On occasion, you really can (justifiably!) be in that type of a mood that if someone tells you again to eat your salad, you might explode. We UNDERSTAND. After all, how many salad leaves can we digest daily without getting that feelin’ of turning into some sort of a rabbit???? Half a cup? A cup? TWO full cups????
Well, there is a remedy: you want to eat your greens, or you do not want to eat your greens but you feel you have to eat them, or you want or do not want to eat your greens AND you cannot eat any more of the salad thingie!!!! What is a gal or guy to do?
Eat dark green stuff such as: collard greens, Swiss chard, turnips, bok choy (or baby bok choy, my personal favorite, boosting with antioxidants!), escarole, spinach, broccoli or kale. They are all dark green, boosting with body-friendly nutrients, full of good filling fibers and easy to prepare. Actually, not very popular collard greens might contribute to lowering the “bad” cholesterol levels even better than the well-known and often used spinach or broccoli (not that there is anything wrong with these two, either… Just promoting the less-known guy…). You can sauté stuff with collards and garlic, for example. Or you can add the greenery into a nice portion of scrambled eggs or egg whites (full of proteins, as well). You can season your greens with vinegar or red pepper flakes – the more spicy the food, the more calories you burn during the day – and hey, every calorie counts, right?! So, go for that chili pepper and black pepper without any hesitation. If you decide to indulge in just one cup of kale, you’ll get a full day’s worth of vitamin C and vitamin A, as well as much more than even needed of the vitamin K. In one of my Be Fit Fit Newsletters, I presented a great and popular recipe for very healthy kale chips: check it up on my web site at www.befitfit.biz, under the “Newsletters” Tab. Turnips is also full of Vitamin K, and it does not joke in terms of fiber, and the Chard is yet another option if you want to replenish the levels of both vitamin A and C. As always, if you can, go organic: these leaves are not protected by anything against the pesticides, pollutants and all other types of daily assaults. Even if you get organic: wash them really well (even if yours boosts the “pre-washed” words on its package. Also, it is good to spin them after washing: they won’t be too wet not too dry, they will be… just perfect! Have fun and be creative in the kitchen, 80% of the weight-management success is in the nutrition, only about 20% is in the exercise (OK, 3% is the genetics, but let’s not go into such details…)…. Stay Fit-Fit, and e-mail me, if anything, at email@example.com!
I cannot overstate how important it is to be confident. Actually, this applies to all aspects of life, but today, I just would like to put your attention to the role of confidence in our fitness-related pursuits. What does it mean to be confident? If you are confident, you believe that you are able and will reach your goal or goals: be it simply a weight loss goal, a goal of finishing your first 5K, a goal of doing an Ironman under 11 hours, or such a simple thing as a goal of eating on the healthy side.
Even with the best motivation and even if we try our best to believe and remain confident, it is hard not to be “under-confident” from time to time. Self-doubt, busy life, tiredness, the thing called “daily life” cram into our plans and try to destabilize us and our pursuit of both the confidence and, through it, of our goals.
One thing we can do in order not to lose confidence is to focus on the daily progress: OK, I ate healthy this morning, did not “forget’ to have the breakfast, now I have to focus on the task at hand: eating a healthy lunch. And so on…
Also, make sure that your environment promotes all tidbits which can contribute to gaining more confidence: reach to your family for support, ask them not to go out to a fast food restaurant this week, make sure you shop for healthy foods and stock them at home, so there is no temptation to reach for that frozen pizza, because it simply is not in your fridge! Make sure you train for your first 5K: start from walking, then alternate walking and jogging, then increase the amount of time you jog versus walk, then make it a goal to jog the entire 5K several weeks before your first race. Then, try to run it over a decreasing amount of time, by applying various training methods, such as intervals, hill training, tempo runs, and so on…
With each and every workout completed, you will gain a tidbit of… confidence! So you will with each healthy meal you eat. You will feel more and more confident in your fitness, abilities, strength, balance and flexibility with each and every workout you have. Your confidence is not static, its levels fluctuate, depending on how successful you have been with your pursuits. Oftentimes, reaching smaller goals, such as a completion of a great workout, leads to an increased level of confidence from that moment on. And this, in turn, makes it so much easier to believe in ourselves and to go for and reach that major goal, such as a 50lbs weight loss or completion of a half-marathon.
If you lack motivation or confidence, talk to your trainer. If you don’t have one, perhaps it is a good time to hire her, investing in your physical and psychological wellbeing and health? Stay Fit-Fit and e-mail me at any time at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Goals are dreams with a plan, and when we stop setting them, we stop moving forward.” Chris “Macca” McCormack
This topic sort of came to me naturally today: it is SOOOO hot (right, it IS the dry heat, so what??? It is still sooooo hot!)… So, it is SO hot that it’d be the best to head for the pool.
