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Health and Fitness Blog 101

Let's Get Healthy Together

RoastTurkeyThe holidays are coming up and often that means challenges for those of us that are trying to eat healthy and exercise.  We start with Thanksgiving, which is known as the holiday when we all eat too much.  How many of you feel stuffed liked the turkey by the end of the day?  There is so much delicious food and we don’t want to let it go to waste.  We may want to eat a little of everything, so the person that made it doesn’t feel bad or we may think this is the only time I get turkey or sweet potatoes or pumpkin pie, so I can’t pass it up.

Some ways to prevent gaining weight on Thanksgiving include:

  • Don’t skip breakfast.  I know it seems like a good idea to save the calories for the big meal, but you don’t want to sit down for Thanksgiving dinner on an empty stomach.  The hungrier you are, the more you will eat.  Eat something likes eggs for breakfast.  The protein will keep you satisfied longer and will get your metabolism started, so you will start burning calories.
  • Drink plenty of water before and during dinner.  It will help fill you up without any calories and you’ll eat less.
  • Eat your meal slowly.  If you eat slowly, your body will have a chance to digest your food, so you will know when you are getting full and stop before you are stuffed and uncomfortable.  Plus, if you eat too quickly and clean up your plate, others will be anxious to re-fill it for you and you will eat it just to be polite.
  • Take a walk.  After you are done eating, don’t plop down on the couch to watch TV.  Take a walk to work off the calories you just ate.

Once we make it past Thanksgiving dinner, we have leftover pie and other goodies that we don’t want to go to waste.  We also have holiday parties, treats delivered to the office, Christmas cookies, and dinners at restaurants or fast food places when you are out Christmas shopping.

As far as the leftovers from Thanksgiving, send some home with family members, so you don’t feel like you have to eat it all.  At holiday parties, remember not to show up starving.  If you are hungry you will eat more and are more likely to eat the sweets and other less than healthy foods.  These types of foods don’t satisfy your hunger and you end up eating more than you should.  Drink water before you go to a party and hold a bottle of water while at the party to keep your hands busy, so you don’t eat as much.  Also, don’t hang out by the food table.

At work be sure to bring healthy snacks so you are less tempted by all the sweets that co-workers or vendors bring in.

When you are out doing holiday shopping, you will get hungry.  Plan ahead and bring healthy snacks to eat in between meals.  Drink plenty of water.  Yes, I know I say this a lot.  Drinking more water will do wonders for making you feel better.  Did you know that sometimes we think we are hungry when we are actually thirsty? When you have to eat out, opt for healthy options.  Avoid fast food, fried food, desserts, bread or rolls, and pop (AKA soda).  Don’t feel like you have to clean up your plate.  You can always take some food home.

Finally, don’t forget to exercise during the holidays.  I know it’s a busy time of year, but you can’t use that as an excuse.  I find that the more I exercise, the more likely I am to eat better.  When you go shopping, park farther from the entrance, so you are forced to walk more.  Make several runs to the car to drop off packages.  Use the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator.  Take walks on your lunch breaks or do just 10 minutes of strength training in the morning or at night.  I’ll talk more about strength training in a future post.

You can get through the holidays without gaining weight.  You just have to plan ahead.

Happy Holidays!


I really want to help people that want to lose weight and get in shape and don’t know where to start.  There’s a lot of information out there, but it can be overwhelming.  Most people just need to learn the basics and are looking for a step by step plan.  They don’t need the crazy crash diets or special diet pills.  They need motivation, encouragement, and easy to follow steps.

One of the most important things people need to realize when losing weight is that it won’t happen overnight.  It requires a lifestyle change and it will take time.  A lot of people think they can go on a diet for a few months and then go back to eating the way they were before.  One of the reasons people give up is because the results take time and they get frustrated when they don’t notice a difference.  Because the change happens gradually they don’t see the results and think it’s not working.  That’s why it’s important to weigh yourself once a week to see that you are losing weight.  Another reason they give up is because they make such a drastic change in their eating habits, that they crave the foods that they used to eat and lose their willpower.

