BLOG 177 ALMOND BUTTER VS PEANUT BUTTER
Both taste amazing!!!! Most of us can eat almond butter or peanut butter right out of the jar. We grew up on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Celery and peanut butter. Peanut butter cookies. Almond Joy candy bars. Chocolate covered almonds. Roasted almonds. Licking your lips yet?? Actually, this gooey goodness loves to get stuck in your teeth. A popular choice for sure. The National Peanut Board said that 90% of homes has peanut butter in their cabinet. So let’s see which one stacks up as the better choice on your fitness journey.
Both of these butters are heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. These are the type of fat that helps lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Almond butter has 5 grams of monounsaturated fats versus 3.3 grams in peanut butter this fat type per tablespoon. Winner: Almond butter.
Fiber is a very important component of our eating and most people don’t get enough. A good digestive track requires adequate fiber. We need 21 to 38 grams per day depending on age and gender, so every little bit helps. Almond butter has 1.6 grams of fiber per tablespoon versus 0.9 grams in peanut butter. Winner: Almond butter.
Vitamin E has many antioxidants and these butters contain this fat-soluble vitamin. Vitamin E is also important for our immune system. Almond butter has 4x the amount of vitamin E than peanut butter. Winner: Almond butter.
Both butters contain minerals we need including iron, zinc, potassium, and calcium. Almond butter is a better source of all of these minerals. Winner: Almond butter.
Check out this calorie comparison…. If you took one cup of peanuts it has 854 calories versus one cup of almonds which has 546 calories. So take these grounded and you see the calorie difference. Winner: Almond butter.
I’m an advocate for almond butter. Every better decision adds up. There isn’t much bad to say about it expect maybe the pool of liquid that forms at the top of a new container. Other than that, almond anything and I’m in. Of course in moderation and with portion control. Every BODY can incorporate almond butter on their fitness journey, provided no nut allergies. Read the labels, find the best brand available to you, and hey top a rice cake with some almond butter and that’s a great FIT Snack 😊
BLOG 176 BONES, JOINTS, LIGAMENTS, & TENDONS
Orthopedics 101: what makes up our musculoskeletal system?? In order for our body to move, the joints, ligaments, and tendons must work together. If a person has a disease, injury, or condition, affecting any one of these parts, nerve signals are interrupted and movement is hindered.
When you think of joints, think of two parts of the skeleton being fit together. The bones are connected by joints. Joints are also called articulations. Here’s the lineup….
1. Bones are lined with cartilage so they don’t grind against each other; it is the covering at the end of the bone
2. Bones are joined to bones by ligaments, so where 2 bones meet that is a joint; ligaments are important for stability
3. Muscles are connected to bones by tendons. Technically, muscles are not part of the joint, but stronger muscles help protect the joints.
You know that cracking sound we sometimes hear with movement?? When you flex or contract a muscle which takes place at the joint, the ligament stretches with that joint. When you straighten out that joint, the ligament helps to pull the joint back to its normal starting position. This means that ligaments are a major part of movement, but over time, they start to lose their elasticity. This loss of stretch makes the joint have that cracking noise from bone on bone.
Tendons are important for our range of motion with movement. They’re found in smaller joints like fingers and wrists. We use tendons a lot, especially at the wrist. A tendon’s job is to make sure you can bend your wrist, but not too far.
After years of constant use, our joints can develop arthritis. This especially occurs in the knee, hip, and shoulder areas. The knee joint has 3 parts, the hip has 2, and the shoulder has that one that seems to be commonly injured.
Tendons and ligaments do wear out. They do not grow or repair themselves. A baseball pitcher has repetitively used their arm and shoulder to throw the ball as hard as they can over and over again. After a number of years, the rotator cuff is done. Then it’s surgery.
Long story short, our body sure does do a lot for us to produce movement. As I type and while you read, movement is occurring even in the eyes. We have to appreciate what we have and if we don’t use it, we lose it before that expiration date comes our way. Your fitness journey is a lifelong commitment to your health, so exercise wisely, fuel your body right, and MOVE!!!!
