Archive

Monthly Archives: October 2013
17

Living Now Giveaway: Allergy-Friendly Grains & Flours

Alexandra Williams, MA and Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA
Pizza Herb Bread

Pizza Herb Bread

Halloween is here, a day when people like things that are spooky and scary. It’s also the start of one of the best seasons of the year – Baking Season!!!

Yet for some people, baking can be scary, especially those with food allergies. Living Now by NOWFoods to the rescue. In this case, you could be the winner of seven different allergy-friendly products they offer from their Living Now™ line.

Free of the 8 major common allergens including wheat, nuts, soy, dairy, eggs, and fish, the Living Now products have a focus on wholesome, natural, organic ancient grains and flours, all of which are produced in a dedicated, certified gluten-free, allergy-friendly, Kosher facility.

Giveaway

Want to scare up 7 of the products all for yourself? First up, the grains and flours. Aren’t these 5 choices just BOO-tiful? Amaranth, brown rice flour, tapioca flour, white rice flour and quinoa.

Organic Quinoa Grains

Organic Quinoa Grains

Organic Tapioca and Brown Rice Flours

Organic Tapioca and Brown Rice Flours

Organic white Rice Flour

Organic white Rice Flour

Organic Amaranth Grain

Organic Amaranth Grain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next up, the just-released baking mixes. They are so new that we believe this to be the first blog where you can get them!! What beastie wouldn’t want gluten-free Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Mix, or gluten-free Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix?  Even if you have no allergies, you can be a SpookTacular winner because they are tasty all on their own.

Living Now Gluten-Free Choco-Chip Banana Bread Mix

Living Now Gluten-Free Choco-Chip Banana Bread Mix

 

Living Now Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix

Living Now Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix

Just follow the instructions below to win. You must have a U.S. mailing address. Giveaway ends on Thursday, Nov. 07, 2013. Winner will be notified and have 48 hours to respond.

Congratulations to Gail Gedan Spencer, the winner of our Giveaway!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaways are Great. We are also Great at Writing & Speaking:

A) Hire us to speak at your next meeting or conference. Call (805) 403-4338 or email info@funandfit.org.

B) Subscribe to our YouTube channel and blog.

C) Follow us on google +Alexandra and +Kymberly, on Twitter:  AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit.

21

Baking and Cooking in Seattle with Miele

Alexandra Williams, MA

First-Class Treatment from a First-Class Company

Miele Combi-Steam OvenLast week I was one of eight bloggers invited to Seattle to learn about the Miele Combi-Steam Oven. But this was not a “come to a demo of our oven” trip, noooooooo. It was a “let’s treat you as an esteemed visitor to the city and our gallery slash showroom slash demo kitchen slash restaurant” kind of trip.

Indulge me while we start at the start. In January 2013 I was part of the Modenus BlogTour to Cologne. Miele was one of the sponsors, so I learned all about their original steam oven, as well as their super-intelligent coffeemakers. Perhaps when Miele learned I had stowed away inside their booth (they had food, unlimited coffee and wifi), they decided I might be a good candidate for the Seattle junket (come on, who doesn’t want an excuse to say “junket?”). Or perhaps my famous bread-baking skills persuaded them to invite me  (I am taking license with the word “skills”).

Day One with Miele

The TV screen Welcomed me by Name. Gifts from the Hotel and Miele Awaited.

I flew into Sea-Tac airport to find my driver awaiting me. He drove me to the luxury Hotel 1000. Note the word “luxury” there. It permeated the weekend. We met up as a group for dinner at Altura Italian restaurant in Capitol Hill. We had our own menu, plus a few surprises, including the chef’s gift of squash panna cotta with black truffle and popcorn. We toasted to Miele with both red and white wine!!

A menu made just for Miele Seattle. And they added extras, including truffles & a blood orange, cardamon & apple palate cleanser

A menu made just for Miele Seattle. And they added extras, including truffles & a blood orange, cardamon & apple palate cleanser

Day Two with Miele

Color, color, everywhere

Color, color, everywhere

Yes, they really do throw the fish! And that is peanut butter encrusted ham.

Yes, they really do throw the fish! And that is peanut butter encrusted ham.

The day started with a behind the scenes tour of Pike Place Market with Savor Seattle. Our tour guide Brett had even worse puns than I do, so I adopted him. Pastry chef Dianne of Dianne’s Delights joined us, and later taught us how to make jam-filled pastry tarts! Yup, our very own pastry chef. We got to taste test all kinds of delicious Market items, from salmon to donuts to coconut lime balsamic vinegar to cheese to cabernet pepper jelly to, to, to, Infinity and Beyond!! And even though I don’t eat meat, a special shout-out goes to BB Ranch, where owner Bill has gone to great lengths to use every single part of the animal in a way that takes care of the land and animals (humans included).

