Category archive: Health
Despite our best efforts, even the fittest people can fall sick. What inevitably follows is the struggle whether or not to work out based on our condition – can we push through? Should we take a rest day? Will we make ourselves feel worse?
The best way to determine whether or not you should be hitting the gym while ill is to follow the neck up rule, which stipulates that if your symptoms are mostly felt from your neck up (sore throats and coughs, runny noses and congestion, headaches and so on), then you’re good to push through a moderate workout – modify where you need to, but don’t be afraid of getting your sweat on.
If, on the other hand, your symptoms fall below the neck (chest congestion, nausea, stomach flu, etc), then you’re better off taking an extra rest day to recover rather than make yourself any worse. The one exception to this rule that need be noted is a fever: if you have a significant fever, skip the workout to prevent overheating your body.
Follow this simple rule, and you’ll be back on the path to consistency in less time than you’d expect!
This article was written for Muscle and Strength
The advent of Thanksgiving commences the holiday season; a time for togetherness, giving, and of course, lots of delicious dinners and desserts. What is a health oriented individual to do when it seems everyone else is indulging?
The holiday season is a difficult time to stick to health goals as we all know — certainly contributing to the upcoming New Years’ Resolutions surrounding wellness. But this does not mean we should throw our carefully crafted discipline to the wind! So in light of the approaching holiday challenges, I present to you my survival tips for making it through the holidays with a clear conscience, no guilt or regrets, and less worries for your waistline.
Don’t go hungry. Temptation is much easier to resist if your stomach is not growling at you. Save overindulging later by eating breakfast and lunch on holiday dinner days. This way, you will not feel ravenous while selecting what you put on your plate.
Watch portion sizes. Follow the Plate Proportion Rule:Protein and carbs should make up 1/4 of your plate, whereas veggies should take up half. By setting a visual guideline for yourself, you will prevent overindulging on filler such as mashed potatoes and gravy, and ensure you get a serving of vegetables that you may have otherwise passed on. Fill your plate reasonably, and avoid seconds. The second helping will not taste better than the first!
Be condiment conscious. Have your vegetables without the cheese sauce and your meat without the skin or fat. The slimmer alternatives are just as delicious, and you will save an enormous amount of calories. Do not add extra salt, and you will avoid bloat. NO Gravy! Gravy is as empty in nutritional value as a soda, and just as potent in calorie content. Avoid!
Eat slowly. Allow your mind the time it requires to communicate appetite satiety to the rest of your body. Holidays are often culprits of overeating, given the tendency to enjoy as much as we can, as quickly as we can. Everyone has had the experience afterwards of “I ate too much!” Avoid this by savoring your food, and reap the rewards.
Do not consume empty calories. Liquids, such as wine, beer, juice and soda, contain no nutritional value. Each is filled with sugar and calories that we often not even considered when we eat. Save these calories for the food; stick with water. Not only will you be able to enjoy more, but water consumption will help you feel more full.
Stick to your guns. Aunt Mabel shouldn’t guilt you into having her famous cheesy potatoes if they are not part of what you have allotted for your planned plate. Remember that these are your goals, and what someone else does, or says, does not affect you. Only you have the power to improve yourself. Do not give that up!
Have some. Just be wise. Remember that indulging every now and then is perfectly acceptable! In fact, it has been shown that those who ‘cheat’ occasionally, are more likely to stick to their diets in the long run. This is a result of satisfaction; it is easy to resent your healthy choices if you receive no enjoyment.
Like a child who knows good behavior will earn him periodic privileges, we can accept our parameters, if the payoff is worth it. In the end, if you choose this option, just be wise about your choices. The piece of pie may not turf your results, but a whole pie and whipped cream might. Be reasonable.
To conclude, I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season, and I look forward to any comments or tips you might have about how you make it through the holidays in a healthy way!Details
This article was written for ActivewearUSA.
Eat breakfast. I cannot stress enough the importance of eating within an hour of waking. Not only does this fuel you with adequate energy for the day ahead, it also jump-starts your metabolism, which will keep you burning calories and fat at an elevated rate throughout the day. And I know for those who don’t eat breakfast, the majority will respond they just can’t eat breakfast because it unsettles the stomach. You need to STOP making this excuse! The reason your stomach doesn’t respond well to breakfast is because you aren’t used to it; like any diet change, it takes time to adapt. Stop whining, start eating breakfast, and in two weeks, you’ll no longer have an issue.
