Go Vegetarian!

Are you starting to cut meat out of your diet? Lots of people I know are now exploring a plant-based diet. For Baby Boomers and older adults, this is an important shift in lifestyle. A healthy vegetarian diet includes foods that are high in nutrient density, while minimizing processed foods, fats and animal products. These diets have been shown to be beneficial for:

• weight loss
• decreasing the risk of diabetes
• decreasing incidence and death from heart disease
• lowering blood pressure

And in areas of the world with the greatest concentration of centenarians, meat is consumed only about once a week.

Abstaining from meat, poultry and fish can be tricky and require a bit of creativity. A strict vegan diet contains no meat or dairy products; everything is plant-based. A lacto-ovo vegetarian avoids meats but includes dairy and egg products; this is a great place to start when beginning to think plant-based.

So here are some ideas to get you started–10 protein snacks for lacto-ovo vegetarians (approximately 10 grams of protein per serving):

Eggs are a great protein snack for lacto-ovo vegetarians.

1) 1 hard-boiled egg + 1 serving whole-grain crackers

2) 1/2 cup hummus + celery and carrot sticks

3) 1/2 low-fat cottage cheese + 1 sliced banana

4) 2 Tb. peanut butter + 1 whole-grain English muffin

5) 1 stick of string cheese + 1 handful of grapes

6) 1/2 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt + 1 sliced apple with cinnamon

7) 1 smoothie (1 scoop protein powder + 8 oz water + 1 cup spinach + 1 ripe banana + 1/4 cup blueberries + ice)

8) 2 Tb. almond butter + 1 slice whole-wheat toast

9) 1 oz. almonds + 1 Tb. raisins

10) cheese quesadilla (1 whole-grain small tortilla + 1 Tb. shredded cheese + salsa)

Don’t be afraid to experiment with a plant-based diet. Lots of ideas and recipes are available online. Start by replacing one meal (Meatless Mondays) and then expand from there!

For more ideas on healthy eating and lifestyles, give me a call!

We can discuss some practical tips and discover if any of my programs or classes are a good fit for you.
If you’d like to schedule that call with me, just CLICK THIS LINK, and let me know in the message that you would like a 1-on-1 call with me right away and I will be in touch to schedule that – oh, and leave me your phone number in there too since email is not as reliable as it used to be! Thanks.

Get Inspired!

I had the privilege this weekend to attend the Public Speakers Association conference in Las Vegas, and what an inspiration it was! Although the talks were designed to help speakers, much of the advice was spot on for Baby Boomers and older adults who want to take their wellness into their own hands.

Get inspired to continue working on fitness!

Become inspired; keep working on your fitness goals!

So sit back and enjoy these inspirational quotes, and pick out one or two to write down and read daily.

  • “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great!” Zig Ziglar (as quoted by a speaker)
  • “Don’t ask what the world needs, but what the world has that will make you come alive.” Drew Hunthausen, deaf and partially blind, motivational speaker with seven triathlons completed
  • “You can’t take anything with you, but you can leave a lot behind!” Doug Vermeeren, film maker, speaker, millionaire
  • “The only one who likes change is a wet baby.” Mark Twain, as quoted by Doug Vermeeren
  • “Success is finding what you love and doing it even when it’s hard.” Doug Vermeeren
  • “Comfort is a soft killer.” Keep challenging yourself with this quote from soprano Christine Powers
  • “Perfection is nothing but a hungry ghost. It doesn’t exist and it has a ravenous appetite. Don’t let it stop you.” Christine Powers
  • “Connection matters more than anything.” John Block, speaker, millionaire
  • “There are no limitations to the mind except those we acknowledge.” Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich, which was quoted often by speakers
  • “Life happens, so don’t let it get in your way.” Me, Lisa Harris!

To discover more ways to get inspired in your fitness journey, give me a call!

We can discuss some practical tips and discover if any of my programs or classes are a good fit for you.
If you’d like to schedule that call with me, just CLICK THIS LINK, and let me know in the message that you would like a 1-on-1 call with me right away and I will be in touch to schedule that – oh, and leave me your phone number in there too since email is not as reliable as it used to be! Thanks.

