Monday, August 3, 2015

How I keep my sanity with food

Routine is key (for me, at least).  I’m a type A, super routine focused.  Food has not always been my friend, but in order to stay true to who I am, and keep my sanity, I food prep.  Sundays are my day!  I cut up my veggies, wash my fruits, grill my meats, and package what I need for the week.  It doesn’t always go smooth, but what I have learned is having my food prepped and ready to go for the week, keeps my routine, AND keeps my entire family on track.

Some tips to help start food prepping:

    Pick a day that you know you can take a couple hours to prep your food choices for the week.

2.       Make sure you have all your containers washed, and/or enough Ziploc bags ready to go.  Doing dishes or running to the store really blows when you’re in your groove of prepping.

3.       Let your kids help!  My kids love to wash the fruits, and peel veggies, like carrots.

4.       If you are working with portion control, measure once, then mark your containers for the appropriate cup size (I use the 21 day fix portion containers, but you can do it yourself too).  For example, 1 cup of pasta.  You can mark a container that you will re-use each week with a sharpie, writing 1 cup pasta on the side.  This eliminates measuring everything, every week. 

5.       Start small, if all you get done the first week is your meats grilled or cooked, then that’s all you get done.  Don’t stress if all your food isn’t prepped.  In time you’ll get down your routine!

Have a healthy week!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Pssst! You’re over 40, you can’t have sweets….

At the ripe ol’ age of 27, I once had a fit friend (in the fitness industry) tell me “You’re lucky, you know when you turn 40, you won’t be able to touch sugar, won’t even be able to smell it….it goes right to your butt!)  Now, we both knew that was an exaggeration, but comical.  So, was she right????  I turn 40 in less than 6 months…EEEEK!  Do I eat sugar, and carbs?  Yes, yes I do.  Has my nutrition changed since I was 27?  ABSOLUTELY!  As we age, we’re more aware of our nutritional choices.  We may have learned some new foods along the way, we may have ditched some foods.  Metabolism does change, as we age.  (great article on menopause)

The important thing is, don't use age as a crutch (when working out and eating.)  What I mean by that is, just because you have heard you will gain weight, doesn’t make it the case for everyone.  I will be happy to introduce you to people in their 50’s, 60’s who look better than I did in my 20’s.

****If you find your body changing drastically, seek medical advice.  I love visiting a registered dietician every so often.  He/she can dial in my nutrition and teach me new things about ingredients, and how my body responds to those ingredients.  Get to know your body and journal.  That sugar might be going to your butt because you didn’t realize how much you were truly eating.    

Monday, July 20, 2015

If you love it, don't let it go!

Ever have one of those days, or weeks when nothing seems to go right?  I was reminded of being "let down" this weekend with my son.  He didn't have the best week with sports.  He put his heart into it, just fell short.  As we cried together and reflected on the week,  I asked him "do you love it?"  He looked at me, with tears rolling down his eyes, and said "yes, yes I do."  "If you love it, don't let it go son!"  I shared a poem with him, and thought to myself there may be someone else that needs to see this today, or this week.     

My blog picture, on the abandoned railroad tracks, is a perfect example.  Looks like an effortless picture, but the reality took me FOREVER to get that picture!  I fell so many times, it was hot, my hands were covered in calluses from holding the pose.  I looked at the photographer and said "I think I'm done, let's move on"  We moved over to a train and did a couple poses over there.  I took a deep breath and marched right back to those tracks.    

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don't you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don't give up though the pace seems slow--
You may succeed with another blow.
Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor's cup,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out--
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit--
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.

- Author unknown –

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Wee fitness: 5 tips to get your babes moving….

Youth fitness is a big deal. Obesity rates are climbing, children are spending less time moving, and more time in front of a television.  Just like adults, they get set in their ways, they lose motivation to move.  As a busy mom it’s hard enough for me to get my workouts in, let alone run my kids through a workout.  For our family, it’s a priority though.  We stay fairly active, don’t worry I give them down days.  Over the years though we, as a family, have come up with some fun ways to get moving.

1. TURN IT UP!  Flipping the tv off, and the music on gets the whole house moving and grooving.  My kids, 11, 9, and 6 now, have a set of chores, so this is generally when I blast the music and we move to the beat.
2. Tag!  Who doesn’t love a game of tag?  Even if it only lasts 10 min getting the heart rate up for a short amount of time is so beneficial.  What we found, it generally leads to more movement.  Once they get their blood pumping, it’s inevitable that a simple game of tag will lead to more activity.

