Today we had our first annual Easter Egg(xercise) Hunt! An incredible way to get in a great workout while having a great time. Try it at home with your family tomorrow! Our participants ran to find plastic eggs – each had a slip of paper with a different exercise in it. Congrats to Clarise – she won the hunt by gathering the most eggs and a total of 20 FitCredits to use towards a future package purchase. (Each FitCredit is worth $1, so Clarise basically got a free workout today AND $$ to use in the future!…….She definitely earned those credits, though…..She literally gathered every egg that had “up-downs” (burpees) hidden inside – close to 30 up-downs total! Quite a challenge!
Speaking of challenges – Easter Sunday is typically a day where you’ll be faced with many food challenges. The key is portion control, portion control, portion control. Other strategies include choosing larger amounts of the healthiest foods available at your feast and smaller amounts of the higher calorie (and fattier) foods. For example, it’s better to have more spoonfuls of fruits and veggies than potato salad. And really….if your “salad” has heaping tablespoons of regular mayonnaise in it, it’s really not much of a “salad” at all! Try using low-fat or fat-free versions of this item and others – like sour cream and cottage cheese. You’ll be doing your waistline a huge favor without notifying your taste buds.
Another tip is to make sure that you consume protein in addition to the readily available carbs and fat on most dinner tables. This way your body will have all of the building blocks you need. Ham and deviled eggs are great sources of protein (okay, it’s the egg-white that has the protein, not the mayo/mustard/yolk concoction piled high in the middle – a great place to use that “mayo tip”!) Finally, exert your own control of what you eat by preparing things yourself. If you take something to a gathering, that will be at least one food choice where you’ll know exactly what’s in it. One of the dishes I’m taking to my family’s gathering is Jell-O Jiggler Eggs. They’re delicious, and a much healthier option than consuming high calorie, fattening, and delicious sweet baked goods after dinner. Fix that craving for sweets without any guilt. J-E-L-L-O! Give it a try!
In my last blog I said I’d write about this topic. In addition, a few of my clients and friends have asked me about the difference between multi-grain and whole grain products. Since life is short, I thought I’d pass on giving you a dissertation and instead give you some simple, short, and sweet information. If you’re really in a hurry, you can stop reading after the next sentence. When buying grain products (bread, cereal, rice, etc.) a label that reads 100% whole grain will have more nutrition than a label that doesn’t. For those of you with a few more seconds to spare, here’s a little more: Don’t look at the front of a package to tell if a food product is good for you. Flip it over and look for the nutrition facts. Below all of the calorie and nutrition info is usually where they list the ingredients. Look for the words “whole wheat,” “whole bran,” or “whole grains.” This means you’re getting the entire grain including the bran (fiber), germ (b-vitamins and essential fatty acids), and endosperm (mostly starch). If a product has the word “enriched” listed in the ingredients, the truth is that the grains in that product have been stripped down to just the endosperm (the least nutritious part), and then nutrients were re-added. This allows the company to save money and create a product that they can offer for less to the consumer. This is also why white bread is cheaper than whole-grain bread. Whole grains not only provide you with more nutrition, but leave you feeling fuller, longer – since they have more fiber. So what about “multi-grain?” Multi-grain is a term that simply means that two or more types of grain have been included in the product (for example, barley, wheat, corn). While many multi-grain products are also whole grain, many are not. That’s why it’s important to read the ingredients label to make sure. Food companies are sneaky, too. They’ll add molasses and food coloring to a product that has a few whole grains, and stamp a big “whole grains” stamp on the front. You, as the consumer, see dark bread and those “whole grain” words and think – “Oh, this one’s healthy.” And into the shopping cart it goes. Don’t be fooled. Read labels.
Happy Thanksgiving! This is a great time of year to pause and be thankful for all that we have – especially our health. Here are a few tips for maintaining your weight and keeping fit throughout the holiday season. Enjoy!
1. Stuff the turkey, not your belly! – When you’re full, stop eating. Besides, who really likes that bloated, achy feeling anyway? So once you feel satisfied, push your plate away from yourself – it’ll help stop the nibbling as you sit and chat with family and friends.
2. Throw away your “on the diet” vs. “off the diet” mentality. So you indulge a little on Thanksgiving day. That’s no reason to continue the trend on Black Friday and beyond. Return to the healthy habits the very next day and prove to yourself that YOU are in control.
3. Be active! Instead of sitting around with that sleepy feeling after you eat, resist the temptation and move a little! Grab a few of your loved ones and go for a walk around the neighborhood. Play freeze tag with the little ones – they’ll love the attention they’re getting! Toss a football back and forth during halftime of the game – who knows, maybe a little game of your own will break out. The opportunities are endless and can create memories that will last a lifetime.