Sunday, January 31, 2010

Misconceptions About Healthy Eating

********I just stumbled upon this article and loved what it says. Eating well doesn't have to be hard, Just recently, I had lunch with a friend (a Panera...I had chicken soup, half a turkey sandwich, and an apple with a glass of water) & she said I just can't eat like that. Like what I asked? Healthy. I don't think eating well has to be lots of work inconvenient. I think we can do things everyday at every meal to eat healthily****

5 Misconceptions about healthy eating by Brett Blumenthal - Sheer Balance

In a recent discussion with a friend, she blurted out "healthy eating and dieting are the same thing." I winced. If that is true, then I must have been dieting for years! How awful!

Contrary to popular belief, healthy eating and dieting are two very different things. Unfortunately, healthy eating is really misunderstood and there’s a chance most people have acquired some preconceived ideas about healthy eating and what it actually entails. Here are five misconceptions I just have to put to rest.

Misconception 1: If you eat healthy, you must be on a diet. Too often, the word “diet” is confused with the concept of dieting. Most people equate dieting with deprivation, especially as related to foods they love. Whether you are at your ideal weight or trying to lose weight, eating healthy is NOT dieting. It IS eating a healthy diet, however, which is a proactive lifestyle choice. If you want to eat healthy, you are choosing to do so. You choose to optimize the way you eat to look and feel your best.

Misconception 2: Eating healthy is boring, tastes awful and is never satisfying. Truth be told, eating healthy can taste better…can be wonderfully varied…and can fill you up for longer periods of time than food that is unhealthy. Many individuals who make a long-term switch to a healthier diet swear that they don’t miss the unhealthy foods they once ate. Some actually find them distasteful and unsatisfying! As you eat higher quality foods, your cravings for those that are bad for you and lack nutritional value will diminish.

Misconception 3: There is a secret to weight loss. There is absolutely no secret, no magic pill and no trick to losing weight. You are an individual with individual needs. As a result, fad diets and “secret weight-loss programs” may work for some, but not necessarily for others. Even still, those that find that these fad diets work…only do in the short term. Anything that seems too good to be true, often is.

Misconception 4: Eating healthy is difficult and complicated. Eating a healthy diet is not rocket science. It never has been and it never will be. Don’t tell the experts this, but you don’t need a degree in nutrition, a PhD or an MD to eat well. All you need is a basic, easy-to-implement framework that will demystify the realm of healthy eating and provide simple, common sense rules that are easy to remember and easy to put into action.

Next time you are considering going on a diet…think about the more appealing alternative: A lifestyle that incorporates healthy eating. Change your perspective and see the power it has on your overall health and well-being…not to mention, your waistline!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Body Magic

So my friend invited me to check out a Body Magic party she was hosting. Are you familar with Body Magic? It's a heavy duty girdle that can help you look like you've lost up to 2 to 3 dress sizes. It's pretty pricey to boot. I had a conflict and wasn't able to make it...But, I promised to go to the next event.

But then I got to thinking.....wait a minute, why would i want to go to this party? I've lost nearly 30 pounds so that I wouldn't "have to" wear a girdle (especially a super girdle) to look good in my clothes. I'd like to tone up some more but I'll do that the old fashion way....SWEAT. So, when the next event comes along, I will go, but purely to socialize...

Ways to Have Your Girl Scout Cookies and Eat Them, too!

***********Only one more day of this fast left and when it's over I can FINALLY eat some girl scout cookies. I saw this article and thought it gave good advice. I LOVVVVVEEEE girl scout cookies - Carmel D-Lites in particular. Your favorites? **********

Ways to Have Your Girl Scout Cookies and Eat Them, too! By Brandi Koskie -

Just three weeks ago you made a resolution to get fit, start a diet, or eat healthier. And then your doorbell rang and a Girl Scout announced that cookie season had begun and waved that tempting order form under your nose to coax you right out of your resolve and back in to the familiar loving arms of her $3.50 a box cookie haven.

