Monthly Archives: February 2012

Be an AHB Rockstar: Adri’s Journey Week 4


After my weigh-in today, I attempted to do a heel-click of joy...then fell in slow motion. AGILITY!

Checking in with Adri on week 4 of her journey back to health…

First month down! Not to brag or anything, but I had a pretty great week. Ok, ok – I AM going to brag: I worked my butt off, and made good choices on some difficult occasions.

Workouts. Admittedly, I didn’t have my best workouts of all time. This wasn’t anyone’s fault but my own – I had low energy and motivation (most likely because of my “lady friend of the month” *waves hi to the men reading this*).  I also realized that Alicia stepped up the intensity of my workouts, so they were getting harder – which made me feel a bit defeated, but tried to keep reminding myself that, yeah, as workouts get more challenging, they’re going to be (duh!) more challenging for my body. I’m going to work on being more patient – especially so that it doesn’t keep me from pushing myself to the maximum.

Food. This week, I cleared out my fridge and cabinets and went on a shopping spree! Before I left, I did some research on recipes I wanted to try, and wrote the most OCD-fueled grocery list I’ve ever seen, separated by categories. Having these items in my apartment has been absolutely crucial to my progression with nutrition – I never have anything around for me to binge on or take me off track, and pre-prep healthy snacks for when I need to grab-and-go.

Some of the foods I’ve been loving:

  • Fage 0% Greek Yogurt + fresh berries + Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Cereal w/ Almonds
  • Lite string cheese
  • Fat Free Cottage Cheese + Cuties Clementines
  • Gala apples + Smart Balance peanut butter
  • 100-calorie packs of Cinnamon Almonds
  • Giant bags of frozen broccoli, brussels sprouts & spinach + Laughing Cow Lite Cheese Wedges
  • Frozen salmon filets in individual steam packs + fresh lemons
  • 6-Pack of Lite Tuna (water-packed) + balsamic vinegar + garlic powder + celery + bell peppers + broccoli slaw

…and lots more good stuff!

I feel like I’m getting better with my impulsive foodie behavior – at a National Margarita Day party I hosted last week for work, I chose to sip seltzer with juice and allow myself 10 tortilla chips with veggies and guac. I got a chance to join in with my guests, taste the stuff I wanted to, but cut out the unnecessary items. Had I not been watching what I ate, I would have had a huge, sugary, high-calorie margarita and lord knows how many nachos. And guess what? I still had fun and made the most out of my night socially.

So, things are getting better. I feel as though I’m really on track to reach my goal of a 15-20 weight loss by May.

Added Bonus! I learned this week that I’m going to Costa Rica for a week-long vaca on April 27, which is perfect timing and the best possible motivation to get bathing suit-ready. I refuse to go shopping for the trip for at least a month so I don’t psych myself out.

Week 4 re-assessment:

Leave a comment: Do you use vacations or special events (weddings, reunions, etc) as motivation to get or stay on track with your healthy plan?

 

Be Healthy. Be Balanced.
14B Alleyne St.
Quincy, MA
http://www.AHealthyBalanceInc.com 

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Be an AHB Rockstar: Adri’s Journey Week 3


Forearm burns, courtesy of the dreaded PLANK!

Checking in with Adri on Week 3 of her journey back to health…

Workouts. Alicia’s starting to catch on to my BS. I’m a big, annoying whiner when it comes to working out – I’ll do it, but I think that it subconsciously amuses me to be over-the-top about it: “Mommy whyyyyy!” and “Help me jay-sus!” – as I’m forced to do squat after squat. Fortunately, Alicia tolerates me.

I’m at the point where I feel like I’m making progress with some parts of my strength training – I’ve gone up in free-weights for my curls and other arms sets; can hold a plank longer than a few weeks ago (please see  photo for proof of scabbed elbows from planking), and, while I was out the other night, legitimately asked a random guy if he would like tickets to “the gun show,” while flexing. I was sober.

The workouts still kick my butt, though. I’m anxious to get back to where I was before when I felt stronger, more agile, and able to do these 60-minute trainings with less gasping and more confidence.

Food. I’m enjoying the Zen of food preparation and the control I’m having over the portioning. Taking time to chop vegetables, simmering and stirring my nonfat milk and steel-cut oats, slicing bananas for bulk freezing for my protein smoothies.

