Tag Archives: healthy diet

Great Deals on the the UP24!

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New activity tracking devices are always coming out and I’m addicted to trying them! I own the Nike FuelBand, 2 different Fitbits (the Zip and the Flex wristband), and the the Jawbone UP band.

The UP is my favorite to date and I’ve been wearing it for 2 years now. I currently have the UP24 which is the wireless version, and is super easy to use. Because Jawbone is on the verge of launching their newest band, the UP 3, you can get an incredible deal on the UP24 right now! If you want to try it, now is the time! (The UP 3 is said to retail for $180 when it comes out. It has more bells and whistles, but why not try the UP24 at a reduced price to see if you like it?)

The best deal I’ve found is the Living Social Offer for $52.99. The catch is that you have to get the blue one, but the retail on this band is $129.99, so this is an incredible deal! There is limited time remaining so check it out now! Here is the link.

https://www.livingsocial.com/products/us/114846?ref=share-pre_purchase-email-web-shop&rui=31073905

Target also has a temporary price cut on the band. At $79.99 you can choose your color! I’m not sure how long this price will last.  If you come upon this page after these offers have expired, try googling UP24 best price and see what comes up!

http://www.target.com/p/up-by-jawbone-fitness-wristband-assorted-colors/-/A-14584711?ref=tgt_adv_XSG10001&AFID=google_pla_df&LNM=14584711&CPNG=Electronics&kpid=14584711&LID=10pgs&ci_src=17588969&ci_sku=14584711&kpid=14584711&gclid=Cj0KEQiAiamlBRCgj83PiYm6–gBEiQArnojD5ifa_jNNbcPO2UMDHppXVU9SiY2lUMIScSa68qpjgAaAnbM8P8HAQ

Stuccu.com also has an array of UP24 bands at reduced prices. But be careful here because this site also sells used bands. I wouldn’t recommend buying a used one.

http://stuccu.com/s/Jawbone+up+24-MbSLsTI-Buy-Exclusive-Deals-70-OFF-Save-Big-Lowest-Price-On-Jawbone-up-24-Best-In-Stock-Fast-Free-Shipping?mt=b&keyword=%2Bjawbone%20%2Bup%20%2B24&ap=1t2&cid=55598410221&caid=535c883cb1b1c6b414f82286&netid=1&network=g&aaid=546307c3b1b1c61e78096b55&gclid=Cj0KEQiArK6lBRC5-_jv48uxgrgBEiQAuxdZ9XGA4_92IfFlmReaNAq51uc9QJM1Ja5UpDzRBW3tZmQaAo9S8P8HAQ

So why should you get one?

It’s January and the majority of the population has made resolutions and set new goals. We want to improve our lives, eat better, move more and get healthier. The best way to do this is to track your activity to get the big picture of your patterns.

The UP app tracks and stores all of your information and you can access it at anytime. It will suggest better bedtimes and new step goals for you once it collects enough data. You can log workouts, your food and recapture your sleep data if you forget to set your band to night mode. You can also link it to some of your favorite apps like MyFitnessPal, RunKeeper, MapMyFitness and many more.

One of the highlights for me is having a ‘Team’ on my UP app. You can connect with your friends and family on the app if they also have the band. It’s a great way to encourage one another.

I have an iPhone and this is how the app appears.

The UP24 tracks your steps each day, your active and idle time and estimates calories burned:

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You can log your workouts each day. Below is a cardio class I took. You can also enter cross training, weight training, yoga, pilates, cycle, Zumba… there are a lot of choices. The app will estimate calories burned during your workout based on the intensity level that you set. 

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You can keep track of your sleeping patterns…good or not so good. This was a couple of nights ago for me. I get up at 4:15 am to teach boot camp. Based on this, I should probably go to bed a little earlier. The dark blue is deep sleep and the light blue is light sleep. The orange shows waking up/getting up. Sometimes if you are awake and lying very still it will show as light sleep. This happens a lot and is really my biggest complaint about the band. 

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After my crummy night’s sleep I needed a cat nap. You can log naps and the app will add it to your total sleep for the day. 

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And at any point throughout the day you can check your sleep/activity stats.

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I’m a trainer and I love this band. It motivates me to be more active and helps me to be more conscious of my activity.

I love the weekly summary I receive. It shows how I did on my goals compared to the previous week.

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And breaks down my step and sleep activity by day.

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The UP24 is not without its problems. I’ve had battery issues and have actually had several bands over the last 2 years. The Jawbone customer service is excellent though and has always replaced my band with little to no hassle. The worst case scenario is that you go without your band for a week until a new one arrives.

The UP24 is a great way to make your year a little healthier.

Check out the great deals available right now!

Happy New Year!

Understanding Protein

If you’re confused about how much protein you need per day, you’re not alone. There’s not a cut-and-dried answer. Everyone has a different “need” depending on gender, weight, activity level and goals.

I’ve been doing a lot of research to try to answer this question for myself. There is a lot of information out there. Here is the lowdown on what I found.

What is the RDA for protein:

The purpose of the RDA guidelines is to inform you how much of a specific nutrient your body needs on a daily basis to function properly. So basically, depending on your weight and activity level, the RDA for protein can be viewed as the minimum requirement to keep you healthy.

The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for protein for men is 56 grams per day and 46 grams per day for women.

Chances are you may need more. But how much more and why?

What is Protein?

Protein is one of the basic building blocks of the human body, making up roughly 20 percent of your total body weight. Muscle, hair, skin, and connective tissue are mainly made up of protein. Also, protein plays a major role in all of the cells and most of the fluids in your body.  Although your body is good at “recycling” protein, you use it up constantly, so it is important to continually replace it.

Protein is made up of smaller units called amino acids. Your body can produce some of these amino acids, but others must be consumed through the diet. Animal products (meat, eggs, dairy) and many plant foods are good sources.

Follow this link to see what’s included in the protein food group:

http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/protein-foods.html#

Protein and Weight Loss

When you want to gain muscle and lose fat, eating the right amount of protein is key. Protein and the amino acids that make it up are required for two main reasons.

1) To construct muscle – they are the building blocks

2)  They act as a switch to ‘signal’ that it’s time to start up the “muscle building machinery”.

Leucine is probably the most important amino acid that stimulates this “switch” and is highly present in protein rich food.

Because protein is required to build muscle AND to signal the body to start this process, it’s important to spread out protein consumption evenly throughout the day.

How Much Do You Need?

“When it comes to building muscle and losing fat, research consistently shows that doubling the RDA spaced out throughout the day is the path you want to take to get the best results the fastest”. (BJ Gaddour, “Men’s Health, Your Body is Your Barbell”). This seems like a good rule of thumb in general. Let’s see what other people say.

Nutritionists use a standard to estimate your minimum daily protein requirement.

Multiply the body weight in pounds by .37.

Using this formula, a 150 lb. man would require a minimum of 55 grams of protein per day. This falls right in with the RDA.  And if you’re very active and exercise frequently, professionals agree you can nearly double this requirement. Be advised, though, if you’re shooting for a gram of protein per pound of body weight, or more, you’re probably overdoing it. The extra protein will not necessarily benefit you. Also, that’s a lot for the body to process and the extra calories will most likely end up as fat.

To look at it another way, it is recommended that 10-35% of your daily calories come from protein. This is a rather large range and where you fall in it also depends on your weight and activity level. For a  diet of 1800 calories per day, this means anywhere from a minimum of 45 grams of protein to over 150 grams of protein per day. That 35% is a pretty high number and may be overdoing it for a lot of people. In my diet, I lean towards around 20% protein.

So you see, there are various rules of thumb to figure out the ideal protein for you.

Tracking the Protein Grams you Eat

Many foods contain protein, but at the end of the day, how do you know how much you’ve consumed?

Here is an easy rule of thumb:

Remember the numbers 1, 5, 10, 15, 25 to roughly estimate protein intake.

