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Getting Fit In the New Year!

With the new year comes the opportunity for a fresh start. For many people, this means leading a healthier lifestyle and losing weight. If this is your goal, follow these tips to stay on track.

1. Find Your Motivation

What is motivating you to lose weight? Do you want to look better in your clothes, feel more energetic, or simply improve your health? Get clear about what you want, and then use that to inspire you throughout your journey.

2. Have a Plan

If you were to go on a long road trip, you wouldn't just jump in the car and go. If you did, you'd arrive hungry, tired, and fatigued. That's the same way you'd feel if you jumped into a whole new lifestyle with no planning. Before January 1st arrives, outline the changes you want to implement and decide how you'll fit them into your schedule. Keep in mind that it may be best to take steps rather than tackle everything at once.

3. Make Goals

Goals help measure progress. If you don't know where you want to end up, you won't really know how to get there. When making your goals, you need to make SMART goals:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Timely

For example, a SMART goal would be something like, "I will walk for 15 minutes 3 days for one week." Or, "I will prepare one new healthy recipe each week for the month of January."

4. Track What You Eat

Looking closely at what you eat is often an eye-opening experience. Use FitDay's free online Calorie Counter and Fitness Log to keep track of everything you put into your body. You don't have to do it for the rest of your life, but it is a great habit to start. Tracking will help you tweak your diet so that you can still enjoy foods you love without sabotaging your weight loss or healthy eating efforts. 

5. Use Reliable Resources

It may be tempting to try a fad diet, but these are usually unrealistic, difficult to maintain, and sometimes even dangerous. Instead, find a reliable source of information to help you understand nutrition. The USDA offers a number of tools and resources, or you can consult a registered dietitian in your area. An RD is specially trained and can give you tips and tricks to help you achieve your specific goals.

6. Eat Breakfast Every Day

Surely you've heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It is! Eat a big healthy breakfast as early as possible. It will give you more energy, lead you to make healthier choices during the day, and keep you feeling full so you eat less later on.

7. Fill Up on Vegetables

Vegetables are filled with nutrients, water, fiber, and very few calories. If you fill half of your plate with vegetables, you'll get fuller faster and cut down your calories without feeling deprived. Use herbs and spices to jazz up vegetables instead of using butter and/or salt to flavor them.

8. Exercise

In order to burn calories at a faster rate and build a healthy body, you'll need to incorporate exercise into your life. Take it slow at first, and then increase your time and/or intensity once you feel comfortable. If you haven't exercised in a while, talk to your doctor to make sure that you are healthy enough to begin an exercise plan.

9. Take It Slow

A major mistake many people make when trying to tackle a health resolution is trying to do everything at once. This is almost always a recipe for disaster. Spend a few weeks just trying to achieve 1-2 goals at a time. When you have established new good habits, put a couple more goals on your plate. Remember: You want to make permanent changes, and these will take time to implement.

10. Be Prepared for Lapses

A lapse is when you temporarily "fall off the wagon." This is a normal part of the process; no one is perfect. It is important for you to take a moment to recognize that you got sidetracked, but don't use it as an excuse to throw in the towel. Every day is a new chance to start over, so return to your healthy lifestyle immediately.

By Mandy Seay—http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/10-tips-to-help-you-achieve-your-new-years-health-goals.html

Greenway/Westheimer Student Highlight—David and Ethan Feinstein

What is your name and age?

David (35) and Ethan Feinstein (5) 

When did you join Elite MMA?

We both signed up in March of 2014. 

Why did you decide to start taking martial arts?

At the time, Ethan was fascinated by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Power Rangers, Ninjago and all things involving martial arts. He expressed a lot of interest in learning to be a ninja, so I began searching for a martial arts school for him. He was 3 at the time, and most of the places with kids programs that I called wouldn’t teach him until he was older. A friend and coworker, Hazel Herrera, recommended that I call Elite, so I did. The guy who answered the phone (who I later found out to be Jose), was extremely enthusiastic about Ethan’s training, and we scheduled an introductory lesson. 

