ashleybensonfitness: May 2012

Monday, May 28, 2012

SUN vs SUNSCREEN -the sun is not always the bad guy

We have plenty of warning about the damaging effects of the sun, but what we don't hear as much is the damaging effects of sunscreens.  According to Dr Josh Ax, they are filled with damaging toxins that can cause cancer!  If you are like me, 
your head is spinning and you are thinking, "Well, I guess EVERYTHING causes cancer, so why even try."   It feels hopeless and confusing.  I think it's a topic for which we need to be informed and have discernment about.  We all have to make the best educated decision for ourselves and our family.  

We all know that getting burned by the sun 
increases our risk of skin cancer.  
BUT...
The sun is also really great and necessary.  

It is the natural and best way to which we get vitamin D.  And sunscreen can reduce vitamin D production by as much as 97.5 to 99.9%.  
This important hormone is known to:
  • Support your cardiovascular health
  • Promote optimal cholesterol levels
  • Enhance your muscle strength
  • Help produce optimal blood pressure levels
  • Help maintain a healthy immune system
  • Support healthy kidney function
  • Promote healthy teeth
  • Help keep your bones strong and healthy
This list of important benefits represents a tiny fraction of the ways vitamin D can help keep you healthy and fit. Check this out for more great info on Vitamin D and the effects of the sun and sunscreen. 

THIS DAY THE SUN WAS NOT THE BAD GUY!  My family spent a week enjoying non-stop fun at the  

Our time was spent at the pool, 
then on the beach, 
and back to the pool again!  

Being that we were in the sun all day, I used more sunscreen that normal to keep my family from burning.  I did not have the natural sunscreen I was use to using, so I lathered on whatever I had access to.  
I used Ocean Potion Suncare Instant Dry Mist 
Fruity Fragrance Spray
 SPF 50

on my daughter, Taylor, and this is what happened: 

 First day out in the sun with the sunscreen.  A few hours in the sun and it looked like her face was starting to burn.  So I reapplied the sunscreen... 3 more times that day.
We spent the next day at the pool and beach... applying the same sunscreen.  By the end of this day, Taylor started feeling sick.  "I felt like I was going to throw up and pass out." I thought she was dehydrated and had been in the sun too long.  

That night was when I realized something was terribly wrong.  At this point her face started to swell.  


This just makes me sick. 
I took her to the doctor to find out that she had experienced a reaction to the sunscreen...probably to the fragrance that was in it.  It caused her face to burn.  

 I was so scared her face wouldn't be the same.

After a few days of a liquid steroid, the swelling went down and her face started to peel.


We thank God that she healed completely and is back to her natural, beautiful self!
Thank you Taylor for giving me permission to post these pictures.  She wants to spread awareness and hopefully prevent this from happening to anyone else. 

I buy my natural sunscreens from swansonvitamins.com because I trust their products and I can buy them at a great price! 

Click here for a fantastic DIY AFTER-SUN LOTION. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Pre- and Post-Workout Foods

 We work hard during our workout sessions, but this is only the beginning of the process in reaching our goals.  Our body works around the clock - especially while we sleep - building and repairing muscle after a workout.  I want to make sure we take FULL advantage of our workouts by feeding our body appropriate pre- and post workout foods!  Eating smart before and after the workout can give the body what it needs to burn fat, gain muscle and recover to its full potential!  

PRE-WORKOUT FOODS...


You want to grab a snack 30-60 minutes before your workout to provide your body with energy it needs to push through and sustain your workout.  
Here are some of my favorite pre-workout snacks from a list that Greatist.com published:



  • Dressed Up Oats  Load up on carbohydrates for a longer workout with ½ cup cooked steel-cut oats topped with 1 tablespoon dried fruit and 1 tablespoon shaved almonds.
  • Yoberries A-Go-Go For the perfect blend of carbs and protein, try 1 cup non-fat vanilla bean Greek yogurt — which often packs more protein and probiotics than regular plain yogurt — with ½ cup fresh blueberries.
  • PB Apple  For a quick carb fuel-up, slice 1 medium apple and serve with 2 tablespoons all-natural peanut or almond butter.
  • Fruit and Cottage  Top ½ cup cottage cheese — a low calorie and higher protein option — with ½ cup fresh pineapple, berries, or melon. 
  • Pre-Workout Drink  Muscle Fuel - because sometime it need to be THAT easy!

For more Pre-workout snacks,
 check this out!




