A Spoonful of Health

A Blog About Wellness


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Habits

There are many website, books, etc that tell us we can make or break a habit in 3-4 weeks. Well let me tell you it’s a lot easier to make a habit than break one. I can go 21-28 days without doing something, and still pick it back up the next day. In my opinion to break a habit you really just need to want to.

I’ve bitten my nails my whole life.
metal-nails
Just before I went to Mexico a few years ago I was able to stop. Then I started. Just before my wedding I stopped. Then I started. Right now I’ve stopped (let’s see if I can keep it up)! While biting my nails is a habit, I think there is more to it. I believe I bite my nails more so when I am stressed, craving something I just can’t put my finger on, if there is a nick/tear in my nail I start chewing it to try and even it out and the next thing I know.. nails are gone!

Food is the same.
lofthouse+sugar+cookies12
I mean I won’t lie, I love sugary goods, but I eat them more when I can’t figure out what I want, when I’m bored, and when I am upset about something. (Generally I am upset than I am eating crap).

Breaking habits is a state of mind. It’s a force of willpower. You have to want to make changes to see changes. No one else can force you to do something you don’t want to. So this is the same with eating right and getting in shape.
I know I’ve been doing all these little fad diets etc to get where I want to go, but now that I have lost some weight and have been working out, I am feeling better about myself. I know that I need to make a dietary lifestyle change. Did you know that diet is 80% of your appearance, and exercise and genetics are only 20%? So working your ass off and not seeing weightloss results is probably because of diet choices! Exercise is great, and muscle is heavier than fat, and it can help you look leaner and become stronger, but you will not see weightloss without eating right!

Over the next few weeks we are going to become Scientists!
prescription-medicine-clip-art
I will talk about different nutrients our body needs, and what foods we can get them from. We will work towards creating a basic meal plan for a day to show you how easy it is to eat right!

Edit: not done yet, havent had time to ake photos! Will update when done.
We are also going to start our own 30 Day Flexibility Challenge!
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Print out our amazing Yoga calendar! For Day 1, do the pose. On Day 2 I want you to do poses 1 and 2. Day 3, 1,2 and 3, etc. Hold each pose for 30-60 seconds, depending on how you are feeling, do not push yourself if you have never done any yoga! On exercises that are for legs or arms, make sure to do 30 seconds on EACH side. Please let me know how you are doing, send me pictures! I want to point out that it is possible many of you are more flexible than I am already! So bear with my pictures, I did the very best I could at this stage!


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Blogilates Beginner’s Calendar

Finished up Lumosity this week!
Day 20 1286
Day 21 1306
It was pretty fun! I would definitely continue is someone else paid my membership fees! It was very cool to see myself getting better at the games. As well as the game I thought I was doing worst at, Lumosity said was my best game! It said my brain functioned like brains of Artists.

Happy Canada Day!

I am just finishing up the Blogilates Beginner’s Calendar 2.0! I can’t believe I have managed to do this! I started out pretty terrible, but I never gave up. I took a couple extra days off mostly because of scheduling issues with work, but I did it! Now it’s July and I am starting the July Calendar! You have to sign up to her newsletters to get the secret password, but it’s super easy!
July 1-7 I am finally doing a sugar detox! 100% sugar free.. sounds horrible! But with the support of my husband who is going to do it with me (might be harder for him because it means no BEER!) we are gonna rock this week. I will post my menu next week! I unfortunately cannot post all recipes due to the fact they are not mine, but I will show you where to get access to them! What is nice about a sugar detox is that there is no limit on how much food we eat, just what we eat. It means we are going to be eating a lot of meat this week. I chose 7 days instead of 21 to get into the swing of things and not put too much pressure on myself that I fail. If it goes well we might extend the sugar cleanse.
July 8-14 We are doing our GreenThickie 7 day detox, which means a TON of fruits and veggies and very limited everything else. This will be a harder week as we have a specific diet to follow, meaning no extras!
Finally July 15 to September 8, I will be doing an 8 week Vegan Hot Body diet from Blogilates! I do not know if my husband is doing this with me yet! He will probably eat what I make, but add meat. In September I will see where I am at regarding my goals of weight loss and getting fit, and determine my next move. Can I just maintain, or will I still have more to lose?

On days when my shake hasn’t been cutting it, especially since I have been exercising I have been LOVING the Berrylicious Microwave Minute Muffin in a Mug from Blogilates! So simple, yummy and crazy fast for when you just need to run out the door!


