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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Crank up your metabolism (Part 1) with weight training!

Disclosure--I am no fitness expert, but I love reading about how fitness and especially muscles help aid in metabolism. Actually, I'm in the process of preparing for a certification from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) to be a Health Fitness Specialist. How else to prepare yourself then to actually train your body and see the changes. It has been almost a month since I started strength training with Dietitian/CPT David. I know a lot of females are scared to weight life because the don't want to "bulk up." Guess what arms and legs are in! Seeing a little bit of definition is considered sexy! I work with David 3 days a week, bright and early. Oh, how this is a challenge in itself--I'm no morning person. 

A typical session for me begins with a light warm up of stretching, warming up arms with about 10 push-ups then 8-10 side lateral arms raises with lighter weights (~8lbs). Then the fun begins. Good thing about working with a personal trainer is that they can tell when you are not pushing yourself hard enough. You get way more out of your workout! We lift for about 45- 60 mins 3 days a week, alternating between upper and lower body. In addition to this, I go to pure barre 3 times a week. Each week gets progressively harder-but this is when change sets in. I have noticed some definition in my arms and I'm not afraid to show people =) Building lean body mass has so many positives when it comes to health. According to the ACSM muscular strength and muscular endurance may improve:
  • bone mass, which is related to osteoporosis
  • glucose intolerance, which is related to type 2 diabetes
  • musculotendinous integrity, which is related to a lower risk of injury, including back pain
  • the ability to carry out the activities of daily living, which is related to self-esteem
  • the FFM and resting metabolic rate, which are related to WEIGHT MANAGEMENT
Research studies have show that increased muscle mass yields an increased resting energy expenditure (REE). Meaning your metabolism gets cranked and burns more food for energy not leaving it for fat storage. Check out CDC's recommendations for activity in adults. Body building teaches you exercises for specific areas of the body.

My advice to you
Before initiating strength training seek advice from a professional to reduce risk of injury. I have learned the hard way that proper form is everything! It can cause major set backs and permanent damage.
Start slow and Evaluate yourself mentally and physically-
  1. On a scale of 1(not ready)-10(so ready) how ready are you to make changes?  Be honest with yourself,
  2. How many push ups and squats can you do? Write it down.
Set goals!
  1. My goal is_____________________________________________________
  2. Why is this goal important to me?___________________________________
  3. What steps am I going to do to reach my goal?_________________________
  4. Completion date_____________
Push yourself and don't give up!

"The Reason I Can Wear A Bikini AND Have Two Kids is Because I work my Ass off! -Gwyneth Paltrow


Now go and tone some arms! 
Keep Reading as I continue my mission: Healthy Huggins

American College of Sports Medicine (2010). Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, 8th edition. Philadelphia: PA Williams and Wilkins.
Heden T, Lox C, Rose P, Reid S, Kirk EP. Department of Kinesiology and Health Education, Southern Illinois University, Box 1126, Edwardsville, IL 62026, USA. One-set resistance training elevates energy expenditure for 72 h similar to three sets.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Delicious Dorito

You can put cookies, brownies, cakes, candy and much more in my house and I can practice self control. But, when you put Doritos in my pantry I will cave! You would of thought my cat had died after the scream I let out when seeing the TWO bags of Doritos in my pantry. Seriously, Brian was a little mad when I told him why I was screaming. He said they were buy one get one free..ugh... First thought was to immediately crush them and throw them away, but I knew this would upset him. So, now I will have to practice mindful eating.
Mindful eating-it's about staying in control
  • Use your full attention when eating
  • Understand hunger cues. Why are you about to eat? Are you truly hungry? 
  • Distinguish between satisfied vs. full. Your goal: being satisfied!
  • Pay attention to how much you are eating- pre-portion (don't take the whole bag of chips with you-put some in a bowl)
  • Take the time to taste the food- this will slow you down. Describe the food to yourself.
  • Physically remove yourself from distraction--don't eat in front of the t.v., don't talk on the phone
  • Notice how you feel when you get through eating-do you immediately regret what you just put into you mouth? 
Learn more at The Center for Mindful Eating

Last note: Don't buy what you know you will over indulge in! 

Continue reading as I continue my mission: Healthy Huggins

Friday, April 20, 2012

Avoiding Pink Slime

If you don't want to get "slimed"

After my rant on "pink slime" yesterday, I realized I didn't tell you guys how to avoid it, if you feel the need to. (If you are new to the blog, please go back and read my last post!)

