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Eggs & Cholesterol

Posted on April 15, 2017 at 5:40 PM Comments comments (0)

For decades we heard that eating eggs would raise our cholesterol levels. This was based on an assumption that if you ate an egg yolk containing 300mg of cholesterol, then your body would send that directly to your bloodstream to clog up your arteries. We now know that what affects cholesterol levels isn't quite as simple as this. Since we are in a weekend where eggs are traditionally consumed I am sharing exerpts from a blog post from Precision Nutrition coach Helen Kolias. Check it out. It is an interesting read. 

Research review: Eggs and Cholesterol By Helen Kollias

Oh sure, he looks cute. But is the Easter Bunny carrying a basket of cholesterol-laden artery bombs? Or has he gotten a bad rap along with Humpty Dumpty? When you talk to most people about eggs, here’s the first thing they’ll say: Eggs are full of cholesterol. The second thing they’ll say is: That’s why I don’t eat them, or that’s why I only eat the whites. The message is clear: If you don’t want high cholesterol, don’t eat whole eggs.

Back in 1972, the American Heart Association recommended that people limit their egg intake to less than 3 a week -– yes, a week, not a day. If you wanted to eat eggs daily, according to the recommendation, you could safely have 0.43 of one. Interestingly, eggs were the only food-specific dietary restriction ever suggested by the American Heart Association. Think about that. Of all the crappy food you could possibly eat, eggs end up being restricted!

Do eggs raise blood cholesterol?

In this case, the American Heart Association made the same assumption as the people you talk to on the street: eggs are high in cholesterol; I don’t want high cholesterol; so I don’t eat eggs. At first glance, that does seem kind of logical. Eggs are indeed high in cholesterol. They have about 235 mg per egg, which makes them one of the most abundant per-serving sources of cholesterol. (Unless you’re a fan of eating brains; 3 ounces of cow brain provides 2635 mg of cholesterol — about ten times one egg. Probably not a huge issue if you’re not a zombie, and they’re already dead anyway.)

But does that dietary cholesterol in the egg translate to higher cholesterol — and by extension, arterial plaque buildup — in your body? I guess it would be similar to saying that spinach is green and I don’t want to be green so I don’t eat spinach. Okay, that’s a bit of a stretch, but eggs being high in cholesterol doesn’t necessarily mean that eating eggs will increase your cholesterol. It seems that a few proteins in eggs block the cholesterol in eggs from being completely absorbed.

How cholesterol works in the body

Here’s the current model of how cholesterol works in the body. First of all, it’s a bit of a misnomer to talk about “cholesterol levels”. In fact, what doctors usually mean by that is the levels of the transport proteins that carry cholesterol around. You see, cholesterol is a lipid (aka fat-based), which means it’s not soluble in water. Your bloodstream is water-based. Just like a vinaigrette, the oil-based and water-based components separate without something to either emulsify them or grab the oily bits and hang on to them.

Since injecting Dijon mustard or dish soap are both bad ideas, the body has evolved transport proteins instead. These proteins can carry lipid-based substances around the bloodstream, getting them where they need to go. In this case, we’re usually talking about three kinds of transport proteins: high-density lipoprotein (HDL, aka “good cholesterol”;); low-density lipoprotein (LDL, aka one of the “bad cholesterols”;); and very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL, the second so-called baddie).

When we say “high cholesterol” we usually mean high levels of the bad stuff, and often low levels of the good stuff. Recently, researchers have discovered that the bigger culprits in raising “bad” cholesterol levels are trans fats (of which eggs have nearly 0g/egg) and saturated fats (of which eggs have 1.5g/egg).

In other words, eggs are actually low in the substances that do cause problems. Meanwhile, eggs are a relatively cheap and good source of protein and eggs may help you lose weight. In a recent study, eggs have also been shown to enhance weight loss when used with a calorie restricted diet — meaning that people who both reduced their calories and ate 2 eggs a day lost more weight (65% more weight loss & 16% more bodyfat lost [1]) than people who just reduced calories.

