Archive for the ‘Healthy Tips’ Category

Even the most “fitness oriented” and “healthy minded” individual gives in from time to time. I truly believe that people can only follow the straight and narrow for so long before caving in just a little. And a little is okay. Really, I just said that. BUT don’t go all apeshit crazy now. That is NOT okay. πŸ™‚

Oh, I have to add here that I HATE the word “cheat”! I work damn hard and once in awhile it is okay to eat a slice of pizza at a birthday party. That is not cheating in my book. It is living. It is the Yin and the Yang of life. I eat salad and chicken and Greek yogurt and all the good “non-cheating” stuff 80% of the time. And there are times that the Twizzlers and the rye bread and butter somehow make their way into my shopping cart. When I am at a birthday party I do not pack a “healthy” meal, I go ahead and indulge in a little lite festive fare. I don’t party every week, so it is okay. I do workout 6 times a week though. I challenge myself physically and I am always looking for a new workout to try. There is balance. There is an ebb and a flow and that is what matters.

Here are the “cheating” ground rules.

1. Make SMART choices when you cheat. If you are craving a piece of chocolate choose a dark, organic variety. If bread and butter are your cup of tea, choose a whole grain variety (toasted rye is my FAVORITE) and a healthy butter alternative like Earth Balance or Brummmel and Brown All Natural Yogurt Butter (also my favorite). And stop at one SLICE, not one loaf.

2. Only eat what you love. How many times have you eaten something just because it’s in front of you? How many times have you cleaned your plate and the meal wasn’t even that good? Save your cheat calories for only foods you absolutely love.

3. Make good choices and healthy tradeoffs. Think about what you like the most. Do you want the appetizer more, or the dessert more? Instead of having every course offered, narrow down the choices to what’s most important to you.

4. Plan to cheat. One of the best things you can do is plan your cheat meals out. If you are jonesing for your favorite cheat meal for dinner, eat healthy during the day or do an extra cardio. Save calories on other snacks and meals to allow more room to cheat. If you are actively trying to lose weight, planning ahead will help you keep to your daily caloric requirements for fat loss. Which leads me to….

5. Pick one: Overeat or Over indulge calorie wise. If your idea of splurging is overeating, then eat healthy. If your idea is eating a high calorie cheat meal, then eat less of an unhealthy meal.

6. When in doubt – GRAB AND GO! Sweets and other “cheat” foods mess with your head, literally. The sugar and preservatives cause chemical reactions in your little brains that drives you back to that candy bowl. From now on, grab your Kit Kat when you are headed out of the door, and also grab a piece of fruit with it. Eating the fruit will ease the crash after the sugar high and it will also add in some fiber to the mix. And being no where near the candy bowl will help a lot too. Genius right?

7. Lastly, remove the guilt from your day. We are all human and we all experience moments of weakness. Dwelling on the bad of today whether it be about food or something else completely won’t change what happened, nor will it enhance you in any way. No body is perfect and that is what makes the idea of tomorrow to be so full of hope and promise. Awe…. a ray of sunshine.

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Just as the body heals itself from a skinned knee after a child falls off of his or her bicycle, it has the same capability to heal itself on the inside. We spray antiseptic and cover a wound with bandages to help the body do its job to heal in the case of a scrape or cut. In the case of internal illness, we have ability to help the body do its job by feeding it foods that work as fuel. Vegetables and fruits are full of vitamins and minerals that the body needs to repair and grow and improve. If you starve yourself of these very essential nutrients, your body cannot do what it needs to do to keep itself functioning properly. This is when diseases take over. Be in control of your own body!

Now that is a great title of a blog post if I ever heard one!

Ever wonder if it is safe to store your broccoli with your turnips? Will a green pepper butted up against an onion make it cry? I am always wondering about these things on grocery shopping day, I know, such problems I have, right? Anyway, here is a handy list you can refer to if you find yourself staring at a head of lettuce and haven’t a clue as to where to keep it.

