Female Fat Loss Over 40

Are you interested in female fat loss? I know what it’s like to feel great in my own skin and I want you to feel your best too. This won’t happen unless you make it happen. I’m all about being pro-active to take control of your body and your life.

 

Female Fat Loss Over 40 is where you’re going to find all the answers to your questions regarding fitness and fat loss. I’ll show you how to shape your lifestyle so that your fitness journey is one that’s enjoyable and livable. Let’s create a positive spin, a snowball headed in the right direction to help you reach your goals.

 

 

You’ve come to the right place. I’m thrilled that you’ve decided to visit my blog. I hope that you stay, get informed and start living the life you want and deserve. I hope you find the answers you’re looking for and that you’re inspired to not only read, but to apply the information I’m so happy to provide.

And if you have a pressing issue that you can’t find answers to, please let me know. I’m here for you. Let’s build our community of readers to support and celebrate with each other. Female fat loss isn’t a mystery, let me help you navigate the issues.

 

Here are my top women’s fat loss tips to get you started:

 

Women’s Fat Loss Tip #1 – Get intense! Read the rest of Female Fat Loss Over 40

Forward Head Posture – A Pain in the Neck!

One of the most common muscle problems I see with men and women alike, is SUPER tight neck muscles.  Shoulders and neck muscles are like tightly banded cords, leading to headaches, shoulder pain, pins and needles in the arms and other uncomfortable symptoms.

In most people this has to do with modern lifestyles and activities which emphasise the muscles at the front of the body and lead to muscle imbalances.  Most often in life we’re bending forward over a computer, sitting and leaning forward to read or sew or study or other jobs or activities that emphasise forward bending movements  (flexion) rather than straightening up and using back muscles (extension).

You might find you’re peering forward intent on your computer screen, leading with your chin and contracting neck muscles in a “poking” movement (less attractively known as chicken neck).  This forward head posture puts a great deal of stress on the small neck muscles and pulls all other surrounding muscles out of balance.

A simple trick you can do to check whether you have forward head posture, is to stand back against a wall.  Keep your hips relaxed, feet out slightly from the wall and then press your shoulder blades and back of your head against the wall.  If you feel that you’ve just grown a fourth chin and that it feels difficult and unnatural –chances are you have forward head posture and possibly some if not all of the associated “headaches” listed above.

 Forward Head Posture   A Pain in the Neck!

While there are several important strengthening exercises you can do to create balance in your body by focusing on extension movements including all kinds of rowing movements (bent over rows, band rows, renegade rows) and chin-ups (assisted are still great), today I’d like to concentrate on some stretches and exercises you can do to relieve neck tension and to begin to re-align your head with your spine, simply and easily.

It won’t happen overnight but it will happen! Chances are you’ve spent years cultivating your current posture so it’ll take time and lots of awareness and stretching to correct now.  Anatomically correct posture has us standing feet hip width apart, knees softly relaxed, as is the pelvis.  Shoulder blades are drawn down and slightly together creating a little tension in the upper back.  Chest is open and “proud” with plenty of space between the ribs and the hips. The head slides back so that there is length in the back of the neck with ears stacked over shoulders.  Arms hang loosely and hands rest alongside the “side seams of your pants”.

2778970 f260 Forward Head Posture   A Pain in the Neck!

In that “best posture” stance we’ll practise sliding the head back to sit directly over the shoulders to create a lengthening in the neck.  Please note this is NOT a tucking of the chin to create triple chins – it’s a slide much as a tortoise pulls its head in.  So instead of being a chicken you can be a turtle!  Hmm, too many fun choices! We can also do this exercise lying in bed gently pushing the head back into the pillow to stretch those tight neck muscles.  Be very slow and gentle – repeat up to 10 times.  Your focus should be a lengthening of the back of the neck while trying to gently push the back part of your skull into the pillow, it’s not just tucking your chin in.  Gently push your head down into the pillow and hold for up to 5 seconds and then relax completely.  Repeat.

 f7faeea96502de91e6b37674a8cb71ec Forward Head Posture   A Pain in the Neck!

An easy stretch to work on during your day when neck pain strikes, either at home or at your desk is to sit up tall and gently allow your ear to drop down towards your shoulder stretching the opposite side of your neck.  Allow that stretch to ease tension a little (about 10 secs) and then slowly and carefully turn your head to look over the back of your shoulder.  You’ll feel this now easing into the muscles at the front and side of your neck and throat.  Hold for approx 10secs and carefully return your head to starting position, then to look down at the front of your shoulder, back to starting position and repeat on the other side.

