A breakthrough is an incredible thing. For your health, it means discovering something new about yourself, finding a habit that works, or making some startling realization about how you interact with nutrition and fitness in your daily life. A breakthrough signals a change for the better. Now, let’s talk about how you get there, because it’s not just a matter of time; it’s a matter of effort.
1. Work Small
The first step to finding your breakthrough is realizing that it doesn’t have to be big. In fact, a breakthrough can be a small thing that only matters to you – Cut out your nightly glass of wine. Kick your addiction to diet soda. Get in the habit of using online grocery ordering and pick up in time management. Find a little change that works for you and be proud of it. Before long, those little changes start to add up into one big one, and that's a phenomenal feeling.
2. Embrace the Uncomfortable
To find your breakthrough, before anything else, you have to be in the market, and that means getting out of your comfort zone. If you’re in your comfort zone, you’re not going to have a breakthrough. Breakthroughs happen when you change your habits, try something new, or push your personal boundaries. If you're looking for a breakthrough, start by making a change.
3. Be Willing to Fail
In order to succeed, it helps to be willing to fail. As with any attempt worth making, you have to push through the hard to get to the good. I spent hundreds of hours in the water, painstakingly trying out new techniques to make the time pass before I ever found a strategy that worked for me. So in addition to being willing to be uncomfortable, be willing to fail. Try new things until you get it right, and eventually, you WILL get it right.
4. Be Persistent
Last, and most importantly, don't give up. You'll be uncomfortable; you will fail, but it you keep going, you'll succeed. You really will find your breakthrough. Keep swimming; keep running; keep looking for new ways to improve your eating habits. A breakthrough may feel like a moment, but it's days, weeks, even years in the making. Work for it, and never give up.
For Deanna Duplanti, getting to your breakthrough is all about looking outside the box, and doing something different:
“I’ve experienced many breakthroughs in my health and fitness, but one of the biggest had to do with my nutrition. I learned that I could train, I could go all day long, but unless I had the proper nutrition, I wasn’t going to improve like I wanted to, and I wasn’t going to feel very good.
They say in a marathon you’re going to hit a wall at mile 20. The thing is, I don’t believe that wall exists. What I have found is that you just have to make a decision, ‘I’m going to give it all I’ve got.’ What you’ll often find is that you could do it, and you did.
Look outside the box. Do something different. Even with food, things that I said ‘oh my gosh, I would never like that,’ those foods often turned out to be the tastiest thing ever. High in fat foods taint your palate. Now, I find healthy foods taste wonderful, fresh and clean. That’s a breakthrough.
Get out of your comfort zone. Goodness knows I had never done a polar plunge, but the first time I did, I loved it. Be creative. You can be disciplined, but don’t let those boundaries mean too much. Lastly, remember that there’s no time limitation on a breakthrough. Every day is a new day, so start out fresh each morning.”
Remember. You have to be in the market.
This easy, delicious recipe is done in a flash and serves four hungry breakfast eaters!
10 oz bag of shredded red cabbage (approx. 3 cups packed full)
1 C. chopped cilantro or parsley (optional)
Large non-stick skillet with snug fitting lid
2 T. Water
2-4 Tbsp Basalmic Vinegar
4 Large or Medium fresh eggs (the older an egg gets the more likely the white will be watery and the yolk will break)
Heat the water in the skillet over med-high heat, then add the bag of cabbage and greens if you are adding. Sprinkle the top of the cabbage with 2-4 Tbsp of flavored balsamic vinegar. I love white balsamic with pear or raspberry! Place the lid on and let steam 2-3 minutes while you get the eggs.
Turn the heat down to low, remove the lid, and carefully crack and place 4 eggs on top of the cabbage. You are trying to keep them from spreading out too much, so keep the shell close to the surface and slide the egg out. Leave some space between the eggs, and the edge of the pan.
Put the lid back on and let the eggs steam poach for 4- 8 minutes depending on how firm you like your egg yolks. The whites need to get fully cooked though before you turn the heat off.
Remove from the heat, let the steam dissipate by taking the lid off. Serves 4 portions of cabbage and 1 egg each, or you can double up on the eggs and cabbage depending on your needs and hunger.
Makes for a complete meal if you plate with some greek yogurt and fruit of choice.
This spaghetti squash boat is delicious and saves the dishes! Give it a try the next time you're cooking a healthy dinner for two!
Ingredients for 2-3 Servings
· 1 small spaghetti squash (approx. 5-6” long)
· 1 teaspoon olive oil
· 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced (celery is a sub for the onions)
· 1/2 medium red bell pepper, diced
· 1 tablespoon minced garlic or mince a fresh pepper or ginger
· 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasonings
· 1 cup sliced mushrooms
· 1 cup broccoli florets
· 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
· 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese or sub in fresh cubed avocado
· Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Cut spaghetti squash in half from top to bottom. Scoop out seeds and place flesh side down in large microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 7-8 minutes; allow to cool.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in cast iron skillet and sauté onions, peppers, garlic, and mushrooms together until softened. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and Italian seasonings.
