Two a Healthy Life

One couple on a mission to become healthy


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The sick days of winter

With the cold season abound it was only a matter of time before one us came down with something.  One of my coworkers who sits right in front of me was sick all week and finally my body gave in and I started to come down with a sore throat on Friday.  Alex has been burning the candle at both ends the last half a week and now she is sick as well.

Nobody like being sick, and every time I get sick I question how we haven’t figured out how to prevent it yet.  However, I have noticed that since I have started to eat healthier I get sick a lot less then I used to.  Other then medicine and rest, the other remedies that I try to stick too are drinking lots of water, getting enough sleep, and continuing to eat healthy.

The last suggestion on that list is something I never would have thought of in the past.  When I would be sick I would think chicken soup and that would be it.  But if we really are what we eat, then when your body is fighting off a parasite you need all the nutrients that you can get.  Alex and I usually eat at least five fruits and vegetables a day, but when I am sick I make an extra point to get as many as I can so I can feel better.

Just remember to take care of yourself, but don’t let being sick keep you from eating right or sticking to your routine.

On(achoo)ward.

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The Truth About Diets

The above video is a serious blog by the comedic youtube personality Jenna Marbles. Besides being occasionally hilarious she is in really great shape and after continuously being asked how she stays fit she answered her fans very seriously in this video.

When I first saw this video (probably over a year ago) I remember thinking that her diet was absurd, impossible and that if eating her diet 6 days a week was what it took to look like her then it wasn’t worth it. I still believe the last part but the first two have flown out the window.

I actually don’t like the smoothies every morning idea because it’s whole lot of sugar (although admittedly the good kind) but salads for lunch and large amounts of vegetable soup are what Nathaniel and I do on top of a lot of cardio. This diet seems completely reasonable now if you are trying to lose weight but there is not a chance I’d go vegan to look like her – looking like that is not a goal of mine and I love animal products.

I also don’t think you NEED to eat like her to stay fit once you have gotten your weight under control. Once you’ve accomplished your goals “maintaining” should be a lot easier emotionally. Because, the truth about diets is that they are exhausting both emotionally and physically and the more weight you are trying to lose the more exhausting they are.

People ask Nathaniel and I what we’ve done to lose weight and we often get the feeling they don’t like our answers.

Yes – I still eat chocolate but I am aware of the calories in every ounce I eat.

Yes – I eat bacon at least once a week but I also run.

Yes – sometimes I will have a burger for dinner on a saturday but I probably didn’t eat more than 500 calories all day before I decided I could.

People don’t want to hear that the answer to their question really is: diet and exercise.

When I seriously answer people’s questions I usually get a response like: I hate running, I don’t like feeling hungry, I could never count calories.

If you hate running do something else. If you never feel hungry you’re probably never going to lose weight and if you aren’t at least seriously aware of what you are putting into your body you’re also probably never going to lose weight.

The only way you lose weight is to burn more calories than you eat.

Counting calories, seriously comparing all of your food options, being hungry and exercising on top of a caloric deficit is not fun. It sucks. Actually – it really sucks.

You just have to decide for yourself if it’s worth it.


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Getting High….breathing in elevation

IMG_2456Alex and I went snowboarding this past weekend (as I am sure you can tell from the picture) and other than being sore the next day due to falling we were both pleasantly surprised at how well we did.

We stayed at a lodge close to Heavenly, so close in fact, that in the morning we didn’t even need to drive to the ski resort, we just grabbed our gear and walked.  One thing I noticed (and later pointed out to Alex) was that I didn’t get out of breath walking up the hill to the resort.  The reason this stuck me is because Tahoe is at a high elevation (Olympians go there to train to be acclimated to high elevations) and when us normal sea level folk go there we tend to huff and puff due to our lack of acclimation.

Not being out of breath at the top of the hill was one of those small things that really cemented in my head how far we both have come.  Back in the day I am sure that I would have been out of breath when I got to the top of the hill.  And I am sure I wouldn’t have been able to go snowboarding all day (since it has been eight years since I went last time) without being extremely tired at the end.

What this whole experience taught me is that while we want to lose weight to look a certain way, or fit into a specific size of jeans, what being in shape allows us to do is—well anything we want.  I was able to go sky diving last year because I wasn’t over the weight limit (which used to be a concern for me) or go snowboarding when I want to because I know I am fit to do so.  Being healthy will not only help you live longer, but will make the time you have here as active as you want it to be.photo

Onward!


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Losing the Lbs. in San Francisco

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On New Year’s Day my friend Lauren and I went hiking while her husband Michael and Nathaniel went surfing.

Yesterday my blog post kind of sucked but today I actually have something to write about.

Today on Sfgate.com I read an article about the 10 best and worst cities to attempt to lose weight in.  Good news for us – San Francisco is apparently THE BEST place in the United States to attempt to lose weight!

