My dad loves to fish and most likely he’s fishing as I’m writing this article. With that said, I don’t really understand why my first memory of eating fish was at Red Lobster. It must have been a bad year. Anyway, I remember eating fried flounder (luckily, The Little Mermaid wasn’t out back then) there for the first time. As an adult, I’ve ditched the fried part, but I still love flounder. Another fish to try for first time fish eaters is Rainbow trout. Some say salmon (say that 3 times in a row) is a good one for newbie’s and although I love it, I think it may have too strong of a fish taste for those just starting out.
GREEK STYLE FLOUNDER
¼ cup lemon juice
1 ½ tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 ½ teaspoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8-teaspoon black pepper
4 flounder filets
Non-stick cooking spray
Directions: Combine first 6 ingredients. Place fish in a 13x9x2 baking dish coated with cooking spray; pour lemon juice mixture over fish. Bake at 350F for 12 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with fork.
My friend Jayme makes her own body scrub and was kind enough to share some with me. (She seriously spoils me.)
One cup Sugar
½ cup Coconut Oil
Mix it up.
How easy is that and all natural! I rate it 5 hearts. Hearts for love, get it?
Although, if you live in the Lakenheath/Mildenhall area (England) and you don’t feel like whipping it up on your own, you could order it from her. See below how pretty she packages them!
JAMS Sweets & Treats (email@example.com)
I honestly would rather practice yoga everyday but my friends (who are personal trainers; you know who you are) continually tell me that I need to strength train. As many times as I’ve tried to be a gym rat, I’m just not comfortable in that environment so I have to rely on my own creativity or just pop in a DVD. Below is one that I’ve been using for a couple of weeks now. It’s a good place to start (hence the name) if you are just beginning to workout, just getting back on your feet from an injury or illness, post-pregnancy or you are just strapped for time. Dumbbells required. I would tell you what weight I use but one of those personal trainers’ above will yell at me to pick up heavier ones and I’m JUST NOT READY YET! :) I love you guys.
I have no idea how I missed Cinco de Mayo. It’s a little embarrassing, one because I love Mexican food and two, because I’m part Hispanic (not in any particular order). I deeply apologize and to make up for it, I’m sharing my quick guacamole recipe. I wish I had exact measurements for you but I don’t. It’s one of those recipes you just have to eye-ball it. That is the weirdest saying. Eye ball it? Really?
2 avocados (scoop out the inside)
Salsa (maybe a cup?)
Limejuice (maybe 2 tablespoons?)
One clove of garlic
Place all ingredients in a food processor, blender or mash and mix by hand. Mix until smooth.
*Seriously, it seems you can never make enough of this stuff!
As you know, I’m addicted to coconut oil as a multi-use beauty product. Did you know you can brush your teeth with it? I’m not lying. It’s crazy, but true. Just put it on your toothbrush and get to it. It’s supposedly helps gum sensitivity, heel gums, brightens teeth and is naturally deodorizing. I’m going to try using it for a week straight, but I’m kind of a freak when it comes to my teeth so the minute I feel like it’s not making me feel fresh, I’m bailing out.
Below is a picture of the amount of space (5.5×8.5 feet) I use to workout everyday. Granted I have a treadmill and a jump rope when I feel like branching out a little but you don’t need a lot of space to get in a good workout.
By now you probably know that I’m a big fan of quick easy meals with the least amount of ingredients. I also like to take as many short cuts as possible in the kitchen and while grocery shopping and still stay true to my healthy lifestyle. With that said, when my friend Wendy e-mailed me a recipe for homemade vegetable stock, I was a little hesitant at first even though I’ve been skeptical of store-bought broth. Then I noticed the words “slow cooker” and instantly jumped on board. Below is the exact message she sent me.
I came across an easy recipe for homemade veggie stock. You make it using your own left over and older veggies. Just keep the parts of veggies that you don’t use while cooking (i.e. first layer of onion, ends of carrots and celery, cucumber peels, ends of lettuce, etc.) Keep a large freeze bag and just put all the scraps in the bag. When the bag is full, put them in your slow cooker and cover with water. Cook for 8 or more hours. Strain well. Done. I just did this and got about 8 cups of veggie stock to use for other recipes. It smelled so good; we almost ate it like a soup!
