Hiking Ensign Peak

Hiking Ensign Peak
My cute exercising family!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Sugar Strike drawing to a close....

September Sugar Strike update!

Sunday is the last day of the sugar strike,
what have I learned?

I learned that I can go a month making better choices. I read alot about the unhealthy side effects of sugar consumption...that sugar creates in imflammed state in your body, similar to stress...and wreaks havoc on body systems.

I discovered that cooking with healthier sweeteners like honey, Sucanat and molasses do make fantastic tasting desserts, like Spiced Harvest Bars!

1 1/2 cups Sucanat
1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 tsp ginger & nutmeg

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup apple sauce
1/2 cup skim milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 can (15 oz) pure pumpkin 

1 eggs + 1 egg white

Mix all ingredients in a bowl, spread in a sprayed pan, 9x13 and bake at 350 for 20-25 min.

I also found that as a consumer, I made better choices when buying packaged foods, opting for brands like Kashi, that use honey in cereals, and granola bars...and avoiding hidden artificial sweeteners.

I also learned to identify between hunger and boredom. I tried to figure out when I was munchy only eating when I was actually hungry, drinking a glass of water first. I also realized that eating sugar makes you WANT sugar...and after a few days that craving took an extreme nose dive... I found I didn't think about treats very often, a piece of fresh fruit did the trick!

BUT!...even healthy sugars have calories, so watch your portion sizes...

  • With the holidays approaching, I will definately be changing up favorite recipes using natural sweeteners:
  • honey
  • molasses
  • Sucanat
  • dried fruit
  • stevia
  • maple syrup
and...healthier substitutes for ex.; vanilla & apple sauce for oils & sugar, plain or greek yogurt for creams and buttermilk, and of course my favorite,
75%+ dark chocolate...mmmmm
best health, Ruthann

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Super fun, spooky, Fall run for the whole family!
Grab a costume and sign up here.

...beware of zombies....

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I'm sore, so I'm done. SORE IS GOOD!


We've all been there...right?

You start going to the gym after weeks or years of inactivity or you just feel the need to prove to yourself, maybe others around you, that you can and will lift, press or squat any and all weights to total failure today...

...the next day, you are so sore, you are limping around, and using one arm to help you brush your teeth...


DOMS - delayed onset muscle soreness, is perfectly normal 24-48 hours after your workout, when you are starting an exercise routine. You have stressed your muscles harder than they are used to and as a result they feel sore.

Don't stop exercising!

This soreness is normal. Microscopic tears in the muscle fiber and slight inflammation causes the minor pain. These symptoms are signs that you are leading the muscle to adapt and to better perform the exercises next time.

 However, only YOU, would know the difference between the pain of injury and the mild soreness of exercise that no one is immune too. Sore, tight, achy muscles the next day or 2 days after a workout, is normal.

NOT NORMAL is the sudden onset of sharp, severe pain, sudden weakening in a specific muscle or joint, tingling, electric type shock or numbness, or the obvious pain of trauma from a broken bone. If you experience any of these symptoms, immediately seek medical attention.

Here are some tips to ease those aching muscles:
  • stretch - 10 min before and after your workout
  • anti-inflammatory meds
  • ice and heat
  • protein - taken 15-30 min after a workout. Believe it or not, chocolate milk has been recently sighted as one of the best recovery beverages after a hard workout. YUMMERS!
"With double the carbs and protein of milk, water or sports drink, it is perfect for replenishing tired muscles. It's water content rehydrates, and calcium, sodium and sugar help the athlete retain energy," says Dr. Joel Stager, Director of the Human Performance Lab at the University of Indiana, in a recent article he wrote for the International Journal of Sports Nutrition.

So grab your shoes, a bottle of chocolate milk and GET YOUR SWEAT ON!

Best Health, Ruthann

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Gorgeous alternatives to soda!
This is my sweetheart. We have been married 22 years!
14 days ago, he made the healthy decision to give up soda.
I am so proud of him.
He has a super stressful job, as an Electrical engineer. He will leave the office and go grab a big gulp, to take a break...get some caffeine! This was becoming a couple times a day.
The office also has a fridge with soda, and he said he would grab a couple cans from that each day too. Added up, he was drinking on average over 60oz a day....wow.
if you need some reasons to dump it, here are just a few...
According the Journal of American Medicine, beverage consumption made up 21% of the total daily calories consumed for people over age 2.
  • chemicals and minerals in soda cause stress on kidneys and could lead to formation of kidney stones, and kidney disease 
  • leaches minerals from teeth & bone, leading to osteoporosis, but also phosphoric acid from carbonation weakens and damages tooth enamel over time
  • artificial sweeteners give you cravings for sweets, which can lead to eating more calories and weight gain

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Transition to Fall...


Summer was wonderful! Sun, BBQ's, swimming, camping, and friends ... eating, playing and enjoying ourselves.
Alas, all good things come to an end, and I have noticed just the tiniest change in the weather this last week...mornings and evenings are just a little cooler, I’m grabbing a sweater to read on the porch in the evenings, and my flowers are fading…change is coming.

Fall is my most favorite time of the year! First, because I am willing to turn my stove back on, turn A/C off and bust out the warmer clothes. 
Second, because I know I have to ramp up my determination to eat clean and exercise with the holidays approaching.

 So, how do you keep eating clean, while enjoying all the great fall foods like stews and soups, breads, and baked goods? How do I keep my exercise routine when it is freezing outside and I don't want to run or ride anymore?

Let’s talk about transition into Fall, eating clean, and being consistent with our workouts!