Stir in broccoli and cook for a few minutes to brighten green in color.
Stir in black beans; remove from heat.
Once spaghetti squash is cool enough to touch, carefully use a fork to scrape out spaghetti squash
strands and transfer to a bowl.
Toss spaghetti squash with cooked veggies and 1/4 cup cheddar cheese.
Pour spaghetti squash mixture into spaghetti squash skins and top with remaining cheese.
Bake in the oven at 375 degrees F for 8-10 minutes until cheese melts.
Serving Size: 1 boat
Calories: 370; Total Fat: 12g; Saturated Fat: 7g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 25mg; Sodium: 395mg; Carbohydrate: 52g; Dietary Fiber: 10g; Sugar: 4g; Protein: 19g
Potassium: 994mg; Iron: 20%; Vitamin A: 16%; Vitamin C: 130%;
The holiday season is here! I've been spending a lot of time in my kitchen lately, working with one of my favorite foods-cranberries! These delicious berries are packed with antioxidants and actively work to promote a healthy digestive system, immune system, and reduce inflammation. Check out a couple of my favorite holiday cranberry recipes below!
Wishing you and all your loved ones a happy, healthy Thanksgiving. I'm so grateful for all the wonderful people in my life and the many exciting experiences we bring to each other each year. This is a wonderful time to appreciate our health, friends, abilities, the abundance and variety of good, clean food, and the privilege to make choices in our daily life. Now, more than ever, striving to be positive and inclusive can help you to feel healthy of body and spirit. Make the most of this fun season!
CRANBERRY ORANGE PUMPKIN MUFFINS
Makes 12 muffins
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30-35 minutes
2 large, very ripe bananas
½ cup orange juice plus zest of one orange
1 15-ounce can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
½ cup Date Paste
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
1 tablespoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 tablespoon alcohol-free Vanilla extract
1 cup dried cranberries, unsweetened or fruit juice sweetened
3 cups gluten free oats
¼ cup finely chopped walnuts
½ teaspoon cinnamon
When pumpkin is plentiful, I like to make pumpkin spice oatmeal in the morning. One day I was in a hurry and didn’t have time to eat it and I wondered how it would taste baked into a muffin. The result was pure pumpkin perfection! These little beauties are moist and delicious.
Instructions: Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a food processor fitted with the “S” blade, process bananas and OJ until smooth. Add pumpkin, date paste, extract, zest, flax seeds and spice and continue processing until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the oats and dried cranberries. Spoon an equal amount of batter into a muffin tin lined with cupcake liners or silicone baking cups. You need to fill each muffin liner with about ½ cup of batter as these do not rise. A retractable ice cream scoop works well. In a separate bowl, mix the nuts and cinnamon and sprinkle evenly into each of the 12 muffin liners. A cheese grater or nut grinder works well for grinding the nuts. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
Mavie’s Fresh Cranberry Salsa
1 bag fresh cranberries
1/4 C sugar or 1/8 C. sugar, 2 T. orange juice concentrate if you like orange
1/4 c minced green onions
1/2 c minced cilantro
2 medium jalapeños (or to desired heat)
2 Tbs lemon juice + lemon zest
2 Tbs grated fresh ginger (Freezing makes it easier to grate) or use minced jarred ginger
Place cranberries in food processor with jalapeños (de-seeded & de-veined). Put mixture in bowl and add remaining ingredients. Chill for 4 hrs before serving. Serve over cream cheese if desired.
I have also placed cranberries, japs, cilantro, and green onions in the food processor rather than mincing the latter two. Seems to work well!
Enjoy these fun recipes and time with your friends and family. Happy Thanksgiving, from my kitchen to yours!
When I first met Keith Sams in Fall of 2012, he was 45 pounds heavier than he is now, but had already lost a great deal of weight. He came into our meeting with all of his exercise stats from the past 6 months totaled, which included exactly 3325 miles of cycling and 450 miles of running. He described himself as obese, told me how much weight he had already lost, how much more he wanted to lose, how much faster he wanted to get, and all the reasons why. He also said he didn’t “want to wear the scarlet letter of obesity” anymore, and wanted to be Keith LITE! He then detailed all of the things he had already changed in his diet, and that he would be a dedicated client and work really hard to accomplish anything that he needed to do to accomplish his goals of losing weight, being healthier, and getting faster on the bike. Running was something that he enjoyed, but cycling was his biggest goal. He and his wife Cara were soon to be “empty nesters” and he wanted them to be healthy and active and go on fun trips.
