Building A Six-Pack on a 60-plus bod

SF_Deb in brown bikinivertica croppedl
Me at 62, after a 12-week program to get this six-pack!

So, now you probably want to know what I did for 12 weeks to get to this shape?  Here it is, the fool-proof program to building your six-pack on a 60-plus body.  However, there is one caveat:  you have to be within 6 lbs of your ideal weight, and at approximately 24% body-fat or less.  Sorry, that is what is going to take.  I started there and ended at 21% body-fat, and at my ideal weight.  At 5’6″, I weighed in at 138 lbs when this was taken.  To get these abs, I literally had to live for 12 weeks like a fitness model competitor.  It is actually fun, and very challenging!  I did not do all the lower-body work a fitness model would do, as I did it mostly at-home, without machines or heavy lifting.  I have some videos for this on my YouTube channel as well:  http://bit.ly/1ScwzZm.  The reason I am sharing this is I am getting lots of requests for creating these abs from folks who have read my book or run into me on a daily basis.

There are four pieces to the puzzle of building this six-pack:  Diet, Supplements, Exercise and Sleep.  I will tell you my program for each, and, if you want to learn how to adapt it for your own needs, just go to my contact page and we can talk!

DIET:  Total Paleo –  no sugar, dairy, grains, alcohol, for 12 weeks…..At least 80 ounces of water a day, no juice.  One or two pieces of whole fruit a day.  A bit of dried fruit with nuts or nutrition bars for snacks.  Plant-based protein smoothies and green smoothies, daily. I did get to eat a bit of dark chocolate, every day.

I ate lean protein — fish, turkey, chicken, some beef, tons of veggies, healthy fats (avocados, olive oil, walnuts), no grains, and no dairy.  This pulled off the layers of fat and I could get the muscle definition you see here.

SUPPLEMENTS:  My USANA HealthPak (Vitamins, Minerals, Calcium, Fish-Oil, Grapeseed, Glucosamine, Turmeric, Milk-Thistle) — get your personalized pack at:  www.energyunlimited.usana.com — just take the Free True Health Assessment — you will get three reports and I can help you choose the best program and biggest bang for your buck!

EXERCISE:  30 minutes of cardio a day and 20 minutes of abs, plus 5 minutes on my mini-rebounder, plus some time upside down on my back with weights and doing crunches hanging like a bat.  8 minutes of Total Gym exercise a day.  You can see the ab routine at my YouTube channel — Sexy Lean and Strong —  http://bit.ly/1ScwzZm.   You have to work all parts of the abs, every day, for this to work.  Plus the planks — daily planks!!!  At least 45 seconds, working up to 90 seconds.  Plus push-ups (for arms and upper body strength and tone.)

SLEEP:  Minimum of seven hours a night, preferably eight.  I use a sleep supplement — melatonin — to make sure I get it.  Mine is Pure Rest, from USANA. (order at:  www.energyunlimited.usana.com)

Today, I choose to have some dairy, grains and a bit of sweets.  This has caused me to put back on about 5 lbs and about 2″ on the belly.  But, the good news is I just need a few weeks to get this six-pack back!

If you want to build your own six-pack, I will be glad to help you design your best program!

 

 

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Is Your Body Mad at You?

woman looking in mirrorMost of my clients are between 40 – 65, working hard at their careers, running from appointment to appointment, driving in crazy traffic, pulling long hours preparing pitches or reports. They forget to let their bodies talk to them. They ignore the rumblings, upset stomach, aching joints and restless sleep. Until something really goes wrong. I really want to encourage you, no matter your age or occupation, to pay attention to your body. I have figured out there are three stages of the Mad Body. I am going to share them here and you can figure out if your body is going through any of them.

Stage 1 Upset — this is where you are just not on top of your game — you have a few sleepless nights, maybe a headache here are there, some aches and pains, upset tummy or gas and you have put on 5 to 15 pounds. You pretty much chalk it up to age and figure you can take it off if you get to the gym or eat more salads.

Stage 2 Mad — Now you have ignored your body’s upset rumblings and it is MAD — you are tossing and turning, having constant headaches or sinus infections, you have Irritable Bowels (diarrhea or constipation), the aches and pains have gotten worse and you are dealing with 20 to 40 extra pounds. Going to the gym has not worked, and you are eating whatever you can get your hands on. The energy level is crashing, you feel like you need a nap mid-day and your caffeine use is way up.

Stage 3 — Open Revolt — Things have gone from bad to worse. The weight is up to 50 or more pounds over, the aches and pains are constant and severe, you now have high blood pressure, high cholesterol and are on meds. You may even have been given a diagnosis of diabetes, severe arthritis, or, cancer. Now you have no choice but to listen to your body.  But is it too late?

I have some good news. It does not matter what stage your body is in, making the right choices from now on will make a difference. In my thirteen years as a Health Coach and Wellness Consultant, I have seen some amazing turn-arounds. You want to know how fast? It depends on the stage you are in. Stage 1 can sometimes be turned around in days; Stage 2 in weeks, and Stage 3 may take months. But they can all be turned-around. In the new movie, Origins, one expert states that just eating clean and green for three days will calm the body down tremendously. The cells are so smart and so capable of recovery, it is really miraculous.

So, where do you start? Each case needs to be evaluated on its own, but there are some key guidelines. Before I give you those, I also need you to know about a preliminary phase. Some folks cannot go immediately to cleanses, fasts or Elimination Diets or lots of green juice. If you are nutritionally-deficient, or having digestion/elimination issues, or weak from surgery or medical treatments, I advise using a phase I call: “Strengthen, Repair and Prepare”. When I put my clients into this phase we are usually dealing with getting more water, less caffeine, adding probiotics and digestive enzymes and getting more sleep. Sometimes I get them on a good multi-vitamin/mineral supplement if they are not getting enough nutrition. We may stay on this phase for one to two weeks. Once the body feels stronger, we can tackle the root-cause of the imbalances making the Body Mad.

There are lots of good programs out there — Juicing, Cleanses, Fasts, Elimination Diets, supplement programs. Knowing which to choose takes training and experience.  Next blog I will tell you how I approach each phase.  But, to really make sure what phase you are in, let’s talk! I have a great track-record helping folks figure this out and getting good results. If you want to know what stage your body is, just get in touch with me at deb@energyunlimited.biz and I can give you a complimentary Health Assessment session. You will know what stage you are and what to do about it when we finish. It can all be done by phone if you are located outside of my area.

Take care and Stay Lean and Strong!

Stay Lean through the Holidays

skinny gal waist measureStay Lean through the Holidays with 50-Calorie Bites

With all the parties and munching, people put on weight during the holidays. I have a few tricks to keep my noshing down but still get to have tastes of my favorite foods. I grew up on ham, sparking apple cider, chex-mix, macaroni and cheese and all the home-y stuff my mom would make and serve at the holidays. Not to mention all the pies, cakes, candy and cookies!

Some of my tricks: Eat before an event – something small and healthy (protein shake, nutrition bar, handful of nuts, slice of chicken), and drink a glass of water. Then, I am not starving when I hit the door of the party.

Here is a new trick I just got from a great article in the December 2013 AARP Bulletin. Plan around 50 calorie bites! Of course, this means I can no longer compete with my family to drink the most Sparkling Cider at one sitting – my record: a 25.4 oz bottle in 10 minutes — or put down several ham slices with cheese, but at least I don’t have to lose all my favorite foods entirely. Here is the list and, if you keep it in mind, it may help you to Stay Lean through the Holidays.

The guideline is women can choose 18 of these servings for 900 calories, which would be about half their daily recommended caloric intake, and men can choose 22 for 1,100 calories. That way if you want three pieces of pumpkin pie, you can have it, but that means cutting-back somewhere else…..Or, you can just eat all you want for a few days and then do a Fast or Cleanse for a few after, beginning in the New Year. I will post about different types of safe fasts and cleanses in my next blog, sometime after the New Year, probably!

50-Calorie Holiday Bites – credit: AARP Bulletin, December, 2013

Appetizers

• Pigs in a blanket, appetizer-size: 1
chex mix
 • Chex Mix: 1/5 cup

• Spinach dp: 1-1/2 tablespoons

Dinner Dishes
Ham slices
 • Ham, canned: 1 medium slice

• Mashed potatoes: ¼ cup

• Turkey with skin: 1 medium slice

• Prime rib: 1 thin slice

• Stuffing: 1/8 cup

• Green bean casserole: ¼ cup

• Candied sweet potatoes: 1/6 cup

• Macaroni and cheese: 1/10 cup

• Gravy: 3 tablespoons

• Cranberry sauce: 1/8 cup

Beverages

• Eggnog, non-alcoolic: ¼ cup

• Eggnog, alcoholic: 1/8 cup

• Wine: 2 fluid oz.

