Choosing and Caring for Your Workout Clothing

I have been working out fairly regularly for several years now. In that time I have gone through several brands and styles of fitness gear, especially sports bra. By far my favorite are by Adidas. They have kept their form, clean easily and the fit and support is amazing.  I prefer the ones that close or zip in the front.
Why is Adidas so great? Adidas is all about function. And in order for you to
have incredible workouts and feel amazing, you need to have the right apparel,
so they created a line of the best bras imaginable for all of you.

New Adidas Bras for
Everyone
Adidas has released a full line up of super impressive sports
bras for ladies to rock during their workouts. (Or if you just want to wear
something super comfortable!) And get this, they took custom fit to a whole new
level for the sports bra, so sizing doesn’t just run small – large…you can
choose a cup size for the adidas
Women’s Energy Bra – A, B, & C cup
. Prices start at just $25 on the Techfit bras.

Regardless of the brand you go with how you care for your work-out clothing is important. While most brands are made primarily of lycra/spandex higher end brands such as Lululemon  or Zobha cost more because they are made using higher quality material (for instance lululemon’s signature fabric is luon). So when your are spending multiple $20’s for running capris be sure to read the label and surf the brands website for specific care instructions before you through them in the washer.

 No matter what your fitness fashion budget may be a good rule of thumb for extending your work-out gear is to wash them in cold water. I know it is tempting to throw sweaty gear into hot water but don’t!Make sure you use a detergent that works well in cold water and if needed use cleaners made for work-out gear that target perspiration. If you prefer a more natural approach try using vinegar and water.  For best results mix one tablespoon of white vinegar with half-a-cup of water to clean out stubborn perspiration stains. Let the fabric soak for 20-30 minutes and then launder on cool. 

The best way to ensure that odors are easier to remove is to wash your gear as soon as you can. Even if all you do is drop it onto a small bucket  filled with water, detergent, a little vinegar and little baking soda. Let them soak overnight, hang them to dry and then wash them the next day.

Last but certainly not least is the dryer. Heat really has no place in the care of your work-out gear. If you don’t have an outdoor clothes line hang them in laundry room, bathroom, anywhere except next to, in or on heat! 

If you need more inspiration for work-out gear check out my Pinterest page: ‘Cause you need to look good when you work out too

Vegan Breakfast Tacos

I am not a big breakfast eater but I do realize it is an important meal. During the work week I usually have some fresh green juice, a handful of almonds and cranberries. On occasion I’ll grab a bagel and Tofutti. On the week-ends however I like to take it easy, sip on my coffee and enjoy a “real” breakfast. One of my favorite things to make is breakfast tacos. They are healthy, filling and easy to make. I promise you won’t miss the eggs or cheese.

Ingredients: 
Potatoes or hash-browns
Green onions
Bell Pepper, any color
Tomato
Salt & pepper
Tortillas
2 tablespoons of Olive oil
Your favorite salsa *optional*

You can add any veggies that you like, the options are endless. When it is just me eating them I load up the mushrooms!

1. Either wash and cut your potatoes or start baking your hash-browns. The potatoes can be cooked in the over or on the stove top to avoid heating up the house.  I use hash-brown patties because they are quick and easy. I do make sure that the only thing they contain are potatoes.

2. Heat your pan with olive oil in it on medium heat. 

3. While your potatoes are cooking and your pan is heating up you can chop up your veggies. I have to say that I am pretty proud of my chopped veggies! There was a time when they look mangled. The Complete Knife Skills from Craftys changed that! If you want to improve your knife skills this class will do it!

4. Saute your veggies in the Olive oil

5. Chop up your hash-browns and add it to the veggie mix. This is when you can add salt and pepper to taste.

6. Cook the mixture for a few minutes to give everything a chance to mix together.

7. Scoop the mixture into a tortilla, and top with your favorite salsa!

Start to finish, including browning the hash-browns these take about 20 minutes to make. If you make a big enough batch you can freeze or refrigerate the leftover, pop it in the microwave and you have a quick and healthy breakfast that a fast food restaurant can’t compete with!

