Note: These free tips are great and may be all you need. If you think you might like some more individualized help to live the healthy lifestyle, fill out this form and I will be in touch to help you get started!
Starting Monday, February 6, I will be running a new fitness challenge. To join, go to http://www.facebook.com/SueKauffmanFitness and like the page. Find a friend to join you and then you will have a workout buddy. Here’s how it will work:
1. We’ll be using the “Spell Your Name Workout” above each day.
2. Each morning, I will post a sentence or phrase to use as your workout. Do the exercises that are assigned to each letter in the sentence. Do a workout at least two times a week. You may do one every day if you want to! Start easy if you are an exercise beginner!
3. I will also post one word. You can use this to do a finisher if you have a current workout schedule you are following.
4. If you need to modify any exercises, go ahead! You can go to my YouTube channel to see modifications of many of these exercises.
5. Each time you work out, post on SueKauffmanFitness and let us all know how it went. Post a selfie after your workout (optional)
6. Post a picture of what you are having for your evening meal. You’ll be more likely to eat healthy if you know you have to show the world!
Special thanks to robolikesifit.tumblr.com For the Spell Your Name Workout.
Have fun and don’t forget to ask a friend to join you!
Note: These free tips are great and may be all you need. If you think you might like some more individualized help to live the healthy lifestyle, fill out this form and I will be in touch to help you get started!
When I need to lose a few pounds (usually it’s three to five after Christmas or vacation) I follow these steps:
Step 1. PIck three days when it’s easiest for you to cut out any added sugar. That’s anything that has white sugar on it or in it. Donuts and cake come to mind, but make sure you read the labels. Things like spaghetti sauce and canned veggies have added sugar in them too. While you are doing this part of the “diet”, don’t really watch portions or calories. Eat when you are hungry.
Don’t worry about the sugar in fresh veggies, fruits or dairy products. That is natural sugar. If you are eating yogurt, make sure you are eating low fat plain yogurt for 3 days After you’ve done three days with no sugar, it will be a lot easier to leave those sugary treats alone. Three days seem to be the tipping point.
Step 2. Pick the best way for you to watch how much you eat. For some people, this is portion control, for others it’s counting calories. Use a tool like http://www.choosemyplate.gov to calculate how many calories you should be eating according to your height, weight, how much weight you want to lose and how much time you want to take to do it. The safest and most effective timeline is losing 1 to 2 pounds per week.
Step 3. Find a way to accurately calculate calories or portions. A few good mobile apps are 21 day fix, Lose It, my fitness pal or, the calorie counter on your fitness tracker if it has one. To use 21 day fix, you’ll need to get a set of containers. You can order them online from Beachbody. I have also seen cheaper versions at CVS.
Step 4. Do some sort of exercise for at least 30 minutes, at least 3 times a day. If you are a total beginner, you can start with walking or some of the beginner workouts you can find on the internet.
It’s important to stick with it! You may lose quickly at first and then things will slow down. Keep to the plan, even if you only lose a little bit each week. Don’t lose heart and give up if you have a day where you eat more or fall of the wagon. Remember that slow and steady always wins the race.
Here’s the video from “Real LIve Fitness” that explains the plan.
Whenever you’ve had a stretch of time where you feel “sugared out”, a great way to get back on track is to plan 3 days of no added sugar in a row. After a 3 day break from added sugar, your body will not crave it (it’s addictive, but that’s a whole other post) and it will be much easier to stay away from excess amounts of it. “What is she talking about?”, you may ask. And what is the difference between added sugar and natural sugar?
Natural sugar is the kind of sugar that occurs naturally in foods, such as the sugar in fruits and veggies or the ones in dairy products. Added sugar is processed sugar the manufacturer adds to packaged and processed foods.
The obvious added sugars are found in sugary treats like donuts, cakes and cookies. But did you know there are added sugars in almost all processed and packaged foods to up their flavor appeal? Here’s a list of foods that include added sugar that you may not be aware of:
Canned or jarred pasta sauce
Ketchup and other similar condiments
Breads (even whole wheat), rolls and other bread based products
Gluten free packaged snacks
Energy drinks (they are chock full of sugar)
Almost all canned food
Sweetened yogurt (this includes fruit on the bottom)
Refined (white) flour and products made with refined flour
So…now you know what to stay away from. What should I eat? How should I plan for the three days?
