What I Am Most Passionate About-Part One

If I could name one thing that I am most passionate about it would have to be “MOVEMENT”

***Warning: Very wordy post, but it’s what I am passionate about so I have a lot to say.

No surprises for many of you. I am obsessed with motivating people to get up and do something. With obesity, heart disease and arthritis effecting so much of the population I truly feel the simple act of moving could benefit everyone.

Many people think if they eat healthy, eat clean, don’t smoke, buy organic, avoid chemical/pesticides/antibiotics and such that they will be healthy. I am not saying this all will not help you become healthier however, if you do not move your body on a regular basis in some way you will not be healthy.

When I hear about schools debating cutting back on gym classes I just cringe at this decision. Granted, it is not a schools responsibility to give our children an active lifestyle BUT one hour a day is pretty important when that may be the only hour that child is active all day long. I make it a point to keep the kids I care for active on a daily basis. This is not always easy being there is snow on the ground and it is freezing outside 6 out of 12 months of the year where I live. Ultimately, it takes some creativity and some thought but it is by far what I would consider difficult. Tumbling exercises, jumping on big pillow piles and toddler yoga are some activities you can do with your children in the winter months. Summer months are so full of possibilities that you would never run out of ideas. It could be as easy as a walk. I take a walk every single day(weather permitting) with my daycare kids and whom ever is able to walk, walks. Typically by 18-20 months they are walking well enough to make a mile block at a toddler pace. This is pretty amazing to most parents simply because they have never left there child walk by their side at this age, they are still being carried. From walking age on I very rarely carry my kids….why, when they can walk?

Let’s move on to a little older, such as when they discover video games, television, computers, tablets, etc. This is when most parents loose control of their children in my eyes. Two big words come to mind when I think of this age. PARENT and FRIEND. Of course we all want our children to come to us in times of need, to like us like a friend, to enjoy spending time with us and we want to give them everything we possibly can in life. What parent wouldn’t? The one thing I think most of us forget is that before we can be our child’s friend we have an obligation to be their parent. In good times and in bad, like it or hate it, want to or don’t, it is our responsibility. So instead of loosing control and letting your son/daughter tell you when you get to leave for the park, go bike riding, play catch in the yard etc., you need to make some boundaries and STICK TO THEM!!!! Teach them how to earn fun things(like if we get up and go to work everyday we get paid $). They give you 60 minutes of active play time and in return you give them 60 minutes of video game time. We did this with our son and it worked wonderful. His friends did not like it too much but they did all get out there and play kickball for an hour before they came in on a sunny summer day to sit in front of the television to play video games. This is not always easy and there will be arguments but you will be benefiting your child’s health which is, as a parent, your responsibility. (Remember: there is a plug or battery for every electrical device out today, don’t be afraid to pocket this if you have to just to get them motivated)

Onto young adults/adults which by this time the damage is starting to set in. Your joints hurt, your lazy, weight is creeping higher, and your physicals are not so much fun anymore. You start hearing words like diabetes, heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure and so on and wonder how this happened. Which is such a stupid question and we all know it. Look at yourself, get a mirror if you have to. I don’t think anything you see in that mirror will surprise you. Now what are you going to do to fix it? Let’s start with something slow and easy. A one mile walk a day would be terrific. And please don’t expect to not feel a little discomfort when you wake up the next morning.You walked your first mile in a long, long time. If you are not a walker, try a bike ride, take your kids to the park, try some basic weight lifting with the milk jug in your refrigerator. Just find something that get’s you up and moving for a short period of time. Keep in mind that even nursing homes offer active adult time for the elderly so YOU CAN DO THIS! Keep up this pace until the discomfort subsides (a few days) and then raise your activity level a little more. You are never to old to do something active.

I think you all get the point here, I am pretty passionate about movement at any age. It is the best thing you can do for yourself, your children, and your health.

****Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor of any kind. Everything I have told you here is basic knowledge. Something that we all know is true but we don’t like to hear.