Eat every two to three hours. Nearly everyone in the modern world understands or has heard that the traditional three meal schedule we structure our society around isn’t the healthiest or most effective way to eat. Instead, try eating five to six smaller meals throughout the day, spaced apart by two to three hours. This keeps your metabolism running smoothly because there are no long stretches without fuel; when those periods happen, your metabolism drops off and your body tries to conserve energy. Smaller meals are also more comfortable for your digestive system; no bloating, no “I ate too much” feelings, because you will have never allowed yourself to get that hungry!
Eliminate empty liquid calories. Nothing you drink should have caloric or sugar content. You gain no satisfaction from the surprising amount of calories you drink, nor is there truly any nutritional value that warrants their consumption. This includes soda, alcohol, and juice – yes, juice. It’s not as healthy as you think! One serving of orange juice is a whopping 250 calories with 20 grams of sugar! (Comparatively, a can of Coke has 27 grams.) Instead, opt for zero calorie beverages such as water or tea. Not only will you remove excess sugar from your diet, you’ll flush toxins from your system, gain more energy, see improvements in your skin, and reduce cellulite!
Even if you cannot remove liquid juices entirely, consider removing one can of soda a day which saves you around 679 calories and 189 grams of sugar a week!
Make “processed” a dirty word. There should be no room in your diet for processed foods. This means anything that has been fried, pre-cooked, and packaged, such as frozen dinners and junk food (chips, chocolate, soda, even non-natural peanut butter; all these items have been processed). Instead, opt for things in their natural or whole state; buy your meat uncooked and prepare your own meals, invest in whole fruits and vegetables, and look for natural peanut butters. By removing the preservatives and unncessecary chemicals from your system, you will feel more energetic, and your body will function more efficiently!
Consider simple replacements. Switch from white bread and rice to whole wheat and save yourself the additional processing that these foods undergo. Switch out your normal yogurt for a no-fat Greek yogurt and save mass amounts of sugar while gaining protein. Switch from regular to natural peanut butter and lose fat. Replace your condiments with low-sodium, low-sugar versions and watch your bloating and water weight disappear.
These are a few easy steps you can take to make positive changes in your diet, your health, and your overall fitness outcomes. Now isn’t that worth it?
People often ask about what I eat or how I alternate my eating habits for carb cycling or leaning out for a shoot. So here I have put together two sample days that show how I generally maintain my healthy diet. I have included some of my supplementation below where applicable as well, but I will be doing an article later on focused specifically on that topic.
I hope this is insightful!
Low Carb Day:
Meal 1 (Breakfast): 5 egg whites + 1 yolk, 0% plain Greek yogurt
Meal 2 (Post Workout): Protein shake – Gaspari Myofusion Milk Chocolate or Banana, 1.5 scoops, 5 mg glutamine.
Meal 3 (Lunch): 1 chicken breast, sliced over spinach salad + tomatoes, red onions, snow peas (no dressing)
Meal 4 (Afternoon): Almonds, chopped veggies OR jerky
Meal 5 (Dinner): chicken stir fry, or chicken lettuce wraps
Meal 6 (Evening): 0% cottage cheese with pepper OR 0% plain Greek yogurt OR protein shake.
High Carb Day
Meal 1 (Breakfast): 5 egg whites + 1 yolk, 1 piece Ezekiel toast with almond butter
Meal 2 (Post Workout): Protein shake – Gaspari Myofusion Milk Chocolate or Banana, 1.5 scoops, 5 mg glutamine – or home made protein bars.
Meal 3 (Lunch): 1 chicken breast, sliced over spinach salad + tomatoes, red onions, snow peas (no dressing), 1/2 cup brown rice or sweet potato
Meal 4 (Afternoon): Home made protein bars, OR rice cakes and almond butter
Meal 5 (Dinner): Clean eating chicken or turkey chili (Recipe coming soon), or chicken and rice
Meal 6 (Evening): 0% cottage cheese with pepper OR 0% plain Greek yogurt OR protein shake.