A Week in the Life

Thursdaybargain shopping

Tomorrow is a Tiger’s spring training game day. Tiger’s vs Yankees, and I haven’t a thing to wear. A day of bargain shopping, my latest hobby, is in order. Bruce and I will venture to Wesley Chapel, an upscale community in the Tampa Bay area.  Rule #1 when bargain shopping is to find the most upscale place around and head to their second hand stores. This is where I have the best luck finding quality items.

After breakfast and a quick walk, we loaded the cooler with some cold waters and out the door we went. Time to get away from the park for a while. Sometimes I pack a lunch when we venture out for the day, but today we are throwing caution to the wind and eating out.

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usually I buy dollar store glasses

I was supposed to have an eye appointment, but due to an insurance glitch, I do not have coverage in FL, so we can begin shopping nice and early. I mentioned earlier in the week it is spring break here, and in other parts of the  south, and it’s chilly today. If they can’t go to the beach, they are gonna be out shopping. It will be busy, and I need to swing by the mall.

I need a new pair of running shoes and I can save about $30 a pair if I go to the outlet mall here in Tampa vs the overpriced running store at home. The mall is very close to the upscale resale shops I need to go to. It is also a very lovely mall, as malls go, and is set up in a nice tropical outside atmosphere.

 

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my collection of Asics gel nimbus’s. I still use them all! 

I do not enjoy mall shopping at all. Even in nice tropical locations! I know the exact place I need to go and exactly what I need. We park and head directly to the Asics store, a quick stop by the Crocs store, and we are out of there.

Off to lunch at McDonald’s. What? Did you not think we ate McDonalds? I love McDonalds. It is my junk food palace. We do approach it sensibly. Since one bad experience with a giant big mac meal and a huge chocolate shake which resulted in longish afternoon nap, we have cut back somewhat.

Here’s a frugal tip: At the bottom of your Mcdonald’s receipt is an offer to take a survey. If you take the survey, just a few minutes long, you get a code to get a BOGO quarter pounder or egg mcmuffin. We usually have a survey coupon, but not today, so we ordered sandwiches off the dollar menu, shared a large fry, and had a couple waters. $6 lunch. Refreshed, we head off to the Salvation Army and Goodwill stores.

Both of the resale stores are set up nicely in beautiful buildings. And they are competitive with one another, which keeps things very nice for the consumer. Plenty of staff on hand to help you out (I get better service here than most upscale regular stores). And it smells good. Some resale shops smell less than nice.

We start with the Salvation Army. We should have come on Wednesday, half-price day, but it’s Thursday. I am searching for an orange t-shirt, size medium. The SA store has everything organized by type and color, but not size. The only disadvantage it has over the Goodwill store is you really have to check closely for stains on the clothing here. I go through the t-shirts, grab an armful, none of the orange ones fit, but I find a nice pink one, what the heck. It’s $1.99. Dang, I could have got it for a buck yesterday. I bite the bullet and pay full price.

Off to the Goodwill. This store is huge, they have everything. The shirts are all displayed together, but according to size here. I scan through to find any shade of orange. There are so many clothes crammed onto the rack, it is tough to get to them. I grab a few orangy t-shirts and head back to try them on. I find one that fits great, and feels great. I do not know fashion, I do not know designer names, I do not care about that stuff, but I do know  the feel of a quality made item. and this shirt feels great. It also has one of those locking devices on it so I know it must be a designer tee. I sheepishly tell Bruce I must pay $7.99 for my orange t-shirt. The above pic shows how it all comes together, but the result takes many, many trips to the dressing room. I am shopped out.

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dinner is served

We return home and throw together a quick pot of chili. I have not made it on the stove top in many years. Usually make it in the crock-pot. It was really tasty, and took very little time to prepare with my sous chef helping out. A pan of cornbread, and we are good to go.

Following dinner and clean-up, it’s out the door. Our timing is such that our nightly walks coincide with the sunset, so off into the sunset we go…

See you tomorrow. Game day!