The best thing I did this year? Get rid of my microwave. Instead of being tempted to stock up on those sodium-heavy frozen diet meals and other easily-nukeable items, I actually have to cook, on or in an oven, every single thing I eat. I’ve become mildly obsessed with making fresh popcorn on my stove with a little oil, and standing over the pot to watch as each kernel bursts into deliciousness.

Finding more creative ways to integrate nutrients in my diet (and making sure I don’t get bored of the same foods) has been truly enjoyable. For breakfast or lunch, I often scramble egg whites with some veggies and black beans, and needed something new – so I threw some spinach, mushrooms, garlic, chives and Boca protein shreds into a casserole dish with some egg whites, slid it in the oven, and had myself a savory egg white bake. And I could eat the entire thing!

My egg white bake: 3 cups liquid egg whites, veggies, etc.; bake at 350° for 20 mins, top with salsa. Voila!

Balance. I’m trying to balance out my philosophies about life and still adhere to my nutrition goals – which is proving to be harder than I thought. For instance, I’ve always been a “you only live once” kind of gal; someone who likes to experience and take adventures. When I’m hosting an event at an amazing restaurant, and they bring out a crazy new dish that I want to try, it’s hard for me to say no. Case in point: Devils on Horseback. This past Wednesday, I hosted a private whiskey tasting party at the highly-acclaimed Saloon in Davis Square, Somerville – and when they brought out these delicious-looking creatures, I could hardly say no. What are they? Medjool dates stuffed with feta cheese, wrapped in bacon, then deep fried. I know, I know, not a ringer on the nutrition scale, but man were they good. And when would I ever really get to try one of those again?

That said, I’ll be able to get control over those things. Less of this “well, it’s a special occasion!” talk, and more “well, hey, I would like to fit into my clothes again plz thaaaanks.” I went to the movies tonight and brought my own measured-out amount of popcorn, and yeah, I splurged and counted out ten M&Ms to sate my chocolate craving. I high-fived myself for limiting my intake and still being able to enjoy each bite.

Overall, I’m feeling stronger, more confident about my choices, and – most importantly – more in control.

Total weight loss: 4 lbs

Leave a comment: How do you find a balance between “living life to the fullest” and “living life to the healthiest”?  And yes, the two can be in line with each other!

Be Healthy. Be Balanced.
14B Alleyne St.
Quincy, MA
http://www.AHealthyBalanceInc.com 

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Be a Lover.


All you need is love…love is patient, love is kind…love is not gazing into each other’s eyes, but looking together in the same direction…

 

There are countless sayings about love, most having to do with the romantic kind or world peace. Romantic love is ingrained in our culture. With Valentines Day especially, it’s all about that other person. What’s happened to us that we focus so much of our energy on external love? Do we consider this selfish? Love and acceptance of ourselves is an important part of overall wellness, but why is there no holiday for that? The most important person you can love is you! In a busy world, you may not find the time, or feel you deserve to take the time, but give yourself a real Valentines Day gift this year, and learn how to love yourself every day. Take a minute right now and write down 10 reasons why you’re loveable. Having trouble coming up with 10? That’s okay, keep thinking; eventually you will have hundreds of reasons.


Why is loving yourself so important?

  • It goes hand in hand with self-esteem. How can you feel good about yourself if you don’t first love yourself?
  • It will help find you happiness. It’s true that you cannot truly be happy until you love yourself.
  • Others will see it. When you love yourself it will change the way you carry yourself and act around others. This will draw in admirers.
  • You will love others more easily. When you love yourself, you become more positive, and see the good qualities in others.
  • Others will love you more easily. You will show others the good qualities about yourself, just by being positive and loving yourself

