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Nod To Mod

The summer is a time for relaxing, adventure and a bit of excess. Once again, the rhetoric of “after the summer, I will get back into gear” echoes from the mouths of many.low acid

Often, when you are in “excess mode” you think “what’s one more?” (dessert, drink, hamburger)…can it really hurt me? But when do you know enough is enough?

When your body starts talking to you…it’s time to listen.

Our bodies have a natural pH balance (the measure of acidity). In simplicity, it’s the way our body regulates the imbalance of things we ingest to keep our bodies in harmony. Your pH can be measured in your stomach acid, urine, saliva and your blood.

Generally, our normal body pH is 7.0. A pH below 7.0 is acidic.  Anything below a pH of seven is considered “acidic”, and anything above seven is “alkaline” or base. However, it is not the same in all parts of the body. Every body part has its own pH levels and its normal functioning depends upon maintaining normal pH.

Blood pH
The pH measurement of blood is found in the range of 7.36 to 7.42.

Urine pH
The pH level of urine may range from 4.5 to 5.0-6.0.

Stomach pH
Your stomach secretes hydrochloric acid therefore the pH of your stomach varies, from 1-2 up to 4-5. When you eat, the stomach releases proteases and hydrochloric acid to aid in digestion. The proteases break down proteins and work best in an acidic environment or low pH, so after a high-protein meal, your stomach pH may drop to as low as 1 or 2. Buffers quickly raise the pH back to 3 or 4. After the meal has been digested, your stomach pH returns to a resting level of about 4 or 5.

Sometimes, when we overindulge, we can cause our bodies to try to work harder to maintain the acidic balance in our stomach. An overly acidic stomach pH can occur from an acid forming diet (alcohol, processed foods, high fats, etc), emotional stress, toxic overload, and/or immune reactions or any process that deprives the cells of oxygen and other nutrients.  The body will try to compensate for acidic pH by using alkaline minerals.  If the diet does not contain enough minerals to compensate there can be a buildup of acids in the cells.

Acidic pH levels in your stomach can start to have an adverse affect on your body and cause things such as bloating, heartburn, irregular bowels, weak nails, etc. These are signs that you may not be feeding your body well.

I can attest first hand to this scenario. After a summer diet high in excess food, alcohol and advil (to counteract the two prior items), I started to feel very sick with severe stomach aches and heartburn. After an endoscopy, it was determined I gave myself an ulcer. Go figure. The girl who is known for living and breathing good health. I fell into the trap of excess…assuming a little “more” couldn’t hurt me since I was so conscientious in every other aspect of my diet/life.

Once again, a nod to my father and the premise he has always preached…”Everything in moderation.” Even if you over-index in one or two aspects of your diet, it can have detrimental affects on your well-being. In my case, too many summer cocktails and too many Advil to counteract the morning after. Ok, and maybe a little excess stress stirred into the mix. Your body is a miraculous mechanism that will give incredible insight to any imbalances. It’s important to listen to the message.

It’s ok to indulge but know when enough is too much.

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Bringin’ Back Your Mojo

It’s so easy to get into a routine and feel like you’ve hit a plateau. Your body is not changing, you aren’t as energized as you used to be and you just go through the motions to get in a workout.

What’s it going to take to inspire you again? You need to re-ignite your mojo. Two solutions:

Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone

If you find yourself doing the same exercises week after week, in the same sequence, your body is going to adjust. Monday cardio, Tuesday Tabata, rest Wednesday, Thursday Tabata, comfort-zoneFriday cardio. There is a lot of comfortable anticipation and you may have stopped pushing yourself hard in each workout. It is critical to get out of your comfort zone. Change it up.

Instead of running on a treadmill for 30 minutes – change it to intervals. 5 minutes at 6mph, then 2 minute sprints at 7.6mph and repeat. Keep that going for 30 minutes, increasing your speed a little more each set. You will be much less bored and your body will be shocked into having to react to a new movement.

During your HIIT class, contract your abs the whole time and set yourself a goal of jumping the highest in the class…measure it – seek it out. Push yourself.

Keeps your muscles and body guessing…and readjusting…and changing.

Find The New

I was in my normal weekly routine (with a few summer schedule quirks) and scheduled to teach Tabata outside at my pool club and no one showed (tough summer vacation schedules!). Instead, the tennis director offered me a one hour private session. Holy kicked-my-ass. I was so rejuvenated, pumped up and excited I could not contain myself. I had a perma-grin the remainder of the day. I was so energized from the change, I came home and ran another 40 minutes outside (which I also never do) – from pure exhilaration of something new and challenging my body in new ways.

