Recently I realized that for three consecutive days, I was chugging copious amounts of water to force bite-sized chunks of food down my throat and these episodes of near choking were followed by serious digestive distress.
Perhaps it's time, I thought, to focus on chewing. A simple, everyday action that I thought I mastered before the age of 2, but it seems I was taking chewing for granted. I reminded myself that the whole process of breaking down food and converting it into energy starts in the mouth. Chewing is important. For the last seven days, I have taken my mastication seriously and have noticed a bunch of things worth sharing. One, it takes a long time to really chew your food. It took me just under 30 minutes to eat a dinner-size salad with roast chicken and beets. That's a lot of chewing, which is good since it slows down the eating process. Occasionally, I would become bored with chewing and stop eating as soon as I felt sated, a great way to not overindulge. This process
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Recently I realized that for three consecutive days, I was chugging copious amounts of water to force bite-sized chunks of food down my throat and these episodes of near choking were followed by serious digestive distress.Read More »from Why It's Important to Chew Your Food
As we focus on getting fit for 2010 (have you entered this week's challenge?), I'm sure many of you first-time gymgoers are getting into the groove and learning to navigate all the group classes and cardio machines. So why not take it to the next level? Here are eight tips to help you make the most of your time at the gym.
- Start With Something You Like: After you're warmed up, start your gym routine with the part that gets you most jazzed up. Love doing crunches? Hit the mat before you hit the machines. Love bicep curls? Get lifting first. It'll motivate you and put you in a good mood for the tasks ahead.
- Identify the Down Times: Obviously, avoiding peak times at the gym can get you in and out faster. But you should also take note of more surprising days and times when the crowds are sparse; at my gym, it's often Thursday nights. I'm also a big fan of sneaking in workouts on Friday afternoons.
- Share a Trainer With a Friend: If hiring your own personal trainer
The gift of a bloated belly isn't only reserved for women during that time of the month. Sometimes it's the foods we eat that can cause that full, gassy feeling. Here's a list of foods that may be contributing to your balloon-like belly, so you may want to think about limiting or avoiding them.
- Dairy products: Lactose intolerance can range from mild to severe, but either way, gas is usually a symptom. Try limiting the amount of milk, cheese, yogurt, and ice cream you eat and see if that helps. If it does, you don't have to ditch dairy altogether. Drink lactose-free milk, or take Lactaid pills to help your body digest milk products.
- Apples and pears: These fruits contain about four grams of fiber per serving, so they're an excellent source of soluble fiber, but they can also wreak havoc on sensitive tummies. Don't avoid them entirely though. Eating half or a quarter of these fruits along with other foods will allow you to enjoy their flavor without paying the price.
Interval training is the ultimate fitness mash-up, blending the speeds of both the tortoise and the hare. The benefits of this training are enough to motivate you to pick up your pace. Learn why you should play with your speed.
- Reduce Belly Fat - While cardio exercise is necessary to lose fat all over your body, interval training targets your waistline. Adding bursts of speed can help you lose stubborn abdominal fat, which is a boon for your overall health. Having a waist size over 35 inches if you're a woman puts you at a higher risk for heart disease and some cancers. Check your waist-to-hip ratio here. Hop on the elliptical and try this interval workout.
- Increase Your Speed - This is the most obvious benefit of interval training, but still worth noting. Picking up your pace when training intervals helps to increase your speed when running, biking, or swimming in a race. If you have a need for speed try this sprint interval workout for the treadmill.
Food is fuel and when it comes to working out, timing is everything. Head to the gym too soon after a big meal and cramps might put a cramp your workout. Eat too lightly and your blood sugar can drop so low that lifting your arms above your head is beyond you. While everyone is different and you should experiment to find with which eating strategy works best for you, here are some guidelines for how to fuel your workout session, whatever time of day you should choose to sweat.
- 30 Minutes Before - If you haven't eaten in a while and you are about to work out, fuel your body with easily digestible carbs. I am a big fan of whole grain foods, but foods high in fiber can cause bloating and other discomforts during a vigorous cardio session. Simple carbs are quickly processed by the body to create fuel for your muscles. Eating a handful of pretzels, half a bagel, or an energy bar can provide ample fuel without overtaxing your digestive system.
