Quick tips for weight loss.

weight-loss-tip

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what is most important to people about getting in shape. What I mean by this is, what areas do you find hardest about getting in shape and therefore need the most support?

Motivation to workout is always tough for everyone no matter what your fitness level. But I’m pretty sure the hardest part for most people, myself included, is the dietary portion of getting, and staying, in good shape. Diet is a very complex subject and to get the best results dietary recommendations will vary from person to person. What works for me may not for you. That being said, here are a few simple tips on how to curb your appetite and lose  some L-Bs:

  1. Don’t underestimate the power of water. Drinking water before meals helps your stomach feel a little more full before you start to eat so you won’t eat as much.
  2. Stock up on snacks that not only help you feel fuller longer but provide much needed nutrients that make you feel good. Here are my recommendations:  -Nuts high in “healthy fat” like almonds and walnuts.  -Baby carrots, broccoli, bananas and apples provide filling fiber and other important vitamins. Bananas and apples are my favorite on the go snack. – Yogurt, I’ve been eating almond yogurt lately as it is lower in calories and unhealthy fats that are found in regular yogurt however regular yogurt can also be a healthy choice. Always look at the labels to be sure you aren’t buying yogurt full of sugar, unnatural flavors and saturated fats. I like Silk almond yogurt and Fage Greek yogurt. With Fage you can spoon in as much or as little of the sugary fruit they provide, so it’s easier to cut out some of the calories.
  3. Recognize your weaknesses and make a strategy for how to cope with them. For example: If you’re a late night eater try to find healthy, low-calorie options to help you cope with those cravings. If, like me, sugar is your vice, again find healthy substitutions to appease that sweet tooth. Another simple but helpful tip is to  try and find something else to do other than eat. When you start to have those unhealthy cravings occupy your mind with a book, a phone call to a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while or best possible scenario, workout!

I hope this helps you in some way. Do you have any simple weight loss tips you can share with us?

xo,

Hilary

Unpack the mental baggage.

Woman-meditating-on-the-beach-at-sunrise

One of the most important things we can do to take care of ourselves, and in turn others, is to mentally “unpack”. Humans get jammed up with the everyday tasks, to do lists, problems and whatever else is taking up space in our heads. In order to function with clarity and walk with more confidence and grace we need to unwind and clear our heads.

Meditation is a wonderful way of doing this. I heard someone recently compare it to when you delete items from your phone or computer and it starts running a lot faster. A brilliant analogy. But, there are many other ways to accomplish this that you may find more effective. I am not that good at mediation. I try to do it for a 10 minutes (even 2 minutes makes a difference) each night but sometimes that doesn’t happen or I just can’t seem to relax enough to get into the zone.

Here are some other ways you can “mentally unpack” that might be helpful:

  1. Yoga. Focusing on different poses and breath work help to get your mind focused.
  2. Read a good novel. This is fairly simple, but getting your mind hooked on an intriguing story can make you forget about life’s problems.
  3. Acupuncture. Many people I’ve spoken to who have trouble with meditation find acupuncture to be a great alternative.
  4. Cooking. Find a recipe that you’ve never tried before and throw yourself into the process of making it.
  5. Exercise. My tried and true method, when all else fails getting in a good workout always makes me feel better about the world.

My favorite spring/ summer dress trends.

My favorite thing to wear when the weather gets nice enough is a dress. They’re so easy, comfortable and feminine. Here are my favorite dress trends for spring/ summer 2017. What are yours??

  1. Blue and white stripes and off the shoulder. 

Blue and white stripes

2. Blush and bell sleeves. 

bellsleeveblushdress

3) The boho-maxi.

Maxi Boho dress

4) Tropical prints.

Tropical prints

5) Tie dye.

