Monday, March 31, 2008

Once you pop, the fun don't stop

Ever since i was little i have memories of Sunday nights at home with my family, and the big silver bowl full of my dad's famous air-popped popcorn. It was just what we did, and i loved every minute of it. Due to moving out and the lack of my own air-popper I took a leave of absence from this delicious delicacy. Well, thank goodness for Benita's air-popper & the revival of my favorite snack. I think between me and my roommates popcorn is made at least 3 times a week. My recipe consists of air-popped popcorn with a little bit of spray butter and salt. SO delicious, and a very nutritious snack at that. Popcorn is high in fiber, high in protein, low fat and low cal (only 31 calories in one cup). If you don't have an air-popper you can find them for like ten dollars at walmart, or there are some great low fat brands of microwave popcorn. But, this post comes with a warning. It's very addictive ;)

Sunday, March 30, 2008

calorie counting on the go you can all thank jenna for this post. We were at dinner yesterday and she showed me the most amazing new trick. You can text the number 34381 (diet1) the food you are eating and it will instantly send you the nutrition facts! What you do is put in the name of the dish first and the name of the restaurant second. For example I put in Ice Cream Cone Mcdonalds. It instantly came back with "Mcdonalds Vanilla Reduced Fat Ice Cream Cone Cal: 150, Fat: 4g, Carb: 24g, Prtn: 4g." SO COOL! This is where the nerd in me really shines through! ;) It only has restaurants that are national chains for the most part, so small local places most likely won't give back any info, but if you can think of a similar dish from a chain restaurant you can get a pretty good idea. Now, I realize that most people go out to dinner and don't want to think about what they are eating or the caloric value of their food. BUT, part of being able to maintain a healthy lifestyle is being able to eat out and make healthy choices. A lot of the time it is good to realize that portion sizes at most places are HUGE, and if you know how many calories one plate is you may be more likely to box up half of it for later instead of eating it in one sitting. I thought this was pretty cool! Thanks Jen :)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Fresh Kicks

My family is training for a 1/2 marathon, and we were able to do our 8 mile run together while i was home this past weekend. I had just recently purchased a new pair of running shoes, and my mom and brother had done the same. As we were running we got to talking about the difference in our shoes and how great it felt to have a new pair that was the right pair. That same day after we ran my sister Nichole went to a running store and was fitted for a new pair of shoes. She was told that the shoes she was wearing were totally wrong for her, and were probably hurting her knees (true story). They also explained to her that most people wear their running shoes too long, and for too many different activities. After watching her run she was fitted for shoes that worked with the way she ran. For the longest time I've thought shoes are shoes, and I haven't paid much attention to details beyond that. The truth is running in old worn shoes is one of the most common causes of running injuries.

Some Shoe Do's and Don'ts
1. Shoes should only be worn for a total of 350-500 miles.
- most people judge their shoe wear by what the treads look like or how dirty they are.
Neither of which are accurate signs of shoe usage. The midsole of the shoe is the part that
breaks down quickly. This part provides cushioning and stability. Without the cushioning you lose much needed shock absorption.

2. Consider having an alternate pair of shoes, allowing your shoes to dry out and decompress between workouts. This will increase longevity in your shoes.

3. Don't wear your running shoes to lift weights, do aerobics, ride your bike, and go to the mall
- Running shoes should be worn only for running. When they are used for every other type of exercise you engage in and for every day wear they are being overly stressed. You are
also breaking down the structure of the shoe making it unstable for when you actually run.

4. Make sure your shoes are the right size.
- There should be a fingertip distance between your toe and the end of your shoe.

5. Think Fit not Fashion
- Make sure you're wearing the right shoe for your type of exercise, the way your run, and your foot size. Even if that means not buying the cutest pair ;)

6. Get some help!
-There are plenty of resources both online and in the stores to help you find the correct
shoe type. Do your homework and it will be worth it!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Go Green! Exercise-wise...

In honor of St. Patty's day I'm challenging you all to go green, and by that I mean turn off your treadmills, power down your ellipticals, turn off your TV's and get outside! After a long winter here in Utah, i couldn't be happier to finally see the sunshine and have the temperature warm enough to be able to workout outside again. I was speaking to one of my clients the other day about how she was going to get her cardio in while being away from home with no gym access. After asking her how she could make it possible while away, she made me laugh by remarking, "Heaven forbid i actually got outside and used one of those, what do they call them??...sidewalks??" I laughed because its been so cold that hasn't even been an option. BUT what a great option it is. There are so many reasons why i promote getting outside and working out. First and have to get home. There is no stop button. More than likely you'll go further. You are forced to work with the terrain. Inclines, declines, curbs, wind resistance...all forcing you to burn more calories. Outside you are more likely to pump those arms instead of grabbing on to handrails. More movement = more calories burned. I'm a people watcher so being outside also takes my attention away from the fact that I'm working out. Finish out your outdoor workout with some resistance training... walking lunges, push ups, triceps dips on a bench or chair, squats in place, the plank, crunches, etc... Aside from the benefits of exercise you'll benefit from the sunshine as well! Sunshine increases your Seratonin levels and can increase Vitamin D production; lightening your mood, strengthening your bones, and increasing your health all over. I don't know about you, but I say bring on the sunshine!

