Essential Vitamins and Minerals for Women

Lucia MetcalfFITNESS NUTRITION0 Comments

essential vitamins and minerals

There’s a reason why they’re called “essential vitamins and minerals”. As humans, we need these key nutrients to run necessary body processes, like digestion and system regulation. As women, we differ from men in a myriad of ways, so it’s no wonder that our bodies need more gender-specific nutrition.

Depending on your age, you may need to supplement your diet to include more vitamin and mineral sources. As we age, especially as women, our bodies can halt essential processes that are necessary to our vitality and vigor.

Calcium

It’s well-known that women start losing bone density during their twenties, therefore, calcium is a necessary mineral component of your diet. While it may seem like you eat enough cheese or drink enough milk, most dairy products don’t pack enough calcium to meet the recommended daily dosage – around 1,000 mg. Consider taking calcium supplements to keep your bones strong.

Vitamin D

Also known as the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D can also help reduce your risk of breast cancer by as much as 50 percent. It may also offer protection from both ovarian cancer and diabetes. For health and fitness reasons, vitamin D also plays an important role in muscle function and calcium absorption. The good news is that our bodies can synthesize vitamin D from as little as 20 minutes of exposure to sunshine. Get outside

Iron

A diet lacking in iron can lead to unhealthy, anemic conditions (reduced amount of red blood cells) and cause a weakened immune system. Women who tend to have heavy periods or pregnant women require more iron in their diets or may need to take additional supplements. Iron can come from meat sources (heme iron) and plant sources (nonheme iron). Although heme iron is more readily absorbed, nonheme iron can be better improved when these foods are eaten in combination with vitamin C rich foods. The daily need for iron can range from 8 mg (for older women) to 27 mg (for pregnant women).

Folate (folic acid)

B9 or folate, also known as folic acid, helps keep red blood cells healthy and is essential to fetal development. Folic acid supplements are highly recommended, even within a diet rich in folate, especially during childbearing ages.

Magnesium

Magnesium is an important essential mineral for women and general health overall because it supports hundreds of functions throughout the body, including bone formation and growth. Magnesium is also helps regulate blood pressure and blood sugar levels and is a recommended supplement for healthy pregnancy.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is what helps keep you energized throughout the day. It’s required to make red blood cells and helps keep your brain and nervous system healthy and functioning. As you get older you may develop a reduced ability to absorb this essential vitamin, leading to increased confusion, agitation, and hallucinations. Meats, fish, dairy, and eggs contain high amounts of vitamin B12.

It is always important to eat a healthy balanced diet rich in essential vitamins and nutrients. Healthy nutritional habits are necessary cornerstones to achieving your fitness goals and also to living a long and fruitful life. Remember that as women, our health needs can be very different from men and children.

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5 Bosu Ball Exercises to Tone Fast

Lucia MetcalfFITNESS TIPS0 Comments

bosu ball

Have you ever tried exercising with a bosu ball? No? Well, get ready, because these 5 bosu ball exercises will bring all the core strength you need to perform at a 110% in other aspects of your fitness journey!

Elevated Crunches

One way to turn up your ab workout a few notches is sitting on the bosu ball facing up, lifting your legs up and down keeping your core engaged. Want to turn it up a few more levels? Use hand weights and work your biceps up and down.

Plank and Leg Raises

The key here is form. Make sure your hips aren’t lower than the rest of your body. Keep your bottom leveled and hold it for as long as you can. Do leg raises exchanging legs. Do reps of 25 on each leg.

Leg Twists in Plank

Start at the position of a plank (see above) and twist your waist taking one leg to the opposite side. Do three sets of 25 reps. This workout is amazing for waist toning and burning the love handles.

Elevated Mountain Climbers

Elevate your workout doing the typical mountain climbers you already might do, and if you don’t, you should! Start in plank position, either on your elbows or palms (might be easier on your palms) and bring one knee to your chest; switch leg. Do as many as you can in 50 seconds. Rest 10 seconds and do 2 more sets of 50 seconds each with 10 seconds rests.

Jump Squats

Another great way to elevate the squat. Jump on the bosu ball and try to land in a squat position. This exercise will engage your whole body, core muscles and mind! Do as many as you can in 50 seconds. Rest 10 seconds and do 2 more sets of 50 seconds each 10 seconds rest.

