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Health and Nutrition

Take Care of YOU This Holiday Season. Stay healthy both emotionally and physically over the holiday season.

Think exercising, eating whole foods, meditation, yoga, reading, time with friends and family, etc. Does reading this list sound overwhelming? Well, it shouldn’t!

 

During the holidays life can get chaotic and the first few things to go are exercise and nutrition. How do we fight it?

 

Plan your schedule ahead of time.  This will help you stay more present and in the moment, focused on what this time of year is really all about. Don’t stress about the things you cannot control such as things like, um, Traffic. I personally don’t drive much so when I get in bumper to bumper traffic I start to stress especially since I am usually running late when this happens. I take a few deep breaths and try to calm myself down.  Remember to belly breath.

Why Self-Care is So Important?

Self-care does not mean selfishness. Remember that! Self-care is about carving time out of your day even if just for 1 minute to think about you. If you don’t take the time for yourself and are constantly putting everyone else’s needs first, how are you going to be a good mom, dad, wife, husband, brother, sister, etc. If you don’t manage yourself it can lead to increased cortisol levels which can impact your waistline, productivity, sleep, and emotional well being.  Most, if not all, aspects of self-care will help to reduce stress levels. Read my post about stress here.

 

Don’t Let the Holidays Be An Excuse

The holiday season can bring about a whole new set of excuses about WHY you don’t have the time or energy to exercise, prepare your meals, or get to bed at a decent time.  

 

Understandably you may have more going on this time of year than you do during other months but that doesn’t mean your exercise, nutrition, and other acts of self-care take a backseat until January.  

 

It’s all about choices! YOU have a choice as to how you handle the “expectations” of the holiday season and how they affect your time and schedule.  Keep in mind that the majority of us put these high expectations on ourselves. Remember,  those that care about us just want us to be happy and healthy.  Letting go of perfection and expectations during this holiday season will allow you to care for yourself in a way that is in line with your needs.  It also allows for a lower stress level and more enjoyment.  Who doesn’t want that?

Self Care Methods

Carve out 30-45 minutes at least twice a week to take a class at Studio ME or your studio/gym.

 

Foam roll or use your Yoga Tune Up Balls for self massage.  These can be a life saver if you are holding tension in your body.  Take anywhere from 10 minutes a day to roll.  Even if you only do your feet you will feel better. Grab a Yoga Tune Up Ball, a racquetball, or tennis ball and place one foot on top of the ball. Hold it in the arch of the foot and roll it around. The harder the ball the more you may feel it. Start with something softer. Try rolling your feel while you are brushing your teeth. That’s one minute per foot. Hey, it’s better than nothing!
Other methods could be pampering yourself whether its getting your hair done, a massage (oh I love hot stone massages), pedicure or manicure, deep breathing techniques, etc.

Lastly, do It Because You Want To

Set boundaries and learn to say NO. There are always a ton of holiday parties and events going on. It’s OK to say no. That is not selfish at all!  You need to take care of yourself so you don’t get run down. Don’t want to go to a party, say ‘No’. I know it’s hard but you will feel much better.

 

Set intentions for yourself for the festivities coming up this week and next with the New Year just around the corner. What do you NEED to do and what would you like to do. Focus on the need and then add time for YOURSELF.
Happy Holidays!!!

Take Back the Night- Put that technology down and your body will thank you.

With the change of seasons comes darker mornings. It’s just not fair! This morning was the first time I noticed the significant change.  I can no longer take my bootcampers outside in the morning unless we were to have a flood light but I don’t think the nearby residents would like that.

We are getting closer to the time of year when many of us go to work in the dark and come home in the dark.  The days will continue to get shorter until the Winter Solstice on December 21st. To help our bodies get through this we need to focus on our sleep.

For the Studio ME crew, we posted in our private Facebook group today a little bit about healthy sleep habits to ensure QUALITY sleep. Let’s take a moment to reflect on the post today…

  1. Sleep in complete darkness. It is important for regulating the circadian rhythm and even small amounts light can throw us off. Remove all sources of light in your bedroom.
  2. Avoid technology for at least 90 minutes before bed. That’s right! Put down that damn phone, turn off that TV, and close your laptop.
  3. Keep your room cool. Best around 65 if you can.
  4. Reduce notice or use an app for some gentle background noise. Try Noisli.
  5. Check your mattress? It affects your sleep patterns more than you think. Make sure you have enough support.
  6. Keep plants in your house to improve air quality.