Meats and Fish:
Store meats and fish on the bottom shelf of your fridge, separate from other foods to avoid any juices that could leak out from contaminating other foods like fresh produce.
Raw meats and poultry: Keep them in their original packaging, but also wrap it up in heavy plastic wrap or aluminum foil before storing it in the fridge to keep it fresh and prevent leaks.
Fish: Should be used within a couple days of purchase, but to store it in the fridge until then, remove it from the lightweight supermarket packaging and wrap airtight in heavy plastic wrap or in an airtight plastic freezer bag.

Fresh Fruits:
Fresh fruits with delicate skins (like berries and grapes): Don’t wash them before storing them in the fridge, as this will cause them to go bad quicker. Instead, store them in the fridge in their original package and wash just before use.

Apples, oranges and grapefruit: Store them in the crisper drawer of the fridge where it is cool and dark and they’ll last quite a while..

Tropical fruits (like mango and pineapple), pears, peaches: Leave them out at room temperature until they begin to ripen. When the texture becomes slightly soft to the touch (gives slightly when you press on the fruit), they should either be used right away or put in the fridge at that time.

Fresh Veggies:
Asparagus: Wrap a slightly damp paper towel around stems before storing in the fridge in a plastic zip-top bag.

Carrots, Bell Peppers, Broccoli, Celery: Store in plastic zip-top bags in the crisper drawer and don’t wash them until right before you use them.

Mushrooms: Keep in their original packaging and store in the fridge, and again, don’t wash them until right before cooking or eating.

Pre-bagged Veggies (including salads): Keep in their original bags in the fridge, and even after you open them, keep the rest in the original bag (these bags are specifically designed to help keep it fresh longer)–fold the top down and then double bag it in an airtight plastic bag.
Fresh Greens: If you are buying lettuce or other fresh greens and washing and chopping it yourself, you can wash and chop them before storing them in the fridge. Just make sure that after you wash them you dry them thoroughly with towels or in a salad spinner. Then you can store them in an airtight container with a dry paper towel to absorb any remaining moisture in order to keep the greens crisp.
Fresh Herbs: To keep fresh herbs fresh in the fridge, first snip off the bottom of the stems with kitchen shears. Then, rinse quickly and dry the leaves completely with paper towels. Next, fill a small glass or jar halfway full with water and place the cut side of the stems into the water as you would do when putting flowers in a vase. Finally, place a plastic bag over the top of the leaves and the glass and store in the fridge. Be sure to change the water every few days. You can except your fresh herbs to last two weeks or more if you take the time to store them this way.

Keep This Produce OUT of The Fridge:
Tomatoes, bananas, limes, and lemon: They’ll fare best if you store them on the counter top at room temperature (think fruit bowl).

Fresh garlic and onions: Should also be stored at room temperature in an area of your kitchen that has plenty of ventilation.

Potatoes: Store them in a cool, dry, dark place.

Melons: They’ll have the best flavor and texture when allowed to ripen at room temperature on the counter – ain’t that the truth πŸ˜‰

More Tips: I personally recommend storing foods in clear plastic or glass containers or bags whenever possible and marking the with the date the day you first put them in the fridge so you can find things and determine their freshness quickly. Last, but not least, remember to pull older items to the front of the fridge whenever you put newer items in so that you will use the older items first before they go bad.

As you can see, taking a little time to store fresh foods properly will keep you enjoying them longer!

I found myself in a little rut in the lunch-making area. One day I caught myself making the same ol’ lunch for youngest, and least accepting offspring when it comes to trying out new foods. So, as a challenge to him and me I have begun documenting the lunches I make each day. It’s all about being accountable πŸ˜‰

Day 1: PB&J “Sushi” rolls, cheese stick, carrots, grapes, chips, a homemade chocolate chip cookie and some sugary gummy thing from Easter.

Day 2: Homemade cranberry raisin bread and cream cheese, grapes and apples, chocolate covered raisins and yogurt covered raisins, chips and a homemade chocolate chip cookie.

Day 3: Tunafish sandwich sealed with my new sandwich sealer…. love this thing! Cheese stick, chocolate and yogurt covered raisins, broccoli and carrots with a little ranch dressing on top, chips, grapes, chocolate chip cookie.

Roasted chicken with honey mustard drizzled on top, grapes, chips, berries (yum!), cheese stick, homemade oatmeal cranberry cookie, craisins and yogurt covered raisins.

