Tag Archives: healthy

WT High Altitude

31 Jul


Less than two weeks to go until Tough Mudder New England.  I kicked my training up a notch this weekend with some ‘high altitude’ workouts in the Colorado Rockies with a fellow TM Teammate.

I talked a big game before the weekend telling him that I’m excited for hiking and work outs galore while I’m in town.  In hindsight, training at higher altitudes is a huge advantage over my sea level lungs.  Although I was sucking wind and hugging trees on the way up the Ute Trail, I still managed to make the trek up to the top of Aspen Mtn in just over 2 hours.  Thankfully the Gondola was still running to take us back down to the bottom (during each I booked my deep tissue massage for the very next day).  Shockingly, I wasn’t as sore as I though I’d be and attribute it to the massive amounts of Stair Treadmill hours that I log each week at the gym.   The following day prior to the massage, I climbed the stairs for 20, ran at intervals for 20, lifted and did 100 crunches.  My last day we hiked the Ute trail again shaving at least 5 minutes off our time from the hike two days earlier.  It was still an ass-kicker but felt great.  (Pic is of me at the top…. still smiling)

The weekend wasn’t all about working out though.  As you’re probably aware from previous posts, I’ve been on quite the health kick the last few months.   I haven’t had a piece of meat or chicken in 4 weeks, pretty much stopped having dairy (an occasional pat of butter or weekend cone at Marvel but whose counting) and have been pounding veggies and fruits along with fish, good carbs and natural fats.  However, I am not one to deprive myself and if you know me, you know that 5pm on weekends (7pm on some week nights) is cocktail time and if it’s chocolate and in my face, chances are I’m gonna eat it.   This weekend was filled with lots of naughty pleasures – i’ll just fill you in on the oral pleasures (actually that doesn’t sound right either) – wine, mojitos, squid ink pasta, fried calamari, rock shrimp tempura, a nutella and banana crepe, a hot dog (I only took a tiny bite) and certainly one of my favorites…. BACON (which in my humble opinion should be its own special food group).   And I enjoyed every moment of my gluttonous indulgences.   From now until the big day, I’ll be cutting back (notice I didn’t say ‘out’) on the bad stuff and pushing the limits on my workouts.

So while some of you may think I’ve lost my mind and transformed into a health freak, my philosophy is this….. If your foundation is rooted in a healthy lifestyle of eating right and exercising, then go ahead and indulge when that sweet treat or sugary cocktail calls your name and by all means….. enjoy it…. you deserve it.



17 Jul

665985I spent this past weekend in the Hamptons with a few girlfriends doing some birthday celebrating (not mine, I’ve already had my day in the spotlight this year).  While summer weekends should be spent licking ice cream cones at Marvel (vanilla with choc crunchies please) and drinking high sugar fruity cocktails, I managed to maintain some semblance of my WTHealthy kick.

This weeks hump day recipe is the WT Watermelon Martini.  Packed with a punch (because I never went to bartending school and tend to have a heavy hand), this concoction is sure to have you bouncing (possibly on a trampoline) on the dance floor till the wee hours of the morn.

*WT Watermelon Martini (Serves 2-4 – depending on how big your Red Solo cup is)
2 – 3 cups of freshly sliced watermelon (feeling lazy? buy the one already cut)
1/2 cup of raspberries (makes it a little tart but totally tasty.  Feel free to add any other kind of berries as well)
1/2 cup of Vodka (maybe start with a 1/4 cup and add as you see fit… the more the merrier)
1 Lime, Juiced
1-2 cups of ice
3 tblsp of Sugar (optional – trying to cut back on my sugar so didn’t add this but you can use it as rim decor.  Plus, Watermelon is already packed with mother natures sugar) Or use Salt as the rim decor.
*Toss it all in a blender and blend.  If you don’t have a blender, you will need to press the watermelon through a cheesecloth(as if those are always laying around) or through a small mesh strainer into a bowl.  Should make about 1-2 cups of juice.

