Tag Archives | Mark’s Daily Apple

{Guest Post} Food & The Daily Battle

Welcome to Part II of the Women’s Health series here on Moi Contre La Vie. Today we’re going to hear more from Megan of Kaia F.I.T. Sacramento on the daily struggle to eat well. If you’re new to this series be sure to check out Megan’s bio {Guest Post: Women’s Health} and her previous post – Fashion of the Fitness World.

Part 2: Food… The Daily Battle

I love ice cream, especially cookies & cream. I love cheeseburgers and extra crispy french fries. I can put down a serious amount of pizza. I love crafty cocktails and champagne. I worked in fine dining restaurants for 10 years and was privileged to indulge in some amazing dishes and glasses of wine…

But now I work in the fitness industry. And I constantly try to balance my view of food… Fuel or Delicious Goodness? My answer is both.

The majority of the time, on the day-to-day, food is fuel. Looking at it that way leads me to eating cleaner, leaner, and healthier. I view myself like a machine and if I want to run properly, perform well in my workouts, and feel energetic all day, I need to provide myself with the best fuel available.

I personally feel the best when I eat multiple times throughout the day, always beginning with breakfast. I feel great when I eat lean meat and eggs, lots of veggies and greens, and fresh fruit. I like nuts and trail mix for snacks and dried fruit for dessert. Avoiding the starchy carbs, dairy, and sugar is essential to feeling good.

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However, coming from the restaurant industry, I love nothing more than a nice dinner out. I appreciate a perfectly cooked noodle and a salty piece of pork belly. And I absolutely love home-made ice cream and cookies at my mom’s house. These are the good things in life.

So, how do I balance it? When do I decide to devour a sandwich and when do I stick to a salad full of veggies? I practice MODERATION. I try to stick to healthy ‘fuel’ most of the time. When I treat myself to ‘carbs’ and sugar, I view it just that way… As a TREAT. I think it’s better that way anyway. I feel like crap when I eat sugar and bread days in a row and I stop appreciating it.

Everyone has to make their choices, each and every day. But awareness is where it all begins. If you never go without bread, dairy, sugar, alcohol, etc., how will you ever know how you feel without it?

Our go-to detox at Kaia FIT is 7 days without the following:

  • All starchy ‘carbs’ (bread, tortillas, rice, potatoes, etc.)
  • Sugar over 9g per serving (besides sugar naturally found in fruits/veggies)
  • Alcohol
  • Dairy
  • Processed Foods (if you can’t pronounce something on the label, avoid it!)

Eating clean is a great feeling and I highly recommend letting yourself experience it. And remember, “All things in moderation, including moderation.”

A big thank you to Megan for this great insight into her way of thinking about nutrition. It’s very easy to get into patterns of binging or restricting, so avoid all the negative side effects of both of those ways of eating and try practicing moderation as Megan has suggested.

What’s your personal approach to your daily diet?

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Beginner Fitness

In 2012 a reader came to me with a simple request – Could I help her ease into a workout routine that would put her on the path to overall better health? I documented a part of the process in the following series of posts – Want To Achieve Gym Goddess Status?, Part II, Part III, Part IV & Part V.

I’ve recently received a similar request and thought that 2013 would be a great time to share some of the details with my readers again because I think it’s such a worthwhile topic and achieving better health is widespread goal. I’m sure there have been countless New Years Resolutions related to this so why not get started on your path to health and happiness now?

In addition to providing short beginners workouts for the next few weeks, I’ll be recommending reading and do my best to keep you all motivated and inspired – Which is half the battle.

Workouts:

You want to ease into a new workout regime regardless of your current level of fitness, however if you’re not currently working out, attending classes, and/or running on a regular basis I would suggest starting with one or two small workouts a week and gradually increase to 3-5 as you start improving and feeling stronger.

Let’s start Week One with two short workouts to get us in the mood:

Day One

Warm Up: 5 minutes of cardio {Walking quickly, jogging/running, elliptical, stationary bike, rowing, stair climber…}

Warm Down: 5-10 minutes of intervals on a machine of your choosing {See the suggestions under Warm Up}

  • 30 seconds as fast as possible
  • 1 minute 30 seconds recovery – moderate speed
  • 30 seconds as fast as possible
  • 1 minute 30 seconds recovery – moderate speed

*My recommendation is to turn this into a mini circuit workout – After your warm up do one set of planks, one set of lunges, and one set of squats, then repeat the process a second and third time to complete the circuit before your warm down.

Day Two

Warm Up: 5 minutes of cardio {Walking quickly, jogging/running, elliptical, stationary bike, rowing, stair climber…}

  • Reverse Lunges {FitSugar’s Back to Basics: Stationary Reverse Lunge} 3 rounds of 10 lunges on each knee
  • Crunches {Dummies.com’s How To Do Crunches} 3 rounds of 20 – Be sure to watch your form & keep your chin & elbows UP form is important w/ this move
  • Leg Lifts {Shape Magazine’s Double-Leg Lower & Lift} 3 rounds of 20

Warm Down: 5-10 minutes of cardio {Walking quickly, jogging/running, elliptical, stationary bike, rowing, stair climber…}

Nutrition:

Following diets, participating in cleanses, and going through detox programs are interesting ways to find out how your body responds to things, but they’re not a way of life. Learning to eat well & make smart food choices on a daily basis is going to do much more for you than any short-term healthy eating “fix.”

