August

I am not a personal or certified trainer, and definitely do not claim to be one.  Once upon a time I worked at a gym and it was definitely one of my favorite jobs. I love a challenge as well as exercising and do wonderfully when I combine the two. So last night I took the opportunity to create a workout/exercise calendar for myself and the month of August.

I decided I would do a bit of an intense training calendar since Cooper will be leaving in one week from today for Nashville, which means I will have some serious down time before school starts back up in a few weeks. On top of a running schedule to accomplish a goal of 6 miles in 70 minutes, I also snagged an idea I saw from pinterest to tackle a nice crunches challenge.

I’m sure I will have a day here or there that doesn’t pan out the way I planned for it to go but that is expected as I am not perfect and life is… well, life! Another quick note, I will be doing some traveling in the month of August so I planned according to that. It’s so nice to know that this month I won’t have to do anything but look at a piece of paper to be directed in my exercising. What a relief and gift of time!

I hope you can find some sort of inspiration from this calendar and if you do enjoy it please let me know so that I can do more in months to come!

aug calendar 2013

The Blues

Depression

Currently there are 23 million American’s who suffer with depression. The World Health Organization predicts that only 70% of those who do have depression are being treated. And although these numbers seem sad for only those dealing with depression, the truth is that it effects every single one of us as Americans.

Not to mention those families members and friends who have to cope with individuals who suffer from depression, the society will negatively be effected by the large and growing number of individuals who suffer from depression. This is due to the fact that individuals suffering from un-treated depression have more sick days, cost more in medical bills and health care costs as well as effect the emotional health of those around them as we humans are relational people.

So what can be done about Depression? How do you know that you should be checked by your physician for it and how can you prevent it in your own life? Along with all of these questions, how about questions regarding those around you. When and how should you direct your loved ones to consider being examined and checked for depression?

In term of yourself, depression should be considered when you have long periods of sadness, anxiety and change of lifestyle in general. Sometimes these “blues” can be brought on an emotional and/or physical change. Situations for example may be, the death of a loved one, the diagnoses of a disease or sickness, or even the birth of a child. If you notice these same conditions in loved ones around you, gently bring up the topic without making them feel as if they are at fault or “sick”.

Once these symptoms/conditions are noticed, you can bring them up to your primary care doctor. Once he or she is aware of what is going on, they can either refer you to another practitioner or they can treat you themselves. Another option for individuals is to treat their mild (note the word mild) depression holistically ( hollistic medical approaches focus on may facors including but not limited to; physical, mental, emotional and spiritual). This can be done in many ways, but please make sure that proper diagnosis as well as the permission from your primary care doctor is given.

  • Natural Anti-Depressants: St. John’s Wart – this must be talked to with your physician as it can interfere with birth control pills.
  • Food: A well balanced diet of healthy fats, fibrous carbohydrates and lean protein help to deliver all the nutrients the body needs. It is also important to know that our brains thrive and live off of carbohydrates (sugars), this means that carbohydrates are vital to healthy brain development as well as maintenance.
  • Exercise: Exercise has many wonderful benefits which include the release of endorphin’s. Endorphin’s help to regulate hormone production as well as the lymphatic which directly correlate to diseases such as depression.
  • Sleeping Behavior: New research has shown that the way you sleep effects you ability to process emotions throughout the day and your life. Sleeping with light seems to negatively affect this ability, as it does not allow the part of your brain that deals with this process to truly rest and shut down for it’s needed sleep. This also means that lack of proper sleep eventually will build up and not allow the amount of rest for your body to repair itself to happen.
  • “You” Time: In our busy as chaotic world, time for individuals to relax and decompress is vital. This time should not include vices such as alcohol or other addictive substances, but instead should be something you enjoy as well
  • Faith: No matter what faith group you belong to, studies have shown that having a connection with a greater being helps individuals to recognize stress in their life as well as deal with it.

Please note that I am not a doctor and that your doctor will have much more information about depression as well as how to treat it based on a persons health history, personality and natural abilities. Depression seems to be something so many people hide from. Know that depression does not change who you are just as diabetes does not make an individual any less than. If you are feeling any of these symptoms or are dealing with depression in your life or someone close to you, know that talking about it is the first step to dealing properly with the situation.