BLOG 175 3rd HAND SMOKE
We all know the hazards of smoking. The person actually smoking is at risk for many health problems. Second hand smoke can lead to emphysema and lung cancer. But have you heard of 3rd hand smoke (THS)?? This is the less visible type which consists of all the particles and chemicals that land on basically every surface in the smoking area. It can be on the person’s clothes, in their hair, on the floor, and on the furniture.
There are 11 types of chemicals that when left on surfaces, are considered carcinogens. This is all bad because these are cancer causing. Off-gasing is when the chemicals have landed on the surface but then release back into the air as gas. It seems toxins are released everywhere from cigarettes. These toxins can then interact with other chemicals in the environment. These toxins then are either inhaled, ingested (they land on food), or absorbed through the skin. Overtime, these toxins continue to accumulate and become more and more harmful. Let’s say a person smokes in their car, obviously these chemicals just keep piling up.
Children are the biggest victims of THS. Children sit and play on the floor. They put their fingers in their mouths and touch surfaces.
It is important to be adamant about not smoking in your home or vehicle to avoid THS. Studies have shown in a house left unoccupied for 2 months, these chemicals were still present. Acidic cleaners, especially vinegar, can help with some of the cleaning.
So what is the best solution to avoid third hand smoke?? Well, quitting smoking. Nicotine is highly addictive and studies have shown it is nearly as addictive as heroin.
Smokers enjoy the “kick” from inhaling nicotine. The head change from nicotine entering the bloodstream, releases adrenaline and creates a euphoric feeling with dopamine.
Smoking doesn’t just affect the smoker. Besides, who wants the title of being called a “Smoker”?? Habits die hard, but find better addictions to fill the void…. like exercise 😊 Don’t make your heart work any harder than it already does. At least 3 people are affected by that cigarette: the smoker, the person inhaling the smoke from the exhale, and the person who just gave the smoker a hug. So THS is just another reason to “kick” smoking.
BLOG 174 MEDITATION
On our fitness journeys, we train our bodies, but we also need to train our minds. Inner awareness, focusing, redirecting your thoughts, and developing concentration, are all benefits of meditation. Other positive associations include improved mood, sleep improvement, more self-discipline, and less symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Emotional health is also boosted by the reduction of depression and anxiety. Others say it has bettered their memory and attention span. The list goes on to include decreasing blood pressure, pain reduction, and helps fight addictions.
But to be honest, meditation stressed me out more. Sitting in stillness actually increases my anxiety. As a Women’s Health Magazine Action Hero, I read the magazine from front to back each issue that comes out. And well, I really related to Jenny Everett’s article in the July/August 2018 edition, called “Micro Meditations”. Now this, I can handle. Multitasking meditation is right up my ally.
The alarm clock in the morning isn’t exactly a gentle start to the day. But staying in bed for 2 minutes to take a few deep breaths, listen to the birds, and stretching out the body, is a much better way to ease out of bed. An abrupt jumping out of bed to rush the getting ready process doesn’t set the best tone for the day.
Smell the coffee, and stop burning your mouth trying to get it in. Stop adding sugar and taste the java.
A shower has many scents, sounds, and temperatures. Feel it. Feel the fresh water. Don’t just hop in and hop out.
The make-up routine for women or shaving process for men can be good for focusing the mind for the day. It actually makes you feel good about yourself before getting to work to meet deadlines and hustle.
Even when taking the stairs (which you should), think about each step. A lot of muscles are working in that body to produce movement.
When someone compliments you, be grateful and think about it for a few moments after. Smile that someone said these words to you.
When driving, turn the music off. There’s a lot of noise to the rest of your day. Let the mind focus and be in the present. Listen to sounds of the car and to the road.
When you say thank you, mean it. Explain why you are grateful to the person. So often we say it but don’t mean it. Appreciation and acknowledging someone else’s effort or kindness goes a long way.
Instead of being frustrated while on hold on the phone (because we love the world of automated phone directories), be happy you have some time to just get this task done. Maybe slowing down for a moment is okay.
