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In a world of triple-stacked hamburgers, double-stuffed cookies, and super-sized cups of soda, many of us tend to overestimate appropriate portion sizes while underestimating the amount of food we eat. It’s no surprise: over the last twenty years, we’ve seen continued growth in portion sizes to a point where we’ve entered an era of “portion distortion”. At restaurants and fast- food establishments, super-sized portions are served in order to provide “super” value to the customer. At the grocery store, companies have super-sized packaging of their products, and even at home, we’ve managed to steadily increase the size of our dinnerware. Unfortunately, all this growth has had an impact on our waistlines: we think big, we eat big, and it shows.

At the start of a New Year and the common resolution to eat healthier, I thought it a good time to address portion control. Here are my portion control guidelines to help you practice portion control and reach all of your wellness goals.

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Caroline’s Smart Size Portion Guide.

The simple skill of knowing how much to eat is an important key to weight loss and weight maintenance. Eating appropriate portions enables us to eat to a point where we are comfortably full, yet not so stuffed that we regret it later.

Research has shown Americans often underestimate how many calories they are consuming each day by as much as 25 percent. The hard truth is: you can’t escape a bad diet. The effects of poor nutrition and over generous portions will catch up with you at some point!

In order to understand appropriate portion sizes of foods, there are three things you’ll need to learn: 1) You’ll need to understand how much of a typical food constitutes a portion size, 2) you’ll need to know what that portion size looks like visually, and 3) you’ll need to learn how to apply this knowledge in your life.

The following lists include a select number of various types of food, their typical portion sizes, and everyday objects that equate to portion size. Although there are a few exceptions, most of the foods listed are whole, as there are an infinite number of processed or packaged foods. Further, since eating whole foods is always recommended over processed foods, it seems more appropriate to focus on them.

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Portion Size Guide Of Whole Foods

Fresh Fruit* = 1 cup = woman’s fist

    • apple
    • apricots
    • blackberries
    • blueberries
    • kiwi (2 pieces)
    • orange
    • pear
    • plums (2 pieces)
    • raspberries
    • strawberries
    • tangerines (2 pieces)

*exceptions: banana, grapefruit, portion size = 1/2 fruit

Leafy Vegetables = 1 cup = Baseball

    • arugula
    • baby romaine
    • boston lettuce
    • mixed greens
    • red lettuce
    • romaine
    • spinach

Fibrous Vegetables = 1/2 cup = 1/2 Baseball

    • artichoke hearts
    • asparagus
    • broccoli
    • carrots
    • cauliflower
    • celery
    • cucumber
    • eggplant
    • green beans
    • onions
    • red cabbage
    • red peppers
    • snap peas
    • squash
    • zucchini

Breads = CD case

    • Bagel (1/4)
    • English Muffin (1/2)
    • Whole-grain bread (1 slice)

Meat = 3 ounces = deck of cards

    • beef
    • chicken breast
    • pork tenderloin
    • tofu
    • turkey breast

Fish = 3 ounces = computer mouse

    • cod
    • halibut
    • mahimahi
    • red snapper
    • salmon
    • swordfish
    • tuna

Grains, Legumes, and Starches = 1/2 cup = 1/2 baseball

    • barley (cooked)
    • beans
    • brown rice (cooked)
    • cereal
    • corn (cooked)
    • edamame
    • oats (cooked)
    • potatoes (all varieties)
    • quinoa (cooked)
    • whole grain pasta (cooked)

Dairy

    • Hard Cheese = 1.5 ounces = 4 dice or lipstick case
    • yogurt = 1/2 cup = 1/2 baseball

Fats

    • Avocado = 1/2 medium = deck of cards
    • oils = 1 teaspoon = 1 die
    • nuts – 1/4 a cup = golf ball

If you don’t already have measuring cups or spoons, it might be helpful to purchase them. You may even want to consider investing in a nutrition scale, which will allow you to weigh various foods. Spend a week measuring what you eat and comparing it to the visual cues so you can accurately understand typical portion sizes and what they look like. Display some of the everyday items in your kitchen so they are conveniently located. You may even want to take a couple of them with you when you go out to eat. Eventually, you’ll be comfortable assessing portion sizes without measuring cups, spoons, or props and will be able to do so no matter where you are.

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Knowing proper portion sizes is only half the battle in learning the art of eating the right amount. It’s what you DO with that knowledge that really counts. Eating out and busy schedules can make portion control more challenging. Here are my suggestions on how to use your portion control smarts in the moment:

 Caroline’s Portion Control In ACTION guidelines:

  • Before Eating, Divide The Plate. Here’s a simple rule to portion a plate properly: Divide it in half. Automatically fill one side with fruits or vegetables, leaving the rest for equal parts protein and starch. This way, you begin to see what a properly balanced meal looks like. Spaghetti and meatballs? Steak and potatoes? They’re only half a meal, incomplete without fruits and vegetables.
  • Pre-Portion Tempting Treats. People tend to consume more when they have easy access to food and the bigger the package, the more food you’ll pour out of it. Measure out your food choices into a ziplock bag, bowl, or plate before you eat. Put the package or dish away and then sit down to enjoy your pre-portioned snack or meal.
  • Avoid Mindless Munching. It’s all to easy to keep eating food when it’s readily available. I call it the “see food diet”. If you can’t resist food when it’s around you, have it put away or leave the room. Turn off the television, computer, or any other distractions so that you can pay attention to what you are eating. When you are dining out, ask the server to have the bread removed from the table. In the office steer clear of your co-workers candy jar or the community food table. When you are mindful while eating its easy to avoid damaging your nutrition goals with munching.
  • Downsize The Dishes. If you’re part of the “clean plate club” and one of the 54 percent of Americans who eat until their plates polished, you’ll want to make sure your dishware is modestly sized. On a standard 8- to 10-inch dinner plate, a portion of spaghetti looks like a meal. On a 12- to 14-inch dinner plate, it looks meager, so you’re likely to dish out a bigger portion to fill the plate. Look for dishware that helps you in sticking with your healthy portion control goal. That way even if you eat until your plate is clean it wont do too much damage!
  • Limit Your Choices. The more options you have, the more options you’ll want to eat.  Look to limit your food choices to avoid the temptation to sample everything in sight.  When at a buffet or party with a large assortment of food, view all the dining options first and then fill your plate with portions of the foods that you want most. Avoid the temptation to go back for seconds once you are comfortably full.
  • If you have good food in your fridge, you’ll eat good food. You control 100 % of the food that is brought into your home. Use this power to your advantage. Stock up on foods that nourish you and if you know you can’t stop at just one potato chip, then don’t buy them at ALL.
  • Enjoy Dining Out with moderation and mindfulness. Eating appropriate portion sizes when dining out is especially challenging. Restaurant servings sizes are often enough for 4 people! To keep portions in perspective, consider ordering two appetizers instead of an entrée. If you are dining with others, you may want to split an appetizer and entrée with another person. If you order an entrée for yourself, evaluate how much of the food on the plate equates to a portion size and ask for the rest to be set aside. You can ask for a doggie bag or save the portion for another meal during the week. And always share dessert!

What is one way you practice portion control when dining out or cooking at home? It’s important to be mindful of the quantity of food you’re eating and hopefully the guidelines above will help you enjoy eating healthy, balanced portions. Eat slowly, savor your food, and enjoy your company. Heres to a year of eating well, feeling well, and being unstoppable!

Yours in Health,

Caroline

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The National Institute of Health estimates that during the 6 weeks of Thanksgiving and New Years Day, Americans gain an average of 0.8 – 1.4 pounds. With the lingering effects of Halloween candy factored in, that range could easily be higher. According to the NIH, this eating free for all over 40 or more days accounts for the 51% of the typical American’s yearly weight gain.

 

One and a half pounds doesn’t seem a significant amount of weight to shed post holidays, but realistically the extra baggage doesn’t come off that easily. In fact, over a decade or two, at that rate of gain, an insidious 15-30 extra pounds could creep onto a person’s unsuspecting frame. Most are aware of the health challenges the holidays present, but what many people don’t know is how EASY it is to prevent weight gain with a few realistic and mindful strategies in place. With a few simple healthy alterations you can stop the holiday food hangover BEFORE damage is done.