That’s:

  • 1 gram of protein for every serving of fruit and vegetables
  • 5 for every egg or handful of nuts you eat
  • 10 for every cup of milk or yogurt
  • 15 for every cup of beans or half-cup of cottage cheese
  • 25 for every 3-4 ounce serving of meat

Protein and Exercise Recovery

After a workout your body switches immediately from performance mode to recovery mode. It’s important to rebuild broken down muscle so you can come back stronger in your next training session. It is a great idea to refuel with protein right after your workout. Try a protein shake. Whey is a rapidly digested protein source loaded with leucine that will help maximize muscle recovery and growth.

Nutrient Timing: Exercise Recovery and Carbs

I found an extra helpful tidbit in my research about muscle recovery and carbs.

Nutrient timing is the concept that certain foods benefit your body more at specific times of the day than at others. After exercise, your muscles want to restock their supply of carbohydrates in the form of  glycogen. This is the time that your muscles are primed to take in the carbs you eat. In fact, after exercise is one of the few times carbs are preferentially transported to your muscles and away from your fat cells.

It’s a great idea to plan your starchiest meal of the day within 2 hours of your training. This could be breakfast, lunch or dinner depending on when you workout.

Your other meals of the day should consist of protein and nutrient dense carbs and vegetables.

A Few Last Words…

I hope this helps answer some questions you have about protein or got you thinking more about nutrition. As a trainer I am all about the workout but honestly, 75 – 80% of the weight loss equation concerns what you put in your mouth.

Wishing you much success!

———————————————-

http://www.mensfitness.com/nutrition/what-to-eat/protein-guide-maximum-muscle#sthash.cEiKJ5O5.dpuf

http://www.nutritionexpress.com/article+index/authors/jeff+s+volek+phd+rd/showarticle.aspx?articleid=807

 

 

Egg Bites

I’m back! I took an unplanned hiatus and really missed this place! How are you all doing?

I’ve been up to a lot of things since I wrote last. In particular, I’ve taken quite an interest in Pinterest. If you haven’t checked out the Pinterest website, you really should visit! I love it because you can search for anything and find hundreds of unique ideas.

I’ve been using Pinterest lately to help me eat better. How many times have you been starving and despite your intentions to eat well, you grab the easiest thing because you’re just so hungry. So hungry that you can’t eat fast enough! I’ve been guilty of this! Part of losing weight and keeping healthy is planning and preparation. This can actually be fun when you have new ideas to try!

I found this idea on Pinterest and tweaked it a bit to fit my liking. I call these Egg Bites. The original recipe called for just egg whites but I added in whole eggs because I really believe in the power of the yolk. The entire recipe calls for 6 whole eggs and 3/4 cup egg whites, and each bite contains just over 20 calories. These make great pre or post workout snacks. My family also loves them for breakfast!

They are super easy to make!

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Here’s what you need:

  • A mini muffin tin
  • Olive Oil or cooking spray to prep the pan
  • Chopped veggies of your choice
  • 6 whole eggs
  • 3/4 cup egg whites

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First, prep the muffin tin with olive oil using a paper towel or use cooking spray such as Pam. Line the bottom of the tin with your veggies. Here I used fresh spinach leaves and fresh pico de gallo. The options are unlimited! Go crazy!

IMG_0701 IMG_0702Beat the whole eggs, combine with the egg whites and pour into the muffin tin over the veggies.

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Now bake at 350 for roughly 17 – 18 minutes.

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Uncooked

 

Cooked after 17 minutes

Cooked after 17 minutes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let cool a few minutes and pop them out of the tin.

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Store them in an air tight container in the frig. They will keep for about 4 days!

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Make it a goal to prep healthy food in advance so you’re not caught binging on whatever is easy when those hunger pangs hit.

Enjoy!

 

 

The ‘How Many Carbs?’ Diet

High carb, low carb, no carb, good carb, bad carb?

Raise your hand if you’re confused about carbs. 

Let’s get straight to the point.  Does your body NEED carbs? YES!

When carbs are digested and absorbed, they form glucose.

Glucose is the primary fuel for the body.  It gives you energy you can feel and see the results of, like rocking your morning workout. And it does so much more on the inside of your body that you can’t see.

