jump to navigation

Why You Need a Vacation February 13, 2015

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in 21st Century/Technology, Cross Training for Life, Health and Fitness, Jobs and Work, Tips and Tricks, Traveling.
add a comment

Vacation; it’s something we can do without. It’s a luxury. It’s a self-indulgence. So, if we don’t take one for a couple of years, we’ll be fine. After all, that money should be going towards our savings, our student loans, our car payments, or just under our mattress for a rainy day, right? Wrong. Here’s why you should take a vacation at least once a year, and how to do it.

Science has shown that in men, a risk of a heart attack increases by 30% if they opt out of a vacation, that number increases to 50% in women. We hear that and we think, okay, that’s something I’ll worry about when I’m 40 and by then, I’ll have the finances to take a vacation annually…but what if you won’t? Will that be the never-ending excuse? Statistics also tell us that, not only do American’s receive less vacation days than most employees of other countries, but fewer and fewer Americans are using all their days. Perhaps there’s a feeling of guilt, being away from the job, perhaps our employers put that pressure on us, that idea that every e-mail needs to be answered, every phone call needs to be returned and there’s no good reason to abandon clients for a week while you’re sipping on mai-tais in the Bahamas. Just like a sprained ankle needs rest and healing, your mind and spirit need quiet time too. Today, it seems like you’re invincible, perfect skin, flawless hair, a work ethic for days and the energy of a small child but the truth is, if we don’t take a break every now and then we’re going to spiral out of control and soon that super hero ability will turn into exhaustion.

Blog-Vacation-Cartoon (more…)

Advertisements

New Favorite Snack ALERT! January 27, 2015

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Cross Training for Life, Food/Dining, Health and Fitness, Review.
add a comment

On the rare, (or at times, not so rare) occasion, when hunger strikes but there’s nothing yummy in the fridge, I’ve turned to a snack that’s both exceptionally delicious and nutritious! My latest favorite in-between-meal-craze has become Granny Smith Apples and Blue Cheese.

In my opinion, the fresher the better, so I always buy organic apples and I’m a huge fan of Marzetti blue cheese dressing. It’s a higher quality than something that comes out of a bottle or arrives with your hot wings. It has a great balance of chunky blue cheese pieces to creamy dressing, so it’s ideal for dipping (I also use it for carrots…or really anything. I’d probably drink the stuff if I could).

20141227_162536I cut my apple into quarters, and then slice those up into thirds or quarters again. Pour some dressing into a shallow little bowl and I’m all set. The best part is I’ll often eat the apple right off of the cutting board, so it’s fast to make and easy to clean up! The sweet, sour apple plus the saltiness and creaminess of the blue cheese makes it an awesome sweet/savory!

I usually pair it with a green tea, which is my next big dietary fan favorite. I’ve always had green tea but just lately realized it has properties of relaxation – Livestrong posts a great article explaining the hows and whys

…and before you go worrying about the caffeine, we’re way ahead of you! Green tea has significantly less caffeine than a cup of coffee or a glass of soda (Mayo Clinic, ya’ll!)

I’ll typically have a mug right before bed, Chamomile tea gives me a “pollen allergy” like reaction, so green tea has provided an awesome alternative. Not to mention, it has so many other life long health properties. I’ll drink any green tea, pretty much, but I especially like those with jasmine in them.

So, if you have the munchies but you’re trying to cut back on the Fritos try this, or your own version of it! Yum!

Cleanse: Mind, Body, Spirit – The Post May 7, 2014

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Around Chicago, Cleanse Mind Body Spirit, Cooking, Cross Training for Life, Food/Dining, Health and Fitness, How To, Medical, Review.
add a comment

Cleanse: Mind, Body, Spirit

Yes, I’ve been doing a juice cleanse. Read my pre-cleanse and juicing experience here

So here I am, at the end of my juice cleanse! Hooray! And when I say I couldn’t wait to start eating solid food again, I really couldn’t wait. Still, I did what JuiceRX recommended and started slow, and I learned why the system works, very quickly.

I started the morning light with food that my body was used to, fruits. I also had a cup of plain Greek yogurt, as the company recommend it. I held off on all other dairy for another day. For lunch and dinner I stayed with fruits and veggies and started to reincorporate small portions of other things like carbs or condiments. The second day, I started eating cheese again and small portions of meat and fish. It wasn’t until the third day that I went back to my “normal” diet.

