Monday, July 24, 2017

Staying on Track while Traveling

This topic always comes up with my clients after we've started training and they're about to go on a trip away from home and their normal routine. First of all, if it's a recreational trip or family vacation you should enjoy it! I find food and dining at new restaurants to be a huge part of the culture wherever I go, so eat the food you've been dying to try but just don't go overboard on portions. If it's a work trip, it's still work, so I always advise to meal prep before or have a plan in place ahead of time to keep yourself accountable to your goals while away.

Even if it is a trip for fun and to a new place, I still typically plan for one splurge meal a day and then try to keep it well-balanced for the others. Another thing to keep in mind is that "healthy" food should also be delicious! Vacation doesn't mean fry everything...unless you're in the south I suppose! (Haha) I look up reviews for restaurants ahead of time, whether I am traveling for business or pleasure, and then I can make sure the local foods I do plan to try are the best around!

For the actual traveling to and from somewhere portion of the trip, I always bring snacks. You can fly with food by the way--a lot of people don't realize that! The only restrictions are on liquids, so I often times will bring a giant bag full of prepped meals for when I'm not eating out with friends or family! Some easy snacks that wouldn't need to be refrigerated (or could go a long time without being) would be: beef jerky, tuna packets/cans, protein bars, peanut butter & celery, fresh fruit snack strips, avocados, oatmeal packets, nuts, energy balls, protein powder (if you are okay with mixing with water of course, apples, bananas etc. I usually try to bring snacks that will cover all my macros, so a staple for me when traveling is nuts, jerky, and a piece of fruit!

Most hotels will have mini fridges and microwaves, so if you are able, I would bring some meals to eat in between your business dinners and networking events. For the eating out part while trying to stay reasonably healthy, there are SO many restaurants now that will cater to allergies and special food requests. Use TripAdvisor or Yelp to search for keywords like "paleo," "gluten-free," "vegan," etc.

Something that might be overlooked is the need for a reusable water bottle. Remember to chug the water before going through security, but there are water fountains all over airports and it will save a ton of money to bring your own to fill up rather than buying a $4 water every time you get thirsty!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Simple Blueberry Overnight Oats

I change up my recipes, but overnight oats are a staple in my meal prep every week! These blueberry oats made for a yummy start to my day and provided just enough carbs to power through my workouts without feeling stuffed! I would then have my protein shake after and taper my carbs as the day went on. My goal is to continue to maintain strength and energy even while cutting down into the 52kg class for my powerlifting meet. Having carbs around your workout is vital to keep those energy levels high! Macros (per serving): 146cal, 28g carbs, 3g fats, 4g protein


-Old fashioned (not quick) oats
-Fresh blueberries
-Unsweetened nut milk
-Baking stevia
-Vanilla extract


-Set out however many individual containers you want to use
-Scoop 1/3 cup old fashioned oats into each
-Pour 1/3 cup nut milk into each
-Add 1/3 cup blueberries to each
-Add dash of nutmeg
-Add 1 tsp vanilla extract to each
-Add 2tbs baking stevia to each
-Shake and then refrigerate for at least 24 hours before eating! 

Benefits of Exercise for Individuals with Autism

Unintentionally, training for special populations has become one of my specialties. I believe everything happens for a reason and am very thankful for the classes I have taken in school that have prepared me to work with some really incredible people. Beginning in high school, I would volunteer at a summer camp for the mentally and physically disabled, and love that I still get to stay in touch with a few of the campers! Once I moved away from home and into a big city, I got so overwhelmed with the hustle of school, work, competing and life in general that I no longer got to volunteer with the special olympics or the summer camp I had grown to love.

Within my degree requirements were several classes covering what it takes to train for varying special populations. One of these classes was focused on training for people with learning disabilities. Not everyone thinks the same, and I have always found this SO refreshing. I love meeting new people, immersing myself in cultures and groups outside of my norm, and educating myself in training for those with disabilities has allowed me to do just that.

The most notable characteristics of autism include an impaired ability to communicate and relate to others socially, a restricted range of activities, and repetitive behaviors such as following very specific routines. While the causes of autism are unknown and preventative measures have yet to be discovered, there does exist effective behavioral therapy that can result in significant improvements for many young children with autism. Most behavioral intervention programs focus on developing communication, social, and cognitive skills. However, new research suggests some alternative therapeutic choices that include sports, exercise, and other physical activities can be helpful in supplementing traditional behavioral interventions, leading to an improvement in symptoms, behaviors, and quality of life for individuals with autism.

In America, 16% of children ages 2-19 are overweight, and this percentage is increased to 19% amongst children with ASD, with an additional 36% at risk for being overweight. It has been hypothesized that decreased physical activity is the primary reason for the increased rate of overweight autistic children. Unusual dietary patterns and the use of antipsychotic prescription drugs that can lead weight gain may also contribute. Participation in physical activity may be challenging for individuals with autism because of possible limited motor functioning, low motivation, difficulty in planning, and difficulty in self-awareness. It is best to begin with simple tasks that mildly challenge all the senses, and increase frequency and intensity as improvements are seen and confidence is built.

I have conducted an extensive amount of research to prepare for training children and adolescents with varying levels of autism, and find seeing the improvements in coordination, body awareness, social skills, reaction time and confidence to be extremely rewarding and motivating!