The Happiness Formula: How to Choose to Be Happy

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Happiness is a choice. Everyday we are faced with choices and decisions to make. Making our choice, accepting the outcome, and having a sense of pride in our decision, are all a part of the process. If we are unhappy with that outcome, then we must choose to make the change that we wish to see. Expecting or waiting for others to make our choice, takes away our power and responsibility to choose.
Have you ever started your day off with a broken shoelace? Did you let this ruin your entire day? Why? Choose to be in control of how you want to live, day by day. This sounds like a simple approach, yet too many people trudge through each day trying to blame someone or something for their unhappiness. What a tremendous amount of wasted time and energy. Look inside, find your happiness and share it with someone else.
In fitness, Bob

Let's Reach Success

The Happiness Formula, Let's Reach SuccessSource

Happiness is a choice.

At each moment of the day, you make a decision, whether you realize it or not. It’s the result of your attitude towards life. And whatever it is—positive or negative—it affects all the events, people, relationships, and basically whatever it is that you encounter in your life.

So, if you’re living a complicated life with so many things to do and no time for yourself, it’s your fault.
If you have exactly what you’ve wanted and are thankful for it every day, you’re the one to blame.
If you’re surrounded by negative people, have a job you hate and can’t even sleep at night because of the many thoughts that pop up in your head constantly, no one else is responsible for that but you.
If you’re doing what you love, work hard but still find time for yourself and those you love, it’s due to…

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Changes

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Thanksgiving is a time for transformation for many of us. For some it is an opportunity to cook our best feast, put out our finest china, and display ourselves and our homes. For many it will be the beginning of a weight gain that we know is coming. What we choose to do about it is the difficult change that lies ahead.
This poem, ‘Changes”, was written by my wife, who has seen a multitude of changes within her life. The struggles she has endured, the 200 plus pounds she has lost, and the drive and commitment to make it happen, are visible many ways.
It is often said, if you don’t like something then change it. It is not always that easy. Sometimes we have to change ourselves. Many people begin a new year with a resolution to lose weight. It can be a very scary beginning and a hard journey. The outcome of perseverance is worth the time and effort spent. You are your most valued investment, invest in yourself wisely. What is it that stops your change? Make the change that you want to see happen, a reality.
In fitness, Bob

Words from the Ashes

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Changes
11/25/2014
Kay L. Rice

The only constant in this life is change.
Only with trial will the actor take the stage.
To let go of what we think is safe and what we know,
Is the only way to reach, where others fear to go.

The caterpillar spends its days on sunshine and leaf,
The summer days are lazy, but they are so brief.
Through pain and the shedding of the skin,
A new life as a butterfly she will begin.

The ugly duckling, shy and shunned from the crowd,
Silences it’s squawk because she cries too loud.
Yet through the nights and as the days grow long,
She becomes the swan, the herald trumpeter of song.

The only constant in this life is change.
Only through trial will the actor take the stage.
To let go of what we believe is safe and what we know,
Is the…

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VEGETARIAN THANKSGIVING

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The visually stunning presentation of this Acorn squash dish, mixed with the healthy goodness of added carbs and protein, make this a nutritious addition to your holiday meal.

Fabulous Fit Food

VEGETARIAN THANKSGIVING

THREE SISTER’S SQUASH

The sisters in this recipe are the native American staples beans, corn and squash, which together offer a delicious main course for vegan diners.

Ingredients

  • 2cloves garlic, minced divided
  • 1tablespoon olive oil
  • 2acorn squash
  • 1cup red onion, diced
  • 2 serrano chiles, minced
  • 1 (15 oz)can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2cups corn kernels
  • 2cups broccoli florets, diced
  • 1 ½cups cooked wild or brown rice or quinoa(optional)
  • ½cup fresh parsley, minced
  • 1teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation

  1. Put olive oil and minced garlic in a small bowl, set aside.
  2. Remove stem from squashes, and cut each in half, from top to bottom. Scoop out seeds and discard,
  3. Brush inside of each squash with the garlic oil, place flesh side up on a microwavable plate, cover with waxed paper and…

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Are Artificial Sweeteners Bad?

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I always thought I was doing myself a favor when I would use an artificial sweetener or sugar substitute in my tea, cereal, or anything else I would sprinkle it in, or on. Now all of a sudden I hear advertising claims for the use of sugar.  What gives?

Artificial sweeteners can raise insulin levels, which in turn will send a message to the brain to store fat, which leads to weight gain. It may be psychological as well. When we are told that something has no calories or less calories, we automatically believe that there is room for more. Maybe by cutting calories in your diet soda intake, you justify the burger, fries, chips, second portion of mashed potatoes or whatever you have.

Did you know that as little as one diet soda a day can increase your risk of diabetes or metabolic syndrome? Metabolic syndrome is a group of conditions that includes increased cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, larger waistlines and elevated glucose. This raises your risk of stroke, diabetes and heart disease. Other negative affects can be headaches, tooth enamel loss and an increased risk of depression. Lower bone mineral density in female soda drinkers, raises the chance of osteoporosis as well.

Nutritional Value? Forget it. Not with an artificial sweetener. Do yourself a favor and drink water. So you like the bubbles? Get sparkling water, or put a straw in the glass and blow bubbles. Just kidding about the straw, I wanted to see if you were still reading. But I enjoyed it as a kid. My dad wasn’t so thrilled with me though.

