Sunday, April 26, 2009

when in Rome....

Five years ago I was fortunate enough to spend 2 glorious weeks aboard a Mediterranean cruise with my brand new husband of 3 days! It was a fantastic honeymoon that allowed us to discover a number of iconic spots like Rome, Venice, Barcelona, Nice, Monaco and Florence. The trip we enjoyed so much was the epitome of romance for a couple of kids in love.

Kevin and I were both looking forward to tasting the food and wine and let me tell you, we certainly did a lot of that! However I was surprised to see that in countries known for the rich, high fat, high carbohydrate foods the only obese people we saw were the thousands of other North Americans on board. The majority of the Europeans we met were lean and athletic looking. We did see overweight Italians but they weren't from Venice or Sicily, they were from Jersey.

Common sense would imply that pastas smothered in rich sauces paired with copious amounts of wine, bread and cheese would pack on the pounds, but after we had spent some time there, the authentic European diet revealed itself as far more healthy than the American version. Our pizzas here are loaded with fatty meats and pounds of cheese atop thick crusts. The pizza I had in Venice was small with a thin crust, about an ounce of cheese and maybe an ounce of pepperoni. I would estimate it was about one fifth the calories of what I would be served on my side of the Atlantic.

We found this to be the norm in Europe. Yes the food is delicious and rich but the portions are very small and the dining experience is centered more on the social aspect with lively conversation, clinking glasses with good friends and enjoying the evening. Dinner is an event, not a chore and it is not uncommon for it to last for 3 hours or more. People take the time to enjoy the food taste by taste as opposed to wolfing it down as if it were a race.

We should take a few cues from the old world and learn to enjoy the culture of meals. Sit down to dinner with your family or friends and enjoy the conversation while also taking time to enjoy a meal. Not only is this practice good for your relationships, it's also good for your waistline.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Working out without the workout

Quote of the day

People are so worried about what they eat between Christmas and the New Year, but they really should be worried about what they eat between the New Year and Christmas. ~Author Unknown

Tip of the day

There are so many ways to burn a few extra calories without feeling like you are exercising. Incorporate more activity into your everyday routines like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, add an extra ten minutes onto your walk with the dogs or spend a little more time working in the garden.
Having a date night with the hubby? Go dancing or take a walk together in the park or on the beach. You could join a ladies soccer or softball team, take martial arts lessons, join a friend in her yoga class or take tennis lessons.
Play tag with your kids, learn to wakeboard in the summer or discover salsa dancing. Use your imagination and you’ll come up with so many new ways to be active and at the same time, have some fun, spend quality time with your family and make new friends! There are lots of options out there you just have to try them!

Joke of the day

Girl: I'd like a triple vanilla ice cream sundae with chocolate syrup, nuts, whipped cream, topped off with a slice of cucumber.
Waiter: Did I hear you right? Did you say top it off with a slice of cucumber?
Girl: Good heavens, you're right! Forget the cucumber – I'm on a diet.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Thin is the new Green

I came across an article this morning on that offers yet another reason to get in shape and stay that way. It seems being lean and healthy is not only good for you, it's good for the environment too!

Thinner is better to curb global warming, study says

By Elizabeth Landau

(CNN) -- Here's yet another reason to stay in shape: Thinner people contribute less to global warming, according to a new study.
More than 1 billion adults worldwide are overweight, and about 300 million are obese.

More than 1 billion adults worldwide are overweight, and about 300 million are obese.

Researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine published a study showing that, because of food production and transportation factors, a population of heavier people contributes more harmful gases to the planet than a population of thin people.

Given that it takes more energy to move heavier people, transportation of heavier people requires more fuel, which creates more greenhouse gas emissions, the authors write.

"The main message is staying thin. It's good for you, and it's good for the planet," said Phil Edwards, senior lecturer at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

The study offers this novel approach to the global warming problem as U.S. lawmakers discuss the future of climate change legislation. This week, the the House Energy and Commerce Committee is scheduled to begin on a comprehensive energy and climate bill. On Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency announced that six greenhouse gases pose potential health hazards, an announcement that could prompt the regulation of the gases.

More than 1 billion adults worldwide are overweight, and about 300 million are obese, the study said. Generally, the body mass index, a measure of obesity, is increasing in most countries worldwide, from China to European countries to the United States.

