Wednesday, July 31, 2013

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Jack be nimble
Jack be quick
Jack jumped over the candlestick

Unless of course Jack was burning that candle at both ends and didn't have enough energy to jump high enough and then.........

Adequate sleep is so important and yet in our modern society can also be so elusive. I'll be totally honest and tell you that this is an area of life balance that I need to monitor or I will begin "burning that candle at both ends." When I do I pay for it. I gain absolutely nothing other than the elusion of a few extra hours.

Though written in 2002, the article "The Sleep Crisis" by Barry Kapke, A.C.S.T. is as true today as it was when it was written. The only difference is that we now have more information about just how injurious it is to restrict our sleep.

"Sound Sleep" , an article by Shirley Vanderbilt gives some tips to improve our sleep and further speaks to some of the ill effects of poor sleep.

Finally the National Sleep Foundation's website is a great resource for information if a good nights sleep is eluding you.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Oil Cleansing Method with Nerium

Years ago I tried the Oil Cleansing Method for my face and felt it was ok.

Recently I began looking for a way to deep clean my skin due to the breakouts I was experiencing as Nerium pushes plugs and blockages from years ago out of my pores. I was hoping to speed up the process without harming my skin.

This time around I teamed the oil cleansing up with my Miracle Cloth Make up remover cloths and what a difference that made! I allow the cloth to steam my face but then stroke the cloth over my face in order to remove the oil.

Despite the instructions calling for Castor Oil I have been using Watts Beauty ArganGoldTM with good results. I already had a bottle and it initially escaped me that it is a product for hair and body but so far my face hasn't been harmed by using it. I'm considering giving it a try with jojoba or jojoba and castor or jojoba and olive to see if either of them removes with greater ease. I do believe that castor oil would tend to be more drying.

I finish my lightly moistening my skin and applying my nightly Nerium.  I've been using this method of cleansing for about two weeks and so far I'm pleased with it. I can imagine that it will be even more beneficial during winter when the air is extremely dry.
 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

12 Easy Ways to Green Your Home

We're pulling into the kitchen remodel homestretch. With each step we've asked a few really important questions before moving on.

1. Is it necessary?
2. Is it efficient?
3. Is it beautiful in its efficiency?
4. Will it improve the function of the space?
5. Is it the most greenest alternative for the money we have budgeted?

In my search for info on green alternatives I found this slideshow on House Beautiful.com.

It lists common issues with green practices and easy solutions. We had discovered all of the solutions except for the first slide. We've been struggling with that one, mostly because we didn't understand the various options.

I found this website that helps shed some light on the subject.

 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Body Remembers

"The Body Remembers", written by M Sinclair was written for massage therapists but I believe that it's an interesting read for anyone.

It's amazing how our bodies become the sum total of the physical and emotional experience we put them through over the course of our lifetime.

These individual musculoskeletal changes can be one reason for slow results with various types of exercise plans. Unlocking a postural deviation can often change the way the body looks and functions when exercise alone seems to do nothing.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Testimonials: Better Body Alignment = Less Pain

I've been meaning to share some my clients' testimonials for some time now. I ask permission to share what they say and/or email to me, life gets busy and I never seem to get them on the website and/or blog.

A lovely client emailed this last week and I decided that - with her permission - I'd share her comments on the blog.

Thanks, Lanette. And thanks again for the wonderful session yesterday.
This is the second time I've seen you and the second time I've walked
out of your office pain-free. You are a miracle worker and I
appreciate it more than you can know. - R......


The answer to why R has pain when she walks in the door of my office but little or none on the way out has to do with improved body alignment. It also has to do with the loosening of tight muscles and connective tissue  in order to allow the looser muscles and connective tissue to rebalance. We're also working together to eradicate some rather stubborn trigger points.

Our goal is to use a combination of massage therapy and home exercise to encourage her body to maintain balanced alignment for longer and longer periods.

Do you have a goal for your massage therapy sessions? Whether the goal be simple muscle relaxation or balancing a specific problem having  a goal will most definitely add structure and value to your sessions without sacrificing any enjoyment.
 
 
 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Do you love all of your possessions?

I've previously talked about the Tiny House movement. I discovered the idea of a tiny house when I began searching for the perfect vacation mode. I've since used some of the space saving ideas you find in tiny houses in our kitchen remodel.

I have to tell you that as our kitchen morphs we're amazed at how much larger it feels with just a few small changes but without any changes in the actual size.

