Forgot your password?   New? Click here to join today!
       

latest

09/26/2015

Get Off the Treadmill and Onto the Mat - Same Results, Different Approach


In 2009 I was diagnosed with a neurotransmitter disease. It presented with side effects of adrenal fatigue, but what unfolded was more complicated than I could have ever imagined. At diagnosis the doctor explained to me that obesity is the biggest side effect, and that I would be over 200 lbs for the rest of my life, and the chances of ever competing again would be impossible. After the shock of the diagnosis and prognosis wore off I was determined to beat the odds. At my follow up with my doctor I started a journey to true health and ultimately my happiness, although I didn’t know it at the time. He explained to me that most people are unwilling to eat a restrictive nutritional lifestyle and learn what it really takes to be healthy. From that day on I used my already extensive background in nutrition to learn everything I could about the way the body uses nutrients and what it takes for the body use energy most efficiently. Although I could speak extensively on the nutritional side of this journey that’s not the point of this article, but I did think it was important to explain what started my journey.


Identifying the issues that would hinder my progress was the first step. Other than nutrition the number one factor was extensive cardiovascular exercise. I had always controlled my weight by doing steady state cardio, either running or aerobics. If I used this approach it would cause my neurotransmitters to produce more and more Cortisol and lead to my obesity. It was specifically at that time that I looked for other approaches to controlling body fat. I was a mediocre and uninspired yoga participant at the time. I was telling a friend that teaches one of the most popular yoga classes in Santa Monica about my situation and he suggested Power Yoga. This started my journey and six years later I’ve controlled my body fat through nutrition, weight training, and Power Based Yoga Classes and am continuing to compete, getting my body fat down to 7% while still building muscle. What is most important about my journey are the things I learned along the way that could change the face of fitness for so many other fitness enthusiasts.


The antiquated philosophy of steady state cardio for fat loss is ultimately hindering people's progress. The three biggest problems with steady state cardio are that it burns muscle, is injurious, and places stress on the adrenal (hormone) system. So how can yoga take us to the same place?

Most people have the perception that yoga is lying on the ground in corpse pose with little or no movement, and to be honest I had the same misconception. When I attended my first Vinyasa Flow Power Yoga class I was blown away by the intensity of the class. It was much like a High Intensity Interval cardio session. There were very intense quick Vinyasa Flow segments that were followed by holding and twisting power and strength moves. Although the class was still 1 hour and 30 minutes, much longer than a typical cardio session, the added benefit of stretching, strength, and stress relief made this an all inclusive workout, offsetting the time commitment.


As we age, especially as women, our ability to build muscle is hindered, partially because of our age and lack of adequate hormone production, but also because of our increased injuries. It is not enough to work hard lifting weights in the gym, but secondarily we need to hold onto every ounce of muscle we make this one of the most significant benefits of getting off of the treadmill, and onto the yoga mat. There is zero catabolic effect from yoga. The muscle we build will be spared at the same the fat is burned.



Although many people enjoy the stress relief of steady state cardiovascular exercise, the wear and tear on the body can be great. From shin splints to back problems and everything in between there are very few clients that are successful at keeping their body fat low with steady state cardio and remaining injury free. This is because the more cardiovascular strength you have, the more difficult it is to get your heart rate in the aerobic training zone and therefore the more intense the workout must become. This creates a tremendous amount of strain on the body, thus resulting in injuries. The most impressive part of Yoga is the holistic benefit it has to the body. Yoga is an incredibly kinesthetic (moving the way the body was designed to move) form of exercise. Because your body was designed to move in this manner it will not only heal many injuries but it will also prevent many injuries. Secondarily, because Yoga is one of the most ancient forms of exercise dating back to prior to 3000 B. C., it offers historic proof of its safety. As yoga has evolved it has only become safer, as science has evolved. So again, although the commitment of 1 hour and 30 minutes of yoga vs. 45 steady state cardio might be viewed as a convenience there is an enormous benefit to healing and preventing injuries.


Probably the most important benefit of integrating Yoga into your program is the hormonal benefit. Although it has many hormonal benefits I want to focus on Cortisol, the flight/stress hormone. Increased Cortisol causes the body to store fat. So running/steady state cardio over a long period of time places stress on the body and can cause an over production of Cortisol.

Conversely there is little to no stress placed on the body during Yoga, therefore Yoga has a balancing effect toward Cortisol and with the same energy expenditure will lead to fat loss.


