Sunday, December 29, 2013

Get to your goals faster and get a FREE gym membership

Buy any personal training package (30 minute or 60 minute sessions) in the month of January, and get a FREE gym membership!

Why hire a persona trainer? So many reasons! But my favorites are right here:

  • A personal trainer will motivate you
  • A personal trainer holds you accountable to making good health choices
  • A personal trainer will help prevent injury while exercising
  • A personal trainer can teach you how to be the in the best physical shape for your body and goals so that you can train yourself in the future

What is included in personal training packages:

  • One-on-one training with a fitness professional
  • Full body assessment, including body fat and fitness measurements
  • Nutrition consultation
  • Goal setting
  • Individualized fitness plans
Interested? E-mail Erin at for more information or to sign up today!

*Gym membership is valid for the duration of the personal training package. The gym is located at 95th and Mission and can be accessed at any time the space is open to members.

Start burning off that holiday blubber TODAY!

If you took the 2 week Work Up to 2014 Fitness Challenge, then this workout should be familiar. If not, it will be a new challenge. Move from one exercise to the next as quickly as possible with little rest in between. Repeat the whole thing and you've got yourself a tough, full body workout that you can do in your home or at the gym.

  • 100 Jumping Jacks
  • 12 Push Ups
  • 3 Burpees
  • 14 Tricep Dips
  • 15 Jump Squats
  • 60 lunges (30 each side)
  • 70 second plank
  • 80 hip ups (40 each leg)
  • 90 seconds of bicycle crunches
  • 100 second wall sit
  • 11 Divebomb Pushups
  • 12 Plank Switches (12 each side)
  • 13 Squats
  • 14 Burpees


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Make a commitment to your health in 2014...and SUCCEED!

Let’s face it, New Year’s Resolutions aren’t that hard to make, they’re hard to keep. In fact, about 40% of Americans make NYRs and 92% of them fail according to Forbes. If you’re not a numbers genius, that means that only 8% of people who make a resolution at the beginning of the year will succeed…it’s depressing. But you don’t have to throw your hands in the air and give up. YOU, my friend, can be one of the 8%! Follow these 7 steps to ensure a successful healthy goal.

1. Set a goal. According to Psychology Today, if you make a specific resolution, you are 10 times more likely to succeed the desired outcome. So write your resolution down in detailed terms. (ex: I will lose 15 pounds by June 1st. I will quit smoking using the patch by March 15th, I will eat two fruits and four servings of vegetables every day.) 

2. Be reasonable. Just as important as setting your goal is making sure that your goal possible and something that you want to achieve. If eating more fruits and veggies does not appeal to you on any level do not make it your resolution to eat more fruits and veggies just because you know it’s good for you. If you want to lose weight, remember that you can only safely lose 1-2 pounds per week, so don’t make your goal to lose 100 pounds by February 2014. Setting unrealistic goals like this will just ensure another failed NYR. Find something you can be passionate about and stick to and go for it. 

3. Have a game plan. Sure, you have your ultimate end-game goal, but knowing how you’re going to get there is super important. Think baby steps. If your resolution is to lose those extra 30 pounds, aim for 1-2 pounds of weight loss a week until you reach your goal. Or if you want to get 8 hours of sleep a night, you could back up your bed time by 10 minutes every couple of days until you are snoozing for 8 hours.

4. Tell the world. This is an important step in the road to NYR victory. Tell your friends, co-workers, family, even the cashier at the grocery store that you are vowing to quit smoking, lose 10 pounds, or get to the gym 4 days a week. When your will wanes, the peer pressure that you’ve created for yourself will help you keep on track.

5. Be positive. Ever heard of the Little Engine that Could? With her mantra of “I think I can, I think I can I think I can..” she accomplished her goals. Even though the mountain was steep and took a lot of hard work, she kept positive with her eye on the prize. 

