SEVEN RULES FOR A HAPPIER, HEALTHIER LIFE

IF you’re ready for a little positive change in your life, here are seven health rules to live by that are as simple as they are effective.

Eat the colors of the rainbow.

Vegetables (and some fruits) in a wide range of deep colors should make up most of your diet. Intense color indicates loads of phytonutrients, biologically active substances that protect plants from viruses and bacteria — and offer similar benefits to humans.

Exercise like kids play.

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Our bodies are not built to run long distances for no reason at all. We’re built to chase down prey and then stop. To run from danger and then stop. That’s what feels best and works best to keep us in shape — short bursts of intense exertion interspersed with periods of leisurely movement. The long-held belief that we need to elevate the heart rate with 30 minutes of sustained activity is being replaced by this plan — often referred to as interval training. You don’t need a specially designed workout or a personal trainer to apply this. When you’re running, sprint for a minute, then walk or trot for five. In the pool, swim one fast lap, then do three at a leisurely pace. This system is organic to many yoga classes (you practice kicking up into handstand for two minutes, then you follow up with a restorative child’s pose). But with some workouts it’s up to you to adjust. Worried you won’t burn enough calories? With interval training, you’ll actually burn more.

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Spend lots of time with people you love.

It’s a health factor, yes — a boost for your immune system. You need to be around those who really get you, to laugh, talk unguardedly about your problems, and listen deeply. You need hugs and smiles and belly laughs. You need to be able to be your true self. If you’re lucky, this stuff is built into your day. But even if it requires an effort, make it happen. Don’t assume e-mail or Facebook or even the phone is going to do — physical, as well as emotional, closeness is a big deal.

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Buy these every week.

  • Dark Leafy Greens: More nutritious, calorie for calorie, than any other food
  • Cruciferous Veggies: Lower the risk of cancer
  • Avocados: Help protect your body from heart disease, cancer, and certain degenerative diseases
  • Blueberries: Help prevent cancer, diabetes, heart disease, ulcers, and high blood pressure
  • Eggs: Full of protein and good fats
  • Walnuts: Packed with omega-3s and other nutrients that help protect your heart

Wander barefoot.

Kick off your shoes and walk on grass, earth, or sand whenever you have the chance. Not only will this boost your immune system by exposing you to unfamiliar microbes, but it will also give you a little charge — literally. Believe it or not, just as we get vitamin D from the sun and oxygen from the air, we get electrons from the earth, which have calming and healing benefits for the whole body.

Do something you love for at least 10 minutes a day.

It’s incredibly powerful and healing. We all think we don’t have time, but most of us can find it somewhere (maybe in the time we spend online — just a guess). It doesn’t have to be a big deal: Shoot hoops in the driveway. Sketch something on the bus home. Blast music and dance around the living room. Pick up an instrument and play three pieces. Do it on purpose, like taking a supplement.

Look up.

Be present in your surroundings. Looking up and out — and making eye contact with others — is a form of nourishment that the age of smartphones has seriously messed with. See the sky, look at the ticket collector on the commuter train, take note of the people nearby when you’re eating lunch. Instead of burying your face in your phone — which takes you out of the moment and often into a sort of junk-food-for-the-eye place — lift your head and be part of your environment.

TRY IT, YOU’LL LIKE IT!

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LAKE EFFECT SNOW STORM “KNIFE” HOMEBOUND SOLUTIONS

SOUTH BUFFALO, NEW YORK HAS CERTAINLY MADE THE NATIONAL NEWS RECENTLY WITH LAKE EFFECT SNOW STORM “KNIFE”.  I AM IN THE HEART OF THIS STORM AND HAVE BEEN “STUCK” INSIDE FOR THE LAST 4 1/2 DAYS.  THE ROADS REMAIN IMPASSABLE AND PEOPLE ARE REALLY BEGINNING TO GET CABIN FEVER. 

