Let’s chat briefly about getting on an exercise program. I know with the start of a new year it is often the marker for many to either start one or if they’ve been side tracked, get back on it again.
Regardless of what camp you are in, it’s not easy to get into that disciplined routine.
We have good intentions but often those can be pushed aside because we’re tired, feel we don’t have the time, or we simply lack the initial drive to prepare ourselves to go.
Short and Sweet
When we think of getting into our chosen exercise, there is often the idea that it has to be all or nothing or an hour long session to count. This simply isn’t true. In fact, if you haven’t worked out in awhile you should aim for shorter workouts to let your body ease back into it, mentally and physically.
Where to start?
Honestly, getting into my workout clothes immediately centers me for what I’m going to do. Have certain clothes or shoes you use for your activities.
Start small. Certainly you could take 15 -20 minutes to go for a walk or run, do a bike ride or lift some weights.
Determine the best time of day. I know if I don’t get my workouts done in the morning, it won’t happen later in the day. It sets a tone for my day and gives me an immediate sense of accomplishment after my workout. For you, evening may be better. Whichever it is, find the time best for you that you can stick to.
All movement counts I’ve been guilty of thinking that because my workout was shorter that somehow it may not count as much. It crossed my mind coming in from “only” 2.25 miles yesterday morning ( in the 25 degree morning!) I reminded myself it far beat staying inside doing nothing!
Same for you. Whatever purposeful movement you choose trumps doing absolutely nothing. Start small and make it your goal to increase your time and days. Before long you will have built your own disciplined exercise regimen. 😊
Before the stockings have been unhung from the chimney with care and the last remnants of wrapping paper have been fished out from under the sofa, it shows up.
Stark, plain, and sucking the joy from the holidays, the diet products appear overnight replacing the cheery Christmas items that were there only days before.
Scales, diet drinks, supplements, pills, potions and more. All of it aimed at consumers who are aware that they have enjoyed their holiday feasting and endless bowls of chocolates, maybe a little to much.
It didn’t take long for things to start showing up on my newsfeed with offers of help by joining groups, or buying secret sauce potions that would magically get rid of Christmas fluff.
If there is one thing that predictably shows up at the start of a new year are diet traps.
I’m not quiet on this topic
I speak out on this quite often, much to the annoyance of some. I am vocal on the topic because the diet industry rakes in millions of dollars a year from people desperate for a miracle fix. This comes often at a high price.
Whether it’s from grocery store shakes, pills, and meal replacments or pricey products from MLM companies making pie in the sky promises, the competition is fierce to collect on those who are desperate to lose weight and get fit.
Some thing’s may work…
Listen, there is a vehicle for everyone that will lead them to success on their weight loss journey. There could be a certain “thing” that works for a person that starts them on a path to success. That, is more rare than not. Most will have good intentions and buy into some program or structured plan ( that is not tailored for their body and specific needs) they will throw money at it, make a go of it for maybe 4-6 weeks before they fall back into their old habits. The only thing lighter being their bank account.
So what works?
As much as I’m “anti-diet” and the whole quackery of the diet industry, I’m very much about sane and practical methods that are sustainable and can be done for your life. These practices are *free* and really require a person to make a daily commitment to small consistent choices. This will lead to weight loss and a sustainable way of living. Oh…and it won’t suck the joy from your life either.
Tips and tricks
There are things you can do that will lead to good habits and building good habits can make positive changes in your life
Move. Every day if possible do some purposeful activity even if it’s a 10 minute walk. Do something for yourself. Challenge yourself to increase your time.
Rest. Often overlooked, getting sleep and having energy for your activities will make you feel good.
Water. Most people come nowhere near drinking water they need that keeps you hydrated and provides crucial fluid to your body. Try to get a glass in first thing in morning, even before your coffee ☕
Intuitive eating. This basically means listen to your body. Hungry? Eat. Hunger satisfied? Stop eating. Not hungry? Don’t eat. We have become so conditioned to eat at specific times without listening to our bodies that we are losing touch with our natural body signals.
Don’t starve. Nothing will derail you faster and send you running back to the Cheetos than depriving yourself of food. Food is fuel and you need a certain amount to operate optimally. You don’t have to starve and be miserable to lose weight.
Eat. Make your daily food intake healthy whole foods as much as possible. Eat balanced meals that incorporate all food groups. Eat foods you like, in moderation. Remember that “listening to your body’ thing 😉 and don’t remove all “treats” from your life. Just be mindful of them and selective on what you do have. Remember a treat is an occasional thing.
