In the countless conversations I have had with my current as well as prospective clients, I often reference a quote that, at its core, is about change. Change, for the most part, is always available to an individual. Whether that person (student) wants to change is an entirely up to them and it’s when and only when they finally decide that opportunity (teacher) has always been there. It’s no surprise then when I hear people making excuses for not doing something because it’s obvious that they aren’t ready to commit to their change. Excuses are far easier emotionally and mentally to live with and tend to prevail over actually doing whatever work is necessary to make a change. It’s only when the individual is wholeheartedly ready and able to commit that success will be there waiting for them.
My mom is 76 years old. Since I can remember, she has struggled with her weight and as of the last few years, her health has suffered to some degree as well. For the last couple of years her habits showed no sign of a willingness to change, albeit, in her heart she wanted to. She rationalized to herself and others about her issues and was not entirely ready to seize the opportunity that awaited her…until recently. A doctor metaphorically “slapped her in the face” and got her attention in a very powerful way. It was at that moment that she became the student and the teacher – who was always there – appeared to her in the most promising way. I won’t take the time to chronicle her journey over the last several months, but I will give you the end result of her commitment and tell you how proud I am of her for taking charge of her life and sticking with something that undoubtedly had to be one of THE hardest things to do in her entire life (other than putting up with my dad for all these years).
Yes, I have taken the Apple Pie to a new level and have added peanut butter and jelly to it.
This a crust-less Apple Pie made with all organic ingredients (except the spices) and zero artificial ingredients. I am not one to measure so I will provide approximations of amounts used. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
5 Organic Apples (Fuji or Gala are good for baking), peel, core and slice in half
1/4 cup of Organic, All Natural Creamy Peanut Butter
1/4 cup or Organic, All Natural Strawberry Jelly
2 Tbsp of Organic, All Natural Maple Syrup
1/4 cup of Organic Flour (I used white rice flour)
1 tbsp of Vanilla Extract
pinch of salt, apple pie spice, cinnamon, ginger
1 pad of Organic, Grass-Fed Butter to grease the pie dish and leave the pad in the dish
Mix all the ingredients thoroughly then put the mixture into the greased pie dish, cover with tin foil and bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. – Enjoy
Most folks who exercise do so with the hopes of looking and feeling better, knowing that by taking care of their bodies they will improve and extend their quality of life. In my opinion, caring for your health is THE number one priority, not how you look. Eating wholesome foods (read “In Defense of Food” by Michael Pollan), strengthening your muscles, heart and lungs and being functional are extremely important for a healthier, longer life. Aesthetics – how we look – is indeed a driving force for many and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, but it shouldn’t be your first priority. Don’t get me wrong, if it gets you to put down that doughnut and get to the gym, so be it, but I encourage my clients to prioritize their health first. Without good health, looking good isn’t going to help you much in the long run. Keep this in mind: If you focus on improving your health by eating foods that are beneficial to you, you exercise your muscles, heart and lungs and you stay active you are already pressing on all the right buttons that will yield you your end result of looking better.
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Maybe it’s my age or the amount of time I’ve invested in health and fitness (40 years now), but I’ve grown more and more dubious about the industry over the years. I see and read daily about outright dangerous applications of exercise and nutrition (and that’s not an opinion, it’s based on facts from people getting hurt from or during exercise or engaging in some cockamamie diet) and yet these folks still follow aimlessly like sheep to the slaughter.
I’m the first to admit that I don’t have all the answers or always know what’s “best”, but I can tell you what is inherently dangerous from my years of experience but even more so, by just using common sense. You don’t have to have too much experience to know that controlled exercise movements that protect the joints and soft tissue are less stressful (in a bad way) to the body than ballistic movements that yank and tug. You also don’t need much experience to know that drinking a cup of coffee with a stick of butter in it probably isn’t the best option for optimal health and yet, the sheep continue to follow.
One of my favorite books – one that I recommend often to people – is a book called the “True Believer” by Eric Hoffer. It’s about how people can become blindly caught up in mass movements and have absolutely no idea what or why they are tagging along other than everyone else is. If you want to follow along, then do so with caution but do yourself a favor and become educated, understand the risks and make sure they are worth the rewards.
If you’ve read any of my writings, you already know that I am a big fan of staying as active as possible to improve all aspects of health and fitness. Folks may enjoy walking, hiking, skating etc but personally, I really enjoy cycling. Because of my minor obsession, I have a couple different bikes that I use all for variety, to suit my mood or to achieve a different effect. Equal to my enjoyment of cycling is my loathing of stationary exercise. I’m not being critical of stationary training, not at all, it’s just not for me and therefore I need to find other ways to increase my heart rate, lung capacity, burn some calories, clear my head and well, just have some fun during the colder month’s.
Over the years when it’s really cold outside, I’ve used different applications such as yoga, jumping rope and circuit style strength training – all of which provided me great benefits, but this year I decided I’m gettin’ fat with Fat Tire Biking. This will definitely be somewhat of a challenge for me as I’m not a huge fan of the cold, but hey, growing up on the east coast for the last 54 years has toughened me up to the winter month’s so I plan on taking the fat tires out a couple times a week.
I’ll post updates now and again of how my experiment is going.