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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Physical Activity vs. Exercise: What’s the Difference?

The main difference really is:

Physical activity is movement that is carried out by the skeletal muscles that requires energy. In other words, any movement one does is actually physical activity.

Exercise, however, is planned, structured, repetitive and intentional movement intended to improve or maintain physical fitness. Exercise is a subcategory of physical activity.

Whichever path you choose, is equally as beneficial, for health is all about getting the body to move =)



How did you spend your last 24 hours? What do you do during a typical 24-hour weekday? Take a few moments and divide up those 24 hours and reflect on how you typically spend that time. How many hours did you spend sleeping? How many hours did you spend sitting down (don’t forget the times you sit in the car, while you eat, etc.)? How many hours did you spend moving?
Once you have completed your 24-hour self-reflection activity, think more specifically about your movement time. What type of movement did you do? What was the intensity and intentionality of that movement?
Over the past few decades, Americans have heard over and over that a minimum of 30 minutes of daily exercise is essential to good health. However, the latest research suggests that how much time we spend sitting could be just as important as how much time we spend exercising. In fact, a new term has been coined to describe those who exercise, but spend the majority of their days being sedentary: active couch potatoes.

While the term couch potato usually refers to a lazy person who prefers to just sit around and watch TV, an active couch potato refers to someone who is inactive for the majority of the day, but regularly makes sure to get in 30 minutes of exercise on most days. An active couch potato is not necessarily lazy, but spend most of his or her time sitting during leisure time, work (and commuting to and from work) and while eating meals. In other words, they’re almost completely physically inactive throughout the day, with the exception of that 30 or minutes of daily exercise. Although 30 minutes of exercise is absolutely beneficial and healthful, the rest of the day is causing tremendous health hazards. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) has identified physical inactivity as an independent risk factor for chronic disease development, and it is now the fourth leading cause of death worldwide.

So, exactly how do we differentiate between exercise and being physically active? And is the distinction important? Here are some definitions that should help clear things up:

Physical activity is movement that is carried out by the skeletal muscles that requires energy. In other words, any movement one does is actually physical activity.

Exercise, however, is planned, structured, repetitive and intentional movement intended to improve or maintain physical fitness. Exercise is a subcategory of physical activity.


Research provides significant evidence that ALL physical activity positively contributes to overall health and well-being. Exercise also assists with the improvement of physical fitness, which consists of five specific components:
-Cardiorespiratory fitness
-Muscular strength fitness
-Muscular endurance fitness
-Flexibility fitness
-Body composition

This graphic from the American Institute for Cancer Research visually depicts the importance of both daily physical activity AND structured exercise (in relation to cancer indicators). Here, the green reflects structured exercise, while the yellow reflects daily physical activity.

Source: American Institute for Cancer Research


How Can You Become More Physically Active?
An easy way to start transforming a sedentary lifestyle into a more active one is to begin standing more and sitting less. If you work at a desk all day, create a workstation that requires you to stand (and therefore move more). Think about creating opportunities to walk at lunchtime and before or after work. Consider adding leisure time activities to your weekly routines, especially those that involve the whole family, such as bike rides, hikes and walks around the neighborhood. What about your home? Do you enjoy gardening? Make time for it throughout the week instead of leaving it all to the weekend. And instead of dedicating just one day every other week to clean, try to include daily active chores that take 10 minutes or less. When you engage with technology, creatively think about how you can move. Try placing some simple equipment like a yoga mat or resistance ball or resistance bands in your living room so they are easily accessible while watching TV. There are countless opportunities to increase daily physical activity, but you do have to look for them.
As you evaluate your 24-hour activity reflection, consider making a detailed plan that includes both elements:

1. Daily increased physical activity
2. Structured, planned, intentional exercise to improve physical fitness

Omitting one or the other can have serious and detrimental consequences for your health, fitness and overall well-being. Don’t be a couch potato or an active couch potato—make the change today and add BOTH elements to your life to reap the life-changing benefits of physical activity and exercise.


Friday, June 19, 2015

25 Signs You're a Sleep-Deprived Parent

To the parents out there, specially those who are fresh off the boat (like me). Here's something rather true, but rather worth laughing too.

Take it easy!

1. Your YMCA membership is used solely for the childcare (hot showers and alone time).

2. Formula or breast milk has ended up in your coffee. (Not on purpose.)

3. You pretend you need to poop so you can have a potty-cation in silence.

3b. You think a potty-cation sounds like the best five minutes of your day.

4. You have sensual daydreams about the comfort of your bed.

5. You aren't sure which meal you want because it's halfway between dinner and breakfast.

6. You fall asleep in the shower. Lying down.

7. You fall asleep in line at Target. Standing up.

8. Your visits to Grandma's look like a hot potato handoff. "Here's the baby, where's the bed?"

9. If you won a million dollars, you would buy sleep. Only sleep.

10. Whenever people ask what you want for Christmas/your birthday/your anniversary/Monday, your first response is "sleep." When that earns you a laugh, you begrudgingly accept gift cards for coffee.