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A Week in the Life

Wild Wednesday

I got a bit of a late start today. My internal clock has not yet adjusted to the time change. I don’t usually set an alarm, I try to wake up naturally when it gets light. Once it’s light outside I can no longer sleep. But it is still early in the year and it’s dark until about 7:45 here and that seems a bit late to start my day. Especially with my long run scheduled for this morning.

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letters from the grandkids make us happy

I rushed a bit through my morning routine, before the day got away from me. It was one of those weird Florida mornings where the air is cool and the sun is hot. So in the shade it’s chilly, hot in the sun. What to wear? Winter running short and standard capris for today. Which turned out to be overkill along about mile 5 out of 6. All in all a nice, easy run.

I finished my run and came home to prepare my smoothie, and my neighbors were having big fun playing with some bubbles, and I got to watch them frolic and laugh while I did the dishes.

None of our neighbors are from Michigan. The bubble folks hail from Rhode Island and have really cool northeastern accents. They live in a nice class A rig and are currently building a house here in Florida. Their son is a county sheriff officer, and keeps us informed on what’s happening around the area.

On the other side of us are a retired military couple with a sweet, I mean sweet class A with all the bells and whistles. They, like us are full-timers although they still own a home in Louisiana, which they rent while they travel. Her elderly parents are located in the area, and they help look after them in the winter months.

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Behind us, in a big 5th wheel, is a younger couple from Indiana (by young I mean younger, 40ish) who work-travel, following the husband’s work which involves something with IT and airports. She works from home as a corporate head hunter and has designed a cozy little office in a corner of her bedroom. With a computer and good internet, she is set. They are here for a couple years, then…who knows where his work will take them.

Behind the military couple, and rounding out our little corner of the RV park is another 5th wheel which houses a couple of snowbirds from New York State. Like most of the snowbirds, they will be departing at then end of the month. Snowbird season is around Jan-March. Snowbirds are a segment of the retired RVers, who own their homes, but enjoy escaping the snow, cold, and general sloppiness of the winter season.

The type of RVing we do is called full-timing. A fulltimer’s RV is their home. And there are a few subsets of fulltimers. Some like the neighbors, are working FTers, some are retired folks like Bruce with a SAHW (stay at home wife) who needed to breathe some different air, and there are some people have had to downsize due to financial reasons, and this type of living is what they can afford at the moment.

There are also some FTers who live an off-the -grid lifestyle, dry -camping (meaning they are not hooked up to a water supply)  and utilizing solar panels for power. These folks can be found mainly in the southwest where they can set up camp on anywhere on some huge spaces of government land for a minimal fee.

Then there is the weekend warrior RV crowd. This used to be us. We loved it so much, we had often dreamt of making FTing our life, and now our dream is a reality. I am so happy on Sundays when I don’t have to pack up and go home.

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RVer’s are a pretty relaxed and happy crowd. And here in the back row we all get along. Once in awhile the permanents (people who live in park models year round-sunbirds) and the RVer’s get in a tif, but it is pretty unusual.

In our community the small rigs and permanents are mainly located at the front of the park. The big rigs are toward the back with the 50amp power. We have a mid-sized rig, the smallest , and probably oldest, on the block. But no one cares. That is the beauty of RVing. Doesn’t matter if you are in a tent, pop-up, travel trailer, 5th wheel, class A. There is no status mongering here. We all are after the same goal. A bit of that freedom our American heritage promises us.

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Oh Canada

We are an international park though, and many Canadians also reside here in the winter. Most are from Ontario, and I would venture a guess there are more Canadians here than Michiganders. Some speak French, some just have that cool Canadian accent, eh? And to put an end to the rumor that Canadians dislike their healthcare system. Untrue, every Canadian I have talked to likes and is happy with their healthcare system. I have heard no talk of long wait times, and not getting into doctors promptly. So either the Canadians are either much more healthy than Americans and don’t go to the doctor as much, or somebody is pulling your leg…

After breakfast, and my bubble watching, I got on a few household chores. Housework is done on a daily basis here. If you don’t keep on top of the organization of a tiny house you will have a mess. It doesn’t take long to get it all done, but I am currently procrastinating on cleaning my blinds which appear to be holding a lot of dust. There is just no good way to clean them properly except slat by slat. Oh monotonous work….

