50 states in a year!

August 29, 2014 in Blog, Guest Post by lindsaymwright

Today, I’m loaning out the blog to my great friend, Katie!  She’s about to embark on a really neat journey (I’m a little jealous!) and she needs YOUR help!  I’ve known Katie for three years now and I’m truly excited to see this epic year unfold for her.  Take it away, friend!

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Hi everyone!  In case you don’t know me, I’m Katie and I blog over at Talk Less, Say More.

ME

I had the pleasure of meeting Lindsay at the very first Blend Retreat in Boulder and have been lucky enough to attend every year since, get to know her more and ultimately, call her a friend.  I shared a kind of crazy idea with her a couple months back and now that this crazy idea is coming together, I’m so excited that she’s allowing me to share it with all of you today!

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It’s called 50 States In A Year and it’s a charity fundraising tour!

I guess I should start by telling you all that I’m a bit of a dreamer but when something feels right (or wrong!), I can’t ignore it.  And as crazy as this whole thing is, it feels right in my heart and in my gut.  The puzzle pieces have been falling into place and when a friend was as passionate about this as me and committed to joining in, there was no doubt we could pull this off!

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We will visit all 50 states.  We will do it in a single year. We will give back to charity!

But let’s back up… in May I finally decided to try CrossFit.  I say finally because it was something I had been considering for awhile but found myself unsure if I would actually like it, worried I’d get hurt, and not thinking I’d enjoy people yelling at me to hurry up and finish the workout.  But once I finally dove in, I learned how silly my fears were…I immediately LOVED the workout structure, learned the coaches are there to help you get the right form before increasing the weight, and realized my fellow athletes weren’t yelling, they’re an encouraging and supportive community (in and outside the box).  I was immediately hooked.

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So when I started dreaming this idea and deciding which charity to give back to, it was important for me to find a way to get the CrossFit community involved, while also bringing them closer together.  That’s when I found CrossFit for Hope!

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CrossFit for Hope helps fund research for childhood cancer, as well as other important efforts.  But what really got me is that every cent donated to CrossFit for Hope is delivered straight to the target recipient.  All costs (administration, accounting, etc) are covered by CrossFit headquarters.  Therefore, every dollar donated goes further!  For more on CrossFit for Hope, visit their website.

A trip of this magnitude is a huge undertaking and we’re working hard to partner with sponsors to keep our costs as low as possible, but to make this a success and to give the best donation possible as the end of the year, we need YOUR help!  Whether you’re into CrossFit or not, this is about coming together and making a huge impact!  The more we raise, the more we can donate!

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Here’s how you can be a part:

  • Follow along via our blog, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and share with friends!
  • Via our GoFundMe campaign where you can donate in exchange for a postcard from the road, t-shirt/tank top, or even dinner cooked by us as we come through your area!
  • By inviting us to your CrossFit box to host a fundraising event when we come through your area! (50statesinayear at gmail dot com)

What started out as a simple and kind of crazy idea has turned into so much more and I can’t wait to see the impact we can make together as a community – I hope you’ll join us!

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QUESTION:  Isn’t this a cool idea?!?  Please help Katie out!  What’s your favorite state??

splendid…lindsay

the 10 percent weight loss benefit

August 12, 2014 in Blog, Guest Post by lindsaymwright

Holla!  Hola!  Either one. 

Today I’ve got a guest post that I think will provide us with something to think on regarding WEIGHT LOSS.    Today’s guest Dylan lost 10 percent of his body weight and it helped him tremendously.  For me, losing 10% would be a hard goal and I’m not sure it would be healthy (I weigh around 148 and don’t think I have 15 pounds to lose).  I’m hoping you’ll all chime in on the comment section and tell me what has helped YOU lose weight in the past – was it healthy? Was it sustainable?  Did you lose MUSCLE mass??

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Baby Steps for Health: The 10 Percent Weight Loss Benefit

One-hundred years ago, ‘weight loss’ wasn’t much of a conversation.  However, once the fads and lose-fat-quick regimens began churning out, being ‘fit’ wasn’t just for the beach or summer, but an all-time need.  Health and the best ways to achieve it are constantly on our minds.

