Fitness

Run Time

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Ever since I became a Corrective Exercise Specialist a few years ago, I always watch how people walk, run, sit, lift weights…… Whatever they are doing, I am scrutinizing posture and form. This one particular morning was no different. I’m not a running coach, but watching the dozen or so runners by the river that morning was interesting.

Out of the dozen or so runners, only one person looked like he had some type of formal training. His form was as perfect as it gets and he looked as though he was just gliding over the pavement. Others were almost fun to watch flailing arms, odd foot strikes, and high impact on the pavement. One man out there should not have been running at all. He was wearing knee supports, landing hard, and was very obviously running in pain. He was compensating for the pain by running with very awkward posture. He will not only make his current injury worse, by compensating he is setting himself up for creating a new injury.

If you enjoy running, make sure you are using proper form right down to proper foot strike. You’ll want to maintain a short, quick stride. Over-striding will set you up for injury. Pay close attention to knee alignment as well. Your foot strikes should be under your knee and not in front of it in order to reduce the stress on your knees. It does not matter whether your forefoot or your heel strikes first. The most important part is that your foot is under your knee. This is especially important when running downhill. If you are serious about running, you might want to hire a running coach for at least one or two sessions.

footstrike-patterns-in-running

Core strength is important for everything you do in life, especially running and other physical activities. For runners, you’ll want to pay close attention to strengthening your glutes as well as your abdominal muscles in order to help you maintain proper posture even when you’re tired. The plank and floor or ball bridges are excellent core exercises that can be done performed every day.

 

supine-ball-bridge-positionPlank-Collage

If you have an injury, take time off from running so that you allow your body to heal and do not set yourself up for another injury. Walking is also an excellent form of exercise, especially during the rehab phase of an injury (depending upon the injury of course).

I am big on foam rolling in order to prevent injury. Areas you should focus on as a runner include, but are not limited to: calves, peroneals (aka outer calf), hamstrings, quadriceps, IT band (aka outer thigh), inner thighs, and gluteal muscles.

Foam-rolling

So, if you are one of those who loves to run, get out there and do it, but make sure you are doing it right.  If you do happen to sustain an injury, take some time off to let it heal.

Happy running!

Feeling Grateful

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I can’t help but feel really grateful as I sit here in my new home on this awesome Sunday morning.  I’m grateful for all the people, including my guardian angel who all helped me get here.  The past 8 years had some wonderful moments; some of the best experiences in my life, such as the births of my grandchildren.  Those 8 years also included some hard times while caring for my mom. However, I would not change a thing.  I am grateful for the time I did have with my mom, both bad and good times.  I truly miss her with all my heart.  I am grateful to my kids, my daughter-in-law, and son-in-law for helping me through the passing of my mom and the celebration we held for her.  I could not have done it without them.

It was definitely time for me to make a change and get back to the West Coast.  I am grateful to Roy Norman for helping me sell my house so incredibly fast, with a closing time that was much shorter than I thought I could handle.  I am grateful for all of my clients over the past 8 years who helped me build my business and remained loyal to me even after my move.  It means so much to me to have you all in my life.  Modern technology has made it so simple for us to continue to work together.

I could not have made this move without the help of my ex-husband either.  Yes, you read that correctly.  He may be my ex-husband, but he will always be my friend.

Yep.  I have a lot to be grateful for.  I’m home! I’m where I am supposed to be.  Thank you for all of you who made it possible.  Too many to name here.

McKenzie River

McKenzie River

Quick Fix – Lose Up to 8 lbs in 9 Days!

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I was just looking at the posts in my personal timeline feed on Facebook when it struck me how many posts there are talking about how much weight someone lost doing this “refresh” or that “cleanse”….  A lot of these people are the same people who posted awhile back about losing so many pounds doing another diet program by the same company.  You see, this is the problem with these supplement programs.  It’s the “go on, go off” mentality.  Do you really think you can be “fixed” in 21-Days or 3 days after a cleanse?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that it’s a bad thing to do a “proper” cleanse now and then (not a liquid or starvation diet), or even follow a 21-Day program designed to help you develop healthy lifestyle and nutrition habits.  What I am saying is, most of these programs are interpreted to be the cure-all for everyone who wants to lose weight and feel better.  In a lot of cases, when supplements are involved, they become too expensive for people after a short while.  They stop taking them, and gradually fall back into old patterns that caused the person to gain the weight in the first place.  There are supplements available that I truly believe in, but I do not promote them for weight loss even if that is the intent of the manufacturer.

The programs  that include the incorporation of portion control, and healthy food choices as well as adding exercise to your daily routine are really the best way to go.  The 21-Day Fix is one of the better ones that I’ve seen recently, but I wish it didn’t come with the idea of the 21-Days.  I believe the company used that because 21 days gives you a good start to changing bad habits into good ones.  However, it focuses people on a set number of days they will be following the program rather than understanding these days are meant to teach you how to continue on for a lifetime.

