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Health and Fitness information to improve your quality of life


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Weekend Workout And Green Smoothie

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Running, Stress Relief, And Gratitude

This week has been stressful due to dealing with some family issues and my mom’s poor health.  I’ve always been a worrier and the increased stress lately has been exhausting and affected my workouts, meals, and sleep.

I’m currently training for a half marathon and was scheduled to run 7 to 8 miles for my long run this weekend.  I tried to prepare myself for my morning run by indulging in healthy carbs and drinking fluids the night before but it didn’t help matters that I tossed and turned most of the night. I woke up several times during the night and finally got up at 5 am to prepare for my run.

My pre-run meal consisted of organic oats topped with walnuts and an expresso.I still felt exhausted after the caffeine, but interestingly enough was still looking forward to my run.  I still began to doubt my ability to complete my planned mileage but was meeting friends so decided to do what I could do.

I met my running buddies who both had issues with sleep too. This seems to be fairly common in runners .  I suspect it has something to do with the anticipation of getting up before the break of dawn combined with running for the sake of “fun.” Nevertheless, we all looked at the bright side and noticed that at least there was less humidity and it was in the low 70’s

 

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The first couple of miles were grueling and went by extremely slow. My legs felt like bricks. I decided to drink some water and refuel with carbs half-way through my run.

I ate half a package of sports beans I recently purchased to see if that would help.

What are sports beans?

Sport Beans   are energizing Jelly Beans that are formulated to help fuel the body during intense exercise. Clinically proven to maximize sports performance, each bean is loaded with carbs for fuel, electrolytes to help maintain fluid balance and vitamins to optimize energy release and protect cells against oxidative damage”
I hadn’t tried sports beans in a couple of years but discovered them again while buying groceries last week. I had given them a try in the past but they made me sick. I began to experiment with other snacks but never found anything special.
I researched the sports beans later and discovered it’s important to drink plenty of water with them to avoid stomach issues. I definitely didn’t do that when I tried them.
The directions on the package of sports beans said to take the entire package thirty minutes before your workout.  I decided to refuel at mile four with half the package and made sure to drink plenty of water with them.  I definitely noticed an extra boost of energy and my legs felt lighter about 15 to 20 minutes later.
I was able to increase my pace and finished with a strong final push the last mile.  I love the quote “when your legs get tired run with your heart.”  I often do that the last few miles but it makes the finish that much sweeter.
The endorphins provided a good rush and reinforced my reason for running.  Running is such a great outlet for me. It helps to clear my mind and gives me a chance to enjoy and appreciate nature .
Running at the break of dawn and  watching the sunrise always fills me with gratitude.  It truly makes me realize what a gift our health is and how lucky I am to be able to exercise.

 

I always finish my run with a better perspective and realize that no matter what’s going on in my life right now, it could be a lot worse.  I am truly blessed to have a loving family, home, food to eat, and live in the USA “HOME OF THE FREE”


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BodyBalance- Tai Chi, Yoga, and Pilates

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Love teaching Les Mills Body Balance classes.  They provide us with the most up to date education in the industry; as well as choreography and music.

 

 

Here is a teaser for the general class design:

Their ab tracks are amazing and one of the reasons at age 57, I keep a strong core and good abs.

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Check with your local gym and see if they offer Les Mills classes. They have something for everyone- Weight training, kickbox, cardio conditioning and more.


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Define The Muscle, Burn The Fat

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6 mile run this weekend felt good!  The humidity was intense even at 6 am but I pushed through and got out of my comfort zone.  My legs were tired and I was definitely “running with my heart.”  My runs around 6 miles or more are great fat burning workouts for me.  I really can see more muscle definition when I combine longer runs and weight training.

I finished my run with lots of water to replenish fluids and a post run snack. IMG_20170709_150908This smoothie with avocado, spinach, and pear was delicious. I definitely moved out of my comfort zone during my run and this was a well deserved treat

After recovery, I followed up my cardio with some triceps and chest work. I did 4 sets of tricep pressdowns alternating with bosu ball close grip push ups to burn out my triceps.  triceppressdown

 


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Six Pack ABS -Try My Intense AB Circuit

Ready for an intense workout that will get your heart pumping and  will help you create lean, defined abs?

It’s the weekend, don’t let it destroy your progress and hard work you put in during the week 🙂  It’s ok to plan one cheat meal but offset it with a little more activity and clean eating the rest of the day.

The abdominal muscles can be the hardest to uncover and define as it is one of the areas many people store fat.  To see definition in the abs requires a clean diet and a workout plan that includes cardio, weight training and core work.  Check out my ab circuit that will help get you started.  20170613_075037

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Ultimate Fat Burning Juice

Been experimenting with different juices to help get my daily intake of fruits and veggies. I been on a grapefruit kick lately and had never really thought about juicing grapefruit.  However, came up with this concoction that I absolutely love.

