Nutritious and Fit

Diet, Fitness, and a Healthy Attitude

Happy Turkey Day!

So I know the predictable post would be to lecture on eating in moderation on Thanksgiving, but I’m not going to do that. I am all about living a healthy lifestyle and having your overall diet be healthy while getting an adequate amount of physical activity- but Thanksgiving is but once a year, right smack in the middle of crazy times so I hate to disappoint, but I’m going all out! My grandmother is the most amazing cook ever so I’m going to eat turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing all smothered in gravy, green bean casserole (not as healthy as it sounds), corn bread and biscuits, and lots of candied sweet potatoes. Then I’ll have some of every kind of pie that we have. ūüôā¬† I’m very very excited about all this food and I’m not going to feel one bit guilty about it because I know that it won’t break my healthy lifestyle. Tomorrow I will be back at the gym and be eating normal again. Well, except for the leftovers tomorrow night ūüôā

I hope you all enjoy your feast, guilt-free, as much as I am! Happy Thanksgiving!!

Next post: My notes on the Vitamin D lecture from the Food and Nutrition Conference

11/25/2010 Posted by | Attitude | 1 Comment

I’m back!

Hey everyone! Now that I’m getting a hang of this internship and the long hours, I’m back to putting up new posts! I’m going to shoot for twice a week, but it may be only once a week for now.

As many of you know, I started my Dietetic Internship a couple months ago and by the end of summer I will be taking my RD exam! So far, it’s been a complete rollercoaster ride, but good and bad days alike, I LOVE what I’m doing! I’m looking through charts and talking to patients to determine their nutritional risk and make recommendations based on it, and I’m learning so much in the process.

Last weekend, I got to go to Boston for the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo, or FNCE. It was absolutely amazing! I attended 2 lectures- one on vitamin D and one on dietary triggers of migraines. Both were very interesting, but the vitamin D lecture particularly fascinated me. It was by Dr. Michael Holick, a well-known dermatologist among many other qualifying professions and credentials. He wrote the book the Vitamin D Solution and was an excellent speaker.

While the lectures were extremely intriguing, the most fun you can have at FNCE is spent at the expos! There were a million of them! I went home with 3 huge bags of food samples, kitchen supplies, catalogs, educational resources, DVDs of educational resources, pens, tote bags, lunch bags, and books signed by their authors! Not to mention, all the free food given out while you’re walking around- the vendors want to make sure you taste how good their food is so that we (dietitians) can recommend them to clients. I tried so much gluten-free food, I’m not sure I’d remember which to recommend! They were all pretty good though! There were also booths giving out nuts, fruit, fish, weight loss shakes/smoothies, supplements, and so much more- I could spend all night listing everything!

Over the next few posts, I will type up my notes from Dr. Holick’s lecture and also talk about a couple of the food/products I was introduced to at the Expo.

Keep checking back!

11/16/2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Bikini-ready!

Hope everyone’s summer is going well! I’m sure everyone is trying to hit the beach so I wanted to share something I stumbled across randomly. I went to TJMaxx and found this work out DVD for only 5 bucks! It’s by SHAPE and it’s called Ultimate Bikini Body Work-Out with Dominique Hall. It has 4 components: a 30 minute total body work out, a 10 minute abs/core work out, a 10 minute legs/butt work out, and a 10 minute cardio blast. It lets you customize your workout using those components and it’s great! It’s definitely hard work, and some of the moves require a bit of concentration (at least for me!), but my entire body definitely feels the benefits! It’s only been a week since I started, but I know I’ll get some results because of the way I feel. Below, I list the pros and cons of the DVD.

Pros:

  • Can be a full hour workout or a quick half hour work out
  • Effective
  • Total body
  • Able to personalize it to your individual needs
  • Challenging

Cons

  • The cool-down stretches are awkward and I don’t feel all that stretched after
  • The pace feels a little¬†all over the place; sometimes I feel like she’s pausing too much between reps, and then¬†sometimes I feel like I can’t quite keep up, especially when the moves require coordination!

Overall, it’s a great work out and you’ll definitely see results! I try to do it every other day, and the days I don’t do it I go for a run either in the neighborhood or the high school track. I try to add yoga in there as well, especially because I don’t feel stretched enough with this video.

Have a great work out!!

07/10/2010 Posted by | physical activity | Leave a comment

Summertime!!

Summer is here!! I don’t know about you guys but one of my favorite things to do in the summer is grill outside and have BBQs!! Now, of course there are times where I don’t mind splurging, but if I plan to do it often, I try to make it healthy! Here some ideas that I use to replace the typical fat-filled fiesta!

Turkey burgers or sausage- taste great on whole wheat buns!

