Ways To Fit Exercise Into Your Life

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Take the stairs, which are quick and easy way to fit in a little exercise everyday.

Life is busy with all the things we all have to get done and all the people we have to make time for.  Some people work full-time jobs, have families, go to school, participate in sports, have social events they have to attend.  So how, after all the things we all have to do every day, do we find the time to do them all and still find time to exercise and take time for ourselves?

Today I wanted to share some different links I’ve found that give tips and ideas on how you can fit exercise into your busy life.  Everybody can find the time to exercise, even if it’s 10 minutes.  If your day is full and you say, well I don’t have 10 minutes…wake up 10 minutes earlier and now you do…problem solved.  If there are stairs or an elevator to choose from, take the stairs.  Park farther away when you go shopping and get some walking in.  There are all kinds of ways to fit exercise into daily life.

Most people lack the determination and the “want to” as I like to call it.  Something that I have to remind myself of all the time is this…Nobody forced the fork into my mouth and made me eat what I ate to get fat, and nobody is going to force me to workout and live a healthier lifestyle.  The only person who can do anything about it is…..ME. Illinois Bayou Park 028 You are the only person standing in the way of losing weight and being healthier, nobody else.  Don’t blame your busy life, your spouse, your kids, or anything else for the reason why YOU aren’t doing it.  The only person responsible for you is you…plain and simple.

When you realize that and decide to do something about it then something can be done about it.  Stop making excuses…I’m too tired, I have kids, I work and have a family and many others that we’ve all used at one point or another, but they are still excuses, whether you want to admit it or not.

Enough of being on a soapbox.  Here are some links with tips and ways to fit exercise into your daily life, no matter how busy you are.  🙂

12 Tips To Fit Exercise Into Your Day

10 Ways To Find Time For Exercise

Quick Tips:  Fitting Physical Activity Into Your Day

10 Ways To Sneak Exercise Into Your Day

No Time For Exercise?  Try Our 10 Tips To Get More.

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February Accountability Log

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February Accountability Log. Miles – 74.25

This month on my accountability log there were a few bumps in the road, but I still ended for the month with a total of 74.25 miles.  February only had 28 days so it was a short month, plus there were a few snow/ice days where the gym was closed.  Can I say again how ready I am for spring!  🙂

I have also been dealing with some pain in my right foot for a couple weeks and decided to take a break from the treadmill for five days at the end of the month.  I guess my feet aren’t use to all the walking I’ve been doing.

The pain is in the arch of my right foot.  It feels like it’s possibly strained, but I’m not a doctor so I can’t say for sure.  So far this month I have backed off on the extreme walking and slowed my pace.  I’ve been thinking I might try the elliptical machine  starting next week to see if that will take some of the pressure off my foot.  I don’t want to stop all together, but I can’t go on being in pain.  Stupid foot!  I wish I could take it off and just put a new one on.  Wouldn’t that be nice?

If anyone reading this could give me some pointers or suggestions on what to do to make the pain stop and go away I would really appreciate it.

Here are a couple links I found on helping with foot pain associated with exercise, some tips, etc.

Managing Sore Muscles and Joint Pain

Foot Pain

February Weight Loss

February has come and gone for 2014.  I wasn’t as successful in February as I was in January in terms of weight loss, but my endurance and stamina have increased and I’ve noticed a big difference.

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March 1, 2014. Weight loss so far, 27 lbs.

I didn’t log as many miles on the treadmill this month, due to the fact there were only 28 days in the month, plus there were a few days where the weather was bad.  I’ll say it again…I’m so ready for spring to arrive.  I’m so tired of the cold weather, ice and snow.

So on January 1 I weighed in at 285 lbs, on February 1 I weighed in at 263 lbs and now as of March 1 I weigh 258 lbs.  So for February I lost a total of 5 lbs, for a total of 27 lbs lost so far.  I won’t say I’m not a bit disappointed since it wasn’t the 22 lbs like January was, but I’ll take what I can get.  Five pounds is 5 pounds…right?

I’m looking forward to March with the hopes of warmer weather, even though there is ice and snow on the ground right now and classes were cancelled yesterday (Monday).  Spring break is the last week of this month and I look forward to the break from assignments and homework.  I do hope the weather is nice though so I can get some walking in at the Bona Dea Trails.  I prefer walking outside in the sunshine and fresh air more than indoors.