I started “collecting” my left over veggies on Sunday, so hopefully this coming weekend; I’ll be able to try it. Thanks, Wendy! :)
Aquaphor Lip Repair is rated (goodguide.com) 7.5 (out of 10) overall and a 10 for health, which means this product doesn’t have any ingredients that raise health concerns. I’ve been using this for a couple of years now and wear it almost daily. Have you ever noticed that some lip balms actually make your lips drier? Not this one. Aquaphor keeps your lips kissable.
Have you ever tried using a foam roller? http://www.amazon.com/Foam-Roller-6-x-36/dp/B000Y4W9VA/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1335812083&sr=8-5
A foam roller is a long cylinder made of foam that is usually three feet long and six inches in diameter. Your body weight is used to provide pressure when lying or sitting on the foam roller. Rolling your muscles along the foam roller help break up adhesions that form on your muscles, much like a massage would typically do. The foam roller, which is ideal for using on hard to reach areas, provides more relief and benefits than simple static stretching might. –livestrong.com
When I injured my hip (IT band) one of the personal trainers at the base gym recommended I use one and it became a lifesaver. Here are a few examples of how you can use a foam roller.
My friend Jayme (see more about her below) bought me this awesome plaque. I have it hanging in my kitchen and it seriously puts a smile on my face every time I walk in there. It’s nice to have friends that accept you for exactly who you are. I’m fortunate enough to have more than a few of these friends and hopefully, you do to.
If you live in the Mildenhall/Lakenheath (England) area, JAMS Sweets & Treats (Jayme) makes beautiful edible flower arrangements, cookies, cupcakes, breads, pretzels, donuts, whoopi pies and is available for party planning and decorating. She is so creative, talented and all her work is done to perfection. For more information you can contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ve never been a coffee drinker but some of my closest friends/family not only love coffee, but may be borderline addicts. :) A cup or two a day is no big deal but anymore than that can lead to nutritional deficiencies, headaches, anxiety, upset stomach, insomnia, nervousness, ringing in ears, irregular heartbeats, increase in total cholesterol and other health problems.
My husband was a big coffee drinker until he quit cold turkey last year. He now enjoys Chicory, which is a root and is naturally caffeine and gluten-free.
I’ve also been reading about Choffy, which is made from 100% premium cocoa beans that contains less caffeine than a cup of decaffeinated coffee. http://www.drinkchoffy.com/
Have you ever walked pass someone in the store and almost got knocked out by the smell of his or her perfume/cologne? Contrary to popular belief, it’s not only the cheap perfume/cologne that can produce that type of reaction. I don’t wear perfume often but I’m always trying to find the brands with the least toxins (not easy). My friend Jayme bought me one by ‘love & toast’, which has a honey coconut scent that goes quite well with my coconut oil addiction. I’m not sure how it rates as far as overall toxins but this brand does well with their other products. I also really like Sally B’s Skin Yummies (Simply B) Solid Perfume; it has a very mild citrus vanilla scent. Again, I haven’t been able to find the data on the toxin level but it’s featured in a lot of natural magazines and blogs. I like to smell scrumptious without offending anyone. :)
Sculpting Quickie by Shape magazine. A slightly different twist on the plank.
“Life is lived in the present. Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow is yet to be. Today is the miracle.” -unknown
De’s Quick Stir Fry
1 10-ounce bag of frozen asparagus (chopped up)
2 gigantic Portobello mushrooms (chopped up)
1-2 handfuls of red pepper (chopped up)
1-tablespoon coconut oil
Minute maid “ready to serve” brown rice
Heat coconut in large frying pan. Add asparagus, mushrooms, red pepper and sprinkle with garlic powder. Heat around 15 minutes or until asparagus has softened (not soggy). Prepare rice according to directions. Place a big spoonful of veggie mix on top of rice. Add hot sauce if you are feeling feisty. :)
The soap of the moment (for me) is Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap All-One Hemp Unscented Baby-Mild. It’s rated 7.9 (out of 10) overall according to http://www.goodguide.com/# and rated a 10 in health. It’s made with organic oils and the rest of the ingredients are recognizable. You can learn more about Dr. Bronner’s products at: www.drbronner.com. Switching to natural beauty products is an ongoing journey for me and I’m always on the lookout for the one (product) that is going to complete me (as my friend Tracy would say). :)
Let me be honest with you…when it comes to physical activity, I’m lazy. I rather read, study, surf the Internet (because actual surfing would take way too much energy), watch my favorite TV shows, cuddle (wink wink), watch movies and maybe some leisurely shopping. Three-hour lunches with friends are always nice. The ultimate vacation for me is the beach and even then, walking across the street to get to the ocean seems like a chore. Just give me a chair and my favorite person/people to talk to and I’m content for a week. With all that said, I depend on: http://www.collagevideo.com/, my treadmill and a jump rope to get my hour workout in every morning (5 days a week). Collage Video is awesome. They provide quick delivery and they have a fantastic return policy. They will refund your money even after you have opened and watched it (if you decide you don’t like it). Check out their website. You can watch clips of all the DVD’s they offer. Of course, yoga is my “thing” but I’ve been branching out recently and will post a few of my favorite workouts in the near future.
Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our irritation and resentments slip away, and a sunny spirit takes their place. ~Mark Twain
Have you ever tasted Nutella? It’s a heavenly treat, right? After I discovered my food intolerances, I checked the ingredients and I just about fell over. Sugar, palm oil, hazelnuts, cocoa, skim milk, reduced minerals, whey (milk), lecithin as emulsifier (soy) and vanillin (an artificial flavor). I’m intolerant to 4 out of the 9 ingredients. It’s a wonder I didn’t croak.
Anyway, someone recently told me about Rawtella. http://www.rawtella.com/rawtella-chocolate-sptead.html
Ingredients: Organic raw fresh and soaked/dehydrated hazelnuts, organic raw cacao nibs, raw coconut sugar.
I just finished ordering it and I can’t wait to test it out. I’ll let you know if it’s any competition for Nutella. :)
Last week, my friend’s sister (we’ll call her M) gave me some of the greatest beauty advice EVER! Before you judge my enthusiasm, let me explain. Have you ever used Olay In-Shower Body Lotion? I love it. Well, I should say, I loved it. It made my skin super soft and it was quick and easy but there was one problem…the ingredients. I’m slowly but surely switching my beauty products to ingredients that are recognizable (less toxic) and the shower lotion had many ingredients that I couldn’t even pronounce let alone recognize. No need to panic. “M” told me she uses coconut oil in the shower. WALLA! It works better than the Olay brand and I know exactly what’s in it…Coconut oil. :) I use Spectrum Expeller Pressed Organic Virgin Coconut Oil that is unrefined. The bottom of the tub or shower will get a little slippery so please be careful. *Stay tuned; I’ll have more about coconut oil in future posts.
My friend Lisa is a personal trainer (Arizona) and yesterday on her face-book page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Balanced-Fitness/110425502392424?ref=ts (LIKE her page for fitness updates) she posted…
“Getting in your workout each day is awesome – but how much other activity are you getting in – did you sit at your desk all day? Did you sit on the couch all night? Be sure to include movement all day long to ensure overall health and wellness!”
At first, I was like “Dang, she just called me out!” until I realized she was talking to everyone, not just me. :) I’ve been working out one hour every morning but the rest of the day; I’m either on the computer or studying. So, I was trying to come up with different ways to get my butt moving throughout the day when I came across another solution. http://fitdesk.net/
How cool is this! Mother’s Day is right around the corner…hint hint. :)
One final note today; Let’s remember to treat our elderly with kindness and respect. Last week my 99-year-old great-aunt and her son were assaulted when their home was broken into. Granted, no one should have to go through that, but hitting a 99-year-old woman is beyond belief. A few kind words and a smile only takes a few minutes out of your day. :)
I’m sorry but I don’t have any recipes, facts, tidbits or advice today.
Can we just chat for a minute?
I’m a little down (don’t worry, it won’t last long).
I had high hopes for the boot camp program that I started last week but as we all know, things change. It’s my own fault. As they say, you need to learn to walk before you run. In my case, literally.
Try to follow my train of thought (scary, I know): I’m at a pretty good weight, I eat super clean and I’ve never felt better in my life… So why shouldn’t I sign up for a 6-week boot-camp fitness program? Maybe, because I haven’t consistently worked out in more than a year! DUH!
So you are probably wondering what happened, right? Last week (second day of B.C.) we did a 1.5-mile run. I struggled, but I got through it. When we were finished, I immediately felt a pain in my left hip. I wasn’t alarmed because like I said, I hadn’t worked out in over a year. This past Saturday, I jogged on our treadmill (at home) and half way into it, I could feel the pain in my left hip (again) but I continued on. Immediately after that light jog, I could feel the same pain, but it was intensified.
