Last Day of 2011: Being Healthy Never Waits

Accompanied by the sound of rain from outside, my cup of sugar free coffee and I thought it's a perfect time to write an article.

So, today is the last day of 2011, a lot people are already preparing their new years's resolutions. Same like last year, this year I didn't wait until 2012 to start a better and healthier life. When I decided to start then it starts, I don't wait.

Starting a healthier life doesn't wait the day to pass by, the minute you realized it, the right minute you start. Don't say.."oh..I'll start my diet tomorrow and today I'll have my favorite cake" or "Tomorrow I'm going to start dieting, so today I can have anything I want".

The opportunity to live healthier is given each day, there's no special day to start a healthy life. You might not start at all. New Year is only one of moments to kick start, but why not start earlier ? Don't wait for 2012 or 2013 or the next years to have healthy life.

Happy New Year Anyway...

Abs Are Made in The Kitchen Not in The Gym

The title above is inspired by one of Dave Zinczenko's tweets ( he's Men's and Women's Health Editor), and somewhat true. It's a wake up call for everyone who is doing hundreds of crunches for flatter abs, and yet still wondering why those fats still hanging happily in your belly. 

Doing too many crunches at the expense of other, more comprehensive movements can lead to the dreaded “aerobic abs.”  That’s the term celebrity trainer Steve Maresca coined to describe the distended stomachs of those who focus only on the rectus abdominus muscles targeted by sit-ups and crunches. 

Thousand times of crunches and longer core exercises won't make your abs flat if you don't eat the right food. Now, the right food sure comes from the kitchen right? So, what to eat ? 

Start cooking low carb food, embrace the good fat such as; olive oil, avocado, fish etc, avoid deep fried food as often as possible and try to reduce the sodium intake. 

The man made his points though, I don't do much sit-ups ( 20 reps maximum ) for the last 4 years, I'm more focus on the food intake, how my food is prepared. I need to know what ingredients are in my food. I spend a long time doing my grocery because reading all the nutrition facts. When the food contains a lot of carbohydrates, sugars and sodium, I skip them. 

The Flat abs starts in the kitchen! 

I'd Rather Be Low Carber Eater Than Burning Calories

When you consuming something, especially food that contain trans fat, sugar and salt, ever thought how to get rid of the calories that stay in your belly? or the effect caused after you consume them?  I don't mean to scare people off, but seriously when you find out how much calories you have taken and the effort to lose them, it's probably won't worth at all. 

Here are some rough examples  and the estimated of calories you'll consume :
  • Muffin : 1 muffin is equal to 300-350 calories, 43.1 gram carbohydrates, 22.7 gram sugars. 
  • Donut : 1 original donut is sames as 200 - 250 calories, 39 gram carbohydrates and 18 gram sugars. Bear in mind that the numbers of calories, carbohydrates and sugars are increase along with the type of glazing. If you take jelly glazed donut, the calorie intake will reach to 350 calories per 1 donut. 
  • Cookie : 1 cookie carries 66 calories, 8.4 gram carbohydrates, and 3.5 gram of sugars. Yes, it's only 1 cookie, can you imagine if you eat up until 10 cookie chips? Just multiply the numbers !
  • Noodles : A 160gram of noodle contain 221 calories, 40.3 carbohydrates and 0.6 gram of sugars.
  • Croissant : 1 plain croissant is equal to 270 calories, 28 gram carbohydrates and 4gram of sugar

Now let's calculate how much effort you have to do when you eat the food above : To burn 300 calories you need to run at least 5km with average pace of 8.5km/hour, do 45 minutes of high intensity aerobic and the tough deal is even 500 times of crunches will not make the calories to go away instantly. 

Having one donuts will have to run
5km with pace 8.5km/hour
Just another note, the healthy daily intake for carbohydrate is 300 gram/day                              ( that's maximum ! ). I mention the sugars on purpose, because sugar is type of simple carbohydrate. So,if you eat 1 muffin for breakfast, the total carbohydrate that you have eaten will be 65.8gram. Now,in order to lose weight, you need to reduce your carbohydrate intake to 100-200gram each day. If you have just one muffin in the morning, it will only leaves you to 35-135gram carbohydrate (hmm...not really a good news eh? ). 

The more calories you take, the harder you have to exercise. If you have exercise too hard, will cause you over training, and not good for your body. 

Conclusion ? Yes, I'd rather be low carber than I have to work hard on burning calories. I want to maximize my training by limiting my carbohydrates intake. If you don't fancy a gym, reducing carbohydrates will help your diet. 

Healthy Food Gone Bad

I was strolling the supermarket yesterday, I was hungry and I was looking for some energy booster as I was going to exercise. I needed something fulfilling, yet still in low carb. And what I found out was not appealing at all..

The healthy foods that suppose to support our diet can go bad for us. We all know carrots, apple, peanuts, lemon, fish, chicken breast, oats, grains, shrimps and even water are really good for us.  What make them bad is the additional ingredients. The number one is sugar, sugar can be used as preservatives or flavor enhancer. Sugar is easily absorb by the body, and change into energy. I've seen power bars that claimed to be good for you, but contain lots of sugar. Yes, it is really powerful before you go exercise, but when checking Another example is oat biscuits. We all know oat is good carbohydrate and high in fibre, but then the manufacturer add some sugar in it, then the oat biscuit become dangerous for your health.

As for drinks, I see many packaged drinks are loaded with sugar. Especially green tea drinks. Yes, green tea is very good, rich in nutrients, works as antioxidant but then the sad thing is the manufacturer add more sugar in it. So, the green tea which suppose to give us all the benefits turn into guilty drink, because the added sugar.

I had to put away the muesli bar and green tea, I looked for another option, peanuts and pumpkin seeds. Again, I was disappointed when I read the nutrition fact on the back, sadly the manufacturer put sugar and salt in it. Even the peanuts now have great deal of carbs.

Secondly, is salt. Same as sugar, salt is often used as preservative and give flavor to food. But when you have it too much, your blood pressure will increase. The high sodium food can be found on canned food or processed food.

Thirdly, deep fried food. Anything that goes too much will ruin your health and diet. I love dory fish so much, but when you fry it in deep oil or make it into fish and chips, your good fat turn into bad fat ( trans fat ).

So, let's maintain our food healthy and eat wisely. Cut back the sugars and salt. Might taste bland, but your body and taste bud will adjust. Make sure you read the nutrition facts before you buy anything.

At the end I bought apples and mini Babybel cheese and they are worked like a charm.

Hello Again Low Carb

Low carb post workout meal : stir fry veggie, egg, plain
yoghurt with fresh fruits
From all the diet types I have tried, low carb is the one works best for me. Because I still can eat 4-6 times each, no hunger, no sorrow and yet I lose weight. Whenever, I feel to flatten my stomach, or gain weight, I simply cut the carbs, eat plenty of good protein and of course exercise 3 times a week. 

The trick to be succesful low carb is cut the sugar and sodium, which is quite tough because they are hidden in processed foods, drinks and claimed low fat. Being low carber, you have be good friends with the good fat, such as butter, olive oil,etc. Your other best friend doing low carb is proteins, swap your mash potatoes, rice and other carbs with proteins to fill you up. To be really honest when it comes to food, protein and fat are the best mix. Fat makes your food tasty without have to add sugar or salt. 

So, does low carb can be successful if you have sweet tooth ? Nothing is impossible, so the answer even if you have sweet tooth, low carb can be your success diet. How ? I chew on carrots for something sweet, or I'll blend plain yoghurt with kiwi fruit and strawberry. Have the sweet taste from fresh fruits, especially low carb fruits such as apple, kiwi, and berries. You may have little twist with oranges or grapefruits. Another trick is you can take dark chocolate to satisfy your sweet tooth. 

Have these yummy food without worries! 
The great thing about low carb is you can modify your own meal, not much of restriction and you don't need to count your calorie intake. What I do is limited the carb intake which is not more than 150g/ day. 

Being low carber, it is something for long term not just temporary. It's changing a habit, breaking the ice and exploring something new. After 4 years as low carber, it's much easier to control the craving, more sensitive towards sugar and salt. Whoever invented this diet, I salute you. It's the best diet ever! 

It's Full 4 Weeks Holiday!! and I'm Going Gym-ing!!

The time for holiday is finally arrived, and it's full 4 weeks holiday! I'm staying in Jakarta for the whole holiday but I'm looking forward for the total fun in the gym. I'm making gym as my favorite hang out, my mecca ( okay..that's too much ).

As a start, I will work on my running techniques, endurance and hopefully I can increase the time on the treadmill. Another program I want to work on is more on flat abs and reducing body fat. And the fun stuff for me will be is more time to join the dance classes!

My holiday will filled by improving my health for the future and yet I'm still having fun..hellow holiday!!

Exericising at Home

What a bugger for this morning, woke up early and ready for my gym. I defeated my laziness by still keeping it positive and march to the gym. I imagined running for 3km, and do total body workout ( because it's Sunday, and usually the machines are not used by so many members ). It was probably not a good start, when I got there the gym was still closed and there was a notice says "Will be open at 14.00"..I was like 'oh mann...'

I didn't want to wait until 14.00, so went back home and just decided to have exercise at home. My mind was already set to exercise,so when the gym closed, it didn't stop me at all.

For a start, I opened YouTube and checked up some dance exercise,and I found Ritmix 17 Flamenco is very interesting to start. So, I did that for 30 minutes. Then, I continued with abdominal exercises, from stand up crunch, obelique, and lower abs exercise. Finished with the abs, I did another 30 minutes of Body Combat ( I have downloaded some of Body Combat videos from YOuTube ), then wrapped my exercise with good morning for my back. 

Considered what I've done today, I guess there should be no excuse not to exercise. You don't really need to go to gym just for exercise. It's simple, low cost and easy to do.

Adieu Vidal Gomez..It Had Been Six Amazing Years of Dancing

Vidal's farewell party 4/12/11
Six years back, I didn't know how to dance, I didn't know how to move, how to count in dancing. I was a new member back then. This Spanish guy named Vidal Gomez came along, and he was new instructor in Jakarta. Joined his strict but fun classes from Latin dance, Celebrity Sculpt and Step. He's very expressive person until now. He told us how to let it out in dancing, how to become someone else when we dance, everything !

Vidal's last class at Celebrity Fitness PIM 2
I joined almost his classes, I loved and until now love his classes. He just has his own charisma, his own way to bring the best energy in the class. When I had all the break ups, I just joined his classes and everything turned out better. I learned a lot from him. Now, the six years has past. He's not getting any younger, he decided to take a break and move to Kuala Lumpur ( still in the same gym ). Six years seems very fast ( time flies when you are having fun ). One whole month, I chased him all the way, went to different clubs just to see him. You know, when someone is leaving, nothing you can do beside spending the time you have with that person. Same with Vidal. No matter how tired I was, I dragged myself to his classes. Six years of chasing him to different clubs, there was time I even got warning letter from my previous employer because I often ran away from work.

Last class at FX
Well, the time for him to go is finally arrive, I couldn't hold my tears running down from my eyes ( even when I'm writing this I can't help myself from crying ). He's always been my all time favorite instructor. My very first dance teacher. I wouldn't know how to dance if not because of him. Now, I can teach my friends how dance thanks to him. He always be missed, I will miss his classes. I know I have to move on, but I'll dwell for his departure for one week. Just one week. Then move on.
Adieu Vidal Gomez....six amazing years of dancing!!