So NOW What?

Well, Halloween is over. Are you suffering from a candy coma? Too much sugar ingested in the name of “testing” candy for your kids? It’s going to be OK!

Welcome to Healthy Holidays 2013!

Let’s be honest, for many of us November and December mark the beginning of the end of the year. Parties take over workouts and good nutrition goes right out the window. It doesn’t have to be this way though. YOU, yes you, can become one of those weirdos that keep to their fit lifestyle while enjoying the holidays. All it takes is a little preparation and a lot of knowledge :) and you’ll get all you need, right here:

  • If you fall off the proverbial wagon, don’t run to the nearest gym to punish yourself. While busting a good sweat the night after overindulging is good, adding an extra hour or 2 to your workout is just crazy. You won’t force your body to comply by beating it to death, in fact, your butt knows you made the decision to eat those Reese’s so why should it suffer?
  • Know your pitfalls. Take inventory of what you simply cannot stay way from during the holidays and plan AROUND it, don’t attempt to avoid it altogether. For example, I really enjoy (translation: am totally obsessed with) Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. It has to be the small, wrapped ones though. Anyways, I have tried keeping them out of the house at all costs, but I will usually try to stuff that craving with something else. So, I simply limit what comes in to root in our pantry. This way I can enjoy what I view as a serious treat, but not feel awful physically or emotionally.
  • Plan ahead. I cannot stress how important this is! Plan your day so that you can avoid common pitfalls. It may mean waking up 30 minutes earlier to work out (it hasn’t killed anybody yet) which would entail putting your computer on shut down 30 minutes earlier the night before. Know that you will more than most likely eat at the party and adjust your intake that day. Don’t let yourself arrive to a party starving from not eating, down a glass of wine and then proceed on the hunt to eat anything slower than you…it just never ends well, trust me.
  • Get some extra accidental movement. Let’s face it, extending your workout time to overcompensate for eating is futile in this environment. You can barely get your normal workouts in during the holidays, so attempting to add more just doesn’t work. Instead, aim for more movement in general. Do 20 jumping jacks every time you go to the bathroom. Stand and stretch every hour. Do glute squeezes or calf raises in line at the store. Park further away. Jog into the mall or store. Power walk from one shop to the next. Keep a band near your work space and alternate 20 bicep curls and 20 squats a few times per day. Plan social events involving movement such as walking to see Christmas light (weather permitting), walking through park decorations, Christmas rounds of golf or put-put, etc. When all else fails…WALKING LUNGES EVERYWHERE. :)

Keep a positive outlook on staying healthy this holiday season and you won’t feel like your “starting over” every January 1st. Remember, I have something really big launching for you just a couple of days after Christmas, so stay tuned for more Healthy Holidays workouts, recipes and meal plans!

Peace, Love and Lunges,

Michelle

Tough Love Tuesday: Soap Box

***Disclaimer: TLT is not meant to offend, only to inform. I do not hold back in the TLT videos and posts, so if you find yourself a little sensitive (we ALL have those days!) then please check out other posts. If you need a kick in the rear to get it in gear, then by all means let’s get going!***

I’m going to lay this one out for you: I’m about to climb upon my box. Take what you need, ignore the rest and come back when you’re ready.

I HAVE DEVELOPED A HATRED FOR CROSSFIT.

