Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Why Wednesdays: Why is it so difficult to find whole grain bread without sugar or preservatives?



Ladies,  Have you ever looked at the ingredients on the back of breads in your supermarket? Ever notice that there are 25+ ingredients? Ever tried to pronounce any of these ingredients? Last week I spent an hour in my local supermarket trying to find a whole grain bread without high fructose corn syrup, sugar, or a ton of preservatives. Do you know what I found? Nada. There are several brands that present themselves as the healthy choice. Labels like whole grain, whole wheat, multigrain, lo-cal etc. But if you  look at the label you will see that they still have a ton of sugar and/or high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). So in the end I had to settle for the item with the lowest amount of sugar. I know some sugar is okay in moderation but these days manufacturers sneak sugar and (HFCS) into everything. It is so unnecessary. If you are trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle you need to be aware that there is sugar in foods that really do not require it.

Another issue with bread purchased in the supermarket are all the random preservatives. Have you ever noticed how quickly bread from a bakery gets stale? It is usually within one day, unlike most packaged breads which lasts for weeks.
So, if you are watching your sugar intake and trying to get you family to eat healthier you must pay attention to the labels. 

Here are a few recommendations for purchasing a healthy whole grain bread:

1. Trader Joes and Whole Foods (the generic 365 brand) have loaves of whole grain bread for less than 3 bucks. My favorite is the soft wheat from Trader Joes.

2. Buy Bakery fresh baguettes (at your local super market or bakery)

3. Feel like Baking?? Bake your own bread! Check out this site http://wholewheatbreadrecipe.blogspot.com/


Comment!

Any suggestions for a healthy whole grains bread?


 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Fitness Goddess International: Working it Out in Amsterdam

It has been a busy couple of months and we have not been able to post as much as we would have liked. But don't worry we are still here and will continue to provide you tips, inspiration, and motivation.

For the past couple of weeks I was in Amsterdam for a summer course. It is a beautiful city filled with plenty of opportunities for exercise and healthy eating. Everyone in Amsterdam cycles, the city is pretty small so you can ride your bike to work, school, and for errands. The city is designed specifically for the bicyclists. They have their own lanes (separated by a barrier from the car lane) and lights. It's also a great city to walk through. There are beautiful canals and amazing architecture at every turn. Also, there are fitness centers everywhere. There were three within walking distance of me (Heaven!). I joined Sport City Gym because they had great selection of classes. They had Zumba, BodyPump, Body Combat, etc. The classes were taught in Dutch, it was bit of a challenge but I survived :-) 
'
Eating healthy was no problem. Fresh fruits and veggies were much cheaper than in the U.S. Also, it was so easy to find fresh baked bread (i.e., bread w/o added sugar) and salads. There was an Albert Heijen grocery store near me and a  farmers market with fresh food as well. My room had a tiny fridge so I basically had to buy groceries every other day, which was great because my meals were fresh. It was super easy to avoid processed foods (high fructose corn syrup was not an issue)

My time in Amsterdam made me realize some of the challenges we have in the U.S. and why it is difficult for many people to maintain healthy weights. Imagine if you lived in a city where you could bike everywhere and didn't have to spend a ton of money on healthy foods. Life would be so much easier.There are alot of environmental issues in the U.S. that contribute to the obesity epidemic. In the U.S. being healthy requires a ton effort....(but it still so possible). In the future I will be elaborating on some of the environmental challenges in a new series called "Why?? Wednesdays". I will identify a challenge and offer solutions.

How do you compare the availibity of fresh foods and opporutnities for exercies to other countries you have visited??

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Vitalicious!

Vitalicious baked goods are officially on my must-have healthy snack list. I had the opportunity to try a variety of their products. They are all whole grain, lo-cal, low sodium, and no cholesterol.  My favorite is the banana nut muffin top and the pumpkin spice muffin top. They are all under 100 calories and loaded with fiber. These products are really unique because they are actually fresh with no preservatives or artificial ingredients. They are kept in the freezer section of your local grocery store and you must keep them frozen until you are ready to eat them (they last 2 to 3 days out of the freezer). They are especially great when toasted or microwaved for a few seconds.

They also have a few dessert varieties like the Vita Brownie. It's great portion control and will surely cure your chocolate craving. I will admit they are kind of pricey so definitely keep your eyes peeled for sales. Also, they have an active facebook group where they are always offering discounts (click here). Their website also has great deals and you can always order them directly from the website.

Have you tried them?
Let me know!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Food Should Taste Good







Food Should Taste Good Product Review & Giveaway


Food Should Taste Good Sweet Potato Chips are a staple in my house. I've got my husband hooked on them and I don't mind because they are sooo healthy. Anyway, I was excited to get the opportunity to sample the other varieties of Food Should Taste Good Chips. I was able to try Chocolate, Multi-grain, Sweet Potato, Olive, and Lime. Sweet potato is still my favorite but the Olive chips are absolutely delicious. The Multigrain go great with some hummus or salsa. I was not too thrilled with the chocolate but they are pefect for the chocolate lover. The best part is all of them are so incredibly healthy with ingredients you can pronounce plus they have fiber and protein.. Check out the nutrition facts for the mutli-grain chips.