If you're struggling between wanting to indulge in your favorite Thin Mint, Samoa or traditional Trefoil, don't fear the double-edged sword that is the Girl Scout Cookie. You can support your friendly neighborhood scout and not wipe out your weight loss goals in one crumby setting. It's mind over matter, and your mind is far stronger than the sugar in those cookies.

Follow these five tips for surviving Girl Scout Cookie season with your willpower, weight and philanthropic needs all satisfied:

1. Think Moderation. No matter what you're eating it's all about moderation. Don’t eat the cookies three times a day, or an entire sleeve or box all at once. Follow the serving size and allow yourself this small treat on occasion.

2. Savor the Flavor. Don’t hover over an open box and shovel in cookies. Instead, pull the serving of two, three or four cookies out and place on a plate. Then, sit down and take your time savoring each bite. Treat these cookies like you would your favorite slice of cheesecake from Chez La Where Ever.

3. Count Calories. The nutrition label really is important, not just taking up space from those cute Scout pictures. Stick to the serving size and add those calories to your daily count. If you grab a second serving worth of cookies, multiply those calories, fat grams, etc. by two.

4. Think Small. If you're trying to satisfy a craving, that is typically done within the first few bites of a food. Avoid ordering enough cookies to last the rest of spring and instead order just one box of your favorite flavor. Then, see number two and savor the flavor!

5. Share! It's a simple, generous concept that can save you a load of calories. If you don't trust yourself with the cookies, but want to support the next door neighbor, buy the cookies and then get rid of them. Share them with a senior center, ship them to the troops, take some to a shelter, or anyone else whose day could be brightened by a box of cookies.

Friday, January 29, 2010


And loving it....

My arms are especially sore...but so are my hips and legs...Thanks to that 24Lift class. (and possibly, going out to salsa later that night)

Thursday nite was my second time taking the class. I love my instructor's use of fun music and the variety she mixes into the routine.

I'm sure by March I'll be seeing some results I'm very happy with.

It's funny how things can change. I started strength training again last summer. Although I used to regularly strength train - sometime ago I got out of the routine. And though I was still doing cardio, I never really got back to doing weights. One of the reasons (excuses) I avoided strength training for about a 1 and 1/2 years because I didn't want to "be sore". But now, I feel that soreness in my body and recognize it as a sign of what is to come.....

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Good Nutrition Isn't All Bad

*****I loved this article by Andrea Holwenger, RD. Highlighted my favorite parts.******

When I meet people for the first time and they find out I am a dietitian, there are often two types of responses. Some people are sincerely very interested in what I do and inevitably start fishing for answers to some of their own burning nutrition questions. I also meet a fair number of people who literally shut down at the mere thought of healthy eating.

I have always been curious about why some people are so repelled by the idea of dietitians and the field of nutrition in general.

Perhaps it is because the word dietitian contains the word "diet" and also the word "die" — both often perceived as very negative. Or is it because the diet industry and many so-called health professionals have them believing that in order to be healthy, food must taste awful, be part of some special product or be difficult to prepare? Or could it be that they feel guilty that this is one area of their lives they value tremendously but can't seem to figure out?

Regardless of the reason, if you have been repelled by the field of nutrition, I would like to challenge you to think a bit differently about what "healthy eating" is all about.

Get over getting it right
If you have felt in the past that healthy eating is about deprivation, realize that you don't have to be perfect. In fact, I like to say that "imperfect is perfect." Get over getting it right and move to a philosophy of eating just a little bit better. Challenge the stubborn voice in your head that tells you, "Go big, or go home," because inevitably trying to make too much change will result in "Go big, and go home." Instead, choose flexible nutrition goals that cause you to work a little bit on your food choices but are not absolute.

For example, if you drink lots of alcohol and are looking for strategies to help you reduce intake, you might consider setting a target number of drinks for a typical work week coupled with permission to take a vacation from this during the playoff hockey season and your summer holidays.

When you avoid "all or none" thinking, you can't lose. You can still choose to get healthier without sacrificing social fun and the amazing taste of sugar, fat and salt (since even dietitians know these really do taste good).

