Tag Archives: green tea

Did you know? 6 Tips for Better Results and Words of Inspiration

“Nobody cares if you’re not a good dancer. Just get up and dance. The same holds true for racing. Whether first or last, we all cross that same finish line. Just get out there and run.”

Keep a Journal. I always say this and one of the first things I tell my clients to do is write it down! It’s one of the most overlooked but simple tips in shedding fat. People who record what they eat, meal by meal, day by day, not only make better choices, but cheat less and eat fewer total calories. Writing it down “keeps you honest” and is a tool for reminding you that getting lean is a day by day process.  TIP Write your health and fitness goal at the top of each journal page.

Graze Athletes, models, fitness professionals and nutritionists know that eating all day long keeps their total calories under control while providing sustained energy. The grazing method – 5-6 small meals elevates your metabolism. Each time you eat, your metabolism increases, and over a 6-10 week period, that increase can turn into another 2-3 pounds of fat loss.

Eat More Protein. Carbs, protein and fat – are equal in their efficiency to be stored as body fat, but protein exerts a greater metabolic boosting effect than carbs or dietary fat. One of the main reasons for that is that it takes more energy to process/digest protein.  Two tier benefit! You burn more calories while eating and when calories drop, protein saves muscle which helps keep the metabolism elevated. Aim for 1.2 grams per pound of bodyweight daily.

Sip Green Tea. Green tea contains caffeine and polyphenols*. Some of those have a thermogenic effect which leads to an increase of calorie burning. These special calorie burning compounds help burn an extra 100 or-so calories a day. *(Dullo, A.G., et al., Efficiency of a green tea extract rich in catechin polyphenols and caffeine in increasing 24-h energy expenditure and fat oxidation in humans. Am J Clin Nutr, 1999. 70(6):p.1040-5.)

Don’t Be Cardio Crazy! Radically reducing calories slows the metabolism short-circuiting fat loss. The same effect occurs with radical caloric expenditure. You know: 2 cardio sessions a day. Excess cardio slows the metabolism, promotes a loss in muscle and even can lower testosterone levels. For real results, stick to 4-6 sessions a week, 30 – 45 minutes at a clip and maintain a high level of intensity.  Most importantly, know what you are using cardio for…is it fat loss or endurance gain?

Set up Support When you decide to begin your plan to weight loss, health and fitness improvement or changing how you look and feel, you might get discouraged doing it alone.   Find support in what you are doing.  Share your plan with a TRUSTED person.  By that I mean someone who will support you through it all, help keep you accountable to your plan and pick you up when you get discouraged.  AVOID negative people or people who will try to bring you down or talk you out of it.  Chances are those people are intimidated by the prospect of you succeeding.

And as always…DRINK WATER!!

This is what you learn at boot camp.  This is what Boot Campers have to say…

  • I’ve learned that exercises that work big groups of muscles at once are way more effective than spending hours exercising every little muscle group individually.~Michelle
  • I have learned that I don’t have to settle for the level of fitness I’ve had in the past I am capable of going further than that! ~Cathy
  • I have learned …to trust my body, that this is a journey, to change my life in small steps, that I am in control of my own destiny, to not give up anymore. ~Sharon
  • I’ve learned that it’s okay to ask for and receive support when it comes to weight loss and fitness. I don’t have to do it all on my own.~Shannon
  • I’ve learned that change is difficult but it CAN happen…with wonderful results! ~Angie
  • I learned that I can love myself as much or more than anyone else and that its okay. ~Selena
  • I’ve learned that I can always make a change… I don’t have to be stuck in a certain way of being. I can choose to do something different! ~Leslie
  • I’ve learned that eating supportive doesn’t mean you have to eat boring food! AND that being part of a support group with the same challenges and goals is a huge key to success! AND that slow and steady really does win the race!! aka the turtle!!!! AND I could just go on and on but will leave room for everyone else.  ~Karen


How inspiring and empowering is that!? No matter what fitness plan you decide to follow, I sure hope it has the same impact. You truly deserve all this and more! What have you learned?

