Elevate Your Situation

“Feed the mind good wisdom, the body good nutrition, the soul good vibes, and the heart good love. Elevation for your situation.”
― T.F. Hodge

It was pouring rain this morning when I woke up and I didn’t particularly want to get out of bed. I didn’t sleep well and I had a headache that felt similar to a really bad hangover without the fun. I’m sure it was most likely due to the thick pollen all over our deck and front porch. On days like this I try to make a decision to make the best of  my day by focusing on the good things in my life. I dig down deep and REACH FOR MY FAVORITE THINGS to help “elevate my situation.”

“Regardless of Sunshine or Rain, Be Thankful for another GREAT day…and treat Life as the ULTIMATE Gift…. Because IT IS :)”
 Pablo

  1. Favorite Way To Start My Morning -COFFEE

I had to teach an early class, so I jumped out of bed and went down to the kitchen for coffee. Ahhh coffee makes everything better! I decided to go for “bullet proof coffee” so that hopefully  the caffeine would kick in and help me forget about my headache.

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I drank a large class of lemon water and by the time I finished the bullet proof coffee, my headache was almost gone.

“As long as there was coffee in the world, how bad could things be?”
― Cassandra Clare, City of Ashes

2. One Of My Favorite Workouts

Workouts always make me feel better. I prepared a workout for a small group training class. I decided to start off the workout with a treadmill run and added an incline challenge. The run was a great way to get the endorphins to kick in quickly and helped the class to get pumped for the weight circuit to follow. The circuit was total body compound exercises that was completed three rounds.

Jessie's Friday WOD

 

3. Put On My favorite shoes (BOOTS) They always put me in a good mood!  I love cowboy boots and wear them all year no matter how hot it gets.

“She wore trousers, because skirts were stupid, and boots, ‘cuz stuff needed to be kicked.”
 Brandon SandersonShadows of Self

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4. Love to cook! My Favorite Meal-is almost always- Healthy and Home Cooked!

This was such a delicious and easy meal to make. I placed a couple of organic chicken thighs on a roasting pan and seasoned them with a store-bought Thai Sweet Red Chili Sauce and sprinkled the thighs with chili powder. Roasted carrots are a healthy, quick, and easy side that requires very little preparation. I scrubbed the organic carrots and basted them with olive oil.   

Roast the chicken and carrots in the oven on 375 for approximately 60 minutes. I paired the baked chicken and roasted carrots with a spinach salad, sliced avocado, and mandarin orange slices.

 

“Oh, I adore to cook. It makes me feel so mindless in a worthwhile way.”
 Truman CapoteSummer Crossing

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Friday Quick And Easy No Meat Meal

Today is a no meat day for Lent and I’ve been experimenting with different ideas for vegetarian meals each week. I found these Garden Veggie Burgers at Publix and they are pretty healthy when you compare them with other vegan products like Morning Star that are often soy based. These GreenWise veggie burgers list carrots, green beans, onion, broccoli, and zucchini on the ingredient list.

I prepared the garden burgers on a griddle with olive oil and sauteed onions. They had a much better texture than most veggie burgers that tend to be mushy. I topped the burgers with avocado, onions, and feta cheese and added a side of baked sweet potato fries. I’m also trying to incorporate more raw veggies into my diet and added a side of sliced organic apples, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers. YUM!!

Avocado Toast, Fried Sweet Potatoes, & Cucumber Apple Salad

I had avocado toast with eggs this evening for dinner and it was delicious. I’m always looking for ways to increase the nutrient value of my food and used mainly organic ingredients. I found a great organic bread with flax seeds for the avocado toast. This was a quick and easy meal that I paired with apple and cucumber salad and organic hash browns. (I used olive oil to pan fry the potatoes instead of butter)

Main Dish:

 

 

Sides:

1.Cucumber and Apple Salad

2. Fried Sweet Potato

Top Powerhouse Foods To Optimize Health & Fitness

Improve your health and fitness by adding these powerhouse foods to your grocery list. I’ll admit that sometimes I go through periods where I eat out too much and I buy too many packaged foods.

