Spring Renewal Part 2: Oh, Kale Yes.

Swinging 4.7.14

 

 

Day 2 was much, much easier. Did I want solid food-sometimes. But the best thing I had today was a cup of green tea that I had right after coming inside after playing outside with my son. It was marvelous. I’m finding that I just get it over with and drink them up it doesn’t seem like a chore. I tried to not be to rigid in my schedule, although, when you do that, you risk getting very, very hungry.

I feel good! I really do. My energy levels are higher and I have found a sense of strength and pride in that strength that I have been able to deny temptation that is literally everywhere. I got to do three wonderful things today:

1. Played outside with my son.

2. Did some yoga and meditation.

3. Took an epsom salt bath while listening to some wonderful jazz music.

Simply wonderful. Now please enjoy the above photo of my swinging at the playground, flying above the lake.  I feel good.

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Spring Renewal Part 1: The Detox Begins

 

 

 

Bite JuiceSo I had a grand idea. A juice detox! We had a turrible (just turrible!) winter here in Chicago, I wanted to break out of hibernation and into a Spring Awakening! I also need to focus to propel my personal goals forward, I’m interested in taking my nutrition to the next level…so-why not? I started yesterday-a Sunday. I thought it would be not too tough, serene even. I wanted to incorporate specially selected strengthening and renewing yoga poses for the full experience. I mean, I knew I would be working off of fewer calories so I didn’t want to overdo it.

I woke up with the best intentions-I really did. I started with my Groupon purchased green juice from Peeled, a juice bar here in Chicago. It has kale, spinach cucumber and other goodies that I enjoy in solid form.  Now, I was pleased because I hate pulp and these are pulp free. The taste of the green juice or Green Lantern was alright. Just more salad-y that I am used to at 8 am. I wanted to do some yoga and meditation but my son woke up, so there went that opportunity.

I did however, have an opportunity to set an intention for the day. It was ” Focus on the blessings of the day, remain in the present.” And I did remain in the present.  My mind wandered throughout the day..thinking about..potato chips, barbecue and the like.  Stuff that I haven’t been craving at all before today, now became the object of my desire, presently but it dissipated.  Did I always think about food like this? Did I always mindlessly run and get a snack (healthy or not)? Hmmm..

Before I left out for the day, I journaled 3 things that I am grateful for and my feelings after my first drink. My feelings were journaled in one word. “Apprehensive.” but I noted that I was looking forward to mental clarity.

I went through my day, drank a lemonade concoction, a red drink called “Maroon 5” and another Green Lantern and finished up with the last two drinks of the day “Maroon 5” and Cashew Milk (I liked it because it is sweet!).  I’m not going to lie. I had moments that my skin was tingling and I felt energized. Then I had a few headaches-not sure if it was from the detox or dealing with my son throwing up his breakfast right after church (he’s fine by the way!) I did try to prep for the detox by eating a vegetarian diet and drinking as much water as possible.

Side note: I would also like to note that while my son was throwing up, a woman came by out of nowhere (we left church early (don’t judge me) so no one was outside yet) saw him throwing up and offered baby wipes, tissue and minty gum (brand new pack) to help his stomach!  I was so grateful to her in that moment. So, I did have a little reminder of how to be grateful in the present.

I will say that so far, this detox has me thinking a little differently about food and how I actually think about it. So that’s cool. Did I achieve the mental clarity right out the gate? Kale nawl. But I have two more wonderful days of juicing to go and I am no longer apprehensive but proud that I made it through the first day. Stay tuned for Day 2.

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! Fruit of the Week: Mango

Mango

I did not have the pleasure of having mango until I was an adult. And once I tasted it I wondered..”Where have you been all of my life?” Turns out that mangos are not only magically delicious, but they are good for you too. Here are some of the health benefits of mangoes:

  • Cancer prevention: Mangoes have antioxidant properties to help protect against colon, breast, leukemia and prostate cancer.
  • A lil’ somethin’ to get you in the mood: Mangoes contain vitmain E in abundance, which helps to sexulate sex hormones and boost your sex drive.
  • I hear it clears your skin! Mangoes help to clear up acne, makes a great face mask for dry and sensitive skin. Find a few mango face masks here.
  • Delicious way to prevent a cold-mangoes have a lot of Vitamin C. So when you get sick of all those oranges, peel a mango!
  • Not only does it have a lots of Vitman E and C, mangoes provide benefits for eye health and contains iron which is great for those who have anemia, menopasal women and pregnant women.

Add mango to our veggie of the week last week-kale, add some almonds and you have a vitamin rich and filling salad that is simple and looks delish!

Sick and Tired

The month of October in Chicago is wonderful! The air is crisp, the leaves are changing, the transition from summer to fall is beautiful and awe-inspiring. But one thing that isn’t lovely about this time of year is the beginning of cold and flu season. Here are a few tips and facts about cold and flu prevention that will hopefully help you stay healthy so you can enjoy the fall season:

  • Going outside with wet hair will not cause a cold or flu! Just had to put that out there. I don’t care whose mama or grandma says it. Colds and the flu are viruses. While your nose will run and you will get a chill if you go out when your hair is wet, it will not cause cold or flu. However, sharing a pen with someone who DOES have a cold will contribute to you getting sick.
  • Soup does help! Hot soup prepared with lots of vegetables helps with the runny nose and congestion that goes along with a cold. Plus the vegetables add to the vitamin intake that can help you strengthen your immune system.
  • The best defense is…vitamins! Taking supplements and/or eating foods rich in Vitamins A, C, and E.
  • Get up! Walk around, move your arms..do something! Exercise is fine to do when you are sick-just don’t overdo it because that could possibly weaken your immune system. But make sure that you stay reasonably active, it will help you feel better.
  • Oh and-Drink water! Beber agua! Boire de l’eau! пить воду! In whatever language, do it and stay healthy.

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”.