Bonus tips:

  1. If you wake up in the middle of the night, DO NOT look at the time. When you look at the clock, the dopamine (a neurotransmitter) cascade begins in order for you to remember what you saw.  Those individuals that look at the time when they wake up, on average keep themselves up for an extra half hour.
  2. Avoid coffee and energy drinks. They can really throw your body for a loop.

 

Now that we have done a quick review let’s get on with it…

 

How many of you can honestly say that you are getting enough sleep and when I say sleep I mean quality sleep?  Do you wake up raring to go? Or do you hit the snooze once….twice….,maybe even three times before dragging you’re a** out of bed?

 

For me, sleep is how I decompress from the day. I don’t do well trying to relax or mediate; I just sleep so this is very important topic to me and often overlooked by many of my clients. If you’ve plateaued in your weight loss goals, this could be one of the reasons.

 

Sleep is SO important for our health, overall well-being, and weight loss.  The focus of a fitness program typically is on exercise and nutrition but let’s face it there is A LOT more to it than that. It is important to pay attention to what your body needs.

 

The Sleep Foundation published new guidelines. By following these guidelines you can lower your stress and improve your mood, maintain a healthy weight, improve your workouts, and increase your ability to pay attention and remember new information. How are you doing?

  • “Newborns (0-3 months): Sleep range narrowed to 14-17 hours each day (previously it was 12-18)
  • Infants (4-11 months): Sleep range widened two hours to 12-15 hours (previously it was 14-15)
  • Toddlers (1-2 years): Sleep range widened by one hour to 11-14 hours (previously it was 12-14)
  • Preschoolers (3-5): Sleep range widened by one hour to 10-13 hours (previously it was 11-13)
  • School age children (6-13): Sleep range widened by one hour to 9-11 hours (previously it was 10-11)
  • Teenagers (14-17): Sleep range widened by one hour to 8-10 hours (previously it was 8.5-9.5)
  • Younger adults (18-25): Sleep range is 7-9 hours (new age category)
  • Adults (26-64): Sleep range did not change and remains 7-9 hours
  • Older adults (65+): Sleep range is 7-8 hours (new age category)”

The Sleep Foundation: https://sleepfoundation.org/excessivesleepiness/content/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need-0

What happens if we don’t get the recommend amount of sleep?

 

According to T.S. Wiley, author of Lights Out, “There are at least 10 different hormones as well as many neurotransmitters in the brain that go sideways when you don’t sleep enough.”  Melatonin is the tip of the iceberg so to speak.  It is all of the other shifts that change when you don’t get enough sleep such as appetite, fertility, and mental and cardiac health.”

 

Melatonin is the hormone that helps you to go to sleep and stay asleep.  When the lights are on, your body doesn’t make melatonin.  Instead your body makes cortisol (our stress hormone).  Cortisol then mobilizes blood sugar into the bloodstream as part of the stress response.  This rise in blood sugar calls for insulin to disperse.

 

When you are mobilizing blood sugar in the hours you should be making melatonin, you are also mobilizing insulin making yourself more insulin resistant.  Insulin resistance causes the blood sugar to get stored as fat around your mid-section.  When you stay up late, even if you are not eating, cortisol is still mobilizing blood sugar out of the liver.  If you stay up, plus eat, that is twice as bad!

 

We need to “TAKE BACK THE NIGHT,” (I am signing the song as I type this and my husband would be happy as his fav is JT) from lightbulbs, internet, smart phones, television, and computers to improve our health, reach a healthy weight, and reduce our risk for disease. When your body is sleeping its recovering!

 

Are you ready to TAKE BACK THE NIGHT?

 

Start practicing those tips I shared above and journal your sleep habits. When you wake up in the morning note how do you feel? What did you do before bed and start to see if you notice a trend and if you can cut out any of those pesky habits.

 

Those of you that are Studio ME members you are going to get an extra special bonus along with this post. Every day Siri, our fabulous instructor, is going to post one restorative pose that will help you sleep better at night. Try it for one week and report back and let us know how you’re doing?

