Monday, December 9, 2013

Joy Comes Through the Eye of a Child



My joy and anticipation to Christmas is growing everyday. Being more conscious of increasing joy in my life has made me think about daily actives differently, but also in helping others to have a joyous Christmas. How are things for you? Is your joy increasing? I sure hope so. I guess if not, then listen to this flash mob song from the United Sates Air Force Band play a rendition of Joy to the World. Christmas music always brings joy to my heart as well as our military. Perfect combo.

If that does not work either, maybe this will. Remember those traditions your family did when you were growing up? Maybe you did not like them, maybe it is what made Christmas for you, maybe it was your's and your siblings tradition, maybe you did not understand why you had to do them? Bring one of those traditions back this Christmas. Take some time to reflect on this tradition, why it was important to you or your family, remember the joy it brought you as a child. Being older, how could bringing this back bring more joy to your life? What does it mean to you know?

My two favorite traditions growing up were decorating the Christmas tree. When the tree went up, that meant Christmas was near! We always did it as a family, something warm to drink, my two brothers and I battling over whose ornaments were in the front, who's ornaments were who's, the fun sibling stuff. Every year we also received a new ornament, my Mom still keeps this up for us.
The other one was going to midnight Mass, once we were older. There is something so special about this Mass. As a bonus, my Mom would make me a dress every year for Christmas. We would take a day, go pattern and material shopping and just spend time together. Many time she was still sewing my dress Christmas Eve, she would come down to the wire, part of the memories. Those are a few of my favorite memories. What are some of yours?

Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
God bless,
Jenn



Tuesday, December 3, 2013

December is all about Joy

Christmas is one of my most favorite times of the year! The lights, the merriment, the smells of cookies and baked good being made and their spices, some of my favorites I will add, the music, the decorations, but mostly the Joy and Hope this season is truly all about. I know we seem to be losing this in our culture today. Christmas has become very commercialized, about giving enough gifts, the right ones, not being able to afford those gifts, depression, Grinches. On account of all this, I want us to work on the gift of joy.

Joy is a gift. It is something we have to work for, it is not handed to us. It is like patience, something you have to earn. But unlike patience, joy is something we should all want and pray for! Joy is also something we have to search for and sometimes that search is not easy.

I know most people think of joy and happiness as the same thing, I do not. I see them as similar, but with key differences.
Happiness to me: is a great feeling, you are happy to see someone, happy something went your way, you feel good about yourself, the sun is shinning so you are happy.
Joy to me: is all of these as well, but with the marked difference, when something does not go your way, you are facing a difficult time, struggling with life, the sun is not shinning, you are still joy filled. The circumstance does not get you down. Through it, you have a peace and joy no one can shake. It is a knowing that their is hope at the end of your trial, you will see yourself through this struggle and come out of it a better person. Joy is active, it require us to put something into it. Joy is also about putting yourself last, the y in joy.

Because it is active, lets work on it this month. We could all use more joy in our lives, especially this time of year.

The joy of giving
To start us off, the joy of giving. We are all challenged to give to those less fortunate this time of year. There are many organizations to give to those in need. One of my favorites is Toys for Tots, I come from a family of Marines. Choose somewhere your family can help out this Christmas season. But, instead of just giving and not thinking about it, talk about it as a family. Ponder on your own what you have given to someone else. So you can see or your children can see, the direct impact of your giving, maybe help out at a shelter, a nursing home, somewhere people are neglected and need some joy. 

How did this make you feel? Are you more joy filled? Did you realize how much you have and what to be more thankful and joy filled about? Do you feel more joyful from having given to others? How has this changed your life? 

Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
God's many blessing,
Jenn


Monday, November 25, 2013

Sleep and Weight Lose

One of the best ways to guarantee great sleep, go on vacation! Works like a charm. I just spent a week in Sedona Az. with my Hublet, it was awesome! If you ever have a chance, I suggest going.

Besides needing sleep and feeling better when we sleep enough, another great reason to hit the sack is weight lose. Have you ever noticed when you do not sleep well you crave sugary foods, simple carbs, caffeine, donuts, pastries, whatever your craving might be of a quick fix? Your brain is telling you it did not get enough sleep and therefor needs simple and easy foods to help it work and "function". This is all done through complex hormones. Two of those, which you might have heard of, are leptin and ghrelin. These two work together to help us feel hungry and full. Leptin is produced in fat cells and sends signals to the brain saying you are full. While ghrelin is produced in the stomach and signals hunger.

What is up with sleep? I generally do not eat while I am sleeping Jenn? Great question, I am happy you asked.

When we do not have good quality sleep, our bodies produce more ghrelin, hunger stimulator, wanting simple easy foods to stay awake and alert. Conversely, leptin levels go down with lack of sleep, meaning you do not as satisfied after eating, you want more food and more often. All this combined sets up the stage for over eating and mostly all the wrong foods which equates to weight gain.

Try it out. When you are sleep deprived, take note of what types of foods you crave and gravitate towards eating. Then, for several days, sleep ample amounts. You should notice your cravings for simple, sugary, starchy foods and caffeine goes down. You will also have a more stable mood and will feel better, not only from more sleep, but also the food choices and other hormones balancing from both the sleep and better food.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!! I hope you all have a wonderful and blessed day.

Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
God bless,
Jenn






Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Sleepy, Sleepy November, Who Does Not Want More Sleep....?

To sleep like puppies....
I was thinking with the time changes, the craziness of everyone's life and how sleep deprived we all seem to be, this month's challenge should be about sleep! We could make a pack, lets all sleep more. Try every night for the next month to sleep 7-9 hours every night. During the winter it is natural for our bodies to need more sleep, it is dark longer, hint hint. Try it and see how you feel.

