an airtight container!
Nutrition Information Per Serving:
Fat Burning Smoothie
This smoothie will boost your metabolism and provide clean energy to fuel your day!
14 grams of protein
11.5 grams of fiber
35 grams carbs
Meal replacement shakes can help accelerate weight loss, but trying to choose a meal replacement shake can be overwhelming. There are so many options! And let's be honest, most shakes are often sold through multi level marketing companies. I'm sure you've experienced the hard sale from a friend you haven't talked to in 10 years who is now involved in a pyramid scheme, sending all of their Facebook friends messages trying to sell their new miracle shake. What a turn off! As a personal trainer, I've been contacted by every major meal replacement distributor and I've tried the majority of them. So let me give you a breakdown on the meal replacement shake I use personally and recommend to my clients (Read More...)
"New Year, New You 2015" Month 1 Progress
We're so excited to share Emily's Month 1 Progress Report! She has been incredibly dedicated to her new, fit lifestyle. She is prepping healthy meals every Sunday and exercising at least 4 times per week. All of her hard working is definitely paying off. Check out her progress pictures and measurements. Spoiler alert! She has already lost 3 inches from her waist! (Read More...)
"New Year, New You 2015" Contest Winners, Katie and Emily Week 2-- Check out Katie's Paleo Muffin Recipe!
Week 2 was filled with new challenges for the girls. After recovering from a nasty illness during week 1, Katie sprained her back. She couldn't even stand, let alone strength train. She was only able to get one workout in during week 2, but she did keep her diet clean and her attitude positive. Katie is learning that when you try to do something GREAT there will always be obstacles...You just have to adapt and keep moving forward! Emily is learning how to incorporate exercise and clean eating into her lifestyle while raising a 4 year old (Read More...)
Meet Katie & Emily, our winners for the 2015 "New Year, New You" Personal Training Contest. Week 1 was filled with nasty sickness, sore muscles and a drastic diet overhaul. Read about the girls and their first week of progress by clicking HERE
A new year brings endless possibilities and the chance to wipe the slate clean and start fresh. We love the idea of self improvement and re-inventing ourselves, yet only 8% of us actually achieve our New Year's goals (according to Forbes). What an alarming statistic! Not even 10% of us manage to change our habits and reach our goals. Changing a habit is no easy task, but it IS possible. To help you out, here are 3 of the most popular New Year's Resolutions and tips to reach those goals.
Did you know Birmingham is on the top ten list of least healthy cities in America? Alabama may be a prime state for great football, but we are far behind in health and fitness. According to The State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America, The obesity rate in Alabama has climbed 11.2 percent (1990) to 32.4 percent (2013). Fortunately, your zip code may play a role in influencing your health, but it doesn't DETERMINE your health. In Birmingham, we need to be more active and limit our intake of good ol' deep-fried homestyle cooking. (Read More...)
At Fitness 51, we put a lot of our clients on wheat free diets. After their initial shock of life without pasta, biscuits and, of course, good ole fashioned sandwiches, they always ask for alternative recipes. Here is one of our favorite replacements for the classic turkey sandwich:
Over 25 years ago, Anne Louise Gittleman created The Fat Flush diet concept. This diet instructs you to eliminate certain "toxic foods" from your diet while drinking 64 ounces of fat flush water every day. Anything with the words "fat flush" in the title sounds intriguing, right? A magical beverage that will pump adipose (fat) tissues out of my body without the hassle of exercise? Sign me up! And did I mention this drink is also promising to flush cellulite out as well? Why isn't everyone drinking the elixir?? So I researched this flush, tried it myself and am here to give you the nitty gritty details...(Read More)
One of the most dreaded moments in any woman's life is the moment she steps foot inside a fluorescent lit dressing room with an armful of bathing suits. Even the fittest girls seem to leave the mall frustrated after swimsuit shopping. Something about seeing every physical flaw and pasty winter skin on full display just sucks the life out of you. After you survive shopping you get to worry about parading around half naked with your new suit in front of friends and family all summer long. Is there any way to make bikini season a little less dreadful? Yes! I am going to give you ten ways to arm yourself for pool parties and beaches this summer. Put these ten things into practice...(Read More)
I'm about to change the way you think about bananas. Sure, you know they're yummy and they were probably one of the first solid foods you ever tasted as a baby, but did you know they can combat depression and relieve morning sickness? Bananas pack an incredible punch of health benefits. And stop trashing that peel! Today I'm going to teach you how to use a banana peel to save money on everything from teeth whitening to polishing shoes.