The first time I had meat, my stomach really felt like it was going to explode. It was as if the smallest portion made me so full! However, I took this as a good thing, I had definitely gotten used to over eating and now was a good time to kick that habit. The other thing I noticed was that I was much more conscious of my food combinations, I had some soup with my meat or a huge side of veggies with my fish. Prior to the cleanse, I found it really easy to just eat one thing and one thing only. The first time I had dressing, coffee, and tomatoes my body felt like it was a machine in a factory. Churning some kind of industrial waste. If it sounds like a weird, weird sentence, understandably so. What I mean is that my body definitely can tell what is natural and what is not. More so than being refreshed and rebooted from my cleanse, I felt that it made me so aware of what I was putting in my body.

pic20140506184755

Tuna with Kale, Salad, Sweet Potatoes with Avocado, Kale Chips – Look at all that green! Yum!

When I started eating again, I found it easy to make better decisions. These are the food choices I used to make, years before I fell of my healthy eating bandwagon. When traveling, I’ll opt for a fruit cup or veggie platter and granola bar instead of a Subway sandwich and chips. I also started reading the ingredients in things, working to eat clean and only buy happy meat and dairy products (pasteurized or free-range). I also switched to all organic produce, I now exclusively shop at Whole Foods and Trader Joes and watch how much fat and processed goods I am putting in my body, rather than how many calories. This lifestyle doesn’t just make me feel healthier, it makes me feel better as a person, like when you get into college, you feel like your taking a step in the right direction.

I don’t think I’m going to give up everything – baseball games are for beer and hotdogs, movies are for popcorn, weddings are for cake, and late nights are for chips and chocolate. It’s not really about cutting all these things out for me, it’s about making good choices 85% of the time so that 15% of bad choices don’t win the battle of the cholesterol. I might not feel this overwhelming feeling of being refreshed from my cleanse, but just because I don’t feel on top of the world doesn’t mean I don’t think what I did wasn’t beneficial and it hasn’t given me a good boost to be healthy again. It hasn’t just affect my eating, it’s made me more motivated and conscious about working out, walking instead of driving, taking the stairs, over all healthy habits that are easy to fall out of.

If you’re considering a juice cleanse, I highly recommend it. It’s going to benefit you in the long run, and you won’t regret it. Sometimes you need a kick in the pants to get where you want to be, this did it for me!

Cleanse: Mind, Body, Spirit – The Juicing! April 29, 2014

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Around Chicago, Cleanse Mind Body Spirit, Cooking, Cross Training for Life, Food/Dining, Health and Fitness, How To, Medical.
add a comment

Cleanse: Mind, Body, Spirit

DAY 1
I woke up and I was HUNGRY! I started with just some water. The juices are supposed to be spread out every 2 or so hours after your breakfast drink. I didn’t want to start too early and then feel hungry at night. I had my first drink around 9am – Spicy Lemonade. It was so good! I couldn’t help myself from downing it in just a few minutes. Of course, when you start something like this you think it won’t taste good or it’ll be hard to not drink them all from hunger, but honestly, once I had one I felt very comfortable and didn’t want to eat or drink anything else. For every juice I had, I refilled the bottle with filtered water so I would be sure to get plenty of water. This helps clear out toxins and the natural sugars that the drinks may contain (Yes, you will go the bathroom a lot!). Around 11:15 I felt hungry again, so I had my Liquid Lipo. I don’t like cinnamon, so I didn’t love it at first but after a pic20140427120924few sips it became more familiar and I had no problem getting it down. I was surprised with how not-hungry I was throughout the morning and afternoon. I wouldn’t say I felt full, but I was very content and I didn’t feel like I was watching the clock, waiting for my next juice. I also felt very alert and awake, contrary to how I thought I’d feel, lethargic and tired. I had loads of energy! Go figure! I didn’t really need my next drink until after 1. I didn’t like my Lunchtime Detox at all. It was likable enough to drink and get down, but it definitely took me about an hour to drink the entire thing. The whole day had been great until about 4, that’s when I got my first whiff of food. UGGGH, hamburgers, chips, BBQ, macaroni and cheese, I wanted it all! It was tough, really, really tough. I hurried home to basically hide myself away from sights and smells of yummy food. I wouldn’t say I was hungry, I was just tempted by all the goodness around me. I was also tired, at this point, of consuming sweet tasting things and just wanted a taco, full of salt and sodium and spice. sigh. I pushed through and once I got home, had my fourth drink of the day, Cucumber-Mint Electrolyte Boost. At this point, I was pretty “hungry” and by “hungry” I mean that I was craving all sorts of things – hamburgers, pizza, chips, soup, even just things like crackers, but I didn’t actually feel hungry, my stomach felt full. My fifth drink was The Evening Green – as green as it sounds! That held me over until about 10sih. My final drink was Strawberries ‘n Cream Cashew Milk and it was so super yummy! Like a strawberry milkshake! I couldn’t finish the entire thing, so I left some of it as a snack for the next day.

