Your Guide to Mindful Eating

Your Guide to Mindful Eating

Today is World Food Day! With over 2,000,000 farms across the U.S., we produce, export, and consume a lot of food! In 2015, about 48.5 billion pounds of red meat was produced. In 2014, grain production came out to approximately 442.4 million metric tons. 

With all this production comes a lot of waste; 62.5 million tons of wasted food each year, to be more specific. We’re not even considering the waste that comes from actual production, from packaging, and from transporting all this food. 

As an individual, you can easily and effectively help reduce food waste. Here are some ways that you can make a positive impact. 

Reduce Wasted Food 

01.

It can be hard to remember when you made that casserole in the back of your fridge. Create your own labels so you remember when you cooked and to avoid throwing good food out prematurely. 

02.

Create your own labels for store-bought foods as well, particularly if the expiration date is already difficult to see. This is also a great idea if you tend to store certain foods without the packaging it came in. 

03.

Make your grocery shopping trips smaller and more frequent instead of buying large quantities of food less frequently. If you must buy something in bulk, split it up into smaller containers that you can freeze for later use. 

04.

Eat before you shop. We’ve all fallen victim to the hungry shopping-spree that ended with a shopping cart full of items we never intended to buy. Even a light snack before you hit the store can help you make more conscious decisions. 

05.

Try to commit to cooking more at home. If you like to meal prep and you make a big batch of food, freeze some of it so you don’t get tired of eating the same thing. This should keep it from sitting around in your fridge too long. 

06.

Instead of throwing away leftovers, re-purpose them to make an entirely different meal. This article from Taste of Home can give you some ideas on how to make leftovers shine.

07.

To help ward off spoilage, wrap fruits and veggies in a paper towel or toss a napkin into the storage container. This absorbs moisture which will help keep produce fresher longer. If you’re worried about wasting trees, try tree-free products or use regular kitchen towels. 

08.

Don’t toss it just yet! The “Best By” or “Use By” date just means your food will taste the best and be the freshest up to a certain date. It doesn’t necessarily mean it will be spoiled once that date has passed! The USDA explains that “with [the] exception of infant formula…if the date passes during home storage, a product should still be safe and wholesome if handled properly until the time spoilage is evident.”1 

Make Ecologically Sustainable Choices 

01.

Try your best to minimize trash. You may live in a state that has banned single-use grocery bags, but if you don’t, consider reusable grocery bags for your next shopping trip. You can go a step further and bring reusable bags or lightweight containers for buying produce and bulk beans, rice, nuts, etc.

02.

Buy sustainably sourced seafood and choose varieties that are more abundant. For example, choose Mackerel, Tilapia, Catfish, Mussels, Clams, or Oysters over less abundant species like Tropical Prawns, Swordfish, Atlantic Salmon, or Shark. 2

03.

Eat less meat or commit to buying from local sources. Buying local reduces the carbon footprint caused by packaging, shipping, and other transportation. This also goes for fruits and veggies. If you can, stick only to what’s in-season. 

04.

Try composting! Believe it or not, food takes a long time to decompose in a landfill. This is because there is actually very little dirt, oxygen, and very few of the microorganisms that help with decomposition.3 Composting at home is great for the health of your soil and will help you grow your own produce.

05.

If you haven’t invested in a reusable water bottle, this is a great move for your health and for the environment. It’s a reminder to keep hydrated and a way to keep unnecessary plastic out of landfills. You can do the same with straws and cutlery and replace plastic with some reusable and portable alternatives.

For more food and nutrition topics, check out the Meal Prepping 101 Guide or this Super Snacking Guide. To access our monthly blog post highlights, subscribe to our newsletter today! 

Sources:

  1. “FSIS.” Food Product Dating, United States Department of Agriculture, www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/get-answers/food-safety-fact-sheets/food-labeling/food-product-dating/food-product-dating.
  2. Charles, Alba. “How to Know If Fish Is Sustainable.” Onehowto.com, 2017, food.onehowto.com/article/how-to-know-if-fish-is-sustainable-10516.html.
  3. Talk, Earth. “Do Biodegradable Items Degrade in Landfills?” ThoughtCo, ThoughtCo, 4 Jan. 2019, www.thoughtco.com/do-biodegradable-items-really-break-down-1204144.

