Category Archives: Fitness

sleeping woman

Tips for Sleeping Better Naturally

Maintaining good physical and mental health require regularly getting a sound, relaxing night’s sleep. Consequences of not enough sleep can lead to serious complications, including cardiovascular and kidney disease, breathing, difficulties, respiratory problems and obesity. Lack of sleep also has a negative impact on memory, mood and rational thinking. Over the counter sleeping aids and prescription drugs may provide temporarily relief, but can have undesirable and even dangerous side effects. Fortunately, there are some healthy, natural alternatives for getting a good night’s rest.

Melatonin is a substance produced by the pineal gland to control circadian rhythm, which is the body’s internal clock that regulates the sleeping and waking cycle. As people age, melatonin production can slow, disrupting sleep patterns and leading to insomnia. Available at health food stores, small doses of Melatonin taken as a dietary supplement can help promote sound sleep.

Tryptophan, which occurs naturally in turkey, is the substance that makes people drowsy following a big Thanksgiving Dinner. Tryptophan produces serotonin, which in turn makes melatonin, the same substance produced by the pineal gland that regulates the circadian rhythm and helps promote sleep. Tryptophan is also found in dairy products, nuts and legumes, and can be purchased as a dietary supplement at health food stores.

Chamomile has been known for centuries for its mild tranquilizing effects and sleep-inducing properties. Also known as “sleep tea”, chamomile helps relieve depression and decrease anxiety. People experiencing sleep disorders may find a cup of chamomile tea taken half an hour before bedtime can make the difference between lying awake tossing and turning for hours or getting a good night’s rest.

Valerian root is another natural substance known to promote sleep and relaxation. Found in health food stores and pharmacies, it’s an herbal sleep aid that’s been used for years to treat insomnia and anxiety. Taken before bedtime either in capsule form or brewed as a tea, valerian root promotes sound sleep by increasing the body’s gamma aminobutryic acid (GABA) level, which is a naturally occurring substance that helps relieve anxiety by relaxing the brain.

Physical exercise, according to a study by the National Sleep Foundation, can also bring relief to chronic insomnia sufferers. According to the study, as little as just 10 minutes daily spent engaged in low-intensity aerobic exercise such as walking or cycling can significantly improve relaxation and sleep quality. Exercise also helps reduce the risk of stroke, sleep apnea and various other sleep disorders.

The Right Mattress can also help improve sleep quality without resorting to potentially habit-forming medications. Replacing an old, sagging mattress with a well-constructed sleep system that gives the proper support for the sleeper’s body type, weight and preferred sleeping position often brings immediate relief from insomnia, bodily aches and pains and other sleeping problems.

As with any physical disorder, it’s always a good idea to consult with your health care provider before using sleep inducing supplements or starting an exercise routine.

Republished with permission from Sit n Sleep

Resources:

Heart Healthy Is the New Brain Healthy

Before you dive into this article, consider that your heart and brain are close friends. They even share close health bonds and have long ago struck a deal of heart-healthy equating to brain healthy. Research has also started to uncover this connection, where the heart shoulders significant responsibility for ensuring brain’s health.

The relation is even tragic. If the heart doesn’t take care of its fitness, the brain will suffer the consequences. So, we can even consider it a fellowship that borrows a few aspects from Romeo and Juliet. That leaves us wondering about the association between the two organs and the how and why part. Here is a look into the shared interdependence of the heart and the brain:

Research supports the claim

A recent study examined the bond between heart health and brain health. Published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, the research deliberated on the Life’s Simple 7. These are the health metrics developed by the American Heart Association are the key factors in defining a healthy heart.

The list includes an active lifestyle, ideal weight, healthy eating, low blood sugar, regulated blood pressure, monitored cholesterol, and zero tobacco. Using these metrics, researchers spelled the cardiovascular health of the participants. The study concluded that optimal cardiovascular health, as per the Simple 7 parameter, yields a reduced cognitive decline.

The study’s lead author summed up the findings as, “Achieving the health metrics of Life’s Simple 7 is associated with a reduced risk of strokes and heart attacks, even among the elderly. And the finding that they may also impact cognitive, or brain function underscores the importance of measuring, monitoring and controlling these seven factors by patients and physicians.”

