I LOVE FOOD!

Hi my name is Christie and I love food! And I love to eat out. This can wreak havoc on my health and fitness if I let it, but I usually keep it in check. And since I have been eating healthy for years now, healthy food does taste so much better than the stuff that is really bad for me. And I like the way healthy foods make me feel as well. So when I do go out, I choose salads with leafy greens and lots of veggies and lean protein with dressing on the side. (Like my sashimi salad yesterday – healthy and filling. And by the way salad dressings are loaded with fat and calories so use them sparingly. It’s not worth it!). I also like to choose from the light meals or small plates sections and make sure what I am getting really is light and healthy. Like lean proteins and fresh seasonal veggies. Last night I had Turkey Chili from one of my favorite restaurants and it was so delicious and filling! And I was surprised because the portion size was not huge (like most restaurants). Plus, it was loaded with ground turkey, legumes and veggies. Okay so I have to admit that I was coveting the cheesecake ordered by the guy at the next table. It was candy topped! But I also know that I could probably only eat 2 to 3 bites before I started feeling the effects of the fat and sugar.

Do you love food? Do you love eating out? If so, I may be able to help you make better choices or provide you with a 1 week healthy meal plan.

How To Stay Fit While Traveling (credit to: Team Beachbody Newsletter)

When you travel, do you leave your healthy habits at home? On business trips, it’s easy to overdo it with carb-fest lunches and expense account dinners, sedentary meetings, and late nights at the hotel bar. (It’s networking, right?) And pleasure trips are all about cutting loose, living it up. But do you really want to return home feeling worse than when you left?

A far more satisfying way to travel is to stay active, and fuel your body and mind with all the things that keep it running at its best. Try just a few changes in your travel habits and you’ll be sharper and more effective on business trips, and more alert, comfortable, and energetic on vacation.

1. Bring fitness DVDs for your laptop.

If you’re on the road for business, then you’re probably carrying your laptop. Throw a fitness DVD or two into the computer bag, and pop one in first thing each morning. Do a quick workout early, and notice how much easier it is to resist the temptations of the breakfast buffet.

However, if you’re on vacation, skip the computer. Aren’t you trying to get away from it all? Leave the laptop and all that seated screen time back at home. Your eyes, back, and wrists need a holiday too.

2. Explore the local area on foot.

If you really want to get a feel for an area, the best way to see it is by walking. (Unless you’re in Los Angeles. Nobody walks in LA.) If you’re on a business trip, try to schedule it so that you can walk to at least some of your meetings.

Skip the cab unless you’re late, it’s raining like crazy, or your destination is more than a mile or two away. And steer clear of tour buses, unless there is really no other way to visit a particular sight.

Also, avoid the hotel dining room in the morning. Instead, walk to a nearby breakfast place. You’ll probably get a more satisfying meal at half the cost. You’ll also see some street life on the way—businesses opening their doors, sidewalks getting swept, locals waiting for the bus or hurrying to work.

3. Use the hotel gym.

Some people thrive on routine. If you have a regular gym schedule that’s working for you, then continue it while you’re away. Keep your healthy habit going, and it won’t be a struggle to get back to it when you return home. Most hotels have some sort of gym or exercise facility. Even if it’s just a basement room with a couple of stationary bikes—use it!

At the other extreme, you may find that your hotel has a big, glamorous gym with machines you’ve never used before. It’s like being a kid at a new playground! Schedule a session with a personal trainer to learn how to use the stuff, and experience your workout as a novelty, a pleasure. The hotel might also have a great sauna or steam room, and maybe they offer spa services that are new to you. Bodywork is definitely a part of keeping fit and healthy. Schedule a Thai massage, or some other kind of therapy that sounds interesting.

Travel is about experiencing the new and the novel. Apply this attitude to your exercise routine as well, and you’ll find that even your same old workout in a new setting can be a treat.

4. Take the stairs.

This one’s easy. Never, ever take the elevator, unless you’re schlepping luggage. No excuses. It doesn’t matter how many flights up your room is. In fact, book a high floor. Better views from the room, and more calories burned to get there!

