Choose Hard

Choose Hard.

 

90% of Americans are complacent in life.  Why?  It’s easy and it’s what is being pushed on us.

 

We live at the warp speed of our smart phones (not sure they are really all that smart but we can’t leave home without them.)  We hear a “ping” and our entire mindset is distracted.  It’s actually been proven to be addictive, more so than drugs.

 

We are surrounded with choices that provide instant gratification and can help us feel better in the moment.  Feeling stressed?  Overwhelmed?  Angry?  Choose Amazon, choose the local drive thru, Grub Hub or Shipt shopper.  We actually never need to actually leave our house anymore- it can all be done online and at the click of a button.

 

Easy is what our culture wants us to buy into.  We have unlimited access to processed foods, frozen pizza, candy and alcohol.  Why cook when you can just nook?  Why meal plan when you can just hire a mail delivery service to do it for you?  Why outfit plan when you have Stitchfix to do it for you?  (Okay, I digress, but you understand, right!?)

 

Living healthy is HARD.  It is the hardest thing you will ever do. 

 

You will have to make a grocery list.  You will have to figure out what meals you need for family dinners and lunches during the day.  You will have to physically go to the store, pick out colorful veggies and put them in plastic bags.  You will have to then go home, take them out of plastic bags and chop them up for the week ahead.  You will have to spend a few hours on the weekends getting your meals set up, whether that be chicken, soups, salads or snacks.  You will have to have difficult conversations with your kids or spouse about why there is no longer junk food in your pantry.   You will have to carve out time each day to move your body when you feel exhausted from work.  You will have to keep drinking water when you are sick of going to the bathroom all day long.  You will have to go to bed when you want to watch just one more episode on Netflix or scroll social media to numb the pain of feeling alone.

 

You will have to keep choosing hard when that damn scale gives you zero feedback.  When you did all the right stuff but you still feel ugly, tired or alone.

 

And why?  Why choose hard, when it’s so much easier to just give in and go with the flow of those around us?

 

Because we only get one shot at this thing called life. 

 

And you only get one chance to the be the best version of you. 

 

When you choose healthy, you choose hundreds of options in front of you.  When you choose easy, you choose to be mediocre and fit in with everyone around you.

 

Why not be different?  Why not make a difference?  This world certainly needs people who are kinder, happier, healthier and more confident.  And I guarantee your world of humans needs someone who is kind, happy, healthy and confident too.

 

Choose hard.  Choose healthy.  Choose YOU.  One day at a time. 

Healthy Eating on the GO!

By Kendra Bylsma

Whether your job takes you across the country or your kids take you across town with extracurricular activities, we all must eat. With school sports starting back up for our kids and getting back from two weeks of vacation travel, I know first hand how hard it can be, even as a health professional.  Eating a balanced and nutritious diet on the road is one of the biggest challenges faced by those who spend considerable time traveling.

The “road warrior” lifestyle is one that can create major health issues over time. In a recent study done by Harvard University, researchers found a strong correlation between the frequency of business travel and various health risks, especially those who traveled more than 14 days a month. From higher BMIs, increased depression and lack of physical activity, traveling creates real barriers when it comes to sustaining healthy habits on the road. One of the biggest challenges is eating out.  Choosing healthy foods in an airport, drive through or five-star dining can feel impossible.  But… still possible, with a few key strategies in place:

