Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Just a phase or a change in the times?

So I got to thinking last night about being healthy, and the people i work with on a daily basis. I began to ask myself This question. "What is it that makes me want to be healthy?" Good health is something I think about constantly, talk about constantly, so clearly it is one of my core values. As I began to ask myself this question I started making a sort of mental list of the reasons why good health is important to me, why I live the life I do basically. Here is what I came up with...(in no particular order)
-When I work out and eat right I feel better. I have more energy. I feel better about myself. I feel strong and able.
-I want to live a long happy, healthy, disease free life. I want to be able to move, and be mobile when i'm old! I want to be running half marathons at age 62! ;)
-I have studied the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. I've seen the proven facts before my very eyes. The list of benefits that come from exercising and eating right is long; very long, and I like that.
- I have seen the positive effects it has had on my family and friends that have incorporated this way of living longterm.
- I feel like I have been blessed with a body that functions normally, and is able to do so much! I need to do my best to take care of it.
-When i eat right and exercise I look better. True statement. Some people might call it vanity, but I don't. I think that it is really important for people have a positive self-image. It can have an effect on all aspects of your life. If you don't feel good about you, how do you expect to be happy? How do you expect to help others be happy??

These are a few of my reasonings. As I started thinking about my own drive to be healthy, I began to think about health in our society today. From fitness water to heart rate monitors; it seems to be all the rage, but it makes me wonder. Is this just a phase, or are people really realizing the importance of good health? I most definitely hope it's the latter. The more I read and study in the health field the more I personally realize the truth of the matter. America is getting fat, unhealthy, and unhappy. So maybe one of my main reasons for doing what I do is beacause it makes me happy. Happy to feel good. Happy to see improvements in myself and others. Happy to challenge myself, and try new things. And of course..physiologically happy...endorphins baby!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

My Mama Cita's Black Bean Salsa

This is a great healthy recipe that my mom makes. I crave it! It really is so good, and full of fresh healthy veggies! This is great served with any Mexican dish, overtop grilled chicken, with pita chips or whole grain tortilla chips. (You can find these at Costco and they are delicious!)

1 (15-oz.) can black beans drained ad lightly rinsed
1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernals (3 cobs)
2 medium tomatoes, diced into 1/4 inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, diced into 1/4 inch pieces
1 green pepper, diced into 1/4 inch pieces
1/2 cup finely chopped red onions1-2 fresh green serrano peppers (chopped seeds and all)
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/3 cup virgin olive oil
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground red chile pepper or pinch of cayenne pepper
*I remember my mom putting avocado in it as well, but for some reason it wasn't listed on her recipe. I'll try to get that figured out!

mix in a large bowl and chill untill serving time.

I don't have exact nutrition facts on this recipe, but from what I could find it should have around 80 calories for 1/3 cup. :)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Little Indulgences

Confession...I have a sweet tooth. I think I can thank my mom for that one. One thing that is hard for me in trying to eat healthy is avoiding a lot of candy and processed sugar. I have found that when you completely ban yourself from having any sweet anything when its something you love, you'll want it that much more. Sometimes this will lead to a binge making things worse than they were before you told yourself you couldn't have it. The solution...little induglences. I have found some great substitutes for candy and dessert that don't make you feel like you're being cheated at all! He're my list...feel free to add you're favorites to my list. I'd love to hear them!

1. Frozen Yogurt - probably my favorite thing ever. With no fat, and about 90-110 calories per 1/2 cup you can't go wrong. The only thing to watch here is the amount of sugar, but not a bad treat!

2. Jell-O Fat free sugar free pudding - banana is probably my favorite flavor. No fat, No sugar, and about 25-50 calories per serving.

3. Chrystal Light - Love it. about 5 calories per serving. Raspberry Ice is probably my favorite.

4. Cut up strawberries with splenda - about 50 calories in one cup

5. My Beloved Zuchinni Cookies - (see recipe below) with 80 calories, and 3 grams of fat they are SO good. I'm not lying. I've even tested them on guys who went back for seconds!

