Tag Archives: health

Food Diary: Avoid Post-Meal Sugar Cravings

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Hi Ariane, 

 
Here’s my food diary for the last week. I’ve noticed a jump in my energy level without as much starch in my diet, which is great. And I feel like I’m getting better about incorporating more protein. I’ve never kept a food diary or really paid much attention to my eating habits, so it’s been a real learning curve.
 
Beyond learning to “eat clean” I’ve been facing two challenges: 
1) I’m finding that a shake for dinner is not filling enough. Do you have any suggestions?
2) I’m craving a sweet after lunch or dinner.  I’ve been trying to substitute sugar with fruit when the craving is too strong, but I know that’s not ideal. What can I eat instead?
 
Food Diary
Day 1:
Breakfast: 1c kefir and 1/4 c steel cut oatmeal
AM Snack:  Fage yogurt and a handful of almonds (dry roasted)
Lunch: Baked zucchini and grilled chicken
PM Snack: Apple and string cheese
Dinner: Vegetables and tofu in yellow curry sauce
 
Day 2:
Breakfast: 1c kefir and 1/4 c steel cut oatmeal
AM Snack: Whey protein shake-water and 1/4c strawberries 
Lunch:Roasted pork and zucchini, steamed cauliflower and broccoli 
PM Snack: 1 red Pepper cut up with hummus
Dinner: Roast pork with 20 spears of asparagus 
2 small choc chip cookies and 1/2 c skim milk (cheat snack)
 
Day 3:
Breakfast: Tofu, egg whites and kale scramble
AM Snack: Apple and string cheese
Lunch: Roasted chicken(1/2 serving) arugula salad, meatloaf(1/2 serving), 1 pierogi. 1 slice chocolate zucchini cake. 1oz. (Office thanksgiving potluck!!!!!!!!)
PM Snack:quest bar 
Dinner: Protein shake–almond milk, banana and spinach 
  
Thanks for your feedback!
 
Katherine
Katherine,
That is a great week of eating!
Given that you’re lean to begin with, you definitely want to eat dinner, rather than just have a protein shake. Skimping on calories too much makes it impossible to gain muscle. If you do have a shake here and there, but the shake isn’t filling enough, you can add 1/2 an avocado, which makes it creamier and more filling.  I think the reason your shake didn’t fill you up on that Day 3 was because you had sugar during the day, which lowered your blood sugar and by the time dinner rolled around and you had just a shake, you simply couldn’t regain your blood sugar balance.
The cravings after lunch or dinner are typically a sign that your blood sugar isn’t balanced, which can be the result of your previous meal being too small or unbalanced. Take a look at what you had in the meal before and see if it was truly providing you with enough protein (to fill you up) and veggies (to keep you full). Too many carbs and too little protein can cause blood sugar issues, causing it to drop. The cravings set in so that you replenish your blood sugar. However, eating sugar would be the wrong thing to do. You want to raise your blood sugar, not skyrocket it only to drop again.
I suggest you make your breakfast a little higher in carbs and aim for about 30g of carbs along with 20g of protein. For example, 3 eggs with 2 slices of whole grain bread, or a 3-egg omelette with a lot of veggies, or 3/2 cup of slow-cooking oatmeal with 1 cup of low-fat Greek Yogurt. You should notice that your afternoon cravings become a thing of the past if you balance the first two meals of the day. Also, make sure you eat an afternoon snack about 3 hours after lunch to maintain your blood sugar balance and counteract cravings.
As you continue to eat clean, you’ll become more and more sensitive to sugar and starches and you’ll feel the impact more and more. That in itself turns you off to eating excessive amounts of bad carbs too often.
Your food intake was great: protein at every meal, along with veggies. Nice job!

– Ariane Hundt, founder of Brooklyn Bridge Bootcamp.

How to Set Up a Gym at Home

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Keeping your workout area compact and accessible is the key to a consistent fitness routine. The Booya home gym doesn’t require a whole lot of space or equipment. And, even if you do have some room to move, we don’t think you need to invest a lot of time or money to get great, convenient workouts. With just a few inexpensive pieces of equipment you’ll find you won’t miss your gym membership at all. Worried about space? These items require less than two square feet of storage and only 4-by-6 feet of workout space.

Start with a few extremely low-cost basics and then splurge on extras if you have the budget:

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1. Yoga Mat $10 and up
Best Value: Yoga Direct
Splurge-Worthy: Manduka
Environment-Friendly: Kharma Khare

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2. Dumbells $40 and up
Best Value: : Spri Dumbbells
Splurge-Worthy: Hampton Fitness Dumbbells

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3. Resistance Bands $11 and up
Best Value: Therabands (3 levels for $12)
More Intense: Superbands
Boutique Fitness: Rexist360

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4. 12-inch Foam Roller $10 and up

5.  Storage Bin $15 and up

Looking to step it up a notch? Get the latest equipment for your favorite fitness trends.
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6. Kettlebells
Best Value: CAP Barbell Kettlebell
Splurge-Worthy: VF Kettlebells

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7. Mini Trampoline
Best Value: Stamina
Splurge-Worthy: Jumpsport

8. Barre
Best Value: Dining Room Chair
Splurge-Worthy: Vita Vibe

In under $100 (or the equivalent to a one-month gym membership), you can stock your home for almost any fitness routine.

5 Reasons Fitness is Great for Your Well-Being

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Brit Rettig, host of GRIT by Brit understands that fitness isn’t just about working out, it’s also about general wellness and personal well-being.

I know I’m always talking about the external, physical benefits of working out (6 pack by summer, J-lo legs, Michelle Obama arms), but let’s not forget about all of the ways that fitness helps us on the inside.  Maintaining our mental health is critical for overall wellness.  Here are the top 5 non-physical reasons I believe exercise is a mental health miracle drug.  Keep these in mind during your next sweat session!

  1. Super Self-confidence:Pushing through physcial challenges gives us confidence which spills over into other areas of life.  Nothing is sexier than confidence!
  2. Less Stress: Studies show that the most common mental benefit of exercise is stress relief.  Boss getting on your nerves?  Go walk it off.  Angry is not a good look.
  3. More Memory: A good sweat session boosts our memory capacity and brain power.  Jocks are smarter after all…and smart is HOT
  4. Addiction Control: Since our brains releases dopamine “the happy chemical” during exercise, we get a natural high – goodbye addictions!
  5. Real Relaxation: Moderate exercise can have the same effect on your body as a sleeping pill.  Who needs chemical drugs for a little R&R?  Not us!