Spotlight on Watermelon

We are approaching that time of year here in south Texas.

The time of year where there are longer days, warm evenings and easier dinners.

One of the foods that make frequent appearances at our summer meals is the sweet and flavorful watermelon.

And not just for dinner but it’s also a cool, sweet, refreshing treat on a hot afternoon.

Let’s take a look at how this delicious treat breaks down…

Watermelon consists mostly of water (91%) and carbs (7.5%). It provides almost no protein or fat and is very low in calories.

The nutrients in 2/3 cup of raw watermelon are:

  • Calories: 30
  • Water: 91%
  • Protein: 0.6 grams
  • Carbs: 7.6 grams
  • Sugar: 6.2 grams
  • Fiber: 0.4 grams
  • Fat: 0.2 grams

You can eat a whole lot of it for minimal calories!

Watermelon contains 12 grams of carbohydrates per cup.

The carbs are mostly simple sugars, such as glucose, fructose, and sucrose. Watermelon also provides a small amount of fiber.

The glycemic index (GI) — a measure of how quickly foods raise blood sugar levels after meals — of watermelons ranges from 72–80, which is high.

However, each serving of watermelon is relatively low in carbs, so eating it should not have a major effect on blood sugar levels.

Don’t listen to health “experts” who criticize fruits because of sugars in them. These are naturally occurring sugars and not the simple sugars in cokes, candies or other sweet things.

Those…you definitely need to do in moderation.

The benefits of a fruit far outweigh the natural sugars in them that some people try to demonize.

What other good things does watermelon offer?

  • Vitamin C. This antioxidant is essential for skin health and immune function.
  • Potassium. This mineral is important for blood pressure control and heart health.
  • Copper. This mineral is most abundant in plant foods and often lacking in the Western diet.
  • Vitamin B5. Also known as pantothenic acid, this vitamin is found in almost all foods to some extent.
  • Vitamin A. Watermelon contains beta carotene, which your body can turn into Vitamin A.

Watermelon is an exceptionally healthy fruit.

It’s loaded with citrulline and lycopene, two powerful plant compounds linked to lower blood pressure, improved metabolic health, and decreased muscle soreness after exercise.

What’s more, it’s sweet, delicious, and packed with water, making it excellent for maintaining good hydration.

For the vast majority of people, watermelon is a perfect addition to a healthy diet.

Tasty ways to eat it

Really the best way is just a big slice, still in the rind, cold, and juicy running down your hands while you eat it.

Yeah, super messy but it’s also one of those fun easy ways to enjoy it

When I serve it with dinner I do cut it from the rind into neatly sized pieces for more manageable eating 🙂

Check out these ideas for watermelon

https://pin.it/k2nvmzfzkrea5n

https://pin.it/yfrlea4m2u4nxm

https://pin.it/cxm47jhlwk4kfm

Is watermelon a favorite summer fruit for you? How do you like to eat it?

One Size Fits All Fitness

Do you ever see clothes and the size is listed as “one size fits all”?

For a woman it’s almost the kiss of death meaning the garment may or may not potentially fit you like a sack..

If you’re a woman like I am, at 6’0 the probability is even greater.

Except now it’s a much shorter sack haha

Why then do people try to approach exercise/fitness and nutrition in that manner?

There is no one size approach. I know with so many new diets and exercise trends hitting the market its easy to get swept into thinking you have to follow one of them to “be successful”.

Let’s not forget social media with the constant barrage of same old fitness poses, looks and “ideals”. That alone can be overwhelming to alot of people.

With all of that in our face, where do we start?

First, it may be trial and error. You try different things till you find something that sticks with you.

Not what your neighbor or sister does. Not what you saw on social media that tells you you’re supposed to do, but the thing ( or things) that you want to go do. The things that make your heart race and make you feel alive.

I can’t tell you the times I’ve had people tell me they admire what I do but “they don’t run”

Ok well then, don’t run.

Easy.

The things that make me feel alive and I enjoy are mine. They may be yours too but they don’t or won’t necessarily be something you choose.

Being out on the road whether it’s running or cycling, working hard and putting in the miles, is my jam.

I love being able to challenge my body, push beyond comfort zones, and dig deeper into myself. It’s crazy satisfying.

And yes most people I know think I’m crazy for what I do.

Find the thing you love, and pursue it to the point people jokingly tell you that you’re crazy.

