8 Ways To Start Eating and Living Clean

We have an awesome post on our blog today from guest blogger Tom at http://timetocleanse.com talking about the 8 steps you can take to start eating and living clean. And what’s our motto #PumpUpFam, “Eat Clean, Train Dirty” right? Learn how to accomplish the eating clean part right here! 

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Do you find yourself always rushing from place to place, grabbing a quick, cheap snack or stopping for fast food to ease your hunger pains? You know it’s bad for you, but you’re hungry and you can’t be bothered to look for something healthier to eat. You don’t just fill your body with unhealthy food; you feel guilty about your lack of will power. Eventually, you might even decide that trying to avoid junk food is a waste of time.

What’s the problem? You’re dieting and counting calories when you should be changing the way you live. A clean lifestyle will eliminate unhealthy temptation. Once you’ve switched to clean living - doing your best to avoid toxic chemicals in your food and your environment - you won’t even think about drinking soda, eating potato chips or having a fast food burger and fries for dinner.

Are you tired of the cycle of binging on junk and then feeling guilty about it? Here’s how you can start eating and living clean right now!

1. Give up one thing at a time

There’s no way you’re going to change from a Dorito-munching, soda-guzzling processed food fanatic to an organic foods enthusiast overnight. So take it slow. How about replacing the can of Coke you usually have with dinner with a couple of glasses of water instead? Or snacking on grapes instead of potato chips? These simple changes will get you started without throwing your body into shock, making you want to drown your pain in a container of additive-filled supermarket ice cream.

2. Make sure you have plenty of healthy snacks around

When you’re hungry, your body is telling you it needs fuel. Ignoring hunger signals will almost certainly backfire, making you overeat when you finally give in to your body’s demands.

If you don’t have any healthy food around, it’s a lose-lose situation - you can either eat junk now or overeat later. So be sure to have healthy snacks, like nuts, grapes, or raw carrots on hand so you can banish your hunger without eating something unhealthy and then regretting it.

3. Watch out for hidden sugar

You probably already know that something called “Deliciously Sweet Super Frosty Fun Treats” isn’t going to be good for you. Surprisingly, many foods that might seem healthy are crammed with sugar, and too much sugar can make you gain weight and cause all kind of health problems, including heart disease. Sugar-filled foods can include fruit rolls, flavored yogurts and “healthy” breakfast cereals.

Check the label for words like sucrose, fructose, dextrose, xylitol and high fructose corn syrup. These are all code words for sugar. If you see them near the top of the ingredients list, find something else to eat.

4. Ease up on canned food

Food that comes in a can often contains extra salt, and too much salt can raise your blood pressure. Canned food can have extra sugar too. 

Cans are often lined with a chemical called BPA, which acts like the hormone estrogen and can cause problems with your hormones.

Of course, fresh food spoils, and sometimes you want to save food for later. If you have to choose between canned or frozen food, always choose frozen - and check the label for salt, sugar, preservatives and artificial colors and flavors.

5. Eat organic food

Food with the organic label doesn’t have artificial ingredients.  Organic vegetables can’t be grown with artificial fertilizers or pesticides, and organic meat has to come from animals that have never been given antibiotics or hormones. When you eat food marked “organic”, you can be sure it doesn’t contain harmful chemicals.

6. Cook!

If you don’t already cook, start learning. When you cook for yourself, you can be sure of exactly what’s in the food you eat, and you can make sure that everything that goes in your body is healthy. 

What’s more, you’ll be able to make food that tastes just the way you like it, experimenting with spices and other ingredients to create the perfect flavors - without relying on anything artificial. 

You’ll also have the satisfaction of having created something all by yourself.

One more plus - cooking, rather than buying processed food, will save you money. Nothing wrong with that.

7. Use clean personal care products

Clean living isn’t just about what goes in your mouth. It’s also about what you put on your skin.

Shampoos, cleansing lotions, moisturizer, toners, sunscreens and deodorants can all contain unhealthy chemical your skin can absorb.

Buy organic personal care products or create your own, natural versions using items you can find around the house. For example, you can make a moisturizer out of honey and avocado, and you can use baking soda and cornstarch in place of deodorant you’d buy in a store.

