Best sources of protein.

egg-white

With a protein to fat ratio of 60:1, egg whites are unquestionably one of the purest forms of protein in the world. –Bodybuilding.com

I’m really amping up my workouts lately. My goal is to not only tone but build muscle. In order to build muscle it’s crucial to consume the right amount of protein and the right kind. Protein is known as the building blocks for bodily function and maintainance. It is necessary for the development and repair of hair, skin, eyes, muscles and organs.

Protein as Energy

Protein is used as energy when your body has used all of the carbohydrates and fats that you’ve consumed. I’ve read that using protein in this way is actually not good because your body needs protein for more important purposes, like rebuilding muscle tissue. However if you consume protein in excess your body will store it as fat and too much of it is harmful to your organs. So a healthy balance is vital.

3 Great Sources of Protein

  1. Egg whites. Everywhere I go I read that eggs are the perfect protein for a fit physique. They contain all of the essential amino acids needed to rebuild muscle and are one of the most efficient proteins in that they are readily used by your body for protein synthesis. Egg yolks have great nutritional value as well, but are high in cholesterol so keep the use of them down as much as possible.
  2. Chicken and Turkey breast. These low fat options are packed with protein. I suggest cooking enough at the beggening of the week to easily use on salads, in brown rice or for a healthy sandwich made with whole wheat bread. They are a great, easy way to add protein to so many dishes.
  3. Beans and Legumes. These are high in protein AND fiber. Fiber is a wonderful source of carbohydrates that helps keep you fuller longer and assists in regulating blood sugar. Kidney beans are a popular options for fitness enthusiasts as they contain 14 g or protein and fiber per serving.

What’s your favorite protein source?

Thanks for reading!

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

3 Tips for staying fit this weekend

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Think of the weekend as an opportunity to amp up your fitness game.

People often use the weekend as an excuse to cheat on their diet and not exercise. That’s fine as long as you are not trying to bring your physical, mental and emotional state to a higher level. However, if you are (and if you’re reading this you probably are) I have some suggestions for you.

  1. Change your mind about the weekend. What do I mean by this? Think of the weekend as an opportunity to practice health and wellness instead of a chance to binge, sleep and watch Netflix. It’s ok to indulge a little, but if you change your general mindset and get in the habit of thinking of the weekend as having more time to focus on participating in healthy activities like hikes, running, getting to a yoga class or spending a little time making a shopping list for the week containing more whole foods and less processed ones; it will help you stay on track and not gain or regain those unwanted pounds.
  2. Do something good for someone else. This is a great way to show gratitude and to get your mind off of those unhealthy foods you may be craving. Make a plan to volunteer a little of your time or give back in some other way; this will fill your soul with love and gratefulness rather than filling your belly with fried food and sugar.
  3. Plan ahead. You know weekends are hard so make a plan to keep on track. Schedule a workout class and make sure you have healthy food options in your house to curb cravings.

What healthy activity are you doing this weekend?

Xo,

Hilary

Why people get fat.

coffee-cake

 

I was the perfect example of why people get fat yesterday. I met a friend for coffee and made the mistake of going to the coffee shop starving! Normally I would try to eat something before hand or bring a healthy snack to hold me over. But let’s be honest, in real life sometimes that just doesn’t happen.

So I peruse the shop for something “healthy” to eat and there’s not much. Bagels and baked goods are the main attraction. This is why I try to arm myself from making bad dietary decisions when I’m out by eating something healthy beforehand. Instead I go for the delicious and calorie ridden coffee cake. Now, there’s nothing wrong with calories, we’re all taught in school that calories = energy. However there’s a BIG difference between good calories and what I like to call, negative calories. These foods give you very little energy and then leave you more tired and hungry afterword.

This coffee cake, as delicious and sumptuous as it was, basically held me over through my coffee date and upon getting into my car to go to the gym my stomach was rumbling in hunger. I forced myself onward to the gym, probably didn’t get in the best workout because all I could think about was lunch. I then came home absolutely famished and ready for a nap. So the problem lies here. I ate a calorie filled “snack” to tide me over that just left me even more hungry and willing to eat anything in site later in the day.

Point of this long-winded story is to make healthy choices, by choosing to eat unhealthy you will in turn eat more later to make up from your body being drained of energy trying to digest the negative calories you consumed.

In short: Eating healthy throughout the day will prevent you from eating more than you should.

Here are my go to “on the go” healthy snacks:

  1. Nature Valley Protein bars.
  2. Kashi trail mix bars.
  3. Fage yogurt. I like Chobani as well, but Fage has less sugar and you can control how much fruit you put in.
  4. Bananas.
  5. Horizons Organic mozzarella cheese sticks. 
  6. Almonds and cranberries.

xo,

Hil

 

Weight Loss tip: Change your attitude.

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I used to get sick of hearing about fitness professionals and fit celebrities thinking of food as fuel. Even though I knew it was the right attitude to have, I thought it was silly and improbable that I could actually make choices based on the idea that I was fueling my body. I love the taste of food and that’s what I based my decisions on most of the time.

Nowadays I’ve completely adopted the attitude that food is meant for nourishing the body, not just for taste. A lot of it has to do with getting older. The effects of what I eat on my mind, body and emotional state are much more obvious than when I was in my twenties.

Mindfulness is another big component of adopting this attitude. I wake up in the morning and instead of not eating (do NOT skip meals!!) or eating an unhealthy breakfast, I realize the importance of starting my day off right. I make conscious decisions like eating whole wheat toast instead of white, or having egg whites instead of the whole egg and including calcium to balance out the meal like a glass of milk or yogurt. And of course adding some sort of fruits and vegetables to all your meals is key. I love avocado for any meal. It’s one of the most nutritious and filling foods you can eat.