Bodies are different

Even though we are all designed the same, how we look, how our bodies will develop with exercise and good nutrition, will all be different.

We all have different genetics that determine our bodies development. Your best body won’t look like someone else’s best body and that’s ok! Embrace who you are and celebrate your own unique qualities. Be compassionate and loving to yourself. You don’t need to look like the girl or guy next to you at the gym and comparison is the thief of joy so don’t do that.

Rest

Listen if there’s someone who has struggled at times taking a rest day ( from workouts) it’s yours truly. This is most true when I’m training for something. I intellectually know a rest day or two is neccessary and beneficial, but I hated taking them.

Now I understand the value more.

Give yourself permission to rest.

Looking healthy

Here’s a big misconception. Looking healthy and feeling it aren’t always the same thing. There’s such a focus on “looks” today that we over look healthy as a feeling, an overall well being. Learning to eat well, with healthy foods, allowing for some treats, and exercising in a healthy way is nourishing to our mind, spirit and body. Yes we want to “look” healthy, but feeling it is even more important.

The energy you have for your days, the ease with how you do activites, the appearance of your skin, hair, eyes, how you feel overall and then yes, how you look on the outside all add up to total health.

You don’t always have to go all out

I’m saying this to myself too. I love workouts that are challenging. But doing ones that are shorter or a notch less than what I usually do is ok too.

I feel like that doing yoga. It’s such a different kinda of strength workout but it’s not like how flying down the road feels. It brings me down and reminds me there are times it’s ok to not be going all out.

Same for you too. Find times to do activities that aren’t your full speed ahead usual ones.

Lifestyle changes take time

They really do, but they are worth the time and effort invested. Don’t jump on the snake oil trains of “lose weight get fit in 90 days” nonsense.

It takes time, slow and steady, but the results are satisfying and worth it.

Focus on what your body can do

Again, being constantly bombarded with images of what we “should” look like or what size our ( insert body part here) should be or shouldn’t be you may be left feeling like you’re lacking or should be “better”

Recently I’ve read articles on stretch marks, cellulite, not having skinny thighs, getting a thigh gap, and let’s not forget how…. over the top tired I am….. of seeing huge butts in my fitness newsfeed.

Bigger butts are on trend now. Lucky me Haha

Seriously though….none and I mean none of that stuff matters when you’re running, cycling, doing yoga, lifting weights, rowing whatever it is.

The last thing on my mind when I’m grinding out miles are any supposed “flaws” I have..

I am aware though of how my body moves. How it responds to what I ask if it. The way it feels to pick up a bar loaded with weight. How my legs work to pedal strongly up huge hills or run up them or when I can simply use my body weight in planks or side planks or difficult yoga positions

Those are the things that matter.

Stop obsessing over size

When I first started on my health journey 8 years ago it became a game to get smaller.

Where it is important to be aware of weight gain, you shouldn’t be hung up on sizes.

The more I’ve grown knowing myself the more I realize it’s not about being small. I’ve built a strong, powerful body and I celebrate that.

Focus on building a healthy, strong body, not the smallest size or some arbitrary number on the scale.

So as you move along on your health and fitness journey remember you are unique. Your needs are unique. Your body will respond to what you do in different ways from someone else. There is no one size approach. Find what works best for you and go after it.

Tell me have you ever tried fitness or nutrition approaches that were not good for you or weren’t a good “fit”? What has worked best for you?

Monday Musings

Hello world! and hello my faithful followers. Yeah, I’ve been absent for a bit… I’d say I’ve been lazy but that’s definitely not the case. Life is busy and besides the usual life stuff I’ve been busy working on projects for my vintage shop… and burning a lot of midnight oil working on projects.

Find my post on my journey here…. https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/07/25/the-journey-of-opening-a-vintage-business/

It’s crazy I do some of my best work late. I guess I like it ’cause it’s usually quiet, everyone is in bed, no one wants anything from me and I can happily focus on what I’m doing.

It’s really a very relaxing thing for me to work on my pieces. There is something tremendously satisfying watching something old, ugly, tired and often discarded as useless come to a new life again.

I wrote a post on that here…. https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/05/22/the-art-of-flipping-furniture/

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/05/23/steps-to-transforming-vintage-furniture/

It takes me on adventures dragging it home….

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Of course, once I hit the pillow, my mind is still wandering in a million places and often the creative part refuses to shut down.