5. Discover local fitness activities.

Whatever your destination, there’s probably some kind of sport or physical activity that’s popular in the area. Go skiing, hiking, bouldering, or climbing if you’re in the mountains. At the beach, take a surfing lesson, or boogie board, or at least get off your beach blanket and actually swim in the ocean. Those are the obvious ones, but think of others. Near a river or lake? Spend an afternoon canoeing, sailing, or rafting.

In urban parks, there are inevitably pickup games of soccer, ultimate frisbee, and basketball. Big cities are also rife with climbing gyms, martial arts dojos, a million yoga emporiums, and even dance studios. Think how much more fun your museum day would be if you capped it off with a salsa lesson!

6. Rent a bike.

Most major European cities—and an increasing number of American ones—have “smart bike” arrangements, with checkout stations all over town that allow users to pick up a bicycle in one location and drop it off in another. These are great for urban commuters, but are also ideal for tourists, since the services tend to be located in the busiest core of cities. Get around town on a bike and you’re sure to see more of it.

Beaches and other tourist destinations almost always have rental services that allow you to take out a bike by the hour or by the day. Have you been curious to try a recumbent bicycle, or a bicycle built for two? Rent one! Take it for a spin up and down the boardwalk and see what you think.

If you’re traveling by car, load up the bike rack and vow to leave the car parked once you arrive. In crowded resort towns, you’ll be pleased as punch as you pedal past cranky tourists stuck in high-season traffic.

7. Keep one habit, no matter what.

Vacations are notorious for undoing months of virtuous diet and exercise. This may have a little something to do with a steady holiday diet of fried appetizer platters and piña coladas. However, what really derails a healthy fitness routine is an interruption to it.

But it’s a vacation! It’s time for a break! True enough, but consider keeping just one healthy habit while you’re away, to keep your momentum going. For example, go to bed at your normal time (if you’re happy with that habit), or wake up at your normal time. If you have a yoga or meditation practice, continue doing even a very abbreviated version of it. Say, one Sun Salute without fail when you first get out of bed. Or, if you’re used to a specific, healthy breakfast, keep eating it every day. Make a promise to keep one good thing going, and then follow through on that commitment. This will create a powerful sense of control and continuity that will make it easier to get back on the health and fitness wagon when you return home.

8. Have a day of gluttony.

Early in your trip, pick one day to totally overindulge. Eat like a starving hound. Drink like a lush. Stay up too late. Make an ass of yourself. Seriously. You have been dreaming about this holiday for months. You are livin’ la vida loca!

When you wake up the next morning, notice how you feel. Don’t gulp down your usual hangover remedies, whatever they may be, and don’t have a big guilt trip. Simply notice what is going on with your body. Let yourself feel it. Your head is pounding, right? Your stomach feels sour. You have no energy. Everything feels awful. You want to go back to bed. Ask yourself, do I want to feel like this every morning of my vacation? Do I really have that kind of time to spare?

Later in the day when you’re thinking of having a fourth mai tai or a second dessert, bring your mind back to what it was like when you woke up. No judgment, no worries. Just remember how you physically felt. Then make a conscious decision about whether or not you want to feel that way again tomorrow morning. If you do this on day one or two, maybe the lesson will sink in.

9. Downshift.

The American lifestyle is so fast-paced, frenetic, and stressful that it can be hard to downshift into vacation mode. That go-go-go attitude can cause you to miss what’s right in front of you.

Are you back for a third helping at the all-you-can-eat buffet on the pool deck, and you can’t specifically recall what was on your first or second plate? Relax. There’s more than enough food for everyone, and no rush for you to finish eating. Remember, you’re on vacation. Slow down and enjoy whatever you’re eating, whether it’s “healthy” or not. Relish it. If you focus on and savor your food, you won’t eat as much. That’s not the reason to slow down, though. Go slow so that you can truly enjoy every single, delicious bite.

10. Make your vacation an adventure.

Do you really just want to sit on the beach for a week and drink? (Wait. Don’t answer that.) The best way to stay fit when you’re on vacation is to get out and do stuff. Tips number one through nine will help you shoehorn a little bit of wellness into any business or pleasure trip. But this last tip is the biggie, and doing this one means you won’t need to bother with the others.

If you have been taking good care of yourself—working out, eating right, getting enough sleep—then you have been in training for real-life adventures. Reward yourself on your next holiday. Pick a fun, physically active adventure, and build a trip around it.