Kabobs-¬† place chunks of chicken breast (or shrimp for sea-food lovers) on skewers along with alternating pieces of onion, green bell peppers, and pineapple. Put kabob on a piece of tin foil, pour some BBQ sauce on it (I love Sweet Baby Ray’s), wrap it up, and stick it on the grill!

Fish Filets- my new favorite is Mahi Mahi! You can find it cheap and tasty at Trader Joes! I seasoned mine last night with some salt and pepper and another seasoning I found called Key Lime Fiesta!

Teriyaki Chicken Sandwich- grill some chicken marinated in teriyaki sauce and some slices of pineapple and slap them both on a whole wheat bun with some lettuce and tomato!

Shrimp and Broccoli- toss broccoli in extra virgin olive oil and your favorite seasonings, place on tin foil and grill it til the broccoli is browning. Do the same thing with the shrimp and throw on the grill half way through cooking the broccoli. Serve with sweet potato, which you can wrap in tin foil and also put on the grill.

Mixed veggies- chop your favorite veggies and either toss in extra virgin olive oil and favorite spices, or you can toss with your favorite marinade or BBQ sauce, wrap them in tin foil, and grill up!

Light beer!!!! Mich ultra and MGD 64 are the 2 lightest. Miller Lite is also a good choice- I heard somwhere that it’s the least amount of calories for the most alcohol content (not that I’m endorsing¬†lots of drinking!!- it’s just an interesting fact haha)

Have an amazing and safe summer! ūüôā

06/19/2010 Posted by | diet and nutrition | 1 Comment

nutrition cleansing/detox

Hey everyone! So sorry I haven’t been writing! I know I keep saying that, but this time I’m going to definitely be able to start writing more because I graduate in a week!

I recently had a friend ask me to take a look at a nutrition cleansing system for her. I took a look at the site and sent her an email with¬† my thoughts. She asked me to not reveal the name, but my feelings on it will apply to all cleansing systems so I thought I’d share the email with you guys:

Hey girl!
 
Ok so I finally took a look for you.
 
I don’t want to tell you what to do, so this information is just meant to offer you what I know so that you can make an informed decision for yourself.
 
It worries me that they don’t say much about what it’s in each product on the website; I can’t really give a complete review of it without that.¬† I can tell you that what they are saying about fasting and cleansing isn’t true. Many alternative medicine followers and¬†spiritual leaders¬†live by it and¬†believe it¬†to be beneficial for different reasons, but scientifically it isn’t necessary or safe. Our bodies are self-cleansing, so if you feel that you have built up “toxins”, you can simply change your diet to help rid yourself of them. Fiber and antioxidants that you get in fruits, veggies, and whole grains will¬†help. The¬†fiber helps rid your digestive tract and colon of dietary “toxins” and¬†antioxidants counteract the free radicals¬†that are caused by environmental pollutants that may harm your body. Both¬†fiber and antioxidants can be found in everyday foods and¬†so you don’t need a cleansing system to do¬†it. That’s why I feel this would be a waste of money, but since you didn’t buy it that doesn’t really matter.¬†
 
As far as safety is concerned, the¬†only products that worry¬†me are the ones that are basically¬†laxatives. While taking those, your body isn’t absorbing the nutrients that the rest of the system claims to provide. The rest of the products, such as the meal replacement shakes, seem like any other system so they are probably OK (like I said, it doesn’t say much about what’s in them so I can’t know for sure). Other than the laxatives, the only safety concern I have is that you¬†would be losing weight too quickly and not eating enough, thereby starving yourself.¬†
 
As far as the claim to lose weight goes, losing weight too quickly isn’t good because once you stop the system, you will most likely gain it all back immediately and maybe even more. Losing weight is much more effective when done slowly (about 2 pounds a week), because then you are slowly changing habits at the same time, and it will become natural for your body to weigh less. This makes it much easier to maintain the weight after losing it as well.¬†It’s also important to work out, including strength training. This is because when you lose weight, you’re not just losing fat, but you also lose muscle leaving more room to gain fat when you stop dieting. If you strength train, this can be prevented. If you do gain weight back plus more because of losing weight too quickly and not building muscle, it will be much much harder to lose it again.
 
In my opinion, if you’re going to use the products, I would recommend making up your own, healthier system. Other than the laxatives, certain individual products of¬†the system¬†might be beneficial, and safe, to add to your diet, like the meal replacements. I don’t know what the calories, fat, carbs, and protein are in the shakes, but if they are low in cals and fat, and high in protein they would be good after work-out snacks. If they are slightly higher in calories (like above 250), I’d recommend consuming one for breakfast and maybe one for lunch, but then eat a healthy dinner of actual food and 1 or 2 healthy snacks throughout the day (and¬†I dont mean those “snack” pills on this system). I don’t recommend the laxatives at all. Even using the system this way, you will still lose a significant amount of weight (I’m assuming; like I said, I don’t know what it’s in the shakes), so I’d also recommend strength training like I¬†mentioned before.
 
