Archive for March, 2012
You Need A Vacation!
I really doubt that I need to convince anyone why they would need to go on a vacation. A vacation is something everyone wants, right? Well…not everyone. I have been wanting to go on a vacation for years now, and my husband just didn’t feel like he “needed” to go on one. It wasn’t something he grew up with, and in reality, he just didn’t know what he was missing out on! Fast forward five years, I’m now pregnant, and I need (yes, need!) that vacation before our first baby comes this Fall!
Needless to say, we finally went on our lovely vacation and my husband finally understands what the big hype with vacations is all about! :)
What’s Stopping You?
I think sometimes we just get so busy with the day to day activities in life that we kind of forget to have some fun along the way.
In addition to time constraints, money can definitely prevent you from going on that dream vacation. Maybe you don’t get to go to that private Island that would cost you $15,000 – but you can go on a week long cruise to different Islands for $1,500. Personally, I think it’s better to go do something than to maybe never go at all (or go once in a lifetime).
Make a plan, save up your money, and make it happen!
Reasons To Go On A Vacation
Vacations can help you relax, have fun, and enjoy life. A lot of adults suffer from stress-related diseases. Vacations are a fun way to reduce stress and improve your health!
Vacations can help you find new and fun ways to exercise! My husband and I went on a cruise and found plenty of opportunities to exercise. In addition to the gym on the boat, we took the stairs whenever we could (there were a lot of stairs!), and while we were on the Islands we did plenty of walking or swimming. We were definitely able to get plenty of exercise each day, without ever feeling like we were “exercising” because we were just having so much fun!
In case I still need to convince you to go on a vacation, I’ll share a pictures of my vacation to help convince you to make vacations a part of your life! In my opinion, vacations are a necessity…for your health! :)
Grand Turk Island
First stop, Grand Turk! We had a blast swimming for hours in this beautiful water. When we were done swimming, we enjoyed walking on the beach and taking a million pictures. Actually, we took over 400 pictures of this beautiful Island and after we left, we realized that none of the pictures turned out. The shutter apparently died and all I could salvage was this picture from my husband’s iPhone. Actually, all of the pictures I am posting on here came from his phone! (Update: 04/28/2012 – My camera is finally working again!!!)
San Juan, Puerto Rico
We had so much fun exploring San Juan, Puerto Rico! We did a lot of walking (no cabs for us!) here, and had fun sightseeing along the way. Here’s a picture of the Castillo San Felipe del Morro.
Don’t even try looking for the yellow brick road, because you won’t find here! In San Juan, the streets are a pretty blue!
By the time we came to St. Thomas, we were ready to jump in the water again! Here’s a picture of where we went snorkeling!
We were able to see a ship wreck, lots of sea creatures, fish, and a sea turtle!
After our excursion, we took a bunch of pictures of the local Iguanas! The Iguanas were pretty big, even though the picture isn’t too convincing. Trust me, these guys were huge!
Oh, do I need to remind you about how beautiful the water is in St. Thomas? I seriously just took a picture of the water when we were in the boat waiting to go snorkeling.
Oh, the Bahamas! It was the highlight of our trip…mainly just because it’s something my husband and I have been wanting to do ever since we got married (we wanted to go for our honeymoon, but it just didn’t work out for us to go at the time).
I’m originally from Vegas, so palm trees aren’t that big of a deal to me. In the Bahamas though, I couldn’t get enough of these palm trees for whatever reason!
My feet are very, very happy in this picture. The sand was so fine and soft! It was very relaxing to just walk around on the beach. I loved it!
I had to have a picture of me…in paradise. Not my best picture, but I don’t care. I’m in the Bahamas, remember?! ;)
The sun can do some amazing things for you, including providing a natural source of vitamin D! Unfortunately, I had a little too much sun in the Bahamas (I couldn’t help it! Plus, I had an allergic reaction to my sunblock… not gonna go there). Thankfully, I brought aloe vera with me and was able to quickly take care of my skin.
Vacations can make for an amazing “baby bump” picture! I took my first official pregnancy picture on the Beach…in the Bahamas… when I was 3 months pregnant.
Even though I totally wasn’t showing yet, I like to think of this moment as: Priceless! ;)
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
What other time are you going to get to hold a cute baby alligator with a bright green tourist sticker? I would have held the alligator too (I was actually really looking forward to it!), but I wasn’t feeling too good with the heat, humidity, and pregnancy hormones, so I was inside an air conditioned building and totally missed out on this opportunity! :(
At least my hubby was able to get a picture. He looks so cute here ;)
OK, one more beautiful picture of the Bahamas…
Convinced? You are welcome. Now it’s your turn to go on a vacation! Let me know where you are going, or where you have recently been!
High heels can turn a simple outfit into a freakin’ cute one. My question is, are high heels really worth the discomfort when you consider the health risks involved?
The Stiletto Effect
Here’s what Stilettos are doing for your overall health:
Stilettos not only can cause aching feet, but they can also cause long-term ankle, knee, and back damage.
Dr. Conin, a biochemist at the University of Finland, says that women who wear heels actually walk differently, and more dangerously, compared to women who wear flats – even after they’ve taken off their stilettos!
Women who wear heels have an increased amount of bone-on-bone force in the knee, damaging the muscles and tissue around the knee joint which can lead to osteoarthritis.
