Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Truth about Eating Healthy for Results

Many people talk about wanting a better physique, however following through on what it takes to get that ROCKIN' BOD takes developing new lifestyle habits.  It honestly doesn't take more time to eat well, just thoughtful planning and understanding that what you put into your body will show externally. 

A nugget of advice from trainer Jonathan Ross, two-time Personal Trainer of the Year Award-Winner (ACE and IDEA), "One bad meal won't transform your body, just like one good meal won't equal immediate results; the body builds itself from habit."  At the Telluride WOW Fitness Festival, Jonathan offered up his rules for eating healthy practice for life!

Habits for the long haul - ALWAYS

Eat Veggies and Protein at Every Meal: We're not talking fried, cheese-covered, or canned vegetables, either. Not only are fresh veggies rich in vitamins and antioxidants, but also, the water and fiber content can provide the feeling of being full. If the idea of eating veggies all day long makes you gag, then get over it, says Jonathan. "Healthy food tastes boring for a little while. Your taste buds adapt." Alongside those veggies, make sure you have protein. Jonathan cites several studies showing that a diet rich in protein helps control cravings while also helping build lean muscle mass, adding to the body's fat-burning potential.

Eat Healthy Fats: Forget what you think you know about low-fat diets; it's all bunk, says the trainer. Good-for-you fats help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and boost your HDL (good) cholesterol; they've also been shown to reduce belly fat. Look to incorporate monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats into your meals while avoiding saturated and trans-fats. Avocados, olive oil, and nuts are all great options.

Plan–Prepare-Pack: The best way to maintain a healthy diet is to be in your own captain. Jonathan recommends cooking meals at home and packing your lunch when possible. Another tip: keep water and healthy snacks in your purse, car and gym bag. That way you won't be tempted to order out when you're on the go.

PowerFit Tips – On Sunday, prepare one or two dishes for the week; and pre-package snack and smoothie contents to grab on-the-go.  Contact ASH for details.

Be Kind to Yourself: Even with the best intentions, binge eating might happen. Whatever you do, don't beat yourself up, warns Jonathan. "Handle slip-ups as nothing more than they are," he says. Consuming yourself with guilt can make things worse; part of sticking to a healthy diet involves feeling good about yourself and the choices you make.

Do Your Best & NEVER is the Best Option

Drink Calories: You've heard it before, but soda, juice, and other store-bought beverages are some of the biggest obstacles when it comes to maintaining a healthy diet. They contain no real nutrition and are basically nothing but sugar, the trainer adds. The one exception Jonathan makes to this rule is for healthy smoothies. Look for recipes that contain fiber, protein, and healthy fats –PowerFit smoothie likes.

Skip Meals: When you want to change your body, don’t forget, nutrition is KEY! "Fill your gut to lose your gut," says Jonathan. "It's the best way to lose weight and keep the body going." Jonathan also advises to eat "real food" — the more you know about where it came from or what it's made of, the better. Eat four to six small meals each day, and make sure that protein is a component in everything you eat, he says.

Eat Fried Foods: Yes, Jonathan did say that occasional indulgences are OK, but fried foods are something he almost always steers clear of, saying they're "completely destructive to the body." Fried foods are widely available (and cheap), making them hard to steer clear of, but the amount of trans-fat they contain should be enough to scare anyone, he says.

Eat sugars or grains at night: While Jonathan is a huge fan of whole grains, he says to avoid them at night, along with sugar and starches. Just like trainer Bob Harper, Jonathan believes that breakfast should be the heartiest meal of the day; from there, gradually lighten as you get closer to dinner.

Monday, October 28, 2013

ASH Fitness: 4 Signs Stress is Leading to Burnout

ASH Fitness: 4 Signs Stress is Leading to Burnout: If the title of this blog caught your attention, you're most likely stressed and congratulations, you're normal! But when does stres...

4 Signs Stress is Leading to Burnout

If the title of this blog caught your attention, you're most likely stressed and congratulations, you're normal! But when does stress become unhealthy and how can it be kept under control?

According to Dr. Alan Shelton, M.D., in his book Transforming Burnout, feeling a loss of energy for one's work or profession... followed by a sense of being used up or depleted... is a sure sign of burnout, and stress is its major contributing factor.  Many people are stressed at work because of impending deadlines or a heavy work load, among other reasons.  Under tight budgets, do the companies we work for have an obligation to help keep our stress levels under control?  If you ask me, they definitely do!  Encouraging people to be physically active during work hours and providing healthy food options in the cafeteria, vending machines and during meetings, are a huge plus.  Companies can do much more as well.

Here are the signs your stressed and headed for burnout - but wait, there are answers too!  Learn what you can do to help yourself!  Just as much as I believe your company has an obligation to you, you have an obligation to yourself and your health.

The information below can be attributed to the HuffPost Healthy Living article, 4 Red Flags That You're Headed for Burnout, on October 25, 2013, and are a product of meQuilibrium - the new digital coaching system for stress, which helps both individuals and corporations achieve measurable results in stress management and wellness.  

