Welcome to Feel Fit!

Whether you are new to healthy decision-making or have been keeping yourself in prime shape for decades, we at Feel Fit aim to help you do just that. With our collaboration of writers, we will provide you with a diverse range of expert knowledge regarding fitness, nutrition, and nutritional science.

From left: Alicia, Candice, and Robin - the Feel Fit team!

Start feeling fit today by checking out our most recent posts below (and don’t forget to leave some love!):


 

A Tan is Worth a Thousand Words

Posted by on Jun 15, 2012 in Just for Fun | 0 comments

Alright boys and girls, summer is in full swing and we all know that it’s time to head to the beach. Or the pool if your closest beach happens to be on the shores of the Great Salt Lake, possibly one of the worst smelling bodies of water in the Western Hemisphere. You’re not gonna get any points from sunning on that beach…just Lyme disease. You’ve been working on this beach body for six long months – ever since you made that New Year’s resolution. And then remade it three weeks later. And then again in April. It’s time to show off your hard work and well-intentioned effort.

Let’s face it – unless you were blessed with a naturally hyper-pigmented skin type, you’re pasty. You probably look like you’ve spent the winter bathing in Clorox. If people have to squint to look at you in your bathing suit, it’s time to schedule an appointment at a tanning salon. Too many people these days are concerned about ridiculous things like skin cancer. How self-centered is that? Why not be a little more charitable and consider the damage you’re doing to other people’s eyes, okay? Plus, by the time you’re old enough to actually develop skin cancer, there will probably be a cure!

When it comes to tanning, the sun sometimes isn’t really adequate or convenient. Tanning in the sun is really only effective during the peak hours of the day, and it means you have to be outside, covered in flies, and suffer from the biggest down side – tan lines. Getting your au natural tanning done in little suburbia isn’t usually kosher, anyway. Tanning beds, on the other hand, work any time of the day or night, and are located in nice little private rooms where you can eliminate tan lines. Also, to be honest, tanning beds usually give a less natural look which somehow seems to be more appealing. Instead of turning that sort of overripe banana brown that happens out in the sun, tanning beds give you a fresh orange-y, rotten citrus color. The other great thing about tanning beds is that you can (and should) go as often as you can or want. If you haven’t started on your tan yet, it’s not too late, but you are running out of time, and you’re definitely behind. For the next two weeks you should probably plan on hitting the tanning beds at least as often, if not more often than, you brush your teeth. Also, you should be brushing your teeth at least twice a day. Anything less is just gross, okay? What you’re looking for in a tan is your standard leather couch. They come in a few different shades of brown and a few various textures, but in general, that’s what you’re shooting for. You’re never really done tanning, but if you want to know if you’re at an in-public-acceptable level there’s an easy test you can do: Just head to your nearest furniture store and play hide and seek with some friends. If you can win by laying on a Lazy Boy recliner you’re good to go! Also, for the ladies, this makes it super nice to find a purse that matches your new skin color. It’s really good for you in the long run, too, because if you think about it, leather is very durable, and jerky never goes bad.

Here are some other tips for getting that perfect tan:

  • Lose the goggles in the tanning bed; if you prefer raccoon eyes then we have bigger problems than just your tan. Your eyes will be fine. People have been living outside for thousands of years and nobody has ever gone blind, probably, from whatever it is that is the same between the sun and a tanning bed. You’ll be fine.
  • If an emergency arises and you’ve got to get a nice tan ASAP, you have four options.
  1. Call in sick. Or pretend like you thought you had been invited to an ice fishing party. You’re so silly!
  2. Try to squeeze two weeks of tanning into one session on the bed. This is a sketchy choice, because you could end up taking a nice vacation to your local burn unit.
  3. Tanning lotion is a good, inexpensive, fast, but temporary solution. Some of the downsides of the lotion are that if you go swimming, you could lose your tan. Also, you could end up with a tan that clashes with your natural color and you could end up wishing you had chanced option number one. The one really good thing about the lotion is that it leaves a natural mottled look, like bark on a tree, or the different colors in a rock. Also, it will often stain the palms of your hands and in between your fingers a bright orange color that really attracts people’s attention.
  4. Spray tan. It’s fast, pretty expensive, and…fast. This is a great one to do if you’ve only got a couple hours before your big event. In fact, it’s best to do this one just before you head to your party – the later the better, as the tan looks more natural. It might run or streak a little, but it’s all part of the look. It smells pretty bad, though, and anyone that gets close to you will probably be able to taste it, so be sure to load up on perfume or cologne. The only potential problem with the spray tan is that it starts to flake off after a while, but if you like that look, rock it!

The tan is an essential part to staying healthy, happy and beautiful all summer long. Don’t let people try to talk you out of looking your best – it’s not like we’re living in the middle ages and taking arsenic to make us look more pale because back then they were crazy and thought that pale was more beautiful because it meant that you didn’t have to work outside…that’s like poisoning yourself to look more beautiful. That’s just plain stupid, right?!? What’s wrong with a little sun?

