Blog Archives

The Health Hazards of Sitting – In picture form!

I realize there are lots of words to this but still take a look. Countless of times we hear sitting is bad for you, but we don’t always know all the repercussions. Take a look at this picture and use it as motivation to get up and move as much as possible!

The picture wouldn’t upload on the blog so check it out in the link below:

http://apps.washingtonpost.com/g/page/national/the-health-hazards-of-sitting/750/?utm_content=buffer81fc9&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Healthy Holiday Food Guide: 10 Ingredient Substitutions

Holidays can be terrible for your waistline and thighs. We overeat on those goodies and subsequently, end up packing on the pounds. It happens. What if you were to substitute healthy ingredients for the bad ones to make your recipes more guilt-free? Check out these 10 Ingredient Substitutions to improve your holiday eating.

1. Olive Oil for Butter: The benefits: OO has good benefits — has good fats and no cholesterol. Make sure you put in the correct amount when you’re baking… you may have to google it

2. Herbs, Spices & Citrus for Salt: decreased salt = lower risk for heart disease and stroke… put down the salt shaker and pick up garlic, lemon juice and spices!

3. Soda Water for Juice & Tonic: soda water contains much less calories (great especially since you’re consuming much more calories throughout the holidays)

4. Whole Wheat for White Flower: I’m sure by now you’ve all heard that white flour is terrible for you. There are absolutely no benefits. White flour spikes your blood sugar, causing you to crash shortly after. Discovery Fit & Health Recommends: If you’re a baker, try replacing half of the all-purpose flour required in a recipe with whole wheat flour. Switching out just one cup (237 grams) of white or wheat equals a boost of fiber, vitamin B-6, folic acid, magnesium, potassium, and zinc

5. Lean Ground Turkey for Ground Beef: my mom has been doing this for years. I always hear that red meat should be avoided (OH BUT I LOVE MY RED MEAT)! When you choose ground turkey, make sure it’s lean or extra lean.

6. Egg Whites for Eggs: Eggs unfortunately contain cholesterol. Since during the holidays, you’re more likely to consume large amounts of cholesterol in other things, substitute a few eggs for egg whites and help keep your heart healthier.

7. Coconut Milk, Yogurt & Tofu for Cream:

Discovery Fit & Health Recommends: Take a page out of the vegan cookbook and try coconut milk in desserts that call for heavy cream, like chocolate mousse. Swap out light cream for soy creamer. Soft tofu mixed with soy milk can be blended into sauces, as can yogurt. All are less fatty than cream, and tofu has the added benefit of a little extra protein.

8. Brown Rice for White Rice: Anything white typically doesn’t have any nutritional value. By switching to brown rice, you’re subsequently consuming more vitamins and minerals.

9. Greek Yogurt for Sour Cream: Although it’s quite tasty, it has lots of saturated fats in it. Saturated fats are not heart friendly. Greek yogurt (specifically plain yogurt, not something like key lime), tastes pretty much identical to sour cream and is a much healthier substitute. Discovery Fit & Health says that it also:  it has a ton of protein, along with potassium, zinc, calciumand vitamins

10. Vanilla, Nutmeg and Cinammon for Sugar:

Words from Discovery Fit & Health: The American Heart Association’s recommended limit for added sugars is 6 teaspoons (29.6 milliliters) a day for women, 9 (44 milliliters) for men. Sugar is linked to both obesity and diabetes, and those who are already carrying a few extra pounds or a diabetes diagnosis know what too much sweetness can do to the body.
An added bonus for cinnamon? It rev’s up the metabolism! Woot woot!

Sources:
http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyDietGoals/Sugars-and-Carbohydrates_UCM_303296_Article.jsp
http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/best-foods-you-are-not-eating?page=2
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=128
http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/dairy-and-egg-products/51/2
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cholesterol/HQ00608
https://www.drgourmet.com/askdrgourmet/turkeyvbeef.shtml#.UqXze9F3u70
http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/youre-cooking-healthfully-in-the-new-year
http://www.oprah.com/health/The-Best-Drinks-for-Dieters-Low-Calorie-Cocktails/
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18835-theres-no-doubt-about-the-health-dangers-of-salt.html

Check out the website for more information:
http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/food-nutrition/healthy-eating/healthy-holiday-food-guide-ingredient-substitutions1.htm

Setting Goals for the New Year

When setting goals for the New Year or for New Years Resolutions, it’s very crucial to success to set goals in the right way. Often times people set unrealistic goals for the new year and end up being extremely disappointed and discouraged. For example, people say, “I’d like to lose 15 pounds in two weeks”. Doing something like this is extremely difficult and nearly impossible, leaving you feel defeated and burying your face in a tub of ice cream. I DO NOT want this to happen to you. I want you to set easily attainable goals so that you will increase your confidence and self-efficacy. Together, we can do this. If you need any  help with setting goals, feel free to email me or even comment on here.

