Monday, January 28, 2013

Four Weeks of Eating Right and Working Out

This is a guest post feature by Beth Hudspeth.

I set a personal goal on Jan 1 to eat healthier, exercise and achieve a better body by summer so I could feel good about myself.

So.... My typical meals look a lot like this:
Breakfast: coffee and cinnamon oatmeal
Snack: carrots or yogurt
Lunch: tuna with mustard and relish
Snack: fruit
Dinner: whatever my family has in a very small portion!
Drinks: water and a sweet tea 1-2x per week

This combined with 2 days a week of bootcamp and 1 morning a week of yoga is what has made me achieve the difference noted in the picture!

Happy Exercising/Dieting!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Exercising While Pregnant

One year ago TODAY I was due with my baby boy (I wouldn't get to meet him for another NINE days!) and ran SPRINTS. The day before I taught a grueling hour and a half strength training interval workout class. 

There must be something in the water, in the past month I have had so many girls in my classes tell me they are pregnant, want to know if it's "okay" for them to work out and I try to tell them YES, it's wonderful and that I worked out the ENTIRE time. I am talking I exercised hard at least five times a week - none of this "walking" crap. (Tangent: I HATE when people say they exercise and I ask them what they do and they say "I walk"... MOST of the time I bite my tongue, but if asked I will tell them that walking isn't exercise. To get any real benefit you've GOT to get your heart rate up and be miserable just for a little while.)

Anyway, these girls either don't care or don't believe me that it is great for them AND baby, because after a month or so 80% will drop out.
(Side note: 1 out of 5 actually have some issue, like super high blood pressure or end up being high risk and their doctor advises them not to work out. In that case, obviously, the doctor knows best.) 

IF FACT, this article says that "What appears to be more threatening to womens’ health is a sedentary lifestyle during pregnancy. According to Clapp’s studies, women who participated in little or no physical activity during their pregnancy were more likely to experience negative health problems during pregnancy and in the postpartum period." 

So for the other 4 out of 5 that have zero issues, instead of becoming a couch potato for the next nine months, I cannot urge you enough to keep working out and eating normal. 

The best thing you can do for YOU while pregnant is to keep strength training and here is why:
  1. Increases lean muscle mass.
  2. Increases your metabolism.  Muscle continues to burn calories while at rest…even up to 48 hours after a work out!
  3. Building muscle builds bone mass which fighting osteoporosis.
  4. Can improve the overall function of your body in everyday living….balance, strength, less injury, etc.
  5. Can reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
  6. Makes you feel better.
  7. Makes you look better.
Besides benefitting you, it exercising is also wonderful for your baby:
  1. Increased physical health scores, immediately upon birth and lasting into adulthood
  2. Increased intelligence scores for life
  3. Increased confidence & ability to self-soothe
  4. Fewer fetal interventions
  5. Fewer complications

The way a pregnant mom moves her body now can improve her baby’s health for years to come. Dr. James F. Clapp is the worlds leading authority on the effects of exercise during pregnancy. He writes, “The newborns of women who exercise tend to be alert, are easier to care for, and do not have trouble with transition of life outside the uterus.” He goes on to say these healthier babies respond more eagerly to things in their environment, they more readily self-quiet when they are disturbed, and they need much less consolation from others. You can find the full article here (and it's worth reading!):

If you're in the middle of a pregnancy, it's probably too late to start bootcamp or a high intensity workout, but today you can grab some weights and do some squats - then go for a JOG (gasp!). 

I think we can all agree that the number one priority while pregnant is to grow a healthy baby, so try your hardest to incorporate (or keep) exercise into your daily routine for the baby's health, not just your own. Thanks for reading!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Tracking Weight Loss

I can't believe I'm sharing this! If you don't know me then you'll
probably think that 150 pounds is not something to be proud of. Have you heard that muscle weighs more than fat? My size 4 jeans confirm this fact.

A pound of muscle is like a rock
the size of your fist. A pound of fat is the size of cotton candy at the fair. The consistency of the two is not that far off either. Anyway, go build some muscle and get little!

I started this list when I was cleared by my doctor to workout. This is about six weeks after my c-section.

Start a log with 3 columns. The starting date, weight and pounds GONE (because you're never going to see them again!).

Please note how long it took me to get to today. This is normal. This is good. This means it is real weight. Those first 6+ pounds you lose it week one of dieting are mostly water weight and I'm not impressed with that. I'm impressed with a slow 1 or 2 pounds a week.

Stay on your journey. It WILL take a while, but you can and WILL
get there!

- Please excuse any typos as this post was written using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, January 11, 2013

Food Journal 1/10/13

Happy Friday! I hope the second week of the new year was good for you. I had an awesome hot yoga class this morning. 26 people in one room sweating to death!

