Monday Musings

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….

I’d say Monday’s are for coffee but really, every day is for coffee.

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.

My version of hitting the bar

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.

When you take your heart rate from one extreme to the other. 😅

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?

Exercise goals

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. 😉

Actually I did a little over 19 miles 😉

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!

Not a bad transformation eh?

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.

https://pin.it/7HO3EOA

The mixture of chicken, rice and peppers and pineapple makes for a savory meal.

And one more….I’m on a chicken kick

https://pin.it/yYOAQpO

I’ll leave you with this

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 ❤

This.

Fruit or Vegetable?

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?

So delicious. But what are they?

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.

Say what?!

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….

Admit it….it looks delicious

I’ll leave you with a refreshing summer tomato salad to try.

https://pin.it/4DTTYOB

Your turn

Do you like tomatoes and avocados? What would you say they are? Fruit or veggie?

Tips For A Healthy 2021

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 😏

Is this sassy enough for you?

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?

Monday Musings

Happy Monday kids!Where oh where do I start in today’s Monday Musings edition?Let’s start with one of my fav topics…. snake oil offerings…. aka health and wellness companies looking for those desperate to lose weight, along with their cash.When it comes to health and nutrition there are some guaranteed buzz words that will send me head on into the other direction. If you come at me with words like “cleanses “, “detoxes”, “fat burners”, telling me I need to get toxins out of my body, and that I need to spend my days drinking shakes or mystery drinks, I’m gone.Like yesterday, gone.I like to eat my food, not drink it.I get it. With the weirdness of the last few months people are stuck at home alot more.Feeling emotionally strung out they reach for the ice cream cartons and chocolate.”Quarantine 15″ is a reality for many people. Well, hopefully not that much. Life has been crazy and food, for alot of us, can be entertainment, comfort, or simply boredom eating. Being home extra time gives more opportunities to graze when we usually wouldn’t.No matter what your current weight situation, you don’t need to be cleansed or detoxed from your affair with ice cream or fries.Just incase you don’t know, cleanse and detox are buzz words for “starvation and being miserable “. I’ve never met an honest person who wasn’t ready to finish and get back to normal life from being “cleansed”. And the weight loss from it? Nothing but water loss, not fat.And I’ll say it again for the kids on the back row…..there is no such thing as a fat burner! If that stuff actually worked, everyone would use it and we wouldn’t have an obesity epidemic.So what would I recommend? I’ll put it as succinctly as possible.Eating! Eat good nutrionally dense foods with adequate protein that satisfies you.Feed and nourish your body with good foods, don’t deprive it or eliminate foods it needs.And don’t forget to allow treats because life is good and you shouldn’t live deprived.You don’t have to starve to lose weight or feel constantly hungry.Movement!If there is one thing under used for our wellness, mental and physical, it’s exercise. Exercise makes us feel strong and can clear our minds. I do my most creative thinking during exercise.Don’t get caught up in thinking you “have” to do it to lose weight. Take the weight loss out of the equation.You can build strength, gain energy, develop more muscle mass, develop your cardiovascular system, and flex your creative mental energy without actually losing weight. ( do it often and frequently with my suggestions on healthy eating and it will happen) you should exercise no matter your body size because it benefits you in so many waysBut please, don’t get on the cleanse and detox hype bus in a quest to get to lose weight.Speaking of building strength….I have been making strength training a part of my physical discipline for awhile. This week I tossed a little more weight on my bar moving from 155 to 185lbs on my dead lift. I did 3 sets of 3 for a starting place. I was pleasantly surprised when I did it again yesterday, it didn’t feel as hard as I was preparing for. I look back to several years ago when I got 8 lbs dumb bells and they were a little work for me ha it seems crazy now since I use 25lb for alot of my arm work. Consistency does pay off.You… no matter where you are… have a starting place for your health and fitness. You just need to find it.Speaking of all things health I’m excited to be reading this book, Give Yourself More. I’m also excited to finish so I can write a review on it. This book takes women past “just” losing weight to learning more of themselves to giving themselves “more” in life. I previously did a book review on Georgie’s “Lean Habits For Weight Loss” ( find both reviews in my posts) which focuses on building healthy, sustainable habits for life long weight loss. You’ll find my review here on my page when I finish this book .Oh…..and if you never had a black Nitro brew coffee, you need to. 😉No how about some fun stuff? I’ve shared with you before that I have a little vintage furniture business. Of the many positives I ponder in this weird time we are in, is how it has continued to grow. I moved into a larger space in the shop,and became a retailer for a well known chalk paint company. It took off so fast I made the move to become a premier retailer (lots of perks with it) all within a few months. I put together my website and launched it. I’ve gained alot of followers and picked up lots of custom orders with new customers.My little hobby, this fun little side gig, has turned more and more into a thriving business.All during a time things were closed and nothing was moving.I used that down time to be productive, to work and accomplish new things. I firmly believed that things would get moving again and I wanted to be heading that way, ready.Guess you can say I never let grass grow under my feet.I’d challenge you in this time to find something new to learn, build a hobby or craft. Take care of yourself and maybe get into some type of exercise. Use this time as an opportunity of personal growth. Read, write, reflect.Ok you wanna see some of the things I’ve dragged home recently, don’t you? I love showing you pieces from days gone by 😊

