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Archive for December, 2010

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION

29 Dec

With another “New” year approaching, we reach the time of resolutions and goals to improve upon your life of old, into the new. January typically elicits a boom in gym memberships and people exercising, as weight loss remains one of the most popular New Year’s Resolutions. The only problem is people don’t typically keep up with it, and it becomes a constant cycle of falling off the horse throughout the year, only to try and hop back on come January. David Zinczenko from Eat This, Not That recently wrote an article on “5 Secrets to Making Resolutions Stick“, and offered up 5 easy fails, and how to correct them. Below, I’ve offered up a summary.

1.) Long-Term Goals – 9% of people who set a 5-week long goal end up working out in the long run, so try setting a goal for yourself to go to the gym through the beginning of February to build up a consistent routine.

2.) Aiming For Perfection – You’re more likely to create a domino effect by skipping one workout into the future, so try and get any sort of workout in, so that you may boost your confidence and feel confident that you made some effort to work-out.

3.) Setting Goals Small – It’s okay to set your weight loss goals as high as you want, but be sure and be realistic about your timeframe goals with whatever you choose, as it’s only realistic to lose about 1 – 2 lbs/week.

4.) Focusing On Hypotheticals – It’s easy to think that “you’ll get around to it” or “I’m not too overweight” but looking at the glass being half full isn’t always the best decision for yourself. Sometimes you need to more honest with yourself than you may prefer, in order to see the error of your ways and better help yourself in the long run.

5.) Lack Of Support – One of the easiest solution to stick to whatever your goals may be is to surround yourself with like-minded people. Find a buddy to go to the gym with and you’ll immediately find a new connection with someone who’s going through exactly what you are.

Hopefully these tips stick with you when you think about what you would like to change about yourself and accomplish into 2011. Remember, most importantly, to stay true to yourself with whatever you’re seeking to improve.

 
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Posted in Helpful Tips, Zach

 

Tired But Wired

28 Dec

I’ve never had a natural talent for falling asleep, not as a small child insisting that I HAD to have a third glass of water and not now that I chose my own bedtime.  I’m fine once I fall asleep (I once fell five feet out of a bunk bed, laid on the ground for three minutes, and then climbed back into bed without ever waking- according to my roommate.)  I picked up this book hoping it would offer something more helpful than “drink of glass of milk” or “don’t run a 5k before bed.”  I got some terrific tips that are sending the sheep to a temp agency.

1) Breakfast: Eating breakfast as quickly as you can after you wake up and never waiting longer than 30 minutes is a great way to jump start your body for the day and makes it easier to fall asleep later.

2) Total Health:  The quality of your sleep is affected by the foods you eat, how much water you drink, and the amount of exercise you get.

3) Resting:  When you don’t give your body and brain a rest during the day, it kicks into overdrive and makes it much hard to change gears later.  By giving your brain breaks throughout the day and taking short naps, the transition becomes less challenging.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted in Ashley, Helpful Tips, Shameless Plugs

 

Hum Your Way to Health

27 Dec

Last week I came down with the dreaded cold.  Colds always seem to come at the worst time,  although I don’t know if there are good times to be sick.  Anyway, many people try to cure a cold with different medicines that make you sleep or keep you awake enough to make it though the day.  I was never a fan of the medicine.  If I’m sick I really don’t want to try to make it through the day being miserable when I would much rather be laying in bed sleeping.  Sleeping would probably cure my cold much faster than trying to ignore the fact that I have one.  I’m getting off subject here.  What I’m wanting to get at is a recent study about a simple way to help cure these nasty sinus illnesses.

I’m sure you have heard of whistle while you work, but have you heard of humming while you’re sick?  The new study put out by The American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine says that if you are suffering from a sinus infection you can simply hum your pain away.  Sounds simple, right?  The study explains that humming helps open the inflamed sinus allowing air to pass through.  This can also help with congestion.  Too bad I’m over my cold or I would try this out!  Check out the entire article for yourself and start singing humming a happier tune during the cold season!

 
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Posted in Uncategorized

 

Dance like no one is watching!!!