You know we love doing giveaways, 2 Lucky Winners will get to try five varieties of Food Should Taste Good Chips. To enter the contest you have to email us at nubianfitnessgoddess@gmail.com and comment on this post. Also, check out their website for coupons and other promotions www.foodshouldtastegood.com









Thursday, May 5, 2011

Nominate Nubian Fitness Goddess for Black Weblog Awards



Dear Nubian Fitness Goddess Fans:


We need your help  to Nominate Nubian Fitness Goddess for the Black Weblog Awards.


What are the Black Weblog Awards?



The Black Weblog Awards is around to recognize and showcase those Black bloggers in the blogosphere who are doing great things and making moves.
To that end, here are our top five reasons that the Black Weblog Awards exists:
  • They help guide people to the best. These awards serve as recognition as those who are doing the best in our shared craft of blogging.
  • It helps Black blogging continue. Whether you want to acknowledge it or not, when it comes to technology, Black people have always been early adopters, and blogging is no exception. As the craft becomes more mainstream and less democratized, the art of telling our stories or sharing our knowledge becomes greater with increased recognition.
  • It is a great help to new readers or discoverers of these other realms of the blogosphere. There is no single “Black blogosphere”. Just as the Black experience spans through many different points throughout the diaspora, so does Black blogging. While the entirety of it is still largely unknown to most people, those who discover Black bloggers and what they are talking about can take their exploration further to see many different perspectives on the Black experience and how they are being documented.
  • It is a boon to Black bloggers. Black bloggers can be strengthened to create more content through recognition, not to mention gather an audience who may be hungry for their point of view.
  • It shows that we matter and that we are here. Our lives, our stories and our voices matter. Issues that are important to us matter. And more importantly, looking back through history and how it is documented is important for future generations.

Nominations and Voting

Nominations – April 18 – May 7, 2011



Voting – May 16 – June17, 2011
Live Awards – Los Angeles – July 9,2011




Go to http://blackweblogawards.com/nominate/


Enter your Name and email address.


Then enter http://thefitnessgoddess.blogspot.com for the following categories:

  1. Best Group Blog
     
  2. Best Health or Wellness Blog
     
  3. Blog to Watch
     
  4. Best Lifestyle Blog
Lastly, Click Submit.

Nubian Fitness Goddess thanks you for nomination, support and readership.



Photobucket

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Avoid Office Temptations


Scenario: You got your morning work out in for the day. You had a healthy breakfast. You're feeling great at work! You walk into your office kitchen to refill your water bottle when you see a box of Dunkin Donuts, leftover meeting desserts from the Corner Bakery, or some other temptation! Suddenly, you're feeling hungry, your mouth begins to water, and your brain tells you "hey, it's free, why not?".





Does this sound like a familiar scenario to you? If so, you're not alone! A recent study from Cornell University found that candy treats from colleagues make workers pack an extra 7 pounds a year...yikes! In fact the average American worker is packing on the extra weight every year, despite the fact almost a third are on diets.



So what do we do the next time temptation greets us at work tomorrow? Here's what I do:


  • If there is a muffin/cupcake, I ask a coworker if they'll split it in half with me. If I avoid it all together, I know I'm more apt to binge later in the day.



  • I research the nutrition facts before I officially grab the free food. If its really high in calories , carbs, or fats--the temptation is quickly snapped back by reality and I realize that I don't infact what that treat.



  • I stop and ask myself "was I hungry before I saw this food", if I wasn't, I go back to my desk. If I start to feel hungry, I pull out one of my healthy snacks.


So--how do you guys fight the sweet temptations at work?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

EAT: Interview with Dr. Ian Smith


We had the opportunity to interview Dr. Ian Smith!


 You may know him from  Celebrity Fit Club or the 50 million pound challenge. We got the inside scoop on his new book EAT: The Effortless Weight Loss Solution. He is certainly doing his part to fight Obesity in the our community. His new book addresses a range of topics from the first steps to achieving a healthier lifestyle to what foods to buy organic. The best part about this book is that it is about a lifestyle change, NOT A DIET.  The book focuses on the healthy things you can eat versuses all the stuff you have to cut out.  





Watch the video to get the inside scoop on his book and check out his new book (link on the left) to move forward with your healthier lifestyle. Click the Video Above!




We have one free copy of the book EAT: The Effortless Weight Loss Solution to give away to a lucky reader. If you are interested please comment on the post saying your are readying for a lifestyle change and email nubianfitnessgoddess@gmail.com 


The video is on youtube just in case you have difficulty with the image above. 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vLFles8l5M

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Beyonce Workout:Move Your Body!


Beyonce has partnered with Michelle Obama to fight obesity. She is promoting exercise with the "Let's Move Campaign." She has remixed one of my favorite workout songs "Get 'Em Bodied." The new version is called  "Move Your Body" and there is a workout routine that goes along with it. It is definitely great to see Beyonce taking time to fight Obesity. Especially because Obesity disproportionately affects Black women.  Click the link above to check out the video and then click the video below for instructions on the full routine.........




Free Instructional Video



What do you think? Is this a workout you would try?



Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Tweet Your Way to a Bikini Body with Kelly Rowland!


If you 'like' Nubian Fitness Goddess on Facebook, you probably saw me rave about this new Twitter challenge earlier this week. But if not, I want to be sure you don't miss this! Kelly Rowland has teamed up with Jeanette Jenkins for the 'Bikini Bootcamp Twitter Challenge'. They challenge you to try Jeanette’s DVD every Tuesday and Thursday for the month of April and May. Yes, you only have a month and a half left but there are so many benefits, including:


  • The convience of using social media on your home computer.

