New Awareness brings about a Delicious Discovery

Greetings fitness professionals, foodies, friends, family, and clients! It’s been awhile since I’ve posted and I plan on keeping this post short and sweet.

Balancing my work life consisting of 5 jobs, healthy snacking on the go is way of life.I used to joke: If you are what you eat-I’m a LARA Bar! Nutty and sweet! ūüôā Until the sugar content came into my focus-28g per bar?!

This inspired my recent new mission for finding a snack bar that is low in sugar, high in protein and healthy fats, NON-gmo & moderate calories- I found this savory bar! And only costing $1.85 each!

Gluten-free, 10g Fat, 17g Carbs, 6g Protein, 6g of Fiber and only 3 g sugar! Total calories 170

FullSizeRender

In the Mediterranean their culture is not about restriction. It’s about enjoying all things in moderation. Foods such as whole grains, fresh fruits, leafy greens grow in their fertile lands and they combine these nutrient-dense foods to create delicious balanced meals.

Black olives are rich with Vitamin A and Calcium and Monounsaturated fats which are recommended for consumption in moderation to help reduce risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.

Walnuts are rich in vitamins A, K, Folate, abundant in mono & polyunsaturated fats and a great source of minerals calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, and manganese.

This bar is crispy, satisfying and best of all SAVORY! Packed with nutrition and not a ton of sugar. Spread the word bird, these are incredible!

Check out their website for more product information and where to purchase yours!

http://mediterranutrition.com/

Advertisements

-The Importance of Music during a Workout-

Since aerobic dance was introduced in the early 70’s, it has been thought that exercise accompanied with music can enhance your overall workout experience. Listening to music while you exercise may improve your fitness, commitment, and enjoyment. According to doctors and researchers, you can increase your motivation and concentration and decrease your conscious effort when you exercise by simply adding great music to your work out. Studies have shown that listening to music during exercise can improve results, both in terms of being a motivator (people exercise longer and more vigorously to music) and as a distraction from negatives like fatigue. Researches revealed that more positive affect of a workout is observed during the music condition in comparison to the ‚Äėno music’ condition. Here are some benefits of playing music while working out:

  • Music diverts a person’s attention in repetitive exercises thus the feeling of fatigue, exhaustion and boredom are evaded.
  • Music can reduce the factors contributing to pain, tension, anxiety and discomfort.
  • Music can act as a stimulant which can increase your performance. Respiration and cardiac rate is increased from music. This can help you intensify your workout.
  • The body movement to rhythm of music increases levels of output.
  • The rhythmical qualities can follow the physical skills and can improve motor skills. Swimming and gymnastics are good examples of this.
  • Physical strength can also be attributed with type of music. Sedative music decreases muscular potential training ability. Fast stimulating music can increase in muscle tension.
  • It promotes a positive mood and avoids any kind of negative thoughts.
  • It can make a workout fun, interesting and something to look forward too.

Match yourworkout intensity with beats per minute!

Pace Running/Cardio/Conditioning Walking Stretching/CoolDown
Slower 140-150 BPM 100-110 BPM 80-100 BPM
Moderate 150-160 BPM 110-125 BPM 100-110 BPM
Fast 160-175 BPM 125-135 BPM 110-125 BPM

Everyone is different, let me know what’s your favorite!

Nike launched a campaign asking “What is your POWERSONG?” That one song that can help you survive any workout. What is yours? Here is an interesting list of 25 top songs.

http://www.muscleandfitness.com/features/edge/25-greatest-power-songs-all-time

What is on your workout playlist?

Sources:

http://www.unm.edu/~lkravitz/Article%20folder/musicexercise.html

Jane Schwartz Harrison, RD, Staff Nutritionist, myOptumHealth

LifeMojo Team / March 14, 2009

Self-efficacy-Belief in one’s self

Self-Efficacy

There are many reasons clients hire personal trainers. Individualized program design, accountability, to gain knowledge about specific equipment, effective workouts, injury rehabilitation or prevention are all superb reasons. But to learn how to believe in themselves is a skill that flies under the radar.

