Sunday, December 4, 2016

Fitness and Living Jigsaw: Number 12 by Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven



Fitness and Living Jigsaw:  Number 12





What signs of better strength, wellness, and living have you seen since Fitness and Living Jigsaw: Number 11?

Remind yourself again:  You deserve to live well and be well.  Making fitness and good nutrition a routine, a habit, and expression of how you respect yourself is essential to developing a desire to get moving and stay moving.  

It is imperative to understand the power of health and wellness.  One of the most critical factors in the process of physical, mental, and emotional wellness is you.  Your creativity, choices, workout equipment, awareness of your own abilities, evaluation of health goals, and execution of good habits is essential.  Execution and implementation can be a challenge, although without implementing the proper healthy habits all the reading of exercise articles will not make you physically stronger.  Rather than a specific plan, this article supplies guidelines, inspiration, and ideas to spark your interest.

Often I am asked about my routine for healthy living and how I maintain good fitness, especially when I am regularly baking, cooking, and always on the hunt for excellent restaurants.  No big secrets here.  I eat well, get a good amount of sleep, rest, and give my body and mind a good workout.  If anyone knows a thing or two about fitness and nutrition, it’s me.  And if I can do it, you can too.  A background of teaching health and physical education, as well as a lifelong interest in nutrition, has been essential to maintain an excellent level of fitness, energy, and strength for me.  

Models, actors, athletes.  The images we see in ads, movies, and media can influence our goals and perceptions.  Keep in mind the people in those professions spend a lot of time and have a lot of time to look their best.  Or computer graphics best.  Rather than focusing on images in media, focus on health and wellness for the mind, body, and soul.  We all approach fitness at various levels, perspectives, and habits based upon previous experiences and family environment.  Take a moment to reflect upon good values, the ideas you hold close, that will be the center of what gets you physically fit.  Structure your day, fight for the time to eat well and get physically fit.  Work toward betterment, not perfection.  Be prepared to respond in life.  That means being ready to plan out options and alternatives to preserve your health and wellness.  We all know life is a continual journey, full of difficulties and blessings.  Put on some good music, turn up the volume, and get liberated from those unhealthy habits.  

Working out is not enough for our bodies.  Diet, what you eat, what you buy at the store and bring home to your kitchen, is highly significant to strong abs and obliques.  Purchase and prepare foods that satiate your appetite.  Eat seasonally and enjoy the monthly flavors.  Your fitness routine also needs variety.  Mix up your activities.  Sleep is also key.  The body, mind, and soul need rest and revitalizing.  Sometimes preparing yourself is the key.  Remind yourself in verbal or written form to workout the next day or after work.  Repeat that reminder each night before you go to bed.  This mantra may be the key to applying the health and wellness information you know to do. 

Eat.  Enjoy.  Satiate.  Satisfy.  Get nutrients.  Deal with emotions.  Make something beautiful to make your belly happy.  Breathe.  Those daily habits make a difference.  In my book, candy, cakes, cookies, and desserts are not the devil.  Too many sweets and too often is not good.  Not to worry though.  Take a breath.  If you get off the path of healthy living, I’m confident you can do better next time.  As David S. Ludwig, MD, PhD stated, “Overeating doesn't make us fat.  The process of becoming fat makes us overeat.  In other words, hunger and overeating are the consequences of an underlying problem.  Follow a simple lifestyle prescription focused on enjoyable physical activities, sleep, and stress relief to improve metabolism and support permanent behavior change.”


Sharks and Barracudas




Circle Crunches




As part of improving cardiovascular health, motor skills, and core strength change up your routine with a game of Sharks and Barracudas or circle crunches.  Begin with either activity and then work up to doing more of that exercise.  You may find doing variations on your movements or speed and distances make working out more interesting for you and you may see better results.  

Games are key to your fitness program.  Sharks and Barracudas requires application and competency in movement patterns and a variety of locomotor skills in various directions and pathways.  Also key is understanding the concept of pacing throughout this cardiovascular activity.  Additionally, a game of Sharks and Barracudas requires flexibility, endurance, strength, and the use of various muscle groups.  To Play Round One:  Divide into equal teams by random numbers.  Each team will stand at opposite ends of a basketball court or other safe space.  One team will be the sharks.  One team will be the barracudas.  Designate one player on the shark team to be the captain.  The sharks turn their backs, so as not to see the barracudas.  The barracudas then make their way to sneak up on the sharks.  When the captain of the sharks thinks the barracudas are close, he or she yells out “The barracudas are coming!”.  The sharks then turn around and attempt to tag as many barracudas as possible.  Barracudas that make it to the shark line or back to their home base are safe.  Barracudas that are tagged become sharks.  If a barracuda makes it to the shark home base, then he or she tags a shark and that shark then becomes a barracuda.  To Play Round Two:  Have the players switch roles.  Choose a captain for the barracuda team.  The barracudas turn their backs while the sharks attempt to sneak up on them.  When the captain thinks the sharks are close, he or she shouts out “The sharks are coming!”.  *Tagging must be done gently from the shoulders to waist.    

Circle crunches is a significant exercise to develop stronger abdominals and obliques.  This activity works the muscles in the pelvis, lower back, hips, and abdomen.  Proper technique is important to gain the most out of the activity and prevent injury.  The result should be improved balance, stability, and muscle strength. Begin on your back, knees bent, hands behind your head, and feet planted on the floor.  Move your right elbow toward your left knee, then left elbow toward your right knee.  Alternate:  Move your left elbow toward your right knee, then right elbow toward your left knee knee.  Repeat.  Make sure to push up and go side-to-side as you are moving elbow toward knee and elbow toward knee.  Breathing is also important during this exercise.  

Join with your family and friends today.  Find a locale to work out that gets you inspired.  Then return here and share your progress, tips, and what you learned.  Please remember all information is of a general nature and is furnished only for education.  See a doctor or medical professional for your own personal fitness advice.









Order online or contact me for catering.

Join the Pointe Viven circle:  sign-up for email updates.


Note: All information is of a general nature and is furnished only for education.  See a doctor or medical professional for your own personal fitness advice.  Use of this information is at your own risk in regard to any losses, liabilities, injuries or damages resulting from any and all claims.


Credits:  drweil.com/drw/u/ART03528/Always-Hungry-David-Ludwig.html, Image courtesy of [lkunl] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net, Image courtesy of [stockimages] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net, Image courtesy of [photostock] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net, Credits:  drweil.com/drw/u/ART03528/Always-Hungry-David-Ludwig.html, Image courtesy of [lkunl] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net, Image courtesy of [stockimages] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net, Image courtesy of [nenetus] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net,   Image courtesy of [JanPietruszka] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net, KiropraktorCentrum, https://sites.google.com/site/compendiumofphysicalactivities/Activity-Categories/sports  http://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/mayo-clinic-expert-discusses-safe-swimming-practices-to-reduce-water-related-illnesses/

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern: A Celebration of American Fare



Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern:  A Celebration of American Fare





The challenge of dining out is the over-saturation of the beige, ubiquitous, en-masse produced food across the country.  Our conversation of eating out follows along these lines.

“Honey, where do you want to eat tonight?”
“How about Blue Bird?”
“No, we ate there last week and last month with Mike and Carol.”
“Mel’s?”
“We dined there twice in the past week.”
“Hmmm, then where?”

Fear not.  Here is where my expert knowledge of cooking, restaurants, and trusted expertise comes in handy.  Many readers rely on Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven as a source for how-to and where-to regarding cookery, culture, and community.  We all know dining out should be an excellent experience.  Let an enjoyable experience at Jimmy's Famous American Tavern be your escape from the ho-hum.

“In a country so rich in differing food traditions our approach is in a creative take on American regional classics.  Our menu features popular regional dishes from around the country but approaches them from an ‘Artisanal’ point of view.  ‘Artisanal cooking’ refers to food that is freshly prepared, hand crafted, in small batches, using high quality ingredients, and employing traditional methods. It reflects a devotion to detail and a reverence for the freshest ingredients, simple presentations, and an inspired blend of tradition and creativity. Everything begins with only the best ingredients prepared from scratch daily.  At Jimmy’s we embrace the philosophy of utilizing locally raised (if it’s the best available), organic, and sustainable food products whenever possible and we strive to partner with growers, farmers, and fisherman who adhere to these same principles.”

The creator of French 75 in Laguna Beach, California and El Torito Grille is the man behind Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern.  David Wilhelm presents the best in American pub food, including such regional stars as Dueling Southern Dips, Certified Angus Beef and Black Bean Chili, and Pacific Red Snapper.  JFAT’S is designed with a large bar, seating area, and outdoor patio with a fireplace.  A terrific social environment for a guy’s night out, families, or fun double date.   The establishment certainly provides a much desired option for the neighborhood.  