See Results with the Bosu Ball exercises

Don’t be surprised if you’re sore the next day. Keep at it. Take a warm bath with epsom salts and baking soda, which helps with muscle recovery, and stretch before and after your workout But don’t quit because after some time of doing these you will see results! Next, tackle some butt lifting exercises!

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How to Stay Motivated During Your Weight Loss Journey

Lucia MetcalfFITNESS PROGRAM0 Comments

Weight Loss Journey

The key to starting and maintaining motivation during your weight loss journey is to be relentless and consistent in reminding yourself of your personal goals. Finding unique ways throughout your journey to connect with your weight loss goals is helpful when building good lifestyle habits. Your weight loss journey is not only about physically losing weight, but also about building good psychological and emotional self support. Visualizing a goal can help you realize it.

Here are a few things that you can do to help build self-motivation during your weight loss journey:

Keep a Weight Loss Journal

A weight loss journal can help you physically keep tabs on your fitness goals and progress in a more personal way. You’re able to keep track of daily motivators, setbacks, small progressions, that help you see your journey as a whole and up close. Grab a notebook you may have lying around, collect some of your favorite fitness and health magazines (Self, Shape, Women’s Health, etc.) and tear out and cut inspirational photos to place in your notebook. Attach these photos throughout the pages of your notebook and use it as a canvas to document a little each day.

Jot down what you eat, how you’re feeling, what your struggles are, reminders or words of encouragement to keep you motivated. You can even start an online Pinterest board or online Google document or folder to keep your inspiration with you on-the-go!

Schedule Fitness as a Priority

If you use an actual physical daily or weekly planner, set aside time in your busy week to schedule workouts, meditations, meal prepping, all the little components that make up your weight loss journey. You can mark these days with cute stickers and decorate those spaces when you follow through with your schedule and set new accomplishments.

Read Your Waistline, Not Just Your Scale

Record your initial body measurements and BMI, along with your weight, before you start your weight loss journey and then at the beginning of each week that passes. Asking your doctor or a fitness or nutrition professional to take your initial measurements can also be helpful so that they may also show you the correct body positions and how to use this data. A week by week documentation of all these numbers can give you a better idea of your overall progress you might not see by just looking in the mirror or stepping on a scale.

Keep Your Goal Photos Handy

Keeping inspiring photos of yourself or others within your target goal range visible is a very useful motivation trick. Stick a photo on your fridge to serve as a visual reminder every time you reach into the fridge. Set your phone’s background picture to a motivational quote or image. Blast workout music to get ready for the gym. These little reminders may keep you pushing through the cravings and desires to give up.

Take a Before and During Photos

Take a photo of yourself when you start and one of you every week or every two weeks. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see a drastic change week to week, but keep on registering the little changes because sooner or later you’ll see big results.

Keep Before and After Clothing Handy

Seeing the physical difference between your biggest size of clothing worn and your goal size can be helpful in visualizing your weight loss journey. But remember, it’s important to consult your doctor or healthcare professional when choosing to embark on a weight loss journey.

Join a Facebook group

There are several Facebook groups out there to help support and motivate you throughout your fitness journey. You don’t have to go through it alone! Having a strong and supportive community can help you stay on track.

Keep At It

Even if you fail, you will have to learn how to pick yourself up and start over. We all make mistakes. It’s how we handle them and what we learn from them that makes us better. Don’t be hard on yourself if you fail – even after one day. You can do this!

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Gluten Free No Crust Mini Quiches

Lucia MetcalfNUTRITION0 Comments

no crust mini quiches recipe

For those of you who are looking to eliminate gluten and other empty carbohydrates from your diet this No-Crust Mini Quiche recipe is perfect for you! They’re filling, easy to make, and great for grabbing on your way out the door. These No Crust Mini Quiches are perfect to pop in the microwave for breakfast in the morning or to take to work as a quick on-the-go snack.

