Summer is here and you may crave a cool, delicious smoothie full of vitamins and minerals. Some of the juice bar shakes seem to offer that, but instead are loaded with sugar, contain a low source of protein, adding processed foods, and artificial ingredients.
Why not make your OWN super summer smoothie?
Start with a good blender and pick...
… your liquid: water, almond milk, green tea, or cow's milk
… your protein source: 1 scoop of whey, pea, or protein blends of your choice
… pick your vegetable: 1 handful of dark leafy greens, cucumber, or celery
… pick a fruit: 1 handful of berries or ½ banana, apple or ½ cup of pineapple
… pick a healthy fat: yoghurt, flax seeds, or chia seeds, avocado, or peanut butter
… sprinkle on top of it: coconuts, granola, cinnamon, or ice if using fresh fruit
A recent article in IDEA suggested to add some interesting alternatives, for instance, sweet potato, ricotta cheese, Tahini, and Matcha to your smoothie.
Have one for breakfast or as a meal replacement when in a rush.
The sky is the limit for your perfect cooling summer smoothie.
...contain nearly 20 vitamins and minerals
...is low in sugar and high in fiber
A serving size is smaller then you think:
1/5 of a medium Avocado (1 once) has 50 calories
Remember to eat 5 – 9 servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
Exercise and nutrition work together – click here for one of my 4-week online nutrition/fitness program
Does frequent sitting result in weight gain for women? This question was explored by IDEA, Fitness Journal March 2015, and based on a study published in Preventing Chronic Disease 2014; 11, 140286, it seems that way.
Sitting for an extended period of time at your desk is associated with a variety of healthy problems; weight gain in women, not in men is one of them.
Researchers conducted various phone interviews and based on above study found that:
- Women who sat 31-180 minutes at work were 1.53 times more likely to be overweight, compared to women who sat less then 30 minutes
- Women sitting over 181- 360 minutes were 1.9 times more likely to be overweight
- Sitting over 361 minutes were 1.7 times more likely to be overweight
African American women on the other hand, according to the study:
- Women in this category sitting 31-180 minutes at work were 2.43 more like to be overweight
- Spending up 360 minutes sitting at work resulted in 2.53 times more likely hood over being overweight
According to a poll by the Institute for Medicine and Public Health, nearly 6,300 people are sitting 56 hours per week! Women also seem to be more sedentary then men in the study compiled.
Many of my female clients are sitting for extended periods of time, everyone understands that they need to move more. Some have pointed out, that due to their position at work, it is not feasible to leave their desks, others are working on such interesting projects that they totally forget about getting up to move.
Here are some strategies that might work for you:
- Set a timer on your desktops to get up and walk around the office every 20-minutes.
- Fill up your water bottle, is another way to not only keep hydrated but walk to the water fountain at work several times a day.
- Focus on your posture, using the Pilates principles learned during our sessions. Pilates can help with back and neck pain, a common side effect of extended sitting.
- Upper body stretches can be incorporated throughout the day, I encourage you to stretch often.
- Walking on a treadmill while working seems to be latest trend in equipment use.
- Taking a lunch walk with co-workers is a fun way to move and destress.
- My “brave” clients, have started implementing marching in place at the desk.
- Yet others have found a pedometer can do the trick, and reaching the magic number of one thousand steps can be fun.
- Explore you diet options when moving less, choose lean proteins, lots of vegetables, and whole grains.
Each situation is so individual and it is fun for me, to find new ways for you to move, and choose the right foods while sitting during long work hours.
The Shamrock Marathon has become one of my favorite spring races. The race is held in Virginia Beach, VA, and not only can you run an 8k, but a ½ marathon and a full marathon in the same weekend. It is encouraged to dress up and run in green clothing, a tutu or any other fun outfit you like to contribute to the event.
The course is flat but strong winds during the race are not unheard of. This years' temperatures were perfect for running, there was a little breeze, and even some sunshine.
The Shamrock Marathon, was my first race with Team Z this year and our Team shirt is green, making it a perfect piece of clothing for the race. My last full marathon was in 2013 and this one was the start to prepare for my Ironman later this year.