Since I have totally changed my eating habits and started exercising I have noticed a significant change in my sleeping habits.  I was a chronic sufferer of insomnia, but since I began on my journey to a better me I have been sleeping better and not waking up tired and feeling exhausted before the day even began.  Now, by the time I lay down at night, after a day of classes, the gym and homework I have no problems with being able to fall asleep.

I’m eating better, exercising regularly, sleeping better and feeling better than I have in a long time and I’m so happy about the results so far.

Here is a link to some tips on sleeping better.

How to Sleep Better

The Health Benefits of Potatoes

Today I wanted to share with you some of the health benefits of potatoes.  People, for some reason, have been told that eating potatoes is a bad idea.  I suppose the word starch comes to mind, and people think starch is a bad thing.  Well today I wanted to share some of the research that’s been done to show that potatoes, when prepared properly can be beneficial to a persons health.

When most people think of potatoes they think of them in the form of french fries, IMG_20140226_193425_893which have seem to become a staple in Americans diets.  Baked potatoes are also very popular and a much better option.  Other options for potatoes are broiled, stewed, mashed, heck it’s a potato, you can do just about anything with it.  🙂  One of my favorite ways to have potatoes is my mom’s canned potatoes.  She chops up potatoes, with the skin left on and seals them up through the canning process.  That is definitely some good eating.  Yum!

While looking up information about the health benefits I stumbled upon some history and facts about the potato.  I found them interesting and thought you might too.  Thanks goes to the websites aboutnutritionfacts.com and www.mayoclinic.org for the information.

  • Potatoes where first cultivated in Chile and Peru around 8000 B.C.
  • In 1570 Spanish explorers brought the first potatoes to Europe.
  • In 1801 President Thomas Jefferson served the first french fries at the White House.
  • In 1995 the potato became the first vegetable to be grown in space.
  • China is the top producer of potatoes with 73 million tons.  Followed by India with 34 million tons produced.
  • Belarus is the number one consumer of potatoes.
  • The worlds largest potato weighed in at 8.28 lbs.
  • Frying a potato raises fat content from near zero to almost 8g.
  • Americans spend $6 billion dollars on potato chips each year.

Now for some of the health benefits of potatoes.

1.  Potatoes have been shown to lower high blood pressure with the same results as eating oats, but without an increase in weight, which can result in eating oats.  Potatoes have potassium, which is a nutrient lacking in people’s diets and is very important in lowering a person’s blood pressure.

2.  Research has shown that lectins, which is a type of protein that bind specifically with certain sugars in the body, can help inhibit cancer cell growth in some cancer patient’s.

3.  Potatoes are an excellent source of several nutrients, such as vitamins C and B6, potassium, pantothenic acid, niacin and dietary fiber.  The protein in potatoes contain lysine, an essential amino acid generally absent in grains.

4.  Eating potatoes can increase brain function.  The brain or nerve center of your body relies on several things to function, including balanced glucose levels, oxygen, Vitamin B complex, amino acids, Omega-3 and other fatty acids, among others.  Potatoes contain these elements and so much more to keep your brain performing as it should.

5.  Eating potatoes can help prevent cardiovascular disease.  Potatoes are a great source of carbohydrates, protein, calcium, niacin and Vitamins C and B-complex.  These properties help fight heart disease and keep blood pressure at normal levels.  Potatoes also contain carotenoids, which give color to plant parts, and are a key to heart health and overall health and wellness.

6.  Potatoes are rich sources of magnesium which can offset the accumulation of calcium in the kidney and help to prevent kidney stones.

7.  Potatoes contain Vitamins C and B-complex, potassium, magnesium, zinc and phosphorus, all excellent vitamins and minerals for your skin.  Raw potatoes can be mashed and mixed with honey to make a masque for your skin.  Raw potatoes can also be applied to burns and rashes to ease the swelling and pain.

As you can see potatoes aren’t the bad guy they’ve been made out to be.  I encourage you to make potatoes a part of your diet, and I don’t mean in the form of french fries.

