Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Every Morsel

For my nutrition class this semester, one of our assignments was to record what we ate and drank for 2 days. One day was a week day and one was a weekend day. There is more to it than just what we ate though – my professor had us write down what we ate, when we ate it, who we were with, how hungry we were, where we were, time we spent eating, and what we did while eating. Pretty detailed, right? I thought so.

food log

I wasn’t too excited to have to think that much while eating. Really. But after I started doing it, I really enjoyed it. I found that it was incredibly enlightening to write down my degree of hunger, what I did while eating and who was with me. Those three things, among others, effect what and how we eat SO MUCH.

In a recent study they found that “people who kept daily food diaries lost twice as much weight or more as those who didn’t keep a tally of their meals.”


Nearly 1,700 Kaiser Permanente study participants agreed to exercise and adopt a healthy diet, but those who took the extra step of keeping track of what they consumed got something of a booster charge in their weight loss.

Overall, two-thirds of the study subjects lost nine pounds or more during the six-month study. But those who kept a food diary every day of the week dropped up to 20 pounds, more than twice as much as those who didn't record their every bite.

I don’t think it is necessary to write down everything you eat for the rest of your life in order to lose weight and maintain it. But maybe you’ve been trying to lose weight, exercise and eating well, yet pounds aren’t dropping…writing things down might be a huge benefit. It is usually the snacking and the little additions to meals during the day that add up, yet we forget about them.


There are lots of options for food diaries. Online food journals are becoming very popular. Here are a few free ones online that you can set up a profile, enter what you eat and how much you exercise and see what the outcome is:

My Pyramid Tracker
Fit Day

There are also a variety of options to print out and use at home. I can even e-mail you the one I used for my class. Or, a simple pen and paper work just fine! I would encourage you to write down degree of hunger and time of day with what you eat, at least for several days.

~Do you track what you eat? What way works best for you?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Lucy’s “Cut For Me Legging”

Remember the Lucy line of workout clothes that had a killer sale at the beginning of the month? Well, they kindly sent me a pair of their “Cut For Me Leggings” that are perfect for running, especially during the cold months in Utah.


Not only are they cute, comfortable, and great for any active person…you can cut them to your desired length! They feature flat-locked seams and trim lines for you to cut the legging to your specific leg length—plus the slimming, moisture-wicking strength of lucy powermax™ fabric.



I have trouble finding pants that I like to run in, so I usually brave the cold in shorts or just hit the treadmill. Not any more! I am excited to get a lot of miles out of these babies. I love the fabric and the thick waste band.



Be sure to check out the “how to” on how these pants work so you can cut them and still get no fray. Pretty great!

~Have you tried any of Lucy’s products?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I Am Grateful.

Robert Emmons, author of the book Thanks!: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier, has spent a lot of his career researching the connection between being grateful and your health. In this book, Eammons describes a series of studies performed to study this correlation.
In each of the studies, certain groups were asked to keep a journal. In that journal, each day they would either right 5 things they are grateful for, 5 things that were a hassle that day, or 5 things that happened that day. Here are some of the interesting conclustions:
- People using daily gratitude journals reported more satisfaction with their lives and were more optimistic about the future than the control group.
- the gratitude group reported getting more sleep, spending less time awake before falling asleep and feeling more refreshed in the morning.
- researchers at the University of Connecticut found that gratitude can have a protective effect against heart attacks. Studying people who had experienced one heart attack, the researchers found that those patients who saw benefits and gains from their heart attack, such as becoming more appreciative of life, experienced a lower risk of having another heart attack.
- Grateful people take better care of themselves and engage in more protective health behaviors like regular exercise, a healthy diet, regular physical examinations
- Gratitude research is beginning to suggest that feelings of thankfulness have tremendous positive value in helping people cope with daily problems, especially stress
- Grateful people tend to be more optimistic, a characteristic that researchers say boosts the immune system
Summarizing the findings from studies to date, Emmons says that those who practice grateful thinking “reap emotional, physical and interpersonal benefits." People who regularly keep a gratitude journal report fewer illness symptoms, feel better about their lives as a whole, and are more optimistic about the future.
Here are a few of the things on my gratitude list:
~a body that can exercise
~the gospel of Jesus Christ
~a warm home
~broccoli & eggs
~an education
~a job I love
~the mountains
~the capacity to heal
~fresh produce (including broccoli)
~a cute nephew
~running water
What are you grateful for?
Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Bouncing Back

Obviously, the best way to stay FEELING your best during the holidays is to eat everything in moderation and keep consistent in your workout routine. But there might be some slip ups.

