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Tuesday Tip of the Week – Have a Gym-Free Workout Plan

We all have days when we do not have the time or motivation to go to the gym, however that is NO excuse for skipping a workout.

Having a set of gym-free workouts on hand can ensure you beat the gym time blahs.  Whether it’s a body weight workout on YouTube, an outdoor boot camp, a kickbutt Spin class, or a restorative yoga class, having a few backup ideas can keep you on track with your fitness goals regardless of time or motivation restrictions AND keep fitness fun and stress free.

 

 

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Tuesday Tip of the Week – Healthy Superbowl Tips

For many of my clients, the Superbowl is the first big test of their dietary resolve.

Chili, chips, dips, alcohol, and sweet treats can all add up and ruin all of the hard health and wellness work you’ve put in this year.

Fortunately, you can still enjoy the big game and stick to your diet goals, just follow a few simple tips:

  1. Make smart choices about what you eat.
    • Sure, potato chips and pepperoni pizza are delicious, but they can wreck your diet goals.  Look for tasty ways to satisfy your hunger while still staying healthy.  For example, substitute roasted vegetables for pepperoni on your pizza or choose whole grain crackers over potato chips.
    • Load up on fresh raw vegetables rather than pretzels or popcorn.
    • Replace fat laden dips with hummus, salsa, or use greek yogurt in place of sour cream in dip recipes.
    • Guacamole is another great dip option, but use it sparingly.  Remember even though it contains “healthy”  Omega-3 fatty acids it is still high in fat calories.
    • Skip extras like shredded cheese, sour cream, or barbeque sauces on you chili, nachos, or burger.
    • Try a grilled chicken breast in place of a hot dog or burger and skip the bun.
  2. Limit or avoid alcohol.
    • Alcohol not only adds nonessential calories, it can also lower your inhibitions and make you to eat more.
    • Replace alcohol with sparkling water flavored with lime or orange slices, iced tea, kombucha or a tasty mocktail.
    • If you absolutely must drink, limit your intake to no more than 1-2 drinks.
  3. Practice portion control.
    • It is okay to nibble on a few of your party favorites, but limit yourself to 2-3 special treats and if possible limit yourself to a single serving of each.  Check packaging for a serving size or use the chart below.
    • Another good trick is to eat 50% of what you normally would.  For example, if you would normally eat 4 slices of pizza, stop yourself a 2 slices or if you eat a large bowl of chili with corn bread, serve yourself a smaller bowl and cut the corn bread in half.

Following these tips may not save you total calories, but at least the calories you ingest will be healthier and serve your body better than traditional, less healthy options loaded with refined carbohydrates, saturated fats, and alcohol.

Check back on Thursday for some delicious Superbowl recipes to help you stay on track to a healthier lifestyle!

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Tuesday Tip of the Week – Some Exercise is Better than No Exercise

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We all experience days when we are short on time, but that is no excuse to skip a workout.

Even if you do not have time for a full workout, aim to get at least 15 minutes of exercise in per day.  Try taking a brisk walk, doing bodyweight exercises (squats, lunges, and pushups anyone?) while watching TV, or do a quick yoga class on youtube.

 


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Tuesday Tip of the Week – Skip Perfect, Just Get Better

When it comes to achieving goals, many of us get frustrated or discouraged if we don’t stick to our plan perfectly.

But in reality, life can often throw a wrench in our best laid plans.   Work, school, family obligations can all get in the way of our best efforts and missteps can occur.  But rather than losing focus or even giving up when life gets in the way, look for ways to make better choices than you normally would.

Rather than grabbing a candy bar or chips from a vending machine, look for a low carb protein bar, or pretzels.  Better yet pack healthy snacks to carry with you.  Protein bars, tuna packets, or nuts make excellent packable snacks for when you’re on the run.

When it comes to your workouts it is best to stay on track, but if you cannot make it to the gym have a plan to ensure you get some physical activity in for the day.  Take a walk on your lunch break or do a few exercises while watching TV.

Remember, 10 baby steps are just as effective as 1 giant leap when working toward any goal.

 


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Welcome to the New Achieve Wellness Blog

It’s HERE!

Welcome to the new Achieve Wellness blog.

My goal in 2018, is to help you achieve all of your health and wellness goals.