6. Become a journalist. No, not the kind that goes out and gets “the scoop,” but the kind that writes everything about your progress in a journal or on your phone or wherever. Studies show that people who keep a running tab on their progress are 50% more likely to succeed at their goal than those who do not. It doesn’t have to take much time…just a sentence or two each day (that’s like 15 seconds of your time). For example: I went to the gym today, lifted weights for 25 minutes and ran for 30 minutes on the treadmill. Weight today: 175…I’ve lost 2 more pounds!

7. Don’t be your own worst enemy. Many times, people fall off the NYR bandwagon because they experience a setback. Maybe they missed a session with their trainer, had a cigarette at a party or ate half a pan of brownies. No matter what your goal is, you will experience a relapse from time to time. Write it down in your journal and then move on. No beating yourself up…just get back on track.

Remember, your NYR should be flexible. If you start working on a goal and find that there might be a better goal or better way to achieve your goal, don’t quit, just change it. 

Happy resolution making!

Leftover Candy Canes = 9 calorie cookies!

Whatcha going to do with all of those pesky leftover
candycanes? Why not turn them into a low calorie, low fat cookie? The deliciously
light Candy Cane Meringue Cookie recipe below will make 36 cookies and have
less than 10 calories each…WHAT?! 

Seriously. Check it out.

What you need:

  • 2 Candy Canes

  • 1/3 cup sugar

  • 2 egg whites from large eggs (at room temp is best)

  • 1/8 tsp lemon juice

  • Pinch Cream of Tarter

  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt

What to do:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 225 degrees

  2. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper

  3. Place candy canes in a plastic bag and crush them into a
    fine-ish powder.

  4. Beat egg whites, lemon juice, cream of tarter and salt until
    soft peaks are formed.

  5. While beating, slowly add in sugar and continue beating
    until firm peaks are formed.

  6. Either pipe (from plastic bag or piping bag) or drop by the
    spoonful onto the parchment paper.

  7. Cook in pre-heated oven for 90 minutes

  8. Turn oven off, crack oven door and let cool in oven

  9. Store in sealed containers.


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Work Up to 2014 Fitness Challenge

‘Twas one week before Christmas and all over the place were candies and cookies and treats by the case. “They’re so hard to resist,” I said to myself, “I must pump up my workouts before becoming a chubby ol’ elf.”

Sound familiar? Well, never fear, I have just the thing to burn some extra calories so that you start 2014 off right!

Here’s the challenge: Each day, between now and January 1st, add the following moves to your current routine (or if you don’t have a routine, use this one to jump start your fitness goals). It’s a take on “The 12 Days of Christmas.” Do exercise #1 on Day 1 (tomorrow…or today if you can’t wait to get started), and then exercise #1 and #2 on day two and then exercise #1, #2 and #3 on day three…you get the point. So by New Year’s Day, you will celebrate the beginning of 2014 by doing all 14 exercises (approximately 15 with minimal rest). 


Day #1. 100 Jumping Jacks
Day #2. 12 Push Ups
Day #3. 3 Burpees
Day #4. 14 Tricep Dips
Day #5. 15 Jump Squats
Day #6. 60 lunges (30 each side)
Day #7. 70 second plank
Day #8. 80 hip ups (40 each leg)
Day #9. 90 seconds of bicycle crunches
Day #10. 100 second wall sit
Day #12.  12 Plank Switches (12 each side)
Day #13. 13 Squats
Day #14. 14 Burpees

Want a little reminder in your inbox each morning of the challenge with your workout for the day?  Simply e-mail and put "Sign me up" in the subject line.  


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Monday night dinner

This is a quick, super healthy staple in our house. Everything can be cooked and plated in 30 minutes.

Baked chicken breast with sea salt and pepper (bake for 25 minutes at 375).

Blasted broccoli and cauliflower (bake same as chicken)

Roasted sweat potatoes with sea salt and pepper (bake same as veggies and chicken)

So simple and delicious! And you can have 4 oz of chicken, 1 small sweet potato (skinned) and 2 cups of broccoli and cauliflower all for 300 calories, 34 grams carbs, 4 grams fat and 32 grams protein...perfect!