Cycle from Saigon to Angkor Wat, or through New England. Dive or snorkel in the blue waters of the Caribbean, or the Pacific, or the Indian Ocean. Refine your yoga practice at an ashram in India, or Costa Rica, or upstate New York. Go climbing in the Swiss Alps, or Utah, or Kentucky. Take a rafting trip down the Colorado River—or through the French countryside, where you’ll float past vineyards and villages.

Are these just pipe dreams that are too expensive or complicated to be considered? Think again. If you can afford a family vacation to Disney World, or a Caribbean cruise, or a high-season week at any seaside resort, then you can afford something better. You can do something much more memorable, interesting, and active. Before you go on autopilot and book the usual beach holiday, think for a minute.

What’s your dream? Do you want to charter a sailboat in the Mediterranean, or on the Chesapeake Bay? Have you always talked about wanting to cross-country ski in Vermont? Then do it. Go! Why else have you been clocking all those hours in the gym? You have the strength and the energy—and if you don’t, you know how to train for it.

Do some Internet research, and book a trip that excites you and makes you a little nervous. These are the eyes wide open, active experiences that you will remember for the rest of your life. As an added bonus (not that you need one), you’ll return from an adventure vacation looking and feeling exhilarated, recharged, inspired, and even more fit and fabulous than when you left home.

Can six days of all-you-can-eat seafood buffets and beach lounging do all that? Hardly.

9 Roadblocks to a Happier Life and to Get Around Them

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  1. Wishing instead of Dreaming and Planning. A dream without a plan is called a wish. We all have dreams, right?  It doesn’t matter if you want to be a Princess or you want to marry a rock star, dreams are magical. And I get that sometimes we just don’t care about how we will get there, we just want to dream big! But, seriously, if you’re not planning how you’re going to get there, what’s the point? Start with Itty bitty baby. Start with telling people about your dream. Yep!  Announce it to 3 people you care about who you know do not want to see you fail – heck announce it to the world and then take some action, create traction, gain momentum and in no time you will have to courage and confidence to make those big dreams happen
  2. Pretending like everything is just fine or you’re “over it” when you really just need to a good cry of tantrum.  We all like to learn, grow and evolve. We read, A New Earth and quote Maya Angelou. We do yoga and meditate, look up and post inspirational quotes on Pinterest.  But, sometimes we just need to get real and get angry and get it out of our systems with a good cry!  Give yourself permission to forget your age and how you are expected to behave and let it all out!  We have to give ourselves permission for a time out and permission to not be the “upbeat inspiration one” and just be human with very human emotions and feelings.
  3. Holding onto friendships that aren’t serving you anymore. There are several reasons you may be holding on to this “friendship”.  You could be friends from waaaay back just feel bad leaving that person behind, or this person saw you through a really tough time and you “owe” it to them to stick around.   Well, you are no longer in the schoolyard playing jax or Ms. Mary Mack anymore and do you still wear your old acid wash jeans from the 80’s?  Nah, I didn’t think so.  If this person is sucking the life out of you or throwing rocks in your bucket, why are you holding onto the friendship?  Oh, and you don’t “owe” anything to the person who was there for you. As long as you thanked the person for being a good friend, and were a good friend in return you’ve done your part.. But if it’s all gone downhill since then and the friendship is no longer thriving, but rather, rotting and festering, why hold on to it?
  4. Staying in victimhood. It’s okay to have a Pity Party For One!  But if you have a positive outlook and a healthy mindset it’s best to move on and quickly. If you are convinced that life happens to you then you might not be taking any responsibility for YOUR OWN LIFE. Myself, I went through a crappy marriage and an even worse divorce. But I realized that I was 100% responsible for making those decisions in the first place.  As soon as I realized that my marriage was dragging both of us down and we kept fighting about the same things with no resolution and no plan of action in sight, I stopped being a victim and got made a choice to leave.  You also might like to know that being friends with the constant victim is no fun either.  You want to be a friend, but do not let the “constant victim” bring you down with them.
  5. Believing the negative voices in your head. If you live your life in a place where that negative voice in your head is making your decisions, keeping you in an unhealthy place, stopping you from doing what you love, then you are making your life suck. The end. (P.S. Can I recommend a plan of action?)
  6. Holding onto resentments, bitterness or hate. Need I explain? This does nothing but hurt you!  And if you’re okay with that, fine, but trust me when I tell you the price you’re paying for it isn’t worth what you think it’s doing. Resentment, bitterness and hate will fester inside you and make you an angry, ugly person.  Yes, it can affect your appearance and your health.  But it is doing nothing to the person or situation you are holding a grudge against!  Move on!  Fake it til you make it if you have to but MOVE ON!  (Again, I can suggest a plan and some books to help you out.)
  7. Making the same bad decisions again and again. There are very, very few things we can control in life. We can control whom we date and/or marry, whom we spend time with, what we jobs we choose and some other more minor things. If you constantly find yourself saying “I am a bum magnet” or “FML” or “this job sucks”, you chose that guy, that job and sometimes that situation.  You need to step back and reexamine.  Get some help.  This goes for friends as well.  Don’t choose the troublemaker and then blame it all on them when the shit hits the fan.  You chose the friendship and you chose to go along for the ride.   Now stop!
  8. Being a Doormat – If this is you, then you are letting people treat you like crap (pardon my language).  If you think someone is treating you badly then, they probably are. If your friends and family are telling you that person is treating you badly, they’re probably right. If this person makes you feel bad about yourself or you just don’t feel good when you are with this person, Come on!  They are treating you like crap and you know it!  Trust your gut and get out.  (If it’s complicated, make a plan.  But get of this relationship).  Oh and don’t even think about making excuses for staying.  
  9. Not reaching out for support when you need it.  Everyone has someone they can turn to.  And we’re not talking Ben and Jerry and Captain Morgan (or whatever your adult beverage of choice may be).   As long as you aren’t the constant Debbie Downer or Negative Nellie, you do have a friend or relative who is there for you.  To listen.  And sometimes for advice.  Yes, people are busy but we all know who our real friends are and we all know who loves us. We are humans.  We are social creatures by nature. Everyone needs a support group or a partner.  Find that person and decide that you will be there for them when they really need your ear and they will do the same.  And be sure to commit.  Sometimes as an outside looking in, other people’s lives look so amazingly perfect, but that’s not always the case.  

