Thursday, December 20, 2018

Quantity or Quality....What is More Important?


Have you ever heard someone say that diet is 80% of the health and wellness battle?  Or, maybe someone has told you to hit a specific repetition range when weight training.  You could have also heard that you need to take care of your heart, because 61,000 American people die of heart disease every year.  
 
What do all of these things have in common?   

In one form or another, they are all quantified.  By nature, humans seem to have a better sense of importance when things are weighted or categorized by numbers.  The question that this post will address is this:  Are the numbers the only thing that matters?



Recently, one of my clients made a social media post about the wellness journey being 80% nutrition and 20% physical fitness.  At the end of the day, her point was that, yes, the nutrition is vitally important; however, the fitness is what keeps her motivated.  My take is that she is willing to eat well to complement the fitness, but it is the fitness journey that is near and dear to her heart.  It is the “nitty gritty” sweat and energy that tugs on her heart strings and makes her feel good about her accomplishments.  That is where her passion is, and that is what gives her a positive quality of life.  


Another of my wonderful clients is committed to healthy balanced nutrition.  Her mission is to balance her nutrition first to protect her heart, and that makes her feel more motivated to include the physical activity component.  She is determined to condition herself to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and she is working hard to balance what she enjoys with what she needs to maintain her quality of life.  


Both of these ladies live in the same world that is quantified by those same numbers.  Simultaneously, they are motivated by different components of the equation.  At the end of the day, the numbers are the facts.  They are quantifiable assessments, and although one factor might be greater than another, they show us that they are all important for healthful success.  We need to eat healthy and exercise to have optimal health.  Eating healthy and exercising together can decrease our risk for becoming one of the 61,000 people who have died from heart disease. 
 

But where does quality come in?


I have learned that regardless of the scientific facts of life, QUALITY OF LIFE, reigns supreme.  When I work with clients, I try to find the glimmer within those facts that will motivate them to improve their quality of life.  My client who “does it for the fitness” has better success focusing on the workouts first, and as she becomes more motivated to do better, the nutrition component will be her next step.  The same works in the reverse for my nutritionally motivated client.  She has been learning how to balance what she eats, and she now has the desire to achieve more results by stepping up her workouts.


This is a key reason why assessments are crucial when helping clients achieve success.  It is not just about body measurements.  It is NOT about using numbers to convince people that they are broken and never doing the right things.  It is about figuring out what is important to that client and using those factors to help them maintain or improve their quality of life. 



At Tonicity Fit, it is my job to focus on the quantifiable aspects of health and wellness, but it is also important that I get to know WHO my clients are.  Once I figure out what motivates them to improve, I can teach them the quantity of balance they need to have optimal quality in their lives.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

The Importance of REST

Do you rest enough?



I am constantly telling my clients that they need to remember to rest.  In fact, if you work out with me, you have probably heard the phrase, "rest is just as important as the exercise," on many occasions.

Why is the rest so important?

The short answer to this is recovery.  The human body is always going to need to recover from activity.  Depending on the intensity of that activity, the body will need a varying degree of rest and recovery.
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When I was in college, my anatomy professor used the first day to explain the differences and similarities between anatomy and physiology.  Anatomy is composed of the physical structures that put us all together.  This includes our organs, vessels, bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles.  Physiology is function.  Physiology is composed of the processes that come together allowing the body to properly function.  So, anatomy and physiology together encompasses the relationship between the structure and the function that makes our human bodies work the way that they do.  This is a delicate and intricate process that is constantly adapting to keep us at a steady state for survival.

How does this relate to rest?  Your physical structure needs to rest in order to restore optimal function.   We live in a time where we have conditioned ourselves to go-go-go more than we stop.  We rarely take the time to allow our structure and function to catch up with one another.  This lack of restoration in balance has the potential to lead to  a massive overload, causing disruption and even injury to our complex system.  

One reason this happens is because the negative repercussions often occur over time.  There is subtle damage done each time that we neglect to rest, ultimately leading to a perfect storm of pain and injury in the long run. It is difficult to recognize the damage that is being done if it is not damage that happens immediately. 

This need for rest can go both ways.  We need to rest the structure just as much as the function.  When it comes to exercise, we need to rest between sets, allowing the muscle tissue to regenerate and restore its ability to perform the next round.  Muscle groups need to be rested between days to allow the tissue to repair and strengthen before the next session.  Simultaneously, the mind needs to rest and regenerate after strenuous neurological activity.  Without the rest, there is no recovery, without the recovery, there is much less ability to perform in the future.    

Here are my suggestions:

For exercise, take at least 45 seconds to 2 minutes of rest between sets when weight training.  Also be sure to rest between days for similar muscle groups.  Working with a trained exercise specialist can help you to learn and understand where you fall within these guidelines.  If you are injured, then maybe it is time to back off a little.  Find alternatives, and trust the process.  It might take time, but time will heal if you allow it.

For the mind, take some time to relax!  I am a huge supporter in yoga.  The good thing about yoga is that it gives you the time and ability to open your mind and let go.  It is also a fantastic form of physical exercise.  If yoga is not for you, find some time to discover what is.  For some, it might be a nice bubble bath, others might like to meditate, and I also know some who feel quite relaxed from keeping a journal to stay aware and on track with their intentions.  Tap into your religion, do some reading, breathe.....