Antique six leg table
Harp media holder
Gorgeous antique china cabinet. Selfishly. I’m keeping this
These antique cabinets got a little make over
I transformed this cute telephone bench. She sold this weekend 😊
Painted in my fav, Antebellum Blue
Just a little snap shot of some of my projects, my many, many projects 😱So I guess I’ll leave you with this thought. Are you using this time to be productive in new ways? A lot of our lives and schedules may feel perhaps, a bit disjointed right now. We can look at it all in a negative way, or a way of accomplishing new things we haven’t done before.Tell me…. have you used this time to try new things or to learn something new? Are you focusing on caring for yourself in how you eat and move ?

Weight Loss Basics

You know that old saying “don’t reinvent the wheel”? It basically means don’t duplicate a basic method that has already been optimized.

I’m carrying this thought over in today’s post to weight loss.

Heads up…I may get on my soap box regarding this topic…..

So I may be a little passionate about it

I’ve seen plenty of those weight loss “health and wellness” posts from companies lately and they just make me twitch. You know the multi level marketing gimmicks your neighbor may sell or the current hype a celebrity is pushing?

Yeah, those.

Why does it bother me? Because there are so many people desperate for a quick and easy fix to get rid of their fat and feel better about themselves that they are willing to throw money ( and a lot of money) at a bunch of hyped products and supplements that will give them the good life.

The reality is, for the most part, all the majority will lose is a lot of their hard earned money.

And listen up, if they have a secret group, will “PM you” info or won’t publicly share what their great weight loss programs are about, run.

Run far away.

If their stuff is so awesome they should be willing to shout from the roof tops to anyone who will listen.

Also, if they can’t discuss their miracle products with you and refer you instead to the cookie cutter company video on it, run. They should be educated enough on it to discuss with you. Sadly, most of them are clueless to what’s in those “amazing” products they pedal.

If your new daily diet consists of using more of their products than eating good food…..well……you better be getting away from that too.

The other reality is this……

No matter what vehicle you try to use to lose weight, it comes down to relatively simple science.

You have to expend more calories than you take in for weight loss to occur. It’s not a complicated. Yet on the daily people try to way over complicate the process.

They keep trying to reinvent the wheel for losing weight.

They keep looking for the easiest way out, the fastest way to get there.

There is no fast way, weight gain doesn’t happen overnight nor will weight loss.

Let’s get back to the wheel

I know the old school way for weight loss isn’t cool or trendy. It’s not a current diet fad or an over priced “health” program.

But somehow, it works. And if you get going and stick with it you will develop a new way of thinking and behaving. It will become a lifestyle for you, a way to simply live.

You don’t have to reinvent ways to lose weight nor does it need to be made harder than it is.

The basics

You don’t have to count calories and log every bite of food although if doing so keeps you on track, do it.

I’ve used an app called Lose It that calculates your daily calories by what you enter. Or you can use pen and paper to keep track.

To have an idea of how many calories your body needs you might find a BMR ( basal metabolic rate) calculator online. You plug in all of your info, including purposeful exercise you do ( or don’t do) and it will tell you how many calories you need to live each day. From that number you can make small reduction of calories to help with weight loss.

A reasonable, healthy and sustainable weight loss is 1-2 lbs per week. You may lose more in the first week with water weight and some weeks you may lose a bit more ( or nothing)

Any program promising big losses week to week is not realistic or sustainable.

Eat real food. Crazy I know. Don’t get caught up thinking you have to eat some weird diet foods or starve to lose weight or worse you use a companies “fat burning ” products haha ( which are nothing more than pills loaded with caffeine)

A sample of what my breakfast can be like

Eat real, nutrionally dense foods. Think single ingredients or five or less on a label. Eating real food, and enough of it, will keep you satisfied and not hungry. Eat foods you enjoy.

Oh and that….you don’t have to starve and be hungry all the time to lose weight. If you’re hungry eat a healthy, snack. It’s ok to get hungry before a meal ( those are natural given signals for us to eat)

Speaking of….get back in tune with your body. If you’ve forgotten what it’s like to be hungry, get back to that. Learn to eat when hungry and stop before you “feel” full. This could take a bit of training but it’s the best way to build a healthy relationship with eating. You don’t have to empty your plate.

Practice mindful eating. Be aware of what you eat, how it tastes, smells etc. Being mindful helps you slow down and savor the experience.

Don’t deprive yourself. Eating what you enjoy leads to success. Learn to eat smaller amounts and allow that to satisfy you. In time this will become a habit.

Weigh in weekly to check your progress . Anymore than that becomes counter productive.

Allow for treats. Life is going on, enjoy the birthday cake or an evening out. Just get back on track with your goals the next day

Exercise. You don’t need it for weight loss, ( it helps) but it does make you feel good and strong not to mention it helps clear your head too. Find activities you enjoy and pursue them. Get good at doing it.

In summary

Know how many calories your body needs for daily living then subtract 10-20 % to create a deficit.

Eat real food, enough of it, to satisfy hunger.

Set realistic weekly/monthly weight loss goals.

Relearn your bodies cues for hunger and satisfaction

Eat mindfully.

Allow for occasional treats.

Plan for purposeful exercise, most days of week ( this helps with your calorie deficit) find exercise you enjoy doing.

Be patient with yourself on your journey. Change takes some time!

You don’t need magic pills, potions or other extreme measures to lose weight . The old tried and true method works perfectly, you just need to implement it and give yourself time to reach your goals.

Tell me, do you fall back on other things to lose weight or approach it like a slow and steady lifestyle?

Monday Musings

Cake. It’s been a week of cake.

We have a plethora of birthdays this time of year and yours truly is the cake maker.

My kids know they can request whatever kind they want and I’ll whip it up for them.

My middle son turned 28 May 1st. After a reminder I hadn’t received his request, did he wish for me to make him a boxed cake?

I got a link to a monstrosity of a 5 layer cake. Initially, I thought it was a joke. But then I’m always down for a challenge and dived into the project

Two brownie layers and three white cake layers.

Yes, that is buttercream frosting between those layers

11 eggs, three packages of butter, 7 cups of sugar, 10 cups of powdered sugar for buttercream frosting, 30 Oreos and brownies that get made with brownie layers to decorate on top and a partridge in a pear tree.

Ok I jest about the partridge 😉

I weighed it.

It weighed 13 pounds.

I don’t exaggerate.

13 pounds of ridiculous deliciousness.

You know what I’m afraid of? I’ve now set the bar to high and who knows what they will come up with next. 😄

Yes, there is a literal second dessert piled on top of this monumental cake.

The aftermath….it is a wee bit tricky cutting five layers.

Even my guys with the biggest appetites were out done by this cake.

We all decided this…the cake and brownie layers were delicious enough to just make independently. The eggs, real butter and buttermilk made it a light, airy melt in your mouth cake.

The brownies had lots of eggs giving them a cake consistency and with all the cocoa powder they had a good chocolate flavor.

Think you wanna try it? Find it in my Homemade Cake folder on Pinterest!

https://pin.it/S3hiAKL

When I’m not whipping up cakes…

I’m attempting to live a healthy lifestyle. I’m sure glad cake can fit into that!

I’m also glad I started the day off with some miles on the bike.

Nothing like some hills to make you work a little hard 😅

How are y’all doing with home work outs during this time?

Remember fitness need not be hard or complicated. Brisk walks or jogs, bike rides, swimming, or hitting the treadmill or elliptical are good ways to get cardio.

