I used to be a CCD teacher| My spiritual journey

It may come as a surprise to many who know me. I helped teach kindergarteners about religion. It was so long ago, it seems like another life…and in a lot of ways it was. I was young(er), newly Catholic and married with a minivan full of babies myself.  I was “doing it right”, I thought. This journey started way further back then that…Плиты погреба

Spirtiual journey

As a little girl, growing up in a family that did not attend church, I often envied my friends who were made to go. Sometimes, if I spent the night at one of their houses, I got to attend with them.  Church, seemed magical to me. Everyone dressed up and families spending time together. My homelife was not very stable and a little girls mind could easily link Church as a common denominator to what good families do.

Fast forward to a girl, getting married far to young, determined to do everything different…I jumped at the chance to join my husbands religion. Becoming Catholic was, in part, insurance I’d have one of those good families AND I felt like I was finally a part of some secret club. Catholicism had it all. From Midnight Mass to praying the Rosary, I felt like I hit the jackpot of religions. I took the class, studied, even taught my husband things he didn’t know. This Catholic thing, I was doing it right and I was good at it. I thought. It was never very personal for me. It is a beautiful religion but you can’t just DO a religion.  It’s like putting on a pair of shoes regardless of the size because you think you are SUPPOSED to wear them…but you would rather be barefoot.

 

Spiritual Journey

Sadly, saying Hail Mary’s when we heard an ambulance or praying the Rosary with my children at 3pm wasn’t insurance enough against my failing marriage. I seemed to divorce the religion along with my husband. Not that it had failed me, I secretly felt that I had failed it and that I no longer deserved a place in the church.

For years I have avoided religion altogether. As I delve further into personal development, whenever setting goals, I skipped over the spiritual section…feeling once again like that little girl who didn’t really belong.  And that little girl would like to say…you Jesus people scare her a little. Religion overwhelms her.

Spiritual journey

So, it has been QUITE the surprise that all of a sudden BAM! This year seems to BE about that section I kept skipping over, Spirituality.  This year I find myself the student and while my journey may look very different from earlier attempts, its finally something I’ve come to for me.

Spiritual Journey

I don’t have all the answers, and I am finally really and truly okay with that. I pray and meditate and sometimes its to some universal higher power and sometimes its to myself. Its this beautiful conversation that I am now ready to be a part of. Maybe its because I will be 40 this year, maybe its because I’ve been dealing with so many of those misconceptions of a little girl, maybe just MAYBE  its because I’ve gotten to a place where I love myself enough to feel the kind of love that comes with spirituality.

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Kids Cook| Kid Friendly Chicken Recipe Ideas

Kid Friendly Chicken Recipe Ideas

(cuz this protein crazy Mom’s kids are SICK of chicken)

Easy Chicken Recipes Kids

“Ugh!! NOT chicken *again*!”  Sound familiar? If you are a mom trying to eat well and get in enough lean protein…sometimes, your family gets a little tired of eating bland chicken. It had gotten to the point that my kids decided they did not LIKE chicken.  My daughter stopped eating meat all together, coincidence? hmmm

Admittedly, I may have gotten a little lazy in preparation and lets face it, baked chicken with nothing added is not that exciting of a recipe. Add a little Mrs Dash, even with allll the different flavors…yeah, still not something most kids will be anxious to eat several times a week.

The habit we got into was…Mom eats her boring chicken and kids (well, my boys anyway) eat…wait for it…CRAPPY microwave food. Enter Hot Pockets, Pizza Bites, etc. Cue Mommy Guilt, stage left.  I coach people on their health and fitness goals. A huge focus of my life is nutrition. My kids were existing on frozen food.

So IMAGINE my excitement at a SOLUTION! It was quite by accident, but thinking back on it…I guess it shouldn’t have been a big surprise. You know how kids work. Tell them they can’t have something and…well, you Mamas KNOW the rest of the story.

To save myself time and money and to help me stay on plan I started cooking a BUNCH of chicken, shredding it and keeping it in the fridge to grab as needed. Funny thing happened one day when my son wanted something to eat and I suggested he make a Quesadilla with some of the chicken…can you guess? Yeah, my chicken started disappearing in record time, especially when his older brother learned this new recipe.  Soon after BBQ Chicken Sandwiches and Chipotle style Burritos were born.

Easy Chicken Recipes Kids

I have since started keeping one stash of chicken for the boys and one for Mom. We are going through a TON but I am so tickled that they are eating healthier AND having fun coming up with ways to eat it. WHAT a great life skill.  Next…guess I should teach them how to cook the chicken!

Here are a few of the ways they are making/enjoying it:

Easy Chicken Recipes Kids

Chicken Quesadillas

  • two flour tortillas
  • shredded chicken
  • shredded cheese
  • salsa or hot sauce

Spray skillet with cooking spray. Place one tortilla in pan, spread desired amount of chicken and cheese out evenly (add salsa if you wish, my boys don’t), top with second tortilla. Allow to heat up for a few minutes. Once the cheese starts melting and the bottom tortilla starts browning, flip. Heat for an additional few minutes. Remove from pan and cut into smaller pieces. Serve w/ additional salsa or hot sauce (my youngest uses Sriracha) . ENJOY!

