Healthy Snacking

Posted by | Nutrition | No Comments


Want to take control of your weight once and for all? Eat more – more often that is.

Eating more often does not necessarily mean eating more calories, but spreading out those calories into more portioned meals and snacks.

Your food intake should be timed every few hours to fuel your body consistently throughout the day, rather than eating once you actually feel hungry. Now of course I’m talking about nutritious foods. Snacking on sugary foods that hold no nutritional value will do nothing more than starve your body of nutrients while enhancing fat storage.

Eating balanced snacks between meals will help control your blood sugar – something that your body is constantly trying to stabilize so you can perform efficiently.

If your blood sugar drops too low, you’ll feel a crash in energy levels, you may become moody, shaky, or irritable, and you’re more likely to reach for something sugary or unhealthy. Your ability to make sound food choices at this point becomes more difficult.

Spiking your blood sugar by eating too many carbohydrates in one sitting, especially after letting your blood sugar drop too low, may have you feeling drowsy or sleepy shortly after the meal. This is due to large fluctuations in blood sugar which are worsened by eating too much in one sitting or having allowed too much time since your last meal. This abuse to your insulin response over and over again can lead to chronic blood sugar issues and possibly type 2 diabetes. Over time this will lead to more fat storage and an increase in weight.

So now that you know the importance of consistent eating, what types of foods should you eat?

A balanced meal or snack not only consists of nutritious foods, but it also needs to include all 3 macronutrients – protein, carbohydrates, and fat. A balance of these three nutrients ensures that the body is getting a balanced supply of calories. A snack with too many carbs and not enough protein and fat will spike your blood sugar temporarily, only to give you that crash as your blood sugar drops, resulting in low energy and a craving for more sugar. So even though a banana is healthy, just eat half and pair it with a protein/fat food, such as a hard-boiled egg, to balance out your snack.

Some other healthy snack options include:

-          Protein Smoothie – 1 scoop whey or egg protein powder, 1 cup frozen fruit, 1 Tbsp natural almond butter, 8 oz  water 

-          1 hard-boiled egg and ½ cup blueberries

-          Green salad with 4 oz chicken, 1/4 avocado, and sliced apple

-          6 oz Greek yogurt, ½ cup raspberries, and 1 oz crushed walnuts

-          1 packet plain oatmeal, 1 scoop protein powder, and 1 Tbsp peanut butter

-          Large leaf of lettuce, 4 oz shaved turkey, 1/4 avocado, mustard

-          ½ cup cottage cheese, 1 sliced peach, and 1 Tbsp flax meal

So support your health and energy levels by eating the right foods and eating them often.

Get Your Mind Set For Weight Loss

Posted by | Exercise | No Comments


When setting out to accomplish a task such as losing weight, it’s always a great idea to practice goal setting. If you don’t know where you want to go, it will be very difficult to get there. The end goal you visualize and work towards can be extremely motivating because it’s personal to you.

But, so many times we are looking so far ahead that we fail to fully experience what is happening right in front of us. We are so busy thinking about the destination that we fail to enjoy the journey. The journey is the most important part. The journey is your lifestyle. The journey includes the choices you make every day.


Stop looking at exercise and nutrition as a short-term thing that you’re doing right now and learn to see it as a long-term habit that you will practice from now on.

If you’re serious about taking control of your health, stop looking at exercise and nutrition as a “short-term” thing that you’re doing right now and learn to see it as a “long-term” habit that you will practice from now on. If you look at the big picture and have the mindset of changing your lifestyle rather than changing your bad habits long enough to lose a few pounds, you will greatly improve your chances for success and overall wellness.


Your understanding of wellness will influence your daily choices so you need to be confident with your decisions.

The easiest way to change your mindset towards a healthier lifestyle is by educating yourself. There are so many opinions when it comes to exercise and nutrition that you may sometimes feel overwhelmed. Talk to an expert or look at actual research that is not influenced by the profits of the companies trying to sell you their products. Which foods should you be eating to help you build muscle and burn fat? Learn how to cook meals using these healthy food options. Are you gluten intolerant? Do you have an issue with dairy? Should you be eating organic? Learn about unhealthy food additives and how they can be negatively affecting your health. What type of exercise is best for you? Ask questions and get answers. This education will be affecting what you do on a daily basis so you need to be confident with your choices.