DAY 2
Day two went much the same as day one. I kept the order of my drinks and continued to drink lots of water. I found that the busier I kept myself the easier it all was. I even went out to a bar, with food, and was able to just have water. Towards the end of the day, I found that I was less and less able to finish the drinks. Part of this was probably attributed to the fact that I was simply tired of drinking juice and would have rather had a V8 or something not so sweet, the other part was probably due to the fact that my body had gotten used to it’s digestive hiatus and didn’t require as much liquid to feel full. I also noticed how some of the drinks I wasn’t crazy about the day before, I liked today, but then some of the others that I felt were okay I really didn’t like anymore. My tastebuds were definitely more aware, which was an interesting affect I didn’t now the cleanse would have.

DAY 3
I’ll admit, by day 3 I was tired of doing this thing! But I didn’t want to just stop. When I was reading reviews and doing research about juice cleanses, the one overwhelming thing I read was that people felt so much better, different and energized while doing the cleanse, especially by day 3. I felt the same, the same as I always do. I had no doubt that what I did was great for my body, and the reset I needed, but it also made me confident in my daily diet, to know that I was eating healthy and balanced enough that my body didn’t need a huge restart, just a little kick. When you’re not feeling this overwhelming difference, it’s hard to keep going, but but by day 3, your body and your mind are already used to what’s going on, so it’s worth getting through it. While I was finishing my last round, I made a healthy shopping list and went to Whole Foods to get my post foods. I also wanted to buy more healthy food, if this cleanse taught me anything, it’s that going back to my old healthy ways was worth it!

Stay tuned for my Post Cleanse write up, in the meantime, read about how I got here!

Cleanse: Mind, Body, Spirit – Prep Days April 26, 2014

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Around Chicago, Cleanse Mind Body Spirit, Cooking, Cross Training for Life, Food/Dining, Health and Fitness, How To, Medical, Review.
add a comment

Cleanse: Mind, Body, Spirit

Believe it or not, doing a cleanse does not mean you can chow down on Taco Bell the night before and devour a pint of ice cream the morning after it’s done. Similar to putting a gold fish in a new fish tank, you have to ease your body into it so it doesn’t go into shock. If you’re eating funions one night and then green juice the next, your digestive system is going to flip out! The company I ordered from, Juice RX, was really great in both prepping you for your cleanse and also helping you come off it. I followed a lot of their tips and combined some of my own knowledge of nutrition.

I started to give up things in a tier format; the first day I gave up caffeine (coffee and otherwise), all meat and processed cheeses,any bottled drinks or brand name juices, sweets or junk foods. I had very limited dairy and very limited carbs, either of which I only ate in healthy forms. Throughout the next couple of days, I gave up more and more of these processed things, opting for things like Almond Milk and Olive Oil instead of milk or dressing. One of the things I had a really hard time with the first day was that I wasn’t dieting, or starving myself – I kept feeling really hungry and kept denying my body food because I thought I was prepping it. Then it clicked, that as long as I was eating lots of raw fruits and veggies, and other healthy things, I didn’t need to be hungry. I drank a lot of water all throughout the day which helped me feel less hungry and got ride of toxins, plus helped get my body ready for more liquids and less food.

