|Posted on March 13, 2015 at 11:15 AM||comments (0)|
The weather in our area has been beautiful the past few days with highs around 70 degrees. I have loved the outdoors for as long as I can remember and even more so when the conditions are as perfect as they are right now. I took the opportunity to move two of my classes outdoors. I teach yoga at MNU as an adjunct and yesterday's class was the last one before they go on spring break. My students clearly had a case of spring fever and needed a break from our usual routine so we held class outside. The campus has a small prayer trail through a wooded section that made a perfect place to walk in silent meditation along with a sunny, more open space for us to do a simple sequence of yoga poses. When I arrived at the gym later in the afternoon to teach Boot Camp, the empty treadmills just reinforced the notion that people don't want to be indoors on such a nice day. Even an early 1960's strip mall can provide all that is needed for a challenging workout circuit.
My direct work with clients and students happens around their work and school schedules. That means that I am busy at the beginning, middle and end of the day, but have chunks of time in between. At first, I would go hang out at a coffee shop and work on my laptop, but the money I was spending there and the noise level led me to seek another place to plan and work. I tried going to a library branch, but found that being online was often too much of a distraction. The solution for me was to start going to parks and just disconnecting. I have my pen and paper journal that I use to write down my thoughts, plan classes and workouts and brainstorm new ideas. If it is cold, I sit in my car. If it is nice, I'll find a bench or rock to sit on, or just walk around. One outcome is that I have started to discover some really neat parks in the Kansas City area that would be awesome places to hold fitness and yoga classes. As I get things firmed up (pun intended), I'll post details on my website and FB page. In the meantime, I encourage everyone to get out if at all possible...enjoy the sunshine and fresh air!
|Posted on December 27, 2014 at 11:15 PM||comments (0)|
Tis' the season of family dinners and friends sharing cookies and treats. Based on my belief that food is fuel, my eating plan is built around fruits, veggies, lean protein, healthy fats, and complex carbs while indulging in treats in moderation. But this time of year, moderation can fly out the window. Like a little kid, I end up spoiling my dinner, allowing goodies to displace those healthier things my body needs to feel, function and perform its best. Because of that, when I am on the giving end, I seek a happy medium between carrot sticks and rich, gooey fudge.
I don't especially enjoy cooking and baking. A recipe that grabs my attention online or in a magazine can quickly lose its appeal with a lengthy ingredient list (5+ items is lengthy in my book) or complex instructions. A favorite concoction of mine is creating simple combinations of dried fruit and nuts. A dried apricot pairs up well with an english walnut half; a pitted date with a pecan. They are sweet and are easy to put together, but also prone to falling apart when packaged for sharing. This year I tried dipping them in melted chocolate covering enough of the fruit nut combo to hold it all together plus make it seem a bit more indulgent to boot. Give this a try if it appeals to you (an you aren't allergic to nuts).
|Posted on October 31, 2014 at 9:20 PM||comments (0)|
October was exhilarating in Kansas City this year, not in terms of crisp fall weather, but rather a red hot baseball team. The Kansas City Royals made a historic run through the playoffs, down to the last out of the ninth inning of seventh and final game. I have to confess to having been a bandwagon fan only to be swept up in this city's enthusiasm for our boys in blue these past four weeks.
The major league baseball season is long with many games to be played. Every team starts spring training working toward the goal of extending their season even further, ultimately winning the World Series. They do this one day, one game at a time. No team wins every game they play. Many lose more games than they win, as the Royals have been done several times in the past 29 years. But the goal remains. This year, the Royals lost 73 regular season games, yet these guys never counted themselves out. We shouldn't either; whether it's the Royals or ourselves.
The Royals also developed their strengths with a focus on putting fast players on their roster and using speed to win games. They scored many runs as a result of aggressive base-running and prevented their opponents from scoring runs with spectacular plays in the field.
It's easy to be on the bandwagon when we are winning. The trick is to stay the course when that bandwagon hits a pot hole or a wheel falls off. The 2014 baseball season may be over, but your own bandwagon will keep rolling forward with if you keep these three things in mind :
Anything worthwhile takes persistent effort. Celebrate the successes and learn from the losses, but never give up, even when the game goes into extra innings. I'm back on the bandwagon and will try harder to stay on board going forward. Will you?
|Posted on May 4, 2014 at 9:40 PM||comments (1)|
In case name of my business didn't make it clear, I love cycling outdoors. A big chunk of my time in the saddle is spent commuting. I ride to save one to two gallons of gas per week, to reduce my carbon footprint and dependence on my car. I ride to burn extra calories, to push myself up hills and against the wind to stay strong for racing. Most importantly, I ride to feel a connection with my journey that just isn't there when I drive my car. Body and mind engage with the wind, the smells, the sounds, and at times the quiet. I arrive in a less stressed state of mind, ready to be fully present with the tasks at hand whether it be training a client or teaching a class.
May gives us a "two-fer" being designated as both National Bike Month and National Fitness Month. This is your chance to be part of something BIG! Check out the National Bike Challenge at www.nationalbikechallenge.org. The goal is to unite 50,000 bike riders to ride 30 million miles. You can track your own progress by manually reporting your mileage or downloading it from one of several phone app. You can then see how the your efforts and those of all participants add up in terms of calories burned, dollars saved and pounds of CO2 saved. On top of that, see what is being offered in your own community to see if there are any Bike to Work or Bike to School events in the works.
