By Cindy Clemens,
Contracted Life Coach
When we begin to feel restless in our lives and ready to explore new options, it is very tempting to look at what we can do differently. New jobs, locations, hobbies and partners often seem to be the answer. While these changes may ultimately happen, they are not the place to start. Rather, we need to turn inward and reconnect with what is on the inside - priorities, passions and gifts and talents. This is the only way we can build a new life that really fits us and feels right. As Ralph Waldo Emerson wisely observed, "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."
A great way to connect with your wise, inner voice is to spend some quality time each day working on your life. I offer two suggestions for creating this self-discovery time.
First, make an actual date with yourself and keep it. Try blocking out an hour each day. It is amazing how much we honor our commitments to other people, yet find countless ways to blow off the time we have set aside for self-care. We seem to value other people more than we do ourselves. To counter this, I strongly recommend making a solid date with yourself and viewing it as important as the other meetings and appointments you have during the week.
Second, find a special place where you can go by yourself and spend some quiet time. Try to block out as many distractions as you can. Select a place where you won't be interrupted. Turn your cell phone off, find a comfortable spot to sit, and provide your senses with as much positive input as possible. Beautiful music, lovely scenery, and tantalizing aromas can greatly enhance your self-discovery time. Bring along your journal and develop your life compass - what is important to you, what you love to do, and what you feel you are meant to do with your life. Use these findings to guide your decisions about what to change on the outside.
Three Morning Stretches
By Kim Watters,
Big stretch for the front of the body and the back of the legs
- While on your back, lengthen your arms (biceps next to your ears), torso and legs (pull your toes towards your shins).
- Try to put as much space between your hands and your feet as possible.
- Alternate lengthening one leg farther than the other.
- Alternate lengthening one arm farther than the other.
Rounding your spine to stretch your back
- While on your back, put your hands on the back of your thighs, and pull your bent knees towards your chest to round the spine.
- Press your chin towards your Adam's Apple then lift your head and neck up rounding your upper spine and pressing your forehead towards your knees.
- While on your back, open your arms out to the side in a letter T-shape (palms up).
- Bend your knees and slowly lower them to one side.
- Try to keep your shoulder blades flat.
- Slowly turn your head the opposite direction.
- Repeat to the other side. (To intensify this stretch hike both knees up, towards your armpit.)
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Inhale as you begin a stretch and exhale as you get into the deepest part of the stretch. Continue with deep slow breathing as you hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds.
Top Five Exercises to Burn Fat
By Dr. Brad Crump,
Health Services Manager
When we want to lose weight, the first things we think to do are eat less and burn more calories. We then embark on a rigorous and intense exercise program in addition to a highly restrictive dietary plan which most often results in little to no change on weight or more importantly, body fat percentage.
In order to develop a more successful and efficient fat loss program, it is important to understand some of the basics of metabolism.
The metabolisms work of turning food into energy and then using that energy to operate the body and to bounce back from everyday wear and tear is a very specialized process. Through our choices of food and physical activities, we can make the process more efficient.
First we need to understand the process of basic metabolism. After we have eaten, the body uses oxygen to convert our food into energy. This conversion allows us to do work and to run all systems of our body. If the calories we consume our not burned for fuel, they will be stored in our body fat as a reserve. Here is how our bodies use the nutrients we consume as energy. What fuel you burn I s directly tied into your ability to deliver oxygen.
Carbohydrates are generally the body’s main source of energy. Carbohydrates are broken down into sugars and stored in our muscles as glycogen. The body stores only a certain amount of carbohydrates. They have four calories per gram.
Proteins are used to build and maintain body tissues and are rarely if ever used as a source of energy. Like carbohydrates, only so much protein can be stored. They also have four calories per gram.
Fat is the most energy dense of these nutrients. Each gram of fat contains nine calories per gram making it the most efficient fuel source for the body. It acts as a long term fuel reserve that helps keep us from falling into a starvation mode. Given that fat is so efficient and valuable, why has it been given such a bad reputation? Given that fat has twice the amount of stored energy, it would stand to reason that it would be a valuable fuel to burn during exercise.
