Exercise Tips, fitness, Recipes, Uncategorized

4 Tips To End Sugar Cravings

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1. Avoid Processed Foods. Here’s the skinny on this one: Food manufacturers spend massive amounts of money on resources on making their foods as “rewarding” as possible to the brain, which leads to over consumption. You know the saying, “You can’t eat just one?” This is true when eating processed foods. It seems as though most of you responded to my blog with sugar cravings as a problem in the evenings. It would be beneficial to you to not eat processed foods after 3pm.
2. Increase your Serotonin. What! Is! That! Serotonin is a neurotransmitter in the body which is thought to be a contributor to feelings of well-being and happiness. How does this relate to my sugar cravings, you ask? Studies have shown when levels of serotonin are elevated, you are less likely to have cravings for sweets. Serotonin can be elevated through exercise, diet and the right sleep schedule.
3. Drink plenty of water. Sometimes we mistake hunger for thirst. So you possibly may be dehydrated! Here’s a great tip for increasing your water AND have your sugar fix: 1. fill a glass with water 2. Squeeze 1/2 fresh lemon in water 3. add a little bit of Stevia. BAM! A refreshing healthy lemonade.
4. Make your plate mainly GREEN! Oh how my kids mock me when they fill their dinner plate. Eating greens helps boost energy and reduce your sugar cravings. What would be better than a huge green salad with a lemon vinaigrette and a large glass of refreshing fresh squeezed lemonade.
Bonus! Adding some protein to your meals also helps curb those cravings. Add some lentils or quinoa to your salad! YUM!
Please leave a comment, go ahead, leave one, let me know if this was helpful!!
Enjoy your week,

Nicole

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Exercise Tips, fitness

Are you stuck?

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So you are in your daily exercise regimen, feeling great and then all of a sudden you get stuck. Do you think, “where do I go from here” ? I often here this from many clients. Does this sound like you? Do you get bored, hit a plateau or just don’t know what’s the next step? Here are 3 new steps to keep you going.
1. Set a new goal or what I like to call “Create a new Habit”
If your first goal was to exercise 3 times a week maybe add a 4th day. Or if your water intake isn’t so hot, set a goal in ounces to achieve each day. How about your Fit bit? Add more steps. When I hear this from a client I usually ask them what they achieved so far, then we push it a little further. For example, a recent client has been out of the exercise world for a while and her first goal was to just START. Now we are adding a goal of water in ounces each day, increased her Fit bit steps and changed some nutrition. I encourage you to set a new goal and create a new habit.
2. Plateau? Let’s talk nutrition
So you aren’t losing anymore weight and you are stuck. You have hit the PLATEAU. A word we all hate and use so much because we don’t know what to do. If this is you, let’s set a new goal with your nutrition habits. If it’s breakfast I suggest a shake because it’s easy, tasty and realistic for the mom on the go. One step further? Add some wheatgrass, Flaxseed and some fruit. If it’s lunch, add some whole foods. I highly recommend lentils and veggies. They are filling and super good for your body. Snack on nuts, seeds and veggies. Stay away from the crackers.
3. Bored?
So you are doing the same workout day in and day out. It seems like Groundhog Day. It happens all too often, which is why we see all the infomercials for the latest and greatest new exercise fads. They are great but here are a few ideas I recommend.
1. Grab a buddy. There’s nothing better when you don’t feel like going for your jog and you get a text from your running partner and she says “Let’s Go, Its beautiful out!” Yes, it happens to me too!
2. Hire a trainer. Hire a trainer for one session or maybe once a week to keep you accountable until you get in the groove again.
3. Join an online challenge. A great way to stay motivated and meet new people. People like you, who have fitness goals.
*If you like what you saw, please like and share this article. ALSO, if you share this article from my website I will send you my “go to” lunch recipe!
Have an awesome day,
Nicole Naples

Uncategorized

NO TIME? I call BS

Have you ever wanted something so bad but something keeps causing you to stop? Have you ever found yourself telling others , I am going to do it now! THIS TIME I am really going to succeed? Maybe for you, its weight loss, others a dream job.  And then you don’t? Why? What is it? For me, its my family, my kids, my training.  We put others in front of us and we get pushed aside. Our goals and dreams of what we imagined are another failure in the books.  I can relate! I have been putting off my dreams because its more important to “try” to raise my kids the “right” way? What does that even mean?  A healthy meal, clean clothes, clean kids, help with homework, work, the list goes on! We lose ourselves.  I am no Mother Teresa but I did ok. They are good kids so far, well-rounded and pretty respectful. They get the Italian backhand every once in a while. Maybe a bit more than once in a while these days, middle school years…eeekkk!!!

