Posts tagged ‘fitandfun’

May 15, 2013

Mini-Challenges and Many Cheers!

Finding time to work out has historically plagued the average American because it is thought to be  irritating, difficult, and not fun. Fitness is something many push-off until the very last-minute possible; as in, doctor’s orders, disease sets in, or the clothes simply do. not. fit. Groups of wellness warriors are stepping out and shouting from the roof tops that this is simply not true. More importantly, we’re starting to embrace the more intense, yet shorter workouts, so we can fit the activity into our busy days, saving longer workouts for another day. A fellow coach friend of mine challenged me to a daily fitness circuit for one month. Together, we would focus on three core moves and challenge ourselves to be stronger in these areas. As I moved through the month, I’ll admit that finding the extra 30 minutes in my day to complete this challenge was tough. Once time, I even found myself doing a series of push-ups, plank holds, and ab holds in a conference room during break time at an event I was attending. Now that’s being creative!

Equating fitness to failure, fatigue, and frustration is old-school thinking, and all you have to do is log onto Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest to check out the creative and clever ways busy Americans are fitting fitness and nutrition into their lifestyle. Organizations such as The Healthy Housewives hope to encourage and educate others as they continue to find their fit and healthy best. Since this means something different to everyone, I’d like to showcase and honor a few people/groups who are using what they have, during the time they can spare, to maintain a fit and fun lifestyle. The balancing act these ladies perform makes the “Crane Pose” in Yoga look easy. (I cannot seem to master the Crane Pose.)

The challenging but effective Crane pose.

The challenging but effective Crane pose.

A group of teachers in Plano, Texas are encouraging each other to do 100 push-ups a day. For each day they complete the challenge, they place a star on their display board as an honor and to encourage the other challengers. I’m sure the person with the most stars gets an award of some sort, but in my opinion, they all win simply for participating and challenging themselves. Talk about a team-building activity!

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Tracking progress and celebrating mini goals keeps motivation high!

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Having an accountability partner can push you beyond your own perceived limits.

 

Another group of ladies I know agreed to share plates each time they ate out for lunch and/or dinner. No matter who it was, they had to ask to split an order. If this wasn’t possible (oh say a client meeting or hosted event…), they had to only eat half of the order and leave the rest. It worked on the honor system, but with every day, they became more aware of portion size, what was excessive, and what their body truly needed. I can imagine this made for some excellent meal conversation as well. On some occasions, they were able to donate the funds of the other plate to help feed the hungry. Awesome!

I currently have a group of seven clients detoxing with the Advocare Herbal Cleanse, and they are using the 10-day cleanse to incorporate 30 minutes of cardio activity. Walking, jogging, swimming, and dancing with their children all count. Not only does sweating help move toxins through the body, they are stimulating the detoxification herbs working hard to clean out their bodies. My hope is that after the 10-day cleanse, they will continue the 30 minutes of activity because they feel amazing.

Finally, I received an email from a lady who managed to gather five co-workers to run the stairs of their corporate building during the lunch hour three times a week for one month. They have one week to go, and though it was tempting to skip on certain days, they proudly reported consistency and improvement in their pace. As for that 3:00 p.m. slump, two of them say it’s minimal now after implementing their group activity. Plans for the next month’s challenge are already in the works.

Be creative with your motivational board/displays.

Be creative with your motivational board/displays.

There are many other mini-challenges in the works around us; however, you get the point that having shorter/smaller goals to pin-point daily with one or several accountability partners may help you get your daily activity time DONE. And at the end of the day, isn’t that what we all want?

I still enjoy challenging myself, and trying out to be a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader was one of my favorite personal challenges (and bucket list item.)

I still enjoy challenging myself, and trying out to be a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader was one of my favorite personal challenges (and bucket list item.)