Ways to achieve self-love

  • Look in the mirror
    • Get to know your reflection with an open mind. Gaze at yourself and tell yourself affirmations of why you are special, or just appreciate your features
  • Get rid of the negativity
    • Make a list of things you may not like about yourself. For each negative comment, write a counter of how to improve it, or why it is untrue. We all have things we can improve about ourselves, and we all have self-doubt, which is usually irrational. Dispel these ideas by actively telling yourself why some of your criticisms are untrue or unfair.
  • Create Goals
    • If there is something about yourself you don’t like, make a plan to improve it. We all have things about ourselves we need to work on. Instead of letting it affect how you feel about yourself, create a goal you can work towards.
  • Cut yourself some slack
    • We’re often a lot harder on ourselves than on others. Why? We deserve as much slack as anyone else. Remember no one is perfect.
  • Remember you’re Special
    • How great is it that we’re all unique in our own ways. Think of all the things that make you different and celebrate them! You being you is fabulous.
  • Celebrate yourself
    • Treat yourself to something special or have some quality alone time with yourself. Free yourself, and just be whatever you want to be. Show yourself some love, whether it’s reading a book, taking a bubble bath or getting pampered.
  • Recite positive affirmations
    • The idea of faking it until you make it is true. Even if you’re not feeling the love, tell yourself you are loveable every day. Try to feel it and believe it to be true, and eventually it will be. Write a list of positive affirmations for yourself and say them each day.
  • Find a passion
    • Is there something you always wanted to do? It could be learning guitar, painting, writing a book, dancing, anything at all. What’s stopping you from doing it? Having a passion will give you something to enjoy in your free time, so just do it!
  • Follow your dreams
    • Whatever it may be, try and find a way to incorporate your dreams into your everyday life. Even if it’s ten minutes a day, if it’s every day it will add up fast
  • Take care of yourself
  • One of the best ways you can show yourself some love is to take care of yourself. Try to give yourself enough sleep, eat for health, exercise, and go for regular checkups and screening.
-Be Healthy. Be Balanced.
A Healthy Balance
14B Alleyne St
Quincy, MA
www.AHealthyBalanceInc.com 

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Be an AHB Rockstar: Adri’s Journey Week 2


$5 charge for whining! I owe them at LEAST a paycheck's worth for that.

Wow. That was a crappy week for workouts. In documenting this, I’ve learned that clearly, when something shifts in my routine (like with my knee injury), it can shake up a whole week’s worth of plans. My usual personal training sessions with Alicia are on Monday and Friday mornings – and when Alicia got sick and had to reschedule our Monday sesh, instead of going to the gym, I sat home and watched streaming Netflix. Then, again the next day, and the next, until Friday, which was my first workout of the week.

The good news is that when I DID meet for my sesh with Alicia on Friday, she kicked my butt in the best way. I also met for the first time with Meg for Wellness Consulting, and with Nikki for Nutrition Consulting.

Wellness Consulting with Meg. I can’t say enough good things about this – EVERYONE should have Meg around at all times. Seriously, I may just put her on speed-dial. Though I went into this Skype session clueless as to what wellness consulting actually was, I left with a feeling of great relief. Since my biggest issue these days is having a work/life balance, and making time for both physical and mental health, I really need someone to say, “hey, you need to do this, at this time, and don’t slack off!” – and that’s what Meg does.

We chatted a bit about what my life is like and what my biggest health hurdles have been (food issues, feeling burnt out and down sometimes; occasionally isolating myself); and then we worked out ways to smooth them out. I now have 3 simple goals for this week, that I’ve made sure to adhere to.

While we did realize that I clearly need a therapist to talk out my other issues on a weekly basis, this was a lighter, more direct way to change the things in your life that can easily be fixed with a little expert prompting and organization.

Nutrition Consulting with Nikki. Nikki knows her stuff. Despite how much research I’ve done on nutrition in the past, she still had valuable information for me, and helped adjust my daily calorie goals to a reasonable number to which I could actually maintain. Hooray for 1,800 calories a day! That added on, like, two meals for me.

The best part? I can eat two tablespoons of peanut butter a day and still not be a glutton! That’s going to be part of my apple and PB snack for my “small meal” time, since Nikki advised I eat five times a day, and gave me a full breakdown of the things I should be choosing.

At my office, we have a kitchenette stocked with snacks (pita chips, pretzels, dried fruit, cereal, string cheese and lots more) and I’ve been having issues staying away from those easy-to-grab items like Popchips and handfuls of peanut M&Ms. Armed with a list of all the snackfood available at the office, Nikki then told me my best options and told me to stick to them. I’m pretty psyched that string cheese is on that list, by the way.