Today, I stop! No more excuses.  Today is the day. I am deciding to go after my dreams. I am deciding to put on my big girl pants and take the plunge.  I have been working with a mentor about online training.  I have decided to make the time in addition to work, family life, volunteering, kids sports, etc. to go after it. I have one freaking chance to be the best Nicole Naples there ever was. And you can to. Stop making excuses why you can’t have what you want. You are responsible for your own happiness. Here are some of the things I learned during my first week of training. May seem silly but oh boy I was more productive than ever. I woke up earlier, I grocery shopped on Sunday and planned all meals, wrote down my entire schedule for the day and stayed on task. I penciled in my workout time to make sure I got it done! What happened throughout the day? I had more time to work on my business and personal development. More time at dinner with the kids. So I ask you, what is it that’s keeping you from reaching your fitness goals?  Let me help you. I understand more than you think. Let me help you succeed!

 

 

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5 plant based foods that help you lose weight

Beans and Lentils

They are jam packed with fiber and protein and leave you feeling full after a meal. And not just for 30 minutes. They digest a bit slower so you feel full longer! Eating beans and lentils will help you avoid the “mid afternoon snack attack”, you know the one, where you walk into your house and rummage through your pantry hoping to find a homemade chocolate cake or fresh pizza! AVOID AVOID AVOID!! Instead, add some of these super beneficial foods into your meal plan and watch your waistline slim on down!

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Cabbage

OK, so this is one of my favs! This extremely low calorie food can be eaten by the bowlfuls! So don’t go eating 3 cabbages a day (might be a little gassy) but you can really fill your bowl with beans or lentils and have a huge yummy meal. If you are like me, you enjoy seeing a large amount of food, we are emotionally fed by looking at things. We are helpless! An added bonus is that cabbage is a natural source of Vitamin C, B, K and so much more!

Lemons

We all love lemon, right? Well this beautiful fruit has so many benefits, almost too many to list. It is loaded with oxygen which helps get rid of toxins in your body and is a natural source of Vitamin C. Add to your meals instead of sauces also into your water to help boost metabolism and digestion! The good news keeps coming with lemons! Reduces inflammation, freshens breath, cleanses your system. Need I say more?

Cayenne Peppers

This food contains capsaicin which speeds up metabolism. Awesome Sauce! Sprinkle it here and sprinkle it there! In addition, it also helps reduce appetite.

Bell Peppers

They are sweet, crunchy and packed with fiber. Peppers fill you up without the calories. In addition, peppers contain about 190% of the RDA of Vitamin C.  Eat em up without packing on the pounds! Add some hummus for a tasty satisfying snack.

Plant Based Recipe Bowl
1/2 cabbagehandful chopped red onion2 cups spinach
2 cups cauliflower
1/2 cooked lentils
8 cherry tomatoes halved
1/2 avocado
2 TBSP HUMMUS
Fresh Lemon
1 tsp fresh cilantro

Sauté cabbage, red onion and spinach in a seed oil for about 10 min. Toss
cauliflower in a seed oil with salt and pepper. Bake at 350 for 10 min.
Add the remaining ingredients to your bowl and squeeze a half lemon over the top.
Sprinkle with cilantro.
Mangia!

 

If you enjoyed this article or found it helpful, please like and share or send to your friends and family!

Sweat today,

Nicole

 

 

 

 

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bye bye Trytophan

Trytophan is an amino acid found in turkey that puts you on the couch and asleep for hours! So….. throw the rest out cause we are heading into Christmas with some kick ass workouts and a mean nutrition plan! For those of you on Facebook, I reached out to get some ideas of what you need from me to get you moving starting tomorrow. Here are a few things I came up with:

Fitness Pal app enthusiasts:

These are only recommendations. I have a degree in Kinesiology from Penn State and a strong background in nutrition, I understand there will be people out there who may challenge or question my numbers, you have to decide if its for YOU! With that said, plug in these numbers:

  • Female- 1500 calories 45% carbs, 40% protein, 15% fat
  • Male- 2000 calories (percentages the same)
  • if this is unrealistic, change protein to 35% and fat to 20%. Your food should be mainly coming from veggies, lean proteins and some grains. Your fat intake comes from oils and natural fats occurring in foods.
  • happy to check in on you on Fitness Pal, my username is nnaples, friend request me

OR

Fat Burning/Resistance Training:

  • Monday – Wednesday- Friday and one day on the weekend:
    • 30 minutes of sweat (doesn’t matter what it is, just get out and move!)
  • Tuesday- Thursday:
    • Chest Press- 4×12
    • Pullovers 4×12
    • Pushups- 2×10
    • Bicep Curls 3×12
    • Power Lunges 3×10
    • Slow Bicycles (hold each side for 3 sec before switching) 4 x 30 sec. each
    • Please NOTE- Dumbell Weight should be 75-80% personal max

OR

Easy Nutrition Guide for Dummies:

  • 30 grams of sugar a day (NO MORE!)
  • 100 ounces of water daily
  • greens and veggies mixed with lean protein
  • your weight x .7 = amt. of protein intake a day (heavy weight lifting, use .8)
  • Tip: brush your teeth after dinner, so you don’t want to eat. Good one, Right?!

