By Robyn Quinn, Executive Personal Assistant
Try some of these NOW and you break away from the plateau and find those pounds melting away!
- Record every food morsel you eat, taste, or lick! You need to think about this every time we grab a chip, have one more helping of rice, eat a brownie or drink liquid calories. This is seriously hurting us, especially when we don’t think about it. Start by recoding what you eat for ONE week and I guarantee you learn some things about when you snack and what you might sneak. Also you might rather put some things down instead of eating it and having to record it!
- Water water water! Seriously, how many glasses do you drink a day and is it enough?
- Get up and move! How many of you who are plateauing get your heart rates up? If you aren’t the type of person to go to the gym every day figure out what you can do to make yourself sweat and do it!
- Look at your meal sizes, if you eat 2 -3 big meals a day cut those back and add some lean protein meals in-between. Those meals will help fuel you during the day without spiking your blood sugar levels, yuck! On the other end, are you working out a ton and not eating enough? If you starting adding cardio to your plan but eat the same you might need more food! If your body is hungry it will start STORING your fat! That results in plateauing.
- Salt! Do you eat out at restaurants more than a few times a week or eat lots of frozen or packaged foods? Check the labels and the restaurant websites for nutrition facts, they might scare you. More water and less salty food will instantly drop those numbers. Be creative when you order out and don’t worry about how you sound, it’s not about the servers, it about you damn it!
- I truly believe that eating late hurts us. If your dinner is anywhere near your bedtime it’s too late. Dinner should also consist of low carbs unless you are doing cardio for more than an hour the next morning.
- Treats, again this is just my option but I think one day of the week should be a day of treats. Have dessert, have some adult bevies and enjoy one of your favorite meals. As long as you stay true to yourself the other days this will NOT hurt your diet, in fact, I think it helps!
- You have your cardio routine and weights down to a science and eat great but can’t get those few annoying pound off. Well, time to shock your muscles, keep them guessing, do interval training on any cardio machine, if you have 20 minutes only and you use every minute in an interval workout you will feel like you just worked out for 45. Try working your weights into your cardio timing and switching back and forth so you are burning calories doing both.
- Try using a Pedometer. Challenge yourself to get up and move and beat your steps from the day before.
I know this seems long-winded but I truly believe we just need to evaluate the habits and lifestyle we live every day and small changes will make a huge impact on our goals.
By Robyn Quinn, Executive Assistant
Tick – tick – tick…It’s like being a walking time-bomb, trying to avoid getting sick as soon as the weather changes and the cold kicks in. I decided to try something different this winter. Since I never get the flu shot, I need to be extra careful about germs, but also what I fuel my body with, in case I catch a “bug.”
The first thing I did was buy as many organic frozen veggies and fruits as my freezer could stock. I try and make smoothies for my family a couple times a week. They love the drinks and I never tell them they are drinking veggies!
Lately, I’ve been researching other different fruits that will pack a real punch in the nutrition end of it. Here are the new-to-me fruits that I have now added to my grocery list (and you may want to, too!):
Kumquats: Eat them as is or slice them in a salad – the real goods are in the skin. They are low calorie, filled with vitamin A & C, potassium and fiber rich!
Star Fruit: First off, so pretty, and you can just slice and eat. These fruits are high in Vitamin C, potassium, and inflammation-lowing polyphenols, rich in fiber, and low in calories!
Quinces: These apple/pear lookalikes can actually help fight off the flu! They have twice the vitamin C as their lookalikes, and they are high in anti-viral phenolic compounds. P.S. – try cooking them, they taste even better.
Rambutans: This fruit looks like an amazing red sea creature. It’s an antioxidant power house. They are not local to us so you might have to make a request at your market. These fruits have super high levels of antioxidants flavonoids and anthocyanins, both known to reduce the risk of chronic diseases and cardiovascular problems. They also have tons of iron and calcium; it’s really a perfect fruit, especially for us ladies!
So here it is, my new experimental bug-fighting diet. So, step out of your comfort zone, try some new things, and let’s see how fantastic we feel all winter long!
by Meagan Collins, Chemist
Generally speaking, people who make the conscious decision to consume organic food products with soy protein are doing so in an effort to be healthier or environmentally conscious. However, the consumer may be in for more than they bargained for. The delicious soy burger or protein bar they are about to consume may contain trace amounts of hexane.
Hexane is “a colorless, flammable liquid alkane derived from petroleum and used as a solvent”. It is used by some food manufacturers to extract soy protein, particularly in the form of soy protein isolate. The process involves immersing whole soybeans in a bath of “synthetic, petroleum-based solvents”.
Hexane is among chemicals banned in food designated as 100% organic, but still used in “natural” food production. In the United States, food can be labeled “organic” if 70% of a product fits the definition. This means the remaining 30% may have been subject to the hexane extraction process. Some food manufacturers have eliminated the use of hexane including Tofurkey and Nature’s Path. Other countries have designated legal limits of hexane residue in food, but the US Food and Drug Administration has yet to do so. The USFDA also does not require food manufacturers to test for hexane residues.
