eat a rainbow

Have you eaten a rainbow lately? I’m talking about a rainbow of fruits & vegetables.

I’ve written about increasing my fruits & vegetables several times, and I’m going to keep writing about it because eating my fruit is still a challenge for me. I know I should eat 5 servings of fruits & vegetables. I know that I should eat more fruits & vegetables.  I know that fruits & vegetables contain minerals, vitamins, fiber and lots of other good stuff for me. But just because I know something doesn’t mean I do that something. So I’m always trying new ways to accomplish old goals.

Fruits & veggies come in a wide variety of colors – just like a rainbow!

Red apples, beets, tomatoes, strawberries, pomegranates, cherries, apricots, carrots, sweet potatoes, tangerines, papayas, squash, starfruit, sweet corn, yellow summer squash, pineapple, pears, green grapes, honeydew, asparagus, kiwi, arugula, avocados,  blackberries, eggplant, figs, plums, purple sweet potatoes, raisins, jicama, bananas, onions, cauliflower, parsnips, potatoes

I think focusing on eating a rainbow may help me, since it brings a bit more fun into the game. Counting is okay, but trying to eat the different colors in fruits & veggies is more visual and interactive for me. So this week I’m focusing on eating a rainbow.

Will you eat a rainbow this week?

originally posted 2009.29

it’s in our nature

I love the quiet and solitude of walking in the forest.  It’s quiet but not silent.  The birds sing, the leaves rustle and somewhere off the path there’s movement in the undergrowth.  It’s been too long since I’ve walked in a forest, but the sense of calm comes back to me as I pull the picture of a forest trail up on my computer.  The last several months have been filled with one stressful day after another; and though I’ve managed well, now is the time for me to take my stress resilience to the next level; get back into nature and not just pull it up on the screen.

This week it’s all about time in nature; it’s all about connecting with nature and re-connecting with self.  Nature can calm, nature can re-energize, and nature can remind you of the joy in life.

For the past several weeks I’ve been spending some time each morning at Liliuokalani park enjoying my coffee and the view.  This week, I’m continuing that practice and I’m scheduling a trip to the beach for a swim after work.  I’m also planning on weeding my garden one evening in order to enjoy it the next evening with friends.  We’ll be sipping wine and chatting in the midst of lush foliage and blooming orchids.  I’ll also take my breaks from the computer outside; either strolling around the block or standing and staring into the water.  And of course, there’s always my Sunday walks at the Pana’ewa Rainforest Zoo with my husband.

Will you connect with nature this week?

This article, Connecting with Tropical Nature by Joanna Gilligan led me to…

 

walk on!

Walking seems to be the most popular activity for health and weight maintenance; mainly because it’s the easiest.  No memberships required; new workout clothes aren’t necessary (nice but not imperative); no training required (though some walking techniques do need some instructions); and you can get your workout in almost anywhere and anytime.

This week I will be focusing on getting my walking time in, but it’s not for the same reasons I’ve walked in the past.  I’m not walking for my health (though it will improve).  I won’t be walking for my weight (though I’m sure it will be going down).  I am walking to reduce the impact that my daily stress has on my body, my mind and more importantly my sleep.  That’s why I’m changing when I walk.  I’ve always scheduled my walks first thing in the morning so that I know whatever life throws my way, I’ve at least got my walk in.  However, this week I’m scheduling my walk for after work hours.  My work currently has me in “fight or flight” mode throughout the day and I need to walk off that adrenaline, so when my work day is done, my mind and my body can rest and recover.  Get Fit Hawaii share’s an article from CNN about 8 reasons to go walking and #3 is getting a better night’s sleep.  That’s my goal this week: A good night’s sleep.

Will you walk on this week?

Interested in walking 100 miles?  How about if you walked one mile a day?  In 100 days you would have covered 100 miles.  I’ve just learned about Chi Walking and I think I’m going to try it.

Welcome to Walk 100 Miles in 100 Days on YouTube

Chi Walking 100 Days, Lesson 1:  Posture on YouTube

Chi Walking 100 Days, Lesson 2: Upper Body on YouTube

Chi Walking 100 Days, Lesson 3: Lower Body on YouTube

What is Chi Walking?

drink up

You will probably see “drink water” on every weight loss tip list you see.  Each one may give a different amount to drink each day, but it’s there.  Some will have you calculate the daily amount based on your body weight, others will list a certain number of 8-ounce glasses to drink.  So which is it?  I say it doesn’t matter that much.  Because if you’re not drinking any “water” but you’re drinking soda (diet or regular), then the first small step to take is to drink more water.  You could commit to replacing one soda with a glass of water instead (or at least first).  Or if you’re sipping coffee, tea, wine or another favorite beverage, you could have some water nearby to accompany it.

If you routinely (or even just once in awhile) grab an energy drink, a bottled iced tea, or vitamin water, this week is a great time to look at the nutrition label and find out what you’re really drinking.  What’s in it?  Water should obviously be the first ingredient, but check for sugar.  Though it may not be listed, how much caffeine is in that drink?   Check out WebMD’s Energy Drinks: Hazardous to Your Health?  to learn more about how much caffeine may be in your favorite energy drink.  Reading the label BEFORE you sip can help you choose the best drink to achieve your goal.

