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It’s the Holidays! Avoid Falling Off the Wagon Without Skipping Grandma’s Pie

Thanksgiving is a holiday that revolves around eating, like so many other holidays coming up! We shouldn’t feel like we can’t partake in this family-oriented, fun event; or that we can’t try out all the delicious foods displayed before us. You can, and should, eat a bit of everything. You just have to do so with some intent. Healthy habits often fall to the wayside between Halloween and the New Year, which then sets people back in their goals and requires them to reestablish their habits in the New Year. The unfortunate part is too many people fail at reestablishing their healthy habits and continue in a spiral of bad habits. DON’T GO DOWN THAT SPIRAL! Enjoy your slice of pie, then divvy out the leftovers.

Here are a few tips and ideas of how to keep your healthy habits in check during the holidays:

1. Portion control – take a little bit of everything on your first plate with the intention of skipping seconds. This way you don’t fill up on half of the foods there and feel as though you just HAVE to get more because you are yet to try grandma’s famous sweet potatoes.

2. Take a walk – while the turkey is cooking take time with the family to stroll around the neighborhood and work up those appetites. Have a walk planned for after the meal too, this might help you avoid overstuffing yourself, since you know you’ll have to get moving soon.

3. Play – whether it’s football, catch, a game of tag, use these fun games to interact with the family regularly and have fun while getting fit.

4. Kitchen workouts – instead of standing around taste testing all the food as it cooks, try some of these simple exercises between basting bouts: lunges, squats, bicep curls with canned goods, jumping jacks, pushups.

5. Plan ahead – make plans with people to do workouts between Thanksgiving and New Years to help push each other to actually go. Whether it’s the gym, an activity outside, an in-home workout, ice skating, or signing up for a new activity; if you have someone doing it with you it makes it a lot more fun and a lot more likely you will actually do it.

6. Don’t wait until New Years – there is no time like the present to get started on a healthy habit adventure. Today you can begin the journey of making simple changes in your daily life to become a happier, healthier, and more energetic you.

7. Give away leftovers – keep a minimal amount for yourself, then give the rest to guests as they leave. This will help prevent you from digging into the sugary goodness every day for the next two weeks. If you don’t have the temptation in front of you it’s much easier to resist.

8. Watch the Facebook Page & Instagram for a special Turkey Day workout

These are just a few ways to keep on top your healthy habits without missing out on all your favorite dishes. Enjoy and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

 

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I Don’t Have Time

“I Don’t Have Time to…” workout, meal plan, read, sleep, take care of myself; the list goes on an on. This is the number one excuse why people don’t take care of themselves and it’s the #1 excuse I DO NOT ACCEPT. We all have the same 24 hours in a day and yes, some people have a less filled schedule, but in 99% of the cases everyone has extra time to do whatever they prioritize. If we WANT to do something we FIND the TIME.

PRIORITIZE 
From this day on, I challenge you to replace “I don’t have time” with “I’m not prioritizing that in my life right now.” This shifts the way we think about these things and changes from a can’t statement to a mindset of I “can” do xyz but right now I have other priorities. At different times in our lives we will prioritize different things, which is normal and great, but we shouldn’t forget about ourselves and our health. That should always be near the top of the list. Here is a sample list of priorities, but you need to find what is important to you, what gets you excited, gives you purpose, makes you happy.

  1. Family
  2. Alone-time with partner
  3. Health and physical exercise
  4. Nutritious eating
  5. Friends
  6. Work
  7. Volunteering
  8. Learning
  9. Hobbies – movies and reading

I know, so many of you right now are saying, “she is a personal trainer and works part-tme, so it’s EASY for her to workout and meal prep. Who is she to tell me that I have time?!”

Well, first of all, I work out of people’s houses and I do not workout with my clients. It’s on me to carve out my own time to workout. Second of all, when I’m not training clients I am building my online program, researching/learning, marketing, accounting, filming videos, editing videos, designing a website, engaging on social media, blogging, and taking care of my kids. At times I do put in well over 40 hours a week into Hahn Fitness.