So how do we actually tap into fat when we exercise? Does burning as many calories as possible result in greater fat burning? To answer that, we need to remember that oxygen is required to breakdown these nutrients to use them as fuel.
When we exercise, we breathe in and deliver oxygen out o our working muscles. The oxygen is then used to convert mainly carbohydrates or fat or a mix of both into energy. The difference between burning fat versus burning carbohydrates is a function of much and how efficiently you delivered oxygen. Fat burning requires more oxygen that carbohydrates.
So, to make a long story short, in order to burn fat at higher levels, a person much be able to stay as aerobic (oxygen efficient) as possible for a sustained period of time regardless of what the activity is. It is suggested to find the activities you find most enjoyment in so that it can become a consistent activity. In order to truly find where you are most efficient, you will want to be tested using a metabolic cart system (see www.newleaffitness.com).
Here are the top five activities that can be used to track heart rate and can be maintained over the required timeframe:
- Active yoga: This type of yoga provides consistent movement to maintain appropriate heart rate and also acts as a great toning and core workout.
- Hiking: This allows you to choose the terrain or area that you are hiking in and to regulate your heart rate. You will also see some great sites and get a lot of fresh air.
- Circuit training: This type of weight training is sustained movement that is maintaining proper heart rate and is also providing strength training. This will allow for greater caloric burn while at rest.
- Kick boxing: This is one that will get your heart rate up so you will want to control your pace to stay within your fat burning zone. Great strength training activity.
- Swimming: This is a great all around exercise that will use many muscle groups you normally do not use which will result in great fat burning at the right heart rate.
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Whether an activity is fat burning is tied into proper testing. Consider doing a metabolic test to determine you most efficient fat burning heart rate zones.
Weight Loss Tip: Fiber
Eat 2 cups of non-starchy vegetables at lunch and dinner every day (total 4 cups daily). Vegetables are loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber and are very low calorie. The nutrition fuels your metabolism. The fiber helps you feel full.
Note: This tip not recommended for those who have had gastric bypass, or have digestive problems such as: Irritable Bowel Syndrome, etc.
Slide & Glide your Thighs into Shape
By Kim Watters,
This workout is not only fun but is also a great way to tone your inner thighs. Just get into your cupboard, and get out your picnic supplies. You will need two paper plates (the higher quality paper plate’s work best) and a carpeted floor.
- Put the plates on a carpeted floor, and then stand on them. The balls of the feet should be towards the center of the plate, and the heels of the feet should be lifted up off the plate.
- Tighten the abdominals for balance and support.
- Extend the right leg from the hip joint to your right side, sliding the plate under the foot as the leg extends. The left knee bends to allow the right leg to extend further.
- Push down into the plate with the ball of the foot; continue to push down as you slide the foot and plate back into the starting position. (8-12 repetitions)
- Repeat the same exercise with the left leg. (8-12 repetitions)
- Repeat the same exercise, except this time alternate the legs. (8-12 repetitions)
If it seems too easy, push down harder as you pull your leg in towards the midline, and if it is too difficult push down less. Keep in mind, the harder you push into the plate, the more resistance you will create for yourself. This is your workout; make it what you need it to be.Add a comment
Sweet Moments and Soothing Soaks – Honey Recipes from the Beehive State
By Myrna Beardshear,
Director of Spa & Wellness
Water has been used as a healing aid for centuries. We continue to use water and water therapy in spas today as one of our most powerful natural elements to effect mood and lift the spirit. A twenty minute soak in the tub relaxes, cleanses, hydrates and uplifts us both mentally and physically.
Honey is a perfect addition to warm bath water. Not only is it soothing to the skin, honey is also naturally anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. Add a few drops of aromatherapy to a honey bath, to relax or stimulate the nervous system depending on the chosen scent.
Morning Milk and Honey Soak
For a stimulating bath add a cup of dry milk, 1/2 cup of honey and the zest of 1 orange.
