Work It Out Wednesday

Keith here. Has everyone missed me? This is week 3 of our Kettlebell instructions. To see what you missed in Week 1 go here or Week 2 go here. This week we are moving on to Kettlebell Snatches.

The kettlebell snatch is a fluid in motion and vicious in the force it generates, even with a light bell.  The snatch will help you create a stronger back and hips that are resistant to injury. That sounds good right? Simply stated, a snatch is a swing that starts with a clean and ends with the end of a press (arm extended with the bell). BUT…you are not PRESSING it, you are not CLEANING it, and you are not SWINGING it. You are SNATCHING it. Ready to see?

1 Kettlebell Snatch

2 Kettlebell Snatch

 

In the beginning when you are learning kettlebell snatches, try doing sets of five or lower. This will allow you to improve your form before going all out with higher repetitions. Once you get the technique down try the following routines:

Beginner

Day Exercise Sets Reps Break
Monday One-arm snatches 3 15 60
Wednesday One-arm snatches 1 25 90
Friday One-arm snatches 2 15 60

Advanced

Day Exercise Sets Reps Break
Monday One-arm snatches 2 25 60
Wednesday One-arm snatches 5 10 30
Friday One-arm snatches 3 15 30

Challenge: Try incorporating kettlebell snatches into your workout this week. C’mon step out of that comfort zone!!!

Work It Out Wednesday

Keith here guys! Today I want to talk Kettlebells! Have you seen these lurking around your gym lately?    

Kettlebells

Kettlebells have been around since the early 1700′s and started in Russia. Russians used these cannonball shaped weights to train their armed forces and their Olympians. Kettlebells made their debut in the United State in the early 1900′s especially after seeing the Russian success. Kettlebells have become more popular in recent years due to the resurgence of Russian Kettlebell Certification (RKC) training by Pavel Tsatsouline.    

Kettlebells can be used as a workout alone or substituted for dumbbells and barbells in traditional strength training workouts. To begin, just try adding in 1 or 2 movements into your already established strength circuit or using them as a cardio interval at the end of your circuit. Kettlebells force you to use your body’s momentum in a series of fast swings, jerks, and cleans. The core is always engaged and the workout is usually high repetition. This is ensures your strength training workout is also a cardio workout (second only to cross-country skiing in caloric burn according to recent studies) Kettlebell workouts have shown to be effective in burning fat, building muscle, and increasing strength and stamina. Sound like something you want to a part of? I would strongly suggest that if you are brand new to kettlebell you should meet with a trainer for the first few times to get comfortable with the movements and ensure proper form!    

The first basic kettlebell movement is called a Swing. It is the foundation for all other kettlebell movements. Here is how to do it:    

  • Step 1: Stand straight with your legs shoulder width apart.
  • Step 2: Lean forward at your waist slightly and bend your knees so as to go into a semi-squat. Keep your back arched and head facing forward steadily.
  • Step 3: Let you arms hang loosely and raise the weight with both hands over your head and inhale. Then, swing the weight with both hands in between the legs towards the back of you while exhaling. Move the kettlebell using power thrusts from the hip, thigh, and lower back muscles. A powerful hip snap on every rep is a must.
  • Step 4: Complete 5 to 10 sets of 20 to 50 reps of kettlebell swings with a minute pause between each set of repetitions. With heavier weights, inhale on the swing between your legs and exhale when you raise it above your head.

For a visual here is my YouTube video:    

    

Once you have mastered the Basic Swing there are 2 progressions that you can try:    

Progression 1: A Two-Arm Swing. Here you do the same movement but with 2 lighter kettlebells. Make sure you hold the handle in the center and really focus on balancing your weight on both side. Need a visual? Okay.    

    

Progression 2: Alternating One-Arm Swing. Here you are using one kettlebell and switching hands mid-air at the top of the trust. In my video I switch on every 5th repetition but you can switch on every one or every other one…it is entirely up to you.   

    

As always shoot me an email (via Kelly) or leave a comment if you have any questions and I will do my best to answer them for you! My last tip: REMEMBER TO BREATH! (exhale on the trust) See you next Wednesday!   

