Part 1: Upper Body Exercises
I am excited to announce that I’m embarking on a new chapter in my career. I have been accepted to attend the Chef’s Training at The Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts in New York City. My passion for health, cooking and food has always left me with a desire to learn more. Attending culinary school has been a goal of mine for several years. The time has finally come for me to pursue this goal.
I choose this particular culinary school because of its history, the emphasis on health, and its location in Manhattan. The curriculum focuses on health-supportive culinary arts and includes techniques for preparing a wide variety of foods such as whole grain baking, plant based proteins, natural sweeteners, vegetables, fruits, nuts, poultry and seafood. It connects nutrition, food and healing to diet and addresses topics such as healthy digestion, strengthening for the immune system and food for support of chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis and arthritis.
I will continue to stay connected to Open Hand and Good Measure Meals while I’m away. My experiences will be posted here in a weekly blog. I’ll share information related to health-supportive culinary arts and will include practical and creative culinary tips and resources.
I will return to Atlanta in September. The knowledge and skill that I will gain from this program will enhance our current offerings for nutrition, food and cooking classes in the community and will help to connect our customers with culinary skills and knowledge that will help them to have success with long-term health goals. I’m really looking forward to this!
I bet there are many of you that have dreams and big goals of your own. I say go for it now! Don’t wait. You can start with baby steps,
but don’t be afraid to take a large leap. It might be scary at first, but if your dreams come from your heart there will be no greater success for you!
I’m not a trained exercise coach or a registered dietitian, but I have acquired some helpful suggestions while working here at Good Measure Meals, that I will use to help me get through the next couple of weeks. My goal is to survive this holiday season unscathed by those pesky extra 5-10 pounds that I always seem to gain this time of year.
Here are the things I’ve been told will be helpful:
1) Buddy up with a friend and keep each other accountable. Make this person someone who has goals like your own. Help keep each other on track by being a supportive friend and vice versa.
2) Don’t go to a holiday party on an empty stomach. Make sure to nosh on something healthy before you leave for your night-on–the-town. The chances are slim-to-none that you are going to find a healthy holiday spread waiting for you when you arrive. If you show up with a little food in your stomach, you will be less likely to stuff yourself with all of the decadent foods that will be offered.
3) Limit your intake of “holiday cheer.” A 6oz. glass of red wine has 128 calories. Who pours a 6 oz glass of wine, especially during the holidays? Here’s a great tip: Drink a full 8 oz glass of water between each alcoholic beverage. Not only will you cut down on how much you drink, but you will look great because you are keeping yourself hydrated and better yet, lessen the chance of a nasty hangover.
4) Try to keep to your regular workout schedule. Even if you shorten the duration or intensity of your workouts during the next couple of weeks, you are still making the effort. Some exercise is better than none, and if you are usually consistent with your workouts throughout the year, a week or two of lower intensity isn’t going to derail what you’ve accomplished.
5) Get 8 hours of sleep a night. I know, I know…..with all the wonderful, festive parties and all, how can you not stay up until the sun rises? Sleep is crucial to regulate food cravings. And having a fresh-mind will help you make healthy choices.
6) Wear your seatbelt. And for goodness sake, call a taxi if you need one.
7) Last, but not least, Don’t Deprive Yourself. The holiday season only comes around once a year. If you already have a solid nutrition foundation and fitness routine, a little indulging for a week or two isn’t going to hurt in the short-term. Just be sure to get back on track with your routine after the new year arrives!
I’m hoping to put some of these suggestions into practice this holiday season. I know I won’t be perfect, and will probably eat a little more than I should, stay out a little later than is best for me, and skip a run or two. But I’m not going to go overboard. For me, this season, it’s “all things in moderation.” I’m going to enjoy myself and everything this holiday season has to offer. I hope you do the same!
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!
Philip Niekro, your Good Measure Meals Customer Service Representative
As we head into the new year, many of us strive to make resolutions in an effort to treat our mind and bodies right. Unfortunately, after the initial push to live the healthy life, many of us fall victim to the mid-January slouch, when we realize that the weather outside is still frightful and our motivation has started to dwindle; until alas, we are back to our old habits. How do we avoid this seemingly inevitable trend? I am so glad you asked! J
The first step is to develop accountability. It seems so easy and intuitive, yet many people never think to create a system that keeps them in check. Whether it’s teaming up with someone in the office to discuss your goals or simply writing down your resolutions and revisiting them daily, it is important that you make a conscious effort to keep your resolutions top of mind and . One tool I have developed for clients is a self-contract for goals. When coming up with your New Year’s Resolutions (or Goals) you really need to write them down, using the SMART formula.