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Holiday Party Survival Guide (for your waist)

Welcome to December, or as I lovingly call it, The Weight Gain Month. We just made it through candy-filled Halloween and the feast we call Thanksgiving and are looking forward to Hanukah, Christmas, New Years and so on which are all also accompanied by excessive amounts of food. The holiday parties that consume the last part of December can cause some of the biggest diet traps of the season. But not to worry, you don’t have to finish out 2012 with a belly Santa of which would be proud. Here’s the holiday party diet survival plan:

  1. Don’t go hungry. A great tactic to ensure that you won’t over eat parties is to not go to them hungry. Eat a light but satisfying snack before you go. A half turkey sandwich on whole grain bread, veggies and hummus or a protein shake should do the trick.
  2. Bring the veggies. Make sure that there is something at the party to fill up your plate that is filling and calorie-safe. If you are hosting or helping fill out a spread at a gathering, fill it with veggies and hummus. That way, you can fill up on peppers/carrots/zucchini/etc. so you don’t go overboard on the cookies and such.
  3. Take a step back. You see that delicious food on the seasonally decorated table and want to make a bee line for the buffet. Go for it, but once you’ve gone through the line once, plant yourself out of arms reach of the goodies and better yet, keep your back to the food table. With this little trick, you are less likely to snack absent-mindedly.
  4. Exercise portion control. Holiday parties should not be viewed as all you can eat binges. Fill up on fresh veggies, fruits and a small amount your other favorite treats…”favorite” being the key word here. Don’t waste precious calories on food that you don’t love. Pick out your favorites and savor slowly.
  5. Drink and be Merry. If you decide to have a cocktail or two at your next holiday bash, choose champagne (120 calories in a 7 oz flute) or wine (100 calories for a 4 oz glass) over chocolate martinis (315 calories for a 7 oz drink) and eggnog (343 calories in 8 oz). Click here for more info on the best drink options for your waist.
  6. Skip the hangover. Schedule a sweat session with a friend (who you know wont bail on you) for early the morning after parties. This is make you think about how much you are drinking, plus you are burning calories from your “favorite” treats that you indulged in AND zapping fatigue and holiday stress all at once.

Armed with these tips, you are ready to go to holiday parties, family get togethers, cookie exchanges and wherever else the next few weeks take you. Remember, it’s okay to indulge every once in a while, just don’t make it a habit.

Work off those holiday eats and drinks

Did you eat or drink too much at that last holiday party or friendly get together at your favorite bar? No problem. Get to the gym and get back on track with your healthy eating. Too busy to go to the gym? Again, no problem, there are ways to burn extra calories during holiday and New Year’s celebrating. Check out how many calories you can burn doing the following typical holiday activities for 60 minutes*:

  • Dancing the night away: 300 calories

  • Cleaning house before guests arrive: 205 calories

  • Shoveling snow off your driveway/sidewalk or raking leftover leaves: 409 calories

  • Shopping for the perfect gifts: 175 calories

  • Ice Skating: 477 calories

  • Helping kiddos play with their new toys: 225 calories

All of these activities are great because they work the entire body AND are things you might have been planning to do anyway! So lend a hand doing the dishes, helping with a neighbor's yard or  playing with your nieces and nephews and become healthier and happier as a result!

*calorie burn is based on a 150 lb person

Stay warm with this super simple tortilla soup

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
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic
  • Dash of oregano
  • 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. your health!

With the holidays in full swing, we often find ourselves surrounded by not only tasty food choices but fun drink options. It’s a fantastic time of year, right? But all the eggnog and chocolate martinis can undo weeks and even months of eating salads, veggies, lean protein and hard work at the gym. So here’s a list of some of the most calorie-laden drinks and, of course, some good options if you plan to toast the night away. Please note that the drinks listed are frequently served at a higher volume than the suggested servings, so watch your portion size.

