Or: My relationship with my abs and beyond
It’s not easy to plank, but it’s one of the best exercises you can do without any props. Just you and the floor and your focus. That’s the hard part, the focus. I always say that exercising is not just physical, it’s also mental, and the plank is a fantastic example. When I plank with others, I often say “go to your happy place.” That’s my way of saying, take your mind off the exercise itself because your body can do it—it’s your brain that’s saying “I’m tired, I’m bored, I’ve done enough for today…” Transport yourself through conversation (as we do in class) or reading (as I sometimes do alone) or thinking about something other than holding yourself up in an admittedly uncomfortable position, and you CAN do a plank for a minute, or two, or even three.
Since I love to plank (or rather to have planked), and I certainly love to make others plank, I intend to share here 100 things to busy your mind so it won’t sabotage that wonderful plank.
Continue reading “100 Things to Think About While Doing a Plank”
Dig deep–in the dirt, that is–and you might just find a way to get in shape.
Everything is cyclical—we hear that all the time, but I do believe I am now witnessing it. I live intown, and have neighbors who have chickens. Gardens are flourishing (or languishing, but at least they have been planted) in front yards, back yards and anywhere sun gets there right here in the city. One of my neighbors is making a good side job of building garden boxes for city dwellers. The people have spoken, and what we want is wholesome, organic, do-it-yourself foods.
The reason I love this growing trend is, well, take this direct quote from my 3-year-old daughter yesterday: “I wanted more arugula.” I think it’s easy to look past the grammar issues to the word “arugula.” When I told my husband about it, he said, “I don’t think I even said the word ‘arugula’ until recently.”
Continue reading “Farm to table to…your best shape ever”
What are you truly hungry for?
Are you a food addict? Or maybe you call yourself a “stress eater.” Do you eat sometimes for the pleasure of eating, but without really tasting anything? Flip side, do you taste it and then lack any willpower whatsoever to stop when you’re full—or when you know you should?
It is time to consider that food may not be that which is truly causing your hunger. This is big, so take it in. You may be confusing a hunger for something else in your life with an easier hunger to fix—the one in your belly.
Continue reading “Hunger for Happiness”
My own fight to lose the final five
So now I get it–this is how it feels to be THIS close to pre-baby body. It seems like my body had more snap-backness after the first baby…this go-round I feel the pain of so many of my clients. I fit into my old clothes, but my shape is just not yet my own.
If it’s true that breastfeeding is making me hold on to that last bit of saggy skin, I’m willing to put up with it for the next year. But I’m not thoroughly convinced that’s all it is. So… even though I live by the words “everything in moderation,” I’m going to do an experiment: I’m cutting out wine for two weeks. It’s the one vice I have that I believe may in fact be a culprit in this battle, so I want to see if there’s a noticeable difference.
Continue reading “Battling the Baby Bulge”
Here’s one of our favorite fast and hearty weeknight meals.
We love us some kale in this house, and what a powerhouse of a food it is. It’s got tons of Vitamin A, plenty of C, fiber, protein, iron, calcium…and it works perfectly in this dinner Mike and I make about once a week.
Kale & “Sausage”
- 2 vegetarian sausage links (such as Tofurky Italian Sausage), sliced (like coins)
- 1 small-to-medium-size onion
- 1 large bunch of kale, rinsed, pulled from stem, and torn into pieces
- Red pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 T olive oil
- (Optional: We serve this over brown rice.)
Heat olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Thinly slice onion and add it to the oil with about 1/4c water. Cover and let onion cook, stirring frequently. When onion is transparent but not browned, add sausage. Allow sausage to heat through, then add kale. Cover skillet to allow kale to wilt a bit–just a minute or two. Sprinkle red pepper flakes to taste, then salt and pepper. Serve over brown rice. Yum!
Could you give up dairy?
Are you up for the challenge? Could you give up dairy? I’ve started to read up on Alicia Silverstone’s Kind Diet. It’s “kind” to your body, to animals, and to the earth. I can’t find anything wrong with that so far. I’m already a pesce-vegetarian, so it doesn’t seem like a huge leap to cut out the other animal products, but I didn’t set out to be a vegan, so I’m not sure about all this. I like being able to find things to eat on any menu without having to ask for special treatment. And I don’t want to give up dairy, really. I just want to see if it’s true that I’ll feel lighter and have clearer skin and more energy… Sounds like it could be worth a try.
The good news: Mike’s into doing it with me. Whew! That will for sure make it easier. We’ve decided to try it for two weeks. Our babysitter is vegan; she says it will be easy. They make it all dairy-free now if you want it—we just have to get used to the taste and texture. So we’re cleaning house now. This is a home where every single person has our own special yogurt, including the baby. So we’re eating up the Greek yogurt (oh, how I shall miss you!), the snack cheese, the plain yogurt for cooking, the (already cage-free, vegetarian-fed) eggs…
As I get more into the book and the ugly truth behind why I’m trying this out, I’ll write about it. For now, I am interested because of how a dairy-free lifestyle supposedly makes you look and feel. (My life with two kids could certainly use a boost in the energy department!) I’ll let you know when we say “go”!
Being healthy means more than exercising–it’s about eating well, too.
If you really want your plans for your body to succeed, you have to consider every angle. So even if you’ve finally found a way to exercise two, three or six times a week, you still can’t ignore your diet. That includes dinner, parents! Stolen bites of the kids’ mac ‘n’ cheese do not count as dinner.
Mike and I love to cook–that helps. We love the grown-up time, when we can chat and chop and finally catch up on each other’s days. It was hard to keep up the cooking when we had Arabella, but we did it. So now that there are two kids, we are determined not to lose that nutrient-rich part of our day (“nutrients” being home-cooked food AND that grown-up non-TV time!). Our meals may be a little less glamorous than they used to be, but I promise–it is possible to make something more nutritious (and more glamorous) than cheese quesadillas and still get to bed at a semi-reasonable hour.
Continue reading “Who has time to cook?”