Thursday, April 30, 2009

Start Small. Go Big.

Between watching this week's episode of The Biggest Loser, and having a great workout with one of my rock star clients, I had a principle of working out (and life, really) re-confirmed to me. Biggest Loser Scenario: The contestants watched a video of their first workouts on the ranch. Most of them were doing hardly any weight, struggling to get their reps in, and using poor form. From the looks on their faces they were hating life, hating exercising, and wanting to get the heck out of there. BUT they didn't. They stuck with it, and most of them...a hundred plus pounds later...couldn't believe that was actually their "old selves" they were watching.

Rock Star Client Scenario: Betina is an AWESOME client of mine. I've been working with her for about 7 months. She's almost 50, and she's SUPER sweet, in so many ways. When I started out with her we started mostly with balancing exercises, low reps, really focusing on form. Slowly each week we'd build. Increasing weight, increasing difficulty, and though she didn't realize it, increasing confidence in her ability to perform. On Wednesday I put her through an extremely challenging workout. When we were done she was SO proud of herself, and I was SO proud of her too. She was doing things she never would have believed possible on day one.

So, the take home lesson?

-Start small. Yes, i'm not going to lie, it WILL most likely be hard at first. Wether you are out of shape, overweight, old, young, weak, or just trying to get back into the mode. The first few weeks are the most dificult.

-Which brings me to the next lesson. IT GETS BETTER. Stick to it. Make those small goals, and increase them with time. You will be surprised at your own strength, and abilities.
-Lastly, don't be afraid to push yourself. Most of us don't realize what we are capable of. Be safe, don't overdo it, but don't underestimate yourself either.

I hate to bring up the marathon again, cause I know you're all sick of hearing about it. BUT if there is one HUGE thing I learned, it's that we are capable of SO much more than we give ourselves credit for. Don't give up on yourself. If there is something that you want, go for it. Get the "I can't" out of your head, because the truth is YOU CAN!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Fiber One Fabulousness

What I'd like to know is how I've made it this far with out posting about my LOVE for Fiber One Bars. This is a product that I am absolutely in love with, and I know many of you are too. So, for those of you who haven't had the pleasure, please, indulge yourself. I have been loving on these babies since they only offered oats & chocolate, and oats & peanut butter. Now the flavers have branched out to include; oats & caramel, oats & strawberries with almonds, oats & apple struesel, and chocolate mocha. If you can't find one flaver that suits your fancy you must be crazy.

These sweet treats are portable, low calorie (140), 4.5 grams of fat, 9 grams of fiber, and 2 grams of protein. Because of the high fiber content they keep you full, making them a great snack. Try them, I promise you'll become addicted.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

meet my new besty besty...

Yes, this fine piece of machinery has become my best friend over this past week. Despite some soreness, I thought I made my way out of the marathon injury free. Unfortunately I wasn't 100% correct in that assumption. Turns out I have a stress fracture in my foot. NO BUENO. It's been good for me to take some time off to give my body some recoup time. I'll be honest though, it's been quite a challenge going from intense workouts 5-6 days a week to "taking it easy." So, what has the game plan been?
Watching my food intake very carefully, strength training, and spinning.
I have always really liked spin class, but it doesn't always fit into the schedule. So, I decided to go solo. Most gyms don't mind if you use the spin bikes while classes aren't going. So grab your ipod, and a bottle of water and try out the following...It will get you I promise!

First things first. You need to make sure your bike is set up correctly.
click HERE to find out the best way to get set up

next, make sure you've got some upbeat music on your ipod, unless you don't mind working out noiseless

I like to work out on a "per song" basis. I set the stopwatch on my ipod so I can keep track of how long i'm going for and I get that workout playlist jammin'.

Start with a brisk warm up, getting the blood flowing in those legs. From there i'd just vary your workout from these options
-do 30 second sprints followed by one min recovery
-do gradual hill climbs increasing the resistance every 30 seconds
-crank up that resistance and do sprints
-alternate between sitting and standing
-shift your weight forward and backward while standing

Just remember, it's your workout. YOU are the only one who can push yourself and make your workout worth it!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Order This


a few things should be noted about this place.
B - It's Dangerous (long waits + bread basket + entree + cheesecake = a plethora of calories)
C - It's menu resembles that of a small novel. (As if it wasn't hard enough to try and find something healthy to eat when your list of choices doesn't span 20 some pages.)