The Flavor of Summer

Posted by on Jun 13, 2012 in Healthy Lifestyle, Nutrition | 0 comments

I look forward to summer more than anyone. I mean it. By April 1st, I am checking my IPhone weather app every day to find out when the temperature is going to rise. I pack up my sweaters and boots and exchange them for my favorite ratty, torn shorts and old T-shirts. I pull my outside pillow cushions out of storage and set up my backyard patio to look like the lazy hazy days of summer. And then, I wait…Sometimes, by May 1<sup>st</sup>, I pull on my bikini, get a huge bottle of water and go outside to worship the sun – a few minutes later, I run back inside and get a blanket.

I’m not the only one who prepares for summer – the grocery store does too. Summer is symbolized by so many things: beach umbrellas, sunglasses, water balloons, and then, there are the summer foods. Oh boy, here we go….

Summer foods. The thing that comes to mind off the top of my head are: hotdogs, potato chips, hamburgers, ice-cream, potato salad, soda, apple pie, frozen snickers (I know, probably not on your list, but they’re on mine) corn on the cob, and watermelon. It’s kinda ironic that these foods, most of which would be on my “avoid list” if I am trying to eat healthy, are associated with summer and the mere fact that we get to show a lot more skin and abs while eating these foods…hmmm…kinda makes you wonder.

I was at the grocery store this week and I took note of all the ways they advertise for summer. I had to steer my grocery cart to a quick left turn to avoid the ginormous Dorito pyramid that will totally fall on the first little kid who grabs the bottom bag. And if I’m looking for soda, no need to look far – it is displayed at the end of every isle with bright neon signs advertising a discount. Bottom line, it’s really easy to get sucked into the summer flavor of junk food.

My family loves to go boating and go on picnics. It’s really easy to grab the “trap” foods at the store because they are easy to grab and pack, but I have a different grocery list in mind, and it helps keep our summer outings a lot more nutritious. Here’s what I do: I grab a dozen whole grain bagels, a pound of sliced turkey, a bag of spinach leaves, a mini bottle of mustard, a bag of apples, a bag of grapes, a bag of baby carrots, 3 cucumbers, baked lays potato chips or sun chips, a bag of mozzarella string cheese, sugar-free Gatorade, and water bottles. If I’m being honest, I throw in a bag of Tootsie Pops – I know, just being real.

Ok, so let’s analyze. I have some whole grain carbs, some protein, a little fat, some fruit and veggies and hydration. It’s super easy to pack. I don’t even pre-prep anything. I slice the cucumber and put in a zip lock, wash the grapes, and pack the turkey, cheese, veggies, fruit and drinks in a cooler. I throw the bagels, mustard and chips in a bag, throw in a few napkins and <em>viola</em> – there is my healthy summer picnic for boating, carnivals, road trips – you name it, it’s covered.

My point is, there are A TON of different quick summer foods we can grab for our fun summer outing without caving in to junk food just for fun. I totally feel better in my short shorts and summer clothes when I am eating healthy and choosing better foods. Just a little thought to think about when you are planning your next little summer picnic. Enjoy!!!

Summer Bucket List

Posted by on Jun 11, 2012 in Just for Fun | 0 comments

So I got this idea from Janetha (mealsandmovesblog.com) and I thought it was such a great idea that I decided to make one for myself! I think everyone needs a bucket list for summer. It’s the best time of the year! So here we go…!

