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Nutrition

The power of food

13 What you eat and how much you eat
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Through the past decades until now our relationship with food has change a lot and this is the root of many problems nowadays, our diets are based on unhealthy foods, we eat too much junk, processed and fast foods for convenience but all this foods are loaded with hidden sugars, chemicals, extra ingredients, flavors that are one of the causes of health problems physical and mental.

Our mood throughout, the day, our energy levels, our ability to stay focus they all depend highly on what we eat and most of us most of the time eat too much calories and not enough nutrients, we demand too much to our body, we want to be at peak and perform great but we treat our body so bad.

If we want our body to function properly, to be efficient, to be at peak all day long and perform great we need to give the nutrients it needs and this is the power of food. The same way that what we´re eating right now is getting us sick, if we change our eating habits and eat meals prepared with real, fresh ingredients food can heal.

Food is fuel for our body, how we feel and how we look depends of what we eat, everything shows from the inside out.

I know and understand that most of us choose processed and fast food over real fresh meals thanks to the convenience in money and time, it´s easier, faster and cheaper to buy boxes of cereal and milk for breakfast than to cook some eggs every morning, we can grab some cookies, or chips to eat in the car because we´re late for school or work. Even when this options give us a solution in the short term, if we think about our health in the long term they´re not the best option.

Our body needs nutrients to function efficiently not calories, with processed, junk and fast food we´re giving our body too much calories and not enough nutrients, with real fresh foods we´re giving our body nutrients and less calories.

When we eat processed foods our body doesn´t know what to do with all those ingredients and it´s hard to digest and when it´s done there´s nothing that can be used, when we eat real foods our body knows what to do with them, it digest all the food and absorb the nutrients.

All real, fresh foods are loaded with micronutrients and macronutrients and our body needs both. Fiber, vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, everything our body needs can be found in nature, there´s no reason to eat processed unhealthy foods that are only making us sick.

When we eliminate or avoid as much as possible unhealthy foods (processed, junk, fast food) and we focus on real fresh foods, inflammation on our body starts to reduce, it clears our skin, it improves mental disorders, improve systems in our body like the immune system, autoimmune system.

Food is our DNA, what we eat at every meal will have an impact on our body inside, and outside. If you love food as much as I do you need to know that it is possible to eat so many different dishes cooked with real, fresh ingredients but the hardest part is making the commitment of living healthier, we need to change our relation with food, if we use it the right way it is fuel for our body and it has the power to heal.

It would so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life. Pam

Sleep

Sleep and inflammation

01 How sleep impacts your day
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We all know that we need enough good quality sleep and the lack of it has negative consequences that will can see right the nest day in our mood, performance, cravings, etc. but consistent lack of sleep goes way further and the impact and consequences are bad for our health.

Lack of sleep increase inflammation but what is inflammation? Is a natural response from the immune system of our body to fight off harmful toxins that can cause diseases and also as a way to help our body heal from an injury.

Inflammation is beneficial and keeps us healthy but when it´s too often it can be the cause of many other health issues, as we said before inflammation is a response from our body to fight harmful toxins but when it´s too often this inflammations attacks healthy cells, organs, tissues and systems throughout our body which leads to chronic diseases.

Too much sleep or too little sleep both increase inflammation, poor sleep or sleep problems which cause poor sleep like insomnia, sleep apnea, waking up several times through the night also increase inflammation.

Inflammation is linked to the immune system and our immune system and sleep works according to the circadian rhythm which is the internal clock of our body. Our body does so many different jobs and they´re all scheduled through the circadian rhythm, if it goes out of time everything goes out of time and this out of sync or imbalance creates so many problems in our body, if the circadian rhythm goes out of rhythm so does the immune system which causes inflammation levels to raise.

We´ve also talked in other posts about the relation between stress and sleep, if we stressed right before going to bed we won´t be able to fall asleep and the poor quality of sleep of one night creates more stress in our body which becomes a negative unhealthy cycle that keeps inflammation in our body high.

