A Clean Diet

fish

There’s lots of talk about “clean diets.” If you want to start eating well, but don’t know where to begin, look to the Mediterranean Diet. It’s one of the most universally agreed upon regimens for feeling good:

Key components of the Mediterranean diet*

  • Eating primarily plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts
  • Replacing butter with healthy fats such as olive oil and canola oil
  • Using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods
  • Limiting red meat to no more than a few times a month
  • Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week
  • Enjoying meals with family and friends
  • Drinking red wine in moderation (optional)
  • Getting plenty of exercise

(I would add: limit caffeine, sugar and fried foods).

*From The Mayo Clinic

Sunday Suggestion

Screenshot 2018-09-22 at 9.34.38 PM
Just thought this was funny.

Joined the gym with my teenage daughters today

They both told me they wanted to start exercising (!)

We ran on the treadmill, lifted some weights…shared some laughs

Over dinner, Josie (16 and perenially anxious) said, “Wow, I feel so relaxed.”

 

So my suggestion today is to do something different with your kids. Put work aside and talk, laugh and move.

 

 

 

 

If Only…

img-2623.jpg

The 15-year-old daughter says, “I want to start going to the gym.”

Incredulous, I ask, “Are you sure you want to go to the gym?”

“Well, I want the effects of going to the gym. Is there a pill out there that tastes like watermelon Jolly Rancher that will make me look like I work out?”

 

 

 

 

 

Appetite

jennifer-burk-118076-unsplash

My husband of twenty-one years decided to lose weight. At 6′, he was at his all-time high of 220 lbs. The impetus for change? He saw a picture of himself that a friend took and didn’t like what he saw.

There are several ways to slim down: cut calories, increase physical activity (exercise!) or both. Hubby is choosing to cut calories.  Through research, he’s discovered that in order to reach his target weight of 180 lbs, he cannot go over 2,000 calories.

2,000 calories to a man who has eaten anything he wanted whenever he wanted is a drastic change.

In the past two months, he has stuck to this limit most of the time. He’s now down to 204 lbs. and finds the sacrifice worth it.

As with most things in life, what you do consistently will yield results: both good and not so good. When he chooses to eat a big slice of cake or ice cream, he foregoes dinner.

Doing the right thing is most painful when we think of our appetites in terms of what we are sacrificing, but we usually succeed when we focus on what we “gain.”

The Body

IMG-2300

Sitting around or lying around all day makes you weak. (Livestrong.com)

With the pervasive use of screen time, people are being increasingly physically passive. I heard this quote the other day that rang so true to me:

The body will become better at whatever you do, or don’t do. You don’t move? The body will make you better at NOT moving. If you move, your body will allow more movement.

— Ido Portal

Exercise, we all know, is good for the heart and the bones. It keeps your blood pressure in check.

 

As we train our newly adopted pitbull mix, I wanted to ensure we handled aggression in her properly.

“Dog exercise burns the dog’s excess energy and helps maintain the dog’s healthy state of mind. This is important because, in order to talk to the mind, you need to remove the energy from the body.”

Cesar Milan

I can totally relate to this! I need to exercise and (re)move energy in my body so that my mind can work better as well. Perhaps more humans (especially in cars and on the Internet) would be less aggressive if they exercised daily.

In the end, you only have one body and it’s your sole vehicle for moving about in this world. Help your body take you where you want to go.

Guilt as Motivation

 

atlas-green-82865.jpg
Photo by Atlas Green

 

I’ve noticed that I have been using guilt to motivate myself to exercise. It didn’t dawn on me until recently that this could be different.

The moment I wake up, I feel a bit of dread and (sub-consciously) give myself permission to feel good only AFTER I work out.  But can I train myself to look forward to working out?

When I spoke about this to friends and family, most responded with, “Of course, that’s the only way it can be when it comes to doing tasks what we don’t enjoy!” However, I suspect it’s not the only way…

Changing my motivation to a more positive approach would also help me with willpower in general. If I positively anticipate training, then I utilize no willpower, which is a limited source. I can then apply willpower to that piece of cake in front of me.

 

taylor-kiser-373474
Photo by Taylor Kiser

 

1-2-3

aral-tasher-132320

I was preparing to do a backbend with pushups (yes, it’s just as fun as it sounds!) when I was filled with dread and doubt. But Jillian said, “One, two, three!” and I started bending my arms slowly, until my head touched the ground and then I straightened my arms. I did 15 of those. It was grueling. I hated it. I’m glad it’s over.

There’s something about counting…counting down or counting up, it doesn’t matter. Notice when parents tell their kids to do something and they start counting: “ONE…TWO…!” The kids hup to it before “THREE!” Why? They just know they better get going. It’s a weird motivator.

I love this Ted Talk from Mel Robbins. She says the key to success in anything is to know one thing:”You’re never going to feel like it.” You’re never going to feel excited to do those backbend pushups, you’re not going to feel like jumping out of bed to get to work first (well, probably not…) and you’re not going to feel like eating salad instead of cheesecake.

But in those areas of your life that are working, you are doing the things you don’t necessarily feel like doing. You’re exercising self-discipline. Robbins’ “Five Second Rule” is to take action no longer than five seconds from the moment you have the thought, I should…

I should get out of bed now…

I should go for a run…

I should send that email asking for a favor…

I should clean the fridge…

I should go to bed now…

Try it. The rule is, you have five seconds from the time you have the thought. Or make your own countdown!