  1. Go camping (more): Easy! Steve and I are camping champs. I love everything about it. And look at that gigantic tent!! Makes for luxury camping. Now we just need to get out there more. I’m shooting for twice a month camp out, at least.
  2. Read: I normally love to read but I’ve fallen off the wagon lately. I would like to get lost in a mindless book. A real good page turner that I don’t have to learn something from. I should probably also read a book that I do learn something from but I don’t want to get ahead of myself here. Let’s start with one and go from there.
  3. Get to Boston: My brother lives in Boston, he has for over a year now and I still haven’t been out to see him! Bad sister! I hear only good things about it so I’m making sure I get there this summer. I also miss my brother so, so, so much!!! I haven’t seen him since Christmas so a reunion is just what we need. Anything extra special I need to do when I get there.
  4. Road trip: This one may be possible with a trip to California this summer. Steve’s dad lives out there and if we decide to go for a visit I’ll be able to check road trip off the list. If not, I’ll have to find another road trip I guess.
  5. Farmer’s market: As you know, the farmer’s market is amazing. I love it but only get out there once or twice during the summer. I need to go more than that, especially if I want to make delicious dinners with local produce. I should add that to my list as well…
  6. Make a delicious dinner with produce from the farmers market.
  7. Blogger potluck: Janetha is holding a blogger potluck on June 30th. Anyone in Utah is welcome to join! Just e-mail Janetha for more deets.
  8. Mountain bike: Last summer was one of the hardest ones yet. I was super down and didn’t feel like doing much. I really dropped the ball on mountain biking (and pretty much everything else). The summer before that Steve and I would go at least twice a week. Every weekend for sure. I’m going to get back to my mountain biking peak.
  9. Moab: One of the greatest places on Earth. Serious. And it’s only 4 hours away from me! One year we made it out there 7 times in one summer. I doubt I’ll hit 7 but at least two! Very doable. If you’re close, I highly recommend adding a Moab trip to your bucket list.
  10. Go to GPP (regularly): www.gppfitness.com
    I want my muscles back!!! All you GPPers – Call me!
  11. Have a party: I love attending parties and I love hosting parties! I’m going to have a summer bash! Themed and everything. What should the theme be?
  12. Motorcycle rides: We purchased a motorcycle at the end of last summer so we only got to ride it for a couple short months. This summer I plan on making Steve take me on the bike every weekend. I don’t think he’ll mind.
  13. Clean and de-clutter: So I missed spring cleaning and now I guess it’s summer cleaning? Specifically my room, bathroom, and car. I’ll let ya know how it goes but if I have to give up one thing on my bucket list, this will be the first to go. ☺
  14. Teach Stella to sit: Stella is freaking adorable but she’s also not the brightest crayon in the box. CC on the other hand is a show off. She can sit, shake, lay, and all that good stuff. Stella, nothing. I’m going to really work with her this summer! She just knows there is a treat and gets all worked up and can’t focus. Any tips on teaching a dog to sit?
  15. Go to a drive-in movie: Um, hello?! Great idea! We used to go all the time but we haven’t been in a couple years. This summer is the one to bring this back!
  16. Paint a room in my house: I wish you all could see the hideous color my house is painted. It’s the same yucky beige color throughout the whole house, including the trim and doors. Sick! Not my idea, promise. Painting is the biggest pain in the butt so I haven’t ever gotten around to it (in 3 years). I think I’ll start small, with a bathroom or something. Anyone have color suggestions? I get overwhelmed with the amount of choices. Maybe that’s why I haven’t gotten to it? Maybe…
  17. Make DIY shorts: How freaking awesome are these??? I have the studs already, now I just need to focus and get crafty.
  18. Dance party with my niece and nephew: Not only is it the most adorable thing, it’s also a surprisingly great workout. They can dance circles around me. Look how gorgeous they are!
  19. Run outside: I’m not a runner but outside runs interest me. Fresh air, scenery, sun, music. I need to just get out there and do it!
  20. Make s’mores on the balcony: Look at this great idea I found! Just line terracotta pots with foil, add coals, and voila! Instant s’mores fire.
  21. Get a tattoo: Uh-oh! I know, I know! It will be very small – don’t worry.
  22. Make Janetha’s Buffalo chicken pizza: http://mealsandmovesblog.com/2012/05/29/buffalo-chicken-pizza/
  23. Go all out on 4th of July: My favorite holiday. Fireworks, explosions, BBQ, family, friends, sun, parade, drinks, stars and stripes…I cannot wait! I’m already getting excited. I found this tutu and could NOT pass it up! CC hates it but if I’m going to go all out, that means the dogs will as well.
  24. Pick an official Summer 2012 song: Taking recommendations NOW!
  25. Make a new friend: I really feel like I can cross this off the list already. I made SO many great new friends through Blend (blendretreat.com) that I could have made this say make TEN new friends and I still would be able to cross it off! Done and done. ☺
  26. Connect with an old friend: There are many coming to mind.
  27. Take lots of pictures: This will probably require a new camera. Dang. ☺ I only take pictures on my phone. I need a legit camera to take too many pictures with. (Steve! Are you reading this?!) I used to be the picture taker, and then I broke my camera and have slacked off. I really need to step up my picture taking, especially for the blog! Everyone loves pictures.
  28. Hand write a letter: Does anyone do this anymore??? I know I haven’t in so long that I can’t even remember when the last time was. I’m even going to mail it out. No, not electronic mail… the USPS way.
  29. Go on an extremely long hike: When we went to Colorado for Blend we went on the most amazing hike. It took about 3 ½ hours (remember the whole trying to find the group debacle?). I want to do that again. So bad. Utah is one of the best places to get out and go on hikes, there are mountains and trails everywhere but usually when we’re in the mountains we biking, four-wheeling, or camping. I want a legit hike like the one up Chautauqua. Isn’t the view just a-freaking-mazing?
  30. Learn something new: I never want to stop learning so of course this has to be on here. Hopefully I’ll learn more than one new thing this summer!!!! I’m learning to blog, it’s wayyyy harder than it seems!!!

Well, that’s my list. What do you guys think? I think I can get all this done. I will certainly keep you updated as I complete them.

Q: What’s on YOUR summer bucket list?!