You know that feeling you wake up with the day after Thanksgiving? That feeling of…I stuffed myself for the meal, and a few hours later for the “second round” and now I feel like a balloon? It isn’t the most desired feeling. Yet we still eat like that every year. I think the holidays are a time to spend with loved ones and eat good food, so a little splurging is just fine. The key is to bounce back that next morning like nothing ever changed. Here are some tips:



eat a good breakfast: frequently people wake up thinking they are too full to eat anything or they will try to “make up” for eating too much the day before. Unfortunately, you are just slowing down your metabolism from BURNING what you ate yesterday. Get a good 300-400 calorie breakfast under your belt of good carbs, fruit and a little protein.

take it long and slow: the key to your “day after” workout is time. You ate enough that your body is primed for a good, long workout (like carb loading). Your body might not feel it’s best, so take it long and slow. Go on a long run at an easy pace, or hop on the elliptical for a solid hour with some intervals. The longer the time, the more burn you get and your body remembers how to burn.



cut the sugar: desserts are loaded with the refined sugar (simple carbs) that make the bodies serotonin levels resemble a tidal wave. that being said, once you start, your body gets a “high”, then drops and you crave even more. To stop this cycle, after you had your share of dessert, grab a piece of fruit or all fruit smoothie for the next round.

speed it up: the sugar from desserts is a carb, but not the same kind of “carb loading” you see from the potatoes and rolls at Thanksgiving. So to get to those sugar stores faster, opt for an interval or track workout. go 90% for 30 seconds with a one to two minute walk/jog between. Repeat 10-15 times and you’ve started burning!



go vegetarian for the day: at buffets most people opt for a few kinds of meat…because they are there. so because you got a few days worth of high fat animal protein servings, the next day focus on the vegetables, fruits and whole grains, with maybe some nuts or fish.

double duty: because of the variety you probably ate, it’s a good idea to use that at your advantage. double up with a tempo run (where you are pushing the pace but not sprinting) and some circuit weights.

**Bonus tip: After that huge meal and dessert you consumed, go for a 20 minutes brisk walk. It will get your metabolism up to keep burning!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Cocoa Surprise Muffins

No, the surprise is not black beans. After I tried that once and they were a fail among the fam I decided to stay clear of those fiber monsters in place of chocolate.

These, however, have the real deal. Cocoa and the real surprise: peanut butter! Who doesn’t love that combo?

I got the original recipe off Daily Garnish but they were made gluten free, so I changed the recipe a bit. It makes about 7 muffins…so if you are looking for more than you can adjust accordingly.

Cocoa Surprise Muffins
1/2 c. + 2 T. whole wheat flour
2 T. chia seeds
1 banana (or 1/4 c. applesauce)
1/2 c. almond milk
2.5 T. cocoa
1 T. brown sugar
2 T. natural peanut butter, plus another 2 T. for the filling
1 T. honey or maple syrup
1 egg
1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1 t. vanilla

In one bowl, mix the dry ingredients (flour, chia seeds, cocoa, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda & salt)
In another bowl, mix the wet ingredients and the banana, leaving out the 2 T. for the filling. (banana, almond milk, 2 T. PB, honey, egg and vanilla)
Combine until just mixed.


Then fill half of your muffin tin with the batter, drop a bit of peanut butter in, then fill the rest.



Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. Enjoy!



Mmmm, ya!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Run For Your Brain

A recent article in Runner's World talked about the benefits of vigorous cardiovascular exercise on your BRAIN. That is correct. Not only are you exercising your heart and lungs, and burning calories, and adding years to your life…but you are also improving brain function! Research indicates the more aerobically challenging the exercise, the greater the mental payoff. Here’s how:


1. Running sparks the growth of fresh nerve cells, called neurogenesis, and new blood vessels, called angiogenesis, says J. Carson Smith, Ph.D., an assistant professor at the University of Maryland in College Park who studies the role exercise plays in brain function. Older adults who exercised regularly increased the volume of their hippocampus—the region linked to learning and memory—by two percent, compared to inactive peers. That may not sound like much until you realize that this part of the brain isn't known for increasing at any point in adulthood. What's more, running appears to "rescue" many brain cells that would otherwise die.

2. Cardio exercise helps you get better at learning and storing new information and memories, and can potentially stave off age-related dementia. Adult mice "runners" grew new neurons that made them better at making fine distinctions between shapes and colors than sedentary rodents.

3. Lacing up regularly may make the executive functions that happen in the frontal cortex—decision-making, planning, organizing, juggling mental tasks—easier. In a 2010 Japanese study, people who'd just completed bouts of physical activity scored higher on mental tests than those who did not.


