Archive for: supplements
With the Thanksgiving holiday upcoming, chances are you’ve got a lot on your plate to do, that is, before you have a lot on your plate to eat! For most, Thanksgiving is a great time to get together with family and friends, eat too much, and move too little. While I don’t begrudge your well-deserved R&R, taking too much time off from your workout regimen and healthy eating habits can take its toll. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to stick with your program, keep inflammation at bay, and reduce injury.
We just put the finishing touches on our latest project…a custom-built bar made out of reclaimed barn boards, posts, and a massive slab of live-edge pine as the bar top. Mark can now boast that he has an official man-cave! The project required a lot of mental energy and more than a few trips up and down the stairs to get it done. In the end and by some miracle of construction and design prowess which comes naturally to neither of us, everything ended up level, plumb, and square. No small feat when you’re dealing with 100+ year old lumber, a tile floor and unskilled labor! The keys to our success were patience and preparation. Those qualities rarely translate to others areas of my life especially when it comes to working out. If you find yourself diving in too fast, you may be surprised by the latest research.
Like most football fans around the country, I took some time out of a busy weekend to catch some college and professional football games. Since I married a Buckeye, please forgive the indulgence when I brag on his favorite team for a moment. On Saturday night, the Buckeyes dominated one of their top rivals, Michigan State. Now, the biggest challenge here is that Mark’s parents and brother are Michigan State alumnus. Fortunately, the family enjoys healthy competition and,win or lose, everyone appreciates a good competition. The Buckeyes knew their opponent well and despite a more seasoned challenger, this young and agile football team stuck with their game plan and executed it nearly flawlessly. This season, it’s good to know your opponents well and have a strong plan to keep you and your immune system in the game.
Over the weekend, we experienced our first snow of the season — yikes! While the harsh weather stripped most of the remaining leaves from our trees, we have a pear tree outside of our front windows which remains in defiance of the looming winter weather. Despite the storms, its leaves have yet to turn and all of its fruit remains on the branches. That proved to be a sleep wrecker last night as the blustery winds caused it to sway against the bedroom window knocking us awake at unfortunate regular intervals. This morning it got a much-needed trim and hopefully a gentle nudge that it’s time to hunker down. Like nature, we all can get a little out of sync when the seasons change especially when we’re not prepared. Here are three simple ways to put up your best defenses against winter and beyond.
Autumn does more than usher in a change in season, for sports enthusiasts it’s the best time of year to catch grid-iron action one day and the crack of the bat the next — all the while the swoosh of the net rivals the slap of the puck for your attention. No matter your sport, staying in optimal condition before, during, and after the game is always a winning formula. Check out what some professional athletes are doing this season to get back in the game.
Even though Maine has a short summer, it makes up for it in a spectacular color show when the leaves change. It’s a double edged sword, however, as leaf raking too quickly turns to snow shoveling. Most of us experience the four seasons of Spring, Summer, Winter and Fall (Autumn). Defined seasons aren’t arbitrary either as they are driven by our earth’s rotation. Or so you’d think. Our society has created a slew of other “seasons” like allergy, cold & flu seasons. This fall has ushered in even more buzz words like outbreak, contagion, and virus creating what feels like “fear season.” So, I say it’s time to turn the calendar and crush epidemics with a new weapon that may just surprise you.
This weekend I’m pulling some self-imposed overtime. With everything going on in my life at the moment, I have to put in some extra hours to catch up with paperwork and correspondence which I hope will get me ahead for next week, or so I choose to believe at this moment! Does it ever feel like you’ve got too much on your plate? From your service/career demands to family obligations and a lengthy list of must-dos, it may feel like you’ll never get on top of it all. Maybe we can all take a cue from nature as summer is officially over and autumn begins. In the fall, everything seems to take a pause — the grass stops growing, leaves begin to turn, and flowers fade. If your world is spinning, check out these tips to help you take it down a notch or two.
