I had a busy day, but I made sure to stop and admire the wildflowers

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… and the beautiful, stormy Florida sky.

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I also went on an AMAZING 3.0  mile run this evening.  For a split second, I was tempted to blow it off, but I thought to myself, "Look, Caitlin — you NEED to get back into the groove! Running has to be a priority again!"  And off I went on a SUPER speedy run!

 

  • Duration:  28 minutes
  • Distance: 3.0 miles

 

And I came home and did some push-ups and knee moves (from the C&K 10 Minute Strength Routine).

 

Here are the eats for the day.  Mid-afternoon snacks included cereal:

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Apricots:

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And around 5:30, I ate a whole wheat bagel with some PB for Part I of dinner.

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And then after work + my run, I drank an Amazing Grass smoothie:

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Which contained Chocolate grass, a banana, 1 cup of unsweet almond breeze, and some Stevia.  Yum!

 

A Reader Q&A

 

Today, I got a reader question in my e-mail and I thought it would be perfect to share on the blog.  I bet you guys have some good suggestions for her, too!

 

Question: I am wondering if you have any suggestions – I am not as nearly dedicated as you are to eating healthy and working out – but I am going on a beach vacation (Mexico!!!) at the end of July and would like to make smarter decisions leading up to then. Do you have any advice for healthy meals, foods I should eat and foods I should stay away from (for example, I am starting to eat more fruit than usual but is fruit even the best/smartest choice), etc. that I can fit into my normal routine but still try to slim down in a few weeks? And do you have any workout advice as well…? Obviously I’m not going to drop a ton of weight over night and tone-up in my sleep but I am sure there are smarter decisions I can make and ways to maximize my time in the gym to help prep me for bathing suit time.   Any advice would be so greatly appreciated.

 

Answer:  YAY for vacations! You must be so excited.  I love Mexico, and I know you will have a blast.

 

My first tip is focus on how you want to FEEL on your vacation, NOT how you want to LOOK.  When I go the beach, I want to feel confident, healthy, and… pretty!  So, my first tip is go buy a bathing suit that you feel attractive and comfortable in.  A good bathing suit makes ALL the difference on a beach vacation.  If you want, buy a cute matching cover-up to walk around in.

 

Secondly, you are right not to expect a total body transformation in four weeks.  However, if you really focus on eating balanced meals and regularly working out, you can definitely see a difference in muscle tone and drop anywhere from 4 to 8 pounds (a healthy weight loss is 1 – 2 pounds a week). 

 

That being said, you don’t want to freak your body out by working out too hard or not properly fueling.   In fact, if you do that, you could end up sick!  Just strive to get in a little cardio everyday (whether than means going on a run, doing the elliptical, or taking a long walk after dinner) and do some strength moves (like sit-ups, push-ups, or the the C&K 10 Minute Strength Routine).  When you work out, make the most of your cardio sessions by doing speed and intensity intervals every few minutes.  You’ll burn more calories and challenge your body!  Every little bit of effort you put in counts, so just focus on putting your best foot forward!

 

In terms of diet, I would recommend focusing on portion control and balanced eating at each meal.  That means read the labels to make sure you’re not accidentally eating 3 servings of cereal when you mean to have one!   Try to eat a mixture foods at each meal — a lean protein, a complex carb, some healthy fats, and a veggie or fruit.  A good example of this would be a peanut butter sammie with a sliced banana for breakfast. 

 

Pay attention to "empty calories" like soda or sugary lattes.  You’re much better off eating a piece of fruit or something with fiber (to keep you feeling full) than something that will go straight through you.

 

I don’t think you can really eat "too much" fruit within reason, especially when you’re trying to pick up healthy eating from scratch.   If you’re torn between a bag of chips and an apple, an apple is always the best choice!  But, it’s a good idea to try to eat some veggies too, as fruits are high in sugar (even if they are natural sugars).

 

And — drink lots of water!  Since you’ll be exercising more, you’ll need to stay extra hydrated.  Plus, the water will improve your skin’s appearance, and by the time you are in Mexico, you will be glowing from the inside out!

 

Do you have any tips for my reader?  How do you get "ready" for a special vacation?

 

PS – A BIG THANK YOU to Sharon, one of my favorite readers EVER, who donated to my Team in Training efforts.  Sharon, I hope we get to meet in real life one day!

 

PPS – The Healthy Living Summit Golden Ticket auction starts tomorrow at 6 AM!  Check out the rules here!

{ 20 comments }

 

  • sarah July 7, 2009, 7:37 pm

    Those wildflowers are so pretty!

    For a vacation–or anything special I want to look good for–I try to focus on eating more fruits and veggies, and drinking extra water. Exercising frequently helps, too, of course.

    But most important is feeling confident. Even if you are not in the very best shape, feeling good about other things, like wearing a cute outfit, being able to tell a hilarious joke/story, or simply doing your best to have FUN makes you look fabulous, too.

  • Christina July 7, 2009, 7:43 pm

    Awesome morning run!

    As for your reader question, all your tips are great! I try to eat as much unprocessed food as possible and make sure to get a workout in on most days of the week. I also only drink water (besides my morning cup of coffee!).

  • Amanda July 7, 2009, 7:45 pm

    Congrats on a great run!

    When I want to slim down a little and really feel my best, I focus on eating yummy, satisfying foods – lots of volume eating to get the biggest bang for my buck! I also aim to get exercise whenever I can, even if it's just parking a little further away or taking the stairs, it all counts!

    Some fav healthy eats are: smoothies, oatmeal, fruit with pb or cottage cheese or yogurt, veggies with hummus, salads with protein, egg whites, etc. etc.