Every week, I will post tips designed to keep you on track and articles to keep you informed, as well as support and guidance.

I hope you enjoy it and find it helpful.


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Have a Terrific Holiday Season

Hello All,

I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season so far!

I will be taking the next few weeks off  to revamp and recharge this blog!

Starting January 1st, we will relaunch with a new look, a new name (Your Wellness Coach), and all new content!

I am excited to help readers, old and new, achieve the healthy, happy life we all deserve!

So stay tuned, stay healthy, and have a safe and happy holiday season!


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Build a Foundation for a Healthy New Year

A few days ago I was speaking with a potential client.  She said she did not want to get started with a diet and exercise plan until after the holidays.

On the surface, this may seem like a sound plan.  Why start a diet that you know you won’t be motivated to stick to?  After all who wants to count calories, skip the egg nog and buttered rum drinks, and miss a holiday party to meet their personal trainer.  NO ONE!

Personally, I think the holidays are the best time to start taking steps toward your health and fitness goals.

Losing weight and getting in shape are about more than just exercising and cutting calories, they are about making lasting lifestyle changes.  Making changes to your lifestyle does not happen over night, it takes time and practice.  The holiday season provides a terrific opportunity to start making these changes.  Waiting until the new year to initiate sudden, drastic changes can make reaching your health and fitness goals a daunting task.  The holiday season lets you begin to make small changes that lay a foundation for bigger changes down the road.

I have put together a few tips to help you establish lasting lifestyle changes this holiday season:

  • Start keeping a food journal.
    • A food journal will help you monitor the amount of calories and macronutrients (carbohydrates,protein, and fats) your are eating per day.  Seeing what and how much you are actually eating can be a wake up call and may help you start making better nutritional choices.
    • Even if you do not try to make any changes to your eating over the holidays, a food journal will get you into the habit of tracking and monitoring your new dietary program once the new year arrives.

I recommend either myfitnesspal or myplate to my clients.  Both have extensive nutrient data and basic food tracking on the free versions of the app.

  • Get 15-20 minutes of physical activity every day.
    • If you are planning to lose weight or improve your fitness in the new year, getting into the habit of working out on a regular basis will make going to the gym easier once January hits.  Taking a walk on your lunch break, using the stairs, doing exercises or stretching while watching TV, or riding your bike after dinner can get you into the habit of scheduling time in your personal calendar to exercise.  Once you begin to see how easy it is to find time to exercise and the better your start to feel physically and mentally the more likely you are to continue into the new year and even increase your workout time.
  • Pay attention you how you feel after you eat or drink.
    • The simple act of noticing how you feel after you eat or drink certain items can lead you to make wiser food and beverage choices.  If you notice that you are frequently fatigued, bloated, and distracted the day after binging on hot cocoa and Christmas cookies, you can use this knowledge to remind yourself to limit the amount of sugars and other carbohydrates you eat in a sitting.  If you notice that you’re always hungover the day after snogging several eggnogs at the office party it can serve as a reminder to drink fewer drinks or choose another alcoholic beverage.

This leads into our next tip:

  • Eat consciously.
    • Many of us mindlessly shovel food into our mouths without taking the time to consider what we are doing, especially when we are socializing. Practice becoming mindful of what and how much you are eating.  Pay attention to the experience of eating.   Before you eat ask yourself a few questions:
      • Will this help me reach my goals?
      • Do I really want to eat/drink this?
      • Am I hungry?
      • How will this make me feel tomorrow (sick, guilty, ashamed, terrific)?
    • You may ask yourself if eating a second slice of pumpkin pie helps you achieve your weight loss goal.  Even if your answer is, “NO, but I’m eating it anyhow”, you have created awareness about your eating habits and you can store this insight for use when the new year arrives.
  • Watch out for emotional eating (or not eating)
    • The holiday season can be stressful and this can cause us to eat and drink not to support our health but rather to satiate our emotions .  If you are one of those folks who gets extra anxious or emotional during the holidays, take note of your eating and drinking habits.  Consider whether your desire to eat an entire fruitcake is because you love fruitcake or because your stressed out about seeing your family on Christmas.
    • On the flip side, if you tend to lose your appetite when you are anxious, set a reminder to yourself to eat a little something every few hours, like a small handful nuts, a greek yogurt, or a few slices of turkey.  Not eating can be just as detrimental to your long term health goals as overeating.

