Visions of Apples Dancing in my Head

I’m sitting here at work dreaming of an Apple Cider from Tim Hortons. OR call me crazy, the Caramel Apple Spice from Starbucks.  I think because it’s a cool autumn like day, I just feel like snuggling up on my couch at home with a hot beverage. But then when I start thinking about the nutritional value of the drinks I am craving, I have to reconsider.  Lets take a look at the nutritional content of my Grande Caramel Apple Spice WITHOUT Whipped Topping:

Caramel Apple Spice
Calories 280
Total Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 20mg
Total Carbohydrate 70g
Dietary Fiber 0g
Sugars 65g
Protein 0g

So, if you are a calorie counter (which I am) I could easily sacrifice 280 calories for that.  However, I’m unsure if I want to ingest 65 grams of sugar.  As good as it sounds, I think I will have to pass.. unfortunately.

What are you favourite Autumn drinks?  I know the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte is a favourite – by the way, I tried it a year ago to find out what all the hype was about.. it was absolutely disgusting!  Lets take a look at some of our favourite Autumn/Winter drinks.  NOT to judge those who drink these drinks, or bash any of these companies; I’m simply just enabling you to be aware of your choices.

Starbucks Grande Pumpkin Spice Latte:

Pumpkin Spice Latte
Calories 380, Calories from Fat 120
Total Fat 13g
Saturated Fat 8g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 50mg
Sodium 240mg
Total Carbohydrate 52g
Dietary Fiber 0g
Sugars 49g
Protein 14g

Tim Hortons Medium Chocolate Latte

 

 

Calories 230
Fat 7g
Protein 9g
Carbs 32g
Fibre 0g
Sugar 30g

 

 

Tim Hortons French Vanilla:

 

Calories 310
Fat 10g
Protein 5g
Carbs 52g
Fibre 2g
Sugar 40g

 

 

 

Starbucks Grande Cinnamon Dolce Latte:

Cinnamon Dolce Latte

 

Calories 330, Calories from Fat 120
Total Fat 13g
Saturated Fat 8g
Cholesterol 50mg
Sodium 140mg
Total Carbohydrate 42g
Dietary Fiber 0g
Sugars 40g
Protein 12g

 

These are just a few of many of our Autumn favourite drinks!! I’m not saying not to have them – I just want to stress the importance of moderation!  I know at Starbucks you can also order the “skinny” versions of most drinks and enjoy your favourite drink, minus all the added sugar.

Drink coffee?

 

Do you love caffeine as much as I do?  I must admit, I not only love coffee…I Love Energy drinks.  I KNOW!!! They are horrible for you.  I try to cover my tracks and ensure I drink the sugar free kind.  However, I know that no energy drinks are good for you.  ANYWHOO… I’m not talking about me..

So.. lets start off with the good things about caffeine.  I’ll give all of you coffee drinkers good news!!!  Caffeine in moderation IS a good thing.  Caffeine improves cognitive functions (What do I mean by that? Cognition is a group of mental processes that includes attention, memory, producing and understanding language, learning, reasoning, problem solving, and decision making.) Anywhoo… Caffeine also inhibits insulin resistance AND….some wonderful news.. it also speeds up your metabolism!! WAHOOO!!

However, you have to make sure you do not drink too much!! Too much caffeine can actually make us gain weight by burning out our adrenal glands and releasing stress hormones. For this reason, 400 milligrams (mg) a day should be the limit. (That’s the equivalent of one to two large cups of coffee, depending on how strongly it’s brewed.)  SO if you’re looking to watch your weight.. I would recommend not over doing it with the coffee.

Some sources of caffeine are better than others. Organic, filtered coffee (not doctored up with sugar, artificial sweeteners, or cream) is okay. Green tea is a better choice because it promotes fat oxidation and is believed to improve insulin sensitivity. Limit your intake of caffeinated beverages to one or two a day — and because caffeine is a diuretic, you should drink one glass of water for every caffeinated drink. Also, you should have your last caffeinated drink before noon so that it doesn’t interfere with your sleep.

So, are you drinking coffee just for the benefit of it’s fat-burning benefits?  I would highly recommend looking into Guarana.  What is that?  Well because of my experience with a certain weight loss company.. I know different products that assist with weight loss.  I always have friends and family asking me different things they can do/take to help with their weight loss journeys.  So what I do is research online about difference OTC products that they can purchase…

So…lets take a little look into Guarana.  First of all, you can ingest this product in pill form OR in a drink.. Guarana is a tropical plant native to the Amazon jungle. It contains caffeine, but instead of producing a sudden energy surge and quick drop-off, guarana is absorbed slowly and therefore produces a more moderate energy boost that escalates gradually. Try 5 mg of guarana per pound of body weight, and take it about 40 minutes before your workout.