  1. Power up with protein. Start your day with a protein-packed breakfast that will keep you from being hungry and making less-than-desirable choices later in the day. Whether that means making breakfast at home before hitting the road or enjoying a hotel breakfast buffet, be sure to make healthy, hunger-fighting protein the focus. I love to make an egg sandwich to go or sit down with a scrambled egg veggie hash.  Other options could include a greek yogurt with granola or whole grain toast with peanut butter.
  2. Pack snacks. Snacks have actually come a long way. You can ditch the bag of salty chips for healthy, delicious and filling snacks that aren’t loaded with empty calories. Plan ahead and pack nuts, granola bars, fresh fruit, low-fat cheese sticks or veggie and hummus packs.  You may pay a little extra for things to be “pre-packaged” but it’s worth it if it keeps you on track and cuts down on prep time.  I love the individual hummus containers for my kids’ lunches or my afternoon driving/  Plus, I love Larabars, pre-cut fruit cups, apples with sharp cheddar cheese slice or walnuts and dried cherries in a baggie!
  3. Don’t fear fast food. Fast food or fast casual restaurants are inevitable in life. At Allegro, we don’t believe you can eat clean and wholesome 100% of the time.  It’s all about balance and a nutrition plan that you can live with long term.  When faced with that as your only option, don’t fear the menu. Instead, break it down by entree/sandwich, side and drink and make the best choices in each category. Choose grilled over fried, salad over fries, water over soda, and steer clear of value meals that are only valuable to your pocket book but detrimental to your waistline!

Embracing the Darkness

Embracing the Darkness

by Emma Szczepanek

July first marks the beginning of the second half of the year. For those who are goal oriented, or even for those who are not, this can sometimes spark a new beginnig similar to New Years Day. I always aim for my writing to be uplifting and inspiring, and I wanted to bring you something about fresh starts, but as July carries on, I have realized that a fresh start is not my current experience. I want my writing to be a space of authenticity, and with the veil of social media, it’s easy to make our lives look effortless and perfect, but that’s not real life. We all experience hardship, and to compare our hardships to others “perfect” social media posts makes life a lot more difficult. This space doesn’t need another New Year, New Me post, #MondayMotivation or #lifegoals post. This space we call the internet needs something real.

I have, for a long time, and still do, struggle with my relationship with food and a very distorted body image, and unfortunately, this summer has not been an exception to those emotions. This summer has been hard. I’ve struggled with my body, I’ve struggled with anxiety, and I’ve spent a good majority of my time at the lake or pool worrying more than I have enjoying, but as I explore my emotions, I come to understand that they are exactly what I need to feel.

Five years ago I would have handled these emotions very differently. I would have used self harm and other destructive behaviors to cope. Today, I choose to sit with my feelings, and experience them. I no longer restrict my food intake, I don’t turn to self harm. I pick myself up and try to keep myself in the moment, focus on the facts of the situation, and turn to gratitude, because I know those are the healthiest choices I can make. As I reflect on my 27 years, I understand that my summer experience may not be picture perfect. It may not be Instagramable (is that even a word?), but it is the exact experience I need to continue growing on my journey.

With mental illness and hardships, there are always days where it may feel as though you’re slipping back into old patterns or behaviors. Some days it feels like the mountains you’ve climbed to “recovery” were only small hills, but in those times it’s important to dig deep, and to reflect on those emotions, because in doing so, you’ll realize that you’ve come a lot further than you have given yourself credit for. The simple act of recognizing that old patterns and behaviors are surfacing again, is growth within itself. Recovery is truly a journey and not a destination (sometimes really cheesy sayings are just true, ok?). Five years ago I was lost, ill, and completely unsure of myself. I was willing to follow a well built path to society’s ideas of success, at the expense of my own happiness. Today,  I have a clear vision of what I want. Today I have started to build my own path to the success that I’ve imagined for myself, and that is something that I would have never thought I would do. While yesterday’s emotions may have seemed similar to 22 year old me, my reaction to those emotions was completely different. That is where growth lies. That is what recovery is about. Recovery is not about the emotions you feel, recovery is about the way you deal with them.  

So, yes. New month, new you. New week, new Monday, new morning, new minute. Make the changes you feel you need to make in order to live up to your highest potential, but when things get dark, when old emotions surface, embrace them. Dive into them head first, sit with them, experience them, and then, let yourself grow.

Find Your “Why”

By Jess Welch

Lose 10 pounds in 10 days! Twelve workouts to a flat stomach! Lose unwanted cellulite in just 30 minutes!

Tag lines like these pollute our media and are riddled throughout our everyday lives. Misinformation and misleading titles lead individuals to think sustainable weight loss is as easy as a snap of a finger. This leaves people feeling disheartened and unmotivated with continually fluctuating weights. Not to mention, we live in a society which thrives on instant gratification; thus making the humbling reality of weight loss a tough pill to swallow.

