Culture of SUGAR!

Every holiday has it.  Every special occasion has it.  Every treat has it.  And it must stop.  It must.

What is “it”?  “It” is sugar. There is a culture of sugar in America.  We pay homage to it, we bow down to it. And it must be stopped for the health of our children, ourselves, and our nation.

Why has it become standard procedure to give our kids a big Easter basket filled with chocolate and candy?  Jesus rising from the dead is celebrated by a chocolate bunny? What?? Why is the made-up Hallmark holiday of Valentines Day now celebrated by the exchange of cheap paper cards and candy between 10 year olds? Why, oh why, is it now obligatory to bring cupcakes to our kid’s classrooms to celebrate their birthdays??  As if there isn’t enough sugar craziness surrounding their birthday already?! The insanity MUST stop.

insanity

It’s ingrained.  It happens automatically.  We have a great day and want to “treat” ourselves.  What does this almost always mean? Sugar.  We go buy a cupcake or a pastry or some chocolate.  And if it’s not obvious sugar, it’s hidden sugar.  We order pizza or pasta or a glass of wine.  These foods physiologically affect us the same as sugar.  They create a glucose spike with all of the resulting responses.

Why do we do this?  Where does this come from?

Partly it comes from the BILLIONS of dollars spent by the marketing geniuses behind the food industry, which I will be discussing in my next post, and also the fact that when we eat sugar our body releases endorphins.  Endorphins make us feel good.  And who doesn’t want to feel good? So starts a vicious cycle: eat sugar / endorphins release / feel good.  We want to celebrate, we want to feel good, ergo we eat sugar.  We eat sugar more and more and more because we have now subconsciously made that connection between eating sugar and an endorphin rush and, just like a heroin addict, we crave that rush.

sugardrug

 And we are passing this onto our children.

This is what is really the issue. By promulgating this culture, by participating it, by nurturing it, we are setting our kids up for health problems.  That may sound harsh, but step back for a second and think about it.  I firmly believe that one of the most important things we can do for our kids is to teach them healthy eating habits.  It’s not easy, I know.  But it’s also not as hard as it seems.  Just say no to the Easter basket.  Just say no to the cupcakes with two inches of frosting for a treat.  Just say no to the gigantic-size box of Red Vines at the movie theater.  (watching a movie DOES NOT require candy, by the way!) Just say no to the culture of sugar because the alternative is passing it onto our kids.  And this will have health consequences, either in the short-term or the long-term. There is no getting around it.

Instead, let’s create a culture of vegetable gardens in our backyards.  A culture of eating whole, real food as often as possible. A culture of moving our bodies every single day.  Break the culture of sugar by making a transition to fruit for dessert.  Slowly cut back on the amount of candy put in the Christmas stockings.  On the number of pies you bake for Thanksgiving.

Let’s piss off the soda industry executives who STILL try to claim that drinking a Coke with 34 grams of sugar in one serving isn’t an issue.
 
Who’s with me??


The recipe this week comes from At Home in the Whole Foods Kitchen.  I really like this cookbook.  It’s a recipe for pancakes that isn’t laden with sugar and one you can feel good about serving your kids.  Mine loved it!

Coconut Quinoa Pancakes
Makes ten 4-inch pancakes

  • 1/2 cup (85g) uncooked quinoa, soaked for 12 to 24 hours in 1 cup filtered water
  • 1/2 cup (45g) rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup (60g) unsweetened desiccated coconut
  • 1 cup (250ml) unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 egg or 1 tsp chia seeds soaked in 1/4 cup filtered water for 15 minutes
  • 2 tbsp melted extra virgin coconut oil (more for cooking)
  • 1/2 tsp ground vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  1. Drain and rinse quinoa, and place it in an upright blender.  Add oats, k1/4 cup coconut, almond milk, chia egg (or regular egg), coconut oil, vanilla, baking powder, and cinnamon.  Blend on high speed for about 40 seconds or until completely smooth, scraping down sides as necessary.  Add remaining coconut and lemon zest and stir with a rubber spatula to combine.
  2. Warm a wide cast iron skillet over medium heat; add about 1 teaspoon coconut oil and spoon 1/4 cup batter for each pancake.  Spread the batter out a little with the back of a spoon to make a 4-inch pancake.  Cook for about 3 minutes or until surface is covered with bubbles and bottom is golden and beginning to brown.  Flip and cook for another 2 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from skillet and repeat with remaining batter.
  3. These pancakes are best hot off the pan, but they can also be kept warm in a 200F oven as you cook the whole batch.  Serve with fresh fruit.

