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F.I.T.N.E.S.S.

fitness

 

FITNESS

F – FUEL

Today is Friday, and a good day to consider what you are going to FUEL your body with in order to keep it strong, healthy, alive and energetic.  Choose foods that are full of “life” and not “dead”.  Steer clear of processed foods that are devoid of nutrients and enjoy luscious fruit and vegetables packed with life giving energy.  Your body will love it and so will you when you have enough energy to enjoy the weekend.

I – IMPORTANT

Remember to put yourself first when it comes to your health.  No one is responsible for what you eat, or how much exercise you do.  YOU are IMPORTANT, and taking care of yourself today will benefit you in years to come.  Keep the promise you made to yourself to be the best you that you can be.  Oftentimes, we sacrifice our health and our needs for the needs of others.  When we give so much of ourselves we are left depleted of energy and no good to anyone.  Take charge of your life today.

T –  TRACK

Keep track of your food intake, weight, measurements and watch the progress you are making.  In times when you plateau, or don’t feel motivated you can look at how far you have come.  It’s a great motivator to see that you have accomplished much.   A good perspective is to recognize that your body is transforming and rejuvenating daily.  Old cells are being replaced by new ones constantly.  E.g. Skin replaces itself approximately every 27 days.  So even if you aren’t losing a ton of weight, you are eating healthy and making your skin look great.  Get your glow on!!

N – NURTURE

Nurture your mind with great thoughts!  All too often we feed our minds with negative thoughts.  These negative thoughts can have a direct effect on how we feel about ourselves and how we act.  Instead, replace the negative thoughts with positive ones.  Encourage yourself and cheer yourself on.  You are special, you are loved, you were created for a divine purpose.

E – EXERCISE

Take time out of your day to EXERCISE.  Not only does it enhance your mood by flooding your body with “endorphins” (those feel good hormones), it helps drain your lymphatic system from toxins.  Your heart gets stronger, your muscles develop and you feel great.  Keep track of your resting heart rate and see it improve over time.  Check online to see where your RHR is now and aim for Good, Excellent, and even for Athlete.

S – STRETCH

When you get out of bed in the morning stretch.  Get those muscles limber.  Stretch before and after working out.  The more you stretch the more flexible you will be, and the less injury you will sustain to your muscles.  It only takes a few minutes, but it is well worth it.

S – SLEEP

Try to get a good SLEEP.  We have all heard that sleep is important to our overall well- being, but it is oftentimes hard to achieve.  Sleeping will give our bodies a chance to renew and refresh us.  Choose foods high in tryptophan for your evening meal as it is known to induce a calming effect, and make you feel sleepy.

Have a terrific weekend!  Stay focused, have fun, aim to be a Fitter you!

 

‘Twas the Night before Christmas ~ Healthy style

This little gem of a story keeps us focused on health as we creep closer to Christmas and enjoy the many celebrations during the holidays.

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house
Everyone was exercising even the mouse
The dumbbells were stacked all in a row
Arranged in order from heavy to low

The children were skipping, with bright smiling faces
Creating natural endorphins with all of their paces
Mamma was on the treadmill, favorite song playing loud
Papa was on the spin bike, looking at his family so proud

When out on the lawn they heard such a wheeze
The family peeked out and there on his knees
Was an out of breath Santa who looked quite a mess
An overhanging belly and a face filled with stress

Many seasons of cookies had taken their toll
Not to mention the treats from the North Pole
Too much worry and not enough rest
Had left Santa a wreck, not at his best

No shortbread!, No oatmeal!, No brownies or cake!
How much more can my arteries take?
He pled without breath and asked for a chair
They obliged with a smile, hearts filled with care

“But Santa”, said the youngest, “you can say no”
“Or ask for fruit and veggies or eat paleo”
“Walk when you can and get lots of sleep”
“Try a hike up a hill, it’s fun when it’s steep”