Let me know…your words could inspire someone to change their life too!


Cleansing: What’s all the crap about?

I was asked about a particular, we’ll call it a “weight loss product” for lack of a better term recently.  Fortunately I knew about this product, so it was easy to say, “AVOID.”

But, I hadn’t paid any attention to it so I thought I would take a look again, just in case it had changed.  First place I went on the products website was the legal area.  Here are the first two lines that I found.

DSHEA Disclaimer

The statements (appearing on this Web site) have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. XXXXXX products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Weight-Loss Disclaimer

The weight loss testimonials presented apply only to the individuals depicted, cannot be guaranteed, and should not be considered typical. An unpublished 2008 university study showed a statistically significant weight loss of 7 lbs during the first 9 days of the Cleansing and Fat Burning System.  As with any health or fitness program, a sensible eating plan and regular exercise are required in order to achieve long-term weight loss.

Wow…if those aren’t two statements that say, “We really have no clue if this really works or if it’s safe but give it a try.  Oh yeah and well, it won’t work with lasting results unless you eat sensibly and exercise.”

I’m not done.

“The XXXXX cleanse is unique because it not only removes impurities at the cellular level, it builds the body up with incredible nutrition. Besides detoxing the body, XXXXX teaches people a wonderful lesson that they don’t need to eat as much as they are accustom to and eating healthy choices are really important and also a lot of the food we are eating is nutritionally bankrupt.”

I’ve been saying part of that for a long time.  We don’t need to eat as much as most people do.  That is about the only thing I can agree with on this product.  It may also leave you as financially bankrupt.

Any weight loss product that is set up as a multi-level marketing system should also make you think about credibility.  You’ve probably guessed it by now, the product, or more accurately product line, is Isagenix.  But, it isn’t even so much this particular product I have a problem with as much as I do with the idea of a cleanse or detox in general.

If you really need to, uhm, clean yourself out, I would suggest fiber, anti-oxidents, multi-vitamins and water.  If you want to clean out your wallet, give it to charity…it will do more good there.

And yes, somewhere out there, someone is going to tell me, “You’re wrong!! I’ve lost 5 million pounds using a cleanse.”  OK, so you did…how much have you gained back and I’m willing to bet you gained it back faster than you lost it and congratulations, in the process deprived your body of some necessary vitamins and minerals in the process.  Of course you will lose weight on a cleanse.  It’s calorie deprivation.  We’ve talked about that before, remember?  Not enough nutrition, your body starts to eat it’s own muscle for protein, you lose muscle, can’t burn fat as well…and let the weight gain begin, again.

Gotta Go!!!

Another interesting thing about poop products, yes I said it, one of the statements is that it doesn’t contain caffeine, but on the ingredient label, it’s right there…green tea.  Yes green tea has caffeine.  Honestly, the claims made by these products are full of crap.

The essence of these products is simple.  Replace a couple of meals (real food), with some sort of liquid mess or chewy tablet (not real food), followed by calorie deprivation and a path straight to cravings and bingeing.

Keep it simple everyone.  Eat real food.  Exercise sensibly.  Rest and repeat regularly.

If you are looking for simple quick tricks and short cuts to get healthy, you’ll find yourself forever looking for those answers as you bounce up and down on the scale for the rest of your life.

6 Super Foods to Help You Reach Your Goals!

I often get asked what my typical menu looks like.  It’s a fair question since I spend time helping other people refine theirs.  Since I point out mistakes people are making that have a direct impact on their goals, the least I can do is offer up my choices that are almost always worked into my meal plans.

I try to find creative ways to put them together in combination, have any one of them as a ‘stand-alone’ part of a meal or use as a snack.  That’s part of the fun that comes with eating right…make it so your meals aren’t boring!

These foods aren’t boring and are great foundations that can be used so many ways at any time of the day.  So get creative with them.

Eggs. Eggs are one of the most perfect proteins. By incorporating egg whites into your diet (with a small amount of egg yolk), you can get a high amount of protein for a relatively low number of calories. Six egg whites will give you 99 calories and 21 grams of protein.

