Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday's Letters

Dear Tennis Ball, you're the best foot massage a girl could ask for after a long run. Dear Adidas Outlet, I felt like I was in heaven while sifting through your $12 running shorts and $40 shoes. Yes, it was heaven. Dear "The Happiness Project", because of you I am thinking twice before getting upset, taking more time to laugh, and remembering to be grateful. Dear Big D, I love it when you come share a good new song you found out about...and then ask me to buy it. Good thing I think you're the greatest...and we have the same taste in music.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Write It Out

In the recent issue of Tennis Magazine, the psychology section had a pretty interesting article on the importance of writing as preparation for any big event - such as running a race or playing a tennis match.

The article was written by Sian Beilock, a psychology professor at The University of Chicago. I'd recommend getting your hands on the whole article soon...but here are some of the highlights:

*Some new psychology research shows that spending 10 minutes writing about your thoughts and feelings before a high-stress event can boost performance.
*Despite what some might think, putting negative thoughts down on paper downloads them from your mind, making them less likely to pop up and derail you in an important moment.
*Scientists recently discovered that people facing an upcoming pressure-filled situation can benefit from getting their worries on paper in the few hours immediately before they perform.
*Worries regarding performance are problematic because they can deplete a part of the brain's processing power known as working memory. This working memory comes into play when planning game strategy or trying to predict what shot an opponent will attempt next.
*When worries creep up, we are robbed of the brain power necessary to be smart on the court (or road!)...writing down these worries ahead of time helps get that power back.
*Why writing? It reduces the tendency to ruminate because it not only provides us with an opportunity to express our concerns, but to re-read them and gain insight into the source of our stress.

Pretty interesting, right? I think it is definitely worth a try...and I think we can all use a little help in the mental aspect of our training!

Monday, June 25, 2012

More Squash

I have a thing for spaghetti squash. As in, I could eat it every day. But last week we got some acorn squash from our co-op so we branched out a bit.

You can pretty much do the same thing you do to spaghetti squash. I just sliced it up (after taking out the insides), drizzled with olive oil, added some salt and pepper and then sprinkle with some parmesan cheese. You can also have some fun with adding some herbs like thyme or anything else you think would compliment it well. Bake at 400 for about 30 minutes, flipping over at about 20 minutes. It's a great addition to any meal!

When it's all done, just plate it and let people pull it off the skin. It comes off nice and easy since the squash is so soft and yummy. Enjoy!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday's Letters

Dear Garden Peas, I could eat you all day long. And no one is stopping me, so maybe I will. Dear Skating Class, you girls were so creative with your questions and answers during my nutrition class. Thanks for showing your excitement for learning and health! Dear Desk Chair, I need to get out of you more. It'd help my body and mind. And you make me wish I had an exercise ball to replace you. Dear Weekend, I'm looking forward to sunshine, a long run, reading and naps. Thanks for slowing me down and keeping me going. Dear Summer Survival Tips, we'd all be better off if we followed some of those tips. Here's to changing for the better!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Intuitive Eating

Hey there, Monday. That came fast!

Have you heard of intuitive eating? It's something I've looked into several times and always found interesting. In fact, it's something I wish I was way better at. I can definitely be that person that eats just because it is time to, not because I'm actually hungry. Not to mention how many times I eat past being satisfied instead of to the point that I'm full. 

Intuitive eating is not a diet. It's a way of eating that everyone should probably adopt. It doesn't involve completely cutting out certain foods or exercising extreme amounts. It involves listening to your body, giving it what it needs and truly becoming healthy. 

If you're interested, check out the website and there is even some books. Here are the 10 principles they focus on:

1. Reject the diet mentality
2. Honor your hunger
3. Make peace with food
4. Challenge the food police
5. Respect your fullness
6. Discover the satisfaction factor
7. Honor your feelings without using food
8. Respect your body
9. Exercise - feel the difference
10. Honor your health

I love all of them.

Hope you have a great week!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday's Letters

Dear Dad, you ran out to the road with my water bottle as I passed the house during my 8 mile run. Thanks for being the best water boy I've ever had! Dear Mom, you're creativity made me look really good at work this week. Thanks for making up for what I lack in that department. Dear Miami Heat, feel the Thunder. Dear Provo Canyon Trail, you were perfect for a long walk with a good friend yesterday. I was reminded why I love summer, the mountains and good friends.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

This, Not That

I'm guessing you've heard of those Eat This, Not That books. I've picked them up on occasion and they're pretty interesting. They even have ones for cooking, drinking and grilling.

Today I have some healthy swaps that you might like to here we go.

Eat this, and not that!

3 oz broiled salmon lightly seasoned vs. 6 oz T-bone steak 
155 calories, 1 g sat fat vs. 420 calories, 10.5 g sat fat

2 cups of sliced fruit vs. 1 5 oz. slice of cheesecake
218 calories vs. 1,028 calories

1 plain pancake with 1/4 cup syrup vs. 1 cup oatmeal cooked with banana slices
412 calories, 1.9 g fiber vs. 277 calories, 7.6 g fiber

1 cup spaghetti with marinara sauce vs. 1 cup Ratatouille
332 calories vs. 152 calories

Full rack baby back ribs vs. 4 grilled chicken wings, lightly seasoned
670 calories, 29 g fat vs. 183 calories, 6.4 g fat

1/4 cup trail mix with cranberries, raisins, nuts and seeds vs. 1 chocolate chip energy bar
130 calories vs. 250 calories

