Friday, September 12, 2008

Doubling Up

I went right for it this morning: 2 packets of Kashi instant oatmeal. No playing around for me. I did what I needed to do, and now I am full! Mixed into my instant oatmeal was a sliced banana and 2 tbsp of peanut butter. Best breakfast ever.

In the office, I also made myself a mug of Sumatra coffee with soy milk and agave nectar, which might be the most perfect coffee combo ever! :)

Healthy Happy Hour

With the weekend just hours away, I thought I would include some fun (and informative) happy hour information and ideas.

How to Have a Healthy Happy Hour

15 Wines Under $15

Women's Health's White Wine Sangria

Cooking Light Recipes

Health Conscious Cocktails

Of course, we all want to be social and enjoy ourselves at happy hour, but we also don't want to pack on the pounds. Here are a few of my suggestions for a healthy (and low-cal) happy hour:

  • Just say no to high-calorie fruit drinks. Most fruity drinks are loaded with calories and sugar-- some have as many as 300 calories per drink! If you have 2-3 drinks over the course of the evening, that's close to 900 calories! (Yikes!) Better options are flavored vodka with soda water or regular vodka with soda water and a splash of fruit juice (approximately 70-80 calories per drink) .

  • In the mood for beer, go light. Most light beers come in around 100-120 calories per bottle, but still have quite a lot of flavor and taste delicious. I've drank so much light beer over the years, I usually prefer it to the "heavy" option. Also, if you order a bottle of beer instead of a draft, you automatically have portion control (just 12 oz).

  • Steer clear of frozen beverages. Similarly to fruity drinks, frozen drink mixes are packed with calories and sugar. If you really want a margarita or pina colada, ask the bartender to make you the "real deal." You'll save quite a few calories, and the original cocktail, in my opinion, tastes a lot better!

  • Alternate water with alcoholic beverages. Water (or soda water) slows your pace when it comes to consuming alcohol. It also hydrates you, making the following morning much more enjoyable. Bonus: If you alternate booze with soda and lime (aka a "mocktail), it almost feels like you are enjoying a cocktail (for zero calories).

  • You can't go wrong with white wine. My "go to" drink is always white wine. It's delicious, flavorful, and relatively low in calories (about 120 calories per 5 oz glass). I always feel much more sophisticated when I am holding a wine glass, and tend to savor each sip instead of chugging it down like I might with a beer or cocktail. You can also "lighten-up" white wine with soda water (aka wine spritzer), which cuts calories and/or makes your glass of wine last longer.

  • Beware of free bar snacks. There is a bar in our hometown that serves free popcorn (you know, the super buttery kind). I'm not much of a popcorn fan, but after a few cocktails, my new favorite food becomes popcorn. My best advice for situations like this is just don't start! Once I have a taste of popcorn, I just can't stop myself, and end up snacking the entire night. Another tip: Remember where people's hands have been. If I am thinking about digging into a bowl of popcorn, peanuts, pretzels, etc., I think: unwashed hands from the bathroom. Ewwwww! That thought alone stops my desire to snack!

  • More tips for social events and eating out.

Question of the Day

What is your new favorite (or all-time favorite) piece of exercise equipment?

Me: My new favorite is the foam roller. (I'm in love!) My all-time favorite is the Bosu-- the exercise possibilities are endless!


VeggieGirl said...

Can NEVER go wrong with a biiiig bowl of banana/nut-butter oatmeal!! Yum!!

My favorite piece of exercise equipment - I guess my hand-weights... but more so my dance shoes :0)


Laura said...

I never thought of putting agave nectar in my coffee...something new to try!

My favorite piece of exercise equipment is the stepmill becuase it kicks my butt!

Ashley said...

Hey! I ran 9 miles this morning on the treadmill in preparation for my half marathon next week and used the foam roller after. However, not sure if I used it right. How do you use yours?

My favorite piece of equipment is probably my body! I've found that you can do pushups, situps, squats, etc anywhere and need ZERO equipment.

Also, ordered the Kardea bars today! We'll see how they are:)

Tina said...


Right on about the stepmill! That thing is killer!!! Such a good workout!

Jennifer said...

Did you know that Guinness is actually pretty low in calories, as beers go? I think a pint is around 90 calories. I was in Ireland last February (with the group Jon went with actually) and we learned this. :) I think it tastes better over there though...

Tina said...


I mostly roll my hamstrings with the foam roller. I kind of sit on it and then roll it up and down my hams, one leg at a time.

Also, check out this video:

It's a good example of what to do.

Lisa said...

I think I'm going to buy some Agave today when I go to the store. Maybe it will help me kick my splenda habit. I tried stevia and wasn't a fan.

Favorite excercise equipment, well I think i might be boring and say the elliptical. It guarantees me a good workout especially when my joints are hurting from a run and I don't want to do another run.

Caitlin said...

thanks for all the social event tips! the worst is when you're with a group of people who are pressure you to drink and you don't want to... i usually get a diet coke and tell them its a rum and coke to get them off my back! LOL

this month i'm doing a NO BOOZE MONTH as i prepare for my half marathon. i've slipped up a few times--at a tailgate--but overall, i've noticed that cutting back on the odd wine or beer has made me feel so much heathier AND i get more sleep. :)

Anne P said...