“Don’t work so hard and laugh with your wife”
“That dear Santa is how to have a healthier life”
Santa was amazed at the child’s wise thoughts
He handed her toys, the ones that he brought

But what to his wondering eyes should he see
Toys meant for playing, toys for activity
a Football, a bike, a pink yoga mat
A kite, some sneakers, a wooden baseball bat

The family understood just how to be happy
Be active, play outside and just the occasional taffy
Moderation they knew was certainly key
Santa felt changed, he was finally free

He composed himself, ate a carrot or two
Enjoyed his short break, he had a job to do
He must tell the world, the importance of health
It’s not just about toys, excess or wealth

Up into the sky he went on his sleigh
To spread the message of health by the end of the day
At each house he left an extra item to share
A jump rope, a TRX, an exercise ball chair

The cookies he left untouched on the plate
It was time for Dear Santa to change his fate
He left a courteous note explaining his ways
That we need to do better during the holidays

Finishing his job he felt so much joy
Having helped change the fate of each girl and boy
He went home that night to tell the north pole
The new focus on health for the world as a whole.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays

http://blog.fitnesstown.ca/healthy-holidays-a-poem-modeled-on-the-night-before-christmas/

Think “Green” for March!

March nutrition month

March is national nutrition month so why not think “green” for the month and choose to add a green fruit or vegetable into your eating plan daily?  It’s a great way to add variety and flavor to your meals.  It’s also a fun way to keep nutrition at the forefront of your mind.

I grew up in an Irish household.  My parents were both Irish and we celebrated our Irish heritage throughout the month, especially on St. Patrick’s day.  One of my sister’s was actually born on March 17th and my parents called her Patricia (true story, no I’m not kidding).  To add to that our house was green from floor to ceiling.  I didn’t really think too much of it, but when friends came over they commented that even the “loo” was green.

March was filled with wonderful delicacies like corned beef, champ (mashed potatoes with scallions and loads of butter), cabbage, potato bread, soda bannock, wheaten bread, bangers and mash, blood pudding, fish and chips (Mmmm chip sandwiches too), Irish stew, pouring mince,.  Of course, it didn’t stop there, fresh cream pastries, pies, cakes, shortbread, flans, trifles, fern tarts, empire biscuits, mince tarts, custard, chocolate etc.  It was heavenly and we always looked forward to it.

Today, I still anticipate St. Patty’s Day, but choose to eat these foods in moderation and to avoid some all together.

I challenge you to join in the March this month for nutrition and “think” green. Reach for a green fruit or vegetable today. You have a bounty to choose from so get creative and explore the possibilities and search out new recipes.

kiwi

Nature’s Mayo!

avocado

When I think of avocados, I think guacamole.  I haven’t had avocado any other way.  However, I know some people use them in sandwiches, smoothies and salads so I decided that I would buy a few and incorporate them into my meal plan.

One of my favorite sandwiches is tomato and green onion on ancient grain bread with a light layer of mayo.    This time I decided to add avocado to the mix and boy did I ever get a pleasant surprise! It was so creamy and delicious.

Avocados are high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids and contain no cholesterol.  Their potassium content is higher than that of a banana.  Avocados are also high in antioxidants, including Lutein and Zeaxanthin. These nutrients are very important for eye health and lower the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.

Avocados truly are “Nature’s Mayo” and this superfood is a far healthier choice than store bought mayonnaise.  Why not give it a try?

Below is an easy “Avocado Mayo:” recipe.

Avocado Mayo (Vegan Mayo!)

Prep time: 5 mins. Serves: 6

Ingredients:

2 Avocados

1 tablespoon White Vinegar

Juice of ½ Lemon

⅛ teaspoon garlic powder

⅛ teaspoon onion powder

Sea Salt (to taste)

Instructions

With a Food Processor: add all the ingredients to the bowl of your food processor (fitted with the blade) and puree until smooth (you may need to stop and scrape down the sides a couple of times) – Add salt to taste

With a Fork: add all the ingredients to a medium bowl, mash until it is relatively smooth and combined – Add salt to taste

To store: place plastic wrap with direct contact to the mayo to prevent browning, it should last well for 1-2 days in the fridge

http://authoritynutrition.com/12-proven-benefits-of-avocado/

http://www.girlmakesfood.com/avocado-mayo-vegan-mayo/#sthash.mn9LF5CB.dpuf

Popeye was right!

