7 Simple Steps to Your Healthiest Year Ever

Happy New Year!!

It seems like just yesterday we were in the 90’s and now we’re in the teenage years of the 2000’s!! It’s so bizarre to me how fast time flies!

Today is January 1st. I LOVE firsts! I love new starts, clean slates, & new beginnings. The past is the past and we have a chance to do something different this year to get an even better outcome than the past year. Remember, the definition of Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

Here is an example of how commonly this happens: Every January 1st it’s possible that you make the same New Years Resolutions…lose weight, stop smoking, eat healthier, exercise more, etc… and every year that lasts for about 1 week until you decide it’s too hard and psych yourself out of working at your goals, making yourself feel better by assuring yourself you’ll do it next time. Every year you follow the same pattern and you get the same result…by the time December 31st comes around you have only increased your bad habits and are kicking yourself for not achieving what you set out to do. You can’t get a different result with the same pattern, right? So, let’s DO something about it this year!

This is the first and only 2013 we will ever experience! You have a chance TODAY to make it the BEST year of your life! It doesn’t matter if your 13, 33, 63, or 83, if you want to reach your goals, YOU CAN! Only YOU can get in the way of your success.

Whether your main objectives are for your job, finances, family, achievements, or relationships, none of this can be enjoyed without your HEALTH. In this day and age, HEALTH IS WEALTH!

There may come a day where it may be very difficult to go to the doctor, get medication, or rely on any other medical crutch we tend to use. NOW is the time to get prepared, to learn how to take care of yourself and your family and be ready for anything that may come your way. We have learned over and over again by celebrities that you can have all the money in the world, but if you don’t have your health, it doesn’t matter. Steve Jobs was a perfect example of this. He had access to anything and everything he could get his hands on, but in the end, tragically his health failed and he could not enjoy his incredible empire he created.

Make this year a year of ABUNDANCE in every area and focus on healing your mind, body, & soul at the core!

Here are 7 Simple Steps to Your Healthiest Year Ever!

1. EAT CLEAN

  • “Eating clean” can mean many things depending on one’s interpretation, but it is quite simple. I like Micheal Pollen’s quote: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” It sums it up quite perfectly I believe! If you need a bit more guidance, here are the top foods to avoid:
    • Sugar, Gluten, Dirty Dairy, Processed Foods, non-organic & pastured animal products, GMO’s, Farmed Fish, artificial sweeteners, the dirty dozen of produce, and anything packaged. 🙂

2. EXERCISE CONSISTENTLY 

  • We all know exercise is essential for a healthy lifestyle. January 1st, the gyms are packed with new members trying to start of the year right. The KEY to remember is consistently. This isn’t a phase of life, it’s a lifestyle. Exercise should be something you ENJOY that your body CRAVES! It is something we should be doing multiple times per week and never something we dread. Coming from someone who almost lost her leg, I can tell you that exercising is a privilege for sure! Make a habit out of it and you will be glad you did! My FAVORITE forms of exercise are the Beach Body Programs. I am currently doing Insanity and LOVING it! For more information, check out the programs here.

3. KEEP A POSITIVE PERSPECTIVE

  • This is one of the most important things we can do to live a full life! Imagine if EVERYONE had a positive perspective in every situation. Your perspective is YOUR choice and cannot be dictated by anyone else. Having a positive outlook on life will dramatically impact every ambition you have for the better, whether that’s weight loss, finances, your career, relationships, anything!

4. DRINK MORE WATER

  • I know it’s cliche…everyone tells you to drink more water and you know you need to, but it’s SO TRUE! Many illnesses can be traced back to one simple thing-dehydration. You should be drinking half your body weight in ounces of water, so for someone who weighs 160 lbs, they should drink 80 oz of water, which is 10-8oz glasses, not the 8- 80z glasses that is typically recommended. When you’re looking for what kind of water to drink, here are some key things to remember:
    • Spring Water is always best- go to www.findaspring.com to see if there is a natural spring near you! This water is extremely healing!
    • If going bottled always look for BPA-Free bottled water. Here are some brands: Neo, Essentia, Mountain Valley Spring Water.
    • If you have Reverse Osmosis water, be aware that it has been completely stripped of everything so it has no mineralization and can pose certain health risks. You must add minerals to this kind of water. Go to your local health food store to find some good options.
    • If you’re bored with water as I often get, try adding lemons, berries, cucumbers, orange slices, stevia, or drinking herbal teas.

5. GET RID OF ENVIRONMENTAL TOXINS & MEDICATIONS

  • We have a problem that are grandparents and great grandparents never had to worry much about- Environmental toxins. Did you know that there are now more than 80,000 chemicals in our food supply alone? That’s INSANE since not 1 chemical is actually a food source! I know it can be overwhelming to think about all we are exposed to, but taking it one step at a time to clean up your family’s environment is a great place to start. Remember our skin is our biggest organ. Whatever we put on our skin goes directly into our blood stream. That being said, you better make sure all that goes on your skin is edible! 🙂 It’s also important to start strengthening your body and transitioning from harmful medications to natural alternatives. I am able to work directly with my clients on their body’s specific needs to help with this transition. Here are some key areas to clean up in this new year:
    • Shampoos, soaps, lotions, face wash, shaving cream, makeup, toothpaste, laundry detergent, cleaning products, perfumes, hair products, non-stick cookware, air fresheners, etc.
    • An amazing resource you need to check out is www.EWG.org.

