Video Blog2017-04-20T08:43:33-04:00

Staying on Track when you Travel

Airplane (or Car Travel) – Most airport food is generally pretty bad (especially at Logan), so bring your own delicious food and snacks. On my last flight to LA, I packed small bags of roasted sweet potatoes, protein pancakes, carrot sticks, apple slices, grilled chicken and a PB&B sandwich. Ok, that might seem like a lot, but it’s about 9 hours of travel time. Plus, I was flying JetBlue and they walk around with the basket of chips and cookies the whole time. Guess what? I had zero desire to reach my hand in for a bag of cookies (a peanut butter and banana sandwich is kind of like a dessert, right?).

 

Here are a few other ideas of food that travels well (bring a small cooler that fits in your carry on or a big cooler if you’re traveling by car):

 

  1. Cut-up veggies (carrot, celery, string beans, cucumbers – what ever is your favorite)
  2. Fruit – apples, oranges, bananas, grapes, etc.
  3. Hard-boiled eggs or egg muffins
  4. Hummus or nut butters
  5. Pancakes, yogurt, cheese sticks
  6. Homemade trail mix, mixed nuts, kale chips
  7. Sandwiches – PB&B, Chicken sandwich, etc.
  8. Pack a regular dinner

 

You’ll feel so much better if you eat “real food” then if fill up on chips and bars. If you can’t bring yourself to pack a sandwich then look up your food options in the airport terminals. You’ll make much better decisions and feel more satisfied if you plan ahead!

 

Always eat a good Breakfast – Breakfast sets the stage for the rest of the day. Even if you’re staying in a hotel, you can have a decent breakfast. You don’t have to eat every meal out. Pack a Blender Bottle and have a protein shake and some fruit. If you’re eating all three meals outside the hotel, then stick to something healthy. Go for something similar to what you would have at home—hard-boiled eggs and multigrain bread, oatmeal (hold the dried fruit and brown sugar), or an egg white omelet loaded with veggies (see if they can go light on the oils). Just skip the bagels, cinnamon buns, and donuts – you get my point.

 

Stay Hydrated – make sure you’re drinking enough water (at least 8 cups a day). Drink more if you’re flying! If you’re staying at a hotel, the first thing you should do when you get to your room is make sure you have enough water. Or bring your re-useable water bottle with you.

 

Mindful Meal – This is a great opportunity to slow down and eat to 80% fullness at EVERY meal. If you’re on vacation, hopefully you’re not in a rush and you can enjoy the company of the people you’re with, so put your fork down between bites and enjoy the taste and texture of the food you’re eating. Try to eat outside if it’s possible!

 

Prioritize your indulgence – You’ve heard this one before, but it’s important. If you’re going to indulge at dinner, then order a salad for lunch—use olive oil and lemon for the dressing. If you want a burger, then skip the bun and fries and ask for a side salad. Decide if you want the unhealthy meal, a cocktail, or the dessert; but don’t pick all 3, and certainly don’t indulge at every meal. Try to eat healthy and pick the indulgence you want the most!

 

Cocktails – Stick with sparkling water at lunch. When it comes to ordering cocktails, avoid the sugary drinks and reach for a light bottle of beer (100 calories) or a 5-ounce glass of wine (120 calories). Vodka, rum, and tequila are around 100 calories per 1.5 oz. shot. Get soda water over tonic water. Soda water has zero calories and tonic water has 80 calories, crazy right? Avoid the juice – most likely it will add another 60 calories.

 

Exercise – try to exercise everyday. When you consume restaurant food you are consuming a lot more calories, fat, sugar, and sodium. Move your body in some way; use the hotel gym, bike, hike, or walk the city.

 

Staying in a hotel – Call ahead and ask if they have a refrigerator in the room. If they don’t, sometimes they’ll add one. If you’re driving, bring a cooler and use the hotel’s ice to keep it cool.

 

Healthy Snacksbring healthy snacks or call ahead to see if there is a market near your hotel. Bring snacks you like and commit to eating them (don’t raid the mini-bar). If you’re bringing protein bars make sure you look at the labels, and try to find ones with few ingredients—less than 5 grams of sugar; and make sure you can pronounce all the ingredients—if you can’t pronounce it you probably shouldn’t be eating it.

 

Meal planning – You do meal planning at home, so why wouldn’t you do it when you’re traveling? Find the healthier restaurants near your hotel and look at the menu before arriving at the restaurant to map out your meal.

 

Recovery – If you’re traveling for pleasure or work, then most likely you will indulge a little. That’s ok; if you made good choices and enjoyed it then don’t feel guilty! Just be ready to get things right back on track when you get home. Try to have some healthy food in your fridge or freezer for the day you return. Sometimes it takes people a few days to get back on track because they don’t think past the trip. When planning for your trip, make sure you include your recovery day—this way you’ll have healthy options available until you have time to get to the grocery store. Have some frozen soup or frozen vegetables on hand to make a stir-fry. Onions, carrots, potatoes, winter squashes, apples, and eggs can keep for a long time, so they are good to have in the house to make a healthy meal the day you get home.

