Wednesday, March 31, 2010

get crackin

eggs are such a yummy breakfast.. or dinner for that matter. im sure everyone can find at least one way they like their eggs cooked. sunny side up, over easy, eggs benedict, egg in a hole (also referred to by some as a one eye sandwich) hard boiled, soft boiled. the opportunities are endless!
eggs are also good for another reason besides their yummy-ness. one egg contains all of the essential amino acids in all the right proportions for your body. amino acids are the building blocks your body used to build new protiens. and protein is essential for all cell growth, division, and repair - and that is all cells, red blood cells, white blood cells (hello immunity), skin cells, liver cells you name it.
if you are short on one type of essential amino acid (meaning, your body can't make it, you need to consume it in your diet) then all production of new proteins STOPS. this is bad news.

if that isn't a good enough reason for you to increase your consumption of eggs then maybe this will help
there is nutrient called choline is essential for normal cell function (including repair and division). it is found in eggs (yolks, not whites) and some recent studies have found that women who consumed 455mg of choline a day reduced their risk of breast cancer by 18-24%. thats huge! while one egg only contains a quarter of the recommended amount of choline, it is a good way to boost how much you are getting. other sources include skim milk and coffee.

eat up!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

hit a work out plateau?

plateaus happen to everyone working out. the body can become accustomed to certain movements, weights, durations ect... that is why some people change their program every 10 days, they read everything they can about muscle confusion, or worse they give up on their work out when they cant beat the plateau.
well next time you are feeling disappointed about your results, or you are looking for some motivation try out these 5 things.

1. set a goal. make it as specific as possible, using time, durations, dates ect. then write it down, tell your friends, post it on your door, write in or your bathroom mirror. put your goal somewhere where you will be reminded of what you are striving for every day. and don't forget to write down a reward for when you reach your goal!

2. put up a one year calendar. and then get yourself a big red marker. put up your calendar on a very prominant wall. every single day you meet you exercise, go to the gym, or go for a walk (or whatever you are doing to meet your goal) put a big red X through that day. after a few days of exercise you will have a chain of big red X's that you will be proud of and not want to break. - courtesy of Jerry Seinfeld

3.put away the magazine - if you are on a cardio machine and you are able to read your book or flip through the latest magazine you aren't working hard enough. exercise is supposed to be hard, it is supposed to take effort and attention. reading and flipping pages is taking away from the amount of effort you could be putting into your workout
-watching tv or listening to music has been shown to make people less aware of how hard they are working, how fast they are breathing and therefore allowing them to exercise for a longer duration without feeling as fatigued.

4. increase your intensity  - either increase the weight you are using, or the duration of time you are exercising. never increase both at the same time. if you increase the weight, you will probably have to decrease the repititions you are doing. if you are doing 8-12 reps, rest only 30 seconds to 1 minute. if you are doing between 5-7 reps, rest about 2 minutes. if you are doing max strength with only 1-3 reps, make sure you are resting 4-5 minutes in between repitions.
if you are keeping your weight the same, try reducing the amount of time you are resting between reps while still keeping those time frames in mind. try doing an extra set, or another type of exercise. or spend an extra twenty minutes on cardio

5. try something new - love biking but arent seeing results anymore? try a spinning class, or try biking outside - there will be more resistance, wind, hills and pretty scenery! find out what fitness or aerobics classes your gym offers, take dance lessons. if you love cardio, try swimming. summer is coming so why not try to get outside. running outside takes much more engery and therefore burns more calories - because of the increased impact of running on pavement, and the natural terrain - just make sure your knees and ankles are up for the challange. try going for a hike, or canoeing on a lake.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


we all know that sun damage is bad for our skin. not only can it cause premature aging, lines, wrinkles, freckles, and sun spots. ultra violet light causes skin cancer. this is such widespread knowledge that now most make up and moisturizers have sunscreen in them
but did you know...

that if you are not using at least a teaspoon of your spf make up, or moisturizer you are not getting the sun protection factor listed on the bottle. infact, it drops as low as spf 2 vs spf 15 you think you are getting.

so slather that spf on because if you arent using a teaspoon you might as well not be using it at all.
if you dont wear make up, you should still be applying sunscreen to your face and neck every day.
a handy way to carry some spf in your purse is using a sunscreen stick - such as clarins sun control stick - use this on areas that get extra exposure like the top of your forehead, and the bridge of your nose.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

bad news for high fructose corn syrup

It has the same calorie count as regular sugar and is perfectly safe right?

well things might not be so clear cut. according to a new study from Princeton University is saying that this supplement for surgar may actually be more danerous than regular sugar
in the studies, rats that consumed high fructose corn syrup all became obese, specifically, they all gained belly fat. even rats who consumed high-fat diet do not all become obese.
-since high fructose corn syrup was introduced in 1970, the obesity rate has risen from 15% to one third of the adult population in the U.S.

belly fat is considered the most dangerous type of fat - it is associated with higher risk of heart disease and stroke, high blood pressure, and insulin resistance and thus type 2 diabetes.
-people with a higher bmi have a higher percentage of type 2 muscle fibres, which don't utilize fat as an energy source as well as type 1 muscle fibres.
-adipose (fat) cells, that are full, release a hormone called resistin which increases the resistance of cells to insulin.

although this study has only been done on rats, this is definitely something to consider next time you reach for something contain high fructose corn syrup.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

most important meal of the day

don't skip breakfast. we've all heard this before but many people still miss out on this meal. eating a good breakfast can wake you up, get you ready for your day, kickstart your metabolism and help you eat better for the rest of the day.
when you skip breakfast, you are more likely to have high calorie, low nutrient foods later on in the day because your body is craving engery.
a good breakfast should include protein and fibre so i have found the perfect recipe to help everyone get a yummy breakfast every morning.
petite vegetable frittats
all you need is some muffin tins, eggs, cheese, vegetables and whatever herbs you like.
you can pre-cook breakfast for the whole week! then every morning grab one or two out of the fridge. you can eat them cold, or heat them up and put them on toast.
if you want to cut down on the calories but still get lots of protein from the eggs, try only using the yolks from half the eggs
check out the recipe here
i am going to try and make some this week  - i will let you know it goes!

5 day fit yoga continued

mom and i did another session on the 5 day fit yoga dvd last week... but we don't know which one. it was number 5. the descriptions on the back of the dvd case aren't numbered, and once you put the dvd into the player, the menu only has numbers - no titles. we think it was the stress relief yoga. but it was more frustration than relief because we were not told of the props we needed prior to the exercise beginning. this exercise was lead by suzanne and i felt that her descriptions and reminders were very technical whereas rods were more about feeling the move and your breathing.
i was having a stressful week with exams and i did feel much better after the dvd - sometimes just getting moving is all that helps. focusing on breathing rather than what i have to study is helpful too. it was a relatively short exercises, around 25 minutes so it was perfect for quick pick me up before dinner. aside from the props and the lack of titles i still enjoyed this exercise and think its a good dvd for beginners.

here are moms thoughts on this exercise

we tried unit #5 on the 5 day fit yoga by gaiam dvd - we think it was the stress relief yoga - described as 20 minutes. unwind soothe and relax yourself with the calming workout and revitalize your mind body and spirit. props recommended yoga mat, yoga block yoga strap optional props eye pillow, wedge.

We didn't notice the props recommended or optional until after we started the dvd, and there was no mention of them at the beginning of the program, that we might want to have the strap and wedge available. This little reminder at the beginning would have been helpful, as we were 5 minutes into the dvd when we were instructed to grab the strap..... which wasn't handy at all..... stop dvd, run find strap...and start over again! 1/2 way through the dvd, when Suzanne Deason recommended we grab the wedge....which we don't have, and went on without.
Now the wedge isn't critical to the move if your low back and hips are flexible, but if you are new to yoga, they can make the difference to the both the ease of the posture, and the results. I would recommend having these two props handy.
All in all Suszanne is good at reminding us what is important about each of the postures, and to breath, there were a few postures I was not familiar with, and it did turn out that this program was 24 minutes long.
I think the lesson to be learned, is that it would be good to watch an excercise videos through the first time, so that I have realistic expectations, or just smile go with the flow, and enjoy doing what I can with each new video, and not to be too uptight about getting everything just right, after all it was a stress relief yoga dvd, and we are moving in a healthy way!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

think positive.. be thankful

its easy to get wrapped up thinking about the negative things in your day, spilt coffee, a traffic jam, cranky people... thats why it is so important to think about all of  good things going on!
in body + soul they suggest thinking of one good thing in your life every day for a month
oprah thinks of three things in life every day that she is thankful for.

i challange you to try to think of two or three good things, or thing you are thankful for every day for a month
when you think positive its easier to be positive
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