21 Dec

Recently I have found weird things that boost my mood when I’m not feeling very good. I go into my living room and play Girl Talk as loud as I can, and dance my life away. Not even in a good way, some might not even call it dancing. I think it’s more of a wiggle that seems to go with the music. I really can’t dance at all, but I like to pretend that I can =]. So far it helps because not only I am doing something I enjoy, but I’m also up and moving. It’s more fun if you can get someone else to join in with you. Then you can be really silly and don’t feel so dorky. If I’m not in a location where I’m able to get up or dance, or even if I don’t have music I find other things like snacks! My favorite recently has been almonds and Nutella. It’s a decent snack that still contains chocolate that is not super bad for you! Another recent love is reading Shel Silverstein poems. I used to read them all the time when I was younger, but now I love them even more. I know it seems like nothing, but it’s the little things that count. Just recently I realized that it is better to have an open mind, do silly things. Who honestly is going to care? As long as you are enjoying yourself while doing it, it shouldn’t matter. Before when I would get upset, I would just lie around and do nothing. It only added to my terrible mood. I and others should be more willing to do dumb things. Also now it’s almost the holidays, so everyone just make cookies and we will all be happy!!!!!!

 
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Posted in Sam

 

How to Lose Weight Like a Guy

21 Dec

Sometimes it seems unfair that when guys decided to lose weight the pounds seem to melt off, while females have to battle years of biological history ensuring that we remain effective incubators.  Awhile back I found this article on Self and thought it had some good insights into things that guys do differently.  <http://www.self.com/fitness/workouts/2010/11/lose-weight-like-a-guy>

One of the best tips is “care about your stats.”  Goals related to looking better can be vague and difficult to measure.  Guys push themselves to run faster or lift more then last time so they have easily measurable performance results that serve as a motivator.  Females can do the same.  Another good tip is “don’t (over)think-do.”  One of my friends recently explained that she couldn’t workout because she didn’t have time to figure out an exact fitness plan.  The truth is that if you go out there, push yourself, and stay consistent you will see results.  Overall, these tips are a great way to stop over-thinking fitness and start working out.

 
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Posted in Ashley, Get Active

 

Comfort Food Makeovers

20 Dec

With the Holidays fast approaching and the cold weather already over staying its welcome, it’s easy to turn to comfort food to satisfy that need for warmth and, well, comfort!  While comfort food is nice to fill our stomachs, it’s not very kind to our waist lines.  I’ve gone on a semi quest to find ways to revamp these delicious dishes so I can enjoy them (almost) guilt free!  I found some really great videos to start out with and from those I chose the great Mac & Cheese and Brownie Makeovers!

Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted in Cheryl, Fun with Food

 

EGG NOG

15 Dec

In lieu of Christmas approaching and a strong desire to stay healthy, I have found and provided a delicious homemade Egg Nog recipe to keep your tastebuds satisfied, and one that won’t leave you feeling guilty and lookin’ to hit the gym.

Ingredients

6 beaten egg yolks (free range is best)

2 1/4 cups whole milk (raw, if available)

1/3 cup unrefined sugar, like Rapadura or Sucanat (I bet Coconut/Palm sugar would also work, though I haven’t tried it)

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup whipping cream (avoid ultra-pasteurized)

2 Tbsp unrefined sugar, or 1 Tbsp honey, or a few drops or maybe 1/2 packet of Stevia (just enough to add a touch of sweetness)

Ground nutmeg

(Note: You may want to begin the recipe the day before you want the egg nog- it’s an easy recipe, but does need time to chill properly)
Directions

1) In a medium pot, mix the egg yolks, milk and the 1/3 cup sugar. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture just coats a metal spoon (see photo). Remove from heat. Place pot in a sink or bowl of ice water and stir for 2 minutes to cool mixture off a little. Stir in vanilla. Cover and chill for 4-24 hours.

2) When you’re ready to serve:

Beat the whipping cream and 2 Tbsp of sugar (or sugar alternative) until soft peaks form.