I believe that you can eat healthy and still enjoy what you eat.  You don’t have to eat tofu and rice cakes to lose weight.  You also don’t need to change your whole diet right away.  Keep it simple and start with small changes.  Take baby steps and you’ll be more likely to stick to it.  Here are some first steps that will get you started:

  • Drink more water – Start to replace sugary drinks with water.  Water will fill you up without the calories and it quenches your thirst.
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables – Make a list of those that you like and start adding more of them to every meal.  Fruits and vegetables help fill you up without the calories and they add nutritious value, so you don’t feel hungry.
  • Don’t skip meals -Many people skip meals thinking the fewer calories, the better.  The problem is that it messes with your metabolism and your body stores fat thinking there is a food shortage.  Breakfast is the most important meal because it gets your metabolism started in the morning and you have all day to burn the calories.
  • Eat healthy snacks instead of sugary snacks – When you feel hungry between meals eat fruits, vegetables, cheese, yogurt, crackers with peanut butter or other healthy options instead of reaching for a candy bar, cookies, or chips.
  • Just get moving – It’s also important to start exercising if you want to lose weight or get in shape.  Start with just 10 minutes per day.  It doesn’t matter what type of exercise you do.  The goal is the get your heart rate up.  You can start out by walking, dancing, playing sports with your kids, riding a bike, swimming or anything else that gets you up and moving.

These are some tips to get you started on the road to getting healthy.  Check back next week for more ideas.

Create a Support Network

Posted by larends on November 10, 2013
Posted in Health and Fitness  | 3 Comments

I would like to say “thank you” to Scott Dinsmore of Liveyourlegend.net for putting out a challenge to start a blog.  I’ve thought about it for a long time, but kept procrastinating and just never made the time.  Plus, there was a fear of the unknown and Scott’s video showing how easy it was gave me the confidence to try it.  Thanks, Scott.

How often do we give up on something or not even try it because we don’t have a support network.  This happens a lot when we try to exercise and eat healthy.  It’s happened to me and I’ve seen it happen to others.  Just when you decide to eat something healthy, there is someone that makes a comment like, “what are you, a health nut?” Then there’s the people that bring in cookies or doughnuts when they know you are trying to avoid that stuff.  We all know it takes willpower to avoid eating snacks, but it doesn’t help when people around you try to tempt you.  That’s why it’s important to have a support network.  The more people that you surround yourself with that support and encourage your decisions, the easier it is to stick to them.  If you find someone that also wants to eat healthy, you can encourage each other to avoid eating the cookies and doughnuts.  It’s always easier if you aren’t the only one.

You are also more likely to exercise when you have someone to exercise with.  A friend will keep you accountable when you make plans to take a walk or work out together.  It’s too easy to make excuses when you are planning to exercise by yourself.  When you make plans with someone, you don’t want to let them down.  Plus, exercising with a friend also fulfills our need for companionship.  It gives you a chance to talk and work out at the same time.  Have you ever wondered why people are willing to pay money to attend an exercise class when they could just as easily watch an exercise video at home?  It’s more fun to work out with others and they help support and encourage you.  So, go out and develop your support network today.


Why Fitness is Important to Me

Posted by larends on November 5, 2013
Posted in Health and Fitness  | 3 Comments

leah head and shoulderI’m so excited to start a blog about health and fitness.  I’m passionate about being healthy and sharing that with others.  I’m 46 and feel healthier and have more energy than when I was 30.  I had 2 children when I was in my early twenties and had my third child when I was 35.  I had a high metabolism when I was younger, so I didn’t have to worry about exercising or eating healthy.  I soon realized that as we age, I had to start exercising and eating right so I wouldn’t gain weight.  As I started to be more healthy and exercise, I couldn’t believe the new energy I suddenly had.  I can play baseball with my 11 year old son.  Our family went hiking in the Grand Canyon and I recently climbed a tree to try my first zip line, which was awesome!  When my daughter was in seventh grade I went to watch volleyball games a lot and my back hurt from sitting on the bleachers.  Now that I exercise on a regular basis, I can sit on bleachers for hours without any problem.  Exercise has changed my life!