Organic does not mean it’s healthy
Gluten free does not mean it’s healthy
Made with whole grains does not mean it’s healthy
Fat free does not mean it’s healthy
The list goes on!
So what the heck do they mean?
Oxford tells us organic is defined as “produced or involving production without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or other artificial agents.”
So yes, if all other pieces of a product are the same, but one is made purely from organic ingredients and one is not, then the organic version is the healthier choice. But, if the food we are talking about is loaded with sugars, processed, laden with ingredients that are not exactly nourishing, but the item is technically ‘organic’, would you call that healthy?
Gluten free simply means there is no gluten in the item. It has nothing to do with whether or not the item is ‘good for you’. No gluten, but loaded with sugar. No gluten, but a terribly poor quality piece of meat. No gluten, but smothered in butter. See how simply stating there is no gluten does not mean the food is a great choice in a day’s diet? Gluten free is a label for people who need to or choose to take gluten out of their diets, and not a label that tells us whether or not the item fits into my or your overall healthy diet.
“Made with Whole Grains”
Oh how this marketing stunt drives me crazy! “But the box says it’s made with whole grain, so that means it’s healthy,” is a statement I’ve heard more than once from people trying to make healthier choices but without the education beyond what a marketer promotes. Do you remember when the whole grain shift started and marketers dove into making sure that any processed good that had above the minimum requirement of whole grains to have this notation had it prominently placed on the front of the boxes? I do. Fantastic to have way more products than in the past using whole grains in their ingredients– I am so happy about that– but it is skewed in that often people assume that ‘made with’ means it is good all around. Sadly, there is a small amount of whole grain that needs to be in a product in order to use that phrase, leaving the rest of the ingredients list to still be filled with ‘unbleached wheat flour’, “enriched wheat flour”, and other varieties now stripped of their nutritive properties.
Of note: ‘made with whole grain’, ‘whole grain rich’, ‘whole grain’ each have different legal requirements of the minimum amount of whole grain involved to make the claim. We want to strive to be educated and aware of what we are putting into our bodies, and these slight variations in wording have big effects in the ingredients.
What do we want to look for?? The first ingredient should be a whole grain. The list of ingredients to be short. To see if there are a lot of ‘extras’-- additives, sugars, syrups, words you can’t pronounce… The less processed and the more ‘from the earth’ the better. A grain before it is processed and stripped of its nutritional benefits.
Take out all the fat from a processed food, what else has to be done for it to still taste like you hope it will taste? Often, when a manufacturer takes out the fat, they add in sugar, artificial fill-in-the-blanks, chemicals… For the most part, only foods that are naturally fat free (i.e. apples, spinach, etc.) haven’t been altered in order to procure a ‘fat free’ label. Does this mean everything that has a ‘fat free version’ is inherently a poor choice? No, but it does mean we need to look further: what are the ingredients as a whole (sense a trend with this statement?) and is there a reason we need to cut back on fat, or is the full or low fat version fine for us?
Which leads me to: ‘Fat’ does not equal ‘bad’. We all need fat in our diets, and the healthier the fat options the better (that’s for another post!). The problem is how America as a whole tends to consume it: too much, and often the poorest qualities of fat. On the other hand, limiting our fat intake too much can result in eating more calories from lack of satiety as well as health problems that can come from not having healthy fats in our bodies (weakened immune systems, vitamin deficiencies, and more). Check out the recommended daily values for you, and then find healthy fat sources to use in your diet (olive oils, avocados, etc.).
“Atkins”, “Keto”, “Paleo”, any of the others ‘diets’ branding
Have manufacturers jumped on the bandwagon with these guys or what? Everywhere, I see new products coming on the market with these words tacked on to or as the title. I’ve seen protein bars labeled as the above with so many ingredients in them that the font has to be barely readable in order to fit it all on the package. I’ve seen tiny bars with over 300 calories, which most of us just do not need in a single bar (there are plenty of exceptions here, of course). Again, if you haven’t figured it out by now in this post, it comes down to an overall picture of the food/product. What are the ingredients? How does this product fit into your day’s calories and nutrition? Is it made with real food, or are the ingredients things you’ve never heard of?
