Goals vs. Intentions

23 07 2012

We are almost half way through the year. How are you doing on your New Year’s resolutions for 2012? Have you accomplished what you set out to achieve? Are you moving closer to your goals? If you are struggling with what you thought the New Year would bring or gave up on what you hoped would be, maybe you are like me and have confused your intentions with your goals.

It is a good idea to have goals that map out your desires. They require a plan and the discipline to follow through with the plan to make them real. As you proceed and work the plan, you begin to live your life in the future. If you reach your goal will you be happy? What if your efforts do not produce the ideal plan you had in mind? Do you start to doubt yourself? Do your dreams become unattainable? Will that make you unhappy?

Now, let’s look at intentions. When I think of my intentions, it is more about how I am living right now, this moment. Am I the type of person I want to be? Am I acting, speaking, thinking like that person? I want to live every day by the human values I believe to be important. When I focus on my intentions I am motivated to achieve my goals. Don’t get me wrong, there are times that I become side-tracked from my plan and react in an undesirable way. This is when I need to refocus and feel my intentions to help create my future, even when it is different than I had originally planned.

It is an ongoing practice for me to live in the moment. But, when I am in touch with my intentions, I am more successful in reaching my goals. My desires and wants are not my focus. These goals are ever changing or may become another goal or may never achieved. It is my intentions that remain and give me peace of mind. I am not giving up on my goals nor am I trying to be perfect. My attempt is to let go of the competition, the judgments, and the expectations attached to those goals. This is my journey.

Tammy’s Challenges

Growth does not come from one perspective. To achieve a healthy lifestyle, you must do more than concentrate on exercise alone. Diet changes will enhance your wellbeing, but it alone is not healthy. Let’s not forget the soul or spirit. It needs nurturing as well. So, here are a few mind (diet) – body (exercise) – soul (mental) challenges for you to try.

Mind: Put your eating utensil down between every bite.

Body: Act like your inner child. Skip, ride a bike, go to the park.

Soul: Do something kind for someone else, anonymously.

 

I would love to hear from you.  Email: Tammy@TammYoga.com

Facebook: TammYoga

Twitter: @TammYoga

Namaste  (The spirit in me respects the spirit in you.)

Tammy





What’s So Great About Broccoli?

26 06 2012

Article printed in the Weekly Record Herald on June 24, 2012

I had a hard time with broccoli as a child. Mom saying “it’s good for you” just wasn’t enough for me to choose to eat it. I guess I am the type of person that needs to know why. It wasn’t until I was older and started to focus on a healthier body that I realized how wonderful broccoli is. Now, I eat broccoli several times a week. Mom would be proud.

You may have read about cruciferous vegetables as must-have foods we should eat several times a week. The cruciferous vegetables have been linked to lower rates of cancer, containing phytochemicals that increase the activity of certain enzymes in our bodies that fight cancer-causing agents. Broccoli is in the cruciferous family. This is the kind of information I needed to include broccoli in my diet on a regular basis.

Anyone watching their weight may want to consider adding more broccoli to their diet. The fiber in broccoli helps with digestion and is filling, while low in calories and fat. Here is where you need to be careful! How the broccoli is prepared (sauces, other ingredients, etc.) can add calories and fat. It can be steamed, microwaved, stir-fried, eaten raw in salads, and baked in casseroles. Be careful not to overcook, which would result in lowering the nutritional value.

Broccoli is available year-round, but best in fall and winter. Look for sturdy, dark-green spears with tight buds, no yellowing. If broccoli tops have more purple, it indicates a higher level of carotenoids. The stems are edible, so don’t throw them away. Peel, chop, and serve with the florets. Refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Broccoli Slaw From Eating Well: Winter 2004, The Eating Well Diabetes Cookbook (2005). The original recipe has been lightened with reduced-fat may and yogurt. This makes eight servings, 3/4 cup each.

Ingredients:

4 slices turkey bacon

One 12-16 ounce bag shredded broccoli slaw or one large bunch broccoli (about 1-1/2 pounds)

¼ cup low-fat or nonfat plain yogurt

¼ cup reduced-fat mayonnaise

3 tablespoons cider vinegar

2 teaspoons sugar

½ teaspoon salt, or to taste

Freshly ground pepper

One 8 ounce can low-sodium sliced water chestnuts, rinsed and coarsely chopped

½ cup finely diced red onion

Preparation:

Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, turning frequently, until crisp, 5 to 8 minutes. (Alternatively, microwave on high for 2-1/2 to 3 minutes.) Drain bacon on paper towels. Chop coarsely. If using whole broccoli, trim about 3 inches off the stems. Chop the rest into ¼ inch pieces. Whisk yogurt, mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add water chestnuts, onion, bacon, and broccoli; toss to coat. Chill until serve time. You can also make ahead, cover, and chill for up to 2 days.
Tammy’s Challenges

Growth does not come from one perspective. To achieve a healthy lifestyle, you must do more than concentrate on exercise alone. Diet changes will enhance your wellbeing, but it alone is not healthy. Let’s not forget the soul or spirit. It needs nurturing as well. So, here are a few mind (diet) – body (exercise) – soul (mental) challenges for you to try.

Mind: Try a new healthy recipe or make a favorite recipe healthier.

Body: Take the stairs, park further away from destination, bike or walk on errand.

Soul: Before bed imagine your perfect tomorrow.
I would love to hear from you.

Email: Tammy@TammYoga.com

Facebook: TammYoga

Twitter: @TammYoga.