I made drinking my water a priority as I lost weight, but lately I have lapsed.  This week, I will be focusing on tracking my water again.  I’ve tracked in different ways.  One time I used magnets on the refrigerator to count each 8 ounces I drank  Another time I filled up several water bottles each morning and my goal was to empty them before I went to sleep.  This time, I’ve pulled out one of my favorite pitchers and am using it to track.  I also picked a few mint leaves from my new herb garden and am spicing up my water.

 

Will you drink up this week?

 

A re-usable glass water bottle is a great option.

For information on the safety of drinking water, visit CDC’s website – Drinking Water Home

Water isn’t just for drinking.  The CDC has information on all uses of water: recreation, sanitation, hygiene or industrial – Healthy Water Home

spice it up

It’s time to spice things up a bit. We can easily get into a rut eating the same thing week in and week out. If you’re using the same 5 recipes every week, it’s no wonder your hand is heading to the cookie jar. Your taste buds are bored. But don’t worry, I’m not going to ask you to rush out to buy another cookbook or suggest that you to toss out your favorite recipes. Rather, I’m going to suggest you grow your own herbs to use in your favorite recipes.

Last week, I saw a photo of an indoor herb garden placed on a wall in the kitchen. I immediately pulled my husband into our kitchen to see if we could do something similar. After some discussion and a realization that it was going to be a much bigger project than I wanted to take on at the moment, we decided to make use of the two big pots by our front door. They’re perfect for growing herbs. They’re in full sun most of the day, easy access to water and, more importantly, they are convenient to grab and snip whatever we need.

With a trip to the garden store for plants and potting soil, we now have the opportunity to spice things up a bit. Even though there wasn’t a great selection of herbs, we were able to get many that we currently use. We have mint, two types of basil, chives, parsley and cilantro. I’m happiest with the cilantro because I’ve tried to grow it twice before. Both times, it was nibbled to death within days. I’ve had these herbs for a whole week and the cilantro is thriving!!!

Tonight we’re having minted green beans (green beans, mint, lime or lemon juice, and a bit of olive oil contained in a aluminum foil packet and placed on the grill –tasty). The other day we had tuna salad with a bit of the parsley and basil chopped in — Yum! Fresh herbs really can make a dish pop with flavor. And when you grow them yourself, they’re cheaper and always there when you need them. It’s easy to plant several different herbs in one pot.

How will you spice things up this week?

 

Check out: How To Make a One-Pot Indoor Herb Garden

 


check-in & check-up

When was the last time you had saw your doctor? When was the last time you visited your dentist? Or your eye doctor? If it’s been awhile, then now’s the time to schedule a check-up. If you’re like me and don’t have a primary doctor, start looking for one this week. Are your immunizations up-to-date? Do you know your basic numbers? What’s your blood pressure? Your body mass index (BMI)?

If you’re not sure what you might need, here are some screening tests that are recommended for women and men at different ages.

For Women Health Screening Tool
For Men Get Preventative Tests

This week, there are three things I’m going to do. I’m scheduling my eye doctor appointment; I’m finding a primary doctor; and I’m going to the Get Fit Hawaii Health Screening Event in Hilo. There are similar events island wide this week.

Will you schedule one check-up this week?

and check out the Get Fit Hawaii Health Screening Events

the power of thankfulness

This past week I spent some time by the ocean each morning before work.  Several times (all right, many times) it was in place of my morning walk, though sometimes I walked and stopped early to sit and watch the waves come in and go out.  I felt I needed the quiet time in order to face the challenges of the day.  The days that went best, where everything seemed to flow smoothly and with ease, were the days that I said thanks.  Thanks for certain people in my life, thanks for certain opportunities and even thanks for some “personal growth experiences.”  My moments of thankfulness were a powerful influence on my day, my attitude and my even my health.  I made much better choices this week because I wasn’t frustrated or stressed or unhappy.  I will be taking more time at the ocean this next week and enjoying the power of thankfulness.

What are you thankful for this week?

the difference between acceptance and giving-up

What is the difference between acceptance and giving-up?

I’ve accepted that I won’t make the better choice each time.
I haven’t given up trying to make the better choice next time.

I’ve accepted that my motivation isn’t always there.
I haven’t given up trying to find fun ways to keep me motivated.

How would you describe the difference between acceptance and giving-up this week?

it is what it is

A friend shared with me what her personal trainer asked her when she said she didn’t exercise sometimes because she was too tired after work and didn’t feel like it.  The personal trainer asked “why is exercising an option?  You go to work even if you don’t feel like it. So why is exercising an option?”

It’s a good question and most of my answers were from my inner 5 year old, but it got me thinking, “why are the healthier choices options?”

This week, when I admitted to myself that what I was doing wasn’t working and that I needed to get back to basics — smaller portion sizes, tracking what I eat, and sticking to my Weight Watchers PointsPlus® daily and weekly targets.  That’s when I accepted that “it is what it is” and I just have to deal with it.  I can’t pretend I can do it differently. It is what it is! That acceptance is exactly what I needed.  I’m tracking again, I’m measuring portion sizes and I’m losing instead of gaining.

Why is it an option this week?