How to Stay Lean for Life

When it comes to staying lean, it really comes down to your consistency.  You need to be consistent with your workout, your diet, what you eat and the healthy habits you keep.  Here’s five tips to maintain a lean, healthy body for life.    

When it comes to staying lean, it really comes down to your consistency.  You need to be consistent with your workout, your diet, what you eat and the healthy habits you keep.  Here’s five tips to maintain a lean, healthy body for life.

Five Keys to Staying Lean for Life:

Eat Food the Way Nature Intended

Fresh, natural whole foods provide us with an abundance of nutrients we need to stay healthy and fit.  Fresh food is just fine the way it is, there is nothing  needed from food that has been overly processed, and shouldn’t even be considered food!  Fresh fruit and vegetables deliver an abundance of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants and phytonutrients that help us metabolize the food we eat, fight off disease, regulate our hormones and supply us with energy in the form of fibrous carbohydrates.

Plant foods help build a foundation, while high quality proteins deliver a source of aminos needed to build and maintain lean muscle and keep us strong.  Additionally healthy fats from natural sources such as olives, avocados, whole eggs, seeds and nuts help aid in hormonal balance, while also helping stimulate metabolism.

Bottom line, do your grocery shopping from around the perimeter of the grocery store, where the fresh natural foods are, and whenever possible buy organic to reduce exposure to other chemical toxins, pesticides and hormones that can disrupt hormonal balances, cause unnecessary inflammatory responses, lower immune response and disrupt your ability to build muscle and burn fat!

Don’t Overeat

Even if you’re eating plenty of good calories, staying lean and trim for life requires some form of control over your eating.  If you eat too many calories, and don’t workout enough you will end up gaining weight, or maintaining weight instead of burning off anything excess you’ve consumed.   However, remember that diets with too much calorie restriction can also work against you resulting in muscle losses, weight loss and muscle building plateaus and metabolic slow down.

Instead of extreme dieting, pick a diet that works with you and one that you can maintain for the long run.  If you have excess to lose, then of course you will need to eat less, but once you reach your goal, maintain your new body for life by sustaining a calorie and nutrition regime you can stick with – one that gives you enough energy to power through your workouts, get through your long days and maintains a body you love!

Most weight maintenance diets are equal to 12 to 15 times your body weight in pounds depending on the amount of activity you perform.  Experiment and determine what type of diet will give you enough energy to get through your day, and your workouts.

Eat Frequently, Avoid Fasting Diets

Eating frequently doesn’t increase metabolism, but what it does do is maintain a constant energy balance.  Eating too infrequently can lead to drops in blood sugar, and result in cravings and hunger, while also disrupting hormonal balance and raising cortisol levels.  It has been shown that fasting diets are particularly unhelpful when it comes to healthy diets for women.

Recent research showed that fasting could negatively impact female hormones, and cause excess cortisol secretion. When cortisol is high, fat burning hormones and metabolism are slowed down, while hunger cravings increase.  This is because cortisol raises demands for blood sugar in the flight or fight response, causing a drop in blood sugar, which ultimately results in an increase craving for sugar!  This results in the body maintaining an elevated cortisol level during fasting, leading to storage of fat instead of burning it off.

Even more interesting one study showed that even short periods of fasting over 1 or 2 days was enough to increase cortisol levels and disrupt hormone balance in women. For best results eating frequently, about 4 to 6 times per day depending on your need, and eat roughly the same volume of food at each serving.

Eat a Balanced Diet

Eating diets that are excessively low in carbs and excessively high in protein may result in fast weight loss, but once you’ve lost the weight that diet will get very hard to maintain for the long run.  Building and maintaining a lean and healthy body for life, doesn’t require extremes just consistency.

A diet that provides macronutrient ratios including 40% protein – about 1 g per pound of bodyweight, 30% carbs and 30% fat, will not only maintain lean muscle, but will also provide you enough energy to power workouts!  These ratios may change slightly depending on your goals, your activity level and your current weight.

Eat a variety of high quality protein sources including hormone-free, free-range meats, poultry, whole eggs, and organic low fat dairy.  Carbohydrates should consist of low glycemic fruits like berries and apples, squashes, root vegetables and whole grains, while fats should come from natural sources such as olive oil, avocados, nuts, seeds and coconut oil.

Listen to Your Body

We often get caught up in diet advice because we think it will be the ‘magic bullet’ that will solve our fat burning problems quickly, instead of spending the time to listen to our bodies, and observing what works and what doesn’t work.  While basic principles of nutrition may apply to the masses, it doesn’t mean it will work for you too.

Take time to understand how your body reacts to the food you give it, do you need more or less calories for optimal performance, do you work better on higher amounts of carbs and less protein?  Everyone’s metabolism is different; the rate at which you burn off food, how your body reacts to food and how you utilize that food is completely individual.

Pay attention; use a food tracker app to monitor how much you’re eating, when you’re eating, how food makes you feel and what types of food give you better results.  By observing your own eating habits, you’ll be able to better understand what works and what doesn’t work for you.  A coach can also help – go here!

Until Next Time…

Be Fierce & Rule the World,

Lauren Jacobsen

5 Diet Rules Worth Following

Losing weight can be challenging, but with dedication and a few diet rules, it is possible. As women, we tend to hold more fat weight, which means we need to seriously put in the work, not just in they gym, but also by following a consistent diet plan.

Losing weight can be challenging, but with dedication and a few diet rules, it is possible. As women, we tend to hold more fat weight, which means we need to seriously put in the work, not just in they gym, but also by following a consistent diet plan. The beauty of consistency, is when you show that level of discipline, the people around you will start to notice too.  And over time, they will adjust and accept, that’s just part of you.  And maybe you will have a positive impact on them too. Don’t ever apologize, or complain, this is your life, your goals and your body.  You got to do what it takes. Bending rules, forgetting meals, or going out for happy hour with the girls all the time, is just not going to cut it.

Here are 5 Diet Rules Worth Following:

Diet Rule #1: Diet Dedication

If you want to get that body into top-notch condition, you can’t waiver from your dedication to your diet.  That means you can’t decide to be on your diet today, and not be on it tomorrow.  You need to commit, to every last bit of it. Even when you are tired, and don’t feel like cooking, or when yummy food is being waved in front of your face.  There are no ifs, buts or maybes when it comes to dieting. When you are dedicated, that commitment will show, maybe not today, but give it time the results will far exceed that piece of cake you gave up.

Diet Rule #2: Restaurant Food is Not an Option

If you want to be sure you know what you are eating stay dedicated to your diet.  You don’t know what is in restaurant or delivery food.  It might seem like just a salad and chicken, but watch out for added ingredients that will add unneeded calories. It’s always better to eat at home, and then you can be certain you know exactly what you are getting.

The cleaner and more consistent your food choices, the better your results will be. That’s not saying that you should never eat out again, but if you are dedicated to a goal and want your body to look a certain way, avoid going out until you have reached that goal.  Set small goals along the way to have the occasional meal out, do this as you drop weight and have speed your metabolism up.

Diet Rule #3: Never Forget Your Food

Bringing your food with you might seem like a pain, but if you really want to get that hot body, you better start doing it pronto.  If you know you have to eat every 3 hours, then obviously you need to bring food with you during the day, when you go to work – right?  Even on weekends, if you know you’re going to be out and about for more than 3 hours, why risk not bringing your food with you?  Get into the habit of meal prep, pack a cooler bag full of your meals, and snacks so you will never be left empty handed. Missing meals is not good for your results or your blood sugar.

Diet Rule #4: The Scale is A Kitchen Kit Essential

The scale is of utmost importance.  The scale makes sure you are getting the exact amount of food you need, nothing more and nothing less.  There is actually a lot of science to eating when it comes to weight loss.  The amount of calories you are eating is critical to keeping to your meal plan.  If you are eyeballing your portions, you are more than likely eating too much! Invest in a good scale, a set of measuring cups and some measuring spoons; these are part of your kitchen tool kit for successful eating!

Diet Rule #5: Follow The Right Plan for You!

One of the hardest parts about dieting can be finding the right plan, a plan that delivers the results you want and works with your body’s unique metabolism and hormones.  Most women do better on a meal plan, a plan that is laid out for them, easy to follow and provides specific instructions!

Need some help getting there?  I offer meal planning designed for women.  Women, just like you who want to take their body to that next level. I’m talking about dropping fat, getting lean, and putting on some lean muscle.  I know you are ready for some real results, are frustrated with basic level trainers, and are tired of searching for a diet plan or a workout that is going to get you that cover model body you have been after!

