For a lot of people, there is a common misconception that when you’re lifting weights is when your muscles are getting bigger and stronger. The fact is the changes take place over the next several days when you are not using those muscles again in the same manner and allowing them to recover while feeding them with good foods and plenty of water. This is when the growth & change occurs. So, it’s important NOT to rework those muscles again until they are fully recovered. There are exceptions. If you did a weight workout with your legs one day, its okay to ride a bike the next day just not to intensely. The key is variety and common sense if it’s sore don’t work it again unless the activity helps it recover. Yoga, for instance, is great for relieving sore muscles & maintaining range of motion. Also, treat yourself to massage at least once or twice a month as this is another great way to help sore muscles recover and feels really good too! Plus, it’s a good part of a well designed balance fitness program.
We forget about breathing most of the time because its an autonomic function that works automatically. However, when we workout hard we notice that extra breath that we draw. Breathing can be controlled consciously also. The best way to utilize our breathing is too find a quiet space, close our eyes, and focus on deep breathing while also being aware of our surroundings, feelings, & thoughts. This is called mindfulness. It is a wonderful technique for reducing stress, increasing mental focus, and gaining clarity. It can also alleviate anxiety, decrease depression, and lower blood pressure. Deep breathing helps facilitate this process. So, find at least 10 minutes a day to practice this and your mind & body will thank you.
This morning I’m enjoying a small bowl of oatmeal. I added cinnamon, blueberries, vanilla Protein powder, and some flax & chia seeds. Yum! Good carbohydrates, fats, and protein, Well balanced. Although many people eat oats too they often make this HUGE Mistake:
The quality of the oats. Oats today all over the place….from highly processed packets of apples & cinnamon loaded with sugar to real oats that take 15 min to prepare. Remember the rule….Keep it Real!
So, the real oats are just simply oats and take about 15 – 20 min to prepare. Now, there is a quick oats version of this that is pretty good and is ready in less than half the time. Those are the only types I recommend. After that, its all down hill.
Plus, you should always add your own fresh ingredients:
Fresh or frozen fruit
Peanut or Almond Butter
Flax and/or Chia Seed
Grass Fed Milk, Almond Milk, etc.
Your Favorite Protein powder,
Mix, match, & enjoy! And ALWAYS Keep it REAL!
These days there is a War on Meat. Vegetarians and Vegans have made their points very clear. And I have to say they have some good points. I don’t believe in CAFO’s (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation). They are harmful to the environment and cruel & crowded for the animals. When I purchase meat, I strive to get meats from humanely raised meats that are organic, and grass-fed in open fields. Now, I don’t have all the answers to the debate and I can acknowledge a well constructed point of view even if I don’t agree with it. I do believe, however, that if you’re going to eat meat support companies/farms that do it in the best ways possible to provide quality meats of the highest kind with the most humane protocols. And Yes it’s worth the extra money…..
Also, I do believe red meat should be eaten no more than 1 – 2x per week. Plus, wild caught fish is an excellent source of protein & healthy fats. Seek a variety of fresh meats – turkey, chicken, grass fed beef, etc. I don’t generally recommend lunch meat as it is processed, however, there are some good organic brands.
In today’s food industry there are many, many choices. It’s overwhelming and to make it even more confusing there are so many different versions of the same item. For instance, take beef. There is commercial beef, organic beef, and grass fed beef. Which is best? Well, cows are supposed to eat grass so the obvious choice is grass fed beef where hopefully they graze in open fields. When choosing foods my 5 rules of thumb are:
1. Minimal (or none) processing
2. The less ingredients the better
3. Make sure you can pronounce and know what each ingredient is
4. Keep it Real – however the food is produced it should be closest to its absolute natural state the way Mother Earth intended it.
5. Find & support companies that only produce/grow organic, grass fed, humanely raised, etc.
Also, farmer’s markets are great places to great lots of great food! Always pursue the highest quality of food!