What a week!

I don’t really think I can follow up with my last post about baby Emme, but here I go.

Saturday is here and I don’t know where the rest of the week went. On Wednesday Cooper and I were at Target and he got the phone call he has been not so patiently waiting for. It was about his job and he is officially moving to Nashville, TN. IN 11 DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m beyond excited but it definitely is bittersweet as I will miss him terribly. Coop will be working for the federal government, specifically for Homeland Security. This job is close to his dream job which means this season of our lives will really be exciting!

I also got a phone call from my mom on Wednesday that my grandmother (my dad’s mom) is in the hospital and seems to be dying of some sort of cancer. I am not close with my dad’s family however my heart hurts for those of my grandmothers children who are close to her and who are currently watching their mom go through this terribly time. It has been a great lesson to me that health is a gift. Not only a gift for myself but also those around me. And that our health should be taken care of daily, because daily turns into monthly, and monthly turns into yearly. I guess the reason this is all resonating with me is because we fond out that my grandmother has not one but two tumors on her chest that she has had for months but just ignored. She will then need multiple surgeries as well as multiple rounds of both chemo and radiation if she wants to live. It seems like such a sad way to live the rest of your life.

Then, on Thursday I was at my brother and sister-in-laws house and she got a phone call from her doctor that they needed to bring the baby back into the hospital because some of her levels where to low. They are coming home this morning after 2 nights in the hospital. The baby is not the picture of health, but it was definitely an emotional time for both her daddy and momma!

Please keep my family in your prayers as we are definitely going through some big changes in life right now. And hug your family extra tight this weekend because you just don’t know what life is going to through your way.

Happy weekend everyone and I look forward to getting back next week, to some interesting health topics!

Happy Birthday Baby

She’s here!!!!!

My unbelievably amazing sister-in-law gave birth to the most amazing little girl I’ve ever laid eyes on. My entire family is completely in love and we just can’t get enough of this sweet pea.

After 15 hours of labor (most of which she did at home), my S.I.L. delivered right around midnight Monday evening. I don’t want to give away to much personal information about her so I’ll keep calling her baby “M” or Emme.

Here are a few shots for you just to prove how much we all love her already!

Baby and Parents

Baby Emme and her amazing mommy and daddy! I think she will be quite the daddy’s girl and she definitely looks like him.

Nanna and Papa

Papa and Nanna with their first grand baby. Check out the full head of hair. This was a big surprise for us as both her parents were as bald as Homer Simpson when they were born. Also, it looks like she has beautiful dimples!!

IMG_00000541_1

I could hold this peanut forever. She is so sweet, pure and precious.

When Coop held her for the first time I could tell that he fell in love with her. I never expected it but he just couldn’t get enough of her. It was so precious to see and made my heart melt.

I think the coolest part of this whole experience was to see how people come together. In the midst of this little one coming into the world, no one cared about politics, how messy their laundry room is or what the number on the scale says. It was so nice to just enjoy life and family as well as good in a world where that doesn’t seem to come around often.

Anyways, congratulations to my amazing sister-in-law and brother and Happy Birthday to baby Emme.

Tighter – Higher – Firmer

I’m currently sitting with my laptop on my lap, impatiently awaiting a call from my sister in law. She has been laboring since 3:30 this morning (it’s almost 8 at night on Monday) and has done an unbelievably beautiful job. She is currently being checked at the hospital and hopefully I will be heading over there to see my beautiful, perfect wonderful new niece. There is a chance that I will be thinking of nothing other than my family tomorrow so today I have for you a butt workout for you.

I don’t know about you but I genuinely enjoy working out my lower body. And let me tell you that this workout does it! It doesn’t seem too tough until you are on the last set and then come 24 hours after the workout is completed, well you really feel it.

Higher Tighter Firmer

Please send prayers up for baby “M” and I can’t wait to show off my beautiful niece to all of you! Happy Tuesday!!

Pesto Chicken Pasta

Technology and I aren’t exactly friends. I know, I know… I don’t really have a choice. But seriously, I find technology to a big ol’ giant pain in my rear. And being engaged to someone who finds technology to be one of the greatest things since bottled water (he’s a big fan of that too), well it has it’s ups and downs.

