Monday, September 30, 2013

Are you Magnesium Deficient?

Magnesium levels affect asthmatics
Asthma can be a direct result of magnesium deficiency. Dietary magnesium intake has been shown to be an independent factor that contributes to bronchospasm. This means that low magnesium levels can be responsible for the sudden constriction of the muscles in the walls of the bronchioles; magnesium can help by reducing this feeling that is termed a  ‘bronchoconstriction’ by relaxing those muscles. Taking a magnesium supplement can lessen the severity or frequency of asthmatic attacks.
Anxiety can be affected by magnesium levels
Feeling shaky? Nervous? Irritable? You may be lacking in magnesium. Low levels of magnesium can affect your everyday behaviour in the way that you handle stress and the way that you concentrate. Nervousness, irritability, panic attacks, aggressiveness and depression can be because of a magnesium deficiency.
Magnesium levels can reduce the risk of heart attacks in men
Did you know that men are more prone to heart disease as compared to women of the same age? Interestingly, heart attack sufferers are often found to be magnesium deficient. When magnesium is administered by injection into the bloodstream after a heart attack, the mortality rate from the attack is greatly reduced. In fact, many cardiovascular conditions are associated with low magnesium levels. Magnesium has antispasmodic effects on blood vessels, and lessens the constriction which is evident in cardiovascular conditions.
Magnesium levels can affect the frequency and severity of migraines
Migraines can occur as a result of low magnesium levels. It’s recommended to consume 600mg of magnesium per day to combat the dreaded migraine. Because magnesium helps your muscles relax, and some migraines are caused by stress or constriction of the blood flow to the head, maintaining your magnesium levels serves as preventive medicine.
Maintaining optimal magnesium levels can improve energy production
If your energy levels are lagging, listen up! Magnesium is a co-factor for many of the enzymatic processes which are involved in the production of energy. Magnesium can facilitate this energy production by enhancing the conversion of serum glucose to adenosine triphosphate (ATP) by transferring the necessary phosphorus molecule to the ATP molecule. It’s important to remember that when using magnesium supplements, improvement often occurs after 4-10 days.

~Thanks to Makaela Wilson

Monday, September 23, 2013

Do You Have Adrenal Fatigue?

exhausted_sleeping1. You can't sleep
In a perfect world, we would get a great night's sleep every night, wake up feeling refreshed, and move throughout the day with tons of energy. Instead, we rush from one thing to the next, day after day, month after month, which throws off our hormonal balance, making it tough to fall or stay asleep.

The fix:
Coax your body into a new rhythm. Try going to sleep before 10:00 pm. Even if you can't fall asleep, lying in bed in a dark room will start your melatonin production, which can help you get into a healthy sleep rhythm.

Screen shot 2013-09-18 at 9.27.01 PM

2. You've got dark under-eye circles
Sure, you might not be getting enough sleep. But dark circles crop up when stressors like fatigue, emotional stress, or dehydration (which is tough on the body) disrupt healthy circulation—and that shows through your thin under-eye skin. If your dark circles are accompanied by a sunken, hollowed-out look, that often indicates a more serious issue with the kidneys, and you should see a doctor.

The fix:
Slow. Down. No amount of eye cream or concealer or will help if you're overworked, exhausted, and overwhelmed by emotional stress. Do less, and be still more.

Period cycle off (1)3. Your cycle's off

If you have adrenal fatigue, you're probably also having issues with your thyroid and your menstrual cycleOne reason? The endocrine system (of which the adrenal glands are a part) are facing unprecedented exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals.  (A recent study showed women put 515 chemicals on their body every day.)

The fix:
You can't spot-treat your hormones. We're so accustomed to that in Western medicine—penicillin for an infection, ibuprofen for a headache... Instead, you have to look at your whole lifestyle (diet, stress relief, sleep, etc.)—and avoid personal exposure to disruptive chemicals by watching what you put in and on your body.