Questions? Thoughts? I’d love to hear from you!

Eat well.

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Trips Around Stars.

I celebrated another successful trip around the big star with an extended weekend in Napa.  It was an amazing trip filled with hot air ballooning, wineries, good food, and friends & family.  Just about the best way to celebrate, ever.


Hot air ballooning in Napa is rad!


The BEST iced coffee! And in that bag was an amazing almond croissant.  Birthday weekend, y’all.

I was incredibly luck to go to the Morlet winery and attend a private (there were 5 of us) tasting conducted by Luc Morlet himself.  The tasting lasted 2 hours and we easily could have stayed another hour.

I learned an enormous amount from Mr. Morlet, not only about wines (as the wine critic, Robert Parker stated, “Run, don’t walk” to purchase his wine), but also about life.  He is brilliant, passionate, and his philosophy about wines I extrapolate here towards life:

You must let nature shape your path.

I always take some time on the day of my birth to reflect on where I’ve been and where I’d like to go.  And what I realized this time around is how much easier it is when I let nature shape my path.  When I take the time to pause a moment and listen to the universe, or my intuition, or my gut, or whatever else you want to call it, I make better choices.  (Yes, I am a little bit of a hippie and proud of it!)

But when I come up with some lack-goal (see my previous post about this if you just went, huh??) that a magazine or some other artificial source of inspiration told me I should want, things tend to go sideways.  And feel really shitty.  Why?

Because it’s not my path.  It’s someone else’s. 

Honestly, it’s hard sometimes for me to do this.  To make choices that others view as weird, or crazy, or that they just don’t understand.  I want approval just as much as anyone! But in my acquired wisdom, I now know that approval is fleeting and shallow.  It doesn’t last much more than a minute, really, and then you’re back with yourself, like you will always be, feeling icky because you just experienced a moment of approval for something you don’t really want. Let YOUR nature shape YOUR path.

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m not wasting any more trips around stars on someone else’s path.  That’s just insane.


No filter.  Seriously.


The tasting here was a game-changer.  I HIGHLY recommend it!


This week’s recipe is from the blogger fANNEtastic food. I make these egg muffins at least twice a month for clients.  They hold up really well.  Make them in advance and then grab and go on your way to work!

Scrambled Egg Muffins

  • 9 eggs
  • 1/2 cup chopped spinach
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup spelt flour or whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • Optional: 1/4 cup chopped cooked bacon or turkey bacon or smoked salmon
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.  Lightly oil a muffin pan.
  2. Add the spinach, cheese, tomato, basil, and bacon (if using) to a mixing bowl.
  3. Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl.  Add milk and flour and combine until the lumps disappear.  Add salt and pepper.
  4. Pour the eggs over the other ingredients, mix.
  5. Using your 1/3 measuring cup, pour the liquid directly into the pan.
  6. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, checking to make sure they are done.

Nicole’s Notes:

  • One trick I use when cooking with more than 5 or 6 eggs is using my blender to mix them as I do not have the forearm strength to whisk 9 eggs!  I then add the milk, flour, salt, and pepper directly to the blender.  Voila!

Questions? Thoughts? I’d love to hear from you!  Head over to my website and leave a comment.

Eat well.

“‘Getting ahead of yourself’…can suck it!

If you haven’t yet heard of Danielle La Porte, the author of the above quote, I highly recommend you check her out immediately.  She is the author of The Desire Map and one of my favorite bloggers.  I anticipate, open, and immediately read the emails of only 4 bloggers and she is one. Check her out!

But, not yet!  First finish reading MY blog. 

I see people stopping themselves before they’ve started all the time.  For fear of doing it “wrong”.  For fear of  looking stupid.  Because they won’t do it perfectly and that scares the living daylights out of them. (all you Type A people, I’m looking at you)  Why?  What for?  Who cares?  My motto – go big. Scream out those seemingly crazy, impossible goals and start before you’re ready because all that “getting ready” is just a bullshit excuse to not do it.  Get ahead of yourself.

