Wednesday, December 28, 2011

How To: Lacing Your Shoes

How you lace your running and exercise shoes, although it may not seems so, is quite important. While working out, especially while running, your feet swell. It is a natural thing that comes from putting extra pressure and force over a prolonged period of time on your feet. Your feet are strong enough to take that force IF they have room to swell and move. That is why one important part of buying shoes for running/working out is to buy a 1/2 –1 size larger than normal, depending on the shoe brand.

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When lacing these shoes of yours, there is a special technique that I learned when I got my first fitted pair. (Which I definitely recommend going to a store where they can watch you run when you buy your first pair.)

The key is to leave the toe box (widest part of your shoe) able to expand with your foot. Thread laces through the first set of eyelets and then straight up each side without criss-crossing at all. Continue this way for two or three holes. Once you've passed the forefoot, begin criss-crossing and finish lacing as normal.See how the laces don’t cross til the middle of the shoe?

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Then at the end, make a loop with the lace and pull through to tighten. You can do sort of a shimmy with the laces to tighten before tying. This prevents too tight of tying.

I attempted to make a video out of this…but lets just say the pictures worked out better.




imageCopy of DSC02621

By the way…there is also a correct and incorrect way to TIE your shoe. Who knew? Not me, until I saw this video on the other day.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Pyramid Workout

Who's ready to burn some calories?! I think we all should be after a nice, and probably indulgent, holiday weekend.

Here's a quick but tough workout to try out:

1 push-up
1 push-up, 2 body weight squats
1 push-up, 2 body weight squats, 3 chair dips
1 push-up, 2 body weight squats, 3 chair dips, 4 min incline walk
1 push-up, 2 body weight squats, 3 chair dips, 4 min incline walk, 5 min jog
1 push-up, 2 body weight squats, 3 chair dips, 4 min incline walk, 5 min jog
1 push-up, 2 body weight squats, 3 chair dips, 4 min incline walk
1 push-up, 2 body weight squats, 3 chair dips
1 push-up, 2 body weight squats
1 push-up




Totals: 26 minutes of cardio
10 push-ups
16 squats
18 chair dips

To modify if you aren't near a treadmill for the walk and jog here are some replacements:
stair stepping or climbing, jumping rope, jumping jacks, plank jacks, high knee jumps, long jumps

You can repeat it multiple times to increase the difficulty, or add weights to the squats, increase the incline, or increase the jog to a run.

Let me know if you try it!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas - Love, The Nymans

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Liquid Diet: Part 2

I hope you enjoyed the fresh orange juice and Orange-Banana smoothie. Let me know if you tried them!

First up today on our liquid diet is some cran-orange juice. My mom got a bag of cranberries from her co-op and we already had a big box of oranges. So what better way to use them!


We used about 10-11 oranges to one bag of cranberries. It was a bit tart, but definitely a hit among the family at Sunday dinner.


I love the rich redish pink color.

Next stop: pumpkin graham smoothie

Yes, it is as good as it sounds. My mom even said she felt like she was eating a dessert – so I’d recommend making it some time when you are looking for a sweet treat that isn’t so bad for you! After all, pumpkin has a host of health benefits.

Start out with 3/4 cup of pumpkin puree and a sliced banana to pop in the freezer for about an hour or two.


Once frozen, get the other ingredients you will need: milk, 2 graham crackers, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice.


In a blender combine the 3/4 c. pumpkin, one banana, and a cup of milk. Blend until smooth. Then add 1 tsp. vanilla, 1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon, and one crushed graham cracker.

Blend until smooth. Pour into a small cup (you only need about a half a cup serving, it is plenty sweet) and top with some crushed graham cracker and a sprinkle of cinnamon.


There ya go, folks! Pumpkin pie in a cup! And a whole lot healthier! (about 100 calories per cup)


Hope you have a wonderful Christmas holiday!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Liquid Diet: Part 1

Am I on one? Nope. (even though I just had jaw bone surgery #2 in a week yesterday…)

Do I recommend them? No way.

But are these drinks & smoothies still delicious? Yep!

Between my juicer and my mom’s new Nija blender, we have been hard at work this week. Or I guess the machines have been! It all started when my sister brought over a bag full of oranges from her co-op. She wanted some fresh OJ to take home to her husband.