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Return to Basics

Here’s an age-old maxim that seems to have slipped the minds of newfangled health gurus: slow and steady wins the race – being slow yet persistent is effective.  It works with school studies, martial arts training, learning to type, etc.  Why not translate the patient philosophy onto your health?

The Small Things

Rather attempt to scale a mountain, begin climbing a small hill.  Losing just 10% of one’s bodyweight produces significant increases in health.  So, rather add the weight of anxiety on yourself and thinking about ‘losing mass,’ focus on a small number.  Even those considerably overweight will have a much smaller number to target.

Benefits for Ailments

As people gain weight, they grow exposed to a number of health detriments, such as diabetes.  Those who are diabetic report a stabilization of blood glucose levels.  Those with hypertension report lower blood pressure.  Those with abnormal cholesterol see improvements in blood lipid levels.  Also, regardless of ‘overweight’ labels, dropping 10% of one’s body weight decreases the risk of developing heart disease.

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Maintenance

Here’s the hardest part of the ‘diet.’  Once you lose the weight, the added benefits can’t take influence over your body unless you keep it off.  You must maintain the weight loss, which likely means changing the way you eat, exercise, and live.  Being healthy is a lifestyle and not a fad.  It’s important to re-engineer the way you approach meals, prepare food, and treat your body.

Most diets fail because losing weight is the easy part.  It’s easier to suppress hunger and starve oneself of carbs…for a while.  After some time, we return to old habits or bodies modify back to prior conditions after a diet regimen.  For maximum weight loss ideas, peruse a number of online sites for additional ideas and suggestions from pros.  Find solutions that last.

Water is Your Friend

Water is a major staple of healthy living.  Water is a dieter’s best friend and a key element in losing the 10% of weight.  The great thing about water is that the more you consume, the healthier you become. The trick is finding creative ways to make it tasty and an alternative to fatty snacks, etc.

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Consider infusing water with fruits and/or vegetables.  Think of the Snapple company and how many delicious and natural combinations the beverage brand derived. Furthermore, increase the number of selections by finding hot teas to enjoy, helping to curb your hunger.  Of course, water is no substitute for food but drinking more water can satiate an ‘urge.’

Add, Don’t Subtract

Dieters consider how they’re ‘giving up’ a number of foods that they love.  While you may want to curb intake of pizza and burgers, think of a diet as opportunity to meet more foods, adding them to your eating repertoire.  A number of foods actually help you burn calories rather than put them on.  Negative calorie foods require energy for your body to process, burning more calories than foods contain.

No Gym is No Problem

Going to the gym and ‘working out’ is another anxiety of dieters and those looking to get healthy.  Sure, you can facilitate health by going to the gym but it’s not a requirement to getting fit and feeling healthy.  Actually, those who are not familiar with the gym may do more harm than good going if they are not experienced or utilize a trainer.

That’s it.  Dedicating time toward a smaller goal, losing 10% dramatically influences health.  Start now!

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Dylan Newbold has lost that ten percent, and he feels great. A passionate writer, he likes to share his life’s journey by blogging online.

QUESTION:  What do you think about the 10% weight loss idea?  Too much?  Attainable and healthy?

splendid…lindsay

when i’m bored

July 31, 2014 in Blog, Blogging, Guest Post by lindsaymwright

(Reminder:  Make sure you take the day to tag your #15minutesforyou pictures!  The contest ends TODAY!  I’ll be selecting two winners this weekend – with Arctic Zero and Onnit prizes up for grabs!!)

I’ve got another guest post for you today – an addition to the, “When I’m Bored,”series. Take it away, Amy! 

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When I’m bored I…

1. Plan my dream vacations. Like really plan them. I look up flights, hotels, activities, check out restaurants and reviews of those restaurants (I don’t actually book anything, I just do all of the research).  I come up with how much it’s going to cost according to my “plans” and then sit and stare into space trying to figure out how to save up that much money. During these moments of staring off into space, I often think things like…”well, if we sold our patio furniture and only ate beans and rice for dinner, we’d have a good start…”

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2. Organize my kitchen cabinets. Obsessively. Labels need to be facing a certain way, things are sized smallest to largest, there can’t be “too many” items in one place–being evenly spaced is key. I’m a maniac.

