Lose The Guilt

Crawl your way out of your insecurities and take the journey to a fitter, healthier, and happier you

Easy and Healthy Shrimp Wraps

Since this is the first healthy recipe I’ll be posting for this wellness blog, I think it’s only right that I should post a body fat loss appetizer recipe. These shrimp wraps are easy and quick to make. You could eat them when you encounter hunger pangs or when you have guests over! Personal trainer Chris Heron from Shaping Change North London shared this on his web blog and I think it’s a gem of a weight loss recipe. Tried it myself and it was yuuuuummmmmyy!

Healthy shrimp wraps

Easy and yummy!

Ingredients:

– Romaine lettuce leaves (rinsed and drained)
– Raw shrimp
– Garlic (chopped)
– Grated carrot
– Almonds (sliced, toasted or raw)
– Lemon juice
– Olive oil / coconut or ghee butter
– Sea salt & pepper

1. Dice the raw shrimp and then toss with chopped garlic, salt and pepper, half a teaspoon of oil and lemon juice, let marinate for about 15 minutes.

2. Grate the carrot and get the lettuce ready by putting a handful of the carrot into each leaf of lettuce.

3. Heat a pan on high until it’s hot enough for water to sizzle. Then sauté the shrimp. The key here is to NOT overcook the shrimp. It needs only 2-3 minutes. As soon as it’s all pink, take it out and put it in a clean bowl. If you overcook shrimp, it becomes rubbery and tough.

4. Then spoon the cooked shrimp on top of the carrots and sprinkle with a little more salt and pepper.

5. Squeeze lemon on each wrap to taste and cover the shrimp with a generous sprinkle of almonds and serve.

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Energizing Songs For Your Workout

Music has been with us since the Ancient times for this art form appeals to us in many ways. It serves as a form of entertainment or inspiration to us. It can even be used to relay heartfelt messages of love, anger, pain, happiness and so on. Thus, music has evolved and continues to evolve in order to soothe our ears. From it, we can draw great inspiration. Music can help us be inspired and get energized for our body fat loss or muscle gain personal training work out.

music playlist for working out

Upbeat music usually helps so here are some of the songs from my playlist that you might want to try listening to and add to your playlist whenever your in the gym, running outside, or weight loss exercising at home:

1. On the Floor by Jennifer Lopez ft. Pitbull – This up-tempo dance song contains heavy synths and elements of Eurodance, Latin American and techno music. Released in February 2011, Miss Lopez’s On the Floor will surely get you pumped up on the floor.

2. Move Your Body by Beyonce – Said to be a part of first lady Michelle Obama’s workout playlist, Beyonce’s Move Your Body will literally get you to move your body. This song debuted for the national obesity campaign “Let’s Move!”

3.  DJ Got Us Fallin’ Inlove by Usher – The DJ will get you to fall in love with working out thanks to this song. Have this on your playlist so you can be have an eargasmic experience while jogging in the park.

4.  Cherry Pie by Warrant – The song maybe old but the crazy music of 80’s rock and roll really never gets old. For a more headbanging upbeat music, try adding this to your playlist as well.

5.  Walk and Best of You by Foo fighters – I recommend these two songs because not only do their energetic loud music gets you pumped up, but the lyrical word play can inspire you as well. Kudos to Foo Fighters for always bringing us amazing songs.

6. Super Bass by Nicki Minaj – This 2011 hit will surely get you going with its booming bass, memorable hook, lyrical context, and chorus.

7. We Are Young by Fun feat. Janelle Monáe – Released in September 2011, this power ballad that incorporates the genres of indie pop, alternative rock, stadium rock and power pop will encourage you to use your youthful energy so make sure you have it on your playlist.

we are young

8. Fight Music by Eminem and D12 – Very befitting when throwing a few punches during boxing or your time with the punching bag, Eminem and D-12’s Fight Music can drive you to launch some powerful punches further.

