Experience HAPPY

Happiness

Happiness (Photo credit: Rickydavid)

Yay.  Just got notification the next 21 day meditation challenge begins on August 11th.  This 3 week session is billed Expanding Your Happiness.  I love the topic, since happiness really is everything and there is no such thing as too much of it!  You can register now and will get a reminder email when it gets closer.  It costs absolutely nothing (which is a huge gift from the duo, since they put these out 4 times a year). Go to Chopracentermeditation.com to become part of the experience.

If you are struggling with the blues, looking for greater joy in your life, feel as I do that there is never too much happiness, or just want an awesome 21 day guided meditation experience, this is your perfect opportunity.

In the meantime, remember that the more you use your smile muscles and relax the space between your brows, the happier you’ll be.  Add some daily gratitude and paying forward some acts of kindness and you can turn your frown right upside down!

Let’s all join the happiness experience!

Something We Don’t Often Talk About….

Every day I get loads of spam.  It’s generally found in the comment section and trust me when I tell you people try all kinds of clever ways to get their links, about their own products, sites or services up on my site (and every site).  As I have mentioned before, all I have to is post something about football to get spammed with all kinds of male sexual enhancement drugs.  Recently I blogged about testosterone—you can only imagine.

Once in a while I get mail from someone who bothers to take the time to explain his or her story and I consider accepting the link.  This person wrote an article about a topic not often talked about and emailed me to ask if I would consider putting it on the site.  Since he bothered to be human about it, I am doing just that.  Additionally, I am once again tired of hearing my own “voice.”  Who knows, you may be struggling with this very problem…this one is for the female runners….

Incontinence – a rarely spoken about problem for runners.  I have NO idea about the catheters that he mentions.  Thankfully, for me, this is not a problem…so far……..

Top Three Women

(Photo credit: naturalturn)

 As anyone who regularly runs will know, problems can be a plenty. While running is of course very beneficial to your health and well-being, in addition to the benefits there can often be a few downsides too. The more miles you cover, the more injuries, niggles and conditions you will encounter. One such condition however can be very incredibly embarrassing for many female runners.

 If you are fortunate enough to have never suffered from incontinence you may be surprised to learn that simply going for a run can be a cause of this condition. Not just a cause of shin splints, hamstring pulls and endless blisters, running can also be a cause of this embarrassing disorder.

 An embarrassing condition

 For those who do suffer from incontinence however, this condition can be incredibly embarrassing. You may be running along feeling great one minute, then slowing to a stop the next as your shorts become damp with urine. Incontinence isn’t nice.

It’s a condition that no amount of physio, massage or podiatry can cure, but that doesn’t mean it’s a condition that cannot be treated, there are indeed many treatments available that will enable you to run whilst suffering with incontinence.

 What causes incontinence?

 The type of incontinence that occurs when running is commonly referred to as stress incontinence. Related to the strength of the pelvic floor muscles, the weaker those muscles are, the more likely you are to experience stress incontinence. The reason this occurs when running though is due to the pressure that is being placed on the bladder. As this pressure is greater than usual during physical exertion, the pelvic floor muscles cannot cope causing you to unintentionally pass urine.

 What are the treatments that were mentioned previously?

 The first treatment we advise to try are Kegel exercises, which will fit in very well with your exercise regime. Free, simple and often effective, Kegel exercises target the muscle layers that stretch between your legs and attach to your pelvic bones at the front, back and sides. If you think of the muscles you would use to stop the flow of urine, those are the ones you will be targeting when doing your Kegel exercises.

 To perform Kegel exercises, pull in or squeeze the muscles, pretending you are trying to stop urine flow. You should hold that squeeze for about 10 seconds. Follow that by a 10-second rest. It’s is recommended that you attempt to do three or four sets of 10 squeezes a day.

Recent research has also shown that yoga can also be effective in treating incontinence. Yoga and running have gone hand in hand for a very long time, helping decrease injuries and improve the health and strength of muscles, whilst also being beneficial for breathing. Now however it’s been found yoga can be assistance to incontinence. The most common form to practice is known as ‘Mula Bandha’ or ‘Moola Bandha.’ This can be done by paying attention to the following:

 1. During urination, try and stop midstream. The muscles that you use to stop urinating are the ones that you want to use during yoga.

2. Go to a quiet room, sit up straight and contract your muscles like you did when stopping your urination. Whilst doing this, contract the muscles around the anus and hold for 3 seconds.

 3. Relax the muscles for 10 seconds, and then repeat this step, 9 times.

 Doing this for three months can be very effective, and you can eventually move up to contracting the muscles for 10 seconds instead of 3.

 Alternative treatments include intermittent catheters which are safe, discreet and allow you to get on with everyday life. With every condition though, it is always recommended that you visit your GP if symptoms persist.

