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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!

 

Teaming Up 4 Success

Journeying alone while you are trying to lose weight, eat healthy or develop a consistent exercise program etc. can be tough.  Oftentimes, motivation waivers and momentum stalls.

However, if you have a partner, or a group of people that have the same goals and interests there will be support when someone waivers or falls short of their goals.

A few days ago, I watched a program where the wife wanted to lose weight but had emotional roadblocks along the way.  Through the encouragement of her partner, and team effort, she was able to reach her weight loss goal.  The result was success for her and a benefit for her spouse, who, in the process, lost weight, built muscle and learned how to eat properly.

It may take some effort to find someone to team up with, but inspiration and motivation will keep you on track and accountable as you try to live a healthy lifestyle.

Joining a gym, finding a local cycling or walking group, taking up a yoga/spin class or joining an online weight loss/exercise group or even asking a friend to share in your journey, and keep you accountable, are great ways to reach success.

 

 “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow”. (Ecclesiastes 4:9,10)

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I hope your day is filled with love, joy and happiness.  Today is a day to count your blessings, and spend time with your significant other, family, and/or friends.  It’s a day to spread a little love around and even give a little love to yourself.  Wishing you all a blessed day!

valentine food3

Lentils, red, green and brown

lentils

This week I am restocking my kitchen, after a few weeks of hosting holiday parties.

While I was writing my list of things to purchase I decided that I would add lentils to the list.  I haven’t really cooked with lentils before, but love lentil and mulligatawny soup.

My dad was born and raised in Ireland, but when he was in his early twenties he had an opportunity to work in the Bahrain for a few years.  It was there that he learned how to cook some wonderful aromatic dishes and expanded his culinary skills.  Every weekend at home, my dad would take over the kitchen and make some wonderful concoctions.  Cooking with lentils, he made Mulligatawny and lentil soups.  He introduced our family to curried goat, chicken and beef, fragrant rice etc..  He made his own yogurt and chutney as well.   Thanks to him, I was introduced to a wonderful world of spices and hot foods.

Lentils come in red, green or brown colors and are extremely healthy for you.  They are high in fiber and protein.  Just one cup of lentils contains 15g of fiber and 17.8g of protein.

Because of their high fiber content they help with weight loss. They satisfy your hunger, make you feel full, therefore you eat less.   They also take a while to digest, and because of their slow absorption rate blood sugar levels stay balanced.  This is good news for someone who is diabetic, or hypoglycemic.

Lentils are also good for your heart, because they contain folate and magnesium. Folate lowers homocysteine levels, a serious risk factor for heart disease. Magnesium improves blood flow, oxygen and nutrients throughout the body.

If you cook with lentils, I’d love to hear how you use them, and maybe perhaps share your favorite lentil recipe.  In the meantime there is a link below that has terrific recipes.

Great recipe site for lentils is http://www.lentils.ca/?q=recipe-box/recipe-index

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/legumes-and-legume-products/4338/2

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/lentils/faq-20058072

Pedal exercisers, fun for all ages!

Pedal exercisers, are fun for all ages.  If you’ve been stuck behind a desk all day, or have kids who play video games a lot, pedal exercisers are a great investment.  These little portable exercisers fit under your desk at work or home so you can pedal at your leisure.

I first discovered them when my Mum was having difficulty with exercising, due to severe arthritis and fibromyalgia pain.  It was and is affecting her daily life.  While walking and light weight lifting is the best option for her, there are days when she’s suffering so much she can’t move well.

Knowing the value of exercise, and how weak her muscles would become if she didn’t move I decided to do some research on exercise equipment.   I wanted something that would give her a low impact workout and still keep muscles toned, circulation moving, and heart exercised.  The solution was the pedal exerciser.

The beautiful thing about this is she can pedal in the comfort of her own home, while sitting in her chair. She can pedal while talking on the phone, watching tv, reading a book or doing some knitting.  When she is done using them she can tuck it away under her chair.

The pedals can also be used for upper arm workouts.  She places them on top of her table and is able to tone her arms.

My kids were fighting over them every time we went to her house, so I decided to purchase a pair for our home. (and we already have two exercise bikes),  However, when my kids are playing video games or watching television or just chatting with me in the family room, they grab them and pedal away.

This has been a good investment for my mum to help her to keep moving, and it’s been a good addition to our home.  There are a few different kinds available, but if you have no room for a exercise bike or want to have one at work under your desk these a good option and are reasonably priced.

pedals2pedal exerciser2

It’s such a simple item, but has a big impact on overall health.

Goodbye Holiday Bulge!

It’s Monday and that means a fresh start begins today.  I spent the weekend de-cluttering the house, but like most things, it’s going to take much longer than I anticipated.  A few bags of garbage and a several donation boxes later the house is no longer bursting at the seams with clutter.  The excess has been removed and, it’s time to go back into each room, do a deeper purge and organize everything.

At the moment, my body feels a little bit like a cluttered home too.  My body is experiencing the “holiday bulge” and it’s time to purge and cleanse it.

My goal this week is to:

Remove all unhealthy food from my diet and replace it with fresh fruits and vegetables.

Keep a journal to stay focused and on top of my goal. (This is key, I need to have a solid goal so I know what to aim for).

Drink water each day. (To find out the appropriate amount of water I should be drinking I take my weight and divide it in half.  That is the amount of ounces I need to drink per day) eg. 140lbs. divided by 2 = 70 ounces.)

 Exercise for at least 20-30 minutes per day.

This is a pretty basic plan but for this week I don’t want my digestive system to go into shock.  I am preparing myself for a juice detox next week.  If I were to start with an abrupt detox right away my body would react miserably.  Slowly incorporating fruit and veggies this week will get me on track for next week.

My example menu for this week:

Wake up:  1 glass (8oz.) of lemon water. (I usually squeeze the lemon into my water at night and place it beside my bed.  When I awake I drink it first thing).  This helps flush the system from toxic waste that my body discarded throughout the night.

Breakfast:  A Smoothie: Fresh Orange juice, plain yogurt, one banana, a handful of frozen berries, a tablespoon of organic ground flax seed.

Morning snack: Fruit and some almonds OR veggies sticks with hummus.

Lunch: Salad with protein. (eg. Chicken salad, Greek salad OR Fresh pasta with lots of veggies).

Afternoon snack: cup of yogurt, apple with 2 thin cheese slices or a dried fruit mix with nuts.

Dinner: Protein with veggies OR Veggies with a carb. Eg. (fish with steamed veggies, OR brown rice with stir-fried veggies).

Snack before bedtime: Herbal tea. (I find this very relaxing)

I tend to have fruit in the morning as it doesn’t take my body much time to digest it.  This leaves me with more energy and focus.  A heavy breakfast leaves me feeling sluggish and lethargic.

Also, I do enjoy food combining.  This allows the food to pass through the digestive tract at a quicker rate and frees up more energy.

Here’s to a week of removing clutter from my liver and lymphatic system!

 

~“Our bodies are our gardens – our wills are our gardeners.” ~ William Shakespeare

~ “The best and most efficient pharmacy is within your own system.”~ Robert C. Peale