No More Excuses!

It’s getting hot in Southern California and I’m still trying to get my 10,000 steps in per day. If I don’t step out in the morning, I have to wait until after dinner due to the high temperatures. And if I’m not careful, I’ll find myself falling back on the same excuse the majority of Baby Boomers and older adults use for not exercising: I don’t have the time!*

You can continue burning calories long after you take off those shoes!

You can “make” time for exercise!

I say “excuse” because that’s just what it is. There are ways to make exercise happen, with planning and commitment. But unfortunately, less than half the adults gets the recommended 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per week, according the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Don’t let yourself fall into this group; your life depends on it! Here are six strategies to help you carve out precious minutes for physical activity:

1) Put it on your calendar.
You “calendar” your meetings, your manicures, your phone conferences, so why not give exercise the same consideration? Commit to a specific day and time, record the appointment in a spot you’ll see on a regular basis, and schedule reminders as needed. As a result, you’re much more likely to get to these activities.

2) Exercise with a buddy.
Plan to be active with a friend or family member. You’ll coax each other along, and neither of you will want to let the other down.

3) You don’t need a 30-minute block of time.
Good news! You can break your physical activity into 10- or 15-minute increments. So no more excuses—if you’re working, you have 10-minute breaks every day! Keep your tennies under your desk, and walk instead of sitting or eating. Then look for a few minutes in the morning or evening to eek out other mini-exercise breaks.

4) Understand that any movement is better than none.
If you can’t find time for the recommended 150 minutes per week, don’t stress. Even a few minutes of exercise each day is beneficial.

5) Remember that all movement counts.  Brisk walking, walking your dog, taking the stairs, gardening and housekeeping are categorized as physical activity, along with the more traditional types.

6) And finally, track your activity every 30 minutes during one weekday and one weekend day. Don’t make a big deal out of this—use whatever method works best for you (paper and pencil, your phone, or a computer). The idea is to locate “down time.” You’ll be surprised how often you watch TV, chat on the phone, or catch up on Facebook. These pockets of time are golden when you’re looking to get more movement in your day.

*I use the flashlight on my cell phone if I get out too late, but I do get out!

To discover other ways to find more time for exercise, give me a call!

We can discuss some practical tips and discover if any of my programs or classes are a good fit for you.
If you’d like to schedule that call with me, just CLICK THIS LINK, and let me know in the message that you would like a 1-on-1 call with me right away and I will be in touch to schedule that – oh, and leave me your phone number in there too since email is not as reliable as it used to be! Thanks.

 

Are You Ready to Take A Stand?

Are you letting a label limit your enjoyment in life?  As a Baby Boomer or older adult, does a chronic illness taint your vision of the future?  Are you letting other people’s opinions of your health status cloud your desires?  If you answered “yes,” it’s time to take a stand!

Don't let others' opinions of you limit your enjoyment in life!

Don’t let others’ opinions of you limit your enjoyment in life!

Buy Your Luxury Car

A dear client of mine, we’ll call her Abby, recounted an interesting event to me just last week.  It went something like this:  Abby’s car was totaled a few months ago (her caregiver was driving and nobody was injured).  My client, in her 80s with Parkinson’s disease, had owned the small SUV because everybody felt is was safer for her to drive.  So when Abby and her daughter went looking for a replacement car, they test-drove the same types.  However, my client was not happy with any of the models.  A week or so later, her granddaughter suggested they visit CarMax where Abby could take a spin in all kinds of vehicles.

As it turns out, what Abby really wanted was comfort, a car with nice lines and a large trunk in case she ever needed to use a wheel chair.  “I took a stand,” she told me, “and bought the car I wanted!”

She came home with a beautiful white, gently used Lincoln sedan–a car that fit the bill, while not bowing to others’ limited view of what was “right” for her.

Abby is now driving short distances in her new car, and she is very happy with her decision.

What’s Your Limiting Health Issue?

