Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tasty Summer Cheat Treat

Not everyone can eat perfectly all the time…there is always room in a healthy and balanced diet to “cheat” occasionally. And therefore, I cheated at lunch today. I ventured out to have the first ice cream like treat of the summer and ended up at Mochi-Yo Yogurt Bar at 119th and Nall in Leawood. This wasn’t “normal” frozen yogurt, y’all, this had that great tangy taste of actual yogurt…only it’s like ice cream.

You can get tons of toppings on this delicious goodness too…lots of fruit options, Mochi-balls and of course chocolate and cookies. It felt like this was a real, full fat and calorie laden cheat-treat, but guess what?! In a 4 oz serving (1/2 of yogurt) there are a mere 110 calories and ZERO fat that’s right…none! I’m not saying that everyone should visit this awesome new food find every day to try all their flavors (plain, green tea, strawberry, etc.), but if you’re craving something cold and sweet, this might be the sweetest deal you will find this summer!

Just a note…and not to burst anyone’s bubble…but be careful with the portion size here. One 4 oz serving is about half of the small size. AND of course if you are adding toppings like chocolate chips and cookies and such, your calories and fat go up. So practice portion control here and split a Mochi-YO with a friend.

Happy “cheating!”

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Monday's Move of the Week

Move: Tricep Dips

Both men and women hate having giggly arms, right? I know I do. To get rid of jello arms it's important to strengthen the triceps. These muscles extend from your elbow to your shoulder on the back of your arm and make up a majority of your upper arm. There are a lot of ways to work your triceps and one of the most effective and efficient ways is to do tricep dips. You can do these anywhere since they require only a bench or stair on which to "dip" off of.

Muscles worked: Triceps, Chest and Shoulders

How to:

  1. Start by sitting on a bench or a stair with legs at a 90 degree angle in front of you.

  2. Place your hands next to your hips so that the fingers are pointed in front of you.

  3. Lift your body up using your arms and move your hips forward away from the stair or bench about 4 inches.

  4. Slowly lower your glutes/hips towards the ground by bending your elbows until thy are at a 90 degree angle

  5. Push yourself back up with your arms being careful not to lock the elbows at the top. Also, don't cheat by engaging your legs...remember, this is a upper body exercise.

  6. Do not sit back down, but immediately lower your hips/glutes to the floor and repeat the movement until the set is complete.

Make 'em harder: This is a hard move even with your legs at a 90 degree angle...so get used to this variation before moving onto more challenging modifications. When you are ready to challenge yourself a bit more, move your legs out in front of you so that they are straight and you are balancing on your heels. More advanced still, you can raise one leg off the ground, place the legs on a stability ball for added core work or place the heels on a BOSU ball.


Friday, June 26, 2009

Guest Blogger...Bryan Marlborough

From time to time it's good to have another point of view...for me, one of the "other points of view" that I value regarding fitness is a man's point of view. Therefore, please welcome Bryan Marlborough, owner of Marlborough's Strength Development in Lee's Summit, MO. Here's what Bryan has to say as of late...

Training Plans

I was talking with a guy earlier who said he was gaining a little weight, and he didn’t know if it was the muscle gains he was making or actual fat gain. I asked him more or less what his training goal was, to lose fat or put on muscle. He didn’t really have an answer. It is hard to train if you aren’t training for a specific purpose.

A similar point I want to make is about the general notion that all training can or should be the same. It is a fairly common belief that exercise is exercise and everyone can or should do the same things. This is a very misguided belief that seems to be spread around the community.
All training shouldn’t be the same. If you are training for a specific purpose, your training shouldn’t mirror another’s who is training for a different purpose. I will elaborate a little on what I mean. :)

To read more about different training types, visit Bryan's blog at http://livestrength.com/blog/.

Fantastic Food Find Friday

The Food Find:Edamame (ěd'ə-mä'mā)

The Facts:

So I’m sure some of you out there are saying to yourself “eda-what?!” But don’t be scared just because you can’t pronounce the name. Edamame is simply soy beans that have been harvested in their green stage. Now some of you might be saying “eda-YUCK!” Stop it. Don’t knock it ‘til you try it because edamame is awesome. Not only is it easy to prepare and super tasty, it contains antioxidants vitamins A and C and it is packed with protein and fiber to fill you up. In just ½ cup serving of shelled edamame you get 5 grams of fiber, 9 grams of protein for only 100 calories. Good snack idea...no…GREAT snack idea!

A super duper easy way to snack on edamame is to buy it frozen from your grocery store, boil the whole pods in water for 5 minutes, lightly salt them and then pop the beans from the shell right into your mouth.

Spice it up!

You can add edamame to salads, stir-fry and casseroles for an extra protein/fiber punch!

Until next Friday...Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Got Water?

So last night I played sand volleyball in 90+ degree heat with no wind…not the most fun. As the sweat literally poured off of my face, I was reminded of how important it is to stay hydrated as a means of protecting your body during exercise/sports during the summer.

If you loose a pound or two during a major sweat session, what you’ve lost is not fat, it’s 2 ½ CUPS of water per pound lost from your body-yikes! Dehydration sets in once you loose about 2% of body weight due to water loss (so a 175 lb man could lose only 3.5 lbs of water during a hard workout and succumb to dehydration…scary!)

Sweating is a good thing; it keeps our bodies cool, but it also causes us to loose water and so we must replace what has been lost. It’s super important to drink water before, during and after a good sweat session in normal conditions, but it’s actually a crucial requirement to do such when it’s hot out. Tips to staying hydrated:
  • Remember to drink about two cups (16 oz) of water and hour or two before exercise
  • Drink ½ cup (4 oz or about 2-3 gulps) every 15-20 minutes during exercise.
  • Be sure to continue drinking water even after your workout is complete to ensure that you are properly hydrated.

