Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Be Sensible About Your Sensitivity

I've been blogging now for 4 years (Happy Anniversary to me!) and I suppose it's time to clear something up. I'm not really Anal Retentive. Yes, I've been called A.R. a million times, but what I really am is a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP). According to Elaine Aron, author of The Highly Sensitive Person, 1 out of 5 of us is Highly Sensitive.

I was always pegged as a shy girl (it really depends on the situation), I still have memories of hating New York City because of the crowds, and I have a magical reaction when listening to music. But I never knew what was going on, just that I seemed to be different than others.

Many years ago, my Mom totally called it. She even bought me the book by Elaine Aron. But how did I react? I missed the point entirely and was instead offended that she would suggest such a thing. Even though Aron talks about being a HSP in a positive way, the world had already taught me that being sensitive was a bad thing.

Fast forward a few years to another book: Human Dynamics by Sandra Seagal & David Horne. After reading through the various personality types, I quickly found myself: Emotional-Subjective. To paraphrase: master of interpersonal communication, highly intuitive, often overwhelmed by too much stimuli.

I cried when I read the description. There on the page, I read explanations for things I could never understand. There wasn't anything wrong with me! I wasn't broken. It was just my personality type. And thus began my process of understanding and embracing my personality traits.

So now I try my best to amplify the positives and reduce the negatives.

For example:

I am highly sensitive to caffeine: So I normally avoid it. However, in the days before my menstrual cycle, when my body needs extra energy, I use it to help my body along.

I am highly sensitive to images in TV/movies:
I avoid violence on screen and instead get a daily dose of anything that makes me laugh. Preferably out loud.

I am highly sensitive to stress and endorphins:
I have added monthly massages and almost daily exercise to my life because it reduces the stress and releases those feel good endorphins.

Embracing my true self has made all the difference in the world for me.

If you think that you or a loved one are a HSP, I highly suggest you
take the self test, grab her book, or just peruse her web-site.

The Human Dynamics book is worth its weight in gold and I will forever be grateful to the person who brought it into my life.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Fill Your Arsenal

My current exercise program consists of:

2-3 sessions of weight training (30-60 minutes depending on # of reps)
4 sessions of cardio (30-60 minutes depending on intensity)
Stretching after every workout.

My weight training workouts come from the 12 programs I have complied in a notebook. They are usually from fitness magazines or based off of exercise DVDs. (I tired of the trainer, but not the moves.) I cycle through these every 6 weeks. There are only so many weight training moves, so most of the workouts just use different "props" (medicine ball, body weight, resistance bands, etc.) but that helps stave off boredom. And I am ever mindful of adding more weight or more reps so that I continue to challenge myself and build muscle and endurance.

For the cardio, I have now collected 4 Beachbody fitness programs.

While I did buy the TurboFire DVD set and the Turbo Jam Cardio Party 2 DVD, the rest came from friends who were inspired by the infomercials, ordered the set, but then never used it because they felt it was too difficult or that they didn't have enough space in their house.

So when it's a cardio day, I pick one of the DVDs from my arsenal. I've been cycling through the Turbo Jam, TurboFire, and Insanity sets, since P90X has a limited amount of cardio. (And Tony Horton drives me insane.)

No, I'm not doing the exercise programs as "prescribed," but I'm not looking for a program for 60-90 days, I'm looking for a program for life. This keeps the routines varied, keeps me from getting bored, and keeps me moving!

If you have multiple Beachbody DVD sets and want to follow a more structured approach, there are various hybrid programs, e.g. the P90X/Insanity Hybrid that you can find for free here.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Squeeze In Your Omega-3s

I finally decided to start taking fish oil supplements. But I'm not a huge fan of fish and after a recent episode where I threw up my POM Wonderful smoothie because the Flax seed oil I added to it had gone bad, I wasn't really looking forward to taking more oil.

Which brings me to Coromega Omega3 Squeeze (orange flavored).

I learned about it from the Women's Health Magazine supplement that comes with your magazine order. The reviews on Amazon were outstanding, so I located some at my nearby Walgreen's and squeezed away.

I've taken it now for 3 weeks.

Flavor: It does taste somewhat like a creamsicle, but the citric acid has a bit of a kick to it. Doesn't taste like fish at all, no fish burbs at all.

Mood/Body changes: Nothing yet. But I think I need to have it in my system for more than 30 days before anything really happens.

Would I buy again?: Of course! If I don't feel any changes after 3 months I may re-evaluate, but I actually look forward to eating this fish oil!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Make Your Smoothies Wonderful

I have been a fan of POM Wonderful ever since it came out years ago. Pomegranate juice is wonderful for you for all sorts of reasons. Although the juice is available all year round, I like to buy it in the fall. It's a nice change from all the apples and pears I'm eating and it's often on sale. I continue to buy POM Wonderful because they don't use fillers (apple juice, white grape juice, etc.) just Pomegranate juice (and the other juice mentioned on the bottle).

That being said, it can be a hard juice to drink. It's quite tart. I used to make Pom spritzers, (some juice + sparkling water) and this year I'm making smoothies.

POM Wonderful Smoothie
  • 4 oz. (1/2 cup) POM Wonderful (I prefer the 100% Pom or Pom/Cranberry)
  • 140 g. (1 cup) Frozen berries/cherries (I prefer Trader Joe's Very Cherry mix)
  • 113 g. (1/2 cup) 1% Plain yogurt
  • Splash of water
  • Tbsp of ground Cinnamon
Throw it all in the blender, blend and enjoy!

Makes one serving:
Calories ~ 235, Carbohydrates- 50