The concept of self-efficacy is central to psychologist Albert Bandura’s social cognitive theory, which emphasizes the role of observational learning, social experience, and reciprocal determinism in the development of personality. According to Bandura, a person‚Äôs attitudes, abilities, and cognitive skills comprise what is known as the self-system. This system plays a major role in how we perceive situations and how we behave in response to different situations. Self-efficacy is an essential part of this self-system.

People with a strong sense of self-efficacy:

  • View challenging problems as tasks to be mastered
  • Develop deeper interest in the activities in which they participate
  • Form a stronger sense of commitment to their interests and activities
  • Recover quickly from setbacks and disappointments

People with a weak sense of self-efficacy:

  • Avoid challenging tasks
  • Believe that difficult tasks and situations are beyond their capabilities
  • Focus on personal failings and negative outcomes
  • Quickly lose confidence in personal abilities

Self-efficacy is a concept I’ve been working on personally and with my clients for the last year. It seems to be a common theme amongst clients to want to avoid discussing nutrition or regular workout routines because it’s viewed as challenging and difficult.¬†¬†The level of self efficacy reflects the confidence in the ability to exert control over one’s own motivation, behavior, and social environment.

As fitness professionals, imagine the possibilities for our clients when we focus on increasing their self confidence and improving mental attitudes! It could impact every aspect of their lives, not just fitness related goals.

So, where does self-efficacy come from?  According to Bandura, there are four major sources of self-efficacy.

1. Mastery Experiences

“The most effective way of developing a strong sense of efficacy is through mastery experiences,” Bandura explained. Performing a task successfully strengthens our sense of self-efficacy. However, failing to adequately deal with a task or challenge can undermine and weaken it.

As personal trainers, effective goal setting is a great way to

-build self-efficacy; effective meaning measurable and realistic

-carefully select short and long term goals to help establish a set path to achieve even the smallest accomplishments.

2. Social Modeling

Witnessing other people successfully completing a task is another important source of self-efficacy. According to Bandura, “Seeing people similar to oneself succeed by sustained effort raises observers’ beliefs that they too possess the capabilities to master comparable activities to succeed.”

As a personal trainer, you may help your clients select role models. Professional athletes, support groups, introducing them to past or current clients, friends and/or family that have had success in similar goals. Creative ideas like making a collage of activities and role models to put on the fridge or in their home gym. Keep in mind what works for others may not work for your client. The concept behind this is “If he/she can do it, I can do it!”

3. Social Persuasion

Bandura also asserted that people could be persuaded to believe they have the skills and capabilities to succeed. Consider a time when someone said something positive and encouraging that helped you achieve a goal. Getting verbal encouragement from others helps people overcome self-doubt and instead focus on giving their best effort to the task at hand.

As personal trainers, I believe this is the most important aspect of our interactions with our clients. Together you have set realistic and measurable goals and it’s part of our job to keep them motivated.¬† Increasing the awareness to their “self-talk” is key. While in session you can reinforce these beliefs by using their name and their goals while performing difficult exercises or tasks. You could try introducing the tools of positive affirmations and positive self-talk.

Examples:

“You’re doing great, Sandra! This exercise is strengthening your core and getting you in shape for bikini season! I know it’s challenging and you’re doing it!”

I really appreciate your honesty in your food journal, Sandra. It’s important that I’m fully aware of what you’re doing on your own time so we can accomplish your goal of decreasing body fat percentage by 2% in the next 6 weeks. You are doing great!”

4. Psychological Responses

Our own responses and emotional reactions to situations also play an important role in self-efficacy. Moods, emotional states, physical reactions and stress levels can all impact how a person feels about their personal abilities in a particular situation. A person who becomes extremely nervous before speaking in public may develop a weak sense of self-efficacy in these situations. However, Bandura also notes “it is not the sheer intensity of emotional and physical reactions that is important but rather how they are perceived and interpreted.” By learning how to minimize stress and elevate mood when facing difficult or challenging tasks, people can improve their sense of self-efficacy.

This aspect may be the most difficult to monitor. Personal trainers face the challenge of meeting with their clients only several hours a week. This might not allow us to be aware of the situations causing our clients stress, as well as their reaction to it.

