Today is Free Comic Book Day!

 

 

Black Wonder WomanWhat does that have to do with fitness and wellness you ask? Well, I’ll tell you. I love superheroes! So naturally I love comic books. I love the art, the colors, the story lines, the strong characters-especially the female characters.

I was a huge Wonder Woman fan growing up-mostly of the TV show but as awesome as that was isn’t that enough? To me, comic books and their female heroines-and supervillans-showed a depiction of female strength even if it is exaggerated at times. i mean, don’t get it twisted, I know the danger of the totally fabled body type that is often presented in the comics, but to their credit, it is often countered with at least a story line to demonstrate strong, intelligent and capable women with often superhuman abilities.

Modern comic books have more diversity than ever and to me, it is important for me to show my son multidimensional characters that challenge the norm.

So check out www.freecomicbookday.com and find a location near you that has events and of course-a free comic book!

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Fitness Adventures: Yoga In Mississippi

YogaMiss

I am freshly back from my fabulous road trip visit to the Big Easy-Nawlins, Louisiana. Me and four other ladies checked out the Essence Music Festival.  I came back refreshed, inspired and proud that I stayed active and ate well and had a fantastic time!  Now, as I mentioned, I went with four girlfriends. Four women. With all the laughing, bonding, side eyes and..cramping. Yes cramping. I had the pleasure of sitting in the middle seat of a lovely Ford Fusion for a significant portion of our 14 hour drive. My legs, back and butt were not happy with me by the time we took a break to stretch out legs. So what did I do in 90 degree heat in the middle of a Mississippi? What else? Yoga.

Some of my favorite poses were:

  • Downward Facing Dog-Stretches the back and the hamstrings
  • Camel-Stretches lower back and opens up the hips
  • Upward Facing Dog-Expands the chest, lower back and opens the hips
  • Dancer’s Pose-Because it is my favorite balancing poses and it opens the hips

I also did some Sun Salutations,  yoga sequence numero uno to warm up the body and get yo stretch on.

All in all-it was a great trip. It was truly beautiful to see all kinds of women come together, hear some great music (I went to see TGT, Janelle Monet and the King/Queen herself, Beyonce) and see the beauty of New Orleans, which is officially in the top 5 of cities I love.

Stay tuned for more on my Fitness Adventures in New Orleans (One includes track great Jackie Joyner- Kersey and Black Girls Run!)

Straight Trippin’

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I’m going on a road trip! Yup! Me! Hitting the road and going to New Orleans to check out the Essence Music Festival with some girls and I am so excited for this adventure!  Other than the change of scenery and female bonding and the promise of seafood, music and fun when we get there, one of the things about being on the road, is the one the road food. Fast, fried food that can sometimes taste soo good, but be soooo bad for you. What’s a girl (or guy) to do?

Well, believe it or not, there are some things that you can take with you to have a healthier time on the road! Here are a few of my favorites:

1. Almonds. Tasty, filling and come in different flavors.

2. Hummus and pretzel snack packs.

3. Water-of course.

4. Pouches of tuna. You can add this for some healthy protein on a side salad (or two) from the drive through.

5. Granola bars

6. Trail Mix or any other fruit and nut mix.

7. Pirate’s Booty in Aged White Cheddar-yum!

8. Pre-cut fresh fruit and vegetables. Apples, celery and carrots usually travel the best. I love bananas, but hate the hot banana smell in a small space.

Add some music and some mystery novels and I’m all good until it is my turn to drive. I am too excited for my trip and will be scouting out my next fitness adventure. I can’t wait!

And now, get out there an get some FIT STARTED! Until next time!

Looks Delish! Fruit of The Week: Kiwi

Kiwi-Fruit

 

Summertime makes me think of all of the warm weather fun to be had hanging out with family, working out in the sun and eating all kinds of good fruit.  Here are a few reasons why kiwi is a so good for you:

  1. Good for your skin. Its a great source of vitamin E, which defends skin from degeneration.
  2. Its safe! Kiwis are considered naturally organic because it is generally safe from pesticide residue.
  3. No prunes for you! Kiwis have lots of fiber which promotes intestinal health. Because of that fiber, you feel fuller, longer-which can help promote weight loss.
  4. Its a sweet way to keep your blood pressure down! Kiwis have high levels of potassium, which helps to counteract the effects of sodium.
  5. Kids love them! They taste different, but kinda like strawberries. It gives you and them variety in your diets!