Know your triggers. If certain foods trip you up or cause you to binge, don’t have them available. Try to understand the reasons why you eat, basically, what’s your relationship with food? Most of us have deep reasons why we eat and it goes beyond hunger.
Be kind to yourself. Life is a journey. Make your goal of weight loss and fitness a part of your journey. Take one day at a time and remember slow and steady is the best plan to success. Weight loss ( done right) takes time and not “2 weeks”.
Happy New Year kids. What goals do you have this year?
As I write this post I wonder if I’m the only one aware that the seasons are doing that sneaky, yet subtle, shift. Darkness has fallen earlier stealing the long lazy evenings with lingering daylight that I fully embrace.
Long evenings allowing me to go out and do work on my projects or just enjoy the cooler air as the sun has dropped over the horizon. Long evenings where the breeze caresses my skin and I can watch light gradually fade and the moon begin to rise.
But that has changed. The long evenings have been replaced by earlier darkness forcing me to wrap up outside work. As much as I embrace fall, I miss aspects of the summer season.
Anyone else relate?
Right now though in south Texas we will enjoy a variety of weather as we get crisp fall mornings yet still have afternoons that are definitely comfortable short weather. This can go on for months. It’s always a toss up to what we get.
Hey after all, only earlier this year we got snowed in not only once, but twice, in the same week.
Surreal. Absolutely surreal. For all of us it was a weird, most likely, once in a lifetime thing.
Ok and I get it. If you’re up north or in parts of the world you see this all the time, don’t send me hate mail over my snow pics. 😉 you are not impressed with this stuff. I get it. Hopefully, we won’t see that kind of winter this year!
Ok…on to other topics….
We did have a nice chilly morning this week which had me digging out a bit more clothing for my outdoor activities. I had recently gotten new shoes so I wanted to start logging some miles on them ( Did a little over 4)
As I’ve shared briefly in previous posts, I had a total knee replacement in April. I just hit my 6 month out. I figure I’ll be doing a post on my experience fairly soon. I have chronicled things from the start and have tried to use my voice to encourage or help others in this process.
Meanwhile….I’ve not exactly been doing nothing…
I’ve got goals ya’ll. But we will chat more about that later.
In things that make me laugh….
We arrived at my grandsons football game Saturday and my granddaughter has positioned her critters with a front row seat for the game. In a crazy world, I constantly embrace the beauty of my grandkids and the simplicity of childhood.
And listen, if you don’t have any of these yet, they are totally worth it. You love them in such a special different way. ❤ I feel beyond, and I mean, beyond blessed and fortunate that my kids grew up, started their families and wanted to have their homes on family property ( cool when you have space for them to do that) I mean, they liked us enough to stick around 😜
In other news….
I’ve shared before about my vintage business and love for old things. I got this pink stool earlier in the week. If there’s a time period that fascinates me, it is the short lived 50s pink kitchen era. So to find a pink stool, even if it was dirty and needed a cleaning, was impossible to pass up. Now the question remains, will it go to my shop? 🤔
Before I leave you…
I’ve gotta share a few recipes I’ve used lately. Having a big family that likes to hang out and eat, I’m always testing new foods.
Here’s one of my favorite “one pan ” recipes that’s always popular.
And another popular dinner. I cannot tell you how delicious this is…try it!
And of course I need to leave you with a dessert. And what’s better than a fall inspired one called Fresh Apple cake. I’ve made this like 3 times this month. The beauty of this recipe? Stir it all into one bowl, pour in pan and bake. The frosting is cooked in one pan on stove that you pour on top.
Like many of you, I’ve got things planned for my day but wanted to squeeze in a quick workout first.
Contrary to a lot of thinking you don’t have to take lots of time to get a solid workout in. Like many of you, I prefer longer ones but sometimes that doesn’t always work.
Enter 20 minutes
I set aside 20 minutes, armed with a 35 lb kettlebell and 25lb dumbbells. I rotated between kb swings and doing other work with dumbbells. I did not really rest between sets other than to change over equipment.
Can you say sweat?
Obviously going from swings into other work and repeating sets didn’t take long to get my heart pumping and sweat flowing. It was a quick but good strength session
Please note I did warm up 5-8 minutes before starting
And that my friends, is it. We may not always have the longest time, but we can squeeze in some time, just really make it count.
Hey kids! Happy Monday and the start of a new week. Honestly, with this past year, on any given day I’m thinking ” where are we in this week?!”
