Radio Segment & Blog – June 28/17
With Summer vacay’s upon us, it’s easy to put exercise and healthy eating on hold, so I’m going to give you some tips to keep up with these good habits!
First, I’ve shared some great exercises that can be done with a piece of equipment we all own – our bodies! Body resistance training is really popular and for good reason, because the exercises involve using large muscles so often they will raise the heart rate so you get some cardiovascular benefit as well. As a result, you get a lot more bang for your buck and you engage more muscles including the core.
There’s always a way to squeeze in a workout, no matter what your situation.
Planks: Get into pushup position on hands and toes, or elbows and toes. Contract your abdominal muscles to prevent your back from arching or your butt from sticking up in the air. Keep your back straight and hold the position for one minute. Modification: can be done from knees until you can build up to the entire minute on your toes. Then try adding raising one leg or arm up back or to the side.
For variety and to engage more of your obliques (muscles that wrap around your waist), do a side plank from feet or knee. Lie on side with knees, hips and shoulders stacked. Lift hips up as high as possible and hold for 30-60 sec’s.
Lunges: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and step one foot forward, landing heel first. The knee should be at 90 degrees and directly above your toes. Do 15 reps. Switch sides and repeat. Hip raises (bridge): Lying down on your back, bend your knees and plant your feet on the floor. Relax your arms placing hands by your sides. While looking straight up at the sky, lift your hips and buttocks off the ground making a bridge with your pelvis. Slowly lower down. Repeat 10-15 times
Squats: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, hands on your hips. Lower your hips to the ground while keeping your back flat. Make sure your knees do not go out past your toes. Return to start. Do 15 reps.
Mountain Climbers: This exercise that get your heart rate up fast while also firing up nearly every muscle group in the body—shoulders, arms, chest, back, abdominals and legs. It’s truly a fully body workout! Start in a plank position with arms and legs long. Draw in your abdominals and drive one knee into the chest then switch legs quickly. Continue with right, left, right, left knees “running” to the chest. Prevent bouncing up and down in your body by keeping abs tight.
Dips: Great for the back of the arms, this exercise can be done using a sturdy chair, park or picnic bench, off of the edge of a sofa, a kitchen counter, or any solid surface. Facing away from the chair, place hands on arms of chair, bend knees, keep torso long and abs strong. Bend elbows and lower torso towards ground, keeping hips close to seat of chair. Lower down until arms are bent to a 90 degree angle, and then lift body back up (resisting the urge to lift up pelvis or glutes), returning to the starting position. Due to natural flexibility in the shoulder joints, it is important to avoiding locking them on the way up. Perform 10-20. To modify, do on ground. To intensify, move legs farther away from body, straightening (but not locking) legs.
Bird Dog: The Bird Dog exercise is a classic core exercise that emphasizes lower back strength and balance. If you’ve never done it before, the first few reps may seem a bit awkward and difficult to balance, but once you get the form down, you’ll want to make it a staple in your exercise program. It’s also great to increase kinesthetic awareness (where your body is in space and time).
Next I’ll give you some of the healthiest items from some popular fast food restaurants.
The healthiest items from fast food restaurants
Since the beginning of the year, all restaurants with 20 or more locations have started to post calorie counts on their menu boards for all of their food items, and while that gives you some information to make a decision, it doesn’t tell the whole story. It doesn’t tell us which dishes are lowest in sodium and sugar, or higher in satisfying fibre, protein or healthy fats, so here’s some insight to look beyond the numbers and think about which dishes are going to satiate us longer.
Strawberry Mango Chicken Salad
432 calories, 5 g fibre, 35 g protein, 19 g fat, 930 mg sodium
Made with lettuce, fruit, grilled chicken, feta and sunflower seeds. I like it because you’ve got a really nice balance of fibre, protein and healthy fats. And while it is high in sodium, you can cut this down significantly by using half of the dressing packet and half the feta cheese which will cut out about 200 mg of salt.
Small: 190 calories, 4 g fibre, 16 g protein, 5 g fat, 870 mg sodium
For under 200 calories for a small size, you get a solid amount of fibre and protein. I would avoid adding more sodium with the crackers on the side, and instead if you want to beef this up into a meal, maybe order a side garden salad and serve this like a taco salad on top so you don’t even need dressing.
Peach Raspberry Yogurt Parfait
300 calories, 5 g fat, 105 mg sodium, 4 g fibre, 10 g protein, 5 g fat, 47 g carbs
I love this option for a snack or breakfast because it’s got a nice combo of fibre, protein and fat, without the salt bomb. If you want to cut back on some of the sugar and carbs, you can omit the granola on top (about 100 calories) and ask for a packet of their Nut Medley which adds the crunch you crave, plus those satiating monounsaturated fat, for about the same amount of calories, but without the sugar from granola.
With a hardboiled egg, fruit, natural peanut butter, cheese and multigrain bread, you get a nice selection of satisfying snacks with 14 grams of protein and 5 grams of satisfying fibre, plus healthy fats, without a massive sodium overload. If you want to cut the calories and carbs a bit, you can skip the multigrain bread and simply dip the apples in the peanut butter.
Calories: 360 kcal, Protein: 14 grams, Carbohydrates: 37 grams, Total Fat: 18 grams Fibre: 5 grams, Sodium: 520 mg
Asian Sesame Fusion Grilled Chicken
Salad: 250 calories, 10 g fat, 320 sodium, 26 g protein, 5 g fibre.
Dressing: 110 calories, 9 grams carb, 7 g fat, 280 mg sodium, 1 g protein
I like that its got almost 30 grams of protein from chicken and edamame, 5 grams of fibre from all the veggies, plus healthy fats from the nuts. It’s also relatively low in sodium on its own, so if you can get away with using half of the dressing packet, you’re in really good shape.
290 calories, 11 g fat, 760 mg sodium, 16 g protein, 2 g fibre
It’s one of the simplest orders, but its also one of the best ones. For under 300 calories you’ve got a decent amount of protein and some healthy fats from the egg and you can trim the sodium and fat by skipping the cheese (about 50 calories, 4 g fat, 140 mg sodium) and asking for no butter (50 calories, 6 g fat, 50 mg sodium)) on the English muffin.
Chipotle Grilled Chicken Wrap
430 calories, 27 grams protein, 1060 mg sodium, 3 g fibre, 40 g carbs, 19 grams fat
I like that this has the optimal amount of protein for a meal- 27 grams, so somewhere between 20-30 grams, plus some fibre as well. And while it is still very high in sodium, if you remove the chipotle sauce and cheddar cheese and ask for extra lettuce and tomato, you can cut about 150 calories calories and 250 mg of salt.
Harvest Vegetable Soup
Small: 80 calories, 590 mg sodium, 4 grams protein, 2 grams fibre, 14 grams carbs, 0.4 grams fat
This is a great, low calorie add on with a healthy amount of protein and fibre. It’s also the lowest sodium soup so it’s a nice accompaniment to a wrap if you need to bulk up your meal a bit.