OR

Need motivation to get started?

  • Turn on all your lights, pull up the blinds, put on your bathing suit and take a look!

 

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HAVE A GREAT WEEK, SWEAT,  MAKE GOOD CHOICES AND BE KIND TO OTHERS,

NICOLE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uncategorized

Thanks Mom!

Created as a fitness blog, I feel obligated to give you some guidance for the upcoming holiday. Eat anything, all of it! Enjoy! Fall asleep on the couch and then get up and have thirds. I’m a terrible trainer?  You are awful for judging me and honestly I’ve been called much worse.

I was given a gift a few weeks back and I want to share it with you. It’s about “thanksgiving” and it’s sad at the end but I encourage you to read on.  Most of you know a very special lady passed on, my mom.  During her last few months we had some very intimate and beautiful chats. Some happy, some sad but all loving.  I was able to tell her everything I ever wanted to say and thank her for who I am today.  I can go on but I would like to keep that between she and I. Here comes the gift!  I asked her for many things, recipes, stories and then I asked her to tell me something that is a very important life lesson. I begged her!

She said, ” Nicole, love everyone, even if they don’t love you.  Be kind to everyone. Even if they aren’t kind to you.   Give when you can, doesn’t have to be money just give especially when no one is looking without expecting anything in return.” 

“She treated me like family the very first time I met her.” These are the words of people who have met her only once or a million times.  She had a gift of loving everyone.  My little monsters friends called her Nona, she was everyone’s Nona. I knew that she was the kindest person but it’s really hitting me hard now! I have vowed to myself to teach my family to love, be kind, giving and don’t expect anything in return.

This life lesson is a special gift I was given and I am sharing it with you. I hold this gift close to my heart. She is no longer present here on earth but she will forever live in my heart and in my kids and in my home. I miss her terribly but I will honor her by sharing this gift whenever I can.

I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving,

Nicole

PS- This is a quote that my kids heard from her often, we use quite a bit and they know it by heart,”Be kind to everyone Anthony and Gianna, you don’t have to be their best friend but you have to be kind.” (this is a little bonus gift, use it!)

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It’s me stress, are you there?

It’s a crappy day. Weather stinks, I’m not in the best shape of my life (actually I’ve never been in worse shape) and my mother is dying. How the hell am I suppose to stay on track with fitness. I wake up every morning saying, today’s a new day, lets kick ass and then….the phone call. I just want to get in bed, eat a pint of Half Baked by Ben and Jerry’s and try again tomorrow. But life goes on and we must “suck it up” and get through another day. I DO NOT WANT any sympathy emails, texts or replies. I am simply trying to get real and show that its hard to maintain it all; exercise, nutrition, marriage, motherhood and working. Who the hell wants to count calories when you are wondering if your daughter has studied for all of her quickchecks or a nervous wreck cause you want your son in the game but want to avoid him getting injured!  This leads me to stress. Some of you have no problem handling stress and I say KUDDOS to you. JOB WELL DONE! But for most people we tend not to deal with stress well. And for some of you who think you do? Wake up cause you suck at it! Do you know what stress can you do to you?  Here is the science behind stress and weight gain:

Stress releases a hormone called cortisol. It is our shitty enemy. It releases insulin. Insulin blocks fat stores from being used for energy. You wanna know what else it does? Increases your appetite. Yep, there you have it. Not much science but I dumbed it down for you all, you are welcome.

I have size 2 clothes in my closet but if I decide to stay a mother, wife and continue working, there is no way in hell I’ll get back into those clothes anytime soon. I enjoy my kids and husband and I love what I do so basically  I am screwed at the moment.  But I will take happy over size 2 anyday!  They say if you make a long blog , NOONE will read it so I will make it short and sweet for you all. I have listed a few tips to manage stress.

  • Find a good friend who will walk/jog with you. Killing 2 birds with one stone. Burning fat and  letting it all go with someone you trust.  And there is no remedy better than fresh air! Thank you to my crew…you know who you are!!!
  • Limit sugar intake. Sugar also releases insulin. See above
  • No sugar at breakfast if possible.
  • Find a therapist to help manage your stress, learn to deal with triggers!
  • Get a dog…hahaha but it has helped!
  • Be true to yourself
  • Try to do something physical everyday.  More science:

Exercise releases endorphins.  Endorphins reduce perception of stress and pain. In addition it triggers a positive feeling in your body!

So go get your sweat on and move! It does a body and brain good!

-nicole