Slim in 6

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Why I'm Passionate About Fitness Ministry

Spirituality and Fitness -- Do They Go Together?

Spirituality and Fitness
We tend to think of physical fitness as being something that is purely physical. I mean, the word physical is right in there. But there are important spiritual aspects to your fitness and health as well. I'm not talking just about religion here -- although that is part of it. I'm talking about spiritual and emotional factors.
Human beings are not just physical creatures. We have emotional needs. We have mental needs. And we have spiritual needs. You cannot neglect any of these areas if you want to live a healthy and balanced life.
Peace and Stress
Stress is something that we need -- up to a point. Without some stress things get pretty boring. But our busy lifestyles and ever changing society have led to constant stress which has very serious implications for our health and fitness. Stress hormones make losing weight difficult and also drain our energy if we don't have time to recuperate and rest.
You need to take some time to get in touch with your inner self as well as being in touch with God. We all have different notions about who or what God is (or if there is such a thing) but regardless of your concept of God, it is important that you spend time connecting spiritually. For some this will involve prayer and study. For others meditation. Even just taking time to smell the roses can be refreshing.
Your spirit is the source of joy and peace in your life. It is the place where you can combat stress. You need to be aware of how harmful stress (and other negative emotions) can be to your physical body. Learning to deal with them in a positive way will help your body to be healthier and stronger as well.
Make Time
I heard a comment recently that many Christians are so busy that the only prayer time that they have is on the run. That really resonates with me and I'm sure that regardless of your religious beliefs, you will find that you don't have the time for reflection and introspection that you need. Without it you will find that your energy levels are constantly draining. You will find that your stress levels constantly rise. You will find that your life lacks joy and peace.
You need to make time for your spiritual self. Pick a time that you know you can consistently set aside for this. Maybe it's only 5 minutes in the morning before getting ready for school or work. Maybe you can squeeze 15 minutes on your lunch break or before bed. Whatever time you can manage, make it a habit to spend that time quietly in whatever fashion is important to you. Pray. Read. Memorize. Meditate. Breathe. Relax.
You may be thinking "I just can't afford to spend the time." Well, the fact is that you really can't afford not to. Having this daily time of refreshment can bring dividends that make the rest of your day a little bit smoother. It won't make the problems disappear, but it will help you to deal with them more effectively.

If you are ever in the San Dimas area in Southern California on a Tuesday night, stop by our Free New Song Fit Club workouts (7-8pm) to see how we are getting in shape both physically and spiritually. Contact me or my wife Leslie for details. Our information is listed under our profile. See you soon. 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Rest Day

Exercising can become incredibly addictive, particularly when you start to see results. When that happens we often want to Exercise as often as we can in the hope that we’ll reach our goals faster, but it doesn’t always work out like that. Rest days are incredibly important, as much as Exercise days in fact, so they should never be overlooked.

Rest days are just that – days of rest. They give your body the time to recover and rejuvenate, as it can’t keep running continually without needing time to relax in between. If you don’t allow your body that chance to recover you could be looking at negative effects instead of positive ones, so it’s vital to always include rest days in your routine.

They’re even more important when it comes to weight training. When you use weights your muscles work so hard that they often rip and tear, and it’s when they’re given the chance to recover that they repair themselves and grow back bigger and stronger. If you don’t give your muscles that chance to repair then they’ll never improve because you’re not giving them time to – rest days are just as important as lifting days if you want to see results.

Rest days should always be included in your routine and not just taken as and when you feel like it, so always plan ahead like you do with anything else when it comes to fitness. When I say that, I don’t mean you have to have one day off and one day on – what I mean is, give each body part time to recover before you use it again.

Let’s say you have cardio sessions twice a week and weight sessions three times a week. Always plan it so that you’re never working the same body part too close together, so with weights, for example, only work each body part once each week so they have time to recover, and try not to do legs the day before cardio or vice versa, as your legs are usually the body part that’s used the most in cardio training so they need the chance to rest.

There are often times when your body just can’t do any more, particularly if you’ve got an intensive training schedule. Listen to your body, and if it tells you that it needs to rest then make sure you let it, otherwise you risk doing more harm than good. Of course, don’t just miss a session because you’re tired – your body needs to by physically unable to work.