If you have a medical condition or concern please clear anything you wish to try with your medical doctor before trying it.

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Get Up And Move Update-June

June has been a month of tons of activity. I had no problem what so ever accomplishing 30 minutes per day of movement.

Let’s see, hubby and I finally made it to the tennis court. We played numerous games of disc golf, even had our neighbor give it a try with us. I have religiously made it to the gym twice a week for the whole month. And I have enjoyed my standup paddle board more often this year than any other year before.(July Goal #1 accomplished)

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Kayaking has been a bit of a challenge with our son not able to paddle due to his broken collar bone but we have been out without him once or twice. Of course I am finding time to walk, if not at night with my hubby, then during the day with all my daycare kiddos. I even found myself walking with our son three times a day right after his accident to get his stamina back up after his head injury and concussion.

My hope is to take advantage of yoga in the park before summer is over and also start hiking real soon again. However, right now we are fully booked with everything else that we can’t even think about trying to add more to our lives.

I just hope your all finding the time to Get Up And Move!

Tell me, what have you been doing?

Have you tried anything new?

If you could try something new, what would it be?

 

 

Hiking vs. Walking

I have to get this off my chest and apologize to anyone who does not want to hear me gripe. If that’s the case, STOP reading now!

As you all know we are an active family. We often ask others to join us in our outdoor activities. The individuals that are asked are people we see often, enjoy each others company and typically have a good time together. When we ask them to stop over and share dinner, watch a movie or just to chat, they are all in. When we suggest a walk they start getting somewhat nervous, although at times, have joined us. But ask them to step out of their comfort zones and take a hike with us and excuse after excuse start to pour out of them.

Why I ask? I need some insight on this…please help me understand what is so scary about the word “hike” compared to the word “walk”. It is literally the same activity!!!!

I have thought about this many times. What dictates the difference between the two? Mileage, shoe of choice, elevation(if any), surroundings, terrain, duration, etc.?

I am well aware that we live in Wisconsin, the home of brats, beer and cheese. This should get me some dandy comments butttt ….are people in Wisconsin that lazy?

We all wonder why our kids are getting larger with every generation that passes. We wonder why health care costs what it cost. I’ll tell you why.  It’s because as parents, we are not good role models if all we do is sit on our rumps! It’s because our bodies were designed to move, not sit still.

The weather is finally getting nice. After two weeks of trying to make plans for a fun activity with some friends that would take place somewhere other than a couch, I have just given up.

I’ve decided to toss out an offer and let active people come to us instead. So,if you happen to be in the Wisconsin area and are ACTIVE, let us know. Many of my followers are hikers and we would not hesitate to get together for a hike, paddle, walk, or anything else for that matter.

 

Do Your Workouts Change With The Seasons?

I never quite understood why about this time of year society starts “getting ready for swimsuit season.” Which made me wonder, does everyone change their workouts according to the seasons?

After thinking about this question for awhile I would say that, yes, my workouts do change from season to season somewhat. Although, I can assure you, it has nothing to do with looking good in a swim suit!!! It really depends on what I do during the day.

Take summer for example, I work over 10 hours a day Monday through Friday every week. However, in the summer at least 7 of that is outside. Add some hot, humid conditions to that 7 hours and a 3 mile walk is about all your going to get out of me after dinner. (Plus my daily 1 hour workout that I get in at nap time every day.) Weekends in the summer months are active from sun rise to sun set. So no scheduled workout is needed, much less possible.

With the arrival of fall things change a bit. This is normally when I start getting back to the gym on a regular basis. Along with my daily home workout, we will walk or get to the gym  every night during the week. Again, it really all depends on the amount of time I spend outside chasing little ones during the day.

Winter is when I really get into a routine. I love routine, so scheduling workouts just makes my day so much more manageable. I can plan dinner around what night of week it is (we don’t like big dinners on gym nights) and I can also plan appointments around what workout is planned.

