New Lily

Are You Sore? Don’t You Grab that Ibuprofen! Some Natural Remedies You Need to Try

muscle sorenssWhether your type of fitness is of the weekend warrior type or the daily workout, you probably have suffered from soreness.  It is pretty much par for the course.  I actually like a little soreness the day after a hard workout…it reminds me that I have put in the effort. Below is an article by Alan Tyson, Physical Therapist, and owner of Architech Sports in Charlotte, NC, who has been working with athletes for his entire career.

By Alan Tyson, PT, SCS, ATC-L, CSCS

Muscle soreness following a vigorous or new workout is frequently inevitable, and though it may be uncomfortable, it’s actually a good thing. It means that you’ve effectively stressed and challenged your muscles, and as your muscle fibers repair themselves, they’ll grow stronger in the process. Post-workout soreness is a normal response to exertion and part of an adaptive physiological process that leads to increased strength and stamina.  Here we will discuss what not to do and also what natural remedies may help. [Read more…]

9 Simple Tips for Making Smoothies (Juicing Too)

Some of my favorite add-ins are basil or mint leaves....

Some of my favorite add-ins are basil or mint leaves….

I love my Vitamix.  I feel so fortunate that we decided to “bite the bullet” and buy one when my husband was diagnosed with cancer some years back.  It’s been worth every dime (or dollar…or hundreds of dollars…but whatever). As long as we have a little fruit in the house, some greens, and maybe yogurt or kefir, we can make great smoothies almost everyday. I would say we do the smoothie thing about 4-5 days a week.  I love handing #5 (Annie) a smoothie as she heads out the door. She’s 17 and drives so she has access to junk food if she wants it.  I feel good about loading her up with a tall glass of greens and fruit, knowing at least she has started the day right. The rest of my younger kids stay home for school, and smoothies are a quick way to start the day (clean-up is another topic altogether).

Regardless of whether you have a Vitamix or a blender or a juicer, there are a ton of ways to make a smoothie (or juice).  Here are a few tips to remember when you blend or juice fruits and vegetables.  For more great info, visit Foodbabe.com (a Charlotte blogger with a huge following).

1. Always Start with Greens

If we start with greens and use them as our base for a smoothie, we know we are starting with the most important ingredients.  We can build a great smoothie with mostly greens.   [Read more…]

How a Simple Fitness Plan Can Make A Big Difference

Motivation-Monday-618How a Simple Fitness Plan Can Be The Difference

(A guest blog) 

 Let me start by asking you a question: when was the last time you went for a walk on your lunchbreak? Or did some sit-ups before heading off to work? If you’re already looking at this blog with unveiled derision, then I don’t blame you. We all know that it’s pretty difficult to incorporate an effective fitness regime into a busy lifestyle.

But sometimes the most significant improvements to your health can come from the smallest changes. You don’t need to spend hours sweating in the gym 5 days a week. And you don’t need to grudgingly adopt the latest gruelling diet. Here are a few simple fitness changes that could have a dramatic impact on your overall health. All you’ll need is an extra fifteen minutes.

 

  • Jump squats

 

 

jump squats1545977b1743e558_Jump-Squat.jpg.xxxlargeNot content with your regular squat? Then look no further than this challenging alternative. It’s pretty simple. Find yourself plenty of space and get ready to do a normal squat. Then, after your squat down, jump back up into the air. It’s that simple.You have the option of either keeping your hands above your head or parallel in front of you. [Read more…]

Nine Reasons I’m Happy I Drink Coffee (And Why it’s Great Pre-Workout)

coffee 1imagesMost people who know me know I like coffee (ok I’ll admit it…I love it). I can usually be seen with a cup of coffee in my hand most of the morning in fact.  I like it hot so I usually have to either microwave it or pour it back into the pot and refill my cup to keep it piping.  I’m always happy to find reasons to keep drinking my Joe and so when I recently read an article touting the benefits of coffee, I was confidently re-affirmed that my coffee-drinking habit is justified (I admit I conveniently avoid reading articles suggesting otherwise).

The following are nine reasons I am a happy coffee drinker:

1. It tastes good.  And smells even better.  For me, one of the happiest moments every day is when I smell the warm, inviting aroma of coffee.  Whether it’s the first whiff of a bag of the grinds, the aroma of the coffee maker percolating, or the deep coffee scent walking into “coffee house”,  just the smell of it brings me sweet contentment.

