Sunday, October 31, 2010

Need A Lift?

by Kris Pitcher

Need a lift? Depending on how you celebrated your Halloween night you may have woken up in a bit of a fog. Too much witches brew, one too many trips to the buffet table, and way too many fun sized treats has you feeling like you've been tricked. Sugar hangover, not enough sleep and you can't quite remember if you did the safety dance...or if that was just a nightmare.

There's a remedy for all of that. You need a lift! Get up, get moving, and get hydrated! Sorry party people, no hair of the dog. Let's get you back on track. A cup of coffee and it's out for a walk, or to the gym. You know the drill. And fill up that water bottle before you go. Feeling sleazy...I mean queasy? You need to eat. Dehydration means loss of electrolytes including potassium, magnesium, and salt. A healthy meal with some lean protein, complex carbs and healthy fat will have you feeling good in no time.

But here's the important part: Don't beat yourself up for having a good time. Sometimes when we over do it we feel like a failure. We feel like we couldn't stick to our plan. The truth is, we're not prefect. You didn't know? We also need to be able to enjoy things now and then. That being said...learning moderation is the key to our success. So if you slipped off the wagon...well grab hold of my hand, I'm about to roll by and give you a lift!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Protein Packed Pumpkin Cookies

by Kris Pitcher

Who doesn't love a protein packed pumpkin cookie! What? You've never had one...well here's your chance to enjoy all this season has to offer. Pumpkin is packed with fiber, potassium, vitamin A, and is low in calories at 80 calories per 1 C. So, preheat the oven to 350 and let's get baking!

Protein Packed Pumpkin Cookies:

  • 1C pumkin

  • 1/4 C applesauce (look for no sugar added)

  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

  • 2 T protein powder, vanilla

  • 1 T honey or agave nectar

  • 1/2 C mini chocolate chips

  • 2 C rolled oats (you can whirl in food processor to make oat flour, or use whole - works either way)

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Drop by spoonfulls onto baking sheet and press down slightly. Bake for 15 minutes. Makes 12 cookies. Enjoy!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Glaring Flaws Revealed!

by Kris Pitcher

I had a mortifying moment this week. By nature I am not an excitable person. Calm under pressure, I can manage my way through the most unimaginable crisis. But this Wednesday as I hung my coat on the hook in my office, what I saw sent me literally screaming down the hall.

I had just walked back from the YWCA Women of Achievement Awards luncheon. This high powered event brings out upward of 10,000 of the most influential, powerful, successful, accomplished, upcoming, women and men in our city. Susan Stamberg of NPR's All Things Considered was the keynote speaker. This event fills our convention center. It's huge.

Craddling the coat in my arms I ran to the person who I know would tell me if I had spinach in my teeth. Yelling OMG down the hall, when I get to her office door I present the coat, "LOOK!" I tell her. "That's a cute coat." she says. "LOOK, IT HAS THE TAG ON IT!" I exclaim.

"Put it on." she says. I guess she's calm under pressure too. I put it on and turn around. "You can't even see it." she says. "Just a little bit, but the blue part and it blends in. You can't see it."

Now I have to imagine if anyone saw my tag, they would have said something. Oh, just a minute you've still got your tag. But my friend is right - nobody saw it. And people don't see our glaring flaws, or what we think are our glaring flaws.

That thing you hate about yourself, the way your hair flips or that curve over there. The way your right hand is a little bigger than your left. How you're a little fuller here, or your tush is kinda flat. Fill in the blanks here. Nobody notices.
The reason they don't notice - these are not glaring flaws. So the next time one of these sends you screaming down the hall, take a minute to look in the mirror for that self check. I bet it's no big deal.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Spot Reduction, Armed and Ready!

by Kris Pitcher

Some things that I share with you are my opinion, which I don't hide. Other things are just plain science. That's where we are today. Science. Super simple lesson for today: Our bones make up our structure. Our structure is covered by skeletal muscle. Our skeletal muscle is insulated by a nice protective layer of fat. Remember any of that from school? Fat tissue, or cells, and muscle tissue are different tissues. Think of them as apples and oranges. Apples don't become oranges, and oranges don't become apples. Follow me there? Hold these thoughts.

That stuff that swings when you wave at your arm at friends...that stuff is fat. Your triceps muscle group (on the back of your arm) is underneath the fat. But it's the fat that is swinging when you're done waving. We know that fat does not become muscle, yet people always want to know what exercise they can do to get rid of that?! When they ask the question, it's usually accompanied by an arm extension motion or something similar to the chicken dance. This indicates to me they think there's a dumbbell exercise to do the trick. What exercise? I'll tell you what exercise, CARDIO!

But that's not all. We need to build that poor little triceps underneath too. Spot reduction for swinging arms, and anywhere else, is myth. Getting rid of that stuff takes a combination of cardio, strength training, and eating clean. And the order in which you put your insulation on & take it off is somewhat genetic, thanks mom and dad.

