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Creating Energy Fast

 

Creating Energy Fast

Creating energy fast when you don’t have any energy can be a little tricky. That’s why I have the steps you can take to feel better and start moving your body so that the energy you create for yourself will grow and help you feel like doing more activities or exercise. This post list ways you can create energy from fastest descending in order to the next fastest and so on.  With that being said, let’s get on with this very energetic post. When I weighed 380 lbs. These were some of the things I did to help me keep going even though I wanted to quit.

Quitting is not an option when there are kids to help get ready for school.   I had meals to plan and I had to keep going even though what I preferred to do was lay in bed all day or sit on the couch and watch T.V. Nowadays, you can say, “Alexa play a workout video” and bam, just like that you are getting off the couch and shaking your groove thang. ☺

Focused Breathing for Creating Energy

Focused breathing for creating energy.  We have all heard about the breathing techniques to help us relax. However, there’s a breathing technique to help you feel more energetic. While slow deep breaths are calming, faster rapid controlled breathing will help you create energy fast. Brilliant I say. You literally do the opposite of the relaxing breathing technique. Why this works is simple. Your diaphragm is the largest muscle in your body, therefore, moving it will help you through faster breathing to create more energy. The key word being controlled faster breathing, not hyperventilating.

Try a Caffeinated Power Nap

Sometimes I need a cup of coffee to get me through the afternoon.  Other times I need a powernap not more than ten to twenty minutes so as not to disturb my night-time sleep routine.  I discovered the caffeinated powernap and it is fabulous. It’s just like it sounds. Drink a cup of coffee and then hit the couch for a short nap the caffeine kicks in just about the time you should wake up and it’s like getting two for one at your local discount store. woohoo!! I feel better already. Taking a caffeinated power nap definitely creates energy fast.

Use Your Timer

Using a timer is a fantastic way to get anything done and can be a big help in creating energy. If you only feel like doing ten minutes of walking then set your timer on your phone or your microwave and go walk around the block. Can’t get up the energy to walk around the block then try walking a loop inside your house.

 Wonderful Ways We Can Use Our Timer:

  • For focused breathing
  • walking
  • visualization
  • meditation
  • power napping
  • Do 5 minutes today and 6 minutes tomorrow and so on.

Visualization is a fantastic tool to help you feel more energetic.  I like to visualize my whole day being successful. Starting with putting on my make up( by the way just getting a shower or doing your makeup helps a lot when creating energy) then I like a light breakfast like coffee and a yogurt. Moving on to my gym routine then to coming home to blog. I like to eat a light lunch usually leftovers from the night before.  Then, I imagine what we’ll have for dinner. Followed by spending time with each one of the kids and winding up the evening with some needlepoint and a nice early bedtime.

Visualization is a lot like planning except it’s your vision that flows effortlessly and feels right to you and sets you up for a very positive experience.  That’s HUGE for me. It makes all the difference in the world when I visualize my day.

Prayer

Whatever God or positive energy you believe in, make sure to also to thank God for being with you as you go through your day. Feeling Love and light and knowing God only want’s you to be a success is priceless. This keeps you moving forward and helps keep the negative mental chatter away. As we all know the negative mental chatter is draining energy.  We want all our energy that we are busy creating, physical and mental to be positive. I have a bratty inner voice that I am not afraid to tell shut-up.

Connect with a friend

 

Connecting a with a friend can go a long way toward creating energy. Make time to take a walk together and possibly make it a regular part of a weekly routine to get together every Tuesday and Thursday to walk and get a coffee. Take a minute to listen to one another to discuss what’s working and not working as far as having enough energy to do the things you need to do and want to do.

 

People, Girls, Women, Coffee, Drink

A Furry Friend

A friend can also be a pet. Go to the local shelter and get a sweet dog to go with you on your walks sometimes if we have a purpose to get up and move around, a sweet fur baby we can walk, that can make a big difference in our level of energy. It will benefit both of you so much.

puppy in an orange plaid purse-Embracing Aging.us

take your fur baby for a walk

Baby steps

Baby steps are how you overcome feeling overwhelmed. The best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.  I didn’t want to walk when I weighed 380lbs.  A friend recommended that I get up and walk to the front door once a day for two weeks.  Then after I mastered that I walked to the mailbox.  If your mailbox is by the front door, walk to the end of your driveway.  Find those baby steps and let them lead you to progress. This bit of progress quickly motivates you to do other things you may have been putting off. A little effort every day is better than doing nothing.

I hope this blog post stimulated some ideas of your own.  You know best your environment, furthermore, I hope you’ll take advantage of things around you that maybe you haven’t thought of using before to help you create energy fast.

Finally, this post may contain affiliate links. This means if you click on and happen to purchase one of the products links, I’ll receive some compensation which will support my addiction to all things coffee.

If you enjoyed this discussion and have ideas you’d like to share, feel free to leave your comments and share this post with friends.

I’m Karen with EmbracingAging.us

Reminding you to embrace your age

 

 

 

Vitamin D3 Terribly Underrated

Vitamin D3 terribly underrated

Vitamin D3 terribly underrated because of Americans faulty belief system that they are getting enough of it from the sun. Surprise! You aren’t.” Why???” Your query. Well, you likely do not live anywhere near the equator. Now you may visit warm tropical vacations and get your cells stocked up on vitamin d, but you would need to make this trip fairly regularly to keep your cells plumped up with Vitamin D

I just want to take Americans by the shoulders and look straight into your eyes and say, TAKE YOUR VITAMIN D3 people! Please.