To make everything worse and more complicated, our gut health is also important, and unhealthy gut also contributes to inflammation, we need to keep our gut healthy by exercising, following a healthy nutrition program and getting enough good quality sleep and having a healthy gut also helps us get good quality sleep so once again the 5 principles of fitness are working together.

Bad habits lead to health problems, we all know this and sleep quality is also an important part of our lifestyle, the best tool to improve sleep quality is having a sleep schedule, this way our body gets used to waking up at the same time every day and going to sleep at the same time every day, this gets the circadian rhythm of the body in balance and working effectively which makes it easier to fall asleep bringing so many positive benefits for our health which includes enough good quality sleep every night.

Inflammation protects the body and keeps us safe but when it´s too much for long periods of time it harms our body, the root cause of some chronic diseases is inflammation so we need to make sure to keep the levels right and for this we need enough good quality sleep, around 6 to 8 hours of good sleep every night and also a healthy nutrition program and exercise are key to keep the right levels of inflammation and they also improve sleep.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Fitness goals

What nobody tells us about fat loss

27 What nobody tells you about fat loss
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I see so many people dealing with their weight and struggling with many different weight loss programs but there´s something that all this programs, fitness trainers and gurus don´t tell us.

Fat loss is not a quick fix, there are no easy solutions or shortcuts. Our actual weight is the result of years of unhealthy habits so it will take time and effort to achieve our goal. There´s not a perfect weight loss program and not one single program will give the same results to 2 people, there´s not just one way to get to your goal.

If you´ve been following us for some time you know that we work on the 5 principles of fitness which is something no one consider, for sleep we need 7 to 8 hours or at least 6 hours of good quality sleep every night, we need to get our mindset right to be able to get through the hard times and for diet and training there are many different diets, from high carbohydrate, to low carbohydrate, ketogenic, paleo, vegan. Even when I don´t consider some of them to be healthy or to be the best options they are all tools you can try and see how you feel and how your body responds and find out which one works best for you. The same with training, resistance training is key but there are different tools you can use like straight sets with heavy weight, moderate weight, supersets, circuit training, you can focus on gaining strength, hypetrophy, power, overall performance, training splits you also need to find what works best for you.

Fat loss is not a quick fix so what I mean by finding what works best for you is that it takes time to lose fat and get in shape so you´ll need to follow a nutrition and workout program for a long period of time and some diets and workout tools may not be sustainable for you, if you love meat there´s no way that you´ll stick to a vegetarian diet for 4 or 5 months, if some foods cause inflammation and you feel bloated you won´t get results and you won´t stick to the diet. If you can only go to the gym 4 days per week and you want to follow a program in which you need to go to the gym 6 days a week you won´t stick to it.

You need to find tools that you can follow according to your daily activities for each of the 5 principles of fitness, find the tools that best fit your day and that you can incorporate to your life so that you can stick to them day after day for as long as you need.

It´s not about what diet or workout is the best, it´s about finding the tools that work best for you and combine them to develop good habits that lead to a healthy lifestyle that make your fat loss achievable and sustainable.

Another point that no one tells us is that it´s hard to lose fat, we need to be in a calorie deficit and there´ll be times when we feel hungry, there´ll be meals when we want to eat a lot more which in most cases is our brain sending the wrong message, if we let go by this messages we can overeat, sometimes our brain will try to trick us telling us that we need that cookie or donut or any other unhealthy snacks, if we pay attention to those thoughts we´ll end up eating those unhealthy foods and we will feel ashamed, and like failure.

When we´re following a fat loss program is normal to feel hungry and here is when having the right mentality comes into play, what the right mindset you´ll be able to get pass those feelings, emotions and thoughts and you´ll be able to make the right choices over and over which will give you the results you want.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Nutrition

Are pre / post workout meals effective?

28 Prepost workout meals
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I want to listen to your opinion and take about pre / post workout meals, do you think they are effective? or is it just an strategy to sell products?

