Posts tagged ‘health’

October 4, 2011

Goooaaaaaal

Before sharing my goals, I have to share this video. That’s me in a workout video with Jeanette Jenkins! Cool, right? This was filmed in May when I went to Cali, and I’m so happy FitSugar finally posted it yesterday. I look like a goofus in the video, but I don’t even care. I’m sharing it anyway!

Click on the Image to See the Video on FitSugar

Back to those goals…
I planned two little short-term goals. One is for the week, and one is for the month. I’ve never been that awesome at goal-setting or goal-attaining, but this is worth a shot, right?
Month Goal
I want to practice yoga more frequently. I normally only practice yoga once a month because I find it incredibly boring. However, I truly believe in the healing and rejuvenating powers of yoga.
cleo yoga
Yoga improves my running and my flexibility while also lowering my stress levels and making my entire body feel more relaxed and refreshed. Sitting at a cube all day, wearing dress shoes, and staring at a computer screen is no fun. Some barefoot yoga with hip openers and back stretches helps undo the damage!
kitties distract me

Kitties Distract Me

Now, if only I can stick to it… I’m shooting for three times per week. Each practice can be an hour long or just 10 minutes. Feel free to join me!
Week Goal
My tummy hasn’t been agreeing with all the weekend junk food me lately, so I’m giving it a little break. For as long as I can stand it (a few days or all the way through Friday), I’m limiting my caffeine intake by swapping 2 cups of coffee for 1 cup of tea. I’m also increasing my veggies and cutting out meat. I’ll also be cutting out all dairy and gluten. Luckily I don’t have lactose or gluten intolerance, but I’ve heard both can make you feel a bit more bloated and blah. Sooooo, why not? It’s just a few days, right?
dinner

Last Night's Dinner

On a side note, I actually thought I might have a gluten intolerance a year or two ago. I was losing my hair, experiencing major tummy troubles, and having horrible acne breakouts. No medicine was helping, and I was running out of options. It turns out the issue was just high stress. I had a lot on my plate; thank goodness I got better!
Do you set up goals for yourself? Do you have any current ones?
September 29, 2011

Friday Eve

Happy Friday Eve!  See, when it’s one of those weeks when I can’t believe it’s only Thursday, I like to refer to the day as Friday Eve instead.  It sounds better, doesn’t it?

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I have a few opinionated tips for you all today.  The post is really pretty scatter-written because I’m scatter-brained right now.  Bear with me.

1. When swinging weights or kettle bells around “at tempo” during a workout, don’t hit yourself in the knee.  It bruises.  It hurts.

knee

It's not a crazy one, but it's big for me!

2.  If you must go for a frozen meal, but an Evol dish.  I had my first one yesterday, and it was quite tasty.

teriyaki chicken bowl

Teriyaki Chicken Bowl

They’re healthy, gluten-free, and even the ingredients are attractive!

ingredients

Sorry for Soy Haters

3. If you’re doing one-legged dead lifts, be sure to count how many you do.  I definitely overdid it on Tuesday, and it felt like I got kidney punched on both sides.  I was sore all day yesterday!

Thanks for the pic, Women's Health Magazine!

4. Have a backup plan.  On Monday, I gave into office pressure and had Mayfield Mint Chocolate Chip Select ice cream.  It was awesome.  Yesterday, I refused soft, fresh, delicious-smelling cookies.  Instead of grabbing a cookie, I had decaf vanilla chai tea.  Was it as good as a cookie?  Not even close.  Did I feel a lot better about myself (especially a lot better than Monday)?  Heck yes.  Thank goodness for backup plans!

Bigelow Tea

It's tasty tea, but I later saw that it's artificially flavored. (Bummer!)

5. Don’t stress!  I’m busy and a little stressed at the moment with work and my friends’ inability to plan.  I’m also frustrated that I can’t find the answers I want for the blog.  I’d hoped to be self hosting by now with a slightly different look.  As you can see… I am not.

Thanks for reading.  I hope you took away at least one useful tidbit of knowledge!

What’s the best frozen or pre-prepared grocery meal you’ve had lately?

September 22, 2011

The Good, the Bad, and the Spicy

The Good:

Food pushers planned an ice cream social at the office yesterday, and I did not eat any ice cream.  Not even a cone, y’all – this is serious.  Given my overall lack of willpower and my infatuation with sweets, this is good.  Really good.

I’m not the only one who fought the urge to partake.  I’m not sure why companies don’t just offer fruit socials or tea time instead.  Many health insurance providers give discounts for employees’ healthy actions, so why is our insurer cool with this?  It just sounds hypocritical to me.

The Bad:

I am skipping today’s workout.  I hit the gym kind of hard yesterday morning, and my body was dragging the rest of the day.  I’ve been in a slump all week, so I think rest is more important.  I only hope I’m not getting sick.  I have started to hear coughs and sniffles in the office.  Yipes!