  • Team support not only from the fit Ms. Jenkins and Ms. Rowland, but from challenge members all over the world.

  • The motivation to kick your 'get ready for summer' workout and healthy eating mindset into gear.




Still not sure? Check out the current tweets using the hashtag #Motivation here to see what everyone's buzzing (or tweeting) about. So if you are still on the fence about getting a your very own Twitter account, you know have a reason! Leave a comment and let us know if any Nubian Fitness Goddesses are going to represent us during the challenge :).

Get a preview of the Bikini workouts--Goddess approved!

P.S.: If you're on Twitter, be sure to follow Jeanette and Kelly to get the latest and greatest:


Monday, April 11, 2011

Jennifer Cohen: No Time Like the Present




Last week, we had the chance to catch up with Jennifer Cohen, author, entrepreneur, fitness and health expert, star of the upcoming CW network TV program, "Shedding for the Wedding" and as a huge advocate for walking to get fit, she's partnerhing with Weight Watchers for their Walk-it Challenge!






This goddess knows her stuff! And I'm happy to share a video of our conversation because I don't want you to miss one single piece of advice coming straight from the expert herself. Be sure to watch and listen in as she answers some of the questions you submitted on Facebook.




YouTube is being evil, so we can't embed the video without crashing the site (I've wrote this short blog 3 times lol). But click here for the goodies!






*Heads up: My voice via the phone is very staticy/muffily, so apologies for the technical issues.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Hair Issue: Dealing with Hair and Sweat







So I've noticed that a lot of you all find my blog by searching for hair maintenance during and after exercise. I'm happy so many of you are past letting hair your prevent you from exercising. I wanted to make sure that I provided you all with adequate information here. Luckily my sister is licensed beautician and she was gracious us enough to come up with some tips for you all. If you have any specific questions feel free to comment with them and I'll get them to her.

Enjoy!

Hi, My name is Dani I am a certified Cosmetologist. I work with all types of hair with Women and Men. When working with my clients I often find myself teaching them about maintenance and care for their hair. So I decided to jump on the bandwagon and help you guys on this blog.

Today, there are so many people that want to workout but also want maintain the fresh new hairstyle, and it seems impossible. Well, I am going to give you 5 tips to help maintain your hair while working out.


Sidebar: Your scalp has many holes in which is what hair(keratin) grows out of. You also have something called a sebaceous gland and when you are working out. The pores on your scalp open up and the sebaceous gland releases sebum (sweat). So yes your hair makes it's own sweat. AND THAT IS FINE! I know it sounds gross but you actually need the sebum. So if your scalp is dry. Try cutting down on shampooing so frequently. Let the sebum run down the hair strands.


Top 5
1. When working out, try to stay away from covering your head completely. You want your hair to breathe. Try using a sweatband or even a hairnet.
2. After working out and your hair feels dry and itchy, You may use a non-greasy light moisturizing lotion or serum and massage your scalp( with finger tips only).
3. If you work out very often and your hair becomes dry and brittle try a Deep Conditioner every two weeks. Still dry? up the Deep Conditioner to Once a week.
4. If you get a wrap or hair styled with curling irons. Next time try a RollerSet. Less heat and curls stay in longer.
5. NEVER NEVER NEVER before going to work out use an alcoholic product on your hair. Your hair makes it's own sebum which contains acid. Acid plus the alcohol will eat up your hair.

-Good Luck!
Dani

***I want to share one of my own tips. Do not touch your hair until it is dry. It takes my hair about 1 hr to dry after working out. While I'm in the gym or running outside I keep a sweat band on it and pull it into a loose ponytail so it can breathe. After I'm done I put a silk scarf on it and let dry. After it dries it is so much easier to manipulate. I usually just comb it down and wear it down. It took me while to learn that I shouldn't touch it until it dries. It seems like common sense but I wanted to share it anyway. So I get up a little earlier to make sure I have time to let it dry...if not it's up into a ponytail.****

Questions, Comments?
Please Share your tips!


(This is a Repost)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Caffeine - How Much Is Too Much?

Is too much Caffeine wrecking your diet ? Check out this post from guest blogger Ms. Maxine


Who's really in shape? We have to admit that between wanting to love our bodies the way they are, bulgAdd Imagees and all, there is a little twinge of envy when we see celebrities with their perfect figures.

I'm not saying that we should strive for stick thin physiques and the six pack abs we see on TV, which were either achieved via religious dieting regimens or plastic surgery. In all honesty, exercise is more than taking interest in more than just aesthetic appeal; buckling down and getting in shape is actually good for our bodies and our minds.

Taking our fitness to a whole new level can take a certain amount of discipline, meaning breaking bad habits (I'm talking to all you smokers out there, each stick you puff lessens four minutes of your life) and vices, and for most people, a hidden vice that may be hindering your best shape is caffeine.

A few facts about caffeine:

  • It was first found as a chemical in 1820 by German chemist Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge then by French chemists Robiquet, and then again by Pelletier and Caventou.
  • Pelletier named the substance caffe, from the drink it was distilled from.
  • Caffeine mostly consumed by Americans in the form of coffee, tea, and other drinks and food containing cola.
  • Often paired with sugar in products like soda and energy drinks, the high from caffeine is given a boost, making caffeine that much more enticing as a drink.
  • Caffeine is consumed by 90% of North Americans every day, usually in the form of coffee.