Sip this…Champagne (100 calories per 5 oz)
Spit out that…Eggnog (214 calories per 5 oz)

Sip this…Bloody Mary (125 calories per 5 oz)
Spit out that…Martini (306 calories per 5 oz)

Sip on this…Kailua and coffee (150 calories per 5 oz)
Spit out that…Chocolate Martini (376 calories per 5 oz)

Sip on this…Light beer (56-100 calories per 12 oz)
Spit out that…regular beer (150-200 calories per 12 oz)

Sip on this…wine (100 calories per 5 oz)
Spit out that…amaretto sour (350 calories per 5 oz)

And what about mixers? Well here’s the deal: a mixer can double (or triple) your calories pretty darn fast. A 1.5 oz shot (jigger) of distilled liquor such as vodka, gin or rum contains about 100 calories. Add that to 12 oz of your favorite soda and you’ve just make that little shot into a 250 calorie drink. Think tonic water and juice is safe? Think again; 124 calories per 12 oz of tonic water and about 200 per 12 oz pour for your favorite juice. Yikes! So what’s a party person to do? Use diet sodas, diet tonic water and club soda as mixers.

Other sneaky ways to have a good time without breaking the calorie bank with beverages:

  • Start with two large glasses of water before you sip even one alcoholic drink. This will cause you to drink slowly since you are no longer thirsty and your stomach is fuller

  • Drink one-on-one: before you grab another glass of wine, drink a glass of water. Keep alternating your favorite drink with water and you will drink less and stay hydrated

  • Give your friends a ride. Offer to drive friends to and from the party...sober. How easy is that…no calories from alcohol! Just be careful not to drink other calorie heavy drinks. Stick to diet soda and water.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

It's Turkey Time!

Looking forward to the Thanksgiving meal but dreading the bloat, possible weight gain and sleepiness afterwards? The average Thanksgiving dinner clocks in at 3.000 calories…gasp!! So follow these simple tips and swap outs and be thankful for a fun filled, guilt-free day of celebration!

1. Start the day off right with a metabolism boosting workout like a Thankgiving Day 5K (I’ll see you there!) or an at home gut busting burn.
2. Fill up on the good stuff.
  • Start with soup…yep…hot liquids make you feel fuller, so scoop up a healthy bowl full of goodness like this festive butternut squash soup.
  • White meat turkey (15% less calories than it’s dark counterpart)
  • Raw, steamed, grilled or roasted veggies like these tasty Brussels sprouts
  • “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.
  • Bring a protein and fiber packed dish like quinoa. I make a yummy one with sweet potatoes and black beans; you have to try it!
  • Pumpkin Pie (180 calories vs. 250 in apple and up to 700 in pecan!!)
3. Skip 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
4. Ditch the drinks…just kidding. But remember that alcohol lowers your inhibition with what you put in your mouth (as well as what comes out of it) so just be careful.

5. Stay awake. 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!
6. Relax…it’s a holiday. Although you don’t need to overindulge so much you make yourself sick, it’s still a holiday with some special food that is a one-day-deal. So, take a bite of everything that’s special to you and skip the stuff that’s not.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Yummy fall quinoa with sweat potatoes and black beans

A few months ago, some dear friends of ours brought us dinner and a similar quinoa dish to the one below was with it. I LOVED it and over the months have made it over and over and over again, tweaking it here and there for my love of spice and hate of extra calories :) Here is my version of a vegan main or side dish to die for. Enjoy!

What you need:

  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled, washed & cut into ½ inch cubes

  • 1 can black beans, drained & rinsed

  • 1 cup quinoa (I highly recommend buying pre-rinsed)

  • 2 cups vegetable broth

  • 2 limes juiced

  • 1/2 tsp liquid smoke

  • 1 tsp cumin

  • 1 tsp Chipotle Tabasco

  • 1 tsp agave nectar

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 2 tsp olive oil

  • cooking spray

What to do:
 Preheat oven to 420 degrees

 Spray cookie sheets and spread cubed sweet potatoes on them and spray potatoes with cooking spray, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 25-35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until potatoes are soft in center.

 While potatoes are roasting, prepare quinoa according to package directions substituting water with vegetable broth. Set aside.