But for some of us, that is easier said than done. For those lucky souls who do not have any difficulties sleeping, I envy you. For us, this month's challenge will be about different things that can be influencing our sleep difficulties and steps to begin taking to blissfully sleep. As always, we need to find the root cause and heal the body, But we need sleep in the mean time. So.......
Factors that could/might/possibly, but not limited too, influencing your sleeping difficulties:
  • Sleep requires energy and you have none.
  • Drinking too much caffeine, especially late in the day.
  • Not have a routine for bed time.
  • Haphazardly sleeping, not consistent with your waking and rising times.
  • Medications 
  • Different illness can cause sleep deprivation, like hypothyroidism, adrenal problems, depression, anxiety, nervous issues
  • Taking certain vitamins, such as Vit. D too late in the day.
  • Not stopping our brains from running wild 
  • Pain
  • Technology, the light spectrum from computers, phone and TVs disrupts our sleeping cycles.
  • Using lights at night, we can stay up for hours, late into the night because of this amazing feet of accomplishment. 
  • Our natural circadian rhythms are off, sleep cycles. 
  • Not being able to break down the protein we eat into their individual amino acids so that then our bodies can rebuild these into things such as melatonin and other hormones to help our bodies relax and thus sleep.
Obviously this is a short list, but can give you an idea of some of the factors involved in sleeping difficulties. You might have one of these and you might have many of these plus others I did not list.
Let's break down a some of these factors, some of these are easy changes you can begin implementing today to help you sleep better maybe tonight or within a few weeks.

  • Stop using sugar and caffeine to keep you awake. Yes, have your cup of coffee or two in the morning, especially bullet coffee, bur for the rest of the day drink water, kefir or kombucha, something to nourish the body. The same goes with sugar. For both caffeine and sugar you are not nourishing your body, you are not giving the body what it really needs to thrive, in the end, you are doing the opposite. Begin nourishing your body with nutrient, dense foods.
  • Turn off your electronics, cell phones, TV, whatever gadgetry you have an hour or two before bed. The lights from these stop our bodies from making melatonin, which disrupts the sleeping cycle. Not only that, they keep our brains stimulated and going when they should be powering down. As a side note, I have read the Kindles are not suppose to do this. I am old school and still like to hold a book, so I do not know. Just what I have read.
  • Not only are these gadgets disrupting your circadian rhythms, but do you really need to do one more thing?
  • Take your Vit. D in the morning or early afternoon. The is the vitamin to signal our bodies to be awake.
  • Sleep in a pitch black, cool room.
  • Give yourself permission to sleep. Put all of your worries, cares, struggles, whatever you call them to bed. If you do not sleep, you cannot carry them as well. Put them under your bed, sleep and pick them back up in the morning. Besides, if you allow them to sleep, allow yourself to let go of them and sleep, you might be able to figure out how to deal with them better? 
  • Incorporate more acidic foods into your diet. Things like raw apple cider vinegar, lemon, limes, oranges, grapefruit to your water or eat. Our stomachs need to be an acid environment for them to break down the food we eat, especially proteins. If we cannot break down the protein, we do not have the amino acids to make other hormones and such to calm the body and help us sleep. Also, do not drink a glass of plain water too close to eating your meals, before during or after. This will further reduce the amount of acid in the stomach to break food down. Add lemon or raw apple cider vinegar to your water, about 15 minutes before a meal, this will help stimulate the body to make more hydrochloric acid to break down your food.
  • Have a bed time routine to calm the body and mind down to prepare for sleep.
  • Have your thyroid tested. 
  • Speak with your doctor about medications that could be causing you sleeping difficulties.
  • Eat something before bed with good fat, protein and carbs in it, like a glass of whole raw milk. Perfect combination of them all for giving the body the energy it needs to sleep and stay asleep.
  • Take a nap during the day if you can, if you need one.
  • Nourish your body with nutrient, dense, rich foods.
I think this is enough to get you started. 
Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
God bless,
Jenn

Monday, October 28, 2013

The End Is Only the Beginning

Have fun during your workouts, just like Otto. 
He is the happiest when he is running and playing.

Another month almost over. I think here in Utah we are going to be saying good bye to our beautiful, warm fall weather, loved it while it was hear. But, that does not mean moving is over.

Through this month's challenge, what I was hoping you would gain is an insatiable appetite for working out! OK, maybe that you found joy, new found energy, feeling better about yourself, but mostly wanting to continue to move your body. Understanding the benefits, feeling those benefits in your body and a desire to keep on keeping on.

Working out should be fun and enjoyable. If you are not enjoying your regimented workout or what you are currently doing, change it up. This is a time to enjoy what you are doing and love yourself.
You can workout anytime, anywhere.
Work out should be play time.
Move your body frequently, every hour. Do not let an hour slip by, that you are awake, without moving.
Have fun!
Lift some heavy things, laundry, grocery, kiddos love to be held and thrown in the air, be sure to catch them at the end. Kettle bells are a blast to swing. I am sure you can find something heavy to move around once in a while just be creative.
Have fun working out!
Move quickly on occasion. Start where your ability is. Maybe today you cannot sprint, but who is to say by Spring time next year you could not be sprinting for 30 seconds, minute rest, and repeating the cycle five times? Only you can decide if this is not something you are capable of, push yourself.
Listen to your body and honor it. When you need a break, take one. Allow your body to rest and recoup. Then go back at it.
Have fun, play!
Everyone's body is different, every body will respond differently to exercising and a nutrient dense, real food lifestyle. That is awesome! Who wants to look like everyone else?
Love your body, take care of it and it WILL take care of you and love you back.
Stop comparing yourself to everyone else. If you wish yourself away, the world will not have YOU in it. We need your abilities, talents, gifts, beauty, so go out and be the you we all need. Nobody else will.
Have more fun playing! Have I mentioned that. Enjoy this one life you have been given.

Building a workout is not hard or difficult. Take two to three different upper and lower body exercises and put them together. Some days to them timed, other times see how many sets of a set number you can accomplish in an allotted time period. Add some weight occasionally. Change it up. Unless you are training for a specific event, like a triathlon, fitness competition or a specific sporting event, you do not need set in stone workouts. As long as you are moving your body, that is all you need. Unless you need a set in stone workout, then get one. No excuses.

