Staying On Track At Work

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Is Your Job Making you Fat?

Probably. For most of us, the workplace has the potential to absolutely derail our goals of healthy eating and weight loss. From birthday cupcakes for the co-worker to catered lunches to “Insert – Just Because” office potlucks, the food buffet is endless. This constant barrage of temptations is enough for anybody to give in and interrupt their streak of healthy eating. On top of that, your job may likely be a stressful environment with assignments, deadlines, and probably 1 or 2 whacko co-workers thrown in for good measure. Stress + opportunity to “cheat” can take a toll on our dedication and willpower to stay on track. And when we’re talking about 5 days a week and somewhere around 40 hours of this workspace madness, how do we deal?

#1 Start on a positive note. We make sure we have breakfast in our bellies (or at least in our hands!) before we walk out the door. Giving ourselves enough time prep our meal that morning or the night before leaves zero room for skipping breakfast. We usually keep it simple with smoothies, scrambled eggs and veggies, steel cut oat cups, green yogurt parfaits, or our favorite infamous avocado toast. Making sure our breakfast is not only deliciously satisfying but also nutrient packed better prepares us to pass on the sugar-filled bomb waiting for us in the office breakroom.

#2 Pack a lunch. Seems kind of obvious, right? But it’s so easy to fall into a pattern of eating out for lunch while at work. It’s convenient and usually tastier than whatever we think we’re capable of making at home. The truth is, it’s expensive not just for our wallet but also for our waistline. Just like with breakfast, we make it a habit to prep our lunch the night before or in the morning. And if we’re feeling ambitious, sometimes we meal prep for the whole week! Choose 1-2 of your favorite proteins, veggies, and healthy carbs and you’ve got yourself some variety for the work week.

#3 Keep a stash. Stock up on some healthy snacks you can keep in your office or work locker. Have some basics on hand like bread, a nut butter, some trail mix, or maybe your favorite protein bar. One of Sarah’s past coworkers would make nut butter sandwiches and have them stored as backup meals in the event she forgot to bring lunch! You can also make it a habit to pack some more perishable snacks like fresh fruit or some cut up veggies with your favorite hummus dip. The idea is to never be so desperate for food that you pick up a donut in the break room.

#4 Office party? Don’t fret. You have some control. Sign up to bring a dish that you know will easily fit into your diet plan. Make it something you can load up on just in case there aren’t any other sides that compliment your plate. Try some sort of chicken or tuna salad, or a tasty and lean lasagna! And if the party gets taken out for lunch, plan ahead. FInd out where you’ll be dining and look up the menu beforehand. This way you can be sure you’ll make a decision you can feel guilt-free about!

Following these simple steps keeps us on track. What do you find works best for you?

P.S. If you struggle more with navigating your co-workers intentional or unintentional attempts at sabotage, you should check out our blog post “The Power of In a Minute” . Here you’ll find our number one tip for avoiding food pushers!

 

Why We Need to Stay Hydrated and Drink More Water

proper-hydration

How drinking water can make you more awesome

What makes up 55-60% of our body? Water. H20. It plays a role in every process in the human body. That’s pretty amazing for something that’s basically free. And many of us take it for granted and overlook its value to our health. Whether it’s sweating in the summer heat or keeping dry skin at bay in the winter chill, water is key to keeping our bodies happy at the most basic cellular level.

If you’re not drinking enough water you’re essentially slowly killing yourself. Now that’s a little dramatic, but seriously, the list of its awesomeness goes on and on. It helps combat everyday stresses, fight fatigue, aids in digestion from saliva production to just keeping things moving, makes your metabolism more efficient, your skin more supple, regulates body temperature, lubricates joints, flushes unwanted toxins from the body, helps your beautiful brain create hormones and neurotransmitters, keeps your mucosal membranes moist (think of your lung and digestive tissues.. and ya we had to use the word moist), transports nutrients from your foods (especially water soluble vitamins), and keeps your cells rejuvenated, reproducing, and surviving – we literally can not live without water. Did we mention we love water? It makes your insides and outsides awesome. Just like a real life BFF.

how-to-drink-more-water

So, are you drinking enough?

