Monday, February 27, 2012

Spring?

Okay, I know that it's still Winter, but it's time to look to spring and all of the new life that it brings. What a great time to work on better health and fitness for ourselves and our animals. I'll be posting a popular article on your horse's spring training program, and if you have a horse that will be competing this summer, I recommend that you buy The Fit Horse Companion, my book that gives step-by-step instructions on how to take your paddock-potato horse from the couch to the arena in only a few months.

As for you ... If you plan on wearing shorts and looking your best this summer, maybe it's time for that end-of-winter detox. There is no need to starve or go on the lemon and water diet. Just start exercising more than before, drink more water, and STOP eating crap with salt and sugar sprinkled all over it. I assure you that you'll look and feel better in no time!

Getting my taxes off to the accountant today. Also, planning our spring vacation to the beach. Have a great week, everybody!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's and Happy Anniversary to my sweet husband. We were married in Lake Tahoe 16 years ago. Still counting. Even the tomatoes in the garden grow in the shape of love around here.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Tonights Cooking Group - American Vegan

I like vegetarian. It allows for me to have a little cheese to adorn my potatoes and vegetables. Tonight's cooking group will be Vegan and I'll be missing my toppings, but the baked bean recipe with molasses is literally to die for!

We'll be making Sweet Potatoes, Broccoli, and a delicious baked bean recipe that makes a hearty topping for the sweet potatoes. Our secret dessert will include walnuts to balance out the meal. This basic American meal will be both delicious and satisfying.

Our cooking groups are booked through March. Once gardening season starts up (right after my April vacation), we will suspend the weekly group and hold special events for summer foods.

Next week; Tacos with ground nut meat, Oh man, a small amount of ground cashews and walnuts with fresh homemade salsa is as meaty as can be. You gotta count calories with this meal, but it's worth it.

As usual, I want to mention the product made by Tofutti called "Better Than Sour Cream." This stuff is good!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Yoga And Your Joints


Although Yoga involves slow and non impact postures, don’t kid yourself into thinking that it’s easy on your body, because done in any way against your body’s wishes, it can cause severe injury.

I have worked with millions of bodies over the years and each one has it’s idiosyncracies. Sometimes a hip is tilted so one leg is longer. In this case, a forward bend can nicely stretch one leg, and over stretch the other. Of course, in a room full of other Yogis, the average person is going to hold the imbalanced stretch until the instructor says to back off. Generally, that’s long enough to damage tissue.

Some classes have a questionnaire which makes the teacher aware of individual needs, but ultimately, your short hamstring is your responsibility, not the instructors. Now, to my point.

Yoga involves only a few directional moves which include forward bending, backward bending, side bending, and rotational moves. Each of these moves carry through a myriad of variations. Whether your joints are compromised or not, blood should be in the muscles before you attempt to lengthen them. By stretching a cold muscle, you not only threaten the muscle, but the tendons attached to the joint, and the ligaments within the adjoining joint. This is why all group exercise classes begin with some type of large range moves with deep breaths.

Once there is blood, and hence oxygen in the muscles, you’re ready to begin more aggresive movements which should include forward bending. No matter what the instructor is saying, you need to feel for any imbalance in the length of your legs, or your hips, and only go as far as the weakest part in your beginning moves. No pain, no gain? Whomever coined that phrase was not correct. Of course, in heavy lifting, you need to push yourself to go to the next level, but in flexibility, going beyond your threshold will cause damage. Simple as that.

If your spine has weakness or degeneration, back bending should be done with caution in the beginning as well, then side bends go with the same rules. The last move that should be introduced in the yoga sequencing should be rotational moves. Whether on the floor or standing, rotational moves put a great deal of stress on the knees, hips, and spine if these joints are afflicted with any degeneration. Remember that the muscles attached to degenerative joints need to remain healthy and supple to avoid excess tension on the joint.

Again, no matter what the instructor is saying, your joints are the only ones that you’re going home with. Give yourself permission to modify moves if necessary, or discuss your specific needs with your instructor before class. Instructors are happy to give you personal modifications.

Yoga is an individual sport. Don’t think for a minute that what the instructor and everybody else in the room is doing should dictate what your body should do. Give yourself time, find your own personal imbalances, and set your own goals. This is what life is about.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Another Awesome Fritatta!


Al eats oatmeal 5 mornings a week. We've gotten his cholesterol down without using drugs. He deserves to have a special breakfast now and then and really loves a good fritatta. This morning I made him a fat spinach 2 egg fritatta which was adorned with leftover marinara sauce. The missing part is not a bite that I took, it was a bite that Al took on the way to the table!

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