Vitamin D3 is a prohormone

When vitamin D3 is processed by the liver and the kidneys, vitamin d3 becomes a hormone.  That’s why unless you live near the equator you will not be able to get enough through the skin.  The darker your skin is, the more supplementation you will need. The further away you live from the equator the likelier you are to be deficient. That’s pretty much everyone in the US and Canada.  In Alaska, Eskimos do a pretty good job getting enough Vitamin D3 because of all the fish they consume primarily salmon.

grilled salmon with lemon and rosemary EmbracingAging.us

food for thought

Let me tell you a little story about my granddaughter. Two years ago she was in the in the fourth grade, she was a little bit of a troublemaker and had enough sass to share with everyone around her. After doing some research, Vitamin D3 came to her rescue.  Her behavior was calmed her disposition was pleasant and we were all able to breathe again. She was quite a handful. We really wanted to avoid the whole ADD or ADHD diagnosis for her because overall, she was a real sweetheart.

Vitamin D3 every day may keep a heart attack away

Did you know that when a patient is admitted to the hospital having a heart attack, they are given an injection of 100,000 mcg of D3? This not only helps a patient during the episode but also improves the rate of repair and healing after the episode. (Read more about this research here)  So yes, it’s that important to take it as a supplement every day, it can keep a heart attack away.  When you have your regular annual physical, ask your Dr. to test your levels of D3.  This way you can see for yourself how much and how often you need to take D3. I personally do not leave it up to chance.  Some folks have their levels checked every six months others have it checked quarterly.

Mental health also benefits from D3

Red heart with a pulse EmbracingAging.us

Put your heart into your health

I also let my mental health be my guide.  As for myself, I learned I’m especially vulnerable to Seasonal Affective Disorder aka as SAD.  Taking one capsule a day 5,000 IU per day really helps me get through the winter months.  I can be especially SAD after Christmas and New Years because these are my favorite holidays and for me, they give the winter months purpose and meaning. When I visit my Dr for my annual checkup, He checks my vitamin levels.  If I’m feeling overly emotional or depressed, then I know my D3 levels are low.  I will pop 2 gelcaps two for three days in a row 5000 mcg each to get to feeling better.  The kind                                                                                     I take is Spring Valley.

There’s a lot of research online you can read about this amazing supplement.  I just wanted to let my friends, family, and anyone who will listen know outright that this is a supplement you can not afford to ignore.  Next time you are at the store pick up some D3 your entire body will greatly benefit from this amazing supplement.

Finally, this post may contain affiliate links. This means if you click on and happen purchase one of the products links, I”ll receive some compensation which will support my addiction to all things coffee.

If you enjoyed this discussion and have ideas you’d like to share, feel free to leave your comments and share this post with friends.

I’m Karen with EmbracingAging.us

Reminding you to embrace your age

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Supercharge Your Water with Hyaluronic Acid

Supercharge Your Water with Hyaluronic Acid

Supercharge your water with  Hyalurounic Acid.  It enhances the potential benefits of both the water and the hyaluronic acid. When you add this amazing supplement, also known as the molecule of youth, you are benefiting your bodies lubrication system. So go ahead and grab a water, while you read further to see how this will be a game-changer in the way you feel.

Since I’m easily bored with scientific mumbo-jumbo, I’m going to spare you the parts about the molecular structure of hyaluronic acid.  Feel free to read more about that here.   (Thank you Indeed Labs) Moving on, I’ve seen beauty products everywhere touting that their product contains vitamins, minerals, and hyaluronic acid.

Hyaluronic Acid Embracing Aging

Hyaluronic Acid is Best Friends with Water

You can also take Hyaluronic Acid orally. Which brings me to my next point, Hyaluronic is best friends with water.  Now, I personally like to jazz mine up with a calorie-free flavor addition to a 16-20 ounce reusable bottle. My favorite flavors are non-carbonated pour in powders.  I love the Crush flavors Pineapple, orange, grape and more.  I feel good about recommending this product to you because  I have personally used these with my hyaluronic acid caplets.

Pineapple crush with Hyaluronic acid EmbracingAging

Flavored water is great for helping you get more water into your system

Here’s where the fun begins,  I fill my bottle with water, add the flavor(I prefer pineapple 0- calories) or adding it to my protein shake after a vigorous workout. and then the hyaluronic acid. Yep, I pull the caplets apart as shown here.

Hyaluronic powder in the lidSupercharging my Water with Hyaluronic Acid

Supercharging my water allows me to get the hyaluronic acid into my system faster. By taking advantage of Hyaluronic acids water solubility, I’m counting on this water to be rejuvenating in a more efficient way. and hopefully stay in the connective tissue longer. Just so you know, there are several types of connective tissue in the body.    It appears as though this method of putting the contents of the gel caplet directly into the water will give smarter results. If you prefer to keep your water all natural, try adding the Hyarulonic acid to cucumber water or fresh fruit flavored water.

mason jar water and fruit with honey EmbracingAging.us

Committing to a Routine

Committing to a routine of drinking the water, exercising and focusing on a healthy clean diet, may allow me to get the results I’m looking for sooner than later.  I’m hoping to improve:  Skin tone, firmness, and elasticity, better eyesight, (just so you know, our eyes are comprised mostly of hyaluronic acid) and reduced joint pain and inflammation.

