Archive for September, 2012

Dynamic Duo & Trio

September 30th, 2012 No Comments Tags: , , ,

I love a research study that reinforces a concept I already intuitively know – doing exercise boosts your brain’s ability to resist tempting treats. Think about it, when you exercise you feel great and want to support your positive efforts rather than foil them. When you exercise you not only turn up the heat of your metabolism and burn calories but you tone your muscles too. Who wants to ruin a good thing? No one, that’s who!

I love to add a third element to this mix, when you dress to look your best you want to exercise to reinforce that feeling and eat better to boot. It’s a trifecta of a positive cycle that propels you in a positive direction.

I love stealth strategies that synergies you into being successful with your health goal making. Upward & onward ho!

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Leadership Academy

September 27th, 2012 No Comments Tags: , ,

Follow, follow, follow – so many people follow others instead of taking the lead. It’s easy to get influenced by others, but when you set your mind straight you and only you know what’s best for you.

When you get in the mode of planning ahead on your own you realize you can filter out other people’s influence and do what you need to do.

Understand that there are non-friends among you – those stealth saboteurs that try to foil your efforts. When you’ve made your decisions ahead of time, their tempting ways barely come in to play.

Start your own leadership academy with you in the driver’s seat and the solo member of your group. In this frame of mind you are the big cheese of your plan. In time others will be following you.

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Best Food Forward – Ode to Oatmeal

September 25th, 2012 No Comments Tags: ,

I start out each weekday with a bowl of oatmeal. You can set a watch to it and can bank that when at home this is my go-to way to begin the day. Most early work day mornings start out a little bleary eyed. At times I think “how’s this little bit of of oats gonna fill me up?” until I get started. As I sip my coffee with milk, the swell rate seems incredible, filling me up morning after morning.

I don’t want to start my day off with an adventure pondering “me oh my oh, what am I going to have for breakfast oh”. I get enough adventure in my workday as it is. The decision is already made. It works for me, so why question it. I want something working for me from the get go. And a bowl of oatmeal does it for me every season.

Science shows that oats are the best source of soluble fiber too, helping some of that cholesterol in your bloodstream from being absorbed. It fills me up and doesn’t let me know. A perfect way to kick start your day. Not necessarily pretty in the picture, but effective.

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Springing into Fall

September 23rd, 2012 No Comments Tags: , , , , ,

Ya I know the saying “spring forward, fall back”, but I much prefer to spring into fall with gusto! “Fall back” sounds like reverting back to old bad habits, so let’s not give that notion another thought, shall we?

Although my golf game usually goes down hill like the evening temperatures this time of year doesn’t mean I’m about the put the ole clubs away and resign myself to couch potato-dom – nay nay I say! It’s a perfect time of year to get out into the fresh air, play a round pulling your cart and enjoying the changing leaves. I can’t find my ball in them which gives me good reason to drop one and forge on. Fore!

Speaking of fresh I had a fulfilling stroll through the produce section of the grocery store the other day. Yes my inner “hibernating bear” has emerged needing to get ready for the coming seasons. It’s a fine time to make a chilli, a tomato eggplant sauce or drop an old boot in a cauldron and make some soup! I can hear my nephew now say “…more soup Sassy!”

There’re still ears of corn to peel, plums to pick and nectarines to nosh on. I can see an apple crisp with cranberries on the horizon with vanilla ice cream is in my future some weekend soon. Maybe some hot apple cider with a cinnamon stick to enjoy when I do the first lighting of the fireplace with the flick of a switch. Add those ingredients to my standing grocery list. Gotta love the changing of the wardrobe too, to snuggy cable knit sweaters, cords and velvets, not to mention fashion forward boots.

Ahhhh fall, a season worth springing into. Bring it on! What’s not to love?

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Second Breakfast

September 21st, 2012 No Comments Tags: , , , , ,

Aye lassie, a little bird told me that today is the 75th anniversary of the publication of The Hobbit. Apparently we were supposed to celebrate this milestone by having “second breakfast” at 11 am. Quite serendipitously earlier in the day I cut up a plum and nectarine and was nibbling on these when 11 rolled around. Hmmmmm I hope I don’t start growing hair on my feet :-)

We all know that breakfast certainly is the most important meal in the day. It helps get us started, provides fuel for our body and mind. Having all of our meals each day is paramount, but breakfast certainly has that special place in the day providing our initial spark to get going.

There’s something to be said about having second breakfast too or a mid morning snack. I routinely have a fruit or two between breakfast and lunch because I get up and have an early breakfast so this helps me through to lunch time. I do the same late afternoon before dinner too. Some people swear by sticking to 3 square meals each day and I like to poo poo that right out of the gate.

Having a small planned snack between meals helps keep that ravenous hunger at bay because when we’re in that state many people eat too fast and eat too much. A planned snack keeps you from hitting that vending machine chocked full of junk that temps you into mindless eating. There’s a BIG difference in approach.

So plan a second breakfast AND a second lunch for that matter in snack-sized proportion to help manage your hunger. Sam and Frodo would certainly approve!

