Montag, 31. März 2014

Green Tea Benefits

Hey you! 

Let's start a new week with some healthy benefits of Green Tea Extract (GTE).
The Far East has been aware of the many health benefits associated with GTE for centuries, which has now been backed by research. GTE is rich in polyphenols , like bioflavonoid and antioxidants. These fight your body free from radicals which are even more fighting than vitamins C and.
That said, let's have a look at the TOP9 list of GTE's health benefits.

1. Helps with weight loss:

The antioxidants contained in green tea extract limits the negative effects of fatty diet and smoking. If you consume GTE, it helps your thermogenesis and increases your metabolic rate, but without increasing your heart rate. While many women try to lose weight and feel jittery , the GTE can help you lose weight without all these. It will make you feel full and discourages you from eating. Another factor which makes the GTE an essential supp. in your weight loss program is that it helps your body burn more calories.

2. Prevents tooth decay:

GTE is known as a great fighter against plaque-causing bacteria and helps prevent your tooth decay.

3. Decreases cholesterol and blood pressure:

Green tea extract not only helps you decrease bad cholesterol which is responsible for clotting in your blood, it also prevents strokes and heart attacks. It increases the production of good cholesterol that removes the plaque in the arteries and keeps them elastic which lowers the risk of suffering from heart disease. If you suffer from hypertension , you may also benefit from GTE as it lowers blood pressure.

4. Fights cancer:

As green tea is rich in antioxidants, it can help kill cancer cells and prevent their growth without harming your healthy tissue. Patient that suffer from breast-, lung-, skin-, liver-, bladder-, pancreatic-, stomach-, or prostate cancer benefit from GTE.

5. Prevents inflammation:

Patients suffering from arthritis benefit from GTE as it lowers the pain in their joints as it prevents inflammation which in turn decreases wears and tear of the joints. It also slows the breakdown of cartilage and provides relief to patients suffering from arthritis.

6. Helps control blood sugar levels:

To reduce the amount of amylase, which is produced by your own body, you only need to consume green tea. Consuming green tea helps to decrease blood sugar level and thus helps keep diabetes under control.

7. Lowers the risk of liver disease:

While GTE contains a lot of antioxidants, it also helps to protect your liver from toxins and liver diseases.

8. Slows the aging process:

If you want to keep that 'young-look' , keep on drinking green tea, as the antioxidants are responsible for slowing down the aging process of your body.

9. Fight infection:

GTE helps your body fight respiratory and digestive infections such as influenza and diarrhea, as it is antibacterial and antiviral. 

Drinking green tea will also help you to increase your metabolic rate of carbs, it reduces stress, cures headaches, improves digestion, boost your immune system , increases your life expectancy and so on.

Sonntag, 30. März 2014

Lifting Myth Nr.3

3. You can 'shape' your muscles with certain exercises.

In my dreams I can do lunges to make my butt even rounder, you know like the one you see in fitness magazines. I can do crunches to get that real symmetrical six-pack. 

But unfortunately, that's just not how it works. There is no such thing as a 'shaping exercises'. The only thing you can do is to make your muscles bigger or smaller , but your genetics will determine their shape. Said that, you can still do a little with your physique to compensate your weak areas.

If you feel like your legs aren't big or trained enough , you should focus on your legs with the good old heavy weight training, which include free-standing squats and lunges. If you are a guy and unhappy that you don't have that square chest, you can make your upper part, lower part or middle part bigger with proven mass-builders like the dumbbells and the bench press, and of course weighted dips.

What I often hear when it comes to female weight lifting, is that some think that certain forms of strength training will get you those dancer-like muscles, long and lean, while other will make you bulky and look like a wrestler. 

That's just not true, whether you do Pilates, Yoga or weight lifting to strengthen and build your muscles, their shape will come out the same. The only difference is that weight lifting will grow your muscles faster than Yoga or Pilates. If you want to work on your flexibility and get a real intense sweating well then I recommend to keep on doing Yoga and Pilates. 

After all, we know now that shaping our muscles with certain exercises is impossible, but sculpting describes best what is actually possible. If you want that thin, athletic 'beach body' look , then you have to build your muscles and reduces your body fat percentage.