11. You lose your coffee in the microwave. Six times a day.

12. Sometimes you laugh so hard you cry. Then you actually decide to cry. Then nobody knows what the heck just happened.

13. You aren't sure if those black spots are bugs on the wall or just your eyes quitting on you after 48 hours of sleeplessness.

14. You swat at the bugs/spots just to be sure they aren't real. The Target checkout lady seems concerned, but you don't care.

15. ...

16. Zzzz...

17. Huh? Wait, what? What were we talking about?

18. No, I wasn't sleeping, I was just resting my eyes.

19. You are always hungry, but never really hungry, because all you do is graze throughout the day.

20. Concealer is swallowed up by the black (hole) bags beneath your eyes.

21. You know exactly how long it's been since you slept based on the age of your oldest child.

22. Your favorite person is the one who lets you take a nap. They have no idea how much you passionately love them. (The word "soul mate" comes to mind.)

23. You feel rage toward anyone who brags about sleep, sleeps in front of you or even has the nerve to seem well-rested.

24. Hearing "sleep when the baby sleeps" makes you want to punch somebody.

25. You just finished reading this, but your brain was on auto-pilot and you have no idea what it said.

This post originally appeared on Mom Babble.

5 Exercise Mistakes That Could Get You Hurt

Just be extra careful. And pay attention to the FIRST ITEM! Warm up and cool down is SUPER important I cannot emphasise any further!

From ACE



If you’re exercising regularly, you undoubtedly are noticing the benefits—better sleep and moods, maybe a few lost pounds. The last thing you want to do is derail your efforts or, worse, get yourself injured. Here are five of the most common exercise mistakes people make and how you can avoid them.


1. Skipping Your Warm-up and Cool-down
Scenario: You feel you only have time for a short workout so you skip both your warm-up and cool-down.
Consequence: Your body is not adequately prepared for your workout so you underperform and create a greater potential for injury. You also create more soreness by not allowing your body to cool down properly when you’re finished. When it’s time for your next workout, you feel tired, sluggish, sore and ill prepared.
Solution: Instead of skipping the warm-up and cool-down, shorten your workout and increase the intensity. You can get a very effective workout for both muscular strength and cardiovascular health in only just 20 to 30 minutes. Add moderate-to-intense intervals and/or decrease your rest time between sets. But find a way to do five to 10 minutes of mobility (dynamic stretching) work prior to your workout and some static stretching after you’re done.


2. Using Equipment Incorrectly
Scenario: You are unfamiliar with a new piece of equipment in your workout facility, or you want to try out a cool new exercise tool that you have seen others use, but have never tried yourself.
Consequence: It may sound like common sense, but make sure you know how to use the equipment before integrating it into your exercise program. This goes for everything from a treadmill to barbells, a TRX Suspension Trainer to kettlebells. If you have never used a piece of equipment, don’t assume that those that you’ve seen using it are doing it correctly. Injuries can happen quickly and easily when using new, unfamiliar equipment. You also do not want to be responsible for breaking anything because you don’t know how it works.
Solution: Find a fitness professional in your facility to show you how to properly use the equipment and how to incorporate it into your training program.


3. Overestimating Your Fitness Level
Scenario: You feel like you’re ready to conquer a new challenge, such as increasing the amount of weight you lift, decreasing your rest time, or increasing the overall volume of your training program. However, you are not quite able to complete your current workouts and you are still very sore after each one.
Consequence: Moving forward in your training program without being physically ready could be a recipe for disaster and injury.
Solution: When you are able to complete your intended repetitions and/or are no longer experiencing any delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) after your workouts, you may be ready to move on to a new challenge. This could be as small as adding 5 pounds to your deadlift or jogging for an extra five minutes. Which brings me to my next point…


4. Progressing Too Quickly
Scenario: You are ready for a new challenge so you add an additional 20 pounds to your deadlift, or you extend your long run by an extra 30 minutes.
Consequence: Injury is likely to happen. Even if you are able to complete the new challenge, if your heart rate spikes to a new high during endurance training or you experience debilitating DOMS after a resistance-training session, you likely increased your training too much, too quickly.
Solution: Use the 2 x 2 rule for resistance training. If you can do two more reps for two consecutive sessions at your planned weight, then it’s time to move up by either two reps or 2 percent in weight. For endurance training, your overall weekly distance and/or time should not be increased by more than 10 percent each week. For most people, increasing by increments of fewer than five minutes at a time for running, or 5 miles for biking is usually acceptable.


5. Not Taking the Time to Recover Properly
Scenario: You do an intense workout and try to repeat the same workout, or a similar type of workout, within 24 to 48 hours. This could also include not fueling properly after exercise, which delays recovery.
Consequence: You have opened the door to soreness, fatigue, decreased performance and injury. When this pattern lasts too long, it may lead to overtraining syndrome, which has other long-term effects such as hormonal imbalances, sleep disturbances and mood disorders.
Solution: Take 24 to 48 hours between workouts of a similar nature to rest and recover. This doesn’t mean you have to sit on the couch for two days after running for 30 minutes, but if you do an intense workout that includes heavy weights and running intervals, your body will thank you for taking two days (or more) off before doing that workout again.


