What is Shakeology Boost?
Shakeology Boosts are add-ons to Shakeology (or any beverage of choice),
making it possible to customize a shake for an individual's specific needs.
What Boost options are available for purchase?
Focused Energy - This unique formula is designed to deliver a wholesome boost of energy.
The energy comes from 100 mg of natural caffeine from guarana and green tea.
This Boost also supports mental clarity, alertness, and focus.
Power Greens - Power Greens Boost contains veggies like cucumber, kale,
and spinach to deliver a full serving of vegetables in each scoop.
Plus, this potent Boost supports the body's natural acid/alkaline balance.
Digestive Health - With a unique blend of 7 grams of both soluble AND insoluble fiber packed into
every single scoop, this formula stands apart from typical fiber supplements that contain only soluble fiber.
This powerful boost helps support regularity and digestive health.
Who should use Boosts?
Shakeology customers with specific health and lifestyle needs that these boosts help support.
Specifically, those with low energy, and that need an additional pick-me-up would be perfect for Focused Energy Boost.
Power Greens Boost is for those who don't like to eat veggies,
or for those days when one simply can't get enough veggies.
Digestive Health Boost is for those looking for the benefits of fiber to help maintain regularity
and support digestive health.
What Does It Really Mean To Have a Beachbody
During Beachbody’s annual Coach Summit, Beachbody co-founder and President Jon Congdon sat down with Dennis Ryan of AskMen.com. The result was a succinct, understated, and very important interview that became my favorite thing during the highlight-filled week. In this 10-minute interview, Jon discusses the history of Beachbody, why we do what we do, our role in the obesity epidemic, our goals as a company, and, essentially, gets to the heart of why I began working here in 2001 and don’t plan to stop until they pry my cold, dead fingers off my dumbbells. Here are a few highlights:
• On what Beachbody really stands for: “It’s not a literal meaning. It’s more of a state of mind. It’s not about having a hard body. It’s about being happy with who [you] are.”
• On the heart of the company: “If we’re not giving people results, we’re failing.”
• On how our Coach Network got started: “Word of mouth has transcended marketing over the years.” This is true. Many of our top coaches, who are incidentally millionaires, began doing what they do now by helping us on our Message Boards, for free, simply because they believed in what we were doing.
• On our role in solving the obesity epidemic: “I would love to say we’re where we need to be, but we’re not. We’ve done a lot but we’re aiming high. Fourteen years in and it feels as though we’re just getting started.”
• On our customers: “Our success is directly tied to having success with our consumers…The feeling of accomplishment (from finishing one of our programs) propels them in other aspects of their lives. It’s kind of unbelievable and a beautiful thing to watch.”
• On the best advice to give someone who wants to make their life better: “I get that question a lot in regards to physical transformation. And, I get it a lot as an entrepreneur. The answer is basically the same. It’s just to start.”
"It Feels Good to be Proud of my Body"
Michelle O. lost 40 lbs with 21 Day Fix, 21 Day Fix EXTREME, FOCUS T25, PiYo,and Shakeology. She entered her results into The Beachbody Challenge®, and won the $500 Daily Prize for July 29th!
Tell us about your life before you started the program. How did you feel about yourself and your body?
I was in a bad place when I found my Coach. I had 3 beautiful children ages 2 and under (including a set of twins), yet I was not happy. I felt tired, lazy, lacked energy. I would sit and watch my children play because I didn’t have the drive or energy to get up and play with them. I binge ate in the afternoons because I didn’t know what else to do. I was almost to my breaking point and I knew I needed to change something.
What inspired you to change your life and begin your transformation journey?
I was outside one day with my kids and I automatically went to my husbands shed to get a chair so I could sit and watch them. As I was doing it I thought, “Why did I automatically do this?” Why didn’t I want to play with them? Why was I always just sitting and watching them? I wanted to play with them but lacked the energy. That moment was the moment I knew I needed to change something. I didn’t want to be that mom. I didn’t want to be the mom who was always sitting and watching. I wanted to play, jump, wrestle, laugh, run. I wanted to enjoy my children.
What is the greatest challenge you faced before beginning the program? How did the program and Beachbody® help you overcome that challenge?
My biggest challenge was my eating habits. Every afternoon it seemed I would mindlessly search my kitchen for something, anything. I would eat chocolate chips, I could eat a whole half gallon of ice cream, a bag of chips, whatever I could find. Breaking this habit was my biggest obstacle. My Coach was such a huge help along with the 21 Day Fix eating plan and Shakeology. I was able to make meal plans and stick with them with the help of my Coach, and drinking my Shakeology in the afternoon helped with my cravings. The Shakeology was the key for me, I think. It crushed those cravings and allowed me to stick with the plan. Once I overcame that, my energy level started climbing and I now enjoy working out and eating healthy, and most of all, I enjoy playing with my kids.
What in particular did you like about the program you chose?
Shakeology is the perfect addition to any of the workout programs I have done. It has been the only constant in my entire journey. I have done several of the programs and Shakeology has always been a part of it. It gives me a ton of energy, tastes like a treat, and keeps my eating on track every single day.
Describe the results you achieved with your Beachbody program. Which achievements are you proud of?
