At the beginning of each year, it is always fun to see what words we can rhyme with the New Year. We choose a word that will make up a positive and encouraging catch phrase to represent a theme for the upcoming 12 months. This year, we decided on the word “time” to rhyme with 2009.
Tradition tells us that the New Year is time for a New Year’s Resolution. At BodyBasics, we are attentive to resolutions each year because of the vast amount of them focus on losing weight and getting in shape in the upcoming year.
Take The Time
We look at a New Year’s Resolution as we would any other goal you wish to achieve. As with most goals, there is a long-term vision desired. On the First of January of each year when we make our resolutions, we are allowing ourselves 365 days to reach our goal. However, the majority of resolutions are broken and/or abandoned by February. One reason for this is that so many resolutions are very broad, “This year, I want to lose weight,” or “I want to get in shape,” or “I want to save more money.” The goal is in mind, but without taking the time to figure out exactly how you will achieve the goal, it becomes next to impossible to reach. This year, take time to sit down and figure out the necessary steps to take in order to reach your resolution.
Take Your Time
Another reason we give up on our resolutions so soon after the New Year is because it takes too much time to actually achieve our goals. With this fast-paced society we live in, it is no wonder we want everything at our fingertips lickety-split. We do not have the time to wait for long-term results, such as weight loss. Everywhere we turn, it seems there is a new fad diet that claims to produce incredible weight loss in no time at all. This sounds appealing because anyone who has ever attempted to lose weight realizes that it is not a quick process. It takes time. And it should take time. If a diet is promising more than 1-2 lb weight loss per week, it is wise to research the facts.
The truth is you need to allow yourself the appropriate amount of time to achieve your weight elimination goals. To produce safe and effective weight elimination that will be more likely to last throughout the rest of your life, you are realistically looking at dropping 1/2 a pound to 2 pounds a week depending on your size and gender. This may not sound like it is fast enough for you, but if you look at the big picture, over an entire year, one could drop 26 to 104 pounds!
If you find yourself feeling impatient while allowing the appropriate amount of time to eliminate some extra pounds, we have good news. With just minimal amounts of exercise, you will find that your energy and fitness levels can increase in a very short amount of time! Studies show that untrained individuals can produce improvements in cardiovascular fitness with just 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week at 70-85% max effort (HR Max). Keep this up and you will see measurable improvements in your cardiovascular fitness within six weeks! (ACSM p.150-151)
Take Time for Yourself
Each year, the world seems to run a bit faster than the year before. These days we are master multi-taskers with the best technology that helps us be as efficient as we can be squeezing every minute out of every day. With all that we do each day, how much time do we actually set aside for ourselves? Time without computers, without cell phones, and without interruptions. This year, it’s time. It is time to take the time for yourself.
Often we feel guilty when we take time solely for ourselves. We feel that we are being selfish and that our time is better spent attending to someone else’s needs. There are going to be situations where this kind of sacrifice is necessary, but think about what would happen if you continued to put yourself on the “back burner” for 10, 20, even 30 years. The result is someone who has been so busy taking care of everyone else that he/she has forgotten to take care of him/herself.
Now is the time.
Take time to read a book. Take time to call a friend. Take time to spend with your friends and family, just being together. Take time to exercise and let that time be your time. Take time to cook a home-cooked meal, whether you have just a few minutes or four hours (see recipe below). Take the time to write in a journal and reflect on your life. Just slow down, and take your time. Your body will thank you. Your mind will thank you. Your friends and family will thank you. Most importantly, you will thank you.
With the changes in the economy, our lives and lifestyles are changing as well. Maybe, just maybe, these changes will help us slow down and take some more for ourselves. Let the gift of 2009 be time.
American College of Sports Medicine’s (ACSM) Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, Sixth Edition. Lippincot, Williams & Wilkins, Philidelphia. 2000.
When researching a topic for our nutrition article that would be in line with our “time” theme of this issue, we came across an organization called The Slow Food Movement. The Slow Food Movement is a non-profit, member-supported organization that rivals fast food and a fast way of life. Fast Food is widely blamed, in part, for the high levels of obesity in our country that contribute to so many health problems due to the large amounts of saturated fat and processed ingredients in the food. The Slow Food group hopes to bring back local food traditions and re-inspire our interest in the food we eat, the way it tastes, where it comes from, and how our food choices may affect the rest of the world.
