Thursday, December 31, 2015
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Start the New Year with a clean slate by following our Two-Week Clean-Eating Plan created by the registered dietitians Stephanie Clarke and Willow Jarosh of C&J Nutrition. The homemade meals, snacks, and treats - yes, you can have a lil' something-something daily to help keep you on track - focus on fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean proteins. We have printable shopping lists for each week as well as an easy-to-follow daily rundown of what to get, prep, make, and save, and when. The plan is alcohol free (time to give up the partying now that the holidays are over), but you can have your morning cup of caffeine. But since the plan is dairy free, you will be drinking your daily cup of coffee or tea without the additional half-and-half.
All the meals, snacks, and treats included and add up to about 1,600 calories per day. The carb, protein, and fat ration is close to 50:20:30. The carbs are high fiber and minimally processed. The protein is lean, and the fats are primarily plant-based. And all the food is tasty.
How the Plan Works
The 14-day plan is divided into two weeks, with a separate shopping list for each. The first day of each week is your prep day when you wash, chop, and store many ingredients you will be cooking with throughout the week. On your prep day and during the week, you will prepare multiple servings of some recipes, as well extra portions of certain dishes, to eat as leftovers later in the week. Talk about convenience. Heck! You might have even noticed that some dishes taste better the second day.
While you can start the program on any day of the week, you need to follow it in sequence since this plan uses leftovers throughout each week. To help you prep and plan, we have created a rundown of the daily meals and a to-do list for each week. Think of this as your cheat sheet: print it out and put it on your fridge so you can easily follow along.
Prep Ahead For Ease
Prep days are important, and honestly, we think the commitment of planning ahead will help you stick to the program. On days one and eight, there is plenty of slicing and dicing to be done and a good amount of cooking. Plan to set aside two to three hours for prep and cook time. It's also a great idea to think about a day in the middle of the week that might work for doing a small amount of prep for the end of the week.
Tips For Success
- Shop Early: Plan your grocery shopping day one day ahead of your prep day, if possible, since shopping and cooking all in one day can be a little daunting. And since you are only shopping once each week, you will be freezing some fish and chicken. Just make sure to start thawing those items the day before, but don't worry - we remind you about it in the daily rundown.
- Bulk Bins: Shop the bulk bins to save money by ensuring you have just the amount you need and no more. Look for nuts, seeds, spices, tea, dry goods, and even chocolate in the bulk bins of your local grocery store.
- Clear Containers: Store prepped produce and other ingredients in clear containers. The more you can see what's in the fridge, the more likely you are to eat it and not forget about it!
- Freeze Meals: In this plan, you will be making extra portions of food - not only to use during this two-week plan, but also to freeze some for later. We suggest freezing extras right away in individual portions - be sure to label them. This works especially well with soups, sauces, and baked goods. This way you can conveniently eat clean after you've completed the plan. Another option, on the days when you make portions not used on the plan, invite some friends over! Eating clean doesn't mean you can't socialize.
We're sure you have a few questions, so do check out our Frequently Asked Questions, and hopefully you will find your answers there.
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Our friends at Men's Health know how hard it is sometimes to motivate ourselves. Luckily, they have a trick to increase our willpower.
Unless you're Tony Robbins, finding the motivation to exercise can be tougher than the actual workout itself. Your willpower can be easily defeated by the demands of a family, the responsibilities of work, or even the enticing glow of a TV.
That's probably why dozens of studies over the last three decades have all found that more than half the people who start an exercise program quit within one year.
Lack of motivation may also play a large role in the reason why 68.8 percent of Americans are overweight or obese.
So are we all screwed? Or is there a way to keep motivation consistently flowing?
The key may be a process called "temptation bundling," according to a study in Management Science.
The process pairs two activities-one you should do, but avoid; and one you enjoy, but isn't necessarily productive, explains lead study author Katherine Milkman, associate professor of Operations, Information, and Decisions at The Wharton School.
In her 7-week study, Milkman found that participants went to the gym significantly more often when they were given audio books to listen to during their workouts than when they weren't given them.
The simple act of bundling exercise (the activity you avoid) with an audio book (the activity you enjoy) increased the participants' willpower to stick to a workout regimen, Milkman explains.
But they weren't listening to War and Peace. "These books were pre-rated as addictive," she explains. "So you had books like The DaVinci Code, The Bourne Supremacy, Hunger Games. They were cliffhangers."
In essence, they were tempting, so the participants looked forward to going to the gym to listen to them.
And the motivational effect was even stronger when the bundling was withheld between training sessions, instead of being self-imposed, Milkman says.
When Milkman's team locked the audio book devices away in a locker between training sessions, participants worked out 60 percent more often. That number dropped to just 40 percent when the participants were allowed to listen to their books outside of the gym, too.
If you think temptation bundling sounds starkly different from the "No pain, no gain!" philosophy that conventional wisdom has taught us to employ when it comes to exercise, you'd be right.
Instead of forcing yourself to do something you don't like, you're turning the activity into a positive one. One that you actually look forward to.
And that's a much more sustainable approach than telling yourself to just "suck it up!" all the time.
It works so well, in fact, that 60 percent of the study participants said they'd be willing to pay a monthly amount for someone to restrict access to their audio books in order to increase their motivation. On average, the participants said they'd pay $7 to have their temptation locked up.
One participant, however, said they would pay as much as $100 a month.
Stop to think about that: People struggle with workout motivation so much that they'd actually pay someone to take away their own possession if it resulted in more willpower.
You can use temptation bundling outside of the gym, too, Milkman says.
For instance, you could watch an episode of the latest season of Homeland every Sunday night as you iron your work shirts or fold laundry. You could pay bills while cracking a cold beer and tuning into the Monday night game.
Or you could finally catch up with your annoying relative at a restaurant that serves the burgers you always crave, says Milkman.
You can use temptation bundling for almost anything, she says, but you should take into consideration the actual date you start.
Milkman's co-author, Hengchen Dai, assistant professor of organizational behavior at Washington University in St. Louis, has found that temptation bundling may be most effective when it begins on a temporal landmark-or a moment that signals a transitional point in our mind. Think: a new year, your birthday, or even the start of a new season.
"You may feel psychologically different on this day than any regular day," Dai says. And therefore, "more motivated to start or engage in an activity that helps you reach a goal."
Check out more great tips from Men's Health:
- Try These 30-Minute Cardio and Muscle Workouts That Transform Your Body
- 5 Guys Who Wake Up at 4 a.m. to Work Out Tell You How They Do It
- 13 Exercises That Are Better Than Burpees For Fat Loss
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Wednesday, December 30, 2015
"Hey, wanna go to the local box and do a Metcon WOD? I heard it's EMOM with double-unders! I wonder if we can RX it . . ."
Did you just understand that? 'Cause that was a whole lotta CrossFit lingo thrown your way.
And we get it. If you're not into CrossFit, it can sound like its own language. In fact, there's so much CrossFit lingo that it's kind of like a whole new vernacular. And a bit intimidating for first-timers.
So for this edition of WTF Does That Mean, we're breaking down CrossFit lingo, bit by bit. Or, actually, word by word.
Your Guide to CrossFit Lingo:
1 rep max: This is short for one-repetition maximum, which means the heaviest amount of weight you can lift one time and one time only. Usually done with moves like deadlift, cleans, and front and back squats.
