Become a Diet Detective

It can be difficult to maintain a healthy and nutritional diet when there are so many hidden ingredients and things to look out for in our daily food purchases.

Here are a few tips that will train you to become a food detective.

1. Read the Ingredients Label (You Can’t Always believe the Branding!) – Avoid chemicals, hormones, dyes, GMOs, trans fats, high fructose corn syrup. Be sure to observe the amount of saturated fat and sugar content. When purchasing meats, Grass fed and pasture raised is better than cage free! When buying at fish try to get fresh and sustainably caught and avoid farmed fish.

2. Shopping Organic – Shopping for organic products is healthy but can also be costly. Following these guides to can help you to know which produce items to focus on buying organically.

The Dirty Dozen – These fruits and vegetables were found to have the most pesticide residues so consider purchasing the organic versions of these items.

DirtyDozen_0

Institute for Integrative Nutrition

The Clean 15 – This is a list of produces that were found to contain the least amount of pesticide residue. This means you don’t have to be as concerned about purchasing these items organic and could save yourself some money.

CleanFifteen

Institute for Integrative Nutrition

3. Taste the Rainbow – The colors of the food that you are buying can reveal a lot about their health benefits. Focus on only buying foods that are the colors of the rainbow as opposed to any colors that were generated in a factory. This means that they probably include dyes and chemicals to make them this color. Things you want to avoid!

4. Less is More – 5 ingredients in a meal is a good rule to follow. It allows you to avoid any sneaky products in your foods to ensure a more healthy and natural diet.

5. Stick to Natural Foods – Focus on eating natural foods as opposed to packaged ones. They have more nutritional benefits, less hidden ingredients, and are fresher.

 

Meet Your Instructor:

NikkiFItness is a health coach, trainer, class instructor, media fitness expert, author of The Slimnastics Workout, a freelance fitness writer, product reviewer, and the star of 12 fitness DVDs/Videos/Apps including the new Anti-aging Walking Workout, Slimnastics Stability Ball Workout, the Seasonal Affective Disorder Workout, Hard Core Abs, Fit Travel Workout, Booty Camp, The Slimnastics Workout (Yoga+Plyometrics Fusion), Red Carpet Runway Workout, Military Wife Workout, Baby Bootie Camp, and the Beach Bride Destination Wedding Workout (Amazon). Nikki’s “Slimnastics” exercises have been featured in over 100 national media outlets including the New York Times, Live! With Kelly and Michael, Fox & Friends, GMA Health, Shape, Self, Fitness, and Women’s Health. Her “Improve the Move” workouts focus on multitasking toning and plyomentric cardio intervals (HIIT- High Intensity Interval Training) to cut workout time in half and boost metabolism. Nikki is an AFAA certified NYC personal (and celebrity) trainer, group fitness instructor at Crunch in Manhattan, a graduate from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition® School (IIN health coach), and a 200hr RYT YogaFit/Yoga Alliance trained yoga instructor. She is also the “spokestrainer” for Huggies Little Movers and SilverSports antimicrobial fitness gear. Nikki got her start in fitness as a Syracuse University Cheerleader, where she graduated with a degree in Broadcast Journalism from the Newhouse School. Search for “NikkiFitness” on social media, and in iTunes and Android for the NikkiFitness App! More at www.nikkifitness.com

Long Lead Post: NikkiFitness Pumpkin Workout for Halloween!

Here’s a pre-pumpkin carving activity: Before you decorate the jack-o-lanterns, grab that heavy gourd and use it to tone your trouble spots with this full-body workout! My new video, the Slimnastics Stability Ball Workout was the inspiration for these moves, because you typically use a medicine or stability ball to perform them, but if you have a pumpkin laying around anyway (I have my four-year-old to thank for mine!) why not put it to good use?

How it works: Do 20 reps of each execise. Repeat the entire series 3 times.

Targets: Triceps, biceps, shoulders, inner and outer thighs, glutes, quads, pectorals, upper back, obliques and lower abs

You will need: Pumpkin (8-20 lbs)

Screen shot 2017-07-06 at 12.23.47 PM

Stand tall with the pumpkin in your hands with elbows bent. Lunge right leg back and twist left over front leg (make it harder by extending the arms straight out in front of you, then twisting).

Turn forward and step your right leg forward to meet left and come to standing. Repeat on the other side for one rep.

Screen shot 2017-07-06 at 12.23.31 PM

A Squat while holding the pumpkin behind your neck, with elbows close to your head. Be sure to sit back as if to sit into a chair, and keep your knees from going too far forward.

B Stand up and lift the pumpkin directly overhead by straightening the arms. That’s one rep.

Screen shot 2017-07-06 at 12.23.40 PM

Hold the pumpkin in left hand for 5 seconds.

Lift the pumpkin overhead to work the shoulders.