I do believe that the most important meals of the day are the ones around your workout, specially post workouts meals, when we finish our workout our body starts to recover so we need to make sure that we´re giving it all the nutrients it needs, if your body do not have everything it needs it won´t be possible to recover and your next workout will suffer.

The faster your body starts to recover after the workouts the faster you can get to the gym and hit the same muscles.

During our workouts we lose water, electrolytes, glycogen so our body needs to replenish what our body lost. Being hydrate before, during and after is important but the amount of water will vary, our gender, weight, age and the intensity of our workout needs to be consider to get a more accurate number but around 3.5 liters for guys and 3 liters for girls per day can serve as a guide. Another important thing to consider is that we need to replenish electrolytes like sodium.

Glycogen is the preferred source of energy for our body and it´s the one it uses during intense workouts, to replenish glycogen simple sugars are more effective so the meal right after your workout is the one where you can have simple sugars this is why some guys and girls in the gym take sport drinks and others like gummy bears.

For protein our body does not use it during the workouts but we need to consume enough protein to drive protein synthesis and to keep this protein synthesis consistent some guys and girls take protein around every 2 or 3 hours with protein shakes, proteins bars or meals, whether you want to follow this or not depends of you, if you are following some type of intermittent fasting a protein bar or shake will break your fast, BCAAs can be a solution but just be sure that those BCAAs do not break your fast. What I consider more important is right after your workout, I prefer to take protein shakes right after my workouts and the best way to do it is with just water and protein powder this way our body can absorb it faster, milk and protein powder is also great.

Fat is also important for overall health, if you can cook your post workout meal make sure to add some extra virgin olive oil and you´re good to go.

The macronutrient ratios will vary depending of the type of diet you´re following, if you are on a more balanced diet between proteins, carbohydrates and fats or if you are following a ketogenic diet. If you are keto adapted then you need 50 grams or less per day to replenish glycogen, if you are carb adapted you need around 1 – 2 grams per pound of bodyweight per day.

If you are following some type of intermittent fasting try to schedule your workouts around your meals, if you have lunch and dinner it will be great if you workout before dinner or if you have breakfast and lunch you can workout before lunch or first think in the morning before breakfast but if this is the case consider that not everyone can workout in a fasted state.

It would so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Sleep

The best time of the day to exercise to improve sleep

28 The best time of the day to exercise to improve sleep
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Many people are concerned about diet and exercise, what´s the best diet to lose weight? what´s the best workout to lose weight? but most of them do not give sleep the importance it deserves.

For me is not only about weight loss, in this case our goal is to help you improve body composition which means less body fat and more muscle mass but it doesn´t stops there it´s about living your best life possible and sleep plays an important role to help us live better and to help us achieve our fitness goals whether it´s gain muscle mass or lose body fat.

The biggest benefits come when we combine the 5 principles of fitness, developing healthy habits on each give us the best results so when we want to improve the quality of sleep, the time of the day at which we work out will have an impact.

The best time of the day to workout to improve sleep is in the morning, studies show that people who sleep in the morning tend to have more efficient sleep phases, sleep better and improve blood pressure.

There are some of us who can´t workout in the morning because of school or job but if you want to give it a try you just need 10 minutes, try to make those 10 minutes intense or at least moderate and in this case cardio is the best option, you can choose between HIIT or steady cardio, try it for a couple of weeks and see if the quality of your sleep improved.

If you see benefits and you want to keep it try to increase those 10 minutes to 15 or 20 minutes, if you like the changes, how it improves your day and sleep chances are you´ll get motivated and find ways to get in those 15 or 20 minutes of daily morning exercise.

The reason for this is that it improves the circadian rhythm of our body, in the morning after a good quality sleep night our body is in balance, all systems and hormones are working efficiently and exercise boost some of this hormones and it sends a signal to your brain to start the day strong, hormones like adrenaline and cortisol are beneficial if we use them the right way and they are higher in the morning so when we workout early in the morning we boost this hormones and which helps as preparation for the day and in the evening they´re lower and melatonin start to increase to help us fall asleep.