9.  Turn Around by Conor Maynard feat. Ne-yo – Recently released last October 11, Turn Around is a nice collaboration between newcomer Conor Maynard and Grammy Awardwinning R&B singer-songwriter, record producer, dancer and actor Ne-Yo. The combination of smooth vocals and upbeat sound can either pump you up some more or aid you cool down.

turn around

10. How We Do by Rita Ora – How else to end a great work out than with a happy party song? British singer-songwriter and actress Rita Ora’s song released in March 2012 will definitely give you a good feel while you wrap it up.

how we do

Ask around about other people’s playlist and you may find a few good ones you might like. Ask your personal trainer, gym buddy, or co-worker and you might discover gems for your ear.

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Fun Sports for Weight Loss

Sometimes going to the gym can be pretty boring and blah. It can be such a routine that some find it hard to commit to. Instead of signing up for personal training programs and for a personal trainer at your local gym, why not go for your favorite sport instead? Playing sports can give you the same body fat loss or muscle gain results you want through a more fun way. You’re playing and losing weight at the same time! Talk about a perfect combination!

Here are recommended sports that you can trade for the gym:

swimming a body fat loss sport

  1. Swimming – This sport works on all major muscles which will tone you up. Upper body strength will improve because you are resisting water when you propel your body forward. Proper breathing will be honed as well which could be beneficial to both your lungs and heart. It can be relaxing, too, after your intense laps. Plus, you won’t feel the sweat pouring out of you since you’re submerged in water.
  2. Badminton / Tennis – Although the mechanics of badminton and tennis have similarities and differences, the weight loss benefits are the same. It involves a lot of running which helps improve lower body strength. Upper body strength is also improved thanks to the smashing rackets involved. Quickness in movement and thinking are honed as well.
  3. Track – Running helps improve leg power or lower body strength.
  4. Basketball – Basketball is a total body workout. This team sport is fun and effective. It involves a lot of sprinting for lower body movement, and blocking, shooting, catching, and dribbling for upper body movement.
  5. Soccer / Football – Soccer or football can be a total body workout as well but it focuses more on leg power.
  6. Boxing – Another total body workout sport, boxing allows you to lose weight and gain muscle thanks to the punching, dodging, and stances involved. Yes, this kind of sport requires a gym and a personal trainer but it’s still a fun sport which is does not involve a boring routine. Quickness in movement and thinking are honed, too. The footwork involved will help improve lower body strength. The punching and dodging involved will improve upper body strength. Endurance for pain will improve as well.

boxing a muscle gain sport

If your favorite sport isn’t listed here, then maybe you could still go for both your favorite sport and one recommended here.

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Healthy Grocery Shopping List

healthy weight loss groceries

When on a weight loss diet, we try to plan the meals we are going to have for the week. Sometimes, it can be hard to commit to these meal plans. It’s hard to commit in the sense that external factors could be in the way like sudden dinner invitations, office lunch outs, and so on. If you are often prone to this, then opt for planning a healthy grocery shopping list instead of a healthy daily meal plan.

Not all of us have a personal trainer who can plan or prepare healthy meals for us and discipline us to strictly commit. Also, you never know when you’re going to suddenly eat out so stock your fridge and pantry with the good stuff. Here are food items and ingredients you should stock on in order for you to prepare various yummy  body fat loss or muscle gain healthy meals.

 

  • Coffee – Skip the sugar and the cream. Opt for black. If you can’t, adding skim milk is fine. Coffee not only gives you that energy boost in the morning, it also helps stimulate your metabolism.
  • Tea – If you’re not a coffee drinker, tea can be your best friend. It contains caffeine, too, so you’d get the same energy boost and metabolic boost given by coffee. Plus, it contains antioxidants and it is a mood enhancer. Slimming teas are available as well if you want to boost your body fat loss speed.
  • Water – Forget the flavored ones or the sparkling ones. Just go for good ol’ plain water. This way, you’re sure it has zero calorie content.
  • Lettuce or romaine – Feeling hungry? Craving for a snack? Then some salad would do the trick without leaving you feeling guilty! So stock up on some fresh crunchy leaves to satisfy your hunger.
  • Cheese – This can go a long waaaaayyy. It can be added to almost any food you want to whip up. From salads to light pastas, cheese can add that final complimentary taste of saltiness and creaminess. Ditch the salt and add some grated cheese. But don’t get carried away and go overboard with it. Remember, everything should be in healthy moderation.
  • Kale – Part of the cabbage family, kale seems to be all the rave lately within the health community. Aside from being a good diet food, it’s said to be packed with many nutrients.

