Eat Like the EASTER BUNNY and go COLOR crazy!

What’s “In Style” for the Spring Season? COLOR. And not just in your closet…but in your diet. However, the typical American diet color is brown, beige, boring, and nutritionally void. According to the USDA, the average American only eats around three servings of fruits and vegetables a day. And the Department of Health and Human Services guidelines state we should be eating between 5 to 13 servings of produce, depending on individual calorie requirements. To get the recommended amount, most people need to significantly increase the amount of fruits and vegetables in their diet. Research shows that fruits and vegetables are critical to promoting good health and living a long life.

The power of prevention may lie in a salad bowl or a plate of fruit. When we take advantage of fresh produce, our bodies return the favor by reducing our risk of developing various illnesses. Compared with people who consume a diet with only small amounts of fruits and vegetables, those who eat more generous amounts as part of a healthful diet are likely to have reduced risk of chronic diseases, stroke, cardiovascular disease, and certain cancers. If we ate more produce and fewer processed foods, we’d lose weight, clean our arteries, balance our blood sugar, and shut down a large number of hospitals.

Variety is the key when adding more fruits and vegetables into your daily diet. Eating fruits and vegetables of different colors gives your body a wide range of valuable nutrients, like fiber, folate, potassium, and vitamins A and C. Taste all the colors of the rainbow for maximum health benefits. Start with shades of green found in swiss chard, kale, spinach, lettuces, asparagus, green peppers, broccoli, green beans, peas, green cabbage, green onion, brussels sprouts, okra, zucchini, Chinese cabbage (nappa/ bok choy), chayote squash, endive, leeks, broccoli rabe, green apples, green grapes, honeydew melon, kiwi fruit, and limes. Bite bright with the yellow and orange found in carrots, summer squash, sweet corn, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, winter squash, pumpkin, yellow peppers, rutabagas, yellow tomatoes, cantaloupe, grapefruit, lemons, nectarines, oranges, peaches, pineapples, tangerines, apricots, mangoes, and papayas. Reach for red in tomatoes, tomato juice, tomato soup, red peppers, red onions, beets, red cabbage, kidney beans, red beans, red lentils, radishes, red apples, pink grapefruit, strawberries, cherries, watermelon, raspberries, cranberries, and pomegranates. Go wild with purple and blue shades with eggplant, purple belgian endive, purple grapes, plums, raisins, blueberries, blackberries, purple figs, dried plums, elderberries, and black currents. And don’t forget white found in cauliflower, mushrooms, onions, garlic, parsnips, shallots, turnips, ginger, jicama, bananas, and pears. Surprised by all the options above? That’s just the beginning; there are many more delicious foods to discover. Make it a goal to spice up your plate with variety and try new colorful fruits and vegetables regularly.

The right number of servings of fruits and vegetables for you all depends on your daily caloric intake needs. But a general goal to aim for is between 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. What counts as one serving? The United States Department of Agriculture sets a serving size for fruit or vegetables to be equal to about one-half cup. Greens like spinach and lettuce have a serving size equal to one full cup. One serving of sliced fruit is equal to one-half cup; however a single piece of fruit, such as an apple or an orange counts as one serving.

How to EAT like the Easter Bunny and get more COLOR in your diet.

Increasing your intake from two servings to seven a day doesn’t come without planning or effort. The below tips will help you get more fruits and vegetables in your diet:

