New Lily

If You Want Lean Muscle Mass, It’s More About What you Eat and Less About What You Do

Most athletes want to be lean regardless of the sport in which they participate.  In fact, most of us, whether we are super athletic or weekend warriors, want lean muscle mass. So what is the most effective way to become leaner?  The secret is nutrition.  In other words, it’s what we eat…not what we do.  I have written many times about the Rule of 70. I believe weight loss/weight maintenance is 30% what we do (exercise), and 70% what we eat.  I think Alan Tyson would agree as he recently wrote about what we can do to create lean bodies with less training, and why it is a good thing. The following are the foods Tyson recommends for creating and maintaining lean muscle mass while also maintaining fitness.  By eating a combination of the following foods, not only will you likely see increased muscle mass and a leaner body, your workouts will take on a whole new level. [Read more…]

Here’s to New Beginnings and to No More Deadbeats

lazy imagesDeadbeat blogger.  That’s me.  I heard that phrase while listening to an interview on Platform University.   I haven’t blogged in months. I have no lack of excuses. In fact excuses are all I have.  Yet I know that the deadbeat blogger in me is a reflection (or reaction more accurately) to a phase of life I find myself in (wait, I think that’s another excuse).  I am in transition.  I have four kids out of the house, one about to graduate, and four more at home.  I am in the middle of it all.

As a homeschool mom, I have been at it for twenty years.  I’m still committed but I’m tired.  I need a second wind.  As a fitness enthusiast, I find myself strangely in transition as well.  In the past I have run marathons, I have maintained a daily workout regimen, I have tried and enjoyed various types of exercise (running, cycling, P90x, barre, rowing). Now I find myself in a more solitary place when it comes to fitness.  I’m still doing lots of different things, but due to schedules and friend’s injuries or my own, I often workout alone.  I don’t mind.  It’s not a bad thing. But I have to rely on my own motivation… which let’s just say is not as healthy as it used to be.  One day of no exercise can easily lead to another and before I know it I’m hardly working out at all.  Okay, it’s really not that bad. But there is no doubt I need a good kick in the pants. [Read more…]

Why I Love Fall Fitness… Three of My Favorite Fall Workouts

imagesWhat is there not to like about fall? Cooler weather (it’s not hot anymore…but it’s not cold yet either).  Beautiful colors (a glorious time to be outside).  Change (something we all relate to ….the change on the outside usually reflects a change on the inside as well).  Like I said, what’s not to like about this season?

Here are three of my go-to fall workouts that are also three more reasons I love fall.

1.”Run Spot Squat Run”.  Tired of the same-old same old run?  Add some squats/push-ups/lunges smack dab in the middle of your same old-same old.  If you are going out for 5 miles, for instance, stop after the first 2.5 and do the following quick and dirty mini workout: 3X 20 squats/ 20 push ups/ 20 lunges (you can drop this to 10 if 20 is too much at first).  Take a few much needed breaths at this point and ready yourself for the second 2.5 miles of your run.  Two things I like about this workout… 1) You won’t believe how much you want to run after you’ve done the squat – push up fun, and 2) You’ll find five miles goes much faster when you break it up this way. The cooler fall climate makes this a great time to try to change up workout…

[Read more…]

Born to Row…the Intimate Details of My Love Affair

rowing meFullSizeRenderI’m in love.  It’s finally time to come clean. I’ve been keeping things quiet (you can understand why).  But I don’t think there is any going back now.  The guilt has been killing me, so it’s time to confess. I’ve decided to just lay it all out there… I’m exposing the intimate details (this is hard for me too, you know). [Read more…]

Balance in Eating is Not Easy But it is Key

You Must Be Hungry is a book written by a mom who is food journalist and her daughter who battles eating disorders

You Must Be Hungry is a book written by a mom (Sheila Himmel) who is a food journalist and her daughter (Lisa Himmel) who battled eating disorders

My daughter is a runner.  She recently decided that she needed to lose a few pounds in her attempt to drop some time on the track.  My motherhood antenna went up automatically.  Since she already runs quite a bit and also works on strength training, exercise is not something she needs more of.  So she is focusing on the kitchen and on eating healthier.  Of course I am all about my kids eating healthy.

