Health – The Freedom Of Having A Choice

This came my way this week and though it sounds a little harsh, it’s a very in-your-face truism that shouldn’t be ignored (hence, I’m sure, why it was phrased this way.)  

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Everyone is different – nutritional requirements, for example, vary depending on a TON of factors, some of which are not in our control (age is a fine example.)  But at the end of the day, we all have a responsibility to take care of ourselves – we have one “vessel” this go around, and while it can take some beating…it isn’t impervious.

Not everyone can fit in a long-winded routine during the day – I’ve been there.  At one time it was 12 to 14 hour days, sometimes with only three hours of sleep (with a three-hour commute split in half on each side.)  At another, there were weeks of frequent overseas travel with 12 to 14 hour days, and a nonexistent gym (not that I would have had the energy anyway!)  And yet another, I was balancing a competitive sport with long days and total exhaustion – work, train, sleep…with a little bit of food in between. 

BUT…despite the timeline being against me most of the time, there were things I could do – whether walking to work, taking the stairs at the hotel, doing a quick routine in my room…something…ANYthing…to get a little movement in.  It matters.  The body is designed to move – not just take in fuel and do nothing with it..

On that latter point, clean eating – a component equally as vital – doesn’t mean you need follow the same diet as a body builder (you’d be amazed how much a body builder’s diet can vary from a figure competitor, or bikini competitor…forget about just a healthy, fit adult!) What it does mean, though, is caring about the fuel you put into your body so you feel – and function – your best.  You wouldn’t put low quality fuel into a Ferrari and expect it to hit it’s potential, right?  You’re the Ferrari!!!

Keeping in mind that everyone’s needs are unique, sticking to whole, real foods (ones nature produces) and less processed items is your best bet.  Your body needs calories, by the way – it needs protein, carbohydrates AND fats to function…not only optimally, but at all!  

I see two things happen a lot in society – in the USA, at least, it’s become about convenience, and size.  If it’s easy to get, and / or the portions are enormous for the money, people flock to it without internalizing the longer-term effect.

(C) Randy Glassbergen

(C) Randy Glassbergen

I feel like if more time was spent either making food…or sitting down to savor it…and / or people ate smaller portions and let themselves digest a moment, that health would be less of a national concern.  Yes, it can be that simple. (Think I’m crazy?  The awareness is out there – example 1, example 2, example 3, example 4…yikes!  There are also, obviously, have been a ton of articles on the topic over the last few years.)

Given the time of year, as an aside, it’s helpful to remember that just because the calendar says it’s a holiday, doesn’t mean we have to go overboard – it doesn’t feel good to be overstuffed (I don’t know anyone who thinks so, honestly.) There is truly no need – most supermarkets carry holiday food items for a while before and after…so you don’t have to worry about getting it all in at once.  Smaller portions also allow you to enjoy everything, without that horrible, ruined-my-night-feeling-sick aftermath.  

There are a lot of factors going into determining our overall health – some, again, are ones we aren’t in charge of (wouldn’t it be nice if we were?!)  But there are A LOT of things we *CAN* do to take care of ourselves, to stay healthy, and in shape.  Neglecting ourselves is a quick route to sickness (and for you active people, that goes for us too – doing too much might be our trouble spot, landing us in overtraining drudgery.)  

One of many thoughts on the issue, this from Mike Adams

One of many thoughts on the issue, this from Mike Adams

We really DON’T get that many chances.  And honestly, no one wants to have to be in a precarious situation first to get the message that loving and taking care of our health is up to us, and a huge priority.

Shutter stock image

Shutter stock image

If you are new to it, DON’T WORRY!  Baby steps are a-okay. 🙂 There are a ton of resources out there to help you (like the snappy food portion visuals below.)  One day at a time always seems to be the best advice – for, ohhh, EVERYTHING!  Remember that you are in control – YOU get to choose – and that you deserve to feel your best every day. ❤

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Hungry Girl also has a few HOLIDAY TIPS…

More on the food front

Smashbox Studio Skin 24-Hour Concealer

Athletes know the struggle is real… I don’t wear much on my skin beyond actual skincare products (which I layer on) – it won’t work for my lifestyle and I honestly don’t want to look like two different people between daytime, and when I get ready for bed.  Natural is key for me, but so is staying power when I do need something.

Smashbox already has a 24-hour waterproof concealer – the 24 Hour Spot Concealer – so I’m not totally sure if this is replacing it or what (both are the same price, $25.)  Studio Skin 24 Hour Concealer (you can also get it here) is the newest to the lineup and referred to as a “magic wand” by artists at the Smashbox L.A. studio.  What a lot of people didn’t like about the Spot Concealer was the applicator – it often leaked when closing (though there are specific instructions about how to wipe the wand down) – so maybe this is a step up.  Still, while the benefits seem close, housing aside, it doesn’t appear to be a replacement.

Smashbox image

Smashbox image

The product is designed to stay put, hide imperfections, and maintain a moisturizing effect that won’t settle into lines.  It’s medium to full coverage, sweat, humidity, AND transfer resistant (hallelujah), oil free, and light diffusing – that’s quite a list of “bragging rights,” and one that anyone who is active – or dealing with summer – will appreciate.  Thoughts on this guy?

 

Yes to Tomato Charcoal Facial Wipes For The Mats

Some of my training partners and I were talking about an issue (several, actually) that comes up a lot in Martial Arts (especially fuller contact ones) – staying clean!

It isn’t pretty, but it’s par for the course, so you just have to be prepared. It’s not only the fact that you are all up in someone’s face (which is a huge part of it), but also about fending off clogged pores, dirt and other offenders.

I ran across these Yes to Tomato Charcoal Facial Wipes recently and was honestly psyched to see them – I’m not crazy about some of the wipes out there because some just don’t feel like they get the job done.  These, though, are formulated with charcoal – a pore-clearing, grime-busting substance that will provide and on-the-go detox when you simply don’t have other options.  They also happen to be black, which my inner goth finds not-so-secretly satisfying.  How badass of you, Yes To!  😉 ) 

The brand has a bunch of other ones too, but I like the idea that these amp up the impurity busting quotient – when you finish a Reflex Development class at Jiu-Jitsu, you WILL be sweating like a farm animal, and you’ll need that extra skin-clearing boost. 

Toss these “LBG”s (cheeky, I like it!) in your gym / dojo bag and keep yourself clean wherever you are, and whenever you need it!

 

Sweatproof Minerals Designed By (And For) Athletes

The concept behind this Company is one near and dear to my athletic, but womanly, heart – products designed for athletes that will stay on, stay true (in color), and don’t cause havoc for your skin.  

But…the reviews for this newbie – Sweat Cosmetics – range from terrible, to “not worth it,” to five-star.  It’s a little tricky to tell where this really will average out, but overall the reaction hasn’t been stellar – hopefully that will change (I’m rooting for you, ladies!)  

The line is made up of just four products so far – the Translucent Mineral Powder ,  Mineral Foundation with SPF 30, Mineral Illuminator with SPF 30, and the Mineral Bronzer with SPF 30.  I have seen a lot of water-resistant, longer wearing products in the last year or two, which is definitely a-ok by me – I need products that live up to their claims of staying power without making my skin freak out.  But…not all of the offerings out there manage to be a home run in both categories…  Their twist brush also makes life a lot easier, another plus for women on the go.

sweatcosmetics.com/

sweatcosmetics.com/

I love that this was created by five Olympic and pro athletes though – they GET the struggle active women face! 🙂 For many years I wanted my own product line too (not that I was noteworthy as a public sports figure, but I sure as heck have knowledge and experience!)  I was managing the Fragrance section of the Cosmetic Department in NYC in a massive department store, so my exposure to the cosmetics arena at the time was daily.  I was frustrated by the lack of products that could lend a more natural feel, last through rigorous training, and long days.  I’m seeing more of it but I still have to rely on random pieces from specific brands – I can’t get all products from the same brand because it doesn’t really exist.  

So overall, the idea is wonderful – I’m just not sure these particular formulas have caught on as yet, or that they are delivering quite as they need to…but I really hope that they do, and that more women try them out.  I’m reluctant to switch what I use currently because my formula (my collection of go-to products) really works for me.  I also have my wedding coming up in October and trying to avoid any potential skin woes – product-induced clogged pores, breakouts, acne, whatever! – beforehand!

The reason I personally get it?  HERE!

 

 

 

Martial Arts Humor – For The Ladies

I don’t consider myself to be a tomboy really.  Growing up, maybe so – I’d rather be throwing mud, building forts, and doing sports.  But I still lean quite feminine, thankyouverymuch, and I embrace being a woman wholly.  Dancing and ice skating were my first loves, and the kind of movement my body both understands and craves…

But…I loooove to kick.  And I love to punch things. (Let’s be honest, chokes are kind of fun too!)  

It kind of is what it is, and it keeps everyone guessing… “Is she in a graceful and loving mood…or should I go get some pads and a helmut?”

I think diverse hobbies keep it real.  Or, if nothing else, they keep your reflexes up when I’m in the room. 😉

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This Is Me…Minus The Gi!

A friend posted this and basically it sums up, well…MOI…minus the Martial Arts gi, of course.  And when I say gi, I alternate – Takekwondo, Hapkido, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Japanese Ninjutsu –  A girl can never have too many gis!  

Or quality figure skating blades…

Or pointe shoes…

I blame my Geminian temperament for the contradictory multi-facetedness.  One never knows with a Gemini, but then…it does keep it interesting, no?

It’s kind of fun being on your toes…in SO many senses of the term.  Triple flip or pirouette, anyone?

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I think ce sont très chic!* (these are very chic! 😉 )