Every once in a while, something happens in your life that will help you make the changes that you want to make your life healthier. In her book, Better than Before, Gretchen Ruben outlines how we can rely on the power of habits, and how those habits can help us to either make our lives healthier or not. Habits can be complex, or they can be pretty simple. But regardless, they can be broken down in to three distinct parts: the Cue, Routine, and Reward. Here’s an example of a very simple habit that I have: Every week night, my husband and I watch television on the couch after dinner. About a half hour after we’re sitting there, I get a craving for something sweet. Although I used to eat dark chocolate, I’d sometimes eat more than I intended. So, I switched to something more portion controlled – a protein bar. Read More . . .
Walk in to any fitness center, and you’ll see lots of machines taking up space – from treadmills, bikes and ellipticals to weight machines that seem to be medieval torture devices, seemingly working every muscle in the body. What do all of them do? Do you need all of those machines? If walking into a gym with lots of machines is intimidating enough,walking into a gym without any machines is even more so! What do you do with all that stuff? All you see are free weights, and maybe some bars, ropes, boxes, and other, different looking, torture devices. Is one better than the other? Will machines get you better results? Or will free weights? As with everything related to your health, the answer is, “It depends”. It depends on where you are in your fitness journey: your physical abilities and what you know about exercising. Pros & Cons of Read More . . .
Ever since I discovered spaghetti squash, regular pasta has little to no appeal to me. For me, plain pasta noodles don’t really taste like anything, and really are just a vehicle to deliver the good stuff: pasta sauce, cheese, and meat. I created this video because I think that seeing a spaghetti squash in the grocery store is pretty intimidating: How do you cook it? for how long? You can’t really screw this up unless you severely over cook it, or under cook it (but if you under cook it, you can just stick it in the microwave, and you’re good. General Directions: Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Carefully cut the squash in half, lengthwise. With a spoon or ice cream scoop, scoop out the seeds and other slimy muck. Place squash halves face down on a cookie sheet. Add water to the cookie sheet in the video I Read More . . .
We all work so hard during the week. And once Friday night rolls around, we just want to put on our sweatpants, sit on the couch, and be a vegetable – not eat vegetables. We are worn down from all the adulting that we do during the week, that all we want to do on the weekend is NOT be responsible. Weekends tend to be a bit more relaxed. We typically have more time, so we want to sleep in, hang out with friends, have fun & not have to think about our diet. Well, unless you have kiddos who are in soccer, baseball, basketball, go to birthday parties, and other activities. In that case, weekends aren’t such a relaxing time O.o When we finally get through the week, we feel like we deserve a treat – and one of those treats is to not think about it. So, there are a Read More . . .
Who’s sick of their fitness routine? This is statistically the part of starting a fitness routine where you’re ready to throw in the towel. Maybe you slept in, maybe you got invited to happy hour & decided that you’d go to the gym after, but didn’t because, um, margaritas (true story!)… It’s all normal! Totally normal. This is just the messy middle. That frustrating period of time when you can’t see the end goal to save your life and everything feels overwhelming. Everything in life has a messy middle. Everything. In the beginning, working out and experimenting with new healthy recipes is fun. “We’re going to get a six pack and my a** is going to look amazing in my jeans and we can totally live on salads sprinkled with lemon juice and this will be so awesome!” In the end, working out and eating well is REALLY fun! “Yawn, Read More . . .
“Youth is Wasted on the Young” – George Bernard Shaw When I was in my 30’s, I was strong. I would work out with heavy weight, my strength training schedule was carefully planned and followed, and about every 12 weeks, I would dutifully take a week off from training, to give my body a break, and ensure that I wasn’t over-training. After the self-imposed week off from training, I would pick right back up where I left off, and move on with the rest of my training schedule. Then, something ‘magical’ happened: I turned 40. Everything changed. After I turned 40, if I took a week off for a vacation, or just because my body needed a break, Oh. My. GOD! The Soreness! For Days! See, beginner exercisers wonder when the soreness is going to get easier. And the answer to that is: if you’re consistent, your body should get Read More . . .
One of the biggest complaints I get from my clients is that they lack motivation and accountability when it comes to consistently working out and eating healthier. And I have to tell you, it’s tough. With so many demands on our time and attention, carving out a little time for ourselves seems to be an ever increasing battle, and sometimes, all we want to do is drink a glass of wine & veg out. But before we delve into how to get on board with being motivated to do whatever it is that you’re wanting to be more consistent with, Its important to ask the question, “Do you really want to do this?” And a few variations… Do you really want to do this? If you don’t have the passion for wanting to eat well, or exercise regularly, you’re not going to do it. And if you don’t really believe that Read More . . .
I have always been a control freak. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always tried to manipulate the situation so that it would turn out as I had expected it to. Looking back, its a bit embarrassing thinking about how I strong-armed my in a few situations. One example I recall was when I first moved to Austin, Texas, and my dad came to visit me. There’s a restaurant near us that serves amazing tex-mex food. One of their specialties is Chicken Fried Steak. So, for anyone who is unfamiliar with what Chicken Fried Steak is, it’s a steak that has been breaded & deep-fried – like you would do to fried chicken – and then covered in cream gravy. I hadn’t had it. It was waay too unhealthy for me to even try. But everyone raved about how good it was. And because everyone else liked it, Read More . . .
Is it possible to separate calories burned from calories consumed? I know that it seems like a weird question when diet and exercise are inextricably linked. We hear it all of the time: Eat Less, Move More! Clearly we know that the calories in versus calories out equation is true (to a certain degree). So, if you eat more calories than you burn, you should gain weight; and if you burn more calories than you eat, you should lose weight. But the advice of Eat Less Move More is flawed for much of the population. Sure – it might be true for folks who are neither active, nor paying any attention to their diet. But when you’re already active and restricting calories, and plateaued, that advice doesn’t work anymore. But yet, we’ve bound eating and moving together as if one cannot exist without the other. When we overeat, we immediately Read More . . .
Overwhelmingly, the thing that I hear over and over again, is ‘Elizabeth, I want to work out (or eat healthy, or go to bed on time), but when it comes to actually doing it, I just don’t. I don’t feel like doing it.’ I can totally relate to this. In the light of day, I have the best intentions to eat vegetables all day, go for long walks, and lift heavy things, but when it comes to actually doing it, I have a hard time motivating. This time of year can be especially difficult: it’s getting darker earlier; there is so much going on, it can seem easier to just say ‘eff it! I’ll start new in January!’; it’s cold – which breeds hibernation, and starchy comfort food. Its not surprising that motivation is the thing that folks struggle with. We think that we need more information – so we go out and by books, Read More . . .