Make sure your goals follow the S.M.A.R.T. guidelines:

S – Specific — don’t say “to lose weight”… instead say “to lose 5 pounds” and don’t say “to be active”… instead say “I want to go to on a walk every night after dinner with my wife”

M – Measurable — can you measure it… to say my goal is to lose weight, that’s not enough. You need to put some sort of number to it. How do you know you’re losing weight? How do you know how much you have to lose? So say, to lose 5 pounds in two weeks. By having the number “5 pounds”, you can keep track of your goals and see if you’re on track to reach your goal or not.

A – Actionable — based on things a client will do — I will lose 5 pounds by exercising at least 30 minutes per day

R – Relevant — Must be important and meaningful to the client. Getting to success is motivating in itself — make sure you are doing things that are working towards your goal and not doing things like eating at McDonalds… how can you reach your goal if you are busy eating at McDonalds?

T – Timed — Put a date on it! — To just say you’re doing to lose 5 pounds by working on 30 minutes every day isn’t enough… set a date of when you want to reach this goal by. Again, make sure this is realistic. Unless you have liposuction, no one can really lose 30 pounds in one week. It’s quite difficult to do. The ideal amount of weight loss per week is 1-2 lbs/week. Keep this is in mind.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask away. Remember, this type of goal setting can be applied to any type of goal. I used the weight loss example because it is often on people’s New Years Resolutions. Make this year the best year to be healthy, fit and active. You can do it!

Food for Thought: Just Push Yourself

First of all, I just want to say it’s… FRIDAY!! What does that mean? It’s the weekend!!

Something I wanted to share with you all is a few thoughts I had last night and this morning. As you probably know by now, I am very into the health and fitness industry. I am a newly Registered Kinesiologist and I am pursuing my certificate to become a Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Health Coach. I LOVE motivating people to exercise and eat healthy. I know that seeing someone go from being sedentary to being active and just becoming happier and healthier is why I was put on this earth. I’m almost on an emotional high when I help people become active. Okay, enough about that… I’ll get to my point.

Despite my background and love for exercise and being healthy, I do still have to push myself to do exercise. I know it’s good for me, I know I’ll feel amazing after, but I still feel like I need that push. Last night, after work, I felt so burned out and tired. I even fell asleep for probably 5 minutes (SUPER POWER NAP!!). When I woke up from this SPN, I did not want to exercise. What did I do though? I pictured myself being on the beach… 16 days from yesterday and asked myself… would I be happy and satisfied with the way that I looked currently? The answer was no. Then I pictured myself sticking to my exercise routine and how I’d look… would I be happier with the way I looked then? Much more. Would I feel better after I exercised? Definitely. So, what did I do? Before I could change my mind, I whipped on my workout clothes, put on my running shoes, turned on my workout DVD so I could hear the music in the background while I set up my equipment and went to town. I completed the Tone It Up High Intensity Interval Training DVD2. How did I feel once I completed the workout? Awesome. I’m so glad I did it! I’m so glad I pushed myself to the next level to complete. Losing weight and exercising is not easy. One thought that came across my mind was “I wish there was a fast and easy fix and I didn’t have to go through the rigmarole to reach my goals”. Change is not easy. Doing exercise is not the most comfortable thing in the world, but you wanna know what? It gets easier. The harder you push, the more you do it, the easier it becomes.

Again, I’ll get to the basic point. Don’t feel like exercising? You are not alone. I’m sure even the professionals will tell you it’s so tempting to lay in bed or sit there and watch tv instead of spending 40 minutes doing High Intensity Interval Training. We are not perfect and don’t expect you to be perfect either. What should you do? Just push yourself that little bit more and you will be so happy you did it. Exercise is for you! It’s your time to do things for yourself — your time to feel better, function more optimally, look better and increase your self esteem. I know I said this once recently but remember the quote: “I totally regret that workout”  said NO ONE EVER!