Another report also tested the impact of following the Simple 7 at an early age on the brain. It tracked the participants for 30 years. The research found that high scores on the Simple 7 metrics were linked to a large brain volume. A large brain volume, on the other hand, is directly related to better health.

How does a healthy heart lead to a healthy brain?

Dr. Steven Greenberg, professor of neurology at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital, gives words to the picture. He explained, “Everything we think of as being unhealthy for your blood vessels and heart has also been linked to dementia.”

There are several factors that surface from a heart kept unwell like stiff arteries, high blood pressures, and high cholesterol. These very factors also pose as risk factors for disturbed brain health in the form of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. For instance, 1 in 10 ten survivors in stroke is predicted to develop dementia within one year of their stroke.

Likewise, blockages in the blood vessels can contribute subtle injuries to the brain. Resulting silent strokes have the odds in their favor by 10-20 times as compared to overt strokes. The microscopic damage also enhances the risk of dementia. A build-up of plaque in the blood vessels may also contribute to the risk of Alzheimer’s.

Dr. Albert Hofman, chairman of the department of epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health further summarizes the link. He confirms, “An estimated one-third of all cases of dementia, including those identified as Alzheimer’s, can be attributed to vascular factors.”

Next steps

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, heart diseases take the lives of 610,000 people annually. They are also the chief cause of death in the US. At the same time, Alzheimer’s victimized 5.5 million Americans as of 2017. Every 66 seconds, someone becomes the new victim of this disease.

Of course, nobody wants to join these ranks anytime soon. Since prevention is better than cure or no cure at all, it is better to work on your heart health. Here are some essential measures to take into your immediate consideration:

  1. Eat healthily

Gracing your diet chart with healthy foods is a must. It is the initial step to several efforts you put in for a hale and hearty heart like reducing cholesterol. Therefore, make sure to add fruits and vegetables to your diet.

You can also follow diets that are specifically tailored for boosting cardiovascular health such as the Mediterranean diet. As an add-on, include foods that improve your brain power.

  1. Quit smoking

Tobacco is a big red flag for your health. Smoking has a jumble of harmful effects on the heart. It raises the risk of cardiovascular diseases and damages arterial lining as well. The latter is a precursor to heart attack, stroke, and angina. Heart diseases caused by smoking add to 20% of deaths. Even more shocking is that 35,000 non-smokers die of heart diseases caused by passive smoking. It’s only better to separate your ways from tobacco at your earliest.

  1. Make the necessary lifestyle changes

Agility is the key to a cheerful heart. Lazy muscles are not going to get you anywhere to an active lifestyle. With its various benefits, physical activity parallels healthy cardiovascular health. Add exercise to your daily routine. It accelerates the heartbeat that pumps blood faster, providing greater oxygen to all the body along with the brain.

  1. Control your blood pressure

A high blood pressure cripples your health’s foundation. It launches a domino effect and culminates in heart attack and stroke. 1 in 3 adults in the US has high blood pressure. It is only wise to regulate your blood pressure within a healthful range. You will be able to save yourself from the multiple health threats exhibited by hypertension.

  1. Reduce weight

If you are among the 160 million Americans are close to being overweight or obese, then you should work pronto on losing weight. There is no pride in carrying the excess fat reserves. The additional pounds increase triglycerides and blood cholesterol. These are linked with a mushroomed risk of stroke. Obesity also contributes to hypertension.

Along with this, keep your blood sugar and cholesterol in check too. As you pursue these steps, you’ll be able to reap both a hale heart and a fit brain.

5 Tips for Sticking to Your Workout Schedule

“Year after year, the most popular popular New Year’s resolution you can make is getting in shape.

In fact, over 37% of Americans top resolution is “staying fit and healthy” as well as “lose weight.” Whether this means opening a gym membership or just increasing your weekly workouts, it is clear many people enter the New Year wanting a healthy lifestyle change.

While it’s easy to start off strong with keeping your resolutions, it can be difficult to find the motivation to stick with them. This can be increasingly difficult when working a full time job along with having a family, etc.

Even though it’s definitely a challenge, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is achievable. Here are tips to help you achieve and maintain your fitness goals.

