Category Archives: Food and Nutrition

They say nutrition is 90% of weight loss. I have to agree with that. Here are some facts, and some personal experience to help you keep your weight loss and nutrition on target.

Sandra Bullock Diet and Exercise

Looking chiseled, as usual

Looking chiseled, as usual

Sandra Bullock, always charmingl-y candid and real, reveals her reasons and methods for staying in shape, and gives us insight to what her cheat day looks like.  Always one to be honest, it sounds like, just like everyone else, there is no magic pill or secret weight loss miracle. Being extremely active with lots of cardio and weight training, and a super clean diet is the key to her amazing figure, even in her 40’s!

Highlights of the interview:

I read once you have a “cheat day” once a week when you eat whatever you want. Do you still follow that rule?

  

How do you stay in shape?

  

What do you tell a girl who feels ugly because she’s not blond or doesn’t have a thin nose

 

“Welcome to my broken nose! [Her sister accidentally broke it while lifting a garage door when they were younger.] …I was rejected in school because I didn’t look like the big-breasted, beautiful girls. I was awkward and sad. My mother always said, “Be original!” but I didn’t understand until I changed to be like everyone else. Once I fit in, I was like, What have I done? I realized that my friends before were much cooler, with a great sense of humor and a way of looking at the world that was more fun. But if I hadn’t gone through that, I wouldn’t have been driven to make my oddities cool. It’s what made me have a sense of humor and thick skin. It’s like in All About Steve—I’m making fun of everything people have judged me for and put it into one character.”

“People ask, “How do actresses do it?” Um, they pay us to do this in order to look good on film. I do Pilates, kickboxing, weight training. When I’m in Austin, I run or ride a bike. If I can work out every day, I will. But there are times when I won’t do anything for two weeks, and I’m, like, you know what? I talk enough to burn calories.”

“I start Friday night and I end Saturday night. But it is not so regimented. I’ll make lists of what I want to eat this week or next week. I was in the store Marfa and they had this dark chocolate with bacon in it so I’ve gotta try that! I eat really well because I can afford to. Like last night I had brown rice and black beans and some steamed vegetables so today I’m going to have all kinds of good stuff! I love sweets, like Viennese pastry, raw cookie dough, or a nice bowl of Lucky Charms with milk that I eat in bed watching SNL. That’s heaven right there!”

 

Slim and Sporty Sandra

Slim and Sporty Sandra

Once again, refreshing to know that even girls like Sandy break down and scarf cookie dough every once in a while. Just so long as it’s once a week, and in reasonable moderation. I am looking forward to my cheat day already. Haha

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WEIGHT LOSS SWEET SPOT WITH MICHAEL THURMOND

Alright everybody, I am pleased to announce that after “stalling” out and hitting a plateau early on into my weight loss, I have hit the sweet spot, and I am losing fat again. I feel great. I got on the scale, 2 more lbs of body fat off, 1.5 lbs of scale weight (yes, I bought a body fat scale, see it in my updates on my products page). It was not easy, and certainly not without a lot of scrutiny, fatigue and some expense.

I hit a lull with my weight loss and was not able to lose a pound, in fact, I saw my weight fluctuate on the scale up and down. My clothes were fitting better, but I saw that the same old pattern of losing weight and then gaining in back almost as quickly as I lost it, even though my habits didn’t change dramatically. Unfortunatley, I am one of those people who really needs to work super hard and watch my diet like a hawk or I will not lose weight.

So over the weekend I bought several popular weight loss books from The Biggest Loser to The 5 Factor Fitness Plan to The Fat Smash Diet featured on Celebrity Fit Club on VH1. I tried the 5 Factor diet, which holds to the theory that you need to eat protien, low glycemic carbs, fiber and a sugar free drink with every meal. It’s sound, but allows too many calories, and for those with a more sluggish metabolism like myself, it’s just too much food to lose weight on.