Challenge: Try the basic swing movements this week. Next week we will move on to cleans and jerks!   

 

That’s a Serving Size?!

According to The New York Times, the F.D.A. is addressing an issue that the serving sizes provided on packaged foods are NOT realistic. Many people don’t realize that the “serving size” on the nutritional info panel is usually MUCH smaller than what they serve themselves. Example: Many of the soups on the market today are billed as “Heart Healthy” and claim to have a reasonable amount of salt per serving. But a shopper has to examine the label closely to understand that a serving is only 1/2 the can! A full can may contain close to half the daily salt allowance recommended. Or let’s consider the humble chip: most potato or corn chip bags today show a one-ounce serving size, containing a tolerable 150 calories, or so. But for some brands, like Tostitos Hint of Lime, one ounce can be just six chips. How many people usually stop at 6 chips? But FDA officials are noting one potential problem: Would larger serving sizes on labels encourage people to eat more? That’s definitely a valid point, but  if most people are eating that much anyway, wouldn’t it be beneficial for them to see the real nutritionals?

What do you think?

What is Trans Fat?

Everyone is always talking about Trans fat (also known as the bad fat), but do you really know what it is?

Trans fat is, in fact, the worst kind of fat for your health because it both raises bad cholesterol and lowers good cholesterol. Trans fat is formed when oil is hydrogenated, or processed to become solid.

When hydrogenated fats like margarine and shortening were first invented, they became the ingredient of choice because they were cheaper, more shelf-stable, and thought to be healthier than butter. It was only recently confirmed that this fat is especially unhealthy.

Trans, or hydrogenated, fat is found in stick margarine, vegetable shortening, and fried foods. Until recently, it was also found in most commercially packaged baked goods, crackers, pastries, cookies, and many other products. However, in 2006, when it became mandatory for companies to list trans fat on food labels, many manufacturers changed their formulas to reduce the amount of trans fat their products contain.

Therefore, ALWAYS check the ingredients list on a product for “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” oil of any type. If such an ingredient is present, there is still some trans fat in the food. And if the trans fat ingredients are near the top of the list, drop the box and run the other way!

15 WORST Desserts in America!

We all need an occasional blowout but the problem is most people omit the word “occasional” and indulge in over the top desserts more than they should. With today’s obesity and diabetes rates, in adults and children, rising at an alarming rate we need to take control! Below, from Eat This Not That, is a list of the top 15 worst dessert choices in America.

15. Worst “Healthy” Packaged Dessert: Tofutti Vanilla (1/2 cup): 210 calories, 13g fat (2g saturated); 15g sugars! The label touts the fact that Tofutti has no butterfat and no cholesterol. While these claims are technically true (Tofutti is not made from dairy, so by definition it can’t have butterfat or cholesterol), they might as well advertise “no razor blades inside!” Because touting what’s not in this product simply obscures the truth about what is: Tofutti is as loaded with fat and sugar as most full-fledged ice creams. (It also has about 10 ingredients too many, including a big helping of corn oil.)

14. Worst Supermarket Ice Cream: Häagen-Dazs Chocolate Peanut Butter (1/2 cup):360 calories, 24 g fat (11 g saturated), 24 g sugars! Häagen-Dazs produces their ice creams using only a few simple ingredients; problem is, those ingredients are heavy cream, egg yolks, and sugar, making their ice creams consistently the most calorie-dense in the freezer section. This peanut-butter blast to your gut takes the cake—literally—packing an astounding 1,440 calories into every pint-size carton.

13. Worst Desert For Your Cholesterol: Bob Evans NSA Apple Pie: 491 calories, 30 g fat (5 g saturated, 13 g trans)19 g sugars! It feels like just looking at Bob Evans’s dessert menu will raise your LDL. More than 75 percent of the sweet stuff contains trans fat, with a full 7 desserts containing 7 grams or more of the troublesome lipid. Clearly Bob’s bakers haven’t found a way to make piecrust without shortening, despite the fact that the rest of the world figured it out long ago (here’s a tip, guys: good old-fashioned butter). Until they get a grip on their penchant for partially hydrogenated fats, your only viable option for a meal capper is a simple, unadorned scoop of vanilla ice cream­—the à la mode minus the pie.