6. ADD SUNRIDER FOODS TO YOUR LIFE

  • I am a HUGE Sunrider fan. Why? Because these foods have completely changed my life. When something changes your life you want to share it with everyone! Coming from someone who has a medical and holistic education, very clean diet, exercise routine, and healthy lifestyle, that is saying a lot! In all my years of research I still have never found anything comparable to the Sunrider Foods, there is nothing out there like it! There are tons of protein shakes, supplements, Traditional Chinese Medicine herbs, superfoods, etc. All of these are great things, but they still are nothing like the Sunrider Foods! To learn more about these incredibly nutrient dense & super easy to integrate foods, and to watch my video on how they have impacted my life, visit my page here. I truly believe this is the biggest bang for your buck you can get and will incredibly maximize your healing process!

7. MANAGE YOUR STRESS

  • And finally take a look at your stress levels. Stress is our health’s worst enemy. No matter how much broccoli and quinoa you eat, if you are chronically stressed and have not found a healthy way to manage it, it’s going to work against you in everything you try to do. Interestingly enough the above 6 strategies will dramatically help with your stress levels. Exercise, eating clean, and a positive perspective can do loads of good! Changing your perspective alone has the capability to completely eradicate any source of stress! Look around your life and see what things may need to be changed or eliminated in order to have more peace and less stress. Doing so can do you a world of good. Here are my favorite stress managing techniques:
    • Exercise, deep breathing, EFT- Emotional Freedom Technique, journaling, praying, meditating/visualizing with guided visualizations or peaceful music, stopping what I’m doing and praising the Lord in thankfulness :).

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There you have it friend! 7 Steps that could have a wonderful impact on your life and your mission in the world. We are all here for a specific purpose and my purpose is to help you stay strong so you can live out your calling! If you find all of this overwhelming and need someone to encourage you through this process, I would love to talk with you! We can create a specific plan just for you to maximize your results in the quickest amount of time possible. You can email me directly at Jessica@JessicaLopezRN.com.

Don’t forget ladies, I will be starting a new group in “The Empowered Woman” journey mid-January! THIS WILL BE THE LAST DISCOUNTED PROGRAM. After this next program, The cost of membership will go up to it’s original price. Remember, this is a 4-month journey together with 1-on-1 support the whole way. My mission is to empower you with everything you need to know to defeat what I like to call the 3-D’s- Disease, Depression, & the Devil! At the end of this Mind, Body, Soul journey you’ll know exactly what you need to do to live a life of freedom!

Have an amazing 2013 you guys!!! Thank you for doing what you do and living out your purpose in the world. Let’s optimize every day of this next year together, shall we?

In Health, Happiness, & Hope,

SIGNATURE

I rejoice in your word like one who discovers a great treasure.

~ Psalm 119:162

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BEST Time to Workout for Maximum FAT Loss!

     Anytime of the day you choose to break a sweat is much better than never. So, don’t let this intimidate you from working out if you can’t do it at this time of day. However, if you have some flexibility with your day and can make this happen in your schedule, you may notice faster results in your fitness efforts!

Who doesn’t want quicker results from their workouts?

Researchers recruited healthy, active young men and fed them a bad diet for six weeks. A group of them that exercised before breakfast gained almost no weight and showed no signs of insulin resistance. What’s more, they burned the fat they were taking in more efficiently.

According to the New York Times:

“… [W]orking out before breakfast directly combated the two most detrimental effects of eating a high-fat, high-calorie diet. It also helped the men avoid gaining weight.

Studies have shown getting active first thing in the morning dramatically boosts your body’s fat burning furnace. If you can break a sweat before you eat breakfast, your body uses stored fat as energy to complete the workout. There are two major reasons why I love my morning workouts…

1. IT’S DONE AND I NO LONGER HAVE TO THINK ABOUT IT.

You know what I mean…you have those days too, right? Those days where you know you want to workout, you just

aren’t sure when. So, first you get some work done, run errands, take care of the kids, clean the house, make lunch, clean the house, make dinner, clean the house, and all of a sudden it’s 10pm, you’re exhausted and you never got your workout in despite the fact that it’s been in your brain haunting you all day long. At the end of the day you’re frustrated with yourself for not accomplishing what you set out to do, you feel crappy and extra chubby, and you start feeling down about yourself. Have you had one of these days? Maybe many days follow this pattern for you.

All of this could be avoided by breaking a sweat before breakfast. No matter what time your day starts, I would imagine it is very possible for you to wake up 20-30 minutes earlier to get in some good exercise. I understand that getting up before the sun rises just seems cruel. In that moment, you hate your alarm for screaming at you, telling you to enter into battle with your warm comfy bed. It’s tempting to let your down comforter completely capture you and to surrender to its perfect softness wrapping you tightly in its fluffy arms. I get in to trouble here too.