Have you ever heard that expression, “I had a gut feeling”? Maybe you’re about to make an important decision and you stop to do a “gut check.” For those of you in combat situations or as first-responders, you may find yourselves going with your “gut instincts”. The phrase “gut check” is even defined in the Oxford Dictionary as “an evaluation or test of a person’s resolve, commitment, or priorities.” Merriam-Webster calls it “a test of courage, character, or determination.” It’s no accident that our gut seems to have the ability to guide us through challenging situations. You may be surprised at just how important your gut is to your physical stamina, mental sharpness and emotional health.
Have you ever enjoyed a summer day that you wish would never end? Labor Day was one of those days for us here in Maine. Usually, by this time of the season, the crisp chill of autumn has set in and I’m reaching for my fleece. Instead, this week has ushered in steamy, hot weather and brilliant sunshine. So, you guessed it, I’m spending as much time as possible outdoors to soak up every ounce of warmth before it becomes a fleeting memory in a few short months. Last week we talked about peaking your performance with a better approach to sports nutrition. Whether you’re at the gym, on a bike, in the water or at home, this week we’ll continue to shed the light on overcoming inflammation to keep you moving.
As summer winds down, I’m noticing an interesting trend that has developed over the past few months — my pension for all things water-related. From swimming to kayaking to paddle boarding, I’ve been on a mission to stay on or in the water as much as possible. I now officially have the SUP (stand up paddle board) addiction! Put me on the water with a paddle in my hand and I’m content for hours. If you haven’t checked it out, SUP-ing is an awesome full body workout engaging your core for balance, increasing flexibility, upper & lower body strength and decreasing stress…seriously, is there anything more calming than dipping your paddle into a clear, tranquil lake or the invigorating rush of catching the surf? My newly discovered passion has made me even more aware of how to tweak my nutrition to keep me on the water as long as possible this year.
Last weekend I returned to my parent’s home for a reunion with my mom’s family. We spent our days relaxing by the lake, talking up a storm and laughing until our sides were about to split! It took a couple of years for my mom to pull off this reunion as everyone’s schedules and circumstances were decidedly chaotic and stressful. I’m sure my family will agree that it was one of the most fun times we’ve had together in a long while. In fact, any stress we may have carried into the weekend was quickly diminished. When I left on Monday, everyone looked relaxed and happy. It made me realize that stress can take its toll on all of us and yet there are simple ways we can all crush it.
Has this ever happened to you? You’re about to walk up to a friend you’ve known for a long time and suddenly your mind goes blank. You’ve forgotten his or her name — I’m talking deer-in-headlights blank. While at first you are mortified and embarrassed that you’ve suffered what feels like a complete brain dump, you then begin to wonder what exactly is wrong with you. No matter your age or health, everyone experiences a mental gap once in a while for numerous reasons. This week I met with CogSports Group who specialize in cognitive testing for Navy SEALs, corporate leaders and sports teams. Their focus on mental toughness got me thinking (yes, I said that) about how to keep our brains as healthy as we keep our bodies. Over the next few weeks we’ll explore tips and tools for the proper care and feeding of your gray matter.
I’ve been in a really good mood lately. It may be the long summer days, the post-vacation relaxation or just the fact that it feels good to feel good, right? Even in the midst of a hectic work schedule, I still feel pretty darn good. A little bonus that put an even bigger smile on my face was when I saw the sign at my local farm stand shouting “You Pick Raspberries!” Now that’s what I call a great summer message. It got me thinking about how fun super foods can be to add to your day. Here are three simple ones that will have you kicking up your heels and whistling a happy tune.
When I was a little kid, I was convinced if I concentrated hard enough, I could take off on a magic carpet and fly around the world. Dragging my brother along for the “ride,” we laid one of my mom’s area rugs out on the front driveway, sat cross-legged, closed our eyes and visualized ourselves lifted off the ground. As you can imagine, it didn’t take long for my brother to lose interest and my mom to demand her rug back! Fortunately, I’ve managed to channel that misguided imagination and adventurous spirit into other endeavors along the way. Although I have yet to levitate anything, I have learned a lot about defying gravity in other ways. A recent article by my friend and colleague, Tina Van Horn, shines the spotlight on a superior you and a truly “magical” formula to help you soar.