3. Look at fashion blogs and make a list of the items I want to buy to make the cute outfits from them. (Between the dream vacations and outfits, me being bored gets expensive!)

4. Crave Chik-Fil-A chicken strips. Almost. Every. Time. It’s like a switch for me—boredom sets in, then my craving.

5. Bake something. Usually it’s this banana bread or these muffins.

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6. Foam roll. For some reason, it’s only when I’m bored that I remember to spend a significant time doing this. But I usually spend the most time looking up new foam rolling techniques so by the time I actually get to doing foam rolling, it lasts about 6 minutes.

7. Brush my guinea pig and talk to him in a high-pitched, weird voice. It’s called the “Otis voice” and he sheds a lot of hair so I want to help him out. Don’t judge.

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8. Paint my fingernails. I have to be REALLY bored for this one because I’m probably the world’s worst fingernail painter. About halfway through painting my nails, every time, I realize what a terrible job I’m doing and wipe it all off.

9. Call my husband to talk about how his day is going. And what he wants for dinner. And what he needs from Target. And about what Otis, the guinea pig, is doing. He loves these phone calls…. ;)

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10.  Re-arrange the furniture. Then I realize that I don’t like that much change and move it all back. Pinterest is just too good at sucking me in. I get so inspired!

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amybailey

Along with being a certified personal trainer and nutritional consultant in Florida, Amy blogs at The Funky Fork.  Go check her out!

best decisions by caroline

July 29, 2014 in Best Decisions, Blog, Blogging, Guest Post by lindsaymwright

Another “best decisions” post (for more, just search in the sidebar – there are many!)  One of MY recent best decisions was housing a caramel apple from the Kilwin’s down here in Destin!  Is there anything better?? 

Many thanks to Caroline for filling in for me!  Take it away, friend!

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The Best Decision I Ever Made… was getting my master’s degree in clinical mental health and clinical addictions counseling!  Through my two years in my master’s program, I learned so much great information that, when applied, can lead to a fantastic, healthy life!  I really enjoyed all that I learned in grad school (and my subsequent counseling experience since that time), and I’ve been really thankful for all the changes that resulted in my life because of my decision to go to school. Here are some of the biggest changes in my life that have occurred because of that one decision:

Because I decided to go to grad school, I ended up doing my thesis on wellness (yes- it was more specific than just “wellness”) and behavior change.  In writing those 80ish pages, I realized how much work I had to do on myself.  I made a promise to one of the people on my thesis committee that I would start working out as soon as I graduated; I kept that promise.  It’s all about being proactive in our health, right?

Because I did my thesis on wellness, I realized how much my lack of exercise impacted other areas of my life, so I started to work out more and I started to run! It’s truly hard to imagine my life without exercise, as running half marathons is such a big part of my life. (you can read more about “my journey to running” here).

Because I started running, I started to do pilates, which has become a big staple in my workout schedule. I love the mind-body aspect of it, and it is not only a stretching and strengthening activity, but it’s also great as a stress reliever. Doing pilates also lead to me becoming a pilates and pilates/barre instructor, which I really love ( I also love getting to do barre classes for myself! ) IMG_1968

Going to grad school also taught me all about having healthy boundaries and trying to decrease the use of cognitive distortions (especially great for those dealing with stress, anxiety, and depression!)  Not only have I noticed big changes in my mental health and my worries and thoughts since grad school, but these things also impact the physical health choices that we make as well!

There are obviously far more changes that resulted from grad school as well.  Running led to triathlons and connection to some of my family members in very different ways because of this.  Grad school led me to meet some of my very closest friends, led to a speaking and writing career, and led my to my dream counseling job.  I never thought that one “little” decision like grad school would lead to a snowball of other changes as well.