When it comes to joint pain and inflammation, I have found that going gluten-free is the fastest method for reducing joint pain and inflammation, feel free to read more on the subject here. 

However, I have cheat meals.  I love Italian food pasta, garlic bread pizza, alfredo sauce, so I’m not always as good about being gluten-free. Of course, the American diet is also full of gluten with tacos and noodles and dumplings and Oh!!! I’m just making myself hungry.  I’m looking for a way to make gluten sensitivity more manageable. You should know Apple cider vinegar helps, and I believe using Hyaluronic acid also helps.

Certain Foods Contain High Amounts of Hyaluronic Acid

Certain foods contain high amounts of Hyaluronic acid such as organ meats and chicken/turkey legs and thighs.  My granddaughter showed me a recipe to try called Mexican drumstick soup.  It was delicious and full of vitamins and hyaluronic acid.

Just as important as getting your Hyaluronic acid from a supplement, add in the goodness of foods containing high amounts of hyaluronic acid.   Here (Thank you to Nutrition You Can Use) is a generous list of foods you can add to help with creating a more youthful feel to skin and joints.

Finally, you should know that this post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on or purchase one of the products links. I”ll receive some compensation which will support my addiction to all things coffee.

If you enjoyed this discussion, feel free to share your comments and share this post with friends.

I’m Karen with EmbracingAging.us

Reminding you to embrace your age

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Unlock the Secret to The Art of Flirting by Karen Wilson

 Meeting new people

Unlocking the secret to the art of flirting isn’t as difficult as you may think. It is my intention to help Adults, who are single after divorce or death of a spouse. They may find themselves wondering, “How can I get out there and meet someone new?”  Some people are just naturally social creatures. Flirting seems easy for these people. Have you ever heard the expression, “They’ve never met a stranger”?
Others are not as socially adept.  Introverts, Extroverts, and folks who fall somewhere in the middle can learn the art of flirting. It’s not about having the perfect pick up line or knowing where the perfect place is to go to meet people.
I think we sometimes make things harder than they have to be in life. Sometimes answers to questions have been right in front of us all along the way.
Hands in heart shape EmbracingAging.us

Embracing love

Conversation Starters

It’s more about being open to meeting new people.  I could make you suffer and wait until the end of this post, but I’ll go ahead and share the secret. Flirting is nothing more than being friendly, you don’t need cheesy pickup lines or silly tactics to try to get someone’s attention.
 Just say “Hello. My name is… “You are?” And you are off and running.  Chances are there’s something about the situation you’re both in that will allow you to make small talk.
I am a member of my local YMCA I meet new people there nearly every day.  My friends and I have a shared interest in fitness and we exchange ideas about what works for us at the gym. We share information about classes we like, the equipment we use, and the things we love and hate about working out.
Here are some more ideas to get the conversation going:
  • What do you do?
  • How long have you been doing that?
  • What led you to this line of work?
  • Tell me about your hobbies
  • What’s your favorite food
  • Do you like to cook
  • Don’t forget to smile
 These are a few questions to get you going. An essential part of the conversation is about showing genuine interest, and when they realize you are both engaged in the discussion, the conversation will bloom and come to life.
Key, heart, rose on a bed of straw. EmbracingAging.us

Unlock the secret to the art of flirting

Opportunity awaits

Meeting new people is about the opportunity.  You have the most opportunities when you open yourself up to try new experiences:
  • Meeting someone through friends and family is one way to find friendship or begin dating.
  • Another great way to meet new people is to become a volunteer for a charity or organization you have a heart for helping.
  • If you enjoy learning new things, there are classes at your local college and vocational school where you’ll likely meet someone with very similar interests. Photography, painting and culinary classes come to mind.
  • Opt for dance classes, ballroom, square dancing, hip-hop or line dancing to hear your favorite music and learn new dance steps.
  • Golf courses are another popular place. Not only is golfing great exercise, it’s a lovely place to meet people.
  • Ladies, If your interested in any kind of sport, basketball, baseball, or football, then going to the game may be just the place to meet the guy that could take your game to the next level.
  • Gentlemen, if you enjoy gardening, you might find a local garden club to explore a potential new interest all while learning great tips to improve your gardening skills.
Being friendly is the secret.  Say, “hi, how are you. You look well today.”  You can tell if someone seems nice and would like to get to know them better.
Please feel free to join this discussion. You might be able to help someone find love or friendship.
Thank you for stopping by,
I’m Karen with Embracing Aging
Reminding you to Embrace Your Age
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Habitually Overeating Accelerates Aging

Habitually Overeating Accelerates Aging

I was guilty of habitually overeating and needless to say weighing 380 lbs made me feel very old.  Testifying to this fact, my age at the time of my weighing 380 lbs. was only 41.  I felt like 81.  Needless to say, my mobility was terrible. So much so, that I had to have assistance with all kinds of regular everyday activities.  Such as, taking the elevator when possible, getting my husbands help in and out of the car, limited to taking only showers because at 380 lbs.  I simply did not fit in the bathtub.

Moving on, I had a terrible attitude towards food which was waste not, want not. This is fine in other areas of life, but when it comes to eating habits, this rule can and should be thrown out the proverbial window. At the time, I had a clean my plate mentality so, when it came to eating out especially at buffet-style restaurants As is typical of most overweight Americans, I thought it necessary to get my money’s worth of food.

