Sarah's Fit Blog


Posted in Live by Sarah on September 20, 2012

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10 Health Habits That Will Help You Live to 100

Posted in Live by Sarah on September 17, 2012

You don’t need to eat yogurt and live on a mountaintop, but you do need to floss.

One of the biggest factors that determines how well you age is not your genes but how well you live. Of course, getting to age 100 is enormously more likely if your parents did, but why shortcut your potential? Assuming you’ve sidestepped genes for truly fatal diseases, “there’s nothing stopping you from living independently well into your 90s,” says Thomas Perls, who studies the century-plus set at Boston University School of Medicine. So go ahead and shoot for those triple digits by following these 11 habits.

Don’t retire.

“Evidence shows that in societies where people stop working abruptly, the incidence of obesity and chronic disease skyrockets after retirement,” says Luigi Ferrucci, director of the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging. If you do retire, stay active, perhaps by volunteering.

Floss every day

It may help keep your arteries healthy. A 2008 New York University study showed that daily flossing reduced the amount of gum-disease-causing bacteria in the mouth. These bacteria are thought to enter the bloodstream and trigger inflammation in the arteries, a major risk factor for heart disease.

Move around

“Exercise is the only real fountain of youth that exists,” says Jay Olshansky, a professor of medicine and aging researcher at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Studies show exercise improves your mood, mental acuity, balance, muscle mass, and bones.

Get at least six hours of shut-eye

Centenarians make sleep a top priority. “Sleep is one of the most important functions that our body uses to regulate and heal cells,” says Ferrucci. “We’ve calculated that the minimum amount of sleep that older people need to get those healing REM phases is about six hours.”

Consume whole foods, not supplements

Research suggests that people who have high blood levels of certain nutrients—selenium, beta-carotene, vitamins C and E—age much better and have a slower rate of cognitive decline. Unfortunately, there’s no evidence that taking pills with these nutrients provides those antiaging benefits. Avoid nutrient-lacking white foods and embrace colorful fruits and vegetables, and dark whole-grain breads and cereals.

Be less neurotic.

Centenarians don’t tend to dwell on problems or internalize things, research suggests. Find better ways to manage your stress. Yoga, exercise, meditation, tai chi, or just deep breathing for a few moments are all good. Ruminating, eating chips in front of the TV, binge drinking? Bad, very bad.

Live like a Seventh Day Adventist

Seventh Day Adventist have an average life expectancy of 89, about a decade longer than the average American. One of the basic tenets of the religion is that it’s important to cherish the body that’s on loan from God, which means no smoking, alcohol abuse, or overindulging in sweets. Followers typically get plenty of exercise, are vegetarian, and make family and community a focus.

Be a creature of habit

Centenarians tend to live by strict routines, eating the same kind of diet and doing the same kinds of activities their whole lives. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day is another good habit to keep your body in the steady equilibrium that can be easily disrupted as you get on in years. When that equilibrium is thrown off, your immunity can weaken, leaving you more susceptible to circulating flu viruses or bacterial infections.

Stay connected

Having regular social contacts with friends and loved ones is key to avoiding depression, which can lead to premature death. Having a daily connection with a close friend or family member gives older folks the added benefit of having someone watch their back. “They’ll tell you if they think your memory is going or if you seem more withdrawn,” says Perls, “and they might push you to see a doctor before you recognize that you need to see one yourself.”

Be conscientious

The strongest personality predictor of a long life is conscientiousness—that is, being prudent, persistent, and well-organized, according to The Longevity Project, coauthored by Howard Friedman and Leslie Martin. That’s likely because conscientious types are more inclined to follow doctors’ orders, take the right medicines at the right doses, and undergo routine checkups.

Pain Cave

Posted in Live by Sarah on September 14, 2012

Just wanted to post some pics of my pain cave and proof that I actually bust my ass down there to keep all my classes varied. Everyone should have at least a few pieces of equipment to work out at home. If anything, a good pair of running shoes so you can lace up and head out…for free! Maybe a few dumbbells, a jump rope, and a resistance band. Because the only wasted workout is one you didn’t do, and the only usless pieces of equipment are the ones you don’t use.