One thing I have continuously learned is this: weight loss is hard. We wouldn’t have an obesity epidemic on our hands if it was easy as pie to avoid… well… pie! Oh, and bacon, ice cream, cheeseburgers, chips, and other sinful tantalizing treats. The old adage of “consistency is key” couldn’t be truer. But those three words are far easier said than done. Too often, I talk to people who have lost a whopping 55lbs in 4 months sometime in their past, gained it all back, lost 20lbs then gained that back too, plus some. The list of weight-loss attempts is never short and too often, I hear defeated voices whisper “I should do better, be better, and have better self-control.” Too many of my clients are consistently reliving their weight loss failures.

The other thing I know about weight loss is this: sustainable weight loss is slow. It is healthiest to lose 1-2 pounds per week. Like I said, sloooow. And when you’re staring at a scale that has a decline as slow as molasses in January, you lose hope.

So why try? Weight loss is difficult and time consuming. Why care? That’s an important question to answer and its one I cannot answer for you. For some people it’s as simple as wanting a pair of jeans to fit or to go to the doctor and finally not receive the advice of “you should really lose weight”. Maybe it’s more clinical, like getting off medications for high blood pressure or getting out of the pre-diabetic range. It could be psychologically deeper, like having a past of bullying or a severe deprivation in self-confidence. Your perception is your reality and once you find a reason captivating enough to make the hard work and patience worth it, weight loss will come easier, I promise!

If you can’t think of your “why”, answer this: What do you gain with weight loss? It could be that size of jeans you always wanted to be in or that number on the scale. You could gain the confidence you never had to rock that bikini you never thought you could. Maybe it’s just the accomplishment itself, the follow through to actually accomplish a goal once thought of as unattainable. Whatever it may be, I urge you to find your “why”. My message is to utilize this as step one in your final weight loss journey to a happierhealthieryou!

 

What, when, and how? Choosing the best workout frequency based on your goals.

What, when, and how? Choosing the best workout frequency based on your goals.

Ryan Pender

Let’s open this up by drawing a poll: How many of you reading right now think about your current exercise program? Maybe you have specific goals and are wondering if you’re taking the right steps to reach those goals? If you’re still reading this, you most likely answered “yes” to one of these questions! Now I’m going to try and peer into my crystal ball and make a bold prediction: you are trying to achieve one (or more) of these three goals; (1) Improve your cardiovascular fitness (getting “in-shape” or running a 10k or half-marathon) (2) Increase your strength/muscle (3) Lose weight. Some individuals can be fit into these three categories, and many of said individuals will inadvertently swing for the fences to try and attain all of these goals at once.

This approach does tend to work with many individuals at the beginning of their fitness journey, let’s think of a fairly common scenario. You’ve signed up at Allegro Coaching (insert shameless advertising 😊) because you’re friend or family member dragged you in, or you made the decision yourself. You started slow, taking some classes and you’re feeling great! A few months go by and you’re going through some tough workouts, you even make a few friends with some of the long-time regulars. Running season starts and your workout friends start signing up for 5k/10k/marathons, and you start thinking to yourself, ”Hmm, I wonder if I can do that?” You do couple of fun 5k runs, a 10k here and there, and you’d like to step things up and get a little more serious. Where do you go from here? Maybe instead of wanting to run more you want to start getting serious about building muscle to show off your guns for beach season, or you want more specific results for weight loss. Regardless of what fitness-based goal you have, there is something called the F.I.T.T. principle (Frequency, Intensity, Time, Type) that we can bring in to help you focus into developing a training program. *Disclaimer*- If you haven’t done so yet, get your Allegro Baseline Assessment (A.B.A.)! You can speak with one of our fantastic personal trainers who can develop the best possible program for whatever results you want to achieve. Best news, the A.B.A. is free!

I won’t get into all of the details of the F.I.T.T. principle, rather I’ll give you the most important points to hit for our 3 broad goals; Cardio, Strength/Muscle, Weight Loss.

Cardio: Running, walking, biking, skiing, etc.

