How to make perfect hard boiled eggs

Written By MissFIT Becky

Peeling hard boiled eggs is the worst.

Me shaking a fist at my hard boiled egg.

I know this is a first world problem, but you have to admit it is a frustrating experience.

All the little shell pieces relentlessly stick to the egg and it takes 5 minutes to attempt to meticulously chip away at each individual piece.  Then, when you are able to remove a piece, it pulls half the egg white off leaving moon-like craters and wasting precious nutrients.  The end result barely resembles an egg due to the mangling process that is “peeling.”

I try and give myself preemptive pep talks that go something like this, “No, really, this time it’s going to be a good one.  I used week old eggs and baking soda in the water this time.  I’m going to peel it off in one of those super satisfying peels where the whole thing comes off in 2 smooth pulls.  It’s going to happen this time.”  You get one good egg peel and it gives you hope you will do it again.

And when pep talks don’t work, I try threatening my egg.  See pic.

This sometimes works.

In reality, peeling hard boiled eggs almost always ends in frustration.

UNTIL NOW.

Many failed attempts have led me to the perfect recipe for the perfect hard boiled egg with a perfect peel.

Here’s what you do and how you do it:

  1. Let your eggs sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes.  This is key.  You could also run them under lukewarm water.  Point being, you want them at room temperature.
  2. Fill a pot with enough water to cover your eggs, but do not boil the water with the eggs.
  3. After your water is boiling, slowly lower in your eggs.
  4. Return to a boil.  This may take a little bit depending on how many eggs you are boiling.
  5. Let boil for 10 minutes.
  6. Immediately remove from heat and run eggs under cold water.
  7. Skip the preemptive pep talk and let the frustration-free peeling begin.

A few quick thoughts on eggs.

Eggs have gotten a bad rap for their cholesterol.  The thought is that by eating whole eggs we risk raising our cholesterol because of the cholesterol found in the yolk of eggs.  Actually, recent research has shown that eating 1 egg every day for an entire month does not raise cholesterol levels at all.  While eggs are indeed high in cholesterol we are finding that just because they have cholesterol does not mean they will raise our cholesterol.  Some health experts think that some of the proteins in eggs actually block some of that cholesterol from being absorbed in our bodies.

Trans fats have been shown to be the biggest culprits for raising cholesterol levels (think fried and processed foods).

Eggs yolks contain antioxidants necessary for eye health, choline for brain health, monounsaturated fat (a healthy fat, just like in olive oil), and are one of the few natural food sources of Vitamin D.

If you’re going to choose a food to ban, ban trans fats, not eggs.

Happy peeling, my friends!

 

 

 

Becky Nowak

Certified personal trainer for the past 10 years. Married 9 years. Working for MissFIT 8 years. Mom for 3 years, Precision Nutrition certified, and a lifetime lover of all things wellness! Find out More >

Don’t Just Sit There

Written By Peggy Kresch

This goes out to all the desk workers out there.  You know who you are.  You get to work and your desk and chair are waiting for you.  First you log in to your email and there you are, settled in for the long haul.   The ‘to do’ list is getting longer by the minute.  Then it’s off to a meeting where you SIT again.  Oh great, it’s lunch time where you can SIT and talk to co-workers.  Now it’s off to tackle the ‘to do’ list for the afternoon.  Your list is so long, that you better skip your exercise class and stay late to get as much done as possible.

This may not exactly describe your day, however I bet many of you can relate a little bit.  Hey, wait.  There is a new trend out there in the corporate world.  Hopefully you are lucky enough to work for an employer who understands that a fit and active employee is a healthy and productive employee.

Yep, there is a MOVEMENT out there to get you moving.  Workplace wellness is the trend at so many companies both big and small.  Some of you however may have to take the movement into your own hands.  There are a couple things you can do to incorporate a little wellness into you sedentary day at your desk.  Afterall, the human body is not designed to sit still.  Our joints like to be fluid and so do the small muscles that hold our stress.

5 things you can do to get more movement into your day.