Believe in learning vs. failing
Tried making a nutritional change and found that you didn't stick with it? Don't worry about it; you didn't fail. You just learned a valuable lesson about yourself. A single strategy won't work 100 per cent of the time, but if it works occasionally, it is still useful. Think of having a healthy eating tool kit with a variety of tools that will be useful at different occasions.

For example, if you usually skip lunch but remembered to pack your lunch twice this week, celebrate the fact that your strategy worked two out of five times and work on devising different tools for the other three workdays.

If you bought a box of 100-calorie chocolate bars in order to help you reduce your daily chocolate fix to a smaller portion but ended up eating the whole box in one sitting, you learned something about yourself. You didn't fail. You learned that having the bars in the house is a trigger for wanting to eat them all at once. Take this information and try another strategy until you stumble upon something that makes sense.

Repeat, repeat, repeat
Trying something new and getting into a healthy eating groove takes time and patience. Repetition is needed to develop any new habit, so cut yourself some slack and remember that anything new feels awkward until you get into the habit.

The first time you try adding a piece of fruit to your usual breakfast of toast and peanut butter won't feel just right. How could it when you have never done it before? But after you have repeated this new awkward habit over time, it becomes second nature. Acknowledge that change, no matter how small, is hard.

No better time than now
Although you may think you are invincible, chances are eating poorly will catch up with you one way or another. One of the most profound ways nutrition will affect your day-to-day life is related to your energy and stamina. You can't put a price tag on the benefits of feeling better through your workday and having the "get up and go" to do the things you want to do in your personal time.

The toughest part about my job as a dietitian is to convince you to invest in your health now for benefits that will take months and years to show. What you eat now influences your risk for cancer, heart disease, diabetes and more. What you do is also a glimpse into the future of your children's lifestyle and eating habits since they will reflect your choices. If you can't be motivated to choose a healthy lifestyle for yourself, do it for your kids.

Realize that while I don't expect eating well to rank as the focal point of your life, it shouldn't be at the bottom of your "to-do" list either — to get to when you have the time. There is never a good time to start. Somehow, life never slows down enough to get to the things we need to change. There is no better time than now.

Tap into the biggest payoffs
If you are somewhat convinced that you should make a move toward healthier eating and have embraced the above philosophies, here are the three most important things you can do to tap into the biggest payoffs.

Avoid skipping meals and choose to eat every 3-5 hours for the best energy and also to prevent you from overeating at the next meal.

Overwhelmed by the massive assortment of foods you could eat? Start by shopping on the outside perimeter of the grocery store, where most fresh foods are located. Then at each meal be sure to choose something from each of the following categories:

•Grains/starches such as bread, pasta, rice, potatoes and cereals.
•Vegetables and/or fruits, including the fresh, frozen or canned variety, as well as dried fruit and vegetable/fruit juices.
•Protein such as red meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, cheese, yogurt, milk, soy milk, beans/legumes, tofu, nuts and seeds.
For adults, an ideal plate should be composed of half vegetables and/or fruits, one-quarter grains/starches and one-quarter protein. If you are overweight, try shrinking down the size of your portions by 10-25 per cent, and you will find that your weight starts to change even though you have not changed your food choices.

If you are already doing these things, well, it looks like you are not so repelled by the field of nutrition after all.

Andrea Holwegner — the Chocoholic Dietitian — is a registered dietitian and founder and president of Health Stand Nutrition Consulting in Calgary.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Today's Inspiration: Action, Not Perfection, Creates Results

******I liked this quote from Jane Powell. I have a tendency to want things just so or else I don't want to proceed at all. But, progress takes some type of action, big or small - perfect or flawed****

"Action, not perfection, creates results."

When you start something new, don't worry about doing it perfectly, initially. Just start and recognize that adjustments will need to be made along the way. In other words, take action!

It’s easier to take action when you don’t expect perfection. Obstacles don’t intimidate you and adjustments are seen as part of the learning process. Expect them and be ready to reach into your tool bag for a solution at any moment.

Action, even imperfect action, will bring results, and, eventually, perfection may follow.

