Monday, November 30, 2009

Exercise for Your Heart

I am borrowing this from an email I got from Dr. Mark Hyman---he's got a lot of great information if you're interested in his Ultrametabolism perspective

"What did our caveman ancestors know about exercise that we didn't?
After all, they didn't spend hours in the gym doing painfully long aerobic sessions.
But they did have incredible strength, speed and stamina.
If they saw a threatening animal like a saber-toothed tiger or even a hungry dinosaur coming at guessed it, it was time to run, and fast.
So what did our cavemen ancestors know that we don't?
It's something I've talked about repeatedly in my books and blogs and it's the same principle that underlies my dietary recommendations.
What they did was do what their genes had evolved to do -- exert tremendous amounts of energy in a short period of time.
They didn't run for hours on end, starve themselves with ridiculous diets or lift boulders over their heads to build bigger muscles.
Cavemen followed natural cycles of work and rest, or what I call periods of exertion and recovery.
This helped them to build their reserve capacity -- their ability to exert tremendous amounts of energy in a short period of time.
Reserve capacity means your heart has the ability to pump more blood, faster in times of stress.
Reserve capacity for your lungs allows them to deal with high exertion like lifting, carrying, running or going up stairs.
And not only did this help caveman build incredibly strong hearts and lungs, but it also made them lean, fat burning machines, which I'll explain why in a second.
The big takeaway here is that if eating like our ancestors did leads to health and vitality, then it makes sense that we should exercise like our ancestors as well...just as our bodies were designed to do.
And thankfully, by exercising the way our ancestors did, we can not only spend less time exercising -- as little as 12 - 20 minutes per day -- but we can strengthen our hearts and lungs and reduce the risk of heart attacks or developing breathing problems.
You've actually heard of this type of exercise before -- it's called interval training and can have powerful effects in a very short period of time.
A few years ago, Harvard researchers published the Harvard Health Professionals Study.
After studying over 7,000 people they found that the key to preventing heart disease is intensity - NOT long-duration exercise.
What's more interesting is that in another study, researchers found that by doing the right type of interval training, people continued to burn fat for up to 24 hours after the interval training session."

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Tips

Happy Thanksgiving!

What are your plans for tomorrow? Joe and I are going to Penn Yan to his aunt and uncle's house. I'm looking forward to it, and I'm not ashamed to say that the only thing we're contributing is wine.

I'm in a cooking slump, and I'm looking forward to getting over it...but it's not over yet. Plus, I have always seriously disliked Thanksgiving food. I'm not a picky eater, but it seems like everything about Thanksgiving food is unenjoyable to me except the green bean casserole and the rolls (well, depending on the rolls). A few years ago, when my mom and I were spending Thanksgiving alone, we had only green bean casserole and rolls....and we watched movies all day. It was great. Thanksgiving is about the people for me, definitely not the food.

This website is one of my new faves:

Her post from yesterday gives some really good tips for how to deal with Thanksgiving if you are trying not to overeat. Even if it's not all things you would do, maybe you would try some of it?

Monday, November 23, 2009


You know how people have certain sayings you associate with them? Like when you're in a situation and you can just hear what so-and-so would be saying to you at that moment? Well, my mom has this saying, "Home is a haven" (or sometimes it's more like, "Home should be a haven").

I never thought much about this saying as I was growing up, but now it just makes so much sense to me. I love my home---it's a 2-bedroom apartment, and it's just....nice. Sometimes people make jokes about how I don't have a lot of stuff (ok, I could use a chair in the living room, and maybe some more things on the wall here and there (in addition to Matthew's artwork and the painting my mom had commissioned for us last Christmas by Meredith Mallwitz---she's also going to be the new art director for Anthropologie at Eastview... My painting is similar to Ominous).

I have things I want, and I enjoy being home and using all my kitchen gadgets. At a point, I stopped defending my lack of stuff, and just started feeling lucky that I have a home that's a haven. Plus, at this time of year it doesn't hurt that I have a heated garage :)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Eatin' Out

Have you noticed how many new restaurants there are in Henrietta? This may be a stupid question, but are there enough people in Rochester who eat out often enough to keep all these places open?

I eat out more than I'd like to (not sayin' I don't enjoy it...), but I haven't been to most of those places and they're not really on my list of places to go either. Plus, it's so easy to overeat in a restaurant. Did you know that Chipotle, although using higher quality ingredients, can pack about 1700 calories into a burrito? I'm not really a calorie counting type of person, but that seems very excessive to me. Not to mention they don't go light on cholesterol elevating ingredients or salt.... Check out this site if you want to know how much you've really eaten at Chipotle.

I don't want to ruin your experiences of going out to eat, but I think it's important to be aware of what we're eating, and that's just more difficult at a restaurant. My goal for next week is to try a new recipe instead of going out to eat. I'll post what I do later---will you do it too?


Kristina and I are working on the new website, and it's ... not ready yet. But, you can go look at it---the design there right now is just a placeholder, not what it's going to look like when we're done---and it will probably change throughout the day whenever I have time to mess around with it! Honestly, it's difficult to decide...and we're working on it! Please go ahead and share your opinions or suggestions for what you'd like to see.

