Yoga….A Good Stress Reliever!

 

I’ll admit yoga is not my favorite cup of tea.  I do know it is good for you and I need to think outside the box, and broaden my horizons so maybe by seeing the words in front of me will help me? We shall see.

Did you know that yoga relieves lower back pain and hand osteoarthritis? It is also a good remedy for stress and depression. Helps to improve digestion. Aids in weight loss. Reduces effects of carpal tunnel syndrome. Helps to control hypertension and diabetes. It can also aid in lowering blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar, all of which are good for you heart and blood vessels. Practicing yoga a couple of times a week increases muscle strength and flexibility. Yoga poses work by stretching your muscles. They can help you move better and feel less stiff and tired. At any level of yoga you will probably start to notice benefits soon. In one study people improved their flexibility up to 35% after only 8 weeks of yoga. Many of the poses, such as downward dog, upward dog, and the plank pose, build upper body strength. The standing poses, especially if you hold them for several long breaths, build strength in your hamstrings,

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quadriceps, and abs. Poses that strengthen the lower back include upward dog and the chair pose. When done right, nearly all poses build core strength in the deep abdominal muscles.

“Don’t Even Try To Say Your Not…..”

Today I am going to blog a personal experience. We all have them. They all affect each of us differently. A couple of weekends ago my family and I piled in our van and headed to another town where another couple were waiting for us in their pasture. Do I have your attention yet? Yep their pasture. No it’s not where they live but it is where a Christmas project for some people we care about is about to get real, or maybe just maybe come alive? We worked as a team loading the van full of some goodies we would soon be transforming into hopefully magical wishes that will make others smile for years. I know we will all have great memories of how we transformed them. We started talking about health, how we are all getting older, parts of us talk back at times and some make noises beyond our control. This couple were sharing with us how they both worked for this company for 20 plus years and had decided to retire together. To enjoy life together. So many do not get that chance in life. They work their entire life, retire when their body forces them then health fails quickly and they die. They work their entire life……not getting a chance to enjoy that precious thing we call life. Which leads me to my next conversation. Taking care of our bodies because they are the only one in life we are given….sure we can get spare or refurbished parts even new ones but they are not your own…..not the ones God blessed you with. The lady we were with made a comment that I was half the person I used to be. I have always been the type that can not take compliments well so I lowered my head and started shaking it left to right, smiling when our son piped up and defensively said “Don’t EVEN try to say your not mom! You have worked your butt off the past year.” Wow. I held back the tears as we continued to talk. This is a teenager guys. A boy who I constantly remind to pick up his room, to shut the door because we were not born in a barn, he does great with lights so he is off the hook there but you get what I am saying…..daily I think “why doesn’t he pay attention, listen?” I was wrong. He does. On the things that mean the most in life to “get”…..he does pay attention. He does notice I am trying to make a difference in my life to become healthier, to love longer. It’s a journey and a long one. I am struggling right now in many fields and have found myself not working out because “life’s issues” get in the way. I know this should not be the case but I am human. We drove away that day and my heart grew even bigger for my son that I thought it could. Yes I am on the struggle bus now, but the side of that bus does not say loser….quitter. It says “hey your human, we slip up sometimes, it’s ok…..take what time you need, get your crap together and jump back in. So sometimes when you spend days in and out beating yourself up because you did not make that workout as planned, or didn’t eat healthy it doesn’t mean you have failed……inside I know it’s a journey I want to stay on speed bumps and all…..learning to love yourself is sometimes the hardest thing of all. and being your worst enemy is a given.  Those little eyes regardless how old they are…they are watching. As they say about Santa (this family believes in the Spirit of Christmas so yes we still say we believe….we can even hear the bell on the Polar Express!)  So for now I will keep on keepin’ on…..it may not be as fast as others but one thing you will never see me do is quit. Don’t give up on yourself if you are struggling…..we are worth it and the best is yet to come. I need to focus on how good I felt when I was giving it my all…..and take it one step at a time. If you are on the same bus as I am we can do this….together……sweat, tears, all of it. One day at a time.

Christmas is coming……

What better way to share your love during the holidays than to present your loved ones gifts from the heart? Or should I say gifts good for the heart? Home made granola…..

1 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats

1/4 cup uncooked quinoa

1/4 ground flaxseed

3/4 cup raw nuts

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

1/8 tsp. ground cloves

1/4 cup melted coconut oil

3 tbsp. pure maple syrup

2 tbsp. molassess

3/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup golden raisins

Place rack in the middle shelf of your oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a mixing bowl stir oats, quinoa, flax seed, nuts, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Drizzle the coconut oil, maple syrup, molasses, and vanilla over the oat mixture, then stir.

Spread on cookie sheet, press flat. Bake for 20 minutes, remove stir in golden raisins, press back into a flat layer. Bake 10 additional minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool. Granola will continue to crisp and dry as it cools.

Put in a mason jar wrap it with a bow and there you have it. A healthy gift to share with someone you love!

What has changed?

So you have decided to take the plunge? Awesome! Turning your life around? Turning over that leaf? No more daily trips thru the drive thru? No more greasy pizza for breakfast? You my dear are an inspiration! Not only to me but to others! A year ago my life changed even more. I was blessed with an amazing health coach. She made me think beyond walking daily. I always thought that was enough. Until then…..She introduced me to a whole different world, I got to make some amazing friends during this journey. It took for me the word PUSH to a whole new level. I strongly advice to reach out to someone who can be an influence in your life. Not someone who is perfect, not someone who never screws up and is always a cheerleader but someone who is beneficial to your needs, knowledgeable in the field you are interested in studying and above all someone who is down to earth and real. You may be strong willed, have all the motivation in the world but you need this person in your life. This can be YOUR person, one that you build a trusting friendship with and as far as I am concerned there is no one I more admire than someone who is not afraid to stand beside me and sweat like there is no tomorrow, push themselves harder than they thought possible, and is not afraid to cry with me on bad days, and celebrate the good ones with a hug. Friends that sweat together stay together. Sarah Kroes is an amazing person who I will put on a pedestal because yes she deserves it. She trains hard, she speaks from the heart, and she cares more about you than sometimes you care about yourself. You need someone that is not afraid to show you through their eyes what they see in you. If you do not believe in yourself……allow someone to show you how much your worth really is in life. You might be pleasantly surprised. Doors will start to open you never realized were even there. Results? Someone you can love when you look in the mirror, someone who you are proud of, and someone who without a shadow of a doubt can see their self worth on a daily basis, the way everyone should see themselves.

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Holiday Eating

Oh the choices! The smells of delicious food. The brain waves sending vibes to you. On one shoulder you have the angel, on the other the devil. Do you indulge, just one bite? Will that lead to another, and another? I struggle during this time. Not because of the weather, it’s cold but my family on both sides….love to cook. Comfort food. It’s everywhere. Does anyone else have the urges? I sometimes think the devil is working overtime in my life. I constantly have to remind myself….I have a choice. Do I always make the right one? Heck no! Do I feel bad if I do. Yes and no. We can deprive ourselves completely but if we look at it as a “treat” to ourselves it is easier to accept and when we know when to stop is only benefiting us in all directions. The holidays are upon us. It is a time to spend with family and friends and food is among all of it. I need to take my own advice as I say choose wisely and we do have control what we put in our mouth, we don’t always have control over what happens to us in life but that we do.

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Find a Running/Walking Shoe that Fits You…

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A few years ago I was told about a shoe store in Des Moines that held inside an amazing staff, great inventory and the only place where they will not only fit you for the best possible shoe for you, but provide a back hallway for you to run or walk with a pair of shoes on to see how you like before you buy. This store is called….

FLEET FEET

located at 521 East Locust Street Des Moines Iowa. Opens at 10 am. It’s the welcoming hub for runners and walkers. They have a website and a fb page. They provide fun, fitness, education and encouragement through service and their products that enable to enjoy active lifestyles. Whether you run, walk, or simply need a good fitting shoe this is your place. 100% guaranteed. Don’t like them…bring them back. Call 515-323-3338.  Monday through Friday 10 am to 7 pm. Saturday 9 am to 5 pm. 

Walk This Way!

Benefits of walking. Maintain a healthy weight. Prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. Strengthens your bones and muscles. Improves your mood. Improves your balance and coordination. Everyone’s stride is different. Walking 10,000 steps equates to about 4 to 5 miles a day which is quite an increase for those who sit at desk all day.  Walking is easy to do and offers many benefits. You don’t have to go fast and you don’t have to go long, just put one foot in front of the other. Many participate in what is called virtual 5k’s, 10’s, half marathon, or full marathons.  If you have access to a computer check them out. You can find many different sites on facebook as well. Some I have used are Gone For A Run, Full Medal Runs, Virtual Pace Series, US Road Running,  yes fit. I encourage you to become active in checking out some that are available near you that you can participate in. They are available year round. I have done the glow run, bubble run, color run, IMT half marathon, Colon Cancer Run/Walk (all in Des Moines) Klompen Classic in Pella Iowa. Some virtual 5k’s include She Believed She Could So She Did, The Aloha Run, I Can Do All Things in Christ Who Strengthens Me, Guts to Glory, The Tortoise Creep (166.1 miles), The Quest for the Golden Pearl, 2017 Miles in 2017, Pot of Gold 5k/marathon here in Oskaloosa Iowa. Our own PUSH 5K we hold every year here in Oskaloosa Iowa. There are many to pick from. These are just a few I have done. Sites online are secure and I have never had any issues with them.