Thursday, June 26, 2014

Healthy Things I'm Loving Lately

Hi Everyone,

How have you been? I've been trying to squeeze in one post a month, and this month is almost over already! There are a few fitness/nutrition blogs I read on a regular basis, and sometimes bloggers will post things they've been loving lately. So, I thought I'd do the same. And, I truly think each thing I mention can help enhance one's health personally, emotionally, physically, socially, intellectually, or ethically.  In no particular order, I'm loving:

*These swim gloves.  They provide resistance while I'm treading water and using my arms a lot.  When I take them off, and try to swim without them, my arms feel like noodles.  So, I know they work!  They can be purchased at any sporting goods store.
*These Vera Wang leggings.  They. Are. So. Comfortable.  Vera has several styles of leggings for sale at Kohl's. This style, called shaper leggings, has a large tummy band. It can be more flattering than the regular style that stops at the waist. (Sorry men, parts of this post are more for the women.)
*I bought this zipper bag cooler and the three freezer packs the other day at Fred Meyer. Why? Well, I'm good about always having a healthy snack in the car, (usually almonds), but I want to be able to grab this little cooler and put bottled water, cut up vegetables, cheese sticks, or maybe some sandwiches into it at the spur of the moment before heading out for a long day of errands, or a trip to the beach or zoo. Plus, it will be a healthy habit to show the grandkids. (Sorry McDonald's. You lose.)
*I'm loving making 24 small All-Bran muffins instead of 12 large ones, plus tweaking the recipe to suit my fancy. Just take the basic recipe and add things like: berries, walnuts, craisins, grated carrots or zucchini, cinnamon, orange juice, whatever! When you add much more to the recipe, you have to have an extra muffin tin handy. It's fun to put oatmeal on top of the muffins before putting them into the oven, too.

*You can buy socks like the ones purchased below at most sporting good stores. They are a little spendy, (about $15), but worth it to me for these reasons: They are marked with an "L" for the left foot, and an "R" for the right foot, so that the reinforced arch area coincides with the arch of your foot. They are made with a type of material that helps the foot breathe more. Plus, they come up over the heel for less chance of slipping down. This pair is called Feetures.
*Lastly, I'm loving that I have a surprise coming in the mail in mid-July. It's a package from an online personal shopper called Stitch-Fix: https://www.stitchfix.com/. My shopper will pick out five items (clothing and jewelry) according to my size, (age?), and tastes. I can keep any, none, or all of the items.  Of course they'll charge me for anything I don't return.  Doesn't it just add a little excitement to your life when you know you have a fun little surprise coming your way?

Well, I hope this post helped motivate you to continue to try to put fitness and wellness even more into the forefront of your own personal journey.  I'd love to hear what you're loving, too!

Mary

Friday, May 9, 2014

Finding Just the Right Quote That Clicks With You

Hi Everyone,

Happy May, and Happy Mother's Day this weekend to all the mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers and aunts out there.
I thought I'd list some of the motivational quotes that I put into my workbook for kids.  I think they can work for adults, too, and maybe you'll see one that clicks with you and helps you with your  journey.  Authors of the quotes are listed when known. 

*Never let anyone make you feel less than you are.
*It's never too late to be what you want to be.
*Just as it's impossible for people to agree on the best movie or book of all time; a single definition of beauty doesn't exist.--Shari Graydon
*No choice is also a choice. --Yiddish proverb
*Nobody can make you feel bad about yourself unless you let them. --Eleanor Roosevelt
*Don't spend time worrying about things you can't do anything about.
*Asking for support is the first sign of courage.
*Everyone has different problems, but everyone has some kind of problem. --Justine Rendal
*Do not reward yourself with food.  You are not a dog.
*It's not will power, it's want power.
*The difference between try and triumph is a little umph!--Marvin Phillips
*The greatest art of conversation is silence.
*Friends are like family you choose.
*One doesn't know another's sorrow. --Yiddish proverb
*Make decisions in the morning.  That's when your brain is the sharpest.
*IQ will never be as strong as I CAN or I DO.
*To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong. --Joseph Chilton Pearse
*It is better to have a fair intellect that is well-used than a powerful one that is idle. --Bryant H. McGill
*Before you complain about your neighbor, clean up your own act.
*You shouldn't give advice you don't follow. --Patricia C. Wrede
*You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view...until you climb into his skin and walk around in it. --Harper Lee
*Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. --Plato

Throughout life we are constantly working on maturing in six areas:  personally, emotionally, physically, socially, intellectually and ethically.  I tried to find at least one quote that spoke to each of those areas.  Do you have a motivational quote that you already refer to from time to time?  I'd love to hear what it is. Take good care!