Then it’s lunchtime, a bit of salad, and a bike ride. We were going to take a nice gentleman from Canada to see the big alligator today, but he forgot he had previous plans with his wife.

We ventured on to see if we could find the smaller alligators in the pond, we did see one, but the babies are skittish and like to stay under the water so it is hard to get a good pic.

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Spanish moss adorns the live oak tree

We left the babies to their swimming, and rode the Old Fort King Trail over to Wilderness County park, and sat among the ancient oak trees while we took a break and drank some water. The oak trees here are magnificent. The perfect type of tree to climb. I have not yet climbed one, but I am tempted.

Following the ride, we returned home to prepare dinner. Thursday’s are weigh-in day, so fish will be on the menu for dinner. Always good to have a light meal the night before you step on the scale.

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grilled flounder marinated in lemon vinaigrette-delish

We are not militant or obsessive about checking the scale, but I am a believer in a once-per-week weigh in. It’s just easier to deal with a pound or two over 5 or 10. And make little adjustments over large-scale changes. Anymore, for me, it is a health, over a vanity issue. I have a range and as long as I am in the range I am happy. If not, I adjust. Simple as that…weight control is not complicated. It just needs attention.

After dinner, another one of those walks, (oh that blood sugar has got to be looking pretty!), some TV watching, reading, and lights out for me. See you tomorrow….

A Week in the Life…

Tuesday-Grocery Day

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Tuesday is usually grocery day for us. We shop mainly at Aldi’s both here in Florida and in Michigan. A few months back I asked the cashier what was the slowest day of the week was. She said Tuesday. Tuesday it is. I also found it slowest around 2-2:30pm, so that’s what we shoot for.

Afternoon shopping is good because I blew off both my run and creating the menu and grocery list yesterday while enjoying a lazy rainy day. And now I will have time to get caught up on my duties as head nutritionist around here before the trip to Plant City.

Get up, do some deep breathing (my take on meditation) sip some coffee, journal a bit, and watch the news with Bruce is usually how I start the day. Today was no different. After the morning routine, I dug out my running gear, downed some oj, and set out to get four miles in.

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this is the trail I run on

After a nice refreshing run, the air was very cool and dry for once, I returned to the rig to whip up my morning green smoothie. I will leave the recipe at the bottom of the page. It is a recipe I concocted to get a couple quick servings of produce in, some quality carbs, protein, and fiber. It tastes good too!

Menu and grocery list are next on the agenda. When you live frugally, but aim to eat as healthfully as possible, a menu is a must. I love tasty, well-prepared food. I have no tolerance for boring bland food. Not in my kitchen! So I try a new recipe at least once a week. I now also have time to prepare fresh food daily. My sous chef Bruce, and I do a lot of prep ahead so it doesn’t become drudgery. My food service years gave me great knife skills, and Bruce is learning also. Truthfully, even when I worked, I made time to prepare good food. It is a priority in our home wherever it may be located or parked.

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my latest creation, carnitas!

From the menu I create the grocery list. Approaching grocery shopping in an organized manner is good for both the waistline and the wallet. This saves disorganization in both the grocery store and at dinner time.

Remember, shop the perimeter, avoid the middle where all the processed “food” resides. And get real friendly with your knives and cutting boards, you will use them often if you intend to live to eat over eat to live.

After a quick salad for lunch, don’t forget the protein; can’t live off veggies alone, it’s out the door for the half-hour (if traffic is good, it’s all about the traffic here in FL) trek to Aldi’s.

Fortunately, for once, I do not need to go to Walmart. The majority of our food is purchased at Aldi’s, but there are a few items, mainly health and beauty and RV stuff that require a trip to Walmart. Walmarts here in the south are crazy. There is virtually NO competition for them. I don’t enjoy shopping there, but I do save money over the pricier stores. So it is usually in the grocery day plan. But not today!