I come from a family of patriots. We all support our Veterans, our military service men and women and our country regardless of the date on the calendar or the status of world events. My grandfather is part of the Greatest Generation as a WWII Veteran. My uncles are Veterans of the Vietnam War. I am a the spouse of a GWOT Veteran who served our country valiantly during a career that saw both peace and conflict. So, during a time when we celebrate our Nation’s birth, it seems fitting to also thank those who graciously and unselfishly support our troops, respect our flag, and serve our Veterans. This week, while we’re spending time with family and friends, I want to introduce you to a couple of patriots & patriotic organizations that have inspired me.
Yesterday I spoke with my friend Louise and found out that she just celebrated her 90th birthday by zip lining in South America! When she was 79 she realized that she felt old and didn’t like it so she decided to make some changes. By 80, she had taken up jogging again after a 40 year hiatus. At 85, she started a lecture series and wrote a book. It’s no surprise that everyone wants to know her secret to living such a long, youthful and energetic life. Our conversation got me thinking about the choices we make every day, both good and bad, and how the accumulation of those choices will dramatically affect us in the future. I know it feels lame for some to talk about prevention, but stick with me. You may learn a thing or two that will help you keep pace with Louise…that is, if you can catch her!
A couple of days ago there was word that solar flares might disrupt the precious electronics that we rely upon to survive on a daily basis. Solar flare, which are basically explosions on the Sun’s surface, happen all the time yet most don’t carry enough electromagnetically charged particles to do much harm. Although I never lost any connectivity or found my car inoperable, I did marvel at how powerful and potentially dangerous our Sun can be. With the summer solstice fast approaching it seems fitting to take on that fiery ball of gas and determine once and for all how to tame its rays while still enjoying a short sleeve summer.
After a couple of days soaking my foot in epson salt and sporting flip flops until the swelling diminished, my foot injury from last weekend is healing up remarkably well. It’s a good thing, too, since my list of outdoor projects and activities is growing as long as the days are this summer. Since I’ve never been one to rush to the doctor post-injury or minor accident, I hobbled to the web instead to find some home remedies and explanations for my throbbing foot pain. While I don’t advocate that you should always seek your own medical advice especially when many sources are unreliable, there are some homegrown staples and supplies that may help heal the bumps and bruises that often accompany an active lifestyle.
I was thinking a lot about my grandfather this past weekend. He was a WWII Veteran so it was fitting to pay tribute to him as we memorialized all of the brave military members our country has lost in war. My grandfather never talked about his military experience but he always shared stories of his fishing adventures. You see, he and my grandmother were avid fishers in their retirement — give them a fishing pole and a bucket of bait and they were happy! Last Friday, my husband, Mark, enjoyed a day of fishing with his dad and our neighbor, Randy, a Maine Guide and decorated Veteran from the Vietnam War. After a day of telling lies and dropping lines, Mark returned with a beautiful fresh-caught salmon for dinner. From war stories to fish tales, a good day of fishing is worth its weight in memories. There is also something really cool about catching a fresh fish and cooking it for dinner in the same day. It also reminds us to do our diligence when it comes to adding fish to our diet.
Summertime, when it finally arrives in Maine, is gorgeous around here. The evidence of our love-affair with summer is apparent when every little corner shop along the backroads and highways turn into ice cream huts and clam shacks. Our coastal waters are a seafood lover’s cornucopia with every imaginable delicacy from huge, sweet sea scallops, to succulent lobster, and fresh haddock. Other delights like crab, clams and mussels make it hard to choose what’s for dinner! Are you jealous yet? Well, maybe you should be if you can’t get here for the one week in July we can officially call summer. For all of the other weeks, the good news is that you can enjoy great health benefits from other foods if you find yourself far away from our rocky coast.