I've been getting asked a lot of questions about smoothies this week from clients, and I wanted to address the subject to everyone. Are smoothies bad for you? Well, the answer is fairly simple: They CAN add too much sugar, fat, or calories depending on what you put into them. When you are preparing a smoothie you need to remember these 3 things:
ARE YOU GOING TO USE THE SMOOTHIE AS A MEAL REPLACEMENT OR AS A PICK ME UP?
MEASURE THE AMOUNT OF INGREDIENTS.
ADD AS MANY OR MORE GREENS THAN FRUIT
What do I mean by all of this? First off, I typically make a hearty smoothie in the morning for my boyfriend and myself to split, so I include a lot of nutrients that would equal out to be a meal replacement. I DO include bananas and dates and sometimes apples or oranges or other fruits together because this is our breakfast. It is a good idea to add a protein powder that is high in protein and low in carbohydrates and has zero to few sugars because no matter the reason of your consumption, small or large, you will get your carbs and sugars in your other ingredients. Second, when you are adding in your ingredients think about the amount of food you are adding. You would not want to eat 3 tablespoons of nut butter, almond milk with added sugar, 4 bananas, an avocado, coconut water, and half a coconut because that would be way too much sugar and carbohydrates and fat if you were just simply eating those things, right? So, think about your sugar and calorie intake as you add these ingredients. Make smart choices, such as adding almond milk that is unsweetened. If you add a nut butter, only add 1 tablespoon of one nut butter. By the way, if you buy my E Book, you will see 3 smoothie recipes that illustrate proper ingredient amounts for meal replacements. Finally, and this is especially if the smoothie you are making is just a snack or a pick me up, add a LITTLE fruit, but mostly add in greens like kale, spinach, celery, or cucumber. These greens are nutritious and have the water, vitamins, and minerals you need to actually help give you the energy that you think you would only find in a piece of fruit. This is also a great way to consume greens if you do not really like to eat them otherwise.
So there you have it! Are smoothies bad for you? NO. However, just like anything else, it's a good idea to moderate, and if you MOVE a lot, you can feed your body even more healthful, tasty foods. What a concept!
Move Well, Eat Well, Be Well
What is a burpee, you may be asking yourself? Well, a burpee is a great way to activate a lot of large muscle groups in your body at once, and get your heart rate up pretty fast. It is usually a dynamic, explosive movement where in which you jump down and out into a push up plank position, jump back into a squat position, and then burst into a jump up with the arms shooting up much like a starfish shape. Sadly, this movement is very often performed incorrectly, in fact, I have had many clients tell me that their "other trainer" had them doing burpees, and they hurt their back. SO, I decided to teach ALL OF YOU the correct way to execute such a powerful movement because it is indeed a good one to include into your repertoire if you do it right.
FIRST OFF, you need to step it first. What do I mean by that? Well, get the movement down by stepping instead of jumping...I have executed this stepping myself in the video below. You want to carefully plant your hands, fingers facing forward, right in line with your feet. As you step back one foot at a time into a push up plank pose, you want to keep your shoulders over your wrists and engage your core. NOW, your core includes your abdominals, your lower back muscles, your hips...so try to engage your pelvic floor too by squeezing your kegal wall like you are holding your pee. As you step back in toward your hands, step your feet right behind your wrists and find a squat position. A squat should have your toes facing forward, heels on the ground, your knees over your ankles, but not in front of them, and you should first feel your glutes engage before you stand up. As you stand, reach your arms up over your head, squeezing your butt, but don't jump yet. Now you've got the form! This may be enough for you in the beginning, by the way. The movement is still dynamic because it is getting your heart rate up already. REMEMBER, if you're going to jump the movement, you MUST keep all of those form elements working throughout your body in order to create the most beneficial and effective burpee for yourself. NOW WHAT ABOUT BREATHING?? You want to exhale as you step out into the plank, and exhale as you reach up over your head. Take a breath as you go down, exhale as you step out, inhale as you step back in, and exhale as you reach up. Breathing is important. Your exhale will help you to engage your core even more.
Move Well, Eat Well, Be Well (Trademark)
I decided to write about movements derived in tap dance and drumming today because I have been working with a client who is recovering from a stroke. He is loving the fact that I have been implementing these movement patterns with him. Now, he does not have total control of the right side of his body, yet he's tapping and drumming!!! You should be totally inspired.
SO, I thought, why not teach everyone a little tap and a little drums, right? It is truly a wonderful thing for the brain to dance and to create rhythms. Music is felt throughout the entire being, and when you are really moving succinctly in a rhythmic pattern, the body can become abundantly joyful.
An old dance called the shim sham is a tap dance from the 20s that has been passed down through generations. I've learned several versions of it from my vast array of tap teachers over the years. I'm going to teach a pattern from that dance that is actually very aerobic that I learned while I was attending Stephens College from a Chicagoan named Lane Alexander. The music you'll hear on the video I made in the attachment below is by the Dorsey Brothers. It was recorded I think in the 30s on this track, and it is called The Shim Sham Shimmy. You can hear how the drums lay down to create a similar pattern that the dance creates. I am also going to teach you a piece of the drum pattern without sticks and I'll be banging on a can, just so you know you can drum on anything. Oh, and no tap shoes required. Remember, you can also dance anywhere you like. All you need is a little space. I chose this piece because it is timeless and routed historically for dancers and drummers alike.
YOU DON'T NEED TO BE EXCEPTIONALLY COORDINATED EITHER. Try it, you'll be surprised. You also will have this video to refer to as often as you like so you can really get it. To my dancers and drummers who may think this is too easy, pshaw. You'll be reminded about how much fun it is and you can embellish as much as you like. My boyfriend told me recently that what I have to say and teach is actually more valuable than I know, which is why I've been charging you to view SOME things. However, I decided that since this is based in dance and drums, and not what you're all accustomed to trying, this is FREE. Click the second video below, if you care to learn something new. The first video is what it looks like with music and all...the drums are my electronic kit, so the sound is not what you'd expect, but you get the idea. I've even included a little Bill Robinson and Shirley Temple for you, performing another version of the shim sham....enjoy. I hope you get inspired....you know who you are.
Move Well, Eat Well, Be Well (TM)