Fresh Water all Lined Up

Fresh Water all Lined Up

The Combi-Steam Oven Belongs to Whomever Last Touched It

The Combi-Steam Oven Belongs to Whomever Last Touched It

The Main Miele Event took place in the afternoon and evening. The pictures tell the story of the roasting and baking we all did, including my stint rolling out dough when they asked for someone with muscles!!

Roll It & Make It &  Bake it with Some Jam!

Roll It & Make It &
Bake it with Some Jam!

What the pictures don’t tell you is how I broke up with my former boyfriend the Miele Steam Oven once I had this first date with the Combi-Oven. As a bread baker, I went ga-ga (drool included) over the steam and convection combination that makes it possible to cut two-thirds of the proofing time off. We didn’t make bread though; we made galettes, and the crust was perfect – crisp, flaky, golden-brown and melt-in-the-mouth delicious. Okay, Team Galette Girls (my team of three) made the crust, so I might be biased. And we actually had to do some troubleshooting after overwatering our dough, but the combi-steam oven fixed our almost-mistake.

The Galette Girls

The Galette Girls

For people like my sister, this “Immer Besser” oven is “Always Better” (Miele’s slogan), because she is not a cook, and the oven knows that. It is Immer Smarter, so has over 100 automated programs, plus five specialty gourmet programs for turkey, chicken, baby back ribs, salmon and beef tenderloin. If you can work a smartphone, you can follow control panel instructions. Miele cleverly hides something behind the control panel. Can you guess what it is?

We made the chicken, ribs and salmon, as well as two different types of galette, pumpkin pot de crème, roasted fingerling potatoes with carrots, and cookies. This was all after we made the jam tarts. To fortify ourselves for the excruciating chore of cooking all this deliciousness, we drank German coffees all day. A few of the bloggers had wine and champagne too, but I am sworn to secrecy (they posted a lot of pictures on Instagram, in other words).

Top Quality From German firm Miele. I thought they said, "Choose a vacuum on the way out." They Didn't.

Top Quality From German firm Miele. I thought they said, “Choose a vacuum on the way out.” They Didn’t.

When dinner was over, someone else did the dishes (say, does that feature come with the combi-oven?), then we sort of rolled ourselves into the shuttle van for the ride back to the hotel. On the way out I tried to stuff a dishwasher and orange vacuum into my bag, but it didn’t work. I need a bigger bag! Oh, to demonstrate how quiet their dishwashers are, one of the Miele team members put her phone into the machine. Even though she had music playing on Loud, we heard nothing once the door was shut. I volunteered to put my boys into the machine.

Day Three with Miele

The public relations specialist for Miele invited us to breakfast. I ordered oatmeal. Please don’t hate me because I love oatmeal. It got me all fortified up for the walking and shopping I did before my flight home. And even though all my flights both to and from Seattle were delayed (hey, Miele, next time can you invent a fog-lifter machine?), I was cheery. Skipping and hopping were involved! Why? Because who wouldn’t be grateful for such an adventure with Miele? I got to visit a city I love, make new friends, and learn more about a quality product that I’ve loved since I lived in Berlin in the cough cough 1980s.

A decaf macchiato toast to the public relations team at White Good!! They recognize the value of hard-working ethical bloggers, and went way beyond the expected to make this a truly first-class experience that exemplified the “Immer Besser” Miele slogan.

A perfect decaf Miele Macchiato

A perfect decaf Miele Macchiato

Need some bread baked? Or just some all-around great info?

A) Hire us to speak at your next meeting or conference. Call (805) 403-4338 or email info@funandfit.org.

B) Subscribe to our YouTube channel and blog.

C) Follow us on google +Alexandra and +Kymberly, on Twitter:  AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit.

Photo credits: All were taken by Alexandra’s magical skill-improving phone. And I was not paid to write this post. All opinions are my own. Miele did cover all my expenses in a very generous fashion, yet did not ask for anything in return. They are fully aware of my undying love for their high-quality products. Besides, I like to say, “Immer Besser.” It just sounds cool. 

12

Why Do You Exercise? Is Looking Good Enough?

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA

FitBlogLA name tag

This personalized Meet and Tweet Greet was Sweet!

“The ultimate goal of working out is to be happy and healthy.” So opened fitness celebrity, Tony Horton of P90X fame at the FitBlogLA Meet and Tweet event I just attended courtesy of Fitness Magazine.