 

Below are some of my favorite articles and resources to help you put these strategies to work and feel your best on January 1st. That way come the New Year, instead of focusing on damage control, you’ll be in a place to set new, exciting wellness goals.  I challenge you to practice prevention and mindfulness while you enjoy the season and find balance. These practical articles aim to inspire you to put a “holiday pre-hab” program in place for yourself. With topics ranging from “Seasonal Stress Reduction” to “9 Healthy Holiday Eating Strategies”, I hope you will find something useful below. If you draw just one good idea or find a healthy recipe to share, I’ll have met my objective. Please let me know if you find this post helpful or if you have any healthy holiday resources you’d like to add to the list by leaving a comment below this post.  In the meantime, if you haven’t subscribed to my YouTube Fitness channel, please do so at: http://www.youtube.com/user/TheCarolineinthecity?feature=mhee   . It’s the perfect solution to traveling or seasonal workouts when you are short on time. And now without further to do, here are my favorite seasonal health resources:

 

Caroline’s Healthy Holiday Handbook 2012

 Seasonal Stress Reduction:

Cooking Light and Eating Right:

Feel Good Fitness:

Inspiration/Motivation

From my little studio in San Francisco to your home, I wish you a very warm and festive holiday season (sans the extra pounds!) Looking forward to sharing this most wonderful time of year with you. Heres to a healthy, happy holiday that feels good from the inside out.

With Gratitude,

Caroline

 

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“Actually, I think all addiction starts with soda. Every junkie did soda first. But no one counts that. Maybe they should…” – Chris Rock

True story, I used to be a junkie. Diet 7Up was my soda of choice and I was addicted. A.D.D.I.C.T.E.D. I drank the stuff like it was water. Because once you start with one… the sugar in the bottle naturally makes you want MORE. My friends would caution me, “you really need to get rid of that stuff Caroline.” but I blew it off. I didn’t want to part with Diet 7Up. I wasn’t ready yet. Until the day came when I was. I was tired of spending so much money, dehydrated in need of water, and ready to give up the fake stuff. And then I did it. I beat my addiction to diet soda. I can’t tell you it was easy. But I can tell you it was worth it.

Since 1950, soft drink consumption per capita has quadrupled from about 11 gallons per year to about 50 gallons in 2003.

Sugar is a common term used to describe a variety of sweet substances. There are naturally occurring sugars, such as those found in whole fruit and dairy products (lactose). And there are “added sugars”, which aren’t naturally found in food but rather are added to foods when we cook or bake, or during the processing of packaged and industrially prepared foods.

Over the last several decades, American consumption of added sugars has climbed to an all time high, and unfortunately, research has shown that this increased consumption is significantly contributing to disease and health issues in America. High consumption of added sugars are associated with the rise of obesity and with the increased risks for high blood pressure, high triglyceride levels, inflammation, and other risk factors for heart disease and stroke. Further, regularly consuming refined sugars can cause insulin resistance and raised blood sugar levels (both of which can set the stage for type 2 diabetes), weight gain and fat storage, decreased immune system and endocrine function, constipation, moodiness, premature aging, and the list goes on.

The American Heart Association suggests that women should consume no more than 100 calories (about 25 grams or 6 teaspoons) of added sugars per day, while men should consume no more than 150 calories (about 37.5 grams or 9 teaspoons) each day. This is a drastic contrast to the 22 teaspoons consumed on average today.

When we explore where we get most of our sugar, sweetened beverages are overwhelmingly the most to blame. Sweetened beverages account for over 40% of “added sugar” in the American diet. According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, soft drinks alone account for 33 percent of consumed added sugars, with the sweetened fruit drinks trailing a distant second at 10 percent. It’s no surprise: one twelve-ounce can of soda contains over nine teaspoons of sugar, while the more common twenty-ounce bottle contains seventeen teaspoons!!

Other foods definitely contribute to our sugar intake as well, but not at nearly as high of a rate. Candy and cake come in a 5 percent each, ready to eat cereal compromises 4 percent of the total, and then comes table sugar and honey, cookies and brownies, and syrups and toppings.

With so many added sugars attributed to sweetened beverages, it’s safe to say that eliminating sweetened beverages from your diet can drastically reduce your daily sugar consumption and improve your health.

If giving up sweetened beverages seems painful, I’m here to tell you it will get easier after a few days. The more we feed our addiction to sugar, the more we crave it. When you break the cycle, however, your body begins to crave less sugar; and in a few weeks, you won’t miss it so much. After being clean from diet soda for years, when I taste the stuff it blows me away by how sweet it is! It brings awareness for how much I had lost sensation to sweet when I was a diet soda addict.

** A note on beverages and ARTIFICIAL sweeteners.

 Its best to avoid beverages that are sweetened with artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, saccharin, and Sucralose. These are highly processed, chemically derived, zero-calorie sweeteners that are used to intentionally reduce calories in otherwise high-calorie foods and beverages. Although artificial sweeteners may seem healthier in the short-term, many studies have shown that they can increase cravings for sugar and carbohydrates, and can potentially negatively impact your metabolism. Further, they may cause dizziness, hallucinations, and headaches, among other health issues. As a result, it is best to cut out artificial sweeteners from your diet and avoid drinks or foods that contain them (yes you Diet 7Up).

Sip smarter and reduce your intake of sugar with my “Better Beverage Check List”

Survey Your Consumption. Keep track of the sweetened beverages you consume. Note how many grams of sugar are in each beverage, and add up your total at the end of the day. Make sure to include all types of sweetened beverages, including soda, juice drinks, flavored waters such as vitamin water, Gatorade, sugar added to your coffee or tea, or anything else that has added sugar in it. If you consume beverages that have artificial sweeteners, write them down as well. Each day of the week, continue to write down how many grams of sugar you are consuming as you make attempts to cut back your intake. I find using an online food journal is an easy method of keeping track of your diet for better body / health benefits. Click here for my tips on keeping a helpful food diary.

Reduce your intake. Consuming sugar in liquid form makes it easy to ingest a ton of empty calories very quickly. Further, these beverages have little to NO nutritional value and cause large spikes in blood sugar. Reduce your sweetened beverage consumption with these tips:

  • Soft Drinks. One of the best ways to eliminate soft drinks from your diet is to substitute them with club soda and a slice of lime or lemon. For a less drastic change, you can make a mixture of three parts club soda with one part 100 percent fruit juice. Dilute the mixture with a little more club soda each day until you can drink it with just a splash of juice, or even better just a splash of lemon or lime. Also, be sure to choose club soda or seltzer that is sodium free. A second way to reduce your soda consumption is to wean yourself off of it. For example, if you normally drink a twenty-ounce bottle of soda a day, drink only sixteen ounces on day two and substitute the other four ounces with water or club soda. On day three, cut back to twelve ounces of soda and eight ounces of water or club soda. Continue to reduce your intake each day so that by the end of the week you’re consuming little to no soft drinks with added sugar or sugar substitutes.
  • Flavored Water and Other Sweetened Beverages. One of the easiest ways to reduce your sugar intake with drinks like Vitamin water, Gatorade, lemonade, sweetened iced tea, etc, is to dilute them with water. Start with a mixture of three parts of the flavored drink and one part water. Each day increase the amount of water until you are consuming little to none of the flavored drink. Ultimately, work down to plain water or sodium free club soda with lemon or lime. Read more on the myths of sports beverages (propel, vitamin water, gatorade) in this interesting Fox News article.
  • Cocktails. It is easy to overdo it on alcohol calories and often cocktails can have more sugar than an entire bag of candy. While the occasional cocktail won’t hurt you, it’s smart to read up on how to make the best choice when you are out  on the town. Click here to read my “Think Before You Drink! Conscious Cocktail Choices.” article and use these tips to enjoy your night out without too much damage.
  • Juice. Although juice contains plenty of vitamins and minerals, its high in sugar and low in fiber. This includes juice made with 100 percent fruit. Even though the sugar found in fruit juice is natural, it can still have similar impacts to your blood sugar as added sugars. Instead of a glass of juice, eat a piece of fruit. You’ll get all the healthful benefits from the fruit along with some fiber, which will help to keep your blood sugar levels stable, make you feel more satisfied, and help you reduce your overall sugar intake.
  • Coffee and Tea. Many coffee and tea drinkers add sugar to their caffeinated beverages. Unfortunately, caffeine can cause ups and downs in hydration and blood sugar, potentially fueling sugar cravings. If you sweeten your coffee or tea, try replacing sweeteners with low-fat or non-fat milk. They contain natural sugars (as opposed to added sugars) and protein, creating a more nutritionally balanced beverage. If you like iced tea, choose unsweetened green or herbal tea. You may also want to add a drop of stevia – a natural sweet herb – for sweetness. Finally, since caffeine can contribute to sugar cravings, you may want to limit consumption of caffeinated beverages and move toward decaffeinated options instead.

Drink Plenty of WATER.As we have talked about several times on the blog, drinking plenty of water is important to your health. Lack of hydration can cause us to feel hungry or even feed our sugar cravings. If you feel like you are craving a sweetened beverage, have a big glass of water and see what happens. If your craving subsides, there is a good chance you are dehydrated.

