Archive | July, 2013

The 30-Minute Workout

30 Jul

Tight schedule? Busy juggling life or simply not ready to commit to a regular exercise program? Let’s remedy that, shall we?

Now, I’m not a fan of generic exercise programs (hence all of my words of caution you will read). It is extremely important to work with your doctor (to make sure you are cleared for exercise and do not have any orthopedic issues, etc.) and a certified trainer (like yours truly) who can properly assess and design an individualized exercise program for you that effectively reaches your goals while keeping your safety and needs top priority. With that being said, I don’t want to leave you hangin’ either. So, here is a simple program that you can do at home three days per week for 30 minutes with zero equipment to jump start your healthy habit. Hooray!

Before beginning any exercise program, always check with your doctor and stop exercise immediately if you experience any pain, dizziness, etc. There are four things you need to execute with each exercise to ensure proper technique: 1) activate abdominals (as though someone was going to poke or punch you in the stomach), 2) lift your chest, 3) breathe and 4) drink water. Let’s rock this!

EXERCISE PROGRAM***

5-Minute Warm-up: foam roll and perform any corrective stretches and exercises followed by 10 supine double leg hip bridges and 16 (8 each side) walking knee hugs.

20-Minute Resistance Training: perform three sets of 15 reps of the following exercises to fatigue with perfect form. Execute each exercise in a row, rest 30 seconds and repeat additional sets until you’ve performed each exercise three times.

1. Squat. Stand with feet hip width apart. Sit back like you are going to sit in a chair, keeping knees behind and in line with second toe (Figure 1). Squeeze the butt and push through the heels as though you are pushing the ground away from you to return to start. (Note: my arms are in a prisoner’s squat position. This is not the best position for those with shoulder issues, tight pecs, etc. Please keep hands on hips or folded at your chest. I simply posed like this because it was the best view to demonstrate proper technique in the photograph without blocking my lower body.)

2. Prone Cobra. Lie on your stomach with arms by your side. Squeeze your butt  and shoulder blades together and lift your torso off the ground, rotating palms away from your body so thumbs point to the ceiling (Figure 2). Hold this pose (yes, that butt and shoulder blades of yours stay squeezed!) for 1-3 minutes rather than doing 15 reps.

3. Lateral Lunge. Stand tall with feet together. Step out to the side and sit back into your right heel, keeping the right knee behind and in line with the right second toe. Left foot stays flat on the ground (Figure 3). Squeeze the butt and push through the heel of the right foot to return to start. Perform all reps then repeat on the left leg.

4. Push Up. Start in a neutral spine position with your wrists under your shoulders (Figure 4). Squeeze your shoulder blades to pull yourself towards the ground, elbows pointing back at a 45 degree angle. Once your arms are level with your torso, push up to start (Figure 5).

5. Plank. Start in a neutral spine position with your elbows under your shoulders and your weight back in your heels (Figure 6). Hold this for 30-60 seconds rather than performing 15 reps.

3-Minute Metabolic Training: choose an exercise that gets your heart pumping but doesn’t cause any pain such as jumping jacks, burpees, mountain climbers, etc. Perform that exercise as fast as you can with good form for 30 seconds. Rest 30 seconds and repeat two more times.

2-Minute Cool-down: walk around until your heart rate slows and returns to normal. Foam roll and stretch as needed.

***This program is designed for healthy individuals with no medical concerns. Always speak with your doctor before performing any exercise program. If you are new to exercise or haven’t exercised in a while (but your doctor has given you the A-OK), start with one set and build your endurance and strength from there. Optimal results can only be obtained with a customized exercise and nutrition program.

For your customized exercise and nutrition program, contact me at 402-819-8970 or at Stephanie Bell Wellness.

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Got Worms? An Organic Gardening Guide to Chemical-Free Pest Control

22 Jul
Carrots from my garden.

Carrots from my garden.

You know those pretty white butterflies that innocently flutter around your vegetable garden? They are white demons about to lay eggs on your produce that will hatch worms who have the munchies. Yes, I’m a hater and still harboring some ill will. After they infested my kale, I decided to seek the advice from pros. Ya see, I come from good tree huggin’ stock. Who better to ask than my father, Dan Bell, who has over 30 years of organic gardening experience (my mom represents on the flower garden side). This is what Dad Bell had to say…

Preventative Care

1. Cover Up. Protect your plants by purchasing floating row covers which is a netting that prevents insects from laying eggs on your plants.

2. Infiltrate from the Inside. Bacillus Thuringiensis (Bt) or Thuricide is a soil-borne bacteria that has been used since the 1950s to control insects. There are different strains of this bacteria depending on the insect you wish to target. It will kill everything from tomato hornworms, fruit worms, cabbageworms, potato beetles, mosquitoes and black flies. Basically, the insect digests it and it destroys its alkaline digestive tract, therefore killing the insect. However, without geeking out too much on the physiological reactions, since humans and other mammals have an acidic digestive tract, we are protected from this bacteria and it is safe to use on produce and plants. Even though it is natural and organic, it is still best to use caution and ensure you do not inhale it or get it in your eyes or open wounds.

Ingredients:

Read the label, but it is usually 1-4 tsp per gallon of water.

