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What Would You Do For A Klondike Bar?

Heels To Laces is on a mission to break through the clutter of health and fitness and make it easier to live healthier – and have a ton of fun doing it.

As always, we love interaction so email us, comment, share and send your thoughts.

QUOTE FOR THE WEEK
“Trust the wait. Embrace the uncertainty. Enjoy the beauty of becoming. When nothing is certain, anything is possible.” ~Mandy Hale

TRUTH OR DARE
Each post we will present you with a truth or dare. All you have to do is tackle it with gusto and make it happen. Often, by just focusing on one change…just one, it’s much more palpable and achievable and becomes the jump start you need.

Dare: Read the label.
We often get cravings and sometimes there is nothing we can do to stop it. How often do you just pick up a “go-to” food without thinking based on habit or an impression by the label that it’s “healthy”? It lands in your cart, then at the register, then in your cabinet or freezer then on your couch. And somehow, someway, it disappears.

Here’s a trick – read the ingredients. Let’s dissect a few of the ingredients in a Klondike bar – in order of highest to lowest amount:  Sugar, Corn Syrup, Maltodextrin, Propylene Glycol Monoesters, Mono and Diglycerides, Cellulose Gum, Locust Bean Gum, Guar Gum, Carrageenan, Cellulose Gel, Polysorbate 80, Annatto (for Color). Still want it?

Reading ingredients is the key to picking healthier choices. Try not to have blind faith in the marketing promises (“non-GMO”, “healthy”, “natural”, “gluten free”). Even “organic” isn’t always healthy (yes, they make an organic pop tart). So, no need to do a crazy deed for a bar you don’t need – chances are, once you read the label, you’ll lose interest.

ASK THE EXPERTS
We don’t claim to know everything – so sometimes we have to ask the experts. Our latest guru is Bob Roth. We didn’t exactly talk to Bob Roth, but he spoke to us through his book, “Strength in Stillness – The Power of Transcendental Meditation.”

It’s Time To Start
If you’ve even contemplated meditation – consider this your wake-up call. Bob enlightens us, that according to research, stress hits us in at least 3 distinct, often debilitating ways: On the muscular or structural level – we tense our bodies in the form of tension headaches, stiff neck or shoulders, tight jaw, grinding our teeth or constricting our blood vessels  which restricts oxygen to the brain or heart (read: stroke/heart attack);  On the level of cognitive functioning – reducing circulation to the brain and skewing electrical activity (our brains shut down); and stimulating the adrenal gland to secrete too much cortisol (the “stress hormone”) which feeds anxiety and becomes a viscous cycle (destroys healthy muscle & bones, slows healing and normal cell regeneration, impairs digestion, metabolism and mental functioning and weakens the immune system).

The list goes on…

Unaddressed stress can be debilitating – and slowly, over time, break your body down until it becomes much harder to reverse the damage and it takes a serious toll on your mind and body.

Meditation has an incredible impact on your approach and reaction to life’s daily challenges and helps you enjoy the moment rather than just trying to “get through it”. You do not have to sit cross-legged and chant “ohmmm”. It can be as short as 1-2 minutes in the morning and the same in the evening. Once you start, you will find you miss it when you don’t incorporate it into your day.

Transcendental Meditation is like the Rolls-Royce of meditation. The book offers valuable insight into the benefits of meditation and can be used for that sole purpose. If you want to start smaller (and faster), we suggest Insight Timer. It’s free, it’s user-friendly and you can customize it to your needs.

Cheer’s to a more Zen you.

WHAT’S TRENDING
Kick it up. For all you Italians, you know this spice all too well…Oregano Oil is the new superhero. It is anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic, anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic. The benefits are almost too long to list. So, we’ll tackle the most prominent:

Numerous scientific studies have confirmed it’s ability to destroy infectious germs (viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites). It has been proven to be as effective as prescription antibiotics against bacteria. It’s strong anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain-killing) properties help alleviate pain and inflammation. It attacks invading pathogens and relieves discomfort. Oregano oil also has the ability to loosen mucus in sinuses and lungs, acting as an expectorant and helps relieve coughing. It helps relieve gas upset, settles the digestive system and helps soothe inflamed tissue in the stomach and intestines.

In addition, it is a powerful anti-oxidant, increases white blood cell activity, helps reduce fever and helps remove toxins and poisons.

Might sound too good to be true, but it works. It’s super powerful (also in taste and smell). 1-2 drops will do you (highly suggest dilluting in water or other beverage). It can be used topically or ingested.

There are two that are ranked as the purest and most effective: this is our favorite, and this a close 2nd.

