Archive for ‘Weight Loss’

December 5, 2012

Victoria’s (Deadly) Secrets: Behind the Glamour

By:  Dana Baardsen

Tonight the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show will air as millions of viewers tune-in from the comfort of their sofas. Men will admire the beautiful models and women will look on, emulating the outfits of the “VS Angels” and even more so their bodies.

There is, however, a lot more going on behind the playful smiles and long tan legs than you may realize.

Brazilian model Adriana Lima reveals her pre-fashion show routine which any health professional would diagnose as Anorexia Nervosa. And yes–I did just suggest that a Victoria’s Secret model exhibits anorexic behaviors. But before you accuse me of falsely labeling Lima, check out what she said!

Weeks leading up to the event, she admits to engaging in a vigorous exercise routine while restricting her food intake. Ingesting only vitamins and liquids to provide energy for intense exercise is not only risky, but it’s consequences on the body are far from pretty.

Don’t worry, Lima wanted to clear things up. Even though she feels it’s okay for her to do it, she told E!, “Those teenagers out there, don’t go starving yourself or only drinking liquids.”

At least she knows it’s wrong.

But seriously, how wrong is it?

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2012

Adriana Lima, Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2012

If you think starving yourself to slim down is the way to go– then please… think again.

By starving yourself, you will immediately notice these symptoms:

  • Tiredness
  • Low energy levels
  • Difficulty sleeping at night
  • Dizziness
  • Depression
  • Easily irritated
  • Constipation
  • Dry/Pale skin
  • Hair loss and breakage
  • Brittle nails
  • Rotting teeth
  • Bad breath due to ketosis
  • Absence of menstruation
  • Inability to carry out a healthy pregnancy

Not so glam, huh? The list goes on.

If starvation occurs over a long period of time, symptoms only worsen and more serious conditions may develop, like heart failure or  early onset of osteoporosis.

Now don’t get me wrong, some women are naturally and beautifully VS-Angel thin…I can’t say I’m one of them.

If you tune into the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show tonight, like I will, then go ahead and let it motivate you to get into kick-ass shape! But please, don’t partake in extreme dieting or unhealthy eating habits to get there. Be confident healthy and strong always! NB

December 1, 2012

A Weight-Loss Journey: Everyone Onboard? Check Out This Pilot!

This is a special post. I would like to introduce you to Andrew, an inspiration for all! He shares his weight-loss journey with Nutribabble.com and includes tips and tricks on how he did it. A must-read! 

weight loss, before and after photo, before and after picture, diet, fitness, inspirational weight loss story, inspiration, fitness

At first, was your weight loss on purpose?

My weight loss was on purpose, my weight gain was the accident.

During high school I was part of the track team from freshman to senior year. This kept me in good shape and helped me learn how to exercise in general. Then, as I entered my freshman year of college, I had access to a great gym I used to get into the best shape of my life. However, I ended up discontinuing the use of the gym for a year, as I had enrolled in a gym-less flight training academy.

I found myself eating what I would call garbage… and too much of it. Combine that with no exercise and that’s all it took for me to look the way I did in the first picture. The reflection I saw in the mirror made me feel like I was no longer the man I felt I was inside. Aside from looks, I wanted to ensure I would pass the annual medical exam required for my career. This became my motivation.

weight loss, diet, fitness, inspiration, weight loss journey, before and after photo

What happened next?

Although I didn’t have a gym readily available I knew I could change my body through dieting and running. With my new diet and religious two-mile-a-day-run (which was at an ever accelerating pace), I dropped my weight from 274 to 209 pounds in about two to three months.

At 209 pounds I looked in the mirror and I was happy! Yes, for a bit… but still not where I wanted to be. I would call 209 pounds my starting point.

After obtaining my commercial pilots license, I maintained this weight for several months until I returned to college to finish my degree in aviation safety science. At this point I wanted to start hitting the gym and pack on the muscle I wanted. It took me about a year to get the bulk and definition I was looking for, turning the remaining fat on my body to muscle and adding about 10-15 pounds of lean muscle…thus putting me in the shape I wanted to be, as you can see in my “after” photo.

