Friday, March 13, 2015

Nutrition Fundamentals Pt. 2

(If you haven't seen Part 1, click here.)

Strategy #2: Enjoy Your Workout

It is true, research shows that people who are successful in maintaining weight loss get between 30 and 60 minutes of moderate exercise daily. I know...it seems like a lot. What I have learned throughout this amazing educational experience (because learning about health and nutrition has really been nothing short of amazing) is that you need to commit to a healthy lifestyle for life...not just to fit into your skinny jeans by the weekend. Just because I am eating healthy doesn't mean I get a pass exercising and still magically have my ideal weight the rest of my life. It takes daily commitment and a will to nurture your body. 

Hula Hooping not only is a great core workout, it makes you feel like a kid again!
Now before you stop reading this, wait. What is it, you ask? No, it's not The Master Cleanse. And no, it's not a treadmill. Or a meal replacement shake promising instant results. What you need to do is find a way to get excited about your daily sweat sessions. I will be the first to admit it isn't always easy. You can beat yourself up and drag your ass to the gym but when it comes down to it, you need something else...a motivator...to hold your dedication. If you can find a way to get excited about exercising, you will not only feel better physically but you will notice that exercise infiltrates into every part of your life, casting a sunny glow all over your whole being.

The same, dull, monotonous 30-minutes treadmill workout every day for the rest of my life doesn't appeal to me. Instead, I like to mix it up. Running, step-aerobics, pilates, hatha yoga, Zumba, belly dancing, kickboxing.... Recently, I set a goal of completing 2015 miles in 2015 with a couple of girls in Washington so now my workouts have a whole other meaning. I no longer make excuses for not going for a run when I don't feel like it because I have three other ladies counting on me.

Jogging on the Promenade deck on my cruise. After endless buffet lines, four course dinners and not being able to stick entirely to my plant-based diet, I should have jogged more.
Another reason I enjoy my workouts more now is because I have fun things to wear! Never underestimate the power of looking good when you sweat. Fitness wear can add a little pizzazz to your workout, too. I'm going to show off this bod and give a little wink in the mirror. "You look damn fine today, Baby." 

"Why, thank you, Me."

Seriously, just changing up the baggy shirt and sweatpants has inspired my sweat sessions.


Lastly, a word about time. I can't tell you how many times I have tried to figure out when the best time to exercise is for me. Let me tell you straight up...the best time of day is whenever I can get around to it as long as it gets done. Now that we homeschool and don't need to be up at 5:00AM, I hate needing to be out the door so early. Again, I do what makes me happy and what makes me stick with it. I know what you are thinking. "Self Magazine told me that if I work out on an empty stomach first thing in the morning I would burn more fat." That is possible but the different is negligible. What matters is that you are finding an exercise time that works for you and stop stressing over what the latest fitness article is telling you. As long as you get in the habit of moving that body it doesn't really matter what time you do it.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Three Reasons Why I Don't Get National Geographic Quality Pictures While on Vacation


It takes a lot of work to capture the feeling of a place. The best photos are usually taken in the early morning or right before sunset. Everything is awash in soft filtered light or a gorgeous sunset sky. As a tourist I call this time of the day "Happy Hour" and "sleeping off a hangover" which, needless to say, I don't take many photos. 

It also takes work and time to scout out locations to find the best angles to take photos. Good Lord, if I were trying to take good quality shots of Ernest Hemingway's Key West home, I would have got there right as I got off the ship and stay for hours watching the location change by the light. When I am on vacation, the only things I am scouting for are good cafes and possible napping spots. 

Driving past Ernest Hemingway's house in Key West
A good photographer would have her camera at the ready and eyes wide open to spot anything worth noticing. As a vacationer, it is more important to have a beverage in a coconut at the ready and a good book to read.

Drinking from a coconut on the Cayman Islands
Therefor if ever National Geographic calls for me to take pictures in exotic locations, I will come back with some badass photos. Until then, I will stick to my vacation modus operandi ....EAT WELL, DRINK OFTEN and EXPLORE MUCH!

Bome Bell and I enjoying the fine sandy beach and clear blue water of Half Moon Cay, Bahamas with our cruise ship, the ms Nieuw Amsterdam, in the background.