Just because next week begins another challenge does not mean this one should end, about moving, this is just the beginning, the starting block. Keep it up and see what your accomplishments are next October. Track your progress. I want to hear what you have been able to achieve in a year.

Saving the world one stick of butter, and a work out, at a time.
God bless,
Jenn

Monday, October 21, 2013

October Moving, Do You Lift Heavy?


I know as of late, this photo has been all the rage and focus of much attention. Before we get into today's post, I thought I would give you my few thoughts regarding this Mom, Maria, who you can find on FB here.
Wow, to achieve what she achieved with three little ones, two business, and everything else she has in here life is simply amazing. Here is the thing, she has obstacles just like the rest of us do. We all have situations in our lives we could easily uses as excuses, but rationalize them in our heads to be very solid "reasons" as to why we cannot do something, anything, whatever it is. The difference between this amazing mom and those who choose to allow their excuses to be their driving force and the reason "Why they cannot do something" is, she does not allow herself to have those excuses. She knows what is going on in her life and worked around it, over it, through it, under it, she did not allow herself excuses. She makes time for herself, heart, mind, body and soul. Things we all need and should be doing. Stop allowing yourself to use excuses. Figure out a way around them, be bigger than your problems.
If her picture and question invoke such feelings of hatred and anger for someone you do not even know, it is a simple picture with a simple question, I think you need to take a hug step back and ask yourself a few questions.
1. Why am I SO angry at someone I do not even know?
2. Why am I taking my anger out on her?
3. What is it that struck a cord SO deep within myself that I feel hatred, hanger, hostility towards this woman?
4. Did she make you face reality SO strongly, you want to take it out on her, but you are actually angry with yourself for what you have done to yourself, the excuses you have allowed to become your reality?
5. Maybe you need to seek some help to over come your own deep anger and hatred of yourself so you do not take it out on someone you do not know and is trying to be an inspiration.
6. You are the one who allows yourself to feel inferior to anyone else. No one can do this too you. Take responsibility for you and why you are giving this power to someone else. Take it back.

For women, we need to stop destroying one another, being our own worst nightmares. Instead, we need to build each other up, support one another, be there for one another through the amazing achievements and the struggles.Stop destroying one another.
For everyone, if you would not say something to someone in person, refrain from saying it in writing, whatever form that may take.

Onto today's scheduled post. Do you lift heavy? If you do not, you should. Here are some reasons why:
build muscle
improve joints
strengthen bones
have the ability to take yourself or someone else out of a dangerous situation
make everyday life easier
faster workouts

You might be thinking this is crazy, considering I have been talking all about body weight training. Well, body weight training is also a form of lifting heavy. Do you have the strength to do a pull up? A push up? Can you jump knee height, hip height? These are all fantastic forms of body weight training that are very difficult to accomplish. In fact, pull ups and push ups are considered to be some of the hardest exercises to do. When someone can do a pull up, heaven and earth will know about it.

Along with our regular body weight exercises, it is good to add in some extra weight, to push ourselves, strengthen and build muscle and bones. This is extremely important for us as women. As we age, we lose muscle and bone, equating to more fractures. An easy way to prevent this is adding in some weight bearing exercises along with some heavy things.

Heavy lifting can be as simple as carrying the laundry basket, your groceries, carrying as many grocery bags as you can at once, picking up anything and moving it around your house. Or, you can add weight to your regular exercises. As much as you can handle, safely. One of my favorite ways to do this is, carry a bag of dog food up and down my stairs, I try to run. Then I do squats with said bag. This is a workout, total body, plus a fantastic cardio workout.

Do you need to add weight every set, every rep, every time you workout? No. One day a week add in heavy weights. The rest of the time, do body weight. You will begin to notice greater changes in your body and at a more rapid pace. We need muscle to build the physics, bodies, we want.

I know women are always afraid of heavy weights, they believe by lifting heavy they are going to look like a body builder. NOT true. To reach that state, takes years of heavy lifting and I mean HEAVY lifting, pushing protein like it was going out of style, supplements, and many are doing dangerous stuff. It might not be steroids or banned ingredients for competitions, but I still question the safety of what some women maybe taking. We as women also do not have enough testosterone to build mass amounts of muscle.
I have also heard, women should not lift more than 20 pounds. Really? How much does your toddler weigh, or your friends? What about the laundry basket full of heavy winter clothes? Bulk items you might purchase, that bag of dog food? You weigh more than 20 pounds. If you think about it, this is absurd. We lift more than 20 pounds in our every day lives. By following this, you are going to cause muscle and bone lose, which will cause osteoporosis later in life, resulting in more hip fractures and a mirrored of other health issues. PLEASE for the love of all that is good, stop listening to this lie. Women need to lift and heavy.

For anyone looking to build some bulk and more muscle with body weight, like a competitive gymnast, here is a great link with you in mind. Enjoy!

I believe I have gone on long enough for this post. Go out and lift heavy! Find a rock, or a child you can through around, ask permission first, but I am sure the kiddo with love it! Enjoy your life and live it to the fullest.
Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
God's many blessings,
Jenn


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

October Moving Continues....Cardio

Otto, my hunter, running
And the battle rages on.... to cardio or not to cardio? Is it healthy? Should we be pounding the pavement? Do you need it for weight lose?
I will try to break this down easily, yes, yes, no, some. My thoughts.

