Archive for the ‘Helpful Tips’ Category

A Grocery Store No No

24 Jan

I love reading my Eat this, not that emails and I love watching morning news shows.  Sometimes those two come together to give me disgustingly helpful tips that you are going to want to see for yourself!


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Posted in Cheryl, Fun with Food, Helpful Tips



21 Jan

You don’t have to be Macgyver to appreciate that gum has a lot of interesting uses: everything from whitening your teeth to quitting smoking to getting crabs.

A couple months ago Cheryl introduced me to Extra Dessert Delights.  As someone who’s sweet tooth is sharp enough, dangerous enough, and practiced enough to take down a full size chocolate bunny with ease, I felt highly skeptical towards sugar-free gum claiming dessert status.  In fact, I  fully expected it to be trag-esty.

But when I bit into the mint chocolate chip, it was, in a word: delightful.  The flavor was surprisingly realistic and I was even more impressed by the key lime pie and strawberry shortcake.  Even better, this gum sticks together properly and so I can blow some seriously nice bubbles.  I haven’t blown one big enough to get gum stuck in my hair, but my goal is to do that by the end of next week.  Goal setting is immensely important.

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Posted in Ashley, Helpful Tips



12 Jan

With the over saturation of the media and information these days, it can be very difficult to decide for yourself what to believe is true, especially when it comes to your health and the foods you put in your body. It’s not unheard of to hear that one food is bad for you and causes some fatal disease, only to be told to eat it in abundance six months later.. We live in a very mixed-up, muddled up, shook up world, and sometimes you learn what you thought you knew wasn’t correct at all.

Here’s a link to the complete list of Health & Diet Myths, while I touch up thoughts on a few.

1.) It’s best to eat three meals – Actually, it’s best to spread out your meals into 6 smaller ones throughout the day to keep your energy levels consistent, but they suggest 3 regular meals and 2-3 “strategic snacks.” Personally, this has been one of my biggest issues, in that, sometimes I miss lunch, or don’t dinner until 9, 10 pm. While trying to juggle a job, school and a personal life, sometimes the last thing on my mind is how big my meal is, but how soon until it’s devoured into my stomach. Eating smaller portions regularly is one of my biggest goals of the year, and one I have already begun to work on.

2.) Skipping meals can help you lose weight – As I stated above, I have a very inconsistent eating schedule, and it hasn’t been apparent until the past year or so that I realized the importance in eating breakfast every single morning. It’s very easy to skip lunch and think it’s OK to pick up those extra calories come dinner time, when in reality, you’re just making it harder on your body and your metabolism.

3.) You need 38g. of fiber/day – Um, ok..? According to this article, 38g. is near impossible, and I’ll take their word for it. In fact, to eat a completely balanced diet day-in & day-out seems like the ultimate challenge for a human, so I’ll take the advice of “eating sensibly” and “avoiding processed foods” as enough to take care of my digestive system.

What a good, healthy diet truly comes down to is being sensible. Sure, you can eat that overloaded Mexican burrito gooping in cheese and steak, but you know you’re going to pay for that down the road, in some fashion. To be more healthy requires more self-discipline and self-awareness as to what you put in your body, not counting every stinking calorie or worrying if you got enough Vitamin D for the day. Stay smart and start paying attention more, and soon enough, your body will thank you.

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Posted in Helpful Tips, Zach


How I Lost 20 Pounds

11 Jan

On January 1,  2010  I logged into Youtube as I sipped a tall glass of egg nog and saw a video called The Belly Fat Cure under the “recommended for you” heading.  “Well Happy New Years to you too Youtube,” I thought semi-bitterly.

But since I had heard of Jorge before (he was single handedly responsible for my consumption of flaxseed oil) I thought I would give it a shot.  He started talking about how sugars are hidden in places where you would least expect them like fruit, milk, and yogurt even if those food are thought to be healthy.  It just so happens that because they have sugar in them, they add significant belly fat to your body which in turn can cause multiple diseases.