 

Chipotle style Burritos

  • flour tortilla
  • shredded chicken
  • rice
  • black beans
  • other fillings optional

My oldest son wanted to replicate his favorite burrito from his favorite restaurant. This is SUPER easy because not only do I ALWAYS have chicken on hand, I keep cooked rice in the fridge at all times as well.  This is basically a heat ingredients and fill/roll tortilla recipe. Sometimes my son will heat the tortilla and sometimes he won’t. I think it depends on how quickly he wants to make it.

Easy Chicken Recipes Kids

BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

  • shredded chicken
  • your favorite BB Sauce
  • bread/rolls

Again, this is pretty self explanatory. Heat chicken. Stir in BBQ sauce. Put on whatever bread or roll you’ve got. Nom nom nom. Growing boys CRUSH these.

 

some others things I have seen them make: Chicken Salad, Chicken and Rice, Chicken Cheese & Salsa Dip, Chicken Cheese & Salsa Nachos

 

*if you would like more tips for Moms, Dads and Kidscheck me out on FB <— Click here and LIKE me!

 

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Heart Attack before 40? | You can’t outrun your fork

 Heart Attack: Are you at risk?

heart healthy diet nutrition

My boyfriend had a heart attack this past summer.  I wasn’t very vocal about it online. Only my family and close friends really knew that it had happened. Normally, I share pretty much every hangnail on Facebook…

It was a HUGE shock, to me and to everyone who knows him. Rob is known for being active. He goes out on his bike several times a week. His long rides can be up to 60 miles. He also plays soccer, football and we went on hikes regularly.  The heart attack happened WHILE he was on a bike ride. It just didn’t seem to make sense.

I mean sure…he had back surgery almost a year prior. He had not been able to get quite back to where he had been weight wise or activity level. However, he was still pretty active compared to most people I know and had been very much so before he hurt his back.  HOW does this happen to someone who is healthy, active and under 40?

The answer is part genetics, part nutrition, and part lifestyle. Heart health has MUCH more to do with your habits than who your parents are. The Framingham Heart Study found that only a small proportion of cardiovascular health is passed from parent to child; instead, it appears that the majority of cardiovascular health is due to lifestyle and healthy behaviors.

“What you do and how you live is going to have a larger impact on whether you are in ideal cardiovascular health than your genes or how you were raised,” says Norrina Allen, the lead study author and a postdoctoral fellow in preventive medicine.

While his father did have heart disease (and that certainly didn’t help in the genetics column)  it is far more likely that years of eating fast food led to clogged arteries and high cholesterol.

We were VERY lucky that he made it through okay, and all of those good habits probably DID help.

It sure did open my eyes. What I eat and being active has been a HUGE part of my life for several years now but this really hit home. My routine had really been MUCH more about how I looked in my jeans.

You can be active, you can look good on the outside…but if you treat your body like crap by drinking to excess, smoking and/or eating horribly on a regular basis…you ARE not healthy. You are just going through the motions in vain. You might look good in a bathing suit but what will get you if your heart fails?

I decided that I needed to share this, that there are SO many people out there, like me, who KNOW this information but aren’t really thinking it applies to them.  Don’t take it for granted. It is important. TODAY.

You can change your habits slowly and painlessly.   If you would like some help, I’d love to get you started.  Find me on FB and let’s connect!

 …and get my FREE slimming secrets e-book to help get your nutrition on track:

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25 Heart Healthy Foods

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PMS making you HUNGRY? | Are you ovary-acting?

ovary acting etsy(the ADORABLE cross stitch above is available at the Etsy store of nerdylittlestitcher)
 
 
 

Does PMS = Hunger?

I have been taking my diet/nutrition seriously at a whole new level lately and its been paying off!  I’ve been feeling great, hitting my workouts HARD and when everyone in my house got sick, I avoided it.

Imagine my dismay last week when I started feeling run down and I was STARVING ALL the time!!!  It was very frustrating. I was doing everything right. I was eating near perfect to my plan. Was I getting sick? Was it  lack of caffeine? Did my meal plan need an overhaul? It just seemed SO weird and it was VERY frustrating.

All of a sudden I found myself having more cravings and wanting a nap.

Does anyone else see where this might be going?

Extra calories before period

 

How is it that just shy of 40, I don’t know my own body better by now? Fast forward to this week…I got my period and a light bulb went off!! (Homer Simpson head slap) Why didn’t PMS cross my mind?

It was then that I started researching the effect of a strict diet in relation to PMS and menstruation. What I found surprised me. I do know that its normal to be hungry prior to your period and that many people have more cravings.

What I did not realize is that for the 7 or so days leading up to your cycle (the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle) your body is burning more calories  than usual. You’re burning up calories faster than at all other times throughout the month. Researchers measure increases in total energy expenditure of 2.5 to 11% during this time.This may not seem like all that much, but if you’re dieting, it’ll make a difference. In my case, the difference between a normal woman and a tired out, starving MONSTER!

HUNGRY woman monster period

While I do eat enough calories, during the week prior to my period (especially if I am working out HARD), I may need to add more. Between 100 – 300 more a day should help with my energy level and combat the HANGER!! (hungry + anger??)

Bloat Anyone?

Since I have been limiting my sodium I really do find that I am less bloated. That is a nice benefit. Here are some things you can do to help limit bloat

  1. Avoid salty foods
  2. Drink more water than usual
  3. Sip some herbal tea
  4. Season your foods with oregano

I also realized that the women I help coach with their health and fitness goals may have a HARDER time getting started within this time frame. While that seems like a no-brainer, it hasn’t been a big part of our conversation about starting. It’ll certainly be something I address & plan for from now on, for myself and for those I help! If you would like some help jump on over to my FB page!