Please tell me I’m not alone in this….
We’ve been enjoying a milder than usual summer here in south Texas. When I say milder I mean we’ve not had any 100 degree days. And to make things even better we’ve had more rain than we ever see in a Texas summer. Like things are still green! And not crunching under your feet….amazing.
Oh it’s still hot enough and we’ve also got that wonderful humidity to go with it too.
Which makes morning workouts awesome
I had to forfeit my morning walk the other day when unexpected thunderstorms showed up. So I went to my plan b, heading into my own little gym in my garage. But gosh by the time I finished, I looked like I had been out in the rain. Serious sweat fest.
I opted to start with 20 minutes on the elliptical and followed up with 40 minutes strength training. I love mixing up my workouts. Sometimes I start and end with cardio and sandwich strength training in the middle.
I did get out for my power walk the next day. I’ve been increasing my miles and wanted to incorporate these huge hills into those miles. I planned to do a couple sets of them when I got down there, which I did.
The large number on top is what I watch while I’m cooling down. The rate at which it drops back to normal gives me a good idea of my recovery heart rate. Minutes after I took this pic, it had dropped to the 70.
I think when people start an exercise program they aren’t really thinking about how it builds their heart and lungs, which are obviously muscles. Your recovery heart rate gives you a good idea of how your exercise is helping your heart
It is recommended to get a 150 minutes of cardio exercise a week. Are you getting yours?
I believe everyone should have some kind of exercise goals. We all have a starting place from where we can begin working to build our strength and fitness. Recently, I personally found this so true and was so grateful to fall back on a foundation of strength and fitness.
Why you may ask?
Well kids, April 15th I had total knee replacement surgery. I fully plan to write a specific post on my experience with the process, my recovery, and how cool high tech surgery is now days. More than ever was I grateful for all the days I had spent training my body working out and building strength as I leaned into that while my other leg got back on track.
I won’t spend a lot of time on it in this post, yes I’m doing great. I will say I set a goal to do a 18 mile race on my bike, 10 weeks post op, and I did. 😉
So that has been one of the um… more interesting….things I’ve been up to
Then there’s my vintage business
If you’ve followed me awhile, you know I have a business where I flip vintage furniture, among other things. That has grown quite a bit this past year and I’m grateful!
Just one of the many projects I’ve been working on. *** so…many.. projects… ****
Then there’s food
I do have fun exploring new recipes. I made this recently, it always goes over well.
I hope no matter how your day is going, that you will find the good in your day and be grateful. Grateful for the life you have and literally the next breath you take. I hope that you see the good in life and embrace it and you find joy in ordinary moments ❤
I recently did a random post on my Facebook page ( oh heck most of them are random) showing off my breakfast ( food pics,novel, I know)
I had come in from a longer bike ride, hungry, with food on my mind. Not just any food, I wanted avocado, fresh tomatoes and a piece of whole grain bread.
Good carbs…healthy fats….perfect.
As I bantered back and forth with comments from my post one of them said something about loving fruits and veggies for breakfast.
Ah! Rats. In my casual post I really didn’t get technical as to if these items were….fruits? Or vegetables? The comment was later indicated that he just enjoyed both at breakfast, not getting technical. Well by then my mind had already started crafting this post.
So….what are they?
Like many of you, I never deeply pondered what they are, I just enjoy them. But are tomatoes and avocados a fruit or veggie?
Let’s talk about avocados
Not particularly beautiful, but very tasty…….
Avocados are one of the few fruits (yes, technically they’re a fruit, not a veggie) that contain healthy unsaturated fats. These fats help lower undesirable LDL cholesterol when eaten in place of saturated fat. The avocado is considered a fruit because they fit all of the botanical criteria for a berry. They have fleshy pulp and a seed.
Avocados ripen or “soften” after they have been harvested. To speed up the process, place the avocado in a paper bag with an apple or banana for two to three days. The fruit is ready to eat when the stem comes out easily (or, if the stem is gone, when the fruit yields slightly to gentle pressure).
Nutritional info: One serving (about one-third of a medium Haas avocado) provides about 80 calories and nearly 20 different nutrients, many of which are considered heart-healthy, including unsaturated fat, fiber, vitamin K, vitamin E, and potassium.
Now….. on to the tomatoes…
The botanical classification: Tomatoes are fruits.A botanical fruit would have at least one seed and grow from the flower of the plant. With this definition in mind, tomatoes are classified as fruit because they contain seeds and grow from the flower of the tomato.