Habitually overeating and diabetes

Habitually Overeating, sharps container, EmbracingAging.us

Habitually Overeating Accelerates Aging

I fully realize there are two types of diabetes.  Now, type 2 is the one I want to discuss in this blog post.  Just now, I literally had to sit here and contemplate the ramifications of poorly controlled type 2 diabetes. Therefore, if someone who has type 2 diabetes isn’t careful about their food choices, as I’m sure you are well aware, the complications of this disease are deadly.

Now, on to a more positive discussion about this topic. I would like to take a minute to share how I now look at the buffet spread when I go out to eat with my family. Moreover, the choices of healthy options are fabulous and delicious.

Certainly, the buffet is the perfect opportunity to practice an eating clean mindset. (read more here) When I’m looking the situation over, just know that I don’t feel at all deprived when we go there because I’m evaluating my best options. Here are some healthy recommendations for eating at the buffet.

 

First, choose these meet options: 

  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Skinless Chicken
  • Skinless Turkey
  • Beans peas, and lentils as meat substitutes
  • Lean beef- round, sirloin, chuck and loin.  Avoid “prime”

 Resist battered, and fried meat like fried chicken,  fish. Pass on red meat labeled “prime” like prime rib.

 

buffet vegetables EmbracingAging.us

 

Next, choose these vegetable options:

  • All fresh vegetables on the salad bar are a good bet
  • beans, peas seeds, sprouts

also choose hot vegetable such as:

  • Asparagus
  • beans- like; kidney and pinto
  • beets
  • broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • cabbage
  • carrots
  • cauliflower
  • green beans
  • onions
  • peppers
  • kale, mustard greens, spinach, and turnip greens
  • squash- butternut, yellow and zucchini

Avoid fried vegetables and starchy vegetables like potatoes and corn

 

 When you choose fresh fruit, you can’t go wrong

  • Fresh fruit on the salad bar and dessert bar
  • craisins (dried cranberries) and raisins

Avoid fruit in heavy syrup or sauces like peaches

Use visualization

Using the technique of visualization will help establish a good mindset for better eating habits. When we visit a restaurant, especially buffets I imagine vividly, walking into the restaurant and right from the start ordering a water, unsweetened tea, coffee, or diet soda.  Furthermore, I’m not a fan of any soda, however, diet soda is far better than a regular soda in terms of calories. Emphasising how this helps me, visualization really locks in my self-control and enables me to be smart about my food choices.

Next, if you will imagine taking your plate to the buffet knowing in advance that you will start with a fresh salad and of course you are wise about the dressing for your salad.  Sidebar about the salad bar, when it comes to salad dressing, my favorite hack is to put my dressing on the side and dip the tines of my fork. There’s good flavor and a lot fewer calories are consumed.

Moving on through our visualization technique,  Imagine choosing better meat, and vegetables. Let me say,  I love this part of my meal because I eat the healthy choices that I don’t often buy at the store usually due to cost.  Such as shrimp, salmon, or asparagus.  This is the best way to take advantage of the buffet.

Outsmart the restaurant industry

Interestingly, the buffet is laid out in such a way that the cheapest foods are the most accessible.  Usually, the foods furthest away from you are the more expensive. This signifies, the further you have to walk or reach to get what you want, is what cost them the most to put on the buffet spread. So when you are strategic about your choices, you don’t maximize your “bottom line” while maximizing their bottom line.

Alright, we’re doing great.  Now I’ve deliberately left out something that many people find irresistible, bread, or rolls. This one is kind of a no-brainer. Which is to say, the more bread I eat, the more I resemble a popped can of biscuits. That’s all I really have to say about that.

Finally, be smart about dessert choices

Undeniably, the hardest part of managing willpower is finishing up our healthy meal with dessert.  Without further ado, here are some suggestions to get you through the process.

  • Look for no sugar added pies,( blueberry) and cakes (pistachio)
  • Also, look for sugarfree puddings and jellos.
  • If you’re eating out with your plus one, share a dessert and split the calories.
  • Add a coffee to fill out your dessert portion of dinner.
  • Opt for fresh fruit from the salad bar.

Blueberry pie EmbracingAging.us

Eat until you’re satisfied, not stuffed

Consequently, the feeling of “I’m so full I can’t move” is not a very comfortable feeling at all. Which is exactly why I lost control and found my weight at it’s highest 380lbs. Furthermore, I tell a bit of my story in this post titled It’s not a Destination, It’s a Journey.  Making better choices will allow you to feel great physically and mentally and you’ll be satisfied, without feeling stuffed to the gills.  Finally, you will have walked out of this restaurant knowing they didn’t see you coming and more importantly, you were not manipulated by the layout of the buffet.

Finally, this post may contain affiliate links. This means if you click on and happen purchase one of the products links, I”ll receive some compensation which will support my addiction to all things coffee.

If you enjoyed this discussion and have ideas you’d like to share, feel free to leave your comments and share this post with friends.

I’m Karen with EmbracingAging.us

Reminding you to embrace your age

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What Clean Eating Means: Here Are Some Ideas to Get You Started

What Clean Eating Means

So, what does it mean when someone says they are “clean eating?” Honestly, it’s different for everyone. What’s normal for one, may not be for another. What’s healthy for one may be a disaster for another.  These are some diets or styles of eating that are often considered clean eating styles.

Kiwis, Lemons, and Oranges What clean eating means. EmbracingAging.us

Clean eating can include fresh fruit for quick energy

Some fruits and vegetables aren’t compatible with some medications.

