Comment

Best Pre-Workout Food

mt_8_feature.jpg

Everyone always asks me what they should eat prior to exercising in the morning vs. the afternoon vs. the evening. Pre-workout fuel has been a streaming conversation for years and while there are answers to this question, everyone is going to require a different answer depending on several variables. Here are some variables that you should consider when putting together your plan for pre-workout meals. Note that you should always get clearance from a doctor before engaging in any new physical activity or nutrition plan. For sample meals for your day, get the JZ Fitness Nutrition app (available on iTunes and Android), which has over 50 sample meals that will help you age well, feel amazing and maximize performance.

1) Are you taking medications? No matter what time you train in the day, you must eat something prior to exercise if you take meds. Some medications can affect blood pressure, blood sugars, heart beat, you name it. Don’t mess with your body. Having a meal that is low in fiber and fat, but higher in protein and carbohydrates will allow your body to shuttle sugar to the working muscles, keeping blood sugars regulated. The protein will help transport nutrients into the cells while exercising. Make sure you drink 8 oz of water prior and during your activity.

2) Are you pregnant? In this case, you will need food because when you exercise, you are fueling your own body’s metabolism and musculo-skeletal systems. If you don’t eat something light, then you won’t have enough fuel for your workout. Always listen to your body when you train. Some items to consider are a fruit and a light protein shake * (recipe below) . Remember, you are training and eating for two people. Do not deplete your systems. Pregnant women should never be on any weight loss plan!

3) Are you diabetic?  You should always be checking your blood sugars throughout the day, especially in the AM if you workout then. Have a balanced meal with a low glycemic carbohydrate such as a fruit smoothie. Always carry sugar with you when you train. While I am not a big fan of sodas, I have a friend who is a medical doctor with type 1 diabetes. He carries a soda with him every time he trains. The type of sugar in soda empties into the blood stream quicker than a fruit would (and fruit juice for that matter). Please note that this is the ONLY condition to drink a soda. as I am very much against sodas otherwise.

4) Are you prone to hypoglycemia?  Everyone decreases blood sugar levels through exercise, especially moderate to vigorous physical activity. With that said, hypoglycemia, or a drop in blood sugar, can lead to fainting, lightheadedness or even more severe consequences if not tended to. This is why I recommend eating small frequent meals throughout the day and using the JZ Fitness Nutrition app to choose balanced meals.  Morning workouts should consist of a light protein shake* since it is easily digestible. Make sure you leave enough time prior to exercise because despite a shake being in liquid form, it still passes through the gut which should be cleared by the time you exercise to avoid gastritis.

5) If you train in the morning, do you leave more than an hour between eating and exercising?  If not, start setting that alarm a bit earlier. Morning training is great because your metabolism is high and it sets up for wonderful benefits throughout the day. As I already mentioned, a light protein shake* is beneficial. Check out the JZ Fitness Nutrition app to learn about some easy to make shake recipes. Leave at least an hour between training and your shake.

6) How long are you training for? You don’t need a lot of calories and carbs for a workout that lasts less than an hour, unless it is high intensity interval training style (HIIT). HIIT is the only workout that requires carbs such as a fruit, brown rice, quinoa or oatmeal coupled with a protein. If you are overweight and looking to burn fat, then cut the grains altogether and allow your carbs to come from low glycemic fruits that are listed in my JZ Fitness Nutrition app.

7) What type of exercise will you be doing? (Cardio, strength, yoga, sports) The type of exercise you do will determine what you eat. There are several HIIT programs in my book, but if you want to experience a HIIT workout at its best, try an Orangetheory Fitness class. For this class, you should eat more carbs compared to if you did yoga, for example. In fact, Yoga is the ONLY methodology of exercise that you can skip breakfast to practice because the best conditions include not filling your gut up for when you practice. I practice hot yoga and we flow a lot.  When I personally eat too much prior, it isn’t a pretty situation. I am bloated and can barely contract my abs. You never want this situation for your practice. So unless you practice during the day a few hours prior to practice, I say eat afterwards and just stay well hydrated during class.

