Tag: calories

Holidays…family, friends, and FOOD!

Holidays…family, friends, and FOOD!

This is the weight-gaining, cookie-eating, mouth-stuffing time of the year!  It’s the time of the year when people eat cookies, cupcakes, chips, dips, and other sugary and salty foods.  It’s the time of the year when diets seem to be filled with more junk food than fruits and veggies.  It’s the time of the year when there are parties, potlucks, and events.   And, it’s the time of the year when health educators and counselors know what to expect come January when New Year’s resolutions come around!

I am getting ready to cook my “gluten free” Thanksgiving this weekend so that I can actually enjoy it!  Otherwise the day of Thanksgiving I get stuck with meat and potatoes without all the other lovely sides that fill the Thanksgiving table (but are often filled with gluten)!

As a way to cut back on fat and to reduce the calories in my gluten free dishes I will be making roasted brussels sprouts and corn with a couple of slices of bacon rather than a corn casserole or corn pudding which are filled with heavy cream, cream soups, and other fattening additives.  This is a great way to reduce fat and calories while still having great flavor.  The bacon will provide flavor along with chili powder, but since the two bacon slices will be divided among 6 people the amount consumed is very little.

My homemade mashed potatoes will feature part cauliflower.  That may sound awful to some, but I promise you won’t taste the cauliflower and it will save a ton of calories!  I will also use potatoes, but I will combine them with cauliflower to reduce the calories and add some veggies.  I will use reduced sodium, reduced fat cream cheese or greek yogurt to add creaminess to the potatoes.

I will not have bread since I will be making cornbread stuffing.  I made cornbread with reduced fat milk and will make the stuffing using reduced sodium chicken broth.   To save calories, it is great to consider how many “bready” sides or carbohydrate sides you will serve with your Thanksgiving dinner.  Consider having stuffing or bread, pie or cake, with more sides filled with veggies or fruits (i.e. brussel sprouts, corn, green beans, cranberries, mixed fruit, sweet potatoes – healthier than regular potatoes).

If your family does a green bean casserole each year consider roasted green beans, grilled green beans (these are delicious!), or pan seared green beans to cut back on the creamy soups, butter, and fried onions that are all high in calories.

Remember to fill your plates with more veggies than “bready” items and when you go back for seconds fill up on the veggie sides rather than more stuffing, bread, pie, and other high calorie dishes.  Oh, and take a quick walk before or after dinner so your food doesn’t sit in your stomach all day or all night.  You will thank yourself later when your food has a chance to digest rather than sit and make you feel miserable all night! 🙂

Happy eating, enjoy spending time with your friends and family, and have fun making new memories that you will remember forever!

~jj

#ProjectKindnessBook

#AlwaysChooseKindness

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Bacon?! Yes, please!

Bacon?! Yes, please!

Who doesn’t love a great sweet or maybe bacon?  Who was completely bummed by the new research that the World Health Organization aka WHO released this week about bacon, sausage, and hot dogs?  I have to admit that this was information I already knew, but information I never really want to hear (or at least not see plastered across every media outlet known to planet Earth).  I think everywhere I looked I saw articles, broadcasts, and posts reminding me of the harm of these foods.  Depressing, right?!  Or maybe not, maybe just news we needed to hear, be reminded of, and information to make us more well informed people about what we are shoving into our mouths each day (sometimes even me, on occasion)! 😉

On my list of nutrition improvements I continually have 1) Reduce sodium intake 2) Decrease sugary foods and 3) Increase naturally flavorful, non-processed foods (i.e. fruits and veggies, proteins in their most raw form).  Salts and sugars are an ongoing health concern that can always be improved no matter where you are at on your fitness and health journey.  Since the holidays are coming and Halloween is just around the corner it makes following these nutrition goals a bit difficult (even for me), but I have some tips that may just be the key to your nutrition success!

Remember that salts and sugars are often heavy additives in processed foods and of course in candy.  It is important to think about how much salt and sugar is in your diet (cereal, candy bars, sandwiches, pizza, salads, etc) – most people eat three times or more servings of the recommended amount of daily sodium.  That’s scary, especially considering heart disease and cardiovascular concerns are the number one killer.