When on a run or walk, maybe no music, no phone, just you. Be in the zone of that run. Let the body and mind feel good and release those positive endorphins.
And when eating, just eat. No distractions. Take bites, don’t inhale. Smell and taste that food in front of you. Mindful eating helps with portion control and even weight loss.
Finally, when it’s time for bed, scan the body from head to toe. Breathe in and breathe out to just breath. Aches and pains subside when you just sink the body into the bed. Clear and declutter the day.
So these are what I’ve started to do. I think they’re very helpful tips to include on your fitness journey. A little meditation here and a little meditation there feels pretty darn good. Your mind and BODY will appreciate thank you.
BLOG 173 OUT EXERCISING
If only we could out exercise a bad diet. If only it were that easy. No one will argue that it’s easy to put on the LBs, but not so easy to take them off. Why is that?? You can’t out exercise the calories, fat, sugar, and carbohydrates that accumulate in excess. The good old days of being 16 and eating whatever your heart desired and still be thin, just don’t exist anymore. Think about that cheeseburger, shake, and fries, and how much it truly takes to counteract their damage.
So you might what to think again about how many calories you are taking in versus what you are burning. This also might influence your exercise choices.
If you aren’t gearing up for a 100 mile bike ride or Ironman, that super high carbohydrate pasta dinner with a few rolls, isn’t necessary. Jogging a couple miles the next morning won’t undo the intake. On the other hand, dessert last night isn’t going to fuel a quality workout the next day. High fat and high sugar foods aren’t going to equip you for the endurance and energy to have a quality workout to burn them off. Just a few moments on those lips, leads to more fat around the waist and hips. Pizza won’t make those problem areas disappear. The beers don’t add up to a six pack on the belly. That sluggish feeling doesn’t stir up motivation either. In fact, most might agree that when they eat healthy, they feel better, and actually want to workout. Hmmmm, there’s something to this FIT Lifestyle.
Most people underestimate how much they are really eating. Let’s say you at a McDonald’s Bic Mac, Large Fries, and Large Coke = 1330 calories. That would require 6 hours of strength training, or 2.5 hours of running, or 4 hours of walking. That is a major setback. Even if you goal is general fitness to maintain and be able to eat what you want, this e equalizer method doesn’t quite pan out. It’s not just the one bad meal. It can be the accumulation. The nightly glass of wine, the eating out twice per week, the creamer in the coffee…. it adds up and then by the end of the month the caloric totals reflect what has happened on the scale. If one glass of wine has about 110 calories then that takes about 30 minutes of walking to burn off (just that one glass). Being strict is not what I’m promoting, rather, being honest with yourself is the key if you have set numerically driven data goals. You don’t have to bring your egg whites like me, but you do have to tell yourself that your choices directly reflect your results.
The good old metabolism mechanism can only do so much. Healthy choices are critical on your fitness journey and each one counts. Enjoying the foods you like every now and then, really does have to stay to as infrequently as possible. Don’t make too many exceptions to the rules, because your goals and YOU are worth feeling, looking, and operating at their best.
BLOG 172 FRUIT & SUGAR
Summer time means fresh fruit. The strawberry stands are open, peaches are ready and fruit salad is on the spread at every event. To be clear, fruit is good for you. These colorful choices are full of vitamins and minerals. They can also help reduce the risk of many diseases and help lower blood pressure. This means that fruit helps with the maintenance of our bodies. But, they have sugar. Yes, natural sugar, but sugar is sugar in that body of yours. Fructose (another name for sugar) is harmful for your metabolism. When it comes to sugar in fruits it’s really about the amount you are consuming. For example, an apple has about 12 grams of sugar compared to 40 grams of sugar in one soda. So it would take 3 apples to have the same amount of sugar as one soda. The more informed you are the better, so let’s talk about fruits with the highest amounts of sugar.
I was able to find the top fruits with the most sugar according to WebMD.