Screen Shot 2014 07 31 at 2.52.24 pm Forward Head Posture   A Pain in the Neck!

And a great chest opener that will rest your upper back from all of that bending over, and open up the front of the body is a simple lying stability ball stretch. You can of course do these exercises with a foam roller too! Lie backwards over a stability ball or a couple of vertically stacked pillows, keeping the head fully supported and allow both arms to spread wide and drop down allowing the chest muscles to stretch.  Point your fingers and flex your hands continuously.  If you experience pins and needles you may be suffering Thoracic Outlet Syndrome – not as scary as it sounds and easily treated by a good myotherapist and loads of stretching.  Those pins and needles you’re feeling are a result of some nerve impingement most commonly related to poor posture and a rounded chest.

Screen Shot 2014 07 31 at 3.02.00 pm Forward Head Posture   A Pain in the Neck!

Screen Shot 2014 07 31 at 3.02.11 pm Forward Head Posture   A Pain in the Neck!

Screen Shot 2014 07 31 at 3.02.19 pm Forward Head Posture   A Pain in the Neck!

 

If you spend a lot of time at a computer – this exercise is a must!  Do it daily and you’ll soon feel a real improvement through your neck and shoulders.

If you’re stretching and strengthening and not getting results Guru Rick Kaselj has an AWESOME program How to Fix your Shoulder Pain.   I LOVE these programs and use them extensively with my clients – they’re a unique online program in their breadth of information and effective techniques and are ridiculously cost effective compared to a physical therapist who may or may not actually help you.  If you have neck and shoulder pain you NEED to look at this program and then USE it!

Q & A – On Swimming, Jumping and Interval Timers

If you have questions – then we’re here to help answer them!

question answer1 Q & A   On Swimming, Jumping and Interval Timers

Margaret asked:  ”I’m just getting started on your basic program and am working with a trainer, Tom.   I love your program and all the support. I’m 61 and pretty fit but dealing with the creeping fat of “muffin tops”. I have a few questions:

  • For years I’ve been swimming 30 – 40 minutes 5 days a week and love it so much for relaxation and resting the mind. Tom has given me an interval training set to do during the last 20 min which I am starting to incorporate (have done it 3 times now!). Can I do one of your workouts on the same day?
  • I have a wrist problem – ganglion cyst on right wrist which pops up when I put pressure on my wrist. What’s the best alternative for someone just starting who cannot do push ups? (I even tried the “perfect push-up” gadget to make sure my wrist was straight and padded the grips but push-ups were still too much)

Lisa answered:  Glad you’re enjoying the program Margaret!  Let’s deal with these questions one at a time.  Swimming isn’t actually the best exercise for burning fat – for fitness and muscle tone sure!  Because your weight is supported by the water, you won’t be supporting your own body weight and so you’ll expend far less energy than say, walking briskly.  There’s also the issue of body temperature; it’s easier to keep your body cooler during exercise when you’re in water as opposed to your body working hard to keep cool during squats or mountain climbers.

You obviously love it for the meditative benefits but as the creeping middle-age muffin-top becomes more of an issue you might want to look at swapping out 2 of those 5 swims for bodyweight resistance workouts.  I love that Trainer Tom is incorporating more intense intervals into your swims – absolutely spot on advice.  If time isn’t an issue then continue with your swims and add in the FFlo40 workouts as well.  Ideally you’ll be looking at incorporating our workouts 3 times a week.  The first rule of changing your body is changing up your exercise.  Our bodies adapt to a new routine within 2 weeks of regular training so if you want to change – you have to add in a challenge and that usually means doing something different from what you’ve always done.  All the Female Fat Loss over 40 workouts are progressive in their elements yet provide a ton of variety to challenge your fitness.  And don’t forget our additional programs the Ultimate Results program; Trouble Spot Training and the Inner Circle Fat Burning Workouts – that’s an absolute ton of workouts for you to be going on with!

 

Now about that pressure cyst.  Your ganglion will continue to respond to pressure so you can use a wrist brace when training and you can read more about modifying pushups, mountain climbers and other exercises in THIS BLOG.  Use a soft padded bench or the side of a stable wide armed couch for support.  Just keep on moving – you’re on the right track!

