11/11/11. Chances are you are someone you may know is attending a wedding today. I don’t judge, but my guess is the reason they chose this was due to the numerological superstitious luck that they believe will be magically transferred into their marriage forever on this day. Cute?!?!
I’m not here to preach my personal thoughts on traditions, but I will serve you with some different ways to amp up your life today through exercise and food.
Ever had a food or exercise plateau? You stand on the treadmill performing the same plodding you do every day. Yeah, you may break a sweat but you’re not noticing any further changes in your body. Or…in the kitchen, you make 20 grilled chicken breasts on Sunday, and by Tuesday night you’re thinking “Damn it, I just want a BIG MAC!”? It happens to all of us. Today push the negativity aside and help yourself to a heaping plate of positivity.
We are running down those plateaus and back up the mountains again with the following 11 simple ways to adjust your exercise/food regiment:
1. Grab a best buddy to pull you through your workout. I find this is the easiest, most efficient way to add interest to a workout. You can laugh, run, and crunch together! Acting as motivation for both of you will not only strengthen your workout, but your friendship as well!
2. Have dinner AND dessert. Just because you are “watching your weight” does not mean dessert is a sworn off “NO”. I am here to let you in on a huge secret: regardless to what every diet plan out there says, having a small dessert every night will not pack on the lbs. Make sure it’s smaller than your fist and no bigger than your dinner.
3. Add YMCMB to your itunes. Do I really need to address this? Young Money, Cash Money, the whole Lil Wayne dynasty…if you are not accustomed to a workout with motivational lyrics such as “Safe sex is great sex. Better use a latex, ’cause you don’t want that late text, that ‘I think I’m late’ text.”, now is the time to become familiar.
4. Picnic. Food is a sensory experience and oftentimes we take it for granted. I advise you to pack a Jack and Jill picnic basket and enjoy your food elsewhere besides a restaurant or the home. Bonus: it’s romantic!
4. 20. 20. 20. (R.L.S- Run. Lift. Stretch.- your Jersey Shore withdrawal fulfilled) There’s a new choppy style of working out which keeps your muscles on their toes and your mind guessing what’s next? No room for boredom with this type of workout. Basically, 20 minutes would be done of cardio- (i.e.-treadmill, elliptical, running up the office steps)- 20 minutes of strength training (i.e.- weights, resistance bands, picking up your kids and putting them down again)- 20 minutes of stretching (i.e.- yoga, pilates, tai chi) This is excellent for those of you who would rather be doing anything than exercise. 5. Create a food cornucopia in July. Similar to Christmas in July, this will promote food and friend bonding. Basically, create a Thanksgiving feast in the middle of July. Go all out if you want- shut the blinds, dress in warm sweaters, and make sure not to forget the cranberry sauce!
6. Follow My Lead. Try a dance class. Many times people believe in the old fashioned notion of working out which means the use of machines and or weights until their near exhaustion. You can now laugh at those old thoughts because dancing actually burns more calories than 20-40 minutes on a cardio machine combined! My favorite part of this is you don’t need a fancy, expensive gym membership to dance. (i.e.- Zumba, hip hop classes, dance clubs)
7. Volunteer at a soup kitchen. If you are really in the dumps about your relationship with food, visit or volunteer at a soup kitchen. It’s an eye-opening experience that will never allow you to take advantage of the food you do luckily have in front of you every day. Suddenly, that homemade chicken dinner doesn’t look so bad!
8. Put on your virtual simulator. Pretend you are running a 5k or even a marathon and the person next to you on the treadmill is your competitor. They won’t have a clue and then secretly under exasperated breath you can exclaim, “I won!” at the end. Makes working out that much more rewardingly sexy.
9. Girls Night In/Guys Night. When food isn’t impressing you, it shows. Have a “Girls Night” theme with cute martinis, appetitzers, and desserts. Skip the entree and make sure the appetizers contain enough protein to keep you full during all those cheesy bad romantic comedies. Wallet and waist-friendly! A must: popcorn with caramel chocolate drizzle! For guys: replace all that I said with football, poker, and beer.
10. Grab your furry friends and head outside! Being that I live in the wicked Northeast, weather here is usually less than favorable. These days it feels like Seattle. So whenever there is an optimal warm, sunshine-y, day, I hit the ground running (outside, of course). If you have a leashed pet, this is a great form of exercise for the both of you.
11. Take a trip. If you are really struggling with rekindling the passion between you and food, take a trip to a “motherland”. We live in America, so most of the time everything is altered to expand to our heavier lifestyle. I suggest visiting France, Italy, Greece, Japan, or Mexico to see how our gastronomy differs. Plus, you’ll get a free trip out of it!
Peace, love, and luck!