BMI is going up because of the availability of food and motorized transportation, Edwards said. People are less active now than they were 30 years ago, and the prevalence of fast food has given people less healthy, more energy-dense options.
Health Library

* Obesity

Using statistical models, the authors compared the distribution of BMI in the United Kingdom in the 1970s -- when 3.5 percent of the population was obese -- with a prediction for the country's BMI distribution in 2010, reflecting 40 percent obesity.

"In terms of environmental impact, the lean population has a much smaller carbon footprint," Edwards said.

The population with 40 percent obese people requires 19 percent more food energy for its total energy expenditure than the population with 3.5 percent obese people, the study showed.

This 19 percent increase in food consumption translates into an increase of 270 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, the study said.

"The findings make sense and highlight an important global co-benefit of losing weight, along with the significant personal health benefits," said Patrick Kinney, associate professor at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, who was not involved in the study.

In terms of obesity rate, the U.S. population is not far off from the overweight population model in this study. The country has 33.3 percent obese people, according to the Mayo Clinic.

The study suggests that governments have a responsibility to encourage people to be more physically active, Edwards said. Active transportation, such as cycling and walking, helps maintain a healthy weight but requires safe streets, he said.

"If the government wants to promote active transport, which would be good for the environment and for individual health, it needs to make the environment safe to do that," he said.

Although climate change has come into the forefront as a major world problem recently, this is not the first time scholars have thought about the connection between fossil fuel and body fat.

In 1978, a year the United States experienced an oil shock, a study in the American Journal of Public Health showed that if all overweight people in the country aged 18 to 79 reached their optimal weight, the resulting energy savings would equal 1.3 billion gallons of gasoline.

After the dieting period, about 750 million gallons of gasoline would be saved every year, said the authors, Bruce Hannon, professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and Timothy Lohman, now professor emeritus at the University of Arizona.

Today, research has shown that the obesity epidemic costs the United States about $100 billion a year, said Dr. Martin Donohoe of Portland State University, who runs the Web site Public Health and Social Justice. In terms of energy expenditure, the average food product travels 1,500 miles to get to your table, he said.

Some measures to curb obesity include making healthier meals available in schools, putting nutritional information on food packages and menus, and banning trans fats, he said.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Almost here!!

Happy Friday everyone! So I'm pretty excited (and a little stressed) about my new program coming out. It's a big one! Kevin and I have started a new company called 'Live the Lean Life' hence the name of this blog, and we are about to launch a series of health, fitness and weight loss products over the next 6 months.

The first product is my baby and it's a complete digital weight loss program designed for the busy woman, career gal and/or soccer Mom! It's super user friendly and realistic with menu plans and recipes that your kids (and your man) will have no problem with! The workouts are designed to take as little time as possible as we are all so pressed for time! That's all I can say for now, you'll have to wait for May 1st to get here before you hear the rest! :) Stay tuned!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Quote of the day
Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon.
- Doug Larson

Tip of the day

When it comes to choosing fruits and vegetables always choose fresh local produce or frozen as opposed to canned or imported.

Many people are under the assumption that frozen fruits and vegetables are not as nutritious as fresh, but that is not true. Frozen produce is harvested at the peak of ripeness when nutrients are the most abundant. It is often flash-frozen, locking in all those nutrients that can be lost during packaging and transport.

Canned produce usually has added sugar and/or sodium and isn’t as nutrient rich. Visit your local farmers market for local, in-season fruits and vegetables that have been picked that day or the day earlier.

Fresh local produce and frozen fruits and veggies are the most nutritious and offer the best flavor. Also, with frozen produce you can keep your freezer well stocked with a tasty variety of healthy food and you don’t have to worry about it going bad, making it a cost saving option.

Joke of the day
Pies and cakes should be cut neatly, in even wedges or slices. If not, the responsibility falls on the person putting them away to "straighten up the edges" by slicing away the offending irregularities, which have no calories when eaten. If pie or cake is neatly cut, but the remainder is not easily divisible into equal servings, it's also permissible to even things up ... without calorie consequence.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Five Phenomenal Foods

The superfoods that top the list for nutrition really don’t come as a surprise. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fish have always been known to be good for us but as time goes by we are given more evidence to support that fact. We are constantly learning how essential it is to our well being to incorporate these powerhouse foods into our daily menu.

Certain foods have been shown to aid in the prevention of some cancers, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and many others. They can also benefit our appearance adding shine to our hair, strength to our nails and a glow to our skin. A balanced, nutritious diet paired with regular physical exercise is the key to promoting a long, healthy, energetic life.

Make the following foods a part of your regular diet and experiment with new flavorful recipes to add some variety to you plate!