However, I always notice that what I eat plays a major role in how I feel and look. When I eat unhealthy foods I feel sluggish and usually end up packing on unwanted pounds.

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Luckily, once I buckle down and go back to clean eating, my body responds pretty quickly. Normally after a couple of weeks, I snap out of my lazy, junk food frenzy by getting back to the gym and my “go to” food list.

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I purchase these powerhouse foods every week and there is no end to all the recipes you can create. The key is to avoid packaged foods when grocery shopping and limit eating out each week.

  1. Organic Avocado – Healthy fat high in potassium to help in exercise recovery.
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2, Organic Celery – Reduces inflammation and flushes toxins

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3. Organic Carrots – high in beta carotene that helps fight free radicals and heart disease

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4. Organic Cucumbers – Help to hydrate the body during exercise

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5. Organic Spinach – Per Dr. Mercola Assists in increasing the production of proteins that boost muscle strength.

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6. Sweet Potatoes – Good source of complex carbs for workouts

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7. Organic Gala Apples – High in polyphenols and glutamine for muscle growth

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8. Organic Zucchini- Boosts energy and supports circulation

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9. Organic Bananas – High in potassium to provide energy for workouts and recovery. My favorite pre and post run food.

10. Organic Cherry Tomatoes – High in vitamin C and Lycopene for muscle recovery

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11. Raw Almonds – High in magnesium to help support muscle growth and recovery

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12. Grapefruit – Rich in vitamin C and fiber promotes a healthy immune system

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13. Cottage Cheese – Great source of protein for muscle building and recovery

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Protein Packed Oatmeal Pre and Post Workout Snack

I love this yummy oatmeal for a pre or post workout snack.  It’s a quick and easy option for breakfast, pre-workout for runs, and post workout for weight training.

PROTEIN PACKED OATMEAL

Prepare one Package of Organic Nature’s Path Oatmeal and stir in one scoop of your favorite protein powder ( I Love chocolate Sunwarrior Protein Warrior Blend). Add in one tsp of chia seeds and cinnamon.  Then top with sliced bananas and walnuts.

Healthy Veggie Pizza Toast

Here is my new pizza toast creation.  I came up with this yesterday after coming home from the gym.

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I was starving and had not eaten lunch. I opened the fridge and scanned the contents and noticed the organic sharp cheddar I had just bought at the grocery store.  I was anxious to try it so decided I would make a slice of cheese toast.  Although that sounded like a good choice, I thought about how I could increase the nutritional value and make it more filling.  Luckily the spinach and cherry tomatoes were right by the cheese in the fridge so that inspired me to try a pizza recipe. The picture below is the toast before they were placed in the oven. This pizza toast turned out so delicious, I’ve already had it three times this week. So here’s my quick, easy, and delicious healthy veggie pizza toast.

Healthy Veggie Pizza Toast

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Ingredients:

Organic olive oil cooking spray

Organic bread

Organic Fresh spinach

Organic Cherry tomatoes

Organic garlic and oregano seasoning (optional)

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Turn oven on broil.  Take two slices of bread and spray lightly with olive oil spray.  Lightly sprinkle the bread with garlic and oregano.  Layer fresh spinach leaves (I removed stems).  Add sliced cherry tomatoes and thin slices of organic sharp cheddar.  Place in oven and broil until golden brown and cheese is bubbly. Enjoy

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Important Signs Of Low Magnesium Levels

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Magnesium is a vital mineral that assists in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body such as muscle and nerve function, protein synthesis, blood glucose regulation, and blood pressure control.  Additionally it is utilized for energy production, muscle contraction,  and helps regulate heart rhythm. New research points to an increasing insufficiency of this mineral in our diets today and can lead to symptoms such as:

  1. Brain fog
  2. Insomnia
  3. Tingling and Numbness
  4. Muscle twitching/ cramping
  5. Headache/Migraines
  6. Heart arrhythmias
  7. Fatigue
  8. Mood disorders

 

Dr Jockers, reports in the 10 Signs Of Magnesium Deficiency  that-

According to American neurosurgeon Norman Shealy, MD, PhD, almost every known disease is associated with a magnesium deficiency. This may sound like a bold statement at first but it actually makes a lot of sense considering the number of roles it plays in the body. This also explains why there are such a diverse set of symptoms that occur when you are not getting enough of it.

Try to ensure you get magnesium in your diet.  Good sources of magnesium rich foods include:

Almonds, cashews, peanut butter, spinach, avocado, yogurt, black beans, bananas, kidney beans, salmon, rice, and potatoes.

 

If you suspect you have symptoms of inadequate magnesium levels, make sure to check with your physician to be tested.

NIH -National Institute of Health states current guidelines as follows

Table 1 lists the current RDAs for magnesium [1]. For infants from birth to 12 months, the FNB established an AI for magnesium that is equivalent to the mean intake of magnesium in healthy, breastfed infants, with added solid foods for ages 7–12 months.

Table 1: Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for Magnesium [1]
Age Male Female Pregnancy Lactation
Birth to 6 months 30 mg* 30 mg*
7–12 months 75 mg* 75 mg*
1–3 years 80 mg 80 mg
4–8 years 130 mg 130 mg
9–13 years 240 mg 240 mg
14–18 years 410 mg 360 mg 400 mg 360 mg
19–30 years 400 mg 310 mg 350 mg 310 mg
31–50 years 420 mg 320 mg 360 mg 320 mg
51+ years 420 mg 320 mg

If you determine you need to supplement make sure you pick a product that meets purity standards.  Look for the USP symbol that means the product was evaluated and meets standards of consistency, potency, purity, quality, and performance.  To verify your supplement, you can visit www.usp.org verfication services 

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The NIH (National Institutes Of Health) reports that the form of magnesium you take is important in regards to it’s effectiveness.

Small studies have found that magnesium in the aspartate, citrate, lactate, and chloride forms is absorbed more completely and is more bioavailable than magnesium oxide and magnesium sulfate

Which Way Should I Go?

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“Cat: Where are you going?

Alice: Which way should I go?

Cat: That depends on where you are going.

Alice: I don’t know.

Cat: Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”

 Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Where are you going in life? Are you on the right path?  It’s an important question to ask yourself and you may be surprised at the answer. Without purpose or direction we become stagnant and feel empty.  Have you considered what you value most in life?  If you don’t know, then you may end up on the wrong path.

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It can be a challenge in our busy lives to achieve balance when it comes to family life, career, and health. However, if you don’t know where you’re going, you may find yourself at some point in life, full of regrets.

Stop spinning your wheels and write down an action oriented plan with specific goals that will help you live your best life.

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In an interesting article by James Clear  The Four Burners Theory , he reports:

One way to think about work-life balance is with a concept known as The Four Burners Theory. Here’s how it was first explained to me:

Imagine that your life is represented by a stove with four burners on it. Each burner symbolizes one major quadrant of your life.

  1. The first burner represents your family.
  2. The second burner is your friends.
  3. The third burner is your health.
  4. The fourth burner is your work.

One of the most frustrating parts of The Four Burners Theory is that it shines a light on your untapped potential. It can be easy to think, “If only I had more time, I could make more money or get in shape or spend more time at home.”

One way to manage this problem is to shift your focus from wishing you had more time to maximizing the time you have. In other words, you embrace your limitations. The question to ask yourself is, “Assuming a particular set of constraints, how can I be as effective as possible?”

For example:

  • Assuming I can only work from 9 AM to 5 PM, how can I make the most money possible?
  • Assuming I can only write for 15 minutes each day, how can I finish my book as fast as possible?
  • Assuming I can only exercise for 3 hours each week, how can I get in the best shape possible?