1. Buy USDA Organic beef- make sure it has a USDA Organic Stamp of approval on the package
2. Buy from a local butcher (yes this sounds Brady Bunch, but why not?) and build a relationship with them so they know how you want your meat prepared
3. Skipped the ground beef and buy good quality beef: sirloin, filet and tenderloin
4. Get your protein source from other foods: beans, nuts, dairy and soy products

This is a list of some of the fast food chains and relailors that claim they do not use it anymore.
  • Walmart and Sams Club
  • Kroger
  • Mcdonalds
  • Taco Bell
  • Safeway
  • Costco
  • Publix
  • H-E-B
  • Whole Foods
Continue reading as I continue my mission: Healthy Huggins!

PS-I want this shirt! Maybe I'd make it say "Dude, it's beef, just not high quality beef." =)

Resources used in this post:

Thursday, April 19, 2012 slime! Do you know what you are eating?

Today I had an interview with Local 15 news about the latest food scare, "pink slime." You heard of it? If not, let's talk! The United states department of agriculture's' (USDA) soul purpose of existing is to keep us save. They write the food laws and deem food acceptable or unacceptable. In recent media, extreme food activists have taken it upon themselves to deem our beef unfit, labeling it "pink slime." What they are referring to is "lean finely textured beef," which is used in beef as a meat filler. The process used to make this filler is called mechanically deboning. Basically, after all of the cuts have been made from the cow the left overs are then taken spun around to remove the fat and soaked in ammonia to kill of E. Coli and salmonella, then added to ground beef. Left overs= muscle, tendons and small cuts of beef. According to some we have been consuming this since the late 70's when consumers demanded a more affordable meat. The big debate started after the USDA purchased the filler for the Nation School Lunch Program. This did not go over well with some parents.
Nutritionally speaking, red meat should be consumed in moderation anyway. This meat filler actually makes the ground beef a tad bit leaner. Yes, having your meat soaked in ammonia is a little scary to think about, but would you rather contract E Coli or salmonellae?? How would you propose we kill off deadly bacteria? As a result of this "food crisis", many people lost their jobs when production companies were shut down and now our beef prices will rise.
It's unnecessary fear, if you ask me. Once you get over the icky factor it's fine. Hey, are we not trying to eat like cavemen anyway? They never wasted anything off an animal =)
The issue for me is proper labeling laws. By law, production companies do not have to label the filler. We DO need to know what we are ingestion so WE can be the ones who decide what we put in our bodies. The USDA has taken action and is now allowing some production companies to list the "lean finely textured beef" on their products. How they will word it is still under debate. The national school lunch program has the option to opt out of buying it. According to a credible resource with the Alabama school district, Alabama schools will be "pink slime" free.
Bottom line: eat less red meat, eat more fruits, veggies and whole grains and get off your butt and move!

PLEASE, let me know your thoughts!!! Leave a comment!!

Keep reading as I continue my mission: Healthy Huggins!

Resources used in this blog post:

Sunday, April 15, 2012


I need your fedback, please! I'm in the beginning of building a website and I'm having a hard time with a name!! Help me out?? Take the survey below. It's not very long =) Thank you!!!! Have a happy and blessed Sunday!!!

Ok, it's down to or!!!
Please vote ONE more time!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Excuse me, do you have this in gluten-free?

The other day I posted an article on Facebook about the celebrity Miley Cyrus. In response to the media outcry that she is anorexic, Miley tweeted her fans and told them that she has a "gluten and lactose allergy." My comment along with post was "celebrities frustrate  me." She goes on to say the "gluten is crappp anyway!" This fired me up, because I know that every little girl out there that is struggling with weight will see this and automatically think that they must avoid gluten in their diet to lose weight. Yeah, I tweeted Miley (who knows if it's actually her who controls her account) and told her she looks fabulous and healthy. Which she does! The media  loves to cause trouble, it's their job. But, I also added in to please make her young audience aware that gluten is not "crappp" unless you have an allergy/intolerance.
The 411 on gluten: it is a protein found in grain wheats, barley and rye. A gluten-free diet is essential for those with Celiac Disease-an autoimmune disease. The tiniest bit of gluten that is introduced to their gastrointestinal system cause the immune system to reeve up killing off the gluten as well as the lining of the small intestine-which is where majority of our nutrients are absorb. Many disease states can occur from nutrient deficiencies including cancer, osteoporosis and even issues with fertility. Therefore, gluten needs to be eliminated from the diet to keep the digestive system intact. BUT, only for those effected by this autoimmune disease.

