Apr 16

Enhance the Taste of Your Protein Shake

Protein, Nutrition, Health, TastyHate the taste of protein shake? You’re not alone! Plenty of people hate drinking protein shakes because let’s face it; the healthier something is, the more it tastes like cardboard. Most protein shakes use boatloads of artificial sweeteners and processed protein powder that combine for a taste that could make anyone rethink their diet. Try these tricks to significantly improve the taste of that diet-keeping, muscle-building concoction that will keep you scooping, mixing, and enjoying!

Add Fruit

Fruit adds a delicious kick to your protein shake without adding a tremendous amount of calories. Nearly any fruit can be thrown into a protein shake to make it taste better, but we have found that strawberries, raspberries, and bananas are the more flavorful. By using fruits in your protein shakes, you protein shakes will be sweeter and give you an extra serving of fruit!

Add Milk

While milk does not necessarily change the overall taste of the protein shake, it does make it more like a milkshake. Who doesn’t like milkshakes? Nobody…that’s who. You can also add some type of sweetener such as artificial sweetener or honey to make it even tastier!

Add Cocoa Powder

Like chocolate? Love chocolate? So do we! That’s why we suggest adding cocoa powder to your protein shake. The cocoa powder will add some flavor without adding all of those unnecessary calories.

Add Yogurt

Adding yogurt to your protein shake gives it that extra bit of depth that will make you protein shake more palatable and even healthier. The yogurt can add a bit of sweetness to it and it is also good for the body. Good bacteria found in yogurt promotes good health.

Toss In Some Peanut Butter!

If you’re really looking for a treat, toss some peanut butter, or any kind of nut butter, into your protein shake. Nut butters are high in calories, but the calories are good and nutrient-dense. By adding this nutty stuff into your protein shake, you will get added nutrients as well as the extra calories you need to grow.

Mix and match these extra ingredients to add into your protein shakes for even better results! By adding these mix-ins, you will not only make your protein shake tastier, but you will be adding nutrient-dense foods that contribute to muscle growth and staying lean. Depending on which mix-ins you choose, you will be able to meet your goals while maintaining your workout routine. This goes without saying, but always be careful of allergies! If you are allergic to peanut butter, or are lactose intolerant, adding these ingredients into a tasty protein shake will definitely not offset the ill effects!

Apr 14

Household Items or At-Home Gym?

Home, Lift, Gym, Exercise, WellFitHaving an at-home gym can be expensive if you go out and purchase all of the equipment to work out every muscle group, but there are many common household objects that can be used as gym equipment. Create your own at-home gym and get a great work out in with these five tips for using common items found around your house in place of gym equipment:

 

Box of Powdered Detergent/Bag of Dog Food

This can be used as a weight that you can hug. Perk up your bottom by squatting with the extra weight! Hug the weight and make sure that it is not going to slip out of your Kung Fu grip. After you’re hugging your weight, with your feet should width apart, squat down until your butt is almost touching the floor. Bring it back up to finish the rep. Try doing 5 sets of 10 or more.

 

Chairs

As difficult as it might be to fathom how chairs can be used to get a workout in, the truth is that it is actually possible to get a great arm workout using just a chair from your kitchen. If you’re interested in toning up your arms, use the chair to do tricep dips. By standing in front of your chair facing away from it, it is possible to get in the dip position. Lower your body towards the ground until your legs are bent at a 90 degree angle. Once you are down that low, hold onto the edge of the seat with your hands. Once your grip is nice and tight, raise and lower your body to work out the triceps. Try to do 3 sets of 10 or more depending on your strength.

 

Milk Jugs

Filling up a milk jug with water weighs approximately 8.5 pounds, making them the perfect weight for anyone who is looking for cheap at-home weights to use for toning up arms, shoulders, and chest. By using milk jugs full of water as weights, it is possible to do just about any workout for your arms, but biceps are the muscle group that this weight would be perfect for. By curling the milk jugs as one might do with a weight at the gym, it is possible to tone up your bicep. Try to do two or three sets of 10 or more curls. Overhead presses are possible with these weights as well.

 

Heavy Book, Paver, or Brick

Using any of these items as a weight is very feasible. A lot of people use these for plate crunches. Hold the book, paver, or brick while you do crunches for an added burn!