What was your new exercise routine like?

I used four specific exercise routines to go from broad to eventually a specific type of muscle growth.

First was a simple full body workout. I would work all different parts of my body for five to six days a week, always ending with 15-45 minutes of cardio. This produced some quick muscle gain, and would especially for those just starting to lift weights. The cardio in this routine helped keep my body fat percentage low.

After a while, I knew I hit a plateau and so I moved forward into the second phase. In the second routine I split my workouts to an upper and lower body rotation for five to six days– still with the cardio.weight loss, diet, fitness, inspiration, weight loss journey, before and after photo

After that, I moved into the third phase. In the third routine I paired primary and secondary muscle groups. For example: Back and biceps, chest and triceps etc. I would rotate this for five to six days and continue with cardio and abdominal workouts every day.

In my fourth phase, which is the phase I’m in right now, I spend seven days in the gym and five of the days are spent with a moving rotation of weight training.

  • Day One- Chest
  • Day Two- Shoulders
  • Day Three- Back
  • Day Four- Arms
  • Day Five- Legs

During the lifts I include negative sets and minimum rest periods to maintain an elevated heart rate. I also work my way up in weight for some exercises and work my way down in others… first up then down then up and so on. I end with abs then the cardio. After day five I have a “rest” day where I work my abdominals and spend at least one hour on cardio. Then, I rotate back to day one. Throughout this routine I am constantly increasing weight or reps until I feel I’ve reached a failure point. I also change up the type of exercise to avoid my body getting used to it.

How did you change your diet to compliment your new exercise routine?

My diet is relatively simple. I eat four to five smaller meals a day. I do this to boost my metabolism and avoid insulin spikes. I try to eat more carbs before a workout so I have the energy I need.

I also dropped all alcohol this semester. So far, I see a big difference. Alcohol basically focuses the body on expelling the toxin… putting fat-burning on the back-burner.

weight loss, diet, fitness, inspiration, weight loss journey, before and after photoI drink a lot of water… easily a gallon. My diet is low in fat and high in protein. I consume a regular amount of carbohydrates for my body type. I make sure I get all my calories in before 7:00 p.m. since metabolism slows down at night.

Did you add any supplements to your daily nutritional intake?

I make sure I get enough protein since it’s needed in both muscle growth and support. The body requires about one gram per pound of body weight to maintain current muscle.

Branched chain amino acids (BCAA) are the building blocks of protein, so this supplement helps with muscle recovery and aids against muscle breakdown.

I also supplement with omega’s 3, 6, and 9 since I don’t eat enough foods which contain these essential fatty acids.

Another supplement I take since I’m not getting it from my diet is L-Carnitine, an amino acid found in red meat which helps convert fats to energy.

Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) helps produce lean muscle mass and would normally be found in red meat and milk. However, due to changes in cattle feeding CLA content in these products is only a fraction of what it was in the 1950’s. Some researchers even suggest it is the possible cause of Americas expanding waistline.

Everything I supplement with is natural and safe. I urge anyone who wants to start any supplement make sure you learn everything there is to know about the supplement before considering it at all and check with your doctor.

What was the hardest part of the process? What helped you keep going?

Getting started was the hardest part for me. If you are an overweight or out of shape person reading, I want you to understand something. When I see a heavyset person in the gym, the first thing that comes to mind is: good for them. It is important to remember that everyone in the gym is there to better themselves.weight loss, diet, fitness, inspiration, weight loss journey, before and after photo

My motivation now is that I have come far and I don’t ever want to go back to where I was. Trust me… you won’t get to the end of your journey and think it wasn’t worth it.

How do you feel about the results?

I am overjoyed with my results and I look forward to my future improvements.

What do you notice about your energy levels?

My energy levels are much higher, and my endurance is greater, I’m not tired all the time. I have more confidence and I would even say I’m a little more outgoing. I really enjoy all I’ve accomplished.

How will you stay in shape?

