Preparing for Fall Back 2016

Twice a year I write about time change. And we are upon that time once again.

For most of us in the U.S. we will Fall Back on Sunday at 2 a.m.

Many of my readers are from Arizona, so this post doesn’t apply to you as much. (And note to my family, starting Sunday I will be an hour behind for about four months.) But I think the suggestions I am going to make are great whenever you cross time zones or as we move into the cooler and darker (and in Oregon, wetter) season.

I am not a great sleeper. And time change for me is pretty difficult.

When you Spring Forward, you lose an hour. The light is different. It is more difficult to get to bed on time for your workweek.

When you Fall Back, you “gain” an hour. But that gain can still really mess you up.  If you normally get up at 5 a.m. then you are likely gonna start rousing at 4 a.m. Ugh! And the evenings get darker earlier, which has already been happening lately.

That “gained” hour can throw your day (or even the following week) off.

There are ways to help your … Continue reading

Before … after … and now

For about the past year to year and a half I have been the healthiest I have ever been. Not the smallest or thinnest, but the healthiest.

I turn 42 in one month and I feel amazing. And I think I look pretty good, too. I know that’s not what it is all about. It’s about being and feeling healthy. But I’ll be honest, it feels good to look good.

I work hard at being healthy. At times it is easy. And other times it’s so so difficult.

But I haven’t always looked the way I look now.

When I was younger I was considered skinny. (I seriously hate that word and all that it implies.)

I could basically eat and drink anything I wanted and not gain weight.

Then I turned 25. I had a sedentary job. I worked second shift and ate a lot of my meals at my desk, which weren’t actually healthy and usually came in some sort of wrapper (as in fast food).

Over a seven year period I gained 30 pounds.

I hated shopping for clothes. I lacked confidence. It was difficult to go on hikes with friends.

One day a friend and co-worker asked me … Continue reading

Delicious lentils

One of my yoga students recently shared a lentils recipe with me, which he had made and thought I would like it as well.

Let me just say, wow, delicious.

He found it online and it is basically this recipe here.

It doesn’t take much work to prepare the ingredients for this recipe.

Here’s what I did:

  • 2 cups of lentils
  • 2 cups of tomato puree
  • 2 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 potato diced
  • 1 onion peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk, unsweetened
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 3 gloves of garlic
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • red pepper flakes to taste

Throw all ingredients into slow cooker. Cook on high for 4 hours. Once cooked I added three chicken breasts, which were already cooked.

I added red pepper flakes in my bowl instead of the full recipe. I love super spicy. But not everyone else does.

I added chicken to this recipe. But it could be made vegan without the chicken and you could substitute chicken stock for vegetable stock or even water.

The recipe is delicious, filling and healthy. It is great as leftovers.

As leftovers I would scoop some … Continue reading

Preparing to Spring Forward

Twice a year I write about time change. (Read last year’s Spring Forward post here.)

It’s that time again to Spring Forward (Sunday at 2 a.m.). I am not a fan of time change.

I seriously don’t get the point of it. I grew up in Arizona where time change doesn’t occur.

So to my Arizona family members who can never quite get the time difference: Starting Sunday we will be on the same time.

This is the advice I like to give on how to deal with time change:

Healthy living at 40

Right now in my life I am the healthiest I have ever been in my whole entire life.

And I’m 40.

I’m at a healthy weight. I eat pretty healthy. I drink alcohol in moderation. I rarely have soda. I exercise regularly. My stress levels are fairly low. I drink a lot of water. I practice yoga almost every day.

I teach five cycle classes a week. That means I do about an hour of cardio five times a week. I have a home yoga practice where I practice the sequence I teach four to six times a week. (I squeeze in a yoga class as a student myself occasionally. Wish it was more often.)

I am not the lightest weight ever in my adult life. (I am about 35 pounds lighter than when I first started my quest to lose weight in October 2006.)

But just because you are skinny or thin doesn’t mean you are healthy. Ever heard of skinny fat? I believe I could have been skinny fat, when I could eat and drink whatever I wanted and not gain weight.

I wrote about skinny fat in the past titled, Skinny doesn’t mean healthy.

Skinny … Continue reading

Review Wednesday: SodaStream

For the past eight or nine years I have made sure to get in a regular and healthy amount of water in daily.

Last year after returning from my birthday trip to Bora Bora I decided reducing my alcohol intake might be a good idea.

Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t eliminate wine and beer and the occasional cocktail. I just reduced how much I was imbibing.

I started buying sparkling water to sip in the evenings with a slice of lemon. It was a nice alternative to booze (all those calories) and I was drinking even more water.