The Worst? Las Vegas Nevada.

I can see more than a few reasons for this.

San Francisco has a really mild climate – it’s “cold” and foggy a lot but really our day time temperatures don’t fluctuate by more than 20-30 degrees year round. We also have a crazy number of gyms, outdoor activities and healthy restaurants to choose from.

Las Vegas gets snow in the winter AND routinely faces temperatures in the triple digits. Nevada also allows smoking indoors and we all know how fantastic that is for you.

What is really interesting about these lists is the median price per square foot of living space is 3-4 times higher in the healthy cities than in the unhealthy cities.

San Francisco’s median price per square foot is $459 – the highest on the list. Las Vegas comes in at a shocking $70 per square foot and it is the lowest on the list.

According to Men’s Health Magazine 30.6% of San Franciscans eat veggies 5+ times a day.  Today I’ve eaten four servings of fruit/ veggies and I haven’t had dinner yet so that number doesn’t seem unreasonably high.

It makes me sad when numbers come out like this highlighting the class discrepancy between the healthy and the overweight.  Yes, there are plenty of well educated, well paid overweight people and plenty of thin people living in impoverished neighborhoods BUT percentages don’t lie.

You are far more likely to be overweight if you have a lower income for a variety of reasons that we can go into in future blogs. In the meantime – if you live in the Bay Area take advantage and get outside!


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The “Shortcut”

Today I’d like to share with you all something funny that happened to me this morning as I ran before work.

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I started my run leaving work and heading to AT&T Park, from there I started up the Embarcadero running underneath the Bay Bridge, past The Ferry Building and Pier 39.

It’s a really nice run but it has started to get a little tedious. Near the 3 mile mark I started thinking I might be running out of time to run back along the water so I decided to take a “shortcut” through North Beach and Chinatown.

The improvised route only cut about 1/4 of a mile off of my entire run and added some hills to it so it didn’t turn out to be much of a shortcut although I laughed when I saw my final distance on my phone.

The hill on powell wasn’t super steep by San Francisco standards but after three miles it had me cursing a little under my breath – the best part of the run was how good I felt doing it.

If I hadn’t needed to go to work by 9:30 I might have added another two miles to the thing because it was just one of those days you feel really REALLY good out there moving.

It’s so awesome to look back on how far we’ve come in (almost) one year! I am really proud of both of us.


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Dying of Thirst: The New Coke Campaign

Coca-cola recently released a new commercial that is part of a bigger advertising campaign “coming together” that is focusing on obesity.  The following video is a keystone to this new campaign:

Coke mentions that of the 650 beverages in their portfolio, they offer 180 that are low or no calorie, but that is only 27.69% of their beverages, one of which is Dasani their water brand.  While I do give them props for adding calorie contents to the front of cans and introducing smaller portioned sizes, the industry (lead by Coke) is still fighting the Bloomberg ban on large soda sales in New York, which are sold in sizes that do not list how many servings or calories are contained in the beverage.  How is that “making it easier for people to make informed decisions?”

More calories per servicing then regular coca-cola

More calories per servicing then regular coca-cola

“For elementary, middle, and high schools our industry has voluntarily changed its offerings to primarily waters, juices, and low and no calorie options” states the ad, however, back in 2008 California schools (along with other states) “required elementary and middle schools to stop providing soda or allowing it to be sold in school vending machines [and] the ban has now gone into effect for high schools as well”.  I fail to see how states passing bans on soda in schools is the beverage industry voluntarily changing to serve healthier options.  Furthermore, the juices that they are touting (in the video it is Odwala Strawberry C Monster) which you can see the label to the left, has 240 calories and 43g of sugar for a 12-oz serving.  Just for comparison a similar serving of regular coca-cola has 140 calories and 39g of sugar.  How is this juice low calorie or a better option then soda?

“All calories count, no matter where they come from, including Coca-cola and everything else with calories.  And if you eat and drink more calories then you burn off, you’ll gain weight.”  Of all the lines in this ad, this is the one with the most truth in it.  All calories count is the best advice for people trying to loose weight.  And the only gripe I have about coke saying this is that soda is about an empty as calories get.  The human body, while amazing, is very poor at judging calories consumed in liquid form, which is why you could drink a 500 calorie milkshake and not fill anywhere near as full as you do by eating a sandwich and some chips for the same number of calories.

The most striking feature of this ad, is that while the subject is looking at the obesity problem in America, there is not one obese person in this ad.  Coke made sure to include beautiful, healthy looking people (some may have been a little heavy), with BMIs in the normal range.  How are they helping this issue, by not showing the people that they are speaking of?

At the end of the day, I would rather eat a sandwich then drink a coke.  I would rather have a hamburger then a milkshake.  My calories are precious and I want them to make me full, so I will stick with tap water and tea and leave the calories on my plate.