Other than New Year’s, there is probably no other time during the year that motivates us to make a fresh start like springtime does. When the warmer breezes start blowing, we want to throw open the windows and let the air around us revitalize our homes and our spirits.
What better time than now to come face-to-face with our excuses for not getting fit and healthy! Excuses pile up just like the clutter that accumulates in our houses, but it’s time to clean up.
Do any of these excuses sound familiar?
1. I don’t have the time to exercise: This is one of the most common excuses. You are busy, you have to work all day (or all night), you have to get the kids to school, you have to cook dinner, go to the grocery store, mow the lawn, change the oil in the car, care for your aging parents—there is simply no time for exercise.
Really? Consider this: If you do not find time to exercise, you will almost certainly begin experiencing the consequences that come from an inactive lifestyle at some point in your life. When you begin experiencing symptoms, you will have to make an appointment with the doctor, drive to your appointment, wait to be seen, schedule additional tests at the hospital, and wait for your prescriptions to be filled at the pharmacy. And with chronic illness, this scenario will be played out month after month after month. And it takes a lot of time.
Will you find the time in your busy life to see to your medical issues? Yes, of course. You will make sure that you adjust your schedule and your life to accommodate your illness. So why not adjust your schedule now to accommodate the prevention of illness through exercise? You do have the time; you just have to decide to use it. Exercise takes a lot less time out of your life than disease.
(NOTE: I firmly believe there are times in your life where it may be more beneficial to make time for sleep vs exercise if you're not getting much of either. More on that soon.)
2. I don’t like to exercise: Again, a pretty common excuse. But I won’t let you off the hook. Lots of people do not like to exercise -- at least, at first -- but they get themselves to do it anyway and hopefully find a mode of exercise they end up really liking. There are so many options out there now that fit many people's personalities: CrossFit, Zumba, Pilates, ice skating, kettlebells. You won't know which you like until you try. But I guarantee you there's something out there for you.
3. I don’t have the energy to exercise: If you are unfit, you likely have low energy. And when you don’t have much energy, the last thing you can imagine is exercising. But until you become more active -- one step at a time -- you will not have the energy you so long for. It sounds counter-intuitive but I promise you won’t start feeling better until you start moving.
4. It’s just not the right time for me to start working out:
“I’ll start working out when…
I get some decent exercise clothes
Summer vacation starts
The kids go back to school
I get my house organized
Work lets up
I have more time
Life calms down
The kids get older
The weather warms up a little
The weather cools down a little
Someday…just not today."
It will never be the perfect time to start a fitness routine.
You just have to start anyway.
Surrender your excuses
Decide to stop hiding behind your excuses. Make a clean sweep and toss those excuses out. Everybody has excuses for not exercising. The fit and healthy people around you choose to give up the excuses and just do it. That doesn’t mean it is easy for them. It's freaking hard sometimes! It just means that they love feeling energetic, strong, healthy, and empowered enough to push it and get it done.
You can be that way too. Just put one foot in front of the other.
Asparagus is finally starting to come into season and you know as soon as farmers' markets open, it will be all over the place. So we're going to geek out about one of my favorite veggie today.
Asparagus was originally found growing on Mediterranean hillsides, and recipes date back to late fourth-century Rome and Apicius Book III, one of the oldest known cookbooks. Early American colonists referred to asparagus as a “food of kings”.
Although farmers in California, Washington, and Michigan grow substantial quantities, the U.S. is the world’s largest importer of asparagus, with much of it coming from China and Peru. We love our asparagus, and for good reason.
One serving of asparagus - 5 stalks - contains 3 grams of fiber and 60% of your recommended daily intake of folic acid which is essential for mental and physical health. Folic acid is known to prevent birth defects in developing fetuses and is an essential part of key enzymes and neurotransmitters.
Asparagus also contains glutathione, the major detoxifying antioxidant in your liver.
One stalk contains fewer than 4 calories, making it a great tasting, low calorie addition to any meal.
Asparagus contains a unique type of soluble fiber called fructooligosaccharides (FOS), which goes undigested until it reaches your large intestine. From there, it serves as food for the good bacteria that lives in your gut and helps improve your digestive health. Because of its unique ability to support the growth of beneficial bacteria, scientists have even started putting FOS in infant formula.
In addition to improving digestion, FOS can help lower triglycerides, decreasing your risk for cardiovascular disease, and improve your body’s ability to absorb minerals from your diet.
Nature’s Hangover Cure
Asparagus is the perfect food to have the day after a night out with friends.
A 2009 study from the Journal of Food Science found that asparagus can boost, by 200%, the effectiveness of two key alcohol-metabolizing enzymes in your liver. In addition, asparagus can help replenish your body’s supply of glutathione, which gets used up quickly by your liver after you have a couple of drinks.
How To Pick Asparagus
The thicker the stalk, the more tender it will be. Make sure the tips are closed and compact; these are signs of freshness, which will lead to better taste.
Hot and Steamy
Cook the stalks in a pan filled with about two inches of boiling water for up to about 6 minutes, or until they become tender (but not overly tender). Empty the water from the pan and then top the asparagus with fresh-squeezed lemon juice, salt, pepper, and a little extra-virgin olive oil for the perfect complement to a salmon filet or grilled steak.
Stir It Up
Stir-frying asparagus is another fast and easy way to get this power food in your diet. Cut the asparagus stalks diagonally into 2-inch pieces and sauté them in a nonstick pan over medium heat with sesame oil, fresh ginger, and a splash of soy sauce or coconut aminos.
You can make this a complete meal by adding sliced mushrooms, chicken breast strips, and steamed brown rice.
So go ahead and pick some up and enjoy!