Wow, I must say I was a bit overwhelmed by the intensity of this guy! He talked fast, and abundantly, smiled most of the time, and surprisingly, when he stopped talking, was a fairly attentive listener. We set out on the task of accomplishing his goals. By February of 2013 he was at his goal weight, feeling great, running and riding faster, and about to explode with excitement about all the events he wanted to take on as the “new and improved, lean and healthy Keith!” You could hardly keep this guy’s feet on the ground he was so high on how good he felt! During 2014, Keith and I worked together on some of his athletic goals, including multi-day cycling events, multiple half marathons, a couple of marathons, the list goes on. Keith could tell you every single one, and all of his stats on them, in great detail! We learned a great deal about working together, he learned to ask and clarify, he learned that rest, recovery, flexibility, fueling, and hydration were all part of the training formula, not just doing the miles or the hours. We talked often about respecting your body’s work, and giving it time to heal, replenish and recover. Even if Keith didn’t get the execution right on something, you could count on him putting forth a Herculean effort. This turned out to be a very important thing to learn about working with Keith. If for some reason he got off on a sidebar, or didn’t clearly understand the path, he’d be so dug in and busy trying to accomplish what he perceived as the goal, you could hardly rein him in to re-direct or reset! This ability to put his head down and accomplish the task at hand is one of his greatest assets, and little did he or anyone else know, it would be put to the test in a very real, and serious manner.
In 2015, Keith snagged a lottery spot for the NY Marathon. This was a bucket list goal, and he wanted to be in prime condition to have his best marathon ever. He and Cara would make a fun trip out of the event, and the wheels were already turning in his mind. Keith asked me if I would help him prepare for the marathon, and we discussed all of his goals, what was realistic, and I agreed to be his coach. Following his early summer conclusion of distance cycling events, Keith was ready to start his training for the NY Marathon which was in Nov. of 2015. Right up through late August training was going well.
In Late August, while in Atlanta for business, Keith participated in a Half Marathon event and suffered a stroke. His physicians believe the stroke occurred during the early miles of the half marathon, but in his finish the workout mindset, Keith endured all 13.1 miles, and finished. He then went back to his hotel and proceeded to collapse. It wasn’t until much later that he called anyone for help. He assumed he was just tired, dehydrated and disoriented from the heat during the run and didn’t fully grasp the serious nature of his problem. Thankfully his friend and his wife convinced him to get to go to the hospital. There his road to discovery and recovery began.
This is an excerpt from the email I got from Keith less than two weeks after his stroke:
To some extent he’s treating my recovery as you would for a post-concussion recovery. Because of that and some lingering vertigo-like symptoms (knocking things off the counter, bumping into things), he did put in place several restrictions for the next 30 days:
· No driving
· No running (walking is approved with no restrictions to speed or intensity).
· Restricted core. I can do core, but I have to avoid the specific exercises that put pressure on the head (pushups).
· He did approve swimming and cycling on the trainer! Thus I have a number of options to maintain my fitness and help me prep for a full-time training after the 30 days.
· He did approve light yardwork (really all yardwork but said to use common sense on those).
· Additionally, he said that I would not get medical clearance for any marathons for 90 days. This will officially end my NY Marathon aspirations, but does not rule out Disney in January 2016!
I have never met a person more determined to recover and conquer again, and exercise was going to be his way to do it. Think what you like, but he grabbed onto these goals and held on for dear life! Frankly, I was a little worried that he was going to push himself too far, too soon, or go against his doctor’s advice. He did none of that. He walked, he was patient, he started strengthening the weakened side of his body. He slowly returned to running and cycling, he took breaks often and as needed. He ate healthfully to help his body heal, he listened to his wife when she said he needed to take a break. In short, he was humble but determined.
Fast forward to November 7, 2016, just a little over a year later, and Keith Sams is finally getting to run his NY Marathon! Please join me in wishing Keith a great adventure with his wife, and a wonderful experience in the marathon. He is trained and ready, and has a fabulous plan to smile the whole way, while still striving to accomplish some personal goals. This guy has put in the blood, sweat and tears. He has completed every workout, taken every rest day, and earned a big accomplishment already.
Best of Luck Keith! Thanks for the opportunity to be on your team. I am humbled, and impressed by you. Have a blast in NY with Cara!
Beets are a unique source of phytonutrients. This super root packs antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, and detoxification support. Unlike many veggies, you can actually see all the good stuff. Beets get their gorgeous color from betalain, which can only be found in a few other foods, like the stems of chard or rhubarb. The concentration of betalains in the peel and flesh of beets make this veggie the best way to snag those health benefits!
Step 1: Prep These Ugly Bettys!
Beets may not look enticing at first, but with a quick scrub and a bit of slicing, they're ready to liven up any plate.
Step 2: Add Beets to Your Favorite Meal or Salad
Try this fun recipe to get you started!
What I am loving lately: This is a chopped salad, marinated in fresh lime juice. It just gets better as it sits in the fridge.
