So you've just signed the kids up for summer camp, and you're wondering what you will do to feel good about your body and health this summer. I am so excited to announce my very first Booty Camp with live sessions Monday through Friday at 8:30 am. We start on Monday, June 1 and will complete the entire Brazil Butt program in 60 days ending July 31. Using the Brazil Butt Lift program created by trainer to Victoria's Secret Models Trainer Leandro Carvalho's, we will do 6 different workouts over the course of 2 months to lift and tone and focus on cardio conditioning. You can choose to come each morning if your schedule allows or just a few days a week. It's free to come to any or all of the live sessions. If you are not in the Lebanon, PA area you can join us in a private Facebook group for the workouts! I did this program last summer and really loved my results and you will too. The support of the group will keep us going and we will track our progress each week and talk about nutrition. You will not want to miss out on this awesome program. Get everything you need so that you will never miss a workout at www.beachbodycoach.com/juliesmyth and order the Brazil Butt Challenge Pack for $140. It includes a 30-day supply of Shakeology in any flavor and the 6 Brazil Butt videos you need to tone every angle of the booty. It's a small investment in your health and with live sessions and support you will be determined to succeed. I would love to see you this summer!
Join me and the Lebanon Beachbody Coaches for some fun, FREE, online Challenges next month! There is something for everyone regardless of fitness level, age or goals.
If you really want to focus on healthy eating, be sure to get in the Clean Eating Challenge with Jenny. You will get all the recipes and a grocery list in an online, private Facebook group so that you can do 5-days of healthy cooking and eating. Most people in the group lose between 5-8 lbs just by eating healthy foods! There is no exercise required, but you can do some light walking or yoga during the 5 days if you want.
If you want to get a 21-Day Program that includes portion-controlled containers and 8 different workouts, try the 21-Day FIX. You can read more about my experience with the FIX here. If you've done the fix and want to take it to the next level try the FIX Extreme!!
The Spring Break Challenge allows you to pick any program you want (you can even run outside!) and is completely free. It will help you stay on track for 28 days with eating healthy and logging your workouts. There will be fun themes and mini-challenges and even a Challenge Champ that you vote for at the end.
Finally, an all-new group for the runners in the house! Coach Missy has a plan for you to improve your times and even register for your first or longest race. You will need to purchase Focus T25 to be added to this group and Shakeology is encouraged, but not mandated. All runners are welcome regardless of your level and the group is customized based on your skills. It will run for 10 weeks and is going to be amazing.
So which group will you choose? Please send me a comment if you are interested or go to my facebook page and you can message me. I am so excited for you to get healthy this year!
Ever consider doing a cleanse? There are a lot of options out there, but the very healthiest and most beneficial plan I have found is the Beachbody 21-Day Ultimate Reset. The kit comes with all the recipes, supplements and grocery lists you need to start eating clean as a lifestyle and it promotes digestive health and alkalinity along the way. Find it at www.ultimatereset.com/juliesmyth
Not sure if you want to invest in the 21-Day program? Try my free version that is adapted from the Ultimate Reset and lasts only 5-Days. You will feel better, have more energy and less excess weight by giving this a try. The meal plan is below and each recipe is highlighted in blue so you can reference it. The foods are so good and are the perfect portion size so that you aren't tempted to over eat. I offer online support on my Coach Facebook Page www.fb.com/youcandoitreset if you want the extra accountability. Let me know what you think of the plan!
Ring in the new year with Super Saturday on January 10, 2015. We are excited to host our second Super Saturday Event at "The Barn" located at 158 Maple Lane Lebanon, PA 17042. We will start with a 30-minute Beachbody workout at 10am and then have the meeting right after which will last for about an hour. There is no cost for this event, but you MUST register by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm excited to see you in January and to learn about all the great new products and promotions that Beachbody will offer.
