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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.

2022 Early Winter Lower Body Routine

1.Wall / Door Squat: Standing against door slide down into squat position – then push back up to standing – holding weight at chest height close to body. (8-12 pounds – 12 reps – 3 sets)

2.DB Dead Lift: Holding dumbbells to the side with straight arms – squat / sit back and lower until dumbbells at mid-shin – chest and head up. (10-12 pounds – 12 reps – 3 sets)

3.Lunges with front foot elevated onto platform – no risers. (8 pounds – 8 each side – 3 sets)

4.Single Arm Kettlebell Swing: Same form as standard KB swing but with one arm – swing low and between legs. (10 pounds – 12-15 reps – 3 sets)

5.Calf Raises: Holding DB by your sides stand on toes then relax back to flat feet. (10-15 pounds – 15 reps – 3 sets)

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Medicine Ball Slam: 15-20 straight throws

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Angled Crunch with knees: 10 crunches each side

Burpees: 12-15 reps

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Ab V-ups: arms and legs straight – bring together at top to squeeze abs

2022 Early Winter Upper Body Routine

  1. “Briefcase” DB Row: Standing and hinging at hip – both arms hang by side with DB at knee – row both DB together to squeeze back. (10 pounds – 12 reps – 3 sets)
  2. Push-ups: As many reps as possible.
  3. Chest Fly: With band around chair or table – arms move front to back – we want stretch in chest and shoulders. (12 reps – 3 sets)
  4. Hammer Curl: Standing against wall or door – keep elbows back against door as you curl. (8-10 pounds -12 reps – 3 sets)
  5. Skull Crushers (tricep): Lying on floor with elbows toward ceiling – extend elbows up – palm facing in – bend back to start. (8-10 pounds – 12 reps – 3 sets )

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Jumping Jacks (30 seconds)

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Plank Tucks: In plank position – alternately tuck knees at an angle. (10 each leg)

Mountain Climbers

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Basic Crunch

Dolce Far Niente

In Italian culture the ethic of dolce far niente translates into the sweetness of doing nothing.

It’s possible that I wrote about this before in here or in another blog.

This is not to be confused with doing things that numb you as an escape from the stress of everyday life.

Rather taking time to do nothing can preserve our health.

In the early days of 2020 when the city shut down I would take naps in the afternoon.

That was then. This is now:

As the pandemic goes into its 3rd year–yes 3rd year–I find myself engaging in dolce far niente all over again.

In a different way:

I listen to music on the radio or on Audacy.com. For hours on end listening to music is like popping a happy pill.

In this time when anxiety and depression has endured for a lot of us alongside the COVID outbreak:

I make the case for slowing down, stopping to smell the American Beauties, and doing nothing.

Be grateful. As hard as life can be living through the pandemic find things to be grateful for.

In the coming two blog entries I will post my 2022 Early Winter Upper and Lower Body Routines.

21 Months Later – A Life Lesson

The daily hardship of living through the pandemic has taken its toll on everyone. It must be true that everyone has been challenged not just me.

21 months later I’ve learned a life lesson. Courtesy of having had no energy in the last year.

When the day has been too long and it’s only 7:00 a.m. that is when my Anthropologie dress comes on. Paired with the amber sunburst necklace and knobby amber ring.

The word sediment popped into my head to describe the slow thoughts. Feeling down in the dumps when there’s a colorful snowdrift of clothes piled on the bed.

Let’s face it: when you have no energy things fall by the wayside. Storing clothes away at night. Cleaning your apartment. Cooking dinner for yourself.

This week I realized that my energy was returning. Grateful I was to have a modest wellspring of stamina. No longer fatigued by 6:00 every evening.

The life lesson I learned was to conserve my energy for doing the things that I want to focus on doing in my life.

There’s no place for mindless soul-numbing and treadmill-busywork in my life.

How I regained my energy was telling:

I started planning for the day I want to retire from my job.

Presto: I committed to publishing a book I want to bring out in the spring.

Writing reviews of books on Amazon was also exciting. Serving as the web mistress for the website of an organization energized me too.

The difference is to seek professional help when you think your life has gone out of bounds and is going too far in an unhealthy direction.

Cutting out the non-integral activities from my weekly calendar was the ultimate energy liberator.

It comes down to this:

Understanding and accepting that on some days you just won’t have it in you to do anything at all.

On those days I say: Figure out what your one “job” is for that day.

No one can be expected to keep up living in “whirling activity mode.” When your head is spinning and you’re so busy that you forget to breathe.

This is where conserving your energy comes into play. Knowing that you’re not supposed to run around frantic and exhaust yourself in so doing.

Coming up: a blog entry on the Italian ethic of Dolce Far Niente: the Sweetness of Doing Nothing.

Care-Giving

I find it hard to engage in the stereotypical acts of self-care that are anything but true caregiving for yourself:

Light a candle. Take a bath. Have a glass of wine.

Numbing yourself isn’t freeing yourself of the daily hardship of life.

Lifting weights and eating mostly healthful food has been the only form of self-care I could adhere to long-term.

I’m getting older and act as my mother’s caregiver. Thus getting pulled away from posting blog entries every single week on the same day.

Thinking of this I realized that not every reader is aware that I used to post blog entries every Friday.

Does it really matter if I don’t post the blog entries on the same day every week?

I was told to Google “care for the caregiver” to find a support group for caregivers like me.

In early December I will be able to post a new set of Upper and Lower Body Workout Routines.

I’m grateful to see loyal followers joining and reading this humble blog.

What I’m going to do in the coming blog entries is to focus again on the topic of Living through the Pandemic – 21 months later.

My stance is that instead of parroting the often-white-influencer feel-good tropes of “self-care” that I don’t relate to:

My aim is to talk about “care-giving” to ourselves and others.

With the specific revelation of the life lesson I learned the hard way. After living for so long with a lack of energy.

I learned the secret to feeling lighter and freer.

As the pandemic drags on and continues to course through our lives:

I seek to give others hope for healing.

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.