Also, I haven’t always been a trainer and I’ve had jobs where I worked 50-60 hours per week every week, I’ve lived in a foreign country where it is not normal to see a woman lifting at the gym or running on the busy streets, I’ve traveled to even more of those countries for extended periods of time, I went to school full-time while working nearly full-time, I had extracurriculars every night of the week, and the list goes on. The bottom line is I HAVE HAD A PACKED SCHEDULE and life struggles where I easily could’ve made excuses to stop taking care of myself, but I never did. Instead I woke up in the Philippines at 5am to run in the ungodly heat & humidity (and got bit in the butt by a dog on a run), I went to the gym on lunch breaks to lift, I found a local to help me obtain a gym membership in Korea, I ran the streets of Beijing to explore the area (and I may have run a good portion of the Great Wall), I made workout dates with friends so we could catch up and exercise, I sneak mini workouts in while kids nap, I do bodyweight workouts on vacation while we watch the morning news (or cartoon). I’ve been consistently working out and making healthy choices for over 13 years all because I have made it a priority and a habit.

MAKE IT A HABIT
If you can make healthy life choices a habit they will come easily and naturally and you won’t even have to think about fitting them into your schedule. Workouts can be as quick as 20 minutes 3 days per week, meal prep can be done in place of one tv show, adequate sleep (unless you have a newborn/bad sleeper) can be obtained if you set a time to go to bed each night. Start slow and small with creating habits. Here are more tips on how to create habits.

FINDING / MAKING THE TIME
Once you figure out your priorities it’s important to strategize on how, when, and where you will engage in those priorities. Here are some ideas of places you can find/make time:

  • Wake up 20 minutes early 2 days per week
  • Utilize your lunch break
  • Take 20-30 minutes before you go to bed
  • Give yourself 1-2 hours on the weekends
  • Skip watching TV one night per week
  • Take a day off from Facebook/Instagram scrolling (we all get sucked in for longer than intended!)
  • Find ways to involve friends/family into your personal priorities so you can spend time with them AND accomplish goals
  • Use your commuting time (audiobook, podcast, meditation, hands-free phone call)
  • Let your kids watch TV for 30minutes so you can do what you need to do

I could go on and on. Still not convinced? Email me your list of priorities and your daily schedule and I will help you FIND THE TIME: hahnfitness@gmail.com

TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
Why is it so important to take care of yourself? Because it makes you the best version of you. Exercise, healthy eating, sleeping, self education, laughing with friends, feeling good, and loving yourself will make you a better you, a better spouse, a better parent, a better citizen, a better employee. You will be happier, enjoy life more, have more energy to spend with loved ones, and it’ll feel great.

I challenge you  now to:

  1. Start saying “I don’t prioritize that right now” instead of “I don’t have time”
  2. And – make a list of your priorities and find/make the time for them.
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Strategies to Reduce Added Sugar Intake

Sugar is everywhere, but it is not our friend. The American Heart Association says adults should limit daily sugar to 6 tsps (25 g) for women and 9 tsps (38 g) for men. Yet, the average American consumes 19.5 teaspoons (82 grams) every day. To give you an idea of what these numbers mean; many flavored espresso drinks contain 25+ grams of sugar. So, how can you combat the sugar frenzy and limit your added sugar intake?

  • Read Packages – it’s unbelievable how much sugar can be in “healthy” packaged foods. Read labels to see how much sugar they contain. Here are some common sugars found in foods: corn sweetener, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, fruit juice concentrates, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup, invert sugar, lactose, maltose, malt syrup, raw sugar, sucrose, sugar syrup, cane crystals, cane sugar, crystalline fructose, evaporated cane juice, corn syrup solids, malt syrup.
  • Check Your Mood – why are you reaching for the sugary snacks? Are you stressed, hungry because you skipped a snack/meal, sad? Find ways to combat those feelings and better manage them. Stressed – exercise, talk to a friend, meditate. Hungry – don’t skip meals; plan out your day, eat healthy fats and protein to keep fuller longer. Sad – talk to someone; go on a walk and talk with a friend; do something that makes you smile.
  • Drink Water – have water be your primary beverage. If you love coffee or tea try adding just a little milk and skipping the flavored syrups.
  • Limit, Don’t Completely Cut it Out – everything in moderation. When we try to go cold-turkey it often results in a binge fest. It’s better to limit sugar and plan it into your weekly diet (ie. have a birthday party to attend and know you’ll have some cake? Then skip your vanilla latte and go for a regular coffee with milk)
  • Don’t Fake It – Artificial sweeteners are all the rage, but could they be doing more harm than good? When we eat sugary foods our body expects calories, but when the sweetness isn’t followed by calories, such as with artificial sweetners, our body craves those calories and we often end up replacing them with other food sources, which can lead to weight gain. read more 
  • Eat Sweet Whole Foods: When the sweet tooth kicks in reach for some sweet fruit with natural sugars instead of a candy bar.
  • Halloween Alternatives: with halloween coming up, here’s a quick strategy to keep you sugar-light! Hand out toys, stickers, spider rings, small playdoh, glow bracelets, bouncy balls, etc. This way you won’t be tempted by leftover candy.

