Tag Archives: diet

#TuesdayTip Health Benefits of Green Tea & Matcha

I have to confess to not being a big fan of green tea, but during a visit to a coffee shop with my daughter, I ended up trying matcha made with almond milk. Yummy!

What is matcha? Matcha is a Japanese green tea powder. It has more health benefits than regular green tea because you are eating the whole leaf and it hasn’t been processed so it contains more catechins and polyphenols than regular green tea. Also lots and lots of anti-oxidants according to a Wall Street Journal article.

You’d have to drink a lot more green tea to compensate for all the benefits in matcha. But matcha can be pricey. I found that a trip to my local Asian market yielded a very large bag for a fraction of the cost than in other stores.

So what benefits can you get from green tea and/or matcha? How about improved blood flow, lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol? Not enough benefits yet? How about cancer fighting properties, some help with weight loss, reduced risk of stroke, memory improvement, tooth decay, and anti-aging?

Sounds too good to be true, right? But if one little cup of day can help, I’m all for it. Just a word of caution: Check with your doctor about drinking green tea, especially if you have glaucoma like I do. Lots of mixed news about whether green tea and/or matcha are good for you or whether they increase intraocular pressure.

For more info, check out these articles:

WebMD: Green Tea Benefits
Medical News Today: Green Tea: Health Benefits
Match Source: Matcha Health Benefits
green tea

#TransformationTuesday #TuesdayTip Walking Your Way to Better Health

A little while ago I posted a photo of myself and my transformation. 40 pounds lost and working on losing another 30.

Of course, a large part of that is diet and anyone that tells you that you can lose weight without eating healthier has a bridge to sell you (will kids even understand that saying today?).

Exercise, while important for losing weight, is also important for improving your overall health. It’s not good to be sedentary and even the smallest amount of movement will benefit you.

When I took the first step in my transformation, it was literally a first step: walking my way to health. It’s a great form of exercise and little by little I built up to how much I walk. Today I usually do about five miles a day (if not more) over the course of the day. How do I do that? Walking everywhere I can and having my Fitbit buddies challenge me to new goals.

My favorite place to walk is the beach, of course, but anywhere will do and it doesn’t take much. Just 15 minutes a day has been shown to improve your overall health.

If you’d like to get started, here are some links with good articles on the benefits of walking!

The Benefits of Walking by Real Simple
Benefits of Walking by Arthritis.org
Trim Your Waistline, Improve Your Health by Mayo Clinic
This is Your Body on Walking by Prevention Magazine (I personally love this magazine!)
3 New Walking Workouts to Blast Fat by Prevention

Another hint for those who work in an office and sit all day: Buy a cheap kitchen timer and set it to go off every half an hour. Get up, walk around, move, squat, lift, do anything! Be Mobile. You will feel the difference in your body once this becomes a regular habit.

walking

#ThrowbackThursday My First 5K #fitness #health #thisgirlcan

If you had asked me a year ago whether I thought I’d ever be able to run a 5K again, I would have been doubtful. Actually in my youth, I’d run multiple 10Ks, but that was before excess weight pulled me down.

Today’s Throwback is to two weeks ago when I was able to do a 5K on the treadmill. I didn’t break any land speed records, but like I told my hubby when I did 3.5 miles on Sunday, it’s about just being in the race and not how fast I finish.

Anything is possible. I sometimes lose sight of one of the things my mom always told me: Anything can be yours if you’re willing to work hard for it.

For the last year I’ve been working hard at improving my fitness and health. I’m going to keep on working hard at it. I also hope I can inspire any of you who doubt you can do it to take that first step toward a better life.
workout

#TransformationTuesday Losing & Gaining & Working At It

It’s been a year since I started my lifestyle change. I’ve had a little setback the past two months, but am working on getting back on my change. Carbs being my downfall, so I have to scale back to not having any for a little while to get my equilibrium back.

Despite the setback, I am still working out and feeling better. I thought that today I would share a before and after. The first photo on the right is of me taken on one of the off-site sets for CNN ESPAÑOL right here in NYC in the Time Warner building. I was a guest on the morning show and talking about romances. The photo on the right is one I snapped at a recent conference. I’m 40 pounds lighter and happy with my cute little black dress (courtesy of OG Surf & Skate) and my new haircut, which I managed to make look almost like what it did after I left the hairdresser.

If you have your own transformation story, please take a moment to share it!
TransformationTuesday060716

#TuesdayTip Eating Fat to Lose Fat #Fitness #Health

I hit another milestone today – 40 pounds lost. It took me a long time between the holidays (no pounds gained luckily) and the dreaded plateau.

Anyone who has tried to lose weight has hit a plateau and sometimes they are tough to break through. I tried lowering and raising my calorie counts. Exercising more. Even exercising a little less. Those stubborn 3 or so pounds just would not leave me.

I spoke to my trainer and we talked about my diet and it turned out that in my quest to eat healthier I had seriously eliminated fat from my diet. Both good and bad fats. He said to me, “You need to eat fat to lose fat.”

As you can imagine, I was surprised, but I took his words to heart because he has really helped me improve my overall health and fitness.

So I added back some healthy fats. Avocado. Nuts. Low fat dairy. Coconut oil. Olive oil. Eggs.

What happened? Well, those stubborn pounds disappeared in just a few days. WOO HOO.

