Sunday, February 28, 2010

When Food Is Foe: Stop the War Against Food

The title to this article is what first caught my eye. Ever since I was a child. Well pre adolescent 11 or 12 years old Food has been my foe. I remember one diet my mother and I both tried. It was a fast for 15 days diet. Yes at age 14 or 15 I did that. I can tell you that after the second day I was no longer hungry. I can also tell you that as soon as I started eating again my body packed on every pound I’d lost plus more. Starving yourself seriously messes up your metabolism.

I remember in college eating a meal and feeling overwhelming guilt afterward. It didn’t seem to matter what It was I ate; I was still overwhelmed with guilt. Food was my enemy. Truth be told I was my own worst enemy.

I remember working out the sub 1000 calorie a day diet plan while I was in college. Yes I lost weight. I also gained it back rapidly plus some.

At that time I saw myself as borderline obese. I was 145 lbs, lifted weights and ran distance. I was never fast; but I could go and just keep on going. My thighs touched and I thought I was beyond fat. When I looked in the mirror I saw this hugely fat woman.

I was not fat. I had a poor body image and no idea what healthy nutrition was. Over the years my dieting and gaining cycle has packed on who knows how many pounds. Gained lost, gained lost, gained some more. All the while torturing myself every time I ate a meal. Get stressed, eat the frig. Starve binge.

I am happy to say my relationship with food has changed. My relationship with myself has changed. I am healthier than I have been in a very long time; Both physically, and mentally. I no longer feel guilty when I eat a good meal. I am learning more and more about quality nutrition, whole foods, etc.

I know there are many many more people out there that have an unhealthy relationship with themselves, and with food. My desire is to help others find peace, happiness, and health within themselves. Food is not your enemy. Food is fuel for your body. Food is not a cure all for emotional issues. Using it as such will pack on the pounds/or totally starve your body down. Either extreme is unhealthy physically, and is an indicator of issues on an emotional, spiritual, and/or mental level. Of course this is only my opinion. It is an opinion born of experience; and a considerable amount of research.

I hope the following article is useful to you; it certainly was to me. Enjoy.

Life is a journey, enjoy the trip.
Mary E. Robbins
Robbins Run Ranch: Loving life in Wild Wonderful Wyoming.
Independent Beachbody Coach: Helping others help themselves.

On an aside: there were deer tracks in my dog exercise yards this morning… lol… watched a hawk hunting while I was working out taking care of my kennels: beautiful chilly foggy day…with a touch of snow in the air…

Yesterday is gone, tomorrow is never here, live now! Appreciate each moment!

By Nancy Clark, MS RD CSSD

"I should be pencil-thin for all the exercise I do."
"I don’t keep cookies in the house. If they are there, I eat way too many of them."
"I’m afraid if I start eating, I won’t stop…"

Too many athletes are at war with food and their bodies. In their quest to attain the “perfect body” that is leaner, lighter and presumably faster and better, they have developed atypical eating patterns that are far from peaceful. As one client reported, “I'm trying so hard to lose five pounds but I'm getting nowhere. In fact, I'm even gaining weight. I'm “good” at breakfast and lunch, but after I get home from the gym at night, I end up devouring everything in sight. On weekends, my eating is even crazier.” Sound familiar?

The Problem With Dieting

The first three letters of diet are D-I-E. Dieting conjures up feelings of deprivation and denial. Dieting is unsustainable, no fun. Few dieters win the war against hunger. Even 50 percent of people who had gastric bypass surgery regained weight within two years (1).

Why does this happen? Because the body perceives a diet as a famine and strives to protect itself from starving to death by signaling hunger. Hunger leads to the overwhelming urge to binge-eat. Research with healthy, normal-weight men who cut their food intake in half (similar to what many dieting athletes try to do) reports most regained the weight they'd lost—plus 10 percent more—within three months (2). Another study with middle school kids who were followed through high school indicates all efforts to lose weight resulted in disordered eating patterns five years later—but not leaner bodies (3). Dieting tends to create more long-term problems than it solves.

How to Find Peace With Food

Let's take a look at some ways to transform blown diets into appropriate fueling (while you chip away at losing undesired body fat). A first step is to remember food is fuel, not the fattening enemy. Food not only enhances athletic performance but also prevents hunger and out-of-control food binges.

As a human, you are supposed to eat, even if you are overweight. If you restrict your food intake, you also restrict protein, carbs, fats, vitamins, minerals and other bio-active food compounds that contribute to good health and high energy. Your body needs those nutrients.

Current research suggests a sustainable way to lose undesired body fat is to knock off about 200 calories a day (4), such as 10 ounces of wine, 20 tortilla chips or one roll with butter. By knocking off the calories at the end of the day, you can lose weight when you are sleeping (as opposed to when you are trying to train and function during the day).

Bread, bagel, pasta, rice, crackers—all those dreaded carbs—are not fattening. Your body does not readily convert carbs into body fat. Rather, your body preferentially burns carbs to fuel your workouts. If your muscles become carb (glycogen) depleted, you will feel an incessant, niggling hunger that can lead to non-stop snacking. You may believe you are eating because you are just bored, but your muscles are telling you they want carbs to recover and refuel.

Do not try to “stay away from carbs.” Egg whites for breakfast, salad for lunch, and fish with broccoli for dinner leave muscles unfueled and your body unable to train and compete at its best. Oatmeal, whole grain breads, brown rice and sweet potatoes are just a few wholesome suggestions. Enjoy them as the foundation of each sports meal.

Dieters need to consume a strong protein intake to help protect their muscles. That is, when you restrict calories, you burn not just body fat but also muscle tissue. Enjoy a protein-rich food (in combination with carbs) at each meal and snack.

Protein is satiating; it helps keep you feeling fed and can curb your appetite. Dieters who eat protein (eggs) at breakfast stay full longer than those who eat just carbs (bagel, fruit, granola bar). By eating a enjoying a satiating breakfast, you’ll be less likely to crave sweets and succumb to donuts or candy bars.

