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Staying Healthy in the Summer Heat

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Today, I asked Andrea, a great friend from my good old days at Butler University, to guest post.  She recently started her healthy-living blog, and I absolutely love it!  I love reading it, and I love being able to talk about blogging, healthy eating, exercises, and how sometimes it’s nice to enjoy just a plain old good glass of wine.  After all, it is all about balance 😉

Andrea shares some great tips for staying active and healthy in the summer heat while keeping up with a busy schedule.

Guest Post:  Staying Healthy in the Summer Heat

Hi everyone!  My name is Andrea and I blog over at www.A-Doctor-In-The-House.com.  Here is a little bit about me:

I am a third year medical student at Indiana University School of Medicine and I am obsessed with all things healthy-living and science of course 🙂

Typical Day Going To Work 🙂

I just started my blog in June and I am loving every bit of it already.  My goal is to share recipes, work-outs, tips for staying healthy, and sciency facts.  Another huge goal for my blog is to meet new people and learn as much as I can about food, fitness, and everything in between!!

I met Tara when we were both in college at Butler University.  I was actually really good friends with her fiancé Brian all through college because we were both headed in similar directions- he was going to dental school and I was off to medical school.

When Tara started her blog, I was hooked from the very start.  I have been an avid reader and I can honestly say that her blog was a huge inspiration for me to start one of my own.  When she asked me to write a guest post, how could I not be thrilled??

Since it’s right in the middle of summer, Tara asked me to blog about how I stay active and healthy all summer long.  I find myself longing for the days when summer was an actual vacation and I could take as many pilates classes as I wanted while grilling out every night.  Unfortunately, I’m stuck in the hospital all day basically every day and so fitting in a healthy life-style is a challenge that I’m still facing.  I learn new tips and tricks all the time and I hope to share them with you!!

Here’s how a busy medical student stays healthy in the heat:

1.  Get outside!

Just being outdoors makes me feel better and gives me energy to make good choices throughout my day.  Summer is the best time to take advantage of long days and warm weather so whenever I can, I get my butt outdoors.  If I don’t have to be at the hospital early, I will run outside in the morning.  Just a quick 3 miles is enough to wake myself up and start the day on a great note.  If I happen to get home early, I will take my workout to a playground!  There is a great park about 1.5 miles from my house- run there, do some push-ups, lunges, and other strength work around the playground, run back- you’ve got a great workout that makes the time fly by!!

Ducks along the canal I like to run on!

2.  Get grilling!

Fire up the grill because it is the most delicious way to prepare healthy food all summer.  Plus- it saves your kitchen from heating up the entire house.  I have made grilled kabobs, Vietnamese marinated beef for spring rolls, and tons of veggies this summer.  You can check out some of my recipes on the Food page of my blog.

3.  Get prepared!

This doesn’t apply to summer exclusively.  I have found that when you live a busy life, the only way to be successful when it comes to staying healthy, is to plan ahead.  I make most of my food for the week on Saturday or Sunday (whichever day I happen to have off from the hospital).  This way, it’s a no-brainer when I am packing my lunch in the dark at 4am.  I have tons and tons of friends who eat out every day and not only does this make me cringe thinking about how much money they spend, but also how many extra calories they would save by making meals at home!

So there you have it! My 3 best tips to stay active and healthy this summer.  I try to remember every day that life is a balance.  You won’t see me pass up too many trips to get frozen yogurt, and trust me- I load it up with all the toppings!  I have to miss my workouts every now and then when I’m studying hard for an upcoming exam.  No one is perfect all the time!  But the fabulous summer weather makes it easier to get moving outdoors and be active.  And don’t forget summer produce!  I’m pretty sure I could eat a whole watermelon by myself!

These are healthy cupcakes with a secret ingredient in the frosting!  Check out the recipe on my blog 🙂

Enjoy your summer day and I hope you go do something fun outside!
//

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Secretly Bad For You???

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Yesterday, as soon as I got home from volunteering, I headed out for a 3.5 mile run.  The run was originally scheduled the day before, but it was raining pretty hard so I decided to postpone it for a day.  It wasn’t my fastest time.  Although I wasn’t sore directly after the Body Pump training weekend, I think that my muscles are definitely fatigued and not able to work as hard this week…but I am pushing through!

I then came in to cool down and bake some cookies for the women I am volunteering with at the Symphony.  The event that they are coordinating is this coming Monday, so Friday (tomorrow) is really their last day to get all of the loose ends tied up and I thought some Oatmeal Raisin cookies would help them power through 😉

And before heading to church choir practice I quickly stopped at Target to pick up some red workout gear.  The colors of Body Pump are red and black, and while you aren’t required to wear the Les Mills clothing or even red and black it helps to be in “the essence” (that is what my trainers called it).  And I totally agree!  When I think of putting on special clothes to teach Body Pump, it is almost like putting a costume on for show choir.  I am able to get in the zone, and it just wouldn’t be the same without it 🙂

Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to try the clothes on and the shorts were just too baggy.  Not exactly the look I am going for.  Looks like I will have to return them!

 

Breakfast

After team teaching my second Body Pump class this morning, I was more than ready for breakfast and luckily had a bowl of overnight oats with y name written all over it.

 

 

10 Foods that Are Making You Fat

Yesterday, Brian sent me a link to an article on Cha Cha about 10 foods that are secretly making it hard for us to lose weight. I thought this article was particularly interesting because for me, I think about this kind of thing all the time and try to always be aware of what I am putting in my body, but Brian pointed out to me that not everyone thinks like that and may not realize the harm in some of these foods.  So, here is the list with a little bit of my own insight about how to stay in the safe zone!