 To make the vinaigrette, combine lime juice, liquid smoke, cumin, chipotle, salt (to taste), and agave nectar, whisking until well integrated. While whisking, slowly drizzle olive oil into bowl until fully integrated. Taste & make adjustments as necessary.

 In large bowl, stir together the black beans, roasted sweet potatoes, and quinoa. Pour vinaigrette over ingredients and toss until well coated (you might need more if you like a bit more flavor).

Enjoy!!! :)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Rake your body (and your yard) into shape!

The Move: Raking (yes, as in raking leaves)
If you raked your yard in the wind storm this weekend, give yourself a little pat on the back, because you burned some major calories. And if you haven’t gotten to your yard yet, there’s still time for you to rake yourself into shape. Raking uses a bunch of different muscle groups which makes it a great calorie-burning workout. You can burn 250-400 calories depending on how hard you are working. If that’s not a reason to get outside to get those leaves out of your yard, I don’t know what is!
Muscles Worked: Back, Core, Arms
Trainer Tips:
  • Relax your shoulders while raking to ensure that no extra stress is put on the neck.
  • Pull your abdominals in tight to get an even greater core workout.
Make ‘em Harder: Raking with a heavier rake will up the calorie burn of this great exercise/lawn care activity as will bagging the leaves by hand.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The perfect pancake


My little family loves pancakes for breakfast…and I love to make them for them, but they can be soooo unhealthy. So, I created a recipe that is both delicious and can be eaten by a dairy free and gluten free person-yippee!  Although the recipe below is for classic pancakes, at my house we add all sorts of things to our pancake batter: blueberries, cranberries, nuts and even the occasional chocolate chip J Just remember, that whatever you add to your ‘cakes, you need to add to your calorie count.

What you need:

  • 1.5 cups oat flour (just throw your oats into a blender or food processor and grind/pulse until “flour” or about 20 seconds)
  • 1.5 tablespoon agave nectar
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons apple sauce
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Cooking spray

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 175°
  2. Heat large skillet on stove top at medium-high heat
  3. Mix all dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl
  4. Mix all wet ingredients together in another bowl
  5. Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix…it’s okay if it’s a bit lumpy
  6. Check to see if the skillet is ready by dropping a few drops of water onto it. If it’s ready, the water will sizzle
  7. Spray hot skillet with cooking spray and put ¼ cup batter on hot surface
  8. When bubbles start to form on top of pancake, flip
  9. As you continue to cook up your pancakes, put the finished ones in the oven (on an oven safe plate) to keep fresh and warm
  10. Top with favorite toppings (not included in nutrition information) like syrup, berries, or yogurt and jam (so good!)

Nutrition Facts (per pancake, recipe yields 9 pancakes): 72 calories, 12 grams carbs, 1.5 grams fat, 2.5 grams protein, 1.5 grams fiber

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Hard-core pre-holiday workout

Work off some of that Halloween candy and help keep your body lean and strong during the holidays with this do-anywhere, calorie-crushing workout.
Do it Tabata-style (20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest). Do each of the 8 exercises once for one set, repeating it 8 times (or as many as you can and then work up from there). Need a little extra to counter your candy-binging — or because you’re just a badass? — do a bonus set of 30-second jumping jacks between sets.
  1. Push ups
  2. Jump Squats
  3. Dips
  4. Jump Lunges
  5. Wall Sit
  6. Butt Kicks
  7. Dive Bomb Push-ups
  8. Double Leg High Jump (or High Knees)

Perfect Brussels Sprouts

I didn’t grow up eating Brussels sprouts, but a few years ago someone made them for Thanksgiving, and since then I’ve been hooked. Though it may have a bad reputation, when prepared correctly, this in-season leafy vegetable is delicious and simple to prepare. Even better, Brussels sprouts are packed with fiber, antioxidants, and cancer-fighting properties.