That’s the thing, though.  So many of our decisions, whether big or little, will lead to a cascade of other things in our life.  As you make your decisions- choose wisely.  Think about how your decisions might fit into your future goals, and if it will take you closer to or farther from health.  And once you’ve made your choice, hang on and enjoy the ride!  It may take you places you could’ve never dreamed of or planned!

Now it’s your turn to share! What’s one of the best decisions that you’ve ever made? What other things did it lead to in your life? DSC_0563_2

 Hey! I’m Caroline, a counselor, half marathoner, and Pilates & Barre Instructor. If you’re interested in running, biking, pilates/barre, traveling, and mental health issues, you can find me at the following places:

Blog: http://www.thelittlethingsblog.com

Twitter: @kalolainastar

Instagram: littlethingscaroline

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/littlethingscar

benefits of swimming & heart health

July 24, 2014 in Guest Post, Workout by lindsaymwright

We leave for the beach tomorrow so I’m sprinting around doing last minute things (one of them being getting my car cleaned out – any other mamas out there with super duper gross vehicles??  It’ll just get dirty on the way down, but I digress.). 

I’ve got a guest post today from Becky on swimming & heart health – makes me want to swim a few laps when we get to Florida!!

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How Does Swimming Benefit Your Heart?

Lots of people talk about how great swimming is as a form of exercise.  But it is supposed to be really beneficial for the heart.  After a co-worker fell prey to a heart attack, I began to study the heart and swimming, to understand the connection, and why swimming was so beneficial for the heart.

Slower heart rate in the water.  I was surprised to discover that the resting heart rate goes down by 10 beats per minute just being in the water.  Even more interesting, the maximum heart rate goes down by 10 to 30 beats.  When someone is swimming, the heart will pump the same amount of blood as in other forms of exercise, but it will happen more slowly.  No one knows for sure why the heart pumps more slowly in the water, but it is speculated that the lower temperature of the water, and decreased pull of gravity may account for the difference.  Here are some great resources with more details about the heart and swimming:

·         Health Benefits of Swimming

·         Swimming For Your Heart

·         Heart Health & Swimming Pools

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Lowered risk of heart disease.  It was pretty shocking to read that heart disease, or cardiovascular disease, it the number one killer in America.  That really got my attention.  Many of the problems with the heart are connected to the buildup of plaque in the walls of arteries, making them more narrow and restricting blood flow.  If a blood clot occurs and gets stuck, it causes a heart attack.  Swimming comes into this picture because it is easy on the cardiovascular system.  With the lower heart rates, improved breathing, better circulation and lower blood pressure that occur from swimming, the risk of artery constriction, blood clots and heart attacks is lower.

Why not live longer?  A study by the University of South Carolina that followed over 40,000 men for more than 32 years found that the men who were regular swimmers had a 50 percent lower death rate than the non-swimmers.  That’s a long study, and pretty startling results.  By strengthening the heart, swimming can allow longer life, which is a pretty amazing outcome.  There are now waterproof heart rate monitors, for those like me who want to see tangible proof that the swimming is having beneficial effects.  Why not see how swimming is extending your life expectancy as you’re doing it?

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Strengthen the cardiovascular system. Anyone who watched Michael Phelps in the Olympics was probably amazed like I was at how powerfully he could move through the water. While we would all like to be able to swim like that, it likely won’t happen.  But he is just a strong visual example of how swimming can improve the cardiovascular system, which makes the body use oxygen more efficiently, and allows the heart to work more easily while moving through the water.  Outside the pool, that effective workout will translate into everyday life, by lowering the blood pressure and reducing stress while you are going about your daily routines.

Stress reduction helps the heart.  Get out of the pool after a good swim, and try to remember what you were so stressed about at work.  It’s hard to do – when I swim, I just let go of all the stresses in my world, immersing myself in just doing the strokes.  That translates to lowered stress, lower blood pressure, and less load on my heart.  One study evaluated blood pressure levels on nearly 46,000 male and female walkers, runners, swimmers and non-swimmers. Swimmers had the lowest blood pressure numbers, followed by runners.  Swimming to lower stress has a tangible outcome.

While I was very sad to hear that my co-worker had a heart attack – like so many other people experience – and it firmed up my resolved to swim and keep my heart in great shape.