Can foods in any of these categories be healthy? Yes, of course. But the label itself does not equal a certain level of ‘healthiness’. Never purchase a product based on the marketing alone. Look at the label, look at the other ingredients and how it is made, try to eat less or not processed foods, and make your decisions based upon a WHOLE entity, not just one aspect of it.
This is a very brief overview of a very big topic, so I encourage you to read further from trustworthy sources and reach out if you want to dive deeper into your health journey.
Armed with some base knowledge when we go into stores or restaurants, we set ourselves up for many more healthy choices for life.
Thought for the day:
Is that pending workout ‘torture’, ‘time you “don’t” have’, ‘annoying’?
Or is it a chance to get healthier, an opportunity to boost your energy, and a way to help your mental state…?
âWhen traveling, normal 'routines' are often flipped upside down. So we have choices:
Throw it all out the window, take the hangry moments, embrace the digestive issues, and accept that we'll feel 'ugh' when we get home despite the fun places we saw....OR utilize an extra few minutes of planning, and take the energetic vibes, embrace the happier tummy, and accept that we feel good across the board when we get home...
Which sounds better to you?
Oh I don't mean don't enjoy the fancy cocktail lounge or the seaside crab shack or the gourmet French dinner. But in between, instead of relying on whatever you may or may not come across where you are traveling, have some tools on hand to help keep the body and mind happy.
Water: hydrate! And electrolytes help keep the minerals going, especially on hot days or when food intervals are further apart. I love NUUN hydration.
Fruit, trail mix, any portable healthy snack. To keep blood sugar stable, to cut down on overeating during meals, and to help avoid grabbing really unhealthy (& probably not even that desirable) foods within reach when hangry is a thing
Protein powder! A favorite trick to add to my coffee (or even water if you'd like) to give me a healthy dose of protein as well as cut down on the acidity a bit. I'm loving Earth Chimp at the moment!
And of course, MOVE YOUR BODY. Walk (safely) to explore the place you are visiting-- we see things so differently than when flying by in a car. See if there are bike tours. Stroll after dinner to watch a sunset-- don't sit in your rental car! Swim in a lake, kayak and take in the views, the list goes on and on! But safety first always. (& bring that water!)
What are your favorite healthy hacks when traveling? Shoot me a message or email!
With the added heat and stronger desire to be outdoors, a few quick tips to keep in mind:
How expensive is airport food, amirite??
But with so much time spent at the airport waiting for your flight, I don't know about you, but I get hungry! Or today, for instance, I didn't have time for lunch between teaching & getting to the airport.
So, this morning, I threw together my go-to "salad-in-a-bag" & had it waiting in the fridge to grab & pack.
Hear me out!
In a bag at home:
Literally threw it all in, shook it up, grabbed a 🍴 we had in the pantry, & I was set.
At the airport, yes, after security (you can bring food-- make sure you do!), I sat away from people (covid-safe), & had a delicious, nourishing salad!
Checking prices at the airport, those tiny little pieces of chicken thrown in some iceberg lettuce cost $13 😯
I always pack extra snacks when traveling. Save money, keeps me healthy, and you know all of that talk about digestive issues when traveling? The more water, healthy foods, and movement you can add in, the less you need to worry about that, too.
Some of my go-to snacks I pack:
Have you tried any of the above? How do you add healthy eating into your travels?
How to make Valentine's Day less about the chocolate and more about the love??
For those of us trying to have less sugar and not more ;)
What is the purpose of Valentine's Day?
To eat desserts and buy roses?
Sometimes it seems like it is, based on the ads and chatter around us.
But what is the day really for? LOVE.
LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE.
Now I know that doesn't take the chocolates out of the office, or perhaps your kitchen, but maybe this can help our perception (and further, our sugar intake) this day/week...
Let's talk about some ways we can focus on the true meaning of this day:
-When you feel the pull of the candy dish, put your hand onto your phone instead and send a note to someone to say you care.
-When tempted by the 50% off chocolates tomorrow at Target, call someone and talk about how they have impacted your life for the better while you walk in the other direction.
