Monday, May 30, 2011

Get Off the Bandwagon

I’m always excited when people decide on their own to make a healthy change. Whether that is starting to get more exercise, watching what they eat, or making other healthy decision for their life. What I don’t get excited about is when people talk about going on a diet. Because they usually don’t work. And it’s just one of those bandwagons you want to miss.

Weight loss is something that should be taken seriously, mostly because of the serious health benefits that come from losing just a little weight. Diabetes, cancer, GERD, sleep apnea, high cholesterol…they are all dangers of being over weight. But just because you take it seriously doesn’t mean it has to be depriving.

So how do you makes some changes without feeling like the act of eating has lost all it’s pleasure? Here are some tips:

- keep a food journal: know what you are eating and when, and how it makes you feel. this allows you to figure out when and how to make necessary changes


- eat breakfast: it helps you lose weight, if you eat the right things. But it is important that you do to jump start your metabolism!

- set short and long term goals: they can have rewards too, just not food related!

- sit down when you eat and write down what you eat

- get enough sleep


- allow a treat (in a small proportion) every once in a while. It is okay to accept some cravings, just don’t let it take over and don’t do it every day

- talk to someone that can help monitor your progress and create goals, whether that be a friend, family member, personal trainer, or other individual

Bettering your health is an exciting thing, and you should feel empowered as you learn more about your body and are able to make changes. That is cool! And it will always be worth it.

Looking for similar posts?: Tricks for Eating Less, Eat Your Age, Losing Weight By Body Type, Combat Childhood Obesity

**This last weekend I taught another conditioning class for athletes. We played a little game where I had a list of strength exercises on one paper and a list of cardio exercises on another. They would pick two numbers randomly, and then we would do those two exercises (one from each list) twice in a circuit. It was fun and kept them guessing!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Park Workout

Last week I taught a conditioning class for some athletes as a break from their normal coaching workouts. We did it all outside at a park with nothing but our shoes and some grass. So basically, anyone can do it! Now if only Utah would decide to bring summer, then we could really go do it outside without getting wet. I thought I’d share it with you:

Warm-Up: Started with a jog, then we rotated stretching certain muscles with a spurt of cardio to keep our muscles warm and heart rate up
  • jog laps for 10 minutes
  • stretch
  • jump rope in place
  • stretch
  • jumping jacks
  • stretch
  • high knees
  • stretch
Set #1: We did this set 2 times
Set #2: do this set 2 times
  • 15 body weight squats
  • 10 standing long jumps
  • plank jacks for 1 minute
  • tricep dips (we did these on a park bench)
Set #3: again, this set 2 times!
Then we did one lap to cool down with some stretching. Give it a try!

Also, check out this cool interview with running legend Dean Karnazes. My favorite thing he said was “My message is that you don’t have to run three-thousand miles across the country. Just be the best you that you can be and live up to your own expectations–it’s fulfilling.”

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday’s Favorites

Hey, people! Here’s a list of more of my favorite links I’ve checked out recently. Have a stellar weekend!
~ Speed workouts? They don’t have to only be done on a track!
~Nothing is wrong with celebrating Cinco de Mayo every day right? Bring on the Mexican food!
~Do you ever miss running? Even if you don’t…this will make you!
~Homemade crackers? Don’t mind if I do.
~What do cayenne pepper and pureed veggies have in common?
~I love skillets and I love eggs. Yum!
Do you have any other favorite links from this week you’d like to share? Comment away!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Not to be a Downer…but

Since on Monday we talked a bit about a common downfall, not sitting and eating meals (aka, not eating while eating) I thought I would touch on another common downfall: lack of planning.


I have talked about making a workout routine before, and how it can keep you from selling yourself short when it comes to exercise.

Another reason it is important to plan is because when you don’t plan meals and snacks in advance, the easy stuff is usually the not so healthy stuff.

Most of us know what we should eat. Of course vegetables are better than a hunk of mac and cheese. And of course whole wheat bread is better than white. But when we are hungry and ready to eat our arm off, what do you go for? The easy stuff.


So take some time to plan and prepare meals and snacks in advance. Little bags of sliced peppers, carrots and celery work great. A bag of a serving of crackers or nuts is a great option for on the road. And fruit! Oh blessed fruit. So easy to grab an apple or banana to take to class or in the car.

Then, plan some meals ahead. This can also mean planning days for leftovers and days for easy meals like egg burritos or soup and sandwiches. One thing that works great for our family is making a big salad one night with lots of veggies, and then eating it over several nights for dinner. It is a great way to guarantee you will get some veggies in.

So…start planning!

Here’s a little midweek inspiration for you!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Take a Seat

We all have pretty busy lives. Between work, school, church activities, family time, socializing and much more, we are frequently on the go. But this can really put a damper on your health and eating habits. During the semester I made a goal to only eat while eating. Sound funny? Really, it is something a lot of us struggle with. There were many times I wanted to read or study while eating. Instead, I made a plate of food, sat down at the table, and focused on eating. So this week, guess what your challenge is?

sit down with a meal and eat!


