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Once a Week…An Easy Way to Lose Weight!

via – popsugar.com

Have you ever tried Meal Planning? It’s a GREAT way to control your calories. No more stressing about what to make, no more eating chips and salsa for dinner when you can’t decide, and no more throwing together unhealthy meals just because they’re easy. Read on for some easy tips to get your week going strong!

  • It can save you money: Mindlessly hitting the grocery store and grabbing anything that looks delicious can add up! Since you don’t know what you’ll be in the mood for later that week, you choose a whole slew of things. Chances are, you buy way too much, and many of the foods go bad because you didn’t have a plan for using them. Knowing what you’re eating every day also eliminates the money spent going out to eat. When I plan my meals for the week, I end up saving between $30 to $60
  • Your time is precious: While it seems like it’ll take a lot of time to sit down and figure out a week’s worth of meals, in the end, it’ll save you time. Once you have that first week done, you can pretty much use that week after week, tweaking a few meals here and there to find a plan that works for you. It also eliminates all the wasted time asking your family what they want for dinner at 5 p.m. or staring blankly at an open fridge.

Step 1: Map It Out

  • Go basic: If you’re a meal-planning newbie, just focus on planning out one meal a day, such as dinner, and keep it simple. Now’s not the time to try out seven different dinner recipes using ingredients you have to drive to three different specialty shops to find. Stick to tried-and-true, basic recipes you know and love.
  • Have these on hand: Stock your pantry with healthy staples like whole grains, olive oil, canned beans, boxed tomatoes, broth, spices, and garlic, so you don’t have to worry about buying these every time you shop.
  • Overlap ingredients: Plan out meals that use the same ingredients. If you roast veggies for pasta on Monday, make enough so you can use the leftover veggies in tomorrow’s lunch wrap. Or double recipes so you can pack the leftovers for lunch.
  • Find a method that works for you: Once you start meal planning you’ll never go back to randomly throwing together meals. So make all your hard work each week count. Write out the week’s plan somewhere whether it’s on a blackboard for all to see or in your weekly calendar. Takes photos of each week or write them on index cards or in a meal planning journal so you can look back for dinner ideas or to have an entire week already laid out for you.
  • Keep your schedule and weather in mind: If you know you have a late work meeting, a slow-cooker recipe is probably a better choice than whipping up homemade lasagna. Or if it’s going to be a warm night, grilling might be a better option than turning on your oven.
  • Have recipes on hand: Once you figure out what you want for all seven nights, make sure you have the recipes easily accessible so you can write out your grocery list, and then have them handy later when you’re cooking. Print them out or save paper by bookmarking recipes online. If you need to go to two different stores to get everything you need, write out two different lists to keep yourself organized.

Step 2: Shop

With your trusty lists and shopping bags in hand, carve out an hour or so to go to the grocery store over the weekend. I try to go on Saturdays since Sundays tend to be crowded and understocked. Aim to stick to your list as closely as possible, crossing things off as they go in your cart to make sure you’ve gotten everything on the list from the red peppers to the avocado.

Step 3: Prep

All those delicious ingredients won’t do you any good hiding in bags in the fridge drawers. To ensure your meals happen on the days you planned, take a little time (I prefer Sunday afternoons) to wash, cut, and organize the ingredients. Get large reusable containers, and place all the cut-up ingredients you’ll need in the same container. If you’re making soup or something in the crockpot, you’ll be able to dump it all in the pot, add a few more ingredients, and dinner will be done in no time. Aim to prepare a little something for every night, even if it’s one huge salad that you can divvy up each night to accompany your main entree. Or save time by cooking up the whole grains you’ll need for your stir fry or roasting a chicken you’ll use for a couple recipes later that week. You can also make an enormous batch of soup for dinner, but freeze a bunch to enjoy the following week.

Meal planning may seem like it takes hours and hours, and at first, it might. But keep in mind that all this planning ahead and prepping is well-invested time going into the making of a healthier, happier you. Each week you plan will go by quicker once you get the hang of what works, and it’ll make every meal go that much smoother. No more stressing about what to make, no more eating chips and salsa for dinner when you can’t decide, and no more throwing together unhealthy meals just because they’re easy. It may seem a little crazy to think about eating this way, but give it a try, and you’ll soon be a meal-planning convert.

Image Sources: POPSUGAR Photography / Jenny Sugar and Thumbnail / POPSUGAR Photography / Jae Payne


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AbsoluteFIT with Lydia – Sore Muscles, Happy Heart: Getting Back Again (Again)

via – Lydia M., AbsoluteFIT Blogger

Time off doesn’t mean you can’t come back — and you’ll be so glad you did. 

coming back

Hey, guess what happens when you’re away from AbsoluteFIT for … well, let’s call it four weeks (because first there was the last week of school, with its parties and playdates and precious performances at 9:30 a.m., then two weeks lying inert on a beach, then a week of the kids being so jetlagged you can’t shake them awake in time for Strength and Endurance …)?

You have a … rough couple of workouts, is what. You start trying to lift with your old weights and realize you gotta dial it down a bit, you wonder WTH happened to your abs (you know you used to have muscles there, but they’re not answering your texts), you suffer Marcy’s cackling as you huff and puff and regret some of those mai tais. Heh.

BUT! It’s also pretty great — the endorphins kick in, you chat with your workout buddies, you remember how good it feels to swing a kettlebell, you enjoy the view out the big windows in the beautiful new studio (more on that next week) as you stretch afterward. It’s good to be back, y’all! And remember: No matter how long you’ve been “off,” AbsoluteFIT is built to get you back “on” again.

See you on the second floor!

—Lydia M. 

