The Power of Push Ups

For those of us who may be nervous about diving straight into a workout program but need to get on the right track to improve our fitness level, simply doing pushups could be the answer. Pushups are one of the oldest exercises in the book but sometimes the simplest of things are the best foundation to build on. Pushups can help to slowly integrate you into a workout routine without having to invest in equipment right off the bat. Below are a few other benefits to making sure pushups are not only incorporated into each workout, but done on a daily basis.

The-Power-of-Pushups-2

Overall Health – Pushups are one of the best full-body exercises around and while they center around upper body and core muscle groups, they produce many supplemental benefits. By calling on your body to use multiple groups, it produces more natural HGH, improves heart function, strengthens multiple areas at once, and reduces the risk of injuries to joints and bones.

push up_fitness ball

Easily Modified – As your fitness level increases and your muscles become stronger, pushup exercises have many different variations that can alter the difficulty. By changing small things such as grip placement, type of hand placement, or raising your feet or upper body to create an incline/decline factor, will make the pushups harder and work a new variation of muscle groups.

Weighted_Push_up_pulls
Preparation to use Beach Body Programs – As we mentioned before, pushups are just about as basic as it gets in the fitness world and are used in many different types of exercise routines. Beachbody programs such as T25, Insanity, P90x, and 22 Minute Hard Corps all use a variety of pushup exercises to help provide you with the ultimate workout.

Easily-Modified-push up
So even though you may be skeptical as to whether or not a workout program is for you, once you see the benefits that a few simple pushups can have on your body, you will be dying to crank things up a notch and find the best Beachbody program for you! Additionally, if you are already in a program, adding a few sets on your rest days can keep your body at peak levels.

child_dad_push up

Apple-Cinnamon-Granola

Satisfy Your Cravings With This

With Fall just around the corner, its time for an all time favorite…… Granola. 

Granola is a great treat.  You can pack it in the kids lunch, in your bag when travelling, add as a yogurt topping and more.  Apples and cinnamon are classic fall flavors, and they both come together to create this healthy granola recipe. It’s crunchy, sweet, and perfectly spiced.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup raw honey (or pure maple syrup)
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin organic coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup of wheat germ
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped raw walnuts
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • 1 medium apple, cored, chopped
  • ¼ cup raisins

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325° F.

  2. Line baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

  3. Heat honey and oil in small saucepan over low heat; cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes or until oil has melted.

  4. Add extract; mix well. Set aside.

  5. Combine oats, wheat germ, walnuts, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt in a large mixing bowl; mix well.

  6. Add honey mixture, apple, and raisins; mix until oats are evenly coated.

  7. Place on prepared baking pan; spread evenly in a thin layer.

  8. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, or until granola is light golden brown and crisp.

  9. Cool granola completely (it will get more crisp as it cools).

    Enjoy ~ Until Next Time

 

10 Foods To Boost Your Metabolism

If you are looking for an extra jump start to shedding some pounds, here are a few of my favorite metabolism boosting food that will help kick-start your metabolism and taste great!

Avocado

Avocados.  Not only are they yummy, but they  are packed with protein, heart-healthy fatty acids, and all 9 essential amino acids. They are also fantastic for their flexibility in various recipes to keep your diet from becoming dull.  Use as a dip or a spread.  I love to spread on toast or fill my boiled eggs with guacomole.  Delish.

Cheese, Milk, & Greek Yogurt

Finding good healthy low-fat forms of these foods are great for your metabolism. The key ingredient is calcium so for those that are lactose intolerant, try seeking out other calcium and Vitamin D rich options such as milk from seed.  Almond milk is a great alternative from animal milk; a great alternative if you are lactose intollerant.  Almond milk is a plant milk with a creamy texture and nutty taste.

ALMOND MILK- OWWN

Asparagus, Edamame & Spinach

Green vegetables such as asparagus, edamame, and spinach are loaded with many valuable nutrients and high in protein. Edamame especially can be a huge boost because it contains at least a small amount of every mineral the human body needs to function at a high level.

Whey Protein

Some of us enjoy using a meal replacement shake or make a shake as a pre/post workout supplement. Blend with your favorite fruit, and leafy greens and make a delicious shake/smoothie out of it.

Whey-Protein

Tofu

Many think that without meat, it is impossible to boost you metabolism with protein. Tofu is a great alternative to your traditional protein-packed foods, as it contains about 12 grams of protein per 3 ounces. It is also known to be used in a variety of flavors and recipes.