  1. Make every meal as colorful as possible. Fruits and vegetables should be part of every meal and your first choice for a snack. Keep plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables on hand. Most eating decisions happen at the store. Think ahead and purchase healthier options when you shop. Prepare to have healthy options around 24-7. Make it a habit to pack color on your plate.
  2. On the go? Choose healthy prepared vegetables and fruits. Prepared veggies like bagged salads, pre-washed spinach, peeled and diced butternut squash, or washed and chopped kale are the perfect healthy options for eating well in a hurry. Snack on raw veggies like carrot sticks, celery sticks, cucumber slices, string beans, cherry tomatoes, and/or green pepper strips for a quick and healthy crunch. Munch on fresh fruit throughout the day. Grab an apple, orange, or banana on your way out the door or keep a fresh fruit bowl on your kitchen counter.
  3. Pack a lunch and fill it with healthy fruit and vegetable choices. Avoid using vending machines or going for fast foods or restaurant foods too often. You’ll eat better and save money.
  4. Blend a fruit smoothie or drink to take with you on your commute. They’re a fun and easy way to get your fruits. You can freeze your own fresh fruit or buy frozen fruit blends. Or store a smoothie in a thermos in the fridge if you’d like to make it ahead of time to drink later on. For a more savory sip, try fresh vegetable juice.
  5. Always make half of your dinner plate vegetables. That leaves a quarter of the plate for a healthy starch and a quarter for lean meat or fish. Plan to include at least two vegetable choices at every meal.
  6. When out at a restaurant, try vegetable stir-fry, vegetable fajitas, veggie wraps, or vegetable soup. Order healthy vegetable side dishes instead of calorie-laden appetizers. Or pick three or four veggie sides and create your own vegetable plate. When ordering a sandwich, ask for extra veggies such as lettuce, tomato, onions, sliced peppers or cucumbers.
  7. Salads are a great way to get a variety of fruits and veggies into your diet. Try to include them in as many meals as possible. Make a salad with low-fat dressing and add as many fresh vegetable or fruit toppings as you like. Make it a habit to start each dinner with a mixed green salad before you serve the main course. Not only will it help you eat more veggies, but by filling your stomach first with a nutrient-rich, low-calorie salad, there’ll be just a bit less room for the higher-calorie items that follow.
  8. Get creative in the kitchen. Test out new recipes and try different healthy fruit and vegetable ingredients. Become friends with the grocery store produce man or visit farmers markets for seasonal menu inspiration.
  9. Fill your spaghetti sauce with vegetables or make a healthy vegetable soup. Add as many healthy vegetables as you can into your pot.
  10. Sweeten your dessert plate with fresh fruit instead of chocolate or cake. Or try a fruit parfait instead of ice cream for a cold treat.

I challenge you to take a few tips from the Easter bunny and brighten up your bites for ultimate health. Use the above tips to get creative in the kitchen and add more color to your daily diet routine. Taste the rainbow and your body will look as good as you feel. 

What are YOUR favorite ways to fit more fruits and vegetables into your day? Post your favorite tip as a comment  below – share how you get your daily dose of COLOR and inspire others to eat healthier! 🙂

Other things you might want to check out this week:

Want to wish you and your loved ones a HAPPY, HEALTHY, and SUNNY spring Holiday. Thanks  for being such a positive part of my life and for bringing me JOY everytime I teach 🙂 Cant wait to see you soon for another GREAT class!

Caroline

Rub a dub dub…. get your sore butt in the TUB!

Still cold from the ice bath post? Me too. Good thing I only take those once in a blue moon or I’d be permanently purple. Instead of jumping in the ice, I regularly manage muscle soreness and relax by taking weekly epsom salt baths. Epsom salt may sound BOGUS, but its a technique used by many athletes and gym fanatics use to promote recovery during intense periods of training. And it’s a great time to get in some regular reading (Amazon would go out of business if it weren’t for my book + bath habit 😉

REALLY? How do Bath Salts help me recover faster?

Magnesium – the key component of Epsom Salt — performs more functions in more systems of the human body than virtually any other mineral, including regulating the activity of more than 325 enzymes.

Studies show that magnesium is:

  • An electrolyte, helping to ensure proper muscle, nerve and enzyme function.
  • Critical to the proper use of calcium in cells.
  • An aid in helping to prevent heart disease and strokes by lowering blood pressure, protecting the elasticity of arteries, preventing blood clots and reducing the risk of sudden heart attack deaths.

Medical research also indicates that magnesium may:

  • Increase the effectiveness of insulin, helping to lower the risk or severity of diabetes.
  • Reduce inflammation and relieves pain, making it a beneficial in the treatment of sore muscles, bronchial asthma, migraine headaches and fibromyalgia.

Although magnesium can be absorbed through the digestive tract, many foods, drugs and medical conditions can interfere with the effectiveness of this deliver method. Therefore, soaking in an Epsom Salt bath is one of the most effective means of making the magnesium your body needs readily available.

