I am surrounded by estrogen.
My wife and I have two daughters. We run Mohr Results Women Only Fitness Boot Camp. I am a Registered Dietitian, a profession that is 97% female. And I currently have pink toenails after our almost 4 year-old thought it would be fun to “paint daddy’s toenails like mine.”
It’s fitting, then, that I would be writing about ways to celebrate YOU — for National Women’s Health Week. Of course, at Fitness magazine, every week is women’s health week…but now the rest of the country jumped on board and this whole week has officially been a week to celebrate YOU.
So: How do YOU celebrate YOU?
Taking care of your body from the inside out (and the outside in) is surely a great start. That means fueling your body with quality nutrients to perform at your peak, physically and mentally. Physically, it may be at the gym and/or playing mom and chasing little ones around all day. Mentally, it may be at the office and THEN chasing little ones around all day.
Regardless, the foods you fuel your body with can make or break you. After all, don’t you want to have the most energy possible instead of wanting to curl up and excuse yourself from the rest of the world?
Here are 4 ways to support your health:
1. Two words: Move. More. We are not meant to sit all day, every day. If you work a traditional 9-5 type job, though, this is exactly what happens.
2. Hydrate. Your goal is to drink half your body weight in ounces (if you weigh 150 pounds, that is 75 ounces, or around 9 cups of water daily). Try adding some citrus fruit to water, or a splash of juice to seltzer, to make it more appealing.
3. Snack smart. Eating frequent meals can keep your energy up, curb cravings and help feed your body the fuel it needs to chase after kids, stay focused at work or whatever it may be. The key is that snacks should: 1) include some protein, 2) include healthy fats, 3) be convenient 4) include fiber (bonus!).
KIND Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate + Protein (OMG!) is one of our faves—it has a little added protein boost, healthy fat AND 3 grams of fiber all packaged in convenient awesomeness. These are awesome because they A) taste great, B) offer satisfying protein and fiber C) provide healthy fats.
4. Fuel Your Body with Fresh, Quality Foods. This is an important one. Outside of the snacks you choose, the other meals you eat are important too. Start with a quality breakfast (eggs, oats, a homemade smoothie, or even just a piece of fruit and some nuts) and then follow it up with a quality lunch and dinner.
Now, the lunch and dinner parts can be tricky. You’re on the go, challenged on what to eat, or maybe don’t like to cook. The same “rules” apply for meals as they do snacks — protein + healthy fat + fiber = awesome. For an on the go option, I love Subway’s Double Chicken Chopped Salad.
There you have it. Four super easy, practical strategies to take care of you. When you take care of you, you aren’t just taking better take care of everyone else, you’re also celebrating YOU.
A few months ago, we were reminded during “heart month” about how heart disease kills way too many women. As the seasons change and some of us feel reinvigorated to revamp their diets and routine, we want to urge you to remember these super-simple steps to reduce your chances of heart disease. By employing these easy strategies, you’re helping to make sure you don’t wind up a statistic.
1. Engage in at least 30 minutes of structured physical activity, 5 days/week. This isn’t for weight loss but basic heart health. Whatever exercise you like — walking, cycling, weight lifting, swimming — works, though variety is ideal. No matter how busy you are, everyone has the time, so try to make it!
2. Stand up. Sitting is the new smoking. Where can you find time in your day to stand and move , beyond structured physical activity? Maybe rather than watching TV, you go for a family walk before or after dinner. Start a walking group at work or investigate stand-up desks if you work at home. If you have dogs, take them for a walk instead just letting them out back. There are a lot of opportunities to move — you just need to be creative, take control and make a conscious effort to make you a priority.
3. Eat more omega-3 fats. Omega-3 fats are amazing for us. The best way to get them in the diet is from foods like wild seafood (salmon, tuna, sardines, anchovies), among others. Read more
You know by now that February is American Heart Month…but since heart disease is the #1 killer in America and this month is a shorty, it’s worth reminding you about some healthy foods that can lower your risk:
1. “Good” Fat. The low fat craze in the early 90‘s had it all wrong. Our favorite healthy fats are olive, canola and fish oil. The last you can’t cook with, but the first two are great to use in place of less healthy options like soybean oil, shortening, or margarine.
As for fish oil, there are a lot of data suggesting adding fish oil — AKA omega 3 fat — can drastically improve health, including the health of your heart. In our house we use, like, and trust Nordic Naturals — our children (a 3 ½ and 1 year-old) both take it daily.
2. Dark Chocolate. The key is picking a quality dark chocolate; we use 100% raw cacao if baking or making hot chocolate. (Aim for 70%+ cacao if eating it by itself, which it usually tells you on bar). Dark chocolate can help improve cholesterol, circulation, and insulin resistance, while reducing blood pressure.
3. Eggs. Say what? The “high in cholesterol” whole eggs? Absolutely. Here’s the sunny side of eggs—we love the data on how eating eggs can help you lose weight. One study compared subjects eating a bagel breakfast vs. an equal amount of calories from eggs. The result? The egg group lost almost twice as much weight and had an 83 percent greater decrease in their waistlines.
