February 5

Nutrition: What we eat.

What we eat matters. As much if not more than how active that we are. Simply because it affects everything else that we do.

According to the web, the definition of “nutrition” is the process of providing or obtaining the food necessary to health and growth.  So technically anything you eat could be labeled as “nutrition”  However to be healthy and nutritious is completely different.  We have to take into consideration that what we eat will affect all aspects of our lives.  For instance, our energy, our risk of cancer and other diseases, a big one is diabetes, our fitness levels, our brain function, our depression or lack of.  And so much more.  So I would say that it is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves.

I know that in our harried worlds we really like our convenience.  To cook a meal from scratch is almost unheard of.  Its just too easy to run by somewhere and pick up dinner on the way home from work, school or wherever you have been that day.  Who even thinks about going home to cook a big meal every evening!?  Not me!!  Or it wasn’t until recently.

I have just a month or so ago got a certificate in nutrition.  Now I am not a nutritionist, nor do I have a college degree in nutrition.  I do however have a certificate in nutrition and have done quite a bit of studying on the subject.  And I would like to share just a little of the insight with you.  If you don’t mind.

In her book “Deep Nutrition, Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food” Catherine Shanahan, M.D. says, “The most important single idea you’re going to come away with is that there is an underlying order to our health.  Sickness isn’t random.  We get sick when our genes don’t get something they expect, one too many times.  No matter your age, meeting these genetic expectations will improve your health dramatically.  Of course, this doesn’t all happen overnight.  The longer you continue to provide your body rejuvenating nutrition, the more benefit you will enjoy.

It is essential that you learn to recognize two toxic substances present in our food that are incompatable with normal genetic functions, sugar and vegetable oils.  These are not just toxic to people who have food sensitivities or certain medical conditions like leaky gut or prediabetes.  They’re toxic to every living thing.

Food is like a language, an unbroken information stream that connects every cell in your body to an aspect of the natural world.”

I know its seems confusing but it’s really as simple as putting good food in and getting good health out.

Let’s talk a little about sugar.  We all know that sugar is processed and has little nutritional value and is not good for us.  But let’s talk a little about why.  According to “Deep Nutrition” if you have your fasting blood sugar tested and it is above 89 you may have “prediabetes” a condition in which your cell membranes have become too rigid to take in glucose as fast as they normally could.  Which could eventually lead to full blown diabetes.  What makes cell membranes stiff?  MegaTrans instigate free radical damage, nutrient deficiency and sugar.  So there’s just one reason to cut down on sugars.

I will touch a little on vegetable oils here.  This is just scratching the surface but just so that you will know how really terrible these are for our health.  According to “Deep Nutrition” Dr. Shanahan states that vegetable oil is the lipid extracted from corn, canola, soy, sunflower, cottonseed, safflower, rice, bean and grapeseed.  It does not come from broccoli and is found in almost all ready-made foods. Unfortunately, refining these oils ultimately destroys both healthy PUFAS (polyunsaturated fatty acids) and their complementary antioxidants, converting them into distorted, unhealthy molecules.  So what was once healthy in the seed isn’t healthy in the bottle.

Vegetable oils contain mostly heat sensitive polyunsaturated fats.  When heated these fragile fats turn into toxic compounds including trans fat.  This process distorts the fatty acids in vegetable oil so they can no longer assume the typical five or six sided geometry.  Our enzymes pick up these distorted fatty acids and then can’t let them go which hampers cellular function so profoundly it can kill your sells.  And if you eat enough trans fats, cellular dysfunction will impair so many cells in so many tissues that the cumulative effects will disrupt basic functions (like blood circulation or your body’s ability to fight infection) and eventually kill you.

These are just a few reasons to pay more attention to what we eat on a daily basis. I encourage you to do your own research, read “Deep Nutrition” or at the very least read labels of the things you buy at the grocery store.  Of course if you stick to fresh fruit & vegetables, clean chicken, beef and other meats and avoid all processed foods, that will certainly help in this area.  Plus cooking most of your foods at home using good fats such as olive oil, peanut oil, real butter, coconut oil etc., will go a long way in improving our health.

And of course as always, get up and move.  Keep walking and exercising!!  Keep moving.

 

 

March 5

I have made I back =)

Sorry Everyone!  I have been gone for awhile but I am back now.   My computer has been D-E-D dead!  I have just gotten it fixed and plan to be back to blogging again.  I believe my next blog will be about nutrition.  I am not a nutrition expert, I am in the process of getting certified, and would like to just blog on some easy to make nutrition changes.

