Thursday, October 11, 2012

How to Juice.

So now I’ve been juicing for a couple weeks.
Here’s how it’s gone so far:
First, I’d like to say, that the juice I’m producing is delicious, and fun to drink just because.
I’ve come to crave it.
Second, it makes me feel good. I can feel a difference immediately after drinking eight or sixteen ounces of fresh juice. And it makes a difference throughout my day, and throughout my week.
So I like it.
Third, I’m happy to report that I’ve lost a solid ten pounds since I got my juicer.
Juicing is expensive. So I’ve learned to shop, and find vegetables at the store that are in season or less expensive. When zucchinis were cheaper, I bought lots of them. Same with cucumbers, and limes, and carrots, etc.
I’m educating myself. I’m reading more about the benefits of specifically juiced vegetables.
And, I’m spreading the word. Two neighbors have given me vegetables from their gardens because they heard I was juicing. One gave me a large sack of very nice squash, and another gave me a very large bag of the biggest cucumbers I’ve ever seen. So things have been good.
I always put a lime and about an inch and a half of ginger root in all my juices, and that’s great. I put an apple in most of them. And I like a pear in my juices. I’ve put grapes and kiwi in too, and I like that.
The base of the juice is carrots, celery, cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini, and things like that.
I add what greens I can, like lettuce, Kale, and spinach.
That’s it so far.

Friday, September 7, 2012

I’ve found it!

You’ve just got to see this movie: “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead”. 
This documentary has changed my life. I think I have found the answer to my diet problem. The story of how Joe the Juicer found such dramatic change in his life due to juicing, is nothing short of inspiring.
Yes, I’m talking about juicing.
So I did a little research, and I’m not sure I’m ready to spend 400 dollars, or 100 dollars, when I can spend 50 dollars.
I found the Hamilton Beach big mouth juicer. Thank heavens for youtube. I was able to see a lot of juicers compared side by side. The Hamilton Beach juicer compared exactly with the more expensive juicers. The only complaint people had was with the loud motor.
I ordered my online, and when it got here, I was in love! I juiced a juice immediately, and I loved it! I’m now making a juice a day, and I’ll tell you all about the things I learn and how it affects me.
Right now I’m juicing carrots, zucchini, limes, ginger, apples, pears, kael, spinach, celery, and all at the same time. It tastes great!
Updates coming! Stay tuned.


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Dumbbells are essential!

If there was only one piece of weight lifting equipment you could own, it would be dumbbells.
Even a single dumbbell provides dozens of potential exercises for your routine.
Dumbbells are not expensive, and you can even get high quality components second-hand. Dumbbells don’t take up a lot of storage space, and you can work out with dumbbells in a very limited amount of space.
A pair of dumbbells doesn’t take up much more room than a single dumbbell, and isn’t any harder to acquire.
Dumbbells are extra effective because they are less stable than a barbell, and require your muscles to stabilize the apparatus at the same time that the exercise is being executed.
I have three pairs of dumbbells that I love.
My light dumbbells are great for warming up and learning to exercises that I want to add to my routine.
My medium weight dumbbells are my work horses. I do most of my workout routine with my medium dumbbells. They are heavy enough to provide a challenge, but not too heavy to do multiple reps.
My heavy dumbbells are a great challenge for exercises when I really want to push myself.
My favorite exercise of all is the dumbbell fly. I use my light dumbbells to do a variety of flat bench and inclined bench curls and flys and presses. I use my heavy dumbbells to do flys that I do lying on the floor.
If you haven’t committed to a weight lifting program yet, go get some dumbbells.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

I give up!

People who take up new exercises always seem to give up eventually anyway. Why can’t I give up?
I’ve always hated running anyway. I’ve always been the worst runner you’ve ever seen. Even as a kid playing little league sports, I was the last little shuffler around the track when we ran laps.
But I’m not giving up on running. I’m giving up my excuses to NOT run.
I wasn’t running at all when I first started working out. After working out for a few weeks, I realized that working out with weights left me feeling constricted.  Sometimes I would get charly horse cramps in the middle of the night after working out. It was suggested to me that I should stretch out after my workouts.  But I instinctively knew the answer to this problem.  I had to face my old nemesis, running.  And I was right! Running after working out with weights felt absolutely fantastic.
A lot of my running is really walking. But I push myself to run as much as I can. I go twice around the mile track at our local park. I go as soon as I’m done with my weight routine.
As much as I don’t like running, whenever I did run I could always feel immediately that running was a great thing to do and has important results.
I’m also giving up on obsessing about doing the exercises correctly. Zig Ziglar used to say that anything worth doing was worth doing POORLY, until you can learn to do it well. Well, I’m going to do my exercises poorly, but consistently until I learn to do them well.
So if I’m letting my body sway too much, or bending my elbows too much or doing the reps too fast, that’s okay. I’ll work on it, and soon I’ll be performing these exercises correctly.  The trick is to keep trying, and to keep increasing the amount of weight I’m lifting.
If I’m going to give up on trying to do my exercises perfectly, I’m going to have to give up on avoiding information, because although I want some lea way in learning to do my exercises correctly, I also don’t want to hurt myself. I need to know when my poor form is dangerous to my body. 
Maybe the next thing I need to give up is my diet. I have horrible eating habits. I need to give up. I need to give up second helpings, and large pieces of birthday cake, and most of all I need to give up cola drinks.