 

In addition to the noticeable benefit of replacing steady state cardio with Yoga for balancing Cortisol, there is an additional benefit to your adrenal glands. We know that the concept of adrenal fatigue has made an appearance in the last few years. There is some evidence that steady state cardio is one of the contributing factors to adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue is caused by undue stress placed on the body. This stress can be physical, but also mental or emotional. The reason that this is concerning is the adrenal glands must operate efficiently in order to produce hormones effectively. If your hormones are imbalanced the health consequences are real.  Again steady state cardio places additional stress on the body, whereas Yoga has zero risk factors as it relates to adrenal fatigue.


So the primary question people want to ask is how to lose weight and gain back their health. Steady state cardio can help you lose weight, but at what cost? Yoga, on the other hand, can help you lose weight with a whole host of benefits. Calorie expenditure, stress relieve, and stretching are the most noticeable benefits of integrating Yoga into your health and wellness practice. Although it might be challenging in the beginning, if you continue your commitment to the journey then not only will you become more flexible and stronger, but you will see your body change through fat loss: your unlitmate goal.

So here is my challenge to you: Get Off the Treadmill, and Onto the Yoga Mat...what do you have to lose??




03/11/2015

2015 is Off to a GREAT Start!!!

 2015  is off to a great start. We kicked off the year this past weekend with our SuperCamp. Canadian Nutrition Coach, Nathan Harewood started the weekend with lectures on Basic Nutrition, he was then joined by hormone expert Dr. Lester Lee for a in depth lecture on hormones and the way they effect your general health including weight loss. Then we got down and dirty with lectures on Fake Foods and Fake Sugars; and the truth about the internet. In addition to the 6 amazing lectures that were offered, we also taught them 6 great workouts; including World Famous Stunt Man Nick McKinnlis's Beyond Strong Program and Rudy Mattia's Warrior 360 Vinyasa Flow Yoga....




03/03/2015

UNLEASHED Program - Cheat Meals vs. Open Food Days

 There are no such things as cheat meals on a healthy eating program. We are not committing to only eating healthy 6 days per week and then eating crap on day 7. That would not be a healthy eating program. The problem with that strategy is that it is very destructive to brain chemistry. It takes your brain chemistry a minimum of 10 days for addictive thoughts and cravings to subside, so if you eat a cheat meal every 7 days you never truly clean up that brain chemistry and it causes cravings and hunger throughout the week. This then results in thinking about that cheat meal all week long and binging behavior when you do finally indulge in it. Again, this is not to say that you will never eat the foods that you love ever again but they will be saved for “Special Occasions” rather than weekly cheat meals.

Instead of cheat meals I have developed “Open Food Days”. Sundays are an “Open Food” Day. You will eat only healthy options from the meal plan below or grocery list but quantities and timing of meals do not matter. This is a great day to eat out at restaurants, but this is not a cheat meal. It is still something healthy selected from the list of foods below. There are some additional foods on the grocery list like nuts and avocados that are available on Sundays Only.




04/29/2012

Day 14 - 39 days to 39

Todays 39 days to 39 is day 14, MMA grappling with Crystal Tracy

Note: My 39 days to 39 are in addition to my regular daily workouts and cardio.

Training: 45 minutes MMA grappling drills

From side mount....
Leg Lock...
Keylock...
Armbar...
Full Guard...
Guard...
Half Guard...
Underhooks...

This was really fun....grappling is actually completely counter intuitive. Everything you want to do instinctively is actually your weakness and used against you. This is a physical game of chess.

Nutrition & Supplements: Today was day 2 of my 4 day nutrition rotation, Low Calorie day with 4 meals.

I am eliminating protein powder and going to whole foods only as of today. My body tends to be more metabolic on a whole food diet. So it is time.

Meal 1 - 5 Egg Whites, 1/2 cup Butternut Squash, 3/4 cup blueberries
S: Nutek Natures Greens and EFA's

Meal 2 - 5 oz lean ground beef, 1 can of low sodium green beans

S: Pre Workout - Forzaone BCAA Sport

S: Post Workout - Forzaone BCAA Sport

Meal 3 - 5 oz of sway (white fish), 1 cup broccoli
S: Nutek Natures Greens and Natures Fuel

Meal 4 - 5 oz canned tuna, 1 can low sodium green beans, 2 tbsp coconut oil
S: Nutek Natures EFA's

I did snack on a handful of almonds and macadamia nuts here and there today, so I eliminated the second serving of butternut squash that I was supposed to eat with meal 3.


04/27/2012

Day 13 - 39 days to 39

Todays 39 days to 39 is day 13, with Mike Michels of M2Live Fit in Santa Monica CA

Note: My 39 days to 39 are in addition to my regular daily workouts and cardio.

Training: 45 minutes functional/athletic training.

Combination 1:
Lateral Shuffle/Cross Walks - spanning 40 feet
4 sets
Easy Jog - recovery

Combination 2:
with bands at ankles and knees
20 squats pushing out on the band
20 jumping jacks
20 lateral shuffles
4 sets
Easy Jog - recovery

Combination 3:
Ladder Drill - boxer shuffle left, boxer shuffle right, hop scotch down, hop scotch back
Jog to ropes
Rope Drill - beat the drums, circle out, circle in, jump squats with waves, lunge right waves, lunge left waves, jump lunges with waves
Jog to cones
Walking lunges with 12 lb medicine ball shoulder press
4 sets
Easy Jog - recovery

Combination 4:
Run to cone 1, run back, Run to cone 2, run back
20 Jump Squats, butt touches medicine ball
Lunges with band retractions
4 sets
Easy Jog - recovery

Combination 5:
Plank Series - forearm plank, lateral plank right, lateral plank left, alternating lateral plank rotations, lateral plank hip dips left, lateral plank hip dips right, forearm plank, lateral plank right 20 leg lifts, lateral plank left 20 leg lifts.

I had my ass completely handed to me which was great, but what was better is that this workout took place on the bluffs overlooking the ocean of Santa Monica beach and it was a completely beautiful day.

Nutrition & Supplements: Today was day 1 of my 4 day nutrition rotation, Low Calorie day with 4 meals.

Meal 1 - 5 Egg Whites, 1/2 cup Butternut Squash, 3/4 cup blueberries
S: Nutek Natures Greens and EFA's

Meal 2 - 4 oz BNRG Protowhey Protein Shake

S: Pre Workout - Forzaone BCAA Sport

S: Post Workout - Forzaone BCAA Sport

Meal 3 - 5 oz of sway (white fish), 3/4 cup butternut squash (I use frozen), 1 cup broccoli, 2 tbsp coconut oil
S: Nutek Natures Greens and Natures Fuel

Meal 4 - 5 oz lean ground beef, 1 cup broccoli
S: Nutek Natures EFA's

I feel really great and I can see significant changes to my body.


04/26/2012

Day 12 - 39 days to 39

Todays 39 days to 39 is day 12, The Signal Hill, Hill Street Challenge with Jamie Tafoya.

Note: My 39 days to 39 are in addition to my regular daily workouts and cardio.

Training: 45 minutes slow steady state cardio of hill work.

This was an awesome workout which allows me to burn bodyfat with becoming too catabolic and also acts as a good active recovery. I can't work out heavy and hard 7 days per week for 39 days straight.

Nutrition & Supplements: Today was day 4 of my 4 day nutrition rotation, High Calorie day with 5 meals.

Meal 1 - 4 Egg Whites, 1/2 cup Brown Rice, 3/4 cup blueberries
S: Nutek Natures Greens and EFA's

Meal 2 - 4 oz BNRG Protowhey Protein Shake

S: Pre Workout - Forzaone BCAA Sport

S: Post Workout - Forzaone BCAA Sport

Meal 3 - 4 Egg Whites, 3/4 cup butternut squash (I use frozen)
S: Nutek Natures Greens and Natures Fuel

Meal 4 - 6 oz steak, salad and grilled vegies...My salad dressing is 2 tbsp coconut oil, mixed with 2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar, and mustard.
S: Nutek Natures EFA's

Meal 5 - 4 oz of white fish and 1 can of low sodium green beans. I am really full by this meal and can barely choke it down but metabolic confusion does not work without the high calorie days.


04/25/2012

Day 11 - 39 days to 39

Todays 39 days to 39 is day 11, Shoulder Smack Down with Coach Doug of Total Body Advantage.

Note: My 39 days to 39 are in addition to my regular daily workouts and cardio.

Training: 45 minutes of Shoulder training with Coach Doug.
6 sets of 6 - 8 (lifting heavy)
Shoulder Press
Laying Down Front Shoulder Raises
Bent Over Reverse Delt Flies

4 sets of 12 (lifting heavy)
Lateral Shoulder Raises
Front Shoulder Raises
Rear Delts on the Reverse Pec Deck

This was an awesome workout. Coach Doug puts his own twist on many traditional exercises which gets to the belly of the muscle and makes it scream....NO MORE!!!

Nutrition & Supplements: Today was day 3 of my 4 day nutrition rotation, Med Calorie day and only 4 meals.

