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Lowering Your Carb Intake for Better Health

Posted by on Sep 7, 2014

A good primer article from the New York Times to support reducing carbs, especially refined ones. I have posted this on FaceBook, sorry if you’ve seen it multiple times. Too important to ignore!

A Call for a Low-Carb Diet That Embraces Fat

 

 

 

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Play Games, Get Smarter

Posted by on Sep 4, 2014

I play word games on my phone. Some of you may know my addiction to Words with Friends and Hanging with Friends. Now Zynga, the company that launched these games, has gotten me hooked on a new one, Scramble (with Friends, of course).

There is a difference between Scramble and the others. They allow you to pick perfect letters to form the most partner-stumping words at your own sweet pace. But Scramble is a race against time! As in the traditional word scramble games, you must find as many words as possible running in multiple directions on a letter grid. Meanwhile, the clock (normally 2 minutes) is running.

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I avoided this game for years. Then recently, I had this little chat with myself:

Why don’t you play this game ? 

Because I don’t like working under the gun for time. 

Why not?

Because I can’t think that fast and it is overwhelming and frustrating, and I shut down.

Well, can’t you learn to work that way?

Hmm, maybe…ok, let’s play.

images-1Well, when I started, I was a deer in the headlights. I would freeze and couldn’t see a single word. I lost my first 45 or 50 games. Pretty demoralizing. Then, slowly, I calmed down and started to to see words. More and more of them. I even started to win a few games! Now it is a beautiful challenge to get in that “focus zone” and fly through the grid.

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Why am I talking about this in a health and fitness blog?

Because three unexpected results have changed the way my brain works with amazing implications for daily life.

The first is the ability to work under time constraints. We all have deadlines, many of which seem daunting and may make us want to avoid the task as long as possible. When you challenge yourself to work against the clock, you can beat your expectations by thinking and tasking faster than you imagined possible! This makes all chores seem easier, because no longer are they insurmountable, time-consuming sentences. Now I fly through many tasks with the greatest of ease, sometimes trying to beat the clock to turn them into a game.

The second result is the ability to see patterns from different angles. Finding words running right to left, diagonally and wrapped around other letters gives you a new perspective. The world just got bigger, as you notice things you used to miss. I am making new connections between Yoga, core training and even horseback riding. What a benefit to my clients!

 Thirdly, the game teaches perseverance. It’s hard to come back time after time when you keep getting beaten and you can only find 18 words to your opponent’s 42 words. But hanging in makes all the difference. The reward is that much sweeter for having struggled first. I know that if I just keep at it, my skills will improve. imgres

 

I like exercising my brain this way, but you might find a different game or sport to challenge yourself. The main idea is that it should be fun. You just might surprise yourself!

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Open Eyes and New Habits

Posted by on Aug 24, 2014

I celebrated my 60th birthday this year. So I enter this new decade ready to learn more, go deeper into the study of what I love, and change old habits that hold me back. If you know me, I don’t have to tell you that my loves outside my family and dear friends are physical development and horseback riding. OK, anything horsey.

Since I have started a Yoga practice about 18 months ago, my flexibility has gone exponential. Great gains in range of motion and far better results in my weight training, recovery …..and of course, in riding.

What did that take? Awareness. Showing up to Yoga 3 times a week, yes. But also paying attention to the intent of each pose and how each one has the ability to lengthen and loosen different sets of muscles.

And intention. As always in my own workouts, I asked “What do I need to work on? What movements or patterns will benefit most- today, this week, as building blocks for the future?” IMG_4769I also ask this with each of my clients, because each session must start with intention.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What else ?

I have stopped a habitual nightly alcohol habit. This was a major impediment to better health and greater mental acuity. I haven’t missed the “buzz” as it has been replaced by increased energy and wonderfully focussed thought processes. I still have an occasional drink, but I enjoy it with intention and awareness.

I have lost about 15 pounds that have crept up over a 10 year period. That makes everything easier!

photo 1-1I have become more intentional in each ride. In training myself and my young horse, I ask again: “What do we need to work on? What movements or patterns will benefit us most- today, this week, as building blocks for the future?”

I have embarked on a difficult task- breaking physical patterns in my riding I have held for about 50 years. Very difficult to rewire. But not impossible! Yay! I can become a better rider.

(For you horse people, this translates into my working with 3 incredible mentors: Jeanne Dake for focused developmental dressage work, Senja Stevig for relentless attention to my seat, legs and hands while riding, and Pat Lambert for groundwork and communication with my equine partner. More about this in future, horse-related blogs)

So this year, I will strive to improve all of our health by just paying closer attention. I hope you will, too- big payoffs!

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Bats Alive!

Posted by on Aug 5, 2014

Merlin Tuttle, noted bat biologist and conservationist, has spent most of the summer traveling to faraway places to do research, photography and give lectures.

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His wife Paula accompanies him and serves as project assistant and blogger, keeping track of all their adventures on his website, www.merlintuttle.com/ .

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In between trips to Bulgaria and Borneo, they have kept up their exercise routines vigorously– despite the drastic time changes! The key? Make sure to go outside when the sun comes up in the morning, and in the evening to experience dusk.


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Three generations

Posted by on Aug 4, 2014

It has been a busy summer here at the studio. People are traveling to wonderful places and staying fit when they are home.

I have the delightful pleasure of training three generations of one family: Mary, Mindy, Emma and Olivia.

Mary, the matriarch, who in her 80’s, does yoga and trains with me weekly along with her home workout and stretching routines. She is traveling to Scandinavia this summer. Go Mary – you know how to stay young!

 

 

 

 

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Mary’s daughter Mindy is the person responsible for introducing me to yoga. Mindy has lost over 30 lbs, kept them off and gained a toned, lean body with her regular sessions and adherence to our meal tracking program.

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Mindy’s own daughters, Emma and Olivia, have taken a page from the family book and study ballroom dancing. Their sessions here are fun as we explore ways to improve their core strength for dance and maintain symmetry as some dances can be one-sided in nature.

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