Strength training can be accomplished with a variety of items at home even if you don’t have weights.

You have a body and can do plenty of body weight exercises!

I find boxing to be rather therapeutic 😉 not only is it good strength and cardio, it just feels good to let my energy sink into that bag.

Don’t forget about yoga and other stretching moves to keep you flexible. It’s also a great way to center your mind.

Exercise is not only good for our bodies, but our mental well being too.

Staying mentally and physically well during this time is important for our overall health.

In other life activities

Am I the only one who wakes up trying to remember what day it is??

Like seriously.

True, life is a bit different lately, but I don’t find all of it bad.

There aren’t lots of things pressing on me to go to different activities or places which means time home and time to do not only home projects but work on my business projects too.

My shop in town opened back up this weekend so I’m glad to have things out of my back room and filling up my space.

I’ve had an increase in custom orders so that’s a win.

I also jumped into becoming a retailer for Dixie Belle chalk paint. Ah, nothing like making a financial investment when things are closed down 😅

I kinda like diving off the deep end with new adventures.

Speaking of projects

Wanna see some of the things I’ve been up to?

Before. A custom order. She wanted it white. Dixie Belle has a color called Fluff, soft white with grey undertone

Definitely a bit brighter.

Then there was this old trunk….

I’m horribly in love with this piece ❤ it got some layers of black and white paint, distressed, a lovely floral trasnfer and I lined inside with some fabric that’s been waiting for the right project.

Then there was this old French provincial table. I seriously adore this style. Solid, classic, beautiful lines, these pieces remake so nicely

And a couple things I’ve scored recently. It’s been hard getting things…I’m ready to go hunting again !

Sweet old dresser definitely dated and needs a fresher look!

And an antique ladies writing desk and chair. This is gonna need work but I thought it was the coolest thing.

And before I go…..

I made the best chicken dish tonight and everyone went crazy over it. Fast,easy with a Mexican flair to it. Find it on my dinner recipes file on Pinterest

https://pin.it/cwzpiX1

I served it with Spanish rice and beans. Have plenty of rice on hand, the sauce is amazing over it!

Tell me what you’ve been up to? How are you keeping fit and staying sane in these days?

Immune Boosting Foods

It hasn’t escaped my attention these past few weeks, people asking questions on Facebook about what they should “take ” for a strong immune system.

I discussed it in yesterday’s Monday Musings post. My response on Facebook was a post on what I observed on a shopping trip.

I couldn’t help but notice when I was trying to pick up a few items last week that a vitamin I’ve taken for years was sold out as were many other vitamins/supplements

I joked that people were picking a fine time to decide to be healthy..

Seriously though, you can’t just throw a bunch of vitamins and supplements in and expect it to be some magic potion.

I actually read an article yesterday where a doctor said the same thing.

Keeping your body healthy and strong should be a daily goal for all of us, not just when you want to avoid a virus.

Let’s talk about food

Your best line of defense is feeding your body foods that help build and keep your immune system strong.

Real food. Your grocery cart is your best line of defense.

What are some of those foods? Let’s take a look.

》 Citrus fruits …interesting factoid…do you know your body doesn’t make or store Vitamin C? This is what most people turn to after they’ve caught a cold. Vitamin C is thought to increase the production of white blood cells. They are key to fighting infections.

Popular citrus fruits include oranges, grapefruit, lemons, limes, clementines, and tangerines.

As mentioned with your body not producing it, this should be a vitamin you get daily fir immune health.

》Red Peppers

If you think citrus fruits have the most vitamin C of any fruit or vegetable, think again. Ounce for ounce, red bell peppers contain twice as much vitamin C as citrus. They’re also a rich source of beta carotene. Besides boosting your immune system, vitamin C may help maintain healthy skin. Beta carotene helps keep your eyes and skin healthy.

》Broccoli
Broccoli is supercharged with vitamins and minerals. Packed with vitamins A, C, and E, as well as many other antioxidants and fiber, broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables you can put on your table. The key to keeping its power intact is to cook it as little as possible — or better yet, not at all.

》Garlic

Garlic is found in every cuisine in the world. It adds a little zing to food and it’s a must-have for your health. Early civilizations recognized its value in fighting infections. Garlic may also help lower blood pressure and slow down hardening of the arteries. Garlic’s immune-boosting properties seem to come from a heavy concentration of sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin.