Workout in the Morning

This can be one of the hardest lifestyle changes to make but can also be largely beneficial. It’s been shown that going to the gym in the morning not only helps with your metabolism but also increases productivity making you more keen for the workplace. If you’re known to want to skip the gym after a long workday, heading to the gym in the morning can be the next best option. If you are not a morning person, here are some great tips that will have you start to make morning exercise a daily habit. I strongly prefer to do my strength training bright and early.

Workout During Your Lunch Break

Working out during your lunch break is a great way to fit in fitness amongst a busy day. With most employers offering an hour lunch break, many people find that is the best time to get their workout in. If you have a gym in your building or close to your workplace and you already have your gym bag packed and ready to go, you’re guaranteed to have at least 30 minutes of a successful workout.

Working out during your lunch break is also a great way to break up your day and temporarily take your mind away from the work grind. If you’re thinking about going to the gym during your lunch break, here are some great tips to make it as stress-free as possible.

Workout With Your Partner

It’s been proven that having a workout partner helps you stay motivated to go to the gym. If both you and your partner are looking to make a healthy lifestyle change, working out together can be a great solution. If your husband or boyfriend is looking to go straight from the gym to the office, business wear brand, T.M. Lewin, has high-quality dress shirts that will make his transition from the gym to the office as easy as possible.

If you’re interested in working out with your partner, this doesn’t have to be limited to just going to the gym, you and your partner can always opt for a morning jog or bike ride. Not only is this a great way to change up your workout but it’s also a great way to spend quality time together.

Bring Your Kids to the Gym With You

If you don’t feel like going to the gym during your lunch hour is the right move for you, many people head to the gym later in the day. If your kids aren’t old enough to stay home by themselves, bringing them to the gym with you is a great option. This not only teaches your kids the importance of fitness at a young age but also is greatly beneficial in other areas as well. Many gyms also come with a daycare incorporated in case your children are too young to partake in a fitness class or use any of the machines.

Always Have a Prepared Gym Bag With You

Whether you plan on going to the gym in the morning, during your lunch break or after work, having a prepared bag is not only a great time-saver but can make your trip to the gym much easier. Many people prefer to leave a packed gym bag in the car with all the necessities such as sneakers, sports bra, change of socks and basic toiletries. If you plan on going to the gym during your lunch hour, leaving a packed bag under your desk is a great way to go straight from the office to the gym.

What are your tips for fitting in fitness during a workday?”

Ultimate Coffee Date – March

Hello, friends. If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that two weeks ago, I decided it was time to start tracking my food again. After a lifetime of a disordered relationship with the scale, I have found myself in a good place mentally, but, as I talked about recently, some bad habits have been creeping their way back into my life. It was time to get ahead of it all.

I downloaded the My Fitness Pal app and have been dutifully logging every morsel. It’s really easy, I pack my lunch and snacks for work and then while I eat breakfast, I log in the food for the day. It’s a helpful reminder to me to not grab mindless snacks and to also remind myself that I eat a good amount of food each day and therefore dinner can still be lighter.

It’s day 12 and I feel so much better. The initial water weight feels gone and I feel my pants getting a little roomier. However, yesterday I made the mistake of getting on the scale. I think it’s actually unhealthy, to weigh ourselves and am considering tossing it out. It gives a skewed perception to progress that I felt was on the right track.

It’s not about the number on the scale, it’s about being healthy and balance feeling good. I’ve enjoyed a date night out one night and some wine here and there and really feel a good balance. Goodbye scale.

If we were having coffee, I’d ask if you’ve been to Fitbloggin and if you’re thinking about going this year. Fitbloggin is a way to connect with like minded people through blogs, social media to inspire each other and others. There are yearly conferences.

Roni (the mind behind Fitbloggin) and Carla, wrote a book called “What You Can, When You Can” and they have a podcast, that is great and informative. Listening to these two inspiring ladies is like having coffee with your friends every week. Seriously, go and listen, it’s on iTunes and they publish weekly. You’ll be so motivated to choose healthy habits and to not get down on yourself for not achieving someone else’s definition of perfect.

Alright, my coffee is long gone, it’s time to wrap things up. So, thank you for stopping by and be sure to visit some of the other blogs that we have linked up.