Day 4: PB&J sandwich made with sandwich sealer, apples, homemade chocolate chip cookie, goldfish crackers, french vanilla greek yogurt and blackberries with a little agave nectar for sweetness, chips, carrots and frozen peas.

Day 5: PB&J “Sushi” rolls, carrots and ranch, chocolate chip cookie, mandarin oranges, chips, raisins, yogurt raisins and some cereal – cuz I had an open box and thought why not throw it in, cheese stick.

Day 6: Tuna noodle salad with peas and broccoli, homemade honey whole wheat bread with butter, Gogurt, carrots, raisins, chocolate chip cookie, and apples.

Day 7: Homemade waffle and cream cheese “sandwich”, chips, chocolate chip cookie, carrots and frozen peas, apples, and granola bites.

So, the first full week is down and I am still going strong with ideas. I even have a few yet tucked up my sleeve πŸ˜‰ If anyone has any unique lunch ideas for me I am all ears!

Most researchers believe that the maximum life span in humans is slightly over 110 years. Very few of us die of old age; we die from the result of diseases such as cancer and heart disease often seen in older, unhealthy persons.

Many health experts believe we die as a result of making poor health choices. Today we have knowledge and resources available to make healthy choices. It was not too long ago that older adults were discouraged from exercise and told to just sit in their rocking chairs. Today, experts agree that exercise is one of those healthy choices that each of us can make, no matter what our physical condition. Experts are continually discovering that health-related issues ranging from childbirth to heart disease can be improved by the intervention of exercise. Study after study demonstrates that proper exercise, in addition to making us look and feel better, actually lengthens and improves the quality of our lives. Exercise = living longer.

This next fact blew my mind –
Scientists suggest that we should not experience a steady decline in health starting in our 30s, but rather live successfully into our EIGHTIES before bodily systems start to break down. Say what?!

Many a time, I have found myself dripping with sweat, muscles absolutely exhausted (to the point of me not being able to control them from trembling and quivering in front of my sweat-stung eyes)… I think of the television show that I missed because I was working out, or the huge, yummy-looking sandwich I passed up for lunch that my friend ordered and “just got the salad”, yet again. I wonder sometimes, is it worth it? Am I helping my body THAT much by continuing to make these, often more difficult choices for myself when others around me choose the “fun” and “easy” option – because, hey, life is short after all.

Which leads me to my final point. Life doesn’t have to be short. Not only can you add years to your life, but you can add life to your years with consistent exercise and a consistent diet full of fresh vegetables, fruits, and other whole foods. So yes, it is worth it. At least to me it is. My kids deserve a healthy mom that is able to run around the yard with them and play catch and go swimming. They deserve a mom who cares enough to make the best food choices for their growing little bodies (even if it means throwing down with a stubborn 6 year old from time to time at the dinner table). My husband deserves a wife who is able to match wits with him and bug him for years to come πŸ˜‰ And I deserve to feel good and to look good, and feel good about looking good, because I worked so damn hard to get where I am today.

So stick with it. You are all worth it!!!!

My favorite 53 year old – Mr Tony Horton πŸ˜‰

Read more about exercise and aging here at the Mayo Clinic’s Website

If there were two things to know about me, they would be this… A) I’m into fitness, and 2) I love a good deal! When these two aspects of my life come together, not only does it brighten my day, but it renews my faith in the world – just a little πŸ™‚

I came across this deal on Amazon.com for a digital kitchen food scale, and thought I would share it with you all. A lot of you have been asking me about what more you can do for yourself to further better your health. I cannot stress enough how important counting your calories is, even if you are not actively trying to lose weight. It is a great way to see where the majority of your calories are in your diet. A digital food scale is essential to see how much of a food item you are actually eating. You would be surprised to see what a serving of chicken/potatoes/veggies actually measures out to be. I am not in the market for a food scale or you bet your bippy I would be all over it!

Go here to check out the deal. It is a $40 scale marked down to $19 – and with the promo code I listed below, you can get it for $11.37!!!!!!

Just add this scale to your cart, then use coupon code IAMFIT12 during checkout. Plus, this scale ships FREE with Amazon Prime or on $25 or more with Super Saver Shipping.