Although he always liked the smell, coffee never really appealed to my husband before a trip we took to Italy about five years ago.  It was a rainy afternoon in Rome and we went into a tiny cafe to get dry.  We sat down and I ordered a cup of coffee.  European coffee is not presented like ours is.  It came in a tiny little cup and it was Espresso.  I took one sip and couldn’t handle the bitter flavor.  James smelled it and decided to sip it.  He liked it!  That was the start of the coffee habit for my husband, and it only stood to re-affirmed my own. [Read more…]

Modern Technology and Sleep Deprivation: You Might Want to READ THIS!

sleepslSleep. It’s a beautiful thing.  Yet it is also a source of frustration for many.  It has recently come to my attention that a few of my children are having trouble sleeping.  I thought it might be situational. Our oldest son is in flight school, training to fly the F-18 Super Hornet.  Over the last few years he has spent a lot of late nights in the simulator or studying so I am not that surprised that his sleep routine has been altered.  However #6 (Grace), who is a freshman in high school, also often has trouble sleeping.  She is a VERY active 14 year-old.  If I was doing what she is doing (in terms of physical activity), I would crash every time my head hit the pillow.  Then #3 (Thomas), when he was home for Christmas, told me he has trouble with sleep as well.  A Division 1 athlete, Thomas has a daily afternoon practice of 2-3 hours and attends morning practice 2-3 days a week around 5 am. So why is he having trouble with sleep? I can’t imagine making it to 10 pm without falling asleep on my feet with the physical schedule Thomas keeps.

Hmmm….  What’s going on?  I worry about my sleep-deprived kids.  I know how crucial sleep is to our health. Could there be something else going on here? Besides being from the same geneological line, what do Charlie, Grace, and Thomas have in common?  They all use modern technology a lot (or at least as much as most people their age do). A quick google search brought me to an article posted yesterday (Feb. 19) about sleep on mercola.com. My friend, Alan Tyson, physical therapist and owner of Architech Sports in Charlotte, NC,  introduced me to Dr. Joseph Mercola‘s website a few years ago when I was writing about nutrition.  Dr. Mercola has a lot of interesting things to say regarding health and fitness. Board-certified in family medicine, Dr. Mercola is trained in both traditional and natural medicine (he has written a new book called Effortless Healing which will be available in late February).  Sometimes controversial, he is always thought provoking. Here is what he says about the affect of technology on sleep: [Read more…]

My 300th blog post: Thank you Today’s Charlotte Woman!

Thank you to Dawn Liles and the editors at Today’s Charlotte Woman for profiling 9 Kid Fitness last month in their wonderful Charlotte-based magazine.  I’m honored! I also wrote my 300th blog post last month.  And #301 and #302… When I started 9 Kid Fitness, I never imagined how much writing I would do (I’m happy to be putting my undergraduate degree in Journalism and English to use)! Thanks everyone for supporting me and joining in on the conversation about fitness, family, and life!

Incredibly Awesome Lentil Soup

Yes, I even have cabbage and fresh basil...which is better than what the recipe calls for!

Yes, I even have cabbage and fresh basil…which is better than what the recipe calls for!

I love soup.  Lentil soup the most. So I’m always searching for good recipes.  Especially ones whose ingredients I actually have. Imagine my joy when I found this one for Winter Vegetable Lentil Soup…that even included my favorite spice, curry.  I was giddy as I looked over the ingredient list. I have every one…in my kitchen…now (the better you know me the better you will understand how amazing this is).  I even thought to myself…I should have created this recipe (this is also quite humorous if you know me)!  Can’t wait to make it today and eat it tonight.  Do you have a good soup recipe to share?

This Too Shall Pass….Unfortunately: Fitting in Exercise When Children are Young

mom and baby strollerimagesThe other day I took a break from homeschooling #7, #8, and #9 (John, C.C., and Sam) and went to a barre class at noon (#6 who is 14 was home).  Although it’s been awhile since I was really unable to steal away, it still feels a little strange when I do.  For so many years my only chance at exercise during the week was early in the morning or while the kids were napping (thank God for my lifecycle). It’s a question I’m often asked, “How did you fit it in when your kids were all young?”

