Archive for August, 2011
One lucky reader of ours will win an autographed copy of Wallie Exercises by Steve Ettinger, C.S.C.S., a new children’s book that will be a great addition to your home library!
“Steve Ettinger’s new picture book for children, Wallie Exercises, actually encourages kids to break a sweat — in the cutest way possible, of course.” – People.com
Winner of the Mom’s Choice Gold Award, Wallie Exercises is helping families everywhere talk about fitness and get active! This new book is the perfect way to make health and fitness fun for kids, and is a must have for teachers, parents, and the whole family.
Written by certified fitness expert Steve Ettinger, Wallie Exercises takes parents and kids on a fun and whimsical adventure, as they soak up lessons about fitness, friendship, and staying active. The story follows Wallie, a loyal but lazy dog and his best friend who convinces the lethargic pup to get out of the house and get moving.
Beautifully illustrated (by Pete Proctor) and impeccably told, this book helps teach kids important fitness concepts while following Wallie on his hilarious journey to get in shape.
The book also includes a special section with original exercises (performed by Wallie) and kid-friendly fitness information at the end of the book that will get every child excited about exercise.
How to Enter
1) Join this website (through Google Friend Connect) and make a comment on this post with your email address. If you are already a member, just log in and comment. Yup, it’s that easy!
I encourage you to consider the bonus entries, since we will announce the winner on this site, facebook, and twitter!
Bonus Entry Points
1) Find us on Facebook and “like” our page. We’ll have a post that you can comment on, which will provide you an additional entry point when you comment on it. Nice!
2) If you like to tweet, you should “follow” Skinny Twinkie on twitter! All you need to do is Retweet our tweet on twitter that announces this giveaway, and you will get another entry point.
3) Do you have a blog? Grab my button and add it to your site or you can blog about this contest and link to this giveaway post, provide the link to your blog in the comments section on here (or facebook), and you will have gained another chance to win!
♦♦♦You can give yourself a total of four chances to win! ♦♦♦
Contest Rules and Eligibility
This contest is open to all U.S. and Canadian residents who are 18 years or older. Void where Prohibited by Law. This is a giveaway, which means you are not obligated to buy anything from anyone.
This contest starts on August 30th 2011 and will end on September 8th, 2011 at midnight EST.
Skinny Twinkie will use Random.org to choose one winner by picking a random number based on the total number of entries. Skinny Twinkie will draw the winner on September 9th, and the winner will be announced that same day on SkinnyTwinkie.com, twitter, and facebook.
If you are selected as a winner, we will contact you via email, to let you know that you have won! If you do not reply back to us within 48 hours after we have notified you, we will choose another winner and you will forfeit your prize.
Good luck everyone!!!
Wait…what just happened?!
Here’s a scenario that I’m betting 90% of you can relate to: You start exercising and eating less, and you jump on the scale and see that you have lost weight! Yay! You get really excited about your progress, so you start exercising even more and eating less than before (so you can lose even more weight the following week, which brings you closer to your goal weight!). You jump on the scale the following week and you didn’t lose a single pound! Wait…what just happened?! You are now confused and depressed that all of your efforts for the past week have been wasted. Sound familiar? It happens to the best of us…
Starvation Mode? Not Good…
Here’s what’s going on in your body: When you eat too little, especially with the amount of exercise you are now doing, your body goes into “starvation mode”, where it holds on to everything, making it so that you can’t lose weight! You have to provide your body with the nutrients and the calories it needs to be able to function properly, and even lose extra fat.
I suggest signing up for a calorie tracking program, such as Lose it!, since you can track what you eat and make sure you are eating enough. Lose it!, for example, adjusts the amount of calories you can eat every day based on your weight loss goals and how much you exercise. First you provide information about yourself, determine how much weight you want to lose each week, and it calculates how many calories you should eat each day and a goal date of when you should reach your goal weight. When you enter in exercise, it calculates how much more food you should be eating each day – and still lose the determined amount of weight you specified to lose each week. The more you exercise, the more you eat. Pretty cool, huh? Just make sure you don’t over do it with the exercise. Find a happy balance and stick with it.
(Please note: The writer does not get paid from promoting Lose it!, though it would be really nice if she did get paid! ;) She just uses the Lose it! app herself, and thought it was an awesome program to share with all of you! You can use any program, just make sure it adjusts your calories based on the amount of exercise you do each day.)