 

Then This Happened

It’s taken me an entire week to sit down to tell you about my foot. I think the last thing I mentioned, I was going to the orthopedist to have it checked out. I was having significant pain on the ball of my right foot. It felt like a bruise and it had been almost 3 weeks since it had started hurting. It had started to feel better after about a week from the initial day of pain, but then I went for a walk one day and it hurt the whole time. So, off to the doctor.

Then this happened:

Diagnosis: a stress fracture in my 2nd metatarsal. I’m to wear the protective boot for three weeks. I’m allowed to do yoga and strength training and even to ride my exercise bike, providing I can get the pedal on the back part of my foot. Honestly, that sounds like it’ll stress me out just worrying if my foot slips and bangs the sore part.

In the last week since I got the gorgeous boot, I haven’t done a bit of exercise. Mainly because I spent the first three days with my boot days hopping around the Disneyland Convention Center, Downtown Disney and at my daughter’s dance competition and then the next three days I’ve spent in an exhausted recovery mode. Frankly, that was workout enough. It’s not fun but it’s just my reality right now. I will get back in a groove, I’m promising myself.

Sweet story, the first day with the boot, I was kind of wallowing a bit in my misery and had made a stop at the grocery store for a few things. As I was walking, clumping, to my car with a grocery bag in each hand, I passed a woman who gave me the nicest look and said, “I’m sorry.” She made me laugh at how I must have had the most miserable look on my face and it cheered me up. It’s nice to be on the mend and to know what the problem is.

Plus, I got a little status update on my bone spur. Of course it’s the same foot as the stress fracture and I really think the stress fracture was caused by the metal plate that I wear in my shoe to prevent my toe from bending back.

Anyway, we compared an x-ray from eight months ago, until now and my bone spur looks exactly the same. Looking at a image of the foot actually shows the arthritis inflammation in that joint to be a little less as well. So, that’s good news.

I think it’s feeling better. I’m not in pain constantly, although it wasn’t a lot of pain, anyhow, but enough to know that something was wrong.

So, that’s where I’m at. Me and my boot and my itchy leg, thunking and clumping around and hobbling up and down stairs. Hopefully soon, I’m going mobile.

I Can Run But I Can’t Wear High Heels

I’m still here. It’s not like I don’t have the time to write, because I do, and I do love my blog. It’s more that I just don’t have the blog mojo these days. I think about blog posts and then I think, ‘Nah, that’s boring, I’m not writing about that’. So all the time goes by. I guess it’s best to not force the issue.

Time is flying, how do I have an 8th grader and a 5th grader? It’s our last year in the elementary school. I’m working on transitioning out of some of my volunteer jobs. I did find two moms to take over my head librarian duties, so that is a relief and they’re awesome so I’m leaving the library in good hands.

For this year, I’m still heading up the Healthy Ever After nutrition program at the school. I’m super excited that this is my only volunteer job this year, and I’m looking at not just the students, but their parents, as well. I really need to spark some enthusiasm for the program so that I can find someone to take it over next.

I went back to the orthopedist last Friday. It’s been 5 weeks since my first visit. The Lidoderm patches seem to be helping the nerve problem in my ankle. The irritation is getting a little better, but it’s still there. Luckily, it never hurts when I run or workout. The Dr. said that nerve issues are tricky and it’s hard to know how long it’ll take.

My toe is a different story. I mentioned in my last update, that I’m thinking surgery might be the way to go, as it turns out, there comes a point of no return in dealing with a bone spur on a joint, that the best treatment is to fuse the joint together. That sounds bad. I asked a few questions at the doctor’s this time and he said that since my pain isn’t that bad, I’m not close to that point. Walking quickly and flexing it hurt. But, surgery is surgery and there are always risks.

What hurts the most is wearing high heels. I don’t wear heels very often. But, my daughter is becoming a Bat Mitzvah in one month. I’d like to wear high heels. I wore low heels a few weeks ago for an evening and my stupid toe throbbed and ached for 2 days after.

Which brought up the oddest conversation with my doctor. In discussing the pain, the next step of treatment prior to undergoing surgery is to do a steroid injection. He seems to think that it’ll lessen the arthritis inflammation in the joint and help deal with the pain, and I should get it a week before. So, I guess that’s what I will do.

