Posts Tagged ‘healthy’

LET’S GET REAL… HEALTHY! Realistic Steps to Living the Fit Life (Part 2)

Yesterday I posted Part 1 of “Let’s Get Real” a guest post from my friend Erin Berry Scott! She is on the blog sharing some tips on living a healthier lifestyle with advice that we can all use and implement! She’s already shared that we need to set priorities, educate ourselves and find what moves us, and to get help and engage others. Read below to check out her final tips!

HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOR
This is a biggie! In fact, this is where I spend most of my time and energy when it comes to living the fit life! Deciding to begin and commit to a new workout when you are not in the habit of working out regularly is HUGE. For some, that kind of commitment level tends to bring people to a pretty serious place mentally and emotionally: “I have no other choice but to make this change…my life depends on it.” That is a LOT of pressure! The wellness journey is a life-long one. Having an attitude of lightness and positivity will make the journey all the more pleasant. Having a sense of humor about your fitness journey is helpful in two ways:

1) laughing is a stress-reliever!! The simple act of smiling almost always puts you in a good mood!! Stress is one of those, what I call, “silent saboteurs” to fitness and wellness goals. I know so many people work really hard in their workouts, stay hydrated, keeping an eye on their eating habits and portions and… nothing. They feel stuck. They are stuck. Upon further investigation, it is the stressors in their lives that are contributing to their slow crawl towards their goals.

2) Having a sense of humor and laughing at yourself along the way actually helps you stick with it!! Believe it or not, I have students in my fitness classes that come to just have fun (and I believe to hear my jokes!) and realize only after the fact, they got an incredible workout. Did they nail every punch and kick with precision and power? Probably not every one. But they stuck with it, continued to get better and better until their form and coordination had improved. Because they are able to just let go, not fret over the errors and just have fun with it, they automatically improve. For some people, their lives are SO FULL this is the only time in their day they have to experience joy! That blows my mind! They come to my classes consistently and that yields results. If someone were to get all hung up on thoughts like, “oh, I have two left feet. The moves are too fast. I’ll never nail it like you. I missed that punch. My jumping jacks are lame. Squats are haaaaaaaard,” they would see little success. If, however, they approach their workout with an attitude of “Haha! Did you see that 1-legged jack I just did?! I just invented a new move for ya, Erin!” or “Squats = jello legs!!” it puts a positive spin on, what can often be, a tough journey.

ONE STEP AT A TIME
Know that all of these steps are realistic and effective–when addressed one at a time or in a step-wise fashion. Did you ever try to hop with two feet up a flight of stairs? Pretty challenging…but when you place one foot on each step at a time, you were able to climb the flight of stairs with much more ease.
Changing too much at once is a recipe for disaster. Determine your priorities first and figure out when and for how long you are free to commit to fitness. Do some homework and find what kinds of fitness styles work for you. Once you’ve nailed down a program/system, get help sticking with it. Support is huge–people will be able to better help you stick with it once you know what it is you’re doing. Lastly, protect your positive attitude and outlook. Belief–or lack of–can surely guarantee success–or failure. The benefits of having a light-hearted attitude about it all go far beyond simply sticking with a program that will get you to your goals. A little bit each day is sure to realistically move you towards a healthier, happier life!

THANKS to Erin for her expertise and advice. I’m all about living a healthier lifestyle and these tips were just what I needed to fulfill my goals!!

About Erin: Erin Scott (BSc, cPT) lives in Boston, MA with her husband, Steve, and 9 year old dog, Angel, who are the center of her world. She is an AFAA-certified group fitness instructor, teaching high-energy classes such as Turbo Kick and PiYo Strength throughout the Boston-area. Erin is the founder of SillyFit and enjoys being an Independent Team Beachbody Coach–helping others become physically and financially fit. She also holds an ACE Personal Trainer certificate and is listed as a certified fitness professional with IDEA FitnessConnect. Erin has always had a passion for lifting others up and helping people see their fullest potential. She is always looking to learn more, improve and grow…and pass it on! When she’s not teaching, training or coaching, Erin is a neuroscientist–researching psychiatric disorders, spending time with her friends, family and loved-ones, serving her neighborhood and community, dancing, bowling, enjoying music and cheering on her favorite Boston sports teams–especially the Red Sox. You can connect with Erin by EmailFacebook, and Twitter.