The supposed weight loss effects of caffeine have been chronicled in an article by the Mayo Clinic wherein it is explained why people assume that caffeine might help them lose weight:

  1. Caffeine works as an appetite suppressant: Different studies have found caffeine to work as an appetite suppressant for those who do not have a tolerance for it already. Small doses of caffeine work to suppress appetite, but the Mayo Clinic affirms this fact only until the consumer has built up the tolerance for it. When the consumer has had enough caffeine that they would need more and more for it to feel an effect, the appetite suppressing qualities of the chemical subside.
  2. It boosts metabolism: Stimulating thermogenesis, the body's process of producing heat to burn off calories, caffeine is a metabolism booster. But, depending on the amount you drink, there will not be enough of an effect to burn enough calories to cancel out the coffee you just drank to suppress your appetite or get a boost before a workout.
  3. It acts as a diuretic: Until the body has built a tolerance to caffeine, the body expels it as liquid, increasing loss of water weight. This short term diuretic effect of caffeine only last until you have built up a sufficient tolerance to the chemical.

While there are many attractive benefits to taking in caffeine, like alertness, loss of drowsiness, there are clear downsides to ingesting:

  1. It can affect our sleeping habits: Too much caffeine can over stimulate our nervous system, causing insomnia and irregular sleeping patterns.
  2. It can cause anxiety and nervousness: As our bodies become more tolerant to caffeine, this tolerance causes us to drink more and more to produce an effect. The constant stimulation of chemicals in our brains can cause bouts of sweating, nervousness and anxiety.
  3. It is addictive: Affecting the same parts of the brain that illegal drugs like cocaine and heroin do, caffeine can cause people to become dependent on it (in line with a building tolerance), which can only lead to more consumption. In fact, there are even withdrawal symptoms found in people who quit caffeine after years of drinking a few cups a day. These symptoms include headaches, drowsiness and lethargy as well as mood swings and possible depression.
  4. It can put a strain in your heart and circulation: Those with heart problems and hypertension are advised by their doctors to abstain from caffeine, as this stimulant causing stress on the blood vessels due to over work.

As with any chemical or drug, caffeine has its tentative upsides and its clear downsides. Taking care not to have too much and not to rely on caffeine will help you get in better shape and increase your energy levels. This hidden vice of national (if not global) caffeine dependency may actually be the barrier to a fitter, better world.

Maxine is a mother and wife who is dedicated to going green. The more she has learned, the more important she has seen it is for her family's health and well-being as well as that of the earth. When not with her family, she works for Treetopia, a seller of artificial Christmas trees.

Product Revew & Giveaway: EatStrong

We love keeping you guys informed on easy ways to stay fit and healthy. We also love sharing free products with you all. Today we have two yummy and healthy snacks for our Goddesses to try. Check out our review and then be one of the first 10 Goddesses to LIKE this post on Facebook or comment on this post and you will receive free EatStrong Snacks! After you LIKE the post or comment email us at nubianfitnessgoddess@gmail.com.

EATSTRONG
Trail Mix

This yummy sweet and salty trail mix has flax and sunflower seeds to make it even healthier. It also has small chocolate drops so you can get your chocolate fix too. It's a decent sized bag for 260 cals (plus 5 gm protein and 7 gm of fiber). I was able to divide it up and have half as my after gym snack and the other half as my mid-day snack. I love the portion control because it's so easy to eat more nuts than you planned. This is the perfect addition to your healthy snack options.

EATSTRONG Energy Boost

Many of us do not get enough protein in our diets. Nuts are a good source of protein but again portion control can sometimes be difficult with nuts. EatStrong's perfectly portioned energy bar packs 12 gm of protein with a low sugar content (7 grams) and no artificial ingredients. I was surprised to see how low the sugar content was. Most energy bars have 20+ grams of sugar , so this is definitely a good alternative.

My favorite was the trailmix but if you are looking for more protein the bar is a good option too.

Have you tried them?

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Don't Forget the Weights!





A Message to all my Goddesses that love Cardio:

I am a self-proclaimed cardio queen. I typically do some form of cardio 6-7 days a week. I even started doing two fitness classes on Saturdays. Cardio makes me feel good, helps me release stress, and I thought it was helping me obtain my fitness goals. However, over the past 6 months I realized the scale had not budged, in fact I have put on a few pounds since my October Wedding. After doing some research and talking to few a friends I realized I was sabotaging myself with all that cardio for three reasons. First, all that cardio made me hungry all the time. Second, my weight training routine was always an afterthought. I would skip weights if I was short on time and I did not really take the time to have an organized weigh training schedule. Lastly, with all that cardio I was not giving my body a chance to recover. My body was constantly being stressed, which likely means the stress hormone cortisol was being released (cortisol is associated with weight gain).

Weight training is a huge component of weight loss and toning. I have committed to making weight training a priority. Remember muscle burns more cals than fat. Plus weights add definition and help you lose inches.

My plan: I am shifting my plan to include a balance of cardio and weight training. 3 of my weekly sessions will include predominately weights and the other short durations of high intensity cardio. Sunday is my recovery day and on that day I will walk 2.5 - 3 miles.

