Monthly Archives: April 2012

Cheaper to Eat Healthy

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My latest sprouts, assorted mung, lentil, broccoli and alfalfa. And for my afternoon smoothie, a handful of fresh strawberries from the back yard.

Finished Turbo Jam beginner phase – I’ve lost 7 #s and 1 dress size. Even better is my over-all tone and shape. I’m going to stick with the 20-minute  and ab-jam workouts until Herb & I start the Ultimate Reset on Wednesday.

I’ve added some more photos to my garden pages for Spring 2012 if you’d like to check that out.

One question I get a lot, even more than the protein question, is how can you afford to eat so healthy? Well I tracked that when I was on my 60-day juice-fest and my grocery bill went down %43.  Now since juicing once a day and eating normally otherwise, in general, my grocery bill is still quite a bit less than before while others experience their grocery bill growing & growing.  I found this info to back up my experience

Is it Really More Expensive to Eat Healthy?

By Linda Gotthelf

fresh produce

 

How often have you heard people say they choose fast food because it is less expensive than healthier foods, such as fruits and vegetables? While it sounds as if that could be the case, how much data is there to support that claim? The answer – not much!

A 2011 study by the USDA Economic Research Service estimated the costs of 153 commonly eaten fruits and vegetables, including fresh, canned, and frozen. They found that average prices ranged from less than 20 cents a cup to over $2 per cup, depending on the fruit or vegetable. On average, they estimated the cost at about 50 cents per cup.

The Produce Marketing Association found very similar results in 2010 assessing the cost per serving of produce from 13,000 stores. Their data indicated that, nationally, the average retail price was just under 50 cents per cup.

An analysis in a recent New York Times article found the cost of a typical order for a family of four at one popular fast food restaurant was about $28. The order included burgers, fried chicken, French fries (not a vegetable!) and soda. Reading that had me wondering what I could buy for $28, so I decided to take on the challenge. At my local supermarket, I paid $2.59 for grapes (on sale), $2.99 for honeydew (on sale), $1.99 for fresh asparagus (on sale), $2.50 for Brussels sprouts (on sale) and $3.47 for sweet potatoes. That left nearly $15 for either fish or chicken. My meal was far healthier, more filling, had more fiber, less saturated fat and included fruit for dessert (with some left over)!

It is possible to eat healthy foods without adding on extra costs. If you are trying to cut costs, there are some practical ways to keep food costs down, including:

  • Buy produce in season as it is usually less expensive or buy items on sale, as I did.
  • Some items are consistently less expensive – such as beans or whole grains. In the USDA study, for example, pinto beans were only 13 cents per cup, and packed with nutrition and fiber.
  • Check out canned or frozen foods – they may be cheaper depending on the item.
  • Try some meatless meals – meat is more expensive than fruits and vegetables and grains.

One last thought – being unhealthy can be expensive (more medical bills, more medications, etc.). Look at healthy eating with plenty of fruits and vegetables as a good long-term strategy for saving money. That might be a provocative thought but it makes sense to me. What about you?

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Bored? Time to Change it Up!

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Today I start the advanced level of Turbo Jam so this is another Day 1 of 28. And because I’m a rebel, instead of doing the entry level Learn & Burn, I did the Turbo Sculpt.

 

And that’s one of the things I love about Turbo Jam, Chalene is constantly changing it up. Your body cannot plateau out because it is constantly being asked to do something different than yesterday. If you’re experiencing a plateau or boredom then try changing it up.

1. If you usually exercise inside, exercise outside. If you usually exercise outside, come inside. Moving your body in a different environment heightens the senses – you are aware of new feelings under your feet; the difference in light, temperature and air movement all collude to engage the complete self.

2. If you usually use dumbbells, try resistance bands, barbells or try a different grip.

3. If you normally execute a movement very slowly, try doing it explosively.

4. Take a class in a completely different discipline. For example if you normally run for cardio, try a high energy cardio class like Zumba or spinning. Instead of weight training, try a yoga or tai-chi class.

5. If you usually eat after your workout, eat before. See how your body feels.

The more you change it up, the more you will get out of your efforts. Keep it fun, keep it interesting and you will keep it up!

Obesity and your Brain

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This just in from the Society for Neuroscience. For many years, throughout my yo-yoing (one friend calls herself Queen of the Weight Lost & Found Dept.) I joked that I was a food-a-holic. Now science is indicating I may not have been wrong!

Yet, I believe that just as any addict can beat their addiction with proper realizations and treatment, anyone can beat their bad food cravings and habits. My 60-day juice fest was my “rehab” and when I was done I had zero desire for refined carbs & sugars.