I Ain’t Afraid of No Ghosts!

Posted by on Jun 8, 2012 in Life's Recipes | 0 comments

Last Thursday Steve and I went with some friends from work on a GHOST HUNT! Normally, I hate being scared. I don’t watch scary movies, I’m literally afraid of the dark, and I close my eyes at every anticipated scary moment. You could definitely say I’m a huge wuss. So why would I go??? Team building…? I do love a good adventure… Mostly, I think it was peer pressure.

The escapade started at 8:00 PM and went until 1:00 AM. Okay, so that’s insane – it was a Thursday night! But I figured we’d all be tired together the next day at work. It was held at an old, abandoned “haunted hospital” up in Tooele, Utah. We started out looking at pictures and listening to recordings of “ghost voices” from previous people who have been to the place. Then they took us on a tour and showed us all the hot spots and told us stories about some of the ghosts. They showed us how to do the human pendulum. Everyone stands in a circle and one person stands in the middle. You ask the ghost to show what “yes” and “no” mean. Latisha’s (work friend) mom went first and we started asking questions. Slowly, she would rock forward on the yes answers, and backwards on the no. Creepy! Steve wanted to go next.

Steve trying out the human pendulum. Also, he said he wanted to wear his scariest shirt. (Look closely)...Are you scared?

The tour guides said to snap a few pictures in a row so if there was something in the picture, you have others to compare it to.

Ghost Orb? If so, his name was Frank (really).

So fear is a strange thing. What is happening in our minds when we fear something? Fear usually involves a focus on the future; we create thoughts in our mind that something in our future, some event or experience, is going to involve pain, danger, or discomfort. I was very fearful in the days leading up to the ghost hunt. I thought about backing out, a lot. Fear can paralyze and incapacitate us and can stop us from going after our desires. When we succomb to our fear, we settle for less and get less than what we really want.

There are different types of fears.

  • There’s the fear of change. Whether it is moving to a new city, staring a new job, breaking up with a boyfriend, etc.
  • The fear of pain or physical suffering. I’m deathly afraid of needles. I cannot for the life of me be okay with getting a shot. I’ve never gotten a flu shot because why would I purposely do that to myself?
  • The fear of failure. My brother is one of the most amazing people I know. His fear of failure has pushed him to graduate in the top of his medical school class and get resident of the year in his radiology residency. Along with those outstanding accomplishments, he worked his butt off. He’d study beyond what was necessary, skip out on nights with friends, and put an enormous amount of pressure on himself.
  • The fear of some thing. Spiders, snakes, the dark, muggers, and roller coasters are all things I’m afraid of. What things are you afraid of?
  • Fear of the unknown. This can be fear of people who are different from you, new foods, unfamiliar places, going away to school, starting a boot camp, making a change, stepping out of our comfort zone, ghost hunts, and the biggest unknown of all…death.

Weird picture. Not sure what’s up with the half light, half dark thing…

Second picture taken:

As human beings, we all want to grow. We want to learn, experience, provide, serve, and enjoy. The thing that’s hard with that is you have to step out of your comfort zone and put effort into facing and overcoming your fears so you can grow. We do not grow within our comfort zone. When we step into our discomfort zone, we rarely are hurt in the true sense where physical pain is involved. Of course, there’s always going to be the exception and rare occasion. There are times where fear is justified and prompts us to take action but in the majority of situations that we feel fear, we are not really in danger of experiencing the pain we’ve imagined.

Remember: Thoughts always happen before emotions.

Orb?

No orb:

By realizing there is no real pain involved except the pain we created in our own minds, we can choose to think differently about it. (Hello, Robin and Candice’s advice! It applies in ALL areas!)

There are ways we can manage our fear.

Sometimes, fear can motivate positive action. Take my brother, for example. His fear of failure pushed him to getting into Georgetown medical school, graduating with honors, and becoming a radiologist at a Harvard teaching hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess. That was a really good example and I also wanted to brag about my brother for a bit. :)

Now, here’s where it gets good. I hope this tidbit of information will stick with you throughout your life as it has mine: There is nothing in the world that is inherently fearful. Fear is an internal experience. The motion of fear is the result of the thoughts we create inside our minds. I know there are people reading this who are not afraid of spiders, speed, failing, needles, etc. Those are my experiences. Here’s another thing that will blow your mind: Fear is learned. Most of what we learn to fear is the result of personal experience or our belief in someone else’s experience.

Also, we get better at handling fear with practice and experience. We develop confidence and self-trust. Until we step out of our comfort zone and face our fears head on, we will not rid ourselves of our fears.

Gigantic orb?

The fact that you are here today, reading this blog, is proof that you are a capable person. You handle life’s challenges every single day. Why should a future event be different than the millions of past events? The pain we perceive rarely happens. The joy we experience by going after the things we want frequently occurs.

