Thursday, February 28, 2013

March Booty Challenge!

Summer is approaching. That's right. If you follow me on Twitter, you know I say that almost every day. With summer comes fewer clothes, and 'poof!' all the junk food we've been eating suddenly starts to show. Well, not if we're prepared. How can we get prepared? Let's start with our booties.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Almond Milk: Is it Really Healthy?

We all know how the trends go. First there is a diet that says don't eat carbs, then another that says eat only carbs. Then there's a "Got Milk" campaign supporting drinking regular cow's milk, and then another stating that milk is bad and you should go for the substitutes. One of the trends that started in recent times was the push for almond milk as a substitute for regular milk.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Ready to Work Those Legs?

Nice toned legs are one of my favorite body parts. Get beautiful legs by doing cardio (of course), and doing strength training specifically focused on the legs. I like to alternate days with my strength training. i.e. upper body one day, and legs the next training day.

Here is a great routine you can try (see image above). You'll be on your way to long lean legs in no time. If you have some more time, try the routine twice :) It incorporates cardio and strength training. See below for a description of each exercise.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

E&W Recipe: Spicy Baked Chicken Breast and Pasta

We love food here. But healthy tasty food is even better. And healthy tasty spicy food is much much better. I could keep going but I'll just get to the recipe :)

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Squats: How Low Can You Go?

Contrary to what you might think, this was not at all inspired by Ludacris' song. Okay, may be a little bit. A friend asked me this morning about proper squat form, and I thought about how many folks are doing the squat wrong without realizing it.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Looking for a Cheap Place to Work Out?

Who doesn't want to save money while trying to get in shape? If you are fairly confident in your ability to inspire yourself to work out, this won't be a difficult task for you. All you need are some fitness DVDs, some simple exercise equipment like dumbbells and resistance bands, maybe an Instagram account so you can follow @eightsnweights and do some of our exercise challenges (shameless, or some cardio equipment like a treadmill or elliptical machine. You can get all these at Amazon or any department store.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Sunday, February 17, 2013

E&W Recipe: Baked Plantain and Egg Sauce

Plantains are yum. No, yellow plantains are yum (I like green and all, but the yellow ones are tastier). Like they are God's special gift to us. But they can also be very murderous in the calories department. So the trick is to minimize the portions we eat, and find healthier ways to make them besides frying. Here's one :)

Friday, February 15, 2013

British Military Fitness Red Challenge

Alright, so a few weeks ago, I gave you the British Military Fitness Blue workout challenge from Tribesports, and you were probably like "Shoot, that's easy peasy". That's totally what you said, right? 

So we're going one level up. We're doing the British Military Fitness Red challenge today. You're pretty excited. I can feel it.

Note that the BMF challenges are not just called that for fun. They are based on workouts from the British Military. See below for more.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day Couple Fitness Tips

It is Love day. And while we celebrate our significant others, family, and friends, let's also take some time out to celebrate our bodies. We only each have one body, and yet, sometimes we forget and use and abuse them. Today, take a moment to treat your body right by eating right and exercising. 

Of course, Valentine's day gives us a great excuse to have a steamy workout session with our partners. So here are a few tips:

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

E&W Recipe: Grilled Tilapia, Rice, Lentils, and Beans

Ahhh... the smell of great tasting food. I am a firm believer in the fact that you do not need to eat bland food to stay healthy. I am currently participating in the FitMenCook and FitWomenCook 30 Day challenge, and one of the challenges is to pre-prepare every meal for this week. As I cooked, I thought I'd share one of my recipes and the meal with you.

Seafood is one of my favorite things, and so I thought I'd make some tilapia and some healthy sides, and share with you. Try it at home.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Anti-Sugary Drinks Commercial

The New York City Department of Health has really been going hard trying to reduce the intake of soda and other sugary drinks. You may have seen some of the commercials. They have got some good and bad press because of their ads.

As an avid anti-soda person, I vehemently support the commercials. So I thought rather than preach on here about the negatives of drinking soda, I'd put up one of the commercials so you can see how much sugar really is contained in one bottle of soda. See below for the video.

PS. If you still drink soda, and are trying to lose weight, I'd suggest you consider giving it up. In fact, I'd suggest you consider giving up most forms of sugary drinks because they simply add empty calories to your diet. And we all know how a rush of sugar in your bloodstream negatively affects your weight.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Paleo Diet: Real or Dud?

When our ancestors (and I mean waaay back hunting and gathering ancestors) thrived physically, they did so by eating a strict diet of natural foods including lots of grass-fed meat, seafood, greens, and unprocessed nuts and grains. The diet was very simple because the technology to over-process food was not available at that time.

The premise of the Paleo diet is to focus on food like this that was being consumed in the Paleolithic era (the time period from about 2.6 million years ago to about 10,000 years ago). This in essence means dropping all food that was developed during the agricultural era, like dairy products, cereals, and processed sugars.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Do We Condemn High-Fructose Corn Syrup?

You've heard the buzz word 'high-fructose corn syrup'. Unfortunately, all we hear are the commercials on TV that do everything short of carrying a plaque around town with the words 'High-Fructose Corn Syrup is the Devil'. All we are told is how bad it is compared to sugar and how we should eliminate it from our diets. In fact, consumer products are beginning to have the tag line 'No high-fructose corn syrup added'.

What is HFCS?
Let's start by understanding what high-fructose corn syrup is and where it comes from. High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a sweetener made from corn. It is composed of two types of sugars: glucose and fructose. It is found mostly in processed food.

Friday, February 8, 2013

20 Minute Abs Circuit

It's cold, snowy, and wet outside in New York. The perfect day to go indoors and do some ab toning exercises. Contrary to popular belief, the best way to work on your abs is not just by doing crunches. You would need to do enough cardiovascular exercises (running, swimming, cycling, elliptical, etc.) to burn the fat all around your body, including your midsection, and then do strengthening exercises to tone up the muscles.

Our focus today is on the strengthening piece, so please make sure you are still getting consistent cardio in, and not simply relying on the work you do to tone. Prior to doing the routine below, I would suggest warming up for about 5 minutes. You can run, use the elliptical, cycle, do jumping jacks, skip using a jump rope, or any other cardio exercise that requires sweat and constant motion.

Here are a few of my favorites that I have put together to form this 20 minute abs routine. Take your timer or stopwatch and do each exercise for 1 minute. When you are done, start from the beginning and do it all over again. Are you ready?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Eights & Weights Recipe: Baby Octopus Salad

Octopus is one of those things that could go really right or really wrong when you cook it. And it’s difficult to be certain how to cook it. But because it is fantastic in the nutrient department, I thought we should definitely give it a go. I decided to go with baby octopus because you don’t have to chop it up.

Just a little note on the nutritional value of baby octopus (3oz):
Calories – 140
Protein – 25g
Fat – 1.8g
Carbs – 3.7g

In reality, the calories in octopus are difficult to find, unless you have them weigh it at the supermarket. But one thing to note, especially for the ladies, is that it does have about 45% of the daily iron requirements. That is wonderful since it also maintains a low fat content and a high protein content. Yay for lunch!

So I made this great mollusk into a salad with spinach and some sweet potato. Let’s walk through the process.

Ingredients (serves 1):
3oz baby octopus
1 medium sweet potato
2oz spinach
2 tbsp Toasted sesame lite dressing
¼ teaspoon of powdered hot pepper
¼ teaspoon of curry powder
About  4 cups of water

1. Wash the baby octopus thoroughly.
2. Throw the octopus in a pan and add a dash of salt, the powdered red pepper, the curry powder, and about 2 cups of water. Bring it to a boil and let it cook for about 20 minutes or to your desired texture.
3. Next, wash and peel the sweet potatoes, throw them in a pan with about 2 cups of water as well, add in a dash of salt, and bring to the boil. Let it cook for about 10 minutes or until it is as soft as you want it.
4. Let the octopus and the sweet potatoes cool off for about an hour. If you are like me and want it all cold, you can let it sit for a couple of hours or throw it in the fridge overnight.
5. When you are ready to eat, wash the spinach and put it in a bowl.
6. Dice the sweet potato and spread it on top of the spinach
7. Throw the baby octopus on top of the spinach as well.
8. Dress it up with the sesame dressing. Voila! There goes your salad.