Out of 14 oranges we filled this mason jar and were also able to fill a few cups for ourselves to try out. Look at that color! Hello orange julius! But with straight up oranges.


I heard my brother in law chugged the whole thing when my sister got home. And was then on a vitamin-C high the rest of the night. Yes, it can happen. It sure tasted good!

Next up was another variety of an Orange Julius. Nothing is better than oranges at Christmas time, right?

For this, all you need is some milk, 2 or 3 oranges, half a banana, and some ice cubes.


Pop those ingredients in your blender, and blend until smooth. So easy. So delicious.


(please ignore my brother’s foot so delicately placed by the blender on the counter…)



He was a fan!

More juice and smoothies comin’ at ya on Friday!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Family in Need

I don’t usually post on Tuesdays…but this is definitely worth it.

A good friend of mine’s cousin is going through a hard time with his two daughters having some serious health problems.

This is the season of giving – and any little bit could help…whether it be prayers or money.

(KUTV) UTAH COUNTY - Tyler and Lisy Fish of Utah County knew there was something wrong with their daughter Natalie's health when she was just a toddler.  She was always sick.
"A cold or simple cough has brought her to her death bed on many occasions," said Tyler.  
After their daughter Alice was born, they saw the same health problems in her. 
For years, the family took great care to keep the girls from any germs - meaning no playgrounds, no recess or other normal childhood activities.
Natalie is now 8, Alice is 2.  Just three months ago the Fish's learned their daughters' condition has a name:  Leaky Severe Combined Immunodeficiency.  
A bone marrow transplant is the potential cure. 
Doctors at Primary Children's Medical Center are preparing Natalie for chemotherapy to basically remove her deficient immune system and make way for healthy marrow from a donor - in Natalie's case, the donor is her own little brother Blair who is four years old. 
"He says his blood has Natalie's medicine," said Lisy who is proud of her little boy, yet nervous for him because giving the marrow will be hard on his body. Alice's donor is a person from another state. Her transplant is expected to happen in January.
For the Fish's, having three children in the hospital is going to be tough. But the parents say the decision to put their children through the procedures was an easy one - since new bone marrow is a potential cure.  "I want them to be normal," said Lisy.
Tyler Fish quit his job recently to deal with all the trials their children face.
The Fish's have 5 children and are now in a sort of quarantine situation - trying to keep germs away to ensure good health for everyone before the surgeries and after.
Friends have opened donation funds at two banks to help the family.
Utah Community Credit Union - Account Name:  2 Fish Marrow Wish Fund
Wells Fargo Bank - Account Name:  Fish Children Donation Fund

You can also donate by clicking on the following link, PayPal, and use as the “To” email address.

You can see additional videos from the news here and here, and other articles here and here.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Need to Know

In the latest Tennis magazine that comes to our house, there was an interesting article entitled “The 20 Things You Need to Know About Nutrition”. Some of them you’ve heard before, others are a bit new. I won’t share all 20, but just the ones I found to be most interesting.

1 – your diet impacts your brain function: A study done at the University of Washington found that the overconsumptions of classic western diet can lead to brain changes that create a domino effect that may impact weight regulation. Overconsumption led to inflammation in the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that regulates body weight. “Ditch the processed stuff loaded with refined carbs, added sugar and salt, fried stuff and fatty animal products, and load up on fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean proteins and plant based fats.”


2 – the right breakfast fights hunger all day: A recent study published in the journal Obesity found that eating breakfast, especially with adequate protein, can control appetite all day long. If you find yourself overeating at night or snacking too much in the afternoon, try adding a bit more protein to your morning.

3- food can fight pain: Inflammation in joints can cause pain, reduced flexibility, and a host of other problems. But anti-inflammatory foods like ginger can fix that. In one study of 250 osteoarthritis patients, those who received ginger extract twice a day experienced less pain daily. Ginger has been shown to share the same properties as ibuprofen. Other anti-inflammatory foods are tart cherries, berries, and extra virgin olive oil.


4 – don’t run on empty: Since it is impossible to burn pure body fat, the idea that exercising on an empty stomach burns more fat is false. During aerobic exercise you burn a combination of carbs and fat. When carbs aren’t available, your body has to break down it’s own muscle mass and convert it to carb. Not a good idea. So even if you don’t feel like eating a full meal, try to grab a snack or a smoothie to prevent your body from tapping into your lean tissue.

