How to Reduce Belly Fat

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You know the fruity body shape descriptions, an “apple” or a “pear”? The apple is kinda round around the middle (belly fat-ish, kinda beer belly-ish) and the pear is rounder around the hips/thighs.

THAT is what we’re focusing on here – your weight circumference.

Do you know which shape is associated with a higher risk of sleep apnea, blood sugar issues (e.g. insulin resistance and diabetes) and heart issues (high blood pressure, blood fat, and arterial diseases).

Yup – that apple!

And it’s not because of the under the skin fat (subcutaneous) that you may refer to as a “muffin top”. The health risk is actually due to the fat inside the abdomen covering the liver, intestines and other organs there.

This internal fat is called “visceral fat” and that’s where a lot of the problem actually is. It’s this “un-pinchable” fat.

The reason the visceral fat can be a health issue is because it releases fatty acids, inflammatory compounds, and hormones that can negatively affect your blood fats, blood sugars, and blood pressure.

And the apple-shaped people tend to have a lot more of this hidden visceral fat than the pear-shaped people do.

So as you can see where your fat is stored is more important that how much you weigh.

Are you an Apple or a Pear?

It’s pretty simple to find out if you’re in the higher risk category or not. The easiest way is to just measure your waist circumference with a measuring tape. You can do it right now.

Women, if your waist is 35” or more you could be considered to have “abdominal obesity” and be in the higher risk category. Pregnant ladies are exempt, of course. For men the number is 40”.

Of course this isn’t a diagnostic tool. There are lots of risk factors for chronic diseases. Waist circumference is just one of them. If you have concerns definitely see your doctor.

Tips for helping reduce some belly fat:

  • Eat more fiber. Fiber can help reduce belly fat in a few ways. First of all it helps you feel full and also helps to reduce the amount of calories you absorb from your food. Some examples of high-fiber foods are brussel sprouts, flax and chia seeds, avocado, and blackberries.
  • Add more protein to your day. Protein reduces your appetite and makes you feel fuller longer. It also ensures you have enough of the amino acid building blocks for your muscles. Protein can be found in several other foods besides meat… Eggs, almonds, oats, broccoli, & quinoa are just a few of my favorite meat-free protein sources.
  • Nix added sugars. This means ditch the processed sweetened foods especially those sweet drinks!
  • Move more. Get some aerobic exercise. Lift some weights. Walk and take the stairs. It all adds up.
  • Stress less. Seriously! I get it, sometimes that can be impossible… After a stressful day take some time out for yourself to regroup. Stress-free isn’t easy, but as long as you take the proper steps to handle your stress, you’re in the clear.  Elevated levels in the stress hormone cortisol have been shown to increase appetite and drive abdominal fat.
  • Get more sleep. Try making this a priority and seeing how much better you feel (and look).

Do these seem like easy tips you could start working on today? Share your thoughts below or comment on Facebook @AmandaSabWellness 

Best Way to Store Fresh Herbs

I love to grow my own herbs, but I find it harder to do / don’t have the space for it during the winter months. Every time I went to the grocery store (about once a week) I found myself buying new herbs. I hated throwing out the old ones after a few days. I knew there had to be an easier, more sustainable way to keep my herbs fresh. The options below kept my herbs fresh for 3+ weeks!

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Prep

  1. Wash them. Wash your herbs as soon as you bring them home. Rinsing them in the sink is perfect. Lay them on a layer of paper towels and pat gently with more paper towels to blot away any excess moisture.
  2. Trim the bases by snipping off the bases of the stems and removing any discolored or wilted leaves. Just like you would when bringing home a fresh batch of flowers.
  3. Change the water. Make sure your herbs have fresh water. Changing it every few days worked best for me.
  4. Basil Tip: I found basil prefers room temperature rather than the fridge. Be sure to keep them out of direct sunlight.

Store

  1. Mason Jar. Transfer herbs to a mason jar with an inch of water in the bottom. Cover the top of the jar with a ziploc sealed with a rubber band (if possible). Store in the refrigerator.
  2. Paper Towel. Wet & wring out a paper towel. Place the herbs in the damp paper towel. Wrap them in the towel, place in a ziploc bag and put in the fridge *This method works for lettuce & kale too!

That’s it! Super simple. A little extra time &  prep can get you far in the kitchen 🙂

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Looking for more tips and tricks with your groceries?  CLICK HERE to sign up for my newsletter and receive my Holistically Happy Grocery Guide!