Here are some healthy potato recipes to show you that french fries aren’t the only way a potato can be eaten.  🙂

Healthier Oven Roasted Potatoes

Cheesy Broccoli-Potato Mash

Baked Potato Nachos

 

The George Foreman Grill

Today I wanted to talk about what I believe is one of the best kitchen inventions ever, the George Foreman grill.

I bought my first George Foreman grill probably 12 years ago,IMG_20140220_214223_065 and I used it all the time.  Three years ago, right before I moved to Florida, my first one finally quit on me.  I ended up renting a room from a guy who had a George Foreman grill so I decided not to buy one of my own.  I lived in Florida for two years, so when I moved back to Arkansas I didn’t have one.  I stayed with my parent’s during the late spring and early summer last year before moving to Russellville, since I couldn’t move into my apartment until right before college started.  My wonderful mother, bought me a new George Foreman grill when I moved into my new place.  I don’t know what I would do without it.

I use my George Foreman grill more than I use my microwave.  I use it to grill turkey burgers, chicken, shrimp, fish and all kinds of vegetables.  I enjoy using my George Foreman grill because any fat or grease that may be in the item you are cooking drains off.  The cook time is fast too, which I really like.

Since I began my journey to a better me I have not eaten anything fried. IMG_20140220_214247_673 Grease is an enemy to someone, like me, who is concerned about what I’m eating and taking into my body.  Grilling is the way to go for me.

If you don’t own a George Foreman grill I encourage you to go out and buy one.  The one my mother bought me cost around $30, it’s one of the smaller one’s, or two servings model, since I live by myself.   I checked the George Foreman Grill website and grills range from the $30 model I own up to $90, so they are not overly expensive and definitely well worth the price.

Below are some great recipes that use the George Foreman Grill.  Check them out and happy, healthy eating.

George Foreman Grill Recipes

Grilled Orange Chicken

The Scale…Friend or Foe?

Before I started on my weight loss journey the scale was not something that I stepped on very often.  As a matter of fact, I avoided it like the plague.

When I started on this journeyIMG_20140214_183654_765 I went out and bought a scale, since I didn’t have one, and I weigh myself once a week to keep track of my progress.  One problem that many people have is the fact that they weigh to often.  Weighing yourself everyday is not a good idea since the scale can be deceiving and weigh you more one day and maybe less the next day.  I’ve read several different articles on the subject of how often to weigh.  Most of what I’ve read has said to weigh once a week or once every two weeks.

Weighing yourself everyday can get you down or depressed and cause you to “fall off the wagon” and lose sight of your goal.  Another problem that people seem to have is that they want to see instant results.  Just like with weight gain, weight loss takes times.  I look at it like this.  I didn’t gain all this weight overnight so guess what…I’m not going to lose all this weight overnight.

Do not weigh yourself on carpet.  Always weigh yourself of a flat hard surface.  Always use the same scale, preferably only used by you.

Keep in mind that everyday is a new opportunity to do better than you did the day before, or if the day before was a good day then today is day two for another good day.  Keep a positive attitude about it and whatever you do don’t give up.  One of my favorite quotes is this,  “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”  Don’t let the scale be the only determinant when it comes to your weight loss.   The things you eat, the way your clothes fit, and the amount of exercise you do are all better determinants than what a scale says.  Keep a positive attitude about the journey and don’t let what a number on a scale says determine your worth as a person.

Here are some articles pertaining to the scale and weighing yourself.

Do you make these 10 common mistakes before weighing yourself?

4 Signs it’s time to step off the scale.

The Health Benefits of Cottage Cheese

Today I want to share with you some of the health benefits of cottage cheese.  I know some people don’t like cottage cheese, for those people, they are definitely missing out on some great health benefits. IMG_20140205_182146_072 I happen to love cottage cheese and can eat it as part of breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Listed below are some of the benefits of eating cottage cheese as part of a healthy diet.  The information listed below was found in an article on healthyeating.sfgate.com.  All the information I find about the health benefits of foods is greatly appreciated since I am no health food scientist.

As for number one that is listed below I never eat a full cup of cottage cheese.  I always stick to a half a cup and usually buy 1% or nonfat cottage cheese, but the last time I was at the store they were out of everything but 4% so I had to buy that since I wanted cottage cheese.  I still have only been having a half a cup instead of a whole cup which is what the serving size measures as far as calories, fat, and vitamins and minerals.

