Category: Motivation

Tricks For Travel – How to Eat Healthy on Vacation

Tricks For Travel – How to Eat Healthy on Vacation

Fall break starts soon, and we are making our annual trip to San Diego. Fortunately, we stay in a house with a great kitchen, so we don’t have to eat out every meal, but it still seems like temptation is lurking in every corner café.

It’s difficult eating healthy while on vacation, even with a kitchen stocked full of healthy options. But there’s no sense ruining my diet for a week of excessive eating. The key is to find that happy medium between feast and healthy. So here are some of my tricks to stay on track.

On The Road:

We are driving to San Diego, and often times boredom can be mistaken for hunger. Eating healthy and road trips are two words that are not commonly used together, but it is possible.

We will pack a cooler full of healthy snacks like fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy sandwiches, string cheese, yogurt, and my new favorite munchy snack – Trader Joe’s Organic Popcorn with Olive Oil… and lots of water to keep us hydrated.

Of course we will need to pull over to stretch our legs and use the bathroom. The roadside stops can be dangerous territory, but with a cooler packed with good food, there is no need to buy any treats at the roadside stops.

When to indulge:

Most cities have unique foods and treats that may be worth the indulgence.  I can’t think of anything specific to San Diego, but we definitely have our favorites there…including my Mom’s biscuit and gravy breakfast.  It is all about how much you eat, so limit your treats to the local goodies and the ones that are really worth it. (Read: a Big Mac is not okay)

It can be very tempting to take a vacation from your healthy diet —when on vacation.  Vacation eating is much more mental, as we have a completely different mindset when we are taking a break from the daily grind. But there is no reason to throw caution to the wind and use vacation as an excuse to pig out.

In San Diego, there is nothing better than walking up and down the boardwalk, but eventually someone wants to stop and grab a bite. And it is no fun to sit and watch everyone else gobble down their ice cream cone or bag of *insert fattening snack here*.  If I am hungry, a small scoop of ice cream or a low-cal, nonfat drink is the perfect solution.

I also plan a cheat day, just like I would if I were at home— usually gravy and biscuit day, where I treat myself to whatever sounds good.

There is nothing better than a great vacation, and the memories of spending time with family. But the feeling of getting on the scale after a week at the beach, and seeing the same number as when I started, is priceless.

There are 1,440 Minutes in Every Day: Schedule 30 of Them for Physical Activity

There are 1,440 Minutes in Every Day: Schedule 30 of Them for Physical Activity

Fall is the best time of the year, especially in Arizona. For us it means getting back outdoors after being cooped up during the long, hot summer. It’s time to pump up the bike tires and get moving.

But fall can also be a confusing time of year when it comes to health and fitness. Summer is over, so there is no need to obsess about fitting into that bikini or those shorts. Halloween is right around the corner, which can be a diet disaster with all those treats and goodies around.

 

Then in almost a blink of the eye it is Thanksgiving, which we all know is the biggest eating day of the year. But who just pigs out on Thanksgiving? Our leftovers usually last at least a week.

 

Before you know it, you are going to a Christmas party every weekend, and now it is time to start that New Year’s Resolution to lose those 10 pounds you may have just gained since October.

 

Sound familiar? Well, since it is the beginning of October, there is time to put another plan into action to change that all too familiar course of eating and dieting mayhem.

 

There are 1,440 minutes in every day. Schedule 30 of them for physical activity! Starting today.

 

First, let’s define physical activity. The definition may surprise you.

 

Physical activity is any form of exercise or movement that uses energy. Some of your daily life activities—doing active chores around the house, yard work,—are examples. I don’t know about you, but my vacuum must weigh 100 pounds, and my heart really starts pumping when I push that thing around.

 

To get the benefits of physical activity, include activities that make you breathe harder and make your heart and blood vessels really start pumping.

 

If you haven’t been active in a long time, choose something you like to do. Many people find walking helps them get started. Before you know it, you will be doing more each day.

If you feel like you don’t have the time, start with 10-minute chunks of time a couple of days a week. Walk during a break. Dance in the living room to your favorite music. It all adds up.

Start by doing what you can, and then look for ways to do more. After a few days or weeks, build up your activities—do them longer and more often.

Pick up the pace. This is the easiest way to kick it up a notch, because it doesn’t require an extra time commitment, when you may already be pressed for time. Walk faster, add a jog, squeeze your butt while you walk—anything that changes the intensity.

If you get in the habit of physical activity now, you can enjoy the next few months of the year, even indulge here and there, and start your new year off with a resolution that has nothing to do with losing weight.

Eating Right-5 Foods For A Better Workout

Eating Right-5 Foods For A Better Workout

Eat Right For A Better Workout

Exercise and nutrition go hand in hand to create a fit and healthy life, but sometimes there is so much information, it can be confusing.  We take the time to eat right and exercise, so it is always nice to know when we are doing it right.

Being strategic with nutrition is a must for maximum results, and what you eat before working out can either make or break your workout.  Everyone has a different schedule and different workout times, so what you eat depends on when you workout.