November Favorites

Every month I list my five favorite things that fall into the health & wellness category. They can be anything from a store, a workout class, a book, or even a recipe. Hopefully these monthly posts with inspire you, get you out trying new things, and above all putting your health first!

If you follow along on Facebook, I previously mentioned how I am slowly switching all of my beauty products to organic, cruelty free, environmentally friendly, etc. I’ve been getting a lot of questions on that topic so, this month’s favorites are beauty themed! These are just a few of my favorite recent purchases. All of these items are available at Target. If you are member of Thrive Market you can purchase them for a smaller cost there too!

November Favorites

#5 Day Cream >> Acure: I have several different moisturizers and dealing with Chicago winters does not help my skin. This has been the best one so far. I’m not left feeling greasy and it has a great scent.acureorganicsdaycream

#4 Face Cleanser >> Yes to Carrots: This is a great line and I would buy most anything from them. It has a good scent and lathers really well. It left my face feeling smooth and refreshed.ytc_daily_creamcleanser

#3 Moroccan Argan Oil >> Acure: Moroccan oil is good for everything – a facial serum, body oil, hair serum, smooths dry patches, and cuticle repair. I use mine mostly on my cuticles. Being a previous nail biter, I’ve done some damage. Being able to carry this around in my purse has worked wonders for my nails.acure oil#2 Shampoo/ Conditioner >> Alba Botanica: I’ve been on the hunt for a good smelling natural shampoo & conditioner. Alba Botanica was my answer! Every time I wash my hair it smells like a tropical day on the beach. I like to mix it up, so I purchased the mango scented conditioner and the coconut milk shampoo. Alba-Botanica-Natural-Hawaiian-Shampoo-Drink-It-Up-Coconut-Milk-724742008550

#1 Mascara >> Pacifica: Love this mascara! It goes on smooth and really defines each lash. Adds volume and has a natural look, which I appreciate as I’m not a heavy makeup user. The packaging is so pretty too! PAP-30116-1

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Do you have any favorite organic, cruelty free beauty products? I’d love to hear about them! Tell me in the comments below, or on FACEBOOK @ AMANDASABWELLNESS

September Favorites

September 1st marks a new beginning for some. The first day of school, starting a new job, the  change of seasons. This is one of my favorite times of year! With the start of a new season, comes a new blog feature, that I know you will love. Every month I will list my five favorite things that fall into the health & wellness category. They can be anything from a store, a workout class, a book, or even a recipe. Hopefully these monthly posts with inspire you, get you out trying new things, and above all putting your health first!

SEPtember Favorites

#5 Store >> Marshall’s.  With brands like Nike, North Face, and Prana at 1/2 the price this is my go to place for workout gear. Forget putting half your paycheck to a pair of leggings that you’re just going to sweat in, save money and checkout the athletic wear section at Marshall’s. 

marshalls

#4 Podcast >> ACE FitCast 15 minutes to wellness. This podcast features expert guests in health, psychology, science, fitness, and many other fields, offering their valuable insight on health and wellness. Listen to it in the shower, walking the dog, or even cooking dinner. I love how the episodes are short and to the point. The podcast isn’t updated regularly anymore. With only 44 episodes, you can become a healthier & happier you in just a few weeks. 

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#3  Meal >> Food in a bowl. This is the current star of the healthy food world. You’ve probably seen a lot of these on Instagram. From spoonable smoothies to macrobiotic bowls full of veggies and grains these are a great breakfast option or take it to work. Stay tuned this week for a macro-bowl recipe!  (Image from Well & Good

smoothie bowl

#2 Book >> Intuitive Eating. My programs are based on this book and I love everything about it. It teaches us to love ourselves for who we are and eat to nourish our bodies. There is no need for diets or restrictions. Listening to what your body needs is the key to a lifetime of healthy eating. To further explore intuitive eating, please visit my website and schedule a free consultation – http://www.amandasabwellness.com

intuitve eating

#1 Class >> Marissa Jayne Yoga. Saving the best for last. This is my very dear friend of 20+ years. She started her yoga business a little over a year ago and has done amazing things with it. Marissa incorporates doTerra essential oils into her teachings. Her classes are an experience you don’t want to miss. In 2016, she will also be offering some pretty cool healthy, mindful living workshops on chakras and mediation. Amanda Sabatino Wellness will be a guest host in December! I  attend her yoga classes twice a week, if you are in the Chicago area I highly recommend you check her out! Website: MarissaJayne.com

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Do you have a favorite health & wellness themed event, book, store, etc? I’d love to hear about it! Tell me in the comments below or on Facebook @AmandaSabWellness.