My other suggestions to keep your inner body clean on those supple sandy beaches, is to make sure you pack healthy snacks instead of high salty (dehydrating), high carb(nothing to offer), high processed Crappy Snacks.  (I think I may need to coin this phrase for future use)  My Clean Snacks include:

  • Fresh cut mixed fruit salad – Watermelon, Grapes, Nectarines, Canalope and Pinapple
  • Veggies and homemade Hummus* – Carrots (not the baby ones soaked in Chlorine), Trader Joes Sugar Snap Peas, Celery Sticks and Sliced Cucumber.
  • Blue Diamond Baked Nut Chips – Wheat & Gluten Free.  They are delishhhh.  I can eat a whole bag – sort of defeats the purpose but WTH.

*Hayley’s Hummus (that sounds sexual for some reason)
1 clove of garlic
1 19 oz can of Garbanzo beans (keep half the liquid)
4 tblsp of lemon juice
1 tsp of sea salt
2 tblsp of Olive Oil (divided)
2 tblsp of Tahini (optional)
Black Pepper to taste
–Toss it all in a blender (half the olive oil) and blend until creamy and well mixed.  If you want to make it look pretty, hold a few beans on the side and use on top for garnish with remaining olive oil.


*This blog totally promotes drinking, especially on an empty stomach… while sitting on the beach… in the sun!

WTHealthy Hump Day Recipe

11 Jul

I realize it’s the day after hump day but my hump day sucked.  So here it is the day after.

Today’s recipe:
Lotta Legs Coconut Mango Shrimp over Quinoa served with lightly cooked veggie

Serving size per person:
6 shrimp (45 calories)
1/2 cup cooked quinoa (111 calories)
2 cups of veggies (109 calories/broccoli)
1/2 mango (62 calories)
1 tblsp Coconut oil (120 calories)
(Personal Pref: Add a few sprigs of Cilantro for that clean yummy taste)

I only had time for a quick workout tonight but needed to get in a few extra leg exercises (Lots of hill to conquer at Mt. Snow in exactly 30 days) today so I mixed in my workout while prepping and cooking my dinner.

Buy the frozen shrimp at the supermarket that are already cleaned, deveined and shelled… that means they have no shell on (in case this is confusing to some of you). However you may want to make sure your shrimp are from a good source.  I attached a video to the end of this post which is sure to freak you out about things you eat.

Defrost shrimp under cold running water for 10 min.  I realize this is a waste of water but this is a healthy blog, not an environmental one.  In the spirit of my tree hugging friends, please be sure to recycle, reuse and reduce. :). If you have an hour before you cook, take a whole lemon and squeeze over defrosted shrimp and place in the fridge for an hour.  If you don’t have the hour to let them sit, you can squeeze the lemon over the shrimp while cooking.

Cook one cup of quinoa according to packaging. (Do 3 sets of 10 lunges on each leg while standing at the stove) *FunFact: Quinoa has the perfect balance of all nine amino acids essential for human nutrition.  This type of complete protein is usually found in meats (so skip the meat and eat this treat instead).  It also offers a good dose of fiber and iron.

Cut up one whole mango.  If you are only cooking for yourself, you should only eat half the mango.  (Do 2 sets of 20 squats between slicing)
*FunFact:   Fresh fruit offers so much more than the natural sugar it contains – including water, vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytonutrients (those naturally-occurring plant compounds that have wide ranging beneficial effects on the body).
I found an amazing sauce that I love which has a ‘B’ rating on the Fooducate App. HH561399-2

Take one tablespoon of coconut oil and melt in a frying pan. (10 squats while melting) Toss in the shrimp and turn to coat with oil.  (Do 10 lunges on each side while browning) Flip when slightly brown and do the same on the other side.  *FunFacts: Coconut Oil is a short and medium chain fatty acid which have many health benefits and also help in taking off excessive weight, since they are easily digested and sent right to the liver for instant energy production(increases your metabolism)  You know that extra weight around your midsection??? Coconut oil helps get rid of that.  Coconut Oil has tons of other benefits:  Skin Care, Weight Loss, Immunity, Digestion, Healing and Infections.  

When shrimp are almost done, toss in the mango and squeeze lemon juice over the pan or pour in juice they were marinating in. (10 squats)

Great veggie to eat on the side: Bok Choy, shelled edamame, broccoli, Sugar Snap Peas.  Any can be lightly steamed or very lightly sautéed in half a tablespoon of a high heat oil such as sunflower or grapeseed.  Keep veggies bright green to maintain highest levels of nutrients. Lightly salt and pepper.  I don’t add salt unless its sea salt – Himalayan from Trader Joes is awesome. (10 squats and 10 lunges on each leg while veggies are cooking)  *FunFact: The more nutrient-dense food you consume(aka VEGGIES), the more you will be satisfied with fewer calories, and the less you will crave fat and high-calorie foods. 

Add veggie and shrimp and serve over quinoa. Pour one tablespoon of Mango sauce on top or use on the side for dipping sauce for shrimp.

Prep: 10-15 min
Cooking time: 10-15 min.

Lunges: 50
Squats: 50

Calories Consumed (who cares, you’ve earned it)

Stretch Your Legs and Enjoy.

— WTHayley


Here’s the video I mentioned…. GROSS.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXJSmxi2buc

WT Whadda-ya-call-it

4 Apr


I cracked myself up this morning wondering if from here on out, am I going to start talking about my age as if i’m over the hill? (Hell No) When I first wrote this post, I couldn’t help but think “Is it weird that my first post in my 40’s is going to be about the fact that I’m losing my memory (or my mind, not sure which yet)?” Then again, the memory loss could have been due to brain cells that I killed in my week long Birthday tare.

While I consider myself too young to be suffering mild memory loss, I saw a FB post this morning from someone who said ‘I figured that if I stay in the Supermarket long enough, I’ll remember what I came here for’. I had to laugh, especially since I’m pretty sure she’s a few years younger than I am. I do this all the time. Not only do I often find myself running back to the produce section at least two times in one visit, but there are times I find myself returning to the market a second and third time in one day. Other times, I get home and as soon as I’ve put the groceries away, I’m starting a new list of all the things that I forgot to get.

When I tell my 70 year old mother these stories, it makes her feel better that it she’s not the only forgetful one in the family. I told her she’d better watch it or I’ll forget what old age home I check her into – you know I’m kidding momma, I’d make sure to write it down somewhere. (wink wink)

I specifically remember times when my dad would struggle to remember something and he’d say ‘Where’s the whadda-ya-call-it?’ (My mom and brother are totally laughing right now). I did a little research for you that will provide a few tips of salvaging your memory and enhancing your brain function. I also read most of Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer and then I forgot where I put it. I’m kidding. I’m pretty sure the second version of 50 Shades was published while I was in the middle of it and well… you know how that goes.

I did some research and unearthed a few foods that help with cognitive decline, increase focus and enhance clarity:
–Walnuts – high in Alpha Linolenic Acid – promotes blood flow, delivering more oxygen to the brain.  Other nuts that are high in Vitamin E have been known to help cognitive decline (hazelnuts, almonds, cashews, peanuts, flax (buy raw and not roasted/salted or flavored to get the most out of your nuts)
— Salmon and other fatty fish – high levels of Omega 3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA – have been linked to lower risk of dementia, better focus and improved memory.
— Coffee – (love this one – my excuse to keep on drinking it) – Caffeine has been shown to improve mental acuity keeping you more alert, antioxidants help maintain brain health and some research says it helps with depression in women.
— Berries – Blue/Staw/Acai – Any berries will do.  These are the highest in antioxidants, and when merged with free radicals that are ever present in our bodies, they render them harmless.  Just eat them.  They are good and good for you.  Buy organic – less pesticides.
— Dark Chocolate (another favorite) – filled with incredibly powerful antioxidants and natural stimulants which help produce endorphins, which help improve your mood.  So, while good for your brain(in moderation – no more than 1 oz a day), also good for your libido.  Wow, who knew.  Actually, I knew but I’ve been holding out on you.  Every now and then you’ll see me pop a Dark Chocolate Lindt Truffle into my mouth.