》Spinach

Spinach made the list not just because it’s rich in vitamin C. It’s also packed with numerous antioxidants and beta carotene, which may increase the infection-fighting ability of our immune systems. Similar to broccoli, spinach is healthiest when it’s cooked as little as possible so that it retains its nutrients. However, light cooking enhances its vitamin A and allows other nutrients to be released from oxalic acid.

》Yogurt

Look for yogurts that have “live and active cultures” printed on the label, like Greek yogurt. These cultures may stimulate your immune system to help fight diseases. Try to get plain yogurts rather than the kinds that are preflavored and loaded with sugar. You can sweeten plain yogurt yourself with healthy fruits and a drizzle of honey instead.

Yogurt can also be a great source of Vitamin D so try to select brands fortified with vitamin D. Vitamin D helps regulate the immune system and is thought to boost our body’s natural defenses against diseases.

》Almonds

When it comes to preventing and fighting off colds, vitamin E tends to take a backseat to vitamin C. However, vitamin E is key to a healthy immune system. It’s a fat soluble vitamin meaning it requires the presence of fat to be absorbed properly. Nuts, such as almonds, are packed with the vitamin and also have healthy fats. A half-cup serving, which is about 46 whole, shelled almonds, provides nearly 100 percent of the recommended daily amount of vitamin E.

》Papaya

Papaya is another fruit loaded with vitamin C. You can find 224 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C in a single papaya. Papayas also have a digestive enzyme called papain that has anti-inflammatory effects.

Papayas have decent amounts of potasium, B vitamins, and folate, all of which are beneficial to your overall health.

》Kiwi
Like papayas, kiwis are naturally full of a ton of essential nutrients, including folate, potassium, vitamin k, and vitamin C. Vitamin C boosts white blood cells to fight infection, while kiwi’s other nutrients keep the rest of your body functioning properly.

-》Berries of all types.

Blackberry, blueberry, strawberry, elderberry etc. ( be sure to check out my post The Benefits of Elderberry) these dark fruits pack powerful antioxidants. Berries are a great source of vitamin C which is thought to help prevent damage to your cells and also protects the immune system against deficiencies. Dark berries like blackberries, strawberries and blueberries not only taste great but they are also a great source of flavanols which are highly effective antioxidants.

》 Poultry

When you’re sick, chicken soup is more than just a feel-good food with a placebo effect. It helps improve symptoms of a cold and also helps protect you from getting sick in the first place. Poultry, such as chicken and turkey, is high in vitamin B-6. About 3 ounces of light turkey or chicken meat contains 40 to 50 percent of your daily recommended amount of B-6.

Vitamin B-6 is an important player in many of the chemical reactions that happen in the body. It’s also vital to the formation of new and healthy red blood cells. Stock or broth made by boiling chicken bones contains gelatin, chondroitin, and other nutrients helpful for gut healing and immunity.

》Shellfish

Shellfish isn’t what jumps to mind for many who are trying to boost their immune system, but some types of shellfish are packed with zinc.

Zinc doesn’t get as much attention as many other vitamins and minerals, but our bodies need it so that our immune cells can function as intended.

Varieties of shellfish that are high in zinc include:

  • crab
  • clams
  • lobster
  • mussels

Keep in mind that you don’t want to have more than the daily recommended amount of zinc in your diet. For adult men, it’s 11 milligrams (mg and for women, it’s 8 mg. Too much zinc can actually inhibit immune system function.

In conclusion

Keep in mind, these are a few foods to help build a strong immune system. Remember your best medicine is heading to the produce aisle for all of those wonderful colored fruits and veggies and making them a part of every meal.

I realized writing this, I eat almost all of these things, but wow, I need to try papaya!

Tell me do you have favorite foods that support a strong immune system?

Monday Musings

Happy Monday ya’ll and another day in paradise.

In this weeks edition…

Am I the only one troubled over humanity lately?

The lack of common sense, greed, and overall panicky hysteria have left me scratching my head.

The craziness at the grocery stores can just stop any time now.

I actually decided I’d get up and be at store when they opened yesterday to get a few things that have thus far, slipped from my hands.

