Just Say “No!”…to the Mom-Butt

I sent this info out in my October newsletter, but I wanted to get it up here too.

I can’t tell you how many times that I have been asked about how to tone up the back-side… tush…bottom…glutes…whatever you call them. We all want to get rid of the cellulite and flat “mom-butts” in order to look great in our skinny jeans this Fall.

Bottom line (hahaha…pun intended)…there is no easy answer. Proper nutrition, exercise, and opening the detoxification pathways are all important- but there are some things that you can do now.

Unfortunately, due to the sitting we all do while driving, working on the computer, watching TV, and more, can cause tight hip flexor muscles. In my first video, I show you a warm-up to loosen up muscles that may be tight in order to really be able to hit those glutes when you work out.

Here is the workout of the month from October to really focus on hitting the glutes- and abs as well. Make sure to do this workout only after you do the above warm-up.

If you need help with the nutrition portion of getting rid of that mom-butt, I have my Fall Into Health Cleanse that starts on Monday the 3rd.

Here’s the video for that.

Questions? Comments? Please let me know.

Jessica

Immune Boosting 101

This flu season is crazy, right? My email and Facebook feed have been plagued (pun intended) with constant information about the spread of Ebola, the flu, whooping cough, mumps, measles, and enterovirus D68. It’s enough to make me want to never leave the house. But because I live in the real world, that’s not possible, it’s not even fun to think about. There are quite a few things that I can do to boost my and my family’s immune system.

1. Drink lemon water. I have a great lemon water elixir that is part of my Fall Into Health Cleanse.

benefits of lemon water

2. Consume cayenne pepper, onions, ginger, garlic and cloves daily to fight off infection.

  • Cayenne pepper- has capsicum, which contains Vit C and helps your body fight off colds and the flu, plus it can increase your body’s temperature to make you sweat and fight off infection
  • Onions- has quercetin, which helps to break up mucus in your head and chest
  • Garlic- anti-viral and anti-bacterial, stimulates the immune system
  • Ginger- soothes sore throats, and encourages coughing to get mucus out of the chest
  • Cloves- contain manganese, magnesium, fiber, vitamin c

3. Make sure you are eating diets of whole foods high in vitamins and minerals,

  • Vitamin A- sweet potatoes, carrots, grapefruit, dark leafy greens, and butternut squash
  • B Vitamins- shellfish, liver, avocados, sweet potatoes, potatoes, quinoa, and buckwheat
  • Vitamin C- peppers, dark leafy greens, broccoli, and citrus
  • Vitamin D- fermented cod liver oil, oily fish, and mushrooms
  • Vitamin E- spinach, nuts, sunflower seeds, avocados, and shellfish
  • Selenium- Brazil nuts, seafood (oysters, lobster, clam, shrimp), fish, seeds, and mushrooms
  • Zinc- Avocado, pomegranate, raspberries, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds

4. Drink cranberry juice concentrate with water and mint to help your kidneys and bladder flush out junk that tends to build up there.

Cranberry flush cleanser

5. Make sure you are breathing – we alkalize our body as well as help our bodies deal with stress by how we breathe.

one minute meditation

6. Make sure you are taking probiotics- Prescript Assist, PB8, or Garden of Life Primal Defense. Also make sure that you are eating cultured foods like kimchee and sauerkraut and drinking cultured drinks like Inner-Eco or kevita or kombucha.

7. Take care of yourself- Epsom salt baths for healthy methylation and detoxification, skin-brushing for lymph cleansing and getting rid of dead skin cells, castor oil packs and foam rolling for further detoxification and restoration.

Detox bath

8. Oils, homeopathy, teas and tinctures- colloidal silver, olive leaf extract, oil of oregano, garlic, and grapefruit seed extract are all natural anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal.

Immune Boosting Essential Oils

9. Get plenty of sleep. While we sleep our bodies rest, repair, and recover from everything that happened to us during the day. If we don’t sleep, we don’t recover, period. No amount of coffee or other stimulants will make up for that.