Now as always this is not a rule or law, there are people who workout in the night just a couple of hours before going to sleep and they get enough good quality sleep and there´s also people who workout in the morning who have bad quality sleep so you need to find out what works best for you.

For me it´s all about keeping it simple and working on improving the 5 principles of fitness which work together to give us the best benefits, working out in the morning at the same time every day specially outside is one of the best tools to improve quality of sleep, it is the right combination of exercise and sunlight exposure and you´re getting 2 at once.

Improving the internal clock of our body or circadian rhythm improves our day and life in so many different ways on just by having a sleep schedule and a morning routine are the best way to improve that internal clock.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Stress

Stress and change

28 Stress and change
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Change is part of our lives, we all need to be open to change but many of us fear it. Stress caused by change is also normal, it happens to all of us but there´s a limit to what´s consider normal and when things go too far.

Some examples of changes are:

1.- Changing jobs

2.- Being fired

3.- Buying a house

3.- Starting a new project

4.- Changing cities

5.- Changing school

6.- Changing habits…

and many more. The important thing here is how we see this changes, if we see them as the beginning of an exciting journey things will go the right way because it will be easier to find solutions to all the challenges but most of us start over thinking and fear and anxiety takes place making any change so stressful.

The reason why change causes stress is because our mind, brain and body love comfort and love staying in the place that they know and the place they feel safe and with change we´re getting out of that comfort zone, it´s not safe, there´s nothing sure for the future, we don´t know what´s going to happen and we don´t have all the answers.

Change is a challenge it requires us to adapt and grow but when our mind and brain are lazy and they fear change it get´s though. What we can do is realize that change is necessary in all aspects of life, nothings is static everything is constantly changing so we need to have a positive mindset and embrace change with the right attitude knowing and believing that we have everything we need to get through.

The most important step is realize that change is part of our lives, it doesn´t matter if it seems to be a bad change in the beginning we need to find the positive outlook, reframe the whole situation and find all positive points, also realize that any change will get us out of our comfort zone so we´re going to face challenges.

Any challenge make us grow, this is where we learn and we grow and get stronger, this is where life get´s amazing and that´s what life is about, facing challenges that help us grow and become the best version of ourselves, this is also the way to live to our fullest and reach our potential.

If we embrace any change with this mindset and attitude, we will be able to be more creative and find more solutions to any challenge, we will be more focused and the results will be more positive, with all this stress won´t get as high and we can actually see it as an exciting part of life instead of a stressful situation.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Fitness goals

How to fit fitness into your life

00 Intro
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The first thing I want to make clear here is that if you are not making fitness a priority you won´t be able to fit fitness into your lifestyle. Your health must be your priority and health includes exercise and nutrition, you do not need to make your life revolve around fitness unless you are a professional athlete but you still need to make it a priority for health reasons.

Making fitness part of your life means changing habits and routines, if you think you do not have one hour everyday to workout you need to change your beliefs, if you really want to lose that weight once and for all, if  you want results and you want to maintain them you need to schedule one hour a day to work out, and focus on eating healthy, nutritious meals

The hardest part to make everything work together is the beginning, once you decide to change the way you look and start following a plan you´ll find it hard to stick with because you are use to a routine and a lifestyle of poor habits, the time it takes you to achieve your goal following the program is when you´ll be developing new good habits and routines that will make it easier for you to maintain your results, once you follow your plan for some months, you´ll get use to working out and eating healthy, you just got the momentum needed to make fitness a lifestyle.

There´s not a perfect program, there´s not a one size fit all program, the tools I share here are going to help you achieve your goals, fitting some of those tools and develop new habits and routines around those tools is what this is all about. Not all tools will work the same for two people so you need to find out which tools work for you and fit them into your life.

I don´t want to do to what everyone else is doing or what most people out there on the fitness industry are doing. I´m not going to create one weight loss program for millions of people out there and promise that all we´ll have the same results. There are already a lot of programs out there and obesity and overweight is increasing. I´m not going to sell you “as seen on TV” equipment and promises of 10 minutes workouts 3 times a week to get in amazing shape and sustain it, that´s not me.

