Friday, March 23, 2012

Increase your fiber!

    One of the hardest parts of "living healthy" is you have to decide what works for you.  Some people cut out sugar and starchy carbs, others cut out dairy.  Those that know me know that I have a terrible sweet tooth, so it’s always a challenge for me to cut sweets from my diet. I learned a trick recently: it’s possible to substitute my sweet cravings with something better! Fresh berries or sweet plums, even dried fruits without added sugar.  I am going to try them out to ween my sweet tooth without adding the extra sugar and empty calories that I usually get from sweet treats.  Plus, these sweet substitutes are usually high in natural fiber.  Which brings me to my next point...

    I was reading up today on high fiber diets.  A high-fiber diet can help reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes.  I am using the MyFitnessPal app on my iPhone to try and increase my fiber intake every day.  Eating less, more often is a big key in the success of high fiber.  It helps you feel fuller in between meals.  Natural fiber can be found in a bountiful amount of fruit, vegetables, nuts, grains, beans, and many other things.  The Mayo Clinic, which is a site run by health professionals and dedicated to helping people manage their health, suggests that women try to eat 21 to 25 grams of fiber per day.  For men it is 30-38 grams.  They have a very useful list, that I have provided for you:

     This is just a small sample of the different foods that can pack a high-fiber punch.  And as you can see, most of these foods are whole foods, or real-foods.  I am currently looking into a real-food pledge, that involves a purely real-food diet for 100 days.... WOAH!!  I may start out with the 10-day pledge, and see how it goes!  I will fill you in later on what I decide, there is definitely more research to be done there before I make any decisions.

     I hope you find these tips useful! Have a great weekend, and as always, happy running! :) xo

Monday, March 5, 2012

Make your day count!

Got 8 minutes? Good :)  Not a morning person? Join the club!  I have, however, began doing a "burst out of bed" routine that really helps me to keep my day under control.  Working out in the morning has been found to make people more productive during the day, as well as more conscious of eating decisions throughout the day.  Makes sense right?  If you wake up early to hit the gym, you're going to think twice about that Italian grinder at the lunch cart.  However, I am not one of those people that can just spring out of bed and into action.  I hit the snooze until the last possible nano-second of needing to be in the shower so I am not late to class.  This is different.  

TIP 1: Set your alarm 10 minutes later.  You're not fooling anyone hitting the snooze, and that last 9 minutes doesn't help, I promise.  TIP 2: Go to bed 10 minutes sooner... seeing a trend?  TIP 3: Have a water bottle, clothes, and a pair of sneakers ready.  This "quick routine" doesn't work if you are half asleep looking for another sock.  Wake up, get dressed, and be ready!

I'm sad to say, but this routine was SO difficult at first, I hadn't done a push-up in far too long.  It got easier though.  And this routine can be modified to anyone's ability level.  When I began doing it, I was doing less mountain climbers and only 2 cycles.  Now I am up to max reps and 3 full cycles.  Someone recently suggested that I add burpees... that's a lesson for a whole different day!

Disclaimer:: I am not suggesting that this replace all other forms of exercise.  I still run and do other aerobics classes, but I wanted something to add to my workouts that would incorporate total body strength on a daily basis.  This routine is actually great as a warm-up cycle before doing any kind of exercise.  Before going for a run, or using free weights, or taking an aerobics class.

Try it out, change it up, make up your own! Whatever works for you.  Good luck, and as always, happy running :) xo

Friday, March 2, 2012

Fit not skinny

Holy hot momma!

  A battle with the scale is something that a lot of people deal with every day.  One of my biggest concerns is for those of us with higher than average muscle tone.  Personally, I believe BMI to be a crock.  According to that, Patrice Bergeron is borderline obese...
... haha ya ok.
  Now obviously I'm not saying that I couldn't hit the cardio a bit harder, but realistically, some media sets the bar with unrealistic models who barely have the arm strength to lift the bottle with their daily allotment of crystal light.  Not cool.  

   My goal in all of this is to be fit.  NOT skinny.  I know that for me, skinny doesn't work.  My derriere just won't allow it! lol

   Cardio is my best ally in my journey to get fit.  I know that part of it is cause and effect from better eating.  When I am in training for the races, I take much more consideration into what I am eating.  I know for a fact that if I eat like crap... I am going to run like crap.  If I eat healthy and light and often, my runs are FAR more productive.  Try it!
   I am also not a huge fan of weights.  I much prefer plyo-type exercises that use your own weight rather than machines or free-weights.  I know I have a fear of bulking up.  Being so small I feel like and muscle I add to my shoulders or arms makes me look too stalky.
   My biggest recommendation to anyone looking to get fit is make a plan.  If you go into without a plan, then there is nothing to gauge your progress.  Not good!  Set monthly, or even weekly goals! Write them down and hold yourself accountable!  That is the best way to make sure you stick to it.

Have a great weekend and happy running :) xo

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Hey everyone!
I hope you all had an amazing weekend... oh wait it's Thursday :/ haha which brings me to my next point.  It is with great regret that I am writing to inform you of my withdrawal from the New Bedford Half-Marathon.  Unfortunately, this year it just ins't going to time out right for me.  My grad work has become life-swallowing and my energy level after a day of class, homework and lab-work leaves little room for an 8 mile run.  I still have every intention of keeping this blog going, with fitness goals and health tips, and I hope that everyone will continue to follow!  It has been a lot of fun so far, and it is writing that I get to enjoy!!  Anyways, back to my homework.  Hope everyone has a wonderful day :)
xo happy running!