Posts tagged ‘energy’

September 25, 2013

All About Energy

Need more energy? Everywhere I turn, someone somewhere is asking for tips for more energy. As a wellness professional, I’m wondering why nobody asks about their lack of energy, and about probable causes for little get-up-and-go.

Alas, most people are in need of more energy, especially as we move through the hectic fall season and into the—gasp—holiday season. No fear. Abundant energy is awaiting you. Choose your favorite source and move forward with gusto!

Stock Your pantry!

Bananas

In addition to providing valuable nutrients, including potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin B6, bananas are a good source of carbohydrates. A plain banana makes the perfect preworkout snack. For something more substantial, mix one into a smoothie, spread one with nut butter.

Peanuts, Peanut Butter, and other Nuts and Nut Butters

Nut butters have been called an athlete’s best friend: Because they provide “fuel and sustained energy,” they’re a great sports food and actually one of the “best diet foods around.” Nuts and nut butters are good recovery foods because they have a combination of protein and carbs, while their healthy, heart-protecting fats keep you going over the long haul.

A Favorite Go-To Energizing Recipe:

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Roll a banana in your favorite wrap. Drizzle a little honey and sprinkle with cinnamon. Add dried fruit on top, if desired.

Spinach

Combine leafy greens with a lean protein and you have an athlete’s power house for sustained energy and muscle repair. Toss in some carbs, too, for a high-energy meal.

Beans

Legumes are a great source of both protein and carbs in a heart-healthy and inexpensive package. Toss them into salads, soups, stews, chilis, and pasta dishes, or serve with quick-cooking brown rice and jarred salsa for a superfast supper.

Oranges

When you exercise, your muscles receive tiny tears—the vitamin C in oranges and many other fruits helps repair them.

Dried Fruit

People sometimes shy away from dried fruit because it can pack a lot of calories, but its portability, nutrient density, and easy-to-access carbs make it a healthy choice for longer workouts such as hiking and biking.

Stock Your Supplement Cabinet

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For early morning workouts, clients, or appointments, I use Advocare’s Spark. As a coffee lover, I appreciate the caffeine and blend of vitamins and minerals to jumpstart my day. The amino acids support the aggressive workout I’m about to put myself through.

Ultimate O2Ultimate O2 (from LectroLife Technologies) is a spray that promotes the transfer of oxygen into the bloodstream. I keep it in my purse for daily use. One to two sprays directly on my tongue provide atomized energy, oxygen, and peppermint oil to support an energized perspective to whatever I am doing,

Essentia Water—never underestimate the power of a hydrated body. When in doubt, chug a glass of water.

Stock Your Night Stand

Lavender

Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender is an adaptogen, and therefore can assist the body when adapting to stress or imbalances. I like to close out my day with lavender oil on my temples and the back of my neck. It is a great aid for relaxing and winding down before bedtime, yet has balancing properties that can also boost stamina and energy.

A cool eye mask

I use mine because my husband falls asleep after me and sometimes watches the television. The night mask ensures a better chance of uninterrupted sleep.

A Journal

Sometimes my mind won’t turn off, so I jot down everything that pops into my mind and leave it on the nightstand. If it’s on the paper, it’s out of my head. I can deal with it tomorrow, after I am fully rested. 

In health, Lacey

August 7, 2013

‘Tis the Season for… Cinnamon!

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‘Tis the season… for cinnamon! I promise I won’t chat holidays just yet, although who doesn’t like a warm house filled with the aroma of cinnamon apple pie? That yumminess aside, I love knowing about the benefits of one of my favorite spices: Cinnamon! Nothing reminds us of the holidays quite like cinnamon does, but let’s not save such greatness for just the holiday season. I dare you to incorporate cinnamon year-round. Here’s why!

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Cinnamon is one of the world’s oldest-known spices and has healing properties that rival many other products on your spice rack. It’s natural anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and antioxidant properties make it easy to have a love affair with cinnamon. Go ahead! Smell it, taste it, wear it… indulge! Try to incorporate it into your everyday routine to reap the most benefits. Not sure where to start? Here are some suggestions:

Brain Power Booster

It was found that smelling cinnamon boosts cognitive function and memory. Carry a cinnamon stick around with you, and take a whiff every so often to keep you focused at work or school.

