Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Tip of the Day--DRINKS

Stop drinking your calories already! Between 1995 and 2002 the number of calories Americans swigged each day more than doubled-and those from sugary quenchers like soda, fruit drinks, and alcohol quadrupled. That's a whole lot of Jamba Juice! Liquid calories can leave you wanting more...something that involves actual chewing.

(Limit this activity to special occasions only)

Monday, April 28, 2008

Tip of the Day--OUTSIDE

Get outside and do something different today. If you normally run on a treadmill, try it outside. It doesn't really matter what it is, just head out in the sunshine for your workout. Like to bike? Rollerblade? Hike? Walk? Jog? Play at the park with the kids? Swim? (Okay, it's still a little cold for swimming) Have a great day and enjoy some vitamin D and warmth on your skin.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

A little slip...

This weekend was not so great as the rest of the week. Do I care? Not too much. Will I re-commit Monday? You betcha! My goal that keeps me on track? Raging Waters season passes. Swimming suit in public? I better look great! Or at least feel that way. Anyway, I will keep you posted. Literally. Oh, and the picture is just some Hawaiian flowers that make me smile.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Back on track

While on vaca I slacked in the eating right department. So since we've been back I have jumped right back on the wagon. Since Sunday I have stuck to my daily caloric budget, had plenty of water, enough protein, and not too much fat (30%). I am proud to say that I weigh the same as before I left. I am also working out and adding weight and/or reps to my strength days. I injured my foot in Hawaii and cannot run but I can do weights and the elliptical. My butt is sore today and I LOVE it!!

This post is not only a pat on my back from myself but it is a reminder that I feel great and want to keep this up. I know I will be tempted by things this weekend but I really want to stay on track for now. Besides, summer is around the corner and I would love to hang out in short shorts and my swimming suit all season.

For those reading this I encourage you to jump back on the wagon if you have fallen, stay on the wagon if you are still there, or start pulling the wagon if you need a plateau breaker. If I can do it, so can you. Set yourself up for SUCCESS. Don't plan to fail. You and I both are in this together.

Tip of the Day--BAGELS

My tip today is really just a comment. I wanted to tell you about these amazing bagels I love. Western Bagel Alternative in Sweet Wheat and Cinnamon Spice. YUM! Check out the nutritionals on these babies:

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 1 Bagel (2 oz) 57g
Servings Per Container: 5
Amount Per Serving

Calories 110
Calories from Fat 0
Total Fat 0g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 210mg
Total Carbohydrates 25g
Dietary Fiber 7g
Sugars <1g>
Plus they taste amazing! I like mine with either PB&J or Weight Watchers low fat cream cheese spread.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Tip of the Day--ERECTOR SPINAE

Typically the most overlooked body part while training is the erector spinae, or in layman's terms, the lower back muscles that run the length of the spine. This is an important part of the core that needs just as much work as the abdominal's and obliques.

The best way to train this area? Lie face down on an exercise ball with it positioned right under your belly. Feet are wide and pressing into the floor for stability. Hands behind your head with elbows pointing out. Lift and lower your upper body focusing on using the lower back muscles that run the length of your spine. This is a slow and controlled movement with a pause at the top. Aim for 15-30 reps. When this gets too easy you can add weight by holding it in your hands at your chest.

There is also a apparatus at most gyms that is designed for this. Look for a machine that you climb into and hang upside down from the waist down. The movement is the same, hands behind your head, feet anchored to the pads, lifting upper body up and down.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Tip of the Day--PROTEIN

Are you looking to lose weight? Are you exercising regularly? Are you getting enough protein in your diet? Recommendations suggest getting 0.75-1.0 grams of the muscle building macro nutrient for every pound you weigh. I weigh 132 and strive to get 80-100 grams of protein daily. This one is hard for me. I'd much rather snack on apples, cereal, or bread than tuna, eggs, or chicken. But if you get at least 15% of your total calories from protein you are doing okay. Here is what an ideal meal plan looks like for me. And remember, what works for me may not work for you.

1/2 cup egg substitute
1 whole egg
1 slice Granny's Delight Wheat & Fiber bread
1/2 cup blueberries

Post Workout Snack:
1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
1 cup 100% orange juice
1/2 banana

1 Western Bagel Preservative Free light wheat bagel
2 Tablespoon Skippy Natural crunchy peanut butter
1 Tablespoon Smuckers Sugar Free raspberry jelly

Afternoon Snack:
2 cups romaine lettuce
1 plum tomato
1 pouch tuna
1 Tablespoon Kraft light ranch salad dressing

1 grilled chicken breast
1.5 cups steamed broccoli tossed with olive oil and sliced almonds
2/3 cup cooked brown rice

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Did you know that your brain tells your muscles that they are failing when they really have some juice left? Have you ever ran or biked or swam in a race and just when you felt like you where giving it your all, you see the finish line and have a burst of energy? This is a prime example that your brain has the upper hand over what your muscles can actually accomplish.

Why? Well I could get lengthy but instead I will give the shortened version. Your brain is protecting you (and you muscles) by not letting them work at full capacity. In the example with the finish line, your head knows that the end is near so it will let your muscles (heart included) expend all energy that is left.

What does this mean for you? You have to push your muscles past what your brain wants. You can take it. Your body may be screamin' and shakin' but you can eke out those last few reps, laps, or meters. Visualize yourself finishing with strength. It's not easy, but hey! who said anything worth it is easy?

Monday, April 21, 2008

Tip of the Day--I'M BACK

I'm back and ready to roll again. I missed the blogging world, but not too much. Here is a rundown of active activities that kept us busy this past week in Hawaii.