Everyone should develop at least three signature healthy habits. The beautiful thing about a habit is that you don't even think about it--you just do it--day in and day out. No one is perfect. We will all inevitably make some not so healthy choices. So when you overdo it on sushi and martinis on Saturday night you'll have these healthy habits in place to counteract the damage. Most fitness minded people already have these habits they probably just don't realize it. One of my best friends is the healthy lunch girl. That was her thing. Every day at work she would open a perfectly portioned out tupperware container full of carrots, hummus, tomatoes, etc. She didn't always eat this way though...in fact, an hour after lunch she was usually eating cookies or a frappuccino...(Read More)
Until recently most of us associated the word "fast" with the religious practice of abstaining from food for a period of time. That word has always given me visuals of people donning long, black church robes while starving themselves and chanting prayers from a pew. Extreme visuals, I know. When I was a little girl I would ask my grandfather (he's a minister) what we were going to have for dinner and his answer was always "oh, we're fasting tonight, honey." Of course he was joking, but it would send me into a panic...a night without food? Who would do that to themselves? Over the last year, however, fasting has gained a lot of popularity in the fitness world. Studies have shown there are countless health benefits that come from fasting. Doctors are even prescribing fasting treatments...(Read More)
It seems like we are constantly being bombarded with new fitness trends. It also seems like every trend promises to give you better results in less time. Burn more calories, build more muscle, lose more weight…just come to THIS zumba class or buy THIS fat blasting DVD. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all about trying new workouts and in the future I will write about some of my favorite trending fitness techniques. Mixing up your routine will continually challenge your body and keep you from falling into an exercise rut, but sometimes you need the tried and true. One of my favorite classic exercises is plyometrics. Plyometric training was originally developed for Olympic athletes and became popular...(Read More)
Green smoothies are a great way to incorporate superfoods like spinach into your diet. Spinach is rich in antioxidants and minerals like Vitamin K, Vitamin C and Iron. I view drinking a green smoothie as a yummy alternative to surviving on spinach salads. Unfortunately, many of these smoothies call for ingredients like pineapples and mangos to mask the grassy taste of the greens. These fruits are great as a treat, but aren't ideal for someone trying to limit their sugar intake and lose weight. I looked everywhere for a green smoothie consisting mainly of super nutritious foods that I could stomach. I began playing around with recipes and came up with this light and refreshing concoction. The Green Goddess smoothie is perfect as an everyday staple snack/meal. I like to make it for breakfast so that I have plenty of long lasting energy to make...(Read More)
Coconut Oil...I LOVE this stuff. You can cook with it, eat it straight, use it as shaving cream. It's incredibly versatile and has numerous health benefits. The best part is...it costs around $10. My favorite is Dr. Bronner's Magic All One (Pictured Below). I've tried several brands and this one has the best taste, smell and texture. Make sure you look for the words virgin and unrefined when you pick a coconut oil. Dr. Bronner's is also organic and fair trade.
"Taste everything, eat nothing." That's Bethenny Frankel's new diet mantra. For those of you who don't know Bethenny, she is a natural food chef who gained fame on the Real Housewives of New York. She now has her own talk show, a diet book and an entire line of low calorie wines and liquors. This comment stirred up some controversy and I can understand why. When a rail thin celebrity says "eat nothing" it may sound like she's endorsing an eating disorder. Plus....how can you taste everything while eating nothing? Should we be chewing our favorite foods only to spit them back out? Bethenny may be a little rough around the edges, but I like her no BS approach and this...(Read More)
Every January I come up with some type of challenge for myself to help slim down for the new year. This year I’ve decided to cut bread, soft drinks and alcohol from my diet for the entire month of January. Bread is something I have never given up completely because it requires a little more effort to avoid. A few days before January this year I started limiting my bread intake significantly to help myself ease into the idea of living without it for a month. You know what? It hasn’t been that bad! Here is an example of one of my first meals where I avoided bread…and no, I did not eat any of those mini sandwiches in front of my plate. So skipping the baby sandwiches and dinner roll wasn’t so disheartening when I could...(Read More)
It's that time of the year again; lights are going up, gifts are being wrapped, and the line at Starbucks is wrapped around the building. Yep, Christmas is here. Its many people's favorite holiday because of presents, family, and food. It's also the time when people put on the most weight. Who can blame us, right? With all of the delicious food and Mom insisting you have seconds, it’s no wonder the holiday season is one of the toughest times to maintain a healthy body weight. Unfortunately, holiday meals may not be the sole offender. There are many factors that contribute to weight gain during the holiday season. I'm here to reveal why food isn’t the only thing to blame when your LBD won’t zip up on...(Read More)
Hey you, yeah you with the dorito powdered fingers. Get over here. Let's talk for a minute about nutrition. I'm not referring to the low calorie, low-fat, restrictive nonsense we have come to know as dieting. I'm referring to the secret world of freedom from diets and worrying about your weight. I'm talking about true nutrition-- giving your body the nutrients it needs to function at it's peak. Now before you go on a spiel about how I couldn't possibly understand what the weight loss struggle is all about, please keep in mind that I lost 48 pounds 5 years ago. I know it feels like a never ending battle between your willpower and your stomach. I've been there, I get it, and I want to share my most practical tips for living a healthier life without...(Read More)
Many of us are under the notion that cardio is the best way to drop unwanted pounds. In fact, when I begin training a female client they tend to complain about strength training. They say "I'm really interested in losing weight, not in bulking up." Friend, I'm not sure who started this rumor that cardio makes you thin and weight training makes you look like Arnold Schwarzenegger, but I'm here to convince you otherwise. Let's take a look at how the two stack up: