Meet Anna Murillo, a sophomore in high school whom is Miss NY Teen Belleza Latina 2012, Miss NY Perfect Teen and national spokesmodel for Operation Prom! Anna loves pageants and has been watching Miss USA forever. She still remembers when Miss Texas, a Hispanic contestant, won when she was 7. Miss Texas helped inspire her to run for pageants later.
Here are some favorites of Anna’s:
Anna is excited to be a part of O2 MAX’s Event Ready Program and hopes to tone her muscles and increase her stamina. Anna also LOVES all the goodies she got from being a part of O2 MAX’s Event Ready Program.
O2 MAX learned that she practices cheer from 2-5 during the week and her last meal most times is lunch. We are going to pay more attention to what she eats, when and see if we can fine tune and implement some better hydration and snacks before, after and during cheer practice. This will help give her the energy she needs to land those toe touches, amazing cheer moves and base her fellow cheer team members.
O2 MAX Fitness wishes Anna the best of luck on her event and her fitness journey!!
Find more information about Anna on her Facebook page
The worst thing about the 80s? Besides scary hair, the 80s had the low-fat diet craze. Whenever you see a box of cookies that boldly fats “0 grams of fat!” or read “a naturally fat-free food” on a box of candy, you are seeing the vestiges of this very wrong-minded mentality.
In reality, fats are great for you. Fats keep your skin soft, your hair glossy, your belly full, your joints comfortable, and even boost your immune system. The most important kinds are Essential Fatty Acids(EFA’s), fats your body cannot produce on its own. These are Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids.
Despite what you may have heard, saturated fat is also important. Saturated fats help the body absorb calcium. They also help the body retain Omega 3 fatty acids.
The only fat you should avoid at all costs is trans fat. This fat mad-made and leads to heart disease. You will find it in things such as processed potato chips, snacks, and baked goods, as well as fast foods. A way to check if a product has trans fat is to read the ingredients list. Trans fat is always labeled as “partially-hydrogenated oil.” Drop anything with this ingredient, even if the box says “0 grams of trans fat.” This just sneaky marketing that exploits an FDA loophole for food labeling.
Also, fats are high in calories, so there’s no need to eat a bag of cashews. With fats, the important thing is a balance. Here are some of the best fats you can eat.
Avocados. Get your guacamole on! Avocados contain lots of monounsaturated fats. They are one of the healthiest fruits you can eat. Avocado tastes great in sandwiches, salads, and on top of scrambled eggs. You can even make it into a vegan chocolate pudding!
Coconut Oil and Coconut Meat. For vegans, coconut is an important source of saturated fat. For everyone else, the fat in coconuts is a specific kind of saturated fat that is metabolized as energy. It’s especially good for athletes, and coconut is antibacterial and antifungal. Add coconut oil to stir-fries, meat dishes, and smoothies. Coconut meat (often dried, but stick with unsweetened) tastes great as a topping for yogurt, oatmeal, and savory dishes.
Almonds. These nuts rock: they have protein, lower your risk of heart disease, and improve cholesterol. They also contain lots of monounsaturated fats. Sprinkle chopped almonds on top of yogurt and oat bran, or add slivered almonds to salads. Or, buy a jar of almond butter and spread it on apples and whole grain bread.
Flax Seed. Flax is rich in heart-healthy lignans and omega 3s. Just be sure to choose ground flaxseed, as it digests better. Flax seed is great sprinkled on yogurt and oat meal, or added into smoothies and baked goods.
Dark Meat. You’ve heard people say you should only stick with white meat because it’s leaner. In truth, higher-fat chicken and turkey thighs contain more vitamins and minerals. They also makes you feel full faster, which prevents overeating. Just as with white meat though, consider avoiding the skin, and always grilled and roasted over fried.
Olive Oil. Those sexy Italians have used olive oil for years. It’s great for your skin and your heart, and is a powerhouse of monounsaturated fats. Drizzle extra virgin olive on cooked veggies or savory dishes. However, don’t cook it at too high of a heat, or the nutrients will degrade.
Low Fat or Whole Yogurt and Kefir. Egads! Dairy that isn’t fat free? Sometimes, a little fat is a good thing—you need saturated fats in your diet, and fat keeps you full. Just watch your portions. With yogurt and kefir, you also get a healthy dose of probiotics. Plus, it tastes way better.