If you have already eliminated sweetened beverages from your diet, you can look to start reducing added sugars in other areas like these:

  • Minimize processed foods. Whole foods never have hidden sugars. Whole foods are those foods you can eat right from nature and don’t require any processing. Foods that are packaged or processed, however, tend to have a lot of hidden sugars. For this reason, when you are craving a sweet food, try to limit yourself to those that are naturally sweet, or more specifically whole fruit and sweet vegetables, like carrots and tomatoes.
  • Eliminate “Fat-free” and “Low-Fat” Packaged Foods. Many low-fat and fat-free versions of goods are loaded with extra sugars. If you want to indulge, its almost better to have the full-fat version which will satiate your cravings more because of the fat content, then to reduce yourself to the high-sugar, low fat option. Remember when we talked about the 80/20 rule of healthy eating? This is a good strategy here.
  • Experiment with Spices. There are many spices that provide sweetness to a dish without the extra calories of sugar. Sweeter spices to try: cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, coriander, ginger, cloves, and cardamom.
  • Stop adding Sugar to meals. Just as you can add spices to recipes, you can stop adding sugar to your meals. Adding sugar on top of fruit, cereals, and other foods that are already sweet is excessive. When you stop adding the sugar for a few days, you should see a decline in your cravings for it.
  • Read Nutrition Labels. The ingredient list on product packages help you spot hidden sugars such as high-fructose corn syrup and other added sweeteners. Also, pay attention to the carbohydrate section of the Nutrition Facts panel to understand how much sugar a product has. Ideally, you want to keep the number of grams of sugar as low as possible and the number of the grams of fiber as high as possible.

Have you ever been a sugar or soda addict? What was your secret to breaking the habit? Leave your thoughts and comments below! 

I am a believer that knowledge is power. The more informed you are, the more you can make the right choices for you. I hope this post inspired you, lets TOAST to your health and a long life together 🙂

With gratitude,

Caroline

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Information for this post provided by 52 Small Changes: One Year to A Happier, Healthier, You by Brett Blumenthal. Great read, check it out!

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While healthy eating is important, there are times when we all want to indulge and need a little wiggle room to do so. Life is meant to be enjoyed, and if having a piece of cake at your friends birthday party is going to bring you pleasure, then by all means you should have a piece of cake. Thats why I subscribe to the 80/20 rule. This rule reminds you that if you want to maintain a healthy body and weight, you’ll need to make wise food choices more often than not, but can make occasional allowances for certain foods or larger portion sizes without falling off track.

Depriving yourself to an extreme isn’t sustainable long term and neither is indulging 24-7. When you don’t let yourself enjoy the things you love, you end up craving them more. This is where practicing moderation comes in. Moderation allows you to enjoy some of the sweeter (or more savory) things in life without overdoing it so you don’t sabotage your efforts to maintain healthy habits. By indulging wisely and treating yourself once in a while, it makes it easier to stay on track and maintain a healthy life.

You don’t have to be perfect or make healthy choices 100% of the time to be fit, strong, happy and well. Here are my guidelines to making the 80/20 rule work in your life:

Caroline’s 80 / 20 Guide

Be Choosy. Part of indulging wisely is figuring out what is really worth the indulgence and what splurging means to you. For instance, if you have a sweet tooth but you could take or leave french frys or potato chips, save your indulgences for dessert. When you’re confronted with unhealthy foods you don’t really crave or love, either skip those or substitute healthier foods so you have room for the indulgence you really want later. Lets say you dine at a restaurant, and chips or fries come with you sandwich; ask to substitute a salad, fruit, or vegetable for the chips or fries if dessert is a more appealing treat. Even fast-casual restaurants like Panera Bread allow you to do this. Swapping out unhealthy foods for healthier choices not only gives you more room to enjoy the things that are really worth the indulgence, but it helps you to eat more nutritious foods along the way.

Plan your 20% Indulgences Ahead. Every week, go over your schedule and pick the one day  or specific moments when you want to allow yourself to enjoy the things you normally avoid. If you know you have a big event on Saturday night, that might be the perfect occasion to indulge. Or if you know you have a birthday dinner with a friend on Wednesday, you might want to enjoy treats then. Regardless of the occasion or the timing, planning indulgences ahead of time gives you something to look forward to throughout the week so it’s easier to remain healthy the rest of the time.

Plan the other 80%. Plan your week’s meals and snacks so its easier to remain healthy 80% of the time. Make sure you shop for all the required ingredients and prepare to be successful in your planned meals. Think ahead, plan to succeed, and you’ll build a healthy habit of 80% nutritious meals.

Savor Your Splurges. When it’s time to indulge, ENJOY IT. Don’t let guilt get in the way or beat yourself up for having a treat. Practice awareness when eating so you maintain a healthy level of satisfaction and don’t feel physically ill of overstuffed. Take the time to enjoy your treat away from tv, work, or other distractions. Be mindful, slow down, and savor every second.

Frequent Indulgences RX: There will always be times when opportunities to indulge are more frequent than normal: holiday seasons, vacations, and birthdays are good examples. When this occurs, the best thing you can do as always, is plan for it. Otherwise, one celebration can easily blend into another and before you know it, you’ve spent a full week or two indulging over and over. Here are some ways you can offset these occasions so they don’t overtake you attempts to maintain a healthy lifestyle:

  • Exercise. During those weeks you know you’ll be indulging more than 20% of the time, spend some extra time moving. Even an additional twenty to thirty minutes during your workout can make a huge difference. Also choose to incorporate more movement into your day to day, taking the stairs and walking as much as possible.
  • Nutrition. For those time frames when indulging is more frequent, eat especially light and healthy when you aren’t celebrating. Choose to eat nourishing whole foods and many raw fibrous fruits and vegetables. Also make sure you stay hydrated. Before you indulge, drink two glasses of water to fill you up so you indulge a little bit less than you would otherwise.
  • Support Team. Communicate your health goals to others and recruit support to help keep you on track. The more open and honest you are with those that can help you the more successful you’ll be. Accountability is a highly motivating success strategy!

Falling Off The Wagon. There will be times when your healthy habits start to wane. Accept that this is natural and just a part of life. Remember that every day is a new day and a new beginning. If you find yourself spiraling into unhealthier habits on a regular basis, hit the restart button. Recruit support from friends, family, and your fitness coach. Communicate your goals and desire to get back on track. Choose to regain control and you let the small set back teach you lessons on how to move forward to be your best.

The 80/20 rule is all about knowing that we need to give ourselves some wiggle room to maintain healthy eating over our lifetime. It is easy to become unmotivated if you feel like you’ve screwed up by not eating perfectly. And so often this is used as an excuse to continue to eat poorly. That’s what is so great about the 80/20 rule: re-defining what is perfect to allow you to comfortably fit the mold!

It’s all about progress, not perfection. Work on your health, your choices, and your attitude towards yourself. Look at where you want to go, recruit support and set small realistic goals. Any small steps forward WILL add up to progress and fulfilling your vision of a healthy, balanced life.

Do you already practice the 80/20 rule in your life? What are your favorite indulgences? Here’s to enjoying the sweeter things in life and finding a happy, healthy diet balance!

Hope you have a great week. See you soon… till then keep shining 🙂

Caroline

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As a Health Coach there are two questions I get asked most often:

1. Whats the secret to 6 pack abs?  I’ve answered this inquiry in THIS POST.

and

2. Whats the best way to find a happy, healthy weight for me?

Everyone deserves to find a healthy weight that feels great. Thanks to Health Castle’s nutrition experts, here are nutritionist’s Top Ten Tips for Healthy Weight maintaince.

Healthy, Happy Weight Balance

Tip 1: Find out how many calories you need

BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) / BMR [kcal]

Body Weight [lb] x 15 + (moderate activity [mins/day] x 3.5)

If you wish to lose weight, your target = BMR – 500 kcal

For instance, you weigh 140 lb and you perform 20 mins of moderate activity every day. BMR of this example = (140 x 15) + (20 x 3.5) = 2100 + 70 = 2170 kcal. BMR minus 500kcal; it would be 2170 – 500 = 1670 kcal. Therefore 1670 kcal is the target in this example to losing 1 lb per week.

Tool: Use Health Castle’s online Calories Calculator to calculate how many calories you need every day. Balance calories in with calories out and you’ll find your happy weight!

Tip 2: Eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day

Fruits and vegetables are packed with beneficial fibers, vitamins and antioxidants. They fill you up, are low in calories, and help keep you feeling fabulous. Pack your diet full of produce power and fuel your body with food that feels good.

Tip 3: Watch for Portion Size

One serving of pasta means 1/2 cup of cooked pasta. However, most restaurants serve a pasta dish with 4 servings of pasta!!! Portion sizes can be deceiving and prevent you from your weight goals. Watch your sizes: use this portion size guide to keep your daily calories in check and avoid overdoing it. 

Tip 4: Do not Skip Meals

Eating small frequent meals helps to balance your calorie intake throughout the day and keeps your blood sugar level balanced. Instead of eating 3 big meals, try to eat 5 – 6 smaller meals throughout the day to keep your body fueled with energy.

