It is the beginning of a new year. It is the time when you set goals for what you wish to accomplish over the next 12 months. The year always seems to start out strong, but unfortunately, the motivation you feel around the 1st or 2nd of January dwindles long about the third or fourth week of the month. Ever wonder why this happens year after year? Maybe the answer is not in your lack of will-power or commitment. Maybe the answer is simply in the resolution itself and your honest desire for it to come true. This year, your Fitness Coaches at Body Basics encourage you to Get Real with your New Years Resolutions!
Are you truly ready to make change in your life?
When you are making a New Years Resolution, you need to decide on what steps are necessary to allow to you achieve your new goal. For example, if your goal is to lose 20 pounds then you know you would need to take the steps to work on better nutrition and increase your exercise. Sounds easy right? The truth is, it is that easy, and if more people would stick to this plan, then more people would see success in their weight loss goals. The reason these steps are not that easy for people may have to do with the fact that they are not truly ready for this change in their life.
Change is tough. You become comfortable in a certain way of life and thinking about changing your life can be a scary thought. There are specific steps that everyone goes through when dealing with behavior change. The Transtheoretical Model of Change, in health psychology, can predict success or failure in achieving a behavior change, such as developing different habits. It may be the answer to why some changes “stick” and others are never made.
Stages of Change
1) Pre-contemplation. Precontemplation is when the individual has no real intent on changing the behavior in the near future (the future is usually measured as the next six months). People in this stage are often resistant or unmotivated. Any information, discussion, or thought toward the targeted health behavior tends to be avoided.
2) Contemplation. In the contemplation stage, individuals are open about their attempts to change their habits within the next six months. They are more aware of the benefits of the change, but they keep their distance, still focusing on the costs of change. Often times, individuals in the stage of change can be seen as procrastinators.
3) Preparation. This is the stage where steps towards making the change are taken by the individual, usually within the next month. The preparation stage is viewed as a transitional stage, as the individual moves into the next stage of change: action.
4) Action! This is it! The action stage represents the time when the individual makes the change happen. The behavioral habits have been modified, working toward the ultimate goal. The individual is considered to be in the action stage for the next six months.
5) Maintenance. These individuals have maintained the behavior change for at least six months and are working hard to prevent relapse. The individual in this stage reports a high level of self-efficacy and are less likely to be tempted to fall back into their old habits.
As Fitness Coaches, we work with many different people, all of whom are in at least one of these five stages of change. While an individual may be in the Action stage for the fitness aspect of his/her life, he/she may also be in the Pre-contemplation stage for the nutritional component of his/her life. It is important that we understand where to meet our clients, depending on what stage they are in, to ensure success. It is also important that the individual realizes the stages of change he/she needs to go through in order to reach the Action stage, where the behavior change is ultimately realized.
When you sit down to write your New Year’s Resolution this year, be honest with yourself about how important your goals really are to you and recognize what stage you are in according to the Transtheoretical Model of Change. The truth is you will not reach your goal until you are ready to make change in your life. When you are ready, you are in the Action stage and are making the behavior changes necessary to reach your ultimate goal. Keep yourself on track by realizing what stage you are currently in and make it a goal to keep moving forward through the stages of change until you are really, really, ready for your resolution to come true this year – and be prepared – because it will!
Race for the Cure!
The 10th annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure is scheduled for April 6, 2008. Mark your calendars and stay tuned for more information on how to join our BodyBasics Crew team!
The next time you are at the grocery store, look around the produce section and notice how many beautiful colors of fruits and vegetables there are just waiting for you to put in your cart. Eating a variety of colors of fruits and vegetables is important not only because they make up a healthy diet, but because they offer different kinds of health-protective phytochemicals that are linked with reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease.
Knowing that fruits and vegetables are incredibly good for us, many people still do not eat their recommended daily amount. For most of our clients, we find that fruits seem to be easier to add to their healthy nutrition eating habits more so than vegetables. True, fruits are excellent for our health, but don’t discount the all-mighty vegetable!
Vegatables are what internationally known sports nutritionist, Nancy Clark, MS, RD, calls “nature’s vitamin pill.” They are an excellent source of vitamin C, beta-carotene, potassium, magnesium, and many other vitamins, minerals, and health-protective substances. This year, your Fitness Coaches at BodyBasics challenge you to eat more vegetables!
What type of vegetable is best?
Any vegetable is good for you. Fresh is the certainly the best option, but frozen and canned are good too. Frozen vegetables are a good second choice since freezing destroys little nutritional value. Canned vegetables are a good option, as well, since they are processed quickly, they retain many of their nutrients. Dark, colorful vegetables usually have more nutritional value than paler ones.
Raw vs. Cooked
Most vegetables offer more nutritional benefits when eaten raw (tomatoes are an exception since they provide more available lycopene, a powerful antioxidant, when cooked than when eaten raw). However, not everyone finds slices of a crunchy yellow or red pepper a delicious, naturally sweet snack. The good news is that if you are careful not to overcook your veggies, that is, cooking them only until they are tender-crisp, most of the nutritional value will be retained. The best methods for cooking are steaming, in the microwave, or in a wok. If you are cooking your vegetables in a soup, get excited, because the broth will be saturated with all of those wonderful nutrients.