What’s your go-to healthy breakfast?

Yoga: Transforming Your Body and Mind

I enjoy mixing my work-outs up, yoga, strength training, Pilates, or just a long walk. I think mixing it up keeps me from getting board, a problem I had when I was going to a gym. Like most, I find yoga to be relaxing. It tends to calm me and wash away all the anxiety and brings my body into balance physically and emotionally but yoga can do so much more. Depending on the session yoga can pump you up, build muscle and burn calories as much as a cardio work-out. Add some weights and you are going to see the same results you would with some of the more extreme programs on the market. I think the different options is why I like Yoga download so much. I can log in and pick what I am in the mood for. 

Yoga download was dreamed up by a team of devoted yoga students and teachers, their site – which has been lauded by the New York Times, Yoga Journal, Weight Watchers, and Body + Soul – enables you to stream or download a constantly updated selection of more than 500 professionally recorded online video and audio yoga classes onto your computer or mobile device. The classes are lead by world-class instructors, who guide you through disciplines ranging from the more vigorous Vinyasa to the more gentle Hatha yoga, and in a wide range of levels, from beginner to advanced, as well as lengths, ranging from 5-120 minutes. YogaDownload empowers you to practice yoga your way, on your time, wherever you see fit. They will become your own personal online yoga studio, open 24 hours a day!

Yoga With Weights is a complete, total body workout. The Yoga with Weights classes tone, sculpt and lengthen every major muscle group in your body. Add small, 3 or 5 pound dumbbells to specific postures and move deeper into each pose – becoming your own, personal adjuster! These intense, but easy-to-follow classes will push your strength and flexibility to the next level and make your yoga practice a more complete workout for body, mind and soul.

What type of workouts do you enjoy? Have you tried yoga before? 

Questions about eating Gluten Free and Grain Preparation

The information below is the rest of the interview I did with Betty Rocker. She shared so much information with me on eating gluten free and grain preparation that it deserved a separate post.

Q How did you become interested in a gluten free diet?
A. I started eating gluten-free several years ago when I realized a lot of my digestive issues went away when I avoided gluten. I used to suffer from a lot of bloating, gas and stomach pain, and it prompted me to start researching the effects of inflammatory foods on our ability to digest and absorb nutrients.
Gluten, the protein found in wheat can be extremely irritating to the villi of the small intestine when eaten daily, even in people who don’t have a gluten allergy – causing inflammation and bloating, and interfering with a smooth digestive process.

However, this is not the whole story. Grains, nuts, seeds and other plants contain a phosphorous-bound compound called phytic acid, (found on their external coating) which binds to important minerals in our digestive system – prohibiting their absorption.

Should you suddenly stop eating these foods? No! Healthy indigenous people have been including them for centuries. The difference that we miss is that people prepared their food differently than we do now in our rush to get food ready as fast as possible.

Traditional methods like soaking, sprouting and fermenting are still practiced around the world. All of these processes allow the phytic acid to break down, and effectively begin pre-digestion of the gluten protein. American pioneers were famous for their sourdough starters. Ever heard of miso? It’s fermented bean curd, common in Asia. Overnight oatmeal allows the oat groats to absorb all of the liquid and become easily digestible.  Sprouted grains and sprouted grain products are becoming more available and mainstream as the health movement and more access to this kind of information has begun to drive consumer spending.
If you think you have a gluten allergy (Celiac’s), which is something quite serious you should definitely get a blood test. But “gluten intolerance” is a symptom of a much bigger problem which is how our food is prepared, and a sign that we need to return to simpler times and more traditional wisdom.

Try this simple method for overnight oatmeal

Q. Based on your experience, what are some considerations people should think about before committing to a gluten free diet?