Frequency: If your goal is to complete a run, race, or ride, your optimal frequency will be to train 3-4 sessions per week. Does that seem like not enough running upon first glance? Pacing yourself is incredibly important, especially if it’s your first race! These days off will help your body recover (which is almost as important as the training itself), and eventually give you days to fit in some very beneficial core and strength training to your schedule.

Intensity: Whatever length of event you’re training to complete, it’s a good idea to start slow. Using running as an example: it’s a good idea to see if you can complete 30-40% of the race distance (approximately 4-5 miles for a half marathon) at a slow pace roughly 3 months from the event and go from there. If that 30-40% distance was pretty long and tough, that will be your “distance” day, which you will run once per week. Pair that with one short run (2 miles) at a slightly faster pace, and one more run that’s in the middle of your long and short runs. Try to add a mile to your middle and long distance runs each week, keeping your short runs at the same distance!

Time: Given that many events are distance based, time doesn’t have as much application as it pertains to the time allocated to training. However, it is important to note when you have time to train. Knowing if you will get to trainer before the kids get up, or later in the day is important. Remember this if you have a big goal: you don’t find time, you make time!

Type: If you’re training for a specific event, you’d be calling me Captain Obvious if I told you “You have to run if you’re running a race!” However, it is important to consider cross training with strength/core workouts and flexibility/mobility on your “off” days. This is where classes such as A-Fit, Circuit Training, CXWORX and personal training once or twice a week can drastically improve your performance and prevent running injury.

Strength/Muscle: *Disclaimer*- If you are reading this section and think to yourself,” I don’t want to bulk up, I just want to tone up!” Physiologically, there is no difference between muscle growth and muscle “toning.” Muscle tone simply refers to having a certain amount of muscle mass with a low enough bodyfat percentage to see the muscle. In a nutshell: “Toning up” requires you to build muscle, decrease bodyfat percentage, but your best results would come from a combination of both. Any product or professional that tells you otherwise is just trying to sell you something, and don’t you dare fall for it!

Frequency: The frequency for strength training can fluctuate based on your schedule and goals. You can get away with training 2 days per week but also push to train 5 or 6 days per week. Research has shown that both high and low frequency methods produce the same results, as long as your weekly volume (the total number of sets and/or reps) stays the same. So you can get the same results with training 2 or 3 days per week (focusing on full-body workouts) as you would training 5 or 6 days per week (focusing on one or two body parts per workout), just as long as the number of sets and reps stay the same. I’ve experimented with both methods and the results are the same…although I personally prefer to train 5 or 6 days because I can focus much more on what I’m doing.

Intensity: Whether you are lifting weights, using bands, or doing bodyweight exercises, it’s all considered “resistance” training! The goal here is to use a load that will fatigue your muscles after a certain number of repetitions. The general rule of thumb is this: use a resistance that fatigues your muscles within 6-12 repetitions (for muscle growth) or 2-6 repetitions (for strength), and complete 3-5 sets using that resistance for each muscle group. Since we all have different bodies that respond differently to exercise, some individuals may see more muscle gained from heavier loads!

Time: The amount of time will depend on your training frequency. If you’re training 2-3 days per week, your workouts may need to be longer (up to an hour or more) to make sure you hit all of your muscles groups. Conversely, if you train 5-6 days per week, that would allow you to have shorter workouts (30-45 minutes).

Type: Anything is game here! You can use dumbbells, bands, TRX, bodyweight, it all depends where you are in your journey! This is also where taking a circuit class, A-Fit or doing personal training would cover all of your bases!

Fat Loss: This is either good news or bad news, 80-90% of your fat loss will come from nutrition. However, you can manipulate exercise for some added benefit of fat loss or muscle gain/retention.

Frequency: Try to exercise most days of the week (4-6 depending on the intensity).

Intensity: You can mix this up quite a bit. If you don’t have time to dedicate a full hour, try to increase the intensity of your workout if you only have 20 or 30 minutes! This is where Les Mills GRIT is fantastic, you get a great High-Intensity Interval Training (H.I.I.T.) workout in a short amount of time!