At the end of the day, everyone is different. I recommend that you keep a food log to help you determine what types of food equate to optimal performance for you, so that you can learn your own rhythm and maximize your potential!

* JZ's Light Protein Shake:
Plant Based Powder or WHEY
Handful of Spinach
1 Cup of Unsweetened Almond Milk (Vanilla)
1 tbsp Peanut Butter
Ice

 

Jenn Zerling (“JZ”) is the wellness ambassador for Stay Fit Housing guests. JZ is a life-long athlete, lover of life and people, and wishes to help America break the chains of obesity. She provides customized nutrition coaching and fitness training services designed to help all guests optimize Stay Fit Living. JZ’s fitness and nutrition writings can be found in multiple media resources (including JZFitness.com), and her JZ Fitness Nutrition app is available on iTunes and Android.

Comment

Comment

New Year's Resolution Solution: Sexy Arms in Six Moves

It's the New Year. Let's avoid all clichés and talk and jump right into action. Start satisfying your New Year's resolution with this Sexy Arms in Six Moves routine with our Stay Fit Housing Director of Guest Wellness, Jenn Zerling ("JZ"). Work out in your home, and begin the quest to Staying Fit while you stay with us.  Check out JZ's workout on the Huffington Post by clicking HERE


Jenn Zerling (“JZ”) is the wellness ambassador for Stay Fit Housing guests. JZ is a life-long athlete, lover of life and people, and wishes to help America break the chains of obesity. She provides customized nutrition coaching and fitness training services designed to help all guests optimize Stay Fit Living. JZ’s fitness and nutrition writings can be found in multiple media resources (including JZFitness.com), and her JZ Fitness Nutrition app is available on iTunes and Android.

Comment

Comment

Work Your Edge This Holiday

‘Tis the season to give back to families, friends and charitable organizations. Be reminded that it is also the time of year to especially give to YOURSELF. Do NOT let the holiday season side swipe you. Keep your hands on your steering wheel and drive in the direction that you wish to go.

What does this mean? Holidays parties, deadlines before shorter weeks, family visiting from outta town. It doesn’t matter. Those are external variables that should never take over your being and your decisions to nurture your own needs. Rather than stress, explore and work your edge.

Here are some tips for working your edge this holiday season that can involve your family too. You first. Set the bar at a level you can attain:

1) If you get 150 minutes of vigorous physical activity in each week, great! Just make sure it really works you out. Walking is NOT exercise. We walk as human beings so if you count walking and you do not have any major orthopedic conditions, then you are foolin’ yourself!

2) Do a 30 day challenge with yourself on the nutrition front. Get my app (on iTunes and Android). Log every day. Make it your business to treat yourself to whatever only three times in the next couple of months; Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years eve.

3) Each week, schedule a relaxing outlet such as a spa mani and pedi, massage, or a trip to the bookstore to just sit with yourself and not have your dang cell phone in your hands. If you do this already, then make it your deal that you only get it if you do numbers 1 & 2. Do not reward yourself unless you’ve earned it!

Have fun this winter. Get everyone in on the action. Incentivize yourself and even your family, friends and/or co-workers to be fit. Usually, fit people exercise for the intrinsic rewards attached to being fit. Don’t let the season change your patterns. Make it fun. Get everyone involved in the plan. 

Here are some fun suggestions:

1) Create a point system. You can pair up or do it individually. The family member with the most points gets to pick what you do the next day on your trip. Here are some point accumulating ideas for how to gain momentum:
Vegetable consumption = 2 points
Water bottle = 2 points
Exercise (30 minutes minimum) = 3 points
Taking the stairs vs. the elevator = 5 points
The person with the highest points wins what to do on the trip (whether it’s the restaurant to eat at for dinner, or the attraction you all visit). The person with the lowest points is responsible for tallying up the points the next day.

