Get Serious with Your Foam Roller

This is the first in a series of posts about developing your home fitness space. Stay tuned for more tips, tricks, and tools!

We consider our foam rollers to be our close friends. They often get a bad rap, as they have a reputation for causing extreme discomfort, but we are here to assure you that this is a "hurts so good" situation. If used properly, you stand only to score maximum body benefits from your foam roller. 

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What & why: Foam rolling is a form of self-massage that releases adhesions (irregularities, like scar tissue) that build up in your muscles and fascia (connective tissue). This is important because adhesions essentially weaken muscles, which can lead to injury and pain over time. The practice is also thought to increase blood flow, improve mobility, and speed recovery. A study published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that foam rolling before exercise leads to less fatigue afterward. 

How: Foam rolling is an exercise that requires only the roller and your own body weight. Identify the area you are targeting and place the foam roller in such a way that you can roll back and forth across that spot. Roll out the muscle knot you are working for at least 60 seconds (up to 30 times). This may be unpleasant, so keep breathing! You can also watch our ULTIMATE TRANSFORMATION video on foam rolling for an in-depth demonstration of foam rolling technique for your knees, lower back, and shoulders. 

Tools: There are many different brands, shapes, sizes, and materials for foam rollers, but we recommend starting with the basic white, round, 36-inch roller. After you adapt to the sensation, you can graduate to a firmer or textured roller. 

Do not: It is possible to foam roll incorrectly, which can hurt rather than help. A couple of reminders: 

1. Roll around a sensitive area, not over it. Rolling out inflammation can cause more inflammation. Move a few inches away and start there. 

2. Roll slowly, and don't overdo it. Allow your muscles time to reap the healing benefits of foam rolling, but don't overstress them by spending 5-10 minutes in one spot. 

To create a foam rolling habit, start small and build gradually. If you are collecting equipment for a home gym--or simply accumulating tools to further your fitness routine--put the foam roller at the top of your list! 

Your biggest fans in health and wellness, 

Angela and Team TRANSFORM

 

Brunch Hack: Salmon Frittata

Suddenly it's May -- did it sneak up on you like it did us? Team TRANSFORM has been busy this season, and you can check out what we're up to in our spring newsletter

We also know that Mother's Day is coming up quickly (this Sunday, May 14th), and we encourage you to celebrate the ladies in your life who have raised and shaped you and your friends and family. To help you out, we're sharing our favorite brunch recipe: a quick, easy, and good-for-you salmon frittata! Whether you've been planning your Mothers' Day meal for weeks or are only just now remembering the occasion, we are confident this dish will impress even the choosiest of eaters. 

Salmon is favorite ingredient in the TRANSFORM kitchen because it is full of key health-promoting nutrients:

  • Salmon is a great source of vitamin B12, which has benefits for mood; energy level; and heart, skin, and digestive health. It is also an essential vitamin for fighting adrenal fatigue, regulating metabolic functions--including enzyme production and hormone balance--and maintaining the nervous system. 
  • Salmon is a key food source of vitamin D. Many of us sit inside in front of our computer screens every single day, which means we might not synthesize enough vitamin D from sun exposure. Vitamin D is important for immunity and mood. 
  • Protein and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids are in abundance in salmon. Protein in particular helps promote weight loss and muscle gain, and you'll get 34 grams in just 6 oz. of salmon -- along with 90% of your daily vitamin B12 and over 1800 IU of vitamin D! 

If you aren't a salmon lover, start small with our salmon frittata -- you'll also be getting great nutrients from some of our other favorite foods! 

SALMON FRITTATA

Ingredients

18 eggs, divided: 18 whites & 4 yolks

8-10 oz. smoked salmon

Portobello mushrooms, finely chopped (optional)

1 cup fresh spinach, finely chopped

1⁄2 teaspoon dill, fresh or dried

3 basil leaves, fresh

6 oz. goat cheese

1⁄4 cup water

Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a medium bowl, beat egg whites and yolks until smooth. Chop salmon and add to egg mixture. Add mushrooms, spinach, and seasonings. Spray an 8x8 glass casserole dish with olive oil. Pour egg mixture into dish and sprinkle evenly with goat cheese. Pour 1⁄4 cup water over the dish to steam the eggs. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake for 20-25 minutes or until set. Cool and cut into 6-8 pieces.

For a single serving, drizzle olive oil in a pan and saute together 4 oz. protein of choice, 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh veggies, a handful of spinach, salt, pepper, and seasonings. Combine 4 egg whites and 1 egg yolk and pour over veggie mixture. Top with 2 oz. goat cheese and 1 tablespoon water, cover, and cook on low heat for 10-12 minutes. Enjoy!

Your biggest fans in health and wellness, 

Angela and Team TRANSFORM

Spring Green

April showers bring May flowers -- isn't that the saying? Team TRANSFORM is watching and cheering along Utah's transition into spring: the snow is melting, the rain is falling, and the grass is slowly turning green, which means it's time to get outside! 

Fresh air is good for the body and soul, yes, and with Earth Day around the corner, this is also the perfect opportunity to boost your eco-consciousness. Here are a few of our favorite ways to "green" our routine: 

1. Take an outdoor lunch break. Do you eat lunch hunched over your keyboard? Step away from your desk! Take at least 10 minutes for yourself--sit quietly, meditate, read, eat, or go for a walk--and you'll be happier, more energized, less stressed, and more productive for the rest of your day. 

2. Try eco-conscious exercise. Opt outside! Research suggests that running outside instead of on a treadmill saves the same amount of energy spent washing a load of laundry--plus you'll get much-needed fresh air and vitamin D (see #4 below). Try rollerblading, hiking, or walking around your neighborhood or office building. 

3. Choose sustainable gear. More and more companies are offering eco-friendly equipment and apparel to fit your workout. For example, Prana and Manduka create their yoga mats from recycled, nontoxic material, and many athleisure brands use hemp, organic cotton, and recycled fabrics in their clothing. 

4. Soak up the sun--within reason. Sunshine is good for the brain and for the body, especially if you spent a long winter indoors. As you transition into spring and summer activities, protect yourself from overexposure. Wear sunscreen and protective layers, keep your sunglasses and a hat handy, and avoid long outside stints in the middle of the day. 

See you outside!

Your biggest fans in health and wellness, 

Angela and Team TRANSFORM

Personal Wellbeing, Professional Growth

At MEALS THAT TRANSFORM, we are all about empowerment. Personal and professional growth. Whole-brain and whole-body wellness. We talk a lot about nutrition and exercise, but many other aspects of our lives impact our wellbeing.

For example: 

1. We all need support to reach our goals. We're often led to believe that we have to be, do, and have it all and that being anything less than perfect is the same as failing. 

Guess what? We CAN do and be all we want to be, with the love and support of those around us—our village. We often hinder our own growth by thinking we can’t, or shouldn’t, ask for help; a pattern that leaves us tired and unable to fulfill completely any of our roles. But it’s ok to ask for help and to delegate. You don’t have to take on the world alone or know everything. If you seek knowledge, support, and advice from others, you’ll experience success in all aspects of your life.

Angela recently compiled her top four ways to find support in your life. Check out the full story over at SharpHeels, and know that your village is your strong foundation for any growth you are seeking! 

2. The secret to jumpstarting your career, whether you are new to the professional world or changing paths, is to define your goals and then embody who and what you aspire to be! Oh, and please take care of your body and brain along the way. 

No matter where you are in your career, let your light shine through! You can do and be anything you want. You are inherently capable and empowered to reach all of your goals. The most important action you can take is to be authentically YOU — your best self. If the specific job or career path you aspire to is the right fit, this will come naturally. 

More tips and tricks for career growth over at SharpHeels. We're here to support you in every aspect of your growth, so let us know how we can help!

Your biggest fans in health and wellness, 

Angela and Team TRANSFORM