What you need:

  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts
  • cooking spray
  • kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
What to do:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Trim the stems of the Brussels sprouts and cut in half.
  • Spray a heated skillet with cooking spray and sauté the sprouts for about 5 minutes. (Don’t worry about some of their leaves falling off; those will be especially tasty later.)
  • Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and arrange the Brussels sprouts (and their fallen leaves) in a single layer. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring every once in a while. Those little fallen leaves will crisp up, and they are DELICIOUS! 
You can eat the entire batch for about 165 calories, or you can share with a friend for 83 calories, 4 grams of fat, 11 carbs, 4 grams of fiber, and 4 grams of protein.

Feel free to add your own spices and additions (cranberries/almonds and bacon/maple syrup are two of my favorite combos). Just know that when you add ingredients, you need to add them to your calorie intake as well.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Hearty, healthy chili for chilly weather

Chili is delicious, but can be a huge calorie bomb. This slow cooker recipe, however, is still delicious, but only 140 calories per cup and is full of fiber and protein and overall yumminess.

What you need:

  • 1 pound 93% lean ground turkey
  • 1 cans kidney beans
  • 1 can black beans
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 can rotel
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • Salt to taste

What to do:

  1. Brown turkey
  2. Combine all ingredients in a crockpot and set on low for 6-8 hours
  3. Enjoy!

Nutrition per 1 cup serving (makes 12 servings): 140 calories, 3 grams of fat, 17 carbs, 6 grams fiber, 12 grams protein.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Need an energy boost?

The "fall back" daylight savings time used to be my favorite holiday because I got another hour of sleep...yeah! Now that I have a toddler, it just means getting up even earlier...not yeah. Plus, with it getting dark before we start eating dinner, my energy is WAY low...and so is everyone else's that I've spoken to since Sunday. So this week, I thought we would focus on how to gain some energy without drinking Starbucks out of coffee, sneaking a nap in your office, etc.

  1. Exercise for energy. Contrary to popular belief, exercise doesn't make you tired; it actually builds energy within your body at the cellular level. So get off the couch or skip the nap and take a walk, run, swim, lift weights, play Dance Dance Revolution, whatever it takes to move your body. Just 10 minutes, can give you the boost that you need. So while waiting for dinner to cook, burst into some jumping jacks, take a speedy walk to a co-workers desk instead of e-mailing her or run the stairs at lunch. Just get moving…even if you don’t feel like it (especially if you don’t feel like it!)
  2. Eat for energy. You might get a quick energy boost from that handful of M&Ms or a chocolate chip cookie, but you will crash and burn just as quick. So fuel your body to keep you energized all day long. Eat healthy carbs such as oatmeal, tons of veggies and fruit and remember to always eat protein with every meal or snack. Think almonds, tuna, chicken, turkey, walnuts, natural peanut butter and tofu. Think of your body as an engine and you are providing high grade gasoline when you eat well.
  3. Drink for energy. Ditch the “energy drinks,” caffeinated beverages and cocktails and drink water…a lot of water…at least 64 oz a day. One of the major symptoms of dehydration is fatigue, so when you are feeling tired or sleepy, especially in the middle of the day, chug a glass of water.
  4. Breathe for energy. Literally, take a breather. Just sit and take 5-10 deep breaths. Stress can cause us to fatigue mentally and emotionally which can manifest as physical exhaustion…so take a seat, inhale deeply, hold for a few seconds, and then exhale slowly and completely.
  5. Sleep for energy. Studies show that getting less than 6 hours of sleep leaves us WAY less than 100% not only mentally and physically but energy-wise as well. So get at least 7 hours of sleep and really shoot for 8 for optimal energy. Also, going to bed and waking up at the same time every night and day will help with energy dips. Sweet Dreams!
  6. Listen for energy. Put on some heart thumping tunes for a kick! I've got just the playlist for you!
Enjoy your new found energy!

Playlist to put on repeat

I'm loving this new playlist; half of which I Shazammed at the Chiefs' game, so you know it's blood pumping beats. I would just go ahead and put it on repeat for your run, walk, super sets, kitchen dance party and call it a calorie burning day.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A few little "tricks" to keep Halloween "treats" from adding to your padding

Halloween is this week and one of the scariest things about the holiday is how many empty calories you can consume in the days surrounding October 31st (not to mention the day of) because of all the darn candy. So what is a person to do when candy is EVERYWHERE? Well, just don’t eat it (or buy it)! Easier said than done, right? Well here are a few tricks and tips to keep the candy out of your tummy and off of your waist.
·         Buy candy to hand out to trick or treaters  that you don’t like. Don’t be your own undoing. Pretty simple, eh?
·         At the office, make sure you have cut up fruit, veggies and nuts on hand so that you have something to munch on other than handfuls of candy corn and “fun sized” chocolate.
·         If your kids bring home candy that you can’t resist, do something like the “Halloween Fairy” and have them pick out their favorite 10 pieces and put the rest on the front doorstep for the “Halloween Fairy” to trade for a non-edible present on Halloween night and then get rid of the bag. (Healthy kid tip too!) 
·         Extra Halloween candy? Throw it away! OR better yet, donate it to our troops overseas. Click here for where you can drop your candy.
·         If you just have to have a piece of candy, keep it at just that: one piece. Or check out this awesome chart of what 100 calories of your favorite candy looks like.
If you’re interested in the best and worst candy picks, choose Three Musketeers for chocolate (avoid Butter Finger and peanut butter cups), Dum Dum Pops for fruity candy (avoid Air Heads and Skittles) and tootsie rolls for a chewy fix (stay clear of Twix).  Click here for a calorie and fat comparison from Eat This, Not That.
Happy and Healthy Halloween!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Stay safe on your dark runs/walks

I was reminded this morning that running, although an amazing cardiovascular exercise and stress reliever, can be a super dangerous sport as TWO cars almost flattened me at TWO different crosswalks. Soooo…I thought I would review some safety tips for runners/walkers who are finding themselves running in the dark now that the sun rising later and setting earlier.

Although I was practicing most of these safety tips, the drivers of these cars were not paying attention (one was doing something on their phone and the other might have just been completely blind and therefore shouldn't have been driving a car). And, although I had the right of way in both of these situations, it is really really important to pay extra attention and assume that I am not seen unless acknowledged and take the proper precautions even thought they were in the wrong. Okay…that’s my little soap box. Here are the tips J

1.      Wear reflective and light colored clothing. Don’t be one of those people with a death-wish wearing all black and running in the street pre-dawn.
2.      Run with a flashlight or headlamp. Not only does this really draw attention to you in the pitch black, it helps you navigate while you run. Nothing sucks more than stepping on something you couldn't see and breaking an ankle (ask my friend Alice).
3.      Pay attention and take precautions. Don’t assume that drivers see you…make sure to make eye contact with them. It doesn't matter if it’s your right of way if you’re flattened on the street.
4.       If you’re running on a street, run on the left side of the street. You should be going against traffic when walking and running anyway so that you can leap out of the way if a car comes at you.
5.       Run in populated areas with plenty of lighting. That’s just a no brainer.
6.       Run with a friend. It’s easier to see two people than one person, plus you have a bit of defense if you happen to run into a sticky situation like an injury or creepy person.

I’m sure you all have other suggestions as well…feel free to leave a comment and share it with us!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Eat out and still lose weight

