Image at Art du Jour by Martha Lever
March has been good for me…my overall health and outlook on life has improved considerably. I’m back to daily exercise, healthier eating, and more water. I’ve even lost a few pounds. Focusing on health has been a great way to jumpstart some healthy changes and replace bad habits with good. Of course I’m still struggling with some things…I’m still drinking some soda, I miss some workouts, and my diet could still use some improvement. Overall, I’m happy with my progress, but I also plan to continue getting healthier throughout the year.
In case you missed some of my posts on getting healthy, here are my Top 10:
I hope March has been a good month for you, too. If you have any healthy changes you would like to share, please do. I would love to hear from you.
I’ll be back tomorrow with April’s change.
Obesity is a BIG deal, and a rapidly increasing and dangerous trend in the United States. If you aren’t aware of the obesity problem in America, here are a few links that might open your eyes:
Inforgraphic from Medical Coding Career Guide
If obesity is a problem for you or someone you love, do something about it right now! I have watched people die and family’s struggle because of obesity-related diseases. Go to your doctor and get started on a plan today. Time is running out.
What a great weekend! I hope yours was wonderful, too. The biggest change here was the weather which went from really warm to really windy to snowy and cold…typical Utah spring weather.
March is over so it is time to wrap up a month of healthy changes with a few more health-related posts. First up, I asked my daughter Courtnee to share a few things she has learned while studying Exercise and Wellness at BYU. Here are her current Top 10:
1. Exercise can have the same effect as an anti-depressant
2. Drinking grape juice can prevent atherosclerosis (plaque build up in your arteries), decreasing your risk of heart attacks
3. Studies have found that women who practice healthy lifestyle habits are happier and less likely to develop eating disorders than "skinny" women
4. Statistically, 1 in 3 women will develop cancer sometime in their lifetime - the most common forms being breast cancer and lung cancer
5. Strenuous exercise has been linked to decreased incidence of breast cancer
6. Childhood obesity is a growing epidemic and is not without its lasting complications. Some of these include decreased self-esteem, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, asthma, and back pain
7. Eating a balanced breakfast has been linked to a decrease in body fat
8. The BMI is a good guide for the weight that an average person should be at for their height, however it does not take into account muscle mass, individuality, etc. It should be used as a loose guide, not as doctrine
9. Each drink of alcohol consumed increases an individual's risk of developing cancer
10. Even though total fat intake has decreased in the past couple decades, total body fat is increasing due to an intake of saturated and trans fat and a decrease in healthy fatty acids.
Image from Juniper Moon Farm
Happy weekend! Can you believe that March is already over? My mind is reeling over that fact. My focus on getting healthy officially ends tomorrow and next week I’ll be back with April’s change. It is all about cleaning because we are in a terrible cleaning funk over here.
I’ll also be cleaning up the blog by switching to Word Press on Monday. I’ve still got some work to do, cleaning up old posts and links, so things might be a bit different for a while. Please be patient with me.
I’m looking forward to a weekend of General Conference (link below)…I so need some inspiration and counsel right now. Some of our conference traditions…a clean room to relax in, fresh flowers, conference notebooks, and yummy breakfasts. While I’m busy with conference prep, here are a few changes for you to enjoy:
*Pantone’s Top Colors for Spring 2012.
*Nienie's Book Release is next week…so happy for her!
*Young House Love's Spring Collection at Joss & Main.
*Inspiration all weekend long…General Conference.
Have a fun and inspiring weekend!
My oldest daughter, Courtnee, is studying Exercise and Wellness in college. She is my go-to-girl on health. A few weeks ago she mentioned that the health benefits of 30 minutes of exercise a day are the same as 60 minutes…only 30 minutes to reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, stress, anxiety and depression. What can you give up for 30 minutes each day in order to get healthy?
