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Posts Tagged ‘food’

Good God it feels good to be back!! My elimination diet made me feel FANTASTIC, but exercise was an unfortunate casualty for the last week and a half. I won’t get in to why…

So I decided to go for a run in Central Park this evening. I didn’t bring any music because I figured I would brainstorm for my next blog post. I wrote the entire thing, my brain was on fire! Well, “wrote” in my head, of course. Oh the witty comments! And the brilliant content, wow! Where did it go now that I’m sitting at the computer??

Anyway… It’s not entirely well-lit, so I stuck with the small (more populated) loop and just did an extra lap. That reminds me, there are a couple of drawbacks to night running. The pros absolutely outweigh them, though. For one thing, there was a good couple minutes where I actually had no idea where in the park I was! I suppose that may have just been because I was on auto-pilot while “writing” this blog, who knows. But the other unfortunate thing that was definitely due to poor lighting was the several minutes I spent wondering why the smell of horse poop seemed to follow me, no matter where I went. Hmph. Well I’ve probably put more than enough miles on these shoes anyway…

Note: in the interest of making this blog more visually appealing I wanted to try to add more photos, but I can barely take a decent photo while standing still (actually, not really) so there was certainly no hope for me taking my own photo while on the run! Alas, I must give credit where credit is due.

I am so glad I did it!! I highly encourage running at night – provided you can do it safely. It is such an easy way to add variety to your workouts! You can do the same run you usually do and yet it feels different. Varying the direction and even location of your workouts is a great idea too. In fact, given how much I go on and on about variety and its benefits I almost want to make that the theme of this entire blog. Really, when is variety not a good thing? With nutrition, it helps you get all the nutrients you need from all sorts of different (healthy) foods. When it comes to exercise, you will most definitely see better results if you change up your routine! Swim one day, bike the next, run the next, try a new class the next… you get the idea. You want to challenge your body and work different muscles, right? With travel… who wants to go to the same place all the time? No, you want to explore the world! And on goes the list. OK I guess I can think of one area where my husband might discourage variety, but… if you really think about it, you want to try all sorts of different people out before you settle in to something permanent! See?? It still applies!

So that’s my message for you today. And now on to my healthy, easy and hopefully delicious dinner idea. Asian-inspired chicken and veggies over soba. Only without the soba, ha! Quinoa was a tasty stand-in luckily, as that’s what we had in the cupboard. A side plate of roasted Japanese sweet potatoes made for a DE-LISH addition.

How easy is this? 1. I chopped up some cucumber, red bell pepper, green onion, poached chicken and cashews. 2. Mixed up a pinch of this and a pinch of that with no measuring equipment at all whatsoever. Sesame oil, tamari, chili garlic sauce, fresh ginger and… nothing, that’s it! 3. Finally I mixed it all up and threw it over the quinoa.

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Need a Boost?

Are your energy reserves running on empty? You would not be alone! Lack of energy is way too common these days. Especially with the hectic pace we try to keep up in today’s world. There just aren’t enough hours in the day anymore, are there? I know, I hear myself say it ALL. THE. TIME.

Are you getting enough sleep? That, of course, is central to just about everything the body needs to do. You have to have time to relax and repair yourself from the inside out. It’s not just about the quantity but also the quality. You need deep, uninterrupted Z’s. No waking up because you have to use the restroom, you should have finished your water intake well in advance of bedtime. And hopefully you finished eating with time to spare as well – your body has enough to do to fix you up, it doesn’t need to add digesting a mountain of food to this list. If you have problems getting the rest you need, let me know. The arsenal of tips to combat this are too many to list here.

Get moving! What, too tired to exercise? Maybe that’s because you don’t exercise! You may need to start slowly and ease your way in, but the best way to build up stores of energy is to build up your strength – that’s your muscles and your cardiovascular stamina as well.

Are you getting a variety of whole, organic foods?** Without variety you cannot get all the nutrients your body needs. And even then, given that the quality of foods available to us isn’t always top notch, you still may need a supplement. Are you getting enough iron? Vitamin B? Antioxidants? (Tip: eat a rainbow of bright-colored fruits and veggies!) Are you eating enough, period? You need a balance of protein, complex carbohydrates and fat (the good kinds, that is) to fuel your daily routine.