To cut down on salt and sugars, consider eating more naturally sweet or salty foods that don’t have as much added to them for flavor.  Fruits like watermelon, strawberries, apples, oranges, and pineapple which are naturally sweet are great choices.  Decrease processed meats, chips, cheese, and other salty foods and consider eating foods that are in their more natural form such as chicken, fish, and other meats that you can control how much salt is added.  For desserts, consider a dessert that has fruit in it or a dessert that has a fruit topping such as pudding or mousse with fruit. Further, when it comes to cakes, cookies, pies, tarts, and other sweets make them from scratch so you can control the additives, preservatives, and other ingredients such as sugar and sodium that are placed in the dessert.  Sometimes you can make a less sweet cake, cheesecake, or tart and add fresh fruit that makes it less sugary, but still tastes delicious.

It may seem like a heartbreaker that bacon isn’t good for you and may cause cancer or that cookies like snickerdoodles are high in sugar, but it isn’t something we didn’t already know.  After all, we don’t think fried cheese, pickles, and chicken are good for us, do we?! 😉  Like I say, everything in moderation.  Life is too short not to enjoy the things we love (on occasion)! 😉

~jj

#ProjectKindnessBook

#AlwaysChooseKindness

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Lunches: Soups, Salads, Sandwiches & More!

Lunches: Soups, Salads, Sandwiches & More!

It’s the summer months and soups, salads, and sandwiches seem to be go-to lunch choices for many people.  These can be relatively healthy items if you make sure you are diligent in how you make them or how you order them at your favorite restaurant (mine is McAlister’s:-) ).

During the week, I usually bring salads, lettuce wraps, or sandwiches to work.  One thing that I consistently have heard time and time again is that salads are not filling, they seem boring, and it tends to lead to snacking later because the person still feels hungry.  My best advice is to make salads frequently enough to where your body gets used to light, healthy lunches.  Further, load salads up with a variety of vegetables and fruits, nuts, craisins, deli meat, and other great add-ins.  I like to make a variety of different hearty salads throughout the week.  The key is to make different salads each day so you don’t get bored with them.  For example, I make chef salads, Olive Garden type salads, garden salads, Cobb salads, etc. that have different add-ins and different dressings. Just be careful putting too many add-ins in your salads such as cheese, croutons, dressings, or lots of bacon because these quickly add to the calories and can make a healthy one not so healthy!

For sandwiches, I typically use lettuce as my “bread” to make lettuce wraps.  These are easy, delicious, and save calories.  You can use different varieties of lunch meat and cheese to change things up such as turkey, ham, salami, roast beef, and provolone, mozzarella, colby jack, etc.  I typically enjoy the ultra thin cheese slices, but that’s up to you.  If I do make a sandwich using bread, I try to do a 1/2 sandwich and a 1/2 salad to keep it healthy.  Again, your choices are endless to what you like so you can change it up easily.  Just remember that condiments and sauces typically add a lot of extra calories to your lunch!  I try to stick to one condiment on my sandwiches such as mustard or light mayo (I also really like dijonnaise).

If you aren’t a “make and take” type lunch person because you can’t get yourself to make it the night before or can’t get yourself up early enough in the morning to make it, consider places that have great soup, salad, and sandwich combinations.  I suggest that you always get a salad with your meal and then choose a soup or a sandwich.  The greens are great for you and the sandwich or soup can be your less healthy choice.  Remember that cream-based soups tend to be higher in calories just like bread for sandwiches.  Also, be sure to ask for dressing on the side so you can control how much you put on.  I am a huge fan of McAlister’s Deli because they accommodate my food allergy.  Plus, they serve a great variety of salads and sandwiches that allow me to change things up, which I enjoy during the summer months.  One thing about McAlister’s is that it seems very healthy, but the calories add up quickly if you don’t pay attention to what you are ordering. They have a list of spud, soup, salad, and sandwich combinations on their website that are under 600 calories.  Check it out if you are curious on how many calories your typical go-to meal is!

