Planning Makes Perfect

One of my main workout dilemmas, because if I’m being honest there are plenty, is thinking of new and different workouts to do at the gym. I am also very much a planner. I like to plan out the basics of my workout before I go in the gym so I know where to go and what to do…it’s like making a shopping list for Walmart so I don’t end up with $50 worth of things I never thought I needed (a wooden crafting kit, for example).

There are days when I know I can’t do cardio, days when my abs just won’t crunch anymore, so workout planning is essential for me.


So I scoured the Internet, as I always do when a thought or question pops in my head, and I found a workout planner on Health Magazine’s website,

Basically it gives you about 15 different workout moves to choose from, which you can drag and drop in your “Today’s Workout” boxes. After you have 5 moves selected, you can print the lineup to take with you. The great thing about the workout planner is that it separates exercises based on what area of the body you want to work.


You can choose between:

· Abs

· Arms & Shoulders

· Legs & Butt

· Full Body

And really, you can design any variation of them and use it as your workout.

I am 100% a believer in at least somewhat planning out your workout before going to the gym because I think it helps your mind and body match up, and I think you’re more likely to stick through your whole workout if you have it planned out from the get-go.

Here’s the link to the workout planner:,,20851161,00.html


Are you a workout planner or do you prefer to just wing it at the gym?

If you try the workout planner on Health’s website, let me know what you think!!

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100 Mile Meal



What is a 100 Mile Meal you might ask? It is part of the Real Food Challenge and a movement for National Food Day. Food Day is a nationwide celebration of healthy, affordable and sustainably produced foods, and a grassroots campaign for better food policies. Food Day builds all year long, culminating on October 24. Food Day is an opportunity to support better local, state and federal food and nutrition policies, educate the public about healthy and sustainable diets, and push for change in the American food system.


Did you know that the average meal in the U.S. travels 1,500 miles from the farm to your plate? Long distance traveling can impact the environment, food security, nutrition and the economy. What are the benefits of purchasing locally you might ask?

•Local farms benefit from earning extra business, improving the economy.

•Consumers benefit by receiving whole, natural foods that improve health.

•Awareness increases likelihood of encouraging health promotion.


Last year, universities across the country played a major role in making the campaign an overwhelming success. Over 300 universities organized Food Day events from campus farmers markets to lectures and debates on a range of food issues. This year Marshall University is prepared to join the movement.

Marshall’s Student Association of Nutrition and Dietetics is partnering with Dining Services and the Sustainability Department to host a 100 Mile Meal on October 23th in Towers Marketplace. Food for this dinner will be sourced within 100 miles of Marshall University, helping to support our area farmers and to create a more stable, sustainable economy.

What will be served at the 100 Mile Meal?

· Chicken and Dumplings

· Smoked Ham

· Southern Green Beans

· Mashed Red Potatoes

· Butternut Squash

· Brown and Serve Rolls

· Ice Cream topped with Baked WV Grown Apple Slices

· Salad

· Drinks: Milk, Lemonade, Tea and Water

The Marshall University Sustainability Department, the Wild Ramp and the 30 Mile Meal will be at this event to share valuable information on how you can reduce your carbon footprint, purchase wholesome foods and impact the economy.

There will be games, prizes, and a photo booth for you and your friends to partake in! I hope to see many faces of the Marshall community at this event. If you are a student with a meal plan you will receive the meal on your plan and if you do not have a meal plan you can enjoy this delicious meal for $10.49 tax included. Come join us next Thursday, October 23 from 4:00-7:00 P.M. at Towers Marketplace to make your impact! For more information please visit or contact me, Christina Gayheart, at

Do you know where your food comes from?

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Standing Ab Workout

If you read my last post about workout styles and personalities, you may remember that my favorite workout is cardio or a fun exercise class, weights and core workouts aren’t my cup of tea. Core workouts, like ab crunches and planking, are my least favorite of all, so I try to come up with creative ways to work out that part of my body.


Well, this week I found an article and workout on the Women’s Health magazine website that switched up traditional ab workouts.

Standing ab workouts.

The only thing you really need for them is a set of weights, but if all else fails, you could do it without the weights and still get a little workout in.

The moves aren’t extremely difficult, but you will definitely feel the burn. I like that the moves are relatively simple, and the workout doesn’t require a ton of equipment or anything. It’s a nice change from my traditional regimen.

I included the workout below. If you try it, let me know how it goes. Or tell me about ways you switch up your workouts…because let’s face it, we all get tired of our workouts eventually.