The Spicy:

Here’s a makeshift version of the recipe I promised yesterday.  I was inspired by the Whole Foods recipe I saw on Brittany’s blog.  It’s not hot n’ spicy; it just contains a lot of spice.  You could easily spice it up if you wanted though.

pot o' soup

I’d love to provide the nutritional information for this, but my numbers are very different from Whole Foods.  This is partially because I used different lentils and changed things a wee bit, but I’m still surprised at the size of the variance.

Indian Spiced Lentil Soup

soup

My pepper thinks it's a star, and my lentils look like fish food.

Ingredients

  •  8 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 TBS garam masala
  • 1-2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 cups orange lentils (Next Time I’d Use Green Lentils)
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans no-salt-added diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (More If You Like it Hot)
  • 3 handfulls of kale leaves, torn into bite-size chunks
  • 2 tsp cumin (I Didn’t Add This But Might Next Time)
  • 1-2 carrots, chopped (I Didn’t Add This But Might Next Time)
spicy!

Directions

  1. Prep all your ingredients (washing, chopping, rinsing the lentils)
  2. Put everything in your slow cooker except for the kale.  Give it a stir.
  3. Here’s the hard part… turn the slow cooker to “low.”
  4. Let the slow cooker do the work for about 8 hours.
  5. Add the kale in the last hour of cooking.  It’s firm, but that’s better than mushy.

***I was running low on time and cooked mine for 3 hours on high.  I added kale for one additional half-hour.  This was okay, but I wish it had cooked a bit longer.

Why is this adapted recipe awesome?

If you don’t mind eating the same thing all week, this is a great lunch.  Although I ate it without sides, I think naan would pair well with the meal.

In addition, according to the American Cancer Society, turmeric might be able to slow the growth of some cancers, help lower “bad” cholesterol, serve as an anti-inflammatory, and more.  Gotta love spices!

Have colds started circulating in your area yet?  Do you love your slow cooker as much as I do?

September 12, 2011

Iron Woman

Who had a good weekend? I did! It wasn’t the best ever, but no weekend is a “bad” weekend. Clemson sure could have played better, but let’s not get into that…

Go Tigers!

I had a relatively healthy Friday, but that went right out the window on Saturday. It could have been much worse, and I don’t feel guilty at all. Kev and I split quesadillas for snack/dinner while watching football, and we split this frozen pizza for a late dinner after the GA vs. USC game.

Beer n' Pizza

I don’t generally like thin pizzas or white pizzas, and this was both. However, we agreed that it was pretty darn good for the price.

Pizza may not be the healthiest option, but you know what is healthy? Iron. (Sweet transition, right?) I purchased lots of spinach, sprouts, salmon, and beef at the store Sunday, so it got me thinking about this vital nutrient.

Women’s Health Magazine said that iron eliminates free radicals from the body “and helps protect against heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.” Iron also strengthens your immune system and keeps your thyroid running smoothly.

Stella Lucia Volpe, PhD, RD, an associate professor of nutrition at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, told Fitness Magazine, “Only heme iron — found in animal foods like beef, lamb, or poultry — is directly absorbed into the body… Vegetable iron isn’t absorbed as efficiently.”

Spinach Salad (Only Part of Dinner)

No matter your diet (carnivore, flexitarian, or vegetarian/vegan), you can boost absorption by consuming iron-rich foods along with Vitamin C. According to Fitness Magazine, calcium interferes with iron absorption. I guess fortified cereal doesn’t help so much with milk!

We should get 18 milligrams of iron per day, but that can be difficult – especially on a plant based diet. Up to 62 percent of women fail to meet the recommended minimum.

To check the iron levels in common foods, check out these handy lists from FitSugar and WebMD. A few of the listed entries are:

  • Half a cup of cooked chickpeas = 3.4 mg
  • Half a cup of steamed kale = 2 mg
  • 3 oz of steak = 4 mg
How was your weekend? Did you catch any great football games? Do you keep track of your iron intake?
August 13, 2011

Super Lazy Saturday

It’s Saturday, and I’m feeling lazy as ever.  It’s 7:45, and I’m still in my pajamas.  Luckily they’re my favorite pajamas, and I’m getting a little kitty lovin’ while blogging.  It was a rainy morning, and even though the rain stopped, I still can’t seem to get my butt to the gym. Yeah, I’ll get there, must maybe about 30 minutes later than anticipated.

I want to thank everyone for you open-minded comments on yesterday’s post.  The vegetarian/ vegan/ pescetarian/ whatevertarian debate hits close to home for a lot of us, and I’m happy you accept me for being a human garbage disposal.  Seriously – I eat (and generally enjoy) just about everything.

In case you too are having a lazy Saturday, here are some links to keep you busy… well, busy doing basically nothing, that is.

Lastly, I wanted to share a book with you all.  I finished The Poacher’s Son yesterday.  It was a fast and very entertaining read.  I thoroughly recommend it.

The Poacher's Son

Have a good weekend!

August 5, 2011

Calci-yum

Hello!  I have the day off from work, but I’ll still be pretty productive.  I have 3 doctor appointments today.  (Well, technically 1 is a dentist appointment.)  Today I get to see the podiatrist.  Hopefully I’ll get all my foot issues fixed.  Cross your fingers for me!