Nutrition is far more important than most people think.  I have recently given up sugar because of all the issues a person can have because of sugar!  of course it has not been easy, I will admit that!!  But, I truly believe it was necessary if I want to live a healthy life.

I would like to share my journey with you so that you may be encouraged to eat more healthy.  Especially if you are pre-diabetic or have other health issues.

Of course you already know that eating greens (I know, I know they are no ones favorites) but it is necessary and you can learn to like them.  I have!   You can too!!  I promise.  We can do this together.

So get ready, I will be blogging again soon.  Thanks for listening (reading)!  we will do this exercise/eating thing together!!

 

August 10

Easy-to-do arm and upper body exercises

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Hi!  Everyone,

I have blogged about leg exercises before now, I guess it’s time for arm exercises.  All or most of these exercises can be done seated or standing, but remember if you do them standing please make sure that you have good balance or you use your opposite arm to hold on to a chair of cabinet or some other sturdy object.  None of these exercises will do you any good if you are falling in the floor!

Ok, let’s get started.

Let’s start with Biceps.anatYou know, the “look at my guns” muscle!

#1)  Biceps curls, with or without weights.  If you don’t have weights you can purchase many sizes of weights at walmart.com or Target.com or most any other store that carries sports equipment.  Or if you don’t want to spend the $$ use a 16oz can of corn or beans!  That’s 1 pound!  But be careful don’t drop it on your toe.  That wouldn’t be fun!

curls

Simply bend and flex at the elbows.  Remember to move slowly, up and down.  Make that muscle work, don’t use momentum to get the movement done.  Take your time, and remember to breath.  You can do this one seated if you prefer.

#2) Triceps kickbacks.

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Kickback is exactly what is sounds like.  Kick that arm back and you should feel that in the back of your arm. You can rest the opposite hand on your knee as shown above or on a chair or bench that is solid.

#3)  Triceps press.

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This one you should also feel in the back of your arm.  Keep those elbows close to your ears. You can do this one seated if you prefer.

#4) Deltoids or shoulders.

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This will work the front deltoid (shoulder), raise only to shoulder level.  You can alternate as shown above or both at the same time.  If you alternate then you can concentrate on one at a time.  You can also do this one seated if you prefer.

delts4

This exercise hits the side of the shoulder.  Again raise only to shoulder level.  Slow and easy, don’t forget to breath!  This can also be done seated.

#5)  upright rows.

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Works the overall deltoid (shoulder).  Simply lift the weight up and down, keeping your elbows high, bring up to chest level and then back down again.

#6)  Combination of biceps & deltoids.

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Bend at elbow for biceps curl, then push straight up into shoulder press. Back to bent elbow and then straight down again.  Just reverse the movement.   Do this one as a separate exercise or replace it for your biceps curl exercise.

#7)  Total arm, chest, and back.  Push ups

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The wall push up.  If you can’t get down on the floor (or can’t get up from the floor) this move is the next best thing.  This will be the same as a floor push up only on the wall.  Be sure to keep your back flat, your knees straight.  You should feel this in your arms, chest, back.  It is a good overall exercise.  If you can get down on the floor but can’t do the traditional push up try push ups on your knees.

push up

This position will work you arms (both biceps & triceps), chest, & back even more than wall push ups because you are pushing more of your body weight.  Remember to keep your back straight, core tight (tighten your stomach muscles, but remember to breath) bring your nose as close to the floor as you can and push yourself back up again.  If you are able do the traditional push up, with only toes and hands on floor do that.   This is the ultimate push up, you will really feel it in your chest, arms & back and it is a very good core exercise which is another blog some other time.

#8)  Circles.

circles

This exercise seems so simple but if done right, will really work those shoulders.  First do small circles then do large circle.  With or without weights, will do the trick.

Ok, these are all the basic exercises to get you started on those beautiful arms.  Arms you will want to show off with sleeveless shirts.  Do the triceps exercises to help with that arm “jiggle”.  Tighten up those shoulders and biceps too!

When you first begin try doing the exercises without weight, until you feel comfortable with the movement, then add a light weight.  Do only 10 reps (repetitions) when 10 becomes easy do 20, if you can do 20 or 30 without a problem then add weight.  When you add weight go back to 10 or 20 reps.  You may not be able to do too many push ups in the beginning, so start with 1 or 2, then move up.  Remember to breath in on the easy part, out on the hard part.  Like for example on the push up, breath in on the way down, out on the way up.

We want to keep this simple, it should never feel overwhelming or too much like work.  Bleh!  Who wants that??  No one!  So pick some of these exercises and try them.

Don’t forget to get your doctors approval before starting!  Drink plenty of water!  Relax, breath and have fun.

