Archives for March 2017
These days the idea of sugar is closely link to fat or unhealthy for the body. But like everything in the world, sugar has a purpose. Intake of sugars, from refined sugars in baked good to natural sugars in fruits, are useful when consumed for the right purpose. So when is the best time to eat sugars?
First a quick science lesson to understand the role sugar plays in the body. Carbohydrates are broken down as sugars in our body, or more accurately as blood glucose, and stored as glycogen. Intake of glucose to our bodies will release the insulin hormone. Insulin tells the brain to provide the body with energy, assist in muscle growth, and other important body functions. If the body doesn’t need the excess energy, the body will produce fat for later energy use. In order words, if you don’t use the carbs as energy you store it. Therefore moderating the intake of carbs is important to provide the body with the right amounts energy it needs.
If all carbs broken down to sugars, are they all the same?
No, not all carbs the same, they can either be simple or complex in nature. Simple carbs, are baked goods, soda, white bread, and other refined sugars. These type of carbs quickly break down in the body to increase the sugar levels, i.e. glucose, and ramp up the insulin. Which means you better start burning energy, if not you’ll be storing it. Complex carbs are fiber and starches, such as vegetables, nuts, beans, and whole grains. These are harder for the body to break down, thereby digesting longer and contributing to feeling full. These complex carbs keep the sugars levels steady, so energy can be burn slowly. For list of foods for simple and complex carbs.
So when are simple carbs useful?
Pick the carbs needed for the energy you will be disbursing. If your burning slow amounts of energy through out the day, pick foods with fiber. This will keep you both satisfied and have sustainable energy. If your going for a run, an intense workout, or a quick boost. A simple, high sugar carbs will give you the energy you need.
As for post workout carbs, unlike the popular belief in replenishing body with carbs to rebout energy, it not as necessary. As the body only uses both fat and carbs to source the energy for workout and only used 28% of stored glycogen. So rule of thumb is .25-.50 gram of carb for pound of body weight.
Growing up Easter was a huge holiday for my family. It would include our mom making a dress for us, a basket full of goodies, going to church, and followed by a nice lunch with the family. Now that I’m older there isn’t much to look forward to except the welcoming of spring. The weather starts to warm up, which means enjoying the outdoors again. Here is my spring bucket list:
- Picnic in Griffith Park
- Finish reading Before Happiness by Shawn Achor
- Start running outside again
- Take an online course to help me improve in my career
- Do a spontaneous camping trip to enjoy the outdoors
- Go wine tasting and vintage furniture shopping in Temecula, CA
- Finally go have an outdoor brunch with my girlfriends
- Explore the exhibits at the Getty museum
- Take a day trip to Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve in Lancaster, CA to see the beautiful flower field
- Go to a farmers market to buy fresh fruits and vegetables
Its difficult not get caught up with wanting everything, yet still having time for everything. How is it possible to accomplish everything on the to-do list and feel fulfilled at the end of the day? There is a way of managing a career, taking care of the family, fulfilling responsibilities, and still enjoy life with a few tips. So if you’re looking for ways to live a balanced life, here are tips to having it all.
Give Up Perfection
One thing to keep in mind that a work-life-family balance is an illusive dream. No one is capable of being great at everything. Just ask any athlete training for a competition. They will sleep, eat, train and repeat while preparing for it. If balance is what you want, then accept what you’re not capable of doing everything and let go of things that fall short of perfection. Like this work-balance video say, “pick imperfect variety over flawless focus.”
Focus on Whats Important
A great concept from the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is the four quadrant. Breaking down all our task into 4 quadrants. These four quadrant are one “urgent, and important,” two “non-urgent, but important,” three “urgent, but non-important,” and four “non-urgent, and non-important.”