I´m going to share with you what you need to know and understand and all the tools or strategies you can use in nutrition and training to get to your goals but you need to find out what works for you and make those tools habits and routines.

If you are following me on Facebook, Instagram and Youtube accounts and you read my posts you are looking for answers and you want results, I´m going to share with you the best tools that will give you results but you need to put in the effort and the time, you need to work hard in the gym and you need to watch your diet.

I don´t want excuses and I don´t want lazy people, if you want a better life and you´re willing to put in the time and effort follow me on social media and stay tune.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Fitness goalsNutrition

Can we achieve any fitness goal without supplements?

23 Supplements
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One of the most effective ways to make a huge income in the fitness industry is by selling supplements so they create amazing marketing campaigns promising so many miracles and since most of us are looking for fast results with the least amount of effort we believe those miracles and buy the products and most products are really expensive.

The truth is that if your goal is to improve body composition, get in amazing shape and stay in amazing shape you don´t need supplements, some of them are helpful if the 5 principles of fitness are in place but you don´t need them to achieve any fitness goal.

What you do in the 5 principles of fitness is more important and is what gives you the best results. Your nutrition needs to be based on clean fresh foods and you just adjust your macronutrient intake accord to your goal, you eat more for muscle growth and eat less for fat loss. For training you focus on resistance training and add some cardio to stay lean or do a little more cardio to burn fat faster. You develop a wining mindset which will keep you on the right track and get you pass though times, you use stress the right way by lowering bad stress and using some of it to take action and bring the best of you. You get enough sleep 7 to 8 hours of good quality sleep every night.

When those 5 principles are working together you don´t need supplements for fat loss or muscle growth, you can take some supplements to achieve your goal a little faster and for overall health.

Which supplements you should take will depend of your lifestyle, your daily activities and the type of diet you are following, I´m not an expert on supplements so before considering taking any of them consult with your doctor and get as much advice as possible. I share with you some of the supplements I´ve used in the past but I want to make it clear, before deciding to take any of them ask for advice.

Supplements like multivitamins are a good option, vitamin D helps reduce inflammation and protects the neurons among many other benefits and since we don´t get enough from natural sunlight. Fatty acids supplements specially omega 3 fatty acids can be beneficial the same as coconut oil. This are some supplements that can help you improve overall health but you need to ask your doctor for advice if you can take any of them, how and when to take them. Some of them need to be taken before meals while in others need to be taken with meals.

If you want some supplements that can help you achieve your fitness goals faster protein powders are the best option, it´s hard to get the amount of protein we need, a protein powders that combines different sources of protein are the best and the best time of the day to take them are before and after your workouts.

Remember that before taking any supplement, even protein powder or BCAAs you need to ask your doctor if you can take them and how you need to use them, if you don´t want to you don´t need to, you will get amazing results just by focusing on the 5 principles of fitness.

It would so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Sleep

Sunlight and sleep

00 Training intro
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Did you have enough good quality sleep tonight? If you great with a lot of energy and excited for the amazing day you´ll have then you had a great night sleep, if you feel tired and are thinking on taking a rest and you have cravings for your favorite junk food you didn´t have enough sleep.

Now, another question, how much time of your day do you spend outside? Whether you think about it or not, getting sunlight improves our sleep, we´ve talked before of the circadian rhythm, the internal clock of our body. This internal clock dictates many functions of our body like hormone production, appetite and it revolves around the pattern of natural light.

Getting sunlight exposure specially in the morning helps our body get the circadian rhythm right or on time which makes it easier to our body to keep us awake and alert during day and as the sun starts to set it´s an indication for our body that it´s time to sleep so our body starts working on releasing melatonin to fall asleep and once we´re sleep our body starts working on recovering, healing and growing.

Body temperature is also important here, it keeps fluctuating throughout the whole day, our body reaches its coolest temperature in the morning before waking up and its highest late in the afternoon of evening. It goes very similar to sunrise and sunset.