Opener14. You feel overwhelmed by life
Almost always, women with adrenal fatigue are completely stressed by their day-to-day lives and put self-care last on their list of least, until their bodies finally shut down.

The fix:
Learn to say no. Get rid of the things in your life that cost you energy, but don't give you much back, like unsupportive people and relationships. Putting your own needs first, and giving yourself permission to have more fun, will help with stress which, in turn, will take a load off your adrenals.

Screen shot 2013-09-18 at 9.39.41 PM5. You feel puffy, stiff, and sore
Your body reacts to stressful events, like giving a talk in front of 200 people, by getting adrenaline and cortisol flowing so you're energized and focused. But when you're constantly stressed, your adrenals become "pooped" and your cortisol levels plummet, leading to non-specific symptoms like feeling puffy, or stiff and achy in your joints and muscles.

The fix:
Get your adrenal glands evaluated (practitioners can look for something called "DHEA-S" in a routine blood work-up and do a saliva test for cortisol). But she warns that conventional docs don't necessarily know how to recognize the symptoms or treat the condition. Consider a combination of vitamins and supplements and mind-body interventions.

Screen shot 2013-09-18 at 9.41.00 PM6. You're exhausted after working out
If, instead of getting a boost of energy, you have major fatigue after working out.  It's not necessarily a sign that your boot camp classes are too tough. It could be because your adrenal glands are sluggish.

The fix:
Try meditation, gentle yoga, walking, or whatever helps you feel less stressed. Leave your desk for 15 minute walk outdoors for Vitamin D during the day! It'll help combat stress and give you a way to stay active, while you give your already-depleted adrenal glands a chance to rest and refuel.

Screen shot 2013-09-18 at 9.43.50 PM7. You're groggy into the afternoon 
The adrenal glands should emit pulses of cortisol all day, but stress and exposure to chemicals can change the cortisol pattern. We might not get energy until the afternoon or even 10:00 p.m..

The fix:
In case you're not convinced yet, slow down! And ditch the lattes. Every time you wake up and have a cup of coffee, you're ruining your chance of having a good day, since caffeine can put tons of stress on the adrenals. Instead, reach for foods that contain essential fatty acids, coconut oil, fish oil, avocado, and whole grains, like buckwheat (gluten-free).

Screen shot 2013-09-18 at 9.44.51 PM8. Your gut's off
If your body isn't getting what it needs, or if you're eating in a way that creates drastic blood sugar fluctuations, it's punishing to the adrenals. Plus, bloating and poor digestion are possible symptoms of adrenal fatigue—so your food choices and stomach issues and can be a cause and a sign of the condition.

The Fix:
Cut out processed foods, refined sugar, refined wheat, and gluten products. Instead, eat lots of good fats, fresh fruits and veggies, fermented food, and organic meats.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Afternoon Energy Slump?

Many people experience a slump in energy levels by the time the afternoon rolls around. A number of factors may contribute to this phenomenon. The most common cause is post-lunch hypoglycemia, which is related to your inability to burn fat.
Addressing your diet is key if afternoon fatigue is something you contend with on a regular basis. In addition to alterations in your eating, intermittent fasting is one of the most effective ways to flip your body from burning carbs to burning fat, thereby boosting your mental and physical stamina.
Other factors are related to when and how much you exercise. Poor sleep also plays a role, of course, and recent research highlights the interconnectedness between sleep and exercise.

