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A healthier lifestyle in 5 simple steps


To some people the thought of being healthy, active, and ‘fit’ is so distant from their current reality that it seems nothing more than an abstract idea.

Fitness and healthy lifestyles are becoming more and more popular.  Everyone is getting involved; it’s awesome.  With the increased use of social media, along with typical advertising, the idea of being ‘fit’ can seem extreme.  Some of these ‘fitness fanatics’ take it to a new level and can be intimidating to someone fresh to the scene.  A healthy lifestyle can be frightening to someone new when they assume ‘healthy’ means giving up all of the things they like, drinking kale juice daily, grinding up flax and chia seeds, vegan diets, iron man races, rooms packed to the brim at fly wheel, and expensive daily personal training sessions. It doesn’t need to be that drastic, I promise.

I’m here to tell you it does not take extreme measures to introduce fitness and health into your lifestyle.  You can take small simple steps that will drastically change your life.

“Success is a journey, not a destination”

I’m going to outline some basic steps that ANYONE can take to introduce fitness into their life.  These steps are for the people just getting started; the ones who are hesitant to take the first step and unsure where to start.  Once you can adopt these things into your life you have the power to make the decision to continue your journey and keep improving, striving for more.  Maybe you will end up hiring a trainer, joining some group fitness, or even signing up for a charity 5k. But right now I just want to give you a push start to a healthier lifestyle.

Amelia’s Simple Steps to a Healthier Lifestyle

  1. Become Active
    1. This can mean a number of things
      1. Walk daily
      2. Cleaning your house burns about 150-170 an hour
      3. play with your kids or pets outside
      4. group fitness class
      5. workout video in the privacy of your own home
      6. exercise with a friend
  2. Make Healthier Food Choices
    1. Cut out the obvious things from everyday (but still have them as a treat, or you won’t stick to healthy eating)
      1. Candy
      2. Soda
      3. Fried Foods
      4. Desserts
      5. excess alcohol
  3. Eat when you are hungry
    1. Don’t starve yourself, you are only slowing down your metabolism
      1. Chose healthy snacks high in protein, or almonds and raw vegetables if you crave the crunchiness
  4. Sleep
    1.  This is when our body repairs itself and rejuvenates all of the systems in our body
    2. Lack of sleep is linked with obesity along with increased stress and cortisol
      1. consistent sleep and wake times can help create a successful sleep schedule
  5. Drink lots of water!
    1.  Try to drink 8-10 8oz glasses of water daily.  (Coffee and Tea don’t count!!)
    2. As an adult your body is made up of 65% water
    3. Water flushes your system, keeps you hydrated, allows for efficient cellular reactions
    4. Hydration is necessary normal body functions

After adopting these habits into your lifestyle, I know you will feel better and be on your way to reaching your goals. The hardest part is getting started!

*If you are on medication or have a cardiac history always consult your doctor before starting an exercise program.

Last quote, I swear..

“The only impossible journey is the one you never begin” – Tony Robins

Amelia Sofis, M.S., ATC/L, PES, CSCSIMG_4987.JPG


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Don’t Diet; Make Better Choices

With so many diets out there; it’s easy to get caught up.  Diets are a temporary solution to a lifelong problem of poor eating habits.  Diets can help clients temporarily lose weight, but you can’t be on a diet your entire life.  It’s more beneficial long term to make better choices and adopt a healthy lifestyle. When you are aware of the options out there, it is easy to make the right decisions!

Keep in mind; Eating is a way for our bodies to get vitamins and minerals, along with macronutients: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats to fuel our body.

There are many ways to make better choices concerning eating habits.


It’s pretty clear that staying away from the obvious disaster foods is a good idea.

  • Always choose baked, broiled, or grilled over fried.
  • Get the sauce or dressing on the side
  • Skip dessert or have fruit*

*(I’m not going to say you can never have dessert; watch the portion size; save it for a special occasion, or add a few extra minutes onto your run in the morning :-P)

Watch your portion size!

  • Most meals from restaurants are 2-3 servings
  • A serving of meat is 3-4oz (a deck of cards)
  • 1 slice of bread is an entire serving
  • A serving of pasta is only 1/2 cup cooked

Use the Glycemic Index

The glycemic index can be confusing, so forget the numbers…just remember which foods are good choices, and which ones aren’t the best.

Foods that are low on the glycemic index are broken down slowly and release glucose at a steady rate into our blood stream, keeping us “full” longer.   Foods that are high on the glycemic index tend to spike blood sugar by releasing a large amount of glucose into our bloodstream at once.  These foods can also leave us feeling hungry after eating.

Low Glyecmic Index Options (Good choices)

  • Stone ground whole wheat bread
  • Broccoli
  • Peas
  • Spinach
  • Asparagus
  • Corn
  • Sweet potato or Yam
  • Hummus
  • Beans and Lentils (Black, kidney, chickpea, lima beans)
  • Nuts (Walnuts, Peanuts, Almonds)
  • Seeds (pumpkin, sun flower, flax, poppy, sesame)
  • Most Fruits (because even though they are high in sugar, fructose must be processed through the liver)

High Glycemic Index (spikes blood sugar, leaves you hungry, not the best choice)

  • White Bread
  • White Rice
  • Rice Cakes
  • Popcorn
  • Cornflakes, Cheerios
  • croissant
  • Pineapple, Watermelon
  • Candy


Most people don’t consider all of the calories they get from beverages!

Coca Cola – 12oz: 143 calories

Orange Juice – 10oz: 137 calories

Sweetened Iced Tea – 12oz 107 calories

Better Choice:

When choosing a beverage… try water, sparking water, or unsweetened tea with a lemon or lime wedge.

*(If you must have soda, try diet or zero calorie brands… but please don’t drink it every day!!!)

And Drink LOTS OF WATER! Minimum of 8 glasses a day please!

  -Lets not forget about alcohol …

White Wine – 5oz: 121 calories

Red Wine – 5oz: 127 calories

Avg Beer – 120z 155 calories

Tequila shot(avg) – 1.5oz 95 calories

Vodka Shot(avg) – 1.5oz 95 calories

Cranberry juice – 8oz 137 calories

Tonic water – 8oz 83 calories

Better Choice:

Beers and Wines are high in calories.  Hard liquor paired with a mixer (juice or tonic) is even worse!! Try to limit your alcohol consumption. When you must have a drink; pair your favorite liquor with soda water and a lime wedge.

(Avoid hangovers and lower caloric intake by drinking less (duh), and having a glass of water between each alcoholic beverage)


A lot of people might tell you to “prep your meals” AKA make 3 lbs of chicken, quinoa, and asparagus on Sunday night, then pack exact portions in separate tupperware containers for the remainder of the week.

Not only does eating old re-heated chicken for lunch everyday sound super unappetizing; but you are depriving your body of so many nutrients.  By eating a variety of protein, vegetables, and fruits, we ingest a plethera of vitamins and minerals.  Even if you take the most amazing multivitamin on the market, getting nutrients from your diet is always the best choice!


I’m sure most of this is not new or a surprise, but its amazing how many people make the wrong choices and take drastic measures to get back on track.  By adopting a healthier lifestyle, one small decision at a time, you can improve your eating habits drastically and still enjoy the foods you love. You do not have to be on a strict diet to lose weight or be healthy.  Make the right choices when eating. Watch your portion size, avoid unnecessary calories in desserts or sugary drinks, limit alcohol consumption, eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, and don’t ever starve yourself!!


Amelia Sofis, M.S., ATC/L, CSCS, PES