So today, before you hit a Starbucks or Tim Hortons… remember don’t over-do it… It may just make you gain back the weight you’ve lost.

Have a wonderful Sunday. 🙂

-Danielle

Should you eat before a workout?

MYTH: Never Eat Before a Workout

The Truth: You should always eat something before exercising so your body has enough fuel to power through your workout.

The rationale behind this widely accepted myth is that forgoing food before exercise will force your body to burn more fat during your workout. This is a big, fat lie: Starving yourself before exercising can actually be detrimental to your body. Let’s get to the bottom of this fitness myth once and for all.

You need sugar to exert energy. Your body needs a certain amount of sugar for fuel when training. When that blood sugar is not there, your body will convert your own muscle tissue into energy. A recent study published in the Strength and Conditioning Journal looked at cyclists who ate before they trained versus those who fasted before they trained. The amount of fat burn was the same for both groups, but those who had trained without eating first had 10 percent of their calorie burn come from protein — including their own muscle mass. You’re trying to buildmuscle, not eat away at it!

Your body needs energy to perform at a high intensity.You know I’m always saying that I want you to work out as hard as you can for as long as you can. How can you do that if you haven’t properly fueled your body? Think about it this way: Would you drive a car without gas? Use your iPhone without charging it? Nope and nope. If you haven’t eaten anything, your workout won’t be as intense as if you’d fueled up beforehand, not to mention that you’ll likely suffer from low blood sugar, which will make you dizzy and sluggish.

You don’t need to gorge yourself; a healthy snack will do the trick. I suggest you eat something 45 minutes to an hour before training — you’ll have more energy and endurance to work harder, burn more calories, and improve your muscle tone. Aim for something with carbohydrates and protein. Here are a few quick, healthy ideas: a whey shake, low-fat yogurt with berries, or a banana or apple slices with natural almond butter.

The Bottom Line:

You should always eat something before a workout. I’m not suggesting you pig out. A small, healthy snack consisting of carbohydrates and protein will properly fuel your body for a killer workout.

Tips to Survive the Cold & Flu Season

Yesterday unfortunately, I spent the majority of my day in bed.  I must have come down with something because I had the sweats and the chills.  I was vomiting and had horrible stomach pains and an absolute horrible migraine.  It was not fun at all.

I knew something was going on Friday because I barely ate – and I love food,  Says a previous fat girl. LOL.
Man oh man.  No, I have never gotten a flu shot and never had the flu.  That was the closest to the flu I’ve gotten in years.  But man did I feel horrible.

So I feel this is the perfect time to talk about different ways you can help prevent colds and flu in our transition from Fall to Wintertime.

The influenza virus causes a crazy 32 million missed school days and 100 million missed days of work. Symptoms of the flu are often hard to distinguish from those of a common cold; coughing, sneezing, runny nose, fatigue, general aches, fever and stomach complaints like nausea, vomiting and diarrhea are all typical of the flu. And while the flu shot and antiviral drugs may be helpful in the prevention and treatment of influenza, their abilities are limited.

Here are five different ways I have for you to survive this winter’s cold and flu season!!

1. Take Your Vitamins

Both vitamin D3 and vitamin A are powerful players against infections like viruses and bacteria. A Vitamin D3 supplement in children decreased the rate of influenza infection by 50% which is far better than the effects of vaccines or antiviral drugs. Research released in 2011 showed that vitamin A is necessary for many different immune responses to both bacteria and viruses. Vitamin A was shown to inhibit the replication of the measles virus, demonstrating its powerful anti-viral ability.

Winter is the perfect time to add more vitamin A to our diets.  You can easily add more Vitamin A to your diet by eating these foods: sweet potatoes, carrots, dark leafy greens and butternut squash. As for vitamin D3, it’s a fat soluble vitamin that can accumulate over time, so you want to be sure to have the right age appropriate dose for you.

2. Consider Supplements

Recent studies demonstrate that elderberry extract has immune-modulating and antioxidant properties that offset the activity of viruses so they can no longer enter the cell and replicate. The berries also contain vitamins A and C, and the flavonoids quercetin, anthocyanin and rutin, all of which boost immune function. Elderberry comes in a great tasting liquid syrup form.  This helps people like me who HATES taking cough syrup because of it’s nasty taste LOL.

Probiotics have also been repeatedly shown to help prevent infection and decrease the duration and severity of symptoms during the cold or flu.  I personally take probiotics each day.  Because of working in Health and Wellness, I’ve personally seen a difference in those clients who took a probiotic and those who didn’t.  I seen those clients who were taking a probiotic maintain a healthier immune system over those clients who weren’t taking a probiotic supplement.  So I truly believe that every one should insure they include Probiotics into their daily lives.