Pain Reliever

Cinnamon is used to treat pain because it reacts with the hormone-like substance prostaglandin, which contributes to the contraction and relaxation of muscles. Sprinkle some in your bath water!

Diabetes Treatment

Studies have been conducted on diabetic patients, whom were each given one-quarter of a teaspoon of cinnamon over 40 days, researchers observed that patients’ blood sugar levels fell as much as 30 percent.

Weight Loss

Because of cinnamon’s effectiveness in reducing insulin resistance – research reports that cinnamon triples insulin’s capacity to metabolize blood sugar – the spice can thus reduce hunger and sugar cravings, which leads to weight loss.

Menstrual Aid

Cinnamon has been used for centuries to help women with heavy menstrual bleeding. (You’re welcome!)

Circulation Booster

Cinnamon is commonly used to thin blood, which in turn increases circulation throughout the body. This not only helps to reduce pain in troubled areas but promises that oxygen is being supplied to the blood cells. Cinnamon is also a great dietary complement for heart attack survivors.

 Complexion Enhancer

Due to its anti-fungal and anti-bacterial qualities as well as its antioxidant power, cinnamon is effective in treating acne and skin blemishes. Mix 1 teaspoon of powdered cinnamon with 3 tablespoons of honey, apply to the skin, and let the mixture sit for a few hours or overnight. Wash off with warm water.

Cold and Flu Reliever

Cinnamon is commonly used across East Asia and Europe as a warming herb for conditions involving the body to become cold. In these cases, cinnamon is combined with ginger to treat a cold or flu.

Yeast Infection Fighter

Cinnamon can be used to stop medication-resistant yeast infections. High blood sugar levels can lead to candida overgrowth, and cinnamon is helpful in lowering blood sugar levels. Cinnamon’s anti-fungal properties are also helpful in combating the effects of a yeast infection.

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My Favorite Cinnamon Uses

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If you have no time…

  • Add cinnamon to your vanilla protein shake
  • Sprinkle Cinnamon on apple or pear slices, dipped in cashew butter
  • Put cinnamon in your morning coffee to start your day off with zest
  • Having a spinach salad for lunch? Sprinkle some cinnamon on it!
  • Cinnamon on baked chicken shakes up an otherwise bland protein option

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If you have the time, here’s a favorite recipe…

Cider-Glazed Roots with Cinnamon Walnuts

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds assorted root vegetables, peeled (see Tip) and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Make yourself a warm cup of herbal tea.

2. If using parsnips, quarter lengthwise and remove the woody core before cutting into 1-inch pieces. Whisk cider, brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish until the sugar is dissolved. Add root vegetables and toss to coat. Cover the baking dish with foil. Now, add cinnamon to your cup of herbal tea, and sip.

3. Bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and stir the vegetables. Continue cooking, uncovered, stirring every 20 minutes or so, until the vegetables are glazed and tender, about 1 hour more. Ask someone about their day… husband, children, or call and put a friend on speaker phone. Tell her you’re cooking but wanted to chat–you’ll make her feel important and special.

4. Meanwhile, place walnuts in a small skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and add butter, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Stir until the butter melts and the nuts are coated. Spread out on a plate to cool slightly. Tell the family something fabulous is coming!

5. Transfer the vegetables to a serving dish and sprinkle with the cinnamon walnuts. Give your favorite pup (or husband) a taste and celebrate their gratitude over such a yummy treat.

