Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday's Letters

Dear School, I think professors find it funny to schedule tests and papers all due at once. At least I enjoy my classes. And it sure is a bonus when when your class gets apples instead of candy! Dear Morning Runs, I now run in running capris and long sleeve shirts. It seems summer slipped by so fast! But I'm not complaining...until there is snow on the ground. Dear Apples, You are so fresh and big and juicy this time of year. I can't get enough! Dear Deer, After you scared me to death by running in the middle of the road while I was on my run, you just stood and starred as I took your picture. Sorry for disrupting the peace...but I just had to!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

October Unprocessed 2012

Ready for October?! It's coming at you fast. I love fall and the changing colors and cool temperatures. However sometimes these fall months can come to be a bit more indulgent as the holidays sneak up on us. So let's start the holiday season right with

Started by Eating Rules in 2009, he set out to go a month without eating processed foods. From there, hundreds of fellow bloggers and readers and hopped on the unprocessed bandwagon and are making an effort to change their October. Will you?

Be sure to check out his post on what goes in to this month and even sign up!

What is processed? Here is his "kitchen definition":
Obviously there’s a wide range of implications in that word, and we will probably each define it slightly differently for ourselves. My definition is this:
Unprocessed food is any food that could be made by a person with reasonable skill in a home kitchen with whole-food ingredients.
I call it “The Kitchen Test.” If you pick up something with a label (if it doesn’t have a label, it’s probably unprocessed), and find an ingredient you’d never use in your kitchen and couldn’t possibly make yourself from the whole form, it’s processed.
It doesn’t mean you actually have to make it yourself, it just means that for it to be considered “unprocessed” that you could, in theory, do so.

I love this. I love that he is encouraging people to make a change - and if you can only commit to a week, that's great too! But just imagine what a month could do for you and your family's health! Here is to a healthy and unprocessed October!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Pancake Muffins

Here is a fun recipe to try when you want that maple taste from pancakes but you need to eat on the run - try a maple pancake muffin! (original recipe found here)

Maple Pancake Muffins
1/2 cup wheat flour
1/2 cup white flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 T. sugar
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 egg
2 T. maple syrup
2 T. butter
chocolate chips

Mix together the dry ingredients in one bowl (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar). In a separate bowl whip together the milk, eggs, butter and maple syrup. Gently combine and spoon into a sprayed mini muffin tin. Top with a few chocolate chips and bake at 350 degrees for 8-9 minutes. Let cool and enjoy your pancake in muffin form!
(about 60 calories per muffin)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday's Letters

Dear Friday, You came fast this week. And the weekend will probably go even faster with work, homework, church and anything else that comes up. September is flying by! Dear McDonalds, So you've added calories to your menu. Do you think it will help people make better choices? I'm not so sure - but I guess it's a step in the right direction? Dear Thought File, For one of my classes we have been asked to keep track of our thoughts for a few days. That's pretty intense since thinking is going on constantly - but it has also reminded me of the power of our minds. What we think often turns into who we are and how we act. Dear Quinoa, Thanks for being an easy gluten free dish to take for dinner this week! Add some back beans, tomatoes and avocado and you got something that looks gourmet but only took a few minutes to put together.

Have a safe and fun weekend!


 IMG_9956 (640x427)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sleep, Stress & Food

Do you think those three things have anything in common? Because they sure do! Here are two recent studies that are worth noting. Happy Wednesday!

A Good Night's Sleep Improves Food Choices
To eat right tomorrow, get a good night's sleep tonight. Two studies presented at the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies report that sleep-deprived subjects show brain changes that affect their decision-making and predispose them to poor dietary choices. Both were crossover studies, in which 23 and 25 healthy subjects were tested after being shortened on sleep and after sleeping normally; both used functional magnetic resonance imaging to study brain activity. The first study compared sleeping normally with staying up all night, with snacks at 2:30 am and breakfast at 8:30 am. Participants were then quizzed about food desires and given fMRI scans. When subjects were well-rested, the scans showed greater frontal-lobe activity in areas indicative of decision making. The second study compared six days of sleep deprivation with normal sleep. When sleep deprived, subjects responded to fatty, sugary foods with brain activity much like that in studies of the obese.
Source:Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter, September 2012