Start with a base of shredded red cabbage or broccoli slaw, buy it in the bag for quick and easy. Add any variety of chopped vegetables. I added zucchini, seedless cucumber, red onion, tomato, mixed color bell peppers, and a little chopped carrot. Toss with 2-4 Tbsp of lime juice, a dash of sea salt and black pepper. No oils needed. Eat it right away, and save the rest in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Serve out of it for any meal. I had some the next morning for breakfast, topped with a poached egg, and some avocado on the side. Delicious! Be creative with your veggies. Broccoli, cauliflower, chopped brussel sprouts, cilantro, celery, some spicy peppers, napa cabbage - they all work great!
Blueberries and cherries are the latest fruits to come into season this month. Together these two create an energy boosting, anti inflammatory, heart healthy super pack! Cherries are blueberries help fight health problems like Arthritis, cancer cells, insomnia and headaches. They're great for fueling your toughest workouts and for helping your recover afterwards. Here are all the reasons this fruity power duo should be topping your grocery list this July!
Hydration is without a doubt one of the biggest benefits of drinking fruit infused water. The majority of us are walking around dehydrated and simply don’t have a clue. Infusing your water with fruits, vegetables, herbs, any other ingredients you want will certainly encourage you to drink more water and to feel satisfied afterward. Here are some of the benefits of keeping your body hydrated:
Speaking of vitamin water, you’ve also likely seen those water flavoring packets on store shelves, as well. A lot of people use these as a quick addition to their water to make it taste better. Once again, these things contain coloring, sugar, and other additives that simply aren’t good for you. Soda, energy drinks, and sports drinks are another popular option among people on the go. These are even worse for you than the powdered additives and vitamin water.
If you’re truly concerned about your health, you want to drink fruit infused water. All the ingredients are natural, and you get to control exactly what you’re putting into your body. You’ll be responsible for all of the ingredients, and the sky is the limit. Cucumber and mint is my favorite combination, but you can come up with a mix that's entirely your own. You will be able to add ingredients that give you all the vitamins and nutrients you want, without any of the harmful additives like food coloring, sugar, or aspartame. You’ll be able to drink water with a lovely fruity taste, but without all of those extra calories.
Makes about 1 1/2 cups
This easy to make, fresh and delicious salsa recipe is sure to be a hit at any gathering. Just toss these ingredients in a food processor and your dish is ready to eat. Feel free to make the recipe your own!
1 cup fresh blueberries
5 medium strawberries
1/4 red onion
1 teaspoon lime zest
juice of two limes
1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 avocado, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Combine blueberries, strawberries, onion, lime zest, juice and cilantro in a food processor or blender and pulse. The consistency is up to you but I like to leave mine a bit chunky, so I only pulse it about 5-6 times. Taste and season with salt and pepper if desired. Scrape salsa into a bowl and fold in chopped avocado. Serve with pita or corn chips, or on top of fish or chicken.
Also try this blueberry lime salsa recipe!
Yields: 4 servings. Prep Time 30 min
Per serving: 233 kcal cal., 2 g fat 66 mg chol., 285 mg sodium, 27 g carb., 3 g fiber, 28 g pro.
After being tossed in a mixture of lime juice, red pepper flakes, and chopped cilantro, the jicama sticks can then be seasoned with sea salt and pepper, and then dusted with some chili powder. Salty and sour, with a little bit of heat, these jicama sticks are a crisp and refreshing alternative for heavier snacks and appetizers.
Combine the jicama, lime juice, cilantro, and red pepper flakes in a large bowl and toss until well-incorporated. Place the dressed jicama on a large platter and season with salt, pepper, and chipotle powder. Serve immediately.
There's more to life than quinoa.
The produce aisles and vegetable stalls will be filling up this month with people eager to get their hands on the best foods the summer has to offer. This month, keep your eyes peeled for these two exciting new veggies.
Jicama is a root vegetable low in calories and packed with essential nutrients. Its origins lie in the Mexican peninsula. Jicama (pronounced hee-cama) is very similar in texture to a turnip with a taste closer to an apple. Jicama is crisp, white, and delicious. Just make sure you peel before eating!
When scouting out jicama at the supermarket, look for firm, round tubers, and store them in a cool, dark place for up to four weeks, and in the refrigerator when cut. Wash them just like potatoes. Slice off the top and bottom to create a flat surface, and then remove the peel in facets with a sturdy paring knife.
Chopped, cubed, sliced into fine sticks, raw or cooked, jicama is versatile and great in stir-fries, salads, slaw, soup, and with other veggies and fruits like oranges, apples, carrots, and onions, as well as meats and seafood. A favorite Mexican recipe is chilled jicama slices sprinkled with chili powder, salt, and lime juice. Try this great recipe!
Although broccolini is sometimes called "baby broccoli," it is not really an immature version of regular broccoli, but rather a cross between broccoli and gai-lan, or Chinese broccoli. Instead of growing into large heads with thick stalks, broccolini grows in slender, individual stalks, each topped by a small floret.
