I had to laugh as I watched a video on Facebook about a couple in quarantine, and he opens up the frig to say, “I haven’t eaten in like 10 minutes – I’m starved!” Oh my how true this is for many of us. Stress eating sneaks in on us, and before we know it, we will have bigger butts when this entire thing is behind us (pun intended).
I thought I would share some healthy eating habits and tips as a reminder for us all on how we can make slight changes that can move us toward better health.
Tips for Eating Healthy:
- Fresh vegetables are always better, but frozen is an improvement over canned, which has high sodium.
- Steaming vegetables will retain more of the nutrients than boiling them.
- Rice milk should be used over cow milk. Soy is an option but I caution it because of hormones and ALL soy beans are GMO now.
- Choose fresh fruit over cereals for breakfast.
- Avoid fried and packaged foods like frozen dinners.
- Juice is full of sugar so making your own is best. Otherwise, dilute the concentrate and stretch it out longer.
- Whole wheat bread is better than white, but all bread should be limited.
- Brown rice is a better alternative to white rice but again should be in moderation.
- If you include meat in your diet, go for lean cuts. Eat more chicken and fish when you can.
- Use an Instant Pot if you have one. Quicker cook times are not only convenient but healthier.
- Have carrot sticks, almonds and apples on hand for healthy snack options.
- Drink more water as it will fill you up!
Remember to also reduce your portion size, and when you feel the urge to eat when you aren’t really hunger, brush your teeth! Who wants to mix toothpaste with food? Ick! You’ve got this.
I have had this blog on my mind for years, and the time has come to share it. COVID-19 has brought to the surface a real problem: lack of respect. I have been hiking all of my life, and as I see hoards of people ascending upon the trails due to COVID-19, my heart is breaking. Piles of poop and trash line the trail as does loud-talking people playing their music for the entire world to hear.
I will give some of them the benefit of the doubt as they may have never been a nature lover. Many people are probably gym rats and prefer to exercise together inside but find themselves with little alternatives due to the pandemic. Others I think are simply self-absorbed but in either case, I wanted to share hiking etiquette and tips for sharing the trail together.
- While out in nature, take the time to actually look and listen to her. No one wants to hear your rap music nor do we want to hear your conversation with your bestie. Put technology away and be in nature.
- Whatever you bring in, pack it out. Yes, that includes your dog’s poop. Putting it in a poop bag and leaving it on the trail isn’t any better. There are no poop fairies who will come and clean up after you. Be responsible!
- Respect nature and do not go galivanting off the trail. For one, you might get bit by a rattlesnake, and two, those who come after you will want to enjoy it. Stay on the marked trails.
- Keep your distance and spread out! Before COVID-19, hikers and nature loves have always wanted space. We never want you riding our butt, especially now. Some of us find solace and spirituality in nature and seek the silence.
- If you need to pass someone, give them a heads up, “On your left,” and quickly pass them. The rules of the trail are that those heading up hill have the right of way as it is more difficult. If someone allows you to pass, say “thank you.”
- Mountain bikers are supposed to yield to hikers but seldom do. I’ve done both, and I know it is challenging to stop and lose momentum on a hill as a biker. However, do it. Be polite and considerate. When hikers do give you the way, thank them. I always appreciate bikers who have bells on their bikes and notify you when they are coming as this gives me a chance to move out of the way. Everyone wins!
- Pick up your trash. While you are at it, if you see garbage on the trail, why not grab some and bring it out? Maybe we can start a trend of cleaning up this wonderful world we live in.
- I can hardly believe I have to say this but DO NOT paint, draw or mark up rocks and nature. No, it isn’t cute – it is graffiti! Parents: it is one thing to have your kids draw with chalk on your sidewalk, but please be smart enough to know you are teaching your children to disrespect other’s property. Nature is no place for it. Keep our parks and trails natural.
- Smoking any kind of cigarette or cigar is usually forbidden and against the law, especially in places like the desert. Breathing in healthy oxygen will be good for you! If you get winded easily, take that as a sign to quit smoking! By the way, here in Arizona, you can’t even smoke in the parking lot.
- Be situational aware, aka don’t block the trail. If you are hiking with friends, please be mindful of others. If you stop, move to the side of the trail so others can safely pass.
- Be in control of your dog at all times. Dogs must be on leash. I don’t care how well trained you think your dog might be – keep them with you and on leash. Some people are deathly afraid of dogs while others might be allergic. It is up to pet owners to be respectful. Train your dog to heel and stay by yourself when passing other hikers.
- Know your dog and how he/she responds to humans. If you have a mean dog, do not allow them near others on the trail. Move aside. If you have a friendly dog, have them sit if someone wants to pet them. Always watch for any signs that they are uncomfortable. Again, you are responsible for your dog.
- Smile, say hello, and enjoy one of the best ways to exercise!
When we are all considerate, we can all experience nature now and in days to come. Stressed out? Go take a hike!
Many folks have found themselves working from home during COVID-19. If you are one of them, let me offer some tips for you. I’ve been working from home for 30 years now:
- If possible, dedicate a room in your house to work from. If you don’t have an extra room, carve out a specific place like a kitchen nook.
- Set your station up as professionally as possible. Using your laptop in your lap is not sustainable.
- Hook up a monitor to your laptop for less eye strain.
- Adhere to ergonomic guidelines for spacing the monitor and your keyboards.
- Start and stop at normal business hours. Creating a routine will help you stay focused.
- Take short but frequent brakes.
- Block out your day with like-minded tasks: phone calls, conference Zoom meetings, Emailing, project work, etc.
- Do not answer personal cell calls or Facebook during work hours!
- Dress in clothes every day. What we wear affects our state of mind. No Pjs!
- Be disciplined enough to say “no” to family issues that arise. If you weren’t home, you wouldn’t be involved.
- When your work day is over, be with your family. Boundaries are extremely important when at home. Work and homelife can blur, and you need to be full present in both.
Besides the workouts I have posted on You Tube, I have three workout DVD’s designed to give you an effective, safe yet fun workout at home. Check them out at my website: Lunges with Lorraine, Have a Ball with Lorraine, and Yoga with Lorraine.