Ingredients for 48 pieces of No Crust Mini Quiches: 

  • Mini muffin baking tins (4 if holds 12 pieces)
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 ¼ cup milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup heavy cream (see options for substitutes)
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 shallots or 1 sweet onion, minced
  • 2 small zucchini, grated
  • ¼ cup grated Gruyere or Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh basil, finely chopped
  • Olive oil or other non-stick cooking method

Preheat the oven at 450°F

No Crust Mini Quiches Preparation

Batter:

  1. Put cornstarch in a medium mixing bowl
  2. While whisking steadily, slowly pour ½ cup of milk until smooth
  3. Whisk in whole eggs and egg yolks until smooth
  4. Gradually whisk the rest of the milk, cream, salt, and nutmeg

Zucchini Mixture:

  1. Heat oil in a nonstick pan over medium heat
  2. Add garlic and shallots (or onions) and stir until fragrant – about 2 minutes
  3. Add grated zucchini and stir until softened (about 3-4 minutes)
  4. Remove from heat

Baking:

  1. Coat mini muffin tins with olive oil well
  2. Layer ingredients into muffin tins: 1 pinch of grated cheese, 1 teaspoon of Zucchini Mixture, 1 pinch of chopped basil, 1 tablespoon of Batter
  3. Bake until quiches puff and begin to golden (15-18 minutes)
  4. Let cool for 10 minutes
  5. Carefully run a paring knife around the rim of each muffin cup to loosen
  6. Lift each quiche out of its cup
  7. Enjoy!

You can keep these in the fridge for up to a week and pop them in the microwave for a minute or 2 before heading off to work.

These No Crust Mini Quiches also freeze well. Store in a single-layer covered container. Reheat on a cookie sheet in a 400°F oven for about 5-10 mins.

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The Unseen Calorie Source: Hidden Sugars

Caroline PrinceHealthy Food0 Comments

hidden sugars

Losing weight and trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle requires determination and keeping a close watch on your calorie intake. Most dieters and weight-watchers switch to healthier diet options, paying close attention to the food labels on products and opting for those which have the least sugar content. Foods with marketing labels like “whole-grain”, “fat-free”, or “sugar-free” are walking off the shelves with remarkable speed. However, despite choosing these “healthier” options, people find that their weights aren’t exactly reflecting the change in diet.

Defining Hidden Sugars

This is because they failed to account for the “added sugar” or “hidden sugar” content in these foods. So, what exactly is added sugar? The USDA and FDA define them as sugars that don’t naturally occur in foods, but are artificially added in during processing. These include sugars like brown sugar, dextrose, fructose, corn syrup, lactose, invert sugar and maltose. The USDA has defined a complete list here.

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends a daily added sugar intake of 25 grams for women (about 6 teaspoons) and 36 grams for men (about 9 teaspoons). So, checking the sugar content on the Nutrient Facts Label will tell you both the total sugar content and how much of that content is due to added sugars. The label also specifies the % Daily Value (DV) which indicates how much of the total calorie intake the added sugar accounts for.

Before 2016, the FDA did not require a mandatory inclusion of added sugar content on their Nutrient Facts label. This allowed some food manufacturers and producers to get around the recommended sugar limit by only specifying the added sugars in the ingredient list, masquerading under their various names (see list linked above). This meant that consumers were taking in a hidden sugar calorie count that exceeded the AHA’s recommended intake.

Therefore, you should also scan the ingredients list for any of the sugars specified in the list linked above, and try to cut down on any foods that list an added sugar content which is higher than the recommended amount.

Watch “Healthy” Foods too

These 5 popular foods may actually be packing quite a calorie punch of hidden sugars:

Granola Bars: These are considered super healthy, but a single granola bar can contain 8-12 grams of added sugars. Check the label for ingredients like brown sugar, honey, dextrose or fructose. Instead, reach for a handful of nuts or eat about 1/3 cup of granola.

Yogurt: Although yogurt comes packed with healthy nutrients like calcium and protein, it can ramp up your sugar intake by at least 30 grams per serving, especially if flavored. Instead, switch to plain Greek yogurt, mixed with a ½ teaspoon of honey.

Fruit Juice: Packaged juice is usually made from fruit concentrates which actually contain more sugar than their fresh counterparts. The concentration process tends to remove the natural taste from the fruits, and therefore added sugars are used to enhance the taste. They can have between 20 to 30 grams of sugar per serving. Instead, switch to freshly squeezed juice or homemade smoothies.

