Back From My Fox Hole – Update on Life

So, I’ve been MIA for a while but lately I’ve been uninspired. I’ve still been working out at least 5 days a week of course, but I feel like everything in the health and fitness world has been so redundant and conflicting lately. I mean, I see at least two articles a week (sometimes from the same source) that contradict each other.

First, I’ll give you guys a little update on my last semester, which was probably the most informative semester I’ve had during my experience as a dietetics major. I took physiology and advanced nutrition, among other courses, and although physiology was a bitch, I learned more about the human body and it’s reactions to food with these two courses than I’ve learned my entire college career. I won’t go into the boring details but hopefully my knowledge will show in my blog posts and future counseling.

I recently started doing CKO kickboxing, which I absolutely LOVE. I’ve been in such a funk lately with my workouts, so it was definitely time for a change. Of course I’m still running and following a training plan, but I try to do CKO on my short run days. The classes go by super fast and they virtually target every part of your body. They’re also great for relieving stress after a long day. I try to just clear my mind and focus on the workout during them. Hopefully I’ll be able to do so during the semester, even if I am still bringing textbooks to the gym to read while I run.

Last semester I also began working at a chiropractor’s office as a nutrition advocate. Dr. Feldman practices Nutrition Response Testing (NRT), so I basically help him with these patients, along with helping out with other office and social media duties. The perk of this gym is that I get tested for free and I get discounts on any supplements I may have to buy. I’m not sure if they have had any affect on me but I have noticed that I am nauseous less often. I haven;t been very consistent with my supplement intake but I’ll post more on my progress once I get ingot he swing of it.

Advertisements

This One’s for the Gym Rats: Warrior Dash 2013 PA

warrior dash 2013

Last Saturday was my day off and guess what I did? The PA Warrior Dash! I’m used to regular races that normally aren’t so eventful, so this was definitely something new and fun for me. I loved the lively environment and how no one took the race that seriously…no men in spandex stretching at the front of the line, no one trying to speed past me, just some crazy people in costumes that were really funny to watch. It was nice not being in a competitive race for once. I just took my time and had a blast during the race. Surprisingly, I was extremely sore for the next couple of days, which I found strange since I hardly considered this a workout. The obstacles were mildly difficult but nothing that made me grunt or sweat profusely, like my regular gym workouts.

This mud run made me realize that being fit doesn’t always mean tough workouts. Being active and getting in shape doesn’t have to involve long sweat sessions at the gym 6 or 7 days a week. In fact, your body will quickly get tired of these straining workouts and you may get discouraged and less motivated to workout much sooner. If you’re a gym rat like me, you know the satisfaction you get when you wake up the next morning after a tough workout and feel just the right amount of soreness and you may think that in order to maintain your figure or tone up, you need to bust your butt every day. Well, I don’t blame you because up until last weekend I also believed this. However, I’m slowly coming to the realization that my body often needs a break from the usual butt-busting routine. Instead of ignoring my rest/cross training days on my schedule to go ahead and run anyway, I’m going to try to find fun ways to stay active. I may even take a rest day…*gasp*. Anyway, it’s really all about listening to your body. If you’re exhausted and you don’t feel like going to the gym but you’ve been there every single day for a week straight, take a break. You may feel guilty or lazy, but your body will thank you and you’ll feel a lot more energized the next day for a workout. People who abuse their body by forcing themselves to lift or run until they drop often lose interest in working out much earlier than they would have if they took breaks.

Your First Meal on Campus

dininghallpic

For all you health-crazed co-eds returning to school, you might find my latest CL article helpful: Your First Meal on Campus

The main point in this article is the 50-25-25 rule – 50% of your plate should be fruits and veggies, 25% should be some kind of starch (preferably a whole grain), and the other 25% should be a protein. This rule of thumb is so helpful for overwhelmed students at the dining hall. And I definitely recommend sticking with one plate, unless you’re getting a side salad or soup.

First Semester Workout Plan

firstsemesterworkoutpic

Here is my most recent College Lifestyles: http://collegelifestyles.org/2013/08/first-semester-workout/

I actually used my own strength training plan for this article. It’s a mix of the Extreme Fitness Bikini Body Program and my own workouts. I replaced a few of the moves and changed the amount of reps/time to make it more convenient and easier for coeds to understand. I did the legs/butt workout yesterday, which only took me 25 minutes, and I already feel my legs getting leaner and tighter. These workouts really are effective and perfect for female students because they’re quick yet they make you sweat. These are not easy and the best way to see faster results is to go through the circuits with no rest between sets. If this is too difficult at first, try doing just two in a row with no rest and work your way up to doing the entire circuit without stopping. And, of course, do NOT forget your cardio!

Information Overload: Health Myths Debunked

Health-Facts-Pro-Fitness

Diet and fitness tips are everywhere and finding the truth can sometimes be difficult. Researchers are constantly informing us of new studies and sending out new information into the health and fitness world. I get emails every day from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and there seems to be tons of new health info every single day. It’s hard to keep up.

