Changing our behavior to become healthier takes work. Think of it like practicing your golf swing. No one is good at it the first time up to the tee. In fact many times we miss the ball totally the first time but after a bit of time, some help from a coach, encouragement from peers, you get better.
In my experience, changing our normal will involve some mishaps- some missed balls. That's okay. Its practice. I know many of us want to be perfect and not let others see our mishaps. But you are human and so are we. You'll get back up and keep on practicing.
Next time you decide to add in more vegetables or stop eating mindlessly while watching TV or taking seconds when you're not really hungry anymore remember to practice the new you.
It is actually freeing to stop trying to be perfect. You can learn your own resilience through struggles.
To Your Best Health,
There is no substitute for the power of vegetables as part of your nutrition plan. Vegetables are loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber.
Your mom is not the only one who knew the scoop on how great vegetables are for you. Here’s what Dr. John Berardi over at Precision Nutrition has to say:
“Eating higher levels of veggies and fruits are associated with a lower incidence of:
Here’s a pretty cool graphic (also from PN) that illustrates another great thing about vegetables – they fill you up, literally!
You want to aim for 5 "fists" of vegetables per day. Ideally, the majority of those "fists" would come from non-starchy vegetables. Strive for 3-5 fists of non-starchy vegetables and 0-2 fists of starchy vegetables. (This is VERY important for Fat Loss)
Getting in 5 servings a day is much simpler than you might think, so no worries – ok?
The great thing about using your own fist as a guideline for portion control is that you always have it with you anywhere you go!
This means you should still keep your veggies in mind at restaurants, when eating on the go, or anywhere else.
It is almost impossible to over consume most non-starchy vegetables, so fill up on these foods without worry. If anything, put your effort towards making sure you eat enough of them, as opposed to too much.
"Every question you have about your health, chances are vegetables are the answer."- Coach Nancy
Here is one of my family's favorite recipe. It's for Vegetable Fettuccine. My kids love to help me make this but they devour it up as well. I serve it with our fantastic Spaghetti Sauce and Voila 5 servings of veggies easy peasy.
To Your Best Health,
One of the great mysteries of the world, finally solved!
Dean Carlson, Pn2
A very common question I hear regards what to eat around workout times. When, what type of food, and how much. If you know anything about me by now, it's that my answer is going to be; "It depends".
Personally I train in the morning, and the only thing I have before I train is a cup of coffee. On strength training days, I consume BCAA's, and recently have played around with adding Creatine to that mix as well. Then I eat a regular meal when I get home. The cool infographic below, produced by our friends at Precision Nutrition, outlines that strategy. I use it for two reasons:
1. It applies to my body type and goals. I have a slow metabolism, am sensitive to carbs, and am trying to keep my body fat down while getting stronger.
2. It works for me. It's not just a matter of someone telling me to do it, it's experimenting and seeing what happens. I have tried to higher carb workout shakes and post-training regimen, and I just gain body fat when I used that method.
The take home? Do what works for you. Determining that may take a little trial and error, but I assure you it's worth it. Your results and recovery will show you the way!
You can get a fully printable version of this infographic by clicking here, and you can get a more thorough explanation of the infographic and see the latest research in the PN article: Workout Nutrition Explained: What to eat before, during, and after exercise.
Our passion is helping cut through the confusion surrounding your diet and exercise, and coaching you up so you can learn to live lean and healthy for the rest of your life. We offer as little or as much coaching as you need. Check out some ways to get started here.
I have a little advice for you this year on Valentines Day. Let me give you a little poke and prodding. You have 1day left to figure a way to express your feelings towards your loved ones. Let me help you get your creative juices flowing. Let me explain a few “do’s and don’ts” to Valentines Day.
Here’s a few ‘deal’ breakers:
Are you feeling lost and forelorn? no worries, I have a few ideas for you, and some you won’t even have to leave your desk to obtain.
A simple card will suffice, but only if personally picked out by YOU. Or how about making a card or write a poem? Flowers, although perfectly acceptable, bump it up. Instead of cut flowers, give a flowering plant/tree that will be enjoyed for years to come. A continual reminder of your love throughout the year.
A gift card for a massage or a manicure/pedicure… a little spa time. Show your significant other they deserve a little pampering.
