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Friday, March 28, 2014

Let Them Eat Nut Butters

Nut butters -for a grown up PGJ
Pistachios, Pecans, almonds, macadamias. We love our nuts. Ground up and spread on some apples or a tablespoon added to your morning shake and you’re good to go. But if you’re an athlete, you might think twice about this healthy snack because nuts can pack a caloric punch and too much body fat can definitely slow you down and interfere with your performance.   

You probably know that it’s important to have a good amount of healthy fat in your diet-about 30% of your daily calories (give or take.) Avocado, coconut-in all it’s forms, olives, olive oil are all great choices. But when it comes to healthy fats, nuts are a delicious and nutritious favorite. We love our nuts and with the advent of all the new nut butters, now you can eat your nuts…and your nut butter too.

Nuts may be high in calories but they fill you up fast-so you might not be eating as many as you think (not that it isn’t hard to devour a whole bag or jar in one sitting (just ask me; I know.) What is it about nuts that makes this high calorie snack so satisfying? Three things:

Friday, March 21, 2014

The #1 Workout Mistake You’re Probably Making

One-size-fits-all workouts.....a good or a bad idea?
Several weeks before a major nutrition conference last summer where I gave an important lecture, I realized I needed a more tailored look. I work at a gym; my wardrobe mostly consists of Lululemon. That wasn’t going to cut it for this presentation among esteemed colleagues.

I tried on numerous off-the-rack dress shirts, but nothing fit exactly right. Too long, too baggy, or too frumpy: I left a particular upscale department store discouraged.

Then my boyfriend reminded me about a fabulous tailor he’d used years before. I scheduled an appointment, and about a week later this tailor created three beautiful, perfectly fitted dress shirts that made me effortlessly look pulled together.

Much like custom-fitted shirts, off-the-rack workouts – DVDs, classes, books, and do-it-yourself – don’t address your individual needs. They might be passable, but they can’t possibly account for your unique strengths and weaknesses, goals, idiosyncrasies, and other things that make you you.

Unfortunately, several popular workout plans take a McExercise approach to fitness that, at their worst, can create injury and burnout. Among these top “one-size-fits-all” offenders include:

Friday, March 14, 2014

7 Mistakes Even Top Personal Trainers Make

Is your trainer focused on YOU?
“I really like to work with guys” in her job description should have immediately signaled a problem. Substitute “hook up” with “work” and you can quickly see how a new hire at my gym several years ago quickly turned into a profession-shaming nightmare.

The fitness craze had reached its zenith and our gym owner determined we needed to hire someone new. I felt thrilled: I had reached my peak client base; my coworkers were equally swamped. I received the daunting task of going through applications to find our new trainer.

This one definitely stood out in more than one way. Let’s call her Bambi. A little older than other applicants, with impressive credentials, she had nearly a decade’s experience working at one of Los Angeles’ top gyms and quite the testimonial base.

Bambi clearly practiced what she preached, at least

Friday, March 7, 2014

McExercise: Why Your Workout Could be Just as Unhealthy as Your Diet

You've heard of junk food, what about junk exercise?
“Want to wager what flavor she’s going for?” my coworker asked, watching a particularly scrawny 20-something sporting Lulu’s latest as she walked rapidly out the gym door.
“You know it will be fat free, whatever the flavor!” I replied.
You can envision the type we were snarkily laughing about. They do their 30 minutes of elliptical exercise or take that new low-impact aerobics class taught by a beefy Jason Bateman look-alike and suddenly they’ve “burned” enough calories to devour cake batter fro-yo loaded with gummi bears and colored sprinkles.
Lately these types have become equal-opportunity offenders. Skinny, toneless females have always fit the bill, but I’m seeing more