Autoimmune issues, Diet, Health and Fitness, Pilates, Spinning, Yoga

Happy Spring! Are you eating for the season?

There’s so much truth and value in eating the foods that are naturally available to us within each season. The great news in Spring and Summer is that there is so much fresh produce available.

Here’s a brief reminder of all the great nutrients and vitamins that come in the form of tasty fruits and veggies for Spring:

Apricots; mangoes; rhubarb; strawberries and cherries just to name a few in the fruit section!

Artichokes; asparagus; mustard greens; spinach; carrots; chives; and water cress just to name a few in the veggie area.

Look for organic produce that is not coming across the country to your grocery store or just go to the local farmer’s markets. It reduces the footprint on the Earth (less gas and pollution to get our food to us) to buy local and it’s so much better for your body! Happy Spring!!!

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.

Diet, Health and Fitness

Stop Dieting and Start Eating to Lose Weight

It’s natural to feel like we should cut back on our calories if we want to shed some pounds, but the reality is, it’s the quickest way to get your body to store fat.

Why is that? Our bodies recognize distress signals fast, and hunger is a very important one. It’s genetic. In times of hunting and gathering, food wasn’t so readily available, so the body knew to store food as fat for times of famine.

When you keep your body from having food at reasonable intervals, it triggers the body to store future calories as fat. It’s easy to avoid this, simply eat every three to four hours. Most importantly, eat whole foods: fruits, vegetables, nuts, meats, eggs and nothing processed.

Eating whole foods that are rich in all the nutrients and minerals your body needs keeps you from craving the foods that you don’t need. Our bodies don’t crave food when we support our system nutritionally. Eating sugar makes you crave sugar. Eating carbs makes you crave carbs. Why? Because your body is incredibly intuitive and it understands that it did not get what it was looking for with those last few calories you gave it, so it triggers hunger because it needs more. More calories? No, more nutrition.

So give your body what it needs and do it at regular intervals. Never go more than four hours without eating something healthy and full of vitamins and nutrients. Have an apple or a handful of nuts, keep it simple and notice how you feel. As you stabilize your blood sugar levels, your energy levels will increase, your cravings will diminish and those extra pounds you’re not so fond of will fall right off.

Send me your thoughts and ideas on how to improve your health, lose weight and look better. It’s never too late and it’s almost always simple.

wellness

Food Allergies-Where do they come from and what do they mean?

I had a fascinating meeting with one of my holistic doctors a few years ago. He explained to me why my body, and so many other bodies like mine, have stopped digesting the foods we’ve eaten all of our lives. Why all of sudden, we can’t just eat what we want. It was a light bulb moment for me, so simple, yet so profound. He said that as our food has been genetically modified over the years, infused with pesticides and hormones, our bodies have become confused. They no longer know what to do with wheat because wheat doesn’t look the same to our enzymes and cells. It’s an impenetrable substance that clogs up our system now. Why are so many people lactose intolerant now? Because our bodies could handle digesting casein when they didn’t have to figure out what to do with pesticides, hormones, fake fats, enhanced sugars and chemicals we can’t even pronounce. Our bodies are finely tuned machines and when we began to think we could change our foods to make them more cost-effective on the grocery store shelf, we got too smart for our own good.

So it’s time to back-track. Go back to the basics. Meat, eggs, nuts, fruits and vegetables. That’s quite a bit of food, all you have to do is stick with those simple things for awhile (keeping in mind that you can react to eggs).

A few good rules of thumb are: If you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it. If it’s in a box or bag, that’s a problem. And if you can drive through and get it, don’t do it, there’s no telling what you’re actually eating. Think you’re too busy for this? Think of it as saving time by not needing to go to the doctor. Think it’s too expensive to eat organic fruits and vegetables? Think of it as saving money on prescriptions and doctors bills. It’s your body and your health and you get to CHOOSE how you feel by choosing healthier food options. It’s a beautiful thing!

Do you have any ideas on:

1) How to rebuild the immune system?

2) Why some people can’t process even healthy, organic foods?

3)How hormonal imbalances effect the immune system?

I know I’m not alone. Let’s figure it out!