Sunday Snacking

The weekend is when we tend to struggle the most with snacking.  Especially in the summer at BBQ’s and even at home when you’re surrounded by food, it’s sometimes hard to eat your usual six meals and not just snack all day.  If you’re struggling and are in a snacking mood, here are some delicious, healthy snack ideas.

When I feel the need to snack I usually try to go for fruits and veggies with hummus.  I don’t limit the amount I can have because…it’s fruit & veggies!  Since I’ve eliminated most of my sugar intake I find that fruit tastes much sweeter and even more delicious than before.  Cutting up fruit and making a fruit salad along with chopping up veggies with some hummus is an easy, healthy, scrumptious way to satisfy my need to snack.

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Get Some Sleep!

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Everyone’s sleep needs are different.  Some people might be able to function on 6 hours of sleep.  Not us!  We both need and treasure our 8-9 hours of sleep each night.

Not getting the recommended 8 hours of sleep per night every once in a while may not be a big deal, however, if you are consistently not meeting your body’s need for sleep, you may be putting your health at risk.

Personally, I NEED at least 8 hours of sleep each night.  If I don’t get that, I’m a big grouch.  I wake up knowing I haven’t gotten my sleep and that the day ahead has the potential to be a disaster.  I’m tired and have no energy which makes for a long day.  I find it hard to concentrate and make simple decisions.  Lack of sleep definitely affects my healthy lifestyle.  When I’m tired, I’m much more likely to make unhealthy decisions when it comes to eating.  If someone puts cupcakes in front of my face and asks if I want one, I’m much more likely to say yes than if I’ve gotten a good night’s rest.   I’m too tired to workout so I tend to either give myself the day off or have a lazy workout and end up leaving the gym 15 minutes after I get there.

What can a lack of sleep lead to?

There are several ways that losing sleep can affect your mind and body:

  • You’ll feel fatigued and lack motivation: Eh, I’ll skip my workout today.
  • You’ll be Oscar the grouch: you’ll be irritable, impatient, & have trouble concentrating.
  • Difficulty making decisions/problem solving: Sure, I’ll have a cupcake!
  • Your weight: Along with being more likely to eat something you would typically avoid, losing sleep can affect your metabolism which affects your weight.  It may even lead to an increase in your appetite.
  • Lack of sleep affects your immune system which can lead to disease and frequent colds.
  • Inability to cope with stress
  • Ages you: Not getting enough shut eye can lead to dull skin, fine lines and dark, puffy circles under your eyes.  Not pretty.

Getting enough sleep every night can improve your health, mood, and the overall quality of your life.  If you want to live a productive, happy, and healthy life, make sure to get your sleep!

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For more information, go to:

http://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/importance_of_sleep_and_health

http://www.helpguide.org/life/sleeping.htm

Naked Time Challenge

Warm weather is rapidly approaching and with the warmer weather comes the removal of those winter layers. Time to bring out the shorts, dresses and that nasty 6 letter word: BIKINI. Recently, Rachel was sharing with me a funny excerpt from one of her favorite blogs: TheSweatyBetties.com, who asked if a person constantly enjoys being naked, is that a problem? I started to think about being naked more and more. Coming from a single woman looking for love, my thoughts are this: If I can’t stand being naked or seeing myself naked then I am pretty sure my future husband might not want to see it either. I know, find the right person and they will find all my flaws beautiful and I can be who I want to be… Who I want to be? A woman who is hot, sexy, confident, and can drive a man insane, to the point of salivating with anticipation of touching such a fine ass. With that goal in mind, I am going to start a new challenge to start “naked time.” Get comfortable in your own skin.  It’s your body and it will be along for the ride as long as you are. While getting ready in the mornings and putting on make-up, why not be naked? Fixing your hair? Do it naked. Another benefit to the “naked time” challenge is seeing the results.  If you are trying to lose weight or tone up; I offer you a front row seat to your own body transformation.

Maybe being naked is too much or your roommates might be a little freaked out, then I say break that bikini out early. Start strutting your stuff and if that bikini body is not ready for a beach debut, change it and work harder! We can do it!! 🙂

Are You Eating the Most Important Meal of the Day?

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Do you eat breakfast every morning?  We do, and if you’re skipping this meal, it’s time you seriously consider the effects.  Breakfast literally means “breaking the fast.”  When you wake up in the morning, it is important to give your brain and muscles the fuel they’ve been without for the past 8+ hours and to get your metabolism going again. If you skip breakfast, you’re also more likely to make unhealthy choices later in the day.  You’ll lack energy and feel hungry.  I don’t know about you, but the teacher’s room where I work is constantly filled with tempting goodies and I’ve learned that my daily, filling bowl of oatmeal and scrambled egg whites helps me to say no each day.

Why eat breakfast?:

  • Eating breakfast breaks your body’s fast and can reduce hunger later in the day which makes it easier to say no to the delicious treats in your office or to your favorite fast food restaurant.
  • Eating a healthy breakfast will encourage you to make healthy choices throughout the day.
  • Jump starts your metabolism!
  • A healthy breakfast gives you energy and starts your day off on the right foot.
  • Some skip breakfast & think that they’re saving calories, however, by lunch, that person is usually starving & will be more likely to overeat throughout the day.

Healthy breakfast options:

  • Oatmeal and scrambled egg whites or hard-boiled eggs (our staple breakfast)
  • An egg white omelette filled with your favorite veggies (spinach, mushrooms, peppers) and a side of fruit
  • Whole grain toast with natural peanut or almond butter, topped with a sliced banana & cinnamon
  • Plain greek yogurt with granola and fruit
  • Tone it Up protein pancakes (recipe:  https://littlechangesbigdreams.wordpress.com/2012/03/03/tone-it-up-protein-pancakes-2/)

What’s your favorite breakfast meal?

We Challenge You To: Drink More Water!

We love lemon water!

What can water do for you?

Water is essential to your survival. In addition, drinking water increases your metabolism, increases energy, flushes out waste & toxins (sodium), regulates your appetite, naturally moisturizes your skin, aids in digestion, assists in circulation and with headaches which are usually caused by dehydration.

If you replace your typical high-calorie, sugar-loaded drinks like soda, juice, and alcohol with water you will notice a big difference in how you feel physically & mentally.

How to jazz up your water:

1.  Have a water bottle with you everywhere you go.  Take it to work, to the gym, in your purse (or your wife/girlfriend’s purse, or your hand) when running errands, to a BBQ, when visiting a friend, and in your house.  We take water everywhere, to continuously flush our systems, increase our metabolism, to help to keep us full, and to help us avoid choosing an unhealthy alternative like soda.

2.  Don’t like plain water?  Add fruit/veggies to your water (the flavor packets you can buy are generally loaded with artificial sweeteners and are NOT good for you).

Suggestions of fruit/veggies to add to your water:

  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Berries: Rasberries, Strawberries, Blueberries
  • Cucumbers
  • Strawberries & mint
  • Tea
If you’re really struggling with drinking water, try mixing your favorite juice with water and hopefully you’ll soon enjoy water & all of it’s benefits as much as we do!
* Add ice for an extra calorie burn!