So my neighbors started composting

So I guess I'm a composting now? Here's what I've learned

So my neighbors started composting and lucky for me they created a VERY large composting box..which means it’s time to take my recycling and earth-friendly habits to the next level.

To be honest, when they first told me that this box was being created, I didn’t know much about composting. I mean, I knew it cut down on garbage/waste and helped with growing a garden, but that’s kind of sad, basic information, right? After a quick google search I can formally share that “Composting is the transformation of organic material (plant matter) through decomposition into a soil-like material called compost”.

Okay, so how do you do it?

You start by getting yourself a composting bin. My neighbors took care of this for us by making one out of pallets. You can also choose to follow the DIY route, or you can buy one. Then you just start filling it up!

Different websites take different approaches. Some are very methodical (think layering different kind of organic material and putting leaves through a paper shredder), others are a little more natural. We’re heading down that second road, throwing in various items as they become available and taking care of the pile as we go.  The big thing to remember of course, is that the point is for this organic material to break down and create this nutrient-rich soil or compost. As we all know, all waste is not created equal and therefore all waste can not just be tossed in your bin.

Here is a quick list of organic materials you can add:

  • Leaves/grass
  • Fruit and veggies
  • Coffee grinds/filters
  • Tea bags
  • Egg shells
  • Garden soil
  • Newspaper (with no color print)
  • Saw dust
  • Soil
  • Herbivorous animal waste (no meat eaters, please!)

Things you can NOT add:

  • Pet waste
  • Meat scraps/bones
  • Disposable diapers
  • Plastic
  • Synthetic fibers
  • Dead plants
  • Anything with dairy

I also learned that it’s a good idea to keep a healthy mix of the “yes” items above. Most things that I read split this list up into two categories: Green and Brown materials. They break down in different ways and produce different materials. It’s a good idea to water and turn your pile regularly, to keep air flow and discourage any foul odors.

To be honest I’m a little nervous about this endeavor. South Florida is known for an early summer and I’m just going to guess that heat and humidity probably play a rather smelly part in decomposition… sooo wish us luck! If you have tips, please leave them in the comments.. I’m sure I’m going to need them.

 

Photo via ManMade

Getting Healthy

3 easy ways to be healthy

Somewhere between March and October I’ve gained weight. Like, 4 pounds above my high weight, gained weight. Usually this would bother me, but because it’s fall it wouldn’t have been so bad. You throw on a few extra layers or a jacket of some kind, and you tend to forget the extra weight. However, living in Florida doesn’t allow for the same fall pleasures.

The good news is that the southern heat really pushes me to be more active. I’ve been running more, taking Allegra on longer walks and I even purchased a groupon to try a local hot yoga place! Operation: Get Fit (aka Operation: Fit Back In My Clothes) is officially in action!

Just in case you want to get involved with me, here are 3 simple ways to make healthy choices throughout your day.

  1. Utilize commercial breaks. As I confessed last week, I’ve been obsessed with TV lately (will it gross you out if I tell you that I’ve been watching even more shows than I listed there?) But I feel a little better about my obsession when I use them to workout. Sometimes I do sit ups, other times it’s push-ups or squats, but either way I do my best to set myself up to get some movement in during commercials.
  2. Park in the back of the lot. No more searching for front-row parking. Utilize your able body by taking a parking spot in the back and walk your butt past all those lazy spots to the front door.
  3. Bring your own lunch (and your own coffee). Going out to eat may be fun, but the negatives tend to add up quickly. Between the extra cash you’re spending and the extra calories you’re ingesting, going out for lunch is better left as a fun treat, not an every day occurrence. Oh, and the same rings true for buying coffee out. Forget about those starbucks and DD runs. Bring your own coffee in the morning and grab an extra one for later if necessary.

What do you like to do to get into a healthy groove?

 

PS- Drink more water!

Thirsty Thursday: Matthew Berry Smoothie -a healthy breakfast smoothie

a healthy mixed berry smoothie

Is it just me or does today feel like a Friday? I hate Thursday’s that feel like a Friday! It’s just mean. Anyway, if you’re looking to make your Thursday just a little bit better, I have a nice smoothie recipe for you.  Every so often Dean will make me a smoothie to take to work and things just seem 10x better. This recipe in particular is a go to for us.

a healthy mixed berry smoothie

Frozen Matthew Berry– a mixed berry breakfast smoothie

  • 8-10 oz water
  • 3-4 ice cubes
  • 3/4 cup mixed berries (we used a frozen bag of strawberries, blackberries, blueberries & raspberries)
  • 1 scoop protein powder (Dean the Trainer recommends vanilla whey protein from Optimum Nutrition)
  • Optional: 1 tbsp peanut butter

 

a healthy mixed berry smoothie

 

This smoothie would also be healthy post-workout option. Other healthy options? The Blind Melon of course!

Fitness Myths

As I mentioned in a past post, Dean is studying to become a certified personal trainer. Living with a soon-to-be CPT definitely has it’s perks (he’s a great healthy resource).  It also has it’s downfalls (he reminds me that ice cream isn’t healthy a lot).

In all seriousness, Dean has been a huge help for me as I move further with my live healthy challenge and I figured I should probably share the wealth. So I present to you my first of many posts focusing around myth-buster Dean’s fitness brain.

Myth Number One:
If I want to lose weight I should probably eat less. I don’t really need breakfast
and even though I’m hungry after my workout, I probably shouldn’t eat then either.

fitness myth number 1

We all hear that taking in less calories and upping cardio will help you shed pounds and I can’t fight that. But I urge you all not to focus so much on the scale- focus on getting healthy and looking good. Personally, I don’t want to just lose weight – I want to gain muscle. I want to look lean and strong but I still want to look like a lady, and in order to do that I need to eat a decent amount each day. I mean let’s get real, who do you want to look like at the beach this summer: Beyonce or Nicole Riche? I’ll take one Beyonce, please!

I completely understand how eating more meals could sound counter-intuitive to your summer body plan, but we’re all going to learn a big lesson here:

Your body needs to take in calories in order to create muscle and burn fat.
Your body needs calories in order to give you energy.
Your body also needs calories to keep your metabolism workin’ hard so it can burn off even more calories for you wayyyy after you hit the gym.

Think about your food as your fuel for the day. Your car won’t drive without gas and you won’t function without food.  Unfortunately you’re not going to get Beyonce results eating lots of ice cream and cookies to get in your calories (Dean has to remind me of this daily). You want to eat, but you want to eat healthy.

Feeling hungry in the middle of the day?
Reach for an apple and a few almonds or sip on a small protein shake.

Getting home from a good workout?
Finish it up with a big glass of chocolate milk and a spoonful of peanut butter.

Why would I want to burn all of those calories and then eat all of that sugar? Because as weird as it sounds different sugars and proteins can be an asset to our workouts when they’re eaten in small quantities at the right times – but that’s for the next fitness myth post.

So what do you guys think? 
Do you fall into the less is more trap when you’re trying to get back to the gym?
What fitness questions do you have for the myth-buster?

With Luck