The Great Fat Debate

Happy Friday!!! So, I took a nutritional class last month at my local natural food store and I was SO surprised by what I learned that I had to share…

MYTH: People get fat from eating foods high in fat. Our bodies actually need fat (good fat!) to keep our metabolism going strong.

FACT: SUGAR is the major culprit of fat gain. Sugar = body fat.

DID YOU KNOW: Our bodies convert most complex carbs (bread, pasta…) into SUGAR? (Remember, sugar = fat = going shopping for bigger jeans…not good!) One serving of Special K cereal converts into the same amount of sugar as a bottle of soda! Ick!

I grew up drinking skim milk, eating low-fat ice cream, and low-fat snacks. I, like many, thought I was making healthier choices! WRONG!

Low-fat versions of foods usually replace the removed fat with extra sugar or carbs. And since our bodies convert carbs to sugar, and sugar to actual (flabby arms) fat, these low-fat foods are actually horrible for us!!!!

WHAT TO DO?

Drink whole milk. Yep. Whole milk. Skim milk has MUCH more sugar than whole milk. And an added benefit of whole milk? Extra good fats to keep you feeling full and to keep your metabolism running high!

Avoid ALL complex carbs. (bread, cereal, tortillas, chips, rice, pasta…). The RIGHT carbs to eat are fruits, veggies, and brown rice.   And (to state the obvious…) avoid sugar!

These might seem like impossible goals…BABY STEPS! Start with breakfast. If you avoid carbs and sugar in your breakfast, there’s sure to be a difference! Some good options are turkey bacon, nuts, home-made healthy smoothies (use milk, fruit, and protein powder…avoid juice, sorbet, and ice cream), fruit, or full-fat greek yogurt.

Look around online and you’ll see the jury is still out on this topic! This is just what I found out at a presentation from a Registerd Dietician. Take it with a grain of salt, but it’s definitley something to think about!

Have a happy healthy day!

Caitlin

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Success!…Limoncello and a Gimp Workout (not together!)

I finished my Limoncello last night, and I’m happy to say, it turned out great (in my opinion)! SO, here’s my recipe for making this delicious Italian lemon liqueur:

Caitlin’s Limoncello:
20 Organic Meyer Lemons
2 Bottles of Everclear (the real stuff, not the kind you get in MN)
7 C. Sugar
6.5 C. Water
 
~ Wash the lemons really really well.
~ Peel JUST the yellow part off the lemon.
~ Soak the lemon peels in the Everclear for 1 month in a well sealed glass jar or container.
~ 1 month later…make a simple syrup by boiling the water and stirring in the sugar. Mix WELL. Let cool.
~ Take the lemon peels out of the Everclear (I used a slotted spoon)
~ Add simple syrup into Everclear mixture and let it sit overnight.
~ Filter mixture (use a coffee filter or a Brita pitcher…the brita method worked better for me)
~ Pour into sanitized bottles
~ Enjoy chilled!
 

Usually Limoncello looks a lot lighter…I used natural sugar, which is why mine kind of looks like pee. But it still tastes great! But if you want that light yellow look…definitley go for the regular old white sugar. This stuff is very strong, so enjoy with caution!

This week I also experimented with a wimp gimp workout. I’m not exactly satisfied with it, but at least it’s something!

Workout with a Broken Foot:
 
Day 1:
30 min. on the elliptical, one footed (no I’m not joking…)
20 reps of leg extensions x3
20 reps of 1 legged squats x3
20 reps of 1 leg extended triceps dips x3
20 reps each side fire hydrant drill x2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=koh2eoSdG2Q
20 reps each side donkey kicks x2
http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/diet-fitness/exercise/glutes-exercises.htm
20 triceps kickbacks x2 (standing on 1 foot)
Abs – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jh1Ol3RpOEc
Stretch
 
Day 2
30 min. elliptical, one footed
20 reps bicep curls x3 (on one foot)
10 reps side arm raises x3
10 reps lateral arm raises x3
1 min. plank, one foot lifted
20 push ups (on knees) x2
20 staggered push ups (on knees) x2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Z8fCEYz1qQ
20 reps lat pull-down x3 (if you have the equipment)
Stretch

I also tried one footed yoga this week. All I can say is that I am going to be very imbalanced when I finally can use my right foot again! I go back to see the foot specialist on Monday…so hopefully they have good news for me! I would love to be allowed to swim for my cardio!

Have a happy healthy day!

Caitlin

 
 
 

Goooooooooal!

SO, last night I tried a new loop, intending to run 5 miles. Well…I got lost somehow (not surprising if you know me at all!) and ended up running for an hour and 10 minutes. I have NO clue how far I actually ran, but it was definitely the longest run of the year so far, and completely by accident! I’m just glad I found my way back eventually!