I don’t want to be one of “those people ” but it almost forces my hand when I actually “need” items I would just go buy. Not to hoard…just regular shopping ya know?

When I pulled into the lot ( at 7:50 a.m.) it was to see a long line of people in the chilly wet morning that not only came down the street but wrapped around to the front of bulding waiting to get in.

Hundreds of people.

The store was only letting 50 people in at a time.

No thanks.

I left.

Really, staying home in all this isn’t torture when you deal with this fresh hell.

I just wanna buy eggs like a normal person again.

Speaking of food

I’ve seen a lot of posts with people asking what they should do or “take” to have a strong immune system.

First, you should always be concerned about having a strong healthy body, not when you are just worried about fending off the latest virus.

Second, the way you make your body strong, inside and out, is to feed it good, healthy, nutrient dense foods. By that I mean foods with as few or little ingredients as possible, single ingredients are a big win. ( think all kinds of colorful fruits and veggies) nothing replaces or works as good as real food.

Yogurt.

Yogurt is rich in probiotics including Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, and Bifidus. These strains boost immune function and may even help reduce both the length and severity of colds. Beneficial gut flora are needed for proper digestion, detoxification, and immune function.

Other factors to consider.

Get adequate rest, exercise, drink plenty of water, limit stress ( turn off the tv and social media bombardment of current issues!) Get outside, enjoy fresh air and sunshine, do a project or hobby that relaxes you.

Just a few tips and suggestions as we navigate through this interesting time in life.

Oh. And yeah, let’s not forget my lovely breakfast pic.

Plenty of sauteed veggies with spinach, cherry tomatoes, and green onions. Also a good dose of dark berries for all of their awesome antioxidant properties and of course, eggs for protein, because muscles 💪

And another thing

I’m semi-amused over all the posts I’ve seen touting “how to workout at home” or how to exercise while the gym is closed.

Hey…I’ve been making home workouts cool long before now 🤣

Honestly, I’m grateful this isn’t an issue for me.

I have an area carved out in my barn I share with my vintage project furniture (that can sometimes be seen photo bombing me) and random tools and whatnot.

I don’t need a whole lot of space to kick my own butt.

I’ve managed to collect enough items that I can mix up a pretty good workout

Between lots of weights, a punching bag, and my recently aquired elliptical machine, not to mention my own body weight, I can mix up all kinds of fun

Of course I have my bike for my favorite gym, outdoors.

Here’s my word to you. Find ways to take yourself out and move.

Walking is still largely available for us all to do. Nothing clears my head more and helps me feel refreshed than being out for a good walk or run.

Right now with current situations walking could be the therapy you need mentally and physically.

Also, just because you may not have weights or equipment at home doesn’t mean you can’t use your own body for body weight exercises. Thanks to Google you can search up plenty to do. Pinterest has lots of options as well ( check out my Sassyfitnesschick board there as well as other exercise boards I have)

Keep in mind too that there are lots of heavy items around your house you could use as weights. You can also pick up some cheap resistance bands at the store which will give you some strength training

Jump rope. It’s not just for kids. Yeah your heart will feel like it’s gonna explode and you’ll be screaming you’re out of shape, but keep at it and you will get better.

If you’re wanting to get a little home “gym” started may I suggest your local online sales?

I have several things I’ve scooped up that was someone elses better idea….like my 50.00 elliptical I shared with you in last weeks Monday Musings.

Decide what you like, what you would stick with and go on a hunt.

What else are you doing while you’re stuck at home? 🤔

Get creative with ways to keep body and mind active and to most importantly, keep a positive mental attitude.

On topic of being home

Let me say that by nature, I’m a very social person. I like being out going, seeing people,talking…maybe talking some more…hubby says I could talk to stump 🤣 so having places cut off from me to go to right now is a rather…odd…feeling.

Like my Starbucks locked their doors on Saturday. Ouch.

Yeah, I can still drive thru for coffee. I never do…I go in so I can see and talk to people. I get to know the baristas and the regulars…I like that contact.

I get it though…the why of it..

But being at home however, doesn’t leave me sitting on my sofa wondering what to do after all my toilets are cleaned and the final dust bunny is gone.

Not when I have a business that I literally work at home. If you’ve followed me you know I have a little side hustle flipping antique and vintage furniture.

I have all kinds of projects waiting for my attention not to mention custom orders.