Fish

Seafood and shellfish such as salmon and tuna can be an excellent metabolism kick starter and also helps our body in other areas. Similar to avocados, seafood contains very healthy fatty acids/omega 3 nutrients.

delicious salmon and asparagus

Eggs

Another extremely useful food that can stimulate your metabolism are eggs. Eggs are high protein heavy not to mention a quick and easy addition to your daily diet. You can eat the yolk or leave it out, the choice is yours.

 

brown eggsLean Beef, Poultry and Pork

While not all of us may be huge fans of consuming tons of meat, finding ways to add these protein-filled foods can make a big difference in your metabolism levels. It is important to seek out the leanest possible option of these meats and a small amount can go a long way. Look for antibiotic free, cage free, free range meat sources.

Goji, Chia, Hemp & Flax Seeds

Goji, Chia, Hemp & Flax seeds

Goji, chia, hemp, and flax seeds are powerful super foods that can be added to smoothies, salads or yogurts to enhance your metabolism. These awesome seeds contain 8 of the 9 essential amino acids that build muscle also.

If some of these are new to you, try adding 1 every couple of days or 1 a week.  Keep it easy, keep it simple, keep it fun.

Nicole (HAHA) your Happy And Healthy Agent

Certified Health, Wellness, & Fitness Coach.

Schedule your breakthrough to wellness session today. CLICK HERE

No Cook Meal Prep

If you’re like me when you see meal prep pictures, you immediately get overwhelmed. With temperatures in the 100s this past weekend, the last thing I wanted to do was turn on my stove let alone my oven. Because Sunday night is fast approaching, I thought I would try this easy meal prep.  This is a very easy intro to meal prepping and it fits into my plans for next week that I will be sharing on my Page  7 Day Refresh Group.  Feel free to click the link and join us.

I am an intuitive eater, however for those who are not at that point, the menu suits people who try to stay in the 1,200–1,500 calories range.  A grocery list is included for you.  If you can make a salad, you can do this.  The meals are aeasy to assemble, full of flavor and ready in no time.  You will enjoy juicy berries in an oatmeal jar for breakfast, crunchy tuna lettuce cups for lunch, savory Asian chicken wraps for dinner…

These no-cook meals does involve one item that needs to be cooked and that’s the turkey or veggie burger.  I promise you its so easy and will be cooked before you can get hot!

This meal prep is ideal for a summer heat wave, or if cooking isn’t one of your strengths, or if you simply don’t have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen let alone meal prepping.

Follow along and let’s get prepping.

All_Meals

This Week’s Meal Prep Menu

  • Breakfast: Overnight Oats with Greek Yogurt and Berries
    Lunch (M/W/F): Tuna Niçoise Lettuce Cups
    Lunch (T/Th): Roast Beef Salad
    Snack (M/W/F): Shakeology, frozen fruit, and unsweetened coconut
    Snack (T/Th): Shakeology, banana, and nut butter
    Dinner (M/W/F): Asian Chicken Wraps
  • Dinner (T/Th): Turkey or Veggie Burger with vegetables and hummus

 

BREAKFAST
Overnight Oats with Greek Yogurt and Berries ( Because I don’t like yogurt, I will be using unsweetened almond milk)
(¼ cup oats, ¾ cup Greek yogurt, 1 cup fruit = 1 Yellow, 1 Red, 1 Purple)

Breakfasts

LUNCHES

M/W/F: Tuna Niçoise Lettuce Cups
(4 lettuce leaves; ½ cup frozen green beans, thawed; ½ cup cherry tomatoes; 1 can tuna in water; 5 olives = 2 Green, 1 Red, 1 Orange)

Dinner-MWF2

T/TH: Roast Beef Salad or Turkey Breast (I don’t eat beef so I will be using nitrate free turkey breast)
(1 cup lettuce, ½ cup cherry tomatoes, ½ cup shredded carrots, 3 oz. deli roast beef,
½ cup beans of any kind, dressing = 2 Green, 1 Red, 1 Yellow, 1 Orange)

Lunches-TH

SNACKS

M/W/F: Shakeology with 1 cup frozen fruit and 1 Tbsp. unsweetened coconut = 1 Red, 1 Purple, ½ Orange

T/TH: Shakeology with ½ banana and 2 tsp. nut butter = 1 Red, 1 Purple, 2 tsp.

snacks-sized

DINNERS

M/W/F: Asian Chicken Wrap
(3 oz. rotisserie chicken breast; 8 raw, unsalted cashews; one 6-inch whole wheat tortilla; 1 cup shredded cabbage, cilantro or parsley; green onion; Peanut Lime Dressing [¼ cup smooth peanut butter, 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice, 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar, 2 tsp. finely chopped fresh ginger, 2 tsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce, 2 tsp. raw honey] = 1 Green, 1 Yellow, 1 Red, 1 Blue, 2 tsp.)

