Wednesday, October 20, 2010

You Get what You Give

"Give your body tragic looking crap your body will deliver the same..."
Warning, this is more of a rant/scolding than an article, but I am certain many of you can relate

It breaks my heart when I hear about good people eating such sad looking and nutritionally flaccid excuses for meals disguised as "healthy".
What is healthy about an overly processed, ugly "thing" that is full of sodium, cholesterol, and who knows what else.

Just read the labels
Many frozen food companies use great tag words on the packaging to play into a persons desire to become "healthy", "smart", "lean" or "low fat".

Just because it says "healthy", "smart", "lean" or "low fat" on the label it doesn't mean it is, nor does it mean you're gonna become any of those things by eating them.
All it means is the company that produced the product is smart enough to know how to play into some peoples desire to "believe" the hype.

People Want to Believe the Hype
Many of us know better, but most people are lazy and want to put their health, fitness, and happiness in someone else's hand so they have someone to blame when they don't see results.

As a fitness professional it is my desire, passion, and duty to help others sift through the smoke and mirror promises of these products by sharing information, and helping my friends and clients learn how to educate and empower themselves in order to live a happy, healthy, and balanced life.

Look at all the soft and cuddly words Lean Cuisine likes to use on their packages in order to prey on the people who are craving those things
Market Creations
Causal Cuisine
Spa Cuisine
Cafe Cuisine
Comfort Cuisine
Simple Favorites
Dinnertime Cuisine
Breakfast Classics

Just think about what each of these "cuisines" says about you in the eyes of the Manufacturer
Think about it
Would you rather look like this
Healthy Budget Meal

How about some
Ghetto Gourmet Ramen

How about this

How about this

 How about this
Refreshing and Healthy Lunch

This Fresh Quiche and Salad Looks pretty good too
Don't ya think?
All of the above meals were made at home (that doesn't have a stove top) in an oven, rice cooker, or in a bowl or plate with the use of knives, cutting board, and two hands. No additives, or preservative (cuz I have know clue where I'd get them, nor am I interested in knowing where to find them) and minimal time (since I don't have much) and with little money.

Would you rather look like this?
Pretty sad excuse for a "meal" wouldn't you think?

: (

Check out the Ingredients
Cooked Salisbury Steak patty with caramel color added (beef, water, onions, textured vegetable protein product [soy protein concentrate, caramel color], seasonings [ corn maltodextrin, salt, hydrolyzed soy and corn protein, dry onion, garlic, natural flavor, yeast extract, spice, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, extractive of rosemary, beef extract, modified cornstarch, flavor (triacetin, butter acids, flavorings, butter esters), rendered beef fat, partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oil], soy protein concentrate, zinc oxide, niacinamide, ferrous sulfate, copper gluconate, vitamin A palmitate, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, cyanocobalamin], bread crumbs [bleached wheat flour, dextrose, yeast, partially hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oil, salt], asparagus, water, mushrooms, contains 2% or less of: red bell peppers, modified food starch (corn, potato), margarine (soybean oil, water, salt, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, mono- and diglycerides, soy lecithin, sodium benzoate, natural flavor, artificial flavor, beta carotene [color], vitamin A palmitate), beef base (roasted beef and concentrated beef stock, hydrolyzed corn, soy and wheat protein autolyzed yeast extract, sugar, salt, corn maltodextrin, chicken fat, corn oil, onion powder, spice extractives), onions, burgundy wine* (burgundy wine, salt, sulfites), salt, sugar, sautéed mushrooms, flavor enhancer (hydrolyzed corn gluten, soy protein and wheat gluten, partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oils), xanthan gum, chicken and beef stock flavor blend (potassium chloride, corn syrup solids, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, beef stock powder, chicken stock powder, corn maltodextrin), granulated garlic, pepper (black, white), flavor enhancer (dextrose, salt, autolyzed yeast extract, modified cornstarch), caramel color, canola oil, natural flavoring, onion powder, hydrolyzed soy and wheat proteins, spice extractives)

This post was inspired by a conversation I had with friend on his FB page this afternoon
Friend's Post
"Weight Watcher Salisbury Steak w/side of Brussels sprouts"

My response
ew    : /

Living alone...not a chef!

My response
dude, I've lived alone since I was 17 till this June, that's no excuse. I always put together meals that showed respect for my time and my body. You get what you give. Give your body tragic looking crap your body will deliver the same. Stop... it!
See This for a suggestion
Hey...I got the veggies in!! Guess I better learn how to shop. I actually can cook when I have the stuff and take the time. Just a new challenge! (wow...I just got really chewed out!!).
This is just my attempt at portion control...
My response
You wont be satisfied giving your body processed crap.
I can give you one tablespoon of butter (that sure looks like a small portion) and then I can give you a can of tuna, 3 stalks of celery, a whole cucumber, some lime, and a piece of whole grain'd be super full, feel super satisfied, be nutritionally fed, save a ton of $$$ (will cost 1/2 of that frozen crap) and will have come to just a hint over the same calories as that unsatisfying tablespoon of butter. 
Check out "Magic Tuna" on the Discipline Indulgence Blog for a quick an healthy snack.
Well, I guess I just got my come-uppins and will take some time to shop. This is stuff I really knew, just need to shop and think about it. Kinda tired of those frozen things, anyway. Next time I post my dinner, Melissa, I will do better. You lived alone since you were 17...I haven't for 36...just learning, so be patient with me (lol).

It is upsetting to me how many people get sucked into eating unhealthy/unhappy food because of brilliant product labeling.
My friend is trying very hard to get used to a new chapter in his life, trying to embrace a healthy way of eating and has sadly fallen prey to the great minds behind the packaging.
I encourage all my friends, who love to eat healthy, clean, convenient, and delicious food, to post any quick recipes that we can share with my friend.
: )

Your comments are encouraged.
Thanks so much for reading.

Wishing you a Happy and Healthy Day!
-Melissa Adylia Gutierrez

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Breathtaking Hike in More Ways than One

I love looking for those words when hiking/running a trail for the first time

Looking for a great workout
Run these trails

Looking for a relaxed and beautiful day with great views and tons of wildlife
hike these trails

Enjoy the best of both worlds?
Who said you had to it all!

This is where it all begins

Plenty of info and plenty of trails to choose from
if you've got the time, the options are endless

Get ready for some Hills!
You'll find groomed fire roads and single tracks along the way

Here are some more hills
Up and Down Up and Down

You'll also see plenty of mountain bikers
99% of the mountain bikers I have encountered out here are friendly,
considerate, and pretty impressive

If you ever decide to mountain bike these trails-or any other for that matter-be nice.
Just imagine your Grandma is on the trail enjoying the view and some jerk on a bike ran her down
Don't be one of "those guys".

Did I mention there were hills?
But wait, there's more

The coyotes must be eating really well out here
because I saw tons of scat on the trail with lots of fur

And then I saw one of these!
it wasn't really jumping at me, but I sure thought it was going to kill me!

The fuzzy little fella cruised on outta the brush
chilled in the trail
and looked at me like I was an idiot.

Well, I sure was acting like one!
Jumping up and down growling at the top of my lungs, swinging my trekking poles, doing some lamed-a**ed Oooga-Boooga dance trying to make myself look big.
After about a hundred years (probably 25-35 seconds) the kitty just (shrugged, I swear it did) turned it's head and slowly walked away

Keep in mind that the pictures I draw are even worse than the pictures I take
The Bobcat was about 3 Subaru Outback Wagon lengths away from me when we stumbled upon each other on the trail
You can get the picture, right?

Thank goodness this is the next breathtaking view after the kitty
The beautiful Pacific Ocean overlooking Crystal Cove in Newport Beach, CA

Just about a mile down the trail and you get to the Ranger Station
You should really check it out. Lots of info, maps, and a clean restroom

Grab a map here for the Blue Route and make your way back along Moro Ridge
There are several places to stop and picnic.

Don't want to hike it alone?
Book a Controlled Burn Fitness Hike for the Solo or Group Adventurer

In case you were wondering
Elevation: 100' to 900+'
Distance: 11 miles
Other Critters I see when I'm out there
Tons of bunnies
Road Runners
Animal Tracks
Friendly People


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Taking it Slow Before You Go

The Benefits of a Slow and Considerate Warm Up

Whether it is an 18 year old professional dancer or athlete, with a perfectly conditioned body, or an over 40 year old man with a few muscle imbalances, a slow warm up gives the body and the mind time to become in sync. During a warm up we have the arena to become aware of our breathing, and to take inventory of how our body is feeling. Our body can tell us a lot of things if we just take a moment to listen.

We all must learn how to walk before we learn how to run and most of us can do both, but to reach any physical/fitness goal we must learn how to do anything with proper form. We need to become aware of the point in which we begin to compromise our form and breath control, and learn how to work through this…this is the “edge” we will need to work in to learn how to maximize endurance, to make us stronger…body and mind. We cannot become aware of physical compromises if we are racing towards the end without enjoying the journey. We need to take it slow in the beginning.

Preparing our body for more intense exercise is not the only advantage of a slow and considerate warm-up. A slow warm up is a great opportunity to take inventory of our bodies, our postural habits, our stride, and our intentions. The slow warm up is also a great time to become aware of any habits that could be counterproductive to our goal of nurturing and creating a balanced body.

A slow and considerate warm up is a great opportunity to become aware of our mental and physical reactions to new sensations/physical challenges. During a slow warm up, we have the time to learn how to process any sensations and our reactions to them. We need to learn how to process the feelings of fatigue/exhaustion into a positive and productive sensation in order to maximize our workout and achieve optimal performance. This is how we “work through it”.

Every athlete, dancer, and fitness participant who wants to improve their performance needs to learn how to relax/soften when the intensity level is pushed. Learning how to welcome and process the hellish feelings we experience once we are working at our “edge” can be fun. To make this edge an enjoyable place to be, we have to learn how to stay in the moment. When we are training we need to stay focused and alert to the changes in our bodies and the task at hand. This does not mean fixate on or over-analyze any one sensation, just stay focused. We can learn the most about our body, mind, and breath connection while working at our “edge“. This is the area we should train in for longer periods, try to push from when we are trying to improve, and we will learn to enjoy once we start to become aware of the improvements.

The only way to learn to relax and soften is to become acquainted with our breath and how to control it during any intense physical challenge. When we breath, we need to try to focus on conserving the “action” whether it is the inhale or the exhale. This will help us with our endurance and ease of execution of any task. Trying not to go “all-out” at the beginning of any task will also help to maximize our ability to endure the “long-run”.

Controlling our breath does not mean to “bully” it. We need to learn to “guide” it. We need to become familiar with our breathing, without fixating on it, over analyzing it, or trying to change it…just notice it.

Take a moment and tune in to your breathing. It is hopefully effortless and feels good…enjoy.

Now, our job, forever and ever, amen, is to try to maintain this type of breathing, no mater what…now, we can’t force anything to be relaxed…we have to just surrender, savor, and enjoy it…once we do, the “ease” will follow. We need to become familiar with what “ease” feels like even when we are on the threshold of our physical limits, and then, try to re-create, create, fake, conjure, (or whatever it takes other than force) that feeling, and marry it to our workouts.

For More Info, check out these Workshops at The Controlled Burn Fitness Studio.
Breath-Control and Mindful-Movement
Flexibility, Core-Conditioning, and Restorative/Relaxation Workshop (3-Hour)
Runners Conditioning Workshop
SMR "Self Myofascial Release" (3 Hours)
Head to Toe Flexibility Workshop (2 Hours)
Ultimate Relaxation Workshop (3 Hours)

Hiking Season in Southern California is in Full Swing!

Controlled Burn Fitness Hikes
For the Solo or Group Adventurer

Hiking Season in Southern California is in Full Swing!
I encourage you to get outside, breathe some fresh air, and even take a walk in the rain.

Don't want to do it alone?
Then join me as I lead you on a hike or trail run through some of Southern California's most beautiful trails.

Controlled Burn Fitness Hikes
are kept to a maximum of 6 participants in order to respect other hikers, animals,  and to ensure minimal impact on nature.

Hikes are available in
Orange County
Tuesday and Thursday
Santa Monica Mountains or Orange County
Saturday and Sunday
Glendale Foothills and Griffith Park
Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

2 Hour Hikes

Trekking with Trekking Poles
$250 (2 Hours) Max 6 hikers
Includes Yoga and Pilates Based Stretch & Relaxation at halfway point.
SMR available upon request at an extra charge.
Picnic/Lunch time at your leisure.

Reflective/Meditative Hike
$250 (2 Hours) Max 6 hikers
Includes Guided Restorative Stretch & Relaxation at halfway point.
SMR available upon request at an extra charge.
Picnic/Lunch time at your leisure.

4 Hour Hikes

Trekking with Trekking Poles
$350 (4 Hour)s Max 4 Hikers
Includes Yoga and Pilates Based Stretch & Relaxation at halfway point.
SMR available upon request at an extra charge.
Picnic/Lunch time at your leisure.

Reflective/Meditative Hike
$350 (4 Hours) Max 4 Hikers
Includes Guided Restorative Stretch & Relaxation at halfway point.
SMR available upon request at an extra charge.
Picnic/Lunch time at your leisure.

Fitness Hikes*

2 Hour Conditioning Hike
$350 Max 2 Hikers
Includes your Conditioning Hike; Core Conditioning; and Includes Yoga and Pilates Based Stretch & Relaxation at halfway point.
SMR available upon request at an extra charge.
Picnic/Lunch time at your leisure.

2 Hour Endurance Hike
$350 Max 2 Hikers
Includes your Endurance Hike; Core Conditioning; and Includes Yoga and Pilates Based Stretch & Relaxation at halfway point.
SMR available upon request at an extra charge.
Picnic/Lunch time at your leisure.

2 Hour Intensity Hike
$350 Max 2 Hikers
Includes your Intensity Hike; Core Conditioning; and Restorative Stretch and Relaxation at halfway point.
Picnic/Lunch time at your leisure.

Hikes and More

Backpacking/Overnight Trips
Call for rates and availability

Intro to Backpacking
Call for rates and availability

Additional Options
Healthy Picnic
$15-$20 per person. (I carry it all for you)

Trekking Pole Rental

Yoga Mat Rental
$15 (I carry it for you)

What to Bring on Your Hike
And drink it!
A comfortable day pack. I suggest one with a waist belt to take tension off your neck and shoulders.
Comfortable layers. Dress in layers. It can be sunny yet cold. It can get windy. The weather can change very quickly on a trail!
Comfortable footwear that you have worn before.
I suggest bringing an extra pair of socks.
No Cotton!  Cotton will NOT keep you warm if it gets wet and that includes sweat. Bring fast drying, moisture-wicking clothing that is comfortable.
Hat  A fuzzy, warm hat to keep those ears warm on cool mornings, a visor or cap to shade your eyes when it is sunny.
Trekking Poles.
Healthy snacks.
Ziploc bags for your trash.
Leave No Trace!!!! That includes all fruits, seeds, peels, shells!!! Pack it in...Pack it out!!!
Sunscreen! Even if it is cloudy in the morning, put it on before you get in your car to come to hike. And put some more on before we begin the hike.
Feel free to bring anything else that will make your day more enjoyable!!! Just remember, you've gotta carry it.

To reserve

Reservations required
with a non-refundable 50% deposit by cash or credit card.
48 Hour Cancellation Notice Required to avoid charges.

Please call the studio
The ringer is kept off during business hours to avoid disturbing clients.

Please specify Date and Locationof desired hike.
Please specify Style of Hike you desire.
Don't forget to Include your Full Name and Phone Number and the best time to reach you so I can get back to you as soon as possible.

I look forward to hitting the trails with you!
-Melissa Adylia Gutierrez
Owner/Personal Trainer