Friday Fitness Tip:
1) Have a bite before you go out.
Many times, people will choose not to eat because they know they are going to a party where there will be lots of food. That is the worst choice to make – by the time you get to the party, you’ll be ravenously hungry and won’t be able to make good choices and will end up overeating and feeling horrible the next day. Eat normally throughout the day – breakfast with protein, a great lunch (big salad with lean protein) and even have a snack before heading to the party…An apple and some almonds. This will keep you from eating too fast because you’re hungry and will allow you to enjoy the foods you want to eat.
2) Keep each celebration limited to one day.
Don’t go into Holiday mode and just eat everything and anything when you want and skip all of your workouts. This will cause you many tears on new year’s day when you realize you’ve gained five pounds!!! Go to your Christmas party – and then the next day go back to making your good choices AND make sure you get in a workout!
A review in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that the longer it takes you to re-focus on fitness, the more your enthusiasm for it will dim, and the harder it will be for you to get back on track. In short, a day off won’t hurt you, but a week or two off can derail your progress toward your goals. It can also inflate your waist size, according to a study in the Journal of Applied Physiology. The researchers found that just two weeks of inactivity can increase belly fat by seven percent. So, skip one day but then get right back on track!!! Your 2017 self will appreciate that!
3) Keep calories in perspective.
All of these tips are not meant to make you frantic and not enjoy the season. They’re just meant to help you be aware of your choices and how to keep from gaining the typical 5-7 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. A few high-calorie meals during this season will not sabotage your fitness goals.
A better strategy: Focus on how many calories you burn during the course of a week, not each day. As long you are making good choices and eating healthy 80 percent of the time, you can cut yourself some slack during the other 20 percent.
What are some ways you stay balanced during this time of the year???
Friday Fitness Tips:
Here we go….take a deep breath….you can do this!!! The “most wonderful time of the year” is upon us. This month causes mixed reactions in most people. Some people love every moment – some tolerate it – some dread it. Regardless of your feelings for this month, I’m going to try and share tips every Friday that will help you be healthy and well and finish 2016 strong!!! I’ll share three tips today that I think are the most important for starting this month.
1) Don’t skip breakfast. Breakfast sets the nutritional tone for the rest of the day, and you don’t want to send your body into survival mode by prolonging your overnight fast. Bonus points if you swap your bagel for eggs and your venti latte for a short black. Doing the former can help shrink your waist by 34 percent and your body fat by 16 percent, according to a study in the International Journal of Obesity.
The reason: You’ll consume fewer calories in subsequent meals. Doing the latter can save you 188 calories a day. And let’s be honest, it’s the caffeine you love anyway. Feel like you never have time to make breakfast? Have some grab and go options – almonds, apples, boiled eggs, bananas, etc – that can help you with the morning rush.
2) Keep a food log – yes, even during the Holidays. This will help you maintain and not gain and keep you aware of what you are consume. It’s a pain in the butt, but it’s shockingly effective at helping people eat healthier, according to a study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The researchers found that people who recorded everything they ate for a week lost six more pounds than people who didn’t. Don’t bother buying a notebook—smartphone apps like MyFitnessPal, Lifesum, and Eatly make recording what you eat easy. All three also sync with third party fitness trackers, helping you gain a more holistic view of your health and daily activity. I use MyFitnessPal and love how it helps me be accountable.
3) Don’t skip workouts!!!! Skipping just one workout can initiate a downward spiral, increasing your odds of skipping another one by 61 percent, according to British researchers.
The solution: Think smaller. Instead of trying to carve out time for one long workout, do two or three short ones. “In so doing, you’ll boost motivation, eliminate ‘too busy’ as an excuse, and accelerate both muscle building and fat loss,” says Chad Waterbury M.S., a Los Angeles-based exercise physiologist.
A great go-to is a Tabata based workout. 20 seconds of a move, 10 seconds rest and repeat for 8 times total. You can choose one move for four minutes and then choose another move for the next 4 minutes. In just 16-20 minutes you can have a great, effective workout done.