Here are some 100 calorie ideas to help you make a plan:

100 calorie snacks

 

and a healthy, FUN recipe for those cravings:

The Healing Trail Mix recipe:

  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup unsalted walnuts
  • 1 cup roasted unsalted soy nuts
  • 1 cup carob chips
  • ½ cup chopped dried dates
  • 1 /2 teaspoon sea salt

Mix thoroughly

credit to: Dr. Tom Potisk

Do YOU get crazy hungry before your period? COMMENT below

References:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/441187-do-i-need-more-calories-during-my-period/

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/4-ways-your-mentrual-cycle-affects-your-workouts.html

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Homemade Almond Milk Recipe

I’ve heard making your own homemade almond milk was easy but it always sounded like a lot of work for very little return.

Homemade Almond Milk Recipe

Really? How much almond milk could I get for my effort? Wellllll….after forgetting to add almond milk to my grocery delivery this past weekend and needing it for my afternoon protein shake…I decided it couldn’t hurt to try.

After a quick Google search for instructions, I blended a cup of raw almonds with four cups of water in my Ninja. I didn’t even strain out the pulp. I’m lazy and it was going into my blender when I made my shake anyway.
I was quickly won over by the ease of preparation. Today when I wanted to make almond milk, I planned ahead by soaking my almonds overnight. Soaking almonds for at least an hour, or overnight if you have time, is beneficial because it makes them softer to blend. Soaking also releases enzymes in the nut that makes them easier to digest and releases healthful nutrients.

Homemade Almond Milk

1 cup of raw almonds

4 cups of water

2-6 dates or ¼ cup honey (optional, depending on how sweet you like it)

Pinch of salt

Soak almonds in the water with a pinch of salt overnight. Drain, add almonds, four cups of water & dates/honey into a high speed blender. Blend on high for a full minute.

You can drink the almond milk as is. Or, if you’d prefer a thinner consistency without any almond grit, strain using cheesecloth to catch the pulp into a pitcher, chill before drinking. If you don’t strain the milk, give your pitcher a good shake or stir before pouring, since the liquid and pulp will have separated a bit.

Use your almond milk in soups, smoothies, cereal, oats, or on its own, ice cold with some Nutra cookies to dunk.

Don’t like almonds? You can try raw cashews or even sunflower seeds. For some almond milk variety, adjust the flavor using spices like cinnamon or nutmeg, a splash of pure vanilla extract, or a heaping tablespoon of cocoa powder for a rich chocolate milk.

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The Kitchen Nutrition Abs Workout| Fork it to me, baby!

Abs are made in the KITCHEN!!

I know, I know. No one wants to hear it. We would rather do almost anything to get abs than limit the very things that are preventing us from seeing them.  However, the old saying “abs are made in the kitchen” is true.

abs kitchen

 get my FREE slimming secrets e-book to help get your nutrition on track:

 






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In the e-book offered above I give you some tips to get started and stay on track. I know it isn’t easy but take it one day, one meal at a time.

 

fork abs diet nutrition

 

Some tips I give to people who are trying to tone the mid-section:

  • cut out dairy
  • stop drinking alcohol
  • limit your sodium intake
  • work your core
  • drink more water
  • avoid sugar

While I do believe the KEY to abs is the forklift (fork lift to mouth? get it?), a strong core IS also important. There are many great ways to work and strengthen your core muscles. One of my very favorites is plank.

How to plank:

  1. Lie Flat on the Floor
  2. Perform A Push Up
  3. Tighten Your Abs Muscles
  4. Hold It

To begin, hold this position for 20 seconds. As time goes on while you are in the plank position, you may notice your stomach beginning to drop or your hips rising. To avoid this, remain aware of your position and keep your abs engaged, working to keep your body in a straight line. Repeat 3-5 times. Once you are good at this and can hold plank for longer periods of time, try some plank rotations.There are many other exercises that at engaging your core muscles while working other parts of your body. This will provide you with a strong core and a more functional body than knocking out old school sit ups.Still want more…just need to feel your abs burn? Ok, I feel ya. Try these

With the combination of good nutrition and a strong core, you’ll be rockin belly shirts in NO time!

belly shirt

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Exercise| Every day, three times a week, how much do you need?

How much do you need to get in shape?

 

Aerobic activity. Get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity. You can also do a mix of moderate and vigorous activity. The guidelines recommend that you spread out this exercise in the work of the work of a week.

exercise how much
Strength training. Do strength training exercises at least two times a week. No specific amount of time for each strength training session is included in the guidelines.

For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends these exercise guidelines:

Moderate aerobic exercise includes such activities as brisk walking, swimming and mowing the lawn.

Vigorous aerobic exercise includes such activities as jogging and aerobic dancing. Strength training can include use of weight machines, or activities such as rock climbing or heavy gardening.

As a general aim, aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day. In the event you require to lose weight or meet specific fitness goals, you may need to exercise more. Require to aim even higher? You can accomplish more health benefits in the event you ramp up your exercise to 300 minutes a week.

