Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Time to Eat!

 

I refuse to eat fast food, if I don’t have the time to prepare a meal then I would rather do without.

I admit the first time I read a cook book and saw phrases such as put in oven for 60 minutes or use fresh garlic gloves, well I was like who has that kind of time?! It turns out I do and my hunch is you do as well.

I walk in the door from work and first thing I do is preheat my oven and starting dicing veggies or making up a salad while the rest of the meal is in the oven. Its no different then when you go out for dinner and order a steak.

I love smelling the food in the kitchen or out on my bbq grill, it gets your body ready for the food your about to it. I keep learning all the time and I ask other people who cook for ideas. I called my mother and had her show me how to make my favorite meals she made for me growing up.

I take pride in working in the kitchen and coming up with something new. I have learned how to enjoy a glass of wine and savor the time when I sit down to eat.

Some basic things I add to a lot of my meals: grilled onions,garlic, peppers ,ground pepper and sea salt. For oils I only use extra virgin oil or coconut oil.

Such simple little changes in my life make be a happier person and I feel a healthier person as well.

It’s not my  position to tell anyone what they should be eating , I’m just sharing what I have learned. Slow food that you make fills more than just your belly.

 

Peace and Love all!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Body beautiful

 

Hello All,

Just some ramblings on body image as I wonder on my path to a better life.  The human body is an absolute marvel to behold and if treated right will respond in kind with helping you do all the things humans do  like climbing stairs, lifting heavy things, breathing etc..

We allow media to dictate so much to what we should be like its very easy to forget the most beautiful thing is an individual.

We live in age where a young girl who is tall and lean has her makeup done by professional artists, then photographed under ideal lighting and at last photo shopped so no blemish or unwanted curve appears and it presented on a glossy magazine cover and the world says yes this is a real natural beauty. The end results are  real girls of all ages feel they are ugly and do not measure up.

I watched a body building documentary the other day and it was funny to watch these guys just before they go onstage and they not only get tan applied but they had their helpers wiping their bodies with a bronzer paint so the muscles looked “better”. 

On one hand I believe in wear what you dig, life is short go rock that hat or leather boots ..but when it comes to your body it should be about health.

Science has made much of a face that is symmetrical is more appealing and I’m sure that there is something to all of that, but when I look around I see beauty comes in all sizes and shapes.

I have found what is beautiful, is the imperfections we have and what what we do with what we have. The struggle should be to feel valid in our own skin not to blend into a crowd of mannequins (which are creepy –Twilight Zone episode anyone??). No one on the planet can decide for me what or who I feel is beautiful, I will make that choice myself. Beauty is truth and reality,when all else is stripped away and the results that shine too me are the people who understand that its not about a dress size or the amount of muscles you have…its celebrating all that is you.

Don’t wait for the slow song folks, the dance has begun!

 

Peace and Love all 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Lewis and Clark trail Weldon Springs MO

 

My cousin Heather and I along with two dogs decided to take on the Lewis and Clark trail in Weldon Springs MO. We chose an exceptional nice day in February when it climbed up into the low sixties and the sun was shining bright.  You have the choice of two trails one is 8 miles and the other is five miles. We chose the five mile  and off we headed. The trail heads are marked Lewis or Clark and every now and then a marker is planted to remind you where the trail is. We crossed through an open plain and followed the trail over a creek and for the first mile or so we never saw another soul. The ground was hard and bits of ice could be seen here and there.

Eventually we started to see hikers coming towards us and we would ask how close are we to the river bluffs. The web site said there is a spectacular view of the Missouri river along the bluffs and a modest climb here and there.

Somewhere about the first hour into the hike we came across the mud. My assumption is the ground had being frozen the past few weeks and this sudden warm day started to thaw everything out.

I was walking my pals pit bull Sadie and she was like having a small engine pulling me through the muck and mire.

 

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At long last we could see the river peeking through the trees and a vista soon appeared that makes every moment of the hike worth it.

 

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You will find several small overhangs along the bluffs where you will find and outstanding a view of the river.

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We stopped to take some pictures and enjoy the view knowing we still had two or three miles to walk back. Here’s where the challenges came in. The mud was now thick and filled with puddles and we crossed several long tricky passages where one really had to watch their step.

One or two hills that I would not think of  twice about, now brought us to a crawl because of the thick mud. Still along the way we met several hikers all very cheerful and sharing info about the mud or how much further to a nice view.

Three hours later we arrived at the parking lot where we had started and I was left wondering how nice this would be if it was not muddy. I have heard the bugs can be harsh in the summer..I will find out because I can’t wait to try it then. As far as tips it goes without saying wait until the ground is dry. When I go back I will take a walking stick and bug spray. I’m sure I will go early and do the entire eight mile path. In spite of the mud I really enjoyed the trail. Plenty of changes along the paths to keep it interesting and a lot of history you read about later on around this area.