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It contains 4 of these ultimate FAT BURNING FOODS!

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I made sure to get just the fruit sections of the grapefruit and peeled away all of the white fleshy part of the fruit.  Here is the recipe:

1 Medium size RUBY RED grapefruit

1 cup of organic spinach

4-5 large organic dark cherries

1/2 cup of fresh pineapple

1 tbsp organic chia seeds

filtered water

ice

Blend ingredients and enjoy!!  Delicious. Let me know how you like 🙂

 


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New Food Plan To Shake Things Up

I’m ready for a change and recently tried the Whole 30 program a couple of months ago. Although I eat pretty clean,  I occasionally grab protein bars that list way too many ingredients on the packaging and I also tend to consume way too much peanut butter. Check out this article from Anytime Fitness on protein bars.

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I realized while on the program, I had a lot more energy and slept better. I definitely felt leaner within the first week.

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The Whole 30 way of eating was quite a challenge for me in the beginning. I had difficulty feeling satisfied with my meals and felt constantly hungry on my more active days.  I realize I need to drink more water this go round and keep a journal to jot down my more filling meals.

Here is to new beginnings; Monday is the start to a new week. So I’m excited to give  Whole 30 another try.  I plan to eliminate meat for the first 1-2 weeks and will do an organic protein powder for my shakes.  The key is to find what works with your schedule and foods you actually look forward to and enjoy.

I love protein bars as a quick, filling meal in the morning, therefore, I plan to make use of the Lara Bars that are compliant with the Whole 30 Plan

Even with that caveat, not all Larabars are Whole30 compliant. Here is a handy list of Whole30 Approved Larabars for you! Enjoy, friends!

Whole30 Approved Larabars

Approved Lara Bars

 

 

Here are the rules:

 

WHOLE 30 RULES:

Yes: Eat real food.

Eat moderate portions of meat, seafood, and eggs; lots of vegetables; some fruit; plenty of natural fats; and herbs, spices, and seasonings. Eat foods with very few ingredients, all pronounceable ingredients, or better yet, no ingredients listed at all because they’re whole and unprocessed.

No: Avoid for 30 days.

  • Do not consume added sugar, real or artificial. No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, coconut sugar, date syrup, stevia, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, etc. Read your labels, because companies sneak sugar into products in ways you might not recognize.
  • Do not consume alcohol, in any form, not even for cooking. (And ideally, no tobacco products of any sort, either.)
  • Do not eat grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, sprouted grains, and all gluten-free pseudo-cereals like quinoa, amaranth, and buckwheat. This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn, and rice into our foods in the form of bran, germ, starch, and so on. Again, read your labels.
  • Do not eat legumes. This includes beans of all kinds (black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava, etc.), peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts. No peanut butter, either. This also includes all forms of soy – soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and all the ways we sneak soy into foods (like lecithin).
  • Do not eat dairy. This includes cow, goat, or sheep’s milk products like milk, cream, cheese, kefir, yogurt, sour cream, ice cream, or frozen yogurt.
  • Do not consume carrageenan, MSG, or sulfites. If these ingredients appear in any form on the label of your processed food or beverage, it’s out for the Whole30.
  • Do not consume baked goods, junk foods, or treats with “approved” ingredients.Recreating or buying sweets, treats, and foods-with-no-brakes (even if the ingredients are technically compliant) is totally missing the point of the Whole30, and will compromise your life-changing results. These are the same foods that got you into health-trouble in the first place—and a pancake is still a pancake, even if it’s made with coconut flour.

Some specific foods that fall under this rule include: pancakes, waffles, bread, tortillas, biscuits, muffins, cupcakes, cookies, brownies, pizza crust, cereal, or ice cream. No commercially-prepared chips (potato, tortilla, plantain, etc.) or French fries either. However, this list is not limited strictly to these items—there may be other foods that you find are not psychologically healthy for your Whole30. Use your best judgment with those foods that aren’t on this list, but that you suspect are not helping you change your habits or break those cravings. Our mantra: When in doubt, leave it out. It’s only 30 days.

One last and final rule:

  • Do not step on the scale or take any body measurements for 30 days. The Whole30 is about so much more than weight loss, and to focus only on body composition means you’ll overlook all of the other dramatic, lifelong benefits this plan has to offer. So, no weighing yourself, analyzing body fat, or taking comparative measurements during your Whole30. (We do encourage you to weigh yourself before and after, so you can see one of the more tangible results of your efforts when your program is over.)