michaelthurmondI decided on Michael Thurmond’s 12 Day Body Reshaping Plan. The book includes a diet and exercise regime, which gives specific body shaping and diet advice based on body type. I am a Meso-Ecto, naturally muscular and athletic, but with a slower metabolism. I reccomend this read to anyone who is serious about reshaping their body and dropping fat. My trainer was originally trained by Michael years ago, and so a lot of these concepts were ideas that he had also introduced to me. Low fat, low glycemic carbs diet is the key, and 5-6 meals a day. Again, this is specifically based on body type, so don’t follow this diet unless you read it, but here it is:

Meal 1 2oz egg whites, 1/2 cup steel oats and sugar free syrup, medium size banana

Upper Body Workout 4 sets of 18 reps each exercise

Meal 2 2 oz chicken with greens salad and salsa

Meal 3 2 oz chicken, 1/2 cup rice pilaf, 1 cup green beans

Meal 4 Salad w/ 2 oz salmon

Meal 5 2 oz whitefish with 1/2 yam & asparagus, Sugar Free Jell-O Cup

60 minutes slow run, 4.5 mph, .5 incline

1nectarine and peppermint tea

 

I feel really good, energized, and the food keeps me full, but it metabolizes quickly, meaning I am frequently hungry, but also frequently eating. The diet also seems to have increased my metabolism, strangely, I feel warmer, like I am running “hotter” than before. Totally cool. I am excited. I am going to tie this in with the concepts I learned from Body for Life, the programs are very compatable, but Michael Thurmond gives VERY SPECIFIC guidance and direction, and it really seems to work. I am in weight loss heaven.

I am still making all my meals the night before, and working hard at the gym, but have cut out nuts and nut butters, which were holding back my weight loss. Stay tuned for more developements….ohh yeah, and I am trying my first pole dancing class tomorrow. Hahaha! Gotta keep it fun people! Have a wonderful week!

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Beyonce’s Diet and Fitness Regime

Beyonce in recent photoshoot for June's SELF cover

Beyonce in recent photoshoot for June's SELF cover

Beyonce Knowles is the first to admit that she has to work hard to maintain her beautiful, curvy physique. In a world full of actressess, models and musicians who report that they don’t have to work out or watch what they eat, it’s refreshing to hear Beyonce speak candidly about working out, staying fit and trying to maintain a healthy weight. She says that she definitely cannot eat whatever she wants, and can’t NOT go to the gym.  She’s got a daily maintanence that she keeps up with, and several unique motivational tactics.

 

Boyonce works out with an Oscar statue in her gym, and when she loses motivation she just looks at that statue and knows that she has to step it up.

Knowles also buys clothes that are too small, and then she says she has the motivation to be able to wear those great new clothes. The biggest motivator is having a costume for her show let out. She says that she has to “keep everything in place” and it motivates her to get back into shape immediatley.

 

 

Beyonce also reports that she makes cardio a huge focus. On the days that she rehearses and dances for several hours, in 5 inch stilleto’s no less, she runs 3 miles. On her off days, she does 6 miles. She says she has always had a strong lower body, it’s her arms that she is really proud of. She tries to keep it fun. “I’ll put on a song that I really like and do [biceps curls with] five-pound weights [for] the whole song and just try to burn out.”

She also says that no matter how much money and time you have, having a great body is a matter of personal motivation, hard work and dedication.beyoncebikini

“The truth is, it’s a lot of sacrifice. It’s more about your mental strength than physical strength. You have to push yourself. It doesn’t matter what trainer you have. And it doesn’t matter what program you’re on. You have to be healthy and make the right choices.”

In addition, Beyonce watches what she eats most of the time, but does admit that she loves comfort food like fried chicken or Krispy Kreme doughnuts, pizza or a glass of red wine every once in a while.  Otherwise, she sticks to granola of Special K in the morning, and a mid morning snack of is fresh fruit or cut cucumbers with vinagrette and cayenne papper. She has a special lunch salad that she says “tastes like it’s got bad stuff in it”, she calls it “The Sasha Fierce Salad” Lettuce, tomato, avocado, jalapenos, and chicken breast with oil and vinegar. Followed by a 100-calorie snack like Oreos or crackers. Dinner is fish and vegetables. A late night snack might be a Soy Dream ice cream sandwich.