As for that blasted Crane Pose? Well, that’s today’s challenge for me, so I better hop to it.  In joyful health, Lacey

May 8, 2013

Picky Eater Options for a Non-Chef

Part of being a Healthy Housewife is doing one’s best to keep the entire home as healthy as possible. For me, that includes a husband, two teenagers, and two fur-babies. My step-daughter and I are surrounded by four other men in the household. I’m including both male pups along with the male humans. Ironically, both of us girls will pretty much each whatever; however, I have a sticky note with the following dietary preferences for the men:

Post Its

1. No onions, no chives, no humus, no cucumbers, no cauliflower, no mint gum

2. No mushrooms, no black olives, no spinach.

3. For both pups, separate feeding times, and peanut butter and ice cream are ideal treats. They love carrots and ice too.

Cooking is interesting and down-right frustrating on days I’m not feeling creative; however, I managed a few meals that won blue ribbons with the household, so I wanted to share:

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“Organic Chicken Skinny-Nuggets”

Cut four organic chicken breasts into cubes

Mix in bowl #1: Chipotle-flavored Tabasco sauce and olive oil

Mix in bowl #2: gluten-free bread crumbs or croutons, sea salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese

You know the drill! Drop cubes of chicken into bowl #1 then bowl #2; coat evenly and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes at 425 degrees; Flip and bake for 5-7 minutes more. Cool, and serve with dip of choice.

Mexican-Unfried-Ice-Cream

“Unfried Ice Cream

Ingredients:

  • Greek vanilla frozen yogurt
  • Special K Cereal, crushed
  • ground cinnamon
  • crushed almonds
  • Hershey’s dark-chocolate syrup (optional)
  • cherries or almond for topping (optional)
  • Truwhip for topping (optional)

Mix the cereal, cinnamon, and crushed almonds in a bowl. Scoop your frozen yogurt as normal and roll (lightly) in a bowl of the crushed Special K mixture. (You can also make three smaller “balls” for a different display option.) Set in a bowl and top as desired (depending on person’s preferences.)

Pinwheels

“Pinwheels”

With such picky eaters, this is one of my favorite “go-to” items.

Ingredients:

Favorite wrap or tortilla (based on preferences, there are gluten-free, whole-wheat, regular, or vegetable options)

Spreads: I make humus, almond butter, or cream cheese pinwheels–just not altogether. 🙂

“Meats”: I use Amy’s Bean Burger crumbles or patty (crumbled up), Garden Burger, or Turkey burger; however, you can use nitrate-free turkey or chicken slices as well. I also pair the following with the almond butter: raisins, dried fruits, smashed banana, warmed organic apple horizontal slices. If I’m having a sweet tooth, or an allergy attack, I simply spread locally-grown honey the almond butter and wrap it up. Yum.

Veggies: spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, or thinly-sliced squash

Roll your preferences, and slice into inch-thick slices. Arrange on your favorite platter or baggie them up for a boat cruise or family picnic.

NOTE: Bring peanut butter and a spoon for the pups.

I’m looking forward to learning so more picky-family friendly recipes, and I enjoy referencing the following on my journey.

http://www.skinnytaste.com

http://www.yummly.com

http://www.growingupherbal.com

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In health (and for the sake of keeping the peace), Lacey

May 1, 2013

Strength Training in a Cardio Body

I’ve been focusing on strengthening my muscles lately–specifically my upper-body. I challenged myself to 100 push-ups daily in April, and sitting here on May 1, I’m proud to say that I can see (and feel) a difference in the strength of my arms. Can you believe I think this has helped me become a faster runner? Crazy enough, I ran a 10k this morning at my fastest time yet. But I spent the month working on strength? What gives?

Strength IS Sexy–and quick too. I averaged around 10 miles a week in April, but accomplished 3,000 push-ups (About 30% modified on knees) and became a faster runner. Who knew?!

What’s the challenge for May? I’m kinda hooked on this strength stuff, so I plan to attack the plank. I say the challenge is going to be: May Plank Meditation Mornings! Who’s with me?

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April 27, 2013

Enhance Your Rest Time!