Tip 5: Go for wholesome fresh foods

Purchase fresh foods and avoid highly processed foods. Highly processed foods are a real culprit of obesity, not meat or carbs. HPFs and fast foods are often higher in sodium and fat content. You can easily lose weight by packing a home-cooked lunch for work instead of eating out and incorporating more wholesome fresh foods in your diet.

Tip 6: Don’t be overly-restrictive

Everyone has his or her favorite treats. Simply allow yourself a little indulgence, but watch  the frequency and the quantity. Having a small treat in moderation can be rewarding and keep you on track with your weight loss goals. Cutting too much of your favorite treats can lead to a binge or make you feel deprived.

Tip 7: Understand Food Claims and Labels

A product labeled with a fat-free claim does not mean that it is low in calories. Similarly a product labelled as low-sugar or low-carb does not mean it is low in fat or calories. Always read the nutrition label on the packaging and know what you are eating!! Malidextrose? I think not…

Read more: Understanding Food Labelings

Tip 8: Watch for the sugary drinks

Juices, soda, cream & sugar in your coffee or tea all add up. Opt for drinking mostly water in a day. In addition to providing hydration to your body, it will also help you feel full. Many drinks, like milkshakes and cocktails, can be full of calories, some with as many as 1,000 in ONE drink!

Read more: Think Before You Drink. Conscious Cocktail Calories. 

Tip 9: Keep a food journal

Keeping a food journal helps you pin point your eating patterns and will enable you to easily modify it. If possible, have your nutritionist or health coach review your journal and help you make nutrition goals tailored to your needs. Click here to read my tips on keeping a food journal. 

Tip 10: Exercise, period

Most authorities recommend 30 – 60 minutes of physical activity a day to stay healthy. Its also important to try adding weight-bearing exercises at least 2 times a week. Strength Training will boost your metabolism and will help burn extra calories even while you’re at rest. Click here to read all the weight loss benefits of lifting weights. 

 

Simple and powerful, follow these basic tips and your weight will balance at a happy, healthy place for you. Whats your top tip for maintaining a healthy weight? Leave your weight words of wisdom as a comment below, excited to hear how you stay balanced and well.

Have a wonderful week and keep shining bright!

With Gratitude,

Caroline

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Today, more Americans are traveling on business and pleasure than ever before. Sadly, nearly one-half of travelers polled by USA Today felt that they were in worse shape because they lack the time or the means to exercise properly during travel. No wonder they feel this way, air travel IS physically stressful. It disrupts sleep, slows circulation, and dehydrates the body. Not to mention, frequent flying throws a wrench in the timing and quality of regular activity and eating patterns. On the road, it is easy to give in to pressure and fatigue—grabbing fast food, having an extra drink to help relax, or collapsing in front of the hotel TV. But to live a life fueled with energy and health, making a few small changes in the way you travel can make a huge impact in how you feel on a daily basis.

My mission is to help wiped-out, eat-on-the-run travelers meet their wellness goals. To provide creative ways to exercise, eat right, and reduce stress while on the road. Staying in shape while traveling IS possible, it just requires a little effort.  Here are my top tips to help establish healthy travel habits and win in wellness as a jetsetter athlete.

Exercise On the Fly. 

    • Make time for away-from-home workouts by fitting them in first thing in the morning, before you leave your hotel or home.  Even 10 to 20 minutes of movement in the morning in your hotel room is enough to keep your metabolism revved and energy high for hours of traveling.
    • Book a daytime arrival, especially if you are on a west-to-east flight. Once you are there, get yourself outside and do something active in the daylight. This will help you recover from jet lag quickly and improve your chances of sleeping well in your hotel.
    • Wear comfortable workout shoes so you can walk as much as possible. Avoid the escalator walkways and take the stairs.
    • Don’t wreck your back with awkward luggage. Take a posture-friendly backpack that distributes weight evenly through your core (heavy backpacks should have a hip strap). A suitcase with wheels or a stylish rolly laptop case is even more ideal.
    • If you’re not traveling first or business class, book an emergency exit row aisle seat to enjoy a roomier seat with extra leg room.
    • During your flight, take a bathroom break and stretch out your legs. Stand for 5 minutes and perform simple head, neck, shoulder, and leg stretches.
    • Walk the length of the plane every hour or two to keep your back happy, your muscles supple, and your blood circulating.
    • Get fitness equipment that fits in your travel bag. Maintain your strength training with easy-to-pack resistance bands and do these no-frills resistance band exercises in your hotel room.
    • To preserve your hard-earned fitness level, exercise at least every third day while on the road, performing at least a third of your aerobic routine at your typical level of intensity and completing your strength training program at least once a week, using the same amount of resistance. Keeping part of your routine in tact will help maintain your fitness and energy levels.
    • Use down time in the airport to stretch, drink water, and relax. Here is my quick, no equipment needed, 6 minute stretching series. These exercises will help you decompress, stretch out, and get to your destination feeling fabulous!

 

Eat Right In Flight. Avoid Tummy Turbulence with these tips:

    • Pack Your Own Snacks. Plan ahead and bring a few packable snacks in your carry on bag. Here are some easy eat on the fly ideas:
        • Homemade trail mix. It’s easy to make your own trail mix — not to mention healthier than the store-bought stuff — and it’ll help keep you full and energized. Make sure to buy unsalted peanuts and dried fruit without added sugar. Portion out individual serving sizes in ziplock bags so you don’t over-do it. Mix your own or test one of these healthy homemade trail mix combos.
        • String cheese. If your diet likes dairy, you can get some of your daily dose of calcium with travel-friendly string cheese.
        • Fruit. Apples, pears, bananas, and other fruits are easy to take with you and are an excellent source of fiber, something that becomes important as travels begin to wreak havoc on your digestive system.
        • Pre cut veggies.  Baby carrots and sugar snap peas are perfect when you need something crunchy.
        • Nutrition bars with five or fewer natural ingredients are the most convenient snack to pack and wont create a mess. Make sure to drink plenty of water with it as eating too many bars can sometimes cause constipation :/.
    • Know Your Options. If you’re stuck in the airport and forced to face the food court, it’s helpful to know which restaurants can offer you healthier menus. Luckily, many airports have the same chain restaurants and you can rely on this knowledge to help guide your diet decisions. Heres a few Restaurant foods to eat and to avoidat the airport. You can also locate healthy restaurant options in your destination using quick, simple iphone applications. Here are my top healthy restaurant finding tools:
        • Research healthy dining options for your destination by looking up your desired zip-code on healthydiningfinder.com . This service locates healthy restaurants and menu choices for you. Simply enter your zipcode and it will identify all the best menu items from nearby restaurants.
        • Yumee . Looking for a restaurant to fit your healthy eating specifics? This app is for you. Released November 2011, Yumee scopes out local digs to find places (and even specific menu items) that meet users’ nutritional requirements. Available for free on the iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, and Android.
        • Fooducate . Chosen as a 2011 best iPhone Health & Fitness app, Fooducate turns smartphones into scanners. Pick a food product and scan the bar code to get all the details on the nutrients inside. Users can even compare different items to find the healthiest, tastiest, most affordable choice. Available for free on the iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, and Android.
    • Hydrate! Flying is extremely dehydrating, which means the eight glasses of H2O a day rule really won’t cut it. Before you hop the plane, fill your own water bottle. To combat dehydration (and the fatigue it causes), drink two 8-ounce glasses before boarding, then another one each hour in flight. Add an extra 6-8 ounces for every hour in the air.

 

Sit Back, RELAX. In flight Stress Reduction

Since travel is very schedule-based, there’s not a lot of room for error; running for a plane or train can leave muscles sore and heads pounding. The last thing you want to do is arrive depleted of energy and unable to enjoy your destination fully.  To relieve this pressure and improve time away from home, unwind using some of these in-flight stress-busting strategies:

    • Pamper Yourself. Many airports now contain on-site spas and salons that offer stress-reducing therapies for travelers. Across the United States, it’s now possible to get a manicure, massage or nap during a layover without being a V.I.P. flyer. Pink polish for my toes? Why yes please thank you.
    • Get comfortable. Travel companies often sell lightweight aids to help travelers keep their cool. Put together a kit that includes an inflatable travel pillow, sleep mask and earplugs to help improve rest during long flights, and wear comfortable, natural fibers to regulate body temperature. A warm scarf or cozy sweater can also be a relaxing, soothing touch when the climate is cool.
    • Inhale, Exhale, REPEAT. Take a few minutes for yourself to sit in quiet and breathe deep. You can even load your digital music player with quiet music or audio meditations to help you de-stress while in transit.

My #1 Healthy Traveling Success Strategy:  Just do it. And do it. And do it.

The best way to stay on track is to constantly recommit to your health goals and follow your plan every time. Create a habit out of healthy traveling. Get support from friends, family, and associates. Share your goals and report back when you return. Don’t leave room for excuses. Plan your day around your workout. If you have to get up early, then do it. Most clubs open at 5 a.m. and close at 10 p.m. You could plan to walk on the hotel treadmill for a few minutes each day, and chances are you’ll stay for more. At the very least, get a room on an upper floor and commit to taking the stairs a few times a day. Write it down, check it off, congratulate yourself, and do it again on your next trip.