Mary

Thursday, April 17, 2014

A Link to a Motivating Blog

Hi Everyone,

I hope you are doing well.  I've been saving this one for you:  A link to a really cool blog.  Many of you know that I went on a Writer's Cruise recently.  Well, there were over 2000 people on that cruise, but within that cruise, I attended a writer's workshop that included 20 participants and 4 instructors.  I gained so much knowledge from that experience, and met some great people.  One of the participants, Frankie, impressed me quite a bit, with her dedication to fitness/nutrition and her desire to motivate others. Frankie is in her 60's, but you'd never know it by how toned she is, and how much she glows from taking such good care of herself. She's working on a book titled, Shut Up and Work Out.  Basically, she doesn't want to hear anybody's excuses, and will give you several reasons why it's a gift to yourself to work out regularly, and to make good food choices.  Here is a link to her blog:  http://www.getfitwithfrankie.com/   
Do yourself a favor--copy the link and paste it to your browser. Check it out. I met Frankie's trainer, Nina, on the cruise as well.  Together, they are a wonderful and informative force to be reckoned with. I can't wait to buy the book when it comes out.  It will be one to go back to from time to time, to help keep myself centered, knowledgeable, and motivated.  Check out the rest of Frankie's website--there is a plethora of information, including videos on how to lift weights correctly. I guarantee you'll learn something and gain some motivation towards taking better care of yourself.

I hope all you peeps have a nice Easter.  Thanks for reading my blog.

Mary

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Replace It and Erase It

Hello Everyone,

How have you been?  As most of you know, I've been vacationing.  Our recent Princess cruise took us to:  San Diego, Cabo San Lucas, LaPaz, Loreto, and Puerto Vallarta.  The highlight was our zip-lining excursion.  That was intense!  Here's a snapshot for you:
Back to reality, and the reason for the title of this post:  Replace It and Erase It.  When I was talking to students the other day, while waiting for the final bell, I overheard a colleague of mine talking to a student who was complaining about a teacher that she didn't like.  My friend (Rae) told her to, "Erase it and replace it."  Erase those negative thoughts and replace them with positive thoughts.  She wanted the student to think about a teacher that she really liked, instead of thinking about the one she didn't like.

I've been thinking about Rae's excellent advice ever since then, and trying to incorporate it into my life.  Yes, I'm an optimist, but not always. When something or someone bothers me, I need to replace that thought with something positive. Anyway, before I close, I shall leave you with these tidbits:

*Do you have trouble with raised shoulder bumps on your shirts, sweaters, and dresses when you take them off the hanger?  Fear no more, just hang those clothes inside out!

*Would you like to know how you can tell if the eggs in your fridge are still fresh enough to use?  Drop an egg (still in the shell) into a bowl of water.  If it floats, it's a no go.

* I may have already shared this before, but it bears repeating: Think of exercise as a love affair with your future.  As in any love affair, you find the time that it requires.---Anonymous

*How to determine how much protein you need in a day:  Divide your body weight (or the weight that you think is ideal for you)  in pounds by two.  That's how many grams of protein to aim for each day.  Plus, if you try to have protein at each meal it will help stabilize your blood sugar levels, and you will feel full longer.

*Be careful of the term natural on a food label.  It means that:  there is no added color; and there are no synthetic substances or flavors.  Given that definition, lard is natural!

All for now!  I hope you are enjoying the spring blossoms and those periodic nice days!

Mary

Saturday, February 8, 2014

40 Things to Do When Stuck at Home

Hi Everyone,

Well, many of you are stuck at home because of the snow, freezing rain, etc.  Cabin fever is probably starting to settle in, so I thought I'd send out a list of 40 Things to Do When Stuck at Home.

If you have any more suggestions for my list, please send them to me by email at:  maryrich5@comcast.net.  My sister Ginny put on her cross-country skis and went around the neighborhood.  How cool is that?

I hope you are able to make the most of this situation, and maybe even strengthen your relationships with housemates or with people you might call or write.

OK.  Here's the list:

1.     Give yourself and/or someone else a manicure/pedicure.
2.     Do your taxes. (I know. No Fun.)
3.     Clean/organize your closet or junk drawer.
4.     Bake something fun.
5.     Plan your next vacation.
6.     Write letters to people.
7.     Make greeting cards.  How about homemade Valentines?
8.     Practice an instrument.
9.     Download and watch a movie or TV series.
10.   Do an exercise DVD.  Or, make up your own routine.
11.   Walk to the neighbors and visit.
12.   Play board games or cards.
13.   Read a good book or magazine.
14.   Defrost the freezer or clean the refrigerator. (No fun.)
     15.   Draw or paint something.
16.   Make a "To Do" list for when the weather clears.
17.   Make homemade play dough.
18.   Make a video and post it on U Tube.
19.   Make something out of duct tape.
20.   Start a jigsaw puzzle.
21.   Write a poem or song.
22.   Make a fort with the kids.
23.   Put out food for the birds and squirrels.
24.   Play Nerf basketball, or create your own basket and ball.
25.   Research a topic that interests you.
26.   Take a bubble bath.
27.   Look up DIY (Do It Yourself) projects.
28.   Make a photo album.
29.   Call someone you haven’t talked to for a long time.
30.   Start a journal.  Decorate the cover with a collage about
         your interests/goals.
31.   Find a world map and study it.
32.   Organize a study or crafting area in your home.
33.   Go through your high school yearbooks.
34.   Practice juggling oranges, tennis balls or scarves.
35.   Make paper airplanes.
36.   Practice origami.
37.   Make your own wrapping paper with finger paints.
38.   Play hacky sack.
39.   Give someone (or yourself) a makeover.
40.   Find something to put on Craig’s List.
Stay warm and positive!
Mary
 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Happy New You!