Epsom Salt also delivers sulfates, which medical research indicates are needed for the formation of brain tissue, joint proteins and the mucin proteins that line the walls of the digestive tract. Studies show that sulfates also stimulate the pancreas to generate digestive enzymes and help to detoxify the body’s residue of medicines and environmental contaminants. Studies indicate that sulfates are difficult to absorb from food, but are readily absorbed through the skin.

The benefits from these components of Epsom Salt include:

Magnesium:

  • Ease stress and improves sleep and concentration
  • Help muscles and nerves function properly
  • Regulate activity of 325+ enzymes
  • Help prevent artery hardening and blood clots
  • Make insulin more effective
  • Reduce inflammation to relieve pain and muscle cramps
  • Improve oxygen use

Sulfates:

  • Flush toxins
  • Improve absorption of nutrients
  • Help form joint proteins, brain tissue and mucin proteins
  • Help prevent or ease migraine headaches

Want in? Here are a few common ways to enjoy some of the above Epsom Salt benefits:

  • For compresses: Use 2 cups of Epsom Salt per gallon of water for sore muscles, splinter removal and to reduce the itching from mosquito bites, bee stings or poison ivy.
  • For soaking: Add two cups of Epsom Salt to warm water in a standard-sized bathtub. Double the Epsom Salt for an oversized garden tub. Popular for easing muscle pain and fading bruises. Bathe three times weekly, soaking for at least 20 minutes.
  • Foot bath: Add a cup of Epsom Salt to a tub of warm water as a popular balm for aching feet.

It’s time to RELAX after that last ice bath post. Soaking in Epsom salt – actually magnesium sulfate – is an inexpensive way to help ease tired, achy bodies so you can revive and enjoy all of your hard training days. Here’s my much more enjoyable recipe for an Epsom Salt Bath 🙂

Caroline’s recipe for and Epsom Salt Bath:

  1. Buy Epsom salts at your  local pharmacy or supermarkets. A large bag typically costs only a few dollars.
  2. Pour hot water into tub. Add bath bubbles, a bath pillow, a few drops of eucalyptus oil if you really want to indulge.
  3. Add two cups of Epsom Salt to the water in a standard-sized bathtub (double the Epsom Salt for an oversized garden tub). Or go crazy… I sometimes use the whole bag 😉
  4. Make a cup of hot tea or grab a cold, refreshing drink. Bring your favorite book or magazine to read.
  5. TURN OFF THE PHONE, EMAIL, AND COMPUTER. Take a break will ya? It’s good for your health.
  6. Step in and soak for 20 minutes or longer. Inhale . Exhale . Let Go .

Excess adrenaline and stress are known to drain the body of magnesium – the main component of Epsom Salt. The body requires magnesium to bind adequate amounts of serotonin, a mood-elevating chemical within the brain that creates a feeling of well being and relaxation. Restoring magnesium levels  reduces anxiety, relieves muscle aches, and improves sleep – and  it’s as easy as stepping in a hot bath. Have YOU tried epsom salt baths? Whats your favorite bath time recipe?

THE ICE BATH. Im not crazy . Just cold .

My tub before the plunge... looking at this makes me COLD!

ICE BATHS are crazy, wonderful inventions athletes and gym fanatics have incorporated it into their training for ages.

It’s inevitable: if you swim, bike, run, or train at high intensities or for long durations of time the body is going to break down. The daily wear and tear adds up and before long lactic acid, achy muscles, and fatigue set in. You’re legs are tired, inflamed, and heavy. Unfortunately, intense training can increase your risk of injury, which can result in unplanned—and unwelcome—time off. One simple way to offset the risks inherent to long bouts of training is cold-water immersion therapy, a recovery technique we know as, ICE BATHS.