Check out what the science is saying:

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Health Implications
Stemming an obesity epidemic

fear chart
Fat cells produce a hormone called leptin, which travels through the body’s blood stream and acts on a brain region called the hypothalamus. Leptin helps to regulate appetite and metabolism. A lack of leptin, or its receptor in the brain, can lead to uncontrolled food intake and obesity. Credit: ©1997 Society for Neuroscience, Illustration by Lydia Kibiuk

Thanks to decades of systematic research, scientists now better understand how the brain tightly regulates body weight. Why, then, do obesity rates continue to climb? New research is investigating how complex environments — including the increased availability of highly palatable but nutritionally poor foods in developed countries — affect brain chemistry. The findings indicate the importance of healthy choices in maintaining weight and suggest new avenues of treatment.

Food as an Addiction

Neuroscientists have recently learned that fatty food taps the pleasure centers of the brain, the same areas that are associated with heroin and cocaine habits. For addicted individuals, eating becomes compulsive, regardless of negative health or societal consequences.

Research shows that after extended periods of excessive eating, brain connections are permanently altered on a molecular level. In rats fed a high-fat, high-calorie diet, the brain pleasure centers become less responsive over time, just as they do following drug use. Moreover, when the rats were offered healthy food after weeks of junk food, they were less likely to eat it than rats fed healthy food only. These findings suggest the difficulty in changing established eating habits and highlight the importance of obesity prevention.

 

Is Butter Bad or Are We?

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Turbo Jam – day26 of 28 – finally got up the courage to do the Turbo Sculpt and ooo I’m sore!

 

Ya know, just 2-3 generations ago, we got butter a little differently than we do today.

First, you had to breed, birth, feed and care for the cow, muck out the stalls, milk the cow, separate the cream and churn that butter for a few hours.

After you clean out the churn and set the butter to cool, its time to weed the vegetable garden, water by hand (no spigot – ya pumped it by hand and carried the bucket to the garden – back & forth) pick and clean the vegetables. Don’t ya just love to sit and shuck peas? It is down right meditative. Only way I can get Herb to grow crowder or other peas is to promise to shuck them all myself!

And because you had to cook everything from scratch go get out the flour and lard to make the bread, knead it, let it rise and knead it again, bake it. We haven’t even gotten to the part where you had to go out to the hen house, pick out a lazy layer and do everything needed to get that bird on the table…

You could afford to put as much butter on your food as you wanted – but when you had to go through all that to get it one meal on the table, you appreciated everything that was there and used it accordingly.

I remember my Grandma’s farm kitchen. Oh the smells! Fresh bread or something always baking, something on the stove simmering. In the morning she would call my Grandpa in for breakfast from the fields or orchard or wherever he’d been working since before the sun came up. He had the same thing most every day, 2 slices homemade wheat bread slathered very thickly with cooled bacon grease and salted heavily with one soft boiled egg and coffee – then back to work until Grandma called him in to lunch! They were green and organic and didn’t even know it!

Trouble is too many of us in America have those old habits of big farm eating without the big farm chores. Homemade pies, jams & jellies, pancakes, butter, cheese and for the carnivores big slabs of meat, potatoes and gravy – gravy or butter on everything! The majority of  Americans never used to have to exercise because it was just part of life. On the farm or in the city.

Now we’ve got so many gadgets to make our lives “easier” that to stay healthy we need to formalize exercise.  As I’m remembering Grandma’s kitchen I picture her doing laundry in her old wringer-washer before my Dad bought her an electric washer.

Just think how lost we all would be if our electricity was gone, every where, for even a month. Not being able to charge our cell phones would NOT be the worst of it!

My Grandparents held hands and kissed each other frequently their whole lives. They both lived a full life, Grandma to 89, and at 93 Grandpa was still bowling and playing piano for the Veteran’s Hospital palliative care. It was a different life back then. I asked Grandma once what was the secret to their relationship and she told me, “Some days its 80-20, some days its 20-80, but the bottom line is ya have to be crazy about each other.” Oh, my I miss them both!

Earth Day and Exercise

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Turbo Jam Day 23 of 28

Tomorrow is Earth Day – a time to celebrate everything about our wonderous our Planet Earth, to renew and re-align ourselves with the environment. Check out this article for some ideas on how to get out of the gym and off the treadmill! I’ll  be hiking in the lovely foothills, if the rain holds off!

 

 

Get Outside for Earth Day

by Andrea K. Walker, The Baltiimore Sun

Earth Day workout plans

Earth Day has become more than a day where Americans clean parks and plant trees or flowers. The American Council on Exercise is using it as a day to promote outdoor activity.