Another thing it took me,until day two of prep, to realize was WHY I kept feeling so hungry. I remembered a couple years ago I was told by my nutritionist that, because of my height, weight, and the healthy food I was eating, my metabolism was burning food fast so I had to eat every three hours. When I eat a bagel and coffee, soup and salad, and then Chinese food for dinner, it takes hours to digest everything, however, when I’m eating these smaller meals of leafy greens, fruits, chia puddings, and water, everything is burning faster. Again, the goal wasn’t to not eat, it was to monitor my healthy food intact. After I realized this I started having my three normal meals and then 3-4 small healthy snacks when I got hungry i.e. A 1/2 cup of rice, granola bar, trail mix, apple, carrots and hummus. The entire Juice RX website advocates that you shouldn’t stop your normal routines or force yourself to do things you don’t want to, it’s just about making better choices.

I’m human, so, I cheated. I wanted to mention this specifically because I didn’t want people out there to think this was easy, like I could just sit next to my co-workers eating Cheetos and not want one. I got one Starbucks coffee, I was just craving it so bad! After I got it, believe it or not, I felt a lot better. Know what your body really needs and know what it simply wants. It was the only time I fell off of my prep routines and I made the choice, then and there, to not beat myself up about it.

That night, my juices arrived via delivery. I checked them out, and then set them up in the fridge.

Even my cat loved the juices from Juice RX!

Even my cat loved the juices from Juice RX!

I will be honest, the night before I started my juice cleanse, I freaked out. After all, when was the last time I didn’t eat AT ALL for THREE DAYS! I was scared it would be hard, I’d feel uncomfortable, or that I wouldn’t like it and want to give up but not want to feel defeated, like I failed. I was really nervous but then seeing my actual juices made me feel more excited than anything else and ready to get this show on the road!

Tomorrow morning I start my actual juice cleanse, let’s see how it goes!!!

 

Holidays Not-So 101: The Holiday Diet December 16, 2013

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Cooking, Cross Training for Life, Food/Dining, Health and Fitness, Holidays, Holidays Not-So 101, How To, Tips and Tricks, Traveling.
add a comment

If you’re anything like me (or you’ve been to this site a handful of times) you know that I’m pretty much committed to my relationship with working out. Whether it be going to the gym, taking a dance class, or running outside. I’m all about the treadmills and the kale chips. Which is why I have some sad news, I hate to tell you this but…health and I are taking a break. It started sometime around Thanksgiving, the relationship just wasn’t the same anymore. Even though, in my head, I still wanted to be faithful, I always felt like I was cheating. There was a night with mashed potatoes, and then that time with the starburst. Yesterday, Eggnog and I watched Home Alone together, and while it wasn’t meant to be a date, it sure felt like one. The bottom line is, I wasn’t giving health what is deserved. We stopped seeing one another at the gym, and slowly my friends stopped hanging out with health too; my sneakers didn’t call him, my Athleta pants blocked him from Facebook,  and when my i-pod ran into him on the street, it pretended not to know him. The truth is, we need to take a break until the holidays are over so we can sort out our relationship.

image Well…you get what I’m saying. The truth is, this happens to the best of us. Holidays hit and the gym takes a hit. I feel like I have zero motivation to workout, and likewise, zero motivation to eat health. So, once a week I’ll have a kale salad, or bring an organic soup for lunch, but for the most part I’m pigging out on brownies, piggies in a blanket, and shopping around for dessert recipes for Christmas eve. So, I could beat myself up for not carrying my lazy behind to the gym…but I’m not. I learned a long time ago when you force yourself to do something that you really don’t want to do, you’re only going to give it half the energy and time you would if you wanted to do it. There is a theory, that some workout is better than no workout at all, and if you abide by that theory then you are a far more disciplined person than I am! Go for it! However, for many of us, the reality is that the time we’re going to waste isn’t worth it. So, if you are like me, I can tell you: 1. You are not alone! Stop feeling bad and just take this time to enjoy the holidays, make it your new year’s resolution to get back in the gym as soon as your hangover dies out, and 2. Here’s how to pig out without feeling like your losing everything you’ve worked for.

