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The 8 Dimensions of Wellness

The Wheel of Wellness encompasses these 8 dimensions:

Physical:

Recognizing the need for physical activity, healthy foods and sleep, regular physical examinations.

Environmental:

Promoting good self-health by occupying pleasant, stimulating environments that support well-being.

Emotional:

Coping effectively with life and creating satisfying relationships.

Financial:

Satisfaction with current and future financial situations.

Spiritual:

Expanding our sense of purpose and meaning in life.

Intellectual:

Recognizing creative abilities and strengths and finding ways to expand our knowledge base and our skills.

Occupational:

Personal satisfaction and enrichments from our work – paid or volunteer.

Social:

Developing a sense of connection, belonging, and a well-developed support system.

Peach Tarte Tatin

The Peach Tarte Tatin shown in the photo I created from a recipe in The Peach Truck Cookbook: 100 Delicious Recipes for All Things Peach.

I checked the book out of the library and will buy a copy in the future.

Alas this recipe calls for 3/4 cup sugar–yes Sugar! So I use this recipe every so often not every week. The sugar is divided among 6 peaches though.

The other recipe I created from this cookbook is the Peach Pizza–yes pizza!

A white pie with ricotta mozzarella chopped shallots minced garlic and red pepper flakes. The peach slices top off everything.

You can use store-bought pizza dough like I did which is perfectly fine.

The pizza is tasty. So is the Peach Tarte Tatin.

The recipes are fairly intricate and owing to copyright I won’t repeat them here.

I recommend buying The Peach Truck Cookbook which I’m going to do shortly.

100 delicious recipes for all things Peach. What’s not to like?

2021 Early Fall Lower Body Routine

Dumbbell Sumo Squat (8 pounds – 12 reps) Feet wider than shoulder width – hold dumbbells together vertical between legs

Single Leg Romanian Dead Lift (5 pounds – 10 reps each side) Reach until you feel hamstring stretch – hold weight on same side as lifting leg

Kettlebell Swing (10 pounds 12-15 reps) Swing between legs and use hips to push weight forward

Forward Lunges (5-8 pounds – 8 reps on each side) – hold dumbbells by your side

Wall Sit – squat against door – feet shoulder width – hold as long as possible

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High Knees (20-30 seconds)

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Straight Leg Raises (12-15 reps)

Scissor Legs – Front to Back (20-30 seconds)

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Crunches – Only lift shoulders to squeeze stomach (12-15 reps)

2021 Early Fall Upper Body Routine

  1. Dumbbell Back Row (8-10 pounds – 12-15 reps) leaning on dining table – pull dumbbell back as you rotate palm forward – rotate back as the weight lowers
  2. Lying Chest Press (8-10 pounds – 12 reps) Alternating sides – press up toward ceiling and lower back to floor
  3. Dumbbell Bicep Curl to Shoulder Press (8 pounds – 12 reps) turn palm forward at shoulder and press up toward ceiling
  4. Dumbbell Pull-Over (8 pounds – 12 reps) Holding top of dumbbell above chest – extend arms behind head until dumbbell reaches floor – then raise back above chest – knees up
  5. Tricep Kickbacks (8 pounds – 12 reps) Movement in elbow – bend and extend to squeeze tricep

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Jumping Jacks (30 seconds)

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Bicycles (On floor – crunch opposite knee to opposite elbow)

Butt Kick (20-30 seconds)

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Russian Twists (15 twists)

New Lunch Recipe Book

I created the soba noodle tofu and sugar snap pea salad from this cookbook which requires very little cooking.

A few of the recipes require Italian deli meat and other deli products.

So for those of us who are not vegetarians it’s a great time-saving book. For those of us who don’t eat meat other recipes abound.

Instead of using a plastic lunchbox I have a glass container with a bamboo lid.

I bought a box of 4 different-sized glass containers with bamboo lids.

From Bovado a company where the containers are Made in America. For $35 in a kitchen wares store. You can order them online at Bovado website.

In the coming blog entries I’m going to share my latest Upper and Lower Body Workout Routines.

The Myth of Buying Organic Food

In the Frank Lipman, M.D. book How to Be Well he exposes the following as unhealthful fats to avoid consuming:

corn oil

canola oil

soybean oil

vegetable oil

sunflower oil

safflower oil

and of course palm oil that is not ethically sourced.

The dilemma is that these fats are cheap. They are used in organic food “products” that come in boxes or bags.

This is not real food in its natural state.

Skinny Pop popcorn uses sunflower oil.

The other dilemma is that most organic products use “natural flavor” which is a chemical additive.

I steer clear of consuming any food or drink with natural flavor.

Ginger ale has natural flavor. These chemical additives are everywhere.

Food manufacturers use these fats and chemicals because they’re cheap ingredients. The cheaper the product is to produce the cheaper it can be sold. Which is not how to choose what you eat and drink: by whether it costs only $2 dollars as opposed to $8 dollars.

Those of us who live in poverty should not be forced to subsist on unhealthy food either.

Greenmarket season is in full swing in New York City. People who use SNAP can use their “food stamps” to buy produce at Grow NYC markets. They can get health bucks to use to purchase more food.

You can even use EBT benefits to buy food online at markets to deliver to your home in New York City.

I urge readers not to buy food “products” as a rule.

You’ll pay for it down the road in higher medical costs.

Coming up I will see about posting new recipes I’ve created.

In the next blog entry I will talk about setting long-term goals.

As I near retirement I’ve been thinking long and hard about my life and how I want to live in my Golden Years.

These years should be golden not tarnished with ill health.

Eat Move Sleep

The Tom Rath book Eat Move Sleep has to be the best health book I’ve ever read.

The other 2 books I recommend are How to Be Well and The New Rules of Aging Well by Frank Lipman, M.D.

In Eat Move Sleep Rath asserts that sitting in a chair without getting up to move frequently is thought to be as unhealthy as smoking.

Not only is “sitting the new smoking” the reality is that loneliness is as harmful as smoking too.

Not getting enough sleep is often the root of modern-day ailments as well.

I would say if you read only one health book make it Eat Move Sleep. It’s a short book that can be read in two or three days depending on how long you read it for each day.

According to Rath most common diseases can be prevented with lifestyle changes like the ones recommended in the book.

No one should be popping Xanax as a rule or taking Ambien to fall asleep.

That said fitness should not be a “blame game” played against people who don’t exercise and eat right.

If you ask me what happens to a lot of people is “the luck of the draw.”

We cannot hold others responsible for their ill health. Not when they have a genetic mutation for cancer. Or develop leukemia when they’re 65 like a friend of mine.

Yes I firmly believe that lifestyle choices are under our control. Only so much of what happens is not within our reach to prevent.

Lastly I will say that it’s my contention that a person should take The Long View.

Not exercising for a week or two doesn’t matter. Getting back into exercising is what counts.

Hitting a plateau or having a fallow period in your life with your goals or with any kind of mental physical or emotional setback is to be expected.

I will remind readers that I might have talked in this blog about my “little bites” philosophy of not biting off more than you can chew. Of being consistent.

The beauty of following the Eat Move Sleep plan is that small changes can make a big difference.

Expecting or wanting quick-and-easy dramatic results is foolish and dangerous.

We all of us have our whole lives to live.

Giving up hope is a mistake. Having a concrete plan with clear specific SMART goals is the solution.

Come to think of it as I’m typing this I think it’s time to devote a blog entry to setting long-term goals.

So this will be coming up after I talk about The Myth of Buying Organic Food.

My 10-Year Plan

Years ago when I was the Health Guide at a mental health website I wrote about my 10-year theory:

That you should give yourself the gift of 10 years to achieve your version of recovery.

Wanting or expecting to achieve dramatic results via drastic measures is dangerous to our mental and physical health.

If you don’t like yourself as you are now how will you be able to like yourself in the future?

Being happy isn’t predicated on achieving a goal. One goal I’ve have for a long time hasn’t materialized yet. Only I accept where I am in my life.

It took me 10 years of lifting weights to get the body I have now.

A person cannot give up exercising after only 2 months. You need to give yourself 4 years of consistently working out to see long-term gains.

“Drop 2 Dress Sizes by Tuesday” should not be the goal. Lifelong health and wellbeing should be the goal.

For the first 4 or 5 years I lifted weights 3x per week for 50 minutes in each session.

Then I had a setback where I had to act as my mother’s caregiver.

My trainer at the time a woman started creating shorter routines I could do in my apartment.

After she left a guy trainer who is exceptional like she was took over.

For going on 4 years I’ve been lifting weights in my living room mostly 2x per week for 30 to 40 minutes in each session.

I’m 56. I’m fitter than I was when I first started training at 46.

The point is that loading up exercise on the front end will improve your odds of being able to consistently work out for the long-term.

Continuing to act as my mother’s caregiver (she is 83 and in ill health) I often can only exercise 1x per week right now.

My first trainer at the gym left to open his own boutique fitness center. He had told me that as long as I continued to exercise I would maintain my fitness level.

Life happens. Stuff happens. Setbacks are to be expected. It’s not a question of if you’re going to have a setback but when.

Setbacks will occur often. That’s the nature of living life: being thrown curveballs.