The cells in your body depend on glucose to function properly. It’s the preferred fuel for your brain, red blood cells and nervous system. And your body needs glucose to burn fat efficiently.

So can we agree that carbs are important?

Great! Now I can Load Up on White Bread and Chips! – Wrong!

Darn! There are good carbs AND bad carbs.

What are Good Carbs and Where do they Come From?

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The bulk of good carbs come from plants.  They grow naturally.

  • Grains – whole wheat flour, bulgar (cracked wheat), rolled oats, whole corn meal, brown rice
  • legumes – beans, peas, lentils
  • fruits
  • vegetables

We also get carbohydrates from milk.

A good carb also has a high fiber content. Although your body can’t digest fiber, it has many health benefits!

  • It helps reduce the risk of: obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease
  • It helps your system run smoothly (Yes, I’m referring to those digestion issues).

What are bad carbs?

Processed or refined food.

What is a processed or refined food?

Think white. White bread, white rice, and many pastas. None of these are a good source of nutrition. But why?

There isn’t a ‘white’ grain.  White flour is milled from a natural grain, like wheat.  And as far as we know, all rice starts out brown, (Cambridge World History of Food, published by the Cambridge University Press). In both cases, this means it’s processed to remove the outer husk, bran and germ to leave the the largest middle portion of the grain kernel which is high in starch.  The portions that are removed contain much of the dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals and nutrient content.

What does ‘Enriched’ Mean? It Sounds Healthy!!

Enriched White Rice

Enriched White Rice

Manufacturers add back, or ‘enrich’, the product with some nutrients that were removed during processing (iron, thiamin, riboflavin and niacin). However, they usually don’t add back dietary fiber or the other nutrients lost (Vitamin B6, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and zinc).

Yes, ‘enriched’ sounds healthy, but the ‘white’ product, processed from the ‘white’ grain has far less nutritional value than the original whole grain source.

Other processed foods include pretzels, chips, crackers, cookies and numerous other yummy treats.  They provide lots of calories, but no nutrition.

So What’s the ‘Right’ Amount of Carbs?

The RDA for carbohydrates is 130 grams per day, but most Americans eat far more than this.  An acceptable range is 45-65% of total calories from carbs.

What if I Eat Too Many Carbs?

Eating ‘too many’ and the wrong kind of carbs can contribute to weight gain, poor nutrient intake and tooth decay.

What if I Don’t Eat Enough Carbs?

In the absence of carbs, the body will break down stored fat and convert it into energy. This actually sounds good, doesn’t it? Some popular low carb diets are based on this! However, when the body is depleted of carbs for a prolonged period, there is the concern of developing a condition called Ketosis. (A ketone is a compound produced by the liver to help metabolize fat. If ketone levels become too high, the blood becomes acidic). Promoters of low carb diets say this condition isn’t dangerous, however, not everyone agrees. Some argue your liver and kidneys may be at risk.

At any rate, providing the body with a minimum of 50 – 100 grams of carbs per day can prevent ketosis.

Don’t be Afraid of Carbs, Just Choose Wisely!

I believe that carbs are an essential part of a healthy diet. The trick is to make educated choices.

Choose a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. The ChooseMyPlate.gov website suggests you fill half your plate with these!

When choosing breads, cereal, rice, etc. look for terms such as whole wheat, whole grain, rolled oats and brown rice.  This indicates less or no processing, more nutrients and a healthier you!

Sources:

Insel,P., Ross,D., McMahon,K., Bernstein,M., Nutrition Fourth Edition. Burlington: Jones & Bartlett, 2013

Magee, Elaine, MPH, RD.  “Good Carbs, Bad Carbs: Why Carbohydrates Matter to You.” WebMD. http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/carbohydrates

“What Foods are in the Grains Group.” ChooseMyPlate.gov. http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/grains.html

Copley, Ann. “How to Cook Rice: Is White Rice Healthy?.” http://voices.yahoo.com/how-cook-rice-white-rice-healthy-3015110.html