Next weeks challenges

Since Christmas is coming this week, we will make the challenges light.  Let’s stick with getting 96 oz of water because that is so important.  For the fitness challenge let’s go with cardio again.  Release the stress of preparations & family & whatever with getting 30 minutes of cardio at least 3 times this week.   Merry Christmas everyone.  Debyi

Food for Thought

Things we should/shouldn’t eat to keep us young & healthy.  We know most of it, but it was a good reminder.
Five to AVOID
1. Saturated Fat
2. Trans Fat (anything that says Partially Hydrogenated)
3. Sugar
4. High Fructose (again, sugar)
5. Enriched flour, enriched wheat (this means they took the good stuff out & put a little back in!) Instead go for whole grain.

The 5 to Eat Often
1. Nuts — esp. almonds and walnuts — NOT roasted ones!
2. Spinach
3. Tomato/tomato sauce
4. Garlic — cancer fighter!
5. Pomegranates

Spiced Nuts

Here is a yummy spiced nut recipe:

Spray a handful of almonds with nonstick cooking spray & bake at 400 degrees for 5 to 10 minutes.  Take them out of the oven & sprinkle with either a brown sugar & cinnamon mix or cayenne pepper & thyme. 

What are you doing?

What are you doing?

Are you actively trying to be healthy? Are you aware of your behavior & attitude right now? Stop for a second & think about what you are doing right now — are you happy with your choices? If so, celebrate! If not, don’t worry — you can change courses right now!

One of the best tips I have learned is to “be conscious” — try to think about what you’re doing and what choices you are making as you live every day. You stay in control of your life. You become fully aware of the decisions you make. You take charge of your own destiny. You live your life the way YOU want to live it — talk about true power!!

So, what are you doing? 

New Challenge for December 11- 17, 2006

Fitness challenge for the week: Lat Row  This is a big muscle group, so you can lift heavy.  Let’s aim for 2 sets of 12 on each arm, 3 times this week. 

Tips for the Perfect Lat Row

FIRST, WHAT IS A LAT?
The Latissimus Dorsi is the largest muscle of the back. It runs from the under side of the arm all the way down your back & ties in at the lower spine & pelvis.
AND WHY SHOULD WE ROW IT?
The short answer is that it will make your waist look smaller & tighten up that area under the bra strap! The scientific answer is that it is responsible for the extension, abduction & internal rotation of the shoulder & arm.
WHAT’S THE SET-UP?
Start w/ weight in the right hand & feet slightly farther than shoulder-width apart. Rotate shoulders back so that chest is pushed forward & shoulder blades are pressed back & down. Hinge forward from the hip & keep back flat, placing left hand on the box (or a chair). Knees should be slightly flexed. Glutes are hiked (up in the air!) so you should feel the hamstring stretching. Shoulders are level with each other. Extend right arm toward the floor. Keep your thumb on the same side as your fingers. This takes the work out of the hand & forearm.
THE ROW:
THIS IS KEY…Using your BACK muscle – the lat – pull the weight up. Your elbow should be raised higher than your back, but both shoulders should stay level. Keep your elbow close to your back. Squeeze the lat muscle internally at the top of the contraction & then carefully release the weight back to the starting position. Shoulders should still be level.
COMMON PROBLEMS:
The rounded back is probably the most common problem. If you’ve got a mirror, make sure that you can see your chest when you’re in position. Think about puffing your chest out like a pigeon. Feel the stretch in your hamstrings as your glutes are hiked toward the ceiling.
The shoulders should not rotate during the exercise. If the weight is too heavy, you may begin to involve the shoulder to lift it. Lighten up the weight so that you can control it without opening up the shoulder at the top.  Also, don’t let the weight pull the shoulder down at the bottom.  Occasionally people say they just don’t feel the right muscle working. Usually the problem is not using heavy enough weight. The Lat is a tremendous muscle & VERY strong. Don’t cheat it! GO HEAVY!
MODIFICATIONS/RECOMMENDATIONS:
If the stance is uncomfortable for you, place the left foot on the box (or chair) & support your hip flexion with the left forearm on the quadriceps. Your back will be at about a 45 degree angle.
Weight Recommendations
Beginner 5 -7 lbs
Intermediate 8 – 12lbs
Advanced 15-25 lbs

New Challenge for Monday, December 11 – Sunday, December 17, 2006

Nutritional challenge for the week: 8-9 hrs of sleep every night!   this will be a hard one on some nights, unrealistic on others, but sleep is sooo important! let’s try to get in at least 8 a night! I understand that some nights this is not going to happen, whether it’s because of kids or work or whatever, but not getting in enough sleep during the day makes you drag all day long!  Research has proven that 7-8 hours of sleep every single night will help us to lose flab & become more energetic & better able to function throughout the day.  This week, I want you to work on getting more sleep. I know that if I hit the sack by 10pm, I will wake refreshed & ready for my early morning workout. But if I don’t then I know I will be groggy all day.

As an added bonus, getting enough sleep cuts our cravings for sugar & carbs! When we are tired, our bodies don’t produce enough seratonin…& carbs help increase seratonin in our bodies, so naturally we crave carbs when we’re sleep deprived.  So let’s work on our sleeping this week! It will help in both our diet & exercise routines!

Water tidbit

one more water tidbit:

When you’re hungry, your body may really be thirsty. Well, does that really make sense, because when you think, when I’m hungry, I’m HUNGRY, I’m not THIRSTY.

Here is another way to explain it. When your body thinks it won’t get enough real water, it knows it can draw water out of the food you eat, so it will increase your appetite to get it. Duh!  🙂

More fiber suggestions

I find that it’s sooooooo helpful to plan exactly what you are going to eat for the day, then there is no guess work.  Write down what you are going to have for Breakfast, Snack, Lunch, Snack & Dinner.  Avocadoes also have fiber & healthy fats (to help you absorb those fat soluable vitamins).  One of my favorite snacks is a fat free/low sugar soy yogurt with 1/4 cup Bare Naked granola & some berries.  Yummy!  I will be postin some fruit/veggie/fiber ideas tonight.  By the way, a banana is a good source of fiber, but it can also cause constipation, just like cheese.  Hmmmmm….interesting.  Blueberries are a good source of fiber and antioxidants.