Why not do the exact opposite?  Throw yourself headfirst into that dream goal and see what happens.  Charge into that dance class you’ve wanted to take and tear it up.  Enroll yourself in a class to get started on that career change you’ve been dreaming about and get your study on.  Cut your hair and dye it purple.  Run a marathon.  Hike the Grand Canyon.  Drink a green smoothie every day starting TODAY. No matter how small or big it is, just do it. Get ahead of yourself.

I have a joy-goal for myself that I have only told a few  people but I am going to state it right here, right now.  And this is scary for me, but I need to walk the walk, right?  This year my goal is to qualify for the Boston Marathon.  Typing that sentence made me feel a little nauseous, because I, too, have that nasty inner voice whispering “you’re not ready, you’re not fast enough yet, you can’t do it this year”.  You know what? Screw that. So now it’s out in the world and you will all know if I succeed or fail at my goal.  AAAAAHHHHH.  But, who cares?   Really.  Who cares?  It’s qualifying for a race.  If I do it, awesome.  If I don’t, you better believe I will next year.

Getting ahead of yourself can suck it.

_________________________________________________________________________________

This week’s recipe is from the blogger Oh She Glows.  Another one that I open and read immediately.  These are nut-free, vegan dream cups and should be called sex in a cup.  Seriously.  Make these immediately.

3-Layer Nut-Free Dream Cups

Ingredients:

For the base layer:

  • 3 tablespoons melted coconut butter

For the middle layer:

  • 1/4 cup sunflower seed butter
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil, softened
  • pinch fine sea salt

For the top layer:

  • 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • pinch fine sea salt
  • 2 1/2 – 3 tablespoons unsweetened large flake coconut
  1. To make coconut butter, process 3-4 cups of unsweetened shredded coconut in a food processor until it is smooth and liquid.  This will take about 7 minutes.  Make sure the coconut you are using is fresh or it won’t turn into butter.  Leftover butter can be kept in the refrigerator for a month.
  2. Spoon a scant teaspoon of melted coconut butter int a mini silicon cupcake mold (or a metal cupcake mold with liners) and spread out evenly.  Place in the freezer.
  3. Prepare the middle layer: In a small bowl, stir together the sunflower seed butter, maple syrup, oil, and salt until smooth.  Add a scant tablespoon of filling to each cup. Smooth out and place in the freezer.
  4. Prepare the top layer: Add the coconut oil into a small saucepan and melt over low heat.  Remove from heat and whisk in the cocoa powder, maple syrup, and salt until smooth.
  5. Add a tablespoon of melted chocolate on top of each cup.  Top with a teaspoon of large flake coconut and gently press down.
  6. Freeze for about 25 minutes until solid.  Allow to sit at room temperature for 5 minutes before enjoying.  Store leftovers in the fridge, or for longer storage, the freezer.

Nicole’s Notes:

  • This recipe only makes 8 cups and you will DEFINITELY want more.  So double or triple it!

Questions? Thoughts? I’d love to hear from you!

Eat well.

Please don’t use the “c” word or the “d” word around me!

That’s it. I’ve had it. If one more company uses the words “cleanse” or “detox” for one more product, I will lose it. Lose it! Because, guys, it’s ALL MARKETING. Which is another way of saying, it’s all bullshit. It’s just like the milk = strong bones correlation. Which is totally, factually, 100% incorrect yet is now indelibly imprinted into every American’s brain. The marketing geniuses have struck again and created the detox-cleanse myth. And now every product and program out there wants you to believe you NEED one because your body is so vile and dirty and filled with toxins.

scam

It’s a scam.

Stop. Stop, exhale, and read these next words very carefully:

Our bodies have an amazing detoxification system built into them. It is called our kidneys, our liver, our skin, and our lungs. Boom.

The reason this gets me so upset is the whole cleasining/detoxing industry succeeds by preying on people’s insecurities. Are you feeling fat? Detox! Have you been drinking too much alcohol? Cleanse!