Majority of us consume our time in quadrant three (daily errands, most emails and calls) and four (wasting time, pointless meetings), as they often deceive us or distraction us from things that truly matter. Our focus should be on quadrant one (crisis, pending problems), and quadrant two (building relationship, planning goals) as these will enrich our lives and help us accomplish more in a day. Also don’t be afraid to cut things that are not adding value to your life. If its a friend, a hobby, or a job that adds more stress, and no fulfillment, let it go.
Begin blocking time for specific task each day. Our brains are not capable of performing multiple task efficiently. Therefore start by prioritizing your task, break these task into smaller segments (planning, gathering material or data, meetings, etc) and schedule time for each segments. Scheduling first the top prioritizes and fill the rest of time with daily errands, breaks, and other task related to quadrant 3 (explained above). And avoid over complicating or adding task that will interfere with the schedule.
Set Mini Goal
Set goals in four areas in your life: finance, career, adventure/fun, and relationships. Break these goals into mini goals in the beginning of each day, week, and month. These goals can all tie together to a yearly goal or stand on its own. Either way once these goals are set, make an action plan, and add to the time block schedule to better ensure they are accomplished. This will ensure the days will be driven with more purpose instead of aimlessly.
Ask for Help
The only way to find time for everything is to ask for help. Although asking for help is difficult, remember we all will need help at one point of our lives, if we want it or not, so begin accepting it. Find an area or areas where you can benefit from help and ask graciously. This way you can focus on either more important task or those that solely require your attention.
Make me time
Make time to shut off the mind and body. Like everything else in life, the mind and body needs rest in order to run properly. So if its knitting, running, or just watching TV, will give you time for “you” then do so in moderation. Also practicing mediation is helpful way to teach the mind to shut off and focus within. Headspace is a great meditation app to start learning how to meditate.
Unless you work in the fitness industry, you probably never heard of functional training, let alone why its important to incorporated a functional workouts. Functional training are exercises that train the body for everyday movements. Because human bodies are meant to moving and working and not sitting in front of desk for hours, we have become frail and prone to injury. This form of training will strengthen muscles and joints to perform daily task more efficiently.
The other benefits of functional training are:
helps burn fat
develops lean, tone muscles
improves sports performance
I asked my finance, and our coach, who teaches classes on functional workouts to share a functional workout for beginners.
Functional Training Workout
- cross body toe touches for 25 reps
- spiderman crawl for 25 yards
- mountain climbers and for more advance athletes use bosu ball
- plank to pushups between 10-15 reps
- renegade rows between 10-15 reps; with or without weights
Us Angelinos spend a good portion of our daily commute in traffic. In the past I spent the time singing along to the radio, but I felt like I was wasting valuable time. Now I try finding different ways to help me learn and grow. I have now come to appreciate the alone time in the car. These are 3 ways to be productive while stuck in the daily commute.
Audible – This is perfect time to read up on books you have been wanting to check out. I love listening to motivational books, business books, and women biographies, since they help get me in the right mindset before work.
Learn a Language – If you have a long commute this is a great time to learn a new language. Get a language-learning app on your phone, to practice words or phrases until you perfect them.
Practice Speaking – Most of us never take the time to record how we speak to see how many filler words, umm and ahs, we use. This is the time you should practice to become a better speaker without any one judging you.
Here is a green tea protein cookie recipe to share for St. Patrick Day. We have mentioned our love for anything green tea dessert in our green tea ice cream recipe. And why wouldn’t we love it! Green tea has so many great properties to improve our body and mind. Benefits such as faster metabolism, greater fat loss,improves energy, better concentration, anti-anxiety, kills bacteria, and lower risk of various cancer, Alzheimer, and Parkinson. So instead of having green beer this holiday…share the happiness with these green tea cookies.
1 cup of natural protein (MRM vanilla protein)
1/2 cup of coconut flour
1 egg yolk
1 cup of brown sugar
1/2 baking soda
1/2 coconut oil
1 tbsp of vanilla extract
2 tbsp matcha powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup of walnuts
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, shift flour, salt, matcha, baking soda. Next, beat the two sugars and oil and then add in eggs, egg yolk, and the vanilla extract. Continuing beating till light and smooth, Then mix all the ingredients together and fold the nuts into the batter. On a prepared baking sheet, add a tablespoon per cookie, and bake for 8 to 10 mins. Allow cookies to cool for 5 minutes and enjoy!