 

Apr 09

Six Nutrient-Dense Foods for Muscle Growth

Nutrition, Food, Muscle, HealthAre you trying to put on mass while maintaining a healthy lifestyle? Maybe just trying to get a little more definition in your arms, chest or abs, without turning into the Hulk or a female MMA fighter? Try these nutrient-dense foods to spark muscle growth while staying lean and tight:

 

Eggs—Although eggs have been notoriously highlighted as a food that will raise your cholesterol and clog your arteries, the dietary cholesterol has been shown to rarely be linked to heart disease. This food is seriously meant for building muscle and the cholesterol in the yolk of eggs provides support for steroid hormones. Eggs are also known to have ½ a gram of Leucine in each egg, working as fuel for building muscle.

 

Lentils—Building mass has never been easier when adding lentils to your diet. A protein-packed slow-digesting carbohydrate such as lentils inevitably contributes to muscle growth. These cook fast and have nearly 20 grams of protein per cup! Toss these in a soup or salad for an extra protein and carb boost.

 

Chickpeas—Are you looking for a good carbohydrate to add to your diet? Look no further! Chick peas are great for anyone trying to get big and remain lean. By replacing some of the rice or grains that you eat with chickpeas, you will be adding plenty of slow acting carbs and fiber.

 

Nuts—Putting on weight is facilitated by indulging in nuts. Eating an ounce of almonds or cashews brings nearly 200 nutrient-dense calories into your body. Protein, fats, and fiber are found throughout nuts, allowing plenty of calories to be added to your diet while bringing nutrition in as well.

 

Lean Beef—Beef has always been one of the most well-known foods to promote muscle growth because it is made up of protein, essential amino acids, Creatine, and B-vitamins. The saturated fat found in beef also contributes to health testosterone levels. Monounsaturated fat found in beef is good for heart health as well. Anxiety and stress levels are shown to deteriorate when indulging in more red meat as well.

 

Full Fat Cottage Cheese With Live Cultures—Sounds gross, yes, but casein is found in cottage cheese in high levels. Casein allows the body’s blood amino acid levels to rise at a slow rate and remain higher for a longer period of time than if you were to take in whey protein. Cottage cheese also has live cultures that are full of good bacteria. This good bacteria assists the body in digestion — breaking down and absorbing all of the necessary nutrients to allow your body to grow!

Apr 07

Get Big — Top Muscle-Building Workouts

Weightlifting, Gym, MuscleYou don’t need to be an Olympic Bodybuilder to go to into a the gym every day with the intention of making a change in their body — one of the more common goals is to get larger and stronger. By focusing on growing muscles, bodybuilders are exerting a lot of time and effort in the gym. All bodybuilders try to use their time in the gym as efficiently as possible — include these muscle-building workouts in your daily regiment, and you will surely see results!

 

Bench Press—Using the bench press helps to build pectorals, anterior deltoids, and triceps. The bench press is the stereotypical workout that people associate with muscle growth because it is common, and relatively easy to do. Depending on hand placement, the bench press can work a multitude of muscles and it truly works wondering for muscle growth. The further out you place your hands on the bar, the more your workout will focus on your chest. As you bring your hands in closer together on the bar, you work out your triceps and anterior deltoids.

 

Bent Over Row—This muscle-flexing exercise promotes growth in the lats, rhomboids, mid-traps, rear delts, biceps, lower back, forearms, and brachialis. To get in position to do this workout, have your feet under your shoulders, bend your knees, bend your torso so your body is out over your knees. Then you must pick up the barbells with both hands and pull it up towards your chest.

 

Deadlift—You may have seen this workout in the World’s Stronger Man competition. This workout promotes muscle growth in the quads, glutes, hamstrings, lower back, upper traps, and forearms. When deadlifting, the main goal is to build up the muscles in your back. To do this workout, take a barbell and lay it in front of you with the desired amount of weight on it. Have your feet under your shoulders and pick up the weight by thrusting your hips. Bring it up to where you are standing straight holding the weight and bring it back to the ground. Be really careful with these, though — it is very easy to hurt yourself with improper motion, so do your research, and/or ask a trainer about proper form prior to starting.

