Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Snack Smart: Dried Fruit

Need a yummy low cal snack on the go?
Try dried fruit. Its portable and much easier to stuff in a purse or backpack than squishing and bruising that real banana or apple.

A word to the wise though, watch the label.  A lot of dehydrated fruits are candied. All that sugar adds up to big calories that you don't need. The fruit is sweet enough on its own. Bananas and apricots are notorious for this.  Look at the ingredient list, if they add sugar, pass it by.

My favorite is the Kirkland brand freeze dried fruit. Just apples in a bag. 35 calories. The perfect snack in between class.  Great for lunchboxes for the kiddos too.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Fitness Tip: Breaking it up

Is your morning workout the only time you are active during the day? Do you feel like you are stuck in a rut? Trying breaking your workout in two. Do half in the morning and half in the evening.  Give your body two chances to rev your metabolic engine. You'll also get that nice flood of endorphins twice too. If nothing else, try adding a light walk in the evening. Great for stress relief and a great way to keep your body moving and burning.
walking dog by johnny_automatic - cartoon of a girl walking a dog from  http://www.usda.gov/cnpp/KidsPyra/

National Agricultural Library, Agricultural Research Service, U. S. Department of Agriculture

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Definition of Failure

Every makes mistakes. Every one eats too much some days. I had one of those a few days ago. I made the mistake of getting into a BBQ wing eating competition with my husband. The place we were lunching at had bottomless wings.

A side note to dieters. Heck, to all people. Stay well away from the words from hell. Bottomless, unlimited, all-you-can-eat, etc.

Anyway, I got wrapped up in this wing competition and forgot my husband has hollow legs or something that he can stuff with food. He soundly beat me. But not before I had 20 wings. At 100 calories a piece.  Ouch.

I regretted it for the rest of the day and well into the next. But while the belly ache served as a reminder to watch my portions, I can't beat myself up about it. Learn from the experience, don't do it again and let it go. Yes it means that I probably won't lose any weight this week. But it says nothing else about me. The occasional screw up does NOT make you a failure my diet friends. It makes you human.

We are not failures when we slip and fall. It is only failure if we refuse to get back up.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Snack Smart: Chips and salsa alternative

Ok, hear me out. I was skeptical too. But it's actually good.

Salsa is pretty good for you. It's the tortilla chips that'll get ya every time. So try enjoying your snacky salsa with a different kind of crunch. Try celery or my personal favorite, baby carrots. Yummy and low calorie. Satisfy your craving without blowing your budget. Plus the 'caliente' in the salsa can help heat up your metabolism.

Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Fitness Tip: Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

You work out, you're eating better. But the scale isn't budging. A lot of times, it could be because you have a liar in your midst. The fitness equipment.

Often times the elliptical, treadmill, or cycle can overestimate the calories burned by 30-50%! Well, if you use that number to calculate you net calories, you might be blowing your budget without meaning too.  Example: You are trying to budget for 1500 calories. If your elliptical says you burned 1000, then that means you have earned the additional 1000 calories. So you eat a total of 2500 calories for the day. And you are gaining weight. Because in reality you only burned 500 calories. And if this pattern keeps up everyday, the 500 calories over budget per day would make you gain one lb per week.

Fitness equipment is notorious for lying to make you feel good and get back to the gym. Here is a link that I like to use to calculate how many calories I'm REALLY burning.

So if the scale is stuck, maybe you need to block out the info panel on the treadmill and recalculate your budget.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Fighting Fido

When you eat, do you have dog-like tendencies? Here's what I mean

Is this you?

Or maybe this one over the last buffalo wing?

Maybe this one hits home.. staring longingly and begging for a taste of the food you can't have.

Yeah, I'm right there with you. I had this epiphany yesterday when I found myself giving my three year old puppy dog eyes, hoping she'd share just a bite of her cookie. She didn't.

I need to better control my food behavior. I am not an animal, licking the plate clean or fighting for the last scrap of food. I'm in control. I decide what I will eat and what I won't. And if I've budgeted correctly, then there is no need to feel guilty. But swiping those last few fries off the kids plate... adds up real quick.

So stop fighting with Fido over the leftovers. Make your choices wisely and let the dog get the crumbs under the table.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Full Body: Take the darn compliment

Allow me to take you to my Spanish class today. When I handed my teacher the homework, she commented that I had "really nice arms". So what immediately pops out of my mouth? "Yeah if you like sausages."  To which the teacher responded, "You like sausages?" (she's from Peru... lost in translation)

Point is, when someone offers me a compliment, I feel the need to add a little bit of self deprecating snark. Do you do this too? Why are we so ready to see the bad and flaws, yet so reticent to jump on the success train?

In my pysch class, forever and a day ago, I heard it takes 5 positive comments to balance one negative. If you have a little inner critic, complaining about body parts all day, is it any wonder the scale leans heavily on the negative?

So here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to try to make a conscious effort to take the darn compliment.  With no additives. And not just hear it and brush it off, saying the snarky little comment in my head. Internalize what the person is saying. Give the person's opinion weight and validation.

Join with me in telling the little monkey in our heads to stop throwing poo. What's that song? "Accentuate the positive... eliminate the negative..."

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Snack Smart: Foods that keep you slim - from Melanie Douglass

Today I am up to my ears in homework. So I am going to let someone else do the heavy lifting. This is a great article/video from Studio 5's Fitness Correspondent, Melanie Douglass.

Studio 5 - Weekdays at 11am on KSL 5
Check it out!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Fitness Tip: Coming back from an injury

One month ago I was running 26 miles. This week I'm topping out at 6. And even then I'm going slower than molasses.

