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Month: May 2015

My 5 Simple Tips to Traveling w/o Gaining Weight!

My 5 Simple Tips to Traveling w/o Gaining Weight!

I just got home from a short 5 day trip over the long holiday weekend. As I was preparing to go it occurred to me how much i’ve learned about how to travel healthy. I mean in the beginning I would pack my suitcase (‘over-pack’ is more like it) with things I was never going to wear but had to have, just in case. Today it’s a whole new experience. I pack (over-pack) easy to eat healthy foods for traveling. Years ago, I would I rely on airport food, gas station stops, and restaurants to get me through, and by the end of the trip, those comfy sweats I brought with, just in case, would come in handy for the long travel home.

I want to share with you my 5 best practices for traveling by car, plane or  train without gaining weight.

Be prepared! This is the number one thing that will save you from needing those comfy pants. It begins with being prepared from the day before you leave, with food you will take with you. Being prepared from the morning you travel makes the likelihood of success so much greater. Knowing that you won’t have to rely on airport food, as tempting as it might be, or gas station food, will free you too enjoy your travel as you to start off on a good note. Each good choice empowers you to make the next good choice.

Have a plan! Food is a huge part of travel, and so often it becomes a main focus…. “Anyone hungry?” “Should we get lunch now?”  “Where are we going for diner?” Questions like that often ruled my travel. What I do now is decide in advance which meal will be the main meal of the day. Sometimes it’s diner, sometimes it’s lunch, and my favorite is when the main meal is breakfast. Having this decided in advance allows me to make the right choices at the other food stops throughout the day.

Be flexible! Flexibility is a must when traveling. Sometimes the best laid plans can turn  on a dime when traveling. Just go with the flow and make the best choices available in the moment. 99.9% of the times there will be a best option. Go for that. And of course, if you are truly prepared, you will have something tucked in your purse for just such an occasion.

Have fun!! After all you are on vaca right. So fun is a must. But fun doesn’t have to involve consuming large amounts of alcohol? Unless of course you’re hell bent on getting hammered everyday.  In that case you probably wouldn’t be reading this anyway. Seriously, nothing causes weight gain,  and can ruin your fun, and your plan like to many adult beverages. Choose wisely.

Be an experimenter! Take note of what worked best, and whget-attachmentat you would do differently the next time you travel. Becoming a healthy traveler takes some practice. Don’t throw in the towel if things don’t go as well as you wanted them to. Especially if this is your first time planning and prepping food for vacation. It’s taken me many trips to get it down. Things I never leave home without anymore, regardless of how  long my trip is, or how I’m getting there: Shakeology,  (and my travel blender), Tanka bars, nuts, bag of popcorn or pretzels, apples. peanut butter. If I’m traveling by car, a case of water. If traveling by plane, I always stop and by water before I get to the hotel or condo I rented.

It’s pretty simple, don’t be rigid, just be prepared. And most of all, have a great time!

Live Fit, Spread Joy!!

Vera

 

Sauteed Chickpeas

Sauteed Chickpeas

Drain and rinse one can of chickpeas pat dry
combine:
2 tsp smoked paprika13478_10206463680568689_6476670876302259558_n
1/2 tsp cummin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt

mix with chickpeas

heat 2 tbls olive oil in a sautee pan
make sure oil is hot before you add the coated
chick peas.

cook 10 to 15 minutes shaking pan often.

I eat them just like that,  as a snack. They are not really
crunchy, but they are delicious, or add them to as salad, or
lightly smash them and use on a sandwich. Yummmm

Enjoy and,

Live Fit, Spread Joy!

 

4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Skip Breakfast!

4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Skip Breakfast!

coffee-231x300We dream of waking up early, enjoying a cup of coffee, having yourself all put together, healthy breakfast ready to eat as the kids come out of their rooms, also all ready to start the day…. Yea, but in reality, the drill goes something like this…you drag yourself out of bed after hitting the snooze a few times, and race against time to get the kids up and ready for school, you might pass your hubby in the hallway before he runs out the door, and you have to rush to get yourself together, the kids out the door, and arrive to work on time. Whew…a nutritious breakfast is practically impossible. So often many people simply choose to skip it. Perhaps you’re so busy in the morning, you don’t even realize you’re hungry. I’m here to tell you that you should never skip breakfast. Wait, what was that? You’ve heard this before….. Well, I’m going to give you 4 reasons why you don’t want to skip your morning meal any longer:

1. It boosts your metabolism.

Yes, it does. Think about it…you’ve been fasting all night. Your body’s processes have slowed down as a result. You need the nutrition and calories to get your metabolism going for the day.

