Monthly Archives: October 2013

Rainy Day Blues

Why not start off a rainy day with a little Willie Nelson??  Although it is not a BLUE kind of day, it is for sure rainy!!

For those of you who are trying to wish your blues away check this out:
How to Get rid of the Rainy day Boredom and Blues

Some other things you may want to try:
Put on rain boots and play in puddles
If you have kiddos (not in school) plan a game in the rain
Watch a good movie
Crank up some upbeat music
Drink a little caffeine
Use good light (especially if you are working and stuck in an office)
Plan a lunch date with a friend
Focus on small tasks throughout the day
Write a blog about rainy day blues (oh wait…that is me)
Get creative!!

For those of you who love the rainy weather–ENJOY!
rainboots
I hope everyone’s day has at least this much fun in it!

Results

Results take time. We live in a society where convenience is expected, where speed is everything because no one has “time”.  Logically we can look at several different things in life that take time.  Not many things happen overnight, sometimes not even overnight deliveries! Yet, we expect instantaneous gratification and even more so results.  We workout hard for a month and expect to see big results.  We eat clean for a week and expect to feel awesome.  I know this is not profound but some things, most things, that are worth your investment take time.  The results may show a little more each day but we cannot expect to climb the whole mountain in one day, when we just learned how to hike the day before.

Having realistic expectations around our results helps us keep a healthy perspective on our progress.  Not only will stressing out about not losing enough weight quick enough potentially mess up your cortisol levels, which inevitably could hinder your progress, but focusing so much energy on one facet of your life could make it harder to reach that goal.  Stay with me.  I know that this may seem counter-intuitive.  But let’s think about it from the perspective of someone trying to get pregnant.  Don’t worry I’m not going to get detailed about baby making…..Someone is super high strung about getting pregnant. They map their ovulation, have sex on peak days and EVERYTHING becomes about making a baby (thoughts, conversations, behaviors, focus).  Stress obviously affects this situation, but our bodies response is important (hormones and the brain).  This person could very well not conceive, choose to adopt and once they have a bundle of joy, pregnancy happens out of nowhere. I have heard a rendition of this story countless times.  When things come to that level of “obsession” — completely consuming our world—we often impede our own progress.  Having healthy timelines, reasonable expectations, and remembering that results take time, can often be a key to seeing changes.  This is not relinquishing you of your responsibility to work toward goals, but a reminder that perspective and balance are critical to your well being. Relax, take a deep breath, and focus on that next step and not the mountain.

Detox Bath Review

I gave the detox bath a try that I posted yesterday.  These are some positive takeaways from “bath time”:
Relaxing
Soft skin
Minimized Rash
Time to clear mind
Cleaned up calluses- good hand care blog
Listened to good music
Research and reading (on dominant personality traits that lead to success in the workplace)

Overall I would say that this is a good list of positives from the detox bath time.  However, most of these things on my list had nothing to do with the actual bath but rather forced me to sit still and relax for 40 minutes.  By the time my alarm went off, I was itching (not from the rash) to get up and move around…mainly because I put lavender oil in the bath and was getting quite sleepy and still had a to-do list to conquer!

Would I recommend it? If you need some quiet time to relax, most definitely! Do I think you are going to be toxin free when it is all said and done?? Still questionable.  I am probably about as toxic as I was before the bath. I do not suggest doing this in the middle of the day when you are hoping to be productive–unless you have time for a nap! Being productive after the bath was probably the second most challenging part of this process (the first being I had to sit still for 40 minutes)!

Random but interesting article on Alcohol and Sleep… since we are essentially talking about self-care, I figure it’s not too much of a stretch to share this little nugget! Hope your day is one full of productivity and a little relaxation! Happy Tuesday!

Detox Bath

monkeySometimes you just need to see something cute like this monkey on a Monday!

Observe the cuteness…okay..now we can carry on…I’ve heard many people talk about Detox baths and how amazing they are to get your toxins out….I am not totally convinced that they are as effective as what people say, but I do think they have a few benefits. If you are sore, or have some kind of rash (skin irritant), a detox bath can help soothe your muscles and irritated skin!  I am planning to give this one a try and will have to report back on whether or not it seemed to be worth the time!

Detox Bath
1 cup Epsom salt
1 cup sea salt
1 cup baking soda
2 TB ground ginger
1 cup vinegar
A few drops of your favorite essential oil (optional)

Combine the dry ingredients. Add the mixture and 1 cup of vinegar to hot running water and soak for 20-40 minutes.