They are encouraging people to trade the treadmill for a walk in the park or the weight bench for an outdoor yoga class. Here are five workouts they suggest for Earth Day, which is Sunday.

1. Go off-road: A great way to escape the city life and reduce stress is to hike in nature.

2. Ride your bicycle: What better way to explore your neighborhood, city or local trails than from the vantagepoint of a bicycle? Bicycling is a great cardiovascular workout and will strengthen legs, glutes and core.

3. Get wet: Swimming laps offers a great full-body workout. Whether at a lake or splashing around in the pool, swimming can be a great workout for young and old alike.

4. Inline skate: Inline skating around the neighborhood or in a public park make for great family fun.

5. Calm the mind: Rolling out a yoga mat in nature may be the ideal stress-reliever.

Nothing Changes if Nothing Changes

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Turbo Jam – day 22 of 28 – people are starting to notice!

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results… Albert Einstein.

 (Listening to Don Ross’ Afraid to Dance as I write this and it seems appropriate to the theme. I found this version on youtube and he explains what this song is about, if ya want to skip to the music, it starts about 3:20. I’m breaking out of my comfort zone to make real changes. Nothing changes if nothing changes, eh?)

I’m getting better, but I’m still yo-yo-ing a bit. So I’ve decided that if I want to make a real change and get serious about sticking to a healthy lifestyle and exercising regularly, then I’m going to make it my livelihood.  I’m far enough on my journey that I can confidently share what I’ve learned thus far with others. By helping others, I can help myself and I like that, a lot.

Thus I’ve signed up to be a Beachbody coach. I’ve been using Beachbody products for about 5 years now and I know they are effective.  What I like most is the company builds a cohesive offering of fitness plus nutrition plus support.

There are fitness programs for every taste and fitness level from total couch potato to workouts that would challenge a Navy Seal or Green Beret. This means that as we progress, there is another challenge to take us to the next level.

There are supplements and the tasty, popular Shakeology meal replacement shakes. They’ve just released a new 21-day total health program called the Ultimate Reset that works gently to sort of reset your body to the original factory settings, balancing the body’s oxygenation, alkalinity and performing a detox that is not colon-centric and won’t have you running to the bathroom all day. I’m going on this Reset myself soon, so I’ll be sharing my experience with that here.

And the support is beyond anything I’ve ever gotten in any corporation I’ve worked for. Whether you sign up as a free player or elect to join the Team Beachbody Club, there is amazing information, tools and interaction with people just where you are on your journey and who can answer any questions you may have.

The corporate philosophy can be summed up as “end the trend of obesity” with superior products and trainers. They’ve just removed two ingredients from the Shakeology formula because one can cause false positive results in professional athletes’ testing and the other is being removed because there is an environmental issue with sustainability. It is just that awareness and commitment to integrity that lets me know I am in the right company.

I’ve started a Facebook page if you’d like learn more about how I can help you can reach your goals. I’m not a salesperson, so I’ll never ask anyone to buy anything; my coaching is free and I’m happy to share what I’ve learned and what I am learning with everyone.

Tips for Drinking Water

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Turbo Jam day 20 of 28 (almost done being a beginner!)

People thinking about or doing juice-fests ask if they should drink water, too (YES!) Now this may sound silly but even just in general people do ask me how I drink enough water everyday. Seriously? In a glass!

Well, it seems this is a really complex topic for a lot of people because if you Google tips drink water there are 66,600,00 responses. And I’m going to add another!

Tip #1: I have a 57-oz glass pitcher and each night I fill it up so the next day it is really icy cold.

Tip#2: Just to jazz things up and to get extra nutrients, I often put things in the water when I make it up the night before like cucumber, mint, ginger or lemon or other citrus. See my recipes here.

Tip#3: My first glass of the day I often put in a couple drops of hot sauce to get the blood going!

Tip #4: Drink a 12-oz glass of water first thing when you wake up (with or without the hot sauce!)

Tip #5: If your watch has an hourly chime, set it and each time it goes off drink another 8-oz glass of water from your pitcher. If your watch doesn’t have that feature, set a timer of any sort – they even have them online.

By the afternoon, early evening, you’ll have had a full 57-oz water. Now you may also have herbal teas and smoothies but I don’t count them against my 57-oz minimum per day.

Drinking water is so important and so natural, I don’t now why people need tips to drink enough water but obviously, according to the Google search, we do. So this is what I do, I hope it works for you – keep flushin!