Monthly Archives: August 2016

Healthy Recipe: Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

As we write this article, we know we’re going to have two different responses. The first will be “don’t you DARE start talking about pumpkin yet, it’s still summer!” The second will be “YES! BRING ON ALL THE PUMPKIN STUFF!” Whether you decide to enjoy this recipe right away, or you refuse to go near it until the official start of fall (which is September 22nd, by the way), we can guarantee this: you’re really going to enjoy this smoothie.

smoothie

Not only is this smoothie super simple to throw together, it’s extremely filling due to the high protein content of the Greek yogurt (you can even add in a scoop of your favorite protein powder, if you’d like). It also offers all of the benefits of pumpkin: it’s rich in fiber and high in antioxidants. Just make sure you’re using pureed pumpkin, and not pumpkin pie filling, which is full of sugar and other unwanted additives.

What You Need:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • ½ cup low-fat Greek yogurt (plain)
  • ¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup almond or coconut milk
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 Medjool date (soaked)
  • 1 cup ice (optional)

What to Do:

  1. Throw all ingredients in a blender. Enjoy!

Cortisol Manager: Your Secret Weapon for Stress

Stress. It’s an inevitable part of life. No matter what you do, you’re going to be affected by stress in some way. This stress can come from having too much on your plate; or from financial burdens. Or this stress may be perceived, meaning it comes from thoughts; maybe you’re a “what if” kind of person that spends a lot of time worrying about things that haven’t even happened (and probably won’t happen). Either way, regardless of where the stress comes from, it can wreak havoc on your body.

stress

In a previous blog post, we discussed stress and how it affects your hormones. When you’re stressed, your body increases its production of cortisol, a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels, metabolism, immune function, blood pressure, and your nervous system, just to name a few. The production and release of cortisol is important in keeping your body running as it should, but when the production gets of hand, such as in times of prolonged stress, cortisol goes from helpful to harmful.

When you have high cortisol levels for long periods of time, it can disrupt your thyroid and your blood sugar, contribute to brittle bones, and increase your blood pressure. It can also make it harder to think clearly, disrupt your sleep, and make it easier for you to get sick. High cortisol levels also promote the storage of fat, so it not only makes it easier to gain weight, but it makes it harder to lose weight too – especially around your midsection.

You may not be able to completely eliminate stress from your life (spoiler alert: this would actually be impossible), but you can take steps to reduce the effect that that stress has on your body. We’ve outlined some tips before, like meditation, yoga, exercise, and incorporating more fun into your life, but we also have a little bit of a secret weapon for you: Cortisol Manager.

cortisol manager

Cortisol Manager is a supplement produced by a company called Integrative Therapeutics, Inc. It contains a variety of natural substances, like ashwaganda, magnolia, and L-thesanine, which not only reduce your perception of stress, but also help lower cortisol directly. Cortisol Manager can also help improve the symptoms of stress, boosting your immune function, allowing you to fall asleep faster and stay asleep, and improve the function of your nervous system. Most people who take Cortisol Manager experience absolutely no negative side effects.

If you’re one of the people who is bombarded by stress on a daily basis – and really, who isn’t? – you may want to try adding Cortisol Manager into your stress reduction routine.

Five Health and Fitness Instagram Accounts You Need to Follow

When it comes to recipes, health tips, and general motivation and inspiration, Instagram is an absolute goldmine. It may seem counter-intuitive to spend a lot of time browsing through social media when you’re trying to lose weight, but if you properly control your feed – meaning you fill it with people who are inspiring, motivating, and uplifting – it can be a real asset for you. Not only does it provide a sense of community among individuals who are trying to reach a certain goal, but you’ll also be able to find recipes for every specialized diet under the sun. Vegan? Gluten-free? Sugar-free? Paleo? No problem. Instagram’s got you covered.

There are many inspiring accounts all over Instagram, but we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorites.

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1. Valley Medical Weight Loss (@valleymedicalweightlossAZ)

Okay, we admit, there’s some bias here; but we couldn’t start this list without letting you know that we have our very own Instagram page where we share our specials and provide motivation and support. We also throw in some humor from time to time, so make sure to head over and follow us.

2. Sophie Gray (@wayofgray)

We love Sophie Gray because she’s real, she’s raw, and she tells it like it is. Her page is not only full of fitness and nutrition tips, she’s also big on self-love. In fact, it’s the foundation on which she’s built her entire “brand”. She encourages you to work on developing your love for yourself above all – and we can certainly get on board with that.

3. Carina Wolff (@kalememaybe)

The name is not the only thing we love about Carina Wolff’s Instagram feed, although it’s so clever that it definitely makes her a frontrunner on its own. Her page is bright and fun and full of easy, filling, plant-based recipes that can help you on track. The added bonus is that these recipes are so simple, that it’s likely you have many of the ingredients lying around on most days. You don’t have to be a gourmet chef to make a healthy lifestyle work, although when looking at Wolff’s page, you’ll think she is one.

