W.O.W. SUNNY SUNDAY 09/20/15

“Sunny” – What would a Health Blog be without some uplifting, inspirational anecdotes and mantras?

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“The other shows us ourselves in a forgotten light, as someone less dull than we thought we had become. We look at each other and we love ourselves”

 -Anonymous

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Do you know someone like this ?

Someone who reflects back to you the person you wish to see?

Someone who reminds you of what it means to be alive?

Not just ‘living’, but truly alive?

Do you have someone in your life for whom YOU are this person?

Someone to whom you give life?

Someone to whom you validate worth and purpose?

Take stock of the people with whom you spend your time…

Do they fit in this category for you – or you for them?

Do you wish they did?

Or, perhaps, you prefer it the way it is – connected enough…but not too close?

These are not questions anyone else can answer.

Nor, are they questions, which you can afford to not answer.

I challenge  you to take time this Sunday. And sit with these questions…

Love them.

Hate them.

Rejoice in them.

Cry for them.

But be present with them.

You get but one turn on the Carousel of Life, you owe it to yourself and whoever or whatever you believe in, to love yourself and to surround yourself with those you love.

looking glass

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W.O.W. SEASONAL SATURDAY 09/19/15

“Seasonal” – Take a look at how to stay active and make healthy choices no matter what the temperature is outside

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It’s September, which means we aren’t quite in High Pollen Season – nor are we quite in Flu Season.

So what’s with all the congestion, sniffles, and headaches?

It’s STRESS

I realize this is hard to believe.

None of us really have anything major going on.

It’s NOT LIKE it’s the first full month of school for parents and children, and college students …

The first full month of football as we discussed in last Tuesday’s article,

Or the last month before the FIVE MONTH stretch of debt-inducing, hangover-prone holidays:

October – Halloween

November – Thanksgiving Eve, Thanksgiving

December – Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa [respectively]

January – New  Years

February –  Valentine’s Day

Dont even act like Halloween and Valentine’s Day don’t count… you know as well as I do.

Listen, here’s the deal, I know we have heard about stress for eons and it’s something everyone has and no one wants and we all should sleep more and eat better and exercise regularly…

blah

blah blah

But here’s the SIMPLE truth:

When you don’t get enough sleep, your body releases more cortisol [hormone] to help you stay alert …while also reducing white blood cell count [lowering your immunity]….and storing belly fat…

Cortisol also messes with Leptin [another hormone] which increases cravings for unhealthy foods in unhealthy amounts …

When your Cortisol and Leptin levels are too high, it messes with your circadian rhythm so that even when try to sleep you CANT sleep as soundly…which means your body will not get the rest it needs and it will further increase the levels of those two hormones.

If this goes one for several consecutive days, your body will continue to reduce white blood cell count and your fatigue will get worse and you will start to feel that “flu-like” feeling.

Your body is literally trying to get you to slow down, it’s begging you to get into bed and sleep so that it can get back on track.

The take-home message here is that : Your body is in charge 🙂

If you don’t give your body what it needs, it will make changes on a cellular level to get what it needs.

Work with your body, not against it.

It’s the only one you have.

Until Next time,

Stay Well,

MissFit

W.O.W. FUN FACT FRIDAY 09/18/15

“Fun Fact” – Self-explanatory…

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For all of my September babies out there  – September is the Month of the Sapphire. That beautiful, deep, rich blue is unparalleled.

You’ve probably never heard a health professional tell you to ‘Get Blue’ for weight loss – but I’m going to.

I’m not telling you to get sad and depressed – but I am telling you to consider getting the color Blue around you, especially in the kitchen, plates, bowls, counter tops, etc.

Why, you ask?          

Simple:
Research shows that  BLUE is the most calming color, it has been used in Color Therapy [yes that’s a real thing] to treat insomnia and over-activity in both adults and children.

Blue is also the least appetizing color as it does not occur naturally in foods aside from blueberries and some plums and eggplants.
Furthermore, evolutionarily, humans avoid foods that are thought to be poisonous and BLUE tends to be a color associated with poison and/or spoiled and rotting food. …

Therefore, eating off of BLUE dishes can reduce food intake by 15% or more simply by inducing notions of calmness, mindfulness, and survival.