Dinner-MWF2

T/TH: Turkey or veggie burger with vegetables and hummus
(1 turkey burger or veggie burger patty [microwave or put in toaster oven to heat], lettuce leaf, tomato slice, mustard, ½ cup baby carrots or chopped bell peppers, ¼ cup hummus = 1 Red, 1 Green, 1 Blue)

Dinners-TH (1)

Your step-by-step plan to assemble the no-cook meal prep:

1. Make the overnight oats. Place ¼ cup oats and ¾ cup Greek yogurt in a Mason jar or food storage container. Top with one cup of fresh or frozen fruit.

2. Thaw the frozen green beans, then prepare the Tuna Niçoise Lettuce Cups. Between four lettuce leaves, divide one can of tuna, ½ cup thawed green beans, ½ cup chopped cherry tomatoes, and five chopped olives. Dress with a lemon wedge or balsamic vinegar.

3. Prepare the Turkey or Roast Beef Salad. Combine 1 cup lettuce, ½ cup cherry tomatoes, ½ cup shredded carrots, 3 oz. deli roast beef, ½ cup beans of any kind, and dressing. If you are using a mason jar, place the dressing at the bottom and the lettuce on top. If you are using a food storage container, place the lettuce at the bottom. You can dress the salad during the meal prep, or wait until the day you eat it.

4. Make the Peanut Lime Dressing. Place 2 Tbsp. water, ¼ cup smooth peanut butter, 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice, 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar, 2 tsp. finely chopped fresh ginger, 2 tsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce, and 2 tsp. raw honey in a blender, and blend until smooth.

5. Prepare the Asian Chicken Wrap. Set out three food storage containers and place one 6-inch whole wheat tortilla in each. Chop 8 raw, unsalted cashews; chop cilantro or parsley (to taste); and chop green onion (to taste). On top of the tortilla, add 1 cup shredded cabbage, 3 oz. rotisserie chicken breast, cashews, cilantro or parsley, and green onions. Drizzle with 2 Tbsp. Peanut Lime Dressing.

6. Prepare the turkey or veggie burger. Set out two food storage containers and place a lettuce leaf and a tomato slice in each. Serve with one turkey burger or veggie burger patty that has been microwaved or toasted and topped with mustard. For a side, serve with ½ cup baby carrots or chopped bell peppers and ¼ cup hummus.

GROCERY LIST:

Protein
3 cans of tuna in water
9 oz. rotisserie chicken breast
6 oz. deli roast beef
2 frozen turkey burger or veggie burger patties
Greek yogurt (32.5 oz.)

Fruit
8 cups frozen fruit (or 3 cups frozen fruit and 5 cups fresh fruit)
1 banana

Vegetables
14 lettuce leaves
3 cups lettuce
1½ cup frozen green beans
2½ cups cherry tomatoes
3 cups shredded cabbage
1 bunch cilantro
1 bunch green onion
1 lime
1 knob fresh ginger
1½ cups shredded carrots
1 cup bell peppers

Dry and Canned Goods
1¼ cups oats
Unsweetened coconut
1 jar almond butter or natural peanut butter (smooth)
15 kalamata olives
Raw honey
24 cashews
Three 6-inch whole wheat tortillas
½ cup hummus
1 cup beans (any kind)
Shakeology

Pantry
Balsamic vinegar
Rice vinegar
Braggs Amino Acids or Low-sodium soy sauce

If you would like support connect with me and become part of my inner circle where you will get inspiration, motivation and results.

Nicole Nunez, Holistic Wellness Coach

Thanks  BeachBody Blog  

4 Ways to Freshen Your Breath Naturally

I’m always talking about eating right and taking care of your body, today let’s talk about teeth.

One of my favorite additions to my morning routine is doing what is known as oil pulling a wonderful addition to enhance my dental hygiene. Oil pulling is an Ayurveda practice. There are many health claims to oil pulling. Oil pulling is known to lead to improved health, tightening loose teeth, overcoming dry mouth, elimination of bleeding gums and known to whiten teeth.

The process is very simple and harmless. In the morning, before breakfast on an empty stomach, take one tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth without swallowing. Slowly swish the oil around without swallowing. Swish as if it was mouthwash without gargling. push and suck the oil through your teeth for 15 to 20 minutes. The swishing process will loosen the oil as it is mixed with your saliva. The oil will get thinner and turn white. If the oil has not changed in color or texture, you have not pulled long enough.

