Playing Many Parts


Category Archive

The following is a list of all entries from the health category.

Day Two – Ice Skating??

Well, I didn’t “technically” go ice skating yesterday as my movement of choice, but I did skate across the ice for what ended up being an interval workout.  Let me explain. Yesterday in my neck of the woods we had an icy snowy mix of weather. It went from super cold, to only moderately cold, and back to freezing again. So, my entire neighborhood was covered in ice by the time I got home from work yesterday. I needed to exercise (move) still and both dogs were looking at me just daring me to not take them out again.

I was concerned about the ice, but since my daughter bought me these amazing beauties bootsamazonpicfor Christmas, and they have GREAT traction. . .I figured I might as well walk the dogs for my movement.  So I went out with the intention of walking the dogs, but what actually happened is that I did some odd combination of skating and jogging and walking for 1.5 miles and accidentally got a pretty decent HIIT workout.  The skating and sliding and jogging was for a few 1 minute intervals and the walking slowly through the grass in some spots was also done in several 1 minute intervals.  Overall. . .I felt like I had done a pretty serious workout.  The dogs got a walk, my boots got broke in, and I got in a challenging workout!  Wins all the way around!


New Year, New Plan

I know, I know, everyone has a plan to get (blank) in the new year.  But I read something recently that said to just try and commit to doing something for 66 days.

SO, for 66 days I intend to move.  I don’t care how I do it, but for the next 66 days. . .I will move one way or another and record it here.  Not sure how this will go or where it will take me, but I am doing it, and I started last night.

Last night I spent 35 minutes doing Zumba at home via DVD and then I walked the dogs for 1.5 miles. Never heard of Zumba, here is a breakdown of one of the dances for you. . .I love this dance form of exercise. It’s fun and I LOVE to dance so the time flies!


Loosing Weight – Adding Fresh Vegetables

My First Vegetable Garden

My First Vegetable Garden

Beginning Success

If you’ve been with me a while you know I am trying to loose at least two dress sizes, or about 20 pounds.  I will be happy with that.  If I can loose one more, I will be over the moon happy!  I am on the downward turn.  It is a slow process, but then I knew it would be.  I have lost about 7 or 8 pounds in a about as many weeks, which is a fine pace for me.

So far, I have adopted a very strict no sugar diet and added about 10,000 steps to my days.  I feel good and have made peace with changing my perspective on food.  I am trying very hard to see meals and food in general as what it is, a means to an end, not my happiness.  The only purpose of food in my life right now as sustenance.  For happiness, I am turning to hobbies like spending time with family, reading, writing, and now growing healthy things.

Fresh Vegetables

My newest step to becoming a much healthier weight is to grow some of my own food in a large 30-Inch container on my deck.  I will do some more in depth posts later about all that is wrong with our food supply and some of the debates I watch about that.  However, I don’t think anyone will disagree with the fact that growing your own food can be fun, is very good for you, and should cut your grocery bill a little.  So to me it is an exciting win/win/win situation.

Here is what I am growing to start:

I just planted the starters this week, so I will keep you posted on how my new hobby is going!


Having Fun Moving More

Oh my gosh, I can’t even believe I am posting this, but I am having so much fun right now finding new videos on YouTube to use during work to move around more!

A week ago I decided that I was going to try and incorporate more movement into my day as I was swearing off all the yo-yo dieting of the past 2 years.  Sine then, I have had a lot of fun finding clever new ways to work out in my cube at work.  SHHHH, don’t tell the boss.  It seems that it is perfectly fine to take several smoke breaks an hour, but most people frown on a 5-10 minute movement session in your cube.  Too bad, doing it anyway.  Let’s hope I am not soon blogging unemployed from home.

Here are some of my most favorites from the past week:

Denise has a series of quickies that can be done right from your cube!

I LOVE this song and can quickly do this one many times a day. . and it is so much fun!

It is just too easy to walk in my cube, I can’t believe I haven’t done this sooner!


I’m Done Dieting (for now)

We will walk!

We will walk!

it didn’t work.  Here we are in the first week of March and in over 2 years of constant eating plans, I have lost no weight.  My son helped me remember that I also have not gained weight.  At my age, I guess that is a tiny baby step. . .to not have gained any weight in the past two years, but I need to loose.