Lastly, with your lunches and during summer in general, many people enjoy iced lemonade and iced tea, but remember these popular summer drinks add on the calories and are usually high in sugar.  You may think having a healthy meal will allow for the extra add on calories for your summer drinks, but be aware of what you are consuming.  Remember that your best option is to estimate your calories as best as you can so you aren’t mistakenly eating a “healthy” soup, salad, or sandwich combo that is actually as much as two meals combined.  Sometimes eating your sandwich at lunch and then taking your salad for later in the afternoon or vice versa is a great option.  Consider reading Find what works for YOU! and All about eating! for other great tips on eating such as full versus stuffed, eating small meals, and pacing yourself when you eat.

Happy healthy lunching (and eating)! 🙂

~jj

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Food cheat? Only in moderation!

Food cheat? Only in moderation!

Sorry for the short hiatus!  I have no excuse…I wasn’t on vacation, I really wasn’t any busier than normal, and I actually have a lot of health inspiration so there is no reason for why I haven’t posted lately. 🙁  I hear people say all the time this is my cheat day, so I can eat whatever I want today, but for today only.  Other times I hear people say it’s the weekend so I can eat what I want because I workout five days a week.  I also frequently hear people say they have cheat meals where they can eat whatever they want.  I think one important thing to remember is that while allowing yourself to enjoy all food groups and pleasures in life is great, it is still equally as important to exercise the idea of moderation AND considering the calories you are putting in your mouth.  With that being said, rather than having a cheat weekend, cheat day, or cheat meal, consider having a partial cheat meal whereby you eat a dessert after dinner or you eat fish for dinner, but still have fries as a side or you have scrambled eggs with mushrooms and spinach and a few slices of bacon as a side.

It is important to recognize that moderation needs to be considered when it comes to health, wellness, nutrition, and exercising.  My advice to people who want to enjoy some of the food luxuries in life, but still stay on a well-balanced diet is to consider eating cheat snacks or partial cheat meals.  I recently had a salad for dinner with no meat and then decided after dinner I still wanted something else and preferably something sweet.  I had a small cupcake after my salad and really found that it made more sense to have a salad and a small cupcake rather than a large unhealthy dinner followed by a large dessert.  My salad was filled with lots of veggies and greens that were great for me and then the cupcake was just a hint of cheating that satisfied my sweet tooth.  The best bet?  Choose not to have a large piece of fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, and cornbread followed by a large piece of chocolate cake or have an all you can eat buffet followed by dessert.  This is an overabundance of calories that ruin an entire day (or even week) for a person because of the large amount of calories that are being consumed in just one meal.  Instead choose to pair the healthy with a small indulgence or treat that can accent the meal or be a small token of what you are craving rather than eating a large unhealthy meal and dessert.

That’s a wrap!  Go enjoy a great salad and a cupcake or your dessert of choice (just don’t go overboard with a large dessert such as a carrot cake, or a brownie sundae with chocolate and caramel sauce and whipped cream.  Enjoy your small cheats in moderation because I promise that you will feel better when you’re done, enjoy less calories, and won’t feel sick from over consumption!

~jj

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Stay-cation or vacation, just make it an active one!

Stay-cation or vacation, just make it an active one!

Sorry for the almost-a-month long hiatus.  I took a short break to spend time with family over the holidays, enjoy some relaxation, and go on vacation with my boyfriend to Europe.  Our time in Europe was quite lovely and what I liked most about it was that it was an active vacation!  After walking mile after magnificent mile going from place to place in Europe I realized how much I absolutely love it there.  I have always dreamed of having a job where I can either walk, bike, or bike/walk to work.  That is something that was a majority in Europe (biking and walking everywhere and by everywhere I literally do mean everywhere, everywhere, everywhere 😉 ) and is probably one reason why you don’t see many, if any, obese people there.  I would say Americans could learn a thing or two from them!  I found it to be refreshing and fun, and a little exhausting, too!  My point is that whether you go on a vacation like me or enjoy a stay-cation at home remember that you can always make it an active vacation, which is my favorite kind!  You can go to Europe where staying active will not only be easy, but also unavoidable 😉 You can go on a beach vacation and take walks or jogs along the beach or you can go on a mountain vacation and go skiing.  Just remember that when you go on vacation, don’t just throw your workout out the window.  Consider small workouts, walks, and exercise routines that will keep you moving.  If you’re enjoying a stay-cation, consider hikes, organizing and cleaning to keep you busy, or other small routines that keep you active.