First, pick three days in a row where eating 0 added sugar would be the easiest. For me, this is three workdays in a row, i.e. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. Weekends are out because an unexpected get-together with friends or family can quickly derail all my best laid plans. I also have much more control of what I will eat for lunch because I pack it ahead of time. Can’t eat what I didn’t bring!
Second, throw out or at least make it extra hard to get to any “added sugar” snacks in your home.
Third, get online and search for low sugar or no sugar breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack ideas. You’ll need at least three of each meal idea and nine snack ideas. If you’re a Pinterest person, make yourself a board titled “no sugar meals” and pin your favorites.
Fourth, make a grocery list that includes ingredients for your nine meals and nine snacks you have planned out. Also stock up on fresh fruits and veggies, raw nuts etc. in case you need a little extra something.
Fifth, drink plenty of water during these three days. You should have at least 64 ounces of water each day. My suggestion is to drink ONLY water. Three days is not that long to go without some other type of drink. If you have to have coffee, drink it black and no sweetener in your tea. Okay, Stevia if you have to, but nothing else!
Once you are done with your 3 days with no added sugar, keep track of your grams of sugar on food labels. Men should have no more than 37.5 grams and women should have no more than 25 grams daily. Will you stay under every day? Probably not, but the more days you can hit that goal, the better you will feel!
I usually do a 3 days, no added sugar challenge right after New Years Day. If you would like to join me this year go to my Facebook page, Sue Kauffman Fitness and like the page. I’ll be posting links to resources you can use and we will be supporting each other during the three days.
Want more personalized help living the healthy lifestyle? Fill out this application and I will be in touch!
Why do so many people fail at living the healthy lifestyle? So many people get disappointed and give up. It’s because people make drastic changes all at once that can’t be maintained. They restrict calories to the point where they are miserable. How long do you think that will last? A week tops! They start an extreme workout, get sore and quit within 5 days. Then they feel like a failure and console themselves with food. The unhealthy cycle continues. If this sounds like the merry-go-round you’ve been on, take heart! There is an easier way and it can be achieved. Gradual changes over time have more of a chance to become a healthy habit you will adopt as a lifestyle change. When it becomes as second nature as brushing your teeth, you will know it’s working. Here are ten doable changes you can make in ten weeks. Make a plan to start NOW and by Christmas, you will be excited about the new healthier you! Each week add on the new and continue the old. Ask a friend to start this ten week challenge with you. It’s even easier when you have an accountability partner! These suggestions are designed for total beginners. Feel free to modify depending on your fitness level and your current style of eating.
Click this link to download an enhanced PDF of this info!
Replace one sugary drink with an 8 ounce glass of water
Walk for 10 minutes and add one minute to your walk each day until you get to 30 minutes. You’re starting this at week 2, but it will take longer than one week to get to 30 minutes.
Add one serving of raw, frozen or canned vegetables to your daily food. Eliminate one sugary or salty snack.
Add one serving of fresh fruit to your daily diet. Eliminate one sugary or salty snack
Plank for 15 seconds three times this week.
Replace another sugary drink with another 8 ounce glass of water. The goal here is to drink at least eight 8 oz glasses. We’re added them gradually and cutting back the sugary drinks.
Time for a treat! Replace your usual weekend dinner outing with an activity outing. Hiking, biking, mall kayaking, swimming, golfing, a cool fitness class you would like to try. Take your favorite friend who is up for trying something new.
Switch your “white” carbs to whole grain carbs. For example, swap out your white rice for brown rice and your white bread to 100% whole grain.
Work very hard at getting between 7 and 8 hours of sleep each night this week.
Find a body weight workout that meets your fitness level and do it three times this week. You can do this in place of the planking. Or if you’re feeling spunky, add it to the planking.
Congratulations! If you have followed this ten week plan, you are now doing cardio and resistance exercise, drinking the recommended amount of water for your health, getting more sleep and eating a healthier diet. Keep it going by thinking up new challenges for the next 10 weeks.
I’ll never be on the “The Biggest Loser”. I’ll never be able to tell you my inspiring weight loss story. That’s because during the 30 years of my adult life, I’ve been a weight maintainer. No, I’m not one of those people who can eat whatever I want and stay thin and fit. I work hard at it, just like many of you. Over the various stages of my life, I’ve had to adjust. I like to say that If I was a car, I had to make the switch from “regular” gas to “high octane” at about 21. All of a sudden, the teenage “eat what you want” diet didn’t work anymore and I was slowly, but surely gaining weight. Then in my 30’s I had to adjust again to “post baby body” and up my exercise to more than just a brisk walk around the neighborhood with the stroller or a wagon full of daughters. And at 47, it was time to add some serious resistance training to combat the muscle loss of aging. Now I’m working to tweak my diet again to find what works best post menopause. I’ve pulled the best information I have gathered over the years into my top ten 10 for weight control. If you are struggling to lose weight and get in shape, these tips will help you with your journey.