Some of you might vividly protest:
1. My hair will get ruined!
The only good answer: Fear not, better have a very ruined coiffure than a very unfit life! Also, IF you moisten the hair with tap water before entering the pool and, possibly, put a swimming cap on top of your brainer, almost no chlorine (or whatever the pool you are attempting to conquer contains) will manage to damage any of your strands.
2. Chlorine! I hate all that chlorine in the resort/public pool! I get itchy all over from it!!!
The only good answer: Well, get acquainted, cozy and VERY friendly with a rich neighba who does have a salt water pool. Then get them to open the gates for you to use it! You might want to bribe them with some great baking goods (for healthy recipes, check the last year worth of my Newsletters at www.befitfit.biz). So, feed’em the cookies while you swim!
3. OK, I do have a neighba with a salty pool AND I became very cozy with him/her. However, the pool is small.
The only good answer: Oh, this one is easy. EASY!!! I tell you! You, actually, have TWO options:
a) Gift your cozy/friendly/rich neighba with a pool current generator (like those you might have seen in the ads with the recent Olympic swimming champions…): you do not need any big pool, you get the thingy ON and – as it produces the current – you bravely swim against it!
b) Shop for pool accessories, such as pads, foam weights etc., and perform some cool aqua aerobic exercises! Make sure you do NOT stick your upper limbs above the water level while using those foam “dumbbells” (as seen – unfortunately - in multiple water aerobics classes around the world, most likely conducted by some highly inexperienced folks who’ve got no clue…) – keep’em under the water surface for all the resistance they can provide you! EFFECT: Muscles of steel. J
3. I cannot swim!!!!
The only good answer: E-mail me at email@example.com and I’ll teach yah! ;-)
4. My wife ate my goggles.
The only good answer: Get yourself a new pair and stop whining.
5. And, my goggles get steamy!!! I cannot see anything!!!
The only good answer: At any sports goods store: get yourself a simple antifog spray. Sit still. Focus. Spray the lenses. Pat them dry. Wear. See everything again! ;-)
With the temps hitting the 3-digits over and over again, I cannot stress more the importance of hydration. Especially so for those of you who walk and/or exercise every day. In the desert climate of our Arizona, you might not realize right away that you have been sweating, because all the sweat evaporates so quickly: our clothes might remain dry, as the result. But it does not mean we do not sweat. We do and even a slight deficiency in terms of the hydration level can bring on some impairment of both physical and mental performance. So, if you think your thoughts get blurry and it just MUST be the age, double-check: maybe it is enough to drink some water!!! If you are exercising up to 1 hour, plain water is enough. If more, you might want to consider some electrolyte tablets diluted in your water bottle (not to mention energy gels to top things up). Apart from pure water and sports drinks, please remember that iced and regular tea or foods such as a watermelon or a cantaloupe all can benefit us in terms of the hydration. Stay Fit-Fit, remember to drink and, if things get fuzzy, drink even more! Better be safe and on the healthy side than sorry!
So, it is 2 or 3PM, you’ve still got hooooooooooours till your dinner, but your stomach is rumbling. Solutions?
Well, the first one would be to make sure you’ve got your breakfast every single day, and that the breakfast consists of some slow-churning and filling proteins. In hopes for that svelte silhouette, ome of us would skip this most important meal of the day – and we never should! Even if you really, but really do not feel like eating before leaving the home for the day, you can always get some nutrients in a liquid form; a protein shake, for example. If you are lucky to have some appetite in the morning, then go eggs or Greek yoghurt. Or cottage cheese. And all this not “just”, but with nuts, berries, or, in case of the egs, with dark green leaves, such as kale or spinach.
Second, make sure you eat three meals every day and two snacks between them. And also, before you go to sleep, there is nothing wrong with getting a few spoons of cottage cheese and nuts to keep your system happy and working.
As to the snacks:
Some great 150 calorie snacks include: 6 ounces of plain, non-fat Greek yoghurt with 1 cup of berries (mniamm!), or ½ cup of 1-2% fat cottage cheese with some fruits.
If you have space for more, let’s say, 200 calories, try several spoons of steel-cut oatmeal plus a handful of ever-important nuts and seeds plus some berries. Or just go nuts: mix Brazilian nuts 9just 3 of them takes care of our daily selenium needs), walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds, and almonds. You may want to add a few spoons of 0% Greek yoghurt, or not even.
