Wednesday, September 9, 2009

12 Ways Anger Can Harm You

When most people think of wellness they tend to focus on physical health alone. However it is known in the medical community that emotional well being can have a positive or devastating affect on the body as well. Anger is an emotion that is often overlooked and ignored. The list bellow was taken from the book Overcoming Passive-Aggression: How to Stop Hidden Anger from Spoiling Your Relationships, Career and Happiness. I share it to encourage everybody to value their emotional health and deal with any reoccurring issues that may become detrimental to you and your body.

12 Ways Anger Can Harm You
  1. Increased risk of high blood pressure
  2. Higher levels of homeocysteine (amino acid), leading to arterial
  3. Higher levels of C-reactive protien associated with heart disease and stroke risk
  4. Increased levels of cortisol and adrenaline ( the body's fight-or-flight hormones)
  5. Weakened Immune fuction (resulting from overactive hormones that stress immune system)
  6. Increased body weight (from higher cortisol levels)
  7. Enhanced vulnerability to pathogens, everyday germs, viruses, or familial predisposition to cancer or heart disease
  8. Increased risk of periodontists (gum diseases)
  9. Increased vulnerabilty to eating disorders
  10. Higher rates of anxiety, depression, somatic complaints (aches and pains)
  11. Cellular deterioration, premature aging, and shortened life span
  12. Greater likelihood that angry patients will not comply with medical or psychological treatment, thereby putting their health at risk 

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Chickpea or Chicken Pilaf

I am a lover of rice so the healthy pilaf recipe bellow is right up my alley. As a meat lover becoming a full blown vegetarian health nut is too extreme. Instead I'm exchanging take out for tofu to will help me cut calories without losing taste. Now I still eat meat when I want, but I make most of my homemade meals heavy on the vegetables.

I bought The Anti-Aging Plan: The Nutrient-Rich, Low-Calorie Way of Eating for a Longer Life--The Only Diet Scientifically Proven to Extend Your Healthy Years after hearing about the health benefits from Dr Oz on the Oprah. After trying so many methods of weight lose I'm grateful to have found something that works for me. This plan is not for everyone, namely my family, but the book has two different plans and lots of yummy recipes that make nutritious meal planing simple.

I consider myself a decent cook but I like to start off with simple and work up to the more challenging recipes. If you like pilaf give this recipe a try.

Chickpea or Chicken Pilaf
Serve 8

This Dish can be adapted for a vegetarian diet by simply substituting firm tofu or garbanzo beans (chickpeas) for the chicken.

Pilaf Ingredients
Olive oil cooking spray
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapeno chilies, seeded and minced
1 3/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
or 1 3/4 pounds firm tofu
or 2 cups cooked garbanzo beans
1/2 pounds fresh shiitake mushrooms, chopped
3 1/2 cups broth or water, plus additional as needed
2 cups millet
1/4 cup wheat germ
2 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
2 pounds mung bean sprouts
2 medium-sized sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4" slices
3 sheets (each 4" x 2") nori, torn into pieces
Soy sauce or Tabasco sauce, to taste
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
10 scallions, whites only, chopped

Spray a large non skillet with olive and place over medium heat. Add garlic and jalapeno peppers. Stir for 2 minutes. Add the chicken and quickly sear to seal in the flavor. Remove the chicken and set aside. Add shiitake mushrooms. Add a little water or broth as needed to lightly stirfy the mushrooms.

In a 3 quart saucepan, bring 3 1/2 cups of broth or water to a boil. Add the millet, wheat germ, red peppers, and chicken-shiitake-jalapeno-garlic mixture. Return to a gentle boil. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.

During the last 5 minutes of cooking, return the skillet to the stove. Add the bean sprouts, sweet potatoes, and nori. A touch of water will prevent the skillet from drying out; the moisture from the bean sprouts will cook the vegetables. Stir-fry for 6 to 7 minutes. Drizzle in a little soy sauce or Tabasco to taste.

Add the bean sprout mixture to the millet mixture, along with the parsley and scallions.

Heat the cream sauce (below) in a saucepan until warm, then pour equally over each serving and offer extra hot sauce and additional chopped scallions if desired at the table.

Cream Sauce Ingredients
3 cups packed fresh spinach with stems, washed
1 1/2 cups nonfat yogurt
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoon dried thyme or tarragon
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
Buttermilk or nonfat (skim) milk

Steam the spinach for 4 minutes. Place the spinach in a food processor or blender with all of the remaining ingredients and pures until very creamy. For a thinner sauce, add buttermilk or nonfat milk. Set aside, covered.

For Vegetarians: Marinate 1 3/4 pounds cubed tofu in the marinade for Vegetable Paella. Stir the marinade tofu in with the bean sprouts. Or add 2 cups cooked garbanzo beans along with the bean sprouts instaed of the chicken.

To freeze: Simply portion out your servings into freezer ware or freezer baggies. Place into freezer as soon after cooking as possible. to thaw, place in the refrigerator overnight and reheat in the microwave or in a double boiler.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Mediterranean Diet

According to an article written by Daniel J. Denoon " People who mostly follow the Mediterranean diet lower their risk of mental decline -- and they lower this risk even more if they exercise, new studies suggest. "

What is the "Mediterranean" diet you might ask?

There's no one "Mediterranean" diet, but the common Mediterranean dietary pattern has these characteristics:

  • Eating high consumption of fruits, vegetables, bread and other cereals, potatoes, beans, nuts and seeds everyday to balance meat intake.
  • olive oil is an important monounsaturated fat source
  • dairy products, fish and poultry are consumed in low to moderate amounts, and little red meat is eaten
  • eggs are consumed zero to four times a week
  • wine is consumed in low to moderate amounts
  • Sitting at a table, socializing and eating three meals every day, from which at least two are cooked. The Mediterranean diet is primarily based on warm dishes.

Relate Links:

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

How to get you children to eat their veggies

Anyone who has kids understands that it takes a lot of skill and a little finesse to get your kids to eat their veggies. Most kids would prefer to dine on a strict diet of sugary and processed goodness. Pleading seems in vain because they tune out when you say, "Please eat your vegetables. They're good for you." Lucky for me I had a mom who did not force food; instead she offered huge portions of veggies her kids liked and tried to sneak in things that we didn't. Learning her tricks of the trade helped me to cook balanced meals for my little brother, for kids that I've worked with, and for adults that prefer a Big Mac over a home cooked meal.

Number One Lesson- Start Early

  • Offer babies variety of baby food and toddlers a variety of veggies and entrees
  • Encourage you children to taste everything, but never force them to eat anything
  • If you kids reject something keep cooking it; it may take 15 times before they will even taste it but they can eventually acquire a taste.
  • Breast feeding for longer than 6 months seems to help prevent picky eaters
  • Make meal time fun: surprise dinner- mealtime mystery, give a squeeze- preschool tips, uncover the character- colorful spoon and stickers

Number Two Lesson- Make Veggies a Treat

  • Add a small amount of sugar to veggies
  • Add cheese to broccoli
  • Sneak veggies in foods your kids like: use recipes from Deceptively Delicious, or add fruit to cereal, yogurt and Jell-O
  • Offer fresh veggies and dip with meal
  • Let you kids help prepare meals
  • Plant a vegetable and garden together with your kids

Number Three Lesson- Become a Great Example

  • Make sure you eat fruits and veggies at every meal.
  • Stir fry veggies
  • Snack on veggies, homemade trial mix or dried fruit
  • Serve fruit salad for desert
  • Put grated carrots, and fresh or frozen spinach into spaghetti sauce
  • Cook a vegetarian dinner one night a week.

Eating healthy is just as important for kids as it is for adults. If you or a loved one is not crazy about veggies use these tips to help any old dog develop an appreciation for the veggies and all the nutritional value they have to offer. Don't give up on enjoyable and nutritious meals. With creativity and persistence your kids will learn to not only eat their veggies but will learn to like them too.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Ready, Set, Go!!!

photo courtesy of lusi

Hello all. I hope you enjoyed the last post, Stride Into Summer, which was about running and tips to get started. Below is a simple and easy workout for you to try. This will be a good test run; you will see how your body feels and reacts to running and you will get a sense of recovery time (both will get better; we all know after working out the first few times, especially if we haven’t worked out in awhile, soreness will set in.)

To get started you will first want to determine your Maximum Heart Rate, which is the highest number of times your heart can contract/beat in one minute. There are many ways to determine your “max” heart rate, but we use a simple method at the gym, which is
220-AGE = Max Heart Rate.

Example: 220-30 years old = 190 max contractions per min or beats per min (bpm)

Once you have your Maximum Heart Rate, you will need to calculate various percentages in order to determine the various Target Heart Rates or Intensity for your workout. Continuing with the example above, according to the workout below, during the warmup the intensity should be 50% of the “max.”

Example: 190 max contractions per min x 0.50 (50%) = 95 beats per min (bpm), so on and so forth. This means, during the 3-minute warmup, your heart rate should be 95 bpm. Now you may ask, “how do I know if my heart rate is where it should be?” This is where finding your pulse comes in.

To determine your pulse:

1. You can find your pulse on your neck or wrist, count the number of beats for 30 seconds, then multiply that number by 2; giving you the number of beats in one minute.
2. Some machines have sensors that you can grab, which will register your heart rate. This may not be the most accurate reading, but you can use it.
3. There are heart rate monitors that you can buy from Modell’s, Sports Authority, or possibly right there at your gym.

Put your running shoes on, you’re ready to go!!

Easy-Rider Low Impact Workout
30 minutes

Duration (minutes)DescriptionTarget Heart Rate
8elliptical trainer65%
8elliptical trainer65%
3cool down50%

I know, this is a good amount of information to take in, but don’t let it overwhelm you. If you need additional assistance or if you have any questions whatsoever, please leave them in the comment area or email directly at, I will be more than happy to help.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Love The One You're With

Give yourself a big hug
Originally uploaded by quinn.anya

If you are overweight or out of shape toning up is beneficial if not necessary for your health. However, learning to love your body unconditionally is a significant step that is often overlooked. It is hard to take good care of something you don't appreciate; lack of care and gratitude is what allowed you to let yourself go in the first place. There are always exceptions to the rule. Yes, people that loath their looks can lose weight but attaining that goal is a torturous process that is hard to maintain long term. They beat themselves up physically and mentally and are only committed to liking themselves when they are close to accomplishing their weight loss goals. It's a lot like a verbally abusive man that constantly tells his wife how ugly and lazy she is but promises to respect and love her when she drops the pounds. He feels proud of himself because his harsh words motivate her and he will take the credit when she loses enough weight. However the woman, desperate for encouragement and support usually grows resentful and bitter towards her critique. If you are your own worst critique you will become bitter towards yourself and sabotage your efforts or try to hurt yourself in other ways.

Avoid that path by becoming your loudest and most enthusiastic cheerleader. It's hard to loss weight or to accomplish any goal in a negative environment. A connection to your inner self will help you to see your body in a new light. Instead of seeing what you don't have you will appreciate everything your body is capable of. In a journal write two positive things about yourself (your strengths, your talents, your accomplishments, compliments you've received) and one positive thing about your body (your looks, daily fitness, health) everyday. This will help you get ready to see yourself in a better light. If you feel like you need a push; consider positive options like working with a personal trainer or joining a sports team. Instead of punishing yourself for your mistakes, take time to reward yourself for your progress and adjusting your program when you face a failure. In the mean time how are you supposed to handle the reflection? I'm guessing you don't look like a supermodel, so what! There is no one responsible for deciding the perfect standard of beauty? Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. So instead of waiting until for a six pack and buns of steel, learn to love yourself naked and become grateful for all the things that your body has accomplished.

How do you find your outer beauty? Complete this exercise I found on Adios written by Ophira Edut

Start with a full-length mirror. Many people play a love-hate game with mirrors, gazing at the parts we like, and avoiding the ones we don't. We never look at our bodies as they are. Instead, we pick ourselves apart like pet project, scrutinizing our thighs, our chest, our legs. And what we see in the mirror is often no reflection of what is really there.

Find some private time, even if it's just a few moments. Then take off your clothes, and look at yourself. Let the hateful thoughts run their course, then pass. It will clear space in your mind for positive ones to replace them. Don't turn away from your reflection -- try to clear your mind of judgment and keep looking.

Now look closely at those parts you struggle with most. Do they remind you of anyone? Perhaps those full hips once belonged to your great-great-grandmother. If not for them, you may not even be here—her size could have helped her to survive pregnancy and childbirth. Our bodies are living family albums. Pay homage to your ancestors by loving the body they gave you and the legacy it represents.

Who is that Girl

Think Inside Out

When you picture your body, do you think about your heart, your brain, or your kidneys? Probably not. More than likely, you think about your thighs, your hair, and your stomach. Thinking of the function of your body will help you take the focus on your looks and appreciate your health.

There is no shame in expressing your confidence. What do you love about your body? What's your favorite body part and why do you love it?

Related Links:

7 Ways to Love Your Body Through Thick and Thin

Body image - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Stride Into Summer

photos courtesy of bury-osiol and djiancu

Spring is here and summer isn’t too far behind, the perfect time to start an outside running routine. That doesn’t mean go out and try to run a mile, especially if running is new to you. Leave the treadmill behind, get out and enjoy the nice weather. I’ve outlined a few tips to help beginners get in stride.

1. Just like any exercise program, it is important to set attainable goals. Whether it’s to be able to run for 30 minutes straight or to run at least 3 days a week, set a couple of goals and stick to them.

2. Another important task is to map out a route. I would suggest mapping out a route in your neighborhood, that way you are in familiar territory. Be mindful of various surfaces; remember soft surfaces (grass, dirt) are better than hard surfaces (concrete), but any surface will due in comparison to lying on the couch. If you are uncomfortable or unsure about running in your neighborhood, try areas such as parks, bike paths, to local school tracks to get started.

3. One major investment for any running routine is a pair of suitable running sneakers. Visit any running specialty store for professional help with choosing the correct shoes for your individual needs. You will also want to purchase safety accessories just in case you don’t make it home before sundown.

4. Fluid consumption detrimental to a running routine. Dehydration can be harmful to your body, so be sure to consume 8-16 ounces of water or sports drink at least an hour before running. It doesn’t hurt to take a drink along with your for quick sips throughout your run.

5. The warming up, cooling down, and stretching process is not just for exercise routines, runners should also take heed. A 5-minute brisk walk or light run is suggested before breaking into any run (the 5 minutes does not count toward your total workout time). At the end of your run, try avoiding a sudden stop; instead slow your running pace into a 5-minute walk to cool down gradually, and then stretch your legs.

6. Find a pace that is right for you. Everyone is different when it comes to pace. What I learned from my old running coach is as long as you can talk or sing while running, your pace is perfect, at least for beginner runners.

7. Last but not least, to all beginners, walking is not a bad thing. Every runner does it, even the experienced. Think of it as a type of interval training, making the total run more doable.

By far, I’m no professional runner, but I wanted to share some of the simple tips I’ve learned over the years from playing various sports and being coached by various individuals. Enjoy and let us know how your first few runs go.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Benefits of a Walking Workout

I think that walking is underrated. When you think of getting into shape or losing a lot of weight walking is not the first exercise that comes to mind. However it is a wonderful way to get you body up and moving and it has so many benefits that I think every able to should add walking to their regular routine. Here a list the benefits of walking 30-60 minutes five times a week.

1)Strengthens muscles, bones and joints

2)Helps with losing or maintaining weight

3)Controls blood pressure, boost "good" cholesterol

4)Lowers the risk of a heart attack or stroke

5)Reduces the risk of breast and colon cancer

6)Help with avoiding diabetes and gallstone surgery

7)Prevents constipation, osteoporosis and impotence

8)Protects against hip fractures

9)Lower stress levels and prevents depression

10)Relieves arthritis and back pain

11)Improves sleep

12)Improves cognitive function

13)Easy on joints, very low risk of injury

14)Low start up cost, walking shoes and comfortable clothes is all you need

15)You still get these benefits if you split your routine into 10 minute sessions

16)Helps to curb your hunger so that you will eat less

17)You can walk indoors or in place when the weather is bad

18)It is easy to increase the intensity when you need to

19)Great way to spend time with family and friends

20)You can save money on gas if you "walk" your errands

To get started throw on come comfy clothes and a pair of gyms shoes and head on the door. You can walk first thing in the morning or go to the park after work. You can even take your gym shoe to work and walk up the stairs for 10 minutes during your lunch break. Walking is a great excuse to get some fresh air but it can also be very effective to pop in a walking DVD and workout at home; Leslie Sansone - Walk Away the Pounds - 30 Minute Walk is a great start. Leslie is perky, energetic and very encouraging instructor. It took me awhile to get use to Miss Sunshine but her smile is contagious which distracts you from how hard you are working. Even my husband liked her workouts. Leslie Sansone has a few YouTube videos if you would like to get an idea, but I choose this video bellow because it was a 10 minute routine.

Related Readings:

The Numerous Benefits of Walking

Walking Tips, Benefits and Weight Loss ...

Walking For Fitness

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Why Isn't My Weight Loss Routine Working??

photo courtesy of lusi

During initial fitness consultations, the most requested goal is that of losing weight. There are very few people that walk through the door that want otherwise. Personal training for over 8 years, I’ve seen many who start off pretty good; they come to the gym on a consistent basis, they watch what they eat, they work hard, but then everything comes to a halt. What goes wrong? Is it the eating? Is it missing that one day at the gym, that turns into weeks and months missed? There are a number of reasons why, but today I will point out a few common reasons. Hopefully they will help you in your weight loss quest.

Reason 1--Skipping meals/Starving in order to lose weight

Life today is on the fast track. We eat on the run, we skip breakfast, and usually have a heavy dinner. This leads to a slower metabolism. It is very important to never skip breakfast. Literally, it is the most important meal of the day. Think of eating breakfast as BREAKING THE FAST.

Along with eating breakfast, you should add 4-5 more small meals per day, every 2 1/2-3 hours. Feeding your body constantly ensures an increase in metabolism over time and it helps the body to digest the food better. One key point to remember—skipping meals causes your body to flip on the survival mode, which means that it will store fat because it does not know when the next meal will come.

Reason 2--Overtraining

Our bodies are like fine machines that need caring. Going to the gym on a daily basis, continuously lifting weights, with no days of rest in between, can hinder your weight loss progress. Signs of overtraining include fatigue, insomnia, regular soreness, and injuries. Allowing your body to rest and recover is a vital part of achieving at any fitness routine.

Reason--3 Lack of Sleep

The recommended 6-8 hours of sleep is nothing new; we’ve all heard it before. Not only does that apply to non-exercisers, but it applies to those who exercise too. More importantly, those who exercise with the goal of losing weight should really try to get those hours in. Sleeping under 6 hours causes the levels of leptin to lower, which is a protein hormone that helps suppress your appetite. In turn, the ghrelin level is increased; a hormone that stimulates hunger.

So, to sum it up, your body needs at least 6 hours of sleep per night. Otherwise, your appetite will increase, counterattacking your goal of weight loss.

Reason 4--Lack of Water Intake

It may be hard to believe, but good old H2O lowers the amount of fat stored in the body. If you neglect your water intake, your kidneys start to chill out and get lazy; they end up giving their work to your liver, which is responsible for helping the body burn stored fat for energy. That means, if the liver is doing 2 jobs, it does neither 100%; its fat burning potential is decreased causing your body to store more fat.

**DRINK 8+ glasses of H2O per day!!!

Reason 5--Same Routine Syndrome

Anything that is repetitive gets boring after awhile. When it comes to exercise, I can tell you, doing the same thing WILL GET BORING. Plus, your body and muscles will adapt to the routine, hindering progress.

There are a few ways to change your routine; add different exercises for various body parts, increase the weight, the number of reps and/or sets, or increase/decrease the number of cardio days/weight training days.


As I said early on, there are many reasons why one’s weight loss program doesn’t work; I’ve only touched on a few, but I hope these tips help you in your journey to weight loss. Feel free to leave your comments, concerns, and questions in the comment area.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Spring is Here: Tips For Sticking To Your Workout

Ok everyone, spring is here and now it’s time to get back into your exercise routine. I know, it’s sunny and the breezy days have you longing to chill out on the patio of your favorite restaurant, while sipping something nice and cold, but you gotta get that workout in first. Here is a list of suggestions to help you stick to your routine:

1. Keep Track
-It always helps to have a visual reminder that you are staying on track. Grab your planner, print a calendar off the computer, or go to Staples or Office Depot and buy a dry eraser calendar, “X” off the days you exercise. If you see a week without “X’s”, you have some making up to do.

2. Recruit
-Why not recruit a friend who has similar fitness goals as you? Ask a friend or family member to join you in your efforts to get/stay in shape; someone who is organized and stays on track, which, in turn, will help both of you stick to your routine.

3. Commit to a Time
-Whether you get in an hour earlier, dash out on you lunch break, or go to the gym after work, making a time commitment is crucial to staying on task.

4. Always Have a Backup
-We all have days where going to the gym is the farthest thing from what we want to do. On those days, commit to working out at home. Pull out an aerobics video or jump rope and do a cardio workout; drop down and do pushups and crunches; add in squats and lunges too. Also, make a point to purchase a mat, a few sets of dumbbells and an exercise ball in order to get a workout in without going to the gym.

5. Fee Per Session
-If you have the extra resources, hire a personal fitness trainer. Some people are better at sticking to appointments, so knowing that someone is waiting for them and that they are on a time schedule, they will be more apt to go. Also, no one wants to waste money, and most personal trainers will charge clients for last minute cancellations.

6. Switch & Swap
-Routines get stale, which is one reason people lose interest. So, make sure to swap routines from time to time. If you belong to a gym, switch the weights for a swim; try some of the classes they offer. Instead of using the treadmill every visit, try an elliptical or a stairclimber. If you’re a jogger, try bike riding or roller blading. Changing up your routine will always keep you interested.

7. Pump Up the Volume
-If there is one thing that will help with motivation during a workout or even preparing for a workout, it’s music. Keeping a fresh playlist in your Ipod or a freshly made Cd in your Cd player will help you stay motivated and help keep your mind off the time.

8. How About a Treat?
-No one says you can’t reward yourself. After a grueling week of working a 9-5, in addition to making it to the gym for your routine workouts, be sure to treat yourself for a job well done; perhaps a pedicure, a night out on the town, or a meal at your favorite restaurant.

I hope these suggestions help you. If there are any you’d like to add or suggest, let us know at the Trainer's Corner.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

No Rest For the Weary

Insomnia is a serious problem that so many of us over look. For more than 10 years I've worked for a couple of closed head injury rehabilitation centers. Most off my clients lived in the center because of a TBI they received in a car accident. Alot accidents were caused because of a someone driving under the influence but a few of my clients fell asleep at the wheel. One client admitted to having over 5 accidents before the big one that left him paralyzed. Now this very independent and ambitious man needed to be fed, clothed and diapered by a staff of workers. This did not seem to slow him down. Although he had very limited use of his hand and arms he  become an advocate for the disabled. Yes he was an incredibly inspiring man; still that doesn't erase the numerous and daily challeneges he faced just to fuction physically and emotionally. He was upbeat for the most part but this was not the life he choose for himself, but his choices in life lead him to this life and he found that difficult to forgive. He'd gotten into an accident that totaled his beloved sports car but walked away without a scratch. His family pleaded for him to slow down, to stop working 80 hour a week but he thought he was invincible and had to learn the hard way. A week later he was in a hospital bed fighting for his life.

When he told me that story I was humbled. At the time I was working two full time jobs with a daily 3 hour commute. On top of that I've struggled with insomnia since I was a teenager so even when I was at home there was no guarantee that I would be able to fall asleep. If that wasn't enough I've had numerous roommates throughout the years; working midnights and having 3-4 roommates made it difficult to maintain and environment conducive to sleeping during the day. In a weird way my insomnia paid off, my body never wanted to sleep and so it was easy to push myself. For almost 15 years I slept on average 10-15 hours a week. It was great: I could work a lot of over time, workout 2 or more hours a day, socialize with friends when I wasn't working and take as many credits in school as possible. My life seemed balanced and full of fun… at least for a while.

Then my grades started to suffer. Work become more demanding and I had less time to study and go to the library as I entered into my junior year in college. Later that year I was academically dismissed and I lost my eligibility to financial aid. So I registered in a community college and went from working 60 hours to 80 hours a week. Eventually I quit school altogether. Still I was a  young and energetic workaholic. I loved my clients even if they did not love me. A lot of people with closed head injuries suffer a number behavioral problems so it was not unusual for me to be threatened, hit, or spit on. In fact I almost considered it a good day if I only got cussed out. My job was challenging but I loved it; there were more heartwarming and inspiring moments then there were negative ones. Most of my clients worked really hard to regain the control that they'd lost so even if they had a bad day it could not cover up their brilliance.

After 8 years of an insane schedule I was starting to get a little burned out. My body was letting me know that sleep was no longer an option, it was a requirement. Being tired all the time was starting to affect every area of your life. Now I recognize that when I'm tired I over react easily, have trouble concentrating or retaining info, my grammar and math skills go out the window, I feel depressed or act goofy, and I have trouble making dicerning or quick decisions. I could go on but to be honest it is not fun to talk about. I have since left my job. Hubby hated hearing about my dangerous encounters at work and worrying about my commute; studies show that a fatigues person is just as bad as a drunk driver. I become aware of that fact when I'd started dosing off at the wheel. Can you imagine working with people whose lives were permanently altered because of a car accident and later that day catching yourself speeding with my eyes closed? I can't  express the intensity of the guilt and fear I was felt at that time.

Now that I'm at home fulltime I sleep everyday but still have difficulty getting more than 6 hours. I am grateful for the change of pace but believe permenanet damage has been done. I'm not the same sharp, energetic, or fun loving person I use to be. My grammar skills, my ability focus and my health have all suffered. Even now I still feel like I'm in a constant fog with moments of clarity.

The moral of the story is it's not okay to sleep 5 or less a day? I know that there are a lot of important things that must be done, but one of the first things on your list should be to attend to your needs. So many people struggle with sleep disorders and just accept it instead of making a commitment to make changes in their life to fix it. Not everything works for everybody, but you must try and try again until you find what works for you. Getting enough sleep everyday will not only improve your health but it might also save someone's life.

Lupe Performs With Jill Scott on David Letterman

Does anyone else struggle with sleep deprivation? What helps you to catch some  ZZZZZZZZs?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Spark People


There is a cool web community called Spark People that I just joined. I has a ton of tools at your diposal: calorie counters, support group, exercise plan and even porkchops recipes.Think of it as a healthy lifestyle/weight lose plan, MySpace with encouraging and supportive adults, and Wordpress were you blog your little heart out. I am new to it myself so I'll try to keep the gushing to a minimum but you wouldn't believe all the weight loss tools they offer. Oh and I forgot the best part it's free. The diet plan, the exercise plan, the diet tracker, and the recipes; everything you need to lose weight or gain a healthy lifestyle is free. If you are looking to lose weight you should at least check it out. If you decide to join tell LLNLBLOG sent you and look for my page.

For a little intro check out the video, but I think it is better to check out the website first (the video is a great tuturial but not very exciting).

Other popular plans:

National Body Challenge

Oprah's Best Life Series

Wellness Wednesday   © 2008. Template Recipes by Emporium Digital