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.
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.
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:
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.
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%!
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).
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.
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.
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????
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.
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.
Here’s what you need…
Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 137 calories, 6g fat, 323mg sodium, 10g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, and 7g protein
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.
Here’s what you need:
For the Chicken:
For the Green Beans:
For the Orange-Brandy Sauce
Cook the Chicken:
Cook the Green Beans:
Cooke the Sauce:
Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 302 calories, 13g fat, 161mg sodium, 19g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, and 29g protein
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.
Let’s look at what a CORRECT quad stretch should look like.
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.
By Kate Vidulich
Yeah, you do squats. But aren’t you ready to mix it up a bit?
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.
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
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.
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.
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
Yes, you’ll have to work hard.
But honestly, we all know it’s worth it… because it changes us for the better!
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
Watch for the coupon code box on the check out and use the coupon code she made just for our readers ‘freedom20‘
Catfish is a wonderful source of low fat protein. Lots of recipes call for frying catfish, but baking turns it into a low calorie, high protein meal. The generous seasoning of the catfish lends to a rich flavor that is complimented perfectly by the light minty salad.
Here’s what you need…
For the Catfish:
For the Salad:
Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 221 calories, 8g fat, 102mg sodium, 13g carbohydrate, 7g fiber, and 26g protein
Guest Post from James Gaida
Have you ever wondered how Super Heroes do it? How do they build those amazing bodies?
Take a look at Wonder Woman. She didn’t always look this great.
There was a time when Wonder Woman wasn’t feeling like a Super Hero. She wasn’t always comfortable in her revealing crime fighting attire.
So what changed?
Well, for starters, she came across one of Shawna K’s sample workouts on YouTube and got hooked.
Additionally, she made some dietary changes and began focusing on 15 foods that should be included in your daily diet so that you can burn enough fat to fill the Bat Cave (I know, kinda of a gross mental picture), have enough energy to leap a building in a single bound and build resistance to the kryptonite that is disease.
Seriously though, my 15 Super Foods are a must have in your daily diet. As they appear more frequently in your diet you will notice feeling leaner and healthier than ever. I promise.
So what is a Super Food? Quite simply I am referring to foods that provide exceptional qualities and high levels of essential nutrients so that you can maximize your health and vitality.
Here are your Super Foods:
All of the Super Proteins are a great source of protein and also healthy fats. This is the key to fat loss. Protein will allow you to maintain your metabolism maximizing lean muscle. Meanwhile the healthy fats will ensure your hormones are properly balanced so that you are burning fat and not falling into fat storage mode.
I think you’d agree that a diet high in good quality vegetables is sure to enhance your health and vitality. These specific Super-Vegetables happen to be among the most nutrient dense and in the case of the cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower & cabbage) the Indole-3-Carbinol in them has been linked to reduced risk of cancer. Just make sure to NEVER boil cruciferous veggies as that will destroy the potential anti-cancer benefits.
The Super-Fruits contain a wide variety of nutrients and phytochemicals that will help to cleanse your body of toxins, speed up fat burning, improve gut health and help to prevent disease.
Nuts and Oils
This category contains some of the most potent fat burning and health enhancing foods on this list. The fats contained in these Super Nuts & Oils have been shown to help you to burn more fat, improve your skin health, enhance brain health, control hunger, reduce harmful disease-causing-inflammation, improve insulin sensitivity, reduce cholesterol levels, and lower high blood pressure.
Add more Super Foods to your diet TODAY!
These 15 foods are among the best of the best. Eat them frequently and you will be rewarded with health, longevity and a lean, rock hard, super hero worthy body.
James Gaida bio:
I am a fat loss expert and certified Precision Nutrition Coach. I have spent more than 13 years coaching clients in both nutrition and fitness. In that time I have also became certified as a Specialist in Performance Nutrition and a Certified Fitness Trainer. I also own many leather bound books and yeah, I’m kind of a big deal!
My baby, 4 Day Fat Loss (4DFL) is dedicated to teaching simple techniques to rapidly burn fat, increase energy and live a healthier life. If you want to find out how to burn fat quickly and transform your body check out the 4DFL Method.
