Yoga: Transforming Your Body and Mind

I enjoy mixing my work-outs up, yoga, strength training, Pilates, or just a long walk. I think mixing it up keeps me from getting board, a problem I had when I was going to a gym. Like most, I find yoga to be relaxing. It tends to calm me and wash away all the anxiety and brings my body into balance physically and emotionally but yoga can do so much more. Depending on the session yoga can pump you up, build muscle and burn calories as much as a cardio work-out. Add some weights and you are going to see the same results you would with some of the more extreme programs on the market. I think the different options is why I like Yoga download so much. I can log in and pick what I am in the mood for. 

Yoga download was dreamed up by a team of devoted yoga students and teachers, their site – which has been lauded by the New York Times, Yoga Journal, Weight Watchers, and Body + Soul – enables you to stream or download a constantly updated selection of more than 500 professionally recorded online video and audio yoga classes onto your computer or mobile device. The classes are lead by world-class instructors, who guide you through disciplines ranging from the more vigorous Vinyasa to the more gentle Hatha yoga, and in a wide range of levels, from beginner to advanced, as well as lengths, ranging from 5-120 minutes. YogaDownload empowers you to practice yoga your way, on your time, wherever you see fit. They will become your own personal online yoga studio, open 24 hours a day!

Yoga With Weights is a complete, total body workout. The Yoga with Weights classes tone, sculpt and lengthen every major muscle group in your body. Add small, 3 or 5 pound dumbbells to specific postures and move deeper into each pose – becoming your own, personal adjuster! These intense, but easy-to-follow classes will push your strength and flexibility to the next level and make your yoga practice a more complete workout for body, mind and soul.

What type of workouts do you enjoy? Have you tried yoga before? 

30-day bodyweight challenge


It is that time again, time for another awesome 30 Day Challenge with Betty Rocker. It’s a 30-day bodyweight challenge that increases strength and effectively metabolizes fat over a 4-week period.
Challengers receive 4 weeks of instructional videos, downloadable PDF’s with demonstrations and pictures, as well as a support forum on facebook for questions and sharing.There will be live support provided throughout the challenge along with bonus content – recipes, health tips and special prizes.


Bodyweight exercises are a fantastic way to get a stronger, leaner and more sculpted physique – and best of all, they don’t require any equipment or a gym!
                         Register for the 30 Day Challenge 
Wherever you are on your fitness journey, the 30-day Challenge will motivate you to get to the next level. With an incredible community, an easy format to follow and fun, challenging workouts, she will help you reach your health and fitness goals!


Questions about eating Gluten Free and Grain Preparation

The information below is the rest of the interview I did with Betty Rocker. She shared so much information with me on eating gluten free and grain preparation that it deserved a separate post.

Q How did you become interested in a gluten free diet?
A. I started eating gluten-free several years ago when I realized a lot of my digestive issues went away when I avoided gluten. I used to suffer from a lot of bloating, gas and stomach pain, and it prompted me to start researching the effects of inflammatory foods on our ability to digest and absorb nutrients.
Gluten, the protein found in wheat can be extremely irritating to the villi of the small intestine when eaten daily, even in people who don’t have a gluten allergy – causing inflammation and bloating, and interfering with a smooth digestive process.

However, this is not the whole story. Grains, nuts, seeds and other plants contain a phosphorous-bound compound called phytic acid, (found on their external coating) which binds to important minerals in our digestive system – prohibiting their absorption.

Should you suddenly stop eating these foods? No! Healthy indigenous people have been including them for centuries. The difference that we miss is that people prepared their food differently than we do now in our rush to get food ready as fast as possible.

Traditional methods like soaking, sprouting and fermenting are still practiced around the world. All of these processes allow the phytic acid to break down, and effectively begin pre-digestion of the gluten protein. American pioneers were famous for their sourdough starters. Ever heard of miso? It’s fermented bean curd, common in Asia. Overnight oatmeal allows the oat groats to absorb all of the liquid and become easily digestible.  Sprouted grains and sprouted grain products are becoming more available and mainstream as the health movement and more access to this kind of information has begun to drive consumer spending.
If you think you have a gluten allergy (Celiac’s), which is something quite serious you should definitely get a blood test. But “gluten intolerance” is a symptom of a much bigger problem which is how our food is prepared, and a sign that we need to return to simpler times and more traditional wisdom.

Try this simple method for overnight oatmeal

Q. Based on your experience, what are some considerations people should think about before committing to a gluten free diet?

A. For health, longevity and an optimal state in the body, eliminating processed foods will rid your diet of most of the gluten you’re eating. There are plenty of healthy, wholesome complex carbohydrate sources like brown rice, oats, quinoa, amaranth and fibrous vegetables like sweet potatoes and yams that will deliver the slow-digesting carbohydrates you need for lasting energy without the blood sugar spike.
Be sure you are preparing your grains by soaking, sprouting or fermenting processes to get the full benefit of their nutrients and allow your body to absorb and properly digest them. You may find that going completely gluten free is unnecessary once you start applying these principles to your food, and keep processed cereals, crackers and breads to a bare minimum.

Q. What are the biggest misconceptions people have about a gluten free diet?

The biggest misconception about this way of eating is that it is one of deprivation.  Most people are concerned that they won’t be able to eat bread and pasta. That’s fair, because most breads and pasta do contain wheat flour. I would recommend re-thinking wheat products from bread and pasta in the first place, because they’re made with wheat that’s been refined. The refining process strips out many of the minerals and fiber that promote a slow release of energy and sugar into your bloodstream, causing your blood sugar levels to spike.

It’s also a common misconception that going gluten free means that it’s suddenly okay to start eating “gluten free crackers” “gluten free cookies” and “gluten free cereals.” These processed gluten free products are NOT necessarily healthier for you. Often loaded with sweeteners or preservatives, processed gluten free products can cause as much irritation to your body as the gluten-containing products. Stick to whole food sources whenever possible, and always read your food labels to avoid food additives and processed sugar.
People may also believe that the gluten free diet will solve all of their stomach troubles. While eliminating gluten from the diet may initially cause some relief from symptoms like bloating, gas, etc, the most important thing to remember is that gluten itself is not the culprit. It is the way we are commercially preparing food that isn’t doing us any favors.

Chocolate Chip Raisin Cookie Pancakes

Q. What kind of mindset should a person have when committing to eating the way you describe?

A. An open mind! There are so many wonderful, simple recipes that you would never expect once you start opening up to a different way of eating.

I enjoy sweet potato pancakes made with almond meal flour, sprouted grain bread (easy to find – look for Ezekial brand), wholesome gluten free products (seek out those that do not have added sugar for best results), and so many more delicious options.

Q. What is the toughest time of the year to maintain this type of program?

A. In my program, I talk about “NSA days” – which means “no strings attached.” I dislike calling meals “cheat” meals, because that implies you’re doing something wrong. I think it’s really important to have balance – and choosing to enjoy occasional treats or special meals is not wrong or bad. Holidays are always perceived as this horribly tempting time of the year where no healthy eating plan is going to work. But that’s ridiculous. Thanksgiving is one day. Christmas is one, or two days. Let yourself enjoy the moment and the time with family and then get back to your clean eating afterwards.

For myself, I would have to say that traveling is the hardest time. Because I prepare a lot of my own food, I take for granted how challenging it can be when your only options are the restaurant, bar or local grocery store. And long days at conferences in hotels with hotel food can be really tough. My strategy is to always bring protein shakes with me, look over the menu for ingredients I can order rather than a specific meal – lean protein, vegetables and greens as much as possible, look for some good fats like nuts, avocados, or olive oil, and get rice, oats and fruit when possible to meet my carb needs.

Q. What kind of results can people expect when following your program?

A. Many of the people who have used my clean eating program, The Body Fuel System, have written to tell me how surprised they were to see their belly fat melting away so quickly. The ones who considered themselves clean eaters before the plan are always really impressed, because it makes it so apparent just how inflammatory certain foods can be.

Having great recipes and a clear and simple plan to follow that balances the nutrients makes it a lot easier to feel satisfied and full without relying on typical processed foods.

Q. What will people find most attractive about owning your ebook?

A. The Body Fuel System is about creating a sustainable lifestyle of healthy habits around food. It simplifies your life and will allow you to drop unwanted pounds. In addition to all of the health information, the book contains practical guides to dining in restaurants, traveling, substitutions in cooking, strategies for success – and a 30-day user guide that gives you grocery lists, recipes, weekly food prep and daily menus.

Betty Rocker Body Fuel System Q & A

I recently met Bree, creator of and author of the Body Fuel System – and within the first 5 minutes of meeting her, she had shared some inside tips about how she uses food to burn fat that I could not wait to start trying.

Most of us have no idea some of the simple mistakes we’re making with food – I’m super healthy and I thought I was doing everything right, but after I read her book I have already started implementing some of the changes she suggests. I asked her to answer a few quick question to give you a chance to find out more about her.

Q: Bree, tell us a little a bit about yourself, and what you do.

A: I am a health coach and teach nutrition-based cooking and hold virtual worldwide fitness challenges. When I’m not running an event, traveling to teach a class or doing a monthly body overhaul with a one-on-one client, I’m writing books, newsletters, articles or speaking on the principles of healthy nutrition for weight loss and disease prevention. Basically getting the message out to as many people as I can reach about how good they can feel and how easy it is to be healthy.

I have always been a bit of an adventure-seeker, both in the kitchen and in life – and my culinary experiments combined with my world travels, cross-country treks, love of race cars, motorcycles and adrenaline sports earned me the nickname “Punk Rock Betty Crocker” – which morphed into “Betty Rocker.”

Q: How did you happen to get so interested in nutrition?

A: Growing up I was always interested in cooking and baking – I absolutely loved it. But it seemed like a lot of the things that I cooked were actually making me gain weight. Constantly eating out had the same effect. As a student of anthropology, I had always been fascinated by the eating practices of other cultures – but it wasn’t until I started putting some of the biology and anatomy science that I was learning together with the food practices of indigenous cultures that everything suddenly started to make sense.

I was truly amazed by the discoveries I made in regards to weight loss, blood sugar, and inflammation in the body from food – and I could not believe that this information wasn’t main stream! Even worse, I could not believe that doctors and food companies were actually causing massive confusion in the public around what was healthy – recommending pills and drugs and this old food pyramid that was causing people to gain weight. This made me more determined than ever to get the information I put together to as many people around the world as possible.

Q: I just finished your ebook, the Body Fuel System, and it looks like it’s getting great reviews! How did you happen to write it, and what has been the response so far?

A:  The Body Fuel System is really a culmination of my search for answers to my own weight loss and health problems. I struggled with my body image and my weight since I was a teenager. You name the diet and I tried it. It wasn’t until I found the TRUE answers to weight loss and health and that I was able to reach my own ideal weight, and achieve and maintain my lean physique. I’m proud to be in the best shape and the best health of my life – age 36 and going strong!

The response to the book has been incredibly positive! People have been emailing me and posting on the blog telling me how much they wished they had gotten this information sooner. They can’t believe how simple weight loss can be, and that having all the right tools laid out for them to use has made the process super easy for them.

People write me after the first week telling me how excited they are that they lost 5-10 pounds, and then I get amazing pictures of their transformations, and pictures along the way of the delicious food they’re making, and stories about how much their kids and spouses are enjoying it too. I can’t even believe how many wonderful ‘thank you’ notes and emails I get every day.

Q: What is the biggest benefit of following your nutrition program and does it come with meal recipes and meal plans?

A: The biggest benefit of my nutrition program is that it will make you fall in love with food in an entirely new way while you watch unwanted pounds fall right off of you. Everything in my System is made up of real, natural food. It does not restrict you from eating, and it offers a lot of flexibility for you to customize the meals around your schedule – because losing weight NEVER means that you should starve yourself.
On top of the awesome 100-page reference section of the book (that covers everything from fat-burning beverages to the skinny on gluten, grains and dairy), I’ve also included a 30-day user guide that has weekly shopping lists, meal prep, tons of my signature Fitness Food recipes (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, protein bars, green smoothies) and suggested daily menus that you can follow to the letter, or use as a reference.

Q: What is your advice for someone just starting your Body Fuel System? Can anyone do this?

A: Absolutely anyone can follow and succeed on the Body Fuel System. My client John started following the program at age 59 and has lost 40 pounds over the last 6 months and never felt healthier or better in his life. My good friend Aubrey (28) used the eating guide to support her training, and not only has the fat run screaming off her body, she’s getting to see her muscle definition around her abs after years of frustrating exercises. I get emails from clients who write me and tell me that not only have they lost weight, they have reduced the amount of medications they are taking. This is not at all unusual, as I provide a lot of information in the book about the specific health benefits in the foods I recommend, making it easy for people to focus on including them to improve their health.

I would start by trying out the recipes, and reading the concepts in the first part of the book. People get very overwhelmed and think they need to completely overhaul their life all at once, but this is not true. Remember, it’s a journey and a process and be nice to yourself! Having access to this kind of information is going to change how you see food and make you want to start implementing everything immediately – but remember, getting to your health goals at a pace that is right for you is much better than not doing anything at all!

Q: If there was one Body Fuel System secret you could share with everyone what would it be?

A: Just one? Oh that’s tough. I guess it would be to learn about foods that are causing inflammation in your body and what foods are sneakily spiking your blood sugar – two of the most common causes of weight gain and fat storage. Replacing those kind of foods with the delicious fitness food and green smoothies you’ll get to start eating on the System are really key in seeing the results you want to see!

You can watch the natural fat loss presentation right now and get Betty Rocker’s best strategies –