6. Diet Dr. Pepper - I know a lot of people have aspertame issues, but after speaking with my nutrition professor in depth about it I still feel ok about it. A little DDP can be D-lightful!

7. Dreyers Grand Light Ice Cream - Girl Scout Cookie Thin Mint is my favorite. Most flavors average about 120 calories/ 4 grams of fat per cup. It is gooooood.

8. Sugar free Cream savers & Werthers - both taste like the real thing and are a great little treat to stick in your purse.

9. My Protien Shake - Frozen Strawberries, a banana, ice, skim milk, a little bit of splenda, a scoop of vanilla protien powder, some ground flax seed, and my secret ingredient (cinnamon!). So good. about 200 calories, and 18 grams of protien. Very filling too!

10. Tootsie Pops - If you're really needing a treat to tide you over these little suckers are a good option. 60 calories, 10 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of fat. Not too bad if it gets you through the day!

mmmm...these are all my favorites. If you know me I think you'd agree these things pretty much describe me ;) I'm needing a treat just thinking about it...

I think the best thing you can remember is moderation! Its not bad to indulge a little bit here and there, just make sure your diet is consisting of the good stuff for the majority!

Sunday, April 20, 2008


For the past few months some of my family and friends have been training for the Salt Lake City Half Marathon. It has been hard work, but a lot of fun. Yesterday was the culmination of all of our training, The Race! It was such a great experience. It was so fun to run with so many people that I love so much! It was hard, but worth it. It is amazing what you can accomplish when you put your mind to it. It made me think about goals, and what we are capable of. When I have a set idea of something that I want to accomplish, and I commit myself to a goal I am 100% more likely to accomplish that goal, than if I simply said, "oh i'd like to do that." Set a goal for yourself, and find a way to make it happen. You can do anything! Thanks to Ben for training with me, and to my family for keeping me motivated. Way to go! We did it!!! now on to the full marathon... ;)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Biggest Loser

I, like many of you I'm sure, have faithfully been tuning in to The Biggest Loser each week. I love the show! (with my job, how could i not...) I think it's so motivational. I love that it gets America thinking about losing weight, and seeing that it IS doable. I of course have some qualms with it...it does give people unrealistic expectations. The contestants are SO closely monitored, fed perfect diets, and are working out for hours and hours a day. Its pretty unlikely...ok near impossible, for a normal person to drop numbers like 12, 15, 19 lbs in a week. A healthy and realistic weight loss would be closer to 2-3 lbs per week. For the most part the only way a person can drop high numbers like that is fad dieting, and in those cases its more likely than not that a person will gain their weight back. There are things that i definitely LOVE about the show. I love that it shows people being pushed to their limits. If there is one thing I'd love to get across to people it is that you are capable of doing so much more than you realize. The people on this show are pushing themselves further than they ever believed they could. If you want results, you have to change your efforts. You have to do more. I LOVE the fact that the show focuses a lot on the fact that weight loss isn't a quick fix, its a lifestyle change. The contestants completely change their activity level, their eating habits. and their mental state. It's not, crash diet for two months and lose weight only to be gained back. It's changing the way they live. This is something that is crucial to understand. Weight loss IS doable. Way to go Ali!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Don't Weight!

