Smoothie of the Week

Time for my new smoothie of the week

1 cup ice

1 cup honey dew

1 1/4 cup soy milk (unsweetened)

1/2 cucumber

8 oz cooled green tea

smoothie in a glass
Awesome breakfast

Blend then add

1 cup baby spinach

yum yum. Soo good.

As always tried and tested by me.

Till Next time.

Tony R

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10 steps to better eating : the mental approach

This is a very good starter strategy that will help anyone get motivated to eat and live healthier.
Tony R

PumpUp Blog

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This is a post published by PumpUp member @coachmelissa. Check out her website at melissalepage.com 

Clear your mind of can?t. I believe that you can eat your way to a beach-ready body for the summer. Trimming off those extra holiday pounds might be a hurdle and a half, but don?t give up now! 

Be patient and follow these 10 steps 

1. SET PRESENT-TENSE GOALS! It all starts by having clear and realistic goals. Write a list of things you want to change about your diet. Incorporate goals that you have for your body and plan your new lifestyle around those objectives. How to do it? Set present, short them and long term goals. Write in the present tense. Pin it up somewhere in your house: a place you know you won?t be able to avoid (like the fridge). Take it one goal at a time. Take your time to achieve your goals…

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Cycling Safety

Cycling Safety is Your Responsibility

Safe cycling is the responsibility of the cyclist not the motorist and if you knew the opinion of many of the motorist that are driving around you you wouldn’t want to leave your safety in their incapable hands.

Know your hand signals

Just as a working turn signal or break light on a car is important to highway safety so is the use of hand signals when riding your bike on the open highway.

If you are driving your car behind someone and you are making the decision whether or not to try to past them the first thing that you will be looking for is their turn signal. You do this because you wouldn’t want them to turn in front of you they didn’t realize that you were trying to pass them. That is the same reason that you do not want to make a turn without using a turn signal with your arm when you are riding your bike on the highway.

Hand signal safety on bicycles are probably one of the most neglected safety rules of cycling. It is my opinion that anyone breaking these rules while cycling should receive a citation from law enforcement just as a car driver would. This would increase the cyclist awareness for the need to use them.

Here is a short video that will demonstrate the safe use of cycling hand signals:

Know When to Stop

Cyclist should make it a habit to always stop for all stop signs and red lights. I know that it seems easier to just coast really slow, look both ways, not unclip your feet from your pedals and just go. But mark my words that once that has become a habit there will be one time that you will do it and someone will be coming and you will get all confused trying to unclip your feet in time to stop and there will either be a close call or you will have used up your one and only chance to do it safely. Once that opportunity has been used it can’t be taken back.

Please take time to slow down, unclip, and stop so that you will have a nice safe ride for you and all of the cars around you.

Be Aware of Where you are on the Road

Defensive driving is one of the most important aspects of safe cycling there is. We like to think that all of the cars out there on the roads are paying attention to us and realize the potential for hurting us. That just isn’t realistic. Everyone takes their eyes off of the road sometime.

That being understood means that you as the cyclist should be paying close attention to the motorist on the road as well and you too should realize the potential for them hurting you. You should also be paying attention to the road in front of you. I always make it a habit to look at least ten feet in front of me for pot holes or any debris that could cause me to have a wreck or to dart into traffic trying to dodge something. As well you should relay this information to any other cyclist that may be riding in a pace line behind you. Here is a short video that will demonstrate how to signal other riders in your pace line of road hazards.

Helmets

Last but not least there is helmets. Originally I was going to recommend that you know the helmet laws in whatever state that you might be riding in but now I just want to tell you that it is simply foolish to tempt fate by riding without a helmet. You just never know when having that helmet on will save your life. Don’t ride without one please.

That’s all for now. See you on the road.

Tony R

 

 

 

 

Work out Day

Being Focused

For me work out day means having to stay focused on saving some energy for myself and my home. I work a very demanding job that will suck the life out of me if I were to allow it.

I try to stay focused on saving both physical energy and mental energy for myself. This enables me to be able to work out on the days that I am going to work out without or to work around the house on the in-between days. Life is about balance and sometimes we have to work really hard at finding that balance but it is well worth the effort.

That’s all for now. See you on the road.

Tony R

Indoor Training

Riding a Recumbent Bicycle Trainer

If it were up to me I would ride my bike 7 days a week or more but unfortunately there are these things called bills and they require me to work 10 and 12 hour days to pay them.

In the past I have been sneaking in a ride on any occasion that I could find. Take a day off, holiday, sick day, and when I could muster up the strength I would even ride after work.

My wife has a recumbent trainer that I have been reluctant to get on because I thought that it would be too different for me since I am so used to riding a standard road bike. However, since I have decided that I am going to train to ride a century (100miles) next year I figured that I am simply going to have to develop a consistent training schedule. So I decided to give the indoor bike a try. I have to admit that I was very pleasantly surprised at the workout I got from riding that bike.

exercise bike
exercise bike

My legs felt like they got the exact workout that I would receive on a standard bike but my core seems to have gotten twice the workout that it would have normally received. I am pleasantly surprised and I have decided that I will no longer assume that something will not work for me without trying it.