OK, I kept trying to keep an open mind, but this has gotten out of control. Little known fact, I do some training posts and stuff for Reebok, who put on the Crossfit games, so I must expand on my first point here. Crossfit in and of itself is not my enemy. If it is taught correctly it can be a great workout, but the whole phenomenon has gotten out of hand. First off, there are a large number of Crossfit people who have become a cult. I was able to help launch a new vitamin store in town in the Spring and the local Crossfit believers did a workout there prior to my arrival. When I arrived all I saw was knee-high compression socks. Why? Good question, but according to the non-trainer-trainer, when you Crossfit you need compression socks and these had the local logo. But why do you need the socks? I kid you not, this was the answer, “They help you work harder.” Um, really? Are they magic socks? compression socks serve a purpose and I have 2 pair in my sock drawer. They  are handy on 12+ hour flights AND I will wear them during a heavy plyometric workout to support my calf all the better, but they by no means make me work harder…perhaps they make one look as if one works harder. Second beef (mmmmm, beef). PALEO! Oh, my, goodness. Paleo is OK, but still falls under fad diet. Eventually, you will find out you are so not a caveman and you’ll gain back what the deprivation effect took out. Now, there are Crossfit Athletes and sponsored competitors that get paid to stick to it and swear by…because they’re paid for that reason. Layman like us need the variety. So, the question I loathe is “Is that Paleo?”. As I was spending my time in the shop, I was flanked by young, eager Crossfitters….asking recommendations on pre-workout potions to help them power through grueling workouts (I hold a specialty in supps), with which I replied, “Is THAT Paleo?” :) Last, and possibly most important, owners of boxes are not required to have certification above Crossfit (and some don’t even have that, which Crossfit is not cool with, so check out your box). Now, I’m a BIG fan of education. The world of fitness and nutrition is constantly evolving and your trainer has to stay on top of things. I have seen Crossfit injuries walk through because it’s only marked by time and load. I watch videos and break into hives over poor squat form! Perhaps they are in with the knee replacement biz…..it’s all a conspiracy. At any rate, just because you see “skinny” people doing it, doesn’t mean it’s your fast ticket to skinny, particularly if you have no idea what proper form is to start. Is all Crossfit bad? Absolutely not! I beg you to be careful, just like when hiring a trainer, do the homework and study up on the workouts and the people running it.

THE PROBLEM WITH NON-COMPLIANCE

The number one reason your transformation hasn’t made it to the next phase is simple: non-compliance. What does that mean? You are not following what your trainer has set up for you (assuming you have done your homework and hired a competent trainer). I know, you want to roll your eyes and whine about the fact that you work as hard as you can and your meal plan is SO strict…but I don’t buy it because I’ve been there. Your trainer has given you the golden key but you have to get off the couch and walk to the door. Don’t tell your trainer that you’re running when you’re walking the track checking your Facebook. Don’t say you never have treats when you hit up chocolate or chips (or chocolate covered chips) every other night, even if it’s “just a little”. People always complain about celebrities having it “so easy” when it comes to weight loss. BULL! They are more compliant! They have to be because they can lose large sums of money if they aren’t and bodies like that don’t come from getting fat sucked out. They have a goal, got a plan and stuck to it. Same goes for you. Suck it up, stick to the plan and trust the process. Just because the 50 pounds you need to lose didn’t fall off after 1 strict diet day does not mean you are beyond all hope…it means you have work to do and NOBODY will do it for you or give it to you. Your body doesn’t cash in on welfare of any kind. DO. THE. WORK.

THE FREEBIES

Do you know what I hear every single week? “Can you get me a meal plan?” “Can you set up a workout?” “You really should give out free fitness and nutrition stuff?” So, I’m asking that you put yourself in my shoes here…..I am extremely aware of people, yet I shiver at the thought of consistently asking somebody to provide their living to me for free. Oh, you’re a data processor, I am about 6 months behind on client records, care to help? Accounting!?! We don’t even want to go there. Stay at home mom? I have a kid that stays at home, think you could watch her while she whittles away at her math problems? Yeah, it’s not so fun right? But that’s just from me…amplify that by everybody you know (family excluded because their prize for putting up with me is advice when they need it). Here’s the real rub though. Do you know what happens when I give free advice or training sessions or meal plans? NON-COMPLIANCE!!!!!!! People just don’t do it, so I have wasted that time (by the way if I have already told you that I am happy to help you, then congrats! You’re in the family club and needn’t worry). There is LOADS of info right here on the site. I don’t hold back (clearly) and I stay up to date on fads, trends and the tried and true old school methods that really work. There are sample menus, recipes, exercises and videos. YOU just have to do one thing…THE WORK. Do you see a pattern, because I do.

Now that my fingers have tired from my ranting, I apologize for any hurt feelings, although it is key to learn that our feeling are our own and others should not be allowed to stomp on them…we control them.

If you’re mad, good, go use that. If you’re ready to do the work, find a meal plan (or get the whole big packet!), watch a video, get inspired and stop holding yourself back!

Until next time,

Michelle

Video Cred to JENNY MORGAN

 

Youth Athletes: Sports Nutrition and Training

Happy Monday!