I’ve kinda liked having some time to really devote to my work.

Check out this sweet piece. I got it this week and just had to start it because I knew how I wanted it.

Obviously, it’s before look.

This is a piece I want to keep, but won’t.

One of those job hazards…wanting to keep things. 🤪

Oh, I got this 50s retro kitchen pantry this week. It’s gonna need some work before a new paint job. I can hardly wait to get to it as I haven’t really done a retro piece and I have alllll the cool ideas in my head for it.

Sometimes…I have to much in my head….

Anyway, i.

Your turn! Tell me how you are coping with all that’s going on right now? Have you picked up a new activity to keep busy? What strategies are you using to deal with life?

Monday Musings

Welcome to another edition of Monday Musings, an eclectic gathering of my random, yet sometimes thoughtful reflections.

You never know what’s gonna come out of my head…..

What on earth?

Unless you’ve been in a cave, it seems like people have lost their minds with the current situation regarding this virus.

I’m not camping on this topic long as I feel the majority of us are overwhelmed and saturated with it all.

Thank you media for contributing to hysteria that has led to people literally ripping store shelves bare and hoarding things they don’t need.

This aisle usually has paper products at my store…..

Hold on…I’m going somewhere..

I made a trip to the store the other day for a few things I actually ya know, needed.

One of those items was a vitamin I’ve taken for several years. It never occurred to me that the vitamin section would get hit and so many things wouldn’t be there.

Here’s my thought about that.

You can’t decide to throw some vitamins at your body in the moment of anxiety thinking it’s gonna “help” you fend off something.

If you want to help yourself, it needs to be something you do every single day

Eat healthy, natural foods. Drink plenty of water, exercise, get rest, and depending on your personal needs, then use vitamins if needed.

The best way to keep your body and immune system strong is to take care of it daily.

Not in an impulsive moment thinking it will be some kind of quick fix.

Rant over….stay healthy out there. Wash your hands and be smart.

Speaking of exercise….

If you’ve followed me for awhile you know that I kinda like running.

Unfortunately, I’ve had a crappy injury that’s kept me off of it. I’m still cycling and strength training but I miss the hard work and satisfaction of putting those miles in that running gives me.

I’ve used an elliptical in the past and it was the closest thing to running I could do without actually, you know, running 😛

I set out trolling all my local online sale sites watching for someone to sell off their “better idea turned towel and clothes holder.”

Not to hard to find I might say. I just had to wade through mediocre ones that were to much and then the nicer ones, if well priced, got sold or they were to far away etc.

Until…..

The other night I found a Nordictrack, a short drive down the road from me, selling for only 50.00.

I couldn’t respond fast enough. This time I was the one quick enough to get the prize.

The couple told me they had each gotten a gym membership and it was never used. This originally 800.00 machine ( she had the receipt and manual in a bag for me) had all the bells and whistles on it.

I happily loaded my game on the trailer and hauled it home.

I got it all set up….today was my maiden voyage on it.

Gosh, it felt awesome to be working hard like that again.

Heart pounding and sweat in my eyes…good times 😁

Do you like ellipticals?

On topic of healthy lifestyle

In other recent events in my life, hubby was in the hospital for a number of weeks so needless to say I found myself frequenting the hospital cafeteria for more than shots of coffee.

I have to say their food selections were nice and varied.

Often though, I hit up their salad bar. It offered a good selection of colorful greens and other veggies with protein options too. I got some dressing in a container so I could control what I had. ( remember dressings can contribute a huge amount of calories to a otherwise healthy salad) it was a satisfying and filling lunch.

I wrote a post before addressing the myth that is perpetuated suggesting healthy food was more expensive than fries or burgers ( The Cost of Healthy Eating) You can also check out my post (Weight Loss and Salads and Salad Bar Strategies)

On average I paid 4.00-5.00 for my salad. ( you pay by weight) those cucumbers and chick peas were heavy!)

On one day I just wanted a burger and fries, because, why not? I paid 7.50 for it.

The bottom line is, we make our choices. You choose to eat healthy foods or you don’t.

Not only do I have plenty of colorful veggies, eggs and chick peas covered my protein.

Doesn’t it look delicious? 😁

Speaking of healthy food

https://pin.it/4osmBfX

I made this recipe for dinner recently and it is amazing!

https://pin.it/1WBX33I

I just found this salad recipe and it is definitely on my list to try soon.

