When is the last time you played with a hula hoop? I remember I was a kid in middle school doing the hula hoop champion competition in gym class and I was SO stinkin’ determined to win against one of my childhood nemesis’. I was whirling my entire body around like lazy person trying to put on pants with only their legs, but in a frantic way. We hula hooped our hearts out and I think I lost. Wah.
Little did I know that I was strengthening my core (but please I didn’t need to when I was 7), and that hula hooping would be such a great workout for an adult. Too bad no one wants to challenge me to a hula competition again. Sigh.
Let me not digress any more – this weeks 5 ways to Be Balanced include one of my favorite childhood activities to shrink your middle (you guessed it), ways to combat under-eye wrinkles (so that you don’t have to get botox – ouch), and the summit of all summits to attend in Chiiiiicago. Check it out and share with me how you are staying Balanced this week too!
5 Ways to Be Balanced This Week
1) Beauty: The Eyes Have It Ageing definitely contributes to under-eye wrinkles and fine lines. But what’s a girl to do! Start by being more mindful of getting enough sleep, drinking plenty of water for hydration, researching the perfect moisturizer for the sensitive and thin skinned under-eye area, wearing sunglasses year-round to keep your peepers safe from harmful UV rays, and alas, limiting your alcohol intake since this is a known wrinkle inducer! And here’s another great reason to give up cigarettes. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center: “Smoking produces free radicals in the body. These cause wrinkles and age-related skin problems to develop sooner.”
2) BeHealthful Retreat: Why wait til the new year to start on new ideas, new goals and new health tips?! You can get a head start by joining other health/wellness and goal-oriented women at our 2nd annual BeHealthful retreat being held Sunday, September 27th. It promises to be a full day of empowerment. education, inspiration and pampering. And the hassle-free bonus of complimentary on-site parking! Register today and be a part of this great community of women!
3) Fitness – Shrink That Middle! Ever heard of a “weighted hula hoop”? The Mayo Clinic says a women can burn on average about 165 calories with just 30 minutes of hula hooping. But many fitness advocates say 10 minutes a day can help you strengthen and tone those abs!
With a starting price tag of $20 to $35 bucks, and a 1.5 to 4 lb. range, weighted hula hoops can add inexpensive variety and fun to your aerobic workouts. Maybe this should be the week you try a new way to get in shape and burn those calories! Just remember, always check with your health practitioner if you question whether this type of cardio is okay for you.
4) Food: The Plantain Known as the banana’s thick skinned relative, plantains are generally not eaten raw because they lack the sweetness of the banana, and contain more starch (good to know for those watching their carbs). They are usually fried or grilled. The plantain is packed with vitamins and nutrients including potassium, fiber and tryptophan. With these three nutrients alone, the plantain can help lower blood pressure, maintain bowel health and help boost your mood. Our Balanced Babe team found this easy, tasty recipe over at everydaypaleo.com:
Plantain Chips and Guacamole
3 ripe plantains (they are ripe when they look really beat up, black, and nasty)
1/4 cup coconut oil
juice from 1/2 a lime
garlic powder and black pepper to taste
Leave the peel on the plantain and cut off the ends. Still with the peel on slice the plantain as thin as possible lengthwise. Leaving the peel on while slicing will help prevent smashing the plantain. After the plantain is sliced, carefully remove the peel and place the sliced plantains into a skillet of hot coconut oil. Fry for about 2 minutes on each side, using tongs to flip, and being careful not to burn. Mash the avocados with the lime juice, garlic powder, and black pepper and serve with the plantain chips.
5) Nutrition: A Better Breakfast
For those who like “Grape Nuts” cereal: add two tablespoons to equal amounts of Greek yogurt and applesauce, along with cinnamon. Let this set while you are getting ready for the day…then eat and be on your way! Cook oatmeal the night before..then just reheat and serve. Top with almonds or walnuts, sliced strawberries or bananas, and sprinkle chia or flaxseeds on top. For those in a hurry who like whole-grain toaster waffles: spread with almond or peanut butter and sliced bananas, sans the syrup!