Take some time to today to regroup. Think about your habits and what you can improve. Change takes time, so don't get down on yourself if you've had a slip up or two this week.
Getting through the weekend is the hardest for some people. Make good choices if you're going out to eat. Research BEFORE you order. Margaritas, chips and salsa will KILL your diet.

Here is what I ate yesterday. I was hungry!

7am: EAS protein drink, oatmeal & 1/2 a banana
9am: South Beach Meal bar
11am: a huge chicken salad
2pm: sweet potato & baked chicken
8pm: pork loin ribeye cut & stuffed mushroom

I was sure to eat often and eat small. Portion control is SO important.

Caloric breakdown:

I went over by 30 calories and I will not obsess over that. My goal was hit and I count that as a success. Going over by 200 on a semi regular basis will ensure that those love handles are not going anywhere.

My hope is that these food journal entries are encouraging. Eating right is hard. I know. But you can do it. I know you can.

I would love to see your food journal in pictures! Post it on the McClure Fitness Facebook page so others can also see what you're eating. I got a lot of positive feedback from the picture I posted last week and I know you will too.

Hope your weekend is wonderful!


Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Importance of Physical Activity and Good Nutrition By Steve Shadrach

My Dad wrote this article about 10 years ago. People work out for so many reasons, usually to lose weight. This should motivate you to stay healthy and fit for your entire life. I want to be that grandmother that gets on the floor and plays with my grand babies. My two grandmothers had very different lifestyles. One was overweight, ate all the time and smoked. She would sit in her chair and just want to talk... Never would play with us or go to park. She passed when I was 18. The other grandmother still walks and goes to the gym, keeps her weight down. She was literally on the floor at Christmas with my baby, her GREAT grandson tickling and playing with him. They were both wonderful women. Only one got to meet Shad. I want to meet my great grandchildren one day. This is making me sad. All I meant to write about was looking at exercise and food as a way of life, not a January thing.

The Importance of Physical Activity and Good Nutrition By Steve Shadrach

​“Obesity is a national epidemic: more than 11 million American adults are 20 percent or more above their ideal weight. The number of obese Americans is expanding as many children and adolescents join the ranks of the obese. Much of the blame for this U.S. weight problem is linked to overindulgence in fatty junk foods and lack of exercise as sedentary hours are spent watching TV.” So says Dr. Henry Ginsberg, author of The Basics of Good Nutrition and expert on what and how we ought to be eating. ​ ​I know I am personally overweight and have been for about five years. I would like to lose about 20-25 pounds and know that the key is eating right, along with the proper amount and kind of exercise. Not only will I feel better, but statistics show that I will live longer too. Dr. Dileep G. Bal, Past President of the American Cancer Society says, “"At least one-third of all cancers are attributable to poor diet, physical inactivity, and overweight. Thus, if our goal of reducing cancer incidence by 25% in the United States by 2015 is to be reached, cancer prevention efforts must include strong programs for healthy eating and physical activity. Such programs will also help to reduce the incidence of many other chronic diseases." ​The National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion has done extensive work on the effects of eating right and exercising to the longevity and health of individuals. This is their claim, “Chronic diseases account for 7 of every 10 U.S. deaths and for more than 60% of medical care expenditures. In addition, the prolonged illness and disability associated with many chronic diseases decrease quality of life for millions of Americans. Much of the chronic disease burden is preventable. Physical inactivity and unhealthy eating contribute to obesity, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Together, they are responsible for at least 300,000 deaths each year. Only tobacco use causes more preventable deaths in the United States. People who avoid the behaviors that increase their risk for chronic diseases can expect to live healthier and longer lives.”​Americans spend a ton of money on weight loss and exercise programs. We are a country that loves to eat and relax and at the same time diet and exercise. Like a modern day Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde, we constantly go from one ditch to the other, a revolving cycle of healthy habits only to be undone by unhealthy ones. Dr. Ginsberg continues to educate us about our need to eat and exercise properly, “Despite their overwhelming lack of success, Americans have made dieting to lose weight a popular American pastime. It's estimated that in any given year, 70 million Americans either plan or go on some sort of weight-loss diet. Frequently, dieters attempt a crash regimen that promises to melt off unwanted pounds. Radical diets, however, although sometimes successful in the short run, have serious disadvantages. The task for a dieter is not simply losing weight; it is to develop practical, long-term eating habits that will keep your weight down for years, not just days, weeks, or months.”​One health habit I have learned lately is the importance of drinking a lot of water each day. It is a simple concept, but one that can help with our weight and health immensely. The researchers at the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion supported my thesis by adding, “Although most of us try to eat fairly decent diets, few give much thought to the importance of water. On average, a healthy adult needs between one and three liters of water a day. This can be supplied by drinks such as tap or bottled water, coffee, tea, milk, fruit juices, and soft drinks as well as solid foods, such as fruits and vegetables, which may be 90 percent water. Whereas any combination of foods and beverages that provides the needed amount of water is acceptable, many nutritionists recommend 6 to 8 glasses of liquids a day. Anything that increases water losses from the body, such as strenuous exercise, hot weather, diarrhea, or fever, increases the body's need for water.”