Depending on your typical diet transitioning to a clean eating regime can seem pretty daunting, so to make the switch more manageable I’ll just recommend a few tips and suggest some things to cut out of your diet each week.

To start, it’s time to get cooking! Your first goal should be to cut out packaged, processed, and pre-made food from your diet. Don’t panic! That doesn’t mean that you’ll never be able to order Chinese again or never enjoy a handful of chips in the future, but if you want to transition to a clean diet the first step is to eliminate all of these types of foods. So your mission for the next two weeks is to start giving up anything processed, stop hitting the drive-through, and spend more time in the kitchen and less time at restaurants.

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Here are a few alternatives:

  • If you like chips or salty other snacks – Try raw almonds, butter-free air popped popcorn, or baby carrots w/ hummus
  • If you crave the beta-endorphin rush of sugary treats, baked goods, or candy – Switch these high calorie picks for fresh fruit, natural almond butter, or homemade sweet treats like Choosing Raw’s Cinnamon Caramelized Cauliflower or Maple Cinnamon Candied Pumpkin Seeds

Homework:

Understanding why you feel the way that you feel and how to improve your health is important. Anyone can blindly follow instructions, but learning about health, nutrition, and your body will help you for your entire life.

So with the goal of educating yourself and expanding your horizons here are some interesting articles you might enjoy:

  • Healthy fats like avocados, olive oil, and nuts & seeds {in moderation} are an important part of a healthy diet. Learn more about this subject by reading Natalie Jill Fitness’s Eating Fat Will NOT Make You Fat…
  • One of the things that impacts your health almost as much as nutrition and fitness is stress. You need to pay attention not only to how much stress you have in your life, but how you deal with it – How Stress Affects the Body.

Stress

So what do you think of this new series? Are these topics and the information I provided above interesting and relevant to your life?

Disclaimer: I am not a trainer, doctor, or dietitian nor do I have any certifications associated with physical fitness or nutrition. I’m merely an enthusiast {and former athlete} who reads & does research daily and has worked out alone or with coaches & trainers since the age of 6. I am lucky enough to have access to a handful of blogs, websites, and trainers to answer my questions though. Prior to making any dramatic changes to your fitness routine or diet I suggest that you consult a physician.

For more inspiration, my daily workout routines, and more Moi Contre La Vie you can find me on these platforms:

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Links You’ll Love

Fashion:

Diane

You’ve got your dress, you’ve picked up the perfect shade of lipstick for your pout, now what to do with your hair? Harper’s Bazaar has some fabulous ideas with their Holiday Hair Ideas – Celebrity Inspired Holiday Hair Ideas.

If you’re a makeup lover then you’ll adore this post & all of the color inspiration – Spring 2014 Color Trends.

The runways were filled with sheer hemlines last season but sometimes it’s hard to see how these beautiful trends can be translated to the street. Wonder no longer! The Sartorialist – If You’re Thinking About…… Sheer Hems.

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If you loved my latest MCLV Stye File: Miranda Kerr in Victoria Beckham post you’re adore all of the fabulous Miranda Kerr looks featured on My Dress My High Heels My Style – Miranda Kerr in 3.1 Phillip Lim & Balenciaga {Left} and Miranda Kerr in Proenza Schouler {Right}.

Haven’t gotten enough shopping yet this year? Check out Mama’s A Rolling Stone’s Your Holiday 2012 Shopping Guide for some more tips & sales for the remaining days of 2012.

Health & Fitness:

Tis the season for… Getting really really sick. Having recently been taken down by a stomach flu I’m reminded how the cold, wet weather makes this the season for the cold, the flu, and other holiday-ruining ailments. So help boost your immune system this season with Green Thickie’s Cold and Flu Busting Coconut and Orange Smoothie.

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Adorable workout clothes are a great way to get yourself motivated for a gym session. Don’t believe me? Just take a look at these cute duds over at NYC Pretty.

Taking your lunch to work is a great way to not only save a few dollars, but to ensure that you have healthy options to choose from for your lunch and for your midday snacking. If you’re just starting this practice or you’re running out of tasty choices check out Women’s Health’s 10 Healthy Lunch Ideas.

There are an endless number of delicious options out there for festive holiday cookies but one of my favorites this season has been Peas And Thank You’s Candy Cane Crinkle Cookies.

Given the chatter around the recent ballot measure relating to organic food, GMO, and labeling I thought that this piece from Mark’s Daily Apple was particularly relevant right now – 7 Foods You Don’t Need to Buy Organic.