You can't strike a balance. 
First, realize that the idea that you should be in perfect balance is unrealistic and undesirable. I prefer to use the term "balance" as a verb, not a noun, something you continue to do to manage the ups and downs of your life. At meQuilibrium, we refer to these as "lifts" (the things that buffer you) and "drags" (those that make your stress worse). The goal isn't to eliminate the drags, but to bolster them.
Try this: seek out lifts. When you feel yourself being dragged down by obligations and worry, you haven't "failed" at balance -- you just need to counter the drags with more lifts. Talk with a friend (instead of canceling to do more work). Go for a long walk at lunch instead of sitting and staring at the screen. Spend a little more quality time with your partner before rushing off to reply to emails after dinner. Watch dopey cat videos until you laugh at something -- anything.
2. You're angry. Often. 
What is your signature emotion these days? If it's irritated, frustrated, anxious or angry, then you have reason to be concerned. While at first you think that you're only that way because everyone else is (fill in the blank!), the fact is, your emotional response says more about you than them. And running hot that long can take its toll -- on your mood of course, but also your health and stress levels. (Read more on how to break your anger habit.)
Try this: do a gut check. 
Next time you feel a negative emotion boiling up and over like an unwatched pot, check yourself: What caused this? Was it overdue project? Or the idea that you don't have the resources you need? Was it the comment from your spouse? Or do you feel unsupported by him? Emotions don't just arise on their own without forewarning -- they are more often than not triggered by a thought. Trace that thought to its roots and you expose the fear -- which will loosen its grip on you. (Learn more about the connection between thinking and stress.)
3. You're fighting -- with everyone. Or worse: you've stopped fighting. 
Conflict is both a contributor to stress and the cause of it. Where are you locked in conflict? Maybe you're not throwing things, but it's there -- the brusque or exasperated tone of emails, simple miscommunications arousing defenses. Fighting is the outgrowth of a negative emotion (see above), and not only will it derail your day, but also creates an ever-widening rift when left unaddressed. What you don't want to do is get to the point where you have totally and completely withdrawn, a sure sign of burnout.
Try this: stay connected. If you're fighting, believe it or not, it's a good thing -- far better than when you're not fighting anymore. That dead zone of total disconnection can be devastating, so instead of making jabs and furthering the friction, try to fight productively. Don't push back defensively, but invite and encourage communication about the issues at hand. In order for this to work, you must not out to prove the other wrong, but open to hearing where you've fallen short, too.
4. You're bone-tired and uninspired. 
This is the hallmark of burnout behavior -- and you can see it coming a mile away. You hit the snooze button six times. Your days seem flat and airless. You're just bone-tired and can't remember being excited by anything. The very thing you're passionate about -- whether it's your work, your kids, your hobby -- ceases to stir you.
Try this: don't just sleep -- rest. While you need sleep to recuperate, you also need rest, meaning fully conscious, not passed out. Depending on how bad things have gotten, you may need a mini leave of absence to restore yourself. You do that by reconnecting to what matters most, by giving yourself quiet -- away from the mind-numbing chaos and distractions. Of course, if you're not able to function normally (get up, go about a regular day), consult your doctor. Recognize that you are capable of revitalizing and returning to your normal energetic self. But you do it by taking your foot off the gas, not pushing harder.
For more by meQuilibrium, click here.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Human Capital - What Does It Mean To You?

The U.S. needs to increase its investment in the concept of human capital to create a more healthy and productive workforce.  This news is according to the World Economic Forum's Human Capital Index 2013, which analyzed 122 countries on four metrics including, health and wellness; education; workforce and employment; and "enabling environment"- infrastructure, legal framework and social mobility. Executive Chairman, Klaus Schwab states that, "The key for the future of any country and any institution lies in the talent, skills, and capabilities of its people."

Based on index results, Europe is the role model for investing in human capital with 8 of its countries ranking in the top 10. Switzerland came in first overall with high scores in both employment and wellness.  Singapore ranked 3rd for high scores in education and employment and Canada came in at number 10 for very high scores in education.

Although the United States ranked 4th in workforce and employment, it placed 16th overall.  Results for health and wellness were not so great, the world's largest economy placed 43rd with its lowest scores in obesity and the effect of business on chronic diseases and stress.

Full report: The Human Capital Report

What do you think...  does your employer support work - life balance or provide incentives for being healthy?  Please share!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

ASH Fitness: ASH Fitness Services

I'm excited to introduce my new fitness blog, Daily PowerFit! It is work in progress, however the time has come to announce ASH Fitness and the services I can provide to potential clients. Follow me and please share with friends! #DailyPowerFit #Health #Fitness #Wellness #Prevention#Lifestyle #Training #Nutrition #Education #Blastingfatfast
ASH Fitness: ASH Fitness Services: Ashley is a health education specialist and fitness trainer who helps people integrate health & fitness into their lifestyle. Her train...