Saturday, January 29, 2011

Flying Stilettos, Sharp Objects and a Walk.

Today I walked. Generally walking is not my choice of exercise as I prefer to run but I realised that I was too frustrated to run therefor I walked. Or maybe I was hurt. “Mad” sounds tougher actually. Yes, I walked because I was too mad to run. Granted my walk was very fast. And firm. I walked with purpose. So as I walked, my arms in staccato, I started to replay the scenario in my head so I could find some resolution. Some time ago I made a decision that I will resolve what I can with myself first, not other people. Once I made that decision I had to view conflict and general annoyances as opportunities to be better. Why would I make such a decision? I ask myself that every day. It was so much easier before. But it's almost like bringing kids into your life - once you feel their goodness, you can't go back. It was in a few occasions that I “saw the light” and found it in me to really “rise above” and there is where I realised the freedom in being independent from reactions. It's not that I don't acknowledge what I'm feeling. What it really means is that I check my ego at the door.

So as I walked I was furious with the politics in relationships. Like politicians, people do it all the time – attack and minimize the others contributions or efforts. Strategically, it is not wise to accept, believe or acknowledge how much one party actually offers, it's always better to minimize it. Because in politics someone always wants to look like the hero and nobody want's to check their ego at the door. I suppose the concept of partnership is different for everyone and “equally valued” are not necessarily the operative words. So as the scenario became more involved in my head, I continued to walk quietly. I don't yell. I don't even like to raise my voice. So I thought about all the hurtful things I could say, all the ways I could retaliate, ways I could close myself off, be present but give nothing. Just detach. I will confess that I did consider taking sharp objects to significant artefacts. I also envisioned my six inch stiletto heels shimmering in the air like a G6. Imagine a game of darts – only better. Yes, I imagined retaliation with a sharp tongue because what I want is to be equally valued, respected, appreciated....and then it hit me...I want....I need....I...I....I....While walking on a steep uphill, this is what I realised.

So 90 minutes later (yes, I was THAT mad) I was a little clearer on the whole “ego” thing and how to rise above it all (slight eye roll here). It's not exactly that after my walk I suddenly had a solution but I resolved that making progress is a work in progress. And don't call me for Parenting 101. The whole 90 minutes both kids we're glued to the TV. It was like a scene out of Poltergeist – I was expecting to watch my kids disappear into the television. We all know to relieve stress you need coping mechanisms and a place to channel anger - and exercise is one of the best ways. At some point in my silence all I could hear was my rapid breath and feet and in a way the constant repetition became meditative. So soon enough I was relaxed and even smiley. Visions of flying shoes and sharp objects: gone. All because I decided to take a walk, and check me ego at the door.

Enjoy yourself in good health and fitness/gena.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Working Out The Worries

The feeling during a focused workout is vastly different than one interrupted by mental noise and scattered focus. I worry about everything and it's evident by that annoying crease between my eye brows. But because everything can change in an instant, I worry. So when I slip on my cross trainers I redirect my focus and I'm then able to grasp the potential of a worry free mind. If I could apply the “mind to muscle” connection, if I could just bottle that type of concentration and focus I would be soaking in it all day. A permanent Calgon moment. So I exercise more to worry less. And I try to live in the moment. I hear that all the time - “live in the moment”. I wonder if the people who say they are living in the moment really are. Do you need to go through some kind of transformation to be able to do that? To be garnished in the here and now all the time is a lot of work. You need to view the world and reality through different eyes. Don't you? I try to do it, I really do. The other day as I was chopping onions and garlic I was trying to embrace the experience as my nose burned and my eyes welled up. And as I was chopping, for a split second, I was one with the onion and garlic. I was worry free.

Blame it on our environment, genetics, our upbringing. Perhaps it's simply driven by the need to know that everything will be OK. But knowing that worry, which is a form of stress, is aging my cells actually causes even more worry. So I continue to work on “being in the moment” and I also focus on the things I can control: how I treat my body. Treat the body well and it won't betray you. Exercise and feed it good food often enough so that everything is balanced. When we don't do that our body reacts and we feel tired, shaky, hungry, angry, sad. It can feel like we actually have no control over how we feel. Sometimes I think that road rage would be minimized if people just had a sandwich handy. Sure you can do a lot with the the power of your mind – maybe you can think yourself happy - but if you're chemically off it's a losing battle. Stress is a big word because the causes of stress can be different for everyone but the results can be the same. Good thing is a that exercise can help combat stress and there is evidence that *exercise can buffer the effects of stress-induced cell aging Even if you hate it while you're doing it, your mind will actually be distracted from your daily worries and at the end of it, whether you like it or not, you'll get a boost of feel good endorphins. So have a snack, put your mind to your muscle, work up a sweat and don't worry about anything...

Enjoy yourself in good health and fitness/gena.


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Elevated Heart Rate Spelt Banana Bread

As I was looking through some Banana Bread recipes and going through my Eat Clean cook book I mixed-and-matched various recipes to create my own with ingredients I had in my kitchen... Somehow I managed to mix in some inspiration to exercise. Try this or have some fun creating your own wholesome recipe!

Spelt Banana Bread

Dry Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of spelt flour *i like spelt because its higher in protein and lower in calories. I also like the nutty flavour

  • 1 Tbsp baking power

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • ¼ tsp baking soda

Wet Ingredients

  • 4 liquid egg whites

  • 2 ripe bananas (about 1 cup)

  • 1 very large golden delicious apple or 2 small (puree in food processor)

  • 1-2oz of orange juice (add to apple in processor )

  • ¾ – 1 cup Balkan style all natural yogourt

  • 1-2 tbsp of Kefir

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • ½ cup maple syrup (add more if you prefer more sweetness)

I didn't add nuts to this because my kids take it to school, otherwise you can add walnuts, chocolate chips and/or raisins.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, spray a loaf pan with cooking spray and dust with some flour

Combine all your dry ingredients *do 10 alternating lunges

Mash your bananas and puree your apple with orange juice *do 10 push-ups

Except for the eggs, combine all your wet ingredients *d0 10 jumping jacks

Fluff your egg whites *plank as long as you can with good form

Combine wet and dry ingredients, fold in your egg whites *do 10 squats

Pour into your loaf pan *do 10 back rows

Bake approx. 55 minutes (the middle of loaf should still be moist after 55 minutes.)

Let cool before serving.

*While your loaf cools repeat all exercises for 10 minutes :)