When Tony followed up that comment by reminding us that “one size exercise program does not fit all,” I started to trust his message a bit more. Known worldwide for his high intensity, high impact, high energy exercise programs, Tony was the last person I expected to advocate for moderation, caution, and mental flexibility. Yet here he was spreading the word that “our goal as fitness professionals and (healthy living) bloggers is to get more people into the movement game” while getting our ego out. He admitted up front that his program, or ANY high intensity workout is right for some, but not all. As baby boomers, we might want to go all out, but if our joints don’t agree, then we’re wise to modify. I, for one, am neither happy nor healthy when I push too hard and increase my knee pain. Sure, I love the benefits intense workouts offer, but not if I suffer long term.

Stick with me as I share a few more quotes and key comments from Tony’s talk on “The New Way to Work Out” that may elevate your happiness and healthiness levels! (For more on the effect your reasons for working out matter so much, also read our post Why You Want to Lose Weight Affects Your Success.

Why Do You Work Out?

Kymberly at FitBlogLA pool

Being strong enough to wear new outfits makes me happy!

What gets you into the movement game? Why do you exercise? If you are like most people I have taught and met in fitness classes over the last 34 years on 4 continents and online, you work out to … wait for it … wait for it… look better. You may also want to feel better, to live longer, to think more cogently — or reap a zillion other benefits that movement offers. But looking better continues to pop up as reason numero uno. If we ask ourselves why we want to look better, what lies beyond? To do what? To be what? To get what? I think Tony nailed it that we really seek a level of happiness. Oh Yes, I firmly believe active people are happier people.

What Scary Activity Will You Try?

Snowboarding in Lake tahoe

Not Yet Going Scary Fast

“Do scary things that won’t kill you,” challenged Tony, himself a baby boomer. What physical activity have you thought about doing that scares you a bit? For me, it was learning to snowboard. Going downhill fast still scares me. Doing plyo jump squats scares my knee into “cap” – tivity. Get it? Ha ah aha My sense of humor scares others, but not me.

Do You Prioritize Skill Over Number, Amount, Duration, Speed, Flash and Flair?

“Focus on getting better as opposed to going through the motions.” Tony’s emphasis on form and technique over pushing hard and damn the torpedoes was a welcome message I hope you take to heart. And to the gym. Doing more bad reps does not give you better results. Better form gets you to your happy place. In fact, your body will change when you focus on skill. Well, your body will change regardless (thanks again menopause!), but we’re talking changing for the better with mindful movement.

Remember the mantra from our post, Reducing Obesity — What Does and Doesn’t Work: Move More: Sit Less and you will be on your way to more happiness. Don’t Worry; Be Happy (Thanks Bobby McFerrin for getting that tune stuck in our heads).  Feel free to leave answers to the questions in our post down in the comment section.

Got an event that could use a twin pack of movement and great fitness info?

A) Hire us to speak at your next meeting or conference. Call (805) 403-4338 or email info@funandfit.org.

B) Subscribe to our YouTube channel and blog.

C) Follow us on google +Alexandra and +Kymberly, on Twitter:  AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit.

 

26

Reducing Obesity – What Does and Doesn’t Work

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA

Pass the Expensive Fat Please

Alexandra at strawberry fields

Sleeping Beauty in her Field of Lean Dreams

Many want to lose weight, yet few manage to reduce fat despite billions of dollars and years of dedicated effort. What is it about eating healthy foods and working out that proves so elusive and off-putting? Unless you’ve been in a Sleeping Beauty coma, you know that obesity has skyrocketed in the last 30 years. Simultaneously, sedentary behavior has plopped itself into a deep couch into which we are sinking deeper and deeper. Pass the remote will ya’?

As Dr James Hill, Executive Director of the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center, author of State of Slim, and leading world authority on obesity bluntly tells us “our lifestyles are killing us. Selling deprivation has not been successful.” Let’s face it; who wants to embark on a journey of calorie deprivation and lifelong struggles against temptation to keep fat at bay? Many launch; some arrive; few stay at the new destination. If you are on a weight loss or weight maintenance journey, we have news for you and you and you.

What Has Not Worked Yet

James Hill, PhD

Dr. Jim Hill = State of Grin

Dr. Hill and his colleagues point to three decades of what does NOT work to lose and keep off excess weight:

  • restricting calories. Did you fully ingest that tidbit?!! Calorie restriction DOES NOT WORK. Excuse the yelling but this is kind of big.
  • taking entire food categories off your “ok to eat” list. (Such as no more sugars or no more fats)
  • depending on willpower
  • being told to work out intensely and often to achieve exercise benefits
  • thinking that “eat less; exercise more” will work (surprised by this one? So were we. Keep reading Also click this link to our post on step one for losing weight).
Inflamed Foot

From Fat to Foot to Fit

What Does Work (Dare Us to Prove It!)