Healthy traveling is just all about planning. Think ahead, envision where, how, and when you will sleep, eat, and exercise before you go, and pack accordingly. Plan for success and you will stay on track and accomplish your health goals. It may take a little effort, but living a life fueled with energy and wellness is worth it. Stay committed to your goals, flexible with your schedule, and open to all that is possible – with these healthy habits you’ll be an unstoppable travel pro!

Whats your #1 healthy traveling habit? Leave your flying fit tip as a comment below – would love to hear how you stay healthy in the air. Hope to see you soon for a workout or two… till then, keep smiling!

Caroline

 

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Summer time and the livin is easy…

Ah summer. The season of pool parties, backyard barbeques, vacation adventures, and in my town parkas. (Yes, San Francisco is foggy and FREEZING in the summer…. need me to come visit you? 😉 ).

It’s the hottest time of the year and a great time to enjoy being active and living well. Heres a collection of some of my favorite workouts, articles, playlists, and tips designed to help  you stay fit this summer.  Whether you’re at the lake, in the mountains, on the beach, or at the pool, if you practice body care, you’ll thrive ALL summer.

 

Caroline’s Summer Body Care Kit.

A checklist of tips to help you eat right, stay fit, and have a BLAST! 

Seasonal Fit Tips

Summer Six Pack Secrets. My no nonsense guide to feeling STRONG in your swimsuit.

All About the SUNSHINE Vitamin. What vitamin D can do for you and your body. 

INSTANT Energy. Live Fully Powered all season.

Fresh Air Fitness. Benefits of outdoor workouts and ideas for fresh air fitness fun!

Summer Fun/ Vacation Workouts

Summer Fitness Adventures. Over 50 ideas to inspire you to have FUN this summer. 

Travel Fitness Tips. Tips on how to work out while you vacation it

Take with you ANYWHERE Workout. Moves you can take with you on your next road trip

Too HOT to Trot Tabata Workout. A quick routine to squeeze in before summer vacation sightseeing.

Best of the Best. Caroline Jordan Fitness Workout Roundup. GO GET IT.

Eat Right

Summer Salad Survival Guide

Top 50 Superfoods to Fuel Your Summer

Think before you Drink! Conscious cocktail calories. 

Nuts over COCONUT. Is coconut water really good for you?

How to eat seasonally – great links to help you enjoy the most from the farmers market

Summer Hits. Playlists

Spicy Summer Spin Mix

Sunny Workout Playlist

THE RIDICULOUS MIX

POWER Jams. Great ideas for workout songs or backyard BBQ tunes!

Rockout Workout Playlist. Outdoor concert anyone?

There you go…. tons of links to help you make summer a sweaty and fit season of bliss.  Remember, fitness comes ALL forms and what works for one person might not be exactly right for someone else. It’s up to us to try what’s out there and live in a way that is authentically happy.  So tell me,  what does summer fitness mean to you? How will you enjoy staying active this summer? Leave a comment below with one way you will practice Summer Body Care. Together we can inspire each other to thrive and live our BEST life.

Here’s to a healthy, happy season of sun.

With Gratitude,

Caroline

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Confession: Im addicted to health blog reading. I don’t know about you, but l need inspiration. Pretty much every day  in fact. I usually turn to blogs for that daily dose for whatever activity Im doing at that moment. Where do you think I get all those crazy ideas for fun workouts, appetizing recipes, or inspiring quotes that I post on Facebook? Yup, my addiction to blogs fuels my journey towards living a life that is happy and healthy. And yes, I need to shut off the computer and get to bed a half an hour earlier. But maybe Im ok being an addict that wakes up inspired 😉

Recently, one of my favorite health blogs, Greatlist posted their collection of the top health and fitness blogs of 2012.  With helpful fitness sites, quality spiritual reads, and healthy cooking recipe pages, they’ve got everything covered when it comes to living WELL. Of course, everyone’s list is subjective, and there are lots of other great ones out there. I wanted to share Greatlist’s list with you as well as a few of my personal favorite blog finds.  If you are looking for motivation, inspiration, or just plain good reading, this is a good place to start. Enjoy…. and dont blame me if you become an addict 😉

News and Tips

1. Fit-Bottomed Girls
Take that, Queen: The Fit-Bottomed Girls offer advice on fitness and nutrition for women. Dynamic duo Jennipher Walters and Erin Whitehead launched the site in 2007; today the blog features two more women who share clever insights on everything from sports bras to Chipotle. And anyone that can fit a review of The Biggest Loser and an analysis of the fitness industry’s flaws in the same place is OK by us.

2. NerdFitness
You are what you read, but here that might mean you’re a little healthier and fitter. Steve Kamb wants readers to make daily progress toward getting in shape. Obsessed with superheroes (Lego people appear regularly on the site), Steve gives advice that helps normal folks work out, eat right, and gain self-confidence.

3. Fitnessista
This site makes fitness approachable with tips from personal trainer and nutritionist Gina. Posts range from photos of Gina’s baby girl and fluffy dog to suggestions for using the “scary cable pulley thing” at the gym. Readers can check in daily for recipes, new workout ideas, and honest accounts of real life.

4. Well + Good NYC
Purple cauliflower boosts happiness. Some beauty products contain gluten. The team at Well + Good answers the health questions you didn’t know you had. The site helps New Yorkers get fit in the city, but readers anywhere can get the scoop on trends like juice cleanses and boutique fitness.

5. The New York Times Well Blog
If you don’t read any other source of health news, it’s just as Well. Tara Parker-Pope’s health column for The New York Times doesn’t miss a beat— whether it’s new research on heart health or the low-down on treating exercise injuries. Pope’s a science journalist and author, and the Well column features insights from her, as well as other bloggers and medical experts.

6. GOOD Health
Good crosses the globe to find the most compelling health stories around, from healthcare technology in Kenya to the history of Plan B in the USA. The site features news and opinion from smart, edgy columnists and infographics on big issues like marijuana legalization.

7. Dr. Weil
An advocate of “integrative medicine,” Dr. Andrew Weil runs on a blog on every aspect of healthy living. It’s easy to implement his daily tips, like drinking cherry juice to sleep better and exercising to prevent migraines. A lot of information’s geared toward the older crowd, but even youngins can benefit from his advice.

8. TIME Healthland
As exciting as Candy Land and Disney Land, Time’s Healthland is the go-to spot for the latest and most interesting findings in health and fitness. The blog covers health news (does stress shrink the brain?), and analyzes trends like American drinking habits.

Healthy Eating

9. OhSheGlows
Seeds and sprouts piled on a slice of sprouted grain bread do not make an appearance on this vegan blog. Inspired by personal struggles with body image and nutrition, Angela Liddon started this blog to make healthy living and eating easier for everyone. From cinnamon sugar pumpkin spiced donuts to strawberry shortcake stacked pancakes, almost every recipe comes with a story on the side. (Check out nutcracker cookies for a real tearjerker.)

10. The Edible Perspective
This resource of ridiculously appetizing recipes puts a humanitarian, artsy spin on traditional food blogging. A recent graduate of architecture school, blogger Ashley takes drool-worthy photos of the recipes she features. It’s hard to believe the banana breakfast cookie and chocolate avocado cake are nutritious, but all the recipes here are healthy and vegetarian— and many are also vegan and/or gluten-free.

11. Healthy Food for Living
Boston native Lauren gets creative with recipes like avocado and strawberry grilled cheese and peanut butter and banana breakfast polenta. If the photos alone don’t make readers want to lick the computer screen, many posts also feature nutritional information that proves these recipes are nutritious ways to satisfy those tastebuds.

12. Carrots ’n Cake
Blogger Tina’s philosophy is about staying happy and healthy— not about diet-crazed restriction. The author of a book by the same name as the blog, Tina posts daily updates on her personal life (that’s how we found out about her adorable pup Murphy) and features easy-to-prepare recipes like gingerbread smoothies and apple omelets.

13. Kath Eats Real Food
This food blog is the real deal: Kath Younger is a Virginia-based dietician who developed a passion for healthy eating through her struggles with weight loss. Her upbeat posts about trying new restaurants (kudos to anyone who takes a picture before they take a bite of any meal) and loving oatmeal make readers as excited about nutrition and healthy living as she is.

*** Caroline’s Choice: Jae Berman Nutrition. Jae Berman MS, RD, CSSD, Regional Registered Dietitian at The San Francisco Bay Club, Certified Specialist Sports Dietitian, personal trainer and a frequently requested speaker, has a unique twist to nutrition counseling. Jae Berman Nutrition guides clients to better health through a realistic, sustainable and self-powered approach.

