Let’s Get Moving

Let’s Get Moving

No matter what nutritional plan you are on–I don’t like the word diet–none of them will work unless you include two things: water and movement.

Notice I did not say exercise. Not everyone can participate or likes or even wants to have a specific exercise routine. But all of us do move.

At least we should be moving to stay healthy, flexible, and strong. And to burn the calories we take in everyday from our nutritional plan. If we are not burning calories–our body stores them as fat–in the event we need them in the future.

If we don’t need those calories in the future and we do not burn them–they stay with us–forever.

Here is some good news:  Our bodies at rest do burn calories!  So we can basically just BE and we are burning calories.

(This calculator on the internet can give you and idea of how many calories you burn at rest each day.)

Here is the bad news: Our bodies at rest do not burn enough on a daily basis based on our consumption rate to keep us at a healthy body weight.

Of course, the more you move, the more you burn!  

So I do encourage everyone to embrace an exercise plan. Regardless of your age you can find an activity that you can incorporate into your life as exercise.

Walking, for example, is a wonderful exercise. It gets you moving, the heart pumping and the oxygen flowing in your body. There are countless gadgets you can use to track how much you walk–from telephone apps to watches, bracelets and clip devices you can have on you!

They count your distance in steps, miles or kilometers and can tell you how many calories you have burned each day! Some of these devices will even monitor your heart rate and whether or not you have climbed a flight of stairs!  Amazing!

Your goal would be to walk a little bit more each day than you did the day before to get some real movement into your life.

And, we shouldn’t underestimate all the other movement we do in a day too! Housework, gardening, mowing the lawn, laundry–that all counts (and burns calories!) especially if we are bending, lifting, walking, and climbing to do them!

A word about calories–Calories are a way to measure energy. We are, as humans, made up of energy. Calories is just the scientific measure of the energy in and energy out that makes up our physical, working bodies.

Anyone or any plan that tells you calories don’t matter when trying to balance your healthy intake and outtake of nutritional needs is not being completely honest with you. It matters–because YOU matter!

And so, the more you move–the more your body will ask you to move. And the more you listen to your body the better your relationship with your body will be.

After all–the longest relationship you will have on this earth is your relationship to yourself…and it is a very important one! We should make our relationship to ourselves a meaningful one.

Exercise and movement are one of the most important things you can do to stay healthy–in body, soul and mind.

Find your movement–whatever that is. Get moving and find people that will move along with you! You will be pleasantly surprised how much better you will feel and how much your body will perform. And along the way you just might help others get moving too!

We only have one life folks!  Let’s get moving!

However you decide to move today–have fun!

 

Creating the Home You Want

Creating the Home You Want

I am learning that decluttering is an ongoing process.  Although I have decluttered my house A LOT…I still have a long way to go.

In the process of going through things and keeping what we really love, we are also creating spaces in which we are comfortable.  After all, our home is our haven. While we enjoy having friends and family over for visits our primary goal is not to have a showplace but a comfortable space where anyone that comes will feel at home.

Of course, getting everything to look and feel this way is a work in progress and a very large organizational goal.

Each room should be decluttered and should focus on the function of the room.  For example, we should not have dishes in the bedroom or a hair brush in the kitchen.  

Here are my tips to organizing your home:

Kitchen:  The kitchen should be light, airy and clean.  There should be a place for all the pots, pans, dishes, cups, utensils, and pantry items.  Clearing off the counters of unused appliances, jars and other miscellaneous items will help your kitchen seem cleaner and larger.   If all your kitchen accessories don’t have a specific home or a place, then you have too much stuff in your kitchen.

Your kitchen is the heart of the home.  This is where most people gather and where memories are made.  Give yourself the space to make them.

Your kitchen is also where we prepare food and eat our meals.  It should be a place that is clean, bright and comforting. When we eat in a relaxed atmosphere we digest better and we feel better!  

Living Areas:  Our family room is where we entertain ourselves and others.   It is not a formal space, but strives to be one of comfort. Comfortable chairs and tables within arms reach make it easy to sit back with a cold drink or a snack and give attention to the people there and not the things.   

The living room is where we live in our down time, where we can relax, laugh, watch T.V. and play games.  When you are organizing your living room or family room, think about the activities that take place there and make sure there is designated furniture or items that enhance that not that just fill up the space.

The Home Office:  Not all homes have a home office–some have an office space but either way this is the home command center.  And while this is where I “work” at home, it is possible to make it a comfortable and functional area. A desk is essential as is your computer and a printer/scanner if you need one.  