2) Create a donation jar. Each individual of the family must donate at least $1 to the jar if they participate in an unhealthy behavior this holiday season. You can pick one item to chart for each month as a reward system. For example, you can use weight loss or exercise minutes on a graph and the family member with the most marks by their name wins the jar of accumulated money. However, here is the catch, that person is only permitted to use that money on something fitness or nutrition related.

3) Rotate cooking days. For example, if there are 4 in the family, everyone gets to cook every 4 days. That person must present their dish to the family and describe the different macronutrients in the dish. This will teach the members of the family proper nutrition, while keeping the family unit strong as they eat together at home.

It is very easy to keep the family fit for the holidays. Pick a fun twist so that everyone gets involved. It isn’t about losing weight this holiday season. It is about preserving health so that the New Year brings prosperity and good health in the New Year for everyone.
 

Jenn Zerling (“JZ”) is the wellness ambassador for Stay Fit Housing guests. JZ is a life-long athlete, lover of life and people, and wishes to help America break the chains of obesity. She provides customized nutrition coaching and fitness training services designed to help all guests optimize Stay Fit Living. JZ’s fitness and nutrition writings can be found in multiple media resources (including JZFitness.com), and her JZ Fitness Nutrition app is available on iTunes and Android.

 

Comment

1 Comment

Sleep is King

You’ve heard it a million times and now it is time to hear it a million and one times. YOU MUST SLEEP. There is no substitute, there is no medication, there is no coffee strong enough to outdo your need for sleep. Therefore, start paying closer attention to this very important age management variable. In Breaking the Chains of Obesity, tool #29 covers the symptoms of poor sleep, including:

1) Irritability: So if you have an attitude, your sleep isn’t good. If you want to pull someone's hair out at work, or throw  your cell phone across the room over an unnecessary conversation, then, well… maybe you need more than more sleep (clearing my throat).

2) Constipation: This can also be from a lack of fiber in your diet and some other variables, too.

3) Increased Cravings: Your brain will want to eat lots of sugar the next day and for some, more salty stuff. These cravings are exacerbated.

4) Low Concentration and Mental Acuity: If your day job requires you to think, then you better sleep, otherwise you will not be at your best. There is nothing worse than a worthlessly-tired employee - sorry!

5) Low Motivation: Lack of sleep will cause you to feel blah and just not willing to do much more than the bare minimums. Do yourself a favor, allow your body that rest so that you wake up ready to conquer the universe (well, at least your day…).

6) Depression: There is such thing as clinical depression, and my sister works with these people. However, if you do not sleep, then you will think you are depressed when your mind is simply foggy. Foggy minds can lead people into dark times.

7) Anxiety: That’s right. No sleep and up all night will wake you up the next day feeling up tight.  So do yourself a favor, get your butt to bed.

8) Very Low Energy: That cup of joe ain’t gonna cut it. But if you sleep, and you eat right, you will ditch the coffee cause you just won’t need it ... unless of course you simply like the taste.

9) Decreased Weight Loss: Ooh, are you turned off yet? Of course, if no sleep means no weight loss, then are you motivated now to get to bed?

10) Increased Cellular Damage: As in oxidative stress. Oxidative stress to the cells will lead to a disease. So spare yourself, and allow your body to repair itself.  And the only way to repair itself is…. (drum roll please) SLEEEEEEEP!


Jenn Zerling (“JZ”) is the wellness ambassador for Stay Fit Housing guests. JZ is a life-long athlete, lover of life and people, and wishes to help America break the chains of obesity. She provides customized nutrition coaching and fitness training services designed to help all guests optimize Stay Fit Living. JZ’s fitness and nutrition writings can be found in multiple media resources (including JZFitness.com), and her JZ Fitness Nutrition app is available on iTunes and Android.

