Friday, August 5, 2011

The dilema of fitting workouts in

Remember, my blog is written for those who put themselves second, can't find time to fit a workout in, or simply don't have the money for a pricey fitness center.

Before I had kids, I either worked in gyms or had memberships to gyms. I never had a problem fitting a workout in. Now, three kids later I don't have time to get to the gym nor is it in the budget.

That being said, I do not neglect myself though. I may not be able to fit in a two hour workout, but if I can at least fit in 30 minutes, I know that is better than nothing and I take full advantage of it.

If you have kids, a great time to get a walk or run in is during sport warm ups or practices. In my case, it is a waste of time and gas for me to be constantly running the kids back and fourth.

So, here are some examples of what my summer has consisted of....

The kids had swim team practice every morning for an hour and fifteen minutes. I am sure to wear my sneakers and bring my iPod. I either walk the track or switch it up and walk some side streets. I mix it up daily to break up the monotony. If I am on the track, I alternate walking and running. If I am walking side roads, I am sure to find some roads with hills to get a good ol' butt workout.

Several nights a week, we also have baseball. Rather than sitting through the hour warm-up, I find some side roads or walking paths. Reece had a home game the other night and we are lucky enough to have a great walking path along the river and around the fields.

I fit in as many laps as I can until the game starts. The only problem with this path is that every few steps there are resting benches...But, I am sure to just keep on walking or running right past them!

So, remember...NO EXCUSES! We should all be able to find time to fit something in!

Have a great and productive weekend!


Saturday, July 2, 2011

Have fun while exercising

Exercise does not have to be a chore or a drag. As a matter of fact, you can get a great work out while bonding with family or friends. Sami and I got up at 7:00 am today and decided to go for a hike at the nature preserve a couple of miles down the road from us.

We started by crossing the suspended bridge.

Once we crossed the bridge, our up hill walk began to the top.

Sami and I were both commenting on the way up what a great work out burn we were feeling in our hamstrings (back of upper legs) and our glutes(butts). In addition the cardiovascular work out we were getting was great. Once at the top, we stayed for about 5 minutes to admire the amazing view.

On our way back down the hill we were admiring the wonderland of trees we were walking through.

Once we got back to the car, we checked the pedometer to see how many steps we had taken during our 45 minute hike. We were proud to have tackled 5,600 steps.

Today couln't have been better. Sami and I spent quality time together and got a great work out in at the same time.....

Have a great weekend...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Healthy eating for your children

Although these days our children are active and we are on the go with them 24/7, we still have to be sure they are properly nourished to get them through the day.  My kids are all tiny (My oldest would kill me if he knew I just called him tiny, so for him we will say "very muscular" hee hee) and have amazing metabolisms.  But, it doesn't mean that they shouldn't eat properly.  Yes, they have a can of soda, a pizza, and a bowl of ice cream here and there, but for the most part I try to feed them "good" foods that they will still enjoy and provide them with the necessary energy to get them through the school day and their daily activities.  By feeding them the right way, they get good grades because they can concentrate and they are fully active in all of their daily activities.

No, they are not on diets.  They eat very normal meals, but I try to throw substitues in here and there to take away some of the fat and sugar.  So for example, I am sharing what they had for breakfast today.  I made them an omelot.  Between the three of them, I used 2 full eggs with the yolks, and the other 4 were egg whites.  Trust me, they don't even know the difference.  In the omelot, I put onions and low fat cheese.  On the side, they have whole wheat english muffins with "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Lite".  And finally the side is topped off with fresh fruit.  They all chose blackberries today.

RJ has his high school exams today, so this will be the perfect meal to give him the energy to get through these this morning.

On a side note, a funny story...The other day my 12 year old Reece told me they were having an end of the year party in health class and they had to bring in healthy foods. He asked me if I could make brownies with egg whites and skim milk. I had to laugh because I'm thinking they most likely wouldn't turn out to well. At least I know he is paying attention though to the substitutions I make when cooking. Anyway, we opted for cutting up a ton of fresh fruit and it was a hit. I am imagining it was a hit too because he was the ONLY one in the class who remembered to bring something. Go figure???

Have a great day!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My HEALTHY refrigerator

Do you find that if you go to the grocery store and buy candy, chips, soda, and ice will eat candy, chips, soda, and ice cream. But if you go to the store and buy fruits, veggies, water, and lean will eat fruit, veggies, water, and lean meats.

I went grocery shopping today and bought only healthy but oh so yummy foods...This will get eaten all week and we will enjoy every bite.

You can see in the above photo that I have washed all of the fruits and vegetables that can be picked on throughout the week. I put them into very inexpensive storage containers from the Dollar Store. By having it all prepped, it is more apt to get eaten.

In addition, having 3 kids and many sports we don't get home until 8:00 everynight. Yes, it would be easy to throw a hot dog on the grill, make some mac and cheese, or throw a frozen pizza in the oven rather than coming home to preparing a healthy meal. To ease this burden, just prepare your meals earlier in the day. Then all you have to do when you get home is cook them.