Well...I'm a little disappointed in myself. I can't believe I've made it through all these months of blogging without writing about the topic I feel most passionate about...weight lifting! I think because i talk about it all day long with my clients i feel like i talk about it all day long to everyone (which i probably do...sorry to those who've heard it all...) There are just so many benefits that come from lifting weights.
1. You'll lose body fat. You'll tone up your physique and this in turn will improve the way you look, and feel.
2.You'll increase your metabolism. The more muscle you have on your body the more calories you burn at rest. For each lb of muscle you have on your body you burn about 35-50 calories. So, increase that muscle and you turn your body into a fat burning machine :)
3. You'll become stronger and you WON'T BULK UP....i promise...on my life. The most common concern i hear from the women i work with is their fear of becoming bulky from increasing the weight they are lifting. Well rest assured, its physiologically impossible. Women don't have enough testosterone in their bodies to increase their muscle mass like men do. So push yourself, increase your weight, and you'll become smaller. TONED!
4. You'll decrease your risk of getting Osteoporosis. Women start to decrease in bone density around age 35. When you engage in weight bearing exercise you increase your bone density by stimulating the bone to produce new cells, thus avoiding brittle bones & Osteoporosis.
5. You'll reduce your risk of; injury, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, back pain, depression, etc. etc. etc.
...so how much how often? I recommend women lift weights three times a week. Hitting all muscle groups, doing 2-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions. Using weight heavy enough that by the end of your last set your muscles feel fatigued.
And of course...my testimonial...I've always loved working out, but it wasn't until about two years ago that i started really getting into lifting weights, consistently lifting three times a week, really pushing myself. As I really stuck to this routine I saw a change in my body composition...and now I'm officially addicted. Give it a try, don't be afraid of the weights (they're not just for the body builders). Its never too late to start!!!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Quick and Easy Dinner

I love to cook, but I'm all about the quick and easy! Here is a dinner that is delicious and healthy, and won't keep you in the kitchen all afternoon.

BBQ Chicken Pizza

1 can of reduced fat pizza crust (the kind your pop open and roll out)
1 cup BBQ sauce
1/2 cup red onion, slivered
1 cup pineapple chunks
1/4 cup grated cheese (part skim mozzarella works great!)
1-2 cups of boneless skinless chicken breast (cooked and shredded)

Roll out pizza crust. Pour over BBQ sauce and spread evenly. Add cheese, chicken, pineapple and red onion. Bake at 400 for 15-20 min. This makes 6 servings.

Nutrition Facts: (1 serving) 296 cals, 7 gm fat, 41 gm carbs, 18 gm protein.

This pizza is really good and is really easy to make! Add a side of a fruit and a veggie and you have yourself a meal. Enjoy :)

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Everyone Needs a Benita

Although i thoroughly enjoy working out, there are times when I just don't have it in me; Times when the last thing i want to do is put on my running shoes, and get myself out the door. This is where i am so very lucky. I have Benita! We've been workout buddies for the past couple years, and bestest friends since way before that. She gets me out the door when I'm not feeling so upbeat about it, and vice versa. Last April Ben and I trained for the SLC 1/2 marathon which was such a great experience for us. I think it really proved to both of us that our bodies are capable of so much more than we think. It gave us the hunger to push ourselves harder than we imagined possible. We loved this experience so much we're training for our second 1/2 to happen this coming April 19th (along with a slew of people we've talked into it including my whole fam, wahoo!!). It has been so helpful to have someone to workout with. We've ran many miles together, we lift together, we whine about running and lifting together, and most importantly we push each other to work harder in everything we do. We coordinate schedules and make it a point every day to talk about when we're going to get to the gym that day, and then we get each other there. It is a proven fact that having someone waiting for you as a workout partner will increase your chances of getting there and getting it done. Not only will you get it done, but you'll enjoy yourself doing it. When you have a friend to workout with it makes it fun, and doable!
My advice to you...find a Benita. Find someone you can workout with that will be dependable, help you keep a schedule, and will enable you to push yourself. Make exercise something you want to do. Make it enjoyable!!
My thanks to Beni who helps me keep going week after week!! And who is just an all around amazing best friend! :)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Finding a Balance

When it comes to losing weight the equation is simple. Calories in vs. Calories out. The part that is NOT simple about this is trying to find the right balance between the two. In order for your body to lose weight you have to burn more calories than you consume, otherwise your body will store the extra calories, causing you to gain weight. So, you must know how many calories you are burning in one day and how many calories you are consuming. To find out how many calories you should be eating here's what you need to do.
1. Find your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). This is the amount of calories your body burns each day just to keep you alive if you were just to sit and do nothing.

