Attitude Over Everything

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“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference”  -Winston Churchill

“The only disability in life is a bad attitude” -Scott Hamilton

“Having a positive attitude in a negative situation is not naive… it’s leadership” -Ralph Marston

I have learned so much about attitudes, beliefs, and perspectives in the last year or so.  For starters, they are at the root of how we think and see the world before us.  We make assumptions, snap judgments, and decisions based on these foundational perspectives.  Our attitudes, beliefs, and perspectives develop as we grow and experience events in our lives.  They are essentially at our subconscious level always feeding us thoughts and viewpoints of our outside world.  Eventually, they go on autopilot and work behind the scenes as we navigate throughout our day.

At the same time, our instilled beliefs and attitudes about the outside world come from an internal source.  They come from inside our hearts and minds.  In fact, our beliefs and attitudes make us feel in certain ways.  A negative attitude makes people closed off, stressed, and even afraid to make decisions.  A positive attitude creates an open mind, joy, and peace.  Even so, our attitudes make our physical state different. I’m sure you have seen someone who is sad- head down, clenched muscles, frowning.  Now, think of someone who is happy- bright eyes, smiling, head up, full of energy.  Therefore, certain attitudes not only change the way we view the world, but our outward appearance and demeanor reflects our inner world.

The good news- your attitude is a choice!  Just like how you choose your clothes, friends, or meals, you can choose your attitude!  It does take some work.  But, in the end the results are worth it.  If there is a negative belief you would like to change (I will NEVER be able to lose weight), focus on replacing it with a new positive, empowering one (I haven’t found how I can lose weight YET).  Use these methods:

  • Speaking your new attitude repeatedly out loud with emotion
  • Write out your current, negative attitude.  Cross it out & write in your new one
  • Post positive pictures and saying in places you spend a lot of time
  • Speak with positive people and ask for encouragement
  • Listen to positive music

 

Do you have other methods to change your attitudes?  Comment them below.  As Always, eat, move, and improve!

Kitchen= A Cooking Lab

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“The kitchen’s a laboratory, and everything that happens there has to do with science. It’s biology, chemistry, physics. Yes, there’s history. Yes, there’s artistry. Yes, to all of that. But what happened there, what actually happens to the food is all science.” Food critic-Alton Brown

No-one is born a great cook, one learns by doing” – Chef Julia Child

“It is important to experiment and endlessly seek after creating the best possible flavors when preparing foods. That means not being afraid to experiment with various ingredients.” – Chef Rocco DiSpirito

Every now and again, I get inspired in the kitchen.  I look at things a different way and want to experiment.  I come up with concoctions that some people would consider weird or odd.  But, to my surprise they come out quite tasty!  For example, I make a  cookies and cream protein shake in a shaker bottle with milk and ice after my workouts.  One day, I decided to blend my same shake with a scoop of hazelnut chocolate spread. It came out AMAZING!  I was wowed by the taste and texture change!  Another time, I needed to make a quick meal.  We had cooked noodles already, but I wasn’t feeling red sauce.  Instead, I mixed 1 tablespoon with a few shakes of garlic powder, minced onion, and parmesan cheese.  Viola, homemade garlic parmesan pasta sauce!

I’m sure most people would say these recipes are too simple or easy to make.  But, I just want to make a point here.  You can view your kitchen as a science lab.  You see, cooking is a form of science.  Different cooking methods use heat, cooling, mixing, blending, and others to create chemical and physical changes to the ingredients.  When these ingredients react and/ or interact with each other, the possible combinations are endless!

Long story short, cooking is a skill.  Anyone can learn the skill.  It comes with trial and error.  It’s ok to move out of your comfort zone in the kitchen.  Trying something new can be an exciting experience.  That’s how you can get better.  The resulting dishes you make may surprise you!  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!

*Readers: Have you ever cooked up anything in the kitchen that was new to you?  How did it go?  Comment below and let us know your experiences!*

Rise Up

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The phoenix hope, can wing her way through the desert skies, and still defying fortune’s spite; revive from ashes and rise. -Miguel C Cervantes

The greatest glory in living lies not in ever falling, but in rising every time we fall” -Nelson Mandella

We never lose our demons, [Mordo]. We only learn to live above them. -The Ancient One, Dr. Strange

You will, at some point in your life, be confronted with some kind of adversity.  It’s more often than not a universal given.  Some people would disagree with that statement.  But, life was not meant to be easy.  Obstacles and difficult decisions present themselves when we set goals and go after them.  The bitter truth is that we all fall.  What matters most is that we pick ourselves up again.