If you would like to Download the PDF of this post, click the link below:
Keep track: I know some experts will tell you not to weigh yourself. They are right if you are the kind of person who goes into deep depression if you gain a pound from one day to the next. You DO need to keep track of where you are at, however. Otherwise weight can creep up on you when you don’t realize it. You’ll need to find a way that works best for you. Take your measurements each week. Put on your favorite pair of jeans once a week and take note of how they fit. Here’s what works for me. I have a “weight window” of 10 pounds, with a low end and a high end. I weigh myself each day. As long as I am “in the window” it’s all good. If I go too low, time to eat some more nutrient dense, healthy food (not junk). If I go above the window, I know it’s time to create a negative calorie balance by cutting some calories and adding some more activity.
Keep moving: This is one of the biggest problems Americans have. We sit too much! We sit at work, we sit at home. You will still get hungry, even if you don’t expend calories and then you gain weight. No movement means muscle atrophy (they go away). Muscle tissue burns more calories than body fat, which leads to a vicious weight gaining cycle. Make yourself move. Park and walk, take the stairs, take a break from your desk.
Drink water: Your body craves it, but you consistently do not give it enough. It can’t function properly if you don’t hydrate it. Sugary drinks (can you say frappucino?) give you absolutely nothing except excess sugar and calories. A soda should be a treat, not a staple of your regular diet.
Eat breakfast: I can’t stress this one enough. Breakfast jump starts your metabolism for the day. If you don’t eat breakfast, by 10:30 your starved and shoving anything into your mouth that will fill your belly. You don’t make good decisions eating that way.
Cut your sugar intake: Sugar is linked to diseases like diabetes and cancer. Processed sugar is nothing but empty calories. It’s in A LOT of the foods we eat that you don’t think of as a sugary food, like bread and spaghetti sauce. Read the food labels and make wise choices.
Stick to complex carbs: These are things like brown rice, 100% whole wheat breads, sweet potatoes and quinoa. Refined carbs pack on the pounds. Think of the color white (white bread, white rice, white flour, white sugar) and highly processed foods (crackers, cookies, chips, donuts, etc.). They fill your belly, but they are low on nutrients. They spike your insulin level and then when it dips later, you crash. You’re tired and hungry and guess what your body will crave? More refined carbs.
Eat Clean Foods: What are clean foods? These are foods in their most natural state. An orange, an apple, a carrot. These are clean because they come straight from the tree or the ground. Lean meats and whole grains are minimally processed. Things that come in boxes, bags and cans are more processed. Foods that have the word “refined” in the ingredients label are highly processed. Fill your diet with clean foods and cut back on highly processed foods.
Resistance Train: It doesn’t HAVE to be weightlifting, but you will lose muscle as you age unless you work at keeping what you’ve got. That means your muscles need to get a workout on a regular basis. Body weight, resistance bands, medicine balls, dumbbells, kettlebells and weight machines are all ways you can resistance train. More muscles mean more of a calorie burn. You will also look leaner, even if you weigh a little more.
Do what you like when it comes to exercise: Find activities you enjoy. You won’t stick with it if you don’t like it. If you get tired of something, change it up! Variety is the spice of life, so take part in several activities you like. Right now, I’m into walking, cycling, pickleball, and kettlebell workouts. I also love to kayak when I get the chance!
Get an accountability partner: You need a workout buddy! It should be someone who will encourage you on the days you don’t feel like doing anything. It should also be someone who will celebrate your accomplishments with you and be understanding when you have a setback WITHOUT letting you give up.
Every now and again, I get asked to try and then review a “health” product. I’m very finicky about which ones I review. Quite frankly, some of them are not very healthy. So when Nina Martin e-mailed me asking me to sample Skinny and Company Coconut Oil Products, I did my research to see if this was the type of product I wanted you to see on my blog.
