Category Archives: Fitness

Cycling MealsCycling Meals

We all need food to fuel us. A cyclist needs to pay particular attention to make sure they’re fuelled to perform at their peak.

But the struggle to consistently eat healthily and ride strong is hard. That’s why I’ve prepared a list of nutritious, convenient meals that are super easy to access and make.

In fact, you’ll most likely have some of the ingredients in your garden already.

 

Oatmeal cereal

Oatmeal is one of the simplest foods to prepare – all you need is some water, a pinch of salt and a few minutes of your time. Perfect for someone as lazy as me!

You can spice up the flavor by adding healthy topping combos like cinnamon, dates and coconut flakes; peanut butter and ripe banana slices; or just simple brown sugar and milk.

Oats are a low GI food, which means they’ll fill you up for longer by releasing energy slowly into the bloodstream. So they tick all the boxes by being satisfying, delicious, convenient and nutritious.

For some more ideas check out some of the ideas on active.com.

 

Vegetables

If you want to grow big and strong you need to eat your veggies, at least that’s what my Mum always told me. Ten years on and I’ve found out she wasn’t making it up!

You need at least five portions of fruit and veg per day. That’s because veggies are filled with all the essential nutrients that your body needs.

When it comes to options, the greener the better, although it’s also advisable to eat the rainbow to your heart’s content, as each vegetable color variant contains different vitamins and minerals that all benefit you as a cyclist.

Vegetables are also much lower in calories and higher in fibre than the usual foods we consume. Less calories is great for those watching their weight, but cycling burns lots of calories, so make sure you’re eating enough to power those pedals!

Experts over at Bicycling have some great tips on the best veggies to keep you nourished while on your ride.Garden vegetables
Fish

Fish is an excellent source of protein, and it also contains healthy fats like Omegas 3 and 6. You can prepare fish steamed or cooked, although it’s advisable to stay away from fried fish as they contain Trans fats, which might slow you down over time

Here’s a great fish taco recipe by USA Cycling Marathon Team member Sonya Looney from Outside Online

 

Nuts and Seeds:

Nuts and seeds are a fun snack to enjoy while you’re out on the road and they make the best substitute for unhealthy junk food. They’re jam-packed with good fats and consuming them regularly can help lower your body’s production of bad cholesterol.

Nuts and seeds also help to fight inflammation in the body, which is one of the leading causes of diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, infections, and allergies.

You can enjoy nuts and seeds as they are or you can blend them up with water, herbs, and spices to create a variety of nut butter and dips.

 

Eggs

If you have a few chickens running around your garden eggs are a light but satisfying source of protein to add to your diet. You can enjoy them boiled, fried or lightly cooked, and then season them lightly to add some flavor.

Getting enough protein into your blood stream is important if you want to continue cycling effectively, as it builds muscle, promotes post-workout recovery and plays a significant role in immune function.

You can of course use supplements to get enough protein but proper food is always preferred.cycling meals

 

Coconut water

Depending on where you live it’s entirely possible to find these falling into your back garden! According to Global Cycling Network, coconut water is one of the healthiest and most convenient ways of getting nutritious hydration for your workouts. You can just enjoy it as it is or you can make it fruity with cucumber, strawberries, kiwis and apples.

Staying hydrated has the potential to improve your performance exponentially and the more you ride and sweat, the more hydrated you need to be. So, make sure to add some coconut water to your arsenal of body strengthening and hydrating tools for more efficient training.

 

When To Eat It All

Cycling Weekly advises consuming a carb-rich meal at least 20 minutes after an intense race, as the body tends to absorb the nutrients more efficiently during that period.

So carb up post-work out while including some protein and good fats to strengthen your body and to keep a clear head throughout the race.

Hopefully, these tips will help you to maintain a balanced and healthy diet that’ll help you ride at your peak as often as possible.

 

Authors Bio:

Mike McLeish is the owner of the bicycle blog Pinch-Flat. He’s currently taking full advantage of the of the warm weather in SE Asia. You can find him cycling through traffic in Kuala Lumpur, attempting to drink coffee from a plastic bag, or eating Nasi Lemak at a local corner shop. Follow him on Twitter at @Pinch_Flat.

We all want to be healthy and live a healthier life. There are many simple steps we can take to do this.

Beware of liquid calories. When you drink a sugary beverage, you don’t feel as full as if you had eaten the same calories from solid food. Studies show that people consuming sugary beverages don’t compensate for their high caloric content by eating less food, thus resulting in weight gain!soda

A simple rule to remember is one Lewis First, MD and Jerry Larrabee, MD suggest to parents. This advice would be good for us all to head. Their daily remedy calls for a “5-2-1-0” prescription. That is 5 servings of fruits and/or vegetables, two hours or less of screen time, one hour of exercise and no sugar-sweetened beverages.