The drinks in our house are Skim milk, water, orange juice, and fruit juice combined with seltzer water. Personally I only drink the water and use the milk in my ceral. I do not like the extra calories or sugar from fruit juices. The kids are so active and their metabolisms are great so they don't have as much to worry about. So, they will have a glass of orange juice with their breakfast. They combine the fruit juice with seltzer water to elimate some of the sugar plus they really like the taste. The bottom drawer of our fridge is always filled with accessible water bottles. They are easy enough to grab on the go.

The next shelf shows chicken shish kabobs that I have prepared for tomorrow nights dinner. They will marinate over night in a lite Italian dressing. In addition I have my low fat yougurts and cottage cheese. I love to add granola and fresh fruit to the yogurt for a quick and easy snack.  There are also sugar free jellos that are a great no fat snack.  Scallops are in a container waiting to be prepped for another dinner.

Yummy salmon is waiting to be grilled. A salad is all ready to go for dinner tonight.  It consists of red lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes, and grilled chicken.  Eggs perfect for low fat omelots using the egg whites and a yellow or two.  A low fat yougurt veggie dip is perfect for the kids to use for all of the veggies I have cut up in containers.

The bottom shelf has all of the prepped fruits and veggies. In addition, there is some ground chicken I will probably use to make chicken meatballs. In the back are flavored waters everyone will love and are obviously so much better than grabbing a soda.

My vegetable drawer is filled with all fresh foods. Although canned and frozen vegetables can be more convenient at times, they do not reap the healthy nature of fresh vegetables. Next time you use a can of vegetables, check out the sodium content that has been added. It's not such a great number.

Now I will admit, my refrigerator does not always look this good. Of course we always make things look perfect for a "photo shoot"!

Take care,

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Gradually changing your diet/lifestyle

This blog is not about changing your weight overnight, going on some killer fad diet, or losing weight instantly.  It is about changing your diet and work out routine gradually to live a happier healthier lifestyle.  In my opinion, fad diets are just that...A FAD!  So many people today avoid what really works.  Simply eating healty and being active.

You don't have to join the gym tomorrow and cut out every fattening food you have ever eaten.  If you do this, the routine won't last long because it will burn you out.

As far as working out, yes, you should really be doing physical acivity at least 5 times a week, but it can be as simple as taking a bike ride with your family or taking a hike.  Change your routine up a bit so you will enjoy it rather than look at it as a chore.  That is where that pedometer comes in. Seeing that the recommended amount of steps a day is 10,000,if you haven't gotten to that number, you will feel motivated to walk a few laps around the block or go up and down your stairs several times.

Regarding diet, you can gradually start eliminating or replacing certain foods. For expample, I went to a cook out at my parents a week ago. I knew it would be filled with hot dogs, burgers, chips, dips, sugary drinks, desserts, etc. So, I decided to bring some of my own foods so I could still enjoy the day, but also east somewhat healthy. I brought my own chicken burgers and eliminated the bun. I bought some orgnaic low fat chips with minimal sugar. In addition, I brought peaches and grapes for everyone to munch on. Instead of drinking soda or sugary juices, I brought flavored water. They have no sugar, but you do have to watch the sodium in them.

All in all, I was still able to eat good food and not look like a crazy woman on a strict diet. It's all about moderation.

Slowly (not to slowly though) start to substitue some better foods for the junky foods. Eat a little less each day. You don't have to have multiple servings. Drink WATER!! This will help curb your appetite plus has many other benefits I have mentioned HERE. Leave the junk food out of your house. If it isn't there, you won't be tempted to eat it.

Have a great day....

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Bicep curls demonstration

Soon I will be offering work out plans for a small fee. I want to start cataloguing the exercises for you to refer to when doing the work outs. Today I will be sharing bicep curls with you. Seeing that I wasn't feeling video worthy today, I had my very muscular (hee hee) son Reece demonstrate them.

(So sorry but the video is sideways. I am unable to rotate it.)

I recommend that if you are just trying to tone up as opposed to bulk up, just use 3-5 pound weights. You will feel the burn with continuous repetitions.

Alternating arms, lift one arm as shown in the video. Pause at the top tightening the bicep. Lower the arm slowly and continue with the other arm.

Take care,

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Have you gotten your pedometer yet?

A few days ago I had mentioned that you should purchase a pedometer. For those of you who don't know what one is, it is a gadget that measures how many steps you take a day. It is very tiny and clips to your waistband. You don't even know it is there. It tracks and records how many steps you take a day. The recommended steps in one day are 10,000. Having the pedometer will really motivate you to meet this number. You'd be amazed at how many days you are more sedentary than you should be and won't meet this number.

The pedometer will motivate you to take those extra steps. You will want to take stairs instead of escalators and you will look for the furthest parking spot at the mall rather than the closet.

Pedometers range in style and price. You can purchase one for under $10, or you can find one that is a couple hundred. The more expensive ones are clearly more detailed tracking more than just steps. For example they will also show how many miles you have walked, run, etc...or how many calories you have burned.

Personally, I like it for the simplicity of tracking my steps. I purchased a New Balance pedometer at Target for only $6 and change.

You can click HERE to view or order the one I purchased. I did go into the store to get mine to avoid shipping fees.

Let me know if you get one and how addicted you become to it!!

Take care,