It was a pleasure to have a personal tasting provided by JFAT’S chef.  The restaurant is located in a hot spot for shopping, has wall length windows, an open ceiling, and an attentive staff.  The servers quickly greeted me and got me seated upon my arrival.  Throughout my meal the waiter was friendly, perceptive about the menu, and understood my tastes.  The freshly prepared Certified Angus Beef and Black Bean Chili is thick enough for a spoon to stand up in it, the crispy, curly cellentani macaroni and cheese is smokey and buttery, the fried chicken is tender, and the Bananageddeon is beautifully topped with whipped cream, caramel, and a cookie.  A perfect mix of fresh cut banana and ice cream.

The service and restaurant environment at JFAT’S consistently presents the founder’s point-of-view of American cuisine.  For example the charred brussels sprouts with applewood bacon, pine nuts and maple syrup was an excellent suggestion.  A sharable item.  The brussels sprouts on the top of the bowl are nicely roasted.  While the brussels sprouts on the bottom soak up all the goodness of the maple syrup.  An item that will keep your interest.  Jimmy’s is the place if you have an appetite.  Passing around plates with friends is ideal here.  That will save on the time in the gym before or after dining.

If you are an intrepid diner or simply looking for a restaurant dedicated to creating a higher level of regional American food, then JFAT’S is for you.  Clearly, the house-made bacon, dips, and chips hold the attention of patrons.  Go with an appetite or share dishes, because you will want to order more than one appetizer, main dish, or side item.  Both the chef and waiter explained to me the quality and thought that goes into the menu items. 




A flight of beer is ideal to drink with this American cuisine.  JFAT’S Blonde is a lighter flavored beer that is nice to drink with a salad or other appetizer.  This German ale has crisp mild flavors of citrus and honey.  Next, the Bootlegger’s Far Out India Pale Ale (IPA) is a California brewed beer made with Australian hops that provides a medium-light body with tropical fruit notes.  Ellie's Brown Ale by the Avery Brewing Company is an excellent choice of drink with a main dish.  Ellie’s is an American ale with a brown caramel color, chocolate, and vanilla notes.  Lastly, the Modern Times Black House Stout has a dark coffee color and flavors along the lines of a bitter chocolate or mocha latte.


    

My Recommendations

1.  The restaurant is located at 3325 East Imperial Highway, Brea, California 92823.  This location is adjacent to the amphitheater within the Village at La Floresta Center.  The space is a walkable distance from several local stores and a drivable distance from local colleges, businesses, museums, and theaters.  There is a large parking lot in the shopping center.

2.  The ample main dining room provides an excellent view of the bar and outdoor patio.  Peak times occur on weekends and during sporting events.  Make reservations to ensure a table.

3.  Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern has a bounty of desirable menu items for brunch, lunch, happy hour, and dinner.  The following were my favorites. 

Beer Flight

Charred Brussels Sprouts – Applewood Bacon, Pine nuts and Maple Syrup (Serves two or more for sure.)

White Truffle Mac and Cheese 

Certified Angus Beef and Black Bean Chili served with fresh made tortilla chips or cornbread

Southern Fried Chicken Breast with garlic mashed potatoes, thyme gravy, and green beans

Spicy Ahi Poke tower with fresh spinach

‘Bananageddeon’ – Fresh Bananas, Vanilla Pastry Cream, Pecan Blondie Crumbles, Butter Pecan Ice Cream, Salty Caramel Sauce, Candied Pecans and Whipped Cream (Serves 2 or definitely more.)


Visit Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern at j-fat.com.






Order online or contact me for catering.

Join the Pointe Viven circle:  sign-up for email updates. 

Jimmy's Famous American Tavern Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Disclaimer:  The restaurant in this review has given the reviewer complimentary food and drink. This has in no way influenced the reviewer’s opinion.  Quality and content is the standard.

Credit:  http://j-fat .com/, https://www.facebook. com/VillageatLaFloresta/


Friday, November 25, 2016

Bake Pies, Make People Happy by Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven



Bake Pies, Make People Happy.



