Call to Action- Let’s Get Fit For Summer

With the warm weather upon us, we are reminded that summer is coming. I for one am so excited to do more outdoors. I just wish I didn’t have to cook dinner when I come home! Looks like I’ll be making more on the grill.

That being said, what I also love about this time of year is how committed people are to their health and fitness goals.

What are you doing to get fit? Is it working? Are you open to something NEW?

Last year, I started helping people achieve their health and fitness goals, and it has been the most rewarding experience.  A few highlights include

  • A mom who was on the verge of tears daily who is now content and enjoying her kids childhood
  • SEVERAL running PRs (2 5Ks improved by 4 minutes and a half marathon by 20)
  • 30 lb weight loss
  • A few women who were able to advance their yoga practice (hello headstand)
  • New friends made by all

I am looking for women, specifically working moms with little time on their hands. People who aren’t the best cooks and need quick and easy kid friendly recipes. Women who rarely take the time to take care of themselves and always put everyone else first. Women who are exhausted and just don’t know how they could possibly even find time to exercise. Women who have a gym membership, but never go. Women who are living on coffee for breakfast or their go to cereal they have been having since their college days. Women who used to have time to train for races before they had kids but now running takes too long.

I’m looking for you, because last year I was you! 30 minute workouts, easy food, and most of all SUPPORT have changed my life.

I’m not saying I can change your life, but you can. The power is in your hands and I have had the pleasure to connect with so many women this year, women who were hanging on my a thread and now just feel good.

MAY 1st is the start date. Send me a message and we’ll work together to find something that will work for your unique situation and preferences.

We are going to have an awesome summer, you ready to join us?

Jessica Heidi's photo.
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Fact Friday: Antioxidants

I am driven by FACTS (as a scientist) and I have been feeling that there is so much fluff out there, people never know where to go for information, and is that information true? Then, what does that information mean to ME? So, what I have decided to do is create a FACT FRIDAY post where I will highlight a different ingredient in food or skincare as or class of chemicals and give YOU facts from reputable sources and be as clear as possible without expressing my opinion, just the facts.

 

Please feel free to request what ingredients you are curious about.

For my first Fact Friday: I was going to talk about chia seeds, BUT I realized you may not know WHAT Omega-3 fatty acids or antioxidants ARE or WHY you should even care?! So our first fact Friday is going to be about: ANTIOXIDANTS, what they are, how they work, and why they are important.

ANTIOXIDANTS:

Antioxidants protect the body from free radicals….HOLD UP.

What are free radicals? What kind of damage can they do to your body?
“Free radicals” are unstable atoms, or molecules, in your body. They are missing important components that would make them more stable. So they rob other cells of those components to meet their needs. This causes injury to previously healthy cells. Over time, this damage can lead to diseases such as cancer, heart disease, or Alzheimer’s disease.

Your body produces free radicals through its NORMAL processes. Your body also contains ITS OWN antioxidant molecules, which deactivate harmful free radicals. But things like cigarette smoking, pollution, and excessive alcohol consumption can create SO many free radicals that your body has a hard time defusing them on its own.

aap-antifreestop

Antioxidants- What they do
• stabilize those free radicals and can help minimize the damage to your cells
• Help decrease inflammation
• Help maintain the immune system
• Potentially decrease the risk of degenerative diseases

Antioxidants include
• vitamins (such as vitamins C and E
• some minerals (such as selenium)
• flavonoids, which are found in plants
• The best sources of antioxidants are fruits and vegetables

antioxidants

Antioxidants in Shakeology:
• Camu-Camu
• Acerola Cherry
• Bilberry
• Goji berry
• Green Tea
• Luo Han Guo
• Pomegranate
• Rose Hips
• Vitamins A, C, E

 

Resources: http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/antioxidants-topic-overview

http://www.webmd.com/diet/antioxidants-directory

ACE Health Coaching Textbook

Fact Friday- Omega-3 Fatty Acid

Don’t be scared of the word “fat.”  Fat is essential in our diet for our cells to function properly in our bodies.

I am going to throw some serious science at you guys today!  As always my takeaway message is eat in moderation.  Here try to eat foods high in Omega 3s (list below) and try to minimize Omega 6 rich foods (processed foods, certain oils etc)

What is the Difference?

Omega-3 and Omega-6 are a chemical class called fatty acids.  The # corresponds to which carbon has the first double bond (Start counting from the right, and each point is a carbon)

Omega fatty acids UK

Your body does not produce Omega-3 fatty acids, so you need to obtain them from your diet.  Two crucial ones — EPA and DHA — are primarily found in certain fish. ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) is found in plant sources such as nuts and seeds. Not only does your body need these fatty acids to function, but also they deliver some big health benefits such as lowering the risk of heart disease, depression, dementia, and arthritis.