Take for instance pictures. I prefer them in a frame, that hangs on my wall and isn’t connected to an outlet or that has batteries. He prefers pictures in jpeg form – which by the way I have no idea what that means.

Or how about books, I like them from the library and most definitely made of paper. He enjoys reading a book on a machine that also houses about 25 other books that he will read once and never pass on to another book hungry soul.

But I guess differences is what makes the world go round. And also one of the few topics that can get the two of us a bit heated over.

I’m trying though, I promise! I’m trying to become more familiar with computer programs, with technology terms and even apps! Trust me when I say I have come a long way. But ultimately, I’m only trying for him. I know it makes him so happy to seeing me research things like “the best pc photo editor program” or searching through youtube for how to videos concerning photoshop. And I’m very happy to say that I am making some very noticeable progress.

Since really committing to this blog over here on the interweb, I’ve been working hard on my pictures that I post. You see, there are some very amazing bloggers who post even more amazing pictures. And well, I want to be more like them! So I’ve been stalking pictures, paying close attention to the details, researching and reading. And last week, this happened!

Pesto Chicken Complete

You see, in attempt to take more appealing pictures, I made a trip to Target and I gathered up a few kitchen props. After a few weeks of snapping shots of everything I ate, this one happened. It definitely took some prep work, multiple attempts at “the right picture” and of course some editing but low and behold… my first picture that I’m actually proud to show you!

So what is it? It’s pesto chicken over quinoa! It was delicious, and it’s good for you too. SO please take a minute to look at my baby (the picture) and then read over the recipe below, buy the ingredients and make it! I promise you will love it.

Pesto Chicken – makes 4 servings

  • 3 chicken breast (boneless and skinless)
  • 4 tbsp pesto sauce
  • 1 lime
  • 3 tbsp fresh dill
  • 2 tbsp garlic
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • a pinch of salt
  1. Place the quinoa in a pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Remove from heat and rinse once the quinoa is to your liking, then set aside.
  3. Cut up the chicken breast into 1/2 ounce pieces.
  4. Place the Chicken breast in a pan with the pesto sauce, the juice of the lime, dill and garlic.
  5. Cook on medium-low for 6-7 minutes stirring occasionally.
  6. Reduce the heat of the chicken and stir in the pasta and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  7. Once plated, sprinkle on salt and fresh dill.

A Carrot a Day…

carrots

Source

A carrot a day keeps the lady cramps away!

That’s right ladies, it’s the truth. Carrots are known to be packed full of health benefits, including reducing and for some even eliminating menstrual cramps. I heard this some time ago, I believe it was actually from mama natural. so today I tried over and over to find out the reason why.

Well friends, I failed you in it. Actually, I’m going to blame it on the interweb. Yes, it’s definitely the interwebs fault!

Anyways, although I didn’t find out why it is that carrots keep the lady cramps away, I did find 4 other amazing health benefits that will make just about anyone crack a stick to chew on… well, a carrot stick that is!

1. In a recent 10 year study done by a group in the Netherlands, carrots were found to reduce Cardio Vascular Disease (or CVD as they call it). This study came about as this group looked at foods according to color and how they effect our health. The orange food group (think pumpkin, carrots, peppers) won as the healthiest heart vegetables.

2. I’m sure you have heard of carotenoids being in carrots. What you may not have heard is how they work inside of you body. Carotenoids are antioxidents, and they play a very unique role in our body. Imagine you body as a house, and imagine carotenoids as your favorite child. You favorite child is a neat freak and they don’t let their siblings or dad bring ANY unneeded junk or extra stuff (think viruses, bad bacteria or cancer causing cells) into the house. If junk is brought into the house for some reason, they do a great job of loading it up in a garbage bag and hauling outside. Then, you favorite child goes back into the house and clean the wall the junk may have been on, vacuum the floor it may have touched and so on. Magnificent isn’t it!! See how valuable carrots can be!

3. Carrots have polyacetylenes in them. Don’t worry, I’m not making words up… I promise. Polyacetylenes help make sure that carotenoids can properly do their job. Let’s go back to that favorite child scenario again. Imagine now that you favorite child is allergic to peanuts. Polyacetylenes go around all day everyday making sure that no one comes into the house with peanuts. No one, ever!!! Some foods have the antioxidants in them but very few have the ability to support the antioxidant like carrots do.