"In many ways, home cooking is even more creative than what chefs do, because we improvise. We also have the fun of cooking together with our children or with friends. And there is a satisfaction of giving pleasure and comfort to others with something we have cooked ourselves."
-Marion Cunningham

Marion Cunningham was responsible for revising The Fannie Farmer Cookbook and she wrote her own cookbooks, such as Learning to Cook.  Despite an extremely challenging childhood, Cunningham graduated school, got married, became a housewife and mother, and later in life became an accomplished cook, earning a position with famed cookbook author James Beard.  

Holidays, such as Thanksgiving, or any day for that matter is time for gratitude.  Making family and friends happy with your cooking or the gift of baked goods, pies, cookies, and more creates good times and memories.  Surrounding ourselves with people that like to laugh, are genuine, and enjoy food too is always a good thing.  Certainly, apple pie is a genuine gift of cookery.





This is the apple pie I made this week.  The recipe includes the best quality ingredients and a time-tested flaky crust.  If you are making your own pies or purchasing pies for loved one, the ingredients matter.  The process of making pie is also important to ensure the pies are made well and taste delectable.  The dough must be formed and rolled evenly into two rounds and perfectly transferred into the pie dish.  The filling must be thoughtfully mixed.  The top dough must successfully crown the pie to ensure the filling is contained.  At the end, the pie must be baked and watched with care.

As Marion Cunningham declared, the art and science of cookery is a creative endeavor.  Baking and cooking pies or other goods for family and friends is also fun and an excellent way to demonstrate gratitude.  Thank you to all those that have been loyal supporters and fans.  My business originated when I started selling homemade chocolates around age 10.  Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven liberates taste in cookery, culture, and community, provides gourmet goods made with organic ingredients, inspired by the culinary worlds of California, Central, and South America, and engages in a community of customers and readers with lifestyle content, reviews, and expertise.




Bake Pies, Make People Happy!






Order online or contact me for catering.

Join the Pointe Viven circle
sign-up for email updates. 

Credit:  http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/11/remembering-marion-cunningham/?_r=0 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Honoring the Birthday of a Friend



Honoring the Birthday of a Friend





The grieving process is a journey.  Every journey of life is heavy and burdensome at times.  It also has vast highs with laughs, good times, and smiles.  As well as everything in-between.  When we form friendships the potential, nay inevitability, is there for troughs and valleys.  Intellectually we know those heavy times are temporary.  There is an ebb and flow and we know we are not alone in the process.  

Sandy Jane Leifer is the friend central to a deeper understanding of that for me.  You no doubt have someone else in mind.  The memories we have of our friends, like Sandy, the times we spent, and ohhh those stories are integral to our lives.  By remembering a friend that has passed or by taking some action to honor his or her birthday we keep those memories alive.  Sandy was a mother, a grandmother, and a teacher.  A gentle, strong, and down-to-earth spirit with a memorable giggle and laugh.  How fitting she continues to teach and be an example for others.  The memories we have of our friends, the relationships, and legacies we built with those that have passed on are blessings.

In “Thanksgiving”, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “For each new morning with its light, For rest and shelter of the night, For health and food, For love and friends, For everything Thy goodness sends.”  Forming friendships with great people produces many gifts.  Taking time to recognize those gifts may be something you wish to do too.  Sandy gave me a plant when my grandmother died.  A Dragon Tree.  This was at the beginning of our friendship.  Over the years the small Dragon Tree, resembling a palm, grew and grew.  It grew strong and tall over time, as the years progressed, over holidays, challenging days at work, dinners of the month, and fun times out.  The Dragon Tree, as Sandy, has been strong, amazing, and graceful in the face of harsh weather, drought, and hard rains.  A year ago though the Dragon Tree was looking weary.  And Sandy passed away.  In a turn of events, this month, Sandy’s birthday month, the Dragon Tree sprouted anew.  No doubt you have many wonderful stories of your loved one as well.

“We cannot count our friends, nor say How many praise us day by day.  Each one of us has friends that he Has yet to meet and really know, Who guard him, wheresoe'er they be, From harm and slander's cruel blow.  They help to light our path with cheer,  Although they pass as strangers here.”  This verse from Edgar A. Guest’s “The Unknown Friend” is a reminder that friendship is a journey.  Friendship is a teacher.  By honoring our friends and their birthdays we show appreciation for those lessons.  Every friendship is different and can be honored in a different manner.  Sandy loved dolphins.  They were her sign.  These majestic aquatic animals have streamlined bodies, are highly social, and energetically jump and play.  Today I am honoring Sandy’s birthday by walking down to the beach to look for dolphins.




The following activities may be ways you wish to honor your friend on his or her birthday. 

