Category: Health

The Health Benefits of Daylight Savings

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Yesterday we all had to set our clocks forward 1 hour. So even though we lost an hour of sleep, we gained an hour of beautiful sunlight.

It turns out there might be some benefits to losing that hour of sleep. Getting a little more daylight in your life could be the best for you and your overall health and here is why …
“We benefit from being near daylight because it lowers our blood pressure, gets us in a better mood and gets our bodies producing Serotonin. It also gets the body producing Melatonin which allows us to sleep better at night,

“Our bodies are designed to be in the great outdoor. So, when we have to be cooped up in the cold of winter it isn’t the greatest for our overall bodies function.  Now the sun is out longer which leads to more physical outdoor activities, fresh air, Vitamin D, and reduces the LED (artificial lighting) in our diet …

Even though we loose an hour we gain so many wonderful health benefits in the long run, and now we are even closer to spring and summer!

Fit Chic

 

Make Sure To Get Your Zzzz’s Fit Chic’s!

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Sleep. We cannot promote sleep enough.  You think diet is #1 to achieve your FITness results?? I say Sleep is more important.

An athlete (that is YOU reading this) in training must get more than 7 hours of sleep per night at a minimum, but probably more important is not to get less than six a night for too long a period of time. Yes, there are times when circumstances prevent us from cuddling with our pillows as long as we’d like, but chronic sleep deprivation can have some nasty consequences. Here are a few:

1.  Metabolism and weight can be negatively affected by chronic sleep deprivation. In layman’s terms: not enough sleep can make you FAT. 2. Your cardiovascular health can be profoundly impacted by lack of sleep. Studies have shown links between severe sleep disorders and increased stress hormone levels,  hypertension, and even irregular heartbeat. 3. Your immune system needs sleep to function at its highest level. Sleep deprivation alters your immune function, including the activity levels of white blood cells.

“So How Can I Increase Sleep??”

Here are some good rules to follow:

  • Unplug for at least 30 minutes before bed.  This means no computers, iphones, ipods, blackberries, or video games.  Read a book, have a relaxing conversation, stretch, or do anything else calming and relaxing.
  • Try not to eat too much before bedtime.  You don’t want to go to bed full and you don’t want to go to bed hungry.  Both can have negative effects on sleep
  • Go to bed and get up at the same time every day if possible.  This is the way our bodies are programmed to work, and when we deviate from this it can have negative effects.
  • Sleep in a dark and quiet environment. (i.e. you need black out curtains)
  • Try to not get into your bed before you are ready to sleep.   So if you are reading before bed, do it in another room, in a chair, or sit on the floor.
  • Go to the bathroom before you go to bed – common sense!

A lot of focus on how we can’t actually fall asleep. I encourage you to focus on what you can control (the following rules above) vs. what you can’t control in the moment (actually falling asleep).

The best advice I can give you about getting enough sleep is… Don’t focus on the amount of sleep you need as a focus. Instead, focus on a bottom line, no questions asked, zero tolerance bed time. If you must get up a 5am to get to your morning workout, I would have a 8:30p bed time (30 min wynd down time; 8 hours of sleep).

Which ‘rule’ do you lack in your life? How will you change it? Commit to it in the comments.

Speaking of sleep don’t forget to turn your clocks forward for “Daylight Savings” this Saturday night!

Happy Friday!

Fit Chic

Top 5 Butters Better Than Peanut …

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I am an avid LOVER of peanut butter. My mom said she had morning, noon, and night, sickness almost everyday for 9 months when she was pregnant with me and the only things she could keep down was peanut butter shakes; maybe that’s why I am so in love.

I remember getting up as a child grabbing a spoon grabbing a jar of peanut butter and going to town. Even in college I would love rice cakes and peanut butter.

When I discovered peanuts are high inflammatory foods and don’t really have much nutritional value I was devastated. My one true love would be taken away from me; with every problem comes a solution and so I started to look into what could be just as delicious as PB, but benefit me as well.

Here are the top five nut butters that not only taste delicious they are good for you.

#1 Almond Butter:

3 cups almonds* (I always use raw)

Directions: Pour almonds into food processor. Process until the nuts go from coarsely chopped, to crumbly, to finely ground. Stop and scrape down the sides as needed.

Process again until the almonds resemble a thick and relatively smooth almond butter.

#2 Cashew Butter:

1 cup cashews

1 tbsp melted coconut oil

2 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes

1/2 tbsp honey

1 tsp vanilla

sea salt to taste

Directions: Put all ingredients in a food processor until creamy and smooth.

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5 Easy Ways To Add More Protein To Your Diet ..

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Protein can be a very difficult thing to add to your diet especially if you are not prepared. It is also one of the most beneficial for your body. If you are feeling sluggish, having trouble losing weight, have low energy, feel fatigued, moody, soreness, and often sick this is the blog for you.

