Monthly Archives: May 2011

Make your own 0 calorie Gatorade!

The unofficial start of summer is this weekend, so to celebrate here’s a 0 calorie homemade electrolyte drink recipe.  With the current heat wave here in the Blue Ridge, our family has really noticed that we’re slowing down.

When you sweat, you loose not only water but sodium and potassium as well.  Sodium and potassium are essential for muscle function. In fact, it is the interaction of these two molecules that allow your muscles to move at all!  In order to stay hydrated and healthy, particularly if you’re working out, you need to replenish both H2O, potassium and sodium.  One easy way is to grab a sports drink or some coconut water.  These are both great sources of electrolytes, but in this economy that can get pricey.  Not to mention the calorie load that you’re getting.  8 ounces of a sports drink or of coconut water contains about 50 calories.  That doesn’t sound like much, but if you’re drinking a lot of it, that adds up. Do note – this is NOT a recovery drink.  It only replenishes your electrolytes!

The average 8 oz sports drink contains 110mg of salt, about a pinch. It contains 30 mg of potassium which can be found in 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.

What’s a good solution? Make your own!  It’s surprisingly easy! Here’s the recipe:

Lemon Electrolyte Drink

  • 8 oz water (1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1/2 a lemon)
  • pinch of salt
  • optional: sweetener of your choice

Mix and enjoy!  You can also make this in a larger batch to keep in the fridge, just remix before you drink. Drink plenty, the importance of replenishing your electrolytes cannot be overstated. It’s pretty tasty without sweetener, or use stevia if you want a natural no calorie drink.

Ahh . . . tasty, super healthy AND 0 cal!

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Categories: Recipes | 1 Comment

Superwoman – I can kinda do that. (Sort of, a little bit, maybe, sometimes)

Superwoman?

Sometimes it seems like I’ve got to be superwoman.  Well, most of the time.  Not that I mind having a lot on my plate – if I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t have put so much there to begin with.

Women today have a lot of expectations –  be Mrs. Brady as a mother,  a killer career ala Claire Huxtable , Donna Reed in the kitchen, keep a perfect house, take a cue from Kate and get us all off the island, have Einstein’s IQ, the bedroom ferocity of Rihanna, the body of a Sports Illustrated model and all this while staying cool and calm and even keel through the power of yoga. Did I mention that we’re supposed to find time to blog too? Oh, and we aren’t allowed to age.  Not even a little bit.

Women ARE capable of doing of these things – we’ve certainly proved that over the last half century.   Whether they’re all healthy to be doing is another matter.  We can be Mrs. Brady when we focus on our families, Claire when we make our career a priority, certainly keep the house and cook the meals.   Absolutely we can get everyone off the island, women are as intelligent and cunning and powerful as any man (BTW Sawyer got a bad rap, Jack totally treated Kate like she was disposable.) Intelligence is not a problem.  Making the bedroom work is something that every woman can do – heck, that’s one way women have always wielded power in society. We can work out, eat right, and get our bodies looking amazing when given the tools to do so.  Women also have an amazing ability to hold it together, with or without the yoga.  We are the glue that holds society together.  Blogging, check.  As for the not aging – well I suppose Botox is on the table.

The power of women is astounding, after all we do grow human life within our bellies.  That being said there’s been a lot piled onto us in the last fifty years, making it nearly impossible.  We’ve got to find that balance in our society because frankly, we can’t do it all at once.  Somewhere in there we went from taking on things to become empowered to becoming buried.  I don’t like feeling buried – it gives one claustrophobia.

But what to do about it?  That’s the real question.  Only now, six years into motherhood, am I starting to feel like I might be finding that balance without loosing my marbles.  Here are a few of the techniques that I’ve used to help keep up:

  • WRITE IT DOWN – I use a planner to keep track of things, couldn’t live without it although I admittedly miss days There’s a great book called Getting Things Done by David Allen that uses a “brain dump” technique.  This is a much bigger stress relief than you would believe when you start feeling out of control.  Essentially you just write down everything that you have on your plate, categorize it and prioritize it.  So many things just fall off the list and with what’s left you feel like you aren’t missing anything. If I don’t do this then I walk around in terror that I’ve forgotten something.
  • PARE IT DOWN – I’ve learned to just let things go.  This has meant that I’m not involved in as many things as I used to be and that I’ve had to tell many friends that we’ll have to get together later.  I’m in graduate school, and a year in have decided that I can get that A without going quite so far above and beyond, I can take it back a notch and still get what I want. It’s really worth it and has allowed me to make my children more of a priority.  Remember – you make the decisions about what comes in and goes out of your life.
  • JUST DO IT – A lot of the things that don’t get done aren’t happening because I just hate them.  For instance, I despise doing the dishes (and in all honesty am not terribly good at it.)  I feel like superwoman when the sink is clean because I’ve struggled with it for so long.  I’ve really figured out if I just do something that I hate doing, the sense of conquering a task  propels me forward.
  • NO GUILT – We cannot feel guilty about what doesn’t happen or what we do wrong or perceive that we’ve done wrong.  Yes, you must hold yourself accountable, but accountability and guilt are  not the same thing.  It’s SO hard for women, but we can’t beat ourselves up over things.  Talk to your spouse about it, find some support with other women.  No one is actually superwoman!  Don’t feel guilty that you aren’t!

Categories: Stories from My Life | Leave a comment

Kegel Exercises – Ten reasons for women to do them all the time.

Kegels are beneficial for everyone, but today I’m interested in talking about how wonderful they are for women.

Here’s the list, read on to find out how to do them and how often you should be in order to get the most benefit.

  1. Mothers to be: make birth easier!
  2. Mothers: get those birthing muscles back in shape!
  3. Non-Mothers: get to know your body!
  4. You don’t want to be wearing depends later.
  5. Hemorrhoids – no one wants them, Kegels keep them away.
  6. Sex feels better for you.
  7. Sex feels better for your partner.
  8. All muscles benefit from exercise.
  9. Kegels are sneaky.
  10. Kegels feel good!

What is a Kegel exercise?  Well, have you ever been in a public restroom and forgotten to lock the stall, only to find a stranger bursting in on you?  You stopped the flow quickly didn’t you?  That’s a Kegel exercise.  If you’re unsure, next time you’re “making water” as my grandma calls it, try stopping and starting a few times.  All there is to it.

Kegels exercise your pelvic floor muscles.  A woman’s bladder is held up by a hammock of muscles.  As you age and have children, these muscles often weaken.  If they get weak enough, then your pelvic organs sink down into your vagina, which is called prolapse.  Not pretty. Kegels also exercise your bottom muscles, which is why they prevent hemorrhoids.  The exercise your sexual muscles as well, giving you much more control in the bedroom.

You of course don’t have to be in the bathroom to do one.  You can be anywhere!  In fact, I might be doing my midday set right now and no one would be the wiser.  Bwahaha.

Here’s when and how.  A note, and I will reiterate this – Kegels are ONLY EFFECTIVE if done regularly.  Studies show that you get literally no benefit from sporadic practice.

Where?Anywhere. You want to be in different positions if possible: sitting, standing, lying down, on your hands and knees, etc.  But the doing is more important than the position.

How often?Three to four times a day. That’s right girls, every day.  You can’t do too many; you’re not going to hurt yourself.  You’ll read things like “Every time you stop at a stoplight.” or “When you drive through a drive through.”  Now how is that regular?  I struggled with Kegels for years following that idea before I finally just made my own schedule that’s easy to follow: breakfast, lunch, dinner and bedtime.  That’s four times a day and easyto remember, especially if you’re focused on healthy eating.  Kegels are part of your health routine.   You’ll see my schedule below.

How long?10-20 reps and hold for 3-10 seconds.  There is much debate on this. Different doctors say different things and there aren’t any studies to tell us exactly.  I mix mine up so that I’m covered, I suggest you do the same.  The idea is that you’ll hold, then let go, hold, then let go.

The big idea is to make them work for you – so develop your own system and incorporate it into your routine. Maybe it’s easy to remember when you take your brush your teeth, take your vitamins or get dressed – whatever works. Make it regular, make it easy for yourself.  This is important, but should become second nature just like brushing your teeth.  So that’s it!  I know you’re doing a set already.

Categories: Exercise | Leave a comment

Exercise Review: Yoga Booty Ballet – Baby on the Way

Well I’m three days into a new prenatal exercise program – Yoga Booty Ballet, Baby on the Way.  I have got to admit that I have done quite a few prenatal programs over the course of three pregnancies (pilates, yoga, etc.) and this one is my favorite by far.  Most prenatal programs focus on flexibility and relaxation while connecting with your baby.  Those are wonderful things, but being a mother is also about being strong.

I LOVE that the women are all in their late second or third trimesters.

The routine starts off with a group intention that focuses the workout on you and your baby. I like that it’s not only for first time mothers, but that those expanding their role as a mother are included. You’re encouraged to take it at your own pace during the program, while still pushing yourself. During one move she says “If you want to stop now, don’t. Breathe into it and remember your intention.”  While pregnant you shouldn’t let your heart rate get above 140 – this is to protect your baby and you. The moves in this program keep your heart rate low while still building strength.  There;s a large portion that works your arms, and having two little ones, I can tell you that upper body strength is incredibly important for moms.  Baby on the Way points out that the more you do now the easier it will be to get your body back after the baby.  How true!  Getting fit after it’s over is very important, for me and for my baby.

There are definitely some things that are outside of my comfort zone here – The Funky Mama March and the Solid Gold Move.  I’m a confident woman, but dancing is not where I feel at home.  I decided that I was going to just jump in and go with it, not hold back.  It really helps that this is a program that involves me alone in my living room or with my kids.  Inhibition isn’t so much of a problem when you’re not in front of a group!  There are yoga moves incorporated in the routine, some weights and lots of focus on connecting with the new life growing in there.

At $25, Baby on the Way comes at a reasonable price.  If you think that it’s something you’d like to try, check out this site http://beachbodycoach.com/movingmama where you can try it out yourself, just click on the “shop” link in the center of the pate, then on Yoga Booty Ballet on the sidebar and scroll down to find Baby on the Way. I’m excited to see how this affects birth and recovery with baby #3.  I’ll keep you updated and please if you’ve tried this program, let me know what you think.

Here’s a message from  Teigh McDonough, the creator of this program:

My gift to all mothers-to-be.

There is nothing that more perfectly embodies the goddess than the process of pregnancy and being a beautiful mother. With Baby On the Way, you will care for each new curve in your body. In just 30 minutes a day, you can keep your body strong, limber, and toned during your pregnancy. I will help you gently warm your muscles and lead you through a cardio and light resistance routine. I will then take you through stretches designed to ease you through your body’s natural changes.

Staying fit during your pregnancy is not only important to feeling good, it’s beneficial for your baby’s health and your swift return to your pre-pregnancy figure.

Set your natural worries aside and have glorious fun as you gently dance with grace and ease—doing fluid moves that feel good with a bit of fun in the Funky Mama March and Solid Gold—and finish with focused, stress-busting meditation.

Enjoy your journey into motherhood. Love your baby. Love yourself. You are blessed.

Namasté.

~ Teigh McDonough

Categories: Product Reviews | Leave a comment

Hello world – here’s the beginning!

Here’s my first blog entry – YAY!

First, a little about me:

I’m a passionate vegan.  Have been for eleven years now! Taking care of my family while still bettering myself are the two priorities in my life. We’re an active family – always out doing something together!  My kids are AMAZING.  I cannot believe how smart, athletic and charismatic they are.  My husband and I have two little boys and are due with our third child on July 11th.  We don’t know if it’s a girl or boy, one of life’s last great surprises!

The small town that I live in is a wonderful place to raise kids.  We live near Asheville, NC.  What can I say? I live in a place where other people come for vacations.  Life doesn’t get much better than that!  Our little house sits on four acres in a forest with few neighbors.  We spend a lot of time outside digging in the dirt and camping in the backyard.

I have a degree in Women’s Health from UNC Asheville and am currently a full time Masters student at Western Carolina, working on a degree in teaching. I love school, am always wanting to learn more.  I’m lucky enough to be home full time with the boys, life is full!

My husband and I will soon celebrate our 11th anniversary.  He’s a wonderful man to be married to and I’m so thankful that I get to spend my life with my soulmate.

Thank you so much for reading – look for future blogs on health, fitness, veganism and motherhood.

Family at the Zoo

Family at the Zoo

Categories: Stories from My Life | Leave a comment

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