Fat (preferably healthful fat such as in nuts, olive oil, salmon, peanut butter) is an essential part of a sports diet. It's required to absorb vitamins A, D, E and K. A little fat gets stored right within the muscle cells and gets used during long workouts. It enhances endurance. Runners who switched from a low (16 percernt) fat diet to a moderate (30 percent) fat diet improved their performance by 14 percent (5). That's a lot! And, they did not gain body fat.

The mantra “Eat fat, get fat” is false. Overeat calories and you will get fat, particularly if you overeat calories from fatty foods. Excess dietary fat easily converts into body fat.
Vitamins: The less fuel you ingest, the fewer vitamins you consume. Taking a vitamin pill might replace some of those losses, but a pill does not provide other bio-active compounds in foods that protect your good health. Strive to enjoy colorful vegetables and/or fruits at each meal.

By satisfying your hunger with wholesome sports foods at daytime meals, you will ruin your appetite for the evening “junk food” that contributes to fat-gain. You feel better during the day, have better workouts, be in a better mood—and be able to knock off 200+ calories of evening snacks so you can lose weight easily when you are sleeping. Experiment for just one day with front-loading your calories; the benefits will be obvious!

Easier Said Than Done?

While food-binges can simply be the backlash from unrealistic efforts to lose a few pounds, they sometimes also serve the important job of distracting people from thinking about painful relationships and feelings of inadequacy. That is, if you incessantly think about food, you are not thinking about how sad, depressed or lonely you might be feeling. You’d rather focus on losing five pounds, believing weight loss will make you happy. Doubtful.

Instead of trying to find happiness from a number on the scale, the better bet is to appreciate your body for all the good it does. Do not compare your body to others. To compare is to despair. Practice eating mindfully and ask yourself before you eat “Does my body need this fuel?” Eat mechanically, on a time schedule, with even-sized meals that truly satisfy you, so you don't just stop eating because you think you should.

Rather than struggle with food and weight issues on your own, consult with a sports dietitian who can help you create a positive food plan. Use the referral network at to find your local RD CSSD (Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics). Life is too short to spend it fighting with food.

Nancy Clark MS, RD counsels casual exercisers and competitive athletes at Healthworks, the premier fitness center in Chestnut Hill, MA (617-383-6100). Her NEW 2008 Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook 4th Edition, and her Food Guide for Marathoners and Cyclist’s Food Guide are available via


1. Magro D, Geloneze B, Delfini R, Pareja B, Callejas F, Pareja J. Long-term weight regain after gastric bypass: a 5-year prospective study. Obes Surg. 2008 Jun;18(6):648-51.

2. Keys A, Brozek J, Henschel A. et al. The Biology of Human Starvation. Vols 1 and 2. Minneapolis:University of Minnesota Press, 1950

3. Neumark-Sztainer D, Wall M, Guo J, Story M, Haines J, Eisenberg M.Obesity, disordered eating, and eating disorders in a longitudinal study of adolescents: how do dieters fare 5 years later? J Am Diet Assoc. 2006 Apr;106(4):559-68.

4. Stroebele N, de Castro J, Stuht J, Catenacci V, Wyatt H, Hill J. A small-changes approach reduces energy intake in free-living humans. J Am Coll Nutr. 2009 Feb;28(1):63-8.

5. Horvath PJ, Eagen CK, Fisher NM, Leddy JJ, Pendergast DR.
The effects of varying dietary fat on performance and metabolism in trained male and female runners. J Am Coll Nutr. 2000 Feb;19(1):52-60.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Sugar - The bitter truth - The damage caused by sugary foods - Robert H. Lustig

If for some reason the video does not load, use this link…

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Heart-Healthy Pantry: making healthy choices one step at a time

Certainly, reducing the amount of fat, cholesterol and sodium in the foods you eat can help reduce your risk of heart disease. But that’s just part of it. Eating great-tasting foods that promote heart health is just as important — and a whole lot more fun!
Basics of Heart-Healthy Eating

A heart-healthy diet is actually pretty easy to follow. Basically, heart-healthy eating means less fat, less sodium, fewer calories and more fiber. Read the nutrition labels on foods and use the following guidelines:

* Select foods that are low in saturated and trans fats. Focus on lean meat, seafood and dairy products.
* Keep total fat low — between 20% and 35% of your total calories — and get most of the fat in your diet from heart-healthy oils, such as olive oil.
* Foods from plant sources — vegetables, fruits, grains and some oils — do not contain cholesterol. The bulk of your diet should come from these foods.
* Eat foods high in heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, nuts and flaxseed.
* Eat foods low in sodium. That includes most fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat or non-fat dairy products and moderate amounts of lean meat.

The Heart-Healthy Pantry / Refrigerator

Stock up on these foods and you’ll find it much easier to stick to your heart-healthy eating plan:
Heart-Healthy Oils

Instead of saturated fats like butter that are solid at room temperature, use monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil or canola oil; and polyunsaturated fats that come from nuts, seeds and nut oils. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can help reduce your total blood cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (the “bad” kind). Olive oil and nut oils, such as walnut oil, also provide great flavor.

Grocery list:

* Olive oil
* Nut oils
* Sesame seeds
* Unsalted nuts

Whole Grains

Whole Grains Pastas and breads made with whole grains are high in nutrients that promote heart health and help regulate blood pressure. They’re also high in fiber, and studies show that increasing the amount of fiber in your diet may also reduce heart-disease risk.

Grocery list:

* Oatmeal
* 100% whole-wheat bread
* Brown rice
* Unsalted nuts
* Baked whole-grain crackers
* High-fiber, low-sugar cold cereal
* Barley
* Popcorn
* Wild rice

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables contain fiber and phytochemicals — valuable plant-based nutrients — that may lower cholesterol and blood pressure and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Plan to stock up on a variety of fresh, frozen and canned fruit and veggies. Select low-sodium canned vegetables and canned fruits packed in juice. Keep bowls of fresh fruit such as apples, bananas, pears and oranges on the counter. Stock up on frozen berries and cut up raw veggies for snacks.

