Get Yourself Back on that Wagon!

I don’t know about you, but for the last couple weeks of summer I have fallen off the proverbial wagon. My eating hasn’t been stellar and exercise…well it’s been hit or miss. So I took to Pinterest (you know, the new Google), to find some helpful tips on how to get myself back on the wagon. I was instantly overwhelmed by all the different results I got…10 tips for this, 25 for that. It got me thinking, if I had this much trouble finding something clear and to the point on how to get back on the wagon, I’m sure others are too.

I went through the articles and found that some of them had very similar tips, while others went into left field to try and help. So what I did was compiled the tips into 7 broad categories and then suggested ways to make that tip work for you. My hopes are that this will help and motivate us to get back on the wagon!

  1. ACCEPT IT
    It’s happened, you can’t change that now. What you can control is the way you handle it. Reflect on the choices you made and how you feel you’ve gotten off course. Then tell someone. Find someone you trust and confide in them. This admission will take the weight off your shoulders and allow you to start new and fresh. Plus, this new confidant can be your accountability buddy. Ask to check in with them daily, weekly, bi-weekly…whatever it will take to keep you on track. Don’t know anybody like that…I’m always happy to listen!
  2. RECOMMIT…TODAY
    Tell yourself today is like a Monday; I’m starting fresh NOW. Refocus on your why and the lifestyle changes you’ve made up to this point to realize your why. If you need to, write down on a piece of paper your why. You will be more successful if you can look at this from time and time and keep remembering the reason you started.
  3. HYDRATE
    This tip is so basic, but I feel people miss the point of it so often. Water is the fuel our bodies and minds need to operate. Feeling a little more sluggish than normal?   You may not be drinking enough water. Being fully hydrated also cuts down on cravings and hunger pangs.   A lot of times we aren’t really hungry, we are dehydrated.
  4. MAKE A PLAN
    By this I mean make a plan for eating. This is probably the hardest thing for me to do to get back on track; fix my eating. Start by cleaning out the fridge and pantry of foods that you know will tempt you and get you into trouble. For me it’s cookies. I cannot have them in the house without going crazy. Next, plan your meals. If you know what you’re going to eat ahead of time, you won’t be guessing what’s for dinner. This is also a good time to meal prep. If you have a meal prepared ahead of time, it usually helps avoid the line at McDonalds when you’re exhausted and starving! Finally, go back to your food journal (if you have one…if not, start a food journal), and look at a day or week that you were happy with. Try to repeat that good day or week.
  5. MOVE
    Right now. Stop reading this and get up and walk around for 5 minutes……………..okay good, don’t you feel just a little bit better? Do this every 30 minutes or so and you’ll start to feel better. Get the blood circulating and clear your mind. Now use tip 4 to also make a plan for your exercise! Map out what you would like to do each day this week and the next. Then schedule your workout. Make it another appointment on your calendar that you can’t miss.
  6. REWARD YOURSELF
    I know this seems a little silly now, you just fell off the wagon, why would you reward yourself? Think of it as motivation to get yourself back on the wagon. Write down a list of things or experiences you really want (try to avoid food as a reward J ). Now set those things or experiences to a milestone. For example, if I workout every day this week, I’ll treat myself to a movie on Saturday. Or if I lose 5 lbs, I’ll get those earrings I saw in the mall. Little things like this that can keep you motivated towards a goal. There are also instant gratification ways to reward yourself. Download a new song or playlist for the morning workout. Your reward comes before the workout, but it will make you more likely to go out and do it if you know there is new music to be heard. You can also get yourself some new workout gear. Be confident in your workout knowing you look fly…yup I used the word fly! Try a new workout. Go out, be adventurous, and find a new activity. Mixing up the workout helps us over that plateau that probably caused the wagon incident in the first place.
  7. GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK
    We’re all imperfect humans…hard truth. So be kind to yourself. This is not a linear journey, there are going to be bumps along the way. The difference is what you decide to do with the bumps.