And – BONUS TRACK – another blue color [and beautiful gemstone], turquoise is also used in Color Therapy to stimulate white blood cell count and boost immunity, keeping you healthier, longer.

You are more then welcome to send MissFit either one of these stones out of the benevolence of your heart .

But at the very least, treat yourself .

 

Until next time,

Stay Well,

MissFit

 

picture c/o portfoliographicdesign.com

W.O.W. THERAPEUTIC THURSDAY 09/17/15

“Therapeutic” – Gain insight into your Actions [sometimes called ‘behaviors’] and how they may be functioning as a direct result of Thoughts and Feelings

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Let’s start our session this month with a piece of literature I came across.  It is an adaptation from a publication in the New Yorker by Brenda Shaughnessy.

Backward Circles

I have a time machine

It travels into the future at a rate of one second per second

 

This seems slow to the physicists and to the grant committee, and even to me.

 

Nonetheless

I manage to get there time after time, to the next minute and to the next.

Whether I want to or not.
Because you see – I can’t turn it off.
Or slow it down.
 

And if I try to get out of my Time Machine, open the latch and just jump,

well I’m quite certain I will fall into space, unconscious, then desiccated.

 

And I’m pretty sure I’m afraid of that.

Sure enough to stay inside.

 

I have a window, though
It shows the Past.
 

It’s like a television and a fish tank all rolled into one.

But it’s never Live streaming and the fish swim in backward circles.

 

Sometimes, it isn’t a fish tank at all,
But a rear view mirror
Offering another chance to see what I’m leaving behind.
Why is it that we can’t make up our minds about whether or not we want [need?] Time to go faster or slower than it actually does ?
Why is it that we have so much trouble just being okay with where we are at?
Did you know that desiring to be in a different moment than the one in which you find yourself is the source of anxiety?
Think about it …the whole notion of anxiety is grounded in this sense that you are unsettled – what is more unsettling than finding discomfort in the moment in which you are?
And then not being able to hurry up and get to a different moment or slow down a nice moment to make it last longer?
Ah! Stress!
It’s really that basic.
Think, too, about how sometimes it feels like you CAN manipulate time…you know how there are some people in your life who, when you spend time with them, time seems to either drag or fly by ?
Or, what about when you are going on a vacation – the difference between how long it FEELS it takes to get there versus how long it takes to return? You traversed the same miles, did you not? So how can it feel longer or shorter?
The truth of the matter is that it is related to anxiety.
Think about , the angst of wanting to arrive at your destination makes it feel like it will never get there …you are desiring to be in a moment different than the one in which you are.
Similarly, most of us wish our vacations could last longer, and we are in no hurry to return to reality [i.e. work, etc] and it seems like the plane must certainly have flown at vortex speed…
Again, we are desiring to halt time to avoid the next moment. But we can’t.
So maybe we even feel a tinge of depression alongside our angst?
Now, sure, we Americans have loads of pharmaceuticals we could shove in our mouth to make us not care about anything I just wrote about, or perhaps we could try to stay present.
We could meet ourselves where we are at daily, by the minute, by the second.
Don’t wish for a Time Machine.
Don’t try to make one.
Time is the one thing that no matter how wealthy you are, you can’t get more of.
Do what you can to find peace in your moment and smile when you look in the rear view mirror.
After all, it wasn’t meant to steer you forward, it was meant to help you see a bigger picture  and arrive safely at your next moment.
And so it is with your Past.

 

W.O.W. WORK IT OUT WEDNESDAY 09/16/15

“Work it Out” – Get over that mid-week hump with the added gusto of a new work out move. Some moves may be borrowed from the Kama Sutra. Possibly.

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What Is Foam Rolling?

Simple!

It’s a type of Self-Myofacial Release [SMR] or “self massage”.

NO guys, not that kind of self-massage.

SMR with a foam roller is designed to get ride of adhesion in your muscles and connective tissues by increasing blood flow to the muscles and speeding up recovery times.

Sounds great!

So…

Is it Safe?

Well, yes, but like any thing else, there is a proper way to do it and an improper way to do it.

It has been used by athletic trainers, personal trainers, and even physical therapists for decades, but now that it’s more mainstream, it is important to know what you are doing if you start foam rolling sans professional lead.

Let’s take a look

TOP 5 Mistakes foam-rolling lackeys Make

  1. Rolling directly on pain  

Don’t do it!

If you have a tender spot, especially in your legs, you may cause more damage by keying in on a very sore spot.

First and foremost, know WHY you are sore. If you simply worked out really hard , do yourself a favor by easing away a few centimeters from the actual spot and rolling around it. Remember, all the muscles and tendons in your body are connected, so working out the tension in one area will have a positive impact on those around it.

There is no need to put yourself in undue pain.

If, on the other hand, you are sore because you suspect you injured yourself, it is not recommended you foam roll. Never foam roll on a swollen area. See the “When you should not foam roll” section below for more on this.

2. Rolling really fast

Slow down! I know it’s painful, but the faster you go, the more you increase your chances of causing additional inflammation.  You may find it helpful to use short, slow rolls as oppose to longer ones.

It takes your body a while to recognize it needs to exhale and relax its muscles. Give yourself some space.

Always, always, always continue breathing while you foam roll. Never hold your breathe. Take inventory of your breathe, especially if you are in pain, you will instinctively hold your breathe.

In addition to breathing, make sure you hydrate afterwards, as the process of foam rolling will release toxins and toxins are best carried out of the body with water.

3. Rolling for too long

Bottom line – spend no longer than 20 seconds foam rolling any one area. And spend no longer than 10 minutes foam rolling your body in total.

Mix it up and foam roll different muscle groups as shown in the infograph below.  You can foam roll every day, depending on your level of activity, most people find it most helpful to foam roll every other day.

4. Improper Form

Just like with lifting weights and needing to have proper form in each repetition, there is proper form to foam rolling.

Pay special attention to our friend, let’s call him Ned, in the infograph below. Take note of where his arms are positioned. This is the proper form. For instance, when foam rolling your thighs/quads, your body should be in a plank-like pose.

If your hips are sagging, it will contort your spine and you may injure yourself.

No bueno.

5. Rolling on the No-No spots:

There are a few spots on your body you should never ever foam roll,

  • The front/back of your knees
  • Lower back [below the rib cage]
  • the front of your torso [where all your major organs are]

The infograph below shows the safe places  – take special note of the one that says HIP – it looks like Ned is about to foam roll his lower back. He is not, I assure you. For that move, you would stay on your hip crest and simply rock back and forth just a few inches onto your glutes [butt muscles].

As a general rule, stay on soft tissues and avoid rolling directly on bones, joints, and organs. Your kidneys are easily accessible through your lower back, so this is one of the reasons we do not foam roll on the lower back.

Why You Should Foam Roll

  • The pressure of your body weight in conjunction with the roller gives your muscles a much deeper massage than simply rubbing
  • Contributes to overall relaxation when done properly
  • Increases blood flow which assists in boosting nutrient absorption, range of motion, immunity, and muscle function and recovery
  • Decreases blood pressure and build up of cellular waste/toxins
  • Increases release of serotonin and endorphins  which boosts mood and overall feeling of well-being

When You Should NOT Foam Roll

  • On bare skin that is open, infected, or burned
  • To treat chronic pain from old injuries [without consulting with a doctor]
  • If you have Hemophilia [without consulting with a doctor]
  • If you have eczema, herpes, boils, or otherwise necrotic tissue [without consulting with a doctor]

There you have it, Misfits!

Questions? Comments?

Comment below or email direct to write.with.ms@gmail.com

Until Next Time,

Stay Well,

MissFit

MissFit is not responsible for any injuries sustained or perpetuated by those foam rolling properly or improperly. Don’t be that guy.

picture c/o ashleyjameshealth.com

MissFit – – What the Hell Happened?

Well, Misfits, I owe you all my deepest apologies.

After the Tuesday Sept 8th posting, the rest of the week’s newsletter articles did not publish proper.

I take full responsibility.

$hit happens, right ?

I want to thank each of you who personally emailed and texted me to let me know there was an error.  What an incredible feeling to have you all reach out to me.

You are all the reason I am here, writing and working. I am here to serve you and I’m so sorry that there were some complications this last week.

On a positive note, ll of my clients who reached out will be getting a free session!

As for the newsletter, I figured it would be best to simply release Weds through Sunday starting next week on the 16th.

SO check back and make sure they post!

And, hey, if they don’t, be the first to email me and you get a free session!

Win-win for you whether I’m driven crazy by technology or not!

Not a bad deal in this day and age 🙂

And, remember, I’m always open to requests for articles. If there is something you would like to see written on or about, just shoot me an email at write.with.ms@gmail.com.

No need to be a member to make a request!

Until next time,

Stay Well,

MissFIt

W.O.W. TRENDING TUESDAY 09/08/15

“Trending” – Every time we turn around there is some other diet that will give us our dream body, some food we simply MUST avoid, or some piece of equipment we MUST buy… stay on top of what’s trending and get tips for thinking critically about marketing ploys.

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It’s time for college football!

Well, I suppose it’s time for NFL as well…but I don’t care for the NFL, and this is my blog, so … 🙂

Listen, whether you like to sink you dollars into the terribly corrupt non-profit known as the NFL, or whether you prefer to invest your Alma Mater spirit in the  [likely corrupt, but who is counting] good-natured-still-playing-for the-sake-of-playing game of pigskin heralded by those hopeful collegiate players, is really neither here nor there.

I’m not here to change your mind about  football, what I am here to do is make sure you are aware that whether YOUR TEAM wins or loses, you will be getting hosed if you buy into the marketing ploys surrounding this beloved time of year.

And which marketing ploys are those?

You know the ones…

“Buy one pizza, get one for a nickel!”

What a deal! That’s like getting an extra 1000 calories and gaining weight without trying! Jackpot!

“Buy a bucket of chicken and get two 2-liters of soda for free!” 

Hang on, a ‘bucket’ – anything that comes in Size: ‘Bucket’ should be a clue it may be more suited for farm animals than the svelte self we are aiming for, no? And let me assure you that there is nothing “Free” about soda. Unless of course you are trying to save money on cleaning supplies. And also trying to keep your dentist in business and waste your money at the gym…

There’s a better way.

Whether you are a guest or a host, spend some extra time with your friends making some amazing dishes.  You can cook while you are watching Game Day and build some great memories in the meantime. Oh- and- losers do dishes.

Need some ideas on what to make? There are almost 30 amazing recipes to choose from HERE. Everything from simple Guacamole to Poblano-Turkey Sausage Chili, to Creole Deviled Eggs. There’s a little something for everyone.

And of course, free or not, soda is not even the true drink of choice during football season – BEER reigns supreme!

And so does the marketing.

Per serving, even the lightest beer has more calories [and usually more carbs] than it’s alcohol equivalent in liquor or wine.

Obviously, the key word there is, “per serving”.

And also “alcohol equivalent”.

Just as a quick reference, a serving is as follows:

1 beer [12 oz]

1 glass of wine [5 oz]

1 drink of liquor [1. 5 oz]

Both wine and standard liquors/spirits [i.e. Vodka, Run, Whiskey, Tequila, and Gin] have about 100 calories per serving and unless you are drinking very sweet white wine or cotton candy Vodka, you can keep your sugars low.

Beer is a whole other game. Check out the pyramid below to see where your favorite brand stacks up!

Print

Now, I know what you are thinking …some of the beers near the top of pyramid show as having less than 100 calories. Yes… but look at the corresponding percentages… 2.3% ? Here is where that notion of alcoholic equivalence [new vocabulary word!] comes into play:

You would have to drink at LEAST 2-3 of those >100 calories beers in order to feel as good as a glass of wine. At which point you have surpassed the calories in the wine.

For the record, I am as equally biased towards wine as I am towards college football.

Nonetheless, I am also biased towards getting you towards your health goals and not giving up everything you love!

Until next time,

Stay Well and Root for the Clemson Tigers,

Miss Fit

 

 

beer pyramid c/o thehealthydrinker.com

W.O.W. MAKE IT HAPPEN MONDAY 09/07/15

“Make it Happen” – Start off the business week with positive reinforcements, tips and tricks for helping yourself be successful in work, wellness, and wealth.

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Today is Labor day. This means a few things:

  1. Many of us didn’t have to work today
  2. Many of us have no idea how it can be possible that it is almost time to go back to work
  3. Many of us desperately want every weekend to be a three-day weekend
  4. This work week, while only 4 days, will somehow manage to go painfully slow.
  5.  We check our calendars for the next Federal holiday…Thanksgiving ?!?! Fuck.
  6. We check google images for some Meme that captures our despair…

We post most suitable Meme on multiple social media sites to commiserate in our misery…

True story.

Let’s just call a spade, a spade. How is this so predictable ?

Well, quite frankly, it’s because we as humans, are highly predictable.

We tend to gravitate towards those things that feel good and gravitate away from things that DON’T feel good.

No work, feels good.

Work, not so good.

And, let’s be honest,  talking about things you want to see change is WAY easier and comfortable than ACTUALLY putting forth effort to change those things.

And that makes sense, right?

I mean there is certainly an evolutionary advantage to that the Path of Least Resistance: in theory, it increases our chances of survival – think about it – Going towards the fire on a cold night feels much better than going towards that lion who looks a tad hungry…

Now, realizing that we have central heating (and Zoos) to minimize the relevancy of the above example, the original point holds true.

While we have made incredible strides in the advent of technology to make our lives more comfortable and convenient, we haven’t REALLY changed biologically since the times of building fires and protecting ourselves from lions.

We still have many [I would propose ALL] of our original evolutionary tendencies.

Why does any of this matter?

Well, I suppose it does not matter at all if you are 100% happy with your life and don’t have any further goals are areas you wish to improve .

Which, P.S., if that describes you, I would like to request that you make a small donation to my account at South Carolina Student Loan Company and help a sister out…

For the rest of us, this humorous exposure of our baser Self is incredibly meaningful because it holds the key to understanding why we may not have the life we want.

Let’s take a look at two areas of life most of us are seeking to improve:

  1. Physical Health

You work all day, you are tired, the last thing that feels happy and comfortable is kicking your own ass on a treadmill and then going home and chopping vegetables and cooking and then having to clean up all the dishes… NO, it sounds much more appealing to stop at a building on your way home work… a magical building that will serve food to you right at the side of your car and then you can just keep driving home and sit down on the couch and eat and relax.

2. Financial Health

You work all day, you are tired, you have been on someone else’s clock all day. With this in mind, you feel you  have EARNED something for yourself, so you go pick up some new pair of shoes, or the latest gismo or gadget  – something that is YOURS. something you purchased with that hard earned money from the Man – something to make you feel like you are in control and that job is worthwhile because “look what it bought me”.  Who wants to budget? You work hard for your money, too hard probably, if you can’t even spend your money on what you want, WHEN you want…what kind of a terrible, suffocating life is that??

Sound even just a tiny bit familiar?

Here’s the problem – for those of us who subscribe to the two mentalities just listed, the result is someone who is Unhealthy and In Debt; someone who is physically exhausted and financially depleted. Which, obviously none of us would choose.

But do you see how easy it is to chose?

It’s so easy

And comfortable

And natural

And HUMAN

to choose the path of least resistance.

And because we don’t become overweight or bankrupt overnight, it can be all the more easy to choose what feels good in the moment. But all those moments add up…and before you know it, you are far away from the life you say you want.

And you are back on your Home screen.

Commiserating on social media platforms over the desire to have more work / life balance…maybe selecting a melancholy meme to share with your 1,408 friends….changing your profile picture to a better Selfie (now that you have that new filter) but not changing anything that matters.

Don’t be that guy.

Don’t be afraid to be a little too hot, or cold, or stare that lion in the face. There is nothing easy or comfortable about a life of  RX pharmaceuticals, endless calls from credit companies, and dying before your time.

Whatever you want to change, Make it Happen .

Stay Well,

MissFit

 

W.O.W – SUNNY SUNDAY 08/16/15

“Sunny” – What would a Health Blog be without some uplifting, inspirational anecdotes and mantras?

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“The moment I met you I saw that you were quite unconscious of what you really are, of what you might become. There was so much in you that charmed me that I felt I must tell you something about yourself. I thought how tragic it would be if you were wasted”

~Oscar Wilde

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At first read this may sound like a depressing quote, but I urge you to read it again. This time hold in your mind’s eye someone that you love  – someone that you loved and lost.

Sometimes Life can feel like a wild ride of staged monotony, obligatory meet-ups, chance encounters and general anticlimactic chaos.

This Sunny Sunday, as we do each month, I am going to challenge you to go outside of this default reaction.

Read the quote a third time. Read it with the intention of promising to try to make your encounters – be they chance, monotonous, obligatory, or chaotic – as purposeful as possible. Look for the good in others. Tell people what they mean to you. Recognize a positive attribute, talent, or skill.

At the very least, smile. Smile at other people you happen to see, for it would be a waste of the goodness in you if you did not.

Stay Well,

MissFit

W.O.W. – SEASONAL SATURDAY 08/15/15

“Seasonal” – Take a look at how to stay active and make delicious food choices no matter what the temperature is outside.

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Hello dog days of August! And hello to our roommate for the month

The vampire of the insect world: the mosquito.

If any of the following applies to you, you are going to want to continue reading:

  1. You have been told multiple times “oh they [the mosquitoes] just love you! – it’s because you are SO SWEET…”
  2. you have had to wait up stark naked wandering around before falling asleep in order to let your Calamine lotion dry
  3. You have lost at least two sets of sheets to the embarrassing pink stains of Calamine lotion [because the Benadryl made you sleepy]
  4. You have been woken up in the middle of the night in order to itch the additional myriad of bites that seem to have generated while asleep
  5. You have contemplated wearing cloves of garlic around your neck
  6. The day you found quick-dry clear/colorless Calamine lotion at the drug store was an unnaturally exciting day for you
  7. You desperately want to know what it is that spares some people from the hell that is your mosquito-ridden life…

MissFit has some answers!

This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart as I came up with those 7 points above from none other than “personal narrative” as we say.

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons you get bit and then some actions you can take to avoid getting bit!

WHY MOSQUITOES BITE YOU [do the opposite]

  1. You are wearing dark or floral printed clothing
  2. You are standing  near stagnant water [lakes, puddles, dewy grass]
  3. You are wearing scented perfumes, lotions, and cosmetics
  4. You are eating outside with uncovered foods
  5. You are exercising outside [the increased breathing rate causes you to exhale more carbon dioxide and  mosquitoes LOVE carbon dioxide]
  6. You are an adult [related to #5…children emit less carbon dioxide]

SO, YES…

You should wear light-colored, plain clothing, stand in the desert, don’t walk, don’t eat, don’t wear lotion, act like a child, and most importantly, don’t breathe.

OTHER WAYS TO REDUCE BITES

  1. Stay indoors after 5pm
  2. Use essential oil: Lavender, Citronella, Eucalyptus, garlic – hey that garlic clove necklace wasn’t such a bad idea after all…
  3. Plant bug-repellant vegetation around your home: Tan­sies, Marigolds, Cat­nip, Thai Lemon Grass and Cit­ronella Grass *note this will not prevent you getting bitten when you are away from home

If all else fails, build a bat house. Evidently bats eat about 3, 000 mosquitoes a night…

That is your Season Saturday for this month!

Until next time, Stay well!

MissFit

Questions? Comments?

write below or email direct to write.with.ms@gmail.com

 

bat house instructions c/o http://www.michigandnr.com