But wait….there’s more
It’s also a vegetable because someone said it is.
Botanically it’s a fruit. Legally, it’s not. Legally it’s classified a vegetable.
And the origins of that discrepancy lie in a 19th-century Supreme Court case so obscure, many tomato experts aren’t even aware of it.
“Tomatoes have such an outlandish history,” said George Ball, the chief executive at the seed company Burpee. “Most people hear it and are bewildered for life.”
As Ball explains it, fruits and vegetables differ in one major botanical way. A fruit is technically the seed-bearing structure of a plant — and a vegetable can be virtually any part of the plant we eat.
At the time of the court case in question, Nix v. Hedden, fruits and vegetables differed in another big way, as well: Imported vegetables were slapped with a 10-percent tariff upon their arrival in the United States, and imported fruits were not.
When one Manhattan wholesaler — John Nix & Co., owned by John Nix and his four sons — got hit with the tariff on a shipment of Caribbean tomatoes, he disputed the tax on the grounds that tomatoes were not technically vegetables.
The case, filed in 1887, made its way to the Supreme Court in 1893. There, the court disagreed with the Nixes, ruling that people neither prepare nor eat tomatoes like fruits — and that they should be taxed accordingly.
“Botanically speaking, tomatoes are the fruit of a vine, just as are cucumbers, squashes, beans, and peas,” wrote Justice Horace Gray in his 1893 opinion. “But in the common language of the people, whether sellers or consumers of provisions, all these are vegetables.”
So there you go. The Supreme Court of the United States of America ruled them as a vegetable….long ago…..
Bet you learned something new, didn’t you?
About my breakfast….
I’ll leave you with a refreshing summer tomato salad to try.
Happy New Year! Here we are in 2021, poised on the threshold of so many new possibilities and adventures. Like my new empty planner, the year waits to be filled with the ordinary and extraordinary.
I promise not to wax all nostalgic on you or proclaim “new year, new me!”
About the only thing new happening is getting a new haircut, with some color adjustments coming soon too 😏
Let’s face it though, before the candy and wrapping paper are out of the store aisles the focus turns to weight loss products. The snake oil people rise up in full force ready to capitalize on those bemoaning their excess weight.
Shakes, supplements, pills and cleanses abound.
All promise fast, unrealistic results, yet sadly none will work and the individual will be back where they started.
If you make any goal or resolution for yourself, don’t give in to diets or gimmicks that won’t help you in the long run.
What can you do?
I get it. 2020 was, well, intense for most of us. Quarantine had so many at home for longer periods of time, this equaled more sedentary time, out of our usual rhythm, eating more and more foods that we may not usually eat.
Enter, a few extra pounds.
This has many looking for ways to quickly get rid of it.
The reality is, there is no “fast ” sustainable way. We have to methodically work our way backwards to our goals in a slow and steady manner.
May I offer a few suggestions?
So what will work to get back on track and be sustainable?
Forget about pointless things like 21 day juice cleanses, detox teas, and pills, weight loss shakes and replacement “meals”. Don’t cut all your carbs or withhold treats or resort to the lastest diet craze.
Detoxes and cleanses do a good job of cleaning your pockets.
Besides your liver and kidneys do a great job detoxifying your body. 😉
Do however……get plenty of rest, drink 2 liters of water, get in 10k steps a day, and use a 80/20 approach to eating ( 80% of the time you eat healthy balanced food, 20%, hey have some fries 😉)
Balance is key to long term sustainable success. No one wants to feel restricted or deprived. Allowing for some treats gives us freedom and thus keeps us from giving up.
Some basic 101 food suggestions
This can work for all of us…
Eat at least two fruits a day, load up on veggies at every meal, choose complex carbs, eat lean proteins and healthy fats and make water your drink of choice. Eating a good variety keeps us satisfied and reduces the chances of binging on less healthy food later.
Finally, a few reminder notes for 2021
Focus on nutritious and healthy foods. Think of how good you’ll feel fueling your body with good food.
Focus on progress, not perfection. Slow steady progress wins over a fast quick ( temporary) fix.
Get in some purposeful exercise that you like and makes you feel good.
Track your water, exercise and food if it helps get you on track.
Set realistic weight loss goals and celebrate the big and small goals.
With some careful adjustments, 2021 will be a year of positive progress for you!
Tell me, what strategies do you use to lose a few pounds and keep your eating healthy? Do you have some goals for this year?