Why Exercising Is Not The Key To Lose Weight

Yesterday I came across this video/article from CNN that talks about why exercising is not key to lose weight but watching your diet and your calories are.

Basically what the article/video states is that we only burn from 10% to 30% (usually non-athletes like most of us only burn something between 5% to 15% in fact) of the calories we eat or drink through exercises and any other daily physical activities like taking a shower, typing, cooking, cleaning the house… The other calories we put in are burned by our bodies inner activities like digesting food (10%) and the basal metabolic rate (60% to 80%) aka the amount of energy it takes to keep our body running this wonderful machine that includes blood circulation, respiratory and brain functions to name a few. Considering that, it is pretty obvious that if we want to lose weight we should first and foremost pay attention in the calories intake. We can never eat or drink more than what we are spending/burning, otherwise, we will gain weight. This simple math is the key to lose weight. Regardless.

And speaking of the basal metabolic rate… as we get older this rate goes down, meaning that you burn even less calories from this internal process. That is one of the reasons it becomes more difficult to lose and/or keep our weight as we age.

Having said that, one way to keep this rate up is actually exercising, building up our muscle mass. Note taken.

Nevertheless, as you can see, exercising is still a very important element to our well-being. It improves our mood, our physical condition among other things… It is just not the key factor to lose weight as many people think. And I kind of could include myself here. Because I was not aware that we could only burn a little percentage of the calories we put in. I thought that since I exercise I could eat as much french toast as I wanted with no weight gain. Not the case anymore as I attested this Christmas, by the way.

Well, at least now I know better.

My Quinoa Salad Recipe For The Whole Weekend

Usually on the weekends I prepare something on Friday to last the whole weekend, so I don’t have to order something or cook till Monday. And one of my favorite recipes for that is this easy breezy Quinoa Salad. It is packed with nutrients, tasty and filling. If you want a perfect meal for your weekend, here it goes:

Ingredients:

  • 2 or 3 cups of pre-washed quinoa seeds (it can be the white, red or mixed one)
  • Double the cups of water or vegetable broth (if you are not vegetarian like me you can use other broths). Example: if you will use 2 cups of quinoa, add 2 cups of water or the chosen broth.
  • 1 or 2 cups of carrots cut into brunoise.
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper cut into brunoise.
  • 1/2 red bell pepper cut into brunoise.
  • 1 cucumber with the skin if you are like me and love it this way cut into brunoise.
  • 1 cup of sliced cherry tomatoes.
  • Parsley – as much as you like it. You can also use another herb like cilantro instead.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

How to Prepare:

Add the water or the broth to a pan and heat it till boil. Then add the quinoa and when it boils again bring it to a low heat. Wait 3 minutes and then add the carrots. And after 3 minutes add the red and yellow peppers and the parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let it cook till the liquid it is absorbed or the quinoa is cooked to its fluffy point, around 15 minutes or even less if you are like me and let the quinoa soaking overnight with a few drops of lime or lemon. Yep, if you do that quinoa will cook even faster and you probably will need less water or broth.

When it is done, add the tomatoes and cucumber. And yes, if you prefer you can add the cucumber and tomatoes while it was cooking at the same time you add the bell peppers.

Other ingredient you can add is sesame seeds for an Asian vibe.

You can serve this dish warm or cold. It is up to you. And I love to add a little extra virgin olive oil on top. And some arugula leaves too, cause I think arugula and quinoa go extremely well together.

Detail: For Christmas I made this salad with a little End of the Year flavor adding nuts cracked into small pieces, dried apricot cut into brunoise and pomegranate sauce on top. It was delicious!

And how about you? Any for the whole weekend recipe to share?