 

Carla wrote in asking about her 71 year old mother who has been using the Female Fat Loss over 40 system and is really enjoying it.  Carla’s Mum has some hip issues and osteoporosis and asks whether she should be doing the jumping movements.

 

Lisa answered:  Firstly RESPECT to your Mum who asks about jumping movements at the age of 71!  We all want to have that great attitude!  But the simple answer is actually no.  She needs to look after her joints first and foremost and with her health issues and osteoporosis, high impact movements are not suitable.  She can swap out most of those high impact moves for Total Body Extensions and step-ups.  If the program calls for squat jumps, regress the movement to squats; if the program calls for jumping jacks – ease these back to quick stepping jacks.  And more power to her for keeping on training when many others would choose to sit on the couch.  She’s an inspiration.  If you’re not familiar with the exercises I’ve mentioned – remember they’re all in the Exercise Library and in the Vimeo video library.  Remember, that first come hip issues then next come back issues – so keep that core strong and take a look at Guru Rick Kaselj’s program Fix My Back Pain.

total body extension Q & A   On Swimming, Jumping and Interval Timers

Total Body Extensions

Andrea enquired about an audio timer for our workouts that include timed intervals.

 

Lisa answered:  Here are my top picks for free interval timer apps available on the internet.  You can use these on your smart phone, tablet or even buy a physical timer if you’re not in the flow of technology and prefer something you can hold on to!

 

My ipad has “Interval Timer”– simply named and simple to use.  It’s free in the Google App Store.

My personal fave because its easy and free is the Gymboss app which can be purchased from the Itunes store.

And if you want an actual timer in your hand then the classic Gym Boss is what I usually recommend – it retails for around $20.

www.gymboss.com

And of course, if you prefer the personal touch then the Female Fat Loss over 40 program will have “Virtual” Shawna in your living room with you coaching both technique and timing.

Keep those questions coming – we love helping women live healthier, happier lives through great fitness and nutrition!

 

Cauliflower, Kale and Chicken Sausage Bake

Here’s a recipe that tastes like comfort food, but without the guilt. Kale is a nutritional powerhouse, filled with calcium, and numerous vitamins and minerals.

Servings: 6

Cauliflower Kale and Chicken Sausage Bake Cauliflower, Kale and Chicken Sausage Bake

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups kale, chopped
  • dash of salt and pepper
  • Pinch of each, dried: thyme, rosemary, tarragon, and parsley
  • 4 links nitrate-free, chicken sausage, sliced into half moons
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup fat free ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded and divided
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly grease a casserole dish with olive oil. Place a large pot of water to boil with a pinch of salt.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the olive oil, onion, garlic, salt and pepper, dried herbs and chicken sausage. Mix well, and then add kale. Cover for about 3 minutes, until kale gets bright green and wilted, then remove cover. Sauté for an additional 3 minutes until everything is tender. Set aside.
  3. Place the cauliflower florets in the pot of boiling water. Boil for 5 minutes, then remove from heat, drain, and return cauliflower to pot.
  4. Add the kale mixture to the pot as well as the chicken broth, lemon juice, ricotta cheese and half of the Parmesan cheese. Mix will over medium heat until all has been incorporated.
  5. Transfer to prepared casserole dish. Top with remaining Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and serve.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 238 calories, 10g fat, 584mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, and 18g protein

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Q & A – Loose skin; when to train and more…

question answer1 Q & A   Loose skin; when to train and more...

Heidi asked: “I have a question.  I’m vegan, no sugar, low carb and gluten free.  I’m not much over weight – maybe 5 pounds.  I’m 59 and mainly in good shape.  Your Female Fat Loss over 40 workout videos really helped me get here.  Thanks so much!  What I’d really like from you is more workout videos.  I don’t need dietary or hormone advice, and won’t use audio or read only workouts.  Can you provide that? 

Also, besides staying toned up and strong I have 2 other target concerns.  1) I have a prolapsed uterus.  2) Since losing 20 pounds over the last year I have some saggy skin.   If you can help with these issues please let me know.  Thank-you!”

 

Shawna replied: “I’m happy to hear that my program has helped you so far.