That said, the only thing that matters is that you can work out your muscles in a way to achieve a full development, but in the end, the overall shape of your muscles is going to be determined by your genetics.

Sincerely, your Lifting Fairy

Samstag, 29. März 2014

Sleepy Saturday

Hey there!

My post is a bit late as I am a real sleepyhead today, it have been a very long night. (we went out for some party) 
As you already know from my previous post about overtraining, rest days and recovery days are very important if you want to improve your results. So here a small list of the TOP6 benefits of rest, so you don't have to feel guilty when you're a sleepy head like me today:

1. Helps Recovery:
Your bones, muscles , tendons and ligaments need approximately 1-2 days off per week to recover and repair themselves. And while muscle growth occurs during rest periods and not during exercise you don't need to feel guilty when you stay on the couch during the weekend.

2. Keeps you healthy:
If you take you rest days every week you avoid the risk of the immune response being compromised due to over training.

3. Sleep:
If you workout hard, your brain needs recovery too. So take off 1-2 day per week so that your brain can repair itself and develop new connections.
4. Lowers Stress:
Restday are important to decrease abnormal levels of cortisol, which will allow productivity and general health to be maintained.

5. Energy:
An adequate rest will help you avoid energy slumps of feeling lethargic during the day and ensures that your workouts will be more effective and efficient.

6. Brain Function:
Taking 1-2 days off improves your concentration and your focus.

So if you really want to improve at the gym, make sure to have at least one day of complete rest, no cardio, no stretching, no yoga, just your couch! 

Have a nice and sleepy saturday!

Freitag, 28. März 2014

Weights vs. Machines

Hey Sweetheart!

Let's start this fit-friday with the biggest debate in the world of fitness: weight lifting vs. machines.

Some fitness-freaks get really fanatical about this and say that free weights will get you better results while other say the complete opposite.
So, which one is better, lifting weights or working out on machines?

Let's start with machines:

Well first of all , if you workout on machines you don't have to pay so much attention to form , balance or coordination.The machine actually guides you through the movement, it's like having your own personal trainer. So if you are new in the world of fitness, a senior or recovering from an injury, I recommend you to workout on machines.
Another advantage of working out on machines is that you can go quickly from one exercise to another without having to mess around changing plates or adding, so it's time-saving too. Machines are also good if you want to add circuit training to your routine , as you can switch from one machine to the next with little rest between and you don't have to change weights or whatever. Circuit training is a good way to build muscular endurance and add some variation to your workout routine.
One of the reasons why working out on machines is good as well is that the machine ''forces'' you to do the proper movement. For example if you workout on a machine for your chest, it does a great job of firming and toning things up, if you are a woman, for men it will give you nice definition to your chest muscle as it isolates your chest-muscle. If you try the same movement with dumbbells , it can be difficult to get the same controlled movement isolating your chest sometimes, especially if you are new to fitness.
me working out on a cable machine: Wide Grip Lat Pulldown
me working out on a cable machine : Wide Grip lat Pulldown

Let's see what weights got:

I know a lot of women might be intimidated at the gym because a lot of guys tend to 'control' the free weights. Show them that you are not intimidated because you don't have to! One of the main reasons why athletes train with weights is because they require more balance and more coordination, but most of all do they require the use of the stabilizer muscles.
If you , for example, work on your shoulders by doing the military press, you are not only using your shoulder muscles but also your abs and leg muscles to stabilize your body.You even burn more calories if you train with free weights, scientifically proven.

Another great advantage of training with weights is that they allow a wider range of motion and variation.You can even work out at home or outdoors if you have a set of dumbbells. They are cheap and they only take up a little space. So it's a perfect alternative if you don't have the time to go to the gym.
BUT, if you decide to train with free weights, be aware of your form. As opposed to the controlled movement on the machines, you can make so many errors while training with free weights. 
So if you start training with free weights, I recommend you to start with weights which are comfortable so that you won't hurt yourself by doing the false movement.

