Should I Eat Before An Early Morning Workout?

Air Circulation When Exercising

While reading my Essentials of Exercise Science book yesterday for my personal trainer certification, I came across a really interesting fact.

As a teacher, activating prior knowledge, and then making connections while reading are both really key reading strategies we use with our students in order to improve reading comprehension.

So, today, you are my students! πŸ˜‰

When you exercise, what is the climate of the room?

Do you like it warm or cooler?

Do you exercise outside?

Do you have a fan running while you workout?

These are things I never thought much of.

When I workout, if I’m chilly to start, I start with a tshirt or long sleeve shirt on, and then usually strip down to a tank or sports bra as my body warms up. I usually like it warmer in the room as I feel I sweat more…(burn more calories in my head πŸ™‚ )

When working out, air circulation is critical for your body to cool off.

Sweating is the body’s way of cooling off. The blood moves closer to the skin level so that it can cool off near the surface, which is near the air.

If there is limited air movement around you, the air around you will become saturated with the sweat molecules (think evaporation) and then the air will be more like a humid rain forest.

Not a very cool place for your body to seek refuge as you continue your workout!

Actually, could be dangerous, as you could end up suffering from heat exhaustion, etc.

This reminds me of a day back in April right before Easter. I was doing a TurboFire HIIT workout in the bedroom before taking Anthony to get his Easter pics taken. My husband was in the shower and came into the bedroom to get his cologne. He made the comment that the room was like a sauna.

I thought he was exaggerating or trying to make me feel great for working so hard.

However, as I was reading this in my book, I recalled him saying this, and realized there was truth to his comment!

So, even if you are working out indoors, be sure your gym has a fan nearby. If you are like me, and workout at home, be sure that you have a fan or an open window in the room circulating the air. Something small I never realized could affect me!

Stay tuned…summer heat is coming soon…tips for taking care of yourself during workouts in the outdoor heat.

Pieces of the Pie (Percentages and the Nutrition Facts Label)

You know that little label on the back of all packaged foods?

The nutrition facts label.

Funny, most of the times I’m all over it. Trying to figure out how many carbs, cals, protein, fiber grams.

Within the last 2 years, because of all of Anthony’s allergies, I am looking at it in a new way. Always looking underneath it too to see what types of allergens are in it or processed in the same plant.

There are times though that I try not to look at it. Especially when I was working as a teacher. Meals were rough. I was in grad school, hubby worked late, and so a frozen pizza or TGIFriday’s spinach dip from the freezer were common comforting meals at 9pm when we were home and finally eating dinner.

I didn’t even want to know what was on those labels at that point.

shared from:

One part always confused me….those percentages. You know after it tells you how many grams of fat, etc. are in a serving it shows a percent value too?

Well, what the heck. It says on the bottom that it’s based off of a 2000 calorie diet. I never should have or should now be eating a 2000 calorie diet…so I have to do the math in the store and figure it out?

I just need a ballpark figure. So thinking…ok, if a serving of this is 20% of my daily value, but I can’t eat as much…let’s figure its 30%….so out of 5 small meals a day…is that ok?

I learned that anything lower than 5% is a low amount and 20% or more is high.

Now that freaked me out a bit. 20% sounds like a low number…1/5 of daily intake. But, actually it’s considered high.

So be sure to check out not only fat, fiber, calories, protein, and carbs. Check out the percent values of the vitamins.

That in itself was an eye opener…keeping in mind the whole 5% and 20% fact above.

Are you getting enough vitamins?

What are some foods that you consume on a daily basis to up your vitamin intake while staying within your caloric intake for the day as well as staying within the proper amounts of percentages for carbs, protein, fat, and fiber?

Allergy Free Snacks for a Healthy Mom

Our son Anthony is 2 and has food allergies. He’s allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, soy, gluten, wheat, egg, and dairy.

As a stay at home healthy mom, it’s important to me that he gets his nutrients while making good choices with what he eats.

I know what you are going to ask…well..what do you feed him?

I hear that all the time. He’s not an alien! Stop and think outside the box. There is a lot that he CAN eat. More foods that he CAN eat then those he can’t. It’s just a matter of reading every label. As a former teacher, that’s no problem at all. I was always analyzing data.. πŸ™‚

Ok so back to the question…what does he eat?

Breakfast: almost always consists of Gerber Baby Oatmeal with Rice Milk. Never been a problem for him. Also, many times, turkey sausage links (steamed on the stove top and then finished off being sauteed in a squeeze of olive oil.

Rice milk is the only milk he can have. The pediatric allergist said it’s just as well, if not better, but he needs to be on a multivitamin to be sure he gets enough vitamin d and calcium. I am always looking for coupons for rice milk. When I find them, we stock up!

Lunch: Always can count on Anthony having black beans. No questions asked. This was his first solid food. He loved them from the beginning. I just rinse them and he loves them cold. The pediatric allergist also told me that they are so high in protein that they will help him with not having dairy. Again, in my opinion, a much more nutritious choice anyway!

Snacks: Here are Anthony’s favorites, and one not so favorite!

Loves these organic fruit bars from Whole Foods. At 60 cents each I buy them in bulk. Taste like a fruit snack, but nothing artificial and no added sugar (just sugar from the actual fruit).

Rice cakes…eh, he can take them or leave them as they are. BUT…the trick is to break them up and put them in a silver cup. He thinks its popcorn and adores it. (Great trick, Daddy!)

Apples, pears, blueberries, mangoes, bananas, strawberries, cheerios, avocados, zucchini, plums, and peaches are always rotated around the house.

Rice crackers. These are crunchy and he calls them “trackters”. Love it! Have a bit of a salty crisp to them. Tasty!