1 Comment

1 Comment

Mindful Meditation for the Business Traveler

Are you a beginner meditator and looking for some advice on where to begin meditation?
Reduce travel stress with mindful meditation.


Traveling often presents stress overload. Working non-stop on the plane or the train with little downtime and not being in the comfort of your own space can be overwhelming. It is important to take care of your body and mind, and practicing the techniques of mindful mediation is a key way to significantly reduce travel stress.

Meditation is the art of training your mind, similar to the way that we use fitness as an approach to training the body. For most, this is a very challenging thing to do. The key is to not judge or become frustrated when the thoughts float in, but to simply be aware that they are there and then let them go with a deep breath.

Here are tips to get you into a renewed headspace while on-the-go with work travel.

1) The breath
There is no required way to breathe in this type of meditation, but I found it helpful to take long deep inhales through the nose, completely filling the lower stomach like a balloon followed by a bottomless exhale through the nose where the stomach becomes flat. The breath is an amazingly POWERFUL tool! When you catch yourself thinking during meditation, bring the attention back to the breath.

Breathe In,  
Breathe Out.
That’s it.
Take a deep exhale through the nose to let the thought sail away. Again, there is no right way of breathing, but being very aware of the breath does help focus the mind.

2) Create a comfortable place to sit
It is important to set up an environment where you that sets the tone for relaxation, and frees you from distractions. Pick a seated position in which you can sit comfortably for at least 10 minutes. There are many variations to how you can sit; ultimately it is up to you. It's great to simply sit on the floor, but it's also fine to sit against a wall or even using a blanket, cushion, or low bench. The main point is that you are physically comfortable (you don’t want to move around too much) and the spine is straight to allow the flow of energy through the chakras.

I like to imagine that my spine is a tree that I can lean against. I sit on the floor with my legs crossed comfortably in front of me. I’m happy when I can stay in the same position throughout a meditation sit, but there is also no reason to feel tense and uncomfortable, so adjust when necessary. With practice, the spine will build up postural-supporting muscles, allowing you to sit comfortably for longer periods of time.

3) Decide on a mantra or technique to bring the focus back
Coming up with a mantra -- some word or phrase that you connect with -- and repeating it in your mind will help keep external thoughts from entering the mind in the first place and bring the focus back if thoughts arise.

I choose happiness.
I am perfectly at peace.
I am in the present moment.


You can say whatever you choose to yourself that has personal meaning or is significant to you at that time, such as“ I choose happiness” or “I am perfectly at peace”. What you use as your mantra or affirmation is completely up to you, just give it dedication and practice to figure out what means something to you.

The flow-like quality of mindfulness meditation is wonderful because there is no pressure to NOT THINK. It’s okay that thoughts come in; the most important part is to be MINDFUL of what those thoughts are. We should never change ourselves into some preconceived notion of what we “should” be, but we should rather be with ourselves as we already are.

4) Acknowledge your thoughts … and let them go
Part of having a mindful meditation practice is working with all those little thoughts that pop in. Of course thoughts will arise, that is just part of being human! Try to imagine and acknowledge those thoughts by admitting to yourself, “Okay, that is a thought,” and then focus on your next inhale. During your mediation, always practice working with the breath.

5) Make meditation a habit!
If you desire to find a significant change in the way you handle stress while traveling, it is important to make meditation a part of your daily routine. Creating a ritual for yourself is a great way to make positivity and mindfulness become part of who you are. Find what works best for you. If you have some time you can light a candle, burn some incense, and use essential oils -- anything that will get your senses flowing.

I like to listen to healing Zen-type music; it helps bring positive, motivating energy into my meditation. Having a little sacred space in your own home is a great way to remind you to practice at least 10 minutes a day on nothing but yourself. Make a commitment to journal daily about your experiences!

Observe how transformative this practice can be.