AMRAP: This stands for "as many rounds as possible." A form of circuit training, an AMRAP workout gives you a set of moves with reps and then you do that circuit as many times as you can in the time allotted. Here's an AMRAP workout for example.
Box: A box is simply a CrossFit gym. As one might guess, CrossFit gyms are pretty much just big open boxes - very warehouse-y. (Yes, that's a word.)
Chipper: This one isn't about a state of mind. Rather, a chipper is basically the workout from hell (but fun hell!). It usually combines a lot of moves a lot of times - and you "chip" away at them. (If you've ever watched the CrossFit games, this is usually a format they use for at least one workout - and it's crazy intense.) That said, a lot of people who do CrossFit are chipper. Especially the early morning CrossFitters. So there's that.
Couplet: Oh, look at the cute CrossFit couplet! But it's not exactly what you think. Couplets are two complimentary exercises (not people) put together in a specific set formation to make a WOD (more on that in a bit). Like this one. Adorbs, right?
Double-unders: What would it be like to jump once and have a jump rope go around you twice? That, my friends, is a double-under. Here's a good video on how to do 'em.
EMOM: Every minute on the minute! For this type of workout, every time a minute starts, you do a specific exercise or set of moves. Once you've done the move(s), you rest until the next minute starts. Then you do it all over again for the prescribed amount of time. A good example of this one is Chelsea.
For time: Simply put, this means that the workout you're doing will be timed. And posted on a board at the gym. In other words, go for speed!
The Girls: The CrossFit Girls may sound lovely - Fran, Chelsea, Annie - but they're known as benchmark workouts that are TOUGH that are done time and time again. If you see any female's name as a WOD, know you're in for a tough one and do your best. As you get fitter, it is fun to see your times improve.
Hero WOD: These are really challenging workouts that are named after military servicemen, police or firefighters who have died in the line of duty. They are extra hard and help to remember the sacrifice these people made.
Kip: Kip or kipping is basically using full-body momentum to do a move. You'll see it used mostly with pull-ups, but also with moves like handstand push-ups and toes-to-bar (there's some bonus CrossFit lingo/moves for you there!).
Ladder: A ladder is a workout where you increase the reps by one for each round. So if you're doing a ladder workout of kettlebell swings and burpees, you'd do 1 rep of each for round 1, 2 reps of each for round 2, 3 reps of each for round 3 and so on and so forth.
Metcon: This simply stands for metabolic conditioning. Which also means, this workout is most likely short but going to take you to the highest level of cardio you can go.
Rhabdo: No matter what you call it - rhabdomyolysis, rhabdo, "Uncle Rhabdo" - it's serious. This syndrome is due to muscle injury or high-intensity workouts and is rare but can be life-threatening. Read more on it here and here. It's basically like soreness taken to the next insane and crazy level with a total inability to move and dark urine (no joke). Just another good reason to always listen to your body, modify as needed (no ego) and get your rest days in (and make sure you're at a quality box with good coaches!).
Rx: This means "as prescribed," meaning that you did the workout as originally planned - with no modifications to movements or weight.
Strict: Now that you know what kip means, strict is basically the opposite of it. So when you do, say, a strict pull-up, you don't use any momentum to get your chin above the bar at all.
WOD: This CrossFit lingo term is an easy one and probably the most used of all: Workout of the Day (WOD)!
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As much as you may be committed to your health and fitness, it's easy to get a little lazy about eating well, especially around the holidays. Who wants to say no to all the sweets, all the time? Not me! But with the New Year almost here and bathing suit season coming soon, (Memorial Day is only five months away!), perhaps we need to give ourselves a swift kick in the butt and kick these five poor eating habits to curb along with all our other baggage from 2015!
1. No Breakfast
I don't care if you're not a breakfast person. Get hungry! Eating small, frequent meals will rev up your metabolism. If you wait until lunch to take your first bite of the day, I bet you any amount of money that you end up eating more than you should. You overeat because your body needed food hours before your brain started sending hunger signals. Once you create the habit of starting your day with a small breakfast, your brain will begin to send more regular signals you need to pull out a fork or spoon in the a.m.
Think: high-protein whole-grain oatmeal, egg-whites, turkey bacon, whole-grain toast, fruit, and more for your brand-new breakfast habit. Eating on the go? A protein bar is better than nothing.
2. Lack of Protein
Yes, fruits and veggies are low in calories and good for you, but a lack of protein means your stomach will get hungrier faster!
Learn from me: every time I start the day with cereal and skip the protein, an hour later I am both hungry and exhausted. Complex carbs are amazing so do eat those, but simple carbs and low-calorie fruit won't tide you over.
If you're a vegetarian, invest in high-protein grains, beans, tofu, and cheese - if your diet includes dairy.
3. Watch Your Snacking
Are you really hungry at your desk or do you just need something to do while you work at the computer?
Watch how often you snack and what you're snacking on. A whole bag of pretzels is a whole bag - even if you think they're healthy! Nuts, fruits, carrots, and other veggies with hummus, or crackers with peanut butter are all good mid-day snacks. That's right. Throw a little protein into your snack.
4. Sip Less Starbucks
A little caffeine is not a big deal but typically these tasty drinks are loaded with syrups and milk: high in both sugar and calorie counts! You may think, "Well, I'm only drinking this," but a calorie is a calorie whether you sip it or chew it. Cut down on the milk and flavored syrups if you need your coffee or daily cup of tea.
5. Late-Night Dinners
If I eat late, I eat like a football player when really I'm simply a petite mom. When I'm tired and famished, I whip out the pasta, the cheese, and every other savory item my hormones and fatigued body have told me I deserve. Problem is, I end up feeling like a Macy's Thanksgivig Day parade balloon after my after-hours dinner.
Pay attention to the clock and don't eat dinner too late when you're tired, feeling lazy, and so hungry that you will eat anything and everything in your path. Just try to plan ahead a little.
And One Last Thing to Remember
No one is perfect and life is meant to be enjoyed. Pick a small daily sweet or savory treat to enjoy and relish in one solid cheat day per week - this way you can enjoy a moderate diet and feel healthy and fit while doing it.
2016 is a brand new year and it's a great time to banish the bad eating habits and bring in the good. Set reasonable goals for yourself and never leave your home empty handed - always have a snack on hand. Almonds, anyone? Remember: you're not you when you're hungry, so plan ahead!
Happy New Year!
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Your New Year's resolutions involve getting into shape, but the thought of logging endless hours trapped inside the cardio or weight room is beyond unappealing. The good news is that you can stay on your path toward wellness this season without swiping your gym card. Ahead, four cold-weather activities that are just as fun as they are calorie burners.
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Tuesday, December 29, 2015
With the end of the year just days away, it's inevitable that many of us are looking ahead and hoping that we're better versions of ourselves next year than we were in this one. We want our successes to be be bigger, our failures to be smaller, and all our effort to amount to something meaningful. But before you set out to draft a list of resolutions to get you there, consider that some of your ideas about goal setting might need to be revamped. Here are five myths to watch out for as you prepare for your best year yet.