Had an extra “fun” weekend or coming back from a much-needed vacation? Aka… 1 drink turns into 4 and eating the worst food without a care in the world? Good for you! It’s important to enjoy yourself.  Now let’s get back on track and get you feeling healthy again!

Laugh & Remember

This should to be the first thing you do after a vacation or long weekend. Before you start stressing out about what you didn’t do (like that morning workout or ordering a salad at dinner), pause and remember all the good things that happened. Look back at the fun moments, smile, and laugh. Let that positive attitude gear you up for a great week!

Start with breakfast

 Instead of telling yourself on Sunday evening or Monday morning that you’re going to “eat perfectly this entire week,” start with just breakfast. The chances of you choosing healthier meals throughout the day will increase if you focus on at least starting with a healthy breakfast. After breakfast focus on choosing a healthy lunch. Then dinner. Get your body back in the groove one meal at a time.

Drink Extra water

 There’s a good chance that you indulged in some high sodium foods, which are causing you to be bloated and not feel your best. Or you might be dehydrated from too much sun and a few too many drinks. The solution to both problems is to drink more water! Make it a goal to drink two extra cups of water for the first three days after your vaca or weekend of fun.

More Fruits & veggies

Depending on the type of weekend you enjoyed, your body might be craving veggies and fruit–go with that craving. But even if you’re not, start incorporating more veggies and fruit into your meals. Aim to fill half of your plate with veggies, and you’ll be feeling like a million bucks in no time!

Get some rest

When you don’t get enough sleep, you can expect to battle stronger cravings, mood swings, lack of motivation, and that annoying feeling of being hungry even when you’ve had plenty to eat. Getting enough sleep is one of the most powerful moves you can make to get back on track!

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While it is important to eat healthy and take care of your body, it’s equally important to let go of the rules and enjoy yourself every now and then. Need help getting back on track? Check out my website for coaching programs: WWW.AMANDASABWELLNESS.COM

Tears at the Gym

I had the best workout of my life this week. I was working with my trainer, we increased all of my weights and I was able to run almost twice as long as usual. It was a good day. I was so proud of myself! I called my husband, my mom, etc. – pretty much anyone who would listen. I was sweating from places I didn’t know were possible and I felt great. It didn’t matter that my face was the color of a tomato or I was dripping wet, I had accomplished a goal. I was worn out, but it was worth it. Now, this isn’t going the direction that you’re expecting. I didn’t cry that day, I was proud of myself but it wasn’t Olympic medal winning proud.

kerri-strug

Fast forward to the next day. On Tuesday, I was supposed to meet my workout buddy and trainer for a quick session. My workout buddy hadn’t been at the gym for a few weeks and my trainer asked if I would go for moral support. Well, workout buddy cancelled and it was just my trainer and I yet again. We did easier exercises but I was worn out from the day before. I knew I could handle another day of workouts but my body didn’t have the same idea.

repeat-after-me-i-can-do-this
Our session included running stairs, which is normal. The first set – I killed it, second set – eh… I was okay, by the third set of stairs my body had given up and I just walked down. Shortly after, during leg exercises, I hit my wall and was exhausted. The tears just started coming. “I can’t go any longer…” I sniffled while doing lunges. Luckily, I was working with my trainer, so the session turned into moral support for me. She didn’t tell me to stop, she’s seen what I can do. We took it a little slower, but I still did the usual workouts.

Even though I was “near death,” as I told my trainer, I still finished out strong. I was able to finish the hour-long session because of her.  And that makes me even prouder than the day before. Yes there were groans, slow movements, shaking, and even tears. But, I can say I pushed myself as far as my body can go. Being the exercise lover,  I enjoyed every minute of it. I went to the gym today with a little extra pep in my step. Yea, I cried while doing lunges the day before, but at least I worked my butt off and didn’t give up.

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So what’s the point of my story? Find someone to push you. Its doesn’t have to be a trainer.  A best friend, a work colleague, significant other, whoever it may be, find someone to go though this battle with. Build your own support team.  Without my trainer and workout buddy I would have given up long ago. Even though I enjoy this, there are always those days. You need someone to help get you to that extra mile, lift that last set, or convince you to keep going while your crying and sweating…  And if you don’t have anyone, I am here to help.

workout-buddy-running

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As a Health Coach, I help you accomplish your health and wellness goals. Are you sick of starting over and need to be held accountable? Do you need someone to keep you motivated and give you that extra push? That’s what I am here for. Let me help you find your version of healthy!