My increase in energy is my first personal achievement that I can truly say I am proud of. It has changed my life completely. I have also lost 40 lbs with Shakeology, 21 Day Fix, PiYo, 21 Day Fix EXTREME, T25 and the other programs I have done. It feels so good to fit into my clothes and not feel the least bit self-conscious! After carrying twins and gaining a lot of weight with my pregnancies, it feels good to be proud of my body!
How has your life changed since completing your Beachbody program?
I am a better mother 100% since starting Shakeology and doing these programs. I play with my kids. I’m no longer a side-line mother. I laugh, wrestle, run, chase, tickle, and play. The smiles on their faces says it all.
How did your Team Beachbody® Coach support you on your journey?
Amy Pocock was a big part of the reason I was so successful. I texted or messaged her every single day and she never once made me feel like I was a burden or annoyance. She supported me and helped me stay on track. I truly believe if it wasn’t for her, I would not have gotten where I am now.
How did a Beachbody Supplement or Nutritional Product or Program (such as Shakeology® or Beachbody Ultimate Reset®) support your transformation? What are the greatest benefits you gained? Did you see benefits to your energy, sleep, mood/mental clarity, digestion/regularity?
I used and use Shakeology every single day. I’m sure it has helped my energy level but the biggest thing for me is it helped my cravings. By drinking it in the afternoon when I used to binge eat, I was able to kick that habit completely, and it feels great!
Did you achieve any other measurable improvements with a Beachbody Supplement or Nutritional Product or Program? (e.g. Blood Pressure, Blood Sugar, triglycerides, etc…)
My blood pressures used to run borderline high (high 120s to low 130s/80s) and the last 2 times I was at the doctor I was 105/60 and 107/62. That’s pretty amazing if you ask me. Also my total cholesterol has dropped and my good cholesterol is now up in the normal range, which was great to see!
The question ...
"After an intense cardio workout, my heart rate stays up and doesn’t come back down to normal for about an hour. Why is this? What can I do about it? It’s uncomfortable.” – Judy S.
First off, it’s not a dangerous situation, so you can also choose to let your body handle it over time. But since you’re finding it uncomfortable, let’s go through the various causes – likely you’ll realize one (or more) of them is the culprit. You may also be inspired to know the strategies covered here will lead to better and quicker results from your workouts.
Your workout is hard, which is good, but…
The main reason your heart rate doesn’t drop back down quickly is your workout was hard and your body is having trouble cooling down. The simplest solution would be to try less hard, but that’s a poor choice since it will slow your results. Instead, the following tips will fix your situation. It’s a compound issue, so practicing all of them every time you workout is going to help your situation more than just incorporating one of them. It’s also important to note that it doesn’t matter what kind of workout you’re doing. If it’s hard, these are your answers.
Lengthen Your Cool Down
Your body will cool down on its own, over time, but you can help it do this quicker. Beachbody workouts tend to have short cool downs, which is because almost all of our customers are worried about how much time they have to exercise, but we always encourage more if you need it.
You will often hear our trainers tell you to do whatever you need to recover after a workout. Many of our programs have a workout made for this slot. For example, in most of The Asylum workouts, Shaun T will recommend you do Relief, if you need it.
A cool down is designed primarily to help you slow your heart rate and stretch or, to be more precise, lengthen muscle fibers that have been contracted during your workout. This action enhances your body’s ability to recover beyond what it will do naturally, and your heart rate will follow suit.
Up Your Hydration
Lack of hydration is probably the number one reason your heart rate is slow to slow. Most of us are chronically dehydrated and should drink more water daily. Even if you’re not chronically dehydrated, workouts speed up the dehydration process and one of the first symptoms of dehydration is elevated heart rate. Dehydration can also lead to your heart rate not going as high as you’d like it to during workouts but don’t get confused, it’s part of the same problem. When you’re dehydrated, your heart doesn’t work right. That means it won’t go as high or as low as it should.
The best hydration strategy is to drink a glass of water as soon as you wake up and do this every couple of hours until you go to bed. You should aim to drink at least half your weight in ounces each day.
During exercise, you deplete quicker, which is why most trainers build water breaks into their workouts. You should not ignore them! You’ve probably also heard that electrolytes, or body salts, are an important part of hydration. This is true, but we’ll look at them as a part of nutrition.
Fuel Your Body Properly Pre, During, and Post-Workout
Proper nutrition helps your body rebuild quickly after exercise, and slows how quickly you break down during exercise. A proper nutritional strategy can help you recover much, much quicker. This is a broad topic, and entire books have been written on it, but here’s a brief overview.
You should go into your workout properly hydrated, which includes not only water, but also electrolytes. Electrolytes are an array of minerals, primarily sodium and potassium. Most people get enough salt in their diets—too much in fact—but healthy people often get too little because they’re eating fewer processed foods. If you’re on a healthy, whole food diet, you probably get enough salt for daily activity but not enough for exercise.
This is where a good sports drink comes into play. Unfortunately, most people use these drinks when watching sports, which is bad for you. Many mainstream sports drinks know this, and formulate more for taste than necessity. You want to drink sports drinks when you’re exercising (or playing a sport) because then, you’ll quickly put their ingredients to use. Look for more boutique lines of sports drinks, as these tend to have less sugar and more diverse electrolyte mixtures, and are a much better choice for fueling your workout.