1. Myth: Prepare yourself first.
Truth: Start where you are. Preparation is overrated. "Ready" is elusive. As author Jon Acuff says, "Ready is a myth and fear is a liar. Just start." Too often, we use the tasks of preparation as a stall tactic. We convince ourselves that if we research the best training programs, have one more big night out, make more lists and develop a better plan, that we'll be more likely to succeed. During all that preparing, though, we're just wasting time. It will never not feel intimidating to start, no matter how "prepared" you are. Start now.
2. Myth: Gather the best tools for the job.
Truth: Use what you have. There is no place in goal-setting for "If only I had______." A new activity tracker or cute workout gear might seem like an enticing form of motivation, and they might work . . . for a week or so. But the shine will wear off. The idea that "If I only had [fill in the blank], I'd be guaranteed to succeed" is appealing for two reasons. It offers a consolation for any past failures ("I just didn't have the right gear!"). And, seconldy, it takes the focus off what matters most: you. New gear is hardly ever the answer. You already possess the most important components for success. Dig deep into your desire. Practice perseverance. Summon your support system. You have yourself, and you are enough for this.
3. Myth: Reach for the stars.
Truth: Do what you can. Admire the stars, but don't necessarily reach for them. Reach for what's just beyond your grasp. Challenge yourself, but set yourself up for success. If you're new to running this year, perhaps a marathon is not the best New Year's resolution. What feels close enough that it makes you a little nervous? That thing that you keep wondering about, but you've been a little too nervous to commit to just yet. Your first 10K race? A 5K in under 30 minutes? Don't focus so much on the marathon that you might run one day, focus on what's next. Just do the next thing.
4. Myth: Treat it like a job.
Truth: Do it with love. Your workout routine should not feel like punishment. Meaningful relationships take work, and the relationship we have with our body is no different. When we approach it from a place of gratitude for all that our bodies have done for us and all they allow us to experience, taking care of ourselves is truly an act of self-love. Find an activity that you enjoy, and consider your time spent doing it as a love letter that you're writing to yourself.
5. Myth: Failure is not an option.
Truth: Keep starting. Sociologist and author Brené Brown writes, "If we are brave enough, often enough, we will fall." The road to achieving any goal worth working towards is paved with a multitude of tiny little "failures" that tempt us to doubt ourselves and throw in the towel altogether. Don't beat yourself up over one missed workout or one splurge meal. Put it behind you. Start again. Start fresh. Momentum takes time. Start again every day if you have to. Some amount of failure is inevitable - the trick is simply to not let it be the last word. Just let your number of starts always be one more than the number of failures.
Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can, do it with love, and keep starting. You've got this.
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Every year losing weight, eating healthy, and getting fit compete for the top spot on Americans' lists of New Year's Resolutions. And by mid-January the majority of those high-minded health goals have been abandonned, leaving many soured to idea of positive change in the process. But it doesn't have to be this way. The problem is many healthy resolutions are too big and too vague to actually accomplish - so aim smaller and go specific. And aim for easy. Like, really easy - seriously.
Here's a list of 52 extremely easy health resolutions, and we are sure you can master at least one of them. If you don't like the idea of making resolutions, think of this as a personal health experiment. You're not really committing yourself to sweeping changes, just dabbling. And when you check one of these resolutions off your list, you'll feel so much better about yourself. And isn't that the ulitmate goal anyway?
- Drink a glass of water upon waking in the morning - aim for 8 ounces.
- When taking an escalator, don't just ride but walk up those moving steps.
- Eat more high-quality dark chocolate (aim for 70% cacoa) - it's loaded with antioxidants.
- Read the nutritional labels of the packaged foods you eat for an entire day. Check out the portion sizes, while you're at it.
- Make a motivational playlist stacked with all the songs that make you want to move.
- Get outside for 10 minutes daily.
- Food journal for a day (or a week) and track what you're really eating. Those 3 p.m. M&Ms might just be making you crash.
- Floss before bed. Your dentist will love you for it. Not to mention your own gums will love you for it.
- Focus on your breath when you feel the stress coming on. Yep, it's a mini meditation session.
- Stretch while watching TV.
- Drink your coffee or tea without sweetener. Just try it once or twice and see. You might like it.
- Focus on chewing all the food in your mouth before taking another bite.
- Turn off all electronics 20 minutes before lights out at bedtime.
- Measure out your food portions before eating. Yep. You will have to read that pesky nutritional label.
- Walk for 10 minutes three times a week.
- Stay off of social media for 24 hours and see how you feel not being "connected."
- Plan a vacation - little or big - since the planning makes you feel almost as good as actually getting away.
- Time how long you are brushing your teeth . . . the ADA recommends two minutes, twice a day.
- Order your sandwich on whole wheat bread.
- Write down everything you're grateful for at the end of the day.
- Eat some protein at breakfast - or at least eat some breakfast.
- Order brown rice instead of white.
- When you wear heels, take 30 seconds to stretch your calves at the end of the day. How? Down dog it.
- Eat a serving of fruit daily, for a week.
- Find a mantra that works for you for hard times and then remember to use it.
- Go vegan for a day. Here's a high-protein vegan meal plan to give you some ideas.
- Ditch soda for a day (or a week).
- Give someone you don't know a compliment.
- Try green tea. It's really good for you!
- Take lunch to work two times in one week. Too challenging? Then try to brown-bag it once, your choice. We just ask that you set yourself up for success and make good good choices.
- Skip alcohol, wine and beer included, for a week.
- Read a book - it's good for your brain.
- Plan a fitness date with a friend.
- Take a compliment by just saying, "Thank you." And not explaining why you don't deserve it.
- Start your day with lemon water.
- Make your own salad dressing - it costs less money, saves calories, and tastes better. Here are our favorite salad dressing recipes.
- Reconnect with an old friend - off of Facebook. Yes, it is possible.
- Do squats while brushing your teeth - make use of theose 2 minutes!
- Sing the ABCs everytime you wash your hands to ensure they're really getting your paws clean.
- Make overnight oats so you have breakfast waiting for you in the morning.
- Give yourself an at-home spa day - a long bath can make you feel so good.
- Schedule an at-home workout. Serioulsy. Put it in your calendar and do it.
- Get your vision checked - those tension headaches could be about your eyes.
- Get rid of old, unsupportive sports bras and take time to find one that really works for you.
- Sleep 8 hours a night for a week.
- Take healthy snacks to work; trail mix is easy and requires no cooking.
- Carry a reusable water bottle with you and stay hydrated all day long.
- Buy, and more importantly use, a set of medium-weight dumbbells.
- When you are cold, don't turn up the heat - do 10 push-ups (doing them on your knees is cool with us.)
- Skip the fries and order a salad with your burger.
- Eat carb free for a day - do you feel better or just super cranky?
- Stop eating when you are 3/4 full instead of stuffed.
You might notice that 52 resolutions match up with the number of weeks in a year. You could go crazy and tackle one these goals weekly for all of 2016. You can do it!
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Our friends at YourTango dug deeper into a study that looked at the connection between health and happiness.
But this doesn't mean you should be a cranky pants.
A new study asks the question: Does happiness itself directly affect mortality? The answer from the researchers was, "Happiness and related measures of well-being do not appear to have any direct effect on mortality."
This seems to go against everything we've been taught over the years - that a good mood will add years to your life, or that when you're happy you don't have stress damaging your heart. But sometimes thinking these kinds of thoughts places blame on the sick for bringing on their own illnesses and make the happy too complacent in regard to taking care of themselves.
