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Archive for the ‘Exercise’ Category

WE HAVE NOW PASSED the six months to 50 mark!    This is the final countdown to my 50th birthday and my end goal of being perfectly fit and healthy when I turn 50.   I can do this!

I spent some time getting super organized for the next six months of blogging.  I’ll be posting according to this weekly schedule:

Saturdays — Bread baking & recipes
Sundays — Soup recipes
Wednesdays — Vegetable recipes
Thursdays — Fruit recipes
Fridays — Fitness reporting

And my hope is that some of you will jump on and report your fitness activities for each week in the comments section. Either way, you’ll hear about all I did (or didn’t) do for exercise every seven days.

I’ve already found 35 delicious soup recipes and I’ll make one every Soupy Sunday, just like we did early in the year. I’ve also bought Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, the second book by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois. I don’t know about you, but months of fall and winter weekends filled with fresh-baked bread and homemade soup sound completely heavenly to me. I can’t wait to get started!

The Facebook page is still going strong — I hope you can recommend it to your friends!!   I usually post links and share videos and recipes on the page.   We also get photos posted from our friends on the page, along with links to the wall, which anyone can post at any time.   I’m all about sharing ideas, information and recipes.

I’m also still going strong on Twitter (@14monthsto50), approaching 900 followers, which I know is total babydom in Twitworld, but for me it seems like a big deal.  All I know is so much information passes over Twitter every day that I’m still astounded by it!   I love it as an information-sharing source. 

On the weight and fitness front:  I’ve lost 17 lbs. since I started this blog in January.  I want to lose at least 10 pounds more, and you know how that goes.  When I get there, I’ll probably want to lose a few more.  I’m so happy with my improved diet and health — this has truly been a lifestyle change and it is something I completely prefer.   I wish I could make everyone eat the way I do!  

I’ll be back here tomorrow with a veggie dish or two, some photos (if I can remember how my camera works) and we’ll kick this thing off!!   See ya then.   And thank you all so much for sticking with me through my hiatus — love ya!

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I woke up with so many things on my mind today, things related to this blog and the reasons I started it, that I just had to share. 

On the food front, I am still very much guzzling the purple kool-aid of the organic “real food” movement.   There is a difference between organic and non-organic food, and I think it’s important to avoid chemicals, hormones and other awful things in food.   I think the thing that makes it hard for people to embrace the “bad food” idea is that nothing bad happens to you immediately when you eat bad food.  Any ill effects will be later in life, like cancers.  And since you can’t point to it and say “Oh, I got that pancreatic cancer from eating _______ for 10 years,” then it just goes on and on.   A friend of mine (to whom I’ve been talking about bad food for six months) said a couple of weeks ago (about some food evils), “This is really bad, these companies need to be held responsible, the government should be involved, people need to be told what’s going on!”  And then I told him, people ARE being told what’s going on.  But until having a healthy dinner becomes more important than getting to the kid’s soccer practice on time, no one will care.  And then he said “No, I mean they need to REALLY be told, it needs to be all over the evening news and in the papers.”  Well, guess what?  It is!   All of the bad meat stories, e-coli stories, food recalls, health issues, good documentaries, websites, groups — how many times and ways do people need to be told something before they HEAR the information?   So then we concluded it does come down to taking care of your own family and conscious purchases/lifestyle.  When enough people are doing that, then it becomes a real movement and creates real change.

So, I continue to beat my friends over the head on Facebook and Twitter, and use my dollars to vote at the checkout stand – my small way of trying to make change.  

A fun thing I’m getting to do this week is to revamp a friend’s pantry.  He’s finding it complicated to sort out his diet, and I’ve accepted the challenge.  So I first assessed what he normally buys for home, and I’m going to have him replace his unhealthy choices with healthy ones as he needs to restock.  I’m pretty excited about it for a couple of reasons:  I can blog about it and help others do the same thing with their food, and it helps me document exactly how I eat.  I’ll end up with a very good view of my exact food choices, something I’ve sort of internalized lately as it has become habit.

On the fitness front, I’ve joined a gym with a friend where I do stationary bike, rowing machine, a couple of arm machines, and a crunch machine that is KILLER.  It’s a pay-as-you-go place, perfect for me when I just don’t want to work out at home or outdoors.  I’m also still walking, my usual five mile walk a few times a week.  I bought a Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred dvd and it punishes me regularly.

I have also signed up for a couple of challenges through Twitter this month, both for dieting and losing weight, to try to keep on track for a month at a time.  Here’s what I’ve learned from that:  if I think someone else is making me do something, or even paying attention to my success at all, I won’t do it.  It’s a personal flaw, seems like.  So, while I have slowly lost a few pounds, and while I am weighing on the scale more often which I think is a good thing, I think I am more successful when left to self-monitor and not report to anyone. 