It scares me to death to not have a plan, so while I refuse to diet right now anymore, I will at least eat as healthy as possible.  Plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit and very little sugar, flour and processed foods.  What I am going to do differently now is focus on movement.  I want to walk my dog daily.  I want to dance daily for health and for fun and because that makes me happy.  I want to build some basic muscles that will help me stay fit and I want to do at least a couple of days of yoga a week.  3 days a week at work I will do my muscle building.  Every night after work while dinner cooks I will dance.  Every night I will walk the dog after dinner and on my days off (2 per week) I will do yoga.  I am committing to this plan for 2 months, like I did the No-Carb Diet and will see what those results are.


Exercise – A constant struggle

I guess if I loved exercise most of my posts wouldn’t be about all the weight I am always trying to loose.  But honestly, I think I am allergic to cardio.  It makes me feel sick, and don’t get me started on long distance running or jogging, it just isn’t for me.  Reading all over the web about people who love certain sports and find their way to a smaller waist through them is great too, but again, that isn’t for me.  So what is a woman to do?

I do like to dance, so maybe that could be something?  I am not a good dancer by any stretch, but most songs with a strong beat have me bopping along with them.  So, I am trying to turn this into exercise, and I am finding that I really enjoy it!  Lucky for me, there seems to be a ton of super talented folks on YouTube who are willing to share their videos.  I am not a big Zumba fan, but it seems that several instructors have choreographed some easy to do workouts to some of the top pop hits.

The best location for finding good video workout recommendations is Shawn Johnson over at The Body Department.  That is where I found The Fitness Marshall and his sort of awesome videos:


Low Carb – 3 Days In, Why Do This??

All I need

All I need

So I am going to be brutally honest and transparent, in hopes that my story will help others and encourage you if you need it to take charge, do hard things, and change your life.

I am an over 40 woman who needs to loose about 30 pounds to be healthy (at a size 14 currently, that should put me at a small 10 I hope).  Luckily, my fat is distributed well so I look a tiny bit healthier than I am, but that is where things stand.  I have tried several things in the past 3 years to loose the excess weight and nothing has worked for me.  However, when I was about 35 I embraced the Atkins Diet with gusto for about 4-6 months and lost about 50 pounds.  I then gave up the diet completely and gained 30 of those pounds back.

So what have I tried?  I tried running 2-3 miles every day for about 3 months. . .I lost 1 whole pound.  I should add, that pound was lost during a week where I was on vacation and was very active, I was not sitting at my day job for 8 hours a day working on my computer screen.  I have also tried intermittent fasting for almost a year.  I did not loose a single pound, but I didn’t gain a single pound eating whatever I wanted for only 4 hours a day.  I was always hungry though, and that is no way to live, I’m sorry, it just isn’t.

I am going back to what works for me.  Staying not hungry all day eating mostly lean meats, cheese, salads and nuts.  I will throw in some eggs and bacon on my days off (I am lazy, I am not getting up even earlier to make that on a work day).  I am also adding at least 4 long walks with my dog a week.  I will keep you posted.  If you have tips or recipes on low carb. . comment away!


A New Bi-Weekly Habit – Toxic Flush

Ha, IF my sense of humor was like my brothers, that would sound horrible.  However, I am far more sophisticated and so I am of course talking about a release of stored up toxins in my body.  I read a decent article over at Mercola.com this morning that I want to try.  I sometimes get annoyed by the constant hard sell and over-the-top dramatic titles on his site, but in general, I do think Dr Mercola has a decent grasp on what is healthy and what we should try to avoid when seeking optimum health.

So, along with my sincere attempts at eating healthier and exercising more regular, I am very interested in natural ways to help purge toxins from my body.  This article was interesting and the purge he recommends includes things I already have at home and am using.  Here is the practical application part of his rather long article:

To recap, twice a week (or more frequently if you’re engaged in a weight loss program to shed a lot of weight) take about 100 mg of niacin; wait 20 minutes, then exercise for 20 minutes to break a sweat and stimulate circulation.

Follow up with up to 60 minutes in a hot sauna, to really sweat out all the impurities. You can finish off by taking either five activated charcoal tablets, or some zeolite clay, which will bind with toxins, allowing them to be eliminated through your GI tract. Just make sure you do not take it in combination with medications or supplements, as these will also be bound up and eliminated.