Curbing Late Night Hunger Through Relaxation
Regularly practicing relaxation may be an important component of treatment for the condition known as Nighttime Eating Syndrome (NES). NES is characterized by a lack of appetite in the morning, consumption of 50% or more of daily food intake after 6:00 pm, and difficulty falling and/or staying asleep. NEW has been associated with stress and with poor results at attempts to lose weight. Researchers randomly assigned subjects to either a relaxation group (each practicing 20 minutes of progressive relaxation each day) or a control group (each quietly sat for the same amount of time each day). After practicing these exercises daily for a week, the subjects who practiced the relaxation exercise exhibited lowered stress, anxiety, fatigue, anger, and depression. The results indicated that 20 minutes of the muscle relaxation exercise significantly reduced stress, anxiety, and salivary cortisol immediately after each session. Progressive relaxation also was associated with significantly higher morning and lower afternoon and evening ratings of hunger, and a trend toward both more breakfast and less nighttime eating. It follows that relaxation exercises may have a positive effect on preventing obesity.
Source: "Night Eating Syndrom: Effects of Brief Relaxation Training on Stress, Mood, Hunger, and Eating Patters," by F.A. Pawlow, P.M. O'Neil, and R.J. Malcom

Monday, September 17, 2012

Getting Personal

This week welcomed a new round of the Biggest Loser at the chapter of Visa that I work at. I help run the program by weighing in employees, checking blood pressure, measuring body fat and offering encouragement.

It's a job I love because of the changes I see in people and the interaction I get each week with people that are (initially) excited about getting healthy. What the first couple weeks also bring, though, is the start of lots of personal journeys.

As one lady walked in for the first weigh in this week she kept saying to her self "I can do this. I can do hard things. This is going to be the time I change." I smiled at her, recognizing that I was about to be a part of something that was a big deal to her and was something quite personal.

Another man walked in that had done a few of the other rounds of the program in the past and said, "This is the time Trisha! I'm not going to need to do this again." And he stepped on the scale.

What these people don't realize, though, is that by simply stepping on that scale they are making the change. They are choosing to become health conscious individuals that love their body enough to give it what it needs and wants.

One of the many questions I get asked by repeat participants is what they did wrong and what they can do different this time. Here are some of the biggest diet health change pitfalls I see:

1. You don't plan - This means planning meals so you don't skip them or just grab random things, and this also means planning time to exercise.
2. You aren't reaching your potential - Most people can workout hard or longer than they might be a bit uncomfortable (note: that doesn't say painful!), but you can push yourself harder than you do a few days a week. It can help to mix up your exercise routine, too!
3. You aren't aware - Eating mindlessly is a huge track what you eat and set some boundaries. This doesn't mean you have to have strict restrictions on foods you love, just be reasonable and be aware of how much you are eating and what that translates to in calories.
4. You aren't doing it for the right reason - It really comes down to why you want to lose the weight. For some people it doesn't matter much and once they choose to it works. For others, they need a internal motivation...the need to do it to feel better and be better, not just look better and fit into smaller jeans. If it is just because someone told you that you should lose weight or you figure it is a good idea, it probably won't be too successful.
5. You expect too much - You probably gained weight over time, and it takes time for it to come off. Don't expect change fast, because if it does happen fast it probably won't last. Be kind to your body as this process of changing will take time but is so worth it!

~What are some of your tips for making healthy changes?
~What makes the biggest difference in deciding to make any kind of change in your life?


Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday's Letters

Dear Baby Allison, Thanks for joining our family! You came as a surprise 3 weeks early, but we sure do love you. Dear Fall, I'm so excited to watch the leaves change and the weather get cooler. Bring on the season change! Dear Medicine Ball Pushups, Who knew putting your feet on a little ball could make a hard move harder! The burn felt so good. Dear Classes, It's fun to go to school when you learn about things you love and are important to you. Who knew a 5 class day could go by quickly?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Survive the Salad Bar

Melanie Douglass is a dietician and personal trainer I worked with this summer at KSL. She has great tips for everything from exercise to nutrition, and she is all about making small changes to bring great results! Here she is giving some tips on how to survive the salad bar. Yes, the salad bar. That place we all go to help us lose weight and stay healthy - however that isn't always the case!