So, what's a famished calorie counter to do?
Let me just give you my two cents. Do with it what you will.

1. Avoid the bread bowl if possible. If you can't manage to wait. Limit yourself to one piece and go for the rye bread.

2. Avoid anything with the words "fried, crispy, creamy, cheesy, etc." you get the point.

3. Skip the appetizer and go straight for the main course. One order of six Avocado Egg Rolls has 1123 calories and 65 grams of fat. That rounds out to about 187 calories per roll. WOW!

4. Luckily there ARE options, and good ones too! The Cheesecake Factory has three "weight management" salads that they offer on the menu.

-The Spicy Chicken Salad has 490 calories, 14 grams of fat, 61 grams of carbs, and 33 grams of protein.
-The Pear and Endive Salad has 590 calories 25 grams of fat, 50 grams of carbs, and 23 grams of protein. If you take out the blue cheese on this salad you'll save about 86 calories taking it down to about 500.
-The California Salad has 560 calories, 28 grams of fat, 43 grams carbs, and 38 grams of protein. Again, I'd order it without the blue cheese taking it down to about 490 calories and lowering that fat content as well.

With all of these salads order the dressing on the side, and if they come with a lot of "extras" on top (nuts, cheese, chow mein noodles, guacamole, etc.) ask for those on the side so you can determine how many extra calories you're putting on top. This will save you calories as well.

STAY's some scary entree options you may want to STEER CLEAR of.
-Spicy Chicken Chipotle Pasta: 1750 calories
-Stuffed Chicken Tortillas: 1797 calories
-Old Fashioned Hamburger 958 calories
-Hawaiian Pizza 1444 calories
-Pasta Da Vinci 1524 calories (and a mere 80 grams of fat!)
-Miso Salman 1983 calories
...just to name a few.

5. Skip dessert, or share with a LOT of people.
many people see the "low carb" cheese cake option and think they are good to go. False.
One slice of low carb cheesecake has 610 calories 57 grams of fat! GOOO! I don't think that his helping any dieter out. You'd actually be better off just ordering a slice of thier normal cheesecake. FYI, one slice of the chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake has 1080 calories and 71 grams of fat! And if you think you're doing better by getting the carrot cake...1560 calories and 84 grams of fat're incorrect.

Just remember to be smart about your options. Cream/Cheese/Butter at a resturaunt mean loads of unwanted calories. Once you find those deliciously healthy options you'll be glad you're not throwing away loads of calories on one meal, and you're consistant healthy eating patterns will show!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

EaRTh DaY!!

Happy Earth Day!
Celebrate by eating your greens!
This recipe is one of my favorites from my mom. It is a great EASY way to get in a TON of different vegetables that taste divine! My brother in-law once counted that my mom put 11 different veggies in this dish at once. Pretty impressive if you ask me! :)

Italian Vegetable Bake

Steam until almost cooked through:
1 zucchini sliced
1 yellow squash sliced
2 cups broccoli cut to desired size
2 cups cauliflower cut to desired size
2 large carrots cut
other veggie options: bell peppers, mushrooms, whole green beans, asparagus, etc. etc. etc. Go hog-wild. (If you want to skip all the cutting you could even just buy the pre-cut frozen stuff.)

drain veggies, and put into casserole dish
drizzle 1/2-1 cup of fat free Italian dressing (depending on how many vegetables you have) and toss veggies to coat.
sprinkle 1 oz part skim mozzarella cheese over the vegetables
sprinkle 2 tbs of bread crumbs over the top of the cheese
pop into the oven at 400 just to melt the cheese. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

See Megan Run...The Final Chapter.

I did it. I almost can't believe it. Well, I can believe it do to the fact that I am reminded with every sore step I attempt to take today, but I am still a bit dumbfounded I guess. 26.2 miles later I completed a full marathon, a goal i have had for probably 10 years.