Remember to listen to your body when exercising in the heat. If you start to get dizzy, light headed or if you stop sweating when you’re working hard, it’s time to quit for the time being and drink some water.

Keep cool!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Monday's Move of the Week

Move: Walk Out Push Ups

Why just do a normal push up when you could do a walk out push up!? While push ups are a great upper body exercise that you can do anywhere, a walk out push up does more that just strengthen your chest, shoulders, triceps and core. A walk out push up increases balance and flexibility as well!

Muscles worked: Chest, Shoulders, Triceps, Back, Core

How to:

  1. Stand with feet shoulder width a part. Begin move by bending over while keeping the legs as straight as possible and place your hands on the floor.

  2. Slowly “walk” your hands out in front of you until your body is in a push up position. Do a push up (keeping your body straight with hands a little wider than shoulder width apart, bend elbows and lower the body until elbows are at ninety degree angles and then raise you body by straightening your arms).

  3. Once the push up is complete, walk hands back towards feet and stand up straight.

Make 'em harder: Instead of walking the hands into a push up position from standing, you can do the front bend, place your hands on the floor and then jump your feet back into a push up position. Do the push up and then jump your feet forward towards your hands so that you end in a forward bend. Stand up straight and repeat full movement.

This is a fairly advanced move, so make it your own. You can do the push up on your knees or just practice going from the standing position into a push up position and then back to standing without a push up. Just remember to challenge yourself.


Friday, June 19, 2009

Fantantastic Food Find Friday!

I'm a snacker...plain and simple. I don't like large meals and therefore I eat small snacks all day long for sustained energy. And when I snack, I prefer food that doesn't take much preparation and that is easily thrown in my bag to take with me wherever I go. I am tempted just as much as the next person to munch on a bag of M&Ms or a can of Pringles, but have found a few foods that satisfy my sweet tooth and my salty cravings for a fraction of the calories and fat and that have added health bonuses.

The Food Find:

Kashi Honey Sunshine Cereal

The Facts:

This light, crunchy and slightly sweet cereal is perfect for snacking. With only 100 calories per 3/4 cup, it is low in sugar (6 grams) and fat (1.5 grams), plus packs in whopping 22% of the recommended fiber intake (6 grams of the recommended 25 grams a day). Also, the cereal is made with whole grains which are awesome because they reduce cholesterol, the risk of heart disease, certain cancers, and diabetes, plus aid in digestion.

Spice it up!

I like to combine 3/4 cup Kashi Honey Sunshine Cereal with 2 tablespoons dried cranberries and 22 lightly salted almonds...yummy!

Until next Friday...Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sleeping Beauty and Rumpelstiltskin had it good!

For many, it is common sense that to stay healthy and fit you need to have balance and nutritious eating habits as well as an active lifestyle. I think what many of us forgot though, is that even if we are the most healthy eaters ever and exercise every day, we can be ruining our hard work and potentially putting our bodies at risk if we don’t get enough sleep.

Why is sleep a topic today? Well…currently it is 4:03 a.m…I woke up at 3:08 a.m. With starting a new business and leaving a stable job, I think the stress has been keeping me from staying asleep. OR it could totally be that my dog Max is all of a sudden, after 8 years of life, afraid of lightning, thunder and, yes, even rain itself. I mean really? The little guy is now 56 years old (in dog years) and now every time it sprinkles, he cries and barks until my husband Nate or I come downstairs to his room and sit with him. If you live around the Kansas City area, you are well aware of the many many thunder and rain storms that we have had lately…tonight is yet another one of those nights…sigh.

But I digress. Sleep. We need sleep…it’s just not an option to not sleep. Sleep repairs the body, improves our memory, keeps your heart healthy, reduces stress and can help you with your weight loss goals. When we don’t get enough sleep (less than 6 hours a night), there are consequences. Loss of memory and alertness, increased cholesterol and blood pressure, and a decrease of important hormones such as ghrelin and leptin which regulate appetite are just a few sad things that happen when we don’t sleep enough. Let me give you a recent (like 5 minutes ago) example of what lack of can do to a person. I am so tired that I actually had to use a calculator to get Max’s dog age…not okay people!

So keep sleep in mind when thinking of your health. It’s a requirement. No one wants to be more stressed, put their heart at more risk for heart disease (#1 killer of both men and women in US), gain unnecessary weight or have to constantly carry a calculator around with them to do the simplest of math. Get your sleep! Aim for 7-9 hours a night.

Until next time…cheers to better health…I’m going back to bed…

Monday, June 15, 2009

Monday's Move of the Week

Get excited...here is the first ever Monday's Move of the Week. Check back each Monday for a challenging and effective move to add to your workout.

Move: Jump Squats

I know what you're all thinking...."ugh...not jump squats!" But here's the deal: you can do them anytime, anywhere, they are both a strength and cardio move so they are extremely efficient. PLUS, you are scorching through calories AND building bone density. Not convinced yet? Jump Squats also provide balance and core training. So give them a try!

Muscles worked: Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Glutes, and Calfs

How to:
  1. Stand with feet shoulder width a part. Hands can be to the side, behind the head or out front.
  2. Slowly put your glutes back into a squat position (like you were sitting back in your chair). You should aim to get your thighs parallel to the floor and take care that your knees do not go over your toes.
  3. From the squat pose jump up as high as you can, land with soft knees (do not lock them) and continue down into the squat position and repeat.

Make 'em harder: Try jump squats on a BOSU ball or try clicking your heels together when you jump up.

I personally like to incorporate jump squats (10-20 reps) into my workouts between sets for some extra intensity.