12. Worst Frozen Treat: Toll House Ice Cream Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwich: 520 calories, 23 g fat (9 g saturated)44 g sugars! Considering so few frozen ice cream treats creep above the 300-calorie threshold, we’re astounded that Nestlé stuffs this sandwich with nearly as many calories as a Big Mac. You can have 2 Toll House Chocolate Chunk cookies and a scoop of Breyers All Natural Vanilla ice cream and still save 110 calories. Or you could just switch to the Oreo option and use the 340 calories you save on something better.

11. Worst Pastry: Hostess Chocolate Pudding Pie: 520 calories, 24 g fat (14 g saturated, 1.5 g trans), 45 g sugars! This is the type of snack you pick up at a gas station in a pinch and feel vaguely guilty about, not knowing that you just managed to ingest nearly three-quarters of a day’s worth of saturated fat before your tank finished filling up. And considering these little packages of doom cost a buck or less across the country, the pudding pie qualifies as one of the cheapest sources of empty calories in America.

10. Worst Hot Chocolate: Starbucks Venti 2% Salted Caramel Signature Hot Chocolate (20 ounces): 760 calories, 37 g fat (22 g saturated), 85 g sugars, 380 mg sodium! Since when did hot chocolate require salt and caramel to meet the expectations of consumers? Seems a bit gratuitous, no? Thanks to Starbucks’ monstrous creation, the classic winter comfort beverage is now sullied with more than a full day’s worth of saturated fat and as much sugar as nearly 4 Hershey’s chocolate bars.

9. Worst Kid’s Dessert: Uno Grill Kids’ Sundae: 860 calories, 38 g fat (20 g saturated),94 g sugars! Consider the repercussions of slapping three Baby Ruth bars’ worth of fat and sugar onto the end of your child’s meal. Weighing in at an astounding 3/4 pound, this abominable sundae is twice as big as the Kid’s Pasta, and twice as caloric as his entire meal should be.

8. Worst Mall Dessert: Cinnabon Regular Caramel Pecanbun: 1,110 calories, 56 g fat (10 g saturated, 5 g trans), 47 g sugars, 141 g carbohydrates! This isn’t breakfast, this is dessert. And an atrocious one at that. There are dozens of ways to curb a sweets craving at the mall, but your sugar fix should never climb above 400 calories. The only speck of nutrition to be found in the bun comes from the nuts. Too bad they’re coated in a river of sugar. Go with the Auntie Anne’s pretzel and save 730 calories, 55 g fat and 10 bacon strips’ worth of saturated fat.

7. Worst Drive-Thru Dessert: Dairy Queen Raspberry Truffle Blizzard (large): 1,140 calories, 44 g fat (31 g saturated, 1 g trans), 141 g sugars! The decadent offerings at DQ span the nutritional spectrum, ranging from smart indulgences to caloric catastrophes and everything in between. So choose wisely or you’ll end up wolfing down two-thirds of your daily caloric allotment without ever leaving the driver’s seat. Being smart at DQ means skipping over the malts and Blizzards entirely and opting instead for a relatively restrained sundae. Stick to a small and you can have any flavor your hungry heart desires.

6. Worst Shake: Jamba Juice Peanut Butter Moo’d (Power): 1,170 calories, 30 g fat (7 g saturated),169 g sugars! The scary thing about this 30-ounce shake is that you can consume more than half a day’s worth of calories in 3 minutes of spirited sipping, all under the pseudohealthy banner of the sacred smoothie. What’s even scarier is you’ll be slurping up the sugar equivalent of 8 packs of peanut M&M’s, all while thinking you’re doing your body a favor. Though no mall food packs more calories, the Moo’d at least offers a touch of nutrition (unlike the dreaded Pecanbun) in the form of peanut butter’s protein and healthy fat. Still, don’t mistake it for anything other than a serious threat to your waistline. When at Jamba, stick to their impressive list of smoothies in the All Fruit and Light categories.