According to RUNNERS WORLD, Cryotherapy (“cold therapy”) constricts blood vessels and decreases metabolic activity, which reduces swelling and tissue breakdown. Once the skin is no longer in contact with the cold source, the underlying tissues warm up, causing a return of faster blood flow, which helps return the byproducts of cellular breakdown to the lymph system for efficient recycling by the body. Not only do ice baths suppress inflammation, but they help to flush harmful metabolic debris out of your muscles. Though you could use individual ice packs, ice baths generally produce a greater and longer lasting change in deep tissues and are a more efficient means of cooling large groups of muscles simultaneously. The discomfort associated with sitting in a tub full of ice water scares off some athletesbut there are some ways to make sub 50 degrees tolerable. Though scientific research exists to support the use of ice baths to promote recovery, no exact protocol has been proven better than others. This is my personal ice bath routine…. modify yours to fit your needs. In general, water temperatures should be between 50 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit, and immersion time ranges from 10 to 20 minutes. Among athletes, there are ice bath techniques that vary within and on either side of these ranges.   So grab a hoodie, some HOT tea, and JUMP IN. You’re legs will love you for it.

Caroline’s recipe for an ice bath:

1. Fill the tub with cold water.

2. Put on a warm sweatshirt or swimsuit. I usually wear bikini bottoms with a thermal sweatshirt, but a full suit works too.

3. Get a hot cup of tea to keep you warm. Some of my friends get a  glass of wine to keep them “hot”.

4. Use lots of ice. I buy a couple bags from walgreens and throw them ALL in. Toss ice in tub with cold water.

5. Allow the water to fill until its enough so that your legs can be completely submerged.

6. Take a deep breath. Jump In.

7. Distract yourself with a hot cup of tea, a movie, calling friends and chatting (my friends usually think Im crazy but Im SO glad to have them sit on the phone with me!). I try to stay for a minimum of 15 minutes.  After a couple minutes your legs get numb and it’s really not that bad.  I make sure to move my legs every so often so the water around them shifts.

8. Have an exit strategy. Plan ahead – Getting out of the ice bath can be tricky … you’ll end up walking around like a baby giraffe and wondering where your legs went. Have towels handy and be prepared to get out of the bath, towel off, and SIT until your legs return to reality.

9. Warm up!  I try to wait before jumping into a hot shower so I  dont losing the effects of the ice faster than need be (and BURNING my skin from the cold to hot temperature contrast!).  I did just put myself through sitting in a tub of ice, why would I want to lose an ounce of the benefits? Distract yourself with movies, email, whatever for another 10 minutes or so. Then WARM UP with a hot shower.

10. Enjoy a good nights rest and wait a while before you take the plunge again!

Do you take ice baths? What do you use them for? What are your tips to make them “more bearable”?

Fearless Fitness Weekly Update 4/17: Your Life On Healthy Habits. Live It. LOVE it.

Caroline Jordan Fitness Schedule and Special Events April 17th-24:

Monday 4/18: 5:30pm Competition Core and 6-645pm Chisel’d, 6:50-7:30pm Muscles On The Mat** EQUINOX

Tuesday 4/19: 12:30pm Cycling EQUINOX, 5pm Ball, 5:30pm BOSU, 6 pm Spin Circuit, and 7pm Sports Stretch Club One Citigroup

Wednesday 4/20: 5:30-6:00pm Competition Core, 6-645pm Chisel’d, 6:50-7:30pm Muscles On The Mat

Thursday 4/21: 12:30pm Cycling EQUINOX .

Friday 4/22 : 12pm Abs and 12:30pm Cycling EQUINOX

Saturday 4/23: 10 am Chisel’d and 11am Cycling EQUINOX

Interested In Personal Training but not sure it fits in your budget? Try out a GROUP workout! Grab some friends and schedule a couples or group session. You’ll get quality training and SUPPORT in a fun group setting. Programs are carefully tailored to fit the unique fitness needs of each client and combined with lifestyle coaching for complete health and happiness. Don’t wait till next year to be healthier: Contact Me for details.

Fearless Fitness Tip Of The Week: Be Consistent With Healthy Habits. EVERY little bit counts!

“People always say:

‘I’m too busy to exercise,’

‘I have to be there for the kids,’

‘I’ve got too much work.’

You know what? These are little lies you’re telling yourself, and the go against the laws of self-preservation, because the more WHOLE and HEALTHY you are, the more fully you can give to other people.”

– Oprah

Leave it to Oprah to remind us the importance of prioritizing personal health in our lives. How do you make time for wellness throughout your week?