Time: For easy to moderate workouts or steady-state cardio (walking, running, cycling), try to shoot for 20-60 minutes for a good amount of fat burn. More intense workouts can be shorter, 20-30 minutes.

Type: Everything under the sun! Cardio will help with increasing fat burn, strength training will help to build and maintain muscle, and H.I.I.T. training will help cover both areas!

Believe it or not, that is the short version of how to program for your specific goals! If you feel like you need help or you want someone to take out the guess work for you, sign up for your A.B.A. and our team of personal trainers will get you started on the right track!

 

5 ways to get your extra servings of veggies in!

Hide it:

It’s the easiest way, even for the most pickey of eaters. Maybe you don’t like the taste of a lot of fruits and veggies, or maybe eating them alone or raw is a complete turn off.

  • Add broccoli to Mac & Cheese give your comfort food some extra nutrients
  • Spinach in your smoothie! I promise you won’t even taste it.
  • Add an extra can of tomatoes to chili.
  • Peppers and onions on tacos or fajitas.

 

Spice It Up:

If there was a choice of steamed veggies with no seasonings in a buffet, there is a good chance that I would pass and just get the fries. Make the veggies fun add some spices make the potatoes garlic and herb, or cajun or taco style. One of my favorite brands of spices is Mrs. Dash because It’s all the flavor without the added sodium. In the past Mrs. Dash had only the original flavor. However, if you go to the spice isle today there will probably be an entire section of just Mrs. Dash with flavors ranging from spicy cajun to tomato basil and onion. A little olive oil and a dash of seasoning can go a long way when you are making vegetables.

Make it colorful:

There are a ton of health benefits to eating a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables. Eat the Rainbow! It’s not just about the broccoli, green veggies and lettuce, they are great for you but colors other than green are good too. If you want extra detail on how all of this works, check it out at http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/110308p34.shtml

 

Pick it with a plan:

Do not  just buy a vegetable from the grocery store because you were told it’s good for you. If you are not going to eat it, or do not have a plan to eat it, it can add up to a lot of expensive food  rotting in your fridge. The plan does not have to be some extravagant dish that takes you hours to make, unless that’s what you wanted. Sometimes the plan can be as simple as washing your produce, cutting it up and leaving it on the counter during the day to snack on. The point is, only buy it if you are going to use it.

 

Make it pretty:

Much of what we choose to eat is based on how the food looks. Over cooked soggy burnt vegetables are unappetizing regardless of the taste. If the food looks gross you probably would not even taste it to see if it is better than it looks. Try not to overcook your veggies. Grilling, sauteing and blanching veggies can keep them looking as delicious as they taste. If it takes adding cheese to your broccoli to eat broccoli, do that. Make it the way that you know you will eat it!

 

If you are looking for more specific recipes on ways to add fruits and veggies to your everyday foods feel free to shoot me an email, I’d love to talk food with you! jenabartholomy@gmail.com

10-Minute Meals to satisfy the whole family

Hi friends, Coach Kendra here. One thing I completely understand is life is busy!  And at the end of a busy day, the last thing you want to think about is whipping up a fancy dinner.  As a busy mom of three, a wife and a small business owner, I am right there with you. The pressure to be great at cooking is big, I know. In fact, I grew up with a mom that was an amazing cook.  She could whip together a meal in no time at all, but it typically involved a 9 x 13 pan with ground beef, tater tots, canned soup and frozen veggies.  Oh, and jello with canned fruit on the side!  I’ve had to learn how to cook meals that are not just healthy, but are kid friendly and require minimal time in the kitchen.

Want in on my little secrets?

Practice makes perfect

I don’t know of any client or friend who lives a healthy lifestyle and doesn’t learn to enjoy cooking, at least somewhat.  You may hate it now, but it’s not as bad as you think.  Maybe you just need to start by getting your kitchen more organized and set up for success.  For example, do you have enough counter space to assemble meals, chop vegetables and have a great system for all your cooking utensils?  Maybe you need to start in the pantry and stock up on staples that you can rely on during busy week nights.  Things like canned tomatoes, beans, salsa, marinara sauce, chicken broth and spices.