Which leads me to my next idea:  I think I am reverting to only fruits and vegetables for the next seven days.  Those of you paying any attention to me at all will remember I’ve done this before.  My reasons are 1) it’s easy to remember what to eat and grab whatever I want, whenever   2) I get plenty of nutrition, while eating no wasteful calories  3) I LOVE fruits and vegetables, and I care less for grains and nuts and legumes.  I have always been a bit of a hobbyist dieter, and evidently if I’m not manipulating, restricting, or otherwise jumping through some kind of food hoops, I’m not happy.  This will keep me entertained for a while, and I hopefully will see some quicker weight loss.  I only want to lose around 10 to 15 pounds, and you would think that would be the easiest thing in the world to do, but as I add muscle (just go along with it) my weight has reached a true plateau.  So seven days of fruits and veggies it is!

And lastly, please friends, do everything you can to be more GREEN.  Cut back on packaged products, try to use recyclable packaging, no plastic, and use responsible home and body cleansers.  Bicycle and walk places with your friends and families.  Buy local food to save on the transportation energy usage.  Read, read, read online about being green and really implement the things you read about.   The environment is not outside of us, it IS us. 

And now I bid you adieu – I’ll be back in two weeks to pick up my regular blogging schedule.  I hope you and yours are well.  Big hugs to you all!

(Forgive any typos or nonsense, I’m on an 8″ netbook in a very cold coffee shop. )

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This weekend I attempted to give a boost to my exercise and healthy living routines through shopping.   I picked up a couple of pieces of workout clothing, a new gym ball and dvd, an interesting little heart health kit from Dr. Andrew Weil.  (Non-contributing things bought were two pairs of shoes and a cute sweater from Eddie Bauer – you can’t keep a girl down.)

I’m totally excited about the gym ball — I did the dvd routine this morning and it was surprisingly strenuous.  I’ve been using it as a chair at my desk, too, which requires me to balance and use my leg muscles rather than just sit here like a lump.  I’ve found that I need to switch out to my regular chair after about an hour, more for the need to lean back and rest my back than anything to do with my legs.

I’ve been walking an hour every other day for a few weeks now, but it’s not enough.   I’m trying to add things to my daily life so that just living causes me to exercise.  I have my standing desk, too, which I hope to get painted this week so I can put it to use.   Between the ball sitting and the desk standing, maybe I can turn being at the computer all day into something a bit less sluggish.

I picked up two shirts for walking/biking.  One is just a cute brown hoodie, but made of very lightweight cotton, so I won’t have to worry about getting too hot.  It has a cool kind of hippy-ish flower print on the front and back, too.  The shirt I’m most excited about has pockets!  Woohoo!   It turns out that I do not own one single pair of gym shorts, workout pants, or any t-shirts or biking shirts with pockets.  So when I walk, I have my keys in my hand, or tucked into my waistband, which is not ideal.  Sometimes I take my phone, too, in case a nice photo op presents itself (you know, like a really still squirrel or nice tree blossoms – important stuff that must be blogged).    Shirts with pockets rock!!

The Healthy Heart Kit by Andrew Weil is in a nice little box and has a 52-page workout, 2 audio CDs and 25 heart health cards.  I just got it for fun and because it was on deep sale, since it’s been for sale for a couple of years.  But, it’s also kind of cool.   The cards are made up of six diet/exercise cards with varying topics.   Other card categories are heart inspirations, mind body, and self care.   That will be something fun to play with and look at when I need a boost from boredom. 

Tonight when the temps cool down a bit (expected high of 94 today), I’ll go for my regular walk.   And I did the ball workout already, so I feel good about today’s bit of exercise.   I announced today on Facebook that I want to lose 10 pounds by July, which means dietary restrictions for me.   The plan is to eat only fruits and veggies, and my two eggs for breakfast.   Which leaves me with my usual coffee dilemma.  Coffee = sugar in my world.  We’ll see how it goes — I think my best option would be an “every third day” plan or something similar, where I have coffee every few days as a treat. 

Wish me luck!  I’ll keep you posted on the success or failure of my weight loss over the next month.

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ALRIGHT, I WENT FOR MY WALK – 4 miles as planned.  Our temp is sooooo hot today!  It feels like 85, not sure what it really is.   The goal is to walk at least 4 miles every day for the next seven days.  I’m hoping that will get me into a good solid daily routine, not just for one week.   I have to report my walking here, to hold me to it. 

I have my new ipod shuffle for the tunage – it helps so much – and helps me keep the pace up.  I’m a fast walker anyway, but when I start to daydream I slow down.

Now I’m off to shower and eat dinner, watch Lost and V, go to Target for groceries and then . . . back to Twitter and eventually I will sleep!

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I’M SIPPING COFFEE AND GETTING my plan together for this week.  I’ve had smoothie recipes submitted via my facebook page — I’ll be making those all week and posting them here.  So perfect for these warm spring days!   I almost live on fruit in the summer, with such good seasonal variety available. 

We also have Cinco de Mayo in a few days!   Arriba!   I’m gathering some Mexican meal deliciousness for you (including cocktails).   Then next Sunday is Mother’s Day — I’ve already found a refreshing lemon drink made with honey, and a radicchio/goat cheese on crackers appetizer.   More about those later . . .

And about that exercise plan I started four months ago . . .  well, it’s really starting to take off!   My goal is to walk an entire hour every day this week, and you have to hold me to it, dear reader!    One hour every day, surely I can work that in.   I’ve also got a couple of walking websites to share along the way.  I’m trying out podcasts, too, so when I find one that is good enough for you, I’ll let you know.

