Black Friday Fitness Apparel Deals

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Every year, it seems that I am in need of new athletic shoes as well as new sports bras. My favorite time to shop for such items is on Black Friday, when some of the best deals are up for grabs. One thing I have noticed about Adidas sports bras is that they are well constructed, and don’t lose shape over time. So I am always on the lookout for their sports bras during the big Black Friday sales. I also love their athletic shoes, which are comfortable, offer great support, and also feature really attractive styling.

I remember hitting a Black Friday sale at a department store and scoring a pair of Adidas running shoes which sported an original price tag of $139, but I paid only $59 after the Black Friday blowout deal was stacked on top of the regular sale price. That was enough to motivate me to shop for athletic gear on Black Friday whenever possible. However, because my schedule has become increasingly more hectic in recent years, it can be challenging to figure out where the best Adidas deals (and deals for other major sportswear brands too) could be found.

Dr. Stacey Naito

Well, it’s like Slickdeals read my mind, because I can visit their site and find a whole slew of locations which sell Adidas apparel at steep discounts during Black Friday. How cool is that? Slickdeals has a full staff of editors who do all the work for you, sifting through all the deals which are available on post-Turkey day. The site will also provide coupon codes and links for coupons which yield even greater discounts on Black Friday. Some Adidas stores will often offer a storewide 50% discount, so if you prefer to hit those stores, you can find them on the Slickdeals site. Other stores will accept coupons which offer up to 50% off merchandise, making a shopping trek well worth the effort. Another deal which you might find is one in which you get deeper discounts with larger purchases. For example, you can save $20 if you spend $100 (20% discount), but you save $100 when you spend $300 (33% discount).

I bet you’re wondering what I’m talking about, so check out this link to see why I am so excited about Black Friday this year:

https://slickdeals.net/coupons/adidas/black-friday-deals/

If you don’t want to visit a brick and mortar store, you can find plenty of great online deals for Adidas and other major sportswear brands while cruising through the Slickdeals website. Another wonderful feature on the Slickdeals site is that you can read reviews by Slickdeals community members to really help you navigate through the information and select the best deals. So if you’re serious about getting the best deals on apparel from major sportswear brands like Adidas, I honestly think the best strategy is to peruse the Slickdeals site before Thanksgiving. This way, you can gather information on the Adidas deals which interest you the most, then map out the stores or websites which you plan to visit on that day.

Looks like I might be mapping out a strategy with the help of Slickdeals to get the best deals on Adidas athletic shoes and sports bras for this year’s Black Friday frenzy!

Who’s Ready For Black Friday?

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I know, it’s only October, but the biggest shopping day of the year, also known as Black Friday, will be here before you know it. You might be one of those people who get bitten by the shopping bug even before you fully digest that Thanksgiving meal, or you may be someone who absolutely detests shopping. But the fact remains that Black Friday is full of great deals and killer discounts you won’t find any other time of the year.

I remember when my mother would drag me to the mall on the day following Thanksgiving so that she could get a jump on Black Friday sales. Yet once I was an adult, I was more prone to sitting at home and relaxing than I was to hitting the stores in search of great bargains.

One year, I stood in line from 11 pm on Thanksgiving until 7 am on Black Friday to get the best deals on merchandise at Office Depot. Somehow, one of my roommates was able to convince my other roommate and me to hit the store at 11 pm on Thanksgiving, after our bellies were filled with the Thanksgiving feast I had prepared earlier that day. I had been cooking Thanksgiving dishes on Thanksgiving, when Andrew approached me, Office Depot flyer in hand, and said, “We’ve gotta go to Office Depot for Black Friday! Doors open at 7 am! There’s a laptop listed here that is an amazing deal, and I must get it!”

I remember that it was cold and windy that night, and we had no food, beverages, blankets or chairs with us. We simply stood outside for 8 hours, which was enough for me to vow never to stand in line on Black Friday for hours on end, without any creature comforts! As it turned out, my roommate never got that laptop, because all units were sold by the time we were allowed to enter the store. I was the one who ended up purchasing a new laptop, and I got a fantastic deal on it.

For anyone who is willing to brave the long lines to enter a brick and mortar store on Black Friday, make sure to have warm coats, blankets, beverages, snacks, and chairs to sit on. Bring a large umbrella in case it rains. And above everything else, keep your sense of humor while waiting.