For me personally, I like to use a combination of free weights and machines for my workout routine,for example when I am training legs. I use free weights to do squats, lunges and calf-press and I train on machines for leg curls,leg extensions, thigh adductor, thigh abductor and a cable machine for kick-backs. 
me training with weights: doing the T-bar row
free weight training: deadlift, a good core workout
But whether you use machines or free weights to workout, the bottom line is consistency, intensity and variation of your workouts. 
So ladies, don't be afraid or intimidated to use dumbbells and train at the same spot as guys do. They will look anyway, am I right? 
Push it, challenge it , but most of all , ENJOY IT !

Donnerstag, 27. März 2014

Good vs. Bad Fats

Good Morning everyone!

How often have you been told that a low-fat diet is the key to losing weight, managing cholesterol or preventing health problems? I bet more than once, right? But it is not only the amount of fat that you eat that matters, it is also the type of fat that matters. 
Bad fats increase cholesterol and the risk of certain diseases, whereas good fats actually protect your heart and support your overall health. Some fats are essential for physical and emotional health. In today's post I want show you the difference between good fats and bad fats.

Let's start with some common myths about fats:
  • All fats are the same and are therefore bad for you:
FACT: The only fats which are bad for you are trans fats and some saturated fats because they raise your cholesterol and increase the risk of heart diseases. Whereas monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are good for you. They lower your cholesterol and reduce the risk of getting heart diseases.
  • What matters the most is lowering the amount of fat you eat:
FACT: What matters most, when it comes to cholesterol and health, is the MIX of fats you eat, not the actual amount. The key is to eat more good fats and less bad fats.

  • Healthy is equal fat-free:
FACT: Many fat-free foods are high in sugar , refined carbs and calories. So eating a lot of 'fat-free' products doesn't mean that you can eat as much as you want, if you care about your waistline.
  • The key to weight-loss is a low-fat diet:
FACT: The only key to weight loss is cutting down on the calories you don't need. And since fats are filling, they can even help to curb overeating.
  • Body fat is equal body fat:
FACT: Not every body fat is bad.What matters is where you carry your fat The health risks are bigger if you have body fat around your abdomen. A lot of belly fat, which is stored below your skin, and surrounding the abdominal organs like the liver , which is closely linked to insulin resistance and diabetes.

Here a list of the GOOD FATS:

  • Monounsaturated fats:
- Olive oil
- Canola oil
- Sunflower oil
- Peanut oil
- Sesame oil
- Avocados
- Olives
- Nuts like almonds, peanuts, macadamia, hazelnuts , pecans and cashews
- Peanut-butter
  • Polyunsaturated fats:
- Soybean oil
- Corn oil
- Safflower oil
- Walnuts
- Sunflower,sesame and pumpkin seeds
- Flaxseed
- Fatty fish like salmon, tuna , mackerel, herring, trout and sardines
- Soy milk
- Tofu

These fats are GOOD for you as they protect and improve your heart, your cholesterol and your overall health. 

Here a list of the EVIL FATS:
  • Trans fats:
- Commercially-baked pastries, cookies, donuts, muffins, cakes, pizza dough
- Packaged snack foods like crackers, microwave popcorn and chips
- Stick margarine
- Fried food like french fries, fried chicken, chicken nuggets or breaded fish
- Candy bars

And a list of rather QUESTIONABLE FATS:
  • Saturated fats:
- High-fat cuts of meat from beef, lamb or pork
- Chicken with the skin
- Whole-fat dairy products like milk and cream
- Butter
- Cheese
- Ice cream 
- Pam and coconut oil

How many fats do you actually need?

This actually depends on your lifestyle, your weight, your age and most of all the state of your health. This is what the USDA recommends:
- Keep your total fat intake to 20-35% of your calories
- Limit saturated fats to less than 10% of your calories, which would make 200 calories for a 2.000 calorie diet.
- Limit trans fats to 1% of your calories, this would make 2 grams per day for a 2.000 calorie diet.

Now if you want to cut down on the bad fats, I got some good alternatives for you.

