Monday, March 29, 2010

Nix the Energy drinks! Natural Energy Boosters to get you through the day!

Spring quarter is upon us at Ohio State. Ventured down to the Main campus in Columbus for the first time in a year (I've been at the regional campuses the last few quarters), got there over an hour early (over anticipated the drive and traffic!) But at least I wasn't late on the first day of class!! Had Political Science and Microbiology today, and hit up the RPAC in between for some lifting. LOVE LOVE LOVE the RPAC. It's a gym/paradise. One of the perks of the main campus!! :)
After an uneventful spring break, today has seemed extra long and I'm dragging! I don't like to drink energy drinks... all the caffeine gives me a killer headache & carbonation makes me feel full & gross.  Found this article in Health magazine.. seemed appropriate for today :)

10 Best Natural Energy Boosters

1. Sweet Sunshine
Ever notice how the sun can just put you in a great mood? Not surprising since vitamin D helps fight colds, and even cuts your risk of breast cancer, but it also boots your mood and energy level. A half hour is all it takes, so get outside on your lunch break, or if you just can’t get out, open the blinds!

2. Berry Bright
1 cup of strawberries has 130% of your daily requirements of vitamin c, which is crucial for turning fat into energy. Skip the C and your body will use protein or carbs, which leads to lactic acid buildup in your muscles, leaving you feeling tired and slow.

3. Embrace your inner chocoholic
Next time you need a pick me up, reach for some dark chocolate. The flavanols fight fatigue and improve your mental sharpness but dilating your blood vessels, allowing more blood to reach your brain which keeps you more alert. Other foods packing flavanols? Red wine, broccoli, blueberries, tea, and onions.

4. Strike a pose
In yoga, back bends are believed to stimulate your adrenal glands, giving you a little rev in your engine. Poses like the Camel opens the chest, allowing air to flow easily into and out of the lungs - keeping the brain awake and alert.

5. Walk it out
Head out for a little stroll on your lunch break and you’ll feel perkier for the remainder of your day. Brief bouts of low intensity exercise can increase energy by 20% and reduce fatigue by 65%.

6. Eat oatmeal in the AM
The magnesium in this heart healthy breakfast breaks down glucose and turns it into energy. Top your bowl with some magnesium rich sliced almonds and you’ve got a super-fueled way to start your day.

7. Lend a helping hand
  You know how good you feeling after helping out? Turns out you actually get a “helper’s high” - a rush of endorphins that pump you up for hours after when you volunteer or help out. So offer to babysit for the night, volunteer at a community center, or join a habitat for humanities group! (I did that once with my sister and mom in middle school during the summer.... absolutely loved it! We went to PA for a week and helped work on different houses, made great friends with the other volunteers, and the gratitude of the people you help is something you never forget. Often you get an opportunity to try something new or travel somewhere you haven't been. Grab a friend and go volunteer!!)

8. Press here
Lightly squeeze the pad of muscle between your thumb and index finger for 3 minutes. This acupuncture inspired move is found to boost alertness.

9. Take an afternoon siesta
A 20 minute afternoon cat nap is more effective at beating drowsiness than sleeping in, and provides longer lasting energy than a small cup of coffee.

10. Straighten up
Slouching actually makes your muscles work harder to hold your body upright. Just 15 mins of slouching strains muscles in your back, neck, and shoulders. Give yourself a mental check… if you’re boasting poor posture take a deep breath, lift your head toward the sky and roll your shoulders back.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Feel the BURN!

Crank up your Metabolism all day long!

Little tricks that boost your fat-burning power from Health Magazine

7:00am - Eat Breakfast!
If you’re skipping breakfast, your body goes into starvation mode and will burn calories more slowly to conserve energy. Start the day off right - most important meal of the day people! You’ve heard it since you were 5, and it’s true!

8:00am - Chew Gum
Popping in a stick before and after a meal will stoke fat-burning, suggests a study from the University of Rhode Island.

10am - Snack Time!
Waiting too long between meals may cause a rise in blood sugar and a corresponding spike in insulin, which can coax your body into hanging onto more fat. Yikes! So graze regularly throughout the day - a small meal every 3 - 4 hours will keep your metabolism cranking all day!

