Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Grapefruit Anybody?

So I promised I would try Grapefruit this week.  Well, the verdict is in:  It is adequately average.  Well, it's okay.  It's not fabulous to my tongue, but it didn't make me hurl either, so I guess that makes it okay in my book.  The surprising twist is that my kids loved it.  I was shocked - - truly  - - and the reason I was shocked is because I did not ask them to try it.  They had it out and cut up before I even came downstairs in the morning.  Hmmmm ... maybe this 'try new things' is rubbing off on them.

Guess where I got the grapefruit from?   Nope ... not Wal-mart.  ... there was a lady at Church who said that she has a very busy grapefruit tree and it is producing more than she can handle, so she brought lots and lots and lots of grapefruit to Church and was giving them away freely.   I definitely took her up on her generosity. Gives new meaning to 'fruit of the spirit', huh?

I also saw on a Facebook page somewhere, not sure where, the combination of orange slices and grapefruit slices together in a bowl.  That combination had not occurred to me before, but it looked interesting enough. SO I tried it that way too.  Yes, I like it better mixed with oranges.  Duh - should have guessed that I would.

Anyway - Grapefruit is very healthy and definitely something that should be a regular visitor to our kitchens.  So if you don't like it, or have not tried it in a while - I suggest you do so.  I promise you'll likely live through the experience to tell the tale.  Note:  However; it does interfere with certain medications, not sure which ones, so make sure you are aware of such.

As always, make champion choices,

Monday, January 28, 2013

21 Day Challenge

One of the biggest names in Positive Psychology is a gentleman named Shawn Achor. He has written several books about The Happiness Advantage. in Psychology Today magazine blog, he shared a 21 day challenge. If people have told you that you are negative; if you are posting about what is going wrong in your life and what hurts more than what you have accomplished or what is going well; or if you feel unhappy in your life, give this 21 day challenge a try. 

Try an experiment right now called the 21 Day Challenge. Pick one of the five researched habits and try it out for 21 days in a row to create a positive habit, then comment on this blog or msg me with your results.  (You can do more than 1 or all 5 if you wish, but at least do 1)

1. Write down three new things you are grateful for each day into a blank word document or into the free app I Journal. Research shows this will significantly improve your optimism even 6 months later, and raises your success rates significantly.

2. Write for 2 minutes a day describing one positive experience you had over the past 24 hours. This is a strategy to help transform you from a task-based thinker, to a meaning based thinker who scans the world for meaning instead of endless to-dos. This dramatically increases work happiness.

3. Exercise for 10 minutes a day. This trains your brain to believe your behavior matters, which causes a cascade of success throughout the rest of the day.

4. Meditate for 2 minutes, focusing on your breath going in and out. This will help you undo the negative effects of multitasking. Research shows you get multiple tasks done faster if you do them one at a time. It also decreases stress and raises happiness.

5. Write one, quick email first thing in the morning thanking or praising a member on your team. This significantly increases your feeling of social support, which in Shawn Achor's study at Harvard was the largest predictor of happiness for his students.

I am thinking of starting this February 1st, but I am going to do all five.  I am already a pretty positive and optimistic person anyway ... but this experiment surely can't hurt.

Information from my friend and professional therapist: Cyndi Tucci

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Zucchini for me?

Guess what?  Zucchini is good for you.  I bet you probably knew that.  Do you eat it regularly?  I never have, never did.  This was the food of the week in Deb's world.  I promised I would try Zucchini.  My biggest question was what the heck to do with it?  Just chop it up into a salad, broil it -  make Zucchini chips or what?  I posted the question to my FB page and got a ton of responses, too many to handle actually.  I figured out that Zucchini basically has a mild flavor and usually takes on the flavors of things around it.

