Friday, January 2, 2015

Health in 2015

With all of the (sometimes confusing) information available to us, I’m convinced that there are ample opportunities to define, refine and adjust our expectations of health. It is an ongoing process, where every day is an opportunity to begin anew. We just have to commit each day to living the healthiest, fullest life possible and forgive ourselves when we don't quite meet our expectations.

One thing I know for sure is that I feel my best when I am keeping my mind in the present, eating clean and exercising regularly.

My health in 2015 will focus on continuing to develop these elements of Feeding the Mind, the Body and the Muscles.

Here are some resources I’m using to focus on each:

Feeding the Mind:
I love this book because Dan Harris, a journalist at ABC, explores meditation from all angles as a skeptic and finds that through his discussions with meditation and spiritual leaders, doctors and the like, that meditation really does have an enormous impact on our daily lives.

A coworker friend turned me on to this app and now I can't get through a day without it. Headspace is an app that offers 365 guided meditations (one per day) that are simple to follow and mind- and life-changing. I can take my meditations with me wherever I go and have found it to be one of the most important apps on my phone.

Feeding the Body:
In my quest to better understand health and nutrition (and sift through the 'junk' of information out there), I've been trying to record my food intake to gain insight into how much sugar, fiber and macronutrients I’m consuming. While certainly not the best site/app out there, I've tried others out there and this one seems to be the best of the worst.

As I continue to learn more about the deleterious effects sugar has on the body and our population, I refer to this book and hope to continue to reference it throughout the year. Full of (scary) information about how sugar impacts our diet, I hope it will continue to 'scare' me away from consuming more than my recommended daily allowance.

Feeding the Muscles
New workouts
I'm in the process of developing a few workouts for both gym and at-home / traveling exercisers. Stay tuned for them in later posts.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sugar is the Devil

I learn something new about nutrition almost every week. In the last few weeks, I’ve been learning about sugar and how evil it is. I knew it was bad, but I didn’t realize just how bad it is.

Over the last week, I’ve been paying more attention to sugar. Why? Because it’s probably one of the worst things we can ingest. I just watched the documentary, Fed Up, where I learned about the different ways sugar is affecting our bodies, our population and contributing to the massive obesity problem here in the United States and abroad. Do you know what the recommended daily serving of sugar is for women? For men? For children?

Didn’t think so.

On top of that, do you know how much sugar you are consuming in a given day? Turns out, most of us are consuming way more sugar per day than we should. And this is one of the biggest reasons our waistlines are expanding. There have been studies that point to sugar playing a large role in devastating diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease. 

Sugar is bad for business.

But, sugar is also everywhere, and while it’s very hard to avoid, you'll see why it's important to try your best. Your body will thank you later.

My next few posts will focus on the different aspects of sugar and how it plays a role in nutrition. Get ready to be scared and to think twice the next time you choose to put something sweet into your mouth...

Monday, September 22, 2014

Healthy Traveling Tips

Traveling can take a lot out of your mind, body and spirit!

Now that you've worked your way through understanding your ultimate nutritional needs, the next piece of feeding your body is doing so consistently. It's easy to do this when you're at home because you can plan for your meals and ensure they are balanced and timely (more on planning in another post). When you're traveling, it's an entirely new ballgame. And one that isn't easy, to say the least.

I travel a lot and have found that it is nearly impossible to be as healthy on the road as it is to be when I'm at home. So I have to make proper accommodations to be as healthy as possible on the road. Here are a few tips that have helped me in the last few years during my travels (especially in airports):

  • Pack as much home-cooked food as you can. Airplane food could not be more unhealthy. It's loaded with salt and with 'bad carbs' and overall, just isn't nutritionally good for you. (Did I mention it's pretty bland, too?) Packing an easy snack (e.g., Justin's almond butter packs and an apple) or packing a pre-made dish will go much further for your nutrition and your waistline than opting for airplane or -- or airport food, for that matter.
  • Scope out menus beforehand. Are you taking clients to dinner? Are you going out socially with friends or clients? Are you eating on your own? It's so easy to find menus online for most restaurants and it is even easier to take a look at that menu to decide upon options that could be healthy choices before you set foot in the restaurant. If you're not meeting anyone, I find it's easiest to head to the salad bar at Whole Foods to load up on veggies and healthy protein options.
  • Minimize alcohol consumption. Alcohol is such a nutrition-killer. And, if you're on a diet, it's even worse. It's hard to minimize alcohol consumption when you're taking clients out for drinks, but try to drink one drink, then during the second round, order a sparkling water, then if you're still in the mood, order your second drink. If nothing else, try to keep your night to two drinks, max. Alcohol can make you eat more and impair your nutritional choices throughout the night, meaning you likely won't get the ideal combination of carbs, proteins and fats anyway. 
  • Move it! Sitting on a plane for hours on end is tough on the body. Sitting in meetings all day is pretty hard on the body, too. Make some time for yourself to exercise! Exercise doesn't have to be strenuous, but can just be movement - a brisk ten minute walk, taking the stairs instead of an elevator, even parking further away from your destination and walking the distance. Movement is so important to get the blood flowing and does wonders for the psyche, too.
  • Hydrate. It is recommended that you drink eight glasses of water a day, but I know I need even more water when I travel, especially when I'm traveling by air. Every hour, make it a point to drink eight ounces of water. Most airports have those environmentally-friendly water fountains these days and I carry a glass water bottle with me through security and make it a point to fill my water bottle before I board the plane. If you don't have a water bottle, try to buy a large bottle of water (24 oz. works well) and try to reuse it a few times before discarding it. Water is so important.
Have I missed anything? What recommendations do you have for healthy travel?