Whether we realize it or not, there are a lot of things we do during the holidays that are similar to a workout, without actually putting our sweat bands on. For many us, holidays are a time of visitors and with visitors come cleaning. Make it a point to get down and dirty with all the dirt in your home, a day of cleaning will definitely burn those calories off. Additionally, traveling is a huge stressor and one that involves lost of bending, heavy lifting, and walking. So, if you’re going somewhere this holiday season, rest assured that you will get your workouts in, even if they’re only here or there. Lastly, set a goal for yourself. Buy gifts, sending cards, baking, and making it to all your holiday parties (which inevitably have more food and alcohol to make you feel like a flubber), take time away from things like being healthy and active. So once the crazy subsides, remind yourself that they’ll be a sliver of time where you’ll have virtually nothing to do but sit back and watch TV. While rest is important, this is also a perfect time to put 30 min on the treadmill! My goal? To have my body and my healthy habits back by New Years; there is no other holiday, other than Halloween, where girls can go out looking like they lost some of their outfit along the way. I know I’ve got to fit into that dress by the time Dec. 31st rolls around, so the second Christmas day has ended, you know I’m going to be racking up those miles on the bike!

Even if your goal isn’t New Years, it can still be Jan. 1st, or by the time you go back to school/work, even Valentines day. Get yourself as excited for getting back to your habits as you were to forget about them. In the meantime, enjoy the holidays and everything that comes with them.

Run, Like Your Bank Account Depends on It! November 13, 2013

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Cross Training for Life, Friendships, Health and Fitness, How To.
2 comments

I haven’t touched on the subject of Cross-Training For Life lately. Mostly because moving doesn’t leave much time for working out and posting, but also because I was trying to figure out an age-old problem: laziness.

Have you ever heard the saying, “Give a busy person something to do, and it will get done.”? I feel like there’s a general consensus that the less we do, the less we want to do, and the busiest we are, the more out of place we feel when we’re suddenly not busy. I like to think of it as momentum, the more I have going on the more I am capable of doing, because I’m in a momentum that’s simply throwing me into my next task. It comes natural to go to the gym after a full day of work, but very brutal to do it on a Saturday, when I got out of bed at 11 and didn’t even leave my apartment until 3. This seems to be everyone’s issue, it’s not about wanting to workout, needing to workout, or even having the money to workout, it’s just about doing it.

When I joined my new gym, they had a special going on; If I came 36 times, in three months (3 times a week), I would receive my initiation fee back. For me, that was $90 I would be getting credited back to me if I accomplished that goal. At first, it was easy, but then it got hard to keep up, if I missed a week, I had to go four times the next three weeks to make up for it. There was a week where I thought I’d just call it a wash, but as much as I wanted to quit, I wasn’t able to. I still wanted to try to get my money back, but it was also more than that, I didn’t want to admit, or accept, defeat. This got me thinking, if we can hold ourselves accountable for what we DON’T do, if we can actually make ourselves feel bad about it, maybe it will propel us to do what we want to do.jar4

Now, not every gym offers this and not every person belongs to a gym, so I got to thinking about other ways that this idea would work. I know I’m the type of person who always needs something – a new coat, shoes, a bookcase, wall decor. I’m also not the kind of person who likes cheap looking things, or the kind who’s just rolling around in money. So, I thought saving up, by working out was one way to do it. Have a workout jar, or a gym box. Every time you go to the gym, put a dollar in it. Don’t count the money until a specific date that you set, let’s say it’s Christmas (any day will do!). Make a goal: “I want to buy a blender, the one I want costs $100. I will go to the gym, 100 times, by my birthday, 6 months from today” make goals realistic, but don’t make them easy. I think going to the gym 3 times a week is super realistic, but it can also be tough. When you reach that date, or almost that date, count the money and see how far you’ve gotten. If you didn’t get there, it should motivate you to try harder!

Another popular one, that I take no credit for, is having short term goals about why you’re working out. An acquaintance of mine did this for her wedding, now she’s doing it for her upcoming vacation on New Years. Instead of just going to the gym, she would say “I’m going to work on my Florida Body” Each workout session was motivating because she was trying to visualize her specific, short term, goal.

Finally, team up! If you can’t hold yourself accountable, find people who can. Set goals with other people such as “my time in the 5K will be better than yours” or “I can lose five pounds before you can”. It can be as simple as, “If I go to the gym more times than you this month, you owe me dinner at a restaurant of my choice”. No one wants to a be loser! You guys can even go together and have mini-challenges, see who can reach 5 miles first on the stationary bikes, or who can be the first to advance from the beginner kettle bell class to the intermediate.