So first, I tried it raw, just a slice, just to see what it was like.  It was okay.  I did not have a horrible or adverse reaction, but I tell you the truth, it took me quite a long time to actually take that bite.  This is part of my problem, the food phobia thing.  But I didn't die - I'm still alive and well, and Zucchini is not my enemy.  So now that I know it is harmless, the question remains -what can I really do with it.  I just ate it with some strawberries and that seemed to work well for me.   I'm wondering what other combinations would work well, and even considered slapping on some natural peanut butter to the thing.  Maybe next time.  Oh, and yes, there will be a next time.  I promise.

As always, make champion choices,

Friday, January 18, 2013

Is Arugula Awesome?

Um, the very first thing on our 'try new foods' adventure is Arugula.  I cannot say I was excited by this prospect.  Truly, the thought was getting more and more daunting as the week waned on.  I had planned to try it this Friday (Today)... and I knew I had to do it - just wasn't really thrilled to do such.  I had been reading and hearing that it had kind of a bitter and peppery taste, and that was really making me nervous.  But a promise is a promise, and thus -I had to dive in and do it - - whether I really wanted to do it or not.

Guess what?  It wasn't nearly as bad as I had made it up to be in my mind.  No, I'm not in love with this green mess.  Not at all.  It was a chore to get in a few bites.  But I added lemon juice, and then it wasn't so bad.  I don't really like salad dressings at all, so lemon juice usually will do it for me.   I also tried it mixed with spinach and mandarin orange slices and sunflower seeds.  Kind of like a mini salad, if you will.  Again, it was okay.  Not totally in love with this in the least, but it was different.  I definitely will try it again, in a different combination perhaps.  What about you?  What do YOU do with Arugula?

As always, make champion choices,

Saturday, January 12, 2013

2013 Goals

Happy New Year ... long time no blog. Hope everyone is moving towards their goals and/or resolutions. One goal I have for 2013 is to cover at least 1,000 miles via walking/biking/swimming or whatever. I even have a great group for this on Facebook which is fun. Part of this goal includes wearing my FitBit consistently and aiming for 10,000 steps/day and 10 flights of stairs/day. 

Another goal? Climb Enchanted Rock to the top and complete the trail around the bottom (more on that later).  

Hardest Goal?  I must work on getting more vegetables into my body. NOT sure how to quantify or measure that yet, but I will before this blog is done.

Some of you in here are aware of my weird eating habits, some call it a disorder. BUT if you're not familiar and happen to be interested, there is a link below where I write about it a bit. At any rate; a big weakness of mine is that I do not eat nearly enough vegetables. I've just GOT to get them in me. Right now I take an Alive multi-vitamin and make-do with some smoothies. I had spent a long time in broadening my diet and expanding with the 300 new foods experiment. It was pretty successful, but also stressful, so I took a LONG break. Time to get back at it. Must start making and finding ways to get more veggies in my body without them coming back up!  So I accidentally got a great idea from a Facebook friend about trying ONE new vegetable a week and we'll be each other's accountability partner.  Oh the pressure!  But I think I'm ready.  What will I do this week?  I have no idea.  Waiting to hear from her and what she thinks.  So how about I quantify that veggie goal to say, one new fruit or veggie a week (whether I like it or hate it) for a minimum of 31 weeks. That takes me up until right before my 44th birthday which is 8/21/13.  That way I can celebrate my birthday knowing I tried at least 31 new things, which is kinda like a month of new food, tee hee.   I did an experiment before where I tried a new thing every single day, but that was very stressful for me.  I like the weekly idea much better for this time around.

And in other news, last weekend I climbed a big fat rock . I didn't quite make it to the top of Enchanted Rock, my stupid knee wouldn't let me ... but I came darn close. Next time, that mountain is MINE! I will climb that rock and do the trail around the bottom before the end of 2013 for sure. It is part of my plan for 2013.  I really need to find a good knee brace. Hiking is my true love. I'd rather be outside climbing a hill or walking a trail, than in a gym any day. Tom ( hubby ) also suggested maybe a walking stick when we're on the trails to help me with my knee. Here is a pic as we started out of hubby and baby James getting going. The other 3 children had taken off already.