Challenge Alert! Get Fit and Flexible!

Want a Chance to Win PiYo?  Join my July Challenge Group to get fit (and bring a friend or 2 for more chances to win!) Just fill out the info below and I’ll send you the details!

 

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Staying Positive In A Negative World

 

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You know the saying “Misery loves company”?  It’s true.  And negativity breeds negativity.  So beware and stay away.  If you want to keep a positive outlook make sure you choose your friends and/or your company wisely.  

 

Having a bad day?  Seek out the company of friends or family members who will lift you up and cheer you up.  And DON’T be reach out in negativity.  You will either drive them away or bring them down.

 

Birds of a feather flock together and you want to be the songbird not the mopey dopey sad chicken, right?  

 

If you can’t help but be around someone negative (be it at your job, school, where ever) try throwing in some cheerful suggestions to nip negativity in the bud.  I once shared a workspace with a woman who I really liked but who also was very negative and loved to complain all day every day.  Fed up, I finally started saying things to try to turn the conversations around on a more positive note and when that didn’t work, I had to just have a talk with her about how I really needed her to take her negative talk somewhere else because it really wasn’t doing either of us any good.  She may have been a little put off, but I had much better days after that conversation.  

 

You could also try listening to upbeat music that makes you happy.  Take a walk on your lunch break and listen to the birds singing or children laughing.  Watch a funny video (there are plenty of funny cat or dog videos to keep me entertained for hours!)  

One of the most important things I do to put myself in a positive mood is I start my day (and end my day) with positive thoughts and a sense of gratitude.  I acknowledge all of the wonderful things and people in my life that I have been blessed with and I give thanks.  Oh… and don’t forget to work out.  Because exercise really does make you happy!

Finding Your “WHY”

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“I need to workout but can’t find the time…”

“I can’t seem to stay (or get) motivated”

“It is too hard to eat right…”

“I workout for a day or two, I don’t see results, so I stop…”

Are any of these you? If you are looking for answers on fixing the above I am going to turn this back to you and ask a very important question:  What is your why?