Member Spotlight | Little Changes, Big Results

Member Spotlight | Little Changes, Big Results

“Consistency is key; Changes do not happen overnight so do not give up. Start with small changes outside the gym…little changes turn into big results.” 

Nick L.

LAF Member, LA Fitness

Nick’s weight loss journey began with the 8-month birthday of his son. He changed his workout and eating habits over the course of the last year and managed to lose over 100 pounds!  

His motivation came partly from witnessing the success of others who have lost as much weight and more. So, if your goal seems too ambitious and you’re plagued with self-doubt, Nick’s story will show you that with consistency and commitment, big results are possible. 

Nick’s Wakeup Call

“I decided to make a healthy lifestyle a choice when my son became 8 months old and I was too tired to interact and play with him. I knew that if I wanted to be strong enough to provide for my wife and son, something needed to change.  

At that same time, I found a channel on YouTube called BrixFitness where I saw that a man had lost 150 pounds. I thought to myself, if he can do it, I can too. The next day I went and got a membership at LA Fitness. A week later, I showed up to the gym at 5am and I have been going at 5am, 5 days a week for the last year.” 


 

Commitment to the New Lifestyle

“I have made many eating and drinking changes which have helped drive my progress in the gym, and I am seeing major results. I am more conscious of the labels on the food I eat along with the portions. I even started measuring and weighing my food.”  

If Nick could give others a piece of advice, he would tell them that “Consistency is key. Changes do not happen overnight so do not give up. Start with small changes outside the gym like drinking diet soda versus regular soda or eating a protein bar instead of a candy bar. Little changes turn into big results.” 

Nick started this journey at 332 pounds and, as of today, he is currently 230 pounds. With his primary focus on weight training and diet over the course of the last year, his plan is to continue that and start integrating more Cardio and Core sessions to continue shaping his body. 

 He says that his “ultimate fitness goal is to do one pull up as [he has] never done one in [his] entire life.” We’re rooting for you Nick!  


 

The Takeaways

  1. Odds are, you’re not alone. Look for success stories that prove it!

     

  2. Small changes build up over time and really make a difference

     

  3. Keep it consistent and remember that changes don’t happen overnight 

Do you have an inspirational story you’d like to share with us? Email us at blog@lafitness.com for a chance to be featured in an upcoming post! 


For length and clarity, minor edits – none of which alter the original or intended meaning – have been made to the quotes provided.

Recommended Reading

Did I Overdo It? – Signs You Pushed Your Workout Too Hard

Did I Overdo It? – Signs You Pushed Your Workout Too Hard

To get stronger, you need to push your body to certain limits, but how can you know what those limits are? There’s no easy way to define it because everyone is different, and what you are capable of today may not be what you are capable of tomorrow. 

There are some tell-tale signs that your workout is no longer benefiting your body. The farther you push past your limits, the longer your recovery will be, and the longer you’ll need to wait before you can train again. 

Contrary to popular belief, muscle soreness is not required for muscle gain, and you don’t need to feel like a zombie to benefit from your gym session. So, let’s talk about the signs so you can better understand your limits and get the most out of your workouts.  


Pain or Discomfort While Working Out

Because they occur in the moment, these pain signals are easy to identify and are the more obvious warnings of over-exertion. Just a few examples include: 

  • Pain in your side during cardio; also known as a side-stitch 
  • Any sharp, shooting, or stabbing pains  
  • Pain while stretching, especially if your muscles are not warm 
  • Difficulty breathing 
  • Muscle tingling or numbness  
  • Dizziness or feeling faint 
  • Chest Pain or Pressure 
  • Nausea or vomiting 

The more dangerous potential for injury is when we do not feel anything, so we continue to exercise. So, if you experience any of the above symptoms, or any other concerning pain or discomfort, that’s a good sign you should take a break or stop. 

Pain or Discomfort After Working Out

If you didn’t feel anything while working out, and then felt like a train-wreck in the days to follow, this is your body communicating its limits, just differently. 

Take, for example, a person experiencing a sudden adrenaline rush. In fight-or-flight mode, the body is capable of incredible things. Only once the body has settled from the rush does a person finally begin to notice various aches, pains, and even more extreme damage like bone breaks or severed limbs.  