I continue to train daily– constantly striving to achieve better strength and endurance. My diet and exercise are always on my mind and it has become a way of life now… my number one hobby.

I’ve achieved my goal of creating a sustainable healthy life style, remaining active, feeling great, looking good, and enjoying what I’m doing. I didn’t indulge in some crash diet where I would have had to eat lemons for three weeks to lose ten pounds that’s not sustainable. Fact: If you eat nothing but lemons the rest of your life… you won’t live very long.

If you could give advice to anybody trying to get into better shape right now, what would it be?

  • For all of you that are thinking of making a change, the first thing I want to say is go for it and commit to it. Don’t give up… you can be the you that’s in your head.
  • Train your mind to change your body, you are only able to push you body as long as you will let yourself.
  • Don’t stress the number on the scale so much in the beginning. You may see yourself gain weight as you build muscle since muscle weighs more than fat… but the more muscle you build the more fat your body will burn and you will start to see that number go down. Focus more on your mirror results than the scale in the beginning.
  • Set small goals to achieve, like one more rep, one more set, or five pounds heavier weight. Once achieved set a new goal and always move forward.
  • Keep a positive attitude.
  • Don’t be afraid to talk to other people in the gym or ask questions. Most people will be glad to help you. Even I help people train all the time.
  • Lastly, check out bodybuilding.com. It sounds like a site for elite fitness connoisseurs (at least that’s what I thought), but it’s actually packed with diets, information on how to properly do exercises, vitamins, foods, supplement sales, and basically unlimited amount of articles on anything fitness related. They have stories like mine from real people… that are not only inspirational but some relatively amazing. It’s a perfect place for beginners to pros and everyone in-between. Take advantage of its own type of “social media” type option where users can talk. NB
October 25, 2012

Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

By: Dana Baardsen

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? So can it’s vinegar do the same thing too?

Apple cider vinegar is created after the apples undergo fermentation. During the apple’s fermentation process, it’s natural sugars turn into alcohol. Prolonged fermentation is what actually takes the product a step further, creating the vinegar.

The acetic acid in the apple cider vinegar creates antiseptic and antibacterial properties, which make it a great healing product. It can be ingested or topically applied.

Apple cider vinegar has a lengthy list of health benefits. Some health claims are:

  • Ridding toxins from the body
  • Relieving Allergies
  • Lowering cholesterol
  • Aiding fat breakdown
  • Clearing Acne
  • Easing digestion / Preventing stomach illness
  • Regulating pH balance in the body
  • Relieving migraines
  • Slowing the growth of cancer cells
  • Cleaning head lice / Destroying dandruff

WebMD reports five health claims which are backed up by scientific research:

  1. Diabetes- “The effect of vinegar on blood sugar levels is perhaps the best-researched and the most promising of apple cider vinegar’s possible health benefits. Several studies have found that vinegar may help lower glucose levels. For instance, one 2007 study of 11 people with type 2 diabetes found that taking two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bed lowered glucose levels in the morning by 4%-6%”.
  2. High Cholesterol- “A 2006 study showed evidence that vinegar could lower cholesterol. However, the study was done in rats, so it’s too early to know how it might work in people”.
  3. Heart Health- “Another study in rats found that vinegar could lower high blood pressure. A large observational study also found that people who ate oil and vinegar dressing on salads five to six times a week had lower rates of heart disease than people who didn’t. However, it’s far from clear that the vinegar was the reason”.
  4. Cancer- “A few laboratory studies have found that vinegar may be able to kill cancer cells or slow their growth.  Observational studies of people have been confusing. One found that eating vinegar was associated with a decreased risk of esophageal cancer. Another associated it with an increased risk of bladder cancer“.
  5. Weight Loss- “For thousands of years, vinegar has been used for weight loss. White vinegar (and perhaps other types) might help people feel full. A 2005 study of 12 people found that those who ate a piece of bread along with small amounts of white vinegar felt fuller and more satisfied than those who just ate the bread”.

So if you have interest in trying ACV, you have a few options. Apple cider vinegar is actually sold in pill form, but if you want to indulge naturally on a daily basis, I would recommend adding a splash of the vinegar to a glass of water or fruit juice. Do not take apple cider vinegar straight, because the acidity can be detrimental to the linings of your throat and digestive tract. You must mix! I wouldn’t recommend mixing more than one tablespoon (three teaspoons) into your drink.

If you are applying the product topically to your skin or scalp, mix it with water first to see how your skin reacts.

Just remember, everything in moderation! Good luck!

🙂 I would like to close with a special quotation:

“From my experience with wild apples, I can understand that there may be reason for a savage’s preferring many kinds of food which the civilized man rejects. The former has the palate of an outdoor man. It takes a savage or wild taste to appreciate a wild fruit.” — Henry David Thoreau, Wild Apples NB

September 7, 2012

New York Fashion Week Diet 101

By: Dana Baardsen

New York, N.Y. (2012 Sept 6) — Sparkling across the five boroughs of New York City, Fashion’s Night Out is a proud celebration dressed in eloquence and anticipation for the week ahead. Vendors, models, stylists, designers, artists, journalists and everyone inbetween flood the lighted cement streets as they energize the moments leading up to New York’s infamous and historic, Fashion Week.

A Fashion Week attendee must carefully choose the most appropriate and stylish garments to wear. Only the finest and seemingly tasteful outfits will be complimented in the city this week.

Once you’re ready to reveal your “it” outfit to fellow fashionistas and New Yorkers alike, you must be able couple it with a mindful event diet.

Sure, you could romp through the streets of New York without giving a thought or care to your diet, but I assure you it will throw off your overall presentation. Here are five things you can do to make sure you feel as fit, glowing, energized, confident, and sexy during New York’s Fashion Week events.

#NYFW, new york fashion week, new york fashion week diet

needit.deviantart.com

  1. Fit: Make a few simple lifestyle adjustments during the days leading up to the event. For detailed tips and tricks on how to drop some weight and tone up in a healthy, quick way– visit this post (Lose Ten Pounds: Tips From Nutribabble & Dr. Oz).
  2. Glowing: You want your skin to be absolutely glowing and radiant for these events. Let salad become your new best friend. …Honestly though, cut out ALL dairy and increase your intake of dark leafy greens and citrus fruits. Drinks lots and lots of water which rids the body of toxins and plumps up the collagen in your skin! Slice up some cucumber, fruit and mint and toss in  a glass of H2O for a cleansing and rejuvenating drink.
  3. Energized: Eat small amounts throughout the day, rather than huge meals which will weigh you down. Carry some type of on-the-go snack in your purse so you can nibble on something if you have to go a long time without food. Don’t you dare munch during the show!
  4. Confident: Eat with style on your way to, and during the event. Think about it this way. Which will make you swivel your hips more while you walk? A greasy hot dog and salted nuts from the nearest cart…or some type of artful yet nutritious food/beverage from the corner’s hot-spot café? Look glam and eat glam too!
  5. Sexy: Be aware of what food options could affect your “sexiness” during the event. Some hor d’oeuvres may be floating around which you should just avoid. Steer clear of anything which could easily stain your outfit like red wines, dipping sauces and dark dressings. Don’t overstuff your mouth, as anyone could stir up conversation with you at any given moment. This goes hand in hand with not getting anything stuck in your teeth!

So there you have it, now that you know the quirky diet etiquette for New York’s Fashion Week, you’re free now to unleash your inner diva onto the streets of New York! NB

September 1, 2012

Benefits of Gardening

Samantha Cianci, Gardener, Dancer

Samantha Cianci, Gardener

By: Dana Baardsen

I invite you to explore Samanciland, an abundant oasis of green which would make any organic gardener wiggle their toes. Though the name might sound playful, Samanciland is more than just a pretty garden. It’s a source of nourishment and “therapy” for it’s owner.

Meet Samantha, an inspiring gardener and dancer who executes her ability to care for her plants extremely well.