That’s all for now. See you on the road.

Sincerely, Tony R

Cycling: A Great way to Lose Weight

Have you ever wished that you could just have fun and lose weight at the same time?

Are you sick of gyms telling you that you have to pay their ridiculous membership fees to be able to get into shape? Are you sick of the television commercials telling you that you have to take their pills that may or may not kill you? Or are you just sick of confusing diet plans that no one working a real job could ever have time to keep up with?

If you answered yes to these questions then you and I have something in common already. I don’t have the determination or drive to work out like a professional athlete. I can’t afford to pay the gym hundreds of dollars to provide me with the machines and trainers to get me healthy. I am pretty sure that the pills that they are selling on television will shorten your life dramatically and I can’t afford to have a chef in my kitchen designing my food for me so that I am eating the right amount of all of the right things. I am even happier to be the one to tell you that it isn’t necessary to do any of those things. You don’t have to be a slave to media or weight gain anymore.

My Story

I was never the skinny guy but after I quit smoking I found myself about 87 pounds heavier. Even though I am 6’1” and have a medium size frame 322 pounds is still a lot of weight to carry around every day.

I have had inherited high blood pressure all of my life and the weight wasn’t doing it any good either. So I was taking more and more medicine to keep it under control.

However the real kick that got me motivated was when the doctor told me that I may be a diabetic and then the following A1C test confirmed that I was. I knew that I had to do something so I decided that I needed to change my eating habits and decided to start cycling. Of course I made all of these decisions along with the doctor’s blessings. It is important that you know how healthy you are before you start riding.

Cycling along with a healthy eating plan is a great way to lose weight and to keep it off. I myself lost over 75 pounds. Was it always easy? No. Were there set-backs along the way? Absolutely. Everything you try to accomplish in life has its ups and downs but those are the very things that are worth fighting for because they can change our lives and often the lives around us. Following is my method for losing weight through eating healthy and cycling.

I Never Starve Myself

Starving yourself to lose weight is a myth told by the devil himself. Starving yourself is the best way to gain weight not lose it. You should eat at least four small meals a day. It is ok to eat some starchy foods but they should be kept in small portions. Your meals should consists of more protein and veggies than anything. I try to stay away from bread altogether but you don’t have to but if you are going to eat bread then I would at least eat whole wheat and still very sparingly. Try to have lean caught fish at least twice a week. Farm raised fish is not bad for you but caught is much better. Chicken and unprocessed turkey are also good staples for eating health as they both can be prepared in many different ways that will help to keep from getting tired of them.

Drink primarily water throughout the day. No sodas and less diet sodas. Sorry for this one but the sugar has to go. There is no time that sugar is good for you.

It’s not Exercise, its Recreation

It really doesn’t take as much exercise as you might think to lose weight. You can burn between six and eight hundred calories by cycling for twenty to thirty minutes. Although you can find many charts on the Web that claim to tell you how many calories you burn per ride its actually impossible to say exactly how many calories you burn per ride because there are so many variables to take into consideration. Such as: How much you weigh, how fast you ride, how far you ride, how many hills you climb, and what kind of condition you are in.

I find that it is easier to determine how long you should ride by how tired you get. When you start to get tired then go just a little farther then turn around and head home. It isn’t necessary to train like “Rocky Balboa” to lose weight. It is much more important to enjoy yourself while you ride. That’s what keeps you riding. That’s the secret that kids have that makes them so active. That and they have no bills.

Getting Started Riding

If you don’t already have a bike I would recommend that you find a nice 200 dollar bike at Wal-Mart that is made of aluminum rather than opting to buy one of the cheaper metal bikes or one of the very expensive aluminum or carbon fiber bikes. With the two hundred dollar bike you haven’t blown a lot of money if for whatever reason you decide that riding isn’t for you and if you get one of the cheap metal bikes you will not enjoy yourself because the bikes are just too heavy to peddle up hills.

Be prepared to get a little saddle sore from the bicycle seat. Unfortunately there is no easy way around it you will get sore. The further you ride the more you will start to notice that the seat will make you sore and/or numb in your hind quarters. About the only thing that you can do about it is to invest in some good riding shorts that have cushion in them but even with them you will still have to get used to the seat before the pain will go away. But it will. I assure you it will. I don’t recommend you getting a bigger or fluffier seat as they will only tend to make you sore in different places.

It is also a good idea to plan to get a computer for your bike. No. Not a laptop but a small computer that sets on your handle bars that tells you how far and fast you ride. They help to motivate you to do a little more than before as you start to see patters in your riding habits.