Most people to whom I’ve mentioned this diet adamantly refuse to give up their fruit and milk.  They say that they don’t care what some “expert” says and I can practically see a thought bubble with the USDA food pyramid floating out of their heads.  But here’s the thing….I lost 20 pounds on this diet! Ten of those pounds were in the first month alone!  I didn’t change my exercise routine at all during this time, I just strictly followed the 15 grams of sugar and 120 grams of carbohydrates or less per day.
Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Ashley, Helpful Tips, Shameless Plugs


Chicago Style Pizza Makeover

10 Jan

Last week I was watching a health segment on the news and they were talking about Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza.  Yum, right?  Did you know that some of these pizzas can cost you (on average) 380 calories a slice?  That seems like a bit too much, especially since I have to eat at least 2 pieces!  I found a pretty tempting recipe for a deep dish swap that saves on the calories.  Looks pretty delicious to me!

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Posted in Cheryl, Fun with Food, Helpful Tips


Famous Nappers

04 Jan

Last week I told you about Tired but Wired, a book which presents targeted strategies for dealing with sleep related issues.  One suggestion the book gives is taking a short nap in the middle of the day.  When I think of a nap, I tend to picture crawling into bed in my PJ’s, setting an alarm, and falling asleep.  But that’s not really even necessary.  The most important part is giving your body and mind a change to relax and recharge.  You just have to close your eyes, focus on breathing deeply, and let the tension in your body go.  Whether you have five minutes or fifteen you will be amazed at how much more peaceful and focused you feel afterwards.  Seriously.

Famous Nappers
Taken from

  • Winston Churchill – said he needed his afternoon nap to cope with his responsibilities.
  • Thomas Edison attributed his tremendous amount of energy to sleeping whenever he wanted to.
  • John D. Rockefeller took a nap every afternoon in his office.
  • Eleanor Roosevelt was known to take a nap before a speaking engagement.
  • William J. Clinton retired to his private quarters every afternoon at 3:00 for a 30-minute nap.
  • Connie Macktook a nap before every game.
  • Gene Autry used to take an hour nap in his dressing room between performances.
  • Ronald Reagan has the ultimate napping reputation even though his wife denies that he had a napping habit.
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Posted in Ashley, Helpful Tips


Foods to Fight Stress

03 Jan

I was going through my emails after the long weekend and I spotted one that revealed the 7 best stress fighting foods.   I was about to delete the email, thinking it was going to be full with weird healthy foods, but after being distracted for a while and forgetting it was there, I decided to take a gander.

I was really surprised when I started reading the email because it wasn’t filled with crazy health foods.  Instead it was suggesting Starbucks and Peanut M&Ms.  After reading the entire email I almost wished I was stressed more often to have the excuse to eat more chocolate (because stressed is desserts spelled backwards).

You can read the entire article from Men’s Health here, but I listed the 7 step short version (made into a story) for those who are too stressed to click another link.

  1. Let’s say you are stuck in traffic or in a highly annoying situation that you cannot control.  For this type of scenario, it is suggested that a skim-milk chai latte and half a bagel with cream cheese will provide some energy and make you less cranky.
  2. Now that you have made it to work after the long hour wait in traffic, you need to prepare for your BIG presentation to your boss.  Feeling a little nervous?  Having the glass of milk will help calm your body, so you can proceed like a pro!
  3. After your awesome presentation, your boss invites you to lunch.  Palms sweating, you flip though the menu trying to decide on what to eat.  It is suggested that eating a salad with chicken or fish will actually help feel better and less nervous. Read the rest of this entry »
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Posted in Cheryl, Helpful Tips



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.


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



08 Dec

In a time when more and more natural milk alternatives are springing up in grocery stores and milk consumption is down nearly 50’s from 60 years ago, this couldn’t be a better time to rediscover your love for milk! There has been much controversy as of late regarding the (lack of) health benefits in milk; such as a link between high dairy consumption and prostate cancer in males, and an increase in Crohn’s disease. Throw in worries over hormones and pasteurization, and you’re bound to cause anyone with food fears or OCD to steer clear of milk.

The good news is we have new research to trump these old wives tales of milk and to actually encourage an increase in milk, and whole milk, at that! I encourage everyone to take a look at this article, and ponder your daily milk intake and question if that is sufficient enough for you. It’s even been proven that chocolate milk is one of the best sources for muscle recovery.

You can even listen to one of my favorite bands, Neutral Milk Hotel, while enjoying a frothy, fresh glass of 2% (cow’s) milk!

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Posted in Helpful Tips, Shameless Plugs, Tunes, Zach