How Exercise Makes You Happy – Infographic


Get those good vibes going!

One Regular Guy Writing about Food, Exercise and Living Past 100

There are so many positive effects from exercise I sometimes wonder how some folks could spend so much time avoiding it. Besides the aspects listed below, there are others that affect the ‘machinery’ of the brain, checkmy Page – Important Facts About Your Brain (and Exercise Benefits).



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Go take a walk, or hike or a ride!

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March 28 is Opening day for trails!! Go join in the Movement  with thousand of others today! Rails to Trails is a great organization changing the outlook for the future. Converting old rail beds and land corridors into usable trails takes a lot of work and dedication– thanks RTC for working to get us healthier!


NSVs–always a good thing!

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NSVs  (or Non-Scale Victories) are great things!  (NOT to be confused with STDs!!)

Sometimes that scale is just a plain liar! Our weights are always changing depending on the time of day, foods eaten the day before of even that “time of the month”. You can exercise like crazy, watch your eating down to the last calorie and STILL the scale does not move! So frustrating!405295_293934440667704_218106824917133_790173_611535280_n

So what is a health striving person to do?? That is where the NSVs come in.

Some common NSVs that you may find that pertain to you:

1- You lose inches but not weight. This is a big one for most people but they don’t realize it. Before starting a health journey take a minute to measure and record your body measurements: axilla, chest, midriff, waist, hips. You can also measure arms and legs but I see the biggest changes happening in those places.


2- Your clothes fit better. Somehow it happens without our realizing it but all of a sudden our clothes are looser. Sometimes by a lot! At one point I had been a tight size 10 and when I was convinced to get new clothes I was actually wearing a size 4 pant!



3-Your heart rate is lower! You have a lower blood pressure! Your “resting” heart rate is lower! You might even be able to stop using some medicine if approved by your doctor. Always check with them first before making a change.


4-You have more energy. As odd as it sounds being active gives you more energy than less!


5- Your mood improves! You might even have more interest in prior hobbies and things you used to do. Literally this week I had a great desire to do some quilting– something I have not done in over a year!




6-Your “recovery time” after exercise improves. This applies to a variety of subjects…use your imagination.


The list goes on but these are just few ideas to keep you motivated–the next Victory is just around the corner!



Keep moving– Janice


These images were found on Google images–my thanks to their creators!

Well, it could’ve been worse!


You know what they say about the “Best laid plans”; they only work when you do!  This week was, well not a total bust, but a lesson in what I need to do better to be living a healthy life.


I started out on a good foot by doing food prep and thinking about when I could exercise. But, I didn’t write it down and make a commitment to it. That in and of itself would have made a great difference on how the week progressed. Way back when I was doing the Weight Watcher program I wrote down everything I planned to eat, right down to each snack. It didn’t matter if that was what I wanted to eat that day, that was what was planned and that was what I ate. It wasn’t that I had this great source of willpower but I just found it easier to not have to think about food and what I was going to make. It took a level of stress off by planning once a week, buying what I needed and leaving it at that. Now the idea of planning every mouthful gives me more stress than less and I don’t want to be ruled by food choices.

I did exercise but not as consistent as I would have liked.


So the things that went well this week?

Water!! I found this great reusable water bottle this week! I usually use the kind of water cup with a straw but they are hard to take places and are just sometimes a pain to deal with. This new one (I actually bought 2) comes apart at the neck to add fruit or ice and then you drink out of it like a traditional water bottle. I adore it! I love that I can bring it in the car or down to exercise. I found myself drinking way more than I thought I could and felt much better and less dry during the day. I even have it by my bedside and start the day off with lemon water, something I would not try with the straw cup.20150311_183631

Salads/ Veggies! As part of my food prep I made a huge bowl of romaine and iceberg lettuces (I was out of spinach) which I put about 2 good handfuls in 6 containers and added shredded carrots and celery. I also had diced up red and green peppers to put in when I was ready. It was so nice to only prep and clean up once but be able to eat some salad every day. My daughter came home from college this week and actually made good use of having them available.

Grains! I had made my oatmeal jars  (see prior post) and I brought these to work as well as having them at lunch for a quick grab and go. Instead of traditional whole wheat bread I got this wonderful rye bread and a rye/pumpernickel mix.  Both are great options when you want to change up your grains in bread products.

Okay, so I need your ideas and success stories on how you made (or are making) living healthy work for you in these areas. These were some of the challenges I dealt with this week.

Fatigue. This is a hard one for me. I work nights (12.5-13 hours) usually 2-3 times a week as a nurse. Staying awake and not eating crap at work has been something I’ve dealt with for many years now. For me its the day after a night shift that I struggle with. The first day I’ve slept a good part of the day but there are days that I am so tired that I give in to the choice of an easy food like a toasted roll rather than make something healthier for breakfast.

Exercise (traditional kinds) also tends to fall by the wayside when I am tired. I am thankful for the days my husband is looking to go downstairs and exercise but if he chooses not to I don’t push myself even though it is planned.

Family. Like many women I tend to put myself last in terms of priority when time is short. I will run errands or go out of my way and cancel my exercises plans if they need me to do something. My husband took a day off this week and we did go and exercise by walking outside for 3.29 miles. It was great being outside and having an exercise companion but then we went shopping and ate out so the rest of my day was taken up instead of doing my core work and weights.

Work and work related. I made a mistake of sorts by scheduling myself to work 3 out of 4 nights and I was wiped by the last night. I try not to schedule 2 in a row but I wanted some time off since my daughter was coming home from college for the week. I also had some education that I did during the week that was a “lunch and learn” which broke up my day but also had me eating out.

I am treating this week as a learning one. Not great, not so bad. I have already started writing down and will be pushing to stick to my exercise commitments this week!!

I look forward to hearing from you!

In good health–Janice



Why I am taking a break from my Fitbit

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When I first got my Fitbit Flex I loved it. I loved the motivation I got and couldn’t wait form my “buzz” of hitting my goal. (Actually the first time it happened I almost fell off the treadmill because it startled me so much! ) I wore it like a piece of my fitness gear. I wore it 24/7. Everyday, for over a year. I even got more bands so it could go with more outfits.20150312_180145

But I need to take a break from it. It has lost its purpose of motivating me. I think because I wore it all the time that it became more like just something I wore as an accessory like a bracelet or necklace. It has no meaning right now since the buzz is no longer new and I move a lot more than I used to.

I think that like most things in life you need to take a break from something to really appreciate it. This could be eliminating something from your eating plan or not being able to exercise outside due to the weather. I know I appreciate the days it is warmer and less windy and I just bask in the sun and being able to exercise and be active outside without all the layers.quote-improvise-adapt-overcome-from-cafepress

Will I go back to wearing the Fitbit? That is a good question. It feels odd being ‘naked’ after wearing it constantly. I think I will have to find something else as a physical mantra;maybe a bracelet with encouraging words. Reminders are good things but changing them to meet our growth as people may be what is needed.

How do you find motivation? How do you maintain your desire to be more fit and active? I look forward to hearing your thoughts!394012_231896963556846_182848868461656_515747_291650280_n

“Flat Stanley” and his trip to Manhattan


Its a dark and cold morning as we venture in to New York City on the train. I’ve never done this before so I am glad my husband was able to come with my daughter and I that day. We decided to take the train from Beacon NY to Grand Central  since we needed to be on that side of Manhattan. The reason for our visit was for my daughter to visit the French Consulate to apply for her visa to France.

Heading into the city was way outside of my comfort zone but I wanted to be supportive of my daughter so off we went. And do you know something-I had a really good time! The train was interesting at 6 something am but I enjoyed being on the River side of things as the sun came up and we got closer to the city.

We got out of Grand Central station and walked along 42nd Street to 5th Ave. 5th Ave was fairly crowded, even that early in the morning (8ish) but we made it up to 74th and Lexington in decent time. Leaving my daughter at the French Embassy we headed off to Central Park to explore while we waited for her to be done.

The French Embassy on 5th Ave


We went in the Park and explored a bit. DSCN1046 - CopyWe found ourselves over by Shakespeare’s Garden. DSCN1051 - CopyThere is this really cool fortress there!DSCN1048 - Copy

Then we found a path called “the Ramble” which led us around the inner part of the park for a bit until we came to the Boathouse. If you are in Central Park at breakfast try eating here– they have really good muffins! (We actually found this out on our second trip)DSCN1054 - CopyDSCN1055 - Copy


We wandered a bit more and found this little pool where there are miniature boats in the summer time.

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We were back over by where we entered but found one of the very nice monuments–the Alice in Wonderland one. It is very big and interesting. We actually met a man who took our picture and we took his for him. He was playing a game with his wife of “Where am I in Central Park?” DSCN1062 - Copy                                                      We think Stanley really liked this the most so far!



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By now we were getting a bit hungry so we headed back over toward Madison Ave to headed back over toward Madison Ave to find something to eat.

DSCN1068DSCN1069It turns out that Stan likes bagels! We were able to sit outside on the bench and people watch as we ate our breakfast.







My daughter let us know that she was done and asked if we could go to the “Met”–the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Off we walked up to 82 St–but it was worth it when we got there!

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When you go in The Met there are huge cathedral ceilings and open walkways on the second floor. This beautiful stain glass window was so pretty–and big!




I think our favorite exhibit room was the Medieval Room where we found armor for the knights and their horses!DSCN1074 - CopyDSCN1073







There was a lot to see in the Met and we barely saw anything on the upper floors–that will have to be another trip!

We headed back to Grand Central station for our trip back home. We were tired from all the walking (over 10 miles!) but really excited to come back and explore even more in the nicer weather!

Well this is the end of another “Flat Stanley” adventure. Thanks to Brady of G Mitchell Elementary School (Mass) for letting him have an adventure with us!

All images found here are my own or from my daughter, please ask permission before sharing–thanks!

Getting ahead of the game: Overnight oatmeal

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I love oatmeal but my favorite version has become “overnight” or “fridge” oatmeal. It so easy to make and it keeps in the fridge for several days.

I got my original recipes from the Yummy Life webpage but its been adapted a few times from the first time I made it. I think that is the sign of a great recipe– it adapts to your taste and dietary needs.

Before you get started I would suggest finding some wide mouth jars. Mine are actually Ball jars but anything that makes it easier to eat out of is fine. I use a 1 pint size jar but depending on how much you add to the basic recipe you can use a smaller jar. I generally make 4-6 jars at a time.


“Overnight Oats”

Base 1 (dry):

1/2 cup uncooked old fashioned oats ( you can use steel cut but I prefer this texture)20150308_115034

1 1/2 tsp chia seeds

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Base 2(wet):

1/2 cup milk (almond, “cow” or alternate)

1/4 cup Greek yogurt

Fruit and sweetener:

This is where you can play with flavor and options. I generally use bananas, apples, berries, and dried fruit. About 1/2 an apple or banana is about right but adjust to your liking. For the sweetener– I like real maple syrup but honey is also a nice choice. I add it when I am ready to eat but you can add this at the same time as all the ingredients if desired.20150308_115800

Once you’ve got it all in the jar give it a really good stir and put it in the fridge overnight or at least 3 hours to thicken and absorb the wet ingredients. I normally re-stir it when I am ready to eat and maybe add another splash of milk if needed. I eat mine cold from the fridge– its great in the warmer weather and very refreshing after exercising!20150308_120331









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