Tag Archives: Eating

Top Five Fruits To Eat Now


By Siddiqu “The Personal Trainer”

We all know the saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Well it turns out its not just an apple, its fruit in general that keeps one healthy, energized, and fit 4 life.

How much fruit are you getting daily? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that last year about one-third of U.S. adults consumed fruit or fruit juice at least twice a day. That’s down slightly from more than 34% in 2000 and is also less than half of what is recommended.  Here is just a short list of the benefits of fruit so you can get a sense of what you’re missing out on if you’re not eating fruit regularly:

1. Slows down aging process, 2. Weight loss, 3. Increases energy, 4. Lowers cholesterol, 5. Lowers blood pressure

Best Way to Eat Fruit

The best way 2 eat fruit is raw.  The way fruit grows is the way it should be eaten. When ripe, fruit is at its height of potency providing the most benefits.  Fruit juice is high in sugar and true it does provide vitamins and minerals but you miss out on the skin and pulp, which helps every body function.  Diced fruit is usually not as fresh as whole fruit.  Always remember this when it comes to any kind of food, “the fresher the better!”

Top Five Fruits

All fruits are good for. But I compiled a short list of the best fruits and what they do specifically, so you can go shopping today!

1. Wild Mixed Berries – (blue, rasp, straw, black, cran, goji, coffee, noni, acai, etc.) Berries as a whole are nutritional powerhouses. They can help joint health, heart health, cancer prevention, muscular degeneration along with a host of other benefits from their plethora of antioxidants and nutrients.

2. Kiwifruit – Kiwis are an often an overlooked fruit, as they almost taste too good to be so healthy!  They have twice the vitamin C of oranges, and are one of the most nutrient dense fruits on the planet.  They are very high in fiber and potassium for a healthy heart.  Kiwis have been shown to not only prevent oxidative DNA damage, but they have been shown to help stimulate the repair of the cellular damage that has occurred.

3. Cherries – Cherries are loaded with antioxidant compounds that are anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, and anti-cancer. They contain a wonderful ingredient called quercetin, an anti-cancer compound.  They also contain ellagic acid, like raspberries, a powerful anti-tumor compound that causes cell death (apoptosis) of cancer cells, with no change to healthy cells. It is also anti-viral and anti-bacterial.

4. Pomegranates – Enjoy either the fresh seeds and pulp, or even indulge in a few ounces of juice everyday as this will help lower blood pressure, improve cardiovascular health, and help slow aging.  Pomegranates are also shown to help prevent LDL cholesterol oxidation, help prevent blood clotting, slow the growth of prostate cancer, and improve erectile dysfunction.

5. Red Delicious Apple – This apple has the most antioxidants of any apple, mainly due to its deep red color.  Apples, like cherries, also contain quercetin, which is a powerful natural anti-inflammatory that may help prevent Alzheimer’s and heart disease. Apples are also high in pectin, a great soluble shown to help lower LDL cholesterol.  Apples are also high in boron, which may help prevent osteoporosis and arthritis.

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Emotional Eating: Break the Cycle


By Siddiqu “The Personal Trainer”

Having an emotional connection to food is not uncommon. Some of us have a greater connection than others and you, Ms. Emotional Eater, are the reason for this article. The emotions that cause you to over-eat the most are stress, anger, fear, boredom, sadness and loneliness. Generally, these emotions are triggered by the everyday pressures of living, for example: unemployment, financial woes, health problems, work stress, fatigue and the dreaded relationship conflicts.  Emotional eaters tend to not be aware of the connection between their over eating and their emotions and will often say things like, “This is just my favorite food and that is why I always eat it” or “I only eat this on special occasions” or even “My job/co-worker brings this food in and I don’t want to be rude.”

Everyone has a favorite food and you can eat your favorite food all you want, but why do you always eat your favorite food when you’re home alone? Could it be that you feel lonely? Acknowledging the emotion that is attached to the “favorite food” binge is the first step in avoiding it. Don’t give yourself an easy out. Really confront what’s going on with you.

Special occasion/holiday overeating is a huge excuse (pun intended) often used by emotional eaters. The weekend isn’t a special occasion, someone’s wedding who you don’t really know isn’t a special occasion, and Martin Luther’s King birthday isn’t a special occasion, to over indulge. I once had a client use the late great MLK as an excuse for ordering a huge desert. The holidays and special occasions bring with it a flurry of emotions. Dealing with your holiday/special occasion emotions in a constructive way (e.g. via therapy/counseling) can mean the difference between 50lbs gained or 50lbs loss.

Here are my top three ways to help you begin to break the cycle of your Emotional Eating:

1. Keep a food diary – Write down what you eat, how much you eat, when you eat, how you’re feeling when you eat and how hungry you are. Over time, you may see patterns emerge that reveal the connection between mood and food. One client told me she didn’t write down a day of what she ate because she felt ashamed. My response: “Well maybe, just maybe, you shouldn’t have been eating it!”

2. Take away temptation– Do not keep supplies of comfort foods in your home if they’re hard for you to resist. If you feel angry or blue, postpone your trip to the grocery store until you’re sure that you have your emotions in check. I visited a client at work one day and caught her with cake all over her face, she didn’t look happy and neither did I. But the cake was in her office and she ordered it for the staff. (I didn’t see anyone else around though, smh)

3. Get enough sleep – If you’re constantly tired, you might snack to try to give yourself an energy boost. Take a nap or go to bed earlier instead. I had a client ask me recently what she should do when she gets home late and she hasn’t eaten anything. My response: “Go to bed! I promise you won’t wake up starved”

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Holiday Health Tips


By Siddiqu “The Personal Trainer”

Ok so we are embarking on yet another Thanksgiving holiday. This is the time of the year where all my clients seem to fall completely off! But this year can be different for you if you follow the Chicago Fit 4 Life holiday health tips. I gave you the secret to getting a six pack   so trust me when I say you can still enjoy this time of year without putting on 5-10lbs that will take you all next year to work off.

CF4L Holiday Health Tips 

Tip #1:  Fasting – Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner is usually eaten earlier in the day because we typically are not going into work on these days. Why not just take the day completely off? By that I mean, no eating the entire day until you sit down for your holiday meal. Drink a lot of water during the day. The body can process about 700 calories at once. Excess calories tend to be stored and can turn to fat rather quickly.

Tip #2: Alcohol – Most of the time holidays fall on a weekday and we don’t have to work the next day, so we tend to indulge ourselves with that extra glass of wine or a cocktail. Wrong! Alcohol consumption quickly adds extra calories, offers little health benefits, and will leave you with unwanted pounds that will take all year to get off. Alcohol suppresses the central nervous system. When alcohol is added to a meal, less fat is burned on average which causes more fat to be stored by the body.

Tip #3: Be Active – Be active on the holiday. Start the day off with a 30 min. walk, then after dinner do another 30 min walk. This will give you one hour of cardio which can burn anywhere from 200-500 calories. It will help you offset at least your dessert for that day.

Tip #4: Holiday not Holi-month! – Just eat one dinner, one day and move on. Too many times we try to re-live Thanksgiving all the way up until Christmas. We bring Thanksgiving dinner for lunch, then go home and eat the dinner again and do this day after day until all the food has been consumed. What we don’t realize is the effect this has on our body. Thanksgiving dinner is on average 3,000 calories and 300 grams of fat. So consider cooking less food this year to cut down on the obligatory “left over” eating.

Siddiqu is a personal trainer & founder of Chicago Fit 4 Life

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