Fitness Friday: How to Get Toned, Sexy Arms for Summer

Summer is here, and that means breaking out summer clothes such as sundresses, tank tops, and bathing suits. If your arms aren’t ready yet, New York City personal trainer, Hannah Davis, has a plan that will get you toned and tight in plenty of time. “The trick is that most women focus on single-joint exercises, like biceps curls, which work primarily one muscle. Doing complex moves recruits more muscle fibers and works your upper body to total fatigue, says Davis. That means you’ll burn more calories and shed arm fat faster, so your arms, shoulders, and upper back will be sleek in time for their big reveal.” See more for an easy great looking arm workout at Women’s Health.

10 Health Benefits of Kiwifruit

My kids absolutely love kiwifruit, and I am so glad because they have so many amazing health benefits. One kiwi has 45 calories, 10 grams of carbohydrate, 0.5 grams of fat and 2 grams of fiber. Here are the top 10 health benefits of eating kiwifruit.

Top 10 Health Benefits of Kiwi:

1. High in Vitamin C-Kiwi contains a remarkable amount of vitamin C, a water soluble antioxidant that has been proven to fight against cardiovascular disease and cancer. Kiwi contains 2 1/2 times the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C.

2. High in Fiber-Kiwi has a high fiber content which helps improve diabetes, controls blood sugar and protects against colon cancer.

3. Preventing Asthma, Wheezing and Coughing-Studies of 18,000 children have shown that children consuming more kiwi aided in their respiratory tracts and helped prevent asthma, wheezing and coughing.

4. Good source of potassium-One serving of kiwi has more potassium than a banana, ideal for fluid and electrolyte balance and energy during exercise.

5. Improved Vision-Studies show that not just carrots are good for your eyes, but kiwi too. Kiwi fruit is an excellent source of the phytochemical lutein which helps contribute to age related blindness. Consuming three kiwi a day can lower your risk of eyesight loss.

6. Improved Cardiovascular Health-Studies are showing consuming a few kiwi a day can lower your chances of blood clots as well as reduce your triglycerides, protecting against cardiovascular disease.

7. Source of Vitamin E-Kiwi fruit is one of the fat free sources of Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that helps boost immunity and helps lower cholesterol.

8. Good Source of Zinc-Kiwi’s zinc content can help promote testosterone in men and promote healthy skin, hair, nails and teeth.

9. Source of Folate-Kiwi has 10% of the recommended daily amount of folate which pregnant mothers need for a healthy pregnancy, baby and prevention of birth defects.

10. Low Glycemic Index-Kiwi has a low glycemic index of 52 which is safe for diabetics, is low in carbohydrates and aids in weight loss.

10 Foods That Boost Your Metabolism

I am on Magic 96.5 FM Radio this morning in Birmingham doing my monthly radio show on “Foods that Boost Your Metabolism”. Tune in at 6:50 a.m and 8:50 a.m CST today. Here are 10 Foods that can help boost your metabolism so add them to you diet. You can find the recipe above for Oatmeal with Egg whites here.

1. Water-Water speeds up weight loss and increases the metabolism. It also flushes toxins and sodium from the body. Cold water is said to be even better as your body has to work to heat the cold water until the temperature reaches the rest of the water in your body. This process increases the metabolism even more.

2. Green Tea: The caffeine in green tea speeds up metabolism and also has a chemical, EGCG (antioxidant), that stimulates the nervous system and helps prevent cancer. Extracts from Green tea boost metabolism, aid in weight loss, and also have anti-cancer properties.

3. Grapefruit-Water rich fruits, such as grapefruit, dilute calories. Grapefruit also reduces insulin, which can help your body process food more quickly and efficiently. Grapefruit is also a good source of Vitamin C, reducing insulin levels and boosting metabolism.

4. Broccoli-Broccoli is high in vitamin C and calcium. These two work together to help burn calories faster and more effectively. Calcium also activates your metabolism, and vitamin C helps absorb more calcium. Broccoli is also great for immunity. It  has vitamin A, folate and fiber.