I will confess, I am not interested in running a marathon, or even a half for that matter. The 5K I did, was more than enough for me. I am not a fan of distance running or for the matter, any type of exercise done for long periods of time taxing the heart and body. We should be able to walk for several hours, our ancestors did this most days, probably, hunting and gathering. However, walking at a slow pace, with stops, is far different than running distances, cycling hours on end, this type of movement is just not healthy. There is much evidence to support this and it is mounting, hereherehere or a little searching on Mark's Daily Apple. To sum up what these studies are finding, you can have permanent, long term heart damage, even from one marathon or distant event.
  Pounding the pavement can cause ankle, knee and hip damage that can result in replacement.
 Muscle lose. I am sure you have seen the pictures of a distant runner vs a sprinter, asking how you want to look. After approximately 20 minutes you begin burning muscle and not fat. Bad thing.  Upper respiratory infections at several a year.
 Cancer. Our bodies do not have the ability to cope with this much stress, mainly oxidative stress and this type of stress causes diseases, cancer being one of the big ones. Recall how many distance athletes end up with cancer and heart problems. It is many and those with heart conditions requiring surgery, pace makers implanted, ending a career, or death is mounting.

With all this info, does it mean we do not do any cardio? Not at all. Enter in smart cardio.
What I mean by this is moving slowly frequently. HIIT, high intensity interval training, intervals, sprinting, going for a walk or a slow bike ride being able to maintain a conversation and enjoy the beauty around you.
The beauty of training with HIIT and intervals, is you have a one fell swoop of a workout. You do your cardio and weights at the same time. Saving time and getting the maximum benefit from your workout. These workouts range from four minutes to about 20 minutes.
How HIIT or intervals are performed:
Do an exercise for 20 to 60 seconds as hard as you can.
Rest, or active recovery, walking, stretching, deep breathing for 10 to 60 seconds.
Repeat the cycle, anywhere from four to 20 minutes in length.
An advanced form of this is Tabata's, not for the faint of heart or the beginner. Do something like this that is between 30 to 60 seconds of exercise with the same amount of rest is a good place to begin. You can do this with any exercise, mix and match for a full body workout.

Some of the health benefits:
Save time
Builds muscle, including the heart muscle
Burns fat
Does not cause excessive amounts of stress on the body
Burns calories for hours after, even days
Only needs to be done two to three times a week
Release of good feeling hormones, those that help make you happy
Can be done anytime any where

A great time to go for a short walk is right after you have done a workout like HIIT. Strength training, like this is going to release the fat from you body, the cardio at this point will help to burn it up. This walk dose not need to be long or excessive, about 15 minutes at a light pace will accomplish the task.

Moving the body every day and frequently, is important. Try and go for a walk, with a friend is even better, every day, 20 to 30 minutes. This is healthy, but keep the pounding, grueling, excessive cardio down to HIIT and intervals 20 minutes two to three times a week. Your body will thank you. So will your waist line.

Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
God's abundant blessings
Jenn


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

October's Is About Moving


This is how I am moving!



How is moving more going for you? Did you try doing any of the basics movements from the video?
Did you try the workout? I sure hope you have at least tried.

Today we are going to talk about moving more frequently and over training. Let's begin.

Our bodies were designed to move, to be going from place to place, hunting and gathering food, playing and enjoying our lives. But in modern society, we spend most of our time on our butt's. This is killing us. I am sure you have heard this already, but we need to hear it again and again. Our bodies need to move. Movement helps move the blood and oxygen, brings nutrients and takes the bad stuff out, stabilize blood sugar, improves mood, the list goes on and on. The movement we need to be doing is frequent, low intensity type moving. Going for a walk daily, standing when we are talking on the phone, taking the stairs, for no reason other than moving, stand up and do 10 squats, it is about frequently moving the body, slowly. If you watch children playing, not sitting in front of some electronic device, you will see them be still for a time, then move sometimes fast and sometimes slowly. This is the more natural way of movement and what we are needing to incorporate into our lives to be healthier.
Make a commitment to yourself to move your body more.

As important as moving is, we do have to watch for symptoms of over training, which causes significant amounts of stress in the body. Over training is not going to be caused from moving like we talked about above. This is caused from excessive amounts of training.

Some symptoms of over training:
  • fatigue
  • inability to recover
  • not seeing the results you are looking for
  • insomnia
  • low sex drive
  • hormone in balances
  • irritability 
  • not able to complete workouts
  • soar muscles that just do not ever seem to improve 
  • working out hard every day
If you are experiencing some of the symptoms, you might want to think about resting for several days. If you begin to feel better, than over training is probably what is going on. Take a week or two or three off and then go back. Once you begin training again, if you experience any of these symptoms again with in the first week, take more time off until these symptoms subside. Begin concentrating on more frequent slow movement instead of hard training. Keep the hard stuff to 2-3 times a week for short duration, about 20 minutes a time will do just nicely. By doing this, you will lesson your chances of over training. Also, be sure to have scheduled into your program periods of rest. 

Go forth and move.
Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
God's abundant blessings,
Jenn
A VERY HAPPY Otto running 

Adorable Mungo Happy to be hiking


Monday, September 30, 2013

October's Challenge Begins....

I know wrong season, but you get the point of how varied body weight exercises can be and how to increase the difficulty. 
It's October!!!!! I think this is my favorite month, crazy that I have a favorite month, but I do and it is this month. So, with this being my favorite month, we are going to embark on one of my favorite things, working out. Throughout this month, your challenges will be focused on getting up off your butt and using it. I will also discus different types of work outs, benefits, draw backs, things to avoid, what to watch out for, the good, the bad and the ugly. Let's begin.....

For this first week's challenge, we are going to focus on basic movements, how to do them, their importance, and how to add them in.

We have been led to believe more is better, longer is even better, lite lifting is the way to go, especially for women, which leads people to think they need to be in the gym for 2 hours working out. Most of us do not have that kind of time or want to. If that is what you have to do in order to get into shape and have the benefits of exercise, then I am not going to work out.

None of this is true. You do not need to work out for hours, longer is not better, and lite weights are basically a waste of time. In fact, you do not even need to go to a gym to use all the equipment, body weight workouts, bww, are some of the best exercise to do. This can give you all the functional muscle you need and a fantastic workout all in 20 minutes. You end up with "go muscle, not show muscle".

