Author Archives: janabnana

Core Is More

When I say “core” you likely think of the ever desirable 6 pack. But the core is made of up many more muscles than your abdominals. Core training isn’t meant to get you the ever desirable 6 pack. It is meant to give you strength, stability, improved posture and reduce back pain.

The many muscles that make up your core include the muscles that make up the abdominals, glutes, back, hips and hamstrings. Clearly crunches won’t target all of those so if you are doing 100 crunches a day, STOP. Try some of these exercises instead.

Can be done with your feet on the floor or an elevated object. Lift your hips up and down in a slow, controlled motion.
Side Planks
Balance on your forearm and bottom foot or place your knee down to modify.
Stand with feet hip width apart. Bend knees, careful not to go below 90 degrees.
Russian Twist
Sit tall and lean back with core engaged. Twist to one side while leaning back a little bit. Slowly twist to the other side.
Balance on your forearms and toes with a flat back. Place your knees down to modify.

Begin with these exercises and check back for more!

This is truly about becoming strong, balanced and able to live without chronic pain. Can you achieve a sleek, 6 pack. Maybe (with a strict diet!) But more importantly you CAN get stronger and more stable as you live your best life!

Live well.

Is Eating Late At Night OK?

Is Eating Late At Night OK?

Will eating late at night cause you to gain weight?

I read an article back in 2003 where Oprah said that she didn’t eat after 7:30pm as part of her weight loss plan. Due to my schedule I always ate dinner a bit on the later side and if I didn’t, I almost always had a snack before bed. I did not have a weight problem at the time but I wondered if eating later at night actually did have an impact on weight gain/loss and if I should pay attention to that to avoid gaining weight in the future. I mean if it worked for Oprah…

Since then, I have found a series of research that suggests that there is not a link between WHEN we eat and weight gain. It is WHAT we eat that impacts our weight.

What you eat impacts your weight far greater than when you eat.

So why do so many prescribe to the idea of cutting off eating past a certain time at night?
Though calories don’t count more at night, there are some dangers of eating late at night.

  • You may be more likely to mindlessly eat, consuming extra calories beyond your recommended daily intake.
  • You will eat even though you are not hungry. People tend to eat late at night out of boredom or stress rather than actual hunger.
  • You will choose high caloric or unhealthy choices as your “will power” may be low. People don’t always make the best choices when snacking at night due to emotional influences (stress, boredom, sadness) and being tired.

There is research that suggests, people who eat late at night tend to weigh more because they consume more calories in their day. However there is also research that suggest active people (I am talking athletes and people who train hard) might due well with a late night snack, specifically protein for muscle recovery.

If you are struggling with late-night eating, here are a few strategies to consider.,,

Working late may cause you to overeat out of boredom or stress.
  • Eat more calories throughout the day.
  • Choose healthy snacks at night like veggies and hummus, fruit and nuts, a small protein shake, hard-boiled egg, light popcorn, to name a few. I have a strict policy that I only eat veggies or a hard-boiled egg if I am feeling hungry at night. If those don’t sound good, then I am not actually hungry.
  • Eat more frequently throughout the day. If you are always hungry late at night, try breaking your meals into more frequent, smaller meals to keep your blood sugar regulated.
  • Check-in. If you are leaning toward a night-time snack, take a moment to see if you really are hungry. Perhaps you are sitting on the couch with your laptop working late and you are just feeling stressed or bored. Try drinking some tea or crunching on veggies or an apple. As I mentioned, if those foods don’t sound good, then you aren’t all that hungry.
  • Remind yourself that you are likely just tired and don’t need to fuel your body to sleep. That you will wake up and have a great breakfast to look forward to.
“Sweet” Dreams.

Live well.

Exercise = Your Happy Place?

Exercise = Your Happy Place?

The fact that researchers have been studying the benefits of exercise is not news. However a study recently published in JAMA Psychiatry (2019) suggests that physical activity can reduce the symptoms of major depression. 

Tending to your mental health is important and nothing to be ashamed of. Personally I know that exercise helps manage my stress and anxiety. It improves my mood and I always feel better once I’ve finished a workout. I do understand that the hardest part for people is showing up or actually doing it. Many excuses come up like time or not knowing what to do. 

Don’t let those obstacles hold you back. ANY activity is better than none. And if you don’t know where to begin, hire a trainer to get you started. I might know one…

Live Well

Slim Down and Stay Healthy on this Flexible Diet

Slim Down and Stay Healthy on this Flexible Diet

Approximately 69% of US adults are overweight or obese. While there are many diets out there that advertise weight loss success, due to their restrictive parameters, they are not sustainable and results are not easily maintained. I’ve got a more flexible option for you that is not only good for you but the environment too. Have you heard of the plant-based diet?

What exactly is a plant-based diet? It doesn’t mean being vegan or even vegetarian. It is more of a lifestyle than a diet. A plant-based diet:

  • Focuses on eating plants, including vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, seeds and nuts. These foods should make up the majority of what you eat.
  • Limits or avoids consuming animal products.
  • Consumes minimally processed foods including added sugar, white flour and processed oils.
  • Is aware of food quality and often chooses organic products when possible.

Many studies show that plant-based diets can help you lose weight. But it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand why. The high fiber content, along with the exclusion of processed foods is a
combination for successful weight loss. Plants are also lower in calories. The fiber fills you up and makes you feel fuller longer. Eliminating or limiting animal products reduces inflammation in your body and can improve your energy. Studies also show that this way of eating may also help keep weight off in the long-term. As I said, it’s a lifestyle, not a diet.