In an interview in The New York Times, Sir Richard Peto, author of the study and a professor of medical statistics and epidemiology at the University of Oxford, said, "Believing things that aren't true isn't a good idea. There are enough scare stories about health."
Since there's a widespread belief that stress and unhappiness cause poor health, Peto and his colleagues decided to look into it. The Million Women Study is a prospective (watches for outcomes) study of United Kingdom women recruited between 1996 and 2001, who were followed electronically for cause-specific mortality.
Three years after recruitment, the baseline questionnaire for the present report asked women to self-rate their health, happiness, stress, feelings of control, and whether they felt relaxed. They also tracked the participants' mortality through official records of deaths and hospital admissions.
The main analyses were of mortality before January 1, 2012 and included all causes, like ischaemic heart disease and cancer in women who didn't have heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive lung disease, or cancer at the time they answered the baseline questionnaire.
When the answers were looked at statistically, unhappiness and stress weren't associated with an increased risk of death. Since it was a Million Women study, they don't know how or if these findings relate to men.
A substantial minority of these healthy women said they were stressed or unhappy, but over the next decade, they were no more likely to die than the women who reported being happy and stress-free.
"This finding refutes the large effects of unhappiness and stress on mortality that others have claimed," Dr. Peto said.
This type of study, which is dependent on participants' self-assessments, isn't considered as indisputable as a more controlled experiment in which subjects are randomly picked and assigned to a treatment or control group. While there were a large number of participants, measuring emotions can be tricky, as not everybody is comfortable with reporting how unhappy or stressed they are. Happiness can be difficult to gauge.
Professor Peto said that he doubted that the new study would change many people's thinking. But I think we should all aim for both happiness and health.
- Kiarra Sylvester
Check out more great stories from YourTango:
- 32 Best Love Quotes For All You Married People!
- 20 Things Really Really Happy People Do Way Differently
- How to Be Happy With Yourself: 5 Must-Read Tips
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Monday, December 28, 2015
People suffering from undiagnosed respiratory health issues or muscle disorders know that getting a good night of sleep is impossible. Our friends over at Self share a great example of how much of a difference waking up rested actually makes.
I was recently diagnosed with severe obstructive sleep apnea, a condition that causes my airway to collapse during sleep. It effectively cuts off my airflow, which disrupts my rest and restricts my oxygen intake. Fun! I was also diagnosed with periodic limb movement (PLM), a disorder that causes frequent muscle movements during sleep, most commonly the flexing and releasing of leg muscles.
When I did an overnight sleep study, the sleep specialist said my arousal index - a measure of how many times per hour something was sending me back to a light stage of sleep, and not nearly as sexy as it sounds - was 97. The respiratory therapist told me it was one of the worst numbers he'd seen in his 30 years of doing sleep studies, and he was curious as to how I functioned on a daily basis. I guess I got used to being sleep deprived.
My sleep doctor put me on a low dose of Ropinirole (a medication used to treat Parkinson's) for the PLM and prescribed a Continuous Positive Airway Pressurek (CPAP) machine to keep my airway from collapsing. It's been a little more than a month since I started treatment, and there are eight ways my life has drastically changed for the better. That's not even counting the long-term health benefits of getting good sleep!
1. I actually remember what being rested feels like.
When I went in for my sleep study, they woke me two hours in to tell me I was a damn mess. Then they put me on the CPAP machine and told me to go back to sleep. That first night, I got five hours of shut-eye with the CPAP machine. Even though I'd gotten 10 hours without it the night before, the CPAP sleep was far superior. After years of not being rested, it was like when you clean smudge off of glasses: you could see everything OK before, but once the smudge is gone you realize how much you were really missing.
2. Cranky isn't my default mode.
I'm not as irritable as I used to be. I wasn't Gordon-Ramsay-in-Kitchen-Nightmares-grouchy, but there were times when I was working with a short fuse. That's no surprise since another symptom of a chronic lack of sleep is - you guessed it - bad moods.
3. My anxiety seems to be less severe.
I suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Wouldn't you know it, sleep disorders absolutely exacerbate GAD and GAD absolutely exacerbates sleep disorders! Talk about a vicious cycle. My GAD isn't gone, but it is noticeably less intense now, as if my rested mind is much more resilient to the disorder. I can, for the first time in a long time, more easily acknowledge, accept, and move on from anxious thoughts and triggers. Then I replace them with positive ones, which is a staple of GAD coping mechanisms.
4. Waking up throughout the night is a distant memory.
It wasn't uncommon for me to wake up five or six times a night. I'm not talking about a few second of consciousness and then back to dreamland. I was physically getting up and out of bed five or six times. Sometimes I'd take a warm bath in the middle of the night because my legs were kicking so severely from the PLM, but even more frequently I would get a glass of water because my mouth was bone dry from the sleep apnea. This past month was the first time in 10 plus years that I slept a full night without waking up once.
5. I don't nod off in the middle of the day anymore.
Before, I was the walking embodiment of those 5-Hour Energy commercials. You know the ones: "Do you suffer from that 2:30 feeling?" I couldn't get any work done in my office because the hum of the central air and the soft, overhead lighting would put me right to sleep. Now I can work in quiet places, and I don't take naps. Sometimes I look at the clock and am surprised that I'm so alert when I'd usually be a heavy-lidded mess.
6. Seven hours of sleep is enough for me.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends seven to nine hours of sleep a night for anyone between the ages of 18 and 64. Where I used to aim for 10 or 11 a night, I'm consistently getting seven and still feeling more rested than I have in over a decade. Almost overnight, I reclaimed three to four hours of every day.
7. My morning commute is significantly safer.
About three months ago, I committed to a three-hour round-trip commute to work five days a week. Before treatment, my drive to work was a daily battle to stay awake. I tried everything including caffeine, loud music, sticking my hand out the window, and flexing my sphincter (don't judge me - I saw it once on an episode of Morgan Spurlock's 30 Days). Sometimes I'd get to work and sleep in the parking lot before I went in, and other times I'd stop and nap on the way. It was a legitimate problem. The CDC estimates that some 72,000 auto accidents a year are a result of drowsy drivers, and there are even federal guidelines that say you're not medically fit to drive if you're not treating your sleep apnea. Luckily, that's not a problem for me. I can't imagine going back to a life without my CPAP machine.
8. My snooze button doesn't get as much love.
Before all of this, I would put my alarm clock across the room as a way of forcing myself out of bed in the morning. That worked for a bit, but eventually I was so exhausted that I would get up, hit snooze, and go right back to bed. Since starting therapy, I keep my alarm next to my bed. Even if I do hit snooze, it's never more than once. Now that I'm actually getting good sleep, waking up and starting my day is no longer an epic struggle.
- Christopher Post
Check out more great stories from Self:
- 4 Quick Stress-Relieving Tricks You Can Do on the Go
- 9 Ways to Detox After a Big Night
- 16 Healthy Habits All 20-Somethings Should Adopt
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If you ask 100 people if you should do cardio before or after strength training, chances are that you'll get an even split of answers. The surprising part of each answer, however, is that you'll get about 100 different reasons why you should or shouldn't do cardio first. Let's cut through the myths and misconceptions and give you the answers you need to build your best body!
