If working your calves for eight minutes sounds easy, I have news for you. It’s hard! Grab two heavy weights, set your timer for 8 minutes, and do 25 calf raises without stopping. Rest for 15 to 30 seconds and repeat until the timer goes off. You should do at least four sets of twenty-five. If your calves are not screaming by rep number 20 on your last set, then your weights were too light and you need to start over.
When I began doing calf raises, all I could handle was a pair of 8 pound dumbbells. Today I used 20 pounds dumbbells for a total of forty pounds. Next time I’m grabbing the 25 pound weights.
The other day my mom came over and exclaimed, “Oh my gosh! You’ve got calves!” Best compliment of the day!
A few months ago after I heard that rice has arsenic in it due to the soil content, I stopped eating rice altogether. White rice is supposed to have less arsenic since the outer kernel is removed. Brown rice is supposed to be healthier because it has the outer kernel, making it more fibrous. The conundrum: less fiber and less arsenic, or more fiber and more arsenic.
Rice from California and Asia have lower arsenic levels. The latest is that apple sauce contains arsenic. Makes you want to have your own farm and grow your own fruits and vegetables, doesn’t it?
In regards to rice, I’m switching to quinoa. If you buy organic apple sauce, it should be arsenic free. Since organic apple sauce goes bad fairly quickly, I make my own chunky cinnamon apple sauce with organic apples. It’s really simple, here’s how I make it. This recipe serves 2-3.
Ingredients: 2 apples, 1 T cold water, 1 tsp cinnamon
Peel and chop up 1 apple. Put in food processor with water and cinnamon until smooth. Peel and dice the other apple, put in food processor on pulse. You want to keep it chunky so it still has texture. Put in refrigerator. Will keep for two days.
In Dr. Paul A. Offit’s article “Alluring but risky medicine,” released on 7/7/13, page A29, in the LA Times, he reminds us to do research on all supplements before taking them since supplements are not regulated by the FDA so manufacturers don’t need to validate their claims or disclose adverse reactions. That’s scary.
He sites, “…blue cohosh can cause heart failure; nutmeg can cause hallucinations; comfrey, kava, chaparral and valerian can cause inflammation of the liver; monkshood and plantain can cause heart arrhythmia; wormwood can cause seizures; stevia leaves can decrease fertility; concentrated green tea extracts can damage the liver, milkweed seed oil and bitter orange can cause heart damage; thujone can cause neurological damage; and concentrated garlic can cause bleeding.” Yikes!
Even if the supplement is 100% safe, what happens in the manufacturing plant can turn it into a deadly substance. Case in point, 20% of ayurvedic remedies from stores “within 20 miles of Boston’s City Hall…contained potentially harmful levels of lead, mercury and arsenic.”
Don’t take anything you don’t need to! If you are taking a supplement and you feel a bit off your game or if it’s making you sick, don’t keep taking it! Contact the manufacturer, the FDA, and your doctor immediately; your life may depend on it.
If your shoes are in fairly good condition, but are a tad worn and look a little dated, you can make them comfortable and modern again. All you’ll need is a new insole and some new bright-colored laces. You can find both at your local sporting goods store. See my “new” shoes above. I didn’t have to spend $100 on new sneakers and it only cost me $25.
Whether you bring your lunch to work, work from home, or eat out every day, this technique will boost your metabolism and burn more calories. Take your lunch and split it in half. It doesn’t matter if it’s a sandwich, or lasagna. Put one half in the refrigerator. If you’re at a restaurant, ask for a to-go box with your meal so you can put 1/2 in it right away.
Eat the 1/2 of your lunch. Trust me, you won’t be hungry because you are going to eat the other half real soon. After you finish your lunch, look at your watch and add two hours. So if I finish my lunch at 12:30, the time I’m going to remember is 2:30. In this instance, I will eat the other half of my lunch at 2:30. You can set your phone or your calendar to remind you. If you are hungry an hour after your lunch, go ahead eat the rest. Just make sure not to eat anything for at least an hour after your meal.
Since you are eating smaller meals more frequently, your metabolism will go up. You also won’t be grabbing candy or cookies from the cupboard or the vending machine at 3:00pm. Since you are now omitting that mid-afternoon snack and replacing it with half a meal, you’re lowering your total calories for the day without being hungry.
This method prevents you from overeating at lunch and stops you from grabbing a high-fat, high-sugar snack. If I have a really yummy lunch, I look forward to eating it again in few hours. Make sure to try this. It’s so easy!
I was speaking to a co-worker and we were sharing our diets. She asked me, “Don’t you ever cheat?” I replied, “Sure. Just the other day I had a slice of a raw vegan cheesecake.” She countered, “That’s not cheating!”
I consider that cheating because, even though there is no flour, sugar, or dairy; it’s not a meal. It doesn’t have vegetables. It doesn’t contain enough fiber and there’s very little protein. Everyone’s version of what they consider cheating is different. Where someone else’s cheat snack is full-fat dairy ice cream, mine is tortilla chips or crackers. That person might see the tortilla chips and crackers as perfectly acceptable.
As long as you cheat no more than once a week, it’s a good thing because it will keep you on track the rest of the time. If you don’t feel guilty about having that treat, go for it.
I just realized that I have a lot of calendars. I have one for family outings, a public one for work, one for all appointments, and another one for my workouts. No wonder I’m organized!
The reason I write down my daily workouts on a calendar is two-fold. One is that I can look back to see what I did a few days ago to determine what type of workout I need to do next. The other reason is that it feels great to see all that I’ve accomplished at the end of the month.
I hate to throw the old calendars with all my work on it away. I just went through the closet and found workout calendars from ten months ago. I like to give the old ones to people who ask if I work out. That should shut them up!
If you have seen unsweetened cacao nibs in clear plastic bags at the store or have some at home and are wondering what to do with them, I have a few suggestions. These are 100% raw chocolate; so they are very bitter. They have a wonderful crunch, similar to a toasted slivered almond. Since they are so incredibly bitter, you’ll want to pair them with something that’s very sweet. Sprinkling some on ice cream (vegan, of course!) is truly decadent. I’ll put them on top of strawberry coconut yogurt, or press a few into a nut bar for a blast of coco. I just tried a tablespoon of peanut butter, drizzled with honey and topped with cacao nibs. It was a perfect little something to calm my sweet tooth. If you have any good suggestions on how you use raw cacao nibs, please share.
Have you weighed yourself on different scales? For instance, if I weigh myself on the scale at home, try out one at the store, and then get weighed at the doctor’s office, all that same day, each scale shows a different weight. So, do you buy the one with the highest number or the lowest number?
The scale isn’t always the best indicator of how much fat you have. I’ve been training harder and my scale shows higher numbers. That freaks me out! I’m not fatter, I’m leaner and stronger. I gained muscle weight. That’s cool!
It’s tough to see the numbers on the scale go up when you are trying to lean out. If you’ve kept your diet fairly clean and people are saying that you look great, let that be an indicator, not the scale.