Oatmeal: Instant oatmeal, especially fruit-flavored oatmeal, can pack up to 10 to 15 grams of sugar per packet. Instead, opt for plain oatmeal topped with apple slices or strawberries to bring the sugar intake down to about 5 to 6 grams.

Energy Drinks: Energy drinks can pack up to 25 grams per 8-ounce serving. Try gulping down cool water or fresh fruit juices which contain natural sugars and can still give you that required energy boost.

In summary, always check the nutrient label and ingredient list. Stay informed on what added or hidden sugars are used in processed and packaged foods and avoid them even if they claim to be healthy options.

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10 Butt Lifting Exercises You Can Do At Home

Lucia MetcalfFITNESS PROGRAM0 Comments

butt lifting exercises

Do these quick and effective butt lifting exercises from the comfort of your home. In the time it would have taken you to get ready and dressed, you could have done an entire butt shaping workout. You can do these exercises anywhere, any time.

1. The Infamous Squat

Squats are probably the most effective butt lifting exercises because they incorporate the largest muscles in your body, including the gluteus maximus – AKA your butt! When you squat, you’re working nearly the entire muscle region. Squats are an effective exercise for seeing results fast!

The key to doing a safe and proper squat is to use the correct form and posture. Follow this guide to assure your form is correct – keep your feet flat on the ground, knees behind your toes, chest up.

2. Forward Lunge

Lunges are simple, and yet overlooked by many. They’re easy to do in the sense that you can do them just about anywhere – while you’re out for a walk, running, even running errands (grocery aisle lunges anyone?). You can practice forward lunges everywhere you go. Crank the exercise up a notch by holding dumbbells.

3. Donkey Kicks

These are perfect for those moments you have while sitting in front of the TV. During commercial breaks get down on the floor and do 3 minutes of these! From this starting position pictured below, raise your knee up and down for 1 minute or so. You should feel a slow burn in your lower buttocks area. Switch legs.

4. Sumo Squats with Side Crunches

Unlike the traditional squat, you begin in ballet’s second position, with kneesd and toes pointed outward. From the squat position you move upwards while raising one leg and side crunching your outside need towards your outside shoulder. The movement looks similar to the side steps taken by Japanese sumo wrestlers and works your obliques, core, and gluteus muscles.

5. Fire Hydrant

This is another butt lifting exercise you can do on the floor while watching tv. It’s similar to the donkey kick but instead of raising your knee back, you raise it to the side. Lift and lower in reverse fashion. To take it up a notch you can extend the leg all the way out at the top of the lift. These exercises work your inner thigh regions (adductors) and outer hip muscles (abductors).

6. Jump Squat

Once you have the basics of a regular squat figured out. Finish it with a controlled jump. Jumping further engages your core muscles and stimulates your large leg muscles groups, translating into more butt lifting exercise benefits.

7. High Knees

This one can be as simple or as challenging as you want to make it. They can also be done in place or while moving forward. In a single motion, hop and lift one knee at a 90 degree angle towards your chest and immediately alternate with your other leg. Try going at a brisk pace for 1 minute, rest for 30 seconds, then repeat.

8. Side Lunge

Similar to the standard squat in form, except you are taking a wide step to the side with one leg and squatting. Remember, chest up, knees in line with toes, strong back. You can add weights if desired.

9. Hip Raises

This butt lifting exercise is perfect to kill dead time and to relax at the end of the day. Do it on the floor while you watch tv, it’s pretty much as shown in the pick and not only is a butt lifting exercise but also helps straighten your back.

10. Step Ups

Step ups are great to work your glutes, your core, and essentially your entire body. You can use a sturdy chair or stool, just be careful of slippery surfaces and uneven areas. You can even use a stack of big heavy books. With one leg, step up on the platform while raising the other leg to meet it.

The key to this movement is to move slowly and with intention. Drawing out the move in a more controlled fashion is what makes it a butt lifting exercise. The more engaged your gluteal muscles are, the more lifting action there will be. Once you’re up you can do variations like bringing the first leg up to your chest in a half crunch, or doing a controlled kick to the front, back or side, or a side crunch.

24/7 Access to Butt Lifting Exercises and a Strong Community of Support!

Our specially designed online program features targeted exercises specific to your fitness goals that you can do at home! We have a strong and supportive online community of women just like you who reach out to one another for encouragement and feedback.