Diet Is Key for Maintaining Your Energy Levels

Your body uses for two fuels for energy: sugar and fat. Our ancestors were adapted to using fat as their primary fuel, yet now, over 99 percent of us have adapted to using sugar or glucose as our number one fuel source. Because most are primarily burning carbs as fuel, afternoon fatigue is typically related to post-lunch hypoglycemia. By changing from using carbs as its primary fuel to burning fats instead, you virtually eliminate such drops in energy levels. Being adapted to burning fat instead of carbs has a number of benefits, including:
  • Having plenty of accessible energy on hand, as you effectively burn stored fat for energy throughout the day. One way to tell if you’re fat adapted or not is to take note of how you feel when you skip a meal. If you can skip meals without getting ravenous and cranky (or craving carbs), you’re likely fat-adapted.
  • Improved insulin and leptin sensitivity and decreased risk of virtually every known chronic degenerative disease.
  • Effectively burn dietary fat for your energy, which leads to less being stored in your adipose tissue, and the weight loss benefits associated with fat adaptation.
  • Being able to rely more on fat for energy during exertion, sparing glycogen for when you really need it. This can improve athletic performance, and helps burn more body fat. As explained by Mark Sisson, author of The Primal Blueprint, if you can handle exercising without having to carb-load, you’re probably fat-adapted. If you can work out effectively in a fasted state, you’re definitely fat-adapted.

First, Replace Carbs with Healthful Fats

Keep in mind that when we're talking about harmful carbs, we're referring to grains and sugars, NOT vegetable carbs. You need very little if any of the former, and plenty of the latter. In fact, when you cut out sugar and grains, you need to radically increase the amount of vegetables you eat since, by volume, the grains you need to trade out are denser than vegetables. You also need to dramatically increase healthful fats, which include:
Olives and olive oil(for cold dishes)Coconuts, andcoconut oil (for all types of cooking and baking)Butter made from raw grass-fed organic milk
Raw nuts, such as almonds or pecansOrganic pastured egg yolksAvocados
Pasture-finished meatsPalm oilUnheated organic nut oils
Avoid highly processed and genetically engineered omega-6 oils like corn, canola and soy as they will upset your omega 6/3 ratio. Trans fats should also be avoided, but contrary to popular advice, saturated fats are a key component of a healthy diet. A reasonable goal will be to have as much as 50-70 percent of daily calories from healthy fat, which will radically reduce your carbohydrate intake.
Fat is far more satiating than carbs; note that if you have cut down on carbs and still feel ravenous it’s a sign that you have not replaced them with sufficient amounts of healthy fat. Most people will likely notice prompt improvement in their health and overall energy levels by following this approach.

How Intermittent Fasting Can Help

Once you’ve addressed your diet, you can try intermittent fasting. This will effectively help shift your body from carb- to fat-burning mode. But, please, do not embark on a fasting regimen if you’re eating primarily processed foods and fast food meals. Fasting involves skipping meals and making sure you’re getting high quality nutrients with each meal becomes all the more critical.
Intermittent fasting involves timing your meals to allow for regular periods of fasting. It takes about six to eight hours for your body to metabolize your glycogen stores and after that you start to shift to burning fat. If you keep replenishing your glycogen by eating every eight hours (or sooner), you make it far more difficult for your body to use your fat stores as fuel. 
While there are several different intermittent fasting regimens, one of the easiest to implement simply involves restricting your daily eating to a narrower window of time, say 6-8 hours, instead of grazing all day long. This equates to 16-18 hours’ worth of fasting each and every day—enough to get your body to shift into fat-burning mode. Once you have made the shift to burning fat as your primary fuel, you will be shocked at how your cravings for sugar and junk food virtually disappear.
As a precautionary note, if you're hypoglycemic, diabetic, have adrenal fatigue or pregnant (and/or breastfeeding), please avoid any type of fasting or timed meal schedule until you've normalized your blood glucose and insulin levels, or weaned your baby. Others best served to avoid fasting include those lwith chronic stress and cortisol dysregulation.

