To sit, or not to sit…

I’m going to continue on with the topic of sedentary time (aka sitting all day).  There’s a lot of information out there (some of which I provided in the last post…so check that one out if you haven’t) about how sitting is bad for your health. The American College of Sports Medicine (of which I’m a practicing member) highlighted an observational study done by Dr. Joesph Henson that links increased sedentary time with increased levels of fat around the heart, liver and viscera (other organs).

But, it has also been well established (here’s one source) that prolonged standing (standing for more than 30 minutes) can also have negative health effects such as ankle swelling, lower back pain, leg cramps, and overall fatigue.

I know, I know… it’s all so confusing!

First, they tell us that standing is the new smoking… leading to premature death and a whole slew of health problems. Then others say, but wait standing has it’s problems too!

What’s a girl to do?

Here’s where one of my favorite cliches comes into play…

image1 (1)

Should we sit over 70% of our days… no! Should be stand the entire day… probably not! But somewhere in between should be our goal! Life is about balance. And from what I can glean from the research, I’d say that taking a short break once every 30 minutes or so is a good way to stay balanced.

How do you stay active at work? 

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Stand & Stay Healthy: My DIY Standing Desk

Yesterday NPR released THIS ARTICLE about how sitting at desks (aka sedentary lives) are “killing us,” and how moving can stop the death march.

While I think it’s a little overly dramatic, research has proven that the average American lifestyle includes about 15 hours work of sedentary time (including sleeping). On the bright side, research has also found that taking small breaks from sitting (no matter how long the break) is associated with lower waist circumference (how round you are), triglycerides (how much fat is in your blood stream) and and blood glucose (how much sugar is in your blood stream) levels.

However, as the NPR article points out…no one is really shouting from the mountain tops how long breaks should be or what the best practices are for getting in more active time.

The not-so-popular truth is we as individuals need to start taking responsibility for our health and realizing that it took a long time to build our bad habits… so it may take awhile and some serious effort to break them.

Weight loss and health doesn’t come from 1 hour at the gym after a 1 hour commute (where we sit), a desk job (where we sit), and another 1 hour commute home (while we, yes, sit). It takes some creativity! Some ingenuity! And, gasp… some forethought!

So, not that it’s any sort of a best practice, but here is how I keep active.

1.) I built myself a standing desk. I literally googled DIY Standing Desk… It cost $22 🙂

Standing Desk

It’s not an fancy-schmancy automatic one, so it takes a little effort to set it up. But, I usually set it up after lunch and stand for the rest of my afternoon.

2.) I park my car about 10 minutes away from the door to my office… on purpose.

3.) I drink a lot of water. It’s a win-win situation… I’m properly hydrated AND the bathroom is about a 2 minute walk out of my office.

4.) I schedule my exercise, I make it social, and I do things that I enjoy! My calendar lis filled with appointments for after work run clubs, biking meet ups, and occasional lunch breaks where I leave the office to go swim some laps. I enjoy meeting up with people to play volleyball, go hiking, or go explore a new part of town. I decided a long time ago that if I didn’t choose activities that I enjoyed doing, I’d never do them. 

5.) I hang out with other active people. Now, I realize you can’t just easily change your friend group and you definitely can’t change your family. But, research also suggests that the old phrase, birds of a feather flock together, is very true. Want to be more active? Find people who want that for themselves too!

6.) I stand whenever possible. Out with friends at a bar?… No stool for me thanks. Riding the subway or bus? You can have this seat Ms. Parks. Bout to board a plane? I’m the last person on and I circle the terminal during layovers.

7.) I protect my sleep! How does that help being active you ask? Well, if you’re not getting adequate or restful sleep, you’re not going to want to be active the next day! I spray my sheets with relaxing lavender linen spray and/or I diffuse some relaxing scents in my bedroom before bed.

I LOVE SLEEP! 

Linen Spray

What do you do to stay active?

Is it March already!?

I can’t believe we are already almost a week into March! And that I haven’t posted my final FebruHABITS update! I did pretty good… only missed two days!

Like all my stickers? (I promise I’m really not a nerd)

Finished FebruHABITS

But I think I developed a serious drinking problem… I’ve become a camel! 1 gallon of water everyday sometimes isn’t even enough! I try to stick to just 1 gallon though so that I don’t desalinate my insides too much (and I’ve started craving salt, so I think I’m in the danger zone).

So, how did things wrap up for you guys?! Is there anyone out there who made it through the whole month?  