Brown rice crackers. THUMBS DOWN! These looked promising, but unless you are into eating cardboard, skip them!

Trader Joe’s Dried Banana Slices! Easy to pack in the diaper bag and take with you as a healthy on the go snack!

Dinner: Oh it varies. Ian’s brand makes a great allergy free line for kids like Anthony. They make allergy free chicken nuggets which taste great. They also make onion rings and french fries (in the shape of letters). Those are a favorite.

Hubby taught me to lightly oil a pan with olive oil and then put the fries on those. Bake for ten minutes and flip. Bake another ten minutes. Crisp on the ouside, soft on the inside. YUM! Sprinkle with sea salt and he’s good to go!

He also likes hamburgers, “white chicken” (chicken breast from the bone cut up in chunks and tossed in truffle oil), and the hot dogs that are free of everything. Oscar Meyer makes a good one. I will look next time we have them in the house.

RICE! My husband is Pakistani and makes a delicious rice dish. It’s full of spices. Anthony goes wild for it!

He’s not a huge fan of pasta (what the heck…I’m italian!) .

Veggies vary within the week. He’s into “trees with flowers” right now. πŸ™‚ AKA Broccoli.


Ah ha…yes..this is where you think I’m out of luck. Nope…

Soft baked cookies from Enjoy Life and the candy bars from Enjoy Life….they also make chocolate chips. Everything is allergy free. They are SOOOO GOOOD! I use the choc chips for baking too! (i’ll save the baking info for another post!)

So, Anthony has a variety of food he can eat.

He’s growing healthy and strong. I find this a blessing. He has forced us to really take a look at what we put into our bodies. There is very little processed food in our home!

Do you have a allergy free snack/meal that works for your family? Please share in the comments below!

Do you have allergies or your children have allergies and need some more ideas or guidance? I’d be happy to help you! I recall the feeling when I first found out. I thought..what am I going to eat and what will I feed him??

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First Few Days of Spring and Skinny Jeans

Spring is in the air…

Time for spring cleaning, opening our windows, spending more time outside, and rotating our wardrobe to the warmer weather clothes.

Warmer weather clothes…

Many times we dread having to shed the winter sweaters that we have been able to hide behind. I recall that feeling.

I always looked forward to the warm weather for the obvious reasons of summer vacation, being outside, barbecues, and summertime festivals. But, the thought of having to fit into my capris and my lighter clothes never sat well.

It’s March 21th. Are you dreading the rotation of your closet?

Fear not! I’m here to help!

1. Looking for a free place to workout with friends? My friends Grisel and Amie and I will be hosting a FREE workout down in Shorewood on Saturday mornings at 10am. We start April 23rd. Contact me so I can get you directions, etc. Bring a friend with you and let’s sweat away the calories while we have fun together. πŸ™‚

2. Want some virtual accountability from the comfort of your home? Round 2 of our weight loss group is starting up on April 11th. What does it cost? Returning members pay $5 and new members $10. What do you get?

Each participant is responsible for emailing me the answers to a series of accountability questions (What is your current weight? Did you reach your goal for the week? What did you do that helped/hurt you reach that goal this week? What is your goal for the week ahead? What do you plan to do this upcoming week to achieve your goal?) every Saturday. It runs from April 11th-July2nd. We have a Facebook group too and we share ideas, recipes, thoughts, questions, and inspiration. All of the prize money is divided up for the top 3 weight loss PERCENTAGE losers.

You know what’s so inspiring? 3 of my current challengers all said this week that they reached goals. Two were able to fit into pants they haven’t fit into in years and one was able to purchase a new dress for herself this weekend that was in the single digit sizes (one of her big goals). That’s what this is all about. Helping others achieve their goals.

I’m here, and would love to help YOU reach your goals.

Contact me:

Healthy Fast Food Breakfast Choices

We don’t like to do it…

We know it’s not the best for our body…

We sometimes have to make the best of it.

We are out and about

taking our kids to school,

running out the door to work,

running errands all day

and…sometimes we don’t pack a breakfast and we certainly didn’t have time on a day like this to make one on our way out the work.

So, I did some research today and figured out what some “better” choices are when we are stuck in a position like this.

If you’ve ever asked yourself: “Where should I stop to get something that’s somewhat healthy or should I just go ahead and SKIP breakfast all together?” This is the post for you!

First, no, don’t skip it. Skipping it will lead to more negative decisions during the day from a bigger lunch to snacking on not so healthy choices.


Egg White, Spinach, and Feta Wrap.

280 calories, 10 fat grams, 33 carbs, 6 grams of fiber, 18 grams of protein

Go ahead and ask for it without the feta! That will take those cals down.

Perfect Oatmeal

140 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 25 carbs, 4 fiber, and 5 protein

Just remember if you add toppings, you add to the numbers above.

Dunkin Donuts

Egg White and Cheese on Wheat English Muffin

250 calories, 7 grams of fat, 32 carbs, 15 protein

Again, ask for it without the cheese and cut the cals and fat.

Wheat Bagel is only (gasp) 320 calories (this is the lowest on the menu) but it has a whopping 61 grams of carbs! Watch this!! Seems like a good choice on the outside…but…


Egg White and Cheese Muffin Melt

170 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, 18 carbs, 5 fiber, 12 protein

These would be my top choices.

My overall top choice: stop at Subway and get that Egg White Muffin Melt. Again, you can cut out fat and cals if you don’t want the cheese, but honestly, that is a really well rounded breakfast. It’s a good balance of carbs and protein and has 5 grams of fiber, which is about 20% of your daily intake!

Do you have any other healthy options to add to this list? Give us the nutritionals to go along with it too!

The above information was taken from the Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, and Subway websites.