- Exercising First Thing in the
- POPSUGAR Fitness | Healthy Living – Wed, Feb 3, 2010 10:34 PM EST
I'm not a huge football fan, but I've hosted my share of Super Bowl parties over the years. Let's face it, this Sunday is about more than just a big game. There's half-time shenanigans, million dollar commercials, and of course, the food.
Super Bowl Sunday is generally big on grazing little nibbles that can be eaten without the use of a plate. Chips, buffalo wings, layered dips, and sliders are pretty standard. Read: not so good for the waistline. I try to give my Super Bowl parties a healthy twist by offering up snacks that don't skimp on taste, but are good for you too. In addition to the classics, I lay out grilled veggie kebabs, a Mediterranean platter, some chilled crab legs, vegan mac-n-cheese, and turkey chili. I also encourage friends who are watching what they eat to bring a healthy dish to share with the crowd.
Besides offering up some healthy eats, I keep the food in the kitchen and out of the living room. It dramatically cuts down on my couch and rug beingRead More »from Smarter Eats: Keep Super Bowl Snacks Off the Table
On mornings when I need a quick, filling breakfast, I go for the always-satisfying bowl of cereal. With so many different kinds to choose from, I never get bored. To increase the nutritional value in your bowl, try these five suggestions.Read More »from 5 Ways to a Healthier Bowl of Cereal
Start With Fiber: Start your day with a cereal that contains at least eight grams of fiber. We all could use a little extra fiber in our diets, since it's recommended that women eat between 25 and 30 grams a day. Not only does fiber keep you regular, but it can also help lower your cholesterol and prevent heart disease and certain cancers. To top it off, fiber keeps you fuller longer, so breakfast is a wonderful time to fill up on fiber-rich foods - you're sure to stay satisfied until lunch.
Add Milk and Greek Yogurt: For a creamier tasting cereal without the added fat that comes from whole milk, add nonfat Greek yogurt to your milk and cereal. Mixing in the entire 5.3 oz. container of Oikos Vanilla adds an extra 15 grams of protein to your
I've never been one for a "my country is better than your country" attitude but I love me some Olympics. I always find the games to be an amazing display of athleticism, team spirit, and the potential of the human body. Beyond that, it's astonishing to consider the mental stress these competitors are under.
I'd like to celebrate the women of Team USA with a little meet and greet. If your favorite athlete wasn't highlighted, don't worry! I'll be showcasing more women as we lead into the big event - that's February 12th for those not in the know.
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Source: FitSugarRead More »from Meet the Ladies of the Vancouver Olympics
I recently was able to join a couple of bloggers on a three-way phone chat with Bob Harper, one of the trainers on The Biggest Loser. While the interview's focus was on tips for meeting our fitness and weight loss goals for 2010, I found out a few things about Bob that I wanted to share with you all.
- Before working on The Biggest Loser, Bob had never worked with obese clients. He explains that before the show aired, "I was working with Selma Blair and Ellen (DeGeneres) and you know, I was working with Gwyneth Paltrow. These are like thin, thin women . . . The day that I met my first team on season one, I really thought I had my work cut out for me because I was going to have to use everything that I learned and knew I was going to be put to the test because I had never worked with people of that size."
- Bob's favorite form of cardio is running and he has run three marathons, but feels no need to run 26.2 miles again. When logging miles on a treadmill he tries to not listen to
I'll admit that I'm not a morning person, but I've discovered some ways to help me feel more alert and energetic in the morning. Give these techniques a try and I'm sure you'll have more pep in your step!Read More »from 7 Ways to Go From Zzzzz to Zing!
Wake Up at the Same Time Every Day of the Week: I know weekends are a time when sleeping in is a real treat, but it can really screw up your energy levels for the rest of the week. Pick a time to wake up all seven days and stick to it. You may feel tired when the alarm goes off, but you'll quickly gain energy as soon as you start moving around.
Forget the Snooze: I used to do it. I'd set my alarm way early, knowing that I'd hit the snooze button three times. Somehow I felt like it made getting up easier, but those extra nine, 18, or 27 minutes you snooze won't offer you deep, restful sleep. You're better off setting your alarm for the time you want to wake up. Allowing yourself to sleep until then will help you feel less tired once you do step out of bed.
Gulp Down a Glass of Water