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Midterms…nuff said!

This past week has been a bit of a struggle. I have been having a case of the ‘Mondays’ every day. The weather is cooler, the days seem longer and the nights come earlier. At first I thought to myself, “My body is trying to get sick!” While lounging in bed with all of my school work scattered across my sheets, I felt like I was forcing myself to be productive. I thought again, “I should not feel this tired! My body is not aching, I do not have a headache and I do not have a runny nose.” Then it hit me like a ton of bricks! I have the mid-semester blues.


Weeks of running around, completing assignments, working early mornings and late nights, and the mental exhaustion of studying for midterms caught up with me. I was STRESSED and the toll it was taking on my body was vicious!

Stress is the way our body reacts to physical, mental and emotional changes. It can come from various events in our lives such as work, homework, relationships, health issues, or even the pressure we place on ourselves. Long-term stress can cause a weakened immune system, muscle tension, upset stomach, and a multitude of other side effects. Signs of stress are feeling cranky, frustrated, tired, and difficulty focusing. So before we fall asleep in class and yell at our professor for waking us up. Let us focus on ways to relieve our stress.


Relieving stress is all about focusing on ourselves, relaxing our minds and our bodies. One great way to rid your life of stress is through exercise. I know this sounds quite the contrary, but exercise really can reduce stress! Take a walk, clean your house, stretch, or go hit a punching bag (not a person)…. let it all out at the gym or on your house. Another great way to rid your life of stress is through yoga.

Yoga allows you to focus on YOU! It is great for core strengthening, relaxing your mind and body, and your circulatory system. Last week I did a workshop focusing on chakras, stress management and healthy foods relating to the chakras. If you do not know what a chakra is, no worries I am going to share these with you. Let us take a journey of the energy in our bodies.

The 7 Chakras


· Root- This represents our foundation and feeling of being grounded. It is located at the base of the spine and is represented by the color red. Foods include: apples, red peppers, beets, carrots, radishes, potatoes, yams, parsnips, garlic, hot spices, and proteins such as beans and meats.

· Sacral – This represents our ability to connect and accept other people and new experiences. It is located in the lower abdomen and represented by the color orange. Foods include: oranges, tangerines, apricots, mangoes, melons, passion fruit, coconut, strawberries, nuts, coriander, fennel, cinnamon, and honey.

· Solar Plexus- This represents our ability to be confident and in-control of our lives. It is located in the upper abdomen and represented by the color yellow. Foods include: corn, grains, fiber-rich foods, whole-grain breads, cereals, granola, flax & chia seeds, rice, chamomile, fennel, cheeses, and kefir.

· Heart- This represents our ability to love. It is located in the center of the chest and is represented by the color green. Foods include: broccoli, kale, lettuce, spinach, dandelion greens, sprouts, basil, sage, thyme, parsley, cilantro, and green tea.

· Throat- This represents our ability to communicate. It is located in the throat and is represented by the color blue.

· Third Eye- This represents our ability to focus on and see the big picture. It is located in between the eyes and is represented by the color indigo.

Foods for the throat and third eye include: Blueberries, blackberries, dried plums/prunes, raisins, purple cabbage, eggplant, purple potatoes.

· Crown- This is the highest of all chakras and represents our ability to connect spiritually; a state of full bliss. It is located at the top of the head (crown) and is represented by the color violet.

Since this chakra is purely spiritual connection, there are no healing foods. This chakra is more likely to benefit from breathing clean and fresh air and sunshine.

Sunshine provides us with vitamin D, which helps our bones to absorb calcium. Vitamin D also helps cell growth, immune function, and reduction of inflammation. Typically we do not need to worry about getting enough vitamin D if we are getting SUNSHINE, however living in Appalachia during the winter months we need to ensure we are receiving adequate amounts of vitamin D.

Foods that contain vitamin D include: Flesh of fatty fish, beef liver, cheese, egg yolk, mushrooms, and fortified foods such as cereal, milk, and orange juice.

During times of stress we may tend to overeat or not eat enough. Here is a great comfort food that contains PUMPKIN! We all know adding pumpkin to just about anything screams fall is here and it is comforting. Trail mix is a great way to munch on the good-for-you squash. After you’ve whipped up this treat, divvy it into servings for a perfectly portable healthy snack, plus it offers foods from the list of chakras!