Monday, June 15, 2015

How to Tell if You’ve Reached a Plateau

For the gym addicts including me :). Yes, there will be a time where eventhough we do routine work, we need to change our routines to overcome this plateau or really just take a break and breathe the fresh air...It is OK to Plateau, it is a good thing!

Thanks ACE

 


When it comes to fitness, it takes a lot of effort to reach a plateau. So, depending on how look at it, a plateau could be considered a marker of achievement and a sign that you’ve made progress in becoming healthier and more fit. If you are happy with where you are, how far you’ve come and seek no additional change, then a plateau is a good place to be. Of course, plateaus also can be viewed negatively—as being stuck between where you started and where you want to end up.
What’s the best indicator that you’ve reached a plateau in your fitness progress?

You’re happy, yet unsatisfied.
While feeling good about the progress you’ve made, more of your attention is focused on the remaining progress to come and an intense realization that you aren’t yet where you want to be. There’s a quiet sense of “this is good, but I’m not finished yet.”
If you are a newer exerciser—in general, this means you’ve been exercising regularly for six months or so after an extended period of not exercising—then this is normal. Gains are easy when you’re starting at the beginning, but progress doesn’t come quite so easily over time. Which makes sense. After all, how much faster can the world’s fastest man or woman get even by training hard and eating right? Despite the sometimes silly, sometimes trenchant motivational statements popular in fitness, there are limits to what is possible.

You’re working out, but not as dialed in as you normally are.
This can sometimes be related to overtraining or just general life stress, but not feeling as motivated to exercise is also a marker of a plateau. You may not feel fully present in the experience in the moment when you are working out. For some exercises, you can only add so much resistance before you reach a limit of stability.

In this case, it might be time to make some small changes, such as using a few new exercise variations or adding intensity through movement speed or resistance, or any other modification that makes the fitness experience challenging enough to force your body to change. Or, it could be time for a bigger change in terms of a new program. Most people change programs too often, but at some point, any routine will need to be altered because the body adapts to it, and the familiarity makes improvements harder to come by.

In either case—making small changes or starting a new program—the smart move is to consult with a qualified, credible, caring health and fitness pro who can create something for you.
Another possibility is that it might be time to look at what the next step in your nutrition journey should be. I call it a journey because improving your diet is a lifelong endeavor. We are all working to make things better, while not freaking our brains out too much by making changes that are too drastic. If you’re in the middle of your nutrition journey, perhaps you’ve plateaued there. When I was making my own improvements in health (even before I worked in fitness professionally), I went from several sodas per day down to one. That was 20 years ago. At some point, one soda per day was my plateau and it was time to make the next jump of progress, which meant avoiding sodas altogether.

You think to yourself, “I wonder if I’m at a plateau?”
This is easy as this is one of those thoughts that rarely pops into your head unless you are actually at a plateau. If this hasn’t crossed your mind, either don’t care (which means you are most likely not reading this at all) or you are making so much progress and slaying it in your workouts that the idea of a plateau never even enters your mind. If you think you might be at a plateau, you probably are.

Remember: A Plateau is Good
A plateau is a sign that you’ve made some progress. Perhaps if you view it as a chance to recognize the progress you’ve made, while gathering your strength to make the next attempt and effort at making more progress, a plateau can be seen as an opportunity—a starting point for the next round of progress.
 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

How to Prevent Sagging Breasts Naturally

Oh yes this post is SOooo for the ladies! Check out the exercises to shape them up!

And you know what? We need to do press upsssssssss.

Plus...

Screw the Chest Press with bar work!! Body weight rocksssssssssss

Thank you for the article, the science of eating :)

Image (41)
Every woman wants to have perfectly shaped breasts throughout her life. Sadly, this is not possible in most cases. Breast sagging is a natural process that happens with age where the breasts lose their suppleness and elasticity. A drooping pair of breasts can severely undermine how a woman feels about herself, and may feel it lessens her attractiveness in the eyes of the opposite sex. Learning what causes breasts to sag and tackling this issue proactively can offer a lot of help.

What Causes Saggy Breasts

For starters, breasts do not have muscle, they are made of fat, connective tissues and milk-producing glands, and they need proper care to keep them in good shape. Though saggy breasts usually start happening after a woman reaches 40, it can occur earlier. According to various studies, it is understood that when a woman reaches her late thirties, the skin can become loose and begin to show signs of aging. According to the Oregon Institute of Breast Health Education, this is especially true in the breasts, particularly if a woman has gone through a pregnancy.

Apart from age & pregnancy, other factors that cause sagging breasts such as menopause, rapid weight loss or gain, strenuous exercise, nutritional deficiencies, smoking, over-tanning and wearing a poorly fitting bra.

Many believe that breastfeeding can cause sagging, but this is FALSE according to a 2008 study published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal which concluded that breastfeeding isn’t a risk factor for ptosis (a fancy name for drooping). The real culprit is actually pregnancy itself, as weight gain during pregnancy can cause ligaments to stretch, which can lead to drooping later. You can minimize this issue by making sure you stick to a relatively healthy weight gain while you’re pregnant,
Some diseases like breast cancer or respiratory conditions like tuberculosis can also cause breasts to sag. Excessive consumption of nicotine, alcohol and carbonated beverages can also contribute to the problem.
A wide variety of creams and lotions are available on the market to tighten and tone up sagging breasts. However, if you prefer natural methods, there are many simple and easy home remedies that you can try.

How To Firm The Breasts

There are a number of home remedies for regaining the firmness of saggy breasts, including regular pectoral exercises, massaging, masks, plant oils and essential oils in different forms.

Maintain an Optimal Weight

If you are someone who struggles with weight, and if gain and lose weight continuously and fail to stay at a steady optimal weight, it could take a toll on your breasts. Your skin, especially over the breasts, loses elasticity when stretched. Also when you lose weight, you can lose fat from the breasts very fast as compared to other parts of the body. This continuous stretching and relaxing of the skin makes it droop and sag over time.

Drink Plenty of Water

According to experts at the University of Wisconsin Hospitals, the skin is comprised of cells that are predominantly made up of water. Lack of water takes a toll on the skin, and can make the skin over your breast look shrunken and dull. When there is less water in your body the skin doesn’t receive the requisite amount and might look flaky, dry and get wrinkled. This could lead to premature aging of the skin around the breasts making it lose firmness and sag.

Nutrition & Exercise

Always combine healthy eating with exercise, as this is the only way to reduce weight while keeping your skin firm. Improper weights can also cause your breasts to sag. Drastic weight loss in a short span of time would definitely cause your breasts to lose their fullness.
Nutritional deficiencies can lead to saggy breasts, as nutrients are needed for breast growth and support. A protein deficiency can result in the breast muscles losing their strength and firmness, thereby leading to saggy breasts. It's essential to eat foods that are nutritionally rich and contain proteins, vitamins, calcium, minerals, carbohydrates and essential fats etc. Some of the foods that you need to include in your meals every day would include tomatoes, onions, carrots, cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower and garlic etc.

Pomegranate

This fruit is considered a wonderful anti-aging ingredient and can help prevent sagging breasts. Pomegranate seed oil is rich in phyto-nutrients that can lead to firm breasts.

Aloe Vera

This amazing plant has natural skin-tightening properties that can help get rid of sagging breasts. The antioxidants in aloe vera prevent damage caused by free radicals and help firm sagging breasts. Apply aloe vera gel to the breasts and massage gently in a circular motion for 10 minutes. Allow it to sit in the skin for another 10 minutes, then wash it off with cold water. Repeat this remedy 4 or 5 times a week to get effective results.

Home Remedies To Help Firm The Breasts

Breast Exercise

It is said that the right exercises can keep your breasts perky, however, since breasts are made up of fat, not muscle—technically there’s nothing to tighten or tone. But chest exercises can help improve the appearance of your pectoral area by strengthening surrounding ligaments, which in turn may make them appear more lively, stated Anne Taylor, MD, a clinical assistant professor of plastic surgery at Ohio State University.

The easiest and most popular exercise to add firmness to breasts is to do push-ups, which strengthen the pectoral muscles beneath the breasts. Overall, it will help to shape up the breast and reduce the excess fat deposits around the chest. Lifting weights can also strengthen pectoral muscles, including curls, chest presses, dumbbell flyes and many other variations you can try that make you feel your chest muscles working.

Workout Firmer Breasts

Breast Masks

Like facial masks, breast masks can help firm the skin in and around the breast region. You can use these breast masks at least once in a week for desirable results.
Vitamin E Oil & Egg Breast Mask
  • Make a paste consisting of:
  • 1 Tbsp Plain Yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp Vitamin E Oil
  • 1 Egg
Directions:
  • Apply this paste over your breast and rub it in nicely.
  • Leave on for about half an hour.
  • Rinse it off with cold water .

Massage

Massage your breasts at least 2-3 times per week with coconut or olive oil to help add firmness and increase the elasticity to the skin as well as improve the skin tone and texture. Massage draws blood to the surface of the skin, increases blood flow, while stimulating muscle growth, and cell repair to help reduce the appearance and severity of sagging breasts.

Ice Massages

Ice can help tone the skin in and around the breast region. All you need to do is rub a few ice cubes over your breasts in wide circular motions. You can also wrap some crushed ice in a ziplock bag wrapped in a cloth and use the same way to massage your breasts. Massage for around 1 minute, as too much exposure to ice can cause numbness. Try this massage at regular intervals throughout the day to firm your breast muscles and skin.

Plant Oils

Massaging your breasts with vegetable oils like coconut, olive or grape seed oil is also beneficial for toning the breast skin and tissues. Excellent examples include almond oil and grape seed oil, all of which help firm and nourish the breast skin. For better results, you can mix two drops of any essential oil along with the vegetable oils before rubbing them on your breasts.