“I’m Popeye the Sailor Man. I’m Popeye the Sailor Man. I’m strong to the finish, cause I eats me spinach. I’m Popeye the Sailor Man.”

Popeye-Spinach

I guess Popeye was right after all.  The cartoon character used to get his strength from eating spinach. Spinach is known, today, as a superfood, and it actually does help tone our muscles.

Another food worth mentioning is wild salmon. It’s fatty acids reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, macular degeneration, and improves mood and cognition.

spinach and salmon

Here is a list of healthy foods that nourish and/or improve the function of different parts of our body.  It’s interesting to note that spinach and salmon are beneficial in many areas.

Hair: swiss chard, salmon, carrots, chicken, brazil nuts, spinach, eggs, walnuts, lamb/beef.

Brain: blueberries, salmon, nuts and seeds (flax, sunflower, sesame), avocado, beans, whole grain foods (oatmeal, brown rice).

Eyes: carrots, kale, collard greens, spinach, red pepper, broccoli, brussel sprouts, apricots.

Ears: (hearing) broccoli, squash, spinach, turnip greens, carrots, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, pumpkin,  apricots, cauliflower, cabbage, collard greens, brussel sprouts, lemon, pineapples, strawberries, citrus fruits, lima beans.

Nails:  green peas, sunflower seeds, wheat germ, spinach, beans, lentils, eggs, salmon, oatmeal.

Skin: carrots, apricots, beans, salmon, tomato, spinach, apricots, yellow and orange fruits and  vegetables, blueberries, apples, avocados, eggs.

Heart:  flax seed, oatmeal, kidney beans, almonds, walnuts, tuna, salmon, tofu, blueberries, carrots, spinach, sweet potato, red bell pepper, squash, oranges, papaya, cantaloupe, asparagus.

Liver:  garlic, beets, grapefruit, avocados, lemons, broccoli, brussel sprouts, walnuts, spinach, lettuce.

Kidneys: red bell peppers, cabbage, cauliflower, garlic, onion, apples, berries (cranberry, blueberry, strawberry, raspberry), cherries, red grapes, salmon.

Colon/Intestines: broccoli, brussel sprouts, kale, spinach, cauliflower and bok choy, yogurt, kefir.

Bones: Yogurt, milk, cheese, sardines, eggs, salmon, tuna, collard greens, spinach, orange juice.

Sometimes it is hard to incorporate foods into your diet, especially, when you don’t like them at all.

My kids do not like brussel sprouts. I usually wash a few,  pull the individual leaves off and throw them into my salad, along with some spinach, cabbage, and kale.  Mixed altogether with a light dressing the kids love it and eat it.

Here are some other fun ways to incorporate spinach into the meal.

  • Add a handful to pasta sauce
  • Add it as a pizza topping
  • Add it to veggie soup
  • Add it to an omelete
  • Add it to a vegetable smoothie
  • Make a spinach dip with yogurt and sour cream

From the inside out we can make our bodies work best for us.  It’s time to add some sparkle to our eyes, a glow to our skin and strength to our muscles!  Happy eating!

Information courtesy of:

http://www.healwithfood.org/   http://yourkidneys.com/  http://www.activebeat.co/

http://www.theopticalvisionsite.com/ http://EzineArticles.com/4391731

http://www.whfoods.com/  http://www.webmd.com

http://medicalxpress.com/ http://www.metrolyrics.com/

Time for a Clean Sweep!