I hope these tips help get you back on the wagon. I’m going to pin them somewhere visible so when I start to teeter again…or let’s face it, fall completely off…I’ll have that visual to kick my butt back into gear! And comment below any helpful tips you might have! I love to learn new things and I know you guys have some!

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The Joys of Summer Running

It became blistering obvious that summer was here and with a vengeance this week.  90 degree days with 100 degree heat indexes, it is HOT outside.  I know, I know…it has been hot all month…but for some reason this week hit me hard.

Let’s back up a little.  In previous training bouts, I have avoided running outside at this time of the year.  Literally, I just didn’t run, made up some excuse for not feeling well or being too tired to get up early enough.  I told myself this training round that I would stick to it because 26.2 miles will be a lot easier in the fall if I put in the work now.  Which means…summer running.

It’s quite a dramatic change from May and June.  It was rather cool those months, humid yes, but the temperatures were ok.  But the minute July hit, so did the hot temperatures.  But it’s been a good month of learning…

1.)  Early mornings are your best bet.  Yes…I know, not everyone can run early.  It’s a luxury I have for working the evening shift.  But if you can manage it, I suggest this is when you go out.  It’s still relatively cool and the sun is not quite up to its full height yet.  I started the month waking up at 8 am, shifted to 7 am, and by Friday, I bit the bullet and woke up at 6:30 am.  This is quite the task considering I get off work at 11:00 pm and often don’t go to sleep until 1:00 am.  But it was a lot cooler than it was when I finished at 8 am.

2.) Water is your friend…ALL DAY!  Yes you need to hydrate during the run and after you finish.  But at this time of the year you lose so much more water through sweat that you need to continuously hydrate throughout the day.  The general rule is 8 8 ounce glasses of water.  However, I’ve found a formula that gets me way more water and I generally feel better; and it’s easy for anyone!  Take your weight, divide that in half, and drink that many ounces of water.  For example, a 100 lb person would drink 50 ounces of water.

If you’re out for more than an hour, you may also need an electrolyte replacement beverage as well.  I usually go for Gatorade because that’s what they have at races.  My general rule is that once I get done running, I have to drink a bottle of water and a bottle of Gatorade before taking a shower (it’s usually not too hard to do)!

3.) Know your limits.  Running in the hot weather causes your internal body temperature to soar.  Your body is working overtime to keep you cool, inside and out.  It’s working to sweat so your outside is cool, and its working to keep your organs at an even temperature.  The hotter weather places more strain on these processes.  As a result, you may tire quicker or find yourself slowing down.  This is your body telling you that it needs time to catch up.  Embrace the slower pace; if you don’t you could end up with heat stroke or an injury.

This one I struggle with.  I want to get faster as I train, but its hard to do that in the summer.  I had a hard lesson this week that some days will be better than others.  Monday was a good running day, and Wednesday was amazing.  However, the heat and humidity took its toll Friday and my run suffered.  I kept trying to push it Friday, and finally had to back down on the pace because I was headed for another calf injury.  That would have kept me from running for about a week while I healed, but instead I had a subpar run but I can go back out Monday.

Three important lessons learned from summer running.  I’ll grin and bear it because I know this work will pay off in the fall.  Plus, I’ve always heard that you run faster in the cooler weather after training in the warmer weather.  We’ll see if it’s true; but I do know that this training will not be wasted at my goal race!

The Training Plan in Place!

Hello there faithful followers…and I say that because if you still read after my hiatus then you truly are faithful!  I recall the last post I had was about picking the best marathon training plan and my choices were two different books; Marathon:  The Ultimate Training Guide Advice, Plans, and Programs for Half and Full Marathons by Hal Higdon, and Runner’s World Run Less, Run Faster by Bill Pierce.

The first book was a traditional approach to marathon training, a gradual build-up of miles until about 8 weeks out, where you do a final long run.  From there you taper down to maybe 10 miles a week the week of the marathon.  If you don’t mind a few digressions into the author’s experiences and ego driven stories, the book is probably what most beginning marathoner’s should read.  It has accounts from runners who have used the method, what to expect before, during, and after a race, and just general ideas of what the training and race will look like.  The programs introduced in the book are also very manageable…especially since the marathon programs are broken down for novice’s and advanced runners.