After a carb loading pasta dinner with the family, I slept up at my brother Tyler's house on Friday night, so I could get as much sleep as possible. As I was going to bed I just kept thinking to myself...when I wake up in the morning it is going to be go time. It seemed almost unreal to me that I was finally arriving at what the past 4 months of intense training had led up to. I had everything prepped for the big day. Part of the training process is working out all the bugs before hand so when race day comes you're primed and ready. So...I knew exactly which shoes/clothes I was wearing, what I was going to eat for breakfast, how I wanted my hair to be, what I was going to supplement with, etc. Knowing all of this beforehand makes the pre-race anticipation significantly less. My sweet brother woke up with me at the CRACK of dawn on saturday to get me up to the start line. He made sure I was all prepped to go and took some pre-race photos for me. At the start I just remember thinking..."here goes a loooong morning." I was correct.

and we were off...

My awesome family came to some of the different mile markers to cheer me on and keep me going. It helped me SO much just to know they were there cheering for me! Their encouraging words kept me going. My mom would run along side me for a sec and remind me I could do it!
Here we are at mile 13. I remember at this point thinking...hmmm...had I done the half I'd be done. But, nope. KEEP GOING!
Believe it or not here we are at mile 20. Ty snapped this photo of me giving my dad a high 5, while my mom jogs along side me. I love it. Having my mom and dad fly in from AZ was more than I could have asked for. Thanks so much M&D!! It was at this point in the race that the mental toughness started. My body of course was really tired, but I just had to keep telling myself to keep it up! It was so amazing to have random strangers lining the streets the whole way cheering all the racers on.
Crossing the finish line was one of the most surreal experiences of my life. It was so awesome to have all of the people that I love at the end cheering me on! I LOVE to shop, as a lot of you know, but I don't know if I've ever been more excited to see the Gateway Mall in my life. (The finish line ran down the middle of the outdoor mall.) I was completely exhausted, my legs felt like led, I was pretty sure I couldn't take another step, but I absolutely couldn't wipe the smile off my face.

I got an AWESOME massage after the race while my family chilled and waited for me. One of the race day highlights...besides me of course ;) ... My family met and took pictures with Blane and Dane, cousins from this season of The Biggest Loser. AMAZING, right? Check my sister Lindsey's blog HERE for photos and details. They ran the 1/2 and look awesome! After talking to them for a bit, let's just say...we know who's going to the finale. I'll tell you if you want me to...
We had a bunch of cameras there, so I didn't get all the photos that were taken of everyone that came up to cheer me on. BUT I just have to say thankyou to all my supporters. For my family and friends who to the time to come to watch, it absolutely meant the world to me. For those of you who texted, called, left facebook/blog messages; every single word of encouragement and congrats were SO SO SO much appreciated. This was such a big accomplishment for me, and I couldn't have done it without all of you encouraging me along. My time was 4 hours and 10 minutes. My goal was to finish around 4 hours, so I felt really good about it. I finished 13th out of 52 in my age group. Here's to 26.2 BABY!!! I'm officially a marathoner.
(oh, and please disregard my nastiness in all the photos...I just ran 26.2 miles ok??)

Friday, April 17, 2009

by this time tomorrow...

I'll be super glad my race is over...
I'll be sitting...(i'm sure)
I'll be downing some ibuprofen...
I'll be a marathon-er!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

This is for my preggers!!

I know several of my readers are currently pregnant, so hopefully a little info and some recommendations on Exercising during pregnancy might be of help. Click HERE to read a previous post of mine on exercising and pregnancy.

First of all, it IS safe to exercise during pregnancy, recommended even. The general rule of thumb is you should be safe to do what you've been doing before, BUT now is not the time to drastically increase your activity level. Don't take this to mean..."I don't exercise at all now. I guess I shouldn't start." I'm NOT saying that. I'm talking more along the lines of...going from jogging for 45 mins a day to jogging two hours a day.

Some danger signs you want to look for while you're working out are
-Nausea, Dizziness, Sudden change in body temp, heart palpitations, swelling in your calves, vaginal bleeding, blurred vision, fainting, sharp/recurring pain in abdomen and chest, deep back or pelvic pain, or vaginal fluid leaking.