The Slow Food Movement was founded by Carlo Petrini of Italy in 1989. The group has now expanded to 85,000 members in 132 countries, including the United States.
Slow Food USA was created with the mission to “reconnect Americans with the people, traditions, plants, animals, fertile soils and waters that produce our food.” The group seeks to “inspire a transformation in food policy, production practices and market forces so that they ensure equity, sustainability and pleasure in the food we eat.” There are 200 chapters that make up Slow Food USA. These chapters are involved in activities such as:
• Raising public awareness towards improving access of local and seasonal foods
• Caring for the land for today’s communities and future generations
• Performing educational outreach within communities and working with children in schools and through public programs
• Identifying, promoting and protecting fruits, vegetables, grains, animal breeds, wild foods, and cooking traditions at risk of disappearance
• Advocating for farmers and artisans who grow, produce, market, prepare and serve wholesome food
Some critics of the Slow Food Movement claim the group has “mixed hedonism with a leftist political agenda.” We keep a neutral stance on issues such as these, but we do look at the positives aspects this group may have on the nutrition of the food we eat.
For example, we all know that fresh fruits and vegetables are a great source of nutrition. But did you know that the distance traveled and the method in which the food has traveled can decrease the nutritional value of that food? It would be ideal if we could all grow our own fruits and vegetables in backyard gardens, but we know that is not feasible for the majority of Americans. Slow Food USA hopes to improve access to more local and seasonal foods. Many cities offer local Farmer’s markets that provide a variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables. Farmer’s markets are a fun way to spend a morning picking out a new type of fruit or veggie to try and include in your dinner menu that evening. Plus, you can feel good knowing you are providing great nutrition for your body as well as supporting the local farmers of your community. For a list of Farmer’s Markets near you check out Tucson Farmer’s Markets.
In keeping with our “Take Time in 2009” theme this year, we encourage you to take the necessary steps to improve your nutrition. Aim to stay away from Fast Food and take the Slow Food route. Cook more home cooked meals and pay attention to the ingredients you are using. Visit your local Farmer’s market. Try a new fruit or vegetable this season. Sit down to dinner at the table and take your time while eating, making sure you are really tasting and enjoying the flavors of each bite of food. By taking the time to slow down this year, we may be able to positively affect the health of our nation.
If you are interested in learning more about the Slow Food Movement, check out:
For the local Tucson chapter, visit: www.slowfoodtucson.org/
Even in today’s busy times, we can still find time for a slow cooked meal thanks to our trusty crockpot/slow-cooker. The following recipe was taken from www.eatingwell.com and provides a tasty way to cook up chicken and sweet potatoes. Add a side of quick-cooking brown rice and you have yourself a nutrient balanced and slow cooked meal in no time at all!
Makes 6 servings
ACTIVE TIME: 20 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 5 hours 20 minutes
EASE OF PREPARATION: Easy
6 bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed, trimmed of fat
2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into spears
1/2 pound white button mushrooms, thinly sliced
6 large shallots, peeled and halved
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 cup dry white wine
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary or 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
Place chicken, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, shallots, garlic, wine, rosemary, salt and pepper in a 6-quart slow cooker; stir to combine. Put the lid on and cook on low until the potatoes are tender, about 5 hours. Before serving, remove bones from the chicken, if desired, and stir in vinegar.
NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per serving: 285 calories; 6 g fat (2 g sat, 2 g mono); 50 mg cholesterol; 35 g carbohydrate; 17 g protein; 5 g fiber; 519 mg sodium.
Nutrition bonus: Vitamin A (430% daily value), Potassium (25% dv), Fiber (20% dv).
2 Carbohydrate Servings
Exchanges: 2 starch, 2 lean meat
What is your WQ…Women’s Wellness Quotient?
by Carol Bartol RN,MS,CS
Women have traditionally been caretakers, and have tended to place their own health on a low priority. But wise women are recognizing that taking good care of themselves
is the best gift they can give to their loved ones. Many factors contribute to good health! The following questionnaire has been developed after many years of counseling individuals with physical and emotional health challenges.
Recognizing that good health is always on a fluctuating continuum, why not check out your WQ (Wellness Quotient) today?
