October, 2010 | The Cycle Project

Archive for October, 2010

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Oct
15
2010
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The Power of Change

Do you wish you could change something about your life right now?

I’m here to argue that change can happen in an instant.

I know this goes against popular thought. Most people believe that change has to be worked at for months or even years. We expect to try and fail numerous times before we ultimately give up or succeed.

How many people do you know who struggle with their weight? They want to make a healthy change by getting in shape, but the change never seems to take hold.

Is there something in your life that you want to change? Do you have weight to lose? Do you have high blood pressure? Do you have a pair of pants that you wish you could fit into?

What is keeping you from making a positive change in your life?

According to professional speaker and author, Anthony Robbins, it’s the getting ready to change that takes time. In the end there’s a single instant when the change occurs. Robbins goes on to outline three specific beliefs that you must have in order to instantly create a lasting change.

Belief #1: Something must change.

Do you sort of want to get into shape, or do you absolutely have to lose the weight? Does dropping a few pounds sound nice, or is living another day in your current body unbearable? In order to make a lasting change you must be convinced that the time has come.

Belief #2I must change it.

It is vital that you take full responsibility in making the change. Sure, others may assist you, but in the end you are the one who is going to make it happen. You have to need this change enough to make it your personal mission—no one else will do it for you.

Belief #3: I can change it.

Don’t let past failures get in your way. The truth is that you do amazing things when you put your mind to it. Believe that you are capable of losing weight or making any other positive change in your life.

Why do most people fail to make lasting change? They leave it up to willpower. This works for awhile, but you’ll always revert back to what’s comfortable. The solution?

Change what you’re comfortable with.

You’ve probably heard that humans are motivated by two things: 1) to avoid pain and 2) to gain pleasure. When you want to change a behavior pattern the key is to associate pain with the behavior that you don’t want and pleasure with the behavior that you do want.

You know that you want to lose weight and that to do so you need to quit eating comfort food late at night. You also know that you need to start exercising on a regular basis. Up until this point your brain is trained to associate pleasure with eating comfort food late at night and to associate pain with exercise.

It’s time to retrain your brain to feel good about exercise and to feel bad about eating late at night. Think about all of the negative things about being overweight and connect these unpleasant thoughts to your late night snack. Now think about all of the wonderful things about being in shape and connect these pleasant thoughts to exercise.

You are capable of making a big change in your life. Start by calling or emailing me for your no obligation fitness consultation.

Remember, change can happen in an instant.

Oct
15
2010
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Herb-Coated Halibut with Zucchini and Whole Wheat Couscous

Herb-Coated Halibut with Zucchini and Whole Wheat Couscous

Not only is this meal delicious, it’s also incredibly healthy. A tangy herb paste coats both the fish and zucchini, which roast in the same pan. The entire meal is ready in 30 minutes – perfect for busy weekday dinners.

 

Servings: 4

Here’s what you need:

  • 6 scallions, chopped
  • 1 cup packed fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh mint
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped, peeled fresh ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 zucchini, cut into spears
  • 4 skinless fillets firm white fish
  • 1 cup dry whole-wheat couscous

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Throw the scallions, cilantro, mint, oil, ginger, coriander and 1/2 teaspoon salt into a food processor and pulse until a coarse paste forms. Season with pepper.

Toss the zucchini with 3 tablespoons of the herb paste in a bowl.

Spread onto a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 5 minutes.

Rub the remaining herb paste onto both sides of fish fillets.

Push the zucchini to the edges of the baking sheet and arrange the fish in the center, leaving about 1/2 inch between each fillet.

Roast until the fish is opaque and semi-firm to the touch, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the couscous.

Serve the fish and zucchini over the couscous.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 354 calories, 10g fat, 29g carbohydrate, 6g fiber, and 32g protein.

Oct
15
2010
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Smartsize Your Weight Loss

Smartsize Your Weight Loss

Lisa R. Young, Ph.D., R.D. shared her favorite food fact in her book, “The Portion Teller Plan”: you can lose 10lbs a year by cutting 100 calories a day. To do this, simply trim your portions.

  • Choose a 12oz beverage instead of a 20oz.
  • Eat only half of an energy bar.
  • Use one tablespoon of salad dressing instead of two.
  • Eat half of a sandwich instead of the whole thing.
  • Eat a prepackaged bag of pretzels instead of eating out of a large bag.
  • Order a tall drink instead of a grande at your next Starbucks visit.

Oct
01
2010
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3 Anti-Fitness Habits

The following 3 habits will result in weight gain faster than you can say ‘anti-fitness habits.’ Break these habits quickly.

  1. Drinking Calories. Soda pop, coffee drinks, smoothies and fruit juices are filled with calories. Since liquids won’t give you a ‘full’ feeling, these drinks slide by without notice of how many extra calories you’re getting. Stick with water to avoid extra calories.
  2. Not Exercising. Skipping the gym day after day, week after week, and month after month will lead to muscle loss and a reduced metabolism. Exercise 3-5 days per week to keep your muscles strong and metabolism high.
  3. Eating a Heavy Dinner. Eating a large heavy dinner sets you up for weight gain. Instead of eating the majority of your calories late in the day, spread it out over the entire day.

 

Oct
01
2010
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Delicious Kale and Pinto Bean Soup

Delicious Kale and Pinto Bean Soup

There’s nothing better than a warm bowl of soup on a chilly fall day. This soup contains kale, a superfood that’s packed with vitamins, minerals and cancer-fighting enzymes. It contains loads of vitamin A, vitamin C, B6, manganese, calcium, copper and potassium.