Short on long chunks of time? Even brief bouts of activity offer benefits. For example, in the event you cannot slot in 30-minute walk, try 10-minute walks in lieu. What is most important is making regular physical activity part of your lifestyle.

 

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Warm Up America| Crochet and Knitting for a Cause

Warm Up America!

Check out this awesome project going on at Michaels right now! My daughter, Amelia and I have pledged to crochet one section each a day for every day in January! The collection bin will be at our store until the end of the month, check with your local store for time frames!

Warm Up America Crochet for a cause project

 

Details:

Join America’s needleworkers in creating warm afghan blankets for those in need. Create 7-inch x 9-inch rectangular sections using any basic knitting or crochet patterns. Drop your sections in the collection bin at your local Michaels store, and sign the Contributor List located next to the bin.

Warm Up America Crochet for a cause project

Our Sections so far!

Step: 1

Knitting Patterns

Gauge: 5 stitches = 1-inch (2.5 cm)

Step: 2

Garter Stitch: Cast on 35 stitches. Knit every row until piece measures 9-inches. Bind off.

Step: 3

Stockinette Stitch: Cast on 35 stitches. Row 1: Knit all stitches. Row 2: Purl all stitches. Repeat these 2 rows until piece measures 9-inches. Bind off.

Step: 4

Crochet Patterns

Gauge: 9 stitches = 2-inches (2.5 cm)

Step: 5

Single Stitch: Chain 30 for foundation chain. Row 1: Single crochet in 2nd chain from hook, and in every chain in foundation row. Chain 1 and turn in your work. Row 2: Working under 2 top loops of each stitch in previous row, single crochet across row. Chain 1 and turn. Repeat Row 2 until piece measures 9-inches. Fasten off.

Step: 6

Double Stitch: Chain 27 for foundation chain. Row 1: Double crochet in 3rd chain from hook and in each chain of foundation row. Chain 2 and turn in your work. Row 2: Double crochet in each stitch across row. Chain 2 and turn. Repeat Row 2 until piece measures 9-inches.

Step: 7

Joining Sections

A full-size, 49-inch x 63-inch afghan requires 49 squares measuring 7-inches x 9-inches. Join vertical strips of seven squares, seven strips total. Join strips to make one afghan.

If you would like to help join squares, contact the Store Event Coordinator. Thank you.

Click<---- for more info about Warm Up America!! An amazing organization warming peoples lives since 1991!

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A Message of Love and Light

A message of LOVE, light and encouragement for those who are struggling! and…

…a giveaway over on my Facebook page!! Head on over and click LIKE on the post where you find this pic to enter to win a gorgeous leaf necklace!! A winner will be picked randomly on Friday morning *if* the world doesn’t end 😉

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Mandala| The Circle of Parenting a Teen Boy

My teen son had an assignment to create a Mandala (circle in Sanskrit) and explain what it represented. The psychoanalyst, Carl Jung, saw the mandala as “a representation of the unconscious self”.

I was so impressed with his completed project, that I wanted to share. He is seventeen and any mom of a teenager will understand how special it is! Below is the picture he drew and the words that follow are his.

mandela, teenager, son, art, mom, parenting

At first glance this circle may seem hectic. Perhaps even a bit chaotic and certainly rough around the edges but there is a method to the madness. The circle is imperfectly shaped and rough around the edges because so I am. In my mind that doesn’t make my circle or me any worse than others.

As the circle progresses toward the middle there is a slow but noticeable darkening in shade. This shows my insecurities, my fears, my depression. All of the things that get worse as I look deeper within myself. In the center, if only a little bit, there is Peace. At my core I have hope and tolerance, and that’s what keeps me going.

Incorporated into the design are musical notes and a rest. I don’t know who I am without music so these notes are as much a part of me as my hand or my heart. Music is at the heart of who I am.

My self care plan consists of treating my body better. I need to watch what I eat more and try ti get more sleep. If I want to function better in my everyday life, then I need to keep my body in better working condition. I also feel like I need to appreciate the little things more. I could stand to be happier a bit more often.

My Mandela is a glimpse inside who I am. It may seem simplistic and it may seem odd but that’s just who I am.

————————————————————————————————————-

Sure, as a parent I would rather my son never feel depressed or experience insecurities but I understand that he is a person and not just my child. These are things that all of us deal with and I am encouraged that he is in touch with how he feels and able to express it.

To read his self care plan and know that all the things I harp on are things he would like to improve…there is light at the end of this parenting tunnel! 😉

 

** GIVEAWAY ANNOUNCEMENT!! – the winner of our giveaway for commenting on my blog goes to…drum roll please…Regina Brown  of RMB Photography**

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Hot Sauce for a HOT body|Sirarcha Health Benefits

Hot cha cha!! Hot sauce can make you HOT?! Who KNEW that my beloved Siracha had so many health benefits!!

This is music to my ears and a spicy little dance in my mouth. I put this stuff on all kinds of things and it looks like I will add it to more!!

My favorite things to top off with Sriracha are sweet potatoes and eggs! What are yours?

Eat Sriracha For Your Health

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TOTALLY embarrassing and HILARIOUS!| Monday, Monday!

Watch this video to find out what embarrassing thing happened during my workout this morning!! HELLLLLO, MONDAY!

Leave a comment for a chance to win 2 FREE movie tickets!! Drawing Thursday, December 13th.

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A Single Parents First Christmas| Tips and ideas for making the holidays special

Are you a newly single or divorced parent?