Taking a moment or two to think about what we are about to eat gives us the opportunity to take responsibility for our eating choices, a skill you must master in order to adopt a healthy lifestyle in the new year.

Finally,

  • Make an effort to eat clean and healthy 80% of the time.
    • While you do not need to follow a diet during the holidays, making a deliberate attempt to make smart nutritional choices the majority of the time will help you counteract the effects of holiday eating and drinking. For example, if you know you have a big holiday party coming up, focus on eating foods that are low in calories but high in nutritional value, like lean protein and vegetables, for a few days ahead of time.  That way not only will you have offset some of the less nutritious choices (and calories) you may eat at the party, but you will feel like you’re indulging on a delicious treat rather than just another cookie.
    • Also, consider your portion sizes.  Chances are you will need to cut back on portions once you start the new year so start practicing now.  Rather than a heaping pile of mashed potatoes, try cutting the portion size by 1/3 or 1/2.

The great thing about adopting a few of these changes during the holiday season is that you do not have to be perfect.  Think of it as practice for the big event.  Because you have not attached these habits to a specific health goal yet, you can make mistakes, learn from them, and get better without feeling guilty or as if you have failed.

While practicing these tips throughout the holiday season may not result in weight loss  or improved your health, they may prevent you from gaining additional weight or even getting sick.  After all, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  In addition, you will have laid a strong foundation to build on for amazing health and fitness success in the new year.

 


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Getting Back on Track

We are  1/4 of the way through 2016, and if you are like most people you started the year with good intentions to make this the year your finally achieve those goals you have been talking about for years.

So, how is it going so far?  Are you wealthier than you were in 2015?  Have you lost those  10, 20, 30  pounds?  Did you start your own business or find your soulmate yet?

If you are like most people the goals you set for yourself in January are probably collecting dust in the back of your mind.  Well, it is time to take them out dust them off and put them to work.

Ask yourself, “What do I want to achieve in the next 2 years?”

Sometime today or tomorrow find a quiet place to sit down and think about what you want to accomplish in several areas of your life including:

  • Finances – How much money would you like to earn in the next month? Year? 2 years?  Do you want a new car or home?  What financial achievements do you want to achieve in the next 24 months?
  • Career – How would you like your career or professional life to advance over the next 2 years?
  • Relationships – What do you want your relationships to look like over the next 2 years?  Would you like to make more friends?  Is there a person in your life with whom you would like to reconnect?  Would you like to spend more time with your family?
  • Health and fitness – Do you want to lose weight, run a 1/2 marathon, or lower your blood pressure?  All of the above?  Two years from now what will your health and fitness look like?
  • Personal – What do you want to accomplish in your personal life?  How would you like to grow personally in the next 2 years?  Do you want to learn a language? Do you want to improve your spirituality?
  • Recreation – What fun things do you want to do over the next 2 years?  What vacations do you want to take?  What activities do you want to participate in simply for fun?
  • Contributions – What do you want contribute to the world in the next 2 years?  Will you start a charity?  Work with children, animals, or the homeless?

Write a least 3 accomplishments per category.

Then for the next few days reread your list and add to it or refine it.  We will use this list over the next few month to help you maintain focus and finally have the life you have been dreaming of.

Have fun and think BIG!!!!!!


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Whey Beyond the Facts

Walk into any health food store, grocery store, or even convenience store and you are likely to find shelves of protein powders, bars and drinks many of which are made from whey protein.  So, what is whey protein, where does it come from, what is it good for and why is it so popular?

To understand whey protein it is important to know what whey is.  When milk curdles, either naturally or through heat, it separates to form solid curds, which are used to make cheese, and a thin, watery liquid known as whey.  Whey is high in protein, vitamins, minerals and lactose.  As far back as ancient Greece physicians like Hippocrates and Galen prescribed whey to patients as a curative agent.  Fresh liquid whey has been used to help detoxify the body including all the major organs including the liver, kidneys and intestines as well as to treat skin disorders, gallstones, digestive problems, edema, gout, and other inflammatory conditions.