Celiac Video

Symptoms of Celiac disease according to the Celiac Foundation
  • Abdominal cramping, intestinal gas
  • Distention and bloating of the stomach
  • Chronic diarrhea or constipation (or both)
  • Steatorrhea – fatty stools (if your stool floats, this could be steatorrhea)
  • Anemia – unexplained, due to folic acid, B12 or iron deficiency (or all)
  • Unexplained weight loss with large appetite or weight gain
If you have any of these symptoms PLEASE get to your doctor. Unfortunately, Celiac disease is often diagnosed in later years. I recommend that you keep a very specific food diary for 72 hours. Write down what you eat, how much of it you eat, what time you ate it and any physical symptoms you may be having. A popular diet that is being prescribed by doctors and dietitians is the Fodmap diet (eliminating diet) in order too see what may be triggering those symptoms.

So, what does happen if you choose a gluten-free diet and do not have this disease? Well, first let me tell you, this diet is not easy and takes a lot of work, much like the fodmap diet. Mark DeMeo, M.D., director of gastroenterology and nutrition at the Adult Celiac Disease Program at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago stated, "there's nothing magical about a gluten-free diet that's going to help you lose weight." What happens is you begin to eliminate simple carbohydrates and other foods that are higher in calories therefore, promoting weight lose.

Heck, maybe this is a good thing. With more and more people (celebrities especially) following a GF diet food corporations and restaurant chains will be forced to produce more gluten-free products, evening out the cost and making it readily available for my clients and patients.  
Bottom line- no research suggests a healthier diet is found when eliminating gluten. A healthy diets consists of Balance! Many fruits and veggies, low-fat dairy products, nutrient-rich fats like olive oil and canola oil, whole grains, lean meat and yes, even an occasional piece of cake!

Continue reading as I continue my mission: Healthy Huggins!!

Read more at Women's Health:
Read more at Fox news:

Sunday, April 8, 2012

5K fun!

More like a form of torture! My friend Erin asked me at the end if I liked it and I answered quickly, "No!" I was miserable the whole time and quit discouraged as I watched all of the runners pass me. Thanks to my friends for the words of encouragement and a reminder that this was my first race. David gave me a few words of advice, "it is not a sprint it's a race, and you are only in competition with the clock." I felt slow enough to be a turtle. But wait, I thought slow and steady won the race? Hum.. Still waiting for the runners high...

Although, I was pleased with my finish time 29:18. I shaved off 6 minutes from my training time. Yes, I will do it again, in hopes it will become easier and a lot more fun. I am competitive so maybe that's where the fun will step in. My awesome fast friends finished within 22 and 23 minutes. Props to Erin who won the female overall!
Today the hubby and I took a mile fun run. I'm so proud of him! Soon he will be leaving me in the dust too! I have a lot of work to do. Who knows maybe he will race with me in the near future =)

Continue reading as I continue my mission: Healthy Huggins!
Happy Easter!!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Your portion survey results!

You guys gave some very  good guesses! The results were a little shocking though.
Everyone got the first question. One slice of bread is considered a serving. Question number 2 got mixed results. I think I may have of tricked you =) 2 servings of peanut butter would be 2 tablespoons, where, of course, 1 serving would be 1 tablespoon. Question 3 got a 50/50-mostly because I didn't even give you the correct answer choice! Whoops. A serving of RAW veggies is 1 cup. When cooked a serving is about 1/2 cup for most veggies. Only 1 person got question 4 correct. Half of a small banana is considered one serving. I'm very proud of the responses to question 5. Half of you got it right. A serving of most juices is 4 oz (1/2).

Thanks for taking the survey. That was fun, I'll do more in the near future!!

Continue reading as I continue my mission: Healthy Huggins!!!

Run, Cindy, Run!