WHAT WE’RE OBSESSED WITH
Sometimes, you just gotta have it.

Ah-Choooo!
Just because it feels like the middle of winter does not mean Spring is not here – it’s inevitable allergies will flare (this year they are saying 2 wks vs. 4 – so there’s that). There is a pretty amazing homeopathic remedy we swear by – originally discovered for kids, but we found an adult version. Includes Vitamin C, Quercetin Dihydrate, Stinging Nettles Leaf, Bromelain (from pineapple) and N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine. This stuff is the bomb.

Night, Night
Put down the sleeping pills. We’ve got a new, topical dream catcher to get your sleep-on. This sleep lotion gives you a deep, peaceful sleep with one swoosh. It is scientifically formulated to help you fall asleep within just minutes of use, it’s made from ethically sourced, plant-based ingredients that can give you a deeper sleep, it can improve hydration for those with dry & aging skin and oh, it’s 100% money back guarantee. Oh, and we scored you a 30% off discount. You’re welcome, for your 8 hours.

Yes, Please!
There’s a new company in town and we want to be the first to tell you about it. We all know the health benefits of coffee. Now, you can have it delivered to your home (over 350 varieties to choose from, matched to your preferences). It’s like Match.com for coffee. And because you are one of our loyal followers, we’ve scored you your first bag FREE. Just enter promo code vipnk54yave at checkout. Happy coffee’ing.

THE DISH ON DELISH
All of our recipes will always be quick, healthy, easy, gluten-free, grain-free, sugar-free, mostly dairy-free, SCD legal and Paleo friendly. And yes, all sorts of deliciousness.

This one is addictive.

Cinnamon Coffee Cake (Elanaspantry.com)

Ingredients:
Cake

  • 2½ cups blanched almond flour
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup honey
  • 3 large eggs

Topping

  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
  • ¼ cup raw, organic honey
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup sliced almonds

Instructions:
Grease a 9″ cake pan with coconut oil and dust with almond flour. In a food processor, combine almond flour, salt, and baking soda. Pulse in coconut oil, honey, and eggs. Spread the batter into prepared baking dish.

To make topping, combine coconut oil, honey, cinnamon and sliced almonds in a small bowl. Drizzle topping over cake batter.

Bake at 350° for 25-35 minutes. Cool and serve.

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WANT TO SHINE?
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Disclosure: some product recommendations are affiliate sites, which simply means we get a small compensation from the companies that sell the products we endorse. We will never endorse a product we do not personally use or love. Opinions expressed are solely those of Heels To Laces.
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Sick Of It

athlete-fatigueDo you work out, eat well and take care of yourself yet often find you are sick or tired all the time?

Despite taking such good care of your body, if you are an avid exerciser and fitness enthusiast you can actually break down your immune system with overtraining. Many factors associated with overtraining compromise an athlete’s immune system. In fact, upper respiratory infections are actually very common in athletes.

This was a big topic during the training for my Nutrition Certification I just completed this past week. Let’s break it down.

What Happens?
When you exercise, there is an increase in stress hormones which leads to high inflammatory markers (bi-products of chronic stress). There is also a decrease in innate and acquired immunity.

Interesting Fact: 90 minutes after strenuous activity, your immunity is the lowest and you are more apt to get sick! It’s important to refrain from putting your hands near your mouth or eyes (the most susceptible areas of the body) post exercise & wash your hands immediately.

How Do I Keep The Sickness and Fatigue Away?

Protein
Protein is a key component to building immunity. Make sure you are getting adequate amounts. Your daily protein intake should be between 0.8-1.8 grams per 2.2 lbs. The high or low range depends on your activity level. An average adult needs about 0.8 – 1.2 g/2.2 lbs. where a strength athlete needs between 1.4-1.8 g/2.2 lbs.

Example: For a 150 pound active woman: divide 150 by 2.2lbs and multiply that number by about 1.2 grams of protein. Total = 82 grams of protein per day.

Vitamins and Minerals
There are several vitamins and minerals that work as anti-oxidants and help keep your immunity strong including Vitamin A, E, B6, B12, C and Folic Acid. Zinc and Iron are also important, but they should be ingested in moderation as too much can actually have the opposite effect and lower immunity. Most of these vitamins/minerals can be ingested in the food you eat: green leafy veggies, beans, eggs, dairy, lean meats, fruits and whole grains.

Ingest Carbs
Eating carbs post-exercise is said to help build your immune system and reduce stress hormones. We are not talking about eating a box of crackers or bag of pretzels – try to keep to “real” foods such as fruits, veggies and healthy grains.

Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated is critical to helping your body function. Dehydration can be the main reason for fatigue. When you exercise, especially in hotter weather, it’s important to rehydrate 125-150% of fluid loss during exercise. Thirst is regulated in the brain. You are already very dehydrated when you even begin to feel thirsty.  You have to stay ahead of it.

Probiotics
I have professed my belief in probiotics for years – studies suggest probiotic and prebiotic ingestion in athletes reduces sick days.

Polyphenols
Polyphenols are abundant micronutrients in our diet, and evidence for their role in the prevention of degenerative diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases is emerging. They are said to be great stress inhibitors and promote immunity. These can be found in foods like kale, hot peppers, onion, apples, etc. Here is a list of 100 richest dietary sources of polyphenols.

Sleep
As I preach to my clients all the time, adequate rest is crucial for an athlete’s recovery and keeps stress hormones low and repairs mental and physical function. Consistent sleep patterns and getting enough sleep to repair your body is crucial in keeping your immunity & performance levels high and stress hormones low.

Stress
And of course, keeping regular stress at bay is a big component. The more stressed you are, the lower your immunity levels and higher your fatigue. Your body may even start to hold onto some fat. The unfortunate result is when we are chronically stressed by life crises and work-life demands, we are prone to getting an extra layer of “visceral fat” deep in our bellies.

Nutrition is a big component of your day to day. It dictates everything – how your body responds to stress, your energy level and a strong immune system. Getting enough anti-oxidants, keeping stress levels in control and being able to replenish & repair your body are key to optimizing your health and energy levels.

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Give It A Rest

Cardinal rule of exercise – you have to allow your body to rest and repair. Although this is widely known, I often talk to people who never rest and exercise 7 days a week.

Why Rest Is Important:

  • The body repairs and strengthens itself in-between workouts. Continuous training can actually weaken the strongest athlete.stock-footage-woman-drinks-coffee
  • During recovery, the body adapts to the stress of exercise and the real training effect takes place – meaning, this is where you build muscle.
    • Conditioning requires a balance between overload (pushing the muscles) and recovery. Too much overload or too little recovery result in both physical and psychological symptoms.
  • Rest helps maintain a better balance between home, work &  fitness goals.
  • Sleep is key to keeping hormone levels steady which aid in stress and muscle recovery, as well as a stable mood.  Sleep deprivation can also affect aerobic endurance.
  • Too  few rest and recovery days can lead to overtraining syndrome : when you train beyond the body’s ability to recover.

Common Warning Signs and Symptoms of Overtraining Syndrome 

  • Washed-out feeling, tired, drained, lack of energy
  • Mild leg soreness, general aches and pains
  • Pain in muscles and joints
  • Sudden drop in performance
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Decreased immunity (increased number of colds, and sore throats)
  • Decrease in training capacity / intensity
  • Moodiness, irritability or depression
  • Loss of enthusiasm for working out
  • Decreased appetite
  • Increased incidence of injuries
  • A compulsive need to exercise 

Principal of Adaptation & How It Applies To Recovery

When we undergo the stress of physical exercise, our body adapts and becomes more efficient – Principal of Adaptation (also discussed in our “The Power of Your Heart” blog entry). When you do not properly rest from the stress of physical exercise, your body cannot adapt as easily to the changes.

The body can only tolerate so much stress before it breaks down and risks injury. Doing too much, too quickly will result in muscle damage and have adverse effects (too many days of exercise). Likewise, doing too little, too slowly will not result in improvement (going through the motions).

The other key component of building your fitness level is to vary your workouts between cardio and strength conditioning. All too often, people will focus on one or the other and constantly work the same muscles without rest. Ever try a new class and couldn’t move the next morning? Excellent example of muscles you are not training in your normal workout. Varying your workouts allows the muscles you typically use to rest and helps your body adapt to change (improve your fitness level).

My Take

People always ask me what I do for my workouts. I am a pretty scheduled kinda girl who likes to plan my week. I work out 5 days/wk with 2 days rest.

3 days I vary my workout with high intensity interval and strength training at K2 fitness. In between those days, I do 2 days/wk of interval sprints for 30 minutes on my treadmill (5 min running/2 min sprint circuits).

I believe in those 2 days of rest (as hard as it is sometimes to mentally convince myself to not workout). I feel so refreshed when I  go back to my workouts.

When I workout, I workout hard and make every minute count. It’s better to maximize your time at the gym and work hard the days you go then going through the motions every day and not improving your fitness level. Workout, repair and workout again.

And think of all the time you will save with less days at the gym.

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