We're going to talk a lot about building muscle (don't be scared), cardio and eating clean over time. For now, you are armed (pun intended) with the understanding that muscle and fat are different tissues. Different! This is important as you wade through bogus information and build a plan on realistic expectations. Dispelling myths is easy once you are armed (couldn't help it) with information. Now you're armed and ready!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Must Have Party Eating Survival Tips!

by Kris Pitcher

It's time. The office party is in the next two days, followed by a weekend of fun and the whole season could slide out from under you after that. You're about to feel like a preteen surrounded by big kids wielding a pack of cigarettes. "Just one isn't gonna kill you!" they'll taunt. Some days I'm undecided if people want to be bullies, or if they are just trying to help you participate. Regardless of their intention, let's talk about a few party eating survival tips to help keep you on track while you're out there having a good time.

Planning ahead goes a long way. Just thinking about what you'll do in the situation is important. Remember the sex talk you had with the kids (or you're going to have)...Not the part about how you embarrassed them into deafness, but the part about considering your options in a situation...before you're in it.

The simple party eating survival tips:

  • Eat a small healthy meal before you go, some lean protein & leafy greens
  • Drink moderately, if at all - this is a whole other topic, but you're a grown up, water in between, limit yourself to 2 adult beverages
  • Enjoy the party and the guests rather than the buffet table - now there's an idea
  • Make good choices at the buffet table - meat & vegetable tray good, gooey unidentifiable cheesy dip...I don't have to even tell you that one
  • Choose fruit over sugary sweets
  • Chew a piece of sugarless gum - this is my favorite survival tool!
  • Drink seltzer water with lime - nobody will know the difference!

Now that you've got a few party eating survival tips and tools you won't have to feel like you're surrounded by big bullies. Thinking ahead about how you will handle a party situation is key to success as you navigate through the holiday season. You can still participate, have a good time, and even eat without giving up all your hard work. Now you tell those big kids to lay off! Your friends are coming and they're gonna be sorry!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Take Action, Get Results!

by Kris Pitcher

It's time to take action to get fitness results. And we're not going to tip toe around this one. Actually, tippy toeing isn't a bad idea. I know that half of you have those shapers shoes in your closet...sure there's some bio mechanical design to help you "tone" your legs. But news flash people, they work because you're walking. I wish I'd thought of that.

Let's move on. No really, let's get moving on toward our goals. We talked about the realities of needing more cardiovascular activity in order to really make changes. Here's the good news: you can accumulate those minutes! Yes! 15 minutes three times a day and you're above your 30 minute minimum. And that's going to get you results!

Don't be a hero, adding just a few more minutes at a time will get you greater success in the long run. Already doing 3 days a week? Great! Gather up a buddy and add one more day. Think about making small changes. Hey, I can live with that, and you can too! And those shapers aren't walking themselves... It's time to take action toward your fitness results!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Potty Mouth

by Kris Pitcher

I'm sitting in the stall, quietly minding my own business when..."Hey! How's it goin'?" My head shrinks down in my shoulders and I bring the toes of my shoes just under my slacks a bit more. "Me?!" I think to myself, but then the outside voice goes on. "Oh, I know...that was amazing, we have to do that again...yeah that works, bye."

I guess I'm one of those people who would prefer that you don't talk to me while were in the public restroom together, and if you do...I will let you know with a non response. I'M BUSY! But that's not what this is about.

Did you know that the most common cause of bacterial infection is fecal-oral. Read that one more time. Maybe say it out loud. Fecal-oral. Now, I know that you wouldn't talk on the phone while you were going to the bathroom. And I certainly know that you're not purposely mixing potty business with phone talking pleasure here.

But public restrooms are not clean places. I don't care what that check off sheet hanging on the wall says! Think about it, you've touched the door, the lock, you've done your duties, you've touched the lock, the door - and then you washed your hands. And that's how everyone else does it too. You did wash your hands really good right? So if you go in that stall and think it's your phone booth...fecal-oral. Keep it clean this cold and flu season and wash your hands, and by all means don't be a potty mouth!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Protein Packed Pancakes!

by Kris Pitcher

Sunday's are about recharging in mind and body. Slow mornings, an extra cup of coffee while reading the paper - this is a day filled with ritual and family traditions really. For a lot of people, Sunday holds the family tradition of eating breakfast together. Yummy breakfasts, gooey, drippy, stacked up breakfasts! Mmm!

I've had this one in my back pocket for a while, but when I heard the raindrops this morning...I knew people would be in their pajamas cozied up ready for breakfast. So here is my favorite protein packed pancake recipe.

2 eggs

1/2 C cottage cheese (fat free)

1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 C frozen blueberries

2 T peanut butter (Adams)

Mix & drop by 1/3 C-fulls, cook on med/low heat in a sprayed pan. Makes 4 [100 cal/14 gm protein/3gm fat/3gm carbs]

You can enjoy your family traditions by making a few alterations to the old standbys. I would be surprised if your kid would eat this, so make those special Mickey Mouse shaped Bisquick ones for them. This protein power packed nutrition's for you!