Workout performance and recovery are the greatest influences on how quickly your body achieves results and the key times to fuel for those are pre- and post-workout. Going into a workout properly fueled enhances your ability to train harder. Proper fueling post-workout, when your body’s blood sugar (technically called glucose and glycogen) will greatly enhance recovery (up to 400% according to some studies), and the quicker you recover, the faster your heart rate slows down.
What you should eat pre and post-workout are broad subjects but there are many products on the market designed to fill these slots with targeted calories that are used efficiently by your body.
In closing, your body’s heart rate slows after a workout based upon how quickly your body recovers from the effort. This can be influenced by cooling down properly, hydrating completely, and following a diet that includes solid pre, during, and post-workout strategies.
Author Steve Edwards
Shaun T Talks About CIZE
Have you heard? Shaun T has a new program on the way! CIZE is a dance program that’s going to help you melt off the pounds. We chatted with him all about it. But first, Shaun wants to prove it to you--right now--that you can dance….even if you don’t think you can. Just follow the moves as he teaches them to me.
Shaun T: Right now you might think I’m crazy, but I want you to do this for me as I talk you through it.
Uh, I’m in an all glass conference room.
You don’t have to stand up. You can do this very discreetly. Cross your arms, then open them. Then put your left hand on your right shoulder as if you’re wiping something off. Then open your arms and put your right hand on your left shoulder. Then open your arms again. So cross, open, left shoulder, open, right shoulder, open cross.
These are all things you’ve done. You’ve crossed your arms when you’ve waited for somebody. You open up your arms when you’re like “what?” And you’ve put your hands on your shoulders, just to wipe something off your shoulders. That’s how dancing happens. You’ve done so many of these movements before, you just have to remember what you did and put it to the beat.
A lot of people come up to me and they’re like, I don’t have rhythm. I’m like do you have a favorite song? Yes. You might not sound good singing that song, but when the song comes on, you can sing to the song, which means there’s rhythm in your mind. You just have to put it into your body.
That’s true. But, have you always been a good dancer?
I was a natural at dancing, but when I started to learn other people’s routines, there was a struggle with being able to memorize them. I learned it’s like that game Simon, where the lights would pop up and you would have to press this and press that and you would have to remember the order as they added on lights. That’s basically what dance is.
I got into dancing in college. I changed my major to sports science and learned that group exercise is the one thing that will set you apart from any other personal trainers because, number one, you know how to be in front of people. Group exercise is in every gym and if you’re able to take a group of people through exercise, it makes you more marketable. For me, I didn’t want to do Jane Fonda aerobics or do a step class. I was like, I want to dance.
I watched the Grind Workout with Eric Nies and I was like, I’m teaching this. And like 90 people showed up to my first class. It was almost like I was forced to be able to dance. And to not only dance, but to teach people how to dance. But I realized that dancing–and teaching dance–was where I was supposed to be, and I just loved it.
You’re a natural, but what about the people who aren’t? Could they still get something out of CIZE?
Yes. You shouldn’t be afraid because it’s in the privacy of your own home. You don’t have to worry about people watching. The other thing is that this is not a program where you have to move forward, like with T25’s ALPHA and BETA rounds. Each time you finish your routine, you mark yourself. Are you the backup dancer? Are you front and center? You get to judge where you are in the process. The minute you feel like you mastered that dance, that’s when you move on. You don’t just move on because the calendar tells you to move on. You can do that workout, or routine, as much you want until you feel like you mastered it.
How do you know for sure if you’ve mastered it?
You know you’ve mastered a CIZE routine if you don’t need to listen to me. If you can just listen to the music and do the routine. The way I queue it, I’m like go up, go down. Move right, move left. Dip it down, push it up. If you can do the routine just by listening to the music and watching the TV, or if you can put on your favorite song outside of the video and do the routine, then you know you’ve mastered it.
Sounds like it’s good for beginners too. What sort of workout can someone expect?
Your cardio will skyrocket if you actually really work it out and push yourself. With dancing, you can, like anything else, be lazy or you can go for it. So if you go for it, you’ll lose weight and get toned. Like in some of the hip-hop routines, your quads start to burn and you’re on the balls of your feet, so you’ll gain more definition in your calves, and you will definitely lose inches around your waist. It’s an overall cardio and toning program where you won’t be using weights or doing push-ups.
How is it different from your other dance workouts, like Rockin’ Body and Hip Hop Abs?
One difference is that these routines are made to the songs, where as in Hip Hop Abs and Rockin’ Body, it didn’t really matter what song you were listening to or what track was on. It was just how you did the routines, where these routines are specifically made to CIZE up to these particular songs.
I see what you did there. Any final thoughts?
When you Press Play, you just got to go for it. You can’t walk into this program being nervous. If you, mess up or if you go left and I’m going right, just keep on going, because you’re eventually going to get it. You have to move with as much intent as possible. Every movement you do should have energy and purpose behind it. Just go for it. Go all in.
Author - Beachbody and Rebecca Swanner
5 Supplements That Could Transform Your Workouts
Author Denis Faye - Beachbody Blog
Nima Alamdari glanced over his shoulder like a character from a bad detective movie before he pushed the collection of blank white tubs across the table. “You really need to try these supplements, mate,” he said in that proper London accent that makes one sound like an expert in everything. “They’re bloody fantastic.”
