Category Archives: Water

Another day on the river

Yesterday was gorgeous! After a really rainy week, I was surprised to see the sun out all weekend. We took advantage of the sun and went back out on the boat again! We are so thankful to have been asked out again because it was the perfect way to relax and enjoy the sunshine.

This time, we were joined by my honey’s youngest cousin. Her dad is the one who owns the boat and this was her first time out on it. She brought a friend along and they both tried wakeboarding and were actually pretty successful. I have to give it to them because they kept on trying even though they had a hard time at first.

We were out on the Shenandoah River, which is nestled in the mountains and surrounded by farm land. You can’t see them here, but at some points on the river there are cows that watch as you speed by. They are usually cooling off in the water right on the bank.

My honey…so handsome 🙂

First up to ski was my honey’s uncle. He has been skiing for a very long time and does a type of skiing called slalom. He was practically laying down on the water at some points. It was incredible to watch him swing from one side of the boat to the other.

Next up was my honey. He got out and wakeboarded several different times. I haven’t asked him yet today how sore he is, but I can only imagine! He took a few faceplants into the water and fell a few other ways too. For only his second time ever trying wakeboarding, I’d say he did awesome!

These pictures are actually from the last time he went out. The sun was at just the right angle to light up the shot, plus he was much more comfortable on the water and tried his hand at a few jumps. When we got home, we watched a video of some professional wakeboarders and realized his jumps were more like small hops than actual jumps. He’s got a long way to go, but he still did excellent!

I skied once and was so proud of myself for getting up on the very first try! I skied for a few minutes down the river, but my lower back started bothering me so I decided to cut it short. I don’t think I was using proper form and had a hard time adjusting to get comfortable once I got up there. Next time I know I’ll be even better because it definitely felt easier this time around.

I made my honey get lots of pictures and even a video (I’ll spare you that one…)

I can’t emphasize enough how beautiful of a day it was! Even when someone was behind the boat, I would just sort of look around in awe and wonder at the gorgeous view of the mountains and the surrounding area. I truly took time to appreciate the experience and tried living in the moment (basically not think about anything else…especially work!). It was awesome!

However, the two young ladies with us (aged 16) were glued to their damn cell phones the entire time.

What is wrong with this generation of kids? <– Yep, I’m officially an old woman 🙂

Are you attached to your phone like the girls were? Or can you unplug for stuff like this?

A day on the river

Thanks so much everyone for your kind words about my Five Years Ago post from yesterday! It really means a lot to be able to share that and receive such wonderful comments 🙂

Yesterday, my honey’s aunt and uncle came home with a boat. We were lucky enough to join them on their maiden voyage out on the Shenandoah River for the afternoon. It was a gorgeous day that could only have been made better with a slight breeze.

Very unfortunately, I am having camera issues…my camera is not recognizing its own battery!!! I need to call Nikon because I don’t want to miss any other events like I did yesterday.

Luckily, my honey’s uncle had an iPhone and I was able to get some great shots and even a short video (which I am not technologically savvy enough right now to share it!). The iPhone took awesome photos and playing with it really made me want one!

My honey getting ready to wakeboard. He had never been before. I was sort of scared! Have no fear though, he watched a few YouTube videos on how to do it before we left the house! It was so cute 🙂

And he’s up! He actually did an excellent job and I was very impressed by his skills.

When I was about five years old, my grandparents had a cabin on a lake and my family had a boat. I vividly remember trying to waterski when I was that young only to be dragged under the water and inhaling a whole bunch of it through my nose! That memory has stuck with me and ever since I have not wanted to attempt waterskiing again. However, I had a feeling I could do it this time, seeing as how much stronger I am now, so I went for it!

And I did it!!! My honey helped me out by staying in the water with me and teaching me how to hold the rope and stand up and everything. It was great the first few times because he was there to tell me what I needed to do differently when I couldn’t get up. Then when I took off, he was left in the water! Whoopsie 🙂

It took 3 attempts to get me standing up. That third attempt almost did me in though. I crashed so hard on my butt that I was given an atomic wedgie by the water! I have two brothers who used to give me wedgies all the time and nothing could compare to this feeling!! I almost didn’t attempt a fourth time. But, I did, and I am so glad! I did awesome.