For instance, I just finished this little piece last night.  I had it in my shop hanging out for awhile in “as is” shape. Meaning, it’s original finish.

It looked like this….

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Kinda boring and dated. It had no back… a hazard of old pieces. Things go missing over time

But look now at it… I’m so in love with how it came out.

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Fresh white, some distressing, a new back with some cute Paris themed fabric and it’s not so dated anymore.
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And because I’m a girl….details.

Ok I’m gonna show you one more thing I scored this week. An amazing, beautiful, yet sad and needy piece that I can hardly wait to get my paws working on.

It was actually in a listing for two antique chairs I wanted. The lady offered me a generous and low price for chairs and basically said if I’d take chairs for that price I could have the desk for 10.00.

Yeah 10.00.

I’ll let you take a look at it….

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I know you’re wondering why I dragged it home, aren’t you? I love the challenge that awaits me! The opportunity to breath life into this piece. So here’s the deal… I never look a gift horse in the mouth. I’ve been messing with this furniture craziness for a year now. I have an eye for “the good stuff”. I could hardly wait to get this home, examine it really close, take inventory of what needed done and then do some research on it to see what I could find on it.

I knew the desk was really old just based on the construction and the wood. The wood is rough cut and more fitted and glued together in many places than nailed. The “mirror” is no longer that, but mostly glass that’s tarnished and long gone. Someone along the way painted it white. It’s original finish would’ve been stained oak.

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A peak inside… and yeah.. it has no back. Like… what the heck is up with things losing their backs??
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Once again… look at those details…

So I did some research and it turns out this piece was produced by the Larkin Soap company and dates somewhere late 1800’s.

Ironically, Larkin’s main production was soap and toiletries. The furniture was a “give away” for purchasing various products. They offered chairs, lamps, tables and the popular secretary styled desk. The furniture was massed produced at the time of rather ordinary type woods.

This is the Readers Digest version. I found the whole history to be rather interesting. Larkin was quite the savvy business man of his time and had an extremely lucrative business.

And here I am…. over 125 years later… entrusted with the restoration of this amazing and cute piece.

Of course I have a long check list lined out of what to do haha

I’ve also scored lots of other cool things, with which I won’t bother you here. I’ll share in upcoming posts some updates.

Oh and I did finally start a business insta page so if you like antique and vintage furniture and other cool stuff, follow me there at vintage_1964 to see other shenanigans I’ve got going on.

I have been up to other things too….

The weather has been less than inviting and it just makes me wanna stay holed up in the morning drinking coffee…

But no…. I’m a good girl and try and get some kind of workout in. Right now, I consider myself in more of an “off season”. With the duathlon behind me, I haven’t been pushing as hard.

I’ve really been spending some time hitting the heavy stuff and focusing on that several times a week. I usually try and warm up with 15 mins or so of cardio…rowing or boxing… and then weights. I think I’m a weirdo but my body responds quickly to it so I guess there’s a bit of reward to keep at it. Not only that, it’s so empowering doing moves that previously may have felt “heavy” but now I do with ease.

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Gotta love a chilly morning that makes you work up a sweat

That organizing thing….

It is still on my list to keep cleaning out drawers, closets etc. I mentioned in a previous post the whole cultic Marie Kondo thing going on got me to trying her folding methods.

Don’t look for me to go all minimalist, but I do like a lot of her ideas.

I just need more time in my day for things! Anyone else out there?

I’m a list maker and if I can keep to doing that I am far more likely to accomplish an exact number of tasks in my day. otherwise, sometimes I can be all over the place ( my mind is a whirling place many times 😛 )

And finally….

The chilly wet weather has had me experimenting with some new soups and tasty food.

this soup was hearty and loaded with flavor. I doubled up and made a big pot of it. I used really big carrots and cut into large chunks for my non carrot loving people. I added warm French bread and it was perfect for a cold night.

https://www.littlebroken.com/2016/10/11/one-pot-chicken-stew/

And the chicken stew was amazing as well.

Try one of these out if you need a tasty cold weather meal.

Your turn, tell me what’s new with you. Tried any new recipes lately? Are you sticking with your exercise even if it’s cold where you live?  What keeps you motivated to stay with it?

Monday Musings

Hello world and happy Monday! I’ve got a few things rolling through my head for todays Musings edition…

First, I think next to people making resolutions to lose weight, another top item on the list for many is getting more organized/tidy/having less junk… I mean…”valuable stuff”…. taking up their space.

