Friday, April 22, 2011

Slow Roasted Sweet Potatoes

I've been absolutely obsessed with the crockpot lately, and not just the crockpot, but a certain recipe. We've actually made it a weekly thing. On Fridays it's a given. Sweet Potatoes from the crockpot. I put it together in 5 minutes, head out the door to teach, come back and they are done to perfection and ready for eating.

Crockpot Sweet Potatoes
2 medium sized red potatoes (or use 2 sweet potatoes if you don't want red)
1 large sweet potato
3 tblsp. of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tblsp. of Rosemary
Salt and Pepper to taste
This recipe feeds me and Brad perfectly. (serving size 2)

Cut all potatoes to however you want. Sliced or cubed. Throw in Crockpot and put in the olive oil, rosemary and s&p. Put on Low for 2 hours and enjoy one of the simplest side dishes you'll ever taste.

Whenever I am craving potatoes, I always make sure to get the medium sized, red. They are less starchy and have more fiber in the skin. If you want to skip the starch/red potatoes all together, Sweet Potatoes are always your best bet!

Sweet Potatoes are loaded with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, and is loaded with Fiber. That's just the tip of the ice-berg. They have a low glycemic index so they don't spike your blood sugars, and they are excellent for your skin. Just to name a few of the benefits.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The best way to get rid of belly fat.

I can't tell you how many times a week I get the question, "what can I do at home for my abs?", or "what is the best exercise for my stomach?". I'm here to tell you the answers to those questions, and fill you in on how to shrink that gut! Dozens of crunches, on their own, are not likely to help you lose the gut. What does work is a full body exercise routine that builds muscle all over. Since muscle burns calories even while you're resting, having more muscle helps to melt fat all over, including the belly. The best plan is regular cardio/aerobic exercise, resistance training, and of course a healthy diet. One of the main things, without fail, have my class focus on during the aerobic exercise is flexing there stomach. Most people don't know that if you're stomach is flexed during a workout, not only does it help stabalize the back and torso, but the stomach ends up getting just the same amount of exercise as the rest of the body. If you are a firm believer in those crunches, I recommend doing them AFTER you get that heart rate up by either cardio, or resistance. For example, if you're a runner, tone your stomach after your run to get better results. Also, you can always help tone that stomach all through out your day. Did you know that flexing your stomach for 5 seconds equals one crunch? Well now you know:). So get in the habit of flexing that stomach all day long, and while your burning those calories those muscles will start to shine. Another way to get rid of bloating (mostly for us women) is fixing that posture so your torso is nice and straight, and take deep breathes. In through the nose, out through the mouth. While you breath out slowly, keep that stomach flexed. Repeat as many times as needed or until your bloating is gone. It helps with stress relief too!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Starting over!

Every one of us hits a point where we've either lost motivation, our drive, or our reason to eat healthy and exercise. If you've never hit that point, will you please leave a comment of your deepest secrets of how to avoid that? Thank you.
For the rest of us, it comes whether we like it or not. We live in a time (and country) where food is everything. Our entertainment, our pleasure, our moods, and every part of our day is revolved around what time it is simply so we can eat. With so much of our lives being surrounded by food it's hard to avoid the good stuff (unhealthy). Little by little, taste by taste, we lose our drive.

Unfortunetely staying motivated is a life long goal. So it's absolutely normal to fall a little behind and need that boost back up. For some of us, it might be every day or every year. No matter how often we lose our motivation, we all go through it.

I have a few tips that have helped me with food and exercise that I'd love to share in hopes that it will help a little:).

2 things to remember before getting started with eating healthier:

1. Take each day meal by meal. Don't ever get motivated and say you're going to eat healthy for the rest of the year, or even month. Promise yourself you're going to eat healthy for the next meal. That's all you need. Meal by meal.

2. The last bite tastes the exact same as the first. Portion control is a never ending battle, but doable. Definitely doable. Something that helps me with dessert is to keep telling myself that no matter how much I eat of this cake, brownie or doughnut, every bite will taste the same. So 1-2 bites is all I really need. After that I'm just making myself sick and that ruins the whole experience for me.

2 tips that help with having the drive to exercise daily:

1. Exercise doesn't have to be 1 hour of sweat and nausea. It simply has to be 20 minutes of getting that heart rate higher. A walk outside, grocery shopping, cleaning, biking, weight lifts between commercials, rollerblading. Next time you feel like you're not in the mood to take 1-2 hours of working your hardest, stop and tell yourself today is a "half an hour of walking" day. It's as simple as that. People that end up skipping an exercise class or their normal routine end up doing nothing that day. It's not all or nothing. It's all or keeping it simple. If today has to be a simple day, then it's a simple day. Don't forget you're body all together just because you're not in the mood to run. Find something more enjoyable and less straining.

2. Do what you love. If you don't love something that keeps you active, then you haven't found it yet. There are more than a million ways to stay active and exercise. If you've decided that the only way to stay active is running or are very mistaken my friend. Find something, or a routine that you look forward to. If you don't look forward to it, then I can promise you it won't be a part of your life for that long. Trial and error. Go for a hike in the mountains. Don't like it? Try something else. Learn to swim. By a pair of roller blades. Invest in a new stroller that makes it easier to run/walk with your kid. Save up money and buy 10 new songs that you've been wanting for some time. All these small and simple decisions will lead you to more firm habits that are harder to break and a healthier you. Once you find that something that you love, you will know because it won't be something that you dread, it will be something you can't live without.