Don’t be afraid of spices

Are you trying a new healthier diet and finding it boring?  How many times can you really enjoy chicken and broccoli?

TONS OF TIMES!  There are so many spices at our disposal that we can make healthy meals taste amazing every time.

Personally, I love sweet, so cinnamon is a big spice in my kitchen.  I can add it to plain greek yogurt, put it on top of an apple or banana, add it to granola, great time of the year to put it on cooked squash or pumpkin or even sprinkle it on top of brown rice.

Cayenne Pepper is also a great spice to have around.  Try putting a few sprinkles of cayenne pepper on your hard-boiled eggs or tunafish.  It’s a great way to give any drab vegetable dish a kick.

Cumin and turmeric also can really add to a vegetable dish.  Try caramelizing some onions and garlic in those two spices first, and then add in whatever other vegetable you have on hand.  Mmmmm.

Next time you are trying to saute some veggies, google different ways to cook them.  Recently, I started cooking my vegetables in sesame oil (just a tablespoon) instead of olive oil.  It adds just a tint of something different.  Most of my veggie dishes also have salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes too.

Happy Eating!

Have fun & Be Active!

Rebecca from Build it for Life

Fitness can be FUN!

Sometimes exercise gets a bad reputation because, in general, it’s 1) hard and 2) time-consuming.  However, it can be so much fun which will make it worth the time.  Take a few moments to think back to recess or P.E. in elementary school.  Remember how much fun it was to run around, jump on things, chase people, climb up high, play side-line soccer, etc?  What were some of the things you liked to do the most?

If you loved the sports in P.E., perhaps finding an adult league of soccer, softball, volleyball, or football would make fitness fun for you.

Enjoyed climbing?  You can still climb as an adult!  Rock climbing gyms are popping up all over the place.  There are some great ones in Ballard and Magnolia in Seattle, WA.

Liked being chased?  Or chasing?  Sounds like you must be a natural-born runner!  Find a running club, or a friend who wants to run.  They don’t have to know that the entire run you are trying to out run them, that can be your own little mind game to help keep you moving.

There is an adult way to do things you enjoyed doing as a child.  Just ask us, we’ll help you find yours.

Maybe you hated recess.  Have you ever been hiking, or tried water sports, like paddle-boarding, or canoeing?


There are tons of ways to work out.  A lot of us are busy-busy-busy.  Maybe yoga or Pilates is something that would help calm you down.  Exercise for you doesn’t have to be what Citizen A or Citizen B is doing.  Let’s figure out what your go-to activity can be.

Have Fun & Be Active!

Your friends from Build it for Life

Happy Labor Day!

Happy Labor Day Weekend!  Aren’t we all so excited about having Monday off!?  We just want to encourage you to sneak in some exercise with your paid vacation.  Pick a number between 50 and 100, complete that many of these three exercises, dips, push-ups and lunges.  There is no need to do them all at once, perhaps do a set of 20, hang with some buddies, do another set of 20, put the laundry in the dryer, etc. etc.  Get it done though!  You will feel so good afterwards that you remembered to take care of your body this holiday weekend!

HaveIMG_3118 fun & Be Active!

Your Friends from Build it for Life

photo by Jesse Morrow

Why such a stress on Water!?

Water is so important for our bodies, but often, we aren’t drinking nearly enough.  The average client we see is lucky to drink about 5 cups of water a day, that’s three cups shy of the old “8 cups a day” rule we all grew up with.


Perhaps it would be helpful to know why we need to drink water..

Water, one of six nutrients the body needs, is the base for most of the chemical reactions that occur in the human body. So, let’s think of chemical reactions as in our body breaking down the nutrients we eat and turning those nutrients into the energy we need to get through the day.  If our body isn’t getting the adequate amount of water it needs to aid in the chemical reactions, is there a chance our metabolism isn’t working to its full potential!?  We think, yes, there is a chance!!

Water is also a nutrient that can easily showcase how optimal nutrition works. For instance, if someone does not consume enough water, they can become dehydrated. This is especially true in the heat and during exercise (1). As water is lost from the body, it must be replenished. Dehydration can cause short-term memory loss, effect visual-motor abilities, and impair working memory. As the level of dehydration increases, these symptoms get worse. Dehydration symptoms are most noticeable with a decrease in body weight by 2% or more (2). Have you ever been doing something and noticed you couldn’t remember what you were just doing, or just about to do?  Could that be the effect of perhaps a slight dehydration?  It is possible.

On a side note, too much water can also be a bad thing. If a person is over-hydrated, it is said that they have water intoxication. This can cause the cells in their body to swell. Water intoxication has some pretty serious side effects including convulsions, coma, and even death. Therefore, it is very important to have a nice balanced amount of water in the body. As water is lost, it needs to be replenished…but not over-replenished.

So, how much water should we drink??  We recommend 9 cups a day for a sedentary woman, and 11 cups for a sedentary man.  If you exercise that day, add 2 more cups for each hour you exercise.  Consume alcohol or caffeine?  Another 2 cups per cup of each of those.  That’s a lot of water, so get sipping.