The last few years I started habits to to help combat signs of aging, since the fear of looking old creeps up as I get older. Although that aging is beautiful part of life, it’s also important to keep the skin healthy. It’s important to create a anti-aging routine to keep a youthful glow no matter your age.
Here are Anti Aging habits to follow:
- SPF face cream in the morning to protect my skin from the harsh sun
- Put on a vitamin C morning serum to rejuvenate my skin
- Exfoliate twice or three times a week after a warm shower when pores are open
- Apply nighttime moisturizer to hydrate skin while sleeping
- Night serum with retinol to diminish visible signs of aging
- Limit heavy makeup unless it’s a special occasion
- Go makeup free on days when I have nothing planed
- Avoid indulging in too many sweets
- Eat vegetables and fruit daily so my skin receives the proper nutrients
- Wear sunglasses to protect the skin around my eyes
Here are the habits I need to work on:
- Sleeping 7-8 hours
- Sleeping on my back
- Regular facials by a professional
- Regular check up with the dermatologist
- Drink less caffeine
Here is a great video on ingredients you should look for in your skin care products to prevent aging (Link).
Foam rolling is a flexibility exercise to allow our muscular system to operate efficiently. We have gone through the importance of it a few times on the blog post why it is important to form roll, and an upper body foam rolling routine post. Therefore, I wanted to share a lower body foam rolling routine, for runners, lower body workout days, or for those who have problems with the lower back.
Because alignment is important to prevent injury when foam rolling, with every step place the hands underneath the shoulder. this allows the body to not only balance it self, but blanaces the muscles properly to prevent injury.
Starting on the right leg, laying on your side, place the foam roll right above the knee, with the other leg behind or in front. Place the right hand or forearm arm on the ground, whichever provides you with more balance. Roll all the way up to your thigh and down to just above the knees. Roll 5 to 7 times and the same on the other side. This is a very tight and tender area for most individuals, so don’t forget to breath!
Often a neglected area to foam roll, but a crucial area to prevent injury, is the muscles surrounding the hip. When working on the right side of the IT band, tilt the body another 45 degrees, open the right legs and foam roll on the inside of the leg. It is easier if you use the edge of the foam. Perform 5 to 7 rolls each side and extra 5 small rolls directly below the hip bone.
Next rotate the body completely till you are facing the ground. Place the foam roll directly below the hips and place your hand on the ground. Roll through out the entire quad muscle for 10-12 times. On places where it feels tender, stop and sit there for a few seconds, and breath. Because this is a larger muscle, tilt to place pressure on one leg at a time, or even point the toes in and out to hit different areas of the quad muscle.
Moving onto the other side of the body, starting with the glutes. We will start on the right glute muscle by sitting on the foam roll and leaning into the right. Cross the right leg over the left leg and left leg can either go straight or foot on the ground. Place the hands on the ground behind the foam roll. Then roll each side 5 to 10 times.
Move the roller down to right above the knee, both legs straight ahead. Because it’s a larger muscle, roll only the bottom portion of the muscles for 10 times and then the top portion for another 10 rolls. Roll a few times pointing the toes outwards to hit the interior hamstring.
Place the foam roll underneath the calves, and bring your butt up. Perform small rolls through the entire calves, as well as stopping and placing pressure on tender spots. You can even turn the feet out to target the outer calf muscles or face them in to target the interior muscles. Perform 5 rolls through the entire calves feet pointed forwards, 5 with your feet turned out and 5 more feet turned in.
Best to use a lacrosse ball/tennis ball to apply greater pressure to those muscles. Next month will show a routine using a lacrosse ball for muscles that are difficult to work on with the foam roll .