1.  Salad Dressing–Many people are aware that the creamy dressings pack on a lot of fat and calories (sometimes making your salad choice worse than a burger!), but we also have to be careful when it comes to dressings that may seem lighter like Italian and Balsamic Vinaigrette.  When using dressings at home, it is always best to measure out your portion sizes according to the label so that you know exactly what you are getting.

  • Salad Dressing Alternatives–Using simply vinegar along with salt, pepper, garlic, and spices of your choice is always a great option…and has almost no calories!  Mixing vinegar with a tablespoon of hummus or using salsa are some other great alternatives that packs a lot of flavor.

2.  Mayonnaise–Only one tablespoon of this creamy sauce has 90 calories, not to mention the fact that there are a lot of processed ingredients usually used to make the dressing.  On a sandwich, try subbing mustard or a small amount of avocado (1 Tablespoon).  If you are making tuna or chicken salad, sub non or lowfat plain Greek yogurt.  You will lower the number of calories and boost up the amount of protein in your meal.

  • Mayo Alternative–Small amount of avocado or mustard on a sandwich.  Lowfat or nonfat Greek yogurt in tuna, chicken, or potato salads.

3.  White Bread–When it comes to choosing white bread versus whole grain or whole wheat bread, you always want to choose the whole grain/wheat.  White bread is what we can call a fast releasing carbohydrate due to the way the body processes the food.  When the body processes fast releasing carbohydrates it causes a big spike in the blood sugar levels causing the body to release more insulin.  After a lifetime of these blood sugar spikes and your body not utilizing this excess sugar, a person could eventually develop diabetes and this excess sugar is stored in the body as fat.  Without getting too in depth (there is a lot that goes into the way our body processes carbohydrates)

  • White Bread Alternative–whole grain or whole wheat bread

4.  Regular Soda–One can of regular soda has around 150 calories.  If someone were to drink one can of soda a day, that would be over 1,000 calories added to your diet!  By simply cutting out this drink and replacing it with water, you will lower your sugar and caloric intake greatly.

  • Regular Soda Alternative–sparkling water with a splash of 100% cranberry juice with a squeeze of fresh lime, or just plain water!

5.  Ketchup–Ketchup is LOADED with sugar, with around 8g of sugar in only 2 tablespoons of this condiment.  With this sauce, really watch portion sizes and limit your consumption to every once in a while.

  • Ketchup Alternative–salsa, plain tomato sauce, or just limit your portion sizes.

6.  Artificial Sweeteners–There is a lot to be said about artificial sweeteners.  The article by Cha Cha points out the fact that artificial sweeteners are not satisfying to our bodies that want the “real thing” leaving us craving and eating more in order to feel “satisfied.”  There is also a lot of research about the chemical effects of these artificial substances in our bodies.  When it comes down to it, it is always best to be as natural as possible.  And simply because a box says “all natural ingredients” doesn’t mean that the ingredients are actually natural.  We need to actually read the label, and research any ingredients we may not be familiar with.

  • Artificial Sweetener Alternatives–Stevia (to date) is one of the safest sugar alternatives.  Some low glycemic sweeteners that are great alternatives are agave nectar and palm sugar.

7.  Restaurants--This article notes that most foods at restaurants are cooked in butter or grease.  Salads are served with more than a regular portion size of high fat nuts, cheeses, dried fruits, and salad dressings.  Trying to stay healthy, but enjoying a meal at a restaurant can seem like two conflicting tasks, but don’t worry…you can eat healthy and enjoy dining out at the same time 🙂

  • Restaurant dining tips–always check out nutrition information online before heading out to the restaurant so that you can be informed when you make your order. Ask for sauces on the side so that you can control the amount you put on your dish.  Have 3/4 of your plate full of veggies and a portion of protein that is the same size and width as your own palm.  Avoid the bread basket, and don’t be afraid to make special requests (like asking for your broccoli to be steamed instead of cooked in butter 😉 )

8.  Chicken Tenders–Another thing that the article makes note of is that a lot of people think that simply because something is chicken, it is automatically healthy…which is not the case.  Chicken tenders are almost always fried and served with high calorie dipping sauces.  When dining out, opt for grilled chicken or make your own “healthified” tenders at home.

  • Chicken Tenders Alternative–Use organic, free range, boneless, skinless chicken breasts dipped in egg whites and coated in almond meal to bake up your own chicken tenders as a substitute option for high fat, fried chicken tenders.

9.  Specialty Coffee Drinks–We all love a good latte or icy coffee drink every once in a while, but they can pack on a lot of fat, sugar, and calories.  Try to make drinks like this a special treat and enjoy them only every once in a while.  Not only will you save calories, but you will save money too!

  • Specialty Coffee Drink Ordering Tips–Only get these fancy drinks as a special treat, ask for no whipped cream, opt for skim or lowfat milk, and order the smallest size.

10.  Cheese–Cheese isn’t necessarily bad for you, but it is another food where we need to watch our portion sizes.  It is always best to choose a lower fat option rather than a full fat or no fat.  The no fat options tend to have some chemicals in place of the fat to help with the consistency and the flavor, and our body needs fat to process fat…so low-fat is the better option.

  • Cheese Alternatives–Simply watch your portion sizes on this one and opt for low fat options.

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What are some of your favorite tips for healthy eating and watching portion sizes?