Special Interest Food

14. Mark’s Daily Apple
An apple a day, plus a visit to this Paleo guide from Mark Sisson, may just keep the doctor away. Sisson (who also made Greatist’s list of the most influential people in health and fitness), author of The Primal Blueprint Cookbook, writes a lot about nutrition and the evolution of the human diet. The blog also features some of his opinions on recent scientific research— and the guy knows his stuff.

15. The IF Life
The I and F in “IF” don’t just stand for “Intermittent Fasting.” In this blog, “2-meal Mike” writes about his life of on-and-off fasting combined with “intensity fitness” and “instant freedom.” His optimism combined with tips and hacks show readers they can get fit and happy with some knowledge and hard work.

16. Sodium Girl
Salt may be kryptonite for Jessica Goldman (aka Sodium Girl), but that hasn’t stopped her from living a healthy lifestyle. Goldman suffers from lupus and started her blog to show readers it’s possible to meet medical needs without disappointing the taste buds. Her delicious recipes (yes, the carrot and coconut donuts are salt-free) and nutrition advice will charm any reader into a second visit.

17. Simply Gluten-Free
Carol Kicinski loves biscotti. And cheesecake. And flatbread. And she makes them all gluten-free. Kicinski (also a cookbook author) offers recipes and advice for dealing with gluten intolerance, like which flours to use for baking and how to travel without starving.

18. Choosing Raw
Gena Hamshaw gets it. A nutritionist and a pre-med student, she’s into healthy eating. For her, that means a lot of vegan and raw foods, and her blog helps readers find meals that are tasty and nutritious— like almond and chickpea bread and mung bean pancakes. In non-recipe posts, she dishes about real life, like trying awesome new restaurants and spending time with friends.

19. The Paleo Solution
On The Paleo Solution, Robb Wolf (another of our top influencers!) and other writers explore all things Paleo, including advice, recipes, and scientific research. (Wolf’s a former research biochemist.) Download the podcasts in his Paleo Solution series for some quick tips.

*** Caroline’s Choice: Epic Self. Amber Zuckswert and I am a professional modern/ballet dancer, the creator of Virtual Pilates, holistic plant based nutrition and lifestyle coach, yogi, minimalist, raw foodie, planet romping gypsy wrapped into one tall package. Epicself stems from the philosophy that mind, body and spirit are connected and equally significant in moment to moment health and ultimate longevity. With over 500 wellness articles and self produced videos, Epicself is a virtual wellness playground and resource.

Healthy Parenting

20. Peas and Thank You
If the photos of little girls with ice cream smeared on their faces don’t melt your heart, the “recipeas” for chocolate pudding pie and tofu dippers will. This cookbook author and mom of two shares her adventures in a vegetarian, family-friendly lifestyle (with lots of gluten-free ideas, too). Her step-by-step instructions for cooking and baking make healthy eating quite… appealing.

21. Super Healthy Kids
This blog’s geared toward kids’ cuisine, but it’s hard for anyone to resist breakfast pizza pancakes and pumpkin French toast. Supermom Amy Roskelly makes healthy eating easy, with creative recipes, nutrition news, and practical tips. (Bet you can’t name all 14 ways to use granola!)

22. The Allergic Kid
Everyone’s parents should be as innovative and determined as Libby, whose son has been diagnosed with allergies to nuts, shellfish, eggs, dairy, and meat. The blog inspires readers to get cooking, with recipes for everything from crockpot curried chicken to vegan mac ’n cheese. Other posts cover allergy topics in the news and advice on reading food labels.

23. Stay at Stove Dad
An editor at The New Yorker, a foodie, and a dad, John Donohue makes healthy eating a priority in his family. The author of the bestselling cookbook Man With a Pan, Donohue blogs about (and illustrates!) his experiences whipping up fancy feasts like four fish cioppino and messier meals like mashed-potato pancakes. He’s also got adult-only insights on purchasing wine and splitting up cooking responsibilities.

24. This Mama Cooks!
Anne-Marie Nichols is one hot mama— though she occasionally features cold concoctions like salmon, blueberry, and lemon salad. Whether her readers need ideas for holiday party appetizers or want to share their favorite guacamole recipes, Nichols has got healthy family eating totally covered.

*** Caroline’s Choice: Bump Life.  Bump Life is an offshoot of the prenatal fitness company, Bump Fitness. Bump Fitness was founded in 2003 to help women workout in a safe and healthy way during and after their pregnancies and after. What started as a way to support moms and moms-to-be in their fitness endeavors, is now growing into a way to support moms and their families across all aspects of our lives.

Photo Fab

25. 101 Cookbooks
There’s nothing not to love about this vegetarian recipe blog, from mouthwatering photos of roasted winter squash salad to super-easy preparation tips for macaroons. Photographer and cookbook author Heidi Swanson can convert anyone to vegetarianism with her inventive (not to mention gorgeous) recipes.

26. Kitchen Corners
Blogger Da brings readers new ideas about cooking and nutrition from her travels around the world. Her photos of rainbow cake and poke salad belong better in an art museum than in a cookbook, and every recipe’s accompanied by a true tale from the kitchen.

27. Simply Scratch
Laurie McNamara’s got an itch for fresh, healthy cooking. Her close-up photos convey the powdery texture of flour and the sound of olive oil sizzling in a pan. Check out the double dark chocolate Merlot cookie recipe for a taste of love at first sight.

28. Sprouted Kitchen
Sara Forte’s passion for healthy cuisine comes through in her blog on vegetarian eats. In breathtaking photos, she captures the beauty of basil and cauliflower, inspiring even meat lovers to try their hand at dishes like crusted butternut squash and plum tarts.

29. EatLiveRun
A culinary school graduate, food writer, and former chef, blogger Jenna knows food. Her exquisite photography shows appreciation for something as simple as spaghetti and veggies, though she’s also partial to tasty treats like white chocolate peppermint milkshakes. The best part is she knows the value of staying active, whether that means running, walking, or— her personal passion— trekking across the globe.

*** Caroline’s Choice: Pinterest. Pinterest is an online bulliten board. Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes. Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.With millions of new pins added every week, Pinterest is connecting people all over the world based on shared tastes and interests. Already on Pinterest? Find me HERE.

Running

30. iRunnerBlog
Runners find advice and inspiration on this site whose bloggers include athletes, physical therapists, and nutritionists. A self-described “average Joe,” blog founder Scott tells tales of marathon training and staying motivated in the real world. (Although he’s also trying to train like Rocky Balboa.)

31. Run, Eat, Repeat
Monica’s honest, hilarious, and helpful blog clocks her daily miles in SoCal— and the meals that never fail to follow. Make sure to watch her “Ask a Monican” videos where she shares advice on marathon training, running motivation, and occasional need-to-know questions like, “Is it okay to stop running to pee?”

32. iRunFar
Nope, this isn’t a fancy Apple app— but Steve Jobs would be proud. Focusing mainly on ultra-marathoners and trail runners, iRunFar provides gear reviews, running news, race reports, interviews, and more. I mean, who wouldn’t want to hear a man’s story about his 100K run?

33. Complete Running
Need some inspiration? How about injury-prevention tips? Looking for a database with hundreds of other running blogs? Looks like “Complete Running” isn’t lying— this site’s got it all when it comes to covering the sport.

*** Caroline’s Choice: Running On Hungry. I love following Kristine and her active adventures living in San Francisco. Her stories of running, nutrition, wine, cupcakes, shopping, food and traveling are shared in her positive and upbeat writing. Reading her blog will inspire you to run and balance your life with the other delicious things that make it fun!

Strength Training

34Stumptuous
C’mon, life is funny. And while strength training may not seem like something to laugh about, Stumptuous’ light-hearted content for the novice bodybuilder makes any dumbbell seem way less intimidating. For them, it’s all about good nutrition, correct form, and ditching that “snazzy and chic” gym bag.

35. Roman Fitness Systems
John Romaniello hates shirts, loves video games, and says he’s slightly less badass than Samuel L. Jackson. The founder of Roman Fitness, Romaniello’s a personal trainer also ranked on Greatist’s list of the 100 most influential people in health and fitness. But there’s still a place here for readers who think a six-pack is what they drank last night: The site’s got top-notch info on staying happy and the latest crazes in nutrition and workout efficiency.

36. Zen to Fitness
If there’s time to update a Facebook status, there’s time to read a post (or two) on this site, whose articles take about five minutes each to read. Posts from main blogger Chris and guest contributors offer (sometimes snarky) advice on eating habits, solo workouts, and staying positive.

37. Jason Ferrugia’s Renegade Strength and Conditioning
Here’s another featured blogger from our list of the most influential people in health and fitness. A trainer who runs his own business, Renegade Fitness, Ferrugia focuses on pumping people up— with empowering stories and strength training tips. And he’s not afraid to show his soft side, either: Recent blog posts reveal how a career in fitness training saved him from an emotional breakdown.

