Sunday, May 1, 2011

My new obsession...

Wow. I apologize, it really has been like 2 weeks since I have blogged. What a slacker. I guess I didn't really have anything important to say in that amount of time?!? Or maybe I was too busy working out, working and finishing up teaching for the semester. Regardless, I'll try to get back on track!

I want to share with you my new obsession; Title Boxing Club. In Columbus there is one in Hilliard and one by Polaris. A membership is good at either club.

I kept driving by the Polaris club and wanted to stop in and once I finally did I was hooked! I actually paid for an entire years membership up front so I could get a better deal, and I promise you I will be using it. In fact, I just joined on Friday and I took a class Friday, Saturday AND today already. The guy at the front desk even commented on me being addicted already. You can use their wraps and gloves or buy your own from them (they're actually really cheap). I, of course, picked the pink ones!

So what exactly is Title Boxing Club?!? They offer boxing, kickboxing and MMA workouts/classes pretty much all day, everyday! They are hour long classes that include 15 minutes of warm-up type stuff including jogging, sprinting, lunging, jumping,shuffling, shadow boxing, you name it. I was sweating before the warm up was over. After the warm-up you spend 30 minutes straight on the bags. As you can see from the picture below, these are the real thing; heavy bags. After 30 minutes straight of punching, elbowing, kicking and kneeing these heavy bags, I promise you that you will be dripping sweat. Did I mention that every few minutes the instructor is yelling commands to drop and do burpees, push-ups, squat jumps, etc. and then you get right back up and start with the bags again. It's a blast. Finally, the last 15 minutes is a cool down with lots of core/abs stuff. It's definitely the sweatiest I've ever been after a 1 hour workout! Not to mention that I have some sore muscles that I didn't even know existed. They say that you burn at least 1,000 calories in each class. Even more if you really push yourself!

If anybody wants to try a class with me (or by yourself!) the first one is free! That way you can see if you like it, but I promise you you'll be hooked. I took my friend Ashley today and and she signed up for an entire year as soon as the class was over. We already have our time picked out for tomorrow :) I would love to go to your first class with you and introduce you to the manager and the few instructors I have met there so far. Let me know if you want to give it a try. It really is a great option if you're tired of the treadmills and ellipticals like I am, not to mention the killer upper body (and lower body) workout you get!

I hope I got you interested!! This is something for all fitness levels because you work at your own intensity. I've seen people of all different fitness levels there and I've only been to 3 classes so far. You should definitely give it a try!

Monday, April 18, 2011

What I'm loving right now...

I decided I would share a few of my current favorite foods with you because I can't get enough of them!

I'm currently obsessed with these, they're pre-cooked, pre-peeled eggs that come 6 in a bag. All you have to do is cut them (I never eat the yolks). I buy mine at Whole Foods. Perhaps I'm in love with them because I'm too lazy to cook and peel my own eggs?!? Who knows, but regardless they are SO convenient.

I really like these Carrington Farms individual easy-serve flax paks. Again, it's probably the convenience factor. I also buy these at Whole Foods.

These are probably my favorite most recent find. They're Greek yogurts by Yo Greek that have a little container of granola attached that easily tips right over into the yogurt. They have a little bit more sugar than the Greek yogurt I usually eat but I've been using them as pre-workout snacks. I need both the protein and the sugar to get me through my heavy lifts and cardio sessions. 

Yes, I do eat some packaged foods. These Kashi granola bars are SO good, they are pumpkin spice flax flavored and they're super crunchy. I don't typically eat granola bars but I'm a big fan of Kashi and decided to give them a try and I'm in love. I don't eat them everyday but they make a great grab & go snack, perfect for me to take to watch a baseball game or eat while I'm driving. This is the only flavor I have tried, I'm sure the others are great too.

Yes, I realize that watermelon isn't anything new or special but I've had some REALLY, REALLY good watermelon lately since spring time hit so I had to mention it. I've also had some really good pineapple as well.

If you have any recent new food finds or just something you can't live without, please do share. I'm always looking for new healthy treats!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A change you NEED to make...Natural Peanut Butter!

