Apples and Cookies

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Because I’m a runner I often feel like people either think I don’t ever have dessert or that because I work out I get a free pass to eat all the dessert I want. It can be tempting to want to use the excuse that because, “I’m a runner” I can eat cookies to my hearts content for dessert every night. Sure, they’re made with brown rice flower and
sprinkled with anti-oxidant powered vegan chocolate chip and dates. However, that doesn’t give a green light to gorge.

We’re all human and when the urge strikes to over eat on a treat, try finding an even healthier, less processed alternative. After hitting my cookie limit and still having a need for a sweet bite, I found an apple. Knowing the apple alone would not fix my cookie craving, I sliced a sliver of the apple. Then I dipped it in a mix of peanut butter, chopped dates, and chocolate chips. A few slivers satisfied me and I felt like one smart cookie for eating that apple! ~trvw

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Resolutions Really Work

20130113-093259.jpgIt was surprising to see a TV promo the other day where Dr. Oz said he loved the idea of making resolutions. He claimed, “About half the people who make New Year’s resolutions will be successful or will still be on them in six months.” Even if you’re skeptical, give it a try. There’s only strength to gain and bad habits to loose. The most important thing to remember is that you do not need the calendar to say “January 1” in order to set a goal or make a resolution. Now is always the perfect time to improve your health. ~trvw

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Nourishing You And Yours

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Nourishing yourself has benefits beyond your initial consideration. When you eat well and exercise, your mental focus improves. Your mood improves and the people around you get inspired by your desire to live the best life you can. Your kids will practice the lifestyle that you are living out daily; don’t you want them to mirror healthy habits? Nourish you and yours with rich health and wellness and the benefits will flourish. ~trvw

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Buying Local

Now that everyone is going green, then next economical stride in the right direction for mother earth seems to be buying local. Right away it sounds like a no brain benefit for helping the community. Naturally people want jobs to come to their town and it always feels less guilty to pay more for a product because they are “buying local” – right?

After a great conversation concerning a new local cafe, I was curious about the “buy local” fad phrase. After scanning two contrary articles, I have summarized my thought process thus far to be this: it’s much like everything…do your homework! Buying local has great benefits but you can be misled as well. Globalization has great benefits, too, and might be getting a bad rap.

The comparison reminds me of the fight between modern and holistic medicine. Sometimes it’s like “green” folks should feel bad for choosing to use modern medicine. While I would love to see more research go toward natural therapies, I am very grateful for the medical advances that we have access to in our country. I am also happy that I am free to research, educate, and select the most balanced choices that help me live a great life and in turn make the world a better place for those that follow and that are here now.~trvw

Please take some time to compare and contrast the ideas about buying local by reviewing these articles:

Sustainable Connections

The Bollard

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Motivation vs. Will Power

A wise man told me that there is no such thing as will power, only motivation. If we are motivated to have a desired outcome then we will find the will power to make it happen. This can apply to many things in life, especially when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. You might think that you just don’t have any will power when it comes to chocolate cake. When you see it and smell it, you just have to taste it…several times. Really?? What about having the motivation to fit into the appropriate size clothes, or the motivation to walk up stairs without wheezing? Will the idea of having great blood pressure motivate you enough to skip the second slice of pie for dessert?

Teaching your kids, co-workers, or friends that living healthy is achievable and maintainable can be beneficial to motivation you, too. It can help keep you honest about your food choices or the time you spend exercising.  You can encourage each other by making healthy choices and sticking to them as a team – a team always looking for new members to inspire!

It isn’t about being an Olympic athlete. You don’t need to give up your day job to log miles and keep a nutrition diary to be fit. (Some folks enjoy that as hobby though.) It is about finding something that will motivate you to want to be healthy. You are worth the effort and it’s an act of selflessness – NOT selfishness – when you take the time to take care of yourself. Do it now, because you can. -trvw

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Fast Food

cerealCooking is not my favorite pastime. Every now and then I like to experiment and some of my favorite concoctions have come from playing around with food.  When I’m hungry I don’t want to spend time trying to create some masterpiece dinner. I want to throw it together and enjoy.

Breakfast can be pretty quick with so many cereal options. It doesn’t have to be boring either. One of the best ways to spruce it up in a healthy way is to strip it down and start over. Like oatmeal. Go with the plain, rolled oats and build in flavor and nutrition with fruit. A lot of the prepackaged, grab and go foods are loaded with preservatives and fluff ingredients that your body can’t benefit from.

When you are adding ingredients to a dish, stop and consider why you are adding it in. Are you doing it for flavor, texture, a particular nutrient? If you can’t justify how it benefits your body then don’t use it. Try to find a better substitute.

