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  • Upping the Ante

    Just a bit. Have as few things to accomplish today, so I thought I'd start with the workout and get it out of the way.

    Moved everything except the seated rows to 4 sets of 10 reps instead of 3. Stayed with the 25 pound dumbbells for the biceps reps instead of switching equipment, but the end result was certainly effective. Still feeling pumped, which is a very good feeling indeed.

    I did vary the bench press a bit. Two sets inclined at 30 degrees, then two sets flat. Definitely makes a difference to get your muscles used to one movement, then shift to another. Again, feels good.

    100 situps, straight up on the exercise ball and 10 minutes on the Gazelle finished it off, and I was soaked by the end of the session. Decided on a nice juicy pear instead of a glass of juice for the cool down walk in the back yard. It's nice to get your vitamins straight from the source. And I do love the taste of a nice, ripe pear, don't you?

    Actually, that's a nice segue into today's topic of nutrition. I don't want to get into a long diatribe about the benefits of organic foods or supplements, mostly because I don't subscribe to those theories. Diets in general are usually flawed from the get-go, since the implication is a diet is a temporary solution to a permanent problem. Dieting in general is not good for your body.

    Sensible eating habits and portions, however, are ideal for a healthy lifestyle. It all has to do with the number of calories you take in versus the number of calories you burn off.

    Now yes, there are some benefits to a vegetarian lifestyle, if you are of that particular bent. Vegans, on the other hand, I have a bit of a problem with, since they are denying themselves the benefits of natural proteins the body requires, but that is their choice and I am not going to turn this into a debate.

    Your body requires proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and vitamins in order to operate at peak efficiency. When you eat a lot of processed foods, you throw off the balance by absorbing additional chemicals and preservatives that are not needed. Basically, when you opt for fast food instead of a good meal, you are ingesting as much poison as you are nutrient, and whatever benefit you might obtain is lost. Places like McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy's and other fast food chains ought to have large warning labels displayed on their doors to remind customers of what they are doing to themselves.

    So what should you eat? Mostly, if it looks like something that grows on a tree, or out of the ground, or walks on four legs, or swan in the ocean, or flew through the air, it is usually safe to eat. If it comes in a box or a plastic bag, you might want to rethink it. Quick meals for the house can be made from the ingredients instead of from prepackaged components, usually in as little time and without all the preservatives.

    Case in point. Macaroni and Cheese. Actually any pasta and cheese. There are so many pastas on the market today the mind actually boggles at the thought. Whole wheat pastas and gluten free pastas and vegetable based pastas are right alongside the traditional pasta in the aisle at the supermarket, and are just as tasty as the stuff that comes from Kraft or some other manufacturer of prepackaged gunk. And the truth of the matter is it still takes 8 minutes for pasta to boil, whether it be from the packaged stuff or the real deal.

    So how long does it take to make a nice, smooth cheese sauce to pour over your freshly cooked pasta? About 8 minutes. Which means you can have the healthy alternative to the gunk in the same amount of time if you are in a rush. And if you aren't, even better. There are so many ways to prepare a good Mac and Cheese I can't even begin to list them here.

    That's just one example, and I am sure you could give me a bunch more, and that is the point, isn't it?

    Bottom line: Don't put things into your body that defeat the purpose of all this good exercise. Think about what you are going to eat before you put that burger in your mouth.

    I hope you all have a blessed day.

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