CONSISTENCY IS KEY when it comes to being fit, living well, and feeling healthy. Remember – EVERY little bit counts! You may not always eat the most nutritiously or sweat through hour long workouts daily – BUT what you DO commit to WORKS wonders for you. Each day, challenge yourself to make small changes towards living more healthfully. Every baby step you take will eventually add up to a happier you that FEELS great!

Need help making time for your HEALTH? Try these tips for turning healthy choices consistent HABITS in  your  life:

  • Schedule some exercise time every day, even if it’s just a few minutes (seriously – ANYTHING counts!).
  • Split up your workouts. You can get the same benefit from short workouts spread throughout the day as do with continuous workouts.
  • Change daily routines to incorporate activity. Walk or bike to and from work. Add an extra lap at the mall when shopping. Spring clean your house and sweat as you scrub, dust, and vacuum. Find ways to integrate more activity into your daily routines to stay as active as possible even if you don’t have time for a daily structured workout.
  • Multi-task by making your OFFICE ACTIVE. Use these WORKING WORLD WORKOUT TIPS and workout while you’re at work.
  • TAKE ACTION to make a Healthy Diet Happen. Eating healthy requires time and effort, but a little planning can go a LONG way. Write out a list of ways you can work on improving your diet habits  and take ACTION on an item on your list every  week. Tell friends and family of your healthy diet goals and have them join you in supporting your efforts. Rather than aiming to be perfect, just aim to be a little bit better today than you were yesterday. Remember, a little change can go a long way!
  • Find someone to keep you accountable. This can be a workout buddy, a personal trainer, or even a group fitness instructor. TELL them about your health and fitness goals. Ask for their support. Better yet, make it a family effort. Make exercise dates with the whole family or cook up healthy dinners together weekly. Team up with loved ones or friends. Together you can inspire each other to live healthier.
  • Workout at home. Clear out some space in the living room, garage, or backyard. Use a chair for tricep dips or invest $20 bucks in a travel yoga mat. Check out online exercise class resources like : FitnessGlo, YogaGlo, or my AWESOME YouTube Channel.While my videos may not be filmed professionally, they offer quick workouts you can enjoy anywhere in your city. You can piece together 10 minute segments for a complete workout – or squeeze in one when your tight on time. They can be downloaded to your Iphone, ipod, or computer for at home or on the road workouts to go! My Fitness Channel on YouTube can be found  HERE.  I hope you have the opportunity to enjoy some of these resources and  find them useful in times your busy schedule challenges you.  I love feedback and  requests – so if you’d like to see another workout video or two,  leave me a note and let me know what you’d like to MOVE to!
  • Be realistic. Set small, achievable goals at first. If you are new to exercise, plan to work out three times a week. Then move to every other day. As you progress you may build up to a 5-day (or more) weekly routine. As you work to build an exercise habit, allow yourself to mess up and forgive yourself for it. We all have times when we ‘fall off the wagon’ and our busy lives challenge us to miss exercise sessions. Things happen and can get in the way – through illness, other obligations, exhaustion, different opportunities, etc – that it is basically impossible for someone to NEVER miss a workout. It’s called life and I don’t know about you, but I like having one outside of the gym. The important thing is to NOT BEAT YOURSELF UP OVER IT. Be realistic and aim to make small changes daily.
  • Make healthy eating and exercise a priority! Prioritize it into your day instead of trying to make it happen when you can. If it’s not a priority, you won’t do it.

Be consistent, realistic, and make time for MOVEMENT. Always stay positive and make your ultimate goal one of WELLNESS. Remember, every training day is different. The important part is showing up, doing your best, and committing to a healthy, happy life.

Fearless Fitness Challenge of the week: 7 Day Healthy Habit CHALLENGE!

What are some healthy habits you want to make a priority in your life? This week Id like to challenge you to COMMIT to 7 days of making healthier choices.  I challenge you to accumulate at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day. Activities can range anywhere from structured workouts (spin class, strength training, yoga) to walking your dog or playing frisbee at Golden Gate Park. I challenge you to make at least ONE balanced, healthy, meal every day. Share it with a friend or your family. Eat more fruits and vegetables and drink more water. Just for this week, track the daily choices you make on a piece of paper, in your iphone, or in a journal. Call it your “Wellness Workbook”. At the end of the week SHARE this list with someone.  That’s 7 days of choosing HEALTHY habits and making it a priority in your life. Think you can do it? YES.