Pumpkin Spice Energetic Trail Mix


¼ cup maple syrup

2 tsp cinnamon, ground

2 tsp paprika

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 cup unsalted whole almonds

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup unsalted pecan halves

1 cup roasted pumpkin seeds

1 cup walnut halves

1 cup pistachios

¼ cup flax seed

¼ cup pumpkin puree

2 Tbsp all-natural apple juice

2/3 cup dried cranberries

2/3 cup golden raisin

¼ cup coconut


1. Preheat oven to 250°. Mix cinnamon, paprika, and pumpkin pie spice in small bowl. Set aside.

2. Place almonds, oats, pecans, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, flax seed and pistachios in large bowl. Mix together pumpkin puree, maple syrup, and apple juice; pour over nut mixture and toss until nuts are evenly coated. Sprinkle with spice mixture, tossing to coat well. Spread evenly on two baking pans.

3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, stirring halfway through cook time. Cool completely. Stir in cranberries, coconut and raisins. Store in airtight container.

As you study for midterm exams and find yourself stressing over things in your life, remember to take time for YOU! Find your outlet of relieving stress. Work out, make the trail mix above, and sing at the top of your lungs while no one is looking… or calmly collect yourself through writing. Fuel your body with foods that will help you and not leave you bogged down. If you are interested in learning more about yoga and channeling your chakras, please visit or call 304.696.4REC (4732) to schedule an appointment. As always don’t be vicious, be nutritious!

How do you relieve stress?


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Get fit, look fab! by Guest Blogger Clara Maynard

With my PEL Yoga class getting ready to gear up, I’ve been on the hunt for some cute and comfortable athletic gear. After hearing about Kate Hudson’s new line, Fabletics, I decided to check out their website.

When I visited the website I was extremely excited to see a promotion that would make my first outfit 50% off (a college-budget-friendly price!) by taking a short quiz.


The quiz consisted of a few short questions that would allow the site to tailor my suggested outfits to best suit my workouts. The questions were simple and asked what kind of workouts I would be doing and where I would be working out. In my quiz I indicated that I was looking for the perfect outfit for yoga and got several suggestions for outfits that were perfect for yoga such as:


It was really cool to have outfits specific tailored to the activity I will be doing, rather than searching through a website to find clothes that would work well for yoga. The outfits I looked at included three pieces: an athletic top, leggings, and a sports bra – for the promotion price of $29.99. I thought this was a pretty awesome deal considering quality workout separates can often cost this much or more, and I would be getting three pieces.

I looked around at the different outfits on the site and found that there were many cute options for just about any workout!


I put this three piece outfit in my cart and was even more excited to see that shipping on my first order was free!


I can’t wait to get my package and try out my new gear during yoga! I would suggest Fabletics to anyone looking for athletic wear at a great price.


Have you ever ordered anything on Fabletics before?

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Do your personality and workout style match?

We have a quiz to help you find out!


If you’ve ever walked into a workout class and immediately wanted to turn around because you know for a fact that your body can’t move that way, or if you’ve ever mingled near the workout benches and heavy weights and felt totally out of place, don’t worry….you’re not alone. We all have those moments in our workout life where we realize what we like and what we don’t like, the ways our body can move and the ways they definitely can’t (you should have seen me in Zumba for the first time).


But I think that’s a cool part of fitness…knowing yourself well enough to find a workout niche where you’re comfortable, but not too comfortable (getting outside your comfort zone sometimes is important too).

Personally, I am a cardio-loving, yoga-attempter, who just discovered and fell in love with Buti Yoga.

What kind of workouts do you like? Where do you find yourself in the gym?

Well, just in case you aren’t sure where you fall on the fitness spectrum, or if you’re curious about what workouts your subconscious likes, I found a quiz that will give you the answer.

Despite the fact that I usually don’t believe them, I love quizzes and visit quiz websites like Buzzfeed on a regular basis. But this particular quiz comes from Refinery 29 and the SHAPE Magazine website, one of my favorite fitness and health resources.

Basically, you answer a series of questions and it gives you a workout type based on your answers. You could be a “Workout Partier,” a “Studio Hopper,” or “Up For A Challenge,” just to name a few.

I was a “Sneaky Exerciser,” meaning I like workouts that don’t necessarily feel like workouts. And what do you know…that’s pretty much exactly what I am. I like hiking and workout classes and walking at the park, being active without feeling like I’m just doing a workout.


Now, it’s your turn…follow the link below to take the quiz and see what type of exerciser you are! I’m not promising it will be as accurate as mine, but hey, you never know until you try.

And after you take the quiz, comment and let me know what type of exerciser you got! Was the quiz accurate? Is it completely wrong?