-If you are given something sweet, go ahead and treat yourself a bit if you want, but try to keep in mind that the sugar rush won't make us happy-- it is the thought behind the gift from the person who made it/sent it.
-It's okay to not eat the whole heart. 20 pieces of chocolate? Keep a few, give away or toss the rest. I'm not a wasteful person, but this is about our health!
-Instead of going for drinks or dessert, how about going for a walk or other activity? Ice skating, indoor rock climbing, a concert, an outdoor sculpture garden...there are more ideas around us than we often realize!
Sugar is sneaky-- The more we have it, the more we want it. It is hard to take it out of our diets, but when we do, our whole being is stronger for it. Moods lift, energy comes back, the list goes on.
Despite what the media promotes, we can focus on those we LOVE today. Writing a card. Sending a note. Picking up the phone. Going for a walk with someone. There are so many ways to bring the love back to the forefront. (And sure, the pretty roses help a bit, too ;) )
How do you celebrate this day?
Wanted to share an article I was just featured in on Bustle, as it contains some really neat at-home fitness equipment.
That said, I also wanted to take the opportunity to stress that no matter if you just have yourself or you have an entire home gym, you can get an incredible workout. You do not need fancy tools or any equipment at all to achieve a lot of fitness goals.
Equipment can offer variety, though, as well as some ways to advance certain exercises. It can also help reach muscles in different ways, or some of the muscles it is more challenges to sculpt with bodyweight work alone. Equipment can be both beneficial and detrimental to form, so it is always important to ensure you take the time to learn how to use a tool.
Enjoy this article (my shout-out is at #21 & 22), and tell me @be.bykate what your at-home set-up looks like: a mat? weights? a whole gym? six feet of carpet that doubles as a child's play space? Let me know!
Less than five minutes to get the back feeling better, stretch out the lower body as well, and never have to leave the floor. Heck, never have to leave the lying on your back position!
"Supine on the spine" is how I always remember what that word means-- a nice little rhyme.
This video leads you through simple and effective movements to give your back and neck some needed TLC, as well as helping to open up through the lower body as well.
There are so many amazing exercises and stretches out there, so if these don't feel good, don't give up. Reach out and let's find what works for your body.
The gentleness of these movements make for an excellent choice if you are new to exercise, if you are worried about hurting your back with other stretches, or if you simply don't want to have to move much right away ;)
Disclaimer: 𝑨𝑳𝑾𝑨𝒀𝑺 𝒍𝒊𝒔𝒕𝒆𝒏 𝒕𝒐 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒐𝒘𝒏 𝒃𝒐𝒅𝒚 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒘𝒉𝒆𝒏 𝒕𝒐 𝒑𝒖𝒔𝒉 𝒉𝒂𝒓𝒅𝒆𝒓 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒘𝒉𝒆𝒏 𝒕𝒐 𝒕𝒂𝒌𝒆 𝒂 𝒃𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒌. 𝑼𝑺𝑬 𝑨𝑻 𝒀𝑶𝑼𝑹 𝑶𝑾𝑵 𝑹𝑰𝑺𝑲.
Thought I'd highlight one specific cardio exercise today: JUMP ROPING.
What brought this to mind, is an article I was featured in came out, and as I read it, both my comments and those of other trainers, I was reminded yet again just how much we can do without a gym, without a lot of space, on a rainy day, and in 10 minutes!
Sharing parts of the article below. To read the entire feature on Vital Proteins' website, click here.
"Looking for a killer workout that builds endurance and improves cardiovascular fitness? The answer to this is only a hop, skip, and a jump away — literally.
Enter jump rope. Most of us left it behind on the school playground, which is why it's one of the most underutilized fitness tools. It's an incredible cardio workout that gets your heart pumping.
"Doing this exercise consistently will strengthen your cardiovascular system and build muscle throughout your full body," says Christine VanDoren, Personal Trainer and Nutritionist.
Before you jump in, come learn the ins and outs of this workout that you don't want to skip. "
"Jumping rope is a quick and efficient cardio boost."
"If you try to do too much too soon, you risk soreness in the lower legs, ankles, shoulders and lower back, adds Kate Cherichello, NYC Certified Fitness Professional and Founder of Be. By Kate. Personal Training & Coaching (not to mention, you don't want to get slapped in the face with the rope).