Hey busy momma, hurried corporate gal, and sassy working, college student–this is for you too! I don’t know about you, but I can’t decide which part of my wellness regime I love more: my long run days or my R&R days. I want to chat about the options for your rest and relaxation portion of your overall wellness focus. Many folks hear the words, “health and wellness” and automatically find themselves in the gym, hungry, and frustrated. Not the case, my sassy skeptics. Wellness is sexy, entertaining, and enjoyable. Your grandmother’s wellness strategies have no place in our new enlightened and energetic world. Your mother’s opinion of how to stay trim, fit, and lady-like has received a B-12 shot, and we are now collectively changing the way women care for their bodies, minds, and spirits. If we were chatting together right now, I would insist on a group toe-touch, in celebration.
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You’ve started implementing exercise and activity into your weekly routine. Great job! You’ve taken inventory of your pantry and refrigerator and are nourishing yourself with alkalinizing, anti-inflammatory foods. Go you! And you are supplementing with high-quality vitamins and products when necessary to give your body what it needs to optimally perform. High five, friend! Now, give it a rest from time-to-time! You are busting tail to sculpt your tail into its sexiest shape, and you’re finally fueling your temple like a princess. Let’s look at some ways to honor your hard work and give yourself the bear hug you deserve, wrapped in a big, Tiffany-blue bow!

1. Essential Oils/Aromatherapy: retreat to a private area of your home and soak or rub away the day with pure essential oils. Practice one of my favorite deep-breathing techniques by reciting the following: (breathe in) “I am grateful, thankful, and joyful.” (breathe out) “I toss out anger, hate, and shame.” Of course, this is your ritual and your day of rest so change up the words to fit your life’s blessings and challenges. The point is to breathe in goodness and push away toxic emotions. All the while, breathing in tantalizing collections of lavender, lemongrass, or eucalyptus depending on your personal favorite scents. Check out: www.youngliving.com for some fabulous pure oil options.

2. Dry Brushing: again, best if you find a relaxing, private area to brush, simply take a natural-bristle bush or loofah glove and gently rub away dead cells, circulate your lymphatic system, wake up your immune system, and support your circulation all while reducing cellulite and softening your skin. As the largest organ of your body, don’t you think it deserves some TLC? When your skin is unclogged, you’ll release more of those nasty toxins you’ve collected through the years.

3. Therapeutic baths: Find a practitioner you trust and enjoy an infrared sauna session or steam bath. You’ll be detoxing heavy metals, chemicals, and other poisons while stimulating water-based organs like your kidneys, bladder, and lungs. Consider an ionic foot soak (yours truly prefers the LectroChi Ionic Foot Soak from www.lectrochi.com) if you don’t have time to de-robe for a full-on body bath. I’ve have numerous lunch hour foot soak clients who simply need a quick re-energizing pause in their day. If you don’t have access to a practitioner, drop a few lavender essential oil droplets and some Epsom salts into your bath tub and crank up the Frank Sinatra, Adele, Enya, and Michael Buble’ playlist you titled “Me time.”

4. Yoga and Stretching: I just can’t get enough of this stuff. Carve out the time and make it count. Seclude yourself to a cooler, quiet area or room; light your favorite candle (does it get better than the scent “Breezy Beach?”); play some light-classical music. Practice your deep breathing when diving into each pose or stretch. When negative things come into your mind, say “no” and find a happy visual. Visualize a person or place that brings you joy. Set your mind thee and when it strays, simply whisper “no” and go back. When the pose or stretch is challenging, recite blessings as you hold the pose/stretch.