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20 Minute Stroller Walk

How is just 20 minutes a day helping me reach my fitness goals?
20 minutes of walking burns between 90 and 110 calories and it can reduce the chance of premature death by 16-30 percent! Any exercise is better than none!
Going from my inactive lifestyle to a slightly less inactive lifestyle can make a huge impact.
However, I’m going to need to do a heck of a lot more to reduce my weight. 20 minutes is great if you are extremely unfit or a senior citizen. My excuse as I’ve said before is my knees are crazy messed up from the extreme weight gain. But starting this week I’m adding a leg workout to my walk to kick it up a notch! Part of the reason I want to add to the walk beside fore more exercise and strength is that our bodies grow accustom to repetition and eventually the 20 minutes of walking will do very little for my body. So my additions this week will be I will walk at a fast pace for the first 10 minutes. Then I will do lunges for 30 seconds, and hold a squat for the next 30. I will continue walking at a fast pace for the next 5 minutes. Then another 30 of lunges and squats, and then moderately walk for the last 3 minutes. It isn’t much but it’s a slow start to getting my legs strengthened for doing a 30 day leg challenge next month. Look forward to that!
I’ve been walking five days a week and taking two off. I try not to take two off in a row because exercise only works if it is regular.

stroller

Now walking with a stroller is like using a piece of gym equipment, you have to use it correctly or you’ll end up hurting yourself and possibly your baby!
When I first thought about exercising I decided I would see if I could jog, I started and as I pushed the stroller my weight pressed down on it and my stroller started tipping backwards towards me. So lesson one, the stroller is not a crutch to lean on.
1. You want your elbows against your sides and your palms close together on your stroller’s handle, this will help engage your core muscles.
If you can keep your stroller’s handle below your waistline, this will also engage your core. You do not want your elbows at a 90 degree angle, you want them at a more obtuse angle to take strain off your arms.
2. For an arm workout, you want your handlebar in a higher position to make your elbows 90 degrees, then do your walk keep your elbows as close to your sides as you can and drop your shoulders, this will work your triceps.
3. If you are in a safe place like a park (and NOT on a road) you can pull your stroller behind you, or push in front using one arm, and alternating halfway through your walk. this will work biceps.
3. Finally for legs and butt, you just need to take large steps, do lunges, or hit the hills! Keeping your handlebar at waist level.

For more information on stroller walking, check out Walking Mama, she has an amazing e-book all about stroller walking!


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Post Pregnancy Life Changes

Where to begin?
I just had my first child at the end of 2014, it’s 2 1/2 months later and I’m still a balloon.
I felt that I had a rough pregnancy, nauseas for 5 months, and not gaining weight, and then BAM gaining 50 lbs before I delivered. I ended up with high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia. Of course I can blame pregnancy for some of this, but I also need to blame myself and my poor eating habits. I was over working, working odd shifts, shifts that were different than the shifts my husband was working. This led us to eating out a lot, and snacking throughout the day instead of making healthy meals. Not to mention I fell of the wagon and fell in LOVE with soda again.
My baby was 9 lbs, and I lost about 20 lbs since she was born. Half was her and half was water weight.
Right after she was born I thought I’d start getting in shape and eating great. Except I was sore from the fast weight gain, my knees hurt, my back ached. I was tired and not getting any sleep. Heaven forbid if I put her down to try and eat or clean. Then I was breastfeeding and that was not going well, so then I was stressed out!
Needless to say it’s almost 3 months later and all I’ve done is for the past 11 days no soda, and 20 minute walks each day.

Clearly I need to do more, but at least I’ve finally started!
So join me over the next many months, possibly years as I work towards being a healthier person and getting back into the shape and weight category I’d like to be in.

I’ll post as often as I can with a child in tow, my goal will be every wednesday. I’ll talk about what I’ve been doing and how I’ve been eating and exercising. Every other post I will include a recipe that I had tried during my journey, and discuss the benefits of the recipes in weight loss/health.

The first 3 things I am doing to start losing weight and get in shape are 1. Drink 16oz of water with 1 tbsp of lemon juice first thing in the morning, 2. Drinking ZERO soda, and 3. Minimum 20 minutes of walking with my stroller each day.

Day 1 215 lbs, 55 lbs to go
march13fat
Starting Measurements
Bust 43.5″
Chest 36″
Arm 12″
Waist 37″
Hips 48″
Thigh 26.5″
Calves 14″
Stomach 45″
Size 18


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Interval Walking

Interval Walking

Going for walks or runs every day is a great way to stay in shape, burn extra calories and get some fresh air. But walking can take up a long part of your day and running can be hard on joints and can be very exhausting if you are just starting to exercise.