Learn More:  Precision Nutrition Coaching is available at Blue Bicycle Health & Fitness. Send an email to [email protected] to learn more about our program options.

What Super Bowl 51 Can Teach You About Your Fitness Routine

Posted on February 8, 2017 at 10:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Sometimes, someone else can say it better. This blog was originally posted by The Abs Company.  The author shows us how game winning strategies from the Superbowl are relevant to anyone striving to reach a goal:  http://theabscompany.com/abs-company/super-bowl-51-can-teach-fitness-routine/

This past Sunday we witnessed what will perhaps go down as the greatest Super Bowl of all time! Going into the game the stakes couldn’t have been higher. Not only was the world championship on the line but a win for the favored Patriots would make Coach Belichick and QB Tom Brady the winningest tandem of all time!


It wasn’t going to be easy though. The Atlanta Falcons were coming off a 11-5 season and their QB Matt Ryan was the NFL MVP! They were coming to play!! Right from the opening drive they showed that and by halftime they were leading 21-3. With 8 minutes remaining in the 3rd Quarter they extended their lead to 25 – 28-3! Most thought the game was over and New England had no chance for victory. In fact, no team had ever overcome more than a 10 point deficit in the SuperBowl.


So what does all of this have to do with fitness? After the game there were countless interviews of all of the players and coaches who all recounted the night’s events. When you boil all the comments down, 3 themes emerged and it is these themes that you can apply to your fitness goals to get the results you are after.


1. Evaluate and Adjust:


When the Patriots found themselves down by 25 they had to change their approach or they were going to lose! They changed their play selection, protections, coverages etc. When you are pursuing a fitness goal you must do the same. Look at what you are doing and objectively evaluate whether or not it’s working. If you aren’t getting the results you are after, make some adjustments. If you always do steady state cardio, try intervals. If you always lift free weights, try machines or body weight. If you always eat 5 meals a day, try intermittent fasting. Just like with the Patriots, small adjustments can make a BIG difference.


2. Focus on the Details:


Anyone successful will tell you that one of the biggest keys is to consistently do the little things well. It’s not about the big moves and there is no secret recipe. It’s the consistent execution of the small details that will lead to success. At the end of the game they asked Coach Belichick how they did it and he said “We just kept grinding it out!” The same is true of your fitness routine. There is no secret. Stay consistent. If you plan to work out 3x per week then do it. If you need to stretch daily to improve your flexibility – do it! If you commit to not eating past 7pm – do it. Whatever your commitments are to your fitness goals, consistently honor them and you will see results – period!


3. Never Give Up:


When you are starting out on your fitness journey the end result can seem so far away! You may be doing well for a while and then you hit a setback, you get injured, or you just plain fall off the wagon. It happens. You will also hit plateaus and feel like you will never get there. Good news – You will if you just keep going! One thing is for certain, if you give up, you’ll never reach your goals!


As the game got more and more out of hand many people stopped paying attention or flat turned it off. However, those that stuck it out were treated to one of the most improbable comebacks they will ever see. It was indeed the greatest comeback of all time. However, when you break it down, the recipe for success really wasn’t that difficult! Adjust, Focus on the Details, and Never Give Up! Apply these same principles to your fitness goals and you too will come away with the victory!

Are We There Yet?

Posted on November 30, 2016 at 10:30 PM Comments comments (350)

Growing up, our family vacations meant loading the car up with camping gear and heading west for the Rockies. Anticipation would build as we crossed into "Colorful Colorado" until we could see the first hint of our destination. The outline of the mountains would appear low on the horizon while still far away, slowly becoming more prominent with each passing mile. Reaching the front mountain range made it all seem real, with the roughening terrain, curvier roads and the first aspens. Yet our destination was still two or more hours away, deep in the second range. 