What we can do is listen carefully when we are with them. Taking notes, remembering annoying co-workers and specific situations causing stress all go a long way with clients. By offering any self-care advice that you believe to be appropriate, your client can build upon physical fitness by improving his or her mental attitude.

Self-Efficacy-Fotolia_16051214_S-570x494

Sources:

References: Bandura, A. (1977). Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavioral change. Psychological Review, 84, 191-215.

http://psychology.about.com/od/theoriesofpersonality/a/self_efficacy.htm

https://www.acefitness.org/updateable/update_display.aspx?pageID=575

http://www.learning-theories.com/

The Importance of Pre and Post Workout Nutrition

“We build muscles in the kitchen, we tear muscles in the gym.”

“Changing your body composition¬†comes down to 80% nutrition and 20% exercise”

“You eat far more often than you’ll ever exercise.”

All great quotes to live by. If you’re one of my clients-you’ve heard these quite a few times.

Nutrient timing is a concept focusing on the importance of what you eat before and after your exercise routine. This is a great opportunity to exercise your will power. Fine tuning these choices can drastically¬†decrease the time frame in which you see results from your hard work. Within the last year I’ve been incorporating the AMPED Line into my lifestyle. This amazing system makes sports nutrition easy and has been a significant game charger in my performance and body composition.

PRE-WORKOUT NUTRITION:

Ideal pre-work meal is mostly carbohydrate based.

Carbohydrate Sources and Timing: 1 hour (or more) before exercise:

Complex, low glycemic carbs (high in fiber) help ensure blood sugar balance.  Serving size should be about 30 g  Examples: 1/2 c oatmeal or quinoa, 1 rice cake, vegetables like sweet potato and squash can be good options.

20 minutes to 1 hour before exercise:

Simple carbohydrates such as those from fruit like dates, raisins or half of a banana, or a coconut water can give you quick energy. Easily digested sources of fat, such as coconut oil (a source of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs)) or chia seeds can be consumed less than an hour pre-workout, or even during a workout. These fats are easily converted into useable energy, fueling your workout rather than being stored as fat.

 Meal Ideas

  • Stir fry 1 c spinach for 1 min in avocado oil, add 1/2 c¬†cooked quinoa; crack egg & cover for 1 minute. Scramble and enjoy.
  • 1/2 c oatmeal, 1/4 c dried fruit, 2 tsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 c sweet potato, 1/2 c saut√©ed spinach, 1 egg

 

POST WORKOUT NUTRITION

HYDRATION: The first nutritional priority after exercise is to replace any fluid lost during exercise. Consume 16-24 oz. of water post workout.

Benefit of protein shakes/post workout liquid meals:
Liquid form of nutrition that contains rapidly digesting carbohydrates (e.g., maltodextrin, dextrose, glucose, etc) and proteins can accelerate recovery by utilizing insulin for nutrient transport into cells, can result in rapid digestion and absorption. Also, these products are often better tolerated during and after workouts. Whole food meals aren’t always practical for a few reasons. Some find they aren’t hungry immediately after exercise, and the process of digestion may take 1-3 hours before its absorbed into blood stream and your body needs replenishing within the hour.

Protein and Carbohydrates:

Research shows that combining protein with carbohydrate within thirty minutes of exercise nearly doubles the insulin response, which results in more stored glycogen.   This is essential to building adequate glycogen stores for continued endurance training.  Endurance exercise is defined as repetitive prolonged exercise of submaximal intensity greater than 45 minutes.

Protein Data indicates a minimum of 18-20 g of protein after a workout to maximally stimulate muscle protein synthesis. This number will vary depending on lean body mass and your goals. Eating more protein than that, however, has a negative impact because it slows re-hydration and glycogen replenishment.

I highly recommend mixing the AMPED line Hydrate. ¬†with 1 scoop IsaPro.(¬†Dairy Free option ) These two products cover all your nutritional needs and tastes incredible! Proper sports nutrition is the key to success in reaching your goals.¬† You’ll feel better during and after your workouts.

Sources:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12235033?dopt=Abstract

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1601794?dopt=Abstract

http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/trends.HTML