This is a major food crisis

This is a major food crisis

What constitutes a food crisis? That was the first question that came to mind as I continued to read daily reports on looming rises in prices, even in regions where it is deemed that there is enough of everything for most consumers. But what about the others? That was my next question. It has to do with those who simply never have enough to spare to put a decent and healthy meal on the table for their usually large and extended families.

Notes on a life well worth living

Notes on a life well worth living

Both professionally objective opinions and personal thoughts will be shared with you in this post. I decided initially to focus on how blogging work can make positive contributions to other people’s lives, especially those who need all the help they can get. I thought I’d take a broadly based approach and not just center my thoughts on one area of my work or one particular sociological problem. Let me be as forthright as possible, I am nervous as hell.

Exercise plans for women only

Strictly for women only. Like I’ve been saying since I was given the opportunity to start writing up about women’s health issues. It’s hard to believe that there was a time when women were never even allowed to venture outside and take in a bit of fresh air while stretching their legs. My gosh, how far we have come. I’m going to start this post with a few easy to do exercises that are ideal for women and then close this post off with my own thoughts on putting into place neatly packaged exercise plans for women that could work wonders for you.

The side plank

You lie on your left side for this exercise. While you’re doing this, your knees must be straight. You prop your upper body on your left elbow and forearm. Now, raise your hips until your body is in a straight line from your ankles to your shoulders. You hold this position for at least thirty seconds. Then turn to your right side and repeat the exercise. There’s no need to overdo the exercise, so proceed with about eight to ten reps.

The one-legged dead lift

Get yourself a pair of dumb-bells for this exercise and then stand on your left foot. After that, lift your right foot behind your body and then bend your knee so that your right lower leg is parallel to the floor. Then bend forward at the hips and slowly but surely lower your body as far as you can. Pause for a moment then push your body back to its original position. Again, don’t do more than ten reps, although with this exercise, you might feel comfortable starting off with just four or five reps.

Mountain climber with Swiss ball

Pretend you’re doing a classic pushup for this exercise, positioning your arms rigidly straight. Place your hands on the Swiss ball. Your body must be in a straight line from your ankles to your head. Tighten your core and then hold this position for the remainder of the exercise. Then lift one foot off the floor and slowly raise your knee as close to your chest as you can. Don’t adjust your lower back’s position during this motion. Then repeat it on your other leg. Alternate the leg positions back and forth for about thirty seconds. It’s a tough nut to crack, so start off with no more than four or five reps.

The classic push-up

Before I forget to tell you this, just remember that you can take in healthy liquid refreshments for these sorts of exercises. To keep your strength up, one of your favorite green smoothies will do the trick nicely.  Who says only strong men can do this and all the other exercises? As you’re discovering for yourself, strong girls can do them too. For the classic pushup, simply get down on all fours and place your hands on the floor, slightly wider than and in line with your shoulders, and with your feet close together. Lower your body until your chest almost touches the floor, then push yourself back up to your starting position. You need to brace yourself for this exercise. Not so strong girls might only be able to manage four or five reps, but this is an exercise that you can make progress with and build up on the amount of reps you can manage. Who knows, maybe someday you’ll be able to do fifty or more.

My flexible exercise plan for you

Our time is nearly up, so let me close with my thoughts on flexible exercise plans. To be flexible means you should be able to squeeze in around twenty to thirty minutes of exercise from Mondays to Fridays. Over weekends, you take a break of sorts by doing something adventurous that also requires quite a bit of endurance. Another mention. This time it has to do with variety. I’m a big believer in this. Try to find different pursuits for you to follow every day. Find jaunts that you’re going to love and you feel most comfortable with. This all depends on your circumstances and surroundings as well.

Healthy eating plans for women only

Yummy, yummy, I’ve got love in my tummy. Ever heard that song before. Okay, most of us haven’t because it’s as old as the hills. I only found the lovely lyrics as I was working through my paper and research material for putting together this short post on putting together healthy eating plans for women only. Life’s ironic, isn’t it? Through the ages, women have been toiling over fires and stoves cooking for others.

But now there’s a lot of women out there, young and old, who need to be given a bit of handholding and even some tough talk in getting to take better care of themselves by way of eating the right foods that they ditched the day they started fending for themselves in the workplace. Well, that’s the general vibe, and it’s great that most of you reading this are already on the organic eating bandwagon and working your way through some great exercise plans until you’ve found the right one that works for you. For the rest of you, let this post offer you some inspiration rather than tough love.

I’m from a place where I never used to cook before and, in fact, I hated it most of the time. In fact, the only reason I got to cooking was because funds were low and I couldn’t afford takeouts then. Today, look at me now. Look at you too in the mirror. Absolutely fabulous! That’s how you’ll look once your healthy eating plan’s in place. You’ll also find that cooking is pretty easy and quick too. There’s also a surprising amount of variety to be enjoyed.

It’s not like in the old days when overweight girls had to starve themselves on green lettuce leaves and a pitted green olive for their treat. Today, you also get to focus on different food groups and fruits, vegetables, grains and meats that are uniquely tailored to your personal dietary requirements. For instance, if you’re ambitious like me and going to be packing in weights at the gym, you’ll have no choice but to emphasize your dietary requirements on a whole lot of protein, ideally from meat sources.