Fighting Fatigue with Exercise

The issue of afternoon fatigue was recently covered in a Wall Street Journal1 article, which placed the focus on exercise:
“Researchers and fitness trainers say whether you exercise in the morning, afternoon or evening, small changes in your routine can keep you from suffering midday blahs.
Midday is the ideal time to exercise, some fitness experts say. A workout then can give you an energy boost lasting three to four hours... If you prefer working out in the evenings, it's best to avoid exercising two to three hours before bedtime to avoid sleep disruption... On the other hand, if you are a morning exerciser and not getting seven to nine hours of sleep, Lona Sandon, a Dallas fitness instructor and assistant clinical nutrition professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, suggests getting to bed earlier or exercising in the evening.
To avoid midday fatigue and preserve energy throughout the day, most trainers recommend doing more moderate workouts, meaning those in which you hit 70% to 80% of your target heart rate. "Listen to what your body is telling you," says Ms. Sandon. "If you have a high-stress work environment then vigorous workouts may not make you feel better. You might be better off with restorative yoga so your brain can slow down." An ideal schedule would be two to three high-intensity workouts during the week, mixed in with lighter workouts like yoga, walking or weight training, say fitness experts.”

The Importance of Non-Exercise Movement During Your Workday

Sitting for prolonged periods of time can also be a source of fatigue.To counteract the adverse health effects of sitting, which go far beyond mere fatigue, make it a point to stand up every 10 minutes or so. As explained by Dr. Joan Vernikos, former director of NASA’s Life Sciences Division and author of Sitting Kills, Moving Heals, the reason for these ill effects are due to the fact that when you sit, you’re not interacting with gravity.
Based on her groundbreaking research, we now know that the key is in how many times you interact with gravity, such as standing up from your seated position, in any given day. The act of standing up makes your body interact with the forces of gravity, which is what produces beneficial health effects. Interestingly, the lipoprotein lipase is dramatically reduced during inactivity, and increases with activity, the most effective activity being standing up from a seated position. Lipoprotein lipase is an enzyme that attaches to fat in your bloodstream and transports it into your muscles to be used as fuel. So essentially, simply by standing up, you are also actively helping your body to burn fat for fuel.
After reading Dr. Vernikos's book, Sitting Kills, Moving Heals, and interviewing her, I was inspired to give some serious attention to this because even though I perform a lot of structured exercise, including high intensity interval training, I too was guilty of sitting down a vast majority of the rest of the day.
I simply set a timer on my computer to go off every 10 minutes, at which point I rise from my chair and do four jump squats. As explained by Dr. Vernikos, squatting is an extension of standing. If you squat and stand, you can get the maximum benefit of working against the force of gravity. Moving every 10 minutes or so will also get your blood pumping to oxygenate your cells, which will also combat fatigue. I mix it up though and try to do six to eight different moves every 10 minutes. The ones I currently use are one legged squats, two legged squats, lunges, jump squats, hamstring stretches and pectoral doorway stretches.

An Obvious Culprit: Poor Sleep...

Not to be ignored of course is sleep. If you’re not sleeping well, it will be next to impossible to avoid lagging energy levels. According to recent research, maintaining a regular exercise program can help improve your sleep over time. It can also boost your cognitive performance.
That said, it seems clear that you can help set up a positive feedback loop where both your sleep and exercise benefits. Two key points to remember if you’re having difficulty sleeping include the following:
  • Create a sleep sanctuary. This means removing items associated with entertainment, recreation, work and hobbies, and turning your bedroom into a single-purpose space—one for sleeping. Of utmost importance: Make sure your bedroom is cool, dark and quiet. These three factors can have a major impact on your sleep. In regards to temperature, studies show that the optimal room temperature for sleep is quite cool, between 60 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit, so keep the temperature in your bedroom no higher than 70 degrees.
  • As for light, even the tiniest bit of light in the room can disrupt your internal clock and your pineal gland's production of melatonin and serotonin, hormones involved in your body’s circadian rhythm of sleep and wakefulness. So close your bedroom door, get rid of night-lights, and most importantly, cover your windows. I recommend using blackout shades or heavy, opaque drapes. Also cover up your clock if it has a lit display. Alternatively, you could wear an eye mask to block out any stray light.
  • Turn off your gadgets well before bedtime. Again, the artificial glow from your TV, iPad, computer or smartphone can serve as a stimulus for keeping you awake well past your bedtime by disrupting melatonin production. I recommend turning off all electronic gadgets at least one hour before bed. As Rothstein suggests, that time is far better spent reading a good old fashioned book, practicing relaxation techniques or meditating.