Details >> AmandaSabWellness.com

Why YOU Need a Health Coach

The health of America continues to decline despite the amount of money spent on health care, high-technology medicine, and educational efforts. Diabetes and obesity rates continue to sky-rocket among adults and children.

68% of Americans are overweight or obese

Less than 3% of doctor visits are spent discussing nutrition

70% of deaths are caused by chronic illness each year

1 in 3 adults worldwide have high blood pressure

$2.3 trillion is spent on healthcare, yet only 2% goes towards prevention

Unless we wake up and take responsibility for our own health and nutrition, the pattern will continue. As a health coach, I will listen to you and guide you in making choices in food and nutrition that will improve your health once and for all. I will help you make small changes that build up a lifetime of good health.
healthy habit
 Here are the top reasons from Mind Body Green on why you need a health coach:
 
  • You don’t understand why you have gained the weight. 
Over the years the extra few pounds have stayed on you, but you are not eating any differently. There are many dietary changes that you need, but you don’t know where to start. A health coach will help you identify the easiest changes to make today that will make the biggest impact on your health.

 

  • You have cravings that you don’t know how to handle so you end up eating. 
You figure that you don’t have any control over the cravings so you just give in, every time, year after year. A health coach will help you identify the cause of the cravings and enable you to beat your cravings or binge eating.

 

  •  The people around you are overweight or unhealthy. 
If your family and friends look like they are at an unhealthy weight or don’t feel healthy, you might be hanging around people who aren’t aware of what good nutrition changes are needed. You might be one of those folks. A health coach can help you decipher the truth about what is healthy and what is not.

 

  •   You want to lose weight fast, so you are considering which diet to try. 
Strict diets usually don’t work. First you severely restrict yourself, and when you lose the weight, the diet ends and you don’t know how to eat on a normal, daily basis. A health coach will teach you how to make healthy decisions one meal at a time!

 

  • You don’t have enough time for yourself. 
There are only so many hours in a day and you simply don’t have any time to devote to yourself for pampering, exercise, or to cook. A health coach will help empower you to finally take care of yourself.

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  •  You are stressed out with family and work responsibilities. 
If you suffer from stress or anxiety, a health coach will teach you about the relationship between stress and chronic disease, how to reset your priorities, and how to get your stress under control.

 

  • Your family needs to eat better but you aren’t sure how to accomplish that with what you know or the time you have. 
There are cookbooks, diet books, commercials, restaurants, and products labeled “healthy” on the market, and you need to improve your and your family’s diet. That’s what a health coach is there for!

 

  • You are confused about whether meat, protein, carbs, dairy, produce, or GMO foods are healthy.
Every existing diet conflicts with every other diet. How can you tell what is healthy for you? A health coach will help you determine what foods are healthy for YOU and what will work for YOU.

 

  • Nothing has worked before so you continue to gain weight or have chronic health issues. 
If you suffer from black and white thinking, chances are you have given up because nothing you have tried before worked. If you have gained weight, or if you are suffering from chronic health issues that are blood sugar-related, high cholesterol, blood pressure, inflammation or arthritis, or other health issues, you may be able to improve your health quickly through food and nutrition. A health coach can help you wade through the mountains of nutrition research to figure out what works for you and your health.
If this list isn’t enough, check out this article from Everyday Health:
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For group and 1:1 health coaching info, visit my site amandasabwellness.com

My packages have several different price points and can be tailored to fit your needs. Message me today and we can discuss what would work best for you!

Exciting news!

You weren’t born with habits. You learned them all. Thus, you can unlearn them. What habit do you wish to change? This can be applied to every area of our lives…our daily habits determine our success or lack of it. The good news is that we can create new, good habits! It just takes commitment and a willingness to change.

The even better news is I can HELP YOU change those “bad” habits and create healthier ones that will last a lifetime. I offer group and one on one coaching (3 or 6 months).  My packages have several different price points and can be tailored to fit your needs. Email me today and we can discuss what would work best for you!

habits

As a client of my program you will:

  • Explore your personal goals and visions

  • Solidify a lifestyle plan that works for you

  • Learn how to nourish your body properly

  • Develop strategies to keep yourself accountable and on track

  • Increase your energy levels

  • Feel great in your body

  • Increase your knowledge of nutrition and wellness

  • Accomplish your unique set of goals

  • Discover the confidence to create the life you deserve!