The race started at 8:30am and I was ready to run. I felt strong, running my initial pace of 8:30 minutes per mile and I was heading for a Boston qualifying time. By mile 16 my IT bands on both legs started to tighten up; changing my stride did not make any difference. Reaching mile 19 in pain, now my ACL was so tender I could not put much weight on my leg and I started to walk. Stretching the hurting leg helped some, but running at this point was out the question; more stretching and walking followed. I decided, if the pain does not subside by mile 20 I would take a ride back to the finish.
Many things go through your head at this point, but the most important aspect is to finish healthy. Walking was not too bad and I continued on, shuffling/walking the rest of the distance. The amazing cheer crews along the way were very kind and encouraging as I limped along.
Coach Alexis from Team Z saw me at mile 22; with great concern he told me not to stress over it and finish slowly if I could. He said: “You have an Ironman in your future, this is just a stepping stone”.
I finished the Shamrock Marathon 2015 with the worst time up to date in a marathon, but I don't mind it because it is such a fun race. The crowed support is fantastic, the race is well organized, and after all it is a beach vacation.
HEYlifetraining’s “Food Bites” will share what’s healthy and hot and what’s not in the food industry. Here you find the latest information on nutrition, food trends, and why eating healthy is important.
Food Bite #3: How do I get enough protein into my diet?
My clients often ask me: “How do I get more protein in my diet? I eat plenty of carbohydrates but I always fall short on my daily protein intake.”
Some experts believe that it is not necessary to eat protein with each meal. As a PN certified nutrition coach, I trust that a diet higher in protein is safe and effective. Eating complete proteins with each meal not only lowers your body fat, increases your muscle mass, but also stimulates your metabolism.
What is protein: Protein is a large and complex molecule consisting of amino acids (which contain nitrogen) that are essential for living cells.
What is the energy value of protein:
1 gram of protein = 5.65 calories or kcal
Compare that to:
1 gram of carbohydrates = 4 calories
1 gram of alcohol = 7 calories
1 gram of fat = 9 calories
The body has the ability to make 12 amino acids on its own, they are known as non-essential amino acids. 8 amino acids can only be supplied through your diet and have to be replenished each day.
Animal protein rank the highest in protein measures, while plant-based protein ranks the lowest. It is commonly believed that plants don't contain amino acids and therefore are not a good source of protein. That is really not the case. (Source: PN Nutrition, The Essentials of Sport and Exercise Nutrition, second edition)
For those following a plant-based diet, protein intake should be adequate by following the guide lines below:
- Eat enough to sustain a lean body
- Don't build a diet around processed foods
- Eat a diet diverse in plant foods, for instance, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds
- Eat at least ¼ cup – 1 cup of beans/legumes each day
How much protein should you eat at each meal?
At PN nutrition we recommend 20-30g of lean, complete protein for women and 40-60g for men at each meal.
Here are some meat, vegetarian and vegan sources of protein:
- Lean red meat
- Lean chicken
- Eggs and egg whites
- Low fat plain Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, and milk
- Soy and Almond milk
- Peanut or Almond butter
- Protein Supplements (whey, milk, or soy, pea, hemp protein source)
- Chia seed, Flax seed; add them to smoothies and breakfast cereals
- Quinoa, amaranth, teff, buckwheat
- Pistachios, cashews, walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds
- Tofu, Tempeh, Natto and Miso
- Lentils, black beans, pinto beans, chickpeas, split peas, hummus
All it takes is a some planning while shopping for protein. Set aside a little prep time on the weekends to have a pantry/fridge full of protein sources.
I came across the perfect breakfast item, it is gluten-free and paleo:
2 over ripe mashed Bananas
1 t Vanilla
2 t Cinnamon
2 T Cashew milk
¼ c Almond flour
Whisk smooth and cook on a medium low skillet (lightly greased). Serve with your choice of berries. (The picture above and recipe is compliments of one of my triathlon friends)
Here are other delicious breakfast, lunch, and dinner ideas:
- Seared yellowfin Tuna steak on a bed of spring salad, with sesame ginger dressing Pecans and Strawberries
- Minestrone soup
- Whole-grain slice of bread banana french toast, sprinkle with almonds
- Steamed Brussels sprouts, leg of lamb with parsley, onion, and garlic
- Asian meatballs with apple, avocado, mushrooms, and almonds
Now it's your turn. Find some delicious recipes or create your own, based on the list of proteins above.