8. Exercise

Exercise is an essential part of a clean lifestyle. Moving your body -whether that means going for a run, lifting weights or taking a spinning class-will give you more energy, help you control your weight, and make you feel great.

About the Author, Tom White: 

Tom White shows people how to enjoy optimum health by reducing their exposure to environmental toxins, cleansing the body and eating (& living) clean. Find out more at http://www.timetocleanse.com

Spotlight Series: Vale C.

Today on the blog it’s all about Vale. Her starting weight on her fitness and health quest was 72.8 kg, and she is now sitting at 66 kg, and has totally changed her habits and lifestyle! We got the scoop on Vale, and how she went from spending her days eating and watching TV, to exercising at least 4 times a week and eating healthy foods. Vale joined PumpUp with the hopes of shedding some extra weight, not only has she done that, but she’s gained muscle, endurance, and so much more confidence! Keep on reading for Vale’s entire story.

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Vale has been using PumpUp for a whole 7 months, and started simply because she wanted to live a better lifestyle. Vale shares, “I wasn’t feeling good about my body and was having image issues.”  That was because before Vale started using PumpUp, she wasn’t doing much to get healthy or active. Vale says, “Before PumpUp I barely moved. I was signed up at a gym but never went. My day was basically getting up then eating all day while watching T.V.”

That all changed when Vale went to a nutritionist in order to get help with creating a food schedule. Vale tells us, “She has been awesome with me, and I’m never hungry. She made me delete sugars and concentrated fats like butter and cheese.” Now Vale exercises at least 4 times a week, with a 1-hour cardio session, and good ol’ squats every night.

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Vale shares her advice with you guys, “To anyone struggling with how you feel about your body and health, do something. Any changes you make should start with knowing that you’re doing them for you, not for anyone else. If people notice your changes, good for them, but the most important person you need to impress is yourself. Everyday can be better than yesterday, and try to be better tomorrow.”

Vale’s Favourites:

Fave Drink:  “Fruitshakes. They are my total weakness! Once a week I get my blender and throw in half a banana and any fruit I feel like having, plus some ice cream and a bit of milk.”

Fave Saying: “‘No pain, no gain.’ Cause nothing is easy. You need to work for everything you want.”

#1 Exercise: “I love dancing, its what I’m best at. The way your body just flows with music… It just traps me.”

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More About Vale: “I have an awesome listening capacity, and singing for me is very easy, same as playing guitar and learning other languages, so if you ever catch me off guard, you’ll probably hear me singing and inventing lyrics out loud.”

Vale’s biggest motivation comes from a local Chilean athlete, Isidora Jimenez. Vale says, “I really admire for her strength and enthusiasm, besides being very beautiful and encouraging.”

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While Vale was starting to make a change to her lifestyle she experienced setbacks with the passing of her Grandpa. Vale tells us, “When I started using PumpUp, my grandpa was the person who really kept me motivated to go on and keep pushing, to basically do something about me. About 5 months ago, he passed away, and a huge part of me left with him. I was frustrated, and I fell into a small depression. I then realized that he would have LOVED to see me happy, so I started working out again, not as much as before at first, but once I started noticing changes, most of my days were finished at the gym.”

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Vale’s goals for right now are to lose a little more weight. She says, “ I want to lose those extra pounds in order to be 100% happy with my body, without wanting to hide it behind big shirts and baggy pants. At the moment, I have lost over 12 pounds, but also I’ve gained endurance and strength on my core, arms and legs.”

Give Vale a follow on PumpUp @valecarvallo97 to get inspired and to watch her achieve all of her fitness and health goals. 

This #TransformationTuesday pic goes to Ashlyn, who is down a total of 55 lbs. WOW! She shares with us, “I’ve struggled with my weight all my life. Not only was it affecting my health but it was affecting me. It caused me to hold everything in and not be as social in fear of being judged for the way that I looked. Today, not only have I lost 55 lbs. but I’ve lost the old me. I am nowhere near where I want to be but I’m working my butt off to get there. Can’t wait to see what the future has in store for me.” Ashlyn this is an incredible #Transformation and we couldn’t be any more proud of all the hard work you have put in to get there! 

This #TransformationTuesday pic goes to Ashlyn, who is down a total of 55 lbs. WOW! She shares with us, “I’ve struggled with my weight all my life. Not only was it affecting my health but it was affecting me. It caused me to hold everything in and not be as social in fear of being judged for the way that I looked. Today, not only have I lost 55 lbs. but I’ve lost the old me. I am nowhere near where I want to be but I’m working my butt off to get there. Can’t wait to see what the future has in store for me.” Ashlyn this is an incredible #Transformation and we couldn’t be any more proud of all the hard work you have put in to get there! 

4 Reasons Why Strength Training is Critical to Looking and Feeling Your Best

Today on the blog we have Molly from Girls Gone Strong. She is going to be the one to tell you that lifting weights won’t turn you into the hulk, but it will make you a stronger person, and don’t we all want that? Today Molly is talking about strength training, and 4 key reasons why strength training is critical to you looking and feeling your best! Take a read folks! 

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How many of you are guilty of thinking or saying these common phrases?  

“I don’t want to lift weights.  I don’t want to get bulky.”

Or how about:

“I don’t want to gain any muscle, I just want to tone the muscle I already have.”

Unfortunately, these are just a few of the common responses I often hear when I suggest strength training to women who are interested in getting in better shape.  Obviously “getting in better shape” can means different things to different women, but I think it’s safe to say that “looking and feeling better” is something that every woman wants.

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1. Strength Training Helps Burn Body Fat

Yes, for years we’ve been told that we need to do hours of endless cardio to burn body fat, but the truth is – well, that’s just not true.  Intelligent strength training using large compound movements like squats, deadlifts, chin-ups, and push-ups will not only burn tons of calories while you’re performing the exercises, but due to EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) your body will burn significantly more calories post-strength training as well.

Not to mention, strength training will add lean mass, which is very metabolically expensive (read: burns a lot of calories), so you’ll be burning more calories even at rest.

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2. Strength Training Adds Lean Mass, And Sexy Curves

When most women think about getting the look they desire for their body, they think about “losing” not “adding,” but hear me out. 

As I mentioned above, strength training will add lean mass and sexy curves to your body.  Sure, many women are looking to lose body fat, but if you lose body fat without adding lean mass, you’ll simply be a smaller (and possibly softer) version of yourself.  If that’s your goal, that’s totally fine.  However, if you want to have a leaner and more toned appearance, with a round curvy backside, and firm back, arms, and shoulders, strength training is a must.

And don’t worry – you won’t gain gobs of muscle overnight.  When you achieve a level of muscularity that you find appropriate for your personal goals, you can switch to a maintenance strength training program.

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3. Strength Training Makes Everything Easier. 

First and foremost, let’s clear this up: strength training is not always lifting weights.  Strength training is any type of movement or exercise that imposes an increasing demand on your muscles and/or central nervous system, causing an adaptation.

So basically, you apply a stress your muscles and/or your central nervous system, and then your body tears down muscle tissue and rebuilds it bigger and stronger than before, or it increases the efficiency of your neural pathways so you can recruit more muscle fibers more effectively in the future. Simply put, your body figures out how to make the task you just performed easier in case you have to perform it again in the future (and it makes other tasks feel easier too!)

So whether you’re changing the 5 lb. water cooler at work, hoisting your 70 lb. black lab in to the car, or giving your 10 year old a piggy back ride – the stronger you are, the easier those things will be.

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4. Strength Training Helps You Avoid Injury. 

Yes, many people consider strength training/lifting weights to be dangerous.  In response to that, I have to refer to one of my favorite quotes from my friend Bret Contreras

“If you think lifting weights is dangerous, try being weak.  Being weak is dangerous.”

As with any activity, of course there is an inherent danger.  The same would be true with rock climbing, cycling, running, or even yoga.

But it’s very simple to drastically reduce your risk of injury with strength training, and in fact, the stronger you are, the less likely you are to get injured, period. 

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What are some simple ways to reduce your risk of injury and bulletproof your body?

