Monthly Archives: April 2014

One Person Everyone Needs in their Life

 

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Rarely do we capture the sad moments in pictures. This picture was taken about an hour after an emotional breakdown, but in this moment I was truly happy, truly present and truly free. It seems whenever I have gone through a hard time in my life or sad circumstances there is always moments to find joy, laughter and appreciation for what I do have. And one of the most important things I have is the people around me who support me no matter what and help celebrate joys in life and stand by me through the tougher moments.

I have often thought that we have so many different people in our lives. We have them for a variety of reasons and we help each other in different ways, with unique and individual perspectives. One person we all need in our lives is someone to comfort us in our deepest sorrow but not let us dwell there, and that is what my “little” sister, Crista, does.

This particular time I was visiting her, in her beautiful hometown of Bend Oregon, and we decided to spend the afternoon at a nearby lake. I was going through a very difficult time in my life and we were soaking up the sun on the shore chatting about all things life..the whys, the what ifs, and if only’s, getting deep in our discussions, like we always do. We were laying on our stomachs and my head was buried in my arms as, I was in quiet, obscure tears the whole conversation, surrounded by dozens of other lake goers enjoying their day.

She ever so calmly listened, let me cry, gave me her perspective and words of wisdom. I finally looked up and she gave me the oddest look that was mixture of compassion and laugher. “Aww honey your nose is bleeding.” Having only packed for a quick trip to the lake, she handed me a sock to clean up. She was trying hard not to giggle too much and I was half laughing through my tears, at how pathetic I felt, and probably looked, in that moment. She gave me a hug and actually told me how sorry she felt for me. Gotta love sisters. 🙂

As I got my situation under control she gave me a swat on the butt and said, “Let’s go swim to the dock” pointing to the middle of the lake.

“I don’t feel like it” I replied.

“Come on, let’s go” she said as she stood up.

“Seriously, I don’t want to” I said firmly.

She adjusted her bathing suit and in her hippie, free spirited self, commented on how beautiful our surroundings were and how often am I visiting such a beautiful, serene space on this planet and have a chance to be surrounded by such nature. (She literally says stuff like this).  Her positivity was genuine and relentless and she gently brushed off my comments and refusals. I was slightly annoyed in that moment especially as she started to walk away from me towards the water. Deep down I think she knew I would follow. As I looked around I realized I could sit there surrounded by happy strangers with my bloody sock or put one foot in front of the other and move.

I reluctantly followed her to the lake where she was already waist deep in the water. The water was chilly and the shore full of sharp rocks that were jabbing into my feet. This physical discomfort just made me well up with tears more, but ahead of me was my sister coaxing me along. She knew we had already had our heart to heart, acknowledged my pain and sadness, but being the smarty she is, she knew in that moment we could sit there and keep dwelling in my sorrow or change the moment and break out of that pain, even if it was just for a short time.

Once I finally dunked my head underneath the water, I caught up to her and we began doggie paddling our way out to the dock. The water was pretty damn cold and it slightly numbed my body and mental anguish. It actually felt refreshing and by the time we made it to the dock my mood had completely changed. We climbed on the dock and laid down. And it was beautiful! All the blues and greens of the water, sky and trees surrounding us, gave me a sense of appreciation and contentedness. In that moment I was truly peaceful.

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And that is what I needed.  Crista knew that too. I needed to get away from my all consuming thoughts and sadness and for someone or something to pull me out of that mindset. In the moment, I completely resisted. It was easier to be sad then snap out of my mood to be happy. Anything other than sad was too much effort.

To break through sadness and pain it does take effort, even when we know the outcome can be happiness, it is still extremely difficult. We have moments of hope and light that keep us going forward. And as time goes by, we can uncover more of these moments and feelings and can work through the pain and sadness, coming out stronger on the other side. Crista did not give in to my pity party, but she DID let me have it. She let me feel what I needed to feel, say what I needed to say and she did the same in return. In that moment it was time to move on, even if it was brief.

Our steps backward are as important as our steps forward in life.  Sometimes they vary in count and sometimes they are great big steps or small steps in either direction, but ultimately they bring us to where we need to be.  Crista gave me a few small step forward that day on the lake and I always keep that in my head when I don’t know what to do or which way to go. Just move forward and find happiness, even for a moment.