38. MizFitOnline
The name’s a warning: Carla Birnberg is not the typical fitness professional. She’s a bodybuilder, personal trainer, writer, and mom with a quirky sense of humor and opinions on all things fitness. The blog lets readers get to know Birnberg personally, with homemade videos (check out “Sh*t that Flaky Fitness Freaks Say” for an ab-strengthening laugh) and anecdotes about her family.

*** Caroline’s Choice: The Bulletproof Athlete.  A blog dedicated to helping you prevent, manage, and improve your body’s weaknesses that threaten your fitness and athletic ambitions. With the disarray of today’s managed care, insurance-based model, it is more important than ever to be the CEO of your own health. As a consumer you have an overwhelming “supermarket” of options available for sports injury remedies, products, and healthcare practitioners. This is often a perfect recipe for poor results which increases the duration of injury healing, frequency of exacerbations, and keeps you out of your activity. Dr. Dan Lord is the author of this blog and has worked in a multidisciplinary sports medicine clinic with many athletes, with various injuries, who have tried numerous interventions. His blog will provide solutions to guide anyone through the tough times and provide you with invaluable strategies to prevent injuries so you can dominate your athletic goals.

Yoga

39. YogaMint
Kundalini might sound like a kind of pasta, but in fact it’s the type of yoga the folks at YogaMint practice. Blog posts, or “mints,” won’t give you fresh breath— just fresh takes on yoga poses, ways to relax, love, and friendship.

40. Daily Cup of Yoga
For night owls, it’s a cup o’Joe; for Ricky Martin, it’s the cup of life. Blogger Brian uses the daily cup to share his personal experiences learning yoga. Posts range from a guide to using yoga nidra for sleep to inspirational snippets of poetry.

41. The Everything Yoga Blog
Diane DeGiorgio Cesa believes yoga can relax, relieve pain, and teach people about their bodies. A yoga therapist, she blogs about applying the principles of yoga to daily life— whether that means learning to speak up or laughing off mistakes.

42. Lululemon Blog
A community of bloggers at Lululemon share thoughts on goal-setting, chai tea, and the best excuses for not going to yoga class. The blog even features an “Ask a Yogi” section, where readers can submit those queries they just couldn’t ask during the last yoga sesh. Check out “S*it Yogis Say” to learn how to turn someone off from downward dog.

43. Yoga Dork
The bloggers at YogaDork live, eat, and breathe yoga. If there’s a story on a yoga burglar or the world’s oldest yoga teacher, they’ll find it. Daily posts feature musings on yoga injuries, apps for learning yoga, and celeb yogis.

***Caroline’s Choice: Yogaglo.com . YogaGlo is the new online yoga experience in HD video that provides the experience of being in the class at your home.  YogaGlo’s intention is to empower people around the world by providing outstanding and inspiring yoga online. The classes are taught by experienced certified teachers who embody yoga and teach with an intimate understanding of the classic yoga texts and various yoga traditions, whose devotion, lives and teachings are their art.  Classes cover the spectrum of asana styles, meditation, lectures, workshops, and special events. Their blog details yoga poses, philosiphies, and fun yoga facts.

Weight Loss

44. Roni’s Weigh
Don’t be fooled by the last name: Roni Noone is definitely someone. Founder of SkinnyMinnyMedia and author of GreenLiteBites, Noone uses her personal struggles with weight loss to help others with similar issues. Her posts range from motivational quotes to her opinions on social media.

45. Cheryl Forberg
Bestselling author and chef Cheryl Forberg was the nutritionist on NBC’s reality TV show The Biggest Loser. But there’s no drama involved in reading her blog, where she writes about everything from mindful eating to diet tips for travelers.

46. The Token Fat Girl
Lorrie Fenn struggled with a binge eating disorder and worked hard to finally achieve a healthy lifestyle. Through her blog, she helps other people cope with eating issues with recipes, reviews, and personal stories. She even shares her own food journal and thoughts on her progress.

47. A Merry Life
Blogger Mary takes readers along on her journey toward health and fitness. From her home in New Zealand, she blogs daily about the realities of weight loss: avoiding eating for comfort, healthy food shopping, and navigating the gym. She’s also got an adventurous side— root for Mary as she trains for marathons, bungee jumps, and kayaks!

48. Fitville
Lee looks for inspiration everywhere, from famous quotes to cheesy comics. On her blog, she shares personal health goals, favorite beauty products, and adventures trying new kinds of “orange foods.” The site inspires readers to approach weight loss like she does, one step at a time.

Happiness and Mental Health

49. The Happiness Project
Grinches withstanding, Gretchen Rubin’s feel-good goal applies to everyone. The author of the bestselling book, The Happiness Project, Rubin made it to our list of the most influential people in health and fitness. She posts daily with practical advice on topics like clearing clutter, achieving ambitions, and finding love. This year’s challenge is (take a wild guess) to make 2012 a happier year— it’s harder than it looks, so start reading!

50. Elephant Journal
More than a blog, this guide to living a mindful life gets its name from the animal that never forgets. Founded by Waylon Lewis (also on our list of the top 100 influencers in health and fitness), the blog features everything that makes people think: opinions on yoga, recent scientific research, and inspiration from favorite children’s authors. There’s no B.S. either— writers aren’t afraid to make fun of New Age philosophy or veganism. (According to one writer, flatulence and “psych ward” symptoms are typical of new vegans.)

51. Zen Habits
Leo Babauta, author of several self-help books, runs this blog on all things peace and happiness. Every post features simple steps readers can take to change bad habits, stop overeating, and start exercising. Babauta says it’s as simple as taking time to breathe— so quit suffocating and check out his tips.

52. Marc and Angel
For those who love reading lists, couple Marc and Angel share practical tips and tricks to improve our fitness, health, and happiness. From “28 Ways to Stop Complicating Your Life” to “30 Things to Start Doing for Yourself,” this wise duo provides readers with a hefty breadth of general self improvement advice.

53. Lifehacker
The idea is simple: Get stuff done. Lifehacker’s got practical solutions to common problems, from advice on computer protection to tips on getting better sleep. Recent insights include: “Don’t pee on a jellyfish sting” and “use a hollow orange as a candle.” The ten-step solution to unrequited love? Who knows, they might tackle that next.

From Tumblr

54. Healthy Is Always Better
Hailing from the Netherlands, the voice behind this blog gives thoughtful advice on healthy eating, inspirational quotes, and workout tips. Oh, did we mention she’s 15 years old? Wise beyond her years.

55. Fit is the New Beautiful
This New Zealand teen blogs about it all: motivational mantras, nutrition advice, and personal “things I’ve learned” posts that help others stay their happiest and healthiest selves.

56. Fitness Treats
Elise hits the nail on the head when it comes to living a healthy, balanced life. What’s better than a fire-burning six-minute leg workout followed by a recipe for peanut butter cookies (made with apples and protein powder, mind you!)? Check out her Q&A sections where readers chime in with different health and fitness inquiries.

57. Knowing Nutrition
Get a boost of positivity and head to this Tumblr for a breath of fresh and fun wellness advice. Striving to spread her health knowledge, Tracey shares a range of motivational quotes, infographics, and articles, while answering health questions from readers.

58. Tara Stiles Eats
Say om and yum with this blog on yoga, healthy eating, and mindful living. Tara Stiles, author of SlimCalmSexy (and Deepak Chopa’s yoga instructor), documents her daily life with photos of healthy meals, short yoga videos, and bits of inspiration.

59. Motivation Into Habit
Inspired by her own weight-loss journey, this blogger answers anonymous questions and posts inspirational photos that will motivate anyone who wants to shed those pesky pounds the smart, healthy way.

Overall Greatness

60. Greatist

Offering the best, most approachable, easily digestible advice for staying fit, healthy, and happy. All done with a little humor, a lotta’ research, and even more passion.

Do you have a favorite fitness/health blog?  Leave a comment below or share yours with me on Facebook. Together we can inspire each other to stay fit, eat well, and live STRONG! Thanks for reading MY fitness and health blog, I look forward to writing more and sharing my journey towards health with YOU.

 

Caroline

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HAPPY April and SPRING to you!! How are your 2012 fitness goals coming?

It’s four months since New Years and the gym is half as crowded as it once was. Why the ghost town? Sadly, the average health club exerciser quits after just a few months for one of the following reasons:

  • Not Enough Time
  • Not Seeing Results

Most people become frustrated and stop before they see get to see any real results from their efforts. But it’s not surprising given the common mistakes many make with their training programs. What are the obstacles that come between exercisers and their health goals? Here are some of the common roadblocks that prevent many from lasting fitness results and my top tips for overcoming each one so you can successfully reach ALL your goals.

