Yoga…. Truly beneficial….

I have mentioned in previous posts that I am not a big fan of Yoga.  I force myself to do it at least once a week, because it is so important.  I have tried different types of Yoga classes over the years, but have never stuck with anything.  It’s very difficult for athletes who prefer fast paced, endurance type sports to calm down, hold a stretch, concentrate on breathing etc… Yoga is difficult, physically and mentally.  What I always realize is after I do it, I feel absolutely wonderful!  My mother in law, Terry is a certified Bikram yoga instructor.  She is hands down the best instructor.  Truly dedicated to the development of the student.  Anyhow, I am lucky to have her in my life.  I attended my first Bikram class with Terry close to 12 years ago.  I wasn’t sure what to expect.  90 min. of pretzel moves in 100 degree heat.  I wasn’t sure if I’d make it out alive.  For one, every participant is at their own level.  There are no expectations to perfect each pose.  The heat did not bother me at all.  It really does help loosen the muscles.  Having sweat dripping in your eyes while you’re holding a pose actually forces you to concentrate better on your form / posture. If you fall out of a pose and wipe the sweat away, you feel defeated for breaking your concentration.  I remember seeing a man come in to class with a walker.  He was amazing at every pose, even the standing positions.  Unfortunately, he had been in a serious accident and told he would spend the rest of his life confined to a wheel chair. He refused to accept that.  He started doing Bikram yoga and after about a year, he had progressed to being able to stand and use a walker.  That’s just one example of healing progression.  I do believe yoga, like most physical / meditation activity, offers a healing component for the body and mind.  This man had determination.  Like everything, you really have to want something to make it happen.  Nothing is easy and every situation is different.  
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Navigation Junkie….

This mornings post is a little quirky.  I’m hoping some runner’s, cyclist’s and traveling sales people out there can relate.  I am a “Navigation Junkie”!  I love the unknown, discovering a new route, driving to a new location, running a race and not knowing the route.  The freedom of just going and taking in everything your surroundings have to offer.  This morning I did a 6 mile solo run.  I was on my own, which meant I could listen to my music, make up a new route, talk to myself, sing out loud, etc… Really challenge myself, because I had to make sure I was back home by a certain time and not run too far over 6 miles.  I nailed it! My Garmin hit 6 miles right in front of my driveway, 3 min. prior to my goal time of 6:00am.  Mission accomplished! Continue reading “Navigation Junkie….”

Injury / Discomfort….Don’t give up….

Injury / Discomfort, unfortunately go with the territory when it comes to exercise.  Please, don’t give up!  When starting any kind of physical activity, you will experience muscle fatigue.  It stinks, but it’s normal. Depending on what activity you’ve decided to start with, you’re working muscles in a way they’re not used to.  Even if you’re extremely active, for example an avid runner, when you decide to try an alternate activity, say a boot camp or HIIT class, you’re going to hurt the next day.  There’s actually a few approaches that may work to prevent you from giving up.  1. Rest day 2. Active Recovery 3. SMR (Self-Myofascial Release) – I actually like to partake in all 3 suggestions.  
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Cookbook Club….

Cookbook Club - Moroccan Lentil Salad
Cookbook Club – Moroccan Lentil Salad -“Run Fast, Eat Slow”

I hope everyone had an enjoyable weekend.  Happy father’s day to all the dad’s out there.  Friday night I attended my first “Cookbook Club”.  My friend Erin put the local club together and has been inviting me for months.  This past Friday was the first time I was able to go.  It was a lot of fun and I met some great new people and enjoyed a ton of fabulous food.  The concept of the club is simple.  Whoever hosts the party, chooses a particular cookbook as the theme.  Everyone pick’s a recipe from the book, and brings it to the party.  We discuss the approach to making our dishes. Where to best find some of the unusual ingredients, using alternative ingredients, putting your own twist on a dish, etc….  Continue reading “Cookbook Club….”

Crazy Cravings….Eating under pressure….

Crazy Cravings!  I refer to mine as having a “salt attack”!  It happens from time to time.  What I’ve realized over the years is, the salt cravings and eating fast go hand in hand.  I consider myself a “stress eater”.  When I’m under pressure or stressed about something, I tend to crave the bad stuff.  Which for me is anything salty.  Chips & dip, cheese & crackers, anything slathered in mayo etc….  And I can’t just have a small portion, I want to gobble a bag of Utz chips with heluva good horseradish & bacon dip like it’s going out of style!  Who can relate to feeling like this?  You may have a salt tooth like me or sweet tooth.  Put chocolate chip cookies or gummy bears in front of you and forget it!  They’re gone in 2 seconds.  It’s all about being self-aware of what you’re doing to yourself.  Easier said than done, right?   Continue reading “Crazy Cravings….Eating under pressure….”

Take it easy…It’s ok…

This morning my alarm didn’t go off, and I didn’t automatically wake up between 4:30 – 5:00am.  I actually slept until 6:45am.  At first, I woke up in a panic! By 6:45am, especially a weekday, my workout is done, lunches are made, I’m drinking my coffee and almost finished getting myself ready to start the day.  Then I realized, I must have needed the extra sleep.  Missing a grueling workout and breaking the routine once in a while is ok.  You don’t always “lose when you snooze”.   Continue reading “Take it easy…It’s ok…”

Calibrating Crohn’s….

I wanted to share information on a wonderful new blog.  www.calibratingcrohns.com https://www.facebook.com/calibratingcrohns/  

Crohn’s / Ulcerative Colitis Disease has impacted my life from a young age.  My father suffered terribly my entire life.  My sister and brother started experiencing symptoms as teenagers.  One thing I know from exposure to my loved ones living with Crohn’s / Colitis is that it can be extremely debilitating physically and mentally.  Like many autoimmune disorders, every choice you make can affect symptoms and how you are going to feel 24/7. Calibrating Crohn’s is a wonderful blog that puts personal perspective on facing symptoms head on through , journals, food choice, recipe’s, etc….  

Colitis, Crohn’s: Crohn’s disease affecting only the large intestine (colon). Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory disorder, primarily involving the small and large intestine, but which can affect other parts of the digestive system as well.

Do you or family, friends suffer from Chrohn’s?  Please share this post if you do.  

 

 

 

Outside our comfort zone….

Push

The main purpose of Nicol Living is to help others gain self-sufficiency in ways that I do every single day.  I focus on things that are important to me Fitness, Clean Cooking and DIY projects.  You need to take charge bit by bit and learn how to accomplish things yourself.  We’re all responsible for our own destiny.  You can’t rely on others for everything.  With that said, today I want to talk about stepping outside your comfort zone in terms of exercise / fitness.
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As the temps rise…. I’ve decided to re-post “As the temps rise”, because now in addition to the heat, we have the humidity. Stay hydrated people. Especially as training kicks in for my fellow Fall marathon runners.

The heat is on in the Northeast.  Summer temps are rising.  Yesterday the temperature rose to the mid 90s.  I went for a 26 mile bike ride yesterday morning, knowing it was going to be “hot”.  For me summer training is difficult.  I’m not a fan of the heat!  I’ll take a long run in the middle of February at 10 degrees vs. the middle of July at 90 degrees any day.  The thing is, if you want to participate in triathlons, Marathons or distance bike races etc…. they pretty much all take place in the summer and fall.  That’s if you live in the NE.  What that means is, you have to do a lot of your grueling training sessions in the hot, humid weather.   Continue reading “As the temps rise…. I’ve decided to re-post “As the temps rise”, because now in addition to the heat, we have the humidity. Stay hydrated people. Especially as training kicks in for my fellow Fall marathon runners.”