Broccolini tastes very similar to broccoli and can be prepared in the same way, but is usually a bit sweeter and the stalks are more tender, which means they cook faster. Nutritionally-speaking, broccolini is jam packed with essential vitamins and minerals. This tasty veggie is a great source of vitamins A, C, and K. As for all those other compounds that make broccoli so good for you, such as sulphoranes, indoles, and isothiocyanates, these are found in all cruciferous vegetables--including broccolini!
It's easy to break workouts into something separate from our everyday activities, but this month, don't hit the gym and call it done. Spice up your routine by focusing on 5 to 15 minutes small bursts of exercise.
Aim to make these brief sessions challenging and get your heart rate up. Try 5 minutes of alternating between squats and lunges, or pushups and jumping jacks. When you have more time, don't be afraid to embrace casual forms of exercise. Go for a bike ride with friends, play in the water with the kids, or take an evening walk. Integrating these little bursts of exercise into your daily life can light up your metabolism. Keep an eye out for opportunities to move, even in little ways. You'll be surprised by the impact.
All month long, focus on choosing wellness and healthy options to bring energy and balance into your life.
A summer salad that skyrockets your metabolism, bolsters the immune system, and is just plain delicious. Cool down in June with this exciting new recipe!
The start of spring brings with it fresh blooms and a sense of new growth. It’s no coincidence that people across the world have made this season a time to start anew. Spring is for rejuvenation, and while many of us may be planning to schedule some time to spruce up our homes and yards over the next few weeks, I’d like to suggest that we take the idea of Spring Cleaning to a new level—Let’s clean up our bodies and minds! Here’s how you can begin this month with a bright new outlook.
· 1 medium onion (2 1/2 inches in diameter), chopped
· 2 large stalks celery, chopped
· 4 cloves garlic, pressed or 1 T. chopped jarred garlic
· 1 Cup Shredded Purple or other cabbage
· Small bag radishes, washed and trimmed (leave whole)
· 1 cup chopped carrot (you can use baby carrots also)
· 1 teaspoon black pepper
· 1 teaspoon sea salt
· ½ teaspoon fennel seeds (opt)
· ½ tsp caraway seeds
· 2 teaspoons turmeric
· 1 can Diced Petite tomatoes (low sodium is best) juice included
· 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced or 1 tsp powdered ginger
· 1 diced mild jalapeno or other flavorful pepper
· 1 lime or lemon – squeeze the juice into the soup, you can put the rind in for a bit too. Just be sure to remove after 15-20 minutes so it doesn’t impart too much bitterness.
· 3 Cups Thinly Shredded Cabbage or Swiss Chard (I like the red cabbage best)
· Up to 3 cups of any other veggies you have on hand (turnips, extra cabbage, broccoli, cilantro, arugula, chard, etc. Great place to use up those odds and ends!)
· 6-8 cups low sodium stock or broth (I like vegetable or chicken Better Than Bouillon - but watch the saltiness)
EASY PREP: Throw everything in the slow cooker, stir, turn on Low and Cook 3-4 hours.
STOVE TOP METHOD:
1. In a large soup pot, put oil, onion, and celery. Cook on low heat for 5 to 10 minutes to develop more sweetness in the onion.
2. Add garlic and turn up the heat to medium. Cook for a minute or so and add the peppers and carrots. Cook another minute or two and add the spices. Stir and cook until fragrant -- another minute or so.
3. Add tomatoes and stock, and simmer for 15 minutes. Add veggies and cabbage or chard and simmer for another 5-10 minutes or until the veggies are cooked to tender buy not mushy.
4. Adjust seasonings.
Nutritional Analysis: Makes approximately 9 cups of soup, each with 6 grams of effective carbohydrate1plus 3 grams of fiber and 53-75 calories per cup
NOTE: This soup is so forgiving and accepting. Get creative with the vegetables you have on hand. If you make your own broth, even better. Play around with herbs and spices you enjoy!
Gear Up and Get Out: The Best Tips for Cold Weather Workouts!
Most athletes are familiar with the impact winter weather can have on training plans. As the days get colder, it's harder to stay on track with our exercise. The good news is, it doesn't have to be that way. Here's your plan for staying motivated and prepared all winter long. We'll tackle the common problems athletes face with winter exercise, offering cost effective solutions. With dedication and the proper workout attire, your winter workouts will be fun and invigorating again.
Mavie's Top 5 Rules for Outsmarting the Cold
1. Don't Wear Cotton
2. Stopping the Wind is Essential
3. Stay Dry
4. Don't Be Afraid to Double Up, Even on Your Socks,
5. Get Some Good Gear, Keep It Clean, and Air Dry It.
When in doubt, keep those 5 basic rules in mind. It's also important to remember that the cold weather brings with it an extra set of challenges. The extreme temps will force your body to work harder, often causing your paces to slow. That's okay. Additionally, there are just some times when it's flat out unsafe to workout outdoors. Be aware of sidewalk and road conditions, and use your best judgement. Now, for all those times when it is okay to get out there and get moving, here's the rest of what you need to know this winter.