I’m getting back into the swing of things since the Summer is winding down (sad, but so true). Today, I’m going to start off August with info on Youth Athletes. Your kid (if you have contact with ANY young athletes, this will help you!) can benefit greatly from proper knowledge on training and nutrition as the sports seasons start to come into full swing. Some youth prefer seasonal sports such as football and basketball, while others can play soccer or baseball seemingly year round. If you know youth (I’ll be working mainly with ages 8-17 here) then the knowledge you will gain during this month will prove priceless in keeping them on top of their game and injury free. Let’s get started!

Parents and Caregivers:It’s NOT about you…

Harsh start, I know. Here’s the real deal though: your kids chosen sport has nothing to do with you. If they chose baseball because it was your idea and your hopes are hung on them going farther than you did and reliving your glory days….it will end badly. Usually resulting in pushing too far which can ultimately lead to life long injury. Our jobs as parents and caregivers are to encourage them and help them along their own path…not relive our own.

Nutrition is PARAMOUNT during the training season.

Developing solid nutritional habits is the most important step you can take during training. They can run faster than anybody on the planet, but poor nutrition will outrun even the fastest kid. This can be difficult to understand as most people equate nutrition with weight. Nutrition is way bigger than weight, it’s about preventing injury and creating an environment in which the body can fully thrive. For example: a water loss of 10% (this is before the thirsty feeling kicks in) can cause delayed reaction times and dizziness. This means that if your athlete starts the game slightly dehydrated they have a higher chance of injury due to overcompensation. Too few carbs in the diet can lead to the body pulling from muscle during a training session or game. When the body begins to eat its own muscle, we experience painful cramps that can slow us completely. The body hits survival mode and your kids could be the one hitting the grass in severe pain. Poor refueling after training or games will result in muscle loss and encourage more catabolic behaviour within the body. The result? Your athlete will slowly begin to think that they aren’t “meant” for the sport…refuel properly and they have the best chance for keeping the muscle their body is trying to establish and raising the bar on the game itself. All because you rock as a parent :)

Consider hiring a professional.

PROFESSIONAL is the key term here. Interview the person that may be working with your athlete. Don’t assume they are qualified just because they work at a gym or for a sports facility. I know a lot of completely unqualified people who work in those arenas. It’s a simple question: are you certified to work with youth athletes? Follow up to a yes: May I see that certification? Aside from that, feel free to ask for records of CPR certification, insurance and any other specialties. I believe in making it a point to ensure you are hiring somebody who knows what they are doing, especially when it comes to your kids.

Educate your athlete.

The number one thing I have learned in working with young athletes is that mom and dad can’t just fall back on the Nike slogan JUST DO IT. Kids are ripe for planting knowledge. Explain to them WHY they need to drink their water. Explain the benefits of potassium and sodium in the diet. Explain why that double meat fast “food” burger isn’t nearly good enough to refuel after training. Size your response to questions based on your athletes age. My kids started learning about nutrition very young and now, they get it. They understand why they need to pay attention to their bodies and they dig the fact that we don’t do fast “food”. Why? Because it’s NOT food! It’s processed junk and the body would rather not use it to fuel muscle, so it gets stored. We have burgers…but they’re the really good ones :)

Every week I’ll bring you a recipe for pre-training/pre-game. This week:

Protein and Carb Pancakes

Both of my young athletes (and myself!) LOVE these things. They are the proper ratio of proteins to carbs (60/30) with just a tiny bit of fat (10) since you don’t want to train or play on a fatty stomach. Serve these 30-60 minutes prior to training/gaming and your athlete will be ahead of the pack already.

Ingredients:

2 whole eggs + 4 egg whites

1/2 cup quick cooking oats

2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour (you can use gluten-free if needed)

cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, etc for spice

OPTIONAL: 1 scoop whey protein, flavor of choice (I only recommend if your athlete is over 10 years old and pretty active)

milk of choice until consistency meets how your kids digs their pancakes (my kids like them pretty thick)

Mix together and cook in pan or on griddle until slightly golden brown.

Top with fruit (bananas rock!), natural honey or natural maple syrup.

The natural sugars will help with energy, but don’t overdo as too much sugar can upset the GI tract during vigorous activity.