At the end of the day, this is about health and fun! So whatever you do, make sure you’re being safe and you’re being smart. Working out isn’t about killing yourself, hurting yourself, or hurting other people’s feelings. Keep it light-hearted and humorous, but take your workouts seriously.

Your 20 Minute Workout June 16, 2013

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Apartment Life, Cross Training for Life, Health and Fitness, How To, Tips and Tricks.
add a comment

If we could all get up, go for a run, come home, eat some granola and yogurt, stretch it out and finish the morning with some crunches and squats before heading off to work where we’ll eat your chicken and kale lunch, then we’d have no need for DLIH. Well, that may be extreme but you definitely wouldn’t have a need for our health tips n’ tricks. The reality is we can’t live like that, not because we don’t want to, because many of us have a life that gets in the way. After debating the best way to tackle this ourselves, keeping in mind everything we, here at DLIH, have been taught, we’ve devised a alternative solution, for the days when you’re feeling a little blah but don’t have the hours to work-it-out.

The 20-min workout

Start off easy by warming-up your legs and getting in some cardio, without waking the neighbors:
Bounce with your feet hip with apart to get into the mood and wake-up!
Do some light squats, fast to get the blood flowing (with the jams pumping!)

Once you’re feeling ready, start by doing real squats, you can work it to the beat or count off sets like 4 squats and then holding the 5th for ten seconds, then repeating it twice. For an advance kick, lift your heels while in the squat and hold to feel the burn. You can do these with your feet turned out and turned in, to target a range of muscles.

body-weight-squats-up-down-girl

Take a boxers stance and incorporate those kickboxing moves you’ve been hiding in the closet starting with a side-to-side bounce, then going through a squat, and finally holding that last squat, with your leg stretched out and your arm punching your invisible enemy’s lights out! Again, do it to the beat or create your own sets.
You can do a turnout version of the boxer, by being a ballerina, working the inner side of your quads and your butt! Move from leg to leg with your feet turned out, one in front of the other in a ballet fourth position.  Straight legs and then bent legs, be sure to do it on both sides.

20120607204317-10-chair-dips-with-bent-knees

Now for your upper body! Get near your bed, nearest sturdy table or couch and do reverse push-ups, ten! Then switch it around and do ten 45 degree push-ups, then grab your magic circle (or ball, if you don’t have one) and pulse for 20 seconds, squeeze for 20! If you’re not sweating yet…you’re doing it wrong! Do this cycle three times!

dt.common.streams.StreamServer.cls
Now for your core, we don’t have time to get down on the ground, so we’re going to work it standing up. Remember to engage your core the whole time, otherwise, you’re wasting your time! Stand-up straight, pull that tummy up and lift your leg as high as you can in front of you, ten one one leg, ten on the other, do it again! You can also do it to the side, and incorporate your arms to really get into those obliques. SK likes to do ten of each twice, a whomping total of 160 leg lifts! If you’re keeping with the best of your favorite song, time will fly!

Lastly, stretch it out, don’t go crazy, just make sure you hit every muscle from top to bottom and flush out all the toxins with a grande glass of water. Don’t waste all the hard work by munching on pancakes for breakfast; have some toast and yogurt or other healthy meals and if you’re the type that’s just not hungry in the morning, have a larger mid morning meal like a whole wheat bagel or a egg and spinach wrap (Starbucks***!!!)

An extra tip for those that have the extra few minutes, use a foam roller to get out the kinks and air out your room before bed for ten minutes (even, in the winter), to help you stay healthy and give you a boost in the a.m.
foam-roller

It may not be a workout at the gym, or an early morning run, but it’s better than nothin’! You can look all these moves and positions up on Youtube to, so you can do it right and work it hard!

A Little More Yum, A Little Less Stress November 13, 2012

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Cooking, Cross Training for Life, Food/Dining, Health and Fitness, How To, The SK Plan, Tips and Tricks.
add a comment

What we’ve learned so far in this Cross Training for Life adventure, is that health isn’t about how many miles you can run or the state of your six-pack, it’s about being a well-rounded person inside and out! SK has taken it upon herself to spearhead the Cross Training for Life game plan by trying out new, different and suggested things to better her own mind, body and soul, as well as YOURS! If you’ve been following our posts, you know we’ve covered a lot of the nitty-gritty basics, so let’s jump into the specifics, the tips n’tricks and yummy goodies to being healthy and strong!