Exercise has always been a part of my life, but I’ve decided it is time to kick it up a notch. I have taken it pretty easy this past year, maybe 2-3 workouts each week. I’m okay with that because my body and mind needed some time to rest and heal. But, I’ve done enough resting and healing for now, and I’m excited to get moving again.
I’ve been very happy with my routine over the past couple of years, but it is always good to change things up and get your body moving in a new direction. My gym membership includes a free session with a trainer so I made an appointment and spent an hour discussing my goals, getting advice, and going through a training session.
The trainer also convinced me to sign a two year contract to meet with a personal trainer twice a month. I made my first appointment for this morning, created a schedule that would work for me…and then I called and cancelled the appointment and the contract. I just couldn’t justify paying that much money.
Have you ever worked with a personal trainer? I think it would be so helpful and motivating and I hope that sometime it will work for me. But now is not that time. So I’m going to have to kick it up a notch on my own. I wrote about some mini workouts here, but I think I’m going to add some weight routines at the gym instead. I’m already there a few days a week, so I’m just going to extend my gym time. I guess for now I’ll be my own personal trainer, and maybe that will be the better plan anyway.
* I thought I would pass something along that I learned from my free training session…it is important to keep changing your routine in order to get the best results. After a couple of weeks, your muscles adapt to your training and they don’t respond as well. The same is true with running. You need to do different kinds of running for the best results…speed training, hill workouts, long runs.
Image and Recipe The Cooking Photographer
If you aren’t a big fan of broccoli or cabbage, give Brussels Sprouts a try. They are full of vitamin A, vitamin C, folic acid and dietary fiber. I made these for dinner last night…super good! My only change, I have a bunch of fresh lemons so I squeezed one over the top. Mine cooked a bit faster than the recipe called for so they were a bit crispy, but still delicious.
Zumba is one of my favorite forms of exercise. If you haven’t tried it, think of great music, fun moves, an amazing workout, and that is Zumba. The best part…you enjoy it so much that you forget you are exercising. It does require a bit of concentration and coordination, but you can learn the basic moves in a couple of classes…fewer if you have any kind of a dance or aerobic background. I know that I look ridiculous sometimes, but I’m having too much fun to care, and the person next to me usually looks just as funny as I do.
If you want to learn more, there are lots of great Zumba links on Pinterest.
A little change that is making a big difference to me--jelly jars aren’t just for jelly! In fact, I am a little bit in love with these 4 oz. beauties. Last week I went to the store for some clear plastic cups to use for Ree's Frozen Fruit Cups. I grabbed a bag and headed down the aisle, wondering what kind of plastic wrap Ree used over the top of the cups. I was a bit worried about the cups falling over in the freezer before they were frozen. (I think about these kinds of things when I’m grocery shopping.)
Just down from the cups, but right before the plastic wrap, I spotted the glass canning jars and I knew I had hit upon the perfect solution to my dilemma…glass jelly jars with LIDS. I bought a case for $8 and on my drive home realized that they were worth so much more. In fact, I think they are just about the perfect container. Here’s why:
*Healthy—at 4 oz. they are the perfect serving size for a treat and an easy way to monitor calories. A great way to Get Healthy.
*Cheap—just over $.65 each for one use, but they will get used a gazillion times.
*Green—reusable up to a gazillion times, and recyclable.
*Cute—anything in mini form is cute.
*Transportable—just put the lid on and go.
*Versatile—fridge, freezer, oven and microwave (with lid off).
I love them so much that I bought another case this week, and I suspect there will be a few more in my future because I’m realizing that they aren’t just for food…jewelry, office supplies, crafts, candles, the possibilities are endless.
So far I’ve used them for fruit cups, pudding, jello, and condiment holders. My girls love them because there is always a little treat waiting in the fridge or freezer. I take about 5 minutes every morning to stir something up, pour it in the jars, and pop it in the fridge or freezer.
I realize that Mason Jar Meals are not a new concept, but using the snack-size jelly jars is new to me.