Understand the natural sugars vs the added sugars. Soda is the number one primary sour e of added sugars in Americans diets. Added sugars are those that don’t occur naturally in food or beverages. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans advise that you limit intake of added sugars as they cause weight gain and can prevent you from eating more nutrient rich foods.

Avoid fruit juice, even though fruit juice has more nutrients, it still contains as much sugar and calories as soft drinks!

Here are several ways you can save calories by making healthier choices.

Instead of drinking a medium café latte made from whole milk (265 calories) try a small café latte made with fat free milk (125 calories).Cafe LatteInstead of drinking a 20oz bottle of non-diet cola with your lunch (227 calories) drink a bottle of water. (0 calories)

Instead of drinking a 16oz sweetened lemon iced tea from the vending machine (180 calories) enjoy a sparkling water with natural lemon flavor (0 calories) or brew your own glass of iced tea.

At dinnertime instead of drinking a 12oz glass of non-diet ginger ale with your meal try a plain glass of water or one with a slice of lemon or lime (0 calories).

With just these simples steps you will save yourself over 670 calories!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I don’t talk very often about my Beachbody involvement. Maybe I should? It has changed my life!

I became involved in Beachbody in February. My daughter was a coach and she was holding a 21 Day Fix Challenge group. I knew I had weight to loose and figured I could do anything for 21 days!

You may wonder what the 21 Day Fix is all about. It is not another diet, it’s about eating just the right portions, and following a simple 30-minute workout each day and enjoying a nutritious shake each day.

Three essentials, water, your meal plan and Shakeology!

Three essentials, water, your meal plan and Shakeology!

The simple eating plan takes you step by step through the process and makes portion control so easy you won’t even have to think about it. Instead you can just enjoy delicious, healthy food without counting points or calories! The simplicity of this program equals success. I started seeing results immediately!

The exercises vary each day and include total body cardio, upper body, lower body, Pilates and Yoga. In the four months I have been following this program I have lost over 20 pounds and a total of 19 inches! My clothes are now too big and I feel so much stronger and have so much more energy!

The best part of the workout is the accountability with the Challenge Groups. A Beachbody Challenge Group is a small group of like minded individuals all working TOGETHER to help each other achieve their fitness goals! We all need a push now and then and a little motivation goes a long way. By having a personal Team Beachbody coach and the support of fellow challengers you are going to get the best results from the program. These small groups are on Facebook under a private setting so only your fellow group members see what you are posting. You make the commitment to check in each day even if it is only to say you got the workout done. Over the course of the three weeks the encouragement you get from the other group members will help you finish strong and see results!

I’m so excited about the results I want to share the program with everyone! I really thought I had come to a time of my life where I was getting older and not exercising as much and the extra weight was just part of life. However it is never to late to change your habits and improve your life style. All you have to do is commit! The workouts have challenged me. In the beginning I would modify the exercises, there is a woman in the DVD who modifies all the workouts. I would follow her. Over time I have now been able to do the workouts without any problem. I’m still working on my pushups but it will come!Beachbody-challenge-

My husband, who has never exercised a day in his life has now joined me in my workouts. How exciting it is to see the transformation in his life! I now have a faithful workout buddy and we have such fun working out together.

My workout buddy!

My workout buddy!

I have now become a Beachbody coach in the hopes of encouraging others to take a step and change their lives!

[hana-code-insert name=’Beachbody’ /]

So are you ready for a challenge? Perhaps you have a vacation coming up later this summer and you want to look good in your bathing suit? Or maybe you have a class reunion this fall? Whatever the reason let me know and I will send you more information. I will be starting my own Challenge group Monday July 6th! Why don’t you join us and let me help you reach your fitness goal!

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Perhaps you’ve heard me talk about eating clean. What does it mean exactly? The idea of eating clean is to be more mindful of the food you are putting in your body. It’s about eating whole foods, or “real” foods, those that are minimally processed, refined or handled and making them as close to their natural form as possible. Sometimes this can be a challenge.Clean, sparkling fruit.

What exactly is processed food? When food is processed it includes additions of any kind; anything from salt, sugar and fat to aid flavor. Preservatives that keep food from spoiling too quickly or vitamins added to enrich the food.Processed food

Processed food also includes changing the form of the natural food, such as removing the bran and wheat germ from whole grains to create refined bread.Refined bread

Also included in processed foods are foods with components manufactured in a lab! Processed foods include everything from hot dogs to jarred organic pasta sauce, even our own steamed carrots are technically processed albeit minimally.Hot dogs

Why is processing food so bad? Well it is not always bad, often processing removes bacteria or toxins or allows us to eat certain types of food off season due to freezing or canning. The key is to avoid the foods that are “ultra processed” such as diet coke and doughnuts!donuts The health problems associated with ultra processed foods are numerous. Foods with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have been linked to cancer and infertility! Heavily modified food tends to have additives that over stimulate the production of dopamine, the “pleasure” neurotransmitter, perpetuating a negative cycle of constant junk food cravings.