There are so many times we look in our fridge and want something oh, so savory and juicy, but we know that the frozen pizza or the chips and salsa will just do us wrong. Here’s the latest from the SK Plan files to help you in your workout life, but also meet the unequivocal needs of your taste buds.

Tasty Tuna Salad

Now, everyone has their own version of tuna salad and the great thing about this recipe is that you can add whatever your heart desires (celery, walnuts, grapes, etc.) Here’s the SK version:

  • One can tuna in water
  • One red onion, chopped (as much as you like…not the whole onion!)
  • Granny Smith Apple, cubed or cut up small
  • Mayonnaise, about 1/2 the amount of tuna (less than a regular tuna salad)
  • Garlic or garlic powder
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Pepper

Mix it all together in a bowl! Make a lot to fridge for later or eat it as is, or on toast (yum!) for lunch or a light snack!

Mexican Pizza

  • One Whole grain tortilla
  • Red onion, thinly sliced
  • Red or green peppers, thinly sliced
  • Shredded taco cheese
  • Salsa
  • Pepper
  • Cayenne Pepper

Start by putting your onions and peppers on a whole grain tortilla, add any other mexican/pizza like veggies you enjoy. Don’t over load, or you won’t be able to eat it! Lay a thin layer of shredded cheese on top of veggies, then a thin layer of salsa and top again with a layer of cheese. Add spices on top for seasoning as you wish. Bake in oven for 10 min at 300 F. Let it sit for about 1-2min and then dive it! The tortilla will be crunchy like a pizza, I recommend using a fork and knife or folding it over like a quesadilla!

The Workout Calendar

To help you with your stress and your anxiety about working out, SK has also thought up two great new ideas that seem to work wonders for people who just can’t get their minds off…well, anything. For those of you who are avid worker-outters, or the ones that can’t seem to get their workouts to be consistent (remember, a workout can be anything, check out some of our suggestions in other posts!) a workout calendar is the best! Sometimes, being visual gets you motivated to fill in the blanks! Print out a blank monthly calendar from Google or your Outlook style program. Every time you do something active, write it on that day. For example – Ran 1.5 miles; Did abs and arms; Helped mom clean house; went to karate class and stretched. Don’t fill the calendar in before you do it, this will build anxiety and expectations and if you don’t end up working out, you’ll feel like you failed. Try to mix up your activities but also keep some consistency, if you run Monday and Thursday, try to mix up Saturday, do something different every week. The point of the calendar is to encourage you to fill it in, not to push you to plan your days around it. Maybe this month it’ll look a little empty, but set a goal for next month to fill in more and more days!

De-stress Book

The de-stress book is going to help you with your mental health. Are you that person that is up until 1am thinking about all the things you needs to do, people you have to email, tasks you can’t forget? i-phones and computers don’t help with that at all, you just end up staring at the screen all night and wake-up tired. Go buy a notebook, preferably a drawing book with totally blank pages, if you like ruled pages that’ll work just fine too! Keep it by your bed with a pen and write EVERYTHING in it. You’re schedule, things you randomly remember, things you don’t want to forget, list of bills, tasks or duties. Anything that keeps you up at night, even your workout schedule! It doesn’t matter what you write in it because it’s personal to you, it doesn’t have to be organized any which way, it’s just a place to put your brain so you can de-stress and fall asleep. You may not even refer to your de-stress book after you write in it, and that’s okay, but if you do need to remember something, you’ll know that it’s safely stored where you can find it.

Real Time Workout September 14, 2012

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Cross Training for Life, Health and Fitness.
add a comment

So far, in Cross Training for Life, we’ve covered all the ways to start a “diet”, keep your eating habits up, and make smart, healthy choices. DLIH has been getting a lot of feedback about our helpful hints but we’ve yet to cover the workout side of life. Workouts can be tricky because all of us are so different and need, want or enjoy different things. It’s also difficult to guide anyone through a workout when they’re not in front of you and you can’t assess their body type, physical strengths and weaknesses and their goals. So, being an avid worker-outter, the best way to do this was to give you a taste of my daily routine and hope it inspires you to find your own workout regimen.