Measure, Measure, Measure!
Just like you don’t want to under eat, you don’t want to over do it either. For those who use a form of calorie counting to stay on track, measuring out your food is more important than many realize. For example, I like to snack on celery and dip it into almond butter as a snack. I used to guess what I thought two tablespoons should be, and used that as my guide for a serving of almond butter. Finally, one day I decided to measure out two tablespoons of almond butter. I remember thinking “that’s it? That’s two tablespoons of almond butter? Oops…!” As you can tell, my two tablespoons was way more than the actual two tablespoons!
It was a funny moment for me, but an experience that taught be a valuable lesson. Measure everything, because a lot of times your imagination is a lot bigger than reality when you are hungry or trying to calorie count!
Of course, I think that eating healthy foods is the main thing to focus on, but high calorie health foods like almond butter should be measured out when you are trying to lose weight and need to stick to a certain calorie limit each day.
Here’s an excellent quote I came across this last week, and it should serve as a reminder to all of you who wait until Monday to start making positive changes in your life.
“A year from now you will wish you had started today” – Karen Lamb
If you need to start exercising or eat healthy, don’t wait until tomorrow. You have the ability to start right now. Start today, and continue on for the rest of your life. Don’t live your life continually thinking “I’ll start tomorrow” or “I’ll start someday…when I’m ready” or “on Monday”. If you continue thinking like this, chances are, you will never start and you will continue making excuses to start another day. I’m sure you’ve heard other people (or yourself!) say “I am going to start next Monday because of X, Y, Z…”. Again, don’t make excuses. Look how far they have taken you. Nowhere.
Remember that today is always the best day to progress and make your life better than it was yesterday.
Here’s a few tips to help prevent you from gaining those extra pounds by being in a relationship:
Too many men and women get married and totally let themselves go. Don’t let that be you. Remember when you used to care about the way you looked? You used to do things to impress your guy/gal. Just because you’re off the market doesn’t mean you’re done trying! Eating healthy and exercising do much more than just help you with a rockin’ bod, it will help you enjoy a long life together, without pesky health problems.
Start New Hobbies
Keep your relationship fun and exciting – pick up a new (active) hobby together! Maybe you can both learn how to rock climb, take dance lessons, or prepare for a marathon together! Whatever it is, do something that is enjoyable and something you can do together!
This one might be advice geared towards mostly the ladies, but I hope it helps the guys realize how they can help their lady love. When you go out to eat with your spouse, you don’t have to eat the same amount as them! My husband, for example, needs to eat almost double the amount of food that I do! There’s no reason for me to try and catch up with him when it comes to eating. Eat the amount of food you were meant to eat; no more, and no less!
Why exercise alone or separately when you can exercise together? I can only tell you how hard it is to get out of bed and wake up early in the morning to wake up and exercise…when your spouse is still cuddled up to the warm and cozy blankets snoozing away. Waking up is enough will power, but when you see what you could be doing, it can be hard to stay motivated at 5:30am (or whenever you have to wake up to go workout). Ask for your spouse to be a workout buddy – it will benefit both of you!
Is your loved one continuously bringing you treats that just aren’t helping you reach your goals? Speak your mind and let them know your goals, and how they can help you reach your goals – even if that means not bringing you certain treats that you used to love getting. Explain that treats are not a healthy “reward” system.
Express your need for encouragement, help, motivation, or any support that you feel that you need in order to be healthy.
If your loved one expresses any of the above mentioned concerns to you, be receptive and help where you can.
All kids should have a healthy school lunch, but many schools just won’t provide it for one reason or another. If your kids’ school won’t provide a healthy lunch, it’s up to the parents to come up with a healthy lunch from home. Since this is your kid’s health we are talking about, I believe packing a lunch is well worth the effort!
There’s something special about the simple yet delicious taste of a sandwich. You can make it as healthy as you want, and it doesn’t need to be too complex. I suggest using whole wheat bread, using a brand that doesn’t use a lot of ingredients or any processed sugars. Avoid using white bread at all costs!
Here’s some quick and easy sandwiches that you can make for your kids for their school lunches:
• Deli - Get freshly slices meat from your local deli and add a slice of all natural cheese, romaine lettuce, and use a mayo replacement such as Veganaise. This sandwich will provide your kid with the fiber, protein, dairy, vitamins and minerals from the lettuce and healthy fats from the Veganaise which will help you absorb the nutrients.
