How-To: Balance the Components of Fitness

So, I spend a lot of time writing about meals and recipes on this blog.  I decided to switch it up today and focus more on the physical fitness side of things.  I still believe in the saying “abs are made in the kitchen” (which means that up to eighty percent of your results – aesthetically speaking, anyway – are a direct result of what, when and how much you eat) but how, when, where and how often you move your body are also an important part of the health and wellness equation.  If you prefer auditory/visual learning, be sure to check out my Instagram video series on this topic, or see my videos on Facebook.

Let’s brush up on muscular capacity, cardiorespiratory capacity, flexibility, body composition and the other, secondary, components of fitness.

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How-To: Make Healthful Meals FAST!

One of the top challenges I am asked about is how to prepare healthful meals QUICKLY (or fast, but that’s not grammatically sound and I am nothing if not a grammar nerd!).  So, I thought I would write a post (and create an Instagram video series) on my top five tips for quick and easy meals that are also delicious AND good for you!  This is a great addition (if I do say so myself) to my How-to series, including How-To Plan and Prepare Healthy Meals and How-To Make & Eat Healthy Snacks at Home and On the Go!

With no further ado, let’s go with my top five tips, and I’ve even tried to order them from least expensive (in terms of both money AND effort) to most expensive:

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My Favourite Fitness Bloggers

Just in time for #MotivationMonday (apparently super popular on Instagram and trending on Twitter these days), get to know my favourite fitness bloggers from around the web – a much shorter list than My Favourite Food Bloggers but I guess it’s because these two inspirational women do the work of many!  You’ll see many of their ideas and insights echoed in my own posts (and I hope I’ve given credit where credit was due) – great minds think alike!
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How-To: The Science of Healthy Snacking

Image source: fao.orgSo, you want to learn MORE about healthy (or “healthful”) snacking? (For the grammar buffs, healthful snacks make healthy people).  I’ve already given you lots of great healthy snack ideas, but just what is it that makes a particular snack choice “healthy” or at least “healthier than” other snack choices?  A lot of this is unique to each of us as an individual and varies depending on time of day, previous and anticipated energy expenditures and type of exercise, etc., etc.  But without writing a dissertation (although you might want to pour yourself a cup of tea or coffee because there is a lot of great reading ahead), here are some general guidelines and principles that can help you to plan, pick and prepare better-for-you snacks, even in a pinch!

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How-To: Make & Eat Healthy Snacks At Home and On the Go!

Let’s face it: we’re ALL busy.  Busy at home, busy at work, busy with friends, busy with family.  Busy, busy, busy!  Sometimes the closest I get to three “square” meals a day are the square Tupperware containers I use to transport my meals on the run.  For many of us, gone are the days of leisurely sit-down family meals with lots of time to prep, cook, eat and clean up after them.

So, what fills the gap?  SNACKS!  And lots of experts in the realms of nutrition, dietetics and fitness advocate for eating more frequent mini-meals (a.k.a. snacks) throughout the day as a great way to keep your metabolism up and running and to keep you from getting over-hungry between meals (and therefore stave off over-eating at those meals).  And, if you’re anything like me, I can’t really go more than 3 hours without eating without getting seriously “hangry” (an angry state brought on by being hungry: hungry + angry = HANGRY).  Snacks are my anger (and hunger) management solution!

This post is dedicated to bringing you guidelines, tips, tricks and suggestions for healthy snack options at home and on the go!  I’ll start with a host of healthy snack suggestions then you can choose to read on for some of the science behind healthy snacking.  This will kick-start your learning to help you determine satisfying, nutritious and delicious snacks on your own!

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Work It Out: The “Insane” Inverse Pyramid (HIIT)

Heavy DumbbellsFINALLY – a workout post on the blog.  Here I’ve been fatteningfueling you up to tackle and recover from some intense workouts with all of my high-protein recipes, and I haven’t given you any workout ideas to do.  Well, it’s time for that to change.  And this workout is intense enough that maybe you’ll wish I had never shared it (ha ha – no, don’t be intimidated – yes, it IS effective AND challenging, but it is very scalable for all levels of fitness).

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My Sports & Training History

Competition PoolMy chief athletic background is in competitive swimming, up and down the lanes in a regulation competition pool as fast as I could go.  I performed reasonably well at the provincial level but certainly never on a national level and my amateur competitive career fizzled out after less than one semester at the varsity level in university.  I returned to swimming as an “adult” (and I still use the term loosely when describing myself) as part of the Masters program (a sanctioned swimming body for recreational and competitive athletes aged 25+).

I took up running as a sport (as opposed to a cruel & punishing form of cross training for swimming) in my first year of working full time after university graduation.  It seemed like a very “adult” thing to do.  I’m pleased to say that my very first road running race was a full marathon (42.2 km or 26.1 mi for my American visitors) because that’s just really how I do things: go big or go home.  I’ve now done three full marathons, seven half marathons and a handful of ten-mile and ten-kilometre races.  I still enjoy getting out for the occasional jaunt, but I’ve hung up my laces in semi-retirement for the tenure of my assignment in the ROK (Republic of Korea, also known as South Korea and not to be confused with the aptly-named Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, our neighbours to the North).

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The First Post

Last PostNot to be confused with The Last Post, the stirring military bugle call to close the day’s activities and something I once played on my trumpet and/or euphonium as part of our high school’s Remembrance Day ceremonies.  No, indeed this is the VERY FIRST post of my brand new baby blog, The Golden Graham Girl!  And that’s just the kind of random, off-on-a-tangent digression from the main topic that you can expect in my writings.  More to come on that later!

You’ll learn lots more about me (probably too much) in the posts to come (I’m already envisioning an “About Me” post, just like when we had to write an autobiography for English class every fall when classes resumed after summer vacation).  I promise lots of FOOD, FITNESS and FUN, interspersed with my philosophical ramblings and musings on those topics and all things in between.

For now, WELCOME!  I’m glad you found me and I hope you enjoy your time here.

-Lauren, a.k.a. “The Golden Graham Girl”