Skinny and Company was founded by Luke and Matthew Geddie, two adventurous brothers who travelled to Viet Nam and fell in love with the country people and culture. Along with Kim Vo, they decided to found a company that could bring the natural coconut products of the country to the world while supporting the local Vietnamese community. The products are:
100% natural and truly “tree to table”, cold processed (never heated above 97 degrees), no chemicals, no fillers, no preservatives and pesticide free.
That was good enough for me to tell Nina to go ahead and send me a sample box. When I got them I was excited to try the coconut oil, facial oil, and sugar scrub they sent me.
The first one I tried was the facial oil. I used it first as a moisturizer for my hands.
The guide that came with the products said it was good for sensitive skin. I will caution you not to expect miracles when it comes to inflamed skin (I have some eczema that just won’t quit) but it worked well on my other sensitive skin. As a make-up remover it worked really well too. My favorite use was as a conditioner for my hair. I put just a little bit in after shampooing and worked it all through my hair. It gave me a lot of extra body and shine that my regular conditioner could not match.
The next product I tried was the coconut oil. I was intrigued by the claim that adding it to my favorite foods would keep me feeling fuller for longer. I added a teaspoon to my morning protein shake. It added a nice coconut flavor to my chocolate, peanut butter, strawberry shake. And yes, I drank my shake at 8:30 am and did not feel hungry again until about 1 pm. That’s unheard of for me. I also used it to cook. I would recommend using it in foods you would enjoy an added coconut flavor. I added it to quinoa, mushrooms, and pine nuts. Not the best flavor mix. The next time I cook with it, I will try it with chicken, shrimp or tilapia. That would taste great!
The last (and favorite) product I tried was the sugar scrub. It tastes delicious and as soon as the weather cools down, I am trying it in my tea (yes, you can eat all these products). During my shower, this stuff sloughed the rough skin right off. It also doubles as a moisturizer. No need to lotion after my shower. Bonus!
If YOU would like to try any of the Skinny and Company Coconut oil products, I have a code that will get you 10% off your purchase. Just comment “skinny” below and I will send it to you.
Sometimes you have to try to make it healthy with what you have on hand. A few days ago, we were low on groceries so I had to scrape together a meal with what was in the fridge and pantry. Here’s what I came up with.
We had fresh low sodium mozzarella left over from Margarita pizza. We had cherry tomatoes that are always on hand for salads. I had fresh basil growing in my garden.
I used 1/2 cup of fresh mozzarella, 6 cherry tomatoes cut in two and 3 to 4 fresh basil leaves torn into small pieces.
Put the cheese on a plate, put in in the microwave for 10 seconds at a time until it begins to melt. Lightly press the tomatoes into the cheese and cook for another 10 seconds. Press the basil into the cheese and enjoy!
This is one serving of protein or 2 servings of healthy fat and 1/2 veggie (if you are a 21 day fixer)
Would you like some help to eat right and lose weight? Healthy meal planning templates will help you eat the right foods in the right amounts. Learn more!
Summer is here and most of us are getting away, at least for a long weekend if not for a longer vacation. Here’s an idea to keep you from falling off the healthy lifestyle wagon while you relax and enjoy the summer at your favorite destination.
For every day you are away, do one thing that keeps you moving in a healthy directions. Of course you may eat a little more and drink a little more and…well you know the drill, while on vacation. If you plan one healthy activity each day, you will have a goal in mind that will counteract the unhealthy. You may be pleasantly surprised when you get home and step on the scale for the first time!
Here are 10 ideas to get you started.
1. Rent bikes
It’s a great way to really see the area you are visiting. While you are enjoying the scenery, you will be getting some great exercise. Many vacation areas have bicycles for rent at reasonable rates.
2. Try an active water sport
A lot of us head to the beach, the lake, or the river in the summer. Active water sports abound! Kayaking, paddle boarding, surfing, snorkeling, scuba diving or swimming are all great ways to work some exercise into your day on the water.
3. Look for an exercise class near you
I just spent two weeks at South Bethany Beach, Delaware. There were beach yoga, Pilates and Boot Camp classes all within walking distance from our beach house. Prices were reasonable and it’s a great way to meet a new fitness minded friend.
4. Bring your workout with you
My hubby and I pack our exercise mats and his iPad. That’s all we need to get a good workout every morning. YouTube has tons of free workouts that are only a click away. Search for Fitness Blender to find really good bodyweight workouts so you don’t have to lug any equipment with you.
5. Take a walk
The weather is always better in the summer. Sunny skies and warm temps are common. Even a walk in the rain will probably be a warm one. Put on a sturdy pair of sneakers and start walking. If you are camping, find a good hiking trail and go exploring.