She also works with a trainer frequently, Mark Jenkins is one that she has worked with, check out this celebrity trainers site at http://www.infitness.com/home.html. See him work out with Mary J. Blidge here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RH-tJy8e3g&feature=related

and another example of a celeb workout here is Mark with P. Diddy:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvinksdX9jU&feature=related

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Is Scarlett Johansson Dieting?

scarjo3Is there any truth to the rumors that Scarlett Johansson is dieting and working out in an effort to look her best in the slinky latex catsuit she’ll be wearing in the upcoming Ironman movie? Scarlett denies the weight loss rumors viahemtly, saying that she is petite, and that at 5’2 if she lost those alleged 14 lbs, it would be from losing a hand or foot…ha!

Reportedly she is thinner, and taking fitness advice from Gwyneth Paltrow and training with Gwyneth’s trainer Tracy Anderson of Tracy Anderson Method Studio http://tracyandersonmethod.com/

She insists that she is all for a healthy lifestyle, but would never go in for crash diets and is not the kind of girl who wakes up at 6 am to go jogging. Wish we could all be so lucky!!scarjo2

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HOW MELISSA JOAN HART LOST 42 LBS

MELISSAJOANHARTAt the age of 33, after 2 pregnancies Melissa Joan Hart found herself having a difficult time taking off the extra 35 lbs she had gained during her second pregnancy. After some ultra-unflattering pictures taken of her in a bikini she knew she had to do something, but what? The former Clarissa Explains It All star started out by getting rid of her candy stash that she kept in the house, and then cut out no-no foods like pasta, rice, bread and potatoes. She admits that her willpower just wasn’t enough, and she still kept on slipping up.

MELISSAJOANHARTPREGNANT

“I kept losing my willpower, ” she remembers, “It’s hard for me to say “no” to something, whether it’s a cupcake at a party or popcorn at the movies” By January despite her half serious efforts, she still couldn’t fit into her pre-baby jeans. Deciding that it was finally time to get serious, she enlisted the help of a nutrutionist and trainer. She knew from her friend Jaime Pressly, and her own mother (a mother of 7 who Melissa reports is “tiny”) that being a Mom does not sentence you to a life of being overweight.

HER DIET

Hart uses a food journal to track all her choices to make sure that she is making healthy selections. Breakfast is often a protien shake with rice milk and flax seeds (offers important Omega 3’s), lunch might be a whole wheat turkey wrap with avocado, hummus and tomatoes and dinner is usually salmon or halibut. When she has cravings, she prefers unsalted almonds, a slice of prosciutto with feta cheese or has a piece of gum.

HER WORKOUT

Three times a week Melissa hits the gym with her trainer Mark Harari to do a 60 minute routine of interval training, mixing weights and resistance bands. She also takes two group classes such as spinning at Pulse Fitness Studio in Sherman Oaks. http://pulsefitnessstudio.com/

melissajoanhart bad picMELISSAJOANHARTBABY

Hart says that being a mother comes first, and did not want to put getting back into shape over spending time with her sons. A rigorous workout schedule was not in the cards for Melissa Joan Hart, who used to have daily 4:30 am workouts that kept her trim on Clarissa Explains it All. She admits that after having her sons, she never thought she would pose in a bikini again. With the help of trainer Mark Harari at Pulse Fitness Studio , her hard work is finally paying off. http://markharari.com/

 Hart admits that it’s hard work, and she will have to stay vigilant about her diet. Her biggest fear is that she will blow it again. She says that she is allowed frozen yogurt or chips and guacamole occasionally so that she doen’t feel deprived. She stays on top her any weight gain by aking sure she keeps short term goals in mind like “being able to fit into a pretty dress” If a few pounds do creep up, she says she is finally at peace with my body and grateful for her wonderful life, and really can’t complain about her thighs! Well, those thighs are really looking great Melissa, keep up the great work!!

