Monthly Archives: February 2012

Be successful

The term “success” is subjective. It can mean different things to different people. Success can be reaching a certain goal. It can be avoiding a certain outcome. It can be making a certain amount of money, or it can mean feeling a certain way. It doesn’t matter what other people’s literal representation of success looks like. What matters, is what success means to you.

Okay. Say you want to be successful at something; what do you do? How do you structure your path to success?

Here’s one strategy.

The book “The Secret Code of Success” by Noah St. John, proposes steps to follow, in order to make success more likely. I feel the same way about goal setting program and I wanted to share this with FM readers.

1. Set your goal/s

2.Take action towards your goal/s

3. Evaluate your progress

4. Evaluate your approach based on your evaluation

That’s it. Simple, right? I think so. The actual application of these steps, as you move towards a complex goal, can be difficult. The steps themselves? Not too bad.

 

1. Set your goal/s. This step is obvious. You need to be clear on what your goal is, before you reach it. Pay close attention, though. If you have a big goal, try to break it into smaller goals. Then, apply these 4 steps to your mini goals. Also, make sure your goal is measurable and specific. “Get in shape” is not very specific. How will you know when you met that goal? “Exercise three times a week” or “Eat vegetables with every meal this week” are more specific and measurable goals. You know exactly what needs to be done and will know exactly when you have completed it.

2. Take action towards your goal. This, too, sounds obvious. It’s so obvious, we often ignore this step. We can get so caught up in trying to make the perfect plan to build muscle, or lose weight, or eat healthier, that we forget to actually take steps towards our goal. I’ve written about this topic before. Just do SOMETHING related to your goal. Worry about the details later. It doesn’t matter which vegetables you choose, if you rarely eat vegetables and your goal is to eat more of them. Just pick a few and eat them! It doesn’t matter if your exercise plan is perfect, just pick a few exercise and do them safely. You can adjust your program later.

3.¬†Evaluate your progress. This step is very important and can easily be overlooked. We can get sucked in to whatever routine we have, and forget to stop for a moment and see if what we are doing is working. Is it working well? Are you still making progress towards your goal? Do you need a different goal? Can you make adjustments that can help you reach your goal more efficiently ūüėČ

4.¬†Evaluate your approach based on your evaluation.¬†Evaluate evaluate evaluate. Yes, the same word came up multiple times in the same sentence. Why? I’ll tell you why. Evaluating your progress towards a goal is only helpful if you adjust your approach towards that goal, based on the previous evaluation. EVALUATION. Now I’ve typing it and saying it so many times in my head it’s started to sound like a funny word. EVAL-YOU-AY-TIONNN!!

Get a hold of yourself, Isaac.

Back to the fourth step. Maybe it’s time you start to up the intensity of the exercise routine. Maybe it’s time you start to add more fruits and veggies into your nutritional rotation. Whatever your goals may be, from time to time, it’s important to think about your progress, and how that progress can be continued or improved.

Think about a goal you have right now. Take a moment to think about each of these four steps and apply them to that specific goal. It doesn’t matter what your goal is about. It can be about fitness, nutrition, work, dance, a relationship. That’s what’s so cool about these steps. They can be applied to almost any goal.

Is this method flawless? No. However, I believe much can be gained by giving these ideas some thought.

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ANOTHER healthy pizza option?

Yes, my friend, another pizza option that isn’t as likely to make you have to stretch to another belt loop.

So, previously I wrote about how excited I was about the cauliflower crust pizza. It tasted so good, it got me thinking “hmm, what other kind of pizza variation can I make that would also tip on the “healthy” side of food.”

Enter, the portabella mushroom mini pizza. Simple. Easy. Tastes great. Again. What’s not to like?

There are so many variations to the recipes for this meal that I don’t feel like I stole it from any one source. Everyone has different opinions of how long to cook it and how to keep it from getting too watery. This is an example of a “see what works best for you” type thing. That’s half the fun of cooking. Adjusting the recipe to your specific liking!

Ingredients: Whatever you happen to like on your pizza! I chose the following:

Sliced Mushrooms

Organic Sliced Olives

Artichoke Hearts

Organic Goat Cheese

Pieces of Chicken

Organic spaghetti sauce

How much of each ingredient? It depends on how much of each ingredient fits on the size of portabella mushroom you bought. For me, it turned into a game of food jenga. I piled on what I could, without it all falling over.

Cut the stem off of the mushroom and place the mushroom on a cookie sheet into the preheated oven to 375 degrees gills/stem part facing down.  Cook the mushroom for about 5 minutes and take it out. Flip it over and put the sauce on the inside, just like the crust of a pizza. At this point, feel free to pile on whatever toppings you want to pile on. Place the cooking sheet back in the oven for another 20 or so minutes. Or, until the cheese gets golden brown. This is another example of the amount of time ranging. Just keep an eye on the pizza. When the cheese begins to get golden brown, take the sheet out and let cool for a few minutes. Now, EAT UP, PARTNER!!!

A couple notes. When I made this, the mushroom got a little watery throughout the baking process. Some people have commented that it’s a good idea to scrape out the gills before baking it. Others have said, you just need to bake it longer for the first portion of the baking process. I will need to mess with the process myself, to see what keeps the mushroom more dry.

For the most part, though, it’s a pretty simple and painless process. Try it out!!

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Guilt-free/Healthy Pizza

 

Mmmm, pizza. Don’t lie, you know you love it. Most of us do! The problem is, most pizzas do little more for our health than derail any sort of nutrition or fitness goal we worked so hard for. We already know overdoing it on pizza will only make us a bit fluffier than we had hoped.¬†Granted, if you eat a slice or two from time to time, you will be fine. But some of us indulge a bit more often than “time to time.”

 

What if you could make one of your favorite junk food meals, just a little less detrimental to your diet, and just a little more nutritious?

 

Well, my FM friend, I have just the recipe for you.

 

This pizza is breadless. And, for those keeping track, also gluten free.

 

Wait, HOLD THE PHONE!! No bread?! Say whaaaat?!

 

Yup, no bread.

 

It tasted really really good too!!! I kid you not, ma’am sir. It tasted just like regular pizza and was a much more nutritious option. I found the recipe on Linda Wagner’s¬†blog!

The crust is made out of mainly cauliflower. Yes, cauliflower. It provides awesome antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.
Now, when a friend and I made this meal, we didn’t follow the recipe to the T from Linda’s blog. We more or less guessed on the quantities and it still turned out really good. Therefore, please excuse the less than perfect recipe that we used haha.
Ingredients:
1 head of cauliflower. The bigger it is, the more crust you can make for the pizza.
4 oz of cheese. The original recipe asked for goat cheese, which I will try in the future, but we used regular organic mozzarella cheese.
1 egg
Tomato/marinara sauce.
A few leaves of basil
Sliced mushrooms
Sliced olives
How many ounces or cups of each? I have no idea what we actually used. But that’s the fun part. You can mess with the quantities until you find something that works.
Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Start to boil a few cups of water in a medium sized pan.
Chop the cauliflower into small pieces and run through a food processor, or in my case, a blender (blendtec). Run it until the cauliflower looks like the consistency of rice (grainy).
                                                           
Add the food processor processed/blender chopped cauliflower to boiling water for about 6 minutes. You’re going to have to trust me on this one. When I did this step, it looked like the cauliflower disintegrated into the boiling water. I figured I had blown the recipe. If this happens to you, never fear.
While the cauliflower is steaming in the boiling water, place a clean dish towel over a strainer. When the 6 minutes are up, pour the water into the dish towel/strainer. The dish towel will act as a strainer for the cauliflower. Allow it to cool before folding the towel up into a pouch type shape, and squeeze the water out of the cauliflower.
                                                    
Now, in a mixing bowl, combine the cauliflower, cheese and egg. This part I still need to figure out a bit better. You will find that if you melt the cheese in a bowl, in the microwave for a bit before you mix everything, it seems to make the process easier. Plus, if the cauliflower is still relatively warm/hot, it helps melt the cheese and makes it easier to combine the ingredients for the crust.
                                                           
Once the “crust dough” is ready to go, transfer it onto a greased baking sheet. I used coconut oil to grease the sheet to make sure the crust from the pizza wouldn’t stick.
Depending on the size of the cauliflower that you used, the amount of crust or size of the pizza will vary. Go ahead and spread the mixture onto the greased sheet to make a thin layer.
Bake the crust in the middle rack of the oven for about 35-40 minutes.
Once that time is up, take the crust out, spread the sauce on top of it as well as whatever toppings you like on your pizza. We chose mushrooms,olives, basil and the rest of the mozzarella cheese. This part you get to do whatever you want. Whatever toppings you like; go nuts.
                                                         
Put the pizza back in the oven and broil for a few more minutes. Or, until the cheese begins to melt.
Take it out, put some sliced basil leaves on top, and let it cool off for a few minutes.
                                                       
Once it has cooled for a bit, and you can slice it without all of the cheese getting stuck to the slicer/knife, dig in!
This tasted so good, I can’t wait to make it again. Also, look at the ingredients. The crust used three ingredients! THREE!!! A delivery pizza or pizza from the freezer at the market will have who knows how many ingredients. This meal allows you to have complete control over what goes into your pizza, which makes it much less likely it will cause you to have a heart attack the next time you step on a scale.
Easy.Fresh Ingredients.Good Tasting. ¬†Doesn’t get much better.
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Looking for a tougher workout?

