Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Vote for Samantha, the 'Everyday Superwoman'

My dear friend and client Samantha Blair made it to the finals for Lorna Drew's campaign to find the 2016 "Everyday Superwoman." Lorna Drew makes masectomy bras and lingerie, encouraging women of all journeys to feel beautiful. Read Samantha's journey on overcoming cancer, and vote for her (details below).

On April 13, 2013, my world changed; while showering I found a lump in my armpit. A diagnostic mammogram determined I also had a lump in my breast and the next day a breast biopsy determined what the radiologist felt was all but certain, I had breast cancer.

By mid-May I had had a double mastectomy with expanders inserted to begin my reconstruction. What followed were months of chemotherapy and radiation. Reconstruction was finally finished in May of 2014.

Treatment, poor diet and a lack of exercise because of surgery caused me to gain more weight than I wanted to admit. I felt like an old woman, much older than my 46 years. Everything ached, even walking the dog was defeating. Finally I decided beating cancer was more than just removing it from my body, it was totally reclaiming myself from everything cancer had wrought. That meant setting my mind to the task and starting to rebuild my body through exercise and diet. My joints still hurt every day, but I found the more I exercised, the better I was starting to feel. I lost some weight and felt better still. The downward spiral was reversed leading to gains greater than I could have imagined following the double mastectomy.

I chose to have my picture taken in my favorite sports bra because I refuse to let cancer define who I am. In fact, because of cancer, I have become a more healthier, stronger more vibrant me.

Vote for SAMANTHA to win by sending an email to info@lornadrew.com, and add the name SAMANTHA to the subject box. Only 1 vote per email will be counted. You can also share on social media.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Bye Bye Bloat

Bloating, heart burn, indigestion, and upset stomach of any other kind can land you on a bad commercial for some Pepto. But a better option is to prevent the bloat with some simple, healthy habits. And if you want to lose belly fat and make the most out of your workouts, especially interval training, because we all know that you have to be a beast to do that stuff, then you better watch what you're doing outside of the gym. Feeling fluffy and puffy is just not fun. Thankfully, I've got some tips to tell the bloat, "bye, bye, bye."

Load Up On This ...

1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Nature's own Beano. ACV has detoxifying and purifying effects in the body. It also helps to regulate your body's pH levels, which reduces indigestion, heart burn and gas. It also helps to strengthen hair and nails and brighten skin. If you can't shoot an ounce of it a day, try jarring vegetables with it or mixing it in your salads.

2. Lemon Water
You see it all the time at restaurants. There's a reason why water's served with a lemon wedge. Lemons help with digestion, offering your body the alkalizing effects of helping to break down foods kind've like the digestive enzymes do that your body creates on its own. I add stevia to mine, and drink it all.the.time. It's also good to stay hydrated in general because water moving in and out of your system consistently flushes toxins and prevents water retention. You don't want your body thinking it may not get enough water; otherwise, it will store whatever water it has in "bloat" mode.

3. Fiber
Contrary to the FiberOne commercial, fiber shouldn't make you sad. Keeping your body in constant flow, fiber helps relieve your intestines, which prevents constipation and bloating. If you're not used to eating fibrous foods, start slow. Begin with berries, avocado, kiwi, pumpkin, oats, and pretty much any other vegetable.

4. Bromelain-Containing Foods like Pineapple
Pineapple not only packs a delicious flavor and water content, but this tropical fruit is high in the enzyme bromelain, which helps break down protein and eases digestion. You can also take bromelain and other digestive enzymes in supplement form to banish the bloat, especially if you've met your sugar/carb macros for the day.

5. Low-Impact Exercise
Doing some low-impact cardiovascular activities like jogging/running (depending on your fitness level), power walking, climbing stairs, cycling, dancing, swimming or pilates can prevent constipation. Vigorous exercise is good for you too, but it actually puts pressure on your gut, so it's important to have balance. A good rule of thumb is to do 20-30 minutes of vigorous exercise (HIIT cardio, weight-lifting, etc) and 20-30 minutes of lower-impact exercise every day. Yes, that means you have to sweat for about one hour a day. One out of 24 hours. In the great scheme of things, it's not that big of a deal. If your health is a priority, you will make it happen.

Limit This ...

1. Salt/Sodium
Put this down: Not only is too much sodium bad for your heart, but it will also cause you to retain water — and not just in your belly — so stop yourself the next time you reach for the salt shaker. Extra sprinkles aren't the only way we consume too much sodium. Limit high-sodium foods such as hot dogs, cottage cheese, bacon, soy sauce, and chips.

2. Carbonation
Yep, even Perrier. Carbonated drinks expand in your tummy, so limit your intake of them, especially on days you might sport a swimsuit. Other foods have the same effect: like beans, cabbage, broccoli and even pears. This doesn't make them bad foods, obviously. Just know ahead of time, they will fill your tummy (which could be a good thing).

3. Dairy 
Cheese and other processed dairy foods can cause you to feel bloated. Aside from most cheeses being highly processed, dairy is acidic, which can cause your body's pH level to rise, especially if you're not eating enough whole foods, fruits and veggies. It affects some people more than others, so if this sounds familiar, hold the milk, ice cream, yogurt, and cheese, and look for dairy-free alternatives.

4. Eating in a Hurry
More times than not, we are in a hurry. Slow down when you go to chow town. Swallowing too much air when eating can cause you to feel a little bloated – not to mention that you may overeat, rushing past the feeling of fullness. You may be prone to eating too fast if you often get hiccups (guilty). Long story short: slow down and chew more.

5. Alcohol
This just ruined someone's day. I know, I'm the bearer of bad news, but it shouldn't be a surprise to learn that alcohol can bring on the bloat. It lowers your body's ability to absorb water efficiently in the organs, which makes your body retain anything it can get. That's why you might feel good and dry for a while when you drink (or when you're drunky-doodle), but the next day, your'e all, "Ugh, I feel so fat ...." Cheers to the fact that you can still enjoy a drink or two as long as you follow it up with a cup of water to keep you hydrated. Nevertheless, I'm a huge advocate for steering clear of the alcohol. To sum it up, it's just poison for your body.

For more tips and resources, follow me on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. Also, check out my Services to find out how I can personally help you get fit from the inside out. 
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