Grocery list:

* A variety of fresh, frozen and canned fruit and vegetables

Legumes: Beans, Peas and Lentils

Legumes are great high-fiber sources of lean protein that are cholesterol-free and low in fat. Studies have shown that soybeans in particular seem to be especially beneficial to the heart.

Grocery list:

* Edamame
* Tofu
* Dried or canned lentils
* Peas
* Black beans
* Pinto beans
* Chili beans
* Garbanzos

Red Wine / Grape Juice / Grapes

The heart-healthy benefits of red wine include reducing the risk of blood clots, reducing LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and maintaining healthy blood pressure – but many researchers believe grapes and grape juice offer the same health benefits.

Grocery list:

* Red wine
* Purple grapes
* Purple grape juice

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts contain heart-healthy oils that experts believe may reduce the risk of blood clots and lower LDL cholesterol as well as improve the health of arteries. Nuts also provide Omega 3 fatty acids — healthy fatty acids that seem to prevent abnormal heart rhythms that may lead to a heart attack. Just be sure to eat plain, unsalted nuts. Flaxseeds are also a good source of Omega-3s.

Grocery list:

* Flaxseed
* Roasted, unsalted walnuts
* Pecans
* Almonds
* Other nuts


Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring and sardines are also excellent sources of Omega-3 fatty acids, which may reduce cholesterol and inflammation that can lead to heart disease. The American Heart Association recommends eating two servings of fish a week.

Grocery list:

* Salmon
* Herring
* Sardines
* Tuna
* Sardines

There are plenty of wonderful foods to enjoy, whether you are trying to reduce your risk of heart disease or just want to eat a healthier diet in general. You don’t have to sacrifice flavor and variety to experience the wonderful benefits of heart-healthy foods!

The above article was reposted from:, Healthy Eating - The Heart-Healthy Pantry
Excellent info.

I know in my own quest for a healthier body/lifestyle there was a time when I thought I had to shop only at specialty stores to be healthy. This left me wondering just how I was going to accomplish this feat.

Where I live there are not so many "specialty stores"; plus the additional expense of products purchased in this manner was prohibitive.

Happily I was wrong. You can shop at Walmart, your local grocery stores, and so on and still live a healthy lifestyle.

The biggest part of it is informing yourself. Read read read! Take it one step at a time. Making small changes. Read the labels, learn what those ingredients actually are. Which is toxic and which is not.

Then just do the best you can with the information you have, and the dollars you have. One day one step at a time. Consistently adding knowledge as you go along.

Gradually making more and more healthy choices, your body will thank you for it. Remember it's one step at a time, gradually making changes.... not all at once. One day, one step at a time.

Life is a journey, enjoy the richness of new discoveries...
Mary E. Robbins
Robbins Run Ranch: In Wild Wonderful Wyoming

Independent Beachbody Coach: Helping people help themselves

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Really great people make you feel that you, too, can become great. ~ Mark Twain

Tuesday… it’s weigh in day. 279 lbs. Stayed the same. 20 lbs down total. 10 lbs down for 2010. I’ll weigh again next Tuesday. I won’t measure again until March 23rd. That’s the end of this 4 week session; and the beginning of the next.

I did not get my workout schedule restarted last week. I did get some exercise. Walked a couple of miles, and did ranch rounds. This morning I am getting into the swing of things once again. Kicking it with Turbo Jam.

I did it! I started working out again. It’s amazing to me just how difficult it was to get myself started in again after having to break through that bloody pneumonia. Aw well it’s over now. Hit it with Turbo Jam this morning. YaY! Feels really good to be pushing play again!

This break in training has thrown a monkey wrench in my marathon plans. I’m doing a restart on the walking. I’ll see where I am when it comes down to marathon time. I should at least be able to do a half. Then do the full later this year. I really want to get a marathon walked in my 50th year. I don’t know that I care about the actual race. I just want to be able to do the distance. Although it would be good to be able to prove that I did it. Not that it really matters to anyone but me.

I think I will walk a race. So it is documented. I am doing this for me, however if it comes into question I want to be able to prove that I actually did it. It doesn’t really matter though. Because I’ll know that I did it.

I remember the doubt that was cast on Uncle Gene; about everything… and I mean every bloody thing that he said he did. Then after the man had died the jerks found out that what he had been saying was true. In the meantime their doubt casting and gossiping really affected our relationship. By our, I mean Uncle Gene’s and mine.

Suspicious hateful people were a huge part of the problems we ended up having. Shattered our relationship. Just breaks my heart, we used to be so close when I was a little kid. He was my hero. Then I was a fool and listened to the strife mongers. Unfortunately so did he. Both of us got caught up in their hateful web of suspicions and accusations.

Nasty self loathing Toxic people. Frankly I don’t want them in my life at all. Unfortunately there are times where they are unavoidable. That is when recognizing them for what they are is extremely useful. I would strongly suggest protecting yourself from this type of person. They spread discord wherever they go, in everyone’s life they become involved with.

It’s difficult when they are close relatives. It can be extremely challenging sorting out the truth from their twisted projections. Even more so because there are always partial truths mixed into their toxic tales.

1. One of the biggest things for me was the realization that I do not have to be a part of their toxic pot of crap.

2. The second thing is the realization that you(I) are not responsible for the misery they bring upon themselves. Usually their lives are a bloody mess… a feel sorry for me I’m a “victim” mess. Oh poor me. Gag! It’s almost always a mess of their own making. If you allow it they will make your life a living hell as well.

3. Keep in mind that you are responsible for your state of mind… your life. They are responsible for their state of mind, their life. As much as they will try to make you feel responsible for the mess they’ve made of their life. It is their responsibility. Can you help them, sometimes… don’t expect a thank you. It is more likely to be blame for some imagined slight rather than a thank you when you try to help them. Then again it is a fine line between helping and enabling with this type of person.