In this moment, I have a secret that really helps me to win the battle. I keep my eyes closed and sit up. I reach over to the folded workout clothes I put next to my bed the night before, and half-asleep, half-awake change from my comfy PJ’s to my workout clothes. By the time I’m done changing, I’ve usually forgotten about my comfy bed and am focused on my new goal of getting a good workout in. I walk to the kitchen to grab a glass bottle to fill with water, grab my towel, and either head to the gym or into my living room to do one of my Insane Fat Loss Home Workouts. I’m not a fan of marathon workouts, so instead I go for high intensity interval training and I’m able to get a sweat drenching workout in less than 40 minutes! Sometimes it only takes 15!

I then jump in the shower to enjoy the sweet feeling of success and get ready to kick a** in the rest of my day! Such a GREAT feeling!

 

2. BOOSTS METABOLISM, AWAKENS THE BODY, EXTRA FAT BURNING POWERS, STIMULATES DIGESTIVE SYSTEM, CLEANS OUT THE GUNK, AND GETS MY JOINTS & MUSCLES MOVING EARLY AFTER BEING STILL FOR 8 HOURS SLEEPING.

In addition to getting my workout out-of-the-way, there really are INCREDIBLE benefits to exercising first thing in the morning! I don’t know about you, but I LOVE efficiency! If I put the same amount of effort in a workout first thing in the morning as I do in midday, but I can burn more calories & fat by doing it first thing in the morning, that in itself is a motivation to wake up early!

Here are some of the top health benefits of getting in your exercise in the A.M.:

1. Improves your body’s glucose metabolism & insulin sensitivity during periods of high caloric eating, such as the holidays.

If you click the link to go to the study done proving the benefits of exercising in a fasted state, you’ll see that it showed in times of high calorie- high fat eating, by simply exercising first thing in the morning, the chances of you gaining weight, dramatically decreases! Hallelujah!

The authors of the above study concluded that:

“This study for the first time shows that fasted training is more potent than fed training to facilitate adaptations in muscle and to improve whole-body glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity during hyper-caloric fat-rich diet.”

2. Activates your SNS (Sympathetic Nervous System) which controls fat burning processes.

When in a fasting state (which we always are, in the morning after not eating for 8-15 hours since dinner) and we exercise, it forces our body to activate the SNS and breakdown fat and glycogen for energy. This is how exercising in the morning effectively forces your body to burn fat. When you exercise with food in your stomach and extra calories, your body can either be told to STORE extra energy instead of burn it, or your body can burn the food recently consumed before touching the stored energy reserves.

It’s important to realize that eating a full meal high in carbs before exercise activates your PNS (Parasympathetic Nervous System) which does the opposite as the SNS, as it actually promotes STORING calories & fat, which is the opposite of what you’re looking for! In fact, eating a carbohydrate rich breakfast before exercise can cause you to GAIN weight! Yikes!

3. Promotes insulin regulation.

Leading doctors such as Dr. Mercola believes that insulin resistance is the root cause of most chronic disease. Those are big words! Exercising in a fasted state can substantially decrease insulin resistance, having numerous beneficial effects on the body.

 

 

This May Not Be For Everyone…

For those very sensitive to changes in their blood sugar levels, they may feel faint or dizzy within 15-25 minutes into their workout in a fasted state. For those individuals, it is recommended to eat a small meal before working out, preferably low in carbohydrates. My favorite options that help stimulate workouts are:

So, listen to your body and do what feels best. Once you get in a routine, you’re going to feel AWESOME because you ARE AWESOME! 🙂

 

MORE RESOURCES:

 

XOXO,

I would LOVE to coach you through your fitness & health goals! Check out one of my holistic health programs and schedule a FREE consultation with me TODAY!

 

If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.

~ Ecclesiastes 4:10

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Sweaty Saturday: C.U.T. A.B.S.- How to Achieve Them

Abs…they’re beautiful aren’t they? We all want them and only a small percentage of the American population will ever achieve them. Believe me, I wish I was flaunting my flawless midsection here on this page, but I’m there with you. It’s in process ;). Why is it so difficult to get that perfect six pack?

Nutrition and exercise play a major role in the development of a cut and toned mid section, but there are some additional players in the game you may not have been aware of. Use my “CUT ABS” acronym to get closer to your dream 6-pack!

  • Cardio

You hate it…but you love it. Or….maybe you are at the stage where you still just hate it. Either way, cardiovascular exercise is essential for optimal health, and even more so for a toned abdominal section. EVERYONE has the potential to have a six-pack-WHY? Because we all have abdominal muscles! Duh! The problem is the layer of fat that is covering them. Proper cardio exercise helps expedite the fat-burning process, uncovering those beautiful muscles.

  • MY FAVORITE: HIIT- High Intensity Interval Training. This is in my opinion one of THE most effective and efficient ways to burn fat fast without putting heavy stress on your body. Some great resources: The Insanity Workout, Zumba, Crossfit, Mercola’s Peak 8, Sprints, Circuit training.
  • Undenatured Protein

Our society has missed the mark when it comes to protein. If you’re in the body building/athletic world, it is most likely that you are getting the WRONG kind of protein, and it can be very dangerous! It is unfortunately all too common for people to purchase huge tubs of protein powder not even knowing the source and the added ingredients. As long as it has zero carbs or sugar and 5 million grams of protein, it’s a good thing, right? WRONG! The majority of protein powders have been severely denatured, processed, and isolated to the point where our bodies don’t recognize it because it’s not even a food. The dangerous part is the added ingredients. The top dangers to look for in a protein powder are:

