Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Recently I was lucky enough to spend a week at a very nice destination spa. Though body "treatments" were available, the emphasis was on a wide range of exercise options and healthy eating and cooking rather than lounging in mud or wrapping up like a seaweed burrito. I went for a more active experience, and that's what I got.
My purpose for going there was to have a warm-weather break and to spend quality time with my companion, and I definitely got those, but what I wasn't expecting was a major diet and attitude reset. For a week, menus, shopping, cooking, and cleanup were out of my hands, and all I had to do was choose exercise and leisure activities, and show up at the table 3 times a day. Meals were in the hands of talented experts, and they were fabulous, yet fabulously healthy. After a week, I noticed a few things:
--My taste for sweet stuff got reset. Yes, there were desserts at dinner, but the portions were small, and mainly sweetened with agave. By the end of the week, a piece of chocolate somebody gave me wasn't all that appealing (was this really ME??) and I ended up bringing it home and giving it to someone else.
--My taste for salt got reset. I had thought I lived a pretty low-sodium existence, but was amazed after a Chinese meal back home when the soy sauce seemed unpleasantly salty and my body blew up with water retention.
--You can have vegetables at any meal. Even breakfast. Rice and steamed vegetables were always a breakfast buffet option. You can have them with savory instead of sweet oatmeal. You can pile them on an egg.
--You need adequate protein when you're active, but this can be some beans on your salad or a yoghurt drink, not necessarily a hunk of chicken or steak.
--You can eat flowers (if they're grown organically). Calendula petals are a beautiful garnish.
--Relaxation is an important component of exercise. I discovered the "stretch and relax" class was the perfect ending for an active day.
I was an altered person when I returned to the "real" world. It started at the airport, where all the food offerings were highly processed items full of empty calories, sugar, and salt. Eventually I found a fresh fruit salad, but it took some searching. I now approach meal planning with the phrase, "what would the spa serve?" We have more vegetarian dinners, more vegetable ingredients, and I keep a better supply of fresh fruit for snacks. There's dried fruit (in limited amounts) in the car for when the munchies strike.
And the result so far has been a restart on my weight loss. Slow, steady, sustainable.
Friday, December 14, 2012
Want some extra motivation for your workouts, plus a beautiful shirt, plus help some kids in a frozen part of the world enjoy a healthful activity? Step right this way and join the Idita-splash!
The Idita-splash is a cousin of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race iditarod.com/ a 1049 mile mushing race across most of the state of Alaska run in early March each year. It begins near Anchorage and ends in Nome. The town of Nome is near the Arctic Circle and is accessible only by sea and air (and dogsled)--no roads! Imagine how expensive it is for a swim team to attend a meet!
Here's what happens: You go to the web site www.idita-splash.com and read all about it, look at the pictures of the Nome swimmer kids, and sign up for the splash. Then between January 1 and March 31, 2013 you log at least 1049 minutes of any kind of water activity--swimming, water aerobics, playing with the kids at the pool, whatever. You can track online at the web site or print out paper tracking sheets. If you've paid for your t-shirt or hoodie, your shirt will come along in the mail this spring, and all money beyond the cost of the shirts will benefit the Nome swimming teams. A win-win-win!
If your outdoor pool is closed for the winter, or you're not a water exerciser, you can go over to the Idita-Walk web site www.idita-walk.com for a similar land-based scheme. And your dog can be included in the Idita-Walk!
Do it! It's fun; it's extra motivation; the shirts are beautiful (royal blue this year); and the Nome kids can really use the funds.
Monday, September 10, 2012
The big wind storm in Anchorage knocked out our power supply for 4 days! I'm just now catching up with all the online stuff. I blogged the experience on my other blog, and you can see it at ptarmiganptracks.blogspot.com/
We're now back to nearly normal, with a healthier respect for the forces of nature vs. human technology. Just grateful it wasn't winter time!
Wednesday, August 08, 2012
Just had to share this with fellow Sparkers, especially the Water Aerobics Team.
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