12:30pm - Pass the Mustard!
Research shows that mustard can give your metabolism a boost, so put it on your fav veggie burger or lean meat sandwich.

1:30pm - Get your drink on…. With H20
Your body uses water for nearly everything, like processing calories. Being even a little dehydrated may slow down your metabolism. Aim for 96 ounces (that’s about 5 20 oz bottles of water)… seems like a lot but your body needs it. If you can’t stand the plain taste of water, add a packet of crystal light!

2:15pm - LOL!
Laughter is the best medicine. Not just a genius stress buster but also a fun way to boost metabolism. Cracking up increases muscle use and heart rate, which  in turn pumps up the number of calories your body burns. Check out or for some laughs! I always LOVE the LOL cats!

3:30pm - Go Green
With green tea that is! Get a one-two punch from a cup. It contains a compound called EGCG that can up your body’s calorie burn, but it also helps you burn belly fat.

6:30pm - Spice up, Chow down
Spice up your meals with hot peppers. The capsaicin they contain kicks your metabolism into high gear.

8:30pm - Have fun in bed
Sex increases your heart rate and testosterone levels, both can increase metabolism.

10:00pm - Burn calories while you catch Z’s
Sleep deprivation can slow your metabolism, so get at least 7 to 8 hours a night!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Week 2 Started!!

Oshun, Sam & I have started week 2 of training for the 5k. 90 seconds of jogging, 2 minutes of walking for 35 min. GETTING IT GIRLS!!! GOING GREAT!!!! :D

Thursday, March 18, 2010

5k - Great place to start :)

I'll be the first to admit... running is not my favorite pastime. I'm not one to get up at the crack of dawn to squeeze in 6 miles before school and work. Probbbbbably not gonna happen. I've usually preferred the EFX or bike in the gym 100 times over the treadmill.
However... I've been wanting to put together a little team for Healthy is Hot and run a 5k... At first I was like.. WHY AM I DOING THIS AGAIN?? I HATE THE TREADMILL!!!!! But Ohio's bipolar weather seems to be finally warming up and I got outside to the park with my sister & friend and remembered. It's so beautiful out.. You don't need any equipment. You just need your shoes and a little stretching and you're off! :) It's great to do it with a group for support and motivation. Oshun, Sam & I just caught up on our chatting while we got in a great workout.
I think people get turned off by running because they try to do too much too fast. You get out there, iPod blaring some tunes, cute jogging outfit, and you're off to a great start!! for about 5 minutes... you get out of breath, you get that stitch in your side, your legs feel like lead weights, and you wonder why on earth people do this for fun. WHY?!
If you're just starting out, or already pretty athletic but just not a big fan of running, it's better to start off slow... Don't worry about speed, that will come as your muscles and bones get stronger.
So I did a little research and found a training program online called "Couch to 5k". Osh, Sam and I have been following it so far with great results. I look forward to the run everytime. This is a 9 week program developed for beginners, and if you start today, you can be ready to go by May 16th... and join my Healthy is Hot team while we run the 5k at Columbus' "Race for the Cure" that helps raise money for breast cancer. It's only $30.00 to register, you get a tshirt with registration... I'm hoping to get a little something made that we can wear to represent us as a team.You can read more about the details at and read more about the team I'm putting together on my facebook page. So! If you're interested... check out this training program, eat well, sleep well, drink your water and let me know!! :) By May you can transform yourself from a couch potato to a fitness fruit ;) You'll transform your body and feel great about yourself. It's a win-win!! :D

Week 1:
3 times a week - 5 minute brisk warm up walk - alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for 20-30 minutes (for beginners) or 30-40 minutes (for those who are new to running, but not working out)

Week 2:
3 times a week - 5 minute brisk warm up walk - alternate 90 seconds of jogging and 2 minutes of walking for 20-30 minutes (for beginners) or 30-40 minutes (for those who are new to running, but not working out)

Week 3:
3 times a week - 5 min brisk warm up walk - alternate 90 seconds of jogging, 90 seconds walking, 2 min jogging, 2 min walking for 20-30 minutes (for beginners) or 30-40 minutes (for those who are new to running, but not working out)