Looks Delish! The Benefits of Dark Chocolate

Dark Chocolate

Who doesn’t love chocolate? Well, I know a few people, but it is safe to say that chocolate is one of the move sought after, craved for treats and with good reason. The good for you, vitamin packed dark chocolate version gives you even more reasons to indulge. Here are a few:

  • Celebrate the sweetness of life! Researchers have found that dark chocolate helps to reduce stress hormones and keeps kids happier (which ALSO helps reduce adult stress hormones!)
  • Dark chocolate has flavonoids (antioxidants that fight aging and disease) that assists the skin in absorbing UV light, helps to increase blood flow to  the skin and improves skin hydration and overall complexion.
  • How sweet it is to be loved by you..dark chocolate can heighten senses and increase endorphins which enhances arousal.
  • Raise of hands of people who saw Ex-Lax pieces (or even baker’s chocolate) back in the day and was tempted to eat it because it looked like chocolate? (I know I’m not alone in this) Dark chocolate has 4 grams of fiber per serving, which helps you feel full as well as keeps you regular.
  • Keep that sweet tooth-dark chocolate prevents tooth decay by eliminating Streptococcus mutans, a bacteria found in the oral cavity that causes tooth decay.

These double chocolate cupcakes look delish! Try and enjoy!

Fitness Adventures: Dave & Busters

Dave and Busters

 

It’s Spring Break week for the kids here in Chicago, so the beau and I decided to take the kids over to Dave & Busters.  If you have never been to Dave and Busters, its kind of like a sophisticated Chuck E. Cheese. There are games, prizes, food and adult beverages. Fun is to be had by all!

Wednesdays are half price days, we had 3 kids  of various ages and some time to kill so it was perfect.  You must be asking yourself (or me) what in the world does going to Dave and Busters with the kids have to do with fitness? Well, I’ll tell you-a whole lot!

Not only are you walking around the space with the kids, but there are tons of games that will keep you active. We started off with a little Skeeball to warm us up, followed by some air hockey. Both great upper body warmups you also get a bonus core stretch and extension with the air hockey. We then hit the basketball area and shot some hoops for a while, followed by a football toss.

We were good and ready for more of a challenge so the Jumpin’ Jackpot (a game where you are basically jumping a virtual rope at an increasing speed) and Dance Dance Revolution (you know the game..don’t front) and got a good plyometric and total body dance/aerobic workout.

All that moving around can work up an appetite, so luckily, we ate before we came and have some snacks for this kids-almonds, granola bars, fruit, etc. But if you want to eat they do have an extensive menu which includes some selections under 600 calories and salads.

Not only did we have an active time, but we had a wonderful time with the kids, had some healthy competition going and there were prizes involved. One of us luck winners walked away with a moustache necklace! Yep. You read that right! Jealous, I know!

Overall, it was easy, effortless and economical family fun that turned out to be a fitness adventure. Until next time, best your best you!

 

Grown Folks’ Business: Are Fitness and Fashion Trends Too Much for Kids?

 

As I stare as YET ANOTHER picture of an airbrushed, dead eyed fashion model, I overhear a news report-they now make Spanx for teenagers. I shake my head and go on with my day. Later that day, I hear an afternoon radio show topic discussing plus sized clothing for girls…again-I shake my head. Then I hear on public radio that thye have Cross Fit for kids. A 10-year-old was bragging that he just did a 85 pounds deadlift. And that’s when I’d had enough.

Spanx? Cross Fit? Really?  Let’s first discuss the concern that I have about the plus sizes for girls. While I see the benefit-which is appropriate fashion choices for young ladies who are a little bigger than other girls their age instead of wearing clothing designed for grown women. But does that just encourage the poor fitness and eating habits because they know they will be able to fit into something that’s cute and styled for a kid?

And then moving on to the Spanx. Are young women so brainwashed to think that they have to basically wear a modern day corset to look good? I understand wanting to look nice for that special night out or for your wedding. But gym class? Walking home from school? I know grown women do it, so clearly that’s where they get it from, but where does it stop?

Cross Fit. I know that lots of people love it-and that’s great! It is something that gets people moving. But I question the safety of 4 and 6 year olds lifting weights. What I do know is that according to a 2008 report from the American Academy of Pediatrics that it is safe for children to starts lifting weights at 8. Most doctors recommend high repititions, low weights for pre-pubesent children.

So, while I know that everyone while too look good and feel good, when it comes to kids you have to wonder, at what cost? I think its just fine to hide a bulge or two occassionally, but that should not take the place of a good diet and exercise. Exercise and sports help kid’s self esteem and of course their fitness, so encourage age appropriate activity, make it fun and interactive-not an overstressed, sprint to “perfection”.