1) Berries

Berries are loaded with health protecting antioxidants. Blueberries top the nutrition list but are closely followed by cranberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries. All of them are rich in an antioxidant that has been shown to neutralize free radicals which may help ward off illnesses such as cancer and heat disease.

Berries of all kinds are delicious in a smoothie or mixed with cottage cheese, added to oatmeal, atop a salad or on toast with a little bit of almond butter. Take advantage of the summer months and the abundance of fresh in season berries. During the other seasons, stock the freezer with mixed berries. Frozen fruits and vegetables are just as nutrient rich as fresh and are super convenient.

2) Fatty fish

Seafood like salmon, tuna, sardines and oysters are rich in Omega 3s. Omega 3 fats may help to lower blood fats and prevent blood clots associated with heart disease. A diet consisting of at least 2 servings of fatty fish per week can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Salmon and tuna are great when grilled on the BBQ with a little lemon, garlic, salt and pepper. Use a variety of herbs, spices and cooking methods. Serve fish along with wild rice, mixed greens grilled veggies or add to pasta. Enjoy a few oysters or smoked salmon as appetizers. Order some salmon or tuna sashimi at your favorite sushi restaurant or mix tuna with fat free mayo for a nutritious, delicious sandwich filling.

3) Dark leafy greens

Popeye wasn’t kidding! Spinach, kale, bok choy, Swiss chard and other dark lettuces are packed with a plethora of nutrients. Vitamins, minerals, beta-carotene, folate, iron, magnesium, phytochemicals and antioxidants abound in these versatile veggies.

Toss together a fresh crisp salad and top it with grilled salmon or tuna for a highly nutritious meal. Sautee dark leafy greens with olive oil and garlic for a tasty side dish. Include a variety of these greens in omelets, sandwiches, stir frys, frittatas, pasta or quiche or simply serve with balsamic vinaigrette dressing as an accompaniment to any of the above.

4) Whole grains

When I was a kid, I was told “Eat your oatmeal, it’s good for you. It’ll grow hair on your chest”. Thankfully since I was a little girl, it did not but it may have lowered my blood cholesterol levels. Whole grains are high in soluble fiber, contain folic acid, selenium, B vitamins and support heart health, weight control and reduce the risk of diabetes. The high fiber content helps keep you regular and promotes digestive health.

Choose a variety of whole grains and include 2 to 3 servings a day of brown rice, whole grain pasta, breads, cereals, quinoa or barley. The options for preparation of these heart healthy foods are limitless and they can easily be paired with fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and low fat dairy products.

5) Beans and Legumes

These little morsels of inexpensive protein pack a wallop of nutritional advantages. Beans and legumes are dense with phytochemicals, folic acid, fiber, iron, magnesium and some calcium. Adding these to your menu plan can help reduce the risk of certain cancers, lower blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels and keep blood sugar levels stable.

Serve homemade Hummus with fresh raw veggies or spicy black bean dip with salsa and whole wheat crackers as an appetizer. Add your favorites to soups, stews and salads. Kick your omelet up a notch with tomato, onion, chili powder and mixed beans or experiment with Tex Mex style recipes and vegetarian dishes.

Keeping your body well fed with nutritious meals doesn’t have to be boring or bland. Use your imagination and venture out to try new things, ethnic cuisine, different spices, flavors and seasonings. Have fun with your food and try to think outside the box. Incorporating a vast variety of whole foods will keep you feeling and looking your absolute best and extend an energized life!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Change your brain to change your body

Believe it or not, the first step to successful fat loss has nothing to do with food, exercise, calorie counting or gym memberships. It’s actually all in your head. That’s right; it’s a matter of perception and changing your way of thinking. The attitudes and opinions we hold towards healthy eating and fat loss need to adjust to certain realistic terms before anything else is even considered.

The way to reach and maintain a healthy body weight is through a long term (forever) commitment to healthy choices, exercise, balance and positive thought. Eating well does not have to be a negative or boring experience as long as you change your outlook towards it. Instead of feeling as if you are missing out on your favorite things, focus on how fantastic you’ll feel and look while consistently fueling your body with nutritious, wholesome, healthy foods.

Every part of your life will benefit by reaching a healthy weight. Your heart will pump more efficiently. Your bones and muscles will get stronger. You’ll be filled with more than enough energy to participate in the things you love. Last but not least, you’ll look amazing and feel great about yourself.