1. Mangos – 1 mango = 45 grams
2. Grapes – 1 cup = 23 grams (thought to consider for wine consumers)
3. Cherries – 1 cup = 18 grams
4. Pears = 1 medium = 17 grams
5. Watermelon = medium slice = 17 grams
6. Figs = 2 medium size = 16 grams
7. Bananas = 1 medium = 14 grams
Here are fruit choices that have less sugar:
1. Avocado (yes it’s a fruit) = 1 whole avocado = only ½ grams sugar
2. Guava = 1 = 5 grams
3. Raspberries = 1 cup = 5 grams
4. Cantaloupe = 1 wedge = 5 grams
5. Papaya = ½ of one = 6 grams
6. Strawberries = 1 cup = 7 grams
Back in the day when I worked for Medifast, fruit was not allowed. Like any item, portion control is necessary. Trust me I can eat a whole watermelon or a bag of grapes, but at some point, the excess sugar would be like having candy. Why do you think fruit tastes so sweet and good?? That little burst of energy after some fruit salad is from the sugar. Every BODY can benefit from fruit, but not in excess. Sounds pretty familiar, but the more I remind the more you are aware 😊
BLOG 171 FEAR
Fear is stifling. This emotion puts a halt to forward movement, specifically to change. On our fitness journeys, we know that change is required. Old ways have led to the decision to be fed up and do something about our health. But fear can stop anyone from hitting the green light and starting. We feel threatend by the new environment that will surround us. Like we feel safe in our home, we feel safe in our comfort zone of habits.
Here are some of the reasons that prevent putting one foot in front of the other and doing what needs to be done:
1. Losing your freedom – we are giving up power to the structure of healthy living; the comfort zone was free will to live life without consequences
2. Pain – exercise is uncomfortable, there will be soreness, and there will be times your body with hurt from the hard work
3. The Unknown – results may or may not happen and you don’t know what life without cake would be like
4. Disappointment – not knowing precise results or setting too high of expectations
5. Failure – not meeting your own expectations or reaching some timeline of progress you desired
6. Loneliness – your fitness journey is unique to your and your body, so that might mean straying away from the crowd and being strong enough to turn down drinks and food
Fear isn’t always rational. Let’s face it, being healthy is unquestionably important. We tend to work ourselves up emotionally about events that may or may not even occur. There is a loss of control with where this journey could take you. But if we live our life in fear, we may never see the pot of gold on the other side of the rainbow. Taking control and doing what is best for your BODY shouldn’t be scary. Fear the fact that you might live longer 😊 Don’t fear what has not or may not ever happen. Live today and every day with the hope and intention that your fitness journey will better YOU in so many different ways.
BLOG 170 GYM MEMBERSHIP USE
We know that the best investment we can make is in our health. Having a gym membership is a proactive approach to meeting daily activity requirements. The facility has the resources to move the body in all types of modalities. Trouble is that that gym doesn’t have the motivation or accountability to get you there consistently despite the payments being made. No one is holding your hand, but the monthly bill continues to be charged. Ringing in the New Year vows to go to the gym are made by so many. But come March, the novelty wears off and the extra effort just isn’t the same. But you keep paying. Unlike Every BODY’s Fit, I’m not there waiting for you, tracking your attendance, telling you what to do, texting you if you don’t come, and making sure you schedule to come back.
Statistically, only about ½ of the people with gym memberships go at least 100 times per year. And the owner thrives on this because if everyone actually went, capacity would be exceeded immediately. Gym owners need about 10 times as many members than those who actually attend in order to turn a profit. (https://www.creditdonkey.com/gym-membership-statistics.html).
So why do people keep their membership if they aren’t going?? Well, there’s that initiation fee that resurfaces if you leave and come back. You tell yourself you are going to go….someday. It’s only $10 a month or $25 etc. Some people don’t even notice they are still being charged so they just keep on paying and not going. You are grandfathered into the original cost from 15 years ago so to leave and then come back would mean higher fees. Having the gym membership is popular, yet so under-utilized. It was a good idea back when you were motivated. It was a good idea when they had that special. But now, are you still going??
Clearly, I have a case for my line of business. I truly want to help and inspire others. In the studio’s environment we are a FIT Family so it does go noticed when you aren’t here. You are making a commitment to become the best version of you. It is my hope that you continue to come because you are worth it. Invest in your BODY because when you love your BODY and take of it, your BODY will love and take care of you. That is the ultimate best outcome of every BODY’s fitness journey.