  1. Get an adjustable standing desk, ASAP.  The benefits of standing and working go way beyond what you might think.  The simple act of standing all day burns fat.  No, you don’t have to stand all day.  Find an adjustable set up that allows you to raise and lower your work station.  On a tight budget?  Use 2 milk crates to raise up your monitor and keyboard.  They will stash nicely under your desk when you decide to sit.
  2. Create multiple office workstations. No, you don’t have to stand all day.  Find an adjustable set up that allows you to raise and lower your work station.  On a tight budget?  Use 2 milk crates to raise up your monitor and keyboard.  They will stash nicely under your desk when you decide to sit. Try sitting, standing and what about a low desk set up where you can sit cross legged on some pillows?
  3. Ban Chairs. Say goodbye to a 90 degree chair with arms.  It is like a cage for your body.  You can’t possible move side to side in that seat.  Replace the typical chair with a stability ball, bar stool or swooper chair.  Check it out at  http://www.swopper.com/
  4. Walk and Talk. Take your meetings out of the conference room.  Have a walking meeting.  Studies show that many people are better listeners when they are walking and not distracted by the internet.  Just think of the miles you can put in if you walk for every meeting.
  5. Get Isometric. It’s easy to flex your muscles without anyone noticing.  Here are some isometric exercises you can do inconspicuously.  Hold each for 5 seconds, relax repeat.  Do 15-20 reps.
  • Legs – Raise your behind an inch off the chair for 5 seconds.  Lower down, for 1 second, repeat.
  • Shoulders – Sit up straight with your arms at your sides.  Pull your shoulder blades down into your back as if to pinch a pencil between them.  Hold for 5 seconds, relax, repeat.
  • Core – Sit up straight and tighten your pelvic as if to stop urine.  Contract your belly button into your spine.  Hold and relax and repeat.
  • Chest – Press your hands flat on your desk with your elbows at a 90 degree angle.  Push as if to push yourself away.  Lock your chair wheels before you do this one.
  • Biceps – Place the palms of your hands under your desk and press up.
  • Triceps – Place your palms on the top of your desk with your elbows bent at 90 degrees.   With your elbows locking into your sides, press down on your desk as if you were trying to straighten your arms.

There you have it.  A couple ideas to become a healthier employee.  If you raise some eyebrows, let them know you are just trying to stay as healthy as possible.

Peggy Kresch

cPT, American Council on Exercise; MissFIT Complete Program Coordinator Find out More >

Ahh, A Breath of Fresh Air

Written By Maryanna Gibbs

“What if we treasured every single breath?”

-Kelly Rae Roberts

 

With Spring right around the corner (or is it already supposed to be here??!!!) I long for the feeling of being outside as the weather gets warmer.  I love the change of seasons.  After being cooped up inside all winter, I can’t wait to once again feel what its like to breathe fresh Spring air.  At this moment I can even feel and taste the fresh air just thinking about it, savoring the energy and nourishment it gives my body.

 

The breath is vital to our well-being.  We all go through our days breathing, but are we REALLY breathing.  How often during the day do we pay attention to our breath?  How often do we use our breath to nourish our body the way it is supposed to?  It is so easy to take our breath for granted.  When we actually take time to focus on the breath, and learn how to breathe, there is a noticeable shift in how our body and mind feel.  In yoga we actually refer to the breath as pranayama,  prana being our “life force”.  Breath does this – it gives us life.  Breath is fuel for our body.  During yoga practice in particular, the breath:

  • Nourishes our body
  • Relaxes our body
  • Draws us deeper into our practice

 

One way to start to be aware of our breath is to first notice our natural breath.  Find a comfortable position.  You can be seated, or lying down, and just take a few minutes to notice your breath.  Do not change the breath, but just notice it.  Is your breathing shallow or deep?  Are you breathing from the chest or the diaphragm?  Is your breath quick or slow?  You may even notice things like if your breath has a taste or texture to it.  Just being aware of how we breathe is a start in the right direction.