 (recipe compliments of http://www.eatingwell.com plus my own additions)

July 31, 2013

Kid-Friendly Workouts and other Parenting Advice from the “Non-Parent”

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The past few weeks, I’ve been lovingly overwhelmed by little people around me, and it made me keenly aware of how important it is to fit your daily exercise around your already hurried life. Oh and guess what, there’s not much time to prepare a nutritious snack between the initial “I’m so hungry…” wail and the self-destructive breakdown that ensues shortly after. (Drop the juicer, Lacey… it’s not happening…)

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I feel it’s important to multitask your wellness efforts, mostly because, well… who has time to do it any other way? With some minor planning ahead, you can stay on track and be Captain Wonderful for those around you. Also, be flexible! One day, last week, I had a six-mile run planned; however, with a last-minute little niece in the neighborhood, I sacrificed the six-miler for “superstar jumps” with my niece, followed by “down and ups” which wound up leaving my abs sore the next morning. (I wonder if she was sore?) And wouldn’t you know it, kids still love the “airplane” move—and it’s still a great glutes/leg workout!

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A little Insanity can also serve as prep for nap time.

I hope you enjoy these homemade workouts that made the week fit and super fun for me. And the nourishment… well, not only did we eat well, but we nourished our soul as well. I can’t wait for all of them to visit again. Enjoy!

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First off—Hydration!

Cut up some mango, strawberries, lemon, cucumber, and lime

Have the little ones drop their favorite choices into jars or big travel mugs. Mix up the combinations for different flavors. Set in the refrigerator.

Superstar workout

Warm up: Crazy dance (basically move and shake any way your body leads for one minute)

Squeeze down and pop jump out into an X (do sets of 10—have the child work on her number counting)

With hands lifted above your head at all times, sit down and lay back; pull back up and stand (count to 25)

Rabbit Jumps (For one minute. All. Around. The. House.) So much fun.

Remember

High five one another and repeat the series again! (And once more if you’re in a silly/crazy mode.)

 

Superstar Snack

Fresh berries in coconut yogurt (or Greek yogurt)

Sprinkle Cinnamon/Ginger mix on top

(Remember to click your spoons together and say, ‘Cheers!’ before you dig in!)

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Pup Sprints and Claps

(If you don’t have pets, you can use stuffed animals or another family member instead.)

Set markers outside (or inside) far enough away to get a good distance in. The goal is to get to that spot as fast as possible either: running, skipping, high-kneeing, or bunny hopping—you choose!)

Each time to get across to the other side, high five your pet, stuffed animal, or family member/friend.

Don’t forget to stretch: Our favorite is still to sit feet to feet, grab hands, and pull back and forth.

Caution: laughing will occur, but it’s ok—laughing is a good ab workout. 

 

Cheer Snack

Every good cheerleader keeps almonds in her bag/purse at all times, and it’s funny how that habit spills over into my life now as a spokesperson and coach. I always have almonds close by—in my purse, car, stuffed behind a couch (I’m kidding on the last one…)

For a quick, on-the-go snack, mix your favorite healthy nuts and dried fruit into a trail mix. There’s so much to choose from and a little of these two ingredients goes a LONG way—don’t over-consume.

The cool thing about this snack is that once you gather up your healthy ingredients, you can put them in a baggie and walk down to your favorite scenic area and chat life while you snack, stretch, and celebrate the time together. Chat princesses, princes, and the latest Dora adventure. 

Oh and don’t forget to grab your containers of flavored water and chug-a-lug!

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My little ones think that ‘healthy is being able to keep up…’ Can you keep up with the energy surrounding you?

Whether you consider my not-normal parent status legit or not, isn’t important here. Nobody can argue that there’s a need for more nurturing in today’s world. Be kind to yourself first, so you can share kindness with and nurture those around you. I’ll always be grateful for the time I have with the little ones in my life. None of them are day-in, day-out, day-after-day for me, but thankfully, my family makes decisions to allow for this quality time to happen frequently.

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I already miss my little pull-up beast. 

