How To Get a Bikini Body!

Standard

Thanks, Lindsay! Your tips are already being put to good use by THIS girl 🙂 Have a great day!

lindsayylovee

Before I run off to teach a couple back to back classes I wanted to drop in to share a fabulous read!

Spring is HERE [despite the fact that it’s only high 40s/low 50s today with rain…however, not freezing so I’ll take it] and with warmer weather comes….smaller clothing. 

As a trainer and fitness instructor I’m often asked about tips regarding working out, losing weight and toning up. By far the question I receive most is, “how do I get a flat stomach?” 

Image

Well, fortunately, a very smart friend of mine who also happens to be a fantastic writer has compiled a great, detailed article on JUST how to do that! Specifically, she gives out some of the greatest fitness and diet tips from seven of our areas TOP female fitness pros! You may just recognize one of them. 😉

So, if you are looking for some awesome fitness…

View original post 61 more words

Bikini Ready Tips from 7 of NY’s hottest female FitPros

Standard
Jen Romanelli, Delida Torres, Lindsay Centonze, Amber Hirsch, Dorian Cervantes, Amira Lamb, Mary Onyango

Jen Romanelli, Delida Torres, Lindsay Centonze, Amber Hirsch, Dorian Cervantes, Amira Lamb, Mary Onyango

What time is it? Spring time! That time when in between being addled with  allergies and taking Spring Break with the kids, you’re either (a) panicking because you fell of the resolution wagon (b) frustrated because you’ve plateaued or (c) have been consistent and happy withy your results but know you can do better.

Stacey Grant, MS Certified PT

It’s Me!

Just for you, I turned to Gotham City Elites  to find some of the NY area’s (Jersey’s repped too!) most dedicated & experienced female FitPros to learn their top Bikini Body secrets. As with most subjects, I have plenty to say &  I recently posted my own 3 tips in this post .  Check out what my fellow FitPros are saying about getting Bikini Ready in a jiffy.

Lindsay  Farrington Centoze,  Maddogg Certified Cycle Instructor & NPC Competitor and Cross Country Coach.

I met Lindsay Farrington-Centonze n Fall of 2013 when we both worked with another company.  Not only is she gorgeous but she’s a sweetheart, smart ( she went to NYU too!)  and pretty well accomplished in fitness at her young age. Lindsay has competed in and won 3 National Physique Committee (NPC)  bikini competitions already! Not only that, she is a beloved cycling and group fitness instructor in upstate NY too. In short, she rocks! Listen when she says:

  1. Try switching up your cardio to more high intense intervals. I typically do little to no cardio or some steady-state at the least (long runs, etc). If I’m getting bikini ready I’ll add 1-2 extra cardio sessions to my fitness routine.
  2. Start to focus on quality over quantity when lifting. When getting bikini ready I increase my weight and make a point to focus on form. While my weight increases I do less repetitions but make sure each one has perfect form. Stacey’s Safety Tip: Unsure of proper form? Ask someone!  A good place to start is t figure out which muscle group you should be focusing on and recruiting those muscles to do the job. As always, be careful with your lower back, knees and shoulders.
  3. Simply spend MORE time being active!!! Make a point to park your car in a further spot than usual, take stairs when you can, walk to the gym/grocery store/etc (basically anywhere within walking distance that you typically drive to). Walk more, drive less.

Mayy Onyango,  Certified  Zumba Instructor,  AFAA & Schwinn Certified Group Fitness Instructor

Mary Onyango and I go way back and I admire her deeply. If you know or work with her then you will know what I am talking about. She is thoughtful, compassionate and that physique speaks for itself! Here is what it is saying :

  1. A better bikini body starts with a good diet. If you can eat well at least 70% of the time i.e; lots of water, vegetables, lean meats, protein and healthy carbs (sorry guys this means limit the alcohol too), then you will be halfway to a flatter midsection (what everyone sees FIRST when you’re in a bikini!!)
  2. Incorporate different variations of planks into every routine. Some include modified (on the knees), single leg and single arm, pulses and even push ups. Push ups, my second favorite exercise, really target the triceps/biceps, chest, back (upper/lower), and surprise! even your thighs. Stacey’s Safety Tip: Watch that your lower body doesn’t sag and stays parallel  to the floor even if you’re on your knees.
  3. I love lunges. Try Around the World lunges, an exercise that combines front lunges, side lunges, and reverse lunges one after another for a set of 10-20 reps all done on the right leg and then repeat on the other. Lunges are great because they build the muscles without building size. They also lift and tighten the derriere for lasting results. Stacey’s Safety Tip: Watch that your knee doesn’t go past your toes when you lunge and that you keep your heels on the ground.

Jennifer Romanelli, RN NASM Certified PT & AFAA Certified Group Ex Instructr

I finally met Jen Romanelli, a.k.a. Trooper JRo at a Trooper boot camp where she showed us her high intensity  prowess. Until then, I had only heard about her through her colleagues, students and partner in crime but let me tell you that it was all true: Registered Nurse+ badass boot camp instructor = yowza, my musclllleeeees!! ( at least she’s qualified to revive you after making your body cry uncle). With those qualifications and a body like THAT, listen when she says:

  1. Pull-ups: single most effective body weight exercise. Great for upper body and strong core! Practice with bands. Stacey’s Training tip: Use the assisted machine or ask someone to help you if you’re inexperienced.  “Diversity: we all hear about the dreaded plateau but make an effort to switch things up. Your body is a powerful machine and adjusts to whatever challenges you bring it so keep your body guessing”
  2. Squats with the bar bell: gets those legs firing from top to bottom with bar bell squats. This move helps to build a lean physique by engaging almost every muscle in the body.  “Do more squats! Drop it like its hot to drop those lbs;  practice with body weight or using the barbell for back/front squats.” Stacey’s Safety Tip: Perfect the squat with your bodyweight before adding external weight and then upgrade to a body bar, then bar bell. 
  3. Kettlebell swings are one of my favorite exercise to do with clients as they are the greatest total body killer. With proper technique you burn out your core, shoulders, quads, hamstrings, glutes and back! That’s a lot of bang for your buck! Pick things up and put things down. “Tip: Ramp up your lifting game. Why aren’t women seeing the results they want? They are missing the key component in every athlete’s training program and that is strength conditioning and power”. Stacey’s Training Tip: AGREED. Lift heavier, FabFans!”

Amira Lamb, IFBB Bikini Pro Athlete NASM CPT & Certified Nutrition & Holistic Lifestyle Coach (CHEK Institute) AFAA Certified Group Exercise

Amira Lamb aka the Holistic Hottie is an impressive human being and professional. I like to call her the Tiny Dynamo because she is who helped me mold my body for my first (and only) bikini body building competition in April 2013. She has so many bikini body strategies in her arsenal that we should call her Michelangela. Along with every woman on this list, I trust her implicitly when she says:

  1.  Single Leg Dead Lifts combined with a bicep curl after returning to standing position. – You have to keep the core pulled in and up while working the entire backside of the body. Adding the bicep curls at the end will help to increase muscle mass in the arms which will help them seem more “toned” in appearance.
  2. Plyometrics are fantastic for burning a high amount of calories within a short time. Star Jumps can ramp up your metabolism while working every muscle in the lower body. This is a great exercise to mix into a series of lower impact exercises to maintain an elevated heart rate throughout a workout without doing traditional cardio on a machine.
  3. A basic push up is great. It works the entire body – primarily upper and including the abdominals when you exhale forcefully. As a variation try a Star Jack Push Ups –begin with your feet wide then jump the feet together and then apart. Next, bend only the elbows and then press away from the floor. Continue the Jack to Push Up sequence for as many reps as you can do flawlessly

Amber Hirsch, Barre Certified Group Ex Instructor, Maddog Cycle Instructor

Amber Hirsch is also petite in stature but big in energy and presence. Like with Mary, I cannot believe a child came out of her flat belly but after taking her Barre class at LocalBarre in Hoboken, NJ ( & seeing those quads in action), I will listen when she says,

