Juice Cleanse + Elimination Diet

If you’re into health and fitness you are probably familiar with ‘juicing’. I recently finished a 3-day Pressed Juicery cleanse followed by an elimination diet and received a lot of questions so I would like to provide some feedback.

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Why Do A Cleanse?

There are a number of reasons why someone might choose to start a juice cleanse. There are also varied durations for how long you would like to do a cleanse. My reasoning? I was feeling boated every day, though I was eating the same healthy foods (fish, white meat, fruit, vegetables, etc.). I felt like I was retaining water, though my hydration and salt consumption levels stayed the same. My energy levels were low and I did not feel good on the inside. I felt uncomfortable in my skin and like my midsection was going to burst.

Note: Feeling bloated is not the same thing and feeling full or gaining weight. It is an abnormal swelling or increase in diameter of the abdominal area.

I decided I would like to do a combination of an elimination diet and a juice cleanse. The elimination diet is a short-term eating plan that eliminates certain foods that might be causing allergies or other digestive reactions – then reintroduces the foods one at a time in order to determine which foods are, and are not, well-tolerated.

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Step One: The Cleanse

I began with a 3-day Pressed Juicery cleanse. I ate an apple on the first day (to help eliminate wastes that were backed up), I ate an avocado on day two (since I did not take any days off work during my cleanse and needed energy), and ate two hard-boiled eggs on day three (to test my body’s reaction to eggs with nothing else in my system).

The beauty of doing juice cleanse is you can make it what you want! Based on the outcome I was trying to achieve – regular elimination of wastes, decrease bloating, and discover foods I have developed an intolerance to – this is how I wanted to carry out my cleanse. I am happy to report I achieved the outcome I was hoping for. I noticed a significant decrease in bloating immediately, affirmed hard-boiled eggs were not the issue for me bloating wise, and had SO much more energy.

Step Two: The Elimination Diet

After I complete my 3-day cleanse I began a modified elimination diet. I am lactose intolerant so I was able to skip Phase 1 since I already know what comes of consuming dairy – NOTHING GOOD.

I moved through Phases 2-4 and took notes of what caused and did not cause bloating.

If you deal with boating on a regular basis you might consider taking an enzyme to help with digestion. I take Enzymedica Digest Gold. It is best taken WITH food vs. taking it before or after you eat. I would highly recommend it.

Step Three: Look And Feel Better

After completing my juice cleanse and modified elimination diet I can definitely say I feel like I am back to my normal self. Energy restored, feeling good in my skin and flat in my abdomen.

If you have questions about stubborn bloating, juicing, the elimination diet or anything else please do not hesitate to ask! Email: BodiesByKate@gmail.com

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Back With A New Look & New Content

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It has not been my intention to be away so long but it has been for all the right reasons! I am a new fur-mommy to our new fur-baby ‘Avery’ (14 weeks old, mini Australian Shepherd). We are in full potty training, no chewing/biting/barking, pick up all the rugs, hide the trash mode with this little love bug. It has been absolute bliss!! (Be on the lookout for Avery in the 2018 Puppy Bowl!)

In addition to Miss Avery, I have started working with several new clients and if you work with me you know, my undivided attention is always given to those in front of me. My passion is to take you to the next level, to challenge YOU to challenge your own boundaries, and to guide your nutrition choices for a healthier and happier lifestyle.

Some of my newest clients are training for summer bodies, weddings, long term weight-loss, post natal weight loss, half marathon training, and more! It all starts with a goal. When a goal is determined, a road to that goal is constructed. The road is often rough, but when you can picture that goal at the end you are more likely to stay on course and persevere. Without a goal and clear-cut road to get there, it is too easy to veer off course or prioritize other things in front of what you want. My job is to paint the picture, construct the road, keep you on course and help you overcome obstacles. It all starts with a goal.

What are you working toward this summer? Please email if you would like help with setting or achieving a certain goal (no purchase necessary and it does not need to be fitness related). BodiesByKate@gmail.com

I have also been busy in the kitchen working on new recipes for meal prep, summer dinners, healthy on-the-go snacks, sugarless/minimal sugar summer drinks and more!