Week 4:
3 times a week - 5 min brisk warm up walk - jog 3 minutes, walk 90 seconds, jog 5 minutes, walk 2:30 minutes, jog 3 minutes, walk 90 seconds, jog 5 min for 20-30 minutes (for beginners) or 30-40 minutes (for those who are new to running, but not working out)

3 times a week -
day 1 - 5 minute brisk warm up walk - alternate jogging 5 minutes, walk 3 min for 20-30 minutes (for beginners) or 30-40 minutes (for those who are new to running, but not working out)

day 2 - 5 minute brisk warm up walk -alternate jogging 8 minutes, walking 5 minutes for 20-30 minutes (for beginners) or 30-40 minutes (for those who are new to running, but not working out)

day 3- 5 minute brisk warm up walk - jog 30 minutes - no walking! You can do it!! :)

Week 6:
3 times a week -
day 1 - 5 minute brisk warm up walk - Jog 5 minutes, walk 3 minutes, jog 8 minutes ,walk 3 minutes, jog 5 minutes for 20-30 minutes (for beginners) or 30-40 minutes (for those who are new to running, but not working out)

day 2 - 5 minute brisk warm up walk - alternate jogging 10 minutes, walking 3 minutes for 20-30 minutes (for beginners) or 30-40 minutes (for those who are new to running, but not working out)

day 3 - 5 minute brisk warm up walk - jog 30 min - no walking!

Week 7:
3 times a week - 5 minute brisk warm up walk - jog 30 min - no walking!

Week 8:
 3 times a week - 5 minute brisk warm up - jog 35 minutes - no walking!

Week 9:
 3 times week - 5 min warm up - jog 40 minutes - no walking!

You're ready for the 5k!! Give it your best!

Now, I extended the times on these from the suggested plan.. I feel like I want to go longer than the suggested 25 minutes to get a good workout.. if it's too much to start out with, start the workouts with only going 25 min & working up to 30 and then 40. Don't push yourself too hard and cause injury. If you need to spend more time at a certain level, repeat a week. The important thing is to keep doing it. Don't give up!!

Eating well, getting a good nights sleep, and staying hydrated are important parts of this equation too. In a few weeks, you'll feel amazing. Even in a few days.

For this upcoming 5k, we're also incorporating strength training into our workout.. two times a week. A combination of time under resistance style (to tone muscle) and classic style (to build muscle).

I suggest keeping a notebook throughout this program.. write down your goals and daily workouts and food you ate that day. It will just help you keep track of your progress and take a look at your diet. Visitng your doctor and getting a physical before starting any training program is always a good idea, especially if you're new to working out. Seeking the help of a registered dietician can help you get your diet on track too! :)

Hope to see you May 16th in Columbus @ Race for the Cure!!


Monday, March 8, 2010

YOGA-- does your body (&mind!) GOOD!

Well here I am in the home stretch. One week of regular classes left, then finals and a nice break until Spring quarter starts. I've really enjoyed my classes this quarter, loved the conditioning principles and yoga every week. A good balance between strength & flexibility. I've definitely fallen in love with Yoga, and am planning on continuing practicing after the class ends next week. I was just writing up a paper that's due tomorrow for this class, and I thought hey, I oughta share this with my healthy is hott-ers ;) So, read on, learn, and try it out for yourself!

New research is emerging that documents the effectiveness of yoga therapy for the body. Few studies had been done in Western countries in the past, such as the United States, on yoga. In previous years, Indian yoga research was highly dismissed by scientists due to problems with the methods such as lack of control groups. However in recent years, the methodology has vastly improved and it could be argued that many Indian studies of yoga far surpass those done in the West.

Yoga has been documented to be effective for conditions such as back pain, multiple sclerosis, insomnia, heart disease, and even cancer. The benefits it can have include increased strength, flexibility, and balance, as well as enhanced immune system function, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and improved sense of psychological well-being. One of yoga's most famous effects is stress reduction, something almost anyone could use in their day to day lives. To understand the importance of stress reduction in relation to your health, first you need to understand how stress effects the body.

Stress can cause a wide range of adverse health conditions, such as migraines, ulcers, and irritable bowel syndrome, as well as big time killers like diabetes, heart attack, and osteoporosis. Stress effects the autonomic nervous system (ANS), which controls function of the liver, heart, intestines, and other internal organs. The ANS works in two branches that work together, the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). Generally when activity is high in one branch, it's low in the other.