This line of questioning pulls your focus toward something positive (getting the most out of what you have available) rather than something negative (worrying about never having enough time). Furthermore, well-designed limitations can actually improve your performance and help you stop procrastinating on your goals.

Consider writing down a small goal for each area of your life that you feel needs improvement. Here are some ideas:

Relationships–  Take time each day to tell your loved ones how much you care for them. Set restraints on social media and use that time to spend with your family. Get in the habit of giving hugs more often. Read books, play board games, or put puzzles together with your children each week. Try and set up a consistent schedule to call your parents, siblings, and friends. Create special memories!

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Career-  This is a biggie! We all need to make money to live but if you hate your job, you will most likely be miserable. Let’s face it, we spend a lot of time at work so it’s vital to find something that is compatible with your family life. Also, if you have small children, you will regret working 60 or more hours a week. That’s precious time away from loved ones that you will never get back. Consider your options for another job with better hours or maybe a work from home option. Set a goal to improve this area of your life by determining the pros and cons of your current working situation and where you can make small positive changes.

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Health-  This is an area many of us end up sacrificing due to time restraints. However, it’s easy to set just one or two weekly goals that can make a substantial difference in your health.  Number one is the food you bring into your home. Learn to make healthier food choices when shopping for groceries. It’s important for your children to learn the relationship between their health and what they eat.  Take them shopping with you and let them make their own grocery list of healthy food choices. Restrict splurges on fast food to special circumstances or occasions. Additionally, consider how you can add activity into your day?  Ride a bike or walk to work if that’s an option.

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Set your alarm an hour early and get your workouts on your calendar.  Even a ten minute workout once or twice a day can make a difference. Determine specific days and times each week for physical fitness and stay consistent. You will never regret this.

Consider what you value most in life and make a plan to make sure you take the right path. Because if you don’t know where you’re going than it doesn’t really matter.

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Three Amazing Quick And Healthy Breakfast Choices

  1. Avocado Toast- This is one of my favorite breakfast/ snack foods- I love to use Ezekiel bread and then add mashed avocado with a splash of olive oil, red pepper flakes, and top with hemp or flax-seed

2. Protein Oatmeal Bowl- This is another one of my healthy go to meals- I like to use a single serving of organic oats, scoop of your favorite protein, 1 tbsp of almond butter, handful of organic blueberries and top with flax-seed.

3. Spinach and Egg Breakfast Quesadilla – These are quick, healthy, and can be made ahead of time to warm up if short on time. Simple recipe includes – scramble eggs in tbsp of avocado or olive oil , toss in any optional veggies and then place on tortilla. Top with cheese and heat until cheese melted. Delicious!!

Two Ingredient Healthy Juicing

Juicing can be a great way to get your daily recommended serving of fruits and vegetables. If you’ve tried juicing before, you’re probably aware it can be time-consuming and costly.

Most organic fruits and vegetables tend to be quite more expensive than non-organic and it takes a lot of produce to make just one glass of juice.

Additionally, you have to factor in the food preparation such as the washing, cutting, and peeling required for just ONE GLASS OF JUICE

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Luckily I stumbled upon V8 Healthy Greens juice a couple of months ago in the grocery store.

I’ll admit I don’t like the taste of most green juices but I was delighted that the Healthy Greens V8 Juice was low in sugar and contained healthy ingredients.

Also, I decided I could easily boost the veggie content of the juice by simply adding a handful of pre-washed organic spinach. And presto; I discovered my new two ingredient green juice and it’s nutritious, quick, easy, and delicious.

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Here’s my Two Ingredient Healthy juice:

One cup of organic spinach

8 oz of V8 Healthy Greens

Add ingredients in blender, add optional ice cubes and blend

So delicious, healthy, and easy. Doesn’t get any better than that…

Now if only my workout was that easy 🙂