Sunday, May 25, 2014

TED Talk, weight loss and dieting

I'm just going to leave this here.  It's an excellent video about dieting and weight loss, and what we can do to change the views we have...  and help along the next generation.

Eat when you're hungry.  Stop when you're full.  Listen to your body.  It's trying to tell you something.

How great would it be if we could pass on this wisdom to our kids?  How much better would things be for the next generation, health-wise, if we could get this right?  I'd rather like to find out.

Monday, May 5, 2014

My current squat & plank challenge

So, I've been a bit out of practice, after an over-rotation of my right hip led to a slight dislocation.  And lots of pain.  I'm coming off my lengthy rest period, where I did gentle stretching to stay loose, but didn't aggravate the hip too much...  and now it's time to start back into it.  I'm about 4 days in with this, and figured I'd share! 

Not sure where the original image, above, came from, since it's super wide-spread now...  but this is the plank challenge.  It starts off nice and slow, and eases you into longer holding of the pose.  It's harder than it looks.

I've been doing both the dolphin plank shown above as well as a basic plank, hands and feet, top of a push-up style.  My shoulder may not make it for the forearm ones, but I want to at least get back into toning up my core again.

I am currently able to get the plank done without a rest break, but if I need a rest break between 30 or 60 second stretches, later, that's fine.  The total number of minutes/seconds per day is what matters in the end.

Image taken from Goddess Pose article, linked below

Beyond this, I'm also doing a squat challenge.  I started with 20/day, since I know that's relatively easy for me, and have added 5 extra squats every day.  By the end of the 30 days, that means I'll be at 165 squats in one day.  If I can keep it up.  Might stop at 150 or something, though.  We will see how I feel at the time.  I just did 35 this morning, for today's batch.

The squat I've been doing is a yoga squat called Goddess Pose, feet a little wider than mat's width apart, toes and knees in line.  Squat down until thighs are parallel to the ground, then back up.  I try to keep by back as straight as possible, and get them all done in a single sitting.

Follow any of the links to see more in-depth detail for how to hold your body when in the pose, and how to get in and out of it, which can be helpful.  If you join me, feel free to complain about how hard it is!  It certainly LOOKS easier than it is, overall!

But, I guarantee, by the end of it all, we won't regret it!  Happy self-challenge!  If you're doing something different right now, share!  We'd love to try something new!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Fad dieting, and why it doesn't work

We've discussed dieting before. Talking about how it should be a life style change, rather than a short thing just to lose a little weight.  Fad diets are the ones with a name, or really strict rules, and unless your medical doctor is okay with it and is monitoring you, they are not healthy ways to treat out bodies.

That's the goal, isn't it?  Healthy?  We want strong muscles, lean fatty areas, energy to keep up with our kids or animals, and a strong heart for a long and healthy life.  Just losing that pesky 5lb around your butt/hips/belly/whatever?  That's incidental, and really honestly will come if you change your view on dieting, stop starving yourselves, giving up, and going right back to crap food again.  People who diet this way seem to just get bigger and less healthy over time.  Depriving your body of necessary nutrients is not the way to go.

I just say...  If you make the bulk of your diet real food, healthy food, eat what you crave , and you will do well.  Not to say if you are craving sugar you should have a candy bar.  But sugar craving means your body needs carbs, so give it complex ones.  Whole grains.  Craving protein?  Give your body easy to assimilate proteins, like nuts, seeds, or beans.

In general, eat healthy foods, whole foods.  Have lots of fruit and veg, as fresh as possible.  Go easy on animal products in general, if not cutting them out, and you will do well.  Light cheese, occasional eggs, small meat portions.  A deck of cards is about the size of a proper adult meat portion!  Sure, you can juice and you'll feel great, because it's lots of fruit and veg.  But living on juice forever is not a good plan, of course!

If you eat real food (can read all ingredients, and know exactly what they are/could make it from scratch if you wanted), you have a much harder time going wrong.  Balance is the key.  I know, it's hard to switch to this kind of eating if you're used to processed foods regularly.  It takes work, meal times need to be planned out more...  but there are some convenience items that can bridge the gap as you ease into cooking more, and help out when you're on the go, so you don't feel the need to stop for fast food.

On the "fad diet" side of things...  This article about fad diets and what is often behind them was really eye-opening.  Lots of good stuff here.  Well worth the  read.

Be well, my friends.  Namaste!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Becca vs. the Egg

I have been having the hardest time with hard boiled eggs in this lovely high altitude.  I'm around 6000 feet above sea level, and water boils at a different temperature, so it doesn't work in the same way.  Boiling noodles takes longer, and eggs need to be handled carefully.

So!  I've learned how to hard boil until cooked...  But sometimes end up with green edges on the yolk, or it goes grey, or whatever.  I cannot cook an egg perfectly AND get the shell off easy.  I want to be able to make the perfect peeled cooked egg.  Because it's driving me crazy not knowing how.

So, today, the day before Easter, I decide it's time.  I need to do this.  And because I am me, I documented it all for you.  Your cook time may vary by altitude, but I hope this is helpful!

All eggs are from the same batch, same brand, same expiration date.  

Round 1:  steam, 10 minutes, no additives in the water.  Cold water bath immediately afterward, about 8 min.
Results:  Soft boil.  Dark firm yolk.  Easy-ish to peel, mostly good there.  Needs more time.

Round 2:  boil.  Add salt and baking soda to cold water, enough to cover cold eggs 1".  Bring to a boil, cover, turn off heat, and allow to sit 20min.  Cold water bath afterward.

Results:  Sulfer smell.  1 peeled easy, but had a green edge on the yolk.  The other was hard to peel, but had the perfect fluffy yolk.

Round 3: steam, no additives, 15 min, then cold water bath.

Results:  hard boil.  Fluffy-ish yolk, lighter color.  About average peeling difficulty.  Harder to peel than first steam attempt.

Round 4: Boil, add salt and vinegar.  Cold water start, bring to a boil, turn off  heat, cover and sit 20 min.  Cold water bath afterward.

Results:  sulfery smell again, but not as bad as the first boiled version.  Peely shell outside, hard boiled.  Fluff-potential in yolk. Was about average for peeling.  Ok, not great.

Test 5:  steam with no additives, 20 min and straight into cold water bath.

Results:  PERFECT.  They slid right out of their shells, had fluffy and yellow yolks.  Easiest time peeling an egg, ever.  Hands down.

Round 6:  boil, salt, baking soda, and vinegar in cold water.  Bring to boil, and let sit 20min.  Cold water bath immediately afterward.

Results:  peely shell again. Light faint Sulfer smell.  Almost undetectable.  Hard boiled, fluffy light colored yolk, and best peel of the boiled versions.

Overall, no vinegar in the water.  Peely weird.  Add baking soda for lighter color fluffy yolks.  For perfect peeling, for deviled eggs, steam the same amount of time you would boil for your altitude. 

Hope that helps!!

I am a little curious why the yolks are lighter yellow with boiling vs. steaming!  Maybe a tiny bit longer on the steaming would achieve both?

Steaming on left vs. boiled on right.  Odd, eh?