Looking for something delicous to grill that won’t derail your weight loss goals? Look no further than the produce section. Onions, bell peppers, eggplant, carrots, asparagas and zuccini are all great options to throw on the grill – and they can all be eaten guilt free.
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut when packing lunches. When we can’t cook or even warm up our food, our options are somewhat limited. But the standard lunch meat and cheese on bread with potato chips doesn’t do much for our health.
Sometimes we just need to think outside of the box (or in this case, the lunchbox). With some creativity, we can pack healthy lunches for ourselves and our kids. Here are a few suggestions:
* Make some pasta salad. You can find kits with everything you need in the grocery store, or you can make your own to suit your tastes. Include vegetables such as cucumbers, peppers and onions to add flavor and nutrition. For the kids, try using pasta in interesting shapes.
* Roll up a fajita. Use leftover meat from dinner the night before, and add lettuce, tomatoes, cheese and some of your favorite light dressing or sauce. These make a great change of pace for kids, too.
* Have a turkey bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich. This is healthy and provides a nice change.
* Toss up a grilled chicken salad. Grill some organic chicken breasts the night before, slice them up, and add them to some salad greens. Add some shredded cheese and cherry tomatoes to make a nutritious and filling dish.
* Put some homemade soup or chili in a thermos. It’s nice to have something warm for a change, especially in the winter.
* Make sandwiches with bagels instead of bread. Bagels are nutritious and filling, and they give you a break from plain old white or wheat bread.
* Pack some baby carrots, celery sticks or sliced cucumbers and a small container of hummus or vegetable dip.
* Send some yogurt with fruit and granola in your child’s lunch. It will provide protein, carbohydrates and vitamins that your child needs.
* Keep fresh fruit on hand. When you’re in a hurry, you can easily grab a piece and throw it in the lunchbox as a nutritious side dish.
* Whip up some fruit salad for an easy to make treat. Drain a can of fruit cocktail and add some chopped walnuts, marshmallows and sliced bananas soaked in lemon juice (to keep them from turning brown).
* Make your own trail mix. Mix your favorite kinds of nuts, raisins, dried bananas and cranberries, and granola.
Just because you eat your lunch out of a lunchbox, doesn’t mean it has to be boring and lack nutritional value. Using leftovers creatively and putting a new twist on your sandwiches will help you and your kids get over the packed lunch doldrums.
Kristy Lee Wilson
Exercise is an important part of our lives. Staying in shape is one way to increase your life expectancy. Weight bearing exercises are important also for increasing muscle mass and bone density as you age.
Most of us have learned what to do when it comes to exercising. The problem is where and when to get the job done. With a busy lifestyle, making time for exercise is a challenge.
Weight bearing exercises aren’t just for bodybuilders. As you age, especially once you hit the age of forty, you begin to lose muscle mass. For women especially, bone loss becomes a problem. When the body is in need of calcium it can rob it from your bones. Building muscle not only increases their mass but your strength.
Here are five easy toning exercises that can be done anywhere and whenever you have time. At home, at the office, or on vacation, you can do these easy yet extremely effective exercises.
1. The Bridge Butt Lift – Sounds like a plastic surgery technique but it is an easy way to tone your buttocks. Lay down with feet flat on the floor, legs shoulder width apart. Place your hands, palm side down, on either side of your body. Pushing with your feet, squeeze your gluteal muscles and lift your butt off the floor. Hold the position for a count of five to ten and release down to the floor.
2. Squats – Squats work the butt, the hamstring muscles and the quadriceps. If you aren’t sure of proper form, you can use a chair. Stand with feet shoulder width apart and feet firmly planted. Push your butt back as if you were preparing to sit in a chair. Keep your abs tight and your upper body straight. Once you reach chair level stop and hold the position for a count of two to five and release. At the lowest point, place all of your weight on your heels for balance and maximum toning.
3. Reverse Lunges – Lunges work the quadriceps muscles. They can be hard for people with knee problems. A reverse lunge still tones the right muscle groups but with less pressure on the knee. Stand with feet together and arms at your sides. Take one leg and move it backwards until you are in lunge position: front leg bent at a 90 degree angle and back leg extended until you are on the ball of your foot. From this position lower yourself down until the back knee almost touches the floor. Hold for a count of two and return to starting position.
4. Pushups – This is a classic toning exercise that works all areas of the arms plus the chest muscles. If you aren’t comfortable or strong enough to perform a pushup on your toes, lower your body to your knees. Be sure your arms are tucked into the body and your back straight as you lower and lift your body.
5. Crunches – Abdominal muscles can be worked every day to build strength and muscle tone. Lying on the floor in sit up position, lace your fingers behind your head. Squeezing your abdominal muscles, lift your upper body until your lower back is about to come off the floor. Hold for two to five counts and return to starting position.
These five exercise moves can be done whenever you have time. The best thing about exercise is that its effects are cumulative. Even five or ten minutes at a time will work to your advantage.