4. Angela Liddon (@ohsheglows)

Angela Liddon is the founder of Oh She Glows and the author of the Oh She Glows Cookbook. She shares many of her healthy meal ideas on both her Instagram feed and her website. We love that she’s able to take “boring” foods like salads, and turn them into masterpieces complete with beet noodles and toasted sunflower seeds. Follow her for some more plant-based meal inspiration.

5. Massy Arias (@massy.arias)

Massy Arias is certified personal trainer and health coach with a following of over 2 million people. She shares snippets of her workouts, and provides easy meal ideas. She even shares the occasional DIY beauty treatment.

6. Emily Skye (@emilyskyefit)

We know we said we were going to list the five health and fitness Instagram accounts that you need to follow, but we couldn’t leave Emily Skye off this list. Emily posts how-to workout videos that are easy to do in the comfort of your own home with very little equipment. She also shares glimpses into her personal life that make you feel like you’re connecting with a friend.

Who else do you think should be on this list? What are your favorite Instagram accounts to follow for health tips, recipes, and/or motivation?

Binge Watching TV is Bad for Your Health.

These days, the opportunity to binge-watch your favorite TV shows is literally at your fingertips. There’s Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Fire Stick, AppleTV, Roku, OnDemand – I could continue, but I think you get the point. It may seem harmless to sit and veg out for a few hours while catching up on your favorite sitcoms, and it probably is if it only happens on rare occasions, but researchers shows that 61 percent of TV watchers admit to regular periods of binge-watching. If you watch between two and six episodes of a show in one sitting (the parameters that experts use to define “binge-watching”, the rest of this article is for you.

tv

Weight Gain

We’ll start here, since weight management is kind of our thing. Research shows that for every 2 hours of TV that you watch per day, you’re 23 percent more likely to become obese and 14 percent more likely to develop diabetes. To add to that, the type of shows you watch may impact these numbers further. If you’re regularly watching shows on the Food Network, this can increase your desire to overeat and nosh on unhealthy food choices.

Research also shows that viewers tend to make poorer snack choices when engrossed in the television. If you’re mindlessly munching on chips or candy while you’re glued to the tube, it could inhibit your weight loss and even cause you to pack on the pounds.

Chronic Diseases

It’s not just weight that’s a concern though. Other research shows that binge-watching TV can increase your risk of developing diabetes by up to 14 percent. Doing so also increases the risk of both cancer and heart disease. It’s not the TV itself that’s too blame, but the extended period of sitting.

Sleep Disturbance

Binge watching TV later in the evening can also negatively affect your sleep. Research shows that staring into the fluorescent light of a television or computer screen can result in a harder time falling asleep, an inability to reach REM sleep, and resulting grogginess the next morning. This is because the “blue light” given off by screens disrupts the release of melatonin, the hormone responsible for controlling your sleep cycles.

So what’s a reality TV show loving person to do?

You don’t have to cut out the tube completely, but be smart about your viewing time. Try to watch no more than 2 hours of television at a time. Instead of sitting in one place, get up and walk around the house during commercial breaks; do jumping jacks; or stretch. If possible, watch TV only in the daylight hours. Get your fix in before the sun goes down so the blue light from the screens affects your hormones less.

Product of the Month! Skip-a-Meal Meal Replacement Beverage

The Skip-a-Meal Replacement Beverage from Progressive Laboratories is without a doubt one of our most popular supplements. It tastes great, it works, and it’s easy to incorporate into a busy lifestyle. For those reasons, we’ve decided offer it up again as the FREE product when you take advantage of our monthly special in August.

With this special you receive 4 WEEKS of everything listed below for only $295 (that’s a savings of over $200)!

Physician Consult & Weekly Weigh-ins
Meal Plans
FDA Approved Medications
Meta-Blast Supplements
Crave-away Supplements
Weekly Upgraded Injection of B-12
Bi-Weekly Injection of Lipo X
Full Body Analysis on our BODYCOMP Scale

Plus, the product of the month ABSOLUTELY FREE!

skip a meal

The Skip-a-Meal Replacement Shake is a whey protein meal replacement shake that serves as a high-protein, low calorie replacement for a higher calorie meal. You can replace one meal with a shake each day, or all three meals. It’s totally up to you.

In addition to being low in calories (only 192 per serving!), the shake is also loaded with several vitamins and minerals so it serves as a balanced nutrition source, just like a healthy meal would. One serving of the Skip-a-Meal replacement shakes provides at least 30% (in some cases, it provides 35%) of each of these vitamins and minerals: vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, iron, vitamin D, vitamin E, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6, folate, vitamin B-12, biotin, pantothenic acid, phosphorus, iodine, magnesium, zinc, and copper. So if you’re drinking the meal replacement three times a day, you don’t have to worry about getting the nutrients you need.

A single serving of the shake also provides 24 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber but only 2 grams of sugar and 5 grams of fat. The even better news? One tub contains 15 servings and you get it FREE when you sign up for our monthly special. Choose from vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry.

If you have any questions about Skip-a-Meal or you want to take advantage of our monthly special, contact us TODAY!

DISCLAIMER * These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.