BOTH OF OUR SNOW BLOWERS WERE UNABLE TO HANDLE THE SHEER VOLUME OF SNOW DUMPED IN OUR DRIVEWAY SO WE HAVE GOTTEN OUTSIDE AND HAD PLENTY OF EXERCISE SHOVELING (ABOUT 6 HOURS EACH DAY)!  STILL HAVEN’T SEEN A PLOW DURING THE ENTIRE EVENT.

WHILE I DON’T FEEL THE NEED TO DO ANY EXTRA WORK OUT (I FEEL IT IN MY ABS, BICEPS, DELTS, PECS, GLUTES, HAMSTRINGS, QUADS AND EVEN MY FINGERS!), THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE WHO DON’T HAVE TO SHOVEL – THEY HAVE A PLOW SERVICE OR LIVE IN AN APARTMENT OR CONDO OR COMMUNITY THAT DOES MAINTENANCE.  IN ANY EVENT, THERE ARE ALWAYS TIMES WHEN YOU CAN’T HIT THE GYM AND NEED A WORKOUT AT HOME OR IN THE OFFICE.

HAD SOME TIME ON MY HANDS TO LOOK AROUND FLIP BOARD WHILE STRANDED.  IT WAS PERFECT TIMING THAT USA TODAY POSTED THIS ARTICLE The Best Free Workout Videos on YouTube

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THERE ARE 21 VIDEOS FROM 7 MINUTES TO ABOUT AND HOUR FROM A VARIETY OF GENRES: YOGA, KICKBOXING, MARTIAL ARTS, PILATES, DANCING, ZUMBA.  WHILE I HAVEN’T HAD A CHANCE TO TRY THEM ALL I WILL DEFINITELY WORK THROUGH THEM OVER THESE WINTER MONTHS AND LET YOU KNOW HOW I LIKE THEM.  I LIKE VARIETY SO THIS IS A GREAT FIND FOR ME.

I HOPE YOU LIKE THESE VIDEOS  AND WILL LET ME KNOW YOUR FEEDBACK AS YOU TRY THEM!  PLEASE LEAVE COMMENTS AND SUGGESTIONS!

5 TIPS TO STAY ON TOP OF YOUR HEALTH GOALS

1. DON’T TRY TO CHANGE EVERYTHING AT ONCE – LIFESTYLE CHANGES TAKE TIME

HEALTHY LIFESTYLE 2

 

  •  SET TWO OR THREE GOALS TO START.
  • EACH WEEK REVIEW HOW YOU HAVE DONE AND EVALUATE THE AREAS THAT NEED IMPROVEMENT.
  • AFTER TWO TO THREE WEEKS OF A CONSISTENT CHANGE, YOU HAVE MADE IT A HABIT AND YOU CAN BEGIN TO ADD ON TO YOUR GOALS.

2. SET “SMART” GOALS

SMART-Goals

Instead of I’m going to lose weight try:  In the next three weeks I will lose 2 pounds

3. MAKE EXERCISE PART OF YOUR DAILY ROUTINE

  • ACTIVITY SHOULD BE FUN AND THINGS YOU ENJOY
  • YOU DON’T NEED TO GO TO A GYM OR HAVE SPECIAL EQUIPMENT – WALKING IS GREAT
  • EVEN HOUSEHOLD CHORES COUNT AS ACTIVITY – VACUUMING, DUSTING, RAKING LEAVES, WASHING THE CAR, SHOVELING SNOW
  • SHOOT FOR AN HOUR OF EXERCISE A DAY (YOU MAY NEED TO BUILD UP TO IT)

4. WHEN GROCERY SHOPPING STICK TO THE OUTSIDE AISLES OF THE STORE

  • MY STORE HAS FRESH PRODUCE FIRST – TRY TO BUY LOCAL
  • NEXT IS THE BAKERY – STICK TO WHOLE GRAINS
  • THEN MEATS, FISH, POULTRY
  • EGGS AND DAIRY

That covers all the food groups avoiding all the processed, packaged foods as well as the candy aisle!  Of course you will need some things occasionally from the inside aisles but keep it to a minimum.

