Category Archives: Relax and Have Fun

Information I have gathered about all kinds of stuff I like to do to relax and have fun.

Blogging

Hey Y’all 😀

I want to tell you about my blogging experiences. Well actually this is my first blog, it has been two weeks since my first post. First of all I wanted to tell you I am having so much fun doing this and I want to thank everybody who has been reading for allowing me to share with you. It is amazing to see how people from all over the world are reading my words, really amazing! I have some nice listening material for you, it’s an awesome reggae drum n bass remix I love to listen while I work on this blog:

So writing a blog, yes it is a lot of work, I think I spend about 2 to 3 hours on each post, because I try to gather  and investigate interesting information for each post, but I really love doing this. I started this blog to share my experiences with the world because I felt I am discovering so many positive things that are worthy to share with the world! But I am also blogging because I like to make lists and look things up, I like to make an overview of everything I discover and everything I want to do, in a way that is easy to read back, and a blog is ideal for this. And you know what, blogging helps me to organize my thoughts and to let go, writing things down allows me to let go of these things because I know they are saved somewhere so I do not have to worry about them all the time.

I have only told a few close friends and my love about my blog. My love is more a paper kind of guy so he prints everything and then reads it, his feedback has been really positive. As you may have read I am not a talkative person and my love tells me that by reading my blog he is understanding  a lot more about me.

You know, I have always tried to write but I never found anything good to write about until now, and now I am noticing that I am really happy with taking the step to start a blog. It seems like a small thing to do but I feel it added a new dimension to my life. I feel there is more to life now and I am ready to discover it. There are so many things on my list, places to go, things I want to do and I feel ready for it!

This blog has helped me realize that I was feeling stuck, stuck in a not so challenging job, stuck with my weight, stuck on a lot of things I did not even know were bothering me but as soon as I started writing my mind started to overflow with ideas. I make short notations in my phone about everything I want to write about and I have so many interesting subjects I want to investigate that I think I can keep going for months! I have told you I try to walk every night and during my walks my head fills with all kinds of things I want to write about or I want to do with my life.
Of course I did some research before starting this blog, that is how I ended up using WordPress, it seemed like the easiest to use. There is so much information out there for aspiring bloggers, they tell you that you should not expect to be popular the first year, that you have to comment on other blogs, that you have to make a twitter account there is so much advise out there.

I think the most important thing is to find something you are passionate about to write about and that is what I am doing. From here on we will see what happens, I am grateful for this opportunity to share my adventures and I will try to make this read as interesting as possible by adding nice media or informative links. I do not blog to make money, I blog to tell my story, to share, to feel inspired, to clear my head, to create ideas, to get away from everything, to tell the world about things that  matter to me, to inform people about interesting discoveries I have made and to let you in on my journey to create positive change in my life!
Thank you all for being here, this was in a nutshell what keeping this blog means to me, I noticed that a lot of readers are bloggers themselves and I would love to know how all of you feel about keeping a blog and what your blog means to you… So please feel free to add your comments and feedback! Big hug and mucho love!

 

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Gain it, Loose it!

Hey everybody, funny how things happen, I had a draft of this article since yesterday, (it was Monday and I wanted to wish you, A Happy Week, a local custom here) but I did not have time to finish it. That turned out to be for the best because today I discovered I could participate in the WordPress weekly writing challenge, like my blog, this week the challenge is about health. (http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/08/12/writing-challenge-health/)

As you may have read in my earlier posts I was quite frustrated about gaining a few pounds and fitting into my favorite jeans anymore. So since one week now I have been trying to do something about that.

I try to watch what I eat and I try drinking a lot of water but I do not want to exhaust and starve myself by withholding food. Neither do I want to start a very intense exercise regime. I am convinced that by doing regular not too hard exercise and by eating right I will be able to shed the wait I have gained. My love is convinced that I need to do cardio training at least three times a week. I can still hear him saying: honey just get that stepper from the attic and start working out, that’s the only way to loose weight.

