Ya Snooze, Ya Lose

You’ve heard it a hundred times: 8 hours of sleep a night! Let’s face it – for most of us, that’s almost impossible really, really, really hard….

MP900181418…but now that these adorable puppies got your attention, let’s talk about why sleep is SO important! It’s not just about feeling rested (although isn’t that such a great feeling?!) Sleep, along with hydration and nutrition, make our bodies efficient, from the inside out to our very top layer of skin cells. Lets uncover all of the benefits of sleep, including, yes, you guessed it: weight loss.MP900385227

Sleep literally creates energy, so we function efficiently in all walks of life, at all stages of life, from the classroom to the gym, at the office, with our families, and beyond. Healthy sleep aids brain functioning, memory, creativity, and focus to ensure we’re on our A game. With a big exam or job interview approaching, the smart thing is to spend those wee hours sleeping instead of cramming.

The immune system is most efficient at prevent illness and disease with ample sleep. Sleep also controls inflammation and balances hormones linked to mood, stress, weight, and appetite. The likelihood of losing weight and keeping it off long-term is far increased by good quality sleep.

With ample sleep, we’re able to efficiently metabolize food, absorb nutrients, cleanse toxins, rebuild muscles, strengthen bones, and control our appetite. That’s right, the difference between a poor night’s sleep and a good night’s sleep can be the difference between choosing healthy foods and…not. Hormones that cue hunger and fullness are thrown off by lack of sleep, as are cortisol levels, causing unnecessary stress, which also adds to weight gain, and the vicious cycle repeats.

Along with healthy eating, regular exercise, and emotional balance, we can become better versions of ourselves with the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep a night. Like recharging a battery or filling up a car with gas, sleep is the ammunition that fuels our bodies, a huge factor in mental, physical, and emotional health. If we ALL got enough sleep, imagine the possibilities…!

One Healthy Breakdown: Do your body right – get your eight hours tonight!

Workout. Eat. Repeat.

Introducing “Workout. Eat. Repeat” with fitness and food expert, Anke Albert of Anke’s Fit Bakery. Anke is an expert in fitness and food to fuel your body. She’s going to be sharing a workout and recipe with us in this new segment, so get ready to workout, eat, and repeat!

WorkoutEatRepeatWorkout: Squats

Squat. Eat. Repeat. Squats are one of the most effective workouts for a number of reasons. Not only do squats work the largest muscle group, the glutes, the muscles that burn the most calories, they also engage the core, legs, back, and more. Squats are a basic exercise that you never grow out of, they are the fastest way to get from A to B, aka to get fast results. The more muscle you have in your legs, the more calories you burn overall. Start small with light weight or just your body weight and increase as you get stronger.

To squat properly, spread feet wider than hips with feet flat. Remember eyes up, chin up, chest out, butt out. If you can keep this position, you can squat. Inhale as you lower down and exhale to push up, squeezing your glutes and keeping your form. You should be able to do about 8-12 reps before exhausting yourself, so increase your weight accordingly. It’s best to hold the weight on your upper back, right where the tissue is thickest. That way, the weight will not make you lean forward and sacrifice form. If you’re just beginning, get the form down by holding a broomstick or very light barbell, this will force you to keep your chest and butt out.

Front squats, a bit more advanced, are done with the weight by the collarbone and heels elevated, which adds more of a challenge. Split squats (standing lunges) are another great exercise in the squat series that work numerous muscles, one leg at a time. It’s very important to ensure that your form is correct in order to gain benefits and avoid injury. If you’re not sure, ask a trainer at the gym or watch some squat videos online before you start squatting. When you do incorporate squats into your workout, you’ll feel and see the results before you know it!

In order for you to be strong and see results from your workouts, you must fuel your body properly. Here’s an easy seasonal recipe that is packed with protein, carbs, and taste!

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Recipe: Fall Turkey & Squash in One:

  • 1.5 lb boneless turkey breast
  • 3.5 lb butternut squash – peeled & cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 tbsp fresh finely chopped rosemary
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp salt

1. Preheat the oven to 375.
2. Season the turkey breast with salt & pepper.
3. Spray a large non stick pan with cooking spray.
4. Brown turkey breast on both sides.
5. In a bowl, mix the squash, onion, cranberries, maple syrup, rosemary, salt & oil.
6. Add the vegetable mix to the pan.
7. Place plan in the oven for approx. 40 min or until done. Makes 4 servings.

One Healthy Breakdown: Enjoy your meal, enjoy your workout, enjoy your results.