Follow Your Passion

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This last week I made progress in focusing on my two passions – eating healthy and exercising.  Why two?  Because they go together.  You won’t be healthy unless you balance the two in your everyday life.

To get started I applied to a local university to become a registered dietitian.  I hope to start school in the summer.  Eating healthy has changed my life so dramatically that I want to help others achieve the same.

I am also moving forward on starting a non profit that involves bicycling.  The focus of the non profit is to create jobs around cycling here in the Denver area as bicycling and bicycle racing is very big here.

I hope that by combining my two passions I can live a balanced lifestyle and help others do so as well.

Coconut Oil

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I sometimes volunteer on Saturdays to cook food to feed a group of people here in Denver.  My friend Doris had me use coconut oil instead of olive oil while frying vegetables.  The result was wonderful.

The coconut oil can be used on high heat without burning.  The added plus is that it gave the veggies some added flavor.  I’m not sure how expensive coconut oil is in the store, but I will look for it and post an addition to this one once I do.

Tip of the Week – Get Moving

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A couple of years ago I could only walk one city block before my back would start hurting so bad I would have to sit down.  Today I regularly walk or bike 7 -20 miles per day.  The change didn’t happen overnight but began with some patience and persistence.

I don’t like to run but have always enjoyed bicycling.  When I moved to Denver I didn’t have a bicycle so I began walking.  I started out walking about 20 minutes a day.  I then increased my 20 minute walks to about 3 times a day.  Soon I could walk one hour at a time.  I then gave up the bus and started walking everywhere, often walking about 10 miles a day.  Then finally I got a bicycle from a local bicycle collective!

I had been eating healthy for a long time but the weight wasn’t coming off. It wasn’t until I increased my activity that the weight dropped off relatively quickly.  Now I have an amazing energy level that I did not have before, even when I was much younger.  I can easily bicycle all over the city and I love the fact that bicycling is environmentally friendly.  All it takes is a first step!

 

SAME Cafe – So all may eat

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At the SAME Cafe you pay what you want, or if you can’t you can volunteer for your meal.  A Denver couple started the cafe around 5 years ago on East Colfax.  People can get  meals such as soup, pizza, salad, coffee, tea and other choices.

The food is healthy, tasty and organic. One may enjoy the quaint cafe style eating area inside or on a nice day enjoy their meal in the small sidewalk cafe area outside.

I like the idea that if people can’t afford to donate money for their meal they can volunteer to help out in the kitchen.  Volunteering serves two purposes.  It empowers people so they are not just getting a hand out and it gives them experience working in a kitchen.

If you have a chance stop in for a meal and help support this wonderful idea!

 

When You Have Your Health You Have Everything

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I have recently lost 120 pounds, most of it sine moving to Colorado.  Losing the weight has given me my health back, increased my energy level and has gotten me off a cupboard full of medications.  I was able to do so by changing my diet and exercising.

To change my diet I had to think about food in a whole new way.  Instead of feeling deprived of the foods I like to eat, I now think about how the food I eat is going to affect my body.  It’s simple, the food I eat is either going to help my body or hurt it.  I now try and make my diet full of fresh fruit and vegetables and healthy grains, nuts and lean meat.  I try and avoid processed food when possible.  But eating healthy isn’t enough.

By changing my diet I was able to lose around 30 or 40 pounds and then my weight loss slowed down.  It wasn’t until I moved to Colorado and started using a bicycle as my main mode of transportation that the rest of the weight came off.  I now often walk or ride at least 10 miles a day, and often do more.  I also choose activities which will keep me on my feet.  I now have more energy and stamina than most of the people around me.

I still have more weight to lose to be considered in perfect health, but the difference between now and then is amazing.  I encourage everyone to make getting healthy their new years resolution.  Here’s to your health!

 

Tip of the Week – Get Creative

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My friend Janet made a delicious Orange-Blueberry bread the other day. The recipe called for fresh grated orange rind and blueberries. To make it healthier she altered the recipe by adding a small amount of orange juice to sweeten the bread and skipped the sugar glaze that was to go on top of the bread. The fresh fruit, orange rind and blueberries gives the bread enough flavor that the glaze is not necessary.

What have you done to make recipes healthier?

Denver Food Bank Provides Healthy Food

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After moving to Denver I started volunteering at a local food bank. Little did I know at the time, but this experience would change my life in a dramatic way. You will not find the kind of caring, giving and generous volunteers and staff anywhere else.

Metro CareRing provides healthy food donated from places such as Whole Foods, King Soopers and local citizens and groups to residents of Denver and its surrounding communities. Besides providing food, Metro CareRing also provides assistance with referrals to other resources for their clients.

I am proud to be a volunteer at an organization that not only provides food, but cares about their clients health. Clients are able to choose the food they want and are given a wide variety of fresh organic produce and other organic food items to pick from.

Metro CareRing makes a huge difference in the Denver community and has exciting plans for a new facility which will begin construction sometime in 2012. If you would like to help support this wonderful organization please see their website on how to donate.

Snow Peas and Hummus

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I struggle with keeping my weight down, so when I am looking for something to snack on I try and choose something that does not have a lot of carbs. My snack today is snow peas and Blue Moose of Boulder hummus. Snow peas are a good source of vitamin C and iron. Because the snow peas do have a lot of natural sugar, I balance the nutritional value with the hummus which contains protein.

I enjoy this snack because I can make it at home and it is also easy to take on the go. Because I am an avid bicyclist I am always looking for things that are easy to take with me.

Remember to snack healthy and have a happy new year!

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