​Dr. Kevin Weiss is an avid cyclist and uses his love for biking to stay in shape. On his internet site ( he gives all kinds of tips on how to get and stay healthy simply by riding a bike. Here it is in his own words: “One of the best aerobic exercises is cycling and it doesn't matter whether you do it indoors on a stationary bike or outdoors on a mountain bike. Bicycling is a form of aerobic exercise that helps to condition your heart muscle, lower you blood pressure, and increase your levels of good high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.”

​Finally, Dr. Weiss quotes two sources trying to build a case that cycling is good for our health: “Only 30% of men and 20% of women are as fit as they should be for their age (British Medical Association). You will feel and look better. Even moderate cycling every week can give you the health and fitness of someone ten years younger. A little cycling could also decrease your chances of heart disease. Heart Disease rates would fall by five to ten per cent if one third of all short journeys (less than 5 miles) were made by bike (CTC Bikes Not Fumes, 1992).”

- Please excuse any typos as this post was written using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Yesterday's Food Log

Every, single meal (all five of them!) had protein. Protein fills you up and sustains you longer. If you're trying to lose a little weight, you need to get to know your what protein groups based foods you can tolerate. Maybe you'll even enjoy them!

The caloric breakdown:

I really should have eaten those extra 300 calories, but as long as I get between 1,000 and 1,400 per day I am happy. Changing up from 1,400 for two days and then a day with only 1,000 is a good weight loss strategy to keep your metabolism guessing and working.

I felt like I ate ALL day long. I got full and then got hungry. That's what I want.

P.S. PLEASE notice my chocolate intake. You've GOT to eat at least one thing that you enjoy. Keep it small and in moderation. Chocolate is my itty bitty cheat most days. But I limit myself, only eat the good stuff (extra dark) and enjoy it!

- Please excuse any typos as this post was written using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, January 4, 2013

Protein Pancakes and Feeding Your Kids REAL FOOD

This morning I am sharing one of my go-to breakfast secrets. These are AMAZING. As in, you can eat them plain (no need for yucky syrup), your kids will eat them, your husband will eat them, you get the point. You can also make several batches of these and freeze the extras to pop in the toaster on a busy morning or to eat on the way to work.

Recipe: Makes 1 serving or 4 little pancakes

1/2 banana 
(helps if you microwave it to soften)
1 egg
1TBSP clean whole wheat flour
1TBSP clean peanut butter
1 TBSP clean oats
2TBSP EAS Chocolate Carb Lite Protein Shake
(this is a premade shake available at Wal-Mart, Kroger, Walgreens, etc)
1tsp baking powder

Mix all this up, spray some PAM on a skillet and cook. 

Side note: the ingredients that say "clean" simply means that I used the purest form available. For example, for clean peanut butter, the label of ingredients reads: peanuts, salt. For the flour it is NOT bleached or enriched, the same with the oats. 

This side note brings me to another topic... what are you feeding your children!?!?! Seriously. Let's talk about this. 

Food is fuel for the body, no matter the age of the body. Start really thinking about what you are putting into your children's bodies. These pancakes are a perfect example of feeding your kids a healthy, clean and filling breakfast. No syrup or sugar is needed because they are yummy! But on the flip side, why do we think we need syrup? It's pure sugar and grosses me out the more I think about it. I'm getting side tracked....

Anyway, think of new and fun names for healthy foods to initially trick your kids into trying them. Try calling these pancakes "banana peanut butter cakes" instead of protein pancakes. Offer prunes and call them "fruit candy."  Soon your kids will be ASKING for the healthy stuff! 

I am done with my rant. Try these pancakes and let me know what you think!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

7 Ways to Kick Start Your Metabolism

1. Strength Train
We all know weight-lifting builds muscle, and the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn. What you may not realize is that the calorie burn continues long after your last rep. Actually, the only way to increase your metabolism after the age of 30 is to gain more muscle.

In a study at Southern Illinois University, exercisers who did a 15-minute resistance routine burned 100 extra calories a day for three days afterward.

Strength training causes micro trauma to the muscles. Your body has to rebuild the muscle. It does that by torching additional protein and carbs. Boost your fat burning: Twice a week, do some resistance training  (think push-ups and squats).

2. Weights First, Cardio Second
Exercisers who pump iron 20 minutes before cycling melt more fat than those who didn't lift or those who waited longer between lifting and doing cardio.

So if you're at the gym doing a traditional workout on your own,
 get to the weights first and to that bike or treadmill to end your workout.

