3 Refreshing drink recipes for summer

ImageWhen the summer heat is bearing down on you and you’re sweating in places you’ve never sweated before, it’s important to stay hydrated, especially if you’re active. Water, of course, is your best bet when it comes to replenishing your body fluids and flushing toxins out, but it’s not always exciting to reach for a big, tall glass of plain water.

Tea and alcoholic beverages are not the best choice for replenishing your body fluids, because both of these are a diuretic – meaning, that you will urinate frequently when you consume these drinks. Depending on how much you drink, you may be losing more fluid than you’re taking in.

Instead, mix up your own refreshing drinks to enjoy when you’re working outside or lounging by the pool. Here are three delicious – and hydrating – drink recipes that will get you through the dog days of summer.

Agua Fresca

2 cups of fresh fruit (choose your favorite!)

4 cups ice cold water

2 tsp. lime juice (fresh squeezed if possible)

Garnish with sprig of mint or lime wedge if desired

Sweetner, if you like your drinks sweet

Directions: Blend water and fruit together in your blender. Strain over a glass with ice, add lime juice and sweetner if desired. Enjoy!

Basil Limeade

1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn (must be fresh, dried won’t work for this recipe)

4 cups ice cold water

½ cup lime juice (fresh squeezed if possible)

Sweetner, if you like your drinks sweet

Directions: Muddle basil by placing in the bottom of the pitcher and slightly crushing the leaves. Mix lime juice and water, and pour over basil leaves. Sweeten to taste and pour over a glass of ice. Garnish with lime wedges if desired. You can also make basil lemonade by simply substituting the lime juice for lemon juice!

Mojito Cooler

1 cup ice cold water

1 cup fresh mint leaves, torn (must be fresh, dried won’t work for this recipe)

¼ cup lime juice (fresh squeezed if possible)

Splash of club soda

Sweetner, if you like your drinks sweet

Directions: Muddle mint leaves by placing in the bottom of the pitcher and slightly crushing the leaves. Mix in lime juice and water, and pour over the mint leaves. Sweeten to taste and pour over a glass of ice. Add a splash of club soda and garnish with fresh mint and lime wedges if desired.

If you are in New York City and interested in joining an all woman’s boot camp  please visit  NYC ADVENTURE BOOT CAMP, mention that you found us through our blog for and extra 15% off a membership. Come work out like a GIRL!!!

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The weirdest trick to get you to start eating less!

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Portion control is the single best way you can revamp your diet without missing out on the foods you love. Portion control can not only help you lose weight, but it will give you more energy and keep you from feeling overly full and bloated after eating. However, it’s not so easy to do in today’s world. Restaurants will typically give you a double or triple portion on one plate, and it’s tempting to eat it all until you’re just stuffed. If you’re used to eating large portions, starting out controlling how much you eat can be really difficult.

Not to worry – there is one simple trick to start eating less TODAY, and although it’s a little weird, it works!

What is the trick?

Brush your teeth after you eat the portion you’ve designated for yourself!

It’s not a fool proof method by any means. There’s nothing truly stopping you from eating a piece of chocolate pie or the rest of the fried chicken in the refrigerator after you brush your teeth. However, following a good brushing (and mouthwash!), food tastes less appetizing. Your teeth feel clean and your breath tastes fresh, and the idea of eating again just won’t appeal to you as much.

Decide how much you want to eat and once you’re finished, make a beeline to the bathroom or even the kitchen sink to get your brush on. If you’re going out to eat, bring your toothbrush and a travel size tube of toothpaste with you. You will likely not have to do this forever – once you get used to eating smaller portions, your body will become satisfied with that amount. But it’s an excellent tool to keep in your arsenal for when you’re really tempted to eat something you shouldn’t. If you are, just brush your teeth! That cheesecake isn’t going to taste as good after a big swish of mouthwash.

Not to mention that your teeth will be fabulously clean and you’ll have a gorgeous bright, white smile to show for it. That, and you’ll never have to worry about onion breath after you chow down. 