In the upcoming days I will be posting new articles on the following topics:

  • Juice Cleanses
  • Summer Poke – my favorite recipe
  • Swimsuit Booty – avoid pancake butt with exercises for home and gym workouts
  • If You’re Not Prepped, You’re Not Prepared Part 2 – new recipes
  • Bands Only Home Workout
  • Low-Sugar Spicy Margs for Summer

Thank you for the continued interest and support! Follow me on Instagram for new post notifications – @Katetownfit

The Mind-Body Connection

Background Music (and therefore) My Current Mindset –
Artist: The Cinematic Orchestra
Album: Every Day

Intentional Exercise & Neural Pathways

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Have you ever heard the expression “Just going through the motions”? When you are exercising, do you find yourself just going through the motions or are you moving with intent and purpose?

When I work with my clients I place emphasis on moving with purpose; to feel the exercise, to match their breathing to the movements, to relax certain muscles, and engage others. Moving with intent and purpose means you are stimulating a connection to grow between the brain/spinal cord and the rest of your body.

Thought – wish – desire – intention – neural signal – signal transfer by nerves – completion of intended action. 

This is the neural process simplified. The job of the spinal cord is to convey the electrical impulses from the brain to the many nerves in the body which attach to the muscles, which carry out the desired action. Exercising and moving with intent strengthens this connection.

Let’s take performing a squat, for example. When you perform a squat, what is your thought process, if any? Do you perform the movement quickly and consider that to be complete and successful? Or is there a mental checklist you go through during the phases of the squat (starting posture, core engaged, where your weight is being held, breathing, muscles to relax, muscles to contract, finishing posture)? If having some sort of mental checklist describes your thought process, you are moving with intent. You are building a deeper connection between your nervous system (brain & spinal cord) and your muscular system.

We know that a strong connection between the nervous and muscular systems leads to greater muscle hypertrophy (growth) after multiple exercise sessions. If you are not seeing progress or change in your body, ask yourself, have you been just going through the motions? 

Mental Stress & The Physical Body

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Chronic stress has been called “the silent killer.” It compromises our immune system and it’s a major contributor to some of the most persistent and chronic diseases of our time, like heart disease, cancer, obesity, Alzheimer’s, depression, and more.

It’s also a fact that it’s increasingly harder to avoid excess and constant stress. Too many of us live our lives in a constant white-knuckled, jaw-clenched state with our adrenal glands working overtime—all of which results in stored toxins and blocked energy (or chi). We become physically, mentally, and emotionally stagnated, and our systems slow down.

It’s important to understand that stress is a reaction—we can choose how to react to stressful situations. Lugging emotions, trauma, guilt, resentment, and memories with us can compound day-to-day stress, to further age us, wreak havoc on our bodies and health, and result in serious long-term consequences, such as excess weight, anxiety, and even physical pain and poor posture.

5 Areas Where You Might Be Carrying Stress

Stress can get stuck in multiple places in our body, causing it to get congested and intensify. In these areas stress is literally contained within the body. We all have the ability to build awareness around how we react or respond to stress, and we can all take steps to eliminate stress that’s being stored in these “containers” within the body. The five areas are the jaw/neck/face, the shoulders/heart, the diaphragm/lungs, the stomach/gut, and the pelvic floor/hips.

Releasing Stress From The Body (Activity!)

Jaw, Neck, Face

Tension in jaw indicates blockage of emotional and verbal communication, fear of expression. Thoughts and emotions come together in the neck, stiffness is due to withheld statements. The face expresses the various “masks” of our personality, shows how we face the world. 

  1. Masseter Massage: Place two fingers on either side of your jaw. Clench your teeth to feel the masseter muscle contract. Once you have found the muscle, apply light pressure, open and close your mouth 10 times, slowly. Next, massage your masseter muscle by applying light pressure with your fingers and move them in small circles. Do this for one minute.
  2. Neck Stretching: Sit up tall (on sits bones), clasp hands behind your back. Lean head from right to left 10 times, slowly. Next, make circles with your head, tucking your chin to your chest, back over the right shoulder, stretching back, forward over the left shoulder and back down to the chest, 10 times each direction.

Shoulders, Heart

Shoulders are where we carry the weight of the world and fear of responsibility. Tension in shoulders and heart relates to forgiveness.

