Monday, September 23, 2013

Health Advice: Eat Well When Out

Q: I often travel for work and have to eat at restaurants more than 5x/week.  It's hard to control what the chef puts onto your plate.  What are some tips to stay healthy during mealtime when dining out?

A: Great question!  This is one many people struggle with.  First off stay clear of fancy drinks which can add extra sugar and calories.  Opt for water, unsweetened tea, a glass of wine, vodka and tonic or a simple martini.  

If the location serves large portions, order an appetizer or side dishes instead.  Seafood options for proteins usually contain less sodium and are low-fat.  Search for key words such as "baked salmon", "grilled shrimp" or "sauteed scallops".  Ask for the salad dressing on the side.  A healthy looking salad can be killed by being soaking in a heavy dressing.  Also choose fruit options for dessert instead of sugary cakes or chocolate.
Simple changes can be made when picking ethnic food choices.  When dining out for Mexican food switch to black beans instead of re-fried.  Opt for a soft shell tortilla instead of hard.  A grilled chicken sandwich is a better option instead of a burger.  When ordering Chinese food pick steamed brown rice instead of white.  For your appetizer, Miso soup is much better compared to fried egg rolls.

Some healthy fast food restaurants include Panera Bread which serves organic chicken and half portions dishes.  Their food labels are posted on their menu and online.  Another good pick would be Noodles and Company which cooks with Soybean oil and uses fresh vegetables in a variety of ethnic dishes.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Break It Down: Double Leg Stretch (Part 2 of Series of 5)

Advancing into the ab series we have the Double Leg Stretch.  Imagine your legs move as one unit to execute this challenging exercise.

Purpose- teaches how to work in opposition, strengthens core, flushes out toxins

Preps- 100s, Single Leg Stretch, Feet in straps, Double knee folds, Leg Springs (Frogs, Lower/Lifts) 

Form- hollow out abs, press arms into thighs as legs extend out long/low, hug knees into tight ball shape, pull into midline throughout

*May not be appropriate for those with low back or neck issues.  See modifications below.

Modifications- hands support head or keep head down, do standing version with squat and pressing into body standing up, higher angle of limbs for more support, hands under bottom for more low back support

How to Advance- Magic circle/ball/band in hands or feet, add in arm circle with optional hand weights, arms circle first than legs than both move together, perform on Reformer with hands holding straps

Challenges- connect right from Single Leg Stretch without lowering head, add in more reps, legs hover 2 inches above floor, perform on Cadillac using roll back bar or arm springs