Directions:

1. Place mixture in a pump spray bottle. Bt is effective in the larva stage of the insect, so apply it to the underside of the leaf where the larva feed.

 

When Pests Attack.

Sometimes those little guys just slip through the preventative cracks.

1. All-Purpose Bug Killer. This recipe is touted to kill everything from ants to those deceptive white butterflies.

Ingredients:

1 cup water

2 T witch hazel

2 drops dish soap (preferably chemical-free… we got a theme going here)

Directions: Place everything in a spray bottle and spray the pest directly.

Recipe courtesy of Sharon Cuyler, Organic Gardening magazine.

2. Beetlejuice. Japanese beetles can be a real pain this time of year.

Ingredients:

water

2 drops dish soap

Directions:

1. Fill a bucket with water and the dish soap.

2. Pick beetles off of leaves and dump them in the bucket. This will act as beetle birth control, killing them and thus preventing them from reproducing their tyrant youths.

Have you used these methods on your garden? What chemical-free ideas do you have to get rid of pesky insects? Please leave a comment below.

For more nutrition, fitness and gardening tips, please contact me at Stephanie Bell Wellness.

Q and A: What should I eat while breastfeeding?

16 Jul

mom and babyThis is a great question for health conscious mammas wanting to provide the best nutrition for their growing baby (or babies). Here is the low down: you are the food supply for your baby so ensure you are not putting anything in your body that you would not want your baby to eat as well. This means sipping a lot of H2O and indulging in plenty of clean, nutrient-dense food.

WATER WORKS. Breast milk is 88% water, so even slight dehydration can disrupt milk production and lead to fatigue and dizziness. Drinking half of your bodyweight in ounces of water every day will keep you and your baby well hydrated and happy. Basically, when baby is tippin’ it back, so should you.

NUTRIENT NOSHING. Depending on your activity level, you will want to consume 300-500 extra calories (woo hoo!) from clean and nutrient dense food sources. This includes a variety of vegetables, fruit, lean protein and healthy starches such as sweet potatoes, whole grain rice and quinoa. Now there are some healthy foods that may cause a few problems for you and your baby such as “gassy” vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli and Brussel’s Sprouts and spicy foods including jalapenos and garlic. Steaming or roasting the vegetables usually takes care of the gas, but spicy foods may have to be avoided if the baby is not tolerating them well. Also, remember all of the fish you couldn’t eat during pregnancy due to mercury exposure? Well, the same holds true during nursing, so ensure you aren’t eating more than two fish-fabulous meals per week.

STOP, COLLABORATE AND LISTEN. The best nutrition advice is the advice your body and your baby’s body is telling you through symptoms such as diarrhea, gas, constipation, running nose, asthma, dark circles under eyes, eczema, rash, fussiness, ear infections, etc. If you or your baby are experiencing these, keep track of what you are eating and try eliminating the food item for a few weeks. Then, slowly reintroduce it (one at a time if you eliminated a few) to see if the symptoms occur again. Some common food allergies or intolerances include citrus fruits (can irritate GI tract), peanuts, gluten, dairy, corn, shellfish, eggs and soy.

GET YOUR FLOW ON: Caution foods, beverages, supplements and medications that reduce breast milk  production and can affect the health of the baby include smoking, alcohol, caffeine (yes, that includes your daily coffee or chocolate fix), birth control pills, decongestants, antihistamines, sage, jasmine, tea, parsley and peppermint. Low calorie dieting can also deprive you and your baby from nutrients while reducing milk production.

If you are breastfeeding, always speak with your doctor before taking any supplements or medications.

For your personalized nutrition and fitness plan or to schedule a VIP Day, please contact me at 402-819-8970.

Tuna Salad with Cashew Mayonnaise

9 Jul

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Summer is the perfect time to give your oven and stovetop a break and enjoy a lovely picnic with family and friends. The vegan Cashew Mayonnaise is a healthy dairy and egg-free alternative for this easy summer dish.

Ingredients for Tuna Salad:

2 5 oz cans no sodium added albacore tuna packed in water, drained

5 celery stalks, chopped

2 cups red grapes, cut in half

1 cup kalamata olives, pitted and cut in half

1/4 cup raw pecan pieces

sea salt to taste

black pepper to taste

fresh dill to taste

1 bunch collard greens, stems removed

Ingredients for Cashew Mayonnaise:

1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for 2 hours

1/4 cup water

1 large lemon or 2 T lemon juice

1/4 t sea salt

1/2 t garlic powder

black pepper to taste

2 T extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

1. Place all of the Tuna Salad ingredients (except for the collard greens) in a large mixing bowl.

2. To make the Cashew Mayonnaise, place all Cashew Mayonnaise ingredients (except for olive oil) in a food processor. Blend ingredients and slowly add in the olive oil to form a creamy mayonnaise consistency.

3. Place the Cashew Mayonnaise into the Tuna Salad and mix until coated.

4. Wash and dry collard greens. Cut stem out with a knife. Overlap leaves slightly. Place tuna salad on bottom third of collard green, cold bottom portion over, fold sides in and continuing rolling until wrap is formed.

Serves 4-6 individuals