Being Skinny Fat

Posted: March 2, 2012 in Health, Healthy Tips

Skinny Fat – Article by CrossFit Southbay

This is a great article that really gets into the “bulking up” myth. The author is a CrossFit trainer. CrossFit is a fascination of mine. I would love to CrossFit train someday soon. But the article itself really has nothing to do specifically with CrossFit, but with how people view the scale and give a few great visual examples of “skinny” girls and “fit” girls. I must admit that I have had my own mental struggles/barriers with the scale. Articles like this really put me back on track and in a healthy mindset about health and fitness.


Skinny…..


Bulky???

If you choose to read the article let me know your thoughts about it in the comments. This is a topic that always seems to hit a chord with people.

The Huffington Post recently published an article titled “What Happens In Your Body When You Eat Ramen And Gatorade”, this article illustrates (graphically) how certain processed foods affect your body. A friend of mine brought this article to my attention and I had to share with you all.

It goes beyond saying that small steps mean so much when it comes to your health. Find a processed food that you and your family can live without purchasing and find a new, whole food, to replace it!

Here is the link to the article

I am going to share with you a super secret (shhhhh!) tip for becoming the “fit” person that you want to be. This tip will allow you to lose extra pounds that have been bugging you for years, it will give you the energy you need to get through your day (with some to spare!), it will improve your overall health exponentially, and it will do all of this in way less time than a fad “diet” could even dream of promising. The best thing about it all is that it is so simple. You ready for it???

Start by closing your eyes and picturing the “Future You”. Ask yourself these questions with “Future You” in mind…

What does “Future You” look like?
How does “Future You” feel about his/herself?
What activities does “Future You” engage in?
What sort of foods does “Future You” eat?
What meals does “Future You” cook for the family?
How much sleep does “Future You” get?
What sort of exercise activities does “Future You” incorporate into the day?

Ask yourself these questions and come up with a fully visualized picture of the life that “Future You” lives.

Now here comes the big secret…. BE that person TODAY! Simple as that. You are that person inside, you just have to make the choice to live that life now and stop putting it off. In fitness, there is no “ending point”. A common misconception, especially in weight loss, is that once your reach your goal weight, you are done. This is where people fall into the grips of the Yo-Yo diet. Think of AA (only for comparison)… When an addict graduates, he or she is still an addict. He must live his day-to-day life as a recovered alcoholic by continuing to make the proper choices. There is no Plan B for him. One slip up and he is back to square one. As any recovering addict can tell you, it is much easier to stay clean than it is to get clean. I think making the decision to become a healthy person, inside and out, is much the same way. We are all “addicts” in some way. We all have vices. We all have crutches we lean on. We all have poison in our lives, be it alcohol, food, unhealthy relationships, whatever….

Well, now that I called you all a bunch of “junkies”….. πŸ˜‰

Here is the good news. Today is your day! Make today your starting point. Don’t start living your healthy life next week, or next month, or when you lose that 20 lbs, or when that box of cookies in your pantry is gone. Start now. I bet you that you pictured “Future You” being happier than you are right now. I bet “Future You” feels awesome about herself. I assume that “Future You” is the “you” that you want to be, but feel that you have roadblocks in your way or obstacles to overcome first. The truth is, the only thing that is stopping you from becoming the person that you want to be is you. It is as simple as making the decision that today is the day you eat the 1600 calorie diet full of fruits and veggies and lean proteins, instead of your current diet. Make today the day that you stop listening to the neigh-sayers in your life who don’t have the confidence in your ability to reach your goals. You don’t need their confidence and support to succeed. You just need you!

So go ahead. Make this a great week for you and your family! “Future You” is waiting for you!

Talking pounds….

Posted: February 3, 2012 in Health, Healthy Tips, Nutrition

There are many, many more important things in life to focus on than the scale!! This picture names just a few!

That being said, there is nothing wrong with wanting, working for, and putting time/focus into getting a strong and beautiful body. But remember, you are much better off monitoring how you feel, how you look in the mirror, how your clothes fit, and how you are performing in the gym if you want to gauge progress. They are all more accurate than the scale!