Now it’s time for the topic of the day, calci-yum.  I threw the “yum” in there because 1) I’m a dork and 2) getting calcium can be delicious.  In my One Hot Mess of a post, I mentioned that one of my goals is to actually take my calcium supplements instead of habitually ignoring the bottle on my vanity.  Some of you mentioned that you wouldn’t mind a special calcium-devoted post, so here it is.

milk n' almond milk

According to WebMD, our bodies need calcium because it helps to strengthen bones and prevent certain cancers.  In addition, Prevention magazine states that calcium and vitamin D can also help ward off type-2 diabetes.  The National Institute of Health (NIH) suggests that calcium can also help with weight maintenance; WebMD explains how.  Here’s the NIH table of calcium requirements:

calcium

We know we need it, here are a few examples from the Milk Matters campaign explaining how to get it.

  • 1 cup of milk = 300 mg and calories vary depending on type
  • 1 cup plain, fat-free yogurt = 425 mg (note: most yogurt doesn’t come in 1-cup containers) and 127 calories
  • 1 cup cooked soybeans = 285 mg and 175 calories
  • 1 medium stalk of broccoli = 180 mg and 106 calories
  • 1/2 cup spinach (cooked from frozen) = 139 mg and 27 calories

milk v almond milk

Keep in mind that the body can only take in about 500 mg of calcium at once, so don’t spend get it all in one place.

Of course, you can always pop a pill.  One WebMD article says that the type of calcium you take does not matter, so you can just opt for the cheaper one.  Getting one with vitamin D is often helpful though, since vitamin D helps calcium absorption.  (Most doctors recommend taking supplement with food to promote absorption, but the Dairy Council says veggies and grains can inhibit absorption… hmmmm???)  My doctor recommended Citracal, so that’s what I take.  Luckily, they have coupons on their website right now.

There’s more to it than popping a pill or eating yogurt.  For extra bone health, bone-up on your vitamin D, and include weight bearing exercises in your fitness routine.  (Woohoo!  All my years of playing soccer helped my bones!)  WebMD also gives us the less fun info: limit sodas, antacids, caffeine, excessive alcohol, excessive sodium, and excessive red meat.

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Oh, and by the way, I was going to swim some laps today at the gym, but I’m just not feeling it.  I stayed up too late, and although I’m up early now, I think I’d rather just go tomorrow.  I’ll probably do some pilates later before lunch instead.

So why was I up late???  IPA Day of course!  Here’s what I did: beer shop with drinks and dinner, then a friend’s house to celebrate the occasion.

montage of beer

Do you take a calcium supplement?  Did you celebrate IPA Day?

August 4, 2011

IPA Day

Happy IPA Day! Head over to BeerWench for more info!  For those who didn’t know, there are different styles of IPA, but my favorites are the American ones. By design, American IPAs usually have more hop and herbal flavor, but be careful since they often contain more alcohol as well. In honor of IPA day, I’d like to do a special post on the relationship between beer and health.

IPA Day

First and foremost, I’m not one to say beer is or isn’t healthy. It’s all about moderation, and I’m no dietitian. You have probably seen articles on beer’s health benefits, most of them appearing around St. Patty’s day or Oktoberfest. Even though the topic is “beer,” these studies are more like shot of tequila – best when taken with a grain of salt.

beer

Some studies claim that that one or two beers a day can significantly lower blood pressure, and I can sort of see how relaxing and enjoying a good brew can be a healthy stress reliever. In my opinion, beers happen to go down much easier than a dose of asprin. I have also read a number of times that…

  • Beer can help with bone density, especially IPAs due to their silicon levels
  • A brew after physical exertion helps prevent sore muscles
  • Some types of beer can be thought of as a complex carbohydrates (kind of a stretch)

On the other hand… no researcher can deny that all forms of alcohol impair judgment, make your liver work overtime, and make you think ordering a pizza at 3 a.m. is the best idea you’ve ever had. See more dangers of alcohol at this Active.com article.

Stone IPA

Tons of studies have found that a daily glass of wine or piece of chocolate is good for you, and I’m not disparaging those claims either. You have to admit; publications that print/post this stuff are telling people what they want to hear, but I don’t blame them. People eat this up like nachos (Think that’s not a good comparison? You just haven’t seen me devour good nachos.)

cashew un-cheeze sauce

I don’t want anyone to get the impression that I consider my beer-drinking ways to be healthy, but my pints are part of a healthy life that’s sprinkled with good times, indulgences, and occasional trips to the bar.

  • Self Magazine explains a number of ways beer can be healthy.  For instance, Self says hops have polyphenols, which lower bad cholesterol.
  • Draft Magazine’s “Beer Runner” explains how beer can be good for runners in one or more of his blog posts.
  • Men’s Health Magazine talks about how beers can boost your metabolism.  (How much did they pay a researcher to say that??? Lolz)

Will you be celebrating IPA Day?  What’s your favorite food/beverage day?

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