We all know someone who really seems to have their stuff together. It's not because they are never in a tough situation, they just seem to know how to handle it better than we would. An example that quickly comes to mind for me is a childhood friend that I knew since kindergarten named Kim. By age nine or ten we were aloud to go to the public pool by ourselves and we loved the freedom that Valley Beach Pool offered. We had a group of between 8-10 kids on any given day that would sit on the lawn under an umbrella together or soak in the sun, and it almost didn't get any better. I really don't remember exactly what happened, but one day we found ourselves in some trouble with one of the lifeguards. I just remember him coming over to our group and he seemed like he was 10 feet tall because he was so intimidating. He stared us down and asked "who threw the ball?" in a voice that would still rattle me if I heard it today. No one moved. We all sat there looking up at him for what seemed like 10 minutes in silence. Finally, my friend Kim spoke up and said "I did it". I'm pretty sure we were all at fault, but Kim had the courage and integrity to stick her neck out for all of us and take the blame. The lifeguard asked her to follow him and we were so nervous that she would be kicked out of our beloved pool for the rest of the summer. I may never know what the lifeguard said to Kim when he pulled her away, or what exactly happened that day (it was 25 years ago), but what I do remember was that Kim had courage and knew how to handle a situation at the age of 9.
With school starting we will most likely run into some sticky situations with parents, teachers, and other kids. There may be something you are confronting right now at work, with a neighbor, a family member or friend. So what if we aren't just "born" with the innate ability to properly handle situations like Kim seemed to be? Hope is not lost for us. We just need to follow a few simple rules and we will be on our way to making better decisions and handling situations more gracefully.
Rule #1: Listen. Try to understand the other persons point of view and put yourself in their position. If you don't know exactly what is going on then ask questions and gather information. Try not to come off in a way that will make the other person defensive. Instead seek to understand. Really go in with the attitude that you want to be as knowledgeable as possible about the situation. Rule #2: Don't be too quick to react. Sometimes it feels good to get that first jab in and it may even momentarily give us a slight advantage, but chances are it's not the right move. Before you pick up the phone to chew someone out or go on the attack give yourself time to calm down and assess the situation. This problem probably took some time to build up and it will also take time to resolve. Don't react too quickly especially if you are angry. Take a walk, exercise, sleep or do whatever it takes to cool down. Rule #3: Create a win-win resolution. This can be the most challenging thing we do when resolving conflict. Let's face it we want to win. If that means the other person loses then it's clear that we succeeded. However, there is a way to win that is not to the other persons detriment and it can really ease tensions in the future with that person. Use your problem-solving skills, get creative and find a way that you can both win in the situation. It may take more time or effort, but there is always a way to create a win-win. Rule #4: Emulate someone who has it together. We can learn so much by watching how others handle situations. We have all seen the mother in the grocery store who is screaming at her kids or even getting physical with them. It's uncomfortable and we know that there is probably a better way to handle the situation. On the flip side, we can probably all think of a person who has handled conflict really well and that should be our focus. What did they do that made things better? How did they carry themselves? What was the resolution? Find these people and adopt some of their techniques.
See how Justin Timberlake handles a fan who "flips him the bird" at one of his concerts. He uses humor to diffuse the situation and easily gets the crowd on his side. What if he would have gotten angry or even humiliated the fan? The whole concert would have had a different dynamic.
With all of this said, it's not about judging others or being overly concerned with how people view you. When you handle a tough situation gracefully you reduce stress in your life and you feel really good about it. We all run into difficult scenarios in our lives and there will be times when we make mistakes and don't handle things very well at all. The situation may continue to rear it's ugly head unless we deal with it. By following the rules above we are better equipped to resolve conflict in a way that will eliminate it for good and make each party better off than they were before. What situations are you dealing with? What are you doing to handle them?
I was doing PiYo Buns the other day with Chalene Johnson (not actually WITH her, but she is the trainer on the DVD!) and she made a comment about legs being the key to your metabolism. So obviously the first thing I wanted to do was research this and read all about it. So here's the skinny on why legs can make you skinny.
The legs which include the gluteus maximus, quadriceps and gastrocnemius (calf muscle) are the largest muscle group in your body. The "glute" or butt is the largest of the three and is also very powerful. This muscle can easily atrophy over time if it is not used. As Americans we sit A LOT, and if you don't move it you will lose it. I just stood up to type because sitting around is not helping my glute! The quadriceps are the 4 huge muscles that comprise the front of your thigh… that’s why this muscle group is called the ‘QUADS’. These muscles also need to be used and active during the day by standing up, squatting and doing lunges. Finally the gastrocnemius or calf is the smallest muscles in the leg group and can be stubborn to build if you weren't born with great calf genetics. There are still things you can do to define this muscle like calf raises and isolation holds on your toes.