Yes, today is another snow day and you are stuck at home.
You had to cancel yet another workout and snow shoveling just does not seem enough. Snow shoveling might not be on your agenda anyways.
You wish you could just workout.
You can workout with me no matter the weather, road conditions or your location.
Virtual training will solve this problem. Here is how it works:
- You simply contact me via email or call me to set up a Skype, Google Hangout, or Face time session and you can workout with me in person.
- I will design a workout around the equipment you have at home or in your office. If you don't have any equipment, that's ok too.
- It will feel just like one of your regular sessions with me, but simply online.
- I am there every step of the way, to correct and guide you through your exercises.
Wait! This is not only an option during winter weather, but also while you are traveling for business or visiting family away from home.
The cost per session is the same as in-person training and we will spend the same amount of time as well.
You know that children are the most under privileged people not only in the US. Here is how you can help support Bright Beginnings on their mission to help others.
Put your feet in motion at the Bright Beginnings 5K for homeless children and families in DC.
Bright Beginnings, Inc. is a 501(c)3 organization that provides educational, therapeutic, health and family services free of charge to homeless infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, and their families.
All proceeds from the 5K directly support Bright Beginnings’ programming that prepares young children for kindergarten and helps their families get back on their feet. Run, walk, or join the stroller brigade!
To register go to: https://register.chronotrack.com/reg/responsiveForm?eventID=11257#regOptions
Official 5K website can be found at: http://brightbeginningsinc.org/5k/
I will be there and hope to see you too.
Pilates Reformer Sessions (2-person on their own Reformer) is a fun way to share your love of Pilates with someone else. See results by committing to meet your friend, spouse, partner, co-worker or even your children for an amazing core workout.
Simply click the link above and give the gift of Pilates.
Limit: 3 duet session per purchase, offer good until: December 31, 2014, session expire 6-months from date of purchase, offer only available at HEYlifetraining Pilates & Wellness.
are coming together for this amazing RunFest 2015
Where: The Even Hotel, 1775 Rockville Pike, Maryland 20852
When: February 1, 2015
Time: 9:00am – 12:00 noon
Enjoy a day with expert speakers, panels, interactive sessions on running training, race strategy, injury prevention, nutrition sessions, and sample classes, for runners of all levels and experience.
HEYlifetraining Pilates & Wellness will be there with
Pilates for Runners from 9:45am – 10:15am
To sign up for the event and for a detailed event schedule go to runfartherandfaster.
Proceeds benefit: Cycle for Survival and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Don't miss out on this fantastic event.
Many men seem to assume that only women and older folks benefit from Pilates. Men hesitate to join in and instead stand on the sidelines with that curious look on their faces, perhaps asking themselves:
- Is this really hard? It looks so easy!
- How does that work?
- Will my core be rock hard?
- I can't do Pilates, I am too stiff.
- I have back pain, so I better get in shape first.
- The exercises seem too complicated or at times super easy.
Remember that Joseph Pilates (a guy) started this movement and many elite athletes incorporate Pilates into their training.
Why is Pilates beneficial for any man, at any age or shape?
Core strength, flexibility, balance, uniform alignment of the entire body, as well as efficient movements are distinctive features of Pilates, and they are relevant to a man's fitness regime.
Pilates focuses on moving the entire body, using the powerhouse, developing strength in the deeper abdominal muscles, and helping stabilize the back. It is a fantastic cross training tool and can serve as a foundation for other sports and exercises. Pilates works on increasing flexibility in a way that men often find easy to follow and to apply, as many movements stem from J. Pilates' expertise in sports. It can also be a surprisingly tough workout.
If you are still on the fence whether to join the movement, then take a look at some of the amazing men practicing Pilates below – maybe they inspire you. Don't wait and sign up today.
(Some of the pictures are of my clients at HEYlifetraining; some of them are clients of my best friend and Pilates teacher Paul Shaun Edwards, owner of Strength & Clarity, Provincetown/MA. Thank you for letting me use them!)
Chris on the Core Fitness Roller
Check back for future additions to my galery!