Coming Soon: BEST BOD

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I am SO excited to roll out this program! Lots of options available including your choice of a completely virtual coaching program (includes online coaching/workout videos/meal plan) or an in-person training package created especially for locals (weekly 1:1 training in an outdoor setting/coaching/goal setting/meal plan).

Or perhaps you want to get crazy fit with your best friend or group of friends (like your bridesmaids or co-workers)? We can rock out some small group training together so just ask for group rates!

My focus is making fitness super FUN- so even though you WILL push your limits; you will have so much fun doing it!

HOW TO GET MORE INFO: Complete the form below & I will be in touch with you shortly to discuss what type of fitness/nutrition program is best for YOU and when we can start working to achieve your goals.

PLEASE NOTE: I have a limited number of ‘BEST BOD’ coaching spots available- so it’s first come first serve.

 

 

Try it Tuesday: Static Hold Workout

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This workout is designed to challenge you by NOT moving but rather just holding in a static position. Use 8-10lb weights for the bicep curls. No weights? Use whatever you have- a baby, a dog, maybe some detergent bottles or soup cans? Get creative & get sweaty! Share this workout with friends & be sure to #sparklehard

Keep it Real,

Branda

 

Detox Your Life: Healthy Honey Swap!

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You might be wondering- what the heck is the difference?

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Is raw honey more nutritious than processed or filtered honey? While there is no official U.S. federal definition of “raw” honey, it generally means honey that has not been heated or filtered. According to the FDA, “nutritious” can be used in reference to the diet as a whole, not an individual food. Nevertheless, we often see or hear claims that raw honey is “more nutritious” or “better for you,” primarily because raw honey may contain small amounts of pollen grains that are often removed during processing or filtering.

Why is most honey filtered? According to USDA Grading Standards for extracted honey, filtered honey is honey that has been filtered to the extent that all or most of the fine particles, pollen grains, air bubbles, or other materials normally found in suspension, have been removed.

Honey that is filtered by packers is filtered for various reasons:

Many consumers prefer honey that is liquid and stays liquid for a long time.
All honey crystallizes eventually. Suspended particles and fine air bubbles in honey contribute to faster crystallization. Filtering helps delay crystallization, helping the honey to remain liquid for a much longer period than unfiltered honey. Many consumers prefer honey to be clear and brilliantly transparent.
The presence of fine, suspended material (pollen grains, wax, etc.) and air bubbles results in a cloudy appearance that can detract from the appearance. Filtering is done to give a clear brilliant product desired by consumers. For the filtered style of honey, USDA Grading Standards for Extracted Honey give higher grades for honey that has good clarity. <—- so basically they care more about how food looks instead of the nutrient value- ugh.

How do I substitute raw honey for sugar in recipes? When substituting honey for granulated sugar in recipes, begin by substituting honey for up to half of the sugar called for in the recipe. For baked goods, make sure to reduce the oven temperature by 25°F to prevent over-browning; reduce any liquid called for by 1/4 cup for each cup of honey used and add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda for each cup of honey used. Because of its high fructose content, honey has higher sweetening power than sugar. This means you can use less honey than sugar to achieve the desired sweetness.

Why can’t I feed honey to my baby less than one year of age?
Honey may contain Clostridium botulinum spores that can cause infant botulism – a rare but serious disease that affects the nervous system of young babies (under one year of age). C. botulinum spores are present throughout the environment and may be found in dust, soil and improperly canned foods. Adults and children over one year of age are routinely exposed to, but not normally affected by, C. botulinum spores. Honey is safe to consume during pregnancy and lactation. While infants are susceptible to the infant botulism, adults, including pregnant females, are not. The concern for babies stems from the fact that infants lack the fully developed gastrointestinal tract of older humans. Since the mother is not in danger of developing this condition, the unborn baby is protected.