Third, notice in which circumstances you get ravenous; is it the 3PM “crash”? is it boredom/ Is it emotional eating? In many cases, simply changing your pattern of responding to that ‘call for food’ is enough to address the problem; you feel like eating a double cheeseburger? OK, go for a 20-minute walk! You would just love to have that glass of wine RIGHT NOW AND RIGHT HERE?!?! (Oh, I can relate, believe me!!!). See why: is it because you’ve got bored in the evening? Grab the phone and call your best friend instead.
For more ideas, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, OK? Love and good luck! Stay Fit-Fit!
Have you realized how important is exercise in case you suffer from hypothyroidism? It boosts both your energy levels, metabolism and improves your mood (those suffering from this condition are often feeling down, too). So, if you are someone managing this condition, despite the fact that you really, but really might not feel like working out, go for it! You WILL feel better, your outlook will improve and your body and health will thank you for it! remember, i do believe in you! Stay Fit-Fit! M.
“Danger is the spice of life. You’ve got to take a risk every now and again – that’s what makes life worthwhile. I’ve always tried to never be scared of anything.” Burt Munro
Recently, I read these words in the “LAVA” Magazine, dedicated to triathlon. I paused, contemplating how true this sentence is. When we are, or act like we are scared of something, the world closes up right in front of us. We don’t give any chance to ourselves! Right at that moment when I read this statement, I remembered my past, when, as a protective measure, my mom and grandma forbad me to exercise and they even wrote a note to the school to exempt me from the physical education classes. Unfortunately for me, they wrote that note every single school year until I reached the age of 18, when they finally decided: “Oh, now you are adult, do what you want!” By that time, I grew overweight, chubby and overly desperate to lose the additional poundage load I carried around… So, I consulted with Piggy the Piggy Bank of mine, drew some monies out of her not too immense abdomen, and promptly signed myself for the first swimming lesson in my lifetime. At the ripe age of 18. I know, it does sound ridiculous, even my own daughter cannot believe that! My family was always convinced that the pools are some very dangerous places, where folks pretty much end up drowning, so it did take a lot of courage from me to go and sign up exactly for that! The swimming lessons were carried out in a group setting, at the most inconvenient times of the day and night: one of them finishing at some 11:20PM! If I was lucky, I could catch the last bus home, if not, I just walked back in the dark. The swimming instructor, a nice guy who was blind on one eye, used to encourage my efforts by reminding me after each practice: “And you know, don’t eat much now, even if you are hungry. You’ll be hungry after a swim, but if you want to lose the weight, do not eat much after the practice.” And I listened to his words. I also added power walks, wherever and whenever I could. It was scary: I had been told on multiple occasions how dangerous it is to participate in any type of sports, that if you sweat while running you WILL catch a cold, and I had the examples of sportsmen who got injured while pursuing their favorite activities presented to me repetitively by my family, as well. However, I pursued my goal and the pounds melted within a year or so. 25 years of health and well-being followed…
When I was about 35, over the years, I realized at one point that I was afraid of finding myself exposed at heights, no matter how nice the view below was! So, I decided to take this problem in my own hands: while on a cruise, I noticed this tall climbing wall which extended all the way to the top of the ship’s chimney. It was tall and especially scary and tempting while the ship was in motion… So, one morning - I somehow think mornings are the best to attack our little issues – I simply went to the Deck 12 of the ship, when the climbing wall was open. It was looming, dark in the shade, and empty. I signed away my dear life, got the climbing shoes, and went straight to the top! On the way, on three occasions, I had a chance to sound the bell which (conveniently) was attached to the wall right there! The last bell was on top of the wall. I sounded it and yelled to the guy who was belaying me to wait a moment! I was, actually, enjoying myself and the view! After quite a while, I asked him to lower me to the ground, but SLOWLY! I enjoyed every second of it. And right after that, I went up again and again, every day of that cruise! Mission accomplished, scare forgotten! J I guess, it is VERY worth to risk, to get scared and to go for it, even if your “it” is some almost-unreachable-goal… It CAN be yours, IF you decide it is within the reaching limits! Do not postpone the pursuits, no matter if it is the goal of losing weight, participating in that first triathlon, or overcoming any fear you might have. As Nike guys say it, “Just do it!”® - Just doing it will lead you to a much better a place than you are at right now. Good luck! You do know that I am rooting for you! If you need any more encouragement and some personal training sessions, please visit www.befitfit.biz and e-mail me at email@example.com, I'll be more than happy to assist you! Stay Fit-Fit!
"Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths". -Arnold Schwarzenegger