 Keep running

 Don’t let incontinence stop you from going from a run though; while running can have its downsides, these are vastly outweighed by its benefits. Run right and pay attention to your body and you will be able to take on the miles problem-free.

 submitted by Dean Ronnie

You Can Call Me…..

Mrs. Potato Head

Mrs. Potato Head (Photo credit: Onion)

It’s one thing to be watching calories and another to live on a plant-based diet but when you combine them, you obviously create a smaller list of foods that you are comfortable eating.  For years I struggled with the potato.  I absolutely love potatoes (any way and every way) but with the whole anti-carb hype, anti-”white” hype, I limited them for quite a while, reserving them for days of indulgence.

I admit I dreamed about an optimal nutritional plan that would include the potato, but all the “experts” made me pessimistic about the reality.  Then, a dental woe temporarily caused me to further limit the foods I could comfortably eat and I had to include baked potatoes.  In fact, for a few days, I was eating them more than once a day.  I was so happy.  And because eating was challenging, the scale dropped, no doubt because my calorie intake was lower than usual.

This prompted me to reconsider the white spud and I have been eating them a few times a week, ever since.  And the scale continued to reflect weight loss.  What I found was that by continuing to keep my calories at about 1500 a day (I approximate all this) I can still get in all my nutrients, keep from being hungry, sustain the energy I need for my athletic day AND enjoy my potatoes, too!

We all know that sweet potatoes are a great food for everyone and they are still a smarter choice, but for me, nothing compares to the plain old baked potato.  If I am feeling more indulgent, I will cut them up and toss them with some olive oil and kosher salt and grill them in a tin.  That side dish is always a treat and goes a long way when feeding a family or company.

So while there is no consistent info on the potatoes nutritional value (because no 2 spuds are quite the same) it is enough to know that a medium sized one is somewhere around 160 calories, provides about 1/4 of your days needs for all important potassium, about half your days needs for Vitamin C, and about 1/3 of the vitamin B-6 you require a day.  It is cholesterol free, fat free and eaten with the skin, gives you close to 5 grams of fiber, which is a lot for one food!  Remember, fiber is not only necessary for a healthy digestive system, but also helps us to continue to feel full well after a meal is over.  Though the potato is a high carb food, it provides about 5 grams of protein as well.  We need to stop thinking of foods as just carbs, or just proteins and understand that foods are a combination of nutrients and we need them all!

Clearly is you are on a high protein low carb diet, a potato will give you way too many carbs.  I am not a big fan of those diets, personally for a bazillion reasons, but that’s what works for me and I am a big fan of choice.

If you are a fan of the potato, don’t be afraid of it.  Instead watch what you adorn it with!  I use a bit of Earth Balance “butter” and lots of nutritional yeast which I love and gives me a lot of added nutrients.  That said, I could just as easily enjoy one whole, like an apple.  As my father-in-law always says, “You have never met a potato you don’t like.”

So I will simply sign this,

Mrs. Potato Head

Yes, I am sad about King James leaving our Miami Heat.  I am not bitter.  Like I said, I am a fan of choice and I wish him and his family well, though I will miss him as he has been my favorite! 

Yes, I will be at the gym this morning for class.  Next Saturday class is cancelled as I will excitedly be attending my soon to be daughter’s bridal shower.  3 weeks till the wedding!!! WOW

 

How to Increase Your Testosterone Naturally

This ones for the guys….

3D structure of testosterone

3D structure of testosterone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Based on an article I read in Natural Muscle Magazine this morning, I was inspired to do some further research (non-biased sites) into what boosts testosterone levels.  While we often associate too much testosterone with aggression, anger, etc., not enough of it causes many symptoms such as emotional problems like irritability, depression, and a lack of confidence, and many physical problems such as difficulty in falling asleep, low energy levels, loss of strength, higher fat storage, and perhaps the worst of all, a loss of sex drive.

While I found many suggestions, the one that appeared as number ONE on the list, every time, was….weight loss.  Consistently, in studies done across this country and around the globe, evidence proved that the more weight you carry, the lower the levels of testosterone in your body.

Other suggestions that were found in most article are: doing high intensity workouts, but limiting them to about 45 minutes, doing compound exercises, (using several muscles at the same time, such as squats, dead lifts and pull=ups) reducing stress levels, (exercising will certainly help with that, so will meditation) getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night, avoiding alcohol consumption and –I love this one—eating more cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, cabbage and turnips as well as the healthy fats found in foods like avocado and nuts (both in moderation if you are looking to lose weight).

Exercising

Exercising (Photo credit: NOAA’s National Ocean Service)

Once again, the solution is the same as it is for most everything that ails us.  Maintaining a healthy body weight, getting our daily doses of cardio and strength training, practicing stress reduction, eating our veggies like we have been told since childhood and getting ample sleep.

It’s time to stop searching for magic bullets.  The answer to almost all our health questions are right in front of our noses.  It’s about going out and doing the work that our doctors really cannot do for us.  We hold the answer to our health care crisis.  Let’s get busy!