The following is a list of clean eating styles

  • Soy-free
  • Gluten free
  • Low Carb
  • Dairy-free
  • Vegetarian
  • Ketogenic
  • Vegan
  • Paleo

Then there are the foods you may NOT have due to religious views, allergies, or diet restrictions

  •  sweeteners
  •  sugar
  •  pork
  •  red meat
  •  processed foods
  •  shellfish

I’m sure you get the idea. There may be a combination of diet restrictions that constitutes clean eating for different people for different reasons.  Someone with type two diabetes is going to eat very differently than someone who is not diabetic.

Food and drug interactions

Let’s not forget how medications can also play a very prominent role in clean eating.  Someone on blood thinners is not going to be eating food that promotes clotting (foods high in vitamin k)
Grapefruit is very problematic for all different kinds of medications, always check with your pharmacist or doctor to see if there are any foods that would be best avoided when beginning a new medication.

About the time I turned 47, I learned that I have a sensitivity to dairy and gluten.   Could I say I was very strict about avoiding these foods?   Perfect, I’m not.  PCOS (Polycystic ovarian syndrome) is a condition that improves when avoiding dairy and simple carbs. (I wish I could say there was a cure but there isn’t one)  This is just a sample of how eating clean for me is probably different for you.

Fitness styles affect the type of foods you may need

Furthermore, there is so much to consider for different body types and styles of fitness that the science that goes into figuring out what each individual needs on their journey is enough to make one’s head spin.

Different types of athletes will eat different ways according to their protein, calorie and fat demands.  A bodybuilder isn’t going to eat the same way as a lean cyclist. A long distance runner may not eat the same way as a female who goes to the gym 4-5 days a week trying to obtain an hourglass figure.

Wheat field, trees, and blue sky. EmbracingAging.us

Pay attention to how you feel after eating gluten. Headaches, joint pain, and gastric upset can be caused by gluten consumption.

Next time, if you hear the phrase “clean eating”, just know that you have to determine what’s going to work best for your body’s chemistry. You have to accommodate your body’s demands. Taking into consideration:

  1. Style of fitness
  2. Desired outcome
  3. Food allergies and sensitivities
  4. Medical conditions
  5. Medications
Wooden bowl and spoon with Kidney beans. EmbracingAging.us

Beans are a super food and can add years to your life.

You Have to Practice Clean Eating According to Your Bodies Specific Needs.

So if I handed you a child size shoe, and I said, “Here, this is a lovely shoe. It’s brand new in this lovely shade of blue. Wear this shoe and you’ll love it.” If you are a 6’2″ tall man with a size 11 foot, that lovely child size shoe in blue, no matter how perfect it is, will not work for you.  Everyone has to define for themselves what clean eating means for them.

Basket of fresh vegetables. EmbracingAging.us

Eating food that’s fresh, vibrant and alive can make you feel the same way.

What does clean eating mean to you?  I would love to know your thoughts on this fascinating subject.  Feel free to share this article if I was able to give you food for thought. (pun intended)

Finally, you should know that this post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on or purchase one of the products links I”ll receive some compensation which will support my addiction to all things coffee.

I’m Karen with Embracing Aging

Reminding you to Embrace Your Age

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Lifestyle Promotes Longevity

 Lifestyle Promotes Longevity

In this post, I will explain to you how a less convenient lifestyle promotes longevity.  Americans love their convenient lifestyle. For example, driving to the corner market for milk and eggs, tossing a healthy frozen entree into the microwave for lunch, or hiring the local teenager to mow the yard and finally, drive through coffee. We are used to having so much at our convenience that it’s just expected. In this post, I will explain to you how a less convenient lifestyle equals longevity.

The top four regions in the world where people live to be 100 or older are

  • Okinawa 800 miles south of Tokyo,
  • Sardinia in the highlands of Greece
  • Nicoya, Costa Rica on the peninsula
  •  Loma Linda, California most notably the Seventh-day Adventist.

By longevity, I mean a life worth living. Where folks age in a way that allows them to keep their independence.  The kind of independence everyone hopes for when and if we make it into our 90s.  For example:

  • staying in your own home
  • living without the need for glasses, canes, or hearing aids
  • able to cook your own meals
  • able to enjoy great-grandchildren

To learn some of the amazing secrets of healthy longevity and what it takes to live a life where you can have both quality and quantity of years. Read on, while I share interesting facts of this lifestyle that promotes longevity.

What These Amazing Places Have in Common

They Move Naturally

First, their way of life is their way of exercise.  They do not set out to formally perform an exercise regime.  In other words,  When the men of Sardinia, Italy need firewood, (Sardinia has the largest population of men who live to be 100 years old.) they do not break out a chainsaw and cut down a tree.  They break out a hatchet and cut firewood old school style. Next, they ride bikes at the age of 102! Also in Sardinia, housing is built vertically so they are regularly taking the stairs. These folks definately live a lifestyle that promotes longevity.

man resting from biking in the park EmbracingAging.us

Maintaining good health allows for quality living in our 70s, 80s,  and beyond.

Should one of the women in Okinawa decide that they like to bake a cake, they don’t run to the cupboard and break out a blender, they mix the batter by hand. Should the family decide to put in a garden and most do, they don’t go out and buy or rent a tiller, they use their sweat equity.  This is one of several ways that physical exercise is built into their daily living routines.  This lifestyle promotes longevity and is something I admire and aspire to do more of every day.