If you aren’t involved in Twitter yet, I urge you to check it out.  You can start by following me and others in my network.   We talk about all of the things you are interested in:  health, fitness, some are vegetarian or vegan, and some are interested in the green lifestyle.   Create an account if you have the time – I find that a wealth of information flows over Twitter almost constantly.   If you do create a Twitter account and have questions, please email me at 14monthsto50@gmail.com or post your questions on my Facebook wall (click the Facebook button in the right-hand column) – others may have the same questions.

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This is part of turning 50 - juggling glasses (AND I wear contacts)

I HAVE HAD A VERY INTERESTING 3 months.   What a ride!  I started out on a diet and exercise plan and have ended up mostly vegetarian, almost vegan and raw, and completely wrapped up in agriculture, organics and going green.  But like a friend said who was at my house for a viewing of Food, Inc., one thing leads to another and another and before long, here you are. 

I am so glad I started this “get healthy by 50” plan as early as I did.   A slow evolution takes place on the road to health.   I have so many aspects I want to control along the diet/exercise/healthy living spectrum.   Just the eating and food aspect has taken up most of my time so far.  Only in the last couple of weeks have I truly started to exercise regularly.  I’m still wondering where my diet will end up, as I work my way through foods that make me feel good and are beneficial. 

Right now I eat vegetables, fruits, beans, and nuts.    I don’t eat anything processed (if I do I guarantee it has few ingredients and only good stuff)  unless it’s a whole grain organic product, and grains are proving difficult for me, even though an occasional whole grain pasta is very satisfying.   I eat oatmeal with maples syrup and cinnamon.   And I eat eggs every morning.  That will never change – I love my eggs, they give me strength.  I don’t use any butter.  I eat vegetables plain and the flavors are so good!  I do eat organic chocolate occasionally, peanut butter, apple butter, and juices.    Lately I’ve tried some very high quality canned tuna and canned salmon.  When I eat out, I make concessions but I try very hard to be true to myself, knowing my body won’t react favorably to most restaurant processed foods. 

Lifestyle changes in the kitchen have been the result of reading about food contaminants such as plastics and BPA.  So I eliminated plastic from the kitchen, removing plastic cooking utensils and buying things in glass containers.  I stopped drinking water bottled in plastic and buy it bottled in glass.   We have high levels of arsenic in the water where I live, so the water is a concern.  

I stopped drinking diet coke, totally and permanently.  I still drink coffee in the morning, but not every morning.  I use evaporated cane sugar in my coffee and vanilla almond milk.  I also drink hot tea with honey or iced tea unsweetened.  I can’t give up caffeine — it’s my drug.  My brain goes crazy when I can’t have it. 

Exercise:  I walk an hour every two days.  I plan on increasing that to an hour every day (starting today? lol).   I want to get back to biking by the end of the year – love it.  Can’t wait to go on some long rides.  I used to do around 18 miles a trip, three times a week.  And that wasn’t even really pushing myself too much.  I look forward to being back at that level and maybe beyond.    I also found a good gym to go to, and that’s next on the list.  I think it’s important to keep the options open for variety.  I get bored soooo easily.  I hate routine.

This summer I want to grow food on my patio.  In fact, I need to get that going this weekend.  I’m going to go visit some gardens of friends and family for inspiration.  Naturally, I’ll share with you what I find.  I’m already behind for gardening here in Oklahoma, but it IS only April, for Pete’s sake.  I think I can still grow a tomato by October. 

I guess that’s about it on the update.  Not much to talk about — just living.  It takes a lot of planning and a lot of thought in the beginning,  but I enjoy making these changes.  I do feel better, I sleep better and I have more energy.   So, the odds are good for me reaching a great level of health by 50, but I do have 11 whole months to go . . . I could snap any minute.  We’ll see.

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THIS POST IS NAMED IN honor of the fab piece of art (above) in the children’s art show at the Crystal Bridge in The Myriad Gardens.  I wasn’t able to get the artist’s name.

Today I went to the OKC Festival of the Arts downtown.  It was a lot of fun, ran into a couple of friends there, and took a lot of pics.   Luckily Gopuram (Gopuram Taste of India)  had a booth at the food court, so I was able to eat lunch.  Yay!  Had a delish vegetable platter and a mango lassi.  I was happy.  

I was able to attend the Rethink Recycle Redesign show, which was set up in a room they dubbed the “Six Day Cellars.”  The art was all made from recycled material.  I wasn’t able to photograph it all, but I did get pics of my favorites.  Wine was served from a little bar, but sadly not Oklahoma wines.   Pics from the show are below, along with miscellaneous other shots from the day. 

A very nice artist let me take pics of her recycled glass art and even stood up to move out of my way.  I told her that another artist had reacted unkindly to me asking to take pics of his ceramic pears, and she said “we have different attitudes.”  Nice way of putting it.  The artist is D. K. Solomon and her website is Fused Glass Online or Fused Glass Jewelry on Etsy

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