New review highlights benefits of plant-based diets for heart health.

In addition to weight loss, plant-based diets have been linked to a number of health benefits including reducing your risk of heart disease, certain cancers, diabetes, and cognitive decline. Consuming more plants and reducing animal products can also lower your cholesterol, blood sugar and reduce dangerous abdominal fat.

Another bonus- it’s good for the environment. A review of 63 studies showed that diets consuming the least amount of animal-based foods provided the largest environmental benefits. Researchers concluded that plant-based diets emphasizing local ingredients are more environmentally friendly than diets that rely on mass-produced animal products and produce. More information on this can be found HERE and HERE.

How to get Started on a Plant-based Diet

There are no specific rules. Do what makes sense to you. Begin by planning a few meatless meals per week. Fill your shopping cart with:

  • Fruits: Berries, citrus fruits, pears, peaches, pineapple, bananas, etc.
  • Vegetables: Kale, spinach, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, asparagus, peppers, etc.
  • Starchy vegetables: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, etc.
  • Whole grains: Brown rice, rolled oats, farro, quinoa, brown rice pasta, barley, etc.
  • Healthy fats: Avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, unsweetened coconut, etc.
  • Legumes: Peas, chickpeas, lentils, peanuts, black beans, etc.
  • Seeds, nuts and nut butters: Almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, natural peanut butter, tahini, etc.
  • Unsweetened plant-based milks: Coconut milk, almond milk, cashew milk, oat milk, etc.
  • Spices, herbs and seasonings: Basil, rosemary, turmeric, curry, black pepper, garlic, etc.
  • Condiments: Salsa, mustard, nutritional yeast, soy sauce, coconut aminos, vinegar, lemon juice, etc.
  • Plant-based protein: Tofu, tempeh, plant-based protein (like pea or hemp protein) sources and powders with no added sugar or artificial ingredients.
  • Beverages: Coffee, tea, sparkling water, etc.

Here’s how Jay Z and Beyonce did it!

If you need help getting started, contact me. I am here to help 🙂

Live Well.

Why I Don’t Recommend the       OMAD Diet

Why I Don’t Recommend the OMAD Diet

The OMAD diet has been added to my list of diet trends I do NOT recommend. If you are thinking about trying this way of eating or currently practicing this diet, please consider some of the potentially harmful side effects listed below.

The OMAD diet stands for One Meal A Day. You essentially fast for 23 hours and consume only one meal each day. Because you are limiting your calorie consumption, you can feast on whatever you like, healthy or unhealthy and still lose weight. The idea of eating whatever you want is always enticing but remember you are eating only once a day. Water is allowed but no other food. That hangry feeling you are left with the rest of the day might not be worth it.

The idea behind intermittent fasting is to allow your body to rest and digest, giving your organs and hormones a break. This reduces the stress on your body. In theory this reduces inflammation and your risk of developing chronic diseases. But OMAD is a very extreme form of intermittent fasting. Evidence shows that any benefits seem to be quickly negated once you break the fast and even cause you to feel hungrier than you were before you began the fasting diet.

There is not much scientific data supporting the benefits of OMAD but there are certainly some negative side effects that should be considered.

  • Eating once a day may leave you lacking in important nutrients your body needs to function properly.
  • A common theme in restricted eating is slowing down the metabolism. Though you may lose weight initially, you might be setting yourself up for a long-term struggle with weight gain.
  • You will likely be lacking the energy needed to exercising. Exercise goes beyond weight loss. Exercise is about whole body health.
  • There is evidence that fasting can increase your bad cholesterol (LDL).

More immediate effects of restricting food for nearly an entire day may include:

  • Dizziness
  • Lightheaded feeling
  • Nausea
  • Brain Fog
  • Confusion
  • Drop in blood pressure
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)

By restricting your eating so severely, you will likely miss sharing meals with loved ones. I will always advocate for making healthy eating eating choices which includes listening to hunger cues rather than suppressing them. My personal opinion is that the OMAD diet is not a healthy, safe, successful way to lose or maintain weight.

Live Well.

Best Way to Burn Belly Fat

If you want to burn belly fat, it is frustrating in that it doesn’t happen quickly. You also can’t spot train or control where you lose it from. Healthy eating is imperative of course. But there are workouts that will help you reach your goals faster. Cardio Is Not the Best Way Hours on theRead More

How Often Should You Replace Your Sneakers?

Maybe you’ve got a fancy job where you wear your fancy clothes and fancy shoes all day. Me? I get to wear yoga pants and sneakers. All. Day. Long. Jealous? The only down side is I’ve got to replace my sneakers every few months because I wear them out so quickly. So, how often shouldRead More

Your Hips Don’t Lie

Your Hips Don’t Lie

Did you know that all body fat is not created equal? That some fat is more dangerous, causing serious health risks?  How can you tell if you’ve got the risky fat or the “protects your bones and keeps you warm” fat? Read More

Avoiding Weekend Weight Gain

Avoiding Weekend Weight Gain

I hear it constantly. “I am good all week but the weekends kill me”. I’m going to share a few simple ways you can keep yourself in check and still enjoy your weekend.Read More

Why Am I Bloated?

Why Am I Bloated?

Ugh, that I am busting out of my jeans feeling. Being bloated is uncomfortable, sometimes painful and just plain stinks. Literally. According to the Cleveland Clinic, people pass gas approximately 15-20 times a day. If you are bloated it is perhaps embarrassing yet most often harmless. Still, it would be nice to avoid the feelingRead MoreRead More