Friday, February 15, 2013
Happy Friday! Here are your tips, tricks and inspiration to start your weekend strong.
We have a crazy busy weekend planned so I am working to get in two hours of exercise today. To combat the boredom, I am mixing in some new exercises and activities. I found some great tips to fight the flab in my arms. These exercises use a medicine ball, but you can substitute a cantelope. Alternately, you can make your own medicine ball by taking a kids playground ball (the durable rubber kind), cutting a slit in it, insert a ziplock bag, fill with sand or earth, then zip the bag. It's always a good idea to mix up our workouts not only for variety, but to keep our muscles challenged. Here are the instructions on Livestrong. www.livestrong.com/article/33
I decided to refresh my knowledge on Cholesterol lowering foods since one of our kids has a genetic predisposition to high cholesterol. These foods are actually a health trick since they raise your HDL ("good" cholesterol) which affects the LDL/HDL ratio and lowers your overall cholesterol score. Some studies have found that emphasizing these foods has a much bigger impact than focusing on foods which contain cholesterol. We eat a lot of these foods regularly in our household, but I did find a few surprises. www.everydayhealth.com/high-c
There was an interesting and inspiring Washington Post article recently on Japanese school lunches. Having spent (too) much time in my son's lunchroom, this style of lunching appealed to me. The kids in the feature are not used to choices -- there is one meal served and they eat it (kind of like at home!). They involve the kids in the serving and the meals are simple, healthy and do not contain sweets. For a fascinating glimpse at what "could" be, please check out the article. www.washingtonpost.com/world/
Have a wonderful, healthy weekend.
Friday, October 26, 2012
Yes, I've been undercover lately. Isn't that how the weight loss journey goes? In my case, two events coincided: I sprained my ankle and my parents arrived with their motor home for several weeks visit. The two things combined have really impacted my motivation. All that said, though, it sounds like just plain excuses so guess I will go back to taking care of myself, find a work-around for exercise with my injury and stop whining!
Now --to the Friday news!
Your tip of the week is one you already know but if you are human, like me, it never hurts to be reminded. Don't eat fast food or if you really love it, it really must be only an occasional treat. It's not just about lifestyle, folks. Fast food in itself may be dangerous. A very interesting study on Chinese adults showed a 27% increase in heart related illness and type 2 diabetes amongst individuals who had western style fast food twice a week. Twice a week! The study
is fascinating but -- let's face it -- we already knew this, didn't we?
My trick of the week is about ginger. We eat so much Asian food and I love me some ginger, people, but it is really a pain to peel, mince, etc. Recently I told you about frozen ginger cubes (I do love them) and how to peel ginger with a spoon. brightweightloss.blogspot.com
cks-and.html Now I have another ginger convenience to share - ginger in a tube! I find it in the produce department refrigerator near the tofu; you can also buy pesto in a tube. I think the frozen stuff tastes a little fresher but this is super convenient too, and a little less expensive.
I was inspired by re-reading this 2006 study
that shows mothers do have a strong influence over their kids' eating habits. I'm mostly a healthy influence but there are a few ways I can clean up my act. Sometimes it seems like a lot of work to feed the family healthy homemade food, but this study reminds me that my efforts are worth it!
Friday, September 28, 2012
Does ginger root scare you? I have had some epic battles with this yummy fibrous root in the past, but no more. Here are a couple of amazing tips to make this fab ingredient easy to use. I tried this "spoon peeling" technique and it worked great! www.foodrepublic.com/2012/08/
etter/08092012&utm_medium=email That said, my number 1 trick for ginger-root is to look in your grocer's freezer section. You can buy ginger peeled and minced in convenient 1 tsp. cubes. It thaws very quickly so just pop out a cube and wait a couple of minutes. I love this super simple method.
Does organic food add enough value to justify the added expense? This decision can seem a little tricky. Here's a summary of recent research on the topic. https://www.webmdhealth.com/nl/nlv.a
spx?id=81B747A614219578&s=11887 (Sorry, I can't get this link to work! If you copy the URL and paste it, it works for me!)
I think there are a few things missing in the equation. The review doesn't address using a mixed approach, for example, to avoid the most pesticide laden foods (an approach that helps both my conscience and my pocketbook).