30 degrees: 2 tops, 1 bottom. Long-sleeve base layer and a vest keep your core warm.
10 to 20 degrees: 2 tops, 2 bottoms. It’s recommended to use a jacket over your base layer, and wind pants over tights/leggings.
0 to 10 degrees: 3 tops, 2 bottoms. Two tops (fleece for the cold-gear) and a jacket. For men, wind briefs will also be helpful.
Minus 10 to 0 degrees: 3 tops, 2 bottoms, extra pair of mittens, 1 scarf wrapped around mouth or a balaclava. For runners who find that they are particularly cold, a gator may also be helpful when running in these conditions.
Minus 20 degrees: 3 tops, 3 bottoms, 2 extra pairs of mittens, 1 balaclava, sunglasses. Or, simply stay inside!
We have the luxury of living in the South, so it’s rare for us to encounter weather 0 degrees and below; however, it still does get cold. Regardless of where we live, all of these tips are designed to help you stay happy and healthy during the winter season. So, bundle up and hit the trails (or ground) running!
Winter Weather Gear: Product Highlights
Grocery shopping can be a costly and time consuming task. Buying seasonally is a great way to save both time and money. Know what's in season and you'll have a plan for your shopping. What's more? Stores tend to stock up on these items in bulk, since they're plentiful, which means that they'll be cheaper for you. Check out the list below to plan your trip through the produce section this month.
Ever have days where it feels like you're fighting an uphill battle - when even your most simple jobs feel like herculean tasks? Most people experience periods of low energy in their daily lives, and often, it's a result of their lifestyle. The good news is, there's a quick way to jump start your energy system and turn those bad days around.
Magnesium, in foods like whole grains and leafy greens, often gets top billing as a magic energizing mineral, but potassium is the secret superstar. Potassium reduces sodium intake and lowers blood pressure, which lessens stress and improves energy levels. What's more? Most people fall far short of the recommended amount of potassium intake. In fact, the American Medical Board reported that only about 2 percent of Americans consume the recommended 4,500-milligram per day. In general, multivitamins contain only up to 99 milligrams of the mineral, so you should include plenty of potassium-rich foods in your diet.
Some of the best sources: a medium-size baked potato with the skin (926 mg), a cup of cooked spinach (840 mg), a half cup of dried prunes (637 mg), a banana (422 mg) or a six-ounce cup of tomato juice (417 mg).
When you're feeling the afternoon crash coming on, grab your potassium-rich snack and gear up for a productive evening, because you're going to have all the energy you need.
When you have to decide between hitting the pavement or heading into the woods, it might be worth it to get a little off the beaten path. Here's why!
TRAIL RUNNING WORKS A WIDER RANGE OF MUSCLES
A trail is innately more bumpy than the perfectly-flat road and it's commonly spotted with tree roots and rocks, so you’ve got to watch your step. More significantly, you’ve got to balance your body as you run over and around these obstacles, causing you to use all of those smaller, quick reflex muscles in your legs (as well as core and arms). While the terrain of any trail can differ, most often the surface of the trail is significantly softer than concrete or asphalt, meaning that your step depresses a bit each time, requiring you to lift your leg and use more muscle each time you take a stride.
YOUR JOINTS WILL TAKE LESS OF A HIT ON THE TRAIL
Running on the trail will give your body a relief from the hard, unforgiving pavement. Trails take away a lot of stress from the impact that you’d normally get running on harder surfaces. Some of the forces that would normally be transmitted from the pavement up to the ankles, knees, shins, and hips are dissipated when the foot hits the ground on the trails, because there’s some give there.
THE FRESH AIR IS GOOD FOR YOU AND YOUR LUNGS
One of the best reasons to run on the trail is to get some fresh air—literally. Road runners in rural areas may have less traffic to grapple with than those who run on urban territory, but for both groups, getting out into the woods for a run is better for the lungs.
YOU CAN’T ZONE OUT, BUT YOU CAN GET IN THE ZONE
Trail running requires intense focus. Even if you’ve hit the same six-mile path for years on end, it ’s going to require that you watch where you’re going carefully. This kind of focus is exhilarating and energizing. What’s more, the trail doesn’t have all of the roadblocks, stop lights and cars to watch out for, making it easier to get in the zone and enjoy a more streamlined run. You may even hit a new PR.
BEING IN NATURE IS GOOD FOR YOU
Trail running takes us up the mountain, over the river and through the woods, and that often gives us a much more scenic view than we could ever hope for on an urban jaunt on the road. And if the scenery isn’t enough to sway you to the side of trail runners, perhaps the fact that nature is good for the emotional and mental well being of all humans will be. Studies have shown that just five minutes of green exercise resulted in improvements in self-esteem and mood.