It’s possible that while you’re in the zone, pumping iron to the right song, you may not notice that you’re pushing your body just a little too far. 


What You Can Do

Sometimes, you need to be your own critic. Try to carefully monitor the following things as you work out:

  1. Your Form. Look in the mirror and double check what you know about the correct form for the exercise you’re doing. If you don’t know the correct form, ask a professional or do your research to prevent injury.

  2. Are your muscles starting to tremble? This is a sign they’re getting close to reaching their maximum level of exertion. While a little bit of that can be okay, try not to push much further past this point.

     

  3. Is your body unwilling to cooperate? If you just did a few great sets of weighted squats, and now your body refuses to squat without any added weight, that’s it. It’s time to call it. If your muscles feel ready to give out, you’ve probably already gone too far. 

Closing Thoughts 

Overdoing your workout doesn’t just mean going full beast-mode and overworking your body. If you’re fighting sickness, or your body is sleep-deprived and exhausted, you may be better off staying home and resting. It’s possible that while your body is trying to manage other ailments, you won’t get much out of your workout anyway. It’s the safer choice to take a break and come back when you’re feeling better.  

Always pay attention to the signs and learn your body’s limitations so you can hit the gym with confidence and energy instead of with dread. 

For some workout nutrition tips, read out article on Pre- and Post-Workout Foods, or our article on What BCAA’s Can Do for Your Workout. To access our monthly blog post highlights, subscribe to our newsletter today! 

Fruits and Veggies – Part 2 – Podcast Ep. 32

Fruits and Veggies – Part 2 – Podcast Ep. 32


Welcome to the 32nd episode of the Living Healthy podcast, presented by LA Fitness.

On this episode of the Living Healthy Podcast, we continue our discussion with Debbie James, RDN, to dish out the details on super-fruits and veggies. We talk about how to incorporate more into your daily diet, whether they can help you bulk up or trim down, and how you can actually alter your taste buds so they taste better!

Listen in now!

How Are We Doing? 


This podcast should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Timecard Markers – Fruits and Veggies, Part 2 – Podcast Ep. 32   

Intro 

0:01 

Brittany’s Story 

0:34 

Jumping into Part 2 with Debbie James, RDN 

3:41 

Are There Certain Fruits/Veggies That Help You Bulk Up or Lose Weight? 

2:54 

Is it Better to Eat Locally Sourced Fruits and Veggies? 

4:38 

Is There a Better Time of Day to Eat Fruits and Veggies to Bulk Up? 

5:48 

Which Ones Are the Super-Fruits and Super-Veggies? 

8:03 

Can You Change Your Taste buds to Like Veggies? 

10:00 

Are There Any Tips to Get Kids to Eat Veggies? 

12:00 

Cooking with Olive Oil versus Coconut Oil 

15:11 

Does Juicing Hold Long-Term Benefits? 

17:05 

Actionable Advice 

18:20 

Outro 

19:24 


Recommended Podcast Episodes 

Living an Active Lifestyle – For Adults with Cerebral Palsy

Living an Active Lifestyle – For Adults with Cerebral Palsy

Living an Active Lifestyle With CP

October 6th is World Cerebral Palsy Day

There is no better time than now to talk about this disorder that affects approximately 764,000 children and adults in the U.S.1

Not only will we fill you in on what it is, we’ll also share some great workout information (like how to calculate your target heart rate for cardio) that individuals who are and who are not affected by CP can apply to their routine.  

What is Cerebral Palsy?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines Cerebral Palsy as “a group of disorders that affect a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture.”2  There are varying degrees of severity and some variants of the disorder itself. The CDC classifies them in 4 ways: 

A person with Spastic Cerebral Palsy has muscle stiffness which may affect the legs, the legs and arms, one side of the body, or, in severe cases, the whole body. Movement appears rigid and can be labor intensive. 

A person with Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy has muscle tone that can fluctuate from being too tight and stiff, to too loose. Muscle movement is difficult to control which can make movements slower or faster than what is typical. 

A person with Ataxic Cerebral Palsy has problems with coordination and balance. Quick or precise movements can be difficult to execute. 