The Takeaway. I guess the important thing to remind myself about this is that life, in general, is never, ever constant. It will be my ability to roll with these metaphorical punches that leads me to my overall success in health. If something doesn’t go the way I planned, or fit into that routine I crave, I need to shrug it off and do the next best thing – and remind myself that I can’t expect perfection of anything.

Weight loss to date: 3 lbs

Leave a comment: How do you deal with changes in your schedule or unforeseen obstacles that derail your healthy plan?

Be Healthy. Be Balanced.

A Healthy Balance
14B Alleyne St
Quincy, MA
www.AHealthyBalanceInc.com 

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Be an AHB Rockstar: Adri’s Journey Week 1


Adri joined our bootcamps early last spring and participated a few days a week for several months. Over the course of those few months Adri increased her strength and endurance, lost weight and inches and decreased her body fat. Unfortunately, she sustained a knee injury and was sidelined in early summer. But now she’s back and she has agreed to share her journey back to health with you. Please check back weekly to track her progress and read updates from Adri. – AHB

Well here we are – my first week in and already I’m feeling healthier (really!). The past several days have been all about figuring out a “healthy balance” (har har!) between work and life, and bringing fitness back into my extremely hectic schedule. My job requires me to be out several nights a week, hosting events, running around to meetings, and spending a lot of time around amazing, gourmet food and well-crafted drinks, so making healthy choices can get tough.

Workouts. This week, I managed to get to the gym for cardio 4 times for 30-45 minutes in addition to two super-early-in-the-morning 60-minute personal training sessions with Alicia. The best part is that we keep making up new names for the exercises we’re doing – and changing them all to geeky ones that I can relate to. Example: Ninja Turtle Nunchuk Scissor Kicks.

Although I feel like I’m making progress, it’s frustrating not to be able to do the things I could before – like holding a plank for a full 60 seconds without dropping a knee; doing mountain climbers for longer periods of time; and lifting heavier weights without my arms failing out.

Food. For breakfast, I switched from giant bowls of less-than-healthy cereal, bagels with cream cheese and egg and cheese english muffins to greek yogurt with fruit and honey; steel cut oatmeal with a bit of brown sugar and blueberries; or thick smoothies full of fruit and veggies.

Instead of pretending that my “healthy snack” of apples and peanut butter was still healthy with half a container of PB, I limited it to two tablespoons and suffered. Nah, not really – but did you KNOW how many calories are in PB? What a cruel, cruel world this is.

This week’s WIN: I ordered a grilled salmon with black rice and beet salad instead of grilled cheese or mac n’ cheese at Cafeteria in Boston.

This week’s #FAIL: Cheeeeeeese! At a cocktail party I was hosting, I couldn’t resist trying (again and again) the four artisan cheeses I had picked up from Whole Foods earlier that day. I may or may not have dipped whole chunks of cheese into hummus. DON’T JUDGE ME!

20120205-114336.jpg

Adri after doing one too many “Ninja Turtle  Nunchuck Scissor Kicks” (please note the Donatello head band). She has been pushing herself to the limit during workouts and I can’t wait to see her numbers at the end of this week!

-Be Healthy. Be Balanced.

www.AHealthyBalanceInc.com

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Be an AHB Rockstar. Adri’s initial measurements


Adri joined our bootcamps early last spring and participated a few days a week for several months. Over the course of those few months Adri increased her strength and endurance, lost weight and inches and decreased her body fat. Unfortunately, she sustained a knee injury and was sidelined in early summer. But now she’s back and she has agreed to share her journey back to health with you. Please check back weekly to track her progress and read updates from Adri. – AHB

Today we are sharing Adri’s initial measurements and before and after photos.

20120205-114111.jpg

20120205-114212.jpg

 

Initial Measurements:

Triceps 13.5”
Waist 35.25”
Abdomen 39.75”
Hips 42.5”
Thigh 26.25”
Calf 16.25”
Body Fat % 32.6%
Weight 180

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Be A Healthy Fan.


If you don’t know what Sunday is by now, you are living under a rock.  In just a couple of days the fantastic New England Patriots are taking on the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI (46).  This game is highly anticipated for many reasons.  New England fans are seeking revenge on the Giants after the upsetting loss they experienced four years ago.  People who love the game of football are looking forward to impressive plays and creative strategies.  Those who just want to go to a good party will have plenty of options.  You may be asking yourself what all this has to do with A Healthy Balance and the answer is EVERYTHING.