Exercises to avoid are:
  • exercises that are of high-intensity, such as marathon running and cycling, or high-impact aerobics
  • contact sports, like football, ice hockey, and wrestling
  • racket sports
  • any activity where you could be hit in the stomach
  • activities that could cause you to fall, such as rollerblading, outdoor cycling, rock climbing, or horseback riding
  • any activities performed at high altitudes, including downhill skiing and climbing
  • scuba diving, as it could put pressure on your organs or your baby
After the first trimester, activities performed on your back should also be avoided. This is because the weight of your baby could compress an artery, resulting in restricted blood flow. Closer to the third trimester, activities involving vigorous jumping or jarring movements should also be stopped.

So, what should you do?
Walking and swimming are some of the best exercises you can do. They are lower impact and are easy on the joints. Jogging, dancing, yoga, pilates, biking, and the elliptical machine are also great means of exercising for the pregnant woman. Weight lifting is still ok, but weight should be taken down considerably so your heart rate doesn't get too high.

One thing that I have recommended to many of my pregnant clients is a heart rate monitor. It helps you to know you are staying in a safe range without any guessing.
If you have any other specific questions please ask!!

See Megan Run...

It's almost game time...
I CAN'T believe it. T minus 4 days until race day. I am nervous/excited/relieved to finally be here! My Saturday run was only 8 miles, and it felt awesome. It pumped me up for this weekend. I am just hoping that everything goes smoothly on Saturday.
I know that there are a bunch of you that are running as well, so I wish you the best of luck! Let's DO THIS!!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The truth about spirit of the holiday of course.

In the late 80's eggs were labeled as "unhealthy" and have taken a bad rap since then. There are so many claims thrown out there...too much cholesterol...too much saturated fat...high in protein...low in calories...etc. It can be hard to sort through them all to find the truths. Here are the facts, and you can't argue with the facts.

-Eggs are high in vitamins, minerals, and essential amino acids. They contain Choline, which helps keeps your bodies cell membranes healthy. Selenium, helps to strengthen your immune system. Folate and Riboflavin help your body to convert the food you eat into name a few.
-Eggs are nutritious and low in calories. One large egg has about 80 calories, five grams of fat, and 6.3 grams of protein. (3.5 grams in the white and 2.8 grams in the yolk)
Eggs are high in cholesterol. One egg contains about 212 mg of cholesterol. The recommended daily intake of cholesterol is about 300 mg, which might shy some people away from consuming them. Some studies have shown that the lecithin in eggs prevents the absorption of cholesterol from eggs and other sources too. Keep in mind that it is the egg yolk that contains all the cholesterol. The egg white contains none.
Research shows that Eggs aren't linked to Heart Disease. Stephen Kritchevsky, Ph.D., director of the J. Paul Sticht Center on Aging at Wake Forest University says,"People should feel secure with the knowledge that the literature shows regular egg consumption does not have a measurable impact on heart disease risk for healthy adults."

My Advice to you? I'd say go for it. Eat your eggs, BUT I'd try substituting a plethora of whole eggs with some egg whites to cut down on fat and cholesterol. Let's say your usual morning breakfast is an omelet with 3 whole eggs. This is what your nutrient breakdown would look like.
3 whole large eggs: 225 calories, 18.9 g protein, 15 g fat

Now substitute two of those whole eggs for 8 egg whites (15 calories each) and your stats looks something like this.
8 egg whites & 1 whole egg: 211 calories, 34.3 g protein, 5 g fat Less calories, more protein, and less fat. MUCH better.

My only other warning would be to watch what you're eating it with. Sometimes its not the egg that is the problem, but perhaps the butter your slathering it with or the cheese you're stirring in. So, enjoy your eggs.
Moderation is the key!
Happy Easter!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Frozen low down

Life gets crazy. And sometimes when life gets crazy healthy eating choices are the first thing to go out the window. DON'T let this happen to you. Meals thrown together can mean unknown nutritional value and that can be dangerous. There are ways to remedy. When cooking a nutritional meal just doesn't fit into your schedule the drive-thru window isn't your only option!

Although I was totally scared to delve into the "frozen meal" world at first, my mom helped show me that not all of them are as scary as they seem! It all started when my family moved to AZ right at the start of my college experience. Cooking for myself seemed near impossible at that point, and I began to wonder if cereal for dinner every night was just the way it was going to be. Elaine, being the fantastic mom that she is, shed some light on the healthy choices of frozen meals that are out there that don't taste awful. I've since become a better cook, thank goodness, but still rely on these frozen guys every now and again when time is short and my stomach is waiting!