Once I got home and gave myself a few days to recover from the vacation and get back into the correct time zone after the jet lag, I got myself right back into my workout routine.  The week I would be starting back my workouts just happened to be Christmas week, but after taking 9 days off it was important to get myself back into the groove of life.  I got up Christmas morning and decided to hit the workout room before any Christmas festivities got under way.  Plus, all my Christmas fun is typically on Christmas Eve.  Anyway, back to this Christmas workout when my mom decides to semi-jokingly and semi-sarcastically say, “You just have to workout, don’t you?”  As if somewhat sickened, yet proud that I hold the will and motivation to workout on Christmas Day when many people do not hold the same discipline or expectations.  I know she knew in her mind that either way no matter what that I was going to workout because we had no plans or restrictions that would prevent me from fitting in a quick 30 to 40 minute workout.  Not to mention, for me, it is important to stay true to myself and my health, meaning I make it a priority even during the holiday season.  As I expressed to my mom, it’s the time of year when we all tend to eat a little more, eat a little less healthy, and eat until we feel like we might pop because we are so full.

My point?  Remember that you should try to keep the promises you make to yourself and goals you have for yourself, even during the holiday season.  That means sticking to your workouts, taking walks, and doing short exercise routines in-between holiday parties, festivities, etc so your friends and family understand that health is very important to you.  This keeps you in your normal routine and rhythm so that come January you are already in your same workout routine and schedule rather than taking a long hiatus from Thanksgiving through the New Year when you eat more calories and can easily slip into the winter slumber of not working out.  If you take a hiatus be prepared for a difficult time when you start back up again.  It makes it that much harder to get back into the swing of things, get your body and routine back in sync, and fulfill new resolutions that you should have never given up or done away with for a month to begin with.   Don’t feel guilty if this is what you did, but consider making changes next year  to keep your healthy lifestyle routine all year round!

So whether you are going on vacation, enjoying a stay-cation, or intertwining the two as I did during my holiday season, make it an active one that keeps you moving, gets you going, and helps you maintain a healthy lifestyle in the process!

Happy New Year, may 2015 be the year for exercising, good eating, and healthy lifestyle choices for you and yours!

~jj

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Tis’ the season for healthy casserole dishes!

Tis’ the season for healthy casserole dishes!

Winter is upon us again and with the cold weather comes lots of holiday favorites and casseroles being baked for dinners, parties, and holiday festivities.  Casserole dishes and holiday favorites tend to be full of cheesy, creamy, delicious goodness, which is also known as endless calories in the minds of dietitians and an extra 10 pounds in the minds of many people.  I thought it would be appropriate to share some tips that will help keep casseroles healthy, but still satisfy our appetites!  There are great ways to keep casseroles healthy this holiday season while also incorporating tons of great flavors.  People often think that without the pound of butter, whole milk, pound of cheese, or heavy cream that dishes lose their flavor, and that is definitely not the case…I promise!  Keep reading for some great tips to maintain the flavor and decrease the calories in your casseroles this holiday season…you will thank me later! 😉  There are 3 major tips that I think are beneficial when making casseroles.

First, consider replacing cream of mushroom, cream of chicken, and other cream soups with plain Greek yogurt, which you can flavor with garlic, salt, pepper, onion powder, etc or even add regular, low-sodium broth soups such as chicken broth or vegetable broth to flavor your dishes without the added calories.  Further, try to buy items that are fat-free, low fat, low sodium, or sodium free.  For example, green bean casserole calls for cream of mushroom soup, so replace it with Greek yogurt and vegetable stock.  Be sure to check the labels because sometimes low calorie, low fat, and low sodium items can be deceiving.  By this I mean that sometimes they have other equally bad ingredients for you, so you have to determine which products will be best.  This is why plain Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, and other plain, non-flavored items that are less processed can be great because you can add the flavor you want to them.