• Beer: 4 fluid oz.
Apple cider
 • Apple cider: 3 fluid oz.

Desserts
pie slice
 • Pumpkin pie: 1/6 of a slice

• Apple pie: 1/8 of a slice

• Pecan pie: 1/10 of a slice

• Sweet potato pie: 1/6 of a slice

• Fruitcake: 1/6 of a slice

• Jello: 1/3 cup

So, now that you know these measurements, you can estimate the calories for each of your choices. Don’t feel too bad if the 50-calorie portions just don’t cut it. I have to agree! My choice, choose my three top favorites, eat as much of these foods/drinks as I want and cut-back elsewhere. And if I just can’t resist, there is always the Cleanse solution! Or, a bike-ride, run or a sauna…….

HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!

Are Belly Bugs Making You Fat?

belly crampAre you bloated, constipated and full of gas??? Know how to get rid of it, for good? For years I struggled with intestinal issues and extra belly-fat. After adding probiotic supplements and high-fiber foods, these problems are gone!!! There is a great article in the April issue of More Magazine that explains why. Here is a quick summary: First, there is electrical communication between the brain in your head and the one in your digestive tract. (Who knew? — Guess this is what the butterflies in the stomach are about…) Second, the brain in the gut is made-up of a network of nerves in the digestive tract. Researchers have discovered a new player in the second-brain — the trillon little bacteria that live mainly in the inner walls of the large intestine. Current medical research is showing that probiotics do amazing things for us — beyond restoring the good bacteria balance we need and helping us absorb our nutrients, they can contribute to lowering stress and disease and helping us lose weight. A French study-team, led by Michael Messaoudi, the scientific and medical director of ETAP, a research lab in France, says his studies are showing that, even as the brain alters gut action, so the gut alters the brain. Researchers have known for years that stress can change the bacterial conditions. When your big brain senses a threat, glands pump out stress hormones that trigger several chemical responses in your gut. This can alter the balance of good and bad bacteria. Most of us are under so much stress that is no wonder we are gassy, constipated and bloated!

The right strains of probiotics are the Bifidobacterium or Lactobacillus. I take a supplement with 12 Billion live bacteria made-up of both of these, every other day! What a difference it has made! You also need to feed the little buggers — they like soluble fiber from foods like: oatmeal, chicory, bananas, wheat, garlic, onions, flaxseed, artichokes, barley, legumes and raw dandelion greens. We are supposed to consume 30-35 grams of fiber, both soluble and insoluble, a day. Most Americans get less than half that amount. For that reason I also snack on raw veggies, whole fruit and high-fiber nutrition bars.

You can get probiotics naturally from these sources: yogurt with “live” or “active” cultures, kefir, cheese, sauerkraut and kimchi. But, as I am dairy-intolerant and do not care for sauerkraut or kimchi, I take mine in a powdered form, mixed with a cold drink. The research also says you have to avoid a hot drink for one hour after dosing with your probiotics.

I encourage you to add a good probiotic/prebiotic program to your regimen. It will help you feel great, look great and fend-off illness (I have not been sick for years, since starting on this daily program….)

Here is to your health! Be Lean and Strong at Any Age!

Increase Muscle Tone with the Right Vitamins

girl with fruit and weights

Before I started on a vitamin program back at 49 — 11 years ago, I worked out and was toned.  But, adding a good, safe supplement program has made all the difference in keeping that tone.  When we work-out, we deplete our bodies of the critical nutrients that build muscle.  We have to replenish that and food is just not enough!  The team of fitness model competitors at Noelle’s Body Shoppe have told me that they work-out longer, recover faster and have less aches and pains after their work-outs by taking their personalized systems.  In just thirty days they are seeing the difference!

There is a new study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showing that fish oil helps enhance the effect of strength training in elderly women.  If it can help someone who is elderly, it can definitely help those of us younger gals!