5 – sleep matters a lot: Yes, sleep has to do with nutrition. Healing and repair from the wear and tear of exercise occurs during sleep, and getting too little sleep has been shown to rev up hunger hormones, increase inflammation, up the risk of obesity, depression, type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and negatively impact productivity and performance. Goodness…I’d get some sleep if I were you.


6 – Omega-3s are beyond essential: Omega-3 fatty acids have been linked to tons of benefits from heart disease to Alzheimer’s and staving off type 2 diabetes. But a recent study in the Journal of Physiology found that they also influence protein metabolism and improve muscle development.

7 – don’t get fooled by the afterburn myth: While it’s true that you do torch more calories in the hours after a workout than normal, it is probably far less than you think. Even as few as 50 calories. If you are trying to lose some weight, estimate the number of calories burned and eat only 50% of those.

8 – organic food is worth the extra money – Organic food is better for the environment, no doubt. But it is also better for your physique. Organic foods contain more antioxidants, which protect your cells from aging, inflammation and disease, and may also make you leaner. A study done at the University of Florida found that those who consumed more antioxidants had lower body mass indices, smaller waistlines, and lower body fat percentages. Research has also shown that pesticide residues from conventionally grown foods may be a factor in rising obesity rates.


9 – spices are a secret weapon: A Penn State study found that adding such herbs and spices as oregano, cinnamon, turmeric, black pepper, cloves and garlic powder to meals significantly upped post-meal blood levels of antioxidants, lowered insulin levels, and reduced unhealthy blood fats. Natural seasonings can also boost satiety and rev up metabolism.

10 – a little vitamin C makes a big difference: Researchers at Arizona State discovered that vitamin C does more than just fend off the sniffles. It can build stamina and enhance your body’s ability to burn fat for fuel both at rest and during exercise. It is essential for the production of carnitine, a nutrient that helps turn fat into a useable fuel

Hope these nifty nutrition facts find you enjoying your holiday season. Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay happy!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Gift Idea: Christmas Granola

The holiday season is pretty much known for plates of cookies, hot cocoa drinking, candy cane red lips from licking those babies and mounds of chocolate. But instead of adding to that when giving gifts to some of your close neighbors and friends, why not try a bit healthier, but still delicious treat?

Christmas Granola! As my sister said after she tried it, “that looks festive and tastes festive!” That’s what I was going for :)

I loosely based it off this recipe from my neighbors blog. Then added a few things to make it my own!


Christmas Granola

3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup shelled pistachios
1/4 cup plain sunflower seeds
1/4 cup chia seeds 
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1 T. brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup honey
2 Tablespoons coconut oil 
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

In one bowl, mix together the oats, pistachios (I chopped mine up into smaller pieces), sunflower seeds, chia seeds, nutmeg, salt, and brown sugar.




Then add in the maple syrup, coconut oil (liquid) and honey to combine it all together.

Spread out onto a lined baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes, stir, then another 25 minutes. Once it comes out, add the cranberries and let it sit for a few minutes to get super crunchy.

Enjoy! It would taste great as a snack topped on some greek yogurt, over some oatmeal, or just by the spoonful!


By the way…the “Christmas” part of the granola is the green pistachios and red cranberries. In case you were confused…

~What are some of your “healthy" gift ideas?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Healthy Traditions

Holidays are definitely a time for traditions. Some last years and years, passed on from generations. Others don’t last as long. But it always fun to look forward to traditions and those memories that come along with them.

Although most traditions are good for the soul, not all traditions are good for the body. Such as that double chocolate cheesecake your grandma makes each year for Christmas Eve, or the three types of cheese balls that sit out for the appetizer to Christmas dinner, or maybe the endless dessert parties you go to throughout the holiday season.

These traditions don’t need to be completely stopped…maybe just moderated. But in addition to those, it is a great idea to add some healthy traditions. What are healthy traditions, you ask? Well, here are some ideas:

- Get your groove on with Dance Dance Revolution, Dance Central, Wii Fit or other video games…or just have a dance party!

- Enjoy a half-day of skiing. Set a date and keep it every year.


- Go to a rec center and play a family game of basketball, racquetball, tennis or try an aerobics class. If you don't have a membership, pay for a guest passes! These activities are fun, bonding and healthy! They are worth the few bucks.


- Go for a winter walk or have an annual sledding party (see who can climb the hill the fastest - and pick a big hill!)

- Be adventurous - as a family! Try something new that none of you have ever done before: snowshoeing, ice-skating, a new workout DVD, an old workout DVD from the 70's… whatever, just think fun!


- host a fitness competition (my family did our first annual “family olympics” this summer…it was so fun!)

- try a new healthy recipe to add to your Christmas dinner

- instead of going out to eat and then watching a movie, spend the afternoon volunteering at a shelter and then go out to eat\


- sign up for a race that supports a local charity to give Christmas to those in need

There are so many ways to enjoy the holiday season while not letting those less healthy traditions put a damper on your health. Enjoy the season with family and friends, and keep your body enjoying the season as well!

~What are some of your healthy traditions?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Stay Healthy All Winter

Did you know there are 200 viruses that can cause the common cold? No wonder it's so common. On average, American’s come down with three colds a year. No one likes to come down with a cold or the flu ever, but especially during the holidays when you’d rather be spending time celebrating and with family. So here are some tips from the latest Family Circle on how to stay healthy all winter long.

SWEAT IT OUT: People who exercise for at least 20 minutes five days a week suffer from half as many colds as those who get less. Researchers believe that exercise helps raise the number of immune cells in the body

HANDS OFF: Be conscious of how often you touch your face and try to stop doing it. Flu germs enter the body through the nose, mouth and eyes, so even a three-second eye rub could lead to a week of sniffling and coughing.

SWEETEND DOWN: A diet low in refined sugar strengthens the immune system and can potentially protect the body against cold and flu. Some doctors have observed that people who reduce sugar consumption have fewer infections and are generally healthier overall.

REST UP: Skimp on slumber and you’re three times more likely to catch a cold. Aim for at least seven hours a night.

CLEAN SWEEP: Antiseptic wipes are you friend. Clean seats, armrests or anything else when traveling by plane, train or bus.

**The single most important preventive measure you can take is to wash your hands, and often. Use only lukewarm water, though, because too hot of water causes dry skin that could crack and leave you susceptible to other infections. 


And here are some handy cold and flu fighters that you can find in your kitchen!


Carrots: A diet rich in beta carotene (also found in bell peppers, kale, broccoli, sweet potatoes and squash) protects the lining of the nose, which traps germs before they can infect you.


Green Tea: Going green keeps you healthy. In a study at the University of Florida, people who consumed two cups of green tea daily for three months had 32% fewer colds than those who didn’t.


Nonfat Greek Yogurt: This has three times more protein (which helps increase the number of immune cells in your body) than regular yogurt. It’s also full of immune-boosting live and active cultures.


Salmon: Not only is salmon packed with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, one serving also contains up to 1,000 IU of vitamin D; a University of Colorado, study found that upping your intake of vitamin D staves off colds.


Garlic: A compound called allicin fights against bacterial, viral and fungal infections. Plus, in a recent study, people who ate garlic regularly had 36% fewer colds over the course of a year than those who didn’t.

Here’s to a healthy holiday season!

Friday, December 9, 2011

My Confession: Failed Attempts

I will just come out and say it: a lot of things I try to make come out gross and end up in the trash. Not always the whole batch of whatever it is, since my family is kind enough to try. But when 8 of the 12 muffins I made a week ago still sit in the bag on the counter, I know it is time to dump them.

As sad as that story is, it doesn’t really bother me. You see, I can’t eat pretty much anything I make because of my absurd amount of food allergies. So I see something online, adjust it a bit if I’d like, and then get my groove on in the kitchen.


My family will always humor me and try it, but the majority of the time it is a fail. However, this recipe I share with you today actually did get eaten. All of them (there were only 5…) Some liked them more than others. Like my brother-in-law who actually asked for the recipe (thanks, Tim). But now it is your turn to judge.

They are meant to be a dessert (aka, not eaten like a snack every day) and are not as sweet as the real thing. However, as Tim said, it is a great way to get your chocolate fix without all the sugar and sweetness. And you know my thing: homemade is better than processed.

