The most important thing for our body.

WATER!!! I know this subject tends to be beaten over the head with a dried up noodle bowl that’s been set out way too long. (oddly specific, but go with it.) It’s incredible how important water really is for our overall function. Here is a short list of why water is super important to you or should be important if it isn’t already.

  • Water helps satiate your appetite more quickly during meals. If you are worried about over eating drink a full glass of water before the meal to provide your stomach with less space for the foods you are planning to indulge in.
  • Water is the great lubricator. It is essential to so many aspects of the body that it needs a list in and of itself.
    • Joint mobility (keep those knees from feeling so bad)
    • Muscle elasticity (feeling stiff, make sure you have enough water to help counter it)
    • Skin elasticity (yes it will help you look younger longer ladies!)
    • Flushes out toxins
    • Helps prevent and shorten sickness (remember when mom said to get plenty of fluids, this is why)
    • Natural headache remedy (if you are dehydrated you are more prone to headaches)
    • Many more physiological reasons!!
  • Saves you money! Most restaurants a water glass is free. Take advantage of it!
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Danger Will Robinson Overeating Ahead!

The holiday season is in full swing according to all the big box stores and the local government putting up Christmas decorations already. (That’s a post for another blog) This also means that it is the beginning of the overeating traditions that plague so many people during this time of year. What is your strategy to beat the holiday weight? Do you even have one? Here is a list of a few of my strategies that I’m going to use this year.

  • Drink extra water this season. Water can help you feel full to help prevent you from shoving your face full of mashed potatoes. Try and drink at least 1 full glass before any meal.
  • Don’t skip the veggie platter. If you are loading up on snacks for a game day like my family tends to do. Make sure there is a veggie platter and fill most of your snack plate with it. You can have that chex mix you’ve been craving but have it in moderation.
  • Identify the items on the thanksgiving menu that are going to be the more healthy for you and stick with those items.
  • Have someone around you help keep you accountable. This can also be done with My Fitness Pal.
  • Speaking of My Fitness Pal, enter in your meal BEFORE you eat it. This can help you keep you calories under control if you see what the calories are before you put them into your body.

Up Days and Down Days

Something to remember about exercise is that it is a big picture activity. You are not going to lift more weight than the last time every time you go and work out. There are days that You are going to be stuck on a weight and that is fine. Remember fitness is a slow race, not one that you are trying to burn yourself out to get to the finish line. If you find you are having a day that you aren’t making a large gain with weight try changing something else about the exercise. Slow things down and really focus on the lift. I guarantee that will change the way it feels and by focusing on the lift more throughout you are challenging your muscles to engage the entire time. In no time you’ll be adding another plate.

Asain Chicken Wraps

Ingredients

  • Whole-wheat wrap 1 10-inch
  • Chicken breast, cooked 5 oz.
  • Uncooked ramen noodles, crushed 2 tbsp
  • Baby bok choy 1 bunch
  • Broccoli slaw 2/3 cup
  • Purple cabbage, raw 1/3 cup Cucumber
  • Cucumber 1/3 cup
  • Fresh cilantro to taste

Spicy Peanut Dressing

  • Powdered peanut butter 2 tbsp
  • Water 3 tbsp (or enough to make the sauce less thick)
  • Low-sodium soy sauce 1-1/2 tsp
  • Raw honey 1 tsp
  • Ginger paste 1 tsp
  • Chili garlic sauce 1 tsp
  • Chinese 5 spice 1/2 tsp

    Directions 1. In a bowl, mix together the ingredients for the peanut dressing, and season to taste with sea salt and pepper. 2. Place all the salad ingredients on a large cutting sheet. Using the longest, sharpest knife you have, chop the salad to desired thickness. 3. Once the salad is chopped, put it in a mixing bowl, then add the peanut dressing. Mix the salad together with a spatula, then place some of the contents on a whole-wheat tortilla. Fold in the sides, and tightly roll up the wrap. 4. Enjoy any leftover chopped salad by itself!

Recipe can be found on Bodybuilding.com.

Dieting? Why?