Now is the time to take action. The difference between you and me is that I spent many years of my life and a lot of money on trainers, diet plans, and lots of my own research and time figuring out exactly what worked for women. You on the other hand, have the chance to TAKE ADVANTAGE of all the hard work and time I put into figuring out the exact plan you need on how to get the body and results you want.  Go here to get a FREE consultation and start on your journey today.

Until Next Time,

Be Fierce & Rule the World,

Lauren Jacobsen

 

4 Metabolism Myths

If you think that your metabolism works simply by eating less and doing more, although that is partly true, it’s not that simple.  Your metabolism can be determined by a number of factors and can be influenced by a number of factors too.  For every action there is an equal reaction when it comes to your metabolism.  Do you know what’s truth and what’s myth when it comes to your metabolism?

Metabolism myths and truths? What do you know about your metabolism? If you think that stimulating your metabolism, works simply via eating less and doing more, although that is partly true, it’s not that simple.  Your metabolism can be determined by a number of factors and can be influenced by a number of factors too.  For every action there is an equal reaction when it comes to your metabolism.  Do you know what’s truth and what’s myth when it comes to your metabolism?

Here are 4 metabolism myths and what you can do about them.  

Metabolism Myths #1 – The Body Can’t Burn Fat and Build Muscle

While these two processes are opposite, and require opposite hormonal pathways, it doesn’t mean that they can only happen in isolation of one another.  Hormones involved in muscle growth include insulin, testosterone and even estrogen and progesterone to some extent, while hormones that help accelerate fat burning include norepinephrine glucagon, and adiponectin to name a few.  However, that being said, testosterone, estrogen and progesterone can also play significant roles in your metabolism, controlling fat-burning processes as well.  So what is the answer?  It’s not necessary to only focus on trying to lose weight, or only trying to build muscle.

A recent study showed that it is possible to achieve both and quickly!  Research showed that those on a low calorie, high protein diet plus an intense weight lifting program, not only retained but also gained muscle – about 2.5 pounds, while also losing body fat!  The lower protein group didn’t add muscle, but managed to maintain their muscle by simply lifting weights.  The high protein group lost 10.5 pounds, while the low protein group lost 8 pounds.  The extreme workout program got all participants stronger, fitter and improved body composition!

Metabolism Myths #2 – It Doesn’t Matter What You Eat, As Long As You Eat Fewer Calories

Wrong, although it is true that you must eat less if you want to lose weight, what you eat will determine exactly what you end up looking like.  A diet that is higher in protein, lower in carbs and provides a moderate amount of fat will ultimately slim down the body but will also help to maintain and build muscle, and can even impact your metabolic processes.  It has been suggested that a high protein diet is involved in appetite regulation of satiety hormones as well as increased thermic effect of food and protein induced alterations in blood glucose regulation, which can improve metabolic outcomes.

A recent meta-analysis showed that the thermic effect of food increases 7 calories for every 1000 calories of food consumed for each 10% increase in protein intake.  Therefore, if you consume a 2000-calorie diet with 30% of calories from protein, then the thermic effect of the food will be 13 calories per day higher than if protein contributes only 20% of the dietary energy!  Another study showed subjects that consumed 29% protein diet, had 213 higher resting metabolic rate than subjects consuming the same caloric diet with only 11% energy from protein.

Metabolism Myths #3 – Everyone’s Metabolism Works the Same

While the processes are the same, everyone’s metabolism is unique and dependent on a number of factors, including your age, your genetics, and even your body composition.  And what’s more being a woman!  Women have slower metabolisms than men, we also have less active fat burning receptors in the body, and as our estrogen levels change throughout the course of our life this can also have an impact on our metabolism specifically during and after pregnancy and during and after menopause.  The best defense, keep eating healthy and working out.  Following a fresh, wholesome diet and working out or being active regularly will help prevent metabolic slow down and fat weight gain as you age. Using a metabolism monitoring device can also help, such as the Lumen device.

Metabolism Myths #4 – Hormones Work Independently to Raise or Lower Your Metabolism

Nope, there are literally 100s of hormones in the body, that trigger cascades of pathways that influence metabolism including your appetite, your ability to put on muscle, your stress response, and even the amount of sleep you get, which all can have an impact on your metabolism in one way or another.

What can you do about it; don’t stop working out, or eating right. Living a healthy lifestyle will ultimately contribute to a healthy metabolic rate that will last a lifetime.   Eat a high protein diet, lower in carbohydrates and full of plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables that provide natural sources of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that can help us stay healthy and keep our metabolisms firing optimally!  In addition, following a workout that is focused on building and maintaining a healthy amount of lean muscle will also contribute to a healthy metabolic rate.   And don’t forget to sleep and de-stress!  Regular sleep of at least 8 hours per night, along with a de-stressing ritual like yoga or meditation can help lower cortisol levels, and keep your hormones balanced!

Until Next Time,

Be Fierce & Rule the World,

Lauren Jacobsen

 

References:

Longland TM, Oikawa SY, Mitchell CS, Devries MC, Phillips SM. Higher compared with lower dietary protein during an energy deficit combined with intense exercise promotes greater lean mass gain and fat mass loss: a randomized trial. Am J Clin Nutr.  103(3): 738-46.

Pesta DH, Samuel VT.  A high-protein diet for reducing body fat: mechanisms and possible caveats. Nutr Metab.  2014. 11: 53.

Here’s 7 Reasons Why You Should Take Probiotics

Probiotics promote a healthy balance of gut bacteria, which is essential to digestive health and even immune health, but that’s not all.  Here is an overview of the 7 health benefits of probiotics and how to take them!

Probiotics are the ‘good’ live bacteria that can help keep your gut stay healthy.  These probiotics can be consumed via fermented foods, yoghurt or via supplementation.  Most probiotic supplements come from either Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium.  Probiotics promote a healthy balance of gut bacteria, which is essential to digestive health and even immune health, but that’s not all.  Here is an overview of the 7 health benefits of probiotics and how to take them!

7 Health Benefits of Probiotics

  1. Help Boost Your Immune Function

Probiotics encourage the growth of ‘good’ bacteria; this helps keep the ‘bad’ – harmful gut bacteria from over taking your gut. The ‘good’ bacteria help encourage the production of immune cells and natural anti-bodies that can bolster your immune function.  In fact, 70% of the immune system is located in the gut.

Studies have showed that probiotics can regulate the functions of systemic, mucosal immune cells and epithelial cells and this could be therapeutic for immune response related diseases.  This regulation is most likely gene-specific and dependent on the probiotic and targeted cells1.

In studies in athletes, that may have compromised immune status due to high training loads, probiotics supplementation during intense training helped reduce the incidence of infection, particularly from URTI (upper respiratory tract infection).  Additionally, positive changes in circulating immune markers were evident2.

  1. Help Change Body Composition and Increase Fat Loss

Probiotics may also assist in modulating body composition.  Supplementation, both with and without weight training, can decrease levels of body weight and fat mass in overweight individuals and athletes.  A review on the effects of probiotic supplementation on body weight, body mass index, fat mass and fat percentage.  The review showed that supplementation of probiotics resulted in a significantly larger reduction in body weight, BMI and fat percentage compared to placebo3.

The method by which probiotics exert this action could be due to different mechanisms, but also the type of bacteria.  Probiotics may work on different hormones and neurotransmitters related to appetite, or calorie burning, while other probiotics may work by increasing excretion of fat by the gut.

In one study, dieting women who took Lactobacillus rhamnosus for 3 months lost 50% more weight than women who didn’t take a probiotic4.  Another 12-week, study of 210 people showed that those taking low doses of Lactobacillus gasseri had an 8.5% decrease in abdominal fat5.

  1. Improve Athletic Performance

Research indicates that probiotic supplementation can promote improvements in exercise performance through various pathways.  Supplementation with multiple strains of probiotics has been reported to increase VO2 max, aerobic power, training load and time to exhaustion.  Although the exact mechanism is not known, it’s suggested that probiotics may enable better performance by reducing the risk of infections and supporting the immune response during and after exercise.

Another mechanism could be through tryptophan regulation.  Higher tryptophan levels may enhance tryptophan transport into the brain, supporting serotonin metabolism and thus improving mood and reducing sensation of fatigue.

As for weight training, probiotic supplementation when added to a protein supplement expedited recovery and decreased muscle soreness.  This was evident by lowering serum TNF-alpha concentrations; a factor linked to suppressed protein synthesis, disordered sleep and impaired muscle performance6.

  1. Helps Keep Your Heart Healthy

Probiotics may help keep your heart healthy by decreasing bad cholesterol or LDL and increasing good cholesterol or HDL.  It was shown that probiotics create acids as they process food in the gut that counter cholesterol production.

