“You’re Welcome” Tee

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You're Welcome Tee
You're Welcome Tee

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You’re welcome…

How To Survive The Holidays

How To Survive The Holidays

It’s that time of year again! The time of year where families, friends, and co-workers come together to give thanks, trim the tree, and EAT. It’s also the time of year when you freak out on your eating and gorge on all the wonderfully bad food that usually comes out of a can or feed lot. Instead of sabotaging your fitness and nutrition, why not learn how to be the star of the holiday season by cooking amazing food with amazing ingredients–now you can.

Life Fitness Academy is hosting a cooking adventure called “How To Survive The Holidays”!! In this cooking adventure you will enjoy a full holiday dinner with turkey, dressing, rolls, sweet potatoes, macaroni & cheese, and pumpkin pie! As you enjoy your meal, we will share some of the important ingredients that we used, tell you why they are good for you, as well as show you how to prepare some of the items!

This event will be hosted on:
Saturday, October 29th
12:00 pm
$15 for advance tickets
$25 at the door

**10% of all all proceeds will benefit The Nashville Rescue Mission

Get an education in healthy eating, while helping someone else during the holidays. Contact us for tickets or with any questions!

Just Eat Good Food

It seems to me that many people in this country have an eating disorder to some degree. Even if it’s only when you eat a huge bowl of ice cream and say something negative about how fat you feel now, or how much you’ll have to run tomorrow.

I recently heard someone say they ate poorly because it was the easiest route and they would just feel guilty about it afterward, not to mention sluggish, cranky and overweight. I understand that everyone else has regular jobs and doesn’t spend all day thinking about food like I do usually. But if you eat food that is good for you, you won’t feel guilty about it, and you can even eat a lot of it! The aforementioned guilty eater was concerned about portion size, and I told him, “You can’t overeat on vegetables. You just can’t, try it.” I dare everyone to try it. You can certainly get full on them though! You should actually eat quite a lot of vegetables to get all your vitamins and other nutrients, so why not get full on them and not eat the junk that makes you pudgy?

This is why it’s so important to know what you’re eating. When you know what your body needs, you can make good choices by default, almost. Plan meals around a nutrient you need for the day. For instance you might notice you haven’t had any greens that day. Pick two (or three!) green veggies that you like and figure out what to add to them to make a meal you’ll be satisfied with. Using that same example, you could grill asparagus, steam broccoli and bake kale chips. Add some grilled chicken, salmon, or a grass fed steak and a sweet potato to those and you’ve got a nutrient packed and satisfying dinner. It is not hard to cook any of those things and could probably be done in about 40 minutes depending on your culinary skills.

You have certain foods you know are good for you and that you should use. Get creative! Use the tools you know about (veggies, good fats, fruit, etc.) and create anything you can within our guidelines. It’s like “Chopped” on Food Network (it just so happens to be one of my favorite shows). They give the chefs a basket of ingredients and they have to make something delicious using those ingredients and what is in the pantry. Well that’s all you do. Enjoy your healthy food; make it taste good! Eating well doesn’t have to be a chore or something terrible that you can’t wait to be done with. Make a lifestyle change to eat better when at all possible. If for some reason you eat poorly, your body will probably let you know about it in the way of some digestive discomfort, then it will pass and you won’t have to feel so guilty about it.

If you would like to learn more about how to prepare great foods ask us here at LFA. We all love to cook on some level and can give you the skills you need to take your cooking to the next level. If that doesn’t help we can even cook for you but only until you learn how to do it for yourself.

By: Ashley Dance

FORWARD

FORWARD is a new running class that will run once a week for 8 weeks that will be offered here at Life Fitness Academy 10/13/11. Ashley will draw from her experience running NCAA track and field to improve form, speed and endurance. Classes will feature drills, strength training and, you guessed it, running! Some days will be short speed work and sprints and other days will focus on longer endurance runs. Running is a great workout and an easy and effective way to lose weight and get in shape. Whether you want to take up 5ks, marathons or just race your friends (or kids) in the yard, this is the class for you! This class will be an effective way to keep your body up and running through the fall, the best time to run. Get moving FORWARD in your life one quick step at a time.

Early registration is open now–get all 8 weeks for $189. As of 10/10/11 the price will go up to $199. Get in and get your run on! Contact us to schedule or with any questions.

Personal Training Specials

Nashville Personal Training Discount

Sale on midday training!

For new clients – Get 30% off if you book training between the hours of 10:00am-2:00pm. Available with any trainer and for as long as you train consecutively (without an extended break). Contact us to schedule or with any questions! Offer expires September 30, 2011.

Buy some get some FREE

For training with Terry, buy two sessions and get the third for FREE! You can book at any available time slot! For training with Ashley or Russ, buy four sessions and get the fifth for FREE! Contact us to schedule or with any questions! Offer Expires September 30, 2011. View pricing.

Kale Talk

Last week, I talked about the importance of fats to transport vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to your cells. This time, I’ll be sharing a way and get these nutrients: with kale! I’ll even tell you a scrumptious way to eat it.

Kale is not a very common vegetable in most people’s diets, but it should be. It is a dark leafy green that is one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables out there. It is a wonderful anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory food. It is not a new or exotic vegetable. It has been in the same form for over 2,000 years. Records exist of Greeks and Romans eating kale.

It has a high content of calcium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, folic acid, vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), vitamin K, potassium, manganese, copper and the plant form of omega-3 fatty acids (alpha-linolenic acid). In addition to the carotenoid beta-carotene, kale contains other very important carotenoid molecules called lutein and zeaxanthin and a variety of others.

Extensive research is being done with kale in cancer prevention and treatment because of its anti-oxidants, mainly the carotenoids and flavonoids. Specifically lutein and beta-carotene are the antioxidants that are so beneficial because they work to protect against oxidative stress in the body. Oxidative stress is what happens when oxygen is not properly used by cells, and it can cause cataracts, atherosclerosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and of course, cancer. These antioxidants are prime examples of what fight the free radicals running rampant in our bodies.

So how do you prepare kale? I’ve seen tasty kale salads, which can just be a nice change from spinach and lettuce. However, it does sometimes have a kind of bitter flavor, so a lot of people don’t like it raw. I have found the most enjoyable form of it is kale chips! It’s so easy to prepare and really and truly delicious!

The stem is pretty tough, so pull the leaves off of it and tear them into smaller pieces, not tiny, though. Spread them out on a baking sheet and drizzle melted coconut oil over the leaves. Lastly, sprinkle them with sea salt and stir them around to coat them evenly (if you’re a little OCD like me). Then pop them into the oven at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes. Oven times and crispness preferences differ, so just watch them. You want them to be crunchy and dark green in color. I usually let the edges turn black so I know they will be crispy. If you’re feeling really adventurous try sprinkling some garlic powder on them before you cook them. Everyone I’ve made them for are amazed at how good they taste. What a nice surprise–enjoying healthy green food! Another easy way to include kale is to throw a leaf in your smoothie. Be sure to include plenty of berries so you don’t get a bitter smoothie, and blend really well or you’ll get kale chunks in your teeth!

By: Ashley Dance

LFA Olympics

LFA Olympics 2011

That’s right everyone it’s time for our first annual LFA Olympics! This is where your training pays off as you try to beat your trainers and other LFA’ers for prizes and bragging rights. There will be something for everyone at our olympics: speed, agility, balance, strength and over all good looks! Just kidding on the last one…

You will be given a score card where you can keep track of your points for prizes that include:
-Gift Certificates
-Personal training
-CASH!

Even if you don’t win a prize, you are likely to beat your trainer in something–that much is for sure! There will be a $5 registration fee for all participants that will be due on Wednesday, September 21 (9/21/11). If you’d like to spectate you can do that while you enjoy some refreshments all for free! If you would like to donate a prize for your entry that is much appreciated.

The LFA Olympics are set to take place on September 24, 2011 from 12:00-3:00pm. Contact us with any questions. Hope to see you there!

Fat is not the enemy!

Fat is not the enemy! In a world full of grocery stores packed to the max with low-fat this and non-fat that, it’s easy to be confused. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you can eat doughnuts and cook with Crisco. Quit that. What I am saying is that good fats are essential to body functions. Specifically, vitamins A, E, D and K are all fat-soluble, which means they are transported by fat cells and not water, like vitamin C and the B vitamins. So if you don’t have enough fats to do the transporting, you will not receive an adequate supply of these key nutrients.

I’ll quickly run down what the primary functions of each vitamin are:
Vitamin A: is principally responsible for vision functions. It is most commonly and naturally found in the form of beta-carotene. Beta-carotene causes the foods it is in to have an orange pigment. Your parents were right when they told you to eat your carrots to help you see… kind of. Another example of a beta-carotene rich food is a sweet potato. Deficiency in Vitamin A can result in night-blindness, dry skin and hair, and increased frequency for urinary, digestive and respiratory infections.

Vitamin D: can be synthesized by the sun! Go outside! (without sunscreen, gasp!) It is necessary for calcium absorption by the body. You know you need calcium for bone and teeth health. It helps production of a variety of cells that fight disease and infection. It is as vital to the immune system as vitamin C. (People are more often sick in the winter-they are outside less then, too… connection?) Research is being done on cancer treatments using vitamin D.

Vitamin E: is usually in the form of tocopherols and is mainly an antioxidant. This means that it protects you from the free radicals from the bad fats you eat. In the same way it protects skin from ultra violet rays. It promotes DNA repair and is crucial in forming red blood cells. Signs of vitamin E deficiency in infants include poor physical and mental development and delayed growth. Deficiency symptoms include ruptured red blood cells, abnormal fat deposits, degenerative changes in muscles, and neurological disorders. It is also associated with pancreatic, gallbladder, liver, and celiac diseases characterized by poor nutrient absorption from the digestive tract.

Vitamin K: is required for blood coagulation and that is its most famous function. It is also used in the pathways for blood and tissues. Infants are at an increased risk for deficiency, but most people receive enough from their diets.

These vitamins can be stored in fat in the body for later use. Toxicity can occur from too much of these vitamins, but it is impossible to get too much vitamin D from the sun. Your body just won’t synthesize it–change it to a useable form. Most all toxicity cases are from supplementation of the vitamins, not from food. You will not get vitamin A toxicity from eating too many carrots.

So if you don’t have any fats to transport these essential nutrients, your health will suffer. In fact, your body may think it is starving if it can’t receive its key nutrients. It may then start to store everything! So by eating that low-fat cracker, besides ingesting bad oils, flour and preservatives, you are actually sabotaging your weight loss! Your body should not have to search for nutrients and the means to transport them from your diet. It is imperative to have fats in your diet.

Of course there are stipulations. Like I said, doughnuts won’t do. Bad fats are mostly what cause free radicals. At high temperatures vegetable and canola oils hydrogenate producing free radicals. Remember free radicals do damage on a cellular level. So as far as oils go, use coconut oil in cooking because it is stable at higher temperatures. Most of the hype on olive oil is correct, it just cannot physically be used at high temperatures because it smokes. Avocados are another fantastic source of good fats. Plenty of Omega-3s in those guys. Buy full-fat yogurt! It has to go through extra processes to remove the fat anyway.

Don’t starve your body, give it what it needs to run properly!

By: Ashley Dance

Health Fair!

It’s time to get a check up! If not a check up, then a check in on health–or more so, holistic health! Join us here at LFA as we tie in your health to some very practical holistic healing solutions. We will do some of the traditional health fair tests like: blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar–as well as add some other tests that will help you better understand your whole health. These tests are: adrenal fatigue, balance, flexibility and overall strength. You can have these tests done and then talk to our staff on how your results can be improved through holistic health practices that are practical.

Get the answers and guidance you have been lacking from other conventional health fairs with a holistic fitness company that cares about all of you.

When: September 10, 2011 at 12:00pm
Where: Life Fitness Academy, 1200 Villa Place suite 406, Nashville, TN 37212
Why: For your health!
How Much: FREE!

You Are What You Eat

You are what you eat is a truer phrase than most people realize. This is another one of those common sense things people forget to think about logically. Nutrition is a wonderfully complex and interesting study, but there are a few things that are just so simple. And again, there is a lot of bad information out there. Understandably, many people won’t know what Kombucha is (or how delightful it is), or how to make cauliflower taste like mashed potatoes (it can!), but to think you can eat doughnuts every day for breakfast and not have some physical consequences is ridiculous.

I know a lot of people don’t, or don’t every time, but think about how many people feel sick after eating fast food. My dad (who does love them) calls Krystal hamburgers, “gutbombers”. I don’t think he’s the only one who calls them that, either. You eat food because you need the energy to fuel your body to live and move around. Why would you put bad fuel in? Indigestion is a clear-cut sign that your body didn’t like what you just gave it.

Back to the you-are-what-you-eat part. So many friends in high school would eat a greasy fast food meal and say, “ugh, I’m gonna break out so bad because of this.” Without processing it, teenagers realize that greasy food makes for a greasy face based on their experiences with it. So why continue to eat it, when you know it makes your insides greasy too? Rather eat fresh food as close to its natural form as possible. Cheez-Its do not grow on any tree, or in the ground, nor do most of the ingredients that make them. Natural vitamins and minerals are more readily absorbed and used by the body. Just eat what is natural, pure and nutrient-rich. You will have what you need for your body to effectively provide energy for itself, and not anything extra weighing you down. You feel better and are less tired when you eat the right things because your body doesn’t have to spend all its resources on digestion. It will spend hours and hours trying to pull usable energy from those bad foods and store what it can’t do anything with. You’re body is weighed down by stored uselessness and tired from digging around for the good stuff.

By: Ashley Dance