By Jane Powell -

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Too Quiet

Ha...I said smugly to myself as I pulled into my gym's parking lot around 9:30pm. I knew attendance would start dropping off soon...Still, I was a bit surprised to see only 3 cars were in the lot.

But when I got to the front door, the staff alerted me that the gym was closed due to a sewer main break. really was a little too quiet....

Pole Dancing Perils

First read about this here.

Sue Ann Wee filed a lawsuit last week against Crunch Fitness chain after she hurt both her shoulders when she slid down a pole and fell to the floor. Wee told an instructor she couldn't hold herself up during an upside-down maneuver, and claims the instructor didn't properly supervise/support her during the pole dancing class.

To read a little more about the story,

When I shared this story with my friend who checked out the class with me, she said she wanted to sue for how sore we were after. LOL! We were SOOOOOOOO sore after. For days after! In places that shouldn't even be sore!

Anyways...based on the info provided, it sounds like Ms. Wee was in the wrong. Ultimately you are in the best position to determine what your can and can't do in a class.

Interestingly enough...I went upside down a few weeks ago with my instructors help/spotting. I wouldn't have done it w/o her.

What do you think? Who was in the wrong?

P.S. I just love my pole dancing class. I can totally see the importance of being flexible and having good upper body and core strength. It makes me wanna get as fit as I can. My instructor shared that the class can become 'addictive'. I certainly think I might end up doing it more frequently after this beginner's workshop is over.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Being A Gluten-Free Vegan

24/7 is how I am living for another week.....

My church is fasting for 3 weeks (2 down). Only allowable foods are fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans and water. We have done this every year for sometime.

This year, however, it's been 'easier' for me. Thanks to working with my dietitian, 1) I am better at eating strategically throughout the day, 2) eating foods that are more filling and satisfying, 3) working on eating more balanced meals of fruits/veggies/protein.

I've also been eating a few new items (and some old favorites) that are gluten-free/dairy/meat free. Some, I only eat during this fast. A few things I think I'll keep after this fast is over.

Here are a few of my 'have to have' foods. These are things I would/do eat off the fast:

1. Quorn products --- meat substitute made from corn protein

2. Sunkist Smoothies --- 100% juice. No sugar added. No artificial ingredients. I really like the strawberry banana & mango flavors.

3. Burger King Veggie Burgers -- I take off the bun and keep on the veggies...Yummy. I eat w/ their side salad and apples.

4. GeniSoy Parmesan & Garlic Potato Crisps - Low fat, trans fat-free, cholesterol-free, and all natural. I eat them w/ some hummus (roasted red pepper), and it's a great and filling snack.

5. Of course, veggies...But, I especially make good use baked potatoes and large salads.

PLEASE believe I can't wait for the fast to be over! :) I can't wait to have cheese, yogurt, bread, chicken!!!!! Being a Gluten-Free Vegan is NOT for me....More power to those who are....Or are one or the other.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

24 Lift

My (ex) trainer invited me to join a strength class (24 Lift shown in the video) with her at 24 Hour Fitness (we're both members). I LOVED it! I never would have taken it if I had not been invited. I generally take "fun" group exercise classes like Zumba or Brazilian Samba or Global Soul Dance. If you are a 24 Hour Fitness member, I strongly recommend it.

It was so challenging and offered plenty of variety. I enjoyed working out with several different types of equipment....barbells, handweights, & benches.

When I do strength days, I just stick to the machines....I don't care for free weights. With the machines, I have less to worry about when it comes to form or needing support. I am excited that this class is opening up new ways of exercising for me...It got me trying things that I wouldn't have on my own or w/o a trainer.

I'm soooo close to my goal weight which I am excited about! But, I'd like to tone up my arms, stomach, and thighs some more and I think this class will really help!

I think one of my favorite parts of the class was a guy right in front of me. He would dance to the music any chance he got....It was hilarious....I was watching him shake his hips thinking he should be in Zumba....Later on, I overhead him tell another classmate that he tried Zumba for the first time that week and really liked it. :) LOL! I guess he still felt that grooving...

Friday, January 22, 2010

One More Pound

I'm a pound away from losing 30lbs!