 

 

Come back all month for more on keeping your athlete on the top of their game!

Michelle

The Body and the Image

When it comes to body confidence, swag and the ability to even attempt to cultivate a style of any sort…the body image you hold as a direct result of your relationship with your body plays a large role.

There is a lot going around about body image, embracing your curves, we’re all made different, etc. Just as many posts about easy diet fixes, magic pills and the top ten moves to get you JLo’s booty are rampant as well. It’s no wonder we spend most of our time longing for immediate results, while the rest is spent in a lackluster daze after the energy expended on chasing after perfection. I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted! And that leaves very little time and energy left for the actual living of a healthy lifestyle.

Need a little direction to come to peaceful terms on the war zone of your body image? I thought you’d never ask :)

  1. Realize that perfection is unrealistic and, quite frankly, boring. Can you imagine if we all had the same measurements?!? I mean, look at the pins you post of hottie celebs (you know you do it). Are they all exactly the same? If it’s only one person, you may need an intervention… Seriously, it’s our nuances that make us each unique. For example: I am straight waisted and for years I hated this rather “boyish” figure. In reality, nobody has EVER confused my figure with a boy, but I digress. It is this slight difference that helps me be unique in my field. Silly, but true.
  2. There can be too much of a good thing. Just like you can ingest too much chocolate and wine (I intend to fully test this theory!), you can also work out too much. Instead of focusing on how many minutes you log on the treadmill, how many classes you attend per week, or how many reps you crank out per day, think about simply moving more. Set the alarm on your phone for 30 minutes and every time it goes off stand up and stretch or take a quick bolt to the bathroom. I’ve stretched in many meetings and have yet to be carried out by security.
  3. Drink up. Yeah, I’m going to preach the goodness of water once again. If you’re prone to headaches, muscle soreness, bloating, fatigue, restless legs, anxiety, or just the blahs…drink your water.
  4. Stop the madness! It’s human nature to compare. Really, we don’t leave the house searching for people to compare ourselves with, it just happens. The problem is that now we don’t even need to leave the house. There is serious danger in comparing your body/skin/face to pictures in magazines and online. I am not against Photoshop, as I enjoy pretty pictures and would be less likely to purchase that bikini if the model didn’t look so darn good in it! However, comparing myself to genetically blessed and professionally enhanced photos is a habit I had to break. Enjoy the photo for what it really is: a piece of art. Then move on.
  5. Set dates with yourself. As corny as it sounds you really do need time to simply chill with who you are. Set aside some time for a beloved activity that you can do alone. Paint your nails, soak in the tub, read a cheesy magazine that you cannot possibly glean any useful information from, write the things you are grateful for, watch that movie that you truly love but would be mortified if others knew you watched it… get the point? Be you, pure and plain and weird all rolled into who you truly are.
  6. Stop with the mirror obsession! OK, I’ll admit that I love mirrors. I own several all over the house and look at myself more than I should. It’s usually to check for food anywhere or to debate the current color of my hair (I have issues), but if I find myself checking for miniscule dimple patches I cut myself off. If you’re always judging your appearance, limit your mirror time and make peace. I do however beg that many people stop and check the mirror before venturing out into the world with pj’s and slippers. You may not care, but why punish those who actually have to look?
  7. Let them eat cake! By “them” I am referring to the voices in your head that want cake, or chocolate, or salty popcorn, or Twizzlers (I love those things for some strange reason). Don’t survive on these foods, but don’t deprive yourself either. It is my firm belief that deprivation leads to wrinkles and that’s just another thing to worry about in the mirror.
  8. Practice acceptance. So, maybe you used to be able to run 5 miles a day and now you can barely crank out 2. Or perhaps you could bench 150 and now you’re on 10 pounders. Life changes. Our bodies adjust and we, as humans, are incredibly adaptable…but only of we allow that adaptation. Don’t hang on to your glory days. Let go and accept right where you are. Have 50 pounds to lose? Accept that fact and work at it in a holistic manner. Don’t kil yourself trying to beat it off. Dealing with an injury? You won’t recover by continually pushing past your limits. Accept where you are in order to move forward.

Hopefully, this will help get you headed in the healthy direction :)

Michelle

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