Simplify

Do you feel as if you’re in complete disarray when it comes to meal planning systems? Don’t worry, you’re not alone! You just need to find a system that works for YOU.  I recommend having a visible meal planning board in the kitchen, so you know that tacos are on Tuesday, skillet night is Wednesday and lettuce wraps are Thursday.  I also recommend that you simplify your existing collection of recipes.  I’ll admit, I have recipes in my cabinet that I have never even used, or made it and didn’t like it.  Get rid of them!  You really only need 10-15 great go-to recipes a season.  SIMPLIFY!

Time management

I can’t spill all the beans but my last tip would be to better utilize your time at night.  Mornings for me look like a chicken with its head cut off.  It’s just plain nuts.  I’m lucky to get my hair up in a pony tail some days.  If you have a few minutes at night, use that commercial break or time cleaning up around the house to prep your dinner for the next day.  Place chicken breasts in a zip-lock bag and add olive oil, seasoning to marinade over night.  Ground turkey up in a skillet with olive oil and chopped onions.  Add taco seasoning and you have taco salad, taco soup, taco pizza, taco whatever all week long.  And who doesn’t love the handy dandy crock pot?  Dump and cover.  Now that is my kind of cooking!

Enjoy some of my favorite go-to 10-minute meals below.  For a complete list of recipes or to schedule a LIVE cooking workshop at your workplace, email kendra@allegrocoaching.com!  You can also check us out on Pinterest to see some of OUR favorite meals at Allegro!

 

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps 

  • asian2 chicken breasts pounded very thin and chopped into small pieces
  • ½ cup water chestnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • ½ cup shelled edamame
  • ½ white onion, diced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ hoisin sauce
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha sauce
  • 1 head butter lettuce or iceberg lettuce

 

Drizzle a large pan with olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add chicken and next 4 ingredients to large pan. Sauté over medium heat 5-10 minutes until veggies are tender and chicken is cooked through.  Add remaining ingredients (except for lettuce) to the pan. Stir and sauté about 5 minutes longer. Serve in lettuce leaves and top with additional sriracha sauce.

 

 

Easy Creamy Crock-Pot Coconut Curry Chicken

curry

  • 2 lbs chicken breasts, cut into chunks
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 1 (6 oz ) can tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala (can be found in regular grocery stores)
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

*arrowroot powder acts like cornstarch

 

 

Heat coconut oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute’ for 4 to 5 minutes, until translucent. Add garam masala, curry powder and chili powder and saute’ for 1 minute, until fragrant.

Stir in coconut milk, tomato paste, salt, and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and add arrowroot powder. Whisk until the lumps are gone, turn off the heat.

Grease the inside of your crock pot bowl with a bit of olive oil. Add chicken chunks, pour the sauce over it and stir to coat. Cover and cook on low setting for 5 hours.  Serve over cauliflower rice.

 

 

Taco Stuffed Avocados with Adobe Sauce

  • taco4 avocados, sliced in half and pitted
  • 1 package of ground turkey (or 1 lb ground beef)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced
  • 1 teaspoon adobo sauce
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves, chopped
  • Salsa

 

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Cook turkey in a skillet until brown (add taco seasoning for extra flavor).  Place ground turkey and shredded cheese inside avocados and bake for 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, mix sour cream with adobo sauce and pepper.  Dice tomatoes and cilantro and garnish your avocados with toppings and serve warm!

 

Farmers Market Frenzy

farmers market 1

Farmers Markets can be a wonderful way to find fresh, often organic, foods; along with other fun, unique goods. After going once, you’ll be hooked. But if you’ve never been, here are some great tips to follow!

First things first, you need to find a farmers market. You might be surprised how close one is to your home or work. Check out Local Harvest to see what’s near you!

 

Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of how to shop at a farmers market!

Tip #1: Bring cash
Most farmers markets are cash only. While some might accept credit cards, it’s unlikely.

 

Tip #2: Timing
Timing is everything. If you want the biggest selection and freshest produce, arrive right at opening. Shopping later, however, allows you to barter with the vendors, most do not want to take home their products.

 

Tip #3: Check everything out first
Make a loop around the entire farmers market first. You don’t want to get to the end of the market, find something you’d love to try and have no cash left! As well, some of the vendors may be selling the same items, so don’t be afraid to price shop.

If you expect to be at the market for a while, make your larger purchases towards the end of your trip so you do not have to carry them around.

 

Tip #4: Be prepared
Vendors may not always have bags on hand, so it is best to come prepared with your own bags and containers. As well, it’s never a bad idea to have a cooler with ice in your vehicle to keep everything fresh; especially if you’ve got a long drive home or other places to stop.

 

Tip #5: Buy in season
You can get some of the best tasting in-season foods at farmers markets. Check out this great, frequently updated list from The Rapidian to see what is in-season when.

 

These are just a couple simple tips to get you through a farmers market. You’d be surprised by the fun items you can find and great deals on foods you frequently purchase at the grocery store.  Plus, if you have kids, they’ll LOVE walking around, talking with farmers and learning new things.
Not sure what “organic” means or why you should purchase organic? Check out our blog “What’s up with this “organic” food?” for helpful information.

 

You can’t out train a bad diet

bad diet1A few days ago, I finally got to organizing some of my old pictures books in the basement. {Keep in mind we just moved into our new house two months ago so I think I am doing pretty good here!}  I started paging through my college year books and remembering the “good ole days” of playing basketball, watching 90210 and thinking I was SO cool at the weekend party house.  Those were the days when my breakfast consisted of two massive bagels with cream cheese, a huge bowl of cinnamon toast crunch, all washed down with a large vanilla cappuccino.  And I still had wash board abs.  I was working out five hours a day as a collegiate athlete.  So those late night pizza runs or binge drinking weekends didn’t even matter when it came to my weight.  Now…fast forward to today, when I am closer to 40 than 30, and realizing that you just can’t out train a bad diet. Period.
 
Whether your goal is to lose weight, maintain weight, PR in your next performance event or just be healthy, this pertains to YOU.   Research now shows that an unhealthy diet will cause more disease than physical inactivity, smoking and excessive alcohol, combined.  It’s time to clean up your diet and fuel for success!
 
First of all, most of us underestimate the number of calories we actually consume in an average day.  If you find yourself justifying frequent pizza nights or late night appetizers with friends for a spin class or A-Fit workout the following day, you may want to recalculate how many calories you are actually burning in comparison to the ones you are taking in.  This is where a heart rate monitor like the MyZone will help you fine-tune your workouts and Myfitnesspal can help you stay on track with your caloric intake.  
 
Second, to really change your physique and stay toned requires INTENSE exercise. You won’t have the physical endurance to push through tough workouts if your diet isn’t up to snuff. Yes, that unfortunately means that while Reese’s Pieces and soda may give you a sugar high that you mistake as energy, they won’t fuel you to PR on the squat track or around the track.  Also, if you consume high fat foods in the evening, they could be disrupting your sleep, which will leave you too tired to go all out at the gym.  
 
Finally, if you are feeling “unmotivated” to even start an exercise program, it could be because of the daily foods you consume.  Whether you are eating too much fat, too many calories or not enough of either; it can make you feel slow and less driven to exercise at all.  Diet and exercise are a feedback loop and go hand in hand.  
 
So the bad news is that you can’t get away with pop tarts and bagels every morning, nor can you eat like you did in college.  But the good news?  We’ve got the solution to help you get started fresh.  It’s called the 21-Day Slimdown and it is PERFECT if you need to get back to basics and need some guidance and accountability to achieve quick and easy results.  You’ll get your own personal nutrition coach, a guided meal plan, Shakeology to eliminate cravings and pump your body with over 70 super foods and greens daily….PLUS the education and motivation to stick with it day after day.  Better yet, we’ll throw in 3 weeks of free classes so you move to eat and eat to move!  And that’s a win-win feedback loop!  
To start your 21-Day Slimdown, please contact amanda@allegrocoaching.com
21 Day Slimdown no person (1)