IT’S QUIETER AND CALMER
Getting exercise is not only good for your heart, it produces natural endorphins that leave you feeling happier and calmer. But the calm of a good run can easily be snuffed out by the stress you feel in dodging cars or hearing the jarring sounds of construction. Trail running offers unmatched reprieve for those seeking asylum from the everyday urban sounds.
Have you ever ordered a light salad at dinner and looked around the table to see your friends shifting uncomfortably as they dig into a plate of ribs? Perhaps you’ve deliberately chosen to wake up early while on vacation to get in a workout, only to face some not-so-subtle teasing from family members. Maybe you’ve even been the one who “ruins it for everyone” by declining a second round of drinks.
Adopting a healthy lifestyle comes with many challenges– some even in the form of unsupportive friends and family members. There are few things quite as discouraging as attempting to make a healthy decision for yourself only to be ridiculed by a person whose opinion you value.
Fortunately, you don’t have to be miserable, or change your choice to comply. Here are some ideas to help you handle your response better and perhaps end those hurtful jokes and disapproving glances altogether.
Step 1: Understand Where the Peanut Gallery is Coming From
The sad fact is that many of us have spent years secretly building an over-eaters support network. We often find solace in validating each other’s eating habits or skipped workouts. Before long, every social outing revolves around food, you're celebrating a birthday every week (someone’s), and your friends have convinced you that not only do you deserve that drink, you need it.
So, when you finally embrace a healthier lifestyle, it’s not unusual for coworkers, friends and family to feel threatened, or even judged by you. You’ve robbed them of your complicit validation, and now they’re at a loss as to what you’ll do together. Who are they going to share late night cookie dough with? Understand that the root of this frustration and stress actually has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with the individual who is feeling poorly. Don’t let someone else’s insecurity undermine your own health. Be understanding but within your healthy choices.
Step 2: Be Honest
If you value your relationship with the person who has been hassling you about being healthy, the quickest way to put a stop to the teasing is through honesty. The next time they make a disapproving comment, don’t laugh or shrug it off. Give them a prepared speech. Explain exactly why you’ve chosen to make your health a priority. Be serious, and tell your friend or family member that their support is really important to you. If they care about you, that should be enough to tone down the negative feedback you’ve been receiving.
Step 3: Look for Patterns
Occasionally, there is someone who just can’t seem to get over your healthy lifestyle. Maybe they continue to make negative comments after you’ve opened up to them and asked them not to. Or perhaps their sabotage is more subtle, even driven from a place of love. Many family members show that they care about you by feeding you. If your mother has made your childhood favorite desert, it can be hard to say no, even if that bowl of gooey chocolate is definitely not on your eating plan for the day. In those scenarios, it might be best to accept the food but ask to take it home with you instead of eating it there. Then, you can do with the food whatever you please and your family member still feels like you’ve accepted their show of affection. Whoever your naysayers are, remember that you can empathize with them without allowing them to affect your choices. You and you alone are in charge of your health.
Step 4: Be Proud of Progress and Choices
Regardless of what anyone else says, you should always, always, feel positive about what you’re doing. When someone teases you or calls you out on your healthy choices, don’t get defensive. You don’t have to be defensive, because what you’re doing is good for you and everyone around you. Making your health a priority isn’t easy. It’s something you have to re-commit to every day. So give yourself some credit! By pursuing a healthy lifestyle, you’ve proven that you’re both brave and strong. Wake up everyday and tell yourself that – shout it from the rooftops if you want to. At the end of the day, your opinion is the only one that matters. Make sure it’s a positive one, lead by example, and reap the benefits.
Fruit: nature’s homemade, delicious go-to in the health department. Does it have any flaws? The answer is both yes, and no. These natural beauties are more abundant during the summer time than anything else, and it’s easy to get caught up in their vibrant colors and promises of nutritious goodness. There is absolutely nothing wrong with sprinting to your local Farmer’s Market, scooping up a basket of blueberries, and gobbling them down—well, maybe wash them first, but the principle stands: Fruit is good for you; some moderation required.
Unfortunately, it is possible to eat too much fruit. Here are some helpful rules to follow when it comes to your fruit intake this summer, and every month that follows.
1. Don’t Supersize Your Produce
Like most things in America, the average apple size has doubled, possibly even tripled in the last few years. Genetically modified fruits can grow to Hulk-ian proportions, which means that the next time you go to pick up a piece of fruit, you may be consuming about twice as much sugar, calories, and nutrients as you actually need. Instead of grabbing the first piece of supersized fruit you can lay your hands on in the produce section, be on the lookout for smaller, healthier options. Often, the best place to find these is at your local Famer's Market or health food store.