I found a nice pair of silver sparkly heels to wear and as a backup plan, I bought a sparkly pair of flip flops in the same color that will come along for the day and probably get worn a lot if my toe acts stupid.

We did discuss my surgical options. He said that this type of surgery would require a couple of days off of the foot and then I’d likely be able to resume running within 4-6 weeks. I’m pretty sure this is where this is going, but for now, I can run, I can do whatever. I just can’t wear high heels. I guess it’s going to be surgery. I really want to wear cute shoes.

Five Favorite Fitness Bloggers

As someone who loves food, loves my family and loves to keep fit, I also love to write about it. While I tend to run a lot and enter into races, I’m always interested in many other kinds of fitness, as well. It’s not always possible to commit to a run or the weather may not cooperate, so I find inspiration elsewhere.

I have met many like-minded bloggers from doing my fun runs and other races, and they have become friends and so I follow their blogs and have discovered other great fitness bloggers, either through them, or just digging around. Today I will share my favorite five.

  1. Cook, Train, Eat, Race

This is a great site from Jason Bahamundi, and covers all kinds of information about fitness, nutrition, races and all manners of fitness. He provides recipes, which is great and he has very useful information for building yourself up to race day, what to eat and what to avoid and breaks down the training steps and makes it easy to follow along. Follow him if you are serious about your races and fitness.

  1. Fit Bottomed Girls

Cheeky title for a blog about your cheeks! Keeping a lid on the junk in your trunk is the theme but they cover all kinds of topics that are fitness related. They have a full plate of information, from guest writers and a podcast, plus links to other helpful sites ad they have all the social media pages, to follow along with them.

  1. Yoga Dork

 

This is a site for all things yoga. They have information about yoga for all ages and abilities, different styles and methods and whatever else is current in the world of yoga. There are some great v\blogs, links to other sites and useful information and fun, interesting stories, with free stuff, too.

  1. The Fit Foodie

No Nigella types of recipes here, with big globs of thick cream. *sad face*

This site combines healthy eating with healthy foods for the best balance. You will find great articles, fun, easy recipes for healthy foods, drinks, breakfasts and fabulous desserts that allow you to eat all your favorite things without the heavy fats and sugars. Tips for skin and hair, wellness and healthy lifestyles are all here. You can join them on all the popular social media pages.

  1. Fly Like A Girl

There is nothing as relaxing as a good swim, and when you can get exercise and enjoy yourself, then count me in. Follows along the progress of swimming and getting better. Provides links to other fitness and swimming blogs and gives a lot of information about the progress of a mom with her girls in swimming, but it’s nice to read about it and encourages me to want to swim more.

There are so many blogs out there, it’s easy to get lost in them, but find one that inspires you and makes you want to go out and tackle whatever sport or activity it is that works for you. If you can find a good one for running, or yoga and a few good ones for foods and nutrition, then you will be well on your way to feeling better, looking better and a healthier lifestyle. 

15 Mistakes Women Make When Trying to Lose Weight

Weight loss may sound like a simple equation involving fewer calories and more workouts, but anyone who has cut down on the extra calories and pumped up at the gym knows it is a lot harder than that. The biggest cause of demotivation can be the lack of results. Nothing hurts more than a week or two of eating clean and exercising, only to find out that the weighing scale hasn’t budged even a tad bit!

However, instead of getting bummed about it, identify your mistakes. Here is a list of 15 common mistakes a lot of women make while trying to shed those extra pounds:

1 – Overdosing on protein

Eggs, peanut butter, white meat, high protein shakes are considered to be the key food items for weight loss and muscle gain. But, often, women overlook the fact that they need only around 50 grams of protein daily, according to CDC and anything more than that will be stored as fat.

Also, try to opt for natural sources of protein instead of consuming sugar laden bars and shakes. Lentils, soybeans, chicken, fish and eggs are excellent natural sources of protein. But for vegans, there isn’t much choice. Luckily though, vega protein has now bridged that gap and is providing an excellent source of protein through natural plant sources.

2 – Not eating enough veggies

The importance of adding 2.5 cups of vegetables to your meals cannot be stressed enough. Vegetable intake speeds up the weight loss process by adding fiber to your body.

