Hi everyone! Welcome back to week 3 of my fitness blog! I hope you’ve all got some insight to my philosphy as a trainer, as well as some helpful meal planning tips, and some inspiration on progression. This week I`d like to talk about shopping lists, snack ideas, and variety in your diet.
I want to share with you some of my own personal snacks, shopping lists, and cooking methods.
Snacks: Generally 200-300 calories. It is important to have balanced snacks aka carbs, protein and fat. I always try to keep my foods fresh, organic, and as close to natural as possible – LIMIT processed foods.
Not sure how to read a food label? Follow this interactive link to learn more!!
It is very important to create a shopping list before your weekly visits to the grocery store(s). Sift through recipes for breakfasts, lunches and dinners that you would like to make yourself. Remember, cooking 1-2 times a week is ideal at minimum. You will always have food readily accessible for you on-the-go people! (All of us are!!)
Please refer to Meal Planning: Shopping Lists for a more in depth look at this concept.
This is a blog that I posted prior to my fitness blog launched. This is in PROGRESSION. Please read and enjoy. Comments welcome. I have included a link to my original blog at the bottom!
Today I want to hone in on the importance of planning your meals. Let’s face it, we are ALL busy. Career, kids, working over-time, under-paid, long days, responsibilities, etc. This is life. But what does it mean to live? To me, it means enjoying the quality of life while minimizing everyday stress. This is why we must take care of ourselves! So, today I will touch the surface of meal planning for a week in order to help you reduce your time spent on such tasks during the week.
For some this may seem a daunting task, and even ridiculous, time consuming, expensive, unreasonable or boring (all things I have heard recently), BUT what this really amounts to is: more time during the week for other activities, less stress of “to-dos” like making dinner, packing lunches, etc, more money saved, more energy, and a healthier you!!!
The basic goal of planning your meals ahead of time involve the idea that you are conciously making decisions of what you are going to put into your body. This is one of the common excuses that I hear from people: “I am so busy, and I have to eat quickly on the go. I just don’t have time to eat healthy!”. Really? I challenge you otherwise. You CAN eat healthy on the go IF you prepare ahead of time. Pack snacks! Use tupperware, ziplock baggies, keep food in the car or your purse ladies if you have to.
The truth is, if you purchase your foods with a goal in mind (like a list), you will purchase foods that will be healthy, energizing and help you function more efficiently. If you don’t purchase foods with these goals in mind, you will likely always be stopping somewhere quick for a snack like a fast food chain or gas station (we’re all guilty of this!), or on the flip side you may not eat for a long period of time and then binge later on. This is not good either.
Not everyone is the same. We all have different metabolisms, activity levels, medical concerns, and innate cravings / needs. It is important to get in tune with your body and your needs in order to find a program that works for you. The key is BALANCE. (I will continue stressing this concept throughout my blogs).
Balance with food is: Protein, Carbohydrate and Fats. It’s important to understand that your body needs all 3 of these nutrients for different reasons whether you are active or inactive. Your ratios, caloric intake, and percentages, or how you divide up these calories will be specific to you and your needs. It seems complex, but really it’s not. For those of you “health gurus” you know what I am talking about. For those of you who are already confused, have no fear! We will explore some general guidelines. As you become more in tune with yourself and your body, you will gain a better understanding of your own needs.
If you are at a complete loss speak to a Personal Trainer, Dietician, or research yourself. Be sure that what you are researching is valuable information based on science. Not just someone’s opinion. I have provided a couple of links below.
(Be your own advocate)
First, consider your goals ie: weight loss, weight gain, maintanance, or maybe blood sugar management for you diabetics. Ok, now what does that mean to you? Increase calorie DEFICIT, decrease calorie deficit, maintain calories or spread calories and sugars out more evenly for glucose management? Whatever it means to you, just be aware of it.
First, make a list. If you like to cook, gather some healthy recipes and add to your list that way. If you don’t like to cook, consider foods that you like that you can package in tupperware or ziplock baggies to take on the go. If you know you have trouble snacking on unhealthy foods between meals at work, make it a point to add high protein snacks to your list. Some examples of my own snack list include: turkey pepperoni, low-fat mozzeralla string cheese, fresh fruit / veggies, almond butter, peanut butter, protein bars (for when I`m really busy), almonds, mixed nuts (unsalted), or smoothies with protein powder. Get creative! Snacks generally are 200-300 calories for most people. I always try to limit my fat intake at snacks because I know I am getting more at my meal times. Balance is important here.
This is a main concern of most people, and one of the most common excuses I hear is “Eating healthy is just too expensive!” To that, I ask you:
I gaurantee that you are spending more on all of these items combined then you will spend to prepare your own meals. Period. Eating out is one of the biggest ways to waste your hard earned money. Is it really that convenient?
WEEKLY CHALLENGE!: If you are guilty of this, save all of your receipts this week. Time yourself at each location to see how long it takes you to wait in line to get your food / coffee. Write the time on the back of the receipt when you get it, and add them up next week. I dare you!!
Set a day and time aside. For me, I always cook on Sunday evenings around 7 as I wind down for the night. Sundays are my only day off, so it works best for me. I also find myself cooking more meat on Wednesdays nights (my off night from the gym). I love to cook so I like my meat juicey and fresh! Choose what works well for you.
Choose cooking methods such as baking, steaming, broiling to avoid access fat and calories. I personally use a rice cooker with a steamer for chicken, veggies, and my rice! Chop everything up, put it in the cooker, time it and wait! Minimal work to be done!
Spice up your life! Use spices and blends!! Don’t let yourself get boring. This is so much easier than you think! Try to avoid using any mixes with salt; especially if you are concerned with high blood pressure or water retention.
