Showing posts tagged Blast900
HOLIDAY SURVIVAL TIPS FROM MY NUTRITIONIST!
Hilary says you CAN have fun and still be healthy over the holidays. Here are her tips for survival:
Before the Parties
Do NOT skip meals!! You know when people say, “Oh I’m not eating lunch because I’ve got this party tonight, and I know I’ll eat there!” WRONG! Do NOT go to the party hungry. Try eating something before hand like a think thin bar so that you don’t go in hungry!
At the Parties
Do NOT hover around the food table. Get a small plate, put what you want on it, and walk away! Work the room, talk to people—focus on the company rather than the food.
- Put protein on your plate FIRST!! Start with protein and then move to rich vibrant colors.
- Rather than loading your plate the first time, put a little on, and if you want more later, you can always go back.
- Be picky!! Passed hors d’oeuvres are small, but they add up FAST. To avoid eating 2,000 calories worth of cheese puffs, limit yourself to 3 you love—if you can, pass on the crab cakes and other fried fare.
- If you’re at a sit-down dinner party, cut your first helping in half. That way, you can enjoy seconds (and your host or hostess will feel good about that), and the total amount of food you eat will be about the same as a normal-size portion.
Be Smart About Alcohol
Keep your calories and your buzz under control!
- A single shot of vodka, gin, or rum with club or diet soda and a squeeze of lime is about 100 calories.
- Low-cal options like light beer or wine have fewer than 150 calories per serving. They’re perfect if you sip one all night.
- If you’re the type to make several trips to the bar (no judgments!), ask the bartender to fill your glass halfway each time to keep your total intake down.
- Champagne or pink Prosecco are both great options. Not only are they low on the calorie chart—80 to 120 per glass—but you’re more likely to sip rather than guzzle.
Holiday Shopping Snack Attack
Ohhhh the mall food court! All of the gift decisions you face at the mall will make you more vulnerable to temptation at the food court so keep things in your purse.
- Pack Snacks! 30 pistachios or 24 almonds in a Ziploc bag with two dried plums or apricots, or even some turkey jerky or a snack bar like Think Thin—get protein—it’ll keep you full.
Holiday Special Treats
Why are we such suckers for holiday desserts? The scarcity theory: things we think are in limited supply, are more desirable to us than non-scarce items.
Holiday-themed coffee drinks and sweets are often more caloric than regular ones, so stick to the basics: add your own cinnamon to your every day coffee or drizzle your own vanilla or peppermint extract.
Fast Food At Home
We get it, you’re busy! This means less time to prepare meals, so you may be tempted to eat at the drive through for convenience.
- Making recipes in advance that you can store in the freezer to reheat for dinner on busy evenings. I will post plenty this week. Click here to see them.
- Crock pot dinners are another good option for protein then just add steamed veggies.
Get your Protein Early
Eat a protein-based breakfast. Healthy proteins and good fats will give you an energy boost in the morning and prevent cravings later in the day.
- Try a whole boiled egg or some salmon with avocado instead of cereal or toast.
- Use nut butter like almond butter on Ezekiel or gluten free toast.
TRAINING MY BODY TO BURN FAT, NOT SUGAR
When I think fat, the gym is THE LAST thing that pops into my mind. I see bikinis and cupcakes….and wine. (How did I forget that one in the pics?!) I want to eat cupcakes, drink often, and look good in a bikini, all of which screams to me crazy CARDIO, not a nice and steady aerobic workout where I barely break a sweat!
As Hilary my nutritionist tells it, I would be wrong.
My second thought is to lift weights and build lean muscle because it burns 35-40 calories a day, while fat only burns 5.
Hilary says I’m getting warmer!!
While I hate to admit it, and I have even been hesitant to accept it, Hilary’s philosophy on staying lean makes sense.
70-80% of your exercise should be Aerobic
20-30% should be Anaerobic.
Aerobic means keeping your heart rate in zone 3**. For me that is 145-165 beats per minute. Anything over that is zone 4-5, anaerobic crazy cardio. If we as women do too much cardio we train our body to burn sugar, not fat. This would be ok if we didn’t eat any fat I suppose, but fat is important to keep us full and our blood level stable. In other words, keep us from being cranky bitches.
Now let me explain from Hilary’s METABOLISM perspective.
Your metabolism is like fire and it needs oxygen for fuel. Intense cardio workouts that keep you breathing heavy don’t let you to take in oxygen without blowing it out instantly. A steady zone 3 workout, however, allows you breath in oxygen and let your body use it as fuel for your metabolism. So the more oxygen you get in there, the more capable your body will be to burn fat.
Here’s the new schedule she has set for me. I’m not a fan, but I’ll try it.
- Monday & Wednesday: BLAST class, Spinning, or weight lifting with sprinting intervals at the end. Objective: get muscle groups fatigued to SORENESS.
- Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday: Zone 3 – jogging, bike, treadmill, elliptical for AN HOUR! How boring. Plus Yoga if I want.
- Friday: Lifting weights in Zone 3 and fatiguing muscle groups that did not get attention.
