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I will no longer be posting here.  I’m now at http://www.turborunner.com  See me there for all updates 🙂

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Weight Loss Success

So…you want those pounds off forever???  Whether you’re at Day 1 of your journey or you’ve hit your goal, here are some tips to keep in mind to keep the weight off.
Get Active
Being active is key to keeping weight off—not to mention the other health benefits.  These include keeping cholesterol at bay, controlling blood pressure, enhancing overall mood and well-being, and strengthening the heart.  The key is to do something you like, so that you’ll be more likely to stick to it.

Track
Studies show those who track their foods lose more weight and keep it off longer.  You can use a regular ole’ pen & paper or go electronic with an app on your smartphone or website like LoseIt! or MyFitnessPal.  The apps and websites offer an added layer of accountability since you can add friends to keep you motivated.  You can find me on either one; ydeleon on My Fitness Pal or Yokasta Schneider on LoseIt!

Don’t Deprive Yourself
You shouldn’t be on a food plan that deprives you of foods you love.  This will only lead to a binge and disappointment later on.  To lead a healthy lifestyle, one that can be kept for life, you should include small treats (always eaten in moderation) in your diet.

Hydrate
Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. Water helps support your metabolism, aids in removing fat from the body, can help cut cravings…Drink up!!!

Motivation
Whether it’s a family member, friend, on-line buddy, having a support system is key. Usually, once someone knows what your plan is, you’re more likely to stick to it.  Those who lost weight and continued receiving/giving motivation kept the weight off.  A great site to obtain motivation is on Beachbody.  Here, you can join for free and obtain a coach to motivate through your workouts.

Goals & Rewards
Never stop setting goal, even if you’re at your goal weight. These goals can be anything from running at a faster pace, lifting heavier, or eating more veggies.  Rewarding yourself once you hit these goals is also important.  These can be a mani/pedi, a new outfit, any non-food item that feels like a treat for you.

Switch Things Up
Try something new each month.  A new class/workout or different food/recipe will keep things fun.  No one likes to eat the same foods or do the same routine day in and day out for months at a time.

 

Follow me on Facebook for daily tips and motivation

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Five Metabolism Boosting Foods

Chemical-laden and processed foods that are filled with calories are not going to help you reach your goals.  To get there, you need foods that are healthy, nutritious and stimulate your metabolism. These 5 foods will help you do just that.

1.      Red Beans:

Pick dried beans on your next grocery trip. Beans contain resistant starch.  This repairs the lining of your intestine, which help you fight inflammation, cancer, and harmful bacteria.  The high fiber content helps you feel fuller, which stores less fat.  In addition, resistant starch has been shown to help you lower insulin levels.

2.      Garlic:

Garlic helps produce an antioxidant that is especially important in the liver (glutathione).  The liver helps remove hormone-disrupting chemicals.  Garlic also lowers total cholesterol while raising good cholesterol (HDL).  You can fit garlic into your diet by combining it with olive oil to release even more disease-fighting properties.

3.      Berries, Raspberries and Strawberries:

Red berries contain anthocyanins, which are powerful antioxidants.  According to studies, anthocyanins have been found to stop fat cells from getting larger.  It’s best to purchase organic berries and rinse well before eating.  Fresh berries are best. You’ll lose all the awesome anthocyanins when you eat berries in processed foods.

4.      Broccoli

Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage pack serious nutritional power in just a few calories.  They have high water and fiber content.  This helps you feel full and increases your body’s ability to burn fat.  Studies have also shown that people who eat the MOST fiber gain the LEAST weight.

5.      Whole Grains

Carbs are not the enemy!  Whole grains have great nutritional value and can help you control your appetite.  Fatty acids from whole grains help you feel full because they stimulate fat cells in our stomachs to release leptin.  Leptin is the hormone that signals the brain that it’s full.  The high levels of fiber in whole grains also slow blood-sugar release and steady insulin levels, which make us feel full as well.  The key is to consume truly whole grains, not refined, like white bread.

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Keep the Change Permanent

What’s your goal?  Size 6 jeans?  145 lbs?  To get off high blood pressure meds?  Whatever it is…All this change is helping you look at your life in new ways.  However, the changes need to be permanent. You cannot make the changes for a few months or until you reach your goal and expect the changes to stick. Bottom line: You can’t go back to your old habits if want to maintain your new way of life. As with any kind of recovery, just because you’re rehabilitated doesn’t mean you don’t have to be vigilant to guard against a relapse.

It sucks, but it’s the truth. The good news is that it will get easier. You’ll get used to how great it feels to treat yourself well. Eventually, behaviors and choices you’ve had to think through will become gut instinct.

You CAN and WILL do this!!