5. KEEP A POSITIVE ATTITUDE

  • IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED, TRY, TRY AGAIN
  • START WRITING DOWN AT LEAST ONE THING YOU ARE THANKFUL FOR EACH DAY
  • START WRITING DOWN AT LEAST ONE THING  THAT BROUGHT YOU JOY EACH DAY
  • ASSOCIATE WITH POSITIVE PEOPLE AND PUT THE DRAMA QUEENS AND POT STIRRERS ON THE BACK BURNER
  • EXPERIENCE SOMETHING NEW OFTEN – NEW FOOD, NEW RECIPE, NEW ROUTE TO WORK
  • LEARN FROM YOUR EXPERIENCES

 NOW LET’S GET HEALTHY!!

POST INSPIRED BY OSCAR HEALTH INSURANCE PROVIDING PROACTIVE HEALTH INSURANCE IN THE NEW YORK AND NEW JERSEY AREAS

 

ULTIMATE LUNCH WORKOUT

For a 20-minute routine, do these moves in order, using weights heavy enough to challenge you without compromising your form (try five pounds to start). Rest for 15 to 30 seconds between moves if needed, and rest for one minute at the end of the set; do two more sets, using heavier weights in each round (e.g., eight pounds, then 10 pounds).

NO SWEAT 1

 

Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold a dumbbell in your right hand; push your hips back until the weight is just below your knees (a). Push your hips forward and pull the weight to your chest, then quickly rotate your palm away from you and press the weight directly overhead (b). Slowly reverse the movement to return to start. That’s one rep. Do six, then repeat on the other side.

NO SWEAT 2

Holding a dumbbell in each hand, stand on your right leg, bend forward, and raise your left leg behind you, arms straight, palms facing your leg (a). Row the weights to your chest, elbows out (b), then lower. Do six reps, then switch legs and repeat.

NO SWEAT3

Start In a pushup position, with your body in a straight line from head to heels (a). keeping your back flat, bend your elbows and lower your body as slowly as possible (b). Return to start. That’s one rep. Do 12.

NO SWEAT4

Hold a pair of dumbbells above shoulder height, elbows bent and palms facing you; step your right foot forward about two feet and bend both knees. Hold this position (a). Press the weights overhead, rotating your palms away from your body (b). That’s one rep. Do six, then switch sides and repeat.

NO SWEAT5

Lie on your left side, legs and hips stacked, arms straight out at shoulder level; hold a dumbbell with both hands (a). keeping your upper body steady, slowly lift both feet four to six inches off the floor (b). Pause, then lower. That’s one rep. Do 10, then repeat on the other side.

Adapted from http://www.womenshealthmag.com

WORKING ON MY VERY OWN COOKBOOK

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Do not expect this to be your usual run-of-the-mill cookbook.

I will share what is tried and true: some good recipes yes, some sound nutrition advice and some fitness tips that have worked for me. It will be a potpourri of recipes and life’s lessons. Please join me in this adventure!

My recipes are easy with ingredients you will generally have on hand.  They are kid friendly because my husband has finicky taste like a child and is hard to please.  They are tasty and nutritiousI have also included some vegetarian recipes and gluten free recipes.

My fitness tips and ideas are for a healthy lifestyle.  They may encourage activities for families or for individuals just beginning to change their lifestyle.  There are even ideas for those who are more advanced in their routines. I do not use fancy equipment or machines.

Lastly, my nutrition tips are simple ideas that can make a big difference.  I don’t recommend any special dietary supplements, protein powders or meal replacements.  I don’t use a lot of low-fat products but prefer to use just a little of the real thing.  I often offer tips on how to make a recipe healthier.

THINK OF THIS AS A MANUAL FOR A HEALTHIER YOU!

 

 

 

 

 

MORE FOR YOUR CORE – THE FULL PLANK

The plank is a balance and core conditioning exercise. In yoga, the plank is often done as part of the sun salutation sequence, or as part of a vinyasa in a yoga flow sequence. You can also perform the plank as a stand-alone exercise. There are two major types of planks, the full plank, where you balance on both arms, and the side plank, where you balance on one arm.