When meals (and snacks) take place in cars, in front of computers, or in spurts while doing things around the house, your body doesn’t register that you are eating much. That then translates to not getting full or noticing when enough is enough.
Research has shown that those who sit down to a COMPLETE meal, as well as snacks, are less likely to eat more calories throughout the day.
Sitting down to eat compared to standing up while eating plays a mental game with our food diary. The mind does not recognize when we eat on the go or while standing… leading us to snacking after the so called meal.
Visually seeing everything laid out on a plate also helps to visually satisfy those cravings/hunger and helps one pay attention to what we are putting in our mouths.
Eating while sitting down at the table compared to standing up or on the road ultimately makes the meal more satisfying and full.

When we don't think about our meals, it frequently lead us to make less healthy food choices…
  1. We eat larger portions: grabbing a handful of chips at a time while working often results in eating way more than one serving
  2. You eat more food: when you just grab a little of this and a little of that, you really have no idea how much you just ate. That is why it is important to make a plate of food, eat what is on it and wait 15 minutes to see if you are really still hungry.
  3. We eat more processed foods: if you think about it, the foods you can just “grab and go” with, are frequently processed. Unless you are grabbing fruits and veggies…if that is the case, chomp away! But handfuls and snacks in packages don’t lead to good things
  4. You don’t have a balanced meal: it is important to see all you are eating on your plate to make sure it is balanced
  5. You skip the water: when you graze, you usually don’t incorporate water into your meal
So…this week make an effort to sit down and eat while eating. It really is refreshing!

Talk to you later!

~What things distract you from sitting down to eat meals?

~Have you ever gone fly fishing?
**My family all went to a class this weekend to learn how for my dad’s birthday. It was fun! I used to be pretty intimidated by the idea, but it wasn’t too hard to pick up.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Hello, Sunshine

It has been in the 70’s the past few days…absolutely wonderful. I’ve been able to run and bike outside and go on walks without freezing. Love it!

In honor of Cinco de Mayo (and that fact that a friend gave me a ripe avocado), I made a little fresh salsa!

Last year my family planted a salsa garden. I can’t wait to have that this year too! For now, I used the local grocery store as my salsa garden.

black beans, avocado, lemon juice, jalapeno peppers, cilantro,
tomatoes, bell pepper

Making fresh salsa is simple and pretty individualized. You can do what you want with different ingredients, and it can be different every time! Here is what I did this time:

First I chopped up the avocado and added the fresh lemon juice in with it in a separate bowl. (and I let the lemon slices sit in there while I did the other stuff)


Then I just started chopping! Tomato first, then bell pepper and jalapeno.

Next add the black beans (with a little more tomato)

And finally, the avocado and cilantro on top!

Mix it all together and eat up! Have a fun weekend!

~What are your favorite ingredients for salsa?

~Do you grow a garden? What’s the best thing you grow?

P.S. Check out this recipe…perfect with my salsa!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Some Keepers

Want some nifty snack ideas? Well the sweet people at 34 degrees sent me some samples of their whole grain and rosemary crackers…they call them crispbread.

Only 3 ingredients!

I did what any good blogger would do and called out my professional taste tester:

(aka…my brother)


He was a fan of the whole grain crackers with some cheese on them. The rosemary, not so much.


Want some other good ideas for snacks? I like things with few ingredients and real ingredients.

Try a Trio Bar!


How about some Triscuits?


Or some Larabars!


All of these are great options! So branch out a bit, try something new…something new AND healthy!

~Are you a snacker, or more into eating a few bigger meals?
**I’m a snacker. I like to eat smaller amounts throughout the day. That doesn’t mean I eat all day though…just space it out evenly.

~My anatomy professor left us with a cool quote that I thought I’d share…it’s about appreciating our bodies as the miraculous things they are: "People travel to wonder at the height of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars; and they pass by themselves without wondering."
What are you going to do to show you appreciate your body this week?

Monday, May 2, 2011

Snack Attack

Often times, when people are trying to lose weight or get healthy they have a good handle on meal times. They learn how to create well balanced meals with protein, carbs and loads of veggies. They even have a handle on exercise, knowing how much to do and what to do on certain days. Where they fall short? Those in-between meal times where they walk into the kitchen ready to eat whatever is in sight.

Beware. It can make or break your success. 

So this week, I challenge you to
plan your snacks!

Really. I think we often think of planning and preparation for the week and we make lists of meals and exercise schedules. But do you plan what you will grab when you get that nagging feeling at 3:00 pm? 


So this week, instead of just grabbing that bag of chips, followed by a granola bar and some pretzels, (those foods don’t have to be bad, but all of them at once? no thanks.) know what to grab BEFORE it happens. This could also mean packing a snack to put in your bag or backpack if you know you'll be gone awhile. Then there is no need to visit those darn vending machines!


Here are some easy snack ideas:
  • crave something salty? try some air popped popcorn with a little sea salt
  • crave something crunchy? try a handful (about 10 – 12) of almonds or a bigger handful (20-25) of pistachios
  • one of my favorites: celery with peanut butter!
  • 1/2 c. of cottage cheese with some peaches
  • baby carrots and hummus
  • a hard boiled egg with some sliced sweet peppers
  • 10 crackers with little slices of turkey or cheese on it
  • apple and peanut butter
  • 1/2 c. yogurt with fruit
  • green smoothie

There are so many options! Just don’t go grazing. That usually leads to unhealthy choices and over eating. A snack should be small enough to make you hungry again in a few hours, but not so small that you are hungry before the next meal. Try drinking lots of water while you snack too…it will help you stay full AND hydrated. Happy snacking!

~What are your favorite go to snacks?

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