POST-WORKOUT FOODS
 After a hard workout, our muscles are hungry and we NEED to feed them right to keep our metabolism rocking.  Eat within 1 hour of your workout.  
These are post-workout snacks that I eat and love:

  • Chocolate Almond Shake 1 scoop of chocolate whey protein -  Muscle Gain Protein  - 1/2 a banana, 1 TBSP almond butter, and 1 cup of almond milk
  • Ants On A Log Spread a heap of natural peanut/almond butter over celery and top with raisins. 
  • Black Bean Omelet Four eggs whites, 1 ounce low-fat cheese, and ¼ cup canned black beans — then spice it up with a savory salsa.
  • Green Monster Smoothie Blend 4 cups spinach, ½ cup vanilla bean yogurt, 1 cup almond milk, 1 banana, and 1 tablespoon peanut butter with ice — Claudine Morgan via Iowa Girl Eats.
  • Cottage Cheese Crunch One cup fat-free cottage cheese, 1 teaspoon honey, ½ cup whole-grain cereal, and a dash of cinnamon does a body good.
  • Pita and Hummus One 7-inch pita with two spoonfuls of  hummus adds a little pep back to your step with quick digesting carbs.
  • Egg Scramble Veg out after a hard training session with 2-3 whole eggs scrambled with a handful of chopped onion, spinach, and bell peppers.
  • Protein Bar  Sometimes you need something to grab and go!
  • Post-Workout Recovery Drink -
  1. Helps minimize muscle soreness after strenuous activity
  2. Supplies essential components for muscle repair to optimize muscle recovery
  3. Helps maintain and restore energy supplies during and after physical activity
  4. Contains branched-chain amino acids to support muscle recovery, growth and endurance.


       For more Post-Workout snacks, check this out!

If you have any Pre-or Post-Workout Snacks that you eat... PLEASE SHARE in the comments! 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Baseball and Pilates

I'm loving this season at the baseball field 
cheering on my son and his team.  Aren't they cute???
  I love watching their hard work pay off as the kids improve in their skills.  They throw, bat and catch over and over and over to develop the muscle memory to perfect the form for each skill.  

Sport specific practice on the field is essential, but it's not the only way to improve as an athlete.  I love that Coach Tim encourages our boys to take gymnastics.  He understands how important core strength, balance, agility and coordination is for these boys. 
 These skills will make them more efficient!

In addition to gymnastics, 
Pilates exercises should be at the foundation of a baseball players workout.
LIVESTRONG talks about how pilates is a great way to improve specific skills for baseball.  

  • Pilates exercises strengthen the hip flexors that assist in rounding bases and catching balls while off balance and on the move.
  • Pilates exercises increase flexibility that will greatly reduce the chance of injury on the field.
  • A specific example is the single straight leg stretch which can improve core endurance and flexibility of the hamstring.  This in-turn will generate torque in baseball specific movement.
Read more at LIVESTRONG.com



Aubrey Huff of the San Francisco Giants gives credit to Pilates for his great shape and how he felt in 2010 when he was one of the best hitters in the major leagues.


Huff’s wife is a Pilates instructor, and before the 2010 season he did it three times a week. His muscles felt better, his back didn’t hurt as much and his general sense of well-being was enhanced.  




Read more about Aubrey Huff's Pilates testimony here. 




 "I want to be one of THOSE kind of baseball players... a major league player."

Iver Benson, age 6                   

                                                                                   






Sunday, May 20, 2012

Dr. Oz: Omega-3 Safety & Advocare

Dr. Oz agrees that not all 
Omega 3 Fatty Acids are created equal.  

These healthy fats are    
"The single most important thing you can do as a supplement."   Dr.Oz



He also says they are his #2 health scam:

ConsumerLab.com tested every supplement company and found that 30% of Omega-3's failed their test! 
  1. They contain too little of the Omega-3's
  2. They failed for being spoiled well before the expiration date.

"While many products failed consumer labs test, there are a couple that passed with flying colors."  Dr.Oz

He recommends choosing ADVOCARE as a company to by your Omega 3-Fatty Acids!


If you need a safe & effective Omega-3 in your life, buy it HERE.  




Whether you need more energy, supplements to support your workouts or a full spectrum nutrition program that fills in all the nutritional gaps, it should be built for you with safe high quality products. I'd love to help you put together a customized plan that perfect for you!  
email ashley@ashleybensonfitness.com for a free, no obligation consultation!



Saturday, May 19, 2012

Lunch At Chuy's


One of my favorite things to eat at Chuy's:  

Chicken Tortilla Soup.  
Cut the Chicken.  
Extra Veggies.

I know I get made fun of, but I DON'T CARE!!!
It is SO YUMMY!



The art my son created while we enjoyed Creamy Jalapeño, fresh salsa and freshly made chips.


 My sister enjoying her Big As Your Face Bean & Cheese Burrito with Deluxe Tomatillo. 


Good food on this beautiful Saturday afternoon!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The 14 Anti-Aging Foods List


We can't turn back time, but we CAN

 slow down the inevitable aging process 

that we all must face!

We can improve our quality of life and reduce our risk of age-related diseases by what we eat!

Choose HEALTH by choosing these

Anti-Aging Foods:

  1. Wild Salmon

  2. Green Leafy Vegetables

  3. Blueberries

  4. Nuts

  5. Apples

  6. Cruciferous Vegetables

  7. Beans

  8. Pomegranate Juice

  9. Red Wine

  10. Prunes

  11. Dark Chocolate

  12. Oatmeal

  13. Spices and Herbs

  14. Tea