But that is the point. After an injury, it's tempting to try and make up lost time. I know that's what I'm itching to do. I've just had 3 weeks of low impact exercising which means that I have burned about a 1/4 of the calories per week than I normally do. My weight loss is slow and I can see my calves turning to jello.

But if I tried to pick up where I left off, I would injure the healing muscles and be out for even longer. So when coming back from an injury, take your time. Literally. Make each mile a minute or two slower than pre injury. If you were at 60 minute sessions on the elliptical, try 30 minutes with stretching before and after.

Most importantly, listen to your body. If you feel sharp pain... STOP. Right then. Not after you're done with your workout. Sore is ok. Pain is not.

Injuries happen to athletes at every level. Stretching and slow increases in intensity will not only help your recovery, but help prevent injuries in the first place.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Full Body: Serenity Prayer for Weight Loss

I truly believe that the Serenity Prayer, used in AA and other support groups, fits perfectly for people with body issues.

Here's my version of the Serenity Prayer for weight loss.
"God grant me the strength to stick to a healthy lifestyle. Give me the will to persevere and change the things I can and accept the things that I can't. And the wisdom to tell the difference."

I can change my body into a healthy, fuel efficient machine. It can be smaller and sleeker and stronger. But no matter what I do, I can not be in my 20s again. I cannot change my body type into one of those slight elf like creatures. I can't get any taller. And my face will always have chubby cheeks.

So why spend precious time and energy bemoaning the aspects that I cannot change. Next time you get discouraged, think of this post and say my Serenity Prayer. Save your energy for the stuff you actually can change and let God bless us with the acceptance to love ourselves as we are.

Weekly weigh in 152.2 -1.8 lbs

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Snack Smart: Salads are not always low calorie

Are you trying to lose weight? So you automatically pick the salad off the menu? Sadly, salad does not always equal low calorie or healthy.

Most commercial salads have cheese, croutons, some have breaded chicken or bacon, maybe guacamole. None of these things are bad per se. But they certainly hike up the calorie count. The worst offender is the dressing! You can easily use 300+ calories just on 2 tablespoons of dressing. Ugh that's a bag of M&Ms.

So make your own fresh and yummy salad. Here's mine: fresh diced tomatoes, cucumber slices, fresh lettuce. Tossed with balsamic vinegar straight from the cooking bottle. Not the vinaigrette dressing. Yum and under 150 calories.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Fitness Tip: Make a schedule

Most of us don't have a manual labor intensive job. That means that if we don't set a piece of our day aside, the exercise often doesn't get done.

Case in point. Last night I thought that it would be nice to run or walk a few miles today. If I got up early enough before school I would fit it in. I didn't set my alarm. Do you think I rolled over naturally at 6 ready to move. Uh no.

Now it's the end of the day. It's hot. And there's no one to watch my kids. All this adds to a day that I won't fit it in unless I shift some stuff around.

It would have been so much easier if I had planned for it in the first place. Look at your calander, set aside an hour and pencil it in. Just like any other appointment. Then keep it. Because your health is everybody as important as lunch with your mother.

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Long Run: Indoctrinating the Kids

One of the biggest reasons I was fat was a lifetime of inactivity. As a kid I never played a sport. Didn't ride my bike. The only thing I exercised was my fingers by playing video games.

I'm making sure I don't fall into the same trap with my kiddos. So I'm indoctrinating them into the cult of physical fitness now. I'm not pushing anything about body shapes or weight, just that we need to be healthy and strong.

I could just put them on a machine at the gym, but I want it to be fun and a family way of life. So this weekend my 5 and 3 year old ran their first race with me. It was a mile long and at the end we got covered in colored chalk like in Color Me Rad. They had a blast and got their very first finishers medal.

Hopefully I am not only teaching them to enjoy an active lifestyle, but also the value of completing things vs competition. We came in dead last, but it didn't matter. Because we finished.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Sliding Scale

Today's weight 153..2. change . -.8

A little note about weigh ins. Weight fluctuates. Daily. Hourly. Weekly. Monthly. Keep this in mind.

You will weight less after a good nights sleep after emptying your bladder. Obviously, the more you eat and drink, the more you'll weigh throughout the day. So resist the temptation to weigh again.

Also water and waste weight can make day to day fluctuations. Sunday morning I was 152. Yesterday I was 155.

These little dips and rises used to freak me out. Not anymore. If I'm doing the right thing and sticking to my budget, the weight will come off. Some days more than others. And faster once I can workout again.

But if you stress you can create cortisol otherwise known as the fat hormone. We don't want that. Plus stress can cause emotional eating. We don't want to blow our budgets either.

So just keep at it and the pounds will do their job and melt off like Popsicles in this 100 degree heat.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Fitness Tip: Pain vs Being Sore

There is a fine line between the day after soreness and real pain.

After any good workout, you should be sore. That is the sign that your muscles have been worked to their limits and pushed just beyond. This kind of soreness should last around 2 days. Being sore shouldn't prevent you from exercising more. In fact, moving, stretching, and ridding yourself of lactic acid may in fact help.

But if you are in true pain, the kind where regular activity is painful and the pain is sharp or tearing rather than dull and generalized - then you might be more than sore. If that's the case, further activity might make it worse.

Take time to evaluate and be honest with yourself. Are you using regular aches and pains to get out of a workout? Or could you be really injured?

I'm stuck in the latter category, much to my dismay. The quad and knee injury from the marathon are not going away. I keep trying to run, but have to stop after one mile. This is where I need to take my own advice and assess. Even though it kills me, my leg needs time to heal. It will hamper my weight loss not to mention the training for Park City half marathon next month. But sometimes not exercising can be just as important to your health as exercising.

So in the meantime, it's lots of yoga, Pilates and arm work. Running will just have to wait.


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