5. Sleep: Sometimes you’ve given all you can for the day and its time to hit the gluten-free biscuit. Why not dress in your favorite pajamas, and rub some essential oils on your pulse points. This will tell your body it is time to calm down, relax, and chat with the man in the moon a bit. Grab that fuzzy, girlie, eye mask that your husband and children make fun of and block the world (and stimulating light) from your sight. Goodnight, sweet friend!
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Honor your rest time. It’s part of your overall health and wellness, and will make those sexy muscles and your sassy physique look even more stunning! Joyfully, Lacey

April 21, 2013

An App a Day…

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What do they say? “An App a day keeps the doctor away?” Maybe not just like that, but with the myriad of technology tools available for fitness-minded people, it’s a wonder weren’t not the leanest, fittest country on the planet.  Sadly, we’re closer to the fattest and most-unhealthy in terms of nourishment and activity level. Some Americans feel that you have to pick a side–fitness-focused with a strict diet or simply unhealthy. It’s possible to create a fit and fun lifestyle tailored toward your personal preferences and needs. All it takes is some creativity and some “App”lication. There’s an App that will count calories for you, act as a personal trainer, do both, or show you the closest trails, gyms, and food resources to fit your lifestyle. 

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My new favorite is an App that will inform you of substitutions for favorite recipes! Did you know you can use almond flour is you want to try gluten-free cookies? Arrowroot is an excellent fill-in for corn starch! If a recipe calls for breadcrumbs, opt for grinding oats in a food processor or chia seed/flax seed in a coffee grinder. You can actually make brownies using puréed black beans! It’s an amazing App for my picky-eating family too. Someone can’t stand onions, break out the garlic, leeks, and/or celery. 

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As a holistic nutrition student who opts for the vegan/vegetarian lifestyle from time to time, another favorite App is Filibaba Meals. The built-in timer is a nice addition to a wide variety of mouth-watering, animal-void recipes. To confuse everyone around me, I follow more of a “flexatarian nourishment plan” meaning that although I have my personal beliefs about food sources, I try to remain flexible so not to set off an anxiety attack in myself and/or my family members and friends. 
As a travelista (logging around three to five flights monthly), I’m stuck resorting to almonds and herbal tea (no cream or sugar) most trips, as some regions, towns, business associates still only offer standard American diet basics. No harm, no foul–we all move at our own pace, and I’ve always felt that the person/party with the pickiest preferences should bring their own provisions.  It doesn’t seem right to be frustrated when a location doesn’t have my personal preferences available. After all… I’m the guest. That’s why you’ll always find a baggie (or two) of almonds and/or cashews in my travel bag. 
However, no matter your location, use the App, Restaurant Finder to locate food options around you, save favorite restaurants at specific locations, and read/write reviews for restaurants, so fellow travelers can get their diet needs met too. (By the way, check out HMSHost’s new App that allows you to order food from airport restaurants and have it delievered to your gate. brilliance! Now deliver my TSA-approved favorite hairspray, hair cream, and perfume to my gate and I am set!)
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Sort of like how Google makes us all smarter, the growing number of fitness and nutrition-related Apps available allow us to remain proactive in our health and wellness journey. Since none of us have extra time to research best food options or find creative ways to get a workout in, let technology work for us. Plus, this makes me feel better after I gave technology so much grief for keeping my clients glued to either their television sets, iPads, or iPhones too long, thus stealing precious time away from their day–time they could use to workout, prepare wholesome meals, or visit in person with family and friends for some positive affirmation time. 
 
The next time you click on the App store from your smart phone or find yourself perusing iTunes to update your workout music mix, consider searching fitness and nutrition apps. Lets make technology and our smart phones, pads, and computers work for our health and wellness goals, so we can free up the time spent in doctor’s office waiting rooms. 
 
Some personal favorite Apps:
Fitocracy (compete in fitness quests with other challengers)
GymPact (if you enjoy a little gambling and competition) 
Runkeeper (every traveling runner’s best friend) 
Healthy Desserts by Green Kitchen (For when the sweet tooth strikes and won’t back down.) 
Eat Right for your Blood Type (food suggestions based on your blood type) 
Whole Foods Market Recipes (obvious) 
 
After you choose one or two favorites, check-in with your App daily for optimal results. The last thing you need is more dead weight–on your body and in your App library.  In health–Lacey 
 
April 10, 2013

MANicures and Mistakes

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            A small disclaimer before diving into this week’s topic: men don’t need to be cured, fixed, or polished. It is my opinion that men need to be allowed to be men. Some of my girlfriends are rolling their eyes at me as they read this. The second part of my belief is that if they are allowed to be men, they are happier, better partners in life, and that benefits us (ladies!) Whether you’re dating, married, or have male friends, I’m sure everyone agrees that it’s nice when the men in our lives are happy.

