Sabtu, 25 April 2009

Making Changes

My job takes me to a number of different stores in my area. I get to know the people that work in those places fairly well.

There's a woman in one store. I would guess her age in the mid 30's. She's overweight. She's not morbidly obese but she is obese. She told me once that she's had rheumatoid arthritis for 12 years.

A few weeks ago she told me that she had just been diagnosed with gout. I asked if she was going to give up red meat then because surely the doctor told her that red meat was absolutely the worst thing for sufferers of gout. Yes the doctor told her that but, "I was raised with red meat. There's no way I'm going to give up red meat."

Huh? I don't get it. She would rather suffer the pain than give up something that causes that pain to be much worse. She refuses to make a change in her diet that would help her. She won't help herself but complains about having the ailment and the pain it causes her. Hmmm.

There's a woman in our circle of contacts that has fibromyalgia. I just recently found that out. I've known her for a long time but didn't know that. My wife did though. I knew nothing about fibromyalgia but, once again, my wife did. One of the things my wife learned about it was that diet pop can make the symptoms much worse. This woman chugs diet Mountain Dew and knows that it increases the pain of her fibromyalgia. She won't give it up. I just don't understand.

One change for each of the above women in what they consume could bring a lot of relief in the symptoms of their respective ailments yet they won't make that change. I knew another man with gout who has since passed away. He got so bad at times that he couldn't even walk. He had to use crutches but while standing with said crutches, he would discuss with coworkers whether they wanted Whoppers or Big Macs for lunch that day. What?? Makes no sense to me.

The time changes, the seasons change. We change jobs or residences. We lose a loved one and our life changes. Changes are all around us and we have to make changes whether we want to or not. When a simple dietary change can help a person tremendously and that person refuses to make that change, well it's hard to feel sorry for them.

There have been many changes in my life over the years. Some I embraced. Some I was dragged into kicking and screaming. They were going to happen whether I liked them or not. I found it's best just to accept them and move on for the most part.

Just in the last few days, I've had to make a change in my workouts and it's one I don't like. I've had to temporarily give up my favorite exercise--burpees. I don't know what I did to my knee but in the interest of not making it worse, I made the executive decision to temporarily stop doing burpees as well as hindu squats and a few other things that require rapid and explosive knee movements. I've had to go for kinder, gentler exercises. I'm doing a lot more ab and upper body type work and will get back into the burpees when my knee gets back to normal.

In all my middle age man wisdom, I thought it better to make the change than keep it up and possible make my knee worse. My brother just recently had to have surgery on one of his knees. I don't want to have to go through that. 

So I changed. Hopefully soon I can get back to normal. Until then, I'll accept and embrace the change and move on, unlike the two ladies I mentioned at the beginning. They refuse to change and suffer more than need be because of it.

Minggu, 19 April 2009

Green Smoothies

I wrote about going green right here. You can go back and read that rather brilliant post again if you so desire. Today, I'm going to talk about green smoothies.

Health and diet are big interests of mine and once while browsing another site, I came across a link to the Green Smoothie Girl. There's a wealth of good health info on the site and it's an enjoyable one to look through. I signed up for her email newsletter and you should also.

I like smoothies but I've always had fruit smoothies or fruit smoothies with a yogurt or kefir base. I was reluctant to try a green one. It just sounded, well, disgusting. It was several months after I signed up for Robyn's (the Green Smoothie Girl) newsletter before I actually decided to try it. I'm glad I did.

She has instructions on the site on how to make one but you can always alter things to suit your tastes. The basics are a fruit base along with greens, enough water to make a smoothie and maybe some stevia to make it a little sweeter. I've tried adding carrot to it but it doesn't taste as good. My favorite combo is banana, clementine, and strawberries, along with the greens. I've made some that I was able to choke down but just barely so I gave up being adventurous. Mostly, they have been pretty good.

If you've ever spent any time on a raw food web site, you may have come across the term "blended salads." In case you're wondering, that's a green smoothie. Some of those raw fooders use a fruit base and same make a savory green smoothie. I've yet to try that. I'm not sure I want to.

You will want a good blender. I have a Vita Mix. Robyn likes the BlendTec. A 20 dollar blender from Walmart will probably not cut it and it won't last long if you're making green smoothies every day. You can buy one from her site at a price you probably won't be able to beat.

I won't go into the benefits of green smoothies other than that it's easy to get a good nutritious meal on the road and I spend a lot of time driving. They make it easy for me to fill up on something good for you while going down the highway. For other benefits, check out the website.

She has a book coming out called, surprisingly enough, "The Green Smoothie Diet." It's one I will add to my library.

Just so you know, I am in no way associated with her site and I don't get a commission if you go there from here and buy something. I just like green smoothies and I discovered them through her site. It's a fun site to browse and she's got a lot of good stuff there. Even if you don't like smoothies but are interested in overall health, it's a good place to stop by.

After writing this, I'm reminded that I'm hungry. A green smoothie would go well right now. Take the plunge and try it. Yes it does sound gross but they really are quite good and very good for you. Give it a shot.

Kamis, 16 April 2009

Something different

We had to take my 3 year old daughter to a children's dentist in Denver yesterday. We went up Tuesday and got a motel room with an indoor pool so the kids could go swimming. Everyone had fun.

After swimming, we still had awhile before meeting my sister for dinner so I went to the motel's "gym" for a workout. The gym is next to the pool with plexiglass windows separating the two. It contained 3 pieces of equipment: a multipurpose weight machine, a stair stepper, and a treadmill. For my workout I decided to do sets of 10 burpees followed by 1 1/2 minutes running on the treadmill.

There were 2 women and 5 kids in the pool when I started my workout. They were fascinated by the burpees. After the first few sets, every time I started another, they would all stop and watch. Judging from the looks of the mothers, I don't think the kids had ever seen anyone exercise before.

One of the kids would come right up to the glass and stick his nose on the window to get an up close look. The others would stay in the pool and every time I came up from the burpee and jumped, they would jump in the pool. So not only did I get a workout in, I entertained a bunch of kids. 

I have never worked out using a treadmill before. This was a first. I started out slow and every set, I increased the incline and the speed. During the last of ten sets I had it at full incline and was running pretty fast. After the minute and a half I had some juice left so I cranked the speed some more and ended with another 1 1/2 minutes of what was pretty close to an all out sprint. I don't plan on buying one anytime real soon but I did enjoy the workout.

The treadmill had sections that said warmup, fat loss, aerobic, endurance, and performance levels. The last few sets I was in the performance level and all I have to say about that is the treadmill has very low standards.

I also got to try something else different. I have been to lots of Mexican, Chinese, and Italian restaurants over the years but I have never been to an Indian restaurant. There was one close by the dentist that had a buffet and we ate there for lunch. And after the meal, I can honestly say I LOVE INDIAN FOOD! It was great. I ate way too much as I had to try a little of everything and go back for more of the stuff I particularly liked. It was one of the more enjoyable restaurant meals I've had in quite some time.