Friday, March 23, 2012

5 of My Favorite Spring Things

I think Spring might just be my new favorite time of year. When I was younger it was definitely summer because summer meant no school, my birthday and beach time. While I still LOVE summer for those reasons, recently so many things about spring time just make me so happy that it's kind of winning my heart so I thought I'd share my favorite things about spring...

1. Running outside + Taking a walk
 Over the winter I do most my running on the treadmill but when the weather starts to warm up I hit the streets. I think I fell in love with running because when I was younger I spent so much time playing outside smelling the morning air, seeing the beautiful flowers, and watching the birds, rabbits, ducks, and other animals but as I got older I stopped paying so much attention to the little things. But running allows me to take time and enjoy the little parts of nature I loved so much as a child.

 2. Plant something or visit a famers market and support thoes that do!
I am not a gardner BUT my dad is and I just saw Dr Suess's the Lorax with my baby cousins (that aren't such babies anymore) If your not familiar with that movie the take home message is that it's up to each and everyone of us to take care of the environment. There is just something very beautiful and pure about plants growing. Plants purify the air and it just feel good to put something in the ground and watch it grow. If your like me and don't have the greenest of thumbs hit the farmers market or try a window plant!

 3. Make a Smoothie 
I have seen smoothies popping up around the blog world but couldn't get my self to try one. UNTIL I this morning whenI got back from my morning 6 mile run dripping in sweat I decided there was nothing more I wanted then a cool creamy smoothie bowl Recipe below.



 4. Cooking out
If there's one thing in common with all the boys in my life it's that they love to grill. AND I love to take advantage their love for the grill by coming up with healthy new  things to put on the grill! For example the other night I had my dad grill a vegetable melody marinated in a little olive oil and lemon.
 5. Outdoor dates 
Instead of the movies or something traditional plan dates to your local park, mountain, or orchard where you can spend more time with your friends / date talking and enjoying each other + the weather. My friends and I love to go to sugar loaf mountain near my house climb to our favorite spot and sit and talk about life:) Sometimes just being outside seeing how beautiful things are makes whatever troubles you may have seem not so important.

My Green Monster Smoothie Bowl:

1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
1Tbsp Peanut butter
1 Handful spinach
1/2 banana
3/4 cup almond milk
4 large ice cups

Topping
1/4 cup Kashi Go lean cereal
a sprinkle of sliced almonds


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sleep..the Missing Link

This morning I got to do something I do not normally do. I slept in. After a pretty intense day filled with work at RBA, body sculpt, and  a six mile run. My mind and body were exhausted. I knew I wanted to wake up and hit an 8 mile run to get ready for the 10K I plan on running this Sunday but I knew the only way that would be possible would be to let myself sleep. Sleeping in felt AMMMMAZING so I decided to do some research on:


The importance of sleep and here's what I found ....

Many studies have found that a lack of sleep can cause an increase appetite. You know those days when you so exhausted and keep grubbing but never feel full? What's happening is a change in your hormone levels from a lack of sleep, specifically the hormones Ghrelin and Lepitin.  Ghrelin is a hormone produced in your GI track and when produced it sends the message to your brain telling it your hungry. Leptin sends the opposite message, its produced by fat cells and tells your brian "chill out i'm full".  Research found that restricting sleep suppresses Leptin and increases Grehlin which can lead to over eating and fatigue.

Sleep is also critical for learning and memory, a process called memory consolidation happens while we sleep.

So how much sleep is enough?! Most of the sources I read said somewhere between 7 and 8 hours is legit.

So after I got my sleep :)...I completed my 8 mile run on a rainy yucky morning. Then made some
Blueberry Vanilla Protein Pancakes

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Someday Melissa


Today Rebecca, Bobbi and I represented Empowered Eating  at a heartbreakingly sad but POWERFUL documentary 
The film was entitled: 
 "Someday Melissa" 

Someday Melissa is the story of a 19 year old girl who lost her life battling depression and bulimia. The movie tells Melissa's story outlining the inner demons that plagued her life until her death from a heart attack at only 19 years old. Not typically a "movie cryer" I was soaked in tears by the end of the movie. Melissa's life was cut  short way too early and the movie made it pretty clear that had she not been discharged from treatment she may still be alive today. It was terribly tragic to see the pain in her family's eyes as they spoke of her loosing their only daughter. The movie  really raised the question: 

How do you help your family or friends suffering from eating disorders? 

When Melissa was sick and suffering her family was so lost and confused about her disease. They didn't know how to help her and at times seemed feel resentful and angry at her because they couldn't always connect her behavior with her disorder. They locked food away from her and argued all the time. It made me really sad that at different points in the movie both Melissa and her older bother said they lost a sense of having a home. The movie took another twist when Melissa's mom revealed that she too had and eating disorder for 25 years. Raising the question: 

What is the role of genetics in eating disorders? 

"Genetics loads the gun but environment pulls the trigger" 

Melissa was very creative and tragically poetic. She kept a diary of poems illustrating the pain, loss, confusion, and depression that she felt in her trapped dark disorder. Each time Melissa would get into treatment she would make great improvements, people in her treatment groups would talk about the spark and light she brought to the programs BUT  each time she was discharged she would fall back into the disorder. 

