Snow and frigid temps have put a damper on many well-intentioned New Year’s resolutions already. But these conditions shouldn’t hinder you! They can actually help you achieve your goals more quickly if you embrace them rather than hide indoors.Read More
Blame social media, blame extreme sports, blame human nature and our need to constantly one-up each other, but over the last few years, a dangerous perception has become normalized: On the day after leg day, if you can get off the toilet without gripping the wall and grimacing in pain, you didn't work hard enough.
There is a commonly accepted idea that only drastic, painful workouts will advance you toward your fitness goals--including weight loss goals. If your workout is not excessively complicated, and if you're not in pain during--and especially after--your workout, it won't have any impact on your fitness.
This couldn't be further from the truth. Unless your fitness goals include being a model or competing athletically at a professional level, every workout doesn't have to decimate you.
And this on National Walking Day, I want to remind you that regular walking--especially outdoors--can be a fantastic way to gain fitness, manage and prevent lifestyle diseases, lift your mood, and yes, even lose weight. Multiply the benefits by drafting in a friend or family member (two- or four-legged), finding a tree-lined trail to explore, and--this is important--walking consistently.
When I told clients and friends that Mr. Live Full (aka my husband John) and I were celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary in Paris--land of crepes, baguettes and macarons--a common question came up: What are you going to eat?
Yes, I'm a health coach, and I practice what I preach. But as anyone who's worked with me will attest, I love food. Vacations are all about seeking as much pleasure as possible in a short period of time, and I'm not immune to the charms of the triumvirate of quick and easy, super concentrated pleasure: Salt, sugar and fat. On the other hand, there's no pleasure in feeling overstuffed or lethargic in a food or booze hangover. And there's definitely no pleasure in finding you're a few pounds up and further away from your health and fitness goals when you return from vacation. I refuse to accept the notion that in order to enjoy a holiday, you must gain weight.
So with all that in mind, what the hell did I eat?
1. Fresh stuff
The citizens of Paris muster up quite a demand for fresh produce. It was easy to choose delicious food off every menu that just happened to be full of vegetables, fiber and lean protein. We also made a point to seek out restaurants that specialized in fresh, local food, and our palates were rewarded. We wandered through a beautiful organic farmers market full of brightly colored vegetables, freshly baked bread and amazing prepared food, and we picnicked in the park. Even convenience stores had a selection of tempting fresh produce, and quick carry out spots always had plenty of nutritious options loaded with vegetables, beans and whole grains.
2. Indulgent stuff
I'm not going to eat crepes under the light of the Eiffel Tower many times in my life, so you can bet I enjoyed that memorable treat without guilt. And handmade tarts with fresh fruit and flaky puff pastry overlooking the Seine River? Creamy sorbet topped with a perfectly crisp, gem-colored macaron in the park? Don't mind if I do! But I had a few caveats when it came to indulging:
- I didn't indulge at every food opportunity (see #1 and #3).
- I'm choosy. I'm not a calorie counter, but I don't want to waste calories eating something that's "meh." I skipped the cheap packaged stuff in favor of the really special stuff.
- One I chose, I enjoyed sloooooooowly.
- I practiced the Michael Pollan food rule, "The banquet is in the first bite." The first bite triggers all the bells to go off in our feel good center. The second bite, while still good, is never as good as the first, the third is even a bit less satisfying, and on and on--it's the law of diminishing returns. I ordered the smallest size (a French small is WAY smaller than an American small!) and I often I split treats.
3. Some stuff in the hotel room
We all know meals eaten out are typically bigger and richer than meals eaten at home, so I controlled for one of those meals by making a simple breakfast in the hotel room. A bag of muesli, some chia seeds and almond milk made for overnight oats in our mini fridge. I also brought along some raw almonds (got to love Trader Joe's Just a Handful of Raw Almonds), which were ace in snacking emergencies in the hotel and on the plane. (Bonus: This saved us some cash because dang, Paris is expensive.)
4. Move my stuff
Basic math tells us that exercising (calories out) creates more room for eating treats (calories in). We were clocking in an average of 9-10 miles of walking per day, but that didn't create enough of caloric deficit to compensate for three meals of serious indulgence plus desserts. It did allow us an extra dessert or chunk of crusty baguette here and there, though. But just as important, moving feels good and walking is an amazing way to see a city, making it a vital part of my overall pleasure-seeking strategy.
5. Non-food stuff
We enjoyed lots of good food, but our great time didn't revolve around it. We oooh'd and ahhhh'd at tourist attractions and art and buildings and nature; we talked; we got lost in the best possible way in a beautiful city; we people-watched; we walked and walked and walked; we got lost some more; and we created many lovely memories.
Look at those suckers exercising behind me--never again! I've been working on a project for sometime to eliminate the need for exercise. Now I'm finally ready to introduce this amazing innovation in fitness. With great pride, I introduce "F-it!," an app that uses magnetic pulses to stimulate your muscles just like exercise, making exercise completely obsolete!Read More
Got a health and wellness goal for 2016? You're in good company. Millions will start the New Year with firm resolutions to eat more healthfully, complete a race, exercise regularly, or lose weight. Many of those millions--the majority, in fact--will fail.
Who will succeed? From my health coaching practice, I've identified three key factors for achieving goals:
1. Setting a specific, measurable goal
2. Seeking out and securing expert guidance
3. Setting up a system of support and accountability
I'm pleased to announce a group health coaching program to provide all of the above: The Goal Setting and Accountability Group launches at Vita on January 28. Participants will not only have the support of a certified health coach (yours truly), but also that of other like-minded members in the group. Over the course of eight sessions, you will:
- Develop a clear goal plan for achieving your unique health and wellness goals
- Learn about the stages of change and how to build lasting habits
- Receive support from your health coach and the program participants to make weekly progress toward your goals
- Explore what nourishes you, from the foods that support you best to the exercise that gives you the greatest energy
- Develop lifelong tools to manage stress
This promises to be a fun and supportive environment and the time and effort you invest in this program will transform your health and your relationship with your body.
Take the first step towards claiming your health and register over at Vita's website!