In the early 2000s I had written: “When life throws you a curveball hit it out of the park.”

I would say that giving yourself the gift of 10 years of engaging in an exercise routine is mandatory.

The goal like said is not to become thin or skinny.

According to a research study people who work out feel better about their bodies even if they don’t lose weight.

My secret was not giving up the fight. Continuing to exercise even when I’m able to work out only 1x per week.

In the coming blog entry I’ll talk about the research-verified fitness strategies in the book Eat Move Sleep by Tom Rath.

This common-sense guide guide touts that small changes can make a big difference.

The keyword in that sentence? Small. Making changes doesn’t have to be difficult or arduous.

On Being Different

An outlier, I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m different.

I describe how I “operate” as being unusual.

No–I don’t identify as “Queer.” I prefer to use the word different or unusual.

Too I choose not to conform. Instead of using “she/her” as my preferred pronouns I use my given names as my preferred nouns as in “Chris/ Christina.”

It’s because I’m different that I don’t expect other people to be live act think and dress the way I do.

I’m able to have compassion for others.

Often I wonder: “Can we at least try not to judge others as often as most of us do?”

I have grappled with the fact that living a totally judgment-free life might not be possible.

In terms of the myth of needing to be thin:

We should love ourselves first in order that we can love others too.

If you hate your body and by extension yourself because you’re not thin that doesn’t bode well for accepting another person as they are.

Most people wouldn’t exercise the way I do. I workout like a madwoman in training for the prizefight of her life. The sessions are so intense that I need to take a recovery day afterwards to rest.

Each of us has personality traits we can use to help us succeed in life. To discount these traits as a factor in our ability to overcome adversity is what upsets me.

It hit me as I’m writing this that someone should write a book titled “The Personality Trait Fitness Guide.”

Using your unique competencies is the best way to triumph.

Each of us has skills, abilities, and strengths we can use to overcome internal and external roadblocks.

In coming blog entries I’m going to talk about my own fitness trajectory in the last 10 years of lifting weights.

I’m going to review the Top 3 Health and Fitness books I’ve read in the last 5 years.

I’ll also bust the myth of always needing to buy organic food.

Everyone’s doing the best we can with what we were given.

No one should feel guilty or ashamed because they don’t live up to some impossible societal ideal of how much you should weigh or what your body should look like.

I tell you: Be a Rebel. Dare to be different.

Walk down the street like you own the pavement.

Regardless of the size on your clothing tag.

On Not Being Thin

To start this story where it should end I have no desire to become thin.

I feel I have nothing in common with white affluent “Influencer” women who proselytize getting a “beach body.”

Using the term Thinspiration alarms me. No one needs to be thin if they’re going to go on a crazy “diet” to try to whittle down to their bones.

My body is at its “fighting weight” now. Which is great because by exercising I can burn off the anger I have at the injustice in society.

Hello folks–it wasn’t my goal to lose 20 pounds in the last 2 years. Nor do I like using the word “thin” or “skinny” to describe my body or anyone else’s body.

From the time I was 22 until I turned 23–in only one year–I gained 30 pounds. At five feet tall I was unhappy weighing 138 pounds. In the early 1990s I had about 5 sessions with an M.D. who had a practice focused on nutrition.

It took me 6 years to lose the extra weight.

In my forties I weighed 125 pounds.

Three months before I turned 46 I was going through a hard time. Suddenly and out of nowhere I told myself: “You must start lifting weights.”

Not at all so that I could lose weight or become “thin” or “skinny.”

I decided to lift weights as a coping mechanism for the emotional pain I was in. In March of this year I celebrated my 10th Anniversary of lifting weights.

So I went out and bought a cool DKNY pocketbook as a reward.

Again: the goal is not to be thin or skinny.

In the coming blog entries I’ll talk more about my weight lifting practice. I will review 3 health and fitness books that are right-on.

Too I will talk about my Left of the Dial lifestyle that is predicated on this motto:

“No judgments.”

2021 Summer Lower Body Routine

Kettle bell squat (holding kettle bell @ chest) after each squat do a knee raise alternating legs 10-15 pounds 12-16 reps

Single leg Romanian deadlift (reach until you feel stretch in hamstring) 10 reps

Reverse lunges holding dumbbell high in 1 hand and low in the other 5-8 pounds 8 lunges each side

Donkey / glute kicks (starting on all 4s – alternately kick feet straight back to squeeze glutes

Alternating lateral lunges (feet wider than shoulders opposing leg straight – working leg bent – back and fourth)

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Burpees 12 reps

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V-shaped crunches 15 reps

Jumps side to side and front to back 20 jumps

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Side planks (as many seconds as possible) 2 sets each side