A lot of us move outdoors to exercise when the weather is warmer. Of course, some of you will still run in the snow and the cold, or bike…more power to you! However, there are those of us “fair weather exercisers,” myself included, who might need some suggestions as to what to do indoors now it is getting chilley…*brrrrr*


There are tons of options here! You can do the obvious, get a gym membership.
As a former manager at a large local gym, here are some pointers when looking into getting a gym membership.
Most gyms will offer you a trial pass. You can go to the gym for a few days for free. While you are there get pricing, check out the facility, meet the manager and staff. Look into personal training packages, and meet the trainers. Always see what amenities they provide…pool, spa, basketball courts, classes, day care etc. Look at overall cleanliness of facility including daycare, locker rooms, showers, and spa. Get an idea of the availability of equipment...is it packed with people at the time you can go? Are there enough open treadmills, or space in classes? There is nothing more frustrating then getting ready, loading kids in car, driving to the gym and running in only to find all the bikes for the cycle class taken or the daycare is at capacity...ugh!

I love exercise classes. They are high energy, and super fun. You can meet new people, maybe find a gym buddy there who can keep you motivated to be consistant!
Most gyms offer a wide variety of classes from lift classes, to cardio, and Step to Zumba. For those of you over 50, you can see if they offer classes like 24 Hour Fitness’s “Silver Sneakers” class, which is covered, usually, by insurance.

If the gym isn’t for you, you still have options!

1st! There are great DVD’s available, in a wide range of activity and skill level.  If you are in excellent shape, you can try “Insanity” or “P90X” both are excellent.

2nd! If you are a beginner, or have injury issues you can start slower, building strength and stamina with functional exercises which use compound movements with your own body weight for resistance. Doing moves that use several muscles at once, just like we do in body movements all day long, which enhance the relationship between your body’s muscular and nervous systems. Doing this can help you more efficiently perform motions such as pushing, pulling, climbing, walking, sprinting, jumping, twisting, turning, etc. 
Functional strength training is not just done to improve your appearance, but to help you get better at regular day to day activities. I find that compound movements such as bodyweight exercises make for an exceptionally good functional strength training workout routine ie: pushups, pullups, dips, squats, planks, lunges, tuck jumps..etc. Here is a great list I found .....for your reference.
Best Health, Ruthann



Friday, September 7, 2012

per-spec-tive - noun
an optical glass, (as a telescope)... to look through
I had an experience last night that helped me to gain this "noun" in my life. I met a sweet 16 year old girl at a craft show last night. 
This is Lillie. She began making the most gorgeous purses while taking chemotherapy for rare bone cancer at our local children's hospital. The doctors and nurses thought that her designs were so wonderful they all bought one and she started a small etsy business. She talked openly and more than that, excitedly, about the decision she made to amputate her left leg at the hip. It pained her constantly, she explained, and she had been on crutches for over 2 years. Once the leg is removed, she will be able to ride her horse, and not be on crutches.
...that word, perspective, kept pounding through my brain as I watched her face...her sweet smile, heard her positive outlook on her future..without her leg!
the other word that went through my brain was triumphant! She was not giving up! she was going to move forward and embrace her life and be happy and positive with her lot.
I am grateful to have met this amazing young woman, she was inspiring to me and I am a better person for that experience.
As promised to Lillie, here is the LillieBdesigns etsy link.
It brought to mind another amazing individual that left a mark on my heart and inspires me every, single time I go to the gym and want to complain about how hard it is...
Oscar Pistorius - 2012 Olympic Summer Games

Thursday, September 6, 2012

colorful plates....
how colorful will you make your meals today?
We all know that eating the appropriate amount of fresh fruits and vegetables is a necessary part of a healthy diet...but how much and what are the best choices?
vegetable drawer....include these power packed veggies
red, yellow and green peppers
...i love the bag of mini ones you can get at Costco! awesome snack!...
choose romaine lettuce over iceburg
I have previously posted the link for ChooseMyPlate & healthy eating and what your plate should look like. In a nutshell,...
protein -  the size of your fist, or no more than 5oz women, 6 oz men, half your grains should be whole wheat, 6 oz, and half your plate should be veggies and fruit!
 Fruit can be canned, fresh or frozen.
...make sure to include dairy, 3 cups daily
see this link for guidelines on what counts as 1 cup of dairy
oils...include nuts, salad dressings, fish, cooking oils..see allowances here:
So! make great choices, watch portion sizes and make those plates beautiful today!
Best Health, Ruthann

Sunday, September 2, 2012

STRIKE SUGAR - In September!!!
As of September 1st, I gave up sugar for the month.

Yup, zero, nada...zilch.
Want to join me?
No more processed foods with sugar, no soda, no fake sugars...(aspartame, splenda..etc.)
Let's take a look at soda for a minute. Coke and Coke Zero, Diet Coke or any soda with caffeine. Caffeine is a diuretic. This means it hinders the kidney's ability to retain water...not healthy.
Diet sodas in medical studies are linked to something called metabolic syndrome which is a condition associated with increased risk of abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
artificial sweeteners (aspartame, splenda) increase the body's desire to eat and contribute to increased weight gain so be careful!
Day 1 was pretty easy....I am on to day two with my cutie daughter Morgan, who is trying
it along with me. I have given her a little slack, and she can chew gum...hey, she is 13! We had a huge family party yesterday, complete with cheesecakes...and we did just fine. Lots of water before meals makes you feel more full.
Day 2 is well underway, and so far so good! We tried fresh fruit on our oatmeal, to make up for the brown sugar we usually have, to give it a little sweet taste, and Morgan had a little Agave on hers.