If you’re wondering if you should buy Shaun T’s Insanity exercise video series, don’t buy it if you are new to cardio or if you want to build muscle. The first DVD I tried, I had to pause half-way through because I was certain I was going to throw up. I was dry-heaving for about 30 seconds over my sink. I can run 3 miles at a time and am not unfamiliar with cardiovascular exercise so I was surprised at how hard this workout was. After I felt I could keep my breakfast down, I finished that video, albeit, with less intensity.
Each day I exercised to a different DVD until I finished the series. I have never been more bored by a DVD workout. There are slight variations in each video, but not enough to make it interesting. Since it’s mostly cardio and no weights are used, there is little muscle to be gained by this series.
These workouts are EXTREME. Unless you are a cardio king, or are an elite athlete, very few people can exercise to that level of intensity for a whole hour. It’s too bad he didn’t incorporate weights in his videos, and alternated between high and low cardio. I give these videos a thumbs down. The average person cannot finish these workouts; the DVDs are incredibly boring, and are no fun at all. Exercise should be fun!
I told my allergist that beef, pork and lamb make me feel sick. He did a standard allergy scratch test and sure enough, the results showed I was allergic to those three meats. I told him I could have small amounts of beef if overcooked, I can have stir-fried pork, but not pork chops and I can have lamb stew. Since I am allergic to dairy, the protein in these meats, just like the protein in milk, is causing my body to react. By cooking the meats longer, the protein breaks down, thus little to no reaction.
He then told me that some people who have been bitten by ticks now get severe allergic reactions to beef, lamb, pork and sometimes dairy. These people are reacting to the sugar found in the meat fat. The short name for this sugar is called alpha-gal. According to the August/September 2013 issue of Living Without’s article titled “Ticked Off,” it states on page pg 39, “The allergy may not last a lifetime. Alpha-gal antibody levels can eventually drop in patients who avoid additional tick bites…This does not seem to be a forever allergy…[but]if you get more tick bites…you may well develop this whole thing all over again.”
Who would have thought that anyone can now become allergic to milk and red meat? This is scary stuff, but now for those people who jokingly say they wish they were allergic to milk to stay thin, I can grant their wish by sending them into the woods in their shorts!
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.