Committed to your success,

Stacy Papakostas

NYC Adventure Boot Camp for Women
www.NYCAdventureBootCamp.com

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How to get the bikini body you’ve always wanted

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Bikini season is coming and unfortunately, after a couple of days…ahem, weeks…of indulging for the holidays, you’re likely looking at your itty bitty, teeny weeny, yellow polka dot bikini with fear and loathing. There’s no way you’ll look good in that come summer, right?

Wrong!

Here’s how you can slim down, tone up and shed those extra few pounds before you have to don…dun, dun, dun…the bikini.

Up Your Water Intake

This is one simple thing you can do to start detoxifying your body and shedding the extra weight. A lot of it is actually water weight, because so many of our holiday foods are chock full of salt and sodium. It seems as though drinking more water to get rid of water weight is counterintuitive, but it’s not. The extra water will help flush out the salt in your body, which will help you retain less water. ‘

Nix The Carbs

Okay, so you don’t have to eliminate carbs completely. But swapping rice or pasta for more veggies and using whole wheat products instead of white are all steps you can take to start getting rid of the extra fat around your midsection.

Start Walking

Walking is an easy exercise that you can do almost anytime, anywhere. You can do it on your lunch break at work (walk around the office a few times), in the morning or even at home if you have a treadmill. When done correctly, walking will not only burn calories, it will also help tone your bod. Walk quickly, keeping your arms at a ninety degree angle. Maintain good posture and suck your stomach in!

Slow Down When Eating

It takes twenty minutes for your brain to figure out that your stomach has enough food in it. So if you cram your face with an entire meal in ten, you’ll think you’re still hungry and eat way more than you really should. Portion your meal out with how much you want to eat and then take at least twenty full minutes eating it. Sip water and set your fork down a few times in between bites.

Get A Pedicure

Getting a pedicure won’t help you lose weight, but it will help you feel more fabulous in your bikini. Not only will a pedicure make you feel fantastic, you’ll love looking at the summery splash of color on your tootsies. Having gorgeous looking toes does wonders for your self-esteem and will encourage you in your endeavor to get the bikini body you’ve always wanted!

Committed to your success,

Stacy Papakostas

NYC Adventure Boot Camp for Women
www.NYCAdventureBootCamp.com

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Sleep your way into skinny jeans

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Sure you’ve heard how important it is to get your “beauty sleep.” But can getting enough zzz’s actually help you lose weight? Surprisingly, the answer is yes. Eating healthy and exercising to lose weight is hard work – fortunately, heading to bed early is one easy way you can fit into your skinny jeans before summer.

Sleep Helps Control Your Appetite

Getting enough sleep has been shown to reduce appetite by raising leptin levels, a hormone that helps your body realize it’s full. When you’re deprived of sleep, the hormone responsible for stimulating your appetite – called ghrelin – raises. Studies report that sleep deprived women eat about 300 more calories per day than women who were well rested. So if you notice that you’re hungrier on days where you’re more tired or haven’t slept well the night before, you’re not crazy. You actually are hungrier.

You’ll Have More Energy

Well rested women tend to have more energy during the day – meaning, that if you catch enough zzz’s, you’ll be able to get into your workout for the day, as well as have the energy to complete the rest of the day’s tasks. Women who are tired will easily find excuses not to get up and exercise, putting it off until “tomorrow.” Exercise also helps you sleep better, so it’s definitely a win-win situation. If you find yourself in a situation where you’re exhausted and thinking about skipping your workout, don’t! You’ll sleep better that night, and you’ll have more energy the next morning.

Sleep Bans Belly Fat

If you’re anxious and stressed, chances are, you have more fat around your midsection than other parts of your body. Anxiety and stress are directly related to the presence of belly fat, but when you get enough rest, you’ll notice that your anxiety and stress levels go down, as well as your jeans size. Sleep helps to reduce belly fat by controlling every day stresses and anxiety.