Again, this info isn’t to tell you what to do, just to keep you informed so that you can make your own decision. Hope it helped!

Amanda

Even though I can’t reveal the name of this particular system, they are mostly the same. This one is actually better than most because it does provide nutrients instead of having you completely fast and cleanse your colon. I don’t endorse this one because it does contain laxatives, preventing your body from absorbing the nutrients it would otherwise provide.¬† Your body does not need to detox or cleanse because it does it on its own. As far as losing weight goes, the bottom line is that you lose weight when you burn more calories than you consume, so of course you are going to lose a lot of weight on these systems. But I promise, you will gain it right back when you stop the cleansing. Not only are these systems not healthy for you, but they are a waste of money. As I said in the email, just eat lots of fruits, veggies, and whole grains, and also drink a lot of water. No need to spend a lot of money and risk your health in order to look beautiful, because you already are! ūüôā

Have a good weekend!

05/01/2010 Posted by | diet and nutrition | Leave a comment

strength-training

So I finally started my job as a personal trainer at the gym! I¬†have my first client on Monday; I am very excited! So far, I’ve just been shadowing other personal trainers to learn exercises and other tips. I also finally got back to my own strength training. I’ve been pretty good with cardio lately, but not so much with the toning! I thought I’d share with¬† you some of the exercises I did today to give you some ideas for your work-out!

First, always make sure to warm up for about 10 minutes. Then do strength-training and follow up with cardio.

I started with squats on a bosu ball. It looks like half a ball on a flat disk and provides you with an unstable surface.¬† This forces you to engage all of your core muscles no matter what you’re doing on it! When you perform squats on it, you’re also using more of your leg muscles than just your quads. I did 10 squats and then held a squat for 10 seconds and repeated. I then continued to stand on the bosu ball and did shoulder exercises¬†(arm raises)¬†and bicep curls. For the arm raises, start with arms at side and keeping your elbows straight, raise them out to the side at shoulder height, bring arms together in front of you and lower. Then repeat the¬† motion backwards: raise arms in front to shoulder height, bring arms to the side, and lower down. Using a moderate amount of weight, I did as many reps of arm raises and bicep curls as I could. I then repeated the circuit one more time (squats, arm raises, and bicep curls).

I ended with abs: as many crunches as I could on a balance ball, bicycle crunches (lie on back, hands behind head, knees 90 degrees, bring 1 elbow to opposite knee and switch for 1 rep), and side hip raises. For side hip-raises, lie on side, supporting upper body by having your forearm flat on the ground. With other hand on hip, lift hips off the ground and lower for 1 rep. Then I did supermans for lower-back (lie on stomach, arms extended out in front. Lift arms and legs off the ground and lower down for 1 rep). Instead of counting reps, I just did them until I couldn’t anymore.

In between those first and second sections, I also did other lower body and upper body exercises. These included inner and outer thighs (I did them on the mat, but there are machines for them too!), and lat and straight-arm pull-downs to work my upper back and triceps.

Have a good work-out! ūüôā

04/08/2010 Posted by | physical activity | Leave a comment

sorry!

I’m sorry I haven’t written in a while! It’s been a crazy life this past month, but it should slow down now! I got most of what I¬† had to get done for school, just found out that I got into my top choice dietetic internship, and I’ve started a new job that I love! Things are going fantastic, and I should be getting more time to write.

I’m going to keep this one short because I need some time to collect my thoughts before delving back in. Over the next few days, I’m going to post my first book review.¬† I just finished reading Fasting Girls: The History of Anorexia for school. I thought it was really interesting, so I definitely want to share my thoughts with you.

I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend! I’m heading back to Raleigh tomorrow, so check back on Thursday night for another post and the book review.

04/06/2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

More Motivation

This post is sort of a continuation of the last one. I realized something else that I feel is great motivation and I wanted to share it.

I actually was never a runner at all until last semester. I took a sports nutrition class during that time and instead of taking a final exam, we were allowed to choose an¬†athletic event and train ourselves for it.¬†This is when¬†I realized that I loved to run and that, contrary to what I had previously thought, I actually could do it! It felt so great when I crossed the finish line! I didn’t beat any records by any means, but considering it was my first time, I did pretty well, and I was so proud and excited!

You don’t have to take a class in order to train for an event, so I would definitely recommend finding one in your area. Obviously, start small with something like a 5k.

I found this website, Running in the USA, to help you find an event in your area.

You can also get active by participating in walk-a-thons like the Start! Heart Walk headed by the American Heart Association or the 3-Day for the Cure¬†Breast Cancer Walk.¬†It’s a great way¬†to get active and feel great about yourself while supporting a good cause.