Please keep in mind that eating an entire bag of walnuts before an exam or big presentation isn’t going to suffice.  You need to maintain a healthy diet – 4-6 small meals a day, plenty of greens, fruits and foods that are whole/real and full of nutrients.  Oh, and don’t forget to hydrate.  Having to get up multiple times to go to the bathroom a day helps blood flow too.

The BEST trick I learned from Moonwalking with Einstein:
Name Association – how many times do you meet someone and forget their name?  Most likely, 9 out of 10 – and that’s me being nice.  Next time you meet someone and want to remember their name, repeat it back to them and as you’re saying it (Mary, so nice to meet you), try to associate it with something familiar to you or something funny (Scary Mary is so Hairy).  Or, do they have the same name or one that rhymes with a relative (Nick, he looks like Uncle Dick.  Or Andy reminds me of Sandy who loves to eat Candy)?  You can also link it to a favorite food/state/restaurant/etc. (Melanie/Melon).  Just make sure you don’t say these things out loud or you’ll look like moron, which pretty much defeats the purpose.

I forgot what I was going to end with so…..


(P.S. – I chose the image for this post showing left brain and right brain because I can never remember which one I am – clearly a weird combo of both, but mostly left.  Don’t judge me by my blogging creativity skills.  I might be fun, free and can play the bass clarinet, but I make a mean ass excel chart and my math skills are exeptional.)

WT Health Kick

15 Jan

Fit Post

I’m jetting off to Puerto Rico in 24 days with a bunch of girl friends.  I can’t wait.  Starting in late October, I begin to slack on the healthy eating and working out because of Halloween(my candy corn obsession gets the better of me), my birthday, Thanksgiving(extra whip on the pumpkin pie please), Holidays (lots o’latkes)…. you name it, I’ve got an excuse to eat like shit, drink lots of wine and use a hangover as my excuse to avoid the gym.  Well, now I’ve got 24 days to turn it all around and get bikini ready for the sunny sandy beaches of PR.

Aside from that, I’ve instituted a new healthier work environment in my office in 2013.  We will be stocking our pantry with all healthy snack foods and a few of us will be wearing a FitBit (tracks daily fitness and sleep activity) to help motivate us towards living a healthier, fitter life.

As much as I don’t believe there needs to be any specific time of year to make changes in your life, I know many people use the new year as their time for ‘resolutions’.  I’ve enlisted a few friends that I know are on health kicks to join me in my quest and I am laying it all out for any of my followers that want to get healthier and fitter as well.  For starters, get yourself a FitBit-One so we can link up and follow each others progress.  This is not a paid endorsement but maybe they’ll throw me a bone if enough of you buy one:

Water – Each day you should be drinking at least 6 glasses of water.  Keep a cup full of water next to the bed and the first thing you should do when you wake up, is chug it.  Your body starts the day dehydrated and craving water.  Make it happy, water it.
Coffee or Tea – 1-2 cups  (try to go 2% milk or soy rather than whole and Raw sugar instead of Splenda or other sugar alternative).
Alcohol – I’d like to tell you to avoid alcohol but who the hell am I kidding.  Any healthy regimen that makes you kick the things you love the most is one you should avoid at all costs.

This depends on how well you know your own body. I know that I can function well on 6 hours of sleep and if i get more than 8, it makes me more tired.  As my mother always said, it’s the hours before 12am that count so try to get in bed by 10-10:30pm.

Morning Exercise:
I read an article this weekend that talked about how morning workouts help kick your metabolism into gear and starting burning off the bad fat earlier in the day.  All you need is 8 minutes.  This morning I set my alarm for 10 minutes earlier and started doing this.
Side Leg Raises – Knee to Elbow – 2 min
Squats or Lunging Squats – 2 min
Mountain Climbers – 1 min
Plank Pose or Jumping Jacks – 1 min
Abs – any abs will do – 2 min
(Feel free to switch this up to include whatever you like and take out what you hate.  If you don’t like it, you aren’t going do it)

