Monthly Archives: August 2010

Be An Early Bird.


The early bird gets the worm.

Seriously?!?! Whoever came up with this saying is crazy… Worms aren’t that appealing, and getting up when the alarm goes off before the sun comes up is even less appealing.  Despite all that, getting up early and getting your workout in before your day starts boasts many benefits.

Here are some reasons to get your butt out of bed:
1. Exercising early in the morning jump starts your metabolism, keeping it elevated for hours.  As a result, you’ll be burning more calories all day long.
2. Exercising early in the morning energizes you for the day.
3. Studies show that early morning exercise increases mental acuity for up to 10 hours, meaning you’ll be more efficient at work or school.
4. Exercising first thing in the morning guarantees you won’t miss your workout routine due to working late, traffic, or just plain old fatigue.
5. Having a consistent morning workout schedule helps your body’s endocrine system regulate its circadian rhythms.  Basically, you’ll sleep better!
6. You will have accomplished more in your day before most people even get out of bed.

Rise and Shine!

Be Healthy. Be Balanced.

-Alicia and Nikki

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Be Caffeinated(?).


Curious whether coffee is good or bad for you?

Unfortunately, there is not a clear yes or no answer at this point, but for most people the health benefits outweigh the risks. Recent studies have dispelled the previous belief that coffee drinking is linked to an increased risk for heart disease and some forms of cancer.  Several studies have also shown potential benefits such as protection from type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and liver cancer.  Coffee also contains several beneficial antioxidants.

When it comes down to it, the old adage “everything in moderation” applies to coffee too. It’s important to keep in mind what you are adding to your coffee (sugar, cream, etc) as these will add additional calories and fat to your cup  o’ joe. Also monitor how caffeine affects you personally. In some individuals, heavy intake can cause sleeplessness, anxiety, and irritability.

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Be Hungry.


Ever heard someone utter the phrase “my eyes are bigger than my stomach” as they painfully try to finish off all of the food on their plate? Unfortunately, it’s true that we are more likely to consume food based on external stimuli including what time it is, what food is sitting out and visible, if other people are eating, rather than what our body is saying.

Use the following scale to identify your level of hunger before deciding when to eat.

  1. you don’t feel hungry at all
  2. food sounds good, but you couldn’t eat whole apple
  3. your stomach feels empty
  4. your stomach is growling
  5. your stomach and head hurt
  6. you are hungry and can’t focus, eating feels like an emergency

The ADA recommends eating when you are in the 3-4 range. At levels 1 to 2 you don’t need to eat and between 5 and 6 you’ll typically overeat and make poor food choices out of necessity.  By aiming to eat when you are in the 3 to 4 range you are most likely to eat the appropriate portions.

Be Healthy. Be Balanced.

-Alicia and Nikki

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Be Protein Packed.


Proteins are an essential nutrient that your body craves. High protein diets make you feel fuller quicker and for a longer amount of time. This helps your body go through the day without feeling hungry and causing you to reach for unhealthy snacks. The amount of protein that is recommended varies based on your level of activity. To calculate your protein needs take your body weight in pounds and divide by 2.2 to calculate your body weight in kilograms. Multiply your weight in kilograms by .8-1.8 to arrive at your recommended protein intake per day.

The tough part is determining what number between .8 and 1.8 to choose. This number should increase based on your level of activity. For example, endurance athletes should multiply by 1.2-1.4, while strength training athletes should multiply by 1.6-1.7.

When choosing proteins to include in your diet, choose the leanest sources possible.

Good sources of protein include:

  • Greek yogurt
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Milk
  • Chicken
  • Cheese
  • Nuts

Be Healthy. Be Balanced.

-Alicia and Nikki

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Be An Efficient Exerciser.


Finding time to get in workouts is a challenge for all of us, so it’s really important to use the time you do have at the gym efficiently. You can complete an effective total body workout in about an hour, so if you are spending more time in the gym, you aren’t using your time wisely. To help save time, plan your workout before heading to the gym. Meandering through the machines at the gym, not only wastes time, but gives you the time to psych yourself out of actually doing anything.  Make sure you write down your workout plan as well so you aren’t wasting time trying to remember what you wanted to do or transitioning between exercises.

Be Healthy. Be Balanced.

-Alicia and Nikki

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Be (not so) Sugary Sweet.


How many times have you heard someone say “I have a major sweet tooth”? Or maybe you say the phrase frequently yourself. Truth is refined sugar does actually have addictive properties which causes you to feel withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Refined sugar is sugar that has been extracted, processed and added as an additional ingredient. For a 2000 calorie diet, the USDA recommends limiting sugar intake to 10 tsp  or 40 g a day; however, the average American takes in approximately 34 tsp or 136 g a day. Refined sugar is in the majority of the food and drink we consume. For example, a 20 oz bottle of soda has 16 tsp or 64 g and a 6 oz container of fruit flavored yogurt can run you upwards of 6.75 tsp or 27 g of sugar.

When choosing items, make sure to check not only the actual sugar content, but what sources the sugar is coming from. Aim to get sugars from the most natural sources possible. For example, the sugars in 100% apple juice are from the natural sugars that are found in apples, vs. the processed sugars that are found in cookies.

Be Healthy. Be Balanced.

-Alicia and Nikki

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