“What color is your pee?” That’s pretty much our first question when someone asks us if they’re drinking enough water. The color of your pee is a huge indicator of your hydration levels and you should be paying close attention to it throughout the day. Ideally, it should be a pale yellow or clear in color. If it looks like apple juice or a darker yellow, thats a definite sign that you need some water. STAT. But there are some other factors that can alter the color of your pee like vitamins, eating asparagus or even beets. Also, keep in mind that your water needs will vary based on your sex, size, activity level and surrounding weather. A good starting point is between 2-3 L depending on the above factors. Set your daily water drinking goal and measure your progress. If you’re struggling to keep your intake where you want it, shape your environment to trigger some hydration. Set an hourly goal for ounces, invest in a new water jug, keep your water within reach, add flavors to it by infusing your with fruit, leave for 20 minutes or overnight, whatever it takes! Our favorite trick for getting us to drink more water is using a straw. 

fruit-infused-water

How do you make sure you’re getting enough water?

Fit Lush Essence – Sarah & Sofia’s Nutrition Philosophy

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The Gist: Eat a variety of wholesome food as close to its natural state and as often as possible. Maintain balance and moderation in everything. Nobody’s perfect so work your indulgences into your daily nutrition goal and try to keep them to a minimum.

We’re so over fad diets. Why? Because they imply short term goals. And we’re all about lifestyle goals and long term success. So when people ask us what kind of diet we follow, the answer is a little long winded.

Between the two of us, we’ve tried it all! Vegetarian, vegan, raw, organic, paleo, clean.. the list goes on and on! And what we’ve learned? The key is BALANCE. We’re of the mindset “do good most of the time” and taking each day as an opportunity to do our best. You can be successful with whatever diet preferences you have so long as you remember to always have a balance. A balance of nutrients, a balance of variety, and a balance of portion size.

This isn’t and will never be about deprivation or starvation. Instead, we focus on nurturing a healthy mindset and embracing our new way of life. There are so many awesome tasting, nutritious foods out there that help fuel our bodies. And we want the most nutritional bang for our caloric buck. What does that mean? It means choosing to eat foods that are going to offer the most nutrients for calories and keep us feeling satiated and energized throughout the day. And when we want a little something extra, we have it! No one wants to live without ice cream forever. You’ll be a miserable person if you do.

Back to the fuel stuff! Why do we care about foods that are going to offer us balanced energy? Because we know food isn’t just random stuff you put in our mouth to stay alive. It’s the driving force to maximized workout efforts! We enjoy taking care of our bodies by moving and moving frequently. If we’re sitting around eating highly processed styrofoam and sugar all day, we’re going to be a pair of hot messes with no energy for training days.


Bottom line:
We do our best best to eat pure, clean, wholesome, whatever-you-want-to-call-it foods. We incorporate a healthy balance of macro nutrients to sustain our activity levels and prefer minimally processed, unrefined foods. The right nutrition is undeniably the most important tool for a healthy, lively, nourished life, so don’t sell yourself short. Take your favorite parts from all of the philosophies and find the balance that suits you, your lifestyle and your goals the best <3

Optimizing Breakfast for Weight Loss

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It’s the most important meal of the day! You hear it all the time, right? Well it’s true! What you eat or don’t eat for breakfast can set your day up for failure or success! Here are 4 basic concepts to keep in mind when planning out your breakfast options.

Basics for success: Protein, Veggies, Portion, and Planning

  1. Eat more Protein: The problem with most of our go-to breakfast options is that they’re high in carbs without a good balance of protein. Having a breakfast rich in protein will help you stay fuller longer. How? It suppresses the hormone ghrelin that stimulates your appetite. Not only that, a healthy amount of protein at breakfast will kickstart your metabolism. Aim to include at least 10 to 15 grams of protein at this meal.

Try adding some protein to those healthy carbs:

Oatmeal + greek yogurt/protein powder/peanut butter
Banana + peanut butter
Pancakes + protein powder/greek yogurt

  1. Up the veggies: Too many of us don’t start worrying about our veggie intake until dinner time. No wonder we don’t reach our minimum recommendation of 3+ cups daily! So give yourself a headstart and incorporate them as part of your breakfast. The fiber content will help add bulk to your meal and trigger your brain and stomach to recognize you’ve eaten enough.

Simple ways to add more veggies:

Veggie omelette
Green smoothies / juices
Pancakes + pureed spinach / blueberries

  • Watch those portions: Limit your breakfast calories to 300-400 calories (400-500 for males). Eat too much and you end up over your calorie goal by the end of the day. Eat too little and you’re starving by the time lunch comes around! Pay special attention to any add-ons you may use for your oatmeal. Remember, just because they’re toppings doesn’t mean those calories don’t add up! This includes fruit, nuts, honey, almond milk, greek yogurt, or whatever else you are adding.