Do you want your special someone to know they hold the moon and stars? … have a star in the galaxy named after them. Adopt a manatee/eagle/turtle in need of rescuing. Donate to a worthy cause or charity in your loves name.
No money… no worries…Take a stroll, hike, snowshoe, ski, exercise together. Watch a movie together. Quality time! While you are together, hold hands, steal kisses, whisper sweet nothings. Make every moment special. It doesn’t have to cost a thing.
Put a little thought into your gift this year. It should come from the heart, it’s not about a price tag, some of the greatest gifts cost nothing. There is truth to ‘it’s the thought that counts’.
Valentines Day is a chance to show that special someone how much you love and admire them. Its a day to throw a little romance their way.
Happy Valentines Day!
Two things, don't sweat it, and don't make it a habit. Just do this.
Dean Carlson, Pn2
It can happen to any of us. You haven't missed a day in the gym for weeks, and then BAM! You get sick, or have a week of late meeting, or life "just happens". Sound anything like your life? Don't despair - you can still keep things moving in the right direction by taking just 10 minutes to focus on yourself.
It's inevitable. One of my best clients, the superstar who does "everything right" - never misses training, is on point with their eating, gets enough sleep - "that guy or girl", gets derailed by the holidays, or vacation, or a stressful time at work.
Falls right off the wagon, and stays there for months, or worse.
Doing all the "right things" does great things for you, physiologically and psychologically. When you are taking care of yourself and exercising regularly your heart and lungs function better, your move better, heck you even think better - TRUE STORY.
But the opposite is true when you stop exercising regularly. Those benefits start to fade away, and it happens quicker than we would like.
The good news is it doesn't have to take a ton of time to maintain the gains you have, at least over the short term. The workout below isn't going to turn you into Buff Buffington, but it will keep you moving and even more importantly, in the habit of moving when life gets in the way.
Download the infographic for your printer or tablet, and keep it handy when your regular workout just isn't going to happen.
To make sure you have your "stay in shape" plan handy next time you need it, download the infographic and print a copy or save it to your tablet.
Most people know that regular movement, eating well, sleep, and learning to manage stress are important for not only looking better, but for health. But for applying that knowledge we can sometimes use a little help.
We specialize in giving that help to our clients - who have busy, stress-filled lives, and need help making it easier to fit "one more thing" (even though it might be the most important thing) into their life.
If that's you, let us know, and we'll see how we can help you too.
Here are a couple of strategies to help you find the best meal prepping technique for you.
On Sunday afternoon (or whatever day you have 2-3 hours) put in an epic cooking session. Bulk cook everything you will need fo assembling meals throughout the week. Fire up the oven, get all your pans out, plug in the rice cooker, and start filling up crockpots. This strategy works well for 1-2 person households or VERY busy households that don't have much time in the evening.
This is probably the most common strategy.
On Sunday afternoon and Wednesday evening cook up what you need for the next 3 days. Make a 3-day meal plan and get to it. This is a great strategy to save yourself a ton of time in the kitchen. Spend 1-2 hours prepping, cooking, and cleaning and then don't cook for 3 days. This strategy works well for a larger family that has evening obligations most days of the week.
Each meal prep day will probably take you about 2 hours of cooking (4 hours per week), but then you are off the hook for days, which ultimately saves you lots of time and hassle. Put in the work on the front end and save time on the back end.
Some people like to cook and enjoy cooking most days of the week. For this type of person, try the double portion dinner strategy.
Each time you make your evening meal, you will make a double portion and save the second portion for lunch the next day. You get two birds with one stone.
What do you do to make your food preparations go faster or smoother?
We'd love to hear from you in the comment section below.
To Your Best Health,
Have you ever been too hungry? Like over the top, watch out hungry?
I know I have.
What do you during those times?
Sad to say, I usually don't make the best choices when I am that hungry. If I'm at home, I usually pack my plate too high but eat it all anyway because I just couldn't stop. If I'm out and about....... watch out sugary treats......
This week, I did make better choices. I'm proud of myself. So besides telling us what you do when you get TOO hungry, let us know what you are proud of yourself for.
What is your body saying to you right now? The clock is saying noon, but my body is saying I'm still all set. No need for me to pick up the fork to eat yet. I'm not hungry yet.
How cool is that?