If you’re into fitness, you’ve probably been in a similar situation at some point. Your workout buddy has some new powder or pill that he claims will revolutionize the way you exercise and he really wants to turn you on to it. Usually, you demur politely or accept the goods but never use them—unless he tries to hand you a suspiciously unmarked container…in which case you run in the other direction.
But Dr. Alamdari isn’t some random gym rat—and I’m far too cynical to be swayed by a fancy British accent. He’s Beachbody’s Director of Scientific Affairs, former Harvard professor, and one of the smartest people I’ve ever worked with. What’s more, those white tubs were completely legit. They contained an early version of the product he’d spent the last two years working on: The Beachbody Performance Line.
I gladly slid the five tubs that would come to be known as Energize, Hydrate, Recover, Recharge, and Creatine into my backpack. As Beachbody’s Director of Nutrition Content, I’d been lucky enough to be involved with the project from its inception, so I’d been waiting for this moment. “We are known for exercise,” Dr. Alamdari pointed out. “Complementing that with world-class performance nutrition is just a marriage that is meant to be.”
The goal when creating the Beachbody Performance Line was simple: produce a collection of supplements adaptable for any serious exerciser that utilizes cutting-edge science as well as plant-based extracts, phytonutrients, and other natural ingredients—all without artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives.
The execution, however, had been quite a journey, so I was honored to be one of the first to take these babies for a test spin.
Dr. Alamdari didn’t whip up these supplements alone in his garage. He worked with Beachbody’s R&D department and enlisted the expertise of our recently-established Scientific Advisory Board to consult on the products and ensure their effectiveness.
This board includes Marcus Elliott M.D., founder of the Peak Performance Project (P3) for applied sports science; performance nutrition specialist Francis Stephens Ph.D.; Michael Balick Ph.D., an ethnobotanist and authority on the use of plants in food and medicine; microbiologist and food health expert Mansour Samadpour Ph.D.; and Dr. Alamdari, who was a member of the Harvard Medical School faculty before leaving academia for Beachbody.
“We are leveraging research done by the best in the world and we’re leveraging research that has been shown to work,” Dr. Alamdari explained about the collaboration.
Here’s a look at the lineup.
The goal of this lemon-flavored pre-workout mix is to improve performance, increase focus, and delay muscle fatigue. It does this with three key ingredients.
Low dose caffeine from green tea. Research indicates caffeine works via the central nervous system, delivering signals to your brain that energize you both mentally and physically. The current thinking is that low dose caffeine is every bit as effective as high dose—without the jitters.
Beta-alanine. This amino acid is a precursor to carnosine, a substance in your muscles that reduces fatigue by shielding against acid build up. One side effect of beta-alanine can be a slight tingling in the face or extremities—a feeling I’ve come to love because it tells me the stuff is working.
This anti-inflammatory phytonutrient is believed to increase the production of mitochondria, the “batteries” that make cells work. It’s also what gives Energize its disco-yellow color.
This citrus-flavored supplement is intended to be used during workouts to keep you well, hydrated. It also replenishes electrolytes. It does this by capitalizing on a fancy concept called osmosis.
Long story short, liquids containing fewer particles (ex. sugar, for example) will pass through a permeable membrane (ex. your stomach lining, for example) into a liquid with more particles in an effort to create a particle equilibrium between the two areas.
Many sports drinks contain a lot of sugar in an effort to both hydrate and fuel the body. The problem with this is that they’re hypertonic—meaning they contain more particles than blood—so they don’t absorb well. The result is they slosh around in the stomach, and any athlete who’s ever experienced “gastrointestinal discomfort” after chugging a bottled sports drink knows what I’m talking about.
Hydrate contains fewer particles—meaning they’re hypotonic—so it is absorbed by the bloodstream faster. The results is you hydrate more effectively and maintain a better electrolyte balance. This is especially important to athletes, considering that even slight dehydration can have a huge impact on performance.
While carbs can play an important role in exercise recovery, the current thinking pinpoints protein—about 20 grams of high-quality protein—should really be the focus. Right after you work out, your muscles go into serious rebuilding mode. By consuming protein within 30 minutes of working out, you give your body the building blocks it needs to do this effectively.
Recover is chocolaty post-workout drink does this with a propriety blend of fast-absorbing whey protein, medium-absorbing pea protein, and slow-absorbing casein protein to assure you have protein on hand for the entire process. Within the blend you’ll also find an optimal combination of branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), amino acids that are especially useful for building muscle.
It also contains pomegranate extract, which contains ellagitannins, powerful anti-inflammatory polyphenols shown to be highly effective for recovery from exercise.
Sleep is when all of your body’s natural recovery processes ramps up. To take full advantage, this pre-bedtime, vanilla supplement contains micellar casein protein. (Micellar means it’s especially pure.) Casein is especially useful during sleep because its slow absorbing nature means it will keep muscle synthesis going strong during most of the process. One recent study showed casein before bed increased amino acid activity for seven and a half hours.
Recharge also contains BCAAs as well as tart cherry extract, a natural anti-inflammatory substance packed with phytonutrients known as anthocyanins that have also been shown to mitigate exercise-induced muscle damage. Tart cherry also contains melatonin, a hormone that can improve sleep quality.
The reason for the various anti-inflammatories in the line is to attack inflammation as many ways as possible. “As an athlete, where inflammation is exercise-induced, what can the effect of nutrition do?” Dr. Alamdari pondered. “We are really trying to tackle whole body exercise-induced inflammation, taking multiple pathways.”
Rounding out the Beachbody Performance Line is a proven, safe creatine supplement. When you push your workout so hard that your muscles run out of oxygen, your body relies on phosphocreatine to generate adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the substance your body uses for energy. Supplementing creatine means you get a little more ATP, which means you can hammer out another rep or two.
There are several forms of creatine and every so often “the next big thing” comes out, but it never lives up to the hype. Beachbody Performance is creatine monohydrate, the most proven form around. It’s also sourced from Germany, a country known for the purity of its creatine.
If you’re supplement savvy, you know why it’s important to use “safe” as an adjective when discussing creatine, a substance steeped in misinformation. To counter stigma like this—and to give a clear, direct message that the entire Beachbody Performance Line is safe and legal, we’ve taken the extra step to have them NSF Certified for Sport, a program recognized by organizations ranging from the NFL to the PGA. ” There has been news recently on banned substances found in some sports supplements,” explained Michael Wilson, Beachbody’s Executive Vice President of R&D (and fellow cyclist), “We certified our Beachbody Product Line to give our customers the added assurance, whether they’re weekend warriors or professional athletes, that the advantage we’re giving them is safe and complies with the highest level of requirements in professional and amateur sports.”
When I lined up the tubs on my kitchen counter, I felt how you might be feeling now. All that science was really exciting, but was this stuff really going to impact my performance and recovery? In other words, what was in it for me?
As a competitive cyclist, I lay down 200+ miles weekly and burn through 1000+ calories with every workout, so it’s hard for me to get all the food I need. Add to this the fact that I’m a middle-aged man, and it’s pretty easy to understand why I’m sore most of the time.
So, I was pleasantly surprised when, within a week of supplementation, my usual soreness subsided. Drastically.
Then I started riding faster. Much faster, shaving minutes off a number of my personal records. And with my increased ability to hammer, my belt size dropped a notch, my thighs increased in size, and my weight didn’t shift—meaning I was losing fat and gaining muscle.
As I poured the last of my one-month’s supply out of my tubs, I told Dr. Alamdari I was ready for more. “Sorry, mate,” he shrugged unapologetically. “We’ve run out. Might have some more before the launch.”
I was shaken when the good doctor cut off my supply, but I’m no stranger to the mean streets, so I’ve been able to procure the occasional tub over the interim months—even though it’s been tough. Regardless, I’m as excited as anyone to see the Beachbody Performance Line launch, not just because it bumps this company up into the Big Leagues of Serious Sports Nutrition, but also because it’s helping me take my training to the next level.
What’s it going to do for you?
This Saturday, Beachbody’s celebrity trainers will come together to lead an epic workout right in the heart of Nashville. If you’re attending the Team Beachbody Coach Summit, make sure to set your alarm and go! If you’re not…you can still participate! All you need to do is log on to Beachbody On Demand and you’ll be able to stream it live.
Set your calendar for 6 AM CT (That’s 7 AM ET, 5 AM MT, and 4 AM PT) and get ready to sweat along with thousands of other fitness aficionados. Talk about motivation!
Don’t have access to Beachbody On Demand? Try it FREE for 30 days.
What’s Beachbody On Demand?
It’s our new digital service that gives you access to stream more than $3,000 worth of world-class Beachbody workout videos from your favorite trainers including Autumn Calabrese, Shaun T, Chalene Johnson, Tony Horton, and Sagi Kalev. As long as you’re a Team Beachbody Club member and have an internet connection, you can stream these workouts from anywhere in the world, directly from your computer, laptop, or smartphone!
The Five Pillars of Willpower
Congratulations! You’ve made the decision to turn things around, so you’ve ordered ChaLEAN Extreme or 10-Minute Trainer—or maybe you’re really going for it with FOCUS T25 or P90X3. But that’s only half the battle. After a long day at work, do you really want to Push Play—especially if it means missing American Idol or happy hour with your coworkers? And what about your coffee-and-dessert movie date the next night? Plus don’t forget Sunday is big family dinner night. When is there time for a social butterfly like yourself to squeeze in a workout?
To complicate matters, when you try to explain that you’re on a diet or you’ve already made plans to work out instead, friends and family seem to take it personally, as if you secretly think they should be on a diet! If you’re like me and have an old-fashioned family that eats big, calorie-loaded dinners all the time, telling Mom or Grandma that you’re trying to cut down on portion sizes virtually guarantees that you’ll get handed a second helping of her famous homemade everything—and that second helping will be bigger than the first!
Here are five tips to help you foster and maintain the willpower you’ll need to achieve the fitness goals you’ve just set for yourself, especially when no one else around you seems willing to lend a hand.
1. Take time to explain. If you’re frustrated that those around you aren’t more supportive, or don’t understand why you’re doing this, it’s possible that you need to be clearer about your new plans to get fit. Take the time to explain to family and friends that this isn’t just a fad or a flimsy excuse to avoid hanging out with them. Showing that you’ve got a fitness goal in mind, and a well-thought-out way to achieve it will not only help them understand you’re really serious about it; it’ll also help reinforce it in your own mind, helping you stay focused on what you really want. Besides, once you’ve told the important people in your life what you’re up to, you might be happily surprised to find out that a couple of them might actually want to join you. Boom—instant buddy system for keeping that willpower focused and motivated!