I can't believe it.

I think 130lbs is going to be the right weight for me. I am loving how my clothes fit, what I see in the mirror (w/ or w/o clothes), how I feel when I am working out.

I never would have thought it would take this long or be this hard. But, I think I'm all the better for it. I won't take my body for granted. I won't underestimate just how much work it takes. I will make exercise and healthy eating a priority.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Today's Inspiration

"Set your sights high, the higher the better. Expect the most wonderful things to happen, not in the future, but right now. Realize that nothing is too good..” ~ Eileen Caddy

*******Loved this quote of the week provided by Franklin Covey************

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Blessing My Body

My body serves me well, and I am open to ways that I can bless my body by nourishing it with food, rest, activity, and prayer.

Daily Word for Weight Loss

******Loved this meditation from the Daily Word for Weight Loss, a book which shares encouragement and guidance for living healthier*********

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Please Don't Stop The Music

This is my new MP3 player! I love it....It has plenty of storgage, it can even play videos, it charges through my computer (no more batteries to deal w/! i'm always forgetting them/or running out of them at the most in-opportutine time). PLUS, I got it for a GREAT price on a Black Friday sale. Do you work out w/ tunes? What music player to you use?

Here's a great article on how music can help your work out....

How Music Can Put a Spring in Your Fitness Routine

August 07, 2008 05:48 PM ET | Katherine Hobson | Permanent Link | Print

Last summer, I was making my way through the final miles of the marathon leg of Ironman Canada and was not at all pleased with my performance. I knew, if I just ran a little faster, I could finish in under 13 hours, but I couldn't seem to muster up the will to do so. Then I passed a water stop where the volunteers had set up a boom box. An old favorite from the '80s, Juice Newton's "Queen of Hearts," started blasting from the speakers, something clicked in my mind and legs, and I was able to pick up the pace.

Music is powerful. That's why you'll see Olympic athletes spending their last prerace minutes with iPod headphones stuck in their ears. It's why your spinning class seems to fly by if you like the instructor's all-Madonna soundtrack—and seems interminable if you don't. RenĂ© Murphy, an associate professor at the School of Recreation Management and Kinesiology at Acadia University in Nova Scotia, got interested in the topic of music and performance when one of the cross-country runners he coached missed a tough group interval workout and made up the same workout herself while listening to music. "She said, 'When I do it with everyone, I'm exhausted and it hurts, but when I do it myself, it's easy,'" says Murphy.

His research suggests that the music is essentially providing a pleasant distraction from the pain of going all out. The mind can process only a limited number of things at once, so if you crank up some tunes, "you're focusing on the music rather than your breathing or what you're doing," he says. In one study, women instructed to run for as long as they could on an inclined treadmill were able to run longer when listening to music, he says.

Of course, the degree to which you focus on the music and ignore your achin' dogs (or lungs) depends on a lot of factors, including, presumably, whether or not you like what's playing. While some songs are pretty much universally inspiring (like the theme from "Rocky"), what some people may find motivating and exciting, others won't, says Vince Nethery, chair of the Department of Nutrition, Exercise, and Health Sciences at Central Washington University in Ellensberg, Wash. It all depends on your taste and emotional associations with a given piece or genre of music.

The beats per minute, or tempo, of the music are also probably important, Nethery says. Studies by Costas Karageorghis, a psychologist who researches music and exercise at Brunel University in London, found that exercising in time to music can boost efficiency, which means doing the same work with a smaller amount of effort. He suggests matching the music to the tempo of a workout. For example, if you're warming up, start with music that has about 80 beats per minute and go up from there. To work out at the lower part of your aerobic zone (say, a brisk walk), music should be in the range of 115 to 125 bpm. The faster or more intense the exercise, the higher the bpm. (I found this tool that helps you measure the bpm of any piece of music; just start tapping any computer key to the beat.) Karageorghis's research team is helping to prescribe music for a London half-marathon in October that will have live music along the route that is scientifically selected to boost performance. (Runner's World has a great selection of mixes for different aspects of a workout.)