Organizing a home office is imperative because this is the space that can get out of control–at least for me–very fast!  This is where the paper lives or better said–where it lives for a short time until you decide what to do with it. (See my tips for organizing paper here.)

So for my purposes–and I highly recommend one–your office should also include a shredder.  It is one of my favorite machines in the house!

Our office is a reflection of what we do there–pay bills, write, be creative and read.  Other than your desk, you may want to have a small sofa or comfy chair, a bookshelf and a place to keep important papers–in an organized system of course!

Bathrooms:  I have found that one of the smallest spaces in our home can contain the most “stuff”–read junk!  Not junk that is just to be thrown away but that should be addressed.

When I decluttered the bathrooms, I found bottles and bottles and bottles of shampoo, creams, moisturizer, hair products, vitamins, etc.  What helped me tremendously was to stop buying more of these items and using all that I have to 1) stop adding to the madness and 2) create space.

To organize the bathroom–treat it like a bathroom in a nice hotel. Keep it spotless and free of bottles and bathroom items on the sink top.  Use the things you need to use and put them away immediately. Wipe everything down each day (takes me about 20 seconds) and it will always look ready for its functions.

I’ve left the best for last—

Bedrooms: Again, like in a nice hotel–think sleek, clean, and functional. Keep your area free of extra paper, clothes, and shoes.  Our bedrooms is where our body, mind and spirit come to relax and rest after a day of our hurried run around lives. It is our quiet place. Create a space that is organized and can fulfill a restful experience for yourself.  After all we are worth it.

Organizing your home is a huge task–but one that is satisfying and will ultimately reflect who you are, what you find important, and how you want to live your life.

Enjoy the journey and have fun with it!

Solutions to Starting Healthy Eating Habits

Solutions to Starting Healthy Eating Habits

Everything we do effects us for the good or the bad. When it comes to our health many times we ignore or overlook these “effects” because they can be subtle.

After all, we don’t eat a fast food meal today and suddenly have clogged arteries and an extra pound around the middle…but over time and many fast food meals later–well you get the picture.

When we decide to change our habits the effects to our bodies will also be subtle and slow to show.

We should not expect to see solutions or magic immediately.  There is no magic shake, or pill or cleanse that will take the pounds off and make us look beach body ready.

Also, you cannot think of this change for your life as a one time diet or exercise routine until you are where you want. It will be an ongoing process–one that takes commitment.

That may sound hard, but it is really a beautiful thing to commit to oneself.

When we commit to change our habits and make this life change it is a sign of the self care and self love we all deserve.

And I do have some solutions that are not difficult and that everyone can do to get started, so let’s keep it simple:

  1. Eat the right foods in the right quantities
  2. Drink Water
  3. Move
  4. Get good sleep
  5. Repeat

Eat the right foods in the right quantities. What are the right foods? The closer to nature you can get the better.  Fruits and vegetables and salads should be a staple at every meal. If you eat meats–then try to get the best meat that is available to you.

The bigger part of the eating the right foods is to stay away as much as you can from processed foods.  That can be hard–especially after years and years of eating these things.

But it can be much easier–even if you cannot give up processed foods–if you watch the portion size.

The serving size of most foods are on the packages. Yes–the serving sizes seem very small when you start looking at them. But in reality they are just right. And your body will adjust very quickly!

So do you have to give up your favorite foods? Of course not! You just have to eat LESS of them.

Drink Water. Our bodies are made up of a lot of water and in order to function properly our cells need water. Simply said one of the easiest self care actions we can take for ourselves is to drink more water.

Move. In order to burn calories and keep our bodies in the best of shape we do have to move. You do not have to do a 4 hour work out each day. But you do need to get off the couch.  

If you don’t like to exercise–go for a walk. Anywhere. Get outside into the fresh air. Or add activities to your regular routine that can ramp up your movement. For example, folding clothes while standing up instead of sitting down will burn twice the calories. Activities such as gardening or cleaning the house also counts as movement–don’t underestimate yourself. Once you get your body moving it is easier to keep it moving.

Get good sleep.  Believe it or not if we are not sleeping well then our bodies are not performing at optimal levels. And it is causing our bodies to not burn calories the way it is meant to. Getting good sleep is essential to having good health.

Create a ritual and routine to getting to sleep at night. Turn off all the distracting images and sounds that keep our brain “awake” at least 30 minutes before you go to bed to help your body unwind.

Repeat.  When one day is done…start over the next day. Each day we complete these steps is one day closer to making it a habit. And as your body changes you will actually feel it. You will feel lighter, and less hungry, and better!.