C Bring the pumpkin down into the palm of right hand and hold for an isometric contraction of another 5 seconds. Push the pumpkin back overhead in both hands to complete one rep.

Hold the pumpkin in hands with arms bent and legs wider than shoulder’s width apart. Bend knees to plie squat and straighten arms to lower the pumpkin.

Come back to standing and biceps curl the pumpkin up to your shoulders. Extend arms to reach the weight over head and engage shoulder muscles. Come back to start for a complete rep.

Upper Back Row

Hold pumpkin and hinge at hips with back flat and knees soft. Extend arms to reach pumpkin toward ground at knee level.

B Pull the pumpkin in toward your navel and bend elbows up toward sky. Lower weight back toward ground for one rep.

(Trainer tip: Make sure back is flat, not rounding. If shadow looks rounded, stick booty back and pull shoulders up.)

V Sit and Twist

Sit on ground and lean back, so that abs engage. Back should be flat and diagonal from the ground, starting at the tailbone and continuing straight through the spine, long through neck and up the crown of head. Make it harder by lifting feet up to tabletop.

Lower pumpkin to right hip, then lift overhead.

C Lower pumpkin to left hip to complete one rep.

Reach and Crunch

Lay on ground and extend arms (holding the pumpkin) and legs long so they are a few inches from the ground.

B Pull knees in and crunch the shoulders off the gound while reaching the weight toward feet. Lengthen again for one rep.

These moves do the TRICK to make your Body a TREAT!

Fitness, fit it in! Nikki

Meet Your Instructor:

NikkiFItness is a health coach, trainer, class instructor, media fitness expert, author of The Slimnastics Workout, a freelance fitness writer, product reviewer, and the star of 12 fitness DVDs/Videos/Apps including the new Anti-aging Walking Workout, Slimnastics Stability Ball Workout, the Seasonal Affective Disorder Workout, Hard Core Abs, Fit Travel Workout, Booty Camp, The Slimnastics Workout (Yoga+Plyometrics Fusion), Red Carpet Runway Workout, Military Wife Workout, Baby Bootie Camp, and the Beach Bride Destination Wedding Workout (Amazon). Nikki’s “Slimnastics” exercises have been featured in over 100 national media outlets including the New York Times, Live! With Kelly and Michael, Fox & Friends, GMA Health, Shape, Self, Fitness, and Women’s Health. Her “Improve the Move” workouts focus on multitasking toning and plyomentric cardio intervals (HIIT- High Intensity Interval Training) to cut workout time in half and boost metabolism. Nikki is an AFAA certified NYC personal (and celebrity) trainer, group fitness instructor at Crunch in Manhattan, a graduate from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition® School (IIN health coach), and a 200hr RYT YogaFit/Yoga Alliance trained yoga instructor. She is also the “spokestrainer” for Huggies Little Movers and SilverSports antimicrobial fitness gear. Nikki got her start in fitness as a Syracuse University Cheerleader, where she graduated with a degree in Broadcast Journalism from the Newhouse School. Search for “NikkiFitness” on social media, and in iTunes and Android for the NikkiFitness App! More at www.nikkifitness.com

A sweet (and natural) way to cut back on sugar!

 

As a health coach I recommend people cut back on sugar and eat things unsweetened so that they change their tastes and crave sweets less.

When that’s not possible, I always recommend natural foods rather than chemicals. I also work with and write for Diabetic Lifestyle, so sugar is always a topic I keep in mind when doing product reviews.

Recently I discovered Dolcedì – it’s a sweetener in plastic bottles that you squeeze, the consistency of honey, but clear. It can be used any way you would use traditional table sugar or honey; and because it is sweeter than table sugar, you can use less to achieve your desired sweetness. It’s neutral flavor enhances the taste of food and drinks without altering them. Dolcedì is also perfectly soluble in both cold and hot drinks and can be enjoyed with pancakes, on yogurt, in fruit salad, and in baking. With 25% fewer calories by weight than table sugar, Rigoni di Asiago Dolcedì is made from the concentrated and filtered sugar extracted from 100% organic apples.

Eating low-glycemic foods is one tool to help keep diabetes under control. As a low-glycemic alternative to sugar and other sweeteners, Dolcedì is a healthier choice for diabetics. It has a glycemic index (GI) of 22.5 +/- 5.

The glycemic index (GI) is a rating system for foods that contain carbohydrates. It helps you know how quickly a food with carbohydrate raises blood sugar, so you can focus on eating foods that raise blood sugar slowly.

As you see in the tables below, the graph on the left shows the incremental glycemic curves for sugar (glucose) vs Dolcedì. As you can see, sugar causes the blood sugar to spike, while the Dolcedì helps maintain a lower, steady blood sugar. The graph on the right compares the GI of both sugar and IMG_5022

http://rigonidiasiago-usa.com/dolcedi/
So if you’re looking for a sweeter way to cut back in sugar, this might be your best natural alternative!