Options – Used as an omelette to start your day with some fresh veggies or home-made/fresh salsa.

Tomatoes. They’re loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytonutrients. And because they’re particularly rich in vitamin C and carotenoids, they may boost heart health, fight oxidative stress, protect against a variety of cancers, and combat inflammation. Tomatoes also contain potassium, an electrolyte that helps maintain fluid balance.

Option – On their own, top of a salad, with some Goat Cheese make Tomatoes a versatile snack choice, or dices up and served over your lean protein choice.

Blueberries. This miniature super-fruit is chock-full of nutrients and antioxidants.  A daily cup or two of blueberries can help reduce cell damage. They also promote healthy blood pressure and contain complex carbs and fiber to help sustain energy and keep you in the game.

Option – Add them to your oatmeal or in a protein shake (check the protein show for ideas.)

Fish. A powerhouse of lean protein, fish lets you load up without blowing your calorie budget. The very leanest choices include white-fleshed fish like flounder or tilapia, as well as most shellfish, including lobster. Even dark-fleshed fish like tuna and salmon are considered lean, and the fat they provide (in the form of fish oil) can help regulate hormones and metabolism and reduce inflammation.  Stay away from calorie bombs like deli tuna salad and deep-fried fish or calamari.

Option – Grilled and served on a bed of the next super food!

Dark green leafy vegetables. Popeye was right about eating spinach.  The antioxidants found in dark green vegetables help counteract the oxidative muscle damage that comes with exercise. So vegetables like broccoli, collard greens, lettuce, kale, and our hero spinach, should be high on your list.

Option – Salads, on their own, under your lean protein choices, in your omelette, the options are endless!

Green tea. If you’re working out regularly, giving your body a constant supply of antioxidants can promote quicker recovery on a cellular level. And drinking green tea is a good way to vary your antioxidant intake. On top of its antioxidant properties, green tea can help protect the cardiovascular system, increase metabolic rate (which supports weight control), and may provide some anticancer and blood pressure-reducing benefits.

Option – There isn’t an option here…I drink several a day.

So there you have it!  No, these aren’t the only things I eat…just ones that are always at the top of my list.  I swap them in and out for other great choices for my nutrition.

What are yours?  Do you have any great standbys? Let me know.


Wait…put down the cup and step away from the coffee!

This is an email question I got a couple of days ago.

Hey Carrie. I read today that coffee is really bad for you but a few weeks ago I read that it is good for you.  What’s your opinion?

It’s a great question and one I have received before.  It’s like saying red wine is good for you.  Or, red wine is bad for you.  The answer is, yes.

I want that mug!

I love my morning coffee, so I do know the answer to this one, since it is close to my heart.  Mr. Burrows has no interest in the answer, “Coffee is what it is…nearly as important as blood!”  Seriously, don’t try to come between him and his coffee, especially in the morning.  We are both believers that coffee is to be enjoyed, hot, strong and with nothing in it, except maybe espresso!

So, I will give you both sides of the equation and let you decide for yourself.  First thing that you should know;  It’s not coffee that is the basis of the debatable argument…it’s caffeine.

In the name of love:

In coffee, tea, chocolate, caffeine tastes great!  That’s it, no need to say more!  But, I will.

Studies have shown that caffeine can aid in the treatment and prevention of several high profile diseases.

  • Some cancers
  • Diabetes
  • Liver
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Parkinson’s
  • Gallstones
  • Heart Disease
  • Lung Disease.

The history of the coffee bean is deep and rich.  Some ancient civilizations used the coffee bean as medicine.

It also goes beyond just mere rumour that it is effective at taking the edge off a headache, it can boost your mood, gives you mental focus and prevents cavities.

And at last…. drum roll, one of the most important benefits…it’s a thermogenic fat burner!! Amen, caffeine is perfect!!

I should also say that some of the studies have indicated that the amounts of caffeine change radically from study to study.  One I read talked about more than 6 eight ounce cups and the benefit was for men, not women.  Tim read that one…thus why he orders coffee by the pot, not the cup.