After Ethan began his training with “Miss Ana”, I was approached by Dave about the possibility of starting my own training. The enthusiasm and positivity of everyone at Elite is what got me to sign up. 

In the past, what had caused you not to take martial arts?

Laziness and excuses. I exercised regularly when I was younger, but as I had gotten older and became a father, I constantly found excuses to do things besides exercise. I could tell my eating habits, and lack of physical activity, was starting to catch up with me. Like a lot of people, I think subconsciously I felt past my prime, and the idea of taking on a contact sport at this stage of life was very intimidating. 

Is this your first time taking martial arts, and what classes do you take?

For my first year at Elite, I mainly focused on increasing my fitness level, and developing a good routine. I attended as many Kickboxing and Fight Fit classes as I could. I’ve really been able to branch out during my second year, and am currently doing Jiu Jitsu (both Fundamentals and Endurance) and Kickboxing (Cardio and Fundamentals) on a regular basis, with an occasional Fight Fit class thrown in the mix. 

Ethan is in his second year of regular private lessons with “Miss Ana”. 

If you had any concerns about joining Elite MMA, what helped you with your decision?

I had almost too many concerns to list. Could I commit to this? Would I see progress? Was I too old to be learning this stuff? Would I even enjoy this? 

Seeing Ethan enjoying his training, along with the positivity and encouragement of everyone at Elite really helped me settle in and forget all of my initial concerns. I’ve been training for almost 2 years now, and have no plans of stopping anytime soon! 

Since you have been part of Elite, please share what you have been able to accomplish?

My biggest accomplishment to date has to be that Ethan and I have a shared experience that we really look forward to. I’m so thankful to be taking this martial arts journey with him, and learning as he learns. I’m looking forward to sharing this with him for many years. 

Besides that, I’ve dropped 20 lbs. and feel 10 years younger. I have more energy, improved focus, better sleep, less worries and more self-confidence. I haven’t been this physically fit since high school. I’m currently a 1-stripe white belt in BJJ, and training for more! 

Training in BJJ has helped Ethan to develop his balance and coordination, as well as his willingness to listen and follow instructions. I’ve seen growth in his self-confidence, and his ability to handle tough situations. He is currently a 4-stripe white belt, and aspires to be a black belt someday. 

Anything else you want to share with someone who is looking to get involved with martial arts or looking to change their current lifestyle?

Put all your excuses aside, and go find a form of exercise that you enjoy. If that is martial arts, great! If not, there are so many other great activities to get involved in.


Fight to Win Pro 2 Featuring Elite MMA Instructors and Students!!!

This is the first Pro Jiu Jitsu Event in Texas. Fight to Win is showcasing the Art and the format is conducive to having an action packed show!! Sub only!! Come out and support not only Elite MMA but the Jiu jitsu community that is constantly growing!! I am ready to go out there and put it all on the Line!! Be Ready!!

Saturday, January 9th at 7pm at the Revention Music Center, 520 Texas Ave. Houston, TX 77002


Baytown Instructor Highlight: Matt Perez

What is your martial arts teaching history and where do you currently teach?

I currently teach the morning kickboxing class at Elite MMA. I also assist the kids and adult jiu jitsu classes. 

What is your current rank in martial arts? 

I am currently a purple belt in jiu jitsu. 

What caused you to start practicing martial arts?

What got me to start practicing martial arts was the way many martial artists trained. I just always admired their work ethic and the principles they taught. 

What is your educational background?

I graduated from Goose Creek Memorial. I am currently attending Lee College for my second semester. 

Do you have a competitive history in martial arts?

I have competed in many jiu jitsu tournaments and have placed in some. They are always a great experience. You are always getting something out of each competition. 

What do you see is the main benefit the average individual can receive from martial arts?

The main benefits I see someone getting through martial arts is that it teaches self defense and really helps build your confidence and to overcome adversity. 

What is your favorite part about practicing martial arts?

Everything! I enjoy the atmosphere. I really enjoy working with my teammates. When I'm having a bad day or just want to get away from certain things. Being in class really takes my mind off everything and in those moments I'm always having fun. 