- Butter             ->               Olive oil
- Cheese            ->               Low-fat or reduced-fat cheese
- Red meat        ->               White meat (chicken or turkey)
- Cream            ->                Egg whites, and egg substitute or tofu
- Ice cream        ->                Frozen yogurt or reduced fat ice cream
- Whole milk    ->                Skim or 1% milk
- Sour cream     ->                Plain or non-fat yogurt

Mittwoch, 26. März 2014


Hey Fitfam!

Today will be all about supplements. 
I thought this would be a good idea as I visited my favorite Fitness Shop, Powerfood's JMB in Luxembourg, yesterday to get some new supps. I simply love this shop and it's products because  JMB ( the owner) takes the supplements himself and I know that he takes real good care to only use  high-quality ingredients in his products
I was talking a bit with the owner, Jean-Marie Bermer, who's a certified nutritional consultant and who will be preparing and coaching me for my very first competition. Therefore we're talking expert-level.
We had a great discussion about how people misunderstand the use of supplements( like Whey Protein, Casein, Fat-burner, the famous Protein-bars etc.) and about all the prejudices people have when you take supplements.
Yesterday's shopping at Powerfood's JMB

Well first of all, most people think that you have to take a bunch of supplements to get jacked. That's what the supplement industry would like you to believe as they spend a lot of money to try to convince you. You can actually spend a fortune every month filling up your cabinets with pre-workout, intra-workout and post workout supplements, boosters and more.
If you believe half of the hype you read in supplement advertisements or on their labels, you will sooner or later realize the simple truth about it:

Almost everything you see in the world of workout supplements is utterly worthless and actually a complete waste of money.

The VERY BIG supplement companies are cashing in BIG on a little trick that your mind can play on ,also known as the placebo effect. It's actually a scientifically proven mind-game. 

Unfortunately, many guys think that the shiny new super bottle of ''muscle-maximizing' pills will work, sometimes they actually do 'feel them working'' , but later they realize that the ingredients have never been scientifically proven and are unable to fulfill any promises the company made.

After all the gossip about the big companies, I will show you that not every supplement is a waste of money:
  • Whey Protein:
Protein powder is convenient and helps you reach your daily protein requirements. If you can fill up your daily protein requirement with natural food , that's awesome of course!
Iso-Whey , Apple taste . The only Protein I can drink with water without any problems!

Iso-Whey, Cherry Taste. 

  • Multi-Vitamin Pills:
Multi-vitamins provide your body with the micronutrients it may not be getting from the food you eat. 
  • Fish oil:
Omega-3 is a fabulous supplement which has many benefits; 
- Reduced muscle soreness / inflammation
- Improved weight loss 
- Improved protein synthesis
- Increased insulin sensitivity

  • Creatine:
Creatine is a safe and effective way to improve strength and muscle growth

  • Casein:
- Greater muscle retention
- Greater fat loss
- Helps protect against colon cancer
- Higher quality of protein

  • A good pre-workout drink:
If you have a good pre-workout drink , you may have a nice kick of energy and , depending on the ingredients, it can actually help improve your performance in the gym.
Special-Pro 90 Casein, Strawberry Taste 
While the supps I just listed are worthwhile, don't think that going without them will prevent you from reaching your goals. If you're tight on cash, you may better spend the money on high-quality food instead. 

If you are searching for a VERY GOOD Protein Pancake mix, I recommend this one:
Take 100grams of JMB's Pancake mix with 200ml Water or Milk. You may add some berries if you like, PERFECT! 

Dienstag, 25. März 2014


Hey you!

Who doesn't know this situation: You are looking at your calendar and realize that not even half of the week is over but you already feel so tired that you want to switch to the weekend immediately. I feel like this today and I thought  scrolling a bit through Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr certainly helps to motivate myself and of course you. Here's some fitspiration and motivational quotes by my favorite lifters.
When reading quotes by Arnold Schwarzenegger, ' The Rock' , Jason Statham and many others, I am getting so motivated that I could get in the car immediately and lift some heavy sh** at the gym!

Let's see if I can motivate you too with these quotes:

What is your source for your daily fitspiration?

Montag, 24. März 2014

Smoothie's benefits

Hello everyone!