After you become aware of your breathing patterns, start to cultivate what we call the ujayi breath in yoga.  Breathe in and out through the nose and find a slight constriction in the back of the throat on your exhale.  Think of your exhale like your fogging up a mirror.  The breath is not forced.  You will find it amazing how much your body will relax just by breathing!

Avoid these common mistakes:

  • Breathing only from the chest
  • Forcing your breath
  • Holding your breath
  • Shallow breathing

 

 

 

 

 

Maryanna Gibbs

Find out More >

Keeping Nutrition Simple

Written By MissFIT Becky

Nutrition can be confusing and overwhelming.  Nutrition can create feelings of fear and anxiety.

One moment research is telling us one thing.

The next it is finding the complete opposite.

Stay away from all fat.  It makes you fat.  No, just trans fat does.  But include more good fat.  Now stay away from carbs.  They make you fat.  No, just starchy carbs do.  But include whole grain carbs.  Stay away from protein.  It’s not healthy for your heart.   And makes you fat.  No, just red meat does.  But include legumes.  Wait, what the heck is a legume?  Lastly, stay away from sugar.  THIS is really what’s making you fat.  No, just the added sugars do.  But don’t get rid of fruit!

It’s no wonder we’re all confused.

Who do we trust to give us the most accurate information when the research seems to change so often?

In an effort to help simplify our confusion I’ve considered 2 ideas that I hope will help us make trustworthy, life-giving, nutritional decisions that don’t require hours of research and exasperation with opposing conclusions.

1.  Eat foods close to the earth.

A food that is close to the earth has little to no processing involved.  It is in it’s natural state.  Or, it’s darn close to it.  It probably grew somewhere.  If it even has a list of ingredients, it’s short.  You can read and probably understand what the ingredients are.  Think orange vs. orange juice, baked potato vs. french fry, brown rice vs. packaged rice mix, steel cut oats vs. sugary packet oatmeal, a meal vs. a meal replacement shake or bar.

Pick up a food item in your hands and give it a rating on the close to the earth scale.  1 being straight from the earth (think vegetables), 10 being heavily processed (think Cheez Whiz).

Rate it and choose the foods that fall on the closer to the earth side of the scale.  Do this most of the time.

If you have a hard time trusting your ability to rate a food try this Fooducate app.  According to the Fooducate website, “Fooducate’s scientific algorithms grade each product and provide simple, concise explanations. Grading system developed by scientists, dietitians and concerned parents.”

It’s a bit of a different system, but it will help guide you along a similar path as the close to the earth grading system.         

2.  Make your own food.

Kitchen remodels and cooking shows get hours of air time these days.   We love our kitchens to look pretty for entertaining.  We love to watch other people cook for our personal entertainment.  Yet many of us struggle to find (or make) the time to prepare our own food.

According to Michael Pollan’s new book, ‘Cooked,’ cooking may be the best line of defense against obesity: Pollan cites a 2003 Harvard study that correlated the increase of obesity in America with the decline of home cooking.

It makes sense to me.  Whether it is a direct scientific correlation or not isn’t my arguing point.  I see a value in home cooked meals that I believe could be life altering in a living well kind of way.  The more we invest time and positive energy in the food we eat, the more we stay connected to it and, I’d like to hope, the more we connect well with it.  Is it more work?  Absolutely.  But as I often tell my 3 year old, good things are worth working for.  Sometimes it’s the end product that makes it worth it.  Sometimes it’s the struggle along the way only then to enjoy watching someone else benefit from your hard work.  Sometimes it’s the big picture realization that comes later.

My advice is work hard to connect with your food at home.

Start with 2 simple steps.  Choose your foods close to the earth and prepare them at home as often as possible.

 

Becky Nowak

Certified personal trainer for the past 10 years. Married 9 years. Working for MissFIT 8 years. Mom for 3 years, Precision Nutrition certified, and a lifetime lover of all things wellness! Find out More >

Refocusing and Goal Setting

Written By Peggy Kresch

I know you’ve been there.  A point in your life when you had it all together.  Everything was fitting in just right.  Family, job, health, wellness, relationships.  Every puzzle piece went together perfectly.  That is such a great feeling, isn’t it?