Can’t eat a bowl of salad in one go? Sneak some sliced tomatoes or lettuce in your sandwich, but make sure it goes in.

3 – Skipping breakfast

Although we are reminded since childhood that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, we fail to follow this sane advice. Most women who want to lose weight tend to skip breakfast and have a glass of juice, instead. Fruit juices have sugar in them which increases insulin levels in the body. Thus, you start feeling hungry after a couple of hours which consequently results in over eating.

4 – Not getting enough sleep

Did you know that our metabolism is at its best when our body is asleep and well-rested? Not getting enough sleep results in a slower metabolism, which eventually slows down your weight loss rate. So, don’t deprive yourself of those much needed naps.

5 – Eating too little

Steer clear of fad diets that are literally starvation programs. Always choose a path that will give slow but steady results. Consuming anything less than 1000 calories a day will affect your metabolism and muscles negatively. Losing 10 pounds in a week is not possible, unless it is water weight, which will crawl back once you revert to your daily routine.

6 – Not drinking enough liquids

Not only is water is what our survival depends on, it can help with weight loss too. It helps metabolize stored fats and so the heavier a person, the more water he requires for the body to flush out fats and toxins. But fluid intake doesn’t just end with water, herbal teas can very well be part of it. These teas have zero caffeine and just 4-8 calories per cup. They soothe the senses, help warm you on a cold winter day. Herbal teas like breathe easy tea will even relieve chest congestion, wheezing and symptoms of asthma.

7 – Not exercising enough

Taking the stairs or walking to work are healthy habits, but they do not count as serious exercise, especially, if you are looking to shed those extra pounds. Exercising intelligently will create more lean mass in your body, making it easier for you to lose fat and maintain weight loss in the long run.

8 – Being scared of weight lifting

A lot of women think that lifting weights will cause them to bulk up like The Hulk. Stay clear of this misconception. In fact, lifting weights is one of the most effective ways to add muscle mass to your body and to increase your metabolism. It also helps in toning the fat in difficult areas like the belly and the glutes.

9 – Eating too often

Ditch the ‘eat every two hour’ rule. Only eat when you are really hungry. Try drinking a glass of water instead whenever you experience frequent hunger pangs!

10 – Not maintaining a record

Try to keep a record of every bite you eat. With the variety of calorie counting apps and websites available online, this is not so difficult. Counting calories can help you identify your weight loss mistakes.

11 – Drinking Juice

Many women don’t realize that fresh fruit juice has a lot of sugar, so even if you have cut out all sources of artificial sugar from your diet, fruit juice can be the culprit. To speed up the weight loss process, try having solid whole fruits rather than juices.

12 – Eating processed food

Stay away from processed food if you want to lead a healthy life. Processed foods are a strict no-no when it comes to losing weight. Eat wholesome single ingredient foods for maximum benefits. The reason why they aid in weight loss is because they are easy to digest and break down.

13 – Lacking consistency

Weight loss isn’t going to happen overnight. You need a lot of discipline and consistency to achieve your desired results. Even on days where you can’t spare half an hour to go to the gym, sneak in 10 minutes of HIIT training. Make exercise a daily habit if you want to see noticeable results.

14 – Not varying your exercise routine

Don’t expect your body to respond to the same old exercise routine after a certain time period. Use the FIT principle and vary frequency, intensity and time to achieve better results. Moreover, try to have a cup of green tea as it’s said to be a great pre-workout drink and is also very helpful in burning fat.

15 – Not getting professional help

All bodies are different. If you have a medical condition or are finding it very hard to lose weight, it is better to seek professional help. Carefully formulated diet plans and exercise will make it happen! Talk to a dietician who may prescribe some health supplements.

All in all, losing weight is not easy. But enjoying your weight loss journey and incorporating a complete lifestyle change can make it easier for you to achieve your goals. Incorporating weight loss foods such as cruciferous vegetables, leafy greens, or healthy beverages like green tea, turmeric tea, or if you like fruity flavors than herbal fruit teas will help greatly. Remember, each pound you lose brings you closer to a happier and healthier version of yourself!

