On the Road to Recovery IV- Cardio – Keeping the Heart Healthy when Using Your Legs is a ‘Hard Limit

What’s worse not being able to train your legs or not being able to do cardio?

Not being able to train both is catastrophic to both your metabolism and your heart health. Since both control your heart rate and both control the rate at which you burn fat, maintaining your weight or keeping body fat levels at bay can be challenging if not straight up difficult. (Continue reading for the answer…)

Finding ways to keep my heart rate up without using my legs was challenging for me.  Here are 2 ways I found to keep my heart up at least at a recovery rate of 120 bpm:Bouey

•The first was to put a buoy between my legs and swim with my arms for 30 minutes.

•The second, the arm bike, I would slap on my heart rate monitor and monitor my heart rate for 30 minutes to stay within a recovery heart rate fat burning zone.

armbikeThis is turn does a few things:
1. Put me in a recovery-training zone, which helps to speed up recovery.
2. Helps to circulate blood around the body, to the working muscles and into the healing area to once again speed up recovery.
3. Keeps my heart rate just high enough to burn a minimal amount of fat and train my heart without overstressing the body and again helping to speed recovery.

I can’t say this was fun but I was determined to keep some semblance of physical fitness throughout my recovery to make things easier on me both during and after.

It helped keep me focused and maintain a positive perspective and help attain that feel good serotonin release, even if just for a little bit.

The answer: Leg Training

When training your legs you can elicit both a rise in heart rate for a cardio benefit and strength training to maintain strength and lean muscle for a speedier metabolism and increased circulation for a speedier recovery.

Keep moving people.


GO for Life! ™

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

Drinking your Fruit and The Juice Fad

juiceI was about 17 when I first went to Weight Watchers. One of the first rules they teach is to Eat your fruit, DO NOT drink it.  The science is simple…

Your body cannot digest the amount of insulin you are putting into your blood stream in juice form fast enough to use so that it doesn’t convert to fat.  Eating your fruit takes a little longer for the digestive process to do its work at controlling your blood sugar levels.

I thought by now this was common knowledge.  I remember learning this in Weight Watchers way back when I was in my teens.  At the time, Weight Watchers was the only game in town and truthfully it’s probably one of the most solid nutrition plans on the market still.  Though it has its faults in modern day nutrition science, they do teach you how to eat real food and small meals, 5 times a day.  You even get cheat foods if you save up your calories and still lose weight by eating food ..CLASSIC!

The game is about controlling your blood sugar levels throughout the day so that you don’t experience highs and lows.  Keeping a constant blood sugar level maintains your metabolism at an even pace so that it doesn’t become sluggish and have to work overtime.

Today’s fad is all about juicing.. I see people juicing FRUIT and they wonder why they are not losing weight.  And you wont!

Yes there are people who are slim and can drink fruit juice. Their body type and their metabolism is fine with that, but if your aim is to lose fat, you will not succeed with fruit juice in your regimen.fruit

Juicing vegetables is fine, and bonus points for greens,  so long as there is NO fruit in the mix.

If you insist on juicing so be it… Juice away and let me know how that’s working out for you.

I leave you with one final thought, Fruit IS Sugar!

GO for Life! ™contact

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal

Fat that Burns Fat?

SAMSUNG DVC PICTURESCOCONUT OIL contains the most concentrated natural source of medium chain fatty acids, MCFA, available.

Most fats in our foods, if not used immediately as an energy source are stored as fat tissue in our body, aka FAT.  COCONUT OIL has a totally different effect on the body.  The medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil are broken down and used predominantly for energy production…they produce energy NOT FAT!

Unlike other fats, they do not circulate in the bloodstream and are sent directly to the liver, where they are converted into energy like a carbohydrate, but unlike a carbohydrate in that it does not raise blood sugar levels.

Because MCFAs shift the body’s metabolism into a higher gear increasing the metabolic rate, coconut oil is a fat that can actually promote weight loss!

However like anything in excess it too can be converted to fat so use moderately.

The simplest and best way to replace LCFAs with MCFAs is to use COCONUT OIL in the preparation of your food.

Enjoy the many other benefits of COCONUT OIL:

Skin Care – moisturizer

Hair Care – conditioner

Healing – cuts & wounds

Digestion – speeds up

GO for Life! ™

In peace, health & with much love

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

9 Ways to Jump-Start Your Metabolism

Joycelyn-105web     By the time you hit 40, your metabolism starts to slow down 5% every decade, this makes weight loss particularly challenging.

     Metabolism is the rate at which your body burns calories and breaks down food to produce energy. That said in order for your body to burn calories you must provide it with calories for it to burn. Without them your metabolic rate slows down and the rate at which you burn these calories slows down leading to deficiencies in your nutrition and the role it plays in losing weight.


Here are 9 ways to speed things up:

1. EAT Breakfast!

IT IS the most important meal of the day.  Your body has been on a fast from the night before. The sooner you feed it, the sooner your metabolism starts up. This meal sets the tone and gives your body a source to draw energy from throughout the day.

2. EAT! 5 Meals (at least)

Keep them small and spread them throughout the day.  This will keep your engine running without experiencing all the ups and downs in energy levels and mood swings. Eating less is not more here.  Starving the body will only slow your metabolism down as you wonder why that fat is sticking to your gut or thighs when you’re not eating anything. Give your body the nutritional requirements it needs and this will actually help you rid of that fat. DO NOT STARVE YOURSELF!

3. Build MUSCLE

Lean Muscle burns more calories when the body is at rest than fat. With age we loose muscle and this gives way to increasing body fat levels and yes a slower metabolism.  Ladies I am not talking about big bulky massive muscles I’m talking about Lean Muscle Mass for a tone sexy look.   2-3 times per week minimum.

4. Cardio

At least 30 minutes a day will get you to start burning fat. Add this to your resistance training routine and blast that fat.

5. SUGAR -avoid it

Beware of hidden sugars in your foods.  This includes Fruit.

6. No COMPLEX CARBS at night-

Yes eat your carbs throughout the day but NOT at NIGHT …fibrous veggies are ok.

7. Vitamins & Minerals

Be sure that you are getting adequate supplementation either from the foods you eat or the vitamins you take.  Especially The ‘B’s” (refer to previous posts)

8. Green Tea

The catechins in green tea help to speed up your metabolism and contains antioxidants. Though it does contain caffeine, significantly less than coffee, this caffeine creates a thermogenic effect and burns calories through heat production in the body. A great afternoon pick me up!

9. Water! Water! Water!-  eight 8 oz. glasses at least!

If you have been following my blog I can’t stress enough the importance of water. This flushes everything out and keeps your bodily functions working efficiently.

If you haven’t already started integrating these behaviors into your lifestyle, and it seems like too much to handle, take one step at a time.

If you’ve taken these steps and want more guidance, you are ready for the next phase, click on the nutrition tab above for your personalized nutrition plan.

GO for LIFE!™

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

Foods that Increase Thyroid Activity & Your Metabolism

Joycelyn-253webStart with wholesome foods to increase thyroid activity.  Processed foods will take longer to digest. and will slow down your metabolism.

Here are some natural food sources to consider adding to your diet:

Sea vegetables – ocean foods -seaweed, hijiki, wakame, arame, dulse, nori, kombu…find these in sushi restaurants

Cranberries – antioxidant

Organic yogurt – probiotic

Navy beans – high in fiber

Himalayan salt – sea salt …some sea salts do not contain iodine look for ones that do

Goat’s milk

Potatoes with skin

If even after you have started on a whole foods regimen you are still experiencing thyroid problems, here are a few other supplements to consider:

Omega -3 Fats or essential fatty acids found in fish or fish oil increase your cells sensitivity to thyroid hormone.

Coconut Oil – is a medium chain triglyceride which may help to increase metabolism. Use this as your cooking oil for added benefits.

The B’s – B vitamins help to manufacture thyroid hormone

other Antioxidants- vitamins A, C and E help your body neutralize oxidative stress that may damage your thyroid.

Trace elements –iodine, selenium, copper & iron are vital for the body’s optimum efficiency.

Foods that may cause an inflammatory effect should be avoided:

aspartame- may cause thyroid inflammation,

non fermented soy – these interfere with the function of your thyroid gland includes, soy, soybean oil, soy milk soy burgers & tofu leads to decreased thyroid function

gluten – found in wheat, rye, barley and most processed foods


Cortisol, our primary stress hormone inhibits thyroid hormones.  Find the source of your stress and illiminate it.  Not easily done,  I know.  Try balancing your body by eating 3 well-balanced meals and 2 snack meals in between.

*Too much iodine can actually be harmful, especially if you have autoimmune thyroid disease or a family history of it- always consult your physician first.

Supplements should not take the place of good nutrition. Get the good food in first and if you are lacking adequate nutrition then add supplements.

Supplements are just that, SUPPLEMENTS!

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

Here are 2 supplements I use to support a healthy metabolism


Thyroid Health & Your Metabolism

Your thyroid gland is a 2-inch butterfly-shaped organ located at the front of the neck.  Your thyroid releases two primary hormones (T3 & T4) and they play a profound impact on your metabolism.

These hormones travel through your bloodstream and help get energy from the food you eat to regulate: fat and carbohydrate metabolism, respiration, body temp,  blood calcium levels, cholesterol levels,  growth & brain development, menstrual cycles & skin integrity among others.

Without sufficient iodine your thyroid cannot produce adequate hormones to help your body function at an optimal level and could wreak havoc on your metabolism. A TSH blood test can be used to diagnose your levels.

Iodized salt is one way to get supplementation. However, because it is heavily processed you may want to seek out other natural sources: seaweed, hijiki, wakame, arame, dulse, nori, kombu..you’ve seen these in sushi restaurants!

Because my meals are low in salt I supplement with Iodizyme

Some foods to avoid to for thyroid health:

•aspartame- may cause thyroid inflammation,

•non fermented soy – these interfere with the function of your thyroid gland includes, soy, soybean oil, soy milk soy burgers & tofu leads to decreased thyroid function

•gluten – found in wheat, rye, barley and most processed foods

* NOTE: too much iodine can trigger thyroid problems and worsen symptoms …

hyperthyroidism: an overactive thyroid, weight loss, speed up your heart rate, sensitive to heat

hypothyroidism : underactive thyroid  weight gain, feel fatigued, difficulty dealing with cold temperatures

Thyroid medications can interact with common nutritional supplements and lower the absorption… Always check with your doctor before introducing new supplements.

The key is maintaining balance!  And good health isn’t complete without stressing the importance of physical activity.

In peace, health & with much love

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

Throughout my blogs you will now find products related to my tips. If you find them beneficial to your health please purchase them through the link provided on my blog as I may earn a small commission when you do.  Thank you for your support and continued interest in your good health.