As you may have noticed, Spring is coming slowly but surely, and Summer isn't far behind. And what is the best way to enjoy a warm spring or summer breeze? Exactly with a delicious and yummy smoothie!

I prefer to make them myself,  it is the best way to know the exact ingredients of your smoothie. If you buy them in a shop , I mean in a bottle, they are mostly full of sugar and other things you don't even know or have never heard before. Maybe not even 50% of the smoothie are fruits, who knows?
Making smoothies yourself also prevents fruit from going to waste and it is the most delicious way to nourish your body with essential nutrients. The only thing you need is a blender, fruits you like and a base like any kind of milk, water or yogurt.

For example two smoothies I did myself:

A very easy-to-make strawberry-smoothie

What you need:
  • Oranges
  • Strawberries
  1. Press some orange juice
  2. Blend the strawberries and mix with the orange juice
  3. done!

Another easy-to-make berry-smoothie:

What you need:
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries
  • 1 Banana
  1. Blend your berries and you banana
  2. Mix with the greek yogurt until smooth
  3. done!
This one is called a traffic-light-smoothie because it has the colors of a traffic light, green, orange/yellow and red 

What you need:
  • 3 Kiwis
  • 2 Mangos
  • 4 to 6 Strawberries
  • 1 Handful of raspberries
  1. Blend the ingredients separately, except the strawberries and the raspberries
  2. Fill in the kiwi-smoothie in your glass
  3. Fill in the juicy mangos
  4. And last but not least the red berry-smoothie
If you want your smoothie to look like a rainbow try this one:

What you need:
  • Oranges
  • Blood oranges
  • 1/2 Pineapple
  • 1 Mango
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries
  1. Press some Orange juice and some Blood orange juice
  2. Blend the pineapple and fill in your glass
  3. Blend the Mango and mix with your orange juice and add to your glass
  4. Blend the Strawberries and mix with orange juice , fill in your glass
  5. Blend the Raspberries and mix with the blood orange juice, add to your glass
  6. Blend the Blueberries and mix with blood orange juice, finish your glass by adding it
  7. Make sure that the different fruit layers are thick enough so that they don't mix with each other!

  • Benefits:

1. Vitamins and Minerals:
- Citrus, berries, tropical, drupes, pomes and melons contain a lot of minerals an vitamins. 
- Citrus fruits ( grapefruits, oranges, limes, lemons and soon) ,Tropical fruits (papaya, kiwi, pineapple, avocado, coconut, bananas and mangoes) and Pomes fruits (apples & pears) contain a lot of Vitamin C, which helps your immune system, a lot of potassium which is important for a good heart function and a normal blood pressure, and folate that promotes healthy cells. 
- Berries, like blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, cranberries and grape, contain a lot of antioxidants which help decreasing inflammations and diseases.
- To help your visions and immune system function properly you need beta carotene which you will find in cherries, apricots, peaches and plums.
-Watermelons, cantaloupe, honey dew and casaba contain a variety of vitamin C too.

2. Fiber:
-If you want to reach the recommended intake of fiber (25 gram for women and 38 gram for men), drinking fruit smoothies is a good source. One serving of fruit normally contains 2 to 4 grams of fiber. Blackberries, pears and apples have the highest concentration of 5 to 7 grams per serving. This fiber found in fruit helps slow digestion and may also control blood sugar and lower cholesterol.

  • Smoothie Base:

If you create your own smoothie you are free to choose your base. You can add water, any type of milk (almond milk, hazelnut milk, coconut milk, soy milk) , yogurt or even juice, I prefer fresh pressed orange or blood orange juice. If you want a low-calorie smoothie than I recommend you to choose water or low-fat milk or yogurt for your base. For hot spring or summer days you may also add some crushed ice or simple ice cubes. 

  • Smoothie Tips:
If you are trying to lose weight I recommend you to use a smoothie as a meal replacements, not an addition. For example drink a dairy-based smoothie for breakfast or a water-based smoothie as a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack. Fruit smoothies can be a very healthy additional to your mean plan as long as you maintain portion control.