Thursday, September 27, 2012

My name is VMFitness and I am an addict...

Peanut butter, almond butter, I'm too scared to try any others or I'll get HOOKED!

So what do I do when I have a jar of nut butter and don't want all those calories? I make a healthier alternative!

You'll need your:
nut butter
almond milk
cinnamon & stevia (optional)
empty jar

I usually reuse the jar that the original nut butter came in!
And the measurements are ALL UP TO YOU. No matter how much almond milk or water you add, you'll still be saving calories per tablespoon! If you like a thick consistency, then you add less liquid. If you don't mind it more runny, then add more liquid, and you save more calories.
I usually match the amount of almond milk to water, lets say 1/2 c water, 1/2 c almond milk. 

Let your nut butter get a little warm either by putting the jar in a bowl of warm water or heating in the microwave for a very short time (depending on what the jar is made out of)
Then add in a bit of nut butter at a time in the blender with the rest of the ingredients, so that you don't overload the blender. Once finished, fill your jar!
If you are using a normal sized nut butter jar, add all the measurements of your ingredients into MyFitnessPal in a new recipe, and divide it into 14 servings! You will then get the amount of calories per 2 tablespoons!

Now realize, it won't taste fully amazing like the original nutbutter, but you WILL be saving a lot of calories! Which is just fineee in my book.
Enjoy, all you crazy nut butter addicts <3

Drinkkk Up!

Felt like sharing my favoritee healthy, clean, and oh so beneficial for you beverages!

First and foremost, the most IMPORTANT beverage you should be drinking is WATER! Good ol' H20! I personally drink about 4 liters a day. Your body is made up mostly of water, because it needs it to survive! If you don't get enough water, it'll try and retain any that you have and you'll end up being bloated and carrying lots of "water weight"

Kombucha is another one of my favorite drinks! They have a wide variety of flavors, and the benefits of it are AMAZING. For some, it's definitely an acquired taste. Kind of bitter, but I love it because it's so good for the body. Here's what it claims:

"*Probiotics – healthy bacteria
*Alkalize the body – balances internal pH
*Detoxify the liver – happy liver = happy mood
*Increase metabolism – rev your internal engine
*Improve digestion – keep your system moving
*Rebuild connective tissue – helps with arthritis, gout, asthma, rheumatism
*Cancer prevention
*Alleviate constipation
*Boost energy – helps with chronic fatigue
*Reduce blood pressure
*Relieve headaches & migraines
*Reduce kidney stones
*High in antioxidants – destroy free-radicals that cause cancer
*High in polyphenols
*Improve eyesight
*Heal excema – can be applied topically to soften the skin
*Prevent artheriosclerosis
*Speed healing of ulcers – kills 
h.pylori on contact
*Help clear up candida & yeast infections
*Aid healthy cell regeneration
*Reduce gray hair
*Lower glucose levels – prevents spiking from eating
Simply put, Kombucha is an all natural health beverage chockfull of probiotics and other healthy amino acids. Probiotic literally means “for life”. Unlike antibiotics, which kill ALL of the bacteria in your body, even the good stuff, probiotics re-establish the natural ecology of the intestinal flora. Probiotics are said to boost immunity, enhance mood, fight allergies, detoxify the body and rid the body of disease. The Kombucha benefits you experience may vary."

How AMAZING does that sound?! Definitely a staple whenever I get to go to my local health food store! Try it next time you go!

Almond Milk
Mmmm almond milk! I always get the unsweetened kind, and at only 30-40 calories a cup, such a good deal if you're counting calories. You can use it with cereal, in smoothies, protein shakes, even baking recipes! It's super high in calcium, nutrient rich and full of vitamins! A great alternative to the usual cow's milk and is a great option for those lactose intolerant!

Noni Juice
Noni is often known as the super fruit! Here are a few benefits of its juice:
  • Immune booster: Noni is considered one of the most nutritious fruits. Many of its nutrients are known to stimulate the immune system.
  • Digestive Stimulant: Noni juice has traditionally been used as a laxative.
  • Anti-oxidants: Research has shown that Noni juice exhibits better antioxidant activity than grape seed extract and pycnogenol.
  • Analgesic: The Noni tree is also knows as the ‘Painkiller and Headache tree’. Noni has been found to be 75% as effective as morphine sulphate in relieving pain without the toxic side effects.
  • Antibacterial, antifungal and antiparasitic: With the presence of active compounds like anthraquinones, scopoletin and terpenes, Noni is effective against bacteria and fungus.
  • Anti-inflammatory: Noni juice has shown similar results to the newer over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs, called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
  • Anti-tumor/ anti-cancerous: Noni juice contains noni-ppt, which has shown anti-tumor activity.