1.  One cup of cottage cheese has 206 calories and 9 grams of fat. Even though the fat content fits within the American Heart Association’s recommendation to limit total fat to 67 grams daily, you’ll need to watch the saturated fat.  Saturated fat should be limited to no more than 16 grams daily, and 1 cup has 4 grams.  If you purchase cottage cheese made from 1 percent milk, you’ll lower total fat to 2 grams and saturated fat to 1.4 grams.  The same portion of cottage cheese provides 5 percent of the daily value of most B vitamins and potassium, and 10 percent of the recommended intake of vitamin A.

2.  Cottage cheese contains all the essential amino acids needed for it to qualify as a complete protein.  One cup of cottage cheese has 23 grams of protein, which is 41 percent of the recommended daily intake for men and 50 percent for women.

3.  One cup of cottage cheese delivers 38 percent of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin-B 12, which helps to remove an amino acid, homocysteine, from the blood stream.  Homocysteine is a natural byproduct of other processes in the body, but it only fills a beneficial role when vitamin B-12 converts it into healthy substances.  If homocysteine is allowed to remain in the blood, it increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.

4.  You get 18 percent of the recommended daily intake of calcium from 1 cup of cottage cheese.   Calcium is needed for muscle contractions, including muscles in the heart, and normal nerve functioning. It’s also essential for the process of blood clotting.

5.  One cup of cottage cheese has 48 percent of the recommended daily intake of phosphorus.  Phosphorus combines with calcium to become the primary mineral used for building bones, but like calcium, it fills other functions.  Many chemical reactions in the body rely on phosphate, which is a form of phosphorus.  These reactions are responsible for energy creation and maintaining a normal acid-base environment within the body.  Some enzymes and hormones aren’t activated unless phosphate is available.IMG_20140205_182318_409

As you can see cottage cheese it a great source of calcium, Vitamin B-12, and phosphorus.  All which are essential for keeping you healthy.  I encourage you to pick up some cottage cheese the next time you’re at the grocery store and start including it in your diet.  It’s a great addition to any meal and it also makes a great snack.

Check out these recipes that include cottage cheese.

Low Fat Guacamole With Cottage Cheese

Cottage Cheese Chicken Enchiladas 

Simple Spinach Lasagna

The Health Benefits of Cauliflower

Today I want to share some of the health benefits of eating cauliflower as part of a healthy diet.  I love eating cauliflower, raw, steamed, or boiled.  I love raw cauliflower in my salads, and you may not believe it, but I’ve never had mashed cauliflower.001  Although I hear it is really good.  What is wrong with me, right?  For one thing I don’t have a food processor, but that is next on my list for kitchen appliances so I can make mashed cauliflower happen.  I bet mashed broccoli and cauliflower together would be really good too.  Makes me want some just thinking about it.

Thanks goes to healthdiaries.com again for the information below.  I’ve really grown to love this site.  Lots of great information pertaining to all kinds of things.  You should check them out.  Now for the health benefits of cauliflower.

1.  Cauliflower has been been linked to a significant reduction in the risk of cancer, especially prostate cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, ovarian cancer, and bladder cancer. One Canadian study found that eating a half cup of cauliflower per day reduced the risk of prostate cancer by 52%.

2.  Cauliflower is a great source of dietary fiber, which is essential for optimal digestion. When you get enough fiber in your diet, it helps to keep things moving smoothly through the intestines. Cauliflower also contains a compound called glucoraphin, which protects your stomach and intestines from certain health conditions such as cancer, as noted above, and ulcers.

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So good with just a little salt and pepper added.

3.  Cauliflower contains a high amount of antioxidants, which are essential for the body’s overall health and help to prevent heart disease, cancer, and stroke. Antioxidants are also essential in destroying free radicals that accelerate the signs of aging.

4.  Because of the omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin K in cauliflower, it helps to prevent chronic inflammation that leads to conditions such as arthritis, chronic pain, and certain bowel conditions.

5.  Cauliflower provides a good amount of folate (B9), a B vitamin that is necessary for a healthy pregnancy. Folate deficiency in pregnant women can lead to problems such as birth defects and low birth weight.