Servings: 10

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 cup dried pinto beans
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups filtered water
  • 2 bouillon cubes
  • dash of freshly ground sea salt
  • dash of freshly ground pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary, crushed between your fingers
  • 5 large carrots, diced
  • 2 bunches kale, chopped

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the beans and cook for 60-90 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In your soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes.

Add the cooked beans, water, bouillon, salt, pepper, bay leaves, rosemary and carrots.

Simmer for 15-20 minutes. Add the kale and cook another 15 minutes or until kale is tender. Add more water if needed.

Remove the bay leaves, add more salt and pepper if needed.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 112 calories, 2g fat, 20g carbohydrate, 7.3g fiber, and 6g protein.

Oct
01
2010
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7 Habits of Highly Fit People

7 Habits of Highly Fit People

Lots of people ask me how to get fit quickly and easily. While I know they’re hoping for a simple answer, the reality is that getting and staying fit is a lifestyle, not a quick fix.

So what does a fit person’s healthy lifestyle look like? Take a peek. Here are the 7 Habits of Highly Fit People:

Habit #1: They Don’t Buy Junk

Fit people know that if they keep junk food in the house it will land on their waist sooner or later. So they don’t buy any. Even buying junk food for your kids or spouse is not advised since 1) you’ll likely eat some of it eventually, and 2) your loved ones shouldn’t be eating that junk either. It’s called junk for a reason.

Rid your home of chips, cookies, candy, baked goods, pre-packaged snacks and anything else that belongs in a vending machine. Replace it with fresh fruit, veggies, nuts and other whole-food snacks.

Habit #2: They Have Priorities

Fit people make exercise a priority. Along with keeping a job, paying the bills and going to the doctor, exercise is an important part of their lives. What I’ve found is that fit people put exercise before leisure time. Sure, fit people enjoy leisure, but it’s scheduled around their workout time.

Treat exercise time with the same importance that you would a business meeting or trip to the dentist.  Add your workouts to your calendar as an important event/meeting you can’t miss.  Then treat it the same way and make the most out of your time at your workout.

Habit #3: They Stop When Full

Fit people stop eating when they feel full. Sound simple? It is, but how many times have you stuffed yourself simply to clear your plate? Or how many times have you eaten another piece of cake despite being stuffed?

The next time you feel full, take it as a sign to stop eating — even if your plate isn’t empty.

Habit #4: They Push Themselves

Not only do fit people make time to go to the gym, they challenge themselves during each workout. While it is easy to simply go through the motions, you’re cheating your body out of great results when you don’t push yourself. Exercise should make you sweat, make your muscles burn, and leave you with a feeling of accomplishment.

Find ways to make each workout more challenging. For competitive people, the best way to push yourself is to exercise with a friend of similar strength. Another great way to challenge yourself is to set small, attainable goals. These goals could be to push heavier weight, to sprint longer, or to do cardio at a higher intensity setting.

Habit #5: They Don’t Eat and Watch

Fit people know that eating in front of the T.V. is mindless eating. When your attention is on your entertainment and not on your food, then you’ll be less tuned in to what and how much ends up in your mouth. Eating in front of the T.V. is also very habit-forming. Ever notice how you crave munchies simply as a reflex of sitting in front of the T.V.?

Eat before or after your entertainment and pay attention to what and how much goes into your mouth.

Habit #6: They Drink Water

Fit people drink lots of water — not just in addition to other beverages, but instead of them. Water is their main drink, while other drinks are occasional treats. Calorie-filled drinks are one of the quickest ways to consume excess calories, which quickly turn into fat. Consider water your beverage of choice. Drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water each day, and drink other beverages only a few times each week.

Habit #7: They Are Supported

Fit people don’t leave their motivation to chance. They know that if their personal trainer, boot camp instructor or workout partner is waiting for them, then they are less likely to skip a workout. It’s so easy to hit “snooze” or to talk yourself out of the gym as soon as your behind hits the couch after work. Fit people take the option of skipping out of the equation.

Make the Habits Yours

If you already practice some of these habits, then congratulations – you’re on your way to a better body. Make an effort to incorporate the rest of the habits to take your results to the next level.

If none (or very few) of these habits describe your lifestyle, then I’ve got good news – you now have 7 effective new habits to start that will get you some awesome results. Don’t try to tackle all 7 at once! Pick one or two to add each week and gradually work up to all 7.

3 Anti-Fitness Habits

On the other hand, there are habits will result in weight gain faster than you can say “whoops, I’m fat again.” Break the following three habits quickly, or pay the price in tubbiness.

  • Drinking Calories. Soda pop, coffee drinks, smoothies and fruit juices are filled with calories. Since liquids won’t give you a full feeling, the calories in these drinks slide to your hips unnoticed by your stomach. Stick with water to avoid extra calories. Spice things up by switching out your water with caffeine-free herbal tea (either iced or hot).
  • Avoiding Exercise. Skipping the gym day after day, week after week, and month after month will lead to muscle loss and a reduced metabolism. Exercise 3-5 days per week to keep your muscles strong and metabolism high.
  • Eating a Heavy Dinner. Eating a heavy dinner sets you up for weight gain. Instead of eating the majority of your calories late in the day, spread it out over the entire day.