  1. Artificial Sweeteners: Aspartame, sucralose, acesulfame k, splenda, saccharine.
  2. GMO- Any corn, soy, wheat, maltodextrin, cottonseed, vegetable source needs to be labeled NON-GMO.
  3. SOY- Many people reach for the soy thinking they’re healthier and that is a myth. Soy protein powders are very harmful to the body because they are most likely GMO, they have 19 allergenic proteins that cause damage in the body, enzyme inhibitors, and suppress the thyroid- all things that will turn ON the fat programs in your body.
  4. Pasteurized, homogenized if your whey protein has been pasteurized or even worse homogenized, it is no longer a food and has very little absorbable protein. It will make more work for your body that to give it nourishment.
  5. Isolated vs. Concentrated- You want to look for a concentrated whey protein source if that’s what you’re looking for, not isolated.
  6. Grass-Fed- If you choose to get whey, make sure it’s from grass-fed cows to ensure the highest amount of nutrition possible.

Of course, when eating animal protein, you also need to be VERY picky. You should only allow clean. organic, and grass fed meat into your bodies. When you eat fish, make sure it is wild and low on the mercury chain.

  • MY FAVORITE: Wild Salmon, Sardines, Grass-fed beef, small amounts of organic poultry, Spirulina (one of the highest plant sources of protein), properly cooked legumes, avocados, raw-soaked-sprouted nuts & seeds, Mercola’s Raw Whey, Organic pea protein, Sunwarrior Warrior Protein,
  • Train with Weights

Your abs are muscles, and in order to build them, you need to use them and strengthen them. The best way to do that is with weights. Weight training has a two-fold benefit. On one hand, building muscle burns fat faster, uncovering your beautiful midsection. Weight training is one of the best ways to build muscle. Doing ab exercises with weights also strengthens and tones your core at a faster rate than using nothing.

  • MY FAVORITE: In my opinion, CROSSFIT is one of the most effective ways to get the body of your dreams. (This past summer, I had the privilege of working out at Crossfit Trifecta in Vista, CA, and absolutely LOVED the group there! If you are in the Vista area, make sure you check them out! There are Crossfit gyms all over, so checkout the one nearest you!) Work with a trainer at your gym, or look up a workout plan that fits you online. There are wonderful ab exercise routines that you can find online! Whatever you do, consistency is the KEY!
  • Absorption & Assimilation

You may have heard, “You are what you eat”, but it’s actually not accurate. You are what you ABSORB, is closer to the truth. There are many people who are overfed and undernourished. The TOP six-pack killer foods are: SUGAR, GLUTEN, Pasteurized DAIRY, REFINED GRAINS, DIRTY ANIMAL PROTEIN, PROCESSED FOODS. These all damage the intestinal tract. If you have damage to your intestinal tract, it is VERY difficult and almost impossible to have a six pack. Why? For multiple reasons:

  1. Inflammation- What happens when you hurt something- an ankle, a bee sting, you hit your head…it swells. This is the body’s amazing reaction when there is damage. There are specific cells that act like the EMT’s of the body and rush to the scene to immediately start healing on the area. This excess fluid causes inflammation. When you have damage to your intestinal tract, the same thing happens, you end up with excess fluid, excess mucous, and a swollen feeling.
  2. Lack of Replenishment- When you have a damaged intestinal lining, you usually have little holes that were caused by yeast or parasites. In attempts to cope with the situation, the body usually produces extra mucous that coats the intestinal lining. There is damage to the microvilli (small hair like structures that line your intestinal tract) and this is no good because those microvilli are responsible for absorbing and assimilating nutrients. If they are damaged, you cannot absorb all the nutrients from the food you eat. If you can’t absorb nutrients, they can’t be sent to the muscles for recovery, meaning your body has a much more difficult time building muscle and getting strong. This can also cause malnourished organs that are essential for fat burning- the thyroid & adrenals especially.
  • Bloating

You may have a pretty lean body and some nice abdominal muscles, but if you have issues that cause your abdomen to bloat, obviously you are going to have a hard time obtaining the midsection you want. There are many factors that play into bloating, including the topics already mentioned. One of the biggest culprits for bloat is an imbalance of good-bad bacteria in the gut. Donna Gates, author of The Body Ecology Diet, believes that all obesity could be diminished by healing the gut and having the proper good-bad bacteria ratio. Isn’t that amazing! It’s true that the gut affects every single one of your organs and systems, not to mention 80% of your immune system resides here, so taking care of your digestive system is critical to optimal health and an optimal body.

MY FAVORITE: My favorite way to keep my bacteria in check is through making my own cultured foods & drinks. This is the VIP treatment, all my clients receive, is learning how to do this yourself, and for pennies! Cultured foods & drinks are much cheaper and more effective than a probiotic supplement. However, probiotic supplements are not all that bad, there are few companies that I trust with their probiotics: Sunrider Vitadophilus, RenewLife probiotics, Advanced Naturals probiotic, Garden of Life.

  • Stress

Stress is one of the biggest factors that will kill your six-pack dreams. Stress causes major bloating, damage to the digestive tract, and instigates a hormonal cascade that causes your digestion to slow (creating constipation), and your body to STORE FAT, especially around the midsection. Cortisol is a hormone released by your adrenal glands in stressful situations. When you have chronic stress in your life, this can cause the wonderful tire around the waist look as your body becomes inflamed due to hormonal imbalance and you continue to store fat.