Come on!  Get up off the couch and get moving! There’s no time for sitting!  I have faith in you!  You can do it!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

July 3

Getting Started

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Before

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After

Hi!  Everyone,

I am finally back!  I have not blogged in quite a few weeks because I have been very busy with a backyard project  See Pictures above.  In the before picture you can see how the backyard was and how it looks now.  My daughter was getting married and we decided our backyard would be the perfect spot. However, as you can see, it was a disaster!!  So we put in a patio with a fire pit & a deck.  I am standing on the deck to take the after photo.  We had a great time building this, the wedding went well, we got a lot of great compliments, BUT, I am glad it is done.  It was a lot of hard work.  My exercise program for the last 10 weeks or so has been hauling pavers, digging flower beds, hauling wheelbarrows of top soil, swinging a hammer and doing a lot of yard work.  Now its time to get back to my “regular” exercise program.

I do believe that as long as you are up and moving it is a good thing!  So the activity I have been involved in can still be counted as exercise or good activity, but I can not keep up that kind of a pace all the time.  It is very stressful on the body, and can burn you out quickly.

Today I am going to write some pointers for beginners from an article I read lately.  Wish I had found this article before now, but hey, better late than never right??

This article called “Beginners Guide to Getting Started With an Exercise Program”  found in Health Radar, which is a health publication that I subscribe to.  It always has some good pointers and I thought this one was very good for this blog.

 

If you’ve reached the point of deciding to get into shape, you already have taken a HUGE step toward a better you.  You have already found your motivation, whether it is losing weight, becoming healthier, or looking better (who doesn’t want to do that??) people who know why they are exercising tend to be the most successful.

But how to get started?  Here are a few ruled that not only will help you to avoid the beginners’ biggest mistakes, but will also allow you to get the most out of whatever you decided to do.  You’ll have fun, reap more benefits, and most importantly, make it last.  before you do anything else, make sure you have your doctor’s clearance.  Now you’re ready to go.

#1)  Choose a sport that goes well with your current physical condition and is not complicated to do or organize.  Of course, the simplest thing to do is to open your front door and go for a walk.  But there are many more options.  If you have access to a pool, swimming is a superb exercise for beginners.  Bike riding is also excellent.  What I cannot recommend is buying a set of dumbbells and start lifting weights.  It might be good for later, but first go to a gym and have someone show you the basics.  Learning good technique is crucial when lifting weights so that you don’t injure yourself. (don’t be afraid to find someone to show you good technique, this is a very beneficial form of exercise)

#2)  Schedule your workouts and stick to the plan.  Create a routine and don’t deviate from it.  the “play-by-ear people” are those who are least successful because there is always something that gets in the way of their workouts.  For most of us, there will never be a perfectly ideal time to exercise.  Just do it! ( it has to be a priority!)

#3)  Don’t go overboard with big goals before you even get started.  Get experience first.  The only thing that matters right now is just doing something.  If you exercise three times per week for about 20 minutes three weeks in a row, that would be a good start.  After you get into better shape, try to work out more frequently, adding a couple more days a week.  Then, start to make your workouts longer, increasing them to 30 minutes or even longer when you feel comfortable doing so.  Making your muscles, lungs, and heart work a little harder than usual is what you want.  It’s OK to feel a little tired, but do not exhaust yourself.  Please allow your body to adapt slowly and expect an adjustment phase of at least 6-8 weeks before you see results.  It’s important to be patient, so you do not become discouraged.

#4)  Never compare yourself to other people.  Live in your own world and measure your own progress without paying attention to others.

#5)  Do not worry about the way you look when you exercise.  If you are carrying some extra weight or have an awkward running motion, know that there are lots of people just like you.  Don’t worry about it!  I’m telling you this because being embarrassed or self-conscious keeps a lot of people from starting to exercise.  It is so important to accept who you are.  Wear comfortable clothing and good-quality shoes.  Having a nice workout outfit can make you feel better about your appearance.

One good resource for beginners is the website takethemagicstep.com.  It has excellent practical advise on how to get started and how to keep workouts fun.

Remember: No bailing out.  Keep your promise to yourself to exercise.  Those are the things that make you a winner.

This article was taken from Health Radar publication.  Written by Dieter Hogen, world renowned nutrition expert & Olympic athletic coach.  The comments in parenthesis are mine.

As I have said before in my previous blogs, you are never too old to get up and move.  Start easy and work your way up.  It’s very important that you are not sedentary (couch potato)!  That is never good for your health.  Come on get up!  You can do it!  I have faith in you!