**Knowing your heart rate and VO2 zones is KEY to all of this. If that’s over your head (I’m right there with you), get your heart rate monitor and have it set to your body. The Age/Heart Rate Zone chart is based on averages, not the size of your own heart, which is what it’s all about.
When I lift weights, I have several goals:
- Gain muscle and strength
- Burn fat
- Be completely exhausted in 1 hour
Those are no easy feat, especially when you fly solo without a trainer. Â But, it can be done if you have knowledge of proper form, experience with different exercises that work each part of each muscle group (there are several parts per group), and a heart rate monitor.
1. Â You Need An Understanding of Exercises and Form.
You can’t expect to bake a cake if you don’t know how much to put in of each ingredient, right? Â In your daily workout, you need to understand what you’re doing, know how to do it, and be able to challenge yourself.Â Form and variety are the keys to changing your body. Â This is my way of saying, if you’re unfamiliar with how to use machines and free-weights correctly, hire a trainer. Â Yes, it’s an investment, but your body is worth it. In a month’s time, you’ll learn so many different exercises, proper form (which is crucial for your body’s safety), and what you need to do to hit your personal goals. Â To cut costs and stay motivated, sign up with a friend.
My trainer Cederick taught me his philosophy of Angles and Reps (see our workouts here). Â When I’m not with him, I can repeat the workouts, or close to it, and add in other things I pick up along the way (in group fitness classes, etc) to keep the workout challenging.
2. Â Heart Rate Monitors Keep You On Track
Looking at my heart rate monitor (this Polar model $109), I know that I need to stay in “zone 3” Â - 145-160 beats per minute - in order to burn fat. Â During a weight lifting workout, I will drop below that which is why I need the watch to tell me when I need to increase my intensity.
There are two ways I do this: Â lift heavier weights (do fewer reps) and active recovery. Â Active recovery is when you let the muscle group you’re working out rest or remove the weights from the equation. Â For instance, if I’m working out chest, I might do a set of push ups in between sets. Â If my chest is burned out, I’ll opt for mountain climbers to keep my chest engaged and pick up my heart rate.
If you buy a heart rate monitor, you can ask the staff at your gym to help you set it up.Â There are several components you can’t input without testing.
3. Â The Cardio Component
Before a workout, I get in 10-15 minutes of cardio (whatever I feel like) to warm up my body, mentally lay out my workout, and burn 100 calories just to get that out of the way. Â Before I start lifting weights, I’ll grab light weights and do exercises to wake up my muscles and secure my heart rate in the fat-burning zone. Â This is the kind of stuff you do in group fitness classes: Â squats with press, lunges with a curl, jab-punch combos for 1 minute on each side, shoulder raises and circles. Â After a couple minutes of that, I’m ready to get to work.
Usually my caloric goal in a weight lifting workout is to hit 400 calories. Â If I haven’t by the end of my workout, I’ll hop back on the treadmill or bike and hit that mark within 10 minutes.
**Please note, I’m not a fitness professional.Â After 15 years of exercising, I’ve learned a lot and simply share my experience with you here.
The answer to this question is actually very simple: I’m tired of being hungry ALL THE TIME.Â I eat healthy and constantly, so why I am I always hungry?!!!
I’ve tested out nutritionists in the past, but never committed for one reason or another.Â I just want to eat clean food without a bunch of crap in them, enjoy veggies and sweets, drink wine, and not be hungry.Â Is that so much to ask?!
According to Hilary King at BLAST900, it isn’t.Â Whew.Â That’s a relief.
The reason I am taking on her program is due to her unbelievable knowledge of food and promise to hold my hand through it.Â Don’t be deceived by hew cutie pie looks, she’s smart as hell and is the most aggressive person I’ve ever seen talk about nutrition.
Hilary’s basic philosophy:Â
your meals and snacks
should have the same amount of
protein, carbs, and fat.
The objective is to train your metabolism, keep your blood sugar stable, and feel satisfied and energized instead of stuffed or hungry so you can SUSTAIN a healthy lifestyle.
Well, that’s what I thought I was doing, but when she broke down a day of my food (calling most of my “healthy” snacks candy!), I saw I was so far off base.Â According to Hilary I wasn’t eating enough fat or protein so my blood sugar was on a roller coaster.Â Huh…ok…
In Hilary’s program which is loosely based on Venice Nutrition, everyone has a different allotment of protein, carbs, and fat, which is calculated precisely for you.Â Mine is:
- 250 - 300 calories
- 25 - 30 grams of COMPLETE protein (nut & plant proteins don’t count)
- 18 - 22 grams of carbohydrates per meal
- 7 - 9 grams of fat per meal
- Eat every 3-4 hours
I’ve been at this for two weeks now and I have to say, it’s not easy to do.Â Especially the way I eat, which is mostly things that don’t come out of a box. I consider myself educated and conscious of nutrition (thankfully Hilary does as well), but I’m still learning so much about the composition of food and what my body does with it.