1.  Get your mind and body quiet to take a precious moment to remember your friend.

2.  Visit the family of your friend, send a card, a special treat, or make a phone call to send your love.  

3.  Visit your friend’s grave on your own or with other friends.  You may also wish to ask if any of the family members would also like to attend.  

4.  Plant a tree or flowers in memory of your friend.

5.  Take action.  Volunteer for a charity or foundation that your friend supported or that is related to your friend’s passing.

6.  Donate to a charity or foundation.  For example, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

7.  Read.  The grieving process requires us to be mindful of ourselves and others going through the steps as well.  Seek professional literature and services as required from a doctor, psychologist, or clergyman.  Take heart in knowing the stress subsides over time and in knowing  healing and reconciliation awaits, “and I heard a great voice out of the heaven, saying, `Lo, the tabernacle of God [is] with men, and He will tabernacle with them, and they shall be His peoples, and God Himself shall be with them -- their God, and God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes, and the death shall not be any more, nor sorrow, nor crying, nor shall there be any more pain, because the first things did go away.’” (Revelation 21:3-4)




Today, I honor Sandy’s birthday by looking for those magical dolphins at the beach and by making a donation to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.  

“At BCRF, we have one driving goal: to double the rate of progress towards longer lives and better outcomes. To double our annual investment in innovative research.  To double down on our promise to be the end of breast cancer.  Your generous gift advances the world's most promising research, bringing us one step closer to achieving our goal.  It also supports more than 250 scientists around the globe as they pursue research that will accelerate progress and transform lives.”

www.bcrfcure.org





Credits:  Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emerson, Collected Verse of Edgar Guest NY:Buccaneer Books, 1976, 16, file:///Downloads/178_What%20About%20Death%20and%20Dying.PDF

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Authenticity Rules Here: D’Vine Restaurant Review by Jesse Bluma



Authenticity Rules Here:  D’Vine Restaurant Review





A handsome restaurant with brick walls, dark wood doors, and expansive bar.  D'Vine is firmly established in a historic downtown with distinctive shops, entertainment, and rail transportation.  Chef Walid Alarja passionately and intrinsically utilizes ingredients from his culinary and cultural roots of Bethlehem and Alexandria, Egypt.  D'Vine is an elevated experience because of Walid’s effective use of fresh, farm-to-table foodstuff, specifically the vegetables and herbs.  The menu is thoughtfully and purposely focused with items created with flavor in mind.  Founders, Walid Alarja and Lena Quezada, have created a Mediterranean menu of deliciousness.  

“Our amazing Mediterranean dishes are traditional and healthy.  Think savory spices, tantalizing sauces, house dressings and meat served fresh off the grill.  A truly unparalleled dining experience.  In the Middle East, to eat is to feast and in doing so we evoke a sense of celebration.  Our select menu is prepared with fresh ingredients and the love that only a family owned and operated restaurant can offer.  We invite you to go on a culinary experience with us...so relax and enjoy a treat for all your senses, at D'Vine. ”




It was a pleasure to have a personal tasting provided by Chef Alarja and Lena Quezada.  The restaurant is located in a historic district, with an outdoor patio, large picture windows, an expansive ceiling, a main dining room, and larger room for parties.  The servers quickly greeted me and got me seated.  Throughout my meal the servers were friendly, helpful, knowledgeable about the menu, and anticipated when I was ready for drinks.  The suggested homemade beet juice was perfect to pair with my meal.  D'Vine is an excellently developed restaurant with its notable architecture, smart decor, well planned menu, and neatly presented staff.

At the center table Lena and I discussed the various menu items.  D'Vine collaborates with suppliers to ensure dishes are prepared with fresh, quality, seasonal ingredients.  Chef Alarja and I discussed the bounty of ingredients readily available throughout the year in California.  Additionally, ingredients are available from Mexico and South America.  This is because countries such as Brazil and Chile have large populations of people of Lebanese, Arab, and Syrian ancestry.  To some customers, the dishes will read as authentic.  To others, the dishes will be understood as warm, bright, and fresh.  Tabouleh—salad mix of cracked wheat, tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley, lemon juice, and house spices.  Kubeh—fried cracked wheat beef and lamb crust, stuffed with minced beef onions, pine nuts, and spices.  Lamb kebab—grilled, marinated chunks of lamb on a skewer.  The lure of these dishes does not disappoint.  