Some of the key vitamins needed for rebuilding muscles:  all the B vitamins, Vitamin C and D, E and Omega-3 fish fatty-acids.  Eating enough to meet the needs of our stressful society is tough!  The amounts in the RDA are not enough and are based on studies from over 50 years ago.  To stay in optimal tone and Be Lean and Strong At Any Age, you must take the advanced levels recommended for the Olympians using the USANA program.  You can find out more by taking a free True Health Assessment at:  www.energyunlimited.usana.com.   You will get three reports:  Lifestyle Risks, Lifestyle Recommendations and Product Recommendations.  I can help you customize to get the biggest bang-for-your buck.

I have been on these products for over 11 years and am now 60.  I don’t look it, and I don’t feel it!  I credit this to the right nutrition and supplements, eating clean most of the time, exercise every day and getting enough sleep.  Many of us don’t sleep enough and that is often due to not having enough minerals.  If we work-out, we need the minerals to calm down and relax the muscles and the brain. 

There are so many viewpoints on why or why not to use supplements.  I am going with the science that shows what a good vitamin/mineral and Omega-3 program can do for you!  There is a great article in the Health and Fitness Magazine — Fitness 2013, that came out in January.  It is on the ABCs of Muscle Maintenance.  Here are some of the key points: 

B vitamins needed to maintain muscle strength and tone:

– B1 for protein metabolism and teh formation of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to muscle cells.  Find it in cereal, bread, meat, rice and nuts.

– B2 for energy metabolism, glucose metabolism, and the oxidation of fatty acids, with some effects on protein metabolism.  Find it in cheeses, eggs, milk and peas.

– B3 is essential for energy production.  Find it in milk, eggs, fish, legumes and potatoes.

– B6 is important for protein metabolism, growth and carbohydrate utilization.  Find it in soybeans, butter, brown rice, and fish.

– B12 is important for the maintenance of nerve tissue and is essential for the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates, energy metabolism, and cell regeneration.  Find it in milk, poultry, eggs, meat and liver.

– B7 is important for amino acid metabolism, and amino acids are the building blocks of protein.  Find it in mushrooms, egg yolk, beef liver, and brewer’s yeast.

I am not going to put in the whole article.  I can send you the file if you ask me for it.

It is easy to do right by your body!  Make the investment now and it will pay you back in a big way later in life.

Take Care of Yourself!  Be Lean and Strong at Any Age!

You Can’t Exercise Your Way Out of Poor Nutrition!

guy with cake cartoon

group crunchingHow many times have you eaten something marginal or really bad, and promised you would “work it off” tomorrow? The problem with that is we often don’t and then we are left with the “food-coma” and loggy feeling and an extra layer of fat deposited on our tummy. If you could just exercise and not care about what you eat, how much time could you really spend exercising? Isn’t it easier to just eat good stuff (lean protein, fruit, veggies, high-fiber foods) than constantly have to make up for the eating the bad? If we want to Be Lean and Strong at Any Age, we have to exercise some discipline. I still eat the occasional dark-chocolate brownie, and even some ice-cream, but it is a rare occurrence. I trained myself to give-up the really sugary foods and anything fried, years ago! So, when I do indulge, I actually feel a stomach-upset and have to stop after one bite.
The exercise has to be daily as we must exercise one hour a day just to maintain our weight, if we don’t change our nutrition. It is all a balancing-act. Just know that you are not the only one.

How to Keep the Weight Off for Thanksgiving

Thinking about how to keep off the holiday pounds after that Thanksgiving feast?  Super-simple: Eat a really healthy breakfast with protein and fiber and vitamins (my choice, my Super-Chocolate Nutrimeal shake, using one scoop of the Chocolate Whey, one of the Dutch Chocolate and one of the French Vanilla — all from USANA of course),  get some exercise before the feast and walk after.  Nibble on the crudites and walnuts, not the cheese ball.  Eat the veggies and turkey, then some of the potatoes and heavier stuff.  Small portion of the pie, skip the whipped cream or only one dot of it.  The real stuff goes a long way!  Homemade cranberry relish and not the canned stuff — too much sugar.  One glass of wine.  Chew slowly and savor and you will not gain weight! HAPPY THANKSGIVING, Everyone!