How do they do this?  They set off signals in our bodies to reduce INFLAMMATION.

Omega-3s curb inflammation in the blood vessels (and the rest of your body), this especially helps your heart.  At high doses they also make abnormal heart rhythms less likely and lower your level of blood fats called triglycerides. Finally, they can slow plaque buildup inside the blood vessels.

Omega 6 vs Omega 3

This may seem like a scary crazy image- but the takeaway message here is Omega 3s set off your metabolic pathway to release anti-inflammatories in your body.  How cool is that?!

Where to Get Omega 3s

When possible, try to get omega-3 fatty acids from foods. Aim to eat fish high in DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids two to three times a week.

These include:

  • Anchovies
  • Bluefish
  • Herring
  • Mackerel
  • Salmon (wild has more omega-3s than farmed)
  • Sardines
  • Sturgeon
  • Lake trout
  • Tuna

Good food sources of ALA are:

  • Walnuts
  • Flaxseed and flaxseed oil
  • Canola oil
  • Soybean oil

While foods containing omega-3 fatty acids have health benefits, some — like oils and nuts — can be high in calories. So eat them in moderation.

 

So I threw a lot of complicated stuff at you-  takeaway message….  Live in moderation.  Try to eat foods high in Omega 3s and minimize your intake of processed foods and oils.

Happy Friday!

Any requests?

Don’t Skip the Stretching!

I got a wonderful email today from my health care provider (Aetna) and there were so many great little nuggets of information I am going to dedicate a blog post to each one.

Stretching… don’t lie, I know when the video is over and there are 3 minutes left of stretching, you turn the video off and go put in a load of laundry or empty the dishwasher.  Don’t!  Stretching is just as important as the workout both to warm up your muscles and cool them down.  This prevents injury.

Experts say the best way to do this is to go at a slower pace for 5 to 10 minutes. So if you’re jogging, you should walk for a few minutes to warm up. And then again to cool down.

Stretching’s important, but bouncing is for balls
While stretching is important to remain flexible, if you don’t do it right, you risk injury. You should stretch your muscles a couple times a week.  Hello yoga!

yogakids

Avoid the following:

  • Stretching cold muscles
  • Holding a stretch for more than 15 seconds
  • Bouncing (don’t do that)

Other ways to avoid injury include using the proper equipment. And having the proper form. No matter what the exercise warriors on television advise, don’t overdo it. If you push yourself too hard, you could go from warrior to war torn.

For more on how to avoid injury from exercise, visit the National Institutes of Health Medline Plus website.

Give it a wink

Choosing to take care of yourself and do something about how you feel takes mental strength. When you are tired from working, or taking care of your kids (or husbands or pets) but you still make the decision day after day to keep going and just get in 30 minutes of exercise for you. It does wonders for your mental strength.

I don’t know about you, but when I complete a really tough workout, that sense of accomplishment trickles into the rest of my day. I think critically, bring forward innovative ideas at work, and at home I have just that ounce more patience with my kids start screaming at me when I cut their sandwich in rectangles instead of triangles.

Today I finally had a “normal” routine day where I got up early and got my workout in before the household was awake.  I hadn’t done a hardcore lifting workout in awhile, so it was challenging but felt great.   The rest of the morning there were a few bumps, but I didn’t let them bother me and we all got out the door without too much struggle.

strong

I personally love a challenge.  When someone says I can’t do something, it gives me more fuel to prove them wrong.  Oh yea I can’t?  Watch me.

Half way through the week.  Let’s finish strong!

Time Management Tips, how to juggle it all

The question I get ALL THE TIME is “how do you have time?!?”  It’s like people think it’s impossible for me to succeed at a corporate job, coach, and be a parent.  Well, I am here to tell you that is isn’t always easy, but it CAN be done and each job plays a very important role in my life.    So this is for those people who are currently in the work world, are interested in coaching, but think you can’t do both.  

It is all about TIME MANAGEMENT!

This is how it works for me.  My first priority is to my family.  Second to my career at J&J, lastly coaching.  

Here are some of my time management tips for every day.

  • Plan out your meals on the weekend.  I don’t have time to actually meal prep, but I either grocery shop or ShopRite from home everything I need for the week.  I’ll even freeze some meats to defrost later.  I know what I’m going to make for dinner so when we get home I just start cooking
  • Get up early.  I know this is the one that everyone hates, but when you carve out time in the morning you can start your day on the right foot.  For me, that means 5:30 exercise, 6:15 shower, kids up at 6:30-7, breakfast and getting the kids out the door by 8.   
  • Work smarter, not harder.  I had a co-op last year say this and it stuck!  Instead of opening up 5,000 things.  Complete 1 task at a time, then move onto the next.  I also work through lunch in order to get more accomplished and sometimes take walking conference calls or meetings. 
  • Put everything on the calendar.  There are actually a lot of hours in a day.  

