Saturday, January 10, 2015

Meal Planning for 1/10-1/24

One of the best ways to make my life feel less stressful is to plan.  Organizing and planning are not my favorite things, but the truth is, things go better when I practice these things to a certain level.  So . . . here is my meal planning for the next 2 weeks.  Notice many of the recipes are Paleo.  I'm not 100% Paleo, but cutting back on "stuff."  So yeah.  Truth:  I may make bread on some of those nights. 

Sunday:  Eggplant Pizzas
Monday: Grilled Veggies& Chicken w/Tomato vinaigrette (Paleo recipe) 
Tuesday:  Mom's makin' Dinner!
Wednesday:  Small Group--fajitas BRING dessert
Thursday:  Thai Curry (Paleo recipe) *Don't forget to take dinner to Robertsons!!*
Friday:  Justin bball game Meatball Stew (Paleo recipe)
Saturday:  Crockpot Apple Pork Tenderloin (Paleo recipe) w/sweet potatoes
Sunday:  Yumm Bowls
Monday:  Meatloaf balls (Paleo)
Tuesday:  Mom's makin' Dinner
Wednesday:  Small Group
Thursday:   Beef Brisket*Don't forget to take dinner to Hartsfields!!*

Monday, January 5, 2015

Choosing the right gym: Healthy Habits 2015

People are running in droves to sign up for a gym membership, hoping that they will be able to meet their 2015 resolutions.  Okay, maybe not.  Maybe they are just walking.  Or driving, perhaps.  Regardless, I know that January is the busiest time for the membership sales folks at the gyms.


The question is . . . 

How do you pick the right gym?!

Most of us have many options, and figuring out the best one can be a chore.  Reading reviews, talking to friends, paying attention to the New Year's deal . . . all good things.  Before you decide, though, consider these things:

1.  Location.  Is it convenient to your home, work, school, or anywhere you go?  If not, it may not be the best place even if it is the best place.  You know what I mean?  If it's hard for you to get out of the house, it will be even harder if you have to drive across town.  Make it easier on yourself and choose a gym that is convenient.

2.  What do you want to do?  If it is swimming, check out the pools.  Some are too warm, some too cold.  Find what you like.  If you like classes, make sure the schedule lines up with the things you enjoy.  If you want good cardio and weight machines, make sure there is good, updated equipment.  If you wan to play tennis, check out the courts.

3.  Who's going to use it?  How much does it cost to add your spouse?  Your kids?  Do you have a family?  I'm unashamedly a "Y" girl.  I love the Y and all it stands for.  I love that I can bring my family and that my kids can swim, play ball, go to kids fitness classes . . .What if you want to work out, but you have kids?  Do they have a childcare available?  How much is it?  Does it add a significant cost to your plan?  Do you feel comfortable leaving your children there?

4.  Price.  I'm all for staying in the budget.  That being said, do not let this be your primary driving factor.  If you can find what you want at the cheapest gym in town, go for it!  In most cases, you will get what you pay for, although there are exceptions.  Watch for hidden costs.  Is there a joining fee?  What is the month-to-month?  Is there a long commitment for the lesser price?  What does it cost if you break a long contract?  Don't get caught in something that will cost you more in the end.  It may be worth paying MORE month to month at a gym you're not sure you're going to use, so you can switch or cancel at any time.  Also, you can chose a get-in, get-out kind of gym if that's what you want.  If you are wanting a social community, a place to connect or be involved, a place for your family, consider the extra cost to get a family membership at a place like the Y.  There are other gyms out there that have excellent community as well.  Get the free 1 week passes and discover what you like.

5.  Atmosphere & Cleanliness.  Is it the kind of place you want to be?  Are the people friendly?  Does it feel like a meat market?  Do you like separate men's & women's workout areas?  Is it clean?  Keep in mind it's a gym and it may smell like it, but do you see people keeping the areas picked up, safe, and nice?

6.  Where do you want your money going?  Does this matter to you?  Do you want to support gyms like the Y that are non-profit and give back to the community?  Do you want to support a locally owned gym?  Is it important to you that it is a chain that has certain feel and that you can visit other locations when you travel?