Meal 1 - 5 Egg Whites, 1/2 cup Brown Rice, 3/4 cup berries
S: Nutek Natures Greens and EFA's

Meal 2 - 5 oz beef strips, Mixed Steamed Veggies

S: Pre Workout - Forzaone BCAA Sport

S: Post Workout - Forzaone BCAA Sport

Meal 3 - ForzaPro Whey Protein, 1 Egg White, 2 TBSP coconut oil
S: Nutek Natures Greens and Natures Fuel

Meal 4 - 5 oz Lean Ground Beef Patty, 1 can of low sodium green beans...
S: Nutek Natures EFA's



04/24/2012

Day 10 - 39 days to 39

Todays 39 days to 39 is day 10, Butt Training with M2 Fitness Pro's (Long Beach, CA) Emile Jarreau.

Note: My 39 days to 39 are in addition to my regular daily workouts and cardio.

Training: 45 minutes of Butt training with Emlie Jarreau.
Circuit of 5 exercises 10 to 15 reps per exercise, 3 rotations
Straight Leg Glute Extensions.
Hyper Extensions into Hamstring Curl
Single Leg Deadlifts
Lateral Walks with Elastic Band
Calf Rotations on the balanced board
Squat Thrusts with Kettle Bell

This was an awesome workout. What many of you may not know is that Emile inspired me to first start competing. He has trained/coached some of the most successful figure athletes in our industry. Thanks Emile for a great butt workout, I can barely sit down. :)

Nutrition & Supplements: Today was day 2 of my 4 day nutrition rotation, Low Calorie day and only 4 meals.

Meal 1 - 5 Egg Whites, 3/4 cup Butternut Squash, 1 medium apple -Baked
S: Nutek Natures Greens and EFA's

Meal 2 - 5 oz can of tuna, 1 can of low sodium green beans

S: Pre Workout - Forzaone BCAA Sport

S: Post Workout - Forzaone BCAA Sport

Meal 3 - 4 Egg Whites, and 3/4 cup butternut squash
S: Nutek Natures Greens and Natures Fuel

Meal 4 - ForzaPro Whey Protein, 1 Egg White, 2 TBSP coconut oil
S: Nutek Natures EFA's



04/23/2012

Day 9 - 39 days to 39

Todays 39 days to 39 is day 9, Spinning with Lisa Kammel.

Note: My 39 days to 39 are in addition to my regular daily workouts and cardio.

Training: 1 hour of spinning (indoor cycling) with Lisa Kammel. Lisa is the co-owner with her husband of Executive Fitness in Long Beach, CA. This was one of the best spinning classes I have ever taken. Her class used great music and RPM training is a great alternative cardio approach for somebody like me that has a very high level of condition.

Nutrition & Supplements: Today was the beginning of my 4 day nutrition rotation, Low Calorie day and only 4 meals.

Meal 1 - 5 Egg Whites, 3/4 cup Butternut Squash, 1 medium apple -Baked
S: Nutek Natures Greens and EFA's

Meal 2 - beef bowl, cabbage and green veggies, no rice no sauce

S: Pre Workout - Forzaone BCAA Sport

S: Post Workout - Forzaone BCAA Sport

Meal 3 - 4 Egg Whites, and 3/4 cup butternut squash
S: Nutek Natures Greens and Natures Fuel

Meal 4 - ForzaPro Whey Protein, 1 Egg White, 2 TBSP coconut oil
S: Nutek Natures EFA's


04/22/2012

Day 8 - 39 days to 39

Todays 39 days to 39 is day 8, Mat Pilates with Loretta Shaw.

Note: My 39 days to 39 are in addition to my regular workload. I probably should have explained that sooner. So, I am also doing 6 days per week of cardio. 35 minutes of HIIT 3 days per week and 45 minutes of moderate intenisty steady state 3 days per week.

Training: 45 minutes of Mat Pilates with Loretta Shaw. Loretta owns one of the premier pilates studios in Rossmore California and I was fortunate enough to get my abs and hips busted in this awesome Mat Pilates class. And the best part is she gives everybody a little back rub and the end of class.

Nutrition & Supplements: I added an extra High Calorie Day today. This was important because I was working out for 10 hours straight today. One weekend per month I teach an 8 hour Pole Fitness Teacher Training Course and I teach 4, 45 minute master classes as part of the course. I am supposed to be on a metabolic confusion plan of 2 low calorie days, followed by a medium calorie day and then a high calorie day. A true High Calorie Days would have 5 meal days, but today I decided to double up my last meal instead. So as you can see I ate 2 pseudo starches, 1 real starch, I also added a snack with nuts and an extra fruit, but the rest was standard.

