finding balance in training and in life

Beer of the Week: The Kaiser Imperial Oktoberfest

Beer of the Week: The Kaiser Imperial Oktoberfest

Another great beer from Colorado, Avery Brewing Company makes an especially delicious Imperial Oktoberfest. An intensified version of a traditional Oktoberfest, the deep copper color and rich malty but balanced flavor makes it a great choice for a winter evening.

The Right Way To Plank

The Right Way To Plank

Posted by on Oct 29, 2014 | No Comments

The other day, I took a new yoga class and the instructor had an extremely detailed way of describing what we should feel in each pose. When we got to plank, she gave us a cue that completely changed the exercise.

She said to imagine that our hands (or elbows, depending on which version you are doing) were pulling down towards our feet while holding plank pose. When I did that, I felt my abs SO much more engaged and I was surprised by how much that little reminder made planking more effective.

elbow plank

Why Stress Is Ruining Your Workouts- and the mindful activity that can fix it

Why Stress Is Ruining Your Workouts- and the mindful activity that can fix it

Posted by on Oct 30, 2014 | No Comments

You know that “my brain is fried” feeling at the end of a long and stressful day?

This recent article, details how stress can make your after work workouts less effective.

Researchers note that your brain can become fatigued just as your muscles can… and a fatigued brain will deplete the energy you need to exercise. While reading the article, I realized that if a stressed and fatigued brain is leaving little energy for your post-work exercise session, it will likely have the same affect on the energy you have for your family when you get home.

This is the viscous cycle that is a stressful life- you are stressed throughout the day, then you try to exercise to relieve stress but can’t get in a good workout because of low energy, then you go home even more depleted and unable to be present with your loved ones.

The good news?!

According to the article, it is possible to re-energize your brain before you leave work by taking time out of your day to observe nature. In my post on office exercise breaks, I noted that taking a couple of minutes to go outside several times throughout the day can really improve your energy and sense of well-being.

If you work in a concrete jungle, you can also watch videos of nature scenes… but I recommend getting outside if at all possible. The point is to get away from screens and into a more mindful state of being. After all, sitting in the sunshine or under a small tree still counts as observing nature.

sunset

Time Saving Vegetarian Meals

Time Saving Vegetarian Meals

Posted by on Oct 27, 2014 | No Comments

It always takes a lot of work and preparation to eat healthy, whole foods… but it takes even more planning to regularly eat well-balanced vegetarian or vegan meals.

I have to admit that I don’t love cooking, especially on busy week nights. Luckily, there are lots of easy vegetarian options available at grocery stores these days. I thought I would share some of the convenient vegetarian meals I have been preparing for lunches and dinners.

This post is definitely not sponsored (this blog is not there yet), these are just products that I use every week to make life easier.

veg3

This is not the best photo, but I use these basic staples for so many meals! My favorite is a vegetarian burrito bowl (I will share the recipe soon). I also mix the rice and beans with roasted vegetables, hummus, avocado, olive oil and salt…. or anything I can think of.

When I am pressed for time in the mornings and didn’t prepare anything the night before, I will just pack a bag of rice and a box of beans in my lunch and mix/microwave at work. The rice is ready in just 2-3 minutes!

The best part is that the rice is now available at Costco, which saves a lot of money because it can be pricey if you buy the bags individually.

The beans also make a great addition to any salad!

I will share more of my favorite products as I get more savvy with my vegetarian cooking.