When choosing a soy food product, research may be necessary to avoid consuming soy foods that have gone through the hexane extraction process. Comprehensive and up-to-date lists of food manufacturers that do not use hexane to extract soy protein are available on the internet.
1. http://www.cornucopia.org/2010/11/dirty-little-secret-in-the-natural-foods-industry-toxic-chemical-use/ (Accessed November 29, 2010)
2. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/04/14/health/main6395841.shtml (Accessed January 15, 2011)
3.http://www.foodconsumer.org/newsite/Safety/chemical/250520090835_hexane_ignites_soy_controversy.html (Accessed January 15, 2011)
4. wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn (Accessed January 16, 2011)
By Robyn Quinn, Executive Assistant
One of the most common injuries and pains for runners can come from the IT band.
After increasing my mileage from 15 to 25 miles a week I was feeling fabulous! Well not 100% fabulous; my right knee started to feel “funny”, it didn’t hurt it just didn’t feel right. My right hip was also feeling sore and tight. My knee was my main concern so I called my beloved PT doc and set up an appointment right away. Sure enough within 5 minutes of tests they knew the issue was my IT Band and that my hip pain was totally related to my knee issue!
Our IT Band starts at the hip, runs down our thigh and crosses our knee joint along the outside. Symptoms can be knee pain, clicking or feeling a little uncomfortable like your knee cap is being pulled the wrong way. You can also experience a tightening and soreness at your hip. These symptoms can feel much worse after running hills or biking.
After I was told to stop running altogether I started intense treatment, I went to PT 3-times a week for two months and within that time only ran a total of 9 miles, crazy I know. I quickly learned my new best friends would be a foam roller, ice and my PT doc. Every day I stretched, weight trained, iced, and did lots of cross training (swimming at the Holiday Inn) to keep my cardio up. Currently I continue to increase my running miles every week as I have taken on a popular race in Boston in April that I want to start and finish.
In a nutshell, having a solid dedication to pre and post running stretches can and will prevent injury so take a few minutes to research the most common issues runners experience so what happened to me won’t happen to you.
Written By Matt Bauer, Marketing Intern
The EPA recently added over 3,500 chemical facilities and 6,000 chemicals of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to their public internet database rightly named, Envirofacts. The TSCA rule was originally mandated in 1976 in order to give the EPA authority over industrial firms to require reporting and record keeping of certain hazardous chemicals. Now, the EPA is focused on helping the general public to better understand this regulation and how it affects their surrounding environment. Envirofacts is aimed to allow users to access information about the Environmental, Health & Safety hazards which may affect the air, water and land, from a single source. This reference tool collects information from state and federal forms that are mandated by the TSCA rule, and compiles them in an easy to use database. Information includes, the facility name, location, granted permits, as well as tools to analyze the data.
The site is further broken down into the following categories for simplified searches: Air Permits/Releases, Water Permits/Releases, Land Use, Waste Management, Toxics (Reports and Hazards,) Radiation, Facilities Information, Compliance History, Mapping, and Brownfield Development. The EPA intends to continue adding more information in the coming months.
By Robyn Quinn, Executive Assistant to John McQuillan, CEO
It's that time of year where some of us can get a little blue. For me, I don't get outside as much, I feel like I'm developing a layer of personal insulation (if you know what I mean) and frankly I need something to look forward to.
Now is a good time to take a step back and revaluate a few things in your and my life.
1. Plan a warm vacation - this will guarantee winter workouts and positive daydreaming
2. Revamp the diet - Are we truly eating the colors of the rainbow and non-processed foods? I'm mean come on we all know that stuff is BAD.
3. Stay active - Make the heart pump darn it! Ask yourself how many times last week did I get my heart rate up? If the answer was under four it's not enough!
4. Factor in "me" time - Read a book, take a restorative yoga class, do art or just chill.
5. Look at your personal goals for the year and make sure they are realistic and obtainable - it is so satisfying to cross things off
By: Robyn Quinn, Executive Assistant to John McQuillan, CEO
Do you find yourself looking at your New Year's resolutions (because they should be written down) and wondering what went wrong?
Here are some suggestions to make your goals a reality!
- List out all your personal and professional goals (if they aren't already) and I mean all of them. The list might be long but that is a good thing.
- Trim down your list. I personally have 5-6 goals per-list and 3 lists. Personal and home improvements stay on my fridge at home and professional goals stay at work, believe me, it's much less overwhelming to group them.
- Timing of your goals should be established, do you want to leave them all open ended or have some for the first 6 months of the year and others for the end of the year.
- After the first month or so, reevaluate your goals to keep them current and fresh. If they need to be switched around do it and if you have any completed any keep them on but cross them off. Now that is satisfying!
- Spread the word, talk about your goals with friends and find out if they have goals, it will make the experience much more positive and fun!
By Robyn Lee Quinn, Assistant to the President
The average American eats around 12 pounds of chocolate every year -- along with 67 pounds of beef, 31 pounds of cheese, five pounds of potato chips and 260 eggs. Hello! No wonder most of us struggle with our weight. I just joined a pre-holiday fitness challenge with 10 other people and I’m looking forward to getting in better shape (and losing 10 lbs) before New Years! Wish me luck.
Ok so I know the exercise part but I really have to take in fewer calories, for those of you who know me, I never miss a meal or wine with dinner!
Here are some simple ways I’ll be using to cut my calories that I thought I would share with anyone who struggles like me with weight lose or just maintaining our fab figures:
1. Eat more often – Small meals please, we need to have our metabolism work with us not against us! Your body will comfortably burn the small healthy meals you eat all day long. I don’t want my body to store my fat because I’ve gone hours and hours without eating. Simple question: Hungry? Eat.
2. Eat your calories don't drink them - Soda and juice are the devil, really they are. Eat your calories and your vitamins, it’s easy, anything that has a pretty color will fuel us just fine! Calories from solids take more time to digest, that means we are fuller longer and our body is busy doing its job!
3. Eat foods that fill you up - A researcher, Susanna Holt was the first to index foods and categories of foods based on satiety. In her study, 38 foods with the same 240 calorie portion size were evaluated over a two-hour period to measure the degree of satiety as compared to a portion of white bread. Potatoes, popcorn, oatmeal and fish were among the foods that scored best.
4. Eat foods that stimulate our senses - Studies suggest that foods that are full of flavor and aroma are more satisfying than bland foods. Oh yes, this is easy, spice it up!!!
5. No whining about no wine – This is a tough one for me, I’m Italian I “need” wine every evening with dinner right? Keep adult bevies on weekends only, this is a huge liquid calorie cutter!!!
By Garrett Gates, Assistant to the President
Myth: If you are tired during the day best thing to do is rest.
Most people believe this myth, because it appears to make logical sense. The myth is true for people who exercise rigorously 6 days a week. However for the majority of us even if we think we are exercising a lot we are not. Every person has a different optimum amount of exercise, but for almost all people it is over an hour a day. For those of us who don’t get the optimal amount of exercise, we feel tired because our body has not released the chemicals necessary to keep us motivated and working.
Unfortunately this myth has led many people including myself into the spiraling abyss of continual tiredness. When you are tired and you rest, you thus get more tired, because the body is looking for you to exercise and release the necessary chemicals. BREAK THE CYCLE!
Studies have shown that exercising in fact provides people with substantially more sustained energy than coffee or even red bull. So if you want to have more energy throughout the day try pushing yourself a little harder in your exercise routine rather than going to bed early.
For more information see the following articles:
By Robyn Lee Quinn, Assistant to the President
In traditional Chinese culture Chi (pronounced Chee) is an active principle forming part of any living thing.
It is frequently translated as "energy flow". The literal translation is "air," "breath," or "gas" (compare the original meaning of Latin spiritus "breathing"; or the Common Greek πνεῦμα, meaning "air," "breath," or "spirit"; and the Sanskrit term prana, "breath").
So what does this have to do with how we run? Well, finding your Chi in running can change the way you run for the better. For me, I have never been taught how to run nor had a professional evaluate how I run but I often wonder if I run correctly and to the best of my ability? I've been reading that I can actually change the way I run by focusing on my form for two vital reasons: injury prevention and energy efficiency. What? Use less energy, go faster and longer distances, sign me up! These five elements below are called ChiRunning, even the name itself sounds more relaxing. These basic moves can keep us running for many more years and help us achieve our running goals, like adding mileage for me. I ran my first 10K last week in just over a 9 minute mile, a great start for me!
ChiRunning is based on the physics of body mechanics and focuses on posture, leg swing, the position of the pelvis and a forward lean.
1. Keep your alignment straight, your skeleton is supporting your weight. Don't slump forward or bend at the waist, good posture puts less strain on your legs.
2. Lean slightly forward so your body falls forward using gravity to your advantage. Your foot should land under you. You actually lean from the ankles not your waist so your posture stays strong.
3. When your foot lands on the ground it's best to have it in line with your shoulders and hips, underneath or slightly behind you. Land mid-foot strike to keep you in balance.
4. Always engage your core muscles when you run, this will help (ladies most) any discomfort you may have in your hips or pelvis area while running. If you stand against the wall push your lower back towards the wall, feel your pelvis tip, you are now engaging your core (it's like a mini crunch). Remember that feeling and maintain that solid body tip when you are running.
5. Relax and breathe. Stiff shoulders and muscles use much more energy; we are running for our health and well being remember. Try and ask yourself when you are running, are my shoulders relaxed and I'm not shrugging them? If they are, straighten them out of a good shake and take a deep breath in, that should rebalance you.
So here is the real question, can I change my technique? YES YES YES! Dedicate one run a week to evaluate your running and concentrate on change, it gets easier the more you do it. Go by yourself, no music or chatting just concentrate on form. Very soon you will have retrained your muscles and they will just know what to do. See how much longer you will be able to run, how much zippier you can go and how fabulous you will feel.