It's safe to exercise during pregnancy...here's how.
by Coach Nancy Carlson
Most women can, and should, exercise during pregnancy. As a mom of 6 and a physical preparation coach, I tell women they are training for the hardest thing you have ever done. Building your strength and endurance can make a huge difference when it comes to your delivery.
Research shows that both you and your baby can gain tremendous health benefits, both now and down the road, if you exercise during your pregnancy.
But as with most things, knowing what and how much to do is key to gaining those benefits.
Our friends at Precision Nutrition produced this helpful guide for staying lean and fit during pregnancy, effectively and safely.
You can download your own copy to print and share with your friends by clicking here.
You'll be the cool mom-to-be!
Click here for a fully printable version of this infographic. You can take them to the gym, share them with your OB, or just keep them as a handy reminder next time you train.
Want to learn more? Coach John Berardi, PhD, has written a complete explanation of this infographic in his article "Pregnancy Workouts: How to exercise during pregnancy."
Let's face it. Life is getting busier and busier, and sometimes something has just gotta give.
For many that "something" is time in the kitchen, cooking and eating. Whether it's late nights at the office or running the kids all over creation, more and more the choice is "eating out".
One of the problems this creates less control of portion sizes, and the vast array of choices makes it oh-so-easy to eat way more than is helpful for our health and fitness goals. The fact that so often we are stressed and rushed when we are doing makes it even more likely our choices will be, let's say, less than optimal.
But first let's get some perspective.
If you go out to eat once or twice a month, or less, indulging in something you enjoy is not going to set you back for very long, if at all. There is some amazing food out there to taste, and I enjoy it as much as the next person.
But I know people who eat out two, three or more times a week, either out of necessity or choice. And travel is a whole 'nother animal, right?
When that's the case, we need a strategy to navigate through all those big portion sizes and calorie traps. It's a losing battle to eat out without one.
And that's what the Restaurant Cheat Sheet is all about.
Actually I think "Cheat Sheet" is selling it short, as this 53 Page e-book offers nutritional guidance and menu ordering tips for:
Get yours for absolutely free below, and let me know how it has helped you.
There is no need to pull out the food scale and count calories all the time. This is easier.
By Dean Carlson (with a little help from his friends)
If you are like most people, you don't want to do math every time you eat. The good news is you don't have to when you learn how to use this handy calorie control guide. It's a lot more practical than carrying a food scale everywhere!
It's one thing to know what to eat. Most of us know we need less twinkies, more veggies.
But it's another thing altogether to know how much to eat. Because no matter what your goal is; lose bodyfat, gain muscle, or even both, portion control matters.
And the dirty little secret about counting calories is out - research shows it can be up to 25% inaccurate, up or down. That is an enormous difference than can really frustrate even the best mathematician.
So let's do this instead.
So much simpler!
Click here for a fully printable version of this infographic. Keep a copy in your kitchen and another at the office for easy reference during every meal.
Note: If you want more resources like this one, check out ProCoach Nutrition Coaching. In addition to personal coaching, accountability, and support, you'll get access to more visual guides, worksheets, and learning materials that help our clients find healthy eating and lifestyle strategies that just plain work in their busy lives.
9 reasons that "healthy eating" isn't as straightforward as we would like it to be.
by Dean Carlson
I get it. There seems to be so much conflicting evidence and expert opinion how what the "best way" is to eat. But a lot of time it boils down the scientific process and the nature of discovery. We use the best information we have available at the time, and when new data comes in we analyze what it means and whether we need to "pivot" on recommendations.
Are eggs good for you, or killers? What about coconut oil? Someone told me if I eat too much broccoli I'll turn green. (Wait, I actually think that was my 12 year old trying to get out of it.)
You get the point. What was once "settled science" now has proved to be not as clear as we thought. And while that is aggravating, it is the nature of how science should work.
Isn't nutrition science just one big mess?
It can certainly seem that way. One study says one thing, one says another.
And people who really want to do the right thing when it comes to nutrition and fitness are stuck in the middle, dazed and confused.
It's not as bad as you think
You see, science doesn't happen in a moment in time. Competing theories, the ones that make sense and the ones that don't, ALL have to be considered, studied, and tested, sometimes over hundreds of years, before we find out who the "winner" is.
