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Megan Ware, RDN, LD

Tips for Making (and Keeping) Your New Years Resolution



Here it comes, a new year. Time to make-over your wallet, your waistline, clean out your closet, get back in touch with long-lost friends, mend relationships with family, find your true love, plan an amazing vacation and land your dream job, all while taking more time for yourself, reading more books and OF COURSE, going to the gym.


It’s completely normal when the clock strikes midnight to want to revamp everything in your life to make you a new and improved person. But how many times have you made those same resolutions to forget them all by February? How can you make THIS year, 2014, the year that you succeed?


It’s actually a lot easier than you think. The most important thing is to make SMART resolutions. First of all, let’s not call them “resolutions,” let’s call them goals. Resolutions tend to have a negative context of deprivation or “cutting back”, which puts a bad taste in your mouth right off the bat.


Now let’s talk specifics. If one of your goals are like most everyone else, to get healthy, get in shape or get fit this year, then your goal needs revised. Yes, I am a dietitian, and I’m telling you to throw your “get fit” goal out the window. The "get fit" goal never works because it’s not measurable. How do you achieve getting healthy or getting “in-shape?” Maybe you think getting healthy means having normal cholesterol numbers or getting down to a normal weight, or getting in-shape as being able to do 20 TRX Spiderman pushups– then THAT is your goal. To make a meaningful goal for 2014, define what it is for you that means getting fit or getting in shape, and make that your goal. Put a number on it, and put a time-frame on it. If getting in shape to you means being able to walk up the 4 flights of stairs to your office without huffing and puffing by March, then THAT is your goal. So, step one: make goals, not resolutions, and make them specific.


The second step to making sure your reach your 2014 goals is to make sure they mean something to you. It's not as automatic as it sounds. Many people make their resolutions because it’s what other people want them to do, or to be, or not to be. Your goals have to be for YOU, not for your significant other, not for your doctor, not for your family. If your spouse wants you to stop smoking, but you know deep down you’re not ready and it’s not truly what YOU want, then you can’t make that a goal for yourself. If your doctor wants you to lose 20 lbs but you could care less what the scale says, then that’s not a meaningful goal to you. If you really want to get into a 2 piece bathing suit and feel comfortable in your own skin by the time your summer cruise comes around, then that is your goal. If you want to be able to pick up your grandkids and push them on the swings without back pain or feeling out of breath, then THAT is your goal. Figure out what you truly want to accomplish, not what others tell you you should want to accomplish.


The third step to achieving your goals this year is to be realistic. If you didn’t step foot in the gym one time last year, please don’t make your goal to attend 10 Fitness With Insight classes per week. That’s just not realistic. If you’ve never cooked a meal at home and your goal is to cook dinner 7 nights a week, you’re setting yourself up for failure. A better goal would be to get to a TRX class 3 days a week, walk on your home treadmill or around the block 2 days a week and cook dinner at home 3 days a week (making enough leftovers for 2 nights worth of meals). Leave one day per week open for eating out or ordering in when you're super busy or just ready for a treat. Also, if you absolutely hate walking on the treadmill in the garage, don't make that part of your goal! The goal is not to inflict as much punishment on yourself as possible in 2014. Find something you love and make those activities part of your goal.


Being realistic also means not making 15 different goals all at once. Make 3 or 4 big ones and concentrate on those until you’ve achieved them. If May comes around and you’ve hit 3 of the 4, then you can start focusing on new goals or other areas of your life. Overwhelming yourself with too many goals or giving yourself unrealistic expectations is the number one reason for failure.


Step four: Write it down. Don’t just dream it up and forget it. Get an old-fashioned pen and paper, write it out and stick it on the fridge. Don’t hide your goals when you have friends over. Let them be known and hold yourself accountable. Keep track of your progress. Every time you get closer to achieving that goal, write it down on that piece of paper. Enlist a goal buddy or buddies. Share each others goals, keep in touch and give encouragement when needed. When you figure out what your big goals are, make smaller goals with a time-frame in mind to help you achieve your big goals. For example, if one of your goals for 2014 is to cut down on the clutter in your house, a weekly goal would be to throw away or donate 5 things you don’t use per week. Making weekly goals will force you to go back and look at your overall goals and keep them fresh in your mind.


The most important thing is to make goals that are going to make you feel good. Of course, eating healthfully and exercising automatically helps with that, but if resolving to cut down on your restaurant rendezvous with your girlfriends causes you more stress than happiness, turn it into a positive goal like finding a healthy cooking class to join with your friends or starting a Saturday morning run ritual with your best buds.


So tonight, keep these steps in mind as you’re thinking about your new goals and feel free to have a glass of champagne and a smile to toast to the amazing year that lies ahead.



Megan Ware, RDN, LD

Caffeine: To Sip or not to Sip before a TRX Workout?



About 55% of Americans need a little jolt of java or a sip of red bull to get them going every morning, but have you ever wondered if that caffeine boost helps or hinders your performance in the gym? Does it increase dehydration? How about delaying fatigue? Can you over-caffeinate?


Contrary to popular belief, current research suggests that caffeine is not a diuretic and does not cause dehydration. The US military has done extensive research on caffeine and dehydration and has found that consuming about 100mg/day of caffeine does not increase urine output.