From Lisa Bullock
Jennifer wrote in desperation to Shawna and I looking for high intensity cardio options she could use with a very limiting knee injury. She said:
“I have little cartilage on the outer side of my left knee and bone spurs. My knee issues have flared up hugely and now am trying to heal my knee. It turns out that the squatting, lunges, burpees and anything that requires I bend my knee more than 45degrees aggravate my knee. I need other ways to find my cardio!”
First of all, injuries suck big time –if you’ve had an injury, you’ve worked this one out! Before I talk about modifications and alternatives I’ll just mention sleep, rest and nutrition as essential aids to recovery. Get this covered first.
Jennifer mentioned that the big leg movements are all out for her but only at or over 45 degrees. It’s actually really important to do partial range squats to keep some quad/thigh strength happening. This will be an essential part of any rehab, especially if surgery forms parts of the equation. The inner thigh muscles (medial quads) play a very important part in keeping the knee “tracking” or moving smoothly so we need to keep them strong.
Most clients I’ve rehabbed with knee injuries/meniscus tears/cartilage probs have all been able to do partial range wall sits because it’s isometric (held strength rather than movement). Shawna’s demonstrating a deeper wall sit, but modify this by sitting higher and let the knee dictate how deep you hold this movement. Try holding this for 30 seconds if you can or work towards that goal. Eventually you can challenge yourself to hold 3 x 60 sec holds.
While I’m not a fan at all of leg extensions as an exercise for the general population, here’s a time when it’s appropriate to use this exercise – ensure that the weight is super light and you’re turning your toes outward slightly to engage the inner quad muscles.
But back to Jennifer’s main question – cardio fitness without burpees and running? Is it possible? You betcha!
Our go-to no impact cardio exercise is the Total Body Extension. Keep feet flat on the floor, or come up onto toes but don’t add in the jump. Swing arms dynamically allowing the legs to come to a partial squat keeping your focus on fast moving arms.
My FAVOURITE weighted huffy puffy exercise without engaging big leg movements would have to be the kettlebell swing! Burpees burn 12 cals a minute – kettlebells can burn 20! It’s the perfect alternative. There’s very little knee bend but a ton of heart rate work! Get your technique tight first and then work in some kettlebell swings alongside your favourite strength moves.
Try this workout and see how your heart rate fires up:
15 KB swings
10 per side KB/DB 1 leg RDL’s
15 KB swings
10 per side fast bench tap downs (below)
15 KB swings
10 per side DB renegade rows
15 KB swings
10 per side Get Ups
Repeat for a total of 4 rounds
And dear to my heart of all training – is boxing! And give me time, I’ll do a video of some techniques you can use safely. As a strong cardio workout, there’s not much beats boxing for sheer fitness. If you can get your hands on a boxing bag and gloves and just do basic punches fast and hard, your heart rate will go through the roof. If you’re having ongoing issues with your knee then this will be a worthwhile investment and SO much fun!
It’s really important to maintain quad strength through an injury like this so I always include a bench “tap down” drill too – you’ll need to test this exercise on a low step first to check that you’re not overloading the knee. Keep the step low so there’s not too much bend in the knee but you’ll still work the front of the thigh. Try 3 sets of 10/per side to start with. But “test” the movement first to check it’s OK for you.
Bench Tap Downs
Start slowly and work up to speed. Strength is your first priority and after that, you go can for speed and heart rate. Just make sure the knee points foward in the direction of your toes and doesn’t “collapse” in. This picture explains exactly why we want to keep the quads strong!
So there you have it, some exercises to keep your quads strong despite limited movement and some ideas for keeping fitness high and calories burning while you work around the existing knee injury.
If you need some additional help with knee injuries, Rick Kaselj is THE man to go to for help. You can check out his program at Fix my Knee Pain.
PS. After this post, Jennifer made the comment below on our Inner Circle Facebook page. If this solution worked for Jennifer, it will work for you too! Don’t let knee pain slow you down. Use our workouts and Rick’s solution and your knee issues won’t completely sideline you anymore!