  1. Shoulder Shrugs: Take a deep inhale, shrugging your shoulders up to your ears, feeling what it feels like to hold stress and tension in your shoulders – exhale and let your shoulders fall down, relaxed. 10 times.
  2. Snow Angels on Foam Roller: Lay with foam roller aligned vertically down your spine, hands starting by your side, palms facing the ceiling, raise your hands slowly until they are extended above your head, trying to keep you finger tips in contact with the floor throughout (as if to make an angel in the snow). Perform for 2 minutes.

Diaphragm, Lungs

The diaphragm is your power and wisdom center. Tension here relates to power issues and emotional control issues. 

  1. Rib Breathing: Place your hands around your ribcage with your thumbs behind you. On the inhale let your hands feel your lungs and ribcage pushing out against them. On the exhale, lightly squeeze your ribs together with your hands as if to assist in squeezing the stress out of your body.
  2. Thoracic Spine Foam Rolling

Stomach, Gut

Holding tension here can be a result of being too instinctual and over analyzing things. Not allowing yourself to speak your truth, feel empowered.

  1. Belly Breathing: Practice breathing deeper than your lungs, filling your entire diaphragm and belly with air. Challenges yourself to inhale and exhale slowly, for 6 seconds each.

Hips, Pelvic Floor

The hips are the seat of Kundalini energy, the root of basic survival needs and action. Holding tension in the hips relates to old memories, anger, loss, resentment, the need to control the past or present.

  1. Sumo Squat: Hold the sumo squat/deep squat position with hands in prayer hands position, taking deep breaths, exhaling negative energy, allowing the hips to open and deepen the stretch. Hold for 20 seconds, repeat 10 times.

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I hope I have inspired you to deepen your mind-body connection and challenge you to move with purpose and intent in your next exercise session. If you are holding on to unnecessary stress, or have chronic body aches and pains, I believe the above mentioned activities are right for you. (Honestly, I believe it is right for everyone!) And always remember…

“When the mind and the body work as one, anything is possible.”

 

Exercise Spotlight: Renegade Rows

The list of exercises for effective core training is ever-growing. Sit-ups and crunches are out, planks are in. Traditional core exercises are losing popularity as we learn more about core strength and proper ways to challenge the core. (See: Let’s Get To “The CORE”)

The Renegade Row has recently grown in popularity. I love this core exercise! A renegade row challenges you to hold a high-plank position while performing a dumbbell single arm row.

Here’s how to do it:

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  • Set up a dumbbell directly under your shoulder on one side.
  • Assume a push-up position with your hand grasping the dumbbell instead of flat on the ground. Position your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Tighten your core, and keep your back flat and hips square to the ground.
  • Pick up the right dumbbell and row it to your side. (You should control/not allow hip shifting from side to side while rowing the dumbbell)
  • Slowly lower the dumbbell and repeat.
  • Perform a set of 10-20 reps. Switch sides.

Seems simple enough, right? Well, appearances can deceive. Your core has to do some serious work to enable you to perform the Renegade Row correctly.

To perform the exercise properly in the plank position with your hips level and square to the ground, your core muscles work to keep you in the exact same position as when the dumbbell is on the ground—but now you only have one arm for support. In addition, it also works anti-rotation, meaning your core muscles prevent your torso from rotating (your hips from shifting side to side).

Of course, as you would with any other exercise, it’s important to gradually increase the weight. You might be able to use a reasonably heavy weight for the row, but if your form isn’t clean holding the plank and controlling hip movement, use a lighter weight.

Enjoy this fantastic core exercise and stay tuned for my next Exercise Spotlight!

“Snack Attack” for Chia Seed Pudding

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Chia seed pudding is a simple and delicious way to get the health benefits of chia seeds. It takes minutes to make and has enough protein and nutrients to be a quick, on-the-go breakfast option. When I prep my chia seed pudding I use small mason jars. You can also reuse baby food jars.

Chia seeds are a “whole grain” food and are non-GMO and naturally free of gluten. They are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. Chia seeds are loaded with fiber, protein, Omega-3 fatty acids, various micronutrients and antioxidants.

You can add variety to your chia seed pudding by adding shaved almonds (pictured above), assorted nuts, blueberries for breakfast or chocolate shavings for a low-sugar dessert.