So it goes as the club grows. Late summer brought make-shift walls and padlocked doors as openings were cut into the wall between the old and new. A few weeks ago the locks were removed, allowing glimpses at our destination on the horizon. Those temporary walls themselves came down a couple of weeks ago. We can now step into the expansion space and feel what it will become over the next few months. 

Yet there is still a ways to go. Rubber flooring has been ordered and should arrive by the third week of December. Two power racks have also been ordered and are set to be installed next Friday. Free weights and plate loaded machines will gradually be moved into the new space as painting and other work is completed. 

The Group Ex area will be functional by the end of December with a new sound system and spin bikes. Watch for new class formats and times. The current Group Ex will be converted into a Yoga/Pilates/Barre' class space once we are able to use the new space for our other classes. The completion target for this conversion is February 2017.

Are we there yet? No, but with each week that outline on the horizon will become more real.  

Wayman's Gym

Posted on July 30, 2016 at 3:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Wayman was one of the first people I met when I started teaching a T-Th morning class at BENE-FIT Health and Fitness back in 2004. I soon learned that he and I shared a love of bicycling and later a love of painting. Over the years as nearly everyone else who worked there moved on, he remained a fixture. From a fitness standpoint he set the bar high for active aging, not only cycling, but playing tennis and being that "old guy" who would jump into a Kickboxing class and make everyone else keep up. 

Wayman was a no-nonsense guy.  He didn't sugarcoat things so he sometimes came off as gruff. But it wasn't hard to see that underneath it all, there was a heart of gold. Wayman cared about others. Stories would surface about his buying someone a meal or putting a homeless woman up in a hotel for a few cold winter nights. He seemed to understand that the gym was more than a collection of treadmills and barbells, it was a place where people would come to connect. 

Inside of a packed church, we said farewell to Wayman today. The stories shared by family and colleagues re-affirmed that he had indeed touched many lives. When the shopping center deteriorated and lost most of its tenants, this gym maintained a surprisingly strong membership base. Wayman was one of the reasons for this, the thread that helped hold this gym together.

I had hoped that Wayman could be a part of our staff as we move into a new chapter as Blue Bicycle Health & Fitness. We were all deeply saddened when we learned that this was not to be. While we will no longer see him sitting at the Courtesy Desk or hear his voice, he will still be a part of Blue Bicycle Health & Fitness. The "Wayman's Gym" logo will re-appear later this year, gracing one of the walls in our new space. Even so, he will be missed. 

Time Marches On

Posted on May 2, 2016 at 11:25 PM Comments comments (1)

Dad's time on this earth ran out on April 21st.  In the week that followed, it was a struggle to get anything done.  Feelings of grief and loss crowded out the more pressing things on my agenda.  It was as if my heart was telling me to take a break, to step back and reset before moving forward in a world where he is no longer physically present.  

Dad's passing reminds me that the greatest thing we have in this life is time. Perceived shortages or excesses can both bring feelings of anxiety and stress.  There are so many ways to fritter it away, social media being one of my biggest time suckers. When I don't feel like I've used my time well, then I don't feel like I deserve down time. Down time was exactly what I needed last week after Dad passed away.  My mind and heart were trying to put on the brakes, but there was a nagging little voice saying that I had wasted too much time to justify the down time.  

Money can also be a source of stress and like time, it can be well-invested or wasted.  There are times when one must spend money on themselves if for no more than basic needs of food and shelter. I am dilligent about managing money, shopping for bargains and disciplined when it comes to spending on myself.  

May is considered a month of new beginnings. For this month, I will seek to apply the same level of discipline to my time as I do with my finances. By implementing some planning and productivity tools and avoiding the social media rabbit hole, I can use time and save time and ultimately reward myself with time to recharge my batteries. We all need downtime, but if it feels unearned it becomes a source of guilt instead. 

