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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Oh-so-easy ways to drink enough water this summer

Creative Ways to Stay Hydrated

The importance of staying hydrated is well-documented: About 60 percent of the human body is composed of water, and every major system depends on water to function properly. Water helps control your body temperature, helps blood circulate and aids in digestion.
We all know that it's important to drink plenty of water, but sometimes it's hard to work enough into your daily routine. Here are some ideas to help you stay hydrated.

Count liquids other than water
As a general rule of thumb, health experts recommend that you follow the eight-by-eight rule: Drink at least 8 ounces of fluid eight times a day. Good old-fashioned water is your best bet, but according to the Mayo Clinic, you can count other liquids — milk, juice, tea, coffee and even soda — toward your daily totals. What doesn't count is alcohol. If you do drink alcohol, drink a glass of water for each alcoholic beverage you consume to replenish fluids.

Infuse your water with pizzazz
If the taste of plain water turns you off, consider drinking infused water. You can have a lot of fun experimenting with different flavor combinations. The Huffington Post rounded up some great ideas in July 2012 — everything from "creamsicle" water (orange slices and vanilla bean) to cucumber-lemongrass.

Choose water-rich snacks
Especially when it's hot outside, it's a good idea to eat fruits that contain lots of water. According to, the top contender is watermelon, as it's 90 percent water. Other hydrating fruit choices include melons (such as cantaloupe and honeydew), oranges and grapefruit.

Veggies generally don't contain as much water as fruit, but there are still some hydrating options, such as celery and cucumbers. Soup and smoothies also help you stay hydrated.

Track your water intake in a fun way
When it comes to tracking your water intake, there is — of course — an app for that. Multiple apps, in fact. For instance, Waterlogged is a free app for Android and Apple devices that allows users to track their liquid intake using photographs of their glasses. The premium version offers reminders and graphs of water intake.

For the less technologically minded, try this idea: Choose a small, healthy treat, such as grapes. Count out eight grapes at the beginning of the day. Each time you drink 8 ounces of liquid, eat a grape. When you finish the grapes, you'll know that you've reached your intake goals for the day.

Wear a hydration pack during exercise
No matter what time of year it is, you need to take extra steps to stay hydrated while exercising. recommends drinking at least 16 ounces of water one hour prior to exercise, at least 4 to 8 ounces every 15 minutes while exercising, and an additional 16 ounces within an hour after completing exercise.

To help you attain these levels, consider wearing a hydration pack while hiking or cycling. This is the ultimate in "hands-free" hydration. A pack eliminates the cumbersome juggling of water bottles.
To determine if you are staying hydrated, monitor your thirst level and the color of your urine. If you are rarely thirsty, and your urine is colorless or light yellow, then you are doing a good job of taking in enough liquid.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Manning's Musings: Travel Stress: Fight it with Yoga

Manning's Musings: Travel Stress: Fight it with Yoga: People who know me know that I utilize yoga in order to get rid of my stress and anxiety. This stress and anxiety can be ...

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Sometimes it's just one foot in front of the other....

I can't believe I've gotten myself into this situation! I'm half proud of myself and half completely freaked out, thinking to myself, "are you out of your mind?!?

Tomorrow I will be driving a 31 foot RV with my four children to South Dakota and back again over 12 days. The kids are beyond excited. I am just trying not to think about how huge this vehicle is!

But this trip is making good on a promise. Andy and I talked about taking an RV around the country and finally the kids and I are gonna do it. (of course if I had realized that you have to be 25 to drive a rental RV, I might not have promised anything!) :/ So I am the solo driver and I'm trying not to think about it.

I am focusing on the precious time I will have with my children. This time I will never have again. After this initial craziness of preparing and packing and planning our route, we will get in the RV tomorrow and just breathe deeply. (well, I will. I think the kids will hyperventilate for a while.)

What is it that my soul longs for time out? Time away from the hustle and bustle of life and a chance to connect with those I love? Life is precious. After this year, my son will graduate, get a job and be off to college. Our lives will be changed. Again. We are too aware of our fragile natures. So I am drinking in every moment of this trip. I wonder what sights we'll see? What will each of us remember most?

I am looking forward to connecting with each of my kids away from the demands of school and friends. I get them all to myself!!

I imagine God feels that way with me sometimes (or often). He looks forward to me coming to him unencumbered by the concerns of life, just spending time with him, relaxed and with no agenda.

Into the stuff of memories we go!!

Friday, May 3, 2013

I am blessed to be a part of a community that encourages each other to be healthy and fit.

It's been three years since I pushed play on that first P90X disc. I didn't know then that I would lose my husband to suicide, I didn't know that I would become a health and wellness coach and I certainly didn't know that I would meet amazing people from all over the world who are living healthy and fulfilling lives.

I am learning the role that exercise and especially nutrition play in my physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. I have always taken my general health for granted, but I have also learned that sometimes, no matter how careful you are sometimes life just happens and I can get blindsided by an injury or illness that I didn't anticipate.
What happens when I get sick?

I'll tell you that I have a tendency to give into self pity and depression. But that's not the answer!

One of my amazing new friends, Melanie Bowen is passionate about helping people maintain their emotional and spiritual health even when their bodies seem to have betrayed them with Mesothelioma, an aggressive form of cancer caused from asbestos exposure. Please check out Melanie's article discussing Summer exercises for those undergoing treatment for cancer.