What if you fall off the healthy wagon? Start fresh the next day. No need to give up or beat ourselves up for it. We are human and this is hard work. But we are worth it.

IF you have tried everything and it still does not work get someone to help you. There are doctors and nutritionists that can suggest different regimens for you and there are health coaches that can help you create the healthy habits you are looking for.

I enlisted the help of a health coach and it truly was a wonderful experience. Not only am I healthier but I have strengthened other parts of my life as well.  I believe in her work so much that I have gone back to school to become a health coach myself, so I can help people the way she helped me!

Creating healthy habits is a life change–not because it is difficult and challenging but because it will change your life for the better. There are many people around us that would discourage us from bettering ourselves–I’ll talk about them in my next post.

Remember whatever you choose to do–choose it for yourself and have fun with it!

Comment below:  What is the biggest hurdle holding you back from committing to this self-care?

You Are What You Eat

You Are What You Eat

There has never been a truer phrase–you are what you eat. Many of us eat all that is around us. And then we accept that our bodies feel sluggish and bloated and uncomfortable.

Worse yet we are all going towards being part of the statistics that list the highest incidence of diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease in the history of the United States.

Unless you make a change.

For the last several years I have really been watching what I eat.  I have become very conscious of ingredients and labels and portion sizes.

When I started “eating healthy” what I was really doing was NOT eating certain foods.  I knew for example, that I was eating too much sugar. So I really cut back to basically no white sugar at all.  

I found that I did not miss it. I was really used to having sugar in my coffee each morning.  Two spoonfuls of sugar! Instead I bought stevia packets and use one. It was just about changing the habit of what I was doing.

At work, I realized, many co-workers would bring food in to share on Fridays–donuts were a big favorite. The first time I ate one after going “off” sugar I got a horrible headache and stomach ache and soon after felt completely deflated like I needed a nap!

I never realized how much sugar had affected my system. And as I investigated further–I found that there is sugar in everything! Even ketchup has sugar!  I could not believe it!

Not only do most foods contain sugar–it contains sneaky sugar because it is called by a dozen (or more!) different names–corn syrup, corn sweetener, dextrose, fructose, glucose, lactose, maltose, malt syrup, sucrose and evaporated cane juice–just to name a few.

But sugar was just the tip of the iceberg. Meats. I love meats but when I started learning about farm practices and how animals are given antibiotics and growth hormones and fed GMO corn to fatten them up–well YUCK! And the chickens! Don’t even get me started on the chickens!

For a while I could not eat any meat. But I was also not a vegetarian. With time and some additional learning–I was able to find free range chicken and different meats that were not processed or that came from places where the ranch practices were not questionable.

The search for the best foods available is a journey in itself. But I am committed to my health and the health of my husband–and so we look for the best foods we can find.

Still–these are big changes and they are not easy.  But we are what we eat–so it is important to care about ourselves enough to investigate what is best for us.  That may mean a different thing to each person.

I am not advocating that we should all wake up tomorrow morning and never eat in a fast food restaurant again or give up meat entirely or swear off eggs. I am encouraging you to think about what is going into your body though.

We sometimes buy organic, but not always because how do we really know if something is organically grown or not? Especially at the grocery store. Farmer’s Markets are a better source if it is available to you. But we do buy more fruits and vegetables than before and eat more salads in general.

Our portion sizes are smaller, we drink plenty of water and herbal tea (hot and iced–we live in Texas after all!) We have drastically cut back on breads, chips, pasta and dairy products.

And we didn’t die! In fact, we feel good! We do not feel deprived of anything and we don’t go hungry. If we feel like having something, we have it–in a reasonable portion size. And we feel satisfied and full.

So we definitely are what we eat! Our bodies are wonderful machines that we have abused for the sake of convenience.

If you are really interested in living a healthier life–we have to change the habits we currently have around food. Habits are hard to change especially in the run around hurry up life we are in.

But there are some solutions that I will discuss in my next post to bring us closer to eating as healthy as we can and having the healthiest habits.  

What has been the one go to food that you feel you could not let go of? Are there foods you would not miss if you stopped including them in your diet?  Comment below and let me know what you think…

And until next time–have fun!  

Time For Health

Time For Health

Being healthy-the stage of health you want to be in–is whatever you define it as. For some people that may be to lose those last 10 pounds we have been carrying around for the last decade. (Guilty)  For others, a health goal may be getting stronger, more flexible or more physically fit. Still others may want to rid themselves of headaches, allergies or digestive disorders.

Whatever your final objective, being healthy is going to depend on what your definition of health is for you. Getting to your healthiest self though, will take commitment and time.  Once you reach your healthiest self–staying that way also takes commitment and time.