After attending sessions at the recent FitSocial conference  keynoted by Dr. Hill, we want to share with you strategies he has proven WILL work.  These strategies are evidence-based, peer-reviewed, and thoroughly researched. No gimmicks, no quick buck to make: no random anecdotes.  If you go through the suggestions quickly they seem usual and obvious. If you put them into a context you notice they have twists to former “truths.”

  • Move More; Sit Less  – Replace “Eat Less; Exercise More” with this revised mantra;
  • Match your diet to your exercise habits (not in the sense that being inactive matches eating cheese fries with gravy on them);  Ewwwwww
    Products from NPEW

    Loads of Healthy Choices to Make Automatically

  • Eat a high performance diet (for details on what this really means read the recently released book, State of Slim;
  • Strive for physical and cardiorespiratory fitness;
  • When moving, make decisions in this order: Aim first for Amount of movement; Next for Type of activity; then for Intensity of exercise level. (Again, this surprised us as other research suggests looking first at high intensity exercise to burn fat or lose weight. Dr. Hill and his colleagues were very clear – if your goal is to KEEP weight off, then the order of Amount, Type, Intensity is most efficacious. ATI people!
  • Use multisyllabic words such as “efficacious.”  Ok, I made this one up to check who’s paying attention.
  • Make healthy decisions automatic. As the day progresses, willpower diminishes. Like a muscle, willpower fatigues with a lot of use. Decisions require willpower. So reduce the need to make healthy decisions by setting yourself on autopilot for adding in movement and foods that fuel you.

Did you catch our post on ways to successfully make permanent lifestyle changes? If nothing else, remember this young grasshoppers (and fellow baby boomers!): Willingness, NOT Willpower is the Key!

Got an event that could use a twin pack of movement and great fitness info?

A) Hire us to speak at your next meeting or conference. Call (805) 403-4338 or email info@funandfit.org.

B) Subscribe to our YouTube channel and blog.

C) Follow us on google +Alexandra and +Kymberly, on Twitter:  AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit.

18

Walking for a Cause

Alexandra Williams, MA

Walking is great exercise. It helps keep you healthy, gets you out in the fresh air and is a wonderful way to relax. It’s also a fabulous way to raise money for your favorite charity.

IMG_4701

Bought glow shoes for one son; Skechers gave me a pair of running shoes for my other son. Grateful!

Two walking-related items are near and dear to my heart, and I hope you’ll consider both.

SKECHERS Pier to Pier Friendship Walk

First up is the October 27 SKECHERS Pier to Pier Friendship Walk. Based in Manhattan and Hermosa Beach in Southern California, the walk raises money to support children with special needs, as well education in the South Bay (the area of L.A. County that includes the two beach towns).

This is a triple-hitter for me – I was raised in Hermosa Beach, I have a child with special needs, and I love to walk. After attending the blogger press conference about the walk, I was totally hooked. According to Jill Jensen, the manager of Events & Outreach for SKECHERS Foundation, over 10,000 people are expected at this year’s event. That’s impressive for a fundraiser in only its fifth year. In 2009, the inaugural year, 1,712 walkers raised $220,000. This year the goal is $1 million.

I will be part of the Fresh Brothers Pizza team. I met the owner at the press conference and was so impressed by her generosity to kids that I’m now a customer for life. I also met the director of the Friendship Circle of the South Bay, Jason Flentye, and was moved to tears by what they do. Knowing that special needs kids already have lots of institutional support (IEPs, OT, PT – you will know these abbreviations if you hang around with special needs kids – speech therapy, medical, mobility therapy, vision), Friendship Circle focuses on what the kids themselves want – friendships. They match up volunteer typical students with special needs students, with an emphasis on fun. I can say (almost without crying) that my kid lacks friends. He has lots of people who are nice to him, yet no-one who invites him to anything. Not since 5th grade. He’s now in 11th. It’s possible that I care about this more than he does, as he’s quite a happy guy. So, yeah, I REALLY like what Friendship Circle offers.

After the press conference, I walked the Pier to Pier route – literally, it goes from the Manhattan Beach pier to the Hermosa pier- just to get pics to share with you all. And to revisit my childhood town, as I only rarely go there.