Hi Everyone,

I just wanted to get your attention with the title Happy New You!, instead of the traditional Happy New Year!  Many people, including myself, do look forward to self-improvement in the new year, so the title works for me.

I know that many people don't like New Year's Resolutions, and I understand why.  It's too broad of a topic, and why must we wait until January to come up with goals for self-improvement?  The latter should be an ongoing event.  Perhaps we should start to reflect on the week behind us, and try to improve the week ahead of us. 

Here's the deal, what works best is when goals are stated in specific and measurable amounts.  Instead of, "I'm going to work out more," it should be something like:  "I will schedule at least three one hour workouts a week."  Instead of, "I'm going to start eating better,"  it should be something like:  "Every Sunday I will make a weekly menu; a grocery list; go shopping for those foods; and do some early preparation of some of the items."  Or, "I'll try one vegetarian recipe a week." 

One obvious goal for me is:  No surgeries in 2014.  I had three surgeries in 2013.  That's enough for awhile!  I will share another goal with you, because studies have shown that people stick to their goals better if they share them with a friend or loved one.  No popcorn for me, after dinner, for 5 of the 7 days of the week, between now and February 27, (the day we leave for a nice long vacation).  Believe it or not, this is going to be quite a challenge for me.  I think I could marry popcorn, if it were a person. 

Here are some healthy tips to share:
*Many of you know that cardio workouts work better at chipping away the belly fat than target area exercises (like crunches).  That's because you need to burn away the fat that is lying on top of the muscle.  Well, the best type of workout for chipping away the 'ol muffin top is intervals.  In a study reported by the International Journal of Obesity, the women who alternated cycling as fast as possible for 8 seconds with 12 second rest periods, during 20 minute workouts, lost 9.5% fat off of their mid-sections. Yowzer!  I just wish the article I read had reported how many days (or workouts) the study covered.  Anyway, interval training can be included in any type of cardio exercise you choose.  And, it makes sense that this type of workout would burn more fat.  The other obvious way to lose the fat is by eating less calories, of course.

*If you've ever wondered which is better- lifting free weights, or using the weight machines at the gym, free weights is the winner.  Lifting a free weight requires input from more muscle fibers, in order to keep you steady, which in turn recruits more muscles.  There's a good argument for having a few hand weights around your house to use during TV commercials!

*Do you drink more than one serving of diet soda per day?  If you do, you might develop kidney problems. The Harvard Medical School scientists studied more than 3,200 women. Those women who drank two or more servings of diet soda per day had a 30% decrease in kidney function.  This decline was not seen in the women who drank regular soda, so the scientists believe that  artificial sweetener was the culprit.  That's enough evidence for me!

All for now.  I hope 2014 is starting out well for you.  I wish you the best in any of your efforts to improve your health.

Mary R.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone

Hi Everyone,

How are you holding up during the holidays?  I'm staying down more than usual because of a recent foot surgery.  It has given me time to ponder, which is related to today's post topic. 

I recently saw a graphic about how a person needs to get out of his/her comfort zone in order to grow as a person.  It motivated me to dig a little deeper into the topic.  So many people talk about things they'd like to do, but don't go ahead and try new things because they would be leaving a place where they have mental security.  But, as one person said:  "If you want something you've never had, then you've got to do something you've never done."

Here's another quote:  "Our habits are the fence lining our comfort zone."  Are we afraid of change? It is a well-known fact that when change happens, things usually get worse before they get better.  Most of us don't want to go through that discomfort.  People should be more optimistic and think about the exciting results that might just happen if they allow themselves to try something new.  Perhaps baby steps are in order. Before you try something like bungee jumping, why not try volunteering?  Traveling alone?  Taking a class on something you've always wanted to learn about? If we practice stepping out of our comfort zone, then each time it will feel better---kind of like building up resiliency to change.

Here are a few graphics I found in my search:





That's all for now, folks.  Just remember the old saying:  "If you always do what you always did, then you'll always get what you always got."  I shall now go forth and try to follow my own advice.

Wishing you a wonderful holiday season,

Mary R.
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