Orb in the scary room? Don’t worry, that’s fake blood. The place is a haunted house in Octobers.

How can we overcome our fears? First, with all things, admit that you are afraid. Then start disassociating the feeling of fear with those exact things you admitted to being afraid of. Start confronting your fears. You fear will intensify as you do it, but do it anyway. Do it at least three times. You will be less afraid each time. Also, start calling it something else. I love the words challenge, excitement, and adventure.

Now let’s be honest – you probably won’t overcome all of your fears. I know without a doubt I will never get over my fear of spiders. But I faced my fear of ghosts, the dark, and “haunted” and I went and had so much fun with my friends. I’m so glad I didn’t back out. We’re all still talking about the ghost hunt and it will be something I remember forever. It really was such a great time. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, it was definitely a fun experience. We laughed. A lot.

And now… for the scariest picture of the evening…

That’s my supervisor, Shayne (and yes, that’s my red hair). He had surgery a few weeks ago on his foot and had crutches. He found an old, creepy wheelchair and rode around on the rims the whole night. He also took every opportunity to try and scare us. EEK!

“Life is either a daring adventure or it is nothing.” ~Helen Keller

Questions: What are things you’ve let fear get in the way of? Or, what are experiences where you’ve faced your fear and come out just fine?

Dang!!! Calories Really DO Matter!

Posted by on Jun 6, 2012 in Healthy Lifestyle, Nutrition | 0 comments

I know there are so many diets out there. I know this and sometimes I cave and actually want to believe the gimmick behind a really good sales pitch. It’s so nice to think that there is some truth in something quick and painless, but my scientific background and common sense always brings me back to reality and I know these gimmicks just don’t add up to a healthy solution in the end.

The longer I am involved with working with people and their nutrition plan, the more I realize that along the way in life, we have taken a wrong turn in regards to nutrition and weight maintenance. I hear comments like “I eat so clean, why am I not losing weight?” or “I exercise six days a week and I don’t lose weight,” or “I rarely eat and I am gaining weight.” I really think we have let basic physiological science get trumped by approaches that “sound” like a good idea, but at the end, are very ineffective.

Here’s the thing you should know – and it’s not rocket science: CALORIES MATTER. They just do. I know, it’s a tiny bit depressing because who wants to count calories, right? I don’t. The thing is, it is just a given that we HAVE to be aware of how many calories we are consuming. If we overeat, we gain weight; simple, basic science.

It’s kind of like this: we know that in order for a car to run, we have to have a certain amount of gas and when it runs out, our car stops working. We can only put so much gasoline in our tank or it spills out – it’s extra and there is nothing our car can do with it. Our bodies are the same way. We all require a certain amount to support our basal metabolic rate; if we put too much in, we have to store it. If we don’t get enough, we run out of energy so we have to pull it from somewhere.

A fad diet is kind of like trying to put diesel fuel into our unleaded tank. It sounds a little fancy and edgy, but really, there is not a lot our car can do with it long term. Fad diets just don’t work and they are messing with our heads and causing good, common nutrition sense to be tossed out the window.

Simple rule, you must know what your body requires for weight maintenance, and eat that amount. If you eat more, you gain weight. If you eat less, you lose weight. I know counting calories is a pain and seems tedious and long, but it also can seem painful, tedious and long to lose the few pounds you gained from not being aware of your caloric intake. Here is my suggestion: know how many calories you are consuming. Find a calorie counting site like myfitnesspal.com to track exactly how many calories you consume each day. It might surprise you. You don’t have to track every calorie forever, but at first, it’s necessary so that you absolutely know what you are eating.

Happy counting!!!

Would You Ever Go a Day Without Brushing Your Teeth?

Posted by on Jun 4, 2012 in Healthy Lifestyle, Life's Recipes | 0 comments

Here's my son Brogan doing yoga WHILE brushing his teeth!!!

I motivate myself to do my workouts everyday by setting an intention that my health is one of my biggest priorities. I look at exercise like brushing my teeth – I would never go a day without brushing my teeth. When I was younger, I wasn’t educated on how to take proper care of my teeth. So, I have had to put a lot of time and effort to bring them back to health. Because I know the negative effects of neglecting them, I’m very motivated to take good care of them every day. I am committed for a lifetime of good care. I want to keep my own healthy teeth as long as I live. I have to brush my teeth every day because I hate that rotten taste in my mouth when I don’t. When my breath is nasty, I don’t want to go near anybody and I am so self-conscious instead of confident. I love the feeling of being able to approach anyone with a huge smile and be able to talk and laugh, let my personality out and get to know others without any worry of my breath or if I have distracting food in my teeth. I also learned that it doesn’t just look and smell better, but that a clean mouth aids in a strong immune system. This means a neglected mouth works against our entire body. Exercise is like brushing your teeth. You do it every day. Period. You make time for it, because it is just as important to our health and appearance, if not more. Although, let’s just agree we’ll do both!