Make sure that your goals have the following characteristics:
S: Are the Specific? While I can easily say that I would like to eat better this new year, it is hard to determine what that really means on a daily basis and if I am really achieving that goal. Instead, make goals as specific as possible, such as: Eat 3-4 Fruits and Vegetables a day and cut down on sweets to 1 dessert per week. When our goals are clear and specific it is much easier for our brains to know how to be successful!
M: Are they Measurable? Quantify your goals! You don’t just want to lose weight, you want to lose 10 pounds or fit into a size 8. By having numbers you can measure progress which helps facilitate motivation and long term success.
A: Are they Attainable? While goals are a great way to spark change, setting goals that are unattainable are self-sabotaging and often lead to relapses or negative behaviors. Keep in mind when setting goals that they should be achievable. Increasing my cardio fitness to the level of Lance Armstrong is highly unlikely, so why set myself up for failure. Instead set a goal like completing so many minutes of cardio per week in order to increase cardio fitness. Much easier to track and I’ll still be striving for the same result.
R: Are they Realistic? Remember that we are human, and the occasional slip is not something to fret about. When setting goals, avoid using terms like NEVER, EVERY or ALWAYS. These phrases are not realistic since life is unpredictable, and is it best to remain flexible. Saying that you will hit the gym every day is great in theory, but what if you get sick, injured or have a social obligation. The goal is health and you may need to take a day off. Then you skip and the guilt sets in. Setting realistic goals allows us to maintain flexibility and stay focused on what really matters.
T: Are they Time-Oriented? Always have an end date. This allows us to track progress and avoid procrastination. We all like a healthy dose of competition and it a great kick start to achieve any goal as we see that date approaching. Remember it takes 4 weeks to make a habit and 8 weeks to see a change, so give yourself enough time to see success, but avoid a long term date that hinders motivation to keep the changes going.
Once you have your goals set, make the commitment to change by signing a contract to yourself. Feel free to print off the goal setting worksheet and contract below to help get the results you were looking for. It’s a New Year, so here’s to the New You!
With the spotlight shifting to preventative measures in health and wellness, it is no wonder that we are looking to new technology and resources to help us determine exactly what our health status is and set goals that will direct us to our optimal state of well-being. Yesterday I had the opportunity to unveil one of Good Measure Meals’™ tools on live TV! Check out Good Measure’s demo of the Tanita SC-331s Body Composition Analyzer on Atlanta & Company!
I had a blast on the show and we had a great response from callers looking to understand their measurements and get help setting wellness goals. Our Tanita Scale is the latest addition to the Tanita Family and increases the amount of information that we are able to provide clients. The scale uses Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis to accurately read a client’s body composition within a minute’s time. Each client receives a printout including:
Our team reviews all of the measurements and assists in setting healthy goals to attain optimal weight, energy intake and state of health. This tool can be used for individuals up to 600lbs and is portable and can be reserved for use at health fairs, biometric screenings, or other health and wellness events.
Pricing: Individuals $30
Group $10/person (minimum 10) or $100/hour or $500/Day(8 Hours)
Feel Free to contact me at email@example.com if you are interested in getting tested or want us to come to your company’s health fair!
Do you know what the above measurements mean and why they are important for wellness professionals to gauge your current state of well-being? Check back in as I go through some of the most important measurements and how you can improve your numbers!
I decided that this two month challenge would fit nicely into a training program with a capstone event (another way to motivate yourself to reach a goal!). While I have always been active in sports, I often struggle with the motivation to participate in solitary physical activity. Years of wear and tear on my body from competitive athletics make it difficult to still compete in sports such as soccer or tennis, so I am leaning towards something that I can train at my own pace, and focus on my physical gain rather than a final score. I have decided that for the first time in my life, I am going to train for a triathlon. As I said, I rely on the social aspect of sports to motivate my desire to workout, so I have enlisted some of my friends to train with me. This is a great way to get started: build a support network of workout buddies and have a mutual goal. I am lucky enough to have some friends that are eager to join my cause and willingly agree to train with me and keep me accountable. Some have raced in triathlons before, but most are newbie’s like myself, just looking for a new passion and a method to increase their health. It is amazing who you can bring together when you pitch an idea on getting healthy!
Step 2: My group has decided that the former swimmer among us will lead the swim training, I will route the runs, and another friend will lead the bike rides along the Silver Comet Trail. Things are looking good. This means that at least 3 days a week I am getting in a different form of cardio and the diversity should keep me from getting bored (another great tip to getting started)! I am sticking to my Good Measure Meals to take the guess work out of my diet- I know that I am getting a balanced diet and the proper amount of carbs, proteins, and fats to facilitate my healthy weight loss. I think I might expand my plan to also include snacks. That way I have an immediate source of energy to replenish after my workouts-wherever I may be! With this new training schedule I am glad to have the grocery and cooking time cut out of my schedule too!
Tune in Thursday for Part 2 on “The Triathlon” and more tips on how to integrate fitness into your wellness plan for the healthy challenge!
Challenge Update: It’s 15 days into the Challenge and I have lost 4 pounds and am feeling great! That is right on target, although there might be some lost water weight in that due to the extreme heat! Better stay hydrated!
It’s the 4th day of the Challenge and I am right on track! I have dropped one pound and seen a difference mostly in my energy level! It is funny how making healthy changes positively influence other aspects of your life!
So I found my pedometer this morning which sparked the idea for this blog entry. A pedometer is the fancy term for a step counter. It clips onto your waistband and counts the number of steps a person takes by detecting the motion of the hips. The more pricy versions will even record the distance your walked (number of steps x step length) and measure calories burned. There are many versions of pedometers out there and honestly, there is a difference in quality. While any pedometer will work as a motivator, not all are accurate. If you purchase a pedometer, do a test first and count out 100 steps and see what it records. The best pedometers will be within ± 5% error.
We obviously use pedometers to count our steps, but what number are we trying to achieve? The US Surgeon General recommends that a daily target of 10,000 steps, as this is the necessary amount to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle. For an adult this is equivalent to about 5 miles, but obviously children should accrue more steps per day.
So I will be wearing my pedometer each day and making sure that I am reaching the 10,000 step mark. I figure if make small daily goals, they will make my big goal of 13 pounds much easier to achieve! On the nutrition front, I am sticking with my 1200 calorie plan from Good Measure Meals(Delicious Golden Harvest Whole Grain Pineapple & Carrot Breakfast Bread this morning! mmm). Between my planned nutritional intake and increased physical activity, I am making positive “strides” in the right direction. My apologies, I just had to throw in the cheesy play on words!
So grab your walking shoes, your Good Measure Meals, and a pedometer and let’s get this challenge moving!
I am often asked what the best methods are to reach your health and wellness goals, and truth be told, there is no simple answer. Everyone is different, and everyone is motivated by different goals, reasons, and opportunities. As the Corporate Wellness Representative here at Good Measure Meals, I am in constant search of new resources to help the folks that I work with achieve their goals, whether it is weight loss, lower cholesterol, or increasing physical activity and fitness levels. I decided that many of our customers might be interested in the tools that I come across, so I am joining Ashley in the social media realm to share my discoveries on our GMM Blog. For the next two months I am going to report on my own quest for optimal health, with the help of a nifty little site I found, www.fitday.com, that allows me to track my daily caloric intake, my physical activity, journal everything from stress levels to moods, and calculate my weight goals based on BMI and the calorie deficit that I must create to get to my goals.
I am more successful when I am held accountable, so I am using this as a tool to help gauge the area’s that I need to focus on and to keep me on track (it actually lets me know exactly how many calories I can consume to get to the BMI that I want by the end of July!). There are many sites out there that can help you manage your health goals and give you tips on how to avoid the obstacles that get in your way. Find one that provides the motivation and structure that you need to make the changes and join me in my summer challenge!
So here is the challenge… Feel free to take it with me and post your challenges and success. I am giving myself 2 months to get to my ideal body weight (Based on my BMI). I advise people to aim for no more than 2 lbs of weight loss per week. More than 2lbs and there are probably negative health implications and will most likely result in only short term weight loss. I decided that dropping 13 lbs would be an acceptable goal for me; not too daunting, but enough to really make a difference in how I feel physically.
So let’s do the math (with the help of the handy dandy FITday site I found):
It takes a deficit of 3500 calories to lose one pound, so I have to either cut calories out of my diet or increase my physical activity to reach that goal. Obviously, the combination of physical activity and proper nutrition is the way to go, so I am looking to create a daily deficit of 758 calories (again the website did the math for me!). So now that I know I need to cut/burn 758 calories per day, I have a measureable goal to keep me accountable! YAY! Between my exercise and 1200 calorie Good Measure Meals, I am set to tackle this new goal!
Here are some resources that might be helpful, should you decide to take this challenge with me!
Calorie Calculator - Scroll down to visit the calculator on the GMM Website. It will suggest how many calories you should consume per day if you are looking to lose or maintain weight.
-Physical Activity Caluclator- This calculator will help determine how many calories you burn during different types of physical activity and exercise.
www.fitday.com a great FREE resource to help you manage you goals. You can insert the nutritional information from your Good Measure Meals in the custom food section, which will speed up your tracking time!
Next Step: Set your goal and join the challenge! The more support we have- the better and sharing success helps motivate others to get started! Good luck!