Much like painting one room makes you want to paint and spruce up additional rooms, the kitchen redo has helped us to re-evaluate our possessions and whether we really need as much as we own.

I can honestly say that every decorative item I will have in my kitchen is functional. That is what makes the space work so well.

I can also attest to the fact that by freeing yourself and your life of extraneous "things" you make more room and time for what really matters to you. It's hard to believe that "things" can suck up energy and time - but they do. You just don't realize it until they're gone.

So I thought I'd share a couple of motivating articles. You can find them HERE and HERE.

I'm not sure I would ever want to downsize to the Tiny House size but you have to admire those who do.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Thought for The Day

I haven't shared any quotes for a while - used to share one of my favorites weekly - so when I was reminded of this one I decided to share it.

"If you expect the best, you will be the best. Learn to use one of the most powerful laws in this world; change your mental habits to belief instead of disbelief. Learn to expect, not to doubt. In so doing, you bring everything into the realm of possibility." - Norman Vincent Peale

 
When you're in your darkest hour this quote will not ring true at all. It may still feel like an uphill battle when you begin to be aware of your thoughts and work to replace negative thoughts with more positive thoughts. Hang in, keep sight of the goal and at some point you'll realize that you're reshaping your life - one thought at a time.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Deep Discount Tuesday! Today only

Super Step Away special. I've written about these workouts HERE and HERE.

 

Should you choose Organic?

The article The Organic Choice was written by Lara Evans Bracciante in 2005. Yet the info it contains is still beneficial today.

There is no doubt that buying organic produce is a more expensive proposition than buying conventionally grown. If buying every vegetable to cross your lips is going to break the bank you might try initially choosing your battles.

This handy printable list put out by the Environmental Working Group can help you make educated choices on which vegetables and fruits you may want to purchase organic.

I will admit that I don't purchase all organic fruits and vegetables. I tend to eat a lot of kale and spinach and so I choose organic over conventional when I buy them. I strongly prefer the taste of organic apples, carrots and celery. When it comes to other vegetables and fruits I try to buy organic whenever possible.

You should never forgo eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables because you can't afford to eat "all" organic.

Here's some information on organic from Dr. Anne Kulze, M.D. and finally, some information from Dr. Joel Fuhrman.

In the end we have to make our own choices. Our choices can support organic farmers and hopefully bring down costs over time or we can fuel the big guys. The choice is ours.

So how do you decide which way to go?

Monday, July 15, 2013

Easy Trick to Save on Dishwashing Detergent


In a previous post I mentioned that I wasn't sure what to do about all the  dishwashing detergent we've been using because of being without a dishwasher. I've wanted to try Mrs. Meyer's Dish Soap but it's more expensive than the other brands. I bit the bullet over the weekend and I have to say that like the other Mrs. Meyer's products I find this to be a bargain. You need only use a small amount.

BUT, better than the new dish soap is the fact that I cam up with a soap saving idea that is really working for us. I took a small spray bottle and filled it about a third full of Mrs. Meyers dish soap. Then I filled the rest of the bottle with water. I begin with a dishpan empty other than the dishes I need to wash. I pick up the first dish. squirt the dish soap and water solution on it (1-2 squirts will do it) use my eco sponge to wash it and rinse it with hot water allowing the rinse water to flow into the pan. Repeat the same procedure with the next dish and the next until you have a pan full of hot soapy water in which case you can finish any remaining dishes and move onto the pots and pans and/or baking pans.

This method cuts down on use of dish soap and water and the dishes come out really clean. It's working really well now that we are at the stage where we have no kitchen sink for a short time and are working at a makeshift set up. I don't think I'll ever be without a spray bottle of diluted dish soap on my kitchen sink again.

I know you can get dish soap dispensing sponge or brush setups but I've never really found one that I thought worked all that well. If you have a favorite feel free to suggest it.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Downsizing your brain: When is a Bargain not such a Bargain

Admission time.....

In my quest to downsize and create a life that includes only the best of the best I sometimes feel like I'm not making enough progress, am backsliding or simply not walking the walk closely enough.

This past weekend I realized that changes are happening and some of them are just inside where they aren't readily apparent.

We went shopping. We had a few purchases in mind - necessary purchases. The area we went to is known for bargains and in the past I would have been lured by those bargains, whether they were things I needed or not.

