Stories and Wellness Support for my clients and interested viewers!

Archive for June, 2011

Spherical Fitness

I distract my clients often with “spherical fitness” – combinations of chi balls, weight balls, and body balls.  Oh, you ARE working with weight for sure, and somehow in all our psyches there is a playfulness overriding the exercise.  “Situps?  What situps?  Is that what we were doing when we tossed that ball back and forth?”  “Yeah,” I answer, “fifty-two of them.”

It’s a “cross-over” philosophy – “working out” and “playing” – just not as serious as iron dumbells, even if the weight is the same.  Of course, the mass is distributed differently, and throwing dumbells would be both ridiculous and dangerous.

Modifying a yoga balance with a weight ball can offer intrigue as well.  The ball offers the element of “ease” and “play”, so eagerness displays on your face, and then, oh yeah, just watch that core strength go to work!  Well, at least I can watch it.

Body arcs, tracing circles with our feet and our arms, the “C” curve – endless games of expressing ourselves in an orb-like dance of sorts.  Can you call this “fitness”?  Yup, you can!  And it IS play.  And it DOES make us laugh.   It asks our bodies to rise to the unexpected, summoning faster energy resources.  It bemuses and finetunes us.

If you are reading this as a client, you might be smiling now.  If you are a prospective client, come play with us!

PS:  Speaking of spheres, Artichokes are on sale this week.  Check out Chef Barbara’s companion dip in the March Archive, entitled “Protein Magic”.

Refresh Your Goals!

Create a healthy environment:  Keep a large bowl(s) full of good fruits and vegetables in your kitchen/dining area.  Fresh herbs make nice table bouquets as well – a PRESENCE of health giving things.  Maybe a large body ball in a corner of the bedroom for stretching or exercise whenever it feels good.  How about two beach balls in the media room for some fun during a commercial break?

Maintain a healthier lifestyle:  This is a personal preference and can include: physical activity everyday, higher nutritional eating habits, frequent enjoyment of the outdoors, practicing positive attitudes, investing in fun adventures.  Build your own!

Enjoy better nutrition:   Easiest Time of the year for fresh food – unprocessed.  Many fresh vegetables are available already peeled and washed – just no excuse for not enjoying plenty of it.  Grill time offers faster cooking and wonderful aromas – being outdoors where it is less serious!

Surround yourself with like–minded people:  Purposefully surround with positive, life-loving people – not always easy, and definitely worth it.  Join friends who find walking and playing together as much or more fun as sitting and talking together.  Encourage each other.

Decrease clothing size:  If you desire to be lighter, this is a wonderful goal because it offers an overall pleasure in your own image and the feeling of nice clothing, without micromanaging every action.

Allow your body to be light and buoyant: weight loss and measurement decrease.  This is the most usual goal, and certainly not always more important than the others.  It also focusses outward rather than an inner awareness of buoyancy.  (Notice that I didn’t list this first.)

Be fit enough to show up for anything:  Excited to say yes to fun physical activity with confidence that you can not only perform, but enjoy because of your confidence in your physical ability, your awareness of strength, flexibility and overall good health.

Be WELL for life!

Soup?

It is summer; it is hot.  Everyone around me is making soup.  Soup?  It is summer; it is hot.  Even Chef Barbara came into my studio the other day, saying “I have been making the best soups!”  (Recipe below)

“What’s with the soup?” I asked.  I have been asking that often this week, and the answers only reflect a desire for soup.  Perhaps we are wanting comfort?  Maybe we want to play with taste combinations?  Possibly we desire the simplicity of crockery?

Soups are often removed from healthy eating plans because of the usually high sodium contents, and even “low sodium” labels cover a higher level of sodium than is delivered in a balanced plate of food.  Soups are often not filling as well, and the palate is not satisfied.

All of this is not true of the recipe below, and it is a recipe that invites us to play with it, creating many taste combinations.

           Barbara’s Summer Soup Recipe:  (single serving) *

Vegetable Bouillon “No Salt Added” from health food store (I like Rapunzel brand)

Vegetables (onions, carrots, celery, asparagus, peppers, tomatoes, or squash)

Supergrain (Brown Rice, Quinnoa, Farro, Barley), cooked

Oil, fresh garlic and other favorite herbs and spices

  1. Dissolve the bouillon cube in 2 cups boiling water.
  2. Add fresh garlic and some finely cut onion to olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat.  After two minutes add ¼ C of the bouillon and cook so that oinion and garlic can soften, not brown.
  3. Add to  remainder of bouillon and return all to a simmer.
  4. Add as much of the vegetables as desired, cooked or raw.
  5. Add 1/3 C of one of the grains listed.
  6. Sprinkle with  1 T grated cheese, if desired, and seasonings.

* Make sure you add protein to your meal, either in the soup or as a side!

ZOO in the A.M. Workout One

Sonja is the manager for the Sales and Marketing Division, and today she is not in her office. Not even her secretary knows that, at this moment, she is having a very sobering conversation with her physician. Phrases like “risk of heart disease” and “high blood sugar”, etc. are hard to hear and not unexpected.

Sonja loves her job. Even with its pressure, she revels in the vibrancy of being a “player”. The ZOO is a terrific company with good benefits and her department employs some dynamic professionals. She is the leader of a great team!   She  loves the customers too and taking them to lunch and dinners, or hosting presentations with generous refreshments. The opthalmic products are stellar and she is given much support for her continuous growth in sales.

Sonja locks eyes with her physician as he strongly encourages her to eat better, exercise more, and to lose twenty pounds. As she drives back to her office she thinks about how she has arrived at this place. “Yes, I have gained weight. My clothes are two sizes bigger than they were three years ago. I don’t feel so good lately. I used to be so svelte, but that was when I had time to exercise or shop for good food. I LOVE what I do and I don’t want to change my lifestyle!” Sonja blames the state of her health on “no time”.

Later she cradles the phone in her hand, talking with a client, as she watches members of her team assemble in the conference room across the hall.  Steve enters, dynamic and responsive, attracting clients with his charm and power, and only a bit of flirting.  Next comes Donna with the beautiful arms – now SHE has time for muscle definition!  Stephanie, strong and balanced, enters the room with new education packets. She is remarkable – creating an array of training and support possibilities that the clients love.  And even with her busy family she finds time to exercise and brings in healthy meals for herself.  “I need to spend some time with her, acknowledging her skill.”  Sonja wonders if she could ask her team for support on her own health issues. Does she dare share this information today without looking weak?

At the end of the end of the departmental meeting, Sonja announces, “I have another item that I need your help with.” She shares her need to pay attention to her health and her lack of understanding on just how to do that.  She is vulnerable, AND overwhelmed with her staff’s enthusiastic response.  And that’s how the ZOO in the A.M. Club was formed – for her, for Sonja.

Delia created the schedule and defiantly made her boss swear to adherence. (That girl would advance herself to boss position if not watched!)  Steve stepped up to facilitate all morning client meetings.  Donna sponsored Sonja to her own fitness club, committing to meeting her there four days a week for various conditioning programs.  Stephanie volunteered to create a meal-planning guide and bring in healthy snack packets like her own. And they ALL committed to keeping their boss accountable for her health advances!

ZOO in the A.M. – One: 45 minutes Walking/Jogging/Skating – Download “Tribute to Glee Cast Workout” Volume 5 – begins with “Dancing Queen” – You know you are!

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