I am not saying going to a gym is bad or weight lifting is a waste of time. I am letting you know, you do not need them. If you want to build bulk muscle and look more like a body builder, than yes you need to be in a gym pumping significant amounts of iron. Along with mass quantities of protein. Being that most of us do not want to look this way, bww are perfect. Your weight will provide the resistance you need to build muscle, obtain the physic you desire, go about your daily tasks with greater ease, all the health benefits of working out, along with the long term benefits of working out.

20 minutes three times a week is all you need.
More than this can actually do more harm than good, we will discus this in a later post.

Basic movements:
Pushing ~ push up
Pulling ~ pull up
Up and Down ~ squats
Back and Forth ~ lunges
Rotational movement
Planks
We are looking for 3-dimensional training, we are 3-dimensional beings, we live in a 3-dimensional world. Our bodies need to be prepared for this type of movement.

This is a great link to the "Four Essential Movements" as defined by Mark Sisson. He explains how to do push up, pull ups, squats and planks, with progressions.

With these basics movements, you can add to them, make them more difficult, add some weight, do any variations of them. You can make these as easy or hard as you want. It all depends on you and your fitness goals.

If you are a beginner:
as many push up as you can
10-15 squats
10-15 lunges
holding a plank as long as you can
Do one set to begin with. If later in the day you fill you have the energy, do another set. Wok up to doing 3-5 sets in a row with a 30 second to one minute rest.

As you progress, add more reps, try a variation to some of the exercises, most importantly, have fun. Working out should be fun. If you do not want to do an actually workout like this, than figure out something you enjoy and go do it. You have to just start moving.

For other ramblings and ideas on workout, here are a few other posts I have done on them, Body Weight Training and some thoughts about why you train.

It is not as hard as you would think. It is about making the choice you are going to do it.
Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
God bless,
Jenn

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

September's Finale Challenge

Well, you have made it through to the finale week of another challenge, whoot whooot! You should be proud of yourself. I am proud of you. I hope it has been a successful challenge.

We are going to end where we began for this month, taking time to be in silence with yourself. Try adding on more time, another five or maybe 10 minutes, you can always do more, these are just suggestions, to your time in silence of just BEing. Here is the link to that post if you would like to go back and re-read that post.

Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
God's many blessings,
Jenn

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

10 Things for the Day

How is slowing down going for you? I hope you are beginning to enjoy yourself more and reaping the benefits of not having so much going on in your life. It is nice to sit down and just be.

If you are still struggling with this challenge, never fear, I have a plan. This little exercise will help you to organize your day, slow down, see how much you accomplish, give you some space and time to just Be.

What you do it:
Take out a peace of paper and writing stick.
Write down 10 things you need to do today.
The conditions you only get 10. No More!!!!

Taking a shower and getting ready for the day, that counts as one.
Going to work, if you work, counts as one.
Cooking, that's one.
Running your kiddos everywhere, each time you leave, that counts as one.

As you can tell, this is going to help slow down your life. You might just find, you need to take some things out and slow down. I know at first this will be hard for some of you, but I promise, if you give it a go for a month, you are going to find the benefit and beauty in doing 10  things for the day. Give it a try and let me know how it goes.

Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
God's abundant blessings,
Jenn


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

While BEing Bored, Deep Breath

An exhausted sweaty me! 
I ran my first 5K last Saturday with my wonderful Hublet. Through his support, encouragement and knowing what I had deep inside of me to give, I won the women's division. Ran it in 24:24, not bad for my first race. Thanks Hublet.

Deep breathing is a very powerful and under used technique to help with a host of issues. Deep breathing is something I like to use to help calm me down, de-stress and find my way into the phase of just being. There are a host of powerful benefits to deep breathing. Including:

  • de-stressing
  • calming the mind down
  • relaxing the body
  • reduction in pain levels
  • increase in oxygen
  • and many more health benefits


Here is a link that explains how to use this powerful technique.

Give it a try for several days, a couple of weeks and let me know the health benefits you receive.
Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
God' many blessing,
Jenn


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

September Challenge: BEing Bored.....

The water fall and pond my Hublet put in. We love it!

Here we are at the beginning of another month. At least this time, we should be getting into cooler weather here in Utah. Yeah. I did notice yesterday while going for a run with my Hublet, that the leaves are beginning to change color. A very good sign that fall is near!

I am sure you are thinking I am crazy reading the title of this challenge? Yes, I am. Have you not figured that out yet? This month is about slowing down and being bored. I am not talking about being lazy and not getting anything done, but carving time out to just "BE". Slowing down from such an insane, fast past life and enjoying what you have around you.

One of the biggest things we hear today is: "I have to go out and find myself" I have to go and be crazy and try all this way out there stuff, things that could have dire consequences for you later life, to know who I am. We do not have to "go out to find ourselves", we need to go within to find ourselves. We have to go to the dark places, the demons we do not want to face, or acknowledge are there, be in silence, have time for our minds to just be and wonder in silence. This is how we find ourselves. But, if we are constantly going 100 MPH, have no time to stop and just be, how can we ever find ourselves? Then, we are told we have to go out and find ourselves, do all these stupid things, that is somehow how we are going to find our place in this world, our calling.

Stop believing the lie. Get off the train wreck that is barreling down the tracks to melt downs, not knowing who you, what you want out of this life, where your place is, confusion, self destruction, and whatever else is on that train. Stop believing you have to constantly be busy and going. Some how we have bought into thinking if we are not going all the time, in 10 different directions, we are some how lazy and not accomplishing anything. Really? Have you stopped to think what you are "accomplishing" on this crazy train? Are you accomplishing anything of value to yourself or those around you? Or are you just doing stuff because you have to be going all the time?

This month is about slowing down, enjoying the change of season, and finding out how to just BE.

The first week's challenge is to BE in silence for 10 minutes every day. This can mean being out side listening to the birds, the water fall, going for a walk in the changing woods, whatever you choose to do. But, what this does not mean is, NO electronics, NO cell phone, NO Electronics, NO one to speak with, No electronics, have I said that enough, silence. Turn everything off, including your brain of thinking about everything you need to do. This is time to just BE with yourself.