Friday, May 18, 2012


Chocolate dream pie is a setback.
Dinner at Chuck A Rama for a family birthday after lunch at McDonald’s is a setback.
Colds and other sicknesses are setbacks.
Vacations are setbacks.
Setbacks keep us from exercising. Yes, there are a million reasons NOT to work out. Some would say, and even I would say, that you just need to stop making excuses and get the work done.
But still, things frequently happen that cause us to fall behind on our workout schedule or eating habits. (I hate to say diet)
Some people will tell you that if you fall out of the habit of working out, you’ll never go back.
That’s true if working out is a punishment.  But if working out is a pleasure and a reward, then you’ll be glad to be back at it when your setback is out of the way.
What do you do about setbacks? Determine to get back to your workout as soon as possible? That’s fine.
It’s important to develop exercise or other activity habits that are life changing. Exercise and physical activity should be rewarding. It’s that reward that will keep you coming back, and keep you active.
Setbacks are going to happen. You’ll go on vacation, you’ll get sick, you’ll over indulge when eating the things you love.
How do you go about regaining your workout? Will you need to lift lighter weights for a time, or do fewer reps? Maybe.
But learn to think of yourself first as a runner, or a weight lifter, or a biker, or whatever it is that you’re doing. It’s not something that can be given up. It’s what you do, it’s who you are.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Curls are for girls

Here’s another blog about the opposition I’ve faced.
I just can’t help talking about my weight lifting. It’s something that I’m very passionate about. But talking about weight lifting with the wrong people can bring the strangest reactions.
Recently while discussing weight loss and fitness with a group of young guys, my weight lifting routine came up. Like dogs who had spotted a cat from the front room window, they started to snarl and pepper me with questions.
“What kind of weights to do you have?”
“How often and how long to you work out?”
“How much can you bench?”

So I began to detail my equipment and my workout to these guys. Bench presses, dumbbell flys, lat pull downs, etc. When I got to the part about my military bar, one of them shouted at me: “Curls are for girls!”
What the???
Curls are for girls?
These two guys shared a hearty laugh and a high five. Apparently I had been disproved and humiliated. But I was flabbergasted.
One of these guys was a former college level athlete, and the other had been in the marines.
So I asked them how they went about working their bicep muscles.
No good answers.
Then it hit me: Some guys have lots of opinions about fitness and weight lifting, but don’t know much about it.
Don't get me wrong, if you're a girl, by all means grab some dumbbells and do some curls. I'm just saying that men performing curls with any kind of apparatus is good exercise.
It’s true that it's foolish to lift weights targeting only one part of your body, like your just your biceps or just your abs. But proper weight lifting should exercise all muscles in your body. I just don’t buy the idea that someone would want a strong body, but not want strong biceps, because “Curls are for girls.”
Educate yourself about fitness and weightlifting. More education brings better results, and makes you less vulnerable to dummies with zingers like
“Curls are for girls.”

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Warm up! For heaven’s sake warm up!

Often when I’m talking about weight lifting, someone will tell me that they WERE lifting weights, but that they hurt themselves.
Highly dubious. I have my suspicions about the way these people work out. You might get hurt if you push yourself too hard, or attempt to lift too much weight, or especially if you are not warmed up properly when you start your work out.

I haven’t been hurt yet working out with weights, but I do admit that sometimes my elbow makes a funny clicking noise when I’m doing bench presses. I’ve found that if I’ve warmed up more vigorously, this doesn’t happen as much. But clicking elbow can only be a bad sign.

There are various ways to get your muscles warmed up and ready to lift weights,  and one of them is by lifting weights. But traditional warm ups should always be considered first.
Sometimes my warmup includes jumping jacks, jogging in place, and stretches. I do this enthusiastically for about five minutes. But even then, I do my start my work out with less challenging exercises and move up to more challenging exercises.

Sometimes my warmup involves weight lifting exercises performed with lighter weights. Again, I do quick, explosive reps with very light weights. I choose exercises with a maximum range of motion. These exercises include French curls, and pull overs.

All this being said, I sometimes wonder.  Are all these people telling me that they’ve hurt themselves working out with weights, really people who don’t want to lift weights in the first place and would rather wear a leotard and ride an elliptical machine?

If you’re going to lift weights, then shut up and lift them. Pick a safe starting point, and lift an appropriate amount of weight. Don’t try to impress someone, don’t try to be macho. Just lift a proper weight that will provide you with great exercise.