In health… Aunt Lacey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 19, 2013

Snack Time!

hummus and veggies

Hi, there! It’s Brooke here. Let’s talk about something fun . . . snacks! Now, before we go too far, let’s demystify something. Food and nutrition can be loaded topics—some people have a great relationship with food, while others may think of eating as a confusing, guilt-ridden, boring, or necessary evil. Then we throw in snacks, and craziness breaks out! Snacks are often given a bad rap, mainly because many people choose munchies that are WAAAAY too full of calories, sugar, unhealthy fats, and sodium. Think of those tasty treats in vending machines and gas stations (not to mention your local grocery store, Aisle 17). We’ve all been there. I’m not proud of how much I love the taste of a kosher dill potato chip, but hey, I’m human. I avoid the siren song of this devilish dill delight because I know better—and my body deserves better, as does yours. Snacks will save your rear, in more ways than one.

apple hearts

Healthy gals and guys know one of the most important ways to reach their fitness goals is to eat 5-6 small meals a day, including snacks. Your body is an amazing machine, and it needs to burn quality fuel regularly throughout the day to keep you going strong. If you start thinking of food as fuel instead of something you have to deal with just to survive, your world will be rocked and you’ll become your body’s most powerful ally. Think of your nutrition schedule like this:

Meal 1: Breakfast

Meal 2: Mid-morning snack

Meal 3: Lunch

Meal 4: Mid-afternoon snack (or pre-workout snack)

Meal 5: Dinner (or post-workout snack)

Meal 6: Snack (or dinner)

Notice how you can incorporate pre- and post-workout snacks into your daily plan. You can also shift this structure to the morning if you like your workouts early. To keep your fire burning bright, eat every 2.5-3 hours. For your snacks, try to shoot for at least 10 grams of protein and 25-35 grams of carbohydrates by including 1 or 2 complex carbs (whole grains, veggies, most fruits, beans, brown rice, or oatmeal) and a little healthy fat (nuts, seeds, almond butter, low-fat dairy, or avocado). High-quality protein, carbs, and fats are going to keep you feeling satisfied and give you energy.

Nutritious Nibbles

  • 1 c. raspberries with ½ c. Greek yogurt
  • 1 small apple with 1 Tbsp almond or peanut butter
  • ½ c. cottage cheese with ½ c. mixed berries
  • 1 or 2 eggs (hard-boiled) with 2 whole-grain flatbreads
  • 2 Tbsp almond or peanut butter spread on 2-4 celery sticks
  • 6 carrot sticks with 1 low-fat mozzarella string cheese
  • 4 natural whole-wheat honey graham crackers with 10 red or green grapes
  • 1 c. low-fat milk (or almond milk) with 1 scoop chocolate (or other flavor) protein powder (can be whey or plant-based protein powder), along with a banana
  • Quick Basic Smoothie: 1 c. low-fat milk (or almond milk) with ¼ c. frozen or fresh berries with ½ fresh or frozen banana (Hint: Frozen fruit makes the smoothie thick and icy!)
  • 3 c. air-popped (or unsalted and unbuttered!) popcorn drizzled with 2 tsp flaxseed oil, 1 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese, and dash of cayenne pepper, along with 1 apple
  • 6-10 veggie pieces: celery, carrot, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, zucchini, or yellow squash dipped in 2 Tbsp hummus or low-fat vinaigrette dressing
  • Homemade Trail Mix: 2 Tbsp dried fruit, 1 Tbsp sunflower kernels or pumpkin seeds, 1 Tbsp unsalted nuts, and a pinch of unsweetened coconut flakes

If you need a basic snack, an apple and some nuts or maybe even a protein shake and a banana are great options. However, if you are headed to the gym, be sure to grab something rich in slow-burning carbs and lean protein (like oatmeal and scrambled egg whites) to fuel your efforts. Here’s one of my favorite recipes that I love to fix before working out. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Yum!

Yum!

Banana Blueberry Power Snack

  • 1 whole-wheat English muffin
  • 2 Tbsp almond butter
  • ½ banana
  • Small handful of blueberries
  • ½-1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
  • Small drizzle of honey

Toast both halves of the English muffin. Spread 1 Tbsp almond butter on each half of the muffin. Slice the banana into small slices, and then arrange the slices flat on each half. Place the blueberries around and in between banana slices (the berries tend to roll off—trust me!). Sprinkle ground flaxseed across each muffin half, and then drizzle each half with a little honey. Yum!!

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Keep fueling that beautiful body of yours, and have a super week!

~Brooke