The second book uses the FIRST method to make a runner faster at their desired race by running only three times a week (most programs, like the traditional one mentioned above, use a 4 run week).  This book emphasizes 3 key runs to build strength and speed during workouts.  It highlights a long run, a tempo run, and an interval or track run.  The catch to these is that most of the runs are done at marathon pace or faster.  The idea is that you’re running shorter distances for 2 of the 3 runs, but you’re doing them faster to build your lactic threshold and leg turnover.  The idea behind it is amazing, three hard workouts instead of four runs.  However,  this type of program seems to be better equipped for runner’s who have done their desired race before.  For example, the marathon training plan would have me running 22-24 miles on the long run by week 4…I have never attempted that long of a distance.  Had I run a marathon before, this might make more sense for me.

The final verdict…the same coworker who recommended the Run Less, Run Faster book actually gave me a great idea; I’m using the FIRST method for the lead-up to the start of the actual marathon training (which doesn’t actually start until 16 weeks out from the race).  From there, I’ll use the program provided in the first book to continue building mileage and peak at a 20 mile long run.  I think this will help build the base needed to safely and efficiently build mileage towards my goal race.

I would also recommend either of these books to anyone looking to run distance.  If you’re a beginner, I would suggest the Marathon:  The Ultimate Training Guide book.  It gives a ton of great advice for novice runners and has good ideas to help get past certain road blocks.  It also has half-marathon training plans (it’s in the title!) that I will certainly return to when I go back to halfs.  If you’re more seasoned and what to get faster or add a little challenge to your training, Run Less, Run Faster is perfect for that.  You’ll push your pace and your limits, but you’ll definitely be able to feel the rewards.

Half to Full

My half marathon was two weeks ago.  I didn’t get the PR I had hoped for, but I did PR for that particular race.  So a big WIN in my book!  I know it’s been a while since I posted, and I’m sorry.  Life got in the way…and it’s no excuse…but I’m using it as one!

So I’ve done 5 half marathons now.  I have loved every single on of them!  Now I think I’ll try my hand at a full marathon!  SCARY!  This type of training is going to be way more intensive then the half-marathon training.  I’m not quite sure how I’m going to approach this…but I think I’ll start with some light reading.  It’s what I do best!

I have 2 options…one is a traditional training guide to marathon training and the second is a new approach to marathon training.  The first book is Marathon:  The Ultimate Training Guide Advice, Plans, and Programs for Half and Full Marathons and the second book is Runner’s World Run Less, Run Faster by Bill Pierce, Scott Muhr, and Ray Moss.

The second was actually recommended to me by a colleague and it seems very intriguing.  The traditional training in a build-up of mileage with four runs in a week.  This training is three runs a week with shorter distances but more intense runs.  You build speed and endurance that will carry you through 26.2 miles.

So those are the two books I’ll be trying out.  I know I will over analyze this stuff to the point of exhaustion…but I guess that’s just my tendency.  I want to be prepared and know what I’m getting myself into…that’s a lot of mileage!  So stay tuned…I’ll post more about this in later days!!

Run Post #2

I had every intention of chronicling my training for the OKC Half Marathon…but we all see how well that worked!  It is what it is, but I wanted to share another running post before the big day.

 

I am in what’s called a taper week…taper down the mileage so that the legs are fresh for the big day.  I still run, just not as far or as often as I have been.  It’s also one of the hardest weeks of training because all I want to do is run or try a new workout from the Beachbody OnDemand catalog.  

 

Over the last several weeks though, I’ve had an epiphany of sorts.  Running is 30% physical, and 70% mental.  Wait…what?  Your body is capable of almost anything;  it’s the mind that actually gets in the way.  Think back to the last activity you struggled with…was your body tired, or did your mind say this is too hard.  Now there does come a point where the body just stops, throws up its metaphorical hands, and is done for the day.   But 9 out of 10 times it’s the mental block that keeps you from going further.

