Posts tagged ‘diet’

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

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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
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 3, 2012

Happy Watermelon Day!!

watermelon, diet, fitness

By: Dana Baardsen

Watermelon is a summer-fruit staple. Aside from attracting admirers of all ages, this drippingly-good treat is packed with Vitamin C and Vitamin A. Score!watermelon salsa, nutrition, health, diet

Watermelon also helps regulate the electrolyte balance within our bodies which can be offset during excessive sweating. It’s like this fruit was designed for the hot days!

There is no better way to celebrate National Watermelon Day than by biting into a piece yourself.watermelon drink, watermelon soda

Try a delicious watermelon salsa, with chopped red onions, cucumbers, even pineapple. Sprinkle with fresh basil and serve with multigrain chips. Enjoy this refreshing dip!

Then, cool off with a yummy sparkling watermelon drink. Add fresh watermelon juice to sparkling water and splash with lime juice. Garnish with a lime wedge and some mint leaves! 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.

June 18, 2012

Lose Ten Pounds

Dr. Oz, Diet, Weight Loss, Fitness, Lose Weight

doctoroz.com

By: Dana Baardsen

Doctor Oz came up with a list of ten things YOU can do right now, to lose ten pounds. My favorite suggestions of his are to cut out soda consumption and stay on top of taking your multi and B complex vitamins.

We only have a few weeks until July, and if you haven’t prepped your body properly for bathing suit season, you might want to take some of his ideas into consideration.

Here are ten tips I’ve created for optimal weight loss in a short period of time:

1. Mindful Eating: It may seem pretty basic, and you might think your eating mindfully– but really take a second to think about what you consume on a weekly basis. Rather than focusing on daily intake, (“I only had a FEW potato chips today”) focus on what you consume during the week.

Are you going through full bags of potato chips? Or are you going through full bags of spinach? Are you going through a tub of ice cream? Or are you going through a tub of low-fat Greek yogurt? This leads to the second point:

2. Cabinet Makeover: If your serious about ditching this extra weight, then it’s time to cleanse your kitchen! Go through your cabinets and refrigerator and get rid of anything which could be detrimental to your diet. Work out an understanding with your family and try to keep sweet-eating out of the house.

3. Sayonara Sodium!: Salt is SO important for our cells, because (Sodium) is one of the main electrolytes in our bodies. However, excessive sodium leads to water retention…which leads to packing on extra “water” weight.

Foods you should avoid: Pre-made soups, processed/frozen dinners, canned foods, salty snacks etc.

Salt is often used for a preservative, so while your trying to cut these ten pounds, avoid preserved foods. Look for terms like, “low-sodium” or “unsalted”. Finally, try not to add extra salt to your meals.

4. Fat from Fruit?: Eeek! Could fruit make you fat? Maybe. When eating produce, try to fill up your cart with mostly veggies and limited fruits. Fruits tend to be higher in calories and much higher in sugar. When we have excess sugar in our bodies– it becomes converted and stored as fat. It doesn’t matter if the sugar comes from a grape or a donut, if it’s excess then you don’t want it.

Make sure fruit is your main source of sugar-intake and be “mindful” of not over-doing it!

5. Good Morning, Body: Rather than avoiding the world and throwing the covers over your head when the alarm goes off in the morning, try some light stretching. When we stretch before we even get out of bed, it starts the flow of blood in our bodies so that when we actually get out of bed, the idea of doing a few push-ups or sit ups isn’t so painful. Once you get a light workout in at the start of the day, you will be more conscious to avoid unhealthy decisions throughout the rest of the day.

6. Drink!: Soda, Alcohol, and Juices often contain too much sugar or food dyes and chemicals which can hinder weight loss. Even diet soda contains a chemical which actually slows metabolism over time.

By drinking water (add lemon or mint) you will stay hydrated and rid your body of unwanted toxins.

By drinking tea (especially green) you will actually boost your metabolism and pump your body with antioxidants. How could you go wrong?

7. Break Bad Habits: Turn sedentary activities into fat-burning. Walk instead of driving or taking the bus. Stretch while you watch TV. Do a wall sit while you brush your teeth.

The possibilities to be more active are endless! No excuses this summer…

8. Brown vs. White: It’s important to incorporate brown (breads, pastas, rices) into your diet rather than white. The simple sugars in the white product spike blood sugar and increase body fat percentage. The sugars in brown products are often paired with fibers and nutrients which cause a slow release of sugars into the blood stream. There is no overload of sugar into your body which means a less of an impact on body fat percentage.

9. Prepare Your Meals: Know what you are eating, by developing a relationship with food.

When we eat out of laziness or boredom, the last thing we want to do is actually prepare a meal. We might heat something up or grab a bag-o-somethin’ from the cabinet…but never do we find ourselves chopping fresh veggies and making home made hummus to feed our fix.

If your not willing to prepare something, then you probably aren’t about to eat because your body needs to.

By all means, prepare and store for later use…but make sure you are eating for the right reasons while steering clear from a diet which mainly consists of processed foods.

10. Love Your Body, Know Your Body: Remember not to get hung up on the scale. Know what your body looks and feels like. If you lost seven pounds and can’t seem to drop any more weight, but you notice your body toning up and transforming into something more energetic and flexible–than you’ve succeeded.

Muscle weighs more than fat anyway and it’s better to just decrease your body fat percentage than to focus on a number. NB

June 15, 2012

You Are What You Eat…

Food, Diet

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