If you would like for me to post a tabata workout, comment below and I’ll give you one to add to your resources 🙂
So, incorporate these three tips for the rest of the month and I’ll share more next Friday! Let me know if you have any questions or if I can be of help to you. I offer free consultations and would be glad to help in any way that I can.
Remember, breathe and take time for yourself in the busy days ahead.
It’s hard to believe that we are in the last month of 2016. I think back to the beginning of the year when I had a brand new year ahead of me with blank pages upon which I would write daily with my choices and doings. Am I where I wanted to be? Have I done what I wanted to do? Have I been what I wanted to be in 2016? So, I take time to ponder these questions and reflect upon the last 12 months. These reflections will help me determine what I set forth to do on January 1st. I know that I have taken on new things which has caused me to neglect other things that I felt were important to me. So, for 2017 I know that I need to think about the impact of taking on new things and what it will do to what is currently on my plate. Yes, it can be good to take on new things and new opportunities; however, I think that if I add something new than I need to subtract something away. It’s the process of continually growing and transforming.
One of the things that has helped me was the practicum coaching that I had to do as part of my online education at MUIH for my master’s in health and wellness coaching. I was coached by a fellow student in my program; and even though it was a practicum, it was so helpful and beneficial to me as an individual. I had some areas I felt stuck in and that is what I brought to the coaching sessions so I could be coached. As my coach would ask powerful questions and utilize coaching resources during the sessions, I was able to have clarity and experience some “aha” moments as she coached me through the sessions. This experience was also valuable to me as a coach to understand how it feels to be in a coaching situation as the client. It allowed me to see the value of having a coach to help discover the answers that already lie inside us and how having another person on our journey towards goals can be so helpful.
As I prepare for the new year, I’ve decided that I’m going to take advantage of the last 23 days of this year and finish strong by choosing daily to make choices to meet my goals. My word for 2016 was, “execute” – I chose that word because I knew what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go so all I had to decide was to just do it. So, from now until the end of the year I will just do it – I will be present, I will make time to be with friends, I will celebrate life, I will be confident in what I do and who I am, I will learn and teach Strong by Zumba, I will run my one mile every day, I will limit my sugar consumption, I will journal, I will have my quiet time, I will practice gratitude. You see…it’s not how you start, but it’s how you finish that matters! So, I will finish strong!
A few moments ago I had just tucked myself into bed and turned the light off and was so excited to settle in for a good night’s sleep. But as most of us do, I took a few moments to think about the day and reflect on what happened. The first thing that popped into my head was my zucchini bread experience that almost ended up in the garbage can. Then I realized that the reason why I even had the great zucchini bread fiasco was because of a lack of focus….and how ironic that my last blog had the topic of focus and the word was even in my title. Needless to say, I severely missed the mark of focus during my moments baking in the kitchen today. On my defense, I was quite sleepy today…..I am taking care of my uncle’s dogs and staying at his house every night, and he lives almost one hour from my house. By the time I arrived at his house last night, it was around 11 and didn’t get into bed until after midnight; then the alarm went off at 5:45 this morning so I could get back to the studio and teach my morning fitness classes. Even coffee wasn’t doing its job with helping me to be alert .
After a full morning and afternoon, I decided to bake two loaves of a new zucchini bread recipe from a cookbook, Against All Grains. But first, I decided to slice up my sweet potato and get the pieces into cold water because I was making oven-baked sweet potato fries for my dinner. (this little piece of info will make sense in a moment!). I set the oven to 425 to pre-heat and begin prepping the zucchini. About 15 minutes into slicing the zucchini, I heard some crackling sounds coming from my oven. For a moment I was perplexed and then I decided I better see what was making the noise. Well, I had left two skillets in the oven and they were pretty hot…I’m not sure what would have happened if I had not decided to investigate the noise – hopefully, it would not have involved any kinds of flames, smoke, fire extinguisher, etc!!!
