Secrets from a Superstar Trainer …

Any one who knows me well, knows I love to exercise. “Keep it light, keep it tight.” Right. I run, dance, and practice yoga on a regular basis, but I also love to try new exercises & classes to give my body a little challenge and keep me inspired.  I’ve been taking a class at my local Equinox taught by Grace Lazenby called All The Right Moves. The goal of Grace’s class is to keep you long and lean by combining yoga, pilates and dance moves to challenge those tiny little muscles in our special female bodies.   A few people have been asking me about where to go, how to take these classes? There are tons of options in cities throughout America – most are called Cardio Barre, Mat Pilates, there’s Physique 57 in NYC et … But for those of you who can’t get to this class and workout at home, I wanted to attach a terrific quick exercise video created by Tracy Anderson, the tiny powerhouse who keeps Gwyneth Paltrow looking like a million bucks.  She emailed this video to Ms. Paltrow post Holiday 2008 while she was away and Ms. Paltrow then put it on her website. Goop.com

I thought I would repost it for those who don’t subscribe to the GOOP newsletter and haven’t gotten to see it.  Give it a whirl – you can do these exercises at home, in the office or in your trailer. All you need is a chair and the motivation to do a tons of reps.

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ACTORSDIET.COM – GUEST BLOG

So I was lucky enough to be asked by the talented and health savvy duo that created actorsdiet.com to write a guest blog for them – you can check it out below.  And go check out  the **site, for the whole post as well as fun recipes, ways to manage health and diet,etc: 

           

Eating Out? Two Out Of Four, and There’s Nothing More To It!


Hey there Actor’s Diet …… Lynn Chen & I were lucky enough to work on a film a few years ago, so I was thrilled when I found out she was one of the creators of this neat site, and even more thrilled when she asked to me to write a guest blog.


I love to eat out … in LA, there are great restaurants, and I consider myself a tiny but mighty LA Zagat/Google machine when it comes to restaurants. Name a street and I’ll tell you where to eat, from fine dining to casual healthy spots, a single LA gal spends a lot of time in restaurants. But as an actress, a lot of my job depends on staying in shape, physically and emotionally. So how does one eat out and stay in shape without losing her mind?


Well we all know a night at Mastro’s or heck Cheesecake Factory, is going to be pretty decadent in the calorie department. The portion sizes, the steak, the bread, the butter, the dessert the vino – it’s all so glorious and tempting. I once read a nutritionist talking about her eating out trick, one that could save you 2000 plus calories at dinner and it’s the first thing I share with people when they say the need to shape up but don’t cook at home often.


Two out of Four is all you need to know!


When at dinner, pick your 2 out of 4 for the evening, the four being:

1. Bread

2. Appetizers

3. Alcohol

4. Dessert


So, if you are starving and need the (1) bread and dying for an after work (3) cocktail then SKIP the (2) apps and the (4) dessert. If you know you have to have the (4) special “dessert” at this restaurant and must have that amazing (2) appetizer – then stick to iced tea or sparkling water and no (1) Bread.


A pretty straightforward formula that saves me lots of extra time in the gym after a few nights of eating out . I vote two thumbs up on this quick and easy formula. And just think, if you eat out often it could save you from gaining those “where hell did those 3 pounds come from?” Until next time ……..

 

 

Good Food Facts For Good Skin

blueberriesIn honor of answering some of your questions via Twitter, I’m going to make a quick list of foods that you should Absolutely consume to help in your mission for gorgeous radiant skin. Regardless of what your specific skin concerns may be, there is a short list of power foods that are consistently on every dermatologist’s list.  These super good for you foods can help reduce inflammation, combat aging and even prevent skin cancer. 

1-ANTIOXIDANTS in the forms of Blueberries, Blackberries, Strawberries & Plums, these 4 specific fruits rate the highest in antioxidants, which protect your skin from being attacked by those nasty free radicals we are exposed to daily (sun, pollution, et).

2-OMEGA 3 in the form of SALMON, Walnuts & FlaxSeed.  Chock full of essential fatty acids, salmon, walnuts and flax seed are  powerful for both skin & BRAIN!  Omega 3’s are a major resource in keeping your skin supple & glowing.  

3-GREEN TEA is your skins best friend – its polyphenols combat damage from ultra violet rays and is brimming with Vitamin C & Zinc. Plus this little magnificent bonus; green tea is full of something called  ECGC, which is an antioxidant known for helping speed up your metabolism.

4-LOW FAT DAIRY – Full of Vitamin A.  The A in low fat dairy is easy for your body to absorb, allowing you to see results sooner.  In addition Low Fat Dairy also contains ACIDOPHILUS, aka healthy bacteria, that helps keep your digestive track normal.

5-Water/H2O/Agua – Clean, filtered, spring, distilled water – not water in sugary beverages.  Try and consume at least half your body weight in oz.  (i.e. 150lb female should try and consume 75oz a day) It may seem like a lot, but it has been know to help hair, skin, and nails stay hydrated. 

Obviously any foods that are NATURAL, WHOLE FOODS from the earth are full of vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for overall well being.  But as we continue to learn about all of them, let’s start with these top rated choices. 

Try these tiny tricks:  Switch your afternoon or am coffee for green tea. Add blueberries to your morning cereal, oatmeal or Low Fat Yogurt.  Eat 2 servings of baked or raw salmon a week.  Sprinkle Walnuts in your dinner or lunch salad.  Since I don’t eat dairy, I personally take Power-Dophilus pills that I find in the refrigerator section at Whole Foods and get my Vitamin A from Spinach and Sweet Potatoes. 

Now Look at that.  Healthy body, healthy heart, healthy skin. Stress, poor diet, the sun, et take a terrible toll on our bodies. Let’s take control by adding small daily changes to keep ourselves in fighting form.  

For More Detailed Information on the items listed above: http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/features/skin-food

How Dare YOU Insomnia! & The Great Lemon


Day #7 –  Shut your face ….. really, already! I’m not even missing sugar, well, not as much as I was day 1-4.  Maybe because I’m eating so much real food, my sugar hasn’t dipped enough to send me into a sugar fit!!

Sweet.  I don’t think I’ll end the week tomorrow with some big sugar filled treat.  I actually would prefer not to.  I have to go to an opening night party of Inglorious Basterds and I may have a glass of champagne, it will after all be almost midnight then, right?  But honestly, I am going to quietly try and maintain the habits I’ve been building this week and see if it sticks.  
The one thing that has happened this week. My Insomnia has come back to visit …. as he so often does.  I am one of the millions that suffer from sleep disorders – I’ve never been a good sleeper – I wake up at the slightest sound and I don’t easily fall asleep.  My mind just won’t shut down at time and it has gotten so bad that I was hospitalized for it in 2003 .  (But that’s a whole other blog).  I don’t know if my Insomnia and my change in diet this week have anything to do with one another.  Hmmm, I’m use to putting myself in a tiny sugar coma before bed, which might help me crash?  Boo, sugar and your addictive qualities.  Here’s to hoping that it’s only a very temporary visit from my old friend while my body is adjusting to my newer, healthier lifestyle.  
Quick side note: (Things that do help when I can’t sleep, yoga, breathing, journaling before sleep, warm tea, melatonin spray under the tongue and per my doctor’s suggestion, a glass of red wine 😉  

Tip #6 — The really awesome benefit of a fresh squeezed lemon in 6oz of tepid water in the am. The healing properties of Lemon have been around forever.  Most cleanses incorporate the use of lemon, and most doctors will tell you to use lemon in your water to help battle any bacterial infections. It’s a powerful tool, that pretty little lemon, but did you know that some have claimed weight loss without changing there diets but by religiously starting the day with a glass of fresh squeezed lemon water.  Upon rising, squeeze a full lemon in to tepid water, and drink up at least a half hour before you eat.  This helps flush out toxins and eliminate any excess waste in the body.  It also makes skin glow, makes hair shiny, and purifies your blood. Lemons are also full of vitamin c and other helpful nutrients, and the best thing of all is that Lemons are inexpensive and available to everyone.  
Want more info: attached is a link on the benefits of lemon water in the am:

My First Blog

So I guess I’m on the blog train ….. first facebook, then twitter and now this – I guess since Literature has an always will be my first love this is a pretty good place for me.   (ahh, literature and blogging, really Azita?)

I am actually starting this blog, because I decided I wanted to give up sugar for a full 7days.  7days, I know, it’s not a terribly exhausting trial, if it wasn’t for the fact that I don’t eat a lot of sugar in the first place. I also avoid wheat and never eat dairy!  My sister suggested I blog about it, since I have seemed to devour this type of information ever since I was little girl.
So no sugar, no wheat and no dairy for 7 days ….. what on earth am I going to eat?    Well, sugar is my downfall, I Love Sweets, and LA is chock full of wheat free cookies, non dairy frozen yogurt, vegan pudding, and gluten free free protein bars full of sugar sugar sugar.  Instead of stopping and having real food, or taking the time to cook, I get into the habit of eating these so called “healthier” sugar filled foods on my way to auditions, after an audition or coming home late at night ……….  And it has to stop – balance is key, so no sugar or really no starch except for vegetables for 7days.

I have become a slave to my diet and it basically sucks, but living clean helps my head stay clear, my tummy stay centered, my yoga more focused, my runs a little stronger and my body a lot younger.  So here are some tips, things I ate, things I love ….. and how I try my best to survive this place call DreamLaLaLand. 
So far tip#1 – Best fruit on the no sugar plan for me: raspberries, blueberries and apples.   Absolutely no bananas, oranges, mangoes, or grapes 😦  
Questions to deal with on NO Sugar –  SPLENDA – I am a splenda addict – serious ….. so, agave? stick to splenda, stevia — this will be the hardest choice over the next 7 days.   Today I had a packet of splenda in my coffee – but maybe will try to use zero for next 6days. Wish me luck!
love, love, love 
Azita