So moving on to why this crash course in anatomy is important--each pound of muscle can burn up to 50 calories a day. That's right each pound of muscle (an athlete is around 56% muscle) burns 50 calories a day. If you do that math you quickly realize that this is a lot of calories burned! Since the legs contain the most muscle weight it is a great idea to focus your attention here. Since metabolism is basically the way your body converts food into fuel and the efficiency with which it does this, the muscles in your legs are the key to jump starting the metabolic process. I would always recommend getting your nutrition in order first before starting a workout program because this will give you immediate results and your body will respond to healthy foods in such a way that it will reward you! You will feel better, have more energy, and be happier as a result of clean eating. Instead of focusing on calorie reduction, however, plan on eating plant-based whole foods that will fuel your body. If you have to eat some processed foods, always read the labels. If you don't recognize an ingredient your body won't either. When you are ready to add the fitness component be sure to do resistance training 3-4 times a week to build that all-important muscle and pay special attention to your legs. Resistance training is anything that is strength-building and uses barbells, weights, bands or your own body weight to increase muscle mass. Cardiovascular exercise is great but the calorie burn is over the minute your heart rate goes down. Muscle continues burning calories 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. P90X is one of my favorite programs because it really focuses on building muscle and can be done in your own home with minimal equipment. Plus the trainer, Tony Horton, is hysterical and will keep you pressing play throughout the 90-day program. If you're a girl building muscle should not scare you! Women do not have the testosterone levels necessary to pack on tons of mass. You would have to workout for years non-stop and you still wouldn't even get close to looking like a female Incredible Hulk.
Remember, FAT does not BURN calories it STORES them. We all need some fat to cushion our organs, assimilate vitamins and to store energy for when we need it. It's MUSCLE that gives your body shape, definition and burns calories. Muscle is really the only way to maintain long-term weight loss. Build muscle to lose the fat and start today with your legs. After doing some squats and lunges take a minute to love your legs and thank them for allowing you to walk, jump, run and dance!
You decided to collect all the veggies in your fridge and make a healthy salad for lunch. Great choice! As you are finishing the chopping and tossing you reach for the final ingredient--salad dressing. Instead of using a pre-packaged brand (even if it's marketed as "healthy") consider making a salad dressing yourself for these 4 reasons.
1. It's Cheaper Batch for batch if you buy the ingredients in bulk you will save money when you make your own salad dressing. To make a good dressing all you will need is extra virgin olive oil (cold-pressed is best because the oil is minimally process when it is extracted from the olives), any type of vinegar, raw honey, fresh lemon, Himalayan salt and your favorite herbs. If you're a member at Costco or BJs you can stock up and really save. Consider the Good Seasons packets that cost around $4 and you are supplying most of the ingredients yourself. Skip the packet and make it from scratch. 2. You Will Avoid Harmful Ingredients The one thing that drives me crazy about packaged salad dressings is the amount of sugar and chemicals they contain. It's almost impossible to find one that doesn't contain sugar in some form and worse, many add harmful chemicals like MSG. Monosodium Glutamate or MSG is known to cause obesity in rats and is commonly used by scientists to induce obesity in order to test for desired outcomes. It is a chemical that tricks the brain into feeling satiated momentarily and then hunger is amplified within a short period of time. There is also a link between MSG and asthma. When you make your own dressing you don't need to worry about these chemicals and you can substitute honey for sugar which is much easier for your body to process.
3. Your Dressing Will Taste Better Since you can make it exactly to your liking, homemade salad dressing will always beat out the pre-packaged version. By using fresh ingredients you get the best flavor. A trick to save time and money is to buy lemons in bulk. Squeeze them and pour the juice into ice trays. You can freeze the fresh lemon juice and thaw the cubes as needed. The tang of the fresh lemon with the bite of the herbs will make your salad taste like a delicacy. You might start to crave this healthy main course and when you add pine nuts or toasted pumpkin seeds you really have a satisfying meal that you can feel good about.
4. It's So Simple You don't need to be a professional chef to create your own salad dressing. You really don't even need any fancy tools. I actually use my old cruet from when I used to buy Good Seasons and shake up my much tastier, healthier dressing in that! It is important to start with fresh, quality ingredients. Himalayan salt is pink and contains many minerals which makes it a great option. You can find it any health food store and sometimes it the the cooking section at TJ Maxx. While you're there, check out some of the cool bottles and pourers to make your homemade salad dressing look even more appetizing. Give these recipes a try and let me know what you think!