A friend told me she got a SodaStream to make sparkling water.

Recently I bought my own SodaStream Fountain Jet Home Soda Maker Starter Kit from Amazon. (SodaStream offers eight different sparkling water makers.)

I’ve been adding bubbles to my water quite regularly. I no longer have to stock up on bottled sparkling water, which is better for the environment.

I shopped on Amazon and found the SodaStream Jet on sale for about 60 bucks.

When I received the SodaStream I unpacked everything and started looking through my starter kit. It came with drink samples, which can be added to the water after … Continue reading

Getting my calcium & vitamin D

The other day I had a doctor’s appointment to establish the new doctor/new patient relationship.

As we discussed my health history my doctor (who I think is great) asked me what supplements I take. I told her I take melatonin to help with sleep. I also take Tums for the calcium.

(I started taking calcium recently hoping it will help with my thin, peeling, splitting nails, which I am still trying to resurrect. I wrote about the nail experiment more than a year ago and I am still trying to get these nails healthy.)

I asked my doctor if she recommended a different calcium supplement source. She recommended calcium with vitamin D.

Being a woman I know calcium is important. I eat my cheese and have my Greek yogurt. (I don’t really like milk unless it is in my cereal or I’m having a PB&J.) But I am sure my calcium intake is not what it should be with diet alone.

Calcium is a mineral that is an essential part of bones and teeth. The heart, nerves, and blood-clotting systems also need calcium to work, according to WebMD. … The bones and teeth contain over 99% of the calcium in the … Continue reading

Our bodies need energy, fuel

Like a car we need to fuel our bodies.

I was talking to a friend recently telling her how I am teaching five cycle classes a week (among numerous yoga classes). Her next question was, are you in crazy great shape? (That’s not a quote. But she said something like that.)

I told her I am maintaining my weight and am content. (I like to eat and drink … in moderation, of course.)

But because I am not currently tracking my food I need to be careful and make sure that I am still eating the right things and enough even with my regular cardio workout.

When the cardio increases and/or the exercise gets intense we need to make sure our bodies have enough “fuel,” such as protein, carbohydrates, fiber, sugar, fat and even saturated fat, among many other nutrients.

I am a big believer in protein. I can tell when I haven’t had enough of it. And I know that I need a well-balanced diet.

Protein has a lot more functions than repairing and growing muscle tissue. … Protein increases satiety at meals, which can lead to overall decreased calorie consumption, according to an article in Muscle & Fitness.

According to … Continue reading

Enjoying vacation

Since the end of 2006 I have been a fairly healthy person.

In October 2006 I joined Weight Watchers and started on the venture to lose about 30 pounds.

In March of 2007 I started regularly exercising, which still continues to this day. (And now I teach other people to exercise and practice yoga.)

I work hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Sometimes it is easy. And sometimes it is a struggle.

Since I am healthy the majority of the time I allow myself to be unhealthy (or go off plan in the WW world) from time to time.

When I travel I want to enjoy food and drinks without having to worry about my caloric intake. Sometimes I am great with the exercise and other times it suffers. (I have been getting my yoga practice in every day since we have been here.)

But here’s the thing, I have fun while on vacation and then when I get home things get back to normal and healthy again.

Curt and I are in Las Vegas with friends for a long fun March Madness weekend.

There is sports watching, a little gambling, lots of eating and drinking (especially the cheap brewed … Continue reading

Is Guinness good for you?

A couple of years ago I wrote a post on St. Patrick’s Day after doing some research on Guinness.

I have heard rumors that Guinness is high in iron and better for you than most beers. I also heard that pregnant women have been advised to drink Guinness because of the high iron and low alcohol.

Is any of this true? Is Guinness good for you?

As I am researching there is no real clear answer to whether or not Guinness is in fact actually good for you. Though leaning toward no seems better than leaning toward yes.

The calories and alcohol content tend to be a little lower than other beers.

According to Realbeer.com, a 12-ounce Guinness draft has 4% alcohol, 125 calories and 10 grams of carbohydrates. (Just a reminder that a pint is 16 ounces.) I looked up a few other beers for comparison, all for 12 ounces: Blue Moon White: 5.4% alcohol, 171 calories and 12.9 grams of carbs; Budweiser: 5% alcohol, 143 calories and 10.6 grams of carbs; Heineken: 5.4% alcohol, 166 calories and 9.8 grams of carbs; Sierra Nevada Pale Ale: 5.7% alcohol, 171 calories and 14.1 grams of carbs; and last, a beer … Continue reading