Probiotics break down liver bile acids, which are mostly made up of cholesterol.  The result, the liver has to make more bile acids, using up more cholesterol in the process and preventing re-absorption in the gut, where it can enter the bloodstream7. Probiotics have also been shown to break down cholesterol and use it as fuel.

A meta-analysis of 32 randomized controlled trials of 1971 patients showed that supplementation with probiotics including Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium significantly reduced serum total cholesterol8.

  1. Help Improve Mood

Probiotics may also help improve mood via a few different mechanisms of the central nervous system.  Probiotics can alter the CNS biochemistry such as affecting Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), Gama Butyric Acid (GABA), 5-Hydroxytryptamine (5-HT), and Dopamine, which all influence mood and behaviour9

Probiotics help balance the gut micro-biome, which helps influence the production of specific metabolites that improves CNS function indirectly, and thus can promote improvement in mood, promote relaxation and decrease feelings associated with stress.

In one randomized double blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted on 70 individuals.  After 6-weeks of intervention, using either probiotic yoghurt or probiotic capsules, there was a significant improvement in mental health parameters10.

  1. Help Reduce Symptoms of IBS

IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a gastrointestinal disorder that is directly affected by its gut micro-biome.  Probiotics are thought to improve IBS symptoms such as bloating and abdominal pain by balancing out gut bacteria.

In an analysis of 7 studies, supplementation in IBS patients significantly improved symptoms compared to placebo.  Overall, the beneficial effects were more distinct in the trials using multi-strain supplements with an intervention of 8-weeks or more, suggesting that multi-strain probiotics used over a longer period of time have the potential to improve symptoms of IBS11.

  1. Help Reduce Allergies

Probiotics may help reduce the incidence and severity of allergic reactions, although the mechanisms are not completely understood.

Recent studies suggest that probiotic supplements demonstrate the capability to successfully modulate allergies. In humans, effects have been reported for alleviation of intestinal inflammation, normalization of gut mucosal dysfunction, and down-regulation of hypersensitivity reactions, thereby preferentially targeting allergic conditions with intestinal involvement12.

The performance of strains differs; each probiotic strain is a unique organism itself with specific properties. It’s most likely that many strains of probiotics would be required to elicit a positive effect on allergies.  Results seem to be determined by the diet of the individual, the age and the strain of the probiotics used.

How to Take Probiotics:

Consider upping your intake of foods that contain ‘live good bacteria’ such as cultures found in dairy products like yoghurt or Kefir in fermented foods like pickled vegetables, cabbage or sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha and even soy products.

Another option – take a supplement in the form of a capsule or powder.  Just be sure you’re getting what you pay for.  Make sure the probiotics are heat stable and are cold stored.  Be sure to read the label.  You also want to be sure that the product you choose provide the dose you need – at least 1 Billion CFU (colony-forming units) per serving/day.

Until Next Time…

Be Fierce & Rule the World,

Lauren Jacobsen

 

References:
  1. Yan F, Polk DB. Probiotics and Immune Health.  Curr Opin Gastroenterol.    27(6): 496-501.
  2. ISSN Position Stand: Probiotics. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2019. 16: 62.
  3. Borgeraas H, et al. Effects of probiotics on body weight, body mass index, fat mass and fat percentage in subjects with overweight or obesity: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.  Etiol Patho.
  4. Sanchez M, et al. Effect of Lactobacillus rhamnosus CGMCC1.3724 supplementation on weight loss and maintenance in obese men and women.  Br J Nutr.    111(8): 1507-19.
  5. Kadooka Y, et al. Effect of lactobacillus gasseri SBT2055 in fermented milk on abdominal adiposity in adults in a randomized controlled trial.  Br J Nutr.  110(9): 1696-703.
  6. Lang CH, et al. TNF-alpha impairs heart and skeletal muscle protein synthesis by altering translation initiation. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2002. 282:E336–E347.
  7. Saini R, et al. Potential of probiotics in controlling cardiovascular diseases.  J Cardiovasc Dis Res. 2010. 1(4): 213-4.
  8. Lang Wang MN, et al. The effects of probiotics on total cholesterol.    2018. 97(5): e9679.
  9. Wang H, et al. Effect of probiotics on central nervous system functions in animals and humans: a systematic review.  J Neurogastroenterol Motil.  22(4):589-605.
  10. Mohammadi AA, et al. The effects of probiotics on mental health and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in petrochemical workers.  Nutr Neurosci. 2016. 19(9): 387-95.
  11. Fjeldheim Dale H, et al. Probiotics in Irritable Bowel Syndrome: An up-to-date systematic review.  Nutrients. 11(9): 2048.
  12. Isolauri E, Salminen S. Probiotics: use in allergic disorders: a Nutrition, Allergy, Mucosal Immunology and Intestinal Microbiota (NAMI) Research Group Report.  J Clin Gastroenterol.  42(Suppl 2): S91-6.

10 Workout Mistakes Hindering Your Results

Many women unknowingly and routinely make workout mistakes that prevent them from ever reaching their ultimate fitness goals. Stop making these common and stupid workout mistakes now and start getting results.

Many women unknowingly and routinely make workout mistakes that prevent them from ever reaching their ultimate fitness goals. Stop making these common and stupid workout mistakes now and start getting results.

Workout Mistake #1: Sticking to the Same Old

If you continue to do the same you will get the same in return. It’s important to be consistent in your approach but if you don’t change your routine frequently enough your body will adjust and a plateau will ensue, which means fat burning and muscle building will take a halt.  You have to mix it up if you want to see progress. It’s easy to get into a routine, but if you don’t try something new you can forget about seeing results. Every 4 to 6 weeks, change things up.

Workout Mistake #2: Doing the Same Workout Every Day

As much as you want tighter legs, firmer glutes, and a flatter midsection, they shouldn’t be the only muscle groups you work. Give your muscles sufficient rest in between workouts and switch it up! Building a balanced body means working all muscles. There are countless ways to workout.  You can  divide your workouts into muscle groups, you can work opposite muscle groups, or divide your workouts into push and pull, do full body workouts, or do something completely different by getting outside or using kettlebells.  Use weights one day, and body weight the next.  The more you change it up, the better your outcome will be!

Workout Mistake #3: Ogling the Eye Candy

Its hard not to take a look, or two or three, but do your best to keep your mind and your eyes on the task at hand and not on that hot guys glutes squatting in front of you. Don’t be a gym bunny!  Yes, these days there is no shortage of meathead muscle in the gym, but ladies if you spend more time looking and flirting you’ll spend less time working your own hot body! Distractions will take you away from your intensity, and when the intensity falls so do your results.  Focus on yourself, and for that matter don’t let others looks intimidate you either, get in your zone and lift heavy shit!

Workout Mistake #4: Using Bad Form

Probably a no brainer, but if you’re not sure how to lift properly to begin with then you could not only be hindering your results but also risking injury.  I’ve seen it time and time again, yes it’s great that you’re making the effort, getting to the gym and working out, but if you really have no clue how to perform an exercise, swallow your pride and go ask for help.  If you want to build that body take your goals seriously – teach yourself how to lift properly.  Ask a trainer, go on YouTube and watch videos, find someone who has been lifting for awhile to teach you.  Learn the basic skills and you will thank yourself later for avoiding injury and progressing with your workouts.

Workout Mistake #5: Forgetting to Fuel Your Recovery

If you’re not getting in proper nutrition, you can kiss your hard earned work good-bye.  Don’t worry so much about getting in a meal immediately after your workout, be more concerned with getting in the right macros and calories throughout the entire day.  Nutrient timing is a thing of the past.  In fact, it has been shown that the anabolic effect – or ability to stay in a muscle building state, of a single meal can last for hours, even if you had taken that meal prior to your workout – a pre-workout meal.  If you’re going to make a commitment to your workout, be sure you also make a commitment to your diet!  If you want to ditch the skinny look, you need to feed those muscles to grow!  Follow a diet that provides at least 40 to 50% protein, 30% or less carbs and 30% or less fat depending on your activity and needs.

Workout Mistake #6: Rest Time Becomes Nap Time

Rest between sets, but don’t use this time so you can catch up on your TV, surf your social media pages on your phone or daydream about the body you want. Hold yourself to a set amount of time between sets. Muscles need about 1 to 2 minutes of rest at maximum between working sets, anymore is overdoing it!  Grab a drink of water, a heavier set of dumbbells and prepare your mental game for the next set.  Want to dial up the intensity more, forget about resting between sets and perform a super-set.  This is when you perform one set of a certain exercise, then follow it up by performing a set of a different exercise.  This can be accomplished by performing exercises of opposite muscle groups or just different exercises that work the same muscle group in a different way.