I’ll let you be the judge!


gardening, organic garden, green thumb, healing garden, benefits of gardeninggardening, organic garden, green thumb, healing garden, benefits of gardening

gardening, organic garden, green thumb, healing garden, benefits of gardening

gardening, organic garden, green thumb, healing garden, benefits of gardening

gardening, organic garden, green thumb, healing garden, benefits of gardening

Not only does Sam grow and harvest the plants in her whimsical garden, but she cooks with them too! …Pretty impressive, huh?

gardening, organic garden, benefits of gardening, green thumb
gardening, organic garden, benefits of gardening, green thumbgardening, organic garden, benefits of gardening, green thumb

Samantha is definitely onto something, as scientific research supports the benefits growing a garden at home.

Here are five reasons why you should start:

1.Sweet Serenity: Planting and gardening elevates the  levels of “happy hormones” in our bodies as well as decreasing feelings of stress and anxiety.

2. Gets the Blood Flowing: Maintaining a garden is actually a relaxing yet effective form of exercise. Burning those extra calories is definitely a plus!

3. Veggie Heaven: Gardeners are more likely to indulge in a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.

4. Earth is My Mother: Working with floral, fruit, herbal, and vegetable plants will strengthen your precious bond with nature.

5. Ah, Satisfaction Baby: Wouldn’t it feel nice to know that your centerpiece or meals actually came from something you planted, grew, and harvested?

…So what are you waiting for? Go out there and plant something! Even if you don’t have the space outdoors, you can grow potted flowers and herbs indoors. Just remember, the most fruitful and rapidly growing plants are those grown with healing and loving hands. 🙂 NB

All photos in this blog were provided by Samantha! To check out more from Samantha’s garden– view her gardening and cooking albums.

August 6, 2012

Don’t Compare Yourself to Other Girls! …Ever!

teen, compare, confidence, self esteem, teen looking in mirror

teenvoicesmagazine.wordpress.com

By: Dana Baardsen

It’s one thing to be inspired by other girls and their success stories…but it’s another thing to become unhappy or dissatisfied with your own body based on what other girls look like.

As young women, we deal with this “comparison pressure” on a daily basis. Sadly, as you move forward into adulthood, you realize some women STILL are comparing themselves to others. It is completely your responsibility to learn to love yourself and respect your body.

Ever wonder how the girls we see in the beauty pageants on television muster up the strength and confidence to walk in front of a panel of judges in their bathing suits? Well, I did…so I got the scoop from this year’s America’s Miss Florida and New Jersey.

Check out what they had to say when I asked how they dealt with the pressure of being compared to other pageant contestants:

pageant, lorenza navarro, miss florida, self esteem

Provided by Lorenza Navarro

miss new jersey, olivia demattio, self esteem, inspiration

Provided by Olivia DeMattio

“Personally, I do not like to think that I am being compared to the other girls. In order to do my best, I try to only compare myself in terms of my own personal goals. I believe that every body shape and size is beautiful, and I choose to think that the judges will agree. There will always be a girl with rock hard abs and less body fat than me, but if I walk onto that stage just as confident and proud of my body as she does, I know I can shine just as bright.” Lorenza Navarro, America’s Miss Florida 

“What helps me deal with the pressure is just to remember that you are you, and nobody else is. Everyone is built differently, and the judges know that. I remind myself that I worked extremely hard to get my body “pageant” ready, and there will always be girls skinnier, and bigger than you on stage to. You’ve just got to work what you’ve got and show that confidence to the judges!” –Olivia DeMattio, America’s Miss New Jersey

So remember, try to never compare yourself to others! To some degree it’s normal, but if you think you are comparing yourself to other girls and it has you feeling down about your own body, then you need to work on learning to love yourself and to start being proud of your personal accomplishments! Keep in mind, if anyone actually is judging you, then they have more self value problems than they can even realize. Just focus on you! You’re all you need to feel and be happy. NB

 

July 24, 2012

Healing Weight Loss Crystals

flourite, healing, crystal, properties, spirit

Image: Rainbow Lightning Women on Facebook!