Here are the top 5 easiest ways to incorporate protein easily into your daily routine:

# Individual Protein Powder Packs – When you’re low in protein, your system knows it needs energy, and you crave foods that will give you fuel fast. Unfortunately, those foods cause more harm than good to our bodies. So, instead of reaching for a cookie, fill up your water bottle with some protein powder. If you are not a fan of water you can add a delicious nut based milk (like almond or cashew coconut is yummy too). Now you’ll curb cravings for sweets by giving your body the kind of sustained energy it really needs. If you are Vegan or have Dairy issues, than I really like Garden of Life Protein Packs.

#2 Jerky -Lean jerky is a convenient way to get more protein into your diet. However,quality is key when choosing the right brands.  Many types of jerky contain sugar, preservatives and various gluten. They’re also frequently made from lower-quality meat. Some jerky and “snack sticks” come from grass-fed beef, bison and other free-range animals. Choosing jerky from grass-fed animals will provide better-quality meat with higher amounts of healthy omega-3 fats (36). Lean jerkies or snack sticks typical contain about 7 grams of protein per oz. They can often be stored for several months without refrigeration and are ideal for travel.

#3 Hard boiled Eggs – eggs are a complete source of essential amino acids and a healthy way to pack protein into your meal or snack. If you’re worried about cholesterol, don’t be. The latest evidence suggests the cholesterol in eggs—yes, including the yolks—isn’t a concern. You can also boil a bunch of eggs at once and grab them on the go when you need.

#4 Protein Bars: Here is a great link I previously posted on why and when bars are a good choice and why and when they are beneficial.

# 5 Canned Fish or Clean Deli Slices – Canned fish is a fantastic way to boost protein intake. It requires no refrigeration, so it’s wonderful for travel or to keep at your desk. It can be enjoyed as a snack or with a meal.Deli Meat is a great snack that is an easy grab and go food to get more protein in your daily life. Try to shoot for leaner proteins like turkey and/or Chicken. I like brands like Boars Head and Dilusso.

Happy Hump Day!

Fit Chic 

 

Top 5 Ways to Meditate

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Meditating is such a key component to our health and wellness. It is the calming of our brain to allow us to bring intention, peace, and knowledge of yourself, and find your center.

When I first heard of meditating I associated with yoga guru’s or monks. I felt I could not just sit in a room with my legs crossed for hours in my thoughts …

well good thing that is not the only form of meditation!

1. Write your thoughts on paper 

Each morning, spill out a page of junk that’s been on your mind. Notice the pressure of the pen on the paper. The sound of the tip scraping along the page. The way the ink bleeds. After writing for a bit about your day, and your shopping lists, and the cute boy in yoga class, you’ll find that you don’t have anything left to write. This is when you take a deep breath, and allow mindfulness to permeate. Go deeper. Soon, you’ll be writing with complete presence, as if another voice is writing through you.

2. Breathe

The easiest of all! Breathing truly is the difference between feeling anxious and feeling relaxed. Try adding a few rounds of 4, 4, 8 count breath into your daily routine. Inhale for 4 counts, retain for 4 counts, and exhale for 8. Close your eyes. Be slow. Repeat.

3. Yoga

Come into each practice with an intention and keep that in the front of your mind and you will be amazed at how much this one hour really carries over to other aspects of your life.

4. Walk

Enjoy the fresh air and vitamin D and while you walk Inhale and lift your foot, exhale and plant it. Repeat.

5. Listen to Music

Try to hear every instrument and words in the song. Separate the lyrics from the melody—listen to something instrumental I really enjoy Pandora’s Acoustic or Solo piano station.

Fit Chic 

A Fit Chic Post Valentine’s Day Read …

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Have no fear you Vday Chocolate lovers … Here are 5 great reasons to not feel guilty about those delicious chocolates staring at you today this post Valentine’s Day!

Chocolate has many wonderful benefits … That is if you eat the right kind!

Here is a link to some of the best quality chocolates to choose from …

#1 Chocolate is Rich in Antioxidants:  The antioxidants in chocolate enhance memory and cognition and reduce your risk of dementia.

# 2 Dark chocolate equates to Heart Health:  Studies show that dark chocolate  can actually lower your blood pressure and rise your HDL (the good kind of cholesterol).

#3 It Enhances Your Mood: There’s no denying that indulging in a chocolate treat every now and then tastes and feels great. Enjoying food is part of enjoying life, sometimes you will do yourself more of disservice by restricting too much. Just have a small piece of chocolate and move on. Now you feel happier and haven’t put a huge dent in your healthy lifestyle.

#4 Dark Cacao Chocolate is good for your skin: Well, it doesn’t matter. Not only does it not cause breakouts, it’s actually good for your skin! Flavonoids found in dark chocolate protect women’s skin from the sun’s UV rays.. Please don’t replace your sunscreen with Chocolate, just embrace that you are promoting skin health too.

#5 Chocolate actually may increase your life span: Jeanne Louise Calment lived to the age of 122—the oldest anyone has ever lived. She ate two and a half pounds of dark chocolate per week. Harvard researchers found that eating chocolate actually adds two years to your life expectancy.

Research the chocolates above and choose wisely if you want the above results …

Fit Chic 

Top 5 Ideas For Cauliflower …

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There are so many wonderful, fun, recipes that you can create with Cauliflower!