Have you experienced in stalls in your weight loss program? Consider adding more weight training to your program. I am not saying that cardio is bad for you, it just needs to balanced with the amount of weight training.

Want to get started Weight Training? Check out this article at WH Magazine.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Top Five: Fit Food Favorites

We love finding new healthy snacks. We want to share with you our top 5 Fit Food favorites. It's important to have go to snacks for when you are in a rush or want to indulge without packing on the pounds. Just because you are eating clean or cutting back on sweets does not mean you can't eat tasty food. You just have to look carefully for healthy foods. It's important to know how to read nutrition labels so you can pick out the best snacks. If you don't know how to read nutrition labels then check out this link. It's more than about calories. You want to look for food with fiber and/or protein, low sodium, and no artificial ingredients. If you have no time for that then you can count on the Fitness Goddesses to keep you up to date with the healthiest snacks. We recommend hitting up Trader Joes and checking out their healthy snacks.

TOP FIVE FIT FAVORITES.

1. Sweet Potato Chips (By Food Should Taste Good)

This is one of the tastiest brands of sweet potato chips. It's got a good amount of fiber and protein and low sodium. In fact it only has about 5 ingredients. Try these with a little bit of salsa and you will have filling snack.

2. Chobani Greek Yogurt
Try the plain variety of these yogurt and strawberries or blueberries and you will have a filling snack under 150 calories with 15 grams of protein!


3. Larabars
If you are craving something indulgent and satisfying try one of the many larabars varieties. These bars are made with less than 5 ingredients and our sweetened with dates (no added sugar!). One of our favorites is peanut butter it's soooo yummy!


4. SoyCrisps
They sell these at Giant and Whole Foods and other local stores. They have 7g of protein and are great alternative to chips. They are crunchy and lightly salted but the protein helps keep you full so you don't eat the whole bag :-). They are also pretty affordable only 1.99 per bag!


5. Pumpkin Spice Kashi Bars
These bars are sure to satisfy your mid-day sweettooth. They are low fat and pack 5 g of protein and 4 g of fiber so they will hold you over until your next meal. If you are a Kashi fan try getting them at Target they are much cheaper there (usually a dollar or two cheaper than your local grocery store).

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Free Weight Loss Resources


Many people don't know about the many free resources provided by the federal government, magazines, and organizations. Gas prices are increasing, so we need to find creative ways to tighten up our budget! So we've done the digging for you and compiled a list of a few resources that we think were made *specifically* for you Goddesses ;)....









Help us grow this list? With a few more additions, we hope to make a "resource" section on our blog!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

You Don't Need to be Fit to Get Fit!


As most of you have come to know, I'm a group fitness instructor, certified to teach BodyPump and on my way to teach other class formats, including kickboxing, total body conditioning, etc. I don't consider teaching a "job" because its become my passion and something I enjoy doing whether its 5:45 a.m. on a Monday morning or 7:15 a.m. on a Saturday morning. I do it for my members, for that individual who is a bit initimidated to come to class because it may look too extreme or too difficult, but once they step inside, they'll not only be suprised at how much fun they can have but how much they could keep up with everyone else.


So it really troubles me when I ask a friend, colleague, family member, or a gym member curious about what I do by nights and weekends---they sometimes say to me "I need to get into shape before I take your class". Wait, isn't that a bit backwards? Isn't my class supposed to get you fit so you can increase your fitness level, stamina, endurance, strength, and improve your health?


Ladies--perhaps you see these fitness models in the magazines or in the ads for TV (Bally's Total Fitness definitely likes to use their fitness models), but in reality, most members are just like you. They come in all shapes and sizes, all different fitness levels. When you go to a class, and you're new, your instructor should show you modified/easy options to start you off with and then overtime you can gradually increase your workout level.


I know its easier said than done, but don't be intimidated. I've recently practiced what I preach by taking a Step class and a Zumba class, two classes that I've said I can't do because the steps are too complicated. The first time I did it, I looked like a fool, But after the third and fourth time, I was working it like its never been worked! No, I'm not going to teach those classes in this lifetime, but it goes to show that you don't have to be perfect to have fun or appreciate a workout.


If you're looking to try a new class but afraid you won't keep up--this week I challenge you to step outside your comfort zone. Try a new class for at least 1/2 of the class time, and next week try doing 2/3, and then work up to the full class time.


You got this!


Rosethefitnessinstructor

Soul Food Sunday & Healthy Eating Tips


Celebrate Valentine's Day by preparing a special meal for your loved ones. Cook and Lifestyle Maven, B. Smith, shares a Valentine's Day meal plan. You can save calories and money by preparing a meal for that special someone at home. Use the recipe below to create a wonderful evening and control the high fat, salt, and sugar that restaurants add to your food. To make your recipe even healthier use these 5 tips from the Mayo Clinic to makeover your recipe.

