Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Bright Side of Diet Slipups

When I was on my way to Vegas last week to help work a Boot Camp, (Check out PFI's website) I had a lot of free time to catch up on some reading that I had missed.  I have all these fitness magazines, science journals and articles that I'd like to read, but with my busy schedule it makes it hard to do so.

Anyway, I was reading Shape magazine of May 2010 (see what I mean, a little behind) and an interesting article caught my eye.  Basically it's about when we slip up on our diet and how we feel so guilty about it for the rest of the day and figure we should just continue to cheat since we messed it up anyway.  Why not change the way you look at it? Turn it into a positive instead of a negative.  I'll paraphrase the article...

Frustrated because you ate those cookies at work after you swore to yourself you'd eat healthy all day?  The relapse could help you lose weight because it shows you that your old slim-down strategies are no longer working!  Think of it this way, you probably didn't chose the snack because you were weak, it probably has something to do with the fact that your lunch was too light.  Next time add some lean protein, like chicken, into the salad to help keep you satisfied longer. "Nobody can behave perfectly all the time, so change your mindset and use those missteps to reach your goal."



To give credit where it's due:
Ellen McGrath, Ph.D., Shape advisory board member and faculty member at NYU

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fitness Challenge

I dare you to step out of your comfort zone! You too can be an athlete!

Don't like running? Why not challenge yourself to run a 5k....
(google 5k race and there will be tons of ways to find a race near you)

Blast from the past...  put on those old rollerblades and go for a whirl around the park

Like to dance? Grab a buddy and sign up for a dance class!

Downward dog, what? huh? Go try a Yoga class to relieve some stress...

There are tons of fun and exciting discoveries to be made! Get off your couch and go challenge your body, mind and soul.  You'll be happy you did....

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Meal of the Month!

Try this amazing treat!  It's easy to make and looks great on your plate!

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 20 mins

Greek Style Frittata
Ingredients:
2 c baby spinach leaves
1 1/2c frozen diced potatoes, onions and peppers- or try them fresh!
4 large eggs
1/2 c crumbled feta cheese
1/2 sliced grape tomatoes

Don't forget:
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 c nonfat milk
1 tsp oregano

1. Preheat broiler on low. Meanwhile, heat a medium-sized skillet over low heat. .  Add spinach and cover for 1 minute (leaves will be barely wilted). Place in bowl and wipe pan.

2. Add olive oil to cleaned skillet and warm over medium heat.  Add the potato-veggie mix, cover and cook turning occasionally until potatoes are tender but firm.  A total of about 5-7 minutes.  Set aside.

3. Scramble eggs and milk in a medium bowl.  Add the spinach, cheese, tomatoes oregano.  If you like salt and pepper go ahead and add that in!

4. Spray an 8-10 inch non-stick ovenproof skillet (be sure the skillet is deep enough to create a "fluffy" frittata) with cooking spray and place over low heat.  Cover bottom evenly with potatoes and pour egg mixture over the top.

5. Place skillet under broiler for 1-2 minutes to finish cooking top of frittata.

*Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 206 calories, 13 g fat (4.9 g sat), 13 g carbs, 296 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 11 g protein*


I tried this recipe and it is amazing.  It was so easy to make and just as delicious to eat.  I suggest you give it a try!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I'm Sore!!! What can I do?!

Everyone hates being sore, it's probably one of the worst feelings we can experience!  Why do we get sore? How can we be less sore? HELP ME!

Well, let me explain to you the reason why we get sore after a workout. Ready? Here goes:  There are 2 types of soreness that we experience; instant soreness while we are executing an exericise and DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) is what we experience 1-3 days later.  Now we've all heard about lactic acid but what the heck is it?! Lactic acid is basically a waste product of anaerobic energy production known to cause localized muscle fatigue.  In English all this means is that the body uses up all the glucose for energy production and turns to the anaerobic system for energy.   You know it as "feel the burn."  DOMS is caused by microscopic tears in the muscle fibers that happen when you apply force (weight training) to the muscle.  The reason trainers tell you to never do the same workout over and over is to work these different fibers.   Depending on how they were exercised the fibers grow in different ways to create the "toned" or "bulky" look that we so desire.

OK YEA YEA, THAT'S GREAT, BUT I'M STILL IN PAIN!!


Some great ways to cure muscle soreness:

-Stretch- yes, I know it hurts to stretch out, but right now that's exactly what your muscles want! They are tight from being worked on, so stretch to regain flexibility and full ROM (range of motion).  Tight muscles cause lower back pain and other pains in the body.  Stretch out for 3x30 seconds.

-Epsom salt- two table spoons, hot water and a nice relaxing bath for 15-20 minutes should help.  Epsom salt is a great way to help soothe achey muscles.

-IceyHot- massage into the muscles for 10 minutes before bed and wake up refreshed!

-Massage- yup, a good old massage can do the trick.  Rub out those knots with a good old rub down, but be sure to use a professional's help to get the best treatment!  After all, they do this for a living and know special tricks

-Ginger- "Studies showed that daily ginger supplementation reduced the exercise-induced pain by 25%." please visit www.jpain.org/home for more information on the study done on ginger



I hope this helps some of you!


As always, please check out my website at www.carlabissifitness.com.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Combo Workout Routine

Only have 20 minutes to workout?  Try this simple combo routine to target all the major muscle groups in a quick easy way!  Please remember that 20 minutes a day will not ultimately get you to the goal you're looking for but it's better to be active than do nothing at all. 

Combo routines are a fun and effective way to target the major muscle groups when you're in a bind for time. 

Do 3 sets of 12 of these combo moves to get your heart pumping.  All you need are some 8-10lb dumbbells!

Squat with biceps curl into shoulder press  (targets legs, biceps and shoulders)
Lunges with triceps kickbacks (targets legs, triceps)
Bridge with chest press (targets glutes, hamstrings, abs and chest)
Plank one arm row (targets abs and back)

Please visit my website at http://www.carlabissifitness.com/ for more fun facts!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Write down what you eat!

You've all heard of food journals, food diaries etc... writing down what you eat can actually be more beneficial than you think.  If you want to figure out your calorie intake keeping track of what you eat from breakfast through dinner will help you figure out what extra empty calories you are taking in.  While it may seem time consuming why not write down what you're eating as you scarf down that sandwich instead of trying to figure it out before bed? Hell, we are masters of multitasking (eating while driving, texting at dinner, texting while driving) so why not write it down while you eat.  It will only take 2 minutes to do so. 

When you see what you're eating, you will have a better sense of why you're not losing those last 5lbs, or why your gut still looks the same way it did 3 months ago.  You are what you eat, unfortunately the saying is true.  By writing down your food consumption you can begin to eliminate one unhealthy snack and replace it with a fruit or veggie.  No one says its easy but if you start slowly eventually those unhealthy snacks will turn into healthy ones and those 5lbs will soon vanish.  So take a moment out of your day to keep track of what you're eating... it will help you!

.....Not into a journal? Try doing a food blog, yup! I just read today in an article that food blogs are becoming more popular.  In my Fitness Magazine, 6 guides for an amazing you, they stated in an article "weight loss blogs can be an alternative tool for dieters who feel that keeping a pen-and-paper food journal is either inconvenient or boring.  They're also a place to connect with other people who are experiencing similar emotional ups and downs."  Food blogs can help give you the support and confidence you need to keep going.  Remember that others go through the same experiences you do and you're not alone. 

Give it a shot! Either way, food journal or food blog, it will help you get control of your diet habits and change them for the better! Eventually you won't even need to do it anymore!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Creatures of habit

A funny thought occurred to me when I went to go grab a glass of water.  Now even though I saw my Brita filter out on the counter I still walked over to the fridge, opened the door and bent down to fill up my cup.  Then I realized that it was on the counter where I had just seen it 2 seconds before. It got me thinking... we are definitely creatures of habit! How many times have you had a similar experience like the one I just had?

Now this gets me thinking.  I'm sure you've all heard it takes 30 days to create a habit, well guess what its true!  That is why it is important to exercise around the same time every day, at first you will lack the motivation to come in or it might just seem like a hassle.  However, if you know that you have a set routine every day (drop the kids off at 8:30, go to the supermarket at 9:15, nail appointment at 10:15 etc) then it should be easy enough for you to be able to set aside time to hit the weights.  If you have 2 hours to kill between soccer practice and ballet class, why not take that time to take care of yourself?  Once it becomes part of your routine it will no longer be a hassle but will slowly transition into a lifestyle.  Guaranteed you'll have more energy to play with your kids, you'll sleep better and wake up better as well.  We complain that our lives are always routine, but if it was crazy every day then we'd all have gray hair and bags under our eyes at age 20.  Routine doesn't have to be bad, its what you make of it and how creative you are that keeps life interesting.

