Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Jump Start Your Morning

Since school has been in full swing now for a few weeks, I have heard from many frustrated parents saying that it has been a bit of a challenge getting their kids to eat anything resembling breakfast, let alone trying to get something nourishing, satisfying and somewhat healthy into their bellies. Teens especially, tell their 'rents that they are just not in the mood for food, as they bolt out the door to catch the 6:45am bus, checking their look one last time before they depart. You want to do the right thing, though and feed them well so they are better able to focus, concentrate, perform well in school and have enough energy to get through the day. You know that breakfast is an essential start to the morning, whether you are a kid heading off to school or an adult headed to spin class or a staff meeting, but how can you whip up something quick nourishing and satisfying and get out the door in record time? I have a few suggestions to ensure that you and your brood are getting a good balance of quality protein, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates without having to sit down for a three course meal.
  1. Eggs - The perfect brainfood to get your morning started on the right track. Make a few harboiled the night before and just peel and eat in the a.m. Pair with a slice of whole grain toast or fresh fruit and you are good to go! Eggs are super versatile - fried, scrambled with some fresh spinach or even incorporated into a crustless quiche (click for recipe).
  2. Protein Shake - My fave is a scoop of chocolate protein powder blended with half a banana, one cup of skim milk and a tablespoon or two of almond butter. Currently, I'm loving Jay Robb's protein powder because it is smartly sweetened and mixes without clumping or tasting chalky. This shake takes just seconds to make and will certainly get you out the door in record time, not to mention keep you satiated for hours.
  3. Steel Cut Oats - Top with sliced almonds for some heart healthy fat and blueberries to get some great antioxidants and you've got yourself a meal that will keep you going without spiking your blood sugar, thanks to low glycemic, slow releasing carbohydrates. Prepping in the crock pot the night before makes for a quick and effortless morning meal.

Not only are these ideas economical and way healthier than hitting the fast food drivethru - they will keep your energy up, your blood sugar stable and stave off hunger and headaches because they are all an optimal balance of quality protein, complex carbs and healthy fat. Give 'em a try and see how they can help jump start your morning!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred - My Review

So, you've finally made a commitment to get fit but you're not quite sure how to squeeze a workout into your already jam packed schedule. Sure, you might be able to fit in an occasional spin class or a quick circuit training at the gym but what about all the other days when you are really crunched for time but still need a little something to get your heart pumping? I say pop the Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred into your DVD player and let the Biggest Loser trainer put you through a tough, no-nonsense, butt kicking workout that will let you return to the daily grind in less than 30 minutes.
Now, I'm not a huge Jillian fan, so I was a little hesitant when a friend recommended this DVD, but after hearing all the raves I decided to give it a try and I am so glad I did. Jillian definitely shows a softer side on this DVD, seems less militant than she appears on TV and even jokes around and lets her personality come through. Her workouts are butt - kickers though - absolutely no rest - not even for a sip of water! She bases her workouts on the 3-2-1 interval method: 3 minutes cardio, 2 minutes weights and 1 minute abs, using lots of compound moves, like side lunges with biceps curls and boxing moves while holding a squat position. Michaels explains that in order to "torch the body fat most effectively in the shortest amount of time you must combine cardio along with resistance training". I did these workouts throughout the summer when it was just too hot to cycle or power walk outside and even after a few workouts I noticed a difference in my body and am glad to say that this DVD helped me fit into a very fitted dress for a wedding I attended (I also was eating super clean, too).
So, if your looking for a quick but very effective total body workout I would definitely give this a try - can't beat the price - I picked it up at Target for $9.99!
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