D'Vine specializes in genuine dishes, locally sourced, created by a graduate of the French Culinary Institute.  An excellent choice for a romantic date, happy hour with friends, or event.  Chef Alarja and Lena Quezada have a robust emphasis on quality that is exhibited through their menu, hospitality, and staffing choices.  Several factors go into an effective dining experience.  As Chef Alarja explained, he relocated to the United States to be near his children that had immigrated before him.  As a father, restauranteur, and genuine person, Alarja understands the art of cookery, the importance his own family, as well as treating others like “family”.  Restaurants are as much about the people at the table as those that serve, cook, and prepare.  It is hard work and this chef has the drive to make it happen.





My Recommendations

1.  The restaurant is located at 132 West Commonwealth Avenue, Fullerton, California 92832.  This is a walkable distance from several local shops and a drivable distance from local colleges, businesses, museums, and theaters.  There is an adjacent parking lot to the restaurant and public parking located throughout the area.  

2.  The ample main dining room provides an excellent view of the bar and kitchen.  Peak times occur on weekends and during special events in the city.  Make reservations to ensure a table.

3.  The menu at D'Vine has an impressible range of choices featuring items such cold mezza (small dishes), hot mezza, entrees, desserts, drinks, and cocktails.  The following were my favorites. 


Homemade beet juice

Pita chips served with olive oil and za’atar (an aromatic and warm spice blend)

Cucumber Yogurt Salad:  chopped cucumbers, fresh mint, house spices mixed with yogurt

Beet Salad:  red beets, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt

Cheese Fatayer:  lightly fried dough stuffed with Mediterranean cheeses

Spinach Fatayer:  baked homemade dough stuffed with spinach, onions, and spices

Chicken Shawarma:  grilled, thinly sliced marinated chicken


Garlic sauce:  raw garlic, lemon, and salt

Kefta:  grilled, ground beef and lamb with finely chopped onions, parsley, and house spices on a skewer

Layalee Lubnan:  an amazingly aromatic dessert that is made of a semolina pudding. Topped with a layer of whipped cream and a drizzled with fresh ground pistachios and sugar syrup.


Visit the D’Vine website at dvineexperience.com.






Order online or contact me for catering.

Join the Pointe Viven circle:  sign-up for email updates.


D'Vine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Disclaimer:  The restaurant in this review has given the reviewer complimentary food and drink. This has in no way influenced the reviewer’s opinion.  Quality and content is the standard.

Credits:  dvineexperience. com, facebook. com/dvinefullerton

Fitness and Living Jigsaw: Number 11 by Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven



Fitness and Living Jigsaw:  Number 11





What signs of better strength, wellness, and living have you seen since Fitness and Living Jigsaw: Number 10?

Remind yourself again:  You deserve to live well and be well.  Making fitness and good nutrition a routine, a habit, and expression of how you respect yourself is essential to developing a desire to get moving and stay moving.  

It is imperative to understand the power of health and wellness.  One of the most critical factors in the process of physical, mental, and emotional wellness is you.  Your creativity, choices, workout equipment, awareness of your own abilities, evaluation of health goals, and execution of good habits is essential.  Execution and implementation can be a challenge, although without implementing the proper healthy habits all the reading of exercise articles will not make you physically stronger.  Rather than a specific plan, this article supplies guidelines, inspiration, and ideas to spark your interest.

Often I am asked about my routine for healthy living and how I maintain good fitness, especially when I am regularly baking, cooking, and always on the hunt for excellent restaurants.  No big secrets here.  I eat well, get a good amount of sleep, rest, and give my body and mind a good workout.  If anyone knows a thing or two about fitness and nutrition, it’s me.  And if I can do it, you can too.  A background of teaching health and physical education, as well as a lifelong interest in nutrition, has been essential to maintain an excellent level of fitness, energy, and strength for me.  

Models, actors, athletes.  The images we see in ads, movies, and media can influence our goals and perceptions.  Keep in mind the people in those professions spend a lot of time and have a lot of time to look their best.  Or computer graphics best.  Rather than focusing on images in media, focus on health and wellness for the mind, body, and soul.  We all approach fitness at various levels, perspectives, and habits based upon previous experiences and family environment.  Take a moment to reflect upon good values, the ideas you hold close, that will be the center of what gets you physically fit.  Structure your day, fight for the time to eat well and get physically fit.  Work toward betterment, not perfection.  Be prepared to respond in life.  That means being ready to plan out options and alternatives to preserve your health and wellness.  We all know life is a continual journey, full of difficulties and blessings.  Put on some good music, turn up the volume, and get liberated from those unhealthy habits.  

