Protein secret revealed: It can help you lose weight (and keep you healthy)

This month’s nutrition challenge is about getting in enough protein every day. (Facebook event page here.)

And the headline should be no secret, especially to my regular GFG! readers.

But you all know how much I am into eating protein and writing about it. (And if you can stand it, I will discuss this in person with you, too.)

Someone just the other day asked me what I could suggest for a new Weight Watchers’ participant. I believe the first thing I blurted out was protein. I, of course, talked about other stuff.

From the various research I have done I found that on average women should get in 46 grams of protein a day. If you have an active lifestyle it should be more than that.

Protein can be found in all kinds of foods. And protein can help you lose weight.

Here’s a quick list of protein-rich foods: legumes, chicken, cheese, nuts, tofu, eggs, fish, red meat (yes, you can eat red meat in moderation), peanut butter (also moderate as it is high in fat), whole grain pasta, brown rice …

This WebMD article discusses the high-protein diet for weight loss. There are some great … Continue reading

Planning for my week

I work hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It’s a choice I have to face every single day.

And part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle is planning. Planning is a big part of my success with clean living. (I plan out meals and my exercise.)

Sunday mornings are my normal day to hit the grocery. And I did yesterday. I stocked up on fresh fruits and veggies and other items to keep me going for the week.

If I have time and motivation on Sundays I will cook up a few things for the week.

Sometimes during the week I will make a meal with two servings so I have a lunch later in the week as well. Which is what I did tonight.

Many times I make Sunday mornings my chopping day–where I chop up veggies for the week, whether for snacks or a stir fry or a meal.

My friend Monica recently mentioned to me that on Sundays she bags up her snack carrots for the week. I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of that before. (I usually bag my carrots and get my lunch ready the night before.)

So yesterday I bagged up my carrots for … Continue reading

Forming healthy habits

As I have talked about before, my company has a Wellness Program. Throughout the year challenges are created for us.

Some of Go Fit Girl!’s Monthly Challenges are inspired by my work challenges. Though I do try to add my own twist to them.

One of the challenges right now is to Challenge a Friend. (Which I may steal for a future GFG! Monthly Challenge.)

I challenged a friend, who doesn’t get enough water in daily, to drink six 8-ounce servings today. He did it before we even left work. Let’s hope he can keep this up.

He and I were talking on the shuttle ride in to work today about how long something becomes a (healthy) habit.

We’ve heard the myths, right?

How about 21 days?

This article from UCL Health Chatter says: The bottom line is: stay strong. 21 days is a myth; habit formation typically takes longer than that. The best estimate is 66 days, but it’s unwise to attempt to assign a number to this process.

US News Health blog post by Yoni Freedhoff: … Changing behaviors and creating new habits takes an awfully long time. While you may well be able to establish a … Continue reading

It’s time to Spring Forward

It’s that time of year again. Most places in North America will Spring Forward tomorrow at 2 a.m.

To my Arizona family: No more confusion. Starting tomorrow we will be back in the same time zone. (For those of you who don’t know, Arizona doesn’t participate in Daylight Saving Time.)

I hate Springing Forward or Falling Back. The time change, only one hour, completely messes me up.

Normally my preparation for the time change means no difference in my routine. I make sure to keep up with my exercise and healthy eating. But I am nursing a cold. I don’t exercise when I am sick (and depending on the illness I eat whatever I feel like.)

Usually I try to make sure to take the 6 p.m. Restorative yoga class Sunday nights. I think that helps with sleep. But depending on how I feel and if I can breathe through my stuffed-up nose …

Sometimes the Restorative yoga teacher gives us tips if we are having trouble sleeping. A good stretch while lying on your back: Spread your arms and hands and your feet and yours legs and then let go.

This is my advice on how to deal with … Continue reading

Fruit, veggie tips & tricks

I have recently gotten into eating grape-nuts. Funny, I hated them as a kid. (My brother and I weren’t allowed to eat a lot of sugary cereals.)

Grape-nuts are crunchy, yummy, filing, healthy and have some fiber and protein.

But that’s not really what this post is about.

Over the summer I was eating my grape-nuts with about a half sliced up nectarine. Perfect combo!

But sadly summer fruits are disappearing …

A tip I learned when attending Weight Watchers meetings was you could use canned fruit and just rinse the syrup out so you were just eating fruit and none of that yummy sugary syrup. Yes, that is the best part, but the unhealthy part.

So this morning at the grocery I bought the little snack packs of peaches. I rinsed one out and added it to my cereal. Not quite as good as the fresh nectarine. But good enough.

As I was thinking about this I was thinking about some other quick, easy fruit/veggie food tips I have learned along the way, either from trying something or from advice from someone else:

Just me, just you … trying to survive life

As I mentioned last week, I recently attended my 20-year high school reunion in my beautiful hometown.