10. Exercise regularly. Regular cardiovascular and weight training gets your blood flowing and strengthens your body to fight off infection.

pillars of health- follow

11. Drink alcohol only in moderation. Drink alcohol only in moderation. One of alcohol’s least appreciated complications is it’s immune system effects. It can leach some of your body’s important vitamins and minerals leaving you less able to fight and kill germs.

12. Don’t smoke. Nicotine can also leach vitamins and minerals from your body which can make wounds take longer to heal. Cigarettes also include tar and other chemicals that can weaken your immune system.

Keeping all of these principles will keep your immune system strong this flu season so that you will be able to fight off the flu, or keep it very short.

My Fall Into Health Cleanse can really help boost your immune system. Check out more about how cleansing and detoxification can help with immunity in my video here.

Questions? Comments? Please let me know.

Jessica

 

 

 

Why I Love My Foam-Roller

I’ve written about why stretching and foam rolling are important before, but I wanted to go over it again since I completed my Corrective Exercise Specialist course through the NASM. The course really reinforced how using proper form not just during exercise, but during regular daily activities can prevent us from getting tight muscles that lead muscle imbalances that lead to pain and injury.

Our daily patterns can also cause this cycle of dysfunction- whether we sit, drive, stand, or walk around all day- various muscle groups get more work than others and end up getting tight. Using the foam roller to loosen up the tight muscles after exercise and at the end of the day can help keep our muscles long and smooth instead of tight and knotty. I still use mine on a regular basis.

I’ll give you two examples from my own experience.

  1. I’m right handed so when my kids were babies I would always carry them using my left arm, leaving my right free to carry groceries, unlock and open doors and cabinets, etc. Then when I was getting my MBA, I would prop myself on my left arm while using my right hand to control my computer mouse. Later, I had a job that required a lot of travel. Since my car was a stick I would hold the wheel with my left hand and shift with my right. Those three things over the years built up to where my right pectoral muscle was very very tight and I had a lot of pain in my right shoulder.
  2. Like many people, I do a lot of sitting- at my computer, driving, eating my meals, relaxing at the end of the day, etc. I sat a lot getting my MBA and at my old job. You’d think I’d be on my feet more as a personal trainer, but now that I’m working more on my online program I sit at my computer quite a bit again. All of this leads to tight hip flexors and I kept wondering why I wasn’t getting any response from my glutes when I lifted. I finally figured out that constant sitting = tight hip flexors = no glutes.

So, what did I do? I make sure to stretch my chest after every workout. I also foam roll my tight shoulders at the end of the day so that I can relax and get a good night’s sleep. Proper alignment is also key. I try to make sure that I’m using proper form when I sit at my computer (my husband still catches me sometimes falling back into bad habits after I have been sitting too long). Also, I constantly get up and stretch my hip flexors and adductors during the day and before exercise. Before I do a leg workout this is especially important so that I can really hit those glutes. I’ve started to get some activation in that department and am finally starting to see results, ie glute development. I’m excited to see what will come of my physique as I put these principles into action.

As you can see, or read, physiques are effected by more than what we do in the gym and fuel our bodies with. Proper form, stretching, and foam rolling are crucial to getting rid of that “Mom Butt” and building a firm one.

I’m attaching my “Just Say ‘No!’…to the Mom Butt” warm-up as well as demonstrations for how to foam roll various muscle groups.

“Just Say ‘No!’…to the Mom Butt” warm-up

Hamstrings

Calves

Peroneals

Quads

Adductors

Hip Flexors and TFL

Glutes

Shoulders

Thoracic Spine

Lats

I hope you find this useful and helpful.

Questions? Comments? Please let me know.

Jessica

Things You Notice When You Pay Attention

clean eating

This has been a very interesting summer for me, to say the least. I have decided to take some the time off from competing this season to really figure out what’s going on and how to eat best for my body. I used competitions so many times as my motivation to eat right, but I would then go right back to quite a few of my old eating habits. Then I paid the consequences for it- my stomach would be bloated and in pain, my moods would swing, my sleep would suffer.