If you are interested in getting into cycling, even just a little bit, take a few minutes this week to think about things that you feel will present the greatest challenges. Feel free to share those challenges here and also watch for my suggestions in how to deal with the most common commuting challenges in upcoming posts.
|Posted on March 9, 2014 at 8:25 PM||comments (1)|
Three years ago, I bought a juicer. While I've enjoyed drinking the juice it produces, the cons of using it started to outweigh the pros and it is now just an object taking up valuable cabinet space. The benefits of drinking home-made juices as a way of consuming more fruits and veggies are well accepted. It is also important to me to know where and how the produce is grown and what ingredients are added. That said, I truly wonder how many pricey juicers are gathering dust simply because they can be a hassle to use and can be wasteful to boot.
First, it takes a lot of fruits and veggies to yield a mere four to six ounces of juice. That was handy when we'd bring home a bag full of produce from our CSA or need to clean out the veggie bin. However, one of my motivations for making things at home is to save money. At least one of those cups of juice was churned out at a cost of more than eight dollars.
Secondly, the process leaves behind far more glop than juice. Not wanting to waste this nutrient packed slime, I have tried baking it into muffins and mixing it into pasta sauces. That works, but when we juiced more than once or twice per week, there was so much left over that I tried freezing some for later use. Ultimately, much of it ended up expensive compost.
Finally, the thing is a beast to clean up. Although it comes apart easily enough, the pieces either don't fit or don't come clean in the dishwasher ...so many places for the veggie glop to hide. I would scrub the part that chews up the fruits and veggies with the brush provided and put it in the dish drainer thinking I had gotten it clean only to look at it again minutes or hours later and see now dried-on vegetable matter.
One of goals this year has been to increase my consumption of liquids, veggies and fruits. Early in January, with my left hand in a splint, I opened my kitchen cabinet and looked up at my juicer. I could swear that it sneered at me. I looked at shelf below and saw the appliance that I have had in my kitchen for decades, my lowly blender. The blender that has made protein shakes for years. The blender that mixed freshly extracted juice with almond milk and protein powder to make smoothies. Talk about a "well duh" moment!
Now I use my blender to make green smoothies three to five times per week. I start with 8 ounces of kefir water (watch for my video to show how I make this) or almond milk plus a scoop of protein powder. Then I add a banana or cup of some other fresh fruit and a cup of greens. Blend it all on low for 15 seconds and then high for another 15 seconds and pour into a cup with a lid and I'm ready to go. To clean-up, I just run the blender with some soapy water in it and then take it apart and put it in the dishwasher.
My juicer is now officially retired. There may be some who think that the juicer is still the way to go. I just know that my blender is doing the job for me. I need the cabinet space so I would love to send the juicer to a new home. If you would like it, message me by March 15th. If I get no takers by then, it goes on Craig's List.
|Posted on December 29, 2013 at 3:50 PM||comments (0)|
One of my goals for 2013 is to put myself out there as a blogger. I’ve written about my hopes, dreams goals and heart aches on the pages of dozens of journals over the span of 20+ years. In reading back through those entries as well as online entries of other bloggers, I sense that I have something to share. As another blogger wrote, “the world needs to hear your voice.” I hope my postings offer food for thought, affirmations for your own feelings, or a force that motivates you to make a positive change in your own life. These postings are from my personal perspective and hold no judgment of those whose life views and experiences are different. With only a few days left in this present year, I am sliding in under the wire with first entry with what I hope is a timely message.
The Tale of Two Decembers
The month of December is essentially defined by the holiday season. Does everyone really feel like the song that starts out with “It’s the most wonderful time of the year?” Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy the carols and colorful lights. I have been blessed with a wonderful family whom I love dearly and truly enjoy spending time with. Even so, I feel twinges of melancholy within this atmosphere of celebration and joy. Why? While added demands and stress can play a part, December also marks the passage of a year in a way that most of our birthdays cannot.
I really connect with John Lennon’s lyrics “and so this is Christmas and what have you done…another year over and a new one just begun.” December reminds me that time marches on; another year has come and is now almost gone. Do I feel discontent because I haven’t accomplished all that I set out to do? Absolutely! With each passing year, I do make progress toward my goals, I experience new things and I let go of things that no longer serve me well. Some things gained; some lost. As human beings, I believe we have an innate drive to move forward and press onward. We have that ability to realize that we can be better and are often acutely aware of when we fall short.
So this December, as the whirlwind of gatherings, eating and obligations start to wind down, take some time alone to see where you find yourself as the year draws to a close. How far have you come in your life during this single journey around the sun? Can you pause long enough to give yourself credit for those steps forward whether giant steps, baby steps or stumbling steps, and celebrate your progress?
If you are already thinking of how you are going to better yourself in 2014, first write down the growth and progress you made in 2013. What new things did you experience? What things did you let go? How are you a different person from a year ago today? Try and cultivate a sense of gratitude for those changes. They serve as strands in the fabric of who you are going forward. Then use that gratitude as a platform to stand tall and see a broader view of what you can become in 2014.