Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Positive Thoughts for a Healthy Mindset - It all started with the Christmas lights.

I know that there is power in positive thinking. I have to try and remind myself the most positive way of course. It is very easy for me to rattle off to you the reasons why winter is not my favorite.

- snow
- looking more like Edward Cullen and less like Jacob (did i seriously just reference Twilight in reference to my fading skin...yowza. I did not see that coming.)
- having to wear 12 layers to keep warm at work as opposed to my nike tempo shorts
- driving in the snow
- walking in the snow
- falling because of the snow (inevitable)
- not being able to run outside

You get it. HOWEVER...I was actually thinking today about the reasons why I like the cold weather. Like I said, power of positive thinking.

- Diet Swiss Miss hot chocolate. It warms my soul.
- Being wrapped in blankets
- Delicious warm soup
- ABC's 25 days of Christmas movies, and all other Christmas movies for that matter. I can quote 98% of Home Alone. My sister and I used to watch it like it was our job. 
- Christmas. Christmas parties. Christmas music. Christmas scents. Christmas lights. Christmas presents. The Christmas Spirit. D) all of the above.
- Appreciating my trips to Arizona and the sun and warmth that comes with it. Did I mention I'm going back on Thursday...YAY!
- Frozen Yogurt and Pizza Factory Salads.  Oh wait, that is all the time. But I love them in winter as well as the summer.
- Holidays.
- Did I mention Christmas lights? I did. Well...that is where this thought process started.

Yesterday morning as I was driving to work around 5:30 AM and I passed the Christmas Lights on at one of the outdoor malls that I pass every day. I know this pic from my phone won't do it justice because they are so phenomenally beautiful, but this is what I saw nonetheless.
At a tired moment I got so excited for Christmas and the lights gave me a huge boost! This positive train of thought continued throughout my day...

I had a client cancel, which allowed me to get a quick 6.5 miles in. It was early and I didn't have a ton of energy, but I kept thinking how grateful I was to get my cardio in and done. I also was thinking back to all those months where I couldn't run. These positive thoughts kept me going, and my run went great. Positive thoughts = positive outcomes.

Sometimes my early mornings + being on my feet with my clients + several clients in a row can start to drag my energy levels down. I was feeling tired, and I started thinking about how lucky I am to have a job that I love, and to get to work with such great people. This reminded helped me to push through being tired, and do the best I could to help my clients.

I planned out my food for the day this morning, and stuck to my plan. A thought occurred to me yesterday about how often we dress to hide the gross way we feel inside. Do you get me there? For instance, maybe you overate and didn't exercise one day and you wake up feeling gross. Those are the days where I go for lose-fitting, comfy clothes. I don't want to have to dress according to my food choices. I know that sounds crazy, but that reminder helped me to stick with my good meal plan. My challenge to you there? Go to bed feeling good, healthy, and on top of the game. Don't go to bed feeling defeated, bloated, and thinking you're going to have to start over, yet again, tomorrow. Get in a positive mindset, where your healthy goals are a reward to you. They will be a reward to you because you will feel good, and you'll want to keep going in a positive direction.

Positive thoughts -----> Positive outcomes -----> Positive actions -------> More Positive Thoughts

I think you get the cycle.

What helps you stay positive or overcome a negative cycle of feelings? For me it is usually a good full day of proving to myself that I CAN do it; Exercise of course helps, and preparation is a key part as well. What are you feeling positive about right now?

November 30th: Today I am grateful for a positive mindset. It has changed my whole day. I am also grateful that tomorrow I will be boarding a plane to Arizona. WAHOO!

One year ago today...No Soup for you! This is one of my FAVORITE healthy potato corn chowder soup recipes. It is BOMB.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Preparation. Preparation. Preparation.

Monday's can be a great recharge day. 
A lot of the time for me this means...
getting in a good workout after my rest day Sunday
going to the store to restock on good protein and produce
setting some goals for myself for the week
and getting the motivation to where it needs to be.

Yesterday was a great example of one of those Mondays. After my morning clients I got in a great 60 minute interval session on the elliptical followed by some foam rolling. I was feeling a little sore in one of my hips from the Filthy Fifty Workout this past Saturday, and sitting in the car all day Sunday driving home didn't do much to help that. After the gym I headed straight to the store. I knew that if I didn't I would be eating oatmeal for the rest of the week. I mean I love oatmeal and all...but...let's be real here. I want this week to be an AWESOME eating week, and that takes preparation.

At the store I purchased:
- Cracked pepper turkey for wraps
- Produce (Romaine lettuce, acorn squash, bananas, apples, baby carrots, a cantaloupe, and some frozen strawberries for my protein shakes)
- part skim mozzarella string cheese
- eggs
- greek yogurt
- turkey chili for some Easy Cheesy Chili
- Kashi Golean Crunch Cereal
- Special K Protein Plus Cereal
- Ingredients for Chicken Tortilla Soup (This is seriously the EASIEST recipe ever and it is really good!)

