Wednesday, November 25, 2009

surviving the holidays

Here are a few quick tips for successfully cheating the holiday weight gain.

Calories Count - Whether its a football game at friends, a holiday buffet or the big family party, you have to be calorie wise. Take a few of your favorite foods and learn the calorie pitfalls. One I see at the office is trail mix. Nuts, raisins and a little bit of chocolate doesn’t seem so bad, but 1/4 cup (less than a handful) can be 150 calories. While watching the football game, switch your normal potato chips to Kettle Brand Baked chips. My favorite is the Black pepper--Pepper is good for digestion too. You can get as many as 22 chips for that same calorie range (120 in Kettle’s baked chips). Another slippery slope is the cheesy, gooey, creamy dips that accompany so many appetizers. Skip the chip and use vegetables for dipping. If you really love your dips at least you are not adding 100 calorie crackers to the count. You may even substitute Old London melba toast rounds. They are flavored and have only 60 calories for 3 big tastes.
Push the Protein - When you start grazing, carbs alone with give you that sugar high and drop-- meaning you will be hungry for more. AND your spirited beverages act as carbohydrates on the body and will also give you that rush. Therefore, to stabilize blood sugar and keep your tummy full, opt for protein bites. Skip the little bun on the tenderloin sandwiches and chose cocktail shrimp when available. For under 200 calories you can eat 36 medium cocktail shrimp and even if you add the cocktail sauce at 15 calories a tablespoon, you’ll still be on track.
Don’t Deny Desert - At this holiday time of year, it’s even harder to skip the treats, so leave that to the other 10 months! But, beware and chose smart. Cut the pie into a 1/3 or half slice to skim calories or add International Delight’s new line of 40 calorie creamers to your coffee to indulge in a little treat. Remember fruit pies are lower in calories than cream, pumpkin and even pecan. My favorite is adding those flavored creamers over berries. I get all the sweet and creamy flavor together.
Chew Gum - For every party, keep a pack of gum in your purse. Chewing gum helps freshen your breath, so you will be ready for kissing under the mistletoe. And research shows that chewing gum can help reduce the craving for snacking. My favorite is Wrigleys Five blue gum- I don’t leave home without it.
Sleep over Exercise - Now don’t use this everyday, but surely you will want to get the minimum amount of sleep during the holidays - 6 hours. If it’s one or the other I recommend choosing sleep. Sleep helps regulate the hormones leptin and gherlin that aid in maintaining your weight and regulating appetite. Even a little exercise can go a long way, so if you can sneak in 20-30 minutes that can offset a few hundred calories.

Enjoy the holidays and remember to stand over sitting, better to give than receive and smile rather than frown- keep the wrinkles away!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Holiday is the time for you too

Holiday is the time for you too

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Cheap Winter Workouts -

Cheap Winter Workouts -

Tips for healthy eating

here are a few easy suggestions:
- Eat at least three times a day
- Eat protein and carbohydrate combinations
- Fat is good for you and necessary for utilizing your fat stores, aid in nutrient absorption, nerve transmission, and maintaining cell membranes, but keep them monounsaturated ( like walnuts, almonds, and avocados), as well as polyunsaturated ( like salmon and fish oils, safflower, sunflower, corn and soy oils.)
- Minimize your packaged foods intake and when choosing those foods look for ones that are fortified with additional supplements your body needs like calcium, omegas, iron, Vitamin B, etc.
- Read the labels. Look for serving size, calories, protein, carbs and fat grams as well as fiber which will give you an indication of it health value. When choosing, tortillas, breads and grains look for at least 3-4 grams of fiber per serving. Not all foods are created equal. Reading the label also helps to understand how much protein you are getting.
- Aim for 80-100 grams of protein a day, 25-35 grams of fiber and at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables everyday.
- Try incorporating super foods like: Fish, nuts & seeds, soy, garlic, pom or acai berry juices, tea, mushroom yogurt, cocoa, ginger, pepper, cinnamon, and lots of fruits and vegetables into your diet. (especially berries, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, melons, tomatoes and kale)
- Avoid empty calories. Empty calories could be classified as high in calories and low in nutrition lacking in macro-nutrients (proteins, carbs, fats) and micro-nutrients (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants)
Be aware of sodium intake, especially if you at risk for high blood pressure, by keeping your sodium intake less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day.
- Think before you eat and weigh out your choices. Just by switching from a “want or crave” response, you will turn on different neurotransmitters in your brain to help you stay on track.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My TIps

