river north personal trainer

7 Kitchen Tools that Will Cut Your Cooking Time in Half

Do you avoid cooking because of the prep time? Avoid no more. Here is the list of kitchen tools I use to speed up the cooking process. In many cases, the total time will decrease by 50 percent. Cook away, Chef!!!!

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Instant Pot


Personal Trainer Wisdom: The Instant Pot is basically a crock pot with pressure cooker attributes. Like a Crock Pot, you can simply throw an array of ingredients into the pot and cook with little extra work. The big difference: The Instant Pot only takes a fraction of the cooking time. Your 8-hour Crock Pot simmer will turn into a 20-minute pressure-cooked phenomenon. Either method will save you time from constant stirring stoveside. You may use the Instant Pot to sautee onions and garlic prior to cooking your stew, soup, or chili as well (which also saves cleanup time-less dishes).

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PL8 Professional Mandoline (Food Slicer)


Personal Trainer Wisdom: Cutting with a knife is soooooo prehistoric! With 4 cutting options (thick slice, thin slice, julienne and waffle) and 4 adjustable thickness settings for each cutting option, you will save time perfecting your slice and adding more shape to your life!

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Apple Slicer


Personal Trainer Wisdom: You can core and section fruits in one swift motion (8 wedges all at the same time). Less mess and time. “But it only saves you 30-60 seconds, Michael,” you say. Tell that to my screaming 2-year old son, Preston….

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Collapsible Salad Spinner


Personal Trainer Wisdom: As described on Bed, Bath, & Beyond, “This salad spinner is so versatile as it expands for use as a large salad spinner and collapses in an instant for easy storage. Its high velocity pull-cord mechanism dries your fruits or veggies quickly and efficiently.” Sold! Not enough? I also use the spinner to evenly coat a dressing or citrus onto my veggies. Essentially, you’re spinning away the excess while coating each piece of nutritarian goodness. Perfection!

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Stick Mixer


Personal Trainer Wisdom: I typically avoided recipes that required pureeing because of the food processor cleanup. With the stick mixer, you can quickly and easily puree a soup in the same pot you cooked it in. It’s lightweight and a quick wash compared to the many parts of the food processor or blender.

kale-stripper-personal-training.jpg

Kale Slicer


Personal Trainer Wisdom: This kale slicer is more of a kale destemmer than anything else. It makes pulling the leaves off the stem one easy swoop (a big convenience when using several stems in your recipe).

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OXO Vegetable Chopper


Personal Trainer Wisdom: Many of my personal training clients will avoid cooking because of the preparation (especially the chopping). Although you need to slice an apple, onion, or green pepper in thirds, this chopper will make the remainder of your chop a breeze. Simply place the thick slices under the stainless steel blades and press down. Easy to dump into your dish and easy to clean.

Photo Credit:
Photo 1: williams-sonoma .com–Life may never be the same with the Instantpot.
Photo 2: mighty ape .co.nz– PL8 Professional Mandoline (food slicer)
Photo 3: kitchenettejen .com–Apple Slicer
Photo 4: blogtemplates. Info—Collapsible Salad Spinner
Photo 5: promotion. com–Stick Mixer
Photo 6: target. Com—Kale Slicer
Photo 7: crate and barrel .com– OXO Vegetable Chopper

Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness
7 Kitchen Tools that Will Cut Your Cooking Time in Half
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.
 

4 Ways to Avoid the Same Poor Posture as Michael Cohen during the House Hearing

Don't be like Mike! Whether testifying in a House hearing or presenting at a board meeting, poor posture will not only send unintended nonverbal cues but also lead to poor physical health. Putting aside, the "look" of poor posture, anything beyond the neutral spine while sitting (think of your body naturally and symmetrically stacked in the neutral position) may put you at serious, long-term risk of injury. I've included tips from my interview with Wayfair to help you reverse this effect and redefine the way you sit at work.

Wayfair: How can you tell if you have bad posture during your day to day?


Personal Trainer Wisdom: Most likely, you are experiencing many symptoms, including lower back, hip, and shoulder discomfort and pain, that are surefire tells of your bad posture. Considering the constant distractions, it's not a surprise that you don't recognize these symptoms or realize how you shift your weight to one hip while speaking to someone or round your back while working on the computer 8-10 hours per day. In small amounts, your body is adaptable and can function out of a neutral zone (Translation: Pick up light objects with a rounded back). When reinforced repetitively, though, you are creating an imbalanced, inefficient system that can eventually lead to rounded shoulders or a posterior hip tilt (rounded lower back).

Wayfair: What are some tips to improve posture while at your desk?


Personal Trainer Wisdom: The number one key to your best physical health and perfect posture is awareness. Simple check-ins throughout the day can minimize or eliminate most chronic problems. Although the human body isn't meant to sit for extended periods of time, most industries require it. If you're going to do it, you must do it well. Essentially, you're fighting nature while maintaining a flexed position at your desk under quite a bit of sustained stress. Our bodies are meant to move in a neutral position, however, and you're most likely guilty of doing the opposite up to this point.

While it's not realistic to assume that you'll walk and type on a Stairmaster at the office, you can take several measures to maintain a neutral spine--the natural position of the spine that doesn't place unnecessary stress on your disks and maintains the natural curve of your neck and lower back. First, adjust your seat to the appropriate height to reduce a tilt in your hips or a round in your lower back. Your knees should directly extend from your hips at a 90 angle or lower. Second, maintain a neutral position while seated. Keep your ears above your shoulders, shoulders above your hips, heels under your knees, and your feet flat on the floor. Third, stand up and/or walk when you fidget or reposition your body while seated. If you begin to shift in your seat, listen to your body! It's time to move! It takes muscle activation and strength to fight gravity and maintain perfect posture. Although you may be using the right muscles, they will fatigue too! With this being said, relight the system and find a reason to walk around.

Wayfair: Are there any tools, accessories, or furniture that are best suited for having good posture throughout a workday?


Personal Trainer Wisdom: Your best tool for maintaining good posture is self-awareness. No matter what system you would put in place, you may unconsciously compensate in one way or another. An adjustable, ergonomic chair that allows you the fit for your neutral spine and the adjustable height to find the appropriate level for your hips is a priority. An adjustable desk will also help you find the proper height for your computer keyboard and the placement of the screen to limit any slouching. In the case your desk doesn't offer an adjustable function, you may want to simply elevate your computer screen to eye level instead.

Wayfair: For offices with raiseable desks, how much time should someone switch between sitting and standing for the most comfortability?


Personal Trainer Wisdom: In response to the constant demand on your body (gravity counts), it's important to move or change position every 20-30 minutes. The same principle applies when utilizing a raiseable desk. As mentioned before, your muscles will fatigue while maintaining perfect posture. Not surprisingly, ambitious people have bought the raisable desks with hopes of resolving their postural issues but still end up compensating by shifting their weight while standing and placing themselves in compromising positions. When you shift, it isn't a failure! It's just a cue to reposition. Sitting, standing, or walking may be the most appropriate response.

Photo Credit:
abc 17 news .com – Don't be guilty of poor posture!

Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness
4 Ways to Avoid the Same Poor Posture as Michael Cohen during the House Hearing
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.
 

"Are You Making This Huge Weight Loss Mistake?" Review

I’ve seen too many of my personal training clients make this mistake, and you probably are too. Stop spinning in place and make this change today.

What You’re Looking At


“Torch 800 calories in 60 minutes!” “Congratulations, you just burned 500 calories!” For some women, few things are more motivating than leaving your boot camp or hopping off of the treadmill knowing they just incinerated the caloric equivalent of a Big Mac.

However, paying too much attention to calorie-burn claims, whether on your treadmill display or health club’s website, can seriously sabotage your weight-loss progress. That’s because most fitness trackers, calorie counters, and estimates of calories burned use ridiculously inaccurate methods for measuring calorie burns, often leading you to believe that you torched way more calories than you actually did.

And if you don’t burn more calories than you eat in a given day, you’re not going to lose. You might even gain.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: In an effort to strategically shave off weight, many of my personal training clients also rely on machines to determine the calories burned. Unfortunately, as mentioned above, they are dependent on tools that aren’t scientifically measuring their expenditure (after all, the machines aren’t connected to them). With this being said, most people are hanging on to a delicate balance of a calories in and an inaccurate measure of calories out….usually a dangerous line for consistent weight loss. Your best bet is to focus on your caloric count instead of your caloric expenditure (a far easier and more reliable measure).

Bad Calorie Math


For example, a new study published in the Journal of Personalized Medicine reveals popular fitness trackers, including the Apple Watch and MIO Alpha 2, can be significantly off in their calorie estimations as often as 93 percent of the time. Each fitness tracker utilizes its own proprietary algorithm to calculate calories burned, according to Stanford Medical Center, which doesn’t always jibe with the individual wearing it, researchers say.

That partly explains why your boot camp is so far off on its “burn 500 calories in 30 minutes” claim: Often, classes come up with caloric burns by simply having an instructor wear a fitness tracker during the class, Rebold says. “Then they take that information and use it to promote that exercise class they’re unfolding at their club,” he explains. The problem is, there is an insane number of intrinsic variables that will always impact how many calories you burn during a given exercise, ranging from your sex, age, weight, to your muscle mass, says Church. In other words, you won’t burn the same number of calories as your 6’2” male instructor. So don’t expect to.

Others classes, meanwhile, refer to average intensity rates from the 2011 Compendium of Physical Activities to estimate calories burned during class, says Tim Church, M.D., Ph.D., professor of preventative medicine at Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University and chief medical officer of ACAP Health, a workplace wellness consulting firm.

However, when it comes to the number of calories that you burn during any given class, exercise intensity is the greatest player. Take your average indoor cycling class as an example: If someone is on a bike pedaling at a faster pace or a higher resistance, they’re going to burn more calories than someone who’s just going through the motions,” he explains. How intensely you’re able to pedal will depend not only on how fit you are, but also factors such as the sleep you got last night and what you ate for breakfast. So while average intensity rates will ring true for a small subset of class-goers, they are going to be ridiculously off for everyone who isn’t “average.”

So, odds are, you’re not burning the 800 calories that exercise class advertised, says Michael Rebold, Ph.D., C.S.C.S., department chair of the integrative exercise science program and assistant professor of integrative exercise science at Hiram College in Ohio. In reality, you may burn anywhere from 600 calories at the low end and 900 calories at the high end, he adds.

Meanwhile, research shows that you can’t depend on those calorie counters on your favorite pieces of cardio equipment, either, according to ABC News. In one oft-cited experiment, University of California - San Francisco’s Human Performance Center pitted the calorie counters of four different cardio machines against a VO2 analyzer. On average, the machines overestimated calories burned by 19 percent. Among the four machines, the elliptical machine was the worst offender, overestimating calories burned by 42 percent. So, for instance, it could say you burned 100 calories when you actually only burned 58.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: This section reminds us of the complicated algorithms of caloric expenditure. It extends beyond the simple math of a machine (even if it is measuring your heartrate). Always ask what the caloric expenditure claim is based on. As explained, it could be based on your instructor or other body types dissimilar to yours.

Your No-Math Solution to Weight-Loss


In the end, however, the problem isn’t the calorie-burn totals in and of themselves—it’s using them to calculate exactly how many calories you’ve “earned” or “worked off.”

After all, if you follow the whole, “I just burned 600 calories, so now I can go out and eat 600 calories,” you could easily end up gaining, not losing weight, Rebold says. The more your class, elliptical, or fitness tracker overestimated your caloric expenditure—and the more you depend on those numbers to determine what you do and don’t eat—the more you stand to sabotage your own efforts.

So instead of relying on a likely-inaccurate number to tell you how much you can eat, trust your body’s built-in calorie counter: your hunger cues, recommends Denver-based registered dietitian Kendra Glassman, R.D.

On a scale of one to 10, with one being absolutely starved and 10 being what Glassman calls “Thanksgiving-dinner-full,” eat when you reach a three or four (you feel a tinge of hunger), and stop when you’re at a six (comfortably full).

Personal Trainer Wisdom: Over the last 12 years, I’ve seen personal training clients practically kill themselves to burn as many calories as possible. They wanted to sweat off the weight loss. Unfortunately, you can’t avoid the one thing you need to change the most: Your diet. Believe me when I say that you don’t need to exercise to lose weight (although we need to move daily for optimal health). I chose this article to steer your focus away from unrealistic fitness measures and technological gimmicks. If you’re truly worried about your calories, count your dietary calories instead. If you’re not interested, you may want to reflect on the reasons why.

Photo Credit:
Sciencenews.com–Is weight loss bigger than the number of calories you burn while running?

Article Credit:

Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from the article "Are You Making This Huge Weight Loss Mistake?" on MSN.com (Women’s Health).
"Are You Making This Huge Weight Loss Mistake?" Review
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.
 

How to Minimize Your Stress at Work Right Now

It’s Wednesday and the end of the week is quickly approaching. For some of you, you’re eagerly eyeing the weekend. For the rest, your head is probably ready to spin off trying to complete your endless list of random personal and professional responsibilities. While I’d love to discuss the anxiety and frustration you’re going through with a mile long monologue, you really need a game plan instead. Here’s my no-nonsense approach to handling your anxiety and achieving your list today.

Organize your list based on priority


Personal Trainer Wisdom: Before you dive in to the nitty gritty of your list, you need to prioritize! If you’re like me, you justify cleaning your desk, answering 48 non-important emails, and brushing your teeth (again) to avoid what you need to do. Half the time the root of my anxiety stems from an unconscious shout (reminder) about the tasks I need to tackle. Are you listening to yourself??? Quit wasting time. Tackle the most time sensitive, important projects first.

Don’t add fuel to the fire


Personal Trainer Wisdom: Would you ever add fuel to a blazing campfire? Hopefully not…That fire is already blazing. Then, why would you drink more coffee or black tea when you’re already stressed and anxious? You’re just heightening an already unstable state and increasing your chances of less focus and productivity. Your creative ability could end up stunted as well (while you fly across the room). Create the mindset and physical comfort to patiently but aggressively check off your list. Save the caffeine for a time when you really need it.

Read your random text messages, social media streams, and personal emails for 3 minutes at the top of each hour (and no other time)


Personal Trainer Wisdom: Honestly, I’m already assuming you’re addicted to your habit of checking text messages, social media, and personal emails. Don’t deny it. In fact, you may be reading this article from your phone right now (I’m not judging). Have you calculated the number of minutes you spend on these distractions? I think it’s time. Starting now, record the time you spend in the next 24 hours. The tally will probably shock you. Although I don’t expect you to stop these indulgences, I think it’s time to set boundaries. You don’t have time to check Facebook every 15 minutes when you’re trying to finish a powerpoint presentation. You’re splitting your attention each time and siphoning off your creative juices with witty comments and emojis on random social media posts (not important). By the time you return to your work, you need to review and refocus (such a time waster). Set an alarm on your phone and then jump into your project fully. Give into your addiction when you’ve completed your homework like a good boy or girl or at least wait to the end of the hour.

Return to simple


Personal Trainer Wisdom: When life is complicated and stressful, what should you do? Simplify. Always simplify. It should be your first response. Are you taking on responsibilities that a colleague can manage? Pass it on. Are you scheduling unnecessary meetings while you have other pressing projects overhead? Reschedule them for next week. Remove the unnecessary and complicated and narrow your focus (a reoccurring theme here).

Rewrite your process(es)


Personal Trainer Wisdom: More times than not, most anxiety is a result of inefficiency in one of your personal and professional processes. When dealing with the less important stuff, create a mindless, predictable routine to minimize decision fatigue. I tend to wake up, eat, and go to bed at the same time each day. What daily requirements need more routine in your life? You want to minimize chaos in your life. Take control of these little processes too.

Photo Credit:
Gentisrecruitment.com - Is your head in the papers this week? Should you change your approach first before looking for a new job?

Article Credit:

Author: Michael Moody Fitness
How to Minimize Your Stress at Work Right Now
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.
 

Why Your Office Desk Is Destroying Your Posture (And What You Need To Do)

Recently, I was interviewed by Wayfair.com about bad posture at your desk. If you’re dealing with neck, shoulder, or lower back discomfort, you may want to read the reprint of the interview below.

Wayfair: How can you tell if you have bad posture during your day to day?


Personal Trainer Wisdom: Most likely, you are experiencing many symptoms, including lower back, hip, and shoulder discomfort and pain, that are surefire tells of your bad posture. Considering the constant distractions, it's not a surprise that you don't recognize these symptoms or realize how you shift your weight to one hip while speaking to someone or round your back while working on the computer 8-10 hours per day. In small amounts, your body is adaptable and can function out of a neutral zone (Translation: Pick up light objects with a rounded back). When reinforced repetitively, though, you are creating an imbalanced, inefficient system that can eventually lead to rounded shoulders or a posterior hip tilt (rounded lower back).

Wayfair: What are some tips to improve posture while at your desk?


Personal Trainer Wisdom: The number one key to your best physical health and perfect posture is awareness. Simple check-ins throughout the day can minimize or eliminate most chronic problems. Although the human body isn't meant to sit for extended periods of time, most industries require it. If you're going to do it, you must do it well. Essentially, you're fighting nature while maintaining a flexed position at your desk under quite a bit of sustained stress. Our bodies are meant to move in a neutral position, however, and you're most likely guilty of doing the opposite up to this point.

While it's not realistic to assume that you'll walk and type on a Stairmaster at the office, you can take several measures to maintain a neutral spine--the natural position of the spine that doesn't place unnecessary stress on your disks and maintains the natural curve of your neck and lower back. First, adjust your seat to the appropriate height to reduce a tilt in your hips or a round in your lower back. Your knees should directly extend from your hips at a 90 angle or lower. Second, maintain a neutral position while seated. Keep your ears above your shoulders, shoulders above your hips, heels under your knees, and your feet flat on the floor. Third, stand up and/or walk when you fidget or reposition your body while seated. If you begin to shift in your seat, listen to your body! It's time to move! It takes muscle activation and strength to fight gravity and maintain perfect posture. Although you may be using the right muscles, they will fatigue too! With this being said, relight the system and find a reason to walk around.

Wayfair: Are there any tools, accessories, or furniture that are best suited for having good posture throughout a workday?


Personal Trainer Wisdom: Your best tool for maintaining good posture is self-awareness. No matter what system you would put in place, you may unconsciously compensate in one way or another. An adjustable, ergonomic chair that allows you the fit for your neutral spine and the adjustable height to find the appropriate level for your hips is a priority. An adjustable desk will also help you find the proper height for your computer keyboard and the placement of screen to limit any slouching. In the case your desk doesn't offer an adjustable function, you may want to simply elevate your computer screen to eye level instead.

Wayfair: For offices with raiseable desks, how much time should someone switch between sitting and standing for the most comfortability?


Personal Trainer Wisdom: In response to the constant demand on your body (gravity counts), it's important to move or change position every 20-30 minutes. The same principle applies when utilizing a raiseable desk. As mentioned before, your muscles will fatigue while maintaining perfect posture. Not surprisingly, ambitious people have bought the raisable desks with hopes of resolving their postural issues but still end up compensating by shifting their weight while standing and placing themselves in compromising positions. When you shift, it isn't a failure! It's just a cue to reposition. Sitting, standing, or walking may be the most appropriate response.

More to Read: If you want to see a portion of this interview as well as the insight from other health professionals, please check out the article on Personal Trainer Wayfair.com at the bottom of the page!

Photo Credit:
Glossglam.com –Is Glossglam right? Do your habits at your desk really affect posture?

Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness
Why Your Office Desk Is Destroying Your Posture (And What You Need To Do)
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.