Spring is when I struggle quite honestly. Which is where I am at right now. The weather is getting nicer and it’s daylight longer, so naturally I want to spend as much time outdoors as I can. Although, since my husband and I visit the gym together, it’s harder for me to just say I would rather walk instead of go to thy gym. He is enjoying the gym tremendously and for that I am very happy, BUT, I want to be outside! For now we are making it work although I am curious to see what happens when the spring weather is here to stay. I just hope we can find a schedule that fits both of our needs.

So tell me, do your workouts change from season to season? Is it to look better in a swimsuit or for another reason? For me, it’s all about being healthy, staying active and the feeling of happiness that exercise gives me.(You gotta love those endorphins)

Protein Lunch Options

We have sort of changed up our eating plan here at our home recently, after my husband announced to me that he was joining the gym I belong to. He is one of those lucky people that can literally eat anything he wants and does not gain a pound. When he told me he was just feeling sluggish and unmotivated, I agreed that the gym would do him good but it also got me to thinking about his diet a little more.

For lunch everyday he typically takes leftovers from the night before. So in other words, if we had casserole for dinner, that is also his lunch the next day. His break consisted of the usual bag lunch snacks such as baked chips, cookies, trail mix, fruit etc. Now, I have put a little more planning into what his lunches are. He still gets the lunch meal of leftovers, but his break snack is protein packed for extra energy and to support the additional exercise he is doing at the gym.

Examples of his protein snacks are:

Hard boiled eggs, homemade granola balls (recipe to come later this week), carrots with dip (not shown)

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Wasabi almonds, cheese, olives

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Apples and peanut butter, dried mangoes, walnuts.

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For me on the other hand, with adding a much more rigorous workout routine to my schedule, I have been also trying to get in more protein. Although this is proving to be much harder for me because I cannot have nuts, I don’t like red meat and I am not a big cheese lover.

So I have been having salmon and Laughing Cow Cheese with avocado.

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And I have come to love lentil bowls. This one here has lentils, sauteed mushrooms and spinach then topped with two over easy eggs with 1/2 an avocado.

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Another favorite lentil bowl is sauteed spinach and mushrooms over lentils with cooked chicken breast pieces and a bit of shredded parmesan cheese. Topped with balsamic glaze. Oh yum:)These bowls provide a lot of protein and are filling enough for a meal.

Both of us have had more energy and have come to really love our new routine of going to the gym three nights a week. So whether you are home all day like me and can cook quite easily when you are hungry or you take your lunch to work everyday, it is quite simple to pack healthy protein packed lunches to support your active lifestyle.

Chili John’s Chili (only healthier)

Chili John’s chili is a very well known place in the Green Bay area and also the nearby surrounding communities. It has been around for as long as I can remember.

I recall my mom being so excited when I finally got my driver’s license because then she could send me to Chili John’s and get her chili in the middle of winter.

I used to love this chili, but always found the orange grease floating on top to be not the most appealing thing to consume. I know what your all thinking, “that is what makes Chili John’s chili so good.” Well maybe so, although, I was determined to find a solution and continue to be able to eat this chili without causing my arteries to harden.

My boys have asked for this healthier version every deer hunting season after they spend all day sitting in the woods freezing waiting for that big buck. I have also froze this recipe for a quick meal when life is just to busy.

It is so very easy, and does not call for many ingredients at all. Of course, you could make this with all ground turkey or all ground beef, but I have found it’s best with half of each.

Chili John’s Chili (only healthier)

1 lb. ground beef

1 lb. ground turkey

1 small onion finely diced

1 tsp. garlic salt

1 tsp. cumin

1 Tbsp. flour

1/2 tsp. black pepper

2 Tbsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

2 cups water

1 can of chili beans of your choice (optional)

Brown your ground beef and turkey, then drain any excess fat. Spray your crock pot with non-stick cooking spray and add all the browned meat, beans, onion and all the spices.

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Cook covered on low for 5-6 hours. Serve over spaghetti.

**** I prepare this recipe often and store it in Ziploc Versa Glass dishes and freeze for the perfect grab and go meal when you need something fast.

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ENJOY!