5 Ways to Eat Healthy at Work


By Kim Lerner

You try to lead a healthy lifestyle, you workout, you try to pass on dessert, you even eat your vegetables.  At work, between deadlines, meetings, and lunch errands, you may find yourself going through the drive through or grabbing that 2pm donut.  Commit to your healthy lifestyle during your eight plus hour workday with these 5 easy tips.

1. Eat breakfast. Your mother always told you breakfast is the most important meal of the day - she was right.  Studies find that starting your day with a good breakfast will increase your metabolism - setting you up to burn more calories all day.  It will also satisfy your appetite and keep you from making poor choices.  Without breakfast, you’re not very likely to turn down a bear claw, or cream stick doughnut at that 10:00 meeting.

2. Pack your lunch.  If you have a healthy lunch waiting for you, you will have no excuse to snack before your lunch break.  Some easy to prepare healthy lunch options are:

  • Leftovers from last night’s healthy dinner - just make sure your portion is reasonable
  • A turkey sandwich made on whole wheat bread with low fat cheese with some fruit
  • Healthy frozen entree that is low in fat, calories and sodium
  • Burrito made with chicken breast, beans and veggies and a little cheese
  • Hit up your super market salad bar for a healthy protein rich salad
  • Tosca Reno's book Clean Eating Recharged has a great section on packing your lunch for work or school.

3. Drink lots of water. Be sure you’re not confusing dehydration for hunger. By drinking eight 8oz glasses of water a day, you will prevent dehydration. Dehydration zaps your energy and can make you feel hungry when you’re not.  Keep a reusable water bottle at work, and aim to drink a litter while on the job. You will be amazed at how good you will feel.

4. Get plenty of sleep. Adults need between 7 and 9 hours a night. Without the proper amount of sleep it is much easier to give into tempting treats. When you go for that sugar packed snack you will only be left feeling more tired once the sugar rush has ended.

5. Bring snacks. Even after a healthy breakfast and a substantial lunch you may be hungry by 3. Instead of buying a calorie loaded snack at the vending machine have one of these healthy snacks instead.

  • Light string cheese
  • Fresh fruit (apples, grapes, oranges and bananas are all easy and convenient)
  • Hummus with carrot sticks
  • Low-fat yogurt
  • Whole grain crackers
  • Nuts (be sure to only eat a small handful as they are high in fat and calories)

With just a little willpower and some planning ahead you can maintain your healthy diet while at work.  With your healthy living you will have plenty of energy to make it to your Body Revolution workout!



By Amy Pennington / GoGo Green Garden

Summer came late to the Pacific NW this year, and that means everything is running a little bit behind – including produce. Many fruits and vegetables that we expect to be eating in August are either coming in now or still at the farmers markets. Before it’s too late, make it your mission to get to your local farmers market and stock up.

Melons, which are members of the Cucurbitaceae plant family, have a long history of culinary uses dating back to BC wherein its culture can be traced to Persia, India and Africa. They come in many more shapes and sizes that the typical American grocery store version, with thicker green-tinted rind and tan webbing (typically the Cucumis melo reticulatus), and fall under the Muskmelon genus (Cucumis melo) which includes Cantaloupe, Casaba, Canary, Honeydew, Charentais and many more.  Melons come in a rainbow of shapes and sizes – some as small as the palm of your hand, some long and slim like a banana.  I’ve seen pictures of football-shaped fruits as well, but have yet to try one. The flesh, too, ranges in color from the cantaloupe-orange in a Charentais to sweet yellow-fleshed watermelons. Some have soft white fruit when you slice them open, as you’ll find in some Casabas, which are almost watery-sweet as if holding back and challenging you to eat more.

Melons can be used in creative ways once you’ve got them home safe and sound in your kitchen. They are a healthy snack full of antioxidants, but can be used as more than something to dice up and nibble on. Low in calories, but flavor dense, melons are quite juicy and can easily be pureed for use in frosty summer drinks or whizzed up with yogurt for a morning smoothie.  Cubed melon of all kinds (honeydew, cantaloupe and watermelon) goes well with savory additions such as basil or mint leaves and some crumbled feta cheese for an easy salad course.

This chilled soup is another melon winner. Summer perfection.

Honeydew Cucumber Soup

Satisfying and refreshing, this soup is a total winner for an easy summer meal.  Jalapeno adds a little heat and the cilantro helps to cool your palate.  This makes a huge batch – enough for a family dinner with leftovers, but works well if you prefer to half it.

