Tuesday, March 17, 2015

5 Tips for Getting Fit for Summer

We are getting into warmer days now, so it is time to start thinking of getting yourself in shape (if you haven't done so already)! The past week, I have been getting a lot more clients asking about weight-loss and how to "lose the belly fat." While nutrition is a huge part of getting the body you want, exercise is also a major player. Getting "in shape" doesn't mean you have to get a gym membership, especially if you know you will never go! Simply moving more throughout the day can help you to get on track for the healthy body you want.

5 Tips for Getting Fit for Summer
1. Find an activity you enjoy!
Don't just walk on the treadmill or go to a Zumba class if you know you will hate it. Try new things like swimming, weight training, or biking. If you like what you are doing, you are way more likely to keep it going!

2. Schedule when you will exercise!
If you get a gym membership, think about when you will actually go and set aside that time. Lay out your exercise clothes from the night before or keep a gym bag in your car!

3. Move every hour!
If you are normally sitting throughout the day, like most Americans are, make it a point to get up every hour for 5 minutes. Walk around the office or do some squats at your desk. It is actually better for your health to move more frequently than to sit all day and hit the gym for 2 hours.

4. Take a brisk walk! 
Walking is a great way to boost your cardiorespiratory endurance and improve your heart health. I recently had a client say that walks with her dog don't seem to do much for her since her pooch is always stopping to sniff. My advice was to jog in place or do 1/2 squats while waiting. You can also drop off your furry friend and head out for a more brisk walk on your own.

5. Don't forget to stretch!
Think of this scenario: you start exercising and you are very motivated. Within the first week, you pull a muscle and your back to square one! Now, you have to wait 2 weeks until your back at it again. Keep yourself flexible to help prevent injuries. Practice some light stretching before and after working out. Try out yoga, tai chi, or Pilates too!

On a recipe note, I made this salsa for a demo at work and everyone loved it! If you look at the original recipe, there are a few different measurements and ingredients. I made a few adjustments based on my work population. The salsa is very light and refreshing. Great for a party :)

Navel Orange Salsa
3 Navel oranges, segmented and diced
8 Roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 small sweet onion, diced
3T fresh cilantro, minced
Dash salt and pepper

1. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.
2. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3. Serve with chips or use as a topping for fish or chicken.

Adapted from: www.sunkist.com 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

National Nutrition Month

March starts one of my favorite times of the year, National Nutrition Month! This is a nutrition education and information campaign held annually by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Basically, it focuses on how important it is to develop healthy eating and physical activity habits. This year's theme is "Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle." Also in March is Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day (March 11). This is a time to not only recognize RDNs for their awesome job of helping people develop healthier lifestyles, but also, to increase awareness of RDNs as providers of food and nutrition services.  For more information, check out the NNM site.

Going along with the "Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle" theme, here are 5 tips for keeping your meals healthy!

1. Build your meal around your lean protein. I always get people who ask me what to eat for dinner. My first response is what is your protein (chicken, fish, tofu, etc). Then, we think about what goes well with it. For example, you have chicken for dinner so maybe you plan some steamed broccoli and roasted potatoes. Or if you have fish, maybe you plan for stewed tomatoes and rice. Or maybe you want to do a chicken stir fry with rice and string beans. Don't overcomplicate your meals. Just remember you want a lean protein, non-starchy vegetable, and starch (could be vegetable or other carb).

2. Eat slowly and put your fork down between bites. Let your body have time to digest and tell you you are full. Also, don't "clean your plate." Wrap up your extra dinner for a balanced packed lunch the next day!

3. Check in with mindfulness. Before grabbing a snack from the cabinet, think to yourself, "Am I really hungry?" Sometimes we eat out of boredom or stress. Instead of immediately grabbing for the chips or cookies, drink a glass of water or hot tea. Then, take a walk or read a book for 10 minutes. If hunger still strikes, then reach for a healthy snack (veggies and dip, Greek yogurt, apple and peanut butter, etc).

4. Eat from a plate, not a package. Read the food label and portion out a serving size into a bowl. When we eat from the package, it turns into mindless eating. Most of the time we don't realize how much we ate until the whole package is gone!

5. Plan your meals and snacks. You can do this in a couple of forms. One way is to pick a day to batch cook a few meals/sides. Then, each day you can just pull from what you already made. Another way is to simply write down what you plan to make for the week. From this information, you can build your shopping list (remember to stick to it)! Having planned meals and snacks can help to decrease grabbing unhealthy foods out of convenience.

Happy National Nutrition Month and Happy soon-to-be Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day to all of my fellow RDNs :)