A recent study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research discovered something very shocking: it doesn't really make a difference if you do cardio before or after training. Whether you're lifting weights or getting sweaty on a cardio machine, the same hormones spike. Also, you won't really notice much of a difference in your performance either way.
Even though the study was rather clear about the findings, opinions still vary. According to fitness coach Anthony J. Yeung, CSCS, "It's always better to do your strength training before cardio because you want to do your heavier stuff when your body is fresh. If you did it the other way, your body would get tired so you wouldn't be able to lift as much weight and your technique would worsen."
Diana Chaloux, CPT and owner of the online personal training website HitchFit.com, indicates that, "If your goal is fat loss, the ideal situation would be to perform strength training first, followed by cardiovascular training." She explains that "when you strength train, your body utilizes glycogen (which is stored carbohydrates) for fuel, so if you strength train first, and then do cardio immediately after (which prefers fat for fuel for lower intensity cardio), you would create an environment in your body conducive to fat metabolism."
What about morning cardio, you may ask? Well, research published by the British Journal of Nutrition found that people can burn up to 20 percent more body fat by running in the morning on an empty stomach. What does this mean for you? Some experts advise breaking up your training efforts to do cardio in the morning on an empty stomach and then weights later on in the day with a pre-workout protein-based snack.
What does this mean for you? You've got options - and there's never anything wrong with that! Our advice? If you can split your training efforts into two separate workouts, hit the gym on an empty stomach in the morning and do your cardio (and lift weights later in the day in a different session). If you can't go to the gym twice in one day, make the most of your single session by hitting the weights first then doing your cardio. This way you can do the heavy stuff when you are at your optimum energy levels.
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It's that time of year again: new year, new you. Sounds simple, right? But research from the University of Scranton suggests that by the first week of January, a whopping one-quarter of us who make resolutions have already ditched them, and by year's end only eight percent have made our resolutions a reality. Fret not: if the saying you are what you eat is true, than there's no better way to build a better you in 2016 than by making a few easy-to-stick-to food resolutions that have the power to transform you from the inside out. We promise these four must-make food resolutions will feel so good, there's no chance you'll give them up.
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Sunday, December 27, 2015
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Saturday, December 26, 2015
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Friday, December 25, 2015
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Thursday, December 24, 2015
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Don't make the mistake of ruining your exspensive leggings by washing them too often, or not enough! Luckily, our friends at Self have some tips on keeping them just as new.
You love to wear your leggings everywhere - to the gym, to the grocery store, to brunch – and don't worry, you're not alone: in 2014 sales for athletic pants equaled denim sales for the first time ever. If you're devoted to the athleisure lifestyle, it's important to make sure you're caring for your $90 Lululemons the right way. Stop sabotaging your favorite joggers; here are six common care mistakes that are causing them to wear out.
1. You're using warm water.
You've probably heard that using cold water won't really clean your clothes, but that's a myth. When it comes to workout pants, which are typically made with elastane - a synthetic fiber that gives the stretchy, comfy feeling we all love - washing in heat is actually a no-go.
Elastane is extremely sensitive and can be damaged by high temps. Finding a detergent that allows you to wash your workout gear in cooler water will maintain the fiber integrity and keep the elasticity of your leggings intact. Not to mention it will keep colors vibrant and fresh longer.
2. You're using the dryer.
Elastane fiber does not mix well with the heat of the dryer. It's sensitivity to high temps can damage the stretch factor and result in yoga pants that no longer keep everything locked in place. For best care practices, let your leggings air dry naturally. However if you simply must use the machine, experts suggest tumble dry on low.
3. You're using regular bleach.
Bleach can be a lifesaver when you've spilled red wine on your favorite cotton dress, but for garments with synthetic fibers like elastane, polyester and nylon (aka the primary fibers in your fave leggings) traditional chlorine bleach is the enemy. Care for your white or nude leggings like you would care for your teeth, says Mary Johnson, P&G Fabric Care fiber scientist. Use a cleaning product that acts like floss and gets down in between clothing fibers to remove dirt and soils. She suggests reaching for oxygenated bleach, which is safe for all colors and will breakdown body soils and odor on a fiber level while still maintaining the benefits of regular bleach.
4. You're not using fabric softener.
You probably thought fabric softener was optional; in fact, it's an absolute necessity. You wouldn't skimp on conditioner for your hair after a good wash, so why would you forego the conditioner of laundry? A good fabric softener is just like a hair treatment and will keep your yoga pant fibers smooth, combed and realigned, thus reducing pilling and dreaded fuzz. For looser garments, a fabric conditioner can also prevent static cling as well.
5. You're not washing your bottoms ASAP.
On any given day, we produce one liter of sweat, 10 grams of salt, 40 grams of grease and sebum and 10 grams of skin cells and flakes - and that's without a workout built in. All of those body soils get can get mixed together and embedded in your clothes. In fact, 70 percent of laundry soils are invisible, says Johnson. And all those invisible soils can lead to the deterioration and degradation of your leggings.
"Dirt can destroy clothes," explains Elaine Cella, P&G Fabric Care fiber scientist. "If you think about sebum, it's sticky. It attracts dirt over time." And it only gets worse the longer you wait to wash your dirty clothes, she says. She suggests approaching your dirty workout clothes as you would a stain. Just as if you treat a stain immediately, you're more likely to remove the unwanted mark; if you wash a soiled garment ASAP, you're more likely to remove dirt and bacteria and keep your clothes from attracting more damaging soils.
Bottom line: Letting your used workout clothes sit in the hamper for days and days is actually harmful to the fabric.
6. You're wearing your pants too often between washes.
Guilty of recycling a pair of leggings you know aren't exactly, um, fresh? That second (or third) wear may be damaging your leggings more than you know.
"The longer you wear something, the more you sweat without even realizing it," says Cella. Even normal, everyday wear can leave body soil on the garment, which can actually eat away at the fibers, explains Cella. Think twice before wearing a pair of leggings over and over before washing, assuming they're still clean enough.
- Caitlin Miller
Check out more great stories from Self:
- These Incredible Smart Leggings Have the Most Useful Pocket Ever
- This Incredibly Cool Yoga Mat Rolls Itself Up When You're Done Using It
- Definitive Proof That These Are the Hottest Pair of Workout Leggings
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Tuesday, December 22, 2015
I started running after college to lose that Freshman 40 I was holding on to. I learned a lot along the way, like what socks prevent blisters and how to shop for a sports bra so you don't have to wear two. But what I struggled with was losing weight, specifically belly fat. And after 15 years of running and experiencing two pregnancies, that still-pudgy pooch - although a sweet reminder that I was my kids' first home - was always the thing I pinched and poked when standing in front of a mirror.
So I signed up for a half-marathon. I was convinced that all those training runs would surely slim my middle, but when I stepped on the scale, I was completely wrong. I was gaining weight because the hunger that came with those long workouts made me want to eat all the time. After the race, although I made some changes to my eating schedule to lose the weight I'd gained during training, my squishy belly wasn't budging, and it pissed me off. It wasn't like I was going to run more often or for longer distances. It was quite by accident that I figured out how running could help me ditch my mummy tummy.