4. If you were anything like I was as a child, then you were convinced that bunny rabbits had the best vision of all the animal kingdom. That may have been due to my sweet little Italian grandpa, and the hours we would sit outside watching any and all creatures that came our way. When I learned that this fact is false I’m pretty sure I was in denial. The good news is that he was kind of right! Carrots definitely do enhance you vision, but not to the extreme we played it up to be. And just between you and I, despite me knowing the truth, I’m still telling my children the story my grandpa told me!

So there you have it friends, carrots are officially a super food in my book. Not only does it do all of these wonderful things, but it also really does help with menstrual cramps. I know because I’m living proof!

A Case Of The Moo’s

I was at the pool this last weekend with Cooper when I saw a little boy, who I regularly see and talk with his mom, but Sunday I noticed a little something on his belly. This little boy is so happy, active and smart as a whip. He and the little one I take care of get a long very well and have a bit of a friendship/bond. After I asked his sweet mom about what I noticed on his belly (it was slightly high so I sadly thought it could have been a port for cancer), she told me that this little guy has Cystic Fibrosis. His type however is accompanied by gastrointestinal issues.

So after fighting for 5 years now with his little body to gain weight and keep it on, the parents finally decided to just get a G.I. tube so that they could supplement his calories everyday. You see, this little guy needs 2500 calories a day and he has a dairy allergy. I don’t know about you but I’ve helped raise over 10 kids now and they are picky eaters no matter how obedient and hungry. Twenty-five hundred calories is more than a lot for a little one to consume every day. When you throw into the mix that he can’t have dairy ( a huge source of fat for little ones), life get’s tricky.

The conversation ended with both this sweet mom and I needing to leave to wash our eyes out because it was so hot out, sweat and sunscreen had been dripping into our eyes. But I left thinking. Thinking about nutrition and how it is, whether realized or not a huge part of everyone life. In fact, it is such a huge part that our nutrition effects those around us.

  • It effects the people’s wealth whom we buy our food from.
  • It effects our family members, if we get sick often, when we have them over to eat, or even when we go to them and say “Oh, I can’t eat that”
  • It effects the medical field when we go in to complain to our doctor about this tummy problem or that skin irritation.
  • It effects our children view and perspective on food.
  • It even effects our significant others ability to eat when they are around us. Think of poor Al and how I’m sure he would love pizza here and there but we simply can’t eat it because, well… I can’t.

Nutrition and food is such a huge part of our lives. You can choose to see it as a good and large part of your life today so that positive choices can be made about it and eventually positive results. Or you can view is as just a part, not anything of urgency and the benefits will mirror that decision.

Let’s view food today as something positive, important, exciting and urgent today!

*** Did You Know: cow’s milk when treated with the hormone rBST (it will be labeled that it does NOT contain this if that is the case) is often the source of adult acne, hormonal imbalance, I.B.S. symptoms and tooth pain. Just something to think about***

“Bad” Food

I keep hearing the same conversation in the world of healthy living. It seems to go like this…

Opinion A: I made good for me pizza last night.

Think cauliflower crust pizza

Opinion B: You wouldn’t have to make it if you just ate real pizza once in a while.

Opinion A: But this way I can eat pizza often.

Opinion B: If you eat “good” pizza often, over time it’s just the same as eating real pizza regularly.

And then it seems like a million other people who claim to be educated in health chime in and its like that song that never ends… it just goes on and on my friend!

Can I be a mix of opinion A & B? I think that makes me a people pleas-er. I also think that I’ve been rambling lately on this here interweb so I apologize if that makes things difficult around here!

Any who!!! Back to that combination of A & B! As I shared with you all yesterday, my roommate/grandmother/lifeboss has a few different taste buds than I do backed up by some very large opinions. Let me just quickly paint you a picture!

She likes salt and fat, and I try to stay away from those things.

We like fruits and vegetables, and by we I mean she likes fruit and I love vegetables!

She loves pork, I love chicken.