All programs include:

  • E-mail support between sessions

  • Recipes that are healthy and simple to prepare

  • Coaching and support to help you make the dietary and lifestyle changes you want

  • Access to my monthly newsletter with the latest health tips and recipes

  • My personal commitment to your health and success

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Join me on this incredible journey to health and happiness today!
>>> My services are NOW AVAILABLE awww.amandasabwellness.com <<<

 

3 Reason You Aren’t Seeing Results

You’re eating healthier, working out, drinking water, doing everything correctly, and yet nothing is happening. You are not losing weight, you don’t feel any different, and you look the same as when you started. Now what?! Instead of giving up, let’s take a look at what you are doing (or not doing) and make some adjustments.
Here are 3 reasons why you’re not seeing results  and how you can fix them:

 Sleep

Sleep is one of the most important parts of any goal you are trying to reach. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body doesn’t get the chance to complete all the phases needed for muscle repair, memory consolidation, and release of hormones that regulate growth and appetite.

You should get at least 7 quality hours of sleep. Whenever possible, make sure to go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time. Create an environment that is ideal for a good nights sleep like turning off your TV and leaving your phone out of the bedroom.

hammock nap

 How you exercise

Do you have the same workout routine every day? Refuse to miss your weekly spot in spin class? The issue with doing the same thing every week, is your body gets used to it. Once your body gets used to the same routine, it won’t work as hard and won’t be going through any changes. Challenge yourself. Your body desperately needs a challenge to in order to see results. Instead of doing the same workouts and running the same miles every day, switch up your cardio. Sprint for a minute, or work your way up to that. Try to go for 5 lbs heavier (only increase by 5lb increments, anything larger and you risk muscle tears and sprains). Also, make sure you are taking a rest day. Your body needs at least 24 hours to recover, 48 hours if you’re lifting weights.
workout-shoes

What you eat

I know you don’t want to hear that you need to eat healthier to lose weight. But, sometimes you just need to be honest with yourself. Exercising is not a free pass to eat whatever you want. Be mindful of what you are eating throughout the day, yes even that cookie (or two) you had a work counts. It doesn’t matter how much you workout, if you’re not getting proper nutrition you won’t see any results, period.
Unfortunately, what you drink counts as well. Stay away from packaged fruit juices. They are loaded with extra calories and added sugars. Instead try to make your own, or stick with water. Drinking your calories on the weekends, isn’t much help either. While it is okay to consume a glass of wine or two, who are we kidding maybe 3… , try to stay away from high calorie beers and mixed drinks, which are full of carbs and added sugars.
 
The next time you get frustrated just think back to this list. Sometimes it is just a small change that can make all the difference. Everyone has setbacks or hits a plateau. The important part is not to get frustrated, take a step back and think about what needs some work.
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If you do the 3 things above, I promise you will start seeing more results, QUICKER! If these steps don’t seem to be enough, please feel free to contact me and we can work on creating a healthier & happier you!

 

Active Living

I focus my health coaching business on the idea of balance and active living. I briefly talked about a balanced life in my previous post, Get Holistic with your Health. In order to be truly healthy, one must find balance in all areas of their life – physical, mental, social, etc.

So what is active living? I like to think of it as a circle. Once all parts of your life are active, everything just flows.

active living

 

Active living means living to the best of your ability and putting your health first.  It involves physical activity, fueled by healthy eating and positive thoughts.  Active living builds physical and mental health, helps people develop the skills and capacities needed to lead independent lives (especially as we get older), and brings benefits like better sleep, higher energy and opportunities to get out and be involved with other people.

active, healthy, happy

Today I want to focus on MOVE your body. Find an activity that not only gets you moving, but makes your soul feel good – going for a nightly walk, playing with your dog in the park, hiking in the woods, etc. Park further away at the grocery store or walk somewhere instead of driving (also good for the environment). Every little bit of movement helps. You don’t have to be an athlete to live an active life. For example, a person who walks to work and climbs the stairs, instead of taking the elevator, may also consider herself to follow an active lifestyle.

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What will you do today that constitutes living an active life? how will you MOVE your body? Share with us in the comments below or on FACEBOOK.