5. Low-fat Yogurt or Greek Yogurt-Yogurt is full of calcium and protein which gives you energy and helps build lean muscle mass. Yogurt also helps regulate your digestive track

6. Hot peppers-Eating hot peppers can boost metabolism and curb cravings. The chemical capsaicin (found in jalapeno and cayenne pepper) assists in speeding up metabolism. Other spices, cinnamon and curry powder, are also metabolism boosters.

7. Salmon-Salmon is a lean protein and high in omega-3 fatty acids which help speed up your metabolism.

8. Lean proteins-Protein found in chicken, turkey and lean meats takes energy to break down so your body burns calories in the digestive process. 

9. Almonds-Although almonds are high in calories, they are jam packed with essential fatty acids, which are great metabolism boosters.

10 Oatmeal-Oatmeal is rich in fat-soluble fiber which requires a lot of calories to break down. It also reduces cholesterol levels and risks of heart disease.

Health, Diet and Super Foods Seminar at Bikram Yoga Birmingham

Exciting news….I turned in my second cookbook manuscript this afternoon. It will be released this fall and will be published by Robert Rose Books. More fun news: I’ll be at Bikram Yoga Birmingham tomorrow (Saturday morning – see below). I have never done a speaking event sweaty, so this is a first. Join me if you are in Birmingham! I’ll be talking about healthy eating, super foods, healthy snacks and more.

Top Healthy Eating Habits and How to Avoid the 10 Worst Eating Habits”
Saturday, January 14  11:15am (immediately following the 9:30 class)

Maintaining a consistent yoga/ exercise regimen is mandatory for a healthy life.  Equally important is a consistent, realistic, healthy eating style.  Alison Lewis is one of our own devoted students We are  fortunate that she will be here to help us in our nutrition quest!

 Alison is President and Owner of Ingredients, Inc., a Food Media Consulting company in Birmingham, Alabama. She is a well-known Nutritionist, Cookbook Author, Recipe Developer, Magazine and Internet Journalist and Food, Fitness and Health Blogger. You can find her work in Southern Living, Clean Eating, Cooking Light, Oxygen and more as well on her personal blog http://ingredientsinc.net or bio website http://alisonlewis.net There is no fee for this seminar, but if you would like to make a donation to our monthly featured non-profit, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Birmingham, it would be greatly appreciated.

My 10 Top Healthy Cooking Tips

I saw a friend at the ball park over the weekend, and she asked, “Alison, can you give me some tips for cooking healthier?” I said, sure. I’ll write a few down for you. So here goes… Some of these may come easy for some of you, but hopefully, I can lend some new ideas as well.

1. Use salt sparingly-You can always add more, but you can’t take it away. Most Americans consume more salt than they need. Salt can lead to higher blood pressure and bloating. Consuming foods high in salt becomes even much more noticeable as you get older. I can’t stand the feeling of waking up feeling puffy.

2. Grill more-Grilling is a great way to prepare healthy fish, chicken and meat as well as vegetables. What I really love about it is that my kids love to eat most anything grilled, and they are even more willing to try foods cooked on the grill.

3. Buy seasonal, buy local-Purchasing seasonal fruits, vegetables and fresh herbs and purchasing locally grown ingredients, will help you stay on track.

4. Simpler is always better-Starting with cooking with less ingredients, but fresh ones.

5. Choose Leaner and lower-fat ingredients-Choose leaner cuts of meats, lower fat milk, low-fat cheese, low-fat yogurt and reduced-fat mayonnaise. Start with smaller steps to gain great strides. Also, don’t forget to trim fat from meats.

6. Broil, steam, roast and grill foods instead of frying– If you choose to fry foods, try oven frying instead.

7. Substitute 2 egg whites for 1 whole egg when called for in recipes-This helps to to reduce fat content.

8. Read food labels-Be sure to choose foods with lower sodium, fat, sugar, carbohydrates and saturated fat.

9. Choose fresh-Use fresh juice from lemons, limes and oranges combined with fresh herbs and spice to season foods.

10. Cook with healthy oils such as Canola and olive oil-Also, try to cook with nonstick cookware more often to reduce the amount of oil needed.