Should you want an awesome upscale grocery store and you are in FL, visit Publix. Such a beautiful layout, top notch gourmet items and deli, great service. It’s the whole package. Unfortunately, the prices are a bit high for our budget, so we only shop there on occasion, but we always enjoy our experience.

After a couple hours of modern day hunting and gathering, we headed back home, and did not get stopped by one school bus. Score! It is spring break for the public schools here in Hillsborough And the surrounding counties.

By the time we completed the round trip, and prepped everything to fit in the fridge, it was time to get dinner on the grill. Just some simple pork chops, a sweet potato, and some peas. I like an easy dinner on grocery day.

After dinner and dishes, we laced up our sneakers for our evening walk. The weather was about to turn cool for a few days and the wind was very brisk, but it felt amazing.

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pom-tail

After the walk, I whipped us up a couple of mocktails with some Pom, sparkling water, and a squeeze of lime on the rocks. Yum!

Time to settle in for an evening of ABC sitcoms, and a bit of relaxation before bedtime.
See you tomorrow…

Power Green Smoothie:

Ready to blend

Finished product

  • 1 c almond, soy, or cashew milk
  • 1/2 c plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 big handfuls of spinach
  • Banana (freeze if you like it more milkshakey)
  • 1/2 c blueberries
  • 2 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1 tsp honey

Blend and enjoy! Three servings of produce to start the day. I enjoy a boiled egg with this, on the side not in it, and it bumps the protein to about 22g. Protein helps us feel full longer and also is the helps restore and repair the body. As I tell the grandkids, it makes you strong!

A Week in the Life…

 

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a rig, the woods, and Socrates

Hey there! I have been diligently researching and composing informative and helpful blog posts for the last 10 weeks or so. I think we all deserve a breather, don’t you?  What the heck, it’s nearly spring, maybe you can’t get away to the Sunshine State or other points of sun and warmth at this time. Ride along with me this week.

People seem to be interested in the somewhat bohemian lifestyle I lead these days. And many folks wonder what it is I do all day long while I am away from the, as we fondly call it, the Mitten. I enjoy my simple life here, but as you will see, it is not all rainbows and unicorns, as one might believe.

So, hey, hop on this cyber vehicle, and ride along with me for a week. Don’t forget the sunblock and running shoes. I will be posting daily this week. 

Monday: Or “Sheryle’s Very Long Day”

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the brightest part of the day

Oh man, you may have picked an off week to be here. The weather lady predicts a day of rain. This is good, Florida is now in a drought, not severe, but a drought nonetheless. But the rest of the week looks chilly. It’s been hot all winter, why now? Oh well…

The gloomy weather did nothing for my mood. Despite being retired (mostly), Mondays are still Mondays. The only time I liked Monday is when it was my scheduled day off way back in the day. Not only is it Monday today, it’s “spring ahead” Monday, the Monday after a full moon, and it’s gonna rain all day? WTH. I hope this rig doesn’t spring a leak.

On the plus side, it is also National Nap Day. I wonder if NND is intentionally planned with all the other Monday stuff going on. Who thinks up this stuff? I won’t be going for a run in this weather, and now I will have to fit it in later on in the week.  I ate breakfast and opted for a walk in the RV park since the rain had not yet started.

A dark cloud of a bad mood is hanging over me today. Since I am already in a rotten mood, I will commit to the nasty task of my month-end financial work. Bruce keeps track of our daily expenses, and I compile the monthly and yearlies. Yes, every penny spent. And I usually procrastinate this quite well. I don’t care for this task, but it was my idea. So I must. I dislike going back on my word more than I dislike math and tedious work.

We have been tracking money for a couple years now and find it a very helpful financial tool. I am not fond of throwing money away. I am also not fond of going back to work. I have learned to like my nearly retired lifestyle. So we live within our budget. It’s not hard once you get the hang of it. Like my grandma said, “It’s not about how much money you make, it’s about how good of a steward to your money you are that makes the difference.”