Here are some tips to help you on your next visit:

· Keep it simple, stick with the lean greens. They are all about 10 calories a serving.
· Fill up at the beginning of the salad bar so you won't have enough room for the calorie packed ingredients at the end of the salad bar.
· Skip the cheese, try and only choose two ingredients out of the middle section of the salad bar.
· If you need protein go for the eggs or the cottage cheese.
· Opt for vinaigrette dressings instead of the calorie packed cream dressings. You will only add half the calories you would if you use ranch dressing.
· Put the dressing on the side. You'll eat less dressing if you use your fork to dip the veggies instead.
· Go for at least five servings of fruits and vegetables.

Monday, September 10, 2012

A Lesson from Popeye


Get this. 

A new Swedish study done on mice found that nitrates, like those found naturally in spinach, beets (yes, dad), chard and lettuce had a "powerful effect" on boosting muscle strength. One group of mice was given water enriched with nitrate for a week and their muscles, compared to the control group, were much stronger at the end of the week...particularly in their legs and feet. Better yet, they had higher concentrations of two proteins involved in the body's calcium balance - which is important in muscle contraction. These stronger mice were given an amount of nitrate that is equal to what a human would get from 7 to 10 ounces of fresh spinach. 

So what are you waiting for...go eat some spinach!



Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday's Letters

I interrupt the usual Friday's Letters you address a much more important occasion...

Happy Birthday, Sister!

I sure am grateful for your example, friendship and contagious happiness that you start each day with. You're a rockstar in the business world, when it comes to pushing yourself while running, and even in the kitchen making some yummy smelling new healthy recipe. Thanks for teaching me to laugh, listen, talk and grow. Hope this next year is better than ever!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Track Workout

The weather is starting to feel like fall, and I pretty much love it! It helps that with the cooler weather comes not having to leave for a longer run so early so it doesn't get so hot. A track is a great place to get a solid workout in, and a workout that you can mix up to make it your own. And that often means you won't get bored, which some people do when they are just out running. So head to your nearest track and try this out! (be sure to be smart about what your body can handle and don't do more than you are ready for - and always modify when necessary!)

400 meter - light jog
100 meter - high knees
100 meter - side shuffle
100 meter - high knees
100 meter - side shuffle

Set one...repeat 4 times
100 meter - sprint
100 meter - lunges
100 meter - light jog
100 meter - sprint

Set two...repeat 2 times
200 meter - sprint
15 push ups
100 meter - sprint
15 push ups
100 meter - sprint

Set three...repeat 2 times
100 meter - side shuffle
100 meter - sprint
100 meter - light jog
100 meter - sprint

Cool down with a light jog, then into a walk and some stretching. Nice work! 
Let me know if you try it!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Protein Power

I'm guessing you have all heard people say that it is important to have some protein when you eat a small snack or even when you eat a meal. Why is that? Because protein has staying power - it keeps you full longer - and it keeps your blood sugar levels in check. And protein is just a good thing to eat! The problem some people run into is that it is much easier to find a carb loaded snack than a protein packed snack. So here are some options for you snack-on-the-go people!

balls (2)

- cheese stick
- 10 to 15 almonds
- hard boiled egg
- a serving of greek yogurt
- 30 pistachios
- 2 Tbsp. peanut or almond butter with celery
- 1/4 cup hummus with carrots and celery
- 1/2 cup cottage cheese
- 2 slices of turkey with some sliced peppers
- 2/3 cup edamame in the shell
- Trio Bar
- protein bites (lots of recipes online: here and here and here)
- homemade granola bars


Find the snacks you like and try to keep some with you in your backpack or purse. That way when you do get hungry, you don't end up at the nearest gas station trying to find something that looks good. Instead, you have a healthy option that will keep you satisfied and help your mind stay alert!

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