Wednesday, March 21, 2012

5 NOT health food products

The Washington Post was kind enough to mention the top five NOT health foods on the market. It's important to note that the sweeping condemnation isn't totally on the mark. For example:

Energy Bars
Yeah most of them are from palm kernel oil and soy garbage. I wouldn't feed this stuff to a pet, and I wouldn't recommend it to you. If the ingredients have any more than 8 letters, it's probably not natural. Stick to Natural Food Bars or Larabars which are certified organic (and kosher!). Raw food bars are pretty good too.

Energy Drinks
Unless you feel drained, don't drink Gatorade or Powerade. Add some flavor to your water because taste helps your body feel more satisfied.  The tounge and brain work against you with this one, so mix up the flavors with natural juices like lemon, lime, or other citrus slices of fruit in your water bottle. You can experiment with other fruits like pears and apples, but they take longer to infuse flavor.

Whole Grains
Make sure that the ingredients have lots of actual whole flours and kernels. Check the fiber content as well. It should have at least 3-4 grams per serving.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A new, fifteen minute workout

New Fifteen Minute Workout!!!
Warm up: give yourself about two minutes worth of jumping jacks, but try to hop in different planes of movement. Try standard jumping jacks, then try to switch the timing of arms and legs, and then try scissors jacks switching arms and legs back and forth. Add some twists: make the warm up different.

Workout: This workout is all about unilateral movements- we are using one limb at a time.
  1. Left leg lunges- step the left leg forward, bend both knees to 90 degrees, and finally return to a standing position. Repeat for one minute
  2. Right leg lunges- same as above, repeat for one minute. For more of a balance challenge, hold your arms up above your head
  3. Left arm clean and press- using a dumbbell or any weight you have around the house (a gallon bottle of water, for example), squat down low with the goal of touching the weight to the floor, followed by standing up and pressing your weight overhead. Repeat for one minute.
  4. Right arm clean and press- same as before. For added challenge, try rising to your toes on the pressing part of the movement, or even add a slight hop, before returning to the squatting part of the movement
  5. Single leg line hops- standing on your right leg only, hop forward and back over a line for 30 seconds, then switch to hopping left and right over the line. Repeat on the left leg only.
  6. Single leg squats - this one is tough! Keep one leg off of the floor (either behind you or in front of you), squat to the floor, put your hands on the floor for support, and then pop back up. For added fun, try adding a thrust behind you: after sqautting down to the floor and your hands are down, thrust the single leg back until you are prone, followed by jumping it back underneath your body and then standing up: a single legged burpee. Repeat for one minute on each leg.
  7. Bird dogs: start on the floor on all fours (hands and knees), then extend the right arm and left leg straight out from the body. After they are fully extended and held for a three count, retract the left knee to touch the right elbow for a three count (don't let them touch the floor!), and finally extend back out away from the body. Repeat for one minute. Do the same thing for the other side (left arm and right leg)
Cool Down: Thirty seconds holding a plank (scroll down to see a video), followed by two side planks of fifteen seconds each. Stretch for the last two minutes or foam roll.