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,

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Submit your healthy meals or recipes and breakfast in a bowl

It is time to link up your healthy meals or recipes.  I don't plan on getting to many party link ups right away seeing that this is such a new blog, but I want to start archiving your great ideas as soon as possible.

Here is a great recipie I love to start the party off.....It is breakfast in a bowl.  It is quick, easy and yummy.

2 cups non fat yogurt (my preference is vanilla)
2 cups non fat cottage cheese
4 ounces of uncooked oats
4 tablespoons slivered almonds
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teasoon allspice (do not over do this or the flavor will be to stong

mix and put in the fridge over night. This will soften the oats.....

Now, lets see yours!  Healthy only PLEASE!!!  If it is fattening and unhealthy,  I will have to delete it...

The rules.....
1.Please link your specific post, not your blog
2.No giveaway or Etsy shop links

I haven't designed a button yet, so if you'd like you can just mention this party somewhere on your blog.

Oh, and one more thing....if you haven't fit a work out in today, take the time to run up and down your stairs for ten minutes.  If you don't have stairs, jog in place for 10 minutes.  If you'd like to get a full workout in, then triple what I have said.

Take care,

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Fat free and Light food labels~

I could get all technical with my posts, but I want to make them easy enough for the average person to understand.  I quickly wanted to share with you my input regarding food products that are supposivesly "fat free" and "light".

We are taught to look at labels, but the majority tend to just glance at the label and their eyes go right to the fat content label.  You may see 0 grams or 1 gram next to the FAT, but in hindsight, this isn't always good news.  Did you think to look at the calories, sodium, sugar, and cholesterol numbers? Most likely those numbers have increased significantly and the product is defeating it's purpose.  Remember, sodium retains water and sugar is FAT!   Sometimes the light or non fat item isn't always better than the "reugular" item.  I am not saying this is the case with every product, but be sure to check your labels.

40 grams of sugar is the recommended daily intake for a non diabetic person.  If you go look at some of your labels right now, I bet you will be shocked to see how many you actually consume in one day.

Now onto other business.....

I am going to confuse you even more than I already have regarding the meal and work out plans I will be providing for a monthly fee.  Over the past couple of days I have realized the insane amount of work that will have to go into this.  Basically, I will have to neglect the kids and make the desk chair and the keyboard a permanent spot for myself.  So, there is a new plan!  Instead of providing a meal plan for a charge, I am going to talk dietary habits here on the blog along with supplying you with recipies.  In addition, we will have the weekly healthy meal party which will give you an array of ideas.

I will be providing daily workouts though for a fee.  This will cost you only $5 a month and will be emailed to you personally.  I will have videos to show how exercises are done if you have never done any of this...The workout will only encompass about 30-45 minutes of your day and it can all be done from home.  .More to come..still working out the details.....

Sorry for the constant changes and babbling I have been doing in such a short period of time.  I just have so many ideas and I have to plot all of this out in the best possible way....

Although I normally wouldn't start a linky party this soon with a new blog, I am going to do it anyway for those who want to get started now towards a healthier lifestyle.  Wednesday link parties will be healthy meals/recipes and Friday's link parties will show your progress of weight loss over the weeks....Once we get the ball rolling, everyone should have great success if they are willing to committ.

Take care,

Monday, June 13, 2011

Bear with me....and looking for healthy recipes

OK, I have been working like crazy coming up with a nutritious 30 day meal and work out plan.  I don't know what I was thinking when I said there was a possibility I'd have it ready for tomorrow.  Yes, I could get something done half A_ _, but I don't think anyone wants that.  I don't just want to list exercises for you to do and assume you will know how to do them.  I am going to have my technically savy 15 year old  son RJ help me with video taping exercises so you will know what to do.  I will make a separate page you can refer to for this.

In addition to my healthy meals, I would love for you to share yours and I hope to be able to incorporate them into my blog. Of course I will give credit where credit is due. 

So, all that being said, Wednesday will be our linky party for healthy recipes/meals.  And Friday will be our linky party for before and afters.  Be sure to get a before photo, weight, and measurements.  I will go into more detail regarding this the day of the linky party.

OK, keep checking back because I will be sure to be adding continual information.

By the way, I know it's getting late today, but try to take a 30 minute walk.  I am going out for one with Sami (dear daughter).  If you can't fit that in, walk up and down your stairs for 10 minutes.  It's not much, but it is better than nothing....