What other ways can YOU reduce added sugar in your diet?

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Healing & Staying Fit through Injuries

Injuries SUCK! That’s the hard truth. Injuries can come from a variety of ways, butIMG_7489 regardless of how you became injured it’s most important to take care of yourself so you can recover. I have found through my various injuries that it’s often possible to stay fit while recovering. Note: whenever you have an injury you should consult a doctor to come up with your own recovery plan. Working out during all injuries may not be possible, so talk with your doctor to see what types of exercises are possible during that particular injury.

I’ve had two major injuries in my life and two pregnancies/births that I have been able to stay pretty fit during. Some background on my injuries:

INJURY #1: Severally sprained ankle. Including a ligament that completely tore so hard at the bone that it tore off a piece of the bone, bone chipped on other side of ankle from hitting together so hard, small fracture, fluid in the bones, and a bruised talus bone. Yeah, it sucked and even though it happened 10 years ago I still have issues with it (primarily b/c I didn’t get an MRI, so didn’t realize the extent of the injury until 3 yrs after it happened).

  • HOW I STAYED FIT: Being on crutches is NOT fun and when you can’t even walk, it’s hard to feel any motivation to workout. However, my body craves movement, so I did a plethora of situps, pushups (injured foot up in air), and upper body strength training in a seated and supine position. As soon as I was able I started riding a stationary bike and continued to work my uninjured leg with side lying leg raises, one legged leg press, etc. There have been many studies that show training one arm or leg can help keep strength in the opposite arm or leg, so it can be good to work the uninjured side in many cases.
  • HOW I RESTED & HEALED: Until the pain was bearable I mainly iced, compressed, elevated, and popped ibuprofen! For weeks after the injury I would try to elevate and ice after my various workouts. I also attended physical therapy and stayed on top of my PT exercises. Because I, or my PT, didn’t know the extent of my injury (without the MRI) we both pushed a little too fast for me to be running. This was a lesson learned that if you think something is seriously wrong you need to stand up for yourself and listen to your body. I honestly wondered if I was just being a baby about the pain when I tried to run since the PT  said it was fine to run, so I foolishly pushed through. We live and we learn, which brings me to Injury #2

INJURY #2 (current): Disc extrusion in my neck, which is a degenerative spine condition where the nucleus material of a disc seeped into my spinal column and compressed/damaged a nerve. It happened to be the nerve that tells my deltoid to work. So, for 8 weeks now my left deltoid isn’t working. I was in severe pain for 6 weeks and couldn’t even lift my left arm laterally, but now the pain is minimal and I have a little strength back in my arm (can laterally raise 3lbs!). The nerve that was damaged now has to grow back and only grows 1-inch per month, so patience is a must.

  • HOW I STAYED FIT: This was HARD because of the extreme amount of pain I was in. BUT, when I had a slight break in the pain I would try to walk. The pain was the least about 1 hour after I woke up, so on weekends I would go to the gym and do the seated leg machines and slowly graduated to standing lower body exercises. I also did the leg part of the eliptical to get my heart rate up. As the pain lessened even more I began doing light lifting with my right arm and now am able to do very light weights with my left arm. I walked up/down stairs a lot too. I always made sure not to overdo it and if I felt any strain in my neck I stopped immediately. I also really focused on what I was eating. Since my workouts were much less intense I knew I couldn’t eat the same amount I usually do. So, I made sure to plan out all my meals, meal prep, and eat more whole foods.
  • HOW I RESTED & HEALED: I was miserable! As soon as the pain came I scheduled an appointment with my physical therapist, primary physician, and chiropractor. I was icing, using heat, taking ibuprofen like crazy, but the pain increased and before I knew it my arm had excessive weakness. I quickly had to swallow my pride and ask for help (not something I do well). But, being in that much pain, and not being able to lift anything with my left arm, while working as a personal trainer and as a mom was so humbling and difficult. I hired babysitters on occasion and asked a family member to take my kids out for walks while I laid in bed. Throughout this all I was in bed whenever I could be and owe a huge thanks to my husband for all of his support. Unfortunately my primary doctor did NOT want to provide me with pain medication even when the two different muscle relaxers did nothing. He also wouldn’t refer me for an MRI which I requested after 2 weeks. Finally, after three weeks and having me cry in his office he broke down and gave me pain meds (which ended up not helping either), and an MRI. I fought for myself in this instance, since I learned from injury #1 that I know my body and when something is wrong! After the MRI we realized the seriousness of the injury and I met with an orthopedic who was able to give me oral steroids, which helped a ton as they focus on the nerve pain. He was also able to explain everything to me and allow me to truly start my healing. He and my chiropractor said no more chiropractic adjustments as they are too dangerous with this type of injury. Now I am still seeing my physical therapist and slowly and carefully exercising as my body allows me to. I am taking things one day at a time and enjoying the creativity I have to use to continue my workouts. In the last week I have been able to start running again, which has been amazing. One day at a time.

As mentioned above, not every injury is the same and not everyone should workout during certain injuries, but working with a doctor and/or physical therapist can be a great way to educate yourself on things you CAN do during an injury to keep fit without causing a delay in your recovery.

Be sure to be your own advocate and listen to your body. No one else can feel what you feel and if you know something is really wrong then push your doctor to explore the issue further. Rest as much as needed and move in ways you see fit when your body lets you know it’s ok. Healing should be your #1 priority!

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Setting Up a Workout Routine

What muscle groups should I work? How often should I lift or do cardio? Can I lift two days in a row? These are questions I hear a lot. And the answers will vary greatly depending on your goal. But, I find that for the majority of people (at least the ones I work with) their goal is general strength and fitness. In my opinion the general worker outer is putting too much stress into what to do, when to do it,  how to get it done, etc. and this can often overwhelm them.

It’s great to have some guidance though, so here is a quick guide to general fitness goals:

  1. MOVE: find a way to add more movement into your daily life:
    • Daily walks – 20+ minutes in am, lunch, or after dinner
    • Walk to errands – grocery store, Walgreens, the Park, or park in furthest spot of parking lot
    • Take an extra trip up the stairs each time you use them. Use the stairs instead of elevator
  2. FIND WORKOUTS YOU ENJOY: If you like your workout you are more likely to stick with it. Could be:
    • Working with a personal trainer (this is a great way to
    • Group classes
    • Workout videos
    • Working out with a friend
  3. SCHEDULE IT: Have your workouts/movement in your calendar as standing appointments and treat them like a dr. appointment or work meeting. They should be a priority
  4. LIFT: Strength training is so important and so good for you. Lift 1-3 times a week (depending on how often you can realistically do it).
    • Compound movements – work multiple muscle groups to help build strength and get your heart rate up. Plus, it works more muscle groups in less time! This is a great option for a quicker workout and a great way to burn more calories and fat.
    • Work with a trainer or physical therapist at least once to find out what muscle imbalances you may have and what exercises you can do to improve those
    • Work all muscle groups: chest, back (upper/mid/lower), shoulders, bicep, tricep, abdominals, glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, hips, calves.
    • Work in all planes of motion: frontal (side to side), sagittal (forward/backward), and transverse (rotational)
    • Challenge yourself: once you’ve established a base try going a little heavier or faster or doing more reps/sets.
  5. Cardio: in addition to daily movement try getting in 2-3 cardio sessions each week. This can be 20 min. of mindful walking, elliptical, cycling, stairs, running, a dance or kickboxing class. Again, find what you like doing.
    • Bored with cardio? Add intervals, do sprints, do it with a friend, take a class, listen to a podcast or motivating music, watch TV.

Everyone’s ideal week will look different and your ideal week may change depending on what life has in store for you at the moment. Generally, for me an ideal week would look like this:

  • Monday: Compound movements strength workout 30-40min (between clients)
  • Tuesday: 20-60 min. cardio (either at 5am, during kids nap, or after they go to bed)
  • Wednesday: Compound movements strength workout 30-40min (between clients)
  • Thursday: walking stairs (60-100 flights) during son’s weekly appointment
  • Friday: rest or long walk (with daughter in stroller, or during nap)
  • Saturday: Compound movements strength workout 30-40min (usually in basement while husband feeds kids breakfast)
  • Sunday: rest or additional cardio session (long walk with family on way to park)

Need help planning your perfect week? Let’s talk – hahnfitness@gmail.com

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Self-Care Strategies

Fall_RunWhat exactly is “self-care” and why do we find it so hard to do. For some it just isn’t prioritized and for others a sense of guilt is associated with it. But, WHY on earth should we feel guilty for taking care of ourselves?!

What is Self-Care?

Self-care is a deliberate activity we do to help care for our mental, physical and emotional health. The activity should “refuel” you. It is NOT a selfish act. If we don’t care for ourselves we can’t care for others and we can easily become burned out. You deserve to be the best version of you and this is why self-care is so important. Self-care will help you find a good life balance which will allow you to do your job better, feel better, care for others better, and be the best you.

