Top 5 Health & Fitness Decisions

Fuzzy

I am thrilled to be back into the Fit Dish link up with Jessica Joy and Jill Conyers. It’s been 3 weeks too long, but who is counting?! Today is all about my top 5 best health and fitness decisions. In fact, I think I will make this the top 5 best health and fitness decisions that ANYONE can make (and should make if not already). How ’bout ‘dem apples?

In the words of my favorite Fuzzy’s Taco Shop cup, “Oh Queso let’s do this….”

{ONE} Finding a FAVORITE workout or two (or three). I truly think the reason I look forward to being active is because I have found activities that I enjoy. If running on a treadmill or elliptical for the rest of my life was a requirement to being active, I would be a sedentary potato head. But, I took the time to find activities that I love and because of that, they MOVE me. They get me off the couch.

{TWO} Saying no to dieting. This was a tough one. Who doesn’t like the promise of a skinny tomorrow? Diets can be like vacations where the anticipation is half the fun! But, they failed me. And they fail you. Diets disconnect you from your body. Diets allow fear to rule your roost. And, let’s be honest, they create WAY TOO MUCH FOCUS on food. Who the heck wants to think about food all the live long day? Don’t we have peeps to hang out with? Spreading love and joy is something to say yes to in place of dieting! Trust in that body of yours… it’s a lesson many of us need to learn and it’s okay if it takes awhile to fully sink in.

{THREE} Finding support. Humans strive for connection and we can all find connection in a variety of areas, whether at home, with friends, or even in an online community. It’s easy to turn to social media for the wrong things (obsessing over other people’s picture perfect life), but it can be used for some great things. Hello, motivation, support, and kick-ass #fitfam friends!!! Take advantage of online support if you do not have as much support at home or live alone.

{FOUR} Calming the mind when necessary… and it’s almost always necessary. I am convinced that stress leads to more weight gain and diseases than anything else on the planet. It’s the hardest thing to objectively fix. Think about it… to be healthy, I can eat more fruits and veggies or run 30 minutes per day. Those are simple goals for most people. But, reducing stress is so personal that each individual has to figure out the technique that works for them. Heck, for us crazy, goal-oriented, always moving type of people, having to do a certain number of stress reduction techniques can stress us out. How’s that for ironic? So, instead of reading all the self-help books out there and doing an hour of yoga each day, find simple ways to calm that noggin’ of yours. Sometimes all it takes is a little bit of sunshine!

{FIVE} Focusing on balanced health, rather than perfect health. I love being healthy. I have created a career out of it by becoming a dietitian and teaching group exercise classes. I am passionate about it. But, rest, relaxation, and play are just as essential. I do have days where I don’t workout and I am totally fine with it. There was a time where if I had a day off, I kinda freaked out. I ended up not liking that person very much so I changed. And thank goodness, because now if I eat cookies, miss a workout, have a lounge day, or drink wine with friends I just savor it. And maybe the next day I have an awesome workout. Or not. Having balance is better health than striving for perfect health. No guilt allowed!

There you have it friends. What is one thing that would be on top of your list?

Take Your Pick: Health Challenges

challenges

I know I have said this before, but I LOVE health challenges. I love them because they are a fun and simple way to create new habits or delete the old. Challenges give you stepping stones to reach a new goal… we are told to love the journey, right?

So, if you are like me… perhaps you are looking for a new health challenge to embark upon. I am thrilled to the nines for a January yoga challenge I just found out about. And I will mention it here, but since yoga isn’t currently everyone’s thang I have a list of five different health challenges you can do after the holidays.

I do not recommend doing all 5 at once unless you really do want to pull your hair out. Pick a couple and enjoy every moment!

This is not a “best of” list… just one that I put together after hearing of a few random challenges coming up. If you know of any more, please let me know. I particularly LOVE instagram photo challenges and have not seen one lately.

{Challenge #1} If you are like me and want to do a yoga challenge in January, I highly recommend the 30 days of yoga with Yoga With Adriene. You can click here to sign up for the challenge and find out more details. It is absolutely FREE!