2. You are a good role model for your children.

You are setting a great example for your children when they see you making healthy choices. In a world that is now plagued with obesity, it’s important to teach our young ones that nutrition matters.

3. Research has shown that people who eat breakfast lose weight easier and keep it off.

Nope, I’m not making this up. Think about it. Have you skipped breakfast before? If so, there was a good chance that you were famished by lunch. When we are THAT hungry, we are more apt to make poor choices.  According to WebMD, “…a research group analyzed government data on 4,200 adults. They found that regular breakfast eaters were more likely to exercise regularly. And women who ate breakfast regularly tended to eat fewer calories overall during the day.”

4. You can concentrate at work or school.

When you skip breakfast, your blood sugar is going to be lower resulting in lack of concentration, moodiness, and decrease in memory. This type of situation is only setting yourself and your children (if they are skipping breakfast) up for failure.

I want to share 2 easy breakfast recipes that are staples in my household:

Shakeology is my breakfast of choice almost every single day. It’s quick, easy, and extremely nutritious.

My absolute favorite way to make it is:

  • 1 scoop of Chocolate (or Strawberry) Shakeology

  • 1/2 avocado

  • 10 oz water 

  • ice 

Blend all ingredients in a blender, adding ice to desired thickness.

The beauty of Shakeology is that if I sleep through the alarm, and I don’t have time to even stop in the kitchen…instead I’m running through, I can grab my shaker cup, a packet of Shakeology, and water. I’ve been known to actually mix my shake in the car at a stoplight. It delivers the healthiest meal of the day!

If you aren’t a “shake for breakfast” person and have even a few extra minutes to spare, here is my second favorite breakfast that is simple to make, Steel Cut Oatmeal:

  • Prepare ahead of time and reheat in the microwave. You will think it was just made. 

  • 3 TBSP walnuts

  • 3/4 cup fresh berries, an apple or 1/2 a banana

  • 1 TBSP pure maple syrup

Mix ingredients together and enjoy.

Breakfast doesn’t have to be complicated. Think basic. Think nutritious. Think yummy. Think leftovers.  Also think “metabolism,” “good role model,” “weight loss,” “energy” and “concentration.” Do you have a favorite “go to” breakfast food? I’d love for you to share your easy, healthy, favorite breakfast recipes on my Facebook page for others to enjoy!

Live Fit, Spread Joy!!

Vera

Pasta Broccoli

Pasta Broccoli

Pasta Broccoli 

get-attachment-1(Single serving)

2 cups of broccoli flowers

1 tablespoon of olive oil

2 cloves of garlic chopped

2 ounces as spaghetti (I like vermicelli)

3 tablespoons of grated cheese

Red pepper flakes (to taste)

Salt

Squeeze of lemon

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, add broccoli, cook for about two minutes until broccoli heads are just tender. While the broccoli is cooking heat oil in a frying pan add garlic and sauté until golden brown remove from heat. Remove broccoli from boiling water with a slotted spoon or tongs and add to the garlic. Cover.  Add pasta to the same boiling water. When el dente`drain, saving a cup of the pasta water. Combine all ingredients in a bowl top with red pepper flakes squeeze of lemon and grated cheese mix well and enjoy!

****Try adding 3 oz of chicken breast or shrimp   

 

8 Truth’s on How to Lose Weight

8 Truth’s on How to Lose Weight

1. Find your reason for losing weight.

In the beginning the reason may be you have a reunion or vacation or a big event, and thats OK. What ever gets the ball rolling serves the purpose. But eventually, as you get stronger and endorphins kick in, and your getting results, your reason can change. And it can help keep you anchored to your goals, and lifelong fitness dreams. I have personally entered contests that offered money to lose weight and sure, money is motivating, but along the way, as I felt better, my health became the prize. Find your reason, and if you need to, go stand in front of the mirror, turn off the cell, the laptop and TV and just find your reason. Be raw, real and write it down. In some cases your “Why” may make you cry.

2. Set a Goal.
As much as you don’t like the scale, or tape measures, it’s imperative for you to know your starting point. Get a pad or  journal, write down your weight and measurements and ask yourself, what a real measurable goal is. Telling your best friend that you want to look good in a dress is great, but that doesn’t really give you a tracking progress. Name your goal. Is it 20lbs? 30lbs? Pick your number, pick a date, write it down and begin manifesting that goal.