Enter a little Japanese dynamo named Marie Kondo, an organizing consultant who helps people get rid of their useless valuables.

I can’t claim a long term following of her or her ways as I innocently stumbled on her while Googling some value fact or bit of info I was after one day. I read the article, noted the before and after of neatly arranged drawers and thought…. hmmm… maybe I’ll just give  her version of drawer organizing a whirl.

First, though, if you’ve missed out on the movement of “KonMari”, get on the cool kids bus with us.

It simply means gathering all of your belongings, one category at a time, touching them, thanking them for their service ( ok odd I know… not sure how much of that I’ll be doing 😛 ) and only keeping those things that “spark joy”, then you donate what doesn’t.

The idea is to be left with only things that make you happy and bring joy.

Ok that sounds good to me…although I’ll state this here… I’ll never be a “minimalist”.

No offense if you are.  I need some things around me that breathe people live in my home. I want cozy and comfy with a tiny bit of something not always in it’s place.   I don’t like walking in somewhere and wondering where the person is who lives there, (personal touches) everything carefully staged, sterile if you will.

Just not my vibe.

But the less unimportant stuff that we all tend to keep around ’cause… maybe we don’t essentially feel moved to get rid of it, don’t know HOW to get rid of it… whatever the case?

Yeah, sign me up.

So as mentioned, I thought I’d start with a few drawers.

Easy…

And I knew it wouldn’t take huge amounts of time. If I “liked” it, I decided I’d move on to something bigger.

Her folding style is different from how most of us may fold. I tend to fold and stack things into the drawer. Her method is to fold into neat thirds and then you stand items up on end, like book spines sticking up. Then you can see at a glance exactly what you have and easily select it.

I started with hubby’s undie drawer. (sorry hubster) I figured it would be fast and then… I’d know…. if I should continue on.  Well, needless to say after I did his drawer, and had extra space that previously wasn’t there, I wanted to move to one of my athletic drawers ( yes I have more than one)

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So tidy!

So this drawer, made me crazy every morning. No matter how I folded things or kept shorts separate from sports bras, I was inevitably throwing stuff out looking for one particular item. Now, I open drawer and it’s all neat right in front of me, with space that wasn’t there previously!

I’m still trying to decide if I wanna apply this to socks. Some of you may know how I feel about socks… so those might be the LAST drawers I tackle. I will move on to my closet next and although I’ve cleaned out quite a bit before lil Marie tripped into my life, I realize I can go back for more.  I might be taking baby steps on some of this but it’s better than nothing, right?  It’s a 2019 goal for me.

I did do something fun in my week though….

Hubby and I took off to play tourist in our home area. Our kids had given us an  all inclusive stay at a gorgeous hotel on the riverwalk and we had gift cards to a local restaurant  for food. What’s better than a pre-paid escape??

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A view looking down from our room
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The river winds through the downtown area, below is the riverwalk area which covers a large area of downtown San Antonio.

We didn’t stay in the room of course, but did some roaming around enjoying the beautiful day.

I’m not sure what it is about being downtown, but it almost has it’s own energy, it’s vibe, of people and culture and times gone by that I love. I also love people watching too.

I was kinda shocked and delighted to see one of the buildings still decked out with Christmas. You know how much I love old school vintage and this Santa and Nutcracker were worth snapping….

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How cute is he?

We stopped outside the Ripley’s museum and couldn’t resist playing with the distortion mirror…..

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Here we are all distorted, tall (oops well I am tall haha) and awkwardly skinny. We preferred that over short, fat and wavy looking.

After roaming around all day, we headed out for dinner at a fun place called the Rainforest Café.

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This welcomes you…

So inside is like a rain forest, it has animals and they actually move and “act” like what they are…. we happened to be seated next to a bunch of gorillas… it got really loud ….

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This guy stared at me all night long…

Oh and of course we had to stop for a little coffee break while we were out… I love how they let you know you aren’t on your own coffee turf anymore.. hubby patiently waiting as he’s used to me taking random pics for my blog…..

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All in all it was a fun little weekend get away, and all rather close to home. Next time we’re going back for scooter rides….

Speaking of coffee…..

Dunkin’ Donuts just opened in our neck of the woods.  I happened to stumble in the first day, right after they opened, and decided to try their iced coffee.