You must constantly keep an eye on advertising because many of these ultra processed foods are advertised in a way that makes them seem good for us! Less sodium! All Natural! No Trans Fat!

There is extensive research that has linked eating whole foods with good health. Largely plant based diets are healthy! Diets based heavily on fruits and vegetables can curb or prevent certain life threatening conditions and diseases, such as high blood pressure. They are also helpful in maintaining healthy weight management.grilling, vegetables

Bottom line:

Eat less CRAP:

C= Cheese
R = Refined sugar
A = Artificial Anything
P = Processed Foods

 

Eat More Food:

F = Fruits & Vegetables
O = Organic
O = Omega-3s
D = Drink Water and Green Tea

Read the labels and eat foods with fewer ingredients.

Stick to proper portion sizes.

Consume healthy fats each day, no saturated and trans fats.

Avoid alcohol, which is another form of sugar.

Pesticide free organic food is preferable to avoid added hormones or chemicals.

Start making little changes today and make it your goal to practice eating clean! Your body will be glad you did!Shop local!

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Nancy On The Home Front

This post is a little different from my usual posts but I’m so excited I just had to share with my readers! Six weeks ago my daughter, Katie, a Beachbody coach posted a challenge to take part in a 21 Day Fix Challenge Group. Three weeks of eating healthy, working out in the comfort of your own home every day, and getting awesome nutrition with Shakeology. I had never even heard of Beachbody or Shakeology but it sounded like something I wanted take part in. After all it was only 21 days and certainly I could get through it. I had a lot of stress in my life the past two years and as a result my weight was up and my fitness level was down! I decided to accept Katie’s challenge.

Before I committed I did a little online research on Beachbody. The more I searched the more amazing stories I read. Many people going into this program only needed to lose ten pounds or so. As a middle aged woman and a  grandmother I wondered if there were even any others involved that were my age! Believe it or not there were and everyone was exclaiming how their lives had been transformed. What impressed me most about the program was that it encourages healthy eating and regular exercise. You can create a free membership to find out more.

Beachbody

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The program sounded like it was just what I needed. I told Katie I was in and soon received an email with the information. Katie recommended a 21 Day Fix Challenge package, which would include the workout DVD’s, the containers used to measure food, and a 30 day package of Shakeology. I was also part of a private Facebook group. The groups members were also committed to the same program and a Shakeology shake once a day. Everyday we were asked to check in the with group and keep each other accountable.

My next question was what was Shakeology?

Shakeology

Shakeology

Was this one of those programs where your meals are replaced with shakes? No, shakeology is a protein shake that is full of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and protein. It’s a superfood nutrient dense shake that tastes like a milkshake, acts like a super salad and is great if you are on the go. It comes in several flavors and helps you to recover after you workouts. I have since learned they are delicious! I reward myself with a Shakeology after each workout. My favorite is chocolate combined with ½ banana and 1 cup of kale or spinach, I then either add water or coffee.Shakeology

I have also found that Shakeology helps keep my sweet  tooth at bay as well as helping to reduce any junk food cravings. My favorite time to enjoy my shake is after my workout, I find it increases my energy!

Soon my package arrived and our coach suggested we read through the eating plan and set up our meals for the first week.

My meal plan

My meal plan

I think that was the hardest part! I would plan our dinners first, then our breakfasts and fill in the rest of the day. It was strongly suggested that you eat small meals including two or three snacks each day. Once my first week was figured out, the other weeks were easier to plan. I really enjoyed having everything planned out each day. I found it very easy to follow the plan. Of course some days work easier than others, if I’m out and about I either have to get my workout done before I leave the house or when I come home.

Three essentials, water, your meal plan and Shakeology!

Three essentials, water, your meal plan and Shakeology!

The three weeks flew by I am I was hooked! I felt better, lost some weight and even more important toned up and lost inches! I am now on my second 21 Day Fix!

Enjoying my Shakeology after a workout!

Enjoying my Shakeology after a workout!

I am also a Beachbody Coach and want to inspire others and help change lives.Beachbody coach My first challenge, to help co-coach a Push To Summer Challenge with my daughter!  We already have a private Facebook page in place and space is limited. I find these groups work extremely well because although the program itself is amazing, having the accountability and support of a coach and a “team” makes a huge difference. Are you interested in joining me? If so send me a PM or email me at NancyWolff@beachbodycoach.com and I will send you the information! It only takes 21 days to help make or break a habit. With our private Facebook Group we will encourage each other and help us stay motivated! It’s time to get fit and get moving! It may take some effort and planning on your part but we’ll be in this together as we make it fun, help each other and get ready for summer!

 

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