A minute is a minute; an hour is an hour.  They can fly by or crawl. Time marches on and we never get back that which we allow to slip through our fingers. 

Letting Myself Go

Posted on March 8, 2016 at 7:35 AM Comments comments (0)

This was written by Lisa Bloom.  Shared with permission:

Letting Myself Go

As she walked into the room, the two other women huddled closer. They didn’t notice me, I was just a child. I heard them say it. I wasn’t sure I understood what they meant but I never forgot the words.


“She’s really let herself go”.


I asked my mother later.

What did they mean.

Why did they say that.


She explained that the women had been unkind. They were referring to how the other woman looked. That her hair wasn’t so tidy. That her makeup wasn’t perfect. That she wasn’t dressed smartly.


Why do they care, I asked my Mom.


She said. I don’t know, I guess they like to compare. It makes them feel good about themselves.


Even then, I knew what that meant.


That’s mean, I said.


Years went by and I never forgot that comment. And then one day I found myself thinking it.


That and all the other comparisons that were easy to fire at others, instead of looking within.

I found myself criticizing the woman for not showing up at the school meeting with a cake she’d baked herself.


I found myself wondering why the other woman didn’t bother to dye out the grey streaks in her hair, it made her look so old.


I judged the entrepreneur, it’s easy for him, he doesn’t have kids.


I laughed at the comment he made because clearly he hadn’t read the right books.


And one day, I caught myself.


And I was ashamed. And shocked.


Since when had I become so cynical. When had I chosen fear instead of courage. Chosen judgement instead of compassion.


So I beat myself up about it for a while.

A long while.


And it made me die a little. No longer angry or bitter, but no longer alive either.


So I let go.

And I started reading. And exploring. Doing the inner work.


It’s not easy. Sometimes terrifying, sometimes heartbreaking.


I realized that if I wanted to stop judging, I had to start with me. If I wanted to show compassion, I needed to direct it inward. If I wanted to be more kind, well there was someone who needed kindness. Yes, that would be me too.


It’s a life-long journey. Some days it feels like I’ve just set out. Other days, I’m deep into strange land I’ve never encountered.


Sometimes I feel like I’ve come home.


Today, I’m on a journey, it’s all about letting myself go. But in a really good way.

I’ll tell you more about that next time.


How are you letting yourself go, today?


-Lisa Bloom, founder of Story Coach, supports organizations, entrepreneurs & coaches to use storytelling as a powerful approach to impact their clients and grow their business. She is a professional Storyteller & Speaker, accredited Coach, Author, Mentor and Leadership expert. Lisa is the author of the Amazon best-seller "Cinderella and the Coach-the Power of Storytelling for Coaching Success!" and the creator of the Business Story Mastery & Certified Story Coach Programs. She is delighted to offer you the FREE ebook "Using Stories to Get Great Clients" at http://www.story-coach.com

Take a leap in 2016?

Posted on January 3, 2016 at 1:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Here we go...another blog on how 2016 will be the year to get fit, eat healthy, get organized and optimized. Why bother? How many resolutions make it past the end of January? It's easy to be cynical when we ring in a new year with a list of resolutions that look like a recycled version of last year's list. Yet we feel something deep within us that says we can do better. So what trips us up?


1. Our sense of failure in missing the mark in previous years undermines our faith in our ability to change. What kind of dialogue goes through your mind when you think about falling short of your goals? Do you beat yourself up? How about looking at where you were successful? Perhaps you didn't lose that 20lbs, but you lost 10lbs and finished your first 5K.


2. We know where we want to go but don't take time to figure out how to get there. You wouldn't dream of relaxing on a white sandy beach without booking your flight, ground transportation and hotel. What will it take to get where you want to go?


3. All-in isn't sustainable over the long haul. Most people cannot overhaul their entire lifestyle overnight. What small, sustainable changes can you make give you the best return?