Yes, it was good. I probably won’t be there as a permanent customer ’cause I’m on Starbucks rewards program and I get free stuff ya know…. and free is good… and not only that… I love so many of the people I’ve gotten to know there too.

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Winter gear and iced coffee… I know….

What about food?

I made this amazing scalloped potato recipe for a family dinner last week.  This won’t rank up there with slim and fit dishes, you gently boiled the peeled and sliced potatoes in heavy cream first!

Yikes, but they were tasty 😛 find the recipe below and dont’ forget to head to Pinterest and find my Sassyfitnesschick page for lots of great ( healthy) and wicked recipes, fitness tips and more.

https://pattyandersonsblog.blogspot.com/2015/03/steakhouse-potato-gratin.html

Your turn!

Is organization on your 2019 list to do? Have you heard of Marie Kondo? Or tried her methods? What other things are on your goal list this year?

 

 

 

 

No Exercise Required

It was early morning and I was still bleary eyed, sipping on my first wonderful cup of hot coffee slowly coming to life.

For the record I’m not “anti” morning. I mean most weeks I’m out on the road running or cycling while people are still crawling outta bed. On the other hand, I may just prefer to cuddle and be alone with my coffee for a bit till the fog clears my head 😉

I am more of strong night owl if I had to label myself … anyway…

I’m waking up, laptop in front of me as I do a final read through and edit on my post before launching it into the world and blog land.  I do my level best to make sure you, my faithful readers, don’t stumble through to much of my ramblings haha

And can I take a moment to say thank you?

However, you follow me, whether through e-mail, Facebook, IG, Pinterest or on WordPress, thank you for taking your time to read what I write.  I know our time is valuable and I appreciate you taking yours to read my offerings.

I will always attempt to make it worth your while, to keep it sassy, and hopefully to educate, inspire, or challenge you.

Now, where was I?

Waking up, drinking coffee and proofing my post… yes that’s where I was. So while I’m doing that, the morning news is on and the morning commercials.

Sweet heavens.

It must be the cheapest time of day to advertise ’cause obnoxious car sale ads are on along with ads for medical clinics, lawyers and all kinds of other services I can do without hearing about that early in morning.

All of them are so… loud. So very, very loud.

Anyway, this weight loss commercial comes on advertising how you can lose weight with some miracle something or another and “no exercise required!!”

I guess that’s where my still sleepy, yet slowly coming alive brain kicked in.

I thought, how is that a good selling point ? But then I realized, to a lot of people, that IS a good selling point.

Lose weight and you don’t have to exercise? Heck yeah.

I get it. Exercise is work. If you do it right, it’s hard work.

Of course, if you’re out of shape it really feels like hard work. Your heart and lungs are screaming at you and you get all red and you are breathing way to hard so of course a weight loss offer of no exercise might seem like a good deal.

oxygen

 

It’s just not.

Let’s just forget losing weight here as we discuss this. Really, exercise shouldn’t be what you do to lose weight, it’s really what you put in your mouth and how much of it that matters more.  Exercise can just support those efforts.

Exercise offers so much more to us than being a weight loss tool. Think about how you feel when you leave your house on a nice evening to go for a short walk. Chances are it gives you time to think, clear your head from the day, brain storm ideas, and just unwind a bit. When you come back in you probably feel rejuvenated and refreshed, even if you may be sweaty 😉

In time, you most likely will want to walk a bit further as you start to really enjoy it and look forward to it.

Maybe going to a yoga class let’s you feel more connected to yourself, makes you more aware of your body.  For me, yoga definitely slows me down, but it also let’s me have some time that is a bit more quiet and reflective.

Whatever activity you may enjoy, if you get started in it, you will most likely enjoy many benefits that have nothing to do with losing weight.

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Remember, your heart is a muscle that needs work too 😉

 

 

So…get this…..

Exercise is the single best thing you can do for your brain in terms of mood, memory, and learning.  Even 10 minutes of activity changes your brain.

Jumping on the treadmill or cross trainer for 30 minutes can blow off tension by increasing levels of “soothing” brain chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. What’s fascinating, though, is that exercise may actually work on a cellular level to reverse stress’s toll on our aging process. according to a 2010 study from the University of California—San Francisco. The researchers found that stressed-out women who exercised vigorously for an average of 45 minutes over a three-day period had cells that showed fewer signs of aging compared to women who were stressed and inactive. Working out also helps keep us from ruminating “by altering blood flow to those areas in the brain involved in triggering us to relive these stressful thoughts again and again.

