Post by Pamela Hernandez | December 12th, 2013
This post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Koss. I have been compensated for this review however my opinions are always my own.
I know some people enjoy the sound of silence when they workout but not me. I need music to get pumped up for lifting or distract me from my discomfort on a run. I find the treadmill or elliptical rather unpleasant but they are necessary in the cold and early darkness of winter. I need a podcast, audio book or television show to hold my interest and keep me from feeling like a hamster on a wheel.
Perhaps this is why the Koss team thought I would be a good person to review their Koss Fit Series FitBuds and FitClips earbuds. I had only heard of Koss in passing before their partnership with FitFluential. But am I really glad they chose me to try out their Fit Series products. These “Designed for Women. By Women.” earbuds are truly the best I’ve ever used.
Before Koss, I mainly used the earbuds that came with my iPhone. Serviceable but they let in a lot of noise and have a tendency to fall out of my ears, especially when running. I also tried my husband’s pair of fancy noise canceling earbuds on our London trip. I am sure they would have worked great if I hadn’t had the same problem – they kept falling out of my ears. I wasn't even working out on the plane. They just wouldn’t stay in. Both the FitBuds and the FitClips solved this problem.
First, I tried out the FitBuds in the gym. Gym workouts these days are comprised of weights (full body strength training) and some form of machine cardio to make up for the absence of after dinner walks. Right now I am actually loving podcasts or audio books while I lift weights. I find fitness podcasts and non-fiction books inspiring. They either make me mad (when I disagree) or make me want to be better. Either way, it puts some power behind my strength work. If you’re looking for a good podcast I actually find the Jillian Michaels one quite entertaining. If you want a great book to help you achieve your goals try one of these:
- Power of Purpose by Richard J Leider
- Drive by Daniel Pink
- Switch by Chip & Dan Heath
- Start with Why by Simon Sinek
It was moving to the treadmill that the FitBuds got their real test. The treadmill is noisy as well as boring. The FitBuds (and FitClips) have 3 different sizes of ear cushions plus they are 33% smaller than your average ear buds. Using the smallest ear cushion, these ear buds actually fit like a glove in my apparently tinier than average ears. Thus, even though these are not noise canceling ear buds, they blocked out the treadmill noise perfectly. I was able to enjoy what I found out was the FINAL episode in the mini-series Top of the Lake perfectly. (Add this to your Netflix que by the way!)
The next day it was time to try out the FitClips. With a pending winter storm, I wanted to take advantage of a sunny and 60 degree day while I had it with a run. I slipped on the small ear cushions and adjusted the over the ear clips for another perfect fit. They didn’t fall out while I was running plus I didn't have to turn up the volume nearly as much to hear my tunes. Did I mention I love to run to 80s hairbands? Those songs are loud enough on their own. My ears and I loved the ability of the FitClips to keep the outside noise at bay and provide great sound quality for the big guitar sound.
They are also sweat resistant. I sweat like a pig when I exercise but especially so when I run. I’ve always worried that I might get a weird shock from my ear buds or, at the very least, ruin them from the amount of sweat that pours off my body. One more problem solved by the Koss Fit Series ear buds.
While I didn’t have these headphones in time to add to my 2013 Fit Gifts List, I would make an 11th spot for the FitBuds and FitClips. If you’ve got an active woman on your list who can’t run without tunes or likes to catch up on The Walking Dead on the treadmill, they would make a great gift. At a special price of $19.99 during the holiday season (at places like Sears, Best Buy, Walgreens and Kmart) they even fit into your stocking stuffer budget.
Have more questions about the Koss Fit Series products? Hit them up directly for all the answers:
Have you tried the Koss Fit Series FitBuds or FitClips? What’s your favorite audio distraction?
Post by Pamela Hernandez | December 9th, 2013
This year Brian and I have two holiday parties to attend. They are both this Saturday. After training all morning, I’ll have about 30 minutes before my next-door neighbor’s cookie party. We’ll get a few hours “off” before we go to Brian’s office party. It’s a small affair with his team and their significant others. But two parties in the same day? How does one manage that both mentally and physically?
You must have a game plan. Step by step here is how I plan on surviving a two party day while staying true to my goals. And I'll still have a good time while I am at it.
- Get a good night’s sleep the night before. Not only does lack of sleep make me less pleasant to be around, it also contributes to cravings for unhealthy foods. If I don’t start training sessions till 9 am, pretty normal for a Saturday, then I can get a full 8 hours.
- Eat breakfast and don't try to save up calories. I never skip meals anymore. I used to try and it would always back fire with dropping blood sugar levels. When my blood sugar dips all I want are sugary carbs and lots of them. This is a bad place to be before a cookie party. I’ll have my usual meals as planned.
- Stay hydrated. We can often confuse dehydration with hunger. I plan on drinking plenty of water prior to all parties. I don't drink but this advice becomes even more important if you want to enjoy a cocktail or two.
- You don’t have to be the first one there or the last one to leave. The cookie party starts at 1 pm but we won’t be the first ones there. We will probably arrive 15-20 minutes after the start and leave about 30 minutes early. No on notices or takes offense. Plus you limit the awkward time when it’s just you and the host.
- Keep your hands busy. I bring a cup of tea to the cookie party and take pictures with my phone. Ironically, I used to bring a diet coke and now my hostess presents me with one every year. I politically decline. Brian drinks it instead. I plan on taking plenty of pictures at Brian’s office party too. They should consider themselves warned.
