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Taste of Summer

The quickest of “quickies” – a recipe via pictures!

I told both my daughters: “pick out any fruit you’d like as a special treat” during a recent must-get-out-of-the-house-trip to Mariano’s. What did they select? Lemons.

Initially perplexed as to how to serve these fruits, I, of course landed on… lemonade. An easy, fun, 128 calorie sweet treat with 36% of your RDA of Vitamin C. Couldn’t we all use a taste of summer right now? Fun, easy, inexpensive and terribly refreshing – enjoy!

No martini shaker?
Fill pint glass with ice.
Place two tablespoons of sugar into pint glass
Cut one large lemon and squeeze both halves over strainer into bowl to separate seeds from juice.
Pour juice from bowl into pint glass full of ice and sugar.
Fill glass with water.
Pour full pint glass into empty glass of equal size.
Repeat transfer back and forth until well mixed.
Strain and serve.

Have a martini shaker?

Fill shaker with ice.
Place two tablespoons of sugar into shaker.
Cut one large lemon and squeeze over strainer over bowl to separate seeds from juice.
Pour juice from bowl into shaker full of ice and sugar.
Fill with water.
Close and shake well.
Strain and serve.

Call or email to start your preparation for summer:
Strength Training Exclusively for Women
Chicago, IL

The Futility of “Perfect”

ModelwithBallandChainBlakelyFIT“Perfect” is overrated. Waiting for “perfect” can keep us on the wrong trajectory or worse, (and quite literally) stationary. Delaying action until we find the perfect schedule, the perfect time, the perfect shoe, the perfect mood, the perfect class, the perfect trainer (I can help), the perfect test, the perfect equipment, the perfect clothing, the perfect gym, the perfect food or the perfect kitchen gadget will NOT serve you well in this healthy living journey. “Perfect” is a perfect tool for procrastination. And who needs more of that? “Perfect” is rare, fleeting and in the healthy living game, unnecessary.

Fifteen minutes of cardio, a park district gym, a trial class, overpriced, ready-to-eat fresh fruit, old workout clothes, canned vegetables, a walk while pushing the stroller of a fussy child, a lap around the office every hour or scheduling a new workout program during a busy time of year: none of these are perfect, but all of them are effective. Most importantly, they relentlessly trump inaction caused by waiting for “perfect.”

Consider for a moment if/or how long you have waited for perfect. Three months? A few days? A year? And if you hadn’t waited for “perfect” and improved by 1% a week with a less-than-perfect habit: How much weight could you have lost? Could you already have lowered your cholesterol? Increased your bone density? How much more prepared for your vacation would you be? How differently would you feel about this upcoming summer?

Furthermore, “perfect” ignores process. And process is at the heart of healthy living. Perfect implies a fixed destination, an arrival, an end. Process is an evolution promoting growth, improvement and adjusting. Listening to our bodies, understanding our mental hurdles, trying different strategies and replying with wisdom to the curve balls life throws our way are all part of living healthfully.

And for those of us who tend toward all or nothing (eh-um), remember: letting go of “perfect” still allows for high standards and ambitious goals. Awesome, enjoyable, impressive, strong and fun-filled are a few of the alternatives to striving with out “perfect.” How many Olympians took our breath away with out being “perfect?” How many of us have gained a loved one or friend through imperfect means? How many times have we been bolstered by a far from “perfect” experience?

So, my sincere thanks for your efforts toward perfection in other endeavors (surgeons and structural engineers in particular.) But in your quest to live healthfully and successfully, stop waiting for “perfect” and embrace a more rewarding path with glorious and effective, imperfect action.

Personal Strength Training for Women Exclusively in Chicago

True Love

BlakelyFITFruitHeartAs part of a wedding invitation, guests were asked to write “what does love meant to you” on their response cards. This was/is an adorable couple: warm, loving, sincere, down to earth and each hilarious in their own right. I hesitated to contribute anything. My notion of love tends toward the practical and I suspected it might seem mundane. Nonetheless, I wrote: “Love is caring enough about another person to take good care of yourself.”

Being the couple that they are, they included these quotes into their ceremony. I told them later how touched I was to hear it. They shared that my particular quote had motivated the groom to quit smoking. Wow. What a beautiful idea.

As you enjoy Valentine’s Day this year, may I be so bold as to pass along the same advice. Consider caring for yourself as an expression of your love for those dear to you. When we proactively care for our health, we have more energy to give to loved ones, fewer reasons to burden others and a happier disposition making us more loveable.

I wish you and yours a day full of kindness and love!
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Want to take care of yourself, so that you have more to give?
Call or email to start: 773-680-6824
Strength Training Exclusively for Women, Chicago, IL

So Satisfying

Snow plowing through my newly mortgaged driveway and connecting sidewalks for 90 minutes Wednesday was very satisfying.

As I cleared the snow and forged a path, I felt challenged and accomplished. Something about physically changing the landscape was empowering. It is concrete, tangible and visceral. In a world of digital and actual paper pushing, that sense of accomplishment can be elusive.

Now, I realize snow blowing is not for everyone. I currently think of my growing power tool assortment with the same fondness that A Christmas Story’s Ralphie had for his BB gun. Maybe for you it’s something quite different. Either way, the physical nature of certain projects is uplifting. And if you haven’t felt that in a while, may I suggest the gym?

Consider the rush of actually pushing that barbell away from your chest, the sense of control when you pull pounds of metal in a row, the internal fortitude it takes to attempt to squat with the “big girl bar.”

Yes, strength training does all sorts of wonderful things for your body, metabolism and brain. But during a deflating, weather-trying time of year, maybe the best motivator to get to the gym is the empowerment of a tough job done well.

It is so satisfying.

Need help? Don’t we all. Call to start today: 773-680-6824

Strength Training Exclusively for Women, Chicago, IL