Once you decide that you are in it for the long haul, you can begin applying your new education on a daily basis and begin to turn your lifestyle around.

So now that you have the education, it’s time to apply it. This is where your passion and overall mindset come into play. How bad do you want it? Do you really want to be healthy and fit for life, or does it come back to that goal of getting in shape for an upcoming event or because you want to wear a swimsuit in a few months? Once you decide that you are in it for the long haul, you can begin applying your new education on a daily basis and begin to turn your lifestyle around. But, you have to want to do it for the right reasons.


Your focus should always be progression rather than perfection.

Changing your mindset for the rest of your life is not an easy thing. We know it may very well be a struggle most of the time and seldom will everything be perfect. But, it you have the right attitude and the education to make the right decisions, you are definitely on the right path. Your focus should always be progression rather than perfection. As long as you are pointed in the right direction and moving forward, you will see and feel the benefits. Find a way to make the most of your journey and the destination will be all that much more rewarding!

Recruit your Glutes

Posted by | Exercise | No Comments

Does your job have you sitting on your rear most of the day? If so, chances are you have some muscle imbalances – most likely in your core and hips. I’ve addressed the core in past articles and its importance in overall wellness, but I’d like to build on that with a discussion about the glutes.

The glutes are key components in both hip stability and mobility. They work alongside many other muscles of the midsection to keep you moving efficiently. If the glutes are weak or not working at all, it could be compromising the surrounding muscles of the low back, hamstings, hip flexors, and abdominals – which can lead to systemic mobility issues.

We always preach the importance of multi-joint movements such as squats and deadlifts, but if you can’t recruit your glutes on these movements, you may end up with back issues or a strained muscle. You definitely won’t be able to progress as much as you’d like if your weak glutes are always holding you back.

Try the following exercises to build a strong glute foundation.

The Glute Bridge. Lie on your back with your knees bent about 90 degrees. Pull your toes off the floor so only your heels are touching and rotate your toes outward slightly. Raise your hips as high as you can without over-arching your back. As your hips rise, focus on squeezing your glutes together long enough for a strong contraction. If you feel your hamstrings more than your glutes, slide your heels closer to your hips and rotate your toes outward a bit more. Repeat for 10-20 reps.


Lateral Band Step. While holding a resistance band, step on it so it’s anchored down in the middle part of your foot. Cross the band over and pull up and back to create some tension on the band. Begin with feet hip width apart and strive to always keep tension on the band. While keeping your feet parallel to each other, step laterally to a shoulder width position. Keep your knees slightly bent and your hips back as you step. Maintain constant control and be sure to minimize any side to side tilting as you step. Never lead with your toes, but rather the lateral edge of your foot. Step back and forth in a controlled manner for 10-20 reps.


The Bird Dog. Begin on your hands and knees with arms straight and knees bent 90 degrees. Engage your core and stabilize your hips so your low back maintains a natural curve. Simultaneously raise your right arm and your left leg. Extend your fingertips forward as you point your toes back. Think of squeezing your glute on the elevated leg without over-arching your back. At the same time engage your shoulder blade on the elevated arm. Hold for a strong squeeze and then repeat for 10-20 reps per side.


So perform any or all of these exercises as a means to improve your glute strength and recruitment capabilities. Couple these with multi-joint movements such as squats, deadlifts, and lunges as you progress to get the greatest overall results.

Get Your Protein

Posted by | Nutrition | 2 Comments

Scoop of chocolate whey isolate protein tossed into plastic white shaker, with focus on the protein in the scoop and falling protein blurred


No matter what type of diet you practice, most would agree that a balance and variety of foods is key to overall health. Many clients come to us eating too many carbohydrates and not enough protein. Not that protein is more important than carbohydrates, or fat for that matter, but if you lack quality protein, you’ll have a hard time maintaining healthy body composition. Protein is essential for preserving and building muscle and its consumption helps reduce hunger while stabilizing blood sugar levels – all of which help you burn fat while supporting overall health.

We always preach the importance of building your diet on a foundation of natural and wholesome foods, especially protein dense foods such as beef, chicken, fish, and eggs. Additionally, having an alternative option like a protein powder is a great option for a pre and post-workout shake as well as convenient snack options.