3. Intervals!
Cyclists who pedaled at an all-out effort with high resistance for a total of five 30-second sprints (that's just 2.5 minutes!) burned a whopping 200 calories, according to recent Colorado State University research.
Changing the intensity forces your muscles to work harder. At my bootcamps all we do is intervals - bursts of cardio followed by strength training. 

4. Post Workout Snack, Think PROTEIN!
Exercisers who drank a 250-calorie shake with 24 grams of protein and 36 grams of carbs after strength training lost about four pounds more fat and created one and a half pounds more lean muscle in six months than those who didn't drink the shake. 

My favorite is the EAS "carb lite" pre-made protein drink and available at Wal-Mart, Kroger, etc. It has 110 calories and 17g protein. No guessing portions or mixing powders in a blender.

5. Down Dog
Surprise: Yoga gets you in burn mode. In one study, participants who om'd their way through a 50-minute yoga session saw a drop in their levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can inhibit fat burning. 

6. Workout in the Morning
Researchers at Bangor University in the United Kingdom discovered that a.m. exercisers work out harder than those who exercise at other times during the day. That translates to more calories burned. Why is that? People tend to be more energetic and alert in the morning, and may also feel less rushed than those who squeeze gym time into the middle of their busy schedules.

7. Eat Often
Five little meals (think 250-300 calories) a day will keep your metabolism alert and working hard. One or two heavy meals of 600+ calories takes FOREVER to burn off. In fact, most of the time, big meals are not burned off but stored as fat! 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

10 Reasons You're NOT Losing Weight

1. You're eating too much healthy food.
Nuts, avocados, whole wheat pasta, olive oil, and dark chocolate are all natural and healthy, but they aren't void of calories. You still need to watch how much you eat of the good stuff. For example, avocado offers a ton of health benefits, but an entire fruit is over 200 calories.

2. You don't eat breakfast.
Skipping breakfast may seem like a great way to save calories, but your body will actually hold onto fat because it thinks it's being starved. Keep in mind that people who eat breakfast regularly lose more weight, so make sure to eat breakfast each morning to jump-start your metabolism. Don't just grab anything; include protein to give yourself sustainable energy and fiber to fill you up for hours.

3. You don't practice portion control.
When it comes to a balanced diet, we know that portion control is one of the keys to success. Keep measuring cups and spoons on hand to make sure your serving sizes are appropriate, and learn how to give your body the "I'm full" signal in order to help you drop the fork when the time is right and move on with your day.

4. You think walking is exercise.
A 15-minute stroll is better than nothing, but don't expect to see any weight-loss results. You've got to kick it up a notch — big time — and do at least 30 minutes a day of heart-pumping exercise. Big calorie and fat burners include running, bootcamp, interval training, hiking, and circuit training.

5. You drink soda.
Soda offers literally no nutritional benefits, and continuing to drink the beverage is sabotaging your weight-loss goals — even if you only drink diet. Studies have shown that individuals who drink two diet sodas a day or more had waistlines that were500 percent larger than the nondrinkers.

6.Your partner isn't on the same path. 
A partner who's on a similar path can be a huge help to your weight-loss goals, but if your partner is not on board, then your relationship may be making you fat. You can't expect to lose weight if your husband constantly suggests ordering takeout, wants to go out for ice cream, or encourages you to sleep in instead of hitting the gym! Communicating that you need his support in losing weight is a great first step in finding compromises — for both of you. For starters, the next time you have dinner out, offer to split an appetizer or skip dessert.

7. You don't drink water.
Besides keeping you hydrated, drinking water on the regular, according to recent studies, can aid with weight loss. Filling up on water before a meal helps encourage portion control, and eating foods that contain a lot of water (like fruits and veggies) will fill you up faster, causing you to eat less. A small study even found that drinking cool water can speed up metabolism and discourage cravings for sugary drinks like soda and juice. 

8. You think you don't need to journal your food intake.
Writing down what you eat is an essential way to monitor daily caloric intake. Don't think it's worth the effort? A study from the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics surveyed 123 women and found that those who were the most successful at losing weight monitored their food intake by keeping a journal. The best free iphone app (accessible on a computer also) is "My Fitness Pal" or

9.You only do cardio.
If you live on the treadmill but never lift a pound, then you're missing out on one of the most important pieces of the fitness puzzle. Not only does weight training prevent injury by strengthening the joints, but it also builds muscle mass and increases metabolic rate. Bonus: thanks to a revved-up metabolism, you'll keep burning calories long after you've slipped off your sneakers.

10. You don't eat enough.
Don't starve yourself to save calories for later. It'll not only mess up your metabolism, and by dinnertime, that famished feeling will likely cause you to eat more than you would if you weren't starving. Not only is starving yourself not sustainable for continued weight loss, but also, limiting yourself to too-small portions can lead to excess snacking between mealtimes.