LET’S TRY THE FULL PLANK:

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Start off on a yoga mat in the pushup position. Starting with the pushup position is the easiest way to get into the plank.

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Lower both your forearms to the ground so that both your elbows and fists are flat to the ground. Your palms should be balled up, and directly underneath your shoulders.

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Curl your toes under and engage your abs by tilting your pelvis and pulling your belly button toward your spine.

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Straighten your body but keep your neck and spine neutral.  Imagine that you’re a plank of wood, and that you’re straight as an arrow.

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Flex your abdominals and squeeze your glutes. These are the two major muscle groups you’ll be working out in this exercise.

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Hold this position, also known as the plank, until after the burning begins. Keep your eyes on the floor in front of you. Avoid raising your behind. Your body should make a straight line from your heels to the back of your head.

TRY TO HOLD THE POSE A LITTLE LONGER EACH DAY! AND THEN, HAVE A FRIEND ADD A LITTLE WEIGHT!

the plank

YOU WILL NEED A LITTLE LEVITY AS YOU FEEL YOUR MUSCLES BURN!

I’VE ALSO SEEN THIS DONE ON A STANDUP PADDLE BOARD AS PART OF THE CORE WORKOUT.

TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR HEALTH

“A healthy attitude is contagious but don’t wait to catch it from others.  Be a carrier!”  Tom Stoppard

When asked who my “Health Hero” is and why, I immediately thought of my father.  Not only was he a World War II hero, he made sure to bring our family up to be active.

papa

We would go to the beach and swim and build sand castles and he would organize a baseball game if we started lazing around too much.  We played tennis, badminton and horse shoes and always took walks.  The entire family raked leaves and shoveled snow together.  We washed the car and we all had household chores.

Stuart McIntosh, former Olympian said, “When children are exposed to a routine that works, they learn it, understand it, and when done regularly it is locked into their memory.”  It sure worked for our family!

Now it is up to me to continue to make healthy lifestyle choices.

My husband and I really work as a team.  When his cholesterol level inched up to 199, my training as a Registered Dietitian kicked in and we were able to lower that level by 20 points over the last year.  Difficult for a real meat and potatoes man!  We ate more fish (grilled and cooked with a variety of spices), less chuck roast (20gm fat/serving) changed to tender chuck (3gm fat/serving), more beans and lentils added to ground beef dishes and using 96% lean beef (like meatballs, meatloaf, tacos, chili).  Haven’t seen a hotdog bologna, salami, bacon or sausage – but like turkey sausage!  Milk products are all low fat and fresh fruits and vegetables are always “half the plate”!  Whole grains are staples.  A stick of butter lasts months.  I don’t use artificial or “lite” products but use just a little of the real thing.  Most important we EXERCISE DAILY!

We just went through a winter of extreme cold, life threatening wind chills and two blizzards in Buffalo, New York.  But we dressed for the weather and enjoyed cross county skiing and walks/snow shoeing along the frozen Lake Erie shoreline at sunset not to mention we did loads of shoveling.  My husband also likes to kite ski.  We even have cleats for our boots for the typical ice storm.  The treadmill and exercise bike are a last resort to enjoying the great outdoors.

Thinking outside the box and planning this unique garden for Spring:

IT IS IMPORTANT TO HAVE A PLAN FOR HEALTHY EATING!  You need only a very small plot of land to grow enough vegetables and herbs to feed a family.  Join me in this experiment.  Take a 2 cubic feet of potting soil (like Miracle Grow), rumple it around quite a bit to loose the soil, poke quite a few holes in the back side for drainage, then lay the bag on a smooth surface that will allow drainage and not get too hot.  Cut out the top leaving about a 4 or 5 inch border all around.  Lightly rake through the soil to even it out and loosen it even more, then carefully start planting your seeds.  Spray mist the seeds and plantlings when first watering until they are established, then you can water more vigorously.  Keep soil moist, but not sopping wet.  Come Summer, we plan to have loads of fresh vegetables for grilling and salads!