-Chris and Kara Mohr, mohrresults.com
You’re just one month out from the New Year’s Resolutions you set. And if you’re like many people, fat loss was at the top of that resolution list.
But can you guess the average amount of calories an American consumes while snacking during the Superbowl?
About 1,200. This doesn’t include meals or drinks. (!)
So what can you do? Swear off all the wings, guac, chips, and beer while cheering for your favorite team? That’s certainly not realistic…so let’s instead share some options that would be better. Try these snacks this year:
1. In-Shell Pistachios – Yes, pistachios are high in fat, but it’s super-healthy fat. With all the other food options around, in-shell pistachios can help you slow down because it takes time to remove that shell and you won’t be mindlessly munching. Adding to this snack strategy: Keep a bowl in sight that has the shells that were removed – seeing how much you’ve already had might just curb how much you eat during the game. (FYI, we’re personal fans of the Wonderful Pistachio Sweet Chili flavor.)
2. Pizza! Kashi now makes frozen pizzas that are great (and less expensive than what you’d pay from a traditional pizza chain!). The BBQ Recipe Chicken pizza is a really good, unique, and may very well appeal to those guests who would normally crave wings instead.
3. White Bean Dip – A strong-flavored dip is a great trick because it makes you feel satiated, it won’t break the bank in terms of calories, and you can pair it with heathier chips. (We’re partial to the Food Should Taste Good brand.) But back to the dip… here’s a recipe from Food Network’s Giada De Laurentilis that’s a big hit in our house.
-Chris and Kara Mohr, mohrresults.com
Since it’s cranberry season and the little fruits are loaded with antioxidants, we wanted to share a few ideas of how to enjoy them…other than getting out your can opener. Cranberries are very tart on their own — our daughter Ella tried one around Thanksgiving and made the cutest, scrunched up face — your best bet is to incorporate cranberries into other foods.
Here are three ways to enjoy the nutrient dense, super healthy berry into your diet:
• Add a handful to a smoothie. Mix 1/4 cup whole cranberries, 1 cup unsweetened coconut almond milk, 1 cup frozen blueberries, 1 scoop whey protein powder and a splash of your favorite juice (Welch’s 100% purple grape juice works well). Blend until smooth and you reach desired consistency.
•Try a Cranberry SOYJOY bar. These bars include whole fruit and are one of our must-haves for when we take long drives. With 140 calories, 2 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein, SOYJOY is a great snack on the go snack. While heating them isn’t an option the car, when at home, unwrap them and put them in the microwave for 10 seconds for a really great treat.
•Add dried cranberries to a bowl of oats. Now the key here is to read the label to find the ones sweetened without sugar; some brands sweeten with apple juice, which is a better option. Fresh is always best, but it’s a little tougher on the palate with cranberries.
There you have it. A few options to incorporate this great for your berry into your diet, outside of just the gelatinized sauce in a can.
-Chris and Kara Mohr, mohrresults.com
Related from FITNESS: Top 10 Healthy Foods with Antioxidants
Nutrition pros and FITNESS contributors Chris and Kara Mohr answer your pressing diet Q’s…
Q: As an avid gym goer, I’m looking for something to drink other than plain water. But I don’t want the calories in sports drinks. Is coconut water a good replacement? –Mary, New York
A: Fantastic question. It’s been very, very hot across the entire country this summer, so hydration is key!
Let’s talk general hydration tips, first. It’s smart to have a plan in place because you can quickly get dehydrated, with the temps as high as they’ve been. So definitely have something to drink before you exercise. Carry something with you during and then throughout the rest of the day as well.
Now, what to drink is the other piece to the puzzle. Coconut water has certainly grown in popularity…
Assuming you’re like a large chunk of the population and out for a basic (30-60 minute) jog, walk or maybe getting on your bike, coconut water can certainly work for you. We tell this same thing to the women in our morning boot camps, who are exercising for one hour with us daily.
Coconut water is a great alternative to the high-calorie, high-sugar options you see on beverage shelves. It is lower in calories than many sports drinks and high in potassium, one of the important electrolytes that is lost in sweat. The average gym-goer who’s hitting the weights a few times a week, maybe adding in some cardio or intervals, doesn’t really need the extra calories or sodium that you find in some sports drinks.
We both enjoy coconut water pre-workout, with a scoop of whey protein. But if it were a more intense, longer workout (60+ minutes) and we didn’t have the time to sit down and have a more substantial meal, we’d likely use a sports drink with that same scoop of whey protein.
The question then is which brand is best? We personally use, like, and trust Vita Coco because it’s pure coconut water that’s not from concentrate. Some brands offer less than 10 percent coconut water and are instead loaded with added sugar, so make sure you read the label. Here’s another hint — make sure it’s cold. It tastes better and is more refreshing!