Saturday, July 23, 2011

Preparing for a Big Event

Hi Everyone,

Did you read my last post and try to start a 21 day chart to develop a new healthy habit, or to help you try to get rid of a bad habit?  I did.  Although there are many things I could attempt, I chose this goal:  To work on my book, I Am Awesome!, (a workbook on improving self esteem, geared towards middle school kids), at least one hour a day.  So far so good!  You'd think an hour a day would be a cinch, but not with my hyperactive hectic life.  However, my ultimate goal is to have this book finished by my (milestone) birthday, which is in mid-September, so I have a lot of pressure motivation right now.

Anyway, on to the topic of today's post, "Preparing for a Big Event."  I'm going to a wedding tonight, so that's a small scale big event, but nevertheless I've been preparing for it:  manicure, check!; pedicure, check!; just the right dress, check!  You get the drill.

I love having a big event looming out there on the horizon.  We all enjoy having something to look forward to, don't you think?  Now that I'm writing about it, I think it's time to schedule another cruise!  I've discovered something about preparing for big events:  sometimes it's more enjoyable preparing for an event than the level of gratification you get from the actual event!  Well, obviously there can be somewhat of a letdown after the excitement of getting ready for something.  So, enjoy the preparation!  The journey!

What are some things you do to prepare for a big event?  Besides what I have already mentioned, I like to: make sure I'm happy with hair style and color; figure out what jewelry goes with each outfit; use teeth-whitening strips; try to lose some weight; work out more often and at a higher intensity; make a countdown chart as time gets closer;  research places to travel/things to do, (if it's a trip); make a "To Do" list and prioritize daily. Heck, my list might even include that new luggage I've been wanting needing for a long time.

Well, I have another big event, besides today's wedding--a four day family reunion which starts tomorrow!  So, I shall close for now.  Don't you know?  I need to make a list!

Wishing you tons of energy and a positive outlook when working on your wellness goals, and in your day to day life!  And, hey, I hope you are now feeling motivated to plan a little trip, or a party, or something similar that you can look forward to and work towards. Enjoy!

Mary R.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Stopping a Bad Habit or Developing a New Good Habit

Hi Everyone,

Doesn't the summer weather just put an extra bounce in your step and make you feel a little more optimistic?  What a good time to try to start on that wellness goal that's been mulling around in your mind for a long time.  Maybe there's bad habit getting in your way, or maybe you've been wanting to start a new, good habit. 

Many of you know that I've been working on writing a self-esteem workbook for middle schoolers.  Several of the pages are good for people of all ages.  Today I thought I'd include one of those pages.  It's titled, "21 Days to Success!"  Research shows that it takes three weeks, or 21 consecutive days, of putting in a positive effort,  to stop a bad habit, or start a new one.  So, I've developed a chart for keeping track of your efforts.  You might want to come up with a reward that you can earn at the end of the three weeks, although the inner satisfaction, and the resulting better state of health is usually enough.  I will post the chart below.  Unfortunately, I couldn't attach the actual document for you to copy.  I had to take a picture of it!  Guess I have a lot to learn about creating posts.  At any rate, if you'd like a copy of the actual document, to make in its original 8 1/2  X 11" size, you could let me know by email, if you know my email address, or in the comment section, and I will be sure to help you out with that.

A good friend of mine suggested that some people might be too overwhelmed by such a task, that it might be better to make just a one week chart and try to conquer that first.  Makes sense.  Whatever works for you, and at whatever pace works for you, that's what it's all about.  (And I bet you thought the Hokey Pokey was what it was all about!) Just remember that research has shown that you must practice the new behavior for three weeks in a row for the brain to get the message that a new pattern has been made.

Good luck on achieving your goal of improved wellness.  I shall close for now.  I need to make a copy of the chart and put it on my kitchen cupboard, so I can get started on improving my own state of wellness!

Please spread the word to any of your friends and relatives who might be interested in my blog.  Thanks for taking the time to visit this post. Here's wishing you optimism as you work on self-improvement.

Mary R.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Healthy Choices

Hi Everyone,

Happy 4th of July!  I hope you are enjoying the summer weather as much as I am.  Did you have a chance to read my last blog about my favorite fitness/nutrition author, Bob Greene?  The other day I was reading a book written by a popular blogger, and she  mentioned how she and other bloggers had a chance to have a conference call with Bob.  I sure hope I am able to figure out this blogging world and maybe have some opportunities like that.  I've also learned that there are conferences for people who blog about healthful topics.  I hope to spot one ahead of time, and get a chance to put it on my calendar.  Sounds wonderful.  This is all so new to me.  Any tips from some of you seasoned bloggers would be greatly appreciated.

So, I never know what my topic is going to be until I sit down and just start writing.  It's kind of fun.  I love learning from other bloggers about some of the healthy choices they make.  I'd like to share a few of the healthy decisions I can now easily make, in regard to nutrition:

*If you take the time to make "baked" fries, (and they really don't take all that much time), they are probably even better tasting than "fried" fries, especially with the variety of tastes you can come up with, using different herbs, and different types of potatoes.  Here is a recipe for Curry Sweet Potato Fries from Joy Bauer's book, Your Inner Skinny.  It is surprisingly good. 
This recipe makes two servings.  The curry adds a wonderful flavor.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.Cut one medium sweet potato into wedges approximately 1/4 inch thick.  Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.  Spread out the fries on the baking sheet and spray them liberally with nonstick cooking spray.  Sprinkle with curry powder, salt, and pepper.  Toss the fries with hands to coat evenly with the seasonings, then arrange the fries in a single layer.  Bake for 20 minutes,flipping the fries halfway through.  You can finish by broiling them for 5 or more minutes, depending on how crispy and brown you like your fries.

*As much as I love Ranch dressing, especially Light Ranch dressing, I've now made myself switch to oil and vinegar dressing.  Since I genetically have high cholesterol, this is a very wise choice, since the olive oil is the "healthy" fat, and Ranch dressing has saturated fat.  You know, the switch wasn't has hard as I thought it would be!

*It saves a lot of calories, and takes away the saturated fat, if you simply substitute mustard for mayonaisse on sandwiches. Plus there are some wonderful flavored mustards out there.   Thank you, mustard, for being low in fat and tasty at the same time.

*If you enjoy air-popped popcorn, that's the healthiest choice for how to eat this high fiber snack.  I'm still working on that one, so I make the air-popped popcorn, and then add a package of  light microwave popcorn.  At least it's a step in the right direction.  It makes a huge difference if you put the popcorn in a warm oven for about 20 minutes, in a stainless steel bowl. 

*Mozzarella cheese sticks, made with skim milk, are a wise choice for a healthy snack.  Add some fruit and/or whole grain crackers, and you're ready for a workout, or that project you need to get back to.  I feel the same way about fat free cottage cheese.  Yum.  Almonds are another quick high-protein grab.

*We all know that peanut butter is good for you, but look for the natural peanut butter, with the oil at the top.  If it's "non-stir" then you know it has some saturated fat that has been added, to keep it solid at room temperature.  You wouldn't want your arteries to have a solid mass of cholesterol in them, would you?  I've chosen to take the time to stir.

*That's all for now.  There's more to share, but I'll wait for now, and save it for future posts.  What are some of the healthy food choices that you can easily make?  I'd love to hear about them, and learn from you.

I hope this finds you well and happy.

Mary R.