4. Being aerobically active is key not just to making memories, but finding them when you want to. In a study of patients diagnosed with the early stages of Alzheimer's disease, those who exercised were better able to recall names of famous people.

5. Running may be just as effective—and in some instances better—than SSRI drugs in treating depression. These antidepressant meds work by keeping neurotransmitters such as serotonin and norepineprhine in the synapses longer, improving mood and outlook. Turns out, aerobic exercise does the same thing.

~Why do you exercise?

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Homemade Granola: How To

I love granola. There is something about the chunks and the nutty-ness and the oats that make my taste buds scream for happiness. Yes, scream. The thing is, like most stuff bought from a box, the store granola can often have tons of added sugar that isn’t even necessary! The great news is that since making homemade granola is so simple, you don’t have to worry about those funny sounding ingredients and added sugar. And even better, granola can be totally personalized!
Here is a basic “how-to” in making your own granola:
1. start with a base…I always use 2 cups of rolled oats but if you have another idea go for it!
2. add some bulk…this is the fun part! I usually add 3-4 other “bulk” ingredients to the oats for some variety and texture. Ideas?
- 1 c. quinoa (raw)
- 1 c. slivered almonds, sunflower seeds, peanuts, or other nut/seed
- 1/2 c. raisins or dried cranberries (just the fruit, watch out for added sugar with those!)
- 1/4 c. chia seeds
- 1/2 c. dark chocolate chips
- 1/2 c. shredded coconut (again, watch the added sugar!)
3. Add some flavor! My favorites are:
- 1 t. cinnamon
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1 T. vanilla
- 1 t. pumpkin pie spice
4. Add some sweetness and good fats:
- 1/4 c. maple syrup, honey, or agave
- 1/3 c. coconut oil or almond butter
5. Mix the dry ingredients together, then add the “sweetness and fat” in with about 1/4 c. water. Spread out onto a lined or sprayed cookie sheet. Bake at 225 degrees for 60 minutes, stirring a bit half way through. Once it is done, let it sit for 10-15 minutes to get nice and crunchy.
6. EAT UP!
~What are your favorite ingredients in granola?

Monday, November 7, 2011

To My Superman

Today is my little brother’s birthday! I’m pretty dang sure I could never ask for a better brother. So buddy, here’s the top 10 reasons I think you’re the best ever:

1. You’re pretty hard core.


2. You’ve always been someone I can lean on when times are tough.


3. You’re always up for a celebration


4. You are a friend to everyone.


5. You’re a dang good dancer


6. You like to bake…and you wear an apron when you do. Rock on!


7. I could watch you play basketball


8. You’ve got some mad ninja skills


9. You wear cool shoes


10. You give the best hugs ever.



I hope this birthday is the best one yet! Love you, buddy. You’ll always be my superman!


Friday, November 4, 2011

Birthday Sale

Earlier this week, Lucy activewear contacted me about a big sale this Saturday. Lucy is turning 12! So a celebration is definitely in order.

Several things excited me about this:

1. I love a good sale

2. I love activewear

3. A little celebration never hurt anyone!

So, here are the details:
Starting tonight at 9 pm PST the entire store is 25% off and there is free shipping as well. This goes through tomorrow, November 5th. Since that’s the big birthday! This sale of 25% of the entire store is also available in all of their various locations. Pretty great! Stores open at 9am. So if I were you, I’d hustle!

4x6 birthday

Hope you find something wonderful! Happy Birthday Lucy!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Circuit Workout

At least once a week I try to get in a heavy lift, where I focus more on lifting than cardio. I think it is important to incorporate both cardio and strength training into any workout routine. Both have so many benefits!


Here is a current circuit workout that I am enjoying:

10 minute cardio – elliptical, easy jog, or walking incline
Arms: repeat 3 times
12 reps shoulders
12 reps biceps
12 reps triceps
10 minute cardio – same as above, or mix it up!
Legs: repeat 3 times
20 reps squats
20 reps lunges
20 reps squats
10 minute cardio
Back & Chest: repeat 3 times
12 reps back
12 reps chest
12 reps back

Obviously, this isn’t very specific. When I do it, I like to mix up each round of lifting so I don’t get bored. For example, the first set of arms might be 12 shoulder presses, 12 bicep concentration curls and 12 tricep skull crushers. The next set might be 12 shoulder rows, 12 regular bicep curls and 12 chair dips. Then the third round I might try to do even different ones.

If you don’t want to think of a different exercise for each round, it is just as good to do the same exercise each time! Make sure to make any changes to this workout to fit your time and exercise level.

Let me know if you try it!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...