I know at first this will be difficult. But, in time you will come to enjoy this time alone. Time for your brain to decompress, wonder. You never know what great and amazing things you will come up with during these times. This is when I do all my best brain storming, when some of my best ideas have come, figuring things out.

Enjoy your time of BEing.
Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
God bless,
Jenn

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Last Week of Veggies

My jar of dill pickles. First time making pickles,
hope they turn out.....?

August is quickly coming to a close, can you believe it. This means we are approaching fall and the harvest season, my favorite time of the year. I love fall.

I hope this month's challenge has been good for you. You have found some new veggies you like, different ways of cooking them and improving your health along the way.

To go out with a bang this month, try eating fresh produce, either veggies or fresh local fruit with every meal. Every time you eat, you should have some veggies or fruit with your meal.

Stay tuned and on your toes because September is around the corner, which means a whole new challenge to help you achieve a healthier body.

Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
God bless,
Jenn

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

August Challenge: Lime, Fish and Shrimp Tacos

Well, how has your challenge gone so far? Finding new veggies you like? New Recipes? I sure hope so. If not, I am here to help!

I know it is fish and many people do not like fish, but I have had many people who do not like fish who really enjoy this dish and ask for the recipe. Give it a try.

What you need for the marinade:
White fish, I used talapia
Shrimp
Zest and juice of 2-3 limes
Minced garlic, 3-4 cloves
Small Shallot minced
White wine, either sweet or dry ( you can also use white wine vinegar)
Thyme, fresh is best, but you can use dried. Several sprigs of fresh or several good shakes of dried
Sea salt and pepper

Other ingredients I used:
Bell peppers
Onions
Spicy peppers
Lettuce for "taco shell"
Any other taco like items you like to put on, like guacamole, sour cream, cheese

What to do:
Mix together all of the ingredients except fish and shrimp for marinade, together in a bowl or shallow dish. Place fish and shrimp into the mixture and shake it around and allow to marinate 1 hour to over night, the longer the better. Bake the fish in the oven at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until it is firm and cooked to your liking. Saute the shrimp in a pan on the stove with butter, or you can do it in the oven with the fish.

For the veggies, all the peppers and onions, I cut them in large junks and grilled them. After grilling, cut into smaller chunks if you would like, and toss with olive oil and salt and pepper.






 Once everything is cooked and ready to go, assemble your taco on lettuce leafs and enjoy the fresh tasting yumminess! Doesn't that look tasty?!?! You and your family will be eating healthy, tasty food and not even realize it.

Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
God's many blessing,
Jenn

Monday, August 12, 2013

August Recipe... Squash Ravioli

How is August's Challenge going of adding more fresh produce? I hope it is going well. If you need ideas, be sure to check out Tuesday Recipe Posts because many of them have fresh produce in them. For this week, I thought I would give you a new recipe! It has been awhile. As a mark of goodness, it is Hublet approved.

Beings that August is all about veggies and last month we gave up grains for a time, here is a ravioli recipe. Instead of pasts, I used yellow zucchini squash as the "ravioli" and inside is meat and several fresh veggies. As a fare warning, this recipe does take some time to make, so I will give you an easier version as the end, no excuses.

What you need:
1 lb of ground beef, can us any type of ground meat
1 medium to large zucchini or 2-3 small ones
4-5 garlic cloves
1/4 to 1/2 onion
3-4 small ripe tomatoes
small bunch of fresh basil or to taste, dried use several tsp
sea salt and pepper to taste
splash or two of balsamic vinegar
3 medium to large red peppers
olive oil

Method:
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place red peppers on a baking sheet. I like to use parchment paper, makes clean up much easier. Once the oven is heated, put the peppers into the oven. About every 10-15 minutes, rotate peppers until all sides of the pepper skin begin to pull away from the flesh of the pepper. Some of the skin will be blackened, but the flesh will not be.

Take the peppers out of the oven and allow to cool until you can touch them. Remove the skin, steam, seeds and any bad spots you find once you open up the pepper. Put the pepper into a blender and blend with salt, pepper and several drizzles of olive oil until smooth. Place into a small sauce pan and keep warm.
While the peppers are roasting, chop or put garlic, tomatoes, basil, salt, pepper, balsamic and ground beef into a food processor, mix well until everything is chopped and mixed. If chopping, mix all of the same ingredients well after chopped. Allow this mixture to sit while you prepare the zucchini.
Pill the zucchini. If it is larger, slice in half. Use either a peeler or mandoline to thinly slice the zucchini. I have found with a large zucchini, slicing it in half gives you long enough slices to roll the meat in it. Once all thinly sliced, lay out 2-4 slices. If they are wider, I used two, if thinner, I used 4. If using 4, weave together, if 2, make a cross.


Put a dollop of meat in the center of the zucchini.


Then, alternate the ends over the top of the meat dollop until rolled up. Lay them on a baking sheet, again with parchment paper with the folded side down so it does not come unraveled.


Once the peppers are out of the oven, put the ravioli in. Bake for about 10-15 minutes, depending on how thick they are and how done you like your meat.
Take out of the oven and serve with the roasted red pepper sauce over the top and enjoy knowing you are feeding yourself and your family a healthy, fresh meal!

I served mine with this salad.
tomatoes
mozzarella cheese
olive oil
fresh basil
balsamic vinegar
fresh lemon
salt and pepper






A faster way to make this ravioli:
I would still roast the red peppers. Follow the instruction above for that.
Dice up all the rest of the produce. Mix the meat and produce together and put into a baking dish. Cover and cook until the meat is finished. Should take about 15-20. Drizzle the roasted red pepper sauce over the top and enjoy!

I hope you find this recipe tasty like we do.
Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
God's abundant blessings,
Jenn


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

August Is All About Veggies

Can you believe it, another month has already passed? Man time flies when you are having fun.

August's challenge is going to be much easier than some of them we have already done, like July's challenge of eliminating processed sugars. August's challenge is all about veggies!