The only bad thing: the Insanity workout I did on Friday. Yowsers did my legs ever burn!!!

Afterwards we hit up a Mexican restaurant nearby and devoured some chips and salsa. It’s amazing how much of an appetite you work up skiing! I can’t wait to do it again soon 🙂

I hope you all are enjoying your Labor Day weekend! Do you have the day off tomorrow? If so, do you have plans? 

No Recipe Tuesday

Instead of sharing a delicious recipe today, I figured I would share a recipe for bad health. Similar to my top 10 tips for staying healthy, this will be more of a list. This time, it will be what NOT to do if you want to stay healthy!

Dr. Stephen Mercola runs a fantastic website www.mercola.com– FULL of incredible information about all things related to health. Sometimes his suggestions are a little outlandish- even for me! But I tend to learn a lot when I read through his daily e-mail.

Yesterday, I got this gem in my inbox: Eating Fat Won’t Make You Fat, But These 10 Things Will! 

Sounds right up my alley!

It’s a list of 10 things that won’t help you on your weight-loss journey. The crazy thing is that this list came from Yahoo Health. It’s so great to see such a mainstream site giving tips like these. Especially #1! So many people ignore this fact and it just makes me so happy to see it on a site like Yahoo.

Note: I added my comments about each piece in blue italic. The rest came straight from the article linked above. 

Eating fat won’t make you fat. Too many calories can, but most “low-fat” or “fat-free” foods actually have just as many calories as their full-fat versions. Yahoo Health has collected a list of 20 bad habits that can actually add to your weight.  Here are 10 of them:

  1. Eating “low-fat”: Low-fat or fat-free foods replace harmless fats with low-performing carbohydrates that digest quickly, causing a sugar rush and, immediately afterward, rebound hunger. As I mentioned in my post about Real Fats, low-fat foods are no good! They aren’t whole foods and are often full of synthetic chemicals to make them taste good. Read my lips: don’t eat low-fat foods!!!!!
  2. Sleeping too little or too much: Dieters who sleep five hours or less put on 2 and a half times more belly fat, while those who sleep more than eight hours pack on only slightly less than that. Sleep is very vital to your health. I can tell a difference in how my body processes food when I get less sleep. Even if I’m eating the same exact foods as I do when I get enough sleep, I will be more bloated and hungrier. This is probably the toughest one for me. A lot of times I get less than 7 hours of sleep and I have such a hard time trying to get in bed earlier than 9:30pm. 
  3. Drinking soda — even diet soda: Drinking one to two sodas per day increases your chances of being overweight or obese by nearly 33 percent. And diet soda is no better. Any sugary drink, whether it is sweetened with real sugar or artificial ones, is just not good for you! Some cans of soda have up to 250 calories, and even though diet sodas don’t have any calories in them, the artificial sugars will trick your body into thinking it is hungry when it isn’t. Stay away from sodas as much as you can!!
  4. Eating too quickly: It takes 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that it’s had enough. It is important to take breaks while eating to give your body a chance to move the food down to your stomach. I’ve eaten too quickly many times and have always been more bloated and feel overly stuffed when I do. If I give myself time, I notice that I won’t eat as much. My honey on the other hand wants to get the food into his body as quickly as possible; however, he’s one of those types…you know the type! He never gains a pound, no matter how quickly he eats or how much he eats!!
  5. Watching too much TV: A study found that overweight participants who reduced their TV time by just 50 percent burned an additional 119 calories a day on average. Finding something else to do besides watch TV will usually get you up and moving and burning calories. We don’t have TV at our house, but we do have Netflix. We don’t sit on the couch too often, we usually reserve that for the weekends. I spend most of my evenings in the kitchen or playing with our pup. 
  6. Eating off larger plates: One study found that when given an option, a whopping 98.6 percent of obese individuals opt for larger plates. Have you ever tried eating off of a smaller plate?? It’s amazing how much of a difference it can make! When I serve my honey and myself, I will often use our small plates for my meal. The eyes can trick the brain into thinking you’re getting more food than you really are when the plate looks full, even if it is a smaller portion than you normally eat. I also tend to look at my honey’s portion and try to put about half of that on my plate- mainly at dinner. For breakfast, we typically eat about the same amount though! You gotta start the day out right! 
  7. Taking big bites: Research shows that people who take large bites of food consume 52 percent more calories in one sitting.  This goes along with chewing your food completely. My honey is a horrible offender at this one! He takes huge bites and swallows them practically whole. He’s told me before that he just hates to chew…strange! Anyways, I’ve noticed that if I take smaller bites, I feel like I’m eating more. My brain is being tricked to think that I’m taking more in even though I’m just taking smaller bites of the same amount of food. 
  8. Not drinking enough water: Adequate water intake is essential for all your body’s functions, and the more you drink, the better your chances of staying thin. I’ve mentioned my feelings on drinking water before, so it’s nice to read other sources that feel the same way!
  9. Eating too late: A recent study found that those who ate after 8 PM took in the most daily calories and had the highest BMIs. I go back and forth on this one. If you’re burning enough calories throughout the day, this shouldn’t matter too much. Or if you stay up really late and sleep later in the morning, eating after 8pm shouldn’t be a problem. I find the problem comes when I eat dinner and then go to bed within an hour. I find I wake up more bloated and I’m not as hungry for breakfast. 
  10. Drinking fruity beverages: All juice is high sugar, and the ones that use viscous syrups made mostly from high fructose corn syrup and thickening agents are even worse. See number 3! If you do drink juice, look for ones with no added sugar. 

Even though these tips are great and I believe in most of them, I think finding what works for you is the best way to stay healthy. Sometimes others’ tips won’t work for you, no matter how hard you try to follow them. I think drinking enough water, incorporating good fats, lots of fresh foods and eating minimal amounts of processed foods should be the cornerstone of most healthy lifestyles, but there are always exceptions to the rule, so do what feels good for you!

What would be on your “don’t” list for staying healthy??

My top 10 tips for staying healthy

It took me awhile to get to this place, but now that I’m here, I want to do everything I can to stay! Eating healthy has made such a difference in my life, I just want to share my experiences with others 🙂 Since there are lots of different thoughts about what it means or takes to be “healthy,” I figured I’d share the things I do personally to keep up my healthy lifestyle.

  1. eat more raw foods although I don’t subscribe to eating a raw diet, I do agree that adding raw foods to your diet is really beneficial. Raw foods are super easy to incorporate into your day: salads (see my fave one below!), carrots and PB, fruit and spinach smoothies, nuts and Larabars 🙂
  2. drink lots of water this should go without saying, but water really helps to flush out the system and it energizes me to get through the day! Check out my post about water for more about its benefits.
  3. stay away from polyunsaturated fatsmost of these are hydrogenated! These fats can be found in almost all processed foods (especially baked goods). Once these fats/oils are heated, they become oxidized and rancid, which is not good for your body. Basically, I just stay away from processed foods!
  4. eat more healthy fats: dairy with fat, coconut oil, olive oilfats actually aid in the digestion process. They also help your body absorb vital nutrients. Check out my post about Real Fats for more intriguing info.
  5. eat balanced meals with protein, carbs and fats- I always make sure to have all three in each meal. Sometimes my proteins and fats are packaged together like in nuts and nutbutters. My carbs are usually fruits and vegetables, or whole grains like quinoa and brown rice.
  6. exercise regularly: both strength training and cardio- eating healthy is definitely my way of ensuring I feel my best, but exercising regularly strengthens my body so I can perform at my best too. Plus, it energizes me for the day when I work out in the mornings!
  7. keep portion size in check- this is a tough one sometimes, but very imperative. Even if the food you are eating is healthy, you can still consume too much. I’m not one for counting calories, but knowing my limit on portions helps me to not feel overly stuffed. I especially pay close attention to my portions at dinner when I want a big dessert 🙂
  8. limit the amount of added sugar- processed and packaged foods often add sugar (or high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, maltodextrin, etc.) to make up for the lack of flavor in the other ingredients. Added sugar is sneaked into so many foods that you would never expect! Try finding a package of hamburger buns without it!!! Some brands have 5 or more grams of sugar per bun-OUTRAGEOUS! I also stay away from white sugar, using maple syrup, honey and agave nectar instead.
  9. eat breakfast- seriously. Eat it EVERYDAY!!! Breakfast helps me stay energized until my snack at 10:00am. Yes, eating breakfast will make you hungrier, but that just means your metabolism is up and running for the day!
  10. eat multiple times throughout the day- I eat breakfast around 6:30am, a snack at 10am, lunch at 12pm, a snack at 3:30pm-ish, and then dinner sometime around 7pm. Plus, I usually have dessert after dinner. Eating like this keeps me full and satisfied, but never bloated and stuffed.