5. Worst Pie: Red Robin Mountain High Mudd Pie: 1,390 calories, 69 g fat, 205 g carbohydrates! Red Robin’s Jackson Pollock imitation suffers from the disease afflicting all too many restaurant desserts in this country: gigantism. Split among 4 forks, it would still ruin even the healthiest meal eaten before it. You’d be better off eating 9 scoops of Breyers All Natural Rocky Road ice cream. But choose the Chili’s Sweet Shot and save 57 g of fat! In fact, you could knock back 5 shots of key lime pie and still cut calories and fat.

4. Worst Cake: Red Lobster Chocolate Wave: 1,490 calories, 81 g fat (25 g saturated), 172 g carbohydrates! Chocolate Tidal Wave is more like it: This fat-packed mega-cake accounts for three-quarters of your daily calories and as many carbohydrates as you’ll find in 14 slices of white bread. (Just sit and digest that statistic for a second.) The dessert menu at Red Lobster isn’t great—2 out of 5 options break the 1,000-calorie mark, and the “lightest” choice is a little over half that—but if you split the cheesecake with a friend, you could eat a delicious dessert without bursting from your pants when you’re done.

3. Worst Chocolate Dessert: Chili’s Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie: 1,590 calories, 76 g fat (37 g saturated), 220 g carbohydrates! This hulking slice packs as many calories as 3 Big Macs. That’s right: Nobody would ever consider capping a meal with 3 Macs, so why would they order a slice of this stuff? When choosing dessert at Chili’s, the only safe options are the Sweet Shots, drinkable treats with built-in portion control. Avoid the chocolate one, which rings in at 420 calories; any of the others should be fine.

2. Worst Sundae: Baskin-Robbins York Peppermint Pattie Brownie Sundae: 1,610 calories, 80 g fat (32 g saturated, 1 g trans), 183 g sugars, 222 g carbohydrates! Warning: Not a single sundae from Baskin-Robbins contains less than 500 calories. Furthermore, anything with chocolate that can be sucked through a straw should be avoided at all costs. That means the only real viable route at the popular dessert parlor is to stick with a single scoop of ice cream. (At least you’ll have 31 flavors to choose from.)

1. WORST DESSERT IN AMERICA: Romano’s Macaroni Grill New York Cheesecake with Caramel Fudge Sauce: 1,660 calories, 97 g fat (57 g saturated), 950 mg sodium, 165 g carbohydrates! Considering the fact that Macaroni Grill’s savory menu is already cluttered with one of the country’s most potent arrays of calorie, fat, and sodium bombs, its lineup of destructive desserts only adds insult to injury. There’s the Dessert Ravioli (1,630 calories), the Lemon Passion (1,360 calories), and the always classic and catastrophic caramel-smothered cheesecake, which, with more calories than 3 Big Macs and as much saturated fat as 57 strips of bacon, is the worst dessert in America. Seek solace in a scoop of sorbetto—one of the country’s best sit-down sweets.

50 WORST Cities for Fall Allergies

Ever wonder exactly what an “allergy” is? According to WebMd, “allergies are an abnormal response of the immune system where the body’s defenses react to a usually harmless substance in the environment, such as pollen, animal dander, or food. Almost anything can trigger an allergic reaction, which can range from mild and annoying to sudden and life-treatening.”

WebMD has come out with it’s 2009 list of the worst U.S. cities for fall allergies. Cities are ranked based on four factors: prevalence data, seasonal pollen, allergy medicine use per patient, and the number of board-certified allergists per patient. Listed below are the top 50, but to see the full list of 100 go to http://www.webmd.com/allergies/news/20091002/100-worst-cities-for-fall-allergies

THE TOP 50:

1. McAllen, TX
2. Wichita, Kan.
3. Louisville, Ky.
4. Oklahoma City, Okla.
5. Jackson, Miss.
6. Dayton, Ohio
7. Augusta, Ga.
8. Tulsa, Okla.
9. Knoxville, Tenn.
10. Little Rock, Ark.
11. Madison, Wis.
12. San Antonio, TX
13. Dallas, TX
14. New Orleans, La.
15. Baton Rouge, La.
16. Charlotte, N.C.
17. St. Louis
18. Birmingham, Ala.
19. El Paso, TX
20. Virginia Beach, Va.
21. Memphis, Tenn.
22. Chattanooga, Tenn.
23. Des Moines, Iowa
24. Austin, TX
25. Greensboro, N.C.
26. Omaha, Neb.
27. Columbia, S.C.
28. Philadelphia, Pa.
29. Kansas City, Mo.
30. New York, N.Y.
31. Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
32. Richmond, Va.
33. Indianapolis, Ind.
34. Allentown, Pa.
35. Cape Coral, Fla.
36. Bakersfield, Calif.
37. Nashville, Tenn.
38. Grand Rapids, Mich.
39. Syracuse, N.Y.
40. Tucson, Ariz.
41. Houston, TX
42. Buffalo, N.Y.
43. Tampa, Fla.
44. Charleston, S.C.
45. Columbus, Ohio
46. Lakeland, Fla.
47. Riverside, Calif.
48. Orlando, Fla.
49. Toledo, Ohio
50. Atlanta, Ga.

Would You Like a 1000 Calorie Salad With That?

Don’t always assume that a salad is a HEALTHY option when you go out to eat. Here is a list of the top 10 WORST restaurant salads!

Number 10: Romano’s Macaroni Grill Chicken Florentine Salad – 1,020 calories/17 grams/2,830 mg sodium

Number 9: Quiznos Chicken Caesar Flatbread Salad – 1,020 calories/69 grams fat/2,120 mg sodium

Number 8: Quiznos Roasted Chicken Flatbread Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing – 1,070 calories/71 grams fat/1,770 mg sodium

Number 7: Chili’s Boneless Buffalo Chicken Salad – 1,070 calories/77 grams fat/4,380 mg sodium

Number 6: Chili’s Southwestern Cobb Salad – 1,080 calories/71 grams/2,650 mg sodium

Number 5: Ruby Tuesday’s Carolina Chicken Salad – 1,129 calories/71 grams fat

Number 4: Baja Fresh Charbroiled Steak Tostada Salad – 1,230 calories/63 grams fat/2,380 mg sodium

Number 3: Outback Steakhouse’s Queensland Salad (no dressing) – 1,225 calories/82 grams fat/3,094 mg sodium

Number 2: Romano’s Macaroni Grill Seared Sea Scallops Salad – 1,320 calories; 91 grams fat/2,860 mg sodium

Number 1: Chili’s Quesadilla Explosion Salad – 1,390 calories/89 grams fat/2,710 mg sodium

Is It For Real?

There are thousands of advertisements wanting you to believe that there is a magic wand to wave and, ta-dah, you will go from a size 12 to a size 2 in mere weeks! Is is true? Sadly the answer is no! Below are some tips to help you spot a weight loss scam:

1. “It’s so easy to lose weight without dieting or exercising!” Face it—permanent weight loss takes work, effort and time. Pass on any products that promise miraculous results without the effort.

2. “Eat whatever you want and still lose weight!” Losing weight requires sensible food choices, not overloading on high-fat, high calorie foods.

3. “Lose weight forever…you’ll never need to diet again!” For weight loss to be permanent, it requires lifestyle changes. On-going maintenance is always a must.

4. “Block the digestion and absorption of fat, carbs, or calories!” There is no magic potion that will allow you to block the digestion and absorption of fat, carbs, or calories. A little pill to curb cravings and suppress appetite just doesn’t exist.

5. “Rapid weight loss: Lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks!” Looking to lose weight rapidly for your high school reunion or wedding? Products that safely produce lightning-fast weight loss just don’t exist. A weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week is the safest and most effective way to take off weight and keep it off.

6. “Finally, a weight loss formula for everyone!” A diet that claims to be perfect for all is erroneous. One-size-fits-all just doesn’t work. Your lifestyle habits and health concerns are unique.