In recent years, online shopping has become increasingly popular, and online Black Friday deals enable you to shop without ever leaving your home. For people like me who don’t enjoy shopping, online stores are much more convenient. All you have to do is fill your online shopping cart, pay for the items, and wait for them to be delivered to you.

If you are serious about your Black Friday shopping, and you want to build the best strategy for getting the best deals around, check out Slickdeals. This site gives you detailed information on where to find the best Black Friday deals, whether in-store or online. They even provide hours of operation for a number of popular stores which tend to offer the best discounts. Slickdeals has a staff of editors who will comb through all deals and provide information via a forum so that you can determine which stores have the best deals, versus other stores which have less impressive pricing. Slickdeals even has a phone app which will keep your finger on the pulse of the latest Black Friday deals.

You can check the site out here: https://slickdeals.net/blackfriday/

Another Annual Orphan Thanksgiving

This year I am upholding my own Thanksgiving tradition with what I refer to as Orphan Thanksgiving. It is a cozy and enjoyable event for the people who share in this wonderful celebration. I invite friends who don’t have a place to go for the holiday, usually because their relatives live far away.

Though there is a considerable amount of food prep involved, I get a kick out of making each dish and roasting and carving the turkey. You might think that this desire to cook huge holiday meals and have people over is something that was handed down to me from my mother, but my mom never entertained guests in our home, and she never considered herself a cook. My mother’s idea of cooking was to heat up Stouffer’s entrees or throw a piece of meat on the broiler, and when the holidays arrived, she made restaurant reservations instead of spending time in the kitchen. Somehow I had a natural affinity for cooking and baking, and I also quickly discovered how much I enjoyed hosting events. I am certain that my desire to host parties evolved from my tendency to nurture others.

Thanksgiving-Dinner-New-York-CityWhat’s on the table this year? Turkey, stuffing, sweet potato casserole (a HUGE hit), mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole. I’m letting my guests bring dessert to ease the cooking and baking load, since I make these feasts by myself. Since I fully believe in enjoying “normal” foods during the holidays, provided they are enjoyed in moderation, I have no problem featuring a few “forbidden” foods on the holiday table.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

That Love Thing

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It’s Valentine’s day, which some people would argue is a completely manufactured, and therefore a completely meaningless day. However, if Cupid’s special day was so meaningless, would it sweep up millions of people in a wave of ultimate expressions of love, and inspire elaborate marriage proposals? It certainly seems peculiar that in the vast majority of cases, or at least the ones I have come across, Valentine naysayers are either bitterly single, or partnered up, but have had such a rotten string of Valentine’s Day celebrations that they have given up any hope of having a lovely day with the object of their affections.

It’s pretty obvious how the obnoxious heart motifs and pressure to purchase roses and jewelry (especially a carbon-based bauble for a lady’s left ring finger) have sullied the perception of this day of love. The fine dining industry is probably the most conspicuous and appalling of all, because it never fails to mark up menu items to ridiculous prices, packaged in tricky “Prix Fixe” menus which sound delightful and romantic until the hefty bill comes to the table.

However, despite the fact that Valentine’s Day is hyped and commercialized, it remains a great reminder of how important expressions of love are to the human race. So even if you hate the idea of heart shaped chocolates, long-stemmed roses, and cute little teddy bears, try to remember that it is a day of love. Don’t write off the entire day and risk hurting the feelings of someone you truly love.

Orphan Thanksgiving…My Tradition

For many years I have hosted what I refer to as Orphan Thanksgiving, and it has become a tradition in my home. I realize the nomenclature has a lonely connotation, but it is a wonderful event and I enjoy it thoroughly, as do the people who share in this wonderful celebration. I invite friends who don’t have a place to go for the holiday, usually because their relatives live far away.

Though there is a considerable amount of food prep involved, I get a kick out of making each dish and roasting and carving the turkey. You might think that this desire to cook huge holiday meals and have people over is something that was handed down to me from my mother, but my mom never entertained guests in our home, and she never considered herself a cook. My mother’s idea of cooking was to heat up Stouffer’s entrees or throw a piece of meat on the broiler, and when the holidays arrived, she made restaurant reservations instead of spending time in the kitchen. Somehow I had a natural affinity for cooking and baking, and I also quickly discovered how much I enjoyed hosting events. I am certain that my desire to host parties evolved from my tendency to nurture others.

Thanksgiving-Dinner-New-York-CityThis year I will continue the Orphan Thanksgiving tradition and make my secret recipe for stuffing, throw a turkey and a spiral ham in the oven, make mashed potatoes, and tempt my guests with homemade fudge, pumpkin pie and other tasty treats. Some selections are relatively clean, while others are fully decadent and challenge any fitness-minded meal plan. Since I fully believe in enjoying “normal” foods during the holidays, provided they are enjoyed in moderation, I have no problem featuring a few “forbidden” foods on the holiday table.

This year I am throwing something new into the mix. I recently had a networking mixer/barbecue, and one of my guests brought Cards Against Humanity, which quickly turned the party into a rollicking good time. We all had a blast allowing ourselves to indulge in the game, which utterly and completely flies in the face of political correctness. I enjoyed the game so much that I bought ALL the expansion sets, along with the original game set, for Thanksgiving and beyond.

It is incredibly satisfying to know that my good friends will be in my home, celebrating life and enjoying good food.

Don’t Bust Your Diet This Holiday Season!

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Here is a repost of an article I wrote last November. It’s that time of the year again for holiday foods, so beware!

It seems that I will continue to uphold my yearly tradition of making my incredible (and incredibly UNclean) fudge for the holidays, as well as my signature turkey stuffing. Since the holidays come only once a year, it seems reasonable to indulge a bit, right? Well, if you’re a fitness fanatic and you have competitions coming up like several of my friends do, you can’t exactly throw caution to the wind and consume whatever you want. However, you CAN still indulge in small amounts of rich foods which are not considered clean as long as your other foods are healthy and clean. This means that your abs don’t have to hibernate during the holidays!

There are a few tricks to minimize the amount of bad foods which you may be tempted to devour.  You can consume a small amount of lean protein right before you have a carb cheat.  This will slow down digestion so that the carbs aren’t stored as readily.  Another trick is to drink at least eight ounces of water before you indulge in a decadent treat.  This will help to fill you up so you consume less food afterward.  When you are aware that you will be at a function in which tempting foods will be around, make sure your meals beforehand are kept clean and that you you eat every 2-1/2 to 3 hours to ensure that you won’t be ravenous come party time.

A newer tactic which can often work wonders for some people is to practice an intermittent fast the day before in which you consume a small number of calories, say 400-500, then go to town on turkey day, consuming your maintenance calories then. This seems to work better if you ramp up the week before with a series of intermittent fasts in which you consume your food (maintenance calories +10-20% on training days, then drop to -20% of maintenance on rest days) within a 4 to 8 hour window, then fasting the rest of the time. If you do this, crank up your protein intake so that it is at least 1 gram per pound of body weight. I personally love this diet approach and my body responds well to it, plus I can enjoy all the goodies on Thanksgiving without remorse.
turkey leg
There are food choices which are cleaner than others during the holidays. Though common holiday foods are rather calorie dense, here are a few food items which are lower in calories and fat:

  • Roast turkey breast
  • Green beans without butter
  • Mashed potatoes made with whipped butter and Greek yogurt instead of milk and regular butter
  • Pumpkin Pie

I know some of you are assuming that my cats join in with holiday feasts, but I always put them in my bedroom and lock the door. There are several reasons why I keep my felines away from the holiday table:

1. People food can often be hazardous for animals
2. My cats will run underfoot and probably trip people
3. My cats will suddenly forget the rule about not jumping onto tables and will create an unsanitary environment for guests
4. My cats will turn into pesky little beggars
Holiday-treats

Some of you may also be wondering what I am planning on cooking and eating, so here is my Thanksgiving menu:

  •  16-18 pound turkey
  • my secret stuffing recipe which has lots of goodies in it, but is relatively low in fat and calories compared to other exotic stuffing recipes
  • mashed potatoes made with light butter and sour cream
  • green bean casserole
  • my homemade fudge
  • whole cranberry sauce
  • turkey gravy
  • wine
  • store-bought pumpkin pie

Obviously there are some items on my menu that fall outside of my “clean food guidelines”, but since the holidays only come once a year, I have no qualms about it.   This is the time during which we should count our blessings and spend quality time with the people we love without getting anxious about what we are eating.  However, this does not mean you have free license to go nuts on bad foods for the next month!  If you end up indulging in other foods, don’t beat yourself up.  Instead, enjoy the feast and resume healthy eating the next day. 

Happy holidays!

Valentine’s Day: A Money-Maker

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Valentine’s Day is one of the most retail-driven events in the United States, and for good reason. Savvy business owners have figured out how to capitalize on desperate men everywhere who want to please their women. The women, in turn, have been heavily influenced by clever advertising. Most women know about Jared (no, he isn’t the neighbor two doors down), and the Robbins Brothers have also exerted a powerful influence on the fantasies of ladies everywhere.

