Friday, December 15, 2017

Keep Moving During the Holidays

Keep moving the next few weeks with a little planning and active mindset. There are quite a few obstacles to fitness and movement during the holidays. Crazy schedules bump our exercise routine, home-bound kids throw a kink in your plans, dark evenings encourage hibernating and visiting relatives always involve lots of eating and sitting. Here are a few Burbank ideas to help you and your family avoid the couch from now until the new year.

Default to walking or biking
Consider using your body to get you where you need to go. 

* Bike or walk to downtown Burbank to ice-skate at The Rink (Dec 14 - Jan 7).

* During the school year, Saturdays are crazy busy. Use these slower Saturday mornings to walk down to the Farmer's Market with the kids. Try a fruit or vegetable you haven't seen before.

* Don't drive - walk to downtown to see a morning movie at the AMC.

*Stroll to Olive & Glenoaks to see the Burbank float the week after the Rose Parade.

Choose active over sedentary

* Take the relatives bowling at Pickwick Bowl.

* Drive to the beach in the winter. The cousins can play tag in the sand, get a volleyball game together or put their toes in the water.

* Take bikes or boards to the Burbank Skate Park.

* Splurge on a horseback ride for the group at the Equestrian Center.

This holiday season a little planning and an active mind-set can help you:

Stay Active, Keep Moving and
Enjoy Your Food 

Friday, December 8, 2017

Make Every Kitchen Moment Count

During the holidays, busy lives and from-scratch cooking can seem hopelessly at odds. They don't have to be. Try these strategies for keeping your healthy eating on track during the busy holiday (or any-day) season.

Instead of prepping all weekend, make the most of whatever kitchen time you get. While the family is eating breakfast, saute onions or chop fajita vegetables for dinner. While the dinner pasta water is coming to a boil, prep overnight oatmeal for the next morning. During dinner clean-up, hard-boil eggs to stow in the frig for lunches.

Grill chicken, do some Asian bowls that night and use it the next night in a big chop salad. Roast butternut squash, serve half as a side one night, use the other half for a pasta dish the next. Grill flank steak for dinner one night, make up burritos for lunches the next day.

Marketing with a menu plan and prepared list is a winning way to save money and focus on whole foods. Extend your success by carving out time to prep veggies as soon as you unload the bags. I immediately wash all my produce in a water and vinegar solution. After rinsing, I slice carrots,  peppers and celery. I bag grape tomatoes and green grapes in small bags ready to take for lunches. Strawberries and blueberries are clean and ready in small bowls in the frig to top morning cereal. If the lovely fruit and vegetables you buy are not ready to eat, the family will probably leave them to spoil until next week's market run.

Plan and prep each week to make sure you and your family 
eat as healthy as possible and avoid the temptation of frozen pizza!

Stay Active, Keep Moving and
Enjoy Your Food

Friday, December 1, 2017

Seven Minute Travel Workout

Tis the season for travel and visiting. You can maintain your fitness while traveling this holiday season with a little ingenuity and a dose of discipline. The 7 Minute Workout below includes cardio, isometric strength, dynamic strength and agility all in one quick package.

Use the props available to you in your hotel room, gym or relative's house/yard. Pick out your wall spot and have the chair/bench and mat set up ahead of time so you can move quickly from one set to the next. Shoes can be optional, if you are crunched for space in your luggage.

Set a timer on your phone to buzz every 30 seconds. Try this Tabata App. Warm up with dynamic moves, then immediately move to the next exercise without any rest. Ideally, you will go through the set twice with a 60 - 90 second recovery in between. I think the moves are all pretty self-explanatory. Here is a clarification for the one that might be unfamiliar to some. 

Push up to Rotation: Start in plank position, do a push up, then reach hand toward ceiling, rotating body to face sideways, like a side plank. Immediately return to pushup, rotate and reach opposite hand to ceiling.

7 minute workout
30 seconds each move
Jumping Jacks
Wall Sit
Step up onto chair, alternating leg

Tricep dip on chair 

High Knees in place 

Alternating Forward Lunge
Pushup and Rotation 

Side Plank on forearm
Side Plank, other Side
Repeat, if possible 


Maintain your fitness level and feel good while you are traveling this holiday season.

Stay Active, Keep Moving and
Enjoy Your Food  

Friday, November 24, 2017

Happy Healthy Holidays

"My three biggest pieces of advice for surviving the holiday season are to avoid skipping meals, wear real pants and, if you want dessert, put it on a real plate and enjoy it thoroughly." 

Shira Lenchewski, RD, author of The Food Therapist

Avoid Skipping Meals
Make sure you eat a filling breakfast and lunch before a dinner engagement or cocktail party. Include protein and whole-grain carbs at each meal, adding in a few more servings of veggies than you normally do. This strategy will leave you satisfied so that you don't arrive at the event ravenous. Eating regularly will keep you full enough to make conscious choices that let you enjoy the delicious holiday food without gluttony.