Unfortunately I also know that we all can become out of balance sometimes.  We are, most of us, aware of the issues of eating disorders for teenage girls and young adults.  So when a 17 year-old tells me she wants to drop a few pounds, my first thought is NO!  Yet I also remember that sometime around that same age I first started becoming aware of eating healthier.  In some ways, in fact, the early we recognize that good food choices are important in maintaining healthy weight, the earlier we can make good habits a part of everyday life. [Read more…]

I Went For a Bike Ride…What is You Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone?

group-ride2-350x205I went on a group ride on Saturday. I couldn’t believe how far outside my comfort zone it took me.  I used to ride a fair amount.  Clipping in and out of my pedals used to be no big deal.  But that was a long time ago. After many years away from the bike, I made my biking debut at the Giordana Velodrome last summer. Then I was off it again for almost a year.  I got back on twice this week.  On Thursday I joined #6 (Grace) on a practice ride back at the velodrome.  On Saturday I saddled up again for a 30 mile ride in Waxhaw, NC along with #7 (John) who is 11.

Oddly, my anxiety about cycling remains high.  I can’t blame it on my age since most of those riding in the group ride were at least my age and many were well over 10 years older than me.  I can’t really blame it on inexperience either, since I started cycling as a junior in college at Indiana University. [Read more…]

Are You Sore? Don’t You Grab that Ibuprofen! Some Natural Remedies You Need to Try

muscle sorenssWhether your type of fitness is of the weekend warrior type or the daily workout, you probably have suffered from soreness.  It is pretty much par for the course.  I actually like a little soreness the day after a hard workout…it reminds me that I have put in the effort. Below is an article by Alan Tyson, Physical Therapist, and owner of Architech Sports in Charlotte, NC, who has been working with athletes for his entire career. As I read it, I immediately noted that he does NOT recommend ibuprofen (admittedly a go-to remedy for me).  You might be as surprised as I was to see some of his natural sources for treating muscle soreness…. [Read more…]

9 Simple Tips for Making Smoothies (Juicing Too)

Some of my favorite add-ins are basil or mint leaves....

Some of my favorite add-ins are basil or mint leaves….

I love my Vitamix.  I feel so fortunate that we decided to “bite the bullet” and buy one when my husband was diagnosed with cancer some years back.  It’s been worth every dime (or dollar…or hundreds of dollars…but whatever). As long as we have a little fruit in the house, some greens, and maybe yogurt or kefir, we can make great smoothies almost everyday. I would say we do the smoothie thing about 4-5 days a week.  I love handing #5 (Annie) a smoothie as she heads out the door. She’s 17 and drives so she has access to junk food if she wants it.  I feel good about loading her up with a tall glass of greens and fruit, knowing at least she has started the day right. The rest of my younger kids stay home for school, and smoothies are a quick way to start the day (clean-up is another topic altogether). [Read more…]

How a Simple Fitness Plan Can Make A Big Difference

Motivation-Monday-618How a Simple Fitness Plan Can Be The Difference

(A guest blog by Chris Taylor) 

 Let me start by asking you a question: when was the last time you went for a walk on your lunchbreak? Or did some sit-ups before heading off to work? If you’re already looking at this blog with unveiled derision, then I don’t blame you. We all know that it’s pretty difficult to incorporate an effective fitness regime into a busy lifestyle. [Read more…]

Nine Reasons I’m Happy I Drink Coffee (And Why it’s Great Pre-Workout)

coffee 1imagesMost people who know me know I like coffee (ok I’ll admit it…I love it). I can usually be seen with a cup of coffee in my hand most of the morning in fact.  I like it hot so I usually have to either microwave it or pour it back into the pot and refill my cup to keep it piping.  I’m always happy to find reasons to keep drinking my Joe and so when I recently read an article touting the benefits of coffee, I was confidently re-affirmed that my coffee-drinking habit is justified (I admit I conveniently avoid reading articles suggesting otherwise).

The following are nine reasons I am a happy coffee drinker: [Read more…]