Tag Archives: healthy lifestyle

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!

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The Chihuahua Effect

Fitness is important in our house. I’ve written in previous blogs how my husband and I both wear the UP Band by Jawbone to track our daily activity. Since then I have added four more people to my team on the UP app and we’re all ‘competing’ to be the most active.  (No one will say it, but we all secretly want to beat everyone else).

The UP app gives you a base goal of 10,000 steps to reach each day. It’s really not that easy, especially if you’re not into cardio. A gut busting boot camp or weight session barely makes a dent in your daily step goal. Doing 100 push-ups is pretty impressive but since it doesn’t give you any steps, it doesn’t help in your daily feat to win the step game.

The people on my team who run, hike or take daily walks are the ones who are the lead steppers. I do cardio about four days a week and these are the days that I easily reach anywhere from 12,000 to 17,000 steps by the end of the day. I have an advantage over most of my teammates when it comes to topping the stepper chart on my cardio days.  I call it the ‘chihuahua effect’.

chihuahua-and-big-dogPhoto credit: http://www.chihuahuawardrobe.com/is-it-safe-to-raise-a-chihuahua-around-larger-dogs/

I’m 5 feet tall and my husband stands at 5’6″.  When we go on a weekend hike, we travel the same distance, but time after time I end up with significantly more steps than he does.

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This doesn’t go over very well with him most of the time. I really can’t blame him! He traveled just as far. He worked just as hard.

After each hike he will ask me how many steps I took and as he’s groaning I will say (with much pleasure), “It’s the chihuahua effect”. Simply: He has longer legs. He has a longer stride. I have to take more steps to keep up. We figured that I take about one and one-quarter to one and one-half steps for every one of his. This adds up over time.

Below, my stats are on the left, and my husband’s are on the right. (Somehow it shows he traveled farther than I did. This happens a lot when we use RunKeeper).

My stats His stats

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During the course of continuous activity for an hour the UP band calculated I took about 600 more steps than he did. So what does this mean over the course of an entire day?

Well, it’s hard to say exactly because we didn’t walk everywhere together. However we did take pretty similar paths. At the end of the day I ultimately took about 1,200 more steps than he did. (Again, I’m on the left).

His final stats My final stats

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What does all this mean exactly?

Well, not much really.

For me it’s one reason to be thankful for my very short legs. Is this fair to all my tall teammates?  Sure!

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!

 

 

What Drives You?

Is there a certain something that adds excitement to your life? That floats your boat? That tickles your fancy? I have a passion for physical activity and a healthy lifestyle.  It wasn’t always that way though. I’ve evolved over the years and it’s been a pretty radical change.

Growing up, physical activity meant recreation: softball, tennis, volleyball and bowling. It was whatever my friends were doing. It was whatever organized activity could fill my Saturday morning or after school. It was social.

As a teenager I occasionally went to the Elaine Powers exercise studio with my mom. It was there I fell in love with movement to music and I discovered aerobics. We also did a lot of doggy type exercises on all fours which I didn’t like as much. Knee up, extend leg out, in and down…up, out, in and down. If you’ve ever done them, or seen them done, you know what I mean. I only did them in class and if people were watching, unlike my mom who did them faithfully everyday at home. She had a different goal than I did at the time. I only did what I liked.

When I was married with children and we were dirt poor, Jane Fonda became my best friend. Well, her VHS tapes did anyway. I was desperate to get the weight off and she was the one who helped me. I actually dressed for the part too. You couldn’t work out with Jane Fonda without a proper leotard, even if no one’s watching. (Leg warmers were optional).

When times got better financially I joined the gym and took every aerobics class I could find. I found it helped me reduce stress. It made me happy. I did high impact, low impact, and then I discovered kickboxing. I loved it all.

My focus changed again when someone in my life got a horrible illness. Watching such a strong personality have to fight for her life made me angry and I released this aggression at the gym. It wasn’t fair! I felt my intensity soar as I imagined destroying the cancer with punches and kicks. Take that! Go away!

After I lost this person my focus changed again and I viewed working out as a gift. I was healthy  enough to do it. Not everyone was. I decided to enjoy this gift and also make myself as strong as possible so I’d be ready to fight anything that might come up in my own life. I began strength training around this time.

Then I lost my mother way too early to ill health. This was devastating beyond belief. I realized that just making myself physically stronger wasn’t enough. I had to help others too. Movement still makes me feel amazing, but there’s so much more to it than that. You can’t change your genetics or your family’s health history, but there are things within your reach that you can control to be a healthier you. In my opinion, diet and exercise are key. They are nonnegotiable!

My love of fitness started out as recreation, then it was for fun, stress relief, weight control, aggression release, then it became a gift and finally a passion for myself and to help others.  I am definitely a product of my experience! I’m driven to help people be the healthiest they can be. That’s what floats my boat!