Healthful Mind Body and Soul

Be Whole Body Healthly!


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Survive on Live

There have been lots of talk lately about eating raw and living foods.What are they?  Raw and living foods are fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and sprouts that have not been heated above 104 degrees while  some raw foodies say not to heat above 118 degrees.  There are people who choose to eat 100 percent raw , and others who eat 50, 80, or 90 percent.  Whatever you choose is fine, I think the most important thing is justing adding more living foods into our daily diet.

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There are many benefits to eating raw or living foods.  I would put oxygen at the top of the list. Fresh fruits and veggies are about 90 percent water and 60 percent oxygen, and  happy healthy cells LOVE oxygen!  Healthy cells thrive on an alkaline, oxygen-rich plant-based diet. Unhealthy cells, like cancer, viruses and all those other microorganisms that make us feel bad, hate oxygen and can’t live in an oxygen rich environment, unhealthy cells prefer an acidic environment.  Diets high in animal products, processed and refined foods and synthetic chemicals put our bodies in an unhealthy acidic state, which makes it easier for cancer and all the other bad things to bring us down.

Some of the most alkaline, oxygen-rich  foods we can consume are sprouts and foods that are supercharged with chlorophyll (the green foods, the greener the better).  Chlorophyll is a powerful blood builder that increases the red blood cell production and the cells’ ability to carry oxygen.  Chlorophyll also strengthens the bodies immune system.  A few foods high in chlorophyll are asparagus, green bell peppers, broccoli, green olives, leeks, turnip greens and kale, my favorite! When we eat these foods, it’s like consuming liquid oxygen.  I definitely recomend making chlorophyll rich foods your BFF!

Raw and living foods are high in enzymes and enzymes are like the bodies personal spark plugs. Enzymes helps our bodies function and help with digestion, brain function, healing and detoxification.  Enzymes are heat-sentitive, cooking destroys them so it makes sense to add more live foods to our diets, especially raw nuts and seeds.  Raw nuts and seeds should be soaked before consuming. Soaking them mimics nature, when nuts and seeds are eaten by birds or animals and dropped into the earth their enzyme inhibitors are broken and they begin to germinate. The seed or nut is beginning to produce a plant, which is life, so when we eat the soaked seeds or nuts we are getting all those powerful enzymes.   It also makes them easier to digest.  What I do is just soak them over night and the next morning spread on a cookie sheet and dry them in a dehydrator or in the oven on the lowest temperature, but if you’re using them in a recipe there is no need to dry them.  As we age our bodies slow down enzyme production so we need to get additional enzymes from our foods.

Water and fiber in raw and living foods act like a broom sweeping through the body’s intestine washing away toxins and impurities. This allows our bodies a chance to absorb nutrients from healthy foods.

When I started eating more raw and living foods I found that I had much more energy and I felt so much better.   Sometimes I will do a raw breakfast smoothie in the morning,  raw salad or zucchini pasta for lunch, and have a cooked meal with a raw salad for dinner.  I keep a bowl of fresh fruits and berries on my desk at work, and eat throughout the day, this keeps me full and hydrated.

If you want to know your bodies alkaline level there are test strips you can purchase from drug stores or any health food store. I purchased mine from Whole Foods.

Below are some recipes that are really simple and quick. They taste good too!

Raw Sun-dried Pasta Sauce served on top Zucchini Pasta

Click here for the recipe.

Raw Cacao Bites

These are so so so good, it’s hard to eat just one!

Click here for the recipe.

 

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Pump Some Iron!

It is no secret that I am a runner and I love to run.  I had been told again and again that I should start strength training, lifting weights, resistance training, whatever you call it, it’s all the same, you are working with weights or weight machines. I had been resistant to the idea until I couldn’t get rid of a nagging leg and hip pain that I would bet during and would nag me after my runs. Since I had a gym membership I decided to give it a try.

I tried on my own at first, but I was so overwhelmed with all the machines to choose.   I made an appointment to met with one of the trainers to get some help.  I met with Mike Urpani, Fitness Manager at Gold’s Gym in Plano, TX.

                                                                                               Mike Urpani, Fitness Manager, Gold’s Gym Plano, TX

I met with Mike who evaluated my fitness level and put together a fitness program designed to help improve my running.  Mike explained that while running was a gret cardio activity, I was tearing down muscle with every run and although I was consuming protein after each run to help repair and rebuild the torn muscle, I was not building any strength.   Strength training becomes even more important as we age and our muscles begin to atrophy.  Strength training helps prevent injury and preserves the muscle strength to help us do everyday things like climbing stairs, lifting yourself from a chair or just plain standing or walking. It improves our balance.

According to Mike Urpani, Fitness Manager at Gold’s Gym, Plano, strength training workouts should be done 2 or more times a week.  The weight should be heavy enough to work the muscle until fatigued, the amount of weight you lift will increase as your muscle strength grows.

Mike also says that one of the biggest benefits is that  strength training increases muscle mass and increased muscle mass makes you stronger and muscle cells burn more fat calories, even at rest.

Over the past few months I have seen an improvement in my running and I do not have the nagging leg pain or hip pains I once had during and after running.

Strength training can help prevent injuries, increase muscle endurance, strengthens weak joints and helps minimize fatigue for any athlete.

I am glad I gave it a try.


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Make A Move

The other day I had a friend ask me how I stay motivated to exercise.  The answer is simple, I feel great! Exercising gives me more energy.  Before I took the time to exercise regularly and eat healthy I felt tired and sluggish, even after sleeping all night. As a Center Director at an Early Learning Center I need all the energy I can get to keep up with an active center filled with energetic children.

Getting started is the hardest part,but I have some suggestions that may help.

Find an activity that you enjoy.

Walking is one of the simplest.  JUST GET YOUR BODY MOVING!

To stick with your activity make a commitment to someone or something.  You can meet up with friends to workout together, or make a commitment to a charity endurance training program. I chose The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to raise money for blood cancer while training to run a half marathon.

This makes you more accountable.

www.Teamintraining.org for more information.

Join a meet up group and find others with similar interest in your area.       www.meetup.com

Join a gym and take some of the classes or work with a personal trainer.  If joining a gym is not in your budget, there are some FREE apps that my work for you.  One of my favorites is Nike Training Club. It is great and gives you a good workout.

Nike Plus  is one that can be used for walker and runners.

Couch to 5k is a good one for beginners.

Before long you will look and feel better.  So get your body moving, moving, moving!!!