Take your fitness to the next level.

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Home Fitness: How 20 Minutes a Day can Change Everything

Lucia MetcalfFITNESS PROGRAM0 Comments

home fitness

I used to think I needed to spend 1-2 hours at the gym to get in shape and lose weight. It was daunting to think not only of the money spent but also the time I needed to dedicate to my health and fitness. From getting changed, to travel to and from the gym, and the hours spent there with zero guidance. I was all on my own and I wasn’t losing as much weight as I needed.

Until I talked to a friend about these struggles, telling her that as a wife and mother it had become much harder it to make the time. My friend recommended me a few You Tube channels that have home fitness online programs. It was life changing for me. I got home from work, and was able to squeeze a 20 minute workout routine! You’d think, 20 minutes? Is that even enough? Well, I was in doubt too, until I started and would end drenched in sweat. Not only that, I started noticing changes in my body. But later on, I realized exercising only was not quite enough. I also needed nutrition advice and support in adopting healthy weight management habits, not trusting everything I read online about what to eat and when.

Home Fitness Can Change Everything

Society puts so much pressure on us women. We have to have a career, get married and have kids, be skinny and fit, look pretty, have Pinterest worthy dinners ready every single day, have well behaved kids and do projects with them, have an immaculate home and so much more.

Health and fitness, in real life, go to the back burner and become the last item on our list. We have so many tasks to get checked off our list that getting dressed to go out, even if it’s for a run, gets nixed and thrown in the trash can. But with 20 minutes available and a little space in your living room you can accomplish so much! The American College of Sports Medicine recommends High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) as an aerobic and anaerobic exercise too, listing benefits for conditions such as blood pressure, cardiovascular health, insulin sensitivity, cholesterol profiles and it states that you can do it at 95% rate without over exercising yourself.

It’s in the Intensity

Shape magazine states 8 benefits for HIIT: it’s efficient, you burn more fat, you build a healthier heart, there’s no equipment necessary, you lose weight and not muscle, you increase your metabolism, you can do it anywhere and it’s still challenging.
It’s not about the amount of time you do something if you’re not doing it right. It’s about the quality of the task that makes you do it 10 times more efficiently. High intensity interval training boot camp focuses on repetition and like its name says, intensity of the exercise. The benefit of home fitness is not only that you save money and time, but also you can work your intensity level without feeling ashamed or embarrassed of what others would say. This was a huge thing for me when I went to the gym. I felt everyone looked amazing and I was a slob and look ridiculous. Well, working out at home frees you of that and you can give it your all.

There’s a Fitness Community Waiting for You

BeautyFit Boot Camp online program doesn’t isolate you, but puts you in touch with a lot of women going through the same challenges as you: wanting to make health and fitness a priority in their life. When getting in touch with people on the same road as you, it helps you persist, stay strong and motivated.

20 Minutes a Day Changed the Way I See Fitness

The advantage of home fitness makes me feel empowered because 20 minutes is way easier to find than 1-2 hours a day. I can be flexible, I can work out during my kids’ nap time, before they wake up or after they go to bed. I don’t need someone to cover for me or wait for my husband to come home. I can just turn on my laptop or tv, clear some toys off the floor and get started! And so can you, it’s that easy! Well, not easy, it will take work but not as much as before! What’s even better is that I get nutritional support so I don’t have to rely on so-called miracle diets that won’t work.

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15 Healthy Food Substitutions To Satisfy Those Hunger Pangs

Caroline PrinceNUTRITION0 Comments

Food substitutions

Losing weight and getting yourself back in shape requires willpower to resist giving in to habits that can set you back. Dietitians often advise dieters on the distinction between hunger pangs and cravings. One is a physical need, while the other is psychological and habitual need for comfort. A craving will usually pass in time when you resist it, but hunger will not.

Knowing this distinction is important, because the key to maintaining a good diet is to eat only when you’re hungry. Since hunger pangs are a demand from your body (not mind!) for sustenance, you can effectively swap out high calorie foods with a healthier alternative, and still feel satisfactorily full.

Healthy Food Substitutions

Each of these alternatives can help reduce the overall intake of fats, salt, sugar and calories.