 

 

Should You Limit Carbs And Cauliflower Rice

Low carb is the craze and while it is true that some people do better with low carb eating, there are certain times when it is more beneficial and certain times when it is less beneficial. Recently I sent out a newsletter to my subscribers talking about when the best times are to eat starchy carbs was (pasta, rice, potatoes, etc), along with some ideas for post-workout nutrition.  Simply put, the two best times to eat carbs are:

  1. Post-workout and

2.  First thing in the morning aka Breakfast 🙂

This is not to say that eating carbs at any other time of the day will inhibit your weight or fat loss goals, but eating carbs at these two times are a must to control your hunger, craving and energy levels and maintain lean muscle mass. Now if you feel that carbs are preventing fat or weight loss here is what I would suggest. Try limiting carb intake at night only. Just make this one change in your eating habits and see it benefits you.

Enter Cauliflower Rice.  This is a great low carb recipe to make that will give you the feel as if you are eating rice but not. 🙂 For those who are limiting carbs at night,  are grain free, or are trying to increase veggie intake this is a great option!

Ingredients:

  • chopped head of cauliflower
  • a small onion diced
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1.5 tbsp of coconut oil
  • salt and pepper
  • garlic powder

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Directions

  1. Chop cauliflower and pulse the pieces in a food processor until it is reduced to the size of rice and remove.
  2. Chop onion finely.
  3. Saute onions in the butter and coconut oil over medium heat until they are translucent.
  4. Add cauliflower to pan and mix to coat cauliflower.
  5. Season with the desired amounts of salt, pepper and garlic powder. (You can experiment with all kinds of seasonings)
  6. Cover and cook for 5-10 minutes until done. The goal is so it has a rice texture. Not too crunchy, not too mushy.
  7. Wa-la! You are done!

Easy and pretty cool if you ask me. I am no cook but was fairly impressed with the way my “rice” turned out. Give it a try and let me know how it goes.

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Have a happy and healthy day! 🙂

 

How Often Do You Need to Work Out?

One of the questions I get most often from people is, “How often do I need to workout to reach my goals?” I think there is a misconception that in order to reach your goals, you need to workout 6 days a week, hours on end, for an extended period of time.

I truly feel the answer to that question highly depends on your lifestyle and goals. No one really likes that answer as it doesn’t specifically answer anyones question. But it is true, it does depend on several different factors. However a good starting point is to workout with some type of weights and cardio, or a weight routine that gets your heart rate up, three days a week. However consider the following.

Do you have a significant amount of weight to lose? You may need to add in activity a couple more days a week.

Do you have 5 hours a week to workout? Or do you have 2 hours a week to workout?  Consider that you may just have to start with three days, 30-45 minutes a workout. Try working out 2-3 times a week and see how you feel and look after a months time. Adjust from there.

Do you want to see results quicker or are you trying to maintain? Adding in an extra day a week can help speed results.

Do you enjoy working out at all? If you do you may want to workout 5 days a week. If not, the standard 3 WILL get you to your goals if you have you nutrition on track.

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Additional considerations.

Move most days of the week. Be as active as possible. If you drive to work, sit at a desk all day and then come home from work to sit on the couch, it is going to be impossible to improve your health and fitness. Even stretch breaks or short walks throughout the day can help improve your health.

Have fun with your fitness! I love to workout but I get that not everyone feels the same way. And I understand that some days you just do not feel like it! Life happens and we choose other things over our workouts, which is absolutely ok! But what if you find a way to enjoy fitness, to enjoy moving? This can range from walking, to swimming, to yoga, to dance, to gardening, to playing frisbee etc. Find what you love (or can tolerate) the most and go from there.

Mix it up. I love trying new things! I attempted Zumba for a few months, I participated in a master swim program for a year, I did CrossFit for a year. I experiment with kettlebells and the TRX for a while. I have done yoga on and off for 10 years. I add Pilates weekly. I throw in boxing occasionally. I took up running for a while. Now I am lifting, walking and doing yoga once a week and loving every bit of it.

Basic Example Workout Schedule

Monday- Full body weight workout designed in a circuit fashion to get your heart rate up.

Tuesday-Rest

Wednesday-Rest

Thursday-Same as Monday

Friday-Rest

Saturday-30 minutes of cardio of your choice.

Sunday-Yoga, hiking, walking, Pilates, you choose.

Final Thoughts

Mobility, flexibility and strength will keep you active and independent longer. Movement is key. Recovery is vital. Consistency is more important than finding the perfect workout. The right fitness routine for YOU is the one that works for you and is one you will stick with.

Happy Training! I am always here to answer questions! 🙂

Have a happy and healthy day!