Family and Society

In each one of these 4 places, community and respect for the elderly are a priority.  Here in the U.S. at any local coffee shop or bar, you might see a poster of the latest famous model or musician ranging in age from 25 -30.  However, in Sardinia, you’re more likely to see posters of the oldest centenarians. Also, family dwellings consist of children, parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. You should know, these family arrangements benefit the oldest and the youngest of the home the most.

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Grandmother enjoys holding newborn granddaughter

Centenarians know that their tribe is very important. My favorite is the Okinawan tradition of the Moai. When you are born, your moai is already established.  These are the people you will travel with throughout life.  If your house burns down, they’ve got your back.  Should you need someone to watch your children for you because you are in the hospital for a week, they are there for you.  It is an unwavering loyalty practiced by all members of the moai.

Plant-based Diet

Costa Rica has available very hard water higher in calcium.  According to scientists, this seems to explain why they have fewer bone breaks and hip injuries.

All of the regions mentioned above practice home gardening. Furthermore, gardening is a fundamental way of life and a perfect way to get plenty of physical exercises.

Personally, when I started blogging and this notion is really ironic, I began to think that I might not have time this year to put in a garden.  I’m seeing the error of my ways.  I will be gardening this year AND I will not use a tiller or other power tools to manage it.  Gardening by hand gives us the gift of good healthy food not exposed to gas fumes from tillers, weedeaters or mowers.

The garden is an opportunity for me to teach my family about the importance of nutrition, and how it benefits us physically.  If you’ve ever established a garden, then you know it’s also a great workout.  Interestingly, they do not seek to eat foods that aren’t in season. To them, this is simply common sense. They simply do not eat tomatoes in December.

Spiritual Connection

In and around Loma Linda California, the Seventh Day Adventists are on the longevity list. Most notably, they practice a vegan diet, free of meat, milk, and eggs.  Meals consist of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans and tofu fixed in a variety of ways. Seventh-Day Adventists take their diet from the first book in the bible, Genisis.

Most importantly, the 24 hour period from Friday evening to Saturday evening is considered holy. Time spent during this period is with church and family.  They also take nature walks together inside this 24-hour window as part of their time to reflect, pray and spend time with other like-minded friends and family.  They count on this time each week knowing that it sustains them and refreshes them for the upcoming week.

Ikigai (eekeeguy) Okinawan for Reason for Living

Volunteer, contribute, give, donate word sign Embracingaging.us

Volunteer, Contribute and Give

All of the Centenarians will advise those of us in pursuit of longevity will tell us that having a purpose for living and greeting the sun each morning is essential to happiness. Consequently, It makes getting up every day worthwhile and fulfilling. Consider volunteering at your local food bank, caring for other members of your family, or foster stray animals until you can find them loving homes, these are the kinds of things that bring “joy de vive” to your heart. At the end of the day, you can feel good about giving back something of yourself to your community. This giving is receiving goodness from and for your heart and soul.

 

What’s the takeaway lesson here? Using Sardinia, Greece as the poster child for what to do and what not to do:

Lifestyle promotes longevity recommendations:

  • Plant a garden for the food and the exercise.
  • Walk or ride a bike as much as you can
  • Avoid donut shops and burger joints so you won’t need a gym (there aren’t any donut shops burger joints or gyms in Sardinia)
  • Develop grit, don’t let a convenient lifestyle make you soft.
  • The number one top of the list longevity food to eat more of every day is beans. All kinds of beans are game.

Blue Zones

Dan Buettner, the author of Blue Zones,  has traveled to all these places and researched in great detail the who, how and why of longevity. Also in his book, he goes more in depth on how the less convenient lifestyle promotes longevity as well as the best foods you can eat for a long life.

Finally, this post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on or purchase one of the products links I”ll receive some compensation which will support my addiction to all things coffee.

If you enjoyed this discussion and have ideas you’d like to share, feel free to leave your comments and share this post with friends.

I’m Karen with EmbracingAging.us

Reminding you to embrace your age

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Fairy-tale World Weight Loss vs. Real World Weight Loss

Fairy-tale world weight loss vs. Real world weight loss

In fairy-tale world weight loss, we would all like to get on the scale every morning and see it go down even if it’s only by a tenth of a pound. Everyone is setting their new years’ goals, figuring out hopes dreams and ambitions. Usually at the top of the list is weight loss.  However, in the real world, you most definitely will have your ups and downs.

Yo-yo diet? No. Not at all.  It’s a naturally occurring process of weight loss that is not a steady decline, but rather an ebb and flow of your body’s work to lose fat, manage fluids, retain muscle tone and balance hormones. There’s an awful lot going on in our bodies. Remembering this solid truth will keep you from losing your everloving mind ? as you go through the process of losing weight.

 

Graph image of Fairy-tale world weight loss from EmbracingAging.us

Fairy-tale world weight loss vs. Real world weight loss

Fluctuating weight doesn’t have to drive you crazy

Fluctuating weight becomes more erratic as we age. Our metabolism slows down and the motivation for exercise wanes.  Moving our becomes challenging due to arthritis, excess weight and other concerns. Naturally, this wreaks havoc on our effort and motivation to stick to a weight loss plan.

Positive self-talk

When you step on the scale, are you holding your breath thinking to yourself, “If I haven’t lost at least 3 lbs. I’m gonna be so frustrated.” Or do you look in the mirror and think if I just walked further, or ran longer.

Well hold up just a minute here and let me ask you this: Would you talk to your best friend or your loved ones the way you are talking to yourself?