Caffeine may improve performance for endurance athletes (like marathoners and cyclists) and speed endurance athletes (like soccer and hockey players). And as most of us already have experienced, caffeine can delay fatigue and improve mental sharpness. Most exercisers improve their performance by about 12% when using caffeine, however these benefits were only seen for those participating in longer bouts of exercise. Short exercise (8-20 minutes) is not as affected by caffeine and sprinters experienced no benefit. The benefits are greater for those who do not regularly consume caffeine and have not built up a tolerance to its effects.


There are risks involved with caffeine consumption. Some people will experience side effects such as anxiety, nausea, rapid heartbeat, gastrointestinal distress and insomnia.


Don’t forget, caffeine is an addictive substance. When you build up a tolerance to caffeine, the benefits are minimized and withdrawal from caffeine can cause headaches and irritability.


How much is too much?


The amount of caffeine tolerance a person has depends on the individual, but if you are regularly consuming upwards of 500- 600 mg of caffeine per day, it may be time to scale back.


8 oz brewed coffee: 60- 150mg

Energy drink or bar: 200 or more mg depending on the size and brand

Caffeine pill: 100- 200mg

Soda and tea: 40- 60mg per cup

1 oz caffeinated gel (like Gu): 20mg

Over the counter pain relievers: Varies (check the label)


Overconsumption of caffeine can lead to restlestness and sleep deprivation. If you think you need to cut back on your caffeine consumption, do so gradually to avoid any side effects of withdrawal. First, avoid any caffeine later in the day then start to cut out one serving of caffeine per day.




Caffeine is absorbed quickly in the body and peaks in the blood about 1-2 hours after consumption. Aim to consume caffeine about 1 hour prior to a TRX workout to gain the most benefit.


Keep in mind that black coffee has zero calories but a 16 oz frappuccino has 470 calories and is full of unnecessary sugars. Even a chai tea latte has about 250 calories. So if you’re taking in the caffeine to help you in a workout, you might be doing more harm than help. Caffeine has not been shown to aid in weight loss.


If you have any additional questions regarding caffeine consumption and physical activity or have another nutrition topic you would like addressed, please contact our Registered Dietitian Megan Ware at nutritionawareness@meganwarerd.com or visit her website at http://meganwarerd.com.


Megan Ware, RDN, LD

The Best Recovery Foods for First Time TRXers


At Fitness With Insight, we know that those first few classes can be some of the toughest. Since a lot of the muscles you target during TRX aren't used on a normal day-to-day basis, you might wake up the next day after your first class feeling sore in places you didn't know existed! But what if there were some foods or drinks you could incorporate into your day to help alleviate that soreness, or at least to help you recover quicker?




The period of time right after your workout is the most important. You have a 30- 45 minute window to get in the right nutrients and acheive optimal recovery for your muscles. You've all heard that protein is important for recovery, but carbohydrates also help to refuel energy stores and allow your body to produce insulin, a hormone that contributes to muscle building. The trick is to get in the right kind of carbohydrates; from fruits, dairy or whole grains instead of simple sugars. Quinoa and old-fashioned oatmeal are two high fiber, high protein sources of healthy carbohydrate to incorporate into a post-workout meal or snack. 


You've probably know that antioxidants help prevent cancer and heart disease, but did you know they also reduce inflammation and alleviate muscle soreness? Fruits and vegetables are the best sources of antioxidants. The more color on your plate, the better.


Check out this recipe for Protein Packed Pizza Bites for a perfect post-workout snack. They’re high in protein from the eggs and the quinoa and packed with nutrients and antioxidants from the onion, tomatoes, garlic and herbs. 


If you tend to not have an appetite following a workout, liquid meals or snacks are a perfect remedy. Try making your own smoothies at home with plain Greek yogurt and frozen berries. Beware of smoothies from chains or fast food restaurants, as they may contain upwards of 800 calories and 60 grams of sugar (a whole days worth)!




One drink that is loaded with antioxidants and has been shown to reduce muscle soreness is tart cherry juice. A study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine found that drinking tart cherry juice following strenuous exercise reduces inflammation and aids in the recovery of muscle function. Studies conducted using watermelon and watermelon juice have also shown similiar results. Try blending tart cherry juice or seedless watermelon chunks into a smoothie for an anti-inflammatory boost.



Active: Recovery Foods that Ease Muscle Soreness

Megan Ware, RDN, LD

Healthy Game Day Guacamole



With lots of holiday parties, family gatherings, championship football games, college and NBA basketball all going on at once, now is the time when food and temptation is everywhere. Don't be afraid to indulge in a few of your favorites, but eat them in moderation, don't go back for seconds and fill the rest of your plate with vegetables, fruits and lean protein.


If you are hosting or think that there won’t be any healthy options available at an upcoming event, make sure to bring your own healthy dish that you (and everyone else) will enjoy. Try this quick and easy recipe for guacamole-- it's rich in the omega 3's that we can never get enough of,and a great source of vitamin E which is great for the skin in the winter months.


You don't need a lot of time or skill to make a good guacamole. Start with fresh, wholesome ingredients and you'll never want to buy packaged guacamole again.




Healthy Game Day Guacamole

  • 2 avocados
  • 1 small roma tomato, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon jalepeno
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 heaping teaspoon fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, diced
  • 1/2 tablespoon red onion, diced
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper to taste


1. Remove avocado from skin and seeds and mash in a medium bowl with a fork (I like to leave mine a little chunky). Add all other ingredients to bowl and stir. Done!


Do you have any favorite game day or holiday healthy dips or snacks that everyone loves?




Original recipe by Megan Ware, RDN, LD