Workout Mistake #7: Cardio Warm-Up

Most women think they need to warm up on the elliptical or the treadmill before they set foot in the weight room. Wrong! If you want to warm up your muscles for a workout, do a light warm-up set of the actual exercise you are going to perform! Think about it, why would you warm up muscles that are not even going to be doing the exercise?  If your workout is on legs, do light squats with just the bar.  Working chest? Push out a few reps with a set of light dumbbells on a flat bench.  The set should be light enough to warm up the muscle, get the blood flowing, but not so heavy that you have no energy left to perform your working sets.

Workout Mistake #8: No Strategy

If you go to the gym wander around and do an exercise here and there, you won’t get very far! You need to have a plan if you want to be lean and muscular.   That means working every muscle group, every week, following a workout plan with consistency. The fitness fairies are not going to show up and magically add muscle, or burn fat off – you better weeeerk! Building a proper workout plan means you need to incorporate all muscle groups, and work them using exercises that focuses on developing a body that suits your goals, activity and needs.  Want a curvy hourglass – compound movements like squats and rows for muscular development better be on your plan!  Not sure where to start?  Go here.

Workout Mistake #9: Too Much Cardio

Cardio is an important part of your overall conditioning and getting lean plan, but you can’t over do it! You need to do cardio to keep your body fat in check and your metabolism up, but too much and you will be eating away at your muscle!  Focus your cardio on HIIT – high intensity interval training and a moderate amount of MISS – moderate intensity steady state cardio.  HIIT can be performed on a treadmill, bike or rower using intervals of maximum intensity with intervals of low intensity, where as MISS can be a light jog on the treadmill.

Workout Mistake #10: Zero Intensity

Showing up to the gym is a good start, but showing up with no energy, a bad attitude and no desire to lift the iron, will only result in a crap workout. If you’re not pumped to unleash your inner workout diva, ready to kill that workout, and are in your zone, than you might as well pack it in and go home. Intensity is what separates the girls from the fitness DIVAS, and what guarantees results!  Get into a habit of having a workout ritual – listen to some pumping trance or house tunes, workout with a partner, have a double espresso, whatever it takes to get your intensity up and excited to get in the gym and make a mess!

Until Next Time,

Be Fierce & Rule the World,

Lauren Jacobsen

5 Anti-Aging Beauty Secrets

It’s actually not as hard as you think to maintain a beautiful body, glowing skin and keep your mind as sharp as your stilettos! Here’s my top five natural anti-aging beauty secrets to decelerate the aging process!

When it comes to anti-aging – it’s all about prevention.  And starting that prevention from an early age.

So what is aging?  Ultimately it is the ‘time-related deterioration of the physiological functions necessary to thrive, survive and reproduce’. Aging occurs when our cells can no longer perform their basic functions.

As a result, everything in our body starts to slow down or breakdown – our skin starts to show wrinkles and sag, our memory starts to fail us, recovery from our workouts seem slow and our energy levels seem non-existent.

While aging is inevitable, there is some serious evidence to show that our lifestyle habits can have a direct impact on our longevity and the quality of our life, not to mention our looks too!

You need look no further then some of my favorite celebrity beauties like JLO and Shakira to see the results of living a healthy and active lifestyle.  These fierce females just don’t age!

Now I know what you’re thinking these beauties have access to the best health coaches, nutritionist, personal trainers, doctors, dermatologists, beauty experts and everything in between.  But it’s actually not as hard as you think to maintain a beautiful body, glowing skin and keep your mind as sharp as your stilettos!

Here’s my top five natural anti-aging beauty secrets to decelerate the aging process!

#1 – Cut the Sugar, Up the Plant Life! 

Your diet is probably the single most important thing you can change when it comes to age prevention. Now when I say the word diet, I don’t mean following some complicated, ultra restrictive diet, being consistent and following a healthy eating plan can have huge impact on your aging.

Here’s my top anti-aging diet tips that have worked to keep my curves tight and my body fit from the inside out for the last 20 or so years:

  • Cut the Sugar – sugar is inflammatory, inflammation can cause your skin to age faster by hardening the skin and causing wrinkles. Sugar can also impact your mood; cause cyclic eating patterns and lead to belly fat!
  • Up Your Protein Intake – reduce your carb intake to somewhere between 20 to 30% and up your protein intake to at least 40%. High protein diets help maintain your lean mass, which results in a faster metabolism and firmer body.
  • Eat Your Antioxidants – eat more plants! I’m talking about vegetables and fruit!  They’re full of natural vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and antioxidants that help regulate our metabolism and fend off free-radical attack from stress, pollution and even the rays from the sun.
  • Try Fasting, Calorie Reduction – eating less food, less often has been shown to result in a longer and higher quality of life. Eat somewhere between your basic calorie needs to the calories you need to maintain your current weight.  Be intuitive to your eating and stop before you’re full, consider fasting a few times per week, or limiting your eating to only certain hours of the day.
  • Eat More Fibre – high fibre diets help keep the gut healthy, why is that important? The gut is a direct link to our immune health, not to mention it can also help control absorption of excessive toxins and hormones that can cause damage throughout the body.  Fill up on leafy greens, and hearty veggies like broccoli, cauliflower and kale.

Here’s Your Complete 1-Day Anti-Aging Diet Guide. 

#2 – Lift Weights, Use HIIT 

My life used to revolve around the gym.  I competed in fitness for ten years and although I did achieve some amazing outcomes I wouldn’t recommend this type of dedication to anyone, nor is it required to have a fit body. Here’s what I’ve learned over the years and what you can do to maintain tight curves, defy gravity and aging.

  • Try HIIT – Performing High Intensity Interval Training by switching between intervals of high intensity work with intervals of low intensity work, helps boost your mitochondrial power. It’s also been shown that this type of exercise increases blood flow, ensuring oxygen and nutrients are getting delivered throughout the body.
  • Lift Something Heavy – lifting weights not only keeps your body tight, it has a re-generative effect on the cells and helps kick-start mitochondrial activity. Weights also help keep bones strong, preventing on-set of osteoporosis and can reduce the appearance of cellulite.
  • Conditioning Work – endurance activity such as running, snow boarding or even punching and kicking can help keep your cardiovascular system aerobically fit for the long run.

Not sure how to build a proper workout to keep your body tight and curvy – go here!

#3 – Stock Up on Anti-Aging Beauty Supps!

Supplements help provide the body with more of something that it’s missing.  In the case of aging, supplements flood our system with needed nutrients to keep the skin glowing and the body firm.  Here’s my go-to anti-aging beauty supps!

  • Vitamin C – helps stimulate collagen production and increase skin firmness.
  • Matcha Powder – full of the antioxidant EGCG, which protects skin against UV damage.
  • CoQ10 – promotes energy production and protects against cell damage.
  • Resveratrol – active ingredient in grapes and red wine that activate longevity genes in the body.
  • Glutathionine – super antioxidant that helps detoxify the body and keep the complexion looking even.
  • NR (nicotinamide riboside) or NMN (nicotinamide mononucleotide) – increases NAD+ (nicotinamide adenine diculeotide) helps protect DNA and reduces inflammatory response.
  • Collagen Protein – helps bolster collagen production in the body and improves the elasticity of the skin.

Here’s a full rundown on my daily antioxidant supplement regime – go here!

#4 – Have a Kick-Ass Skincare Routine! 

Perhaps the one place we show our age the most is on our skin, especially on our face.  Protection from the elements is the best line of defense when it comes to keeping our face looking fresh!  In addition, to flooding our body with nutrients from the right foods and the right supplements, we can also do ourselves a favour and follow a consistent skincare routine.

  • Sunscreen Everyday – Wear a minimum of SPF 30 to help protect the face, but don’t forget to also apply to the neck and décolletage area too!  Pick one that’s lightweight and packed with extra antioxidants and DNA repair enzymes.
  • Scrubbing Bubbles–Regular exfoliation helps remove dead skin, make-up, dirt and keeps the skin looking fresh!
  • Oils, Oils, Oils – I use all kinds – argan, coconut, rosehip oil, vitamin E, some for daytime use and some before sleep! Good for wrinkles and hydration!
  • Retinol – aka Vitamin A helps reduce fine lines, decrease pigmentation, control breakouts and stimulate collagen & elastin – what kind of magic is this?
  • AHA – great for exfoliating and polishing away skin dullness, while improving skin texture!
  • HA – applying HA to the skin can pull moisture into the skin and keep it hydrated and plump!

Your diet can also make an impact on your skin – here’s eight foods for glowing skin!