I had this shake for breakfast today at 8am. Its held off my hunger for 4 hours. Eating foods that will keep you full longer will help you manage your hunger. You'll soon be a Master at hunger management.
1/2 cup decaf coffee
1 1/2 cup of water
2 scoops of chocolate Ultimate Muscle Protein (UMP) powder
6 Tablespoons of flax meal (flax seed ground up in blender as I mixed the shake)
2 Tablespoons of coconut flour
Blended up and yummy
What are you going to eat in order to keep you satisfied longer?
To your best health,
What does hunger feel like?
Everyone describes it a bit differently, how do you describe that feeling?
Some have described it as: "Well, when I am in a good, healthy eating pattern, hunger feels like a grumbly gnawing feeling, but bearable. When I have eaten too many carbs and sugars for a stretch, hunger feels like more of an empty, must shove food in now feeling, usually with some shakiness because my blood sugar has dropped. I can always tell the clear difference."
Others like this: "I'm not sure I know what hunger really feels like. When I'm being mindful, I usually need to stop and think, am I really hungry right now or is it something else? When it's hunger, there is an empty feeling. I often think I am hungry but in reality I am procrastinating on a job task that I don't want to do. Procrastination and then stress because I am not doing what I should be leads me to eating when I am not hungry.
What does hunger feels like to you?
Listening to our bodies is one of our biggest assets.
Mastering is allowing our body to talk to us knowing we will listen.
Listening to how your body feels while you eat. Understanding the level at which you need to eat in order to remain comfortably full, not overstuffed, and yet ‘feel’ hunger before it is time to eat again sounds easy but is much more difficult to do.
Take the challenge. Eat each meal this week only if you feel hunger before hand.
Tell me what you find out about yourself.
To your best health,
Have you ever found yourself giving others a break for a small mistake or bad choice while condemning yourself for that same action? I do.
Student: "I ate a huge bowl of ice cream yesterday because it was there and it looked great."
Me: "Yes, but look at all the other stuff you did great yesterday. You ate a fantastic breakfast, you are drinking one cup of regular coffee instead of 4 like before, and you avoided the fried foods at lunch."
I end up encouraging them. I've helped them to see the good in their life.
BUT if I do that same thing.
Me : I ate three cookies at lunch actually they were lunch.
Me: I can't believe you ate three cookies. What were you thinking? Well you better not do that ever Ever EVER again. Actually you don't do much right, so never mind. You're hopeless.
(Yes, I do the same thing....give others lots of slack and encouragement while beating myself up...a work in progress for sure.)
You: I ate three cookies at lunch; actually, they WERE lunch.
Me: Were they worth it? Are we back on-board with a supper plan? If it's not a lunchtime habit, forget it and move on. In times of stress and rushing from place to place I have survived worst lunches.
Here is a way to move on from it and use it to do better the next time. (Though this is STILL a hard one for me! ) In the long run the 3 cookies won't sink you, unless you let them.
Tell yourself you did a great job at ______________today.
Go ahead a I dare you. What did you do today better than most?
Here is a list I saw just this morning:
People Motivating others
Moms Taking care of their mom.
Running 2 miles and walking 4 more
Rocking the chin up bar this morning ..!
Getting myself to 5 am training
Training as hard as I could today
Planning my supper
When you find yourself discouraged for one action or poor choice. Find other actions or great choices that will spur you onto better action.
To your best health,
Stress is Stress is Stress. Job, family pressures, traffic, how you train, how you eat - it all adds up. Here's how to find the "sweet spot" to help push your progress forward.
complied by Dean Carlson, Pn2
It's something we face every day, and usually we think of stress as a "bad thing".
Too much stress is, but not enough stress is just as bad when it comes to making your best progress.
For those of you who train using a system like BioForce HRV, you have a great tool to dial in just the right amount of stress to reach your potential, without burning out.
This infographic from our friends at PN explains the crucial factors in balance allostatic load, and some concrete steps to get it right.
You can also read this article on Heart Rate Variability and how you can further dial it all in.
Don't forget you can also download the infographic for printing, and share it with your frazzled friends! 🙂
Stress is no joke, and taking positive steps to focus stress to our favor is a big part of not only our fitness, but our happiness in general.
For those of us who tend to the "anxious, obsessive, aggravated side of the spectrum, putting these action steps into practice could be just what we need. Put some of that new found knowledge into action, today!