Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Maintaining Weight When You Can't Hit the Gym

There are so many excuses that will stop us from hitting the gym, but sometimes, those excuses are legit!  From time constraints to injuries, getting to the gym isn't always an option.

And to be honest, whenever I hear someone say "I'd rather eat whatever I want and bust my butt at the gym, than restrict myself of any food," I want to go all health documentary on them, but I usually resist. A person's diet (as in what they eat, not some overly restrictive food plan used to lose weight), is the most important factor in health and weight loss.  

Not to say exercise and cardiovascular health isn't important, it is, extremely, but diet trumps exercise. Sorry meatheads (I kid, I kid:). 

Okay, let's get back on track.  

I am a single mom living in NYC.  I have about zero minutes available to go to the gym, so I'm rely on a healthy diet to maintain my weight. *  I've been body-conscious since I was a in elementary school, which is when I started researching health, calories, and diet.  That puts me at about 22 years.

Here are my tips for maintaining your weight when you can't work out: 

1. Sugar - avoid, avoid, avoid.  Particularly refined sugar - this means candy, cookies, soda, and sauces (ketchup, bbq, Sriracha, etc.).  You should also stay away from syrup, honey, agave (but these are a little better). 

2. Refined carbs - come on, you knew this was coming.  Bread, pizza, rolls, donuts, pastries, etc. Stay far away, or at least treat them as a once a week treat. 

Side note: remember that "you are what you eat commercial with the woman walking around with the cinnamon roll bum?  Well add 1 + 2 above together and that's what you'll get.  

3. Fried food -  just don't.  Fried food can usually be replaced with an almost as delicious baked version.  Fries and sweet potato fries are delicious when baked (homemade!!). 

4. Veggies - yes, yes, all day, yes. Honestly, you cannot go wrong with veggies.  I'm talking plain, unsalted, un-dipped, fresh veggies.  Frozen are okay too, but fresh is always the best. Get creative with them... bake up a pan of mixed veggies, chop up a colorful veggies plate with a little homemade guacamole or hummus, make a delicious, overflowing salad of all your favorite veggies.  

5. Fruit - yes, but not all day.  Fruits are the perfect dessert after a healthy meal, an awesome addition to oatmeal and whole grains, and a great snack when you need a sweet.   Fruits are full of awesome vitamins, but they also contain a lot of sugar, and if you are trying to maintain weight while decreasing activity, just go easy on anything related to sugar. 

6. Whole grains - yep, but not just grains - they make a great accompaniment to veggies (rice with stir fries, oats with a little fruit and nuts...).  Just stick with rice, oats, quinoa.   

7. Legumes - you bet! (earmuffs you Paleo nuts out there).  Legumes are so great! They are a great source of protein and vitamins, and when cooked right, they are so tasty.  

8. Nuts and seeds - oh yeah! But definitely in moderation, as they can pack on the calories and fat like crazy.  I like nuts and seeds as add ons to food.  Nuts on oatmeal, seeds in salads. Don't just chow down on a big bowl of nuts (hehe).  

9. Good fats - sparingly!  We are talking olive oil, coconut oil, and even avocados.  Use them, just remember they add up even faster than nuts and seeds.  

10. Meat - welllllll, I'm not a huge fan of meat.  I take that back, I love meat.  Burgers, steaks, chicken wings... love em. However, I just choose not to eat much meat (or fish) for a variety of reasons (environmentally mostly, but also the options available, and the ethics of the meat industry).  When you do eat meat, chicken/ poultry is the best way to go. 

11. Fish - Most fish is good and good for you, if cooked in a healthy way (baked!), but make sure what you are eating is fresh not farm raised.  Fried fish falls under the fried category, not this one;)

12. Dairy - milk is unnecessary and the benefits are inflated. Non-dairy milk is really not that much better as it contains additives that really aren't necessary/ beneficial (homemade non-dairy milk is great!).  Cheese, how I love the, but you should really ditch it... it's calorie and fat dense.  Yogurt should be used as a condiment not a meal.  

13. Alcohol - sad to say, alcohol is just a lose lose.  There aren't even enough benefits in any alcohol (yes, I'm looking at you red wine) to make it ever a drink worth drinking. If you are going to drink, limiting yourself to no more than 4 ounces of red wine a day is the absolute maximum.  Man, I feel like the biggest hypocrit on this one, but I do realize how quickly my weight, completion, and health have changed when I've given up alcohol for long periods of time. 

14.  Arrrgghh! There is something(s) I'm missing but just cannot put my finger on it. Stay tuned for possible edits. 

My favorite meals: 

-Homemade oatmeal, topped with fresh fruit, nuts, and cinnamon
-Zucchini noodles with marinara or a healthy pesto
-Meat free taco salad - chop up some romaine, add homemade gauc, salsa, and some peppers, and you've got a delicious, easy meal
-Stir fries - chop up whatever veggies you have, and heat them up over a little coconut oil.  Throw them on some brown rice with a little hot sauce or soy sauce. Viola!
-Mixed veggies plate - slice up your most delicious raw veggies, add a small scoop of homemade hummus, and call it a meal

Enjoy and be happy:)

*Disclaimer, my eating habits revolve around my want to become the most healthy me I can be.  I want to thrive for as long as possible, not just look cute in a swimsuit... though I wouldn't hate that either.

Disclaimer 2 - Also, I'm not a doctor, so you should talk to one before making any major changes to your diet. 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Three Days of Raw (An Easy Cleanse)

After a few days in Las Vegas, my body was in need of a major cleanse.  All the food, the booze, and none of the necessary rest took a definite toll. So I decided a couple days of completely raw food would be a good idea:)

Since few people have asked me questions on tools, resources, meals, and results, I decided to jot it all down in a post.

Results - In three days, I lost three unintentional pounds, a couple inches around my belly, and felt so much better. I can only imagine what a week, month, or lifetime would do for you body (and mind!).

Favorite raw meals:

Zucchini noodles with sauce.  If you have a Spiralizer or a julienne peeler, I highly recommend using those.  The Vegetti is supposed to be good too!  You can also just cut up the zucchini in thin strips, or try peeling it and slicing it lengthwise.

Try  these sauces:

Salad! Try these:
Try it. I promise you will not go hungry and you will feel so awesome!  And of course, I'm not a doctor, so make sure you consult one before making any major changes.

Cheers to your heath and HAPPINESS! 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)

Since everyone keeps asking me why I drink ACV every morning, I thought it would be best to just create a post... here we go!

The benefits of ACV: 
  • Calms stomach issues/ acid reflux 
  • Antibacterial/ anti-inflamattory
  • It's balancing to the body (and skin)/ alkaline properties 
  • Contains probiotic properties
  • Can assist in weight loss
  • Great as a skin toner (dilute it first!)
  • Awesome rinse for your hair as it closes the follicles and makes it shiny
  • Soothes sunburnt skin
  • Normalize blood-glucose levels
  • Help relieve hang-over symptoms
  • Etc, etc, etc!

Every morning, I drink 2T in a full glass of room temperature filtered water (room temp makes it easier for your body to absorb). 

I would ALWAYS recommend only drinking raw, unfiltered ACV.  I use Bragg brand, and it always makes me feel great.  

Also I'm definitely not a doctor, so consult your physician if you are looking for medical advice. But here are some great resources: