Have Your Ice Cream, and Your Diet Too

Pic for Blog- Have Your Ice Cream, and Your Diet TooDo you love ice cream? Do you spend your time daydreaming about its creamy texture and rich flavor? Is your mouth currently watering thinking about that very first bite of deliciousness? Even in the coldest of winter months will you drive to the store to buy some ice cream, because you just can’t resist? If this sounds like you, listen up; there may just be hope for us ice cream lovers to have our ice cream…and our diet too.

The number one down fall to loving ice cream, besides being potentially dairy sensitive, is that it may seem hard to eat it without ruining your diet. Well if you simply can’t go on without ice cream in your life (me), you may find these tips helpful for at least managing your love.

First, lets start off with the obvious, portion control. Going to the grocery store and buying a gallon of ice cream may seem like a fantastic idea, but it’s a diet killer. Ideally you’d bring that bad boy home and eat a small bowl then put it in the freezer, but we all know seconds are only a spoonful away. Save yourself from the temptation and pass on the large buckets. Buying a pint size of ice cream isn’t a whole lot better. Although it may seem tiny, it can actually pack 4 servings of ice cream into that container. Eating a pint of ice cream in one sitting isn’t that hard to do either, so your best option is going to an ice cream place or restaurant and buying a single scoop. Not only will this allow you to have a proper portion of ice cream, but also once you leave the store half the temptation leaves with you. Out of site, out of mind.

My next tip is being wise about your toppings. If you find yourself in a situation where a bowl of ice cream is the only option, try adding some fruit to that bowl and give your body some vitamins! Blueberries are a super fruit and can offer tons of health benefits. For more info on that check out this article. If you’re not into eating fruit with your ice cream, sprinkle some dark chocolate shavings for a sweet taste and extra boost of antioxidants.

Next up, be aware of what you are putting into your body. Some store bought ice creams are loaded with tons of ingredients that you may not even be able to pronounce. Try sticking with the ice creams that have simple ingredients like milk, eggs, and sugar. Hagen Das 5 would be a great example of this, they offer ice creams made up of five ingredients found in the typical fridge. The more aware you are with what you are putting in your body, the better.

My last tip is to try an alternative. I know this kind of defeats the purpose of eating real ice cream but hear me out! Last year I bought a Yonana maker, and absolutely love it! It makes ice cream out of frozen bananas. You can add other ingredients such as chocolate or frozen fruits, but all you truly need are frozen bananas. It tastes slightly different than real ice cream, but if you’re serious about sticking to your diet, this option will trick that sweet craving into thinking you’re eating sweets! For more info on where to purchase a Yonana maker click here!

I hope this helped you realize there may be hope for us ice cream lovers after all!

Stay Healthy. Stay Strong.

Mary Marren

AIRobics

Pic for Blog- AIRobics.pngLately I’ve been looking for a new and exciting way to spice up my workouts. The summertime is overwhelming with activities to try, but in the winter it’s a little bit more difficult to find creative workouts. I stumbled across this indoor trampoline park, called Helium, online a few weeks ago and I knew imediately I wanted in. In all honesty, Helium is geared more so for young kids, but it sounded like so much fun I couldn’t resist.

When I entered the park I was handed a pair of grip socks to wear around to prevent as much sliding and slipping as possible. They cost $2, but you get to keep them forever as a souvenir, so that’s pretty cool. Helium has many options of activities to try, such as rock climbing, casual jumping, trampoline dodgeball, and AIRobics. From the title of this blog, I’m guessing you know which one I chose.

AIRobics. According to Helium’s website, AIRobics is a one hour cardio and strength training class that combines, “calisthenics, core exercises and aerobics.” We started the class with 30 minutes of cardio on the trampolines. This included jumping jacks, frog jumps, starfish jumps, high knees, and many other jumps. Each task was in one-minute intervals, so it kept the class moving at a fast pace.  After 30 minutes of cardio we moved onto strength training and abs. We did many different types of moves such as push-ups, planks, leg lifts, and overhand ball tosses. By the end of the hour, well to be honest after about 10 minutes, I was feeling the burn. Doing things that may seem simple on the ground becomes 10x harder on trampolines. It triggers your muscles to work extra hard while trying to maintain balance.

The website states that AIRobics can benefit you by the following:

  • Improves balance and coordination
  • Burn 60% more calories than running
  • Excellent cardio – low impact, easy on joints
  • Ideal for any fitness level

I also had a chance to talk a little to the regulars who came to the class to see what their opinion was. It turns out long term wise, the class may be able to improve lost flexibiltiy due to an accident or surgery. One man lost almost all his mobility in his shoulder at one point, but after a year of AIRobics he said that there was a huge improvement in his joint movement. The class instructor  got started with AIRobics after she had knee surgery from tearing her acl. To get back in the game and over fear of intense excersize, AIRobics helped her ease into regaining her strength.