Another great product to take is a Siberian Ginseng supplement.  I personally LOVE LOVE LOVE taking this product.  This type of ginseng is also very beneficial to the circulatory system. It helps maintain healthy blood circulation, distributing oxygen and other important nutrients efficiently to the body and brain.

This herb is a powerful immune system booster. Many people who take it regularly seldom get sick. It can help the body fight off illnesses like the common cold, flu and others. Without a strong immune system, there is little chance for good health. That’s why taking Siberian Ginseng does such a great job at keeping people healthy. It would be worth taking it for this benefit alone.

Siberian Ginseng is also very popular with people suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and other forms of exhaustion. It has the ability to relieve tiredness of the mind and body. This isn’t something that happens overnight. This herb should be taken every day, as the effects will increase over time.  So go to your local drug store and pick some up!! It’s not that expensive at all!

3. Get Enough Rest

We all know.  We have all heard this before.  Ensure you get the proper amount of sleep that your body needs.  I know we’re all busy, I know we have reasons we need to stay up late at nights.  But when it boils down to it… get your REST!  Stress is a part of our every day lifestyles.  Unfortunately, excessive stress can decrease our immune function, and make it easier for us to come down with an infection.  Adults need an average of 7 to 10 hours of sleep nightly while children, depending on their age, need anywhere from 9 to 14 hours of sleep each night to rejuvenate for the next day. Not getting enough sleep lowers the body’s defenses needed for fighting infections.

4. Eat Healthy

Our bodies require many essential nutrients to function properly. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables helps ensure you and your little one are getting all the vitamins and minerals that are essential to a healthy immune system.

Studies have shown that eating a sugary snack or meal can depress the immune system for several hours, creating a window of time during which it is easier to get the flu. Avoiding excessive sugar can keep the immune system working at the level needed to fend off infections.

5. Wash Up!!!

Washing your hands is one of the best ways for you to limit exposure to the germs that spread colds and flu.  Frequent hand washing is recommended. Remember, antibacterial soaps are no more effective at killing germs than soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitizer. In fact, antibacterial soaps may contribute to the bacteria’s resistance to antimicrobial agents in the soap, making it harder to treat the germs in the future.

Here’s to a healthy, happy wintertime!
Snuggle up and be warm!

Those days…

Ever have those days where it starts off GREAT and gradually as the day goes by, the greatness starts to fade?

Yeah… today’s one of those days.  I’m still truckin’..I’m unsure if it’s the rainy, cold day… But this sucks!! Ha! Ha!

We all have to get through these kind of days.  I just finished dinner, but I’m still hungry.  I downed a glass of water and I’m still hungry.  I’m not in a vegetable kind of mood today.  I stress how important it is to eat your vegetables… but I’ve only had one serving today.  I believe today is just an off day.  I’m still proud of myself that I got up this morning and went to the gym.  I’ve eaten healthy today – however, I do feel the portions were a bit larger than they should be.  But that usually happens when I workout first thing in the morning.  I prefer to actually workout in the evenings.  On the weekends, I tend to go to the gym first thing in the morning, or else sometimes the workout never happens.

My goal this coming week is to get to the gym every night.
I’m not pressuring myself to spend hours at the gym, but at least work on getting in 30 minutes of physical activity each night.  Physical activity is very important to get in daily.   It doesn’t have to be much, but aim for at least 30 minutes a day.  

I just LOVE when a friend texts me to tell me she’s getting ice cream.. damn you woman!! Now all I’m thinking about are those delicious ginger molasses cookies again. Haha

What I’m trying to get across by this blog entry is that everyone has these kind of days.  Sure, since my Nan passed away these kinda days keep happening unfortunately.  Emotions are something hard to control – however, what we can control is how we cope with these emotions.

I’m far from perfect – hense why the last three months my weight loss has been at a stand still.. BUT.. I chose not to give up!  I still went to the gym, drank my water, took my vitamins and tried to not emotionally eat.  Life is one big challenge, but we’re all going to die one day.  We need to ensure we live the best life.

Now with just saying that, a thought crossed my mind.
“If we are going to die one day … why WORRY so much if we gain a pound or two?”

I don’t have the answer for that.  I believe everyone has their own answer to that question.  I find myself asking that question to myself many days.  I ask myself “Why are you so hard on yourself when really, your opinion of yourself is the only one that matters..”

We live in a society today where appearance is a main factor on how you’re treated.
So all I can say is this, just be the best YOU you can be each day.  This way if you die tomorrow, you know you gave it your best shot.