4. They can and will suck the joy out of your life if you give them half a chance to do so.

5. Take note of that confused feeling. That “did I imagine that or did it actually happen” feeling. Yes it did happen, no you did not imagine it. Yes it was as nasty as you thought it was. No they are not innocent. Yes you have been used. By the way, no they are not your friend.

If you find yourself involved with toxic people… protect yourself. How? Do some reading, develop some skills. Put Toxic People in the search at you will find a whole list of useful books.

A journal helps as well, writing your way through the mess, sorting out what is real and what isn’t; and so on. Just keep them out of it; given half a chance they will do their best to use it against you. Leverage and all that.

Well, I certainly got of topic. Must have been a reason for it. Perhaps just me continuing to work my way through toxic residue.

There have been some strong reminders as of late of the pain and grief created by one toxic soul. This person in particular I am unfortunately related to. I have tried over and over to keep a positive relationship with this person. Yet it always turns into something poisonous.

I am relieved to say I am no longer having contact with this twisted sister. Such a relief. Some imagined slight put her on the attack once again. I am so happy this woman is no longer calling my home. YaY! I probably sound awful; but it is such a relief. If she hadn’t been a relative I would have cut off contact with her years ago.

I should have anyway. But I got it into my head that “blood is thicker than water” and all that. Trying to keep family relationships viable. Phhhttt… it was not a viable relationship. It was an enabler relationship, with me being the enabler. Or rather one of them. Thankfully I am no longer in that position. It took 50 years… lol… but I’m done with it. Can’t say that I didn’t try…lol…

In the past, I’ve always taken responsibility and the initiative to make contact after one of her snits. I will not be doing that this time. I am done. Stick a fork in it baby it’s baked…. Burned in fact. Way past done

That stinky weed is out of my garden of life. For that wonderful gift I am ever so thankful!

A hard lesson learned: You can not help people that refuse to help themselves. If you are carrying them it’s not helping; it’s enabling. That responsibility/guilt you feel over their situation is false. Manufactured by the user. The person you are actually enabling. They are using you; and you are allowing it.

Yes I know… Ouch. Been there done that.

This Prayer has been such a blessing to me. No matter what your belief; the premise rings true.

Serenity Prayer
God, Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.
The Courage to change the things I can.
The Wisdom to know the difference.

Life is a journey, may your travels be filled with joy and peace.
Mary E. Robbins
Robbins Run Ranch: Pomeranians in Wild Wonderful Wyoming

Independent Beachbody Coach: Helping other’s help themselves.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Dr. Oz's 100 Weight Loss Tips/Turning 50 and walking a marathon

My mom and I are fans of Doctor Oz... today to celebrate his 100'th show he had 100 people on that had lost at least 100 pounds. Excellent show... Below is a listing of the 100 tips from his website.

So many people start out on their weight loss, or fitness journey feeling like they are totally alone. Even in a crowded room... it feels like a lonely journey.

You do not have to do it alone! There are many many of us on the journey. Reach out ... connect. Whether it's a blog, a phone call, facebook, twitter, tv... whatever.

Reach out, see what others are doing. Engage your mind... then engage your body. Take care of you. Some of the sources I have reached out to are, facebook, twitter, Dr Oz Show, Women's Health, Beachbody (of course- excellent source), and so on. I post my daily routines on facebook, successes and slip-ups. I am 20 pounds down with approximately 134 lbs to go. My goal weight is 145 lbs. Last year I couldn't bring myself to say that. I had a goal of 149 lbs because that gave me just 150 lbs to lose.

I couldn't stand the thought of having over 150 lbs to lose. Although I already had that much because I had gone over 300 lbs. I don't know how much over 300 lbs because I did not get on the scale at my largest. When I did get on the scale I was at 299 lbs.

I started off last year going great guns.. then freaked out. Numerous stressful life events piled up and I did not deal with them very well. All in all I came through the year with a 10 lb net loss. I had lost more but gained some back. I am going on from here.

I am stronger and more determined day by day. I am who I am. I was so excited to see the 10 lb loss for my first session this year. That was a 4 to 5 week session. 10 lbs and 7 inches, the inches just thrilled me to

I am starting on my second 4 week session. I had a challenge near the end of my first session. I came down with pneumonia. Knocked me for a loop and put a stop to all working out for a while.

I am starting up my second session today. A 4 week set of Turbo Jam, combined with training to walk a marathon. I am concerned about the lost conditioning time for the Marathon the end of May. I may not be ready for a full marathon. If I am not, I will do as much as I can and go on from there. I will get a marathon in this year. It's a mental thing... I seriously want to do a marathon distance in my 50th yr. I turned 50 Feb 5th 2010. I have lived 50 years. Half a century... kinda cool Frankly it amazes me that I've lived 50 years. Who'd a thought.

50 yrs, I'm eligible for AARP now. You know that was a total brain twister for me. I am determined to not spend the second half of my life; or the rest of my life, however long that may be out of shape and over-fat. I love the way working out makes me feel. I can already see differences in my body. I can definitely tell differences in my mental state, as well as how I feel physically.

Life is a journey, enjoy the trip.
Mary E. Robbins & the Hairballs
Robbins Run Ranch: Living the Dream With Our Pomeranians in Wild Wonderful Wyoming
Independent Beachbody Coach: Helping Others help themselves... find health and fitness in this life

Here are the 100 Tips from the Dr. Oz Show.

  1. Automate your eating by planning your meals ahead of time. That way you're less likely to make an unhealthy last-minute food choice.
  2. Oats are your friends! Eating a cup of oatmeal in the morning will prevent you from gorging in the afternoon.
  3. Foods with healthy fats such as olives, salmon and walnuts help you feel satisfied.
  4. Skipping meals can cause your body to go into a fat-storing starvation mode, making it harder to burn calories.
  5. Got nuts with nuts. Eating a handful of nuts will help you stay full. Try soaking them in water for a different texture.
  6. Use meditation to help you cope with chronic stress, which can lead you to crave feel-good carbs.
  7. You may be used to fried foods but there are other, sometimes healthier, ways to cook including: roasting, steaming, poaching, baking, braising and broiling.
  8. Do your grocery shopping with a list and a time limit; that way, you're less likely to stray into the processed foods section.
  9. Don't confuse thirst with hunger. Drink a glass of water when you feel hungry to see if that's what you're really craving.
  10. When out at a restaurant, ask the server to hold the bread, snack mix or chips and salsa that might come before the meal. If you're hungry, you'll be tempted.
  11. Tired of eating your salad on a plate? Fill a whole wheat pita with salad and a splash of lemon for a twist.
  12. You might do better to replace an occasional dinner with a nice roll in the hay. Healthy sex may help control the amount of food you eat and it's great exercise.
  13. Create emergency packs filled with healthy foods such as nuts, fruits or sliced vegetables to help you avoid unhealthy temptations.
  14. Add red pepper flakes to your pantry. When eaten early in the day, red pepper lowers the amount of food you'll eat later.
  15. Odds are you're eating too fast. Try holding a conversation while having a meal so you're not gulping down more than you need to feel full.
  16. Take a brisk walk before lunch or dinner. Not only will you get in some exercise, you're less likely to choose something unhealthy after a little movement.
  17. Looking for the benefits of salmon but you don't feel comfortable cooking fish? Try canned salmon as a simple and affordable alternative.
  18. Are your dishes too big? A healthy dinner should fit on a 9-inch plate. You may find that kid-sized plates are more appropriately sized to feed an adult!
  19. Never eat any snack food out of the box, carton or bag it came in. You're less likely to overeat if you separate snacks into appropriate fist-sized servings.
  20. Boost your metabolism with some green tea or chili peppers.
  21. Get your Zzzzzs. Sleep deprivation alters levels of hormones in the body that regulate hunger, causing an increase in appetite.
  22. Muscle burns at least four times as many calories as fat does, so try twenty minutes of strength straining two to three times a week.
  23. Decaf coffee is a great low-calorie fluid when you're having cravings (and a great source of antioxidants).
  24. Eating liquid-based foods such as natural smoothies and low-sodium soup can help you cut back on calories yet feel full.
  25. A pedometer can help keep track of your steps. If you're not getting 10,000 steps a day, you’re not moving enough.

  1. Natural applesauce is an excellent dip for fruits such as bananas and melons.
  2. Take every opportunity to move around, even in small ways. Studies show fidgety people tend to be skinnier.
  3. Identify the emotional triggers that lead you to seek unhealthy comfort food. Picture your goal weight the next time a trigger strikes to help you resist temptation.
  4. Use a vegetable bean dip such as hummus instead of ranch dressing or a fatty cream-based dip.
  5. People who regularly weigh themselves and keep track of their progress in a journal are more likely to lose weight.
  6. Use a dash of cinnamon to give fruits such as bananas and melons a richer dessert feel without the sugar.
  7. Give your protein extra low-calorie flavor by adding a salsa or chutney instead of a gooey cream sauce.
  8. Distracted dining will get you in trouble. Avoid eating in front of a television or in a movie theater, as you're bound to consume more calories.
  9. Pass on pop. You'll be amazed by how much weight you drop by simply switching to water.
  10. Beware of "fat-free" or "zero trans fats" foods as you could be trading fats for huge amounts of sugar or sodium.
  11. Try drinking skim milk at breakfast instead of juice. Overweight people who drank skim milk for breakfast ate fewer calories
  12. Sugarless chewing gum can suppress your appetite in a pinch.
  13. Snack attack! Puree peaches, berries or pears for a sweet spread to go on pita chips.
  14. If you're having trouble getting started, make a small move such as starting an eating log or buying walking shoes. You're three times more likely to follow through if you start with small gestures such as these.
  15. Always have vegetables on hand. Sauté a big bag of frozen mixed vegetables in olive oil and garlic. Add some red pepper or turmeric for additional flavor and separate into portion-sized containers for the fridge.
  16. Edamame (soy beans) are a great low-cost snack. Look for them in the frozen foods section.
  17. Soups can be both filling and comforting. Try making a garden or bean soup with low-salt broth and store in portion-sized cups for later.
  18. Save time and money during the week by buying lean protein such as chicken breasts in bulk and cooking a week's worth on Sunday night.
  19. Save the kitchen and the dining room table for cooking and eating. Try not to use it as a place to do work or other activities, or you may be tempted to eat more.
  20. If food was your only source of pleasure, make sure to reconnect with other things you enjoy -- music, sports, volunteer work or movies, for example.
  21. Try to have a little lean protein with each meal, as protein tends to be more satisfying than carbs or fats.
  22. Think ahead to how you'll eat and exercise on the weekends. It's easy to get too relaxed on Saturdays and Sundays, but healthy living is a 7-day-a-week endeavor.
  23. Dump the junk food. If you want to avoid temptation, make sure you clean out the fridge and the pantry
  24. When you eat calorie-friendly fruits and vegetables that are in season, they tend to taste better and you're more likely to enjoy them.
  25. People who eat breakfast have a better shot at losing and maintaining weight loss.

