Friday, March 25, 2016

Good Eats-Baked Fresh Cod with Mixed Vegetables

Happy Friday!

Let have fun with a new recipe

Baked Fresh Cod w/ mixed vegetables (Single serving)

6 oz of fresh cod

1/4 cup chopped yellow squash and zucchini

1/4 cup chopped yellow and orange peppers

½ tsp seasoned salt

1/8 tsp Italian seasoning

1/8 tsp dried parsley

1 tbsp crushed garlic

½ onion chopped

2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil

The fun thing about this recipe is you can toss all the ingredients in the baking dish you will use to bake the fish and veggies in. But you still have to do it in a specific order. With your fish and veggies already in the baking dish add your dry ingredients (seasoned salt, Italian seasoning and dried parsley) then add your wet ingredients (crushed garlic, onion extra virgin olive oil). Pretty hard, huh? Make sure that the fish and veggies are evenly coated with the seasonings. Bake it for about a half hour and that’s that! Serve it with uncle ben's brown ready rice or another side of your choice for a little extra carbs or by itself. There are plenty of healthy carbs in the squash and peppers. For additional servings just multiply the ingredients by the number of servings you would like to make.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Overheated and Cranky? There is HOPE!

Menopausal Women: How do you alleviate those pesky symptoms?

If there was a way that you could eliminate almost all of the symptoms of impending menopause, menopause and post menopause would you want to find out what it was? What would you be willing to do to be rid of hot flashes, night sweats and wanting to cry and burn the house down at the drop of a hat?

Exercise and good nutrition do wonders

I know what you’re thinking. A little bit of exercise and eating an apple a day instead of a cupcake is not going to get rid of these mood swings. My hot flashes are not gonna go away because I lifted a dumb bell. Girl, please!

This is exactly what I thought when I was at the end of my rope and I knew something had to change. I was so depressed that there were days that I just stared into space wondering how my life had deteriorated into… this!

It was on that same day that I was at my lowest when I saw that infomercial advertising a workout program that changed my whole menopausal experience. Once I started working out the right way, with the proper guidance, I was able to lose weight, get healthy and it wasn’t long before I started feeling better about myself and about life. My hot flashes were significantly reduced over time and because I didn’t feel like I was on fire all the time, my whole demeanor changed. Imagine that!

How to get started in exercise-Start walking!

You don’t have to get started in exercise using DVD programs like I did. Walking is a great way to introduce your body to regular exercise. Start off slow. You can walk around the block in your neighborhood. Take a walk during your lunch hour. For at least 15 minutes everyday, walk at a moderate to brisk pace. Then increase your time and distance over time. For instance, start week 1, walking 15 minutes every day at a moderate speed. Week 2, increase your time to 20 minutes and aim to walk a little faster than when you first started in week 1. You will increase your distance when you increase your speed. By week 3, you might to increase your time to 30 minutes of walking at a moderate to brisk pace. By the end of 30 days you could very well increase your speed to a light jog. By the time you start month 2, you are definitely going to find yourself feeling better about life while your body gets stronger and your mind becomes renewed. You will make exercise a habit that you do not want to break.

Don’t forget about your nutrition

While there are several supplements out there that may reduce our symptoms, there is nothing better than good nutrition to quell those hot flashes, night sweats and mood swings. Getting on a meal plan that was sure to give me the nutrients I need helped a lot to give me the balance my body desperately craved. But you know what? Making small, gradual changes in your diet can also support hormonal balance. Start introducing more fruits and veggies in your meals. Now if you’re someone who hardly ever eats any fruits or veggies, then I would avoid introducing fruits and veggies that you have never had before. Have something that you think you would enjoy and you would likely keep in your diet. For me, it was apples, bananas, grapes and pineapple. Not gonna lie…with the exception of apples and bananas, I was eating my fruit out of a can at first. But then I created a habit of buying fresh fruits and veggies when I was introduced to a meal plan. Now it is just second nature to buy fresh fruits and veggies, whether they are in season or not.

You could do worse…

You could do worse than exercise and improve your nutrition to significantly reduce the symptoms associated with menopause no matter what stage you’re in. One of the best things my doctor did after my surgery that put me in premature menopause was NOT prescribe ANYTHING. It forced me to find a holistic way to get ME back…maybe even get a better ME than I have ever been. Exercise and good nutrition could save your quality of life. I know it saved mine.

Monday, March 21, 2016

How do you turn a bad situation into something good for you? Change your mindset!

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

Do you ever wonder how some people who are faced with adversity seem to find the bright side while others fall victim to self-pity? Not gonna lie, I have hosted the pity party on more than one occasion. Chips didn’t fall where I expected and there was hell to pay. But there comes a time when you have to put on your big girl pants and realize that things happen and you have to roll with the punches. You can’t spend a lot of time being mad about what didn’t go according to plan. All you can really do is CHOOSE to learn from the experience and move on or CHOOSE not to learn and stay stuck.