Dieting has now become a bad word. It has the equivalent negative connotations as many other taboo topics *cough* religion and politics. Okay, maybe it isn’t as devious as these two topics for many people, but I will say that the idea of starting a diet for some sets teeth on edge and brings up a ton of anxiety. Why is that? I postulate that it is because at some point in time we turned the verb usage into a noun. Don’t believe me? Take a look. This is the definition from Dictionary.com.

diet1

[dahy-it]
noun
1.food and drink considered in terms of its qualities, composition, and its effects on health:

Milk is a wholesome article of diet.
2.a particular selection of food, especially as designed or prescribed to improve a person’s physical condition or to prevent or treat a disease:

a diet low in sugar.
3.such a selection or a limitation on the amount a person eats for reducing weight:

No pie for me, I’m on a diet.
4.the foods eaten, as by a particular person or group:

The native diet consists of fish and fruit.
5.food or feed habitually eaten or provided:

The rabbits were fed a diet of carrots and lettuce.
6.anything that is habitually provided or partaken of:

Television has given us a steady diet of game shows and soap operas.
verb (used with object), dieted, dieting.
7. to regulate the food of, especially in order to improve the physical condition.
8. to feed.
verb (used without object), dieted, dieting.
9. to select or limit the food one eats to improve one’s physical condition or to lose weight:

I’ve dieted all month and lost only one pound.
10. to eat or feed according to the requirements of a diet.
adjective
11. suitable for consumption with a weight-reduction diet; dietetic :

diet soft drinks.

Diet used to mean just the foods that we consumed it wasn’t about a restriction of foods. It just purely meant what we ate, but overtime the term diet has morphed into the cutting of things out of our normal diet. “But, Marley, this is always what it meant.” Yes, it is, but the intention of what we use it for has changed. Instead of focusing on what we can have i.e. “my diet is about having equal parts of veggies, carbs, and protein” to what we CAN’T have “I can’t have anything with sugar in my diet” or “I’m cutting out all grains in my new diet”. This is the cause of anxiety. The idea of losing something. Change your mind and you’ll change your life!

Gym Buddies!

Gym buddies are the ultimate accountability tool! It’s much harder to blow off going to work out if you have made a commitment to meet someone at a specific time. So, if you need help being accountable with workouts ask a friend to go with you. If you are less social notice who is in the gym the majority of the time while you are there. Make it a game you vs them. If you are at the gym at the normal time and they are not you win and vice versa. This only works if the other person is a known regular at the time you normally workout, but it can be a bit of a motivator if you do not have a workout buddy currently.

PRETTY-DARN-HEALTHY, HONEY BRAN MUFFINS

I want to thank my wife for creating this recipe. It’s a nice breakfast muffin. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

3 C Raisins,Dates or Prunes, pureed in a food processor (measure before processing, you can add 1-2 T water to make it a bit easier) — 1287
1/2 C Honey ( + more for Honey drizzle in the muffin cups) — 515
1/2 C Unsweetened Applesauce — 50
6 Egg Whites — 102
2 C Buttermilk, (or 2 C low-fat Milk + 2 T fresh lemon juice, stir, and let stand 5 minutes to thicken) — 244
1 C Wheat Bran — 200
1 C Flax Meal — 560
1 1/2 C Almond Meal — 1080
1 1/2 C Whole Wheat Flour — 660
3 tsp. Baking Soda
1 1/2 tsp. Salt
DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Prepare the muffin tins by spraying bottoms and sides of each cup with non-stick spray, then generously drizzling Honey on the sides and bottoms of each cup.
If you are making your own Buttermilk, prep Milk and Lemon juice and set aside to thicken.  (It will become lumpy, this is how it should look, it is not spoiled.)
Puree dried fruit.
 
  1. Mix fruit, honey and applesauce until smooth.
  2. Beat in egg whites, then buttermilk, bran, flax and almond meal.
  3. Sift flour, baking soda and salt together.
  4. Add to mixture and beat until just combined.
  5. Fill tins 3/4 full.
  6. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until springy to the touch.
  7. Cool for 2 minutes then invert on rack to cool completely.
NOTE:  If you would prefer to use loaf pans instead of muffin tins, only fill batter 1 inch to 1 1/2 inch deep.  
YIELDS approx. 30 muffins
CALORIES
Total Calories in Recipe = 4698 + Honey Drizzle and Nonstick Spray
PER MUFFIN = Approx. 175 calories each