Banish Afternoon Fatigue with Appropriate Diet and Lifestyle Changes

So remember, if you’re frequently battling with afternoon fatigue, check your lunch selections, first of all. More often than not, you’ll find that the more carb-heavy your lunch, the more apt you are to feel tired an hour or two later. To remedy the situation, focus on shifting your diet from carbs to healthful fats. Once your diet has been addressed, implementing intermittent fasting is an effective strategy for really shifting your body into fat-burning mode.
Just remember that proper nutrition becomes even MORE important when fasting. Always listen to your body, and go slowly; work your way up to 16-18 hour fasts if your normal schedule has included multiple meals a day. Also be sure to address any hypoglycemic tendencies, such as headaches, weakness, tremors or irritability, as it can get increasingly dangerous the longer you go without eating to level out your blood sugar.
Once you’re fat adapted, your energy levels will remain fairly stable throughout the entire day, and you hunger cravings will virtually disappear. Exercise and sleep are also important factors, so experiment with your workout schedule to see what works best for you. Again, proper sleep can boost your exercise performance, and exercise in turn can help improve your sleep, forming a positive feedback loop.

~Excerpted from Dr. Mercola 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Most Delicious Green Juice

Enjoy this delish most green juice. Think of it as good nutrition foreplay. 
Randi Shake
¾ cup chopped fresh or frozen pineapple
¼ avocado
1 cup chopped dinosaur kale
½ cup seedless cucumber
2 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
1 Tbsp chopped cilantro
1 Tbsp chia seeds
6 ice cubes (or more as needed)
½ cup coconut water
1 pinch of sea salt
Blend all ingredients at high speed until smooth (makes two cups). Enjoy!
~Thanks to Jamie McKillop

Sunday, September 8, 2013

What Your Tongue Tells You About Your Health

Your tongue can actually “talk” to you about your health, particularly the health of your all-important thyroid gland. The tongue is one of the most important diagnostic areas.

What makes the tongue such a great diagnostic tool?