Kristy Lee Wilson
I can’t figure out why, but people universally neglect to train their legs. It’s a funny thing, since proper leg training will dramatically deliver total body results.
Walk into any gym and you’ll see the bench press taken, the dumbbells being curled-and an empty squat rack in the corner.
Leg exercises are tough, I won’t deny that, but the benefits are more than worth the exertion.
A Case for Your Legs
Your legs are a major muscle group, so it’s no surprise that training them will get you big time results. Training your legs will…
- Melt fat from your body. As I mentioned above, leg exercises are tough. Your legs are a large part of your body, so each exercise literally moves your whole body. This is precisely why a good leg workout will fire up your metabolism to melt fat away. You’ll burn more calories while exercising your legs than any other body part.Due to the intense nature of a leg workout, your metabolism becomes elevated for more than 24 hours. That means that for an entire day your body continues to burn extra calories without any extra effort on your part. Who wouldn’t love that?
- Build strength for everyday life. How often do you use your legs? Most of us depend on our legs constantly throughout the day-so wouldn’t it make sense to strengthen our individual mode of transportation? Kind of like putting a super charger on the engine of your car.Exercising your legs isn’t only about increased strength; you’ll also improve your coordination and balance. This means that you’ll be able to do and experience things that you otherwise would have missed. You only live once, right?
- Uncover natural muscle shape. Let’s be honest, toned legs are attractive. I’m not saying that you’re legs will bulge with muscles (unless we trained you for that), but I am saying that consistently training your legs will uncover your natural toned shape.Many of my clients discover a whole new level of confidence after getting their legs back into shape. Women especially enjoy the freedom to wear shorts or a skirt without feeling embarrassed to show their legs. Wouldn’t you love that freedom?Oh, and I should tell you that as you strengthen your legs you’ll also reduce the risk of injury to your lower back because you’ll actually learn to pick things up off the ground the right way.
Best Leg Exercises
Now that I’ve convinced you to pay more attention to your legs, here are three of the top exercises you should do. Each of these exercises have dozens of different variations, so have fun and always keep your workouts fresh and challenging.
- The Lunge: Start with your feet together, take a large step forward and bend your knees down into a lunge position. Exhale as you press yourself back up to a standing position, or continue through with your step into another lunge.
- The Squat: Start with your feet shoulder width apart, inhale as you bend your knees, keeping your back straight. Be sure to keep your knees from going past your toes. Exhale as you push back up to a standing position.
- The Dead Lift: Grip the barbell with a mixed grip (one palm faces you, one doesn’t). Allow the barbell to hang down in front of you as you stand on the platform with your feet shoulder width apart. Lean forward at your waist, keeping your back flat, and bend your knees, bringing the bar down past them. Exhale as you straighten your legs and lift the bar up. When you are standing upright lean back slightly and squeeze the muscles of your lower back. Hold this contraction for a moment. Inhale and slowly return back down to the starting position.
By no stretch of the imagination are these three the ONLY leg exercises out available. And that’s the other great thing about training your legs… you have tons of options and variations.
Want to know more about leg exercises and which ones are the best for you? Are you finally ready to get into the best shape of your life? Let me help.
Contact me today and we’ll schedule a consultation where you and I can assess your goals and I can show you the fastest and safest way to reach them.
Kristy Lee Wilson
Did you know that the grocery store is the source for most of your unwanted pounds?
Well, that and the fast food restaurants, but we’ll leave that for another day.
If you’re like most people then your shopping trips aren’t exactly organized. In fact, your grocery cart is likely to be more fat than fit.
The good news is that with a few small modifications to your routine you’ll be able to turn your grocery shopping trip into an easy opportunity to slim down.
I’ve broken down the process of healthy grocery store navigation with an easy-to-remember acronym – FITNESS.
Come, take a walk with me through your grocery store and we’ll improve your shape and the shape of your family members.
F: First Veggies
Your mom always told you that you had to eat your veggies before dessert-so this will be an easy one to remember. When you start shopping, first go to the produce section. The bulk of your shopping should take place here. Fresh vegetables, lettuce for salads, and fruits are the best things to eat when you want to look and feel great.
Don’t skimp on produce-aim to fill most of your cart here.
I: Is it Wheat?
When it comes to bread you only need to ask yourself one question. Is it wheat? White bread products have been processed and filled with simple carbohydrates – these will easily stick to your body as fat. Wheat breads, on the other hand, contain more fiber and are much healthier. Make it a policy to never purchase white bread, wheat bread is the right choice even for the little members of your family.
Always choose hearty wheat bread products-the more whole grain, the better.
T: Trim the Fat
In the meat section you are faced with a major decision. Do you go with your taste buds or do you go with your health conscious side? I urge you to stick with the latter. These days lean meats are more available than ever, and the benefits to going lean are numerous. When you choose lean meats you avoid extra saturated fat (your heart will thank you for this) and you also avoid the extra calories that come packed into each fat gram.