Nutrition science hasn't even been around very long, in the grand scheme of things. Macronutrients (fat, protein and carbs) weren't even discovered until the mid-1800's. Vitamins? The 1900s.
And it's really been in only the last 20 years that we have had to investigate first world nutrition problems - a lot of available, tasty, and highly processed foods - and very little movement.
It will get better.
Nutrition science will mature; the scientific method is at work.
In the meantime, take a look at this infographic that shows us 9 reasons why nutrition science can be so maddening.
And why the media (sometimes? often?) doesn't get it right.
So while it may not make you any happier, at least we have some very good reasons why nutrition science can be so confusing at times. And why listening to the media about it is not always the best tactic.
Print out or download this infographic, and next time a study comes out that makes you want to binge eat ho-ho's, pull it out as a reminder that it's not as bad as it seems. You can also share it with your friends that are feeling the same frustration, I bet they'll appreciate it.
How should I eat?
Eating better and getting more active can be overwhelming at times. At The Grateful Plate, we help make it less confusing so you are confident you are headed in the right direction.
The women and men in our coaching programs get the education, support, and guidance they need to take what can be confusing subjects and fit them more easily into their crazy lives, for a lifetime.
Do I really have to put away my grill for good, or is there more to the story?
by Dean Carlson
Our friends from Precision Nutrition are back with some more "story behind the headlines" detective work. Get your learning on (and your grill out of storage).
Seems like every time the weather gets a bit warmer we get some stories about potential carcinogens caused by grilling meat and and increased risk of cancer.
Frankly it's not all nonsense, sensational headlines or not.
Find out all you need to know about cooking tasty meat AND staying healthy in the Infographic below.
P.S. If you need help sampling your results, please give me a call. 🙂
Click here for a fully printable version of this guide. Hang it on your fridge during grilling season, or with your cookbooks as a handy reference. Give these grilling tips a try next time out, and let me know how it turned out.
Want more help separating "Food Facts vs. Fiction"?
Our coaching clients have an advantage you probably don't. The ability to get personalized help with all their nutrition questions. We keep you focused on the main thing, helping you get healthy and reaching your nutrition goals.
If you hate changing diapers like I do this isn't your favorite subject, however...
by Dean Carlson
According to two very smart and educated professionals; MC Schraefel, Ph.D and Krista Scott-Dixon, Ph.D, you could be flushing one of the most important health indicators there is.
I am not going to belabor the point here, because the infographic below tells the whole story, however if you just don't feel well, most of the time, your body is trying to tell you something.
And not to get too personal, but when I was obese and had really bad eating habits, I spend way more time in the "loo" than anybody ever should.
I thought it was totally normal to go through a bottle of Pepto Bismol every couple weeks (or less). Ask Nancy, she will tell you I am telling the truth. And you shouldn't be living on antacids, either.
When our body is working the way it is designed, food is digested and eliminated comfortably. And when it's not working well, well, we know it.
It is true that your poo says a lot about you. (sorry, couldn't help myself)
Check out the infographic below, which identifies 6 reasons it's important to understand what's going on "behind you".
Download the infographic for your printer or tablet and stick it in your bathroom for quick reference. And if your spouse asks what kind of weirdo you are, just tell them it is part of your health plan!
It doesn't have to be your favorite subject, but understanding how your body works and what you can do about it is key to achieving your optimal health and fitness.
Want more strategies for fine-tuning your health?
Getting your fitness and nutrition routine to work for your goals can be harder and more complex than you would like. Here at The Grateful Plate, we work closely with our coaching clients to identify what is holding them back, but more importantly, how to solve it effectively.
Meal Combos limited only by your imagination
by Dean Carlson
When it comes down to it, who wants to really think about their food as "carbs, protein, and fats"? We just want great tasting food, and we want to make it as simply as possible. This guide is just what you have been looking for!
There are no secrets to getting and staying lean, feeling good, and building healthy eating habits for a lifetime.
But there are strategies.
And maybe the most important strategy is to keep things simple.
But don't confuse simple...with boring.
All-star chef Jennifer Nickle created this amazing tool that helps you build amazing meals that pack in maximum flavor with minimum effort.
Introducing the Perfect Meal cheat sheet.
Following the simple steps in this infographic, you'll be able to mix and match ingredients and flavors to create literally hundreds if not thousands of easy, healthy and delicious meals.