 

It’s an interesting concept to ponder.  If I can train my mind, I can go further for faster and longer.  I should be able to push my body beyond its current limits because, after all, it’s perceived limits at this point.  And I think this is the perfect week to test the theory and boundaries.  I don’t want to over exert myself physically with more mileage or longer duration runs, so maybe I will spend some time training the brain as I run. 

 

I’m not really sure what this is supposed to look like.  How do you train your brain without some kind of tool or app?  Maybe I’m close…I listen to music as I run to distract me from pain or from the mileage as it adds up.  I find at times that a couple tenths of a mile have gone by because I was immersed in a song.  I also wonder if maybe I need to actively not think…or actively try not to think.  If you’ve ever done a “mindless” activity, you know how hard this is.  You’re running mile after mile, and all of sudden that conversation from Monday night at pint night pops in your head.  Where did that come from?!   Then other thoughts follow…what mile am I on?  Is that pain in my left leg?  How long have I been running?  That hill looks awful…lets walk now!  So find an active way to keep those thoughts out of the head…check!

 

We’ll see how this goes.  Tomorrow is supposed to be a sunny day with no rain in the forecast (which means it’ll probably pour) so Monday is a run day.  I think this run, and my last one on Wednesday, will be about getting my mind set for the half.  If I’ve learned anything from the others I’ve done, it will take a lot of mental prowess to complete the race.  Maybe if I can train my brain a little before I even start, this will my best half yet!

Balancing the Imbalanced

Exercise in itself is supposed to be a growing experience that pushes you to the edge of your comfort zone…that’s where change comes from.  But it can be made infinitely harder when you’re sore before, during, and after a workout.  And if it gets bad enough, it can make you stop working out all together.

I always thought that the reason for this was your body adjusting to your increased activity level and maybe doing too much too fast.  I use the example of running because its application is easy and relatable (at least to me).  If you have never run, and then one day decide to run/walk a mile, chances are you will wake up with sore muscles.  You’re engaging muscles, tendons, and other areas that have otherwise been sedentary.  There are going to be some aches.  Likewise, as you continue your training trend, eventually you will start to notice your legs or your core are not up to par.  You abdominals hurt while your run or your deadweight legs are why you have to stop (not the lack of air).  So you do some cross training to strengthen the muscles and continue training like a boss!

There is also the possibility of doing too much too soon.  In the above example, if you have never run and decide to go outside and run 3 miles, you could seriously hurt yourself.  Anything from shin splints, torn muscles, or foot fractures are a real possibility.  In this case, you gradually build your mileage and save some injuries.

However, I was reading an article on another great blog I read that reasoned a third possibility…muscle imbalance could also be causing those tired, achy muscles (HelloHealthy:  Tight and Achy After Exercise?  Muscle Imbalance Might Be to Blame).  Runners, for example, usually have strong quads and weaker hamstrings.  This is why many develop knee pain.  Others also develop sore calf muscles that cause a change in gait (their running motion).  The HelloHealthy article suggest that by balancing these muscles, running or other exercises become immensely more enjoyable.

The article states there are four different areas of imbalance that could be causing aches and pains…mobility, stability, strength, and power.  Those are the four areas that need to be addressed, and in that order.  Mobility is loosening the muscles to create better movement.  Ever wonder why your knees hurt after a particularly hard workout?  Tight calves may be to blame.  Foam rolling and stretches targeting specific muscles will be your saving grace.  Once you’ve loosened muscles, you can begin to strengthen them again.  And as the article implies, make sure the strengthening is balanced and even; or you’ll just have loose, imbalanced muscles!

There is no need to fear or loathe exercise because of potential achy muscles.  If you find yourself getting achy or unusually tired, take a step back and ask yourself, 1) did you increase your activity, or 2) did you do too much too soon considering your activity levels over the last couple of weeks.  If those aren’t the culprits, consider that you may be imbalanced.

(Please visit HelloHealthy for their take on imbalanced muscles!)

Go Ahead…Play Like a Kid!

In a recent Facebook post, I asked friends to give me some ideas of what they would like to see on this blog.  I got several wonderful ideas, and this topic was one of them…workouts you can do with your kids!  While I don’t have kids myself, I’ve tried to put myself in parental shoes and think of some fun workouts that don’t actually feel like workouts…that’s right, gotta trick them into exercising!  (Haha…you probably don’t have to trick your kids, but just in case…!)

1.  The Dice Game

I saw this idea in a magazine about a year ago and it’s perfectly translatable to a family workout.  You need two dice…get them from a board game or make it fun and get blow up dice or fuzzy mirror dice!  You also need something to write on…paper, marker board…something everyone can see.  Make a list, numbered 2 thru 12 (if using 2 dice) or 1 thru 5 (if using 1 dice, and then assign a different task to each number (below is an example, you can also make up your own)!  Then make it fun…if you have 2 kids, let each one roll 5 times.  With each roll, the number you land on is the exercise on your list you do.  For example, if I rolled a 6, on the list below that would be crunches.  Do them for one minute, then roll the dice again.  So 2 kids and 5 rolls means you’d do 10 minutes worth of exercise.  Feeling rowdy?  Do 10 rolls per kid!   You can also assign a certain number to each exercise too, like 25 crunches, 30 push-ups, etc!

Dice Game

2.  Block-Capades

This is a fun one when the weather is warm.  Start by going on a walk around the block, the neighborhood, a high school track, etc.  Then as you’re going along, pick a spot ahead of you and race your kids there.  BUT WAIT!  Don’t just run…you can run to “warm up,” then get creative.  Race them in skipping, frog jumping, lunging, the moon walk…anything.  Go for 20 minutes and you’ve had a complete workout with cardio and muscle building!

3.  Backyard Obstacle Course

This is another fun one to get outdoors.  Get creative with all the stuff in your backyard and create an obstacle course for the kids.  Use lawn chairs, sidewalk chalk, stairs on the deck or front porch, etc.  You can even use sprinklers or a slip-and-slide in the summer!  Time them to see who can do it faster and do it with them to see if they can beat you!

4.  Random Dancing

I’m going to embarrass myself and say that I saw this on iCarly…a tv show on Nickelodeon.  At various points during an internet show the main characters were filming, a voice would yell random dancing and the characters would bust out in wild and fun dance moves for 1 minute.  This is a fabulous idea to do with your kids!  If they have been inside all day (rain day, video games, etc), turn on the radio, iPod, etc for 1 minute, yell random dancing, and make them get up and dance around!  If everyone is having fun, keep going!  Try doing it several times a night and see how many minutes of dancing you can get in!  I’ve seen a lot of posts on Facebook of parents and their kids just dancing around randomly to the tv or the radio.  It’s fun, it’s a cardio workout, and can also create some fun memories!

5.  Popsicle Stick Workouts

This is one I saw on Pinterest, but it was a really cute idea…especially for younger kids.  You put an exercise on a popsicle stick, and put it in a cup that says exercise (of course you will fill up this cup with several popsicle sticks with different exercises on them).  Use the exercises from the Dice Game or make up your own!   Have a kid pick a stick at random from the cup, and everybody do what is on that stick.  When you’ve finished the exercise, you move it to a done cup.  You can pick a few a day, a few a week, one a day…whatever works!  You can also make a deal with your kids; if you finish the cup in the month they will get a reward! I would generally say stay away from food rewards, but they’re kids…give them ice cream!

Popsicle Cup Workouts

(This picture came from a post on PopSugar that had another list of workouts for kids!)

These are 5 fun games to play with your kids, have fun and make memories!  There are several other options as well…but are less tricky when it comes to actual exercise.

-Run bleachers at a high school track
-Shoot hoops in the driveway
-Hopscotch in the driveway
-Family bike rides
-Trampoline tricks
-Roller skating/blading around the neighborhood
-Swimming
-Walk around the block (take the dogs!)
These are just a few more ideas of things kids and adults can do for exercise as a family.  As always, you can go to Pinterest and find some more ideas or some different ways to do these with your kids.  It’s important for your kids to learn that exercise is fun and beneficial; and with you right there with them, it’ll leave a lasting impression and help build lifelong habits.