Chef Rock's Valentine's Day Meal

Spicy Pickled Vegetables
1 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 cup water
1 carrot, peeled and cut at an angle into 1/2-inch pieces
1 red pepper, cut into 1/2-inch strips
1 yellow pepper, cut into 1/2-inch strips
1 habenero pepper seeded finely shredded
1 jalapeno pepper seeded and shredded
4 baby patty pan squash cut in half
2 ounces purple wax beans
2 ounces yellow wax beans
2 ounces French green beans

In a small saucepan, heat vinegar, sugar, salt, and water until sugar and salt dissolve and mixture is heated through. Place vegetables in a medium bowl, and pour hot pickling mixture over vegetables. Let vegetables sit for 1 hour at room temperature or 4 hours, covered, in the refrigerator. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Sweet Sautéed Lobster 2 lobster claws or tails cooked and taken out of the shell

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup of moscato wine (or another sweet wine you enjoy)
1 lemon juiced
1⁄2 cup cream

Heat a medium size sauté pan over medium high heat. Add butter and sugar. Cook until the utter has completely melted and add the lobster. Sauté for one minute. Deglaze with the wine. Add the lemon juice. Simmer this mixture for a minute or two until a smooth texture has been reached, about two minutes. Then add cream and reduce until the sauce is the texture of a smooth caramel. Taste and adjust seasonings and serve with spicy pickled vegetables, mashed potatoes and the Moscato.



Mashed Potatoes
4 pounds russet, Yukon gold, or long white potatoes
2 tablespoons salt, plus more to taste 1 1/2 cups milk or cream
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Peel potatoes, and cut them into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place potatoes in a large saucepan, and cover with cold water. Stir in 2 tablespoons salt. Place pan over high heat, and bring water to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer until potatoes are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife. Drain potatoes in a colander. Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until it just comes to a simmer; reduce heat to low, and keep warm. Place a heatproof bowl on top of a pan of simmering water. Using a potato ricer, press hot, drained potatoes into bowl. Stir potatoes with a wooden spoon until smooth, about 1 minute. Stir in butter until completely melted and well incorporated. While stirring continuously, slowly pour in hot milk. Stir in pepper, and salt, to taste. Serve immediately.







Sunday, February 6, 2011

Look Who's Joining the Journey...

As many of you know, I've started a new "blog diary" of sorts for my own personal weightloss. I'll be checking in with my updated stats (pounds lost, fat percentage, tips and tricks, etc.) But I won't be alone...please welcome Michèle Dakar, Sénégal (West Africa) and Slyvia from Atlanta, GA. Check them out below. Thanks for joining me on this journey ladies...we'll be fit goddesses in NO time :)

Slyvia




Current Stats:
Weight-166
Height- 5'0
Body Fat- 39.00
Weight Loss Method- Eating right, Meal replacement shakes, exercise 3 times a week
Goal weight- 130
Pros- I enjoy eating healthy food and I have trained my body to eat right
Cons- I have a hard time with consistency but this time I WILL BE CONSISTENT

Michèle

Weight: 82,8 kilos = 183 pounds
Height: 1,70 m = 5'6
Body fat %: 36,1%
Current Weight Loss method: intuitive eating
Ultimate Goal Weight: 68 kilos = 150 pounds (actually, between 72-68 kilos = 158-150 pounds)
My Pros: I've got a membership to a gym lol
My cons: I’m a sugar addict and I hate cooking

a brief intro about my weight loss journey: I've been on diet since I was 9-10years old. I've tried every diet on earth: from WW to Atkins, including Slim fast and other protein shakes. I've been definitely a yoyo dieter. My lowest weight: 64 kilos (dec 2008) my highest weight: 87 kilos (2010)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Fitness Inspiration: A Black Woman's Success Story

We can all use a little inspiration now and then. It is good to know that all those mornings (or nights) in the gym will pay off one day. I promise you ladies just keep eating healthy and working out and you will get the Healthy and Fabulous body you are working for.
Fellow Blogger Dominique Carter from Lipstick Manual has shared her story with us. Enjoy!

Fly Fashionable Fit by Lipstick

My journey all started with a glimpse of myself in this picture after going for a hike with my Yorkie, Rambo.





I couldn’t believe how bloated and fat I looked and like they say a picture is worth a 1000 words. All I could see is a FAT GIRL. smh I decided right then and there to do something about it and I did. This was back in spring of 2010. I began working out by hiking every weekend at Kennesaw Mountain in Kennesaw, GA. The first 10 lbs just melted away with ease. I was loving it! Don’t get me wrong, hiking is super hard especially when you are not in shape but it was totally worth the pain. I also changed up my diet and started eating more veggies and fruits and less bread and sugars. I cut out whites all together and replaced them with brown for sugar and rice. I even felt better too! Then in the midst of the summer my weight went from 155 to about 140 and hit a plateau. I was bummed and couldn’t figure out what to do different. I guess my body got used to my usual routine. I was told by my workout buddy that she started incorporating green tea in the morning and before bed to break her leveling out so I did the same and it worked! I drank Tazo Green tea tips every day and more water to get my lil engine going. I also dabbled in a detox by Clean Start before my vacation and took this picture below on the beach in Mexico (no Photoshop needed) ;0)