Fitness Result ROADBLOCKS. Reasons Workouts Don’t Work



All Quantity, No Quality

Take the time to look around the gym and you might notice how many people are really getting a quality workout. You might be surprised to see many people coasting, walking leisurely on a treadmill while reading, lifting light weights without a drop of sweat, or bored to tears. A lot of exercisers head to the gym out of habit, operate on automatic pilot, put in some time and head back to work or home. If you want serious results, you need to do the WORK. That doesn’t mean you can’t have fun when you train. It just means you need to focus on what you are doing and increase the quality of every movement. When it comes to your workout, ask yourself, “What do I want to get out of this?”. Once you start exercising with a purpose, challenging your  aerobic capacity and strength, you will find your workouts take half the time and provide better results.

 

Overestimating Exercise 

Sad but true. Many people believe that if they exercise at a moderate pace for 30 minutes they have burned loads of calories and fat. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Overly generous estimates of exercise intensity, time,  and frequency of workouts will prevent results. To avoid this roadblock, you have to get REAL and get the details on what you are actually doing when you sweat. To get the specifics, it can be helpful to keep an exercise log to track your workouts. Better yet, investing in a heart rate monitor, NIKE fuel band, or Fit Bit can provide a detailed summary of your daily output (workout and lifestyle activities all included). It’s important to note, that while exercise does burn calories and consistent exercise is one of the best ways to maintain weight loss, it’s hard to lose body fat on exercise alone. Which brings us to the next roadblock. . .
Underestimating what you Eat

Nutrition is the key component to getting the lean and fit body you want. Even if you do everything right with your exercise program (adding variety, monitoring intensity, being consistent, etc) you’ll never benefit without a healthy, well-balanced diet. Poor eating habits prevent your body from reaching its full potential. Unfortunately, exercising wont make you invincible from the negative effects of eating JUNK. Unhealthy eating will stunt your progress and make it incredibly difficult to achieve your goals.
In order get the results you want for your body you must get a grip on how you FUEL it. To understand what exactly is going IN, it can be helpful to keep track of everything you consume, even water. A nutrition journal can be a crucial improvement to your life and help you achieve lasting results when it comes to your fitness. You’ll be more aware of what you eat and how you think about eating. Remember, If you put GOOD in – GREAT will come out. Here are my tips on keeping a food journal and learning how best to FUEL yourself.  Eat well, watch your portion sizes, and give your nutrition (and body) a boost!
Doing the Wrong Type of Workout

Where did you learn your current exercise routine? Watching others at the gym? From friends, coworkers, the web, tv, newspaper, the latest research findings, or perhaps your 7th grade gym teacher? What you are doing for exercise directly affects the results you will get from it. To figure out what workouts are RIGHT for you, there is no better place to start than by writing down your goals and working with a professional trainer to design fitness plan appropriate for YOU. Haphazard exercise will provide haphazard results. Get quality support and EDUCATE yourself on the workouts you should do to meet your fitness goals and achieve the results YOU want.
Never Changing Your Workout 

“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve ALWAYS got”. When you do the same workout routine week after week, you get very good at it. This is known as the principle of adaptation:  we become efficient by doing the same exercise over and over. This can be helpful for some sports training,  but terrible for weight loss, strength increases or physical fitness progression. If you tend to stick to the same weekly workout routine, you will eventually hit a plateau and fail to see any additional change. And when you’re no longer seeing results, it’s too easy to become bored with your workouts and it can eventually be the reason you to give up on the gym. Here are a few simple tips to help you BREAK THROUGH the dreaded plateau, so you’ll always be able to benefit reap the benefits and rewards of regular physical activity. Change creates change. Anything you can do to spice things up will help you benefit from your workouts and get the results you want.
Incorrect Form or Technique

Learning the right way to exercise is essential to getting results. Form does matter, especially when doing any strength training exercise. Incorrect form or technique can set you up for potential injuries, pain, soreness, and frustration. To learn proper technique, there is no better place to start than with a personal trainer or coach. Even one session for basic tips and education can be helpful when it comes to learning proper movement patterns. Take the time to learn what good form looks and feels like, you’ll achieve incredible results ALL your life.
Setting Unrealistic Goals

So, what are your goals? Are they realistic for you? If you want to lose 25 pounds in a month or be the next Lance Armstrong with only 30 minutes of exercise a day, you might need to give your goals a REALITY check. It all comes down to being honest with yourself about your abilities, your commitment level, and your lifestyle. Set appropriate goals that start from where YOU are and progress at a reasonable rate to avoid frustration or burnout. Not sure how to create a goal that fits? Work with a coach or personal trainer to develop a custom-made goals for YOU.
Measuring the Wrong Results
Many people think their workout isn’t working because they don’t measure the right things. The scale is not a good place to measure your fitness accomplishments or track your progress as your body changes. Heres a great article on why the scale lies if you’re not quite ready to break up with it yet. Better ways to measure your fitness progress include tracking your heart rate at a given pace, measuring the distance you can cover in a certain amount of time, tracking the amount of weight you can lift, or even writing down how you feel — physically and mentally– at the end of each day. The many of the benefits of exercise are often subtle and not visible by looking into the mirror. Things such as cholesterol level, blood pressure, and the ease of daily life can be motivating to work towards if you monitor them. Choose to focus on a few specific measurable accomplishments when working towards improving your fitness. Be patient, work hard, and you’ll see improvements.
Have any of the above roadblocks prevented you from seeing fitness results? What strategies did you use to move past them and move onward towards your goals?
Looking for more on fitness myths and guidance when it comes to getting RESULTS? Check out these articles:
Armed with the tips above I am positive you will be able to do what you need to accomplish all your goals. It takes WORK to make your time in the gym COUNT, but remember: what doesnt kill you makes you…. STRONGER. I believe in YOU. Blast past roadblocks, GO FOR IT, and get the results YOU want!
Heres to you living stronger and being unstoppable. Till next time, keep smiling!
Caroline
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replenish [rɪˈplɛnɪʃ]

vb (tr)

1. to make full or complete again by supplying what has been used up or is lacking
2. to put fresh fuel on (a fire)
How do you take time to refuel and replenish yourself so you can live your best life?
So often we put everything else ahead of our health and well-being.  It can be terribly difficult to make time for ourselves, especially if doing so results in guilt for spending time away from loved ones, the office, or whatever feels more important.  In our busy lives, it can feel excruciating to leave the house for 90 minutes to take a yoga class or grab dinner with a friend.  And these important time-outs dont do much good when we are stressed or anxious over taking them in the first place.
What if we were to change how we think about the time we set aside for ourselves?  What if we were to learn how to recognize its importance in our lives and the lives of the people who count on us?
In the book The Trance of Scarcity, author Victoria Castle writes, “Those of us who want to do good in the world are especially accountable to our own well-being.  If we are to be of real service to humanity, we must make ourselves available to be nourished, inspired, and sustained.  Otherwise, how would we keep going?”
This is profound on many levels, but two parts of this quote speak to me most.  First, she says that those of us who want to do good in the world are especially accountable. Often we act as if  we believe the opposite; we behave like martyrs, giving to others and never taking the time to renew ourselves.  I also love the way Victoria says we must make ourselves available to be nourished, inspired, and sustained.  It is up to us, a choice we can make and a necessity to our lives.
If we don’t fill ourselves up, how can we expect to enrich the lives of others?
Every day you have an opportunity to be renewed, replenished, nourished, inspired, and sustained (not to mention relaxed!).  Take note of the above image, “the meaning of life is to live it”.  My hope for each of us is that we take the time to do just that. What activities bring your life the most joy? Plan to take the time for those things in your week and be ok with your decision to spend some time doing what you love. Spend some time every single day in your body and with your breath. Go out for tea, a cocktail, a meal with friends or family. Replenishing yourself can be as simple as taking a few moments to feel gratitude for your health, your family, or the other blessings that bring your life joy.  A daily gratitude practice — even just a few minutes each day– is itself nourishing, inspiring, and sustaining.
Choosing to nourish yourself takes practice and you will have to figure out the habits that will help you LIVE your best life. I challenge you to REPLENISH yourself so you can continue to give to others.  Serve as an example for the other people in your world.  How amazing would it feel to inspire your children, a parent, your spouse or partner, a friend, a coworker to be kind and good to themselves?  Start a domino effect for the people around you and “Be the Change you want to see in the world”.
This spring to help you Replenish yourself, Sokenbicha is giving away a case of their REPLENISH tea blend and a sweet swag bag to one lucky winner! I’ve tried the new flavor and I am a FAN! To enter to win, follow @SokenbichaTea on Twitter, share this blog post and include the @SokenbichaTea @carolinefitness handles. You have until the end of April, so you can share this post as often as you’d like for added chances to win.

Click here to read more about Sokenibicha Tea or check them out on Facebook.

How will you REPLENISH yourself this spring? Give love to yourself, it makes the world a better place 🙂

With love,

Caroline

Quick Disclosure: Sokenbicha partnered with bloggers such as me to participate in this giveaway. Sokenbicha believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Sokenbicha’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

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