At the conclusion of the movie we listened to a speech by Beth Mayer, LICSW a licensed social worker and current president of MEDA, Inc. . (multi service eating disorder association) Beth is a survivor of Bulimia and gave a powerful presentation outlining the themes of the movie some of which included: Family care, genetics, and recovery. She left us with the message that recovery is possible but intervention needs to begin early. The theme I chose to leave with was hope: 

"The capacity for hope is the most significant fact of life. It provides human beings with a sense of destination and the energy to get started." - Norman Cousins

"Someday I hope all girls will be able to see the beauty in life" What's your someday wish> 

Melissa's mom Judy started and non-profit to raise awareness for eating disorders you can learn more about the non-profit and the film Here

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Be Consistent. Be Visual. Be Human.

This morning I was up early again :). Unfortunately, I woke up still in a sugar comma I put my self in after eating too much of my dad's key lime pie at a family party the night before so I decided to run first and eat second.

Here's was my much needed running pintrest motivation: 



I was on my way to the gym when I realized it was WAY too nice outside to workout in a gym so I went to a park close to my house for an outdoor trail-run!



This was the view from my morning run...good choice right?

For Breakfast:
Vanilla Protein Oats Topped w/ Pecans and Blueberries!  


 While I was eating I came across an article in my nutrition news feed that I wanted to share!



How often before you go out to a new restaurant...see a movie...or make a new purchase do you read the review it got online? I do ALL the time. Why? because we want to know what people are saying about it. When I write reviews of a product or place online It's usually because the service was great or horrible and I need to vent. I like to read when other people vent as well because the conversation is  real. However, when I get terrible service at a restaurant I usually don't say: "I'm going to go tweet about this"...BUT maybe I should?

The article was called:

 "Be-consistent.-Be-visible.-And-be-human-Building-consumer-trust-through-social-media" 

 Basically, companies are recognizing social media conversations and basing important decisions off of them . It explained that  brand influence is controlled by 3 components:

  1. paid for media (advertising companies purchase)
  2. owned media (a companies personal website)
  3. earned media (what real honest people have to say about a product)


....The importance of earned media is really growing (basically someone might be reading my venting...haha I can hope)!

In other words companies are actually reading your tweets and Facebook comments  and taking them to heart. For example in the article it talked about how pepsiCo changed the carton of tropicana after customers slammed it on Facebook! It went as far as saying that if companies ignore social media conversations the result can be as bad as a product recall!

The end result...start tweeting and commenting when you want to get your point across to companies they maybe reading  :)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

I like my Caffeine via Coffee and Tea Please.

I love this time of year because each day the sun rises just a bit earlier and the prospect of a long morning run becomes more and more appealing. Unfortunately, I am the worst creature of habit and if I'm use to hitting the gym located conveniently 5 floors below that's what I do even when it's beautiful outside like today! BUT the good part about hitting the gym was the ab work I motivated myself to do after a 30 minute run:


  • Planks 60 minutes center, right and left 
  • bicycle 2 reps of 5 
  • reverse crunches 2 reps of 30 
  • push 2 resp of 25 
Not the most intense workout but I'm still proud of myself for doing something more than cardio :) 

For Breakfast: 

Emmy's Chocolate Orange Protein Oats with Coconut Shreds 
Emmy's is an awesome company that makes amazing raw organic products check um out ;) 




Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup old fashion oats 
  • 1 cup water 
  • 1 Emmy's chocolate orange macaroon 
  • 1 Tbsp coconut shreds 
  • 1 Tbsp slivered almonds 
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder (makes the oats sweet and creamy :) 
Nutrition

  • Calories : 400 
  • Protein: 19 grams
  • Fiber: 9 grams 

Nutrition In the News: 

This morning as I'm drinking my second mug of green tea with breakfast I came across this article: 


I've never seen these before...and the concept is very strange  to me but apparently this company called Aeroshot   created a product that looks like lipstick but sprays 100 mg of caffeine instantly. The FDA just issued a warning to aeroshot for misleading product that claims to be both invaluable and digestible ...obviously it cannot be both. It's actually digestible.  





Personally, I do not think there is anything troublesome about 100mg of caffeine, many of us consume that dose in a large cup of coffee. HOWEVER,  what makes me concerned is 100 mg of caffeine instantly ingested. The important thing to remember is that products like this caffeine dispenser haven't been tested or regulated for safety. Like other supplements they are regulated by the manufacture that puts them out (can you smell a bias?) and they can cause serious health problems. I liked this video because it highlighted some of the same concerns that went through my mind: 



Please be careful and alert to the final decision the FDA makes on this product before using it! 

Happy Thursday! 

Love, 
Amy 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Ab workout #1...all by myself (and SHAPE).

Monday... check! Bring on the rest of the week please!

For Breakfast: 
Peanut butter toast and a banana...with some agave nectar! 
 I needed something quick and easy because I was studying for a Medical Nutrition Therapy Exam all morning ...glad to knock that out! 