Now I weigh 135lbs and subtracting. I still have about two handfuls of fluff to get rid of. lol Yes fluff that’s what I call the fat in my tummy lol So there you have it. Since I’m in transition anyway I didn’t have the woes of most women when it comes to exercise and their hair. I either wear mine flat ironed or in bantu knot outs for the most part. These two styles seem to work fine for me. Another great addition into my routine has been circuit training. I first started to mimic Zuzana from Body Rock TV after my weights in the gym. She rocks and I love her moves. Now my workout partner and I have adopted the Shape Training methods to go from an H shape to an X shape or more commonly known as an Hourglass figure. You can purchase the book online at Amazon.com. Now that the spring is near I will be exercising outdoors more often including the track, hiking and swimming. My diet consists of grass fed beef (steak), all sorts of veggies, legumes, and fish. I do indulge in treats like Italian ice cream by Talenti. I also do a lot of research by way of documentaries and books on foods. I decided to visit local farms in my area this Spring to purchase fresh and organic fruits and veggies free of pesticides. Check out http://www.localharvest.org/ to do the same in your area. I’m so excited to be on my path to great physical fitness and overall health. The most important lesson I’ve learned on this journey is that the battle of being fit is 90% diet and 10% exercise. If you cut out all the unhealthy bingeing and chemicals in foods you will be on your way to looking and feeling great! I know I do ;0)
Check out my blog at http://www.lipstickmanual.blogspot.com/

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Soul Food Sunday and Healthy Eating Tips


This week's Healthy Soul Food Sunday recipe comes from Black America Cooks . It is Roasted Eggplant, Greens, and Okra. I know sometimes I struggle to get enough veggies in my diet so I figured I would share this dish loaded with vegetables. Check the Black America Cooks site for even more ideas!!


Healthy Eating Tips:
If you are looking to eat healthier try cooking two to three healthy dishes over the weekend. It may sound like a lot of work but it will make it easier to eat healthy during the week. Try to prepare baked chicken to go with the Eggplant dish and one more entree (such as turkey meatloaf). Then during the week you add a side of brown rice and frozen veggies to one of you entrees for a quick dinner.

To make dinner even quicker pick up a a bag (or box) of frozen brown rice from trader joes (and some local grocers).

Roast Eggplant, Greens and Okra (EGO)

1 package (16 ounces) frozen chopped turnip, mustard or collard greens
1 package (20 ounces ) frozen okra slices
1 large eggplant, unpeeled, trimmed, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunk
1 large yellow onion, trimmed, quartered, broken into wedges
1 package (6 to 8 ounces) sliced mushrooms, or to taste
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
1 package (6 to 8 ounces) cocktail tomatoes, halved

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Place half the frozen okra and greens on a foil-lined rimmed sheet pan sprayed with oil. Repeat with the second pan. Top each sheet evenly with eggplant, onion wedges and mushrooms. Add tomato paste by teaspoons over the vegetables. Toss with your hands or use a wooden spoon to blend in tomato paste. (The brilliance of the tomato paste is how well it blends with the small amount of liquid given off by the defrosting frozen vegetables.) Top with tomato halves. If using a larger pan, such as a paellera or any huge, deep casserole, place everything in one deep pan.
Place on top and bottom oven racks, if using two baking pans. Place paellera or casserole on a rack in the center of the oven. Bake, checking and stirring with a wooden spoon every 15 minutes, until vegetables are tender and beginning to brown, about 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven. Let sit about 20 minutes before adding to recipe or refrigerating for later use.




Have a Healthy Week!






Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Join My Weight Loss Journey: Month 1


Our mission for this blog is to be supportive, authentic, and a place where women of color can come to find resources and tools to help them live a healthy lifestyle.

We send out links, rate products, share tips--but now we want to take it one step further.

As many of you know, I'm a BodyPump instructor, but what many of you don't know is I'm also an average African American woman who struggles with her weight. In college, senior year, I lost 68 lbs doing Weight Watchers. I was on top of the world. Gaining confidence and becoming a BodyPump instructor to inspire others.

Flash forward to 6 years later, and I became a statistic. Some say 95% of people who lose weight gain it back, but others disagree with that percentage, with good reason. There are many people who keep it off, and sadly other people like me, who seem to struggle to maintain.
This year, after a tough 2 years, I’m ready to get back to the fit me. (see my FIT picture).
I know the following works for me: accountability, friendly competition, and small rewards.
So you all will help me out with the accountability part. I think if I check in once a month with my progress, making a promise to all of you to do so. This will help keep me in check, avoiding the potential cheat days that will throw me off my game.
So here I am. Month 1.




Current stats:
Weight: 223
Heigh: 5’8
Body fat %: 40%
Current Weight Loss method: WeightWatchers PointsPlus
Ultimate Goal Weight: 175
My Pros: I enjoy working out.
My cons: I’m an emotional eater who has trouble drinking water per my diet soda addiction.

During my month of hopeful progress, I’ll be sharing updates on roadblocks, solutions, and handy tips that help me reach my goal.

Will you join me? If you’d like to be accountable to hundreds of your fellow goddesses across the country, please send me your month one photo, your stats as I listed them above, and a brief intro about your goal sand weight loss journey to nubianfitnessgoddess@gmail.com.

Yours in Health,

Rosethefitnessinstructor

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Soul Food Sunday


Soul Food Sunday: Feed Your Soul Without Packing on the Pounds

We all love a good Soul Food Dinner but unfortunately one dinner can be 800+ calories and loaded with sodium. So we decided that we would share weekly Healthy and Tasty recipes for you all so you can enjoy your Soul Food and keep your figure tight. We also want you to share your healthy recipes with us.