Summer plans also include tennis, biking, swimming, kayaking, windsurfing and paddle boarding.

REMEMBER, YOU DON’T HAVE TO DIET IF YOU LIVE IT!

THANKS FOR THE CHALLENGE: HEALTHY CAMPAIGN

LOADS OF NUTRITION TIPS, FITNESS ROUTINES AND RECIPES AT : FABULOUS FIT FOOD

SPRING CLEANING – IDEAL WORKOUT REGIMEN!

SPRING CLEANING

The calories burned while you’re doing household chores can really add up. In fact, many household chores burn just as many calories as workouts do. Here’s how some of your household chores stack up in terms of calories burned.

Indoor Chores

Chores you do inside the house also help to burn calories. Here’s how many calories are burned in the course of performing your daily tasks:

  • Scrubbing the bath for 30 minutes burns 200 calories. Removing that stubborn soap scum from your tiles is a great way  to tone the muscles of your arms and shoulders.
  • Carrying shopping bags for 30 minutes burns 190 calories, and maybe more if the bags are particularly heavy. Distribute the weight evenly on each hand, or swap back and forth at regular intervals. Carrying too much weight on one side won’t just overdevelop those muscles, it could injure your spine.
  • Making beds for 30 minutes burns 130 calories, the same number you’d use if you jogged on a treadmill or on flat terrain for 15 minutes.
  • Cleaning windows for 30 minutes burns 125 calories, the same number used in 20 minutes of power yoga (about one-third the length of a typical power yoga class).
  • Loading the dishwasher for 30 minutes burns 105 calories, which is less than the 160 calories burned when washing them by hand.
  • Vacuuming for 30 minutes burns about 90 calories, the same amount you’d burn in 15 minutes of kick boxing.
  • Dusting for 30 minutes burns about 50 calories.
  • Ironing for 30 minutes burns about 70 calories and tones the muscles of the upper body. Stand up straight at the ironing board and press down firmly. Switch hands periodically so you don’t overdevelop one arm.

Yard Work

Yard work offers some of the most labor intensive household chores. Tasks like digging and raking the leaves not only burn a lot of calories but can help tone muscles in your arms and legs. Here are some statistics:

  • 30 minutes of digging in your yard will burn about 315 calories, the same amount burned by 45 minutes of bicycling on flat terrain. Digging tones the muscles of your calves, thighs, arms and shoulders. If you do it vigorously enough and continue the activity for 20 minutes or more, you can raise your heart rate and strengthen your cardiovascular system.
  • Washing your car works your arms and abdominals. For every 30 minutes of car washing, you’ll burn 143 calories.
  • Weeding for 30 minutes burns 115 calories, the same amount you’d burn in 15 minutes of weight training. Weeding tones your thighs and buttocks. Just be careful to bend with your legs while keeping your spine straight, or you could hurt your back.
  • Raking leaves for 30 minutes burns 225 calories. The resistance offered by the leaves makes this chore a type of weight training. Raking leaves tones all the major muscle groups in your body.

Other Calorie Burners

Here are some other activities that burn surprising amounts of calories:

  • Climbing stairs for 30 minutes burns about 285 calories.
  • Painting and decorating your home burns about 160 calories.
  • Showering and toweling off for 30 minutes burns about 70 calories.  (WOW, that’s a long shower!)

REMEMBER EVERYONE BURNS CALORIES AT A DIFFERENT RATE BASED UPON BODY SIZE.  YOU MAY WANT TO TRY THIS CLEANING HOUSE CALORIES BURNED CALCULATOR FOR MORE ACCURATE MEASURES!

NOT ONLY WILL YOU FEEL ACCOMPLISHED WITH YOUR CLEANING EFFORTS YOU’LL GET MORE FIT ON TOP OF IT – WHAT I CALL A TWOFER!!