2. Lend a hand, accept a hand. Your immediate circle of friends and family isn’t the only show in town when it comes to getting support. Don’t forget that you have literally thousands of friends on the Beachbody message boards who are experiencing a lot of the same things that you are, and thousands more people on the message boards are standing behind you 24/7 ready to listen and help. And once you get used to accepting their help, you can start giving back and supporting others. It’s a win/win!
3. If you must eat, drink and be merry, at least make it healthy! OK, so maybe not everyone’s idea of a fun time is doing a P90X workout with you or going on a rigorous hike. And let’s face it: Big, communal meals are always going to be a popular way for loved ones to gather together. So how about going to a restaurant that serves healthier choices, or offering to help out in the kitchen for a home-cooked meal by introducing ingredients and recipes that are both more nutritious and perfectly delicious to boot? It’s easier to have the willpower to stay focused on your goals when you make sure healthy choices are readily available.
4. Don’t forget portion control. Even when you do successfully make the switch to healthier foods, eating huge amounts of them won’t help slim down your waistline. A few great tricks for cutting down the amount you eat? Leave the last bite or two unfinished. Never go back for seconds. And if you have a drink, sip it slowly, and one’s the limit! Believe it or not, you’ll still feel full and satisfied without bursting at the seams. (And yes, drink water liberally throughout the evening.) Remember, you simply can’t get magically fit by eating too much and doing all the same old things, no matter how tempting it may be.
5. Give yourself a day off and a well-deserved pat on the back! So you managed to make it through the day or week resisting all these outside forces, and you’ve stuck to your guns. (And your fitness program!) You finally get some alone time, only to feel like you’re ready to give in to all of your old vices. Don’t do it! But do treat yourself to a relaxing massage or a yoga session instead of a vigorous workout if you like. Congratulate yourself on negotiating the tricky dance of sticking to a serious fitness plan in the face of constant pitfalls. And thank your loved ones who have learned to support and even join you in your new quest for a fit and healthy lifestyle.
Yes, willpower comes from within, but learning how you can inspire your loved ones to help you in your journey to a fitter, healthier lifestyle proves the old adage that what goes around comes around. Letting everyone around you know that you really want to make your fitness plan work, and that you’d really appreciate their support as you do it, makes it easier both for you to stick to it and for them to help you stick to it. By successfully defusing all the classic ways your resolve can be eroded, it only makes your willpower—and you—grow stronger.
Author Jeanine Natale
Bone Broth: The Next Big Thing? - Beachbody Blog
By Lesley Balla
If you’ve always believed that chicken soup truly heals the body (and soul), you’re in luck. “Brothing,” or sipping nutrient-rich bone broth, is on the rise. Everyone everywhere is talking about how bone broth helps joint pain and inflammation. How it not only fights colds and flu, but also prevents dehydration, aids in digestive healing, makes your skin, hair and nails prettier, and even reduces cellulite.
With its recent trendy rise--a two-second web search will result thousands of articles, blogs, recipes, and even books like Nourishing Broth by nutritionists Sally Fallon Morrell and Kaayla T. Daniel PhD--restaurants across the country now serve broth by the cupful, with devoted sippers drinking it in to-go cups instead of tea or coffee. Bone sales have gone up at meat counters, and more and more people are simmering pots of broth at home to savor throughout the day. Paleo devotees, nutritionists, celebrities, and even some sports personalities have come out as serious broth fans.
Is this just another magical elixir being touted as the ultimate cure-all: Juice one day, broth another? Not really. Simmering beef, chicken, pork, or fish bones and parts for long hours with herbs, vegetables and other healthful additives has been a staple in many cultures since the beginning of time, or at least since someone put animal parts and water in a turtle shell and cooked it over fire. Nearly every civilization has some sort of stock or broth, and not just because it tastes good and is inexpensive to make, but because it’s filled with health benefits, a fact that’s becoming more and more scientifically supported.
“When we were sick as children, our parents gave us soup to drink. This is embedded in our culture and instincts,” says Dr. Liz Lipski PhD, a certified clinical nutritionist and Academic Director of Nutrition and Integrative Health programs at Maryland University, and founder of Innovative Healing. “We know that soup is good for us, easy to digest, and it provides fluids and nutrients. And making broth is typical of many cultures, whether Asian, South American, or European.”
It’s true. Many Asian cultures serve broth on its own or as a base for soups, porridge, and sauces. Kitchens all over Japan, Korea, and Thailand have pots filled with bones, cartilage, and vegetable scraps bubbling away on the stove. It’s served in cups before and after meals, or whenever someone needs a middle-of-the-day pick-me-up. In Chinese medicine, a good fortifying broth is often prescribed to boost the immune system, support digestive systems and “build blood,” or encourage the production of new blood cells in the body and fortify them with iron, vitamins and folic acid. Because we are made of the same things--bones, marrow, minerals--Chinese practitioners use nutrient-rich broth to help nourish the kidneys, liver, lungs, and spleen. It’s believed to help build our qi, or our life force, our essence.