7.  Who's there?  Do you have friends with whom you can attend classes or meet up for a workout?  Do you have certain instructor from whom you enjoy taking classes?  Do you feel comfortable when you walk in the door?  When you look around, do you see people with whom you could possibly be friends?  If you feel uncomfortable, check out a different place.  It's okay!  Find a place you want to be!

8.  Amenities.  What are you going to want?  Personal training?  Weight loss advice?  Sauna?  Hot tub?  Steam room?  Tanning?  Child care?  Food?  Towels?  Lockers?  Showers?  Little things can make a big difference.

I hope you find the right place for you and good luck meeting your goals!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Don't Be a Statistic!!! Healthy Habits for 2015

As I glanced at the Sunday morning newspaper on this fine 4th day of January, the sale ads are enticing us to buy the newest and best exercise equipment and gear, along with the trendiest in exercise fashion. 

Many people--maybe you, and yes, even me--have resolved to some new healthy habits.  in fact, according this blog at Details, 46% of Americans make a resolution, 66% of whom make fitness resolutions, and 1 in 3 give up by the end of January.

Okay, I agree that statistics aren't always accurate, but if working in gyms for the past 15 years have told me anything, it's that most people with the best of intentions fizzle out by March.  How do YOU keep from being a statistic?

The General Surgeon recommends 150 minutes of moderate to intense exercise each week, which is like 30 minutes 5 days a week.  Also, it is recommended to add in strength training 2x's a week. 

1.  Be committed.  Everyone is busy.  Fitting in time to workout is a struggle, and it's an easy thing to dismiss if you are feeling a time crunch.  Make a reasonable goal and stick with it!  Going to the gym 7 days a week is NOT a good goal if you have been averaging 0 days a week. 

2.  Be accountable.  Tell someone or a group of someones your goal.  Best case:  get a workout partner.  Even if you don't do the same exercises, knowing someone is counting on you to show up at the same time will help.  Also, if you do get a workout partner, unless you are meeting to walk/run together, make a deal not to tell the other if you aren't going to be there.  If one of you needs to skip, the other will most likely ditch the workout too.  But if sticking to your goal is what is most important to you, get to that workout independently, which will help you in the long run anyway!

3.  Be open.  Do you know what you like?  Try classes, swimming, walking/running, cycling, hiking, aqua fitness, different cardio or weight machines.  Find something that you ENJOY.  Or something you can imagine enjoying.  :)  Exercise is HARD work.  It's not always fun.  I recently went to a class that I hated.  It was so hard, but at the same time, I knew it was exactly what I needed to meet my fitness goals.  It won't be the class I choose to keep going to every time, but I'm glad I experienced it. 

4.  Buy a new outfit.  Okay, I know, I know.  Sounds totally vain, and maybe it is.  The truth is, sometimes, it's hard to go to a gym when you're not feeling good about yourself.  Having workout clothes that are comfortable and that you feel good in is a confidence booster.  Make a goal, and when you reach it, maybe buy a new piece?

5.  Running is popular, but it isn't for everyone.  I WANT to be a runner.  But I hate it.  I go through very short phases of running, but it's hard for me to stick with.  If you really want to run, go for it!  But if you don't like it, don't quit exercising.  Find something you want to do!

6.  Decide the right medium for you.  Do you need a gym?  Are you disciplined enough to do and enjoy home workouts?  Do you like to run, walk, hike, bike outdoors?  Don't feel like you HAVE to join a gym to get what you need.  Personally, I like it, but I know lots of people who enjoy getting their exercise other ways. 

7.  Personal Training.  If you are serious about meeting your goals, consider hiring a trainer.  Do training with a friend, which makes it more affordable.  This can at least give you a jump start. 

8.  Download helpful apps.  There are a ton of good apps.  I like, but there are a variety of good apps that can help you track your fitness and diet.  

I know this may not be rocket science or anything new, but hopefully it's a great place to start.  Tomorrow I'm going to blog about how to find the right gym for you.