MELISSAJOANHARTPEOPLECOVER

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Get Reese Witherspoon’s Hot Body

reesereeseburn60

 

 

Reese Witherspoon has an enviable figure. It seems to me that she is just getting better with age. But to keep her petite 5’2 frame looking toned and trim, Reese definitley has her work cut out for her. In addition to regular running jaunts and hiking, Reese tries to mix it up to keep things fresh. Seen recently in Santa Monica, Reese incorporates yoga, pilates and calisthetic moves to strenghten her core and increase flexibility and increase overall conditioning.reesewitherspoonfitness

reesewitherspoonfitness2

reeseworkoutThe image above is Reese in blue shorts entering Burn 60, a pilates gym in Brentwood also a fitness destination for post-baby Marcia Cross and Nicole Kidman.

Interval training is likely a technique Reese frequently uses. Jason Walsh, who has trained starlets such as Reese and Jessica Biel recommends intense interval training.

He calls it 30/30. Pick an exercise and go all out as hard as you can for 30 seconds, and then rest for 30 seconds. Do this for 30 minutes. This is going to raise your metabolism and get a lot done in a short amount of time. Plus, you’ll work a lot harder than you normally would because the effort doesn’t seem as much when you can rest between intervals.

JASON WALSH is also a fan of Vitaforte, a powder that contains all the vitamins and minerals you need in one  superfood scoop. He also loves green tea.

Running the stairs is another favorite of Jason Walsh. Run the bleachers at a field or stadium at your local high school, or community college. Climb the stairs, and then run a lap to cool down. Jason is a big supporter of not training in a gym. He contends that people should get out and get more active outside.

 

reesewitherspoonsoftballReese is also a fan of softball, and has been spotted up to bat. This is great training for hand eye coordination,shoulder definition, cardio and working abdominals.

 

 

Another known favorite of Reese’s is a class offered in Santa Monica called YogaHop. This is a 90 minute class that sets yoga postures to hip hop, pop and rock for an intense, powerful and fun work out. If you are an L.A. local, check out this class in Santa Monica at 1612 Montana Ave, 2nd floor for just $18 a session or $250 for a series of 20. Fans include Gabrielle Anwar, Reese Witherspoon, Jake Gyllenhaalhttp://www.yogahop.com/index.asp

reesewitherspoonyogahop

 

Reese’s diet consists mainly of fruits, veggies and whole grains to keep her svelte new shape. Typical day might include a high fiber muffin, chicken and salad for lunch and salmoon with veggies for dinner. It seems Reese likes to keep her workouts fresh, fun and outdoors as frequently as possible.reeseyellowdressreesereesewitherspoon

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What Does It Take to Lose Weight?

mr.tAs I think about the week, visions of “Mr. T” come into my head. Yes, I pity the fool who don’t stick to his weight loss resolve…but I tell you, it is a lot of hard work. I feel very grateful that I am not having issues with my diet right now. Thanks to the amazing low glycemic diet, my cravings and hunger are under control, and have not been an issue since I hit the three week mark.

Sleep deprivation, however, has become an issue. For sure. I am a single Mom of a 3 year old, so after working my full time job, I do my other 40 hr a week job of caring for her, after which I head to the gym to do my cardio work for an hour or more, and then get home and make my meals for the next day, do my reading and meditations, and catch up with my social networking and side projects for work before going to bed. Yeah. Crazy talk!

spinningLast night I was at the gym til midnight running for an hour, and then got up before work this morning to get to a 5:45 spinning class (high intensity cycling) so I could do some cardio before I went home to get my daughter ready for school and then head off to work. Yeah, I think caffeine is the most important substance in my life right now. Not kidding. So, this gets me to thinking…why am I so dedicated? What is making me do this despite severe lack of sleep? What is pushing me? Am I crazy?

I guess the answer is simple. I am finally truly dedicated to losing the weight, no kidding. I have done enough visualizations and positive thinking to know that it’s going to work. I realize that all my excuses and procrastination of the last 2-3 years is not going to cut it, it’s time to make a firm resolve and hit my goal weight no matter what obstacle comes my way…so that means some days I am going to be tired.  Really tired. I’d rather be tired because I am healthy and fit than tired because I am overweight and on the blood sugar roller coaster. I am looking at this as my OTHER job. Just as important as my 9-5.