What changes have you made on your journey so far that now seem like second nature?

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Best Foods to Add to Your Cart

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These foods are great to have on hand.  They are great as snacks or can be cooked into wonderful recipes.  Add these to your grocery list and you’ll fuel your body for some awesome workouts!

 

Almonds

Have a small handful of almonds three to five times per week. Nuts, especially almonds, are an excellent source of vitamin E. Studies have shown that eating nuts several times per week can decrease your risk for heart disease.

Add to your diet: Add almonds and other nuts to salads or pasta dishes, use as a topping for casseroles, or throw them into your bowl of hot cereal for extra crunch. Almond butter is perfect spread over whole-grain toast or on a whole-wheat tortilla, topped with raisins, and rolled up. Store all nuts in jars or zipper bags in a cool dry place away from sunlight and they’ll keep for about two to four months.

 

Eggs

One egg fulfills about 10 percent of your daily protein needs. Egg protein is the most complete food protein short of human breast milk, which means the protein in eggs contains all the crucial amino acids your hard-working muscles need to promote recovery. Eat just one of these nutritional powerhouses and you’ll also get about 30 percent of the Daily Value (DV) for vitamin K, which is vital for healthy bones. Eggs also contain choline, a brain nutrient that aids memory, and leutin, a pigment needed for healthy eyes. Don’t worry too much about the cholesterol: Studies have shown that egg eaters have a lower risk for heart disease than those who avoid eggs. 

Add to your diet: Whether boiled, scrambled, poached, or fried (in a nonstick skillet to cut down on the need for additional fats), eggs are great anytime. Use them as the base for skillet meals such as frittatas. Or include them in sandwiches, burritos, or wraps as you would meat fillers. You can also add them to casseroles and soups by cracking one or two in during the last minute of cooking.

 

Sweet potatoes

This Thanksgiving Day standard should be on the plates of runners year-round. Just a single 100-calorie sweet potato supplies over 250 percent of the DV for vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene, the powerful antioxidant. Sweet potatoes are also a good source of vitamin C, potassium, iron, and the two trace minerals manganese and copper. There are even new sweet-potato varieties that have purple skin and flesh and contain anthocyanidins, the same potent antioxidant found in berries.

Add to your diet: Sweet potatoes can be baked, boiled, or microwaved. You can fill them with bean chili, low-fat cheese, and your favorite toppings, or you can incorporate them into stews and soups. Baked as wedges or disks, sweet potatoes make delicious oven fries. Don’t store sweet potatoes in the fridge because they will lose their flavor. Instead, stash them in a cool, dark place, and they should keep for about two weeks.

Whole-Grain Cereal with Protein

Look for whole-grain cereals that offer at least five grams of fiber and at least eight grams of protein. For example, one cup of Kashi GoLean cereal, which is made from seven different whole grains, including triticale, rye, and buckwheat, fills you up with a hefty 10 grams of fiber (that’s 40 percent of the DV) and is loaded with heart-healthy phytonutrients. It also contains soy grits, supplying 13 grams of protein per serving.

Add to your diet: Of course whole-grain cereal is excellent for breakfast–a meal you don’t want to skip since research indicates that those who eat breakfast are healthier, trimmer, and can manage their weight better than nonbreakfast eaters. Cereal also makes a great postrun recovery meal with its mix of carbohydrates and protein. Or you can sprinkle whole-grain cereal on top of your yogurt, use it to add crunch to casseroles, or tote it along in a zip bag.

 

Oranges

Eat enough oranges and you may experience less muscle soreness after hard. Why? Oranges supply over 100 percent of the DV for the antioxidant vitamin C, and a recent study from the University of North Carolina Greensboro showed that taking vitamin C supplements for two weeks prior to challenging arm exercises helped alleviate muscle soreness. This fruit’s antioxidant powers also come from the compound herperidin found in the thin orange-colored layer of the fruit’s skin (the zest). Herperidin has been shown to help lower cholesterol levels and high blood pressure as well.

Add to your diet: Add orange sections to fruit and green salads, or use the orange juice and pulp for sauces to top chicken, pork, or fish. Select firm, heavy oranges, and store them in the fridge for up to three weeks. Orange zest can be stored dried in a glass jar for about a week if kept in a cool place.

Canned Black Beans

One cup of these beauties provides 30 percent of the DV for protein, almost 60 percent of the DV for fiber (much of it as the cholesterol-lowering soluble type), and 60 percent of the DV for folate, a B vitamin that plays a key role in heart health and circulation. Black beans also contain antioxidants, and researchers theorize that this fiber-folate-antioxidant trio is why a daily serving of beans appears to lower cholesterol levels and heart-disease risk. In addition, black beans and other legumes are low glycemic index (GI) foods, meaning the carbohydrate in them is released slowly into the body. Low GI foods can help control blood sugar levels and may enhance performance because of their steady release of energy. 