Take care,

Drinking water and the pedometer

Here we go....I know many of you aren't going to like to hear this, more coffee (ugh, I can feel the glares and cussing going on at me right now), or sugar juices, soda, alcohol, etc.....

We are drinking water! Keep a water bottle with you at all times and continue to fill it and drink it throughout the day. It is such a positive thing for so many reasons.

1.  There are no calories...
2.  There is no sugar
3.  It assists with weight loss by reducing hunger and flushing down the byproducts of fat breakdown.
4.  Prevents dehydration
5.  Fuels your muscles for a more productive work out
6.  Hydrates your skin, thus giving you a healthier glow.

I could go on and on with reasons, but I don't want to overwhelm you.  These are what we are going to concentrate on for now.

Now, onto the pedometer.  For those of you who don't know what one is, it measures the amount of footsteps you take on a daily basis.  The recommended amount of steps per day is 10,000.  If you aren't even close, you know you have to get up off your butt and do more!

You can pick these up rather inexpensively.  You can get a very detailed one, or simply just get one that counts your steps you have achieved for the day.  In my opinion, a pedometer is more of a motivator.  It will push you to take the next step (literally) towards weight loss or simply a healthy lifestyle.

I hope I didn't  fill you with to much information today.  NO, I am not saying you can never have an alocholic beverage again.  I am just saying that if you have that glass of wine every night, you should stop...(ouch, I can feel the glares again)....I am definitely saying though that the coffee drinking and caffeine from soda has to stop.  Right now you feel as though you need it to get you through the day, but you don't....The water, working out, and healthy eating will substitute the caffeine kick you feel you need.  I personally do not drink any caffeine at all.  For that one time a year that I do drink it, I suffer from severe headaches the next few days and can't fall asleep for MANY hours after drinking it.  It just isn't worth it when there are alternatives to pepping yourself up for the day.

REMEMBER, we are having our first linky party this Friday.  You will be posting your before photos along with your starting weights.  If you are uncomfortable with this, just post your starting weight along with some information about yourself and some goals you'd like to achieve.  This will be your starting point. 

I will have diet and work out plans ready by tomorrow.  I mentioned in my first post, I will provide 30 days of workouts and 30 days of daily meal plans for $10 a month. Or, you can sign up for 6 months for $40.  It is truly the least expensive "gym" you can join and mom nutrionist you can hire.

Take care,

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The beginning of a new healthy lifestyle

I am so excited to have you here.  About 5 months ago I started a design and home decor blog called Serendipity Chic Design. I have enjoyed it so much that I have decided to start another blog regarding something I have put on the back burner for quite a while now. Health and fitness. I received a physical and health education degree from college in 1993. Before my first child was born in 1996, I was a personal trainer and aquatic therapist at a physical therapy business. Once RJ (my now 15 year old) was born, health and fitness was no longer my priority. Although I still worked out, I just feel I never maintained my full potential. Over the years I have become older (obviously), more fatigued, and much less fit. After all of these years I have decided to get back in shape and start eating healthier.

I have noticed with my design blog that it has become a great motivator to accomplish home decor and furnishing projects. I have met so many fabulous people and know I will do the same here at "Happy Heart Healthy Home". I have so many ideas and plans to help you get on the same track. This blog will be filled with tips, exercises, healthy recipes, and so much more!

In addition, every Friday I will be having a linky party. Each week you will post pictures of your progress. You can add your before and after weight if you'd like to. I will get into more detail regarding this, but in the meantime, get your before photos ready! We will start with those this Friday.

For those of you who really want to join me for the ride, I will be providing you with a full meal plan and work out for a total of $10 a month. I still have to write the plans and get pay pal linked up to my sidebar. I wish I could do this for free, but I plan on putting a lot of time into this to help you achieve your goals.

My goal with this blog is to help you gain a healthier lifestyle with out taking away from your everyday busy lifestlyes. You will be able to fit this in with out having to join a gym or even breaking the bank.

In the meanime, I need everyone to do a few quick things for me.  Buy a pedometer (I will discuss this soon in greater detail), a jump rope, and light weight dumb bells (2-5 pounds)......

I know, boring post with no pictures...I promise, there will be many of those to come.  My blog is obviosuly in the beginning stages and I plan on many renovations around here.  Todays quick tips of the day are the following:

1. Look for the furthest parking spot at the store, not the closest.  Lets not be lazy, lets walk as much as we can...

2. Take the stairs!  Avoid elevators and escalators....

Remember, this is only my first post.  There is sooooo much more to come.

Who is ready to change their lives with me for the better!!???

Take care,