Have Fun & Be Active,

Your friends from Build it for Life

  1. Cian, C., Barraud, P.A., Melin, B., & Raphel, C. (2001, Novemember). Effects of fluid ingestion on cognitive function after heat stress or exercise-induced dehydration. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 43 (3). Retrieved from
  2. Derrickson, B., & Tortora, G. J. “Fluid, Electrolyte, and Acid-Base Homeostasis.” Principles of Anatomy & Physiology. 13th John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2012 P. 1112, 1115, 1116. Print.

Every time I work out, I’m STARVING!

“Help!  Every time I work out, I’m STARVING!”  We hear this comment all the time.  We work out hard, and then we defeat our success in the gym or outside, by overconsumption when we are done.  We have to stop this, or we will never get to our weight loss goals.


Being more hungry after starting a new workout routine is natural and normal.  Your body is burning more calories than it’s used to, and so it thinks it needs more to make up for that deficit.  So, what do we do??

Well, we don’t want to over-eat excess food that’s not good for us.  Instead, try filling your body with healthy fats and proteins.  Fat and protein take longer for the body to digest, so when we consume it, we can feel more full for longer.  Another way to battle the starving feeling is to eat every few hours throughout your day.  By constantly giving your body some nutrients, it shouldn’t ever get to that point of “starving.”  Eventually, your body will start to get used to the greater physical demand and the starving sensation will go away.

Have fun & be active!

Your friends from Build it for Life

Typical Food Consumption

Here is a typical day for our founder, Rebecca!

Breakfast: banana, homemade yogurt, 1/8 cup almonds, 1/8 cup granola

Snack (10:30 ish) : 100-150 calories worth of a chicken sausage, serving of raw veggies

Lunch: a bed of some type of green leafy vegetables with peanut butter Thai style chicken legs & thighs (4-6oz), 100 calories worth of a dark chocolate bar

Snack: Seaweed, freeze dried edamame, or a mixture of trail mix and pumpkin seeds

Dinner: Taco styled beef (95% lean) with black beans on top of a bed of some type of leafy green, two dark chocolate covered almonds

Snacky-pm treat: 2 cups of low sodium popcorn, 1 cup of white cheddar popcorn – both organic, occasionally, there may also be a peach or some type of fruit eaten now too

Have fun & be active!

Your friends from Build it for Life

Why should I eat almonds for Breakfast?

FullSizeRenderMmmm, nothing say breakfast to me like some yogurt, a banana, and almonds.  Almonds, being a nut, tend to get a bad reputation from time to time because they are high in calories (1).  In fact, one full cup of almonds is roughly around 817 calories!  However, we would never want to eat that many at once.  A serving of almonds is around 170-204 calories which makes them a great addition to breakfast. Almonds are chalk full of healthy proteins, about grams per serving, healthy fats, and vitamins and minerals.  Therefore, when we eat almonds, are bodies utilize every bit of them…there are no empty calories in an almond.  Almonds are particular high in these minerals, copper, magnesium, zinc, phosphorous, and iron.    In addition to other vitamins, almonds contain large amounts of vitamin E, and some of the B vitamins (Riboflavin, Niacin, and Thiamin).  So, if you haven’t had your breakfast yet, try sprinkling a few almonds into the mix (anywhere from an eighth of a cup to a fourth of a cup).

Have fun & Be Active!

Rebecca from Build it for Life

10 Go-to Easy, Healthy Snacks Under 250 calories

  1. Apple and 2 tablespoons of almond butter….it’s so delicious, especially with a little cinnamon on top!
  2. Chicken Sausage.  Easy to cook ahead of time, and pretty yummy cold.
  3. Two hard boiled eggs with a little cayenne pepper and salt
  4. Larabars, or any other protein bar where you can read the ingredients on the back of the label
  5. Greek Yogurt
  6. Organic cold cuts wrapped around some grapes or leafy greens
  7. 1/4 cup of trail mix
  8. low sodium beef (or other meat) jerky
  9. Raw veggies and humus
  10. and if ¥ou are snacking just to snack, popcorn.  It’s low in calories and oh, so good!

Have fun & Be Active!

Rebecca from Build it for Life

10 reasons why I exercise

1. To keep my sanity!  Exercise releases feel-good endorphins that help me get through the tough days.

2. For the same reason I vacuum the house or wash my clothes, to take CARE of something that’s important to me; to take care of ME.

3. So I can enjoy an ice cream from time to time

4. Because I would lose 5% muscle mass per decade if I didn’t

5. So I can still walk, stand on my own, chase my grandkids, and challenge people to push-up competitions when I’m 80.

6. Because I’m afraid of getting out of shape

7. Because hard work does pay off at the gym

8. It’s fun.  Perhaps not all the exercises start out that way, but challenging yourself and beating your goals feels good.

9. Because it keeps me focused on other areas in my life.  Having a daily exercise routine can help me stay more consistent about other healthy habits, like eating right and taking my vitamins.

10. Because I feel better on the days I exercise when compared with the ones where I don’t

Have fun & Be Active,