Lets expand a little on the last post about healthy eating. For starters, lets assume that we should be eating 5 meals per day evenly spaced throughout the day. Now given that, lets explore the composition of the meals:
Vegetables: Eat lots of vegetables for at least 4 of the meals. Lots of variety and color at each meal. Preferably raw and unprocessed.
Carbohydrates: Eat 1 serving of carbs at 2 or 3 of the meals. Stick to whole grain, look for high dietary fiber content (3g or more per serving). Avoid sugars. Avoid “whites” (flour, bread, rice, etc.). Avoid processed. Be mindful that 1 slice of bread is 1 serving. Watch out for excessive calories!
Proteins: Eat a small serving for at least 4 of the meals. Stick to leaner meats (fish, chicken, buffalo). A serving is 3-4 ounces. Other protein sources can be soy, nuts & seeds (stick to plain, avoid honey roasted), or some dairy (see below)
Fruits: Eat 1 piece of fruit (or handful of berries) at 1 or 2 of the meals. Lots of variety. Preferably raw and unprocessed. Avoid juices, jams, jellies.
Dairy: Eat 1 serving of dairy at 1 or 2 of the meals. Stick to low fat varieties of cheese, yogurt and milk (i.e. 1%). Avoid high fat and high sugar. Watch out for excessive calories!
Other: Avoid dressings & sauces (if you use them you have to count their calories!). Cook in a light spray of extra virgin olive oil or canola oil (avoiding lots of oil or butter, lots of calories!). Avoid sweetened beverages, coffee and tea should be black (unsweetened). Avoid canned, frozen, and/or processed foods.
Eating out: Be careful and pay attention to what you’re eating! Meals at restaurants can be 1600 calories or more, even the “healthy” choices can be around 800.
Water: Drink at least 72 ounces of water each day. Try to space it out evenly and SIP 2 ounces every 15 minutes! Add 1ounce of water for every ounce of caffeinated beverages you drink. Add 2 ounces of water for every 15 minutes of exercise.
Multivitamin: Take a multivitamin in the morning, or preferably a 2 pack, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.
As I sit in the car driving back towards Bethesda, I am surrounded by junk food and I was inspired to write about healthy options you can find or pack for when you are traveling.
Obviously fruits and veggies are great options. Most of the time you have these foods in your house and you might as well pack them so they don’t spoil while you are away. Additionally most of the rest stops and convenience stores have a small selection of fresh food as well.
If you are looking for something a little more substantial nuts and granola/protein bars are good options. I’m personally a big fan of the Cliff Blueberry Crisp bar.
Meals on the go can be tough but I find Subway to be a pretty good option. They have plenty of subs that aren’t loaded with fat and calories. Grilled chicken sandwiches (hold the mayo) are standard at fast food restaurants and are a much better option that a burger.
I have always been interested in tracking my workouts – calories burned, miles run, miles biked, strokes in the pool etc., and have used a variety of products over the years to help with the process. The only part of my life that hasn’t been tracked is everything else. What I mean by this is steps walked per day, meals eaten and sleep.
I try to keep myself very up to date on all the new exercise tracking products and I recently came across a device that is able to track the “everything else”. The Jawbone Up is an electronic bracelet that provides bio feed back on all aspects of your life. It tracks your activity level, your meals and your sleep, then it conveniently feeds the collected data into your smart phone.
I have been wearing mine for the past five days and am loving it. It is a really great way to track every physical aspect of your life and to be in perfect tune with your body so that you can make the necessary changes to your lifestyle to stay healthy and fit.
I highly recommend this product, check out this link for all the details http://www.jawbone.com/up as my quick explanation does do this product justice.
Have fun with this one and please feel free to give me feed back.
I do my very best to keep as much quick, easy, and healthy meals/ingredients stocked in my house. We all know how easy it can be to just order food or pick something up on the way home but if you know that you’ve got some staples waiting for you at home it helps you make the healthy choice!
In my freezer right now I have Boca Burgers, quinoa with roasted vegetables from Trader Joe’s, Alexia Spicy Sweet Potato fries, and a couple Lean Cuisines. Everyone of those items can be made in less than 20 minutes!
Also on of my favorite types of squash is Spaghetti squash. If you bake it in the oven it takes a little bit longer but it can also be done in the microwave in a shorter period of time. The best part about it is that one squash makes easily 2-3 large servings so now you’ve got a couple extra meals on hand! My favorite way to eat it is with just a little bit of tomato sauces and parmigiano cheese.
Happy healthy eating!
- The number one source of protein for vegetarians is undoubtedly chick peas. Registering in at about 16.0 grams of protein per 200 grams of peas these are jam packed with protein and they taste great too.
