Saturday, March 19, 2011

Yoga Success At Last!!!

Okay, so I'm totally gonna be a yogi when I grow up. Seriously, I went to that noon yoga class and it was fabulous--exactly what I'm looking for. I used to do yoga at a number of studios a few years ago, but after gaining weight, it got more and more difficult, so I stopped trying. Well, I've been losing weight over the past six months or so (I believe that my last update was down 40lbs, well, now that's 49lbs). So, yesterday, when we began doing Downward Facing Dog (pose above), I was nervous, but then I realized, "this is easier" and so it was. I was able to do all the poses & sequences, gently, yoga is not the place to be competitive and a couple times I did do modified poses (like staying in child's pose while some in the class did twists, but many people elect to stay in a pose that is deeply satisfying, like child's pose, when you are in a class that stresses listening to your body). So, I signed up for the 30 days for $30 of unlimited classes to try a variety of things (there are several classes that start at 7:15 p.m. which works well for me, though I do think that my favorite will probably be this Friday noon class). I'll keep the blog updated on my practice. Meanwhile, know that I'm feeling Friday's class--all sorts of little muscles come alive during yoga. I just took a walk, so that will probably work-out some of the muscle tension, but its a good tension (especially in my arms and shoulders--I feel so much more from that class than I ever do from lifting my 5lbs arm weights.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Notice Anything At the Grocery Store? Yeah, You're Not Crazy!

The other day I was at Kroger (a big chain grocery store in the Midwest/South) and I noticed that zucchini was $2.79lb and eggplant was $3.99 each!!! I about flipped. Well, this wasn't a fluke because food prices rose by 3.9% over the PAST MONTH ALONE the biggest increase since November 1974. Yes, there's been several cold snaps in Florida, California and Mexico, where most of our early season produce comes from, so that's a big factor, but meat and milk are rising as feed costs more and even junk-food composed of various soy/wheat/corn bi-products will rise in response to several factors, including the steadily increasing cost of fossil fuels and our own laughable "green" efforts to subsidize ethanol (which is a biofuel from corn that requires more OIL INPUTS FROM FOSSIL FUELS THAN IT GIVES BACK--GREEN MY #$@@). So, more ethanol, more corn production, less corn/wheat/soy for feed, more expensive meats/dairy and of course, more expensive travel of fruits/veggies across thousands of miles from here to there.

So, what can we do in both the short term and long-term about this?

Short-Term: personally, I can't wait until the Farmer's Market opens in April. I love going to the Farmer's Market just because the energy is so great, but mouth-breathing pro-greed enthusiasts should shop there too because its cheaper than the grocery store. Generally you have to pay via cash, but honestly that's good for establishing and keeping to a budget. Also, very little junk food is available at the Farmer's Market, so you'll probably end up eating healthier if you can plan your meals around seasonal availability. Another thing to look into is eating more vegetarian--not French Fries vegetarians we all know--but incorporating more rice/beans into your meal plans to help with the expense of general market upward trends. The easier thing in the universe is mixing up some kidney beans with spaghetti sauce and additional tyme over brown rice--serve with some fresh wilted greens from the Farmer's Market and, heck, shred a little extra sharp white cheddar cheese from the dairy stall, on those beans/rice--its dynamite!

Long-Term: Consider riding your bike to that Farmer's Market! Try to cut down on your own carbon footprint, lobby for sound agricultural as well as environmental policies--Do not vote Republican, evar--not one Republican on the Environmental Impact Committee in the House the other day agreed that Climate Change was real, though our most august bodies of scientists have shown the proof over and over again, they don't care about reality. Reality based thinking is what we need to save our collective asses (from ourselves). Anyway, long-term is hard and I'm working on my long-term strategies (and I bet several of our readers are well ahead of me on their footprint management--for example, I still commute 40 minutes via car 4 days per week; I really really really want to change that, but that will take a job switch, which I'm working on).

Meanwhile, just know, you are not crazy--food costs more!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Just Say No to Permanent Make-Up

The New York Times has a trend piece on "permanent make-up" aka GETTING YOUR FACE TATTOOED!!! I'm sure that they've run a hundred pieces about how awful tattoos are, but permanent make-up, no that's a harmless (nay, convenient) TREND. Ugh, ladies, remember, make-up styles and trends CHANGE DRAMATICALLY OVERTIME. What is "standard" today may look as out-there as pencil thin eyebrows from the 1930's or the seriously over-exaggerated fake eyelashes from the 1960's.

Mike Huckabee Slams Natalie Portman's Out-of-Wedlock Pregnancy

Us Magazine reports that Mike Huckabee says: "People see a Natalie Portman who boasts, 'We're not married but we're having these children and they're doing just fine," Huckabee told radio host Michael Medved on his show Monday. "I think it gives a distorted image. It's unfortunate that we glorify and glamorize the idea of out-of- wedlock children."

I think shows like MTVs Teen Mom show the other side of the single motherhood also if any woman looks at the single mother in their neighborhood knows it is not a bed of roses. So I think his comments are just sensational.