The weekend is here, and I am in the process of getting my kitchen ready for next week’s detox diet.  That means my juicer and blender are on the counter and easily accessible.  I have bottled water in the fridge, along with the various fruits and vegetables needed for Monday.

I’m planning on doing a fruit and vegetable juice detox.   I will be incorporating smoothies as well as juice, so that I can get the benefits of the “whole” fruit as well. (eg. Banana blended with orange juice and berries).  The extra fiber will help sweep the toxins out.

Here are a few samples of the juices I will be enjoying this week:

Parsley Purifier:

3 carrots, 4 broccoli florets, handful of fresh parsley.  Juice all ingredients.

This combination makes for a super-rich food. Vitamin E & C help nourish collagen in the skin. Zinc content will help protect the skin.

Beet Booster:

2 carrots, half a cucumber, 1/3 beetroot scrubbed and washed.  Juice all ingredients.

Power Booster:

2 apples, 4oz white grapes, 2oz beetroot scrubbed and cut into chunks, ½ slice of ginger.  Juice all ingredients.

I do this because I feel that our bodies are wonderful machines that need to be maintained.  Lifestyle, stress and other pollutants can affect the way we function.  Just like we take our cars to the shop for repair, oil changes and alignment, I feel that I owe it to myself to maintain my body’s balance, and flush my system from debris.

If you have any comments or have detox recipes you’d like to share I’d love to hear from you.

*Juicing recipes are from the Detox handbook by Maria Constantino

Dream Reader ~ That’s you!

computer shadow

Dear Dream Reader my assignment today, in “Blogging101”, is to talk specifically to YOU.

You know who you are, so don’t be shy.  You are the one that accidentally stumbles across my blog and reads what’s on my mind.  You are the one who likes a post, or decides to follow me.  You are the one who gives me a like or shares a comment with me.

Dream reader, you inspire me.  I babble about subjects that keep me healthy from the inside out.  Things from food to exercise equipment, to beauty regimens and kitchen utensils that make food prep easy, to quick healthy snacks that satisfy, to smoothie and food recipes.  I even tell you when I’ve derailed from my healthy eating habits and that I’m left with a holiday bulge, yet you don’t judge me.

Dream reader, you are the one who wants to be healthy, stay healthy,  and eat food that is “alive” and full of nutrients.  You are the one who is filling your mind with mantras like “you are what you eat”, “garbage in equals garbage out”, “I eat to live, not live to eat”, “a moment on the lips, forever on the hips”, “know your limitations and then defy them”, “clear your mind of can’t”, “strive for progress not perfection” etc.……

You are the one who knows you have a lymphatic system and that your skin is the largest organ. You know that sweat removes toxics and drinking lots of water flushes them out of your system. You know what lycopene and tryptophan is, what antioxidants and probiotics are. You are the one who doesn’t have a clue what those are.  You are the one who is informed, and you are the one who wants to be informed.

Dream reader you are also the one who stumbles and falls and picks yourself up.  You are the one that keeps pushing forward even if your derailment has set you back 10, 20, 30lbs or more.  You are the one who has faced stress, anxiety, frustration, disappointment, sadness.  You are the one who has experienced joy, love, peace, happiness.  You are the one who clings to hope, who keeps the faith, who looks in the mirror and is happy with you.  You are not perfect, and you are ok with that, but you will continue to push yourself to be as healthy as you can be.  You are the one who wants to glow from the inside out.

Dream Reader have you figured out who you are yet?  Well, let me tell you who you are.

Psst!

It’s You, the one who is reading this right now, the one who inspires me to write things that inspire you, and encourage you.  You’re the one who takes an interest in what interests me. You encourage me to be the best me. You are the one who comes in all different shapes and sizes, genders and colors. You are unique and you are you.

Dream reader, I want to say thanks.  Thanks for reading my rants and babbling.  Thanks for coming over to my neck of the woods and giving me a high five.  Dream Reader your initials are DR. and you are the best medicine this blogger could have each and every day.  Thanks for inspiring me, you are the best.