It cost $10 per class, or $80 for ten classes. Whether you are looking for a fun, intense workout or muscle strength recovery, AIRobics could be just what you need! I went to the Helium Trampoline Park in New Berlin, but there are many locations!

For more info please check out their website.

Enjoy!

Stay Healthy. Stay Strong.

Mary Marren

Single or Taken, Make this Valentine’s Day Fun!

Pic for Blog- Single or TakenWho says Valentine’s Day has to be a day of binge eating chocolate and candy? You work hard all year around, so why make this day an exception? Whether you are in a relationship or flying solo this holiday, there are so many activities to get you up and moving. You can’t have fun unless you’re in a relationship on Valentine’s Day? Nonsense! Here are some activities that anyone can do. Not only do you better yourself through physical activity, but also you don’t have to have the holiday guilt from all the sweets. Take the high road this Valentine’s Day and do something awesome!

The “Be Mine 5k” is a race that takes place on February 14th in Janesville, WI. Not only does this race include a medal, but you also receive a sweatshirt that can say, “Might Be Looking, Too Late, It’s Complicated, and I Hate Valentine’s Day”. This gives a fun twist to the holiday that is normally only celebratory for people in relationships. You also receive a one free drink ticket to Hhffrrrgghh’s Inn Restaurant and Bar if you are of age! For more information on how to sign up, check out their website!

If the price tag is a little bit too steep for you, you may be more interested in another Valentine’s Day race such as Valentine’s 5k in Madison, WI. Although this race doesn’t include all of the perks, you’ll still have a great time running it as well as helping support the UW Madison Running Club.

If 5ks are not your thing, perhaps skiing is more up your alley.

You can ski a 2-mile trail at Lake Kegonsa State Park in Stoughton, WI. Being that it is Valentine’s Day, the trail will be lit by candles the whole way. What a peaceful way to spend your night, whether it is with your loved one or with friends. After the ski there will be a cozy bonfire and refreshments. The event goes from 6pm-9pm. For more information, please visit the State park website.

On February 21st There will be a snowshoe or hike through Devil’s Lake State park with a warm bonfire and refreshments to follow the hike. Although this is the weekend after Valentine’s Day, it could make a great back up plan in you were busy on the actual day. If you do not have any snowshoes to wear, they have some to borrow!  This is an outdoor activity that doesn’t require training such as a race, but is still getting you up and moving! For more information on this hike, visit the Devil’s Lake Park website.

Well there you have it!  Wonderful and healthy winter activities you can do this Valentine’s Day. If you couldn’t think of anything fun and exciting to do this year, I hope these activities may be just what you need.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Stay Healthy. Stay Strong.

Mary Marren

Why Choose Meditation

With the turn of the New Year everyone has his or her new resolutions and goals. Most people aim to lose weight, eat better, or workout everyday. The truth is though, if this isn’t something you normally already do, keeping those resolutions can be extremely difficult. Aiming for small changes may not seem like a huge resolution, but it can be potentially more beneficial in the long run if you actually keep to it. Something that gets overlooked a lot is the power of meditation.

Pic for Blog-Why Choose MeditationThe definition of meditation from the Webster Dictionary is, “To spend time in quiet thought for religious purposes or relaxation.” This may not seem like a hard task, but with our increasingly busy lives we often forget to take time out and gather our thoughts.  Meditation not only benefits you with relaxation but there are also many health benefits that go along with regular meditation.

According to the Art of Living website, some physical benefits that meditation could bring you include; Lowering you blood pressure, reducing anxiety attacks, decreases tension pain, improves mood and behavior, improves immune system, and increases you energy levels. Considering that meditation is not a physically demanding activity, all can enjoy these benefits if they commit the time.

Along with physical benefits the Art of Living also put together a list of mental benefits that meditation offers. That list includes; decrease of anxiety, emotional stability, creativity increases, intuition developments, peace of mind, and sharpens the mind.

Along with those benefits meditation can lead you to become more self-aware and make better health choices. When you reflect on yourself everyday you can discover who you are and what your values are. One testimony that the Huffington post wrote about was a man suffering from anger issues. Through the power of meditation, he was able to recognize his anger and detach himself from it. This allowed him to clear his mind and calm himself instead of acting violent towards someone.

Meditation isn’t something that people talk about often, and even more rarely make their New Years resolution.  But, if you’re looking to make a small change with large benefits, meditation may be the perfect outlet. This is an activity that everyone can do and not feel overwhelmed with.

To set the perfect meditation mood, start with finding a quiet area. Since it is winter, indoors might be the best option for now. Draw your curtains, light some candles, and dim the lights. Setting the perfect meditation mood will make your overall experience that much better and keep you dedicated to it. Remember, for all the best benefits constant practice is necessary.

Stay Healthy. Stay Strong.

– Mary Marren