By: Dana Baardsen

My affection for beautiful crystals has existed since I was a little girl. I recall being around the age of five, loving to collect rocks, and on one special occasion my mother gifted me a small “crystal kit“. The kit included six small crystals glued to a piece of paper, which came along with a little booklet describing the facts and value of each one.

The thought of supergluing a crystal to anything irks me now, but at the time I was just obsessed!

To this day I admire crystals, yet own just a few. I came across a gorgeous fluorite crystal today and it inspired me to do a little research on which healing crystals are called upon for diet and weight loss.

Here’s what I found:

quartz, healing, weight loss, stones, inspiration, light, strength, reikiClear Quartz Crystal: This crystal represents physical and spiritual cleansing. Use this crystal as a strengthener and reminder to remove toxins from the body. This stone will also help you consciously make the right choices so you have an easier time ingesting the foods only capable of gifting life and energy to your body.

Agate: This energizing crystal symbolizes the strength within you. Keep this crystal in arms length if you need help uncovering your motivation to hit the gym!pink agate, agate, healing, crystal, weight loss, diet

apatite, blue, healing, weight loss, diet, fitness, dana baardsenApatite: This stone has been discovered all over the world in six countries forming a hexagonal crystal system. This crystal is used in chakra healing on the sacral (navel) chakra. Since this crystal resonates with the sacral chakra, you can utilize it’s energy to cleanse your stomach and aid in the process of digestion. This crystal is also said to spike metabolism!

Tiger’s Eye: Supports physical vitality and energy. This stone is also said to help attune your mind to keep on track and stay mentally motivated. tigers eye, healing, crystal, weight loss, diet, fitness

black onyx, stone, healing, crystals, power, strengthBlack Onyx: Symbol of inner strength and power.

Crystals are beautiful and powerful energetic gifts from the earth! I love admiring their energy and beauty. It is so interesting to me how several of us find such great reward in using these energy gems in healing practices. Meditate with these crystals and carry them around with you as little reminders to stay on track with your fitness goals! Enjoy. NB

July 24, 2012

Good Morning World ;)

quote, let her sleep, motivation, inspiration, power, strength, healing, nutrition, nourishment

July 7, 2012

Keeping a Fitness Journal…

By: Dana Baardsen

Deciding whether or not to keep a fitness journal? Here are five reasons why you should consider jotting down your routines and eating habits:

1. It keeps you organized: Keeping a fitness log is one of the most brilliant things you can do if you’re trying to get in shape. Not only will it force you to sit down and reflect on your workout routines and food intake, but it will absolutely motivate and keep you focused on your goals.

2. It curbs your behaviors on a daily basis: By writing down the foods you’re eating and the activities you partake in, you will become more proactive in the decisions you make regularly.

3. You can look back and see what worked and what didn’t: By tracking your progress, you can refer to old notes and see which factors had the most profound effects on your fitness. Were you working out on the days when you felt happy and well rested? Did you tend to eat healthier or notice more strength when you ran on a daily basis? etc.

4. Helps balance sleep: When you keep a record of the hours you sleep every night you will become more conscious of assuring you get the sleep you need! Sleeping properly repairs the body, regulates metabolism and provides energy. Don’t skimp on the zZz’s.

5. Enjoy sweet victory: Congratulations! You have a new body, a new feel, and a whole fitness journal to idolize  and keep as a trophy of your personal success.

So, now that you want to create a fitness journal…how do you do it?

Simple. Do what works for you.

Keep your thoughts written down on post-its, calendars, or be more traditional and write in an actual journal.

You could be a little tech-savvy and open up a word document on your desktop…or even blog about your fitness goals!

Don’t hesitate to do a little research online and find a server designed specifically for fitness logging: http://www.myfitnessjournal.com/.

If your crafty you can design a fitness scrapbook and keep photos of your progress and your favorite inspirations! The possibilities are endless…

Remember: It’s okay to be honest in your journal…even if you fail to complete what you intended to! After all, keep in mind the truest and realest tracker of your fitness progress is your own body. 

Have fun! NB

June 18, 2012

Workout Buddy! Cute.

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