Chia Seed Pudding Recipe

Prep: 5 minutes, Total Time: 5 minutes, Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (or less) pure maple syrup or agave

Instructions:

  1. For blended/smooth version: Place all ingredients in blender (I use my Nutribullet) and blend for 1-2 minutes until completely smooth.
  2. For whole chia seed version: Blend all ingredients except chia seeds in a blended or Nutribullet until smooth (including any added flavors, fruits or chocolate). Whisk in chia seeds.
  3. Pour mixture into mason jar or glass container and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight to gel. I usually prepare my chia seed pudding at night to have ready for breakfast the next day. It is also great to make in the morning for a delicious pre-made dessert at night.
  4. Add shaved almonds, nuts and/or fresh fruit and enjoy!

 

Health Benefits of Herbs

Herbs have been playing a major role in improving the overall health of the body for decades. Herbs strengthen the immune system, lower blood sugar and cholesterol, have anti-inflammatory properties and prevent Alzheimer’s diseases and various types of cancer.

Herbs eliminate the nutritional deficiencies in your body and thus restore the correct function of the body. It is also said that herbs nourish every part of the body with their vitamin and mineral content. In short, our body needs certain essential dietary nutrients to meet the everyday demands of life because herbs provide us with most of the necessary components for a healthy life.

Here are some health benefits of 5 herbs I use very often (and also grow at home!).

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Sage (top left)

  • memory retention
  • increased concentration and focus
  • decrease inflammation, particularly in joints, respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts, and cardiovascular system
  • antioxidants
  • vitamin K (not found in many foods), helps to develop bone density
  • topical for the skin can be effective against eczema, psoriasis and acne

Parsley (top right)

  • anti-diabetic properties, decreases blood sugar
  • controls rhematoid arthritis
  • anti-cancer
  • anti-inflammatory
  • effective against osteoporosis, helps maintain bone health
  • diuretic effects, controls kidney stones, UTIs, gallblader stones
  • strengthens immune system

Basil (middle)

  • anti-inflammatory
  • antioxidant
  • pain and fever reducer
  • protects the liver
  • protects the blood vessels
  • strengthens immune system
  • helps to decrease stress

Cilantro (bottom left)

  • natural food preservative
  • antioxidant
  • may help prevent cardiovascular damage
  • promotes calm feelings, mood boost
  • promotes normal blood sugar levels
  • improves sleep quality
  • normal fluid balance and urine flow
  • supports bone health
  • contains Vitamin A which supports eye health

Rosemary (bottom right)

  • antioxidant
  • anti-inflammatory
  • improves digestion
  • enhances memory and concentration
  • protective against brain damage and might improve recovery
  • prevents brain aging
  • protection against macular degeneration

Bands, Bands, Bands

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No gym? No weights? No time? No problem!

You can find exercises bands of all shapes and sizes online (amazon, groupon, etc.) and the truth is, I have never met a band I didn’t like. Resistance bands, booty bands, therabands, whatever you want to call them; go online and get some!

Resistance bands can and should be bought in a variety pack. You can build strength and use greater resistance as you progress in your workouts, you can use minimal resistance for stability or core work and you can use different resistances for different movements/body parts.

Once your new bands arrive at your door, try these two exercises to improve your posture and core strength:

1. Squat + Band Row

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Stand tall with feet hip width apart. Descend into a squat (as if to sit back in a chair) keeping your body weight in your heels, knees behind the toes. Keep your shoulders down, away from your ears as you enter the bottom of your squat, hands extended in front of you. Your core should be engaged to avoid pressure in the low back.

To stand, push through your heels, driving the hips forward, squeezing your glutes (butt muscles). Note: Your knees should stay aligned over your ankles, never allow your knees to buckle in toward each other as you stand up from a squat or seated position. Core should remain engaged.

After reaching the standing position, bend the elbow and row with the resistance band. Keep your shoulders down, away from your ears and squeeze your scapulas (shoulder blades) together.

Repeat 20 reps for 2-3 sets.

2. Core Anti-Rotation

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Stand tall with feet hip width apart. Start by facing where the band is anchored. You should face the band by rotating your ribcage (or upper body), keeping your hips facing the front or square.

Before you rotate, make sure you are standing tall, squeeze your glutes (butt muscles) to keep hips stable, draw your belly button in towards your spine, keep your shoulders down away from your ears, arms extended straight in front of your body. Take a deep breath.

To rotate, keep your belly button drawn in, exhale and pull the band until your ribacge (upper body) is in line with your hips.

Repeat 20 times on each side for 2-3 sets.