#5 – Get Your Anti-Aging Beauty Sleep

Sleep is necessary to rejuvenate and recover the body; sleep is probably the best natural anti-aging process we have, so why not get the most out of it!  When we sleep our stress hormone cortisol goes down and our growth hormone levels go up.  Growth hormone is critical to cellular repair of our skin and muscle tissue.

  • Wash Yo Face & Moisturize – use a balm to remove make-up, a cleansing foam and moisturizing night cream!
  • Get Min 8 hours – anything less is sub-optimal! Research has shown less than adequate sleep is linked to lower levels of ghrelin, a hunger hormone that can lead to overeating, and more rapid rates of brain aging.
  • Shut Off Earlier – LED light from our tv, laptop and digital devices can result in sleep loss and disruption of our natural circadian rhythms.
  • Journal – get all the shit out of your head that’s going to cause you to have conversations with yourself all night. Put your thoughts on the day to sleep, before you rest your head.
  • Sleep on Your Back – try not to sleep on your face, and don’t cheap out on your sheets or your pillow. Pick something soft to minimize skin irritation and compression. Find a beauty sleep pillow that contours your neck and cradles your face.
  • Use a Sleep Supp – have troubles relaxing, falling to sleep and staying that way. Try a natural supplement that includes ingredients such as GABA, valerian, magnesium, 5-HTP and melatonin.

Here’s a full breakdown on how to get a better sleep.

Now you know my anti-aging beauty secrets, what’s yours?  Share in the comments below.

Until Next Time,

Be Fierce & Rule the World,

Lauren Jacobsen

10 Fierce Life Lessons

Learning from the lessons life teaches you, will keep you moving in the right direction toward your goals and happiness.  Here’s 10 life lessons I’m sharing about what I’ve learned in my 40 or so years via my time as a fitness competitor, an expat living abroad, a writer and traveller! 

Learning from the lessons life teaches you, will keep you moving in the right direction toward your goals and happiness.  Here’s 10 life lessons I’m sharing about what I’ve learned in my 40 or so years via my time as a fitness competitor, an expat living abroad, a writer and traveller!

Life Lessons #1: Don’t Run Away From Your Problems

No matter where you travel on this earth if you’ve never felt happiness or at peace with yourself before you left on your great adventure, you certainly won’t start feeling happy because your location has changed. Don’t run away from your problems. Deal with shit. Living in a big shiny new city won’t bring you happiness.  In fact, it will probably make you more unhappy.  Think about it, you’ll not only be on the other side of the world, completely alone, but you’ll also not be able to go home like being on a vacation when you’ve decided that you feel better!

Fierce Tip: If you’re really unhappy think long and hard about the reason, and why it is that you need to make such a big change to make you happy.  Is it your job, the friends you keep, how much money you think you need to make?  If you really don’t like something, change it, deal with it, make it better, improve yourself!  But don’t run!  Living abroad and being unhappy and unfulfilled when you get there could make you repeat the same mistakes, or worse establish bad habits to escape your unhappiness. No matter if you choose to live abroad or not, take a moment and the time on your own to really get to know yourself, love yourself and decide what you really want. Be by yourself, sit with your thoughts and your emotions. Choose to be happy, work on it, think about it, do it!

Life Lessons #2: You Don’t Need Stuff

I left my so-called life literally in boxes in Canada when I left for Dubai. Now I couldn’t even tell you what’s in those boxes! Living far from home, you soon realize the stuff you thought was so important has less value and meaning in your life than you gave it before.

Detach yourself from the accumulation of shit that doesn’t add value or mean fuck to you.  If it’s been hanging in your closet for the last 3 years chances are you’ve forgotten about it and it will not be making a re-appearance on your runway anytime soon.  Almost everything you have can easily be replaced. I quickly realized, I could accumulate lots more stuff that I don’t need living in a new city.

Fierce Tip: Even if you don’t live abroad, it’s very easy to dismantle the unimportant stuff in your life, and start focusing on the things that actually matter. Get rid of the clutter – think long and hard if you really, really, really need those new shoes, or if you could put that money into the travel jar.  Exchange stuff for experiences and memories – these will become far more important, and will certainly hold more value then the clothes hanging in your closet! Although a nice new pair of funky running shoes can still make me feel pretty damn good!

Life Lessons #3: Enjoy Every Minute

Happiness only exists in the present moment. It’s fleeting. It is important to take in the moment at hand, enjoy your friends and family because your life can change in a single moment like mine. It was literally a phone call that invited me to come and the opportunity for change that was just too great to pass up. I live on the other side of the world far from my family and some of my closest friends, and one day I’m sure I will make my way back. But at this moment I’m taking in this new adventure. Some days I can’t believe this is my life. I travel plenty, I meet new people weekly, I have new opportunities daily. Routine of my former life has become a thing of the past.

Fierce Tip: Live for the now and the present, let go of the past, and stop stressing over the future! Enjoy the time you spend with your family, your friends, your lover.  Enjoy the moments you spend abroad, cause they will pass in a flash!  Take time to watch the sunset, enjoy the music, dance, feel the wind blow through your hair, or the sun on your face.  Enjoy life! Because sooner than later you’ll be on to the next chapter.

Life Lessons #4: You Become A Fierce Bitch

Sometimes I still find it hard to believe that I was once a shy little girl who came from a small little town in the cold of Canada.  Now, here I am living the ‘dream’ in the luxurious city of Dubai. Getting out of your comfort zone, taking risks and chances like moving across the world where you don’t know a soul, have any idea about the culture or what to expect makes you fierce, or as my ex likes to tell me, ‘you got big balls bitch’! The funny thing I don’t see it this way, I simply had to go where my heart was leading me, I had no other choice then to try something new, to take the jump and the leap of faith. Once you do something drastic and fearful that change is inevitable you automatically become capable of anything, once you see it really isn’t that hard.

Fierce Tip: Take risks everyday, get out of your comfort zone and learn to say yes to situations that you might shy away from previously. Growth doesn’t come from comfort zones but from new exciting experiences.  I certainly have!  I’ve jumped jobs, quit jobs when I was no longer satisfied, moved cities for love, and travelled the world on my own.  Every risk I took, I learned I changed, I grew, it shaped me and made me the fierce bitch I am today!

Life Lessons #5: You Re-Invent Yourself

If you decide to move abroad, make a conscious decision to shed the thoughts and actions that don’t serve you. Go in a new direction. Living abroad gives you an opportunity to make new choices, don’t let your past mistakes dictate your future. Choose something new. Travel can give you clarity and peace of mind, it can make you grow, if you allow it to. Invest time in yourself to start doing the things that will make you move ahead with your life.

If you have been stuck in the past in a relationship that gave you pain, let it go and choose not to look for what’s missing in you in someone else. If you have sucked your time away in the gym working on your exterior instead of working on your interior – make the choice to spend less time on it.

Fierce Tip: Use new experiences and new opportunities to live differently. Being stuck in the fitness bubble I lived in prior to living abroad has shown me the fine line between being fit and being vain and self absorbed. Re-invent yourself into a better version; surround yourself with people who have similar goals and visions to what you want to accomplish.

Life Lessons #6: Fitness Gives You Focus

Since the age of 16, working out has been a stable part of my life and for good reason. Although the goals may have changed over the years, it has always given me focus. From building my confidence from a shy and skinny teen to standing tall, muscular and trim in a bikini on the world’s stage to now helping me stay motivated and healthy as I move into a new chapter of my life.

Fitness provides not only a way to relieve stress from the daily grind, but it also gives balance. Regular exercise releases feel good endorphins when life can seem all too much! Fitness has kept me from giving into bad habits that the crazy city of Dubai can offer – like eating from the countless amazing restaurant or enjoying the nightlife a little too much!

Fierce Tip: Join a new gym, explore the city, try a something new.  Don’t limit yourself to just throwing around the iron in the gym.  I live in a warm climate 24/7, 365 days of the year – outdoor workouts are a must.  From going for a run on the beach, swimming in my pool or the sea.  There’s always a different class to try, or some new activity to do in Dubai.  Going to the gym, doesn’t just keep you fit, it also allows you to meet new people, and get out there!

Life Lessons #7: Eating Clean Keeps You Sexy, Strong, Fit

Food is vital to life, and good nutrition from fresh food provides us with all the essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and everything else we need to support a healthy immune system. Moving abroad can be stressful at first and more than likely you will get sick! I certainly did. The heat was tough – dehydration was inevitable. I got sick multiple times. However, eating right, and working in nutrition allowed me access to lots of fresh healthy food. Loading up on even more fresh and hydrating vegetables and fruits was a huge help to my immune system, and eventually I adjusted. Relying on take-out or going out because you’re busy from work or responsibilities is not the answer.