This concept can be applied to health goals.  Say you are looking to lose weight.  Along your journey, you find yourself in this situation.   Dessert was way too tempting at the restaurant. You decided to treat yourself since you are out with your friends.  The next day rolls around.  Because you had dessert yesterday, today wouldn’t hurt right?  A snowball effect occurs. The discipline and food choices haven’t been easy. Now, the discipline has fallen away and bad habit takes over. You have fallen off the proverbial “wagon”. So, you revert to your old habits.  In this case, you have two choices: keep falling behind, OR rise above your obstacles.

Consider sticking to a workout routine.  You begin with high expectations.  You have energy and motivation to get started. You are loving your workouts.  They are fun and exhilarating.  But, at some point, you plateau.  The workouts aren’t as fun anymore.  Your energy isn’t there.  You’re not seeing progress as fast.  Your’e discouraged.  What do you do?  Stop going or rise above?  I’ll give you a clue: it’s the latter.  Decide to rise above the negative feelings and doubts in your mind.  Once you do, you will enter the next level of progress.  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve! 

Happy Easter

This year, Easter Sunday is on Sunday, April 20 2014.  For most, this means Easter Baskets full of chocolate eggs, jelly beans, large chocolate Easter bunnies, and much more!  We also usually have a large Easter dinner meal.  Depending on your tradition, that could mean sliced ham, casseroles, hard boiled eggs, or, if you’re like my family, pasta and red sauce!  With all this great food and  good company, it can be easy to go overboard with the foods we eat.  Here are some tips to make your Easter healthier! 

Instead of candy in Easter baskets, try these:

  • Whole pieces of fruit
  • Bags of popcorn
  • Small toys
  • Granola Bars
  • Crackers
  • Pretzels
  • Fun books

If you are planning to eat a large Easter dinner, follow these tips:

  • Fill your plate only once
  • Drink water
  • Have a small meal a few hours before
  • Make half your plate fruits and vegetables

I hope you and your family have a happy and healthy Easter!

Do Your Research

Ok so you’ve decided to make a change in your life.  You want to lose weight, become healthier, or just learn some new things.  But, you wonder where to start.  In today’s day and age, we are bombarded by information.  We can find things on the internet, in the newspaper, or from our next door neighbor.  We can read blogs, research articles, news stories, take classes, or just read our facebook feed. With all this information at our fingertips, it can be difficult to determine fact from fiction.

So how do you determine what’s true and what’s not?  For the best results do your research.  Read up on a topic from several sources.  Pick from the most reliable sources in that field.  On the internet, anyone can all themselves a professional.  Make sure you are reading information from a reliable source. 

For starters, read articles from websites with endings such as .org, .edu, and .info.  Only read blogs and webpages from trusted professionals with reliable and science based credentials including and not limited to MD, CSCS, ACSM personal trainer, and RDs.  You wouldn’t get advice about nutrition from a computer professional, would you?

Better yet, contact a professional in your area.  We are always happy to provide information and guidance.  We can even work with you one on one and give you individual advice.

Check these great resources for science based information:

Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics: http://www.Eatright.org

American Heart Association: http://www.heart.org

American Diabetes Association: http://www.diabetes.org

American College of Sports Medicine: http://www.ACSM.org

National Strength & Conditioning Association: http://www.NSCA.com

 Everyday: Eat, Move, and Improve!

Move More!

This entry is the final of 10 named “10 Simple Steps To Make Good Habits More Delicious” from the Sport, Cardiovascular, and Wellness Nutrition group.

Physical activity and diet go hand in hand.  You really can’t have one without the other for your health!  Exercise is very important to help you maintain a healthy weight and to prevent disease.  It strengthens our muscles, bones, heart, and more!  To help you achieve and/ or maintain a healthy body weight, the US Dietary Guidelines encourage 2 ½ to 5 hours of moderately intense exercise or 1 ½ to 5 hours of vigorous exercise each week.  Shoot for 3 days of cardiovascular exercise such as walking, running, or biking and 2 days of strength training a week.

Follow these steps to get started

  1. Consult with your doctor about exercise before you begin any exercise program.  They will be able to point you in the direction or refer you to an exercise specialist.
  2. Choose a heart-pumping exercise that you enjoy.  You’re more likely to stick with an exercise program if you like the movement!  Here are some suggestions: walking, jogging/ running, group exercise classes, dancing, or bicycling.
  3. Add strength training.  Try these: push-ups, pulls-ups, bicep curls, sit-ups, or carrying heavy objects
  4. Make time in your day!  Set a time aside just for exercise most days of the week!

As Always, Trust Your Gut!