Meal 1 - 4 Egg Whites, 1/4 cup Butternut Squash, 6 Strawberries -Baked
S: Nutek Natures Greens and EFA's

Meal 2 - 2 Scoop BNRG Hydrolisate Whey Protein Shake in 1/4 cup oatmeal.

S: Pre Workout - Forzaone BCAA Sport

S: Post Workout - Forzaone BCAA Sport

Meal 3 - 4 Egg Whites, and 3/4 cup butternut squash
S: Nutek Natures Greens and Natures Fuel

Snack - 1/2 cup almonds, apple

Meal 4 - 8 oz Fillet Minon Steak, Grilled Vegies, Plain Green Salad, no dressing.
S: Nutek Natures EFA's


04/21/2012

Progress Pic - wk 1 of 39 days to 39

My sexy progress pics are in my Members Only section....Hint Hint!!

39 days to 39 wk 1 progress pics, front


39 days to 39 wk 1 progresa pic, back





04/21/2012

Day 7 - 39 days to 39

Training: 45 minutes of Heavy Bag Boxing with Jeanette Ortega.

Combination 1 - Jab to Cross
Combination 2 - Hook to Hook
Combination 3 - Jab, Cross, Hook, Hook
Combination 4 - Front Kick, Front Kick
Combination 5 - Jab, Cross, Hook, Hook, Front Kick, Front Kick
Combination 6 - Round House, Round House
Combination 7 - Jab, Cross, Hook, Hook, Front Kick, Font Kick, Round House, Round House
Drill 1 - Boxer Shuffle Drop - 1 Minute
Drill 2 - Jab, Cross, Drop - 1 Minute
Drill 3 - Jab, Cross, Drop, Font Kick, Round House, Drop - 1 Minute

Nutrition & Supplements: High Calorie Day. Im on a metabolic confusion plan of 2 low calorie days, followed by a medium calorie day and then a high calorie day. My High Calorie Days are 5 meal days.

Meal 1 - 4 Egg Whites, 1/4 cup Brown Rice, 3/4 cup Mixed Berries -Baked
S: Nutek Natures Greens and EFA's

Meal 2 - 2 Scoop BNRG Hydrolisate Whey Protein Shake

S: Pre Workout - Forzaone BCAA Sport

S: Post Workout - Forzaone BCAA Sport

Meal 3 - 4 Egg Whites, 3/4 cup butternut squash, and 1 cups green beans
S: Nutek Natures Greens and Natures Fuel

Meal 4 - 5 oz Fillet Minon Steak, Asparagus

Meal 5 - 1/2 scoop Forza Pro Whey Protein with 1 egg white, 2 TBSP cocounut oil
Supplements: Nutek EFA's


04/20/2012

Day 6 - 39 days to 39

Todays 39 to 39 is day 6 - Power Yoga with Vytas

Training: 1 hour and 15 minutes of Power Yoga with Vytas. This yoga class was a mix between traditional Ashtanga Yoga, Kest's Power Yoga, and a little bit of general fitness with a yoga flare. It was instructionally dynamic, challenging and mind clearing; and the environment (from the room to the people I am surrounded by) was perfect. The room was packed full of a variety of yoga styles and levels  and they pushed me in a way nothing else ever has. By the end I was completely drenched with sweat, felt energized, and at peace with myself and the world around me. Oh and the best part is not only was my mind flexible but body was too. I think Vytas' quote explains it best for me, "Try dropping out of the rat race for a mere hour and a half. Leave that insanity at the door and join us." I think every single competitor can relate.

 Vytas, thank you for what you do for me and so many others.....

Nutrition & Supplements: Medium Calorie Day. Im on a metabolic confusion plan of 2 low calorie days, followed by a medium calorie day and then a high calorie day.

Meal 1 - 5 Egg Whites, 1/4 cup Brown Ric, 3/4 cup Mixed Berries -Baked
S: Nutek Natures Greens and EFA's

Meal 2 - 1 Scoop ForzaOne Whey Protein Powder, 1 EggWhite and 1 TBSP Coconut Oil.

S: Pre Workout - Forzaone BCAA Sport

S: Post Workout - Forzaone BCAA Sport

Meal 3 - 5oz flank steak, and 2 cups green beans
S: Nutek Natures Greens and Natures Fuel

Meal 4 - 5 oz Flank Steak, Big Salad, 1 tbsp coconut oil.
Supplements: Nutek EFA's