Fierce Tip: When moving to somewhere new, the healthy lifestyle you had before shouldn’t change just cause your location did. Take care of yourself – explore the fresh food markets, healthy restaurants, try new vegetables and fruit you’ve never experienced before. Avoid common weight gain that many expats can experience living abroad by sticking to a regular healthy eating plan.

Life Lessons #8: Good Relationships Are Necessary

Go out meet new people, and sooner or later you will find that you’ve established a new set of friends with new experiences. But be careful who you choose, the friends you make will shape your time in your new city. So take your time to establish relationships. You’ll find that living in transient cities like Dubai, most people are more concerned with appearances and what they can gain from you, whether it’s a business connection, or a sex one! Remember everyone working abroad is there for a purpose – to better their life, to make more money and get out fast; most are less concerned with making new friends or establishing real connections.

Fierce Tip: Be choosy, because the friends you establish abroad will become your network away from home.  Evaluate them, can you trust them, what are their real intentions? You’ll soon realize that loving yourself and trusting yourself is the most important thing and that those who really care and are interested in getting to know you better will appear time and time again.

Life Lessons #9: You Learn How to Let Go – Fast!

After living abroad for one year, I have certainly learned how to let go!  The first 3-months were a bit torturous, but I certainly got to know myself and let go of the shit that was no longer serving me!  You soon realize that the people and experiences you have are fleeting. They come and go. They pass through, they arrive teach you a lesson and quickly disappear. Overtime you will be able to quickly make decisions on those you can bond with for life and those that will disappear like they have never been there. You also get what you put out, if you’re constantly looking, searching for something in the past, it will be hard to attract something new.

Fierce Tip: Instead of constantly thinking, overthinking situations, start living through your heart. Make a conscious decision to let go, be free and attract the positive experiences you want to share and experience. Instead of attracting the wrong, you will start to attract the right ones and the right things will start to happen!

Life Lessons #10:  Change is Inevitable – You’ll See Life Differently

It didn’t take me long to break the bubble of my comfortable former life to see a new world and have new experiences. It’s inevitable, when you leave the comforts of home, make new friends, have a new job, live in a new culture – change happens. You’ll change the values you thought were important, you will face your fears, and because of this you will want to continue to have new experiences and new adventures.

In one year, I have travelled to 4 countries, met countless new people, learned from entrepreneurs, developed awesome healthy menus, helped talented pro-athletes improve their nutrition, made life long friends, met my soul sister, seen remarkable sunrises with some beautiful people, tried new foods, raced through the desert sand dunes, ridden on camels, partied my butt off to amazing DJs until the sun came up, worked out on some incredible beaches and dived into crystal blue waters.

Do I want to stop here – nah! Absolutely not! Living abroad evolves you, teaches you, gives you scars and makes you fierce!

Fierce Tip: Just go out there and do it.  No matter if you live abroad or not, you can see life differently by going out and experiencing new adventures, and from this, change will happen!  Live a Sexy, Strong and Fit Life!

Until Next Time…

Be Fierce & Rule the World,

Lauren Jacobsen

27 Ways to Be a Hot Babe This Year

The reality is most bad habits take serious amounts of action to change and real goals don’t just happen without a lot of work. So what to do? If you definitely want this year to be better than last year,  here are 27 ways to be a hot babe and make positive changes that will stick this new years.

It’s that time of year again, time to say fuck you 2021 and make a shit load of new resolutions that you have no intention of keeping. I promise to workout more, drink less, lose weight, eat better, stop hanging out with fuckboys, save more money, blah, blah, blah. If you’re a smart bitch you probably have realized a long time ago that New Years resolutions are bullshit and don’t translate into a better life once the clock strikes midnight. The reality is most bad habits take serious amounts of action to change and real goals don’t just happen without a lot of work. So what to do? If you definitely want this year to be better than last year,  here are 27 ways to be a hot babe and make positive changes that will stick this new years.

How to Get What You Want This New Years:

  1. But First – Fuck Your New Years Resolutions – 50% of people that make New Year’s resolutions fail miserably. Why? Because they’re not ready to actually devote that much positive energy into making a huge life change from their comfortable bad habits. Instead of making a resolution you know you can’t keep, make a change you can stick with.  Set realistic and achievable goals. Take baby steps to make small changes that will result in better success and will ultimately motivate you further to continue making more positive changes. Instead of committing to losing 20 lbs, start with 5, once that’s achieved make another goal. Over time those small changes will add up to bigger changes. #fucknewyearnewyou
  2. Get to Know Yourself – be honest, do you really know who you are? Or are you just too scared to find out? Once you face reality, you’ll know what you’re up against and know where you need to start making changes. Positive affirmation shit doesn’t work if you don’t really believe what you’re telling yourself.  Understanding yourself and improving your current situation is what will lead to realistic and sustainable positive changes overtime.
  3. Visualize Your Day – visualization can help to plan a successful day and a successful life. Visualize your tasks for the day, who’ll you meet, how you’ll interact and engage them. Visualize all the details, what you need to achieve and anything else that’s important for you to move forward. Without visualization your day is left to chance and circumstance. Take control over your life by starting with achieving what you want each day. Don’t believe me, give it a try and watch what happens.
  4. Fail Army No More – did you make resolutions and big plans that failed miserably? Make a new plan but this time make it with realistic goals. Chop those goals down into smaller goals with timelines that are achievable. Be realistic with your time commitments and what is feasible based on your current situation. If you know you have no time to put toward a goal, why is it even on the list? #keepitsimplestupid
  5. Give Out Positive Vibes – positive breeds positive, give it out to anyone and everyone, even to those with a shit attitude toward you. A positive attitude can be like a mirror, it reflects back. Don’t let others negativity be the downer on your mood this year, change how you see the world and what you take from your experiences. Being positive will boomerang back!
  6. Get Out of Your Head – about 90% of the thoughts you have every day are the same thoughts you had the day before, and the day before that. Same thoughts equal the same choices, behaviours and emotions. If you want to seriously make a change in your life this year, stop thinking and doing the same things. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again knowing you’ll get the same result. Plan new activities, have new experiences that will let you interact with new people and have new thoughts. Change requires re-wiring your brain, which requires new habits  and new actions to do so.
  7. Live in the Here and Now – be mindful of your physical, emotional and mental state moment by moment. Time is fleeting; living in the moment as events unfold is the best way to live a life without regret. Forget about the past which you can’t change, or the future that hasn’t happened – all that you can be accountable for is the here and now.
  8. Have More Fruit and Veggies But Don’t Forget the Protein – fruit and veggies are full of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and fibre we need to remove toxins, metabolize other foods and prevent disease too, but that doesn’t mean we should skimp on the other important parts of a healthy balanced diet either! Don’t forget to include ample amounts of protein too like red meat, whole eggs, poultry and fish. Protein not only keeps our muscles pumped they also provide certain nutrients you just can’t get enough of from anywhere else such as creatine – our energy providing nutrient that fuels muscles, iron – critical for blood production and B-12 an important energizing nutrient.  A healthy balanced diet keeps us energized and ready to take on the world.
  9. Don’t Give into Stupid Trends – just because you saw it on Netflix doesn’t mean it’s true or should woke you out of your current beliefs. Ask more questions, read more, research your ideals and live life by your sense of morals; don’t just jump on the first thing you see or read because it’s trending and cool. The more educated you are, the more you’ll see through the bullshit and be able to make your own smart decisions and choices.
  10. Slay Smarter – don’t just work hard, work smart. If you want a better job, want to make more money and advance your career, chances are its not going to sort itself out. Taking on more challenging projects and asking for more work won’t guarantee that either. Maybe this is the year to think about switching gears and finding a new job or carving out a new path. Change in your career, although it won’t be easy, may lead to more satisfaction and fulfillment in the long run, especially if you’re miserable as fuck. Perhaps its time to finally go at it alone, or at least jump from a boring hate your life job to something you have passion and conviction for.  Be a boss babe!
  11. Learn How to Be a Savage Bitch – Let this be the year that you learn how to tell people to STFU – in a nice way of course. Holding on to thoughts, grudges and opinions won’t get you anywhere fast. If someone did or said something that up-set you tell them in a constructive manner to shut the fuck up. Hold your ground, back up your opinion with smart thought and don’t let anyone walk on you. #youfuckinwithasavage
  12. Sleep More – sleep is a powerful remedy for the body and the mind. Sleep rejuvenates the body, helps restore hormone levels and keeps your metabolism moving. Without proper sleep your hormones are whack, the body won’t recover properly, cravings for sugar and sweets surge leading to inevitable weight gain! Instead of just getting by on 6-hours, get off social media, stop binge watching series and get to bed earlier – aim for at least 8 hours every day.
  13. Take Time Out to Peace Out – Stress can be killer, especially if you’re unaware that you’re drowning in it. Don’t let stress get the better of you, take breaks away from work and learn to see what’s really important. Taking time out gives you perspective, not to mention de-stressing can lower cortisol. Too much cortisol can cause muscle loss, slowed fat burning and even lower immunity. Can’t take as many vacas as you’d like, do yoga, exercise more, or be like me and kick and punch something – find other ways to release anxiety and stress before it builds up too much.
  14. Drop False Expectations of Yourself – if you don’t know who you are it can be hard to be realistic in what you can achieve and what you can’t. Some of us are born leaders, while others are much more comfortable out of the spotlight, it doesn’t make it wrong or bad, we all have our own roles to play in life. Find out what makes you burn with desire, what you have passion for and find a way to make that happen. The sooner you see who you are the more successful and happy you’ll be.
  15. Don’t Spend Money on Meaningless Shit – forget about materialistic shit that won’t mean shit. Save a little more in your bank account. Have a goal and stick to it. Start a small business, save for travel or property, or maybe just for a rainy day. Paper may not buy happiness but it sure does pay for all those experiences you want to have.
  16. Build a Power Network – it’s great to have a job you love but if you don’t have a network you really got nothing when it comes time to do something else. Learn how to build relationships that can help build your career for the future. It’s hard to find a new path or start something new without a supportive network behind you. Connect the dots, the more you share your experiences with others the more connections you can make that may lead you on your next path.  Remember most people don’t find their next job on linkedin but via the network they built up over time. #thinksmart
  17. Explore the World – feeling less than fulfilled, nothing like a little travel to exotic parts of the world than to renew your motivation and zest for life. Travel can allow for inner reflection on your current status. Traveling to places out of your comfort zone can make you become more appreciative of what you’ve accomplished and where you’ve come from. Don’t do it for the instagram selfies to make your inner circle jelly, do it for the sense of fulfillment you’ll get after. Put your pennies away for at least one travel destination per year.
  18. Workout Less, Work on Yourself More – yes exercise should always be a part of your weekly routine. But too much exercise can also fill time instead of using it to accomplish something else – like dealing with your shit. It’s easy to get caught up and lose sight, anything to avoid something you don’t want to deal with. I’m guilty! Exercise can be used as a time to reflect and give clarity, but if your always reflecting and not actioning change – that’s a problem.   Limit your workouts to 4 or 5 times per week, of intense all out balls to the walls training, and the rest of those days in the week – try working on yourself!
  19. Fuck Diets and Macro Calculating – it’s important to eat a balanced diet, full of plenty of whole fresh foods and within your calorie limits, but it’s also important to enjoy life. If you’re constantly calculating every single macro of your food, avoiding social gatherings for fear of food, or are just miserable constantly being on a diet, don’t do it. Eat wisely; use approximate measurements – like a fist for your protein and a thumb for fats. If you must diet for a purpose than do it with conviction, but also know that balance is more important for a healthy lifestyle than diets that are too restrictive and unsustainable.  Use the 80/20 rule.  80% of the time eat a healthy diet, but the remaining 20% have some indulgences that make you happy.  Get a coach to help you along the way!
  20. Mentor a Mini Bitch – being a mentor is a great way to help give back and give guidance to those young ones that are just figuring out what direction to go with their life. Just think of what you’ve accomplished, struggled with or been through, being a mentor to a younger version of yourself is a great way to push and help sculpt a strong little #minibitchsophie
  21. Surround Yourself with True Bitches – life will take you on a rollercoaster, who will stand beside you when it really matters will show you who is worth your time and who is not, build a tribe of true friends you can count on, fuck the rest. Drop the negative naysayers and spend more time with the quality boss babes that bring you up. After all you are a product of your environment and who you spend your time with, don’t waste it on time-sucking vampires.
  22. Have a Little Gratitude – perhaps one of the best ways to live in the present is to have gratitude for everything that happened last year. Take some time to reflect on both the positive and negative experiences that happened over the year. Did you learn a new skill? Meet someone new? Start a new job? Travel to somewhere you’ve never been? Did something happen to change your path? Have gratitude for the good and the bad, move forward on a positive note in this new year.
  23. Make Wiser Choices – think twice about the bad choices you think you’re going to make, and spend more time on the things that matter most – you’re family, friends and things that will give you something positive in return. Don’t waste time, money, or emotional energy on shit that doesn’t give back and won’t matter in 5 years. Take calculated risks that result in more positive outcomes. #beasmartbitch
  24. Get Rid of Fuckboys – sometimes we forget our morals and values for the sake of a good fuck, but if you really want a lasting relationship that will stand the test of time cut out the assholes and fuckboys and learn how to stay in your own lane. Focus on your goals, and don’t get twisted up in bullshit, live your fabulous life and the right man will find you sooner than later.
  25. Unplug More – social media can be like a virus, sucking your time and energy. Instead, shut it off and use your time more effectively. More likes on a post won’t bring you more happiness but talking to someone and developing a real relationship will. Learn how to unplug from stuff that doesn’t matter and do something more productive.
  26. Be True to Your Word – be a stand up person, if you say it, mean it, stick to it. Don’t make promises you can’t keep and don’t say things you can’t take back. Be a person of substance, stand for what you say and mean what you say.
  27. Don’t Be So Serious – remember no one is perfect; everyone goes through the same struggles in life at some point. Don’t take yourself too seriously, laugh out loud at your mistakes, smile with your heart, give graciously, be a warrior and fight for what you want!

Until Next Time,

Be Fierce & Rule the World,

Lauren Jacobsen

Healthy Holiday Guide: Enjoy the Holidays Without Guilt!

It’s that time of year again!  The holidays are just around the corner; the time of year we get to spend quality time with family and friends, but it’s also the season we tend to be too busy to maintain our healthy lifestyles – including making room for the gym or for that matter making healthy food choices.

It’s that time of year again!  The holidays are just around the corner; the time of year we get to spend quality time with family and friends, but it’s also the season we tend to be too busy to maintain our healthy lifestyles – including making room for the gym or for that matter making healthy food choices.  Socializing, eating, shopping and traveling can take precedent over a healthy lifestyle when it comes down to the holidays.  If you want to avoid holiday weight gain this season, stick to your diet and evade making another dreaded weight loss resolution, try using this healthy holiday guide.

Healthy Holiday Guide – The Holiday Party:         

Don’t kid yourself, the chances of you going to a holiday party are most likely inevitable – you’ll no doubt have an office party, a friend’s get-together or a family gathering to attend.  Instead of avoiding them all together, here are a few tactics you can use to survive.

 Tactic #1:  Eat Before Going Out

Eating something healthy before the party can save you from munching down on empty calories later on.  Have a high fiber snack, and be sure to eat breakfast that day.  Research has shown that those who eat a high protein breakfast tend to eat less, later in the day!  At the party, be sure to fill up on low calorie, volume dense food – grab the veggie sticks and forget the bready items.  Choose lean proteins, leafy salads, vegetable dishes, and skip over the heavy carbs; you’ll feel lighter, more fulfilled and less guilty. While it’s ok to enjoy some nibbles, try to choose 1 or 2 tasty treats instead of gorging on everything in sight!

Tactic #2:  Sip Smartly

Party drinks can be calorie dense, whether you’re opting for a mocktail or a cocktail.  Mixers including juice, sodas, or dairy can provide empty calories from sugar and fat; and that’s without the alcohol.  Choose low calorie options – diet or light soda or tonic water with a slice of citrus.  Limit the number of fancy drinks you have and keep it simple, you can also cut your bevies with soda – opt for half a glass topped with soda water and citrus, instead of a full glass.   Drink water in-between your drink of choice to cut down on the amount you drink, it will also help fill you up and cut back on hunger too.

Tactic #3:  Stay Social

If you’re situated directly beside the table of food, you won’t be doing yourself any favours – the temptation will be just too much.  Get yourself as far away from the food as possible.  Avoid mindless eating, and instead of eating consider socializing – work the room.  Also, pick your treats – don’t go for every appetizer you lay your eyes on.  They maybe small but chances are they’re loaded in calories that will add up fast!

Healthy Holiday Guide – Surviving the Malls:

Although most of us have mastered online shopping now, there’s still a good chance of some last minute mall shopping.  Walking through the mall, navigating the crowds and using your brain to storm up gift ideas can be challenging at best.  If you get hungry and irritable you might find yourself reaching for something less than favorable to eat.  Something that is fast, easy and most likely not high on food quality.