6. Cauliflower protects from heart disease in many ways. It contains allicin, which has been found to reduce the occurrence of stroke and heart disease. Additionally, cauliflower can help to lower cholesterol levels in the body.

As you can see cauliflower is really good for you.  You should pick some up the next time you’re at the grocery store.

Here are a couple links to some great recipes containing cauliflower.  Enjoy!

Roasted Cauliflower with Fresh Herbs and Parmesan  

Baked Italian-Style Cauliflower 

The Health Benefits of Broccoli

Today I want to share the health benefits of broccoli with you.  I like fresh, raw broccoli, as well as steam or boiled broccoli.  I like eating raw broccoli by itself or chopped up and in a salad.  Boiled broccoli I like drained with just a little bit of salt and pepper. 001 Come to think of it there aren’t any ways I don’t like broccoli, unless it’s in something that has raw onions in it.  I know I’m weird, but I detest raw onions, but cooked onions I don’t have a problem with.  It’s the flavor of raw onions that gets me.  Not a fan.  My favorite is sauteed onions.  I love to take onions and mushrooms and saute them in just a little bit of olive oil and put them on a turkey burger.  Yum!

Now back to broccoli.  The information below was taken from an article I found on healthdiaries.com.  I would like to highlight some of the benefits of broccoli below.

1.  Broccoli contains a high amount of potassium, which helps maintain a healthy nervous system and optimal brain function, as well as promotes regular muscle growth.

2.  Along with a high amount of potassium, Broccoli also contains magnesium and calcium that help regulate blood pressure.

3.  One cup of broccoli contains the RDA of vitamin C, an antioxidant necessary for fighting against free radicals. Moreover, vitamin C is an effective antihistamine for easing the discomfort of the common cold.

4.  Broccoli contains high levels of both calcium and vitamin K, both of which are important for bone health and prevention of osteoporosis.Feburary 1, 2014 024

5.  Broccoli is high in fiber, which aids in digestion, prevents constipation, maintains low blood sugar, and curbs overeating. Furthermore, a cup of broccoli has as much protein as a cup of rice or corn with half the calories.

6.  The B6 and folate in broccoli helps to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, heart attack, and stroke.

As you can see there are many great benefits to eating broccoli as part of a healthy diet.  I encourage you to pick some up the next time you’re at the grocery store.

Here are some links to some healthy recipes with broccoli.

Awesome Broccoli Marinara

Broccoli and Garlic Pasta

January Accountability Log Total

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Total Miles for January = 76 Miles

So today I want to share my accountability log total for the month of January with you.  My month got off to a slow start since it decided to ice and snow, and then not get above freezing for a week.  This was before the semester at school started so I had nowhere to go walk.  I took that first week of the year to change my eating habits and rid my body of all the bad stuff I had been feeding it.  After the ice and snow melted we did have a couple actual nice days and I took advantage of them and went over to the Bona Dea Trails and walked.  The spring semester started on January 13 so no more excuses for not having somewhere to walk.  Unless it was like today and it snowed, sleeted and iced most of the day and the gym on campus was closed.  I was not a happy camper.  I am SO ready for winter to be over.  I HATE IT!

So about my accountability log, I made the log up on my computer and it only took about 5 minutes to make.  I made it 12 boxes across the top, and 32 boxes going down.  The 12 on the top for each of the 12 months and the 32 going down for the days of the months, plus one extra for the total miles at the end of each month, for the months that have 31 days that is.  😀  It’s an easy way to keep track of my mileage and it keeps me held accountable.

So my total mileage for the month of January was 76 miles!  Out of the 31 days in the month I walked a total of 22 of those days.    I started at 2 miles a day and have worked my way up to at least 4 miles a day.  This is all just walking.  This month I’m going to start weaving in a minute of jogging a couple times each workout.  Trying to build up my stamina and endurance.  I’ll get there, just got to give it time.  😀

Check out these links.  They both have some really good stuff in them about keeping up with your weight loss progress and keeping yourself held accountable.  I’m totally using some of this stuff as well as what I’m already doing.

How to Properly Track Your Progress 

10 Ways to Stay Accountable for Weight Loss