Palo Santo: My Favorite Smudge

If you like a good smudge to clear out the vibe for the upcoming year or any given day throughout your life or as an everyday before bedtime smudge to make sure you have a good night of sleep, then you must know Palo Santo is a great option. Among the properties that this Holy Wood (Palo Santo meaning in Spanish) has you can include balances out the relationships and a room’s harmony, clear the bad energies from a space or a person and attracts good vibes. You can also put on its account that it reduces anxiety and stress, brings out creativity and it is uplifting.

And besides all that, it smells so good! I mean the smell on its own can make some magic happens in my opinion. And speaking of smells… one way for you to know if you are buying the real deal here is to feel the essence in the package. If it does not smell amazing, it is definitely not a real Palo Santo.

A few directions to smudge properly:

  • Always light up the wood stick from the same side. Pick one side and stick with it.
  • With a match or a candle light up the stick till you get a flame. When you do, wave till all you get is a smoke.
  • Use the smoke to smudge the room or yourself or someone else.
  • If you are smudging yourself or a person, let the smoke go everywhere on the person’s body including the hands and the sole of the feet. And pay special attention to every chakra.
  • If it is a room, start from a corner from the bottom up everywhere around including doors, windows and everything in between.
  • If you need to relight the stick, do it as many times as needed.

For those who don’t like smoke, there are essential oils and sprays made from Palo Santo that could do the trick as well.

A Moving Meditation

A Moving Meditation

I am still pretty new to Kundalini yoga, one of the things I am currently passionate about. I have been practicing it regularly for the past 4 months and obviously that I don’t know everything about it yet but I am very keen to explore it and experience it all. And I am because it does work for me in so many levels… It is really amazing! I will talk more about Kundalini yoga in another post, but for today I wanna share with you guys one of my last Kundalini findings that brought me such joy that I cannot keep it to myself. It is this moving meditation called Celestial Communication. And I think it is perfect to put you in the best mood for the New Year’s Eve. And yes, anyone can give it a try.

Also, it is gonna be great for those who always want and even try to meditate but standing quiet and still is not their cup of tea. And for those who are meditators, just try it anyways cause it really worths.

Anyways, Celestial Communication is a meditation that unifies your body, mind and spirit. It uplifts your soul, gives you energy and joy, enhances creativity, sets you in the prosperity vibe among other things.

This meditation is considered a moving one because it is done with a free choreography using arms and hands to the sound of uplifting spiritual songs or mantras. There is not just one choreography possible, but many. It is up to the teacher or practitioner to do their own. It is also up to them to choose the mantras or songs or even the mudras. Having said that, I loved the choreography and the song from the video below. And for those who never ever heard of the Celestial Communication before, this is a great introduction that I highly recommend.

You can do this meditation for as little as 3 minutes (as performed in the video) to begin with or as long as 11 or 31 minutes even. It is up to you. It is also good to point that your lower body doesn’t move during the meditation, just your upper body. It is important to breathe fully, inhaling deeply and exhaling completely. Keep your eyes opened and you may sing along or just enjoy the music. Also, if you are following the lead from a teacher or a video, you mirror the teacher’s image. Just as an example: if the instructor is bending to his/her left side you do it for your right one. Got it? If not, just pay attention on how the instructor and the people facing her are doing. You will get it.

Enjoy it!

Sat Nam.

Getting Back In Shape After 47

Me, on my way to my early morning walk.

Since I entered my 3.0s I noticed that loosing weight has become a difficult task. I mean, when I was in my teen years or 20s I could easily loose a few pounds/kilos over the weekend. As I grew older that became harder. It is true that because I am a vegetarian since I was 16 years old and eat mostly good, healthy food helped me through the years but still I do enjoy eating some not so healthy food very often now and then. But to be honest, I think my metabolism was and still is still pretty good, but as time went by, with all the hormonal changes (I am at menopause now) and a thyroid not on its optimal self loosing weight is not that easy at all. The good new is gaining weight is not that easy either. At least not for me. 

