I created an online summit and interview series called, Healthy in the Spotlight, for performers to have their healthiest body, mind, and voice. I interviewed 16 experts in the performance industry, focusing on different topics, from Stopping Self-Sabotage, to Rocking Your Finances as a Performer, to Recovering from Vocal Nodules (and preventing them!).
Below I interview Steph Wilberding, Health Coach and Trainer on the team at Mark Fisher Fitness, on What Your Fitness Habits Reveal About You.
How to look at exercise as a celebration of your body and NOT as punishment for what you ate
6 Jedi tricks for how to move forward when you feel like giving up on your workouts
How to pick a WORD that will guide every fitness & food decision you make
My struggle with planks and push-ups
Enjoy and enter your email at jenniefagen.com/spotlight to get a first look at the interviews!
Steph is a Certified Health Coach who leads her clients through habit change around food while shifting away from a deprivation mindset. She works with people to identify roadblocks that show up on a weight-loss journey and how to navigate around them, all while also offering action around food choices and food preparation. Steph is also on the training team at Mark Fisher Fitness in Hell’s Kitchen and she also hosts an online cooking show called “Cook With Steph”. Occasionally she steps on stage and tells story through song!!
I’ve always heard it’s really easy to make hummus, I’ve just never bothered to do it. Well, I did try once to make it all raw with soaked chickpeas, but it didn’t turn out the greatest. Needless to say I took another stab at it and am thrilled with the results!
This recipe is adapted from the Inspired Taste Blog. It’s simple, and you can feel free to spice it however you may like by adding a variety of herbs and spices. Some ideas are, basil, pine nuts, paprika, jalapeño peppers, red crushed pepper, bell pepper, garlic, cayenne, tumeric, dill, fennel, or sun-dried tomatoes.
I have a particular affinity for rosemary and I picked up a bunch of fresh rosemary at my local farmer’s market so thought I’d flavor my hummus with it. The result was delicioso.
The key to making it creamy is to add the ingredients a few at a time, blend and then add in the next few. Here’s the recipe below:
One 15-ounce can of organic chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Juice of 2 lemons
1/4 cup tahini (ground up sesame seed paste)
Clove of clove, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 to 3 tablespoons water
Large sprig of rosemary
Hemp hearts to sprinkle on top
Using a food processor of blender, blend the tahini and lemon juice until smooth. You may need to pause to scrape the sides of the blender.
Add in the olive oil, sea salt, garlic, rosemary, and cumin, and process for about half a minute more.
Add half the chickpeas, blend; then the other half of the chickpeas, blend
Give it a taste to see if it is to your liking. Modify as you see fit.
Pour into a bowl and top with hemp hearts, some rosemary, and a drizzle of olive oil.
When given the choice between a banana and blueberries, I always recommend the blueberries. Why?
Some of you may be familiar with the glycemic index. If not, the glycemic index is a system that ranks foods based on their effect on our blood sugar levels.
So why is that important?
Eating fruits with higher glycemic levels makes it a lot more difficult for your body to burn stored fat. What?! So not all fruits are created equal?
Some of you may be thinking right now, but Jennie, its fruit! It’s got to be healthy, its natural sugar!
Despite it being natural sugar, let me break it down for you…
Fruits such as, bananas, dates, and pineapple have higher glycemic levels which causes our blood sugar levels to spike and leads to our pancreas releasing a huge amount of insulin so this sugar can be used as energy. High levels of insulin in the body make the fat burning process a lot more difficult.
On the other hand, low glycemic fruits such as blueberries, strawberries and grapefruit will not cause this blood sugar spike, therefore not causing our pancreas to release an insane amount of insulin and ultimately our bodies will burn that stubborn stored fat!
Now I’m not saying that it is forbidden to eat these high glycemic foods for all eternity. I would just say if you eat them, make sure to include some fiber, fat, or protein in the meal. These will slow down the absorption of fat and sugar, so you can easily turn a high glycemic meal into a low glycemic meal by adding some fiber. Also fiber allows you to stay full longer, and who wouldn’t want that? Fiber for everyone!
When trying to sustain your wellness, controlling your blood sugar plays a very important role in your health.
If you find yourself nodding off at your desk or in a grumpy mood recently, OR heaven forbid, your sex drive dwindling, there’s a likely culprit– hormonal imbalance. We can trace many of our behavioral patterns back to our estrogen, testosterone, thyroid, and progesterone balance. In this particular case, we’re going to focus on estrogen.
Estrogen is what we can deem our “feminine” hormone. It keeps us curvy, flirty, and yen‘ing for sex. Yup! Now we don’t want too little OR too much estrogen floating around in our body. This is because all of our hormones work in synchronicity with one another. This means that oftentimes when one is out of whack the others follow suit. When we can find harmony, we can typically find harmony in not only our hormones, but as a result, our mood.
When our hormones are balanced we feel balanced, energized, and vivacious.
So let’s get back to estrogen. Many women suffer from excess estrogen or too little estrogen, and for many of them, a variety of both. Now it’s natural for our hormone levels to fluctuate throughout our menstrual cycle (for instance, estrogen levels peak during our menstrual cycle then drop, stimulating your hypothalamus to prepare for the next ovulatory cycle), but we do want to maintain a certain range within each phase of the cycle. This sounds almost exhausting to monitor your numbers so closely, but in reality we usually have a pretty good idea of whether or not our hormones are in check by how we are feeling.
Are you feeling energized and vivacious? Or are you feeling drained and uninspired?
Now I would love to go on about all the lifestyle and dietary changes you can make to support balanced hormonal levels, but today I wanted to talk about a cool root known as, Maca.
If you are an Arrested Development fan, you may recall George Sr. tripping out from an overdose of maca root. Don’t worry– this is a dramatization.
What is maca? Macais a root grown natively in the Andes mountains, and used by the ancient Incans as a “miracle cure” to a range of symptoms, especially *cough* hormonal symptoms. It was used as a natural remedy for everything from hot flashes, to low libido, to low energy, to fertility, insomnia, and even depression.
This is because Maca acts to help balance out your hormones as it supports the circulation of the endocrine system. And this root is not just for the ladies! It helps men boost their libido as well! [I am man, hear me roar.]
Try adding a teaspoon to your morning smoothie! If this feels intense, try reducing it to 1/2 a teaspoon. It has a toasted malt-like taste that some like and some despise, but your endocrine system will be saying, yes, please.
Here’s a recipe for a simple, Almond Butter Maca Smoothie:
Almond Butter Maca Smoothie
2 Tablespoons almond butter
Scoop of RAW vegan protein powder
1 teaspoon maca
3/4 cup almond milk
Optional: Mixed greens (as little or as many as you “dare”)
Optional: Tablespoon of raw honey to sweeten!
Toss in blender, blend, and enjoy!
Want more cool wellness tips and recipes? Stay in touch by leaving your name and email!
I’m in love with these B vitamins. I take them every single morning, and they give me a quick burst of energy, help relieve stress, among others things. If you’re hooked on the caffeine, and want a healthier alternative give these a go. They are delicious and you drink them, so it’s like getting a morning energy shot!
8 Reasons to Take Your B vitamins:
8.They’ll give you a quick BOOST of energy! 7. Great for quick hangover relief. 6. They help metabolize fat and glucose for a faster metabolism. 5. Ever have trouble focusing? Bs work to synthesize neurotransmitters, improving your concentration. 4. Help you sustain energy in a tough workout. 3. They help regulate the thyroid and thus maintain a healthy weight. 2. Ever get muscle twitches? You are lacking B! 1. Stressed out? They are known as the “anti-stress vitamin.”
So in summary, how do you know if you’re B deficient? Does any of the following apply to you?
You work out a lot (or at all)… You have trouble concentrating or focusing… You have a lot of stress or anxiety in your life… You want more energy… You drink 3 or more alcoholic beverages a week… You get occasional or chronic muscle twitches… You eat mostly or all vegan/vegetarian… You’re trying to stabilize your weight or up your metabolism…
Can you relate to any of these? If you can, you are most likely lacking in B-vitamins and should supplement!
I love eggs. From my head down to my legs. D*mnit, cheesy marketing jingles got me again.
But fo’ real, eggs are one of the most perfect foods. Why is that? Well for starters the yolk contains a plethora of nutrients, including Vitamin B12 and Selenium. They also score high on the Satiety Index, which means they fill us up and also have been shown to contribute to weight loss (1).
They also have lots of PROTEIN. And all 9 essential amino acids, making them a complete protein.
But what about cholesterol? What if I were to tell you that eggs have actually been shown to improve your cholesterol profile? (2) There are two types of cholesterol– the kind you eat and the kind your body makes. If you’re not consuming enough, your liver will begin to produce more of it. A cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Steven Nissen, estimates that only 20 percent of your blood cholesterol levels come from your diet.
It’s not so much the cholesterol you are consuming, but the quality of the food and it’s ability to move through the body. It’s when we are inflamed that the cholesterol tends to stick and cumulate, and then we’ve got problems. As the Notorious B.I.G. would say, mo’ inflammation mo’ problems. Well he wouldn’t really say that, but I would.
So let’s make some egg muffins! This is a great way to start your day with an energizing and filling breakfast, with lots of healthy fats and proteins. The more satiated you feel after your meal the less likely you are to snack on not-so-good things. Make these on the weekend, toss them in a tupperware, and BOOM you have a fast and easy breakfast for each day that week.
1 red pepper, finely chopped
1 organic chicken sausage, cut in small pieces (I cut mine in slices and then cut the slices in halves or quarters)
1 zucchini, finely chopped
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
Spices of choice to taste: sea salt, pepper, cayenne
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
“Grease” muffin tin pockets lightly with coconut oil
Mix all other ingredients together in a bowl
Use a ladle to fill muffin tin pockets ~3/4 full
Pop in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until egg muffins solidify (they’ll begin to pull away from the sides. Avoid browning since burnt eggs are hella gross.