Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Body Rock

So, ya-hey.

Life is liker super boring right now. I think because either something amazing is coming up (return to Japan) or that I'm not busy enough and need more hours at work. One can only read and read and read until her heart's contempt until she just gets bored.

Nevertheless, all this reading has allowed me to research more about diet and and fitness. Good Lord there is so much floating out there. Its mind boggling. I have been looking mostly into new ways to exercise in which I can use in my changing environments. For some reason, it was a lot easier to exercise back at at school than it is here at home. Eating is a little harder too. Even though I still control a great deal of what I eat by doing my own/separate cooking and shopping, there are just not enough people around me who care about sustaining a healthy diet. There's apple cheesecake in the fridge, candies and cakes relatives have brought by, and I work at a friggin' bakery cafe. So many things around me! Sometimes my heart wishes that the world around me could just be Trader Joe's and Whole Foods all the time and everyday. They are such great safe havens. <3 

As I said, I have been doing a lot of extra research (thank you Kindle Self Magazine subscription!) and have learned a lot. Here are some tips for those of you who would still like help on changing your lifestyle/eating habits.

The No-no's, The Uh-oh's, and Counter Woes
Here is a section about what I think you should stay away from and try out if you are going to be serious about this. Start!
1.) Try to avoid cream based products such as dressings and soups. These are huge pit-falls people fall into. No, its not a hot dog or cheeseburger with fries on the side but its not helping you either. Salads and soups are only as good as you allow them to be. If you have these types of foods, have them in strong, STRONG moderation. Aim for broth based soups and vingerettes for dressings on your salad. And use the spritz and disperse method. Meaning usually a little dressing and tossing your salad as much as possible definitely helps. The little you put on the salad gets tossed around to lightly coat your salad and therefore has an enhanced taste as well as keeping it light the calories. There are a lot of homemade dressings you can try too using no more than a tablespoon of olive oil, lemon juice, and a mix of your favorite herbs.

2.) Oh salads and soups, you silly things you. These thing taste their best with bread, don't they? Oh man. This is where it gets hard. Who doesn't love tomato soup and grilled cheese? I have been craving that ALL DAY! But, the most I went for were Wheat crackers and Minestrone soup. If you still want your favorites, try really hard to watch the cheeses you use and always aim for Whole Grain/Whole Wheat or Honey Wheat breads. White breads, or any white grains for that matter, are called simple carbohydrates. Meaning that your body processes them too fast and leaves you reaching for more later. Whole grains are healthier, more complex carbs filled with much more nutrients. Your body takes longer to process these types and therefore help you fill fuller longer. This is why when we eat Chinese take out, we are hungry again in like an hour. Word to the wise--Wheat is your best friend. 

3.) Did someone say snack time? We all love 'em, but watch out. Snacks can lead to unhealthy choices. For example, I LOVE sweets and cannot ban chocolate out of my life. Therefore, I always make sure to have my Skinny Cow candies and a handful of cocoa coated almonds when I get my sweet cravings. Dried cranberries and raisens are like my favorite too. I just had a small after meal tea time with these foods because they satisfy my sweet tooth and serve as a healthy dessert. :) You can stay both committed and satisfied. Sweet, right? 

4.) Protect yourself. I always carry something healthy around with me if I am unsure of what I will be exposed to later--a banana, apple, or pear. A baggie of trail mix, or wasabi peas, a healthy granola bar...all of these things have become like my best friends when I just want a little snack to satisfy a small craving and when I am not hungry enough to have a meal. Its great for counteracting any bad things in front of your face with a nice trail mix bar in your bag. You've saved unnecessary calories and guilt.

5.) Working it out--some things are not for everyone. Not one for running loops in your neighborhood just yet? You can do indoor cardio implemented with two other types of workouts. Start out with simple things like Yoga or Pilates. You can do these things comfortably in your own home using Youtube videos, Wii Fit, online sites' instructor videos, or in a group fitness class. You will really feel and see the effects of these two workout types, I promise. They are great for toning and strengthening your muscles. For example, the downward dog position is great for your upper arm strength. In this position, you start with standing up and drop your palms down to the floor as though you were doing push ups. 'Cept you don't keep you whole body straight while you are in this position, your butt will be a tad up in the air. As you stretch, you should feel a good pull in your upper arms and legs. Look more into it and try out the positions that work best for your body--its important to know your limits so that you do not pull anything.

6.) "Random Dancing!" Okay, don't think too much of iCarly but if you can't deal with working out for a long period of time in one straight sitting, break it up! To keep things fun and interesting, start with workouts that you like and do them for as long as your feel comfortable. If you feel yourself getting bored, you can come back to it later. Say you find yourself getting fed up after 20 minutes. Okay, fine. A few hours later, you find yourself tidying up your house--BOOM! Plank position go! Phew, okay. Back to laundry-BOOM! Push ups, go! Get my gist here? You can make it into a game really. 

7.)Take advantage of nice days. When the sun is shining and the breeze is nice, GO OUTSIDE! I spend 5 hours outside in one day last week. What was I doing? Well I rode my bike to meet a friend at Starbucks (love that place) and sat outside with her for a couple hours. Then, I rode my bike around and then down to the lake. Sat there and read (Mockingjay, omg) and then biked again. It was like having one huge workout split into two different sessions. Very nice, very stress-free, and very affective. Try it. Let me tell you, I got quite the tan.

8.) Split it. If you find yourself craving that delish looking cupcake at your nearest barista/cafe joint, split it in half! You can either have half now and save the other for later or share with a friend! Think to yourself, "that looks good, but do I really need the WHOLE thing?" But if you must, try not to fret too much, we all have our days. :)

9.) Did you know that a loaded baked potato can have over 350 calories in it by the time you add all the fixings?! Lordy! You know, you can make it easier on yourself by adding light sour cream, and delish herbs and spices on top in order to save yourself. A medium sized potato has a group source of protein and fiber in it when you do it right.

Well, that's kinda all I got at the moment. I started with the intention of mentioning a few tips and it turned into this. I just wanted to get these tips out since I have been wanting to share them with others. I need a workout buddy, that's part of it. I have no one to spill my healthy jib-jab on other than health conscious customers at my job, hah. I will be doing more reading though. Be sure about that and be sure to try do to what you can. You can do it, if you really want to. :)

In the future, I want to add more links, pictures, and etc. here for anyone interested. 

~Shi <3


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