Mixed Tape Monday

I guess we could call it miscellaneous Monday, but I then I was cleaning out an old box of stuff and came across some mixed tapes. Really, it happened just like that. (I was tempted to put an exclamation point there, but I've only got four left).*

Music was harder to come by back in the day and mixed tapes were what you created to get through a road trip or if you made a new best friend at summer camp. But they weren't easy to make (tapes, not friends..maybe), as we either had to listen to the radio and wait for the DJ to play a song we liked (and hope he wouldn't talk over the beginning, ugh) or find another tape and copy it using the super fancy dual cassette deck. (C'mon, like this post if you remember high speed dubbing.)

 J.D. is not so much talking about the diet here with his green face, as his affinity for Donatello...

J.D. is not so much talking about the diet here with his green face, as his affinity for Donatello...

I say this to the college kids I work with who look at me like I'm 90 (it happened over night). Now you Shazam a song, download it on iTunes and boom. Young kids these days have no idea what it was like to schlep to a record store and buy an entire cassette that you didn't want  just for one song. (excuse me while I go find my soap box).

Anywho, in the spirt of the mixed tape, here are a couple thoughts for Monday morning, but this particular mixed tape has no theme.

Green Face - a simple approach to nutrition 

No, it's not the cute little Ninja Turtle off there to the right. That's my adorable nephew. Green Face is actually an overly simplified approach to nutrition. As a full disclaimer, I'm still learning about nutrition; I've learned a lot about food and how macronutrients work together when I did a fat loss program last year, but what follows is a simplified practice that personal trainers often use to help new clients.

Nutrition, along with fitness and exercise, can be really overwhelming, especially at the beginning. And when you throw in all of the other stress and time constraints that life throws at us, knowing and understanding exactly what decision to make about nutrition can be daunting. If I've had to make 75 decisions leading up to dinner, I'm too fatigued to think about what I'm eating. I've had enough stress in my day.

We worry about calories, but what about our macronutrients? And veggies? And are carbs still the Cruella Deville of the grocery store?  

One way to simplify it is with the green face approach.

1. If the food you are eating is green or had a face at one time, it's a good bet that food will fit into your nutritional goals. (Please don't bring up the Sara McLaughlin commercial; I know there are chickens that need good homes.)

2. If the food would have grown up to have a face at one point (eggs), you can eat it. 

3. If it's not green or didn't have a face, don't eat it.

This means no fruit, no nuts, no dairy, no avocado, and no PBR. (This was hard for me, as I like beer. But really this is no alcohol, not even 30 year old scotch).

This approach is generally used to deplete glycogen in the liver and muscles so the body becomes efficient at burning fat. It can also help break sugar and carb addictions and folks who use it only do so for three weeks. 

I offer this approach as a guideline to use when you're in a pinch and eating on the run. Ultimately, if you can work with a nutritionist or a registered dietician when making major nutrition changes then it's best to get the advice of a pro. Changing your nutrition plan ultimately isn't about going on a diet. It's about re-learning how to eat and changing habits.

And it doesn't mean giving up your co-worker's famous chocolate chip cookies forever.  (Just a few weeks.)

Exercises to do when you sit all day

I do a lot more sitting than I'd like to, and we've all been hearing more about how sitting is the new smoking. To help combat the amount of sitting I sometimes have to do, and to keep myself from going bat s***t crazy at my desk all day, I often stand up and do a few rounds of light exercises in my office, just to get the blood flowing. 

No it's true. I do it. My coworkers have no idea. 

Usually I start off with a 10 prisoner squats, 8 reverse lunges, 8 push ups (modify them on a chair if necessary; more about push ups at a later time), and then 8 per side of single leg Romanian Deadlifts. In case you don't know what a RDL is, here's a quick video to give you the 411. 

I go through the round twice and then repeat later, if my neck is getting stiff and I'm getting tired. 

Patriots' Day

This is a holiday up here for most New Englanders, and when I was in Boston, it was a great day to find a spot somewhere along the Boston Marathon route, cheer on the runners, and then head on over to Kenmore Square to cheer on the Red Sox in an early game. So happy Patriots' Day to all of the New England readers, and to those of you from Western Pennsylvania, this is not a holiday celebrating the NFL team up here. 

* See earlier post about Dr. Minot, a professor of mine at Gannon University, only allowing five exclamation points in our lifetime.