 

Pull-up—When doing pull-ups, you are working out your lats, rhomboids, rear deltoids, mid-traps, forearms, and brachialis. Depending on how wide your grip is, certain muscles will be worked out harder than the others. This is a great workout for your back as well.

 

Working out utilizing these muscle-building workouts will hulk you up in no time at all, as long as you are following a proper plan and absolutely, at all times, use proper lifting techniques. Focusing on these exercises will produce results, so make sure to work hard!

Mar 31

Calorie Counting vs Exercise

kitchen-scale-532651_1280Diet and exercise are the two main components to dropping weight and getting chiseled, but which one is better? Eating a proper diet provides the proper fuel to promote weight loss and muscle growth but exercise melts fat like butter on a freshly toasted English muffin. Can it really be this simple? We’ve compared calorie counting and exercise to figure out which one has a better effect on your weight loss goals and here is what we have come up with:

Countless people go to the gym daily and do intense workouts that Richard Simmons has been pushing for years, but does it really make you lose weight? Sure, a calorie-burning workout makes you feel great and you’re dripping with sweat afterwards, but does working out control your weight loss as much as calorie counting? No way! Exercise helps you burn calories, but it does not control your caloric intake. Exercise is a necessity for building muscle, but the body burns calories without exercise depending on the amount of muscle you have. More muscle means that you are burning more calories while resting. In essence, exercise is more important for muscle growth and tightening your skin while you are dropping weight, but the actual weight loss really depends on the amount of calories you take in.

Through calorie counting, weight loss can actually be controlled regardless of the amount of exercise you do. For example, if you are supposed to take in 1,000 calories every day in order to maintain your current weight, you know that if you take in under 1,000 calories weight loss is imminent and if you take in more, you will gain weight. This is simple math that proves once and for all that diet is more important than exercise alone in relation to dropping weight. When counting calories, it is possible for this person to be in control of his or her body. Exercise does not provide this benefit because of the fact that there is only so much exercise that can be done before the body becomes physically exhausted. Also, there are only so many hours in a day. With this in mind, it is obvious that calorie counting is the way to go if you are looking to trim down or bulk up a bit. Counting calories allows people to control what is going into their bodies, as well as how much weight they will lose or gain. With this type of control, we figure that just about any weight loss goal is possible!

 

Mar 26

Employee Spotlight – Galina Davidson

CPH & Associates, Employee SpotlightCPH & Associates Employee Spotlight for March features Galina Davidson, licensed agent and fun coworker!

 

1. Why did you choose, and how long have you worked with CPH?
I joined CPH team in a summer of 2012. I have a major in journalism but at that point I decided to switch the field of my expertise 180 degrees and try something completely different. Glad I made that decision.

 

2. What is your role at CPH?
I’m a licensed agent and through the course of my employment I have had wide variety of responsibilities from customer service to underwriting to processing etc. In my opinion this is great as you get to know how the company operates on all levels.

 

3. Why would customers need to interact with you?
I’m on the front line of assisting our clients with any questions they can possibly have about their policies whether it’s an additional information they need about coverage, how to make policy changes, how to renew etc.

 

4. How would you describe the company culture?
At CPH, we implement a lot of technology to make our day to day operations more effective and efficient however we always keep in mind that nothing will replace a live person that can talk you through all the questions that’s why our team is always ready to help with a second phone ring. We are almost like 911 hot line it’s just instead we say “CPH & Associates – what’s your emergency…”

 

5. What do you like most about working for CPH?
The team, of course. Everyone is very hardworking and helpful. We all understand how to work as a group and I think we are doing a great job!

 

Galina, you are absolutely right! You are doing a great job. Thank you for your hard work and dedication. Keep at it!

Mar 24

3 Moves For Sexy Toned Abs

Fitness young woman doing abdominal crunch on beach and looking on copy spaceEveryone wants a sexy, toned stomach, but we all know how difficult that can be. We have all tried crunches in an effort to lose that bit of weight we all tend to carry above our belt buckles but crunches are difficult and can be painful to do. So what if we told you that we know of some fantastic exercises that you can do from home without ever doing a crunch again? If you’re sick of pumping out crunches without seeing any results, you should definitely try these exercises out:

Yoga

Do you enjoy doing yoga to relax? Perhaps you use yoga as a workout. Try this out while you’re doing yoga for a flatter tummy! While doing the plank position (pushup position with forearms on the ground), try moving your body from your waist. By twisting your body, you should be able to feel the burn in your abs. Make sure that this movement is effecting the muscles located from the bottom of your ribcage. While doing this, make sure you tighten the muscles with every motion. This should be felt on each side of your body as you move. You can also exhale deeply while doing this to increase the strength in your abs as well as protect your lower back from injury.