Swishing activates the enzymes which draw out toxins. You must rinse your mouth completely with tap water (and a little bit of seasalt) until you feel clear of the mixture.  If you want to take it up a notch, add some essential oils  to your oil such as peppermint, on guard, frankincense, clove or lemon…

Natural whitening swish: half a teaspoon of baking soda mixed with 1 cup of water, and a few drops of peppermint oil.  Swish around for a few seconds and discard.

Another Ayurveda practice I use is Tongue cleaning. The ancient Ayurveda practice of tongue scraping is one that has many benefits from physical, mental, and spiritual health. An early Ayurveda text, says that by cleaning the tongue, “(this) removes foul smell, tastelessness … and by taking out dirt coated on the tongue, teeth and mouth brings relish immediately.”

The tongue should be gently scraped from back to front for 7 to 14 strokes. This is a gentle motion. Rinsing between strokes is advised.

I find that scraping my tongue daily not only helps to keep my mouth fresh and free of build up which leads to bad breath.  Tongue scraping also helps to keep away unwanted food cravings by cleaning your tongue you remove that lingering food residue that leads to more eating.  You can invest in a quality tongue cleaner and d it to your daily dental hygiene regimen.  You can repeat this process up to three times a day.

Grab some mint leaves or parsley and chew.  Yes all by themselves!  Swallowing is an added bonus for the digestion system.  This works great for garlic or onion breath.

Electric Toothbrush or Manual Toothbrush: Dr. Michael Sesemann, former President of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, claims that “A person who brushes well with a manual will do as well as a person who brushes with an electric.”

According to WebMD.com, brushing four or more times per day can be excessive, and brushing too hard can wear away your enamel. Therefore, it is suggested to keep your brush soft. The Mayo Clinic recommends a soft-bristled toothbrush and suggests replacing it every three to four months, or sooner if it becomes worn.  Allow your tooth brush to dry. Moisture leads to bacteria growth.

Let’s Transform Your Body From The Inside Out. Remember, It’s Your Body, OWWN IT!!! with Online Wellness With Nicole🙂

Your Healthy Lifestyle Change Agent,

Certified Holistic Lifestyle Coach

SUMMER TIME PEST – KEEP THEM AWAY

We love the joys of summer but not the annoying pests that come with it.  Have you ever gone to the park, the beach, or in your back yard and end up in a swat fest?!  Well hopefully these tips will help.

bugs_ants_world_picnic_ephoto courtesy of seppo.net/Google

Pest Control: Keeping Insects Away

Summertime can be an open invitation for creepy crawlers to nest in your cool, air-conditioned home.
If you’ve got an insect problem, or you’re looking to prevent one, you’ll need to consider how to the keep bugs at bay while protecting your family from pesticide exposure.
Preventative measures are often pesticide-free. There‘s the obvious—wipe down kitchen surfaces and take out the trash. Then there’s the not-so-obvious:

1. Fix leaky faucets, as all living creatures need water to survive.
2. Install screens on windows, drains, doors, etc., to block openings where pests may enter.
3. Also, don’t stack a woodpile against the house, as it will likely draw wood-boring pests into your home.
I always suggest using natural resources to get rid of pest, Here are a few natural solutions:
1. Kill Ants and Spiders with Vinegar and water.  Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle and apply to any area where spiders or ants nest.  The vinegar contains acetic acid which is believed to burn and kill spiders on contact.  you can also place dishes of vinegar in corners to prevent spiders from nesting.  The odor alone repels them.
2. Gnats and Fruit Flies. Pour 1/2 cup of raw unfiltered warm apple cider vinegar into a glass jar, add a few drops of liquid dish soap and stir well.  cover the top of the jar with plastic wrap, poke the plastic with a toothpick to make holes for the flies to enter (or you can leave uncovered), the gnats and fruit flies will dive in.
3. Repel Mosquitos with plants or essential oils. Lemon thyme, lavender, lemon balm, basil, lemongrass, catnip, rosemary, garlic and marigolds.

Sometimes you find yourself in a situation where you may have to use pesticides to deal with an existing infestation.  If so, take care to use them properly and in the right quantity.
The Environmental Protection Agency recommends researching the appropriate pesticide, reading the label carefully, using the right amount as directed, and storing/disposing of pesticide properly.

Visit http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/ for more information.

Enjoy the outdoors, protect yourself with natural resources first.

Until Next Time,

Nicole – your healthy living change agent🙂

Certified Holistic Lifestyle Coach