In South America, there’s a proverb that “good broth will resurrect the dead.” In Bolivia, broth made with beef bones and cow’s feet, which adds a good amount of natural gelatin, is added to many recipes. In Brazil, chicken and fish broths are the base for stews and soups. Clarified broths, often called consommés, have been served and sipped in European households since the Middle Ages. Moshe ben Maimon, a 12th century Egyptian physician and philosopher, wrote in a treatise that chicken soup helped heal respiratory tract symptoms. There have been numerous scientific studies to back that up, including one from the American College of Chest Physicians that found chicken soup was useful in reducing upper-respiratory inflammation, the cause of most discomfort when someone has a cold. Turns out mom and grandma really do know best.
Lipski, who also authored several books on digestive health, including Digestive Wellness and Digestive Connection, often recommends soups and broths to people who are feeling debilitated, or those with bone loss and joint problems. “Broths don’t have a lot of calories, but they do contain a variety of beneficial nutrients and minerals, including free amino acids, calcium, glycine, proline, magnesium, potassium and fluoride,” she says. “When animal bones are simmered for 12 to 24 hours, it’s like a liquid mineral supplement.”
What do all of these vitamins and minerals do? Amino acids like glycine and proline help build muscle and lessen inflammation, and minerals and sodium from a well-salted homemade broth help battle dehydration. You can see why athletes are fans. Floride is good for your teeth, potassium and calcium are good for your bones. Broth is a great source of collagen, the base materials for our cells, which is integral to regeneration and healing. And when made properly, i.e. with good bones with cartilage and marrow, the natural gelatin produced from a slow-simmered broth helps things like leaky gut syndrome, something that’s often associated with everything from food allergies to asthma, chronic fatigues and more. Leaky gut is when the intestinal lining of your stomach becomes too permeable and allows undigested food particles and bacteria to leak into the bloodstream. Nutritionists believe the gelatinous nature of bone broth literally helps fill the holes allowing the body to absorb and digest nutrients properly. Soup, it does a body good.
Like Lipski, Yvonne Kohsel, a California-based corporate wellness trainer and nutritionist, has been turning her clients on to broth for years. Sipping liquid is a palatable and easy way to digest all of these valuable vitamins and minerals, and she’s seen it work wonders on people of all ages. “Whether 35 or 80 years old, everyone suffers from something, from diabetes to prior injuries, weekend warriors or the actively aging,” she says. “I bring a thermos full of broth each week for them to try.
One client, a retired trauma nurse who has been taking glucosamine supplements for joint pain but wasn’t seeing results, started improving once broth became a staple in her daily diet. “It’s also easy to digest, so it’s perfect for people with sensitive stomachs or conditions like celiac disease,” says Kohsel.
That’s how celebrity chef Debbie Lee got hooked. She’s long been sipping seolleongtang, Korean broth made with ox and beef bones, brisket, and other meaty cuts, in Korean cafes or in her grandmother’s kitchen. But she only recently got turned on to broth as a meal supplement or something to sip instead of coffee. “Go to any noodle house or cafe in Koreatown, and they aren’t going to offer an appetizer,” says the Food Network personality and cookbook author. “They bring you a cup of broth. It’s so satisfying and nourishing.” Now it’s her go-to for health benefits.
Lee always knew broth made her feel good, but now she had something to back it up. Not only does she start almost every day by drinking her chicken or beef broth--“It’s my new coffee,” she says--she sips it throughout the day, and even sips it at night instead of a cocktail or glass of wine.
With the help of her nutritionists, Lee created a “bone broth cleanse” for Mind Body Fork, her new Southern California meal delivery service. Her two broths--one beef, one chicken--are made from grass-fed animals, along with vegetables like daikon, ginseng, and seaweed. “As a cook, you often go back to your family roots,” says Lee. “For me, chicken soup was always with ginseng. And when you add things like ginger and ginseng, you’re adding immunity-boosting elements, and it makes you feel a bit refreshed. Plus, it just tastes good.”
From a culinary standpoint, the major difference between stock, something most people make with leftover chicken bones, aromatics, and vegetables, and broth is the cooking time. “Stock is like the preliminary stage of broth,” says Lee. Roasting the bones adds an enhancement of flavor, and by simmering it overnight instead of just a few hours, it fortifies the broth releasing all of the nutrients. And a good broth will be gelatinous when cooled.
There really is no one recipe, but most broths follow those rules, including those served at Brodo, chef Marco Canora’s broth-only take-out window in New York, which put a huge spotlight on the trend; Belcampo Meat Co. in Marin County and Los Angeles; and Asian Box, a fast-casual organic bowl restaurant in California.
“Our broth is a combo of bones and skin from beef, pork, lamb, and poultry, which we simmer in water and apple cider vinegar for 24 to 36 hours,” says Belcampo Meat Co. president Bronwen Hanna-Korpi. You can get cups of broth for around $3 a cup as well as frozen broth for $10 a quart to take home. “The skin adds a nice richness and texture. After the broth simmers, we lightly salt it and strain to remove fat.” By simmering it for so long, the bones leach out all the nutrients they can offer--the proteins, minerals, and collagen--so it has all the benefits in a healthy, easy-drinking package.