Make that commitment to yourself to let go of negative thoughts and embrace all the positive aspects of adopting a healthier lifestyle. Stay on course by being realistic and understand that healthy fat loss is achieved over time and takes patience. Accept that there will be bumps in the road. Reminding yourself to stay positive will make it much easier to get back on the right path when you take a wrong turn.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Your day is almost here!

So, the big Bodybuilding, Figure and Fitness show happens here tomorrow in Kelowna.

I will be backstage helping with tans, adjusting suits and probably trying to calm nerves.

It's always an exciting day for the competitors to finally see the day they have been working so hard for for so long! Not to mention they get to eat pizza and chocolate until their heart's content when it's over!

I just want to say Good luck and have fun to everyone participating and congratulations on all your efforts!

Scott Abel's 5-Day Ultimate Figure Program

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Warp Speed Fat Loss

First off, Warp Speed Fat Loss is a very cool concept. The idea that you have in your hands the exact step by step rapid weight loss blueprint that can help you lose 8lbs in the first week and up to 21lbs in just 28 days is very exciting.
Warp Speed Fat Loss is broken up into two main parts - diet and training. The good thing is you can be a complete idiot in both areas and still lose as boatload of weight since everything is laid out for you.

Get Warp Speed Fat Loss Now... Click Here!

In regards to the diet. It is put together by nutritionist and fat loss master Mike Roussell. Mike has created a ton of different “diet levels” so all you need to do is 1. Know your body weight and 2. Print out the 28 day diet plan for that body weight. If you don’t like the foods Mike picked out that is okay as he made some really easy to follow videos that show you how to add your favorite foods to his diets.
The training part of Warp Speed Fat Loss isn’t a walk in the park; but if anyone told you that you could lose 20lbs of fat in just 4 weeks without a solid exercise program they’d be telling you lies. It isn’t like you have to spend your whole day in the gym either as each of the workouts are over in less than 57 minutes.
The Warp Speed Fat Loss program has already given hundreds of people results were nothing short of phenomenal. If you are looking for a brain dead simple guaranteed way to lose weight fast then definitely check out Warp Speed Fat Loss. You can pick up your copy at Get Warp Speed Fat Loss Now!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Going the extra mile!

Do you think that just because you spent 30 minutes on the stairclimber this morning you’ve been given a ticket to ride the elevator? Not so if you’re serious about wearing a smaller dress size.
Recent studies have shown that some people move less after they begin an exercise regimen, probably without even realizing it. According to research done in the Netherlands, when women and men, started to work out twice a week, their everyday activity decreased by 22 percent. The reason for the slowdown, experts speculate, may be postworkout fatigue or assuming that if you exercise, you don’t need to bother with taking the stairs or parking further from the grocery store door. Wrong! Little activities such as standing instead of sitting, fidgeting, and taking extra steps throughout the day can add up to an extra 350 calories burned, according to studies done by the Mayo Clinic. Other research shows that a decrease in these everyday actions may shut down an enzyme that controls fat metabolism, making weight loss more difficult.

There are numerous ways to keep the calories burning and your metabolism charged up! Aside from consistent workouts, take the stairs instead of the escalator, add an extra 5 minutes on to your walk with the dogs, park the car way at the back of the parking lot or go for a leisurely bike ride with friends or family. Every little bit of effort counts when it comes to health and wellness even things that seem insignificant. Remember this:

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Lao-tzu, The Way of Lao-tzu
Chinese philosopher (604 BC - 531 BC)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Welcome to Live the Lean Life!

Thanks for checking out our brand new blog!

Live the Lean was created by Kevin and Shauna Weiss in order to provide high quality health, fitness and weight loss programs and resources for many different populations.

Scheduled to be released May 1 2009

"Live the Lean Life - for Today's Woman".

As a woman living in the 21st century you probably place the importance of your health and weight loss goals way down on the bottom of your to-do list or maybe not at all. Perhaps you have a demanding full time job or two, a husband, a dog to walk, household chores, a lawn to mow, grocery shopping to do and meals to prepare. And then there are the kids! Play dates, after school activities, swimming lessons, baseball games on the weekend, noses to wipe, wounds to heal, cookies to bake, homework to help with and birthday parties that need planning! Whew! That’s tiring, so who has time to workout and prepare nutritious meals? Sorry to tell you but the consequence of being so selfless could mean a bigger waistline!

Live the Lean Life for Today's Woman will give you all the information you need to stay lean and healthy, achieve your goals weight and feel energized! Menu plans, 20 minute workout routines, recipes, motivation and time management tips are all offered in this complete 21 day program.

In 3 weeks you could be living a leaner life, looking great and feeling even better.