So how much protein do you really need? The American College of Sports Medicine suggests that those individuals who are strength training regularly need 0.5 – 0.8 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight. You may need more or less depending on your body composition and individual goals, but this is a good rule of thumb.

We recommend the following protein powder supplements if you aren’t getting enough protein from whole foods.

Whey Protein Powder. Whey is a type of protein derived from milk. It contains all the essential amino acids our body must obtain from food so it’s a top choice of many athletes or those wanting to maintain and build muscle. Whey should be avoided by those with lactose issues or those who may have an intolerance to dairy products.

Egg Protein Powder. Egg protein is generally a powdered version of egg whites. It contains all the essential amino acids and many vitamins and minerals so it’s also a great source for muscle-building proteins. Egg protein is lactose free so it may be a good option for individuals who can’t do whey protein.

Collagen Protein Powder. Collagen protein powder is made from the connective tissue, skin, and bones of animals. It might not sound appealing but collagen is similar to gelatin used for cooking and it contains a substantial amount of protein. Collagen has a slightly different amino acid profile than whey or egg, but it can still help repair and build muscle, while supporting bones and connective tissue. A good quality collagen supplement may be an option for someone with both dairy and egg allergies.

Plant-based Protein Powders. Vegetarians as well as those wanting to get more plants in their diet may benefit from a plant-based protein supplement. A combination of rice, pea, and hemp protein will give you a dose of all the essential amino acids and adds the benefit of phytonutrients as well.

With any supplement, it’s important to understand that its safety and efficacy will be dependent on the ingredients. Is the source grass-fed or raised on factory farms? Are the animals treated with hormones or antibiotics? Were chemical pesticides and artificial sweeteners used? Was the protein powder heated during processing or chemically treated? These are all important questions that should be answered before you make your purchase.

So ensure a balanced diet by eating quality protein and supplementing when needed.


Try the following shake as a healthy snack option:

Combine in a blender:

1-2 handfuls of fresh spinach

½ frozen banana

1/4 cup frozen berries

1/2 avacado

1 scoop of your favorite protein powder

A few ice cubes

Add water until desired consistency is met


Don’t Let Traveling Sabotage Your Health

Posted by | Exercise, Nutrition | No Comments

businessman at the airport

I’m trying to eat right and lose weight but I travel almost every week. Sometimes I’m in the car for several hours and other times I’m getting on a plane and flying across the country. How can I improve my diet when I’m away from home? -Brett

Hi Brett, eating well and in a timely manner can sometimes seem nearly impossible when you’re out of your element. The following tips will help you take control of your diet when you’re traveling and away from your kitchen.

Do your homework. Once you know your traveling schedule, go online and check out restaurants and grocery stores in that area. Many restaurants have healthy options if you know what to look for. Ask your waiter how the food is prepared and request modifications if necessary. Stay away from sauces, breading, and heavy dressings. A lean meat and a side of vegetables with water or iced tea is obviously a better choice than a combo meal at the fast food drive-thru. Many grocery stores also have lunch or dinner options available as long as you choose the right foods.

Preparation is key. Healthy eating requires you to have food options available so you don’t skip meals. Poor planning and skipped meals during the day will increase your chances of eating too much or the wrong kinds of foods at night. Once you get settled into your hotel, do some grocery shopping and pick up some healthy snack options. Nuts, fruits, and protein powders require no refrigeration and can be taken along in your bag or purse. If you have a small refrigerator in your hotel room, you can pick up some fresh vegetables, Greek yogurt, or sliced deli meat to have around for breakfast or snacking. You could even pack a cooler and take snack options or a salad with you during the day if you know you’ll only have a small window for lunch. If you just go through your day without a food plan, you’re setting yourself up for failure.

Avoid temptations. You may find options like bagels, doughnuts, and other pastries available when you walk into early morning meetings or someone may have ordered pizza for a lunch meeting. If you go into these situations on an empty stomach, it’s hard to resist these unhealthy foods, especially when everyone else is eating right in front of you. If you stick to your plan and eat healthy foods every 3 hours, you won’t be taken over by these unhealthy temptations.

Hydrate. You should always have a bottle of water with you at all times. Staying properly hydrated will keep you performing at your best and will make you less likely to reach for a coffee in the middle of the afternoon or a can of cola as you walk by the vending machine. A bottle of water and a healthy snack will keep you energized and productive.