The KEY to your Success

It is impossible to stay committed and determined to do ANYTHING unless you know your “WHY”.  The “why” is the REAL reason, the DRIVING reason that you WANT to change, workout, get healthy, or whatever it is that you truly want to do.

You can’t change for someone else and you can’t change for insignificant reasons. You can ONLY change if your WHY becomes important and visible.

How do you find your why?

Take some time and put a lot of thought into this: WHAT is your WHY?

Flip through magazines and see what appeals to you and consider making a vision board which can help reveal some deep desires and why’s to you. You need a clear vision of how you will look when you achieve your goal and how you will FEEL!  Do some soul searching and get serious in your thinking here. 

Is it for health?

To feel GREAT daily?

For more energy?

To be around and active for your children?

There is no wrong “why”, it just needs to have meaning and be personal to YOU!

Along those lines, you can’t take somebody else’s why and make it yours.  Doesn’t matter that your family, doctor, friends, etc., think something should be important to you.  YOU have to make it important to YOU!

Once you get to the route of what your “why” is, it CHANGES and DRIVES you.  All of a sudden solutions will start presenting themselves to your problems.  The hurdles become crystal clear and you start to take action and make things happen.  All because you found out what dives you, you found your why.

Discovering your WHY is the most important step to changing as it gets your mind right.  It is a critical first step that I include in my programs because once you find your “why” and your mind is focused, you cannot be stopped!

When your mind is active and focused on positive things, you WILL get positive results the exact same way an unsure and unfocused mind gets poor results.

If you are ready to make a change and find the answer to whatever your dilemma may be (no time, lack of motivation, etc.),  FIND YOUR WHY …and the answer will come to you.

 

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The Super Seven: Seven Foods To Blast Your Metabolism.

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Here’s a little nutrition nugget to start your week with. Eat these 7 food to rev up your metabolism. First of all, your metabolism is how your body processes energy. If you have a slow metabolism, you are more prone to store energy as fat. Incorporating these 7 foods into your daily diet will aid in burning fat, increasing your metabolic rate and suppressing your appetite.

1. Chili Peppers (and other spicy foods): Chilis contain the compound Capsaicin. Capsaicin acts as a thermogenic, meaning that it causes your metabolic rate to increase and in turn, you burn more fat.

2. Yogurt (I prefer Greek style yogurt for its rich, creamy consistency): Yogurt contains probiotics (you’ll also find probiotics in foods like Kombucha and Tempeh). Probiotics are actually good strains of bacteria that work in your gut to improve digestion and help you process your food more efficiently.

3. Grapefruit: Numerous studies have shown that a little grapefruit or grapefruit juice before meals can lead to increased weight loss in a healthy calorie conscious diet. It is also rich in antioxidants, vitamin C and vitamin A.

4. Coffee, Tea and Caffeine: Like capsaicin, caffeine is proven to have thermogenic properties which means it helps you burn calories. The key is to try to keep your cup of coffee or tea free from all of the sugar, fat and other “junk” we tend to dump into it.

5. Raspberries: Recent studies have shown that the ketones in raspberries help to burn fat, particularly liver fat. And raspberries are a great source of Vitamin C and fiber.

6. Eggs: Eggs for breakfast is an excellent choice because eggs are protein rich, they won’t flood your body with glucose first thing in the morning. Studies show that moderate intake of eggs (about 2 per day) won’t have a negative impact on cholesterol. In fact, some studies have shown that they might even improve it. I usually like my scramble or omelet with one whole egg and one egg white.

7. Water: We all should know that we must drink lots and lots of water. Water has numerous benefits – it flushes toxins and helps to regulate your body temperature (among many others). It also helps to promote satiety so if you drink it before a meal you are likely to eat less. A good way to determine how much water you should drink, take your weight, divide it by 2 and the resulting number is how many ounces of water you need to drink each day. Be sure to adjust it by adding 8 – 12 ounces for every hour of strenuous exercise you are doing each day. So, for example, I weigh 120 lbs. 120 divided by 2 = 60. So I should be drinking at least 60 ounces of water per day. (I drink 60 – 80 depending on my workout).

Has this information been helpful to you? Will you be incorporating any of these foods into your diet?