I’d love to hear how YOU are working to be healthier and support you in any way I can. My goal is to create a San Francisco fitness community of support and positive encouragement. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help YOU reach your personal health and wellness goals. Thanks again for everything and Ill see you in class soon!!

Caroline

SPRING MOTIVATION ISSUE.

 

The start of the spring season always brings forth new weight loss and diet resolutions. It seems everyone is working hard to “get in shape for summer / vacation / or swimsuit season”. Often these “quick fix” programs are short lived and lead to frustration and “bikini body burnout”. And all of these goals have a negative connotation towards them and focus on the aesthetic part of fitness instead of the real HEART of it, wellness.

Here’s the thing: Fitness isn’t just about how you look. Its about how you FEEL, perform, and what you can achieve. We’re emotional and spiritual beings. How you look is a side effect of how a regular workout program affects your physical capabilities, your mental toughness, your ability to achieve.  You can NOT expect physical changes to happen when your mind is in a negative place. You must first GET YOUR HEAD RIGHT if you want to positively change your body.

To accomplish your fitness goals, work first on strengthening a positive mindset and focusing on happiness. If your mental, emotional, and spiritual side – your inner self – is out of shape, you’ll never find the kind of success in life you hope to find – no matter how hard you work your body.

I’d like to challenge you to SHIFT YOUR SPRING THINKING. Drop the negative “diet” mentality and instead work on developing a health and wellness mentality. I believe that we can actually improve with age with a positive mental attitude and by taking care of our  bodies with good food, exercise, and health habits. There is no reason we cannot live healthy, happy lives into old age. I recommend that you take your attention off of trying to lose weight, “get skinny”, or look “sexy” for spring. Instead ask yourself, “how can I improve how I feel?”. By shifting your mindset you will be shifting your mood and your attitude. This will help you make better choices for yourself – and when you make positive choices your health and weight will naturally improve. What can you do this month to improve your well being and strengthen your positive mental attitude about your HEALTH? Lets start working towards wellness THIS week! Below are some ideas to get you started…..

 Make Health and Wellness your # 1 Priority!

The following is a list of ways you can work to improve your health and wellness TODAY. This week I’d like to challenge you to pick a few and  follow through. Practice dedication to your well being. The key is getting better with age and living healthy, HAPPY lives.

How often are you consistently working out? Can you increase it? Minimum recommended weekly exercise is 5 times a week for at least 30 minutes a day. Can you get yourself to do at least that this month? Are you drinking soda, sugary drinks, or alcohol more than 2 times a week? Can you decrease that? Do you drink enough water a day? 8 glasses a day? Can you increase it? Are you eating out more than 2 times a week? Can you decrease it? Are you eating organic fruits and vegetables? Can you increase it? Do you eat red meat? How often? Can you decrease it and choose grass fed, hormone free meat? How often in one day do you eat simple carbs like white rice, potatoes, white breads, or junk food? Can you decrease it this month? How do you feel about your body? Do you constantly criticize your looks, performance or abilities? Can you work to think positively? How is your body confidence? Can you work to improve it?

Go through the list of make your own. Pick one thing you will commit to improving this week and really do it. What you eat, drink and think deeply impacts your entire life. Is it time for you to spend a little time reassessing how you are taking care of your self? If you improve one thing then little by little you will see yourself improving with age instead of deteriorating with age. So ask yourself those questions and remember it is not just what you are eating or doing but more importantly it is how you are thinking and what you are believing that will support your total transformation to a life of  health. Focus on the positive and making yourself feel and look fabulous now!

These little changes will lead to a healthier, happier, you. A mantra to keep you motivated…. “My body restores itself to a perfect weight and perfect health. I am more powerful today and better in every way”.

I hope you will take the opportunity to pay attention to how you are treating yourself. If you would like support, join me for a group fitness class and get some positive encouragement. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help YOU reach your personal health and wellness goals. Thanks again for everything and Ill see you in class soon!!

Caroline