3) Transfer the chilled egg/milk/sugar mixture to a punch bowl. Fold in the whipped cream. Serve immediately. Sprinkle each serving with nutmeg. If you find it a little too thick or too sweet, simply stir in a bit of milk to thin it out.

Special Thanks to Stephanie Langford from KeeperoftheHome.org for this delectable recipe!

 
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Posted in Fun with Food, Zach

 

Top Ten Workout Fashion Flubs

14 Dec

10. Sweatband headband: This shows that you take your workouts seriously.  You don’t have time to reach for a towel, you have to stop that sweat on instant contact.  What better way to do that than a fuzzy, puffy head accessory?

9. Clashing Colors: Basically, if any colors are remotely close to each other on the color wheel, you should wear them together.  By wearing olive green and kelly green simultaneously you can help people feel like their eyes are burning calories. 

8. Crew cut socks:  If you find ankle socks a bit risque, than taller socks are certainly your best bet.  The weather is getting rather nippy and you know that your ankles deserve a little TLC this holiday season.

7. Hooters Shirt:  What easier way to say, “No, you’re not paranoid, I actually am staring at your chest.”

6. Slitted Shirts: Don’t let heat and moisture get trapped inside your shirt, slit your shirt up the sides to get that randy sailboat effect.

5. Repeat outfits: Since you’re going to get sweaty anyway, why bother starting out with clean clothes in the first place?  Just wear the same black Adidas shorts every day and they will be your trademark, like Tony the Tiger’s bandanna or Mr. Peanut’s monocle.

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Snow Day Workout!

13 Dec

If you are like me, you probably dread having to shovel or clean up after a big snow storm.  It’s really not fun to have to freeze while shoveling especially since you know you will just have to shovel again within a few hours.  I don’t know if this will make shoveling or other winter activities less of a hassle, but maybe it will make it worth while!

Did you know that if you shoveled for 1 hour you would burn about 408 calories?  Surprisingly, this is the same as having about 1.5 Cafe Lattes from Starbucks, 2 cans of Coke, or about 3 bites of a Big Mac from McDonald’s.  If you generally lean towards the healthy eating, it’s also the same as eating almost 14 carrots.

Now winter isn’t all about shoveling, it’s also about snowman building and sledding!  Say you built one awesome snowman.  You just burned about 250 calories.  This would be the same as eating 2 cups slivered almonds or 4 chocolate chip cookies.  And if you went sledding, you could be burning about 420 calories, especially if the hill is super steep!  This would be the same as eating 1 cup of cranberry sauce (watch out Thanksgiving), 2 slices of french bread (minus the butter) or 5.5 cups of fresh strawberries!

Did you know that even if you just took a leisurely stroll in the snow, you could be burning about 270 if you walked for an hour?  That’s the same as eating 1 PopTart, with 2 bites of a second, or 1.5oz of Pistachios.

I guess the moral of the story is that while snow never seems to work with us, we can make it work for us!  Enjoy all of your favorite winter activities this season!

PS – finding calorie counts of your favorite foods is pretty easy.  Check out this site or this one for more information!

 
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Posted in Cheryl, Get Active

 

Health & Age: Where does one draw the line?

09 Dec

So I’ve been hearing a lot of debate regarding the issue of children’s health with child obesity on the rise, which got me questioning, of course. At what age should one become health conscious? How far are parents going to reflect their healthy lifestyles on their children? Are health-obsessive adults depriving/penalizing their children? Do certain types of food add to childhood? At what point should parents start to intervene with children’s eating habits, especially if they don’t exercise a healthy lifestyle? Is it a matter of hypocrisy or just a matter of wanting optimal health for your child even if you don’t exercise that on your own life?

Yes, yes, all very debatable and open-ended, but I wanted to get the analytical juices flowing. I guess this post will act as a precursor to some issues I will be researching for future posts. But, as I like to do, I thought I would end my foreshadowing post with some comedic relief. One can almost always depend on Saturday Night Life to catch the humor in anything controversial. Enjoy!

 
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Posted in Shameless Plugs, Stephanie