So, depending on your fitness and goals, 10 minutes of jumping rope may be enough, or it may be too much. And, don't feel like you need to jump for 10 minutes in a row."
"Cherichello recommends that beginners jump rope every other day, or a few times per week, but not every day. This allows enough recovery time for your body, which is essential to reduce injury risk."
"While you're at it, you could make it as part of a cardio workout. "For instance, a 10-minute run, right into five minute of jump rope, into two minutes of jumping jacks, into 30 seconds of squats jumps, then repeating from the top two more times," Cherichello tells Lively. "That will be an intense and fast-moving workout!""
"Try this jump rope circuit by Chakoian.
How to do it: Combine this jump rope workout with one of your typical weekly workouts, or complete it on its own. Complete the circuit twice twice. On the second round, start with Round 4 and work backward. You can do the entire workout all at once, or complete one round between sets of your workout. Rest for the recommended amount of time or as needed.
Round 1: 45 seconds on with 20 seconds rest
Round 2: 60 seconds on with 30 seconds rest
Round 3: 90 seconds on with 60 seconds rest
Round 4: 120 seconds on with 60 seconds rest"
The above excerpted from article put together by Sarah Kester for Vital Proteins.
If you are trying a jump rope workout this week, share on Insta and tag me @be.bykate so I can cheer you on!
As a trainer, people generally assume I have lengthy gym workouts and strength sessions, when in actuality, the majority of my movement comes from walking.
Walking provides such benefits for not only the physical body, but the mind and spirit as well.
Walking gives us an opportunity to let our thoughts simply be, and I know I find some of my most creative ideas when walking. I will often pull out my phone and create a voice message so as to not forget these ideas once I get back inside! It allows us to step away from the computer, the task, the challenge, the argument...and allows us to process.
When walking outside, we are in nature (yes, even here in NYC). Nature's benefits to us are many.
University of Minnesota's research states:
"Being in nature, or even viewing scenes of nature, reduces anger, fear, and stress and increases pleasant feelings. Exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, it contributes to your physical wellbeing, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones." (link here.)
Physically, walking is an excellent low impact workout. Oh how I feel the need to correct anyone who states, 'I ONLY walked today.' You walked today! That is wonderful! Keep that up! We do not need our workouts to be the most intense exercise we can come up with. But we do need to find ways to move our bodies every single day. Walking is a wonderful way to achieve this.
When looking to increase the intensity and the calorie burn when walking, some ways to do this include:
-Varying your speed
-Changing your incline
-Adding in some stairs
Speeding up your walk for one minute at a challenging pace, then slowing down for 30 seconds is an excellent way to increase the calorie burn of a walk. Additionally, by changing your incline, your body has to work harder to maintain the same speed, so the effort and therefore calorie burn increases as well. Try adding walking up hills or finding stairs along your route (safely!).
Walking also makes for a fantastic friend date! Chat it up and get moving. The physical and mental benefits again combing. Your friend will thank you, too ;)
So go ahead, get outside for a few minutes. If it's pouring, walk around the house. Move!
"I don't have enough time to exercise." Do you have a few minutes at any point in your day?
âLet me rephrase: do you want to prioritize healthy lifestyle over some other things (scrolling, waking up 10 min earlier, not waiting in a long coffee line, fill in the blank...)?
If you can find a few minutes here and there, then you do have time for a healthier you!
What can we fit in less than 10 minutes?
-Getting out the door, taking a walk, and coming back.
-If you're in an apt or office, going down and up the stairs a few times.
-Going out in your backyard and kicking a soccer ball around.
-Putting on your three favoritepump-you-up songs, and dancing about.
-Picking a few exercises, doing 30 sec of each of them a few times through.
-Doing my 7 minute wake up video here.
-Calm the body for sleep here.
There are so many ways we can take steps in 10 min or less!
What are your go-tos?
âI shared something on Instagram today I wanted to be sure to share here as well--
You know when you are at the top of the day? I mean âtopâ as in pinnacle, you got there, you are flying high, things are going your way. Then out of nowhere, the clouds open up, rain is falling, and you are sliding down the other side of the mountain.