Is this your first Christmas celebrating on your own? Chances are money is tighter and tensions are higher.

A conversation I had with a close friend, who is going through his first holiday season as a single dad, caused me to reflect on MY first Christmas alone.  I’d like to share my own experience and a few tips to help get you through AND make it memorable!

My first Christmas as a single mom was bittersweet. It’s not easy trying to figure out how to keep the holidays special in the midst of so much change.

Let GO of traditions that don’t matter or stress you out!!

(and loosen the reins on those expectations a bit)

Just because you made a huge fancy dinner or took part in certain community activities before does not mean that you need to continue. Talk to your children (if they are old enough), you just may find that they would prefer a casual dinner of fun finger foods and more time at home.

Find NEW traditions!

Don’t be intimidated to think outside the box when creating them. All that matters is you are together.  My first Christmas alone, I was very intimidated by the idea of going to get a tree by myself. We got a real tree every year and getting it in the house and set up seemed like a “man necessary” task to me…so, I invited a man. I invited a whole family actually. We invited Jewish friends who had not had the whole tree experience before. They had invited us over to light the Menorah one evening, and the trade off on traditions was a great experience for all involved. Getting the tree that year ended up being a lot of fun and I have since found that I am more than capable of getting a tree into the house and up in the stand by myself.

Something can become a tradition at any time and you don’t have to spend a lot of money. Often, the simplest things lead to the best memories.

Here a few of our Favorite Traditions:

  • bake cookies together, they don’t need to be anything elaborate. Kids LOVE cookies!
  • set up a simple Hot Chocolate Bar in your kitchen to leave out through the season
  • watch Christmas movies every night (we LOVE ABC Familys 25 Days of Christmas)
  • when you go buy your tree (if getting a live tree) pick out a smaller tree that is still tied up. Cut it loose when you get home and see what you got. Saves time & stress of picking out a “perfect tree” and is a fun/silly tradition!
  • go to a local display of lights or drive around looking at decorated houses in your town
  • wrap 24 books in Christmas wrap and unwrap one each night to read before bed, ending with The Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve
  • share in holiday traditions with families of different religions or cultures
  • Children love to GIVE! Take them to the Dollar Store, give them each $5 and let them fill a stocking for you! They will LOVE seeing you open their gifts on Christmas morning

Hot Chocolate Bar| Divorced parents Christmas ideas

The kids and I have had many Christmases since and I no longer feel overwhelmed or worry they are missing out.  Remember to be patient with yourself and your children, especially if the divorce/separation is recent. With time, humor and love I am confident you can give your children the kind of traditions they will carry into their own homes.

I would LOVE to hear your holiday traditions!

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Sleep and muscle growth

Your mission: to add bulk, or form some well-defined curves. The prescription: get some sleep!

Crazy as it sounds, that’s the advice you’ll get from bodybuilders, trainers, professional coaches, and fitness experts in general. The fact is your body can only heal, repair, and grow during deep sleep.

You can be doing the right things—perfectly portioning out your food, doing hardcore lifting that pushes you to the edge—but all that effort will be negated without enough recovery.

You can’t cheat on sleep. We know sleep is essential to life, just like eating and breathing. But there are many theories as to exactly why we sleep, with no one clear answer.

One is that sleep “restores” what our bodies lose while we’re awake. And recent findings actually support this theory, showing that many of the major restorative functions in the body, like muscle growth, tissue repair, protein synthesis, and the release of growth hormones, occur mostly, or as noted above, only during sleep.


Warning signs that you’re sleep-deprived. Have a sneaking suspicion you might not be getting the sleep you need? You’re not alone. An estimated 50 to 70 million people in the U.S. don’t get adequate sleep every night. Here are a few classic signs:

  • Hitting the snooze button consistently on your alarm clock
  • Yawning uncontrollably and at inappropriate times (e.g., workplace meetings, parent-teacher conferences)
  • Feeling sluggish in the afternoon
  • Getting drowsy while driving
  • Having heavy eyelids and watery eyes
  • Experiencing memory lapses
  • Experiencing irritability and low energy
  • Feeling excessive hungriness or a complete lack of appetite


Tips for catching quality z’s. Now that you know how important sleep is, don’t let it get away from you. Here are some handy tips to make the most of your rest time.

  • From 4 to 6 hours before bedtime, avoid caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, and other chemicals that interfere with sleep.
  • Keep a regular sleep schedule. Go to bed at the same time every night. And wake up at the same time every morning. If you’re getting enough sleep, you’ll wake up automatically without an alarm clock.
  • Get regular exercise. Physical activity, especially aerobic exercise, can help you fall asleep faster and make your sleep more restful.
  • Have a relaxing bedtime routine that eases the transition between being awake and sleeping.
  • Sleep primarily at night. Short naps are great for recharging and catching up on missed sleep, but too many naps, and naps that are too long, can interfere with your regular schedule.

muscle growth

Make the most of your workouts. Be honest with yourself. If you’re doing the work and the healthy eating plan and you’re still not seeing great results, it could be lack of sleep that’s holding back your progress. Remember, your body is an incredible machine. Give it a chance to recover and build for the jump-start you’ve been looking for.