There is also mounting evidence, especially in Eastern Medicine that proves if you are mentally/emotionally holding onto a feeling, if you feel unsafe and as if you need to be protected, if you were abused in the past, or if you feel as if you’re not good enough or constantly down on yourself, these will ALL make you continuously gain weight and if not dealt with will make it impossible for you to drop a pound. Over the past months, this has become fascinating to me as I have learned more about the TRUTH in this and learn ways to help my clients overcome it. Does this maybe sound like something you are suffering from? If so, I’d love to help you!

MY FAVORITE STRESS BUSTERS: One of the best things you can do is to just CHOOSE to be happy & LOVE YOURSELF! You may be going through the absolute worst thing on the planet, but YOU choose your reaction. YOU choose how you feel on the inside. I know this is hard for some to swallow, but it is true. So, no matter what is going on around you, do whatever you need to, to FEEL GOOD, FEEL HAPPY, & LOVE YOURSELF JUST THE WAY YOU ARE. Some of my favorite things are to: exercise, yoga, sing with my guitar, visit with friends, bake healthy treats, go outside for a walk, watch a good movie, play softball, and spend hours doing something I really love.

What about you? What are you doing that is preventing you from having the 6-pack you’ve always wanted? I know I have my list, what’s on yours? If this is something you REALLY want, you can do it! It’s just not going to happen overnight or with only a little effort.

Whatever you do today on this beautiful Saturday, just remember to get sweaty and love every second of it!!

Have a great day!!

XOXO,

“And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.”

~ Hebrews 11:6

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SWEATY SATURDAY- Benefits of Sweating!

Hey Friends!

YAY for the weekend!!! I just got back from a very challenging (in a good way) softball practice, and as much as I hate feeling like an old lady with minor aches and pains from using muscles that have been asleep since college, I LOVE the feeling of being sweaty after a good workout! I know not everyone shares in my joy of getting sticky and smelly, so I wanted to give you a brief rundown on some of the AMAZING health benefits of sweating! I think you might appreciate your armpits a little more after this article… 😉

 

Why Do We Sweat?

Sweating is the body’s natural cooling system. As the body begins to overheat from exercise or fever, a liquid made mostly of water, some salt, and waste, is secreted through the sweat glands onto the skin’s surface. As the liquid begins to evaporate it cools the body. There are two types of sweat glands: eccrine sweat glands and apocrine sweat glands. Eccrine glands are distributed over the entire body. They are particularly concentrated on the palms, soles of feet, and on the forehead. Apocrine sweat glands are located on the scalp, armpits and the genital area, and produce sweat containing fatty materials. When we sweat, we release many toxic substances. Some of these impurities are an accumulation of things like sodium, heavy metals, cholesterol, alcohol, and nicotine, These are actually carcinogens and cause damage to your body at the cellular level, which means with time and accumulation of these toxins, the chances increase for you to develop disease.

 FUN FACT:

Did you know that getting a fever when you get sick as actually a sign of a strong immune system? Get This! You’re body knows EXACTLY what temperature is needed to take care of pesky viruses or germs. When we take something like Tylenol that forces the body to stop doing what it was created to do, it is potentially very dangerous because your body can no longer do it’s job. A much safer and more effective treatment for a high fever would be homeopathic Belladonna. That’s a great one to keep in your medicine cabinet!

Some of the proven benefits of sweating…

  • Sweating is your body’s natural way of providing a high-tech cooling system
  • Skin is considered the largest organ in or on the body and it’s vital to take care of it
  • In conjunction with proper washing, sweat can produce soft & supple texture of the skin
  • Improves tone & flexibility of skin
  • Critical factor in the body’s hydration process
  • Essential in the process of removing toxins from the liver, kidneys & the cardiovascular system
  • Is the body’s natural process of cleansing & washing skin pores
  • Serves as one of the body’s many indicators
  • On a small scale can burn calories in conjunction with traditional training
  • Improves circulation
  • Helps boost the body’s immune system
  • Triggers your body to work harder to compensate & adjust

But…What if I’m Smelly???

 

Did you know that body odor actually comes mostly from your gut? By changing your diet to healthy choices and healing your intestinal lining, you can dramatically improve your body odor! I teach all of my clients to make their own probiotic foods & drinks to get maximum benefit for nearly pennies!

 

Dangers…

The BIGGEST danger when it comes to the topic of sweat is actually your antiperspirant deodorant! Maybe you’ve read an article or heard someone tell you that your deodorant could cause breast cancer or other problems. Unfortunately these facts are true. Deodorant can be very dangerous and absolutely promote breast cancer. Here are some great resources where you can learn from- CLICK HERE.

A great step you could take today is to get rid of any antiperspirant deodorant with aluminum and switch to a natural alternative. My FAVORITE one is from the brand LAVANILA. It is in my Amazon Store and is also available at Sephora.

Top Choices to Get Your Sweat On:

1. Exercise

  • Getting a good sweat on while exercising proves that you’re getting your heart some great exercise, pumping your muscles, and releasing those happy endorphins. If your goal is to lose weight, removing toxins through sweating is very beneficial and will help in your weight loss goals.