Manhattan Pier View from MB Pier to HB Pier Welcome to Hermosa Beach IMG_4677 22nd Street beach in Hermosa Manhattan Beach Pier w/ sun

I hope you’ll be moved by the mission (or the beach pictures) to join me on Sunday the 27th. Some walkers are even coming from as far as New York, so you have no reason not to join in! It’s only $25 ($30 day of) to register. Or you can donate to my team. I want to send my son to one of their camps next summer, and if you donate they might just have enough money to include him.

Charity Miles

Love the Charity Miles logo!

Love the Charity Miles logo!

The other walking-related item I want to mention is the Charity Miles app. I’ve used this app for quite a while and recommend it. Super easy – you download it FOR FREE. When you walk, you designate one of their many charities as the “recipient” of your walk miles FOR FREE. The founders and their sponsors then pay money to the charity you chose, based on the total mileage. Get it? You pay nothing; you walk and get fit; a charity gets money thanks to you. How can you resist? Oh, you can also run or bike, but I think running is evil unless it’s a soccer game, and my bike has cobwebs because we live on a mountain with nowhere safe to ride.

I hope you download and use it.

What are your favorite charitable events?

I was not paid anything to tell you about either of these laudable walking items. SKECHERS gave me a free pair of shoes to thank me for coming to the press conference. I paid to register for the walk with my very own plastic credit card.

A) Subscribe to our YouTube channel and blog.

B) Follow us on google +Alexandra and +Kymberly, on Twitter:  AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit.

C) Hire us to speak at your next meeting or conference. Call (805) 403-4338 or email info@funandfit.org.

27

Stress, Relaxation, Bread & Exercise

Alexandra Williams, MA
Politicians Know How to Create Stress

Politicians Know How to Create Stress

With the looming government shutdown and sequester sending the nation into a tailspin, it’s no surprise our collective stress levels are way up! Not good. High stress = faster aging + weight gain.

Reduce Stress – Relax

While we can write to our elected representatives (and click Like on Facebook political posts that match our positions), it’s also smart to find ways to reduce stress. It’s not physiologically possible to be stressed and relaxed simultaneously, so finding ways to relax can decrease our anxiety AND make us younger! Just a few short weeks ago, a study was released in The Lancet Oncology that found that eating a plant-based diet, moderate exercise and reducing stress might help reverse the aging process on a cellular level. Is that cool or what??!!

Gratuitous “Relax” video from Frankie Goes to Hollywood. It came out (haha, get the double entendre there?) in 1983, the same year I started teaching aerobics in Berlin.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyl5DlrsU90[/youtube] Although I love to read, I know myself well enough to realize that reading in the day also makes me feel guilty. I need to be DOING, not BEING in order to feel relaxed. Exercise is my job and my passion, so I definitely use exercise as a way to decrease stress. Yet my non-exercise relaxation, creative technique is to bake, especially bread. Sourdough, sweet, European, sandwich, herbed, whole wheat, baguettes – I love it all.

Bread Baking Class

I’ll let you decide if these pictures show how enjoyable it is to make bread. They are from a class I took at Le Pain Quotidien a few weeks ago as a special invited guest.

IMG_4592

IMG_4593 IMG_4596 IMG_4597 IMG_4598 IMG_4599 IMG_4601 IMG_4602

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We made baguettes, epi de blé, dinner rolls and whole wheat hazelnut raisin bread, plus they sent us home with rising dough. Sadly, I left mine in the car overnight and it rose so splendidly that it exploded all over the back seat. Instead of Epi de blé I had Epic de Boom!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even with my years of baking, including my confidence using sourdough, I got a lot from the Ten Tips for Bread Baking they sent home with me. Every time I read the news about the political mess in D.C., I head to the kitchen for some baking therapy. Today it’s Sourdough Pizza Herb. Luckily for me, baking bread is how I relax, not eating bread, though I do love fresh bread.

Sourdough Pizza Herb Bread

Sourdough Pizza Herb Bread

With the October 17 deadline really close for the Treasury to run out of money to pay our nation’s debts, I think I’ll have to double my exercise and baking efforts, as I feel my stress levels rising.

What about you? How do you reduce stress?

 

 

 

Photo credits: Politicians:  Ephemeral Scraps via CreativeCommons.org. All others: Alexandra

 

A) Subscribe to our YouTube channel and blog.

B) Follow us on google +Alexandra and +Kymberly, on Twitter:  AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit.

C) Hire us to speak at your next meeting or conference. Call (805) 403-4338 or email info@funandfit.org.

D) Come on over for some delicious bread!

26

5 Steps to Create Permanent Lifestyle Change

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Dreamgirls

I Am Changing

Are you looking to lose weight? Eat more healthfully? Enjoy a more active life? Replace a bad health habit with a good one? Then you are in one of the 5 Stages of Change people must go through to improve their lives. Which one? And will knowing your stage help you succeed with your desired change?