As you can see, rest days are incredibly important when it comes to exercising. Your body needs that time to recover so it can come back stronger and fitter, and is even more important if you lift weights regularly. If you don’t give your body the chance to rest then it’s never going to improve, so always make sure you include rest days in your routine if you want to do the best for your body.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

There are Benefits for Coffee Drinkers!

Okay, I will be the first to admit that I am not a coffee drinker by any stretch of the imagination. I can't stand the taste of it and prefer water or skim milk as my choice of beverage. With that said, this blog isn't about me, it's about everyone I can help with their fitness, nutrition, and overall health and well-being. My goal is offer everyone who comes across our blog a piece of advice, information, or be an example for them to see that making the commitment to a healthier lifestyle is something anyone can do with the proper support. So when I read this article from Women's Day on Yahoo!, I felt that many of you may identify with the article, and actually feel at ease about your coffee habit and how it actually falls in-line with taking care of your health. Enjoy.

7 Surprising Health Facts About Coffee

By Woman's Day | Breakfast

By Amanda Greene Kelly

Whether you like yours hot, iced, black or with sugar, one thing's for sure: Coffee serves up plenty of health benefits. Not only can a cup of Joe help ward off depression, but it has even been linked with a decreased rate of skin cancer and increased fertility. Read on to learn about the unexpected heath benefits of coffee, plus other brew-related facts.
1. It may help ward off depression.
Anyone who perks up after the first sip of morning coffee will tell you that it has mood-boosting effects. Now there's proof: A study from the Harvard School of Public Health, published last month in the Archives of Internal Medicine, found that women who regularly drink fully caffeinated coffee have a 20% lower risk of depression than non-coffee drinkers. The study, which followed a group of women for 10 years, found that as more coffee was consumed (up to six cups per day), the likelihood of depression decreased.

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2. It may help promote a healthy weight.
Drinking an espresso or cappuccino after a meal is more than a relaxing habit. "When you drink coffee after a meal, it causes your body to more slowly process the meal you just ate," says Chris Kilham, medical researcher, founder of Medicine Hunter, Inc. and author of Psyche Delicacies. According to David Levitsky, PhD, professor of nutritional science at Cornell University, "Caffeine decreases the rate at which the stomach dumps its contents into the duodenum-a part of the small intestine where digestion takes place-and also increases metabolic rate." Keep in mind, though, that java isn't a miracle brew: Downing it after dinner won't make the pounds melt away; rather, sipping a cup post-meal could, in small part, help promote a healthy weight.
3. It may boost fertility in men.
"Studies have shown that caffeine has a positive effect on sperm motility-the ability of sperm to move toward an egg-and could increase your chances of [getting pregnant]," says John Wilcox, MD, FACOG, managing partner and reproductive endocrinologist at HRC Fertility in California. In fact, a study conducted at the University of Sao Paulo found that sperm motility was markedly higher in coffee drinkers versus non coffee-drinkers. And it turns out that it doesn't matter whether you drink one or ten cups a day: The only detectable difference was found between coffee drinkers and non-coffee drinkers.

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4. It can harbor bacteria.
When you think of the germiest places in your house, you probably picture the kitchen sink or garbage disposal. But your coffee machine's reservoir also tops the list. A study performed by NSF International, a not-for-profit health and safety organization, found that the coffee reservoirs they studied were "loaded with yeast and mold organisms," says Robert Donofrio, PhD, director of NSF International's microbiology labs. "Hardly any of the volunteers we spoke to cleaned or disinfected their reservoirs. The residual water in that area, plus the fact that it's a humid part of the machine, contributed to bacterial growth." To properly clean your coffee machine, follow the manufacturer's cleaning protocol. If nothing is specified, clean it once a month by adding three or four cups of undiluted vinegar to the reservoir, allowing it to sit for 30 minutes and then running the vinegar through the unit. Finish by adding fresh water to the reservoir and running the machine through two or three cycles to wash away vinegar residue.
5. It may reduce the risk of skin cancer.
Staying out of the sun and regularly applying a liberal amount of SPF should always be your number one line of defense against skin cancer. That said, a new study out of Brigham and Women's Hospital found that women who drank more than three cups of coffee a day had a 20% lower risk for basal cell carcinoma, and men had a 9% reduced risk. However, the research did not indicate that coffee consumption reduced the risk of squamous cell carcinoma or melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, making it all the more important to protect your skin when outdoors.