The SNS works in conjunction with stress hormones (such as adrenaline and cortisol) starts a series of events within the body, including raising blood pressure, heart rate, and blood sugar levels. This means more energy, blood, and oxygen flowing to the large muscles in the trunk of the body and in the arms and legs, allowing a person to run or fight ("fight or flight" response).

The PNS, in contrast, slows the heart rate and lowers blood pressure, letting the body recover after stress. Blood flow returns to the intestines and reproductive organs, whose functions aren't important in crisis/stressful situation. PNS can be thought of as "rest and digest." Yoga practices increase activation of the PNS and leads to mental relaxation and stress reduction. Some practices of yoga, such as vigorous sun salutes, breath retentions, or kaphalabhati breathing actually activate the SNS. Research documented in research from the Swami Vivekananda Yoga Research Foundation has found that more active practices followed by relaxing ones lead to deeper relaxation than just relaxation practices done by themselves.

Some of yoga's most outstanding effects on health is connected to its ability to alter dysfunctional behavior, such as lack of exercise or poor diet choices. People also have unhealthy habits of thought (negativity, pessimism, holding grudges) that can undermine their health without them really realizing it. Sometimes we do realize it, but don't know how to change. It's not uncommon for people who start practicing yoga to start eatting better, stop smoking, cut back on alcohol or caffiene, spend more time doing things they truly enjoy, and eliminate stresses (such as too demanding jobs or too many time commitments) from their lives. Once you're aware of what makes your body feel good, you want to do things that make your body increasingly feel better.
I can attest to some of these claims.. I tend to stress out over school/work/relationships... it's hard not to. I also suffered from headaches, nearly every day for a long time. I tried medicine, prescription and over the counter, change in diet (which helped some but not entirely)... This quarter, while practicing yoga once a week for 90 min, and 10 or 20 minutes here and there throughout the week, my headaches have almost vanished. I feel more at ease with myself and life in general. It's a great feeling. I really recommend yoga to anyone who hasn't tried it. You'll walk out feeling relaxed and refreshed, and with a smile on your face. Give it a try, attend a class, or just try some moves on your own, and let me know how it goes!! :)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Food Rules: An Eater's Manual by Michael Pollan

So I told you all that I was reading journalist Michael Pollan's book "Food Rules - An Eater's Manual" and was hoping to share some things I learned. Basically this little book has three sections.

Part I - What should I eat? (Eat Food)

Part II - What kind of food should I eat? (Mostly Plants)

Part III - How should I eat? (Not too much)

Pretty straight forward eh? Which is good in a world where fad diets and low fat, low carb, low gluten, no dairy, etc, etc, etc, etc, run rampant. It can be confusing to know where to even begin when you want to reasses what you're eating, what you should be eating, how much you should be eating. Who do you listen to? A good idea when you want to get facts is to visit a registered dietician. These people went to school to learn all about the body and food and the relationship between these two lovebirds. They're not trying to get you to buy their product. They're medical professionals and always a reliable source of good info.

However, there's nothing wrong with doing a little research on your own. I think a huge problem with people making poor diet choices is a lack of understanding what the food does in your body. For instance, a lot of people consider diet pop a good choice. No calories! But what about what the chemicals do once they're in your body? What about NutraSweet and Aspartame? Do you know? Well you should. Understanding is key to making good decisions. You must educate yourself. It's your body, therefore your responsibility.

Ok.. So there are 64 rules in this book.. I'll share a couple good ones with you and recommend you check out the book for yourself :) It retails for $11.00, not bad!

1. Eat FOOD. not foodlike substances. aka ultra processed substances with chemical additives. Pollan calls these 'edible foodlike substances'

5. Avoid foods that have some form of sugar (or sweetner) listed among the top 3 ingredients. Labels list ingredients by weight, and any product with more sugar than all the rest of the ingredients has too much sugar. However sugar is a tricky little thing these days.. thanks for food science it goes by a million different names. For example: beet sugar, barley malt, brown rice syrup, corn sweetner,cane juice, dextrin, dextrose, sucrose, glucose.. ETC ETC ETC. familiarize yourself with sugar and all it's names. Sugar is sugar, no matter what it calls itself. And as for it's tricky cousin noncaloric sweetners (think aspartame or Splenda) research doesn't support that these artificial sweetners lead to weight lose. Instead they seem to stimulate a craving for more sweet.