Find something new to get you excited. Try rock climbing – go for a hike – try a new class – something to remind you how much fun it is to challenge your body.  Change your playlist. Set yourself a new goal – “I will run 3 miles in 26 minutes.” Find a partner in crime and run on the beach – or try kick boxing.  There are so many clubs, gyms, boutique studios that offer free or reduced trial classes. Take one week and try them all: Barre, Trampoline, HIIT, Yoga, SLT… call it your exercise renewal.

You will be exhilarated by the change and it will trickle down into future workouts.

Finding the new will give you that extra spring in your step and change in your body.

 

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Stop The Creep

Three Topics – One Theme.

Summer Panic
Summer is creeping up and all I keep hearing is “I’m not ready!” It’s like everyone is preparing for a fitness competition and feel the need to cram to get into shape. Well, it’s officially creepinJune. I think it’s safe to say that there are not going to be any miraculous changes in the next few weeks…nor should there be.

Your “beach body” should be your everyday body and aspiration.

The Summer Spiral Trend
This infamous trend, which I equate to the Holiday Spiral Trend, is trying to get in shape really fast and then gorge yourself for the next 2 ½ months to then feel the gnawing need to go on a “super diet” after the summer to get the extra weight off.

No, no, no. Here’s the thing – the summer is the perfect time to be more active than ever. Enjoy the outdoors, sweat a little more, eat more fresh veggies and fruits…and yes, have that summer cocktail. You’re burning more calories, so enjoy. But, as always, it shouldn’t be all or nothing.

Keep the creep in check, as you would every – other – day.

Find The Sexy
While teaching this past Saturday at Fitness Factory, I was admiring the ridiculously fit body of a women the fitness director was training. I watched him work her hard and she killed it. I finished my class, and went into his office where they were chatting. He said to me “She thinks you’re sexy.” I kinda giggled to myself and thought “she thinks I’m sexy?!” Here I was admiring her. I was so taken back by the thought that she looked at me with pure appreciation of the hard work another woman is doing to look good, as I was doing of her. I told her I thought she was sexy too & her body rocked and how much I appreciated her offering positive reinforcement vs. immediately being judgmental – as women tend to do. You have all experienced it – you see a fit, good looking woman at the gym and you immediately start creeping on her.

Let’s find the sexy in each other and let other women know it. It will brighten your day and hers.

Make Life Easier
Time is not on my side. It literally creeps up on me. I turn around and Wa-BAM, the day is over. It’s the time suckers that kill me – the food shopping for the unusual organic brands, meal planning, preparing and eating (that takes time too).

I have decided to simplify my life to free up more time. Here are some gems I have found that not only give me back some of the clock, but makes so many other aspects (read: stress, frustration, mindless thinking) a little easier:

Just Farmed:  “…a seasonal, organic and sustainably farmed local produce fresh farm box delivery company” that delivers once a week, straight off the farm, right to your door. For a mere $35/week (that’s what I spend on drinks during soccer practice). https://www.justfarmed.com/

Amazon Fresh – for all those Fresh Direct luvas out there – this choice selection includes a little extra special sauce. Prices are excellent, organic choices are abound and if you order at 9 pm, you can have your groceries delivered to your door by 6 am. No joke. They deliver in recyclable bags, which you simply leave out when your next delivery is scheduled. And there’s no gimmicky delivery schema. Over $50 and it’s free. Oh, and first time customers get a smokin’ good deal.  Just google “Amazon Fresh Coupon”.

Plated. I am a little biased on this one, as my husband is the CMO of the company, but nonetheless, it has changed my life. Complete, healthy, sustainable, pre-measured meals with recipes… delivered right to your door step. Take it out of the box and cook it in an average of 30 min. And taste? De-Lish. Takes all the guesswork out of picking, shopping, creating recipes and overall time creeping. It’s almost fail-proof. And it has opened my eyes to so many new food choices vs. rotating the same 5 meals every week. Here’s all you need to know (and a discount): Plated In A Nutshell

No. No kick-back on these suggestions (well, it does help my husband’s bottom…. line, that is 😉 I just like spreadin’ the wealth of good finds.

So let’s stop the creep and keep it movin’.

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