That’s why it’s most important to start with great ingredients. Belcampo Meat Co. raise their own organic, grass-fed animals for their butcher shops, and using those bones and parts as a building block for broth is integral to its health benefits. After all, if you’re simmering bones and other ingredients to their most concentrated form, starting with hormone-free, organic and grass-fed ingredients, is crucial. It’s what makes these “gourmet” broths different than, say, what’s found in cans and boxes on grocery shelves. You don’t really know the ingredients in most of those, plus the sodium content can be sky high.
When New York-based food writer Kelly Dobkin came down with debilitating vertigo a few years ago, it turns out her homemade bone broth was what helped the most. “I went to every doctor and had every imaginable test. An allergist, endocrinologist, cardiologist, neurologist, you name it. This went on for months. No one could figure out what was wrong with me,” she says. And then her acupuncturist suggested that her ailment was extreme dehydration, and told Dobkin to start drinking “bone marrow soup.” Even in the middle of a hot East Coast summer, she drank broth every day for six months. Not only was she getting the hydration she needed, but there were other health benefits, like leveling out her blood sugar between meals. “All the cellulite on my body pretty much vanished after one month of drinking broth, too,” she adds.
As a senior editor for Zagat.com, where she reports on food trends in New York and across the country, Dobkin is excited to see the enriching elixir becoming more popular. When Canora opened Brodo in the East Village, one of the first to specialize in broth only, she was naturally drawn to it and realized its potential.
“My acupuncturist reminded me that the first thing you put in your body is important to your health, digestion and immune system,” she says. “And a hot ‘blood-building’ liquid is ideal.” While she doesn’t carry it around like a cup of coffee, Dobkin has tried and likes Brodo’s broth, but she still makes hers at home. “I have a feeling it’s going to get a lot easier to find the high-quality homemade kind in the coming years.”
How to Stay Cool During Summer Workouts
Working out in the summer heat can be a miserable, sweat-soaked endeavor. As much as you don’t want to slack off, let’s be real—when it’s a bazillion degrees with 8,000% humidity, just lying on your couch in your air-conditioned living room starts to look reeeeeally tempting. But with the proper preparation, you can keep your workout going strong throughout the dog days of summer. Here’s how to weatherproof your workout.1. Get the Timing Right
Blazing sun isn’t going to do you any favors, so if you are going to exercise outside (or if you don’t have air-conditioning), schedule your workout for early morning or late evening. “It’s ideal to work out before or after the heat index rises,” says Elizabeth Kovar, an ACE Master Trainer and mind-body movement specialist. “If your schedule doesn’t allow you to work out during those hours, play it safe by working out indoors.”
2. Stay Hydrated
Okay, so I royally screwed this one up a few weeks ago. On the first day of a nasty heat wave, I went for an early-morning run while it was still “only” 86 degrees out. Minor tactical error: I only drank half a glass of water when I woke up. I spent the rest of the day on the couch nursing a splitting headache, achy muscles, and wicked nausea. Oops. “Guidelines recommend consuming 17–20 ounces of water two hours before exercise, 7–10 ounces of fluid every ten minutes during exercise, and 16–24 ounces for every pound of body weight lost after exercise,” says Jessica Matthews, MS, an exercise physiologist for the American Council on Exercise. If you’re working out for an hour or more, you may also want to replace electrolytes with Results and Recovery Formula or coconut water.
3. Eat to Beat the Heat
Excuse all the rhyming, but it really is important to eat properly before a summer workout, since the wrong foods can boost your body temperature. “Avoid spicy foods, which stimulate heat production,” Kovar says. “Also, high-protein foods and anything greasy will be harder to digest, thus enhancing internal heat production.” Stick with easy-to-digest foods like fruit, eggs, or yogurt instead.
4. Dress the Part
This one’s really easy. “Lightweight, loose-fitting, minimal clothing can provide a greater skin surface area for heat dissipation,” Matthews says. Black may be slimming, but wear light colors to reflect the heat from the sun, and choose moisture-wicking fabrics to stay cool and dry.
5. Scale Back
On crazy-hot days, you may need to change your “go hard or go home” philosophy to “go easy or go inside.” If you’re acclimated to hot weather, then you may be able to tolerate a tough workout in extreme heat. But if you live in an area where three-digit temps make headlines, scale back when a heat wave hits. “Anything lower intensity or steady state is probably more achievable mentally or physically,” Kovar says. If you’re planning on doing high-intensity interval training, she adds, “Try to find a shaded area or take the training indoors.”
6. Heed the Warning Signs
Heat exhaustion isn’t a push-through-the-pain situation. Unchecked, it can lead to coma or death—so if you start to feel crampy, dizzy, or nauseous, stop immediately and start doing damage control. “Drink plenty of water and remove any unnecessary clothing,” Matthews says. “You can also mist your skin with water to bring your body temperature down.” If your skin is hot but not sweaty, or your pulse feels fast and weak, those are signs of heatstroke. “Call 911 and get cool any way that you can until help arrives,” Matthews says. Anytime the heat index is over 90 degrees, you’re at risk for heat exhaustion; over 105 degrees, it’s almost a given.2 So play it safe—if you know you can’t handle the heat, head indoors.
Author Kara Wahlgren
Hi I'm Kelly Richards Mulloy a stay at home mom of 6. I am on a journey to change my life inside and out. Health and fitness, staying young, join me.