“Last night I had a glass of wine. Not so much to celebrate the new year but more to bury the last, there have been better years.” This is what I had to say on New Year’s Day. I am still mulling over my words.
As is my usual, I didn’t make a resolution. I am more likely to sit in a chair and assess last year rather then try to change the new one. Assess I did, and of all the good things that happened, and good things did happen, I made a conscious decision in October of 2013 to become physically fit.
I didn’t decide to become fit for any of the reasons we often put before ourselves. I could say I am doing it for my girls because they are going to need me but the reality of that statement is they won’t. It is more likely I am selfish. I want to be around to see them grow, become young women and watch as they chase their dreams. Again though, it is not about being around but more to the point, it is about quality of life issues. I don’t really believe exercise is going to make me live longer but my hope is I will live better.
If the early stages of my year and a half long journey are any indication of things to come I am certain the latter statement will ring true. While it hasn’t been easy, I have learned muscle pain is temporary, that you can push your body further then you think if you get your mind in the right space, you can leave lots of emotional baggage on the gym floor and no one cares (as long as you do it quietly), and of all the vices I have had I wish I discovered exercise earlier in my life. Nevertheless, I am in better condition then I have ever been. I am building muscle mass so my metabolism will go up, I am working on core strength to keep from becoming clumsy or falling, and I am running and cycling to get my heart rate up multiple times a week so that I have endurance and stamina.
It is all working. I am happier, I feel alive, I have so much more energy, and my “numbers” at the doctors office have gone from bad to great. The different medicines they wanted me to start taking I don’t need. Imagine that. They are having a hard time imagining that.
Interestingly, I didn’t really change my diet much. I eat for a living after all. Nevertheless, I have always thought I eat pretty well, not perfect, but well. But here is the deal, no matter what you eat without exercising you will never truly be healthy. Food is only about 30% percent of the equation. If you want to be healthy, in my opinion, you have to sweat and you have to get your heart rate up really high, at least for a short bit, so you are breathing so heavy you can’t talk. If you do this then your heart rate is up to the level of which I speak. As far as loosing weight, if you are healthy it’s simple math, calories in< calories out.
So this morning when I awoke, I did cardio and some yoga. It is my light exersise day. It feels good to exercise, really good.
What I like about this smoothie is the balance. It is a little high on carbs. Your carb intake depends on what your exercise program. The carbs can easily be adjusted by using half a banana and adding a touch more yogurt or almond milk. Obviously, you could leave out the probiotics but I like a variety of live cultures, and lots of them. So here it is, a very simple smoothie. Nothing fancy but I assure you even the kids will quaf it down.
Banana Blueberry Smoothie (makes 2 cups) I have and old Oesterizer blender. What I like about it, is a 16 ounce ball jar screws right into the blade base of the blender. If I use the ball jar as my glass, I know, I know I am so hip, I only dirty the glass when I make my smoothie.
4 ounces strawberry banana yogurt
1 medium banana
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
2 tablespoons fresh coconut water probiotics
1 heaping tablespoon of rice bran protein powder
1. Top all this with almond milk to bring it to 2 cups. Blend till smooth. Serve.
Approx. nutritional values. 260 cal, 5g fat, 53g carbs, 18g protein