Mediterranean Diet

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Easy to prepare Chicken and Dill recipe is sure to be a hit with the family.

Everything I’ve read over the years about a healthy diet always leads back to one place, the Mediterranean style of eating. And, quite frankly, it’s not that hard to take part in this healthy way of life. Basically it includes everything I preach about eating on a regular basis to slim down and stay healthy and fit.

“Mediterranean-type diets highlight whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats from fish, nuts, and healthy oils.” – Harvard Medical School

Another fun fact I learned from HealthBeat, Harvard’s on-line medical journal, is that it has been proven to decrease risk of heart disease as well as dementia and Alzheimer’sdisease.

Here’s a recipe I served up tonight from EatingWell.com. Quick, easy, low cal and perfect if you’re trying to follow a Mediterranean style of eating. Chicken breast is a great form of lean protein and lemon is chock full of anti-oxidants. I served this with broccoli but any side of greens is a great addition to round out your meal with nutrient dense foods that will make you stay fuller longer.

Lemon and Dill Chicken

  • Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, or canola oil, divided
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, divided
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Season chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat 1½ teaspoons oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sear until well browned on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a plate and tent with foil.
  2. Reduce heat to medium. Add the remaining 1½ teaspoons oil to the pan. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Whisk broth, flour, 1 tablespoon dill and lemon juice in a measuring cup and add to pan. Cook, whisking, until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes.
  3. Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan; reduce heat to low and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 4 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a warmed platter. Season sauce with salt and pepper and spoon over the chicken. Garnish with the remaining 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill.

Top 5 healthy food options at the convenient store.

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We’ve all been there, you rush out of the house and forget to pack a healthy snack. You end up out longer then expected and in dire need of some nutrients to recharge your battery. You wander into the 7 Eleven, or whatever other convenient store you happen to stumble upon and are confronted with more unhealthy food options then you knew existed! Believe it or not there are some options at these stores that will keep you on a healthy track. Here are my top 5 suggestions:

  1. Nuts. If they have unsalted walnuts or almonds these are great option. Make sure to look at the ingredients that they aren’t cooked in oil and have any sugar added to make this healthy snack into an oily sugar bomb.
  2. Yogurt. Preferably a greek yogurt like Chobani or Fage, which have less sugar then other brands.
  3. Granola. Always a good on the go option packed with all sorts of filling ingredients. Note: Do not purchase the any trail mix that contains candy! For example a number of brands contain M & Ms which provide great taste but empty calories.
  4. Sandwich. Look for one of the pre-made sandwiches on whole wheat bread (no high fructose corn syrup!) with Turkey or Chicken (these are less processed than other deli meats), topped with veggies and little added other than that.
  5. Beef jerky. Surprisingly this can be a healthy snack option. It’s got protein to give you energy and is surprisingly lean.

What are your fitness goals?

We’re already a few weeks into spring so summer is getting near. I’m a strong advocate for being healthy and fit year round but also realize that’s not so easy for many people, myself included! With summer in our midst, the pressure is on to lose those extra pounds and stop eating the hardy and fattening foods we tend to crave in the colder months. So let’s get started!

Find your fitbliss

I would love to hear from you and help you achieve your “fit bliss”. Please let me know a few things so I can better serve you.  First, what are your current fitness goals? Second, what steps are you taking to achieve those goals? And finally, what would you like to see from this web site to help you achieve those goals? Writing it down and telling other people is a good start to holding yourself accountable for these goals and giving you more motivation to pursue and achieve your perfect fit.

I’ll tell you what my goals are, cut way down on processed sugar, get to the gym at least 4 times a week and most of all, better help YOU achieve your fitness goals. There’s not much more satisfying then when I hear from people who are inspired, motivated and most of all, SEEING RESULTS from the material I’m posting and advice I’m providing.

First step, when I get my workout in I will post it on Instagram with hashtag “fitbliss” and ask you to do the same so we can hold each other accountable.

 

Healthy Muffins

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I use Kodiak Cakes waffle mix to make these healthy, filling and delicious muffins. This mix is made from 100% whole grains, contains protein, calcium and is a healthy alternative to white flour.

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Ingredients:

2 cups Kodiak Cakes mix

1 cup soy milk

3/4 cups raw honey

1 egg

1/4 cup butter

1 cup applesauce

1 tbsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. allspice

1/2 tsp nutmeg

2 cups crushed walnuts

Directions: Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients and mix until smooth. Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full and bake for 14-18 minutes. Makes about 12 muffins.

 

This weeks High Intensity Interval Workout.

I’ve been posting a HIIT (high intensity interval training) every Monday on my YouTube channel. This week I’m posting the HIIT here because I won’t be able to get to filming.