Rate each of the following on a scale of 0-4 (0= Not at all, 4=Optimal level)
___ I generally experience high level of energy and enthusiasm
___ I usually follow a nutritious and well balance diet and make good food choices
___ I drink enough quality water daily (1oz per 2 lbs of my body weight)
___ I eliminate most sugar, caffeine, and junk food from my diet (These exhaust my adrenal system)
___ I know how to program a healthy balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fats for my individual body needs
___ I generally have healthy eating habits (not skipping meals, rushing, over-eating)
___ My digestion and elimination are efficient, with minimal gas, bloating, or discomfort
___ I regularly take high quality supplements that have been tailored to my individual health needs
___ My weight is in a healthy balance (that is comfortable for me)
___ I have a regular schedule of physical exercise at least 4 days per week (walking, swimming, sports, weights, aerobics, etc)
___ My sleep pattern is peaceful and restorative (ie.I generally wake up after a night’s sleep feeling rested)
___ I allow enough time in my busy schedule for fun and recreation (“Re-creating energy)
___ My work is generally enjoyable and fulfilling (Am I “following my bliss?”)
___ My thinking and memory are usually alert and clear
___ I frequently stop and “smell the roses”…and marvel at the beauty and majesty of nature
___ I am able to see and enjoy the humor in life (and to laugh at myself when I need to)
___ I have set reasonable and attainable goals for my life and I am experiencing success in achieving them
___ My income is sufficient and my finances are in a healthy balance
___ I am comfortable with the quality of my friendships and personal relationships
___ I have a pleasant and supportive relationship with my family
___ I regularly enjoy the benefits of personal touch (Famed therapist Virginia Satir said that we need 12 hugs a day for our spinal columns to stay healthy!)
___ My life includes a satisfying array of emotional, social and professional support systems
___ I make knowledgeable decisions about my health and seek professional advice when indicated
___ I live my life with a high degree of personal honesty and integrity…
___ I am open to continued learning and new experiences in my QUEST FOR WISDOM!
_____ Total Score (Add up all your numbers)
What is your WELLNESS QUOTIENT?
There are 25 items listed, so write your total score here as a percentile. _________%
If optimal score is 100%, what is your Wellness Quotient today?
If your percentage is 80% or above, you are probably enjoying pretty good health at this time! Many of us score lower than we would like because of our busy schedules and many commitments. Positive changes can be made in small steps. Note the items that scored lowest for you and make a decision to increase your score on merely one item this week. As you experience success in this area, select a different item next week and improve your score on that element of wellness. You’ll be amazed at how these little changes can contribute to an overall enhancement in your sense of wellness!
Carol Bartol RN,MS,CS is the founder of Imagine Wellness, where you can Experience the Art of Healthy Living. She is an RN and a certified herbal specialist, and provides experienced Nutrition/Lifestyle consultation and a personalized program for wellness. Imagine Wellness, a unique wellness center is located at 7493 N Oracle, #115, Tucson, AZ 85704. Call 520 797-4099 to set up an appointment.
Lyn Ramirez – January
Since June of this year, Lyn has made great strides—no pun intended! She lost 19 pounds, lowered her percentage of body fat by three points, lowered her BMI by three points and lowered her resting heart rate. In just two and a half months she lost four inches around her waist and almost three inches around her hips. She also went down a dress size. Due to all of these changes, Lyn can now see muscles she never thought she had!. Her progress is not measured just by numbers and norms but by the increased energy she feels, heightened body awareness she now has, and increased positive feelings about herself. Lyn has demonstrated how committing to putting the principles of fat loss into action really works! Let’s support Lyn in her continued efforts to reach her healthy goals. Her cheery disposition and hard work are an inspiration to us all.
Kim Greismer – February
Kim is someone we have all grown to love dearly. Despite suffering a serious brain injury in an auto accident over 15 years ago, Kim continues to make improvements in her balance, coordination, flexibility, and functional strength. She is also a bearer of good cheer to all she comes in contact with. She is well known for her heartfelt greetings and shows of affection to all.
Kim, you are a superstar and we are so thankful to have such a loving and persistent spirit like you at BodyBasics. Keep up the good work!
To empower people to realize their innate abilities by providing an environment that nurtures, educates, and inspires.
Keep Up the Great Work!
We are very proud of all of you!
Chris, Mike, Kathleen, Katrina, Cecile, and Jenny