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Mamavation Monday 12/27

Hope you all had a great holiday!!
Monday: 2.3 miles
Tuesday: .5 miles
Wednesday: .5 miles
Thursday: 1.5 miles
Friday: 1.2 miles
Saturday: Merry Christmas
Sunday: Well Hello Blizzard!
TOTAL = 6 miles… GULP
Last Week’s Goals:
- Walk 15 miles [with the holiday I hope to still get in as much walking as I can]
-Pack a healthy lunch everyday this week
-Pack healthy snacks [already bought carrots + celery sticks]
-Increase water intake!
-Do a set of pushups + sit-ups 3x this week
-Resist temptation on Christmas!!
For the 3 weeks I have averaged about 21 miles a week, so this 6 miles is wayyy under what I have been walking lately, and I’m disappointed in myself, but I know it wasn’t because I was being lazy. I spent the week with some tummy problems that has me barely able to function at work. Add that to last minute Christmas shopping and Christmas, it was a hard week. I should have pushed myself harder, but there was a lot on my plate this week, and so I prioritized other things over making sure I walked 21 miles.
I did a pretty good job at packing a lunch this week. I forgot one day [only had bread] so therefore only ate bread, and was super hungry. I know that wasn’t good, but I didn’t want to go get something and didn’t want to spend any money at food! I spend enough at the grocery store every time I go!
Sooo someone ate my raw almonds at my desk, so I felt a bit stuck with snacks, as they were my go to snack. But I ate apples, celery, and carrots, and this week am thinking raisins, hummus, and apples will be good healthy satisfying snacks for me.
Not doing so great on the water intake. I mean, I’m drinking it, but not drinking enough. I have to figure out another tactic to want to drink more! Ideas??
Because I was sick all last week I didn’t do any pushups, so definitely want to make sure I get them in this week.
This Week’s Goals:
-Walk 10 miles [there is about a foot and a half of snow so hoping to get as much walking as I can]
-Pack lunch the 3 days I’m in the office
-Eat healthy snacks
-Do a workout DVD one time this week
-Limit alcohol intake on New Years
Alright still going strong on my Mamavation Campaign! I would love your support!! I still need your consistent support to become the next Mamavation Mom! We have until January 5th to show the people behind Mamavation that I have support! The public can’t vote until finalists have been chosen January 5th so keep the support going please!
1. Visit Mamavation Facebook Page and tell them why they think I would make a good Mamavation Mom. Be sure to include my handles @YoungFabMama | @AlexandraElizabeth
2. Visit, like, and comment on my Youtube video application. Click Here
3. Tweet: “Hey @bookieboo! I want (@YoungFabMama) to be the next #Mamavation Mom. She has my support! http://bit.ly/zqUxa


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Blogger Spotlight: Andrea @ Thin Thighs & Sweet Potato Fries [Part 2]

Part 2 of my interview with Andrea 
 of Thin Thighs & Sweet Potato Fries!
Q. What are your top 3 fitness tips/advice?
1. Count calories-Counting calories gets such a bad rap and I will never understand why. In fact, maybe I should reword it as “pay attention to calories.” Then maybe it will be better received. J This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to keep a food journal or pull out a calculator and track every morsel of food you eat (although, I’m not gonna lie, I’ve done it at times), but if you simply make a point of at least reading food labels or looking up the calories in what you eat, you will be amazed at some of the calorie bombs in your life you didn’t even know were there! Then by slowly eliminating these foods I promise you, you will start to see changes, even if you never set foot in a gym. But you can’t eliminate high-calorie foods if you don’t know how many calories you’re eating in the first place. So pay attention to it.
2. Do a pantry/fridge makeover-You can’t eat what you don’t have! This might sound rudimentary, but it works. Try replacing junk food in your pantry with healthier foods. I’m not saying you have to go from donuts to apples in one fell swoop, but there are healthier
3. Exercise in groups (and if you can’t find one… create it!)-This was key for me. I got over my intimidation and fell in love with running by running with a group of ladies I work with. We got together three mornings a week, running at our own individual paces, but just making sure to stay within sight of each other, and it worked out beautifully. There are typically running groups in every city that anyone can join and they can usually be found with a simple Google search. If running isn’t your thing, start a DVD exercise group. Get a group of friends or coworkers together, find a gym or even a basement, and pick a day of the week to do a DVD program like P90X or Insanity together. It’s like being in a fitness class and it creates an instant network of people to keep each other accountable. Plus, it’s much more fun than doing it by yourself, which means you’ll stick with it longer. If you live in Charlotte, ask me about NC Fit Club! **end shameless plug** J
alternatives for everything. Once you get in the habit of not keeping bad food in your house, eventually you don’t even miss it.
Q. How do you maintain a healthy diet and consistent exercise regimen?
I say this all the time, but maintaining a healthy diet is a proactive process. Since day 1 of my weight loss journey until now, I always pack my breakfast, lunch, and all snacks and take them with me to work. This way I’m in control of what I eat and there are no last minute fast food lunches or 3pm trips to the vending machine when I’m suddenly craving a snack. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely have my slip-up days, but as long as the majority of what I’m eating is good for me, slip-ups aren’t as big of a deal.
As far as fitness, while I don’t belong to a gym, I am lucky in that I have a fitness center right onsite at my job and am able to take classes during my lunch hour each day. This has been a HUGE benefit to maintaining a workout routine! I also live in an apartment complex with a fitness center that I take full advantage of. I realize, not everyone has these resources though. I also simply try new things because more than anything, it’s important to keep it fun, otherwise you won’t stick with it long. So as I mentioned, I tried out and discovered a love for running, I do workout DVDs, I’ve taken dance classes, and I even recently went on a nature hike which I loved! It’s all about getting creative and finding what works for you.
Q. What advice do you give to busy moms on the go related to healthy eating and exercise?
As far as fitness, “get it in, where you can fit it in!” Maybe you don’t have an onsite fitness center at work, but you can go for a walk or run during your lunch hour. Or look into fitness classes offered at community centers and churches. Often times, these classes allow you to bring your children with you. I went to a Cardio Funk class at a local church recently and it was filled with moms, dads, kids, grandparents…you name it!
As far as healthy eating, there are so many quick and simple ways to provide your kids with healthy foods. When it comes to healthy and quick, I love Dr. Praeger’s veggie burgers, brown rice or whole wheat pasta dishes are also quick and easy to make. For breakfast, I love Hodgson Mill whole wheat pancakes and use Quick Whites for a simple egg white omelet.  One of my faves for dinner on a busy night is a baked sweet potato. To prepare it,  pop a sweet potato in the oven on 425 degrees for 30 mins (or nuke in the microwave for 6 minutes), then add a little cinnamon, a dollop of healthy butter spread, and a tablespoon of brown sugar. It’s delicious. The majority of the meals I make take 30 mins or less. I also love Trader Joe’s frozen foods section. You can get lots of quick, healthy finds there.
Q. Healthy eating is expensive, what tips can you give to help people stay within their budget but also eat well?
A. Healthy eating can be expensive, but it doesn’t always have to be. What primarily makes healthy eating so expensive, in my opinion, is the fact that fresh and/or natural products tend to spoil faster so you find yourself at the grocery store more often. That’s why my freezer has become my best friend! I load up on frozen veggies from Wal-Mart for about $1.99 a bag and use them frequently in stir fries, sandwiches, or with a little low fat cheese as a side dish. I also freeze my whole wheat breads, and even fruits that I’ll later use in smoothies.  I always keep frozen chicken breast tenderloins and frozen shrimp on deck as well for when a dish might need a little added protein. Again, I also recommend keeping cheap staples like instant brown rice and whole wheat pastas in the house. I stock up on sauces and marinades from Trader Joe’s (which are also quite inexpensive) and I experiment with ways to create something new.
Q. What is your all time favorite healthy recipe?
This is probably a silly choice, but if I had to choose, I would have to say banana oatmeal. I learned this recipe from a fellow healthy living blogger (though I’ve added my own spin on it over time) and I have been eating it for breakfast nearly every day since. You simply prepare a bowl of plain oatmeal, then cut half of a banana into the bowl and mush it into the oatmeal until creamy (the riper the banana, the better this will taste!).Then slice the other half of the banana on top. I like to add fresh blueberries and sprinkle a little cinnamon as well, but this is not necessary. That’s it. You get a yummy, all naturally-sweetened bowl of oats!
Q. What is you all time favorite exercise?
A. While running is of course a close second, I have to say ZUMBA! I’m addicted! Sometimes when I’m doing it, I forget I’m exercising!
THANK YOU Andrea for taking the time to answer these questions! You’ve given me alot of great tips on how to live a healthier lifestyle!
You can reach Andrea by visiting Thin Thighs & Sweet Potato Fries and/or by emailing her: Andrea at thin-and-sweet dot com