:BMR = 655 + ( 4.35 x weight in pounds ) + ( 4.7 x height in inches ) - ( 4.7 x age in years )
Men:BMR = 66 + ( 6.23 x weight in pounds ) + ( 12.7 x height in inches ) - ( 6.8 x age in year )
(here's a link that will do it for you) http://www.bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator/

2. Next you'll want to calculate how many additional calories you'll burn for your activity level.
Harris Benedict FormulaTo determine your total daily calorie needs, multiply your BMR by the appropriate activity factor, as follows:
  1. If you are sedentary (little or no exercise) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.2
  2. If you are lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.375
  3. If you are moderatetely active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.55
  4. If you are very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.725
  5. If you are extra active (very hard exercise/sports & physical job or 2x training) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.9
3. Ok, so now you need to figure out your calorie deficit. If you eat this amount of calories just figured out you'll maintain your current weight. A pound of fat is equal to 3,5000 calories. So, to lose a pound in a week you would want a deficit of 3,500 calories from your diet. Or in other words, if you ate 500 calories less per day you would lose a pound per week. This calorie deficit can come from consuming less calories or from burning more calories. For sustaining weight loss it is best when it comes from a combination of the two. Maintaining weight loss is very difficult with out regular physical activity. With the calculation of calories with your activity level multiply that number by .33 and then subtract that amount. This will give you the number of calories you should be eating. (You shouldn't drop below 1,200 calories.)

4. Lastly, and most importantly you have to record your calories. This is the biggest part of the weight loss process. It is with my clients that are faithful and exact with writing things down that see the pounds drop. Pay special attention to the little bites that you grab in passing in the kitchen, it's usually those "bites" that add up and cause you to gain weight. I like using www.fitday.com to record my calories, but you can use a notebook, palm pilot, whatever works for you. If you don't have the nutrition facts of a food you can find it online by going to google and typing "nutrition facts (name of food)" and you'll be able to find it. Be sure to pay attention to your serving size. A bowl of cereal isn't a serving, sometimes its two or three depending on what cereal you're eating. Here is a website that can help you identify serving sizes if it isn't listed with your food item http://web.mit.edu/athletics/sportsmedicine/wcrservings.html
With this really the most important thing i can say is be exact.

I apologize for the long blog post, but I hope that this information will be helpful to someone. I know that the weight loss process isn't easy. Consistency is the key here. It takes time, but if you stick to it you can do it. Please let me know if you have any questions!! Good luck.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

yet another reason to love Jason's Deli

If you've spent enough time with me to claim that you "know me." One thing is VERY clear. I LOVE Jason's Deli, and for so many reasons. My top 10...
1. The Salad Bar is completely Organic. Full of fresh delicious fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains.
2. In 2005 they joined the movement against Trans-Fats. Their food is now completely Trans-Fat free.
3.There is something for everyone. I have never been to a restaurant with so many great options. ( I tend to get stuck on my favorites and alternate between a combo of the turkey wrap, veggie soup, and salad bar. BUT knowing I have endless options always makes for a better experience).
4.They just added the nutrition facts to their website. YEAH!! I love when restaurants do that!
5. Almost all the meals come with the choice of fresh fruit or veggies. (They also offer chips but I'm hoping you won't realize that and will opt for the F&V's!)
6. There is rarely a line. The food is fast, but there are SO many nutritious options.
7. It's kid friendly. I frequent Jason's with my sister Lindsey and her kids and I think they love it as much as we do. (Might I add, I've stolen a few tastes of their food and its every bit as good!)
8. They have just removed all MSG from their foods and are currently working on eliminating high-fructose corn syrup. amazing....
9. The Turkey Wrap. Enough said. It is divine.
10. Last but NOT least...the amazing low fat ice cream to top of your delicious meal. Such a great way to end a healthy meal!