All posts by Laura Ellis

From Michele Bryan: The medAge Challenge continues…

With plans and training well underway toward my challenge to surf in Costa Rica, I am feeling strong and wary, depending on the moment.  After all, what is an adventure without some doubts? Answer is….not an adventure.

Dr. Ellis is getting me ready. Her medAge team is showing me what to eat and how to work out. I train with Trina three days a week and follow her recommendations even when I’m not with her. She coaches me to shape my usual routine to coordinate with our workouts and keep me moving ahead. The time with Trina pushes my edge, builds my strength, and shows me what I am capable of in the best possible way. I always leave tired, but with a smile on my face.

Then there are moments when I honestly wonder what I was thinking when I took this on…me on a surfboard??  In these moments, rather than succumb to doubt, I recall how I feel when I am working out and can sense my core getting stronger. Sometimes I even grab the balance ball at home and do some extra crunches or push-ups, which help me feel capable. Actions are louder than the words, even in your head, I can attest.

Sometimes it can feel lonely to set a goal all by yourself and work towards it alone.  Having everyone at medAge by my side makes this adventure easier and even more exciting. Despite occasional trepidation’s, reaching for this goal is helping me to feel more alive and vibrant in every part of my life. Costa Rica is looming close enough to motivate me every day.

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The Truth Behind the Quick Fix

3ddu854Get Fit Fast. 7 Days to a Better You. Flatter Abs in Seconds. You read these headlines and wonder if there is truth to the buzz. In fact, a recent New York Times article highlighted the debate at the American College of Sports Medicine meeting, as many look to find a faster way to get things done. Unfortunately, there is no “magic pill” — if you want the benefit of a healthy lifestyle, you do need to commit to the time it takes to get there.

Yes, adding 15 to 30 minutes of high intensity to your workout can improve certain markers of health, as the article says. But in order to manage your weight and reap the benefits that come along with that, it’s best to stick to the golden rule: burn more calories than you consume.

A short burst of exercise is not going to get you there. Nutrition is the key for your success. That along with your commitment to a program of cardio, weights and stretching and you are guaranteed results.

When you find yourself with little time (i.e. traveling, during baby’s naptime, etc.), here’s an example of a quick workout that you can substitute at a moment’s notice.

10 push ups
20 sit ups
25 squats
20 lunges (10 each side)
80 jumping jacks (or jump rope for 60sec)
60 second wall squats
Do 3 sets with only 30 seconds in between each exercise.
 “Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.”

Carl Sandburg

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The medAge Challenge…

Just when I thought I knew what the remainder of the year held for me, an irresistible invitation arrived out of nowhere.

Trina and myself during one of my training sessions for the medAge Challenge.

Trina Pistor, Director of Exercise and Nutrition at medAge and friend, called me and asked if I would be willing to be an inspirational prototype for the work happening at medAge.  The work would involve nutritional counseling (and changes…yikes!), hormone testing and consultation, and physical training all working toward the goal of my learning to surf in Costa Rica!

The moment captured my heart, body, and attention fully. Could this really be happening?  This opportunity offered me a chance to fulfill wishes I had been holding in my heart for some time. The only answer was YES!

Now I invite you to follow me on this journey as I prepare to do something I’ve never done before at the delightful age of 46. With this caring crew of medical and fitness professionals behind me, I have no doubt that I will succeed!

What dreams have you been holding onto? What doubts have kept you from living your life fully? It’s never too late to face them and challenge yourself into a beautiful reality now living in your heart.

Come along for the ride, see what challenges I face and how I conquer them!

Michele Bryan, inspirational medAge challenge participant

 

 

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Quick and Easy Breakfast Ideas

Whether you’re racing to make the school lunches or scrambling to dress for work, the last thing on your mind is breakfast. A quick cup of coffee and then head out the door? Think again. Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day, literally, as it “breaks the fast” and keeps your body’s metabolism in check. As your body sleeps, it’s “fasting” and your metabolic rate slows down. Your blood sugar is also low and if you don’t nosh soon, in a few hours you’ll grab whatever is in front of you. And, most of the time, that’s not a good thing.

So here are three options that will not only give you those much-needed calories but will set you up for a balanced day.

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Make a smoothie. 

In a blender, mix some plain Greek yogurt, frozen berries, a scoop of protein powder and a scoop of chia seeds. Add water or coconut milk to dilute it and a dollop of almond butter for a savory, nutty taste. If you want a probiotic kick, add some super greens and/or a handful of spinach.

 

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Add some fresh berries to a cup of plain Greek yogurt. 

Sprinkle a dash of cinnamon to lower your cholesterol and control your blood sugar. I prefer organic Ceylon and I order it from the coolest shop in Boulder, Colorado, savoryspiceshop.com, but even the shaker from Starbucks can do the trick. Sometimes I mince some fresh mint if I have an extra minute.

 

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Supercharge your Oatmeal.

Heat for 3 minutes in the microwave:

  • 1/3 Cup of thick cut oats (not quick oats and not steel cut) which you can usually find in the bulk section of Earth Fare
  • 1-2 teaspoons of Chia seeds
  • 2/3-3/4 Cup of Coconut milk
  • Add some frozen berries during the last 60 seconds

Mix in:

  • 1/2 scoop of protein powder—I love Earth Fare’s private label “Show Me The Whey”
  • 1/2 scoop of super greens powder
  • Nice big scoop of almond butter (peanut butter if you prefer)
  • A little sprinkle of cinnamon

I love this breakfast because it has everything you need—fiber, Omegas, protein, fruit, vegetables, minerals, lots of vitamins. Enjoy!

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Quick and Easy Breakfast Ideas

Quick and Easy Breakfast Ideas

Whether you’re racing to make the school lunches or scrambling to dress for work, the last thing on your mind is breakfast. A quick cup of coffee and then head out the door? Think again. Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day, literally, as it “breaks the fast” and keeps your body’s metabolism in check. As your body sleeps, it’s “fasting” and your metabolic rate slows down. Your blood sugar is also low and if you don’t nosh soon, in a few hours you’ll grab whatever is in front of you. And, most of the time, that’s not a good thing. 

So here are three options that will not only give you those much-needed calories but will set you up for a balanced day.

 

  

Make a smoothie. 

In a blender, mix some plain Greek yogurt, frozen berries, a scoop of protein powder and a scoop of chia seeds. Add water or coconut milk to dilute it and a dollop of almond butter for a savory, nutty taste. If you want a probiotic kick, add some super greens and/or a handful of spinach.

 

Add some fresh berries to a cup of plain Greek yogurt. 

Sprinkle a dash of cinnamon to lower your cholesterol and control your blood sugar. I prefer organic Ceylon and I order it from the coolest shop in Boulder, Colorado, savoryspiceshop.com, but even the shaker from Starbucks can do the trick. Sometimes I mince some fresh mint if I have an extra minute.

 

 

Supercharge your Oatmeal.

Heat for 3 minutes in the microwave:

  • 1/3 Cup of thick cut oats (not quick oats and not steel cut) which you can usually find in the bulk section of Earth Fare
  • 1-2 teaspoons of Chia seeds
  • 2/3-3/4 Cup of Coconut milk
  • Add some frozen berries during the last 60 seconds

Mix in:

  • 1/2 scoop of protein powder—I love Earth Fare’s private label “Show Me The Whey”
  • 1/2 scoop of super greens powder
  • Nice big scoop of almond butter (peanut butter if you prefer)
  • A little sprinkle of cinnamon

I love this breakfast because it has everything you need—fiber, Omegas, protein, fruit, vegetables, minerals, lots of vitamins. Enjoy!

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Leaving Saigon, for now

Our final day in Vietnam and no crew to help me with my last video post–so excuse the poor audio.  I shot it from the roof of a hotel in Saigon.  

To summarize my two purposes of being here:

1.  To aid families of children with crippling disabilities due to dioxin toxicity and 

2.  To educate those living in “hot spot” areas of high dioxin to limit future birth defects

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