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6. It's not truly addictive.
While many people claim that they can't make it through the day without a few cups of java, Liz Applegate, PhD, faculty member and director of sports nutrition at the University of California at Davis, explains that caffeine is not addictive. "Caffeine is a mild stimulant, and the World Health Organization states that it is wrong to compare caffeine intake to drug addiction, since people can reduce or eliminate caffeine from their diet without the serious psychological or physical problems that result from a true addiction." However, serious coffee drinkers may experience symptoms such as fatigue and irritability if they reduce their intake. According to Dr. Applegate, people who consume 600 milligrams of caffeine (about six small cups of coffee) daily are most likely to experience these symptoms, but they will usually resolve themselves after a few days.
7. It doesn't necessarily cause stomach pain.
If you've ever blamed java for stomach discomfort, you might want to visit your doctor to see what else could be at the root of the problem. According to Lauren Gerson, MD, MSc, associate professor of medicine and gastroenterology at the Stanford University School of Medicine, "There is no evidence from reviewed studies that coffee causes ulcers or more pain in patients with documented ulcers." She also notes that there is no evidence that coffee could be the cause of stomach pain in patients with indigestion. However, there is one type of digestive issue that coffee can aggravate; Dr. Gerson explains that drinking coffee may worsen heartburn symptoms, since it stimulates the stomach to produce gastric acid.

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Read more About: health tips, healthy eating

Article originally appeared on

Monday, December 12, 2011

Eat This Not That

This last week I did something new. At least it was new for me. I got up at my mom's group and talked in front of nearly 60 women about nutrition! I have learned tons of information that has helped get me to where I am today: healthier, happier and skinnier. Because of all of that I can't help but want to share it with everyone. I was offered the opportunity to do so for our last meeting, if my topic was among those chosen to be shared. Low and behold my feature entitled, "Eat This, Not That" was picked! So with the help of my wonderful husband we set about compiling a list of commonly eaten foods and healthier alternatives. I showed how making simple, small changes to your daily diet can add up to big changes on the scale. So I thought that I would share those changes with you. I hope that you find this list helpful and can see how easy it can be start on the road to a healthier you.

Eat This Not That

Healthier Options for Common Foods

And Their Exchanges

4 oz. 93% lean ground beef = 170 cal.

4 oz. lean ground turkey = 120 cal saving of 50 calories

Spaghetti pasta 1 cup = 221 cal

*Whole Wheat spaghetti pasta = 174 cal savings of 47 calories

Hidden Valley Ranch Salad Dressing 2 Tbls.=140 cal.

Hidden Valley Ranch Salad Dressing 2 Tbls. = 174 cal. savings of 60 calories

Milk whole 146 cal

1% 102 cal savings of 44 calories switching to Lowfat

Non fat 83 cal savings of 19 calories switching to non fat

Almond 90 cal dietary preference

Soy 90 cal dietary preference

Baked chicken breast w/ skin = 193 cal.

Baked chicken breast w/o skin =140 cal. savings of 53 calories

Oatmeal Instant Apples and Cinnamon= 128 cal.

*Homemade with apples and cinnamon=92 cal. savings of 36 calories

Starbucks Coffee – Tall Grande Venti

White Hot Chocolate 310 420 520 (saving of 210 calories from Venti to Tall)

Hot Chocolate 230 290 380 ( savings of 150 calories from Venti to Tall)

Egg Nog Latte 370 460 610 (savings of 240 calories from Venti to Tall)

Iced Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha 200 260

Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha 340 440

Making changes like these could save you 309 calories in one day! Times that by 7 and you have 2,163 calories saved in 1 week.(not including calories from coffee).