Eating locally is generally a good idea in my opinion. It just makes sense to me that the foods that grow in a season are the ones our bodies need in that season. As well, the faster you can get to fresh produce the more nutrients it contains. We address this by buying a "farm box" each week from a local organic farmer. We get fresh, seasonal produce and more variety than we would buy from the grocery. We supplement with kid friendly fruits from the grocery like bananas and grapes. To me, it's a conservative approach to healthy eating.
This week's inspiration comes from an unusual source, Wired Magazine. Read about a fast food executive who believes we really can have it all. He is proffering fast food that is also fresh and healthy.
For some more inspiration and -- ahem-- food for thought, here is a thought-starter on how, as a society, we are focusing on the wrong thing when it comes to nutrition.
ou-eat.html This article says what so many don't. As a nation, we have to learn to control our appetites. I would rather have an ounce a week of delicious, high quality, flavorful cheese than an ounce a day of flavorless "fake" stuff. Ditto chocolate. Manufacturing is not the answer to our eating problem!
Monday, August 20, 2012
It's more than mindset, but it certainly starts there. I'm talking about living an empowered healthy life style. It isn't enough to just change my mind about things, I have to make actual changes. Yet, it certainly does start with a change of mind, doesn't it?
Last week was a crazy week, even for our house. I have been studying almost round the clock for an exercise physiology course I've been taking for a year. It is a multidisciplinary course and involves anatomy which, it turns out, is very hard for me. I had to take the final (and only) exam on Thursday so I spent the week before brushing up on a year's worth of learning. I studied late into the evening every night, every nap time and early every morning. I carried a flashcard flip book around the house with me and reviewed points while I folded laundry. I neglected the housework and exercise.
Predictably, I lost zero pounds this week. I gained zero too, which I liked, but I was reminded once again that this weight loss/getting in shape project is a big one and it requires focus. It's a little ironic that I took my eye of the ball in regard to exercise to pass a class about . . . well . . exercise! I know, know, know I need to keep laying down that lean muscle if I want to build up my metabolism and yet it was so easy to forgo it because I "needed" to study. In reality, I'd have probably done just as well, if not better, if I had skipped an hour a day of study to exercise. We all know the mental health benefits of exercise, right? But the allure of "sit on your bottom" is always lurking just around the corner. fitness.gov/mentalhealth.htm
Yes, I was just trudging along. Trudging along, pretending to be on the path but really not keeping my word 100%. And ironically, reading about exercise while I did it. How funny is that?
One good thing did come out it (aside from passing the course, thank you very much); all that review on exercise did remind me that overweight individuals really need to get 60 minutes a day of exercise (at a moderate intensity), not 30 minutes like most adults. I had actually lost sight of that somewhere. So this week, I have reorganized my life to get in 60 minutes a day. It's coming straight out of my "sit on your bottom" time. I am back - staying the course; I'll leave the trudging to someone else.
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
A few days ago, I had a meet-up at the Y with a friend I met on our "city team." I have been "on" the site for over 3 years, and she is my very first "Spark Friend" I've met in person. It was so exciting! www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.asp?id=ST
As luck would have it, I was a litle under the weather that day. If I hadn't made plans to meet Sarah, I am certain I wouldn't have exercised. So THAT is the true value of support!
We didn't spend a lot of time gabbing; instead, we headed straight for the Cardio Theater www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_pu
26549 and a 40 minute stint on the elliptical machines. I am amazed at what a difference it made to have Sarah there; I really wanted to work harder and it all seemed less painful somehow! We will be meeting up again!
This experience reminded me that support really is important. Finding ways to look forward to exercise, or to get myself there even if I think I don't want to -- it matters. Having friends who are working toward similar goals really helps. Knowing I am not alone keeps me motivated.
After a busy summer of traveling and softball mom-ing, I am ready to get back to the school of fitness. The support I have lined up for myself is this:
Text my friend Colleen every day when I get to the gym (or later if it's not a gym day
I will send my regular support partner, Will, my ACE fitness plan model by next week so he can help me stay accountable
Get together with Sarah at least once a week if she's willing
Enjoy that walk to and from school with my little ones; they think fitness is just part of life!
Encourage my girls in making their own fitness plans so we can encourage each other
Talk to dear hubby about each of our exercise and rehab goals
What support systems are helping you reach your goals?
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