Second, cut back on the dairy products if possible and yes, this includes cheese!  I know how awful that sounds because cheese is delicious, but I am not saying cut it out completely.  Rather, be cognizant of how much cheese you are putting into your casserole dishes, especially if they have other dairy products in them such as heavy cream, milk, and butter.  What I mean by this is that a veggie casserole can easily be made unhealthy and fattening by adding tons of cheese and cream of mushroom, cream of chicken, and other cream soups.  Milk, heavy cream, cheese, and other dairy products can quickly add calories, making healthy veggie casseroles unhealthy.  So the best thing you can do is stick to what recipes call for.  If the recipe calls for one cup of cheese, use one cup of cheese rather than a cup and a half to add additional cheesy goodness.  I realize it is the holiday season, but I promise you that your guests will still love your casserole side dishes and will appreciate the fewer calories in their already high calorie holiday meal!

Third, stick with vegetable casseroles or vegetables rather than carbohydrate-heavy or starchy casseroles that are high in calories.  I realize that many people love potatoes and what says Thanksgiving more than turkey and mashed potatoes?!  I am not suggesting that you completely do away with your mashed potatoes, but consider doing a split in your potatoes of part potato and part cauliflower.  Also, consider having one potato casserole or mashed potato dish rather than several.  Instead, make up for the fewer starchy dishes by having several vegetable casseroles or vegetable dishes such as sweet potatoes with brown sugar and pecans as a side dish rather than sweet potatoes with marshmallow fluff on top.  Some other options might be brussel sprouts with bacon, butternut squash with a butter sauce, or honey and balsamic glazed carrots.

Enjoy preparing your holiday dishes and remember that while the holidays are a fun time, it doesn’t mean you should give yourself the excuse to eat whatever you want and as much as you want!  While it might sound like a novel idea at the time, it won’t be when you gain 10 pounds, can’t button your jeans, or feel so full you want to bust!  So, make some healthier casseroles that encourage cleaner eating, but still impart great holiday flavors that you and your family enjoy!  Happy clean eating this holiday season from my table to yours!

~jj

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Burn the calories you eat…even if that means counting calories!

Burn the calories you eat…even if that means counting calories!

Ever hear the saying don’t count calories?  Or counting calories doesn’t help you lose weight?  So here’s how I feel about this and I have said this time and time again and I am going to keep saying it because I truly believe it…Everything in moderation!   While counting calories may not help you lose weight, it will help you maintain your weight.  You may not lose weight by counting calories, but I can promise you that you will likely gain weight by not counting them.  It is best if you count your calories and make sure you are burning enough calories based on your fitness goals and ideal weight for your height and age.  If that means counting calories, then you should do it!  And yes, I realize counting calories is extra work and not the most fun thing in the world, but losing weight once you put on the extra calories isn’t the easiest task either.  It’s better to fix or curve the problem from the front end before it starts rather than try to fix it from the back end after it is spiraling.  And to be clear, I am not saying count calories one for one; take a guess and round to make it easy on yourself.  Have a benchmark and estimate in your head.  This doesn’t have to be homework or something you write down unless that is what is going to help you be accountable.  For me, I usually keep a going tab “in my head” and basically click the reset button at the beginning of each day.  It’s not a weekly tab, just a general daily caloric intake count so that I can ensure I am burning as many calories as I am consuming in order to maintain a healthy body weight.

Further, it is best to not only count your calories, but also consider what you are putting in your mouth!  So rather than treating your body like a garbage disposal or trashcan, consider what you are putting in it.  Counting calories to some people means you can eat whatever you want as long as you stay within your desired caloric intake range, but that’s not always the best way to think about it.  You should also consider what is going to help fuel your workout, what will help build muscle, and what will make you feel the most energetic.  It is often said that eating junk makes you feel lethargic and lazy, which can often lead to poor results when you workout because you don’t have a high energy level to push yourself during your workout.  So my best advice to you?  Read and remind yourself of the graphic below.

