Archive for 'Videos'

5 Healthy Grocery Shopping Tips

5 Healthy Grocery Shopping Tips

Posted on 12. Apr, 2010 by .


As I went to a new grocery store the other day, I noticed how easily I can get distracted with all the baked goods and junk foods (and possibly buy) if I’m not paying attention to what I’m putting in my shopping cart. I also went shopping after I my workout – big mistake! I was hungry and all the food temptations looked good to me…LOL. So, I decided to create a list of healthy grocery shopping tips that you can use so you don’t make the same mistakes I did. Make sure to watch the short video that outlines my strategies (above).

In summary, here are the tips:

  1. Plan your meals for the week including healthy snacks.
  2. Make a your list out of your meal plan and stick to it. Don’t buy anything that’s not on your list.
  3. Eat a meal or a snack before you go to the grocery store. Don’t go grocery shopping while you’re hungry.
  4. Stick to the outside aisles whenever you can. All the junk food and packaged goods are usually in the middle aisles.
  5. Read the ingredients list if you need to buy a packaged or boxed food. Watch out for sugar and saturated fat and long lists of ingredients. Too much of these ingredients and too many of them is never a good thing.

I also should’ve mentioned in the video to have someone check your receipt when you get home. Ask a friend or your personal trainer, if you have one (a personal trainer, I mean as I’m sure you have friends…lol), to keep you accountable of only buying foods that are on your list and nothing else. I hope these healthy grocery shopping tips will help you at your next trip to the supermarket!

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Elimination Diet: The Conclusion

Elimination Diet: The Conclusion

Posted on 06. Dec, 2009 by .


I finally finished writing this post for the Elimination Diet (ED) Conclusion. As promised, I am giving you some tips that helped me get through this diet without any mishaps. If you haven’t read the previous posts related to this topic, you can go here and read those first so that you’ll have a little background about the diet and my experience.

I have prepared this video to elaborate on my tips a little bit more so watch this first and the tips will make sense.

[Sorry about the audio towards the end of the video. I am having technical problems with my video editing software.]

In summary, here are the

5 Tips to Having a successful Elimination Diet:

  • #1 Prepare your week ahead of time – Sundays are the best time to do this.
  • #2 Check out online menus and nutrition facts before you dine out and when you’re placing your order, be very specific with your order and how your food is prepared
  • #3 Do plan a splurge – see the recipe in this post for my chosen splurge item
  • #4 Look for alternatives – I mentioned that cinnamon is a very good “sweetener” in most foods. It reduces the sourness and fruits and brings out their sweetness. The other great substitute that I found if you’re a chocolate lover is carob chips. You can find them at health food stores and they even come in powder form as an alternative to cocoa powder. I pretty much gave up having bread on this diet but one of my bootcampers said that she dried Rye bread which has no wheat and liked it. This can be a good wheat-free bread alternative if you really must have some
  • #5 Don’t stress out about the foods that you can’t have – this tip goes pretty much for any diet of nutritional lifestyle you choose. There’s always going to be an opportunity to have these foods so don’t stress about it during this time. Instead, enjoy and explore all the different options that you can have. As I always say, always have fun whether it comes to training or nutrition

Interestingly, I also had a discussion about food sensitivities and/or food allergies with my friend, Dr. Jaspreet Mundeir, who is a Naturopath. Here is her take on the topic:

‘You are what you eat’, we’ve all heard this familiar saying. Your diet may be nutritious and healthy, but what if the foods you are putting into your body were causing you to be ill or retain fat in stubborn places? Certain foods trigger an immune system response and can strain a healthy body. Over time these foods can cause debilitating illnesses. Poor diet, stress, trauma, infection, chemicals, drugs, and environmental toxins can all be contributing factors to the development of food sensitivities.

There are two major types of allergic reactions – IgE Type I and Non IgE. IgE Type I allergic reactions occur within a few hours after contact with the offending food or inhalant. IgE antibodies are elevated in diseases like allergic asthma, hay fever, and atopic dermatitis. Watery eyes and nose, rash, swelling, acute gastrointestinal distress are common presentations of IgE antibody-mediated allergic reactions.

Non-IgE allergic reactions, namely IgG, vary in response time due to the persistence of the reaction once initiated. IgG antibody levels increase from repeat exposure to the offending foods forming immune complexes. These immune complexes tax the immune system and symptoms vary in severity and location from person to person. Symptoms tend to be low grade and chronic such as general fatigue, malaise, headaches, trouble concentrating, and food cravings.

I work with many labs that offer testing for food sensitivities and this is often a vital part of some treatment plans. A simple elimination diet – guided by the results of a food allergy test – can lead people back on to the path of health. When the unknown is taken out of the picture, patients are empowered and they re-gain control of their health. This phenomenon is one of most inspiring in my practice.

If you want to learn more about how food allergy tests can help you with your overall health and fat loss goals, visit Dr. Mundeir’s web site for more information about some of these tests.

So, there you have it. I hope that you seriously give this diet a try. As I’ve said in my very first post on ED, I’m not a big fan of diets because they usually don’t advocate long-term lifestyle changes. But, ED is an exception because I did see and experience the benefits that this type of lifestyle can have to my long-term health that I don’t want to fully go back to my old ways again.

As always, please feel free to leave a comment or a question below. I look forward to hearing about your experience(s).

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Elimination Diet: First 10 Days

Elimination Diet: First 10 Days

Posted on 05. Nov, 2009 by .


Wow, the first 10 days of Elimination Diet (ED) was quite an experience. If you need a little background on this video, you can view the first post about Day 1 of my Elimination Diet and how I prepared for it.

Day 1 started out with some mild headaches and it showed up towards mid-afternoon. The same thing happened on days 2 and 3. But, other than that, I pretty much just went through my days like nothing had changed except that I was cooking more often…lol.

I have tried many delicious recipes from the ED Cook Book and here is a list of them:

  • Everything but the Sink Scrambler – my favorite!
  • Fresh Fruit Omelet
  • Banana Eggs – who knew you can eat eggs in an omelet?
  • Let them Eat Pancakes
  • Warm Millet Porridge with Fruit
  • Apple Muffins – I love these!
  • Manhattan Seafood Chowder

I can’t wait to try more recipes during the next 20 days.

Moving forward, I am very excited to announce that I have seen some pretty amazing results. So far, I have lost 3.2 lbs and reduced my waist line by 1 inch. Most importantly, I lost that 1 inch from the most stubborn part of my body – the lower abs. I also like what I see in the mirror and, to me, that is the most important factor regardless of the number on the scale.

Here’s a quick video with the summary of the benefits I experienced:

The other unexpected benefits that I saw was:

  • Sleeping better at night including falling asleep much quicker
  • Waking up early is not difficult anymore – probably due to better sleep
  • No bloating
  • No cravings
  • No hunger

I have a better relationship with food – now I think that food is meant to heal and sustain my health
I feel a lot better about myself for being so disciplined – no more fighting with my head about cheat meals

This is probably one of the best things that I have ever done for my body and I don’t have any doubt that some of the Elimination Diet rules will stick with me even after the 30 days are over. Read more about my Elmination Diet experience after the first 20 days here. Please feel free to leave any comments or thoughts you may have about the post.

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What I’m going to do in the next 30 days (video)…

What I’m going to do in the next 30 days (video)…

Posted on 27. Oct, 2009 by .


For the next 30 days, I am going on the Elimination Diet by Dax Moy. I decided to do this because I have been slowly letting myself eat more and more junk foods (sugary stuff for me) that I have intentionally banned from the kitchen cupboards or the fridge when I first decided to lose weight. I was also getting more dependent on coffee to that point that I was drinking it 3 times a day. At the same time, I have noticed some food sensitivities such as wheat allergies and dairy allergies since I wrote this article.

I have also came to realize how stress affects my eating habits. I’ll be honest when I say that the past few weeks have been very stressful for me. I underestimated the challenges of my transition from being an employee to becoming a small business owner. I found out that stress makes me want to eat a lot of sugary foods (chocolate cake in particular) because the carbohydrates in it give me a very comforting feeling even though I knew that I will have to pay for the consequences afterwards. Yes, I’m only human!

After noticing all these factors in my diet and a lot of de-stressing, I got even more convinced that it’s time to do the Elimination Diet. I was apprehensive to do it for a very long time because I hate dietary restrictions. But, when I think of how great I’m going to feel and look, 30 days does not seem too long after all. Plus, when I saw all the yummy recipes in the Elimination Diet Cook Book, I got excited that I’ll be able to try new dishes.

This video details the rules of the Elimination diet and what I have bought from the grocery store to prepare for it:

[We all found out that I can’t count in the video…haha.]

Here are the rules in writing:

  • No processed foods
  • Eat organic foods as much as possible
  • Cut out all wheat
  • Cut out all sugar
  • Cut out all dairy except for plain, live yogurt and organic butter
  • Cut out all alcohol
  • Cut out all caffeine
  • Drink plenty of fresh, clean water

If you want to read more about the Elimination Diet and why these foods are eliminated, you can download your free copy here:

As I write this post, I am halfway through day 2 and I have tried 3 recipes from the cookbook already. I gotta say that I don’t miss sugar yet (which I knew was going to be the most difficult thing for me) and I don’t think that I will. I’m going into this challenge already knowing what I can’t have so I’m not going to stress about those things. I’m just going to enjoy the things that I can have which so far have been very pleasurable.

Update: Find out how my first 10 days of the Elimination Diet went. Feel free to leave a comment and let me know what’s on your mind. Thanks for stopping by!

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What is a Snatch?

What is a Snatch?

Posted on 08. Jul, 2009 by .


One of the many things that have been keeping me busy lately is my preparation for the Russian Kettlebell Certification. I haven’t talked about it much because I’ve been busy with the launching of my latest project, Primal Fit Bootcamp, in my local area (Pleasant Hill, Ca). Anyway, I’ve been training with Master RKC, Mark Reifkind at Girya Strength in Palo Alto and he designed a Kettlebell (KB) workout that I can do at home when I’m not training with him.

This was the most recent KB workout that I did:

Snatch technique

2 sets of 5 repetitions (reps) each arm with 8 kg
3 sets of 10 reps each arm with 12 kg

Turkish Get Ups

One rep per arm with 8 kg for 5 minutes ( switching each rep of course)
One KB Front Squats – 12 kg
8 sets of 5 reps per arm

One Arm Swings – 12 kg

10/10 (10 right, 10 left)
10/10/10 /10 (transfer after each ten and just keep going)

Overhead KB Hold per Arm

8 kg- 30 sec hold
8 kg – 45 sec hold
8 kg – 60 sec hold

This workout will smoke you no matter how great in shape you are in!

My biggest accomplishment with this workout is I was able to perform 60 repetitions of the KB Snatch with minimal rest. If you are not familiar with the RKC, students or “victims” need to pass the Snatch test which requires you to perform the snatch 100 times (both arms total) with a 12 kg Kettlebell in 5 minutes. While I am still almost 2 months away from the August Certification, I have lots of work to do in terms of conditioning, perfecting my KB techniques, and finally performing my mock snatch test.
To give you an idea of how the snatch looks like, I attached a video of me doing it with a 12 kg KB. But, before you watch it, here are the basic foundations of a snatch:

* Start with a basic swing with a “snap” at the hips
* Practice the High Pulls (that’s what I’m doing in the video before I do the actual snatch) before you even attempt a Snatch
* When you feel good with your technique with the first two, you’ll be ready to snatch

Of course, I am “in training” which means that I have a lot to learn. I wanted to wait until I shot a video of me snatching a 12 kg but with my other responsibilities, it is getting to be impossible at the moment. *Note: I have updated this post with a new video with proper instructions since I first wrote this article.

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Video Series 3: Fat Loss Action Plan

Posted on 03. May, 2009 by .


This is the last video in the fat loss motivation series and it talks about setting up a plan for action. If you haven’t seen the 2nd video of the series, click here. This post is basically a written version of the video so if you want to read the post instead of watching the video, you can continue reading. But reading the information you just watched might be helpful in terms of getting the concept down.

Here is the video:

Here is the transcript of the video…

Regarding creating your plan for action, one main strategy that I like to use is to:

“Start with the End in Mind”

This means that if your goal is to have that beach body then, you should be able to visualize yourself on the beach and looking great in that sexy bikini. I say bikini because it’s easier to visualize it that way but I’m sure that the men out there can easily visualize themselves sporting their six pack abs in shorts (or whatever you guys wear). If visualizing means putting something tangible like a picture that you cut up from Sports illustrated then by all means cut it and put it up where you can see it daily.

Be Specific

If you’re having trouble visualizing your goal, start with something specific. A lot of people always say that they want to lose weight and yet they don’t even know how much weight they want to lose. When you’re specific with your goals, it’s easier to set up a plan to reach that goal because you’ll have something to measure your progress with.

Here’s an example. Lose 8 lbs by May 31st. Notice that I mentioned a specific number and date when I want to accomplish the goal – these are important because it makes the goal more tangible and urgent.

Think of your next step(s)

Next, I think about the very first step that I can take right now to get me closer to that goal. Let’s say that the first thing I can do is to add an extra day of doing high intesity interval training. So, instead of doing them 3 times a week. I would do intervals 4 times a week.

After that, I would also want to reduce my cheat meals each week. So, I would eat just 1 small cheat meal instead of 2 small cheat meals. Notice I said small because some people go all out on cheat meals and turn into a cheat day or a cheat fest.

Then, I can start paying more attention to drinking more water each day by drinking 2 more glasses each day and so on…

If I keep on doing all these things – they become a part of my lifestyle to the point that, over time, I will eventually reach my goal on the deadline that I set for it.

Two Questions

To apply this concept to your situation ask yourself two questions: What is my goal and be specific – find a tangible representation of that goal. I was watching the Biggest Loser the other day and the contestants were able to wear what they called “goal outfits.” For one girl, her goal outfit were size 8 clothes and she was able to wear them even before the season ended.

Second, what can I do right now to get me closer to that goal? Look at my example again if you need more help in this area.

Baby Steps

It’s important to realize that your baby steps will lead to long term success and will help you achieve your end goal. This actually brings a quote in mind that may sound cliche but it really rings true in this instance and that is “a Journey begins with a single step.” But to take that quote further, a journey is made up of a series of steps.

In Conclusion

Finally, I want to point out the obvious – Don’t feel overwhelmed. Just because your goal looks too big right now, doesn’t mean that it is not attainable. Write down your goals because that makes them more real. Again, get a tangible representation of that goal. I can’t stress this step enough because seeing something in front of you can bring all sorts of emotions attached to that goal which can provide you with the motivation to get started with that goal.

Lastly, think of your action steps and ACT on them. The most important part of all this is action. Remember, that with no action there is no reaction. Your goals will not happen just because you wrote them down on paper – you have to DO something about it.

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Video Series 2: Goal Achievement

Posted on 26. Apr, 2009 by .


Last week’s fat loss motivation video was inspired by the “Think and Grow Rich” (TGR) book by Napoleon Hill. If you haven’t seen that yet, I suggest you go to that post by clicking here before you read this post. As a continuation of that first video, I promised to tell you about Chapter 2 which mainly deals with putting your BURNING DESIRE into an action plan by setting goals and having a definite purpose.

Instead of doing another video on this, I wanted you to hear it directly from the person who put TGR in my direction, Dax Moy. I briefly mentioned him from my last post as well. So, instead of repeating whatever he said about goal achievement, I am posting his video on the topic because he explains it with such clarity that I couldn’t have done a better job of doing so.

Dax mainly talked about some of the concepts that he covered in his book, “The Magic Hundred,” which I bought today. I have been putting off buying this book for awhile because I felt that I have been doing fairly well with my goal achievement without its help. But, I am seriously going through some major changes in my life right now that I need all the help I can get to keep focused towards achieving my goals.

So, I decided to join the 100-Day Magic Hundred Challenge and I am starting it on Friday, May 1, 2009. I am excited to see what I can accomplish within the next 100 days because I know that a lot of people have already taken the plunge before me and they have seen great results with this program.

I was surprised to see that Dax included a lot of other stuff along with the book. It came with a software, a bunch of worksheets, and audios! I am so eager to learn and put into ACTION all the things that come with the program and I do feel that instead of adding to my “To Do List” which is getting longer by the second, it’s actually going to make this list more focused and more clear in a way that will help me make this list shorter (if not gone) by the end of 100 days.

I’m sure that I will kick myself for not buying the book earlier but what really made me buy it this time is the fact that Dax is releasing a newer version of it on April 28. Now, he’s also raising the price from $59.99 to $97 by then. Being the cheap person that I am, I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to buy it at the cheaper price because Dax promised to send the new version to those who bought the old version. Another thing that sealed the deal for me was the fact that despite the rave reviews for the old version, Dax is overdelivering to his customers by making the book even better! I don’t know how he managed to do that but if anyone can do it, Dax can!

If you’re life sounds like mine and you need some help with achieving your goals, The Magic Hundred just might be the answer to your needs.

Next time, I will talk about “The Plan” for my very own Magic Hundred Challenge and you can use that as an example of how you can achieve your own goals.

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Video Series 1: Thoughts are Things

Posted on 22. Apr, 2009 by .


My fat loss motivation has been through the roof and it’s all because of this book that I’m reading entitled, “Think and Grow Rich,” by Napoleon Hill. The book was written in the 1930s and yet a lot of the principles he talked about in this book is still valid until today. It was brought to my attention while I was reading Dax Moy’s Blog last week and I have been hooked ever since. If you don’t know who Dax Moy is, he is the guy who wrote, “The Magic Hundred,” which is a book about goal achievement.

This is my very first time making a video and I was surprised that I sound totally different (or maybe I just don’t pay attention to my voice that much). Without further ado, here is my take on the first chapter of “Think and Grow Rich”:

In summary:

Thoughts + Emotions = BURNING DESIRE

which leads into


and eventually

Physical/Material Object

In conclusion, our thoughts largely affect our life and it’s amazing how powerful they can be. I’ve always said that “you can do whatever you set your mind into doing” but, I never fully realized the meaning of this phrase until I read this first chapter. If you haven’t read the book yet, grab yourself a copy of it. It just might change your life.

For something totally irrelevant to the post:

There’s a lot of exciting things going on in Anna’s world right now and I am still trying to decide if I should share it here. This is also part of the reason why I haven’t posted in awhile. Maybe the weekend will clear my head and then I can decide if I should share it or not 🙂

When I get the chance, I’ll talk about Chapter 2 next time. See you then!

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