My partner, Lisa Bullock and I will be creating ‘Female Fat Loss Over 55/60′ soon. In the meantime we’ve put together a plan of the month program you can find HERE. 

Lisa has coaching videos for you in that plan and you’ll be delivered a plan of the month for 6 months. I know you’ll really enjoy the workouts.

As far as loose skin goes, there’s not a ton that can be done. It’s somewhat genetic as to how elastic your skin can be. I’m sorry I don’t have a magic bullet to fix loose skin. The good news is that if/when you lose weight you’ll be much healthier, you’ll look much better in clothes, but you may not feel 100% confident to rock a bikini.

That’s just the truth. I don’t want to feed you a line. You can get visible abs, but the skin on your stomach may still be loose.  Lisa is working on a blog post as we speak regarding Pelvic Floor and safe strengthening exercises – stay tuned!”

Leslie asked:  “What time of the day is the optimum time to perform my workouts?”

Shawna replied:  The BEST time of day to train is the time of day YOU feel the most energized and can give the most to your workout.  Some people are morning people, others are night owls.  There’s no one size fits all.Whenever you feel you have the time and energy to consistently train, that’s the best time for you.  There’s so much information on the internet these days – it’s easy to get confused.  Let’s keep it simple and just get it done!

Jenny asked:  ”I struggle endlessly with my weight.  I know what to do but as soon as I get upset, or stressed I just go back to comfort eating.  Do you have any suggestions for how I can overcome my self sabotaging behaviour?”

Lisa answered:  “We’ve actually been chatting in the last week  to a lady who is an expert in this area of mindset and self-talk.  Christine has organised the Love Yourself Slim Summit and is offering FREE webinars from over 20 experts  regarding self image, self talk and finding out WHY you find it so hard to change the way your mind works.  She’s been there, done that and dealt decisively with her personal demons.  Once she did so, she found that her excess weight just dropped off and now she’s living a healthy, happy life helping other women win their own battles. You can register for the Love Yourself Slim Summit here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some people are morning people, others are night owls.

 

There’s no one size fits all.

 

Whenever you feel you have the time and energy to consistently train, that’s the best time for you.

 

 

World Peace – Just a dream?

From Lisa Bullock

I want to share some of my thoughts with you and they’re not particularly health and fitness related so feel free to switch off if you’d prefer.  Laughing Lisa will be back tomorrow.

The English poet and preacher John Donne once wrote:

No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main……
Any man’s death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; 
It tolls for thee. 

I can’t think of a more apt quote to describe the effect of this weeks horrific air tragedy.  As we watch more tragic news unfold on the world stage with the shooting down of Malaysian Airlines MH17 I struggle with the continued horror of man’s inhumanity to man.  I’m just some middle aged woman in Melbourne – what can I do?  I’m as helpless as any of you to change these global conflicts.

And then I thought of another quote from Mother Theresa:

Love World Peace   Just a dream?

We live in a global world that interacts faster than a small village.  I can message Shawna as I sit in my office in Australia and get a response from Canada in seconds.  Facebook and email link us as never before.

I believe that we can change some things. 

As women, mothers, wives and friends we have a responsibility to live a life that sets an example.  Not a life of perfection, that’s impossible and probably highly hypocritical if the truth is known – but the best life we can live.  We’re all committed to living a healthier life – you wouldn’t be subscribing to Female Fat Loss over 40 if you were happy to stay the same.

So how does living a life of health and fitness extrapolate out to world peace?

I believe it’s about striving to be a better person. 

To be healthier, to be stronger, to feel better. 

The better we feel, the happier we feel and the more secure we are. 

Happy, confident individuals do not go and shoot down school children, do not start wars, do not encourage the bullying of marginalised ethnicities or discriminate against others based on their sexual preferences.

I’m passionately, absolutely anti-guns – the outdated concept of the “right to bear arms” completely ignores the responsibilities we bear in the 21st century.  Enough talk of rights, let’s start talking responsibilities.

We are responsible for raising our children to be thoughtful and caring members of society.  We should stand up for the weak and marginalised – you personally will know someone, if not several people that face discrimination daily if only because of the colour of their hair.

We need to be looking at the words we routinely choose – “oh, that (insert object) is so gay!”.  Someone’s sexual preference becomes synonymous with insult?  Really? Are we so small and petty?