We have a quiz to help you find out!

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Foods additives: Vicious or Nutritious?

You are sitting at dinner and you take a bite of mashed potatoes, they taste bland to you. You add pepper to enhance the flavor to your liking. How about, let’s say for example, you are making homemade muffins and you forget to add the baking soda, so the muffins turn out flat. Why do these things help us in cooking? What is it that affects our food so much? These substances are called food additives.

Food additives are substances used to enhance nutritive value, extend shelf life, aid color, control pH, improve texture, and bleach foods. According to registered dietitian Lauren Swann, “Food additives and preservatives are used in today’s food supply to prevent foodborne illness, enable the transportation of food to geographic areas that otherwise wouldn’t be possible, and for the efficient manufacturing of products to consistently meet the established quality standards from batch to batch.”

Typically most people add a substance to their meals and do not realize they are doing this. There are many natural additives such as pepper, herbs/spices, salt, etc. Most food additives have little to no nutritional value, but some do provide many benefits to our food products. Here are some categories of how food additives enhance our food.

· pH Control: These substances can maintain or control the acid and base in food.

Common agents: citric acid, acetic acid, sodium citrate and lactic acid.

Common foods: jams, ice cream, candy, and used when making cheese.

· Anti-caking: These additives prevent lumping, caking, and/or sticking.

Common agents: calcium phosphates, stearic acid, silicon dioxide.

Common foods: baking mixes, powdered milks, flours and sugar products.

· Emulsifiers: These substances help oil and water mixtures stay blended.

Common agents: Lecithin from egg yolk, soybean and diacetyl tartaric acid ester of monoglycerides (DATEM).

Common foods: salad dressings, mayonnaise, liquid egg whites, and milk.

· Stabilizers/ Thickeners: These substances help increase viscosity and improve stability.

Common agents: collagen, egg whites, gelatin, corn, potato, pectin, xanthan gum and Alginic acid.

Common foods: There are a vast amount of food products these can be added to, such as jellies, desserts, soups, etc.

· Humectant: These substances help keep foods moist.

Common agents: glycerin, honey, and sugar polyols.

Common foods: candy, baked goods and salad dressings.

· Leavening: These additives help increase volume, shape and texture in baked goods.

Common agents: baking powder, yeast, whey protein concentrate, yogurt, and beer.

Common foods: cookies, cakes, breads, muffins, and biscuits.

As we can see without food additives some of our foods would not be the same. However, there are many additives that are discussed about mainstream and could have the potential to be harmful. According to registered dietitian, Jessica Crandall, here are some additives that have a potential to be dangerous and/or unsafe.

Carrageenan: commonly used as a thickening agent and in a wide variety of foods. This comes from seaweeds. Side effects of bloating and flatulence could be caused by consuming high concentrations; contains carcinogenic properties.

Saccharin: commonly used as a sweetener and found in a large variety of foods. It could potentially be link to being a carcinogen.

Cellulose: commonly used as an emulsifier, anticaking agent, thickener and filler. This is extracted from wood and is used in a variety of foods. Since this is not typically used in foods and digested, this can cause constipation, bloating and diarrhea.

Glutamic Acid: Commonly used as a flavor enhancer. This is commercially manufactured from the fermentation of molasses or by extracting vegetable proteins (gluten, soy) and is found in a variety of foods. Side effects are to be found in gluten intolerance individuals, such as those with Celiac disease. While a wide variety of side effects have been reported, there is little conclusive scientific proof to back these claims, more research is needed.

Hot topics that are being talked about in the media are as listed:

Olestra- used to replace natural fats and can cause digestive issues. Commonly found in snack foods and chips.

Monosodium glutamate (MSG)- used as a flavor enhancer and can cause headaches. More severe claims that have been linked to animal studies include heart problems and seizures.

Potassium Bromate- used to increase volume and has been linked to cancer in animal studies. Can be found in breads.

High Fructose Corn Syrup: used as a sweetener and could increase cholesterol, contribute to diabetes and a host of other medical issues. Can be found in the majority of processed foods.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) created list of additives that are marketed as generally recognized as safe (GRAS). There are over 3,000 different items on the GRAS list. When in doubt, look for this when reading food labels. A good rule of thumb is when looking at an ingredient list, the smaller amount of ingredients, the more natural the food is. As you can see, some additives might have the potential to be vicious to you and some additives make your foods more nutritious. It is always best to educate yourself on what is out there and to always remember that moderation is key in most cases.


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