One morning, I skipped the hour-long flat road run and turned into the woods near my house. I let my dog, Reuben, off leash, and we just started running. My pace was much slower because the terrain was so unpredictable. Rain had eroded away the path, creating holes, plus the slippery wooden bridges, the rocks and logs to leap over, and the hills - man, were there hills! I was huffing and puffing way more than on my previous runs, and my quads, calves, and butt were burning. I had to swing my arms more to get up those steep inclines, and trying to catch up to my dog added a little fire to my step. At the end of my 20-minute run, I felt like I did after running two hours.
After just two weeks of running those trails and those crazy hills, I felt an incredible sense of strength in my legs I hadn't experienced before in the 12 weeks I was training for the half. In the obstacle course that is the woods, my muscles were constantly guessing, since running in the woods is completely different than running on a sidewalk or a treadmill. It's like a dance because there's no monotony of movement. Every step is a little different, a little shift to one side or the other, a little shorter or longer than the one before.
Interval training had always seemed so forced when running through my neighborhood: I felt a little weird sprinting past my neighbor's house, so I skipped them and just stuck to my 9:40 minute-per-mile pace. But the hills forced me to switch up my pace, and I knew this type of training would be the key to ditching my tummy. Running this way was also really challenging to my mind. I felt a complete sense of calm afterward that I wasn't able to get to unless I did a long training run. Instant runner's high in just 20 minutes? I was floored.
And the added perk? My belly looked slimmer. I could see definition in my obliques - I had obliques! By no means am I saying I have a six-pack after a month of running in the woods, but I see now that I was pushing myself in the wrong way. I was working harder, not smarter. If you're struggling with a weight-loss plateau from running, the answer for you, too, might be found in the woods.
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It's no secret that Khloé Kardashian has a team of people who help her stay fit, but when it comes down to it, she's got to have willpower like everyone else. So when she thought about cutting out a big part of her diet - dairy - she was hesitant, but the choice ended up contributing to her 11-pound weight loss in just six weeks.
"I'm obsessed with cheese and milk, but eliminating them from my diet made the biggest difference," Khloé said in the December issue of NewBeauty Magazine. "In a month and a half, I lost 11 pounds just from not eating dairy, without doing anything else different, and that totally blew my mind."
"I'm way healthier now than I ever was," she continued. "I stay really hydrated by drinking five liters of water and taking vitamins every single day."
Of course, Khloé also hits the gym . . . hard. The reality star doesn't take many days off from her intense workout with personal trainer Gunnar Peterson. "Working out does so much for me emotionally," she said, "but it also makes my skin look better - everything looks better."
If you're thinking about giving up dairy, too, these posts will help:
- Giving Up Dairy Changed My Body in So Many Surprising Ways
- 10 Dairy-Free Breakfasts With (at Least!) 15 Grams of Protein
- The 25 Best Dairy-Free Treats
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Monday, December 21, 2015
When trying a diet, as you're attempting to stick to a program, it's not unusual to tell yourself little "lies" to either feel better about your choices or to make excuses for why you haven't fully committed to getting the body you've dreamed of. And I'm not talking about becoming a supermodel overnight. But it's not surprising to hear folks tell themselves little "lies" to compensate for not being where they want to be fitness-wise.
Here are some common "lies" you might get caught up in as you attempt to make a "new you" for 2016, and some tips to stop the BS - so you can start dealing with the truth and rock a more fit you in the New Year.
1. The Excuses Lie
This is a favorite one: "It's okay if I ate junk the past few days because this weekend . . ."
Having a cheat day or a small treat daily is a wonderful way to enjoy life yet stick to a healthy eating plan. However, if you're telling yourself it's OK to binge because somehow you'll exercise enough to make up for a junk-food bender, this is a harmful lie on many levels.
First, it's OK to have a cheat day or a small daily treat, but days and days of junk isn't good for your system, period. It also sets up a bad pattern: junk, junk, junk, and then a frantic panic to make up for this, which can lead to undereating or over-exercising, both of which are bad habits.
What to Do: If you find yourself engaged in this lie frequently, start to track when you're having these junky periods. It may be tied to work stress or emotional matters. Once you see a pattern emerge, rather going on a Ben & Jerry's binge to cope with your stress, you can plan to stave of the bender by packing extra healthy snacks at work and enlisting some emotional support from friends and family.
Get tech friendly and track your daily diet and workout routine on any number of fitness apps. If you're into technology, utilize one and enlist a buddy who you can work on mutual fitness goals together. Two minds are better than one.
Pencil in your cheat days. Having one is a great way to allow yourself to indulge and let loose a bit without giving into those treats on a daily basis. It makes you accountable for the other days of the week at a higher level. Why would you "binge" on a Monday if you know that in a few short days on Friday, you've got your cheat day?
2. The Debbie Downer Lie
These are the lies you tell yourself when making excuses for not having the body you want.
"I had a baby - I will never look as good as I did."
"I'm just never going to lose the last ten pounds. "
"I'm not a runner. I could never run a 5K."
"It's just how I'm built."
What to Do: Yes, our body types have pros and cons, but to simply not try and give up before you even have started is too fatalistic. Committing to lose weight is worth it because at the end of the day, what do you gain? You gain so much: you feel better in your clothing, you wake up with more energy, if you're a parent you've got the pep to run after your kids, and for all of us, when swimsuit season time comes, you're ready to hit the beach without wearing that t-shirt or gigantic cover up. Will I ever be a runway model at 5'2? No, but I am fit, healthy, and happy with how I look. I highlight the body parts that work well for me, like my legs, and work what I've got. Stop comparing yourself to others and show off the high points of your body type that you've been given. We've all got something beautiful about us - believe and you will achieve!
3. The "Beverages Don't Count" Lie
People forget to count those beverages. Everything you take in counts.
Those flavored lattes? A powerful amount of ingredients and calories that add up. Let's not forget that glass of wine you have each night or the lunchtime sodas. Even if you're rocking a kale salad with grilled chicken and some fruit for a snack, what you're sipping on could be preventing you from dropping pounds.
What to Do: How do you beat this beast? Pay attention to what you drink and while water isn't magic, staying hydrated and drinking enough water can help you stay fuller longer. If you hate water, try flavored waters and/or drinking through a straw. You may be apt to ingest more water when drinking with a straw. I swear by it!
4. The Scale Means Everything Lie
You look at the scale and see a number you don't like. This either fuels tears or a panicky feeling to avoid the next meal.
The scale may be exact if it's calibrated right, but the scale lies unless you've got one that weighs body fat too.
What to Do: Remember - the scale won't tell you how much muscle you're building or if you feel good in your own skin. Your scale can't tell you if you pulled some serious bench presses off, and it can't tell you if your clothes fit properly.
This isn't to say you should ignore your scale but that it shouldn't be the answer to how you feel about your fitness and health.
5. The "I'm Hungry" Lie
You think you're hungry but the bottom line is you're:
-Skipped a meal (and are about to go on a hardcore eating binge)
What to Do: Time and time again when I get fatigued, I want to eat the world and then some. Note when you are the hungriest and start to see if you notice any patterns as to when you're ready to eat a small child. You may see that you're not hungry but really just need a nap!
No matter where you are on your fitness journey, whether you're simply warming up or already a pro, cut out the lies you're telling yourself and start holding yourself accountable and you'll get the results you want in 2016!