If you have been reading my blog for any time, you know I am a big fan of veggies. I do believe they are important for us and foods we need. My opinion on the amounts and reasons has changed over the years and learning more. That is one of the great things about learning, or down falls of learning, you grow and opinions change. The humbling part is you have to be big enough to realize you were wrong or misguided in your thinking, and have to admit that.

For me, I love veggies, especially in season ones. The best are from my garden. Nothing like going out and picking fresh produce and eating it. Veggies provide our bodies with many nutrients. With that all being said, I am not a fan of vegetarian/vegan diets, nor will I promote them. If you were thinking that is where this month's challenge was going to go, of being a vegetarian or vegan, it is not. I do encourage you to eat more in season, properly prepared veggies, if they are right for your body, but not to become a vegetarian or vegan. If you choose to do so, obviously it is your choice and you need to do what you believe is best for your body and allow others to do the same for theirs.

The first week's challenge:
Go to a farmers market this week(end) and pick up some fresh, locally grown produce.
The second part, try eating one to two servings of veggies a day. If you already do this, then eat more.

Remember, with your veggies, be sure to eat healthy fat with them, like butter. The reason for this, butter will make your veggies taste better, more importantly, the vitamins and minerals from veggies are best used by the body in the presence of fat. Without the fat, our bodies can not fully unlock the power of all those veggies. I heard a quote from Sally Fallon one time and it went something like this, it is not the broccoli that is healthy for you. It is the butter you put on the broccoli that is healthy for you.

Saving the world one stick of butter at a time!
God's many blessings,
Jenn


Monday, July 22, 2013

Last Challenge for July....

Happy Anniversary to my Hublet! 
We started big for July with eliminating high fructose corn syrup, so why not go out with a bang as well? This challenge is going to be difficult, remember, I did worn you.
Are you ready.......
I challenge you, for the next 2 weeks to eliminate grains.

You might be wondering, July's challenge was to eliminate processed sugars, why grain. For many reasons, so lets break it down quickly. If you would like to read more of my thoughts on grains, go here, here and here

  1.  In our first challenge, did you read the labels on grain products and realize that almost every single grain product, like bread, rolls, bagels, anything in this isle, has high fructose corn syrup in it? It is true. Most grain products have HFCS plus other types of processed sugars in them.
  2. There are some very scary chemicals that are put into grains, from the bleaching processes, to chemicals added to decrease baking time.
  3. Grains today are devoid of their natural nutrition. They take out the most nutritious portions of the grain seed, leave the part that has very little to no nutritional value and then add in synthetic vitamins that our bodies do not recognize or know what to do with them.
  4. Wheat is not what it used to be. It has been genetically modified, stripped of nutrients and had dangerous "ingredients" added.
  5. Our bodies recognize grains as sugar in our bodies. By eating a lot of sugar, this puts the body in peaks and troughs of blood sugar which causes insulin issues which leads to diabetes. As well as heart disease, cancer, weight gain, mood swings and disorders, to name a few.


The list could go on, but I think these 5 items are a really good reason to try going grain free. It is one of those things, you can fight with me, hum and haw, think about it, and on and on, but until you try it, you will not know how your body is going to respond. It is something you need to try for a period as well. A week, even two weeks, is really not enough time to discover how your body would do eliminating grains. Maybe try this for six to eight weeks.

Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
God's abundant blessings,
Jenn

Monday, July 15, 2013

July's Challenge, Agave


How have the last 2 weeks been with eliminating high fructose corn syrup? Has it been harder than you thought? What was the most difficult thing to give up? What was the craziest thing you found HFCS in?

Lets role on with this month's challenge.
This week's challenge is to eliminate man-made, processed, refined sugars. Things like:
Aspartame,
Splenda,
Sweet and Low,
Saccharine,
Malts,
Ingredients ending in "ose" such as surcose, maltose, galactose, these are simple sugars and refined, mostly
Treacle
Agave
Just about any food you find on a shelf is going to have some type of refined processed sugar in it. This is why we avoid the aisles and purchase single ingredient items. When purchasing foods with more than one ingredient, make sure everything in it is whole food and you know what it is.

Reasons:
If you watched the videos from my previous post, you will remember how bad processed sugars are for us, the weight gain, mood swings, heart issues, and on and on. If you have problems with energy levels, check to see what you are eating. If it is a lot of processed foods with refined sugars in them, this is the reason. Our bodies burn through the sugar quickly, then our blood sugar crashes and our brains send signals that it needs to be nourished and fast. You are hungry again two hours after eating. These peaks and troughs in blood sugar lead to diabetes, cancer, heart disease, weight gain, mood swings. low energy levels and the list goes on.
Man-made sugars, like aspartame, are even worse. They have all these symptoms plus even more, such as tumors, nerve damage, insomnia, head aches, rashes and list goes on. That "diet soda" is NOT good for you.
Agave might surprise you being on my list of sugars to avoid. It has been touted as so healthy for you and switch all of your sugars to this instead. Not so fast. Remember from the video talking about HFCS and what it does to your body? Well, agave has even more fructose in it. HFCS is about 50% fructose, agave is 70% or higher! It is also processed, not natural. Here is a good post about agave.

In the end, this month's challenge is really just about eating whole, real food!
Happy eating!
Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
God bless,
Jenn

Monday, July 1, 2013

July's Challenge Is....?

Welcome to July! I always love July, long days, cooling in the evenings to be out playing, local fruits and veggies come into season, some of these are my favorites, the 4th of July, I love my country and celebrating the many wonderful freedoms we have here in the Great U.S.A. and mostly because it is the month of my wedding anniversary, awwww.

With all that fun stuff, I have an exciting challenged planned for you this month, eliminating sugar! It
will be a lot of fun, I promise.