Namaste,
Yours in health,
Megan McKenzie


Megan McKenzie possesses a deep interest in health and wellness. She teaches Vinyasa Yoga, sharing her meditative practice with her students. Passionate about healthy food and her sweet Labradoodle, Murphy, Megan is sensitive to those around her and is eager to give back to the world. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram

1 Comment

1 Comment

5 Ways to Stay Healthy While Traveling

first-aid-kit-icons.jpg

1) Get Sleep
When you are traveling for work, it’s easy for your sleep cycle to be disturbed, especially if you are in a different time zone. Sleep is essential to keeping a focused mind for making those important business decisions while on the road. Sleep also keeps your immune system robust, helping you fight off those germs you come into contact with on the road. So don’t cheat yourself and get your 8 hours of sleep while on the road!

2) Get Moving
Sitting in meetings all day long or being in a plane for hours at a time wrecks your metabolism and can make you cranky. Wherever you travel, there is a gym somewhere close by. Take advantage of your 10 complimentary fitness classes by Stay Fit Housing so that you can keep your body moving and Stay Fit on the road.  Even thirty minutes of resistance training or twenty minutes of high-intensity intervals will have your body thanking you later, and you’ll sleep better, too.

3) Get Hydrated
Your body is 70% water by volume. In order to maintain proper hydration and keep your internal processes working optimally, you need to stay hydrated. While on the road for work, make sure you drink at least 64 oz. of water daily. Don’t worry about having to go to the bathroom all the time, you can find them everywhere, even on planes!

4) Get Supplements
If you don’t already take supplements to help support your immune system, then start! Good immune boosters to take when you are on the road include: Vitamin D3 10,000IU daily, Spirulina, chlorella, Turmeric, and green tea extract. I like to take a few chewable Airborne tablets before I get on a plane and then again when I get to my hotel room. Repeat on the return trip. 

5) Get Help
Going to the doctor is inevitable, no matter how healthy you are. When you are traveling, there is the added anxiety of figuring out where to go. When you are sick, the last thing you want to do is sit in an Urgent Care facility. Well, now there is telemedicine, where you can talk to a doctor over the phone. If your issue doesn’t need any additional intervention, then a telemedicine doctor can call in medication into a pharmacy close by to where you are staying. Many concierge practices like Hybrid MD offer this service, which is perfect for the busy professional.

Stay Healthy and Stay Fit!


Dr. Colin X Jairam is the CEO & CMO of Orange County's most innovative medical practice in Southern California, Hybrid MD. Hybrid MD offers urgent care services, age management medicine, laser and aesthetic medicine, and telemedicine, all under one roof. 

1 Comment

Comment

To Indulge or Not to Indulge?

Cremebrulee.jpg

I come from a family with a history of obesity, and like I mention in my book, Breaking the Chains of Obesity, 107 Tools, I grew up eating junk food. From chocolate chip pancakes to pizza and even pints of different flavored ice creams to choose from, I would indulge in all my food pleasures throughout my childhood. It wasn’t until my teenage years when I started to correlate this type of eating to my body image. Thank goodness I was an athlete growing up because if I wasn’t, who knows what type of body I would have.

With that said, it has only been over the last 10 years of my fitness career that I’ve taken my nutrition to the levels at which it stands today. I eat organically, I cut out both processed and virtually all high glycemic carbohydrates, I avoid sugar, I avoid caffeine, and I barely drink alcohol. I am very active and appear and feel very young and vivacious. This is why I eat this way. I love feeling great. I love sleeping well. I love feeling positive every day. I love feeling young. I love my sharp mind.

Do I ever eat “junk food?” Yes I do. And when I do it, I eat whatever I want. In other words, I never eat “healthier” diet food just to avoid calories, fat and carbs. I fulfill my deepest childhood pleasures by reaching for the carrot cake, pizza or Carvel ice cream cone if I feel like it. If I’m going to eat junk food, it better be worth every lick and every bite. It better bring me back to my childhood years when family surrounded me and the taste brought me to heaven. And I encourage you to do the same.