I'm happy to say that we came home with only the things that we actually needed and in each case the items will be replacing other items that are worn out. We walked away from dozens of great "bargains" that would have simply been possessions once purchased.

So when is a bargain not such a bargain? I'd say that no matter how high quality a bargain is not a bargain when you don't need it! I also think that a purchase should add to the quality of your life rather than complicate it. How would you answer that question?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

7 minute Workout? But what about form? Adding T-Tapp can Help!

You can find an ABC report on this 7 minute workout that's apparently sweeping the nation HERE. The study upon which it's based previously came across my desk  and I've been waiting to hear more about it. Somehow, despite sweeping the nation - I almost missed it.

I was really happy to see the trainer featured in the article mention that this kind of workout could be dangerous for people who are sedentary. Anytime you increase intensity really quickly you also increase the risk for injury. Picking up intensity to max levels - especially if you're sedentary is very much like performing your own stress test. To that I can only say that there is a reason that they perform maximal stress tests in a hospital setting.....

The news article gives the sequencing and you see snips of the exercises being performed. That's where my T-Tapp Training came in. Watch the part of the clip where she is jogging and lifting her knees high. Do you see her knees moving toward the midline of her body? This tells me a lot about what muscles need t be strengthening in order to truly balance her body. And yet - she also states that she performed the workout because she's been regularly working out with a trainer. HMMMM Regular workouts - weak muscles? I want to point out that I'm not dissing her level of strength. I just want to point out that she could become more balanced and even stronger with a simple addition to her training program.

Of note is the planks and push ups she was able to perform and still her knees drift to midline when she performs "high knees."

I would wager a bet that by adding T-Tapp Basic Workout Plus to her workout schedule she would end that midline leg drift and substantially strengthen and stabilize her core. Doing so would give her more usable strength. The form that T-Tapp teaches would also teach her to work to or at least toward balanced resistance - even in traditional exercise and that can keep you safe.

I've seen at least two runners add substantial speed to their race times - simply by adding T-Tapp to their training schedules. A balanced body is quite simply a better machine.

You wouldn't do such an intense workout schedule on a daily basis. A schedule could look like this -

Day 1 - 7 minute workout (7M)
Day 2 - Basic Workout Plus (BWO+)
Day 3 7M
Day 4 rest or T-Tapp Stretch workout
Day 5 BWO+
Day 6 7M
Day 7 BWO+

Jumping back in to add a link to pictures of the exercises featured in this workout.

You need a timer for the 7 Minute workout and I can't recommend Gymboss Interval Timer highly enough.

Bottom line recommendation? Partake in the traditional exercise but add T-Tapp in order to get more out of your sessions - no matter how short they are.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Nourishing Body and Soul


That's the title of THIS article. Written in 2006, it's still very much applicable today. That fact saddens me because it means that we really haven't moved ahead in that time - The issues it describes are still societal issues. It's also a reminder that it's important to stop and ask ourselves what it is that we really want, really need out of this day, this moment.



Thought for today: What if the changes that you wish for are only impossible because you believe them to be so?

 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Green Smoothie Pops???

http://www.theconsciouskitchen.com
Mine look just like this
Yum! It's so hot here and we're plodding along trying to stick to our kitchen time line but it's SOOOO HOT! Well as they say, "It's not the heat. It's the humidity."

I'm also trying to downsize our kitchen "stuff." In some cases it's easy. With our smaller European style stove and oven - did I tell you how much I love them? - there are some cookie sheets and baking pans that are just a little too big to be practical. Convection ovens demand the room for air circulation. I also want to find items that allow you to use one baking item for multiple uses.

But I'm getting off track.

Yesterday, while going through a box of kitchen goodies for the 5th time I came across the popsicle set that was a bonus with our vitamix! I decided I'd strike while the temperature was hot and make those green smoothie pops I've been wanting to make forever.

I used my all time favorite recipe. I filled the containers, popped in the wooden sticks, stuck the whole thing in my awesome European freezer and promptly forgot about them.......until today when I was just about melting from humidity.

This is a totally guilt-free way to enjoy superior nutrition while you cool off!

You've got to try them!!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The benefits of Body Awareness

You can find a brief, but I think good, article on body awareness HERE.

Cultivating a sense of body awareness can be beneficial in so many ways.


Link to article this picture is from below
From a massage therapy stand point body awareness will allow you to truly feel where you are tight and how and when that tightness manifests for you. Your description will be much more to the point allowing your massage therapist to better release the tightness and make suggestions to help prevent or at least keep your muscles looser for a longer period between massages.