And they further enable the “magic pill” wishful thinking that the entire diet industry lives and breathes by which boils down to this: it doesn’t matter how crappy I eat most of the time, I’ll just do a cleanse for 7 days (or take this new supplement or try this new diet, or, or, or) and all will be forgiven.

No! It does not work that way. That only results in damaging your metabolism and ensuring you will put any weight you’ve lost back on immediately. And probably a couple of extra pounds.

Here is the scientific, factual truth:

Toxins don’t build up in our body. If they did, we would die or be in need of serious medical intervention.

Are you still with me? Here’s a couple more things to think about:

  • Most cleanses or detoxes say your body is releasing “toxins”. What toxins? What exactly are they talking about? And, if they are “releasing” said toxins, show me a blood panel that proves this. Or a spit test or a poop test. Show me something that backs up what you are claiming! They can’t.
  • If, indeed, your body released toxins, guess where they would go? THROUGH YOUR KIDNEYS AND LIVER THEREBY RESTRESSING THE ORGANS YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE DETOXIFYING AND CLEANSING.
  • Most marketing materials link toxin buildup general symptoms like fatigue, headache, insomnia or weight gain. They aren’t idiots. Who hasn’t experienced one or all of these in their lifetime?? However they fail to link specific toxins to specific symptoms or illness because they can’t. There is not one scientific study proving that a detox or cleanse treatment has had any useful medical effect.
  • Peter Pressman, an internist at the naval hospital in Jacksonville, Florida states, “There is absolutely no scientific basis for the assertion that the regimens popularly defined as ‘detox’ will augment the body’s own capacity for identifying and eliminating your own metabolic wastes or doing the same for environmental toxins,” he said. “I advise patients that these detox programs amount to a large quantity of excrement, both literally and figuratively.”

Instead, focus on making real, lasting changes to your diet. Changes that can be sustained for a lifetime. Not just 7 days. And these can be so easy. Drink more water. Eat more vegetables. Exercise more. Cook more food at home. Boom. Cleansed.

cleansing


This week’s recipe is from what may quite possibly be my most favorite cookbook ever.  And I have a LOT of cookbooks!  The recipe I chose is a great one for cleaning up your diet and getting more veggies into your day.

Kale Slaw with Creamy Mustard Dressing 
From at home in the whole kitchen

Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons raw cashew butter
  • 2 tablespoons filtered water
  • 1 small garlic clove, pressed
  • 1 tablespoon unpasteurized apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ume plum vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons whole-grain Dijon mustard
  • Sea salt, to tasate
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Salad:

  • 5 cups thinly sliced kale (from about 1 medium bunch)
  • 2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
  • 1 medium carrot, cut in matchsticks
  • 1 small bulb fennel, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 2 thinly sliced scallions
  • 2 tablespoons roasted sunflower seeds

MAKE THE DRESSING:

  1. Place cashew butter and water in a small bowl, and mix until smooth. Stir in garlic, vinegars, mustard, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Add olive oil, mix again until smooth and creamy, season to taste, and set aside.

MAKE THE SALAD:

  1. Place kale, red cabbage, carrot, fennel, scallions, and sunflower seeds in a large salad bowl; toss to combine. Drizzle with dressing; toss until slaw is evenly coated and serve.

Nicole’s Notes:

  • This salad will last quite a long time in the refrigerator. Make it on Sunday and eat it as your lunch for a couple of days.
  • You can easily add whatever protein you desire: garbanzo beans, cannellini beans, shredded chicken or tuna.

Questions?  Thoughts? I’d love to hear from you!

Eat well.

We SERIOUSLY are all the same!

We go through our days wrapped up in our life. Our trials and tribulations that we believe are uniquely ours: work, kids, traffic, husband, wife, friends, eating, when am I going to exercise?, my life is so crazy, I just don’t have time! But recently, through an exercise done with the running teams I coach, what became blindingly obvious was this:

Even though we are unique and wonderfully weird and crazy in our own way, we all worry and stress about the same shit.

 So this was the workout:

  1. Write down a grudge or a bad habit or something that you always worry or stress about that you will COMMIT to letting go of for two months. Next run a mile as fast as you can. The pain you feel running that mile is a symbol of that negative pattern leaving your body.
  2. Now you write down something positive you are committed to manifesting in your life. It can be anything and it does not have to be connected to what you chose to let go of. Then you run a mile at a nice easy pace and come up with action steps you will take in order to manifest your intention.