 

No Guilt Zone – In the end, give yourself a break. Vacations aren’t the time to be on your best behavior. Please – NO GUILT! If you’re traveling for pleasure, this is your time to unwind from your everyday routine and enjoy the place you’re visiting and people you’re with. Don’t get wrapped up in eating perfectly. If you have chocolate cake, savor every bite; order champagne at lunch, then cheers to you; miss the morning run because you stayed up all night dancing, then don’t worry. It’s not the end of the world; I promise it won’t derail all of your progress, and the memories will be worth it!

 

To Your Amazing Health,

Kendra

 * This information should not be seen as medical advice and is not meant to take the place of seeing a licensed health professional. You should discuss any dietary supplement use and should not discontinue any prescription medication without first consulting your doctor.

Ten Tips for Better Health in 2017

I’m all about balance, moderation and consistency, but since the #1 New Year’s Resolutions seem to consistently revolve around losing weight, eating healthier and becoming fit(ter), I thought it was a good opportunity to put together a “Top Ten” list. Try making these changes and watch how they are bound to have a huge impact on your health in 2017!

  1. Never get too hungry – when you wait to eat until you’re starving, you will most likely always overeat. That’s because it takes 20 minutes for your satiety mechanism to kick in and tell your brain that you’re full. Oftentimes, you prematurely stuff yourself with whatever is in sight, which are most likely not the healthiest things. Also – hunger is not your friend. Don’t ignore it, because if you’re trying to decrease your calorie intake to drop fat, be aware that eating too few calories can slow down your metabolism and prevent you from shedding those extra pounds. Consistent weight loss isn’t about being overly indulgent OR too restrictive!
  2. Focus on nutrient balance verses calorie intake – I could go on and on about this one. Of course the amount of calories you eat matters in weight loss, but perhaps more important is the quality of food. Your brain is looking for nutrients – not calories – and will keep looking until it gets the nutrients it needs. This may explain your cravings. Most often, it’s a nutrient balance issue.
  3. Drink more water – Hydration is important for good health, athletic performance, and mental clarity. If you’re dehydrated, thirst often masks itself as hunger. Want to know if you’re drinking enough water? Try tracking it for a while through an app like My Water Balance.
  4. Start with soup – Watery foods are low in calorie density (low calories per serving size) and research shows soups increase satiety (the feeling of fullness). Soups can be an excellent weight loss tool. Just make sure your eating ones that are high in vegetables, beans and lean proteins. I like to encourage my clients to make a big batch of soup and freeze half of the batch. That way, when life gets busy you’ll always have healthy choices in the freezer. Here is a easy minestrone recipe that I made over the weekend http://therealfoodrds.com/minestrone-soup/ Feel free to make your own changes, but I added a little quinoa instead of pasta. If you don’t eat grains, add more veggies! Also, I added a dash of paprika and red pepper flakes –something to spice it up since it was a cold snowy weekend!
  5. Eat more fermented foods – They help you replenish your good gut bacteria. When you have good bacteria in your gut, you actually do a better job of absorbing nutrients. If you’re up for making your own fermented foods – that’s great! Still trying to figure out if you can stomach it at all? I just tried this brand – https://jacobsraw.com/product-category/krauts – it’s pretty good!! Experiment and find a brand of kraut that you enjoy.
  6. Use an oil mister – Olive oil is filled with antioxidants for the heart and blood cells; coconut oil is great to ramp up metabolism and lower bad cholesterol; flaxseed oil is filled with omega 3 fatty acids. But the key to oil is moderation. One tablespoon is about 120 calories so a drizzle can really add up. A mister saves on calories. If you don’t own an oil mister, invest in one!
  7. Drink ginger tea –There is a lot of hype around green tea (and it is amazing) but ginger tea is great too! It aids in digestion, helps reduce bloat and works to help those healthy bacteria in your gut. If you’re looking for something to sip post dinner – try ginger tea!
  8. Kick the salt habit for more spices – Most Americans consume too much sodium (mostly through processed food). The average American’s sodium intake is 3400mg, yet the American Heart Association recommends 1500mg. It’s not terrible to add salt to a dish, but why not try experimenting with new spices instead? Spices have so many medicinal qualities (if you haven’t read my blogs on turmeric and cinnamon, check them out here: http://reebokcrossfitbackbay.com/category/nutrition/).
  9. Find an accountability partner – Find a friend or family member who will go through the weight loss, healthier eating, or getting fit(ter) process with you. It’s fun and effective to have someone cheering you on and it’s wonderful to do the same for someone else. Enroll in Gino’s challenge – it’s great when there is a little $$$ at stake and huge bragging rights in the mix!
  10. Eat single ingredient food – Ever wonder what people mean when they say they eat real food?! What the heck is “real” food? It’s just a food that consists of a single ingredient. If you want to be a leaner, healthier person, then the best thing you can do for yourself is eat whole single ingredient foods!