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Links You’ll Love

Health/Fitness:

Did you watch the recent 60 Minutes piece Is Sugar Toxic? Raise your hand if that guy scared you a little! I consider myself very well-informed when it comes to health and nutrition, and I don’t consume much sugar, but that guy was still creepy intense. Doesn’t mean the message was wrong though, to be sure, let’s just try to hear it from a different, more palatable source. The Difference in How Fructose and Glucose Affect Your Body from Kimberly Snyder, Do We Need Better Advice About Eating Well? I Vote Yes from Marion Nestle, and The Sugar Blockers Diet from Prevention.com.

Need some healthy snack ideas? Obviously you should reach for fresh fruit & veggies, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit before anything packages & processed, but sometimes you just need to throw something in your purse or keep in your desk in case of a snacking emergency. Check out the Hungry Hungry Hippie‘s suggestions or my Lollihop review. I’ll also be reviewing my Healthy Surprise box soon!

Are you a fan of yoga? Since I’m going through physical therapy for a back injury and trying to strengthen my core and stay flexible, I’m going to give it another try. Here are some beginner and not-so-beginner yoga sessions to give a try:

Did you enjoy Part I and Part II of the Mark’s Daily Apple series called Why Fast? that I posted here? The next installment in this series is a great beginners guide to fasting – Why Fast? Part Six – Choosing a Method.

Healthy motivation to start your week off right tomorrow! 4 Great Ways To Use Chia Seeds from Canadian Living, professional triathlete and author Brendan Brazier’s favorite ingredientsfrom leafy greens to pseudograins, seeds and nuts, and In Defense of Fat: 7 Surprising Facts from The Huffington Post.

 

Fashion:

As we get ready for Spring why not take inspiration from the Aussie’s who are finishing up their warm weather dressing – Sydney Snaps: Street Style From Down Under.

I read lots of pieces on how to be a good hostess – from menus to glasses to centerpieces, but I was excited to read this article from Apartment Therapy on Hosting Overnight Guests Without A Guestroom. San Francisco is a city of apartment living and when a one bedroom is usually over $2000 a month, most people don’t have an unused bedroom, so this is incredibly relevant!

Nothing but fabulousness from the arrivals at the Gucci Fashion Show After-Party in Shanghai. If you need inspiration for a night out on the town these ladies are a great place to start!

A great look for Spring is a crisp button down shirt. You can pair it with cropped pants, a pleated mini, over a flowy maxi dress or even tucked into jeans. And why not mix up the classic white button down and try a Chambray shirt. Do A Little Chambray! from Eat Breath Fashion.

Whether you’re breaking out your Spring dresses for weekends or planning a shopping trip for your Summer wedding season, take inspiration from FabSugar’s Ultimate Spring Dress Guide!

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Links You’ll Love

Fashion:

Are you as sick of skinny jeans as I am these days? I love the silhouette of a slim pant with a tunic, oversized sweater or cropped jacket on top, but the worn-to-death trend of skinny jeans is making me mad! The Stylist is here to help though, with 7 Alternatives to Skinny Blue Jeans.

Poppy Delevingne Style

Looks like I’m not the only one in awe of Poppy Delevingne’s personal style, see FabSugar’s One To Watch: Poppy Delevingne’s Fun, Fearless Style Has Us Hooked, Hello!’s Fashion Week favourite Poppy shows off her street savvy or Harper’s Bazaar – BAZAAR Boards: Poppy’s Chic Coat Tricks.

Ever wondered just how Chanel does it? Take a look at Lucky Magazine’s Watch the Chanel Team Make a Little Black Jacket. Or if you’re more interested in the man behind Chanel check out the Harper’s Bazaar piece My List: Karl Lagerfeld In 24 Hours. What did I learn?

Ready for Spring shopping? Watch Prada’s new “Real Fantasies” video lookbook staring Jessica Stam, Ginta Lapina, and Lindsey Wixson or H&M’s Spring 2012 campaign featuring the beautiful Sasha Pivovarova, Natasha Poly, Isabeli Fontana, and Anais Mali.

Health/Fitness:

March is National Nutrition Month so take a look at some great articles that will give you new perspective on what eating healthy means to you:

Need some motivation to get you moving? Literally? Check out Holly Would If She Could’s 5 Jedi Mind Tricks For Kickstarting A New Fitness Routine.

Smoothies are a great way to pack protein and nutrients into your breakfast and start your day right – see my Smoothie Love post for my favorite smoothie recipes and a breakdown on some of the great, healthy ingredients you can add. If you’re not a fan of bananas and think that limits your smoothie choices, think again! Check out Gena from Choosing Raw’s Avocado and Berry Smoothie: Banana-less Smoothie Take I. Need more ideas or inspiration? Read FitSugar’s Green Juice & Smoothie Recipes and Vega creator Brendan Brazier’s Smoothiology 101: Saving the Planet 1 Smoothie at a Time.

The Huffington Post’s 8 Ways To Become An Optimist and Marc and Angel Hack Life’s 30 Things To Start Doing For Yourself both seem to support my personal decision to Be Positive this year. I’ve also been trying to read and/or participate in Polish My Crown’s Thankful Thursdays. Do you think positivity and optimism can improve your enjoyment of life?

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