Naturally, being human, we’re quick to believe any tips (or myths) that we hear, especially if they’ve been around for a while. These timeless health tips are often proved wrong or missing crucial details and if you’re studying nutrition, you know this, but why do we still live our lives by these old-fashioned diet illusions? Now, I’m not telling you to kill yourself trying to find proof for everything you hear out there. I’m actually telling you to do quite the opposite. Ignore it. Do what makes you feel good and healthy. If you’ve been forcing breakfast down your throat every day when you’re not much of a breakfast person, stop. Your metabolism won’t stop in its tracks and make you store your next meal as fat. Don’t worry. Stop timing your meals out and counting your almonds. Just stop. Relax and eat like your ancestors did. Enjoy your meals and don’t just see food as vitamins, minerals, fats, carbs, protein, etc. Being health conscious is of course a good thing, but don’t go overboard and burn yourself out. Don’t believe everything you hear, but don’t go buy a 40 buck book on dieting if you don’t actually want to read it.

I found this amazing article from Shape.com that debunks 10 health myths we’ve all been hearing for a while: http://www.shape.com/weight-loss/weight-loss-strategies/10-unbelievable-diet-rules-backed-science

What really surprised me in this was #3, “Snacking Does Not Affect Metabolism.” I’ve always heard of and seen health and fitness experts dividing their meals into 5 to 6 small meals a day, but this always seemed so inconvenient to me. Being a college student, I found this extremely difficult. I’d try to bring healthy snacks with me when I knew I’d be out all day for class and tried to eat every three hours (even when I wasn’t hungry), because I thought my metabolism would improve by doing this, but I’m not much of the snacking type. I’ve always liked eating three solid meals a day and if I got hungry in between, maybe I’d have a piece of fruit or some almonds as a snack. This is the first thing I’ve ever read that proves the small meals theory wrong and it makes me feel a lot better about my eating habits. It does make sense though. As long as you’re eating a healthy diet and eating when your hungry, why should it matter when and how often you eat? Of course I wouldn’t recommend only eating twice a day and trying to get all of your calories in those two sittings, because chances are you’ll either overeat or under eat, and neither of those will be good for your metabolism in the long-run. Just remember to eat nutrient-dense foods (that you enjoy) when you’re hungry and you’re golden.

P.S. – Check out #5 if you’re looking to safely get rid of extra weight. Never thought about taking vitamin D as a weight loss pill, but the science behind this makes complete sense. After years of biology and other nutritional science courses, I wish I had thought of this.

photo

Best and Worst Foods for Flat Abs?

abs-woman-fit-400x400

We’ve all heard the saying, “Abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym,” but could this be another health and fitness myth? Nope. This is totally true. Doing a million crunches on the gym’s mat will not get you a flat stomach. In fact, if you’re not eating right or have improper form while doing these ab workouts, this could actually just make that little unwanted pouch harder and who wants a muscular bulge on their stomach? I mean, besides huge male bodybuilders.

If you want flat abs, you have to eat a healthy diet. Period.

Here’s a link to a Shape.com slideshow on the best and worst foods for flat abs. It’s not really that surprising. If you’re already eating a healthy diet, you shouldn’t be eating too many of the “worst” foods and the “best” foods should also already be part of your daily intake.

Vacation and Over-indulgence Recovery

Paris-Hilton-Drinking-Huge-Bottle

Summer is the season of vacations. Even when you’re not on vacation, you may get caught up in summer relaxation mode and let yourself go a bit. Whether you’re at a BBQ and you find yourself drinking a little more than you should or you stop at a Taco Bell on the way back from the beach, you’re entitled to a little cheating. The key is not letting the guilt get to you and lead you to an extended binge or giving up on your health completely because of one little slip up.

After a vacation or a little indulgence, the best thing to do is to accept it and go on with your regular health and fitness regimen. You’re only human and once in a while it’s okay to pig out a little. In fact, it’s even beneficial if you do it sparingly. Even professional athletes and bodybuilders have cheat days. The reason for these is that they boost your metabolism and get your body used to digesting foods that contain more fats and carbs. If your body is asking for a certain food, you should give your body what it wants, because chances are it’s going to binge on it after a few days of deprivation. The truth is you can eat anything you want in moderation. If we all just ate whatever we felt like whenever we felt like, most of our metabolisms would be on fire and there’d be no need to over indulge, but this is unrealistic for most of us health freaks.

So when you do over indulge, don’t try to compensate by over exercising or reducing your calorie intake. Just get back to your routine and drink lots of water. Eat clean and do whatever workout you have scheduled for that day. You’ll feel better at the end of the day and your body won’t be starving. This is the best way to detox your body.

I found this great article from dumblittleman.com that tells you how to recover from vacation eating.

MjAxMy1jYzc0NGU0MWVlMGJhN2E1_5127af13f4058