Food Cravings are not a Sign of Weakness

After about a week of eating small meals and exercising be prepared for your body to start to want a little more to eat. This is a perfectly natural thing so prepare yourself for it. Don’t let it catch you off guard. You are not feeling this because you are weak or because or have poor self-discipline. You are feeling this for two reasons; (1) is because you are simply used to eating more and (2) is because your body is starting to burn more energy. So you should be happy to fill that void with a piece of fruit but not too close to your next eating time or you will be eating on top of it. However, before you eat that piece of fruit take a moment to decide if you are truly hungry or if you are just eating out of boredom. If you are truly hungry then have that fruit and enjoy.

 

Visualize Your Sugar Graph

One way of understanding why eating like I do works is by visualizing your sugar graph. Eating small portions of food per meal with smaller amounts of carbohydrates allows your sugar levels to remain constant. If you eat too much you will spike your sugar levels which causes two things: (1) Your body will be unable to burn the sugar that it has created meaning that all of the extra sugar is turned to fat and (2) you will become hungry soon after; creating a never ending cycle of eating. If you want to lose the weight then you have to break that cycle.

Don’t be Afraid of Flavor

Sometimes we seem to think that healthy food has to be bland. Having so little taste that most dogs wouldn’t care for it. This is simply not true. I have read time after time and proven it with my own experience that food that taste good is more satisfying. Food that taste good also keeps you satisfied longer. So don’t be afraid to eat a little Salt, Pepper, and Spices on your food. Another added effect of having a little spiciness in your food is that it tends to raise your metabolism therefore burning more calories.

Weighing Yourself Could be Dangerous

Weigh yourself in the morning but not every morning like some would suggest. You don’t want to develop an addiction to weight loss. Not all people are susceptible to this but it is better not to test it to find out. It will drive you crazy stressing over your weight being up or down a pound or so every day when your body will normally go up or down water loss and water gain. I recommend that you weigh in on Mon. and Thur. to keep you motivation positive and focused. If you stick to it you will lose weight so don’t stress over the scale.

The Two Number One Keys to Success

(1)Do not beat yourself up over bad days. Just reset yourself and get a fresh start the next day. Most times you will not even see a gain or loss from one day of bad eating.

(2)Take time both in the morning and in the evening to set somewhere comfortable and relax, not sleep, relax and clear your mind. Throughout the day slip back to the memory of that restful mindset so that you are able to keep your stress levels in check. Low stress levels help to keep your body working at peak performance. It is widely know now that stress is one of the triggers that causes your body to make hormones that lead to weight gain along with a host of other ailments.

 

That’s all for now. See you on the road.

Tony R.

Health Benefits of Cycling

Diabetes and cycling

Diabetes has definitely become a plague in the United States today. It is estimated that somewhere in the neighborhood of 29 million Americans have diabetes today (Reference). The worst part of that is that many of these Americans are under the age of twenty years old.

Weapons we can use against Diabetes

The number one Weapon that we have for fighting diabetes is a healthy diet filled with protein and lacking in carbs and fast food. We need to have some carbs in our diet but they should be offset by more protein. That protein is best derived from vegetables but protein from fresh caught seafood as well as chicken and other lean meats are good also (Reference). Our children have become fast food junkies and there is no sign of them getting any better any time soon. It is a popular understanding that bread is not good for you and that is pretty much true. However many people with this understanding think that they can buy a cheese burger from one of the popular fast food restaurants, take the bread off and it is ok. NO! The meat that is on that sandwich is worse than the bread. Studies show that consuming processed meats increase your risk of diabetes by 19 percent not to mention what it does for heart disease statistics (Reference). It takes a little longer to prepare your own food but the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks.
The second weapon that we have against diabetes is exercise. Diabetes attacks every organ in your body as you get older. One of the biggest ways that it does this is by destroying your arteries and veins. At first it’s not the big arteries but the small arteries that feed oxygen to your tissues. In this way it kills your organs layer by layer until they no longer function.
Diabetes does affect your heart and larger arteries in much the same way. However your arteries, unlike your organs, have to flex in order to work. The effects that this process has on your arteries is that they begin to harden and no longer flex. Then when the blood tries to flow through the shrunken hard arteries they split causing, depending on where they are, a stroke or a heart attack.
By staying active and maintaining regular exercise, along with a healthy diet, you can help to maintain your arteries and veins health. One of the best ways to do that is to cycle. Cycling maintains continues blood flow through your circulatory system and sends lots of extra blood and oxygen to your organs which helps them to stay young and healthy.
Many exercises are not good for your knees, ankles, and internal organs because of the constant pounding they take such as when you jog or run. Unlike running or jogging, riding a bike provides very little trauma to your knees, ankles, organs or any other part of your body while still providing all of the benefits that any other exercise provides. Many doctors, for that reason, recommend riding to their old patients but why wait till you are older. Start while you are young and benefit from a lifetime of riding your bicycled.

Conclusion

So if you are interested in riding give it a try. It’s fun, good for your health, and you will never know what you are missing until you get out there.