Have a fantastic weekend, everyone. Push yourself, be yourself…. you can do it!

This is the video I was doing with the girls last night... boy was it awesome!

This is the video I was doing with the girls last night… boy was it awesome! Yes, I looked that sweaty and was red-faced.

 

What your Body Shape Says about You

Did you know that certain body types are at risk for chronic disease more than others?

There are two basic body types to know: pear-shaped and apple shaped.

Pear Shaped: For those who are pear shaped, fat is stored on your hips, thighs and glutes. Women are more likely to have pear-shaped bodies, however, there are obviously exceptions. If you are a woman and have this type of body, you also generally have a smaller upper body, including smaller breasts.

Apple Shaped: Fat is stored in the abdominal region, making you appear more “round”. For women with this body shape, they typically have narrow hips and larger breasts. This body type is more often than not, found in men.

So you’ve determined you’re an apple or a pear… so what?

For those of you who are pear-shaped, you’re in luck. These people are at less risk of chronic diseases because the fat is more as an insulator and in a protective area.

Apple shaped individuals, on the other hand, are more at risk for developing diseases such as metabolic syndrome, heart disease, increased blood pressure, decreased insulin sensitivity and decreasing the good cholesterol (HDL) in your body. Apple shaped individuals are more likely to develop diabetes and heart disease. Ever feel a man’s ROCK HARD belly? These bellies are definitely not good for you. There is a massive amount of fat surrounding his internal organs.

Pear shaped individuals are not “off the hook” when it comes to this type of body though. It has been noted that pear-shaped individuals are more likely to develop cellulite and varicose veins.

What should I do? Start to exercise, especially if you’re apple shaped. Do some cardio, lift some weights (even just low weights and high reps), eat the right types of foods. For those women who are pear shaped, I always tell myself this when deciding whether or not to indulge in something (I am also pear-shaped) “A moment on your lips, forever on your hips”.

Take care of yourself. I always want the best for you.

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Some information from: http://www.freedieting.com/body_shape.htm

The Awesomeness of Grapefruit

I have to admit, I have never been a fan of grapefruit, and I still am not 100% in love with the aftertaste, but I have been having grapefruits more regularly now. Why? There are so many benefits! Here are the benefits of grapefruit based on Tone It Up’s website:

  • Curbs your appetite, creating a full feeling in your tummy!
  • Stimulates the liver to activate fat burning enzymes, that break down fatty acids in the body.
  • Contains a flavonoid called naringin that helps with your insulin levels. It’s the reason for the bitter taste, but we add a littte stevia. Grapefruit is amazing as a weight loss food because it’s low glycemic Index, meaning it won’t spike your blood sugar levels. Naringin also helps with insulin sensitivity. The hormone insulin is released when your blood sugar spikes, causing you to crash, store the calories as fat and be hungrier sooner. Grapefruit actually lowers insulin levels which helps to keep your blood sugar levels steady so the calories are used as energy instead.
  • Naringin also promotes lean muscle growth in an anabolic state (after those workouts when your body is repairing!)
  • Contains cancer-fighting compounds like liminoids and lycopene
  • Packed with over 200mg of vitamin C & has other vitamins such as A, B complex (for hair skin & nails), E & K.
  • Contains calcium, folic acid (eat up prenatal mamas!), phosphorus & potassium
  • Has an alkaline reaction after digestion ~ helping you stay balanced!
  • Contains bioflavonoids that have been found to lower excess estrogen levels and helps to stop breast cancer from spreading.
  • Curbs that sweet tooth!
  • Assists in digestion
  • Helps with detoxing the liver.. after a fun night out with the girls!

grapefruit

Accountability is Key to your Success

Often times while reading my notes, I have found that accountability is key to successfully reaching your healthy goals. What this means is you tell someone, whether it be a family member, friend, coworker or even a health coach, about your goal and they check in with you regularly to see how your goals are coming along. Since you’re having to be accountable, you’re more likely to stick to your goals for many different reasons. It may be because you are embarrassed if you do not reach your goals, maybe you’d be excited to tell someone that you have been achieving your goals or maybe for some other reasons. You can even be held accountable by making a contract with yourself. For example, your contract could state, “I will exercise 3 times per week starting today, November 20th, 2013” or even “I will do one exercise video every night until my vacation”.