Your tongue – containing water, electrolytes, mucus, and enzymes – is a very sensitive organ, and its appearance changes with many physical changes in the body.The tongue is a “map” of the internal body. Like the face, the tongue is divided into five-elements. These five elemental parts are linked to the various internal organs. The colour and different parts of the tongue can also help reveal the source of the illness.
The size of the tongue and its coating by saliva can be used to reveal the cardiovascular condition of the heart. When the coating of the tongue is thick, it is a sign of the digestive system going off balance. Tongue size in relation of the mouth may indicate inflammation or swelling of the body. A purplish tinge in the tongue indicates blockages in the body.
The tongue is related to the five flavors: sweet, sour, bitter, salty and spicy. Each represents: Earth-Stomach, Wood-Liver, Fire-Heart, Water-Kidney and Metal-Lung tongue elementstongue elements1respectively.
By understanding the interactions of the five elements, we can use the countering cycle of the Five Elements to help strengthen the weaknesses in our organs. When we have a liver related problem such as gall bladder stone or related to nervous system, we should avoid spicy food. When it is a heart related problem such as weak heart or cardiovascular condition, we must cut down on salty food and lower our liquid intake. Perhaps heart patients need to take life ‘with a pinch of salt’. For a stomach related issue such as constipation, avoid sour intake. This helps to lessen our uptightness and anger. A kidney patient must avoid sweets as water element is countered by the earth element and for lung related problem, stay away from bitter food. The lung as a metal element is countered by fire element of the bitter taste.
The taste buds naturally adjust to balance what is lacking in our organs. When our five organs are in good condition, we will not indulge in any one particular flavor.
Get in front of the mirror and look at your tongue right now. The tip exhibits the fire element; behind the tongue tip is the metal element; both right and left sides the wood element; in the center towards the back is the earth element; and the very back of your tongue is the water element. Now that you know what element is where, how do you translate what your tongue is telling you?
Signs and symptoms
Here is what you want to see: A normal tongue should be pink, muscular without tooth marking or discoloration, and have a very thin clear coating that exhibits proper salivary secretions. Monitor your evolving health level by noticing color, shape, and coating changes in specific zones.
Tongue Color: When the color becomes deeper — going from pale to scarlet to purple — it means that there is increasing heat in the body. Heat may mean inflammation, infection, or hyperactivity of the organ network. When the tongue’s color becomes lighter — from pink to pale to paper white — it indicates cold, which can mean anemia, pathogenic cold factor, or low energy and function of the corresponding organ network. Patients with low immune system function, sometimes due to chemotherapy or chronic fatigue syndrome, may exhibit a pale tongue indicating low energy.
Tongue Coating: The thickness and color of the coating, or a lack of coating, can indicate different issues. When the coat of your tongue becomes thick, it is frequently a sign of imbalance in the digestive system. When the coat turns thick and cruddy, it generally points to decreased immune system with Candida (yeast infection). When the coat turns yellow, it often signals infection or inflammation in the body. A peeling coat is usually a sign of damage or weakening to certain systems of the body.
You can further diagnose underlying problems by analyzing the regions of your tongue; these show you which organ network is affected.tongue

1. Tip of Tongue

Fire: Cardiovascular System

The fire element zone, which corresponds to the heart-small intestine network, is located at the tip of the tongue. This includes matters of the heart, both emotions and the physical health. Stress and anxiety will show up as red color and red dots on the tip of the tongue. Increasing heat signs means hyperactivity in the heart network due to stress and tension.

2. Sides of  Tongue

Wood: Liver Network

The sides of your tongue display the wood element. Teeth markings on the sides of the tongue usually mean stagnant energy in the liver network. You may also notice a bluish-green or purplish hue or spots in this zone. Dark spots may indicate more serious problems.

3. Behind the Tip of the Tongue

Metal: Respiratory and Immune System

The band-like area across the tongue and just behind the tip is the metal element zone, which corresponds to the respiratory and the immune systems. When this area turns reddish, or when red pin-sized dots occur, it usually means a respiratory infection is on its way or is settling into the body. Paleness in the metal zone may reflect a weakened immune system. In rare fungal infections of the lungs, there may appear a brownish black coating over this zone.

4. Center of the Tongue

Earth: Digestive System

This area is the earth element zone, and it is related to the stomach-spleen-pancreas network. Problems of the digestive system most often show up here in the center of the tongue.  GERD -  stomach and esophagus acid reflux that keeps many people awake at night -  may be seen with redness and a yellowish coating in the center of the tongue. Subtle changes in this area may indicate digestive problems that have not surfaced yet; observe this area and take prophylactic steps if necessary.

5. Back of your tongue

Water: Kidney-Bladder Network

The back of the tongue reflects many of the body’s functions, but is mainly the domain of the water element, or kidney-bladder network, which includes the hormonal system and sexual glands. The two large, elevated papilla on the back of the tongue are a normal part of the taste buds. What you should look for is color and coating. For example, a thick yellow coating at the back-center of the tongue in females indicate that they are very likely to get a bladder infection. It is recommended – in this case – to immediately start drinking 8 to 12 glasses of filtered water a day, take 5,000 mg of vitamin C, and to drink cranberry juice or take its extract. Many physicians say that this regimen will typically help prevent a bladder infection.
~Thanks to Healthy Palates

Friday, September 6, 2013

A Comprehensive Guide to Post-Workout Smoothies

Post-indoor cycling or a long run:
Sip on: a coffee, banana, and chocolate protein smoothie
coffee_smoothieFor “major replenishment” after intense cardio workouts, we recommend a supercharged smoothie with electrolyte-balancing banana, chocolate protein (“you don’t want to burn through your muscle”), and, surprise, a splash of iced coffee. Cardio doesn’t quite have the long after-burn that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) does, so caffeine can help continue to keep your metabolism revving a bit longer.