 

 

You might be reading FitMentality and thinking “Yeah, I work out, but I’m looking for something to challenge me” Oh yeah, muscle m’am or sir? I got just the thing for you.

 

Burpees, too easy? Jumping jacks just not challenging anymore?

 

Look no further. JayR and I bring you…

 

Tun tun tunnnnnn…

 

 

EURO-BURPEES and EURO-JACKS

 

What are euro-burpees and euro-jacks, you ask?  Allow my good friend JayR to demonstrate.

 

 

 

 

That boy cray.

 

As soon as I learn to consistently land backflips, I fully intend to film another video of both JayR and I doing Euro Burpees together. #hopeful #maybebitingoffmorethanIcanchew #dreaming #iguesswe’llsee

 

 

Eating between practice and going out

Here’s another example of keeping control over the food I eat, even if it’s a busy night.

We had practice from 7-10 or so, and we also were heading over to a dancer’s club event called “Classic Thursdays.” Basically, it was dancing and then more dancing. I knew I would be hungry between practice and the event and I knew I didn’t want to have to get fast food.

So what did I do?!

Prepared and took my own food of course!

Apple with almond butter, peeled orange, pretzel sticks (treat ūüėČ ) and coconut water (to help with rehydration and replacing electrolytes after practice)

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It took a few minutes to prepare and was a very satisfying meal during a busy night.

Just because you live a busy life, dancer or not, doesn’t mean you can’t continue to eat right.

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Boring can be good

 

Trying to improve one’s nutrition or fitness can be an overwhelming task. There is so much information out there. So many different types of workouts. So many recipes. So many people telling you that you should do this, you should do that. What happens often, and with good reason, is that we try to do too many different things at once. We worry about too many details, without looking at the big picture.¬†

 

For example.

We know berries are good for us. But, what kind of berries should we eat? Blueberries are great. But what about strawberries? Wait, goji berries are supposed to be really good too. Wait, raspberries are also really good for us. Or what about super fruits? Açai is a must, right? What about chia seeds? We should put those in our meals too, right? Wait, what happened to grains? First, we hear that whole wheat is good, then we hear about everyone and their mom going gluten free. What?

 

What about exercise? Strength training is important. Do we lift heavy? Or, should we do light weight, high reps? What if we don’t want to get too bulky? Then what? Also, cardio is important good too, right? We need it for our hearts. Do we do long distance, at a steady pace? Or should we do short bursts of intense exercise, followed by short rest periods? How would that workout even be structured?¬†

 

With so much to think about, we start out with good intentions, but then rarely last with our nutrition or fitness goals. Why? Many times, it’s because we try to do it all at once.

 

One thing to think about, is keeping it “boring.”

 

You heard me right. BORING.

 

In this case, boring can be a good thing. You might not want to eat the same thing for a few meals during the week. But, guess what, that might be just the trick to getting yourself to consistently eat cleaner meals. Pick a few vegetables, cook some chicken, and pick a few fruits. There, eat just those things for the next couple days, but prepare them in slightly different ways. You can put the chicken in a salad, with some olive oil. You can slice up the chicken and cook it with eggs and spinach, along with a few slices of fruit for breakfast. Keep it simple. It’s easier to stay consistent when there are less variables to worry about. This isn’t the most glamorous strategy in the world. However, what’s really more important here? That’s right, your long term health is. Once you consistently eat a few meals with the same wholesome ingredients, pick some other ones and repeat the same strategy. Yes, maybe the variety of food for that week was less. BUT, maybe now you ate a week of clean eating! That is something to be proud of. The more you learn and plan how to eat different wholesome, high nutrient foods, the more variety you can throw in to your menus.

 

Same goes for exercise. Just pick any exercise routine that you understand and can do safely. If you are having trouble staying consistent with fitness over a long period of time, just do that same exercise routine two or three times a week. For variation, you can change the amount of repetitions you do per movement. You can change the amount of time you give yourself to do each set. You can change the order in which you do the exercises. When you are starting out, as long as you are doing the exercises properly and safely, it really doesn’t make a big difference what kind of variation you put into your workout. Yes, after a while, you do what to be a bit more¬†methodical¬†about how you structure your workouts, but when you are getting started, keep it simple and stick to that routine. Once you are consistent for a while, THEN go ahead and start to change it up.¬†

 

My point is, don’t look at this strategy as “boring” in the traditional sense of the word. Look at it as an opportunity to be creative with less moving parts. Less things to worry about. Look at it as a simple strategy to reaching a bigger goal; a healthier, longer life!

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