A. For health, longevity and an optimal state in the body, eliminating processed foods will rid your diet of most of the gluten you’re eating. There are plenty of healthy, wholesome complex carbohydrate sources like brown rice, oats, quinoa, amaranth and fibrous vegetables like sweet potatoes and yams that will deliver the slow-digesting carbohydrates you need for lasting energy without the blood sugar spike.
Be sure you are preparing your grains by soaking, sprouting or fermenting processes to get the full benefit of their nutrients and allow your body to absorb and properly digest them. You may find that going completely gluten free is unnecessary once you start applying these principles to your food, and keep processed cereals, crackers and breads to a bare minimum.

Q. What are the biggest misconceptions people have about a gluten free diet?

The biggest misconception about this way of eating is that it is one of deprivation.  Most people are concerned that they won’t be able to eat bread and pasta. That’s fair, because most breads and pasta do contain wheat flour. I would recommend re-thinking wheat products from bread and pasta in the first place, because they’re made with wheat that’s been refined. The refining process strips out many of the minerals and fiber that promote a slow release of energy and sugar into your bloodstream, causing your blood sugar levels to spike.

It’s also a common misconception that going gluten free means that it’s suddenly okay to start eating “gluten free crackers” “gluten free cookies” and “gluten free cereals.” These processed gluten free products are NOT necessarily healthier for you. Often loaded with sweeteners or preservatives, processed gluten free products can cause as much irritation to your body as the gluten-containing products. Stick to whole food sources whenever possible, and always read your food labels to avoid food additives and processed sugar.
People may also believe that the gluten free diet will solve all of their stomach troubles. While eliminating gluten from the diet may initially cause some relief from symptoms like bloating, gas, etc, the most important thing to remember is that gluten itself is not the culprit. It is the way we are commercially preparing food that isn’t doing us any favors.

Chocolate Chip Raisin Cookie Pancakes

Q. What kind of mindset should a person have when committing to eating the way you describe?

A. An open mind! There are so many wonderful, simple recipes that you would never expect once you start opening up to a different way of eating.

I enjoy sweet potato pancakes made with almond meal flour, sprouted grain bread (easy to find – look for Ezekial brand), wholesome gluten free products (seek out those that do not have added sugar for best results), and so many more delicious options.

Q. What is the toughest time of the year to maintain this type of program?

A. In my program, I talk about “NSA days” – which means “no strings attached.” I dislike calling meals “cheat” meals, because that implies you’re doing something wrong. I think it’s really important to have balance – and choosing to enjoy occasional treats or special meals is not wrong or bad. Holidays are always perceived as this horribly tempting time of the year where no healthy eating plan is going to work. But that’s ridiculous. Thanksgiving is one day. Christmas is one, or two days. Let yourself enjoy the moment and the time with family and then get back to your clean eating afterwards.

For myself, I would have to say that traveling is the hardest time. Because I prepare a lot of my own food, I take for granted how challenging it can be when your only options are the restaurant, bar or local grocery store. And long days at conferences in hotels with hotel food can be really tough. My strategy is to always bring protein shakes with me, look over the menu for ingredients I can order rather than a specific meal – lean protein, vegetables and greens as much as possible, look for some good fats like nuts, avocados, or olive oil, and get rice, oats and fruit when possible to meet my carb needs.

Q. What kind of results can people expect when following your program?

A. Many of the people who have used my clean eating program, The Body Fuel System, have written to tell me how surprised they were to see their belly fat melting away so quickly. The ones who considered themselves clean eaters before the plan are always really impressed, because it makes it so apparent just how inflammatory certain foods can be.

Having great recipes and a clear and simple plan to follow that balances the nutrients makes it a lot easier to feel satisfied and full without relying on typical processed foods.

Q. What will people find most attractive about owning your ebook?

A. The Body Fuel System is about creating a sustainable lifestyle of healthy habits around food. It simplifies your life and will allow you to drop unwanted pounds. In addition to all of the health information, the book contains practical guides to dining in restaurants, traveling, substitutions in cooking, strategies for success – and a 30-day user guide that gives you grocery lists, recipes, weekly food prep and daily menus.