We have the power to change what is around us if only in the smallest of ways.  But until we start making small changes we will never see big changes.  It’s the same with weight loss, with fitness – you have to make small changes consistently to see real long term change.

We can do it, we just ALL need to commit to doing the best we can.  Don’t look at your neighbour – don’t look at your boss – don’t look anywhere except the mirror.

Watching the news can make you despair.  Shawna and I were talking about this very subject this week – how to keep aware of world events without being dragged down into negativity.

The only way I can see that we can take any kind of positive from these continued tragic acts of war and aggression and terrorism is to take a personal stand on how we live our own lives.

Simple, not easy.  Every day – to try and be the best we can be.

Here endeth the sermon.

I’ll be here tomorrow back on track with fitness hints and tips – but for today let’s take a moment to remember all the innocent people lost to senseless violence and commit to better tomorrows for all of us.

Why Women NEED Iron!

If you’re lifting iron – you need to be consuming iron! And if you’re not lifting iron (and why aren’t you?), you need to be consuming iron too!

And no, I’m not suggesting you start gnawing on your dumbells!  1 out of EVERY 12 women is believed to be suffering from iron deficiency.  And amongst the vegetarian community that statistic goes up to 25%!

 Why Women NEED Iron!

Iron is used by the body to

1. Transport oxygen (haemoglobin).

2. Converting food into energy.

3. Assist normal function of the immune and central nervous systems.

If you are constantly tired, feeling lethargic or run-down and become breathless with physical activity you may be in need of an iron boost in your diet. Toddlers, women of child-bearing age and athletes are at greatest risk.

Anaemia is a condition where iron deficiency is at it’s most severe – a condition that requires iron and other supplements and up to a year for recovery. Symptoms of iron deficiency anaemia include weakness, headaches and heart palpitations.

And forgive me if I sound like a broken record – but guess what’s key in managing iron deficiency or anaemia?  Yep, that would be diet!

For women, low intakes of red meat in conjunction with blood loss from menstruation are common underlying causes. Low iron levels can mask coeliac disease, gastrointestinal bleeding and colorectal cancer. For this reason low iron levels should always be investigated by a medical professional. Excessive iron intake can also be dangerous. Hence iron should never be supplemented without a doctor’s advice.  A simple blood test can test for low iron levels but before you get to that point, check that your diet focuses on iron rich foods.

There are two main sources of iron that can be gained from food.  “Haem” and “non-haeme” iron. (both are references back to haemoglobin – the protein that transports oxygen through the blood).

 Why Women NEED Iron!

A number of plant foods including legumes such as chickpeas and lentils, green vegetables contain iron.  Unfortunately, the type of iron found in plant foods, non-haem iron, is not particularly well absorbed. This is in contrast to the haem iron found in lean red meat in which 20 per cent of the iron present is absorbed, compared with just 5 per cent of non-haem iron. For this reason, many adults and young children will require lean red meat at least every second day to get all the iron they require. For vegetarians, eating iron enriched foods each day is important for ensuring the body has access to all of the iron it needs to function optimally.

Iron absorption can also be increased by combining iron rich foods with Vitamin C rich foods such as citrus fruit, tomatoes and other red and yellow fruits and vegetables. For example, combining lean meat with bright vegetables such as red capsicum or iron fortified cereal with orange juice can increase the amount of iron the body absorbs at a given meal.

 Why Women NEED Iron!

Bear in mind that in the same way that adding Vitamin C can enable absorption – adding foods high in caffeine can deplete iron absorption.

Women generally need twice as much iron in their diets as men.  So forget the myth of “white meat for the ladies, red meat for the gentlemen!”  Elbow hubby out of the way and reach for the steak!   The good news is if you are low in iron your body will absorb more – as long as you give it the opportunity with iron-rich foods.

Women between the ages of 30-50 require 18mg of iron in their daily diet.  Over the age of 50 that requirement goes down to 8mg.  Obviously you should discuss this with your doctor if you are suffering severe menopausal bleeding as this will deplete iron stores further.  A lack of vitamin B12 can also add to the equation of iron depletion though this tends to appear as an issue in a strict vegan diet.

 Why Women NEED Iron!

If you’re experiencing some of the symptoms described above and believe your diet has been less than stellar in the iron rich foods department then it’s time to take hard look at your diet.