- Next up has to be kidney beans. These typically come in at about 15.0 grams of protein per 200 grams of beans so they make a great addition to any vegetarian meal.
- Next up is baked beans; these things taste great and have about 12 grams of protein per 200 grams of beans.
- Of course, we can’t forget about beloved tofu. Tofu is high in protein at about 11 grams per 140 grams and is high in a whole array of other essentials like iron and magnesium.
- Let’s not forget about milk either. It’s a high source of protein among many other things with about 9 grams of protein per glass.
- For those lactose intolerant or if you’d rather not drink the milk of another mammal then I suggest trying soy milk. It’s another great source of protein and contains just slightly less protein than milk at about 8.5 grams per glass.
- Eggs, (sorry, if you are strictly vegetarian) some people dontare another great source of protein and contain about 7 grams of protein per egg.
Of course if you’re having eggs then you mine as well have some toast as well, which actually contain about 7 grams of protein for 2 slices, so you can get about a quarter of your recommended intake just at breakfast.
- If you want to get even more bang for your buck with the toast then try it with peanut butter on it. Peanut butter is a great source of protein and registers in at about 7.5 grams of protein per 30 grams of peanut butter.
- Last but certainly not least we have cheese. Regular block cheese typically has about 7 grams of protein per 30 grams of cheese, so this is an easy one to get your levels up for the day.
I’ve been hearing these for years:
The myth: Carbohydrate loading will increase performance.
The truth: Unless your athletic event is 90 minutes or more, you are not going to be fully utilizing the stores of glycogen in the muscles that carb-loading will produce. You are better off eating a well balanced meal the night before competition, instead of an all-you-can-eat pasta dinner. Furthermore, for those of you endurance athletes with competitions running more than 90 minutes, true carb-(or more specifically) glycogen-loading need be done days in advance in in conjunction with a tapering of the exercise regimen to order to fully reap any benefit.
Myth: You have an endurance event tomorrow, so drink all the water you can because you need to stock up on water tonight.
Truth: You are not a camel. Your body does not have the capacity to store exessive quanities of water for extended periods of time. The day before competition, make sure that you keep yourself properly hydrated, no more. If you try to drink too much water, you will not “store” it, bu you may find yourself up all night, making frequent bathroom trips.
Some tips to keep you safe while exercising in the heat:
Awareness: If you have an activity planned, check the forecast so that you know what to expect from the weather. If possible, exercise in the morning or evening when it is cooler.
Acclimate: If you are unacustomed to exercising in heat and humidity you may have to take it easy at first. Your body may tolerate less at higher temperatures.
Hydrate: Drink plenty of fluids. Do not wait until you are thirsty, by then you’ve already gotten dehydrated. Water is best, but sports drinks can be useful for long workouts. Avoid alcohol or caffeinated beverages.
Dress Appropriately: Wear loose, light-colored clothing, and a hat that shades your face if possible. Wear sunscreen.
Observe: Listen to your body! If you begin to feel nauseous, weak, cramped, confused, dizzy, or develop a headache, you may be overheated. Take a break, or stop altogether. Be aware of any medical conditions that can be exacerbated by heat.
Careful planning and safe behaviours mean that you can continue to enjoy your favorite activities, even in the heat!
One pound of body fat burns about 2 calories a day, but one pound of lean muscle tissue burns up to 38 calories a day. So if you add 5 lbs. of muscle you will burn an additional 200 a day at rest. This is why strength training is integral in losing fat. Lifting weights allows you to put on the lean muscle mass needed to speed up your metabolism.
I don’t know about you but there are just some days when I’m seriously lacking energy to accomplish my daily tasks yet alone get in a good workout at the gym. For me I find this especially true as I move towards the end of a long week; getting to the gym on a Thursday or Friday can be brutal.
There is some good news out there though if you are a coffee drinker like me. Recent studies are continuing to show that drinking a cup of coffee (black, 8oz…sorry no lattes studied here) help improve performance and a couple more cups after the workout can help recovery! Many of the caffeine studies have focused on runners and have shown that a runner can improve their 5k time by 10-15 seconds after consuming a cup of coffee before a race. The same effect carries over into a regular workout at the gym.
Also it is important to note that many people say they do not want to drink coffee before a workout because it dehydrates them but overall it is more important to hydration consume liquids.
As we all know caffeine affects people differently so these studies are by no means telling everyone to start consuming coffee prior to a workout. The major takeaway is that having a cup of coffee or something with a similar amount of caffeine can give you that extra boost to get yourself into a solid workout.