Other Exercise:
If you’re a morning gym person, ignore the above and just go to the gym.  If you are a night time work out person like I am, then the above should still be done in the morning even if you plan on working out at night.  Don’t try to jump into a work out routine that is overwhelming, that’s the biggest mistake. Start slow.  I think everyone should own a set of workout DVD’s for those times when you just can’t get to the gym.  (I love Insanity but some people are into P90X, Turbo Fire, Chalene – Beachbody.com is big in my town but use what you like.  If you want Beachbody DVD’s, click here:  http://beachbodycoach.com/esuite/home/laurenmundell
Week 1:
8 minute morning workout – 4 days a week.  You can do this in your underwear with no shoes on.  It’s that easy.
2 days/week – a work out DVD or hit the gym if you belong to one.  Workout should include 30 minutes of light cardio – walk on the treadmill, ride the bike, climb the stairs or elliptical.   Follow with a light arm workout.  There are plenty you can research online.  If I include all of that here, people will stop reading – most of you already have.
Week 2:
8 minute morning workout – 5 days a week.
3 days/week – 30 – 40 min of moderate cardio.  Step it up one level on all machines.  If you aren’t sweating, you aren’t working hard enough.  Get your heart rate up – wearing a heart rate monitor is the best thing you can do for your workouts… especially in the beginning.
Follow with arm exercises – keep the same weight level but bump up the reps.
Abs – 20 – 40 crunches, elbow to knee, leg raises or any type of abs you like.
Week 3:
8 minute morning workout – 5 days a week.
3 – 4 days/week – at least 40 minutes of moderate to high impact cardio.  Run – 5.0 – 6.0, Stairs – 8.0 – 10.0, Elliptical – 8.0 – 12.0, Bike – 7.0 – 10.0. (Want more impact than this – ask me about what I learned from Barry’s Boot Camp)
Arms – kick up the weights – if you were lifting 8 lbs, graduate to 10 – 12 lbs.  YOU WILL NOT BULK UP.  You will burn the fat and tone the muscles under the fat.  I’ve used 15 – 20 lb weights and was at my leanest and didn’t bulk.  It’s a misconception.
Abs – 40-60 crunches, elbow to knee, leg raises or any type of abs you like.
Week 4 and ongoing:  
8 minute morning workout – 5-7 days a week.
At least 4 days/week – 40-60 minutes of high impact cardio.  Run – 6.0-7.0, Stairs – 10.0-15.0, Elliptical – 12.0-15.0, Bike – 10.0-15.0.
Arms – Mix it up on different days
Abs – 80-100 crunches, elbow to knee, leg raises or any type of abs you like.

*Any day of the week can be substituted with a class of some sort – spin, boxing, physique57, Barre Method, Yoga, etc.

Mind over Matter:  There are things you can incorporate every day into your routine that WILL make a difference.  I do things like take the stairs instead of the elevator, run to the gym instead of drive, walk places instead of take a cab, squat at the toilet instead of sit (you’ll feel the burn if you don’t hold onto anything), kegels while typing this blog (did you ladies all just do one?  Why is it that when someone says Kegel, you automatically do one -LOL)  etc.  It’s a mindset people.  Once you start to feel good and see results, it will become second nature.  Kegel – LOL.  Ok, maybe not.

Overall I’m a healthy eater.  This has been something I’ve learned to do for a number of years now.  However, if you know me, you know that I am a pig and I’ve been called a Skinny Pig because I eat the things I love.  I have trained my brain that MODERATION is key and if I’m a total pig, I know to kick it up an extra notch or two the next day at the gym. I have done a ton of reading on healthy boosters, fat busters and superfoods and this list is not backed by anything other than my expert opinion so do what you’d like with it.
Health Boosters – Eat 4-5 of these each day
Grapes, Blueberries, Tomatoes, Strawberries, Apples, Dark Chocolate, Salmon, Avocados, Beets, Lemon/Limes(squeeze into your water), Mushrooms.
Fat Busters – Eat 4-5 of these each day
Olive Oil, Edamame, Grapefruit, Beans/Legumes, Carrots, Chestnuts/Almonds/Pine Nuts, Figs, Horseradish, Mangos, Eggs, Lean Meats, Sprouts, Ginger/Cayenne/Blk Pepper (great metabolism boosters)
SuperFoods – Eat 4-5 of these each day
Sweet Potato/Squash/Pumpkin, Hummus, Cruciferous Veggies (brussels(ask me for my recipe), cabbage, cauliflower, brocc rabe), Dark Leafy Veggies (spinach, kale, swiss chard, seaweed), Alliums (leeks, onions, shallots, garlic), Whole Grains (Buckwheat, Quinoa – ask me for my Quinoa recipe), Spelt/Flax/Sesame Seeds, Yogurt (low fat – Coconut Milk, Soy, Greek), Walnuts (best nut for Omega 3), Miso (B12 and Zinc – great for immunity), Oregano (just 1/2 tst has same benefits as Spinach Salad)