Wear Real Pants
Yoga pants are for yoga. Don't fall into the trap of wearing them all day long for shopping, errands, etc. The stretchy fabric can hide holiday weight-gain and leave you feeling uncomfortable in January. Let your clothes be a helpful guide to tell you if it is time to leave that extra cookie on the plate and slip in another gym class for the week.

Enjoy Dessert
Spend your calories on the treat you enjoy most. When you get a chance to have a special Christmas bread or cookie, sit down with a plate (yes, a plate), making a conscious choice to eat dessert, and savor every bite. Spend time noticing the flavors and textures from your memories. Give yourself the gift of time to enjoy it.

Use these three strategies to survive the holiday season and 
welcome January with energy.

Stay Active, Keep Moving and
Enjoy Your Food

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Holiday Running Streak

The holiday season is a perfect time to ditch your workouts with excuses of too little time, lack of energy, and no motivation. That doesn't have to be you! More and more people are turning toward a “running streak” to stay motivated, running at least one mile every single day, from Thanksgiving until the New Year

But isn't running every single day bad for you? Running hard and long every single day will certainly lead to burnout or injury. However, you only need to run one mile every day to keep this streak alive, and that mile can be as slow and easy as you want it to be. 

I did this running streak last year and I really felt good about my fitness during the holidays. If I had done a tough workout that day or it was late in the day when I was tired, my mile might be a stroll. On the other hand, if I felt energized, I jogged the whole mile. My dog, Sadie Mae, benefited by getting in an extra mile walk or jog during the holidays, too.

You might like to print out a calendar or make a list of days and check off the date when you accomplish your daily goal. That little gold star can still be motivating even as an adult! And, at the end of the holidays, you will have a record of your amazing running streak and your achievement.

Your health and wellness should be the most important goal above and beyond your streak. If illness strikes, runners can continue through above-the-chest symptoms like a headache, sinus congestion or a runny nose. If there’s a fever, then it’s best to focus on recovery and rest for a few days.
Start with the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day and 
keep moving until New Year's Day. 
Begin 2018 with energy!

Stay Active, Keep Moving and 
Enjoy Your Food

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Cop An Attitude

What would you say if I told you there was an exercise that could help you feel happier and healthier, all without breaking a sweat? My guess is that, if you're like most people, you'd be all in. This ancient exercise traces it's roots back to Socrates and Plato. Namely adopting an "attitude of gratitude".

Gratitude is one of the most rigorously studied emotions in our human repertoire, and multiple peer-reviewed academic studies have found it to have surprising benefits.

Expressing our appreciation for all that we have (and all that we've been spared from) is a powerful remedy for psychological ailments like the vague, free-floating sense of discontentment we sometimes experience. Researchers have found that cultivating this skill by focusing daily on what we're grateful for is one of the most reliable methods for increasing positive feelings.

What's more, developing an attitude of gratitude can have physiological upsides, including lowering blood pressure, strengthening the immune system, and minimizing everyday aches and pains. Focusing on your blessings has even been shown to help people sleep more soundly and awake feeling more rested.

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, I suspect many of you will be thinking of, maybe even articulating, some of the things you're grateful for in the days to come. Which raises the question, why limit these expressions of appreciation to just this one holiday when they can make such a difference in our everyday lives?

Stay Active, Keep Moving and
Express Gratitude This Week
(And Maybe Every Week)

Friday, November 3, 2017

Beyond the Pie

Pumpkin can be used for more than baked goods and sweets. This economical winter vegetable is a great source of vitamin A and fiber. Don't feel bad about choosing the convenience of canned over freshly boiled and mashed. Canned pumpkin offers more fiber, protein, vitamin A, calcium and iron than fresh, boiled pumpkin and it's less time consuming. (Make sure you use canned pumpkin puree not a can of pumpkin pie mix.)

Pumpkin Oatmeal - 
Stir a few spoonfuls of pumpkin into hot oatmeal. Top with toasted pecans, cinnamon and a drizzle of maple syrup. If you're feeling creative, add shredded carrots and coconut milk.

Pumpkin Smoothie -
Combine pumpkin puree, plain Greek yogurt, a banana and milk in the blender. Pump up the protein by adding chia seeds. Top with a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.

Pumpkin Pasta - 
Swap your standard marinara sauce for a pumpkin sage sauce. In a medium saucepan, thin pumpkin puree with a little milk. Stir in thinly sliced fresh sage, salt, pepper and a pat of butter. Toss with warm, freshly cooked whole wheat pasta. Top with Parmesan and toasted walnuts.

Pumpkin Hummus - 
In a food processor, blend chickpeas or white beans with pumpkin, tahini, lemon juice, olive oil and salt. Garnish with a sprinkle of smoked paprika and toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds).

Stay Active, Keep Moving and
Enjoy Your Pumpkin!