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Adele's amazing song "Hello" is getting a run for its money with this hilarious parody about how much it sucks having to lose weight. Damn you, kale salads and box jumps!
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Whether we read it in a magazine, read it on Instagram, or heard it from our best friend's sister, we're inundated with weight-loss tips on how to drop founds fast. Some advice is not so good and can actually make the pounds pile on. Here's a list of do-not-follow tips.
- Never eat past 7 p.m.: What time you stop eating has nothing to do with how much weight you'll gain or lose. What does matter is how many calories you consume each day. So instead of giving yourself a cutoff time to stop eating, give yourself a daily calorie amount.
- You only need cardio to lose weight: While going for a 30-minute run will burn about 270 calories, cardio alone isn't the best use of your time. Be sure to include strength training since having muscle increases your metabolism to help you burn more calories.
- Weigh yourself daily to stay on track: Monday you're 140, Tuesday you're 139, and Wednesday you're 141! These fluctuations have to do with how much water you're retaining or when the last time was that you had a bowel movement. Although completely normal, they can be damn discouraging and even make you feel less motivated to eat that salad for lunch or hit that 7 p.m. workout. Since slow and steady weight loss wins the race, once a week scale dates are enough. But also monitor your progress by factoring in your energy levels, your fitness endurance, and how your clothes fit.
- As long as you exercise, you don't have to watch what you eat: That 30- to 60-minute workout doesn't give you the green light to eat pizza and cookies all day. Practicing portion control is essential because if you eat more calories than you use up, you're going to actually gain weight.
- Cut out all carbs: While cutting out bread, pasta, rice, baked goods, and fruit may help you drop pounds fast, certified dietitian Leslie Langevin, MS, RD, CD of Whole Health Nutrition says you can't sustain this diet and you shouldn't because carbs are what your body needs for energy. Instead of saying "no" to all carbs, limit the amount you eat and make sure what you choose are complex carbs such as quinoa and barley and whole wheat bread and pasta, and you should opt for an actual orange instead of OJ (the fiber will fill you up longer).
- Skip meals to save calories: This sounds like it'll work, but your body is smart. If you don't eat, it stores fat to use for energy later, which makes losing weight impossible. Instead of skipping a meal, eat small meals more frequently to ensure you're using up the calories you're taking in.
- Drink diet soda instead of regular soda: While it is lower in calories, Leslie says that artificial sweeteners are just as addictive as regular ones, which can cause cravings for more sweets. Fruit-infused waters or herbal teas are way healthier, and if it's something sweet you crave, have a piece of fruit.
- Eat low-fat: The diet craze in the '90s was all about low-fat, but we've learned that eating healthy fats like avocado, olive oil, and nuts "can actually help us to increase our metabolic rate and lose more weight than by eating a low fat diet."
- Keep a pair of jeans that are one size too small for motivation: Now that's just cruel. Positive reinforcement is way more motivating, so every time you lose five or 10 pounds, reward yourself with a relaxing yoga class or manicure.
- Do sweaty workouts in heated rooms to lose more weight: If you weigh yourself before and after a sweaty workout like hot yoga or a SoulCycle class, you'll lose a pound or more. But it's not fat you're losing, it's water weight. How much you sweat isn't an indication of how many calories you're burning. Instead focus on the length and intensity of the workout.
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Sunday, December 20, 2015
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Are you ready to challenge yourself? This 20-minute workout is guaranteed to leave you dripping in sweat. Prep yourself with a short active warmup, and then HIIT it with this workout made up of two circuits with some cardio bursts in between. Grab some dumbbells, between five and 10 pounds, and follow NYC-based celebrity trainer Adam Rosante.
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Saturday, December 19, 2015
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Friday, December 18, 2015
A bit about the Wolf household, Thrive Market’s social mission, and a free offer for a great non toxic laundry soap http://ift.tt/eA8V8J
from The Paleo Diet - Robb Wolf on Paleolithic nutrition, intermittent fasting, and fitness http://ift.tt/1k7Mb0n
You guys know drinking cabbage is my new MO these days. I just can't get enough, which is why I'm so excited to bring you my latest favorite cruciferous concoction: this ahhhmazing Clean Strawberry Smoothie.
Would you like a sip?
Yes, yes you do.
I know this because my husband and I took down an entire pitcher last weekend and battled over the last few sips hiding in the bottom of the blender.
As you know, smoothies can quickly go from healthy to high-sugar depending on just what you put into the blender. For this reason, strawberries are one of my favorite smoothie fruits because they're naturally low in sugar. They add a subtle sweetness, fiber, and important phytochemicals to smoothies while keeping the total sugar count down.
And, natural or not, if there's one thing most of us can afford to cut back on, it's most likely sugar.
Grab your blenders and give this a whirl this weekend. The hubs will vouch that it tastes just as good as it looks.
To get the full recipe, check out Elle's blog!
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Star Wars Fans Now Have Their Own Fitness Classes - With Lightsabers, of Course http://ift.tt/1UKmDn6
If Star Wars: The Force Awakens was the best thing to happen to you this year, then you're going to love New York City's latest fitness trend: lightsaber workout classes. Using the Force (and your core) to perfect the art of intergalactic combat, wielding lightsabers in fitness classes will help any geek learn to love working out! We can't decide which part of this new movement is best: that participants are encouraged to dress the part for class, or that free lightsaber workout courses are popping up all over the place.
Watch the video above to learn more about your new favorite exercise trend, then check out these details to learn how to join in on the Force-filled fun!
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Thursday, December 17, 2015
Winter cuisine can be a struggle for those of us who are trying to get a head start on our New Year's resolutions-to-be. And while we love the comfort and spice from a bowl of great chili, it doesn't exactly scream diet-friendly.
But just because chili is hearty doesn't mean it has to be unhealthy; there are plenty of ways to cut the calories without cutting the flavor profile. In fact, many of the main components, including meat, beans, and chilis, are not inherently fattening and can in fact work well into a resolution-worthy meal rotation. It's the toppings - just a few scoops of sour cream and a handful of shredded cheese - that push chili into the trouble zone for calories and fat.
These healthy chili recipes prove that dieting - or simply just trying to stay healthy - isn't only possible during the wintertime, it's delicious.
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I've always been a very anti-supplement minded person. I'm just not about to spend hundreds on all these so-called magic pills, powders, juices, etc. out there on the market that basically promise you'll become the healthiest person on the planet if you take them. Nope, no thanks. Move on to the next gullible person waiting for their miracle cure to turn their life around. I'll be over here eating real food and at most, taking a multi-vitamin.
One of the things that my nutrition coach (see more about that here) recommended recently, however, was an intra-workout protein + carbohydrate concoction (which makes complete sense if you think about it) instead of my usual water. With 15 grams of protein and 45 grams of carbohydrates prescribed, I started researching what people were using on their Facebook group to reach that level of carbs in liquid form. What I found disturbed me. Mentions of Tang, sugary lemonade powders, fruit punches, etc. made up the majority of the list and therein lies my issue with a lot of the IIFYM (if it fits your macros) movement. I'm just not willing to sacrifice ingredients to meet macro-nutrient needs. A donut may be a carb but it doesn't mean it's the nutritional equivalent to a sweet potato. Same thing with liquids, powdered lemonade may have the sugars that make up the right carbohydrate levels for my intra-workout drink, but I'm sure as heck not ok with putting that ingredient list in my body six times a week.