Add to your diet: For a quick, hearty soup, open a can of black beans and pour into chicken or vegetable stock along with frozen mixed veggies and your favorite seasonings. Mash beans with salsa for an instant dip for cut veggies, or spread onto a whole-wheat tortilla for a great recovery meal. Add beans to cooked pasta or rice for extra fiber and protein.

Mixed Salad Greens

Rather than selecting one type of lettuce for your salad, choose mixed greens, which typically offer five or more colorful delicate greens such as radicchio, butter leaf, curly endive, and mache. Each variety offers a unique blend of phytonutrients that research suggests may fend off age-related diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. These phytonutrients also act as antioxidants, warding off muscle damage brought on by tough workouts. You can usually buy mixed greens in bulk or prewashed in bags.

Add to your diet: Toss a mixed greens salad with tomato, cucumber, scallions, and an olive oil-based dressing (the fat from the oil helps your body absorb the phytonutrients). You can also stuff mixed greens in your sandwiches, wraps, and tacos. Or place them in a heated skillet, toss lightly until wilted, and use as a bed for grilled salmon, chicken, or lean meat. Greens store best in a salad spinner or the crisper drawer in your fridge for up to six days. Just don’t drench them in water or they won’t keep as long.

 

Salmon

Nutrition-wise, salmon is the king of fish. Besides being an excellent source of high-quality protein (you get about 30 grams in a four-ounce serving), salmon is one of the best food sources of omega-3 fats. These essential fats help balance the body’s inflammation response, a bodily function that when disturbed appears to be linked to many diseases including asthma. A recent study showed that people with exercise-induced asthma saw an improvement in symptoms after three weeks of eating more fish oil. If you’ve been limiting seafood due to possible mercury or PCB contamination, simply aim for a variety of farm-raised and wild salmon for maximum health benefits.

Add to your diet: Bake, grill, or poach salmon with fresh herbs and citrus zest. Gauge cooking time by allotting 10 minutes for every inch of fish (steaks or fillets). Salmon should flake when done. Precooked (leftover) or canned salmon is great in salads, tossed into pasta, stirred into soups, or on top of pizza. Fresh fish keeps one to two days in the fridge, or you can freeze it in a tightly sealed container for about four to five months.

Whole-Grain Bread

We need at least three to six one-ounce servings of whole grains per day, and eating 100 percent whole-grain bread is an easy way to meet this requirement since one slice equals one serving. Whole-grain bread may also help weight-conscious runners. One study showed that women who eat whole-grain bread weigh less than those who eat refined white bread and other grains. Whole-grain eaters also have a 38 percent lower risk of suffering from metabolic syndrome, which is characterized by belly fat, low levels of the good cholesterol, and high blood sugar levels. All this raises the risk for heart disease and cancer.

Add to your diet: Bread is versatile, portable, and ready to eat right out of the wrapper. Spread with peanut butter or stuff with your favorite sandwich fillings and plenty of sliced veggies for a one-handed recovery meal. Coat with a beaten egg for French toast, or use as layers or crumbled in a casserole. Just be sure the label says 100 percent whole grain (all the grains and flours included in the ingredients should be listed as whole, not milled or refined). And don’t just stick with the popular 100 percent whole-wheat breads. Try different varieties of whole grains such as barley, buckwheat, bulgur, rye, or oat.

 

Frozen Stir-fry Vegetables

Research shows that eating a combination of antioxidants, such as beta-carotene and vitamin C, may lessen muscle soreness after hard interval workouts by reducing the inflammation caused by free-radical damage. Most ready-to-use stir-fry veggie combos offer a potent mix of antioxidants by including red and yellow peppers, onions, bok choy, and soy beans. And frozen vegetable mixes save lots of prepping time but still provide the same nutrition as their fresh counterparts.

Add to your diet: Dump the frozen vegetables right into a hot wok or skillet, add tofu, seafood, or meat, your favorite stir-fry sauce, and serve over brown rice. Or throw them into pasta water during the last few minutes of cooking, drain, and toss with a touch of olive oil. You can also mix the frozen veggies right into soups or stews at the end of cooking, or thaw them and add to casseroles. Vegetables store well in the freezer for about four months, so make sure to date your bags.

Whole-grain Pasta

Whole-grain versions are a must over refined pastas because they contain more fiber to fill you up, additional B vitamins that are crucial to energy metabolism, and disease-fighting compounds such as lignans. And even better, pastas such as Barilla Plus offer whole-grain goodness along with heart-healthy omega-3 fats from ground flaxseed and added protein from a special formula of ground lentils, multigrains, and egg whites to help with muscle repair and recovery.