  • Jogging on the boardwalk

  • Running on the beach

  • Boogie boarding

  • Body surfing

  • Swimming in the ocean

  • Swimming in the pool

  • Snorkeling (ever done this while holding up a 5 year old? Not easy!)

  • Hiking

Now here are some not so active activities that kept us busy.

  • Eating chocolate covered macadamia nuts

  • Sunbathing

  • Eating fish and chips

  • Sitting on a plane for 7 hours

  • Eating cheeseburgers in paradise

  • Sitting in a car while touring the island

  • Drinking frozen concoctions

  • Sunbathing some more

  • Eating snacks

So my tip for this day? It's for me to get back on track and start eating healthier, exercising more, and staying out of the sun. It was SOO worth it though!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Tip of the Day--HUNGRY

Eat only when you are hungry. Not starving, not satisfied, not full, but only when hungry. Easier said than done? Yup! Do I struggle with this daily? Yup! Have a great weekend...there will be no 'Tip of the Day' posts for a week or so. Keep up the exercise, healthy eating, and get plenty of sleep. Oh, and take two of these and call me in the morning.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Tip of the Day--RUN

Don't think you're a runner? Convinced that people are either born runners or born fast walkers? You are wrong. You CAN be a runner, but it will take some practice and hard work. Start out slow. Run only as long as you can the first time even if it is for 5 minutes. Do that three times that week. The next week add two minutes to your time and repeat for 2 more days. Keep doing this and in a couple months or so you will be able to call yourself a runner.

How do I know this stuff? Well, I thought I was destined to be a fast walker for life. I was doing 60 minutes a day 4 times per week and getting B-O-R-E-D. I knew running was where it was at to get serious fit. So I hopped on my treadmill on a Monday and pushed myself to run for as long as I could. I made it 20 minutes! I was stoked. I ran 20 minutes again on Wednesday and Friday and set a goal of 22 minutes for the next Monday. I took days off in between to give my aching calves and lungs a break. It took me 5 whole tough months but I reached my goals of running for an hour without stopping and to call myself a "runner".

I didn't always reach my goal time for that week but I tried. Sometimes you will have an off day and feel like you can only run for 5 minutes. Do what you can and resolve to do better the next running day. I felt proud because I worked hard and reached a goal. And running does some serious mood boosting. I felt a serotonin high every time I reached my goal time.

Tough? Sure. Worth it? Absolutely! Do I believe in you? Of course I do!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Tip of the Day--KNEES

You stepped wrong and wrenched your knee (ouch!), taking glucosamine can help fix that injury faster, Research in Sports Medicine shows. Injured athletes who took 1,500 milligrams of the cartilage-mending supplement a day for 28 days could flex and extend their knee 10 percent farther than those who didn't pop the pills. Not only for knees but all injuries at a joint (ankle, wrist, elbow, shoulder, etc.)

Monday, April 7, 2008

Tip of the Day--WAGON

Falling off the band (or diet or exercise) wagon could be detrimental. But it doesn't have to be. One bad day or weekend or week is not the end of the road for you. I can tell you this because I had another semi-binge weekend this weekend and I am not going to let is ruin my life. Monday is the day to pick right up where I left off. I will not give up on myself and I will not let you give up on yourself. Stick to the plan. If it goes awry, dig in and get over it. We deserve to treat ourselves with respect and love.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Tip of the Day--MISTAKES

Here are the top ten mistakes I think people make when exercising and dieting:

  1. Lifting weights that are too light
  2. Not keeping an accurate food journal or keeping one at all
  3. Poor form when running, weight lifting, or working the abdominal area
  4. Thinking that the little bites and sips and licks don't have any calories
  5. Choosing cardio over weights when short on time
  6. Not getting enough protein
  7. Overlooking important muscle groups when exercising (back, glutes, hamstrings, shoulders)
  8. Eating the wrong kinds of fat (saturated, trans fat)
  9. Not pushing yourself to your limit...the body is quite capable of handling exercise stress
  10. Keeping "trigger" or empty calorie foods in the house

This is my opinion and may or may not pertain to you. Any questions about the list? Leave a comment. I LOVE getting comments!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Tip of the Day--CLEAN

It has been proven that washing your hands four times a day during school (for kids) = up to 51% fewer sick days. For us adults that means more washing = less missed workouts. Keep clean, stay lean!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Tip of the Day--KNOWLEDGE

Today's tip is not fitness or health related but it is related to your well being. Today's tip is to take each of your children (or a relatives child) and tell them you love them. Talk about strangers, and even people they know. The seven year old that was kidnapped and murdered knew the person who did it. I told my kids that they can NEVER get a ride or go into someones house unless I have specifically told them that it is okay even if it is their best friend. Also teach them that they can fight, bite, punch, scratch, kick, scream, and run from anyone that uses any sort of force on them. This even means teachers, neighbors, or friends parents. This is a mean cruel world, but we can protect our children with knowledge.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Tip of the Day--ALL IN ONE MOVE

If you are short on time...or short on patience...try this all in one move to work every muscle in your body.

How to Do It
1. Stand holding a pair of dumbbells at your shoulders.
2. Take a big step forward with your right leg and bend at the knees until that leg is parallel to the floor and your rear knee is just off the floor.
3. Press the left-hand weight overhead, lower it, and then push back to the starting position.
4. Step out with your other leg and complete the press with your opposite arm.
That's 1 rep. Do a total of 8 reps. Repeat 2-3 times.
On those days when it's either no workout or a mini workout. Try this exercise with a set of abs and a set of modified pull ups for a mini circuit. Do all three exercises right in a row and repeat 3 times. If you can, add a couple of minutes of jump rope after each mini circuit.