References:

Sleep and muscle recovery: Endocrinological and molecular basis for a new and promising hypothesis. Dattilo, M,. H.K. Antunes, A. Medeiros, M. Mônico Neto, H.S. Souza, S. Tufik, and M.T. de Mello, Centro de Estudos em Psicobiologia e Exercício (CEPE), São Paulo, Brazil, April 2011.

Healthy Sleep: Understanding the third of our lives we so often take for granted, Web site, the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School, © 2008.

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Manifest Your Desires in the New Year| FREE coaching from Gabrielle Bernstein

I am SERIOUSLY STOKED!!! Like jump up and down and spin around EXCITED!!

A longtime friend recently turned me on to Gabrielle Bernstein and HerFuture.com. I immediately fell in love with her groovy views on life, love and her general beingness.

Personal development has been a big part of my life for the last few years. December is one of my favorite times to look back on the year and to look ahead. Though I always start off with good intentions, as the year progresses I keep finding myself in a cycle of doing and less about being.

That feels backwards. I am looking forward to a fresh perspective.

How to Manifest Your Desires in 2013

In less than a week I will get FREE coaching from Gabby and you can too!!

Watch the Manifesting Maven talk about the goals of the course.

My dear friend Gabrielle Bernstein is throwing down some awesome knowledge about the key steps to manifesting your desires!

Q and A with Gabrielle Bernstein, Author of May Cause Miracles

In this Q and A Gabrielle gives us crucial guidance on how to truly manifest and achieve our goals in 2013. As I mentioned, she’s also offering a FREE group-coaching course in December on the topic of manifesting.


Q – You are a self-proclaimed manifesting maven. Can you demystify this topic for us?

 

Gab- We are always manifesting. Each thought we have creates an energy flow within and around our physical being. This energy attracts its likeness. So if you’re thinking, “I suck,” then your energy kinda, well, sucks–and you attract sucky experiences.
The opposite experience occurs when you think high-level thoughts like, “I rock!” When you think and feel, “I rock,” you exude an energy of confidence and in turn attract great experiences into your life. Each thought you have informs your energy, and your energy manifests into your experiences. Your thoughts and energy create your reality.

 

Q – You talk about manifesting mishaps. Can you tell us more about this.

 

Gab – Manifestation has become a buzzword lately. Though it’s totally awesome that the Law of Attraction is now trendy, it also can be a bit misleading for folks who are unwilling to do the heavy lifting. If you truly want to use your energetic power to manifest greatness, you must clear all that blocks you from believing in your greatness.
A Course in Miracles teaches that on some level, you’ve asked for everything that happens in your life. Your intentions create your reality. There’s no need to beat yourself up: simply recognizing how your low-level thoughts negatively affect your life is the first powerful step toward changing your experiences. Begin your manifesting process by getting honest about how your low-level thoughts, energy and feelings of disbelief block you from receiving what you desire. Once you get clear about the blocks, you can begin to clean them up to clear space for positive manifestations to occur.
Many people, when trying to manifest, focus too much on the outside form rather than the internal condition. From A Course in Miracles perspective, what’s important is our internal experience: whether we choose to experience love or fear. When we commit to our internal experience of love, we begin to attract more love. Many people approach manifestation from a place of “How can I get something to feel better?” Instead, the focus should be: “How can I feel better and therefore be an energetic match for attracting more greatness into my life?” The emphasis must be placed on healing the internal condition, not getting a hot new car or boyfriend.

Q – You have Five Principles for Manifesting Your Desires can you share them with us?

Gab: Here are my five key principles for genuine manifesting. When practicing these steps, make sure to stay committed to the goal of feeling good first and attracting stuff second. Continue to remind yourself that when you feel good you energetically attract goodness into your life. When your primary function is to be happy, then whatever comes to you is irrelevant. Happiness is your true manifestation.

 

 

Principle One: Clear Space

Before you begin the manifestation process you must take the necessary time to release all your disbelief in your power to be happy. One of the best ways to clear the blocks of disbelief is to pray for release. Begin a daily prayer practice of asking the Universe to set you free from all the limiting beliefs that block you from believing in your greatness. Stay open for signs from the Universe and show up for the assignments that are brought to you. Universal assignments come in many forms. Maybe you’re guided to the relationship that brings up all your shit so that you have to finally heal your fear. Or maybe you lose your job so that you can learn the lessons of self-reliance and strengthen your self-love. Trust that these assignments, however tough at times, are incredible opportunities for you to clean your energy and clear space to call in what you desire.

 

Your job in this step is to pray for guidance to clear all that blocks you from believing in your greatness. Then allow the Universe to help guide you to whatever assignments you need to aid in the healing process. Show up for the assignments and trust that the more you clean your thoughts and energy, the more positive experiences you will attract into your life.

 

 

Principle Two: Get Clear

Clarity is king when it comes to manifesting your desires. You must have clear intentions for what you want to call in–otherwise you can manifest a lot of what you don’t want. Focus on what you desire and then make a list of all that goes along with it. If you’re getting clear about the job you want, make a list of all the things about the job that make you happy: the office, the people, the salary, etc. Be unapologetic about what you want. This list helps you clarify your intentions and access a vibrant mental picture of what you desire.

 

The most important part of this step is to clarify how you want to feel. When you get clear on how you want to feel, you can begin to access that feeling. That feeling is what makes the manifestation come into form. You can write a thousand lists and make a million vision boards, but if you don’t clearly feel what you want to experience, it will never truly manifest into form.