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Bruce taking care of business

I tried to get in the mood to write a witty blog post after lunch and my afternoon walk. It was lightly sprinkling, and if you have ever listened to rain on a RV rooftop, well, it is just about the most soothing sound ever. Why fight the feeling? In honor of National Nap Day, I did just that. And it was wonderful.

Lounged about, putzied around, made dinner. My mood lightened, the rain did not. Bruce and I try to walk, at least 10 minutes after every meal most days. We recently saw a morning show segment recommending this to control blood sugar after meals. He has a family history of diabetes, I like to walk, so we incorporated this into our lifestyle. We absolutely love our evening walks. And I am excited to see how his blood sugar numbers look on his next bloodwork. Yes, I am a wellness geek.

Pre-walking days we would finish our evening meal around 8ish and plop into those easy chairs, and veg. Nowadays, we make sure we have eaten, and cleaned the kitchen (dinner ain’t done til the dishes are!!!) by 7:15. Then out the door we go for around 30-40 minutes. Relaxing after a walk is a much better plan.

Tonight it was still raining, so we, meaning Bruce, ran out to the truck and found our umbrellas and my rain boots. I have not taken a walk in the rain since I was in New Mexico in 2014. I stomped through mud puddles with glee, as my granddaughter Sofia taught me, and Bruce worked to avoid them. Why did you not get your rain boots out of the truck Bruce? Stomping puddles is a hoot! Thanks for reminding me Sofia.

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dry feet for me

All in all, it was not a spectacular day. But it wasn’t horrible either. I got a bit of work done, a quality nap, 3 good meals, and 3 good walks. Neither the rig nor the truck sprung a leak (both have been known to do so)  Who could ask for more?

Oh my, now the power is out at 9:15pm. I take this as a sign the Universe would like me to get more rest. I do not wish to argue with the Universe. I never win….Goodnight, see you bright and early tomorrow.

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Functional Movement Pattern #1

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Coach Sheryle here. I am bringing you the first in an continuing series on functional movement patterns, designed to keep your body strong and healthy for whatever your life holds. Whether it be mowing the lawn, a sweet weekend hike, or chasing the kids or grandkids around, a functional body will make it more enjoyable.

If you have read my previous blog post, you are well versed in the evils of sitting for multiple hours during the day. If not, get back there and read it. Then apply these movements to your daily sitting routine to break up the sitting addiction we all seem to have acquired.

The whole thing takes about 3 minutes. I designed it with straight leg movements, so those of you with knee issues can participate as well. Ideally, you will practice this every 1/2 hour you are seated. If that doesn’t work try every hour.

Some is better than none when it comes to movement-Sheryle Sage

As always, with any movement, if this causes pain in your joint, stop immediately. If you feel some heat in the muscle, that’s good. It means there is a greater blood flow to the area. That is what we are trying to create.

This pattern is similar to one I use at the very beginning of my run warm ups. It is very gentle, based on controlled leg swings and, if I do say so myself, enjoyable.

Here’s the pattern, and below I will have pics of the movements:

  1. knee lift x 10 each leg
  2. leg swing front and back (using muscle control both forward and back) x 5
  3. rear leg 3 pulse x 5
  4. leg swing x 5
  5. rear leg 3 pulse (with toes turned slightly away from the body) x 5
  6. leg swing x 5
  7. lunge stance hip flexor stretch
  8. Switch sides and repeat the whole sequence

Basically we have an alternating knee life to start some blood flow to the area, swings to loosen the leg, pulses to provide more blood flow to the low back and glute area, via the squeezing action of the muscles, then finishing a lunge stretch to open up the hip flexor muscle which usually becomes overly tight from being held in a seated position.

My practice model, photographer, editor-in-chief, and partner in crime, and hubby, Bruce said it felt a bit intense doing one leg at a time. If this is the case, alternate legs back and forth through the movements. Shorten the reps to 3 and work into 5. It doesn’t matter the sequence, it matters that you move that behind!