After my classes were done I was ready to hit the gym and carry out my monthly resolution to do resistance/ strength training/ abs (basically anything but cardio) at the gym ON. MY. OWN (big deal for me). 

For the inspiration: 


For my abs workout:

1.     Planks: Center, Left, and Right  @ 60 seconds each
2.     pline Ride 2x @ 25 reps
a.     Elevate legs at 45 degree angle and crunch
3.     Weighted Bicycle 2x @ 25 reps
a.      How to do it: Start lying on your back with both knees bent. Extend your arms overhead, bending your left arm behind your head and holding onto your right arm, just above your elbow, with your left hand. Bend your right knee and press your right foot on the inside of your extended left leg (left leg should be off the floor and low). Lift your right shoulder off the floor and turn it in towards your left leg, while you lift both legs up about 45 degrees. Lower back to start position, that’s one rep. Perfrom 15 reps on each side.
4.     Plank pikes 2x @ 20 Reps
a.     Start in a straight arm plank and jump in ward
5.     Seated Leg U’s 2 x @ 20 reps
a.      How to do it: Start seated, facing your bent knees. Place both hands on the floor just behind your hips, and lean back to pick both feet up off the floor, keeping knees bent. Next, lean further back, bending your elbows to the floor and extend your legs further away from your body, while tracing a letter ‘U’ with your bent knees. Try to lean back so that your elbows touch the floor at the bottom of your ‘U’, and then sit up as you finish it. That’s one rep. Repeat 20 times total.
I learned these moves from: 10 Flat ab moves from shape.com!

For the rest of the week:  Pinterest teaches 10 ways to love. LOVE IT :) 








Friday, March 2, 2012

Procrastination Chef

I decided to take the night to catch up on school work and and try some new recipes...

First experiment:
Kale chips
Ingredients:
1/2 bunch kale
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp Mr Dash
1 Tsp red pepper (if you like things hot!)


Preheat oven to 350 F. wash and de-steam kale. Dry kale and toss in the oil and seasoning. Then spread the kale evenly on a flat baking sheet covered with foil. Bake for 25-30 minutes! You'll love the result!

Second Experiment...

Buckwheat Flour coconut muffins

Now this recipe was much more of an experiment because I was attempting to make Lemon Blueberry Buckwheat Bakes until I realized I was missing a few ingredients!! (including a medium sized baking dish) The result= 3 interesting muffins!

Ingredients: 

1/4 cup Buckwheat flour
 1/4 cup egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup frozen berries
1 Tbsp coconut shreds
2 Tbsp skim milk
1 Tbsp flax seed (ground)
1 Tbsp honey

Preheat the oven to 375. Combine dry ingredients in one bowl and wet ingredients in the other. Then mix them together until just combined! I'll have to play with the proportions if I like these Muf's at breakfast time because right now the ingredients make an awkward 3 muffins!

...Ok time to actually get my work done.


Thursday, March 1, 2012

My March Goals!

It's a new month (national nutrition month YAY), leading into a new season, filled with lots of new opportunities! I love March because the days get longer which means I can run outside :)  The weather gets warmer = no more heavy jackets (hopefully)... I hate carrying jackets all day. And the new season brings new "in season foods"...

some of my favorite March produce includes:

Grapefruit
Asparagus 
Beets 
Spinach 

I was recently inspired by a blog I read http://eat-spin-run-repeat.com/ because each month Angela comes up with new goals and then evaluates them at the end of the month. While I am always creating new goals  I thought blogging about them is a really cool way to keep yourself accountable and why not start with March?!

My March Goals:


Nutrition goals: 
 1. Write about 3 "Nutrition in the News" topics.

... I'm always reading/ skimming/ learning about nutrition topics but when I write about them I really think about the issue and remember it PLUS I get share it with people who may not be aware of what's going on!


Fitness goals

1. Run in one official race, 5k, 10k...

doesn't matter! I love running in races but I have yet to run one this year mainly because I am to indecisive to sign up! SO now I'm deciding I want to run one this month period!

2.  Do two "on my own" strength training workouts a week...

I love running. I love running ALOT, so naturally when I go to the gym I work up a big running sweat and then I'm ready to leave. Knowing this about myself I take lots of  classes like body pump and body sculpt to get in my strength training. BUT I'm perfectly capable to strength train on my own  and just need to get in the habit!

Foodie Goals


1. Try two new dinner recipes...

I love breakfast ALMOST as much as I love running (hence "up early") so i'm always creating new breakfast wonders. However, by the end of the day I've used up my energy and foodie motivation which results in only a few easy go-to easy dinners.  This month I want to increase my dinner world and try at least 2 new recipes hopefully incorporating some in season produce!

Organization Goals


1. Clean my car...vacum her, wash her, the whole bit! 


I'm one of those strange people who names their car and refers to it as a person #noshame. My cars name is Chloe :) My friend Charlene told me that if I name my car it'll work better for me so I chose to believe that and now my car and I are great friends... BUT she's not clean right now and I feel bad so she needs a good cleaning.

...Ok I think that's good for now. I don't want to overwhelm myself :)

Any new goals this month?!
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