She puts just a little sugar on her cereal in the morning yet somehow goes through a pound of sugar in 3 weeks tops.

Things making sense yet? So guess what I do… I trick her, yes I trick her by making unhealthy food semi healthy! I know, I know that probably makes me a bad care giver but seriously I’ll balloon up if I eat the way she wants US to. About once a week, I use my gluten allergy in all of it’s glory to steer dinner the way I would like it to go. Last night I did this and I swear it was like God came down himself and flashed me a smile. The reviews for this meal were something I never dreamt of happening. Not only did my fiance ask me to please make this more often, but my roommate/grandma/lifeboss ate every bite AND asked if there was any left over today.

Told you it was glorious in the way I would image God’s smile to be!

I made deep fried chicken with corn on the cob, greens beans and watermelon! Ready for it… I breaded the chicken in corn flakes and egg whites, then pan fried for 1 minute on each side in coconut oil. Once crispy I bakes in the oven until the chicken was cooked through. That’s right… no trans fats, no grains, cut out the egg cholesterol, no salt yet the crispiest and juiciest “deep fried breaded chicken” all 3 of us have ever had.

I’m not going to lie, I felt amazing when I went t bed last night. And since I didn’t expect such wonderful results… I have no pictures. But from the sounds of things, I’ll be making it again!

I’m sure you have probably heard of this “diet breaded chicken” before… probably on pinterest. I’m telling you though, you need to try this. It’s wonderfully, amazingly, fabulously delicious!

Do you ever make any good for you “bad” food?

If so, what do you make?

I think my opinion on the subject is that if I am going to enjoy life and people I will have to eat things like pizza or cheesecake a few times a year. And then probably once a month I find it worth my time to make some healthifide “bad” food. But that’s just my opinion!

Veggies for breakfast

If you follow me on twitter, then you often see my breakfast due to the pictures I take of it. And if you have yet to catch it, I eat a vegetable with my breakfast every morning. Ok, well not EVERY morning but 9 times out of 10.

Usually my breakfast’s go something like this, an egg, tomato and an apple or berries. That’s right I eat an egg EVERY day for breakfast. I love them, I simply cannot get enough of them. They are packed with SO much goodness and wonderful nutrition proportions. And did you know that when you eat an egg for breakfast every morning it comes with a side of “roommate concern”?

Yes, that’s right… if your roommate happens to be my 87 year old grandmother then every day that she see’s you eating an egg she will explain to you yet again that you are going to die if you keep eating those eggs. Apparently, my doctors (although they have never told ME) have diagnosed me with terribly high Cholesterol.  It’s ok though, she does this will all of you food “fads” as she calls them. In fact, let me just tell you all of her theories quickly! If I keep taking my iron supplement, well I will continue to be infertile (I have never been told by any health professionals that I have any fertility issues), and by the way she keeps recommending I tell my fiance about this diagnoses so that he can leave me if having children is that great of a priority in his life. She also believes that all the chicken I eat will constipate me and that I’m going to catch something (what, no one knows… just something) from any and all venison I consume. She means well, I am sure of that!

ANYWAYS… back to vegetables for breakfast. Vegetables contain something called cellulose. Cellulose is a form of fiber and it is wonderful at helping you body unlock fat. That’s right, fat!

Beware, things are going to get a little “gross”.

Cellulose is a form of insoluble fiber and this type of fiber binds water to the nutrient waste within your intestine making you stool soft-er and easy to pass. More or less, insoluble fiber (Cellulose) makes sure you won’t be constipated. And for any one who has tried a low card diet for any period of time (more than 6 weeks), you know the value of being able to use the rest room.

Cellulose also helps unlock fat to be burned by your body. When we need energy, we use the most readily available form in our body which is glucose. This is sugar in it’s simplest form. The problem that can occur is that when you have a carbohydrate rich diet, your body never breaks down and uses the fat to fuel itself. This is especially important when an individual is trying to lose fat. The cellulose in vegetables help in this effort by making fat within our body a readily available source for energy. Pretty cool!

So eat some veggies for breakfast! They are so good for you, and I find that what I eat for breakfast (the types of fat, carbs and protein) I crave for the rest of the day. By lunch, if I ate veggies for breakfast, I’m craving more!