It starts with a decision.

When you decide to change the way you think about things you CHOOSE to change your mindset. What does that mean? Well, speaking from my own experience and process of learning how to basically change my mind, there was a point that I simply got tired of being angry when things did not go as planned. I started doing things like taking a deep breath, stepping back and saying things like, “Will becoming angry change this situation at all?” or “Will becoming angry make this situation worse?” or “ What are the consequences for no response at all?” and most importantly, “What can I learn from this experience?”. I found that when I took a step back and tried to look at bad situations objectively, it made it that much easier to cope with the adversity that I was faced with. Is there any opportunity that could arise out of the adversity? Sometimes when you take a deep breath and think about it for half a minute, you are likely to see the “bright side” of a bad situation. For example, at the last minute you could be asked to work a double but you had plans that night. The person that you would be working for is always calling out of work, you don’t like them, you don’t think they have much integrity and this would be a serious inconvenience. There is absolutely no one else who can do it and if you don’t, this could mean a serious detriment to your company. So you’re not happy about it but you do it. You work the double. Now you have a decision to make. Do you spend the entire shift upset because you couldn’t do what you planned to do? Do you spend the shift scowling at everyone in sight? Or do you decide to make the best of it and look at the bright side. Will you say to yourself, “You know what, his loss is my gain. He may have given up a day’s pay but I’m getting paid time and a half”. Or will you spend the time at work being so angry that you are no service to yourself or anyone else? It starts with a decision.

Make the best out of every situation

You have to make the best of every situation no matter how terrible it is. By no means am I suggesting that this will be easy. What I am suggesting is that you take a step back and ask yourself some key questions before you lose your cool over a situation that very well may be beyond your control. Ask yourself: Will becoming angry (or succumbing to any other negative emotion) change the circumstances I am faced with right now? Will becoming angry make this situation worse? Is there any opportunity that could arise out of this bad situation?

The power of positive thinking

The power of positive thinking is a real phenomenon that works wonders to allowing us to cope with bad circumstances. This is not just a cliché. Thinking positively did not come easy but when I made the decision to change my mindset and CHOOSE to look at the good in even the most troubling situations, I was much happier. The truth is there is very little we actually have control of. So if we look at things from a positive perspective, usually we can find opportunity in adversity and CHOOSE to make lemonade from lemons. In the end, it’s all about CHOICE.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

What’s got you down? I DON’T KNOOOOOOOOOOOW!!!!!!

Over the last few weeks, I had been out of sorts. I wasn’t sure what it was. Was I sad, mad, depressed… I couldn’t tell you. But what I did know was I was not myself. For years, I had developed a habit of being a positive person. I woke up in the morning and made the decision each day to be happy and make every experience a positive one. Somehow over the last few weeks, I was allowing circumstances to dictate my state of mind instead of allowing my state of mind to determine my circumstances.

I knew something had to change. I just didn’t like myself or my situation. I couldn’t go on like this. I got up Monday morning and started exercising again. Did I mention my workouts had dropped off as well? Anyway, I started with flexibility on Monday. Tuesday, I practiced a dance routine that I have been trying to make my own since I was first introduced to it. Even though I took off yesterday, I have felt rejuvenated like something just happened where my attitude changed and my mood changed. I was happier, smiled more and frankly, I was more fun to be around at work and at home. After just a couple of days of low to moderate exercise, weeks of feelings of melancholy just seemed to disappear.

Why is exercise so important?

I realized quickly that the reason I was feeling down and out is because exercise was slowly disappearing from my daily routine. I went from exercising 5-6 days a week to not exercising at all. This was a huge shock to my body, mind and spirit. What occurs in the body during exercise is pretty phenomenal. Feelings of euphoria that I am experiencing now is due to the endorphins (those “feel-good” hormones) that are released and frankly continue to “simmer” for days afterward to generate a sense that anything is possible and engenders an overall positive attitude.

Sometimes when people talk about exercise, it’s not all about losing weight, gaining muscle and getting 6 pack abs. Frankly, 80-90 percent of those kinds of results come from what you’re doing in the kitchen anyway. Advocating exercising at least 3-5 times a week has a lot to do with keeping you sane in the midst of so much confusion that occurs in everyday life. I know, for me, it keeps me focused at work, I handle problems better and I just feel good after a round of high powered (not necessarily high impact) exercise. When I exercise regularly, something happens in the body that just seems to balance everything out.

I will never go so long without exercise again. Even if it’s just a 15-20 min HIIT or flex training, I’ll make sure that I strive to exercise daily. It’s doesn’t just do the body good, it also gets the mind and soul right as well.

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