Here are a list of some foods that are iron rich (some such as bread are iron-fortified – added, not naturally occurring)

Iron in food mg iron
200g beef steak 7
1 cup beef mince 5
1 chicken breast fillet 2
1 fish fillet 1
1/2 cup baked beans 2.2
2 slices grain bread 2
Breakfast cereal with iron 3
1/2 cup Spinach 0.6

In general, you can eat a healthy diet that includes good sources of iron. A healthful diet includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low fat milk and milk products, lean meats, fish, dry beans, eggs, nuts, includes healthy fats and minimises cholesterol, salt, and added sugars.

So what’s the wash up?  A diet of whole, unprocessed foods containing a wide variety of protein rich foods with a veggie colour palate of the rainbow is more likely to give you a balanced nutritional intake and reduces the risk of low iron. Who’d have thought????

 Why Women NEED Iron!

If you need help with your nutrition and eating for wellness, you can’t go past these people!  Paleo Hacks show you how to eat paleo-style and make it easy.  Trust me, your skin will glow, your energy will sky-rocket, and you’ll feel fantastic.  You know you need to reduce processed foods from your diet so Paleo Hacks make it easy for you with done for you meal planning (just see the pics below – I LOVE these!), recipes, nutrition advice and some yummy desserts in there to make it all easy and sustainable.

paleo hacks meal plan Why Women NEED Iron!

Quinoa, Arugula and Roasted Veggie Salad

This healthy salad that starts with dark flavorful greens, then adds cooked veggies, creamy goat cheese, some tender quinoa. No dressing required, since all the ingredients pack so much flavor. Next time that you are wondering what to make for dinner, try this Arugula, Quinoa and Warm Vegetable Salad. Feel free to add a side of grilled or baked chicken breast.

Servings: 4

Quinoa Arugula and Roasted Veggie Salad Quinoa, Arugula and Roasted Veggie Salad

Here’s what you need…

  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bunch asparagus, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 cups organic, baby arugula
  • 2 oz crumbled goat cheese
  1. Place the quinoa and chicken broth in a small pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff.
  2. In a large skillet, place the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté until lightly golden. Add the asparagus and onion. Sauté for 5 minutes, until the asparagus is bright green and the onions are translucent. Season with salt and pepper. Add sun dried tomatoes and sauté for 1 minute. Remove from heat.
  3. In a large salad bowl, combine the arugula, quinoa, warm veggies and sprinkle with the goat cheese.
  4. Serve with a side of grilled or baked chicken breast, or other lean protein.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 137 calories, 6g fat, 323mg sodium, 10g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, and 7g protein

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Posted in Let's Cook by Shawna. No Comments

Healthy Orange Chicken and Green Beans

Here’s a recipe that adds fruit to dinner and takes all the guilt out of orange-flavored chicken. There’s no sugar and no fryer involved. Just skinless, boneless chicken breast, marinated in orange juice, pan seared and then baked. Serve it up with orange-spiked green beans for a nutritious, protein-packed meal.

Servings: 4

Healthy Orange Chicken and Green Beans Healthy Orange Chicken and Green Beans
Here’s what you need:

For the Chicken:

  • 2 cups fresh orange juice
  • 2 Tablespoons grated orange zest
  • 4 skinless, boneless, chicken breasts
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil

For the Green Beans:

  • 10 oz fresh, organic, green beans
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 Tablespoon grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • dash of salt and pepper

For the Orange-Brandy Sauce

  • 2 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • 3 shallots, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons brandy
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 navel orange, peeled and each segment cut into 3 pieces
  • 1 Tablespoon parsley, chopped
  • Dash of salt and pepper

Cook the Chicken:

  1. Place the orange juice and orange zest in a large ziplock bag. Season each side of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Place the chicken breasts in the ziplock bag, coating each side with juice. Marinate in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. Grease a 12-inch, oven-proof skillet with the olive oil. Place over medium-high heat. Add the chicken breasts in a single layer, cooking for 3 minutes. Turn the chicken, season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Place the skillet in the oven for 15 minutes, or until a thermometer registers 165 degrees F in the center of the thickest breast.
  4. Remove from oven and cover with foil as you make the sauce and cook the beans.

Cook the Green Beans:

  1. Wash the beans, snap off and discard the stems. Place in a large ziplock bag with the orange juice and orange zest. Allow to marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat a medium sized skillet over medium heat. Grease with the olive oil. Remove beans from refrigerator, discarding the juice. Add to the skillet and cook, covered for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove cover, increase the heat and cook for an additional 3 minutes, until the beans are bright green.