Over the years I have found a good deal of sugar substitutes, meat alternatives, and many other ways to change up recipes.   I’m no chef by any means but I’ll list a few ideas that maybe you can try. Perhaps it will spark a delicious culinary creation that you can share. Eat up. –pm

Cinnamon – raisin roll

Flour or whole wheat tortilia

Spread apple butter, dash cinnamon, add raisins

Roll up and eat warm or chilled

 

Oatmeal #1

Old fashion rolled oats

Use water-more for runny, less for thicker

Heat in microwave

Add chopped dates

 

Oatmeal #2

Old fashion rolled oats

Use water-more for runny, less for thicker

Heat in microwave

Flavor with Splenda Coffee flavor packet, or sugar-free syrups

Add raisins or dates – both

 

Flakey Oatmeal

Corn flake cereal

Sprinkle Old fashion rolled oats

Splash in cold water-enough to make the oats pasty and stick to the flakes like a granola

Add plain splenda

Add raisins

 

 

 

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Show Me Love

rockandwaterMany people do things to show love and respect for their significant other. Helping with chores, errands, work are nice ways to show that you care. Wearing a certain outfit or cologne that appeals to them has a double benefit for you and your partner. How about the way you care for your health?

Many people think that when they are taking time to fit in a workout or schedule a doctors appointment that they are being selfish. Contrary, the exact opposite is true. The people that love and care for you want you to look and feel your best. If you neglect basic health management then you are actually sending the message that they are not a priority. Think back when your mom or dad had the flu when you were a kid. Didn’t it seem like the universe was out of whack? SuperParents don’t get sick! It wasn’t fun to see your parents out of commission and it was even worse when they wouldn’t stop to get the rest that they needed. If they would just slow down and rest up then they would get better faster and life would be better for everyone. It’s not that they were intentionally trying to perpetuate the situation; they most likely felt they were doing the right thing by not taking time for their own well being. If you said to your ill parent, “hey please rest”, and they refused, did you feel like your feelings were discounted?

Don’t discount the people that care about you. Care for them, respect yourself and manage your health. You will manage the rest of your life better when you feel better. -pm

 

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Milk is for Babies

You might be surprised to learn that the vegan diet is not unheard of to many top performing athletes. Here’s a quick list from wikipedia:

Many people are afraid of what they might be giving up if they commit to a vegetarian or vegan diet.  Surprisingly, many find that they discover a way of living and eating that they were missing out on. Recovery fuel is very important after a workout. Several athletes turn to sports drinks to replace electrolytes and restore glycogen that gets depleted during activity. For a while milk was campaigning that it was the perfect way to recharge after a workout. It’s not.  Nor is it a prime selection for the average human being.  Just for a moment, forget everything that you’ve been brought up believing about milk.  Now think about your strong, energetic dog who can play fetch endlessly without growing as tired as your pitching arm.  When Fido was a puppy he drank milk from his mother.  The puppy drank dog’s milk; not cat’s milk, not cow’s milk, or any other milk produced by any other animal. Once Fido grows out of the puppy stage and can safely survive without his mothers milk then he gets his nutrition from solid food sources and when he is thirsty – yep, water.  No, he doesn’t go seeking out any milk sources from any other living being.

Then same goes for all animals.  Babies need their mothers milk, but beyond that they survive and thrive without milk products. Milk allergies are actually very common in adults. The idea that a person’s nutrition or sports performancde will suffer with out milk is a false notion.  There are plenty of nutrients in the fresh diet that athletes and active people should be consuming.  Check out the Vegan Athlete for ideas.  Vegetarian Sports Nutrition is a book that suggests meal plans for activities ranging from endurance sports to bodybuilding.  Even if you are not wanting to go vegan, variety it the spice of life.  Please your palate with something new and don’t be afraid to question what and why you put something into your body.  Just because it’s been done for decades doesn’t mean it has to be done anymore. Viva vegan, viva happy! -pm

“When you have no restrictions you have less options” -David T. Wilcox on being vegan.

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A Dash of This and A Pinch of That

I was brought up to be a label reader. Both of my parents were careful about what we ate and taught us kids to be aware of what was in food and drink. It gets easier as you learn the the lingo – who knew sugar has more names than “Diddy” ? The practice came in handy but certainly never ends. Every time I think I’ve gotten quick and slick at zoning in on what to look for and what to avoid, something gets added to the yes or no list. For example, not long ago I learned that particular condiments use Worcestershire sauce which is usually made with anchovies (a type of fish). This information is extremely valuable to anyone allergic to fish or who is a vegetarian. I’ve even found “hidden animal” in vitamins and supplements. It doesn’t stop there, bath and body products are no exceptions. Do you know what is in your pets food and treats? Basically anything with an ingredients list is up for investigation. So buyer beware! Do your homework. There is a lot of helpful lists out there that you can take a with you to the store. You will get the hang of it. Hey while you’re at it, ya might as well start learning the jargon for “going green”. -pm

Here are a few interesting sites with helpful bits. There are tons out there so don’t stop with these!

Caring Consumer
Celiac.com
Gorgeously Green

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