12 Mind Blowing Protein Shakes

Posted in Live by Sarah on September 14, 2012
I googled “Protein shakes using almond milk” and came across this list. Although not all of them are Paleo or include almond milk, they all sound SO GOOD! I’m going to try a few and make my own modifications. Each of these easy-to-make elixirs contains 25 to 50 grams of high-quality protein, for starters. It only gets better from there…
*These were all found on bodybuilding.com
1. Coconut Twisted Julius
2. Muscular Mango
3. Almond Joy
4. Caramel Coffee
5. The Fuzzy Protein
6. Dark Chocolate Banana
7. Cheesecake Protein
8. The “Rich”
9. Chocolate Peanut Butter
10. Fibrous Fruit
11. Snickers Mocha
  • 1 scoop Protein Powder
  • 1/2 cup cold Coffee
  • 1/2 cup skim or unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1 tsp drops of sugar-free Caramel Creamer
  • 1/4-1/2 packet of sugar-free Chocolate Carnation Instant Breakfast
  • 3 Ice Cubes
  • 1 tsp Butternut flavoring extract
12. Sweet Strawberry

This is one of my favorites:

  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 tsp almond butter

Whole30 Finished, but still going strong!

Posted in Eat,Learn,Live by Sarah on September 11, 2012

I did it! I completed the Whole 30! Now that I have time to sit down and give you all a recap, let me first say that just because I completed the 30 days, does not mean that I am done. Not just because it was such a great experience, but mainly because I’m scared to go back to eating the foods I used to eat from what I have learned about them.
I thought I knew a lot about nutrition: fruits and veggies are good, sugar is bad, eat dairy for calcium, grains and beans for fiber, and avoid fried foods. I guess you could say I was half way there. It’s incredible how many people are completely oblivious to any of my former beliefs, but I know have it narrowed down to a more ideal way of eating….for myself. Rather than rant on about what a breakthrough I had, I’ll give a quick list of the things I personally learned while on Whole 30 (if you haven’t noticed yet, I love lists and my blog is filled with them. It’s a Virgo thing) I am gong to be straightforward, but if you need more information, feel free to google around, you will find more than enough to back me up.

Here is what I learned during my Whole30:

  • The best time to experiment with Whole 30 is in late Summer, aka harvest season!
  • The not-so-ideal time to experiment with Whole30 is while you are training for a marathon. It’s possible, but tricky to keep your energy and performance on par.
  • I was right, fruit is good. All fruit. All shapes, sizes, colors, textures and flavors. The darker and thin skinned, the better (think blueberries)!
  • Right again, veggies are good, Except peas, and the vegetable formally known as corn. That genetically modified crap is in everything!! This is why you need to learn to not only read labels, but to identify all ingredients.
  • I know why the fat lady farts. Legumes contain lectin which cause inflammation, and disrupt your digestive system. Hold the beans.
  • Eliminating soy cured months and months of cramping prior to Whole30. Soybeans naturally contain the phytoestrogens (plant estrogens) known as isoflavones. There have been mixed results in studies investigating specific health benefits of isoflavones, but some studies link isoflavones to thyroid problems and hormonal distractions such as menopause and lower testosterone. Stay away from soy.
  • Wheat contains lectins (mentioned earlier) and gluten. Gluten compromises calcium saturation, vitamin D3 levels, thyroid problems and bone defects. Celiac disease (an autoimmune disorder of the small intestine) is on the rise. Hmmm, wonder why? Wheat is another genetically modified mess.
  • Sugar is in almost everything!! I am still learning how to identify sugar and it’s various disguised names. The only ones I have memorized are: sugar (duh!) brown sugar, corn syrup, fructose, high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, fruit juice concentrate, honey, lactose, maltodextrine, molasses, sorbitol, sucrose. That is just the surface…and that scares me.
  • Dairy is filled with sugar and hormones, and it provokes an inflammatory response in the gut, which can adversely effect how you digest and absorb not just dairy products, but all your food. Many of us are lactose intolerant, but have no idea (ffffart) kinda like me.
  • Coconut oil is a great cooking oil, and moisturizer. And it smells oh so yummy!
  • Olive Oil is an ideal cooking oil and doesn’t heat too fast.
  • Yams are probably the best pre-race carbohydrate you can find!
  • Almond butter is (dare I say it) just as tasty as peanut butter.
  • Pistachios are just as wonderful to snack on as nutrient deficient chips.
  • I learned to re-hate coffee because the only way to drink it was black, so I traded it for green tea.
  • I learned that there is a lot more going on behind the scenes in our food industry than we will ever know, it’s frightening really. So for me, the fewer ingredients, the better.


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