It takes time for food to digest, and the last thing you want is a stomach full of food gurgling around while you try to focus on your exercise.

The kind of exercise you are doing is also important in determining the best pre-workout meal. It makes sense for a marathon runner to carb load the night before a race, but an apple might be better suited if you are going for a lunchtime date with the treadmill.

The article from I Village, “5 Foods To Fuel Your Workout,”  doesn’t just provide a few ideas for pre-workout menu items, but it offers a how to guide for timing meals depending on what time of day you work out, what kind of exercise you are doing, as well as using catchy titles to help remember these tips. Names like the Double A and Berry Cheesy may become an important part of your food lingo.

Leave the guesswork behind when deciding what to eat before your workout. This article will help you to keep your nutrition requirements in check, along with some yummy pre-workout ideas. Here is an excerpt from the article which highlights the five foods to fuel up.

“With a smear

This is one of my favorite snacks, period. I take some hearts of celery and fill in the groove with some organic almond butter or peanut butter. This snack really travels well in Tupperware and makes a terrific pre-workout snack. Why? The celery has fiber and nutrients (including calcium and vitamin A) and a ridiculously low 6 calories per medium stalk. The nut butter has protein and fat. The overall calories are low, and this really fills you up without slowing you down, providing great “slow-release” energy for a terrific workout

The double A

Simply put, an apple with almonds. The apple is the perfect food for a pre-exercise snack. The sugar load is moderate, it contains valuable pectin fiber which slows the entrance of that sugar into the bloodstream, and it’s a nutritional powerhouse containing vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Combine it with about a dozen almonds, which add some fat and protein. They’ll further slow the entrance of the sugar into the bloodstream for sustained energy and keep hunger away.

Whey to go

Whey protein is my favorite kind of protein powder. Not only is it extremely high-quality, bioavailable protein; it supports the immune system by providing the building blocks for glutathione, arguably the body’s most important antioxidant. And studies indicate that whey protein may boost weight loss efforts. According to one French study, eating whey before exercise supports fat burning and may help with gaining or maintaining lean body mass. I suggest a whey protein shake made with either water alone or with frozen berries. The berries add fiber, nutrients and some extra carbohydrates, and make for a more delicious drink.

Berry cheesy

Here’s a tidbit of info that you might enjoy: In my book The 150 Healthiest Foods on the Planet, I asked 16 nutrition experts to contribute lists of their 10 favorite healthy foods. Berries, especially blueberries, made the list of more experts than any other food. Berries are loaded with phytonutrients, antioxidants and fiber, and are low in sugar. Mix a bowl of berries with a piece of string cheese for the perfect pre-workout snack. The string cheese has 8 grams of protein, some fat to keep hunger at bay and only about 80 calories. And it’s an excellent source of calcium.

TG: too good

The initials of this snack stand for turkey and grapes. It’s a perfect match of protein, carbs and low calories to take the edge off your hunger and prime your exercise pump. Four small slices of deli-packaged turkey contain only 87 calories but give you more than 14 grams of protein, plus some of the cancer-fighting mineral selenium to boot. A cup of grapes adds some carbs to the mix together with phytochemicals. Go for fresh turkey whenever possible as the packaged kind is high in sodium, and choose red or purple grapes because they have more antioxidants.

Remember: What you eat after the workout is even more important than what you eat before it. That’s when your muscles are hungry and your depleted glycogen (muscle sugar) stores need replacing. The “golden hour” after the workout is the time when those muscles soak up nutrients most effectively. Choose what you eat after the workout with just as much care as you choose that pre-workout snack.”

Read all of the article here: http://www.ivillage.com/5-foods-fuel-your-workout/4-a-142430

The Fastest Way To Health and Fitness

The Fastest Way To Health and Fitness

Why should your lifetime of health and fitness start now? Well, first, it is going to be easier now than in a year, or five years, or ten years.  Second, have you ever seen a really overweight 80 year-old?  Probably not, as unfit, overweight people usually don’t make it to 80 due to disease and serious health conditions caused by excess weight.

The fastest path to get to a place of health and fitness is to start. Choose now as the perfect time. Don’t wait to get sick but make healthy living and fitness as the obvious choice. Of course there will be times of falling off the wagon. I am just getting back on the wagon after a three week slump, but it is always okay to start again.

If the word “fitness” makes you shiver because you have no idea how you will ever find the extra time, or you think you need fancy shoes, clothing, and a gym membership—it’s time for a new way of thinking.

It is time to see a lifetime of health and fitness with fresh eyes. As you age, do you want firm skin? Do you want less wrinkles? Do you want an easier time with every day activities? Do you want to feel and look great? Remember, there is nothing that tastes as good as healthy and fit feels.