    I do agree that a lot of it is mental and it's a matter of confidence! Do not get down on yourself or deny yourself a treat here or there – especially while in Mexico!

  • Casey @ Double Scooped July 7, 2009, 7:46 pm

    I've definitely noticed that a moderate amount of interval training every day (20 to 30 minutes or so) is the quickest way for me to tone up.

    Try the 30 Day Shred or something similar!

  • roseyrebecca July 7, 2009, 7:57 pm

    You give such great advice!!

    I just recently got down my my happy weight by changing my eating habits drastically. I cut out a whole lot of sugar and empty calories.

    I also work out in someway everyday, no matter what. Even on my lazy day, I try to stay active.

    I think the most important thing to remember is that healthy food can be just as delicious as unhealthy food. Even more so because you know you're doing something great for your body.

    What keeps me motivated is how great I feel about my body and exercising.

  • nicoleishappy July 7, 2009, 8:37 pm

    yay for the run! Im the same way i dont feel like working out but i have to remind myself how awesome i feel after.

    And with the person that emailed you i think you anwsered it perfectly.

  • THE ACTORS DIET July 7, 2009, 9:00 pm

    I make sure to get my exercise in, focus on having fun, and the rest takes care of itself!

  • Kim July 7, 2009, 9:03 pm

    Hi, reader! Whenever I'm gearing up for a vacation, I try to cut down on my sodium intake — it really makes a difference in how I look and feel! (especially after long flights and cocktail consumption.) Also, breaking a sweat brings a rosy "glow" to my cheeks, making me feel more attractive all day šŸ™‚

  • chandra July 7, 2009, 9:07 pm

    I agree with the current tips – try to make meals and snacks a mix of protein, complex carb, good fats, and fruits/veggies. Veggies and fruits are a great focus because of all the fiber! Water as well of course. šŸ™‚ And just from personal experience, the couple days before your trip look out for having TOO much fiber or anything that might make you feel bloated – I did that once, it wasn't fun. lol

    Have a great time on the trip!!

  • Kathy July 7, 2009, 9:30 pm

    Oh my, that sky looks amazing and scary at the same time! I also really agree with you on how it is much more important how you FEEL on vacations than what you weigh/look! You will look soo much better with a smile on your face and a feeling of confidence, no matter what! šŸ™‚

  • Matt July 8, 2009, 3:36 am

    Good tips. Just remember you don't have to look good in a swimsuit to have fun on vacation!

  • Lauren July 8, 2009, 4:14 am

    Awesome run girl! You are well on your way to a building up your milegage in a healthy and productive fashion. Good for you! šŸ™‚

    Hope you have a great day!!

  • Mel @ She Runs Brooklyn July 8, 2009, 4:15 am

    Great tips Caitlin!

    It can be hard to put too much pressure on yourself to look good right before a vacation, so in addition to all of your tips which have a good focus on moderate changes, I would say to remember to take it easy on yourself while bringing the challenge šŸ™‚

    (I try to tell myself this everyday, haha)

    -Mel

  • JennyMarie July 8, 2009, 4:30 am

    Caitlin, how do you have time for all these wonderful thought out meals? I want to be more like you! I am actually going to steal some of your meal ideas. They look mighty tasty! Thanks!

  • leslie July 8, 2009, 5:33 am

    yay for getting back into a running routine!

    for your reader: getting in some movement (even just a short evening walk) and lots of fresh produce always make me feel the best. when you know you're doing things that are positive for yourself, you're bound to feel good and confident. and in the long run, making healthy decisions that you're proud of will make you feel better than a different bikini size ever will!

  • Susan July 8, 2009, 7:15 am

    I always try to reduce my "belly bloat" the days before a vacation. For me, that means cutting back on sodium so I don't retain water, and staying away from sucralose and sugar alcohols, which also give me a puff. The simple sugars in fruit can also give some people a "puffy" look, but it's really a personal thing. Also, lifting weights can sometimes make muscles retain water immediately afterwards. Every body reacts differently to different things though. Nothing is written in stone! šŸ™‚

  • The Decayed Gentlewoman July 8, 2009, 8:01 am

    Great tips! I love fruit because it's like the gateway to healthy eating for me. I love sweets and I've been able to satisfy my sweet cravings with fruit instead of sugar. For example, blackberries will always taste like delicious delicious pie to me, so I eat fresh or frozen blackberries whenever I can.
    Once you're less attached to sugar, then you can start focusing on eating as many veggies as possible. Pair that with lean meat, (if you're not a vegetarian), eggs, lowfat dairy and whole grain carbs and you're on your way. šŸ™‚
    My only other tips would be to ditch the artificial sweetner b/c it's not doing you any favors (try a little agave nectar or honey) and be sure to eat a big satisfying breakfast like oatmeal with fruit and nut butter, or yogurt with cereal and fruit.

  • theangrydieter July 8, 2009, 8:04 am

    Great vacation tips!!

    I always try to remember that I am on vacation to have fun, not to worry about how everyone else sees me…chances are you will never see those people again…so don't feel at all self conscious!

  • seesaraheat July 8, 2009, 8:46 am

    I loved your answers to your reader, very good stuff šŸ™‚

  • just me July 8, 2009, 10:04 am

    I just got back from vacation, well two, and I think all your suggestions hit the spot. I def had to adjust to how i wanted to feel on my vacation verses how i wanted to look…and it made each experience that much more enjoyable.

    good luck to all w/ the bidding. wish i could come…but it's my first day of work.

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