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Motivation Monday Archive

Motivation Monday: De-stress with a Nature Hike!

A great way to de-stress from wedding planning is to get away for a bit and emerge yourself in nature. So pack a lunch, water and some
snacks, and head out  for an invigorating hike! Check the weather and start your day early. Here are three great New England hiking areas that burn calories while relaxing your mind:

1. Mount Greylock. The highest peak is 3,491 feet high. So many great hiking trails and easy parking. It is about 150 miles from Boston or about a 3 hour drive, so plan accordingly. If you forget your breakfast, lunch or dinner or you need a drink after your hike, there is a lodge on top, You can even stay on top at the Lodge if you reserve ahead of time. For more information about Mount Greylock visit: http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/dcr/massparks/region-west/mt-greylock-state-reservation-generic.html

2. Mount Monadnock. The highest peak is 3165 feet high, which means there are varying level hikes. The mountain is about 85 miles from Boston, or a 2 hour drive.  Mount Monandnock is open year round, but some amenities become limited after October 1. For more information, visit: http://www.nhstateparks.com/monadnock.html

3. Blue Hills.  Don’t feel like driving a long distance to go hiking? Blue Hills is a great choice! About 16 miles from Boston or about a 22 minute drive, its a short trip from home. The highest peak is 635 feet high, so this is great for beginners who want an easier nature walk. Climb to the tower and keep on going for miles if you want! There is free parking and even a trailside museum to visit. For more info: http://friendsofthebluehills.org/maps/.

 

 

Let me know your favorite spot!

 

Motivation Monday: Walk Boston with Your Better Half!
Are you sick of running on the treadmill or using the elliptical to get your heart pumping and to burn calories?  If so, get outside and take a walk around Boston with your better half. You’ll get a history lesson and some together time with your sweetie all in one. Here are some of my favorite walk suggestions!

 

1.       FREEDOM TRAIL- Enjoy a 2.5 mile trail through Boston’s history… Just be careful, you may be tempted as it does pass by some really good restaurant s and bakeries!  Get the map by clicking on this website: http://thefreedomtrail.org/

 

2.       Black Heritage Trail- Enjoy a 1.5 -2 mile trail through Beacon Hill that explores the history of Boston’s 19th century African American community. Check out:  http://www.afroammuseum.org/trail.htm for more information.

 

3.       HarborWalk at the JFKLibrary- Enjoy a several mile walk along the Boston Harbor.  Catch a glimpse of planes taking off in the Boston sky… For more info: http://www.bostonharborwalk.com/placestogo/location.php?nid=2&sid=10
4.       Walk the Charles River- The perfect spot for people watching and so much distance if you want it.  For mileages visit:   http://www.soundkeepers.com/running/boston.html

 

ENJOY!  Do you have a favorite walk that you want to share? Email me at motivationalmeera@gmail.com
Wedding Wellness: Financial Planning as a Couple
Wellness isn’t just about fitness and health. It’s also about finding ways to alleviate stress in your life! Money is one of the major arguments couples have.  One of the best ways to nip money stress in the bud before it becomes a problem is to plan as a couple for financial survival.  Stop the financial fighting and enjoy your new life together!
  • Have an Ongoing Discussion: It is important to be completely honest about your finances with your partner especially if you will be combining accounts.  Discuss the issues in a calm manner and create a plan that allows the two of you to work towards common goals and dreams.  Plan a money date each month.
  • Pay off Debt.  Make an agreement and a plan to pay off any debt together so that you can move forward towards your goals as a couple.
  • Prepare for Emergency Situations.   Keep a savings account filled with at least 7 months’ worth of living expenses.  You never know if one of you loses a job, if there is a medical situation, a fender bender.  Living on one salary and saving the other is a good way to see what life would be like if you plan to have children and have one of you stay home.
  • Put money toward your retirement plan.  Contribute as much as you are able to to your 401(K) or 403(b) to get the maximum match from your employer.  Do this also for your individual retirement accounts or Roth IRAs.
  • Compromise is important as a couple.  Each of you probably have goals together as a couple as well as personal goals.  Be respectful of each.  Stay calm and be proactive by creating a plan before a problem arises.
 