The end of 2014 left me feeling very disorganized and fragmented. After two years of working to build Blue Bicycle, I was always rushing from class to appointment to another class. I never had time to update my website or write. When I did find time, I couldn't corral my thoughts. My home was cluttered and disorganized as well. Naturally, 2015 dawned with visions of a coordinated schedule and orderly home. Two words came to mind: Radical Change. Yep. This was the year! Jump in with both feet and git 'er done. I hired a professional organizer who made over my home office. She did a great job, but it was too much too fast. I couldn't keep it together with days often starting at 6 am and ending after 8 pm.


I had to force myself to slow down. The first step was scheduling retreat time on a quarterly basis. I felt like I had yet again gone off the rails, but my doing this was the first radical change. Next, I turned my morning walk with Gracie (our yellow lab) into a Gratitude Walk. Each day I would say aloud 10 things for which I was grateful. Within the same week, I turned my nighttime walk with Gracie into a Success Walk. I would say aloud three successes from that day. Some days I had a heck of a time coming up with three. The daily meditation and yoga practice started in 2013 while in teacher training had fallen by the wayside. I restarted it with a different mindset. Rather than following a predetermined sequence, I now simply sit in silence, focusing on my breath, and few words of affirmation.


So as 2015 came to an end, I realized that despite my making only small changes, the year had been one of radical change. When I told myself that I would throw away one item every day, I lasted a week or two before getting stuck in the keep it or toss it debate. Taking time to slow down and reflect has helped me see what no longer serves me well. We have significantly less stuff. Clearing away stuff has further cleared my mind. On a bigger note, these small changes have put me in a place where I am ready to pursue the opportunity to take Blue Bicycle in a new and exciting direction. My words for 2016 are "Leap of Faith;" faith in God's plan for my life, faith that everything I've been through to this point has prepared me for this next chapter.


More details will be coming as things take shape. In the meantime, I encourage you to take some time and brainstorm actions, no matter how small, that can be done consistently over the course of 2016. Who knows where you may find yourself this time next year.

WAGS are Wonderful!

Posted on November 29, 2015 at 10:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Fitness has kept me young in so many ways.  Yet as I reach my mid-fifties I can't escape the reality that time has still taken a toll on my body.  Some parts remind me that my twenties have long since faded into the rearview mirror.  Osteo arthritis now affects several of my joints, including my hands and wrists.  Wrist extension while bearing weight can be especially painful if I'm not careful.  My students and clients have shown me that I am far from alone with this challenge.  


While shopping for some new weightlifting gloves in search of better wrist support, I discovered Wrist Assured Gloves or WAGS.  I have had been using them since early October and love them!  They not only support my wrists and hands, they have a wedge built in that raises the heels of my hands, taking pressure off my wrists.  I can lift heavier weights.  I no longer have to juggle props when doing sun salutations. I highly recommend these to my students and clients.  If you or someone you know is seeking a solution to wrist pain in the gym or yoga studio, check out this website: http://www.wristassuredgloves.com/    They have a Cyber Monday special good through December 1st: 25% off if you use the promo code BEJOLLY15  

Warm Reunion on a Cold Rainy Night

Posted on October 31, 2015 at 11:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Last night was a special "back to school" night for my husband, Bill. His high school cross country team gathered to celebrate the 40th anniversary of their state team championship. It was the first in any sport for the school. The evening's festivities were to start with a chili supper in the school cafeteria and then all would head across the parking lot to watch the football game and be honored at halftime.


Bill entered the cafeteria to be greeted immediately by their head coach. Although the once stocky man has become thin and frail with age, his no-nonsense, ride-your-butt-because-he-cares-about-you presence was felt as soon as we entered the room.