August Ultimate Coffee Date

Thanks for joining me for the August Ultimate Coffee Date. These are some of my favorite posts to write and to read. If only we could all have coffee together in real life. I’ve got lots to tell you today so let’s get right to it.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you about my lovely friend coming by the other day and dropping off a bounty from her garden. Included were some beautiful zucchini and I decided to bake with them.

I made date and zucchini bread to eat while I am having my Ultimate Coffee Date with you. I was so proud of myself for coming up with the idea and knew it was the perfect way to use the homegrown zucchini my friend gave me. Funny thing though, when I was taking it out of the oven somehow I dropped it right on my kitchen floor. It was not only heartbreaking, but an awful mess. I’ll have to add something about that to my food memes collection.

I cleaned it all up but because my kitchen smelled of freshly baked zucchini bread, I checked and realized I had enough ingredients to completely start over. It turned out even better, as I was feeling like a bit of a pro now, so I was very pleased with the results.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my clumsiness did not end there. For some reason, I forgot to put my coffee mug under the coffee machine when I brewed it and That’s me washing the counter and the floor. I feel like there should be some sort of alarm that goes off and stops the machine from brewing where there is no receptacle for it to go in. I have no idea why I have been such a klutz this week.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am ready to move on with August. We have a busy month ahead before school starts. We are working on getting everything organized to take our daughter back to school out of state in 2 weeks. My son will be coming back from overnight camp next weekend after 7 weeks. We have a few days of us all together. It’s been busy and hot and I feel like it has just flown by. Like the bugs, they’ve been terrible this year and they are constantly buzzing around my head. I haven’t found a perfect solution for this yet, but if you have them like I do you’ll soon be searching for a pest control expert in your area.

If we were having coffee, I would also tell you we didn’t really have time for a family vacation this summer. I did a few races and fun runs and the kids were so busy with their own projects, camp and their friends, I don’t know where the time went. We managed to get away for the last few weeks before school started and had a nice time, plus the weather was already cooling down, so it was much nicer.

I love running in the fall, so I am looking forward to running with the nicer, more reasonable temperatures.

 

Blogfest and IDEA Fit – Inspiration and Fun

A while back I attended the IDEA Fit and Blogfest Conference in Anaheim. There is another one scheduled for the end of June this year in San Diego so I wanted to mention it again. A few of my blogger friends have already written up some great recaps of the events, so I’ll just sum up my own experience.

Blogfest was produced by the amazing ladies at Sweat Pink and was a nicely integrated program with the whole of IDEAFit. If you don’t know what it is, it’s just as the name says. It’s an event for bloggers who write about fitness, where we get together to workout and blog about it.

I readily admitted that I went into the event mostly excited to see my blogger friends but ended up making many more who were so inspiring. Blogging about fitness isn’t new, but as we tend to do it on our own, it’s very fulfilling to meet other like-minded bloggers who are passionate about fitness.

There were keynote speakers, booths for educational materials and a lot of reps from fitness related brand products, which is always helpful. One quote I heard that stayed with me was, “Educate your kids about their health and empower them to understand how their decisions affect their health.” Perfect. Empowerment to me means don’t be the food police – but model healthy habits and encourage them to understand their own health.

And another quotable moment: “When you’re strong physically, it translates to every facet of your life.”

The other inspiring takeaway from the conference was meeting and chatting with a woman from from PowerCakes. Her philosophy is to “Be True to You” and she works tirelessly to inspire young girls to have Body Peace. Having a teenage daughter and being around so many teenage girls, I know the importance of a healthy body image. I could have chatted with her for hours and hours. It certainly inspired me and gave me a lot to think about long after the event was over.

I think the best thing to walk away with from a fitness blogger conference is inspiration. Not just blogging but it’s inspiration to do things OFF of my blog. Yes, I can share stories and motivation here, but it’s the things I want to do off the blog that I keep thinking about. Being active in the kid’s fitness and food programs at their schools, for instance.

I know there’s more, but overall it was amazing. If you think that we just sat around in presentations all day, we didn’t. There were plenty of workouts, although I’m still not at 100% with my foot, so I took it easier than I wanted to, but it was a great, inspiring weekend.

I look forward to this year, to seeing my friends and making new one.