BLOG 169 PORTION DISTORTION
Eating. We have to do it, but man on man do we overdo it. In fact, it’s very possible that people don’t even know what ONE true serving size is. We eat what is in front of us, and generally when there is more in front of us…. we eat more. Mom and Dad said finish what is on your plate. When we were kids, no one had just one plate of spaghetti. Going back for more meant you liked it, you are complimenting the cook, and your stomach can fit another helping.
We consider a “petite” filet, 8oz. Well, about the size of a deck of cards is what a true one serving size of chicken, fish, or most meats should be. I always love to point out to my Southern California friends what the amount of avocado should be. Think about guacamole. I could eat an entire bowl. When in fact, ¼ avocado is one serving. Even though this is a healthy fat, it doesn’t mean it’s a free for all.
The struggle becomes real when we get to side dishes. Rice. Oh rice. I could eat it for days, especially when I went to South Korea. 1/3 cup is the true portion size and that is about the same amount of carbohydrates as 1 slice of bread. So when we just keep eating sushi or have a rice bowl somewhere with meat, in the end, we had about 6 slices of bread.
Juice is a troublemaker too. With the sugar content, even if totally fresh, ½ cup is one serving. Daily orange juice in the morning adds up. Plus, many folks mix these juices with their cocktails.
Bagels. Well if we went by portion control, a New York bagel is 6-7 servings.
I’m rocking the boat I know 😊
It’s just too easy to have more. When you buy a soda, let’s say 20oz, you naturally want to and do drink the whole bottle. Clearly, that is more than once serving. I think back to the amount of Gatorade I used to have. So much sugar, but I didn’t know. We didn’t used to know. We didn’t used to talk about calories. In fact, I don’t think I knew what a calorie or serving size was until I got to college. But now that we live in a world of processed foods and more is better, the health consequences are starting to bring awareness to this.
Please read the Nutrition Facts labels and consider how much you are consuming. Oh yeah, imagine Thanksgiving haha. Food is celebration and comfort. We have to reconsider this and focus on nourishment. Don’t distort your portions and your results won’t be distorted. Re-teach yourself. You can do it. Plus, you will save money and have left-overs to enjoy the foods that much longer.
BLOG 168 FIT SHAMING
You workout. You eat right. SO what’s the problem?? The stares, the glares, the FIT shaming. Health is a priority and should be. Not everyone feels that exercise, turning down a drink, or choosing a salad over fries is appropriate. How can health be looked down upon??
Ever been told you like fine how you are?? Is working out being self-absorbed?? Is working out pregnant being selfish?? Is leaving the kids at daycare an hour longer so you can hit the gym bad parenting?? Is spending money on memberships and trainers not putting family first?? Is taking a gym selfie of your progress vain?? These are all FIT shaming related topics.
When health is a priority, you make time for it. You wake up earlier, stay up later, spend extra time to prepare food of nutritional value, and this doesn’t mean you are taking time away from anything or anyone. Why does this have to be an either/or situation??
Even I have been told to eat something or get the demeaning tone questioning my working out so much. Eating clean is somehow not normal. It is possible to have work/life balance. It is possible to utilize your time and still accomplish what responsibilities need to get taken care of.
Where do we draw the line between too fit or too overweight?? Polar opposite yet still frowned upon depending upon who you ask.
On our fitness journeys, we have to consider the source of the remarks. Surrounding ourselves with encouraging and supportive people sets us up for better results. We are all entitled to give and take criticism and opinions, but that doesn’t mean they’re fact or truth. The lesson would be to understand what it feels like to be on the receiving end of these words and to not reciprocate or repeat this behavior towards others. We need to LIFT each other up. Otherwise, we continue to build walls, lack communication, and regret not living to our fullest due to fear. Inspire those who need your motivation and ignore those who don’t understand your journey. It’s not for them to understand, it’s for YOU to feel and be your BEST!!!!