Cooke the Sauce:

  1. In a medium skillet heat the coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add the minced shallot, cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat, add the brandy. Return to the heat and cook, scraping the bottom, until the brandy has almost evaporated, about 30 seconds. Increase the heat to high, add the orange juice. Boil for 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth, boil for 3 minutes.
  2. Add in the orange segments and the parsley. Turn off heat. Season with salt and pepper.

To Serve:

  1. Cut the chicken on the diagonal into thin slices and arrange over a pile of green beans. Drizzle with the orange-brandy sauce.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 302 calories, 13g fat, 161mg sodium, 19g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, and 29g protein

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Foam rolling for Hip and knee pain

From Lisa Bullock

We received a question from Carla requesting a little more information about foam rolling for sore knees and asking how she could strengthen her legs to relieve knee pain.  If you missed my email about training with knee pain, check it out HERE.

I’m going to make a generalisation here.  In the absence of diagnosed injury or trauma – the majority of knee pain is actually a result of tight hips and inadequate release techniques for the quads.  And here’s another big call – the majority of people with very tight quads and hip flexors also suffer lower back pain! Dealing with stiffness in the hips then becomes incredibly important for overall wellbeing!  While this blog deals with basic techniques, if you want to take it further then Eric Wong is the man to show you how to deal definitively with hip mobility!

But for now let’s look at how we can improve that situation.  The good news being, it’s just not that hard!

Let’s address the foam rolling and stretching part of Carla’s question first.  Go slowly, because if the muscles in the front of your thighs (quads) are very tight or sore, rolling them will be a little uncomfortable at first – it may take a few reps for that initial sensitivity to ease off.  The technical description is “it stings Mum!!!!!”.

You might like to start with as little as 30 seconds  and then work your way up as it becomes easier.  Hold yourself on your elbows in a plank position (and please don’t let your back sag!) with the foam roller positioned under your thighs just above your kneecaps and gently roll to and fro on the roller massaging up the thigh and back down again.  Make sure you’re rolling the thigh and not putting any pressure on the kneecaps themselves.  You can then re-position the roller underneath your hips and roll the hip flexors too.   Ideally you’ll be aiming to foam roll and stretch your quads every day till that knee pain starts to ease.

Quad stretches are done every day, somewhere in the world, in every gym, and on the whole, done very badly!  Here’s what a typical quad stretch looks like – and please note this is INCORRECT and a waste of time!  In this position, the hip flexors aren’t  on a stretch and the quads aren’t even actually targeted.

incorrect quad pic for blog Foam rolling for Hip and knee pain

 

Let’s look at what a CORRECT quad stretch should look like.

correct hip flexor stretch for blog Foam rolling for Hip and knee pain

 

The whole posture is different for a start.  Lift your chest and lengthen through your spine.  Pull your ankle – NOT foot – back towards your bottom.  Gently tuck the pelvis under while pulling the knee back in line with the knee on the supporting leg, you could even aim to get your knee back further with time.  At the same time as you tuck the hip under, clench your glutes (bottom muscles) strongly and gently push forward through the hip.

And voila!  A totally different stretch right there.  And it’s completely effective.  For those of you who suffer low back pain as a result of tight hips, even reaching down and grabbing that foot might cause your back to spasm so use the option of the bench as pictured.

Simple techniques that earn lots of reward. Mega-bang for buck – my favourite kind of technique.

Dealing with hip tightness and mobility is a huge issue – especially as we spend more time sitting than any other generation in the history of mankind!  Eric Wong has an impressively researched and demonstrated program for dealing with hip mobility which may benefit you if you have these ongoing issues.  You can check that out HERE.

eric wong hip mobility Foam rolling for Hip and knee pain

3 best butt exercises of all time (NO squats)

Guest Post

3 Best Butt Exercises of All Time

By Kate Vidulich

Yeah, you do squats. But aren’t you ready to mix it up a bit?

Of course you are. icon wink 3 best butt exercises of all time (NO squats) squats kid 3 best butt exercises of all time (NO squats)

Here’s the thing…

You don’t need to spend half an hour on the abductor/adductor machines at the gym. Or even do a million squats to get a fitter, firmer butt.