So today’s Tuesday Tip is: Eat more healthy fats.

If you want more information on this concept and healthy fats, you can visit these links:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/557726-eat-fat-to-burn-fat/

http://www.coachcalorie.com/eat-fat-to-lose-fat/

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/how-eating-more-fat-helps-you-lose-more-weight.html

http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipes/healthy-eating/tips/why-non-fat-isnt-the-answer/

Just a last word of warning: Watch out for foods that claim to be low fat, but just seem too good to be true. Oftentimes there is a lot of added sugar and salt or artificial ingredients to make up for the “lower fat.”
EatFat

#TuesdayTip Mindful Eating #Fitness #Lifestyle #Healthy

Like so many people, I make New Year’s resolutions. This year I want to refocus on my writing, get more organized, lose another 35 pounds and be healthier in general. Big goals and sometimes they seem scary, but then again, there’s that old adage: Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.

So I wrote down some goals for when I want some new books to be out and plans with friends. I’ve been slowly emptying closets and cleaning up in my home office. As for continuing to lose weight and being healthier, I’m eating better and working out, but to not have the yo yo effect I’ve had in the past, I’m trying to find ways that this new me is the future me. That means having sound eating habits and not relying on food as a crutch the way I have.

I’ve acknowledged that. Since college and immediately thereafter, food has been the go to thing when I get stressed out or unhappy or to celebrate. I need to change that emotional connection to eating to break a cycle I’ve repeated all too often.

I’ve been reading more about diet and incorporating healthier foods and I signed up for a course at Rodale U. The course is on mindful eating and so far, the course has made me more conscious of what I’m doing with my eating and food choices. If you’re one of the first subscribers to the course, it’s free with the coupon code MINDFUL. You can click here to sign up for the Take Control Rodale U course! Remember the coupon code is MINDFUL.

Mindfulness is actually a thing I’ve been focusing on in general. Thinking about body and breath connections when working out or doing yoga. Being in the now instead of dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. I’ll share more about that in the future! For now, here are some quick tips for mindful eating:

    Take a moment to appreciate the food in front of you. What does it look like? How does it smell? What is the texture in your mouth on the first bite and later, as you swallow?

    Why are you eating the food? Is it because you’re hungry or for some other reason? If you’re not sure, ask yourself: Would you eat a regular meal right now instead of chips/chocolate/cookies?

    Write down what you are eating! Keeping a food journal is a good way of tracking what you are eating and when. Are there patterns to your eating? Do you eat late at night? If you’re using an activity tracker, like Fitbit, there are journal capabilities in their app. I’ve mentioned Wellcoin in the past to journal, but also get rewards and prizes. I just won a $10 Amazon Gift Card there. Other food journal apps you can check out are Lose It and My Fitness Pal. There is also the grandmama of all fitness plans Weight Watchers.

I’d love to hear what some of your resolutions are and how they are going!
mindful

#TuesdayTip Fitness Apps WellCoin and Fit Bit

As some of you might know, I’ve had a long battle with my weight. I’ve gone up and down so many times that I guesstimate I’ve lost and gained hundreds of pounds.

I’m on the heading down again and have lost 30 pounds. I’ve done that with a combination of better eating (a key part of it) and being more active. I’ve shared some of my healthier recipes with you in the past and today I’m going to share two of the apps that have helped me meet new people who keep me encouraged and help me track what I’m doing so I can keep to my lifestyle change. In the future, I’ll share some apps for workouts and exercise that are helpful.

WellCoin

I learned about Wellcoin several months ago and am now a Wellcoin Ambassador. What is Wellcoin? Wellcoin bills itself as the “World’s First Health Currency” and basically, you enter information about your lifestyle to earn points you can exchange for things like gift certificates, healthy food and drink samples, yoga lessons, etc. It’s free to join, but to earn the points you will need to photo document the various healthy activities you are doing.

The activities are many. You get points for counting steps, sleeping 7+ hours, eating healthy meals, participating in the community by verifying other people’s activities, etc.

I find that documenting my activities helps keep me aware of what I’m doing and also, I see interesting new foods, etc. that others are trying out. Makes me want to be adventurous and try them out as well.

Click here if you want to follow me there!
WELLCOIN_AMBASSADOR_BADGE_SECONDARY

FitBit

As I mentioned, being more active is a big part of being healthier. I log at least 12,000 steps a day by walking to and from my office from the train station, getting up every 30 minutes to move and going to the gym for cardio and strength training. Yes, it can be work, but I am feeling so much better and stronger. It’s worth it!

I use FitBit and its community and app to help me. This does require the purchase of a FitBit device and there are several different kinds. I have the Fitbit Flex which I wear on my wrist. I have friends who use the Zip and the One which attach to your clothing. Still others have variations of the Charge (wristband) which also track your heart rate. Regardless of which one you choose, the end goal is the same: monitoring your activity.

In addition to monitoring, you can friend people on FitBit and cheer them on. Challenge them to daily or weekly goals. It’s all in the name of helping others stick to it. You can friend me by clicking here!

Another thing I really like about the FitBit is the smartphone app. You can use the GPS on your phone to have the Fitbit track your walk. You can also journal what you eat with a really nice interface.

The Fitbit also helps you track your sleep so you know if you are getting that essential 7+ hours of sleep (I don’t regularly, but am getting better).

I hope you enjoyed today’s Tuesday Tip!