 

            I mentioned aloud that I needed to get a manicure (and pedicure) for an upcoming beach trip. To which, my husband admitted that he needed to drop some “winter weight” for the trip. When he asked what he should do, I recalled in my head the last time I tried to manage his nutrition and plan his meals. Epic fail. I pushed too hard, and I didn’t work with his personal boundaries. (e.g.; full-bodied, quality beer is a must, not light beer; eating meat isn’t a negotiable topic; and he’s not a runner, but he is a fast walker and a weight lifter.) I pushed my ideals on him and didn’t leave room for negotiation. We both were left frustrated, uninspired, and frankly… needing a stiff drink.

 

            In response to his comment this time about losing some weight before our beach vacation, I said, “what does that look like to you?” He explained his goal in specific detail. My second question was, “How committed are you?” To which he replied, “I’m not giving up pasta, and I’ll never eat kale… I want to have two beers three times a week… and I’ll work out five times a week for at least 30 minutes.” Since we had three weeks, this will work. Plus, I was more encouraged about his interest in healthier living, not just in the weight loss, so I got to work. The 80/20 rule fit in nicely with my husband’s nutritional criteria; Advocare’s multi-vitamins and Spark drink would ensure he received the minerals and vitamins he needed daily; and I made the commitment to do exercise time with him as often as possible for motivation, but also for accountability. I pulled out the most exciting and fun workouts I had, so he enjoyed the sweat time. When I would go for a run, he fast-walked with the pups, then we’d do weights together. Working our goals into our lifestyle is the ticket!

 

            Fast forward to three weeks later, my husband met his goal and felt a difference. The plan actually stuck around after the vacation too, which was an added bonus for both of us. Some other benefits were the struggling together during a set of jump-squats or bench presses; the singing out loud to workout music; the looks our pups gave us as we growled through the workout; the post-exercise glow we had when we met friends for a night out. When you look, feel, and perform your best, you do all of life better. Also, when couples sweat together, they stay together. We celebrated little triumphs like when we managed to make broccoli and other greens taste yummy, or when we added to our reps during a workout. We didn’t beat ourselves up when we missed a beat with our diet or exercise routine. And when he looked up at me from a bowl of his favorite pasta creation and said, “It’s my 20% babe…” I just had to smile.

 

     

Working out with a spouse (or friend, or child) is fantastic mutli-tasking! Quality time and a workout!

Working out with a spouse (or friend, or child) is fantastic mutli-tasking! Quality time and a workout!

My husband and I at a messy 5k showing it doesn't always matter who wins. If you're getting healthy together--everyone wins!

My husband and I at a messy 5k showing it doesn’t always matter who wins. If you’re getting healthy together–everyone wins!

Men and women have varying goals, motivations, and commitment levels. We’re each willing to give up different things. Conversely, we have those things we refuse to give up. My toes will always be ready for flip flop season, and my husband will always have his morning cup of coffee. The key is to find ways to implement healthier habits into your life together and to always keep first things first… like family, friends, and laughter.

 

 

 

 

Some FUN Q&A from Our Home to Yours

 

“Does golfing with the guys count as my activity?” Only if you do squats before you swing at each hole.

 

“Do the beers I have on our date nights count?” Not if we are both smiling and enjoying the time together. 

 

“Is all sugar bad?” Not if it’s in a dessert I want, and we share.

 

“The kids want to order pizza and stay in with us Friday night, can we eat that?” Yes we can and with gratitude over the fact they want to stay in and eat pizza with us. (This is a 20% situation.)

 

“What do you want to bet?” Loser has to do 25 pushups (especially funny if we are out in public.)

 

Keeping healthy is a family affair... sometimes it's messy, but we are committed!

Keeping healthy is a family affair… sometimes it’s messy, but we are committed!