I usually add just a splash of this to my protein shakes or smoothies!

Cranberry juice
This was my secret weapon at the beginning of my weight loss/ healthy lifestyle journey! It is super powerful at cleansing out your system and flushing out toxins from the lymphatic system and liver! 
I drink it as a mixture - 7 parts of water to 1 part pure cranberry juice [NOT from concentrate!]
aka - 1 oz cranberry juice to 7 oz water.
Warning: if you start drinking this, you will pee A LOT!

Got this little cocktail recipe from and [check out these sites, so fitspirational!] I've made a few changes from the original recipe.
I mix together:
splash of Apple Cider Vinegar
lemon juice
pinch of cinnamon and cayenne

And that's that! 

Here are some benefits of drinking Apple Cider Vinegar:
  • 1 tablespoon of Raw Apple Cider Vinegar mixed in 4 ounces of purified water after a meal has been used as a natural remedy for heartburn and as a replacement for toxic heartburn medications.
  • Raw Apple Cider Vinegar may help improve bowel irregularity, thereby removing toxins from the body at a faster rate.
  • Helps clear up skin conditions and blemishes giving a smoother texture and complexion.
  • Raw Apple Cider vinegar may also help with joint pain and stiffness.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar helps to break down fats so that your body can use them rather than store them. For this reason, many diets include ACV in their regimen.

As we know from my post about those liver cleansing foods, lemons are great for the liver and flushing out harmful toxins from the body, and also boosting your metabolism! 

And cinnamon is beneficial as well:
Stabilizes blood sugar, has anti clotting effects on the blood, increases the amount of insulin production in the body, and has antifungal properties!

Lastly, I have the addition of cayenne powder because spices boost your metabolism and it's said that cayenne promotes the body to use more fat as fuel!

Green Tea
This powerhouse tea is tasty, soothing, and super good for you too. It can lower your risk of cancer, ease the pain of arthritis, stabilize cholesterol levels, prevent cardiovascular disease, boost your immune system, promote weight loss by lowering those LDL (bad) cholesterol and it also stimulates metabolism and the caffeine releases fat into your bloodstream to be used as fuel to burn. 

Dandelion Root Tea
My FAVORITE tea! The greatest benefit it has is to promote healthy liver function, and I am all about giving the liver the most love it can get, because it is a huge player in fat loss! So we need to make it has healthy as possible. Here are the benefits it claims:
  • Dandelion Tea is an agent for keeping optimum liver, kidney and gallbladderfunctions.
  • Dandelion Tea enhances detoxification by stimulating urination, as well as replacing the potassium lost to the increased volume of urine.
  • Dandelion Tea is used to help in the health maintenance of those suffering from Type-1 and Type-2 diabetes.
  • Dandelion Tea can be used for treatment of such liver disorders as hepatitis and jaundice.
  • Dandelion Tea can be used for purifying the blood and cleansing the system.
  • Dandelion Tea can help in relieving digestive disorders such as constipation and diarrhea.
  • Dandelion Tea has properties that can help cleanse and improve the skin.

It also has such a relaxing and soothing flavor... is relaxing a flavor? If you see it at your grocery store, pick up a box! Your liver will thank you!
This is a staple for me, especially if my clean eating habits have been a little off.

Detox Tea by Yogi
Another tea I turn to when I haven't been so strict on my eating habits. Detox tea by Yogi! I like to let the bag sit in a mug of water over night so I can get all I can from that bag! 

Your poor overworked liver and the top cleansing foods!

Want to find out what foods to eat to cleanse your overworked liver?

  The liver does SO much for our bodies. It continuously filters the blood of poisons and toxins that we're exposed to everyday through the skin, lungs, and digestive system. When there are too many toxins or stress, it becomes overworked! It produces bile, which is important for digestion, and is the key player in metabolizing the fats, carbs, and proteins and in mineral and vitamin storage. It is so important to keep our lover happy and healthy, so that we can burn off fat more efficiently! If it's overworked, it won't be able to process the toxins and fat in an efficient way, BUT there are some foods that you can eat to naturally clean toxic waste out of our systems.