3. Circuits – set up an indoor circuit or outdoor circuit.  It’s basically an obstacle course.  I limit it to 3-5 moves, depending on age.  They work through the circuit, repeating it 5- 10 times.  Now that my kids are older they create a circuit for each other to go through.  I have various pieces of equipment, but if you don’t have fitness equipment, basic moves work well (push ups, crunches, marching knees)  Toddlers LOVE crawling through things.  If you have a tunnel or you can create a tunnel with a sheet and some chairs. 

4. Commercial TIME OUT – We love this one, well actually I love this one.  We have our time at night that we like to watch a few shows….SHARK WEEK, right?!  Anyway, we hate commercials, so we came up with this idea that during each commercial a person calls out a move.  We have to do that move until the commercials are over.  It can last one show or you can set a goal, for example, do 50 crunches that night.  It may take 2 shows to achieve your 50 crunches.  When I started this with small kids, it was kept to one show and movements minimal. 

5. Family walks – fitness doesn’t have to be hard core every day.  For small kids, and older kids, walking is a great way to move the body.  Walking helps families communicate, relieve stress, and get some fresh air.  Walking is good for the heart, and great for the soul!  In the spirit of keeping it real….our first family walks weren’t sunshine and roses….we had one son run ahead of us, the other son tackled his brother, dogs tangled leashes.  TIP: set your walking boundaries, let your kids know walking expectations.  If you want to take your dogs, that’s great, they need the exercise too, just make sure they cause more stress.  You may need to take your dog on a separate walk.  Our bigger dog is a nightmare on family walks, but an amazing running partner solo.  So I take her by myself.

Helpful tip: if you do these activities at night and they jack your kids up.  I like to follow any activity with three yoga breaths.   After I’m ready to calm them down.  I ask them to take a deep breath, hands rise up over head, hold for a second, release hands while releasing breath, repeat 2-3 more times.  You let them know you had fun, but it’s time to calm the body back down.  As time goes on, let your kids come up with ideas to move.  Have them create the circuits or your commercial time out movements.  When they can get involved they start to take ownership of their own health!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Graston Technique for Injuries

This is a therapy technique I recently received.  It is a technique that your provider must be certified in to administer.  The physical therapist I went to was one of few in my area, so it may be difficult to locate someone, BUT if you do I highly recommend it. 

Hurts like a $&%#^#* but the improvement that occurs, over a short amount of time, is what intrigued me.  It gets deep into the fibrous tissue of an injury, and breaks up any restrictions.  With this technique you can experience bruising and soreness afterwards.  I, fortunately, did not experience bruising, and my soreness was very minimal. 

The best part, I kept running during my entire treatment period.  Something I have never been able to do.  Granted, my miles were low and slow, but I was moving!  What I was trying to avoid was the typical treatment of 6-8 weeks no running, take this anti-inflammatory, and take this steroid.  Graston technique is a great option for any athlete looking to get back to what they love sooner than later!
You can learn more about it at:

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Fourth of July Workout

Happy Fourth ya’ll!  Want to get a quick workout in before you head out for your 4th festivities? 

It’s raining here in Memphis, so the kids and I are just sitting around goofing around.  We came up with this short, but fun workout.  See if you can find the pattern in the workout numbers J
7 Pushups

4 sets of Plank partner slaps (if you don’t have a partner, just tap hand forward, both hand taps = 1 set)

20 Crunches

15 Sumo squats

7 Burpees: jump optional

4 Squats with front kick (both legs = 1 move)

20 back ward lunges, you guessed it, you got 2 legs, so count both legs as 1 move.

15 Floor dips (Tricep dips)

Repeat 5 times, or more!

Hope everyone has a fun and safe Fourth of July!!!!

***Did you figure out the pattern?*** 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Fighting for Air…..

Outdoor fitness is home to many fitness enthusiasts, however, if you suffer with asthma it can have disastrous outcomes.  I don’t have exercise induced asthma, but sometimes I find out the hard way why I should always run with my inhaler. 
Some of my triggers include grass and smoke.  Recently a house, near our neighborhood, was hit by lightning.  It burned for a while, filling the sky with smoke.  I understood how that would affect my asthma, and made sure I took my meds that day.  The next day, I went for a run.  I passed the house that was on fire the day before.  What I didn’t realize was the lingering effect of the smoke.  Thank goodness my asthma isn’t bad, but definitely hampered my run that day.  Always remember your triggers could pop up anytime during an outdoor workout.  Be preventative, be prepared!

*TIP: most running shorts, and pants now have a back zipper, located on the waist band.  It’s meant for keys and identification cards, however, an inhaler will fit in that back pocket.  Lululemon and Athleta, both have this zipper on the back of their running shorts.

Ways to find out more on asthma: