Bodybuilding in Dallas

I am a firm believer that a proper diet and regular workout regime will produce amazing results physically and mentally. Mindful maintenance over nutrition and exercise can improve the way you feel, as well as the way you look. Don’t believe me? See for yourself, with a look at some of the youngest bodybuilders in Dallas.

Bodybuilding is defined as developing muscles through the combination of weight training, specific caloric intake, and rest.

But in simpler terms, bodybuilding is building a better body.

Not all bodybuilders fall under the oiled-up, weight-lifting, speedo-wearing stereotype. While bodybuilding competitions do showcase men and women with faux tans and swim suits, this is not a requirement. As long as a person is working toward improving their body with a healthy diet and exercise, he or she is technically a bodybuilder.

And despite the technical definition, not all bodybuilders need to lift weights. Collegiate athletes or marathon runners can also be considered bodybuilders, as long as they have a healthy diet.

There’s no denying that most bodybuilders have rockin’ bodies. And while that can be reason enough for some to start bodybuilding, there are more benefits that extend far beyond looking  good. A UCLA study found that people with a lower Body Mass Index (BMI) have a higher chance of mortality from natural causes. And, since a bodybuilder’s BMI is typically in the “healthy” range, bodybuilding may be the secret to a longer life.

Finding time to create healthy meals and go to the gym can be difficult. However, I like to think of it as an investment. Focusing a little extra time to improve my body and extend my life is definitely an investment worth the while.

Interested in watching or participating in a bodybuilding competition? Join the 200,000 attendees and 40,000 competitors at the Dallas IFBB/NPC Europa Games June 19 and 20 for a deeper look into the world of bodybuilding. The event will take place at the Dallas Convention Center, located on the map below.



A Trip to the Dallas Farmers Market

Tucked in the southern region of downtown Dallas, The Shed hosts a variety of friendly vendors with an impressive range of goods.

The Shed is home to the Dallas Farmers Market. Booths line the edges of the property, with more than thirty different vendors selling food, drinks, and accessories. From locally grown produce to gooey cinnamon rolls, and chilled wine to freshly brewed coffee, the Dallas Farmers Market has something for everyone – even those who aren’t gung-ho for healthy eating.

An empty stomach is essential for a trip to the Dallas Farmers Market. Almost every vendor has samples readily available for shoppers, so leaving the market hungry is practically impossible. Several booths sell full-sized meals for those who aren’t sustained from the bite-sized freebies. Sweet corn-on-the-cob, turkey legs, and tamales were some of the market’s popular options.

There’s a good amount of free parking, an ATM to withdraw cash, and lots of places to sit down and relax. Since the market only has an overhead cover, I recommend going on a day that isn’t rainy or overly windy.

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Hungry for more info about the Dallas Farmers Market? Learn How the Dallas Farmers Market Came to Life, or check out some of the market’s upcoming events.

Top Picks for Healthy Dining in Dallas

One of my favorite things about living in Dallas is the plethora of health-based restaurants. Below I’ve mapped and listed my top picks for healthy dining out in Dallas. From on-the-go meals to a night out with friends, quality healthy eating in Dallas is all too easy.

On the map, green markers represent on-the-go eateries, blue circles represent dine-ins on a time crunch, yellow utensils represent sit-down restaurants, and orange stars represent my honorable mentions.

When you have five minutes…

Snap Kitchen is the perfect way to eat healthy when you’re feeling lazy. Snap prepackages food for every meal, so healthy eaters can pick out their preferred eats on-the-go at one of Snap’s Dallas locations. Gluten free, vegan, and paleo eaters love the variety of options at Snap, especially since items are carefully labeled as such. My favorites from Snap include their Jalapeno Hummus and Paleo Style Thai Green Curry Shrimp.

Snap Kitchen is ideal for those with food and diet restrictions.

Snap Kitchen is ideal for those with food and diet restrictions.

Start proves that fast food shouldn’t always carry the “unhealthy” taboo. This Upper Greenville eatery serves “clean, from-scratch food,” for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. Start uses organic dairy products and eggs, along with grass-fed beef in its products. My favorites from Start are their Steel Cut Oatmeal sans fruit for breakfast, and their Veggie-Bean-Quinoa Burger with Sweet Potato ’Tots for dinner.

Nekter Juice Bar is the best tool for getting all your servings of fruit and vegetables in for the day. Nekter serves a variety of fruit and veggie-based juices, smoothies, and cleanses at its small location in Snider Plaza. They’re best known for their acai bowls: smoothie-like mixtures topped with granola, fresh fruit, and agave nectar. My go-to’s at Nekter are their Acai Banana Berry Bowl with gluten free granola, or “The Buzz” juice with cayenne pepper for an extra kick and metabolism booster. However, there is one caveat – because most of their products are made in-store, taste can vary from time to time depending on who makes your drink.

When you have 15 minutes…

Eatzis is not a strictly healthy eatery. But with its multiple Dallas locations and wide range of culinary options, healthy eaters can easily find something for any meal of the day. Eatzis is great for a group with carb-conscious dieters intermixed with carefree eaters – like my roommate and I. My favorite meal at Eatzis is their prepackaged Grilled Salmon Fillet with Kale Salad, while my roommate’s usually opts for their signature, freshly made macaroni and cheese. Eatzis is great when you’re on a quick lunch break – the checkout process is fast, and there is usually seating available in or outside. I’ve typically don’t need to spend more than 20 minutes at Eatzis.

When you want to take your time…

Lyfe Kitchen is a pro at accommodating gluten free, vegan, and paleo diets while maintaining great taste. Located in West Village, Lyfe serves fresh food using local, organic, vitamin-rich ingredients. Every item on the Lyfe menu is less than 600 calories, and nutrition information for each item is printed out on their menu. I am a huge fan of Lyfe’s BBQ Chicken Flatbread (less than 450 calories!) and their Ginger Mint Chia Water.

True Food Kitchen embodies its name of “true” or real food in its kitchen. The Preston Center restaurant occasionally has longer wait times than other places on this list – but for good reason! True Food’s menu is full of diverse, creative takes on healthy eating, with options like its “Inside Out” Quinoa Burger, Panang Curry, and Sustainanable Seared Scallops. True Food also has the best “healthy” drinks. My favorites are “The Natural” served hot (nonalcoholic), Ginger Margarita, and Farmers Market Sangria.

Origin’s breakfast options are filling and tasty, and provide an array of meals that range on the healthy-unhealthy scale. Their uptown location makes them an ideal place for Sunday brunch, as well as a dinner date night. My favorite at Origin is their Seasonal Hash Bowl: two eggs, sweet potato, apple, bacon, sunflower seed, currants, raisins, and grass fed beef. On weekday mornings, Origin’s bar and tables are filled with young professionals equipped with laptops and a cup of their locally brewed coffee.

Honorable mentions

Not quite my favorite places to dine, but still provide great options for healthy eaters! Be sure to check out Dream Cafe, Cosmic Cafe, Crisp Salad Co., Buda Juice and Kozy Kitchen.

What is Healthy Living?

Photo by Peddhapati; cropped and resized

Photo by Peddhapati; cropped and resized

“Healthy living” is so subjective.

Sometimes it seems like there are as many different definitions of “healthy” as there are people in the world. What works for one person might not work for another. Personalizing a workout regimen or diet plan opens the door for creative, innovative new ways to be healthy.

Despite the variations of healthy lifestyles, doctors and government agencies say there are many key components that should be incorporated into a balanced life. These components can all be classified into the following three categories.

  1. Physical Activity: Physical activity is essential for a healthy lifestyle. Exercise is most commonly associated with weight loss. However, being active has more benefits than simply looking toned and fit.The CDC says, “Physical activity is one of the best things you can do for your health.” Incorporating physical activity into your lifestyle can prevent future health problems, reducing risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. Exercise can also improve mental health, longevity, and the strength of bones and muscles.Physical activity can range from a walk around White Rock Lake, to an intense weightlifting routine at the local 24 Hour Fitness, to weekly spin classes at Equinox. Experts equate 150 minutes of weekly physical activity to optimal adult health.
  2. Diet and Nutrition: Keeping a balanced diet is important. Poor nutrition can cause serious health problems, resulting in obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, food allergies and intolerances, osteoporosis, eating disorders, digestive problems, or cancer. A healthy eater’s diet should include food from the major food groups: fruits, veggies, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean protein. A balanced diet may also include a moderation of drugs like caffeine and alcohol.
  3. Mental Health: Sleep is the most commonly overlooked element of health. Most people have needed to sacrifice a few hours of sleep every once in a while; however, a major sleep deficit can lead to some nasty health problems. The CDC reports that insufficient sleep can cause hypertension, diabetes, depression, and obesity, cancer, increased mortality, and reduced quality of life or productivity.

Keeping these three main elements in mind shouldn’t be that difficult – especially in the modern, centralized city of Dallas. I’m excited to see what the city has to offer for a gal working toward a better, healthier lifestyle!