I eliminate dumb email clutter by opting out of as many ads, newsletters, groups that I could. I have given myself the permission that if I really want to know about something I will seek out the information... This is kind of like shopping for what you need instead of browsing and impulsively buying a new pair of cowboy boots to add to your 15 other pairs just because they are on sale
I got a comforter and two pillows for my bed to spend less time in making my bed in the morning; duality of this switch to my linens actually looks fresh and neat all the time and I feel better coming home to my neatly made bedroom every night
I set alarms for when I need to stop doing any activity that can really wait until tomorrow- meaning there are projects that need a little time each day to tackle them instead of waiting until the at minute. But sometimes, I would get so lost trying to complete them knowing full well that there was no way it would finish in one day that the timer helped me move on to other tasks
I have hooks in the bathroom for my towels instead of bars when I am done showering. This still looks neat and is a few seconds less time to hang
I taught my children to do their own laundry as part of their family experience. My kids are so incredibly talented on a computer and well guess what they can even work the washer and dryer too. Although, I only require them to do their own clothes, (which is good for college prep and moving out at some point in time) but they also have chores around the house like garbage detail, picking out and organizing dinner, dishes, mowing the lawn and other “family contribution experiences”. I know you must be thinking, yeah I do that too. But really if you have room mates, family or even friends that you can utilize to create more time in your day, don’t miss the opportunity to ask, direct, and negotiate with them to give yourself more time in the day.
I leave dishes in the sink. I know some of you may not be able to let this one go, but I have found, unless I am having company over for dinner, the dishes are okay to be left alone during the day. They don’t jump out of the sink or even invite bugs into the house. As long as I can get the house tidy before bedtime, I am golden. I love waking up to a neat kitchen. Which by the way sets the tone for your day if you wake up to a constant confusion and mess or a tidy area.
I have bottles of water in my car. I know people will argue about the plastic-- but if it reminds me to drink more water throughout the day; I will take my chances.
I keep at least one LUCY workout outfit, socks, and sketchers trainers in my car at all times-- and deodorant and perfume too. ( Just in case I can’t get to a place with a shower; I can still get in a stretch or walk without being too sweaty and feel that I did something for myself)
I do one load of laundry everyday; to try and stay on top of things-- and I leave my ironing to pile up for at least two months before I get to it unless it’s an emergency need to wear it outfit.
I do many crazy exercises throughout the day with friends, taxi drivers, elevator patrons, and people in stores to get them thinking about exercise and get a little extra in for myself. So be wary if you meet me in the elevator sometime and I ask you to do a squat against the wall during the time you are riding in the elevator--hey! every little bit helps!

Walk Better

Walking is a great form of exercise. It's as easy as putting one foot in front of the other and something we take for granted that we are doing it right. Well over the years, I have noticed many people walking and I shutter thinking the damage they are doing to their bodies or worse yet they look like they are in pain. Here are a few tips to get more out of each step:
1) Walk backwards and sideways - Think of the pressure you are consistently putting on the front of the knee when moving in a forward plane of motion. Additionally the muscles that move you in this direction become strong and out of balance with their opposing muscle groups. This decreases flexibility and increases the degeneration of this area. Walking sideways and backwards focuses on different muscle groups and puts the power in the motion in other areas of the joint. You might just find better alignment of the knee joint by "walking this way".
2) Wear a performance walking shoe - Runners have known for years if they want to get the most out of each run, they need a performance running shoes. The like of New Balance, Asics, Karhu, and Brooks have led the way in this area. Well runners, step aside, because now there are choices for specific, performance walking shoes. Skechers, more known for style and trend, now leads this space with the SHAPE UP walking shoes. They have a dual mid sole which provides cushion and function, a curved "kinetic" bottom which keeps the body in motion and core active, and high support to increase hip extension, working your bottom line and lifting it!

