Friday, September 12, 2014

How I Got Better Hair

After years of dealing with hypothyroidism, having 3 kids, & hormonal issues, my hair has suffered! It has recently gotten to a point where I have balding spots. I get so self conscious to just put up a pony tail because you can see my scalp easier. I have to work to mask it and use lots of hairspray.
Even my husband noticed the thinning & we all know men don't usually pay attention to hair lol 
I was tired of my shower drain staying clogged from my hair, I was tired of it falling out, I was tired of it feeling and looking like CRAP! So I decided to experiment. 
Now, I'm only a week in mind you, but I already see and feel a change! I'll update this as I keep going along with my routine. I will not cut or color it for at least 2 months so we can all see what naturally changed. 

Ready for my routine? Here goes....

Every morning I start out with my Shakeology. All natural and 70 super foods, well, it just does a body good!!

Then I take my first round of additional supplements. I take the Silica 3 times a day. I take 5 Biotin each morning. I ordered off Amazon for just a few bucks each!

I also added in a new shampoo. As you can see, I got a great deal on these at my TJ Maxx. I was already using the Argon Oil shampoo/conditioner but I read online that the Keratin shampoo should help. So since I wash my hair twice in the shower anyway, I use both lol I start with the Argon then do the Keratin and let that one sit a few minutes. I also let the conditioner sit for a few minutes. 

Results? Well here's where I am so far! I'm pretty excited about it, I can't believe it's only been a week! Can you see the subtle changes? Stay tuned! I'll update at the one month mark!


Here are my 1 month results! I see and feel the changes. Lots of new growth too I have these short hairs sprouting that I call my wings lol I will take it if it means no more bare patches on my head :) What do you think? I will continue my routine of a daily Shakeology, Silica, Biotin, shampoo and update again later! I'm super excited about my results so far. 






Free Clean Eating Challenge


Starting Monday {Sept 15} I will be hosting a FREE 5 Day Clean Eating Challenge. This group is open to anyone in the US or Canada, who is not currently a Coach, or working with a Coach. Those are my only restrictions and nothing is required to join!
 
It's super simple. We are going to commit to doing 30 minutes of any kind of fitness each day, we will follow a meal plan that I provide, and we will check in each day to keep you on track! I will post a shopping list and a meal plan. I will also be teaching you about clean eating, what it is and why your body benefits. 
 
If the support, motivation, education and challenge sound like they would benefit you just follow these 3 steps to join us:
 
 
2) Email me that you have signed up and want to join at NicoleJonesFitness@yahoo.com
3) Join the group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/710506619064440/ and look for the meal guide in the files. 

I will check for your name in my online office and then approve you by Saturday! If your Facebook name does NOT match your sign up I will not be able to approve you unless you reply to this message and let me know to look for something different =) Please no later than Saturday, I want you have time to make your meal plan and go shopping. Again, this is completely free and I'm TOTALLY excited to have you join the challenge!

Friday, September 5, 2014

My 21 Day Fix Journey

I did the 21 Day Fix when it first came out in February, LOVED IT! The containers made life simple, no more tracking calories, fat, carb intake. Just fill the containers and eat! I was so hesitant at first. I opened the box, saw the containers and immediately thought "I'm gonna starve! Those are tiny!" I was pleasantly surprised to see how much food those lil guys could hold. My plates are always full once I dump the containers on the plate. YAY! Nothing worse than being Hangry lol

Since Feb, I have followed the plan loosely. Last week I decided to do an official full round again (I have an upcoming trip) So here is week 1 results....lost 5 lbs! Belly has less bloat & I feel lighter. I will take final measurements at the end.

I will keep updating this post till my 3 weeks are up. I want to share my meals, how they look, how much you get, etc because I remember being worried about not eating enough.

And for those who have the program & need a good idea for keeping track of your containers, I made a simple system. I taped over paper and use a dry erase market to check off my boxes. Wipe clean and start over the next day! See below.....



Food Ideas: 



Shakeology is a MUST! It controls my crazy sweet tooth & it helps me stay full!


Week 1 Results: 5 lbs down!


Final Results: 10 lbs down and several inches lost in just 21 days! 





Wednesday, September 3, 2014

5 Shakeology Myths


#1 MISCONCEPTION: Shakeology is a protein shake.
Meaning just a shake that provides extra protein. I can’t blame the general public for thinking this since “protein shake” has become nearly an interchangeable term for ANY shake. But, all shakes are not created equal—especially ones that contain superfoods. Shakeology is a very nutrient-dense shake that can be used for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. You’d have to eat a whole lot of fruits and vegetables to equal the nutrition in a single glass of Shakeology—and you probably couldn’t do it for less than 170 calories. Shakeology makes it very easy to cut your calories without substantially cutting down your daily volume of nutrients needed. Truth be told, the majority of people are WAY MORE nutrient deficient, than they are protein deficient. So why just stop at a protein shake?
 #2 MISCONCEPTION: Shakeology is about comparing carbs, proteins, and fats to other shakes.
This is not at all what you should be comparing when you look at other shakes versus Shakeology. Sure, other shakes have 0 grams of sugar. But how do you think those shakes achieve that? Hint, it’s not natural. Yes, that’s right, they are probably using ARTIFICIAL sweeteners to get to 0 grams of sugar. Even fruit has sugar in it. A shake with 0 grams of sugar is using ARTIFICIAL sweeteners. Shakeology has NO artificial sweeteners, NO artificial colors, NO soy, NO artificial stimulants, and NO artificial flavors. One of its main sweeteners is Stevia, which is plant-based.
#3 MISCONCEPTION: Shakeology is just a bunch of extracts, with no whole-food ingredients.
That’s not true. Whenever it’s possible and sustainable for the formula, the superfoods in Shakeology are preserved in their whole-food state to retain maximum nutrient value. It’s a very difficult process to use whole, plant-based ingredients so that the formula retains as much nutritional value as possible, but Shakeology has a whole team of scientists whose mission is to maximize the nutrition in every ingredient in Shakeology. Imagine trying to juice all those superfoods! Shakeology is way less expensive and a huge time-saver.
#4 MISCONCEPTION: Shakeology is expensive.
To anyone who feels this product is expensive I know that I have not done my diligence in breaking down its REAL VALUE. Most people will agree that they would spend an average of $3 to $7 on a HEALTHY nutritious meal. I know most store-bought salads cost even more than that, and don’t contain nearly the dense concentration of nutrients. But on average, I think we can all agree healthy meals run between $3 and $7. Shakeology, at $4.33 per shake, comes in on the LOW END of average. (You can make Shakeology into a breakfast or lunch that you’d be buying anyway.) Not only are you spending less than you normally would, you’re also getting vital nutrients your body needs, that you just can’t get from your run-of-the-mill salad, plus the normal range of vitamins and minerals. So you can replace your VITAMINS, too. Sure, you may need a specific vitamin, based on your conditions, geography, or age—but in general, Shakeology will provide you with a solid base of your whole-food nutrients.
When was the last time you went to your grocery store and bought THIRTY meals all at once? Typically, I’m guessing, you buy a few days’ worth each time. When you buy a bulk bag of Shakeology, you are buying 30 of your shakes up-front. That means you’ll spend less money at the grocery store. Because of the grocery savings, I actually deduct my monthly Shakeology from my grocery budget. For the price, I cannot duplicate its vast quality of ingredients and nutrients.
#5 MISCONCEPTION: Shakeology is only for weight loss.
Most shakes are marketed this way. But here’s the thing. Anything will induce weight loss if it’s low enough in calories. Just because you are drinking a shake, does not mean the fat will melt off. Actually, if you are not getting enough nutrients and calories you will actually inhibit your weight-loss efforts. Shakeology is about HEALTH. When you put the RIGHT nutrients in your body that it needs to develop, heal, recover, repair, and thrive, you may ultimately have MORE energy, LESS cravings, and FEEL better therefore you eat less and become more active. With Shakeology, weight loss becomes a BY-PRODUCT of dense nutrition.
To make my point, when was the last time you dieted and cut calories only to feel tired, grouchy, and had a ton of cravings? That is because you may have been nutrient deficient. What if you’re at your goal weight, or need to GAIN weight? Because Shakeology is about DENSE NUTRITION you can use it as your base and add clean calories to make it 300 calories or more. Not everyone needs to lose weight, but everyone needs to be healthier. Shakeology isn’t MAGIC. It’s just clean dense nutrition made SUPER easy for everyone at a very affordable price. It’s my family’s “fast food” on the counter. Yes, my family goes through 4–5 bags a MONTH because even though we all have different weight and caloric needs, we all share the same NUTRITIONAL needs. Shakeology isn’t a weight-loss shake—it’s a nutrition shake.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

6 Health Benefits of Nuts


After decades of demonization for their high fat content—which in most cases is heart-healthy mono- and polyunsaturated anyway—nuts have finally claimed their rightful place among other foods long regarded as healthy.
In fact, nuts are so loaded with nutrients, they could be considered nature’s dietary supplement pill. Of course, roasted in heavy oil and salts, they become a lot less healthy but, properly consumed raw, or in some cases roasted (namely, chestnuts), nuts deliver a vast array of benefits unique to each.
Following are six overarching advantages to consuming nuts, within which are more specific nutrient benefits.

1. They Can Promote Heart Health and Circulation
Arginine
An amino acid produced by the body, arginine is implicated in healing, muscle growth, and sperm health because of its stimulation of protein production. But it’s perhaps known best for preventing arterial buildup by expanding blood vessels. Worth noting: Peanuts are not technically nuts, they’re legumes. Also, don’t eat them raw…or honey roasted. Opt for dry roasted, which are almost as healthy (but safer) as raw ones.
Best source: Peanuts (1 g/1 oz serving – 166 calories, approx. 28 peanuts)
Runners-up: Almonds (0.75 g), walnuts (0.7 g), hazelnuts/filberts (0.65 g – 178 calories, approx. 21 hazelnuts)

Omega 3
Omega 3s are polyunsaturated essential fatty acids, and walnuts contain the alpha-linolenic (ALA) form—over 150% of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA), in fact. Benefits include decreased LDL (bad cholesterol) levels, increased HDL (good cholesterol) levels, and a possible reduced risk of heart attack.
Best source: Walnuts (2.7 g/1 oz serving – 185 calories, approx. 14 walnut halves)
Runners-up: Pecans (20% RDA), pistachios (5% RDA), macadamia nuts (4% RDA)

Iron
This mineral source is fundamental to the production of red blood cells, the delivery units of oxygen throughout the body. While recommended intakes for men (8 mg) and women (18 mg) vary, a handful of cashews delivers about 25% and 11% of the RDA, respectively.
Best source: Cashews (2 mg/1 oz serving – 157 calories, approx. 17 cashews)
Runners-up: Hazelnuts (1.4 mg), peanuts (1.4 mg), pistachios (1.3 mg)

2. They Can Help Preserve Brain and Mental Function
Folate
This B vitamin plays a key role in lowering homocysteine—an amino acid associated with conditions like heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia. Low folate levels have also been linked to depression, anemia, and even hair loss.
Best source: Peanuts (72 mcg or 18% RDA/1 oz serving)
Runners-up: Hazelnuts (34 mcg/9% RDA), walnuts (29 mcg/7% RDA), pistachios (15 mcg/4% RDA)

Magnesium
Magnesium plays a role in more than 300 chemical reactions in the body, including proper digestion, heart and circulatory function, and bone growth and maintenance. It’s also been suggested as a viable aid in memory retention.
Best source: Brazil nuts (113 mg or 28% RDA for men/1 oz serving – 186 calories, approx. 6 kernels)
Runners-up: Cashews (88 mg), almonds (81 mg), peanuts (50 mg)

3. They Promote Vision and Eye Health
Vitamin A (Beta-carotene)
The nonanimal form of Vitamin A that gives plants their color is implicated in slowing macular degeneration, limiting sun sensitivity, and lowering the risk of heart disease. Pistachios are particularly rife with it, delivering 14% per serving.
Best source: Pistachios (125 mcg or 14% RDA for men/1 oz serving – 159 calories, approx. 49 pistachios)
Runners-up: Pecans (17 mcg), walnuts (6 mcg), hazelnuts (6 mcg)

Lutein and Zeaxanthin
These two antioxidants play an important role in reducing the risk of chronic eye diseases, including macular degeneration and cataracts by filtering harmful high-energy blue wavelengths of light.
Best source: Pistachios (362 mcg/1 oz serving)
Runners-up: That’s it. Pistachios are the only nut containing lutein and zeaxanthin in significant quantities.

4. They Help Regulate Weight and Metabolism
Protein
Nuts are a fantastic source of this vital energy for vegetarians—and anyone else. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, eating nuts instead of red meat once a day can lower the risk of type 2 diabetes 16 to 35%.
Best source: Peanuts (7.8 g/1 oz serving)
Runners-up: Almonds (6.3 g), pistachios (6 g), cashews (5.4 g)

Fiber
The fiber and sustained energy content of most nuts make them filling without being fattening, and chestnuts are by far the lowest in fat and calories than all other nuts.
Best source: Chestnuts (1.5 g fiber, 39 calories/1 oz serving – 70 calories, approx. 3 chestnuts)
Runners-up: Almonds (3.75 g fiber/174 calories), pistachios (3 g fiber/169 calories), peanuts (2.5 g fiber/170 calories)

Vitamin E
There are eight forms of this antioxidant, but the one found in nuts is of the alpha-tocopherol variety. Fairly strong evidence suggests it aids in preventing type 1 and 2 diabetes and treating fatty liver disease.
Best source: Almonds (7.8 mg or 52% RDA/1 oz serving – 163 calories, approx. 23 almonds)
Runners-up: Hazelnuts (4.5 mg/30% RDA), peanuts (2.5 mg/17% RDA), Brazil nuts (1.8 mg/12% RDA)

5. They Help Strength Bones and Teeth
Calcium
While also vital to blood and cellular function, 99% of all calcium in the body is found in bones and teeth, where it prevents osteoporosis and decay. Almonds are the nuts highest in this mineral, and number two isn’t really close.
Best source: Almonds (81 mg or 8% RDA/1 oz serving)
Runners-up: Brazil nuts (48 mg/5% RDA), hazelnuts (34 mg/3% RDA), pistachios (32 mg/3% RDA)

Phosphorus
The only mineral more prevalent in the body than phosphorus is calcium. Combined, the two work to grow, maintain, and repair bones and teeth, along with all other tissues and cells.
Best source: Brazil nuts (218 mg or 31% RDA/1 oz serving)
Runners-up: Cashews (178 mg/25% RDA), pistachios (147 mg/21% RDA), almonds (144 mg/21% RDA)

6. They Aid in Boosting Immunity
Zinc
The overall amount of this mineral found in the body is nominal, but it’s vital to immunity, affecting T cell and other immune cell functions and helping to stave off pathogens.
Best source: Cashews (1.7 mg or 16% RDA for men/1 oz serving)
Runners-up: Pecans (1.4 mg/13% RDA), Brazil nuts (1.2 mg/11% RDA), peanuts (1 mg/9% RDA)

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
Important for keeping hormones balanced and healthy, deficiency among the B6 compounds is associated with compromised immune response. One serving of pistachios contains 40% of the RDA for an average adult.
Best source: Pistachios (0.51 mg/1 oz serving)
Runners-up: Hazelnuts (13% RDA), walnuts (12% RDA), cashews (10% RDA)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

7 Summer Salads


When the temperature rises, the last thing anyone wants to do is stand over a hot stove to cook dinner. Summer salads to the rescue! Here are enough salad recipes to keep your menu fresh all week. Seasonal ingredients are the stars of these gorgeous, no-cook meals that can be prepared in minutes. If you are lucky enough to have a local farmer’s market, take advantage of the abundance of extra-flavorful produce that is at available right now.

Sliced Peach and Heirloom Tomato Salad
If you’ve never tried ripe summer peaches and tomatoes together, you’re in for a treat! These two ingredients make a perfect sweet and savory pair. In this recipe, they get extra zing from feta cheese and fresh mint. Heirloom tomatoes can be found in a variety of colors, from yellow and green to deep purple! Choose a mixture of colors for an even more appealing plate. Get the recipe.
sliced peach and heirloom tomato salad

Spinach and Berry Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette
Sweet blueberries and strawberries make this salad burst with summer flavor, while orange bell pepper and almonds give it a satisfying crunch. A tangy homemade vinaigrette makes it taste gourmet! Get the recipe.
Spinach and berry salad with strawberry vinaigrette

Greek Salad
Our version of a Greek salad has everything we love about this classic dish—refreshing tomato and cucumber, crunchy bell pepper, olives, and feta—and is low in fat and calories!
Greek salad recipe

Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad
Have your croutons and eat them too with this lighter version of Caesar salad that’s high in protein but low in calories. Pair it with our creamy lemon Caesar dressing and use leftover cooked chicken to make this meal in minutes. Get the recipe.
grilled chicken caesar salad recipe

Arugula Salad with Peaches and Mozzarella
This recipe is one of my favorite ways to eat the sweet, juicy peaches that are filling the farmers markets right now. Slice them and toss with some peppery arugula, fresh mozzarella, and a drizzling of good balsamic vinegar. Not all balsamic vinegar is created equal, aged balsamic has a sweeter, more complex flavor that makes this salad sing. Get the recipe.
arugula salad with peaches and mozzarella

Blackberry Spinach Salad
Blackberries have one of the highest antioxidant levels of all fruits, and their seeds are packed with fiber.  We’re used to seeing them in oatmeal and baked goods, but did you ever think to add them to a salad? Get the recipe.
Blackberry spinach salad recipe

Spinach and Avocado Salad
We love sweet and tart dried cranberries paired with creamy avocado in this delicious salad. Poppy seeds give it extra texture and peppery flavor. Get the recipe.
spinach and avocado salad recipe
What are your favorite summer salads?