Monday, April 9, 2012

Live a Little

So as part of my mental health fitness, I have been trying to read more.  I just finished up, "Live a Little" by Ali Domar.  Now, I've seen Ali speak two times in public and she's just fantastic.  A big proponent for Women's healthy and happiness. 

After seeing her speak the second time, I finally ordered her books - this one came first, so this was the first one I read.  And it's fantastic.

Basically the whole premise of the book is to not stress out about trying to be perfectly fit and healthy.  Imagine fitness and health as a U shaped the upper left hand side is the most unhealthy or unfit and at the upper right hand side is those super fit and healthy people we all (secretly hate) strive to be.  The authors suggest you try to be in the middles of the U - aka, be somewhat healthy and not stress out about being healthy.  I like it.

My other favorite parts of the book are where they take the time to research some of the "better known" healthy advice we get to see where the studies come from.  For example, the 5-7 servings of fruit and vegetables per day - NEVER scientifically proven that makes you more healthy.  What they found was people who state they eat more produce tend to be healthier, but the number wasn't scientifically measured. 

My other favorite was the getting 8 hours a night of sleep.  Again, the tests they use to come up with this recommendation...not really good enough to base that recommendation on.  Also, the fitness chapter had two sides since the authors disagreed, but it was still really interesting.  Made me realize I might be fitter than I think. 

Pretty interesting.  It's quite a good read...If you have any health tips you stress out about, it's really good because it kind of gives you the real science behind it and gives you a reason to not stress.  It was a quick read, so I'd highly recommend it.

Until next time,

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Portion control

When was the last time you took the time to actually measure out some portions?  I've been really trying to do this lately and I find myself pleasantly surprised at how small some portions of things are.  On my healthy eating/being fitter quest, I've kind of gone off the rule that I can eat as many veggies as I want and really balance the other things.  I've cut out a ton of processed foods (yay) and I'm working on reducing my sugar and salt intakes (hard work for sure!), but I was pleasantly surprised to see that I still wasn't losing weight. 

So I started counting calories again (see previous post about tech gadgets) and to do it accurately, I've started measuring portions.  My whole wheat chex this AM - 3/4 cup is a serving, with a 1/2 cup skim milk.  It fills less than half the bowl.  Quite different from what I would have poured myself, that's for sure.  But it was pleasantly satisfying.  I also added in some bananas as a filler (gotta get in those fruits and veggies remember!)

I was checking out one of my favorite new shows - Drop 5 Pounds on Cooking Channel. They had some really great visuals for figuring out portions.  Serving of meat - think the size of a smart phone.  I use that all the time since I don't have a food scale.  Serving of chocolate - size of two dice. LOVE IT!  I've also gotten some great recipes from that show...but I'll leave that for another day.

So, circling back around, my point here is...measure out some portions.  Take the time to read the nutrition label.  You'll probably be just as surprised as I was!

Until next time,

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Gadgets for the on the go fitness

I've recently started re-using the app on my smart phone - MyFitnessPal.  It's also a website if you don't have or want apps.  It's really nice because I input my weight, my goal, my timeline, style, etc. and it gives me the daily caloric intake to meet my goals.  Then I can really easily track all of my food intake - I can do a search or if I have a package handy, easily scan the bar code.  Works really well.  You also track your water and cardio as well to get a net calorie goal.  Pretty sweet and simple.

I've got my eye on this cool product - This pedometer/fitness tracker is right up my alley.  You get credits for working out that you can donate to charity to buy water or vaccines for other countries or you can save rain forests.  It also has some cool games on it you get credits for by exercising/activities.  I think I'll ask for it for my birthday. :)

I also have to say I am really using my iPod more lately.  Put on a nice, fast mix of music and head out for a walk or run.  It really helps keep the pace up and makes for good goals - I'll run until this song is over verses stopping now. :)

Until next time!