We workout in the mornings so we tend to split up our breakfasts into 2 smaller meals around our workouts.

Sarah’s go-to breakfast: Depending on how much time I have between eating and my workout

If I have 45 minutes at least before working out: Avocado toast, 1 slice of seeded 100% whole grain bread plus avocado, topped with tomato slices  (200 cals) OR green smoothie with frozen banana and protein powder (200 cals)

Post workout: apple with 1 tablespoon almond butter or ½ banana with 1 tablespoon almond butter

OR

Under 45 minutes before working out: An apple or banana

Post-workout: avocado toast or protein smoothie (See above)

 Sofia’s go-to breakfast: Depending on how hard I worked, I may add an extra carb portion.

Pre-Workout: 1 toasted, double protein muffin + 1 tbsp peanut butter (200 calories)

Post-Workout: 2 eggs + 2 cups broccoli (200 calories)

Total calories: 400; Total Protein: 25g

“But It’s Organic… It Must Be Healthy”

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Organic Basics: What you need to know

Let’s be clear here, “organic” and “healthy” are not the same. If you’re eating something labeled organic, that probably means it was printed on a package. And if was printed on a package, that means you’re probably eating some sort of processed food. So don’t be tricked into thinking that organic Oreo look-a-like isn’t made with the same amount of fat and sugar as the all-American Oreo cookie.

What’s organic mean?

Organic foods are grown in a manner which is sustainable and beneficial for our planet’s soil. Additionally, they are grown without the use of certain pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, or added hormones (animal protein). This makes organic foods inherently healthier than those grown with the use of these harmful ingredients. At the least, some of these ingredients can cause allergies, other have been linked to cancers (not proven), and the effects of others are still to be identified in future populations.

Does organic mean it’s healthier?

Is an organic apple healthier for you than a non-organic apple? The short answer is yes, but not in the ways you may think. An organic apple doesn’t somehow magically have less calories and contribute less to weight gain. But! It’s grown in soil containing higher levels of nutrients which means YOU eat more nutrients! Plus, it’ll taste better and have less pesticides. This is true for a lot of the produce. In terms of organic animal meats, it means the fat ratios of omega 6 to omega 3 are in the ideal proportion your body needs anddddd you’ll be avoiding all those extra hormones and antibiotics lurking in the meat.

Anyway, this DOES NOT mean that these ingredients can’t later be used to make unhealthy, calorically dense or processed foods. Our attention goes to the ingredients list on the back of the product. We’re looking for the foods nutritional profile: how many calories, fiber, protein, etc. Is it high in vitamins and minerals? Looking at this allows us to make a better choice and read right through those deceiving marketing claims.

But you just said organic is better..

I know! Let’s go back to that Oreo. Three most obvious ingredients? Sugar, fat and flour. So let’s say you get the organic imitation Oreo.. can you guess what ingredients it’ll have? Organic sugar, organic fat, and organic flour. So… you eat those organic Oreos and you’re still going to get those same calories. Eating them will still be considered an indulgence and not a “healthier” treat. Bottom line, processed food is processed food regardless of the ingredients and we want you to be looking twice before purchasing.

Why is it sooooo confusing?!

Our girl Marion Nestle breaks it down like this: “Consumers have to understand that the purpose of these [organic] claims is to get them to buy the product.” Don’t fall for it. Sometimes, “organic” will mean the food is better for you, sometimes it won’t. Learn to spot when it counts and when you’re just throwing money away. We’re going to talk dirty dozen soon so you’ll be in the know about what’s worth the splurge for organic or and what’s not.

FYI What do those “Organic” labels mean? Here’s a mini cheat sheet from the USDA that explains the requirements for those different labels.

http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELDEV3004446&acct=nopgeninfo

What’re your thoughts on eating organic junk food?

 

National Grapefruit Month- Let’s Celebrate!

National Grapefruit Month

Did you guys know that February is National Grapefruit Month?! This powerful fruit packs a nutritional punch that’s a fantastic source of vitamins & antioxidants. This week we’re going to bring you grapefruit inspired posts all things health and beauty and by celebrating with an awesome grapefruit sale in the shop. Stay tuned for this weeks posts all on Grapefruit & Skincare