As always, make champion choices,

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year Greetings

I don't really do the whole resolution thing ... but I do believe in goals and habits.  Here are some ideas I've got floating around in my head for a healthy and prosperous 2013.  Most people won't believe me, but 13 is my lucky number, so I have very high hopes for this coming year.

Remember: Many little steps taken consistently over time can add up to huge results toward living a happier, healthier life.
  1. Aim for 10 flights of stairs per day.
  2. Aim for 10,000 steps a day.  {1,000 miles in 2013 is my goal}
  3. Try a new food once a week - many of which need to be vegetables.
  4. Cook one new recipe from scratch at least per week.  Must do this!
  5. Prepare a large batch of something on the weekend I can easily reheat for meals during the week.
  6. Include fruits or vegetables with every meal.
  7. Seek out healthier version of the things I love to eat.  For example:  I love caramel frappes, fish sticks, canned chili and canned new england clam chowder ... how can I make these myself?
  8. Replace sweet tea with water or unsweetened tea - I'm already pretty good at this one, and very pleased I gave up diet coke once and for all! Whew!
  9. Drink less Starbucks.
  10. Continue to reduce and/or eliminate foods containing High Fructose Corn Syrup or artificial sweeteners - already pretty good at this one.
  11. Take a walk every day - already pretty good at this one.
  12. Look in the mirror and say something nice to myself every day ... easy peasey!
  13. Start the day with a healthy breakfast - I already do this!
  14. One day a week, choose an unexplored area near me and go for a hike (urban or nature). Love this.
  15. Get regular sleep - easier said than done.  Big problem for me, trouble with insomnia.
  16. Try a new physical activity that sounds fun.  I have so many ideas it's not even funny.
  17. Schedule at least 1 hour of “me” time a week and use it to do something I enjoy that relaxes me.  Hmmm?
  18. Commit to Meatless Mondays.  Not so hard.
  19. Journal and blog.
  20. Sit less, stand up more.
  21. When buying processed foods, choose products that contain ingredients you understand or 5 ingredients or less.  Try to get the whole family on the 'clean' eating bandwagon.  
  22. Commit to shopping at my local farmers market whenever possible.
  23. Park as far away from the store as possible and walk - I do this a lot.
  24. Reduce or completely eliminate foods containing partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated oils. Yes!
  25. Sign up for an event like a 5K walk or run and train for it.
  26. Replace negative thoughts about the way my body looks with positive thoughts about the things my body can do.  Important.
  27. Donate or put away clothing that does not fit and flatter me right now!  I am bad about this.
  28. Prepare vegetables and fruits ahead of time so I have healthy, easy to grab snacks ready when I want to munch something - for me and kids too.
  29. Watch less television and spend less time on Facebook.
  30. Try more smoothie recipes.
  31. Take a cooking class?  Hmmm, maybe.
  32. When I eat something indulgent, eat it slowly and enjoy it, guilt free.  Then move on.
  33. Play the XBOX Kinect with the kids.
  34. Take up a new hobby that is outdoors or a hobby that keeps me occupied when watching television (less mindless snacking).  Yes, I need a new hobby.  No clue what it will be.
  35. Every day, turn on some music I love and dance when nobody is watching.  I am good at this :)
  36. Read the Bible through entirely in the year 2013.
  37. Be more social with church groups, SparkPeople team, etc.  Need to meet more people, "in real life" people, not just online people! :)

I have so many things I want to try this year.  I want to complete a 5K (Have never done that).  I want to try Zumba again, and kickboxing and roller skating.  I want to go bowling more often.  I want to try Golf and Tennis.  I want to play basketball with my boys. I want to give Yoga another try. I love hiking - I want to climb Enchanted Rock and climb more hills and hike more trails.  I live in an awesome city and I intend to make very good use of the resources I have.

So, what can you add to the list?   A lot of this came from a blog I read at this link, but I modified it to suit me.


As always, make champion choices,