Mixed Cerebral Palsy occurs when a person experiences symptoms that come from more than one type of Cerebral Palsy.

Is it Possible to Both Be Active and Have Cerebral Palsy? 

Physical activity is great for the body, the heart, and the mind. This is something most of us have learned and had ingrained in our memory since childhood. With so many obstacles to free movement, you might wonder how someone with CP can exercise. 

The American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine (AACPDM) reminds us that the recommended amount of weekly cardio for adults is 150 minutes.3 They go on to say that “there is no evidence to suggest that these requirements should be any different for people with cerebral palsy.”3   

How to Be Active When Living with Cerebral Palsy

The following tips are straight from the Fact Sheet provided by the AACPDM. You can view the full document here.  

Remember that some exercises may not be safe or possible if you are experiencing certain limitations, so be sure to consult your doctor so you understand the right options for you. 

Tip #1: Do Exercises That Build Strength and Endurance 

To build muscle, you’ll need to increase the resistance, or the weight your muscles have to move. To build endurance, you’ll need to increase the repetitions, or the number of times you complete a movement. The AACPDM recommends that you should: 

  • Aim for a maximum of 10 repetitions.  
  • Start with 1 set. With time, as it becomes easier, start to increase your sets. 
  • Take at least 1 day of rest between strength training a single muscle group. 3

Tip #2: Exercise Your Heart 

To exercise your heart, you’ll need to know what your maximum heart rate is and set a goal to exercise at 40 – 85% of that maximum. Your heart rate is the number of times your heart beats per minute. 

To calculate your maximum heart rate, subtract your age from 220. 3 For example, if you are 20 years old, (220 – 20 = 200), your maximum heart rate is 200.  

Now that you have your maximum, you can calculate the heart rate you should aim for when you do cardio. All you have to do is multiply your maximum heart rate by 40% (0.40) and then do a new calculation and multiply by 85% (0.85) instead. Don’t forget to convert the percentage into a decimal by dividing it by 100.  

For example, if your maximum heart rate is 200, you would do the following calculation: 

200 x 0.40 = 80 beats per minute 

200 x 0.85 = 170 beats per minute 

Now you know that, to effectively exercise your heart, you need to get your heart rate between 80 and 170 beats per minute.  

The AACPDM recommends that you start at a rate of 40% and increase your target rate gradually. 3

Tip #3: Work on Improving Your Range of Motion 

Improving your range of motion simply means that you are improving your flexibility. The more flexible you are, the easier it is to do common daily activities like sitting, reaching, and bending. 

The AACPDM reminds us that yoga and stretching are not the only ways to improve flexibility. Using your full range of motion while doing your strength training exercises is also a way to improve the flexibility of your muscles. 3  

They also talk about how dynamic stretches help improve the muscle’s functionality and strength.3 Dynamic stretches get your body moving and warmed-up, so they are often done before you start working out.4

 

The Takeaways

Living an active lifestyle is not necessarily exclusive to people of a certain level of ability. Even though Cerebral Palsy affects motor function, exercise is still possible if you respect the limitations in your movement and adhere to the guidance of your doctor.  

However, depending on the exact nature of your condition, physical activity simply may not be for you. If this is the case, don’t lose hope! Talk to your doctor to find out what you can do to still care for your health without doing harm to your body. 

For more ideas on how to move more and sit less, read our post, 6 Ways to Decrease the Time You Spend Sitting. If you’re not looking to lose weight and instead, you’re looking to put on some healthy pounds, listen to our podcast on How to Gain Healthy Weight.

To access our monthly blog post highlights, subscribe to our newsletter today!

SOURCES 

  1. “Cerebral Palsy Information.” Cerebral Palsy Guidance, 2019, www.cerebralpalsyguidance.com/cerebral-palsy/research/facts-and-statistics/. 
  2. “What Is Cerebral Palsy? | CDC.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2019, www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/cp/facts.html. 
  3. “Cerebral Palsy Information.” Cerebral Palsy Guidance, The American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine, www.cerebralpalsyguidance.com/cerebral-palsy/research/facts-and-statistics/. 
  4. “The Benefits of Dynamic Stretching and How to Get Started.” Healthline, www.healthline.com/health/exercise-fitness/dynamic-stretching. 

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