2. Sauna

Rehydrate

Of course if you are doing some high quality sweating, you definitely need to rehydrate, so make sure you’re drinking plenty of pure water and getting your minerals in! Adding just a pinch of Himalayan salt to your water will give it a boost of minerals. Raw coconut water is also a great option! I wouldn’t recommend large amounts of the coconut water in cartons because it is pasteurized, removing basically all of the nutrients, and leaving high amounts of sugar. Definitely avoid sports drinks that are filled with artificial colorings, sugar, and sometimes artificial sweeteners.

 

There is your brief overview on Sweaty Saturday of why it’s so important to get your sweat on. So, get at it today and have a blast!!

xoxo,

HEY YOU! My Empowered Woman program is starting SOON and I want YOU to be a part of it! If you’re at all interested, please contact me for a free consult! 🙂

Resources:

http://www.divavillage.com/article.php?id=38223

http://www.anytimehealth.com/blog/7294-analyzing-the-true-benefits-of-sweating

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Feel Good Friday- Top 11 Reasons to Go Outside!

Welcome back to FEEL GOOD FRIDAY!

Do you ever feel like you’re just in a funk? I know I have those days. Those days where you can’t find motivation, you feel kinda down, like you’re under a cloud and you just don’t know how to get out of it…Well, today’s tip really can bring you some extra “umph”!

Research has proven that going outside can have many mental & physiological benefits! Here are some of those benefits:

1. Vitamin D

Vitamin D comes from the sun, and works miracles in the body! Vitamin D is not actually a vitamin, but a hormone. It is responsible for boosting the immune system, fighting against cancer cells, regulating hormones, and keeping you in tip top shape. Vitamin D has even been referred to as “The Happiness Hormone”. All you need to do is go outside and let your body soak up the sun’s gift of Vitamin D. If it’s winter time and you have absolutely zero sun, you can refer to Dr. Mercola’s tanning bed guide to find a safe one near you. If you are deficient in this essential hormone, you have an increased risk for many illnesses and depression. Read more here…

2. Enhances Focus & Concentration

Sometimes we get so wrapped up into what we are doing in the office that we lose focus and concentration. Stepping outside for some fresh air to take a walk and get our mind on something else can really improve your focus and concentration when you return to work. Next time your brain stops working, go take a breather outside for a few minutes. 🙂

3. Stress Reduction

Research has shown that there is something very powerful that happens when we are outside in nature. Everyone’s environment is different. Maybe you live in a big city and the closest thing you have is a city park, or maybe you live in the mountains, where the forest is your backyard. Either way, use your resources to connect with nature. This has proven to decrease stress & tension in the body, no matter where you are. With how stressful life can be sometimes, this is a KEY tool to use whenever you need it. Step out of the office, get out of the house, spend some time with just yourself and the beautiful scenery around you. Even if it’s raining, put on a jacket, rain boots, and an umbrella and go take a walk in the rain, breathing in the fresh, clean air!

4. Get Grounded

What does it mean to “get grounded”? You may have heard of this technique as “earthing” as well. Some people get more into the “hippie” language than I like to, but the important part is that you know the incredible benefits of getting grounded! All it is really is putting a piece of your body in contact with anything in nature- a tree, the ground, a plant, etc. The best thing to do would be to get barefoot on the ground- not cement, but the grass or dirt. Why is this so important? Because in our society, no matter where we are in a building we are surrounded by EMF’s- ElectroMagnetic Frequencies. These come from all of the electronic devices we have around us- cell phones, house phones, WiFi, Laptops, radios, TV, etc. If you live in an apartment like I do, you are not only exposed to your own devices but EVERYONE’s around you… Electromagnetic Radiation goes through everything! This is very unnatural and very dangerous if you don’t know how to keep your body protected.

Each time you touch a tree or the ground, or anything connected to the ground, all of the radiation goes straight from you and is released into the ground. What happens when you don’t do this? Most of the time we wear shoes with a rubber sole. This means, the frequencies are basically bounced around in our body creating chaos. This can make you feel more stressed than usual, scattered, it has been linked to insomnia, tumors, infertility, etc. The risk is very much real and the most dangerous part about it is that you can’t see it.I personally use EMF protecting devices on all our cell phones, laptops, and WiFi router. You can learn more here- www.GIAWellness.com/jlopez I also have a grounding mat that I love! They are available at www.longevitywarehouse.com

So, try to get outside today and get in touch with nature and get rid of this added stress that you definitely don’t need!

5. Stimulate the Balance & Happiness Parts of your brain

Just looking at a natural scene activates parts of the brain associated with balance and happiness. In a study at South Korea’s Chonnam National University, fMRI scans showed that when subjects saw images of mountains, forests, and other landscapes, they experienced heightened activity in the anterior cingulate gyrus (which is linked to positive outlook and emotional stability) and the basal ganglia (an area that’s been tied to the recollection of happy memories). (Source)

6. Stimulate your senses

When you’re stuck inside a building all day, you are usually staring at a computer screen or indoors doing a repetitive task- of course depending on what your occupation is. When you go outdoors, your eyes are strengthened and SEE different colors, distances, and shapes, your skin FEELS the cool air, breeze, and sunlight, your nose SMELLS the fresh air and the different smells of restaurants and buildings, your ears HEAR birds chirping, cars buzzing, and people talking, and maybe even your mouth TASTES a cup of warm tea or fresh juice if you stop by your favorite outdoor cafe. 🙂 Your body feels alive and happy as you stimulate all of your senses outside.

