The Healthy Well

Spiritual, Mental, and Physical Refreshment: Grab a Cup

Walking-Good for What Ails You

Living down south isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be.  There is heat, humidity, and lots of bugs.   Summers last forever down here.  Whenever the leaves are dripping their color over the north Georgia mountains, we’re still batting at gnats and mosquitoes.  Alas, fall just might be popping its head.  Cool temperatures partnered with an overcast sky and a slight breeze from the east is long awaited.  It’s just right for a walk.

The minute I grab for my tennis shoes, Sadie’s tail begins wagging.  She barks with excitement as we head out the door in brisk pace down the road towards the marsh.  Ahead, I can see a slight haze hovering above the water as if it’s not sure whether to come or go.  The air is cool.  Along the way, I let Sadie off the lead to get her sniffing done.   As we finish the circle and get closer to home, a slight breeze from the east beckons me to go one more time.

On that final lap, I become more aware of my legs and my lungs.   A simple exercise such as walking is more beneficial than we realize.  It actually works to increase circulation. With each step, our calf muscles actually work against gravity by pumping the blood back up to the heart. Do you know exactly how our lungs benefit? By taking in deep breaths, our lungs remain elastic.  I’m sure you are familiar with the fact that elderly people have very shallow breathing. Over time, good air in and bad air out becomes detrimental to our health.  We all know what the lack of oxygen does to our brain.

I don’t know about you, but I have to constantly remind myself of the consequences I face if I don’t take good care of myself.  Too often, we tell ourselves there’s more time and we can do it tomorrow.  Sadly, tomorrow never comes for a lot of people.

Where Are My Training Wheels?

My Thoughts on the Elliptical Machine, part 3 ...

Image by Big Fat Rat via Flickr

The elliptical machine has never been one of my favorites.  It reminds me a lot of learning how to ride a bike.  There you are holding onto the handle bars while simultaneously trying to catch a pedal with your foot hoping it will stay in place until you can hop on. . If only I could feel the breeze as I speed off down the road.

Okay, so it’s not quite that exciting, but it still held a challenge for me.  Even though it’s been almost 5 months since I broke my leg, I find myself still moving a bit gingerly where balance is required.

I was surprised that I was able to manage as well as I did.  I half expected that within the first 10 minutes, my lower leg and ankle would be giving me some problem.  Instead, I managed to last for 20 minutes and cover a mile in distance.  It was enough to get my heart rate up to 136 and make me break a sweat.   That was quite an accomplishment for someone who hasn’t been to the fitness center or done any type of aerobic activity all summer.

The remainder of my time was spent on the thigh abductor and leg lift machines.  I closed out by getting back on the elliptical and setting it on a different program.

I was only there for about 45 minutes, but it sure beat procrastinating.

Now, for an Epsom salt bath.

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Try, Try Again

“A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.” ~A.A. Milne












For the last month or so, I’ve been making these big plans every night before I go to sleep.  I’ll get up at the break of dawn, walk the dog, have coffee and do my devotions, then go to the fitness center. It all flows so well until the next morning.

I didn’t get up quite  as early as I had planned, but I am proud to say that I accomplished everything I had set out to do.  What was different about today? It was one thing I heard on the television, “If you want to lose weight, you have to build muscle.” How true, how true.

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Addicted to Food (Eating When You’re Not Hungry)

Soup and Sandwich 12of12
Image by Food Thinkers via Flickr

My hubby and I just returned from a week of family and friends.  You know what that means-food!  Of course,  we returned home to an empty refrigerator which equates to eating out.  After we finished our meal, my husband looked across the table at me to confess, “You’re going to hate me for telling you this.  I wasn’t really hungry.”  Truthfully, neither was I.

Why do we do that? Why on earth do we eat if we’re not really hungry?  Most of our eating has become a habit rather than a necessity.  There are times that I have caught myself hanging on to the flavor in spite of the fact that I was full.   Hence, just one more bite.

Across the table, we made a pledge to eat a small and light for dinner.  That sounded good to me.