My absolute favorite method out there is the Full-Plate Living philosophy.  It’s quite simple on the nutrition end.  Eat whole foods, have an apple about 30 minutes before a meal, fill 75% of your plate with high fiber foods.  Add in portion control for your grains and protein, and it’s pretty much a no-brainer.  You don’t even need to count calories.  I do not believe in eliminating a macronutrient such as carbs to lose weight.

What diets have you tried?  Did it work?  I’d love to hear from you.

Full-Plate Living

Full-Plate Living (fullplateliving.org)

Increase Your Energy Level and Maintain it Throughout the Day

If you find yourself dragging during the day, do you look to an energy drink to pick you back up again?  Next time, try pumping up your energy with real food, which is packed with nature’s secret stash of natural revitalizers such as complex carbs, protein, and fiber. Stock up on these 6 superfoods and watch your energy rebound:

1)  Melons such as cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon aren’t just bursting with energizing vitamins and minerals. With 90 percent of their weight coming from water, they fight fatigue by keeping you hydrated.

2)  Greek yogurt with some berries give you the protein and carbohydrate boost you need.

3)  Polenta made from cornmeal, this Northern Italian staple is loaded with complex carbs. Unlike simple carbohydrates from highly-processed grains, complex carbs are broken down slowly so they keep your blood sugar on an even keel, providing a sustained energy release that lasts for hours. Plus, polenta couldn’t be easier to make with quick-cooking varieties ready in as little as 10 minutes. Simply stir it into boiling water, broth, or milk and serve. For a comforting whole grain start to your day, fold in dried tart cherries or chopped dried apricots. Or, prepare as a quick-fix dinner topped with marinara sauce instead of your usual pasta.

4)  Farmer’s cheese presses cheese curds that have been separated from the liquid, whey, until it is almost dry giving it a texture similar to but slightly drier than ricotta. It can be made from the milk of goats, sheep, or cows. Two tablespoons deliver 4 grams of high-quality protein for only 40 calories and 2 1/2 grams of fat. Chevre, made from goat’s milk, and Mexican queso blanco are two examples of farmer’s cheese.

5)  Add some walnuts and cherries to a fresh salad.  Both contain melatonin, which will help you sleep better at night.

6)  Edamame is one of the best choices of all. Not only is it perfectly balanced with slowly digested fiber, complex carbs, and healthy fat, it also contains 16 grams of protein per cup for less than 200 calories. Edamame is also rich in magnesium and B vitamins that our bodies need to convert carbohydrates into energy.

Be sure to snack every 2 to 3 hours to sustain your blood-sugar level and you will find that your energy level remains more stable throughout the day.  Keep those snacks simple, grab-and-go, to make it easier for you to make the right choices.

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Reference:
Cooking Light Magazine

Thanksgiving Is Upon Us

Can you believe it’s Thanksgiving already?  The holidays are upon us, and so are all those parties and foods that can easily add to the waistline.  Here are some suggestions for avoiding that dreaded holiday weight gain.

 

EAT:

  • Nutrient-dense foods.  They are more filling, provide optimal nutrition to prevent food cravings & keep energy levels high.
  • Take high-quality supplements that provide optimal nutrition to prevent food cravings & keep energy levels high.
  • Balanced nutrition shakes & bars with protein, carbs, essential fatty acids & fiber will help balance blood sugar, promote detoxification, and lower the inflammation that holds on to belly fat.

When we feed our bodies whole foods in their most natural form, our bodies are able to absorb and utilize the nutrients the way nature intended.  We eat less, resulting in fewer calories consumed.  When we feed our bodies calorie-dense junk food, our body will force us to keep eating until it has the sufficient amount of nutrients in order to function properly.  Ergo, we crave more food. Nutrient-dense foods tend to be bulkier (not heavier), filling us up much faster.  You will notice once you start feeding your body properly, your cravings will disappear, and you will be much less hungry.

Never skip meals in anticipation of over-indulging later in the day.  You are much better off if you eat regular meals throughout the day, and snack on a healthy snack prior to going to any holiday party.  If its a potluck, bring a deliciously healthy appetizer with you so you know that you’ll have at least one good choice.

Here’s a recipe for sweet potato casserole I thought you might enjoy:

Sweet Potato Paleo Casserole

paleosweetpotatocasserole

Ingredients

  • 5 large sweet potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp ghee, divided
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup, divided
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp cinnamon, divided
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, chopped
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted

Instructions

  • Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add the sweet potatoes and cook for 10-15 minutes until fork-tender. Remove from heat and drain.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Add two tablespoons of ghee and maple syrup, the pot with the sweet potatoes. Stir in the vanilla, one teaspoon of cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Mash until smooth. Adjust salt to taste. Transfer to a baking dish.
  • 3 In a small bowl, toss the walnuts with the coconut flakes, coconut oil, remaining ghee and syrup, and teaspoon of cinnamon. Cover the sweet potatoes with the walnut topping. Bake for 18-20 minutes until the walnut topping is golden. Serve warm.

Notes

  • Servings: 4-6 as a side
  • Difficulty: Easy
Thank you Paleo Grubs: http://paleogrubs.com/