I’ll bet you have one.  For example, do you have arthritis and believe it’s too painful, difficult or counterproductive to exercise?  Are you trying to lose weight and so you’ve given up on the joy of dining out with friends altogether?  Are you tired of your adult children hovering around you because they’re afraid you’ll fall?  Or, as in my case, do you have an “incurable” disease, so why bothering pushing yourself?

You can’t let these labels and beliefs limit your enjoyment in life.  I didn’t.  Diagnosed with myasthenia gravis 20 years ago, I decided not to let this muscle-weakness autoimmune disease define my life.  After getting discouraged seeing the condition and attitude of other “victims” of the disease at a few support groups, I decided on the course of action I felt best (with my doctor’s advice and family’s support), and went on with my life after a major surgery.  I still take immunosuppressants, but I’m so healthy that my family forgets I have the disease.

Take Your Stand!

Throw off the shackles of your limiting beliefs–whatever they may be.  Go outside your comfort zone (in a cautious way, of course) and enjoy yourself!  Acknowledge the concerns others have for your health and safety–they love you and want the best for you.  But this is your story, so take control and savor life!

To discover other ways to improve your mental and physical fitness, give me a call!

We can discuss some practical tips and discover if any of my programs or classes are a good fit for you.
If you’d like to schedule that call with me, just CLICK THIS LINK, and let me know in the message that you would like a 1-on-1 call with me right away and I will be in touch to schedule that – oh, and leave me your phone number in there too since email is not as reliable as it used to be! Thanks.

Grandma’s Pumping Iron? You Bet!!!

Still not lifting weights? You need to be!

Over 50? Grab those weights and starting working out!

Over 50? Grab those weights and starting working out!

The good news is that many Baby Boomers and older adults are taking heed of this advice. According to the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association, the number of health club members over age 55 grew by 343% recently, while the number of members in the 35-54 age group increased by 180%.

But if you’re not one of these folks, or you’re just not convinced of the critical need for strength training, please read on.

3 Reasons to Pump Iron After Age 50
1) Muscle mass
As I’ve said many times, Mother Nature is NOT kind to us as we age. One of the main problems we encounter is a process called sarcopenia. Without weight training, we lose about 1/2 lb. of muscle (lean body mass) per year in our 30s and 40s. This amount doubles after age 50. So if you weigh the same in your 80s as you did at age 30, you have about 40 lb. less muscle mass. That means a 40 lb. increase in body fat, which is associated with many chronic diseases.

In addition, the loss of muscle mass means a loss of strength, and with that, decreased ability to carry on activities of daily life:
• taking stairs
• carrying groceries
• getting up from chair/car unassisted
• loss of balance
• playing with grandchildren

The quality of life goes way down, and the risk of falls goes way up.

2) Chronic diseases
Strength training helps curb the risk of many chronic diseases including:
• heart attack
• stroke
• osteoarthritis
• osteoporosis
• better blood sugar usage and insulin sensitivity, decreasing the risk of diabetes
• lower blood pressure in people with hypertension (high blood pressure)

3) Mental health
It may come as a surprise, but strength training is also valuable for your brain and emotional state. Here are a few of the documented benefits:
• Improved memory
• Improved executive control
• May lessen depression
• Much less chronic fatigue
• Improved quality of sleep
• Improved cognition
• Less anxiety
• Improved self-esteem/confidence

Ready to Thumb Your Nose at Mother Nature?
Here are some easy ways to get started with strength training.
• PIck up a set of light weights (2 lb. or 3 lb.) or cans (15 oz.) and simply carry them throughout the house several times per day.
• Perform push-ups against a wall or sturdy counter top.
• Stand from a chair or sofa without pushing with your arms. That is, just use your leg muscles to get up.

Looking for ways to start strength training? Give me a call!

We can discuss some practical tips and discover if any of my programs or classes are a good fit for you.
If you’d like to schedule that call with me, just CLICK THIS LINK, and let me know in the message that you would like a 1-on-1 call with me right away and I will be in touch to schedule that – oh, and leave me your phone number in there too since email is not as reliable as it used to be! Thanks.