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Why panic if it’s not organic?

September 19th, 2012 No Comments Tags: , ,

A new study’s results are out comparing the nutritional content of fruits, vegetables and meat that are organic compared to similar conventional choices. The results showed that, on average, the organic choices were no more nutritious.

There’s a certain nobility with choosing organic along with needing a queen’s ransom to pay for them. I believe in the philosophy of organic yet for me who works full time don’t find it practical to shop more than once per week. I want the apples I bought on Saturday to be edible by the next Friday along with other produce purchased.

If you’re gung ho on eating better you might want to revisit the highly processed choices you’re making with packaged food and eating out. Those naturally nutrient rich choices can be conventional or organic like Mother Nature intended. Both provide the nutritional goodness you expect.

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Mighty Monitoring

September 16th, 2012 No Comments Tags: , , , ,

Oh for the love of monitoring. I had my annual MD check-up recently and it got me thinking about the importance of monitoring. Oh those appointments are a love-hate relationship, but certainly necessary, that’s for sure.

Being interrogated with a list of questions, being poked and prodded getting every mole checked, blood pressure, weight, height, girth, eyes, ears, nose, throat, heart rate and more is the rigamarole worth having each year in the name of prevention. It’s important to hear what’s new in the influenza department plus new immunizations worth considering along with new recommendations for vitamin D.

You certainly can’t address what you do not know. Just monitoring weight and girth are important to know if your positive eating and activity efforts are paying off. And yes indeed, they have!

It was worth the drive and day off work for this annual homage of your person. Your body is your temple. Get it checked out annually and as needed so you can function on all cylinders for another year.

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Get in the Groove to Make a Move

September 14th, 2012 No Comments Tags: , , , ,

I found myself in Kelowna, BC a while back the day the triathlon came to town. It was inspiring seeing the participants biking, running and swimming – how great! I read about the abysmal stats about the deadly affects of inactivity. A study in the Lancet estimated that one in 10 deaths worldwide could be attributed to inactivity – good grief.

It is recommended that adults be active 30 minutes a day five times per week. Could that be any easier to reach? Only 15% of adults meet that low number too. How can we break out of inertia and get moving?

I feel many people get psyched out with the thought of exercise from those Iron Man images on the television. Don’t do it to yourself, just get in the groove to make a move!

  • Walk a block
  • Do some gardening
  • Mow your lawn
  • Park further away
  • Dance to some tunes
  • Take a few flights of stairs.

Find 5 minutes here and 10 minutes there as you don’t need to do it all in one go, but you can eventually. I find so many benefits of being active – for stress relief, to help me sleep, to get stronger and toned. Getting activity is my time to sort out life’s challenges allowing me time to think and sort things out. The benefits of activity and exercise are truly astounding.

I love watching those super athletes in the triathlon or the olympics, but I continue being a tortoise to get my exercise in day after day, week after week, every season of the year. Your life depends on it!

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Best Food Forward – Almond Joy

September 11th, 2012 No Comments Tags: , , ,

Oh for the love of almonds, crunching on a handful gives me great joy. They help fill a hunger void plus a nutritional void as well. Just 23 almonds provides satiety filling protein and fibre, an array of minerals and good fats to boot. Mmmm gotta love ‘em.

I have a “nut bin” in my cupboard (no not a loony bin) and almonds adorn it as a staple in my kitchen. Whether I add sliced or slivered almonds to salad for that satisfying crunch or to my morning porridge to pump up the protein or to my briefcase as I run off to work to be used as a snack if I’m about to run out of steam, they serve me well. Ahhhh almonds.

That Harvard Study out last year touted benefits of nuts as one food that helps your weight. I’ll crunch to that! Choose the salt free varieties because we all get too much of that than we actually should.

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Admiring Mona

September 9th, 2012 No Comments Tags: ,

I recently found myself in Paris visiting the Louvre. How inspiring! The building itself, the sculptures, the art masterpieces even the picture frames all were sights to behold. Like many visitors we chose to tour the section of the museum that the Mona Lisa resides. Each room, hallway and stair well showcased amazing art that took our breath away.

Then we entered the room of the Mona Lisa herself. Featured behind glass sectioned off to preserve her personal space, she stood with her supercilious grin to the onlookers. A painting of Leonardo da Vinci in ~1503 that has been in pop culture for centuries. People clambered behind the barrier to inch to the front for an unblocked view to admire her. Yes, a masterpiece for sure.

I had to smile though when I saw this photo of the onlookers with all eyes on Mona, not on the other pieces of art in that room. It got me thinking about what we appreciate in our own life, hmmmmm.

It’s so easy to get caught up with what the popular press dictates we admire. We can go off chasing rainbows following trends when our lives are full of masterpieces from the birds chirping, the billowing clouds, sun rises and sunsets to who we’re touring with…..

Go ahead and admire those works of art in our lives. It’ll fill you up with inspiration. Don’t forget to stop, look around and identify those in our everyday lives too.

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