So I've turned to a few healthy favorites such as tart cherry juice and my longtime friend coconut water instead when it comes to my workout drink.
Coconut water and I became BFF back when I got into running. No matter how much I tried to hydrate during long training runs, I'd inevitably end up feeling like complete crap, almost in a hangover-like state from dehydration (10+ miles will do that to you). Just 10 minutes after drinking coconut water though, I'd be back to normal. I joked it was my secret miracle worker to anyone who would listen and I still swear by it today as the best natural way to re-hydrate your body. Not all coconut waters are created equal though – be sure to check the labels: I like ZICO because it has just 1 ingredient: 100% natural coconut water with no added sugar. Recently, ZICO introduced a certified organic fair trade coconut water. As someone who cares about ingredient lists and ingredient sourcing, I was so excited to hear about this addition to their already awesome line up of coconut water (pineapple has been a longtime favorite). Just like their natural coconut water, ZICO 100% Organic Coconut Water has nothing added and nothing removed. Every pack helps support fair crop prices, community development projects and the farmers and producers behind the coconut water while still bringing five naturally occurring electrolytes to every sip. So now you can feel even better about getting your hydration on. It's not just the hydration factor though that it's got going for it, coconut water is a drink we should all be consuming and here's why.
5 REASONS TO DRINK MORE COCONUT WATER
- IT'S LOW IN CALORIES
Most drinks that boast the kind of hydrating benefits of coconut water are filled with calories and excess sugars to achieve that. Coconut water is a relatively low-calorie drink at around 40 calories per eight ounces.
- IT'S A GREAT SOURCE OF POTASSIUM
Everyone's heard of eating bananas for their potassium benefits, right? Well, one medium banana provides about nine percent of your daily potassium needs. Coconut water provides the same, if not more which is why it's such a great option for re-hydration. Potassium is crucial to your body's brain, nervous system, and muscle strength. So when you're just not in the mood for a banana, chug some coconut water instead.
- IT'S ALSO A GREAT SOURCE OF MAGNESIUM
Magnesium is something almost two-thirds of us don't get enough of in our diets. Low magnesium levels can lead to low energy levels as well as a host of other issues. Coconut water contains about 14 percent of your daily needs.
- IT CONTAINS CYTOKINES
Cytokines in coconut water have been found to have anti-aging (who doesn't want some of that?!) and anti-carcinogenic effects, slowing down the growth of cancerous cells.
- IT'S A GOOD SOURCE OF ANTIOXIDANTS
Antioxidants absorb free radicals and toxins in our bodies. Coconut water being a source of antioxidants can help neutralize the damaging effects of those free radicals.
*Check out this post on how to make a homemade sports drink for an easy hydrating drink you can make in bulk and great use of coconut water.*
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Athleisure - which, simply put, fused together practical fitness gear with existing fashion trends - was big this year. So if you or someone you know has been meaning to upgrade the usual workout ensemble of black leggings and that promotional company t-shirt, check out these 50 finds ahead.
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If you're into trying easy weight-loss tips that seem a little farfetched, like eating off blue plates, you'll want to try this in your home. Grab some matches and light up! No, not a cigarette - a vanilla candle. Most of us can't lose weight because we're constantly craving food, and this sweet scent has a calming effect on the part of the brain where cravings live, which can help curb your appetite. And because this time of year is perfect for lighting candles, putting them all around your kitchen and dining room can help lighten your mood while satiating cravings. Hey, if it doesn't work, at least your home will feel warm and bright.
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Still thinking about Christmas gift ideas, for yourself or others? Here are a few ideas. Perfect Health Retreat We’ve improved the retreat every time we’ve staged one, and it’s now a very special event. Perfect Health Retreats offer: a relaxing …
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One thing that sucks about doing a weight loss program is that you can't have pizza. Man i miss pizza..
- Zach King (@ZachKingSTL) February 15, 2015
I know I'm serious about this weight loss now cause instead of eating chips or some bullshit I'm eating an orange. I hate life.
- Fire Jawn (@PUSHATIFF) December 6, 2015
*thinks about going to gym and losing weight*
*goes to kitchen and eats oreos*
- Happy Haley (@HaleyLuvsPink) December 6, 2015
Weight loss sucks. I want chocolate:
- Kasey High (@Runners_HIGH_) December 1, 2015
I hate when I'm on a diet and a bag of Doritos accidentally opens and falls into my mouth
- Taylor Johnson (@_hotchocolateee) December 11, 2015
One moment I'm Googling on weight loss tips and now I Google 'chocolate cake recipe'.
- IZZA! IZZA! (@AnotherSixthGun) November 3, 2015
*reads that peanuts help with weight loss*
*buys sugar coated honey roasted peanuts*
*sucks sugar off and spits peanuts out*
- Libby (@elizabthwaddell) April 21, 2015
I just want to eat every chocolate chip cookie in the world and not gain weight.
- Price (@KellenPrice20) December 13, 2015
I need to start losing weight but then there's chipotle, ice cream, brownies, fries, cheese cake, Cinnabon, and chocolate
- ♡maansi♡ (@maansibhan) December 6, 2015
Being on a diet sucks, it's like, oh you want a brownie? Okay, here's some flavored water. ENJOY!
- Paige (@ddrainbowtime) December 14, 2015
I've stared this new diet where all I eat is salad, 3 times a day. It's been 4 days & the results are I hate the person I've become.
- Martial (@Martial___) December 15, 2015
Just seen a photo of a dominos and I'm close to tears diet sucks
- Helena Lowther (@lowther_helena) December 1, 2015
I want to be thin, but I also want to eat everything.
*Considering tapeworms as a possible realistic weight loss plan*
- Sara Says Stop (@PetrickSara) December 11, 2015
Kind of want to lose more weight.
Kind of want to stuff my face in chocolate cake...
- Andrea (@ALovesCookies2) November 22, 2015
how do I lose weight if I love food and hate working out :'))))
- ɐıpnɐlɔ (@ClaudiAyeeee) October 19, 2015
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At Beverage Digest's Future Smarts conference on Monday, PepsiCo CEO Al Carey announced plans to launch an organic Gatorade offering - because as the saying goes, if you can't beat em . . .
At the conference, Carey said, "It's a consumer interest. I think they're very interested in non-GMO and organic, and to the degree you can make it meaningful to the consumer." While Carey didn't reveal any further details about the proposed organic sports drink, it could be part of a larger, company-wide initiative. For example, PepsiCo will also be rolling out Tropicana juices with specific non-GMO labels in 2016.
It's important to remember, however, that the use of organic ingredients won't make Gatorage healthy altogether - considering there are nine teaspoons of sugar in an average 20-ounce bottle. In an interview with Forbes, executive director of the Institute for Healthy Food, Jim Krieger, stressed, "I doubt there are any health benefits to organic sugar, relative to conventional sugar, and even if there were, they'd be too small to counterbalance the negative health effects of the sugar itself."
So while this will certainly be an improvement for athletes in need of a quick electrolyte boost, water is enough for regular exercisers - or coconut water if you're looking for an all-natural alternative!
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