I continued following the recipe – greased the pans, mixed all the liquid ingredients, mixed the dry ingredients and then added them to the liquid ingredients. I was getting ready to put the batter into the bread pans and noticed a bowl setting off to the side with a plate on it. (Oh, yeah….I failed to mention that I soon discovered that I did not have enough almond flour to make two loaves of bread so had to make a quick run to the grocery store. I did turn the oven off; I covered up the dry ingredients that I had been measured and covered up the zucchini.) I realized that under that plate was the vital ingredient to making zucchini bread….the zucchini!!!! I quickly added it to the batter and then put the pans into the oven to back for the recommended 45 minutes.
About 20ish minutes into the bake time, I really began to smell the incredible aroma of the bread. I decided to glance into the oven to see how it looked, and I quickly noted that it was looking way toooooo dark to have only been in the oven for 20 minutes. Here’s where the sweet potato prep comes to light….you see, in order to bake the sweet potatoes, the oven has to be set to 425 degrees – that was in the back of my mind when I turned the oven on. Zucchini bread, on the other hand, only requires 350 degrees. That’s quite a difference in degrees. I hurriedly pulled the bread out and let it settle for a few minutes. It still needed just a little bit more time in the oven. I turned back the dial to 350 and gave it some time to cool off and put the pans back in. I intended to leave them in for 5 minutes.
By this time my dinner was done so I sat down to eat…..yep, you guessed it! 5 minutes turned into 10 minutes before I looked at the clock for another reason and then jumped up and ran to the oven expecting to pull out charcoal crisp bread. Thankfully, it was good, and I did not have to throw it out. But there was definitely a lesson to be learned from all of this mishap in the kitchen. You see I was not truly focused on what I was doing. Yes, I was reading the cookbook but I was also thinking about other things, had the radio on, was doing laundry. and answering texts. Also, the lack of sleep was not helping me be at my best mental clarity.
I write all of this to say that when we decided to focus on those three to five things that I wrote about in my last blog, we have to make sure we truly are focused. We can write down our goals and how we are going to focus but putting it into practice is another thing. Sleep can effect our ability to be laser sharp and at our best mentally. Multi-tasking can diminish our ability to produce first-class work with excellence. We have to practice being aware – being mindful – being in the moment. When we practice those things, it helps us stay focused and ignore all the distractions that are around us. You can guarantee that the next time I am in the kitchen following a recipe I will be totally focused on the directions for that recipe. A quest for focus and excellence begins with the small things…..and in the kitchen.
And now I must end the blog so I can be in bed before midnight…I have five minutes 🙂
It’s been a while since I’ve made the time to sit down and write. I can’t use the excuse that I’ve been too busy because we all are busy and we all have the same amount of time to get things accomplished. It all comes down to what I have chosen to do with my time; and, obviously, I made other choices and let others things take priority. In my life, when I see that I have not done something in a while that is important to me, I know it is time to pause, reflect, and see where I need to focus and what I need to let go.
Letting go of things is not easy, but I have to remind myself that I can’t be scattered in various directions. I can do many things with mediocrity but that is not what I want to do. I want to focus on 3-5 things and do them with excellence. I have to be aware of what distracts me and know those distractions, recognize them, and then ignore them.
This became clear to me when I was lying in bed for 10 days with some kind of bacteria that got into my digestive system. I was so ill that I couldn’t do anything…read, listen to the radio, watch TV, etc. Nothing gets you thinking more than not being able to do anything or go anywhere. I kept thinking “what if I had an illness that would leave me like this forever? Have I done enough with excellence that I would be satisfied with what I have accomplished up until now in my life???” I decided to take the three weeks of illness and the forced “pause” in my life to reflect, think, and focus.
I know that I will fall once in a while and get distracted but it doesn’t matter how many times I fall down….it matters that I get back up and get right on track again.
Do you feel like you are being scattered in multiple directions??? Are the important things in your life getting the attention they deserve? Are the choices you are making today taking you in the direction of your goals, values, and vision for your life?
Don’t wait until an illness forces you to slow down and have to get off the merry-go-round. Schedule one day or a weekend retreat to re-visit your vision for your life. See where you need to focus – what you need to let go of – and the choices you need to make in order to do this. Write it down. Put it in several places. Remind yourself on a daily basis of what you need to choose to do and not do that day. Every choice in each moment does matter. I wish you all the best, and I will be right there with you making choices to get me to my goals!