2. Cut Down on the Sweetest Stuff
There’s a reason some fruits taste sweeter than others—it’s because they are. Your average grape or banana is packed with sugar and thus extra calories. While eating these fruits certainly isn’t as bad as drinking a can of soda, they’re still not exactly weight loss weapons. Try replacing these fruits with something a little less sugar packed. Better choices include pears, strawberries, raspberries, and watermelon, all of which have a lower glycemic load, a measure of how strongly a food impacts your blood sugar.
3. Pair Your Fruit With Protein
The fiber in fruit helps regulate your body’s absorption of the sugar so your energy levels don’t spike and crash. However, adding in some fat and protein can help round out your nutritional intake and regulate your body’s energy levels even more. Try pairing your fruit servings with 8 almonds, a low-fat yogurt, or 2 pieces of low-sodium jerky.
4. Beware of Smoothies
If you’re using one of my smoothie recipes, you shouldn’t need to worry about the amount of fruit in your drink. However, if you’re ordering out or making your own, there’s a chance your drink could contain as much as three, four, even five times the amount of a healthy serving of fruit. Smoothie restaurants are particularly sneaky culprits. The moral of this story is to check the fruit serving size in each of your drinks and take that into account for the day. Don’t drink something that holds four servings of fruit crammed into 16 ounces. Trust me, you don’t need it.
5. Stop at Two
This is your easy, simple, golden rule: Stop at two servings of fruit. I know we’re all used eating big when it comes to fruit, but you really don’t need the sugar, calories, and vitamins from more than two servings a day. If you're eating the right amounts of your other healthy food groups and hydrating fully, you'll already be full.
You’re going on a summer vacation. Good for you! This bubble of warmth and sunshine during the summer months is the perfect time for that exciting getaway you’ve been planning. This trip is your chance to relax, reconnect with family members, and indulge in all the activities you love, and none of the ones you don’t. There are, however, a few things to keep in mind.
Although 36 percent of people try to lose weight before they go on vacation, a third of all travelers find they have to start a healthy eating plan when they return, according to a study by TripAdvisor. Another third of those surveyed said that they always or often gain weight while traveling.
While eating healthy and staying active during vacations may be a struggle for most Americans, you’ll have a leg up when it comes to the challenge. This is your strategy for a healthy, happy, altogether rejuvenating vacation!
Step 1: Destination Matters
While it’s possible to be active and healthy wherever you go, it’s easier some places than others. Be sure to scope out your destination for fun, fitness oriented activities. These could be anything from a morning run on the beach, to a swim, to a spirited round of tennis with your traveling companions. Wherever you’re headed, there will be opportunities to fit in workouts. If you can make those workouts part of the fun activities you have planned for the day, even better. The important thing is to have a plan and to know your options.
Step 2: Prep with the Essentials
Wherever you’re off to, there are a few supplies that come part and parcel with healthy traveling. You know this, but it bears reiteration: Apply sunscreen, often! Not only will it save you from serious skin damage and complications down the road, it will also improve your vacation. Nothing ruins fun in the sun like a sunburn. These fiery red reminders of a day on the beach can often make you feel sluggish and unmotivated for your workouts.
Bring water. Where are you going? It doesn’t matter. Just bring water. Staying hydrated is part of being healthy and will also make you less likely to overeat or compulsively snack. So pack a water bottle, fill it up, and slap it in a super lame hip holster—do whatever it takes to keep it with you.
If you can bring food with you or make your way to a grocery store during your trip, do that. Buy fruits, vegetables, fat-free yogurts, and lunchmeat. Store anything that will provide you and your loved ones with a healthy alternative to the baskets of fries and all-you-can-eat-buffets you’re likely to encounter during your trip.
Step 3: Indulge Without The Guilt
Vacations are about doing the things we don’t usually allow ourselves to do. Every other day of the year, you stick to a routine. You head to the office instead of calling in sick. You try to eat healthy and you make time for your workouts. So, when you hop off the plane and into your very own alternate universe, one where your only worry has something to do with what time the hotel stops serving breakfast, it can be tempting to let everything go by the wayside. It’s tempting…but don’t. You want to feel good during this vacation and you want to continue to feel good after you get back. Neither will happen if you spend the week eating like you’re Katniss Everdeen gearing up for the Hunger Games.
Instead, make a decision ahead of time about what you’ll allow yourself to indulge in. Want fluffy pancakes drizzled with blueberry syrup for breakfast? All right, have them. They sound delicious! But spend the rest of the day making lean, healthy choices. Beware of the buffet, avoid drinking your calories, and make sure your workout schedule is set.
The most important advice I can offer to help you stay on track while traveling is this: Make your health a priority. Just thinking about the strategies you’ll use to stay fit and healthy during your vacation can be a large contributor to success. You’ve just read an entire article about doing just that, so you’re moving in the right direction! Spend a little more time before you leave crafting a foolproof plan for your vacation that includes your workouts and your eating. Once you’ve done that, sit back and enjoy the ride. Let your vacation rejuvenate you, inspire new goals, and be an opportunity to try something new!