7. Increase oxygenation

What would happen if you stop breathing? Obviously, we would stop living. Oxygen is critical to our health and survival. Going outdoors and breathing the fresh air increases our oxygen consumption, therefore improving our health. Air quality indoors can be very poor, and in some buildings even dangerous. Breathing in the fresh cool air is one of the best things you can do on a daily basis. Oxygen has been proven to kill cancer & diseased cells, which is what we all want, so go outside today and take an extra deep breath of fresh air and get that oxygen moving all over your body!

 

8. Stimulate your Immune System

Going outside has various benefits for the immune system- moving increases peristalsis in the digestive system where 80% of your immune system is, increasing oxygen has been shown to fight cancer cells, reducing stress causes reduced cortisol levels, which lets your body do it’s job and fight off pathogenic invaders, and Vitamin D is proven to increase the immune system and kick the crap out of dangerous carcinogens. What’s not to love?

Researchers at Tokyo’s Nippon Medical School have quantifiable evidence: In one study, women who spent two to four hours in the woods on two consecutive days experienced a nearly 50 percent increase in the activity of cancer-fighting white blood cells. (Source)

 

9. Increased Energy

If you’re dragging and feeling low energy levels, research has shown that just going outside for a quick walk can boost your energy levels more than a cup of coffee! Being outdoors stimulates your brain and puts an extra pep in your step. So, next time instead of heading over to the coffee cart or vending machine to get a dangerous energy drink, go for a walk and breathe in some fresh air!

 

10. Fights against Depression

As you have read above, being outdoors has tremendous effects on the body, and each of the above reasons plays a role in fighting against depression. If you find yourself in a place of feeling depressed, spend as much time outdoors as you can. Maybe try gardening, sit in the sand, go for a swim, go hiking or camping, and watch your mind & body begin to change. 🙂

Norwegian researchers discovered that subjects with moderate-severe depression who participated in a horticultural program experienced reduced symptoms after 12 weeks. “Humans are innately engaged in nature,” says study author Marianne Thorsen Gonzalez, PhD, making gardening an ideal distraction from the rumination that fuels depression. (Source)

They sound like science fiction, but negative ions—particles that are plentiful near waterfalls, breaking waves, and river rapids—can act as natural antidepressants, according to Columbia University researchers. And an Indoor Air study found that after breathing negative ions for an hour, subjects’ blood lactate levels dropped 33 percent, improving their energy levels. (Source)

11. Easier Exercise

I can attest to this proven fact, that exercise is perceived easier outside. For me, running 10 minutes on a treadmill indoors feels like an eternity, but 10 minutes outside is more like an adventure and passes incredible quickly. I can easily go jogging for 30-45 minutes and feel great outdoors, but indoors, I’m lucky to last 10-15 minutes. It is also better for you, because when you exercise outdoors, you are also reaping all of the above benefits simultaneously!

So, today’s challenge is to get outside more and enjoy your scenery. Are you up for it? 🙂 Let us know how your journey’s outside go today by leaving us a comment below!

Have a beautiful day everyone!

xoxo,

“By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us—set us right with him, make us fit for him—we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. And that’s not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.

 There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!”

~ Romans 5:1-5 (The Message)

 

Resources:

http://foodforconsciousness.blogspot.com.es/2011/01/vitamin-d-happiness-hormone.html

http://onlyhealth.wordpress.com/2009/12/10/health-advantages-of-going-outside/

http://physicalliving.com/nature-deficit-disorder-the-top-10-reasons-to-go-outside/

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SWEATY SATURDAY- Do What You LOVE!

YAY! It’s the weekend! I hope you’re having a relaxing & restorative weekend with your friends & family! Today’s post was inspired by my softball practice today, first time I lace up my cleats in a loooong time! As you know, today is “Sweaty Saturday”, and I want to talk to you about doing what you love to get sweaty!

SO many people DREAD exercise. Are you one of those people? If so, you are definitely not alone. I was reflecting on why that is today…why do so many people truly hate exercise? Why is it such a burden? Why do people dread going to the gym or going for a run, yet push themselves to do it because they know they should? Think about that… If this is you, why do you dread exercise so much? Now, write that answer down….

Ok, now let’s talk about what you DO love! Everyone loves some sort of activity, and if you don’t, email me so we can figure out what’s going on :). So, for me, all of my life I played softball. I started with t-ball at around 3 years old and never looked back. I went on to play baseball with the boys until I was 8 and then switched over to softball. I don’t think there was any other activity in my life that I was so passionate about and invested so much in. At 10 years old, I was playing on a traveling softball team an hour away, where we would drive for practices and all around California for games. I was hooked at a very young age! In fact, it was on the way home from one of my softball practices on my 11th birthday that I was in a life-altering motorcycle accident that claimed my father’s life and truly changed my life forever. I almost lost my life, my leg, and so much more. If you haven’t heard my story, you can read more in the “About Me” section.

To me, there was no question as to if I would play softball again, I just knew I would and was determined to do just that. A little less than 1 year after my accident, I was wheeled out to the pitchers mound (I was a pitcher) with my casted leg and was honored to throw the first pitch to start off the softball season at a city-wide tournament. I couldn’t wait to walk out to that mound again.

Little by little I rehabilitated back to walking and eventually running and pitching again. I look back and realize that it really was quite an achievement! At the time though, it wasn’t a big deal to me. I was just doing what I was passionate about and that motivated me more than anything! I went on to play on multiple travel teams, was the starting Varsity pitcher multiple years in high school, played on a Junior Olympic softball team that my family and I drove 2.5 hours to for practice weekly and flew all over the country for tournaments, and eventually hit the pinnacle of my softball career when after shoulder surgery, was able to play with one of the top college softball teams in the NAIA, PLNU. The joy that softball brought me was unquestionable. I didn’t realize how big of a place it had in my heart until the day came that I had to hang up my cleats & glove.

Combining an extremely demanding nursing program, and an extremely demanding softball career, with a little pinch of a perfectionist mentality, my body started breaking down and on came the hormonal mess, heart palpitations, and digestive issues. It was time to move on to the next chapter of my life, and that hit me harder than I thought it would. I remember going for a run one night and I found myself in a puddle of my own tears sitting in the dug out of our college softball field. In that moment, I realized so much of my love for softball was connected to my dad. The last day I had with him was on a softball field, he coached me all growing up, and was there at every game alongside my amazing mother. Now was time to let it go and move on. And that I did, and found new joys, desires, goals, and aspirations.

I shared all this with you to show you one of my life long passions, softball. Each of you have a passion. Maybe it’s a sport, maybe it’s loving others, maybe it’s being in nature, playing with your kids, cleaning the environment, etc. Today, I was reminded of what I love and how I don’t have to think twice about running, sprinting, diving, and squats when I’m playing softball, because I LOVE IT! Today I dove and caught a fly ball twice and it felt SO GOOD even though I was covered in wet grass and may have moved a couple ribs out of place. 🙂

So, my friend, what is your passion in life? Now write that down. Does it fit with the reason you wrote down earlier about why you dread exercise? How can you turn that passion into an active- get sweaty sesh? Can you get some friends together and go play basketball on the street? Or maybe a group of girls wants to do a 5k together and you can all train and talk together. Or go run along the beach and pick up trash as you go, doing a full squat every time you bend down to pick something up. Maybe it’s playing and running around with your kiddos. Kid’s are GREAT to exercise with. Have them sit on your back as you do pushups, lay straight and depending how big they are bench press or bicep curl them, play jump rope or on a trampoline. Kids are ALWAYS active!

My point in all of this is that life is too short to dread exercise. If you truly hate running with a passion, then don’t run! If you hate being indoors at the gym, then go exercise outside! If you hate working out for hours at a time, then do something fun and intense like Crossfit! If you want something more calm, do yoga, pilates, or Qi-Gong! You have no excuse today. All I’m asking you to do is have FUN getting sweaty. Make it something you crave and can’t wait to do again! 😉 Use your imagination!

Have fun with today’s challenge and go get sweaty doing what you love!

xoxo,

Jess

If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

John 15:7

Make sure you check out my new program THE EMPOWERED WOMAN!!

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Sweaty Saturday!- Benefits of Zumba!

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Yay! It’s the weekend! Every Saturday I’m going to be bringing you some tips on exercise- workouts, reasons to exercise, and more! Today’s topic is….ZUUUUUUUMBA!

I had fun taking sweaty pictures today, as you can tell! I had a BLAST in today’s Zumba class. My gym here in Spain just started offering Zumba this week and I was SO excited! It’s funny because anyone who knows me, knows I am not the most graceful

person… I remember one day in Junior High, I was at a girls church retreat and I sprained my ankle and was in a soft cast and

crutches for a month! What was I doing you may ask….well, it wasn’t playing soccer, rock climbing, in an obstacle course, or snowboarding…I was running in place. Ha! Yep, clutzy me was able to manage to sprain my ankle pretty bad while running in place.

So, you can imagine how graceful I am in Zumba. It’s actually quite funny to watch myself in the mirror, but I LOVE IT! When people find out I’m half Mexican, they always think I naturally have rhythm and can bust a move like nobody’s business. But, I always tell them, the upper half of me is Mexican, the lower half of me is as gringo as it gets!

Back to Zumba…If there is a class around you, TAKE IT! It may take a few classes to get the hang of it, but it is an amazing workout and so much fun! The reason why so many people loathe exercise is because they make it so boring! Zumba is great for your core, arms, legs, butt, and amazing cardio! I recent study was done showing that the average calorie burn in Zumba classes is 817 per hour!!! Holy smokes that’s amazing!

For more info on the benefits of Zumba, check out this awesome article written by the Huffington Post. I couldn’t have written better than they did.

TODAY’S CHALLENGE: Get sweaty! I don’t care HOW, WHERE, or WHY you do it, just get sweaty at some point today! 😉 Then post your sweaty picture on my FACEBOOK PAGE HERE!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone and remember to share this info with your friends!

xoxo,

Jessica

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” ~1 Corinthians 9:24-25

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“The Empowered Woman”!

 

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