Working out starts way before you lace of those sneakers and throw on the sweatband. You’ve got to schedule yourself in order to do it right. If you’re planning on working out tomorrow or later today make sure you drink plenty of water and then stop about an hour to 1/2 hour before. As a runner, I get cramps pretty bad, so I generally stop drinking large amounts sooner rather than later, but if it’s not a problem for you, keep hydrating :). Also, be sure to eat a good meal at least 2-3 hours before (again, depending on how your body responds). Things like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, crackers, cereal, etc. Stay away from too much dairy or protein, a small salad in addition to a sandwich is usually okay, but glasses of milk or anything like steamed veggies will make your workout VERY uncomfortable. Also, anything that will weigh you down i.e. burritos, lasagna, pie. Use your common sense and if you’re not sure, look it up online.

Once you’re ready to get your sweat on, decide how you want to workout today. Remember it’s great to do different things to keep your mind engaged but also to work different muscles groups and mix in more or less cardio. Yoga, pilates, dance, martial arts, or other classes are a great investment if you have some extra cash. Many of these places have open classes so you don’t need to commit to a large upfront payment, search your area for your interests or do it with friends! People with gym memberships generally get classes for free. Speaking of, if you want to get into something new, such as kettle bells, kick boxing, spinning, trying out a class at a gym is a great intro and your instructor can recommend additional classes or workouts. Don’t forget that swimming is a phenomenal workout too!

Staying fit doesn’t have to mean spending money though! If you’ve got a yoga mat and a pair of kicks you’re good to go. There are plenty and plenty of exercises you can easily do at home! DLIH was recently referred to Blogilates, a website that gives advice, workouts and tips from a knowledgeable, personal trainer. There are lots of resources out there, books or videos, (i.e. P90X) that can give you a great workout in your own home. Plus, running is free, go around the block, in the park, maybe run to the nearest store and then walk back with your groceries (good for arms, back and shoulders!). Instead of weights – use gallons jugs with water (as much as you can lift!), textbooks in paper bags, etc. Get creative! There are plenty of these ideas online. If you can find a constructive time to make working out a priority your on the right track to being healthy and in shape, but if you can’t right now, make it fun! Try doing a different workout every commercial: abs, then pushups, lunges, then squats, there are so many exercises out there! Do it for the entire commercial break! Team up with other people, during lunch hour, do 15 min of workout before you eat, vow to all do crunches and pushups together before your last class, do calf raises while you wait for the subway with friends or designate days where you and a buddy do the same workout, you will motivate each other to get it done! If you’re at the beach or waiting for an event to start have workout contests; who can run to and from the staircase fastest, who can get the most pull-ups in one minute, swim 5 laps and race! There are tons of opportunities to workout whether it’s a perfectly scheduled event or just when you can.

So now that you’ve figured out what you want to do it, do it! Work up a good sweat and don’t stop, even if it gets hard! Know the different between pain and muscles soreness. If you’re doing push-ups and your arms hurt, it’s getting very hard and they feel tired, it’s okay, push through; however if you’re ever doing ANYTHING and you feel a sharp pain, pull, or throbbing stop. Sometimes movements may hurt because of a predisposed pull or imbalance, your form might be off, or maybe you just overworked it a little or it’s compensating for another part of your body that’s not strong enough yet. No worries, if you stop, stretch and ice (with rest) you’ll be good as new, but if you’re not, always see a doctor! I’m no expert, but I’ve suffered my share of injuries being an athlete- there is nothing better or more fun than a great workout with a surge of endorphins but be smart, don’t set yourself up for injury, listen to your body!

Post workout stretch, stretch, stretch! While stretching before and after is essential, stretching afterwards can really ease the next-day soreness, help with flexibility while you’re muscles are already warm, and help prevent things from getting knotted up or not cooling down properly. Hopefully you’ve left enough time to let your body take a breather after your intense workout! Drink lots of water and/or Gatorade and if you’ve got a deli nearby grab an organic, low-fat, chocolate milk (None of that Nesquick stuff! ew!). Remember to eat protein rich foods post workout to help muscles grow and heal!

Lastly, don’t forget that workouts are supposed to be fun, if you’re not having fun, you’re not doing it right! To keep it interesting I try to dance two days a week, run and workout the other two days, and change it up when it starts getting mundane. Doing something is better then nothing, so get off your butt and go!