“Cheat” Meals

Why is it that we use the same word for eating a doughnut and committing infidelity?  What if we stopped using the word cheat to attach morality to our food choices?

 

CHEAT has a very negative connotation and we can easily internalize that feeling turning it into thoughts of negativity towards ourselves.

 

Eating a doughnut or a slice (or three) of pizza doesn’t make us a bad person or identify us as being bad. It means we are HUMAN!

 

Labeling food as cheats can get into our heads and be detrimental in our progress of establishing good habits and mindsets around food.

 

For a while there I was planning my cheat meals and when I say cheat meals I mean all out baby-think pizza, ice cream or one better, burger, fries and a malt…yum!) and count down the days until I got to eat those things.  More often than not, when the day came didn’t even want it but felt like I had to eat it because I planned for it. I was slowly starting to fine that cheat meals were anti-climactic.

 

After doing a lot of reading, I started to look at things in a different ligt.

 

What if you could have any food, any time you wanted as long as you choose to have it?  

 

I know this sounds really scary and you’re thinking there is no way in hell I can eat what I want when I want but I want you to think about this…

 

When you are intentional and mindful with your food choices you will discover that most often you don’t even want these “so-called” cheat foods.  Now read it again….go ahead I am waiting…

 

When you actually “check-in” with your body, you will find that it wants something but a cheat food may not be it.  Instead, your body could be asking for a class of water, rest, or some quiet time.  There is a little trick I use with my bootcamp members…ask yourself these three questions before you dive into those donuts at work just because they are there.

  1. Am I hungry?
  2. Is it smart?
  3. How much do I need?

 

These three questions have saved me from eating things I really don’t want. When you actually stop to think about it or drink a class of water before you indulge you will find that you may not want it anymore.  Here’s a good read from creator of Tabata Bootcamp™- the Take Three Method for Healthy Eating.

 

Most of us area already struggling with eating “healthy” and if you are like me, trying to save your cheat days for the weekend.  For the most part, you are CHOOSING to eat protein, vegetables, and healthy fats on a regular basis.  If you are choosing healthy options when you go to reach for those cheat foods you will soon learn how bad it makes you feel after eating them and the nostalgia will wear off. When you actually make a choice to have a latte, pizza, ice cream or in my case my ultimate cheat meal of burger, fries and a malt (my mouth is watering thinking of this) you will enjoy it without guilt or shame and move on. That third question above “How much do I need” is key here.  Everything in moderation!

 

I really do feel that it is important to get away from using the word “cheat” as it relates to your nutrition choices mainly because of all of the negative emotions and feelings that are associated with it. Who’s with me in changing the way we think about our “cheat” foods?

 

 

How is your body image?

“You can’t change a body that you hate.”

-Janell Yule

Have you ever met someone that is happy with their body?  Everyone I’ve met has, at minimum, that one area that they want to “fix” or don’t like. For me, it’s my midsection that I have always been unhappy about. I have always stored my fat in the mid-section no matter how hard I train. Of course, I would love to have six pack abs or washboard stomach and I always think to myself, for as much as I work out I should have these things. Maybe if I were to give up those pesky bad habits I really enjoy maybe my body would be different but I also don’t want to deprive myself. Read my last blog post on Why you can’t out train a bad diet. Because of this, I know that I will never have a “perfect physique”.

 

Did you know…

80% of women and 45% of men report being unhappy with their bodies.

 

That is an insanely large percentage of the population that is unhappy in their own skin and why???

 

We are bombarded EVERYDAY with messages of how we “should” look. We’re hit from all angles – social media, traditional media, healthcare providers, our friends, our family, and our significant others are directly or indirectly providing us with cues as to what our appearance should be.  Social media these days has gotten out of control!

 

Why is this an issue? Body satisfaction is linked to self-esteem, self-worth, and depression (among other things).  Society is always worried about what everything else thinks. I’m not pretty enough. I ‘m not skinny enough. I’m not tall enough. I’m too tall. You would be surprised. Yes, people are judgmental but no one is  as much as you are to yourself. It’s up to YOU to realistically assess, understand, and change the internal and external messages and cues about ideal bodies and their effects on your self-esteem and self-worth.