First of all, I take no credit for coming up with this workout. so when I say it’s brilliant, I am not merely bragging. It was a powerful experience for a lot of my runners. And when I read what they wanted to give up or let go of, guess what? They were all the same. Out of roughly 130 runners, they broke down into 3 categories:

  1. Body image. Too skinny, too heavy, not fast, not strong, whatever. We all have it and we all seem to be worrying about it.
  2. Finances. Regardless of how much or little someone makes, they still stress about money.
  3. Relationships. They want one, they don’t want one, their kids are making them crazy, their friendships aren’t satisfying, they feel disconnected from their coworkers – you get the idea.

While we worry and stress and COMPARE (see my last blog about the comparing if you didn’t already read it) ourselves to others, they are busy doing it, too. NO ONE escapes it, so why don’t we all just stop? Stop because what has the worrying and stressing ever done for you anyways? Did it make it better? Did it resolve it?

I know the answer! NOPE.

Worry 2

This is not to belittle the challenges that life just loves to throw at us, but holding on to grudges and bad habits and negative self-talk are NOT productive and, ultimately, destructive. Focus on what you can change RIGHT NOW IN THIS VERY MOMENT and let everything else go. All that other stuff does is rob you of your happiness and joy. And you should all know by now how I feel about joy. It’s my drug, my reason for being. Get on that joy train, people! Or, as one of my most favorite people to quote, states:

life is short

You know something you can do right now in this very moment? Make this quiche. It is so, so easy and absolutely delicious. And the variations are endless.

Spinach and Feta Quiche with a Quinoa Crust

Taken from Cooking Light.

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa, chilled
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 (5-ounce) bag baby spinach
  • ½ cup low-fat milk
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 5 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  1. For the crust, preheat the oven to 375F.
  2. Combine quinoa, pepper, and egg in a bowl, stirring well. Press mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes; cool.
  3. For the filling, heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add oil and onion; sauté 3 minutes. Add spinach; sauté 3 minutes. Remove from heat; cool.
  4. Combine milk and next 5 ingredients in a boil; stir with a whisk. Arrange spinach mixture in crust; pour egg mixture over spinach. Sprinkle with feta. Bake at 375 for 35 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes; cut into 4 wedges.

Questions?  Thoughts? I’d love to hear from you!

Eat well.

“Comparison is the thief of joy.”

I was hesitant to write this post. It’s not the sort of topic I usually write about, but that quote by Theodore Roosevelt got to me and I just couldn’t shake it.

He was right. Comparison is TOTALLY the thief of joy.

Often with clients I discuss how destructive it is to compare yourself to others. And we all do it. We look at someone in the gym, in the grocery store, at work, or in a magazine, and the comparisons begin:

She’s SO skinny. (I’m not)

Her hair is so shiny and long. (mine isn’t)

Wow, she is really strong and fast. (I’m slow and weak)

He has a really great car. (my car sucks)

He is super successful. (I’m not)

What’s the common thread? All comparisons begin with lack. Something you don’t have, that you think that other person has, that you know you need in order to be happy.

Joy stolen.

But, and please, please get this: YOU MADE IT UP. It’s not “true”. It’s your story. And guess who is the only person that notices the lack?

You.

This is a form of negative self-talk that we all do and it must stop. It is disempowering. It achieves the opposite of what you want. It stops you before you even start: “I can’t workout at the gym, those people are all in great shape and I’m not!” Really?? That doesn’t even make sense when you look at it written down, but I can’t tell you how many times someone has said that to me.

Or, “Nicole, I’m not as disciplined as you when it comes to food.” Um, I did not come out of the womb eating kale and quinoa. I had a HUGE sugar addiction that I battled for most of my 20’s. Oreos, Ding Dongs and Sour Patch Kids were my jam! Seriously. Ask my mom.

We are all wholly, beautifully, perfectly, fucked up human beings. ALL of us. And that is just as it should be. So stop comparing. Stop taking your joy away. Experience joy.  Every day.

