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Smart Snacking

I had to share this list that I came across on BestHealthMag.ca

We might forget certain snacking “rules” when the urge strikes.  And we could be picking the wrong snacks or snacking too often. Which can derail your diet. So how can you snack smarter?

✓ Instead of buying snacks at a movie or sports event, chew a stick of sugar-free gum.
✓ At parties, stand as far away as you can from bowls of chips, dips, and other munchies.
✓ If you like to munch in the car, bring only a single serving along. Put the rest in the trunk.
✓ If you buy jumbo-size snacks to save money, divide them into single-serving containers as soon as you get home.
✓ Put the healthiest snacks where you’ll see them when you open cupboards or the refrigerator.
✓ Don’t snack in your office, go somewhere else (cafeteria, lounge, outside). That way you won’t associate your office with food.
✓ At home, enjoy your snacks in the kitchen … and nowhere else.
✓ Don’t eat to relax. Relax, then eat.

What are some of your favourite snacks?

Which is best to kick stress to the curb? Sleep or Exercise?

When life gets crazy, and your stress starts to rise what should you do?  Sleep it off?  Or get up and start moving!?

According to a recent study, exercising will melt that stress away!

It’s no secret that exercise has been associated with improved moods, stress reduction and it is sometimes prescribed as a natural treatment for depression and anxiety.  Science Daily suggests that working out will create a positive and sustained affect on a individual’s state of mind.

Going for a job, taking a spin class, walking, weight training, etc.. May actually help a person better cope with stress and anxiety in the hours, and even days, after they leave the gym.

The study also found that 30 minutes of physical activity would help a person stay cool and calm in a stressful situation, compared to the same amount of rest.

And I am sure there are many people out there that would agree with the study!  I know I do.

No time to Workout!? Try compound exercises!

When you’re in a rush, your workouts can be neglected.  Which is not ideal.  So what can you do in a short period of time? Try high intensity workouts, in a short period of time.  How!? Using compound exercises.

Compound exercises will help boost the efficiency of your workouts.  When you perform exercises that target multiple muscle groups, both the effectiveness and intensity are increased.  When you perform exercises that target multiple muscle groups, both the intensity and effectiveness of the workout are increased.

Need some examples!?
Upper Body Compound Exercises:

Pushups,  Standing Military Press,  Dips, Pullups/Chinups, Clean & Press, just to start

Lower Body Compound Exercises:

Deadlifts, Lunges, Squats, use a sled to push/pull, and give hip trusts a try

**Remember: Consult a doctor before starting a program/routine**

Get yourself out of a “Funk”

Meh life happens!! And sometimes we can get into a funk, it happens to us all.  When it happens, it’s never fun.  You feel grumpy,  lethargic, etc…

We’re allowed to have those “funks”. But how do you get out of it!?  Try one or more of the following suggestions.

Go for a walk – You don’t have to walk 10k! Try walking around the bloc

Try a Random Act of Kindness- Try making someone else’s day.  It just might make you feel better.

Pamper yourself!!  Do whatever you like to do!  What makes YOU smile!?!  Take a hot bath, curl up and read a book, go shopping!  The choices are endless.

Get rid of the Clutter– Sometimes clearing out the clutter is one of the quickest ways to generate new and fresh energy.  Tossing out trash may seem like work, but it is totally energizing once you get the hang of it.

Get outside and spend some time with Mother Nature: Getting outside and getting fresh air is one of my favourite ways to feel better.  If you can’t get out of town, at least go for a barefoot run through the grasses in your yard.

Change your bed sheets – Nothing like fresh sheets!!  OR…get out and purchase a new set of colorful bed linens to brighten up your bedroom.

Watch a funny movie AND laugh: Avoid the sappy, make you want to cry movies!   Invite a friend to go along with you and see who laughs the hardest/longest.

Spend time with family: Watch a movie at home, go to the zoo, go for a walk together.  Do something that you will all enjoy together.

 

My 30 Day Challenge to YOU!

For the next 30 days get rid of everything related to weight loss.  You’re thinking WHAT!?!? Is she nuts!?  There is a method to my madness.

Get rid of:

  • Diet books
  • Fitness gadgets or equipment you’ve never used
  • Clothes that are too big or too small
  • Scales, tape measurers, body fat scales or any other tool you might use to measure your size and shape
  • Anything related to fad diets, fat burning supplements or other questionable weight loss ‘aids.’

Before you start panicking, you don’t need to throw them away.  Just keep them out of sight for 30 days.  Let’s focus on getting fit and healthy.  Let’s forget about the pounds lost!!

Why am I asking you to get rid of the scale, tight clothes, etc!?!? Seeing those things will only remind you of how you failed.  Let’s focus on new beginnings, and what you can do right now!

Skip the strict and structured diet.  Just eat healthy, and every now and then treat yourself.

Try….