This salad is a delicious meal of about 290 calories. Perfect for lunch, and perfect for anyone trying to get those veggies in too ;)

PS. If you are looking for a salad dressing or a marinade that is low in calories, but yet absolutely tasty, try the Kraft Asian Toasted Sesame Lite. 16 calories for 2 tbsps.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Monday, February 4, 2013

70 Year Old Raw Foodist Looks 40!

Does going raw make you look younger? We've asked this question for ages as more and more diet fads come out. With the way we currently live, it would be tremendously difficult to give up all things cooked and processed, and just stick to raw foods. But one lady was able to do this, and she has been pretty successful. Not only does Annette Larkins feel young (she is actually 70), she literally looks at least 30 years younger than she is. See below for the video. I was in awe! Her poor husband looks like her dad though.

Even if you can't go all raw, maybe this would at least make you consider eating less processed food? There is no greater advertisement.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Leafy Green Vegetables Leading Source of Food Poisoning

A new study from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that leafy greens, such as lettuce and spinach, are the leading source of food poisoning in the United States.

About 48 million Americans become sick from food poisoning each year, sending 128,000 to the hospital and causing about 3,000 deaths. Of the 48 million cases, about 20% were linked to leafy greens.  

By now you probably know that I am one of the biggest fans of spinach. Don't get me wrong, kale and collard greens and all the others are great, but I jut love spinach. So this news could be pretty worrying if you are like me and try to get most of your daily vegetable sources from greens.

However, it is important to note that the biggest killer among food-poisoning incidents was not leafy greens, but poultry. Between 1998 and 2008, 277 people died from eating tainted poultry, compared to 236 vegetable-related deaths. 

While that's not a considerable difference, at least it shows that there are multiple kinds of food that cause food poisoning in about the same amount as leafy greens.

So why am I telling you this? To get you off greens? Hell no. Greens contain a ton of fiber, vitamins, and minerals and incorporating them in your diet is one of the nest ways to stay healthy. But for those of us that drink a lot of green shakes, or make salads from pre-packaged greens, it is important to be vigilant and still thoroughly wash your greens before you eat them. I know, I know, what's the point of buying it packaged then, right?

Leafy vegetables are pretty difficult to thoroughly wash because they have all these tiny crevices and corners in the veins of the leaves. I know a lot of people (a.k.a West Africans) who chop the greens before they wash them, and then use some salt and really scrub. 

I mean like really really scrub. 

While that is probably a great way to get the greens clean, it may also cause you to lose a lot of the nutrients with the intense scrubbing action. And then you'd see like a whole bunch of leaves reduced to just pulp :( I would rather suggest thoroughly rinsing them whole with vinegar or salt before you chop them up (if you are chopping them up). This way, you get quantity and a good quality rinse :)

Oh, and while you are at it, thoroughly wash your meat and poultry too. Bacteria lurks in and around our food so it is essential to be very careful.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Photo credit:

Friday, February 1, 2013

The Eights & Weights 6 x 200 Challenge!

You know you've been dying for a challenge. You probably woke up this morning like "Something is missing in my life". Well, I'm here to make your dreams come true :)

I put together the challenge above so you could try something different, push yourself, and work on those muscles. I know you've been doing all that cardio this season; It's time to tone up.

First off, warm up with 100 butt kicks, 100 jumping jacks, 100 jump rope jumps (without the ropes, just simulate the motion), and 1 minute of fast feet. Then do 200 of each of the exercises above: sumo squats, plank, donkey kicks, side kicks, 6 inches off the ground and side leg raises.

Feel free to break up the reps and mix up the exercises however you wish. But you must finish 200 rounds of each in total by the end.

Let me know how you fare!

Cheers Eights & Weights!
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