8 oz grilled chicken sandwich with 1/2 c melon vs. fried chicken (6.5 oz) sandwich with cheese and fries
440 calories vs. 990 calories

4 fried jumbo shrimp vs. 3 oz broiled cod
165 mg cholesterol vs. 50 mg cholesterol

1 cup mashed potatoes, 2 T gravy vs. 1 cup mashed acorn squash
229 calories, 455 mg sodium, 38 g carbs vs. 83 calories, 7 mg sodium, 21.5 g carbs

This doesn't mean you have to give up your favorite pasta or meat dish...just eat smaller servings and switch it out with healthier options more often than not!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Grab and Go

So it's the middle of the afternoon and your kids come running in from playing outside or from swimming saying their hungry. Right? Right. Here are some quick and easy snacks you can whip up or just have ready for them. It's great to give them these instead of other options that are a little less healthy and come in packages :)

First up, the simple and common celery and peanut butter (or almond butter). Slice it up and slather on some PB and you're good to go. Know you don't have to totally fill the celery...PB has enough flavor that if you just line it, the kids will still love it. And go for the nature stuff, please! You can also add some raisins on top to make ants on a log, if you wish.

Next up, try these banana treats. Slice up a banana and put a dollop of PB on top, then a dollop of melted chocolate on top. Pop them in the freezer for about 30 minutes (or until the kids come inside) and they have have a cold, yummy treat!

Last up, here is a simple whole wheat quesadilla you can make. This one is filled with chicken and cheese, with a little cheese on top. You can make it even better by filling it with some veggies (think chopped sweet peppers, onions, tomato) and cheese, or just have plain cheese and dip it in salsa. You can slice it up like a pizza and share with everyone!

So there ya have it. Try some new snacks that the kids will like, you will like, and are a bit more healthy than the normal go-tos on those hot summer afternoons.

Have a great week!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Friday's Letters

Dear Pandora, you make work a bit more exciting when I never know what song is coming up next. But you also make it hard to not sing along and get up and dance in my office sometimes. Dear Weather, you've gone from 90 to 60 and then back to 90. Seriously? Dear Friend, you texted me yesterday and said, "Sorry I'm slow responding, I've been on a plane to the Caribbean." Next time, just lie so I don't get so jealous. Dear Daily Inspirations, you come in short texts from my brother from time to time, and you always make my day. Thanks for reminding me of goodness and strength. 

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Perfect Equation

great workout + healthy diet + consistency + accountability + motivation = healthy, fit body...right?

Maybe not.

You may have figured this out by now, but you can have all the right ingredients, but your psychological approach or behavior tendencies can throw everything out the window.

In this article, they make a goal to revamp how we look at dieting and becoming healthy. In fact, they give a new equation. Here's a recap of their tips, but be sure to read the whole article:

1. Determine Your Why
If you simply focus on your 'why' for getting into shape, that will be the first step to overcoming the overwhelming feeling of being judged or falling back into old, bad habits, says LIVESTRONG.COM fitness advisor Jim Smith, C.S.C.S., founder of The "why" could be anything: Maybe you want to lead a healthier life, spend more time with your kids, move better, feel better, have more energy, or to just have a better quality of life.
"As you discover your why, you must make sure there's a strong enough trigger to drop the hammer and launch the missile far enough to make an impact, says LIVESTRONG.COM advisor and nutritionist," Alan Aragon. In many cases, people 'think' they’re ready to make distinct, permanent changes in daily habits, but they soon find out that this desire to make changes lasts only a week or two, and the reason is that the motivating trigger was not strong enough, says Aragon.
Here's how to make it happen: Your why is all about you and not other people's judgment of you, says Smith.  "Someone once told me that they stopped worrying about what others thought of them when they realized people rarely thought of anyone but themselves," says Smith. That's not to say that you shouldn't care for others. It just means that sometimes you need to prioritize your own goals--especially when it comes to your health--in spite of what others think, because odds are they aren't thinking about what you're doing.
2. Establish Clarity
“I’m going to lose some weight,” “I’m going to start eating healthy,” “I’m going to give up junk food.”
All of these are fine goals, but they’re nebulous at best. They still leave too many questions and ambiguity that can cause you to fall off track. Lose how much weight? When do you want to lose it by? Define eating healthy? What constitutes junk food?
If you come at a lifestyle change without a clear, focused idea of the things you need to do, chances are you won’t do them. When you have too big of a picture and not enough specific action steps, it makes you feel like you're taking on too much, adds Ashley Borden, a fitness and life coach. "This is the first step that leads to defeat," says Borden.
The solution? "People should write down their goals in the form of a list, and then, write out sublists consisting of definitions of those goals, and the action steps needed to be successful," says Romaniello.

3. Take a Step Back
Once you have your focus, the next step is teaching yourself patience. "The biggest mistake I typically see is people diving into things head first and overreaching," says Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, M.D., founder of the Bariatric Medical Institute.
It's been said many times, but it can't be stated enough: "Healthy living is the world’s longest ultra-marathon," adds Freedhoff. "Sprint out of the gates and chances are you’re not going to be hitting any finish lines."

4. Focus on Progress, Not Perfection
Finally, always think "progress, not perfection." 
You have to think of the amount of time it took you to get out of shape and realize that it will take a comparable amount of time to get you back where you want to be. You don't have to be perfect or have the perfect program.  Instead, you need to focus on sustainable changes that you can replicate over time. This can be anything from consistently exercising three times per week to even logging what you eat--even if those meals still aren't health. Success is built in habits.
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