It can be hard to stay motivated in your fitness regiment (especially when you’d rather be BBQing and drinking beer on the deck after a long day at work), but  it can really help to have goals. For people who are more competitive, that might mean besting your time by the end of the season or in a race. For others it may be to lose 10 pounds for an upcoming event ,or to fit into that pair of jeans.  Your goal for THIS week? Make a list of fitness-related goals! 

Here are some tips for setting fitness goals:

1. Set your goals with the intention of STICKING TO IT! Remember, “A goal that is casually set and lightly taken is freely abandoned at the first obstacle.”  – Zig Zigler

2. Set a deadline (race date, an event, the last day of summer, your class reunion…)

3. Be realistic and specific (ie: “I will lose 15 pounds by August 31st”, NOT “I want to lose 100 pounds”)

4. Break it down. Break down your goal into bite size pieces. If you want to run a 10k in under 48 minutes, make a goal to run several 5ks in under 25 minutes first!

5. Keep it fun! Don’t work towards something that you don’t want or don’t enjoy. On days when its hard, remind yourself that you’re doing this for YOU and that is something you WANT.  

Here are my goals…some short term and some long-term, that are keeping me motivated this summer:

  • Look good for my cousin Sarah’s wedding THIS SATURDAY (haha very short-term)
  • Run the SayHey 5K this June in under 25 Minutes
  • Complete the warrior dash this July without dying  : )
  • Be able to do 5 pull-ups by the end of the summer
  • Be able to consistently climb 5.10A’s again by next summer (I need a climbing buddy…any takers?)
  • Have arms like Kelly Rippa when i’m her age  : )

Have a happy healthy day, and set some goals!

Caitlin

First run of the summer…Oh Sh%!# i’m in trouble!

I know I don’t normally post this close together, but it is necessary. Yesterday was the first HOT (89 degrees) day of the year here in MN so I thought i’d kick off my summer running season with a short run after work. WELL. Let me just say that if yesterdays run was any indication, I am in serious trouble! Granted, it was incredibly muggy out, but I ran a VERY slow 4 miles! (Yes, it was too slow to even tell you what time I got. Were not going to go there!)

Last summer I didn’t do any outdoor running because I didn’t want to get a sports bra tan for the wedding. Last night I felt like I was a newbie to the whole running thing. It was pathetic. There was sweat dripping off of me from EVERYWHERE about 3 minutes into the run, and I’m pretty sure I had some great facial expressions going.

My sexy new water belt!

Highlights of my run: Wearing my fabulous (dorky) new water belt and an Enya v. Prodigy mashup song that came on.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CTJqwX-AwM (you really need to listen to this!)

The water belt was actually pretty cool. I’ve never used one before, but it was SO nice not to get cotton mouth! It feels a little funny at first, but you get used to it pretty fast!

Well, I think I have some serious work to do to get ready for the races I’m entered in this summer! (Oh what?! ! you say? I’ll come back to that another time…very exciting news coming up!)

Have a happy healthy day!

Caitlin

These are a few of my favorite (yoga) things…

I’ve been stuck in a yoga groove lately, which isn’t all bad. I attribute it partially to the fact that at my new job, theres lunchtime yoga available, so some times I’ll do yoga twice in one day. I’ve been able to get into some pretty crazy/awesome poses and balances that I never in a million years thought I’d be doing, which is pretty fun! I do need to get out and run more now that its spring (kinda), but seriously, yoga is addicting. It feels like the more you do it, the more you need to do it. But, since I’ve been doing yoga so much lately, I’ve come up with a few favorite (and NOT so favorite) yoga accessories to share with you!

1. Sticky Towel – LOVE IT

I can not tell you how much I LOVE this. It’s a microfiber towel with sticky grips on one side that you lay on top of a regular yoga mat. It’s smaller than a yoga mat and fits inside your gym bag. Much better than toting a gym bag and a yoga mat around! I’m not a germophobe, but it’s pretty gross using a gym mat in yoga class. I mean, really, your all over that thing. And I’m going to be honest. I sweat a lot in yoga class, especially in hot yoga, when it’s 112 degrees in there! When I’m on a normal yoga mat, I end up slipping all over the place. This mat prevents all of that nonsense. Best find ever!

2. Yoga Socks – Hate it

You’d think this would be a great idea. An easy way to prevent slippage, washable, and fits easily into the smallest of gym bags. Nope. First of all, they’re a b*!#? to get on, and your feet still slide around inside of the socks. Half way through class your socks will be all twisted up. And these socks do nothing to prevent your hands from slipping…I am NOT going to wear yoga gloves (yes they do exist). Plus, these socks look pretty dorky when paired with shorts.