*These are a lot of my standard items. I am usually needing to eat quickly, and these are all great ways to get in some good food quick! 

When it comes to eating it is ALL about the preparation. I don't care who you is the truth. If you disagree with me you are craaaasssyyyyy. So, to help promote my good eating this week I whipped up my Chicken Tortilla Soup today and portioned it out so I could have it to heat up in a minutes notice during the week. I highly recommend preparing you food beforehand. It makes life so much easier, and will help you make good decisions with your food chocies.
 Tonight for dinner I had some of the soup with some quick and delicious acorn squash. If you were wondering if there was a difference between photos from my blackberry and photos from my Rebel just take a gander at these two shots. I forgot to take a pic of my dinner, so both are old pics. Just squint your eyes at the soup and pretend it's not completely blurry.
 My dinner was really healthy, and ready within minutes. There is nothing like a warm bowl of soup to make you feel better when winter starts to get a little too chilly!

What are some of your standard healthy grocery items? Do you have meals that you will make ahead and put in the fridge to help you stay better prepared to eat healthy during the week?

November 29th: Today I am grateful for productive Mondays that help start my week off right. Here is to an equally productive Tuesday!

One year ago today...The Veggie Challenge

Monday, November 28, 2011

Cinnamon Almonds

If there is one reason I love going to football games it is to smell the Cinnamon Almonds. Can you beat that smell? I don't think so. I have wanted to try making them, and being home in mom's kitchen this past weekend was the best place to do it. 
Cinnamon Almonds  
2 cups raw almonds
1 egg white
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup stevia
½ tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 225 degrees. 
Combine egg white and vanilla in a bowl.

 Whisk together.
 Add raw almonds to egg/vanilla mixture, and stir until well coated.
 Add stevia, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in another bowl and stir combine.
 Pour sugar mixture over almonds and stir to coat.
Spread your almonds on a cookie sheet. I would recommend putting them on parchment paper to make your clean up about 500 times easier. Spread them out so they bake evenly. Bake for an hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
Let them cool once they are done baking and enjoy! These are SO tasty, and would make a great holiday gift for parties, neighbors, or just to make your house smell amazing.
These are so incredibly fabulous, you simply MUST try them. They are a great little sweet fix with some nutrition to them.

November 28th: Today I am thankful for fresh starts. I know...I usually hate Monday's, but today it feels good to get back to a better eating routine and into my exercise groove. I hope you take advantage of your Monday :)

One year ago today...Brain Dump for the Snow Dump.

Have you ever made cinnamon almonds? Are you glad to be back to your routine, or are you missing the holiday already?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Filthy Fifty

When I am home my family members like to put themselves at the mercy of my workouts. Although I definitely enjoy the alone time a good cardio session can bring, when it comes to weight training I think it is so much more fun to workout with other people. Maybe it is because I enjoy being able to complain about how hard things can be with others who are feeling the same. Who knows? I think it just makes time go by so much faster. 

I have a lot of friends who are doing Crossfit right now. A lot of my circuits follow the same high intensity interval training that is the basis behind Crossfit. It is basically a quick, intense, all out way of working out. I am always reading up on different methods of exercise, and trying out new workouts, and I like a lot of the things incorporated in Crossfit type workouts. In my reading this past week I came across a Crossfit workout called the "Filthy Fifty." I have had a couple friends tell me it's a killer, so I wanted to give it a try. Yesterday morning my mom and sister were on board to try it out.
So, while watching The Biggest Loser, we got our sweat on.
We had to make a few modifications from the original Filthy Fifty, but our workout went like this...

50 Box jumps on a 24 inch box
50 Jumping pull-ups (assisted)
50 Kettlebell swings (done with 20 lb DB)
50 Walking Lunges alternating legs 
50 Hanging Knees to elbows
50 Push press
50 Back extensions on physio ball with DB rear fly added in
50 Wall ball shots with a medicine ball
50 Burpees
Let me tell you...those 50 burpees are the cherry on top. If a cherry is comparable big spikey thorn poking you in the eye...painful, but oh so good. Oh, and mom did all 50 burpees. She is a such a good way.
Sweaty. Make up-less. Done. 
I love family workouts.

Do you like working out with other people? Do you ever do high intensity interval training? Do you have a love/hate relationship with burpees like i do?

The rest of the day was spent helping my mom decorate the house for Christmas. Decorating FIVE trees with extremely tired shoulders is not for the weak my friends. Today will be spent driving from Arizona back to Utah...goooo...Maybe it secretly got warm while I was gone. Here's to wishing huh?

November 28th: Today I am grateful for the opportunity to get to hang out with my family all weekend. They are the best.

One year ago today...Post Thanksgiving Survival Tips

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving Dinner

I absolutely love when my family is all together. It is some of the happiest times in my life without question. We are always laughing and having a good time. My mom and dad did an AMAZING job on the Thanksgiving spread. See it HERE.
 My mom always has everything decorated so festively which makes it so fun.
 We attempted to take some pics outside...