Change is Scary

Kymberly: “Change is not simple; it is scary.” Anschutz Medical Center faculty member and licensed psychologist, Denise McGuire, PhD laid this on us at the recent FitSocial conference. Her presentation on making lifestyle changes covered the phases we pass through to meet our new goals.

Willingness, Not Willpower is Key

According to Dr. McGuire, one of the mistakes we make is thinking we can change something once, then be done. For example, long term diets don’t work for 95% of people who try them. Yet it is a myth that people don’t or can’t really change. They can–YOU can!–if you know what stage of change you are in and adjust accordingly. Willpower alone is not sufficient. Willingness, not willpower is key. To change, you need to be willing to go outside your comfort zone. And that can be scary!

Power Up, Pac-Men & Women!

Power Up, Pac-Men & Women!

Alexandra: We aren’t fans of attributing lack of success to willpower, which has a sense of fighting against yourself and leads to self-recrimination. It has a negative feel to it. It’s far more empowering to either be willing or unwilling to do a behavior that leads to change. In other words, you didn’t LOSE a battle so much as you CHOSE something else instead. So Power Up! (lovers of video games will recognize this phrase as a way to instantly gain benefits and abilities).

Kymberly: Unfortunately, fewer than 20% of people in problem populations are ready for change. (What do you define as a “problem” population? The obese? Smokers? Sedentary individuals? Dr. McGuire implied all of the former, but did not really cover this so you can decide whether you consider yourself in a problem population). Are you in that 20% elite ready to improve your life?

5 Stages of Change

1) Precontemplation

People in this initial stage are resistant to change; they deny they have a problem believing they need to change those around them.  Precontemplators can be demoralized and feel their situation is hopeless; they are defensive and rarely take responsibility for their behaviors.

This stage is a relatively safe place to be as there is no risk of failure. It’s a comfort zone though not a healthy one!

Alexandra contemplating in Thailand

Thinking, thinking, contemplating, thinking….time for a nap

2) Contemplation

Progress! People in this phase accept that they, not others are the ones needing to make a change. However they are still not ready to take action.

3) Preparation

If you are in this phase, you plan to take action within the month. You are aware of your problem, have increasing confidence in your ability to tackle it; have gathered the necessary information and want to take action, but are not quite ready. Almost though!

4) Action

While you might consider this the easy phase, Dr. McGuire revealed that the Action stage requires the greatest amount of commitment, support, and energy. To succeed you must engage in self-talk to bolster your resolve; you need to be clear about your motivation; and you will do well to write down your reasons for change and read your notes daily.

Keep in mind that the Action stage does NOT mean you are continually moving forward; you will go back sometimes, then forward. But you WILL get to your goal. Think of it as walking against waves: slow going with resistance, yet you eventually DO get to smoother waters (aka it becomes a habit). Be prepared — people in the Action phase usually need 4-5 attempts before progressing to the fifth and final stage.

5) Maintenance

This phase lasts anywhere from 6 months to life, and is where new habits are formed. To stop yourself from moving back to an earlier stage consider these 5 tips from Dr. McGuire:

  • be clear about your motivation (how does this new habit improve your life?)
  • tackle just one issue at a time
  • get support
  • track your progress
  • learn from setbacks
Five Stages of Change with an extra for good luck

Five Stages of Change with You Accounted For

Alexandra: The Maintenance Phase is also an important stage to work on the words you use to describe yourself and your actions. For example, “relapse” has a more negative feel to it than “setback.” Which word sounds more successful to you? Another way to frame your behavior in this stage is to focus on the work you’ve done and the progress you’ve made.

While you’re at it, throw away the word “failure.” That’s a word to apply to hard drives and car brakes, not humans. People do not go in a straight line: Success ——>  Failure; people go in labyrinths, circles and winding paths. As Gandalf wrote in his letter to the Hobbits, “Not all those who wander are lost.” Then his pen ran out of ink just as he was going to write, “And not all those who wander off the path are doomed.”

 Be undoomed and make a new good habit when you:

A) subscribe to our YouTube channel and blog.

B) Follow us on google +Alexandra and +Kymberly, on Twitter:  AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit.

C) Hire us to speak at your next meeting or conference. Call (805) 403-4338 or email info@funandfit.org.

Photo Credits:

5 Stages of Change Pie Chart  http://www.readytoexercise.com/stages.html

14

Six Amazing (and Possibly Gross) Health Future Trends

Alexandra Williams, MA and Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA
Do NOT sit for too long!

