Stories and Wellness Support for my clients and interested viewers!

Archive for April, 2011

Renewed Enthusiasm

There is renewed enthusiasm this morning for finetuning our fitness levels and fueling.  What is it about a Christian Celebration that inspires that?  Possibly it is a sense of RENEWAL, of living the best life we can.

For most of us exercise is becoming more varied – it just feels so good to be outside.  My friend, Bobbie Jo Hunter, shared this quote by Hildegard Debringum: “We must each learn to hang out in the green, growing edges of our own becoming.”

Becoming Playful maybe – adopting a new sport or outdoor game, refurbishing the bike or the skates, purchasing a Bocce ball set, running the steps at a local stadium.

Becoming Fascinated with Nature – creating a new garden patch, adding a birdbath or humming bird feeder – finding a new hike or new walking/running route.

Becoming excited about the many varieties of spring vegetables, like fresh asparagus and fresh green beans (recipe below).

Becoming powerful in attitude, awakening each morning and the first thought being “I am happy because …”  Yes:  Walking in the Joy of Being Human!

Becoming generous – gifting daily: a meditation, a card, a flower, focused listening.

Recipe = Fast and Easy Fresh Green Beans by Chef Barbara

  1. Select smooth, tender green beans and trim only the stalk end.  Wash.
  2. Bring large pot of water to boiling, adding 2 Tbs salt.
  3. Add beans, and when boiling again, continue for 4 minutes.
  4. Immediately empty into colander; beans are drained and ready to eat.  Yum!

Grateful!

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One of Those Days!

Stephanie pulls into the driveway, noticing the gas light has just come on.  One more thing to take care of – one more thing piled on to a sh.., a difficult day.  All she wants is a soak in the tub and a glass of red wine, like that’s going to happen!  There are two happy little people waiting for her to listen to their discoveries, then dinner and clean-up, baths and stories….

On the one hand she can’t wait to get inside to her beautiful family and on another, …, well, she’s just exhausted with difficult things.  Before opening the door she pauses long enough to realize that she isn’t exhausted physically, and she CAN handle the evening’s activities, with enthusiasm even.

Stephanie is an athlete, and just this morning she pulled herself out of bed for a morning run before the children awakened.  It felt great of course, and she enjoyed a nutritious breakfast, as well as providing one for her little ones.  In fact, she had nourished herself well today.  The work day, however, had delivered more stress than she usually encountered and she felt unacknowledged as well.

In the following half hour Stephanie experienced exuberance with her children, and kept postponing the glass of wine.  The refrigerator yielded nothing interesting, and her sister, who lived with them, suggested pizza.  The children began to cheer and Stephanie began to feel conflicted, in that she wanted the pizza just as much as everyone else, and knew her body didn’t need the carb load in the evening.   She gave in, and picked up the phone to order.  The order taker surprised her with a new specialty she might like to try: a grilled chicken Caesar salad.  Stephanie grinned, thanking the Nutrition Spirits that were looking out for her and ordered one with no dressing to go along with the pizza.

The four people in her family spent a delightful dinnertime together, enjoying pizza and salad with Stephanie’s own nutritious dressing.  And the sliver of pizza added to her salad was just right – yum!

During the sleeping hours that followed, the children’s growth was nourished with their digested higher carbs and nutrients.  Stephanie’s body was nourished with protein and vitamin rich greens.  Now, Stephanie’s sister?  That’s another story.

Eat the best food you can find and enjoy BALANCE in your life!

Affirmation du Jour

“My body is always working toward optimum health and resilience.

My body wants to maintain health and wholeness, and furthermore, wants to demonstrate its power.

I elect to exercise for the health benefits and for the joy of it.  I make nutritional choices that support my physical health AND fuel my body’s empowerment.

My choices give ME power!”

Keeping Up with Karen

She yawns, lifting her arms above her head, grasping the headboard and stretching a bit, fully awakened now.  The smell of coffee lures her out of the bed, through the bathroom and down the stairs,  Thank You, Cuisanart!  She grabs some water too and walks to the window, excited because this is a workout morning, one of three she has each week.

She only has an hour before meeting her friend at the gym, so it is time to break the fast, kick-start the metabolism and fuel herself for a powerful workout, and beyond that, a powerful day.  She surveyed herself in the mirror yesterday and is good with the image.  Her clothes are fitting well, and she can see definition in her arms.  Beyond that, she feels good and is enthusiastic this morning.  Now for some fuel:

Quick, responsive energy comes from grains, and the most efficient of these are processed the least.  So Karen wants to reach for whole wheat, multigrain, oatmeal, or whole-grain choices.  How much?  1 piece toast, ½ muffin, 2/3 C Oatmeal or Rice.  Not only are these grains delivering fast energy; they are packing it with nutrition.

Karen will be lifting weights, so feeding her muscles is important:  3-4 ounces of protein.  Some fruit will give her continuous, sustaining energy, and sweetening options she chooses are lo-glycemic and natural:  honey, agave, stevia, Xylitol.  Lite or sugar-free maple syrups (1.5 Tbsp) work too.

The POWER for Karen’s body this morning comes from the foods she eats; the emPOWERment comes from making the best possible choices for herself.  While her omelet cooks and her bread toasts she fires up with 32 jumping jacks.

Share YOUR story with me!  Sarah

Power in Subtle Change!

“I’m bored with my food!” she tells me as we begin our warm-up.  (I ask questions about her food choices as our muscles warm and our heart rates increase.)  This particular client is always trolling for a taste sensation, and her comments are stimulating to both of us.

Later, I am reflecting on a conversation last week with Paula, Co-Owner of Ocean Yoga.  (She was adjusting my standing quad stretch into a surprising “Cosmic Dancer”.)  She related some new research findings: that continually searching for a new taste sensation has its own addictive overtones, and can inhibit efficient nutrition.  Whether it is true for us or not, the belief of “boredom with food” can send a chemical message to the body that slows metabolism.

Another report we discussed was that not sleeping enough triggers the same response as hunger.  This report, directed toward fitness professionals, stated that people who sleep at least eight hours a day generally have lower body fat.

Both these theories pull me back to the teachings of Marc David, Renowned Nutritionist, who shares that “metabolism is the sum of all chemical reactions in the body.”  Understanding that allows me to consider both these findings as valid and when I am more frequently hungry, to assess my sleep patterns, and definitely, my attitude.

We can make some subtle changes that attract greater food satisfaction.  Most of us know that YOGURT improves digestive health, so consider adding 3 oz to a slightly smaller fruit snack and alternating flavors.  And fresh GINGER (stirfries and marinades) aids digestive health, is an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and has potential thermogenic effects.

Many of you have some knowledge to share here.  Please leave a comment!

Gratefully, Sarah

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