...Our efforts to be serious didn't last very long.

Then things got just plain ugly.

 Which turned into a contest of who could make the best "stank face."
It's hard to pick a winner really...I think these pictures are better than serious photos anyways. :) My family really makes me laugh so hard. I think laughter is so important for good health. I hope you find reasons to laugh every single day.
We finished our Thanksgiving night out with our traditional movie. I sure do love the holidays.

November 26th: Today I am grateful for beautiful blue skies. Man, I love the sunshine. It is like medicine for my soul. There is not a cloud in the sky in Arizona today. I sure hope Utah is losing that gross cloud cover while I'm gone.

What makes you laugh? Do you feel like laughter makes you feel better? I think it almost always does.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving Day Food Log

I challenged some of my clients to take a photo log of everything they ate on Thanksgiving day. I have found that this is an AWESOME way of tracking your food if you aren't so down with recording everything. I figured since I was challenging them I would take the challenge on myself. I can tell you right now It helped completely cut out any grazing while baking in the kitchen.

7:30 AM - I ate a slice of this bread with a little spray butter on my way out the door to go run with my sis.
10:30 AM - By the time we were done with our run, the turkey trot, and the pictures involved I was starving, and devoured my greek yogurt protein shake. I also had about 10 raw almonds.
 2:30 PM - I knew we weren't eating until around 4:30 or 5:00 and I was getting really hungry, so I had a snack of an apple and some turkey to keep me from just grazing around the kitchen.
5:00 - Our Thanksgiving dinner was DELICIOUS. I loved it! Here was what my plate looked like. I pretty much cleaned it up except for some of the mashed potatoes and part of the roll.  Clockwise we have some mashed potatoes (made with greek yogurt) and vegetable gravy, turkey, cornbread stuffing, sweet potatoes, green beans, and one of my mom's homemade rolls.
 I also had some fruit and fruit dip.
 9:30 - We went to see Hugo as a family and I had a few handfuls of movie theater popcorn while we were there. I was so stuffed that luckily, I didn't want much. After we came home I had a sliver of my healthy pumpkin pie and a scoop of Dreyers Grand Light peppermint Ice cream.
SO MUCH delicious food, and some fairly healthy options. I felt good about my Thanksgiving day tracking. How did you feel like you did with your Thanksgiving Day eating?

Thanksgiving Morning Turkey Trot

Happy Black Friday! I hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving. I know I certainly did. I somehow was talked into going to Anthropologie this morning at 5:30 AM. Insane right? I found some good stuff, so it was worth it, but SHEESH. We came home and crashed, only to head back out AGAIN to hit up a few stores.

Were you able to do something active yesterday? My family has had a fun time running in the Mesa Turkey Trot for the past several years on Thanksgiving morning. However, every year we've commented on how it takes a lot of time to drive there...get all parked, registered, then come back home. My brother-in-law and sister who live in Gilbert, have said they should start one in Gilbert several times. Well, this year they did it! My sister posted on her FB wall to see if there would be any interest, and there was interest indeed! About 250 people showed up!
 My sister Nichole and I decided we'd run before the race just in case we didn't get a chance to join in with all the Chaos. So we got up early and did six miles. I love running with my sister, and I can't wait for June! She and I are doing the Utah Valley Marathon together.
 We decided cute socks were going to make the run better. They totally did. We actually got to jump in and run the 5K with the rest of the turkey trotters, so we started off our Thanksgiving with 9 miles. I felt REAL good about it. :) There was a one mile fun run, a 5K, and a 10K, so everyone could join in the fun.
 My brother Denny was the race director/course organizer/announcer/heckler/finish line announcer.
 Les and Elaine (my M&D) made it out for the big event. My dad has some knee issues, so he rode his bike. I LOVED seeing my whole fam active!
 Of course, every race needs a gorilla. Don't worry, he ran the whole race in the costume. NBD.
 Isn't crossing the finish line the best? I think so. Go Elaine!!
 My sister Nichole, me, my niece Kiley, and my mom after the race.
 Even the boys sported some crazy socks. My family loves to dress up just as much as I do.
It was awesome to see so many kids active and involved, and excited to be out there running! My sister and I were talking while we were running about how important it is to help your kids be active from a young age. I think the best way to do that is to get them involved in fun activities that involve friends and family. If they see that everyone is active and having a great time it will help to instill those habits in their lifestyle in a way that is not forceful or negative.

November 26th: Today I am grateful for good deals. Who doesn't love a little retail therapy? (Especially when that retail therapy is coming at you at %50 off!)

Did you do anything active on your Thanksgiving Holiday? Do you have a Turkey Trot in your area? How do you best help your kids to keep moving and enjoy doing so?

More to come on how we celebrated the rest of our Turkey Day!