If you have heard of other or better ways to detox, please feel free to leave comments and/or links below.  I will be trying this one tonight!


New Daily Habit – Letting Go of the Negative

Getting Healthy CREATIVE COMMONS

Getting Healthy CREATIVE COMMONS

I have been trying to create healthy new habits, including eating better foods, exercising more and drinking more water in hopes that the extra 20 pounds or so I have put on over the past 10 years would magically fall off.  I know, I know, what a setup, but what can I say, I want to be skinny for and upcoming event.

I have been focusing on trying to be more active (walking the dog more and longer) and doing weight training at least 3 days a week.  However, I was listening to a podcast this weekend that suggested my HIIT weight training was too short on length of high intensity.  This woman suggested that it needed to be at least 60 seconds of high intensity followed 60 seconds of low intensity, no more of the whimpy 30 seconds high and 90 seconds low.  So in my typical fashion, I decided that is exactly what I needed to to.  I needed to switch to her method immediately. . .which almost sent me right back to the beginning and wanting to never work out again.

I knew it would be hard, I am out of shape.  What I failed to really think through before I began was that there was no way I could succeed.  I can barely do the 30 second sprint followed by the 90 second walk as it is 7 times through.  I did exactly one round of 60 second sprinting followed by 60 seconds of rest and couldn’t do another.  Failure. . .as usual.  Lucky for me, I may have actually turned a corner in my life.  Instead of crying in defeat and walking the rest of the way home, I did the next interval, but I went back to one that was still challenging for me but doable. . .the 30/60 second interval.  After that one, I did 45/60 and went back and forth like that for all 7 rounds.

Just because someone gives crappy advice doesn’t mean I am a failure.  When I went back to check the advice again, what I found out is that this woman is probably at least 40 pounds lighter than me and has been training hard for years.  I started a month ago.  If you get off the couch today or out of bed or walk/run, you win!  This stuff needs to be challenging yes, but it also needs to be doable and enjoyable or you will give it up.

I am letting go of the negative and choosing the positive.  I finished my intervals Saturday, I did pilates and yoga on Sunday and yesterday I rested.  Today, I am back at the HIIT workout.  .but at my pace because that is what I can do.


New Daily Habit #2 – Turmeric Milk

I have been reading tons of articles for the past year about the benefits of Curcumin (active ingredient in

Try a cup!

Try a cup!

Turmeric) and have wanted to incorporate it into my diet for a while.  It fights cancer, may help diabetes, is a liver detoxifier, may prevent Alzheimer’s and help with fat metabolism.  If you watch or keep track of any alternative health channels there is always a ton of positive information about all the benefits of Turmeric powder.  So,about a month ago, I finally started a routine that is fairly easy for me.  I started drinking a cup of Turmeric Milk each night before bed.  It is easy to make, tastes delicious, and really does ease my aches and pains so I can drift off to sleep more easily.

Here is a great article on some of the benefits, and a recipe for both turmeric paste and then a milk recipe using the paste.  This is how I do it and I love it.  Let me know how it goes for you.

My Turmeric Milk Recipe:

1 cup of milk (I like to use coconut milk, but any is fine)

1 teaspoon of turmeric paste*

1 teaspoon of sweetener (I like maple syrup best, but honey works just as well)

1 teaspoon of coconut oil

Over low heat, warm the milk, paste and sweetener.  Once warm, add the oil and stir until it is incorporated into the milk.  Remove from heat and drink warm.  (Best not to boil this, just get every thing warm and mixed in.)  Enjoy!

*Make turmeric paste by putting 1/4 cup turmeric powder and 1/2 cup pure water in a pot and simmer it over medium-high heat for at least 7 minutes, stirring constantly.  You will notice a thick paste form.   If it get’s too dry while cooking you can add additional water.  Once cooled, put into a glass jar and put in fridge.  This is good for a few weeks to one month.

1/4 cup turmeric powder, mix with 1/2 cup pure water and simmer over medium-high heat for at least 7 minutes, stirring constantly. You will notice a thick paste form. If it get’s too dry while cooking you can add additional water. Once cooled, put into a glass jar and put in fridge. This is good for a few weeks to one month. – See more at: http://drarjan.com/turmeric-paste-golden-milk/#sthash.f5FuFKFP.dpuf