I love the elliptical. It's a great way to cross train and get a good cardio workout in without the high impact on the legs that a run gives. It's also fabulous on rainy days, and when hungover ;) And, I get to read my magazines!

JE said...

My favorite piece of exercise equipment is a resistance band. It's so portable, I can pop it into my purse for when I need a break at work, or into my suitcase when I am traveling.

Caitlin said...

jennifer - sorry, i love guinness A LOT, but its NOT EVEN CLOSE to 90 calories for a pint.

All dark beers have a bunch of calories in them. however, guinness does have a load of iron, so its practically a health drink. LOL.

Danielle said...

Great tips!

I just wanted to say congratulations and wish you best of luck with your career change! It sounds like it's going to be amazing transition, you can do it and one day, you're going to make a great personal trainer :)

HangryPants said...

My favorite piece of "equipment" is my yoga mat!

Love the tips for surviving Happy Hour. I usually get one light beer and milk it.

Tina said...


Resistance bands are a favorite of mine too! Mal and I have been creating workouts using resistance bands and weights at the same time. It's an awesome workout!

CourtneyS said...

My favorite piece of equipment - my running shoes! One reason I LOVE fall is that it's finally perfect weather for long outdoor runs.

Tina, thanks for the tips. I've been trying to cut back on wine, especially during the week, and it's surprisingly hard! It doesn't help that my boyfriend, friends, and family all love wine and we drink it (in moderation) most evenings.

sweetpotato said...

I'd have to go with my yoga mat or my hand weights! I love that I can get a good workout without leaving my house when I feel like that.

There is something so comforting about a simple bowl of oatmeal. Delicious!

Rose said...

Love your trips - really helpful stuff here. Thanks!

Rose said...

"Tips," rather.

Meghann said...

Does running shoes count as my favorite exercise equipment?

lauren said...

great tips! I feel like happy hours and nights out are my downfall!

my favorite pieces of exercise equipment are my running shoes and mountain bike! If it is in the gym - I say arc trainer.

Bridget said...

Is the stepmill the thing I've been calling the "stair machine"...the escalator looking machine?? If so I love that thing, I get such a great workout on it! I'd also have to say my dance shoes...dancing is by far my favorite exercise

Jess said...

The BOSU is the best! I stand on it while doing all my reps on my arms - toning the abs is a bonus!

jenngirl said...

Yum! good call on the oatmeal and anticipating your body's needs :)

Great happy hour tips, thanks!

Even though I don't know if this is technically exercise equipment, I've found that no matter what kind of exercise I'm doing my favorite thing is having my heart rate monitor along with me! Makes any exercise more worthwhile and enjoyable. Happy Friday!

One Food Guy said...

Thanks for all the tips, Tina. My favorite piece of exercise 'equipment' is myself! I don't belong to a gym any more so I do a lot of body weight exercises. Dips, pushups, box jumps, and so on. Have a great weekend! -Scott

Andrea said...

thanks for the tips!!!! i find them very helpful as it's hard to avoid alcohol at college parties but I definitely don't want to be drinking hundreds of calories

Tami said...

too many to pick from

my running sneakers i guess, i just need them and off i go sometimes.

i like my heart rate monitor and my spin bike

One Food Guy said...

Of course, how could I forget my heart rate monitor!!

Sammie said...

When I am not running (love my Garmin), I love to use my Water Rower - it is such a great workout.
Do you use plain oatmeal or is that flavored?
Thanks for the tips.

Biz said...

I love the Bosu. It took me a while to get the hang of it, but I love it now.

Where do you buy agave nectar? Only health food stores?

Jordan said...

When I'm not running, I really love the wave machines. I like how it's kind of like the skiing motions =]

Beth said...

It's more of a gadget, but I heart my Nike + iPod system. It's so motivating to hear the miles ticking away in my ear and know my current pace. I love technology ;D

Lesley said...

My favorite piece of equipment is the Nordic Track cross country skier (pre-1997 models)--I think it's the best workout on earth.

Love the blog--keep it up!!

Tina said...


It's Kashi's "Golden Brown Maple" flavor. At home, I eat plain old Quaker Oats though.

Tina said...


You can find agave nectar at most specialty stores as well as Whole Foods and Trader Joe's. Rumor has it that Stop and Shop sells it. I'll do some investigation.

Sammie said...

That is my favorite flavor - I keep that on hand at all times. I hope you get your Puffins, they rock especially the PB.

Bob said...

Mmmm, oatmeal. I never thought of putting agave nectar in my coffee either, sounds odd. So I will definitely be trying it. Heh.

My favorite piece of equipment is my pushup bars. Those things are a good time... sorta. :)

arielle said...

That's interesting...why does a frozen margarita have more calories than one that's on the rocks? I never knew that. Luckily, I'm an on the rocks girl all the way.

Toni said...

For tools, I love a stability ball for some added challenge... and my favorite machine in the gym is the leg press! I get SO EXCITED the days I get to use it! Nothing like some powerful quads :-)

Also getting a Tune Belt saved my life... I have an iTouch and I hated strapping that thing to my arm!

Great weekend tips... however today I am going to the RED SOX game at 7:05... I fully intend to get my peanuts and beer!

VerseFameBeauty said...

As far as wines are concerned, I've never been steered wrong by (which provides a wine recommendation when you enter a food - online or by free text message). All the recommendations have been quite good, have gone marvelously with the food I was cooking, and have never been more than $10 a bottle!