Hiking In Arizona

Arizona is one of the best states to go hiking and enjoy nature.   If you are new to Arizona or hiking Arizona’s trails, it’s a good idea to go with someone knowledgeable and experienced.  A great way to experience the many trails around Arizona and the valley safely while making new friends is to join a hiking group.

There are many hiking groups in the Phoenix area and several are listed on Meetup.com.   I found two hiking groups that are great for exploring various trails in the Valley as well as around Arizona.  Phoenix (2-hour) Beginner Hikers is a Meetup.com group that hosts various hikes around the area, including North Mountain, Piestewa Peak and Thunderbird Park, on a weekly basis.  This group is great for people who want a shorter one to two hour hike in the urban desert.

Another group that I highly recommend for experiencing the trails Arizona has to offer is Hiking Hikers Hiking.  This group hosts hikes around Phoenix and the Valley as well as other locations around Arizona such as Sedona, Prescott and the Superstition Mountains.  This Group even tackles Humphrey’s Peak once in a while.

If you are interested in these groups just go to www. Meetup.com and type the name of the group or just enter “hiking”.  Have fun and make sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen!

Bored? Want something to Do?

One of the most important things we can do for our health is to get up off the couch, turn off the TV or the computer, and get out and do something fun with other people.  Companionship, friendship and activities will improve your weight, your health and your overall happiness.  Unfortunately, in this modern world, things seem to be more and more tailored to staying at home, drive through lines, fast food, and sedentary activities.  You also have to be careful not to get yourself into unsafe situations while seeking fun.  Hanging out at clubs and drinking heavily while trying to enjoy yourself and meet people is not only bad from a health standpoint, but also from a personal safety viewpoint.

One tool that many have found effective is Meetup.com.

You can go to meetup.com and it is FREE.  Put in some interests and voila!  It comes up with many local groups interested in the same thing.  Hiking groups, book groups, sewing, exploring, culinary, artists, just about anything you can imagine.  You can use an alias for your name if you wish, and remember, don’t post your email or address or phone number.  You can check out each group, its members, its prior and future activities and see if it is for you.  You get together with a few a groups you like, meet nice people, and the next thing you know, you are too busy having fun with others with similar interests to sit around watching a TV show you don’t really like that much anyway.

You can also try out AZcentral.com, and click on Things To Do.  It will let you search by type of activity, date, and either your city or zip code.

 

Healthy Snacking Tips – For Sunday

Healthy Snacking Tips

Greek Yogurt has twice the protein and less sugar than regular yogurt.

Almonds and/or Walnuts have fiber, protein & Omega 3’s & a handful will do!

Sliced apple w/cinnamon is the perfect snack to satisfy a sweet tooth and is fiber packed.

Mini carrots w/hummus instead of ranch dip for a flavorful alternative.

Hard boiled egg w/salsa is a protein packed snack that satisfies.

Frozen mangoes or blueberries offer a sweet alternative to candy and are antioxidant packed.

Thanks wellsytles.org!

How I lost 50 Pounds – And You Can Too!

When it comes right down to it – diets and excessive exercise don’t work.  We punish ourselves by starving and doing things we don’t enjoy and inevitably that is doomed to failure.  There is no secret at all to weight loss.  You simply have to burn off more calories than you take in.  If you look at charts of how much you can burn in calories per hour during different activities, versus how many calories are in food the answer is obvious again.  Don’t eat as much.  No matter how much you exercise, bad food has more calories than great exercise.  At my current weight, running for an hour, at 8 mph burns 1,500 calories.  Problem is – I am not going to go running for an hour.  Meanwhile, a Carl’s Junior Six Dollar burger has 1,520 calories, not counting the drink and fries.  It takes a few minutes to eat a fast food meal with 2,000 calories, but an hour an a half of running to burn it off.  Voila! – Don’t eat so many calories.

Most diets mean you have to give up things.  You feel more and more like you are suffering.  I have not really given up anything.  I started by eating one salad per day.  For one of my main meals, I simply eat a salad.  I like the pre-made ones I get at Safeway.  They cost around $3.50, but the chances of me chopping up my own salad is pretty slim.  They each have under 350 calories and the best thing is – I like them!  I don’t feel punished because they taste good.

Second thing, I stopped eating after 7 pm at night.  Even bad food can be burned off if you stay up long enough.  If you eat then go to bed, it turns to fat.

Third, I don’t eat fast food and avoid eating out in general.  The portions at all these places are huge and the calorie intake is terrible.  One meal at a fast food place has enough calories for two days.

Fourth, I eat slow and I stop eating when I am no longer hungry.  When I do eat out, I almost always end up getting two or three meals out of one meal.  I eat slow, enjoy the company, and rarely get half way through my plate before asking for a box.  Later, if I get hungry, I have an extra meal out of it.  I used to finish my plate AND eat later.  Now one meal covers two meals.

Fifth, I drink a lot of fluids.  Coffee, diet sodas, water, etc.  The more fluids I drink, the better I feel and the less I get hungry.  I don’t drink fruit juices or sugared drinks though because they have tons of empty calories.  Coffee is a great hunger reducer for me.

Sixth – I try to exercise, but I suck at it.  So I try to be active at least.  I splash around in the pool, get the mail, roam around with the dogs and other things I actually enjoy doing.  You can’t exercise if you have to force yourself every time.  Find something you enjoy.

Seventh – I don’t talk about my diet or annoy people constantly with what I am doing.  I hate listening about food and diets and I think if we dwell on it, we will eat even more.

Eighth – I am a stress eater.  So, I reduced my stress by changing careers and that has really helped my urge to eat.

Ninth – I used to eat if something bad happened, or if something good happened.  Get a raise at work – celebrate with pizza.  Have your boss yell at you at work – Console yourself with ice cream.  I now force myself to reward myself and console myself with non-food items.  This was actually very difficult at first, and even now my first thought for reward and consolation is food.  Try buying a new outfit, going to a movie, buying a favorite book, inviting a friend out to coffee, golfing, instead.

So, now I have lost fifty pounds and I have another fifty pounds to go.  I eat what I want, but only when hungry and stop when I am full.  I drink a lot of fluids.  I went from no salad to one per day.  I have lost the fifty pounds over about eight months.  It took years to put on the weight, it will take time to take it off too.  Give yourself time to lose, don’t beat yourself up.  I tried other things for twenty years and none of them worked.  Hopefully, my simple plan will help you as well.

Interested in Woman’s Health, Nutrition, Getting Rid of Stress, Fun Family Activities and Preventive Care?

Interested in Woman’s Health, Nutrition, Getting Rid of Stress, Fun Family Activities and Preventive Care?  If you said YES to any of those items, this is the blog site for you.  We will have positive stories from individuals, articles from experts and lots of stories about local community activities and fun.  The goal of the blog site is to share positive living and health with our whole community.  Please become an active participant!

We are blessed with so many wonderful foods and activities in Arizona!  We are looking forward to sharing them with you every day.