1. Whole-Grain Bread instead of Wheat Bread
Swap those slices of white bread with two slices of whole grain bread. Whole wheat, despite having a higher content of essential nutrients, carries a lesser caloric content – 69 calories vs. 75 calories of white bread.

2. Mustard instead of Mayonnaise
Switch the mayo on your sandwich for mustard, which has lower saturated fat-content and about 30 calories per tablespoon. Mayonnaise, on the other hand, packs around 90 calories per tablespoon.

3. Greek Yogurt instead of Sour Cream
Substitute sour cream with nonfat Greek Yogurt has a similar content and consistency, but packs lesser calories per cup serving.

4. Avocado Spread instead of Butter
Opt for an avocado spread instead of butter. Avocados are rich in monosaturated fats, which are called the “good fats” and are necessary for a healthy heart.

5. Spinach or Leaf Lettuce instead of Iceberg Lettuce
Spinach and lettuce are generally touted as ideal options for weight watchers. Both pack a higher fiber content and are jam-packed with nutrients like vitamins A & K, calcium and iron than iceberg lettuce.

6. Salmon instead of Beef
While both beef and salmon are high in protein content, super food salmon and other fish contain higher amounts of omega-3 fatty acids – essential fats that play a role in keeping heart disease at bay.

7. Cinnamon instead of Sugar and Cream
Sprinkling a dash of cinnamon in your coffee or morning cereal instead of sugar. You’ll cut over 70 calories from daily cup of java. One spoon of cinnamon daily helps you maintain healthy sugar levels, and reduce LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

8. Nuts instead of Croutons
Instead of high-fat fried croutons in your salad, switch it out with a healthy sprinkle of nuts like almonds or walnuts which are a protein-rich source that can combat heart disease and lower cholesterol levels.

9. Quinoa instead of White Rice
One cup of white rice can set you back by at least 40 calories more than a similar quantity of quinoa. Additionally, quinoa has a higher content of fiber and protein than white rice, which has almost 15 times the carbohydrate content.

10. White Meat instead of Dark Meat in Chicken and Turkey
White meat will save around 45 calories over red meat, and has a higher protein-content.

11. Baked Prosciutto instead of Bacon
Baked prosciutto presents a low-calorie, low-fat alternative to bacon, has a richer flavor and uses a higher-quality meat.

12. Popcorn instead of Potato Chips
Try air-popped popcorn without any artificial flavors and save over 100 calories per cup. You can also sprinkle cinnamon or parmesan on your popcorn for some flavor.

13. Whole Fruits instead of Fruit Juices
Eat a whole fruit instead of a glass of fruit juice. Fruit juices, in general, tend to have a high sugar content and none of the benefits that come with the whole fruit: such as the high-fiber content and nutrients in the pulp and skin.

14. Frozen Bananas instead of Ice Cream
Kick that ice-cream craving by popping a banana or two into the freezer and then pureeing it to get a delicious banana dessert.

15. Sparkling Water with Fresh Lime instead of Soda
Quench your thirst with glass of Seltzer, and a lime or or orange wedge dropped in, instead of upping your calorie intake with the high sugar content in processed sodas.

Treat Yourself with Healthy Foods

Letting go of certain habits to be slimmer and healthier doesn’t mean giving up on taste and the pleasure of eating. These food substitutions are every bit as tasty, if not more. Experiment combinations, mix it up so you have variety and keep up with your daily exercising routine. Your body will show how well it works, and your health will thank you.

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Featured Weight Loss Recipe: Tomato Soup

Lucia MetcalfMeals0 Comments

weight loss recipe

We know how hard is to plan balanced meals, prep, stay strong during the week while looking for more weight loss recipes, making sure you don’t get bored and discouraged. If you’re a fan of hearty, comforting bowls of joy, you’ll love this healthy soup. It’s 95% vegetables and it’s absolutely addicting.

The original version of this soup can be found here.

Roasted Pepper & Tomato Soup

Ingredients for 4 servings:

  • 2 lbs of roma tomatoes (6-8)
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 whole garlic
  • 6-7 basil leaves or 2 oz of basil paste
  • ½ cup of fat free half and half
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil.
  • Oil spray

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Chop all the vegetables and place in a flat cooking sheet (except the onions, basil and garlic) with some oil spray and place in the middle rack for 20-25 minutes or until you see the vegetables roasted throughout.

Saute the basil, onion and garlic in a pan with the 2 tbsp of olive oil until the onion is golden and soft.

When the tomatoes and peppers are ready, mix everything in a blender with the ½ cup of half and half and add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with some parmesan cheese (optional) and enjoy!

Why We Love This Weight Loss Recipe

This soup is packed with goodness that will not add inches to your waistline. Tomatoes are a great source of nutrients and linked to heart health.
Bell peppers are low cal., high flavor, maxi vitamins. So not only is it diet-friendly, but also delicious.
We also love that creaminess from the half/half. It doesn’t need much, just enough for a velvety texture without guilt.

Who said that a weight loss recipe always has to be bland to be effective? We all know that most diets don’t work because they don’t account for taste or variety. And while some foods are a no-no, whole foods are a yes-yes.

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Standing Up To A Sedentary Lifestyle: Get Off Your Chair Now!

Caroline Princeboot camp0 Comments

sedentary lifestyle

The progress of technology is on an exponential upward curve, as is our dependence on it. As the tech industry continues to weave its way into our daily lives, health experts and watchers are growing increasingly alarmed at how associated health risks are taking a similar exponential path of progression.

Today, with the mobile industry gaining ground at an explosive rate, every time you hear, “Well, now, there’s an app for that!”, it’s likely removed yet another chance for people to budge from their chairs.

What Does a Sedentary Lifestyle Mean for Your Health?

The human body, unfortunately, is not designed for prolonged periods of physical inactivity. It is evolutionarily designed to be upright, and when you spend protracted periods on your rump, you’re going against that grain:

Reduced movement causes the fat-burning enzymes in your body – those that are responsible for breaking down triglycerides – to gradually stop functioning, resulting in clogged arteries and hypertension.

Your body will begin to rely less on its blood sugar as an energy conserve, and – well, we know where this is going. For every two hours that you spend without any physical activity, you add a 7% chance of getting diabetes, high cholesterol and heart-disease.

Prolonged sedentary activity causes a buildup of collagen around the tendons and ligaments that support your spine. From there it’s a hop and skip to chronic back issues and spinal disk damage.

Your legs will also start taking the brunt of your sitting-disease: slowed blood circulation which causes a fluid retention in your legs. This is a precursor to high-risk disorders like varicose veins and deep-vein thrombosis (DVT), a formation of blood clots in the veins.

The sea-horse-shaped memory center of your brain – the hippocampus – relies on a steady supply of blood and neuro chemicals to do its job. Reduced circulation can, therefore, result in memory loss and increased risk of psychological and neurological disorders.

Beating the Sedentary Lifestyle:

Get up and get moving. Leave your desk for short periods of time every hour – there’s nothing that necessitates being glued to your screen for so long.

A 30-minute gym session every day may not be nearly enough to counter the dangers of remaining seated for more than 6-7 hours on end. Remember that the bottom-line to a healthy lifestyle is a reduction in your sitting time.

There’s a NEAT alternative for improved fitness levels. NEAT, also known as non-exercise activity thermogenesis, involves simple non-strenuous physical activity that can get the blood moving in your body, such as:

  • Short stretching exercises near your office desk
  • Taking the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Walking around when you’re on the phone
  • Parking your car away from your building to give yourself an extra walking distance
  • Investing in a standing desk option, and switching between the two as often as you can

Eat healthy. According to the USDA, women with sedentary lifestyles ideally need up to 1,600 calories a day. A sample meal plan for 1,600 calories, as recommended by the USDA, can be found here. Eating healthy also means eating consciously. Cravings are a message your body sends you to express a need. Learn what it means and you will learn to resist.

Reduce your dependence on technology – wherever you can and you will realize you can exercise without thinking about it.

  • Visiting your friend’s place rather than sending her a message on Twitter or Facebook
  • An actual, physical shopping spree instead of purchasing things online
  • Actually doing the dishes by hand, instead of relegating it to your dishwasher

The risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle have gained a significant relevance in today’s world, and the best way to avoid falling into its trap is to seek an active means to resist becoming a couch-slouch. And the best place to start? Get off your chair!

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