 What wellness tips would you like to see from Meera?

 

How to Work Out on Vacation: Meera’s Bridal Beach Workout!

On vacation and have no gym equipment?- NO PROBLEM! Being on vacation is a must, however with all the eating out it can be a disaster for the wedding figure! Here are 5 ways to burn calories on the beach…You can try all of them separately or piece them together as a circuit.  If you do them in a circuit try doing the circuit three times around before taking a break.

  • Run!  If you brought sneakers or not get your body running on the water’s edge.  If you want a harder workout get in the soft sand.  Added bonus: Running on the sand is easier on the joints!  If you are only running for the day, try to run continuously for 30 minutes.  If you use running in the circuit run for 5-10 minutes and then go to the next exercise.

 

 

  •  High Knees.  Pull and hug one knee in towards your chest, hop and pull your other knee in.  Keep switching.  Do this 15 times with each leg.

 

 

  • Lunge your legs into shape.  The shore line is a great place to do walking lunges.  Try doing 15 per leg and then turn around and go back.

 

 

  • Push-ups.  Keep your upper body in shape by doing 2 sets of 15 push ups in the sand.

 

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  •  Jumping Jacks.  A great total cardiovascular workout!  Try 2 sets of 25 to get started.

 

No excuses brides! 

 

What are your vacation workout tips and questions for Meera?

 

Motivation Monday: How to Eat Dinner Out & Still Reach Your Weight Loss Goals!

Eating meals in restaurants while watching your weight can be scary.  Brides, read these tips and eat out with ease!

  • Plan ahead:  Pull the menu up on your smart phone or computer prior to going to the restaurant.  Find the best healthy options, all on your own time.  If you have any questions about how things are prepared, call the restaurant ahead and get the facts.  When you get to the restaurant you already know what you are going to order!
  • Ask for options:  If your side option is French fries or onion rings ask if they have other options like a side salad or steamed veggies.  If they won’t do it, ask for no French fries before you get the meal and order a separate side that is healthy.
  •  Stay simple with the drinks:  Have a glass of wine, a light beer or a simple martini.  Do not have drinks with sugary mixes, like pina coladas, margaritas, schnapps, or triple sec, which add empty calories.
  • STAY AWAY from certain foods with these descriptives: Run away from menu items that are creamy, rich, pan fried, fried, scalloped, buttery, breaded, stuffed, and cheesy.  If you are unsure,  ask the waiter/waitress for clarification.  Sometimes you can even ask the chef to grill or bake the same items without the fixings.
  • Skip the dessert:  Restaurant desserts taste amazing for a reason- they are filled with lots of FAT!  Instead, have a piece of dark chocolate at home and you certainly won’t feel guilty about it!   (Photo credit: active.com)
Need more tips?  Have any questions?  Ask Meera at motivationalmeera@gmail.com!
Bridal Beauty Sleep: 5 Tips to Help You Sleep Better and Feel Your Best!
It is important as brides to get enough sleep!  All the wedding planning stress can have your mind racing and not allow you to sleep…. However, Brides need sleep to recover from the long days of work and planning a wedding!  If you become sleep deprived, you become irritable and have memory and concentration problems.  To be the most productive bride, here are some tips for getting a good night’s rest. (Photo courtesy of: Shannon Grant Photograpy)

 

1.        Keep on a Sleep Schedule.
Go to bed and wake up at the same time every night.  This includes weekends!  Consistency is the key for better sleep.  If however, you are unable to fall asleep in 15 minutes, get up and do something that is relaxing until you feel like you can fall asleep easier.

 

2.       Watch your eating/ drinking prior to going to bed. 
Make sure that you are not hungry or stuffed when you go to bed.  Also be aware not to eat certain foods that may cause indigestion prior to going to bed.  Limit fluids prior to going to bed to prevent middle of the night trips to the bathroom.  Caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol will make it very difficult to sleep- so don’t have any!

 

3.       Exercise!
Make sure to get your exercise in, as it can promote falling asleep faster and a deeper sleep.  Just be careful not to exercise too close to bed time because it can be too stimulating.  It is best to exercise in the morning!

 

4.       Create a Sleep Friendly Room
Make sure to keep noise down and use blackout curtains.  Most people sleep best at 65 degrees Fahrenheit, so make sure the temperature is right for you.  Make sure that if you are waking up with aches and pains in your back or neck after sleeping, look into a better bed and make sure all the bed fixings are comfortable and conducive to sleeping.

 

5.       Destress
Make sure you are not going to bed with lots of thoughts running through your head.  Make a slowdown routine where you are preparing for bed time.  Dim the lights, take a warm shower/bath, meditate, read a relaxing book, or listen to relaxing music.  These will all help get you ready for a good night’s sleep.

 

What health topics do you want tips about?
E-mail me at motivationalmeera@gmail.com
Summer Wedding Workouts: How to Beat the Heat!

With so many fall weddings coming up,  many brides are working out now in the summer months. But how can you beat the heat?  If you listen to your  body and you follow the following tips, you can continue to exercise outside with worry during these hot days.  Here are a few tips to keep you safe in the heat!

(But, if you ever feel faint, dizzy or nauseous, stop immediately.)

1.  Avoid the Hours of 9:00am-3:00pm.  This time period is the hottest time of day.  It is best to wake up early and workout.

 

2Stay Hydrated.  Make sure you have hydrated the night before.  A few hours or minutes prior to exercising outside, make sure to drink a glass or two of water.  Also, carry a water bottle with you.  Even if you are not thirsty, make sure to take sips of water every 15-20 minutes.  After finishing your exercise, drink more.

 

 3. Wear Appropriate Clothing. Wear light colored clothing and wear cotton material, which will help the evaporation of sweat. Try fast drying clothing that is designed to keep you cool.

 

4. Check the Forecast before you leave the House!  If there is a heat advisory, workout indoors because this means there are high ozone levels and air pollution levels, which can damage your lungs.

 

5. Sunscreen is a must. It’s important to protect your skin. You don’t want to get burned before your big day, or ever!  If you can, chose shaded trails and keep out of the sun.

 

What fitness questions do you have  for your big wedding day?  Have a question- submit it to motivationalmeera@gmail.com
Motivation Monday: How to Stay Motivated for Your Wedding Workout!

Don’t feel like working out?  We all have those days!  Here are some of my stick-with-it secrets to keep moving!

  •  Pamper yourself:  Make a pact with yourself that if you spend 30 minutes doing some cardiovascular exercises or weights, then you get a reward such as a pedicure.  This keeps the habit going.
  •  Try something new: Go outside for a beach run if your workout is usually inside; try a new fitness class at your gym; or sign up for a personal training session!  Being bored will make you want to skip a session.

  • Make plans with a friend: Having a buddy system is very helpful.  Grab a bridesmaid, a coworker, or a friend and ask them to go for a walk, go to a bootcamp class, go to a yoga class, or go for a bike ride.  Doing things together is fun and social.
  •  Skip it today if you must, but have a plan for tomorrow! It is okay to have a day off, but have a super motivating day the next day.  Add on some extra cardio minutes or add a few more muscle exercises than you normally would.
  • Just do it!  Put your workout outfit on, put your sneakers on and just start.  Once the feel good hormones start pumping, and you see everyone around you working out, you will forget you did not want to work out! 

How do you stay motivated?

Motivation Monday: Wedding Workout: Bringing Sexy Back!

Do you want a sculpted back for your wedding day? Most people focus on their front side, but when you walk down that aisle everyone is looking at your backside…So It is time to start sculpting your back ladies! I have put together 3 of my favorite back exercises to get you started!

Tips:
1. Always remember to consult a physician prior to starting an exercise program.
2. Pick a weight that you can do 15 reps and that you feel the exercise by the 10th repetition.
3. For each exercise perform 2 sets of 15 repetitions with a 10 second break between the two sets.
4. Never do the same muscle group two days in a row… so if you give these exercises a try on Monday, give your back a rest on Tuesday but get right back on for Wednesday.

First exercise: Band Lat Pull down
Stand: Legs shoulder width apart, abs tight with a figure 8 band or a long band wrapped around your hands. Start with your arms above your head.
Action: Pull the band down to right above the chest, lift the chest slightly, and squeeze your shoulder blades. Slowly return to start position.

 

 

 

Second exercise: Back Row with dumbbells
Stand: Take one dumbbell in your right hand. Place your left knee on a chair and lean down with the back flat- no arching ladies!. Start with the arm straight.
Action: Lift your right elbow up to the sky keeping your arm by your body. Squeeze your back and then return to start position with the arm straight.
SWITCH ARMS

 

Third exercise: Back Fly with dumbbells
Stand: Knees slightly bent, legs shoulder width apart, abs tight with weights in your hand. Lean down with the back flat and chest down. Arms are straight hanging towards the floor.
Action: Lift your arms to the sides and squeeze your back as tight as you can. Return arms hanging towards the floor.

 


What is your trouble area??? Do you have any questions or a blog idea? Contact me at MotivationalMeera@gmail.com

Motivation Monday: BBQ Recipes that Won’t Wreck Your Wedding Weight Loss Goals!

As the weather gets warmer, the barbecue invites get larger!  Instead of depriving yourself of fun in the name of your wedding dress. why not bring your own healthy food to share with others?  I put together a tasty, healthy menu that you can easily whip up and bring to your next barbecue!

Appetizer: Prosciutto wrapped asparagus
Ingredients

  1. 1 pound asparagus (about 19 stalks), trimmed
  2. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  3. Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  4. 6 to 8 paper-thin slices prosciutto, halved lengthwise

Directions
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Snap the dry stem ends off of each asparagus and place on a heavy baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss. Roast until the asparagus is tender, about 15 minutes. Cool completely.  Wrap each asparagus with 1 piece (about 1/2 a slice) of prosciutto, exposing tips. Arrange on a platter and serve at room temperature.
eatdrinkpaleo.com

 

Main meal: Tandoori Chicken by Rachael Ray
Pre Heat oven to 500 degrees or use the grill.
Ingredients:

  1. 1 pound of chicken breasts
  2. 2 palm fulls of curry
  3. 1 palm full of smoked paprika
  4. 1 cup of Greek yogurt
  5. Salt and pepper

Directions:
Cut chicken into bite size pieces.  Salt and pepper.  Mix the curry, paprika, and yogurt together.  With hands slather chicken in the marinade.  Marinate chicken in 1 cup of Greek yogurt with curry and paprika.  Bake on a cooking rack on a pan or grill until edges are charred and juices run clear, about 25 minutes
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Dessert : Watermelon Blueberry Banana Split
Ingredients:

  1. 2 large bananas
  2. 8 “scoops” watermelon and/or cantaloupe
  3. 1 cup blueberries (or raspberries or strawberries)
  4. 1/2 cup low fat vanilla yogurt
  5. 1/4 cup granola

Directions:
Peel bananas and cut in half crosswise, then cut each piece in half lengthwise. For each serving, lay 2 banana pieces against the sides of a shallow dish.  To make watermelon “scoops” use an ice cream scoop to create balls of watermelon. Remove seeds, if needed. Place a watermelon “scoop” at each end of the dish.  Fill the center space with berries. Stir yogurt until smooth, spoon over the watermelon “scoops”. Sprinkle with granola.
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Do you have any fitness questions or a blog idea?  Contact me at MotivationalMeera@gmail.com or leave a comment below!