I wrote a post on exercise and aging… find it here….

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2017/05/24/exercise-and-aging/

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2017/07/24/aging-and-the-fountain-of-youth/

It can help with depression. Research suggests that burning off 350 calories three times a week through sustained, sweat-inducing activity can reduce symptoms of depression about as effectively as antidepressants. That may be because exercise appears to stimulate the growth of neurons in certain brain regions damaged by depression.

Exercise can improve our learning. Exercise increases the level of brain chemicals called growth factors, which help make new brain cells and establish new connections between brain cells to help us learn. Interestingly, complicated activities, like playing tennis or taking a dance class, provide the biggest brain boost. You’re challenging your brain even more when you have to think about coordination. Like muscles, you have to stress your brain cells to get them to grow.

It improves self-esteem and body image. You don’t need to radically change your body shape to get a confidence surge from exercise. Studies suggest that simply seeing fitness improvements, like running a faster mile or lifting more weight than before, can improve your self-esteem and body image.

It may keep Alzheimers from setting in. The Alzheimer’s Research Center touts exercise as one of the best weapons against the disease. Exercise appears to protect the hippocampus, which governs memory and spatial navigation, and is one of the first brain regions to succumb to Alzheimer’s-related damage.

Is that enough evidence for exercise?

Those are some pretty convicting reasons to exercise, right? Yet not a single one of them have to do with losing weight. The point being, exercise benefits all of our body, soul and spirit.

Exercise is a good tool to help with weight loss but as you’ve seen it offers so many more benefits to keep us healthy and whole.

It shouldn’t be viewed as something you don’t “need”. Our bodies are made for and are designed for, movement.  So many of our modern day illnesses and health issues could be helped and improved with regular consistent exercise.

What exercise has taught me

ok admittedly, a few years ago when I was an out of shape middle aged woman, I wasn’t totally sold on the idea of vigorous daily exercise. As I mentioned earlier in this post, it’s hard, and it’s really hard when you’ve been doing nothing and  then start doing “something”.

I purposefully made myself go walk each day. I dutifully walked 2 miles. I did it no matter what was going on, some days I had to fit it in at different times, but I did it.

I did it enough it turned into a new habit.  One day I got brave and actually went farther. One mile turned into another, before I knew it I was running some, and then, well the rest is history…

Exercise was certainly a good discipline tool. Those scheduled daily times on the road disciplined me to getting up and making a commitment to something.

That discipline eventually carried over into other areas of my life.

When I trained for my first marathon I learned a lot more about discipline, sacrifice, and some serious hard work. Honestly, once you run a marathon ( I actually went on to do more and eventually in 2014, a 50k) you develop the feeling and attitude you can take on the world.

I learned more about concrete goal setting, short and long term.

Exercise has built my confidence in what I can do and what I’m capable of doing.  This translates far beyond what I do on  the road.

The more I’ve grown athletically, the more I’ve seen that transfer into my daily life.

Becoming mentally strong dealing with physically activity has given me a tough mind in dealing with life.

I shared in a recent post about my yearly check up with my doctor.  My HDL ( good cholesterol ) was 75 on the lab report. It should be mentioned the highest number they had as “good” was 39. My doctor just gave me a level look and said… “it’s from all that exercise you do”.   So exercise is good for stuff like that 😉

I’ve also learned I can do some of my most creative thinking out on the road. It’s a time to process, discard, think and get clarity.

It’s taught me to get out of my head, get out of my way, so I can see what I’m made of.  I’ve learned I have strength I didn’t know I possessed, mentally and physically

Oh yeah. and somehow along the way of learning that, I lost weight and got decently fit.

So yeah, you do need to exercise

So if you’re one of the “anti-exercisers” 😉 I hope I’ve given you something different to think on.  Find something you enjoy and want to do, then commit to getting good at it. DO it often enough and frequently enough and it will turn into a habit, a good one at that.

And then, before you know it, you too will have lost some weight and be getting decently fit too.

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I love and anticipate my workouts now, physically and mentally.

 

Your turn… tell me… do you wish you didn’t “have” to exercise? Do you wish you could lose weight and get all the benefits without doing it, or are you at a place where you love it and would miss it? Have you ever considered exercise as beneficial to you in ways besides helping with weight loss?