Where do you hope martial arts will take you later in your life?

I hope it takes me to do great things. Martial arts has really changed me as a person. I feel a lot more confident in myself. It has really helped me to adjust to certain aspects not just on the mat but outside in life as well.

Good Reasons to Take Vitamin Supplements

Many people think that consuming well balanced diet gives all the vitamins and proteins required for a good health. In normal circumstances, yes this is the case, but in fact there are several reasons why you should have vitamin and nutritional supplements to cope with living today. Consuming vitamin supplements when necessary is a good technique of optimizing your dietary sources of nutrients, providing you follow proper instructions on the product labels.

Following are some of the circumstances when you may require supplements:

1. Poor Digestion

Even when you intake good food, incompetent digestion could restrict your body’s uptake of vitamins. Some ordinary causes of incompetent digestion are not chewing healthy enough and eating very fast. Both of these result in larger than usual food element size, too large to permit full action of digestive enzymes. Many people with dentures are not capable to chew as powerfully as those with a full set of real teeth.
2. Alcohol

Consuming too much of alcohol can damage the liver and pancreas that are vital to digestion and metabolism. It could as well damage the lining of the intestinal area and could have other adverse effects on the absorption of nutrients, cause to sub-clinical malnutrition. Alcohol effects accessibility, incorporation and metabolism of nutrients. Regular use of alcohol increases the body’s requirements for the B-group vitamins, chiefly thiamine, niacin, pyridoxine, folic acid and vitamins B12, A and C plus the minerals zinc, magnesium and calcium.

3. Diet

Many diets miss out on complete groups of foods could be gravely lacking in vitamins. Even the accepted low fat diets, if taken to an extreme, could be lacking in vitamins A, D and E. Vegetarian diets that could keep out meat and other animal sources, have to be very dexterously planned to avoid vitamin B12 deficiency that may further lead to anemia.

4. Antibiotics

Some antibiotics even though effective in fighting infection, kill off friendly bacteria in the gut that would usually be producing B-group vitamins to be engrossed through the intestinal walls. Such deficiencies could result in a variety of nervous conditions, so it might be sensible to use supplement with B-group vitamins when on a lengthy course of broad range antibiotics.

Ashley Nguyen, PharmD 

Zoetic Compounding Pharmacy


Ashley has been a student at Elite MMA since 2005.  She is currently a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  She founded Girls in Gi’s in 2009, which was a project she took on to empower and enroll women mentally and physically and by using BJJ as the platform for that. She is also a wife, mother, and a pharmacist that loves helping people to feel better, perform better, or just feel as normal as possible.


Kingwood Student Highlight— Melissa Mansker

What is your name and age?

Melissa Mansker, 30 

When did you join Elite MMA?

June 2013 

Why did you decide to start taking martial arts?

I was so over weight, out of shape and miserable.

In the past what had caused you not to take martial arts?

I was horribly intimidated by it. I also thought I would probably die since I was so out of shape. 

Is this your first time taking martial arts and what classes do you take?

It was my first experience in martial arts, and I started out with kickboxing, and after about 6 months dabbled in jiu jitsu some. 

If you had any concerns about joining Elite MMA, what helped you with your decision?

We moved, and I finally just decided that this was a new start for me. If I was going to get healthy I had to start somewhere. Elite offered me that start and I had a great support system around me. 

Since you have been part of Elite, please share what you have been able to accomplish?

Gosh, I have gained so much. Well, lost it really! HA! I’ve lost about 50 pounds and have been able to keep it off. I am able to release stress and anxiety by going to class. I’ve met some amazing people and have gained great friends when I really didn’t know anyone. Besides all of that, I am stronger and healthier. I feel like if I had to defend myself I would have a much better chance at it now than ever!

Anything else you want to share with someone who is looking to get involved with martial arts or looking to change their current lifestyle?

Start. It’s going to be hard, and you are going to be sore. But make a commitment to yourself that you are going to show up every day even when it you’re sore. You will see changes not only physically, but mentally as well. It may take a month or two, but it will be worth it in the long run. You can’t put a price on being a healthier version of yourself!

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