Does honey have an expiration date?
Honey stored in sealed containers can remain stable for decades and even centuries! However, honey is susceptible to physical and chemical changes during storage; it tends to darken and lose its aroma and flavor or crystallize. These are temperature-dependent processes, making the shelf life of honey difficult to define. For practical purposes, a shelf life of two years is often stated. Properly processed, packaged and stored honey retains its quality for a long time. If in doubt, throw it out, and purchase a new jar of honey!

GET LOCAL HONEY! Raw honey is great, but local raw honey is even better! Local raw honey contains pollen that is specific to your area and therefore can really help those local seasonal allergies. Taking a spoonful of raw honey once or twice a day is a great help. It is also advised to begin taking local honey a few months prior to the allergy season; this gets the pollen introduced into the body and gradually builds up the body”s tolerance to seasonal allergies. Visit your local farmer’s market for local honey & pollen.

DID YOU KNOW?

Studies have determined that children who get a dose of raw honey cough less and sleep better than those who get cough and cold medicines? Plus there are no side effects!

Raw Honey also boosts the immune system and helps the body fight the cold faster!

Cough and cold medicines are NOT recommended for children under 6 years old. They are not effective and side effects can be very dangerous. *Just remember that cough and cold medicines won’t cure your child’s cold or make it go away any sooner. And of course don’t give honey to children under 1.

Keep it real,

Branda

*Source for some of the info above: honey.com

Confused about food? Start here.

Most people hear about a particular way of eating such as vegan, paleo, vegetarian or low carb/high protein etc & just jump in with trying to eat by the ‘rules’ of one of these diets. After awhile they meet or hear of someone having success with a different way of eating & might decide to adopt that one instead. If they are not following a specific diet then they are on the ‘free for all’ plan – which puts them on the fast track to weight gain & health problems. And so the cycle continues. Do you ever stop to question the food you are eating? Or do you just choose whatever fits into the ‘rules’ you are currently following? Sure those shakes & bars or lack of carbs etc might help you lose weight initially, but you must ask yourself- what the heck am I actually eating? Is my diet well balanced? What nutrients am I lacking? When you start diving into what is really inside the food you eat – this is when the real journey begins. After you learn more about food, you will start to develop your own standards & way of eating that feels right for your body.

I highly encourage you to watch this TED talk!

It’s one mother’s journey to understand what’s in our food & a great sneak peek into why we should be more concerned with what’s IN our food rather than what ‘diet’ we should follow.

Keep it Real,
BRANDA

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Detox Your Life: Healthy Oil Swap

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Do you cook with vegetable/canola oils? It’s time to make the healthy swap to coconut oil.

Many people think that cooking oils like corn, soy, safflower, sunflower and canola are good for their health just because they’re made from vegetables or plants. But nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, these oils are probably the worst oils you can use for cooking. One reason is that they are loaded with omega-6 fats or polyunsaturated fats. What’s more, when these oils are heated, their antioxidants become damaged and oxidized, adding more toxic burden to your body.Instead of these unhealthy cooking oils, opt for a wiser and safer choice like virgin coconut oil. Virgin Coconut Oil Offers Better Benefits Than Other Cooking Oils Virgin coconut oil is an edible oil extracted from the kernel or meat of matured coconuts. For many years, it was vilified and accused of causing heart disease and other health problems. But now, many health experts are recommending this oil, claiming it to be one of the most healthful found on Earth.

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Virgin coconut oil is highly recommended for cooking because it is stable enough to resist heat-induced damage. It is even better than extra-virgin olive oil, which is great when used as a salad dressing or mixed in cold dips but can be a problem when heated. This is because olive oil’s chemical structure also makes it susceptible to oxidative damage.

Coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) or medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). MCTs are smaller and more easily digested by your body, so they do not get stored as fat. Meanwhile, vegetable cooking oils contain long-chain fatty acids or long-chain triglycerides (LCTs). LCTs are larger and are difficult to break down, adding to your body’s toxic burden.

So, the next time you’re planning to use vegetable oil for your meals, reach for virgin coconut oil instead. Not only is it better, nutritionally-speaking, but it also boasts a richer, sweeter flavor that will certainly complement any dish.