So, what is whey protein?  Whey protein is a selection of various proteins extracted from whey and then dried to make a powder.  Whey protein contains less fat and lactose, a milk sugar, than liquid whey.  Whey protein is considered to be one of the best forms of protein because it contains all 20 amino acids and all 9 essential amino acids.  Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and our body uses them to build muscle, bone, and connective tissue, synthesize hormones and digestive enzymes as well as to produce energy.  In addition, whey protein is quickly absorbed through the digestive system allowing the amino acids to get into the bloodstream and get to work more quickly replenishing levels lost during exercise making it popular with bodybuilders, endurance athletes and weekend warriors.

The benefits of whey protein do not stop at the gym door, however.  Whey protein can help strengthen the immune system.  Three of the amino acids in whey protein,

L-cysteine, L-glutamine and glycine are necessary for the production of the antioxidant, glutathione.  Glutathione reduces damage from free radicals, fights infections, can help reduce your chances of cancer, and supports the liver in detoxifying the body.

Whey protein may also help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.  Whey protein contains the amino acid, tryptophan, which is involved in the synthesis of the neurotransmitter, serotonin.  Serotonin is responsible for aiding in the regulation of mood, social behavior, memory and sleep.  Low levels of serotonin have been associated with feelings of depression and stress.

A recent Danish study suggests that whey protein may also be beneficial in helping to reduce the risk of heart disease and type-2 diabetes in obese individuals by lowering levels of fat and raising insulin levels in the blood after a meal.  There are many other purported virtues of whey protein and the research continues to discover what other benefits may exist.

There are several reasons whey protein has become popular, the first being the      aforementioned athletic and health benefits.  The second is convenience.  What is simpler than adding a powder to your favorite beverage for an instant shot of protein?  It is much less cumbersome and foul-smelling than carrying around a steak.

Another reason whey protein has become popular is variety.  You can find whey protein in meal replacement bars, smoothies, cereal and even cookies.  Whey protein powders come in countless flavors and formulas with some powders having 2 grams carbs and 30 grams protein and others having 9 grams of carbs and 22 grams protein.  So what’s the difference?  When it comes to the actual protein there are 3 types of whey protein commonly used in protein powders:

-Whey Protein Isolates (WPI)

Whey protein isolates contain more than 90% protein by volume and little to no lactose and fat.  The whey protein isolates are processed at a low temperature to prevent the protein from becoming “denatured” or breaking down this ensures all the benefits of the amino acids remain intact.  This complex process means that whey protein isolates are one of the more expensive forms of protein.  Due to a lack of fat and lactose whey protein isolates can also be bland.

-Whey Protein Concentrates (WPC)

Whey protein concentrates have higher levels of fats and lactose, aka carbohydrate, than whey protein isolates.  Also, the amount of protein found in whey protein concentrates is lower by volume than in an isolate.  On the plus side, whey protein concentrates are often less expensive than a whey protein isolate and contain more immune and digestion boosting compounds.  Select a high quality whey protein concentrate to get the most benefit.

-Whey Protein Blends

Whey protein blends can combine the best of both protein powder worlds bringing together high quality protein with palatability.  Often the ratio of protein types is not clearly listed on the label so check the ingredients list.  The most abundant form of protein will be listed first.

The type of whey protein that is best for you depends on your goals and needs.  If you are unsure of what type to buy ask for assistance at the store or from a personal trainer or sports nutritionist.

*One thing to keep in mind about whey protein is that it is derived from milk.  Individuals with allergies to dairy may want to consult with their doctor before using whey protein particularly whey protein concentrates and whey protein blends which contain lactose.

The popularity of whey protein has increased significantly over the last decade and with so many options it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and confused about whey protein and its purpose.  Research is beginning to show that it may be useful for more than just building muscle.  Whey protein can stimulate the immune system, help reduce stress and possibly even help prevent cardiovascular disease for some people.  Knowing the basics about whey protein can help you make smart healthy choices about what you choose to nourish your body.

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10 Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

The wonders of apple cider vinegar have been touted for millennia.   In 400BC, Hippoocrates purportedly prescribed it for various ailments.  To this day holistic healers and medical doctors alike recommend apple cider vinegar for a variety of conditions.

Benefits of ACV

 

To get the maximum benefit, raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar should be used.

The most popular brand is Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar.

Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar Organic Raw — 32 fl oz

 


Apple Cider Vinegar: Miracle Health System (Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar Miracle Health System: With the Bragg Healthy Lifestyle)

 

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