Make sure to clean all of your veggies before you chop them! I recommend chopping all of your veggies and putting them in tupperware. You can add them as a side dish to an entree, eat them as a snack, or even add them in your omeletes or scrambles like I do. No matter what, you have them ready to go!
Variety! Make sure with your meats you are cooking a variety. For example: tonight I made chicken. I steamed a couple of chicken breasts flavored with lemon juice, and then I cut strips of other chicken and made it over the stovetop with a little redwine and some spices. This strips I will add to my salad or over rice. This adds variety. I also made turkey burgers with Mrs. Dash and other seasonings. I made 4 different kinds to choose from: Fiesta Lime, Lemon Pepper, Tomato and Basil, Original. I also usually have ground turkey made. For my breakfasts, I use ground turkey sausage or all natural beef sausage (every other week) and package that up. I can add it to omeletes, scrambles, rice, or even have it by itself on the side with a smoothie.
I encourage you to set a timer to see how long your prep for the week takes you! You will be surprised!
Remember: You are your own best advocate. No one knows your body better than you do! We are our own worst critics, but we also go too easy on ourselves. Our bias allow crutches. Stop making excuses and DO SOMETHING!!!
NUTRITION IS AT LEAST 70% of your results that you will see regardless of your goal.
Eat breakfast within 1 hour of waking, and meals / snacks every 3-4 hours thereafter. Do NOT skip meals!
Hi everyone! Welcome to my fitness blog. Each week I will be sharing insight to health, fitness, common questions, etc. Today I would like to introduce you to what LIVING A HEALTHY LIFE means to me.
While you well know that I promote exercise and am a personal trainer in a corporate gym, I want to urge you to keep in mind that fitness, health and overall well-being is not defined by “the gym” alone. Due to our non-functional lives, the gym is a modern day outlet to acheive training and balance that our bodies used to have in the days of our ancestors. However, our lives are so lazy now that we must train our bodies not to just adapt and become lazy with this lazy approach to life we have taken (I am not denying technologic benefits, but you can understand where I`m going with this!).
Health is the most valuable asset we have in our lives. Ironically, we have a significant amount of control over our own health; more control then anyone else could ever have unlike most things.There are hundreds of proven benefits to physical activity as you well know. Some of which include: Disease management & prevention, better sleep, hormone regulation, bone density improvement, clarity of mind, increased libido….the list goes on and on and on. We’ve all read the biggies on the internet, in magazines, and heard the tv commercials on weight loss products.
But what if living a healthy life goes beyond being “skinny” or “bulky”, thin or fat, athlete or former athlete, having perfect nutrition or exercising twice a day? Well, guess what – it does! Being healthy is, you guessed it, a lifestyle. Health is a balancing act of every single tiny part of your life, and everything you do affects it.
Health includes your physical being, emotional being, mental and spiritual being. It is absolutely essential to get in tune with your body in order to make well-informed decisions about how to help your body function more efficiently. This is a process and it takes time.Your body is made to MOVE, you should do this often! On the flip side, sometimes your body needs to rest. This balance can be very difficult to acheive with conflicting information in every book or magazine you pick up, every fad diet claiming to be the best one, and websites made by everyday people who may or may not be well-educated or informed in the topic they’re preaching on. Many people have good intentions, but have no idea where to begin on being accurately informed, or following through with a long-term process. Most goals are cut short-term, and long term goals are never acheived. People quit. My goal, is to help motivate and inform people like you so you will not just quit. Knowledge is power IF you choose to use it.
Each week, we will explore different avenues of healthy living, how to goal set, make good choices, embark into a positive attitude, find an emotional balance (fitness / nutrition can be very emotional), as well as updates on my personal training adventures as I strive to acheive balance in training for a NPC Figure Fitness Competition. We have a lot to cover in due time. For today remember this:
Welcome to the first fitness blog post of 2012. I will share with you today an impromtu view into my mind as a Personal Trainer, Nutritionist and aspiring NPC Figure Fitness competitor. Strap on your seatbelts and enjoy the ride….
In my opinion fitness describes a specific state of balance and imblance that we usually attribute to our physical being. We consider ourselves or others physically fit or un-fit depending on their activity levels, and also based on their lifestyle habits. I presume that someone with poor lifestyle habits outside of “the gym” or other physically activity may not be physically fit. Or, for that matter emotionally, mentally or spiritually fit. You see, one may have a beautiful outer body, and be imbalanced in many other areas of their fitness. For this reason, fitness does not just refer to one’s body.
Fitness goes beyong work in the gym, crunches, flat abs, glamour muscles, or cellulite reduction. While physical fitness plays a crucial role in overall well-being (aka emotional, mental and some may argue spiritual), it is not the only peice to the puzzle. The puzzle is a jigsaw of many parts that fit together into one – Your body. Your body needs proper physical balances for longevity, disease management and prevention, reducing risk of injury, regulation of hormones, functionability, and many other benefits to be reaped. However, this is also true of mental, emotional and spiritual balance. All of these areas compromise who we are as people in our lives. Truly fitness is not about the gym.
Ok, that was a hefty statement. Let me elaborate…
Fitness is not about the gym because we are created to be functional beings (active – we are made to MOVE), relational beings (being in relationship / social with one another), growing beings (inovation, technology, knowledge seeking, philosophical), and emotional beings. We accept these as truth, and they seem simple right? Wrong.
As human beings we constantly strive to be accepted. Whether in society, the workplace, or with friends, family, significant others. That is our relational stress that triggers our emotions and can take a physical toll. It can also make us mentally exhausted or spiritually frusterated and seeking answers to everyday problems. For most people, these problems are what affects there physical fitness in either a negative or a positive way. Hence, motivation. Drawing motivation from positive or negative sources.
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