  • Choose a program that’s appropriate for your ability level.  You wouldn’t throw a Kindergartener into Calculus, would you?  So why would you jump into an advanced strength training program.  Start where you are, and you’ll stay safe over the long haul.  If you’re curious about where to find a program like this, click here.
  • Prepare your body to work out.  There are a couple of extremely important things that you can do for 10 minutes before you start your work-out to ensure that you stay safe, and those are foam rolling, and a good dynamic warm-up.  These activities prepare your body for the workout it’s about to do, and not only improve your performance, but keep you safe.
  • Understand correct form.  If you’re performing an exercise correctly, not only are you going to get better results more quickly since you’re using the correct muscle groups, but you’re going to reduce your risk of injury significantly.  For example, keeping proper spinal alignment while you pick something up off of the floor ensures that you’re using the proper muscles to stabilize your body and lift the weight instead of jamming your vertebrae together to stabilize you.  
  • If you’re not sure what proper form looks like, The Modern Woman’s Guide To Strength Training includes over 80 minutes of instruction on 70 different exercises.  You can check it out here

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If you’re interested in learning more about how you can lose body fat, and gain a tighter, firmer, and more toned appearance while learning how to perform exercises correctly and staying safe, check out The Modern Woman’s Guide To Strength Training from Girls Gone Strong. 


The Modern Woman’s Guide To Strength Training Includes:

  • Three 16-week training programs that are suitable for women of all ability levels, plus directions on how you can customize your training program by substituting in appropriate exercises, essentially give you tens of thousands of different training programs so you’re never bored! 
  • Over 80 minutes of high definition video demonstrating exactly how to perform over 70 exercises so you can get the best results, stay safe, and feel extremely confident when you’re strength training.
  • An exercise glossary with pictures and descriptions of those same exercises so you can grab a quick refresher anytime you need one.
  • A training manual telling you everything you need to know about strength training: what it is, why it’s important, what all of the training lingo means, and what you can do outside the gym to ensure that you’re getting the best results inside the gym!
  • Progress tracking guide so you can keep track of not only what you’re doing inside the gym to ensure constant improvements and results, but you can also track fat loss, sleep, mood, and energy levels.

If you’re a woman who is new to strength training and you don’t know where to start, or even if you’ve been training for a while and you’re just looking for a comprehensive program that will get you incredible results while keeping you safe, look no further than The Modern Woman’s Guide To Strength Training

About the Author:

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Molly Galbraith is a certified strength and conditioning coach, former gym owner, and Co-Founder of Girls Gone Strong, a website dedicated to providing women with the best nutrition, training, health, and lifestyle information.

Her personal mission is to, ”Help women discover and accept what their best body looks and feels like with minimal time and effort, and to help them give themselves grace and compassion about it.” 

You can find out more about Molly by visiting her website, and you can keep up with her latest adventures on Facebook and Twitter

Hey everyone! Although we had a ton of great submissions for the ALS#icebucketchallenge, we have your winners and they are nina2909 on the left and thedaintyhunter on the right. Thanks to everyone who participated by raising awareness to ALS and remember it’s fun to complete this challenge but we encourage everyone to donate to the ALS Foundation. For all those thinking this is just a silly challenge it’s not and we have the numbers to back it up. The ALS foundation has raised $11.4 million dollars compared to $1.7 million last year in the time period of July 29th - August 16th, all thanks to the ALS #icebucketchallenge, and if you’ve completed the challenge you’re in good company, celebs like Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake, and Oprah Winfrey have also taken part!

Hey everyone! Although we had a ton of great submissions for the ALS#icebucketchallenge, we have your winners and they are nina2909 on the left and thedaintyhunter on the right. Thanks to everyone who participated by raising awareness to ALS and remember it’s fun to complete this challenge but we encourage everyone to donate to the ALS Foundation. For all those thinking this is just a silly challenge it’s not and we have the numbers to back it up. The ALS foundation has raised $11.4 million dollars compared to $1.7 million last year in the time period of July 29th - August 16th, all thanks to the ALS #icebucketchallenge, and if you’ve completed the challenge you’re in good company, celebs like Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake, and Oprah Winfrey have also taken part!