How to Prepare for BBQ Season

It is officially sailing season, and Tom and I had our first overnight cruise this weekend. There was a chill in the air, and we had our anchorage all to ourselves. Provisioning for a cruise is always fun and the menu is always delicious. Galley cooking has its challenges, but if I am well prepared, meals are both a culinary and nutrition success. Memorial Day weekend is also the official kickoff for backyard bbqs, potluck picnics, and celebratory cookouts. It’s a fun and festive season. Who doesn’t love to see the recipes from Pinterest debut on the new patio table? But for those of us working on a new nutrition plan and wellness routine, these events can take us from fire pit to pit fall in 60 seconds or less. A simple occasion can now be fraught with emotions ranging from anxiety to despair as we try to make good choices while being polite or enjoy a small indulgence without being buried by guilt. The good news is many of this can be navigated safely with a few simple strategies and by being prepared.
Preparing for a bbq, picnic, or cookout can be narrowed down to a few simple dos and don’ts.
If you are going to a potluck, bring a healthy dish you can eat. If it is a new kind of food for your crowd, have a few pointers about why this is something you’ve added to your repertoire and share these with nutrition-curious guests. Chances are you’re not the only one skipping the slaw and others will be glad for the alternative.
Don’t show up famished. It is much harder to make healthy choices at the buffet when you are over-hungry. Sometimes we institute our own fasting / reward rule – skipping lunch to overeat at dinner- this is not a recipe for success. Treat the meal at the party like any other meal on any other day. Stick to your portions and food group balance.
The devil is in the details. Your average meal and calorie intake hovers around a certain amount. The peripheral foods can add up to just as many calories- the handful of chips, grandma’s ambrosia salad, the ranch dip (even though you’re eating veggies with it), and all those cute little dishes of bite-sized yumminess perching on the side tables. Be mindful of those small bites as you work your way to the game of corn hole.
At the same time, don’t completely deprive yourself of a little splurge. No one should be the martyr in the corner with a rice cracker plate. This only builds resentment and a feeling of missing out. That’s not healthy either. You get to be empowered here. Choose something, if you feel like it, that you can’t get just anywhere, like your friend’s cheese dip she only makes once a year, and maybe skip the deli potato salad that you can have anytime.
And finally remember why you’re here. These parties are to gather with friends and family. While food is a big part of the event, it is not the only focus of the event. Enjoy yourself, enjoy your summer, and celebrate.
Simple dos and don’ts of the backyard BBQ for nutrition success:
DO- Bring something healthy that you love.
DON’T – Overeat because you are over hungry
DO – Watch the peripheral grazing
DON’T – Deprive yourself
DO – Enjoy your friends and family

How will you prepare for your next event?


New Workouts, Better Progress

This week on our walk around Beauchamp Point in Rockport, I pointed out to Hunter that the wind was coming from the south. This southerly breeze is a tell-tale sign of summer coming. As a sailor this is a welcomed change, one that brings new opportunities and new activities for the months ahead. This change in my routine keeps me engaged, challenges me, and is exciting! You might have noticed that we changed routines at the gym this week too.

One of the luxuries of going to a gym that offers group classes is the advanced programming. I love not having to think about my workout routine. I never have to walk in to Hybrid Fitness, look at the weight room and say, “What am I going to do today?” At Hybrid we have a team of trainers who puts together our workouts for us. Thank you!

Improving our fitness and gaining strength both come from a consistent routine. Our muscles adapt as we challenge them, whether that is through heavier load, higher reps, or faster cardio, and this is where we get stronger. But we cannot achieve these gains by doing the same thing at every workout. Switching to a lighter load, fewer reps, or a change of movement overall is necessary at certain times. Just when you were used to last month’s routine, we mixed it up on you, didn’t we?

Why do we do this?

  • Build new muscles:

Recreational exercisers (that’s us), can build a little bit of everything and be physically ready for anything. Rather than training only one part of our body we can share the love and build powerful legs, a strong upper body, and our endurance through a variety of exercises.

  • Move off the Plateau

My favorite reason for change is avoiding the plateau. Once we do something over and over our bodies get very efficient at it and we eventually adapt, which means burning fewer calories and not experiencing strength gain. Mixing in new movements makes us work harder and progress more.

  • Prevent overuse injury:

When we do something over and over we are more likely to experience a repetitive strain injury. Changing it up, gives our joints, muscles, and connective tissue a chance to rest. We are training for life, and this is why we want to have a well rounded training program. We do not need to over-emphasize any specific muscle as though we are an Olympic shot-put champion.

  • Prevent boredom:

This one is obvious, but important. If we aren’t having fun, or feeling challenged, we will lose interest. Mixing it up keeps us coming back for more!

With our Hybrid workouts we go from high volume and low intensity to develop our foundation and build our muscles, and then we progress to low volume, high intensity where we are reaching our top performance in those movements. As we hit that peak we move on to other movements and develop a new muscle group. Through these cycles we are reaping the benefits of our hard work, and as clients, we don’t have to give it a second thought. Workouts that have their own winds of change~ What a luxury!

Personal Development

Strong Moms for All of Us

Recently I wrote a list of the people I admire and their attributes. This outline serves as a reference for my intention, what inspires me, who influences me, and what qualities I value in life. My list includes my mother who is patient, compassionate, present, peaceful, and a good listener. I also included many of my mom friends from the gym who I see as resourceful, dependable, self-reliant, knowledgeable, loyal, and independent. These qualities inspire me everyday. Life throws a lot our way and the moms in our lives are amazing role models for all of us in how to handle what comes at us, with grace and ease. I feel very fortunate to be part of a community that includes many strong moms. Your strength is not just in your deadlifts and back squats, but also in your successes and struggles, your personal daily prs and your ability to show up and do your best, just like you do at the gym.

Who is on your list, and what are the qualities you admire?

Motivational Personal Development

What is Your Awesome?

This week I have the pleasure of visiting my niece and nephew during my trip to Colorado. My time with them consists of doing things they love and watching them be awesome. We play tetherball, ride bikes, read stories, make slime, and there’s soccer and flag football games too. Both of them have something they are awesome at doing, and their joy and excitement around that is contagious.
Yesterday I took them to their school fair, complete with sack races and a dunk tank. I love seeing them in their world and having them share it with me. Sven, a circus arts performer, was my highlight at the fair. I’m always impressed when someone can do these amazing stunts and entertain an audience with humor and wit, with a peppering of philosophy. Sven climbed towers, balanced on giant spheres, and juggled fire. It was meant to impress the kids, but I was riveted. This man was “doing his awesome.” I realized as he set up to do his final tight rope walk that he was not just entertaining us, he was not an exhibitionist, he was simply exceptional at his art and inviting us in to his passion. His mission was not to inspire us to become circus artists, but to inspire us to be awesome at something we love.
As he began his walk across the tight rope, he looked out at us and said just what I was thinking, “Boys and girls, I know I make this look easy, but this is hard. I’ve been doing this for 28 years and I’m really good. But I’m not here to inspire you to become jugglers. I’m here to excite you to find something you love and be awesome at that. Then go out and share that with the world. That’s the world I want to live in, where people are awesome at different things and they share that with each other.”
Today was my turn to share my awesome with the kids. We went on a full day expedition in the mountains. There was so much joy between us as we laughed and learned, and sang and summited. This is the world I want to live in, just like Sven, where people share their awesome with each other and bring joy not only for themselves but to each other by sharing it…

What is your awesome?