7. Eat in
My extended family takes turns cooking supper at our beach house. We get to try each other’s cooking, help each other in the kitchen and do some bonding over meals. Your home cooking will naturally contain less calories, fat and salt. That does not mean you shouldn’t go out at all. Everything in moderation!
Vacations are meant to be a respite from your usual activities. Disconnect from the responsibilities of work and household chores. Resist checking work e-mail and texts. Your company will survive for a few days without you.
9. Try local food
Wherever you go, remember that fresh, whole foods are best. When you are planning your meals, don’t forget about local farmer’s markets. When you look for a restaurant, look for farm to table places that use local meats, cheeses, produce etc.
10. Escape into a good book
When you are on vacation, it’s a great time to read something purely for pleasure. Head to your library, favorite bookstore, Amazon or Kindle and pick out a few books you have been dying to read…then escape!
The challenge has been thrown down! Comment below to let me know how YOU added one healthy activity to each day of your get-a-way. Go to my Facebook site Sue Kauffman Fitness and like it. Then you can post a picture and a description of your healthy vacation activities! Happy Summer.
This is a great summer recipe that you can use in place of burgers. They taste delicious and are perfectly seasoned. We love to grill them on a summer afternoon and enjoy them in our sunroom as the sun goes down!
You will need:
Two to four large portabella mushrooms
Sun dried tomatoes in oil
Hellman’s olive oil mayonnaise
Rolls (whole grain will make this a healthier meal)
Brush each mushroom top with oil from the sundried tomatoes
Grill mushrooms on the grill for 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until desired doneness
Place mushroom on roll
Put mayonnaise on the mushroom top
add fresh spinach and sun dried tomatoes (the mayonnaise will help keep the spinach and tomato from sliding off)
Serve with salad and brown rice
Would you like a meal planning template designed just for your calorie needs? Click here
Are you looking to combine a fitness challenge with a fun trip? If so, then read on. Guest blogger, Olivia Wood, helps you learn more about the Health and Fitness Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada coming up in November.
Las Vegas doesn’t cut corners when it comes to providing the ultimate entertainment to people. It may be known for its noisy and flashy casino halls but now, it’s also becoming the go-to place for health buffs to challenge themselves. On November 11 – 13, 2016, runners and fitness enthusiasts will be happy to know that Sin City will be holding a 3-day Health and Fitness Expo that includes a Marathon, which will see participants using part of the Strip as their circuit. This event is great for people who are looking for health products, tips, and services that can aid them in losing weight and living a healthier lifestyle.
The Health and Fitness Expo will be featuring leaders in the fitness industry speaking at the event. Some of the notable speakers include Michael Ryan, CEO of Fitness STAR International, and Adriel Borhesi, Operations Manager/personal Trainer at Dumbbells Too.
Those who wish to participate in the marathon will need to visit the Health & Fitness expo in order to get their race packs, which include a t-shirt, gear bag, and race number. During the race, runners will get the chance to see the Strip at night, passing by some of the most iconic establishments such as the Wynn Casino, Caesar’s Palace, and Mandalay Bay Casino. Participants don’t need to be experienced long distance runners as there’s also a half marathon for beginners. For experienced marathon runners, the full version usually takes around 5 hours to complete. Around 20,000 runners participate in the event every year so if you’re interested in participating, register as early as now. Slots are limited and people sign up to the event every day, so make sure you secure your place now.
There have been a lot of fitness expos in Las Vegas currently, alongside popular annual events such as comic cons and tech shows. Las Vegas is trying to bolster its annual events schedule due to the fact that its casino services are slowly becoming redundant thanks to the advancements in online play. Today, people don’t need to go to Las Vegas just to play in the city’s huge bingo halls or gaming floors as people can simply do so in the comfort of their own home and enjoy cash rebates and multiple variants of TV and movie-themed bingo titles. Slots and table games can also be played on smartphones, complete with live dealers for blackjack and poker. Since Las Vegas cannot compete with the comfort that online casino gaming provides, Sin City casinos are constantly looking for alternative ways to generate revenue, and in this case, the Las Vegas Marathon and Health Expo is one of the ways that the city considered to counter the ongoing trend of online gaming.
Such an events as this, helps bring in a new demographic to Las Vegas every year, and introduce them to the wonders of Las Vegas. After all, Las Vegas isn’t all cocktails and burgers.