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stance

Begin with a good stance. Military style posture. Hip over ankle/shoulder over hip/ear in line with the shoulder. Tummy sucked in a bit to provide muscle support for your low back area. Shoulders back and down. Chin slightly lifted. Don’t hold your breath. Don’t let your ego take over. Swing and pulse only within your natural range of motion. Take good care not to arch your back in the rear movements. The movement originates from the hip joint, not the back. Slow and controlled movements please. If balance is an issue, by all means hang on to a stable chair, post, or wall. We are not concerned with balance in this 3 minutes. It’s all about the blood flow.

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knee lift

1) Alternating knee lift. Kind of like a slow high march. Keep your back straight and core engaged. (10 x’s each leg)

 

 

 

 

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leg swings

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2) Leg swing forward and back. Same stance. With control lift the leg to the front, and with the same control, without arching your back, lift leg to the rear. Then do it 4 more times.

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3 pulse

3) Hold the leg in the rear position, pulse it 3 times, squeezing the glutes, engaging the core, and release. Repeat 4 more times

4) Swing the leg again. 5 times

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toe turned out

5) Repeat the pulses, but this time with your toe turned slightly away from your body (this engages the glute a bit deeper, if it feels like too much, use the original pulse)

 

 

 

6 & 7 ) Swing again 5 times, but the last one let your toe fall to the ground behind you, heel remains up, tuck your pelvis a bit, bend both knees, lowering just until you feel a light stretch in the front of your thigh (rear leg) where it meets your hip bone. Hold the stretch for around 10-15 seconds

That’s it folks. It may take you a couple minutes longer than 3 the first few times. Then it will begin to imprint not only in your brain, but your muscles too. Every muscle cell has a memory component contained in it. Soon it will become second nature to both your brain and body to perform these simple, yet effective movements.

In addition to the wonderful blood flow benefits (blood flow is very healing), you may also notice a toning and strengthening of the glutes and low back. Now that’s a great side effect!

I would like to thank my photographer, Bruce Sage, and the Hillsborough State Park (The Real Florida) in Thonotosassa  FL for hosting our shoot. Check it out if you are ever in the area. The park is simply amazing.

And, thank you readers 🙂

Stay well

Coach Sheryle

Take a Stand

Human Beings evolved as a walking entity exploring the world on our feet…The strangest thing in the world is that people spend all day scrunched in a chair. It’s a form of physical entrapment.-James Levine MD author of Move a Little Lose a Lot

 

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Just as the good doctor says, we spend much of our day trapped in a seated position. We sit and drink our coffee while we catch the morning news. We sit to and from work. Some of us sit many hours at work. We sit on a plane, at the movie theater, on our devices. Sit, sit, sit, sit.

That’s a lot of sitting and sitting is very hard on our framework. The skeleton, joints, muscles, organs are all affected. Our human bodies were not designed to sit for long periods of time.

Extended sitting leads to poor posture. And poor posture is tough, not only on your spine and back muscles, it scrunches all your internal organs so they do not get good blood flow, and work efficiently. Prolonged sitting places the entire weight of your torso on your butt and lower spine area, for most of us too long, and some of us nearly all day long.

All of the collective time we spend seated has the very strong potential to create some serious weak links in the body. Like a weak link in any type of machinery, if not properly addressed and fixed, it’s gonna blow.

You may or may not feel the weak link depending on where it is deteriorating. It may appear as a small nagging pain, or it may come on you suddenly when you are out for a run, raking the yard, bending over to feed the dog, or stepping off a curb.

In my research, I have found numerous problems chronic sitting disease can cause. Here’s a few:

  • back and spinal injuries
  • weight gain and slowing of the metabolism
  • chronic fatigue syndrome
  • repetitive use injuries
  • heart disease
  • diabetes
  • cancer
  • flattening of the gluteal muscles
  • sciatica
  • poor core strength and mobility

There is a solution…

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If we could incorporate a few specific movements daily to offset some of the negative effects of sitting throughout the course of the day, we can begin to ward off some or all of these effects. And potentially avoid a visit to the orthopedic surgeon (the car mechanics of the human body frame), physical therapist, or orthopedic fitness specialist. Or worse yet, the cardiologist.