3. Pick your plan.
What do you like to do? Lift weights, ride a bike, run? Find your passion again and if you don’t have one, then start here: Ask yourself what is mostly holding you back from working out. Is it a busy schedule? Is it injuries? Is it time scarcity? Find this answer and then apply it. When you find a workout that works for your schedule and works for your goal and happiness, then you will likely have more success than a plan you don’t like and are just doing it to get through the workout. I like to do a lot of different things, from being outside, to classes, and my favorite is banging out a quick one at home.  If you need helping picking a plan, I can help you with most anything.

4. What are you willing to give up?
In order to get healthy, you will likely need to give up some things. Make a list of all the things that ‘keep you unhealthy’ and reprioritize. Is it junk food around the house that can be removed? Is it friendships that support bad habits? Is it bad time management? What things are sabotaging your goals? Make a list of what you need to change in your daily, weekly, or weekend life; and yes, you may have to let some lunch buddies, or friendships go, for a while. It’s not because you don’t love them, it’s because you love yourself enough to get healthy and you need to get stronger and learn how to say no sometimes.

5. Figure out what got you here and make peace with it.
We all have times in our lives that we gain weight. It may be a new relationship and you kind of let yourself slide. It may be the ending of a relationship and you turned to food or drinks for comfort. It may have been a death, job loss, the birth of a baby, in any case, make peace with what happened and work to turn it around so that you are not continuing on a self-defeating path. Chances are likely, you know how you gained weight and you just need to make peace with it and let it go, so that you can grow.

6. Perfection.
Let go of the perfectionist syndrome. Many people will analyze a program a to death, and try to control the plan, before they even start. Perfectionism is often what keeps you stuck. You paralyze yourself with an overwhelming perfect ‘set up for weight loss’, when all it is, is a perfect set up for failure. Know that there will be days that you nail it, and there will be days that you struggle, but as long as you are making the choices to support your goals each and every day, you are one step closer to that goal. Don’t throw in the towel over one mistake or one pound, get over it and keep moving forward.

7. Find some Fun.
Find a 5K, 10K, a Tough Mudder, a Muddy Buddy.  These are great ways to stay on track.  Shoot for mini goals along the way. All this training can be not only targeting weight loss, but it’s pretty darn exhilarating to cross a finish line. Getting a medal is like getting when you got a ribbon in grade school. Some of us liked the ribbon more; it’s a sign of accomplishment and a tangible pat on the back. And when you shift your focus to a fun sporting event, rather than yourself, you’ll be surprised at ‘how fast’ you lost weight.

8. Find a Support Group.
Yes a weight loss support group! People who take on life change need Coaches, friends, and people in their lives that are on the same path. It’s what keeps you strong when the mind starts working against you. I can’t tell you how many times I have picked up a phone and called a friend walk me off a ledge, and by the time I hung up BOOM, I was hitting my workout hard. Think of it like AA. People there are trying to get healthy and they need support. And being around like minded individuals keeps them strong. Even after doing this for years, I still need and count on my accountability people. That is what support does, it keeps you strong. And, that is what I do, Coach, people like you, who just want to lose weight and keep it off forever.

I hope this helps you become a better player in your fitness game. I have played the game and been up and down the scale, pregnant, injured, depressed, very overweight, in my best fit range for many years now,  our games may be different, but we are all playing to win.

And I hope that this helps you feel okay with where you are and encourages you to maybe take that next step.

Life is a Game, Play to Win!

Vera

Cauli-crust pizza

Cauli-crust pizza

Cut cauliflower into pieces, pulse in blender till the size of grains of rice (other wise known as ricing the cauliflower)

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Blanch the cauliflower in boiling water for 3 to 4 minutes or until tender

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Strain

Using a cheese cloth or clean dish towel squeeze as much water out as possible. Don’t skimp on this step, take your time and really squeeze the water out!

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Next add one egg, 4 oz goat cheese (chevre), a generous pinch of parmesan  lots of oregano (really to taste) same with red pepper flakes, and salt. Mix in with the cauliflower

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Use parchment paper on cookie sheet or pizza stone, spray with nonstick spray. spoon cauli mixture in center of parchment and press out. Use a pancake flipper to press it even leaving edges a bit thicker.

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Pre heat oven to 400. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes till crust is golden brown.

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Remove when done, and top with pizza sauce, sprinkle of parmesan, grated mozzarella, pepperoni (I use Boars Head turkey pepperoni)

Experiment with toppings

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Put back in oven until the cheese is bubbling hot. Remove cool a few minutes before cutting.

Enjoy!!