After a few cycles of this I started to know better, but I had a hard time stopping it. This last experience in May with my pre and post-competition energy level and stomach problems helped me to decided that enough was enough. I decided to eat clean for myself and my health.

I have completely removed certain foods out of my diet and am feeling much better. For instance, I figured out that gluten was causing some of my stomach problems as well as some depressive symptoms. Dairy (lactose mostly) can also cause unpleasant stomach stuff as well. Then there’s MSG and other high-glutamate foods- they cause me some anxiety. Figuring this out has really helped me to stay away from these foods.

I’ve also started some more restorative and detoxifying practices into my weekly routine- castor oil packs, dry skin brushing, stretching and foam rolling on a more regular basis, and some detoxifying herbal teas.

It sounds kind of crazy, but my energy is a lot better. I’ve recently had some more blood work done and my liver and kidney enzymes have gone down from where they were in May and June. That’s a great signs that my inflammation has gone down. Some of my other vitamin and minerals have gone up- also showing that my digestion and absorption are better.

One of the things that I learned about during various lectures that I’ve listened to was this process that happens in every cell in our bodies every second of every day. It’s called methylation. There were also a few other things that I learned about during other lectures that made me want to get my genetic testing done through 23 and Me. They don’t give health reports anymore, but I was able to download my raw data and upload it to other sites that helped me figure out what it all meant.

So, what is this methylation that I talked about earlier? Methylation does happen in every cell of our bodies because it turns on and off genes; builds, metabolizes, and breaks down neurotransmitters; builds immune cells; processes chemicals- both the kind we come in contact with through external toxins and the kind that we make in our own bodies; and produces energy. All very important stuff, right? Well, there are lots of genes involved in methylation. There are also a lot of mutations that effect those genes, called single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs).

I knew all along that I was prone to certain things like high cholesterol, but I wanted to know more about my genetic makeup, to see what mutations I had – and figuring out how to fuel my body best in order to work around them. I know that some aren’t ready for the info because they just don’t want to know that they are prone to certain cancers or are afraid of what will happen to their insurance if they do. But for me, I was ready.

So, what did I discover? Well, my methylation cycle is a little messed up and I have a few genes that are not optimal for detoxification. I am a little more prone to autoimmune conditions like celiac, Crohn’s, and Hashimoto’s. I have a gene that makes weight gain easy (quite a few people have this gene actually). I am prone to high blood sugar and insulin resistance as well as high cortisol, glaucoma, and macular degeneration.

Sounds dismal, right? There are also good things too. I have genes that make my bones stronger (I’ve never had a broken bone). I have the genes for the large amount of fast-twitch muscle fibers- I have never really been much of a sprinter but my daughter is. I always assumed she got that from my husband, but maybe I did give her a little something there too. I have genes that make me prone to certain cancers while other genes made me resistant to those same cancers. It was all very crazy, confusing, and fascinating all at the same time. Needless to say, reading up on it took up a lot of my time.

It also has made me more resolved in my diet, exercise and restorative practices as well. I decided to really pay attention to my diet and supplements to see just how good I can make myself feel so I’ve continued to really pay attention to what I’m eating, monitor my supplements, and see what makes me feel the best.

I’m far from figuring it all out- I’ve tried a few things that made it worse- but I have changed up some of my vitamins and have really noticed a difference. I also feel better on a lower carb diet. When I eat too many carbs- even the good kind- I feel like I get on a blood sugar roller coaster that is very hard to get off.

Can you believe this all started just by really wanting to pay attention to what works for my body and to be my best? I cannot stress how important this is. That is why I started to do these seasonal 11-Day Detoxes. I’ll be offering even more services after the start of the New Year to include 28 and 90 Day programs where we really did deep and figure out what works best for your body in order to get you to your best health and energy level. Meanwhile, my next 11-Day detox starts on Monday. I have been having an incredible time helping my clients realize that what they eat really does play a big part in how they feel. I’d like to help you too.

Questions? Comments? Please let me know.

Jessica