• Peanut Butter and Jelly - There’s nothing wrong with sticking to the classics, it simple yet very delicious and healthy! Use whole wheat bread, organic peanut butter and a jelly or jam that doesn’t have any sugars added to it, such as a Just Fruit™ Spread by Crofter’s. With this sandwich, your kid is going to enjoy the benefits of healthy fiber from the bread, protein from the peanut butter, and glucose from the jelly or jam.
• Sprout and Tomato - Think your kids won’t like sprouts? Think again! Just spread Veganaise (mayo replacement) or mashed avocado to the bread (or whole wheat wrap!), add tomato slices with a few dashes of sea salt and pepper, then generously add the alfalfa or broccoli sprouts. You’d be surprised with how delicious this healthy sandwich is, and you’ll be glad to know your kids will love it too.
• Almond Butter and Honey - This is very similar to the classic PB & J, except the Almond Butter adds a different variety of protein and the honey is an all natural source of glucose. This is a great sandwich for your busy little bee (haha). I like to use almond butter more often than peanut butter, since almond butter doesn’t have any saturated fats. As much as I love peanut butter, I eat it sparingly because of the saturated fats. It’s still good for you, but in moderation (like anything else, really)
• Tuna or Salmon – Mix a can of tuna or salmon with Veganaise (mayo replacement), and put in a small container. Include 2 slices of bread (or occasionally some healthy crackers!) and let your kid add the tuna to the bread once they are ready to eat their tuna (or salmon) sandwich. This will allow for a fresh sandwich, without the soggy bread! Go ahead and add pickles or lettuce if you’d like.
I suggest providing your kids with a wholesome snack to accompany the sandwich, or to snack on in between meals. This is a great way for your kids to learn that when they are hungry and they want a snack, they will learn to reach for a fresh veggie rather than a cookie. Your kids not there yet? That’s ok. It happens one day at a time, and they need their parents to help guide them on what they should be eating when they are hungry. Your kids don’t need chips or cookies. Your kids need vitamins and minerals -you know, nutrients to fuel their body, help them grow up strong and healthy, and help keep their mind alert and ready to learn.
• Fresh Fruit - Give your children a variety of fresh fruits to snack on. Each day (or week), give your kid a different fruit to snack on, such as an apple, orange, watermelon, pear, or a variety of berries. These snacks are delicious, low calorie, and they are easy to pack in a school lunch. Also, your kids will appreciate the variety of different fruits (so they don’t get bored or them), and it’s great way to add a variety of nutrients to their developing body.
• Fresh Vegetables - Give your children a variety of fresh vegetables to snack on. Each day (or week), give your kid a different vegetable to snack on, such as carrots, broccoli, snow or sugar snap peas, sliced cucumbers, celery (with peanut or almond butter to dip in!), or sliced green and red peppers. Remember to provide variety for your kids, and try to coordinate them to go well with the fruit you are giving them.
• Protein - If you would like to give your kids protein (in addition to the sandwich), you can consider giving them a variety of mixed nuts, seeds, or even hard boiled eggs (with shell already removed).
The Friday Snack
It’s always fun to have a special little snack that’s healthy, but something you might not have every day. For example, fruit leather is delicious, but the real deal (aka, fresh fruit with nothing added or taken away), is always the healthiest choice. Of course, why not have a special little treat every once in awhile, such as every Friday? I think it’s a fun way to celebrate the weekend without destroying one’s health.
• Water - Are your kids drinking enough water throughout the day? Provide your kids with a refillable water bottle that they can use throughout the day. Help your kid figure out how much water they should be drinking every day, and make sure they bring it home on a regular basis so you can have it cleaned.
I don’t think that your kids really need to be drinking juice, since the whole fruit or vegetable is always the healthiest choice. Also, too many juices on the market have added sugars or corn syrup that just isn’t necessary.
Got flavored milk? What about regular milk? I don’t think bringing milk to school is necessary, especially when you consider it really should be kept in the refrigerator.
Make sure that you include an ice pack in the lunch box to keep the food cool and safe for your kid to eat when the time comes. If you don’t have an ice pack, stick to the foods that will be able to handle room temperature.
OK parents, any other healthy food suggestions you would like to add to this list? I appreciate your input!