Bedtime Chamomile and Honey Bath
Relax in the tub with 3 chamomile tea bags, 1/2 cup of honey and a few drops of essential oil of ylang ylang (optional).
Hydrating Milk and Honey
Bring back the days of Cleopatra and the land of milk and honey when you soak in a tub of warm water to which you have added a gallon of milk and half a cup of honey. For quick dissolving, heat the honey with 2 cups of milk, stirring until honey is melted and then add to bath water.
Non-Stop Shopper’s Foot Soak
To relieve tired, achy feet, steep two peppermint tea bags in hot water for 10 minutes. Mix a gallon of warm water, and the peppermint tea in a large bowl or foot spa. Soak feet for 20 minutes.
Tuna Salad Niçoise
6 cups mixed greens
3 roasted red bell peppers, cut into strips
4 anchovy fillets, chopped
1 cup sun dried tomatoes, cut into strips
1 cup artichoke hearts, quartered
½ cup Kalamata olives, quartered
2 tsp. minced garlic
¼ cup shallots, cut into strips
1 Tbsp. fresh herbs chopped (basil, oregano, parsley, etc.)
juice of one lemon
3 Tbsp. olive oil
6 quail eggs
6 slices of feta cheese, sliced thin
¾ pounds of ahi tuna
- In a large bowl combine the mixed greens, two of the roasted peppers, anchovies, artichokes, and olives. Toss together.
- In a small sauté pan add 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil.
- Heat the garlic and turn off the heat.
- Add the tomato slices and let sit 10 minutes.
- Drain any excess oil.
- In a blender combine the other 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil and the rest of the roasted pepper.
- Blend till smooth. Set aside.
- Spray a non-stick pan with pan coating.
- Crack the quail eggs and be careful not to break the yolk.
- Cook sunny side up.
- Add the herbs and lemon juice to the salad mix. Keep warm.
- Slice the ahi tuna in 12 thin slices.
- To Plate: Place a slice of feta on the bottom of 6 plates. Place some salad mix on the feta. Then place a slice of ahi on top of the salad. Repeat so you have 2 layers. Place a crouton on top with the quail egg as a garnish. Spoon some of the roasted red bell pepper oil around the plate.
Chef Dale Van Sky's Summer BBQ tips, rub and sauce
Barbeque season is almost here and Chef Dale Van Sky has simple tips for you to make your recipes a little healthier.
- Trim all fat from meats before barbequing and grilling.
- Make your own BBQ sauce instead of using pre-made sauces.
- Brush BBQ sauce on meats just before removing from grill.
- Try a dry rub instead of a BBQ sauce.
- Pick leaner meats such as top sirloin, flank steak or pork loin and marinate overnight in unsweetened pineapple sauce or teriyaki sauce. (The acid will breakdown connective tissues and make the meat more tender.)
- Marinate extra firm tofu as a meat substitute and use a spice rub before grilling.
Cajun Spice Rub
1 Tbsp. white pepper
1 Tbsp. black pepper
1 ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp. granulated garlic
1 Tbsp. oregano
1 Tbsp. paprika
½ tsp. salt
- Mix all seasonings together.
- Sprinkle on chicken, beef, pork, fish, potatoes, eggs or vegetables.
Moroccan BBQ Sauce
Serving Size: 2 Tbsp.
2 ½ cup vegetable stock
1 cup vinegar, rice
½ cup soy sauce
1 cup ketchup
2 tsp. Cinnamon, ground
½ tsp. Anise, ground
1 tsp. Cardamom, ground
1 tsp. Coriander, ground
1 Tbsp. Ginger root, minced
1 tsp. Cloves, ground
¼ cup lime juice
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
½ Tbsp. Black pepper
1 ½ cup brown sugar
2 tsp. Garlic, minced
1 tsp. Chili powder
- Combine all ingredients and blend.
- Heat to simmer to blend flavors. Cool.
Try our Prickly Pear BBQ Pork Loin topped with Leek Straws recipe as shown in the photo above.Add a comment
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