~jj

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Pack a lunch & make ahead dinners…saving time, calories, and money!

Pack a lunch & make ahead dinners…saving time, calories, and money!

I actually knew exactly what I wanted to talk about this week.  I am an avid lunch taker because I don’t like eating out during the week.  There aren’t enough choices (especially for someone with a food allergy) and it is so expensive to eat out.  I can buy a package of crackers, cheese, and lunch meat, carrots, apples, and other miscellaneous lunch items that will last me a week or more for the same price of what many people pay for eating out for one lunch!  Not to mention, it is much healthier and I can save some calories that will later allow me to indulge my sweet tooth with a sweet treat (if I so choose)!

The number one complaint I hear from people who eat out constantly?  I don’t have time to pack a lunch and there isn’t enough time for me to make a dinner in between school ending and after school practices and activities beginning.  My response?  I do NOT buy that as a viable excuse!  Sorry to all those who find that offensive.  We ALL have very full schedules and lead very busy lives, but making a lunch takes about 30 seconds to 2 minutes (and yes, for those who do not believe me, I have timed it out)!  You can pack a lunch and do 10 or more jumping jacks during the commercial of your favorite show in the evening! 😉

The next complaint is how to make dinners even when your life seems so crazy that nothing more feels like it can be squeezed in.  Some wise words my mom once told me are, “You can always find a way and have the ability to put more on your plate.  There’s always a way to do more and fit more in no matter how busy you are.”  The solution for all the busy parents, educators, workers, and people in the world?  Make a plan for the week on Sunday by sitting down and making a menu for the week as well as making some dinners ahead of time, too.  For example, make crock pot meals, make ahead casseroles (there are plenty that can be made in healthy ways, if you need some inspiration feel free to ask me or visit Pinterest and the hundreds of other recipe websites online), and consider eating leftovers at least one day a week which can be an ultra time saver if you are in a huge hurry!  You can make frozen dinners that can be pulled out of the freezer, prepare chicken, steak, or other meats over your weekend that can be thrown in salads, quesadillas, casseroles, fajitas, etc. and can make dinner a cinch to pull together at the last minute.

I understand time is often precious and there never seems to be enough of it…ever…even when you get up 25 minutes before your kids, go to bed 30 minutes earlier, etc, but I do know that you will thank yourself if you prepare your meals for your family.  They will not only be healthier, but you will save money, time, and calories by making food ahead.  Further, and maybe most importantly you will also be bringing your family together for a meal, which is one of the most precious memories you can make for you and your kids.  Memories at the dinner table are often some of the greatest memories you can give to your family, friends, and others!  P.S. Remember that you will also have more luck with your weight loss and fitness goals if you pack your lunch and make your dinners because you can control the portions and what’s in the meal (sodium, fat content, oils, etc)!

~jj

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Yummy, yummy to my dessert tummy!

Yummy, yummy to my dessert tummy!

We all have a sweet tooth of some kind for some type of dessert.  You may not be a cake eater, but you might like pies, cookies, cupcakes, ice cream, brownies, candy, or some other type of sweet indulgence.  I often hear people say they have cut sugar from their diet and my first question is why?!  The most common response is to lose weight for a specific event or occasion (i.e. wedding, swimsuit season, class reunion, etc).  It really doesn’t make much sense to me because you lose the weight for the event or occasion and then gain it right back so it isn’t done to maintain a healthy weight and sustain it over time.  Removing sugar from your diet as a “cleanse” or way to lose weight is almost like a punishment to yourself (and possibly others) because your mood changes, you crave sugar, and once the period of time, event, or occasion ends you tend to overindulge yourself with sugar until you feel sick and sometimes even guilty.

What’s my point or better yet what’s my solution?  Build dessert into your meal and calorie count for the day.  For example, if you know you will be eating dessert after dinner, base your total calories and portions for that meal prior to dessert.  If you usually eat 650 calories at dinner, but know that you will be eating dessert cut your calories at dinner to 400 and then allow yourself a 250 calorie dessert.  This helps reduce your portions prior to dessert so that you don’t over consume by adding an additional 250 calories to your typical 650 calorie dinner.  If you don’t cut calories and portion out your meal to consider dessert, think about how many calories you would eat if you have your usual 650 calorie dinner and decide to add on a 250 calorie dessert.  You would have a total of 900 calories for one meal, which is almost half of what a woman’s total daily caloric intake should be!