  1. Don’t Wait Until the last minute! We always have some warning when the summer is coming or when we are planning a vacation. If you have a specific goal, make plans to make sure that you will achieve it! Give yourself time to build a consistent routine which will ideally keep you fit and lean all year.
  2. But if you don’t have a lot of time, hit the barre not the bar! Barre classes are a great way to lengthen and define your muscles and will most importantly target the core. You will walk out of just one class feeling stronger, longer, with improved posture and ready to rock that bikini!
  3. Push it baby! Push Ups are really a woman’s secret weapon to killer arms, tight abs and generally staying lean. You need to recruit almost all the muscles of you body to do them and they get you results. Start where you are comfortable but challenge yourself and upgrade to harder versions as you progress.

Dorian Cervantes,  Dancer & ACE Certified Group Ex Instructor, CPT

Dorian Cervantes is first a dancer…can’t you tell? As with Jen, I knew OF her via the people in her life but the more I explored, the more I realized that she certainly knows what she’s doing in fitness.

  1. Plank with gliders- I am all about the plank all day everyday. You can do it anywhere and it requires no equipment. I love to add the use of Gliders on my feet to get an intense ab workout. I begin in plank position on my elbows and slide my foot in a half circle up towards my shoulder.
  2. One legged dead-lift is another great exercise that doesn’t need equipment but adding weight can really take this exercise to the next level. I usually use a 10lb kettlebell or dumbell.
  3. Push-ups-love to alternate between a wide push press and a narrow. I do 20 push ups. The first position is wide, arms placed on the outside of shoulders and legs on the outside of hips I do 2 push ups chest all the way to the ground and back up to high plank position.
Master trainer for Jumpsport, certified group x and personal trainer.NYSC only

Master trainer for Jumpsport, certified group x and personal trainer.NYSC only

Delida Torres has been in the Rebounding game for  some time now. She recently completed her first bikini fitness competition and had this advice to share.

  1. Planks any kind with rotation especially side planks keeps the abs nice and tight.
  2. Torso Hyper-extension with weights to create the curve in lower back and eliminate love handles & muffin top. Stacey’s Safety Tip: Do these carefully without weights as this is an advanced move.
  3. Booty hip extension + leg abduction combo gives you a nice round high butt. Stacey’s Training tip: you can do these with bands, cables or ankle weights!
Mika Oakes, Licensed Vinyasa Yoga Teacher & LMT

Mika Oakes, Licensed Vinyasa Yoga Teacher & LMT

Mika Oakes  is a beloved yoga instructor with what is by far the sparsest list with just these 3 Yogic points: ( So, so ZEN!)

  1. Listen to your body.
  2. Push yourself to the edge, not beyond.
  3. Slow and steady wins the race

 

Low starch, veggie “rice” & “noodles” (Sugar & Gluten Free!)

Low starch, low carb blanched broccoli "rice"
Standard

Blanched broccoli riceYou don’t have  to  subscribe to any particular diet to see the connection between too much starch and weight gain. When eating the preferred wholesome, real food diet you’d get your starches from tubers like potatoes and some vegetables and grains; a less wholesome diet might include baked goods made from starchy, refined flours. Between you and I, quinoa, popcorn, brown rice and rolled oats are favorites on days when I really need the energy. The problem (at least for me) with these starches is in part control, especially when  bored and/or overly tired. Well, if it’s food volume you’re after, there ARE ways to prep non-starchy veggies to suit your needs. With my solution and unlike with grains, you can have more than 4 oz (half a cup) per serving of these veggies so you will feel fuller longer; I doubt you will need much more, though, since they are all high in fiber.  Not only that, but these veggies come with a higher nutrient content so you’re getting more nutrition bang for your buck! How do I do it? I make noodles and rice out of vegetables, that’s how! (see below) ** These are useful option for the diabetic and gluten-free diets**

*You will need a food processor or blender to make the vegetable “rice” and a mandolin slicer or vegetable peeler  for the noodles.

For rice,  fill a saucepan with about an inch of water and bring to a boil so that you can blanch the vegetables after you process into a rice like texture; use the rubberized blade on your food processor) and have a sieve ready to remove excess water.  *You can opt to blanche the vegetables BEFORE processing, up to you and your preference.

For noodles, I prefer the raw version. You can opt to steam or blanch if you prefer yours less al dente. 

Lastly, you can opt to season your rice and noodles with whatever herbs and spices you like! Personally, I like simple food but I am working on adding more flavor variety. Below is a list of vegetables in my low starch, grain free arsenal:

 

Broccoli “rice”

Brussel sprouts “rice”

Cauliflower “rice” or mash

Carrot noodles

Chopped cabbage

Green bean mash

Zucchini “noodles”

Spaghetti squash “pasta”

Cucumber “noodles”

Activities that strengthen your body and relationships

Activities for your body and relationships
Standard
Activities for your body and relationships

Activities for your body and relationships

By now you might have heard that physical activity boosts the “feel good” brain chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins kick in after you push through  the discomfort of the activity you’re doing and keeps you doing it; the endorphin effect lasts during and after exercise.

Did you know that physical activity also boosts serotonin, a chemical described by Psychology Today as the molecule of will power, of delaying gratification?  Serotonin also gives you confidence and your levels of it rise when you’re also feeling confident and socially dominant ( status = preservation of your gene pool). * Status can mean your belief in yourself OR the belief that others find you important. The first can boost you and the latter can weaken you if you depend on it*. Dips in serotonin can bring out the surly, insecure, tired, impulsive side of you so it makes sense that you want yours to rely more on how you feel about yourself than on how others feel about you.

The good news is that you  DON’T have to run to get the effect of an exercise “high” and that being active with someone can bring you closer to that person. These chemicals explain the entire “Bachelor/Bachelorette” TV  show to a T: put attractive people together, get them active and sharing experiences, fire up their reward (dopamine) and oxytocin (trust) centers and voila: the recipe for attachment and perceived joy. Here are some activities you can do with the people you want to bond with and create realistic joy.

Walking A neighborhood walk after dinner with those you care about not only benefits your body but can give you an opportunity to chat or simply enjoy each other’s company. This is a great habit to start with young families and walking meetings are also a great idea for corporate offices. The pace you set can be brisk or leisurely depending on how hard you want to work and an app like MapMyRun or Moves can help keep you on track with your steps (10, 000 per day is recommended).

Bowling Bring bowling back a s a fun family and friendship bonding activity!Laughing together and encouraging each other boosts dopamine, serotonin AND burns calories.

Dancing Okay this one is for those of us who LIKE to dance 🙂 Dancing of all forms can torch serious calories and when you’re dancing with people who want to be with you and enjoy what you’re doing then yes, you will be a dopamine and serotonin releasing fool. Why not sign up for a new class with a friend or family member?

A new and challenging activity Working through something new and unknown can foster strong bonds. It doesn’t have to be sky diving ( it could!). it could be the previously mentioned dance class (try a new one!), a strenuous form of exercise you’ve been interested in (keep it safe, people); or a race of some sort.

So there you have it: a few new ways to think outside of what you’re doing and to boost your body and your interpersonal bonds. Get closer to your goal and closer to your loved ones at the same time!

 

Do these 3 things to look tighter by May

Standard
Stay lean with StaceytheFabulous

Stay lean with StaceytheFabulous

They say Winter is ending. Not sure if I believe ’em but for positivity’s sake  let’s just say it is. That means your extremities will be making their big reveal in the next few weeks (yes, warm states, we know you’ve been sunbathing for ages)! For many of us,  Winter means heavier, more satisfying foods and hiding out at home more. In short, Winter can mean bigger backsides from less physical activity unless you take up Winter sports and train for something. Yada, yada, yada: what do we do about it and quickly? First, stop whining, we got ourselves here and 2nd:

Reduce/limit starchy foods. The grainy goodness that you pile your comfort foods on be they whole or refined (refined =  mass processed goods. No bueno) are giving you a belly. I know, I know, whole grains and beans ARE good for you but that big pot/or many sandwiches you feed on all day likely means you’re getting more than your share of starches. Replace some daily starchy meals with non-starchy vegetables and lean protein. You will not only look leaner but feel healthier with a balanced blood sugar level too. The American Diabetes Association has a handy list which I have excerpted at the end of this post.

