Juice Cleanses

Why All The Fuss And Are They Safe?
Lately I’ve noticed that it seems like everyone is either talking about or doing a juice cleanse. It also seems that all the so-called “health experts” are cashing in on this trend and selling juice cleanse products. When asked, people seem to “know” a juice cleanse is good for them, but they don’t seem to know why other than what these so-called “health experts” or the Internet say is good for them. Are Juice Cleanses just a fad or do they really have some worth behind them? Let’s find out…

If you know me, I’m a big fan of making lists. I’m also someone who likes to get to the real truth of everything. Today, I decided to sit down and put together everything I know in one place—here—and really shed some light and truth behind these juice cleanses. Do they really work or not?

What is a Juice Cleanse?

Usually, an individual will make juices the primary part of their daily nutrient intake. In the case of a “Juice Fast” they will limit their diet to only fresh juices for anywhere from one day up to a week.

Claims vs. Facts

Now we get to important part…. What are the claims and what’s the real truth about these cleanses?

The Claims:

  • They’re an easy way to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet.
  • You get more health benefits from fruits and vegetables when they’re in juice form.
  • They practically guarantee weight loss.
  • You’ll feel incredible!
  • A juice detox will rid your body of all of that alcohol, chemicals, and fat you’ve consumed.

The Facts:

  • They do add lots of fruits and vegetables to your diet. The problem is: we need more than just the juice from these fruits and vegetables. Our bodies require lots of vitamins and minerals to function properly. Fruits and vegetables alone can’t provide all vital nutrients our bodies need.
  • Oh sure, drinking the juice from fruits and vegetables does have some digestive benefits (you’re giving your digestive system a break from breaking down fiber). BUT… it’s the fiber in fruits and vegetables that are one of their greatest assets! Despite the claims, juicing actually removes some nutrients when it removes the fiber. There are also other vital nutrients in the skins which peeled away or strained before drinking.
  • Most companies offering juice cleansing products and many juice cleanse fanatics claim an all juice diet is great for weight loss. The truth? That isn’t always true. Some of these programs might give you some temporary weight loss, but like all fad diets, what you do after the diet will determine if the weight loss is permanent.
  • A juice cleanse can be dangerous! Many commercial juice cleanses—especially if they are claiming “quick weight loss”—are deficient in too many essential nutrients, basically starving your body.
  • If you have blood sugar issues, diabetes, nutritional deficiencies, or are undergoing chemotherapy, you should NOT partake in a juice cleanse. Ask your health care provider or a licensed nutritionist and they will agree with this point.
  • Then there are the juice cleanses and products that are nutritionally poor. They can cause a number of issues: fatigue, nausea, excessive hunger, thirst, and cravings, which will follow the cleanse. Always be skeptical of any diet that requires extreme restrictions and/or cuts out entire food groups—like protein sources. There’s a reason nutrition guidelines have so many categories of food. We need a variety of real food sources so you can get all of your essential vitamins and minerals.
  • And finally… Your liver, kidneys, and intestines already filter out the unwanted things you ingest and expel them through urine, bowel movements, breath, and sweat. You have our own natural 24-hour detox system. Extreme diets like some juice cleanses could be putting extra stress on your liver, kidneys, and intestines. Is that what you really want to be doing to your body?

Now here’s just one example how the juicing craze can be bad for your health.

I see this all the time in my neighborhood. There seems to be a yoga studio on every block. They are also conveniently located near a beverage seller—either juices or some variation on coffee. But when a yoga enthusiast finishes class, they are usually hot, sweaty, and in need of a pick-me-up. Should they go for a nonfat latte? No, they usually grab something like kale juice instead. Why kale all of a sudden?

Juicing and kale juice in particular is a popular beverage of choice lately. The claim is that it’s the smart choice for the health conscious person on the go. Busy moms drink it. So do yoga fans. Celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, Jared Leto and Salma Hayek drink it too. They’re juicing, so maybe you should be too? What’s easier than chugging down healthy raw fruit-and-vegetable drinks that will “cleanse” your body? You also get a speedy meal, that helps you consume more produce while also losing weight. Sounds great doesn’t it? Or is it?

Here’s Some More Facts

Juice is the new latte. About 92 million gallons of super-premium juices were consumed in 2013, up from 71 million gallons in 2007. This is according to Beverage Marketing Corp., an industry research firm. I’m not surprised. Juice is an easy way to get fresh vegetables and fruit. Consumers are conditioned by marketing companies to like anything that’s “quick” and “easy,” with unsubstantiated claims of “healthy.” Juice makes for a fast breakfast or lunch, and it’s healthful. Or is it? How could something this good be bad for you?

It can be bad for you, “if you have a chronic condition or are taking certain drugs,” says Dr. Adrienne Youdim, MD. from the Center for Weight Loss, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles.

“Even if you’re a healthy person, too much juice can be dangerous,” says Carol Koprowski, Ph.D., R.D. Keck School of Medicine, USC, Los Angeles.

Perhaps, before you order a “healthy” juice beverage—especially instead of a lunch consisting of solid food—or you spend hundreds of dollars on some cleanse program, you might want to consider the following ways that juice can hurt you…

1. You Could Be Risking Dangerous Drug Interactions.
Just one example: The high vitamin K content in a spinach-kale smoothie can be life-threatening if you take blood-thinning medications, like warfarin. Such anticoagulants often are prescribed after a stroke, deep vein thrombosis or other circulatory conditions.

Kale, spinach, turnip greens, collards, Swiss chard, parsley, and mustard greens—green juicers’ favorite ingredients—contain up to 550 micrograms of vitamin K per cup, which can lower the drugs’ anti-clotting activity.

If you take anticoagulants, you should only eat a ½-cup of leafy greens a day, according to the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center. Eat the same amount every day, because big changes in vitamin K intake could lead to a blood clot, stroke, or death. If you’re one of the 70 million people taking cholesterol-lowering statins, stay away from grapefruit juice. The citrus fruit blocks an intestinal enzyme that controls absorption of drugs such as simvastatin or atorvastatin.

You’ll also face a higher risk of muscle and joint pain, muscle breakdown, liver damage, and kidney failure, if you drink grapefruit juice (or eat the fruit) while taking statins according to the Cleveland Clinic. Grapefruit can also interfere with drugs for high blood pressure, anxiety, allergies, and other ailments according to the Food & Drug Administration.

So as I always caution… talk to your health care provider and/or pharmacist, especially if your are on medication to find out if your prescriptions may interact with any fruits.

2. You Could Develop Diabetes
About 79 million Americans have “Metabolic Syndrome” the “pre-diabetes” according to the American Diabetes Association. That means these people have blood sugar readings that are higher than is considered healthy, but not yet high enough for a diabetes diagnosis. If you are at risk, juicing could put your over the top to full blown diabetes, because it concentrates the sugars mostly by removing the fiber according to the Harvard University 2010 study of 187,000 nurses. That study found that drinking one or more daily servings of apple, orange, grapefruit, and other fruit juices increases the risk of developing Type-2 Diabetes by 21%.

“If you have the Metabolic Syndrome, juicing could lead to blood sugar spikes because you’re getting all the sugar of fruit without the fiber. The fiber in whole fruit and vegetables slows the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. If you’ve been told you have prediabetes, eat the whole fruit instead. But limit daily intake to one small piece of fruit or one cup of fresh berries or melon,” says Carol Koprowski, Ph.D., R.D. Keck School of Medicine, USC, Los Angeles.

3. You Could Damage Your Kidneys.
If you have kidney problems, you need to beware of fruit and/or vegetable juices that contain high amounts of potassium. The average 8-ounce serving of Kale juice in the typical “cleanse” contains 4½ cups of chopped kale. This can be serious and potentially lethal if your kidneys are weak because of high blood pressure, severe infection, an enlarged prostate, certain drugs, or pregnancy complications. Even most lower-potassium foods are off-limits to people with kidney problems because the amounts add up quickly.

Normal adults need 4,700 mg of potassium daily to keep our hearts and muscles working. If you are healthy, your kidneys will generally excrete any excess. But that doesn’t happen if you have compromised kidneys: Potassium builds up in your blood, raising the risk of a heart attack and/or stroke. People with kidney problems should limit their intake of potassium to 1,500—2,000 mg per day according to the National Kidney Foundation. If you have experienced weakness, numbness, or tingling—all signs of potassium overdose—call your health care provider immediately says Judy D. Simons, M.S., R.D., clinical dietitian & nutritionist at the University of Washington Medical Center’s Roosevelt Clinic, Seattle.

4. You Could Harm Your Thyroid Gland.
Kale, bok choy, cauliflower, collards, and spinach are rich in glucosinolates, which form goitrin, a compound associated with hypothyroidism or insufficient thyroid hormone. High amounts of these vegetables have caused hypothyroidism in animals. One 88-year-old woman lapsed into a coma after eating 3 pounds (or 2 cups of juice) per day of raw bok choy for several months according to the Oregon State University Linus Pauling Institute. The researchers weren’t sure if her condition was caused by the bok choy or another problem, such as an autoimmune disease.

Eating a variety of whole vegetables daily—not just leafy green ones—is recommended according to the National Cancer Institute. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has a fruit-and-veggie calculator to help you determine how much fruit and vegetables you need. Please note that there are no separate intake recommendations for people with hypothyroidism. As always, check with your health care provider before juicing.

5. You Might Get Food Poisoning.
Fresh juice can be unpasteurized. This is in an attempt to preserve taste, nutrients, and to claim that it is “healthful.” But when juices aren’t heated to 154°F for 30 minutes to kill germs, they’re more vulnerable to lethal bacteria, such as salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes and Toxoplasma gondii according to the Centers for Disease Control. Even if it’s bacteria-free during manufacturing, fresh juice sold in stores may be contaminated after it leaves the plant, during shipping, storage, or even in your home. If you leave a container of juice out overnight, toss it. Failure to do so, may lead to a risk of food poisoning and/or major intestinal problems according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“Most store-bought, bottled fresh juices last up to 3 days if refrigerated and unopened. Drink them within a day once you’ve opened the seal,” says Koprowski.

Flash-pasteurizing—heating a juice at 160°F for 15—30 seconds—offers a longer shelf life (about 3 weeks in the refrigerator), while preserving some nutrients. Companies such as Naked Juice and Odwalla prepare their juices using this method. Products that aren’t pasteurized must say so on their labels.

6. Juice Cleanses Don’t Work!
Here’s the one I hope will cause the most controversy, because at least it will bring attention to an issue that needs to reveal the truth.

We clean out our houses, cars, offices, garages, storage sheds, etc. So why not clean out our own bodies? That’s the reasoning behind juice cleanses. They are designed to help rid your body of nasty toxins.
Forget about it!
“The practice is a waste of time and money, because your body doesn’t need cleansing. Our bodies have their own elaborate, elegant detoxification system, called the liver, intestines, and kidneys. It’s foolish to think the body can’t detox on its own,” says Dr. Youdim.

7. Juices Can Be Calorie Bombs.
“If you’re downing up to 96 ounces of juice a day to lose weight—which many fasts recommend—stop! Juicing for days to lose weight can be potentially harmful. That’s because you’re losing out on important nutrients,” says Koprowski.

“Don’t expect to get slimmer. In fact, you might gain weight, because you’re consuming more calories than you realize—mostly from naturally occurring sugar in the fruits and vegetables,” says Dr. Youdim.

Some juices and smoothies are more caloric than a meal. For instance, I checked out my local Jamba Juice’s 28-ounce Razzmatazz Smoothie. It’s made with a mix of berry juice, orange sherbet, strawberries, and bananas. It adds up to 500 calories! That’s ¼ of my personal caloric requirements, lacks many of the essential nutrients my body will need, plus will not keep me feeling full for very long. And let’s not forget the natural sugars will increase my appetite for what? More sugary treats later in the day.

“Consume too many juices and/or smoothies and you can end up with a few thousand calories of juice a day!” says Simons. And still be unsatisfied.

“It can take 10—15 oranges or several pounds of carrots to make a meal of juice. Or you could munch on a couple of carrots and feel full,” says Koprowski.

8. You’re Missing Protein.
Just 8-ounces of kale juice is packed with vitamins A (3,500% of your daily recommended amount), K (4,300% of your daily recommended amount), and C (1,200% of your daiy recommended amount), plus iron, calcium, and antioxidants. But you’ll get only about 2—8 grams of protein. That’s not enough, especially if you’re drinking juice as a meal replacement. A 130-pound woman needs 65 grams of protein daily to repair cells and create new ones. A 170-pound man needs 85 grams of protein daily to repair cells and create new ones. Protein also preserves and builds lean body mass, which helps keep you healthy and even burns calories, according to Dr. Youdim.

“Fruits and vegetables [by themselves], however, are not a great source [of protein],” says Koprowski.

9. You’re Seriously Lacking In Fiber.
Juicing gives you some of the nutrients of fresh produce, but it removes the pulp and fiber, which are essential for keeping your colon in good working order, reducing your risk of heart disease, and lowering your cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

“When you drink orange juice, you get vitamin C, but it’s not the same as eating an orange. The whole fruit has the vitamin plus fiber, with far fewer calories than a glass of juice. It’ll also keep you full longer,” says Simons.

10. You Pay Big Bucks.
And here’s where juicing hits you in the wallet… A daily juice habit is expensive—about $9.48 per day, or about $3,500 per year—if you buy one every day from any premium juice bar. I spent some time checking my own neighborhood in San Diego, plus went online and found the following:

  • The suggested retail price of Evolution Fresh juice ranges from $2.99—$6.99 for a 15.2 fluid ounce bottle at Starbucks, according to National Public Radio (NPR).
  • The fresh juice bar at Whole Foods will cost your $5.99—$9.99.
  • Premium juice bars in San Diego charge $10—$15 for 8-ounce refreshers, according to Yelp/San Diego.
  • Cooler Cleanse 3-Day, by Salma Hayek, sells online for $58 per day (that’s $174) for 3 days of fruits, vegetables, coconut water, and almond milk. I don’t know about you, but I can spend less for a week’s worth of healthy whole foods for two people.

Here’s My Bottom Line

Juices are better than a burger and fries. They should not be a “lifestyle choice.” When used in moderation, they can be a good addition to your nutrition program.

“But if you want to live a healthy life and prevent chronic diseases without spending a fortune, eat whole vegetables and grains, not ‘detox’ protocols,” says Dr. Youdim. And that’s good advice. Drinking your calories is never a good idea.

How Much Do You Know About Food?

The Bodies That WorkTM System For Optimum Living includes a nutrition component that is healthy, safe, natural, efficient, sustainable, easy, tasty, and doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg to get on it and stay on it. It all begins with the “Beat Your Sugar Addiction” program, a 1- to 3-day program that will help you eliminate your dependency on sugar so you can live a longer, healthier life with a lower risk of diseases like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Contact Bodies@Work today for your complimentary consultation and get started on the new you… The you that you knew you could always be.

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Self-Fulfilling Predictions

If you think the years ahead of you will be better than the years behind you, they will be. On the other hand, if you expect your health to decline as you age, you may actually encourage that to happen. How? Because that’s adopting a why-bother mentality. This is especially true about staying fit and active.

I encourage you to beat the odds. Stay active, no matter how old you are—39, 59, or even 99—which is an age we should all aim to reach.

Studies have shown that at least 40% of all people who are age 65 and older don’t even get the absolute minimum of 30-minutes a week of moderate to vigorous physical activity. You need a lot more than that if your goal is to regain or maintain good health and fitness. On the other hand, it doesn’t take hours a day at the gym to stay reasonably fit. The average person can do it by walking just 30—60 minutes five days a week. You can do it in 30—60 minute chunks or in 10—minute slices instead. If you get out around town during the day, you might even see me out walking. Actually, you’re more likely to see that than me behind the wheel of a motor vehicle.

There’s also a secondary payoff to exercise:

  • Activity is a natural mood booster!

Staying active is a valuable asset as we age. Our years of experience plus deep friendships we’ve developed over the years will feel even more rewarding if we’re able to stay vital and active.

Another way to stay positive is to avoid those gloomy folks who seem to always complain about everything, especially their health and getting older. If only they’d learn to check that attitude at the door and put on their sneakers, they’d find a whole new outlook on life!

For more strategies on how to stay younger, fitter, healthier, longer, contact Bodies@Work today!

Why “I Don’t Have Time” is Nothing But An Excuse

Cleaning_Big_Ben

How many times have you heard the phrase: “I just don’t have enough time?” I hear it all the time! It’s a term that is used when life gets busy. Mostly it’s a phrase that is used when we don’t want to feel guilty about missing something:

  • If we don’t have enough time to prepare healthy meals, because it’s easier to order take-out of an unhealthy meal or use the nearest drive thru window.
  • If we don’t have enough time for exercise, because we’re willing to accept being out of breath after climbing a flight of stairs.
  • If we don’t have enough personal time for chores, because we can justify dirty laundry or a dirty house/apartment.
  • If we don’t have time to make new connections, because we’d rather complain about not getting new business or not making new friends.

Read on to learn how to erase “I don’t have time” from your vocabulary!

Time_dog-ate-my-homework

It’s simply not a priority for me…

When asked, the average over-weight, out-of-shape person will say they are so busy that they don’t have time for anything else.

Liar!

The rest of this article might sting a bit, but I am going to challenge you right here and now… Ready? You are no longer going to use the phrase: “I don’t have time.” Instead, I challenge you to substitute the phrase: “It’s simply not a priority for me.”

This is something I gleaned from a Wall-Street Journal article. My clients and I have found this has made a huge difference in our mind-set. Let me give a quick example how quickly you can shift your perspective when looking at life’s challenges this way:

  • I’d love to eat healthier, but I don’t have time to cook” becomes “eating healthy simply isn’t a priority for me.
  • I’d love to exercise, I just don’t have the time” becomes “exercising simply isn’t a priority for me.”
  • I don’t have time to take a vacation” becomes “a vacation simply isn’t a priority for me.“

Suddenly, the excuse of not enough time becomes an incredibly weak argument, doesn’t it?

The Real Truth

What’s going on inside your head right now—assuming you’re still here and haven’t left in disgust—after reading my provocative challenge? What justifications are running through your mind? What arguments are you making for me, right now? Is it something like: “Coach, these things really are a priority, but there just isn’t enough hours in the day.”

J.D. Roth, from the Get Rich Slowly website, writes: “It’s not what we say is a priority, but what we actually DO that’s a priority.”

He goes on to write: “I used to say, ‘oh I LOVE reading, I just don’t have time for it.’ In reality, I was just putting everything else before reading: watching TV, staying up late surfing the Internet, you name it. Once I realized how I was prioritizing my life, I started analyzing where my precious time was going.”

It all comes down to how you choose to spend your time and define your priorities. I spent all of 2013 saying that I wanted to revamp my business, but I never seemed to find the time. The reality is that it wasn’t because I didn’t have enough time, it was because I never made working on my business a priority! After lying to myself for a year, in 2014 I started taking action and things have really started to turn around—including my own personal nutrition and exercise programs.

What are your priorities?

Every one of us has 168 hours (24-hours times 7-days) in each week. Time is our most precious resource. Your priorities, whether you say so or not, are where you choose to spend those hours. Make the most of them! You can not get them back once they are gone. You will be amazed—I know I was—how much time you can find when you cut back on the things that aren’t important to make room for the things that are.

Do you have an appointment calendar? Do you keep a food and exercise journal? Do you get enough sleep? Do you meditate? Do you eat clean and healthy? Do you find time for stretching and movement throughout your day? Just where do you spend your time every day?

Keeping and putting everything into your appointment calendar and/or a journal—like personal time for reading, sleeping, eating, exercising, or meditating—can be eye-opening. Try tracking your time over the next few days in 30-minute blocks. How much time do you spend on the computer, watching TV, etc.? I bet you’ll be surprised.

  • Suddenly… you find plenty of space for productivity!
  • Suddenly… the 10 hours of TV the average person watches each week becomes less important.
  • Suddenly… the late nights the average person spends on the Internet, Facebook, Instagram, etc. becomes glaringly apparent.
  • Suddenly… the unproductive hours spent sitting at your desk, “working” without actually WORKING become clear.

I’m not saying what you do isn’t important to you or that you are not as productive as you think… What I am saying is it’s not what you SAY that’s important to you, it’s what you DO that’s important to you. For instance: I know that with some simple planning, you can prepare a week’s worth of meals in the same amount of time it takes you create just one. I have plenty of great exercise program that can be completed in 10 to 20 minutes, that are efficient and effective. This is why I refuse to accept ANYBODY telling me that they don’t have time in their busy schedules to fit in the Bodies That Work System for Optimum Performance.

Once again: I challenge you—starting right now—to stop using the phrase, “I don’t have time” from your vocabulary. Substitute the phrase, “it’s simply not a priority for me.” Then I want YOU to decide what you actually want your priorities to be.

Let me know how this works for you. Start with just ONE thing you’ve been saying is a priority, but hasn’t really been. Then what ONE step you’re going to take RIGHT NOW to make that thing a real priority?

When you’re ready to put the Bodies That Work System for Optimum Performance into your lifestyle. Contact me through my website at: http://www.coachingwithcory.com.

How to Stay Fit While on the Road

You can travel for vacation/work this summer and still not miss a workout. What if you could also manage to get in the best shape of your life at the same time? This time of year, many people ask some variation of the following questions:

Coach Cory, I’ve been working out consistently all year, but not I’m getting ready to go on my summer vacation. I don’t want to lose all the hard work I’ve put in these past months.” OR “Coach Cory, I travel a lot for work and that makes it hard to workout and stay on a healthy program like yours.”

In other venues in the past, I’ve written about healthy living on the road. I think it’s time to revisit this topic again. Working professionals who travel a lot and people traveling on extended vacations share the same challenges when trying to stay fit.

First off, YES, it is absolutely possible to make great progress while traveling. I have one client who managed to lose 30 pounds in his first year working with me, while at the same time traveling for work. He was on the road for 2 weeks every month that year!

So whether you are a road warrior or just a travel junkie, if you spend more time in an airport than at home or the office, my Bodies That Work System for Optimum Living can work for you, too!

Locating Your “Gym”

When I travel, I almost never use the hotel gym. Want to know why? Because most hotel gyms are poor excuses for a gym. At most you’ll have a few machines like treadmills and/or ellipticals, and usually no work-out machines. I don’t like weight machines anyway. When I’m not at my studio, the Fitness Gallery, I work out anywhere else I can. When on the road traveling, there are a few key options when it comes to training. You may have to do your best MacGyver impression and improvise. It doesn’t matter which you choose, just pick one:

  1. Find an Actual Gym. With a quick Google search, you can quickly and easily find any and all gyms near where you’re staying. If you’re in any North American city of good size, I guarantee there is a commercial gym or local gym that will have actual equipment (like free weights and equipment for doing pull-ups/chin-ups). Call them up before you leave home to find out how much a week’s membership costs. Also ask if they have equipment like what you need for your strength training program. It also is a good idea to find out if they offer any free trials. Admittedly, this is the most expensive option, but if you have room in your budget, this is the most ideal option. It’s a lot easier to stick with your regular program when you can replicate your home workout situation.
  2. Find a Playground. If you travel the world, you’re more likely to find parks and playground. Google can help you locate these. Bring up Google Maps of the area where you’ll be staying, and look for any green squares on the map. If you don’t have a strength program designed for parks and playgrounds, I can hook you up with one that still meets your personal requirements. Don’t just pick something off a generic website. In most cases, those are designed for athletes and are overkill for most people. Essentially, all you need is something to hang from for your “pull” movements, then everything else can be done with just your body weight. This is is where your resistance bands can come in handy.
  3. Use the Hotel Gym. When planning your trips, if there are no suitable gyms or parks near your hotel, contact the hotel or check them out online and see if they have their own gym. Find out what equipment they have if any and what condition it is in. If the hotel has even just a “workout space” you can still cover the basics and/or build your own custom workout. It may not be 100% like what you are used to, but ANYTHING is better than nothing and you can usually get close if you’re creative.
  4. Do a Hotel Room Workout. The biggest “excuse” I hear from people is, “I’m so busy, I can’t even leave my hotel room?” Here’s my response… Whether you think you’re too busy, your hotel’s gym sucks, or there are no parks, playgrounds, or gyms near you, then do a hotel room workout! Get out your resistance band(s) and I know you can do squats or lunges, push-ups, or even use the desk for rows. I can provide you with a 10 or 20 minute workout that is an efficient full body workout and you don’t even have to leave your hotel room!
  5. Gas Station/Rest Area Workout. When on a road trip, just pull over. You can get a good stretch and a workout using the side of your car, even while filling up your gas tank. Try jumping jacks or jump rope for 1 minute, lunges, push-ups, bodyweight squats, and plank. You can do them for time, or for reps.

I’ve just tossed ALL excuses for not exercising while traveling right out the window! Using any of the above 5 options above, there really is NO reason why you can’t complete a workout, even while traveling.

If that STILL wasn’t enough, know this… exercise is important not just to build muscle, make you stronger, and keep you healthier, but it also ensures you burn the calories you consume, turning them into lean tissue and not just stored as fat. Your nutrition program is close to 80% of your results, whether you’re trying to lose weight or get bigger and stronger. Exercise also improves our mood and our self-confidence, two things that are important if we’re meeting with clients.

Just like that, ALL barriers between you and a healthy lifestyle while on the road have been conquered!

Happy trails!

Eating Fit While on the Road

You can travel for vacation/work this summer and still eat right. What if you could also manage to improve your body composition (fat to lean ratio) at the same time? This time of year, many people ask some variation of the following questions:

Coach Cory, I’ve been following your nutrition program consistently all year, but not I’m getting ready to go on my summer vacation. I don’t want to regain all the weight and body fat I lost these past months.” <OR> “Coach Cory, I travel a lot for work. That makes it difficult if not impossible to eat right and stay on a healthy program like yours.”

In the past, I’ve spoken to groups about healthy living on the road. I think this is a perfect opportunity to revisit this topic here. Working professionals who travel a lot and people traveling on extended vacations share the same challenges when trying to stay healthy.

First off, YES, it is absolutely possible to make great progress while traveling. I have one client who managed to lose 30 pounds in his first year working with me, while at the same time traveling for work. He was on the road for 2 weeks every month that year!

So whether you are a road warrior or just a travel junkie, if you spend more time in an airport than at home or the office, my Bodies That Work System for Optimum Living can work for you, too!

Eating Right

It seems like everyone I talk to thinks that just because we are traveling it’s OK to chuck any idea of healthy eating out the window! So many people work hard all year, focusing on better eating habits, only to throw it all away as soon as the holidays roll around or they take a trip someplace. This is just another variation on yo-yo dieting. Taking an entire week off from eating healthy makes getting back on track when you return a whole lot harder.

Your best bet is to simply tread water while traveling, so as not to lose all the momentum you’ve built up. You can do this by focusing on a few goals while traveling:

  • maximizing protein consumption
  • limiting liquid calories (repeat my mantra, “never drink your calories”)
  • eating vegetables

…and my favorite rule from yesterday…

  • never miss 2 in a row

Maximizing Protein
Protein builds muscle. It is also filling. Make sure every meal has a protein source. When traveling, aim to eat as much of it as possible. This is a better alternative than filling up on empty calories like bread.

Limit Liquid Calories
Once again, repeat my mantra… “never drink your calories.” Oh sure, I know there is a good chance that alcohol will be involved—even if it’s just wine with dinner. The point I’m trying to make is that we need to be extra diligent with meals so the alcohol doesn’t throw everything off completely.

Eating Vegetables
Vegetables are our friend. Like protein, I always try to eat as many vegetables as possible; and you should, too. Vegetables are full of nutrients, while being light on calories. One last comment on vegetables… catsup and fried potatoes are NOT vegetables. Stick to raw or roasted.

Never Miss 2 in a Row
Anything is better than nothing. Avoid compounding one mistake by making another. Just because you had one Margarita too many yesterday, does not mean that your eating program is ruined, you’ve blown it, and now you might as well give up because of one lapse. That is a losing mentality. If you eat poorly for one meal or even one day, just make your next meal a healthy priority. You’ll be right back on the horse with only a small blip in your program. No excuses.

Now, your are mentally prepared to eat right. Get out there and enjoy yourself. 

Staying Fit While on the Road

You can travel for vacation/work this summer and still not miss a workout. What if you could also manage to get in the best shape of your life at the same time? This time of year, many people ask some variation of the following questions:

Coach Cory, I’ve been working out consistently all year, but not I’m getting ready to go on my summer vacation. I don’t want to lose all the hard work I’ve put in these past months.” <OR> “Coach Cory, I travel a lot for work and that makes it hard to workout and stay on a healthy program like yours.”

In other venues in the past, I’ve written about healthy living on the road. I think it’s time to revisit this topic again. Working professionals who travel a lot and people traveling on extended vacations share the same challenges when trying to stay healthy.

First off, YES, it is absolutely possible to make great progress while traveling. I have one client who managed to lose 30 pounds in his first year working with me, while at the same time traveling for work. He was on the road for 2 weeks every month that year!

So whether you are a road warrior or just a travel junkie, if you spend more time in an airport than at home or the office, my Bodies That Work System for Optimum Living can work for you, too!

Let’s Get Started

The biggest challenge for people who travel a lot is having the right mental attitude. For those of you who travel, we start with the Mind-Set before anything else. Don’t worry about how you are going to eat healthy or find a gym. Your first step is to get your head in the game. Once you’ve worked on creating that positive mental attitude, we’ll be able to build the rest of your program quickly and easily.

Most people worry about missing workouts and eating only fast food. Instead, I want you to focus on how you’re going to get fit no matter your location. Before you head out the door and begin your trip, convince yourself that health, fitness, and vitality are inevitable, even when we’re in unfamiliar surroundings.

Before you get going, here are 3 simple rules that will make your traveling better…

  1. Make a Commitment to Yourself. If you know you’re going to be traveling a lot, instead of telling yourself “I won’t have time to exercise,” tell yourself, “I WILL NOT MISS A WORKOUT!” This may mean that you’ll have to workout very early in the morning, very late at night, or cram a workout in halfway through the day. That means you’ll find space in a gym if you can. Otherwise you can use parks, playgrounds, hotel rooms, etc. The idea that “I don’t have time,” is a big fat lie.
  2. Make Exercise Your One Constant. Traveling to new or different environments can be full of uncertainties. By making exercise into a “constant,” you’ll be more grounded. This will make you calmer and more confident, which can come in handy when you find yourself in unfamiliar surroundings or you have a big presentation in front of a new client. Life is more controlled when you can rely on familiar routines, like eating right and working out.
  3. Never Miss 2 Workouts/Healthy Meals in a Row. I know everyone’s life is busy. I know that “stuff happens.” I wasn’t born yesterday and I’ve had my share of traveling for work, too. By added this rule however, you can stay on track both personally and professionally, despite a hectic lifestyle.

I apply rule #3 even at home. What do I do when the holidays roll around, the summer barbecue season kicks off, or when ComicCon comes to town? Holidays, seasons, and civic events can interfere with your routine whether you join in or not. Things like these can be a bit too much fun. If you like to party, you’ll find yourself exhausted, with no voice, and very little extra time. What I’ve learned is that if I miss even one day of my workout program, then skipping another day gets even easier. If I eat too much at one event, I just get back to my eating program by the next meal.

So, when traveling for work, going on vacation, or attending a local civic event, I NEVER miss 2 in a row from my regular schedule.

Here’s just 2 good examples to illustrate this point and really bring it home for you…

  1. When traveling for business, I usually fly out on a Monday. That’s also an important workout day. Now due to my travel schedule, I’ll have to miss it. My program is flexible enough that I can workout on Sunday, then again on Tuesday.
  2. When traveling to a new place and I’m not sure if I can follow my eating plan and may have to eat fast food, then my NEXT meal that same day suddenly becomes the most important meal of my life, and it has to be healthy. Thanks to the Internet, you can do a quick search and be back on track in no time.

Planning Ahead

When you get ready for a trip, do you have a checklist?

  • Toiletries/shaving kit/cosmetics
  • Socks and underwear
  • Business attire/casual wear/dress and casual shoes
  • Computer/tablet, notes, and files

Can you guess what’s missing from this list? It’s just a couple more things and won’t take much space, plus will not hold you up at security checkpoints…

resistancebandsexercisesWhen traveling anywhere, take along at least one sturdy exercise band, like the ones shown here with some example exercises. I know I can get a good workout whether or not I can find a gym. Bodyweight exercises, plus a band when I need extra resistance, and I’m good to go. With a resistance band, you too can complete 99% of your regular workout that you perform when not traveling away from home.

Those casual clothes on your checklist should include workout clothes as well as casual street wear. Don’t let an “Oops, I’m out of workout shirts,” be an excuse to not work out. Not having the proper attire and/or equipment is never justified, it’s just an excuse.

Next, add all your workouts into your Calendar—I use a Google Calendar. Make them complete with reminders of the days and times you need to exercise. Research—and personal experience with clients—has found that making appointments with yourself on your Official Calendar for good habits will add 50% to the probability of actually completing each item. According to an article I read in the Wall Street Journal, all successful business people have this habit of scheduling everything, including personal time. Do yourself a favor and follow what other successful people do.

I do the best I can to plan ahead on my meals. If I know I’m going to be spending all day in an airport, or on an 8—10 hour road trip, I see if there’s a way I can bring a healthy snack along with me so that I can tread water (and maintain momentum) until a healthier option presents itself. On the other hand, ANYTHING is better than nothing.

Whenever my schedule is so hectic that I only have 20—30 minutes to work out, I pare it down to just the essentials. A warm up is always called for, then I can follow it up with a 10-minute bodywork program I developed years ago for just such situations, then I’m out of there! The point is no matter where you are or how much time you have, there is always a few minutes available to so SOMETHING. Of course, planning ahead requires some thought. Just remember, that planning ahead also puts you in a better position to succeed.

Just remember the 3 key rules:

  1. Priorities. You can stay healthy and get stronger while on the road. Keep your priorities front and center. Eating healthy is a choice. Going to the gym is a choice. I don’t accept excuses—neither should you.
  2. Plan Ahead. Put your personal time, like eating healthy and working out in your calendar.
  3. Never Miss 2 in a Row. Whatever happens, whether at home or on the road, don’t let one mistake become two.

This concludes taking care of your Mind-Set when it comes to traveling for business and/or pleasure. Next time we’ll look at eating right when on the road, followed by the logistics of working out away from your home territory.

What are your biggest obstacles/challenges while on the road? What are your personal strategies to be happy and stay healthy while traveling? Let us know!