This is my secret, magic formula:

Activation – Strengthen – Fatigue

OK try this quick, 3 exercise circuit that targets your glutes and get a fitter, firmer butt just in time for Summer. You only need a pair of dumbbells – heck you could even do it with ZERO equipment.

Note: You must do these exercises in the order listed. It’s very important for the progression of the circuit.

1. Single Leg Glute Bridge (aka one leg hip extension)

It’s one of my all time favorite exercises, and you will find it in most of my dynamic warm ups. Reason being, this is the best move to fire up your glutes and get them activated – seeing as we spend too much time sitting. Plus ANYONE can do this move.

The idea is raise your hips up off the floor until your knees, hips and shoulders form a straight line. If you’re having trouble getting range of motion, try the glute bridge with both feet on the ground instead.

Do 15-20 reps on each leg.

single leg glute bridge 3 best butt exercises of all time (NO squats)

2. Dumbbell Offset Step Up

This is a simple exercise – but one of the best for getting a sexy backside.

You may have seen plenty of variations, so here’s how to do it:

Grab a dumbbell and hold them at arm’s length at your sides. Stand in front of a bench or step and place your left foot firmly on the step, high enough that your knee is bent 90 degrees.

(A) Drive the weight through your left heel and focus on squeezing your butt. Push your body up until your left leg is straight and you’re standing on one leg on the bench, keeping your right foot elevated.

(B) Lower down until your right foot touches the floor. Do 8-12 reps on each leg.

Note: You shouldn’t feel pain in your knees.

As a sexy bonus, this move will help you climb stairs like a ninja icon wink 3 best butt exercises of all time (NO squats)

offset step up 3 best butt exercises of all time (NO squats)

3. Single leg walkout to curtsy squat

You won’t find this exercise in any textbook or magazine – because I made it up! It’s a total body move that will target your butt.

Here’s how to rock it:

First, do a reverse lunge, followed by a single leg walkout, one cross body mountain climber, a push up and then finish with a curtsy squat.

single leg walkout 3 best butt exercises of all time (NO squats)

Yep, that’s one insane rep. Just aim for 5-8 reps each leg to start with and take your time. The quality of the movement is far more important than trying to rush.

Try to keep your non-working leg off the ground for the entire set.

Here’s a quick summary of the sexy circuit:

(A) Single leg glute bridge x 15-20 reps

(B) DB Offset Step Ups x 8-12 reps

(C) Single leg walkout to curtsy squat x 5-8 reps

No rest between the exercises, break for 30s at the end of the circuit and repeat for 3 rounds.

BONUS Workout:

You can do this instead of cardio at the end of your workout. Ready?

Ladder Accelerator 5: One legged Gauntlet

Do the following circuit resting only when needed. If you’re form breaks down, please take a break. Do as many rounds as possible for 6-10 minutes, depending on your fitness level.

Choose Your Level:

Beginner = 6 minutes as many rounds as possible (AMRAP), sub seal jacks for step jacks.

Intermediate = 8 minutes AMRAP

Advanced = 10 minutes AMRAP

A) Single leg walkout x 5 each side, seal jacks x 30
B) Single leg walkout x 4 each side, seal jacks x 25
C) Single leg walkout x 3 each side, seal jacks x 20
D) Single leg walkout x 2 each side, seal jacks x 15
E) Single leg walkout x 1 each side, seal jacks x 10

And if you love that workout, you can celebrate your “freedom” with over a hundred more body sculpting workouts here.

Get 10 FULL Fat Loss Accelerator Programs at 89% OFF! <= Biggest discount EVER

You’ll discover TONS of new exercises. Kate accelerator bundle 3 best butt exercises of all time (NO squats)
You’ll get AMAZING results.
Your body WILL change.

Yes, you’ll have to work hard.

But honestly, we all know it’s worth it… because it changes us for the better!

Let’s go!

Kate Vidulich, BSc, ACSM, Master CTT

PS. Since Kate V is a cool cat and we’re best buds, she’s provided us with a COUPON CODE so that at the check out you’ll save big time in honor of Independence Day icon wink 3 best butt exercises of all time (NO squats)

Watch for the coupon code box on the check out and use the coupon code she made just for our readers ‘freedom20

Kate V coupon freedom 3 best butt exercises of all time (NO squats)

 

 

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