7. “Lose weight with this miracle diet patch, cream or gel!” You’ve heard it all before—”Apply and watch the fat melt away!” But truthfully, all that melts away is your hard earned money.

8. “Scientifically Proven! Doctor Endorsed!” Where is the proof and how was the research conducted? Were people studied, or rodents? Were there 3 subjects in the study or 3,000? Has the research been published in a medical journal and reviewed by peers? A doctor of what profession? Or is the “professional” as purely fictitious as your weight loss will be? Be sure to check the details.

9. “Money-back guarantee!” It may make you feel safer to give the product a try, but realize that many companies do not follow through with this promise. You’re left holding an empty promise and an empty pocketbook.

10. “100% safe!” Just another attempt, trying to get you hooked with a meaningless phrase. Think of it this way – if there were no reason to doubt, why would they need to make this claim at all? Many products have been removed from the market due to safety issues, but not until too many lives were already destroyed or lost. Does ephedra ring a bell?

11. Those convincing testimonials: We can all look 10 pounds slimmer by: standing up straight, shoulders back, and stomach in; having a good hair day; applying the right make-up; and hiring a professional photographer. Remember, just because you recognize the actor or actress doesn’t make the product any more reliable.

12. “A miraculous breakthrough!” Turn and run the other direction when extravagant claims make the product sound to good to be true. The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid them. To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues, visit www.ftc.gov or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).

All-Natural Beauty From Your Kitchen!

Consider this food for thought: Great skin is as much about what you put in your body as what you put on it. But what if the same food you put in your body for healthy hair and skin could do the same good on your outside too? Celebrity makeup artist Shalini Vadhera says if you want to get gorgeous, hit the fridge. Inspired by her global travels, the founder of Global Goddess Beauty shares her top 4 all-natural beauty secrets from women around the globe.

1. GO BANANAS FOR HEALTHY HAIR! If your hair is starting to show signs of damage from heat styling or color treatments, try this Hawaiian secret for super-shiny tresses: Use a fork to mash one banana in a bowl, then slather the mixture from root to tip. Leave the treatment on for 15 minutes, then wash with shampoo. Bananas help improve the health and natural elasticity of your hair thanks to their high levels of potassium.

2. SMOOTH YOUR SKIN WITH HONEY! Take a cue from fresh-faced Polish women, who apply honey on their faces as an intensive moisturizer. Just a thin layer does the trick. The sweet golden goo’s firming and moisture-retaining properties make it a popular anti-aging ingredient, too. An added bonus? It helps protect the skin from the damage of UV rays.Warm a small pot of honey in a double boiler over low heat. After testing a small dab on the inside of your elbow for a safe temperature, apply the honey generously over your entire face. Leave the mask on for 15 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with warm, then cool water.

3. GO GARLIC FOR STRONGER NAILS! Add chopped garlic to a bottle of clear nail polish. Let it sit for 7 to 10 days, then paint the mixture onto your nails. It’s a little secret Dominican women use to strengthen their nails—and it makes them feel stronger than acrylic tips!

4. DRY, DULL SKIN IS THE PITS! Skip expensive body scrubs or spa treatments in favor of a natural, budget-friendly body treatment. Next time you snack on Greek olives or whip up a tapenade, hold on to the pits—they are a great natural remedy for dry skin. Grind them up in a food processor and use them as a body scrub to remove dry, dead skin cells.

100 Calorie Halloween

Everyone LOVES Halloween candy, myself included! Here are some 100 calorie Halloween options that will let you have your candy AND eat it too!! :)

  • 3 1/2 Snack Size Twizzlers
  • 5 Starburst Orginal Fruit Chews
  • 8 Dots
  • 13 1/2 pieces BRACH’S Candy Corn
  • 28 Milk Chocolate M&M’s
  • 60 Smarties
  • 1 2/3 Snack Size York Peppermint Patties
  • 2 Twix Minis
  • 1 1/2 Snack Size Kit Kats
  • 3 Milky Way Midnight Minis
  • 1 1/4 Snickers Fun Size Bars
  • 4 Three Musketeers Minis
  • 4 1/2 Tootsie Roll Midges
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