Tie Dye Tshirt trend

5 Tips for getting started running.

The Boston Marathon was today and perhaps some of you are inspired to train for a marathon or simply start running. It might seem a bit daunting to some of you who have never run before. I started running as a kid, my dad was an avid runner and I would often run with him in Prospect and Central Parks in New York. It was really easy to run with such beautiful spots to choose from, plus there were so many runners, bikers and roller bladers around it was easy to get inspired. I forget how hard it might be for those who haven’t run before and might have some hesitation getting started. Here are some tips.

 

  1. Find a good running path. Do some research and ask around about good areas to run. It’ll be easier to start and stick with it if you have a scenic location with optimal running paths.
  2. Spring time is the best time. Now is the best time of year to get started, it’s warming up but not too warm yet. And once your get into the rhythm it’ll be much easier to stick with when the weather isn’t so great.
  3. Plot your course. There are great on line apps that will tell you how far you’ve gone and even give you reviews of paths other runners have already chartered for you. An example is MapMyRun. I find that when I know how far I’m running it helps keep me going.
  4. Get some good running shoes. This is very important. Old sneakers, sneakers that are too small or not appropriate for running can damage your feet and joints. You can get some good advice at running stores like Marathon Sports.
  5. Take it one mile at a time. A lot of people I’ve talked to about running get discouraged quickly. If you have never been a runner you need to take it easy and be kind to yourself through the process. Start by running one mile, or even a half a mile, then work up from there. As you gain strength, run longer, this requires you pushing yourself but you will be surprised at how easy it starts to become after even just a few weeks.

Do you have any tips or need any advice about running? Post your questions comments below and I’ll be happy to answer them.

Thanks!

xo,

Hilary

3 tips for a fit Holiday Weekend

Holidays are always a tough time to try to stay on track with your diet. Add a “bunny” bringing massive amounts of delicious chocolate and candy to your house and it’s a whole new ball game. I don’t know about you but my sweet tooth is pretty massive.  I already ate a couple Peeps today.

peeps

So here we go…

  1. Don’t get your kids too much candy! I’m guilty of this and have also been guilty of eating about half of the candy I buy them. So do yourself a favor and buy the requisite candy, just not too much of it. Perhaps add a non traditional gift in the basket like a book or last year I put seeds and some garden equipment in there. I know it sounds lame but it provides them a fun learning experience and God willing, they get the joy out of growing their own plants.
  2. Plan to be active as much as possible this weekend. This is always a good idea but especially when you have a party coming where you are likely to indulge. Getting active and therefore feeling healthy will help to curb bad craving and it will encourage you to stay on track. If it’s nice enough, get out and hike or go to the playground and do some HIIT while your kids are on the jungle gym. If not get to the museum, that always provides some good walking and education for you and the kids. Our favorite is the Museum of Science in Boston. If we have time and it’s nice out we walk along the Charles River. What’s your favorite museum?
  3. Saturate yourself with nutrient rich foods. I’m not going to deliver the classic advice that you should make nutritious choices in a party environment. First off, that would make me a hypocrite. I follow a pretty “when in Rome” philosophy when it comes to going to celebrations and eating out. However, I do recommend planning ahead of time by eating healthy, nutrient rich foods the rest of the weekend so you’re  less likely not to over do it when you’re around the delicious appetizers, entrees and deserts that are sure to be served up on Easter.

Have a lovely and safe holiday everyone!

xo,

Hilary

Things that surprised me about pregnancy.

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My third son Tommy is going to be 10 months old in a few days, I can’t believe how fast the time has flown and that I was pregnant with that little nugget not even a year ago.

I’ve been reflecting on pregnancy lately and what an extraordinary experience it is. I’ve also been thinking about all the things I didn’t know about being pregnant until I actually went through it. I didn’t know much, and anything I thought I knew about came from movies and television shows which pretty much get it all wrong. If this is your first go round with this crazy, exhausting and incredibly special experience, here are a few things that may surprise you.