I also wanted to take a moment to talk a little about how to get fit and stay fit. Many people I encounter ask me what I do to stay in shape especially after having 3 kids.  Here’s my answer: If you want to know what I do to get and stay in shape, follow my blog and do my weekly workouts. If you’re not willing to do the work, like the HIIT and strength training exercises I post every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, you’re not going to get in better shape. So get up, get pumped and do it!

With that, here’s your HIIT for the week. Perform this at least twice but preferably 3 or 4 times this week. Message me with any questions about this workout (including if you need modifications) or anything else at ugobabyfitness@gmail.com.

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FAQs about Full Body vs. Split Workouts

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I posted this weeks leg and arm workout late last night and you can view it here. It’s school vacation week so it’s been an especially busy week. I apologize for getting it up later than usual. In this video I work the legs and arms at the same time. All you’ll need is a set of 3-10 lb dumbbells.

There are lots of benefits to this type of workout, first of all it’s a time saver which is huge for a mother on the go! Second, you really amp up the cardio and muscle toning exercise you get by simply adding weight. When you add weight and get those arms and legs moving at the same time the results are exponential!

FAQs:

Is it advisable to work 2 muscles groups on the same day?

Many of you may have heard that working one muscle group at a time is best (a.k.a. split workouts). Well, this is true and not true. Full body workouts are fine for what most of us do, using lighter weights and less intensity. If you’re a body builder and lifting as much weight as possible each time you workout, than you need to focus on one group at a time and take more time to rest between muscle groups.

As far as full body workouts go and compound movements (working more than one muscle group during exercise) this is what Vitals has to say about it: Compound movements demand a lot of energy and burn more calories.

Do you recommend full body workouts or those that target individual muscle group?

I recommend whatever works for you and gets you motivated. Having said that, it depends on your goals. For weight loss, general toning and if you’re just starting out, I recommend compound movements and / or full body routines with a 24 to 28 hour rest in between. This maximizes weight loss and will help get you on the road to being stronger, having more energy and in better heath. Once you’re at a point that you are happy with physically you can move on to targeting muscle groups to really create big muscle mass (if that’s what you’re into). If you have to lose a lot of weight, lifting isn’t going to help you that much. You will be building muscle under fat, you need to get that cardio in and lose those pounds first.

Thanks for reading! Please let me know what your workout goals are in the comments below so I can tailor my posts to your needs.

XO,

Hil

Taking your workout to the next level.

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Intermittent high intensity exercise , like sprints, are the perfect way to challenge yourself and create lean muscle mass. 

Yesterday I posted the HIIT for this week (you can view it here) and talked a little about the benefits of interval training and how to take your workout to the next level. In today’s post I wanted to touch a little more on that subject.

Steady state cardio is awesome and irreplaceable. Getting in 20 to 30 minutes of walking, running, ellipticizing (is that even a word?), biking etc… four or five times a week is essential to getting and keeping fit and healthy. But, if you want to amp up your workout, take it to the next level and really see a change in how you look and feel you need to include some interval training in your workouts.

What is intereval training?

Interval training is a type of training that involves a series of low- to high-intensity exercise workouts interspersed with rest or relief periods. – Wikipedia

For example, if you’re preferred form of cardio is jogging, you can get some intereval training in by including some sprints in your normal jog. This means sprinting for a short bit, say 20 to 50 seconds, then taking it back down to a light jog or walk for a brief rest of 10 to 30 seconds and repeating this format for 10, 20, 30 minutes… or however long you can do it comfortably while still pushing yourself. It’s very intense exercise so even just 10 minutes will give you great benefits.

Although you can do interval training within steady state cardio exercise, I highly recommend including some exercises that will challenge all the muscles in your body and create “muscle confusion”. This will amp up your workout even more so your body is really kicked into high gear. This is the type of interval training I post on my YouTube channel, cleverly named U Go Baby Fitness, every Monday. These include exercises like burpees (I know you love those), high knees, jump squats, skaters, and even some floor work like planks and mountain climbers. It really can be almost any exercise that you perform at your max intenisty for 20 seconds with a 10 second break in between for a total of 10 minutes. This is called Tabata intervals and have been proven to give the maximum benefit as far as interval training goes. Just performing 10 minutes of tabata style HIIT twice a week will help boost your metabolism and create lean muscle mass.

I’ll leave you with this, CrossFit is one of the most popular workouts right now and I’m sure you know people who do it and look amazing. Well, CrossFit is glorified interval training. Follow me and I’ll get you there for free.

Any questions? What’s your favorite exercise to do in intervals?

XO,

Hil