Don’t skip the workouts while traveling. People who exercise regularly also eat healthier. An early morning workout gives you a positive mindset which will keep you focused throughout the day on what’s best for your body. If your hotel doesn’t have an exercise room, get outside for a 30 minute walk or jog. If you’re driving a car for several hours on a day trip, take time to stretch and focus on a few deep breathing techniques. Give your mind a break by moving your body.

So if being away from home is a common part of your job, some careful planning and dedication will help you keep your health in check.

The Healthy Food You’ve Been Told to Avoid

Posted by | Uncategorized | No Comments


Fats have had a bad reputation for too long. It’s time to understand the importance of fat in the diet and how to make sure you’re eating the right kinds.

Why are fats so important? First off, fats are an essential nutrient for the metabolic processes of our bodies, such as our ability to absorb nutrients and metabolize energy. Healthy fats support brain, skin, and joint health as well. Including fat with your meals will help you stay satiated longer by helping to control abrupt changes in blood sugar levels which is key for long-term health and weight loss.

A recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that eating medium chain triglycerides, such as coconut oil, before your workout will increase fat oxidation during the workout. This means that consuming healthy fats will actually help you burn more body fat as a fuel source, therefore improving your overall body composition.

So what are some healthy fats? Fats found in natural foods are always healthier than processed fats. Eat plenty of natural fats from avocado, coconut oil, nuts, olives and olive oil, fish and fish oil, as well as grass-fed organic dairy products.

If you’re currently on a low-fat diet, chances are you’re eating too many carbohydrates and setting yourself up for failure rather than long-term success. Increase your good fats and you’ll soon see and feel the difference.

Short Workouts Have Their Advantages Too

Posted by | Exercise | No Comments

How much time must you commit to exercise for it to be effective? This is obviously dependent on your goals, but a recent study found health benefit in as little as 5 minutes a day. Now, I’m not suggesting you cut all your workouts down to 5 minutes, but if you constantly talk yourself out of exercise because you’re short on time, it seems anything is better than nothing.

Our workouts at Push Fitness are 45 minutes, but much of the exercise homework we prescribe to our clients is typically 30 minutes or less. The following is a sample workout we’ve prescribed that should only take you 15-20 minutes and uses minimal equipment for increased proficiency.

Warm-up. Begin your workout with a 5 minute warm-up protocol. This could be anything from walking to jumping rope. Steadily increase your heart rate for the first 3 minutes and then stabilize or bring it back down slightly for the final 2.

The following 4 exercises should be completed circuit style – perform all 4 in a row and then repeat for 3 total rounds. For the first round you’ll perform each exercise for 20 seconds, the second round for 30 seconds, and the third round for 40 seconds. Rest when needed but push yourself to keep moving.

Squat to Dumbbell Press. Hold of a set of dumbbells at shoulder height with palms facing together. With feet shoulder width apart, squat down to a comfortable depth while making sure your heels stay planted on the floor. Stand up, exhale, and press the dumbbells overhead. As your arms near extension, pull your shoulder blades back and together to stabilize at the top. Bring the dumbbells back down to shoulder height and drop back into your squat position. Repeat for the appropriate time.


Plank Hold. Assume a plank positon with elbows bent 90 degrees and positioned directly under your shoulders. You are looking to maintain a straight line from your ears, through your shoulders and hips to your ankles. Maintain a slight natural curve in the low back and keep your knees unlocked. Tense your abdominals inward towards your spine and continue to breathe as you hold the position for the desired time. If this basic plank is too easy, raise one leg or extend one arm out in front of you.

Lunge with Arms Overhead. Grab a set of dumbbells and press them overhead and lock out your arms. Step back into a staggered stance but keep about 60% of your weight on the front leg. Bend both knees equally as you inhale and let your hips drop straight down, pausing when you have a 90 degree bend at each knee. Tighten your legs and hips as you exhale and step back to your starting position. Repeat on the other leg and continue alternating legs for the desired time.


Pushup. Assume a pushup position with hands slightly wider than shoulder width. Tighten your core, and make sure you have a straight line from shoulder to ankle. As you inhale, slowly bend your elbows and let your body drop down until you have a 90 degree bend at each elbow. Exhale as you push back to your starting point. Repeat for the appropriate time. You can make the pushup easier by elevating yourself on a bench or pushing off from your knees rather than your toes.

