Happy belated July 4th weekend, I hope it was safe and enjoyable for all!
Over the weekend, most Americans took part in the most exciting part of the holiday: eating and drinking. Here we are, two days later, still feeling the effects of the alcohol, the chips and dip, and the barbeque. However, don’t feel guilty! A healthy lifestyle is just that… one that allows you to enjoy yourself with friends and family without guilt to follow.
Now, you might be looking for a way to work off all of the calories that you consumed this weekend and kick your butt into high gear for the last couple months of summer (where does time go!? It’s already July…)
Whether you have heard about the new trend, or maybe you already incorporate it into your workouts, I am going to differentiate high intensity versus low intensity workouts and which you should be focusing on.
This past week, I traveled to the Wild West for the first time. Upon our arrival in Salt Lake City, mountains surrounded us, some snow-capped, others covered with green ground cover. Coming from an initial elevation of just about 800 feet to nearly 8,000 feet, there was a chance that we may feel some of the symptoms of elevation sickness but luckily we adjusted quickly.
We drove, we hiked and we rode horses.
We saw it all… from bison, to elk, to moose (whose plural is still… moose) and the national parks did not disappoint, aside from not seeing a bear on our entire trip.
In college, you are constantly surrounded by questions of what you are majoring in and what you are going to do after college… It is hard to plan at my mere age of 20, what exactly I am going to be doing in 10 years, 20 years or even 50 years. It is overwhelming to say the least.
As times progress, it seems as though it is steadily becoming more and more difficult… first, to get into college. The acceptance rates are dropping, the minimum required GPA, SAT score and number of extracurricular are rapidly growing. Unfortunately, a weekly visit to a nursing home or soup kitchen just won’t cut it anymore… colleges are looking for and demanding more out of their students. It has both its benefits and its downfalls. While it is pushing students out of their comfort zones, forcing them to actively participate in the community and beyond, high school students do not have enough time to do it all.
Do you spend extra time and money to purchase “all natural” foods, in hopes of fueling your body with only the best ingredients?
If you fit in this category… Congrats! You are amongst the 60% of people that say they look for the term “natural” on food labels (according to a survey by the Consumer Reports National Research Center).
About two-thirds of people surveyed said that they believed that “natural” means that there are no artificial ingredients, pesticides or genetically modified organisms (GMOs). However… the FDA has not developed a true definition of the term for food labels and they won’t object to the claim that something is natural, as long as there are no artificial or synthetic ingredients in a product. This leaves a huge gray area for the term natural and is therefore misguiding consumers.
There are an endless number of substitutions or replacements that you can make in your daily meals to cut down on your fat, sugar and carbohydrates while increasing your protein and nutrient intake! While I have only listed a few, in the grand scheme of things, you can make substitutions on your own by looking at the nutritional information on the foods that you are eating!
I go through spurts… Sometimes I love a steak medium-well, other times just the thought of meat is repulsive. At times I crave an egg and cheese bagel, but most of the time I cannot stand the taste of eggs. Some people think it’s weird and others cannot understand how you can eat a balanced diet without eating meat everyday. For me, preparing the meat myself is the worst. It makes it a lot easier if I order meat at a restaurant, but even then…
Growing up, my family rarely ate meat. An occasional hamburger or grilled chicken, turkey on Thanksgiving, ham on Christmas, other than that we were fed meatless sources of protein. Carnivores often times laugh at the idea of tofu, calling it a hippie food, although there are a number of great tofu recipes (like my Black Soybean Tofu Lettuce Wraps). Tofu is definitely not the only meatless protein source; in fact the list below provides a number of options for anyone (vegetarian or not) looking to reduce their meat intake and increase their protein intake.
What is protein?
As the warmest months of the year are approaching, I want to dive deep into the world of sunscreen.
Walk into any grocery or convenient store and there are shelves stocked with various kinds of sunscreens, SPF’s, some insist that they are for children, others must be used just on your face but what is the difference between them?
Most of us are probably familiar with the term “SPF” and the wide range of numbers that are printed onto sunscreen bottles… but what exactly does it mean?
I am a fan of warm yoga… I love the feeling of a good sweat and I always feel more flexible when the room is heated up but some classes just get too hot. Hot yoga makes me feel accomplished, like I just finished a great run… although, I have always wondered whether it is truly a better workout than your average yoga class.
If you have never been to a hot yoga class before, picture a room heated to about 104°F with no breeze, your hands sliding out from underneath you and your neighbors sweat dripping onto your mat.
The safety of hot yoga depends on your fitness level and health, but one of the greatest benefits is that hot yoga pushes me to focus on my breath more than usual. At times during the class, I find myself wondering why I decided to take the class as I try to sneak a peak at the clock while in downward facing dog. At this point, I am forced to clear my mind and come back to the present moment. It is that mental strength that I am trying to gain from my yoga practice and carry into my everyday life.
2 years down, 2 to go. But where did the past two years go? You mean in the same amount of time I will be on my own… for the rest of my life?
The easiest two years have past and the hardest two years lie ahead of me. Some of the hardest decisions have yet to be made while some of the most difficult obstacles have been overcome. Beginning college is a roller coaster, to say the least. Filled with new experiences, people and situations that you have never been faced with before. You are completely independent from your parents, forced to do your own laundry, feed yourself, and wake up on time in the morning. College will teach you lessons that cannot be learned anywhere else.
During your freshman year, you enter a new world where you have the freedom to make your own decisions and for the first time, you are held completely responsible for your actions. Everything is entirely up to you. You probably grow the most during your first year of school… Then, during your second, everyone expects you to know the ropes. They expect you to act more mature and make decisions that will permanently impact your future. I’m not ready to make decisions on what I will be doing in 10 years, 20 years or even 40 years… What if I want to change those decisions? What if I don’t actually want to be a biology major? Eek!
As the semester winds down, many college students, including myself, face great amounts of stress as they prepare for final exams and ending their semester. I often times find myself craving unhealthy food and picking up to-go rather than cooking a nutritious meal because of the time that it takes. Many people pull all nighters in the library and miss out on much needed sleep in hopes of cramming information into their brain at the last minute.
We are all guilty of neglecting our general well being during a time of high stress, regardless of the cause.
Surprisingly, small amounts of stress may actually be good for you.