{Challenge #2} If you are wanting to follow the next fad diet as your new year’s resolution, I highly recommend you don’t and instead break up with diets. My blogger friend and fellow dietitian has a free 21 day break up with diets forever challenge on her website. You can click here to sign up for the challenge. You will see the sign up at the top and side bar. Feel good in that body of yourS!

{Challenge #3} Have you EVER done a Tone It Up series? They NEVER disappoint and my favorite series is coming up in January, the Love Your Body Series. Tone It Up has not announced the series on their website yet, but it is usually announced the last few days of December. You can click here to visit their website and check back around December 29th. Or you can always check back on my blog. I will be participating in this again this year so will likely post about it.

{Challenge #4} Many of us have the nutrition and fitness down, but need help with stress management. Is that you? If so, try this free meditation challenge through One Mind Live. It’s only one week long and starts on December 24th, ending on January 1st. Just enough time to get you started on a meditation routine! You can click here to sign up.

{Challenge #5} Are you as in love with beachbody programs as I am? I have Turbofire, Insanity, and PIYO. I love them all, but am currently only doing PIYO. I haven’t done a beachbody challenge in awhile, but if you are wanting some extra support during your beachbody workouts I highly suggest hooking up with a beachbody coach for a challenge. Every coach and challenge is different, but the only investment is usually shakeology (which is very tasty!). I know some great coaches if you need recommendations and you can click on their name to be taken to their Facebook page: Johanna Hatcliff, Marisa Owen, and Laura O’Melia. You get hands on support during these challenges and can meet new peeps!

Alright, dear friends.. how is that to end the year and start anew in 2015? Wishing you well!

Why carbs are not evil!

fruits-and-vegetables

With every New Year comes millions of dieters and gym goers with GREAT intentions.  I teach at a local Pure Barre studio and it never fails, the classes are PACKED this time of year.  The regulars are forced to waiting lists and sniffing others armpits.  Okay, not really, but you get the picture.  Room is tighttttt!

Lately, I have been seeing many social media posts about diets.  I even saw one where a lady posted she has been fruit-free for 2 years.  Admitting it like she deserves a prize.  Others are ridding themselves of the bread basket or other bad habits.  I can dig that.  Another post was praising the Atkins diet.  Gross!  And finally tons of posts about Paleo diet and how it is the only way to go.  (Rolls eyes).  What is up with this crazy anti-carb talk?

Carbs are not evil.  And here is why…

  1. The definition of evil is: profoundly immoral and malevolent.  Food itself isn’t immoral.. now, the person eating it could be, but that’s a different story.
  2. Carb is short for carbohydrate.  The definition of a carbohydrate is: any of a group of organic compounds that includes sugars, starches, celluloses, and gums, and serves as a major energy source in the diet of animals.  Energy.. what it takes to move, sleep, play with your kids, walk your dog, and you get the idea.
  3. Carbs include a whole range of foods.  Even some foods you can plant yourself would be classified as a carb (like many fruits and vegetables).  Cereal, cookies, crackers, bread, and chips would also be classified as a carb.  To go completely carb-free is to rid yourself of extremely valuable nutrients.
  4. The difference between a marathon completer and one that can’t even finish mile 10 is often carbs (among other things).  Those GU (or any other brand) packets you see runners with have carbohydrates to keep one’s energy level up.  Carbohydrates are FUEL for workouts.  How cool is that?
  5. The word is fun to say, is it not?  Carbohydrate sounds pretty positive to me.  The word devil or axe murderer?  That’s a different story.  You can put those in the “evil” basket.

So if you are like the lady going “fruit-free”, please reevaluate.  Fruits are full of vitamins and nutrients.  And if it is your calling to follow the Atkins or Paleo diet, by all means go ahead. But, educate yourself.  Be the boss of your body and treat it right.  Any diet that takes out a whole nutrient source is just silly.. and quite frankly restrictive, boring, and unnecessary.

I leave you with this… carbs are not evil.  Carbs are fuel.