My final point?  Be cognizant of how many calories you are putting in your mouth, be well informed about how many calories you SHOULD be eating based on your gender and age, and lastly remember that portion control is just as important as what you choose to put in your mouth!  So eat nutritious and eat within boundaries!  Below is a general calorie count for men and women based on age and activity level.  Please realize it is a little bit different for every person based on their fitness level, health and medical history, etc.  Also, remember that as we age our metabolism tends to slow down decreasing the amount of success we see in burning calories when we workout.  In other words, as you age it may take more effort and a longer workout to burn the number of calories you once burned at a younger age.  Don’t feel discouraged though, no matter what, if you are working out you are definitely doing your mind and body a favor and making me proud (because you are helping me change the dynamics and statistics in America which will take time to do)!  Oh, and just so you got the moral out of the story:  Don’t cut out sugar, enjoy a dessert on occasion, key words being on occasion!  You will feel better, do much better, and see more success if you maintain your diet by eating in moderation rather than cutting food groups.  That saying “everything in moderation” that you are always told and hear is actually true! 😉

GENDER CALORIES (Moderately Active) CALORIES (Active)
FEMALES 

19-30 years old

31-50 years old

51+ years old

 

2,000 -2,200

1,800-2,000

1,600-1,800

 

2,400

2,200

2,000-2,200

MALES 

19-30 years old

31-50 years old

51+ years old

 

2,400-2,600

2,200-2,400

2,000-2,200

 

2,800

2,600-2,800

2,400-2,600

(Courtesy of http://www.choosemyplate.gov)

~jj

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Extra steps…make the most of your day!

Extra steps…make the most of your day!

I was visiting Chicago over the weekend and one thing I love about being in the city is all the walking that it allows.  I also learned that they have a new bike program in which the city has biking stations all over the city.  For example, you can pick up a bike at Navy Pier and ride it for a half hour and get to where you need to go and then turn it in and hop on another bike for your ride to the bus station or wherever your next stop may be.   For a relatively cheap membership, you can utilize this biking program.  Point being, that the city helps make biking and walking two great forms of exercise!  So, consider biking or walking to work or when you have errands to run (if this is an option that might work for you)!  I know that many of us are not fortunate enough to do either as we live too far outside of town or it is unsafe to do so, but if by chance you can bike or walk to work, try it!  It doesn’t mean you have to do it everyday, start with once or twice a week and see how you like it!  It’s a great way to get in your workout since schedules tend to be busy and time seems to be scarce during the week!

Another great way that my boyfriend and I get extra steps when we are vacationing is to use the stairs when we are in hotels.  Rather than using the elevators, we use the stairs to get extra steps into our day.  I suggest you do the same.  You can also use the stairs at work and any other stairs you encounter throughout your day.  Other quick ways to get your steps in that may seem out of the ordinary are walking to the mailbox to get your mail rather than pulling up to it in your car, jogging in place or doing some type of exercise when you are pumping gas, and not parking close to the store doors so you can walk farther.

While I realize that exercise and vacation don’t tend to be two things we associate together or two things we like to put in the same sentence, I am not suggesting that you hop on the treadmill or do a run, but that you allow yourself to utilize the quick and easy exercises that might be at your fingertips.  Often times vacationing means extra calories because we eat foods with higher calories, splurge and have dessert, or even just eat more than we might usually.  Meals tend to be less structured as lend to less healthy choices.  Hence, it is important to consider quick steps you can get during the day to help counteract the extra calories being consumed.  While I realize that a break from working out is a great way to refresh and revitalize your body and mood, exercising on the beach such as beach yoga and beach jogs can also be rejuvenating and relaxing.  Next time you think about your day – vacation or at home – think about the things you can do to make the most of your routine and day!  You may be surprised at how many extra steps and exercises you can fit into your day without much thought or change.

~jj

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