Liver detoxifying foods

Grapefruit: High in both vitamin C and antioxidants, 2 powerful liver cleansers, grapefruit increases the natural cleansing processes of the liver. A small glass of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice will help boost production of liver detoxification enzymes that help flush out carcinogens and other toxins. It also contains a flavonoid compound known as naringenin that causes the liver to burn fat rather than store it.

Apples: High in pectin, apples hold the chemical constituents needed for the body to cleanse and release toxins from the digestive tract. This makes it easier for the liver to handle the toxic load during the cleansing process. The pectin helps to bind and excrete heavy metals right off the intestines. This directly helps to reduce the load of filtration on the liver.

Avocados: this nutrient dense superfood helps the body produce glutathione, necessary for the liver to cleanse harmful toxins. Rich in glutathione-producing compounds, avocados actively promote liver health by protecting it against toxic overload, and boosting its cleansing power. 1 or 2 avocados a week for as little as 30 days can repair a damaged liver. They have been shown to naturally protect and repair the liver.

Lemons and limes: the citrus fruits contain high amounts of vitamin C, which aids the body in synthesizing toxic material into substance that can be absorbed by water. Drinking freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice in the morning helps stimulate the liver. Warm water with lemon or lime each morning could be the simplest and most advantageous methods of improving the health of your liver. Its high levels of potassium and vitamin C help regulate biological functions. The liver produces more enzymes in response to water with lemon than to any other food.

Garlic: just a small amount of garlic has the ability to activate liver enzymes that helps your body flush out toxins. Garlic holds high amounts of allicin and selenium, 2 natural compounds that aid in liver cleansing and are proven to help protect the liver form toxic damage, and aid it in the detoxification process. It contains numerous sulfur-containing compounds that activate the liver enzymes responsible for flushing toxins from the body. Its known for its ability to fight against cancer and infections naturally, and is very useful in repairing a compromised liver. It also assists removal of heavy metals from the liver.

Oils: cold-pressed organic oils such as olive, hemp, and flax seed are great for the liver, when used in moderation. They help the body by providing a lipid base that can suck up harmful toxins in the body. It takes some of the burden off the liver in terms of toxic overload that many of us suffer from.

Turmeric: the liver’s favorite spice. It helps boost liver detox by assisting enzymes that actively flush out known dietary carcinogens. It is one of the most powerful foods for maintaining a healthy liver, and has been shown to actively protect the liver against toxic damage, and even regenerate damaged liver cells. Turmeric also boosts the natural production of bile, shrinks engorged hepatic ducts, ad improves overall function of the gallbladder, another body-purifying organ. These benefits are in addition to its shocking ability of turmeric to combat cancer in a number of studies.

Leafy green veggies: one of our most powerful allies in cleansing the liver, leafy greens can be eaten raw, cooked, or juiced. Extremely high in plant chlorophylls, greens literally suck up environmental toxins from the blood stream. With their distinct ability to neutralize heavy metals, chemicals, and pesticides, these cleansing foods offer a powerful protective mechanism for the liver. Try incorporating leafy greens such as bitter gourd, arugula, dandelion greens, spinach, mustard greens, and chicory in your diet. They help increase the creation and flow of bile, which removes waste from the organs and blood.

Cruciferous veggies: eating broccoli, lettuce, and cauliflower will increase the amount of glucosinolate in your system, adding to enzyme production in the liver. These natural enzymes help flush out carcinogens and other toxins out of our body, which significantly lower the risk of cancer.

Cabbage: much like broccoli and cauliflower, eating cabbage helps stimulate the activation of 2 crucial liver detoxifying enzymes that help flush out toxins. Try eating more kimchi, coleslaw, cabbage soup, and sauerkraut.

Green tea: this liver loving beverage is chock full of plant antioxidants known as catechins, a constituent known to assist the livers overall functions. It eliminates liver fat accumulation and promotes proper liver functions. It also protects the liver against toxins that would otherwise accumulate and cause serious damage.

Walnuts: these nuts contain high levels of l-arginine, an amino acid, glutathione, and omega 3 fatty acids, and helps detoxify the liver of disease0causing ammonia and support normal liver cleansing actions. They also help oxygenate the blood and extracts from their hulls are often used in liver-cleansing formulas. Make sure to chew the nuts well, until liquefied, before swallowing.

Whole grains and eggs: grains like brown rice and eggs are rich in B-complex vitamins, nutrients known to improve overall fat metabolization, liver function, and liver decongestion. Vitamin b12 helps metabolize fats and improves liver health.

