Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Fight the effects of a 3,000 Calorie Thanksgiving

I just read something a bit disturbing; the average American consumes 3,000 calories in one Thanksgiving dinner (American Council on Exercise). Anyone else just have a panic attack? If you want to make sure that meal doesn’t go to your abs, hips, thighs or wherever, here are a few tips and calorie burning suggestions.
·         Go for a pre-Thanksgiving meal workout. Sign up for a Turkey Trot 5K, click here for an at-home-workout (since most gyms are closed on the holiday) or at least get in a morning walk…it’s supposed to be 65 and sunny this Thanksgiving!
·         Eat more turkey, eat less potatoes: protein will help you stay fuller longer, plus turkey is much lower in calories. Check out more healthy Thanksgiving tips by clicking here.
·         Eat slowly: it takes the brain 20 minutes to tell the tummy that It’s full, so eat slowly as to not get overstuffed
·         Go for a post-Thanksgiving meal walk. Enough said.
·         On Friday, get right back to filling up on healthy foods
Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Toasty and tasty tortilla soup for everyone!

Okay...I love this soup for so many reasons, but the main one is that it's perfect for people counting calories (130 calories per cup!), for those on a slow-carb diet* and even for vegetarians and even vegans! Also, it's super filling and great for cold nights. Check it out!

What to put in it:

One chopped onion
Cooking spray
Cumin to taste (1 tsp recommended)
Chili powder to taste (1 tsp is great)
5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 15.5 oz can black beans, rinsed
1 32 oz can pinto beans, rinsed
1 15 oz can of corn, rinsed
2 cans rotel
1 15.5 oz can diced tomatoes

How to make it:

1. Spray large stock pot with cooking spray and sauté onions over medium high heat until they start to soften...about 3 minutes or so
2. Add seasonings to onions and mix well
3. Pour in broth and all canned stuff
4. Let simmer for about 30 minutes for all the flavor to come out
5. Enjoy!

This recipe makes 12-one cup servings...And when measuring a serving, don't count the broth-bonus!

*If you're doing slow carb, eliminate the corn.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

Looking forward to the Thanksgiving meal but dreading the bloat, possible weight gain and sleepiness afterwards? Follow these simple tips and swap outs and be thankful for a fun filled, guilt-free day of celebration!

  1. Fill up on the good stuff.
·         White meat turkey (15% less calories than it’s dark counterpart)
·         Raw, steamed, grilled or roasted veggies
·         “Lighter” mashed potatoes (make yours with Butterbuds to save a hundred calories and several grams of fat per serving)
·         Gravy…that’s right, I said gravy. It’s only about 80 calories per 2 tbsp and is more than half the calories of the sugary cranberries.
·         Pumpkin Pie (180 calories vs. 250 in apple and up to 700 in pecan!!)
  1. Ditch the bad stuff.
·         Bread…you can eat bread any day…don’t waste your Thanksgiving calories on bread
·         Butter…there is butter in nearly everything on Thanksgiving so give your mashed potatoes the benefit of the doubt (that they taste great) and leave the butter on the table
·         Pass on the green bean casserole…yes, this tasty dish contains veggies, BUT it’s not enough to count this dish as a side vegetable what with all the fried onions and cream. Grab the steamed for fresh veggies instead
  1. Skip the nap.
·         While napping during the game might seem like a good idea, a better idea for increased energy is to go on a brisk, post-feast walk. Not only will you get your blood circulating, heart rate up and thus an avalanche of energy, but you’ll also be burning off some of the pie you just ate!

If you’re the cook in charge on the big day, check out these recipes from the Mayo Clinic for a heart (and waist) healthy version of the food we love to eat!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Warm up your workout in the cold

It’s fall in the Midwest, so that means warm weather one day and then cold fronts the next. Don’t get caught in the frigid temps without knowing how to workout safely in the cold. In fact, outdoor lovers just need to follow a few simple tips.

  • Cover Up: When we are cold, our body focuses most of its heating effort to the core to protect our heart and other organs. Therefore, make sure to cover up your extremities (arms and legs, hands and feet as well as your head/ears).
  • Choose layers: Our bodies generate a great deal of heat when we exercise…enough to make it feel as much as 30 degrees warmer that the actual temperature, so dress in layers when exercising outside; you can always take off clothing as you start to heat up and put layers back on if needed. Wear fabric that is a synthetic moister wicking material as your first layer then proceed with cotton or fleece layers as well as a waterproof layer if it is snowing or raining. For those with asthma or working out in temperatures below freezing (sub 32 degrees), cover your mouth with a scarf or mask.
  • Keep hydrated: Even if you don’t feel thirsty or sweaty, you need to drink lots of water. The recommended amounts are the same for cold weather as they are for hot weather: 8 oz of water before the workout, 4 oz every 15 minutes of activity and 8 oz post workout. You can still get dehydrated in the cold so drink up.
  • Check the weather: Before you venture out on your walk, run, hike, etc. make sure that the conditions in your area are safe. Snowstorms, icy conditions, hail and driving rain are not appropriate weather in which to exercise.

Too dangerous to workout in the great outdoors or can’t get to the gym because of the road conditions? No problem, click here for the Snowed-In Workout for a total body indoor workout that combines both strength and cardiovascular training.

BE ALERT: Can you recognize hypothermia?

Hypothermia occurs when the core body temperature falls below 95 degrees. This is a serious condition which can cause irregular heart beat and even death if not treated immediately. If you’re working out outdoors in the cold, watch for these signs of hypothermia.

  • Excessive shivering
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Slurred speech
  • Exhaustion

Get medical help immediately if you feel these indicators or think you or someone you know might be suffering from hypothermia.