I make myself accountable through an exercise group called “Tone It Up”. Tone it Up was created by two personal trainers, Karena and Katrina. K&K have made meal plans, exercise videos and a community where girls can talk to each other, check in by telling others what they were eating that day and writing down their goals. Girls can even ask questions to other girls that are a part of the community. For example, I vowed that I would do one exercise video every night (unless I am able to do a full hour of exercise at the gym or a wellness program) until I go on my vacation. Once I reach my vacation, I will commit to daily walks on the beach and also will want to do some form of activity 3 days of that week.

Make yourself accountable to help you reach success easier. On the days/weeks you don’t reach your goal, it’s okay! Everyone has off days. We can’t be perfect 100% of the time.

The last thing I want to leave you with is this. Someone posted a fun little quote up on their facebook that I wanted to share.

“Wow, I really regret that workout.” – No one ever.

If you’re interested in finding out more about Tone It Up, check out their website here: http://toneitup.com/

How to Lose Weight Without Really Trying

How appealing does this title sound? To me, it sounds pretty darn appealing. Who doesn’t want to lose weight effortlessly and yet still do so in a healthy way? Here are 5 quick tips and tricks in order to lose weight without really trying from: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-11162/how-to-lose-weight-without-really-trying.html

1. Fill up on veggies at every meal: filling up on veggies makes you less likely to overindulge on other unhealthier foods.
2. Eat 30g of protein for breakfast: protein is great because it helps you feel full and takes a lot to breakdown so it increases your metabolism when consumed versus a high-carb diet (good options: 5 egg whites, 1 1/3 cups of Greek yogurt, 1 cup cottage cheese, protein shake etc)
3. Make your own food as often as possible: eating in the comfort of your home makes you well aware of what you’re putting in to your body versus blindly eating from a restaurant outside of your house. You can control what goes into the meal and what is eliminated.
4. Skip the nonfat: healthy fat is actually good for you. In fact, consuming healthy fat can make you feel full and give you long-lasting energy.
5. Allow yourself treats on a regular basis: do not deprive yourself of your favourite foods, but instead enjoy a little of your favourites every once in a while. Doing this will help you avoid binge eating. Make sure you are exercising to avoid the excess weight gain.

happy-lady-300x221

How long should I nap for?

Ever wonder how long you should nap for to in order to reap the benefits you desire? Sometimes we nap for energy, sometimes for memory and sometimes to make us feel better. Are you napping for too long or too short? Check out these neat facts from Life Hacker:

10 to 20 minutes: Boosts energy and alertness

30 minutes: may cause a sleep inertia and almost hang-over feeling that lasts for 30 minutes after. This usually takes around 30 minutes to get over.

60 minutes: improvement in remembering facts, faces and names, however you may feel groggy upon waking up.

90 minutes: a full cycle of REM sleep. Improves emotional sleep and procedural memory. You don’t usually feel groggy after waking up from a nap this long.

Check out the rest of the article here. It comes with a cool picture and more facts: http://lifehacker.com/how-long-to-nap-for-the-biggest-brain-benefits-1251546669

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25 Essential Fitness Tips to Get you Going this Fall

I read some great tips from Dr. Mercola on how to get yourself active this fall. Here are the 25 tips, but if you want more information, check out the whole blog at http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2013/09/27/25-fitness-tips.aspx.

Exercise-running-in-fall

 

By Dr. Mercola

There’s no need to enter into ‘hibernation mode’ when the weather turns cooler. Fall is the perfect time of year to begin or ramp up your fitness program, and this way, by the time the holidays hit, you won’t be easily sidelined (or fattened up) by all of the festivities.

Getting into your groove now also ensures that when the deep winter chill comes, you’ll be in the right place mentally and physically to continue staying active until spring.

25 Top Fall Fitness Tips

Sneaker Report recently compiled 25 top fitness goals that virtually everyone can take advantage of:

1. Set Goals

Set short simple goals, such as exercising for 20 minutes as soon as you wake up on Mondays. This makes achieving them realistic and allows you to progress to longer-term goals.

2. Make a Motivation Board

Grab a bulletin board, or go digital using Pinterest, and attach a list of your goals, progress photos, inspirational sayings, updates with your accomplishments and more. Place your motivation somewhere prominent – like your bathroom mirror or your office at work — so you’ll see it regularly.

3. Adopt the 3 “C’s”

Commitment, Convenience and Consistency: Adopt these three strategies into your lifestyle to help you stay active and eat right for good.