Whether it is something as simple as being on time for an appointment then suddenly being behind a tractor on a one-lane road en route, or if it is major...I'm not even going to go into the potential examples, I'm sure just thinking about them brings up enough anxiety!
But what is so needed to remember in those times, the ârainingâ times, is that the sun will indeed be back out.
Sometimes we can push through the rain-- itâs just a little bit, itâs not too strong, and we can keep pushing until the sun arrives. Other times we need to find somewhere to wait a bit, observe but get out of the downfall...take a dose of self care rather than pushing and just getting soaked so to speak... then as it gets lighter or clears completely, we continue on.
Whatâs that song Alexa seems to get onto every playlist recently? âSunshine after the rainâ¦â
Or as my fav gal Annie says, âThe sunâll come out tomorrow.â
These songs never say, âwell hereâs the rain, it is here to stay, it is never leaving, the end.â
And they are onto something, arenât they?
Even when the rail is full-out hurricane, eventually, somehow some way, the sun will shine again. It may not be bright blue skies all day everyday, but it will be there peeking through somewhereâ¦
Hereâs to finding the sun behind the clouds,
We spend a lot of time thinking about the work we need to do, are doing, or did... be it regarding working out, our jobs, or everything else in our lives.
But do we think enough about rest?
Today I felt so 'off'. Do you know those days? You're not sure if you're 'just' not motivated, or maybe you didn't sleep well, or maybe you're fighting something, or cue shrug emoji you're just not quite right...?
I went through the checklist of possible reasons, but it just seemed that with the really busy schedule and general feeling of overwhelm that's been present recently had gotten to me, and my body was making it really clear that a day off was needed.
But on paper it didn't look like that was needed...Sometimes it is beyond the physical exertion. Mental and emotional stressors, lack of good sleep, how we fuel our bodies-- there are so many more ways we get run down. Sometimes it is the physical, sometimes it is not, but the body knows when it needs a break and has various ways of making that known to us, if we are ready to listen.
You are not a failure for not going 100% every single day. We need to refuel and recharge. We were not made to go at 100% all day every day. Even God took off Sunday!
So I challenge you to work hard, but to also listen to your body. Is it telling you something?
Today mine was "speaking to me" regarding working out, not in my normal cues of being super sore or about to fall asleep standing up, but rather a general "off" feeling. I tried to press forward but my body kept saying NOPE. So I finally I agreed, turned around from my destination, and walked along the water on this glorious day.
Yes, I take days off! Body AND mind-- they each need their rest.
How have you recognized the need for rest?
If in regards to work and personal life, how do you create those pockets of time for rest?
Would love to hear your thoughts. And if you don't feel like sharing, just promise me you'll check in with yourself and ask if your are ready to push or in need of a moment's rest :)
I know Deanna Giulietti thanks to sharing the stage in Jersey Boys. 1.3 million + others know her from @deannagiulietti on TikTok, where she spreads positive vibes to all who watch. From her hit “outfit of the day” videos, to engaging with fans, to dating stories, to being the A+ hype girl you need in your life, Deanna is there for you on social. She has worked insanely hard to build this community over the past year and a half, as well as continuing her career as a performer as well (hey, Six, we’ve got a queen for you!). Thanks to being vaccinated and in the same city, we were fortunate enough to be in person for this episode! It’s not a regular episode, either…Deanna’s great idea to leave some sparkly gift boxes throughout Central Park containing various notes of love and cheer helped create this week’s fun episode. Guest appearance by the fabulous Coleman Cummings as well! Find Deanna @deannagiulietti Or www.deannagiulietti.com We need all the good news we can get. This brings me to Some (More) Good News, featuring mini interviews with people following their #passions, and helping others along the way. Have stories of good news you know should be shared? Send me a message ASAP. Follow @positively_kate for more and to reach out, and it would mean the world if you shared this episode with others!
This pandemic has been a time of a lot of changes. Many negative, but some positive. For performers, it was a full industry pause. But this gave performer Heidi Saldana an opportunity to finally address the physical pain she had been experiencing for years through shows, classes, and daily life. In her research, she came across the Egoscue Method. Used by pro athletes as well as people who may not have a physically active career but are in pain, Heidi has found it to change her life.
She decided to not just keep this finding to herself, but to become an Egoscue Method Certified Postural Alignment Specialist to share this work to greatly decrease pain with others.
She explains how she now understands “how resilient the body is and that when it is breaking down and there is pain or you are getting injured, that there's a reason, and there's also a way to walk it back-- get the body back to the alignment it’s meant to be in-- which allows it to be strong and allows it to take all that we ask of it”. Finding the root, then finding where the body deviated, and addressing from there.
Additionally, we talk about the entertainment industry shutdown and how many people feel they haven’t just lost a job, but part of their identity. But, as Heidi notes she has learned, "You aren't what you do, you are who you are.” Let’s get that body in alignment so it can work to help you capitalize on being the most YOU you can be :)
Reach out to Heidi at painfreewithheidi . com
We need all the good news we can get.
This brings me to Some (More) Good News, featuring mini interviews with people following their #passions, and helping others along the way.
Have stories of good news you know should be shared? Send me a message ASAP!
Follow @positively_kate for more and to reach out!
Dr. Cindy Wong is a licensed acupuncturist, and she absolutely turned my world around after a concussion. It was night and day after Cindy treated me, and ever since then, as well as with multiple issues she has helped through since, I cannot recommend her and her practice more highly. Having had no knowledge of acupuncture prior to working with Cindy, mind was blown in learning of the power of healing through acupuncture.
Cindy is someone who gets to help people feel better every day, and she is opening eyes to opportunities in healing beyond traditional ‘western’ medicine.
Additionally in our conversation, Cindy offers some quick and needed reminders and breathing exercises to help calm down our bodies and minds. Heed her advice, folks!
Yin & Tonic Acupuncture, which Cindy owns, states on their, “Dr. Cindy has always been a firm believer in ‘leaving no stone unturned’ in finding a treatment option that would allow a patient to return to their best selves,” and I know this from first-hand experience.
You can find Cindy on LinkedIn at Dr. Cindy Wong, D.Ac., L.Ac.
If you would like to schedule an acupuncture appointment or talk more with Cindy, head to acupuncture-newyork.com
We need all the good news we can get.
This brings me to Some (More) Good News, featuring mini interviews with people following their passions, even if that means leaving behind a potentially more comfortable career path, and making the world better along the way.
Have stories of good news you know should be shared? Send me a message ASAP!
30 minutes to crush it!
Yes, 'only' 30 minutes, but wow are we going to work!
Rock soundtrack to keep us going (if you look for this one on Insta, it was deleted due to the music, oops!)
Enjoy, everything at your own risk, and let me know how it goes!
This is a very short post on a rather long topic, but getting right to the point:
Overall, we want limit the inflammatory foods as much as possible, and increase the anti-inflammatory ones. (Notice that they correlate with foods in general considered ‘healthy’ & ‘unhealthy’)
What we put in our bodies affect us in so many ways.
The nutrition world is confusing, it is, but we can all try our best to take steps in the right direction. Try adding in/taking away a few on the lists to start 🥦🍅🍉🥑
Questions? Comments? Is this new news, or have you been paying attention to inflammation? Let me know!
I felt calmer and more centered after my chat with Kelly Wray.
What an illuminating and inspiring conversation. And we didn't even get to the half of it. After listening, you must check out her website, where in addition to great resources and information on working with her, click on her About page. Her resilience through 18 schools before the age of 18, a fire destroying everything, marriage, divorce, career changes, and more is unreal.
Here Kelly talks with me about her journey from NYC to Bali, discovering how to incorporate her passion for nutrition and healing the body through food into a career, and what it has been like to be a part of the Bali culture these past months (hint, they are a HAPPY people!). Additionally, she fills our conversation with actionable tips to becoming a more whole, calmer self.
Follow Kelly: @kellyeswray
We need all the good news we can get.
This brings me to Some (More) Good News, featuring mini interviews with people following their #passions, even if that means leaving behind a potentially more comfortable career path, and making the world better along the way.
Have stories of good news you know should be shared? Send me a message ASAP!