I apologize for my hiatus from blogging. Most of you know that I teach nursing and it’s nearing finals time so I’ve been busy!  Not to mention my NP job and working out. My pup has also been sick the past few days so I’ve been loving on him (who knew a dog could get CDiff?!)

So what’s the difference between natural peanut butter and regular peanut butter?

The biggest difference in Natural vs. Regular PB is that natural peanut butters do not contain partially hydrogenated oils (trans fat) or added sugars. The ingredients in natural PB are simply "peanuts". With “normal” PB they will add oil (e.g. palm oil) as a stabilizer. The natural variety is safer, healthier and very easy on digestion. Contrary to the belief that peanuts are fatty, the natural variety of butter made from peanuts helps burn fat! Also, when natural peanut butter is prepared the skin of the peanut is ground as well and that adds to the nutritional values. There are a number of minerals like magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc and calcium present in the natural variety of butter made from peanuts. Some people believe that because of the calories related to ingrained fats, people who are overweight or watching their weight need to avoid PB. This is not true because studies show that the fats present in natural peanut butter are good fats that are healthy for the body. They also help in reducing the effects related to cholesterol and heart disease.  

My favorite brand is Peanut Butter & Co. I typically eat the kind called Crunch Time. You should check out their website though because they have 10 flavors including fun ones like Cinnamon Raisin Dream & White Chocolate Wonderful (I’ve never tried these). One thing I like about Peanut Butter & Co is that it is “no-stir” so the oil isn’t sitting on top like a lot of the other natural PB’s. I buy mine at Whole Foods. They also have a few varieties at the Kroger where I shop. Here’s the website

I also really want to try PB2 which is a powdered peanut butter. Through a process that doesn’t involve the use of any chemicals and doesn’t alter the natural balance of the peanut, they remove over 85% of the fat from premium quality peanuts. Essentially, the oil is squeezed out of roasted peanuts and what remains is powdered peanut butter. Apparently, when you mix water (or another liquid of your choice) with the powder you end up with PB, the same consistency as regular peanut butter! The directions state: Mix 2 tablespoons of PB2 with 1 tablespoon of water and stir until smooth. Has anybody ever tried this? I think I’m going to order some!

If you are focused on making one small change at a time in your diet I suggest making this substitution! The absence of the trans fat and added sugars is an important change for your overall health!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

What Songs Motivate You?

I must admit, I have a unique taste in music when it comes to what motivates me at the gym.  I don’t really listen to current hip hop/rap/R&B because I’m a country girl so a lot of my  “fast” stuff is older stuff. Here’s a list of my top 10 favorite songs for cardio currently on my IPOD. I would love to hear your favorites because I’m always looking to change things up!

1.       Bad Romance – Lady Gaga
2.       Dynamite – Taio Cruz
3.       Party in the USA – Miley Cyrus
4.       Right Round – Flo Rida
5.       Down – Jay Sean
6.       Maneater – Nelly Furtado
7.       Just Like a Pill – Pink
8.       Crazy – Gnarls Barkley
9.       Don’t Let Me Get Me – Pink
10.   Rumors – Lindsay Lohan

Honorable Mention –
Where Is the Love? – Black Eyed Peas

I also like to listen to Beautiful by Christina Aguilera at the end of my workout when I’m heading back into the locker room. It makes me feel good :)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Ezekiel Bread

I’m introducing you to one of my favorite healthier alternatives right now; Ezekiel bread made by Food For Life. This bread is made from freshly sprouted organically grown grains and has lots of nutrients. Ezekiel bread is rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, fiber and has no added fat.  It is made with wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet and spelt. NO flour! These grains and legumes together form a complete protein. In fact, the protein quality is so high, that it is 84.3% as efficient as the highest recognized source of protein, containing all 9 essential amino acids. There are 18 amino acids present in this bread! What else could you want in a piece of bread?

If you’re feeling a little dangerous try the Cinnamon Raisin bread.  All of these breads come frozen so I just throw 1 or 2 slices of the Cinnamon Raisin in the microwave for about 40 seconds and thaw it and eat it dry. It’s a quick last minute breakfast and easy to eat white you’re driving. This morning I had 2 slices of this and a protein shake. There are lots of things you could do with it (try a slice of the plain bread with a tbsp of almond butter).