Add to your diet: Pasta makes a complete one-pot meal when tossed with veggies, lean meat, seafood, or tofu. Or combine pasta with a light sauce, a bit of your favorite cheese, and turn it into a satisfying casserole.

Chicken

Along with protein, chicken contains selenium, a trace element that helps protect muscles from the free-radical damage that can occur during exercise, and niacin, a B vitamin that helps regulate fat burning. New studies also suggest that people who get ample niacin in their diet have a 70 percent lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. 

Add to your diet: Chicken’s versatility makes it perfect with little time to cook. You can bake, broil, grill, or poach chicken in broth. Leftover chicken works well on top of salads, mixed into pasta, or stuffed into sandwiches and burritos. Fresh chicken stores safely for two days in the fridge, but can be frozen for six months or more.

 

Frozen Mixed Berries

The colorful compounds that make blueberries blue, blackberries deep purple, and raspberries a rich shade of red are called anthocyanins–a powerful group of antioxidants that may help stave off Alzheimer’s disease and some cancers. Anthocyanins may also assist with postrun recovery and muscle repair. Not bad for a fruit group that contains a mere 60 calories or so per cup. And remember: Frozen berries are just as nutritious as fresh ones, but they keep far longer (up to nine months in the freezer), making it easier to always have them ready to eat.

Add to your diet: Frozen berries make a great base for a smoothie and there’s no need to thaw them. Once thawed, eat them straight up or add to some vanilla yogurt with chopped nuts. Or liven up your hot or cold cereal with a big handful.

 

Dark Chocolate

Chocolate contains potent antioxidants called flavonols that can boost heart health. In one study, a group of soccer players had lower blood pressure and total cholesterol levels, and less artery-clogging LDL cholesterol after just two weeks of eating chocolate daily. Other research suggests that the chocolate flavonols ease inflammation and help prevent blood substances from becoming sticky, which lowers the risk of potential blood clots. But not just any chocolate will do. First off, dark chocolate (the darker the better) generally contains more flavonols than milk chocolate. Also, the way the cocoa beans are processed can influence the potency of the flavonols. Chocolate manufacturer Mars has developed a procedure that apparently retains much of the antioxidant powers of the flavonols, and their research shows just a little over an ounce (200 calories worth) of Dove dark chocolate per day has heart-healthy benefits.

Add to your diet: Besides the obvious (just eat it!), you can add dark chocolate to trail mix, dip it in peanut butter (my favorite), or combine it with fruit for an even greater antioxidant punch. Just keep track of the calories. Buy chocolate wrapped in small pieces to help with portion control. 

 

Low-fat Yogurt

Besides being a good source of protein and calcium (one cup provides 13 grams of protein and 40 percent of the DV for calcium), low-fat yogurt with live cultures provides the healthy bacteria your digestive tract needs to function optimally. This good bacteria may also have anti-inflammatory powers that can offer some relief to arthritis suffers. Just look for the live-culture symbol on the yogurt carton.

Add to your diet: Low-fat yogurt is great topped with fruit, granola, or nuts, or used as a base for smoothies. Plain yogurt can be mixed with diced cucumber and herbs like dill and spread over grilled tofu, chicken, fish, and other meats. Yogurt can also double as a salad dressing with vinegar and herbs. Or mix it with fresh salsa to stand in as a dip for veggies and baked chips.

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12 Things to Do in 2012

Short list of things to do in 2012.  Not resolutions, as those are usually short-term and broken my February.  These are just neat, little things to do to capture life, learn new things, etc.

 

  1. Take a picture every day, whether it’s on my phone or with camera.
  2. Start taking yearly pictures on our anniversary.  Even though I’m a few years behind, it’s never too late to start, right?
  3. Read at least 6 books throughout the year.
  4. Get some new ink
  5. Learn to ride a bike. I know, I know…
  6. Learn to swim.  :/
  7. Volunteer somewhere
  8. Run 2 marathons
  9. Update my blog at least 3 times a week
  10. Take dance lessons…with Timbo
  11. Knit/crochet a scarf
  12. Visit a city in the U.S. that I haven’t been to

 

What’s on your list?

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Time to Do It Again!!!

OKAY…Tomorrow, I start training for my second marathon. I’m just not sure which one…yet! My training schedule has me running the race on Memorial Day weekend. I’m sure there will be plenty out there to choose from. It’s just a matter of which one???

I’m excited about starting my training again. Strange how I’ve become used to training for something. There’s something about working towards a goal that makes what you’re doing seem REAL.

Stay tuned for updates!!!

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