It might be a bit long for some people but I found it ideal for a day hike.

 

Peace and Love

 

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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Keeping status quo

 

If you could snap your fingers and have any persons physique, just how long do you think you could maintain that persona without changing your unhealthy habits?

I think if that was possible it would be just like a drunk driving a brand new Porsche off a cliff..it would start off looking great and very soon would be at the bottom of the heap.

If you know someone who is fit and healthy study their ways for awhile. You will find that they watch what types of food they eat, they have a regular workout plan and they do everything they can to maintain each day. This a life style not a diet for 30 days or three days of only drinking water and licking a head of cabbage.  This is about living a good life as opposed to existing in denial.

Some people are so good at their natural ways of staying healthy its second nature to them and the same goes for the unhealthy people. Some examples I have noticed in my office building:

One lady I know always has a small bag of her own homemade trail mix on her desk. Three or four grapes,a small handful of almonds and a pear or a banana. She takes the stairs through out the day and parks further away at the back of our parking lot. She has a water bottle  she fills up through out the day and she belongs to gym where she does an aerobic workout a few days a week.  She just turned 60 and looks twenty years younger .

Another lady ,also on our second floor parks as close as she can to the building, walks in the front door everyday day with a  fast food drive through breakfast, takes the elevator up the one floor instead of the stairs , has a large candy jar all year round on her desk and only gets up when its her time to go on a smoke break. She has one of  her friends pick up fast food for her for lunch. She is under 25 and blames “life” for making her fat!

Both of these ladies are set in their daily routine by habit and choice.

One man I work with had a health scare and decided it was time for a change, he has a very busy schedule so he took a look at his day and traded staying up late watching TV for going to bed and hour or so early so he could go to the gym before work.

Nothing has to be extreme, just start out trading good ideas for bad. You will find yourself feeling better every day.

Everyone will slip from time to time, the worst thing you can do is beat yourself up,a better tactic would be to remember how you felt after you slacked off for the next time you get tempted.

The main point of this rambling mess is its not enough to lose weight and gain muscle , it must be maintained.

 

Peace and Love all

Saturday, January 31, 2015

On your bike!

 

When was the last time you rode a bike? As a kid for me it was my first taste of freedom , to be able to wander the streets and ride to our local park. This was the early 70’s and banana seats, sissy bars and the cool bike was a Stingray with a shift gear. When I was a teenager it became the Ten speed with ram handle bars and if you got a flat tire you hoped it would not be the rear tire because it looked like a lot of work.

Time goes by and everyone is driving and who needs a bike?You might see some guys riding little dirt bikes here and there doing all kinds of stunts,but in my crowd a bike was something to add to your garage sale.

Things have changed and now there are bike trails everywhere, lanes included for bikes and parks with long sweeping paths.

So you can walk into a bike shop like I did with a couple of hundred bucks and say “let me see your best bike!” I actually said that back in the late eighties. The clerk points out an Italian sleek model with a tiny strip that's supposed to be a seat. “ This is a blah ,blah and its on sale for more then Porsche!!”  I was young and it was my first taste of bike snobbery. Same as cars and guitars and every other hobby you will run into the snobs. 

I bought the best bike I could Afford and my friend drove me to the store and I remember I lived less then two miles away and I said “hey thanks for the ride but I will ride my bike home”.  I got on the bike and it felt so odd to ride a bike again, I was about 23 or so and it felt odd. I rode home and was so out of shape I threw up when I got home. I did not look at the bike for a few days. I then figure if I rode out 2 and half miles I would have to come home and therefore I would ride five miles. What happened was after a few days I was riding five miles out and getting 10 miles a day. On weekends I would ride ten miles out to a big park and ride all day at the park and then come home and find out I was riding 70 plus miles.

I then settled down to married life and the bike was stowed away…

A few years ago when I started my weight loss journey I decided to get back into bike riding along with all the other changes I made. Now at 51 I found that bike riding has the same taste of freedom I felt as a kid.

A few things to keep in mind if your a novice or been off a bike for ten years or more. Bikes have really improved and you can find a decent comfortable bike for under $ 200.00 or so.

Trails are everywhere now.

You will burn more calories then running with less damage to your body.

Its a wonderful stress buster.

Its fun!

But!!! it  will take a week or so to get your butt in shape, flat out your ass is going hurt when you first start.

I have found after week I feel good and I look forward to my rides. I use to track my speed and distance but now I just enjoy the ride.

I find anything over five miles is fine, less then five is not much of a workout for me anymore ( funny thinking back how 2 miles made me throw up).

I like to ride a comfortable 12 MPH but every now and then I go all out for a mile or so just to see what I can do. On any given ride I will see a fellow bike rider and think we alone are on a bike race for a championship (now this is all in my head but it makes me work hard) and I will race pass the person and go all out. The result is I feel amazing and its fun.

 

So if your looking for some fun, a good work out but easy on your joints , then maybe its time to get back on your bike.