I’m not saying you have to kill yourself or run a marathon or lift heavy weights or buy expensive equipment or clothes. I’m just saying MOVE! My anatomy instructor used to say “movement is everything.” The longer I live, the more I see the depths of truth in that saying, especially pertaining to our bodies. Just think of a pool of stagnant water. Because there is no movement, it starts to accumulate nasty residue and growths, and putrefies. Imagine a beautiful stream of running water. The flow allows it to remain fresh, clean and pure. Our bodies are a lot like that, they are designed to move. Movement keeps are bodies healthy and pure! Our bodies are meant to push, pull, walk, run, stretch in all kinds of cool movements – climb, swim, bike…on and on the list can go. Our muscles need to contract and lengthen. The fascia and tissue inside your body need to have movement and stretch in order to not adhere to other connective tissue. The joints need to move in all kinds of ranges of motions to create lubrication and fluidity. Our bones need weight-bearing exercise to maintain density and stability. Our internal organs stay in shape by bending and twisting. The spine needs to bend forward and backward and side to side to stay young. The body accumulates a lot of toxins that need to be released. Our body efficiently detoxes through sweat. Our skin is the largest organ of the body and exercising enough to make you sweat cleans out our body’s plaque! The hormones and metabolism are regulated by physical activity. This means, you think clearer, your mood is enhanced, you are releasing negative mental energy when you move. Exercise is the bodies answer to depression. We accumulate a lot of mental stress and drama in life. When you exert physical activity, it is nature’s way of managing stress. If you observe nature, you will see this all the time. If you watch two swans on a lake that are in a squabble with each other, they soon just flap their wings and then float along on their merry way. That intense burst of energy releases them of that negative emotion.

I’m on a little soap box because I think a little education goes a long way to motivate us. I don’t think pressure, guilt, “shoulds,” and feeling bad about yourself inspire anybody. When you make exercise a CHOICE every day, because you understand the benefits, and discover how wonderful it feels to be strong and healthy, NO excuse will get in your way. You will get creative with your time and actually FIND way to make it happen instead of finding reasons why you can’t. If your plate is too full, you will take less important things off your plate. You will see the value in being a good example for your children and husband of how to be accountable for your own health and well-being, instead of thinking you always need to be accommodating and therefore always blaming others for your personal neglect. My children knew that exercise was a part of our every day. No matter what fits or objections they had to going to daycare at the gym, or riding in a runner stroller, or me being gone to a yoga class, it wasn’t going to work. My companions, wherever I go, know that I am going to make time to move my body. I am not obsessed, I just assume that everyone would wait and allow me to brush my teeth, because that benefits them. So does my exercise!

Take your life back and take care of your very deserving self. Let go of your excuses and just do it, because you’re worth the time and effort! It doesn’t take more time to take care of yourself than poor health doe – in fact, a lot less. It just has to be a no-excuse attitude. You can have the body and health you want! You just have to make YOUR life as important as all the other lives you feel in charge of. I know this is hard to do because you have been taught that to sacrifice yourself for others is good. You bought into the belief that your relationship, kids and job come first, and that makes you a good person. I know you agree to feel guilty when you put your needs before what others want of you. That’s okay, you’ll get over it! It takes practice to change a behavior. People around you are going to become uncomfortable and want you to stay the same because they don’t like change. If you change, that changes their lives. But I am ALL about change! If you role model this way of thinking to your baby girls, or friends or sisters, they will do the same! What kind of life do you want for the people you love? Now love yourself that same way, and get the life you love!!

Stress is Stressful

Posted by on May 28, 2012 in Healthy Lifestyle, Life's Recipes | 0 comments

What’s worse than stress? Nothing!

Resident Worry Wart. That’s me. I don’t know why, but my hard-wiring is wound a little tight. I have this amazing ability to imagine the worst, stress out to the max, and get worked up over the small stuff. This is not a quality I’m fond of.

Stress kills. And if it doesn’t kill you, it slowly breaks you down. Chipping away at you until you’re so fragile, you could snap at any moment.

Eustress: A type of stress that is fun and exhilarating. It keeps us dynamic. This is experienced when you are about to begin a mountain bike race, when rushing to meet a deadline, or when skiing down the slopes. A little eustress is good. It keeps us excited and happy.

Acute Stress: A short term response to an immediate perceived threat. The threat can be real or imagined; your brain/body doesn’t know the difference. During times of acute stress, the body experiences increased levels of cortisol, adrenalin, and other hormones that increase the heart rate, speed up breathing, and raise blood pressure. Your body is preparing for the fight-or-flight response.

Chronic Stress: This occurs when your body is kept in a constant state of perceived threat. Instead of having time to come down from the fight-or-flight response and activating the relaxation response, our bodies are worn down and we can become ill – mentally, physically, and emotionally. Not good. And the thing is, chronic stress occurs way too frequently this day in age. Extra not good!