Monday Musings

Hello boys and girls. Monday again. Time to let the random collections outta my head from this past week. I appreciate your encouragement and appreciation of these posts. They are fun for me in the sense I can just literally write on anything and everything. It gives you a little insight into other areas of my life that aren’t “just” health and fitness.

But health and fitness is really important to me

it’s pretty much why I started this blog. I found in my sharing on social media people were uh… hungry… for encouragement and sane, sensible ways to live a healthy lifestyle.  I love sharing my personal athletic shenanigans and  love sharing simple tips that can help and work to get fit and healthy. I also like being able to direct people in ways to get exercise into their lives.

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A morning ride, the road behind me and more miles in front of me

But I was thinking as I often do when I was out on the road the other morning. I was thinking about how grateful I was to be doing what I was doing. You see I never take it for granted or believe that I’m entitled to do it.

It’s a privilege to exercise and use my body.

It kinda makes me sad when people make jokes about not exercising or being lazy or choosing not to do it.  I guess I want them to “get it”. That once they push past a point where they have to make themselves get out, or have to set their alarm earlier (or whatever they need to do) that they will actually begin to look forward to it.

Crave it even.

It becomes a key part of the day. Not only that, it begins to build energy in me and clears and centers me for my day.

I mean really you only have one body. Shouldn’t you do things to take care of it? To keep it strong and healthy?

Exercise has multiple health benefits and yet, is the most unused activity to help our bodies not only physically, but mentally too.

If you don’t do anything yet, at least make a commitment to yourself to begin walking. Everyone can do it, it’s easy, and you don’t have to go anywhere except out your front door.

After exercise, we eat

Ok ideally food is good after a workout. I am sometimes bad about coming in and jumping to my to do list and not getting food ( bad girl I know)

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Most mornings my breakfast starts like this… a healthy dose of spinach

I try and make a breakfast that is really heavy in veggies with a side of fruit to start my day and nourish my body post workout.  Spinach always makes an appearance. If you missed my post on spinach and why you should eat it, find it here……https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/01/19/spinach-benefits-and-great-hair/

Starting your day with a good breakfast helps give you energy, keeps your blood sugar levels steady and keeps you from over eating later in the day.

Oh, and it keeps you from being grumpy with people ’cause you are starving 😉

Breakfast is often the most skipped meal because people (mistakenly) think it will help them lose weight by doing so. Yet really it can have the opposite effect. Eating a good breakfast helps fire up your metabolism and will keep you from grabbing a donut in the break room later.

Speaking of sweets….

you may have read my most recent post on adoption and celebrating our daughters 20th birthday. If you missed it, you can read it here….https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/04/26/the-beauty-of-adoption/

Anyway, we kinda had celebrations through out the week for her with Saturday culminating with one of my delicious 3 layer homemade cakes.

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I have mad cake baking skills

The frosting is so decadent, an entire package of cream cheese and lots of real, creamy butter.

Are you drooling yet ?

Because I’m nice, I’ll give you the recipe here. I have tons of tried and true cake recipes at home. However the day I was out running around and going to store I didn’t have a recipe so I reverted over to my go to place now days, Pinterest.

Ah… it didn’t fail me. I found this great cake which was proclaimed by the fam as “the best one ever” ( they kinda say that about every cake which is nice 😉 )

 

So here you go… the recipe if you wanna whip up something oh so good and earn some points with those you love 😉

In my other obsessions… uh…hobbies..

I’ve been sharing with you some of my adventures in flipping vintage and antique furniture.  I’ve finished two pieces this week and I’ve got a couple getting close.  I find a crazy satisfaction in doing this. The more horrible the piece, the happier I am. Because it means a cool transformation.

Check out this little Drexel side table. Like most of the things I scoop up, it had been someone’s ” better idea” project. They had applied some kind of goop to lift the varnish leaving it thick and bubbly. I took a strong arm and hand to it( having a strong upper body really pays off when you’ve got to hand sand forever!)  knocking all of that crusty finish off to do my own magic….

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This Is what I started with…

 

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And here it is looking fresh in cream and black with a little light distressing.

My other project I finished off I will admit I’m a tad bit obsessed with. I caught the vision for it quick and it was so exciting watching it seamlessly come together. I shared last week some color ideas I had picked up but didn’t tell you how I was using them…

 

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A vintage telephone bench

 

 

 

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I kinda used the colors like this….
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Eek… tell me how cute it is!