  1. Replace your scale with a tape measure. Aim for 32 1/2 inches or less for women and 35 inches or less for men.
  2. Make sure you check food labels and avoid anything with more than 4 grams of sugar, especially high-fructose corn syrup, per serving.
  3. Eat a fiber-filled apple before a meal to help you feel full faster.
  4. Opt for peanut butter or almond butter spreads instead of cream cheese or butter.
  5. Remember these five essential smoothie ingredients: frozen berries, a banana, skim milk, a teaspoon of honey and a teaspoon of psyllium seed husks.
  6. Researchers found that dieters who ate eggs in the morning were less hungry than those who ate carb-heavy meals.
  7. The omega-3 fatty acids in salmon may dial up your body's ability to burn fat, especially if you add some exercise.
  8. A Mediterranean diet not only comes with heart benefits, studies show it leads to more weight loss than low-fat diets.
  9. Replace your regular pasta noodles with whole wheat pasta for a more filling meal.
  10. When eating out, ask your server to point out the healthiest options on the menu.
  11. You don't have to make a three-digit number your weight loss goal. Aim for a certain dress size or waist measurement.
  12. Go lean with bean protein. Beans are an affordable and healthy alternative to meats and are wonderfully filling.
  13. Energize plain-tasting proteins such as eggs or chicken with metabolism-boosting chili pepper sauce.
  14. Try a plain Greek yogurt with frozen berries for a pre-workout boost.
  15. Turn dinner into a healthy lunch the next day by wrapping your lean leftovers in a whole wheat wrap. Add a little Dijon mustard or curry powder for added flavor.
  16. Eat a rainbow of colors. Have at least one brightly colored fruit or vegetable in each meal, and, if appropriate, eat the skins -- that's where you'll find a powerhouse of antioxidants.
  17. Make an office snack box of your own so you're not tempted by your colleague's candy bowl. Fill it with small individually packaged portions of soy chips, almonds and dried fruit.
  18. Make an office snack box of your own so you're not tempted by your colleague's candy bowl. Fill it with small individually packaged portions of soy chips, almonds and dried fruit.
  19. If you're 'cooking' food in the microwave, chances are you're eating unhealthy packaged foods. If you must microwave, consider soy chicken patties, veggie burgers or steamer vegetables and brown rice.
  20. Make your wardrobe match your goals. As you lose weight donate the clothes that no longer fit you as an incentive to stay on track.
  21. Pick up a 5- or 10-pound weight at the gym and visualize that weight coming off. Holding the weight in your hands helps bring home just how heavy even 5 pounds of extra fat can be.
  22. If you find yourself at a weight loss plateau, up the duration of your exercise routine by five minutes.
  23. Pounding out your meat will help healthier portions go a longer way visually, and it's good stress relief.
  24. Silken tofu makes a wonderful replacement for cream in some recipes.
  25. Save 85 calories just by swapping mustard for mayonnaise in a sandwich.

  1. Do your best to ensure you're not eating after 7 o'clock at night. You're more likely to make unhealthy choices and less likely to sleep as well after a late meal.
  2. Try a pasta-less spaghetti by mixing shredded zucchini, veggie meatballs and raw tomato sauce seasoned with a dash of zesty oregano.
  3. Fresh herbs can really zing up a healthy meal. Try growing some in the kitchen using a strawberry pot. Preserve the flavor by adding fresh herbs at the end of the cooking process
  4. Fast food is salty food. If you cut back on the salt, in a few weeks you'll be able to better taste the natural salts in food and may not crave the junk as much as you used to.
  5. The rub on ground turkey is that it's dry. Add some olive oil and finely blended onions to a turkey burger or turkey meatball to enhance its juiciness.
  6. If you're trying to lose weight with your significant other, pack each other's lunches. The lunchbox surprises will keep the both of you motivated.
  7. If you're eating out, make salad the appetizer. Most starters are fried and come with unhealthy dips or sauces.
  8. Savory 'umami' ingredients such as mushrooms, low-sodium soy, asparagus and olives can help you feel full and add an earthy, home-y quality to your healthy-dishes.
  9. Make it a point to use the steps whenever possible. Use the bathroom on a different floor at work, take the stairs at the bus station, the airport or the mall.
  10. Try baking apple slices as a healthy alternative to potato chips.
  11. Eating water-rich foods such as melons, tomatoes and celery can help fill you up without adding too many calories to your day.
  12. Avocados can be your secret weight loss partners. They're high in fiber and healthy fats, giving you a meaty-tasting meat alternative.
  13. A handful of unsalted pumpkin seeds make for a healthy mid-day snack. They're rich in magnesium, which helps lower blood pressure.
  14. Keeping good posture will not only strengthen your core, but will also add a small extra-calorie burn, because you're working slightly harder to maintain the position.
  15. Cravings can sneak up on you when you're tired. Try taking a nap if you feel yourself wanting some junk food.
  16. Share your weight loss goals with your friends and family. Make it a positive life change and ask for their encouragement.
  17. Take a photo of yourself each week so you can see your physical transformation.
  18. Store-bought salad dressings can be packed with calories. Make your own vinaigrette and store it in a small spray bottle to coat your greens without over-dressing them.
  19. Yoga may be relaxing but you can also get a good workout. An hour of yoga can burn up to 350 calories.
  20. Get familiar with quinoa -- a wonderful grain that's easy to cook and goes great with sautéed vegetables or mushrooms.
  21. Ditch the mayo, cheese and top bun if you want to scrape off 250 calories from a restaurant sandwich.
  22. Resistance bands are a comfortable and affordable at-home exercise option for strength straining.
  23. Use the freezer to add some extra oomph to summer foods. Freeze grapes for some bite-sized delights. Or get a popsicle mold and freeze some Greek yogurt with berries.
  24. Wrap up any extra food you've cooked before you sit down to a meal so you're not tempted to get seconds.
  25. Take a 30-second break in the middle of your meal. Evaluate just how hungry you still are before getting back to your food.

Monday, February 15, 2010

10 Ways to Speed Workout Recovery and Gain Performance

It doesn't matter at what level you are... whether just starting out on conditioning, skinny as a rail, working on fat loss and changing your body's composition, training or an elite athlete; there is some excellent info here. Read on peeps.

I came across this article on my facebook page. Posted from If you haven't gotten into this site; check it out. Seriously people; there is some excellent info there. Excellent as in extremely useful!.

Life is a journey, enjoy the trip.
Mary E. Robbins
Robbins Run Ranch: Living the Dream with Our Pomeranians in Wild Wonderful Wyoming
Independent Beachbody Coach: Doing it with a Passion

By Lynda Wallenfels
LW Coaching

Spring is the time of year when many athletes ramp up their training in order to prepare for racing. Athletes should also ramp up their recovery habits to stay in balance.

Over-reaching is required to stimulate your body to adapt. Full recovery is required to allow that adaptation to take place. Partial or no recovery leads to partial adaptation, lack of performance gains and eventually, over-training.