Step down on my left leg-PAIN
Try to walk up the stairs-PAIN
Try to walk down the stairs-PAIN
Try to lay down (I was up all night)-PAIN
You pretty much get what I’m trying to say, right?
Diagnosed this morning with: Iliotibial Band Syndrome. 6-8 week recovery. No working out, not even walking. Ice. Motrin (UGH).
* Side-note: Maybe, I can do upper body work?
So being over enthusiastic not only caused me to not accomplish my original goal but it set me back 6-8 weeks.
Lesson of the day: There are times when you should…
PROCEED WITH CAUTION.
P.S. The fitness boot-camp program on Lakenheath is excellent and the trainers are awesome. I’m bummed I won’t be able to continue the class. :(
One thing I pride myself on is being an honest person. With that said, I can honestly tell you…
I’m physically OUT OF SHAPE!
As you know, I eat a very clean diet and I’m within my weight range but when it comes to running or lifting weights, I’m that of an 83-year-old lady.
I’m not going to beat myself up too much because I had no other choice but to figure out my food intolerances before I could even be healthy enough to start an exercise routine. I’m just saying, for those of you that are able to workout, PLEASE do!
As you know I love nutrition. I love healthy food. I love how food can heal you from so many different ailments. I will not lie; if I could be in the best shape of my life by just eating right, I’d be good to go but it’s not possible.
You have to eat right AND move your body!
Below are some health problems that have been treated or controlled through exercise:
Colon, Breast, Lung and Multiple Myeloma Cancers
High Blood Pressure
Menstrual problems and PMS
If you have any of the above conditions, look into how starting a consistent exercise program could help you heal faster and feel better.
This past week, I started a fitness boot-camp and sadly, I can see how much I’ve declined by not working out consistently for the past year.
On a positive note, I’m far better off because of my healthy daily diet so I don’t have to start at zero.
Wish me luck! :)
“You have to stay in shape. My grandmother, she started walking five miles a day when she was 60. She’s 97 today and we don’t know where the hell she is.”
– Ellen DeGeneres
Growing up, I played all kinds of sports and grew up in one of those neighborhoods were the kids stayed outside for the entire day and most of the evening. It was a golden rule that once the street light came on, it was time to come in. We would be so tired that most nights we passed out on the couch before we even made it into our beds.
As an adult, I stayed pretty active raising my children and made sure to fit in some form of exercise to stay healthy and maintain my weight. Only around 8 years ago, did staying active become a little more challenging. I had gone into remission from Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) and did not realize the stress of it most likely brought on Fibromyalgia.
TTP: A life-threatening disease involving embolism and thrombosis (plugging) of the small blood vessels in the brain. TTP is characterized by platelet microthrombi (tiny traveling clots composed of platelets, the clotting cells in the blood), thrombocytopenia (lack of platelets), hemolytic anemia (from the breakup of red blood cells), fever, renal (kidney) abnormalities and neurologic changes such as neurological signs such as aphasia, blindness, and convulsions. TTP is fortunately rare. It occurs at a rate of 3.7 cases per year per million persons. The mortality (death) rate for promptly treated cases ranges from 10 to 20 percent. MedicineNet.com
Fibromyalgia: Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals. Symptoms sometimes begin after a physical trauma, surgery, infection or significant psychological stress. In other cases, symptoms gradually accumulate over time with no single triggering event. Mayoclinic.com
As you can imagine, before being diagnosed (with fibro) I was in too much pain to exercise. After being diagnosed and trying to find treatment, I could barely function on a day-to-day basis let alone exercise. Finally, after I got my symptoms under control (My change in diet drastically improved my condition), I didn’t want to aggravate the situation, so I was afraid to exercise. I was a hot mess! :) Around 2 years ago with the help of an awesome personal trainer (Lisa); I worked out daily and became in great physical shape but then she moved and I injured a rib and slowly fell back into being afraid to workout. So, at this point in time, I’m trying to ease back into a manageable routine.
My husband (always the supportive spouse) decided that having a home gym would make it easier for me to exercise (on a daily basis) and it would be quite the bonus for him as well. :) Now, you may think this is a fabulous idea, but let me paint a little picture for you…
We live in military base housing and although our house is very nice and average size, he decided to turn our dining room (which is based right in the middle of our whole house and not enclosed) into the new workout room. Bless his heart.
Before and after pictures included. The wilderness rug blends right in with the workout room, huh? (rolling my eyes)
Have a GREAT weekend!