5 Summer exercises for cancer patients

It's so important to remember that our bodies are amazing creations and taking good care of them even when we're sick is important for our overall wellbeing.

Know that you are blessed!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

I've really lost it this time!

I'm excited and a little nervous all at the same time!  I've decided to go Vegan for a month!

What prompted this? Well, I've been eating msotly plant based since last spring when I completed the Beachbody Ultimate Reset.  I learned so much about protein sources and how I really don't need as much as I think and how to cook good foods that are plant based but still so filling.

I lost 8 pounds and really felt good and rested, etc.....

But, as life goes, I eventually started drinking coffee again (which isn't any good without milk and sugar, right?)  and my meals got all out of whack.  I gained all the weight back and a couple of extra pounds and generally felt unhealthy and unhappy with my weight, body, etc.

I tried to do the Reset again, but I just couldn't get my brain around it and so I failed. 

Welcome 2013!  A new chance a new year with all those blank pages I have yet to write on.  What will my story be?  I've got some plans, oh yes!

So I started out by doing the Ultimate Reset once again.  This time with an accountability group and I really dove into it and have finished now, again 8 pounds lighter, but more than that, I feel more committed to my health and lifestyle than before. 
So, I see this link for an article that my cousin is quoted in (she's a Vegan) and in that article is this link for the 30 day Vegan challenge.

I signed up!  I know there will be some challenges.  Mostly, just like for the past 21 days, I've been eating foods different than my children.  I do love meat sometimes and It was hard like when I made this really yummy roast for the kids and I couldn't have any:(  But we'll see how this next month goes.  Since I basically started yesterday, I will be done just as February finishes. 

I also REALLY love eggwhite veggies omelettes.  I have to find a satisfactory sub for those.  Otherwise I have no idea what I'll eat when I go out with my friends for breakfast or lunch!

Not to mention feeding the children.  I can only hope that they will be willing to eat more plant based foods by the end of this.  We are the typical American household with meat as the main part of every meals instead of focusing more on fruits and veggies.  My fault I know. 

I'll keep you posted!

Friday, October 19, 2012

a little reminder

So last night Morgan had a sudden asthma attack while at Discipleship group. 

I had just gotten home from dropping her off and she texts me.  "Can you find my inhaler?????" 
Of course I couldn't find it, but I found one that had been prescribed for Hale. 
I drove it over there grateful that I had also learned that in a pinch, steam will help a bit to buy some time before actual medicine is administered.  I ran the gamut of emotions that go with a child potentially suffocating,  gave her the inhaler and came home and took care of all the last minute before bed stuff. 

This morning she complained of her chest hurting so I let her stay home from school.  (I know, I'm so nice:)

While she slept in I got everyone else on their respective buses and went down to the basement to get my workout in.  Now, let me stop and mention the workout program I am currently doing is TurboFire and it's a doozy!  The amount I sweat rivals Insanity, and that's saying something! 

Anyway, since workout time is "me" time, I do my best thinking and solving the world's problems while I punch and kick.  At the very end of the 45 minutes when I really have no more to give,  Chalene Johnson, the trainer says,
"be grateful that you can exercise this hard". 
I thought, YES!  So true!  Because upstairs, at that very moment, my beloved daughter is wheezing and having chest pain with every breath.

THANK YOU GOD for my breath. 
THANK YOU GOD for modern medicine. 
THANK YOU GOD for second chances. 
THANK YOU GOD for health.

THANK YOU GOD for this gift of a day with my sweet girl.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Driving the other night, Seamus said to me, as he looked at the huge full moon on the horizon, “Mom, do you know that the moon and all the stars and sky around it seem like paper to me?”  “Why is that?” I asked.  “Because it doesn’t look like it can be real.” He explained.  Wow.  This is profoundly true for all of us.   Sometimes God feels so far away, he might as well be a picture on a page. 

Advent is a time of waiting, of lighting, one by one, candles that represent the light of the world that came into our darkness.   The days and weeks before Jesus’ actual birth were a dark time in history, sinful and scary and anxious.  We must remember this is exactly WHY Jesus was coming!      For us, who KNOW the story already, there is the light of HOPE at the end.   Not the END, but the very BEGINNING!

So it is on this HOPE that I focus.  I keep my eyes on the light, no matter how far away it seems sometimes.  The new star that appeared that night and has never left us in all these thousands of years.  The Star of Bethlehem, the beginning of a new life and the fulfillment of a promise God made to us so long before.

The knowledge of God’s love for us keeps us as we go through all the usual activities of our lives;  Grif as a sophomore in Cross Country, Robotics and he’s driving!  Morgan is in 8th grade, is in the Social Studies  and Sign Language  Clubs, is co-VP in Student Council and is obsessed with Harry Potter.  Hale plays the cello when he’s not reading mysteries, playing Lego Universe or collecting owls, and Seamus sports the mis-matched smile of a 2nd grader where he reads voraciously and makes Lego creations he leaves all over the houseJ.  I am grateful beyond measure for these children.  They are my top priority as I build my health & fitness business, working toward my personal training certificate in early 2012.. 

I urge you all, and myself, to reach out to the love of God as we read the Christmas story for the umpteenth time.  Touch its realness.  Fold it up and tuck it into your heart.  Then, no matter how things are, you will be able to look at this miracle of Christmas, this truth and KNOW that God loves you.     

Be filled with peace always.