3. Shiva Rea Daily Energy DVD – Love it

When you can’t/don’t want to make it to the gym, it’s nice to have the option of doing yoga at home! I’ve tried tons of yoga DVDs, and this is by far my favorite right now!

4. Camelback Water Bottle – Love it

This water bottle is awesome for any activity, not just yoga. I like it because the suck/straw drinking method means you don’t have to mess around with unscrewing the top off your water bottle in the middle of class when you want a drink (this is also super awesome for when your running on a treadmill!). Also, this water bottle is silent (it doesn’t make any awkward noises), a plus for the quiet yoga atmosphere.

Hopefully this motivates you to do some yoga this week!!!

Have a happy healthy day!

Caitlin

Food of the week: Carrots!

I know your thinking, carrots…that’s not a very interesting ingredient! And I have to be honest with you, I’m not a huge carrot fan myself. I definitely don’t reach for carrots when I’m looking for a healthy snack. But I really want to like carrots, because they’re SOOOO cheap and they keep forever! So I went on a quest to find a few easy and healthy ways to use carrots that are a little more appetizing than just biting into a huge chunk of raw carrot. But first…some nutritional facts about carrots!

Health benefits of carrots:

  •  1 cup of carrots = 52 calories   That’s a lot of carrots!
  • Good source of dietary fiber (that’s the digestible kind!)
  • Great source of beta carotene…it boosts the immune system, promotes eye health and hair/skin/nail health
  • Good source of vitamins A, C, K, and Potassium

How to incorporate carrots into your diet this week:

  •  Use carrots to dip in your guacamole or humus instead of crackers or chips. Much healthier!
  • Moroccan Carrot Salad:   (This recipe sounds kind of weird, but I promise it’s REALLY good! And really easy!)        
    • 4 cups carrots, coarsely grated (I get the pre-done carrots!)
    • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 3 to 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon  paprika
    • Pinch of salt 
    •  1 teaspoon cayenne
                                                                                                                                                                                                             
Oven Roasted Carrots:
  • 12 carrots
  • 3 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt 
  •  1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh dill or parsley

Instructions: Preheat the oven to 400F. Cut carrots into ½ inch thick slices. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Lay carrots on a baking sheet and roast in oven for 20 minutes. Toss with dill/parsley and enjoy!

  Have a happy healthy Day!

Caitlin

Moroccan Carrot Salad for lunch today! Yum yum! And it took me literally 1 minute to make last night!

 

 

GET SKINNY: FATTEN UP YOUR DIET

If you are a  child of the 90’s, or lived through the 90’s, the idea that FAT = BAD has been pounded into your head. And it makes sense, right?  If you eat fatty foods, you will be fat.  Seems pretty simple.  WELL.  You can imagine my surprise when my nutritionist told me that I needed to be eating more fat!  This isn’t because im too skinny.  I’m downright average in fact.  But my nutritionist told me that if I want to boost my body’s metabolism for the long run to avoid gaining weight, I needed to fatten up my diet.  I’m NOT telling you to eat McDonald’s every day.  Eating the RIGHT fats will boost your metabolism, give you energy, suppress your appetite, and give you naturally heathy skin and hair. So, what are these magical good fats you ask?

Some of the healthiest sources of fat include:

Avocado
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
Flax Seed Oil
Wild Salmon
Raw Nuts
Seeds
Seafood

And what are some of the WORST fats, that you should XXX from your diet IMMEDIATELY?

Animal fats
Margarine (did you know it’s just 1 molecule different from plastic!?)
Full Fat Dairy Products (Full fat cheese, full fat ice cream, whole milk)
Anything “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated”

I’m no health expert, and when I tried to research healthy fats online, I came up with hundreds conflicting answers from supposedly “credible” sources. Whats a girl to do???!!!  So all I’m telling you today is what I learned from my nutritionist.  But really, the moral of this story?  Add more avocado and olive oil (2 very common, and easy to use ingredients) into your diet to promote a healthy metabolism!

Have a healthy happy day!

Caitlin

Scared of a little fish?

Over the weekend, I cooked up some Ahi Tuna.  To tell you the truth, I was a little intimidated.  I’m a pretty adventurous cook, but I’ve never cooked Ahi before and  raw Ahi Tuna looks like a huge chunk of red meat.  And not being a huge red meat fan…I don’t have a ton of experience in that field either.  But, it turns out that cooking Ahi Tuna is REALLY EASY! I found a few recipes that sounded good, and combined them to make my own recipe.  I seriously encourage you to try this recipe.  I like it because it’s easy, healthy, and most of you will probably have all the ingredients sitting in your pantry or fridge already.  All you have to do is buy a piece of Ahi Tuna.