I seriously doubt it. You would probably try to say something more encouraging like, “It’s alright, today is a new day.” Or “Don’t give up, your hard work will pay off soon.”

This is HUGE!

One of the most powerful tools you have is how you perceive your personal progress. This is huge so pay close attention. We all have the hormone called cortisol. It’s our stress hormone that slows weight loss when it’s too high. Think belly fat.  When we use negative self-talk and when we are excessively critical of ourselves what do you think that does to our cortisol levels? If you guessed raised them, then you scored bonus points. So it’s important to say to yourself,  “Yesterday’s walk was good, I’m looking forward to today’s walk.” instead of, ” I only walked ten minutes  yesterday.”

Weight loss is as much a mental discipline as it is physical.  You can make things better by changing your mind’s way of perceiving your efforts.  Any effort you make is progress, any step you take forward on your journey is an accomplishment. When your mind realizes how important positivity is your stress level lowers and weight loss doesn’t have to be a hard as some would have you believe.  If you are saying, “I have been on this plateau for weeks and I might not ever get off this plateau”. Your body here’s this conversation and believes this is true.

This brings us to progress reports

If you’re weighing every day because you can’t help yourself, then you will need to be extra patient.

Furthermore, go ahead and create a record/chart so you can see the natural ups and downs of your progress. Staying out of fairytale weight loss world is important when trying reach those goals.

Charting your progress will keep you in tune with what is working and what is holding you back. Remember to jot a note to yourself nudging you forward with gentle encouragement. “You got this.”

Baby steps lead to feet and feet lead to yards and yards lead to miles. So,  just keep putting one foot in front of the other and move forward. Celebrate every single time you make a move forward toward your goals.

Finally, you should know that this post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on or purchase one of the products links I”ll receive some compensation which will support my addiction to all things coffee.

If you enjoyed this discussion and have ideas you’d like to share, feel free to leave your comments and share this post with friends.

I’m Karen with EmbracingAging.us

Reminding you to embrace your age

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Unexpected Health Challenges & Mild Dehydration

Mild dehydration is subtly sabotaging your health.

Mild dehydration was sabotaging my health. I found myself back in the doctors’ office again this week because of a UTI that I could not get ahead of on my own. Taking 2,000 mg of vitamin C before bed usually does the trick. However, I was out of 1000 mg caplets.  Hubs went to the store and picked up some BUT it was the 500 mg chewable because the pharmacy was out of the 1000 mg. caplets that work best for me.  These didn’t help me. Because of a lapse of time, they were not getting the job done.  The infection spread first to my bladder then into my kidneys. Misery set in.

Meanwhile being stubborn and hardheaded, I continued trying to beat it on my own.  A week of very little progress went by.  When I returned to the gym on the following Monday morning I just didn’t have the energy, or the motivation to do my full workout.  Calling the Dr. was moved to the top of my list of things to do for the day, he got me right in that afternoon and in no time at all I had a filled prescription for antibiotics.  I detest taking antibiotics for the simple fact antibiotics kill all bacteria both good and bad.

What I learned during the week

Water is your ally, BFF, the most underused tool for optimal health. I was drinking 16oz. water 16oz green tea every day during my morning workout. I was drinking roughly 6-8 oz of water with my lunch and dinner.  Finally, at bedtime, I took my evening vitamins and medications with a little bit of water probably 4-6 oz. This doesn’t include the coffee and hot tea I like to drink throughout the day.  So I was getting about 46-48 oz of water a day. Seems like that ought to be enough, doesn’t it?   I very rarely drink anything other than water, coffee, and tea.

Being stuck on a weight loss plateau is no fun whatsoever. I was being faithful to my workout routine, continuing to keep my food portions small to moderate and closely watching my protein intake.  Out of left field, I’m hit with a UTI.  Realizing, I needed to immediately step up my water intake, a 16 oz water bottle stayed full and by my side at all times.  Then BOOM the following occurred:

  • The plateau was conquered, I reached a major milestone – 180.4 1bs. lost. My daughter said, “Welcome to “onederland” because I was out of the 200s and into the 100s weighing in at 199.6
  • Cravings came to an all-time low.  I wasn’t wanting chocolate, sugar or carbs.
  • My bowel movements were better.  I was getting plenty of fiber, but plenty of water is what makes fiber work efficiently. In case you didn’t catch that little tidbit of super important info, water is what makes fiber work efficiently!!

Feeding thirst came to a halt

Mild dehydration can cause you to eat when you are thirsty and that causes overeating and snacking and grazing. Next, calories sneak up on you. When you think you’re doing alright but in reality, all you need to do to take control is increase your water game. When I started drinking the minimum required amount of water 64 oz, I literally quenched my hunger and gone was my desire to sometimes feed thirst with food.  I essentially uncrossed my wires.  Instead of reaching for water, sometimes I reached for food, usually something sweet.

glass of water in sunset Embracingaging.us

Stop mild dehydration by drinking more water. Propper hydration allows you to quench hunger and stop feeding thirst.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s talk about detox

Mild dehydration is subtle enough to slow down your efforts to detox your digestive system.

Detoxing techniques:

  • Sweating through vigorous exercise
  • Using a sauna
  • Dry brushing your skin
  • Getting better nutrition
  • Relaxation to aid detox

Just remember, none of these activities will work well for you without optimal water consumption.  I don’t think I can stress this enough. For a more detailed discussion about detoxing click here. 

You should know that this post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on or purchase one of the products links I’ll receive some compensation which will support my addiction to all things coffee.