Up until now I have been taking the following measures. I walk every evening, between 20 and 40 minutes. At breakfast I only have fruit and ginger infusion (no sugar). I start with the warm drink, it’s good for your digestive system to start the day with a warm drink. If I get hungry I snack on mixed low salt nuts, seeds or fruit. I try to replace one meal a day (lunch or dinner) with a green smoothie (my favorite green smoothie recipe is at the end of this article) and when I eat I try to eat not as much as I used too and chew more on each bite.

My biggest issue is that I love (love love) to have a little (or big) dessert after dinner. So lately I have tried to settle that urge by making a Red Bush infusion and adding a little bit of honey and warm almond milk, helps me sleep and satisfies my sweet tooth.

I have based all these resolutions on information I gathered on the Internet and I have made a small sum up of the best ideas and advice I have come across.

Healthy Food, healthy balance
Start with analyzing what you eat. Do you really eat as healthy as you think? Try and delete the processed foods and bring in more fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds. 
Try to eat balanced and do not cut out something completely, not even fat. Your body needs fat, no deep fried chicken fat but healthy fats you find in nuts and fish.  Your body also needs protein to keep you going, found in eggs for example. Try to eat a lot of fiber rich food, fibers stimulate and accelerate your digestion and act as natural detoxifier.

Maintaining a healthy balance in what you ingest is important for your body, you can eat less but completely stopping to eat something, like fat, will only confuse your body instead of stimulating it to help you loose weight.

Become a Kitchen Prince or Princess
Try to make your own meals, this way you know what you are eating. It takes some time but it is good for you and it is always fun to try new recipes. Do your research and discover, there are so many tasteful, easy and fast to make dishes.



Take out the Garbage
Try to replace your breads, pastas and rice with whole grain products. Maybe at first you will have to make a small adjustment but when your body gets used to the taste of whole grain bread you will not want any other.
Try to replace sugar with sweet leaf, it has much less calories and it is not an artificial product.
Try to make your own healthy snacks instead of going for the processed cookies and crisps. My movie favorite is Japanese style Edamame, salty steamed beans.

Pay Attention

When you have a meal try to sit down in a quiet place, no TV or distractions, accept for dinnertime conversation. Pay attention to what you eat, how much you eat and chew like you mean it. This for me is really hard because I’m a chew twice and swallow type of person, but try it; better-chewed food is easier to process for your body. Secondly your body does not tell you your hunger is satisfied until after twenty minutes of eating so by taking your time for each bite you allow you body time to feel full and you wont over eat. You’ll enjoy your food better and feel more saturated, so you’re satisfied with less and are less likely to snack.

What to drink?

Water? Yes, yes and yes
I love water, learn to love water, and drink it any chance you get

Juice? Depends
Making your own juice is best. Processed juices are filled with sugar, although you can get some nice fresh juice options at the selected supermarkets, keep away from the light juices and drinks because the artificial sweeteners in the end are worse then sugar.

Coffee? Depends
Making your own with a little bit of sugar is OK, although the caffeine won’t be a plus for you sometimes you just need caffeine. But keep away from the Starbucks sugar and cream loaded lattes.

Tea? Yes
Well herbal infusions are preferable but a nice green tea will not do any harm.

Soft drinks? Nope
Do I need to elaborate?

Alcohol? Nope but….
a glass of red wine now and then won’t do any harm, try and stay clear of all the heavy alcoholic drinks because your body will take it as a pure sugar overload.

Dairy? Maybe
Personally I try to replace all dairy with almond and coconut alternatives but a low fat yogurt won’t do any harm.