So where do you find the time in our busy run around lives to “get healthy”?  As with anything we truly want–once we decide we TRULY want it–you have to make it happen!

Positive thoughts are beautiful and I recommend them highly, but we must follow them up with action. We need to give something up that is taking up our time to create this health we want.

Don’t worry–it’s not as bad as it sounds because usually we are really not “giving up” anything–we are just changing our priorities–and habits.

The first thing I did when I was looking for extra time was I pulled out my calendar.  I committed appointments to myself for the next six months to go to the gym and work out at least 45 minutes every other day. If my “gym appointment” landed on a weekday–the workout would have to be after work. On weekends I could be more flexible–depending what other plans were already in the works and to accommodate for Church on Sundays.

Either way–I made a commitment to myself. And having it on my calendar helps me honor my own time–my own goals and my own priorities.  

Another plus of putting these “gym appointments” on my calendar was an unexpected one: when a colleague asked me to attend an additional work function one evening, I could honestly say: “Thank you for thinking of me, but I already have a previous engagement that evening.”

So not only did I “find” the time to add in these workouts–but it helped me not “lose” time attending a function that would not add value to my life.

How many times have you left a meeting thinking: “That’s 40 minutes of my life I will never get back!”

Another way that I am finding time for my health is to get organized. We all have a multitude of tasks we have to complete to survive ie. live this busy run around life of ours: grocery shopping, paying the bills, scheduling doctors and dentist and hairdresser appointments and tasks that are required to maintain our homes.

I am learning ways that I can automate some of these so it frees up some of my time. Other things–you guessed it–go on my calendar.

So if I forgot an ingredient for a recipe or we run out of milk–we just do without until our next scheduled trip to the grocery store. Bingo! More time.

I think for a long time I kept very “busy” to avoid looking at my health goals in the face. After all, “I don’t have enough time” is a plausible excuse right? Not really–not for us who have decided to value our health.

And for those who are telling us they have no time to exercise–well we nod and smile and accept that they are just not in the same place we are right now and that is okay. Someday they will remove that barrier for themselves. Hopefully.

What time constraints do you find yourself with? Is the television or the internet eating up your clock? Comment below and share with me some of the time obstacles you are facing. I would love to hear from you!

As always remember–we all have the same 24 hours each day–have fun with them!

Decluttering the Mind, Body and Soul: Self-care for our Body

Decluttering the Mind, Body and Soul: Self-care for our Body

To continue on my decluttering journey–Part 2 of Decluttering the Mind, Body and Soul is going to be about our body!

You might ask me how I can possibly declutter my body?  My body is not cluttered!  But our bodies are, at least mine is–a little bit.

What I think about when I think about a cluttered body is really not treating myself well for optimal health. We don’t get enough sleep, drink enough water or eat the right things to keep us at our best.

Over time these bad habits we have created start to make us feel fatigue, stress and many times add a few unwanted pounds to our bodies. All this clutters our bodies–and slows us down.

I know personally, I have been trying to “declutter” the same 10 lbs for the last several years!  They don’t seem to want to go!  But it is time to get rid of them!

And this really comes down to self-care.

I know! I know! Self-care is such a “trendy” term!

What does it mean anyway? Well, really you can define self-care any way you want because it is all about YOU!  And that is what is important!  

Self care, to me, is about being in balance with my physical body. It is about eating better and getting some exercise. It is about grooming and looking good.  Because when I look good–I feel good!

Why don’t we take better care of ourselves?  Because we are busy and we have created a lifestyle of quick, fast and on the run!

So in this new life I am creating, I am going to make sure I make time for myself each day to look good.   I intend to plan good meals, go to the gym a few times a week and block off time to pamper myself.

The hustle and bustle of working, raising children, keeping the house etc. may fill our timetables and calendars but if we don’t put ourselves first, then who will?

Put yourself on the calendar–reschedule other things if you need to.  We always find the time for things that are important to us.  What can be more important than being the healthiest you, you can be!

Self-care often gets set aside while we are busy meeting the needs of others.  That proves that deep down we are selfless and enjoy helping and caring for the well being of those we cherish  in our life.

And while that is a good thing, imagine how much more we can do and help if we felt healthier, well rested and in a word–happy–with our bodies!

I am so excited to “declutter” my body to promote my well being so I have the energy, stamina and the desire to be active during this wonderful adventurous life!  Join me won’t you?

Do something nice for yourself today–your body will thank you!

Make a comment below:  What kinds of self-care do you practice?

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