 

Trying to find the balance between enjoying yourself in any setting while still maintaining a healthy diet and finding time to exercise can be stressful, especially during holidays or times of celebrations.  Days like the Super Bowl can be diet disasters if you don’t plan ahead and commit to staying on track.  Sitting on a couch for hours, eating fatty appetizers and washing them down with adult beverages is the easiest way to erase all the hard work you did at the gym or boot camp this week.   You may convince yourself that since you were “good” all week you deserve a cheat day, but that doesn’t mean shoving anything and everything into your mouth is acceptable.  The worst part is that foods notoriously linked to football like nachos, dips, and wings flavors are going to expand your waistline faster than Welker can return a kickoff.

 

Of course there are ways to prevent falling off the healthy wagon and here are a few foolproof ideas:

 

1.  Do something active the day of the game.  Kick off isn’t until after the sun goes down, so what you do with the rest of your Sunday is up to you.  If you’re extra ambitious, treat it like any other day and hit the gym or go for a run.  If you aren’t in the mood for that, head outside with a football and get pumped up by tossing around the old pigskin.  Basically, do anything other than start the eating/drinking celebrations at noon.  By breaking a sweat earlier in the day you’ll set yourself up for success and be less apt to indulge later.

 

2. Eat like you normally would.  Don’t get up on Sunday and only eat breakfast then wait until the game to eat again.  By the time it starts you’ll be starving and grab whatever is in sight regardless of the calorie count.  Eat a well-balanced, healthy breakfast like you would during the week and then eat lunch and even dinner depending on what time you go out.  This way you can sample a few fantastic Hors d’oeuvres but you’ll have your attention focused on the most important thing…THE GAME!

 

3.  Surround yourself with healthy snacks.  If everyone else is munching and grazing, it’s going to be harder for you to keep yourself from doing the same.  If you only have healthy snacks within reach you won’t feel like you’re missing out and can be free to have some celebratory snacks.  If you are hosting a party you will have a better opportunity to supply these good snacks, but if you are a guest just bring some with you.  An easy option is a veggie tray loaded with fresh veggies and hummus and/or ranch dip made with fat free sour cream.  At the end of the game you are going to feel a lot better if you ate carrots, celery, and snap peas than if you ate half a tray of buffalo chicken dip.  Plus, it will be easier to jump up and down when the Pats win!!

 

Here is a link to some pretty easy, healthy Super Bowl party alternatives:   http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/collections/super_bowl_1

 

4. Go easy on the liquids….I’m not talking about water.  If beer and football go together for you like #12 and touchdowns, have a few, but don’t over do it.  The empty calories in the drinks alone will set you back, but coupled with lower inhibitions, that stack of ribs that you’d usually pass by may start to seem irresistible.   Nothing kills willpower more than too many drinks.  You’ll be thanking me the next day since most of you have to work Monday morning.

 

This link gives you some advice from our favorite Skinny Girl.  Her cocktails are delicious and low in calories.  There are also a few good snack recipes:
www.bethenny.com/post/fun-and-delicious-super-bowl-recipes

 

5. Lastly, have fun.  The Super Bowl only comes once a year and it’s a great opportunity to get together with friends and family and watch some really good football.  Enjoy the game, great company and some good food, but don’t overdo it.

 

Whether you’re a diehard football fan, a Half-Time commercial critic, or just love to watch hot guys run around in tight pants you’ll feel much better the day after if you wake up and know that you stuck to your healthy goals.  Tom Brady didn’t get the body he has by laying around, eating bags of chips and drinking twelve packs, and neither did his supermodel wife for that matter.  You know for sure that Gronk and Hernandez didn’t get their physiques doing anything other than sticking to their training plans even when tempted with what seemed like the more fun, easier option.  If you really want to show your appreciation for the game and the guys who play it, treat your body the way an athlete would.

 

GO PATS!!

 

Oh yeah and…. Be Healthy. Be Balanced.

 

Leave a comment: How are you going to make your SuperBowl festivities healthy?

 

A Healthy Balance
14B Alleyne St.
Quincy, MA 

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