Tactic #1:  Pack Snacks

Bring some easy, healthy snacks with you.  A small pack of nuts – 1 oz is enough calories and fiber to tie you over.  You could also bring trail mix made with dried apricots, raisins, raw almonds and pistachios.  Avoid the dried fruit with added sugar.  Another good option is a protein bar made with natural ingredients, or an energy bar.  Opt for items that are around 200 to 300 calories, provide protein, some carbs with fiber and natural fats.

Easy Healthy Snack Ideas Here:

Tactic #2:  Avoid Holiday Cheer

By holiday cheer I mean specialty coffees – you know those holiday themed drinks and sweet treats that give you that necessary caffeine and sugar buzz you require to get through the day.  They may taste great and bring back some holiday nostalgia, but more often than not they come with added calories and sugar.  Stick to the basics, ask for the skinny vanilla latte, with the sugar-free syrup and add a dash of cinnamon on top instead of the full calorie version.  You’ll still feel warm and fuzzy with less calories.

Tactic #3:  Eat a Proper Meal

If you don’t have time to eat a proper meal before you head to the mall then be sure to find a sit down restaurant that has healthy meal options.  Sitting down will let you decompress for a moment from the holiday rush, and make a healthier choice over something quick and easy.  If you don’t have time for a full meal, then try finding an option in the food court.  Avoid the temptation of fast food combos and opt for a salad, or a whole wheat wrap made with veggies and protein.

Healthy Holiday Guide – Hosting the Meal:

One of the best ways to navigate safely through the holidays is by hosting at least one holiday meal on your own.  This puts you in control of the menu, what you’ll eat and how much.  However, you might not be the favorite relative for hosting a healthy holiday meal.

Tactic #1: Healthy Swaps

Instead of serving a lot of starchy carbs, switch it up, offer up a table of roast squashes, vegetable dishes and salads. Cut mash potato with cauliflower and sweet potato mash with pumpkin. Avoid stuffing and create a quinoa or wholegrain rice pilaf dish instead.  Roast lean meats or poultry that are lower in fat.  Skip over heavier meats like lamb.  Limit the number of dishes – the more options there are the more likely you’ll want to have some of each.

Tactic #2:  Use Smaller Plates

Using smaller plates will force you to put less on your plate and you’ll be more likely to think twice about having seconds.  Research suggests that most people eat what’s put on their plates, even if it’s more than they need.  Practice portion control – you know that on any other day of the week, you’re more than likely not eating 3 portions of carbs in a single meal, so why start now?  You can also use smaller glasses to avoid over pouring on the bubbly!

Tactic #3:  Choose Your Indulgences

When it comes to dessert, you can opt for healthier options, made with healthier ingredients but you can also opt for smaller portions.  If you managed to serve a healthy meal and not over indulge on too many appetizers, or second portions – now’s the time to give-in.  Pick one sweet indulgence, over many.  It may also be a good idea to make this the day you have your ‘cheat’ meal for the week.

Healthy Holiday Guide – Keep Up With Your Workouts:

If you want to avoid holiday weight gain all together, the best thing you can do for yourself is keep up with the exercise.  Your regular exercise routine will ensure you keep a balance between the calories you’re eating and the ones you’re expending.

Tactic #1:  Schedule Your Workouts

Chances are you’ll have a clear sight to when you’re holiday parties will take place and to your travel schedule.  Plan your workouts around your socializing.  If you know you’ll be on a different schedule then what you’re used to then be sure to schedule your workouts accordingly.  If you plan to travel, find a gym close by for your workouts.

Tactic #2:  Try Something New

Are you traveling somewhere with cold weather this holiday?  Consider outdoor activities – a run through the snow, ice skating, snowboarding?  You’ll burn calories, enjoy the new challenge and the change in weather!   Not feeling so adventurous?  Going to a new gym is sometimes just enough excitement to give you some new motivation for your workouts.

Tactic #3:   Workout Partner

Stick with people that have the same goals as you.  Keep up with your workouts and motivate each other to keep up with your exercise program during the holidays.  You’ll be more likely to go to the gym if you’re accountable to someone.  A coach or personal trainer can also help keep you on track over the holidays.

Until Next Time,

Be Fierce & Rule the World,

LJ

Up-Grade Your Low Carb Meals – 8 Vegetable Options

Eating the same foods can become monotonous and lead to diet breakdowns if you are not feeling satisfied with your food.  So what’s the alternative?  In this post, I’m providing you with eight healthy low carb alternatives that will add minimal calories and a whole lot of excitement to your low carb-eating plan. 

If you are like most fitness women, being low carb is part of your daily diet.  Sure it’s easy to drop the carbs from your diet, simply stay away from foods that are high in simple sugars such as white rice, bread, pasta and potatoes, but eating the same chicken and broccoli every day can get old fast.

Eating the same foods can become monotonous and lead to diet breakdowns if you are not feeling satisfied with your food.  So what’s the alternative?  In this post, I’m providing you with eight healthy low carb alternatives that will add minimal calories and a whole lot of excitement to your low carb-eating plan.

Low Carb Vegetable Options:

  1. Zucchini Pasta

Zucchini can be sliced thinly to make a lasagna style noodle, or can be grated using a simple box grater or spooler to make spaghetti style noodle.   Use zucchini in replace of noodles in stir-fry, pasta dishes or even in salads instead of the usual mixed greens.  Zucchini delivers 3.5 g of carbs, and 1 g of fibre, along with 30% of your daily vitamin C needs per one cup serving.  Other options – carrot, beet and butternut squash!

  1. Lettuce Wraps

Romaine, leaf, iceberg lettuce or even kale leaves make the perfect replacement for flour or corn made wraps or taco shells. If you are tired of eating salad and chicken, why not try making a lettuce wrap, use avocado, grilled veggies and strips of grilled chicken breast.   In the mood for a taco bowl, line a bowl with iceberg lettuce, and add cooked extra lean ground beef, salsa, and avocado.

  1. Mashed Cauliflower

Instead of mashed potatoes, try mashed cauliflower. Cauliflower is a mild tasting cruciferous vegetable that packs a ton of fibre.  Cook a head of chopped cauliflower using a vegetable steamer.  Once cooked, place into a food processor along with 1 clove of pressed garlic, salt, pepper, and a dash of nutmeg.  Add a bit of the water used for steaming.  Blend until smooth!   One cup of cauliflower delivers 5 g of carbohydrates and 2 g of fibre, along with 85% of the daily value for vitamin C.

  1. Sweet Potato Hash Browns

Looking for a switch up from your daily oatmeal breakfast, try Sweet Potato Hash Browns instead.  Use left over cooked sweet potato to form a patti, and pan fry in a non-stick pan using a bit of coconut oil.  Another option, grate sweet potato, and pan fry in a non-stick pan using a bit of coconut oil, along with ¼ cup chopped sweet onion, salt, pepper to taste and ½ glove of pressed garlic.  You probably already know the benefits of sweet potato – 1 cup packs 27 g of carbs and 4 g of fibre, along with a whopping dose of Beta-Carotene!

  1. Shredded Cabbage Noodles

Cabbage noodles are a great way to get in your cruciferous vegetables, eat them instead of rice with stir frys, or add them to salad to up your veggie content!  Simply shredded cabbage, and pan fry in a non-stick pan until soft If eating with stir fry, or add raw to salads.  One cup of shredded cabbage provides 4.1 g of carbs and 1.8 g of fiber, along with 40% of your daily Vitamin C needs.

  1. Baked Taro Root Fries

Steam taro root, and peel off skin.  Cut peeled taro into quarters, place on a non-stick baking sheet, add rosemary, salt and pepper.  Place in a pre-heated oven and bake on a non-stick pan at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes, flip and bake for another 10 minutes. Serve alongside your meat, instead of the usual brown rice or sweet potato!  A half-cup serving delivers 23 g of carbs and 3.5 g of fiber!

  1. Shirataki Noodles

If you are not into the work needed to prep Zucchini noodles, try Shirtaki instead.  Shiritaki noodles are made from Konjac root, which is comprised of Glucomannan, a water-soluble dietary fiber.  Glucomannan swells in the gut and slows down digestion, reducing hunger and cravings.  Per 3 oz serving of Shirtaki noodles delivers 0 g of carbs.

  1. Cauliflower Rice

This is a simple and easy replacement for regular rice.  Take a head of chopped cauliflower and place in a food processor.  Process until evenly chopped but not completely pulverized.  Remove from food processor.  Spread cauliflower on a baking sheet evenly.  Bake for 15 minutes in a oven pre-heated to 425F.  Flip at least once.  Serve as your side dish.   You can also cook in a pan similar to fried rice, adding extra veggies, egg, and soy sauce.

Until Next Time,

Be Fierce & Rule the World,

Lauren Jacobsen

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