Category Archives: Uncategorized

Sabotaging Recovery

Wearing a fitness watch is a regular habit so I can track my exercise efforts and caloric intake. Since I have Been in the fitness industry for 30+ years I have always had good water drinking habits. Whenever I would have a body composition test performed, my hydration levels would show in need of improvement. Since all I drink is water, it was hard for me to understand why my hydration was lower than what it should be.

Whoop

A friend of mine introduced me to a recovery tracker called Whoop. What makes this tracker different? The technology tracks your sleep habits and rates your body’s recovery process. Other trackers only measure your sleep quality and duration. Whoop tells me the percentage of the recovery along with personalized performance insights.

Recovery

Recovery reflects how well the body is prepared to take on the strain. The measurement of your body’s rate of return to baseline after a stressor. Recovery is affected by:

  1. Exercise
  2. Illness
  3. Psychological stress
  4. Sleep deprivation
  5. Diet
  6. Hydration

Recovery is rated from a 0-100% scale with the Whoop device.

  1. Run Down (red)
  2. Okay to operate (yellow)
  3. Peaking Physically (green)

When your recovery is high your body is ready to take on Strain. When it’s low, you may be at greater risk of overtraining and/or injury. (click here for resource.)

My Recovery

I was shocked when my recovery percentages came in around the 30 & 40 percentile. No matter what I did my recovery rate was terrible. I would become frustrated and stop wearing it for a while and then start back up. All the while, irregular recovery rates were the result, sometimes in the single-digit percentile.

Surprisingly, one day, I woke up and checked my analytics to find my recovery in the 60 percentile. Wow, I was excited. The next day I was in the high 60 percentile. Each day it climbed more. Until one day I woke up with a 98% recovery. I was excited and started running through my routine to see if I could figure out what changes I made to my daily routine.

Then it hit me what it was. I stopped taking allergy medicine before bedtime. Could that be what was causing my poor recovery and if so, why?

Hydration

One day, I received an email from Whoop that contained an article about the importance of hydration related to recovery. It all started to fall into place in my mind. Now granted, I don’t have any official studies proving my hypothesis. I can only share the changes that I made during that time compared to what I felt directly affected my recovery. So, I started researching allergy medicines to decipher which ones would reduce the effect on my hydration levels. Once I figured that out, I changed brands and started taking it the mornings on days I felt I needed it. My recovery leveled out and became more consistent.

Check out a previous blog that I worked on for other reasons “Why drinking water is important”

BOSU Power Systems

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Some Good News by John Krasinski

Episode 3-Baseball, Healthcare workers, AT&T

If you haven’t watched SGN by John Krasinski, you are missing out. To see Episode 3, click here.

Episode 2: Hamilton

Elizabeth Gracen at FlapperPress shared this link to SGN by John Krasinski. This is a must-watch if you like humor and good news. Watch the complete video to witness an amazing, Virtual Performance by the Hamilton Cast. it gave me the chills.

I will be tuning in to John’s YouTube channel for future SGN broadcasts. Click here to watch the video.

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Reduce Germ Spreading Habits in your Home

Germiest spots in your bathroom

  1. Floors: your bathroom floors could be harboring more germs than any other area in the bathroom, says Gina Sloan, Ph.D., director of innovations with Microban. Why? Well, it seems that whatever is close to the toilet is going to get covered in those germy microbes every time we flush the toilet. Do you ever feel a little spritz hitting your bottom or your legs when you flush?


Okay, now I am totally grossed out. I don’t clean my bathroom floors nearly as much as I clean my toilet. That is going to change rather quickly. To reduce the amount of airborne germs when flushing, close the lid before flushing.

Toothbrush

Your toothbrush is the second biggest concern for germs in your bathroom, says Sloan.

Your toothbrush takes in bacteria not only from your mouth but wherever you lay it down on.

Gina Sloan, PhD, director of innovations with Microban

Your counter-top could be transferring germs but think about where the germs are coming from. Is your toilet close to your sink? Yukola!!

Toothbrush Holder

A study from the public health organization NSF International found 64% of toothbrush holders contained mold and yeast, compared to 27% of toilet seats. According to the study they are likely to contain staph as well.

You put in your brush, which is damp or wet, and that residual water drips down and collects in the bottom of the cup. Germs tend to like warm and moist environments. Most holders can go in the dishwasher, which will get rid of any icky residue and germs feeding on it, so toss yours in weekly or monthly.

Lisa Yakas, microbiologists

Sink Handles

According to the study, sink handles contain more than 600 times more microorganisms per square inch than your toilet handles. Wipe them down with disinfecting wipes or use a bleach solution.

Doorknobs

According to the same study, doorknobs contain more microorganisms per square inch than a toilet seat. 1st line of defense is washing your hands for at least 20 seconds. Always wipe those doorknobs during your regular cleaning routine.

Towels

Towels have been found to contain bacteria and even harbor E. coli. The germs stick to and hide in the fibers. Change the towels out regularly and wash in a hot cycle; cold water does not wash out the germs.

Loofah

Knowing everything else I have learned doing the research for this blog, I didn’t have to read the reasons why Loofahs are germ harboring items. Sloan recommends ditching the Loofahs entirely or buy new loofahs regularly.

Razor

Sloan recommends air drying your blades or keeping them in oil to resist germ growth. Don’t lay flat in a dish of water; this causes rusting and will enhance even more germ growth. Always stick to using your own razors rather than sharing razors.

Cutting Boards

University of Arizona researchers found that the average cutting board has 200 times more fecal bacteria than a toilet seat. What??? Now that is one I didn’t expect. Raw meat turns out to be the reason since fecal bacterial originate in the animals’ internal organs. When cutting raw meat on a surface, the knife leaves grooves and sets the stage for germs to sink in and make themselves at home. Washing cutting boards with hot soapy water will help reduce germs growing. If plastic, you can soak in a solution of 2 teaspoons of bleach per gallon of water. Do not soak overnight.

All Kitchens have germs

Did you know that 21% of food-borne illness cases are due to food consumed in private homes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Kitchens are found to breed germs such as E. coli, salmonella, Listeria, mold and yeast.

Common Kitchen items carrying germs

  • Knife Blocks: have you ever cleaned yours?
  • Refrigerator vegetable drawers: Salmonella, Listeria, yeast, and mold are partying it up and contaminates fresh vegetables.
  • Refrigerator meat drawer: Salmonella, E. coli, yeast, and mold.
  • Blender gasket: follow manufacturer’s cleaning instructions to avoid bacteria in your food and smoothies.
  • Can openers: bacteria, yeast, and mold. Clean regularly.
  • Rubber mixing spatula: remove the rubber tip and clean the inside of it along with the handle that sits in the tip.
  • Food storage containers with rubber seals: be sure to wash those rubber seals in hot soapy water; don’t just rinse and dry.
  • Sponges: put a wet sponge in the microwave for 1 minute to help reduce germs. Wring out all water after use and place it in a drip dry container or rack.

Other household germy spots

  • Washing machines: Run washer empty with a cup of bleach once a week to kill germs
  • Mattresses: Wash mattress cover using hot water once a month.
  • Trash cans: scrub all trash cans in the house regularly, especially those in the bathroom and kitchen
  • Mop heads: rinse with water until water runs clear. Soak mop head in a bucket of 2 gallons of hot water and a cup of bleach for 10 minutes, then rinse again.

Having an air purifier added to your air conditioning and heating systems help to sanitize the air you breathe. I, myself, use one, and it has significantly helped my family from passing illnesses back and forth to each other. If you need a recommendation for an Air Conditioning and Heating company in the United States and Canada, leave a comment and I can see if we have any clients in your area that can help reduce your indoor air pollution.

As always, do the research on the things you have concerns about. I am not an expert, I share information that I come across in hopes that I will inspire healthier, happier lives.

Catherine Bares

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Ways to Avoid Overeating and Drinking during the Christmas and New Year Seasons

With Christmas and New Years upon us, I wanted to give you some ideas to outsmart overeating and over drinking.  Let’s face it, we snack, we eat dinners, we drink cocktails, and before you know it, you are suffering with a stuffed belly and a headache from too much alcohol.  There is always an assortment of food and desserts that we have to try.  Don’t get caught up in the moments and suffer for it later.  

Things you can do to outsmart overeating:

  • Never show up to a party hungry.  Do not “skip” a meal to “leave room”.  This is self sabotage! Always eat a hearty, healthy meal before attending any get together.  Chances are you won’t be eating very healthy the rest of the day, so start off strong. 
  • Don’t use large plates or bowls.   Make mindful decisions to serve small portions of everything you want to try.  We usually eat many different dishes, so smaller, bite sized portions are the best way to go.  You can always go back for more later.
  • Slow Down!!!!!  When you eat fast, your “fullness” doesn’t show up until after you have eaten too much.  Eat slower, hold discussions while eating, and be mindful about it.  Put your fork down between bites.  Check out this previous blog on snacking tricks.
  • Eat soup and/or salad before eating main meal.
  • Be polite to “food pushers”.   Tell them you will have more later when your fullness declines.  Don’t fall for peer pressure when it comes to food.  Recognize it for what it is, and find a way out of the situation.
  • Stay hydrated; It helps the “full” feeling kick in. Check out this previous blog on how being thirsty causes us to overeat. 

Things you can do to outsmart over drinking:

  • Stay hydrated.  I like to drink a glass of water with every beer I drink.  If I am drinking heavier alcohol, I like to drink 2 glasses of water for every drink.
  • When drinking wine, Sip slowly, enjoy the taste, let it linger on the tongue and put the glass down between sips.  If we hold our drink, we tend to sip more and finish the drink faster. 

Activities to keep from overeating and over drinking:

  • Move away from the food area
  • Get out in the yard with the kids; toss a football around
  • Take a group walk after eating
  • Dance
  • Have fun!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Catherine Bares

*I am not a nutritionist. You should consult physicians when feeling ill after a day of too much indulging.  These are tips that I like to incorporate in my holiday gatherings but may not be a good fit for everyone.  The water to alcohol ratio works for me with light drinking.  Don’t overdo it.   


 

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Why Do We Eat Too Much At Night?

I don’t know about you, but I am an emotional, night time eater.  I find if I follow the Circadian Rhythm, and hit the sack earlier in the night, I do much better and experience less urges. (Click here to read my blog on  the Circadian Rhythm)

I have a good understanding of what triggers my night time eating but, I  still fight it when I do not go to bed by 9:00 pm.

Findings from the International Journal of Obesity

The International Journal of Obesity conducted a study to better understand why evening hours pose a high risk for overeating and unhealthy snacking.

Blood tests were used to measure stress and hunger  hormones, but participants also related their subjective levels of fullness. 

Researchers discovered that the time of day significantly influenced hunger levels, with stronger perceived appetite in the evening than in the morning.  Eating the test meal later in the day also reduced blood levels of peptide YY, a hormone linked to smaller appetite. Additionally the findings suggested that stress may increase hunger hormones more in the evening than earlier in the day and that hormonal influence on  appetite appears to be greater for people prone to binge eating.

July-August 2018 ACE Fitness Journal

One of the suggestions that the article made for people who are vulnerable to late night eating, should be counseled on strategies to overcome the sensations.

What  else can we do?

  1. Perform light, evening, cardio exercises to reduce stress: walking, bike ride, etc.
  2. Consume more calories during the day 
  3. Eat high-protein, fiber-rich foods at dinner to suppress hunger 
  4. Avoid late night screen time: television (lots of late night fast food commercials can increase cravings), phone time, computer time
  5. Shut down all electronics 30 minutes before bed
  6. Block all light coming into your sleeping area

Remember: I am not a licensed Nutritionist or Life Coach.  Any information I share are from 3rd parties.  You must do your research and seek direction from your doctors/nutritionists before you make drastic changes in your exercise routines, eating habits, vitamin and mineral intake.  

Catherine Bares


 

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Seattle/Emerald City Charm

On the Road

I’ve been on the road for the past couple of weeks and have been quiet on the blog side; my apologies.  Although I am still out of town, my last trip to Seattle has inspired me to write this blog.  I am finally ready to publish it and send it out.  Please leave a comment about your favorite spots in Seattle. If you haven’t had the opportunity to experience Seattle charm yet, what would you do if you were to end up in the Emerald City?  Any bucket list wishes?

Pikes Place Market

There are many things to do and see in Seattle.  One of my favorite things to do, when I make it downtown, is to venture into Pikes Place Market, a public market that opened in 1907, overlooking the Elliott Bay waterfront. (one of the oldest continuously operated public farmers market in the United States) If you make it into the market, be sure to check out Pike Place Fish Market, where flinging fish from the display cases to the scales for cutting and packaging has become one of Seattle’s most well-known landmarks.  It is quite entertaining to watch the flying fish and the delighted patron’s reactions, especially those seeing it for the 1st time.

Along with flying fish, the market showcases many businesses; seafood, fresh produce, fresh flowers, crafts of all kinds, art, specialty foods, and an abundance of bakeries, cafes, diners, restaurants and sweet shops.  There are 3 floors of unique shops, specializing in collectibles, comics, jewelry, books, art and more.

Street performers have long entertained shoppers which adds to the Market’s ambiance.  You will be surprised by some of the talents that linger in and sets up to perform.

Other attractions that I felt were well worth the time and investments

  • Seattle’s underground tour (learn about the Emerald City’s strange and quirky history)
  • Museum of History and Industry (one rainy day we ventured into this museum and was engrossed in Northwest history, innovation growth and much more)
  • Mt. Ranier (Wilderness hiking, camping, and climbing)
  • Space Needle (Amazing views of the water, city, and mountains.  Newly added, floor to forever glass floors that are calling me back to check out. Maybe on my next trip)

Restaurants

There are many restaurants in the downtown area that provide a unique dining experience.  Some come with amazing views of waterfronts, marinas, or the city. For the wine lovers,  you may want to check out the Purple Cafe that features a unique, circular, staircase wine rack system.

What are your favorite adventures in Seattle?  Where would you go if you went to Seattle?  Leave a comment, I would love to hear about it.

Catherine Bares


 

I’ve been there and done that many times.

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#Determination Quote & Video of the week


 

“You’ve got to get up every morning with Determination if you’re going to go to be with Satisfaction.”-George Lorimer

Determination Definition: 1. Firmness of purpose,  Resoluteness  2. The process of establishing something exactly, typically calculation or research.

How often do we wake up with determination?  Do you ever think about it?  Is it automatic with you or do you take a few moments in the morning to plan our your day?  Use the voting  buttons to answer!

Strong Determination Video

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Happy Thanksgiving

In observance of Thanksgiving, I wanted to take some time to reflect on 2018.  There were some tough times and some tragic moments but there are also many things to be thankful for.  As emotional, human beings, we tend to focus on the bad stuff, the things that hurt us the most, the things that leave a scar.  Pushing those moments aside; take a few minutes to reflect on the things that made you smile and made you feel good in 2018.  Think about those fleeting moments that were special.  Close your eyes, hold onto those memories, and focus your energy right there.

Tomorrow, during your family and friend gatherings, step out of the center of it and watch the interactions for a few moments.  Enjoy watching the children run around and play, appreciate the elderly that are still with us, soak in the laughter.  Look for sadness and spend some time with that person who may be struggling with something.  Think about the things that you appreciate about each person and share it with them.  This is such a powerful experience when done in a group.

Remember, everyone you know may not have family close by, so invite them to spend the day with your family.  Holidays can be rough on the lonely.

I hope Thanksgiving 2018 will be a wonderful, treasured, day that you can carry with you until Thanksgiving 2019.

Leave a comment if you like:  share a special moment that came to mind during your reflection, share an intention that you will plan to put into action tomorrow.  I would love to hear your feedback

A reader asked if I could add more content and examples, so, with pleasure, I am updating this story:

I shared a story from Thanksgiving day that everyone can read called “The Cutest Wishes Ever”   Click on the link and it will bring you to that blog.

This story is a perfect example of how I interact with children to share their joy.

My intent on sharing things that you appreciate about people came from a training class that is intended to help improve attitudes and gratification. In a group, you can take turns sharing something you admire about each person in the group.  This can be timely depending on the size of the group.  So, to avoid a long drawn-out exercise and to keep everyone’s attention, I would have each person express their thoughts (only positive thoughts) and admiration to the person sitting to the right of them.  Once they were done we would move on to the next person.  If you are sitting in a circle it helps keep the exercise in an orderly fashion and everyone gets to say and hear something about themselves.  This exercise can be done with small groups or large groups.  You could even do this at the dinner table instead of asking how their day was to change it up a little.

I hope this helps you, your family, and friends explore each other’s feelings of thankfulness.

 


 

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Use Food instead of Energy Drinks

I am not a nutritionist; you should always discuss your eating habits with a doctor or nutritionist before making changes to your day to day eating habits.  The information provided below was found on line.  Please click the link to the article to see the story in its entirety along with reference notes.

I have read some stories how people are being hospitalized from overdoing energy drinks. We should do some research on how to properly fuel up to increase energy rather than take the easy, convenient road to energy.  Lets look at the foods that can give you an energy boost.  I came across a Newsletter on line:  “27 Foods that can give you more energy.” (click the link to read the article in its entirety.)

  1. Bananas

According to the article, “Bananas may be the best foods for energy. They are an excellent source of carbohydrates, potassium and vitamin B6, all of which can help boost energy levels in your body.”

2. Fatty Fish

“Fatty fish like salmon and tuna are good sources of protein, fatty acids and B vitamins, making them great foods to include in your diet.”

3. Brown Rice

“Brown rice is a very nutritious food. Unlike white rice, it is less processed and retains more nutritional value in the form of fiber, vitamins and minerals.”

4. Sweet Potatoes

“…sweet potatoes are a nutritious source of energy for those looking for an extra boost.”  I like to eat  my sweet potato with cinnamon and cayenne pepper.  Yummy!

5. Coffee

“Coffee might be the first food you’d think to consume when you’re looking for a boost of energy.”

6. Eggs

“Packed in protein..”

7. Apples

“Due to their rich content of natural sugars and fiber, apples can provide a slow and sustained energy release.”

8. Water

“Water is essential for life.  ……and is involved in many cellular functions, including energy production.”

9. Dark Chocolate

“The antioxidants in cocoa have been shown to have many health benefits, such as increasing blood flow throughout the body.”

10. Yerba Mate’

“Yerba Mate’ contains antioxidants and caffeine. ….”

11. Goji Berries

“Besides being packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, this fruit is known to be a good source of fiber.”

12.  Quinoa

“Quinoa is a seed popular for its high protein content.”

13. Oatmeal

“Oatmeal is a whole-grain cereal that could provide you with long-lasting energy.”

14. Yogurt

“Yogurt is an excellent snack to fuel up your day.”

15.  Hummus

“Chickpeas in hummus are a good source of complex carbs and fiber that the body uses for steady energy.”

16. Edamame

“Edamame can be an easy satisfying pick-me-up snack.”  I am not trying to get into a technical debate on Soy products; it made the list so I kept it in the blog.  Be responsible and research the pros and cons on ingesting soy products and how that affects the human body.

17.  Lentils

“…..Lentils are a good source of nutrients and help boost energy levels.”

18. Avocados

“…they’re rich in healthy fats and fiber.”

19. Oranges

“Oranges are famous for their high vitamin C content.  One orange can provide as much as 106% of the RDI for Vitamin C.” “Additionally, oranges contain antioxidant compounds that can provide protection from oxidative stress.”

20. Strawberries

“Strawberries are another good energy-boosting fruit.” “….Besides helping fight inflammation in the body, the antioxidants in strawberries may help fight fatigue and give you energy.”

21. Seeds

“Seeds, such as chia, flax seeds and pumpkin seeds, could also increase your energy levels.” “These seeds are generally high in plant-based omega-3 fatty acids.  Low levels of Omega-3 fatty acids have been linked to increased inflammation and fatigue.”

22.  Beans

“….Beans are digested slowly, which helps maintain stable blood sugar levels and gives you steady energy.  Additionally, beans contain antioxidants that can help fight inflammation and promote energy.”

23. Green Tea

“…It has a high concentration of powerful antioxidants that can help prevent oxidative stress and inflammation.”

24. Nuts

“…Most nuts like almonds, walnuts and cashews are known for their high calories and abundance of proteins, carbs and healthy fats.  These nutrients can provide you with a slower release of energy during the day.”

25. Popcorn

“..It’s high in carbs and fiber, which can make it very satisfying and a good option for an energy-boosting snack.”  I like to make popcorn the old fashioned way, so I can control what goes in it.

26. Leafy Green Vegetables

“Leafy green vegetables, such as spinach and kale, are excellent sources of nutrients that promote energy.  They are high in iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium and vitamins A, C, E and K.  Additionally they are packed with folic acid, fiber and antioxidants that provide health benefits.”  Be mindful how Vitamin K, magnesium and potassium affect certain health conditions.

27. Beets

“…Studies have shown that beetroot may be able to improve blood flow due to its antioxidant content and naturally occurring nitrates.”

I will make an effort this week to steer away from processed foods and eat more whole, natural foods.  I always feel better when I follow natural food, eating habits.  Hope you enjoyed the information and again, always do the research and ask for medical advice if you have certain conditions that will be irritated by foods.Facebooklinkedinyoutubeinstagramby feather
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