Medition in Motion: Tai Chi

https://bodychangewellness.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/e793f-tai_chi_chuan_by_bramer1.jpgThinking about the Okinawan’s and talking with my friend Cam about how he’d love to do tai chi and instruct in it, makes Tai Chi is the perfect topic for this week’s exercise post. Plus it’s right up my alley: Meditation in Motion. Sign me up! So clearly we can think that tai chi can bring a clear state of mind. But there are more benefits to tai chi. First off, what is it?

Tai chi is a low-impact, slow motion type of exercise. There are no pauses between motions often named after animals). You move naturally, with more circular movements. Not forced movement. You breathe deeply as you move. As you move you focus on your bodily sensations. Presence in what you are doing. Rather than tensing your muscles stay relaxed. The joints do not fully extend nor bend. Continue reading

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The World’s Oldest

Yesterday I explored longevity a bit, so naturally this spiked my curiosity about the world’s oldest people (they actually say we could live to be 120 to 160 years old) Hence the picture of this woman: Jeanne Calment. This pic says to me, ‘yep I’m a bad a** and I lived to 122, say something’. What did I learn in my digging about the keys to longevity. I’m going to use a Faith Hill song here, ‘The secret to life is there ain’t no secret.’ Jeanne broke all kinds of rules to health. But I do think she had a big thing going for her:

If you can’t do anything about it, don’t worry about it.

She was said to be immune to stress, which I think really helped her push to be the oldest recorded person. You see the same thing with the oldest living American Sarah Knauss, who also had a very chill demeanor. Back to Jeanne. Could you Continue reading

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Living a Long Healthy Life

Man I didn’t do any post last week, sorry! This week I am back and we are going to look at one of the topics of health that really intrigues me: longevity. I think sometimes we are so focused on the the outside. We’re searching for  perfect number or for that hard body, but what does it actually mean to be healthy? What’s life if we are not functioning at 100%? If we’re loaded up on medications? If we are constantly at the doctor? If we’re sick or at risk? I’ve always said Alzheimer’s scares me the most. To live this life and create all these experiences, to have people that love you, to not remember it. If we can’t move because of faulty, fragile joints. If we are afraid of disease. If we accept disease as our ultimate surmise. How many people truly die of old age? I remember talking to a client once about the Mediterraneans lack of health disease and the importance of fat. Her only rebuttal was that they were not ‘skinny’. I know many ‘skinny’ people who are not healthy. So how do we satisfy being comfortable in our skin (I think more important than striving for perfection) and living a life of quality? What are the secrets of the longest living people?

I did a post on the Okinawans years ago and it is still one of my favorites. I think we are so focused on building lives and perfect bodies, in using science and technology to make us better, we have disconnected ourselves with our roots. We prefer hitting the gyms and machines, to sowing the land and doing house chores or walking (we jump in our cars). The longest living people aren’t out doing the new fitness trend or running marathons pumping iron. They are merely living their lives. Doing their traditional activities and work. The Okinawans incorporate Tai Chi into their routine. I think the biggest asset to the healthy societies is their mindset. Let’s break it down, let’s look at what they’re doing and compare it to our lifestyles:

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MOW: Stir Fry

010These pics and meals come from dad’s cooking class. They are easy and absolutely delicious. It’s amazing how just getting used to and embracing the tastes of salt and fat makes a meal that much more enjoyable.

Stir Fry

  • Steak, thinly sliced
  • Cabbage, shredded into long strips
  • Carrots, shredded into long strips
  • Celery, shredded into long strips
  • Grass-Fed Butter

To Make Thinly slice meat. Shred the vegetables, this will make it easy to eat with chopsticks. Heat butter in a skillet on medium heat. Toss in the vegetables and toss. Lastly toss in the meat. Salt to taste. Serve, it is actually that easy and it was Continue reading

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Featured Food: Geoduck

I know who are wonderfully what these are and how do you pronounce this. They are pronounced, ‘gooey-duck’. They are a type of large clam. Naturally I saw them on a cooking show, and the name stuck in my head. My curiosity got the best of me so I decided to do some digging. I do have to admit I didn’t necessarily find the information I was looking for, but I realized I’d seen it on Anthony Bourdain and Bizarre Foods.

I know they don’t look that appealing, but supposedly they are quite delicious, Asian cultures have really taken a fancy with them (notably China and Japan). Here though they’re still a delicacy or a Northwest tradition. Oh yeah, that’s where they harvest geoduck, along the Northwest coast of Washington, Oregon, Alaska and British Columbia. There is also a lot of controversy surrounding this mollusk (think of it a large clam), from poaching to farming to sustainability. I however was Continue reading

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Mmm…Love Food

This actually comes from my father (I think they may be one of the first if not the first things that he has written for the blog) with a little inspiration from Miguel Ruiz:

Food is love and when we enjoy our food, when we really taste it it and feel the texture, it is one of the most sensual experiences we can have. There is so much love in the action of eating, and if we use a new mantra every time we eat, we increase the pleasure. The mantra is just one sound: mmmm. If we practice loving our food every time we eat, soon it becomes a habit. It becomes a ritual that we use to give our thanks to express our love and to receive love without resistance.

 

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Get Outside

This week we’ve started to doing kettlebells outside with mom’s classes (the Love My Kettlebells on the middle right side), but dad and I always did our kettlebells at the park in Colorado or we were hiking out in the wilderness somewhere. Besides it being absolutely gorgeous right now, there are some other benefits to going outside

  • More workout in less time. Yep if you’re short on time you’re better to hit the pavement than the gym. You exert more. I hate running on treadmills to start, but I definitely get more out of my sprints if I’m outside. Plus you have to adapt more. Can you run downhill on a treadmill? This adaption let’s you work and strengthen more muscles, and your joints. Just think of it like vitamins or really anything synthetic or man-made, are you going to get as good a workout on a simulation or the real thing? I like to be outside I vote for real.
  • More likely to stick to it. They show that those who exercise outdoors, exercise longer and more often. Continue reading
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