Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I think it is safe to say that 86.7% of Facebook status' are currently mentioning how hot it is, how much people are sweating, how people are dying of heat, and how LA has been hotter than Fresno! Ok so maybe my stats are a slight guesstimate, this is my wellness blog not the U.S. census. Anyway....What is going on with the weather?...I do not know. BUT, what I do know is what is going on in your body! Hydration is SO important especially now since waking up in the morning feels like waking up in a toaster oven.  So here is what you need to know to take the "de" out of dehydration...and GET HYDRATED!

Our body weight is 75% water!  Our bodies are losing water when we breathe and humidified air leaves the body, when we sweat to cool our body, and when we urinate or have a bowel movement to get rid of waste.  Normally, we must drink water throughout the day to replace lost water.  Diarrhea, vomiting, sweating, and lack of water are all major reasons why dehydration sets in.  Dehydration occurs when there is more water leaving the body than being taken in.

Signs and Symptoms of Dehydration

  • increased thirst
  • concentrated urine, yellow color
  • dry mouth
  • cessation of sweating
  • muscle cramps
  • nausea and vomiting
  • heart palpitations
  • lightheadedness
  • even confusion and weakness if very severe dehydration occurs

Dehydration Prevention Tips!
  1. Take extra water with you! Especially if you are outdoors/active, grab your water bottle!
  2. Temperatures are high right now, so limit outdoor exercise during peak hours! check weather online :)
  3. Limit alcohol and caffeine consumption in this crazy heat! Alcohol increases water loss and impairs your ability to see signs of dehydration. 
  4. Wear light-fitted, loose-clothing 
  5. Break up your sun exposure...try to stay in air conditioned or shaded environments
  6. Remember signs and symptoms of dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke so you can prevent them!
  7. DRINK AT LEAST 8 CUPS OF WATER A DAY! (equivalent to the volume of a 2 liter soda bottle)

Yours in health,


p.s. for more information on heat exhaustion first aid (signs, symptoms, and treatment) CLICK HERE!

Monday, September 20, 2010

What to eat PRE, DURING, & POST Exercise!

Choosing the right foods can optimize your performance regardless of whether you are a pro-athlete or a recreational exerciser.  With a well-planned snack or meal, you can get the nutrients needed to optimize and energize your workouts.  There are a pluthera of supplements, powders, bars, drinks, patches, and God knows what out there in the market.  But why spend extra money on supplements and industry-hype products when you can get the nutrients from a natural source...FOOD! Here is the how-to on the ideal PRE, DURING, & POST exercise meals:

Food = fuel.  You need proper foods to fuel your workouts which should include: quality carbohydrates, lean-protein, healthy fats, and fluids.  Carbohydrates found in breads, pasta, rice, cereals, vegetables, and fruits are your body's main source for fuel as a quick energy source.  Proteins provide the building blocks needed for tissue repair, maintenance, and growth and also maintain healthy cell function.  Fats are a major source of fuel during rest and  can also be mobilized as a fuel source during physical activity when muscle glycogen is depleted.

The ideal PRE exercise meal is:

  • low-fat
  • moderate in carbohydrates and protein
  • contains fluids
It is not necessarily bad to workout on an empty stomach if you are going on an easy walk lets say.  However, for more intense exercise it is good to eat some easy-to-digest carbohydrates like a slice of toast, half a bagel, or a piece of fruit, and take down some water too.  After waking up in the mornings, the overnight fast can deplete glycogen stores so get a quick boost of carbohydrates before exercise and you are good to go!

DURING exercise:
It is SO important to stay hydrated.  Water acts as a cooling system for your body.  Drink water before, during, and after exercise to stay properly hydrated and improve performance.  If you are exercising for prolonged periods of time (more than 60 min.) and/or in hot outdoor conditions you might want to consider a sports drink.  Sports drink have added carbohydrates and sodium to replenish electrolytes lost when you sweat.  

AFTER exercise:
Protein assists in the recovery and growth of muscles.  After exercise is a great time to eat complete proteins because it provides your body with the building blocks for muscle tissue repair and growth.  This does not mean make a gnarly turbo power protein shake with 50 grams of protein right after you get back from your 5 mile run.  More IS NOT better.  Most Americans, including inactive people and athletes consume more than twice the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for protein.  Most adults only need about 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight a day.  (to convert body weight (lbs) to kg divide weight by 2.2)  Ex: A 140 lbs. (63.6 kg) female only needs about 50.9 grams of protein daily.

Eating a high protein diet does not "bulk-up" muscle.  High-protein diets are associated with high cholesterol, may contribute to bone loss, and can increase the risk for kidney disease.  Protein provides the raw materials, it is EXERCISE, specifically resistance training, that allows those raw materials to be used to strengthen and repair muscles.

Remember, FOOD = FUEL.  The more active you are, the more energy or fuel your body needs so choose quality nutrient dense foods, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, and get out on that field, court, track, or wherever you love to stay active and as the Black Eyed Peas would say..."ROCK YOUR BODY! come on come on yaaaa ROCK YOUR BODY!" 


Friday, September 17, 2010

MYTHBUSTER!...The TRUTH about Detox Diets!