Download the infographic and print it out. Putting it in a binder keeps it handy in the kitchen and easy to carry to the grocery store. And don't be shy about passing it to your friends. Serious points!
Again, don't forget to download the PDF of this amazing "cheat sheet" so you have it handy next time you want to create the perfect meal.
Learn even more healthy eating strategies.
In ProCoach Nutrition Coaching, we give men and women just like you the strategies and support they have been missing to help them achieve their health and fitness goals.
Over the course of 12 months, they build the skills and habits that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.
One of the biggest complaints we hear about nutrition and fitness is that is just too confusing. And while it can be, once you get the personalized attention from an expert coach, the path becomes clearer and the journey easier.
Sick of hearing how good vegetables are because you just don't like them? You haven't tried this!
by Dean Carlson
You know that eating plants is not only good for you, but necessary for optimal health and fitness. Yet ask how many people actually eat vegetables (more than a couple times a week) and you get crickets. Check this voodoo out. It's a 3-step formula created by some genuine ar-teeests when it comes to delicious food, James Heather and Jennifer Nickle. Resistance Is Futile!
It's no secret that just about every nutrition strategy out there, from Paleo to Vegan and everything in between has one thing in common:
Eat Your Veggies Already!
But just because you know they are good for you it doesn't mean you are eating them, and you know what? I get it.
My recollection of veggies growing up were of soggy green beans, creamed spinach, and lima beans. (My dad loved lima beans, so mom made them. I did everything possible to avoid them, and truth be told still do.)
Part of being a human is that some memories, especially some bad ones, are really hard to get rid of. And when your whole life you had made it your mission to avoid vegetables, it's a hard habit to break.
Good News Alert
Veggies don't have to suck. True story. I used to HATE HATE HATE most vegetables. But I didn't know what I didn't know. HOW you prepare them, flavor them, and even when you eat them can turn a die-hard "vegaphobe" around.
If you are looking to improve your own veggie intake (and you know you probably should be), download the formula for your printer and stick it to your fridge for quick reference.
Again, to remind yourself to step outside your "plant-food" comfort zone, you can download this printable version of the above infographic.
Want more strategies for fine-tuning YOUR nutrition?
Diet's just don't work long term, but finding and sticking to a plan that work for you can be a lot harder than it seems.
That's why here at The Grateful Plate we work one-on-one with our coaching clients to help them find how to make eating healthy work for them and their busy lives.
One of the biggest struggles I have had, and still have with my nutrition, is "All or Nothing".
Either I am all out, 100% in.
Or I'm not.
And while short burst of intensity can be good; a time of focus can help us get ready for that wedding we are in, or the anniversary vacation at the beach, those times should be rare. We should be using them to lose the "last 5 pounds", not try to lose 40 in 4 weeks.
The problem with intensity is that it cannot be sustained for long periods of time. You can only sprint so far before you exhaust yourself, and even more important, it breaks on this truth.
Consistency Beats Intensity.
For instance an appropriate training program 1 hour long 4 days a week is always going to achieve better results in the long run than training 4 hours 1 day a week.
"But it takes so long that way!"
Maybe. But I can't tell you how many times I went on a "strict diet", lost a few pounds, and then gained back more when I stopped.
And that's where "The Continuum" comes in. Life is not "all or nothing". Sometimes things are great, sometimes they are not. If you think about it, the only time you are not on a continuum is when you are dead - and then we don't have to worry about it anyway. 🙂
Here's what I mean:
To often we think we have to be "100%" to transform our body. But in reality, we just need to be steadily moving from left to right.
I am writing this a couple days after the New England Patriots won the Super Bowl after being down 28-3 in the third quarter.
How did they come back and win? Score a 25 point touchdown?
Not possible; so they did what they could do. Picked up a first down, then another one. They scored 3 points first, and they were happy they did. They could have been aggravated they didn't score a touchdown, but they had the long game in mind. Without those first 3 points, they would have not had an opportunity to score the next 28 and win.
Ever feel that way? Like I have to be perfect or it just doesn't count?
Next time, when you feel like you are 25 points down, and you want to give up...
What can I do today to score the first 3 points?
Until next time,
Just in time for the Big Game (or anytime), this wing recipe rocks!
Combine all the ingredients in a sauce pan. Cook over low heat until the butter is melted. Whisk and enjoy!