After your third round, recover for a minute and then perform at least two minutes of cool-down stretching. The following 3 stretches will target tight areas of the hips, legs, back, and shoulders.

Back Stretch

Hip Flexor Stretch

Lying Hamstring Stretch

So if your schedule is tight and you’re short on time, even 15-20 minutes of exercise is time well spent.



5 Foods You Should Never Eat Again

Posted by | Nutrition | No Comments



1)      White Bread. From a nutritional standpoint, white bread is nothing more than a filler. Bleached, enriched, and highly processed, there isn’t much left but a simple carbohydrate that’s ready to spike your blood sugar and cause you to store fat.

2)      Margarine. Okay, wasn’t this touted as a healthy alternative to butter? Problem is, trans fats are far worse than any natural saturated fats you might find in butter. Many processed foods use margarine as a key ingredient so beware.

3)      Artificial Sweeteners. Designing a food that tricks your body into thinking its sweet may seem like a good replacement for sugar but in reality it just makes the problem worse. These false sweeteners can still have a negative effect on blood sugar levels and cause you to crave more sweets. And on top of that, some are loaded with chemicals that may cause brain damage.

4)      Soy. Unless you’re consuming organic soy that’s in its natural state, you’re probably better off avoiding this food. Much of the soy used today is genetically modified and chemical laden. Processed soy can have negative effects on natural hormone levels and cause a myriad of problems.

5)      Low-Fat Yogurts. Many low-fat yogurts are nothing more than whipped fruit syrup and are very high in sugar. In addition, many contain filler ingredients and chemical additives. If you can’t live without yogurt, you’re better off with a natural full-fat or Greek style yogurt.

Stretch Relief

Posted by | Exercise | No Comments

If you’re sitting most of the day, you know how tight and fatigued your body can become. Being slouched in front of a computer or stuck behind the steering wheel for hours on end is not an ideal posture for the human body to be positioned in. Our bodies are meant to move!

In addition to consistent physical activity, the following 5 stretches will help you feel more energized while helping to alleviate muscle tightness and stress. Take 5 minutes a few times throughout the day and recharge with this stretching routine. These stretches are intended to work with your natural range of motion, so you should feel a stretch when you perform them, but never push it to the point of discomfort or pain.

Standing Shoulder Stretch. Stand upright with your arms extended out in front of you with your palms down. Reach your fingertips as far forward as you can and allow your shoulders and upper back to round a bit. Swing your arms out to your sides in a controlled manner while you squeeze your shoulder blades together. You should feel a slight stretch across the fronts of your shoulders and tension between your shoulder blades. Continue to controllably swing your arms front to back for 30 seconds as you take deep breathes.


Hip Flexor/Abdominal Stretch. From a standing position, take a large step forward with your right leg. Allow both knees to bend slightly but keep 60% of your weight on the front leg. Slowly reach your left arm up towards the ceiling while keeping your right knee bent. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.


Neck Extensor/Flexor stretch. Rotate your head 45 degrees to the side. Slowly drop your chin towards your chest until you feel a comfortable stretch in the back of your neck. Hold for 30 seconds and then slowly tilt your chin upwards and look towards the ceiling while still keeping your head rotated 45 degrees. Hold for another 30 seconds and then repeat on the other side.

Standing Side bend stretch. Place feet hip width apart while standing with arms extended overhead. Reach your fingertips upwards and sideways to your left while pushing your hips sideways to the right. Hold for 30 seconds and then repeat on the other side.


Kicking Hamstring stretch. Stand upright with both legs straight. Kick your right leg forward and upward in a controlled manner while keeping your left foot tight to the floor as an anchor. Your right leg should act as a pendulum swinging front to back. Don’t let your kick get too high or out of control but aim for a comfortable stretch in the back of the leg every time the leg swings forward. Continue for 30 seconds and then repeat on the other leg.

So if you find yourself in a sedentary workplace, take 5 minutes a few times every day to give your body a break from the stress associated with physical inactivity. Give it a try and you’ll feel the difference immediately.


Click the following button or call 847-240-0045 to sign up! Sign Up Now!