10. Avoid food pretending to be something it's not. Think 'I can't believe it's not butter' Making nonfat cream cheese involves neither cream nor cheese, but rather a ton of processing and chemicals. STAY AWAY.

12. Shop the perimeter of supermarkets and avoid the middle aisles. Most markets are set up the same.. with fresh foods like produce meat fish dairy etc. on the perimeter and foodlike substances in the middle. Shopping the perimeter will leave you with more healthful things in your cart.

20. It's not food if it arrived through the window of your car.

22. Be an omnivore, but eat mostly plants.

25. Eat your colors. The colors of many vegetables reflect the different antioxidant phytochemicals they contain. Many of these chems help protect against chronic diseases, but each in a different way so your best bet is to eat your colors.

27. Eat animals that have themselves eaten well.

34. Sweeten and salt your food yourself. Cereals to Soup food that has been prepared by a corporation contains way more salt and sugar than any human - even sugar crazy kids - would add themselves. By sweetening and salting yourself, you'll consume wayyy less sugar and salt that you would have otherwise.

36. Don't eat breakfast cereals that change the color of the milk. Such items are highly processed and FULL of refined carbohydrates and chemical additives.

47. Eat when you're hungry, not when you're bored.

49. Eat slowly

52. Buy smaller plates and glasses.

Man, that was tough to only pick out a couple of rules to share. This little book really is a great resource and perfect for people who want to start learning about making healthier food choices. Check it out!

Works Cited :

Pollan, Michael. Food Rules An Eater’s Manual. New York City: Penguin Group, 2009.

Monday, March 1, 2010


With only two weeks of regular class left and spring break looming just over the horizon, you'd think I'd be counting down the days, but instead I'm counting down the days til this weekend!!

This weekend, Columbus, Ohio will proudly be hosting the Arnold Fitness Classic at 300 W. Broad Street, the Convention Center. There's a ton of events to go watch or participate in.. bikini contest, armwrestling, Art at the Arnold, powerlifiting, gymnastics, strongman, WEC weigh-ins, cheerleading and dance, fencing, boxing, MMA workshops.... you name it, they probably got it. For a full schedule of events click here. It's always a good time, the festival runs all weekend, starting Thursday and ending on Sunday. Lots to see and tons of free giveaways. I can't wait!!

In association with the Arnold this year, there will be an Amateur MMA Festival, Friday March 5th at the Lifestyles Community Pavilion (formerly Promo West)  20 fights - shaping up to be an awesome show, along with a who's who crowd with all the visitors the our capital city that weekend. For more info check out MidWest Combat, awesome MMA site based out of Columbus.

The WEC (World Extreme Cagefighting) will also be coming to Columbus this weekend on Saturday, March 6th. The card is stacked, headlined by a bantamweight title fight between the current champ, Brian Bowles, and the number one contender Dominick Cruz. WEC's first trip to Columbus will also feature the return of former bantamweight champ Miguel Angel Torres, as well as the comeback of Jens Pulver, former UFC lightweight titleholder.

CAN'T WAIT!!!!! Definitely hitting the gym hard this week for cardio & strength training during the day, yoga & pilates in the afternoon. One thing I can say for sure is the bodies you will see this weekend at this smorgasbord of events will make you want to get in better shape. Without a doubt. So head out this weekend for fun, and maybe you'll find the motivation and information you need to push you toward your own fitness goals.

For a chance to win tickets to the Amateur MMA Fest, listen & win - QFM 96 - Ohio's Best Rock    or if you can't wait - tickets are on sale now @ Ticketmaster. Get them NOW. They're going quick & it's gonna be a great show.

Here's a couple pics from last years Arnold Fitness Classic & the UFC! Great weekend!

Me & Ash w/ WEC's Mike Brown!
Ash & UFC's Randy Couture!
Tyler & UFC's Bobby Lashley!
JD, Zach, & Tyler w/ Mike Brown!
Ash punching Tito Ortiz!