It wasn’t easy.  But then again, since I’ve always loved fitness, I know it wasn’t that hard (I developed a habit of fitness early and it’s been something I’ve relied on for energy and well-being for a long time).  I’ve homeschooled my children and so my schedule is not that different from someone who works outside the home.  It’s not like I could go out for a run in the middle of schooling when my kids were young.  The dawn hours were often my only chance at fitting in a workout (and I do mean dawn…sometimes out the door at barely 5 am which meant an alarm that actually said 4 something). Yet exercise in the early morning hours also came at a cost. Too many of my kids weren’t great sleepers when they were infants and so morning always came with me longing for a few more hours of sleep…which of course I never got.  I would tell myself that I would get a nap in the afternoon.  How comical this is now. Since having kids I can count on my fingers how many afternoon naps I’ve actually had. It’s like my body has a response control when I close my eyes in the middle of the day. Immediately I start thinking of all the things I should be doing and I literally couldn’t sleep if you paid me. Luckily I learned long ago (from another mom of a large crew) the value of just closing my eyes for 15 minutes everyday.  It has been a blessing.  Sleeping mid-day may be impossible, but “cat napping” works wonders.

This was in the Bloomington Herald Times in 1992 when we were living there while James was in law school. Note the color coordinated outfit...those were the days!

This was in the Bloomington Herald Times in 1992 when we were living there while James was in law school. Note the color coordinated outfit…those were the days!

Those early months after each baby I would forgo the early alarm wakeup and try to get out for a run when my husband got home in the evening.  Either we would go together or I would go alone (or with one or two in tow in the baby jogger or on a bike). Ever since #1 was born 25 years ago, there has always been a baby jogger (or two) in my garage.  We still have “Bob” in our garage. If you are a running mom you know this stands for a stroller, not a man! Although #9 is now 5, I don’t see myself getting rid of the double Bob anytime soon. [Read more…]

Seven Foods You and Your Family Should Be Eating

images of groceryAlan Tyson, physical therapist and owner of Architech Sports, recently wrote about the best foods for our bellies.  There are seven.  I was surprised by the last one!  Add these to your shopping list and try to include them in daily meals.

images of peppers1. High-Fiber and Antioxidant-Rich Vegetables
All veggies are good for you. They are high in vitamins, phytonutrients, antioxidants,
and fiber and are generally low in calories and low in fat. But certain varieties do contain “FODMAPs”, or rapidly fermentable carbohydrates that can aggravate your gut, that are difficult for some people to digest. Some suggest focusing only on low-FODMAP veggies, especially those rich in anti- inflammatory magnesium and other important minerals. Found in: leafy green veggies (kale, Swiss chard, spinach), bell peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, tomatoes, potatoes.

images of blueberries2. Tummy-Trimming Fruits
Many sweet fruits have a balanced glucose-to-fructose ratio, which may be easier on your gut than those with more fructose. Found in: bananas and blueberries, cantaloupe and honeydew, grapes, oranges, pineapple, papayas, strawberries, raspberries.

quinoa_topic6003. Carb-light Grains
Almost all grains are carb-dense and therefore may be bad for your tummy. Many, like wheat, are also high in FODMAPs. But since grains are such powerful (and delicious) sources of fiber, we included those that are high-fiber, low-FODMAP, and relatively carb-light. Found in: quinoa, oats, brown rice. [Read more…]

To Your New Year’s Resolutions…I Say, “Go For It”!

frank sinatradc1e3258a4ebbe0d2be177b5eae0cb6aTo those who say they don’t “do resolutions”, I have to ask, why not? What is not to like about a resolution? I always welcome a chance to start again.  That is the very definition of hope! It’s like saying I’m not going to celebrate my birthday because it’s just gonna come around again next year.

Isn’t that the beauty of it? Yes, it comes around every January. And no, I can’t remember my resolutions from last year (actually, the unfortunate consequence of blogging is that my resolutions from 2014 are there for me and anyone else to see- yikes).  But it doesn’t really matter.  A resolution is a very here-and-now thing.  It’s present day.  It’s knowing yesterday is gone.  Today is a new day.  And it’s a new year!

Phillip Rivers, San Diego Chargers quarterback, at a May 2014 graduation speech

Phillip Rivers, San Diego Chargers quarterback, at a May 2014 graduation speech

I love what San Diego Charger’s quarterback, Phillip Rivers told 1,550 students who were graduating from Catholic University last May.  As their graduation speaker, he told them that he had chosen the Latin phrase “Nunc Coepi” as his motto.  It means…Now I Begin. He said, “Nunc Coepi….it certainly applies to you graduates who now are beginning the next chapter in your lives. You now begin. But this is ongoing. You begin again, and again and again. You never give up. Nunc Coepi.”   [Read more…]