A two pronged approach can ignite you into fitness or at least provide a slow flame of excitement. And remember, the race is only against you. Set your own speed to get it going.  The first two things to do are:

Get rid of the junk food

Most people are not aware of how damaging junk food is to their overall health and well-being. The fact is that junk food is packed so full of sodium, calories, fat, and preservatives that there is almost no possible way that it can be something positive for your life. If you can’t pronounce more than half of the ingredients, you can live without it. Scrap junk food and replace it.  Of course I want to tell you to replace junk food with fruits and veggies, but the reality is that most people won’t do it. So, you need to find a balance that you can live with. And that doesn’t mean replacing regular potato chips with baked Lays. It may mean ditching chips all together, and choosing something like low cal popcorn plus the fruits/veggies. Ditch the ice cream for a low sugar popsicle… and some fruit of course.  Choosing  healthier options time after time will change the way you think about food, and it will alter the way food tastes. Healthier food begins to taste better, and junk food begins to lose its appeal. Really.

Get moving

When you move your body you will feel better, and not just physically. The benefits of exercise can be more important to emotional and mental health. And who doesn’t want to be in a better mood? How can you not be exercising? Lack of exercise is the cause of too many ailments to list, and quite honestly, I think most people think it’s not going to happen to them. So I will raise the question again—how many obese 80 year olds do you see walking around? 30 minutes a day is a good goal. Don’t have 30 minute a day? Shoot for 15. Don’t think you have 15 extra minutes? Start with 10. By this stage in your life, I am going to assume that you know what activity looks like.  Hint: it isn’t sitting on the couch watching he latest episode of Real Housewives. Walk, run, squat, hula hoop, just do something.

Indoor Rowing – Endurance, Flexibility, Cardio, Resistance

Indoor Rowing – Endurance, Flexibility, Cardio, Resistance

Lately, I have been trying to mix up my cardio between the treadmill, elliptical, and spinning. But lately another machine has been calling my name. It’s faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, works all the muscles in a single bound, Look! It’s a rowing machine.

That’s right, that little rowing machine off in the corner of the gym is one of the few super machines that work all the major muscles of the body at once while providing a cardio kick at the same time.

Starboard or Port? No need to memorize any boating terms to get a great rowing workout. Indoor rowing can be an endurance exercise, a flexibility exercise, a cardio exercise, and it invokes all the muscles of the body and trains them evenly. The pulling motion works the arms, shoulders, back, and abdomen. The legs, hips, and torso do the brunt of the work on the slide back, and it does this all with very little pressure on the joints. Because rowing is done with a fluid movement, the sliding motion doesn’t jar elbows or knees like other types of exercise.

You can adjust the rowing machine to create a tighter resistance to tone and build muscles. For that aerobic advantage, keep the tension low to maintain less resistance and higher speed, which improves endurance along with lung, heart and circulation systems. Rowing machines offer the best of all worlds in one exercise.

The power in each stroke or pull controls the flywheel on the rowing machine, and proper technique is key. The rhythm to rowing is Catch, Drive, Finish, Recover.

Be careful when sitting, because all rowers have movable seat pads. Strap your feet flat, straighten the torso while contracting the abdominal muscles, and grab the bar in a palms down grip by bending the knees, not rounding the spine. This starting position is called the catch.

Drive back with the feet to straighten the legs and begin to pull the bar forcefully as the legs finish straightening out. The pulling stroke is a rapid, constant horizontal motion all the way into the mid-section. Recover by bending the knees and straightening the arms to start the forward sliding motion back to the start. Now do it all over again, and again, and again. Catch, Drive, Finish, Recover. Catch, Drive, Finish, Recover.

Motivation – How To Get It and How To Keep It

Motivation – How To Get It and How To Keep It

How many articles do we need to read to get motivated? For me, I could read a motivational article every day and not be bored. There are a million ways to motivate yourself to exercise, or do anything for that matter, but here is a list of a few of my favorites.

Think about how you feel after a workout. I always feel great after a good workout. It’s like a high, all be it an exhausted one at times. I let that motivate me the next time by remembering the sense of accomplishment I feel after.

Think about reaching a goal. Set a goal for weight, or your waist measurement, or a number of days to work out, or a number of miles to run this week. Setting and tracking a goal helps motivate you to complete that goal. Just be sure to make it easily achievable.

Think about others’ success stories. I enjoy reading blogs about people who are into running, or losing weight. It can show the ups and downs they go through, and you can learn from their experiences. I find the success stories of others incredibly inspirational. If a fitness website has success stories, I’ll almost always read them. Maybe I should add success stories to mine.

Think about an upcoming event. A trip to the beach, or a reunion. We are going to Vegas next in a few weeks. Nuff said.

Think of it as “me time”. I mean this in two kinds of ways. While many people make time to take care of others (kids, spouse, other family, co-workers, boss), they don’t often make time to take care of themselves. So on the one hand, use this me time to make yourself a priority, and on the other hand, think of it as a quick “escape” from the stress of kids and a time for contemplation.

Think about how you’re going to look. Imagine a slimmer, fitter you, and let that visualization drive you.

Motivation can be different for everyone. It really doesn’t matter how you get motivated and stay motivated, as long as you do it for yourself.

 

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