Pick your passion and roll with it!

Happy Friday everyone! This post is going to dive into some of my thoughts about physical activity and trends with exercise. I know people can get very passionate about exercise, so just take everything with a grain of salt and hear out my perspective!

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Sometimes we get caught up in trends and forget to pay attention to what we truly enjoy. What makes your heart full and your body happy? Of course this can be related to food, but trends can also effect other parts of your health and well-being.

The main things that come to mind when I think about this topic are work-out trends. I have tried a variety of different exercise regimens or classes from basic work-outs at the gym to yoga or spin. I definitely thank undergrad for that, because I was able to take a variety of classes such as TRX, Pilates, yoga, and cycling all for free. This gave me the opportunity to dive into new things and see what I really liked!

The problem with trends in any aspect of life (exercise, health, dieting, clothing, etc) is that we often get caught up in what is most “popular”. What is everyone else doing? Everyone else likes cross-fit, so shouldn’t I too?

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I am focusing on the exercise aspect because I think that keeping up with trends in exercise can often times be the most discouraging or frustrating. I remember when the cross-fit trend started and I thought to myself, “Am I supposed to try this? It’s so not me or what I enjoy about exercising?” With social-media being a hot way to communicate, we often times get wrapped up in what others are doing and what we think we should try to “get fit” vs really tapping in to what we love and enjoy. I have realized over the years that I continuously go back to running, so I have used this as an opportunity to perfect and really focus on this passion of mine.

When you are looking for a way to stay active, go for what you enjoy, not what is trending on Instagram or Facebook. When you enjoy the type of exercise that you are doing, it often times makes you more willing to continue and push yourself harder. Of course, trying new things can be fun, exciting, and you might find a new way to be active that you really enjoy, BUT don’t feel like you have to love something just because every else does!

How do I stay engaged and interested in running and not burn myself out? I challenge myself by running various races or switching from long-distance runs to quick sprints on the treadmill. I thrive off exercising in group settings. I love pushing myself to be faster and catch up to someone ahead of me, so running a 5k or training for a half marathon is something that really challenges me and pushes me to better myself! When I really do need a break, I go to my other loves — yoga and pure barre. Yoga is very relaxing for me and my body. Pure barre is a total “rock out to awesome music and feel my body shake” type of work out (you know…the ones where you can’t walk the next day?!).With these breaks in between races and an occasional HIIT workout, I have totally found a system that works for me and keeps my interest.

I encourage you to find something you enjoy and really dive into it. Become comfortable with yourself and where you are with exercise and fitness and always remember change takes time!

National Nutrition Month Tidbits

Well, if you have any dietitians in your life it’s no secret that it is National Nutrition Month! That being said, this is a perfect time to plug the “reliable nutrition” card! If you are seeking nutrition advice or have nutrition questions, always go to your RD first! Registered Dietitians are trained and have education and extensive training on science-based nutrition information and how to apply the research and science to every day practice. Before you click “search”, reach out to one of us and pick our brains instead… please!

I also figured I would use this month as a chance to give a few basic tips to healthy eating and maintaining your healthy lifestyle within reason. There is a reason that fad diets are called fad diets… they tend to not last long or be sustainable for extensive periods of time (hens FAD). My biggest pet peeves when it comes to nutrition advice: cleansing, juicing, and over-consumption of nutritional supplements. Juicing, just to pick on one, takes a very important part of fruits and vegetables…. the fiber… and completely disposes of it. What is left though is sugar and plenty of it. Yes, it is natural sugar, but no that doesn’t give anyone the green light to over-consume it. What happens with excessive sugar and no fiber? Blood sugar peaks and dips which more than likely leads to feelings hunger soon after you’ve consumed your juice.

My tips are very basic and simple. They build upon my basic principles for healthy eating  “Pick plants often, vary your diet, don’t deprive yourself, and enjoy what you eat!” that you see on my home page. Please feel free to ask me questions, I would love to answer them, and take this month as a good learning experience if there is something in the nutrition field that sparks your interest!

3 Tips to Healthy Eating & Lifestyle Changes:

1. Follow the 80/20 rule. Make 80% of your daily food choices healthy and nutrient dense. Allow 20% for leniency, “special” foods, treats, or things you know you probably shouldn’t have often. There is no harm in treating yourself every once in a while; no one is perfect! When we deprive ourselves of what we love, it often leads to relapse or over-eating.

2. Hydrate yourself with H2O! Each time you feel the hunger bug, take a second to think if you are actually hungry or thirsty. Often times we confuse hunger with thirst. Drink water throughout the day and skip the sugar-sweetened or caffeinated beverages. Caffeine can often be dehydrating, so after your morning coffee fix keep the caffeine to a minimum. There really isn’t an explanation for the sugar-sweetened beverages other than they aren’t necessary!

3. Move towards a primarily plant-based diet. No, I’m not asking you to get rid of the meat, but I am asking you to incorporate more plant-based foods at every meal. The nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds do wonders for your body in more ways than one. Whether it be reducing inflammation, boosting your immune system, or aiding in muscle or tissue repair, there is no denying how important the fruits and veggies are (as well as other plant-based foods!) to your body. It could be adding some veggies to your omelet in the morning, throwing a handful of raw almonds into your yogurt, having a piece of fruit with lunch, or filling half your plate with colorful veggies at dinner; just make it a point to pick plants often!