Feel better now - MORE Magazine

Feel better now - MORE Magazine

Friday, November 13, 2009

Attitude is everything!

Attitude is everything! When you wake up in the morning, you set the tone for the entire day so wake up and smile in the mirror! Today is your day! Here are a few other tips to make your day better and boost your mood!
1) Don't be afraid to jump in the puddles, it brings out our inner child and reminds us that even if we get wet we can still have fun. It doesn't have to be raining to get wet, remember how good it feels to splash around in the tub or shower.
2) When you are frightened, switch fear to inspiration. Remember there are many ways to get the same job done- change your process not the end results. So something as easy as wearing a pedometer can get you to that regular exercise routine instead of jumping on a treadmill.
3) Somethings gotta give. Even when you do everything right, the seed still grows slowly. Flowers take a long time to bloom, so remember to be patient and enjoy each little ray of sunshine.
4) Dreams are meant to be realized. Good sleep habits help you not only lose weight but let your mind design your future. Take notice of your dreams and let nothing hold you down--like extra
5) I hope you dance... at least once a day with or without the music. Remember every activity can have rhythm, a pace and an emotional experience. Dancing is food for the soul.

It takes more muscles to frown than to smile... and frowning shows your wrinkles!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Turkeys are useful for more than Thanksgiving dinner

It's almost Thanksgiving and turkeys will be going on sale. Turkeys are well known for being low fat containing only 1 gram of fat per ounce of meat and a 5 ounce serving provides half the daily recommended amount of folic acid. Turkey is also a good source of B, B1, B6, zinc and potassium which help keep blood cholesterol.

But for the last ten years, there has been a tradition I created with the frozen turkey... PASS THE TURKEY Bootcamp workout. Although the location has changed over the years, during my annual Thanksgiving Bootcamp class I bring a few 10-20 pound turkeys (depending on which local grocer I can get to donate them) and play pass the frozen turkey. When the music stops the one holding the turkey is out of the circle and participating in 20 pushups, jumping jacks or whatever exercise is called for that round. The turkeys can be used just like a medicine ball or weight. A few turkeys are heading round the room simultaneously to keep people moving. When there are the same amount of turkey holders as turkeys... Well those are the winners to bring turkey dinner home! Now PASS THE TURKEY!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Chicken soup for weight loss

Learn how to cook a low calorie, high protein and fiber chicken tortilla soup- no cream, butter or heavy fats. This soup features 28 grams of protein, 10 grams of fiber and under 300 for any program and tastes great.
We know that chicken soup is a grandmother's cold remedy but how about Chicken soup for weight loss?  Well this low calorie tasty version of Chicken Tortilla soup is creamy, hot and full of vitamins, protein, fiber and under 300 calories too.  From start to finish it takes about 20 minutes but costs under $10 for 6 servings and did I mention easy to make?
12 Cups Chicken Stock
2 cups chopped carrots
2 cups chopped celery
1 cup onions
2 tablespoons Olive oil
5 Whole wheat and Corn Tortillas Diced( these had 90 calories and 5 grams fiber in each)
2 cups cooked diced chicken
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can black beans rinsed well

Start with soup pot and add olive oil. Then wipe with paper towel to take out most of the oil but coat the pot and add the carrots, celery and onions.  Saute until soft then add chicken stock.  Bring to a boil and then add tortillas.  Cook about 5 minutes until tortillas are soft and then puree contents with blender.  Add chicken, tomatoes and beans.
Divide into Six 2-1/4 cup servings
275 calories
10 grams fiber
28 grams protein