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Vegan Thanksgiving "Stuffing"

Thanksgiving dinner has been a little disappointing in the past watching everyone enjoy all the dishes I used to love. Twice baked mashed potatoes,  the green bean casserole, yams and most of all my father in laws AWESOME stuffing. Well this year I decided instead of eating salad and a roll I was going to enjoy dinner just as much as everyone else. So I got in the kitchen and made my favorites Vegan style. This "stuffing" was my favorite, even my family liked it and I am making it with dinner tonight. I hope you like it, and you don't have to save it for Thanksgiving!
5c. cubed whole wheat bread (what ever kind you like)
1 T. E.V.O.O. (extra virgin olive oil)
1/2 T. minced garlic
1/2 c. minced onion
3/4 c. chopped celery
1/4 c. minced fresh parsley (better with fresh but use dried if you have to just cut it by like 1/2)
1/2 t.  sage (dry)
1/2 t. thyme (dry)
6 finely chopped dates (medjool is the kind I use)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c. chopped pecans
1 c. vegetable stock/broth (or more)

In a 400 degree oven toast bread cubes till lightly golden brown (3-4 minute) transfer to a large bowl. In the meantime, saute onions, celery and garlic in E.V.O.O till soft and onion is translucent (5-6 minutes). Add these to the bread along with herbs, salt, pepper, dates and pecans. Slowly adding a little at a time drizzle in the stock and carefully toss untill the bread just starts to stick together. Drizzle a little E.V.O.O. over the top, cover and bake at 350 degrees in a sprayed baking dish for 25 minutes then uncovered for another 5-10 just until the top is golden.  Enjoy

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

As a coach I have tried to do as many of the Beachbody programs from start to finish as possible because I would never like to recommend something to somebody that I wouldn't endorse myself, and because if they have a question I would like to have first-hand knowledge of what they might be experiencing so I can better address their needs. With that said, it had been a while since I was a finalist in Insanity Challenge Beachbody held last year, and since then I went back to P90X, did Insanity: The Asylum, RevAbs, Chalene Extreme, and some others. So now that I am deep into my P90X/Insanity Hybrid program I have finally reached the Max Interval part of the program with the Insanity workouts again. Let me tell you, today was rough. But I remembered that when I did it the first time I also thought I was going to die. But I just kept doing my best and every time I pushed play I did as much as I could and hoped for improvement. So that helped me get through my workout today as well. I like knowing that although I struggled like crazy to make it through the 55 minutes of hell that Shaun T put me through, in the end I will reep the rewards of my hard work. So for anyone out there reading this post, keep that in mind. If you need someone to help you get through this program, don't hesitate to contact me.

Matt's Beachbody Site

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Surgery Over Working Out

Today I was listening to the radio on my way home from my Moms' group when an ad came on for a Brazillian Butt Lift Surgery.  The title is what caught my attention being that I just started Brazil Butt Lift the work out program from Beachbody and creator Leandro Carvalho.  I was then shocked when the ad stated that this Surgery is "BETTER THAN ANY WORKOUT" and is the "ONLY" solution that lasts! What the heck are they talking about?  How in the world can surgery that is dangerous on it's own with sedation, liposuction and "recontouring" of your butt, hips and thighs be better? And this type of surgery is not permanent. There have been numerous studies that have found people to actually gain more weight than their lost after having liposuction. Liposuction may remove pounds of fat from a person, but it doesn't change that person's habits. If a person doesn't change the way they view food, how they feel about it, enjoy it, think about it and most of all consume it, then their battle with their weight will continue. Alongside a healthy relationship with food, is the need for the body to be stimulated with consistent exercise/activity. I am promoting Brazil Butt Lift, but simply owning this workout program won't "work" by simply sitting on the shelf. You have to put the time and effort into the program to see results.  Yes, it takes time and commitment to change your behavior, there are no shortcuts to a healthy life, but you will find that it is worth it in the end. This is the end of my rant and my push for you to stay out of the operating room thinking you will get a great "Brazillian Butt" or better abs or arms just from having surgery. Get off the couch and move! *Leslie

My Beachbody Site