Recipe: Half a frozen banana, ¾ cup of almond milk, ¼ cup iced coffee, 1 scoop chocolate protein (whey or plant-based), ice.

Sip on: Kale, green apple, almond, and vanilla protein smoothie
ohsheglows_greenAfter pulsing, tucking, and toning, try a nutrient-rich kale-almond-apple smoothie, with loads of calcium for bone health and fiber to stave off post-workout hunger and help keep you feeling full.  Barre is typically attended by women, who need to focus more on bone health, since we’re more vulnerable to osteoporosis than men.

Recipe: 1 cup kale, ½ green apple, juice from half a lemon, ½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1 scoop vanilla protein (whey or plant-based), 4 ice cubes.

Post-HIIT, Tabata, or kickboxing:
Sip on a banana, almond butter, and chocolate protein smoothie

After a butt-kicking interval class laced with weights, plyometrics, and cardio, yes, you should probably chug some water. And you’ll be wise to replace the carb, fat, and protein stores you’ve burned through. If you don't refuel properly, you likely won't make progress, rather, you'll continually break down muscle tissue, and not see strength gains or muscle development, which could lead to over-training. That’s where banana (carb), almond butter (a healthy fat that also helps cellular function and energy), and chocolate protein for muscle repair come into play.

Recipe: Half a frozen banana, 1 tbsp almond butter, 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk,  1 scoop chocolate protein (whey or plant-based), 4 ice cubes.

Post-TRX or strength training:
Sip on: Strawberry-banana smoothie

strawberry_bananaSome people are really ravenous after strength training, and the fiber in strawberries - and the chia help fill you up! They’re also low in sugar and high in antioxidants. A bit of protein helps restore and build muscle. Half a banana helps with electrolyte balance—but watch their sugar. If there’s no sustained cardio, then you don't need to replace your glycogen stores, and you can skip the extra calories you might enjoy from almond or peanut butter in a smoothie after a HIIT class.

Recipe: Half a frozen banana, ½ cup frozen strawberries, 1/4 cup chia seeds, ½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1 scoop chocolate protein (whey or plant-based), 4 ice cubes.

Post-Dance Cardio or yoga:
Sip on: Watermelon grapefruit juice

watermelon_grapefruit_juiceYou just soaked the floor with your moves or your yoga flow, so hydrate! I love a blend of sweet and tart fresh- or cold-pressed fruit, and this one is just 135 calories. Watermelon is all about rehydration, grapefruit acts as an appetite suppressant (just until your next meal), and agave or stevia adds a little sweetness to help balance the bitterness. Protein is used for muscle repair—hopefully not a lot of muscle is being broken down and in need of repair in dance cardio or in yoga.

Recipe: Press or blend 2 cups watermelon (no rind), half a grapefruit, stevia to taste, ice is optional to make it more of a smoothie or slushy.

Post-Hot yoga:
Sip on beet carrot apple juice

beet_womenshealthandfitnessauA 60-90-minute hot yoga class requires plenty of rehydration to recover! Most people, due to the heat and humidity, aren’t necessarily hungry after class. A juice blend with beets, carrot, apple, ginger, and lemon (135 calories) will do the trick! Beets can help lower blood pressure and contain tryptophan, which can help keep you and your mind calm and relaxed long after savasana.

Recipe: 2 beets with greens, 1 red apple, 3 carrots, 1 inch chunk of ginger, 1/2 lemon (peeled) and juiced.

~Thanks to Melisse Gelula

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