Do NOT sit for too long!

What do baldness, wrinkles, cellulite, shyness, muffin top all have in common? They are all normal conditions, not diseases that need to be “cured.” So opened Carol Torgan, PhD, FACSM, in her recent presentation “Communication of Evidence-Based Health and Wellness Information” at the recent FitSocial Conference.

A potentially intimidating title, yet we knew to expect an informative lecture from a woman who’s spent over 15 years at the National Institutes of Health and American College of Sports Medicine “developing content and outreach strategies that translate the health and medical sciences into understandable and actionable steps for the general public and for health professionals.”

Essentially, Dr. Torgan’s talk boiled down to six predicted health trends, starting with the one that might gross you out the most:

Ready for your Fecal Transplant?

Ready for your Fecal Transplant?

1. Microbiomes

A community of organisms that live in and on us – bacteria, fungi, protozoa, viruses -icky, slimy, ewwwy! One – three percent of our body is not “us” but the above organisms. These bacteria/ microbiomes influence how we metabolize foods. In other words, look for the link between probiotics, colitis and poop! Heck, Dr. Torgan even references fecal transplants. In his piece for the New York Times, Michael Pollan discusses microbiomes and states that we are all actually only 10% “human.”

2. Inactivity Physiology

“Your next posture is your best posture.” Sitting too much is not the same as exercising too little. You can exercise strenuously for an hour, but if you sit for the rest of the day, you are at risk for all kinds of health issues, including weight gain. So if you’re sitting up perfectly straight in a chair, get up and move.

3. Travel and Its Effects on the Body

Keep an eye on research into circadian rhythms and chronobiology (the scientific study of the effect of time on living systems and of biological rhythms). With millions of Americans spending millions of dollars on antidepressant medication, research into light therapy and its effectiveness on depression, sleep disorders, dementia, bulimia, bipolar disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is expanding.

4. Crowdsourcing

Now that we are linked in globally, look for an expansion of people helping people by sharing and curating strategies and successes. A perfect example of crowdsourcing with health benefits is the National Weight Control Registry started by keynote speaker Dr. James Hill. The registry “was developed to identify and investigate the characteristics of individuals who have succeeded at long-term weight loss.”
It tracks over 10,000 people who have “lost significant amounts of weight and kept it off for long periods of time.” The information is then shared in an effort to help people want to access these successful strategies. And this is a perfect time to mention that Dr. Hill wrote the just-released “State of Slim,” which gives step-by-step instructions for losing weight and keeping it off!

Forget tidy whities; time for Carbon Undies

Forget tidy whities; time for Carbon Undies

5. E-textiles

We are already weaving trackers and feedback tools into our clothing, it’s just so gradual that we don’t notice how “futuristic” this is. And more is coming! How about carbon sensing underwear? Yup. These sensing, sensible undies will be useful for everything from diabetes monitoring to military applications. We already have monitors, trackers, cameras, timers and all kinds of magical gadgets that were the stuff of Bond films 30 years ago; now these devices will move even closer to your center of gravity (more accurate than wrist worn gadgets). Remember Andy Serkis using the performance capture suit as Gollum in LOTR? Are you ready to wear a fitness top that has front, back and side sensors that correct your movement patterns?
Check out Carol’s Pinterest board on wearable tech.

6. Neuroscience and Neuroplasticity

Brain science as it relates to movement is huge right now, and the research just keeps coming. To improve cognitive skills and brain power as we age we have to move. You move; you get smarter! Move to the head of the class! We’ve been touting this research for a few years now, knowing that Boomers in particular want to stay mentally sharp.

We’ve gathered a few tweets from Dr. Torgan’s talk, because you will like these 140 character bits of wisdom!

Dr. Carol Torgan is the new BFF of the F&F Twins!

Dr. Carol Torgan is the new BFF of the F&F Twins!

* When offering stats or science, go (or link) to the original source
* “Which fitness tracker do you recommend?” – “The one you will use”
* The most common weight loss tracking device is not an app; it’s the “jeans in the back of the closet that someday I’ll fit into again” tracker
* The most effective treatment for anxiety and insomnia is exercise (via sufferer self-report)
* An abstract presented at a conference is NOT the same as a published, peer-reviewed article
* More than half of internet users are looking online for exercise, health & fitness info.

 

What trend is most interesting to you?

Kymberly is wearing a very cute Lorna Jane blue pullover and shoes by Ahnu.

Photo credits: Carbon clothing- Carol Torgan; Pooped People –  x-ray delta one; Prolonged sitting – iamdogsmom

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C) Hire us to speak at your next meeting or conference. Call (805) 403-4338 or email info@funandfit.org.