So, I am still excited to see my body changing at a rapid clip. I see my entire middle section slimming out, ,and my upper body losing fat. Those are some of my major trouble areas. Clothes that were tight are now fitting nicely. However, I did get on the scale, and as of this morning no change since I dropped 2 lbs on Saturday morning. That’s 5 days. I have not cheated on my diet, and I have been religious about my exercise, so I know it’s just a matter of time. I will check in on Saturday when I weigh in again, hopefully there will be a drop…but the weight drop is inevitable. I will kep the faith even when I don’t see immediate changes in the scale.

Here’s my tips for the week:

NO EXCUSES!! If I have plans to go to the gym for 2 hours a day and do cardio, that is what I do. No skipping workouts or putting things off and promising myself I will double up tomorrow (never happens). When it comes to my exercise, never put off tomorrow what I can do today.

WATER AND OOLONG TEA. Seriously, thank the good Lord for my portable tea packets. I am not kidding. The combo of fresh water and healthy tea is a lifesaver when I feel so tired that I cannot think straight. I can never say enough, I LOVE THIS STUFF!! Try it, you will not be sorry. Not to mention that people who drink this kind of tea are shown to lose more belly fat than those who diet and exercise without it. Anything I can do to lose my belly makes me happy. http://offer.wuyipixiepack.com

24 HOUR FITNESS. No matter what, I must have a routine that is possible for me to do regularly, so if that means going to the gym late at night, that is what I do. If that means I workout to DVD’s at home, that is what I must do. Crazy hours and hectic schedules are no excuse. I recommend scheduling workouts to suit your schedule and then sticking to it, no matter what. Being tired is no excuse. There are plenty of times when we are tired and still have to go to work or keep other commitments. Exercise is no exception. Being too tired to exercise is perhaps the luxury of thin people, but not me. I will march (or jog) towards my weight loss goal.

GET SUPPORT! Through this blog, and talking to my trainer, close family members, co-workers, and friends I have a large community of people who are supporting me, asking me about my progress and checking with me how I am doing on my diet and exercise. Everyone is super supportive, but it’s especially nice to hear people who are excited for me, those who tell me they see changes in my shape, and those who tell me that my progress has inspired them to try to reach their own goal. I love the company…Hillary Clinton always said it takes a village, right?

FUN! Uhhh, yeah…I am not some crazy goal oriented, masochistic freak. Well, maybe a little, but c’mon people, a girl has got to have some fun. All work and no play make Connie a dull girl.  I have a few gym buddies that I see and talk to during my workouts, classes I go to because the music is fun, and have recently incorporated dance classes on top of my regular workouts so that it doesn’t get boring and dull. I love dancing, so that is a special time for me to be creative and enjoy the aesthetic and physical challenge of dance. I particularly love my adult ballet class, and latin dance classes (Zumba!!). For other people that may mean taking nature walks, participating in a group sport or learning a new skill (like surfing or yoga)…but whatever way you do it, make sure you incorporate an active element into your life that’s not just for the sake of losing weight, but is actually FUN!!

For those of you who are curious about my specific diet, I will update my twitter status that streams on the blog, but here’s the gist:

8:30 am 4 egg white omlete with 1/8 cup cheese and salsa

11 am 1/4 cup walnuts and 1/4 cup berries (blackberries, blueberries, strawberries are all good choices)

1 pm Mixed greens salad with grilled veggies and 4 oz. chicken, spray-able salad dressing, tossed and chopped

4 pm 1/2 cup berries and walnuts if I feel hungry

7 pm mixed greens salad drizzled with olive oil, or Miso Soup, 4-6 oz. fish and steamed vegetable

11 pm peanut butter balls (2 TBsp natural peanut butter, 1 scoop vanilla protien powder and 2 Tbsp Splenda…see recipes for info) and Peppermint Tea (2 bags, steeped for 5 minutes and lots of Splenda so that it is sweet and strong in flavor)

I mix up veggies, varieties of nuts and berries, dressings and types of fish so that it doesn’t get too boring. I am always satisfied, and the weight is coming of relativley quickly. Hurray! Please let me know if you have any questions about my diet and exercise routines. Love ya’ll.

xoxo

 

Connie

 

p.s. Anyone who would like to buy me a massage will be my new best friend.

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