However, it seems like more and more couples have become aware of the fact that the big day of love is filled with hype and commercialism. After all, it’s supposed to be about the love, lust, or shared interest between two people, isn’t it? However, I still think a fella can’t go wrong with a beautiful bouquet of flowers (I know I love them!) for his lovely lady. If he wants to go the extra mile, he can get a nice trinket of jewelry (no, it doesn’t have to be diamonds), a stuffed teddy bear (if she’s into that kind of thing), or a sexy undergarment from Victoria’s Secret, but those are very predictable gifts on Valentine’s Day.

Then there are the chocolates and candy hearts. Heart-shaped boxes filled with chocolates have become increasingly more dreaded, since more ladies than ever are concerned about the sugar rush which comes from consuming them. Don’t be surprised if you buy a box of cheap chocolates and your woman refuses to eat them because they have high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors or colors. Perhaps it’s time to get more creative and pick up a few gluten-free, vegan cupcakes?

A popular outing for couples is to go out to dinner, but restaurants have become far too opportunistic in recent years. Typical Prix Fixe menus for February 14th are so outrageously expensive that you almost have to take out a second mortgage just to afford the meal. I have gotten to the point that I have no desire to pay three times the amount of money I would usually pay for a meal at the same restaurant, simply because I was foolish enough to go there on Valentine’s Day. Besides, the restaurants are always packed, always noisy, and there’s a good chance that your table might be right next to the men’s restroom or in a drafty corner of the patio. Never mind that you made reservations three months ago and specified that you wanted a booth inside the restaurant.

What I enjoy the most, and am planning to do this year, is to cook a nice meal at home, open a good bottle (or two) of wine, and enjoy the comforts of home. That holds much more value for me than surrounding myself with red heart cutouts, chocolates I can’t eat, or spending a king’s ransom for a meal. I also don’t have to yell over the din of the other patrons blabbing.

A New Christmas

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I used to love Christmas, with all its twinkly lights, wonderful-smelling trees, and presents. However, once my mom’s health began declining (brought on by a brain aneurysm in 2004 which almost killed her), my attitude towards Christmas changed dramatically. Though her cognitive abilities are markedly improved now, she doesn’t care about her personal appearance, nor does she get excited about opening up gifts which I wrap carefully for her.

Another thing which happens every year, and has occurred for the past several years, is that people leave town, and I find myself alone on Christmas Day. I remember spending the Christmas of 2011 and 2012 moping about the fact that I was alone, but then in 2013, I sort of gave up and decided to use Christmas Day as more of a personal day, to catch up on projects and cleaning, or to spend part of the day with friends who might be in town during that time. This year, I will spend the early afternoon sitting in a movie theater by myself and watching “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”, and I think that is absolutely perfect.

Another Christmas tradition which I had abandoned in 2012 was getting a tree. From 1997 through 2010, I would get a 7-1/2 foot Noble Fir for the living room and decorate it along with the rest of the house. In 2011, I still bought a tree, but I put it in a different room because my cats were so rambunctious that I was concerned that they would destroy it. Then we moved in 2012, and I didn’t even make an effort to buy and decorate a tree. We had no tree in 2013 or 2014 either, and to make sure that I didn’t go hog-wild with other decorations, I got rid of a bunch of lights and other decorations at a garage sale I had earlier this year.

This year, I was completely torn. I put wreaths up on the front door and the back door, but didn’t put any lights up on our patio. Almost daily, I would toy with the idea of running to a tree lot and buying a tree. But here’s the thing: it’s not exactly fun to think about picking out a tree by yourself, loading it up onto the roof of your car, lugging it up a flight of stairs to your house, pulling out all the lights and other decorations from the garage, and decorating the entire damned thing yourself. The cat factor also really bothered me, because I didn’t exactly relish the thought of coming home to broken ornaments or chewed up light cords. I thought that if I could test the cats’ behavior with a smaller tree, that I might buy a tree, but that it wouldn’t happen until next year.

Then I found myself in a Rite Aid on December 20th, and saw a 4 foot artificial Noble Fir for sale for $10. That was my chance to finally get a tree. Ten bucks was cheap enough for me to take the plunge without feeling like I had made a huge commitment. I purchased the tree, and as soon as I got home, I decorated it. My cats looked at it with great curiosity, but they didn’t bat at the ornaments or chew at the tree (well, Shima chewed a bit on the tree, but I’m watching her!). I have enjoyed the tree so immensely that I have decided to get a 7-1/2 foot Noble Fir next year, and I will also put up the artificial 4 foot tree. I am even considering putting lights out on the patio next year.