Anyways, last April I was leaving the church holding a service for a dear friend of mine who had passed away and boom, I fell on the ground hurting badly my left knee. The service was very moving and I was crying and distracted and did the stupid thing of walking-messaging someone and missed a step. (Note to self: Don’t ever walking-messaging! Ever!) Because of that I fell on an uneven cement damaging badly my knee’s skin. It was pretty ugly. Plus the knee was all bruised and painful. And it remained like that for months. I lost almost every layer but the one before exposing the bone. The skin healed very slowly. It took about two months to completely close the wound. And it left me an awful scar that is still being treated. I could not walk properly, I could not bend my leg for a long time. Meditation only happened laying down. Crossing my legs was an impossible task. No yoga. No Pilates. No exercise for 4 months. Plus I was scared to not have my knee back to its usual self.

The funny thing is that some months prior to it I was way too lazy to actually work out. I had no motivation to go to my Pilates classes or do some aerobic exercise. But as soon as I got injured I start to want to exercise. I missed it as I have never missed it before. Just because I could not, that is why I wanted. The good thing about it is that as soon as I felt ready to exercise I did start exercising. And so far I can tell you that now I am active every day of the week and I am enjoying it. For the very first time in my life. Not kidding. Exercising was always a burden for me. Now, not really.

But going back a few months ago… My journey back to shapeland restarted in New York City on August. I went to the city to spend 3 months as I usually do every year and since New York is a very demanding city in terms of walking and climbing lots of stairs I felt that I needed a little extra help to be back in shape. So I enrolled in a Pilates class near my apartment and started doing Kundalini yoga. You might think that Kundalini yoga is not that hard but rethink that. Specially because I decided to practice it almost everyday. And the Kriyas (the posture routines) are hard. Some more than others but still, hard. And they can put you back in shape, indeed. Trust me.

Pilates, Kundalini, app dating and walking through New York City did the trick for me: I was back in shape, feeling more energetic, noticing that my body was again flexible and stronger. Wahe Guru! However since one of the things I most enjoy doing in New York when I am there is eating, I was not able to loose the extra pounds/kilos I had gained previously. So I thought. Just when I went back to Rio (de Janeiro) on October that I started to see the scale back to my normal. 

But then again, it was not that easy. At all. I needed some extra help this time. I explain: back in Rio I was still doing Pilates, practicing Kundalini yoga, started to walk for at least 40 minutes every single morning and I watched my diet. And still I was not able to loose any weight. I was extremely disappointed and worried cause what the heck was happening here. But since for the past 3 or 4 years I have been doing once a year those aesthetic procedures to address localized fat (abs, hip sides and my back), I decided to get the extra help from those procedures and see if it worked. My favorite non invasive procedure is the iLipo laser. This laser works wonders for my localized fat. You use 4 patches that is placed in the exact area you want to loose fat for some minutes and that will help to melt the fat over a few sessions. This time it took a little longer for me to see the results. But thankfully I did. I combined that procedure with a reshaping massage that also helps to loose localized fat and radiofrequency skin tightening to make sure the weight loss would not compromise the skin appearance of the treated areas. Of course I feel bad for not being able to loose the weight on my own cause I did everything right. It is a bit frustrating. But at the other hand it was a good thing because to be honest I wanted to keep some gained fat in some areas in my body and when you do loose weight you cannot choose where you are gonna loose from. Getting a little help from iLipo I can have a bit of control on that by using the laser in the chosen areas, therefore I lost weight where I wanted to.

So far I have lost almost 3 kilos of localized fat and hope to loose another 2 so I go back to my regular weight. Let’s see how it goes.

And so far as well I am currently in one of my best shapes ever. I feel the energy is here, the enthusiasm to exercise that never had been present is here, I am feeling flexible and strong (there is room for improvement here and here)… My knee is functional, no pain, almost a 100% and I am so thankful for it. In resume, I feel that this part of my life is flowing and this is pretty good.

And how about you, ladies? What do you actually do to be back in shape or keep your shape? I am dying to know.