Essential Oils

Essential Oils like fennel seed oil, spearmint oil, carrot oil, lemongrass oil and cypress oil contain skin cell rejuvenation properties that help restore the suppleness and elasticity of saggy skin. Just massage your breasts with these oils at regular intervals throughout the day in order to tone the skin in and around your breasts. Be forewarned that these oils could burn the skin and so need to be applied in small quantities. Two drops would be more than enough for the purpose.

Avoid These Sagging Triggers

In addition to the above home remedies, there are certain potential triggers you need to avoid in order to prevent saggy breasts. These include:

Smoking & Over-Tanning

Lighting up is a significant risk factor for breast drooping, according to the 2008 study. The same can be said for any poor lifestyle habit that breaks down skin’s collagen like soaking up too many UV rays or eating a nutrient-poor, high-fat diet.

Wrong Sized or Poorly Fitting Bras

A wrong sized bra can make your breasts sag in no time at all. Not wearing a bra would not help as well. Your best option would be to opt for bras with special support holders or pads at the bottom of the cup. These would keep your breasts in place and prevent sagging.

Going Braless is Good For Your Breasts?

Some women who go braless may actually have the right idea, and this has been suggested by new research. According to the results of a 15-year study in France (It should be noted the study does not mention breast size), bras provide no benefits to women and may actually be harmful to breasts over time. Jean-Denis Rouillon, a professor at the University of Franche-Comté in Besançon stated, "Medically, physiologically, anatomically, the breast does not benefit from being deprived of gravity."

Rouillon measured and examined the breasts of more than 300 women, aged 18 and 35, taking note of how the additional support provided by bras affects the body over time. Overall, he found that women who did not use bras benefited in the long term, developing more muscle tissue to provide natural support. Rouillon also noticed that nipples gained a higher lift, in relation to the shoulders, on women who went braless. The study concluded that when bras are worn, the restrictive material prevents such tissue from growing, which may actually accelerate sagging, .

But don't throw away your bras just yet, ladies, because despite the findings, Rouillon said it would be dangerous to advise all women to trash their bras based on the study's sample, which may not be representative of the population. Rouillon cautioned women who have worn bras for a long time, like several decades, that following these recommendations may have less chance of seeing as much benefit.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Which Should Come First: Cardio or Strength Training?

Tossing between the two? Try these advises :)

Reference by ACE once again


No matter how good we get at understanding exercise, there are still some basic things about it that are endlessly vexing. What should come first in your workout, cardio training or strength training? If you or someone you know has recently joined the new “Never Do Cardio” cult, that’s not the answer and please read this first.

When simple questions continue to puzzle us, it is often because the “simple” question has a nuanced answer that is dependent upon numerous factors. And we run into trouble whenever we take what works for an individual and try to make that the template for all of humanity to follow. The “correct” answer to this question can vary from person to person, but by the end of this blog, you should have a better idea of how to answer this question for you.

A recent ACE-commissioned study found that performing cardio exercise after resistance training created a heart-rate response that was 12 beats per minute higher for the exact same workout intensity and duration. This would seem to present clear evidence that cardio should be performed first due to the increase in perceived effort from this shift in heart rate and a potential shifting of the intensity from “moderate” to “vigorous” with no modifications to external intensity. In fact, these were the general conclusions of the study.

However, both Lance Dalleck, Ph.D., the lead researcher in the study, and Cedric X. Bryant, Ph.D., ACE’s Chief Science Officer, agree that the results of this study doesn’t mean every single person should always do cardio first. “When working holistically with a client,” says Dr. Dalleck, “the client’s needs and goals should drive the development of the exercise program.”
Indeed, you can find other, equally well-designed studies that conclude that it’s better to perform strength training first because it depletes the body’s carbohydrates stores, which means it uses slightly more fat for fuel.

Furthermore, most studies have looked at the impact of strength and cardio on a single session as opposed to over a period of time. More recent studies are investigating what is happening to the body’s response and recovery from exercise as a result of strength and cardio together. Some highlights:

-Running negatively affects strength training more than cycling.
-Endurance training volume should be limited to 20 to 30 minutes to minimize potentially negative effects.
-Moderate- to high-intensity endurance training decreases the efficacy of strength training.
Feeling confused? As with most things related to fitness, it is never a good idea to try to turn general guidelines into hard and fast rules that apply to all people. The more deeply you look into this question, “Should I do strength or cardio first?” the clearer it becomes that the only correct answer is: ”It depends.”
It depends on…

Goals: Fat loss? Weight loss? Feel better? Have more energy for recreational activities? Get stronger?

Attitude/Mindset: Hate exercise? Love it? Sort of enjoy it, but sometimes struggle? Don’t like it, but you do it consistently because you want the benefits badly enough to do it? Hate cardio? Hate strength training?