If you are weaning yourself off of regular soda, a diet alternative soda may be for you, but only if it is short term. Our brains are wired to receive the signal that it had sugar, Not an artificial sweetener.

Our brain responds to sweets by telling us to have more. When we take in a sweet flavor without calorie content, the craving is not satisfied and we drink or eat more sweets to try to make up that difference, thus taking in more calories. Remember that the excess is stored as fat. Sugar actually sends a signal to the brain that it has received it’s reward, Sucralose, (my sweetener of choice),will not do that. So the viscous cycle continues. I will throw a word of caution about the excessive use of refined sugars. Moderation!

I am not a licensed medical professional, registered dietitian, nor do I claim to have all the answers. I am trying to raise your awareness of the possible dangers or hurdles you could face with a weight loss program. If you question this, please research for yourself. Knowledge and the application of it will take you extremely far. 

In fitness, Bob

Ten Minute Exercise Benefits

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Most people that don’t exercise, state that they do not have the time. In this busy world where we try to micro manage as much as we can, exercise takes a back seat. WHY? Do you have 10 minutes?

Bouts of exercise lasting as little as 5 minutes have proven to be effective and most people can find 10 minutes here and there. Do you find yourself in front of the TV after eating? Commit to walking in place during commercials. You will drop fat and triglyceride levels in your bloodstream. You will also lower your blood pressure.

A study in Preventative Medicine in 2006 found that sedentary individuals that worked out in multiple  6 minute sessions, reached their fitness goals similar to those achieved by individuals working out for 30 minutes. This does not mean that a less is more approach, is a cure all. Only use this as a means to fill in gaps or to begin adapting to exercise.

You need to work up to 30 minutes a day, 3-5 times a week. If using the 5 minute approach, the math brings that to 6 times a day or 3, 10 minute bouts a day.

Mini workouts can be daily tasks such as sitting down then returning to a standing position. Setting an object on the floor, standing up then retrieving it. When doing these types of movement, make sure your posture is in correct form.

There are many apps now that you can download to design yourself a routine based on the amount of time you want to devote, the muscle group you want to work and whether you want a cardio or body weight routine. Sworkit is a good one and even shows you how to do the exercise. It is a personal trainer program on the go. Don’t forget about isometric exercise as well. Remember, ten minutes will make a difference!

To fellow blogger Frugal Hausfrau, I hope this helps. I believe that the flood of interest in shorter workouts is due to the increasing fact that we are becoming an obese society. We also fill our days with more tasks and therefore don’t see how we can fit more in.So now the push is to motivate those who do not exercise, to at least try to get in smaller amounts of exercise. However the body will adapt to repeated movement within a few weeks and the need to be challenged must be met. New movement, faster motion, a different routine or a longer session will do. Don’t think walking is a challenge? Speed it up or vary the pace. Try walking backwards, you will recruit new muscles. Hop, skip, jump or sidestep. Whatever you choose for your ten minutes, just keep at it!

In fitness, Bob

Pineapple Coconut Smoothie

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IMG_20141121_083252_991                                    I wanted to start my day off with a flavorful  and nutritious breakfast, as we all should. I had made my wife a bowl of Coco Wheats, with an addition of coconut flakes and a small amount of coconut oil. It was a very well rounded blend of macro nutrients. Oh yeah, and it tastes just like a Mounds bar. (She loves this and requested it!)

For my pineapple coconut smoothie I used a farm fresh, raw egg. Disclaimer: I am aware of the dangers and risks of salmonella and am not advising that anyone takes my choice to do so, as a prescription to do the same.  That being said, I also added;                              

     8 oz plain Greek yogurt                                                                  1 c fresh pineapple                                                                          2 Tbsp coconut flakes                                                                    1 Tbsp honey

All ingredients were put into the blender and swam together happily for about 30 seconds. This made approximately 20 oz of deliciousness.

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According to MyFitnessPal, which is an app that I use to monitor my calorie intake, this smoothie came out to be 394 calories; with 54 g carbs, 32 g protein, and 10 g fat. This is a good blend! I typically stay on the high side of the recommended protein intake, due to my exercise and martial arts routine. You could easily add 1/4 of a banana to this and increase the carbohydrate ratio. A sprinkling of cinnamon in your smoothie wouldn’t hurt to keep insulin spikes down as well.

In fitness, Bob

Bulgur cumin pulao (Low Cal)

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First off, this sounds amazing! The health benefits of Bulgar are good as well. If you cannot have wheat, substitute a whole grain of your choosing. I believe quinoa would work nicely. A word of caution though. The aroma of these spices will increase the traffic flow in your kitchen. Have the first person that walks in to see what is cooking, set the the table while you smile. Thank you Chitra for this healthy addition.

Chitra's Healthy Kitchen

Jeera rice

About:
Jeera pulao is basically rice flavoured with cumin and lightly spiced with whole garam masala.
Just to make it healthy I used bulgur wheat instead of rice and spiced up with green chilli and pepper as a variation. Jeera pulao perfectly complements a well made dal or a vegetable curry.

Health benefits of Bulgur:
Bulgur is what’s left after wheat kernels have been steamed, dried, and crushed. Bulgur makes a healthy and quick addition to any meal because it’s 100 percent whole wheat that’s specially prepared to decrease cooking time. It’s a good source of fiber, protein, iron and vitamin B-6. One thing to keep in mind, a cup of bulgur has fewer calories, less fat, and more than twice the fiber of brown rice.

Serves: 2
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Preparation time: 15 minutes

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