No, I'm talking about the Blizzards that you can buy at Dairy Queen, that would just be too awesome- I'm talking about the blizzards like much of the east coast recently experienced via Winter Storm Jonas. Blizzards can be extremely beneficial for how you think about your health regardless of how much time you may be snowed in!
I want to give you some background on where I grew up and how I came to face one of more aggressive blizzards in recent history for the eastern coast. I grew up in Georgia and the last time I experienced a blizzard was in 1993. We received somewhere around a foot or two of snow and my recent move to Maryland brought with a lot of questions to the natives about properly preparing for the "snowpocalypse." Interestingly enough, the underlying tone for each conversation was adequately preparing for the unknown.
Nobody really knows the exact amounts of snow that will fall or how fast despite the new advances in technology. I asked questions from what to buy, when to buy it to how often to shovel snow and everything inbetween. This is where humility and other's experience were key in not making stupid mistakes that could prove costly. The more I prepared for the upcoming storm, it wasn't about stocking for weeks on end or buying the biggest baddest snow blower (even though that would be awesome) it was about making sure to attack snow removal, meal preparation and staying consistent with each process. This is where I was struck with the thought of how we as a society could learn a lot from blizzards and improve our health from them. Turning something disastrous into something great.
Buying Food for a Week or Two at a Time
All of a sudden, the shelves emptied in every local grocery store of milk, eggs, bananas and bread. The staples were gone if you didn't sprint to the store before everyone else. We need to implement this thinking into our daily diets. Not buying in a panicking mode, but buying healthy foods and planning out your meals. This is crucial when meeting your fitness and weight loss goals. Going to the store on a whim or because you are hungry reinforces binge eating habits along with buying quick and convenient meals at the drive-through to at the local convenience store.
We need to plan meals appropriately during storms, so why not implement that in our daily lives? Write a list of meals that you will prepare for the next week or two. This will not only to help you skip out on eating garbage foods, but to sit down with your family and grow closer to your loved ones!
Shoveling Snow Often
It is a whole lot easier to shovel snow every couple hours than it is to wait and fight 3-4 feet worth. By the time all the snow shovel warriors came out (after the blizzard) I had a completely dug out area around my vehicle and I didn't exert near the energy or time that all the neighbors had to days afterwards. We need to think about this with our exercise schedule! A little time devoted each day to exercise will not only make you feel better each and every day, but there is less work to do if you neglect your body for years!
Let's take a look at someone who suffers from heart disease, where their arteries are blocked with plaque. The oxygen not getting to certain parts of the heart because of plaque build up and can cause permanent damage. There is no recovering that part of the heart afterwards. This is one reason it is so important to stay moving and eating healthy!
A little bit every day accumulates to a lot in the long run!
No One is Going to Shovel Snow for You
Here I am, brand new to Maryland and I know that those living around me have been through plenty of snow, yet I saw them attempting to dig out their cars with baking sheets and dust pans. Needless to say, their efforts were exhausting to watch and obviously they were planning on someone else to make their life easier in this time of emergency. Everyone was on the same playing field during this snow storm. You didn't take care of your car, good luck! The streets were covered and no emergency services could even make it down the roads. This is where that "plan ahead" part comes in when (buying a snow shovel may have been a good purchase)!
Find deep down in you a reason that you need to keep going- a reason to stay healthy.
No one is going to walk those miles or make certain food choices for you! Times may be rough for you and those around you, but if you make a regular effort to aid or avoid an emergency situation, life gets a lot easier a lot faster!
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I would like to give you a breakdown of how you can supplement your diet with healthier carbs.
First of all, carbohydrates are essential for the body. They help with so many processes in the body that it is crazy to eliminate them! So instead of eliminate them entirely, be smarter about eating them.
You rule carbs- don't let them rule you. Carbs are a great source for instant energy. However, this instant energy can quickly get the body addicted. That's why junk food and desserts taste so good. They send "reward" signals to the brain after you eat them. Ever wonder why you want to just eat anything when you are exhausted? That's your brain knowing where the energy is, just lacking discretion when it comes to carbs. So be smart when it comes to portioning, timing and the concept of "everything in moderation" is essential when dealing with carbohydrates.
Simple carbohydrates like white breads or sugar are good in small quantities when you sandwich a workout (before and after) with them. It gives the body quick energy to burn beforehand and helps with the muscle remodeling process thereafter. This process is supplemented extremely well when you combine proteins with the carbs. However, simple carbs any other time will result in unhealthy insulin spikes. Complex carbs are better for regular intake throughout the day (100% whole wheat breads).
If you are looking for some easy substitutions for carbs, here you go! The two columns below give you an idea of the healthy carbs vs. less healthy.
Stick with foods that you can grow or make at home, rather than the ones that are made in a factory!
There is a balancing act, so take your time and think before you eat!
Piggybacking from the article on 8/6/15:
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New Year's Day has passed. All the resolutions and goals for the year have been made or already broken. We are only half way through the month of January, but I wanted to emphasize just how important our health is. Not just our bodily health, but our family health as well. Take away either of these and you find yourself in a tail spin. So take a look at the root of what really matters in each of these three areas: time.
We measure time with a clock on the wall, but how should we really measure time when we are trying to not only change the lives of others, but our own? The old question arises, "If you could pick one, would it be quantity or quality?" So here we go.
Spending hours at the gym doesn't mean that each of those hours are worth anything. Yes, you can be exercising while you are there, but typically the longer you spend at the gym, the more socializing and phone-surfing takes place (selfies included). Socializing is fantastic and essential, but we're just talking about the nitty-gritty part of the gym here- working out. If you bust your tail in the gym for 30-45 minutes, you have done more than if you spend 2 hours there slowly moving from machine to machine.
Then you have food. If you just fill up your cart because it is on sale or quick and easy, you're doing it wrong. Quality food with quality prep time is key to keeping your goals. Eating healthy is not that difficult, it just starts in the shopping aisles. Lean meats, quality vegetables and whole grains is an easy way to start. The less processed, the better. The less garbage you buy at the store, the less chance of eating it at home.
Being home with family is not as important as spending time with family. You can be at home, but spend time in separate rooms or constantly busy with some form of housework. The quality of the time spent together is what really matters.
I have a friend who recently welcomed a new baby girl into this world. He yo-yo'd with dieting and losing weight in the past but this new addition to the world changed things completely. He had a new motivation for changing his life and that was his new little girl. He knew that in order to be there when she graduates college and be apart of every aspect of her life, the small little things needed change now instead of later. He saw that quality in diet and lifestyle now would would equal quality time with his loved ones later in life. I applaud him for the changes he has made and how much they say about how much he cares for his family, and himself.
The bottom line: No matter what your motivating factor is inside, give it time, quality time to accomplish. This will not only positively affect your life, but those around you as well.
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Spiritual health is an important factor, perhaps the most important, but we will cover that in another chapter!
Enjoy this fresh and simple twist to your traditional salad! Not only do you get a tasty meal, but you get plenty of quality vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats!
Grill chicken. Cut up vegetables & chicken - combine it all together!
Add dressing to taste.
Mix Leafy Greens(2/3) and Kale (1/3)
3/4 lb of Grilled Chicken
1/4 Tsp Black Pepper
1/4 Stick of Goat Cheese
Carrots to taste
Quality Nutrition = Quality Training
Eating smart not only makes your feel better and exercise more efficiently but aids in a lifestyle that is less prone to disease and other health complications.