Thursday, January 29, 2009

Vitamins and Minerals

I'm still plugging along in my book Food for Fitness by Chris Carmichael and I've come across some more good info. I always like to think that we can get all of the vits and minerals we need from food, but often times we don't eat the right way to ensure that this happens. If you KNOW you're one of those people I would recommend a good supplement. Here are a few tips to getting a quality pill to pop.

Vitamin E: look for the "d-" form instead of the "dl-" form of "d-alpha tocopherol" which is the name of the natural form of the vitamin.

Vitamin A: supplement should contain no more than 5,000 IU because it is a fat-soluble vitamin and can become toxic with excessive supplementation.

Calcium: pick a supplement with chelated calcium instead of calcium carbonate as it is a more absorbable form of calcium. Also, be aware that taking calcium and iron together can inhibit absorption of the iron and other minerals. (Cocoa also decreases the absorption of calcium...causing me to think twice about Hot Chocolate that has "just as much calcium as a glass of milk").

*"GMP" or "cGMP" on the label means current Good Manufacturing Practices.

*When looking ofr chelated minerals, which are more absorbable than non-chelated minerals, the industry leader is Albion.

*"USP" on the label indicates that the product has passed minimum standards on how fast it dissolves.

Next time I'll tell you more about these Vits and Mins, what foods deliver the goods, and other great things.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I'm RUNNING A MARATHON! I just agreed to pull it off with my cousin Kristen, and I'm so excited. I've refused for months, feeling like I didn't have time to train, or rather train the way I like to. The marathon is in ONE MONTH, so this is going to hurt, but like I said, for some reason I'm really excited. My goal has been to run a marathon between each kid, but I kind of gave this up as unrealistic for me and called it good with the 1/2 marathon I did earlier this year. However, I'm glad to have this opportunity to get the goal done.

This post however is not about me, but rather about the 5k race. It's such a great race, difficult, fast, fun, and pretty easy to train for. I've had several friends mention that they'd like to get ready for a 5k, I'd like to run one myself (after the marathon!). I have previously posted some 5k training tips/workouts that you can find in Labels under 5k (tricky tricky). I'd like to add to the collection though.

Here are 5 (4 rather, but 5 sounded better) tips for 5ks. With more to come in the future...

1. Sign up for a race or two. I'd recommend signing up for a race just 2 months after you've begun training. Think of it as a practice race. Even though you may not feel ready in time for the race, it will give you motivation to keep training. If you schedule a race 6 months in advance, you'll have too much time and too many excuses until you get to the starting line. Use this practice race to get a good idea of where you're at. If you've never run a 5k, you'll have your first racing time. You can use this to plug into workouts and to push yourself to improve for the next race. Schedule your next race just a month or two following your practice race. This will give you time to continue training and improving.

2. Start where you're at. If you've just taken up running, try using the 3 to 30 rule. Jog for 3 minutes and walk for 30 seconds. You can also use land to that pole and walk to the mailbox. Gradually increase your running time and decrease your walking breaks. As a beginner, I would still recommend doing some speed work because the 5k race is a fast one. If you only have 3 days to train, try two days of milage 3-5 miles and one day of speed work like sprints down your road 8 times with 1 minute of recovery. This speed work will actually improve your longer mile days, making your body more efficient and strong.

3. Weight train/yoga. On "rest" days when you're not running, add some strength training and yoga. Doing lunges and pushups in the comfort of your own home are great. Pull out what in-home exercise equipment you do have and USE IT! Look up some moves at Yoga Journal (link supplied at left) and keep yourself flexible and injury free.

4. Don't get bored. Make sure to mix up what you're doing. If you don't naturally LOVE to go out for a run, you might not want to fool yourself into thinking you're going to go out for 5 miles everyday. Use my suggestions and mix in sprints, jump roping, biking, and yoga. Break up the miles by doing 2 minutes fast, 1 minute slow. I LOVE to run and I've been bored before, so I know it can happen to everyone. Don't go out and run around the same 3 blocks everyday or you'll loose the excitement, adventure, and fun that is running!

Friday, January 23, 2009

A new perspective (and a giveaway!)

I am about to finish up a great read Food for Fitness by Chris Carmichael, Neal Armstong's famous coach. This book is written for the serious athlete or someone who would like to become so. However, one of my favorite points he makes is good for EVERYBODY. I'll just quote him on this one.

"I prefer to group foods into three categories: quality carriers, empty carriers, and pollutant carriers. Quality carriers are the nutritional equivalent of the motor yacht: powerful, impressive, and stocked with amenities. Empty carriers are more like your standard rowboat: a no-frills, unrewarding, and inefficient way to get where you're going. Finally, the pollutant carrier is essentially a garbage barge: a vessel whose cargo does you more harm than good."

He then includes a table with some examples of foods from the three categories.

Quality Carriers: Spinach, whole-grain cereal and bread, salmon, sweet potatoes, Kiwi, Chicken breasts, brown rice, soy milk

Empty Carriers: Cola, low-fat candy, Kool Aid, Prestzels, Low-fat cookies, iceberg lettuce, white rice

Pollutant Carriers: Pork rinds, high-fat candy, doughnuts, lard, french fries, fried chicken, high-fat meats

Thinking about food this way has motivated me to think twice about what's on the way to my mouth. Do I want to put something that would pollute my body into my mouth? If I want to run fast, shouldn't I eat some quality carriers?