 Running is such a chore to me. Just thinking about it makes me exhausted. I can remember running the mile run in elementary school, trying to keep up with my freakishly fast best friend, Ashley Webb. No matter how hard I pushed, I always got too winded to keep up. My fastest mile then was about 9 minutes. My fastest mile now, oh about 11 I got slower with my old age??! However, I do consider myself physically fit. I use to think running was an innate skill.
But, recently I have sucked it up and started running. My friends are so inspiring. Listening to their stories about their latest marathon got me really itching to set some new exercise goals. Brian and I have actually been running together. This has really helped getting me off my butt!
The first mile is bearable, while the next couple are a struggle. When does the "runners high" kick in?? When??? Tomorrow I run my first 5k, the 9th annual Easter Resurrection Run! Nope, I have never done one before. I'm really nervous. Thankfully I have a friend jogging with me, but I'll probably be trailing way behind.

We know I am big on research, so I have spent a minute or two reading lots of articles related to running. Most of them give the same tips. Start slow and work your way up, listen to your body, focus on breathing in your nose and out your mouth, break through mental barriers and stay hydrated. Couch to 5k was my first attempt to training, but I got a little impatient with the application. So, I just started listening to my body and remembering what a personal trainer once told me , "on a scale from 1-10. 5-6=you are comfortable; 7-8=heavy breathing, breaking a sweat; 9=nausea sets in; 10=vomiting. If you are not at 10 you can keep going." So, this is what I did. I really pushed myself physically and mentally. Mental preparation was more difficult then physical training. I just get bored when I run and get discouraged too easily. Now, during my runs I day dream and of course listen to music. I know day dreaming sounds dangerous, like I am going to run off in the road or something, but it really helps me to stop thinking at the task at hand and just relax. Yesterday I completed 3.2 miles in 36 minutes. During the run I actually did have to stop because of a cramp, but I started right back up after I walked it out. I was really proud of myself.

 I want to feel like this girl at the end of my race!! Wish me luck!

Tip of the Day

Every Body Walk!

Take a walk outside, or walk on an indoor track or shopping mall. Walking is an easy exercise that requires no training or previous experience!
Every Body Walk! is a program to encourage Americans to get up and moving 30 minutes a day, five times a week to feel healthier and happier. Check out to find inspiring stories and take the pledge to walk every day.
For more information on how lead a healthier and happier life, consult a registered dietitian in your area and visit our Nutrition for Life section.

Continue reading as I continue my mission: Healthy Huggins!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tip of the day!

I had a question about almond butter just yesterday so I thought I'd post!!

Tip of the Day from

It's Time to Give Other Nut Butters a Try

For years, peanut butter and jelly has been served on bread as a lunchtime staple. If you are ready for a change or suffer from a peanut allergy, you may want to give almond butter or sunflower seed butter a try. Almond butter is an alternative to peanut butter for those who can tolerate tree nuts. Those allergic to both peanuts and tree nuts may be able to consume sunflower seed butter.
Although all three are high in fat, almond and sunflower seed butters contain less saturated fat than peanut butter. All three butter spreads contain protein, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese and vitamin E. Almond butter has more fiber and calcium; and sunflower seed butter has higher levels of some minerals, especially selenium.
Both butters can be used in place of peanut butter on sandwiches, vegetables or whole-grain crackers as a healthy, delicious snack.
For healthy snack ideas, consult a registered dietitian in your area and check out our Eat Right Nutrition Tips section.

 Remember though, stick with proper portions or their calories can add up quickly!

Don't forget to take Your portion survey! 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

No cheating portion control

Last weekend my beautiful best friend had a baby shower. I thought it was only appropriate that I get her little girl, Stella, nutrition related gifts! That's not all I gave her.... But, I believe you cannot start teaching your kids about nutrition too early. As a parent it is your responsibility to educate your kids about proper nutrition. One of the gifts was a plate that is divided  into food groups and a place mat that gives examples of each food group.  Simple, simple. So this had me thinking.. I wonder how many adults could make a proper balanced (balanced=all food groups and proper portions) plate.

Later today I will post a poll on my blog and let's see how well you guys do =)

 Brian is an excellent cook. He really treats cooking like an art.Ladies be jealous, not only does he do ALL of the cooking but he makes my plate & sets the table too. He always tries to practice portions...with my plate. We are still working on hitting all foods groups!

If you do struggle with portion control consider buying yourself a plate! It doesn't have to be a kids one... 
 Use these for the home!

 Take along!

 I want this one!

Come back later today for the portion poll!!

Continue to read as I continue my mission: Healthy Huggins!

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