Three-pink-daisies

You know what brings me joy?  When I prepare a recipe that turns out crazy good.  This is one one that I would have NEVER guessed would taste as good as it did.  Even my son liked it and asked for seconds!

Savory Cauliflower Cake

Taken from Eating Well.

  • 1 medium head of cauliflower (about 2 pounds), trimmed and broken into small florets
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • ¾ teaspoon caraway seed, ground or crushed
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon salt, divided
  • ¾ cup garbanzo bean flour
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour blend
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 jarred roasted red pepper, rinsed and chopped (about ½ cup)
  • ¾ cups crumbled feta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, divided
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper
  2. Bring about 1 inch of water to a boil in a large pot fitted with a steamer basket. Add cauliflower and steam until tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until tender and golden, about 8 minutes. Add caraway seed, coriander, crushed red pepper and ½ teaspoon salt; cook, stirring , until fragrant, about 1 minute. Gently stir in the steamed cauliflower, doing your best not to break up the florets, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes to combine flavors.
  4. Whisk garbanzo bean flour, all-purpose flour (or gluten-free blend), baking powder and the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt in a bowl. Whisk eggs in a large bowl until mixed. Sprinkle the dry ingredients over the eggs and whisk to combine and eliminate most of the lumps. Stir in roasted red pepper, feta and 2 tablespoons dill. Add the cauliflower mixture and gently stir to combine. Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared pan.
  5. Bake until the top is golden and the cake is set, 35 to 45 minutes. Let cool to warm; remove the pan sides and the parchment. Serve warm or at room temperature, garnished with the remaining 1 tablespoon dill.

*Nicole’s Notes:

  • If you don’t have a springform, or if your pan un-springs as you are putting it into the oven (yes, that happened), feel free to use any old baking pan. Just spray liberally with oil as it is a little sticky. The presentation is definitely prettier with the springform pan, though.
  • Garbanzo bean flour can be found at Whole Foods.

Thoughts?  Questions?  Leave me a comment below!

Eat well.

Psst. Want to learn my not-so-secret secret?

My secret isn’t about how to get through the holidays without gaining a pound.  (I don’t want to read another one of those articles, much less write one).  It’s not about how to get through the next month without COMPLETELY losing your mind due to stress.  (Here’s that article in a nutshell: deep breaths, don’t try to be perfect, bottle of wine).  Nope.  This post is my not-so-secret secret to getting the most out of your workouts.

Ready?  Here it is ladies:

LIFT WEIGHTS.  OFTEN.  HEAVY ONES.

That’s it.  Short and sweet and totally doable.

Here’s an example: the exercise is a weighted walking lunge for 40 seconds.  One woman picks up 10 pound dumbbells and another woman picks up 20 pound dumbbells.  At the end of the 40 seconds, the woman carrying the lighter weights has completed the exercise easily.  Her heart rate hasn’t increased, her respiratory rate has remained constant, and she hasn’t broken a sweat.  The second woman, by contrast, needed to stop before the 40 seconds was up because she had fatigued her muscles to the point of (almost) failure.  Her heart rate has increased, her respiratory rate has accelerated, and she is sweating.  Who accomplished the most during the 40 seconds?

This is important for two reasons.

First, most of us don’t have the time to spend hours at the gym.  We want to get in, get our workout done as quickly as possible, and get out.  If this sounds a lot like you – LIFT HEAVIER WEIGHTS.

Second, all of those markers (increased heart rate, respiratory rate, and sweat) means you are forcing your body to work.  And the harder you work inside the gym, the more results you will see outside the gym.  Lift heavier weights.

And let me stop you right there.  I know what you are about to say.  “But, I don’t want to get bulky.  I want to be lean.”

Women can’t get bulky by merely lifting weights.  We do not have the testosterone necessary to do so.  The women you see in magazines and in competitions are taking supplements to look that way.

For those of you interested in losing weight, resistance training has proven to be more effective than cardiovascular exercise in burning calories.  COOL!

For those of you who love to eat, (I fall squarely into this category), the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism, and the more calories you can eat.  HURRAY!!!

For those of you who think women rule, I really enjoy it when I am lifting heavier weights than the men in my class.  Be a badass and lift heavier weights.

Questions?  Thoughts?  I’d love to hear from you!

Eat well.