4. Make It Fun

Mix up your workout by trying out new activities like hip-hop dancing, yoga, kickboxing and Pilates.

5. Plan Ahead

Plan your workouts for the week ahead of time, and also plan your meals so you’re not scrambling for something to eat at the last minute (which often leads to unhealthy choices).

6. Stock Up on Healthy Food

Keep your kitchen well stocked with unprocessed, whole foods that are quick and easy to munch on. Cut-up veggies, lean meats, olive oil, coconut oil and nuts are all great options.

7. Schedule Your Workouts

Schedule your workout sessions into your calendar like you would an important meeting, and don’t miss them. You can also fit activity in throughout your day by walking, standing, climbing stairs and stretching (as opposed to sitting) whenever you get the chance. You just have to place a HIGH PRIORITY on it and schedule your day around the exercise, not the other way around.

8. Grab a Friend

Partnering up with a friend who has similar fitness goals will boost your motivation and your accountability. Plus, it’s more fun to exercise with a partner.

9. Get Outdoors

Get out of the gym and head out to your local park, sidewalk or forest preserve. Take in the changing leaves and scenery while you fit in a great workout.

10. Change It Up

Add variety to your favorite activities, such as swapping your step aerobics class for kickboxing or yoga for a day of strength training.

11. Moderation Is Key

It’s OK to indulge once in a while with your diet, just be sure to keep your goals in mind each day. If you do veer off course, don’t beat yourself up over it. Simply make better choices at your next meal or try the 80:20 rule (eating right 80 percent of the time and being more lenient for the other 20).

12. No Gym? No Problem

Many of the best exercises can be done anywhere using just your bodyweight in lieu of equipment. Consider jumping jacks, push ups, squats, crunches and mountain climbers, which you can do in your home, office or hotel room. Workout DVDs and apps for your phone are also widely available.

13. Gear Up

Update your old baggy sweats with some new yoga pants, running shorts or shoes. Looking good makes you feel good and will motivate you to exercise more, and harder.

14. Snack Right

Rather than letting unhealthy snacks sabotage your diet, keep healthy snacks like apples, almonds, whey protein powder, hummus and carrots handy. Focus on what you should be eating, instead of what you shouldn’t.

15. Try Fruit for Dessert

If you’re in the mood for something sweet, a piece of whole fruit provides vitamins, minerals and antioxidants without an overload of sugar. A piece of dark chocolate is another healthy treat option.

16. Stay Hydrated

Pure water is essential for healthy metabolism and detoxification, and for warding off dehydration. Try adding sliced cucumbers, lemons and limes to your water for added benefits, like help with indigestion, heartburn, headaches, and preventing water weight gain.

17. Get Proper Sleep

Lack of sleep is strongly linked to weight gain, low energy and fatigue. Without adequate sleep, you’ll have a harder time sticking to your diet and your exercise plan. Get 33 sleep tips here.

18. Workout to Music

Music helps keep you motivated while you exercise, as listening to music while exercising can increase your endurance by 15 percent. Ideally, choose upbeat music; in one study when the music’s tempo slowed, the subjects’ exertion level reduced as well. And when the tempo was increased, their performance followed suit.

19. Track Your Progress

Write down your daily workout details (how long you exercised, how much you lifted) so you can track your progress. There are many useful apps, such as Fitness Builder, if you’d rather do this digitally.

20. Ditch Your Scale

Pay attention to how your clothes fit and how your body feels rather than the number on the scale. If you must monitor your fitness more closely, body fat calipers are one of the most trusted and most accurate ways to measure body fat.

21. Take Time for Recovery

Overdoing exercise is counterproductive and can actually damage your muscle tissue and cause injuries. Give yourself adequate recovery time between workouts and be sure to alternate muscle groups or body parts in your exercise sessions.

22. Grab a Little R&R

If you’ve fallen into a workout rut, take a few days to recharge and regroup. Sometimes, taking a break from your routine can do wonders to renew your motivation.

23. Reward Yourself

When you reach a fitness goal, reward yourself with a massage, an evening out or a new piece of clothing. After all, you worked hard; you deserve it!

24. Don’t Give Up

The greatest goals are achieved one step at a time. Keep persevering one day at a time and you will eventually reach your dreams.

25. It’s All Up to You

You have to make the decision to get fit. When you commit to it, you’re making a contract with yourself. Be the change you want to see in your life!