When you put together new, wholesome eating plans, there’ll be no more place for starving, bingeing and skipping meals. In fact, not even the fabulous smoothie can be used as an excuse to grab a quick slurp to avoid spending just a half an hour of your precious time rustling up something really worthwhile. Meals never, ever have to be boring because you can literally eat something different every day.

Let’s start with breakfast. No cooking time is involved, so what’s the excuse here. On one morning, you can be having a great bowl of oats, packed in with nuts and fresh or dried fruit. On another morning, if you’ve got a classic case of IBT (irritable bowel syndrome), you can have yourself a bowl of bran with plain yogurt. Fresh, colorful salads can be had for lunch every other day. On other days, you can treat yourself to mini protein meals such as tuna or fat-free chicken or turkey sandwiches, without the mayo.

It’s a pity that some girls are choosing to go strictly vegan. But its okay, I guess, and it’s just me being personal. I could not imagine a day of missing out on one of my favorite sources of protein. Farm fresh eggs over weekends for breakfast. Get creative while you’re busy getting healthy and lay off the fried eggs for a while. Go hard-boiled or fluff up your eggs as a folded omelet with some of your favorite vegetables included inside.

When it comes to looking for ways to kick-start a healthy eating plan, what could be more inspiring than a healthy appetite? Like mine. Trouble is, it’s really late, so I’m just going to go with a small bowl of dried fruit and nuts.

Green smoothies for women only

What is a green smoothie? First of all, what is a smoothie? Many of you reading this may already have clear ideas on green smoothies and what they entail. It’s okay, and here you get to have your say. Come on and don’t be shy. Fit and healthy women like you are full of energy and are oozing in confidence to share your opinions on what needs to be done to stay fit and healthy in this day and age. Many of you, I know this for sure, also have some great ideas on what’s cooking in your kitchen that I’m quite sure the rest of the girls would love to hear about.

Sounds like apartheid when we’re talking only about women’s health issues. What about the men? And what about kids and old folks? All true, we should be asking questions on what’s good for them as well, but let’s be honest, like I said in the last post, women remain a minority of sorts, expected to do so much more, still doing more than men for obvious reasons, and even though statistically there are so much more women in the world than there are men.

When it comes to women’s health and fitness, there’s a lot more at stake. Women tend to get sick a lot more often than men. This has very little to do with their physiognomy, quite frankly, and more to do with the kind of societies we’ve been born into. Women take too much on their shoulders and so they stress out more. That previous paragraph where I mentioned the old folks and the kids is actually quite relevant to women in general.

That’s because women are natural nurturers and caregivers and will invariably be saddled with taking care of the others. But in order for them to be able to take good care of the others, they still need to be in fairly good shape themselves. So, as far as I’m concerned, I think it’s only right that there are dedicated blogs, such as this one, devoted solely to the needs and issues of women. Women also tend to talk a lot more than men.

I think that’s great. They are also a lot more open and honest about how they feel about their lives. Well, they’re naturally inclined to be so, anyway. Because in many parts of the world, they still don’t get to say and do what they want or need. At the beginning of this post, I mentioned that many of you may already have a cool idea or two on what green smoothies are all about. But every now and then something unique falls into my lap and its well worth sharing.

For instance, this time around, I discovered some issues of concern that women especially need to make a note of before they go all out on their new smoothie making craze. But first this little refresher on what green smoothies essentially are. They’re mainly made with tons of raw, leafy green vegetables. Fruits are often included as well. Green vegetables typically used to make up the green smoothie include broccoli, celery, spinach, parsley and lettuce.

Only a minority of women have high oxalate levels

Raw green vegetables with the leaves contain high levels of oxalate. We can also inherit such levels if we’re big on consuming large quantities of greens raw. Apparently such high levels of oxalate are barely noticeable because when we’re eating our favorite greens we generally feel great don’t we. Those women who are overweight and are just turning away from eating processed foods loaded excessively with sugar, salt and fat are said to be more at risk than the rest of us. But the oxalate issue is not as serious as it seems.

It is said that only one in five people will be at risk, whether obese, diabetic or not.  These folks that form this minority are said to have a genetic disposition towards allowing their bodies to manufacture high levels of oxalate. No matter where we’re classed in the genetic pool and no matter how healthy you think you are it remains essential to have yourself clinically tested for all types of diseases, especially diabetes, high blood sugar levels, breast and other cancers and calcium levels.

Green ingredients

Right, now it’s time to close this post off with some titillating ingredients that can and should be tried out in any green smoothie. I’m just going to mention these randomly because I’m rapidly running out of juice over here and I must go. Here they are; water and ice, spinach, kale, collards, turnips, beetroot, lemon, pineapple, peaches, berries, bananas, apples and oranges. Oy vay! This list is long. It goes on and on.

And now it’s time for you to use your own creative juices and see how much more you can add. One last thought on women’s health issues before I go. Great that we all go for our regular checkups. Even better when we’re given the green light. That might have something to do with eating right and regular exercise.