Salmon. Along with other fish such as mackerel, herring, and sardines, salmon is rich in Omega 3s, as well as protein. Choose wild salmon over farmed. Salmon is tasty with a little butter or olive oil and salt and pepper, but it tastes smashing with an Asian-themed ginger or citrus sauce. Smoked salmon and cream cheese is also a great accompaniment to morning toast. If you are a vegetarian or hate fish, consider a fish oil supplement to get those awesome EFAs.
Macadamia Nuts. You might have heard these nuts getting based for being super high in fat. In reality, macadamia nuts are super high in Omega 3s, the best kind of fat for your body. These taste great with yogurt and fruit, especially tropical fruits.
Walnuts. These nuts also contain lots of Omega 3s. Add them to baked dishes like banana bread for extra crunch and satiety.
Grass-Fed and Pastured Butter. Pastured butter (from grass-fed cows) has a high CLA content. This fatty acid has been linked with heart health and decreases in belly fat. In moderation, a little butter with your veggies or on your toast is a great addition to a healthy diet. Even better, opt for cultured butter, which has digestive benefits.
In conclusion, eat your yummy, good-for-you fats. Your hair and nails will be strong and shiny and your heart will thank you.
Ann Olson is a health and fitness writer for Money Crashers Personal Finance, where she talks about ways to lose weight and stay fit, all within a tight budget.
In my teens, the biggest weight I ever considered touching was an eight-pound dumbbell. Instead, I did Tae Bo or crunches for hours, hoping to make myself super toned and thin. My hardcore exercise lifestyle, paired with a near-starvation eating regimen, made me thin – but at the same time, I had become “skinny fat,” a term used to describe thin people with a high body fat percentage. I was also extremely miserable and tired.
Now in my mid-twenties, I do cardio twice a week – and even then, I only do 20 minutes max. Yet I’m in the best shape of my life, feel great, and boast just 20% body fat, which is considered to be an athletic body fat level for a female.
So what happened here? Well here’s my secret: Strength training.
Why Strength Training Matters (If You Want to Tone Up)
For years, I thought cardio was the key to toning up. I figured that if I burned more calories, I would lose more body fat – a common weight loss myth. Boy, was I wrong.
It was a couple of years ago when a bodybuilder opened my eyes and taught me that sticking to cardio alone (combined with eating a low-calorie diet) decreased my lean body mass, as well as my total body fat, resulting in that dreaded “skinny fat” look.
To help me tone up, she recommended weightlifting to help rebuild my lost lean body mass. At first, I worried I would quickly turn into Chyna, but she reassured me that women only have a fraction of the testosterone as men, so women can’t physically get “bodybuilder big” – at least, not without illicit drugs.
The Benefits of Strength Training
After picking up the weights and keeping at it for several months, my body began changing in unexpected ways. I looked slimmer, but I didn’t become skinny-fat. Instead, I noticed my body fat was rapidly disappearing, I felt stronger, and I had some actual definition in my torso, legs, and back. Regularly lifting weights also resulted in a longer calorie burn compared to cardio.
But the biggest difference was in my self-esteem. Once weightlifting became a habit, I felt more motivated, happy, and confident, and this confidence translated to other areas of my life. After all, I thought, if I can lift 150 pounds in the gym, I can do anything if I just push myself hard enough.
It turns out these benefits aren’t just something I imagined up. According to researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, breast cancer survivors who picked up the iron had a 12% improvement in body image and satisfaction. Based on the questionnaire they took, many of them reported feeling “more proud of their bodies” and “more emotionally empowered.” Some of them also felt more comfortable being intimate. Those are good reasons to get buff.
Should You Lift Weights?
If you’re suffering from poor self-esteem, want to reshape your body, or just need a way to boost your confidence, I highly recommend weightlifting. No, as a woman, you won’t necessarily become big and buff like a bodybuilder, but you will become toned and strong, as well as unbelievably confident. Remember, it’s extremely difficult to gain the hugely muscular build of a bodybuilder unless you take illicit drugs and lift really heavy weights for many years.
So how do you get started? If you’re in college, you can start weightlifting by checking out your school gym, if there is one available. You may also be able to get a student discount off local gym fees.
Otherwise, go cheap by checking out privately owned or 24-hour gyms, which run less than $40 per month on average. If you’re a beginner, stick with a beginner’s home workout plan to start.