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Daily Weigh-In Gives More Control

Image by spike55151 via Flickr

Over the years, I’ve come across varying opinions as to how often a person should weigh themselves.  Some say weigh everyday, others say once a week, and yet others suggest longer intervals.  I used to go with the weekly weigh-in, but I have to say the daily weigh-in makes more sense.  Granted, there’s a tendency to carry water weight depending on what type of foods were eaten, but that makes it even easier to have control.  If I gain a pound over a couple of days and remember that I indulged a bit too much in a particular food, then I know which foods are affecting me.  Since I tend not to write everything down that I eat, weighing in on a weekly basis would be a losing battle for me.

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Too Much Pampering

Pampered Chef goodies
Image by Carissa Marie via Flickr

What to order, what to order?  It’s been ages since I’ve been to a Pampered Chef party.  Before I left, I had no intentions of buying a thing.  I have everything I need, or so, I thought.   Then, there’s the catalog.

The neatest thing I bought was this garlic peeler.   It’s just a flexible tube that you stick your garlic in, roll it back and forth a few times, and voila!  Garlic is free of skin.

Well, that’s not exactly what I was going to tell you about.   Ask me about the food we had.  Carbs.   Nothing, but carbs.  Empty calories.

Taco pizza, cinnamon bread, garlic bread, pineapple tarts, and ice cream for dessert.  See what I mean?  And, you know what else?  I ate it.

Yes.  I’m supposed to be in control of every eating situation, and I was… up until 3:00 pm.

Tomorrow is another day (sigh).

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Update to Grape Juice Process

I’m sad to report that I had to eliminate one step in the grape juice process.  My plan to filter the juice didn’t work out.  I couldn’t find any cheesecloth to strain the sediment off .  Besides, it was such a small amount.  I didn’t think it was worth my time and effort to go from store to store.  Leaving the sediment in isn’t harmful.  The juice is a bit thick with a cloudy look and certainly doesn’t detract from the flavor.

I added about 1/4 cup to this morning’s protein drink

Making My First Grape Juice

My husband came home with a Baggie full of Scuppernong grapes given to him by a friend.  If you’re not familiar with Scuppernongs, they are purple or green and remind me of eye-balls with tough skins.  I don’t like the way they feel in my mouth after I’ve discarded the skins, and they don’t have the same consistency as green or purple grapes you buy in the store.

I dug a few magazines out and flipped through to see if there were any recipes that looked appealing.  I found one for grape pizza (if you can imagine that).  Then I remembered that my mother used to make her own grape juice.  In no time, I was on my way to turning these suckers into wine (yes, grape juice can be referred to as wine).  

When I was younger, my mother used this cone like metal strainer with a wooden pestle to push the grapes through.  I certainly didn’t have one of those on hand.  I thought I was at a stand still until I read that a juicer would work just as well.   Time for a Champion (juicer, that is).

It worked better than I expected and took only a few minutes.

They yielded about 4 cups of juice.  Clean up was a cinch.

In order for the sediment to settle, the juice requires overnight refrigeration.  I’ll finish it tomorrow and let you know how it turned out.

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Let Everything That Has Breath

If you tend not to be an early riser,  you’re missing out on the best time of the day.   As I grow older, I do my best to be grateful for all my senses; but especially my hearing: every leaf that rustles in the wind, every bird that chirps and sings is a gift from God.   A new day, a new dawn, a new beginning.  Morning is for creation.

Let everything that has breath…praise the Lord!

Looking for Something Sweet, Something Crunchy? Try This!

Sometimes I just forget about snacks I used to eat.  One of them is celery and peanut butter, except I use Almond Butter instead.  When I first started using Almond Butter,  it couldn’t be found outside of a health food store.  Paying $12 a jar was a little beyond my budget.  Finally, I found a supermarket that carried it for a few dollars less.  Needless to say, I ate it sparingly.

About a year ago, WalMart started selling it for a little over $5 a jar.  I was so afraid I wouldn’t find it at that price again, I took all 6 they had on the shelf.  Thank goodness, they continued to carry it.  I see that Amazon has the MaraNatha brand for $10.99!

Here’s a shot of the nutritional label so you can see it for yourself.  Don’t let the fat content care you, it’s Omega-3,  and there’s only 3 grams of sugar.  It’s a great snack for in between meals, and like other peanut butter, it comes in creamy or crunchy.