Here's my newest post on feed me kc

It's possible! You can totally eat out and still lose or maintain weight. I have a few weeks full of fun celebrations, meetings, happy hours, and other restaurant-eating activities and am well aware that restaurants are notorious for transforming seemingly healthy options into extremely high-calorie bombs.
For example, a grilled chicken Caesar salad can have around 1,190 calories and 75.4 grams of fat. Shocking, right? “Grilled Chicken” and “Salad” are usually the healthy options.
So here are some simple tips to help you (and me) navigate the restaurant menu and avoid a dietary disaster:
  1. Plan ahead. Many restaurants — especially chains — have nutrition info on their website. Visit their www before venturing out to make sure you order something that fits into a healthy diet! Better yet, look up your favorite and most frequented restaurants and have healthy options in mind when making an unexpected stop to eat out.
  2. Avoid these words. Avoid dishes with the following words: cream sauce, butter, oil, fried, au gratin, breaded, battered, Alfredo, and smothered. These dishes are most likely extremely high in fat and calories.
  3. Eat your veggies. Watching your carbs? No problem. Order lean meat with veggies on the side and ask for an extra serving of vegetables to replace the carby (e.g. bread, potatoes, rice, pasta, etc.) side.
  4. Watch the toppings. When ordering a salad, find out what’s actually in the salad. Veggies and lettuce are great, but candied nuts, cheese, creamy dressing, and dried fruit add up to a very unhealthy salad.
  5. Ditch the buffets. Buffets are just a recipe for disaster; avoid altogether for calorie/fat safety. But if you HAVE to be at one, get just one plate of food with at least 1/2 of the plate piled with veggies.
  6. Eat your meat. Just make sure your meat is prepared in the following ways: steamed, poached, roasted, broiled, grilled, baked, or boiled. Fried or breaded meat is never ever healthy. Poultry and fish are great choices but if you are a red meat lover, no worries, just choose a lean cut of meat, such as eye of round roast, top round steak, bottom round roast, mock tender steak or top sirloin.
  7. Send the bread back. Who really needs the extra bread at the table? Most likely, you’ll just fill up on it and then try to stuff down your meal. Ask the wait staff to not bring the bread or send it back if it’s already on the table.
  8. Ask for the to-go box first. Box up at least half of your meal right when it comes out, and then eat your plate clean without guilt.
  9. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. If a dish comes with fried chicken, ask for it to be grilled. If something is smothered in cheese, ask for the cooks to “hold the cheese, please.” If something comes with fries, ask for steamed veggies instead. Most restaurants are very willing to help people eat healthier.
  10. Go straight to the healthy section of the menu. Many restaurants have recognized the need for a “light” menu to make it easier to choose wisely. So if you have that option, just flip right to it and don’t even tempt yourself with the less healthy options.

New favorite snack: Roasted Chick Peas

I should warn you first…these are super addictive, and healthy but are NOT calorie-free, so be prepared to have to limit your intake on this amazingly crispy, salty and fiber/protein heavy snack. What are they? It’s simply roasted garbanzo beans (chick peas).

What you need:
1 can of garbanzo beans
Cooking spray
Favorite spices (I used sea salt and pepper…so good)

What to do:
1.       Preheat oven to 400°
2.       Drain, rinse and dry garbanzo beans
3.       Put beans in a bag or bowl, give a couple sprays with cooking spray and add your spices
4.       Shake it, stir it, whatever…just make sure the beans are evenly coated with spray/spices
5.       Put foil down on a cookie sheet, spread garbanzo beans in a single layer and pop in the oven for 45 mins
6.       Enjoy (they come out hot J )

Makes three ¼ cup servings
140 calories
2.5 grams fat
7 grams protein
24 carbs
7 grams fiber 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Push-ups: do them!

If you don’t already do push-ups as part of your strength routine, you really should. I don’t know if you’ve noticed in my past posts on feed me kc or anywhere on my blog, but I really, really, really, really like them. Push-ups are a must move because they use pretty much all the muscles in the upper body (arms, chest, back) and also engage your core, making it an extremely efficient upper body exercise.

Level 1: Using a wall, stand with feet hip-width apart a few feet out from the wall. Keeping the abs in tight and torso straight, lean towards the wall and place hands at chest height, slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Slowly bring your chest towards the wall and then slowly push back up to starting position. Repeat 12 times.

Level 2: Use a counter or sturdy table edge and follow the Level 1 instructions.

Level 3: On the floor, either on your knees or toes, keep your body nice and flat as you lower your chest towards the ground and push back up. Need more? Lift one leg up as you go down.

Levels 4, 5, 6 … : Put your feet on a table, chair, swing, etc. Or do it dive-bomb style.