Peace and Love all

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Excuse me, but who are you?

 

 

I find it interesting on how we define ourselves,because that plays a large part on who we become. 

I spent the first decade of my marriage trying to make ends meet and still keep up with the Jones's of the world.   I allowed myself to be judged by everyone else’s standard and for my efforts I was rewarded with obesity and depression. All of which were my fault for letting some outside source dictate too me the meaning, not just of life ,but rather the meaning of my life.

Out of the blue my wife wrote me a letter one day  that I will never forget. It was simple, a little check list to remind me of who I am, of who I want to be. At the same time I was turning 40 and my Aunt in England called and said “well life begins at 40!”.  So simple and perfect, just what I needed to hear out loud.  I wrote my wife back a letter as well as reminded her who she is and who she wanted too be.

We remind our children that as shocking as it seems we are also people. I will never again let myself be placed into a category again where  I don’t follow my heart. If you are very happy and content in your life then bravo and perhaps you might share with others what you have learned. If your not however then I think its time you consider who it is you want to be.

Its very important to find your passion and follow it, your only limited by your efforts. Some examples from my world.

One of the things my wife wrote me was “See your self as a musician with a day job”. The problem I was having with that was I OK with sitting around in my basement picking out a Beatles song or a Led Zeppelin riff but I’m not an entertainer at all ,so the stage was not a place for me. The solution for me was a home studio. Here was a spot in my house where I could release every creative thought I had and challenge myself. The result of this effort was I made a CD called “Cellar Door” and called myself “the basement gypsies” (now on ITunes and Amazon got to do the plugs).

My wife had a similar passion with photography that gave way to family needs and the camera equipment was all sold. Times change  and now enter the digital era and before long we set up a small business we call “Shona Skye Creative” in which my wife Kristy and our partner Jay Swisher are taking photography to a new level so anyone can get afford artistic family photos , landscapes and fine art. (Please note the link to Shona Skye on my page ,WOW  Two Plugs!!! I know I’m shameless!)

The point to my ramble is find your passion and go for it, you never know where it will take you. Life for me really did start to flow when I turned 40. I now look at the world as a constant change,nothing is stable ,nothing ever was . We are all living on the brink and at any moment we could slip or get pushed off the edge. The only thing I depend on is whatever is going on now is real and present,but it also  will all too soon be a shadow.

I’m not the least bit morbid, in fact I have learned to embrace all  change the same as a new chapter in a book.

I get accused of being too upbeat from my family and its true, I feel great and I’m very happy. I find joy in everyday life, sometimes I have to look a little harder.

 

So who are you?   I hope your happy in what you do, if not find out how and start taking the steps to reach happiness.

Peace and Love all

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Out of balance?,then step off the scale

 

Hello All,

A co-worker approached me and was very frustrated with the results from her scale. She felt she has done everything right and was not losing enough pounds, in fact she said if she did not see a difference by her next weigh in she felt like jumping off a bridge. I would toss the scale over the bridge myself.

She is stuck in the brainwashed pattern that the most important number in your life is that number on the scale. To be fair there is value in a scale if you want to see how many pounds you are at any given moment. I decided to try an experiment for one month and weigh myself everyday at random times/the same time or whenever I came across a scale.The results were my weight bounced around from as much as 7 pounds in one day and as little as 2 pounds over the 30 days even though I was exorcising and eating healthy.

I have also been caught up on the scale madness in the past because I believed everything I heard instead of challenging conventional wisdom.

Now for the same month I watched the scale I also took measurements at my neck,chest,hips,waist and thighs. The scale did not account for the lean muscle I am slowly building. A simple cloth tape measure did,and so would a pair of jeans or a shirt that was too tight to button. This year I gave up using a Fitbit because after a year of using it I had developed a good habit of walking everyday to get in my 10,000 steps. I may have days when I am well over 10,000 or just under that exact number doe not matter ,what matters is I am moving everyday.

Tools to track your health are just that, a tool and nothing more. They should not become your justification for happiness.  I am all in favor when you begin a weight loss program of checking your weight and your body fat percentage (far more important) along with your measurements. If your focused on numbers your missing the big plan of being fit and healthy.

I’m working on adding more muscle to my frame to help burn off the extra fat I have still. I check my stats at the start of each month. I see my daily progress in how well I feel , ease of lifting something heavy and the fact that its been over two years since I was sick.

 

I have never met a person and thought “I wonder what they weigh at this moment so I can  justify my thought that they are attractive or healthy”  You know when you are feeling good and so does everyone else by your actions.  Numbers have their use, but to get obsessed with a number is a path to madness.

I would rather measure how  I’m feeling along with what I am doing. When I eat healthy, move often, sleep well, and laugh more my life is just better.

Go for a walk, eat more plants and animals ,avoid all the processed foods and watch how everything starts to go your way.

Peace and love