I’m still really new to the blogging world, but I’m so happy that I have found this great healthy living/eating community! I have been inspired by so many other bloggers and have enjoyed reading your experiences as well as sharing my own. This weekend I will be whipping up a few recipes from across different blogs and I’m so excited about it! I hope to be successful in taking pictures of the recipes I make, so look for a post this weekend about the experience and some great recipes on Tuesday!

What is your top tip for staying healthy?

Thirsty Thursday

Can you be addicted to water? Because I’m pretty sure I am! My honey makes fun of me for always making sure I bring water with me wherever we go, but it is something I just can’t go very long without. I find that I am always thirsty. Seriously, ALWAYS!

We all know that our bodies can’t survive for more than a few days without water; it is absolutely vital to staying alive. It should also play a huge role in a healthy lifestyle as it has some amazing benefits!

Lately I’ve seen the recommendation to drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water each day. I find myself going far above that and drinking at least 150 ounces of water a day. Honestly, it is more like 200 ounces most days. I keep a 20 ounce reusable cup with straw (from Bed, Bath and Beyond) with me at ALL times. I take a full cup with me in the car to work, I fill it up again once I get to work and at least 4 more times throughout the day at work. I also have a glass in the morning before I start my day and another one after dinner. Seriously, I think I have a problem!! However, I know that I am so much healthier for drinking it so much.

My cup and my Brita at work

Since I started drinking more water, I have noticed a lot of changes in my body.

1. I have more energy- seriously, water is my caffeine. The moment I start yawning or feel slightly tired, I down a cup of water and within MINUTES I am more alert and awake.

2. My skin looks healthier- my chiropractor pointed this out to me. She can always tell when her patients aren’t drinking enough water because their skin has a slightly scaly look to it. Check out the skin on your thighs. Do you notice a scaly look or is your skin really smooth? If you see the scales, start sipping!

3. My digestion is better- drinking water helps move things along in your system. That’s why I always start my day with a glass of it. Sometimes it only takes a few sips to start the movement!

4. My head is clearer throughout the day- I used to think that it was normal to have that fuzzy feeling throughout the day (especially in the afternoon!), but really, even a slight decline in the amount of water in your body can lead to trouble focusing on tasks you need to complete.

The biggest reason to drink more water is because thirst is often mistaken for hunger; therefore, making sure you’re properly hydrated throughout the day will prevent you from taking in unnecessary food (read: calories) because you ‘thought’ you were hungry. The next time you’re craving something to eat, try drinking a glass of water and see where you are on the hunger scale after 5 or 10 minutes. This is hard to do when a sweet treat is calling your name, but totally worth it when you give your body what it needs, not what you ‘think’ it wants!

In researching more about water, I have found that there have been so many books written about water and its benefits, which just goes to show how important it is in our lives. A website that stuck out to me is http://www.watercure.com/

I found these two quotes on the homepage:

You’re not sick; you’re thirsty. Don’t treat thirst with medication.

You are not just what you eat; you are what you drink

True, right?! Check out all of the things he believes are cured by water: http://www.watercure.com/wondersofwater.html

You’ll have to read more on the website and decide for yourself if water really can cure, but I can tell you that I truly have benefited a lot from drinking more water.

Cheers!

How much water do you drink in a day?