Keep a Journal

While keeping your journal, record what you eat, your workouts and how you felt.

When you are trying to get fit, learn how to enjoy it!  How!? You will start to see the results of getting in shape.  Daily tasks will become easier, your clothes will start to become loose.  Think long term and not short term!! The long term will keep you focused and on track!

And remember never give up!

The Importance of Drinking Water

Yesterday was a busy day of running around, and other craziness. At 3am this morning I had the WORST muscle cramp in my leg. Why was it happening!? Because I didn’t drink enough water yesterday. I can’t blame anyone but myself for it. I am the first to lecture people on the importance of water, yet I didn’t listen to my own advice. Silly girl!! So let’s do a refresher on the importance of water for the body, shall we!?
Why should we drink water?

Lose weight: Drinking water helps you lose weight because it flushes down the by-products of fat breakdown. Drinking water reduces hunger, it’s an effective appetite suppressant so you’ll eat less. Plus, water has zero calories.

Natural Remedy for Headache: Helps to relieve headache and back pains due to dehydration. Although many reasons contribute to headache, dehydration is the common one.

Helps in Digestion and Constipation: Drinking water raises your metabolism because it helps in digestion. Fiber and water goes hand in hand so that you can have your daily bowel movement.

Good Mood: Your body feels very good and that’s why you feel happy.

Look Younger with Healthier Skin: You’ll look younger when your skin is properly hydrated. Water helps to replenish skin tissues, moisturizes skin and increases skin elasticity. (I was recently complimented on my skin, and my friend asked me what I was doing….I drink LOTS of water!!!)

Better Productivity at Work: Your brain is mostly made up of water, thus drinking water helps you think better, be more alert and more concentrated.

Better Exercise: Drinking water regulates your body temperature. That means you’ll feel more energetic when doing exercises. Water also helps to fuel your muscle.

Helps in Digestion and Constipation: Drinking water raises your metabolism because it helps in digestion. Fiber and water goes hand in hand so that you can have your daily bowel movement.

Less Cramps and Sprains: Proper hydration helps keep your joints and muscles lubricated, so you’ll less likely get cramps and sprains.

Relieves Fatigue: Water is used by the body to help flush out toxins and waste products from the body. If your body lacks water, your heart, for instance, needs to work harder to pump out the oxygenated blood to all cells, so are the rest of the vital organs, your organs will be exhausted and so will you.

Good Mood: Your body feels very good and that’s why you feel happy.

This weeks challenge…….

Ball Squat with Knee Lift

What will this exercise target?  Glutes, Hamstrings, Shoulders, Chest, Core and Quads

  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding a weighted ball in front of chest.
  • Bend knees 90 degrees.
  • Hold for 2 counts.
  • Slightly straighten legs, shifting weight to left foot as you lift right knee to waist height and extend arms overhead.
  • Return to start and complete 10 reps on each side.

Bring on the challenge!  And let’s hope I don’t land on my head!  🙂

 

Salad of the day: Pesto Kale and Cabbage Salad

It’s time to get out and pay a visit to your local farmers market!  Mmmm, fresh veggies galore!!  Tired of your boring old salad!? Give this recipe a try:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Walnuts
  • 1 1/2 cups Kale
  • 1/4 cup Pesto Sauce
  • 1 cup White Wine Vinegar
  • 2 cups Red Cabbage

Directions:

Place walnuts in a pan over medium low heat and toast for 5-8 minutes, stirring often. Rinse kale well, drain to dry, and remove the ribs. (To remove the ribs, lay the leaf face down on a cutting board and slice along the middle stem sothat you are left with two leaves and the stem). Chop into small pieces and place in a large bowl. Mix pesto sauce and vinegar together. Toss red cabbage with kale, drizzle with pesto mixture, and toss in walnuts. Add sea salt and pepper. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before serving.

Makes 12 servings

Take it Outside

Some people get turned off of working out, because they find it boring.  Well it doesn’t have to be! It’s time to shake things up and take the workout outside! You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Here is a simple workout you can do outdoors that will help you get in good shape.

  • Begin with bodyweight squats and perform 15 repetitions.
  • Immediately follow this with 10-15 push ups or as many as you can
  • Follow it up with 15 jump squats.
  • Do mountain climbers (as many as possible for one minute).
  • Perform burpees for one minute. (Or more mountain climbers! )
  • 10-15 Pull-ups (If you don’t have a bar available, skip this exercise)

Repeat 2 to 3 more times for a total of 3 to 4 sets. As it gets easier, add in more repetitions. Rest for one minute when you complete each cycle.

Remember: It is important to do this non stop from the first exercise all the way up to the last exercise.

Do this workout 2 or 3 times per week on nonconsecutive days. Allow at least one day’s rest.

Sounds easy enough!?! All you need is a water bottle, yourself and the great outdoors.  Remember to stay hydrated when you are working out, especially outdoors.