I typically shop at Kroger and Whole Foods, both of which have these 2 breads as well as several other products by Food For Life. They make English muffins, cereal, tortillas, buns even pasta.  They have gluten free products as well. Check out their website If you have any special ways you like to eat your Ezekiel Bread please do share!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Fat-Free Banana Loaf

I made this Banana Loaf for the first time today and it's delicious. No protein powder in this recipe like with a lot of my baking but it still has protein, low sugar, a good amount of fiber and a calorie count we can all afford!

The ingredients

3 egg whites (I used actual egg whites, not the jug kind)
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup applesauce (I used one of the individual sized sugar-free cups)
12 packets Stevia (or 1/2c Splenda)(You cold use honey or agave but it would change the nutrition)

2 cups oat flour (I use Bob's Red Mill, I have a ton of stuff I bake with from this brand)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees 
  • In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites and add the remaining wet ingredients - mix thoroughly
  • In another bowl mix all of the dry ingredients
  • Lightly blend all of the ingredients together and pour the mixture into a loaf pan
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out dry (mine took 45 minutes in my new oven!)
  • Let the loaf stand in the pan for 10 minutes, then slice into 8 thick slices and serve

Fresh out of the oven
My yummy thick slice
Nutrition: (per each thick slice)
Calories: 137 cals
Fiber: 6 g
Sugars: 6.2 g
Protein: 4.7 g

Friday, April 1, 2011

Calories & Diet

Jamie Eason - I get a lot of my advice from her!

Tiffany asked me about counting calories and how many she should have per day. There are indeed several different theories and ideas out there regarding this so I can't say that my advice is the best. However, the first thing I suggest you commit to your memory is that it’s not just the number of calories, it’s what’s in those calories! Don’t eliminate certain food groups. Many fad diets emphasize the elimination of certain food groups or eating primarily only one or two food groups. Your body needs a balanced diet that supplies you with the diverse nutrients that will keep you healthy.

A general rule for counting calories, because that's your only option besides getting medical testing done, is to take your goal weight and multiple that by 10 to get the bare MINIMUM you should possibly ever eat. Then add 300-400 calories for a sedentary lifestyle, 400-700 calories for those of you that weight train and 800-1,000 calories for hardcore runners and people trying to put on weight.

So, in my case I would say my goal weight is approximately 130 pounds. That's 1,300 calories plus 400-700 more because I lift weights 6 days a week. That would make my daily goal somewhere between 1,700 and 2,000 which is exactly what I aim to get. I'm typically somewhere between 1,800 and 2,000 a day. I do this by eating 6 small meals a day.

Please remember, the average woman should never eat less than 1,200 calories a day and the average man should never eat less than 1,800 calories per day. 

The average diet (it's NOT a diet, it's a lifestyle) should:
  • Emphasize fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat dairy
  • Include lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts
  • Be low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, sodium and added sugars
  • Stay within your daily calorie needs 

If you feed your body natural foods, then you'll have no need to go hungry. You can pretty much eat all of the fresh fruits and vegetables you want and it will not adversely affect your weight. Also, raw nuts, olive oil and avocados are a rich source of nutritious and healthy fats. Look closely at the foods you buy and stay away from hydrogenated fats.

It's natural for anyone trying to lose weight to want to lose it very quickly. But evidence shows that people who lose weight gradually and steadily (about 1 to 2 pounds per week) are more successful at keeping it off.

I recommend reading one or all of Tosca's Eat-Clean books. She is an amazing woman and gives great tips on boosting your metabolism, strength training, reading labels and stocking your pantry.

Finally, if I can stress one thing and one thing only, GET ENOUGH SLEEP!!! You should be getting a minimum of 6 hours per night, but ideally more like 8-9 hours.

As always, if you have anymore questions please ask. I'm not an expert but I'm very passionate about nutrition and fitness so I have gathered enough information from all different sources to share with anybody who wants to know!