How much is enough?
Everyone’s need for vegetable intake will differ depending on their total caloric daily need. For example, a 2000 calorie diet will need two servings of “starchy” vegetables (corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, winter squashes such as pumpkin, butternut, acorn, dried beans, peas, lentils) and four servings of “regular” vegetables.
These servings may seem like a lot to handle on a daily basis, but actually, serving sizes are fairly small. The following are examples of serving sizes for vegetables:
• ½ cup of raw or cooked vegetables, such as broccoli or carrots
• ¾ 100% vegetable juice
• 2 cups of raw, leafy greens (lettuce, spinach, etc)
• ½ cup of beans (legumes)
Tips to adding more vegetables to your daily diet
• For convenience, shop for precut and cleaned vegetables
• Begin at least one meal a day with a salad
• Stock your freezer with frozen veggies that are easy to microwave or add to a soup or casserole
• Prepare vegetables ahead of time. Wash and cut up fresh produce and store in the refrigerator for handy, easy snacks (i.e. carrots, celery, radishes, jicama, sugar snap peas, bell peppers)
• Bake potatoes on the weekend to use during the week
• Make a pot of vegetable soup weekly and use for quick meals and snacks
• Eat vegetarian meals more often
• For lunch, use the salad bar at restaurants or the grocery store
• Try a new vegetable each week
• Add beans to soups, casseroles, and salads
These tips and more can be found in the Healthy Eating & Weight Management Guide: Science-Based Strategies for a Better Life by Dorene Robinson, RD CDN, p.11
Clark, Nancy, MS, RD, Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook: The #1 nutrition resource for active people, 3rd edition. Sports Medicine Associates, Brookline, MA. 2003.
While we are on the topic of vegetables, we encourage our clients to plan one of their dinners each week to be completely vegetarian. Here is a recipe for a healthy vegetarian meal that is oh-so-yummy!
Recipe by Rachael Ray. Rachael Ray 365: No Repeats, p. 156
2 cups basmati rice
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 14-ounce container firm tofu, patted dry and cut into 1-1/2 inch dices
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 garlic cloves, chopped
3-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 10-ounce boxes of frozen spinach, defrosted, squeezed dry of excess liquid in a kitchen towel
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups vegetable stock or broth
2 tablespoons curry paste, mild or hot
¼ prepared mango chutney
1 15-ounce can chick peas
1 cup sliced almonds
Prepare the rice according to the package directions.
Preheat a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium-high heat with the vegetable oil. Add the tofu, season with salt and pepper, and lightly brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove the tofu from the skillet and reserve on a plate. To the same skillet, add the garlic, ginger, onions, cumin and coriander. Sauté together for 4 to 5 minutes or until the onions are tender. Add the spinach and continue to cook for 2 minutes. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a bubble. Add the curry paste, mango chutney, and chick peas, then return the browned tofu to the skillet, reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer the curry for 8 to 10 minutes.
While the curry is simmering, toast the almonds in a small dry skillet over medium heat until golden. Once the rice is cooked, fluff it with a fork, add the toasted almonds, and stir with the fork.
Serve the curry in shallow bowls with a scoop of almond rice on top (rice on the bottom gets too mushy).
This recipe yields 4 Servings (Rachael Ray’s servings are HUGE portions. This recipe really should make at least 6 servings)
Linda Ryan – January
Linda began coming to BodyBasics in June of 2007. To date she has gone from knowing that she needed exercise in her program to absolutely loving the opportunity to exercise. This is demonstrated by her continued improvements in strength, flexibility, and overall athleticism. She has also taken giant steps toward improving both the consistency and the quality of her nutritional choices. All of these improvements have led to Linda being the perfect choice for Client of the Month.
We all want you to know how proud we are of you! —Your Coaches: Bryon, Chris, Jenny, and Kathleen
Cindy Petti – February
Since March of 2005 when Cindy first started coming to BodyBasics, consistency has been her mainstay. Cindy continues to maintain her fitness program despite injury, travel, and other challenges that have tried their best to slow her down. Her dedication to her health and wellbeing is evidenced by her willingness to adapt the type of services she is utilizing with her time schedule. To date Cindy has participated in Yoga, Fitness Coaching, Personalized Group Training, and Nutrition Coaching. As a result she has dramatically improved her overall fitness. Cindy, thank you for your contagious laugh and bountiful energy. We really appreciate what you bring to Body Basics! — Your Coaches: Bryon, Chris, Jenny, and Kathleen
To empower people to realize their innate abilities by providing an environment that nurtures, educates, and inspires.
Keep Up the Great Work!
We are very proud of all of you!
Chris, Jenny, Bryon, and Kathleen