When your cortisol levels are high, your body goes into fat storage mode. When your cortisol levels are high for an extended period of time, your metabolism gets out of whack. So not only does stress screw with your health, it also screws with your metabolism. “Nice.”

Stress sucks. Literally. It’s draining. Ask me how far I get with stressing and worrying about everything? Not far at all. Sometimes nowhere. A lot of the time, in the opposite direction…

So what can we do?

Recognize what your stressors are and when you’re in a state of chronic stress. Make it a point to rest and relax. Take time for yourself. Every day when I get home from work, I take about 30 minutes to myself and just unwind.

Get plenty of sleep!

Don’t get caught up in the small stuff, don’t hold on to bad feelings, and don’t put time and energy into things you cannot change.

Remove the negativity from your life. There are things and people in my life that have caused me major stress. I had to get rid of them. It was hard, but worth it. Be a little selfish – it’s okay.

Exercise. Exercise helps to decrease cortisol levels and increase endorphins – hello, “runner’s high!”

Laugh.

Breathe.

Some of the best things you can do for yourself to de-stress are meditate, practice yoga, visualize peace, and invite the calm.

What are your favorite things to do to de-stress? What are ways you’ve removed stress from your life?

 

BEST Grilled Chicken EVER!

Posted by on May 25, 2012 in Taste Buds | 0 comments

What you’ll need:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast (butterfly them so they are thin)
  • 1 bottle Lawry’s Signature Steakhouse Marinade (10 calories per tablespoon, 0 fat)

Um…..wow that’s it!

Wash and clean the chicken and butterfly each breast (this creates a ton of flavor, and reduces grilling time which helps hold in the natural juices).

Marinate the chicken with the whole bottle of Lawry’s sauce. Marinate for at least 30 minutes, half a day is even better.

My favorite grilling trick is to place tin foil over the grill and spray with cooking spray. This does a few things. First, it prevents a forest fire in your barbeque…no, really – it cooks the food without the drippings from the meat falling on the grids so it’s less likely to burn. It also helps keep your grill clean (my favorite).

Grill on first side and then flip over. Pour the remainder of the marinade over the chicken and cook until almost charred.

 

When I make this, I love to serve it with brown rice and green beans.

BEST Quick Green Beans

My favorite green beans are the frozen kind from Costco – Organic Petite Whole Green Beans from ByBee Foods (huge bag).

When I make them for guests, they always ask me if I bought them from the farmer’s market (my good secret). To prepare them, I put about two teaspoons of butter in a large sauté pan on the stove and pour the frozen beans in. I add a tiny bit of soy sauce and salt and pepper and cook until hot. They keep their nutrients, color and crisp texture. So yummy!

The Cookie Diet

Posted by on May 24, 2012 in Healthy Lifestyle | 0 comments

So our fitmixer® Boot Camp officially started last Monday and I could sense some tension among the participants. I overheard someone saying that Sunday night would be the last night to party??? What???…..This boot camp IS the party! Seriously, this is not your typical “go on a diet” boot camp. It’s a “get your butt in shape and love the process” party.

As most of you know, I am anti-dieting. To me, the word “diet” really means “eat the whole plate of cookies after it ends because I have been depriving myself.”

(I made these cookies last night, and actually, I almost did eat the whole plate, they were so delish! For the recipe, visit http://www.sweettoothsweetlife.com and click under recipes for crackled sugar cookies - so yummy!!!! )

Anyway…

THIS process, never works. When we deprive ourselves of the foods we like, we are setting ourselves up for seeking out those foods with the force of a space shuttle.

Here is my approach: be aware of the calories your particular body requires to sustain itself. If your goal is weight loss, the only way you can achieve weight loss is through a calorie deficit – pretty much goes back to basic science.

Example:

If you require 1800 calories per day for maintenance,

Eating 2200 calories per day of spinach = weight gain
Eating 1200 calories per day of cookies = weight loss

I’m not promoting the “cookie diet,” I’m simply saying that deprivation for the sake of dieting, won’t work long term. Bottom line, if you are want to change your lifestyle, change your thought process. It’s OKAY to have a treat once in a while when it fits into your caloric range. It’s life – it’s to enjoy. Let’s party!!!

You Are What You Think

Posted by on May 23, 2012 in Life's Recipes | 0 comments

Today’s blog is in response to one of our fitmixer Boot Camp friends. As she watched our introduction video, she became emotional when she realized there was more to her feeling good than eating right and exercise. She commented, “I’ve literally tried everything to lose weight, but I cannot get in that right state of mind to make it click.” My blogs are going to educate, coach, and support you with tools to make it click.