AVAC® Member Receives National Honor

AVAC® Member Pirjo Polari- Khan has been selected to be the performer of the year by the Finlandia Foundation National. She will be traveling across the United States making presentations in different cities to the local organizations. The Foundation is located in 24 different States.

Although Pirjo is well known for her work as a sculptor, she was chosen for her new book “Etiquette village”; a book of Manners, Wisdom, and Poetry for children. To make her presentation appealing to her young audience, she developed a puppet named “Double U & Double Me.” It is one of the book’s many delightful characters helping to make children of all ages into good citizens of the world.

Read more about Pirjo’s honor here.

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AbsoluteFIT with Lydia: Real-Life AbsoluteFIT Benefits – Aloha Edition!

via – Lydia M., AVAC’s AbsoluteFIT Blogger

Paradise is physically challenging, too, you know … 

hawaii june 2016

I’m back … [sigh] … from the family trip to the Big Island. Two weeks are never enough (except the part where I have to grease up two squirming, protesting children with pasty mineral sunscreen every morning — oi, is that a thankless task!).

But anyway … although most of what I did was sit on the beach, letting the sun warm my cold-blooded lizard-folk body, I was very pleased to note some of the benefits of consistent AbsoluteFIT workouts prior to the vacation:

  1. No fear of the scale. Our condo had a scale in the bathroom, which my kids loved playing on. My daughter was like, “OK mommy, now it’s your turn!” And I didn’t protest or demur — I just walked over there and got on it, knowing the number was going to be in the range of what I want it to be. Ta-da!
  2. Open-water kayaking. I rented a two-person kayak and took each kid out for a turn in the ocean — nearly two hours of paddling through waves, with passengers, and my upper body handled it just fine.
  3. Near-infinite 40-pound overhead presses. My four-year-old’s favorite game this time was called Tiger Chase Race, in which I pursued him through the shallows on foot, caught him in chest-deep water, and lifted him overhead (I am the tiger in this scenario, you see). Again and again and again. And again.
  4. Wave-jumping. We ventured to a less-protected beach this time, and there were actual waves — which we spent hours jumping over, diving under, running from, and bodysurfing on. HOURS, people. Exhausting, but exhilarating, and my legs and core were up to the challenge.

All in all, it was a wonderful vacation, and I was glad to be in good shape to enjoy it. Now, once the kids get over their jet lag and start waking up early enough … I can’t wait to get back into the new AbsoluteFIT studio!

—Lydia M.


16 Easy Diet Tips That Make a Big Difference

via – popsugar.com

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Glen Giffen

  1. Lose the mind-set that foods are off-limits: According to trainers Chris and Heidi Powell, “anytime you deprive yourself of food . . . all you want is what you can’t have!” Take your mind-set away from sacrifice, and allow yourself everything in moderation.
  2. Keep it clean: Replace processed foods with clean (whole and natural) items. Not only are natural options more nutritious, you’ll find that their flavors are more satisfying.
  3. Opt for whole grains: Refined and processed carbs weigh you down and muck up your progress. Fiber-rich whole grains keep hunger at bay, support healthy digestion, and are a crucial part of a long-term weight-loss success.
  4. Greek yogurt is your best friend: Instead of sour cream, dollop this protein-rich yogurt on your burrito bowl. Make it into a creamy pasta sauce that satisfies any Italian cravings. Honestly, is there anything this protein-rich dairy option can’t sub for?
  5. Make your snacks smarter: Instead of a snack that includes just one food group, go for two — even three. The winning combination of protein, fiber, and carbs fuels workouts and keep you full.
  6. Eat (don’t sip) your produce: According to Biggest Loser chef Cheryl Forberg, RD, when you eat a whole piece of fruit with all the fiber intact, your body will release blood sugar slowly, and you’ll stay satisfied for longer. Enjoy the occasional fresh-pressed juice as a treat and learn to eat your produce!
  7. Eat carbs in the morning: Totally eliminating carbs from your life is not a long-term technique for success, but when you eat carbs earlier in the day, you have more time to burn them off, says trainer Bob Harper.
  8. Top your salad right: Croutons and preservative-laden dressings have got to go. Dress your favorite salad in a lighter homemade recipe instead, and pile on the veggies, protein, and produce. If you’re craving crunch, add some nuts instead.
  9. Skip the fryer: Bake, steam, or sauté, but please don’t fry! It packs on the calories and fat and can leave you in a serious food coma.
  10. More spice, less sauce: Sugar- and cream-based sauces cover up the natural flavors of the foods you’re enjoying and add an extra layer of unnecessary calories. Go light and bright with a squeeze of citrus and experiment with fresh herbs.
  11. Seriously, say no to soda: The extra calories and chemicals that come from soda are just not worth it. If you love bubbles, sip sparkling water instead. In the beginning, it will be hard, but if soda is a part of your daily diet, this is 100 percent worth doing.
  12. Always add something green: When it comes to lunch and dinner, always add something green to your plate. Serve spinach with last night’s leftovers or order a salad at your favorite takeout spot. It ups the nutrition of every meal, every time.
  13. Drink your coffee and tea without sugar: Instead of squeezing honey and adding packets of sugar into your morning beverage, keep your blood sugar level by skipping these unnecessary additions.
  14. Cook one serving: If portion control is a problem, cook single-size servings of your favorite foods. Simply divide your favorite recipes accordingly and skip out on temptation.
  15. A little bit of hunger isn’t bad: According to Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, “you should feel mild to moderate hunger three to four times a day at your scheduled mealtimes.” When your hunger returns, it’s a signal from your body that it’s time to refuel!
  16. Leave space for smart indulgences: Plan ahead, and keep your diet extra clean leading up to your special indulgence. It will make the whole experience that much sweeter.