I am a long-distance runner, but not the kind of runner you might picture. I am not young, I am not skinny, I am not fast. I do not have super cute or pricey running clothes. I eat junk and drink too much soda. But, I do run…marathons, Ragnar Relays, and more sane distances like half marathons and 5ks. Even though I’m older every year, my distances continue to increase and my times continue to decrease. In fact, at this rate I should be able to qualify for the Boston Marathon when I’m in my 50s! And I’m okay with that because I’m in running for the long haul.
If you have ever secretly wanted to be a runner, I am here to tell you that you can do it…you really can! I’m a 40ish mother of four who ran her first marathon at 35 and who keeps running despite stress fractures, plantar fasciitis, knee problems, and a bad disc.
I am definitely not an expert on running, but I do have some experience on my side, and I’ve learned a few things along the way. My primary running goal is longevity so my running choices revolve around staying as injury-free and motivated as possible. With that in mind, here are my top 10 running tips:
My first-born daughter turned 21 this weekend. It is unbelievable to me. I can’t remember life without her, but I’m amazed at how quickly the time has gone. I’m also a bit in awe of her and the woman she is. Here are some of my thoughts from her 20th Birthday…and in honor of her 21st birthday, here are 21 things that I love about Courtnee:
1. She is wise—an old soul in a young body as my mother-in-law says.
2. I value and respect her opinion—on everything from parenting to health to religion to fashion.
3. She sets high goals and makes good choices.
4. She is so beautiful—inside and out.
5. She makes me happy—life is always better when I am with her.
6. She is one of my best friends.
7. She has been with me from my beginning of motherhood, and she still loves me.
8. She is a great example to her sisters.
9. She has strong opinions and ideas and shares them willingly, but politely.
10. She is a young, but fantastic wife—better than many twice her age.
11. She has a certain je ne sais quoi about her—she knows who she is, and she acts accordingly.
12. She is so smart!
13. She is happy to have pink candles and gifts for her 21st birthday.
14. She is always grateful.
15. She can ride a horse—and stay on.
16. She has awesome cowboy boots.
17. She will lay in bed and talk to me when I wake her up before she is ready.
18. She knows when to push through, and when to change direction.
19. She is passionate about important things like health, and families, and education.
20. She will be an amazing mother someday.
21. She is full of love and happiness.
Happy Birthday, dear Courtnee! Happy Birthday to You!
The end of March is quickly approaching so I’m going to spend this last week of “Get Healthy” changes focusing on exercise and movement. Exercise is a key component of Total Health and happiness for me. When I’m exercising regularly I sleep better, eat less, have fewer bouts of depression, and I feel so much better about myself…a bit tighter and more toned. I enjoy exercise, so it is one of the easier parts of getting healthy for me. But like everyone, I have to make time for it and I don’t always like to sacrifice other things in order to get my workout in.
I’ve found that the easiest way for me to make sure I’m exercising everyday is to simply schedule it in. On Sunday evenings I review my week, schedule my workouts, and make sure I stick to the schedule. When I’m in a good routine, I always know when my workouts are and I make sure to schedule the rest of my time around them. Sometimes things come up that are out of my control, but if I have a choice, my workouts are a top priority every day.
My current exercise routine includes running, yoga, and Zumba. But, I’m desperately in need of some weight lifting and toning, so I’m adding that to my schedule. I've pinned some great mini workouts that I can just do at home that I’m going to start adding to my daily routine. This will be a challenge for me. I’ll need to get up earlier and make sure I follow through. But one look in the mirror at my “old lady” arms will hopefully keep me motivated. I don’t even recognize them and it is much too embarrassing to share photos of them…at least at this point.
I’ve also scheduled a training session at my gym for this week. I’ve been going to this gym for two years and I still haven’t taken advantage of this free service. I have an appointment on Wednesday and hopefully I will get some good tips on getting toned.
Now, I’m off to the gym for some yoga and running. What is your exercise schedule today?