When the internal clock of our body is out of time all systems and functions get out balance, natural sunlight tells our body when it´s time to sleep and when it´s time to stay awake, if we don´t consider this and we go to sleep late then we will wake up later which is what happens to many of us on weekends or we don´t have enough sleep which happens during the week and with this hormones are not released on time, and overall our body is not functioning as efficiently as it could be.

When you go to sleep late at night and you wake up later in the morning the next day even when you slept 8 hours your body is out of rhythm, there are still 24 hours in a day, the sun rise and sets at the same time every day and that´s what´s going to get the internal clock on time.

There´s a time of the day when the sun is at its highest point and its UVB rays are more intense so you need less time.

The best time to get sunlight exposure is in the morning between 6:30 am and 8:00 am, you can take advantage of that time and workout outside which has a lot of benefits for our health, studies show that working out in the morning also improves sleep at night but I know that most of us can´t workout at this time and for some it´s so difficult to get sun exposure in the morning but if you can take at least 10 minutes it will be effective.

Most of us get 1 to 2 hours for lunch on our jobs, try to eat your meal in one hour and take 10 to 15 minutes to take a walk outside, this is another way to get sunlight.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Fitness goals

Social life and fitness

19
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It´s not that hard to enjoy social life when you want to make fitness part of your life.

Don´t let your life revolve around training and nutrition, they are tools to help you live a better and healthier life not to make your life more stressful, we´re here to enjoy life and live to the fullest and the only way to blend fitness into your life is to follow a nutrition plan that is flexible, that gives you the freedom to eat whatever you want when you´re with friends and family without feeling guilty and develop good daily habits like working out every day.

We all love food and we must have the freedom to eat those favorite dishes, snacks or desserts without feeling guilty. Many people who follow strict diet plans to lose weight are afraid of going out to parties, meetings or family reunions because they can´t eat what they want, this makes them feel so bad and in a certain point they end eating that what they´ve been thinking about and they eat the whole box or bag.

If you´re starting it may be difficult but once you develop new habits and behaviors it will be so simple to achieve any goal and sustain it, if you are in good shape and your health is great you don´t need to make fitness so stressful you can just stay with the basics with time you´ll find it easier to make healthier decisions, you enjoy life a lot more and fitness will become second nature for you.

To make fitness work for you, you need to keep everything simple for nutrition, training, mindset, sleep and stress. You must develop the habit of working out one hour every day, if you want to do more exercise it´s up to you, the type of exercise or training program you follow will vary according to your goals. Once you develop the habit of working out half of the work is already done just keep changing your workouts to fit your goals and more importantly to keep it fun and challenging.

For nutrition the simplest way to make it enjoyable is to keep it simple, stop over thinking and over complicating things, avoid processed foods as much as possible and stay with real, natural, fresh foods. This is the most effective and simple way to achieve any goal and to sustain it, it may be hard if your diet right now is based on junk food but once you get used to it, you´ll start feeling better and you´ll make healthier choices.

Try to get more quality sleep every night at least 6 hour sometimes we´re sleeping 7 or 8 hours but when we wake up we don´t feel rested, it´s important to focus on quality and to really rest and recover. Take some time every morning to meditate which is a tool that will help you lower stress and keep a positive attitude.

Even when you´re going to develop the habit of eating real, natural foods you have the freedom to eat your favorite dishes, snacks, desserts and junk food every now and then. You can go to all those parties, meetings and reunions with friends and family and eat what you want, some eat have their favorite dish or snack every week and call it cheat meal, you don´t have to call it cheat meal. You can have your favorite dish or dessert once a week or maybe twice a week, or once a month, this depends of you and your body.

How your body handles carbohydrates, trans fats and all the chemicals in processed foods varies from one person to another, you may have your favorite candy bar every day and maintain an awesome physique, sadly this is not possible for all of us. You just need to realize that you can still have it maybe one time per week.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam