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Category Archives for "I Want to Feel Better"
4

This Baby Boomer is Blooming: Guest Post by Mary McManus

Guest Post from Mary McManus

Mary is stopping by with a healthy “Hi” while we’re out of town. You will enjoy her story. You will laugh. You will cry. You will want to friend her on Facebook. You have to read to discover why.

Mary when she left the VAIn December of 2006, at the age of 53, I was given the life altering diagnosis of post polio syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular condition. A survivor of paralytic polio at age 5 and traumatic childhood events, the years of despising my challenged body finally caught up with me. Over there <——– is a picture of me in December of 2007. I’m smiling because I had just quit my full time award-winning career as a social worker at the Department of Veterans Affairs to heal my life, and had published my first book of inspirational poetry. Deep down in my soul I knew that great things were waiting for me on the other side of my office door and my diagnosis.

“When you get a diagnosis, don’t play to the result, take it day by day.” – Michael J Fox

After being discharged from outpatient treatment, I hired a personal trainer. Oh my goodness, do I ever remember my first session with her. I was so weak and deconditioned that I couldn’t even complete parts of the assessment. By the second session, it was game on. Everything hurt after we finished, but I had made a decision. If I was going to feel pain, I might as well experience pain on the side of health and strength, rather than the pain of disuse and being sedentary.

Mary McManus doing yoga tree pose

By February of 2008, I had met and surpassed my trainer’s initial goals for me. She asked what my next goals would now be. “Oh,” I answered, “I’d like to feel free in my body, go outside and take a walk, dance ….” She feverishly wrote down these goals. Her bag was packed and her hand on the door knob when I said, “Oh, there’s one more goal to add. I want to run the Boston Marathon.” That was quite a leap from having an initial goal of being able to get up off of a low seat.

On April 20 2009, 7 hours and 49 minutes after the gun went off in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, I crossed the finish line of the 113th Boston Marathon as a mobility impaired runner and raised $10,535 for Spaulding Rehab Hospital, where I had taken the first steps on my healing journey. My daughter and husband ran by my side every step of the way – from the grueling training through the winter of 2009 and the 26.2 mile course.

After running the marathon, my symptoms recurred, so I went back into outpatient treatment. In January of 2011 I came to my yoga mat. In May of 2011, I discovered the healing power of a form of body work called Structural Integration. For more information you can visit Anatomy Trains. From our second session, my body worker, David Vendetti talked to me about what happens in yoga teacher training. I was there for body work. “What does any of this have to do with yoga teacher training,” I would repeatedly ask myself.

Mary McManus2

I soon found out. On January 13, 2013 – don’t you love the lucky number 13 – I ran the 113th Boston Marathon and graduated from yoga teacher training. I am now a certified yoga teacher.

I bring all the gifts and treasures of wisdom I have learned on my healing journey to others through teaching yoga. At the age of 59, I feel more vibrant, healthy and fully present in my body than ever before. And as for that progressive neuromuscular disease that was going to get a lot worse with age – well, they say one picture is worth a thousand words, so consider this picture an essay!

Mary McManus Sun Salutation

This baby boomer is blooming!

To find out more about Mary, follow her blog and YouTube channel. To purchase her books of inspirational poetry, visit her author page on Amazon .

Mary McManus teaching yoga

14

Yoga Offers Freedom, Even From Internment Camp Hardships

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Yoga Legacy, Phyllis PilgrimWhat can yoga do for you, especially if you face challenges, stress, and negative forces? What if you had spent 3 1/2 years in a Japanese prison camp as a child? Could yoga help rid your mind and body from such experiences? Yoga and meditation master teacher, Phyllis Pilgrim is living proof of the healing power of yoga.  Her story is so inspirational that we interviewed her for our Fun and Fit radio show.

Rancho la Puerta entry door

Enter Rancho la Puerta through these doors to Balance, Compassion, and Yoga

We met Phyllis 28 years ago when we were newbie guest instructors at Rancho la Puerta Fitness Resort, located just south of the border in Tecate, Mexico. At the time we knew her as the Group Fitness Director and well loved and respected yoga teacher. But we knew very little about yoga except that it seemed for the fringe and oohie woohie sorts, nor that Phyllis had lived in many countries and through war horrors. She was always so nurturing, funny, warm, and positive that we never imagined her history. That fact alone bespeaks the effect that yoga and meditation can have.

The Hidden Passport

The Hidden Passport

Bring some of those same positive feelings into your practice by listening to Phyllis’s story.  Can’t wait to listen?  Click on the radio episode and finish reading this post later. Not only will you appreciate what yoga can do to improve your life, but also you’ll get a kick out Phyllis’s sense of humor and English “elocution.” Then read the book she wrote of her childhood prison experiences, The Hidden Passport, which was easy to read and fast paced.

Given the hardships and cruelty she faced as a child imprisoned in Japanese war camps, Phyllis is especially appreciative of the ways yoga brought joy and awareness back into her life. “Yoga offers Balance, Compassion,and Gratitude,” she asserts.  “Yoga is not just what you do; it’s also who you are.” Some of the benefits yoga or meditation include:

  • finding more compassion for yourself
  • appreciating your body and mind
  • embracing change more effectively
Find Your Way

Find Your Way at Rancho la Puerta

Looking for the ultimate yoga or guided meditation treat? Head to Rancho la Puerta, a place we hold near and dear to our hearts. Take Phyllis’s classes in person. Discover an entire range of fitness classes, hikes, cardio workouts, art classes, and top quality instructors. (Side note: if you are thinking of going to “the Ranch” let us know as we can save you $250).

Please click to visit us at FunandFit.org, subscribe to our YouTube Channel, and follow us on twitter: @KymberlyFunFit and @AlexandraFunFit.  See our instagram pics at: @KymberlyFunFit and @AlexandraFunFit. We follow back!

We were not compensated in any way for this post.  Our goal is for you to listen to our radio show and have a healthier, happier life.  For more on yoga, take a look at our post, Yoga: For Flexibility? Weight Loss? Animals?

11

Improved Sleep and Comfort: Technogel Pillows

Alexandra Williams, MA and Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA

If you have ever had an uncomfortable night’s sleep, you’ll want to read what we discovered from sleeping on pillows from Technogel.

Technogel pillow and bedAlexandra: For the past ten years or so, I’ve had issues with vertigo, which has many causes. My vertigo turned out to be related to neck tension that affected my inner and middle ear. In practice, this meant I would be stuck in bed for days, not even able to move my eyes quickly for fear of getting sick and dizzy.

Since figuring out the problem, I have been able to manage my neck tension through massage. But!!!! (there’s always a “but” in these stories) I don’t go to the massage therapist often enough. So when the chance came to try out a Technogel anatomical pillow, I abruptly broke up with my lumpy excuse of a down pillow (I believe it had gone down, down, down years ago), and welcomed the anatomical pillow into my life. According to the description, this pillow is “recommended for those suffering from neck, back or shoulder pain. It provides excellent support and muscle relaxation. Suggested for those who sleep primarily on their sides or on their back.” Ka-Chinga.

I heard that it takes a few days to adjust, but that wasn’t the case with me.
Neck – Oh, this is lovely, and I feel so relaxed.
Me – That’s good. Now please go to sleep and release some tension, wouldya?
Neck – Yes, um, hmmmmm, zzzzzzz, snork, sigh………(sounds of soft breathing)

I haven’t dissected my pillow, but I know that it’s got foam and gel inside. And I know that the company got its start in the medical field, providing cushioning for bed-bound hospital patients. I know this because I went to the Technogel booth during my BlogTour trip to IMM Cologne, Germany. Technogel is an Italian company, I was in Germany, and my primary language is Englilsh. You can get a good night’s sleep in any language!

They removed the top later of foam to show the blue gels.

They removed the top later of foam to show the blue gels.

 

As part of my (cough cough) research, I tested out the bed at the show. And the laptop pads. And the pillows (they have 6 styles). Eventually they noticed and asked me to change out of my pajamas and leave. Not really, I was treated extremely well and encouraged to lie on the bed for as long as I wanted. Poppies… Poppies. Poppies will put them to sleep. Sleeeeep. Now they’ll sleeeeep!

 

Kymberly: I, too was selected to try out a Technogel pillow. I chose the expensive one Alexandra did not pick so that we had some variety to report back on. While I fall asleep easily, I tend to wake up often then toss, turn, and flip my pillow over and over looking for elusive slumber.

Do you also have sleepless nights or stretches of insomnia? Some nights I wake up and run “to do” lists and  conversations through my head. Such head chatter makes it hard to get back to sleep. Are you familiar with the song “Pillow Talk” made famous by Doris Day?

Pillow talk, pillow talk
Another night of hearin’ myself talk, talk, talk, talk

How do I turn Doris Day Pillow Talk into Kymberly Night of No Talk? Enter my new Technogel Deluxe pillow. It may be heavy, but it’s not chatty. Yes, the first thing I noticed was that the pillow had some heft to it. Yet it was obedient, conforming to my head and temperature.

Being a person who loves words, I actually read the pamphlet that came with my nifty, high tech pillow. There I learned that we are supposed to heave ho “standardl” pillows every 18 months due to germs, bacteria, small animals that look horrific under microscopes, and other gross out details. Oops, I had been about a decade behind on that task! Welcome even more to my new sleep buddy.

Ultimately the big question is simply “did I sleep better with this deluxe Technogel pillow?” The big answer is “yes.” Between the Pure Matters Healthy Sleep supplements I take, the new mattress my hubster got for my last birthday, and this special foam and gel pillow, I am showing those night sweats and insomnia moments who is boss! A colleague had told me to expect needing a week to adjust to Technogel pillows, but that the adjustment would be worth it. I transitioned in about four seconds, one snore, and two flutters of my eyelids. Comfort and support were mine. If you want to borrow my pillow, we are talking one serious pillow fight to wrench it from my sleeping grasp!

Relax your mind and body by subscribing to our YouTube channel and blog. Please also follow us on Twitter: AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit. Or click now on the icons above.

I was compensated by FitFluential LLC for this campaign. All opinions, pillows and snores are my own (actually, the snores are Kymberly’s).

 

22

Supplements for Boomers: Pure Matters

By Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

As we age, are supplements necessary? Do they help with boomer health? With all the contradictory research out there, it’s hard to know what to believe or do. So we set out to discover whether specific supplements could help us with specific complaints.

GlucoChon MSM formula Pure MattersAlexandra: For most of my life, I’ve eschewed supplements as unnecessary. I’ve always been a believer that we can get what we need for our bodies through good nutrition and exercise. But that “most” of my life was prior to my 50th birthday. Now I deal with a reconstructed soccer knee and foot. And it takes longer to heal the rare times that I do get sick.

So when we were asked to try out Pure Matters supplements, I was leery, yet willing. Knowing the history of supplements, I checked out the company first, and was comforted by their commitment to clean ingredients, including this statement on their site: “Trustworthy – We will use only wholesome, scientifically proven ingredients composed in clean facilities. And when our formulations can be improved, we will improve them.” My two biggest issues with supplements – Can the ingredients be trusted? and Will these help my health?

We're Smiling After 24 Hours of Travel Because we are NOT in Pain! But we ARE Tired!

We’re Smiling After 24 Hours of Travel Because we are NOT in Pain! But we ARE Tired!

I chose to try Biotin (skin, nails & hair), Omega-3 Fish Oils (heart health) and GlucoChon MSM Formula (joint & tissue health). If you read my previous post about getting my blood tested, you might recall that the consulting registered dietitian recommended Omega-3 Fish Oil to me. Boom!

Declare all Stiff Knees at Customs!

Declare all Stiff Knees at Customs!

Today I will focus on the GlucoChon MSM Formula, because that is the one where I definitely noticed a difference. Normally when I fly, my reconstructed knee gets very stiff, and I spend the day after flying with a slight limp and some swelling at the knee. I took 3 tablets a day for a month. At the end of that month I flew from California to Europe and back, for a total of 5 flights. My knee didn’t feel stiff for those flights, nor did I end up limping. No inflammation either. It wasn’t a controlled study, and who knows what other variables were in play, but this was the first time since my 1998 knee surgery (and a handful of subsequent surgeries) that I had no issues after flying. Cause and effect or correlation – I have no idea. But I would take these supplements again (besides trusting their ingredients, I also am a huge fan of their customer service). Since I’m not a doctor, I cannot make supplement recommendations, but I can recommend Pure Matters as a company I trust to work with me as a consultant for my health needs. I can also say that I believe these supplements worked for me.

Kymberly up a treeKymberly: Do you have joints that predict weather? Ever since I broke both wrists as a teenager falling out of a tree, they ache when the weather changes. That is, my wrists did creak and moan until I made one change: taking Pure Matters “Joint Health” supplements. To be honest, I committed to trying the supps to help my knee joint (which has arthritis and chronic pain after a soccer injury and two surgeries. Sound like a certain twin we all know?). Then I noticed that my wrists were not predicting the weather anymore. In fact, they felt so good I forgot about them until I finished my last “Joint Health” tablets. Within two days, my wrists were aching and futuretelling once again.

This should predict weather.

My wrist joints predict the weather better than this weather vane.

As for my knee, it is hard to tell the supplements’ effect as my knee ached off and on a lot during the trial period. (See my prior post on the subject). But I have been breaking in new orthotics this past month, which has thrown that rascal joint into confusion. I need to give the “Joint Health” another go to really note the effect on my knee (and to keep my wrists from competing again with the evening weather report).

Speaking of nights, what did work wonders was the “For Healthy Sleep” formula I also tried. Anyone else yearn for those nights where you fall asleep and stay asleep until morning? No stumbling trips to the bathroom, no night sweats, no cats wrestling on your back at o’dark too early, no insomnia with a list of “to do’s” running through your head, no hubster cover hogging?  I love my cats and hubster, but I also love when I travel and stay in hotel rooms. Alone. Cuz’ I remind myself what a good night’s sleep feels like on those occasions.

My wrists feel so good I can finally do this move again. It's been AGES!

My wrists feel so good I can finally do this move again. It’s been AGES!

So I was happily surprised when the “For Healthy Sleep” tablets provided the same great sleep as my nights in hotels. As in, like magic and immediately. And less expensively. Now if only my knee would feel so refreshed!

Have you found supplements that have worked for you? Others that have been expensive pee? Let us know!

Supplement your fitness knowledge by subscribing to our YouTube channel and blog. Please also follow us on Twitter: AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit. Or click now on the icons above.

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this campaign. All opinions are my own. 

Photo credit: Dusseldorf Customs: Courtney Price; Smiling at Airport, Brandon Smith

1

Special Mind/Body Collections for Special Boomers

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA

I'm Special, So Special. I gotta have some of your attention. Give it to me!

I’m Special, So Special. I gotta have some of your attention. Give it to me!

Want to improve your body and mind courtesy of thought leaders? Does the idea of getting physically and mentally stronger, and more vibrant as you age sound appealing?

3 Fun and Fit Special Collections at GaiamTV

Sure sounded good to us.  So when GaiamTV asked us to go through their vast library of “Conscious Media” and create collections we thought would be relevant to you, we went for it. We disclose up front that if you decide to subscribe to GaiamTV we earn a referral fee at no extra cost to you.  Please use this link to visit them or to sign up if you so decide. (And they really do offer a LOT of great content covering exercise, personal growth, spirituality, mind/body connection, and yoga). Checking out the collections we put together costs you nothing and brings you some high quality insights to power you to the next level of bodaciousness and enlightenment.

1. Build a Better Brain, Baby Boomers!

Today’s scientific breakthroughs support the powerful connection between the body, mind and spirit. Watch the cutting-edge, revelatory, and juicy interviews in this amazing collection and boost your brain power, overcome old habits and truly change your mind – forever! A healthy brain can help stave off dementia, improve memory and enhance cognition – what’s not to love?. Like what you see here? Check out our related posts from our own brains:

2. Live Longer and Healthier

For those who want to live life as expansively, actively, and healthily as possible, this special collection is designed to share a philosophy that the focus isn’t so much anti-aging as it is PRO-aging: Why define yourself merely by a number? With videos on health, weight loss, nutrition and exercise, we hope you’ll listen, learn and live it up with tips and tricks from this motivating collection.

3. Healthy Aging for Boom Chicka Boomers

It takes effort to add life to our years. Find the motivation and support you need to take action in your own life with these informative and motivating videos. We picked content that will keep you in the know with exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, menopause, and trusting your body’s intuitions. Click on the Healthy Aging link to go straight to the content in this category.

Click on the links for the GaiamTV Fun and Fit Special Collections. You may discover what we did — GaiamTV offers a lot more than yoga workouts.

What’s the ultimate list to be part of if you want to be the Boomer in the Know? Why, the subscriber list for our YouTube channel and blog. Please also follow us on Twitter: AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit. Or click now on the icons above.

24

Water: What is it Good For?

Alexandra Williams, MA

Water provides many health benefits, especially to aging skin. For us boomers, the importance of water increases as we age, for respiratory health, skin care, holistic health, well-being and physical wellness. And how we get that water is important too. Gone are the days of carrying water in buckets on our heads, but as we age, water accessibility, especially in the kitchen, is important too.

Row, Row, Row Your Boat (or Bobsled)During my recent trip to Cologne with the Modenus BlogTour, I experienced water from a variety of perspectives. What do you mean, I'm about to get wet?

On the very first night of BlogTour, we were invited by BLANCO to a private dinner at the German Sports and Olympic Museum. For a good description with great pictures, read this post by Tina Ramchandani. I mention the dinner for several reasons: 1) it set the tone for how we were treated throughout the entire event, 2) the water at meals in Europe usually comes in glass bottles, and 3) wine has water in it!

BLANCO HOT

Instant Cooked Pasta!

Water Comes Out (of the Faucet)
On the morning after the welcome dinner, we headed to the BLANCO booth at The Living Kitchen inside IMM Cologne: The International Furnishing Show to learn about faucets, sinks and water systems. The sign at the booth had a waterfall, which I hope you can see in this picture. Blanco-IMM BoothIn any case, BLANCO had two items in particular that I fell in love with. The first was a hot water system that puts out boiling water instantly. As they say on their site, “nothing works in the kitchen without water,” and if you want steaming tea or coffee water immediately, you can get it. Cooking, preparing, heating, washing – Boom, boiling water that’s 97 celsius. Don’t ask me what that is in Fahrenheit – heck, we were in Europe, so we got European measurements – all I know is that the days of running water wastefully down the drain while it heats up (or in my case, filling the pets’ drinking bowl repeatedly) are over. Well, those days are over in 2014, which is when this system might be available in the U.S. But I can wait – my kitchen will still be around next year!

BLANCO SAGAMy favorite BLANCO product was the SAGA tap. I immediately thought of my mom, who is a young person in an elderly body. She has arthritis in her hands and wrists, and her grip strength isn’t that great. This faucet is ideal for people like her who have limited mobility, dexterity, vision or grip strength. Instead of having to reach for a lever, or twist one (or even two) handles, you just slide the sleeve that’s right by the spout. Super simple to use: slide forward or back to control water volume, and gently turn left or right to set the water temperature. With 10,000 boomers turning 65 every day for the next decade, products that “speak” to aging joints will be mandatory. When I saw this faucet, I immediately thought of the increased independence this design offers.

Water Goes In (To the Skin and Body)
One of the sponsors of BlogTour was Mr. Steam, makers of steam showers and towel warmers. They sent us to the Claudius Therme Spa, known for its healing thermal mineral waters. For a lively recap of the visit to the spa, read this post by Paul Anater.
According to their site, the heated water “aids rheumatic complaints and diseases of the intervertebral discs or joints, has a positive effect on hypertension, circulatory problems and disorders caused by stress, and activates enzymes and and stabilizes bone structure.”
Claudius Therme SpaClaudius Therme Spa
On the Mr. Steam site you can find a list of 44 benefits of steam therapy, which add to the list above. Below are just a few:

 

 

 

* Cleanses, lubricates and hydrates the skin
* Removes toxins from the body
* Increases circulation
* Helps the body rid itself of excess sodium
* May relieve pain and discomfort from arthritis
* Rids the body of metabolic and other waste products
* Promotes deep, restful sleep
* Helps reinvigorate tired muscles
* Increases muscular flexibility
And of course, #44 is my favorite because it’s so specific:
* Adds humidity to your orchids (I don’t have orchids, but my dry legs like humidity!)

We weren’t allowed to take pictures inside the spa (possibly due to the naked people wandering about the sauna area), but I will tell you that we sat inside a very steamy hot tub in the middle of a pool that had a current so you could float or swim while circling the hot tub. The photo above shows how it looked. It was heavenly. Yay! Now I’m back home with bronchitis and wishing for a steam shower. Boo! But we were allowed to take pictures of the group eating dinner at the spa. Yes, we really are eating a formal dinner while dressed in robes!Dinner at Claudius Therme

Speaking of steam, you might like to know what I thought of the Miele steam oven once I saw it in person. After eating a lot of food made in the steam oven at the convention, my advice is “Run to the store and buy one right now!” I even tweeted about my plan to toss my micro in place of the steam oven, and I encourage you to do the same if you want super delicious, nutritious food.Miele Steam Oven Tweets

Going to IMM Cologne really taught me new ways of viewing my life and home, and how truly good design can help improve both. When my home is healthy, I’m happy, and when I’m healthy, my home is a happy place.

Oh, while we’re on the subject of water, if you’re a boomer you’ll get the song reference in this post’s title. This video should help. But change the answer to “Absolutely Something”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01-2pNCZiNk[/youtube]

Want to water your own face with tears of joy? First, take a look at our post on what water temperature is best for exercisers. Then please subscribe to our YouTube channel and blog. Please also follow us on Twitter:AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit. Or click now on the icons above. We’ll cry happiness tears too!

BlogTour Badge Cologne (black)-1Photo credits: Alexandra rowing: Sarah Sarna; BLANCO sign: Tina Ramchandani; Claudius Therme in Snow: Paul Anater; Faucets: BLANCO; Robes at dinner: FlyingCamel/The NKBA

Disclaimer: I was not paid to share my opinions about the products I liked at IMM Cologne. I am, however, very grateful to all the sponsors.

25

Does Coffee Make You Happy?

Alexandra Williams, MA

Happy Coffee PeopleOn January 14, a study was released indicating that people who drink coffee are at a lower risk for depression than those who do not drink coffee. Was it coincidence or serendipity that I was sitting in the lavish Miele booth at the Living Kitchen show in Cologne, learning all about their magical new coffee machine that very same day?

The coffee-depression study involved 263,925 people. For a year, their drink consumption was evaluated. About 10 years later, researchers asked the participants whether they had been diagnosed with depression since the year 2000. A total of 11,311 of the participants had been.

Participants who drank more than four cans or cups per day of soda were 30 percent more likely to develop depression than those who drank no soda. People who drank four cups of coffee per day were about 10 percent less likely to develop depression than those who drank no coffee.

Sarah is getting her coffee on in the Miele press room

Sarah is getting her coffee on in the Miele press room

“Our research suggests that cutting out or down on sweetened diet drinks or replacing them with unsweetened coffee may naturally help lower your depression risk,” said study author Honglei Chen, MD, PhD, of the National Institutes of Health in Research.

Well, I’m not sure if I could do four cups of unsweetened coffee, but I DO know that German milchkaffee (milk coffee) is extremely tasty. At home, I like decaf because regular makes me jittery. But hand me some German milchkaffee and I get happy. Put me in a study!

While I helped myself to the free coffee and lunch (thanks, Miele), I learned about their new coffee machine from none other than Markus Miele, managing director and co-proprietor of (Insert his famous last name here)! The machine was so brilliant – not only does it know how tall your cup is, it also somehow knows how wide, so you get the exact right amount of coffee in your cup without the splashes and hot splutters. They gave a demo with a tiny espresso cup and a tall latte macchiato glass.Magic Miele Milchkaffee There was even a feature called the CupSensor, which reacts to beverages made with milk froth by raising the spout 1 centimeter (that’s “a little bit” in U.S.-speak) after milk delivery so that the spout stays clean. It does other helpful chores, such as cleaning itself and making 2 different types of coffee drinks at once. It also has a milk system that for all I know comes with a happy cow right inside the machine (I suspect it’s more like an ease-of-use milk container, but I’m holding out for a mini-cow).

I heard a rumor that it’s expensive, but when you add up the cost over a year of those maccho-latte-frappe-cini-ballerini drinks you’ve been buying for $5 a pop, I guess it’s all relative. Besides, you read the bit about how it cleans itself, right?Coffee Cow

I want this machine in my house. My house is in the U.S. This machine isn’t even available in Germany until May. I do not know when it will come to the U.S. Dear Miele, we all want this machine. Please send it to the U.S. We promise to get our own cows. Please send coffee while you’re at it. We promise to never drink soda. We promise to drink our four cups of milchkaffee every day. Thank you.

Miele Press Room

Miele Press Room

 

 

I was one of 12 bloggers invited on BlogTour Cologne by Modenus. Want to see some wonderful pictures of the team? Fellow blogger/ photographer Courtney Price has them. My picture shows how happy I can get after milchkaffee!

 

 

I was not paid to talk about the Miele Generation 6000 coffee maker. I just think you’ll like it. Miele was one of the sponsors for the Modenus BlogTour Cologne, for which I am very grateful. And thirsty. And I’d like to see this study replicated using milchkaffee. 

What is your favorite coffee drink? Does it make you happy?

Photo credits: Happy Coffee People:  TheGiantVermin, Coffee Maker: Miele; Sarah in the Miele Press Room: Courtney Price; Press Room: Me; Cow: JelleS

25

Blood, Stress and Diet

Alexandra Williams, MA
Dear Blood Test, You Made Me So Very Happy

Dear Blood Test, You Made Me So Very Happy

Remember Blood, Sweat and Tears? If not, you can still read this post. It’s all about blood, stress and diet!

I recently won a free blood test from WellnessFX. The cool part? It included a consultation with a registered dietitian.

Maybe your reaction is, “Big deal. I get my blood drawn once a year during my physical.” Yes, but does your doctor actually take 20 minutes to explain what the results mean? And does your doc then make dietary suggestions? Aha, that’s the bonus.

I exercise quite a lot and take no prescription drugs, so I chose the RD for my consultation. But I could have chosen from their list of medical doctors, chiropractors, osteopaths or naturopathic doctors.

I drove to Ventura, California, for the blood draw, and was in and out in 15 minutes. A few days later I received my results, which of course, were only vaguely comprehensible to me (I do know how to read the cholesterol and iron bit, but that’s about it). The results categories were red, orange and green. I was green in nearly every category, which is the good color!

No magic here – the green is a result of exercise and a healthy diet (portion size and food selection). The only result of concern was my LDL – low density lipoprotein. That’s the bad cholesterol. For this, I blame my parents, as there’s a genetic component. I’m not a big ice cream or milk person, but I cook and bake with butter. So even though I don’t use a lot of it, during our consultation the RD still suggested I substitute olive or canola oil when possible. I’m putting her recommendations here because they are good ideas for everyone to consider:

Use unsaturated fats (olive oil, canola oil) in place of saturated fats (butter) when cooking.
Limit amount of butter added to food (1-2 teaspoons).
Avoid Trans Fats (hydrogenated oil, partially hydrogenated oil) often found in regular peanut butter, packaged baked goods, and fast food.

Decrease Your Stress or You'll Be a Mess

Decrease Your Stress or You’ll Be a Mess

She said my elevated bilirubin could be related to my self-reported high stress levels. Even though I do lots of exercise, I also have a lot of financial stress (anyone else paying out-of-state university fees?) and constant work deadlines. So I’ll consider yoga (probably won’t happen), more walks (probably will happen), or going to bed earlier (probably won’t happen).

Luckily the RD didn’t push me to take a bevy of supplements, as that wouldn’t be me, but she did suggest Omega-3 fish oil, which makes sense for someone who’s a vegetarian and over 50 (which I may or may not be)! Because I’m very picky, I went with the softgels from Pure Matters, a company that puts it right out there in their mission statement: “Our bodies and lives are the product of what we put into them. Our goal is to be the most transparent and holistic source for wellness and performance available.”

Omega-3 is good for your Heart. So are Tomatoes.

Omega-3 is good for your Heart. So are Tomatoes.

Whenever I remember that my body and life reflect my choices, it’s fairly easy to walk away from poor foods.

I wrote this post to encourage all of you to stay on top of your health. Get your blood checked. Move your carcass. Eat foods that are friendly to your body. Take supplements as needed. And be kind to those idiots who drive under the speed limit on a one-lane mountain pass when you’re late to work. Yeah, still working on that one…

Speaking of winners (me and you), have you entered our giveaway yet for a free one-year membership to Anytime Fitness? The deadline is 17 January, so get your entries in!

I was not compensated for this post. I was provided with the Omega-3 fish oil tablets from Pure Matters at no cost. All opinions, blood, stress and youthfulness are entirely my own!

You can get even more great health and movement tips by subscribing to our YouTube channel and blog. Please also follow us on Twitter: AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit. Click now on the icons above or below. We make it easy to share, subscribe and have fun exercising!

Photo credits: CreativeCommons.org: Debs (ò?ó)? (tomato heart)

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Walk Your Way to Weight Loss, Health, and Fitness

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Kymberly at Lake Los Carneros walking

Looking for an easy, no cost, comfortable way to add more activity into your day? Walk – whether outdoors, at a local mall, or indoors on cardio equipment.

Walking, powerwalking, dogwalking all lead to:

  • increased lifespan
  • improved cardiovascular health
  • weight loss
  • uplifted mood
  • enhanced mental acuity

Watch our video for some tips, progression methods, and pretty scenery (plus a peek at the world’s cutest dog EVER in the universe for all entirety. Feel free to totally agree or leave a comment below).

[youtube]http://youtu.be/xTjhN_W0F6U[/youtube]

 

 

For a few motivating Fun Fit Facts about walking, take a look at our post Sneak in Stats When Walking Briskly for Calorie Burn.

Good shoes are the only piece of equipment you need for a stroll out and about. Our suggestion? Read our post and be entertained by our video: TheraFit Shoes Were Made for Walking: Product Review

If you are wondering about the best and most effective technique for getting started on cardio equipment, take a look at our post and video on the Right and Wrong Ways to Work Out on Treadmills and Stairclimbers.

IHRSA show Alexandra, Precor Cardio

Ready to tackle hills with enviable form, avoiding common mistakes people make when going up? Our post, Proper Form for Uphill Walking has got you covered!

Lastly, take a tour of a Santa Barbara trail with us as we Walk With the Butterflies.

Small steps lead to big changes! Even a 5 minute walk triggers a bunch of benefits. So open up your front door and get your groove on as you move on!

Walk the Talk by subscribing to our YouTube channel and blog. Please also follow us on Twitter: AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit. Click now on the icons above or below. We make it easy to share and subscribe!

65

TheraFit Shoes Were Made for Walking: Product Review

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Are you like us in that your feet talk to you a lot? And by “talk” we mean “yell” and “whine.” After soccer injuries, sport aerobics competitions, years of teaching high impact classes, knee surgeries, foot surgeries, orthotics, and love of moving, we have – ahem – problem baby boomer feet. So we were eager to be included in a product review of the new TheraFit shoes. We don’t know about you, but finding shoes that match our lifestyle and feel comfortable for long hours is a challenge.

Could these shoes, which are specifically made to provide personalized cushion and support, meet our challenge? Take a look at our video to find out. We guarantee you will NOT be bored for those three minutes. Be sure to watch all the way to the end for a surprise. If you like a spoiler, scroll down to the lyrics we created to the tune of “These Boots Were Made for Walking” by Nancy Sinatra.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/JDbhYhCpjC4[/youtube]

These Shoes Are Made For Walkin

We keep saying we’ve got something for you,
something we call comfy, and confess.
We’ve been wearing TheraFit shoes and suggest them
if you want to travel in the best.

These shoes are made for standing, and exercising too
They come in colors that will make a model out of you.

Our boomer joints aren’t youthin’, ain’t that the truthin’
It’s hard to find shoes for our problem feet
Once we put these on we don’t wanna be a changin’.
For powerwalking our TheraFits can’t be beat.

These shoes are made for action and they’re stylish too.
Try them on and you’ll be shocked by this shock absorption shoe!

You keep saying things been hurting for you
something you call age, but it’s not.

Nah!
You’ve been wearing shoes you shouldn’t a been a’ wearin’
and now your knees are hurting cuz they’re shot!

These shoes are made for walking. And that’s just what we do.
We can sure dance a storm up when we wear the proper shoe.

Are you ready shoes? Start dancin’!

There’s a lot going on with this post, all of which is good news for YOU. We’ll list them out to make it easier for you catch all the goodness!

* If you’re on Twitter, join in on a sweet feet tweet chat on 12/12/12 at 12 noon EST / 9 am PST. You might even win a pair of Therafit shoes. Hashtag is #Therafit.

Uphill made easy in Kymberly's TheraFit shoes

* If you are in the market for new shoes, and decide to buy a pair (or two, as our friend Susie did), use either of these two codes: TherafitAW or TherafitKWE. Either code will save you $5.00 off the purchase price.

* If you do redeem either of the codes, Theraft will donate $5.00 to a charity we love, the “Big Red” Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarship money to students going to college.

* Drum Roll please…… You can win a pair of Therafit shoes right here at Fun And Fit. Four ways to enter, all easyTweet “I want to win a pair of @TherafitShoe from @KymberlyFunFit & @AlexandraFunFit http://funandfit.org/?p=8248 #FitFluential #Therafit”, then come back and leave the tweet url in the comments. For a second entry, comment below on a detail in the video. For a third entry, comment on our revised lyrics or make up a line yourself! For a fourth entry, let us know which Therafit shoe and color you’d choose. We’ll be announcing the winner on Dec. 20th.

Please also check out our prior post that gives more info on these shoes: Holiday Fitness Gift List.

And this won’t get you any extra entries into the giveaway, but it will get you friend points if you head over to Anytime Fitness and click on the link to give us your vote. We are the Running Twins on the Ball. We appreciate every vote!

Walk out of the time warp our video just took you on and subscribe now to our YouTube channel and blog. Please also follow us on Twitter: AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit. Click now on the icons above or below. We make it easy to share and subscribe!

Disclosure: FitFluential LLC compensated me for this Campaign. All opinions are my own; And boy do we love sharing our opinions! We’d love you to share your opinions too!

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