Ok and one of my favs…

https://pin.it/7hUVgjK

In other life stuff

In ways of things fun and not stressful, how about a look at a few of my vintage projects?

One of my other plates I juggle is a growing vintage business which involves flipping often old,sad and falling apart furniture.

It brings me tremendous satisfaction to make things pretty again…like this custom order I just finished this week…

Here’s the before:

And the after:

This turned out so cheery and is such a happy piece. My customer…”oh my gosh, I wanna cry, it’s so pretty!”

Makes my day.

I got this super cool piece last week. Its an old wash station. It does have a seriously abused marble top but I’ve got plans to spruce that up.

I think…it would repurpose to make a great coffee bar. At first I thought it would make a great pastry table but it is a bit short for that. How would you repurpose this cute piece?

Then there was this.. I love old telephone benches. I can’t keep them around, a good problem to have..

This is how I got it….

And after..

Boring magazine holder…

Turned kitchen utility crate 😛

Enough of my creativity for now… I got more projects this weekend

And before I go…

Isn’t it pretty? And it’s really black coffee. I love the nitro cold brew from Starbucks. It has no cream, the nitro gives it the smooth creamy foam and it slowly settles and swirls down through the coffee until it’s black. It packs a powerful caffeine punch, yet is ridiculously smooth and satisfying to my soul

My current guilty pleasure 😉

Your turn…..tell me…how are you doing out there? How is your piece of the world doing? Have you tried the nitro coffee? What’s new with you?

Saturday Snippets

In today’s installment of Saturday Snippets, I’m gonna just talk about numbers for a bit.

Ironic considering I don’t find numbers particularly interesting or remotely fun…. sorry you little math nerds out there who love them. 😉

However, numbers do interest me when it comes to weights and seeing how much I’m capable of lifting, how fast I can ride, or row a mile and tidbits like that.

This weeks rounds at PT had my therapist commenting that the “165 lb. single leg presses were looking easy” for me.

Welllll…I’d never describe it like THAT….but I haven’t exactly mentioned to him I feel like I could probably handle more (I suspect that is coming)

You see, those things matter. It indicates where my strength is at and I will have a knowledge of where I’ve progressed from.

When numbers shouldn’t matter

I’ve been stalking….er…I mean…observing… this cultic diet group from afar. They place a whole lotta emphasis on their products helping people miraculously lose all kinds of weight and inches in only….8 days.

Yep you read right. There are tons of glowing life stories of consumers being transformed in these 8 days.

Almost makes me question my old school approach of healthy eating and purposeful exercise…not.

Of course they neglect to tell you that you largely do a starvation diet but hey! Food is overrated.

Of other short term glowing reviews there’s a huge focus on getting into significantly smaller sizes in a short time.

Here’s where I’m going

Wearing smaller clothes and losing weight is certainly not bad. Losing excess fat is good for the body and your overall health.

But who says it has to be attempted in a ridiculously short term manner? Why is the focus on those numbers instead of focusing on a slow sustainable loss of 1-2 lbs a week?

The reality is, even if you do lose a “big” amount in the first week it’s mostly water weight as you have greatly reduced carbs which hold water. Heck! With this plan you’ve pretty much reduced all food!

Successful long term weight loss isn’t a speed process, sorry, it’s just not.

And it doesn’t need to be.

Numbers that matter

Instead of focusing on perhaps, unrealistic or unsustainable numbers consider things like this on your fitness journey:

How many steps did you get in your day? Did you get more than the previous day?

Can you walk/run farther than previous weeks?

How many stairs can you climb?

Is your weekly weight loss a steady 1-2 lbs?

What about your body measurements? Often we will see those numbers change even if the scale doesn’t.

What about your blood pressure or lab results numbers? These are internal indicators of your health.

Lifting weights? Can you do more reps or have you increased weight you are using? Celebrate the strength of your body!

There are so many numbers that reflect our health and fitness, beyond the scale.

Attempting to do things “fast” doesn’t earn you extra rewards and if anything, potentially sets you back. You don’t become over weight “fast”, why is there a thought weight loss occurs that way?

Slow and steady weight loss, combined with consistent exercise will lead to long term success you can be proud of.