  • 1 ripe Honeydew Melon, peeled & seeded
  • 3 to 4 cucumbers, peeled & seeded
  • ½ cup plain yogurt (either whole or non-fat)
  • ½ jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • Handful of cilantro leaves (more or less, as you please)
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • Salt to taste

Puree honeydew flesh in food processor until smooth.  Line a large, deep bowl with cheesecloth, and pour in the puree.  Gather up the ends and suspend the puree over the bowl, tying around a wooden spoon, so that juices can collect in the bowl below.  Yield 4 cups of liquid (and compost leftover pulp).  Set aside.   Add cucumbers to food processer and puree until smooth.  Add yogurt, jalapeno, cilantro and lime juice and honey dew juice and puree until combined.  Chill and serve.

Recipe originally published in Edible Seattle

4 Easy Fall Fitness Ideas

Summer is nearly over and with fall on the way, this is a great time to get your fitness back on track! The kids are back in school and hopefully you have wrapped up your summer vacation, the big reunion, and hit a wedding or two along the way. Sometimes life gets in the way of a regular workout and it can be hard to get back into a solid routine. Here are 4 easy ideas that will help you find your way back to a regular fitness program.

  1. Make a commitment to getting back into shape and hold yourself accountable. Once you mentally commit to your fitness, take out your calendar and write down the days and times you will work out. Don’t over commit! Make sure that your plan is realistic and don’t get tied into thinking you have to work out for a full hour. There may be days when you can only get in 20 or 30 minutes and that is ok. You might have to split your day up with a short run in the morning and a quick body weight routine at night. Whatever you can do - remember it is better than nothing.
  2. Find the right workout for you. It is important that you do something that you like or love to do. Choosing the right program will keep you motivated and inspired. If you get bored doing one thing make sure to mix it up throughout the week. Try a new class, meet friends or try a new activity.
  3. Eat healthier. Making better choices at mealtime can go a long way to improving your health. Start small – like having a good breakfast everyday- think oatmeal, eggs, yogurt, fruit and just say no to baked goods at the coffee shop or heavy and greasy foods. In fact, I know a guy who doesn’t like typical breakfast food so he eats a big salad instead. Make sure to have an afternoon snack such as nuts, a boiled egg, a Zing or Lara bar, or fresh veggies. This will prevent that afternoon low – where you almost fall asleep at work or feel like you should have a Venti latte with a candy bar. Have a small, satisfying lunch and dinner that has more vegetables than protein. Limit your alcohol to one drink or better yet, drink water with every meal. Most importantly try to stay away from highly processed foods. The more you cook at home the better you will feel.
  4. Reward yourself. Take time to savor your achievements – take a mini-vacation to a spa or get a new pair of smaller jeans when you hit your marks. Treat yourself a box seats at the game instead of the nosebleed section. Find something that will motivate you to work hard and when you hit your goal reward yourself. Then do it again!

5 Myths About Weight Loss


Can you remember the last time someone told you about a great weight loss plan and how they dropped 10 or 20 pounds in 4 weeks or less? Do you ever wonder how the stars do it? How they lose 30 pounds in 30 days? Is it even true? Can it be done? And why this obsession with extreme weight loss in a very short amount of time? Has anyone ever admitted it took them 12 months to lose 40 pounds? Probably not because that story isn’t quite as sexy and we love immediate results and satisfaction. But what happens when someone loses 10 or 20 pounds that quickly? Does that weight actually stay off? Most of those diets (South Beach, Atkins, Cabbage Soup, Grapefruit diets etc) may not be sustainable long term. And by long term I do mean as a lifestyle and not a quick fix. What happens when the weight comes back on and you are are back at square one? Do you end up with a mish-mash of advice and half-baked theories that have you yo-yoing up and down the scale? Do you feel confused or mislead by the million ideas and promises out there? Here are 5 myths that I am calling out and throwing down.

The most popular and worst dieting tips (according to me).

1. Carbs are bad for you. One of the most destructive myths out there. The low carb - no carb frenzy was made wildly popular by the Atkins Diet and is still misleading people today. Carbohydrates fuel your body! Without carbs your body can’t function properly. You can’t exercise at a high intensity or in some cases – at all, you’ll tire easily, you may feel nauseous or dizzy and it’s much harder to keep your thoughts organized. Longterm effects of a low-carb diet include kidney failure, kidney stones, and gout. If you stop consuming the carbs you need then your body will find energy elsewhere by breaking down muscle mass and fat stores. It’s great to lose fat but this is the most inefficient and damaging way to do it. The truth is NOT eating carbohydrates is BAD for you.

2. All calories are the same -- it's just calories in, calories out. This myth is a little less nefarious because we know that calories in a donut and calories in an apple really aren’t the same. The actual number might be the same but you know that the quality of the food is very different. Yes, you actually could lose weight by only eating donuts but you won’t feel very good and you probably wouldn’t look very good either. The truth is high quality calories are important to losing weight successfully. The cleaner your diet is, the better you will feel inside and out.

