Are you motivated yet?….

I finally gave in to the pressure over a month ago and got an Iphone. Some of you I am sure will roll your eyes and simply say “it’s about time. …what were you waiting for?”. I was holding back because I just didn’t think I needed to be connected ALL THE TIME. I much prefer face to face or at least voice to voice communication than reading it and I still do. There is so much missing in a text or in an email or even on a blog.

But… there are simply some things that I really appreciate about my new phone.
1) My grocery list. So many times I started a list and it went missing or I forgot it at home or I dropped it along the way.

2) My girls respond to my texts.

3) My daytimer. It is now all in one place, with alerts that remind me.

4) My new app..RUNKEEPER!

I have been keeping an exercise journal for 3 years now. Just a simple Excel spreadsheet where I have put the date, the activity and how many minutes I exercised. This is a great motivator for me. I like to look back to see what I have done, if I have been consistent and how often we rode on which trail.

“RUNKEEPER “ is free and it not only tracks running, but walking, cycling both road and mountain, cross-country skiing and probably others that I can’t think of right now.  It is a GPS program that tracks where I have gone, for how long and my pace. It maps out the route showing elevation changes and it is so fun to compare my progress. I can’t wait to get out there and do my next run just to see if I can beat my last time!

It’s been an interesting week. I sat down with 7 people to specifically talk about lifestyle, and it’s impact on health.  Only 1 out of the 7 did anywhere close to the recommended amount of weekly exercise. I was shocked. I guess I didn’t really believe the statistics that I heard during last week’s lecture.  We have become so accustomed to the conveniences of everyday life that we just don’t need to move. The thought of exercising for the sake of exercising even seemed appalling to some. “Why?” they asked. To think that it could even be enjoyable or fun was out of the question. It was work and they have worked long and hard enough. These folks were all over the age of 60,  with a possible 30 years to go,.   I don’t know about you but I want to be active, independent and have a reason to get up every morning in the last third of my life. If we don’t start moving now, it will not get any easier.

So, what motivates you? What will it take to get you moving? Join a Gym. Recruit some friends and start something together.  No one likes to let down their friends. Start a journal or sign up for an APP. Stop making  excuses. There will never be enough time!

We were made to move. YOU NEED TO MOVE 30 MINUTES A DAY 5 DAYS A WEEK. Find something that you like,  set a goal and start today:)

I know I am repeating myself just in case you were wondering.

Comfort foods..

There is nothing better on a rainy or snowy day than a big bowl of soup or my new favorite pasta dish. Comfort foods that are healthy, satifying and delicious are not hard to make. Add a thick slice of your favorite whole grain artisan bread and a either a salad or another new favorite vegetable as an appetizer and you are set to go.

I have become a bit obsessed lately with Italian foods, shopping often at our local Italian market. Probably has something to do with the two books I finished this fall; “Bella Tuscany” and “Under the Tuscan Sun” written by Francis Mayes:)

I can spend hours perusing the aisles for olive oil, balsamic vinegar, all shapes and sizes of pasta, fresh olives and the huge variety of quality cheese perfect for garnishing pasta dishes.

I stumbled on a pasta and beans recipe that is the perfect comfort food. I hope you enjoy it.

Pasta Fazool (serves 4-6)

1 tbsp olive oil for cooking
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 carrots scrubbed and chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 cup cooked cannellini beans or 1 tin (19oz-398ml) cannellini beans or pinto beans
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth (low sodium)
14oz or 398 ml tin diced tomatoes
½ tsp Italian seasoning or dried oregano
½ cup dry small pasta (shells or orecchiette)
Grated parmesan or romano cheese to garnish
Fresh ground pepper.

In a medium pot heat the olive oil of medium heat and sauté the onion, garlic, carrot and celery until soft, about 5 minutes.
Drain and rinse the beans and add to the pot along with the stock, tomatoes and oregano. Simmer for about 10 minutes with the lid on.
Add the pasta and simmer for another 10 minutes or more until the pasta is tender. If the mixture is too thick add a little extra stock or water. It should be thick but soupy. Season with pepper and grated cheese and serve hot.

I served it this week with roasted brussel sprouts as an appetizer. These used to be my husband’s most hated vegetable and much to my disbelief and even his own we almost have to “count” them out now to be fair.:) I wash and cut in half about a half pound of brussel sprouts. Toss them in a tbsp of olive oil, 1 tbsp nutritional yeast and fresh ground pepper. I then roast them in our toaster oven at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. Then top them with some freshly grated parmesan or romano cheese and eat hot. I dare you to try it!

I am running for my life..

Not literally but after attending the Mini-Med series lecture titled “Run for your life” put on by the University of British Columbia- Okanagan, I will continue to “run”. Ladies, we must move. The statistics, whether you like it or not, are there. The studies continue to show that our bodies were made to move. What’s the minimum you ask? 150 minutes per week. I can hear some of you groaning already. Dread overwhelming you. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be all at once. Even 10 minutes 3 times a day. But the message was clear. It does not matter what you do, brisk walking, biking, hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing or downhill, tennis or swimming.

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This is one time when more just might be better. You cannot exercise too much. It is all about preventing disease. Heart Disease, Diabetes, Obesity, some cancers, stroke and Alzheimer’s.

Menopausal symptoms can be reduced and possibly eliminated. Menopause is not a disease. It is a phase of life.

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Exercise is better than medicine.

Do something that is fun. Do it with your husband, your kids, your friends.

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“Run for your life”!

What do you crave?

Food, chocolate, salt, sweets… so often the first response but is it really what you crave? Monday was an amazing day. The trails invited us in, the only sound I could hear was my own deep breathing as I pedaled up the hill. With each climb I would push as hard as I could. The concerns and worries of life melted away with each turn in the trail. My heart filled with gratitude for every breath I took, for the cool breeze on my face and the smell of the earth. I was overwhelmed with all the beauty as I looked out over our valley from the top! I was remembering how blessed I am. I crave silence! I crave time to be amazed by all that our creator has made and has given me to enjoy. I make time.
We can all carve out time for the things that matter most to us. The next time you have a “craving”, ask yourself what it is you really need.
I crave silence.