If you wear high heels every day, your calf muscles can shorten by up to 13%. This means that your heels will cause your lower leg to be stiff and will limit your ankle’s range of motion.
The higher the heel, the more out of alignment your hips and spine are going to be. The heels push your body’s center mass forward, which adds pressure to your forefoot and your back has to compensate to stay balanced.
When you are ready to make the switch from stilettos to flats, you shouldn’t make the switch all at once. When women wear heels on a regular basis, their feet come accustomed to the position their feet need to be in while wearing stilettos. Any sudden changes could result in a painful injury, so you need to start “weaning” yourself off of the high heels! Start by taking your high heels off when you are sitting down (such as your desk at work) and then slowly start incorporating more comfortable shoes throughout the week. You can go from wearing flats just one day a week, then go to two days a week, etc.
Heels in Moderation
I’ll be one of the first ones to tell you how much I love high heels. Well, the look of them anyways!
I used to wear heels every day to work, until I hurt my back and was forced to wear flats every single day. I am “allowed” to wear heels now, but I choose to limit how often I wear them since I am much more aware of how high heels affect my back and overall health.
I only wear heels about once every two weeks! I will usually wear my heels for special occasions or short durations, and I have learned to shop for – and appreciate – cute flats. I have found that overall, I feel that I look better when my feet are comfortable – and no, I do not wear ugly flat shoes. Puh-lease! ;)
Image Credit: Tooga/The Image Bank/Getty
This may not be a practical approach for weight loss, but I still think that this commercial is hilarious!!!
I hope this made you smile! :)
Every day we have to make the decision about what we are going to eat. We have to plan and think about what we will eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and any snacks in between.
With so many meals to consider, it’s easy to justify eating junk food now and again. Problem is, we often distort our reality of what “occasional” means. It’s easy to eat a candy bar every day, considering it’s just one of the many meals you ate that day. Unfortunately, those empty calories in the candy bars really add up overtime.
What you consistently eat, matters.
So how often is too often to splurge? I think it just really depends on a couple of important things.
Calories and Portion Size
How many calories do you need each day? Once you have figured this number out, you can determine how many calories you have “available” at the end of each day to put towards your “splurge”.
I want to point out that your overall focus should be eating nutrient dense foods so you can be healthy, rather than calorie counting all day. Sometimes though, calorie counting may be how you get started. Now, back to some simple math…
If you end up having 500 calories extra every day available for junk food, you either need to eat more real food that will satisfy your hunger and nutritional needs, or you need to recalculate your calorie intake.
Let’s say you are trying to maintain your weight, you probably should have about 100 calories or so extra available each day, and you can choose your splurge based on that. If you have 100 calories extra and want a treat, you can eaither have a 100 calorie splurge each day or “save up” those calories and in five days have a 500 calorie treat (as long as you kept within your calorie budget each day).
Do you sit or lay around all day? If you lead a very inactive lifestyle, you just won’t need as many calories as someone who exercises or leads a very active life every day. How much you move is going to effect how many calories you will need each day.
Remember, food is fuel for your body. Refer back to Calories and Portion Size.
I realize a lot of people feel like they need to treat themselves. Trying to determine how to eat candy each day just isn’t quite the idea I had in mind for being “healthy”. I’m not a big fan of treating yourself or rewarding yourself with candy or desserts, I prefer healthy treats (healthy frozen yogurt, for example). I also realize that everyone ticks differently and what doesn’t work for me, might just work for you. For me, it’s easier to avoid sugary treats completely than to limit them. I wish I had better self control because a treat now and again would be nice, but I know myself better than that! ;)
What are your favorite splurges, and how often do you allow yourself to enjoy them? If you would like some healthy desserts that are guilt-free, check out some of our amazing recipes!
I love creating fun meals for St. Patrick’s Day! I found some fun (green!) and traditional Irish meals for you to try on this holiday! Enjoy!
Why not start your day with a little green? Try this recipe: Shamrock Toast.
Try a new (and very green!) twist to Hummus! This recipe is made with all green – and healthy! – ingredients, which is perfect for St. Patrick’s Day. Here’s the recipe: Avocado Hummus.
Rainbow Ice Cubes
Every little leprechaun has it’s rainbow, right? Make this drink with your favorite fruit and enjoy! The too easy to believe recipe is here: Rainbow Ice Cubes.
This traditional Irish Stew is made with healthy and delicious ingredients that you’ll love! You can find the recipe here: Irish Stew.
Green Beans with Parsley Sauce
Spice up your Green Beans with this yummy Parsley Sauce! Here’s the recipe: Green Beans with Parsley Sauce.
Pot of Gold
This recipe may not be green, but it has “leprechaun” written all over it! Try this St. Patty’s day recipe: Pot of Gold Soup. I suggest ditching the brown sugar for pure maple syrup for a healthier soup!
Brown Soda Bread
This traditional Irish bread is made with a healthy twist: whole wheat flour, steel cut oats, and wheat germ. Find recipe here: Brown Soda Bread. I suggest replacing the brown sugar with pure maple syrup!
Brussel Sprouts with Water Chestnuts
This is an easy and delicious recipe that is full of nutrients and flavor. Oh! There’s plenty of green to go around too! Check out the recipe here: Brussel Sprouts with Water Chestnuts.