I’m Karen with Embracing Aging,

Reminding you to embrace your age.

 

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In brown print is the first letter of every word in the first paragraph of the Declaration of Independence

Sharpen Your Memory

Sharpen Your Memory

Sharpen your memory by using various techniques:

  • Focus/being present
  • Memory Palace
  • Index Cards ( it’s not what you think)
  • Batching /Chunking
  •  Sensory

Hocus, Pocus, Focus

First, I want to get into some effective techniques for sharpening our memories. Focus and being present. Furthermore, being focused will allow us an easier time remembering why we went in the next room, for example, car keys.  (keeping track of my keys was my focus)Now, instead of tossing the keys on the nearest table, counter, or desk, I designated a specific location for my keys to go as soon as I walked into the house. Finally, losing my sanity is another thing I do not want to have to hunt down, so paying a little attention to what we are doing is worthwhile.

 

car keys on a desk

Where are my keys?Paying closer attention to this allowed me to stop yelling at my family, “I can’t find my keys!!” Reducing everyone’s stress level significantly. When you walk into the room and you forget why you came in the room. My husband call’s it “hereafter syndrome”  “What am I hereafter???”. LOLBeing fully present in the moment really helps make a difference and we’re better able to remember what we’re doing and why.

Sharpen your memory with the memory palace

This technique is not new, but it is a great one.  Essentially you visualize your house and all the rooms in it. Next, you place items in each room that you specifically want to remember. For me, this works well with a grocery list.  I can memorize a long list of grocery items by placing them in the rooms of the house.  Then I mentally walk through the rooms of my house and I remember the things I needed to pick up from the store.

Memorize paragraphs with this neat technique

I like to use index cards for this technique and different colors of ink in my personal opinion,  this technique is great for students and anyone who needs to memorize a script. Let me use the Declaration of Independence as an example of how this method works.

Sharpen your memory. In green print is the first letter of every word in the first paragraph of the Declaration of Independence

Sharpen your memory by abbreviating the first letter of each word in the Declaration of Independence shown as an example.

index card showing the first letter of each word in brown on an index card using the Declaration of Independence as an example.

Abbreviate using the first letter of each word in the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence in this example.

As you can see above, in green are the first letter of each word in the first paragraph of the Declaration of Independence. “When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for…etc.”

Next, on the second index card, in brown, is the first letter of each word in the second paragraph. Then as you continue making your index cards, each paragraph on its own card is a different color, blue, red or purple whatever you like. Personally, I plan to use this method to memorize vocabulary words in Spanish. Learning another language is another excellent way to keep your brain exercised and sharp.

Batching or Chunking

Memorizing in batches is a good way to remember lots of information.  Phone numbers are memorized in batches. First three numbers and then four.

When I was a kid, my mom taught me the books of the bible.  We (my brother and I) learned them in chunks or batches. Four books at a time. Mathew, Mark, Luke, John.  Then the next four, Acts, Romans, I and II Corinthians Galatians, and so on. Students can use this technique for memorizing vocabulary or terminology.

Music is an Excellent Tool for a Sharper Memory

Preschoolers learn very quickly and efficiently with music.  Sharpen your memory by taking a lesson from them. When I was teaching my granddaughter the days of the week, we sang the days of the week to the Adams Family theme song.  Here let me plant this in your head, lol.  Days of the week (clap clap) days of the week (clap clap) There’s Sunday and there’s Monday, Tuesday and there’s Wednesday, Thursday, and there’s Friday and then there’s Saturday. Days of the week.( clap.) Now everybody sings along!

When that song comes on the radio and launches you back in time to your high school and college days, that’s another example of how powerful music is to memory.  We remember people, places, and events oftentimes because of the music played at those moments.  This is known as sensory memory. This brings us to our next tool for a sharper memory.

Sensory memory

  • There are certain foods that I love that remind me of my childhood, Usually something my mom made that I now cook for my own family. I always use her goulash recipe.
  • My husbands cologne, I know that fragrance anywhere and it makes me think of him. (Old Spice)
  • When I hear “The Cars” on the radio, I’m transported back to the eighties.
  • Purple is the color my daughter and I remember most about the way I dressed her as she was growing up. It was my favorite color, but she avoids it like the plague because she had so many outfits that were purple. Lol

There’s a dark and scary side to sensory memory. It’s PTSD post-traumatic stress disorder and is brought about by a bad experience so ingrained in one’s memory, they are traumatized.  Just like with good memories, these traumatic memories will have triggers that cause a scary and fearful reaction in the individual.

On a happier note, childbirth is such an intense experience that mothers can tell their story from start to finish without missing a single detail.  Every time I tell my story ( I have three kids that I gave birth to and one I adopted) I relive the experience like it was yesterday.

New York City beams of light where the twin towers where

Breaking news can impact memory

  • You remember where you were and what you were doing on 9/11.
  • While I was in my kitchen folding some laundry, watching The Young and the Restless at the time when they broke the news Princess Dianna died.

Interestingly, news events can be permanently stamped into your memory and can make an impact.

Associating memories with sensory experiences will make those newly created memories stickier and allow you to remember important information longer.

In conclusion

That’s all for today.  If you found this post helpful please feel free to share and let me know what you think about this subject.

You should know that this post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on or purchase one of the products links I’ll receive some compensation which will support my addiction to all things coffee.

I’m Karen with Embracing Aging,

Reminding you to embrace your age.

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