To help you make sense of the best choice for you, take a look at this chart:


Simple is better, but we can’t always reduce a question to a simple answer for everyone. Sometimes, the best answer is “It’s complicated,” which then becomes simple again when filtered through the needs of the individual.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

4 Common Breakfast Mistakes That Prevent You From Reaching Your Goals

Ah hah hah. Straight on the dot for point 3. So let's get some healthy milk shake going! Alternatively these days we do have many many many types of protien shakes..... yes it's instant but hey, it's better than your usual cereal ;)

Reference source: ACE

breakfast

You’ve probably heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And although eating the right breakfast fuels your body, provides long-lasting energy and satiety, prevents overeating at lunch and sets the tone for the entire healthy day, we love all three meals. Each on is equally important in its own way. That being said, it’s not just eating breakfast that’s important, it’s choosing the right one. Consuming the wrong breakfast can be worse than eating no breakfast at all. And if you’re trying to muster up energy to work out and eat the right foods to get fit, eating the right breakfast is critical to your success.

Here are the top four breakfast mistakes—and how to fix them.

1. Mistake: You overindulged last night so you skip breakfast.
Studies show that roughly 31 million Americans skip breakfast. In fact, this is a common practice among health-conscience people who overdo it the night before. Waking up feeling bloated and stuffed, they decide to skip out on breakfast calories and let their bodies recover until lunch. This usually backfires because most people end up hungry by lunch and overeat. They also tend to make less healthy choices as they give in to hunger and rationalize that it’s O.K. to do so because they skipped breakfast.
The Solution: Grab a high-fiber food (like fruit, one-half cup cooked oatmeal) and combine it with protein (nonfat Greek yogurt, hardboiled egg, one-half cup low-fat cottage cheese, or one tablespoon of peanut butter) and make it your breakfast. You can eat it on the way out the door. This breakfast should contain about 200 calories, so it’s small enough that you can feel light, yet it still provides energy. It’s also large enough so that you won’t be overly ravenous by lunchtime and you won’t succumb to cravings and overindulging again.

2. Mistake: You skip breakfast, but drink coffee.
You may think you saved calories by tricking your body into feeling full, but once that caffeine high wears off, you’ll come crashing down and start searching for real food. You can only trick your body for so long before it wants a true source of fuel. In addition to being tired, you’re ravenous. When you’re tired, you’re more likely to make poor dietary choices and to overeat. It’s more challenging to turn down the pizza and fries in lieu of a salad at lunch.
The Solution: At the very least, start by going for the small breakfast solution offered in mistake #1. See how you feel by mid-morning and at lunchtime. You don’t have to ditch your coffee, but give your body fuel, too. Good options to slowly get your body used to breakfast: A small veggie omelet and a piece of whole-wheat toast; a tablespoon almond butter on a banana; or a half cup berries sprinkled in 6 ounces of non-fat Greek yogurt.

3. Mistake: You make a protein blunder, like eating a bowl of cold cereal or oatmeal with milk.
Nine times out of 10, this breakfast leaves you hungry by mid-morning—so you can’t concentrate, your energy crashes and by lunchtime you’re ready to eat anything. Why? There’s simply not enough protein. Protein takes longer to digest and helps prevent you from feeling hungry too soon.
The Solution: Aim for at least 10 grams of protein and ideally more. Even if you add one cup of milk to your cereal, that’s only 8 grams of protein. You’ll get a few from the cereal, but not enough for real satisfaction. If you want a high-fiber cereal, try stirring it into a non-fat or low-fat Greek yogurt, which has roughly 15 to 17 grams of protein. Consider having eggs for breakfast—our clients who eat eggs with breakfast find this to be the most satiating breakfast choice. Check out these great options—some are larger portions of easy on-the-go snacks, so choose the number of servings we suggest. If you already eat a hearty breakfast feel free to enlarge any of these portion sizes even more to accommodate your needs:

Overnight Berry Parfait (1 serving, 207 calories, 16 g protein, 6 g fiber)

Tomato, Spinach, Egg ‘n Feta Never Tasted Better Wrap (2 servings, 242 Calories, 36 grams protein, 6 g fiber 18 grams protein

Egg and Mozzarella Breakfast Pizza (1 serving, ½ cup raspberries: 220 Calories, 18 g protein, 8 g fiber)

Nutty Banana Chia Yogurt (1-1/2 servings, 284 Calories, 17 g protein, 5 g fiber)

Sunny Side Eggs On a Portobello Bagel (2 servings with a slice of whole-grain bread, 264 Calories, 18 g protein, 6 g fiber)

Blueberry Crunch High Protein Snack (2 servings, 324 Calories, 35 g protein, 6 g fiber)


4. Mistake: You don’t get enough fiber, like those found in fruits, veggies, whole grains and beans.
If you choose refined grains or simply eat only protein foods at breakfast (like eggs or a shake with protein powder, or you put your egg sandwich on a bagel, which is a refined grain devoid of fiber), your breakfast likely includes very little fiber. Here’s why this is a problem:
-Fiber typically comes with a quality carbohydrate that is needed to fuel your brain, preventing the need for a quick pick-me-up and helping to prevent cravings.
-Fiber helps to flush out the leftover debris and toxins lingering in your colon from the night before.
-Fiber helps to stabilize blood sugar levels.
Solution: Concentrate on eating fiber-filled foods. Aim for a minimum of 5 grams of fiber. Make egg sandwiches with whole-grain bread and add lettuce and tomato. If you typically have protein shakes, add berries or another fruit for fiber—and think about adding an extra source of fiber to any breakfast option, even the protein options in solution #3, which already include the minimum 5 grams of fiber. Here are a few-high fiber breakfasts:

Sunnyside Avocado Breakfast (1 serving, 217 Calories, 10 g fiber, 12 g protein)

Loaded Overnight Oatmeal (1 serving, 289 Calories, 11 g fiber, 10 g protein)

Pumpkin Chia Pudding (1 serving, 222 Calories, 17g fiber, 10 g protein)




8 More Weight Loss Tips For Women Over 40

I don't think this is just for women over 40, but all women :)

Just a couple of tips! I like the 6th item. Indeed when I get deprived of something eventhough I had dinner, I am definitely not eating the right way.

Thanks mindbodygreen

What is so different about weight loss when you're a woman over 40? As I described in the first article of this series, there are two main differences: (1) Crash diets the might have worked for you in your 20s and 30s don't work any more; and (2) exercise just isn't enough. In this article (like the second of this series), I'm going to focus on practical advice for weight loss.

So here are 8 more weight loss tips for women over 40.
1. Stop turning desired foods into the enemy.
One thing I notice with many clients is that when they eat foods that they perceive as "bad" (but that they love), they eat them in the worst possible way. Have you ever eaten a chocolate bar as if you were committing a crime and wanted to finish it before you got caught? This is a terrible way to eat a food that you love! Not only do you not take the time to enjoy it, but the entire experience is suffused with guilt and regret.
Remember, food is not the enemy, it’s your thoughts about the food. Give yourself permission to eat foods that you enjoy. Second, instead of rushing, take your time. Put the food on a plate. Savor it. When you allow yourself to enjoy food that you love, it loses some of its power over you.
2. If you know you're likely to overeat certain foods, make them harder to access.
Eating something you love should be a deliberate decision. The problem is, if you like chocolate and it’s lying around on your desk, your decision is no longer driven by desire, but by convenience.
You want to make snacks and other foods like that as inconvenient as possible. This ensures that you're making decisions based on what you really want and not just because it’s in front of you.
You create inconvenience by not keeping snacks readily available. It puts a barrier between you and impulsive food decisions. Do you always get an afternoon chocolate bar from the vending machine at work? Make a rule that you can still have a chocolate bar, but you have to walk to a shop a few blocks away to get it.
3. What foods do you really really love?
You probably think you know what foods you love. But there is more to it than that. Part of developing a healthier relationship with food is gaining more self-knowledge about what you really want.
Some questions to ask are:
  • Which foods do you really enjoy?
  • Which foods could you do without?
  • Which foods make you feel good?
  • Which foods feel good in the moment but make you feel bad later on?
  • Which foods make you feel the most satisfied? For how long?
If you look at everything you eat, you'll notice that there are some foods on that list which you don't absolutely love. For instance, someone who loves chocolate but isn't so jazzed about cakes shouldn't order chocolate cake at the cafe with her friend.
4. Go easy on the booze.
I have some clients who obsess over the extra baked potato they had at dinner, but forget the 500 calories of red wine they had with their meal. Alcohol is liquid calories. And many women find that when they drink, they make bad food decisions and feel extra-hungry the next day. A triple whammy!
Because of the tolerance aspect of alcohol, you need more and more to get the same effect. What might have started off as one glass of wine with dinner, can soon end up as half a bottle. You don't necessarily need to eliminate alcohol entirely, but you should try to ensure that it doesn't undermine your health and weight goals.
5. Don't write off things as unavoidable. Always look at eating situations and see if there is another, better way of handling them.
Some things happen because we don't even question them. Some clients say things like "They were having a birthday cake at work and so I had to eat that." Unless someone grabbed you and shoved the food down your throat, you didn't have to do anything.
6. If you're feeling deprived, you're on the wrong path.
Let’s say you’re trying to lose weight, and you decide to eat a really small lunch. After, you're still hungry but you convince yourself it's the right thing to do. You almost feel proud of yourself for restricting your food. But a few hours later, you’re so hungry that you end up eating a big slice of chocolate cake with cream.
What just happened here?
You fell for the diet-based thinking that going without food and depriving yourself is part of losing weight. It’s not. Deprivation will just make you feel more hungry and intensify your cravings. It's not sustainable. I often tell clients that "if you think you're being 'good', you're probably cutting back too much". Deprivation is not the path to long-term weight loss.
7. Share food as much as possible.
It's a win-win. You get to experience a variety of different foods without having to eat all the calories. When eating with others, always look for ways to share.
8. Figure out whether you need snacks or not.
There are no hard and fast rules with regards to snacks, because different people react differently. Are you the kind of person who does well with three good meals, or do you need snacks in between to keep you going?
It doesn’t matter which you are, but you need to know which one you are. There’s no sense in eating snacks when you don’t need them. Or only eating main meals and then feeling insatiably hungry in between.
This speaks to a more general principle. Don't feel compelled to do what someone else did to lose weight. Do what works for you.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Why Moms are So Tired

Not just moms....dads too especially the ones who chooses to stay at home.