My favorite: Chocolate
There is good chocolate, the  very dark 70%+ kind and there is bad chocolate, the sweet milk kind. Try and stick with the 70% kind and you can eat a bit every day. Dark Chocolate contains numerous feel good ingredients like anandamide, tryptophan and theobromine. Because of these ingredients you feel good about yourself and the dark chocolate will still your need for sweet in just a few bites. In addition, chocolate also contains additional fiber and healthy fats. Personally I eat two pieces of chocolate with a black espresso everyday after my green smoothie lunch, and I can tell I’m always completely satisfied. (which is big coming from someone who can easily eat two Magnums and consider a third).

Sleep
If you do not get enough sleep your body will make more cortisol, a stress hormone that enhances your appetite. Secondly if you are tired you are more likely to opt for eating something fast and unhealthy.  So try to get eight hours sleep and listen to your body, if you feel you are still tired try to go to sleep a little earlier and try and sleep nine hours, you will see once your body is rested your energy levels will increase and even getting out of bed is not a problem.

Exercise
Try to move everyday, especially if you are in an office job like me; try to just walk every day after work. Do not let the scale control your life, getting in shape is not always about loosing pounds. Make sure you have clothes that fit well and are nice for walking; you do not have to go shopping, just find something in you closet that is comfortable for walking.
Keep track of how much you move everyday. If you have time choose to take the stairs instead of the elevator. You do not need to become a member of your local gym and spent a huge amount of money. Do a few easy exercises every morning. Just start out with easy and fun to do stuff that will help you feel better.

Realists Rule 


Do not set impossible goals, impossible goals result in disappointment that results in you becoming less enthusiastic.
Make a clear plan, try it out and if that does not work for you do not be afraid to adjust.
Do not starve yourself, withholding food from your body, will stimulate your body to switch to survival mode and try and burn a little calories as possible.
Plan what you eat and keep track, I am not a calorie counter but I try to have a little list in my head of everything I eat in a day.
Indulge yourself one day a week, don’t go all out crazy but do eat a little piece of chocolate cake, or whatever is your biggest sin food. It’s a reward for all the hard work you did and it will stop your body from going into low calorie burning survival mode.
Try and eat smaller portions and make sure you do not get hungry by always carrying healthy snacks like an apple with you.
The best way of not eating unhealthy stuff is by not buying it.
Think about that next time you are shopping and buy healthy alternatives.
Also realize that you won’t loose weight locally, you will probably loose it where you gained it last (too bad because the only thing I likes about gaining weight was a bigger cup size).
Most importantly, realize that once you have started to adjust your eating pattern this is for life!
Read again, and pay attention, it is for the rest of your life! Chancing the way you eat is not something you will keep up two weeks and then you can go back to the way things were.

Finally: Stay Positive

Try to write about your experiences, it will help you get a clearer overview of all your efforts and successes. Talk to friends about what you want to accomplish, maybe you will find someone who is wanting the same and you can share experiences or even walk together. Inform yourself about what you are doing. Surround yourself with positive people. Try to reduce stress by meditation for example. If you are less stressed you will be able to focus more on what you are trying to accomplish. Sometimes everything just seems to go wrong and nothing works out the way you want. In that case just take a day, leave everything, rest, rest, rest, relax and focus on turning your mindset around to being positive. Tomorrow is another day and you will get there where you want to be!

Last but not least: The Green Smoothie
I know, I know the smoothie, or batido as we call it here, makes you think about a fruit milky cold drink packed with sugar and fat. But it can be done differently, full with superfoods like kale and chia seeds. You can make it at home in no time (shopping for the right ingredients can take a little bit more time though). And best of all it does not have to taste awful! One of my favorite recipes for a kale green smoothie can be found on this website:

http://www.bodyandsoul.com.au/nutrition/nutrition+tips/4+green+smoothie+recipes,18221

It is called the wellness warrior smoothie; it is like a very healthy meal that you can drink. I use it a lot during lunch as a meal replacement and it really gives me energy the whole afternoon.

Enjoy everybody! Love and Peace

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Yoga

I love yoga! Everybody should try it, and the great thing is, almost everybody can, it’s not a hard to learn sport, there is a type of yoga for everybody (and every body).

For a very long time I thought that yoga was to New Agy for me, until I met a very special lady in my Capoeira class who happened to be a yoga instructor. She invited me to join her weekly yoga class, on the Caribbean beach and Jacuzzi afterwards, who can say no to that? I discovered that yoga is a very relaxed way of exercising your body and your mind. I started yoga over a year ago and I am still discovering and learning a lot about yoga and its benefits but I can truly say it has helped me a lot on my journey to create change in my life by giving me a way to relax and think things over, a quiet and peaceful place to retreat when the world is too stressful and intense.

If you have never done yoga before it is best to see if there is a yoga class near you where you could take a look and join for a try. There are many forms of yoga and many ways to teach it. I was lucky that I met a great teacher who teaches a form of yoga that really fits with me which is Hatha Yoga.

Now my teacher left the island so no more weekly classes, luckily I had enough practice to do a little routine at home, but I also looked on the internet to find some nice yoga videos and to try some new techniques. I do a few basic moves every morning and night just to stretch my muscles and loosen my joints.

If you were interested in starting with yoga I would advise you to look around on the Internet and do a little research about what form of yoga you would like to learn. You can also start to practice at home using the instruction videos you can find on youtube. I made a little list (using Wikipedia) of the different types of yoga, you can use these names to find more information and online videos to start practicing or just to inform yourself about what is out there.

For me personally yoga is about tranquilizing your mind and exercising your body. You do this by controlling your breath and making sure you breath deep into your belly in stead of superficially. You go trough a series of movements while you align you breath with the movement. For example when you stand and raise your hands you breath in and when you lower your hands you breath out. Everything has to do with energy flows. I have tried a few forms of yoga, some focus on flowing movements that help you become more agile and in control of your body and other focus on holding postures for a longer while and help you build strength and some focus on breathing, breathing techniques and meditation, in the end all types of yoga will help you relax your body and your mind.

Hatha  Yoga -> Hatha yoga attempts to balance mind and body via physical postures or “asanas”, purification practices, controlled breathing, and the calming of the mind through relaxation and meditation.

Ashtanga vinyāsa Yoga -> The term vinyāsa refers to the alignment of movement and breath, a method which turns static asanas into a dynamic flow. A practice will comprise four main parts: an “opening sequence,” one of the six main “series”, a back-bending sequence, and a set of inverted asanas, referred to as the “finishing sequence.”

Kundalini Yoga -> Kundalini is the term for “a spiritual energy or life force located at the base of the spine”. The majority of the physical postures focus on navel activity, activity of the spine, and selective pressurization of body points and meridians. Breath work and the application of bhandas (3 yogic locks) aid to release, direct and control the flow of Kundalini energy from the lower centers to the higher energetic centers.

Restorative Yoga -> In restorative yoga, props are used for support the body so that you can hold poses for longer, allowing you to open your body through passive stretching. The postures are usually adapted from supine or seated yoga poses with the addition of blocks, bolsters, and blankets to eliminate unnecessary straining.

Yin Yoga -> Yin Yoga is a slow-paced style of yoga with postures or asanas that are held for comparatively long periods of time–five minutes or longer per pose is typical.

There are many more forms and types of yoga, many are based on the Hatha yoga style. If you are a beginner I would advise to start with Hatha yoga because it will teach you many of the moves that are used in other types of yoga as well. Because you hold the postures for a little while with the Hatha practise you get a change to study the postures in perfect them before trying our a more flowing type of yoga. Again it is best to start at a yoga centre or at a gym because it is really nice to have someone present who can explain the postures and show you how to do them the right way.

I found a great site that has a very rich collection of information about different yoga styles in case you would like to investigate: http://yoga.about.com/od/typesofyoga/u/yogastyles.htm#s4

Enjoy and relax with yoga!

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