The sugar I am challenging you to eliminate is not natural sugars, like fruit, veggies, good honey. No, I want you to eliminate processed sugars, man-made sugars. Those sugars that cause major problems in our bodies, like inflammation, weight gain, diabetes, heart problems and many others. We have five weeks to eliminate different types of sugars, with some you might not realize I am going to ask you to give up, for at least a week. Take note of how you feel, your energy levels, you rmood, sleeping patterns, today, write them down. Then, at the end of the month go back and see what has changed.

This week, we will start big, night as well, go big or go home is one of my motto's! To start us off, lets eliminate high fructose corn syrup. In the link provided, I have two videos talking about how bad this stuff really is for us. The first is apparently no longer available, sorry. The second one is jam packed with great information. Watch it! You might need to watch it several times to understand, that is just fine. To keep it all in my head, I have watched it multiple times along with the one from Dr. Lustig he mentions. I will link it again at the bottom.
I am sure most of us know HFCS is bad for us. But, did you know:

  • It is linked to obesity.
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Syndrome, people have to have liver transplants due to this, who have never drank!
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart Disease 
  • Gout
  • Diabetes 
  • Resistance to many hormones 
  • And the list goes on the more we learn

This stuff is in everything! I mean everything, sport drinks, soda, bread, cereal, just about anything you buy on the shelf. This is going to require you to read every label. I know it is going to be difficult, but I promise you it is worth it. Your liver will thank you.

Your steps for this week are:

  1. Write down how you are feeling, mood, sleep, fatigue, high blood pressure, anything you notice
  2. Watch the video as many times as you need.
  3. Read every label when you are shopping
  4. Eliminate this toxin

Good luck! This will be one of the best decisions you have made for your health.
Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
God bless,
Jenn






Monday, June 24, 2013

June's Challenge" Accepting Ourselves


Can you believe it, we have come to the last week of June's Challenge, already. How time flies.

The last week's challenge for June is about leaning to accept ourselves, our bodies, who we are, what we have and stop making excuses. I do not mean this to be passive, my body will never change, I cannot get out of my situation, I will always be at the bottom, nothing good will happen, I do not need to do anything. This kind of attitude is not accepting ourselves, truly loving ourselves. This month we have been learning to love ourselves first so we can make the changes we need to to become healthy, in body and mind. In so doing, we also need to learn to accept ourselves, what we cannot change, but change what we can.

One of the things we see in people who have lost weight rapidly, through surgery of some type or have not learned to love themselves first before losing weight, is they continue to see themselves as the overweight person they were before. Yes they are healthier because they lost the weight. But, emotionally and mentally they are not any healthier than before. They did not learn to love themselves first, accept who they are and then make life style changes. Remember that the reason you  should be making the changes to a healthy lifestyle is to improve your health and life, not for fear or a stigma. Then as the weight comes off and/or physical changes happen in your body, you will be able to see yourself in a more positive light and enjoy your success.

It is also about not using excuses any longer such as:
  • I have the same body shape and build as one of my parents, and I cannot change that. Yes, we do tend to put on weight the same way our parents do and we look like them, that is what genes do. However, you inherited their eating and lifestyle habits, that is why you are over weight like them. Own your eating habits and choices. We can change the expression of our genetics by our food, environment and thoughts.
  • I do not have time. We have time for what we make time for.
  • I have an injury, bad knees, hips, back, arthritis, whatever it is. Unless you are a quadriplegic, you can move your body, of course, check with your doctor first. Movement is very good for us and helps keep joints moving and fluid and a better outlook on life. Also, if you change your eating habits and begin eating healthy, real food, you will lose weight, less pressure on the joints. By avoiding processed junk food that promotes inflammation,  you will have less inflammation in the body, which equates to less pain, stiffness and swelling.
  • I do not have the money. You might be on a very limited income, but that does not mean you cannot choose healthy food. If you are not buying the junk, pseudo food, you will have more money to buy healthy food. Purchase in season foods. Grow a garden. Most of the time, purchasing a larger quantity of meat from a local farmer will be cheaper than the grocery store. Look around for what is available, be resourceful. Also, when we eat whole foods, we are full for longer periods of time and need less because our body is being nourished. 
  • Input your excuse here.
All of our excuses are signs that we do not think we deserve to be healthy and live a good life. This shows we are settling and need to work on our self esteem.

It is about being as healthy as you can be for your body, not any one else. It is about enjoying what you have, not envious of what others have, they might be envious of you. Always striving to be a better person, not settling and accepting whatever, but remembering you are an amazing person who deserves to be healthy and happy.

Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
You have to love yourself first before you can make any lasting changes.
God's abundant blessing,
Jenn


Monday, June 17, 2013

June's Challenge, Confronting Fear


If you were not afraid, what would you do?

I know, it seems very strange to be talking about fear with body image issues. But I promise, they do go hand in hand. Most of us fear change, success, failure, not being good enough, or the great what if....?  We allow this fear to overwhelm or consume us. When fear takes a hold of us, it can begin to control every aspect of our life and grow into something larger.

I am not saying fear does not play a healthy role in our lives sometimes, because it can. It can stop us from doing really stupid things. However, fear is like other aspects in our lives, we need to find a balance between a healthy fear and the unrealistic fear keeping you from loving your amazing self and accomplishing your dreams.

You might have very good reasons to be afraid of your body. Maybe you were abused sometime in your life. Maybe you already tried something and it did not work out. Maybe there was some tragedy. I do not know what your reason is, but you do. These are all good reasons to be afraid, not like yourself. But, no reason is a good reason to allow fear to consume you, keep you from moving forward, from loving yourself.

What specific steps are you going to take to move on?
What do you need to let go of?
Put a name, face, place, something tangible to your fears. We fear the unknown, past, present or future. Until we can put something tangible with it, fear is even scarier. Once we have a grasp on it, we can begin to work through our fear, chisel away at it little by little and build confidence. Once we begin doing this, we begin to realize, it was not as scary as we thought it was, we build confidence and begin putting it behind us.

The first step is always the scariest, but I know you can do it. You do not want to sit on the side lines any longer. You want to go on and love yourself.

Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
Love yourself enough to change.
God bless,
Jenn