Sunscreen is something I never purchased or carried until I had kids. I have olive skin that doesn't typically burn and if it does (maybe once in the very beginning of summer) it turns to tan by the next day. I started buying sunblock about 3 years ago with my first son and wanted to get the highest SPF possible. It never occurred to me at the time that there could be harmful chemicals that I was generously slathering all over my little guy's body--until this week. I saw a short post on a friend's Facebook page that said something to the effect of "doctors say sun block does more harm than good" and I decided to do a little research. What I found was mind-numbing and frustrating. There is so much information out there so I will try to break it down as simply as possible. First, skin cancer rates have tripled in the U.S. since 1970 from 7.89 per 100,000 population in 1975 to 23.57 in 2010 according to the National Cancer Institute. The main goal of sunscreen is to prevent sunburn which scientists all agree is a major contributor to skin cancer. The problem is that many lotions contain a slew of chemicals that are not good for you. The good news is that active ingredients are all listed on the side of the bottle, the bad news is it's just another label that we as consumers have to take time to read and analyze. If you are interested in reading more about these ingredients the Environmental Working Group EWG is an awesome resource and you can even type in your sunscreen brands to see how they rate them (0-10 with 10 being the most hazardous). I will do my best to break some of these ingredients down for you without having a degree in chemistry:
Avobenzone- this chemical absorbs UV rays over the wide wavelength and then converts them to heat. Some studies have demonstrated it to be absorbed by the body and secreted into urine, and is therefore not recommended to use on children or pregnant women. Some skin specialists believe it to be very harmful and contend that it behaves similarly to the hormone estrogen, however the SCCNFP has negated this claim.
Homosalate- According to the EWG it is a weak hormone disrupter. The European Union's Scientific Committee on Consumer Products (SCCNFP) report says it was shown that sunscreen containing 12% homosalate led to eye irritation. The chemical is limited to 10% in Europe.
Octicylene- this chemical can penetrate the skin and make it photosensitive resulting in an increased production of free radicals. Free radicals cause indirect DNA damage and potentially contribute to increased incidence of malignant melanoma in sunscreen-users vs. non-users.
Oxybenzone - this is a hormone disrupting chemical which penetrates the skin and enters the bloodstream. It is the most popular ingredient in chemical based sunscreens and only blocks UVB ray (sun’s good rays that provide vitamin D production), not UVA which are the most free radical damaging rays. Avoid any sunscreen that has this chemical at all costs, especially for children.
Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide- your very best sun protection. These are mineral based, do not penetrate the skin and provide UVA protection against the sun's most damaging rays.
Vitamin A (Retinyl Palmitate) – A 2009 study by U.S. government scientists released by the National Toxicology Program found when this is applied to the skin in the presence of sunlight, it may speed the development of skin tumors and lesions.
Sprays or Powders – Generally speaking, sprays and powders have additional chemicals added to them for performance purposes. These additional chemicals are usually not something you want to be spraying on your body and can be toxic to the lungs. Besides, remember sunscreen is formulated for your skin, not your lungs. Many of the side effects of sprays and powders on the lungs are not tested before being approved.
I know this is a lot of information so I decided to raid my pool bag and take a trip to Queen's Natural Market to compare and contrast these different brands. I created a chart to make it a little simpler to understand and I was shocked most by the prices. The natural sunscreens from Queen's are in the same range as the chemical brands and I when I tried the Sunny Kids today I didn't notice much of a texture or scent difference. I did have a little trouble getting the lotion to squirt out properly but when I took a knife and removed the excess plastic it worked perfectly. Here is how I scored the 5 lotions that were in my bag.
I hope you are not scared away from the sun completely based on this information and remember that Vitamin D absorption is crucial and that you and your kids need sunshine! We need sunlight to avoid diseases linked to Vitamin D deficiency like heart disease, cancer and depression. Another great benefit is the reductions in cravings that proper Vitamin D absorption can provide. When Vitamin D is low, the hormone that controls appetite stops working. Think about when you are cooped inside for long periods of time in the winter. You eat and eat and never feel full. The sun contributes significantly to daily production of Vitamin D, and as little as 10 minutes of exposure a few times a week is enough to prevent deficiencies. Vitamin D also helps boost serotonin which makes you happy! So get some sun in your life and then apply some natural sunscreen. Be sure to reapply after about 40 minutes if you are sweating or in the water.
I am so glad I made this simple switch for my kids and it really didn't end up costing any more than I was already spending. I feel much better knowing that they are getting sun protection without the chemicals.