Modern sedentary lifestyles do not support standing much less moving.  Most of us are no longer hunting and gathering for a career. According to a NY Times article, 80% of U.S. jobs are sedentary or require light movement at best. Add this to our leisure screen time (4.4 hrs on average) coupled with the quest to ever make life ever easier, our bodies are paying the price.

Our mind has evolved to perform seated work, our bodies have not. Until this happens in a few thousand years or so, we must bridge the gap with movement.

Unfortunately, and counter to common belief, a few hours a week spent in yoga, bootcamp, cycle, whatever class is not enough to keep these conditions caused by sitting at bay. There has been a new term coined for fitness folks who exercise regularly, but spend a good amount of time in the chair either due to work or leisure…

Active Couch Potato

My previous jobs, restaurant serving, preschool work, and fitness training were highly active jobs, and I never had to worry about prolonged sitting. And I am grateful for those jobs, and the fact they kept me upright. Sometimes I would not sit, other than to eat, from 8 in the morning til 8 at night.

Now I am semi-retired, travel the country with my honey, teach class occasionally, and write blog posts. I sit more than I ever have since, well, since I have been walking this earth. And all this sitting set me up for a nice injury a few weeks back.

In addition to my sitting hours, I had a great active week. The kind that makes me smile. I mastered (I thought) a new yoga pose I have been working on for years. I upped my speedwork day for running to 10 intervals,  I ran a 7 mile stretch, and took a few epic walks. The activity took place over several days, and I made sure I got a day of rest as well. I try very hard to be a good steward of my body. I thought I did everything right.

On the Saturday following all this great fitness work (and my hours of sitting),  I was walking to the car after attending a fest in downtown Tampa, and I stepped off a curb I did not see. It gave me a good jolt, but I didn’t think about it too much until I returned to the car, and it felt as if I was sitting on a golf ball. Ouch, and annoying. I hurt a muscle in my glute. And it worsened. Then I ran on it. Then it worsened even more.

I created a perfect storm. I sat too much, worked out too hard, and BOOM, stepping off that curb activated my weak link.

Fortunately, I am an orthopedic fitness specialist, so I was able to rehab my injury, once I stopped denying I had one, and am now pain-free. But I had to take 2 weeks off from running. I don’t know if you know any runners, but they do not appreciate time off. Sorry Bruce, I hope I wasn’t too grumpy…

My point is…If it can happen to me, it can happen to you. No matter how fit you may believe you are; if you sit too much you will create weak links. No way around it.

Here’s a few tips:

  • stand or move 1-3 minutes for every 1/2 hr you are seated
  • stand or pace while texting or talking on your phone
  • stand up and move while watching your favorite TV shows. Quit using your DVR and use commerial breaks for movement breaks
  • park out from the store, doctor, work, etc
  • take the stairs
  • get a dog and walk it or walk the neighbors dog
  • actively play with your kids or grandkids (and lead by example, they are watching!)

I have created a small 3 minute movement pattern to get us up off our butts while we are at work or leisure-ing. The sequence will be located in my next post.

In fact, I have been sitting here over an hour, I think I need to use it…So if you will forgive me while I enjoy a movement break, I will leave with a few words from the folks at Harvard Health Publications who used the findings of 47 studies to come to this conclusion:

…people who sat for long periods of time had a higher risk of dying from all causes-even those who exercise regularly. The negative effects were more pronounced in people who did little or no exercise…

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Take a stand

Simply Nutritious Living-Salad Mix

Shortly after I finished up my series on goal setting/motivation last month, a friend rolled into town from the cold and gray north ready to vacation Florida Gulf Coast-style. I took the opportunity to repost an older post, Strong Backs/Flexible Spines, last Monday while I attended to other important duties as a Tampa Bay area tour guide. It’s a good gig.