Easier said than done, right?

Self-Acceptance

Since I was a child, I engaged in healthy behaviors like exercise and healthy eating because I enjoyed it. It wasn’t probably until after college when my life got more sedentary and I had an office job that my purpose for exercising changed from doing it because I liked and it was part of my life it to doing it to change the way my body looked. For the first time in my life I didn’t like my body image and had a lot of negative self-talk.

 

And the truth is…

 

Body dissatisfaction, and negative self-talk are NOT sustainable enough motivators to keep you going.  You will “fall of the wagon” if those are your drivers.

 

Remember, you and your body are always doing the best they can at any given moment.  Only accepting yourself as long as you look a certain way is NOT an act of self-love.

 

What if instead you practiced finding self-acceptance and self-compassion?

 

I always believed that if I accepted myself as I was, that I would become complacent and lack motivation to engage in healthy behaviors…

 

That couldn’t be farther from the truth!

 

Self-acceptance is not “giving up,” but rather it spurs us into further action.  Engaging in self-acceptance can free up the mental space that was taken up with negative self-talk to allow us to practice better choices moving forward.

 

You have to be in it for you and your loved ones. It has to be a way of life. Once you find self-acceptance and practice self-love you will notice a change and be more confident and accept that you can only do so much.

 

Do I still have days when I find myself engaging in negative self-talk about my body?

 

ABSOLUTELY! Everyone does.

 

But it happens much less often, and when it does, I catch it quickly and remind myself that my negative behavior isn’t serving me.  I then shift my attention to something about my body that I am grateful for, or something that my body is capable of…

 

For example, I am grateful for my strong legs.  They give me the ability to carry me everywhere I go.

 

Focus on you!

How do you make the mental shift? Ask yourself and start tracking these simple things. It’s amazing how much you can learn when you start tracking your habits. Journal or use an app to track. You will learn a lot.  Below is a great start of what to look at in your life:

 

  • How is your sleep? 
  • Is your energy good throughout the day? 
  • Are you more emotionally stable? 
  • How often do you get sick? 
  • Are you able to focus clearly when needed? 

 

These things are all impacted by how you care for yourself:   what you eat, your exercise routine, your relationships with yourself and others, and how much you sleep.

 

Your body will change because you are consistently practicing healthy lifestyle behaviors.

 

Training at Studio ME will be more about keeping your body strong, flexible, and mobile versus fixing your appearance.  And when you are strong, flexible, and mobile your outer physical appearance will shift.  You will be focused on ALL OF THE AMAZING things your body can do like nail a shockwave class with PRs across the board.

 

Your life becomes much more enjoyable when you shift your focus and energy away from having the “perfect body,” because I can tell you the “perfect body” does not exist! Workout and exercise because you enjoy it not because you want to fix your body.

You Can’t Out Train a Bad Diet

I bet most of you, if not all of you, can relate to using exercise (training) as a means to be able to eat whatever you wanted. And I’m guessing that didn’t work out very well for you. I know that it didn’t for me…

A Bit About Me
I’ve been active my enter life. From a very young age getting into sports such as T-ball, gymnastics, basketball (yes I know I am short but I was actually pretty good), and later in teen years getting into tennis and track and field and going on to play college tennis. I have never really thought much about diet and food and the impact to my health. I had the mindset that, because of all of the running I was doing, I could pretty much eat whatever I wanted – and I don’t mean more vegetables or healthy fats. I was using the working out that I was doing as an EXCUSE to eat lots and lots of carbohydrates – not in the form of yams or sweet potatoes if you know what I mean. ;-b I’m talking about pizza, nachos, ice cream, bread, etc. It wasn’t until I hit 30 that I soon realized that I can’t just eat whatever I want anymore. Even more so in the last few years with opening the studio and teaching anywhere from 2-5 classes a day. My body was failing me! I was finding that I my muscles were fatiguing from the moment I started moving (while teaching) and I was just constantly tired. I’ve tried a lot of stuff to replenish my body but knowing what I know now, I understand why. On top of not feeling or performing well, I also wasn’t seeing results in my own training… BECAUSE YOU CAN’T OUTTRAIN (OR OUTRUN) A BAD DIET!!!

