Sunday, July 26, 2009

A little "slice" of sustainability

It was Saturday night when my daughter called to say she was doing a cooking demo Sunday at the Lents International Farmer's Market.

I didn't have plans until 3:30 p.m. today, so I thought I might head over.

I have become somewhat familiar with the Lents area as I travel there weekly to my business/marketing meeting. I was familiar with many farmer's markets but not this one. And it's always good, I thought to myself, to support neighborhood happenings and spend locally. I am always good at "stimulating the economy."

I left NE Portland with $12 in my wallet.

I arrived back home two hours later with my arms and my mind full. Hence, the blog.

During the time spend there, I sampled zuccini fritters with dill yogurt sauce.
This recipe was inspired by a Greek restaurant in NYC.

I tasted a chicken tamale from a booth run by two Mexican-American women and some coconut milk cookies from a booth with Hawaiian-inspired foods.

I brought home Flavel Fungus Farms oyster mushrooms; organic zuccini, onions, squash blossoms and radishes from a local farm; got some wonderful flowers ($4) and fresh basil ($2) from SE Asian women who run a stand.

When I arrived home, it was a pleasure to wash and trim the veggies and the flowers. I plan on a stir fry tonight combined with some veggies from my own garden. I arranged the flowers into three vases that now adorn the house.

Twelve dollars = lot of joy for a day!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Music and workouts

Research has shown that music motivates you to exercise longer and more often.

Both fit and unfit people tend to show greater endurance and better workout performance when they use some good tunes as exercise partners.

Research has found that overweight to moderately obese to with a mean BMI (body mass index) of 33 who participated in a walking program 3x/wk. for six months, gradually traveled longer, recorded faster times for distance covered and burned more body fat when they listened to music while walking.

Subjects that listened to music were much more likely to stick with the program and lost twice as much weight -- an average of 16 lbs. versus 8 lbs. in the no music group.

They were also motivated to add more days of exercise to their program.

One type of music is not any more inspirational than another. Just choose the music you like. The beat is irrelevant too: it can be anything from upbeat to mellow or something in between.

Science has not yet found a connection to music and how the brain works when it comes to exercise. But study results suggest that music mostly helps by distracting the listener. It blocks thoughts about boredom and pain.

Don't be shy about asking your trainer to play your favorite music during your workout with him/her. With the additions of ipods and internet streaming, it's pretty simple to make the connection with what satisfies your musical needs.

Research attributed to Christopher Capuano, Ph.D., director of the school of psychology @ Fairleigh Dickinson University, Teaneck, N.J.