Working out is not enough for our bodies.  Diet, what you eat, what you buy at the store and bring home to your kitchen, is highly significant to strong abs and obliques.  Purchase and prepare foods that satiate your appetite.  Eat seasonally and enjoy the monthly flavors.  Your fitness routine also needs variety.  Mix up your activities.  Sleep is also key.  The body, mind, and soul need rest and revitalizing.  Sometimes preparing yourself is the key.  Remind yourself in verbal or written form to workout the next day or after work.  Repeat that reminder each night before you go to bed.  This mantra may be the key to applying the health and wellness information you know to do. 

Eat.  Enjoy.  Satiate.  Satisfy.  Get nutrients.  Deal with emotions.  Make something beautiful to make your belly happy.  Breathe.  Those daily habits make a difference.  In my book, candy, cakes, cookies, and desserts are not the devil.  Too many sweets and too often is not good.  Not to worry though.  Take a breath.  If you get off the path of healthy living, I’m confident you can do better next time.  As David S. Ludwig, MD, PhD stated, “Overeating doesn't make us fat.  The process of becoming fat makes us overeat.  In other words, hunger and overeating are the consequences of an underlying problem.  Follow a simple lifestyle prescription focused on enjoyable physical activities, sleep, and stress relief to improve metabolism and support permanent behavior change.”


Leaning Pushups




Dumbbell Fly




As part of improving flexibility, agility, and coordination change up your routine with leaning pushups or dumbbell flys.  Begin with either activity and then work up to doing more of that exercise.  You may find doing variations on your movements or speed and distances make working out more interesting for you and you may see better results.  

Leaning pushups are key to your fitness program.  The pectoralis major is the thick chest muscle of the trunk that provides for shoulder movement.  While the pectoralis minor is located in the upper-side rib that provides for tilt and rotation of the scapula (shoulder blade).  If beginning an exercise program, seek out an excellent trainer that can teach you proper and effective technique.  Wall or leaning pushups are performed in the standing position an arm’s distance from a wall or railing.  The palms of the hands are placed shoulder-distance apart and elbows pointed down.  It is essential to keep the core muscles tight and aligned during this exercise.  Ignore the rumors.  Pushups and leaning pushups are good for men and women alike to build strength.  

Dumbbell flys are another significant option to develop upper body strength.  This activity works the back muscles, shoulders, spine, and arms.  Proper technique and choice of weights is important to gain the most out of the activity and prevent injury.  Select the proper size dumbbells or weights for you.  Stretching the chest, arms, hands, knees, hips, and feet before utilizing weights is also necessary to prevent injury.  Dumbbell flys are performed in standing position with one weight in each hand and legs about hip-width apart.  Proper posture must be maintained.  Begin with a weight in your left hand held at the side of your left hip and a weight in your right hand held next to the side of your right hip.  Then lift the dumbbells up, back of hand facing up, in a synchronized manner away from your body in an arc.  Bring the weights back to your sides.  Repeat.

Join with your family and friends today.  Find a locale to work out that gets you inspired.  Then return here and share your progress, tips, and what you learned.  Please remember all information is of a general nature and is furnished only for education.  See a doctor or medical professional for your own personal fitness advice.












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Note: All information is of a general nature and is furnished only for education.  See a doctor or medical professional for your own personal fitness advice.  Use of this information is at your own risk in regard to any losses, liabilities, injuries or damages resulting from any and all claims.

Credits:  drweil.com/drw/u/ART03528/Always-Hungry-David-Ludwig.html, Image courtesy of [lkunl] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net, Image courtesy of [stockimages] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net, Image courtesy of [photostock] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net, Credits:  drweil.com/drw/u/ART03528/Always-Hungry-David-Ludwig.html, Image courtesy of [lkunl] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net, Image courtesy of [stockimages] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net, Image courtesy of [nenetus] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net,   Image courtesy of [JanPietruszka] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net, KiropraktorCentrum, https://sites.google.com/site/compendiumofphysicalactivities/Activity-Categories/sports, http://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/mayo-clinic-expert-discusses-safe-swimming-practices-to-reduce-water-related-illnesses/, Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net, Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net, Image courtesy of franky242 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net, Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net, nenetus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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