It starts with recognizing your thoughts. Your thoughts come from two places. You were born with a natural state of well-being, peace, and joy. You were born with an amazingly intelligent body that is always working on your behalf for perfect health. It gives you messages to communicate its needs. You also came with a built-in guidance system to help you direct your thoughts – they are called “feelings.” The body and feelings are directing you to positive thoughts, which come from your source. Meaning, a state that is perceiving love, peace, and harmony. You can recognize that purity in children. They love their bodies. They will suck on their toes, and even feces. To them there is nothing wrong with a single thing about their body. They are chubby, have dimples on their bottoms, cankles, and are constantly snotty, dribbling, and poopy – and they’re loving it! They run, jump, play, explore, laugh, dream, imagine, cuddle, show-off, and tell the truth. This is our natural state; who we are, how we can always be. The message from this mind is pure love and acceptance.

Then there is the “world’s” mind. It’s very different. These beliefs and thoughts were given to you. They are judgmental and negative by nature. They are competitive and full of lack. They place a value on what you DO and how you LOOK. You didn’t choose these thoughts. They aren’t yours! They aren’t personal, which means they have nothing to do with you. They happen to you without your management; just like breathing and digestion happens, thoughts happen.

The gift of your built-in guidance mechanism called “feelings” lets you know if you’re in your natural right-mindedness or the world’s wrong-mindedness. The feelings your thoughts create are either stress or peace. If you are feeling stress, you are not on your natural path to peace and well-being. You are suffering, which is not your natural state. It is a dysfunctional state, even though it is considered “normal” by worldly thinking.

I want you to observe the thoughts you have. Recognize when they are predominantly negative and judgmental. Be aware that your thoughts write fictional stories filled with drama, that make you victim to others and circumstances. When you are seeking happiness from a person, event, or thing that is outside of you, or something you achieve, gain, or earn, the loss of these same things take your happiness with them. Try to not make unconscious agreements with everything you have been taught, or with every thought that comes up. I want you to get into the habit of questioning your thoughts and asking if they are true or not. When your thoughts turn to attacking, blaming, judging, or being critical of yourself or others, your warning indicator is activated in the form of bad feelings. Negative feelings reveal that we are not on our natural path to love and joy (i.e. the path to having what we want).

Then is your opportunity to go back and CHOOSE a thought to replace the original one. You get to exercise your powerful freedom to think another thought, or at least drop the negative one so it no longer causes bad feelings. You find you are no longer a slave to these things that go on in your head. You start to become the master of your mind and let its amazing powers work for you, instead of against you. When we give these unconscious thoughts so much validity and focus, we think we are our thoughts. We are then under their spell, just like a possessing entity that tells us what to do and how to feel, and we obey because we believe it is who we are.

So, start with your words. The words you say are powerful creators. If you say that you are fat, dumb, clumsy, old, tired, overwhelmed, or unappreciated, you are absolutely making those ideas true. If you say that you are beautiful, bright, capable, youthful, energized, and loved, that will be your experience.

I had a few “ah-ha!” moments that proved this point. The other day, as soon as I walked into the grocery store, I was bathed in the smell of glazed donuts. I thought, “I have to have a donut or I might die!” I then stopped and thought, “That is a funny thought that I just believed was true. Let me go inside myself and check in.” I went inside to see if my thought was true. I discovered that I was actually quite satisfied physically, and that if I ate a donut I probably wouldn’t feel very good afterward. I had a lot to do that day and didn’t want the sluggish feeling that would quickly accompany the completion of this “idea.” It was liberating to know that I am not a robot who has to move as my thoughts direct. I can choose another thought like, “No, I actually don’t want a donut because I’m not hungry. I can have one when I am, but it probably won’t feel as good as something more nutritious and substantial. So, I’ll see when the time comes.” That thought was much more believable and accurate.

I also remember thinking my boyfriend didn’t want to be with me. If he tried to touch me, I would say, “You don’t have to do that just to make me feel good.” I would focus on my perception that he hadn’t touched me in a while. Not surprisingly, after a short time he did stop touching me and didn’t want to be with me because I was behaving so poorly. I realized that because I thought my story was true, it was coming to pass. I had to decide if I should focus on what I wanted, instead of what I didn’t want. Knowing how I focus is going to be my experience. I decided to drop the negative thought, and began to focus on what he was doing to show me love. That made him feel successful and appreciated as my boyfriend, which made him want to spend more time with me.

I give you these two examples to urge you to notice your thoughts and words. Stop complaining! Stop judging! Stop noticing what is WRONG! Stop believing your thoughts are reality! Then, choose again. Go for love, appreciation, compassion, kindness, understanding, abundance, and the Golden Rule (“Do unto others as you would have others do unto you”). Keep choosing peace, flow, and harmony. Notice what is working, what is right, what is good! Give yourself a break. Have a sense of humor about who you are, and know you are not your thoughts. You are so much more than these little ideas. You are as you came. Love, beauty, joy, peace, freedom, oneness, playful, happy, and light! And REMEMBER to share the mind of love!

- Love Robin (this is a call sign, not a sign-off :) )