Monday, March 10, 2008

When the goin' gets tough...Pump up the Jams!!

Because I'm basically obsessed with running to music, (must be the dancer in me...) and I have people ask me all the time what music I like to work out to. I thought I'd post my current favorite play list of workout songs. If you have any to add, please share! I'm always looking for new music!

Rehab - Amywinehouse
Lose It - Cartel
Love Today - Mika
Here I Come - Fergie (anything Fergie...let's be honest)
Misery Business - Paramore
I'm Shakin' - Roonie
Bring Em Out - T.I.
Gone Daddy Gone - Gnarls Barkley
Thatks Fr Th Mmrs - Fall Out Boy
Stronger - Kanye West
Do You Know (The Ping Pong Song) - Enrique Iglesias
Piece of Me - Britney Spears ...did i just admit that?? ;)
Dark Blue - Jack's Mannequin
Hurricane - Something Corporate
Low - Flo Rida (feat. T-pain)
They - Jem
Remember the Name - Fort Minor
Lose Yourself - Eminem (probably my favorite)
Crank That - Souja Boy
Pump It - Black Eyed Peas

Deceptively Delicious is RIGHT!

If you haven't heard about Jessica Seinfeld's new cook book Deceptively Delicious, I'd be surprised, BUT no worries, now you'll be in the know. While worrying about her kids eating healthy she came up with the idea to puree fruits and vegetables and disguise them in foods her kids love. Hence, a great collection of nutritious recipes. I think the idea is novel! Why not make the foods you love to eat a little healthier, and at very little trouble.
So...after hearing about this cookbook i looked at it at the bookstore several times, and even bought it for my mom before finally purchasing it for myself last week. I am absolutely in love with it. She has great recipes that are nutritious and edible! My first attempt at making something from her book was straight from the dessert section (of course). I tried out her Oatmeal Raisin Cookies that call for pureed bananas and zucchini. I'm not a huge fan of raisins, so i replaced them with chocolate chips. The consistency was a little more cake-like than your normal cookie, but i thought they were SO good...and so did all of my taste testers.
One thing that i think is important to note about this concept is that these pureed F&V's shouldn't replace those that are normally being served with the meal, just added to it. Kids need exposure to a variety fruits and vegetables so they can learn to enjoy them! They will benefit from learning to like them at a young age.
Here's the Recipe..
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Ingredients: 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1 cup old fashioned oats, 1 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar, 6 Tbs trans-fat free soft tub margarine spread, chilled, 1/2 cup banana puree, 1/2 cup zucchini puree, 1 large egg white, 1/2 cup raisins 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)..i opted out on the nuts as well...

*dont' use an electric mixer, it will make the cookies tough.
directions: preheat the oven to 350. In a bowl combine flour, oats, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. In another bowl beat sugar and margarine with a wooden spoon just until combined. Don't over mix. Add the banana and zucchini purees, and egg white and stir just to blend. Add the flour mixture, and raisins, walnuts, or chocolate chips and stir to combine. Drop by heaping tablespoonsful onto baking sheets, leaving an inch in between. Bake until golden brown- about 12-15 min. Let the cookies cool on baking sheets for 4-5 min just until firm enough to handle, then transfer to rack to cool completely.
Makes 2 dozen cookies

Here is the link to her website if you want more info on her book

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Naturally Delicious...

Eating healthy can seem daunting and at times near impossible, but if you think of it'll be surprised at how much easier it is. The idea of implementing a healthy diet can seem overwhelming. What do i eat? How much? How often? For those who find these questions to be common concerns, my answer is simple. Go back to the basics. Unfortunately, we are bombarded daily by foods full of additives, fat, sugar, dyes, and a number of other things we probably aren't even aware of. The days of eating straight off the farm are long gone, but the principles behind those days don't have to be. A diet filled with foods close to their natural form is what your diet should look like. The benefits you'll receive from eating a diet full of whole foods will do more for you than a diet full of pop tarts, candy, and cinnabons will ever do.

So what exactly do I mean by this? I mean that your diet should consist of Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, lean protein, and "good fats" (polyunsaturated fat & monounsaturated fat). Ultimately, you should avoid processed foods, processed flour, added sugar, and "bad fats" (saturated fat & trans fat). One of the best ways to make sure you're not eating tons of processed foods is to check the nutrition label. Foods that contain less ingredients are foods closer to their natural form. If you are eating a true whole grain the first ingredient on the list should be, "whole wheat" or "whole grain." It shouldn't use the word "enriched." One place to make sure you're not being fooled is when buying your wheat bread. Many breads that claim to be whole wheat are actually white bread with caramel coloring. Ridiculous, isn't it?Check to make sure that the first ingredient is whole wheat, or whole wheat flour. Sticking to foods that are closes to their natural form fill your diet with great foods, and will leave little room for processed foods that are most likely full of empty calories!