From an exercise stand point body awareness will allow you to get more out of the exercise you do. Your form will be better because you will be able to feel when that form is off. Over time you'll be better able to modify your exercise to match your needs on any particular day.

From a diet stand point body awareness will allow you to better know when you've had enough to eat. You'll feel how certain foods fuel your hunger while others satisfy it.

From a work stand point you'll be more resistant to workplace injuries because you'll feel the stress on your body and over time will be able to change position, take a short break or if self care fails get ergonomic help early - before injury sets in.

I could go on and on but time doesn't allow it. so I'll leave you with a challenge. The challenge is to go through your day but stop and take time to take note of body sensations regularly. Think about the ways that being aware of your body and the messages it sends you could make positive changes in your life.

There is another great article HERE That is where the picture was found.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Body Sense Magazine - Summer 2013

The Summer 2013 issue of Body Sense Magazine  has just been released and you can find it, along with past issues, HERE.

This edition has articles on Yoga and Breathing, Massage as preventative care and the connection between vision and muscle tension.

Follow the link and you'll find this edition along with past editions, all free for your reading.

Short, Sweet, Informative!

Enjoy!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Fitbit Zip

I've been trialing the Fitbit Zip Wireless Activity Tracker. (If you follow that link you'll find that the color blue is currently marked down by $10.00.)

Two years ago I almost purchased a Fitbit Ultra until I found out that the batteries can last as little as a year and at that point you must purchase an entirely new unit including the base which you use to sync your numbers to your computer. Imagining all those fitbits and bases being sent to the landfill  sounded like a huge burden to the earth and I decided to pass.

Then Fitbit came out with the zip. It's basically an accelerometer pedometer on steroids. There is not base and it uses a watch battery that you can change yourself.

It's very tiny compared to the other pedometers on the market that boast similar features. When placed in the clip on case it arrives with it's only about 1" X  1.5" X 1/4". The included clip is quite secure. A battery is included and was quite easy to get properly situated thanks to the little tool they provide. I didn't break any prongs on the battery cover as had been reported when the zip was first released retail.

It retails for $59.00 though as noted above the blue color is - at this writing - on sale for about $10.00 less .  Unlike the more expensive Fitbit models it doesn't track stairs or sleep. I didn't think that doing without either of those two things would bother me. Going without the ability to track sleep still doesn't. I think it would be nice to know how many stairs I've done but it's still not a deal breaker.

I term it a pedometer on steroids for two reasons. First due to accuracy. It's amazingly accurate when tracking walking or running. You can program in your stride length, which would further increase that accuracy.

Second, and the reason I believe it's worth the extra $$ compared to other accelerometer Pedometers is the fact that you have access to their website for free. Yes, you can buy a full membership but honestly the basic free membership is as much and more than most people would ever need or want.
You can also sync the "Lose It" app and several other apps so that they all share the info you input. This can make tracking what you eat a snap!

Downloading the necessary software to windows 8 was simple. Getting the Fitbit to sync reliably and keeping the software function was initially a trial. Once the fitbit zip reset itself automatically that first midnight (love that it does this) the problems disappeared. Connecting it to the Lose it app and several android devices was seamless.

Apparently you can use Bluetooth technology to sync your Zip with certain compatible android and apple phones - not sure about tablets. None of my devices are compatible so I was unable to test that function.

The Zip will automatically sync when you get within 20 feet of the little "dongle" USB thingie that they give you for your computer or laptop. You can also manually sync it.

The only less than wonderful thing that I can see about the Zip is that it only tracks steps. T-Tappers need to know that if you do a T-Tapp workout it will only track the step-like movements that a workout contains. So hoedowns, jog rocks and those types of movements are accurately tracked. T-Tapp twist will get you a few "steps" but most movements simply fail to track as activity.

I can imagine that this could be disappointing when you've done a tough workout and gotten all of 300 steps for it. You can go into the program and manually put in your T-Tapp workouts and give them a calorie count. You can also connect the Zip to a heart rate monitor, which I haven't tried.

I'm not certain if the more expensive models would track all movement.

I've reached the end of my time so I'm going to post this as is. As I continue to use the Zip I'll add to this review should anything new pop up.

Additional note: I live in fear of losing this thing so I've been wearing it on my bra. It's still accurate. I may try wearing it on my hip during a T-Tapp workout to see what it tracks.