Leg Reaches

Slim that tummy down with this waist-size reducing exercise! Lay down with your face towards the ceiling. Leave your left leg bent and your left foot flat on the floor. Lift your right leg up towards the ceiling and leave it there. Take your left arm and reach towards the ceiling while making sure that your right arm is still tucked to your side. If you cannot keep your arm at your side, try putting your hand in your pocket! After you are in position, open the leg that is raised to the right and raised arm to the left. While you do this, make sure to concentrate on your abdominal muscles. Try doing 6 reps at first, and if you can do more, go for 12!

Donkey Kickers

Not burning enough yet?! Try Donkey Kickers! Please do not actually kick donkeys… this is just an exercise with a strange name… try it out and you’ll be sure to feel the inferno in your belly! Get down on all fours and get your right leg off of the ground. Bring your knee to your nose and follow this with a kick straight out behind you like a donkey. While doing this move, make sure to keep your butt tight. If you feel this in your lower abs, you are doing the move properly. Do this in sets of eight and switch legs for each set.

Using these exercises to get a flatter belly is quite possible, so try them out! Pair these exercises with cardiovascular exercise and a healthy diet to watch that belly shrink away!

Mar 19

World Water Day 2015

Water, World Water Day, HealthOK Baby Boomers, bet many of you once felt you had the monopoly on peace, love and understanding, bringing harmony to the world, dating all the way back to Earth Day and Woodstock. Well much has changed in 40 plus years, and we are rapidly coming up on a different kind of annual celebration that may still sound very familiar.

Slated each year for March 22nd for more than two decades, World Water Day is an initiative that grew out of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro from the next generation. The UN General Assembly has since marked this day as an opportunity to bring global water issues to worldwide attention. It documents, diagnoses and details how water links us all to the future we want.

Never heard of World Water Day?

A quick Google search reveals numerous articles and videos championing the cause. The WWW we commonly know as websites and addresses is cleverly repositioned as the World Wide Well, where we understand that water flows through rivers and streams, just as it flows through each and every one of us. A bit of Mother Earth hyperbole to be sure, but observers of World Water Day are correct to point out that unsafe water kills more people than war, and more than 95% of available fresh water on the planet is polluted.

If you are new to the March 22nd observance, each year the United Nations brings renewed focus to the issues of the day from a different vantage point, raising and exploring different themes. Previous themes have included:

 

 – The World is Thirsty Because We Are Hungry (2012)

 – International Year of Water Cooperation (2013)

 – Water and Energy (2014)

 

For 2015, it is Water and Sustainable Development. The theme is meant to bring to light the many uses of water in all its aspects:

 

As stated on the current www.unwater.org site, “Water is Health; Water is Nature; Water is Urbanization; Industry; Energy; Food; Equality, and so on. Humanity Needs Water, A drop of water is flexible. A drop of water is powerful. A drop of water is in demand. Water is at the core of sustainable development.”

Baby Boomers know these mantras very well. In a sense, they are ideals worthy of discussion, but perhaps more to the point, water is also a very real global problem like flood and drought. To the UN’s credit, these crises are not ignored. There are publications readily available from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the Global Water Partnership (GWP) highlighted on the unwater.org website.

 

Mar 12

5 Ways To Exercise At Home

Dance, Exercise, Home, HealthWouldn’t it be stupendous to be able to enjoy all of the benefits of going to the gym without actually having to go to the gym and use that sweat-soaked equipment? As awesome as this might sound, this is possible when working out at home. Since exercise is a necessity for a healthy body and mind, many people are using exercises that do not require equipment in order to get those flat tummies and toned legs.

With these 5 easy-to-do exercises that you can do from home, you will no longer have an excuse to avoid working out!