Caffeine, the not so pretty side

Remember the commercial with the egg, “This is your brain.”  Then the frying pan with melted butter is shown and the egg gets dropped in and boom! “This is your brain on drugs…get the picture?”  Well, caffeine is a drug and like all drugs it targets specific parts of your body in different ways.  The central nervous system and brain function actually do get hit with adverse effects.

Skip you morning coffee for a couple of days.  How’s that brain feeling?  When you go without a drug that you have become dependant to, your body has a revolt reaction.  Other negative affects of caffeine include:

  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Mild insomnia
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased blood sugar
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Mild stomach upset

It can even have some really bad problems associated to it:

  • Panic attacks
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Continuous stomach problems
  • Prolonged depression
  • Sleep disorders

Caffeine can also mess with your adrenal gland and is an acidic classed beverage.  That mean it messes with your bodies pH balance.  (That’s bad).

Ok, I quit coffee right now…. never mind, I just read the good side of caffeine again.

So, there you have both sides, like I said, you make the choice that you can live with.  Here are a couple of bonus thoughts to help your decision.

1. Limit your coffee and tea intake to 2 or 3 cups per day.

2. Replace one of your normal cups of coffee with a green tea.  Yes still caffeine, but less and will help you through detox.

3. Drink coffee in its best state…clean.  No sugar, honey, milk or cream.  Is it coffee you want or the stuff you put in it?

4. For every cup of coffee you drink, take in an equal amount of water.

5. Like a lot of things in life…moderation is the key.

So, that’s it.  Thoughts? Have you stopped drinking coffee for health reasons? Do the risks matter to you? Let me know where you stand on the issus.

Hump Day Happiness, Top 10 Craving Busters (Food)

Top 10 “Beat the Cravings” foods and meals. (Some of these I have mentioned before, but they are so good they are well worth repeating).

1. Cut up some fresh fruit (berries, an apple, a pear, 1/2 banana) and put 1-2 tsp of melted natural nut (peanut, almond, cashew) butter on top. One teaspoon goes along way and gives your already sweet fruit a bit more of a kick.
2. Make your own healthy Vegetable Chips. Cut up Kale and sweet potatoes and coat them with olive oil . Add some  sea salt and or spices and bake in the oven for 20 – 30 minutes at 250 – 300 degrees C. You really have to watch these, especially the kale, because you don’t want it to burn. You’re looking to get them crispy but if you’re not paying attention, they can easily become burnt and crunchy.

3. Make your favourite hot tea add fruit and ice.  Essentially it is herbal tea sweetened naturally.  If that isn’t enough sweet for you, add Stevia. This is a great cold drink. This really hits the spot at 3pm when I “think” I want a sweet treat but this naturally sweetened beverage is enough to calm my cravings.

4. Get some sliced turkey and/or roast beef and lay 1 or 2 slices flat on a plate. Add  a piece of low fat cheese and wrap it up into a roll. You can also make this into a lettuce wrap by adding a lettuce leaf.

5. Mix some almond or peanut butter with unsweetened organic apple sauce and sprinkle cinnamon on top. A great mid morning or afternoon snack.

6. Go do something you love…haha…I know…I stuck a “non food” one in here. Sometimes we’re not really craving food, we’re just “bored” and need to go and consume ourselves with something we enjoy. For me, sitting at the book store with a green tea, reading magazines, is such a treat! (Although I always come home with more magazines than I will ever possibly be able to read!)

7. Cut up one apple, spread almond butter or peanut butter on top and sprinkle some crushed dark chocolate on top.
8. A decafe green or chamomile herbal tea in the evening is perfect right before bed to calm you after a busy day.
9. After you’ve made your own veggie chips, get make some fresh salsa and have your own chips and dip party.

10. 1 piece of dark chocolate with a dab of natural peanut butter or almond butter. You’d be surprised how 1 piece can go a very long way as far as knocking out a chocolate craving!