wellness

Can Stress Make You Fat?

Unfortunately, stress will cause our bodies to store fat and especially right around the belly. Some more bad news is that it becomes an even bigger problem as we age because our hormones are changing and when we get stressed our bodies get more out of balance than when we were younger and it becomes harder for the body to “re-set.”

Cortisol is a good thing. It signals your body to respond appropriately to stress, the problem is that we often stay stressed and we don’t give our bodies a chance to re-set from stressful days at work, stress with kids, and stressful thoughts. Should I have eaten that? Did I pack the kids lunch? Did I do a good job on that important project for my boss? These thoughts creep into our head all day long and sometimes while we sleep. And Cortisol goes up.

Often stress leads to sleep loss, another reason that we store fat around the belly. Our Cortisol levels should be down at bedtime, but when our brains are overloaded with the days events and what tomorrow brings, it’s hard for us to settle down and get into a healthy, deep sleep. So, we wakeup tired and the whole process starts again the next day.

Constantly bombarding our systems with panic-alarm thoughts followed by panic-alarm moments of concern throughout the day prevents our bodies from re-setting the alarm button and getting back to a normal state.

Sound familiar? Sound depressing? It’s not so much, because like almost everything that has to do with your body– you can control this. GET EXERCISE. DO YOGA. DO PILATES. So we know that exercise helps us sleep better, produces good endorphins and helps us feel better all around, add yoga and/or Pilates into your routine and in addition to all the good feeling endorphins, you will learn to breath.

Just breathing deeply is the easiest way you can restore your Cortisol levels to normal, resetting your body for tomorrow and signaling your brain that it’s time to settle down, relax and sleep.

So, if you’re laying in bed tonight, worrying about what tomorrow is going to bring or what could have gone better today, let it go. Breath in, feel your lungs expand fully, and then breath out, letting go of every worry, every tense muscle, every self-doubt. Continue breathing deeply until you have fallen into the blissful state of sleep your body needs, your Cortisol level will go down and you’ll wake up ready to face tomorrow with all of the joy and vitality you were meant to live your life with.

Please feel free to send me questions anytime, I love it!

Mardee Calkins is an ACE certified personal trainer, wellness coach, double certified Pilates teacher, a PMA certified Pilates instructor, Spin instructor, registered yoga teacher, Kettle Bell Instructor, Rebounding instructor, expert at using food as medicine, author and mom of three.

wellness

Is it important to use all natural or organic products?

The answer is YES, YES, YES.

The skin is the largest organ we have and it absorbs everything we put on it. We know this from skin patches being used by the medical community for everything from birth control to pain management. So if we’re eating organic and putting chemicals onto our skin with make-up, skin care products and cleaning supplies, we’re exposing ourselves to more chemicals than we would get in our food.

The human body is an incredibly complex system. Our bodies are all natural and it’s important that we keep them that way.

There’s a dangerous amount of chemicals in everyday things from diapers to sunscreen and in the food we eat. Most of us have been touched by cancer in some way and we all understand that from the best athletes to children, we’re all at risk. One of the ways we can have some control is by what products we use for ourselves and our families in addition to the food we eat.

It’s been reported over and over that women eat several pounds of lipstick over their lifetime. That’s a great example of why we need to use all natural or organic products on our bodies.

We only get one body, so if you want your body to last and serve you well, stay organic and all natural, just the way you came into this world.

Are you organic? Do you feel it’s important? Why or why not?

I love questions and comments, so please, feel free to offer me your thoughts. I love it!

Here are some great companies where you can find wonderful organic and all natural products:

https://www.honest.com/shop

http://www.juicebeauty.com/store/all-products.html

http://www.seventhgeneration.com

Mardee Calkins is an ACE certified personal trainer, wellness coach, double certified Pilates teacher, a PMA certified Pilates instructor, Spin instructor, registered yoga teacher, Kettle Bell Instructor, Rebounding instructor, expert at using food as medicine, author and mom of three.

Healthy Eating

The Secret to a Toned Body

The Secret to a Toned Body

Jack LaLanne (if you don’t him Google him, he was amazing) had a great saying, “Exercise is the King and diet is the Queen.” I love Jack LaLanne, but he had this one backwards. Diet is the King and exercise is the Queen, and that’s a fact.

More than 80% of how we look depends on nutrition. Exercise is VERY important, don’t get me wrong, but without the right food at the right time, you’re spinning your wheels as far as how you look and maximizing the benefits of your workouts.

Exercise works on us internally, which is why it’s so important. It keeps our heart working great, our cells detoxifying with fresh oxygen turnover, our muscles get harder, stronger, and more beautiful, it’s ALL good. The problem happens when people feel that their exercise routine is going to give them the look they want. It certainly can, but not unless they’re willing to cut out the sugar (98% of the time), cut out the processed foods (all the time), and get back to eating foods that support leaning out the fat and building muscle.

What foods help build muscle and get rid of fat? Lean protein, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and eggs. Whole grains such as oats, brown rice, buckwheat groats, spelt and quinoa are great, too, but keeping the carbs down in the form of grains is important to a leaner-looking body.

In addition to what you eat, when you eat is just as important. You should have 4 ounces of protein every 2-3 hours. Adding a serving of fruits or vegetables (preferably raw)is a great compliment to helping your body utilize the protein. It’s most important that you eat some protein within 45 minutes of a workout to give your body the nutrition it requires to build up the muscles you worked out. Remember, the purpose of working out (breaking down the muscle tissue) is so that you can build the muscles back stronger than before. Without the right nutrition at the right time, your body will actually consume the muscles you have in order to keep more vital body parts working (your brain, your organs, etc.). That’s why eating the right food at the right time is so important to how you look.

Are you eating for health?

Please let me know if this post was helpful to you. I’m also always open to questions about fitness and nutrition, I love it!

Mardee Calkins is an ACE certified personal trainer, wellness coach, double certified Pilates teacher, a PMA certified Pilates instructor, Spin instructor, registered yoga teacher, Kettle Bell Instructor, Rebounding instructor, expert at using food as medicine, author and mom of three.