Pushups – Most people think pushups are for people who are being punished after all of the movies that have associated them with the quote, “Drop down and give me 50.” The truth is that pushups are great for anyone who wants to tone up and build a bit of muscle. If you’re a beginner, just do what works for you; you don’t need to be a powerhouse to benefit from pushups. Do them on your knees if you have to. Eventually, you will build up your arm strength and your chest will get a pump as well.

Jumping Jacks – We remember as kids we would always be doing jumping jacks. They look easy, but they will give you one heck of a cardio workout! Try doing jumping jacks for increments of ten seconds and work your way up from there. If you really want to make it interesting, try doing a double-clap jumping jack!

Crunches- Do you want abs? Who doesn’t? Those sexy toned flat-bellied abs… Oh yes! This is the best exercise for anyone who wants to strengthen their core and burn the fat off of their tummy. If you can’t get your whole body off of the ground, don’t worry. As long as you are feeling the burn in your belly, you’ll still get the benefits of this exercise.

Dancing- Salsa? Mamba? Dare we say… twerking?! So you think you can dance? Well, that’s exercise! Dance around a bit! That’s cardio! Move that body and shake what your mamma gave ya! Not only will you get the cardio benefits of dancing, but you will also work out muscles throughout your body as well.

Light Weight Lifting – You want to be strong like Arnold? No need to buy heavy iron dumbbells when you have household items that can be made into makeshift weights. Save your milk containers or gallon what jugs and fill them up to the appropriate weight you need. Laundry detergent bottles will work too!

 

Mar 10

No Cure for the Couch Potato, Really?

entrepreneur-593371_1280Ok, so let’s talk about exercise for little bit… Not the crazy weightlifting, scary marathon exercise but something much simpler. As cold as it has been in most of the country, it’s harder and harder to find motivation to get off the couch. What to do? You learned to do it during your first year or two in life, and for the vast majority of us, we have our parents to thank for diligently teaching us until we mastered it…

 

WALKING!

 

Up on two legs, homo-erectus, all by ourselves, fully separated from the animal kingdom.

 

Turns out it was no small achievement. We thought we were set for life. No one forgets how, but those afflicted with the “Sitting Disease” can often forget TO do it. Keep in mind, being sedentary for too long has dire consequences. High blood pressure, obesity, Diabetes and a whole host of nasty ailments should be enough to scare multitudes into getting off the couch and on their feet.

 

Couch Potatoes Unite — Any doctor will tell you this is serious stuff!

 

There are two ways back from the sedentary abyss… Door #1, the hard way — the dreaded soul searching through the seven stages of grief, or Door #2, the easy way — whether its Nike’s Just do it! or Hoffman‘s Midnight Cowboy - “I’m Walking Here!.”

 

OK, if you have somehow chosen the first door because “Woe is Me” is your mantra while problem solving, let’s walk it through — keep in mind, it’s not too late to skip to Door #2 if you are already set to join the walkathon!

 

Stage 1 – Denial

The daily recommended allowance is 10,000 steps per day. Not sure if you do at least half that?

 

Stage 2 – Pain and Guilt

Maybe your doctor has told you to make some changes or else, or you got winded doing yard work, or the last time lifting heavy things was a complete disaster.

 

Stage 3 – Anger and Bargaining

What happened to that peppy person full of enthusiasm that used to stare back at me in the mirror?

 

Stage 4 – Depression

Oh, the shame. When did putting one foot in front of the other become such a challenge?

 

Stage 5 – The Upward Turn

Turn off the TV, computer, and stop texting for awhile (texting and walking is not nearly as dangerous as texting and driving, but just to be sure to enjoy and focus on the experience, put the phone away).

 

Stage 6 – Working it Through

Did I really not have any time for the most basic of physical activity?

 

Stage 7 – Acceptance

Eureka! Door #2 here at least.

 

Before you set out, a few well-known pointers to keep in mind. Hydrate both before and during, as needed. Wear comfortable clothing, especially footwear. Find your ideal space – neighborhood, park, beach, shopping mall – and take advantage of some refection time.

 

Like forming any good habit, start slow and develop some stamina for distance and frequency. Keep it light, keep it fun and remember to keep at it! Eventually you could transition to running! Too soon?

 

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