This is one of those pieces I love but it’s meant for someone else. It’s fun transforming bland, tired furniture into something fresh and a bit more modern.

I’m excited over how that 1930’s tea/beverage trolley is turning out. I got that a couple weeks ago for a total steal.  You can see it’s first day home pic here from last weeks post….. https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/04/23/monday-musings-10/

I have so many ideas bouncing in my head with projects. Add to it writing and other creative things…. my head is full of constant busyness…

Tell me I’m not the only one, right??

Ok your turn! Tell me about your week. Do you have any interesting or fun hobbies? More important , do you like chocolate cake? If so, do you need milk or coffee with it? 

Optimal Health

Optimal health. What comes to your mind when you hear those words? A certain image? Lifestyle? A look? Perhaps it’s what happens inside of you that you can’t see… like all systems working great. Is it the “perfect” picture of health? Energetic and vibrant looking? Rosy skin? Clear bright eyes? A lack of illness or disease? Strong with the ability to do all your daily tasks with energy?

As I’ve noted before there are a lot of buzz words out there today that “health” companies use to make their product sound more appealing to potential customers, to sell you on it.  Usually the words are descriptive and designed to make you think that by taking/using their product this very thing will be given to you.

Magically. No effort.

The marketing of these products is nothing less than impressive, but the times I’m choking and rolling my eyes over some of the claims….

Keep in mind these company claims are in turn, regurgitated by the sales people who largely don’t really know what they are talking about either. It has been interesting to note the fine print showing up on many labels now that these products aren’t FDA approved or endorsed.

Ok  I digress… but my current thought was generated from the catch phrase on some products promising this ….

Optimal health

First of all, what does optimal mean ? Webster defines it as most desirable or satisfactory.

Health is defined as the condition of being well and free from disease.

So optimal health could be defined as a desirable and satisfactory state of being well physically ( and mentally) and free from disease or illness.

Sounds good, right ?

Isn’t that something we all desire and should seek to keep? Or if we have health issues shouldn’t they ( if possible) be something we strive to improve or reverse? There are many conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, blood sugar issues etc that can be changed or reversed with improved health.

But here’s where I get tripped up… every. single. time.

Why am I going to take a man made product to help me achieve optimal health? Why am I going to spend my money on a product when I could buy healthy food with it?

It does amaze me that people are willing to do so many things other than what they really should be doing which is focusing on eating real, whole foods and making changes in their nutrition and exercise program.

A focus on better food quality will go a long way to achieving optimal health.  That will show up inside and out on you.

So how does one achieve optimal health?

First, it has to be something we desire and intentionally pursue. It will require consciously choosing a different lifestyle. You will have to be purposeful in your choices and decisions.

Learn to move more. Our bodies need exercise and are made to move. Active, vigorous movement allows our blood and lymphatic system to flow the way it’s designed to.  Not only that exercise benefits our mental well being as much as our physical. Exercise is good for lots of reasons but that’s not my focus today 😉

Food. Obviously, your diet should be loaded with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. They should be present at all your meals.  I don’t think I can stress enough the huge benefits of adequate fresh produce. To me, optimal health is achieved with good quantities of  produce.  Your daily food intake should also include whole grains, lean meats and dairy products.

It should be light on empty calorie foods that offer not a lot in the nutritional category. This includes of course, sugary drinks, alcohol, refined processed foods like cookies, crackers, chips, sweet breads, fast foods, salted foods etc.

Water. Our bodies are made up of a lot of water. Water transports waste from our bodies and hydrates us. Water is essential for our health. It helps our skin do it’s job of regulating body temperature through sweating, water is essential for circulation of nutrients through the body, it aids in digestion and creates saliva. Drink your water.

Your mind. Read. Learn to play an instrument. Take up a new hobby. Go back to school or take a class on something that interests you. Be willing to learn and grow your mind.  Find something that interests you and become an expert on it.

Your soul.  Whatever nourishes your soul, find time for it. Prayer, meditation, scripture reading, devotionals, whatever your personal preference is, find something that feeds your inner being.

Optimal health has the potential to be achieved with a balanced lifestyle that feeds the body, soul and mind. It will also vary from person to person as to what needs to be addressed to reach that goal. It requires us to be intentional in the pursuing and maintaining of it but it will be well worth our efforts.

 

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