Coconut oil is so versatile and good for you. It’s great for the kitchen and has many personal healthcare uses, such as moisturizing dry, winter skin. It’s the go to oil our home!

*Some info above provided by Green Living

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Cardio got you down? Just HIIT it!

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Cardio ranks right up there with a trip to the gynecologist or a visit from your in- laws. I’m sure there’s a million other ways you’d rather spend your time! But you want to be fit and you want to be lean, so you do it. Right? I have to admit, I can’t stand spending a long amount of time on the treadmill- yawn! Good news is there is a much better way.

A FUN form of cardio that delivers twice the bang for its buck! I’m referring to high-intensity interval training (also known as HIIT). It will get you leaner and fitter faster without having to spend more time in the gym (not to mention its WAY more fun than hours on treadmill)!

HIIT is all about how you do your cardio. Rather than choosing an aerobic activity that you maintain at a steady pace for the duration of your workout—say 30 minutes on the elliptical—you alternate fast periods in which you work all-out with slower recovery intervals. In addition, you will work in and out of both aerobic & anaerobic which will help you increase your strength, muscle & endurance.

So that’s great, but HOW do I get started?
 
First of all, you will want to start slow. Choose a few of your favorite exercises let’s say you love squats, burpees & pushups (I know these happen to be YOUR personal favorites- right?). You would choose a number of rounds to complete so as a beginner I would recommend just 4 rounds of 30 seconds each exercise to start, but as you gain strength you can build up to more rounds at 1 minute each exercise. It would look like this (keep in mind this is very basic):
 
Beginner –> Do  30 sec pushups, 30 sec burpees, 30 sec pushups as fast as you can!!! Take 10-20 sec rest  & then repeat that same thing again (including the rest) for a total of 4 rounds.
 
As you get stronger you will want to increase the time you complete each exercise to 45 sec or 1 minute etc and also increase the number of rounds. You will of course be choosing all different kinds of exercises too. Some cardio, some strength, and some core. You can create different HIIT workouts too – try all lower body moves or just upper body etc.
 
Here are some HIIT workouts to get you started! 
HIITtobeFit
 
HIITBody2
 
We are always HIITing it over in my Busy Babes Online Boot Camp- give this Core workout a try!

Want access to more videos like these? Come sweat with us online! For just $20/mo I plan an entire month’s worth of HIIT workouts for you + give you access to all the online workout videos, weekly motivation & virtual coaching. The best part is: ALL of the workouts are less than 20 minutes long! HIIT rocks because it allows you to get awesome results with shorter sweat sessions- SO perfect for Busy Babes! Read more about how you can get fit online on your own time here.

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*Some of the awesome HIIT facts above provided by Shannon Clark on bodybuilding.com

Dear Body, when will I love you?

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Did you know that you are beautiful? Yes it’s true. Right now at this very second. In exactly what you are wearing. With or without makeup, yoga pants or your favorite jeans. That stuff doesn’t matter. The beauty is FAR deeper than that. We often forget. We are convinced my society that our body is too big or too small. We are convinced that our individual beauty means nothing unless it is decorated with the same ‘beautiful’ things as everyone else. It’s simply not true my love. Your beauty is a truly unique & wondrous type. No one can match it and the world would not be the same without it. So let that light shine through. It’s time to love YOU as you are. No stipulations. No if’s and when’s. Let your body just BE. Stop apologizing for your body. Never wait to have fun because you want a better body. Think about it. Why are you putting your body through all this? Would you ever tell a friend to lose 20lbs & tone up before you can love her? Seriously, why not love your body right now? Start living in your body this very minute.

Go ahead rock your body confidently today and everyday.

Let’s Get Sweating!!

I know you have 10 excuses why you can’t workout, but how about 10 reasons why you SHOULD?

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Need a workout?

Hold + Wait a minute

There you go! I am sure you can choose a handful of these reasons to get your booty up & moving!

Need some workouts to get you started? You are in luck!

I have a bunch of FREE printable workouts on my website. Just print + sweat then repeat.

HAPPY SWEATING!

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