Today's Recipe: Sweet Potato Pie
Sweet Potatoes have a ton of health benefits. They have low gylcemic index and have anti-oxidant properties. Today's Soul food recipes come from the Black Women Losing Weight Forum. It is low calorie and low fat but full of flavor. Give it try and let us know what you think!


Sweet Potato Pie

Yield: 16 servings
Serving size: 1 slice
Each serving provides:
Calories: 147, Total fat: 3 g, Saturated fat: 1 g, Cholesterol: 40 mg, Sodium: 98 mg, Total fiber: 2 g, Protein: 4 g, Carbohydrates: 27 g, Potassium: 293 mg

For the Crust

  • 1¼ cup flour
  • ¼ tsp sugar
  • ⅓ cup skim milk or soy milk
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil

For the Filling

  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 3 large eggs, beaten or egg substitute
  • ¼ cup canned evaporated skim milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups sweet potatoes, cooked, mashed

To start:

1. Preheat oven to 350° (Fahrenheit).

To prepare crust:

2. Combine flour and sugar in bowl.

3. Add milk and oil to flour mixture.

4. Stir with fork until well mixed. Then form pastry into smooth ball with your hands.

5. Roll ball between two, 12-inch squares of waxed paper, using short, brisk strokes, until pastry reaches edge of paper.

6. Peel off top paper and invert crust into 9-inch pie plate.

To prepare filling:

7. Combine sugars, salt, nutmeg, and eggs.

8. Add milk and vanilla. Stir.

9. Add sweet potatoes and mix well.

Putting it together:

10. Pour mixture into pie shell.

11. Bake for 60 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

Cool and cut into 16 slices.


Share your recipes! Email us at nubianfitnessgoddess@gmail.com

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Tisha Campbell-Martin Shares her Healthy Experience in Partnership with Yoplait


As many of you know, we recently talked to Tisha Campbell-Martin, you may remember her as Gina from the 90's TV show "Martin" or most recently from "Everybody Hates Chris".

Today, she's on a mission with Yoplait and Essence.com to encourage African American women to lead healthy lifestyles. "I'm so excited to be a part of this campaign with Yoplait," says Campbell Martin. "Many African-American women tend to juggle a lot at once, so we put off taking care of ourselves until tomorrow. That's why I support the idea that the best time to make our health a priority is today. The small manageable changes make all the difference."


We love her passion and enthusiasm for this new initative and thrilled to have the opportunity to chat with her one-on-one!


First, we had to ask, what can Yoplait do for us? She said that Yoplait can help us make that small change today for a big impact tomorrow. She carries Yoplait in her purse with nuts, cranberries, or a granola bar to replace her craving for junk food. A smart way to prepare for the sudden cravings!


Being an African American woman, we had to ask how does she keep her mane in check while working out? She recommends putting your hair up really, really high with an old-school scrunchie to avoid damage and then let the hair breathe, i.e. avoid using clothe on your hair as that will make it sweat and then lock the sweat in.


Some of you wanted to know if Tisha is into the "Power of Positive Thinking" and, if so, how has this affected her life? "Absolutely!" She approaches her healthy lifestyle without looking at the obstacles ahead. She points out that if you already look at the negative, then you've already lost. For example, she gained 65 lbs during her first pregnacy and then 90 lbs during her second pregnancy, but instead of looking for the easy way out or settling with what she had, she worked hard and found a support system with family members and friends.


So, how does she stay so fit? She works out twice a day, starting off with some light walkingo n the treadmill, doing 300 sit-ups in the morning (go girl!), and then using free weights.


I think its also important that Tisha has to work hard at being healthy just like the rest of us. When she was younger, she was not very fit but she was motivated to get in shape for the long haul and she's a working progress each day.


Want to stay updated on Tisha's lastest tips and progress? Be sure to check out more from Tisha here. Here you can find tips, videos, and even score a free sample of Yoplait (yum).




Want more encouragement to increase your calcium intake with Yoplait or other calcium-enriched foods? Check out what the government has to say!


Friday, January 7, 2011

Product Review: Sportline SOLO 925



It's a New Year and time to track your fitness goals. Tracking your progress will keep you motivated. A heart rate monitor can help you with your fitness goals. I decided to pick one up because this year I decided to ditch the treadmill and mix things up a bit. I have been doing a lot of classes like Kick Boxing, Spin, and even West African Dance. I was looking for a new heart rate monitor to keep me motivated and to make sure I am in my target zone. I came across the Sportline 925. It seemed like a good choice because I wanted to replace my old heart rate monitor with one that did not require a chest strap. With the Sportline 925 you can view your heart rate with one touch (no chest strap necessary). It's so much easier to keep up with and it also tracks your steps and calories! I love the fact that I can got to Spin class and see my heart rate and calories burned. Also, I found myself moving more just to see the steps on the pedometer increase. This monitor is especially good for all you ladies that enjoy running outside. You can track your mileage and miles power hour. So, if you are looking for fitness gadget to add your wish list you should definitely check this out.

It has a ton of features, see below:

  • Any-Touch Interface
  • Integrated Pedometer
  • ECG Accurate HRM
  • HR Zone Manager
  • Audible Out-of-Zone Alerts
  • Calories-Burned Calculator
  • % of Max HR Indicator
  • Chronograph & Countdown Timer
  • Dual-Time
  • Daily Alarm
  • 50m Water Resistant