  1. Morning sickness, or for many women all day sickness, usually lasts only the first trimester and many women don’t get sick at all.
  2. Fatigue is many women’s worst complaint. I was so tired during my first pregnancy I would go into the bathroom at my job, lay my head on the toilet paper roll and sleep during my lunch breaks.
  3. Your baby bump won’t come in until about 5 months so don’t rush out to buy maternity clothes.
  4. Everyone wants to tell you their horror story about pregnancy and delivery. Don’t listen to them, everyone’s experience is different and you need to ignore the negative talk. Going into delivery with a good attitude is so important and you’ll get through it with the help of some great doctors, nurses and family members at your side.
  5. Watch what you eat. I thought pregnancy was a license to eat whatever I wanted. Turns out our bodies need to make 2 to 3 times the amount of insulin it takes to properly digest sugar than when we’re not pregnant making you susceptible to gestational diabetes. This goes away after pregnancy but come with many risks such as a very large newborn.
  6. Contractions feel like menstrual cramps and don’t start off that painful.
  7. Labor pains can start weeks in advance to actual labor and delivery. These can get quite annoying and even keep you up at night.
  8. It’s very unlikely that your water will break in public. I thought it was like the movies, a women screams that her water has broken and they rush her to the hospital. Not so much. You will likely be in labor for some time and be at the hospital before your water breaks.
  9. Core muscles push the baby out so do your planks!
  10. Recovering after delivery. No one tells you that you can’t do much walking and have to wear maxi pads the size of Texas for weeks after giving birth. I guess it should be sort of obvious that pushing a small human out of that tiny orifice would cause some bleeding but I didn’t know this until it happened. You can’t do much for two weeks in order for the wounds to heal and even then you need to be careful or they could open again. So take your time, I know it’s hard if you’re normally very active. By six weeks you should get the go ahead by your doctor to workout like normal again.
  11. The duration of pregnancy is 10 months not 9.
  12. Last but not least, I didn’t expect to feel as beautiful as I did and my husband  ensured that I felt beautiful by telling me that every day.

What about pregnancy surprised you most (bad or good)?

Thanks for stopping by!

xo,

Hilary

Wild caught vs. farm raised

Fish is great source of lean protein, it can also contain a good amount of omega 3 fatty acids which is helpful in preventing heart disease and stroke. But not all fish are created equal. There are lots of variables that can make buying healthy fish a bit complex.

First, you want to avoid “tile fish”, such as sword fish, mackerel and shark. These contain more mercury than other seafood. Another consideration is whether to buy wild caught or farm raised fish. This is a bit more complicated. In the past wild caught was thought to be better because it is a natural product of our eco-system. However, in recent years with all of the contaminants found in the ocean and over fishing causing less availability of certain types of fish,  it’s sometimes a better idea to buy farm raised. Although this has it’s drawbacks as well, including that they can escape into open waters and breed in eco-systems that are not their own, among other concerns… Basically there is no easy answer to this quetion.

Here are a few tips on how to buy healthy fresh fish at your local  market:

  1. Ask if it’s from a sustainable environment. If the grocer doesn’t know ask him/ her if they can look into it for next time. This is both good to know and is a way to advocate for stronger demand of sustainable fish supply.
  2. Buy fish from the USA. The US has strict environment and food safety laws which help ensure you are buying healthy, sustainable seafood.
  3. Find out what seafood is overfished and avoid them giving them a chance to repopulate.

Here is one of my favorite recipes for one of the most healthy fish you can consume, Salmon.

Ingredient list:

1 1/2 lb. Salmon Filet with skin

1 tbsp. ponzu sauce

1/2 lemon

Scallions

1 tbsp. minced ginger

Directions: Preheat oven at 400 degrees. Marinate salmon in ponzu sauce and lemon. Top with minced ginger and chopped scallions.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until fish is opaque in the middle.

So easy! I like to serve this with brown rice or quinoa and veggie of your choice. My family loves baked asparagus or broccoli.

Do you have any good seafood recipes you can share with us? Do you have any rules you follow when buysing seafood?

Thanks for reading!

xo,

Hilary