Find what works for you and put it into practice.  Allow your body to rest and it will reward you wholly. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Sweet Treat Alternatives from Tonicity Fit


In the thick of the holiday season, I always have clients asking me for alternative foods that they can carry with them in place of the sweets.  I am not a big recipe creator; however, I have done a good amount of research on this subject.  Here are some recipes that I have found are great little treats to curb the holiday food situation.  Some of my clients make these snacks and freeze them.  They will take one or two out at a time and save the rest for the next time that they are needed.


You can use the links that I have provided for each recipe.  I have also put them below for your convenience.  My versions include the brand of protein that I enjoy the most.  You can use whatever protein you prefer.  I am a big supporter of 100% hydrolyzed whey protein isolate.

Birthday Cake Protein Cupcakes

 


This is a recipe that I found here:  https://masonfit.com/birthday-cake-protein-cupcakes/


I like this recipe because it is packed with protein, and lower on the end of calories and carbs (I am NOT saying that carbs are bad).  They also look pretty, which I think can help satisfy the need for the tasty looking sweet treats during this time of year.  


I give the credit for the recipe to the author of masonfit.com.  Well done, Mason!


Ingredients:


CUPCAKES

  • 3 Scoops Vanilla Dymatize ISO100 Hydrolyzed Whey Protein Isolate
  • ½ C All Purpose Flour
  • 3/8 C Coconut Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • ¾ C Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
  • ¼ C Light Butter
  • ½ C Fat Free Greek Yogurt (vanilla or plain) – Vanilla will have more sugar
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1-2 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 T sprinkles are optional

FROSTING 
  • 2 oz Fat Free Cream Cheese
  • 1/4 C Fat Free Greek Yogurt (vanilla or plain)
  • 1 Scoop Vanilla Dymatize ISO Hydrolyzed Whey Protein Isolate
Cooking Instructions:


1.  Preheat oven to 325F and line a 12-muffin tin with cupcake liners or baking cups.


2.  Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl and be sure to get any clumps of coconut flour completely incorporated


3.  Gradually add the milk, yogurt, butter, and egg to the dry ingredients.  Stir until smooth


4.  Fold the sprinkles into the cupcake batter


5.  Transfer the batter to the cupcake liners as evenly as possible.  Each liner should be around 3/4 full.


6.  Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Avoid overcooking as protein treats run a higher risk of being dry / tough with overcooking.


7.  Remove the cupcake liners from the muffin tin to cool.


8.  While your protein cupcakes cool, mix the frosting ingredients in a bowl.  

9.  Frost and Enjoy! - Makes 12 Cupcakes

 Nutrition Information is PER SERVING




Sweet Potato Blueberry Protein Muffins

 



This recipe is great for potassium, healthy carbs, fiber, lots of protein, and antioxidants from the blueberries.


I give the credit for the recipe to the author of eatthegains.com.  Well done, Kelly!


Kelly asked me not to post the actual recipe onto my blog; however, she did give me permission to tell you all about it.  This is a good alternative to other "goodies" where you can enjoy it AND not have all of the guilt.




~For the CHOCOLATE LOVERS!!!!~

Healthier Chocolate Black Bean Muffins



This last recipe can be found here:  http://www.thenaturallynatalie.com/healthier-chocolate-black-bean-muffins/


I could not find a way to contact Natalie and ask if I could publish her recipe.  You can click the link above to find out how to make these yummy chocolate muffins.



I recommend bringing one or two of these with you when you think that you might be in a challenging position this holiday season.  Or any season!


If you choose to make any of these recipes, I would love some pictures and comments below!  Don't forget to give your feedback to the creators of the recipes as well.


ENJOY!!!

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Combatting Depression and Anxiety with the Power of Exercise



With over 17% of Americans admitting to suffering from depression and anxiety each year, it is likely that you or someone you know may currently be dealing with the struggle.

If you’ve ever experienced either of these issues, you know the pain of carrying around a heavy burden that doesn’t easily go away.

Unlike a simple case of bad day blues that can be cured with a hot bath, a chat with a good friend, and a glass of wine, true depression sinks deep into your inner being and drags you down.  While anxiety forces you to hold unreasonable expectations that are almost impossible to come to achieve.

When you feel at your absolute lowest, it becomes harder and harder to find the motivation and strength to get up in the morning, let alone maintain a fitness routine.  It is at these points when taking care of your health and fitness is the best, most crucial thing you can do to restore balance and vibrance back into life.

The body, mind, and spirit are not separate entities, and if one of them slips out of balance, the others will follow.

By implementing regular exercise into their lifestyle, depressed and anxious individuals can significantly alleviate symptoms and experience long-lasting relief.  Research supports that regular structured exercise relieves depressive and anxious feelings by releasing endorphins that combat these difficult issues.  When paired with the guidance of a qualified medical professional, exercise can provide the structure necessary to decrease negative symptoms and improve overall quality of life. 



And the good news is that all sorts of exercise modalities are beneficial for combatting these challenges— whether you prefer walking, jogging, running, yoga, lifting weights, or anything else, if you’re moving your body regularly, you are on the right track.

If your lifestyle is currently more sedentary, then introducing 20 minutes of exercise at least 3 times per week can trigger a significant improvement in alleviating depression. Once you are more comfortable with exercise, you can increase to 30 minutes or more for 5-7 days per week.

Just 20-30 minutes a day — that is all it takes to BEGIN the journey toward improvement.

Just think of all the things you spend 20-30 minutes doing, and be honest with yourself — is your overall health and well-being important enough to dedicate 20-30 minutes of your time to caring for yourself?

Hopefully the answer is a resounding YES — you ARE worth it!