    kale

    Kale

  • Honey – Need some sweetener for your tea or coffee? Or maybe you want honey mustard dressing for your salad? Honey is a highly recommended sweetener for health conscious people. Benefits-of-honey.com states that “One tablespoon of honey has 64 calories, and one tablespoon of sugar has 46 calories. (Or has 22 calories in one teaspoon of honey versus 16 calories in one teaspoon of table sugar.) While the amount of calorie in honey is more, we actually use less of it since it is sweeter than table sugar. And for many people, honey is still a preferred healthier choice because of its vitamins and minerals that can aid in digestion, and its anti-oxidants which can also bring health benefits.”
  • Green beans – From just one cup of green beans, you get four grams of fiber and some vitamin C. Need I say more?
  • Green peas – Green peas are also rich in fiber (3 tbsp = 4.6 grams of fiber). They can be that extra something you want in your salad or pasta. Yum!
  • Baby potatoes– Not only are they cute, but they are quicker to boil. Leaving the skin on (make sure to wash thoroughly) will give you that extra bite when you pop one into your mouth. They can be an added side dish to your meal or serve as a snack when you’re not in the mood for a salad. Just add some salt and voila! You have a much healthier version of french fries! Or bake them in the oven with some olive oil and chopped garlic… yummy!

    baby potato

    Baby potatoes

  • Sweet potatoes – Want some mashed potatoes? Go for mashed sweet potatoes instead. Want some baked fries? Why not go for baked sweet potato fries instead? A medium-sized sweet potato (skin included) offers 5 grams of fiber and only 105 calories. It is also packed with vitamin A, C, and some vitamin E, potassium, iron, magnesium, beta carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin.
  • Brown rice – Apart from being fiber-enriched, brown rice is also believed to contain many other nutrients. Globalhealingcenter.com shares 8 reasons why it is healthier than white rice.
  • Whole wheat pasta or bread – Spaghetti, bow tie, macaroni… whatever form and shape you want, make sure it’s whole wheat. It’s healthier and richer in fiber. Same goes for bread.
  • Lemons – There are many things you can do with lemons. You can make lemonade, salad vinaigrettes, pasta sauces, or squeeze a few drops to your tea. Or you can just smell some since it can suppress appetite (especially during binges or emotional eating).
  • Raspberries – Craving for something sweet? Fresh raspberries can help satisfy that sweet tooth. A cup of strawberries offers 3 grams of fiber but a cup of raspberries offers 8 grams of fiber. Raspberries are also a great source of vitamin C just like strawberries. Overripe ones can be crushed and turned into juice when you add a little honey and some water.
  • Nuts – Want to munch on something? Then munch on nuts. They’re packed with protein. Eat the salted ones in moderation though. Too much salt can make you feel bloated. Nuts can be added to salads and pasta dishes as well.
  • Chili peppers and other spices – If you can handle the heat, then sizzle with capasaicin found in hot peppers for it is said to help speed up metabolism. Thanks to capasaicin, the body will release stress hormones. The body burns more calories as it tries to cope with the spiciness. It makes you reach for more water, too, which will then trick you into becoming fuller in no time. Spices also adds different flavors to your meals which will help you forget about salt.
cashew nuts

Cashew nuts

As a final tip, try to eat first before you grocery shop to avoid buying unnecessary items not included in your healthy shopping list.

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Food for the Soul: VALUE Yourself

People often have the misconception that losing weight means shedding the “ugliness.” Those who carry a little more flab here and there have a tendency to automatically categorize themselves as “ugly,” “not sexy,” and “undesirable.” They are quick to bring themselves down and this kind of insecurity or guilt is the leading cause of dangerous methods for weight loss (e.g. eating disorders, depression, etc.).

Some may think that body fat loss equates to being prettier or handsomer. If that is the sole driving force you have in order to be fitter or healthier, then you may achieve being lighter but you still won’t achieve being prettier or handsomer. Why? Because no matter how lighter or “prettier/handsomer” you think you get, you’ll know that you yourself won’t think you have achieved being “prettier/handsomer” with that kind of mindset.

love yourself first and always

Love yourself first and always.

The right mindset that you should have when you intend to start your journey to a fitter you is that you should accept yourself first. Accept who you are and what you have. It sounds cheesy and overrated, I know, but be satisfied with yourself. Then, bear in mind that when you are trying to lose weight, you are doing it not because you want to look “prettier/handsomer” (when you already are) but because you want some healthy improvement in your lifestyle.

If you are happy to be who you are, it will reflect on your physical appearance not just after your journey to weight loss but even during and before it started. This kind of thinking will help you steer clear of the dangerous weight loss methods, too. Having a beautiful way of thinking and loving yourself can be reflected by your physical appearance. It’s similar to how pretty clothes won’t look pretty on you when people can see how uncomfortable you are in them. When you can’t appreciate yourself; when you are not comfortable with yourself, then people will also have a hard time seeing the true value you possess no matter how lighter or fitter you get. Learn to VALUE yourself.

Visualize

When setting goals, visualizing comes with it. It’s okay imagine what you want to achieve. Drawing inspiration from the photos of your favorite celebrities might help but make sure that it would aid you, not depress you. Do not be envious of them. Just be inspired by them.

Accept

You have big thighs? Accept it. You have flabby arms? Accept it. When you accept what you have then you will know what to focus on. You will be driven or inspired to change them. Who else to better accept yourself than your very self? When you accept yourself, you’d tend to have a happier mindset and outlook on life which would be very healthy for you mentally and spiritually.

Live

Heard about YOLO? It’s true. You Only Live Once so remove all the insecurities you have and live the good life you want. It’s never too late to start living the healthier and happier lifestyle you always wanted.

Understand

Feeling a bit left behind? Like no matter how many times you move and sweat, you’re still not getting there? Understand that everyone is unique and this goes to everyone’s weight loss pace as well. Don’t beat yourself if you think you’re taking so long to achieve your fitness goals. What’s important is that change is happening no matter how subtle or small it appears to be. It might be a bad day, but it doesn’t mean that it’s a bad life.

Eat well

eat wellIt is highly recommended to dedicate yourself to a strict diet. It is indeed a healthier choice. But you should enjoy it at the same time. How? If you’re a picky eater, then eat the healthy food you find appetizing. Need more fiber in your diet? Why punish your taste buds by eating the green beans you hate when you can get almost the same amount of fiber from sweet potatoes?

Moreover, I might be the only one to say this but heck, I think you should reward yourself with your favorite comfort food maybe once in a while. (Note: Once in a while, not once in a day or once in 3 days. lol! Don’t abuse it!) Why? Because comfort food not only feeds your tummy but it also feeds your soul. It comforts you. And as mentioned earlier, feeling comfortable with yourself is valuing yourself. “Eating well” should not only be about the physical aspect but should be about the spiritual aspect as well.

Finally, remember that the road to a fitter self is less taxing when you enjoy the journey and when you know how to VALUE yourself.

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Exercise Makes You Happy

exercise leads to happinessEver wondered why fitness buffs are mostly perky? It’s because exercising makes them happy.

Studies show that exercising releases endorphins in the brain. Wikipedia defines endorphins as consisting “of two parts: endo- and -orphin; these are short forms of the words endogenous and morphine, intended to mean “a morphine-like substance originating from within the body.

To put it simply, endorphins are the reason behind the “natural high” or “runners high” we get. Many people will agree that it’s the best drug there is with great side effects such as residual health benefits. Walking, running, biking, dancing or any other type of physical movement can make one feel happy, less anxious, more energized, and even have that satisfactory feeling of accomplishment when personal training fitness goals are achieved.

A single exercise session lasting 20 or 30 minutes at 80 percent of your capacity brings on pain-relieving endorphins, according to work by Robert G. McMurray of the University of Carolina at Chapel Hill (source: Foxnews.com).

It is also said that the more stressed a person is, the more intense the exercise should be. Intensity means the duration which is more than 30 minutes for those who are more stressed. It doesn’t have to be extreme workouts. As mentioned earlier, it could be in the form of walking, jogging, dancing, or even doing the house chores. Just 3-4 times of exercise in a week can leave a positive impact on anyone’s life.

When exercising, remember that it not only leads to weight loss but it could also lead to a happier and more confident you.

exercising releases endorphins

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