For those of you more intense athletes, I recently stumbled across a race called the Warrior Dash. It’s only about 3 and a quarter miles long, but filled with crazy obstacles.¬† I considered signing up, but realized that I don’t have time to train for any of the dates because of school, and this course is definitely something I would need to train intensely for!

For those of you in my area, there will be a 5k race at Meredith College called Less Fork, More Foot on Sunday April 11th.  As I hear of events, I will tweet about them so make sure you follow me or at least look at my recent tweets on the right side of my blog.

I love the idea of signing up for something, because it gets you moving while you’re having so much fun! It also promotes great self-esteem and a feeling of self-worth and accomplishment!

03/17/2010 Posted by | physical activity | Leave a comment

Motivation!

Spring is here and I am definitely loving it! I have¬†finally been able to get back to running on¬†a regular basis, and it’s going great! The hills at the lake make it so much more intense, so I haven’t been able to quite run the whole 3 miles. Each day, I am able to run a little more and each day I feel that much more accomplished! There is this one hill that always seems to get me, and I have to stop halfway through it, but today I conquered it! I was so excited, even though I had to walk for a bit afterwards to catch my breath. Feeling so great about my work-outs lately is what has led¬†me to¬†this post.¬† I know sometimes it can be hard to get up and get moving, so I thought I’d share some motivation techniques.

My biggest motivating factor is having a goal in mind.¬† It’s so much easier to push yourself to work harder when you have something in mind that you want to accomplish. For instance, I almost didn’t go running at the lake today, but I wanted to beat my previous accomplishments and run all the way up that hill! I will of course have to give myself a break tomorrow, because I don’t want to overdo it, but my next goal will be to run up the hill without being completely out of breath and¬†eventually to run the entire 3 miles around the lake, hills and all.

Something that keeps me going during my run is listening to music.¬† I made a separate work-out playlist on my ipod full of songs that get me going.¬† I listen to a mixture of songs that make me want to get up and move, like Evacuate the Dancefloor by Cascada and Just Dance by Lady Gaga, and songs that inspire me like Change by Taylor Swift and Crazy Dreams by Carrie Underwood. I also throw in some songs that remind me of things like my childhood and my college days.¬† Ace of Base reminds me of the “dance-offs” we had in the neighborhood growing up and Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing reminds me of the late-night dance parties we had in college.

Here are some other ideas that might help get you motivated:

  • Bring a friend that you know would be challenging to keep up with; I went running with my roommate today who just finished her first indoor triathalon, and I don’t think I would have made it up that hill without her!
  • While you’re working out, picture something you want to accomplish in life and what it will feel like when you get there. When I’m running, I picture things like getting into a dietetic internship,¬†graduating from the¬† master’s program in a couple months, and landing my dream job. Before I know it, I’ve been running so much longer and faster than I thought I could have!
  • Most girls I know cut out pictures of models or celebrities that they¬†want to look like, but this is not a good idea! It only ends up making you feel guilty if you don’t look exactly like them, but that’s silly because you’re unique and beautiful!¬†Instead, pick out a time in your own life that you felt great and find a picture that represents that. Use THAT as motivation to look and feel as great as you did at that time. This way, your own beauty is your motivating factor ūüôā

03/15/2010 Posted by | physical activity | Leave a comment

local produce

Hey everyone! This one’s going to be¬†a short one. Just wanted to briefly talk about my opinion of locally grown fruits and vegetables vs. organic. I personally prefer locally grown for several reasons. Aside from the fact that heading to the local farmer’s market is a unique and fun experience, the produce is much¬†more fresh than if you buy it from someplace that had it imported.¬† Not only does it taste better when its fresh, but it’s also more nutritious. Organic farms are hard to come by because it is so expensive to get certified, so the produce often has to travel extremly far distances, losing some of its nutrients and also adding to environmental pollution from the transportation. Organic farms are also extremely labor-intensive, causing the workers to have a hard time with medical and physical problems. Since many of these workers also don’t have health benefits due to the expense of the farming, they often have to suffer instead of getting treated.¬† Other benefits of purchasing locally-grown produce¬†are that it¬†stimulates your local economy and will help out your community and the farmers within it.¬† Many of the small family owned farmers are using less and less pesticides, so you might as well forego the organic certified produce and buy the local produce for its added benefits.

Many grocery stores sell locally grown produce in certain sections of their produce department if you can’t get to a farmer’s market, but I found a few links that could help you find one if you’re interested. The links I found are for farmer’s markets in NJ, near Philly, and in NC, since as far as I know, these are the areas that my readers are currently in. If anyone else reads this and wants information on their area, please let¬†me know!

New Jersey

Philly

North Carolina

03/11/2010 Posted by | diet and nutrition | 2 Comments