The problem is, that often that feeling lasts for such a short period of time.  One little imbalance can throw the entire puzzle out of sync.  How will you get it all back together?

As we move into Spring, it might be a good time to revisit just how it felt when everything fit together.  Maybe your life has changed so much that the pieces look differently now.  Could it be that you have a different looking puzzle and you just need to re-adjust the pieces to make them fit together again?

For me, Spring is a time for renewal.  A time to shake away the burden of Winter and move with focus and purpose.   It’s when I can let motivation really set in and lead me to that place where things fit better together.  One piece of the puzzle that is all on me to control is the state of my WELLNESS.  Some areas of my life are controlled by others, but not that one!

Let’s see, where to begin?  Everything always seems to feel better with goals in mind.   Have you thought about your wellness goals lately?  Maybe it’s time to look at the whole package.  By that I mean your physical and mental wellness.  It really goes hand in hand.

In fact, research now shows that your mental wellness plays a huge roll in your physical wellness.  Usually when we think of fitness goals we pick some event to strive to participate in or a weight to see on the scale.  But have you ever thought about including your mental wellness in your goal setting?

What if you made one of your goals toward wellness to include some form of healthy relaxation.  Reducing mindful stress, getting the right amount of sleep or letting the stress of the day roll off your shoulders?  You would be surprised just how beneficial it can be to your physical health to reduce stress.

Relaxing

What if you took time each day to let yourself relax, unwind, get in tune with how your body feels when it is in a state of resolve?  As I ponder where my puzzle is not fitting together, it’s definitely my lack of reflectiveness that needs adjustment.  So, goal #1 this Spring is to take time to get into yoga.  I love the MissFIT yoga instructors.  But if you can’t be tied down to a schedule there are some good DVDs out there or stream a 30 minute YouTube video on yoga or meditation.  You can take a little time each day can’t you?  I bet if you add this to your goals, you will be a better mom, wife, daughter, friend.

Now that we’ve discussed the state of mind, let’s talk about the physical wellness puzzle piece.  This past month I’ve been making excuses too!  Yes, even us personal trainers make excuses as to why we should cut our workouts short, wait till later, or get a really hard workout in tomorrow.  Those are the words that seem to be playing in my mind too often lately.   If I’d only go pick up the weights that are sitting in my workout area, I’d feel so much better.

In fact, that’s what I’m going to do.  I’m going to challenge my self to do something EVERY day.  Oh, I’ve said that before, but this time I mean it!  Why this time you may ask.  To tell you the truth, this time my motivation is changing.  So my puzzle is looking a little different.  This time the puzzle piece is saying ‘get strong’.  My motto is going to be ‘strong is the new skinny’.  It’s not about the sculpted muscles, the tank top arms, or the abs.  It’s about being able to do all the things I want to do that require strength.  Oh there’s one other reason, strong bones.  It’s never too soon to start preventing bone density loss.

So, goal #2 is to do some strength training every day.  Again, it doesn’t have to be a class that I’m tied into.  Remember I told you those weights in the corner are calling my name.  Why don’t you join me in taking this challenge.  You don’t even need any equipment to start strength training.  All you need is your body weight!  Try a couple of these simple exercises to get started.

  • Push-ups (start on your knees if you need modification)
  • Squats
  • Walking Lunges
  • Plank
  • Reverse Table Top Plank
  • Crab Walk
  • Moving Plank (walk your hands and feet side to side)
  • Bridging

Katie doing a side crawling plank

There you have it, a simple body weight workout.  Can’t you feel yourself STRONG  already?

Maybe you have different goals for your mental and physical wellness.  Whatever they are, just remember they are probably two of the few pieces of your puzzle that you can control.  Take the Spring to refocus and set some goals of your own for this season of renewal.

Peggy Kresch

cPT, American Council on Exercise; MissFIT Complete Program Coordinator Find out More >
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