Things we're planning so far:

Blog by Kristina and Lisa

What Do They Do - Interviews with local people about what they do to be healthy - we're planning to ask a dentist how he/she takes care of his/her teeth, a personal trainer what he/she does for a workout, a doctor what he/she does to maintain health, etc. If you have ideas or any people you think would be good for this section, let us know!

Our Favorite Things - Kristina and I both really enjoy trying new health and wellness products and ideas, so we're going to showcase our favorites.

Podcasts on wellness topics - We may not do this right away due to time constraints, but it's in the plan!

Video Blogs - This probably won't happen right away either, but it's in the works---demos on how to do certain things (mostly food and exercise topics).

Any more ideas? Share them with us, please.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

No Luck

I went to a strategic planning session for the Autism Council of Rochester on Saturday. It was great! That might sound fake (and it might not sound like a fun thing to do on a Saturday morning), but it's not. I like being on the board of the ACR because it is such a good cause---we're not providing a service that's already being done, we're focusing on helping members of the community with autism transition from childhood and youth services (i.e. high school to the real world) to being a functioning member of society. How awesome is that? We meet once a month for board meetings and determine how to accomplish this through fundraising and programs---we're all there because we want to be and because we each have something unique to offer.

Something the facilitator, Cathy Cappella (no clue how to spell that), said really kind of stuck with me. She said that her husband always says not to wish him good luck. He thinks "luck" is more a matter of just doing what you can to be prepared and then going out into the world and taking the opportunities that are offered. I like this.

I don't necessarily think we should write off luck altogether, but I'd like to think I have more of a say in what happens to me than just blind luck. I can work on boards, like ACR, and also on other projects that help others as well as either serving me professionally or personally. Then I'm prepared to use what I've done to open and jump on opportunities as they present themselves.

What's your ideal next opportunity? How could you build yourself up to being ready for it?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Inside Outside Upside Down!

My mom wrote me an email today about her determination to feel good. It's funny how our priorities change under different circumstances. Did you know that the flu virus can manifest in your mouth as blood blisters (at least that's what it looks like)????? Well, my mom has that. She has been feeling blah and then got these sores in her mouth, which the dentist finally identified yesterday as the flu.

Anyway, her determination changed focus from whatever it was before to just trying to feel good. Her words were, "I am determined to feel good inside outside upside down!!!"

I think I am going to adopt that goal too---whatever it means for me at the time. Today it's going to be about resting. I've been going to the gym at 5am for the past week, and then to yoga after work everyday. I'm tired :)

If your only goal was to feel good, what would you do?

Thursday, November 12, 2009


I wrote a post last night that I thought was about hope. I posted it, and then I re-read it and deleted it. It sounded too lecture-y to me, and it was looking from a perspective of fixing things that are messed up.

I had several interesting conversations this week, and some of them directly related to the post I wrote last night---dig yourself out of whatever you're stuck in, have hope.

But, I realized that isn't really the message I want to give.

First, most of what we see as our problems are actually symptoms of something else we should address, but when we keep pounding on the symptoms to beat them down, we get discouraged and we're missing the real issues.

Second, hope isn't about digging or desperately trying to get something.

We're always seeking answers and solutions and the magic bean that will make us achieve our wellness goals. And that's ok, because we have to keep working on ourselves in order for something to change.

I think, though, that some of the underlying factors in change are more fundamental. At least they have been for me. We have to get up everyday and go through what life we have---and sometimes as a result of human nature and the society we live in, we try things that are not successful at helping us reach our goals.

Having hope for some is ...

Going 3 days without a migraine

Walking up 2 flights of stairs

Eating 1 salad a day

Only having 19 cigarettes today

...If you have a goal, good luck. If you don't reach that goal today, keep positively and courageously working toward it.

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying,'I will try again tomorrow.' "

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Have you ever tried Mr. Clean Magic Eraser? I love that little thing---All of our walls are white, which is nice and everything, but for that reason it's also easy to get scuff marks on the walls and on the door. I like living in an apartment because it's easy, but because of the nature of apartments it can also get cluttered (i.e. we keep our bikes inside---which I'm planning to change by cleaning out the storage unit and making room for them there). The point I'm getting to is that every time we bring things in or take them out, we end up marking up the walls in the entryway and on the corners (ok, it's mostly Joe's fault but he doesn't know he's doing it and he has a lot of stuff he carries in and out for work). So, Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is this great little thing---you get it slightly wet and then just rub off all the scuff marks. My door is the cleanest in the whole apartment complex, and I have to resist the urge to clean up the entire hall and stairway with it.

Fortunately, on days like today when my eyes are burning, my ears and throat are itching, and my sinuses are aching (I made myself stay home from yoga again so I wouldn't spread germs---you're welcome fellow yogis), Mr. Clean gives me something productive to do while I procrastinate grading papers and researching some random stuff for people.

I have no idea why it feels so good to clean my walls---I don't get the same satisfaction from cleaning the rest of the apartment. But it's a great way for me to get in the mode of being productive. Maybe you won't find it so satisfying, but what would do that for you? All I know is that after I cleaned my walls, I was motivated to get other things done too. Kitchen, carpet, bathroom, closets....if I had started with one of those, I probably would have ended there too. But I started with the walls, and now everything is done (except grading papers...but I'm getting to that). Do you have a trick to get you started on something, wellness or otherwise?