Friday, June 29, 2012

We're all a bunch of test tubes!

What kind of 'eater' are you?  Do you eat for fun?  Are you overwhelmed by all the info?  Do you try to get in as many fruits and veggies and tend to fail?  Do you just want someone to tell you what you should eat?  Already being a savvy foodie, I know you're here because you do in fact care about the type of food you're putting into your body.  For this, I applaud you!!  You ROCK!!!

As promised, I'm sharing what I am learning.  I just finished studying bioenergetics.  "Bio what now??" you may be asking.  Well here's the short answer.

Basically, when we're physically active, we need energy to sustain us.  Otherwise, we won't be able to accomplish daily activities or exercise.  We need: fat, carbohydrates and protein.  These are sources of fuel for our bodies.

"But fat makes us fat and carbs!!!  CARBS!!!"  I hear 'ya, and I'm here to reassure you it's all good.  We need GOOD fat, we need complex carbohydrates in order to move our booties.  Protein is a given, but guess what I just rarely supplies energy during exercise.

While reading this chapter I was seriously wishing I had paid closer attention during my chemistry classes.  For those of you who didn't know, carbohydrates aren't just starchy yummy no-no's.  Technically, it's carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.  I cannot help but view people as walking test tubes.  What we put into our bodies (or test tubes) will directly impact the shape of our tubes.  If we don't know what is going into our tubes, how can we control the shape?

Our society is set up for failure!!  We are running towards frightening numbers as the years roll on.  According to the CDC, currently more than 35% of Americans are obese!  68.8% of Americans are overweight.  I mean...HOLD THE PHONE!!!!!!

Society is throwing barrel fulls of fake food, crap and more crap at us and we're putting them into our 'test tubes'.  Fast food is so incredibly cheap and accessible!  McD's actually spends beaucoup bucks on research to determine 'easy to eat food' on the go.  If the item isn't car friendly, it's tossed.  Go to Starbucks and ask for a venti Frappuccino and you could be getting an entire days worth of calories in a single cup! Opt for a salad at any given chain restaurant and the dressing ALONE will squash your good intentions.  News reports condem fat and offer 'low-fat/no-fat' alternatives.  What this means...MORE SUGAR!  Fat provides flavor and to make up for the lack of flavor, they add sugar (or other chemical GMO's).  Low-fat/no-fat has completely screwed up our metabolisms and our test tubes are expanding and bubbling over!  I mean....HOLY CRAP-OLA!!!!  What's a person to do?

Unless you're training to become a personal trainer or a nutritionist, the education tends to be buried, boring and overwhelming. You must be your own advocate.  Here are a few ways to arm yourself against the monsters.

1.  READ LABELS - take the time to turn the shelved products around and find out what you're going to consume.
2.  KNOW WHAT TO AVOID - ok, so you've flipped the label, now what?  Most oils are on the 'do-not-eat list'.  Most processed items will contain more oils than a pimply faced teenager.
3.  READ SAVVY FOODIES - that should be a given
4.  TALK AND SHARE THE WEALTH - speak with like minded individuals and you'll probably pick up a new trick or two
5.  GET THEE TO A GYM - if you're moving your booty more, you'll most likely want to be good to your body.
6.  GET SOME APPS - there are great apps out there to help keep you savvy.  One of my favorites is 'Fast Food Calories'.  Hit the link for a direct connection.  Here you can find virtually any restaurant's nutritional info.
7.  DON'T GIVE UP - whatever you do, keep trying to be savvy.  Don't give in and for cryin' out loud...give yourself a break if you need to cheat.  Just keep getting back up on your horse and ride off into the enlightened sunset.

These are just a few suggestions.  I'd love to hear from you if you have any more.  Like I already said, it's so important to share ideas.  This is how I turned my corner and started eating outside the box.  You may, initially, feel like a real Debby Downer saying, "Oh, I cannot eat that" but you'll start to feel stronger and realize you don't have to just mindlessly eat whatever.  It's your test tube!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Learning another lesson

Ever have one of these days/weeks?  It just feels like nothing is going your way?  Well, that was me this week.

I'm on day 8 of my recovery process and I've learned that I don't bounce back like I used to.  I guess I burned up all the rubber in my earlier years!

I realized, due to being incapable of much movement, my usually happy mind is a tad down in the dumps!  I'm not getting the usual rush of endorphins to the brain and this has made me super low.

Hobbling around on crutches has put a major hold on my workouts and dampened my spirits.  What I have learned is I need to be more appreciative of others and their struggles.  Not everyone has a body that allows them to do everything they want.  Right now, I'd give anything to walk without shuffling around like the Hunch Back of Notre Dame.

I'm watching my food intake and trying desperately not to give in to temptation.  When limited, food can (and often does) become the sole source of entertainment.  When bored to tears...sometimes ice cream is just the thing to lift you out of your funk.  It has been a real challenge for me.

Fortunately, I usually enjoy good health and I know in my head (and heart) this is a minor setback.  Thank you Jesus, it won't always be this way for me.