If nothing else, I am positive it will make for some good R&R time! Happy Soaking!

Double Your Pleasure

….Double your fun. That’s the statement of the great mint in DoubleMint Gum.  Anyone remember that commercial? No? Such a catchy little jingle. I distinctly remember singing along with this commercial…I feel like commercials don’t have jingles like they use to….or maybe they do. I don’t actually watch TV (which may totally discredit me with some of you…I know it is weird) so I guess they could very well have jingles and I just don’t know about it. Jingles remind me of the 90’s.

friendsOh the 90’s. Let’s take a trip down memory lane (to name a few):
Hit Me Baby One More Time
Smells Like Teen Spirit
Nintendo
Super Soakers
Beanie Babies
Saved By The Bell
Chokers
Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Light-up Shoes
Neon Clothes
Bleached Hair
10 Things I Hate About You
While You Were Sleeping
O.J. Simpson
The Spice Girls
Ninja Turtles
Scrunchies
Mood Rings

Even Pinterest has a page for the 90s! What are some things you remember about the 90’s?? Miss it? Always fun to remember when….

Measuring Up

Very often in life we measure success by what we have, our achievements, our roles, our relationships, the approval of others or how we measure up to someone else. Success can mean different things to different people, but what we see as success if often intertwined with our values.  When we live according to our values, we find purpose beyond the daily grind. Regardless of your personal belief system I think most people can agree with this verse “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Wherever we put weight or value, that is where we place our attention, time and energy (our heart).  Where is your focus?  How are you measuring success?? Does it line up with the values that you wish to live by?? If not, what needs to change, your focus or your values? True contentment and peace does not come from being “successful” in as much as it does from doing the best we can in accordance with those things we treasure most dearly.

Labels

So many times I am asked “what about this food…or that?” and my new favorite response is “What do the ingredients say?”…some give me a blank stare, others have no clue, and some simply say “I dunno.”  Understanding how to read a label is not as important as knowing the ingredients in your food.  Who cares if it says “all Natural” “whole food” “organic” “fat free” “sugar-free” “healthy snack” etc.  These words mean nothing and are mostly ways to market a product.  The front of the package tells you very little about the actual food inside you are considering consuming. The nutritional breakdown they give you on the back of the package does not always paint the full picture either.  It tells you nothing about how your body actually processes the food; it just simply tells you the breakdown “pre-digestion”.  Here is the tricky part: so many foods have a lot of junk (chemicals, anti-nutrients etc) in them that your body may not even get the nutritional benefit (what is listed on the package) of that food…even if the breakdown seems reasonably healthy.

What do you do? Flip that bad boy over and read the ingredients. What does it say?? First question to ask, can you read and understand the words—do you know what you are reading? (I am assuming that you are not illiterate because you are reading this blog, so let’s not be too literal here).  If you cannot pronounce it and have no clue what it means, chances are you body is not going to like it. Is it a list of whole food ingredients?? Second question to ask, does it have any form of sugar listed (anything ending in “ose” or has syrup or sugar in the name…to name a few: sucrose, xylose, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup)…stay clear of these!! Third question to ask, how does your body respond to these particular food items? If you know inflammation, bloating, headaches, nausea, diarrhea…occur then it is a NO NO! I am sure you are thinking “duh” that clearly looks like a list of bad side effects for a medication commercial…..yep it does and yet we still make active decisions to put that stuff in our bodies (hey…myself included…I know…it’s a shocker…but it happens).

Your homework: read the labels and make informed decisions about the food you are purchasing and consuming! That is all!

White or Brown?

Rice. That is the topic. I know you have already pulled the reigns and are saying “Hold up! Rice isn’t paleo!” Did I say it was paleo? Nope, I didn’t and NO it is not paleo.  Due to the level of my training, I have been asked to consider occasionally eating non-paleo foods to fuel my body appropriately (specifically–white rice).  Believe me, this has not been an easy thing to do.  WHY? Number one, deep down I am a control freak and I don’t like someone to rock my boat and Number 2, I really do believe that eating paleo has been the best nutritional path I have chosen and I feel great.

Anyway, enough about my first world perils. I have been reading up on rice and I have learned a few things that I felt like were nice nuggets of info to share with the world so here they are:

White rice: It doesn’t offer much nutritionally, other than it is super high in the starch (carbohydrate) category.  The anti-nutrients are minimal, but it does still peak your insulin production like any grain.  Final Verdict: okay to eat OCCASIONALLY, IF you do not feel like crap after AND it is after an intense workout where you have depleted a significant amount of glycogen (carbohydrate storage). Definition of occasional (just for clarification): occurring, appearing, or done infrequently and irregularly.

Brown rice: This guy used to be the popular one in the “whole grains are healthy” world, but I quickly learned that the anti-nutrients are all up in this rice’s business.  You heard me. Lots of anti-nutrients, plus a huge insulin spike and who really prefers the taste of brown rice to white rice?? Final Verdict: avoid brown rice like the black plague (less dramatic version: avoid it like donuts).

And there you have it folks. Google rice nutrition and you can find lots of info out there. What are your thoughts?

Beans and Farts

beans“Beans, beans, good for your heart. The more you eat them, the more you fart. The more you fart, the better you feel. So eat beans with every meal!”  If you have no idea where that came from, then your childhood was depraved of silly giggles about farting.  I still want to giggle when I hear the word fart…maybe that is because my mom didn’t like that word and it was more appropriate to say “toot” or “poot” and my rebellious side enjoys this “inappropriate” word.  Yep. That is it. I am such a rebel.

I’m sure you are thinking that I am not going to give more info than that from my childhood experiences and that is why you are still reading.  I would hate to disappoint you, so here is a bit of digestible information on legumes (beans) and anti-nutrients.

First things first; your digestive tract does not absorb food, it absorbs nutrients.  I know that may not sound profound but some people think about the food as a whole, when the reality is, we need to pay special attention to its nutrient value (or lack thereof). Legumes do offer nutritional benefits, however they are often not absorbed because of your body’s difficulty digesting lectins (this is why farting happens people…your body doesn’t break it down well…. lectins make things stick to your intestinal walls and bloating/gas occurs… and you have to get it out somehow). This article from Mark’s Daily Apple does a great job of explaining lectins in great detail.

Are legumes the worst thing you could eat?? No.  They do provide some protein, although you would be better off eating 4 ounces of meat.  It is also good to know that not all legumes are created equal.  The green ones (peas, green beans..etc) are baby legumes which means the anti-nutrient (lectin) content is less versus a black bean or pinto bean.  Just like with any food, think about how your body responds.  If you have excessive mucus, inflammation or even farting…then you need to consider that food as a “not so great option” for your body.  Weed out the ones that aren’t great for you and stick to the ones that promote healthy digestion and health!

Here is another great article on digestive enzymes that you should take some time to read.  It has great information on checking your poop. Just figured being totally PC was the best way to go today! Happy Monday!

Breakfast of “Champions”

Wheaties are not the breakfast of champions (go ahead and ask a few champions what they eat for breakfast…) and Tony the Tiger is not your morning friend, although he might seem quite chipper, the reality is, he crashes hard after his morning cereal.  Why??

These boxes of cereal claim to have vitamins and minerals that are appropriate for you to have in the morning…they are “enriched” and therefore good for you. UM NO! Most enriched foods do not do your body good (neither does milk really…but that is a story for another day). Instead your body expels most of these vitamins and minerals because your body cannot properly absorb them and instead your body takes in all the chemicals and preservatives used to process these said “whole grains”.  Just like I have said in previous posts, your ratio of proteins, carbs and fats are most important…the micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) are a secondary concern and are often adequate in a balanced diet without the need to enriched foods.

INSULIN
An important thing to note is what these sugary cereals do to your insulin levels.  You ready?? These meals increase your body’s blood glucose and when this happens your pancreas kicks in to do it’s job–creates more insulin.  So what does insulin do?? It stores the excess that your body produces…which inevitably gets translated to stored fat. The unfortunate part is that your body stops using fat for energy when it is being told to store fat—it can’t do both at the same time.  It is ideal that our body use fat for energy…not storage.

Insulin can also make you super hungry.  You eat cereal for breakfast and then you are hungry within a couple hours of eating. When we are hungry and don’t eat…we get cranky, and feel the “crash”…well at least I get cranky…and I’m not ashamed to admit it.  If we don’t eat when we feel the crash, then we feel like crap the rest of the day and if we do eat, our body immediately starts storing away what we ingest… It is a vicious cycle.  Easiest way to avoid it?? Stay away from the grains and breakfast foods found in a box, instead EAT REAL FOOD!

Skeptical?? Don’t just take my word for it, here are some interesting reads:
Blood Sugar and Cereal
Why Grains are Unhealthy