Lift (heavier) weights.  Ladies, just how long do you intend to use those 5 lb dumb-bells?? Hello, your body has already adapted and is bored (also see below). Bored = no changes. As you age, lean muscle becomes your goldmine for looking fit and sleek. Build yours by adding 1-2 (then eventually 2-3)days of lifting moderately heavy weights ( moderately heavy means the 2nd of 3 sets of exercises is a challenge). Been using 5s? try 7s and 8s? been using 7s and 8s? try 10s and 12s and so on. The compliments you get will tell you how much your metabolism appreciates the boost.

Change up your routine. Kudos for exercising in the first place, by the way, it’s not easy for everyone. Still, your tried and true routine probably needs some tweaking if you have been doing it for awhile. First, change up your workout schedule then add more and less intense workouts throughout. If you’re over 30, you might have realized 2 days per week doesn’t really do as much as it used to and I’ve long since realized that this body needs a minimum of 4 to make and maintain changes. Personally, I find that a good barre class in between all the cycling and lifting I do really helps to lean me out AND as mentioned above, playing with my weight and intensity load does the trick. Find what you like it: forms of dance, zumba, swimming etc and add it to your regular routine.

Combine all 3 of these elements together now and you have a winning formula for looking Fabulously Healthy by Memorial Day, if not earlier. Get cracking and see you at the beach 🙂 

The following is a list of common non-starchy vegetables (ref. http://www.diabetes.org)

Amaranth or Chinese spinach

Artichoke

Artichoke hearts

Asparagus

Baby corn

Bamboo shoots

Beans (green, wax, Italian)

Bean sprouts

Beets

Brussels sprouts

Broccoli

Cabbage (green, bok choy, Chinese)

Carrots

Cauliflower

Celery

Chayote

Coleslaw (packaged, no dressing)

Cucumber

Daikon

Eggplant

Greens (collard, kale, mustard, turnip)

Hearts of palm

Jicama

Kohlrabi

Leeks

Mushrooms

Okra

Onions

Pea pods

Peppers

Radishes

Rutabaga

Salad greens (chicory, endive, escarole, lettuce, romaine, spinach, arugula, radicchio, watercress)

Sprouts

Squash (cushaw, summer, crookneck, spaghetti, zucchini)

Sugar snap peas

Swiss chard

Tomato

Turnips

Water chestnuts

Yard-long beans –

 

Cauliflower pizza crust is WOW!!

Gluten free, starch free and low carb
Standard
Gluten free low carb starch free cauliflower pizza!

Gluten free low carb starch free cauliflower pizza!

I just made this and aside from a few hiccups it came out as one of my favorites pizza crusts of ALL TIME. Like most, I’m a big review reader and one very astute reviewer solved the soggy cauliflower issue with the addition of a quarter cup of coconut flour. My mistake? Not greasing the parchment paper and so my pie came out stuck to it. I baked the pie for 15 mins per the recipe and then added pizza sauce, a few sage leaves, cooked ground turkey and then baked it for another 5 mins.
5 out 5 Forks up!
Pros: low carb, low carb and starch free.
Caution: not a dairy free recipe; lots of cheese! (Took 6 Lactaids!!)

20140313-223452.jpg

Introducing: The WOW (Workout of the Week)

Standard
Workout of the week

Are you ready to workout with me?

The days are getting longer and we’ve sprung forward! Time to put the workout pedal to metal and revive those sagging resolutions. Enter: your weekly WOW: a sequence of full body exercises that get you moving for a minimum of 10 minutes per day for health or more for weight management . 

Complete the circuit 2x for health or 4-5 for weight management; Beginner: 30 seconds of work/30 seconds of rest between exercises; Intermediate advanced: 45 secs/15 secs rest

* If you are a beginner start with 2 days per week but for best results aim to sweat at least 10 minutes a day!

W/U: jumping jacks/ jog in place/ toe taps ( 30 seconds each; 2 rounds )

Burpees:

  • Beginner- walk down into a push up position and back up ( no push up)
  • Intermediate/Advanced: Regular burpee ( no push up)

Push-ups:

  • Beginner: Push up on your knees
  • Intermediate: Full style Push ups
  • Advanced: Full style push up to side planks

Belly Break:

  • Bicycle –On floor: hands behind head, nonstop bicycles for 1 minute
  • Total crunch- on floor; hands behind head, lift head and shoulders towards legs and hips and vice versa for 1 minute

Squat: 

  • Beginner- basic squat (knees hip width apart, toes and knees facing forward)
  • Intermediate- Squat jump (add a jump in between squats)

Side to side shuffle squat

  • Beginner: Start in basic squat position, step to one side, back together and then to other side
  • Intermediate advanced: Squat position hopping out to squat from side to side.

Do this to banish cravings

Standard
Do you have a sweet tooth

Do you have a sweet tooth

We’ve all been there. That moment when all you want to eat is that one thing or type of thing. Before you know it, you’re surrounded with empty junk food or take out containers and the guilt has set in. It doesn’t have to be this way, at least not all of the time or even half of the time. Put your cravings into perspective By asking :

How do I REALLY feel now? Are you overtired, bored, depressed and/or susceptible to mood changes due to weather changes or menstrual cycle (ladies) ? Then you might be craving simple sugars aka quick carbs to boost your energy and mood. Are you dehydrated, overtrained and/or stressed/anxious? Then you might be craving salty, crunchy foods to level yourself out. Are you PMSing and/or suffer from difficult periods? Then all of the above might be true at any given moment as your hormones take you on a roller coaster ride —> forgive yourself but plan for and around your cycle by keeping healthy options on hand. On the flip side, sometimes all you want is a cookie for a cookie’s sake which isn’t necessarily emotional eating  but can have the same effects.

What do I REALLY need/crave? That first bite that floods our mouths with flavor can seem so fulfilling, albeit in the short term.  Why else would we have taste-buds if not to enjoy eating, right? True but emotionally eating means turning to food to provide what we aren’t getting in real life. Do you really just “want something sweet or salty” or are you in need of comfort, a sense of familiarity/ nostalgia for more secure times, or simply an energy boost? In short, do you just want a burst of feel good hormones because you’re not feeling so good right now?

What home-made version can I substitute? Not gonna lie: I eat so much that I often run out of food because healthy foods perish quickly. After realizing how much I was spending and just how MUCH butter and salt is added to even the most innocent looking take-out food, my dining out days were reduced. Now I stroll by buffets looking for recipe ideas to make on my own. Take pizza for example: I haven’t needed to buy a slice or pie since I realized that it’s the gooey, salty crunchiness of it that I like. Why waste money and calories when you can make a more nutrient rich version for yourself? A whole wheat pita (gluten free if need be) brushed with olive oil, baked to crispiness and topped with yogurt or cottage cheese and tomato sauce is far less expensive in both calories and cash.

How will I feel after I eat this? If, after you have asked all of these questions and the answer is “guilty or even worse than before”, indulging surely it isn’t worth the trouble. Do you have that nagging feeling that you will still be thinking about it later?  Then it’s probably best to diffuse it early by having a small portion. Otherwise you might find ourself eating the substitution AND giving into the craving for even more calories.

You know the saying that the definition of insanity is to continue doing the same thing repeatedly and expect different results? Not changing how you respond to cravings can be what’s keeping you off track. Get them under control and you might just break through that plateau!

3 Types of Fats that will get you glowing by Spring

Fat is good for you!
Standard
Fat is good for you!

Fat is good for you!

Ever heard the saying: eat more fat to lose more fat? Yes, hopefully you have heard by now that a diet too low in fat can lead to overeating because you don’t feel full without fat. A diet too low in fat can also mean that your skin and hair don’t have that healthy glow you wish it had. I’m vain and like to eat far too much to not have plenty of healthy fats in my diet. Key word : healthy!