When you get home, take a lipstick and write on your bathroom mirror in huge letters:  NO EXCUSES!!!  This should keep you motivated.  The other great thing to keep you motivated is a FRIEND.  Don’t go at it alone.  Recruit someone that will motivate you and you can help motivate them.   Also, as an important thing to note….. I have absolutely no background in nutrition or fitness training so the above is based on my own experiences, reading a ton of articles and books and what I’ve learned works for me.  If you want this in Excel format, email me at hayley@vergemkg.com and I can send you a chart that you can print each day and put it on your wall to keep track of your progress.  If you want to follow my motivational Pin Board on Pinterest:  http://pinterest.com/hayleybyer/fit-and-fab/

Thanks for reading.

Have a Happy and Healthy New Year, New You.

WT Hayley

WT Headcold

25 Dec

Many of my friends are currently laid up in bed suffering from some type of head cold, flu like symptoms or the misery of a stuffy nose and cough. After I posted comments on Facebook the other day about kicking the crap out of my cold in 24 hours, people have asked for my remedy. While I can’t guarantee it will help you all, I’m posting it for those that will do what it takes to get better as quickly as possible.
These are not in order of importance.
1. Mind over Matter. I’m a big believer that the mind is a powerful tool. I spend the first day of my cold in complete denial that I’m sick. It helps to keep repeating ‘I am not sick’ over and over and over again. Don’t just tell yourself, tell everyone around you. If that doesn’t work, keep reading.
2. Nasal Spray. I grew up in a house where my mother and brother were both addicted to Afrin. There was never a shortage of nose spray in any room you walked into. Why my dad didn’t take stock in this company is beyond me. Opening up the nasal passage is the first step to eliminating that feeling like your head is going to explode. My new fav is Sinex. Two squirts in each nostril and you feel like new.
3. Meds. I am not a fan of drugs. I believe that once you start them, your body gives up the fight because the drugs take over and extends the length of your cold. However, if you feel you must, Advil Cold and Sinus works pretty well.
4. Fluids. This is most important and you may not like what I’m about to say. You need to do ALL of the below.
Morning – EmergenC followed by a Fruit Juice with a boost. Like Naked or some other no sugar added, high in vitamins type of smoothie. Jamba Juice with an immunity boost is highly recommended but if you don’t have access, improvise.
Afternoon – cup of chamomile or black tea with two teaspoons of honey. Followed an hour or so later with a vitamin water zero – there is a flavor that includes Vitamin C.
Nighttime – another cup if tea with 2 teaspoons of honey.
Before bed – one mug full of Tropicana OJ. Here’s the kicker – heat it up in the microwave for 1 min. I know it sounds gross but this is what kicks the cold out. Trust me.
5. Food. The age old saying – feed a cold and starve a fever is true. You don’t have to pig out but high calorie and high vitamin means are key. Even though you can’t taste them, these are a few things you should include in your cold diet: chicken noodle soup with spinach, grilled cheese on whole wheat toast with a slice of tomato, rotisserie chicken – nice and juicy, steamed broccoli with fresh lemon juice. Stay away from dairy – too phlegmy.
6. Rest.

Tips from a friend: Vicks vapor rub under your nose and on your feet. Cover feet with socks after and go to bed.

Good luck and hope you feel better in no time.