As a Badger alumni I had the option to be a sponsor for the reunion. So Go Fit Girl! was a sponsor along with a few others.

With my sponsorship I received an acknowledgement on a banner, in the pamphlet in the goodie bag, my business card in the goodie bag and a mention at the dinner/dance that Saturday night.

There were four Badger business owners who sponsored and a few other local business who also sponsored.

During Pat’s shout out (she was the head of the Reunion Planning Committee) to those who sponsored the reunion she mentioned Go Fit Girl! and that everyone should read the blog for tips, like the one where  you can drink good beer and still maintain a healthy lifestyle.

My goal for myself is to maintain the healthiest and most realistic lifestyle I can for me. I believe in moderation. I like to eat and I like to drink. But I also want to be, look and feel healthy.

I am not a Denise Austin, Jillian Michaels or that P90X dude. I am Ann (aka Go … Continue reading

I <3 veggies!

Monday I talked about my munchie-infused snacky day. I mentioned my high-veggie dinner and neighbor/friend/GFG! reader Jessie wanted to know more about my dinner.

So let’s talk veggies (and, of course, I will have to get a shout out to protein … Why? Because I am on a protein kick and protein is good for you and keeps you full.)

My Monday night dinner consisted of steamed spinach, boiled carrots and shrimp and zucchini sautéed in garlic and other seasonings

According to Livestrong, a 3-ounce serving of shrimp has 11.6 grams of protein.

There are very few veggies I won’t eat or at least try.

I used to not be a fan of zucchini and now I love it.

On Monday I cut it up into little pieces sautéed in Pam and garlic with New Orleans Cajun seasoning. Spicy and delicious and most important, filing.

Note: My usual serving of brown rice with a meal is one cup. According to the website, How Much Protein, a half a cup (100 grams) of brown rice has almost 7 grams of protein.

Here are some of my regular veggie-infused meals and/or sides:

Chugging water, practicing yoga

I meant to write this post on Monday. But this has been a crazy and exhausting week.

OK, how are you non-Facebook Go Fit Girl’s Monthly Challenge participants doing?

There are 21 people participating in the Facebook event.

One participant let the group know that she recently took a CPR class and was told my the instructor that we all wake up dehydrated. So drinking a glass of water before your morning coffee is recommended.

And without even trying I do that most mornings, especially on days that I ride into work where I slurp down 24 ounces of water (750 mL).

Another participant signed up for yoga in the park. What a great idea! Unfortunately the Bay Area had crazy thunderstorms that day. So she wasn’t able to attend. But it was a great idea.

This challenge is definitely encouraging people to monitor and increase their water intake. And make more trips to power their noses.

I recently upgraded my CamelBak water bottle from a 16 ounce (500 mL) to 24 ounce (750mL) container. I find using the CamelBak increases my water intake. It is easy to drink out of with very few spill mishaps.

Since my upgrade … Continue reading

Let’s celebrate National Yoga Month

September is National Yoga Month. I know that. But the weird thing is I am having a hard time finding a lot of current information on this.

In honor of of this month I thought I would FINALLY respond to a request from my friend Rosie.

Months ago she asked me for advice for someone who wanted to start practicing yoga.

When I started regularly practicing yoga a little more than five years ago I first started practicing at the gym. For me I was lucky, those classes were good beginner classes. And the instructors were well-experienced teachers as well.

When I started at Namaste I felt lucky then as well, too. All the teachers are pretty amazing and experienced and versatile. I have practiced with many yoga instructors, personalities, styles, types of yoga, class sizes, etc.

So here is my advice to Rosie and anyone else who wants it:

I suggest finding a yoga studio in your area and doing a little research on the instructors who teach at the studio. (You could do the same research on the yoga instructors at your gym.) The yoga studio website should have bios on the teachers and subs. And … Continue reading

It’s time to exercise

So you have made the decision to start exercising (or maybe you haven’t but this post may just motivate you). Now where to begin?

I recommend starting slow. You don’t want to hurt yourself or do something unpleasant that makes you never want to exercise ever again.

When I started exercising seriously (believe me I joined gyms in the past and half-assed the workouts in the past) about 5 1/2 years ago I walked at least three times a week. Going from absolutely nothing to walking around 30 minutes three times a week was a big deal. I did this for about a month.

The next month I started the run/walk practice. Just a few days into the addition of running I hurt my knee. I was able to rehab myself. After that I reevaluated my exercise program.

Running is easy cardio and can be done anywhere–the only equipment needed are running shoes and your legs.

But I hate running. And I hurt myself doing it. So I quit the running and started exercising on the elliptical.

A couple of months after that I joined a gym. Previously I had been exercising at the little gym in my work building.

Continue reading