Here are my tips for adding coaching into the mix

  • Use social media scheduling tools.  When I have a group I am running and I know what I want the daily message to be, I use a free post scheduler like postcron.  I’ll plan out my week of posts on Sunday and schedule them to post daily at 6 am, while I am actually showering.
  • Put time on the calendar to exercise.  Mine is 5:30, that is an appointment with myself.  Don’t skip it.
  • Put time on the calendar to talk to people and ONLY check your phone/social media at that time.  Mine is 9-10pm or 10-11 pm after my husband goes to sleep.  I also check in on Sunday.

Bottom line, Be flexible and have fun.  Learn new things and meet new people.  You never know where inspiration will come from.  
These 2 are why I do both.  The corporate world challenges my brain and coaching helps me grow as an individual.   

  

Make time for what is important.  Even something as small as 10’minutes of coloring before bed really gives us quality time together.

  
Don’t limit yourself.  This is a big world that is growing and changing.  You have the ability to make an impact on people’s lives.   Think big.  Don’t put yourself in a box.  You can do and be whatever you set your mind to.  Never stop growing, never stop learning. 

 

Orthorexia- Are we TOO obsessed with healthy eating?

The internet is a scary place, and there are a lot of “experts” out there.  I always feel it is important to remember to use common sense, practice moderation, and if you are not sure, ask a qualified professional.

As a chemist I am always so frustrated when people are scared of chemicals.   I think they are just scare of the unknown.   Everything is technically a chemical, and everything has a lethal dose.  Water is a chemical, and you can die if you drink too much of it.   My expertise is more around chemicals in skincare though, not nutritionals.

That being said,  this post is really about moderation as well as a healthy dose of education.

I have not only learned so much since becoming a coach, but I have also had the opportunity to meet some pretty amazing and smart people.   Maureen Flood is a fellow coach and also a nurse practitioner and shared this article on our team page.  I felt it was important to share with you too!

Orthorexia

Definition: A mental health condition wherein an individual restricts their diet based not on the quantity of food, but based on arbitrary rules regarding its quality or characteristics without any medical reason for doing so and to the extent that it causes problems with their physical health or daily physical or social functioning.

Summary of the disorder

Orthorexia was coined as a term in 1997 in a Yoga Journal article by Steven Bratman to describe pathological obsession with healthful eating; he later wrote a book about it (Health Food Junkies: Orthorexia Nervosa: Overcoming the obsession with healthful eating, 2000).

Orthorexia come from the Greek “orthos” or “correct” and “orexi” or “appetite”.

Many people develop this disorder in response to recommendations by healthcare providers, celebrities, or others to restrict their diet (either sensibly or not) in order to treat or prevent a health condition. They are not particularly interested in getting thin, per se, although that may go along with the obsession about eating the right foods or avoiding the wrong ones. These obsessions lead to severe nutritional deficits that endanger the individual’s health as well as social problems because they often isolate themselves from others who disagree with their food choices. The nutritional deficits depend on the individual’s obsessions, but can include protein malnutrition, malabsorption of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K), scurvy (Vitamin C deficit), osteopenia and osteomalacia (calcium deficit, Vitamin D deficit), and others.

Key messages

To avoid instigating orthorexia and encourage those who may have the condition to balance their diets, we need to be careful about the types of diets and food messages we promote.

  • There really is no such thing as a “superfood”: all whole foods have a place in a human diet, some in greater quantity than others. When we talk about “superfoods”, we are really just promoting an under-noticed food that has great nutritional qualities, not something that should be in every meal every day. No one can live on kale alone!
  • The best diet for overall health and fitness is a balanced diet that includes sufficient calories drawn from protein, fat, and carbohydrate sources.
  • Vegan and Vegetarian diets can be healthful, provided the person pays attention to getting a balance of those macronutrients.
  • Fad diets do not promote healthful, balanced eating.
  • Our clients should be reminded that they can only achieve maximum fitness levels with appropriate diets to meet the body’s needs for protein, fats, and carbohydrates.
  • We even need healthy fats, because our cells make their cell membranes with them and they carry important vitamins into our bloodstream for use by the body. All things in moderation!

If you are worried about pathological obsessions with food with a client, you may gently suggest that they talk to their healthcare provider about their diet choices, because they could be doing more harm than good.

Resources online

National Eating Disorders Association: https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/orthorexia-nervosa

Orthorexia (Dr. Bratman’s page): http://www.orthorexia.com/

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: http://www.eatright.org/resource/health/diseases-and-conditions/eating-disorders/orthorexia-an-obsession-with-eating-pure