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Becky Flanigan writes for AnApplePerDay.com, and her areas of expertise are kids and parenting, exercise and health. She is avid about her workouts, which have ranged from aqua jogging to marathon training. She and her husband Ed also enjoy entertaining, and taking vacations with their 3 kids.

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QUESTION:  Do you swim??  When’s the last time you were in the pool?

restless leg syndrome: know the triggers that wreck your rest

June 26, 2014 in Blog, Fitfluential, Guest Post by lindsaymwright

I’ve got an interesting read for you today about RESTLESS LEG SYNDROME!  I personally suffered through this for the last few months of my pregnancy and it was just awful.  While it occurs in many pregnancies, this syndrome isn’t pregnancy specific and can effect anyone. 

If you’re suffering from RLS or know someone who does, read below to see how you can cope! 

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You have restless leg syndrome (RLS).  It’s unpleasant, but you deal with it.  But, do you have to?  While many medications are out there that can help, they all come with a side of side-effects.  You don’t want that.  Fortunately, there are some natural ways to deal with the disorder that may even help you live a normal life and completely resolve the issue.

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Reboot Your Diet

It might be time to start a new diet that promotes good health.  While it might seem far-fetched, there are many ways in which a good diet can help improve RLS.  For example, if your diet is low in magnesium, adopt a diet that improves this vital mineral.  Why?  Because magnesium is used for over 300 different processes in the body, one of which being nerves – which is a suspected cause of RLS.

Sources of magnesium are green, leafy vegetables, root vegetables, and legumes like beans.  Surprisingly, dark chocolate (85 percent cocoa or higher) is rich in magnesium.  Even so, you may need to supplement because many adults need anywhere between 300 and 500 mg of this vital mineral.  Some people need more, depending on how efficiently their body absorbs it.

Another change you can make is to eat more iron.  Iron is oddly deficient in some diets, like vegan and vegetarian diets.  Even if you eat a lot of plant-based iron, it may not be absorbed properly.  That’s because the body prefers heme iron – which is only found in animal flesh.  If you are iron deficient, you’ll also need vitamin C, because vitamin C helps with the absorption of iron from both plant and animal sources.

Reboot Your Lifestyle

Get out there and be more active.  But, don’t over do it.  According to Irving Asher, MD of the University of Missouri Health System, “People who have RLS function best with the same amount of activity daily.”  So, if you do ramp up your activity, do so slowly.

That means don’t start training for a marathon if you’ve never jogged a day in your life before now.  At the same time, don’t be afraid to start jogging and don’t be afraid to get in the gym and lift weights.

remedies for restless leg syndrome

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Another thing you can do is reduce your consumption of caffeine.  Giving up coffee is hard for most people – sacrilege even.  But, coffee may be too stimulating for you to handle in the evenings (ditto with chocolate, which contains theobromine – a substance that mimics caffeine).

Finally, avoid alcohol. If you suffer from substance abuse, get help immediately. Don’t want to go through the 12 steps? Sites like non12step-drugrehabs.org are filled with programs that use alternative methods that are both cognitive-based and physical-therapy based.

Stretch Before Bed

Stretching before bed can be like scratching an itch.  It can help you settle down and relieve tension from the day.  It may not cure you, but it might help you unwind and feel good.

Look At Nutritional Deficiencies

Getting non-IgE food sensitivity tests can uncover a lot of food sensitivities.  What are food sensitivities?  They’re immune reactions to foods that you eat that are not outright allergies. Instead, they are delayed hypersensitivities.

Reducing inflammation may lead to a beneficial cascade that ultimate resolves or greatly improves RLS symptoms.  It’s worth a try and you may just end up getting other benefits from it too, like weight loss and a general improvement in your overall mood.

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Steve Tucker

Steve Tucker’s research into neurological issues has resulted in many insights.  With a great love of helping people deal with health issues, he often blogs about his research and experience to help others take control of their health with knowledge and suggestions for treatment.  Follow Steve on Twitter.

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QUESTION:  Have you ever suffered from RLS?  Any other ways of coping?

splendid…lindsay