So every week I'm going to try to have a MYTHBUSTER blog where I will be busting those random fitness/nutrition "tips" that we hear from our friends, co-workers, magazine ads, commercials and any other media outlet.  This week is the TRUTH about Detox Diets! Detox diets like "Master Cleanse" are not only worthless, but dangerous to your health.  So flush that lemonade, cayanne pepper, cholula, honey, cucumber coolada cleanse down the toilet...here is why:

The Master Cleanse is a 10 day cleanse where you consume no solid food.  Instead, you down a liquid concoction of lemon juice, syrups, spices along with water and tea.  Like other detoxes, the master cleanse promises "rapid weight loss", but it is unsustainable.  It is not something you can do for the rest of your life and whatever weight is lost is quickly regained because you go back to normal eating.  Supporters of detox diets argue that our bodies are constantly attacked by toxins like pesticides, smog sugar, alcohol, and artificial sweeteners.  They say if you don't do a cleanse these toxins accumulate and cause headaches, fatigue, or chronic diseases.  The detox diet demon says: "you have to do a cleanse to get rid of toxins...you just like have toxins, toxins, toxins, like OMG!"  But here is the TRUTH:

YOUR BODY DOES THE WORK FOR YOU!  Your body's organs and systems, like your liver, kidneys, and gastrointestinal tract, do a wonderful job of eliminating toxins from the body within hours of consumption.  Detox diets are restrictive and ineffective for long term.  Any weight loss that happens is temporary and not due to fat loss it is WATER LOSS.  After the cleanse, you gain water back. 

Some detoxers say they have fewer headaches, clearer skin, less bloating, and a boost of energy or even euphoria.  But those have nothing to do with detoxification.  They have fewer headaches most likely from consuming less alcohol and caffeine.  Clearer skin may be attributed to drinking more liquids, so they are more hydrated.  Less bloating is because they are not eating solid foods.  And the boost of energy or "euphoria" experienced is actually the body's response to a state of starvation because it wants to locate food. 

There are severe adverse effects to restrictive diets.  Intestinal and cardiac problems may arise from malnutrition especially in childreen, teens, pregnant women, seniors, and people with heart disease or diabetes.  Also, restrictive diets can lead to obsessions about food and weight loss which can lead to more severe nutrition related problems, such as eating disorders.  Diets are a quick fix and are not something you can do for the rest of your life.  Instead, focus on MODERATION, BALANCE, AND VARIETY of foods and make a positive lifestyle change.  Love your body...you are beautiful! <3


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

with das boot, i thee REST!

So as some of you may know, I broke my 5th metatarsal about 5 1/2 weeks ago playing basketball in Laguna Beach. I have never broken a bone, sprained a joint, pulled a muscle EVER in my life before this happened.  Being out of comish for this long has been difficult for me. I'm usually always go, go, go and if I was not busy doing something I felt like I was wasting time.  Class, work, gym, studying, rehearsals, going out with friends, more studying....it never ends!  Well, something happened over the course of my injury...My broken 5th metatarsal became best friends with das BOOT, the aircast that kept it safe and warm for 5 weeks.  Some of you have met das boot, carried das boot, and even poked fun at das boot and all its glory.  But what you didn't know, is that das BOOT taught me a very valuable lesson. 

das BOOT reminded me that I need REST! I needed time for myself, some quality Lena time, to relax and kick back.  Music, journaling, reading a good book, watch a funny TV show...these are all things I forgot how to enjoy!  So take out your planner and schedule a date with YOURSELF. Make time for you and do something that you love.  Episodes of Bachelor Pad have really gotten me through...haha.

For those of you who love to stay active and exercise like myself, rest is especially vital!  Your body repairs and strengthens itself in the time in between your workouts.  Exercise or any other physical demands causes changes in the body like muscle tissue breakdown and the depletion of energy stores as well as fluid loss.  Recovery lets your body replenish energy stores and repair damaged tissues.  So if you balance exercise with rest and recovery you will have more energy, stay motivated, and reach a higher level of fitness!

Here is a great exercise that helped me learn to relax and renew myself:

20 minutes of deep relaxation is equivalent to 4 HOURS OF SLEEP!  
  • Get into a comfortable position (without crossing your legs)..I like lying on the floor personally.  
  • Close your eyes
  • take slow, deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth, try to keep your breaths quiet and inhale for 5-7 seconds before you exhale
  • start tensing and releasing certain muscles one body part at a time, right leg, left leg, right arm, left arm, neck, head, chest, etc.
  • imagine gravity is pulling and weighing you down
  • imagine yourself somewhere calm, safe, and peaceful...like a on a sandy beach or cozy bed
  • explore the scene you imagined, all the while gravity is still weighing heavy upon you
  • when you are ready, come back to wherever you are and slowly begin to open your eyes
  • take your time and slowly roll up and speed up your breathing
Afterward, you should feel AWESOME. Give it a try!

Yours in health,


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

suns up...a little after 12

Hello beautiful people! This is my first post on my new blog and I am SO excited.   I'll be gettin' my blog on about tasty recipes, fun and challenging fitness ideas, awesome hikes in the SD/OC/LA area, ways to feel good about yourself and start loving yourself because...YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL :)

stay tuned <3