Hopefully you'll think twice about putting a trash bag full of dirty socks, stinky diapers, and dead bugs (or doughnuts, lard and french fries) into your mouth next time!

I just found this GREAT GIVEAWAY on a DREAMY JOGGING STROLLER! Check it out!

Friday, January 16, 2009

An EZ solution to dinner time blues!

Meal planning got you stressed? Between grocery shopping and thinking of something the whole family will eat-you can get stuck in the middle with a headache. Have I got a solution for you...

I was just clued into THIS great site for affordable, low-fat, family meal planning. It really makes planning grocery shopping and meal a cinch! You can choose from different grocery stores in your area and a meal is build around what is on sale. A recipe for every night of the week, whether you have a family of 2 or 7! You can choose a low fat, vegetarian, low carb, affordable meal plan. So CHECK IT OUT and see what you think. This may be the answer to dinner prep stress for you and your family.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Drum roll please!!!

I am finally happy to announce the winner of the Happy Healthiday Challenge. Once again, I want to thank everyone who participated and congratulate you all on your great efforts to be healthy through the difficult fudge, I mean, holiday season.

Without further adieu....Kim is our winner! This girl has really made a great effort throughout the entire challenge (and I should know, I see her at the gym working hard!). With a background of successful weight loss, I thought it would be great to have a mini interview with Kim and get ideas and tips from one who knows.

What keeps you motivated to workout and eat healthy?

Honestly, there are 3 things and the first one is really dumb 1. I am constantly fighting my body to be something that someday I will figure out it just is not (that probably didnt make sense, but more simply put, I'm not a skinny Minnie and so if I don't eat right the majority of the time and sweat regularly, its not pretty). Reason #2 It is crazy how my body reacts to eating well compared to not eating well in terms of energy, sleep patterns, cough bowel movements cough cough, etc and so I try to eat healthy because I feel so much better when I do! 3. Im competitive, what can i say!

What is a typical workout like for you?

It depends on if my husband and I only brought one car... typically I do an average of 30 minutes of cardio (20-45 min) and then I lift weights, alternating body parts. I prefer free weights to most weight machines. I try to to hit the gym 5-6 days a week. I have recently started doing yoga 2-3 times a week as well and that is a great addition! My weakness: plyometric exercises. I don't enjoy doing them at all, and I therefore dont' do them enough.

How do you drink so much water (this one is really for me!)?

lol...consistently and all throughout the day. My trick is that I have a water bottle I carry with me all day long all the time and so if it is there, I will drink it.

What is a guilty indulgence for you? How do you keep yourself in control over your appetite? depends on the moment. I would have to say most often I am most willing to give into my love for ice cream, but I try not to keep it in the house and I really like the dreyers slow churned, 1/2 fat stuff. If I am craving chocolate I will allow myself one small dove dark chocolate and that usually does it or I love these dark chocolate covered soy nuts by South Beach Diet.

What are a few tips you could share with others relating to health and fitness that help you or that you especially like?

- Learn what the difference is between a smart carbohydrate and a bad carb and then test it out to see how it affects your body.
- Eating 6 small portioned meals throughout the day is a great alternative to 3 large meals.
-A really hard one that I am still learning is: Even if you are not seeing results, keep at it becuase it is making a big difference on the inside (we love healthy hearts!).

Can you tell a difference in your energy level/ overall well being when you're sticking to a healthy eating plan and regular exercise (expound)?

For Shizzzle. I think anyone could tell you that they feel much better eating fresh produce, solid proteins and good carbs than cheeseburgers and fries. And when you eat healthy, it is a lot easier to exercise. One motivates the other often times! A strange phenomenon I find is that many times on days I don't workout, I am not as caucious with what I eat. You would think it would be opposite because I would think "I worked out really hard today and so I will allow myself this _______" but most of the time when I exercise I eat better becuase I really want to make it count!

Anything else you'd like to share....That's about it!

Thanks Kim! Congrats and here's to cash in your pocket!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Two great new resources..and a GIVEAWAY

I can take no credit for finding these wonderful sites because they sort of found me. Heather, from Simply Healthful, commented on my Health and Fitness blog and I've been drooling ever since. Simply Healthful is a fun blog all about good, healthy food, ideas, and fun. Do yourself a favor and check it out. Not to mention they're doing a FREE GIVEAWAY for that great plate above from Amy at Super Healthy Kids and Healthy Habits Plates, but it ENDS TODAY so hurry and sign up. This ties in well with my last post on "Thin Kids."

Sunday, January 4, 2009

And the winner is...

I have no idea because you crazy people won't get your points in! Please get them in so I can declare something soon!

Love Kel

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The End

Yeah! You all made it through the Happy Healthiday Challenge! We ended Jan. 1 with the New Year. I hope you had a great finish and a brand new healthy start!

I, as always, am waiting for people to get their numbers in. As soon as I get home (tomorrow) I will get numbers posted and name the winner. Stay posted for an interview with that healthy lady.

If you turned in an article/report that still has not been posted yet, you still get the points.

Please get numbers in and CONGRATULATIONS to all participants for making healthy choices and staying motivated through the difficult holiday months.