We’d love to see you in our group Nutrition program or for private coaching in 2017. Make this the year that you decide to eat well and feel incredible.

To Your Amazing Health,

Kendra

 * This information should not be seen as medical advice and is not meant to take the place of seeing a licensed health professional. You should discuss any dietary supplement use and should not discontinue any prescription medication without first consulting your doctor.

Thanksgiving

thanksgiving

 

Next week is Thanksgiving! Can you believe it? Let’s talk about how to get a game plan together that will have you feeling proud of yourself. It’s a day of traditions, of giving thanks, and of…well, pigging out. We all know that it’s practically an American tradition to starve yourself until the Thanksgiving meal, overeat, and then spend the rest of the day in a food coma, only to emerge on Friday feeling hung over and noshing on leftovers well into the weekend. But seriously, why would you do that to yourself this year? Break the ‘gorge’ tradition. I’m here to help you be smart this Thanksgiving with strategies that are designed to keep you light on your feet, your belt buckled, and turning down the roll of antacids. No weight gain when you step on the scale on Monday after the four-day holiday weekend? That’s what we want to be thankful for.

 

  1. Please, oh, please…don’t starve yourself all day. If you starve yourself beforehand, chances are very good that you’ll gobble down your food, overeat and feel terrible afterward. Eat a normal breakfast and have a protein snack before you attend the event. Bonus: when you get there: avoid the “bad for you” appetizers (sip water or your favorite beverage) and save yourself for the main event.
  2. Slow Down. It takes 20 minutes for your brain’s satiety (“I’m full”) mechanism to kick in, so while you’re eating, be sure to give your BRAIN time to realize that your STOMACH is full. Eat slowly, put your fork down between bites, and enjoy the food and company!
  3. Move your body before and after the meal. Even though this is Thanksgiving, there is no need to spend the whole day nibbling, then gorging, and then immersed in a food coma. Start the day with a nice workout…go outside for a walk or find a turkey trot and lace up those running shoes. During the meal: eat to 80% fullness (this is key! STOP before you hit the point of “oh god” and belly patting). After the meal, get up and move again. If you didn’t overeat and got some form of exercise that day, you can go for leftovers later – guilt free!
  4. Bring healthy options. Offer to bring a green salad. Try making pureed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes. Make a hearty vegetable soup or a crustless pecan pie. Be creative and make a healthy version of your favorite dish!
  5. Fill Up with Fiber. Fill half your plate with a green salad, steamed vegetables and add a bean dish if there is one– then add your protein. This leaves very little room for mashed potatoes, stuffing, or creamy vegetable dishes. Voila! Calories banished!
  6. Skip the Sauces. Generally speaking, traditional Thanksgiving dishes aren’t that unhealthy, but just remember to skip the extras. What this means: skip the gravy, cream sauces, butter, crust on the pies…. you’ll eliminate loads of extra fat.
  7. Portion Sizes Count. Use your hand to help determine your portion sizes. Don’t know how to do this? You measure food (eyeball) based on your palm and fingers. Need help? Let me know – I can show you!
  8. Egg Nog. Okay, I’ll say it: there’s just no need for eggnog. It’s loaded with calories, saturated fat and sugar. Consider carefully: is that going to be your indulgent pick? Tradition aside, we’re being very picky. Egg nog shouldn’t be in the top three. Not worth it. Or if it is, check the label and see what you’re indulging in. Enough said.
  9. Don’t give in to food pushers. This one makes me crazy. Example: you feel bad saying ‘no’ to your Aunt Cathy who makes homemade desserts every year. I get that you feel guilty saying no, but here’s what you can say: “Oh your homemade pecan pie looks amazing! I’m so full from all the other yummy food. Do you mind if I take a piece home?”
  10. Small Plates / Tall Glasses. Try to eat off the small plates and drink from tall, thin glasses. Most people will eat less food on a small plate and pour less liquid into a tall, thin glass. Hey, we’re going for every trick and tip in the book. Don’t knock any of these tips. You just might emerge the next day with a non-bulging belly…and feeling like you could take on the world!
  11. Accountability Sheets. Seriously, use this tool, even for Thanksgiving, because you’ll feel better after the meal — and you won’t have a food and/or cocktail hangover the next day! Wouldn’t that be amazing? Start a new tradition with your mind and body. Afraid you won’t stick with the Accountability Sheet plan? Share your plan with another like-minded guest who is attending Thanksgiving.

For those of you who want to stay on track and know that having some accountability measures in place will help, feel free to reach out to me and I’ll send you my Holiday Survival guide and Accountability trackers. E-mail me at kendrahepstein@gmail.com or kendraepstein.com.

To Your Amazing Health,

Kendra

* This information should not be seen as medical advice and is not meant to take the place of seeing a licensed health professional. You should discuss any dietary supplement use and should not discontinue any prescription medication without first consulting your doctor.

Go to Top