And guess what, now you will too! Each week I’ll offer you the nuggets of nutrition she teaches me.Â Hilary has also said she’d check in each week to answer questions you leave in the comments.Â This week you’ve learned:Â each meal and snack should have the same amount of protein, carbs, and fat.
Because the protein part is the hardest for me, I’ll give you the list ofÂ “Complete” Proteins here:
- Lean white meat
- Red meat
- Greek Yogurt (with more than 12g protein)
- 365 Whey Protein Powder (I like Vanilla)
- Aged cheeses
Nuts, nut butters, and plant proteins don’t count!Â They offer just additional protein, but should only be considered for your fats and carbs.
(Full Disclosure: This program has been in no way discounted or bartered.)
My lunch looks healthy and filling, right?! Well, it is healthy, but it’s not well-rounded enough to stave off hunger. That’s what I learned from Hilary, the nutritionist at Blast900, the other day. I let her loose on my Whole Foods buffet loot, asking her to break down it down. Here’s what she had to say:
- COLOR MEANS NUTRIENTS: The more color that’s in your food the better. Dark green kale instead of romaine. Brown bulgar wheat instead of white rice.
- NATURAL FIBER: The fiber in the raw veggies is filling and promotes digestion.
- NO FAT: The feta cheese is not enough! Good fats are necessary in a well-rounded meal. I should get fat from protein like salmon or chicken, although since chicken is so lean I’d have to add avocado to it. I could have added a olive oil or dressing to my kale for fat as well.
- WHITE BEANS: Black beans have more color and therefore more nutrients than white beans.
- NO PROTEIN: The beans do not have enough protein. Protein is hard for your body to burn so it keeps you full longer than the wheat or beans. Plus, it’s necessary for your muscles. Again, salmon or chicken would be good choices.
Here’s what Hilary doesn’t know: I eat every two hours. So for me, this meal does the job and I’ll eat a chicken breast in two hours. I guess what I now understand is that I need to add fat, like avocado, to the chicken breast, in order for it to fill me up for another 2 hours.
If you have a lunch break and that’s it, use it wisely and make sure you have colorful veggies, protein, and fat in your meal!
After much deliberation and hunting, I finally bought a pair of Brooks running shoes to carry me through the summer. Some of you suggested them so they were on my list to try.Â It was love at first slip on I tell ya.Â I’m not a big runner, but with all of the upcoming travel and my twice a week Blast900 classes, I’ll be running more and need something more supportive than Nike Frees, which they just brought back on the market.
Here’s what I like about the Brooks PureProject shoe: The sole is light and almost as flexible as a Nike Free.Â Inside there is substantial cushion so I land softly and a noticeable arch support that makes it fit like a glove.Â The design is not my favorite but it’s tolerable.Â I had to search for this color combo because it’s now discontinued.Â The purple one would have been fine, but I have a purple pair of Nike Lunars I wear to lift and lunge in.Â (It’s super sturdy.)
On the Brooks website, they have a quick Shoe Advisor questionnaire that will help you decide what model is best for you.
During my search, I kept my eyes and ears open to see what other people are wearing.Â Readers and Blasters have a huge love affair with Newton. I wasn’t a fan of the “Action/Reaction” technology that propels you forward.Â You can see the elevation in the right photo. They have two different levels of lift, but both were too aggressive for me.Â It’s meant for a runner who lands on the front of their foot and I am pretty heavy on my heels.Â Plus, the shoe didn’t fit as snug as the Brooks.Â It’s too bad, because like all of the other women who own them, I LOVE the colors!
In Atlanta, Newtons are to running shoes as Lululemon is to workout clothes.Â Great quality, fun female-friendly colors, and have become a trend. In fact, Deka, where they have the largest selection of Newton’s, is right next door to Lulu in Buckhead!
I think it’s hysterical that right after I tweeted one of my instagram pics above, I got this response from @Blast900.
Asics are also making a comeback in Atlanta.Â The shoe is too stiff and not at all cute which took it out of my consideration quickly.Â Houstonians love Nike Frees.Â Again, I think it’s the colors because most of the women I see wearing them are just lifting weights and not running.
Thanks again for all of your suggestions!
SQUATS YOU CAN DO AT THE OFFICE
Readers have written me countless emails asking for exercises they can do at their office so I’ve been keeping that top of mind during my workouts these days. The key to this must be minimal and efficient movement without sweating!
Squats seem like an obvious choice, but if you don’t have an intensity when you squat repeatedly, you’ll fail to strengthen or tone your leg before you break a sweat.
By using a chair or bench, you force yourself to squat lower than usual. Therefore your movement will be slower, your core will stay engaged, and you won’t be able to do as many. The result:
- Your heart rate gets up fast.
- You strengthen and tone your leg.
- You won’t break a sweat!
If you’re in Atlanta or Birmingham, absolutely try a Blast900 class. It’s the most intense total body workout I’ve had in a long time (my review here). Cardio on crack basically :) I’m training them how to blog now, so they’ll be a great fitness resource for you come fall!