What…THAT’S Unhealthy?!

I truly have some great friends!  One of them suggested this blog post to me and it was fabulous!  So much so I have to share it with you!  ****Information from FitLife.tv****

This article shares 10 foods that are generally promoted as healthy, or are mistaken for healthy; but as you look into ingredients and contents, the unhealthiness might surprise you!

1.  Yougurt/Frozen Yogurt

I will admit…this one surprised me just a little…but after reading the article and then going to some well-known yogurt brand sites…I was shocked.  There is hidden sugar in there!  Even the light brands (up until a couple of months ago) contained the imitation sugars that science has shown to increase sugar intake when eaten.  So what are we to do?  I mean this is touted as a superfood to help lose inches and keep you satisfied……well the article suggests Greek yogurt.  I completely agree.  It is higher in protein, and if you choose plain over flavored your saving yourself some sugar.  You can add fruit, honey, granola, etc to it and make it yummy!  If you do choose one that is flavored, just beware of the sugar content and adjust in your other meal choices for the day!

2.  Agave Nectar

I have very little experience with this sweeter, but like many I always thought it was a good substitute to sweeten stuff.  The article however says it contains 70% to 80% fructose, more than what’s found in high-fructose corn syrup.  Yikes!  There are other options that will probably save you calories and an artificial blood spike that sends you back to the fridge after an hour, including raw honey, maple syrup, dates, and stevia.

3.  Cereal/Instant Oatmeal

This is very sad…I love cereal…but as I’ve grown up, I have come to realize how much sugar and other artificial flavorings are in these delicious breakfast boxes.  Oatmeal can also be a surprising sugar hider…the instant oatmeal is artificially flavored so that when you’re done with the 1 minute cooking time, its ready to go, no additions needed.  However, there are options in these categories that are actually healthy…you just have to do some digging and reading.  Cereals and oatmeal with more fibers, less sugar, and less overall ingredients are usually better options.

4.  Snack/Protein Bars

Hopefully by now, most of us have learned our lesson on these little sugar traps.  Sugar and other less-than-desirable ingredients are easy to sneak into these bars; especially when they are labeled as healthy, fat free, and sugar free.  Again, this is where you have to do digging and reading to find a better bar.  I would even suggest going on pinterest and finding recipes for DIY bars (I will have some recipes for these in the coming weeks!).  They usually include 5 -6 ingredients when you do them yourself, and are super easy to make.  Plus you’ll be amazed at how great they taste without all the added yuck!

5.  Skim Milk

I have never like skim milk, it tastes like milk water to me…but it is surprising it makes the list.  But the problem, according to the article, is the loss of milk fat is replaced with synthetic vitamins….and can contain added sugar.  I prefer 1% milk, and limit my intake.  Other options include almond or coconut milk…which are easier on the digestive system and have fewer calories without added sugars.

6.  Whole Wheat/Multigrain Breads

This is one where I have a problem.  Whole wheat and multigrain breads are not bad…if they are made correctly.  The article states that these breads have enriched white flour in them and only enough whole wheat or multigrain to pass as that kind of bread.  Bread should always be consumed in moderation, but if you again, read the labels and ingredients, you can tell the good from the questionable.  But again, I do agree that it should be mindful eating when eating bread so as not to consume too much.

7.  Peanut Butter

This is the one I that saddens me the most…I love peanut butter.  I would eat it on everything if I could!  I think it makes this list because the traditional peanut butter you think of is filled with sugar, oils, and fats.  The article suggests other nut butters, almond, sunflower, or cashew, since nuts are a healthy source of fat.  However, if you’re like me and absolutely refuse to substitute your peanut butter…try the all-natural varieties (I’ve done Jif and Skippy).  These have 5 ingredients max and no oils.  You will notice a difference in taste and will fall in love all over again.  Another option is some grocery stores let you make your own nut butters.  You get a pound or so of the nut of your choice (peanuts……..) and they have a machine in store that will grind it down and make a butter out of it.  That’s it…one ingredient!  I haven’t tried it yet…perhaps I should…but I know people who have and won’t go back to the bottled stuff ever!