In many respects, Christmas is just another day for me, but it doesn’t mean that I have to avoid enjoying the decorations which the holiday brings. My Christmas gift to myself is a nice little movie date which I am sure I will enjoy as well.

Merry Christmas everyone!

13 Rules For Eating Well While On The Road

Please read my latest article for Oxygen Magazine online! Original post can be found at:

http://www.oxygenmag.com/article/13-rules-11427

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Sticking to your diet and training schedule can be tough this time of the year. We share some tips for staying fit and eating well while on the road.

Dr. Stacey Naito | November 16, 2015

The holidays are here and for many of us that means traveling to see family and friends. It also means being tempted with less-than-healthy foods, and foraging for fitness resources like a gym to train in and places that carry clean food selections. All of these challenges can make it extremely difficult to adhere to a regular training schedule and healthy eating habits.

However, with a little determination, it is definitely possible to stay focused when you’re on the road. The guidelines listed here will give you a blueprint that you can use to manage and stay on track with your fitness goals.

On-The-Go Training

With a little creativity you can do your daily workouts while on the road. Here are some suggestions for making the most of what is available to you when you’re traveling.

1. Search for gyms in the area before you travel. Once you know your destination, you can do an online search of the area to find gyms and fitness centers. In some cases, hotels have very nice fitness centers, which are fully equipped with free weights and exercise machines.

2. Try hotel room workouts. It is always possible to create intense workouts in any location by performing body-weight exercises, exercises with resistance bandsand mat work. Resistance bands are lightweight and won’t take up much room in a suitcase.

3. Train outdoors. In most cases, you should be able to find a local park or school where you can perform body-weight exercises, plyometrics, calisthenics, stairclimbing or running. You can use park benches or ledges for your workouts as well. Get creative, and keep up the intensity to get your body moving and the blood pumping!

Fit Foods On-The-Go

Whether you’re a seasoned competitor who is accustomed to following a strict meal plan, someone who wants to adopt healthier eating habits, you may find it very difficult to pass up regular restaurant meals, fast foods and holiday treats when you’re on the road. The holidays can be especially brutal, since evil culinary temptations abound and threaten to sabotage any efforts at maintaining clean eating habits.

If you aren’t on prep, you can still indulge in small amounts of rich foods as long as your other foods are healthy and clean. This means that your abs don’t have to hibernate during the holidays. However, if you compete and are getting on stage soon, you can’t exactly throw caution to the wind and consume whatever you want. You will need to keep a tight reign on what you consume while traveling.

Here are some tips to keep you in line with clean eating while traveling.

1. Invest in a great food cooler bag. A food cooler bag will enable you to enjoy your trip without having to worry about what you will eat throughout the day.

2. Prep your meals in advance. That way you’ll have total control over ingredients, cooking method and portion sizes. Once you have prepared your food, store single-serving sizes in individual containers or bags, which are easy to pack. Freeze the food you will eat during your trip, and refrigerate the food you will eat on the day you travel to your destination.

3. Ask the hotel for a refrigerator in your room. In most cases, hotels can supply a refrigerator upon request.

4. Consider a meal prep service. Meal prep services can be a blessing because they take the hassle of having to prep food out of the equation, and they can deliver directly to your destination.

5. Pack emergency fit foods. Non-perishable foods like protein powder, protein bars and nuts can be easily packed into your luggage and will ensure that you have backup food.

6. Consider staying in a room with a kitchenette. You can visit a local market, purchase fresh food, and prepare it in your hotel room.

7. Consume a small amount of lean protein right before you have a carb cheat. This will slow down digestion so that the carbs aren’t stored as readily.

8. Drink at least eight ounces of water before you indulge in a decadent treat. This will help to fill you up so you consume less food afterward.

9. Eat smaller, more frequent meals. If you have a holiday feast to attend, make sure to eat every 2 1/2 to 3 hours beforehand to ensure that you won’t be ravenous come party time.

10. Don’t cave in to peer pressure. Sometimes family and friends can sabotage clean meal plans by convincing others to eat forbidden foods. If you find yourself in such a situation, you need to ask yourself if it is worth unraveling your healthy eating habits in order to appease a relative or buddy.