3. Fats, fruits, and milk myths. It goes without saying that everything has its limits. And just because it’s good for you doesn’t mean you should go hogwild and eat avocados everyday. Don’t get me wrong, avocados are a great, healthy fat but should be consumed in limited quantities like other healthy fats. You should also take care in choosing dairy products. Cheese is delicious but should you really eat a lot of it? What role should low-fat and fat-free dairy play in your diet? Should you really eat 6 servings of fruit everyday? It’s loaded with sugar and sugar converts to fat. There are many different nutrients that our body needs and not every nutrient is appropriate for everyone. Maybe you are lactose intolerant? You may have diabetes or high cholesterol. These are important considerations to understand. The truth is, as long as you can tolerate it, everything in moderation. If you are unsure, you should see a registered dietician or your doctor.

4. Eat multiple meals per day to lose weight. You’ve probably heard that you need to eat every 4 hours or 5-6 small meals per day. And it’s true. But it will become a problem if you don’t properly apply a few rules to the program. Eating 5-6 small meals a day is a great idea. Eating big portion sizes and full meals is not a great idea. Snacks mean a small amount of food like an apple or a handful of almonds. It shouldn’t mean a bag of chips, a 36 ounce soda and a power bar. Another way to do this is to divide your allotted calories per day into each meal. If I eat 1800 calories per day and have 5 meals then that’s 360 calories per meal. I, personally, eat more calories with breakfast to kick start my metabolism in the morning and keep me going strong throughout the day. I also like a good lunch and a light dinner so I distribute my calories accordingly. The truth is you must have a plan to be successful and you must follow that plan 90% of the time.

5. You can get into shape without exercising if you just watch your diet. It’s true you can lose weight by dieting but you certainly cannot get into shape by dieting. That’s like saying you could run a marathon by only doing yoga. It’s not going to happen and if it does – it’s not going to be pretty. You might know someone who is thin and never exercises but he or she is probably skinny fat. Not a lick of muscle tone, couldn’t lift a heavy bag of groceries to save their life and certainly couldn’t run very far to catch the bus. The truth is if you want to lose weight and maintain that weight loss you need to exercise. You need muscles to help burn calories and to keep you healthy and strong so you can do all of thing things you want to do.

Now you have few basic guidelines to follow. It’s confusing out there so do your best to get your information from reputable sources. I know, that’s hard too, but use common sense and your instincts. If it sounds to good to be true – it probably is. If it took you 5 years to gain 40 pounds then it’s going to take you more than 4 weeks to get it off. Quick fixes generally don’t stick. You need to put the time and the work in to get the long term rewards.

If you are ready to kick start your weight loss and fitness program try out my program Body Revolution class today.

Pressure Makes Us


Womens World Cup is underway and I am so excited. I love soccer. I love watching teams perform at an elite level. I love the skill, intensity and all-out performances by the women who play. I love watching the up and coming players. I love watching teams find their groove, elevating their game to a new level. I love watching the perennial stars do the impossible: Abby Wambach, Marta, Cristiane, Birgit Prinz and Hope Solo (props UW). I love the hope and potential at the outset of every game. Waiting for the shot to be taken, defended, missed and the goal scored. I watch as our beloved teams rise or fall in the quest to win World Cup and be recognized as the best in the world.

And what does this have to do with you? While you, I or many of my clients will never be elite athletes there isn't any reason we can't run, lift, swim, bike, play soccer, softball, hike, ski or do what we love at our full potential. There isn't any reason we can't be out there doing our very best and giving it our all. It feels great to sweat. It feels good to have your muscles ache a little. Most of all - it's empowering knowing that you gave it your all. That your best effort is pooling on the ground beneath you.

Nike's newest commercial for the US Womens Soccer Team is about pressure. How pressure can provide the catalyst to perform at your best or even higher. What does it take to be your best? What kind of pressure do you need to make a commitment? Do you need to do it for your family? Does your doctor need to tell you to get off your bum or you're gonna die? Do you need a life changing event? Or is it less radical - you just need someone to invite you?

How do you push past self-imposed boundaries and get to another level? Keep in mind another level might be going from walking zero stairs at work to walking 3 flights, walking to jogging, jogging to running, a 30 minute swim to 2 miles in an hour. It's going from never working out to working out 3 times per week. It's an individual effort and an individual accomplishment. It's time to dig deep and make that commitment. The day has come when you look in the mirror and say "I can. I will." Put some pressure on yourself. Give yourself goals. Give yourself a timeline. Get it done. Love what you are doing. Love yourself. Pressure makes us.

I can't wait to see you fulfill your potential.