The quicker and more complete your recovery from a workout, the faster you can move on to your next quality training session. The more total sessions you have the energy for, the faster you will ultimately be.

Top Secret Ergogenic = Full Recovery

No matter what you do, when you extend yourself, your body requires a specific amount of time to refuel and repair. Full recovery takes time.

USA Triathlon Level II coach Steve Seide says: "Quality training time is extremely valuable. By quality, I mean when you are fully recovered and able to put in complete effort and focus. These sessions should be spent wisely."

Plan adequate rest into your weekly routine and schedule a rest week every third or fourth week. Manipulate volume and intensity during rest weeks to unload accumulated fatigue, maintain fitness and sharpen performance.

Recently, I did a big volume, three-day block of training. As an athlete, it was thrilling to put down some huge training. As a coach, I know it should take a week to recover and produce benefits from this type of training.

10 Ways to Speed Recovery

1. Daily Nutrition Habits
Daily nutrition dictates the health status of your body, plus the amount of training you can withstand and adapt to. What you eat and drink every day sets your athletic potential. If you eat poorly on a daily basis, your athletic potential ceiling will be low.

"You can wear yourself out with bad nutrition even faster than by exercise without discipline," advises Ultrafit coach Tom Rodgers.

Maintaining daily optimal health through a nutritious diet will do more to speed your recovery from workouts than any other factor.

2. Sleep Habits
Sleep is vital for recovery. Sleep is when your body does its best repairing and rebuilding. Skimp on sleep and you will delay recovery. Through the course of a night's sleep, you cycle through several phases. During the slow-wave stage, growth hormone is released by the pituitary gland, stimulating tissue repair.

3. During-Exercise Nutrition Habits
Fueling and hydrating properly during exercise will put you, at the end of a session, in the best possible shape, needing the least total recovery. For easy workouts of less than an hour, water will suffice. For workouts lasting longer than one hour you should consume a sport drink containing carbohydrates, electrolytes and possibly protein (if your GI system is receptive to this).

Hydration and electrolyte replacement: Your body's thirst drive depends on two things: an increase in blood salt concentration and a decrease in blood volume. Both of these occur when you sweat. Research has shown your body will absorb and retain more fluid when electrolytes such as sodium are added to whatever you are drinking. Drinking plain water dilutes the sodium in your blood and shuts off your thirst mechanism, so you drink less and tend not to hydrate fully.

Refueling: An athlete can burn more than 900 calories per hour during exercise. However, research contends the maximum rate at which carbohydrate can be absorbed from the stomach and processed by the liver is 1 gram per minute. This is a measly 240 calories per hour, so replacing every calorie burned is an impossible task. Focus on replenishing as much carbohydrate as your body can process. Consuming more than this will leave you bloated.

Food choices: Exactly the right solid, semi-solid (gels) and liquid food combination to consume during exercise is highly personal. One athlete may thrive on bananas and Gatorade. This menu may send another athlete sprinting for the port-a-potty. Use trial and error to figure out what works for you. It is vital to practice in training many times what you plan to consume in a race.

4. Post-Exercise Nutrition Habits
The job of post-exercise nutrition is to regain hydration status, replenish electrolytes, replace carbohydrate and provide protein for muscle repair and antioxidants to reduce cellular damage.

During exercise, your muscle cells take up glycogen at a higher rate than when at rest. At the end of an exercise bout, this effect lasts up to 30 minutes. Glut-4 molecules hang out on the muscle cell membrane and grab glucose from the blood. Glut-4 molecules are super-activated by high intracellular calcium and insulin levels produced during exercise.

Refueling within 30 minutes of the end of an exercise bout enables you to take advantage of the Glut-4s while they are still ramped-up. This will quickly replenish your muscle glycogen.

If you miss this window it can take up to 48 hours to fully replenish your muscle glycogen fuel stores. Also, immediately consuming protein may reduce post-exercise muscle breakdown.

5. Remove Heat Stress
In hot climates, immediately after a race or workout, remove heat stress from your body. At most triathlons, you finish near the swim start. Walk waist deep into the water and stay there for five minutes or until your body temperature feels down to normal.

6. Time Management
A day spent running all over town, doing a month's worth of errands in a day, does not equal a recovery day. Poor time management can also eat into sleep hours.

7. Stress Management
Chronic stress causes illness, injury and burnout—not good things for athletic performance.

8. Pre-Exercise Nutrition
Ensure you begin a workout with your carbohydrate tanks full and fully hydrated. If you work out first thing in the morning, consume some "low glycemic index" carbohydrates with water to replenish stores after your overnight fast. (Visit for more info on this concept.)

9. Yoga
Stretching, relaxation and meditation have been shown to speed recovery.

10. Massage
Massage increases circulation, flushes away waste products and brings in fresh nutrients while promoting relaxation.

Lynda Wallenfels is a USA Triathlon, USA Cycling and Ultrafit certified coach, and the author of The Triathlete's Guide to Bike Training. For more information about Lynda and her coaching services go to her website at

Thursday, February 11, 2010

It's 99.9% Mental... make it happen... Get OFF The COUCH!

View your goals as a ladder.

One ladder rung at a time.

Until you reach your ultimate goal...

To start... just get up and move!!!

Week 6 - Michael's Challenge
Speedy Peterson gives Michael some motivational words.

Link to the Biggest Loser Video Clip... Just in case it does not load here

Life is a journey, enjoy the trip.
Mary E. Robbins & the Hairballs (Pomeranians)
Robbins Run Ranch: Living the Dream In Wild Wonderful Wyoming
Independent Beachbody Coach: Fighting Obesity One person at a time...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Eating Well: The Best Fitness Foods for Women

I was sorting through my email in box and came across the following article from Women's Health. I always have an eye open for viable useful info. This caught my attention. It's practical useful info. enjoy. This article is out of their Eat this not That newsletter.

Food for health and fitness- try these for a strong body

The cholesterol-lowering monounsaturated fat in these green health bombs can help keep your body strong and pain free. University of Buffalo researchers found that competitive women runners who ate less than 20 percent fat were more likely to suffer injuries than those who consumed at least 31 percent. Peter J. Horvath, Ph.D., a professor at the university, speculates that the problem is linked to extreme low-fat diets, which weaken muscles and joints. "A few slices of avocado a day are a great way to boost fat for women who are fat shy," says Leslie Bonci, R.D., director of sports nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Never mind Dr. Atkins—carbs are the optimal workout food. "Not the simple ones, because they wind you up and drop you down," says Jackie Berning, Ph.D., R.D., a nutrition professor at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and counselor to sports teams. "You want complex carbohydrates in their natural package, aka whole grains." A whole-grain bagel is an ideal pre-sweat-session pick: You'll digest it slowly because of all the fiber, which will deliver a steady flow of energy over time rather than one big burst.

Thanks to bananas' high potassium content, peeling one is a speedy solution to that stitch in your side. While a lack of sodium is the main culprit behind muscle cramps, studies show potassium plays a supporting role: You need it to replace sweat losses and help with fluid absorption. Bananas are also packed with energizing carbohydrates. One medium-size fruit has 400 milligrams of potassium and as many carbs (29 grams) as two slices of whole-wheat bread.

USDA researchers recently placed fresh berries on their list of the 20 foods richest in antioxidants. Just a handful of blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries is an excellent source of these potent nutrients, which protect muscles from free radical damage that might be caused by exercise. Shop for berries by the shade of their skin: The deeper the color, the healthier the fruit.

Close your eyes and they almost taste like crunchy candy. Carrots pack complex carbs that provide energy to muscles and potassium to control blood pressure and muscle contractions, says Leslie Bonci, R.D. And a half cup has just 35 calories.

Looking for something to nosh before you hit the gym? Raid your cereal stash. The healthiest brands contain endurance-boosting complex carbs and muscle-building protein. Sixty minutes before a workout, fuel up with a 200-calorie snack: ¾ cup of whole-grain cereal with 4 ounces of fat-free milk. "When you eat something before exercising, you have more energy, so you can work out harder and perhaps longer. And you'll be less likely to overeat afterward," says Leslie Bonci, R.D.

Skimp on iron and zinc and your energy will flag. Cooking up some juicy chicken thighs or turkey drumsticks is the best way to get more of both. "Dark-meat poultry is significantly lower in fat than red meat yet has all the iron, zinc, and B vitamins that women need in their diets," says Seattle sports nutritionist Susan Kleiner, Ph.D., author of Power Eating.

There's way more to milk than just calcium. In fact, it's a damn near perfect food, giving you a lot of valuable energy while keeping your calorie count low, says nutritionist Susan Kleiner, Ph.D. The chocolate kind is loaded with calcium, vitamins, and minerals just like the plain stuff, but new studies confirm that milk with a touch of cocoa is as powerful as commercial recovery drinks at replenishing and repairing muscles.

Despite its frumpy image, this diet staple packs 14 grams of protein per half-cup serving, along with 75 milligrams of calcium and 5 grams of carbohydrates. That protein is crucial to healing the microscopic muscle tears that occur during exercise, says Amy Jamieson-Petonic, R.D., health education manager at Cleveland's Fairview Hospital.

This packable fruit delivers a generous pre- or postworkout blast of carbohydrates (25 grams per ¼ cup). Plus, cranberries have proanthocyanins, compounds that help prevent and fight urinary tract infections. Running to the bathroom every 5 minutes definitely isn't the kind of workout you need.

Don't skip the yolk. One egg a day supplies 215 milligrams of cholesterol—not enough to push you over the 300-milligram daily cholesterol limit recommended by the American Heart Association. Plus, the yolk is a good source of iron, and it's loaded with lecithin, critical for brain health, says nutritionist Susan Kleiner, Ph.D. What does brain power have to do with exercise? Try doing a sun salutation without it.

"Flaxseed is full of fibers called lignans that promote gut health," says nutritionist Susan Kleiner, Ph.D. Since flax lignans contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, they keep you regular. "When you're trying to do an endurance sport, it can be disruptive to have digestive problems," she notes. A daily dose of 1 to 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed tossed in your cereal nets you fiber without fuss.

Complex carbohydrates, protein, and unsaturated fats—all the right elements to fuel activity—meet in one healthy little 70-calorie, 3-tablespoon package. Plus, hummus is often made with olive oil, which contains oleic acid—a fat that helps cripple the gene responsible for 20 to 30 percent of breast cancers, according to Northwestern University researchers.

"They're portable. They're a fruit you can get year-round. And they're a rich source of vitamin C," says Leslie Bonci, R.D., "which helps repair muscle tissue." One orange has all the C a woman needs each day—close to 75 milligrams. Vitamin C is also key for making collagen, a tissue that helps keep bones strong.

No wonder Mr. Peanut never stops tap-dancing. Female soccer players kicked and sprinted just as well in the final minutes of a game as they did at the start when they added 2 ounces of peanuts a day to their regular diet, says University of Buffalo professor, Peter J. Horvath, Ph.D. The extra fat may help improve endurance by giving muscles energy to burn up front so they can spare muscle glycogen stores later.

Sweat like a pig? Four shakes of salt (about 1,100 milligrams of sodium) and a small baked potato is the perfect recipe for electrolyte replacement. "The electrolytes, sodium and potassium, help maintain fluid balance in and around cells and make sure muscles contract as they need to," says Leslie Bonci, R.D.

Great for heart health, but here's an added twist: New studies are suggesting that monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fats might help lessen abdominal fat. It's too soon to understand the link, but "this could be particularly good for women working to tone their core," says nutritionist Susan Kleiner, Ph.D.

I hope you found the above article interesting and informative.

Below is a link to the article on their site.
Eating Well: The Best Fitness Foods for Women | Women's Health Magazine:

Life is a journey... enjoy the trip.
Mary E. Robbins & the Hairballs (Pomeranians)
Robbins Run Ranch: Living the Dream in Wyoming
Independent Beachbody Coach: Fighting Obesity One Person at a Time