Monday, August 23, 2010

Necessary Ingredients for Fitness Success

I live in a place that hustles and bustles with tourists in search of sunshine and beach sand. Nestled above the beach itself is a quaint little downtown filled with sandwich shops, clothing stores, a five-and-dime and (of course) a few coffee shops. My husband's office sits just outside of this area and he needed to pop in yesterday, so I offered to drop him off with the intention of writing my blog old-school style on a bench overlooking the beach, coffee (plus a pen and some paper) in hand.

Needless to say, I got a little distracted by a new store—Sweet Seasons Orchards. It's essentially a farmer's market, and it will be open whether the sun shines or the snow falls. And I couldn't be happier about that for one main reason—they sell homemade nut butters! (If you've been reading this blog, you know that I'm obsessed.) They also have a vast assortment of dried fruits and veggies, soup mixes, granola and,'s essentially a small town version of Whole Foods or Trader Joe's.

I looked around for a bit (because I'm weird and I love natural food stores), then I sampled each of the nut butters. I bought Honey/Peanut Almond Butter and Chocolate Peanut Butter. You can safely bet your butters I'll go back for the Cashew version at some point! So tasty, I'm a total fan (which surprises no one). The whole purchase got me thinking—could I live without nut butters? Which got me thinking even harder.

What else couldn't I live without, specifically speaking in terms of my fit life? So I put together the following list.

Tara's Top Five Ingredients for Fitness Success
1) Nut butters. The combination of healthy fats and protein makes me run for the nearest apple after a  
    good workout.
2) Ponytail holders. I will never understand how some women can exercise with their hair flopping in
    their face. I'd sweat like a pig. Even more than I already do.
3) Dri-fit clothing. It's super breathable, which minimizes sweat (and sweat stains). It also washes
    really well, so even the cheapest item is a long-lasting investment.
4) Comfortable shoes. I'm currently rocking my Adidas Supernova Glides like it's my job. Without
    them, I wouldn't be allowed to set foot in the gym—proper footwear required!
5) Deodorant. I don't always smell so lovely, believe it or not.

Now, you must realize that we all have different ingredients in our recipes for fitness success. But there is, however, a general yet overarching recipe for fitness success that includes a list of solid ingredients you're most definitely familiar with.

Necessary Ingredients for Fitness Success
1) Goals. They give you a reason to work hard, and they help measure your progress.
2) A combination of cardio and strength exercises. Because one isn't nearly as good without the other.
3) Stretching. It keeps your muscles long and lean, which promotes easier movement and minimizes
    the risk of injury.
4) Healthy meals and snacks. You wouldn't water your plants with toilet water, so why put crappy food
    in your body? Fresh water keeps a plant alive in the same way that healthy meals and snacks keep
    your body alive.
5) Confidence. You are an individual with unique needs. Learn to read your body, learn how to treat it
    right and most importantly, learn to accept it. When you do, you'll be stronger than ever—mentally
    and physically.

Question: What's on your personal list of ingredients for fitness success?

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