Sleep Helps You Combat Your Genetics

If you are genetically predisposed to being overweight or obese, getting too little sleep will make you more susceptible to your “fat genes.” A recent study revealed that getting under seven hours of sleep a night (or more than nine) may increase overall weight. Women who hit the magic number of “7-9 hours of sleep” tended to weigh less. So being well rested will actually help you fight your fat genes, and help you get into your skinny jeans!

If you are in New York City and interested in joining an all woman’s boot camp  please visit  NYC ADVENTURE BOOT CAMP, mention that you found us through our blog for and extra 15% off a membership. Come work out like a GIRL!!!

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The Top 6 Healthy Foods to Have Everyday

Many people believe that eating healthy foods is tied to weight loss or special conditions like pregnancy and illness. However, there are many foods that can and should be consumed daily for optimal health and wellness. They are nutrient-dense, pretty affordable, and can be easily incorporated into many recipes. The six of these healthy foods are listed below.

1. Apples

How many times have you heard the saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”?  This fruit has been known to lower high blood pressure and reduce inflammation in the body. Apples also contain antioxidants and immune system-boosting vitamin C. The fiber found in apples is an excellent source for regularity of the digestive tract and the pectin in apples breaks down gall stones allowing them to be passed with minimal discomfort. One of the top varieties is the Red Delicious and is best when eaten fresh. To avoid ingesting the heavy pesticides, buy organic whenever possible.

2. Bananas

In addition to being an excellent source of potassium, bananas have a wide variety of health benefits that include: balancing blood pressure, improving heart health, soothing ulcers, improving waste elimination, protecting eyesight, building stronger bones and improving kidney health. Bananas tend filling and satisfying. As an ice cream substitute, peel, slice, and freeze 2 medium bananas. Remove from the freezer and either blend or run through a food processor until smooth.

3. Lemons

Widely known for its vitamin C content, lemons neutralize free radicals which can cause tissue inflammation and cancer. They are wonderful examples of healthy foods that can be consumed daily. Upon rising each morning, squeeze the juice of one lemon into 8-16 ounces of water and drink. In addition to boosting the immune system, the citric acid rids the intestinal tract of harmful parasites.

4. Carrots

Carrots are healthy foods that contain high amounts of vitamins A, C, and K and other minerals such as potassium, folate, and manganese. Health benefits from eating carrots include improved eyesight, reduced acne breakouts, reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer prevention. (Hester, 2007). Carrot ginger soup is one great way to enjoy all of these benefits. Peel and slice 4 large carrots, add 1 tablespoon of fresh minced ginger,  ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper, and salt to taste. Combine all ingredients in a pot and cover with 6 cups of water. Boil until just tender. Blend until smooth and enjoy!

5. Spinach

Spinach contains vitamins A, C, and K as well as calcium, folate, potassium, phosphate, selenium, and iron. Spinach is high in antioxidants, has powerful cancer-fighting agents, has anti-inflammatory properties and is excellent for bone health. Eat it fresh in salads, lightly sauteed, or even juice it along with carrots, apples, lemon, and ginger to cleanse your system and boost your energy levels.

6. Quinoa

Quinoa is a protein-packed grain that contains fewer carbohydrates and more healthy fats than any other grains and meats. It is gluten-free and has high concentrations of iron, calcium, potassium, and fiber. Quinoa is high in antioxidants and heart-healthy. Use quinoa as a side dish or as a base for meatless dishes like bean burgers.

These six foods can be used in a variety of recipes and can also be enjoyed as side dishes or snacks. By consuming a variety of these nutrient-dense, healthy foods, the body will be able to heal itself and move quickly along the path to vibrant health.

If you are in New York City and interested in joining an all woman’s boot camp  please visit NYC ADVENTURE BOOT CAMP, mention that you found us through our blog for and extra 15% off a membership. Come work out like a GIRL!!!

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