17

Why You Want to Lose Weight Affects Your Success

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA

Released in 2013 State of SlimIs your current weight helping or standing in the way of you realizing your goals and dreams? Drs. James Hill and Holly Wyatt pose this question in their new book, State of Slim. In fact, they go so far as to list finding your life purpose as the starting point for a weight loss journey. Heavy stuff for a book about moving away from heavy. Do ask yourself, what would your life be like if you were to lose weight, eat healthfully, and exercise regularly?

Who Wants to Live in the State of Slim?

Why am I excited about State of Slim and the authors’ advice for permanent weight loss when I have poo-poohed or ignored so many others of its ilk? (Did I really just say “ilk?” Go me!) First, I had the fun and fortune to meet Dr. Hill and Dr. Wyatt in person when I attended last year’s FitSocial conference at the brand new, jaw dropping Anschutz Health and Wellness Center where they were both presenters. Second, I just got back from this year’s FitSocial event where Dr. Hill served as keynote speaker on the subject for which he is the leading world authority: Obesity.

Fun and Fit speak at FitSocial

Look closely, See the celeb dust Dr Hill sprinkles on us as we speak after him?

It Doesn’t Take a Rocket Scientist to Tell Us What Does NOT Work (It Does Take These Scientist Authors Though)

When high-level researchers and academics bring evidence-based, hot off the treadmills, cutting edge info direct to fitness bloggers like me, I get a nerdy, intellectual groupie thaaang goin’ on. If you have weight loss goals, then take my advice to take Dr. Hill’s advice. For one, he and Dr. Wyatt focus minimally on what causes our nation’s obesity. (Though, believe me, they have years of data to list how we got into fat trouble). Instead they put their efforts towards what actually works for successful weight losers. Or more importantly — weight loss sustainers.

Step One Has a Distinct Purpose You Can Begin with TODAY

Depending whether you are in weight loss or weight maintenance mode, you have specific, clear steps to take. And those steps are backed up with a lot more than a gimmick or celebrity testimonial. Their extensive research reveals that Step One is to answer these questions:

  1. What is your primary, driving, motivation for wanting a healthier body and life?
  2. How does this connect to your life purpose?

Write down a few motivators or key desires now. Or share in the comments below. Feel free to overshare even! Make your list as long, short, ungrammatically incorrect as you like, but do some self-reflection to come up with your “whys.” You will have times when an oversized portion of yummy deliciousness beckons like Precious in Lord of the Rings. My precious. My precious. (Ok, kind of creepy if you think about it.) Or the warmth of your snuggly blankets feels sooo much better than springing up to work out early. In snow. Or dark, Or uphill. Both ways. You need to invoke your purpose motivator mojo if you want to join the ranks of successful losers.

As Dr. Denise McGuire reinforced in her talk at FitSocial 2013 on Making Lifestyle Changes, “Be clear about your motivation if you want to make a life change. 95% of diets don’t work long term. And fewer than 20% of the people in a problem population are truly ready for change.” If you are wanting a healthier, happier, leaner body for life, you need to have reasons that are meaningful and powerful for YOU.

Dr Hil and his book, State of Slim with Kymberly

Not overdoing the groupie thing at all

What’s the Hardest Thing About Weight Loss?

Don’t fret about whether your reasons are internally motivated — you want to explore the world when you retire — or externally driven — you want to look HAWT in your new travel outfit. No worries either if your purpose or whys shift over time. The point is to start with whatever gets and keeps you going now. You can revise your purpose as you go if needed. As Dr. Hill pointed out in his talk, the single greatest challenge to keeping lost weight off is staying motivated. Losing weight is hard. Keeping it off is harder. Even harder yet is being obese or overweight.

 

Signed copy of State of Slim

Key part is sentence 3: “Dear Kymberly, You are the best. Jim Hill” Signed with minimal coercion.

Wondering about Steps 2-4? Then either get State of Slim or subscribe to our site as we will be bringing you the highlights from FitSocial and the juicy (water based, low sugar, non GMO juice) totally fresh and accurate info about fat, weight loss, future trends in health, and more. You will be surprised at some of what’s to come. I was and I have been a fitness pro more than 30 years!

Kymberly is showing proper respect for Dr. HIll and her blue Lorna Jane Activewear top!

Be one of the first to know the latest:

A) subscribe to our YouTube channel and blog.

B) Follow us on google +Alexandra and +Kymberly, on Twitter:  AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit.

C) Hire us to speak at your next meeting or conference. Call (805) 403-4338 or email info@funandfit.org.