8.  Trail Mix

This is one that I could definitely see why it made the list…but don’t want to discourage it’s use.  Pre-packaged trail mixes contain extra calories, fat, and sugar…especially if you get the trail mix that include chocolate, candies, or dried fruit (because these dried fruits usually have added sugar).  But trail mix can be an excellent source of healthy fats and electrolytes during intense workouts.  If you want trail mix, make your own; probably cheaper as well as healthy in the long run.  Plus you can make it yours!  Search Pinterest for ideas of inclusions…dried, unsweetened fruit, coconut flakes, raw nuts, etc.

9.  Frozen Diet Meals

This is one of those too good to be true type of scenarios.  While the calorie count may be low, these meals rarely have any nutritional value.  They are loaded with preservatives and sodium.  However, they are easy to make and I find myself buying two or three every now and then because I haven’t planned my weekly meals well enough.  Your best bet for “diet” foods are whole foods and dishes you make yourself.  And if you make meals ahead, and even freeze them, then you can have quick meals that are far healthier.

10.  Fat-Free Foods

I would we would all know this one by now as well.  These foods are typically sugar and chemical loaded to make up for the lack of flavor without the fat.  And interestingly, I didn’t know this until reading the article, but when you remove the fat it takes the food further away from its natural form.  Interesting fact….so you’re actually going the complete opposite with diet intentions when you eat “fat-free.”  Your best option…choose your fat wisely.  Like the trail mix before, nuts have fat, but their healthy fats.  They should be consumed in moderation because fat is still fat.  Other foods like avocados, olive oil, seeds, coconut, etc are good, healthy fat options.  You don’t want to cut fat out of your diet; the body still needs it to function…..it just doesn’t need as much as we give it!

So there you have it…10 foods that are sneaky little sneaksters.  Surprised?  Not surprised?

Fitness Geek

Yup I’ll say it…I am a fitness geek.  But here’s my definition of such things…I love trying to find and using the latest apps and gadgets to get the most out of my workouts and meals. There fun to play with and then when you actually start using them, the inormation they reveal is amazing!!

I’ve used many an app for running, cross training, and tracking my meals.  But I’m only going to tell you about my 2 favorite, because this list could go on!

First, I’ve talked about it before, but I’ve been tracking my food for the last month with MyFitnessPal.  Yes it will also track exercise, but there are apps dedicated to running that I like better…but I digress.  MyFitnessPal is simple and easy to use; it asks you for your daily lifestyle and your goal, and based on that gives you a calorie goal.  When adding food, it has a massive index of foods and restaurants to choose from.  And my favorite feature…if you get your recipe online (like from Pinterest), you can put that website into the app and it will find the recipe and match ingredients for you!  

And not sure how your week is stacking up?  There is a nutrition section where you can look at your week and see how it’s going!  You might surprise yourself and see your not doing as bad as you thought you were!!



 And now on to the fitness app.  I used to use the Nike Run app and it worked fine.  But a lot of friends were using RunKeeper and it kept popping up in magazines as one of THE apps for running.  And they were right!  It’s user friendly and tells me everything about my run, time per mile, mile splits, overall time, and total miles.  And I know what you’re thinking…they all do that!  But wait!  After a particularly good run…longest to date, shortest time per mile, etc…the app sends you rewards!  My first was 20% off a smart scale.  My last two have been coupons for deodorant…yes less exciting but if you’ve ever smelled me after a run you would think it was a fabulous reward!! 

Just a little screen shot of the app.  Shows where you ran and all the other info.  And it’s not bad looking either!



So I would call myself a fitness geek.  The latest greatest apps are like candy to me.  If they’re aesthetically appealing, easy to use, and give valuable info for my fitness then you know I will download it and try it out!!  Ah….fun stuff!