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sunset Florida style

After a week of fun with my pal, with all the extra food, drink, and general relaxation that vacation demands, I am certainly feeling the need to get some serious clean eating habits back into my lifestyle.

Serious clean eating begins with a base of plant foods. Bright, colorful plants foods that add all the magnificent vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other things our bodies naturally crave to maintain good health.

We live in a 240 sq. ft. RV and consume a lot of produce. In order to get it all to fit in my tiny fridge in my tiny home, it must be prepped on grocery day.

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my tiny fridge

Prepping on grocery day is a great habit to incorporate into a healthy lifestyle, and one I will carry with me when (?) we become stationary at some point in the future. It’s just nice to have the prep work done and ready on those days it feels hard to eat healthy due to time constraints or even plain laziness. And it really helps save on waste.

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time to prep

Although pre-prepped bagged greens are certainly an option, they are pricey, and not so fresh sometimes.

I prefer to buy mine fresh, and then chop and bag them at home. No special type of greens are needed, they are all healthful. Even the lowly iceburg head lettuce can be dressed up and made more nutritious by all the colorful add ins. I buy whatever looks good and is on sale. This week’s selection was romaine lettuce hearts. Get yourself a salad spinner to keep those greens dry after washing.

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get your tools ready

Green is pretty, but not enough color for me. We eat with our eyes first. I like to shred some red cabbage and carrots to add brightness. This will create your basic salad mix. And can all be bagged together. A full large bag makes about 6 large salads.

Next chop up your extra veggies; cukes, tomatoes and, radishes are rounding our salad veggies this week. Store the chopped veggies in separate containers.

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veggies prepped for the week

(Excuse the hideous decorative wallpaper. Apparently it is a requirement in a RV of any sort. No one knows why…kinda looks like lettuce)

 

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Lunch is just about ready

From here you could enjoy the salad as is for a side dish, or as I like to do, simply make a meal out of it by adding some protein. Leftover chicken, fish, pork, beef, eggs, cottage cheese are all good protein options.

Do beware once you get beyond the veggies and protein the calories can add up quickly. Use very small amounts of any extra toppings. I also like to add some blue cheese (it has a very strong flavor so you don’t need much), a few seeds or nuts, raisins or craisins, and croutons for added crunch.

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salad as a meal

I have nothing against pre-bottled dressings. Whatever will get people to eat their veggies is fine by me. I use and enjoy them when time-crunched (or feeling lazy). But if I have time I whip up a quick vinaigrette. Really, it only takes a couple minutes, and tastes so fresh. The one I used today is a lemon vinaigrette which is great bright taste for salads and doubles as a dandy marinade for fish or chicken. The recipe will be listed below.

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a little Florida citrus flavor

Of course, every good meal deserves a good drink to go along with it. I am feeling cocktailed out at the moment after my week of tour-guiding, so I opted to make mocktails instead. I call this one a Pom Spritzer. Recipe also below.

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a tasty mocktail with lots of potassium

With a few advance preparations it becomes somewhat easier to eat healthfully and reach the recommended 7-10 servings of produce per day.

Cheers!

Recipes:

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Lemon Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 c white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 c olive oil
  • 2-3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 garlic clove chopped
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Combine in a container with a lid and shake. Makes about a cup of dressing and keeps for a week.

Pom Spritzer

  • Fill glass 1/2 way with ice
  • 4 oz pomegranate juice
  • Top with sparkling water
  • Garnish with a lime

Salad Mix

  • a big head of romaine, or a 3 pack of romaine hearts chopped, rinsed, and spun
  • 1/3 red cabbage shredded
  • 2-3 carrots shredded

mix into a large size baggie

Veggie mix

  • whatever you have lying around, left over, or are craving. Anything goes.

No calorie counts gang. I gave that up a few years back. Too time consuming and militant for me. A definite DE-motivator.

All of the recipes (minus the croutons) happen to be gluten-free, although I am not. I tried it for a year or so, but found it cumbersome, the results were minimal for me, but many others have found it works for them.

This girl’s motto:

eat healthy most of the time, and then thoroughly enjoy your pizza.