So, here is my take on the infamous

Dark Chocolate Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup


Yield: 5 PB Cups

3 Tbsp. coconut oil or butter
6 Tbsp. natural cocoa
1 Tbsp. honey (or maple syrup or other sweetener)
1/4 t. vanilla
5 tsp. natural peanut butter

On the stove heat and melt the coconut oil or butter and the honey until a liquid. Take off the heat and add the natural cocoa and vanilla. If it is too thick, add a splash of almond milk until you reach a smoother consistency.

Then, in muffin liners cover the base with a smear of chocolate. Add 1 tsp. of peanut butter in the middle, then cover the top until you cannot see any peanut butter. I was able to make 5 of them. Pop them in the freezer to just get firm, maybe 10 minutes, then you can pull them out and store in the fridge until ready to be eaten.


Just so you know, I only took pictures of the pretty ones. The others looked not as smooth and nice. But I’m sure they taste just the same, so don’t worry about it!

Nutrition Facts:

  Regular Reese’s My Reese’s
Calories 110 130
Total Fat 14 g 10 g
Sugar 19 g 4 g
Protein 4 g 3 g
Carb 23 g 8 g
Fiber 2 g 2 g
Sodium 130 mg 80 mg
Regular Reese’s ingredients: Milk Chocolate (Milk Chocolate contains Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Chocolate, Nonfat Milk, Milk Fat, Lactose, and Soya Lecithin and PGPR (as Emulsifiers), Peanuts, Sugar, Dextrose, Salt, and TBHQ and Citric Acid

My ingredients: cocoa, coconut oil, honey, vanilla and natural peanut butter

Try em out? Don’t tell me if they end up in the trash…

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011



Running hills can be super intimidating. Especially if it is a sand hill (who does that?) As intimidating as it is though, it is incredibly beneficial to your endurance and cardiovascular health.

A 1977 article in the European Journal of Applied Physiology concluded that runners who followed an intense six-week program of hard uphill running enjoyed "significant improvements in training distances, anaerobic capacity, and strength." A chapter in the International Olympic Committee's 1992 book Endurance and Sport reported a study of runners who did 12 weeks of regular training, plus "hill training with 'bounce running.'" After the 12 weeks, the subjects' running economy (or how efficiently they ran) increased by an average of three percent.

There are varying degrees of hills…short, long, steep, gradual…try them all out. Each have their own benefits and difficulty levels. Here is more info on hill training.


that’s a very dirty hill run.

So I thought I’d leave you will a recent hill training run I did on the treadmill. Because I live near some hilly neighborhoods, I usually like to run outside doing my hill workouts. It makes them more exciting. However, this 25 degree weather is not working for me.


5 minute


1% incline

hill one:

1 minute


4% incline


1 minute


1% incline

hill two:

2 minute


4% incline


2 minute


1% incline

hill three:

3 minute


3-5% incline


3 minute


1% incline

hill four:

4 minute


3-5% incline


4 minute


1% incline

hill five:

5 minute


4% incline


5 minute


1% incline

cool down

5 minute

recovery jog/walk

1% incline

To make it harder you can increase incline or speed during the runs. To make it easier you can walk the recovery jogs, decrease speed, make it a total walking workout or shorten the workout. Make it your own! I really liked it. Let me know if you try it!

**Hill running isn’t recommended for beginners, just because of the stress it puts on muscles too soon. HOWEVER, I would recommend adding some walking at in incline or walking hills during or after your runs. Your legs will thank you :)

~Do you run hills as a part of your workout regimen?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Hustle and Bustle of the Blog World

Here’s the recent hustle and bustle in the blog world…at least the stuff I thought you might like to feast your eyes on. Happy Monday!

I really want to be able to say I’ve made homemade blueberry bagels. Who doesn’t?


If that picture doesn’t make you want to eat them, then check out the benefits of blueberries. That’ll getcha!

Gift idea? Make a homemade snow globe! This reminds me of elementary school. Yet as a college girl, I still think it looks pretty dang fun.


Sick of the same old breakfast? Try a breakfast cookie! Yes, you read that correctly.


The word is out: the act of giving improves health. Oprah even said it. Who knew?! (I think we all did…but it is still a good reminder)

~What’s your latest and greatest find in the blog world?

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