Music isn't preferred by every athlete, says Murphy. His cross-country team broke down about half and half between runners who welcome the distraction and those who prefer to focus on things like their breathing, effort level, and heartbeat. That might hinge on a personality trait—perhaps some people are motivated by external cues, while others prefer internal ones, he theorizes.

Steven Wininger, a sports psychologist at Western Kentucky University, says more serious athletes are likely to use music only as a precompetition psych-up, while those of us merely trying to improve our fitness tend to use it to make an exercise class more enjoyable or to make the time go faster. "If you're just making sure you get 45 or 60 minutes of aerobic exercise in to burn calories, you want to distract yourself. You're not even thinking about exercise, and all of a sudden you're done," he says.

The time didn't really fly in Canada last summer, but I can say that I never would have finished in 12 hours, 58 minutes, and 21 seconds without Juice.

For more: My colleague Matt Shulman recently wrote about how music is used to treat diseases of the brain, such as depression and Parkinson's.

Squeeze It In

I think this an interesting idea. I do try to go out of my way to walk the stairs instead of taking the elevator or park a little further away to get in some extra steps, but I prefer to get in a "proper" workout at the gym or park.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Pole & Chair Dance Aerobics

OR "Why I Will Be Sore in the Morning" OR "I Have a Whole New Respect...."

So, Monday night I had an annual Christmas dinner w/ some friends. One friend gushed about a new aerobics class. Intrigued...I asked her to tell me more. In a few minutes she had me convinced...

So, I called the number and asked about the schedule. The location is a bit of a drive for me to attend a class during the week, but Saturday offered both the chair dance and pole aerobics class. I could attend both back to back (a few of her students do).

I LOVED IT! The chair dance in particular. At one time or another, we incorporated great music, feather boas, fake money, and high heels....

Have I mentioned that I have a whole new respect for the ladies who do this for a living? Sure, I think we realize that it takes a certain level of athleticism, but geez....I don't think I realized just how much.

I'm gonna be soooooooooooooooo sore tomorrow. I think I convinced myself that it wasn't going to be that intense of a workout...Afterall, how could it beat 5k(+) training or zumba or global soul? It was a WORKOUT! But, it was a great challenge and a GREAT way to spice up a work out.

She's a little too far out for me to add the classes regularly, but I will take her Intro to Pole Fitness 3 week workshop. And I think I will try to take a chair dancing class once a month or so on Saturdays...

If you are in the KC area check her out here...Classes are reasonable $6 for chair dancing and $12 for pole fitness.

Friday, January 1, 2010


The gym has been awfully crowded the last few days.

I couldn't quite figure it out...

With the record breaking snow and cold weather the Kansas City area has been getting, it should be emptier....

I couldn't get on my "favorite" treadmill.

And then, it hit me...It's that time of the year...Full of promises and hope and goals and purpsoing....New Years Resolutions and I guess people want to get an early start.

I wonder how crowded it'll be today? :)

My Favorite Present & A Good Start

While rummaging through the basement for Christmas supplies, I found a pair of jeans I used to wear in grad school (5 years ago). I wonder if these fit...I thought. So, I took them upstairs and tried them on....Nervously. They fit! Great too!

I wore them on Christmas day and that was my favorite present of all. To have finally, lost this extra weight...

Today, I jumped on the scale and it said 134.8! The lowest weight I've been in 2 years! I've actually lost 25 pounds! It's a wonderful way to start the new year!

My 2010 Fitness Goals:

1. Lose the last 5 pounds (preferably before the All-Star Games)

2. Exercise - 4 to 6 days a week including 1 to 2 days of weight training

3. Eat Healthily - Daily strive to Eat 3 servings of fruit, 5 servings of vegetables (starchy & non-starchy) a day, 6 servings of protein, 7 servings of Carbs/Starchs, 2 servings of dairy, and No more than 3 servings of fat/oil, 6 to 8 cups of water

4. Run a half-marathon (Participate in a few smaller races to get ready for the 1/2)

5. Become Zumba certified

6. Successfully help lead the 3rd Year of Women's Workout Program at my church