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Blogger Spotlight: Andrea @ Thin Thighs & Sweet Potato Fries [Part 1]

If your a Glowicious reader you’ll know that I’m on a serious fitness journey! Walking is my main mode of exercise and I’ve started eating healthy! I feel more determined than ever to live a healthy active lifestyle not only for myself, but for my daughter as well.
So today I’d like to put the spotlight on a fantastic blog I found called Thin Thighs & Sweet Potato Fries! When I saw the blog name, I for one started drooling, I love love love sweet potato fries! I knew I had to check it out, and I’m glad I did. The woman behind the sweet potato fries is Andrea, a talented writer who is also on a fitness journey. She’s already lost a considerable amount of weight, but still practices a healthy active lifestyle, so I wanted to ask her some questions about her experience and see if I could get some tips to incorporate into my life. 
Meet Andrea!!
 
Q. Who is Andrea? Where are you from?
I’m a 25 year old Midwest-bred girl (Rockford, IL) who moved to the South (Charlotte) 3 years ago on a complete whim –and never looked back! If I had to sum myself up, I would say I’m a complete girly-girl (in fact, you should’ve seen the reaction I  got from my co-workers when I first started exercising and was spotted – Gasp!—wearing tennis shoes! Lol!) I’m definitely a total foodie if that hasn’t been made clear by my blog (I like cooking it, eating it, researching it, and talking about…a lot); And of course I love health and fitness (some might call it borderline obsessive; I prefer passionate).
Q. Do you have a background in fitness/health?
As of right now, I don’t have a background in health/fitness. I studied Communications in college and currently work full-time in a Corporate Communications role. All my health and fitness knowledge is completely trial and error from my own experiences or from research…and then trial and error. I did recently become a Fit Coach with the NC Fit Club and it’s definitely my hope to become certified in a health and fitness related area in the next year.

Q.When did you start blogging?
I started blogging in June 2010, although in hindsight I wish I’d started a lot sooner. I would have loved to chronicle my entire weight loss journey from the beginning as opposed to the tail end of it. I still share tips and tricks that I learned from the early days though so it still works out.

Q.Why did you create your blog?
Well, to answer that, I guess I should start by referring back to how my weight loss journey began in the first place. To give you the short version, I became reacquainted with a friend I met when I first moved to Charlotte after a long period of not seeing her. Being the (brutally) honest person that she is, she told me that I’d put on weight. I totally didn’t see it coming and felt bewildered by the comment. So I cried, didn’t speak to that friend for 6 months and chalked it up as the worst thing that had ever been said to me. Instead, it ended up being the one of the best! In those 6 months, I got an incredible fire under me to get fit.  I decided to set a goal called “25 by 25” which was a push to lose 25 lbs in the 6 months leading up to my 25th birthday. I began exercising regularly for the first time in my life and researching ways to eat healthy. It was during that research that I first discovered other healthy living blogs. Since I’ve always loved writing, I became inspired to start my own blog and share with others what I was learning in my process to potentially help them the way some of these blogs had helped me.

Q. What is the story behind the title?
Haha! To be honest, there’s not too much of a story behind the title. It’s simply a fun name that popped into my head randomly one day, and I thought it would be perfect to represent the relationship between food and fitness on my blog. Side note: I had never had or even heard of a sweet potato fry prior to moving to the South and now I am in love!
Q. Who do you hope reads your blog?
While, I am always grateful for anyone who cares to read what I have to say about healthy eating and fitness, deep down, I would say I write my blog with the non-healthy eater, and non-exerciser in mind because that was me; a year ago to be exact. I hope that my posts can inspire someone who wants to get fit and doesn’t know where to begin. Or someone who wants tips on incorporating healthy eating into their lives and just needs a few tips and tricks on how to make healthy swaps. Or even someone who already eats well and exercises, but wants ideas for something new to try. I also write for the person who just needs to see that this girl, who several months ago couldn’t run 6 minutes, now runs 6 miles and counting…and loves it…and they can do it too.
Q. What can readers expect from your blog?
A little bit of everything! It’s basically health and fitness through my eyes, which might look a little different from one day to the next. You’ll find healthy recipes, food or fitness finds that I discover, local food or fitness events/classes I attend, tips for grocery shopping, my daily eats from time to time, something I did in my day as it relates to health and fitness, or most often just my random ramblings about food and/or fitness-related topics, whether it’s sharing a personal struggle I’m having with maintaining my weight or something I heard in the news. I try to be as transparent as possible and share a little of who I am mixed in with the food and fitness content. 
Stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow of my interview with Andrea where she’ll share some healthy eating and exercise tips!
Be sure to check out Andrea at Thin Thighs & Sweet Potato Fries and/or email her at andrea at thin-and-sweet dot com. 