Pan Seared Lime Ginger Ahi Tuna

1 tuna steak (sushi grade)

1/3 cup lime (or lemon) juice

1/3 cup honey

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon rice vinegar (or regular vinegar)

1 clove fresh garlic (or 2 tsp garlic powder)

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated (or 1/2 tbsp ground ginger)

salt

Instructions

Rub tuna with salt and olive oil.

Prepare sauce (all ingredients except salt and tuna)

Heat pan on stove – med/high heat

Place tuna on pan, sear  for about 3 minutes

Flip over and sear other side for about 2 minutes

Sear sides for about 30 seconds each.

Add sauce, cover, and let simmer for about 3-4 minutes

Take fish out and place on your plate. Pour remaining sauce on top.

Yum!

Let me know what you think about this recipe, and please share any awesome Ahi Tuna recipes you have! I still have one piece left!

And in other news…I ran outside for the first time this season!  It was SO nice to run in the sunshine!  4 miles for my first run of the year isn’t too shabby!  I didn’t time it…I just wanted to get back into the swing of running and enjoy the beautiful day!  I hope you’re taking advantage of spring FINALLY being here and getting active outside too!

Have a happy healthy day!

Caitlin

I’m in love with my bobble

Ok, well maybe LOVE is a strong word, but seriously, you need to get this water bottle. Its called the Bobble bottle.

I am a huge fan of toting around a reusable water bottle. I find it SOOO wasteful when people go through hundreds and hundreds of disposable water bottles. Even if you are recycling them, you are wasting your money! It’s just silly! And yes, I know it’s a convenience factor, but it’s really not that hard to use a reusable water bottle. (come on ladies…i’ve seen the size of your purses…you could fit a small house inside of it, not to mention a water bottle)

The reason I love this bottle is because it’s the ultimate in convenience. It features a carbon filter inside of it (like what your Brita pitcher or fridge uses to make the water pure and good tasting), so you can refill it with any ole’ sink water and it still tastes great! It comes in a bunch of colors but of course, I have the pink bottle! It only costs $8, and you only need to purchase a new filter ($6 I think) every 3-4 months!  I also like the mouthpiece on this bottle. Unlike the Nalgene bottles, this one wont get your face wet if you take a drink too fast or hit a bump while drinking it in the car. I’ve seen this bottle at target, Macys, and a variety of other stores. Instead of buying a big crate of water on your next shopping trip, buy this bottle instead. Let me know what you think of it!

Have a happy healthy day!

Caitlin

Workplace Perils

Well, I started a new job this week!!!  I am happy to be putting away my interviewing suit in lieu of more comfortable (and CUTER) work clothes!  (Does anyone see a celebratory shopping trip coming up? Because I do!)  Everything is going great, but starting at a new workplace reminded me of all the health pitfalls that come along with having a “big girl” job.

1. First, there’s the fact that most jobs involve sitting for the majority of the day, often with bad posture.

Fix: Make sure your computer monitor/key board are set up to encourage good posture. Grab an old telephone book to elevate your monitor if necessary. Adjust your chair (if you can!) so that your knees are at a 90 degree angle with feet flat on the floor. And yes, make a conscious effort to sit straight (I know, I know, easier said than done)! (side note: I’ve noticed a huge difference in my posture since doing yoga once a week…it really does help!)

2. Eating out for lunch is expensive, and often unhealthy. But, you don’t want to be the bump on the log who refuses to socialize with your coworkers because you don’t want to go out to lunch. Plus, going out to eat seems so much easier than packing a lunch…whats a girl to do?

Fix: Avoiding eating out for lunch all the time is pretty impractical, but try to limit it. When you do go out, opt for ordering an appetizer, soup, or salad instead of a main entre. They are typically cheaper and healthier. Try to encourage your coworkers to eat in with you. A good way to encourage this is to make sure that when you eat in, you still take a break away from your desk and socialize while eating. (Helpful tip: stock up on ziplock screw-off tupperware…they’re disposable if necessary, and WONT SPILL!)

3. After a day of work, there are about 10 other things besides working out that need to get done…it’s easy to give priority to those other things and let your workouts slide.

Fix: One option is to work out early in the morning. If your like me and not a morning person (at all!), pack your workout bag in the morning and get to the gym right away, on your way home from work. You should be able to make it home at a reasonable time to have dinner, or run some errands or catch up with friends. My suggestion, however, is to get as many errands as possible done on the weekends. Still short on time? Combine meals with friends, they need to eat too!

My lunch today (in a Zip Lock container): tomato cucumber salad (dressing: basil, olive oil, balsalmic vinegar, salt and pepper)

Have a happy healthy day!

Caitlin

What are your tips for staying healthy at work? Share!

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