A new option is called Interval Walking which allows you to walk at different intensities burning up to 9 times more fat.

In only 20 minutes a day you can start to get in shape.

The Plan

  1. Minutes 1-5: Warm up with a moderate walk, choose a song with about 113 BPM.
  2.  Minutes 6-7: Power walk, moving your arms back a forth, choose a song with about 124 BPM.
  3. Minutes 8-10: Walk at a moderate pace, choose a song with about 121 BPM.
  4. Minutes 11-12: Power walk, punching your arms out in front of you, choose a song with about 127 BPM.
  5. Minutes 13-15: Walk at a moderate pace, choose a song with about 120 BPM.
  6. Minutes 16-17: Speed walk as fast as you can, choose a song about 130 BPM.
  7. Minutes 18-20: Slow down to a moderate pace, choose a song about 118 BPM.

Music to help keep track of time and pace.

Here are links to find songs with the correct about of Beats Per Minute so you can make your walking playlist. You can choose 1 song that is long enough or a couple songs that cover the minutes needed for that section on the plan.

http://www.jog.fm/workout-songs-by-bpm

For example: Some people’s playlists will be a bit longer or a bit shorter, but that is alright.

My Playlist

  1. Black Eyed Peas – XOXOXO 3:45
  2. Village People – YMCA 4:41 (I listen to about ½ of this and then skip songs)
  3. Toby Keith – Whiskey Girl 3:59
  4. Lone Star – Walking in Memphis 3:49
  5. Evanescence – What You Want 3:40
  6. Shania Twain – Who’s Bed Have Your Boots Been Under 3:54
  7. Ke$ha – Your Love Is My Drug 3:06


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Warm Up Stretches

It is important to start every workout and if possible every day with a basic set of stretches. This helps to prevent achy muscles throughout the day, helps minimize stress on the body and improves our flexibility.

You will need about 4 1/2 minutes if you give each stretch 10 seconds. It is great if you can hold it longer but you do not want to pull your muscles and end up hurting yourself.

There are 15  basic stretches.

1. Chest.


Reach your hands back and interlace your fingers. Raise your interlocked hands up towards your head. Hold for about 10 seconds at a comfortable level.

2. Upper Back


Interlace your fingers in front of you and push out at a 90 degree angle from your body while looking down. Hold for 10 seconds.

3. Triceps


Place one hand over your head touching the middle of your shoulder blades. Using your other hand pull back on the elbow that is in the air. Hold this for 10 seconds and then switch arms.

4. Calves


Stand feet shoulder width apart, place your left leg in front of you bending it as deep as you can feeling comfortable while keeping your other leg straight. Hold for 10 seconds and switch legs.

5. Back of Thighs 1


Lay on your back and raise your leg towards your chest, hold for 10 seconds and then do other leg.

6. Back of Thighs 2


Raise your leg by placing your heel on a block, box or pillow and try to press your calf down while pointing your toes up. Hold for 10 seconds and then switch legs.

7. Front of Thighs 1


Grab foot with hand and pull leg backwards so that your foot is resting on your bum. Hold for 10 seconds and then switch legs.

8. Front of Thighs 2


If you have a hard time balancing you can do the previous stretch by laying flat on your stomach and then bringing your heel to your bum and holding with your hand. Hold for 10 seconds and then switch legs.

9. Outer Thighs


Laying flat on your back bring your right foot towards your bum and take your left leg and cross your ankle over your right knee. Raise your right foot off the ground creating a 90 degree angle and you should feel your left thigh tighten. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat on other side.

10. Inner Thighs 1


Standing feet as a bit wider than shoulder width bend your left knee lowering your body. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat on other side.

11. Inner Thighs 2


Place the soles of your feet together and try to push you knees to the ground using only your leg muscle. Hold for 10 seconds.

12. Lower Back 1


Laying on your back, turn your lower body to the left while pointing your arms to the right. Hold for 10 seconds and then switch sides.

13. Lower Back 2


Laying on your back pull both knees to your chest. Hold for 10 seconds.

14. Lower Back 3


Alternatively you can lay on your back and pull one knee to your chest, hold for 10 seconds and then switch.

15. Torso


In a sitting position straighten out your left leg, then take your right leg and cross it over, leaving your knee up (do not straighten). Take your left elbow and place it on the outside of your right knee and turn your upper body to the right. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat on the other side.

Try to stretch when you wake up, before you go to bed and before any prolonged activity. Stretching should not be painful. If you are having pain you are pulling your muscles too hard, relax, stretching should be comfortable.