Hugs

Here's the real reason why mothers are so exhausted #mother #parenting #children

Tired mom

Mothers of young children – particularly stay-at-home moms – tend to get a bad rap. Why doesn’t she do her hair more often? She seems to have a disproportional amount of yoga pants. I’m not sure why she refers to herself in third person. Sure, mothers may sleep a little less and be busy at home during this season, I have another theory on why we can be so tired even when it seems (to the outside world particularly) like we never do much of anything. Why are moms so tired? I have a theory on that.
It is this. Hyper-vigilance. Hyper-vigilance is defined as an enhanced state of sensory sensitivity accompanied by an exaggerated intensity of behaviors whose purpose is to detect threats. Hyper-vigilance denotes a constant scanning of the environment for threats, exhaustion, and abnormally increased awareness (source).
Normally, this term is used in clinical settings. In this post. I’m using the term to draw a parallel to parenting. So, for parents, hyper-vigilance is basically being in a heightened state of awareness, fight-or-flight and protection mode on behalf of our children who are too young to do it for themselves properly, if at all.

Fight-or-flight

Fight-or-flight occurs when someone perceives a threat of danger and experiences physiological symptoms that will help them to fight or flee. Anxiety and worry are basically heightened states of awareness. If you are anxious, then it’s almost as if your body is in a low-level state of fight-or-flight. So, how does this concern us? Well, by the time our children are mobile, and perhaps before, they begin to explore their environments. Things that were seemingly safe, like a chair, suddenly become opportunity for big falls. Functional things like toilet cleaners or food processors become objects of potential disaster.
Even after a house is “child-proofed” there will still be many times when your young ones will attempt something (even if they only attempt it once) that is dangerous to them. Since they don’t register this danger, we do. It’s How Mothers Save Lives. Therefore, even when we are sleeping we are aware. One child is out of sight and quiet. Oh. No. Jimbo is halfway up the bookshelf and attempting a Batman-about-to-fly pose. Daisy Mae is trying to lock her 1-year-old brother in the dark pantry. When we are in charge of little ones we are constantly in high awareness. Physiologically, this is exhausting.

Less time to yourself

Spending all day focusing on other people is just very tiring. It is a privilege to be a mother and a joy to sacrifice, but the effects do accumulate. From sun up to sun down you are directly focused on others. Up until motherhood you’ve likely had much of the day to yourself. Even in 9 to 5 jobs, while working, you can go to the bathroom alone. Get a coffee or diet coke when you so desire. Phone calls can be made without worrying that a sudden screech or disconnection will occur. Commutes to and from work offer time to process, read a book or relax. (Note: this was MY working experience pre-motherhood, I 100% understand that is NOT many working women’s reality)
The commute from your bed to the kitchen table is slightly too short to be of good use. Even with well-behaved children and a good routine (both of which I maintain and greatly encourage) you are still focused on the kids. That is your job. It is good and right, but dadgummit, it is exhausting. This is why I advocate a good routine in place for you to process, recharge, and get refreshed.
Read: How to find time for yourself in the everyday as a busy mom

Multi-tasking takes its toll

I am a multi-tasker to the extreme. Why do one thing if I can 6 and plan another in my head at the same time? When I walk from one room to the other I put away 3 things in the process. I will make a phone call, change a diaper and hold a baby at the same time. This is helpful in that it allows us to accomplish many things at once. It is unhelpful when it means we are so busy that we do not relax and rest. I’ve recently stopped multitasking and here’s why.
If you are like me (and I really hope for your sake that you aren’t) then you find it hard to slow down, smell the coffee or roses, and not worry about the state of the house, the children’s faces or the laundry room. It seems to sprite girls in their early 20’s (and men of all ages) that women who are at home all day should not be tired and have no excuse for a dirty house. Or to not have perfectly coiffed hairdo. Oh and nails to match each day’s outfit. The simple fact is that the pressures of home are many and they are heavy.

Even still

I advocate routines , independent play for your children, and a good sleeping system for everyone involved. Still, with all these things in place, a busy life and never-ending piles of laundry, stacks of dishes, and food to cook can wear us out. The next time someone looks at you with that “why do you seem so out of it when you are home all day?” look, just smile to yourself and know.

You are tired because none of your children drank bleach on your watch today. You are weary because everyday last week you made sure your little ones had food in their bellies, even if it wasn’t mostly organic and preservative free. You could use a nap because the house has not burned down and the walls are still upright, though perhaps with crayons, markers or fingernail polish you forgot to lock up.

No matter how organized, efficient and structured you are as a mother and no matter how obedient and well-behaved your children, being a mother to young ones requires focus, concentration and a heightened sense of awareness. It makes us tired. But, when I’m 95 on my deathbed sleeping half the day away and bored, I think I’ll look back on these trying days with a smile. Because that’s what mothers do. We do what needs to be done.