Trust me, when you've passed the point of working out being a "chore" and you've reached the point where its "lifestyle" it will make a world a difference.  Just give yourself time... after all, we weren't born knowing everything, right?  How did we get to where we are today? By making mistakes, taking chances and learning from other people.  Your life is an investment worth making, learn the right way to exercise from day one and you'll soon learn to love it as much as I do!  The most important lesson is to STICK WITH IT! :0)

Diva's Half Marathon!

This past Sunday (Oct 3) I had the pleasure of volunteering to help out with the first ever Diva's Half Marathon that took place out in Long Island.  It was a chilly morning, overcast and extremely windy.  Even though I was wearing 4 layers I was still freezing!  Anyway, this blog is not about me; its about the power of persistence and dedication that you can achieve if you put your mind to something.

The participants of the Diva' Half Marathon are all truly amazing.  Being a half marathoner myself, I understand the time, dedication and training that is required in order to take part in one of these races.  I was fortunate to volunteer at the finish line because I wanted to watch these women as they crossed that line, either for the 1st time ever or their 30th time.  The winner of the Diva's Half Marathon finished with an amazing time of 1:24, which is roughly a 6.5 minute mile.  If that's not amazing, I'm not sure what is!  It was truly inspiring to watch the expression on these women's faces; some were of pain, some were of extreme joy, and some were of pure concentration and focus!  I'd like to thank all of the participants and volunteers of this event for their hard work, dedication and commitment to being the best you can be.

As I've mentioned, being a half marathoner myself, the support from the spectators and volunteers for this race, and any race (marathons, triathlons, ironman, etc) truly makes the world of a difference.  It is so amazing that there are people in this world that like to give back to something that is larger than them.  Just seeing these people out here freezing in the rain or shivering in the wind helps pick you up when you feel like you're ready to give up.  Words can't express how grateful I personally was to see those strangers faces smiling and congratulating me as I crossed the finish line.

The point of my blog is to let everyone know that with hard work and dedication things can be achieved.  When we feel like giving up that is when you must be the strongest.  Change can be made but you must believe in yourself in order for it to happen.

Congratulations to all the racers of the Diva's Half Marathon


www.carlabissifitness.com

Interval workout of the month

Intervals... yes, they are great to burn those few extra calories if you're crunched on time.  Here is a great interval workout that I've created to spice up your cardio workout:

Tredmill Interval


activity   time      speed    incline
walk       5 mins   3.8       0
jog         1 min     5.4       0
run         3 mins   6.4       0
jog         1 min     5.4       1
run         3 mins   6.5       1
jog         1 min     5.4       1
run         3 mins   6.6       2
jog         1 min     5.4       2
run         3 mins   6.7       2
Repeat 2x
walk       5 mins   3.8       0


*Note: This exercise is not recommended for beginners with no previous experience on a tredmill.  Not recommended for those with knee or back injuries.  Please use caution while exercising and stop immediately if you feel faint or dizzy*

Monday, October 4, 2010

Music makes the difference.... between a good workout and a crappy one!

It's funny how music just has a way to take over... whether you're pissed, sad, or happy, music has a way of healing.  I'm currently listening to my new craze- Ne-Yo's "One in a Million".  I love this song because it is very Michael Jackson inspired.  Ne-Yo's voice is very soothing and the music in the background makes you move your body from side to side.  There's a billion dance moves that I'd like to put together to this song.  If you haven't heard this song, be sure to do so ASAP!!

Anyway,  I just wanted to quickly talk about how music has such an inspiration on you when you are exercising.  There have been studies on music/fitness and the correlation of how great tunes will up your workout by an insane amount.  If you're not feeling inspired to go workout blast some good music and let your body groove to it. Now go hit the weights!!!!!!!

10/5- was just reading an article about music, thought I'd put it in here:
"Adding faster, more upbeat tunes to your iPod may help you to run harder and faster, according to new research published in the Journal of Sports Sciences.  It may also help reduce your rate of perceived exertion.  A study at the Exercise Physiology Laboratory at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, found that music can lower perceived exertion by up to 10 percent."  SEE WHAT DID I SAY?!
-taken from Six Guides for an Amazing New You (a supplement of Fitness Magazine)

Some songs that I love to run to:

New Boyz- Break My Bank
Hollis Brown- Bring It Down
Kesha- Take It Off
Sean Kingston- Fire Burning
Evanescence- Everybody's Fool

Be sure to check out Hollis Brown (a great indie band based out of Brooklyn!)