From this lesson, I am learning.  I guess sometimes you need a good fall to gain a deeper appreciation.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Health is a gift, not a given

My savvy hubby and I decided to go for an adventurous bike ride over the weekend.  After stopping for a bite to eat, we decided to go for another quick ride.  This time, instead of a bike path, we took to the side walks.  My spacial perception is not what it used to be and I learned, the hard way, wide open spaces work best for me...not narrow sidewalks.  Five minutes into the second leg of the ride, I went down.  I was not wearing a helmet, but fortunately my shoulder and knee took the brunt of the fall.

I didn't break anything, but putting weight on my legs wasn't happening.  I cut up my knee, bruised my shin, skinned my elbow and shoulder and now I'm down for the count.  I'm frustrated, annoyed and altogether grumpy.

I had to cancel all of my classes and tell my trainer I wouldn't be able to start the boot camp class for another two weeks.  What a major set back.  Her words to me, "EAT WELL."  I hung up the phone and took her message to heart.  As I lay here, allowing my body to heal, I can only consume calories and can't really burn any.  I cannot build any muscle.  I can just sit here and feel sorry for myself.  In the past this would have been my 'get out of jail free card' and I would turn to my good ol' friend...Kraft Macaroni and cheese, of course!

Thanks to my fabulous trainer, I got the message loud and clear.  Here's an excellent opportunity for me to practice what I've been preaching.  Carb overloading will not accomplish anything.  So I eat sparingly and make sure I'm getting protein, along with fruits and veggies.

I'm also taking the time to appreciate my health and realizing it's not a given.  Accidents can, and do, happen.  I'm investing in a bike helmet and trying to convince myself that I'll be as good as new in no time.  Here's to your health!

My right knee, with a healing balm
My injured left shoulder

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Find Your Power

I absolutely LOVE this video!  Watch the passer by's reactions to some of the yogi's.  I was cracking up.

There have been times in my life when I have felt like the 'crazy' yoga person standing on their head in the middle of the street, more times than I care to mention.  Being savvy about food and fitness can, in some settings, make 'ya feel like a fish swimmin' up stream.

My motto - get out of your own way and just do your thing, no matter who's watching.

This video, put out by Lifetime Fitness, is awesome!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Get movin'

Get this...more than 75% of the American adult population does NOT partake in the recommended daily 30 minute low-moderate physical activity.  I took this statistic out for a spin and the feedback: "After a mentally exhausting day, who wants to?", "I don't have any extra time", "Really?!?!"

So what's up with this?  Our country is more overweight than they are normal weight (I'm completely turned off by the word 'skinny' so I try to omit it)...66% are overweight and of those overweight 30% are obese.  And guess which population is most at risk?  Kids!  Schools are cutting out physical activities from their days and after school programs are getting the ax, so these little bodies just PLOP in front of the TV or computer.  Something needs to be done!!!

What are some of your barriers?  Common obstacles to getting our booties moving are social supports, resources, fear of failure/pain or just not giving a hoot!  There are people in this world who think, "what's the point, we're all going to die."  I cringe at this thought.  Sure, no one will live forever but isn't important to feel good as we approach the end?  For me, it's a no brainer.  I don't want to take drugs to alleviate aches and pains, I'd like to spend more time with my fam instead of the doctor's office and quite frankly being strong is one of the coolest feelings!

What gets people moving?  Social supports, resources, achieving goals, imagery, a good dance beat and the desire to say, "I'll carry in all the groceries, solo!".  Ok, so maybe that last one is just mine ;-)  I started getting my act together and before I knew it, my strength had increased and I no longer ask my super savvy (and strong) hubby to do things for me. HA!

I have found it to be beneficial to set some goals in order to achieve the big ones.  My ultimate goal is to increase strength and endurance.  The way I work towards these goals - train for a 5K, take on challenging classes, make peace with weight equipment, talk to social supports about small achievements.  I ran a 5K last year with my savvy hubby and it was great to have each other to share the pain, er memory.  

Here's a (funny) true story.  My best friend and I signed up (and paid) for a 5K run in Central Park.  We got up super early in order to make it by 8am.  For us, this was killer.  We're the type of friends who get some serious pillow talk done into the wee hours of the night.  But we were committed.  We nearly missed our stop on the train because we were chatting!  But come hell or high water, we made it to Central Park on-time and ready to run.  Well...this fly by night group that took our money were no where to be seen.  There were a handful of other frustrated runners that joined our search to find the sign in table.  Well, the joke was on us.  They never materialized.  

My bff turned to me and said, "Breakfast?".  I said, "Hell to the no, we got our butts up this early and we're ready to run, so we're running."  And off we went.  We kept each other honest, even though we had gotten tangled up with a dishonest company.  That's my secret - I keep my supports close at hand and when I don't feel like going to the gym or eating non-savvy foods, I remember my motivators and I stay on track.  
Glo and I ready to run in Central Park