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If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.

—  Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
In the newsletter this week, we’ve got tips on getting enough iron, a full-body fat burn, and how your morning Starbucks can boost your workout.  Read on....

Ever feel faint or lightheaded? It could be you’re not getting enough iron in your diet. Iron deficiency anemia is twice as prevalent in females as in males, so if you have symptoms like headaches, dizziness, weird food cravings, or low body temperature, you may need more iron in your diet.

While red meat, pork, and poultry are top sources, vegetarians can get their iron fix from legumes, seeds, tofu, and cashews. That said, plant sources are less bioavailable, which means they’re not absorbed as well by the body. Result: vegans and vegetarians have lower iron stores, on average, than meat-eaters. If you avoid animal products, make sure you eat sources of calcium—like kale—to boost iron absorption.

And while you may assume that cooking with a cast-iron pan would produce an iron-enriched dish, no such luck—seasoned cast-iron pans don’t leach iron into food.

Wishing you a week fortified with nutrition and health, Katherine & Linda
Dear Fit Girls: Can we ask you a special favor? 

We now have hundreds of Fit Girls Society members receiving this email newsletter and we’re so thrilled to have you with us. Our goal is 1,000 subscribers by the end of 2021! 

Would you please forward this newsletter to a friend and tell them how much you enjoy it? It would mean the world to us. Thank you!
Emi Wong
When Hong Kong-based fitness influencer Emi Wong’s YouTube fitness videos started racking up views in 2018, she was happy to quit a job she didn’t enjoy. She soon built a dedicated fan base—even her wedding video has a million views.

Emi got into the fitness lifestyle after too many nights out partying with friends in Lan Kwai Fong, Hong Kong’s bar district, took a toll on her health. She gave up alcohol & got her personal trainer license. She assures her fans: “You’ll thank yourself one day for every single rep!”

Try this: Wong’s 30-minute Full Body Fat Burn workout has explosive plyometrics for fat-burning plus calisthenics for muscle tone, and doesn’t require much floor space. For a targeted quick core workout, try her 11-minute Lower Abs workout. Exercise can’t burn fat from a specific body area, but core exercises can build ab muscles, and burn calories that can contribute to weight loss if accompanied by a calorie deficit.
Coffee: more than a morning pick-me-up?
Pre-workout supplements typically claim to be proprietary blends of ingredients with unpronounceable names, but the active ingredient is usually caffeine. So, coffee makes a cheap and effective substitute. Have a cup 30 to 60 minutes before starting, and the effect will peak during your workout.

Studies have shown caffeine pumps up your athletic performance and enhances work capacity. Coffee also contains antioxidants, which have anti-inflammatory effects. Research suggests coffee could have a positive effect on both in-exercise soreness and delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). 

Coffee may also stimulate fat-burning. One study showed that trained athletes burned 15% more calories for 3 hours post-exercise versus a control group.

Bear in mind caffeine is a diuretic and can cause anxiety. Over-indulging in multiple coffees through the day could overstimulate your adrenal glands. So know your limit, sip within it! The Mayo Clinic recommends not exceeding 400 milligrams of caffeine per day — approximately four cups.
 “How do I build muscle?" A how-to on progressive overload for body recomposition (Vice)

 Hit the library to cultivate a positive attitude: 2021’s best motivation books (Brit + Co)

 Tips from a time management coach on how to manage your energy and accomplish your goals (Harvard Business Review)

 This recipe for low carb jambalaya is a one-pan dinner with a ton of veggie goodness (Born Fitness) 

 Comfort on the trail: recommendations for running shorts that don’t ride up (Self)

 Fermented foods like yogurt and kimchi aren’t just traditional and tasty, they actually modulate immune function. Here’s why you need to eat your sauerkraut (Dr. Sharma)
Thanks for reading, Fit Girls! We’ll return to your inbox next week with more inspiration and knowledge. Got a tip for us or opinion to share? Email us—we love your feedback. Enjoyed this issue? Please forward to a friend—your referrals help us grow!
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