 

 

Principle Three: Think It, Feel It, Believe It!

Now let’s put these steps together. Take your clear intention and spend time every day sitting in the feeling of what it is that you desire. You might access the feeling through meditation and visioning exercises. Or call on the feeling when you’re in nature or doing a form of exercise you love. Let the thought inform the feeling and let the feeling take over your energy. The more you feel the feeling of what you desire, the more you believe it is on the way. From a metaphysical perspective, if you believe it then it is already here. So make time for contemplating, thinking, feeling and believing.

 

 

Principle Four: Chill!

The next step is crucial to the manifestation process. In order to truly manifest your desires into form, you gotta chill out! A Course in Miracles teaches: “Those who are certain of the outcome can afford to wait and wait without anxiety.” Take this message with you and allow your faithfulness to guide you into the belief that what you desire is on the way. Also trust that the Universe has a much better plan than you do. Though you are clear about what you want, you cannot control the timing or the form in which it comes. Stay calm, relax and trust that the Universe has your back!

 

 

Principle Five: Know the Universe Has Your Back

When you’re in the know you’re deliberate about what you want. When you’re in the know you no longer vibrate energy of fear or disbelief. You just know. As your disbelief wilts away, wanting is replaced by knowing. Getting into the know happens naturally. When you diligently practice steps one through four, you will clean house, get clear and feel happier. This process is healing and powerful, and it leads to a deep inner knowing that you are right where you need to be. Accepting your greatness in this moment, right now, is what manifests more greatness. Being in the know helps you accept that you already are living in your desired manifestation. When you feel it, you live it–regardless of what is happening on the outside. In time, the Universe catches up with your energy and your desires come into form. This process of allowing the manifestation to follow your internal faith is the true process of co-creation.

 

Stay Committed to Happiness

Stay committed to this five-step process and trust that you’re exactly where you need to be. Is your main desire to feel good? Trust you will be given everything you need to create that feeling. Know that feeling good is the true manifestation–and everything else is the icing on the already delicious cake!

 

 

 

Q – Next week you’re offering a free course in Manifesting. Can you tell us more about this?

 

Gab: If you want to learn more about Manifesting you can get two free video coaching sessions on the topic. December 3rd and 12th I’m leading a course called How to Manifest Your Desires in 2013! The course is free when you order my new book May Cause Miracles. You will also receive my guided meditations, audio book intro and Authentic Power lecture. To learn more about the course click here http://gabbyb.tv/free-december-group-coaching

 

To pre-order the book and get your gifts & course click hereManifesting Goals Free Coaching

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Making a list and checking it twice| To Do’s made Easy

iPhone To Do List Notes

Easy To Do List

Those of you who follow me on FB saw me post this last night but I thought others might enjoy this simple, yet AWESOME idea!!

Don’t you just LOVE when your kids teach you something? I don’t know about you but my kids teach me something new every day!

This cool little idea came to me from my daughter, Amelia, who is 15. She said she has been using it to remember things that she needs to do. What I really loved is that on the example she showed me, one of the things on her list was – Call Mom! She spent this past weekend Christmas shopping with my mom (a yearly tradition) and she wanted to remember to call and ask me a question about something on the shopping list.

The instructions are typed out in the picture above but if you would like another example with some pictures check out how-to-take-a-screenshot-with-the-iphone

This idea was both simple and useful. I do have a traditional calendar but I know this will come in handy when I am running around and need to see my day (or my list) at a quick glance. Really the possibilities are endless!

I would LOVE to hear how you use it!

ps – Click the words Christmas Shopping above and DO some! Shop.com is a completely FREE service, you will not only save money and earn CASH BACK on things you’re already buying from stores you’re already shopping in; but SHOP.COM will donate a portion of every purchase to Dreams for Kids DC! Get your shopping done in the warmth and comfort of your home WHILE supporting an AMAZING charity!!

Dreams for Kids DC is a Charity local to me in DC, empowering youth who live in poverty and those with disabilities by uniting them with their peers, recognizing their abilities, and allowing their voices to be heard.

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10 low calorie foods that fill you up

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Strenghten your Core AND your Pelvic Floor| Kegel WHO?

Most women have heard of the Kegel Exercise and most women are tired of being told that it’s THE way to strengthen their Pelvic Floor muscles.  Did you know that  seven out of ten women have weakness or disorders of the pelvic floor??  Did you know that not ONLY women have this problem? Though not as common, men suffer from it too.  (some info for men here)

MORE surprising?  If done wrong Kegels can actually do MORE damage than good!

(Why Kegels are Bad for your Tight Pelvic Floor)

 

What are the signs?

Symptoms

The symptoms of a weakened pelvic floor include:

  • Leaking small amounts of urine when coughing, sneezing, laughing or running
  • Failing to reach the toilet in time
  • Uncontrollably breaking wind from either the anus or vagina when bending over or lifting
  • Reduced sensation in the vagina
  • Backache
  • Tampons that dislodge or fall out
  • A distinct swelling at the vaginal opening
  • A sensation of heaviness in the vagina.
Common causes

It is NOT fun to pee yourself when going about your day. Laughing, coughing, sneezing, running, trampoline jumping and just FORGET about doing jumping jacks!! Not to mention weak pelvic floor muscles can also cause sexual difficulties such as reduced vaginal sensation!! Um, HELLO?! THAT is NOT okay! I’d say its where we need to draw the line.

The good news is you do NOT have to change your lifestyle and there ARE ways to improve the situation! Better ways then doing Kegels at stop lights or every time you go to the bathroom *roll eyes here*

Better ways to build your floor:

Pilates and yoga

These two forms of exercise specifically target the strengthening of your core and can have amazing results with the pelvic floor. Most of us don’t think of strengthening and toning our vaginas like we do our abs or triceps! But, in fact, any exercise that strengthens your core will help you improve pelvic floor strength.

Squats

The bodyweight squat works your hamstring muscles, quadriceps and buttocks. Begin in a standing position with your knees bent slightly and your shoulders even. Spread your feet about hip distance apart and point your toes forward. Hold both bended arms in a boxer position and align your back in a straight line from your hips to your shoulders and ears. Maintain this position throughout the exercise. Inhale, and lower your body by bending your knees as if sitting in a chair. Squeeze your quadriceps as you squat and shift weight to your heels instead of your toes. Your knees should be positioned over your ankles. Exhale and raise your body to a standing position while squeezing your buttocks muscles and your hamstrings. Repeat eight times.

 

Crunches

The bent-knee crunch works your abdominal muscles. Begin on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place your hands behind your head without interlacing your fingers. Allow your hands to gently support your head. Press your lower spine to the floor. Exhale and lift your shoulders slowly using only your abdominal muscles. Avoid using your hands to move or pull your head. While performing the slow lift, pretend you are pressing your belly button into your spine. Continue to press your back into the floor as you perform a pelvic tilt by pointing your pubic area toward the ceiling as you perform a Kegel to tighten your pelvic floor. The pelvic tilt and the Kegel protect your pelvic floor. Inhale as you slowly return to your starting position by lowering your shoulders to the floor. Repeat eight times.

Sooooo, let me get this straight…a better butt, a sexier tummy, better orgasms and NOT peeing your pants!? If you need better reasons to START doing something you might just want to stock up on Depends!!  You are not helpless and you are not alone!

Peace, Love and Fitness!

Hope

References:
http://www.womentowomen.com/urinaryincontinence/pelvicfloorhealth.aspx
http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Pelvic_floor
http://www.livestrong.com/article/328874-squats-crunches-to-help-incontinence
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When Gold is NOT the standard| tips for drinking more water

How much water should you drink? Most people I talk to, say they do not drink enough. It is probably one of the easiest things you can do to improve your health and may aid in weight loss.

What You Drink Affects Your Waistline

Eight, 8 oz glasses a day.

It’s the rule of thumb that most of us learned. Is it enough?

I’d say its a great place to start, however, it may not be enough for you. The Institute of Medicine’s latest recommendations now state that men should aim for 3 liters, or or about 13 cups, of fluids per day, while women should strive for 2.2 liters, or around 9 cups, daily. You may need more in warm weather or if you are a regular exerciser.

Increasing your water could shrink your waistline. Here are some quick tips for drinking more water without feeling like you are drowning:

  • Drink a large glass of water at transitional times during the day: when you get up in the morning, before leaving home, when you arrive at work, after using the restroom, etc.
  • Try sipping from a straw; some people feel drinking through a straw helps them drink more.
  • Drink one glass of water each hour on the hour.
  • Dilute fruit juices with water 50:50. Just pay attention to the extra calories and over time work to further dilute them. Eventually, you may not need the juice!
  • Participate in a water CHALLENGE!  Do it with a group of friends, help keep other accountable, get a little competitive…post about it on Facebook for fun!
  • When you feel a craving for junk food or sweets, drink a glass of water instead. Thirst often gets mistaken for hunger!
  • Bring a 2-liter bottle of water to work. If you have not finished by the end of the day, finish it on the drive home.
  • Add frozen bits of lemon, lime or oranges to cool water. I had a fun combo at the hotel in St Louis this weekend…water, pineapple slices, orange slices and mint. It was VERY refreshing.
  • Drink two full glasses at each meal – one before and one after eating.
  • Carry a refillable water bottle everywhere – walking, shopping, driving, watching television, doing laundry, etc.
  • Drink from an attractive or special container.
  • To keep track of quantity consumed, pour water from a liter bottle or measuring cup as you drink throughout the day. I know a lot of people who just carry a gallon around! :O

I read that if you are not getting up to urinate at least once per night you are not drinking enough! I don’t know about that but I do know that the color of your urine may be the quickest way to determine if you are well hydrated. So…what color is YOUR pee?

 

  References

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94 percent of Americans eat pizza regularly, make your own| Whole Wheat Pizza Crust Recipe

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 2/3 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • Pizza toppings (your choice)
  • Optional: Basil, oregano, garlic, garlic salt

Preparation:
1. Spray a standard-sized cookie sheet with olive oil. Preheat the oven to 425.
2. Combine flour, oats, cornmeal, and baking powder in a medium-sized bowl. Mix well.
3. Add milk, olive oil, and spices to the mixture and stir until combined.
3. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and and roll it until it is about the size of the cookie sheet. Transfer it to the cookie sheet.
4. Place the cookie sheet in the oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes.
5. Remove the crust from the oven and add toppings.
6. Put back into oven for an additional 10 to 12 minutes or until the toppings are done.

Check out these fun/CRAZY Pizza Facts!

 

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