My reward to myself was…

DISNEY!

Disney!

My cousins and I had a little reunion in Florida for one cousin’s birthday, and we scored some free passes to Disney! (We are going to see Harry Potter later today!!!! again… I promise I’m not a nerd…okay maybe just a little bit)

I’ve eaten so many delicious things it’s not even funny, but I AM starting a new challenge hosted by Powercakes and a few others. It’s called #PowerlBowlADay and you can sign up through this awesome app called ChallengeLoop (you don’t have to download the app tho)! If you’re wondering what a powerbowl is check out the Challenge description… Powercakes describes it all!

Here’s one of my powerbowls from vaca… Powerbowl1

Steamed broc, a can of sodium-free diced tomatoes with chiles, spinach, and some nooch/yogurt sauce. I ate it with some corn chips…um…YUM! I LOVE vegetables…especially broccoli!

Do you have a fave veggie? Or, a favorite meatless dish that could be turned into a powerbowl? I need more ideas! 

 

Fat Tuesday means Lent(ils)

Fat Tuesday and Valentine’s Day in one week!? This could be bad folks, really bad! But, I have my game face on and I’m still going strong with my FebruHABITS!

  • Gallon of water a day, check!
  • Lots of veggies every day, check!
  • Reading Proverbs and Great Expectations, double check (I’m almost half-way through GE!).

And I’ve already spent some unexpected coffee, breakfasts, chat time with three wonderful friends this month, so check, check, checkedy-check on being intentionally social! But today I couldn’t say no to this little “love bug” cakepop… too cute! So fudgey, so worth it!

lovebug

How’s it going for you? Still on track with those habits? Be sure to comment below so we can be in it together! 

Onto the Fat…

So, Fat Tuesday is today…the day before the season of Lent starts. I grew up Roman Catholic, and I remember each year in school (Catholic school that is) picking things to give up during Lent. For some reason it was usually sweets or other guilty pleasure foods ice cream, pop (soda for some of you, coke for others), candy of whatever sort… I gave even gave up AIM once (remember when AOL was popular?) 

Going 40 days without something should make you crave it all the more, right?

But, giving something tangible up for Lent always seems to lead to a lessened desire for it after Lent is over (at least for me)! Which is sort of the premise for FebruHABITS…replacing old habits with new ones (essentially giving something up to make your life better)!  In the same way, the goal of Lent (I learned years later) isn’t merely to just give something up, but rather to fill the time you’d spend on AIM or take the money you would’ve spent on pop, ice cream, etc and use it for God’s glory. Just some food for thought 🙂

And the Lentils…

So, it being the start of Lent tomorrow and today’s letter in the #plantpower challenge being “L” I naturally thought of Lentils!!!

I found this amazing recipe for Vegan Lentil Stuffed Cabbage, and was planning on taking a friend who’s a new mom dinner, so I made a few changes (no brown rice, no raisins, and I added some chili flakes to the lentils to give it a little kick). I made some Cauliflower mash with two parsnips added in for an extra pepperiness and…

BOOM! Pure Vegetable Deliciousness!

vegan cabbage rolls

FYI…I’m not a vegan, but vegetables are so delicious! Do you have favorite veggie-fied recipe? 

Thankful Thursday!

Happy Thursday!!!

I’ve been thinking about how many things I have to be thankful for in my life, and I love alliteration, so it’s Thankful Thursday! This morning I woke up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 6:30am (and I’m NOT a morning person)…no alarm…just woke up! And, I’m so thankful that I had the extra time to do some devotional readings, catch up on the news, go to the post office, and have a quick chat with a dear friend…all before work! God is certainly good to me in more ways than I can even realize!

Waking up early also gave me time to think about how I could celebrate that today’s #powerplant letter is G! So…

G is for…

G is for..

Gift giving… I love sending packages to friends 🙂

Green goodness in a glass… this morning I made my smoothie with 1C kale, 1 pear, 1C almond milk, some aloe vera juice, a scoop of chlorella, a few ice cubes and some stevia… It was delicious!

Green goodness on a plate… my co-worker made us lunch! Salmon filets on a bed of spinach! So, I added my home-made rainbow salsa and chowed down #plantpower style.

Getting to get away! I’ll be headed to the Sunshine state in 20 days!!! Just another reason why FebruHABITS are so helpful this month… summer is just around the corner!

What are you thankful about this Thursday!?

Are you looking forward to anything at the end of the month?