If you are on a weight loss journey, get the JZ Fitness Nutrition app, available on iTunes and Android. Learn it and embody it.  If you do that every day and treat yourself once or twice a month to whatever you want, you will never be on a weight loss journey again. I understand that it might take time for some of you to lose weight, but at the end of the day, learning how to live an optimal life, with treats intermingled throughout the month, will allow you to lead a fulfilling life without always feeling guilty about your nutrition choices. I teach people to eat for fuel. But if you have the occasional Sprinkles cupcake because you’re in control and you want to celebrate occasionally, then just do it. Stop feeling bad about it. Just don’t do it more than twice a month. Fair enough?

Check out THIS clip which stimulated my thoughts around this post.


Jenn Zerling (“JZ”) is the wellness ambassador for Stay Fit Housing guests. JZ is a life-long athlete, lover of life and people, and wishes to help America break the chains of obesity. She provides customized nutrition coaching and fitness training services designed to help all guests optimize Stay Fit Living. JZ’s fitness and nutrition writings can be found in multiple media resources (including JZFitness.com), and her JZ Fitness Nutrition app is available on iTunes and Android.

Comment

Comment

Is it Possible to Travel and Stay Fit?

Consider it your home away from home.  That is, no matter where your career takes you, just be the person you normally are when you’re at home, just at Stay Fit Housing.  Stay Fit Housing is exactly what the name states – you get to stay fit, even when you’re traveling.  Despite the erratic schedule, the bombardment of meetings, the lack of familiarity of where you’re visiting, this will be your home away from home.  How?  You have a team of passionate, five-star committed people who will walk you through an exceptional experience throughout your stay.

I’m JZ, the Director of Guest Wellness for Stay Fit Housing and owner of JZ FITNESS, a brand that develops programming for people to maximize their potential through optimal living.  When I was invited to join the Stay Fit Housing Team, I felt honored and looked at it as another opportunity to extend my teachings to traveling executives who want to stay fit on the road. Is this really a possibility? Absolutely!  In all my years of coaching clients, especially busy executives who travel two weeks out of every month, I found that the only two missing links to people falling off track were their lack of motivation and/or lack of resources.  If people have motivation, but no resources, then Stay Fit Housing is a dream-come-true for them.  For example, one of our guests had to travel for work, which interfered with training for her triathlon, which was only a couple of months down the road.  As an athlete, I know the vigor that goes into training, and I did my research to find a high intensity interval training gym and a triathlon club for her in the city she’s staying in.  She also downloaded my JZ FITNESS Nutrition app on her iPhone, and I coached her in nutrition.  She loved this luxury and had never experienced this convenience and service before.  She claimed that her travels were seamless, not only with her lifestyle needs, but with virtually everything else she needed.  This is Stay Fit Housing.

On the other hand, if someone has the resources but not the motivation, then perhaps the Stay Fit Housing experience can be one’s induction phase to a healthy way of life.  Either way, every guest receives the utmost amount of service throughout their stay so that not only are on-the road-stressors heavily reduced, but the guest is able to feel more “at home” on the road.

We are very excited to announce our Stay Fit Blog which is now open to health and wellness contributors who are looking to offer viable tips for traveling in good health for our guests and prospective guests. Please email Happy@StayFitHousing.com if you would like to join our invigorating community. Living an optimal life is indeed a lifestyle, and with the right resources in place, anyone can do it.  An optimal body is an optimal life.  

We look forward to serving you with helpful on-the-road tips for those who wish to live well, wherever the road takes you.


Jenn Zerling (“JZ”) is the wellness ambassador for Stay Fit Housing guests. JZ is a life-long athlete, lover of life and people, and wishes to help America break the chains of obesity. She provides customized nutrition coaching and fitness training services designed to help all guests optimize Stay Fit Living. JZ’s fitness and nutrition writings can be found in multiple media resources (including JZFitness.com), and her JZ Fitness Nutrition app is available on iTunes and Android.

Comment