My family members like to tease me about the fact that I don’t have a very high tolerance for discomfort. I claim to be “dying of heat” or “freezing cold” (rather than a little warm or a little cool). I’m either “bouncing off the walls” or “exhausted” (instead of simply awake or sleepy). And of course I’m never hungry. I’m starving (that is, when I’m not totally stuffed).
When I am starving it’s never a good situation. My hands start shaking. My mood turns sour really fast. I need food. ASAP!
When you’re trying to eat healthy, it’s important to prepare for emergencies. Otherwise, it’s too easy to grab the sugary, chemically-laden junk food that abounds in stores and fast-food restaurants and vending machines. So here’s what I do to prepare for the week: I usually bake some sort of muffins on Sundays (blueberry, apple oat bran, or other kinds where the recipe doesn’t call for sugar and refined flour). I also hard boil 6 eggs for easy snacking. I make a bag of trail mix: raw almonds, raw walnuts, dried cranberries and/or organic raisins. I keep baked tortilla chips in the cupboards and homemade salsa in the fridge. I love raw green beans (there I go being dramatic and extreme again), and I have been known to steal a handful of those as I head out the door. And now that fall is here, I’ve been stocking up on apples – such an easy, delicious fruit to grab on the go.
What are your favorite healthy snacks?
There are a lot of people who exercise to make themselves fit and healthy. They go to gyms, do treadmills, jog, bike, swim, and many more. The problem with these exercises is that they become very monotonous, especially when you do them several times a week. The truth is there are other exercises where you can do cardio without actually being bored doing it – dancing. Well, it may sound funny at first but dancing can actually be a strenuous activity which is perfect for those who are looking for a challenging and very exciting form of exercise. The best part of it all is that you not only learn new moves, but that you do not keep on repeating the same steps over and over wherein the overall exercise is pure and simple repetition of itself.
Do not let dancing fool you because even if you think you are fit from all that jogging and running, try doing some fast and rigorous dance routine and you will be sweating bullets in under an hour. Or you can try some simple graceful moves that can test the overall flexibility of your joints and ligaments.
If you try to look at people who do dancing for a living, you will notice just how lean their physiques are yet strong and capable enough to lift their dance partners. In short, dancing can actually help you build a strong and healthy body. Here are just some of the few benefits of dancing:
Cardio – dancing is all about constant movement and this can help you give your cardio some workout. Once you become more skilled and develop better stamina for dancing, your endurance also increases which means you can practice doing certain dance moves for hours on end. In essence, this not only gives you a cardio workout, but it also develops your stamina and endurance.
Strength – aside from cardio, dancing also has some elements which helps make you stronger. For example, when you do dips and certain weight bearing towards your legs, hips and thighs, you inevitably build your base muscles that help strengthen your balance. Additionally, the rhythmic movements with different sway patterns help in developing your center of gravity.
Weight Loss – dancing is not as easy as it looks and it can wear down your muscles easily and can make you sweat heavily, especially when you are not used to moving your whole body or nearly all your muscles together. Through dance movements, you burn a lot of calories which can certainly make anyone lose weight. This is the very reason why dancers are usually slim.
Flexibility – part of dancing is bending, twisting, and moving your body at angles you do not usually do. Such movements actually help you in developing your flexibility. Additionally, doing some stretching prior to dancing is also necessary in order to avoid any injuries caused by sprains or torn ligaments. Dancing is very tough on muscles, tendons, and ligaments if you do it without practice and stretching. Additionally, practicing dancing more and more can help you to become more flexible.
I’m hanging out with my parents when my dad sees me frantically rubbing my thumbs against the palms of my hands.
“Are you nervous?” he asks.
“Yeah,” I say.
He wants to know why. How to explain?
My parents have been visiting the past few days. I haven’t seen them in over six months. It’s the longest period of time we’ve ever been apart (even when I lived in Europe after college I saw them at least every four months). The past few days have been one big party. We’ve eaten red meat and fried foods. We’ve had Grasshoppers (ice cream and alcohol) and cookies. I think I munched on a vegetable in there somewhere – yes, I steamed spinach one night – but other than that, I can’t say I’ve been practicing “mindful eating” since Saturday. And my home yoga regime? Completely cut off once my parents arrived (although my mom saw my mat, which was rolled out on the floor, and she practiced sun salutations).
“I’m not sure what to blog about for Wasa this week,” I finally say to my dad.
“Well, let’s think,” he says.
“I’m supposed to blog about yoga and mindful eating, but I’m not inspired given my eating habits and lack of yoga practice,” I explain.
My dad is silent for awhile. “You could talk about how yoga is important for old people like me,” he finally says. “As people age, they are at an increased risk of falling. So write in your blog that yoga is important for balance and to do yoga with a Wasa cracker.”
“Uh, okay. Thanks,” I say.
“Just trying to help,” he says.
My mom chimes in too. “Oh, I know,” she says. “Blog about the fact that we bought a juicer.”
It’s true. My parents read the Wasa blog and were inspired to buy a juicer.
“Last week we made peach juice with vodka,” my mom says. “It was delicious!” She pauses. “Am I missing the point?”
Well, I do wish they would make vegetable juice instead, but maybe I’m the one who is missing the point. As I drop them off at the airport, I know what I’m going to blog about: A Time to Feast. This week we’ve hit up good restaurants and had fun cooking in too. We played cards and watched baseball and talked, all over scones for breakfast and steaks for dinner. It was a reunion. A celebration. A time to enjoy life. Not that we couldn’t have done that over Brussels sprouts and brown rice, but eating well most of the time makes it easier to allow the exceptions. Not to mention, those “exceptions” are much appreciated.
5 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
8 pieces WASA Multigrain Crispbread (may substitute any WASA Crispbread flavors)
Preheat oven to 350º
Add all ingredients to a small bowl and mix.
Spread 1 heaping teaspoon onto each crispbread.
Bake 5 to 7 minutes and serve warm.
Prep time: 17 minutes
Nutritional Value Per Serving