Beets and carrots: both extremely high in plant flavonoids and beta carotene, potent antioxidants, eating both beets an carrots can help stimulate and improve overall liver function.

So next time you find your diet slacking from some.. ahem... not so healthy choices, or you feel like you need to give your liver some loving, make these STAPLES in your diet!

My Story

Hey everyone! VMFitness from Instagram here, or you can call me Josie :]

I decided to finally start my own blog where I can answer your questions, post healthy tips and advice, and of course, what everyone loves the most, HEALTHY CLEAN EATING RECIPES!

SO, to just let you know my story.....

Ever since I was a little girl, I was always really tiny, very skinny, with a super fast metabolism. Literally skin and bones. Then this changed in middle school. I suddenly wasn't the skinny girl anymore, but I wasn't necessarily overweight or fat either, I was therefor, "skinny fat". I stayed this way for a long time, until my lifestyle change in May 2012. During my skinny fat phase, I hated my body. I wanted to be that small girl again, and seeing all my friends with their long legs that went on for days, and their little bodies, made me feel so self conscious, especially being on the dance team, we had to wear certain costumes that showed a lottt if you know what I mean, and I was never comfortable in my body.

Then in May 2012, after I completed my first year of college, I thought, "Hey, if you're so unhappy, do something about it, make a change", SO I picked up a book called "The Fat Flush Diet", which was basically a strict clean eating diet for 2 weeks in order to flush out and cleanse the liver with mainly protein and veggies and healthy fat of flax oil, and 2 servings of fruit. Then after the first two weeks you slowly incorporate more carbs back in, and then switch to a lifestyle diet. 
At first, my only intent was to lose a few pounds, then go back to eating crap, and then do the 2 weeks again when I felt like I had a few pounds to lose. I NEVER thought that I would change my complete lifestyle and be committed to EATING CLEAN and TRAINING MEAN. After I completed the Fat Flush Diet, I had lost around 16 pounds, was happy with the weight loss, but still was not happy about what I saw in the mirror. Some say I was crazy, but I just didn't like what I saw.

Over the summer while I lived with my parents, I kept up the clean eating, but went a little overboard on calorie restrictions and workouts. I would do fasted workouts every morning and then another workout in the afternoon. I rarely had any full rest days. I would eat around 700 calories per day, thinking that it would get me to where I wanted my body to be.
Soon I felt weak and lethargic, but I didn't care because I was seeing results. Little did I know the horrible things I was doing to my body. I was depriving it of any energy, and basically burned off anything that I ate. My menstrual cycle stopped this summer during my intense workouts and diet change and so far it has not come back. I hope one day it does though, because I really hope to start a family.
Currently I've been looking through my past food journals that I had this summer, and in a lot of entries I have "I feel very weak today, I couldn't even make it up the stairs..." and other entries of that sort. But at the time I chose to ignore it! Even when my parents told me that I needed to eat more and started to look sick, I ignored them because that was how I wanted to look... I had a very distorted image of beauty at that time as you can see.

THEN, Instagram happened.

I started following all these fit and amazingly beautiful people and realized, why do I want to look emaciated, and skin and bones? Muscle and tone is BEAUTIFUL, just look at all those amazing girls on Instagram! FIT is sexy, HEALTHY is beautiful, starving yourself, wanting to be a size 00 and thighs with a circumference of 14 inches is not reasonable!

And this is what got me started with working out consistently, with WEIGHTS ladies, and now I can say that I am starting to get happier with my body! I'm getting a more toned, tighter body!

I have to say though, sometimes I still feel down when I see a tall 6 foot girl with the Victoria's Secret body walking around campus, but I can't expect that! I am only 5 feet tall, and there are just some things that aren't attainable for me! And I'm slowly getting OK with that!
Make reasonable, attainable goals, or else you will never be happy!

And with the help of IG, I've learned to finally start loving my body, with all its flaws and imperfections, and I constantly, every day, aim to be the best version of me that I can be.

I have upped my calories, lessened my workout intensities, and now I have 2 full rest days. I am learning to listen to my body better and I hope to never get to that weak feeling from the summer again. I hope to one day get my cycle back so that I can hopefully start a family of my own, and teach them the right and healthy ways and lifestyle to live.
As of now, I'm ALWAYS learning, always trying my hardest to be the healthiest I can be, and that's me! Just a normal girl, 19 years old, studying in school with a part time job, trying to lead a healthier lifestyle.

-- <3 VM Fitness