- Meditate. I plan on taking a "time out" between parties. Just 10 minutes of meditation or quiet breathing can go a long way to keeping your sanity, especially if your holiday party involves too much “family” togetherness.
- Eat before the party. I will have dinner before we go the office party. I’ll think of the goodies I might want to sample as a part of my evening snack.
- Bring the healthy dish. I am still trying to figure out what to bring. We’ll take cookies since Brian is baking but I want something that tastes good that isn’t full of sugar. I also want something that lets me enjoy without reaching for things that will make me feel awful – like the cheese tray.
- Have a signal for when it’s time to go. As a couple it’s important to communicate. It’s better to decide earlier than later when it’s time to leave. When I get bored I eat. When I get cranky I eat. It’s best to leave before either of these happen.
- Be the designated driver. As I said, I don't drink. It makes me the perfect DD. If you volunteer you’ll save calories and an explanation as to why you’re not drinking. Plus your friends will love you for it.
I think it’s also important to remember that we aren’t perfect. If you’ve been spot on in your training and eating clean, it’s okay to have a splurge. If there is one party you look forward to every year for it’s delicious food and good cheer then enjoy it. You just need to plan ahead and choose wisely. Once is a treat, every day is a habit.
How do you treat holiday parties – splurge or keep it clean? Do you have a proven technique to to stay away from the buffet? Or a healthy dish that everyone loves for you to bring?
Post by Pamela Hernandez | December 6th, 2013
Personal Trainer Pamela Hernandez talks about when an energy bar with simple sugars might be a good choice.
In this video is advice for:
- Discussing types of sugars, they are not all created equal.
- Timing of simple sugar intake has a large bearing on utilization.
Post by Pamela Hernandez | December 5th, 2013
The holiday season is in full swing, smashed into a smaller than normal window of time due to a later than normal Thanksgiving. All the festivities are crammed into just 26 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. You’re going to need to be smart in navigating all the ornament exchanges, open houses and holiday candy overflowing from your office mates' desks. You don't want erase all the hard work from the rest of the year in a matter of weeks.
My Island of Health has some simple rules for navigating the holidays in a fun AND fit way.
- If you really enjoy it, eat it.
I love deviled eggs. I get them once, maybe twice, a year. I will eat too many of them but I will enjoy every bite.
- Say no to the crap.
Let’s be real for a minute. Those popcorn tins and chocolate gift baskets in the office break room or you “win” at the white elephant gift exchange don’t taste good. Don’t waste your calories on low quality foods. If you’re going to have chocolate, have some small bites of the good stuff. You’ll be much more satisfied.
- Choose wisely.
If something happens everyday it’s not a treat. It’s a habit. You can’t go to every party you’re invited to and indulge at each one. Pick one or two that mean something to you and enjoy. You’ll need to say no to the others or have a strategy to keep it clean while you’re there.
Need some options to help you enjoy without going off the deep end? Here are some ideas to enjoy the festivities without going overboard.
- Do you have a neighborhood cookie party like I do? Try my Vegan Pumpkin Cookies to satisfy your cookie craving. They are based on my great grandma’s cookies, a childhood favorite, and you’re friends will love them with a cup of hot tea.
- Maybe coffee is more your thing? Skip the coffee shop mocha and try this lighter version from Well of Health. This version of the Skinny Peppermint Mocha has a lot less sugar than the kind in the red cup.
- The office potluck is coming. You can bring the veggie tray or you can bring this Butternut Squash Cranberry Oat Bread from Fit Happy Mama. No one has to know it has extra veggies in it to make up for the oil.
- Need something easy and crunchy for the ornament party or book club? Try my own Special Party Mix. The crunch comes from puffed wheat, which can easily be subbed with puffed rice to make it gluten free. The sweetness comes from carob chips and dried fruit. Simple to make and simple to eat.
What’s the treat you indulge in every year? What’s a classic you’ve figured out how to make healthier?
Post by Pamela Hernandez | December 2nd, 2013
Hello and welcome to Disco December!!! While Christmas music may infuse you with the holiday spirit, I personally think it does nothing for your workout. We will not be listening to Christmas music (at least not on purpose) in the studio.
Year round, it’s 70s Saturday in the studio. There is nothing like some disco to get your training mojo going. One of my clients even asked if we could just dance to the disco for our workout on a Saturday. I told her maybe but she would have to agree to me taking a video of it. So far she hasn’t agreed but stay tuned. In the meantime, shake your groove thing to some of my disco favorites!
- Working My Way Back To You by The Spinners: Working your way back to a better body is more like it!
- It's Raining Men by RuPaul: I like the Weather Girls version too, but this one is my favorite.
- Disco Inferno by The Trammps: Burn baby, burn that fat!
- Dancing Queen by Abba: I could do a whole ABBA list, but I will keep it to one song this time.
- Last Dance by Donna Summer: The real dancing queen of disco herself, the list would be incomplete without her.
- In the Navy by Village People: YMCA is so overdone, this one is much better to workout to.
- Tragedy by The Bee Gees: If for some reason this list doesn’t work for you, just put on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. Love love love the Bee Gees
- Keep It Comin' Love by KC & The Sunshine Band: If one band sums up the 70s and disco it has to be this one.
- I Was Made For Lovin' You by KISS: Disco era Kiss as a whole was not very good, but I love this one!
- Da Ya Think I'm Sexy? by Rod Stewart: Does anyone else remember Linda Lavin performing this song on the sitcom “Alice”? Okay, just me.
What about you? Christmas music or not for your winter workouts?