Weight loss is not something you can focus on for a few months and then forget about. You need to make eating healthy your lifestyle. This is my mantra that I repeat over and over again to people who ask me how to get fit, stay fit and be healthy. If you struggle with weight loss and keeping it off you probably need to change your attitude about the whole process. Here are a few tips:

  1. Be patient. Whenever I hear someone talking about going on a crash diet it makes me cringe. Crash diets do not work in the long-term! Make a point of eating healthier and making better choices all day everyday and you will see the weight come off. Maybe not as quickly as you would like, but it will result in a lasting change that you can maintain.
  2. Take every opportunity you have to get some exercise. Every little bit counts! So walk to work, take the stairs and park a little further from the entrance than usual. You’ll be amazed at how much these little changes make a big difference. I used to walk to work everyday when I lived in the city, it was the main form of cardio I got and it worked for me.
  3. Get to know your body and what works for you. Pay attention to what your body is telling you. What works for one person may not work for another. Everyone is different so rely on how you feel personally to make healthy decisions regarding diet and weight loss.
  4. Love your body throughout the process. This is most important. Love your body for all it does and has done for you. DO NOT beat up on yourself. You are beautiful just the way you are and need to appreciate your beauty and use that confidence to motivate yourself to be better and take better care of yourself.

xo,

Hil

 

 

Social Media and appreciating the journey.

I have a love/hate relationship with social media. It provides a wonderful place for positive social activity, especially when you’re a stay at home mom (SAHM) in the dull of winter when it can provide the only social interaction with adults you have during your day, but it seems to me that we’ve gotten overly “social”.

There are too many apps socializing everyday activity. For example, I know”check-ins” can be very helpful to support local businesses, and to get reviews from peers, but we could all use some discretion. I don’t need to know that you went to CVS to pick up tampons this afternoon or that you had a custody hearing at the local courthouse yesterday.

I think Venmo can be inappropriately social. I got this app a few years ago because I had to pay a friend back for concert tickets. I liked the ability to exchange money so easily but making it a “social” activity is bizarre to me. I understand why businesses would like the potential advertising they get from the app but don’t know why anyone would want to share the reason they are paying someone back for the cup of coffee from Starbucks. I see the benefit for Starbucks, but what do we get out of it other then the chance to show off that we got #bottlservice last night with Joe Shmo?

I was recently given three different payments, that totaled over $1,000, by some young ladies I did not know, for #Vegas!. The description for the payment was followed by multiple emojis like champagne bottles, high heels and fireworks to emphasize how they were ballin’ out of control (BOC). My middle-aged self hoped these ladies would recognize within a few days that they had made a mistake and simply reverse the transactions. Unbeknownst to me I had to decline the transactions in order for them to receive their money back. I’m sure if I did a little research I would’ve figured this out easily but it was the holidays, I have 3 kids at home, including a 6 month old, and my family was visiting, so I was hoping these girls could figure it out. It took 2 weeks until I finally got a few messages in my inbox demanding the money back. One girl immediately included threats of legal action! To top it  off, once I returned the money, the same girl made the same mistake and paid me again!

I now use, and would recommend, the Square Cash app by Square. It is just as easy to send and receive cash, but you don’t have to let everyone know the payment was for #diapermoney.

So how does all of this tie back to health, wellness and fitness? We can all disconnect sometimes, be more patient, appreciate privacy, and spend more face-to-face time with our friends and loved ones. The internet and social media have created many conveniences and made life easier in lots of ways, but have also made life seem more rushed. Even as I write this post I have thoughts going through my head of “gotta get this finished and posted by the afternoon so I can optimize viewership!” Who cares!?

Like Ferris said in the analog 80s, “Life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop to look around once in a while, you could miss it!”

enjoy-the-journey

xo,

Hil

Airports, frustration and a pig’s-head (fitness ties in here I swear!)

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In my opinion, traveling by plane is the ultimate modern luxury. As Louis C.K. says, and I’m paraphrasing, “It used to take people 30 years to get from NY to California. They travelled by horse and buggy, they’d get dysentary. It would be a whole new group of people when they got there! Nowadays I watch a movie, take a dump and I’m there.” That pretty much sums it up, basically if you’re complaining about flying for ANY reason, you’re an asshole. That being said, and as much as I agree with Louis, I take full responsibility for being an asshole. I try my hardest to have patience and gratitude for the fact that I can fly somewhere in a fraction of the time it would take to drive, boat or take a horse and buggy, but there’s usually some point in my journey that I get frustrated and impatient with the process.

Patience, something I have very little of, is key to getting through airports without having a complete melt down. Especially when you’re in back of the people in the security line who have no idea what they’re doing, as if they haven’t been privy to any of the constant security changes that have occurred since 9/11. Or worse, someone who’s unaware of that the fact that they cannot bring a suitcase full of vegetation and a pig’s-head back to the States from Ecuador, per my husband’s experience.

A good way to spend your time in line at the airport, or anywhere for that matter, is to get a little exercise. I know most of you think this is a stupid idea and many of you will be too embarrassed to partake in this activity, but most people also don’t have a six pack and killer glutes, am I right? Point being that people with a great physique are willing to try things that they are not necessarily comfortable with because the result is worth it. Besides, my New Years resolution is to give “zero fucks” about what the average person thinks of me, so why not do lunges through the airport?

Here’s some ideas for discrete-ish exercises you can do.

Legs:
1. Calf extensions.
2. Squats.
3. Single leg push backs.
4. Single leg side raises.
5. Stretches.

Arms.

1. Bicep curls with your carry on, if weight prohibits.

2. Tricep dips using your seat at the gate for support.

Any other ideas??

Thanks for reading!!

Xo,

Hil