For me the bigger concern is the money spent on fertility treatments for people like Mariah Carey (41), Halle Berry (40 ) , Kelly Preston ( 48), Celine Dion (42) make it seem like having a baby at 40 is easy and anybody can do it. I think that is the most hurtful pregnancy trend coming out of Hollywood.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Brandon Davies Suspended for Violating BYU Honor Code reports The Utah-based school, owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, recently suspended their star basketball player, Brandon Davies, from their No. 3 ranked team for admitting he violated the school's honor code provision that prohibits premarital sex,

I do not condone the schools actions but I am glad not only a woman suffered the repercussions of the society's commentary on the issue of premarital sex.

Serena Williams Hospitalized for a Pulmonary Embolism

Serena Williams was hospitalized for a pulmonary embolism, or a blood clot in the lungs, this week according to TMZ. Her official rep stated:

Williams' rep released a statement explaining, "Monday Serena Williams underwent emergency treatment at Cedars for a hematoma she suffered as a result of treatment for a more critical situation."

The statement continues, "Last week, Serena suffered from a pulmonary embolism [a blood clot in the lungs] which was discovered upon her return to L.A. She had been in New York for doctor appointments for the ongoing issues with her foot."

The rep added, "Doctors are continuing to monitor her situation closely to avoid additional complications."

Even tip-tip athletes (especially tip-top athletes actually because they put their bodies through so much) can be taken down by a couple errant cells traveling through the blood-stream. We are vulnerable creatures. I'm glad that this embolism was detected and she's receiving treatment and I wish Ms. Williams a speedy recovery. I also wish that everyone confronted with a medical emergency in this country could receive quality care without worrying about bankruptcy. The symptoms of a pulmonary embolism are (according to WebMD):

The most common symptoms are:

  • Sudden shortness of breath.
  • Sharp chest pain that is worse when you cough or take a deep breath.
  • A cough that brings up pink, foamy mucus.

Pulmonary embolism can also cause more general symptoms. For example, you may feel anxious or on edge, sweat a lot, feel lightheaded or faint, or have a fast heart rate or palpitations.

If you have symptoms like these, you need to see a doctor right away, especially if they are sudden and severe.

What increases your risk of pulmonary embolism?

Anything that makes you more likely to form blood clots increases your risk of pulmonary embolism. Some people are born with blood that clots too quickly. Other things that can increase your risk include:

You are also at higher risk for blood clots if you are an older adult (especially older than 70) or extremely overweight (obese).

I Want I Want I Want

Doesn't this sound heavenly? Cinnamon, Vanilla Almond Butter? Seriously, if this is wrong I don't want to be right...I wonder if Whole Foods carries this??? I'll get back to y'all (I might even order it online).

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Kirstie Alley: I Want to Lose 30 Pounds on DWTS

US Magazine reports: Forget the mirror ball trophy, Kirstie Alley is hoping for a bigger prize at the end of her Dancing With the Stars journey.

"I've lost 60 pounds, and I have 30 or 40 more to go," the former Fat Actress star told at Monday's cast reveal. "And I think with this strenuous, rigorous dance schedule, I think it's going to work. It's exciting."

It appears the DWTS has become the new Celebrity Fit Club. Now everyone once to be on the show so they are forced to exercise. Kirstie is my girl. I wish her the best of luck. Yet, I doubt she will ever maintain weight loss success if she doesn't deal with the emotional issues she has with food.

Resolutions for March

The weather is absolutely perfect outside for taking walks (which is my favorite form of exercise) and so I'm going to definitely pursue outdoor walking for good weather days in March, but this means that I will be sidelining the gym and the gym is the most convenient place to do toning--but is that really true? Let me be honest for a moment, even when I do go to the gym I spend 30-45 minutes on the elliptical trainer and then maybe 10-15 around the weight machines or the free weights (I particularly HATE the free weights area because I work out at the University gym and there are all these boys grunting and taking up as much space as possible and its surrounded by mirrors and although I do get that the mirrors are supposed to help with form, they just make me self-conscious).

What I'm going to do, is come up with some routines for the month of March to do after evening walks that will help me actually build muscle. I've been losing weight this year (more than 40lbs thus far) and I know that I've lost muscle tone. I don't develop muscle very easily, so losing the little that I have is not good. I am going to focus on my 5lbs weights for my arms and for my legs, I'll work on squats & lunges. For my abs, which I never work out at the gym because I don't like laying on the sweaty community maps after my elliptical session, but even though I vow to do some sort of ab activity at home, I never do...its time for dinner for goodness sake!!! So, for my abs, I'll do a variety of pilates mat moves that I have recently printed out from FitSugar. So, I'm going to mix and match and I'll share the results--can I successful commit to doing toning at home? I think so and I resolve to do so. I'll update y'all in a couple weeks.

By the Way, sorry about the dearth of posts last week, this week and unfortunately, next week. Last week I was in Florida, this week I've been very busy doing worky-work, and next week I'll be in DC. I'll try to get at least a few posts pre-set up over this weekend for next week. We are now up to EIGHT followers! So cool and thanks to all of our regular readers for sticking with us.

So, monthly resolutions: anybody have resolutions for March they'd like to share in the comments?