On that note, are you eating a lot of sugar? Processed food, i.e. high fructose corn sugar? Drinking diet or regular soda? Too much alcohol? Coffee? Off-kilter hormones are another common culprit for low energy. You know how it goes… you eat some candy and you get some energy and then next thing you know, you have less than you started with! Caffeine has a similar effect. And the more you get, the more you need to get the same effect, until before you know it you can’t even get that quick burst of energy anymore.

Life is frenzied so make sure you have an outlet for stress. Did I mention that exercise is a good option?

If you feel you have an issue, consult your doctor. Lack of energy can be caused by any one of the reasons I mentioned. It can also be symptomatic of something more serious – anemia, thyroid issues, depression, etc.

**P.S. it’s not enough to just eat all the right foods, you have to absorb them properly. So make sure your digestive system is working properly so you get the benefits!

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Ah food cravings… why can’t they ever be for things like steamed kale or raw broccoli spears? No no. Of course, the most common craving known to man – actually it seems to be more often woman, no fair! – is for something sweet.  I suppose there are evolutionary reasons behind it but that hardly helps us now, does it. Well, the good news is there are plenty of current, easily explained reasons for it now too. This is especially good news because it means there are ways to manage these cravings and use them to our benefit rather than let them be our downfall. With a little practice it’s not even that difficult! If I can get over my cravings for sweets, trust me, anyone can.

The truth is that cravings really are – no, really – our friend. They do happen for a reason, our bodies are trying to tell us something! We just need to figure out what that message is. If you just ate something salty, your body may be trying to compensate with something sweet to balance itself out. Heck, maybe you just ate something sweet – sugar is addictive so having some doesn’t help much in alleviating the craving, it just makes you want more! You could be craving nutrients that you aren’t getting or your hormones could be out of whack. Have you ever tried drinking water when you crave sweets – maybe you are just thirsty. Maybe it’s not even biology-related, perhaps you are just bored! Sometimes we crave that immediate satisfaction that we know we are going to get from that sweet, melt-in-your-mouth cupcake. And sometimes it’s a much bigger issue, something we are missing in our lives on a deeper level. All of these are things we can deal with!

The biggest problem today is that what was once sweet is no longer so sweet. Our ancestors may have had sweet cravings, but I think we can be pretty sure they were not looking for Jelly Bellies or Coke. They found sweetness in fruits and vegetables, even grains. Well, we can too! It’s just a matter of adjusting how we eat. Try adding more fruits and sweet vegetables to your diet. OK, sometimes you just really want a tasty dessert, try using a replacement for sugar like raw honey or agave nectar. (Try the recipes below!) Are you just bored? Try doing something else that will bring you pleasure without taking in calories! There are tons of strategies for overcoming that overwhelming desire for candies, cookies and other desserts. It really is worth it for your health. Despite their bad name, there is increasing evidence that sugar may be more of a culprit than dietary cholesterol and fat when it comes to cardiovascular disease. You only get one body, take care of it!

Gluten Free Coconut Macaroons

6 egg whites
¼ teaspoon celtic sea salt
½ cup agave nectar or honey
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
1. In a mixing bowl whisk egg whites and salt until stiff
2. Fold in agave, vanilla and coconut
3. Drop batter onto a parchment lined baking sheet, one rounded tablespoonful at a time
4. Pinch each macaroon at the top (like a kiss)
5. Bake at 350° for 10-15 minutes, until lightly browned

Raw Brownie Bites

1 cup almonds
1/4 cup cacao powder
1/4 cup raw honey or agave nectar
1/3 cup flax seeds or flax seed meal
2 T coconut oil
1 small pinch of vanilla extract
1 small pinch of Himalayan sea salt
Dash of cinnamon (optional)
Place all ingredients in food processor until combined, roll into balls and refrigerate or freeze for storage. Serve cold from the fridge.

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