Here are my top 5 that make my clients and my husband and even my dog happy!

#1 Cauliflower Rice – Rice is comforting, delicious, and a side dish. Here is my favorite “fried Rice” Recipe the whole family will enjoy!

#2 Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes – I would call this a staple in a typical American household. Now you can have America’s Comfort food and feel light on your feet!

#3 Cauliflower Mac and Cheese – A light and delicious version of another comfort food everyone loves. This mac and cheese is one that you can eat guilt-free, and it’s the perfect way to sneak in some veggies too!

#4 Cauliflower Pizza Crust – This is one of the most LOVED foods around the world and now you can eat as much as you like with no guilt or worry about taking away from your health and fitness goals!

#5 Cauliflower Bread –  Sandwiches are the perfect lunch treat and one of the items people really miss when removing bread and grains from their diet. Now you don’t have to, but can still be healthy in the process!

Fit Chic Tips for Shoulders …

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Last week I gave you some great tips for those hips, and now that your hips are feeling great it’s time to work on the shoulders.

For people who sit a long time at work, the shoulders  and rotators become tight, and can cause weakness. This combination negatively affects our posture and can cause neck issues too. With Proper shoulder stretches you can maintain proper posture, and the stability in our backs (low back especially). Here are some great stretches to take with you anywhere you go so you can feel great and your posture will look even better!

#1 Down Dog – Down Dog helps lengthen and stretch your hamstrings, shoulders, and hips. Also it opens up the mid and low back which tend to get tight especially on longer runs. Lift your hip bones straight toward the ceiling and push your heels into the ground for the best overall stretch.

#2 Criss Cross – Lie facedown on stomach. Lift torso and thread right arm underneath left at shoulder height, about a 90-degree angle away from body. Reach left arm the opposite direction (again, about 90-degree angle away from torso). Hook chin over shoulders. Walk fingers away from one another to lengthen arms and breathe here for 5 deep breaths. Repeat on other side.

#3 Thread the Needle: Begin on all fours. Reach right arm underneath body, allowing right shoulder and temple to release to the ground. Allow left hand to stay where it is, or crawl it a bit to the right over to your head. Stay here for 5 deep breaths. Repeat on other side.

#4 Door Frame Stretch: Stand a few steps in front of a doorway. Raise one of your arms and reach back until you are grasping the doorway frame with your thumb facing up. Your arm should be above your head. Turn your body away from your outstretched arm until you feel a gentle stretch in your shoulder. Hold the stretch for at least 30 seconds and repeat with the other arm.

#5 Shoulder Extension Stretch – Sit down on the floor and place your arms behind you. With your palms down and pinky fingers touching, lower your shoulders as close to the ground as possible. This stretch is great for shoulder extension and range of motion. As a result of lack of shoulder mobility from desks, pronation, amongst other things we as a society have tight muscles, and overused under mobilized shoulders. To help resolve these issues, do this drill and it will improve your posture and prep your shoulders to feel good all day everyday!

Now you will have the tips and tricks to have happy mobile shoulders!

Fit Chic 

Fit Chic Says …”A Community That Plays Together Stays Together” ….

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This past weekend we had our first CPM Chrismtas Sweatsuit Bowling Party. It was a wonderful event with lots of laughs, fun, and relationship building. As I looked at the room It was so nice to see people who work so hard day in and day out, talk, laugh and lighten up for an evening!

The next morning my husband Chris and I looked at pictures and video reminiscing about all the fun that was had and it made me think of how important “Fun” is to our lives! I have written an community that plays together stays together, but it goes even further than this. I would even go as far to say a community that does this is actually happier and healthier overall! Play produces energy, support, and comradory that carries over into your relationships in the gym.

Chris and my goal at the gym is to create an environment where it feels like recess for those 45 to 60 minutes of class taught. Yes, we get down to business and shed some blood sweat and tears but in the end we leave feeling accomplished and having fun all in one! If there’s no “play time” or it’s not fun how are we supposed to stay motivated or excited to show up?

We all live with stresses of an always on the go lifestyle; playing together and having fun is one area which tends to get the cut first. Instead of cutting out fun think of it as creating more success and actually making other areas of our life much easier to manage. So I challenge you Fit Ones to add more “Play” to your life. This one simple area of life that can create incredible benefits for you in so many aspects of your life!

Fit Chic 

Fun Snacks to Get You Through the Weekend …

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Most Clients I talk to say they are great during the week, but the weekend is where they tend to fall apart. I am a big snacker and if I have the right snacks on hand I make the right choices! So here are some great snacks to keep on hand especially when you get those sweet/salty treat cravings …

Banana Almond Butter Bites : This is the perfect after school snack, in a pinch snack, and sweet and savory treat.

Jacksons Honest Chips: For all of you “salt” cravers this is the perfect treat for you!

Evolution Greens Shake: This is refreshing, easy to grab on the go, and tastes great all in one!

Espresso Protein Balls: These are great to take to the movies, on car trips, or just a sweet simple snack the whole family will love ..

Now go out and make this weekend a tasty and beneficial one!

Happy Friday!

Fit Chic