We had packed warm layers and rain gear as temperatures were in the low 40's with a steady drizzle. One of his team mates had grown up and become the president (a.k.a. princlpal) of this same school. He offered us the opportunity to hang out in the cafeteria through most of the first half of the football game. Stay warm and dry or shiver in the stands? That was a no-brainer

The extended time indoors gave each of the guys more time to reminisce and share how coach had influenced their lives. They stood up one by one and updated the group about life after high school and how their being part of this team had shaped their paths. Over and over, the recurring theme was how coach communicated that he believed in each one of them. That in turn helped a bunch of then teen-aged boys believe in themselves. From that belief came the discovery of strength within to push their own physical limits AND the discipline to work together as a team. These ended up being great gifts to be carried forward as these boys became men, laying a foundation as they built careers and raised families, through good times and bad.

As a spouse taking all this in, it was a good reminder that coaches can profoundly touch lives. Whether a teen with athletic aspirations or an adult at midlife seeking better health, there is strength within to draw from. A good coach can plan challenging workouts and bark at their clients to get them to push harder. A great coach cares. A great coach earns trust. A great coach plants seeds, helping their client connect with their own personal strengths. The greatest successes and gains come from within.

You won't find coach's name in a google search. But he is living proof that great coaches don't always become household names. They do touch lives. As these now middle aged men, some retired, many with grandchildren will tell you, coach was a connector. After all of the tributes, he only had a few words when it was his turn to speak last night, saying "you all had it in you to win this title, it was my job to help you see what I could see in you." I wasn't on his team, I can see his influence in Bill and can use his message and example in my own coaching practice.



Climbing Over a Molehill or Mountain?

Posted on October 5, 2015 at 4:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Change isn't easy.  Lasting change takes time.  Step by step.  Obstacles will arise and force you to revise your approach.  Commitment will be tested again and again. Yet if you keep taking steps, you will reach a point where you can look back and see just how far you've come.  Each person's journey will be their own.  As a trainer, a my job is to meet you where you are.  

To illustrate this, I'd like to share the journey of one of my clients, a woman in her mid-sixties.  She hired me in early 2013 hoping that yoga could help her find relief from back pain, knee pain and plantar fasciitis.  She was also seeking to improve her balance and flexibility.  I started coming to her home to for a private yoga lesson once a week.  Over the next few months she took what she was learning and started doing yoga on her own in the mornings before starting her day.  By fall, her back, knee and foot were feeling better and she started taking 20 minute walks on her lunch break. Winter came and she kept up her yoga at home and found an indoor walking route at work.  At our one-year anniversary, we celebrated her progress.  Then life happened.  A misstep on one of her walks tweaked her knee.  She scaled back the walking but continued her daily yoga and weekly sessions with me.   Her adult daughter moved back home.   She continued her yoga practice and said she was ready to add some strength training exercises.  Right around the two year mark, she and her daughter started following the Glycemic Load Diet based on the book by Rob Thompson, M.D. She lost just over 20 lbs in six months.  Her daughter moved out.  She continued her more mindful approach to eating and lost another four pounds.  She had to replace her AC and furnace.  She asked that we space our sessions further apart to allow her to save money and test her wings.  We were meeting every three weeks by late August.  Then it happened. An obstacle appeared in the form of mandatory overtime at work.  Her report time was moved up by an hour.  She tried without success to get up earlier.  When she didn't do her morning yoga, she found herself unmotivated to walk at lunch as well.   She was discouraged when we met so we spent a significant part of that session brainstorming.  The solution was for her to just do three yoga poses each morning and resume our sessions on a weekly basis. The following week, she reported that she had been able to do three poses four of five mornings.  She had also walked at lunch.  The overtime situation will only last through the end of this month and she is looking forward to getting back on track.  

I learn so much from my clients.  The takeaway from this story is that you can't predict which obstacles will knock you off course...one person's molehill is another person's mountain.  You have to be prepared to step back an assess your path at times.  It's also important to pause along the way and take note of how you are changing and to see how far you've come.  Seemingly small changes become a big deal if you can sustain them for the longer term.   Do what you are ready to do.  Take it a step at a time and build from there.  Enjoy your journey!