Here are some tips when picking out frozen meals...

1. Aim for those that keep calories in the 250-300 range (journal as light frozen meal).
2. Choose meals with less than 4 grams of saturated fat.
3. Choose meals with less than 800 milligrams of sodium.
4. Select meals with at least 3-5 grams of fiber.

Even if you can get 3 out of 4 of these down you'll be in pretty good shape. If you're still feeling baffled I'll let you in on my picks...
Some of my favorites include;

Smart Ones Chicken Enchilada Suiza
ringing in at 310 calories it has a great flavor and is filling!

Smart Ones Chicken Santa Fe
This one has only 140 calories and a full serving of veggies. WOW. I've found that it's not filling enough for me, so I'll cook this bad boy up and put it inside a La Tortilla Factory Whole Wheat Tortilla. This will put your calorie count up to 220, 5.5 grams of fat, 16 grams of fiber, and 28 grams of protein. Tell me those stats aren't KILLER. You could even throw some salsa on there if you wanted.

Smart Ones Picante Chicken Pasta
This one has 260 calories and 23 grams of protein! AMAZING. It has a spicey southwestern flavor too it that is really good!

Smart Ones Ravioli Florentine
This one has a great sweet flavor to it. It only has 250 calories in it, and is great paired with some steamed veggies!

Lean Cuisine's Santa Fe Style Rice and Beans
This tasty dish almost makes you feel like you're eating authentic mexican food...almost. It is super tasty and filling at only 300 calories.

Lean Cuisine's Roasted Vegetable Pizza
I LOVE this one! I don't eat pizza very often...or at all really, except for this! It's a perfect little pan size pizza, and one you can't feel too bad about. With 310 calories, 5 grams of fat, and 14 grams of protein, I'd say it's pretty decent.

Amy's Frozen Black Bean Burrito
I was a little hesitant to try this one, but once I did I fell in love with this all organic product. With 270 calories, it is a little higher in fat (ringing in at 8 grams) but only 1 gram is saturated fat, so I don't feel too bad. Amy has a whole line of frozen burritos and they are delicious!

As you can tell, I stick mainly to the chicken/meatless entrees, but I'm sure some of the others that I haven't tried are just as good!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

This is why you're thin

Remember the gluttonous, fat filled, This is Why You're Fat website?

Well now we've got the counterpart This is why you're thin. Check it out.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

See Megan Run...

I did it! I SERIOUSLY can't believe it. 20 whole miles. My last high mileage run before the actual race. I was pleased with how well it went! I made sure to get a good amount of carbs Friday night, got a good nights rest, and got in a good breakfast. It was snowing here in Utah on Saturday morning, so I had to do it on the treadmill again. I sure hope this weather gets a little nicer because I'd like to get some of my final runs in outside, and I'd REALLY like to have it a little warmer on marathon day. I was surprised at how great I felt throughout the run. It wasn't until the last two miles that my knees started to feel tired, even still it wasn't too bad. I just kept telling myself that this was my last lengthy run, and that really helped! After 3 hours 17 minutes of straight running I was glad to be done though...believe me. I found out this past week that my mom AND dad are going to be here for race day! I couldn't be happier about that. :)
This next week I start to taper down. This Saturday's run is only an 8 miler...CAKE.
Two Saturday's from now? RACE DAY!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

smellin' those cinnamon buns from a mile away...

There is just something about the smell of cinnamon that makes me melt. Walking into Ikea provides no exception. The scent of their baking cinnamon buns always makes me a little weak in the knees.
Due to the fact that it often takes HOURS to make your way through Ikea's endless maze of amazing goods, one often works up quite an appetite. Ever wonder the nutrition info of the Ikea menu? My
Hungry Girl email of the day hooked me up with a website put together for Ikea lovers with the nutrition facts to their ever-so-popular dishes. My favorite menu item? The frozen yogurt cones, of course, at 100 calories a pop it's pretty much guilt-free! The cinnamon rolls with icing...ring in at about 400 calories...not so guilt-free.