The Importance of Training
There are several pieces that make-up a healthy lifestyle: exercise, nutrition, sleep, self-care/stress management, social support, education, etc. But the two main components are exercise and nutrition.

Even though exercise is important for many reasons, you can exercise to the moon and back but still be overweight or obese because of eating a poor diet. Or you could be of normal weight and exercise but still be unhealthy because of a poor diet. Exercise itself doesn’t lead to weight loss long-term.

Of course, exercise does have many wonderful health benefits! Regular exercise reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, dementia, and some cancers by at least 30%.

The Role of Your Diet
In the last 30 years the percentage of people who exercise regularly has stayed about the same, while the percentage of individuals that are overweight and obese have skyrocketed. Clearly there is something else going on here. It’s the food that we eat!

What else has happened in the last 30 years? The number of processed foods have increased dramatically!!! These processed foods are full of sugar, artificial dyes, preservatives, and other chemicals. For every additional 150 calories in sugar a person consumes per day the risk for diabetes rises 11-fold, regardless of how much or little exercise they engage in.

If you are trying to lose weight, exercise alone will not be enough. Exercise is what sustains weight loss, but a supportive nutrition plan is what drives it.

5 Reasons You Can’t Out Train a Bad Diet:
1. Your amount of exercise will likely not make-up for a BIG INDULGENCE. Justifying an indulgent meal or food with exercise just doesn’t work with the amount of training that most of us do. Not to mention the fact that all calories are not created equal. It’s not as simple as calories in vs. calories out because different types of calories affect our hormones and metabolism differently. Calories do come into play in certain instances, but you first want to focus on the quality of the food you are consuming.

2. You can’t fuel your body with junk and expect it to perform. Just like you wouldn’t expect your car to run without proper fuel, you can’t expect your body to perform with junky fuel. Processed carbohydrates, sugar, or soda only give you a sugar high. They do not give your body the building blocks that it needs to perform in the gym or life. You won’t be improve your performance and results week after week without eating quality protein, non-starchy vegetables, healthy fats, and the right amount of carbohydrates for your body and activity level.

3. You won’t have the energy to train if you aren’t eating enough calories and/or carbohydrates. Skimping on calories and/or carbohydrates will leave you without the energy your body needs to train consistently. A very restrictive nutrition plan paired with hardcore training, could leave you leaning on muscle mass for energy. Also, by not eating enough healthy fats to provide your body with fat-soluble vitamins like A & D and essential fatty acids like omega 3s. Your body is then unable to produce energy and grow muscle tissue because of lower levels of hormones like insulin and testosterone. Both of these hormones (in the right amounts) are important for building lean body mass.

4. You won’t have the motivation to train if you aren’t eating right. Diet and exercise are a feedback loop. When you eat well, you are more motivated to move, and when you move you are more motivated to eat well. Not eating quality nutrient dense foods can leave you feeling tired and bogged down – not exactly how you want to feel in order to get after it in the gym.

5. You are more likely to get sick and/or hurt. When you are sick or injured you can’t train. Poor nutrition can lead to a weakened immune system. The bulk of your immune system is housed in your gut. Therefore, if you are constantly eating foods that cause inflammation and lead to leaky gut (sugar, alcohol, processed carbohydrates, gluten, dairy, soy) you are much more likely to be sick.

Eating a low-quality diet it can also lead to micronutrient deficiencies and increased inflammation throughout your body, both of which can make you more susceptible to injury. Studies have shown that not getting an adequate amount of healthy fats into your diet may raise your chances for overuse injuries (such as stress fractures and tendonitis), as well as not allowing your body to protect itself in order to stay healthy.

Eat to Support Your Training
Until you have down some basic supportive nutrition habits and are consistently practicing them 80-90% of the time, don’t get bogged down or worried about how many grams of X you’re eating or “should I be taking a metabolic booster supplement?” Small changes over time lead to the big changes – little hinges swing big doors.

3 things you can do to optimize your nutrition and support your training:
1. Eat protein with each meal. Women want to aim for 1 palm size portion (20-30 grams) and males 2 palm size portions (40-60 grams) with each meal. Protein is made up of amino acids that are the building blocks for muscle. YOU MUST EAT PROTEIN!