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Monday Mamavation 12.20

What a week, what a week! If you remember in last week’s post I wanted to walk a total of 25 miles this past week. Below are my totals:
Monday: 2
Tuesday: 3.2
Wednesday: 4.2
Thursday: 5.3
Friday: 2.6
Saturday: 3.5
Sunday: 1.8
TOTAL: 22.6
So I didn’t make my 25 miles, and I’m ok with it. I walked, and walked, and walked some more. I’ve been walking for exercise for the last 3 weeks; here are my totals for the past 3 weeks:
12-20 = 22.6 miles
12-13 = 22.1 miles
12-6 = 19.9 miles
I’m making steady progress walking more which is great news. Though this week my leg and feet started throbbing and aching, so it made me incredibly unmotivated to want to walk. But, this week, I really do feel like I walked as much as I could. I opted out of taking the bus several times even when I just wanted to hop on. I braved the frigid temps of Boston bundled up and just sucked it up!
Sooo I took my measurements tonight, and it’s not good. Not good at all. I found some measurements I took sometime between April and May and..lets just say I’ve expanded…everywhere. So it’s put me in a funky mood. I’m the type of person that craves immediate results. So in my head I’m like ok I’ve been walking consistently for 3 weeks now, why don’t my pants feel looser? Why don’t my arms look tighter? Why don’t my abs look more defined. I know I need to give myself a break, but its frustrating! It’s really really frustrating. Gotta keep telling myself, Rome wasn’t built in a day!
I’ve been doing better with healthy snacks! But not doing well with packing lunch. Fail. I haven’t been cooking a lot, which means I don’t have any leftovers to bring for lunch. And I haven’t been choosing the most healthy lunch choices.
I avoided doing pushups alllll week! I’m starting this program that is supposed to help you build up your pushup strength to be able to do 100 pushups! Pure craziness…and I love it! I finally took the initial test tonight which consisted of doing as many pushups as you could before you reached failure. I managed to bang out 15 pushups on my knees. The number probably would have been 2 if I did them on my toes. So the plan has you do pushups 3x a week. I hope I can survive, I’m a little nervous, but I need to build up my upper body strength, so I’m ready to dig deep!!
Oh, oh, oh, and for those of you who read last week’s post I was saying that I was going to beg ask my Zumba instructor if I could bring my 5 year old daughter with me to Zumba class. Not to side and watch, but to participate! She is a 5 year old dancing machine, and can probably outdance many grown adults! So, I asked her….and…. she said YES! She said I could bring her!! Wooo-Hoo!! I was so excited!! I would have gone this past Thursday, but my daughter had Girls Scouts, so we’ll have to attend a class after the New Year. I was so excited! Being a single mom with extremely limited support, I have my daughter with me all the time, and have to adapt my exercise routine to be able to be done with her around. This is a great and fun way to exercise, and I KNOW my daughter will totally lose her mind in excitement!
This Weeks goals:
- Walk 15 miles [with the holiday I hope to still get in as much walking as I can]
-Pack a healthy lunch everyday this week
-Pack healthy snacks [already bought carrots + celery sticks]
-Increase water intake!
-Do a set of pushups + sit-ups 3x this week
-Resist temptation on Christmas!!
I still need your consistent support to become the next Mamavation Mom! We have until January 5th to show the people behind Mamavation that I have support! The public can’t vote until finalists have been chosen January 5th so keep the support going please!
1. Visit Mamavation Facebook Page and tell them why they think I would make a good Mamavation Mom. Be sure to include my handles @YoungFabMama | @AlexandraElizabeth
2. Visit, like, and comment on my Youtube video application. Click Here
3. Tweet: “Hey @bookieboo! I want (@YoungFabMama) to be the next #Mamavation Mom. She has my support! http://bit.ly/zqUxa


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