The Science

Fats help you absorb vitamins A, D, E and K; that’s why salad dressing was invented ( make your own or stick to oil and vinegar).  Antioxidant rich healthy fats are polyunsaturated and monounsaturated ones which provide omega 3s that support the body, brain, skin cell structure AND fight inflammation. Unsaturated fats are good in general because they lower cholesterol levels due to their structure: MUFAS have at least one double carbon bond  and PUFAS have more than one double carbon bond. Plus, ever notice how  when you cook certain meaty dishes there is a “skin” of fat on top? Yeah,  that is saturated fat and imagine globs of that in your arteries or clogging up your pores. Unsaturated fats don’t harden at room temperature and have less calories. * Some saturated fat is good for healthy cells but we’re talking minimal amounts. Not to mention, saturated fat is basically found in meat and animal by-products. At this point, we can’t dispute the science that a diet with too much meat and not enough vegetable is no bueno for long term health.

What to eat

MUFAs are found in avocados, nuts and seeds, olives and vegetable derived oils.

PUFAs are found in fish, seafood and vegetable derived oils.

Healthy sources of saturated fats are peanuts, coconut, palm oils and low fat dairy. 

If you read my blog then you know I advocate choosing real foods over fake  every time. That includes real fats over low fat versions of food too. My reasoning is that I stay satiated longer when I have the real thing than I do when I don’t which keeps me from over eating.  so no, I don’t believe in low fat as proven by my pantry filled with coconut and olive oil  and my snack of almonds, flaxseeds and walnuts. My advice? Use your vegetable oil sometimes but use the oils above liberally WITHIN A HEALTHY DIET and your skin and health will thank  you.

Check out the handy chart below from the University of Michigan’s website.

Selected Sources of MUFA with Serving Sizes
(Listed highest to lowest MUFA content)

Oils
(serving size:

1 tsp)

Nuts
(serving size)

Seeds
(serving size)

Butters (serving size)

Other 
(serving size)

Olive oil
Canola oil
Peanut oil
Sesame oil
Walnut oil
Soybean oil
Flaxseed oil
Grape seed oil
Mustard oil

Macadamias
(2-3)
Hazelnuts (5)
Pecans
(5 halves)
Almonds (7)
Cashews (6)
Pistachios (17)
Brazil nuts (2)
Peanuts (9)
Pine nuts (50)
Walnuts
(4 halves)

Sesame seeds
(1 Tbsp)
Pumpkin seeds
(47 seeds)
Ground flaxseed
(1 Tbsp)
Sunflower seeds
(3 Tbsp)

Almond butter
(½ Tbsp)
Cashew butter
(½ Tbsp)
Peanut butter
(½ Tbsp)
Tahini/sesame paste (2 tsp)
Sunflower seed butter
(2 tsp)

Avocado
(2 Tbsp or 1 oz)
Black olives (8)
Green olives (10)

Selected Plant Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids 
(listed highest to lowest omega-3 content)

Oils
(serving size : 1 teaspoon)

Nuts and seeds
(serving size)

Flaxseed oil*

Flaxseeds (1 Tbsp)

Walnut oil

Walnuts (4 halves)

Canola oil

Pecans (5 halves)

Soybean oil

Pine nuts (50)

*Should be consumed raw and not used in cooking

Catch me on Dr. Oz? 6 more foods you SHOULD buy organic

6 foods you SHOULD buy organic
Standard
Organic Food

Organic Food

Good news! Although food marketers would have you believe otherwise, everything you eat does NOT have to be organic and the fact that you even eat fruit and vegetables is better than not eating them. I recently appeared on the Dr. Oz for a segment on organic vs non organic food shopping (watch it here). Still, there are some foods that you SHOULD buy organic. The Environmental Working Group states that these items show residues of contaminants that are seriously toxic to your nervous system. There are more on the EWG’s list but selfishly, these are the foods I eat the most:

  1. Spinach
  2. Strawberries: FYI, the tiny pits on strawberries are little craters for pesticides. Eww
  3. Zucchini
  4. Celery
  5. Kale/Collard greens
  6. Sweet bell peppers