2. Eat 1-2 servings of non-starchy vegetables with each meal. Non-starchy vegetables are high in fiber and packed with phytonutrients to support your body in many ways.

3. Eat starchy carbohydrates after your strength training sessions. Add in the appropriate amount of starchy carbohydrates (yams, sweet potatoes, potatoes, plantains, etc.) in the meal that follows your training session. To optimize fat loss, have this be the only meal that contains starchy carbohydrates. If you are looking to optimize performance, you may need to/want to add in starchy carbs at each meal.

The amount you need will vary from person to person and depend on your goals, the level of intensity at which you train, and your body’s ability to use these carbohydrates. A starting point for women with the goal of losing fat would be approximately ½ – ¾ cup and for men 1-1 ½ cups. As I stated, this is individual so you will likely need to adjust based on how you are looking, feeling, and performing. When it comes to carbohydrates LESS IS NOT ALWAYS BETTER!

Get more support like this by signing up for THREE CLASSES FOR THE PRICE OF ONE at Studio ME today and join our great community.

Eating a balanced meal can be tough…

Tired of counting calories? Well you don’t have to if you follow these simples guidelines. Eat three balanced meals a day. This will ensure your getting the appropriate nutrients daily.  Ok, so what is a balanced meal? It’s simple!  Make sure each meal contains protein, vegetables and healthy fats.  To help, take a look at this  Balanced-Meal-Formula.  You will see some examples of what constitutes a lean protein, vegetables, and healthy fat. To help you create meals, I will be posting a recipe a week. That’s right. Check back weekly for recipes as you begin on your journey of eating three balanced meals a day.

Organic or not?

Organic or not?

Many people can’t afford to buy all organic all the time. But you don’t have to buy all organic produce to reduce your risk for chemical contamination. This list from the Environmental Working Group tells you which fruits and vegetables contain the most chemicals and which ones are least contaminated. Use it when shopping to help make the best choices for you and your family – even if you can’t buy entirely organic foods.

12 Most Contaminated / Dirty Dozen

1. Apples
2. Celery
3. Strawberries
4. Peaches
5. Spinach
6. Nectarines (Imported)
7. Grapes (Imported)
8. Sweet bell peppers
9. Potatoes
10. Blueberries (Domestic)
11. Lettuce
12. Kale / collard greens

15 Least Contaminated / Clean 15

1. Onions
2. Corn
3. Pineapples
4. Avocado
5. Asparagus
6. Sweet Peas
7. Mangoes
8. Eggplant
9. Cantaloupe (Domestic)
10. Kiwi
11. Cabbage
12. Watermelon
13. Sweet potatoes
14. Grapefruit
15. Mushrooms

Kelly Krekelberg
Health Coach

How to stay cool in the “dog days” of summer!

Have you ever wondered why they are called the “dog days” of summer? Well, I have! Apparently the phrase ‘Dog Days’ conjures up the hottest, most sultry days of summer, 40 days beginning July 3 and ending August 11, coinciding with the rising of the Dog Star, Sirius. Since its rising also coincided with a time of extreme heat, the connection with hot weather was made for all time.

Fascinating, I know 🙂

So, what are some of the best ways to stay cool? A few posts back I mentioned that the body naturally craves cooling foods during the summer. So, what should you reach for?

-Cucumber water- aids in hydration & detoxification, add in some lemon and herbs and you add a healthy dose of antioxidants & Vitamins A & C.

-Watermelon-it’s chock full of water! Watermelon is easy to digest, therefore takes the body less energy.

-Leafy greens-most raw fruits and veggies are 80-95% water, which in turn means easy on the digestive system!

-Berries-strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cranberries all create cold energy in the body. Grab these “seasonal” fruits and toss them into your favorite salad for an extra cool down.

-Coconut-this exotic fruit has become much more mainstream due to the immense amount of health properties. Coconut meat and water both contain cooling properties. Grab some today!

Integrate these cooling foods and embrace the “dog days” of summer cool, calm and collected! Enjoy…..

Cooling Cucumber Water
Cucumber, mint and a wedge of lemon!

water

Kelly Krekelberg
Health Coach

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