Want to be lean? Then eat lean meats.
N: Never enter the Junk Food Aisle
I have a simple policy that has saved me from thousands of unnecessary calories. I don’t walk down the junk food aisle. You and I both know that it is nearly impossible to walk past rows of chips, candies and cookies without putting something into the cart. The bright packages stamped with mouthwatering images will give your will power a run for its money. My two cents? Avoid that row altogether and save yourself from the whole ordeal.
Nothing good ever came from walking down the junk food aisle-just say no.
E: Edge around the store
Here’s a really easy trick for healthy shopping. Edge around the store, as in shop the perimeter and avoid the inner aisles. Think about it-the healthiest products are kept around the perimeter of the store: produce, meat, dairy. The inner aisles are where you run into trouble: processed food, baked goods, and sweets. Don’t get me wrong, there are healthy products kept in the inner aisles too, but a majority of the items are waist-expanders.
Shop in a circle-stick to the perimeter of the store, do less shopping in the aisles.
S: Skinny Cow
The dairy section is filled with many healthy items; it is also filled with extremely high fat items. Your job is to pick out all those calcium-rich foods that you love in the low fat and non fat versions. I realize that many people have a prejudice against low milk or yogurt, simply because they’ve always eaten the full fat version. Making the switch to low fat is such a simple way to cut unnecessary fat and calories from your diet, while still getting all the benefits of dairy.
Fat free dairy products are the way to go-you’ll only lose unwanted pounds.
S: Stick with Water
Warning: mini lecture to follow. I’ll make it short and sweet. Drink more water-period. Sodas, sugary juices and calorie-laden alcoholic beverages are responsible for a large number of unnecessary calories in your diet. Don’t fill your cart with these sneaky calories. Keep them out of your kitchen and out of your life.
Looking for a tasty beverage? Look no farther than crystal clear water.
There you have it-your FITNESS shopping plan that will take your cart from fat to fit. I suggest that you write down the FITNESS steps on a note card and take it to the store with you.
Are you ready to take your body from fat to fit? I’ve got what it takes to get you there! No guess work, no fad diets, and no super long workouts.
Contact me today to learn more about my fitness and fat loss programs that will quickly change your life.
Blueberries are being called a “super food” by many nutritionists. Recent research has shown that blueberries are the fruit with the highest antioxidant activity. They have even been shown to improve memory and coordination and to slow the development of degenerative diseases.
Snack on fresh or dried blueberries instead of processed sweets – not only are they healthier, you’ll also lose weight.
Kristy Lee Wilson
Breakfast is truly the most important meal of the day. It gives us the energy we need to get going, wakes up our metabolism and provides valuable nutrition. Sadly, it is also the most skipped meal of the day.
Sometimes it seems that there’s just not enough time in the mornings to eat. We have to make up the bed, get ready for work, get the kids ready for school, and perhaps do some morning chores. But it’s very important that we eat a good breakfast.
Preparing a nutritionally complete breakfast doesn’t have to take a long time. Here are five power breakfast ideas that can fit into any schedule.
1. Cereal with low-fat milk, sliced bananas and raisins – Eating cold cereal is a quick and easy way to include fiber, carbohydrates and dairy in your morning meal. Add some freshly sliced bananas and a handful of raisins, and you’ve also taken care of one of your daily servings of fruit. There’s no cooking required, and cereal is nice and filling.
2. Whole-grain waffles topped with fresh strawberries and yogurt – Waffles are a breakfast favorite, and you no longer have to drag out the waffle iron to make them. Frozen whole-grain waffles are nutritious and delicious, and you can warm them up in the toaster in a snap. Instead of syrup, add yogurt and fresh sliced strawberries to make a well-rounded meal.
3. A bran muffin, an apple and a cup of skim milk – If you’re in a serious hurry, you need foods that require no preparation and are portable. You can find pre-packaged bran muffins in a variety of flavors at any grocery store. Keep some single-serve containers of milk and your favorite kind of apples on hand, and you can take breakfast with you if needed.
4. Breakfast smoothie – Some people just can’t seem to sit down long enough to eat breakfast. If you’re one of those people, try drinking your breakfast. Make a smoothie with yogurt, milk or fruit juice, and fresh fruit. Just slice the fruit (or use berries), dump everything in the blender, and mix until smooth.
5. Peanut butter and bananas on an English muffin – In a pinch, peanut butter is one of the most filling things you can eat. Spread some on a halved English muffin, top with a sliced banana, and add the other half of the muffin to make a quick, easy and nutritious breakfast sandwich.
Skipping breakfast does not give us a good start for the day. But if we keep some quick and healthy items on hand, there’s no reason that we should have to go hungry in the mornings. We can get the nutrition we need and still be on time for work.
Kristy Lee Wilson