Self-Care is different for everyone, but some examples include:

  • Spending time with loved ones
  • Do regular doctor visits
  • Laugh
  • Relax someway everyday; a 20 minute walk, reading a book, meditating, bath
  • Don’t avoid aches and pains; get a massage, go to the doctor, do acupuncture, yoga
  • Make plans with friends
  • Do something you enjoy everyday
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Eat healthy
  • Exercise; it’s great for mind and body!
  • Counseling / therapy is a great way to work with a professional to enhance the health of the mind. Being able to openly talk to someone who can provide constructive feedback can largely benefit anyone

Add these activities into your daily schedule and get friends/family on board to help keep you accountable. It takes practice to do self-care, but the more you do it the more it’ll become a habit.

We can’t be our best version if we don’t take care of ourselves. Personally my favorite self-care activities include:

  • taking baths
  • walking (I walk alone every Saturday morning)
  • having dinner with friends (I try to do this every other week)
  • snuggling with my son while he watches his TV show before bed
  • exercising 4-5 days per week
  • cooking, but only 1-2 times per week (I can do so little b/c of meal prep!)

What will you do for your self-care this week?

nutrition

MEAL PREP

At the end of this blog are videos and recipes on how I prepped for the week 🙂

Here are some tips on how to get started with meal prep. I hope they help you succeed in your healthy living goals.
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Meal Prep is the BEST way to set yourself up for success when looking to create a healthy eating habit. If you plan your meals out each week and prep them as much as possible you are much more likely to stay on track AND it makes dinner time much less stressful. No one has time to cook every night, so don’t!

How to meal prep:

  • Pick a day or two each week where you can spend a solid amount of time prepping. Many people find Sundays and Wednesdays work well.
    • It’s easier to split up the prep; in regards to time, ingredient freshness, gauging how many more meals you need for the week (there are many times I end up not having to make my Wednesday meal until Thursday or Friday b/c I ended up with so much food, or had an unexpected dinner out with a friend), and time.
  • Figure out how many meals you need (breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks)
    • Do you have a lunch meeting/date? Dinner plans with friends? You likely won’t eat a home cooked food for every single meal every week.
  • Breakfast: Keep it simple and quick. Some great options are oatmeal or overnight oats, egg scramble (can put some in fridge to eat another day), fruit & yogurt. Choose a couple breakfast items to eat throughout the week.
  • Lunch & Dinner: Make 3-4 different types of meals to rotate throughout the week for both lunch and dinner.
    • Simple ideas:
      • Grill a variety of meat and eat with roasted veggies, with/on a salad, in a IMG_7306burrito or protein bowl, or in a wrap
      • Veggie Noodle Pasta with shrimp & pesto or ground turkey & marinara sauce
      • Shredded Chicken or Pork in crock pot to eat with roasted veggies, with/on a salad, in a burrito or protein bowl, or in a wrapIMG_7304
      • Stir Fry – just throw in any veggies you have left in the house; along with a protein and a little stir fry sauce
    • Storage: put single servings of meals in individual tupperware, so they are easy to grab. If there is anything you will need to add to it before consuming tape a note on the top with instructions. Keep items that are eaten cold separate from ones that will  need to be warmed in the microwave
  • Keep it simple: the less complicated you make the meals the easier it will be to prep
  • Simg_7203.jpgnacks: Don’t forget to plan out your snacks and prep those too. Aim to eat 2 snacks a day and choose 3-4 types of snacks each week
    • precut your fruits and vegetables, put together single servings of cottage cheese and fruit, put servings of almonds in a baggie; buy string cheese, have small containers to toss a tablespoon of Peanut Butter or hummus into so you can easily bring it with you.
  • Stick with it!

For anyone interested in additional help; there will be more guided assistance for meal prepping available in my 8-week Healthy Habits Adventure online program that will officially launch January 2018. (potential soft launch earlier). Contact me for details

3/11/18

So much food! I did make the Cashew Crusted Chicken at the end of the week and it was tasty!

2/11/18

This week I crushed my meal prep and have 3 awesome recipes all ready to rock. Here’s what I did to prep:

And here are the recipes for this week:

 

More Meal Plans

  • Hard Boiled Eggs
  • Shrimp & Veggie Kabobs
  • Butternut Squash, Kale coconut salad
  • Chicken Breast (grilled) for easy grabs
  • Chicken wings on grill
  • Edamame Spaghetti w/ shrimp & pesto
  • Chicken Crust Pizza (SO GOOD!)