Namaste  (The spirit in me respects the spirit in you.)

Tammy





Karma Is Where Change Happens

30 05 2012

Article printed in the Weekly Record Herald on June 27, 2012

Hi, my name is Tammy Shellhaas. I am a yoga instructor/personal trainer and I would like you to join me on a journey to challenge your mind, body, and soul. Every other week we will explore a new aspect of a healthy lifestyle. My hope is to offer new information, or a new perspective to what you already know, or reintroduce an idea that may have been forgotten. So, let’s get started…

Have you seen the TV show, My Name is Earl? I saw an episode when it first aired. I do not follow the series, but the concept stuck with me. The show begins with Earl explaining the premise for the series:

 

“You know the kind of guy who does nothing but bad things and then wonders why his life sucks? Well, that was me. Every time something good happened to me, something bad was always waiting round the corner: karma. That’s when I realized that I had to change, so I made a list of everything bad I’ve ever done and one by one I’m gonna make up for all my mistakes. I’m just trying to be a better person. My name is Earl.”

 

Earl has been in and out of jail and seems to have been living a life of criminal behavior, until he wins the lottery. While out celebrating his win, he is hit by a car. During his hospital stay, under the influence of pain killers, he hears about karma on a TV playing nearby. Soon after that, Earl decides he needs to make a life change and heal his karma. He makes a list of everyone he has treated unfairly and commits to repairing the damages. After his first good deed, he surprisingly finds the lost lottery ticket. It must be a sign that his karma has changed. So, with the help of his lottery winnings, he proceeds onward with his list.

 

The karmic concept may seem confusing. What is it really? In Sanskrit, it means “action”. Whatever we think about, do, or say determines our karma. In the yoga tradition, karma is threefold: our current actions, the effect of our past actions, and what we could call our destiny. This is where it gets interesting. Our actions do not only shape our karma, but anyone else touched in some way by our actions is also affected. Then each person’s karma reaches others and exponentially spreads beyond what we could ever imagine.

Back to Earl: as Earl continues to right his wrongs, his motives appear selfish, in that, he is only trying to improve his karma. However, Earl shows signs of change toward a sense of morality and ethics. He no longer is drawn to the criminal behavior to attain his means. So, from the yoga perspective, karma is where change happens. What we have done in the past creates our lives today. What we do today creates our lives in the future.

Look at your life. Would you like to proceed in a new direction? Change one action, thought, or comment, just one.  It will change your path in the direction of your desires.

Tammy’s Challenges

Growth does not come from one perspective. To achieve a healthy lifestyle, you must do more than concentrate on exercise alone. Diet changes will enhance your wellbeing, but it alone is not healthy. Let’s not forget the soul or spirit. It needs nurturing as well. So, here are a few mind (diet) – body (exercise) – soul (mental) challenges for you to try.

Mind: Measure food servings.

Body: Balance on one foot for one minute, repeat on the other leg. Repeat 5 times. This is a good core exercise.

Soul: Sit quietly, eyes closed, and take 10 deep breaths. You can do this anytime, anywhere, to relieve anxiety and clear your thoughts.

 

I would love to hear from you.           Email: Tammy@TammYoga.com

Facebook: TammYoga

Twitter: @TammYoga

Namaste  (The spirit in me respects the spirit in you.)

Tammy





The Scoop on Whole Grains

16 05 2012

Article printed in the Weekly Record Herald on May 13, 2012

Hi, my name is Tammy Shellhaas. I am a yoga instructor/personal trainer and I would like you to join me on a journey to challenge your mind, body, and soul. Every other week we will explore a new aspect of a healthy lifestyle. My hope is to offer new information, or a new perspective to what you already know, or reintroduce an idea that may have been forgotten. So, let’s get started…

When our children were small, I decided to make the switch to whole grain products. I admit, I was a little sneaky about it, but it was for the benefit of our family. So, I justified my underhandedness for our healthier lifestyle.

At first, I used whole grains, solely, when making out favorite dishes. That did not go over very well with the kids or John! (I have to admit, I was not a fan at first, either.) I did not give up. I decided to make small changes. I substituted a portion of the white flour in bread, cookie and pancake recipes with whole grain flour and gradually increased the amount as we became accustomed to the texture and taste.  I did the same when substituting refined grain pasta with whole grain.

I read labels to choose the best products I could find and we learned to enjoy and savor the taste of these healthier foods. The whole foods were denser and more filling, adding nutrients we were missing from our diet. By including whole grains to our diet, we increased our intake of plant-based proteins, fiber, and antioxidants. Plus, foods high in fiber and antioxidants have been linked to reducing the risk for certain health problems: obesity, stroke, and certain types of cancers.

What is a Whole Grain?

Following is the official definition of whole grains, approved and endorsed by the Whole Grains Council in May 2004:

Whole grains or foods made from them contain all the essential parts and naturally-occurring nutrients of the entire grain seed. If the grain has been processed (e.g., cracked, crushed, rolled, extruded, and/or cooked), the food product should deliver approximately the same rich balance of nutrients that are found in the original grain seed.

This definition means that 100% of the original kernel – all of the bran, germ, and endosperm – must be present to qualify as a whole grain.

I take this to mean that a food labeled whole grain is as close as possible to eating the food right from the plant. Can’t get much better for you than that! The Whole Grain Stamp is an easy way to spot products with ½ a serving (8 g.) of whole grains.

What are examples of whole grain?

What is a serving size?

  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice or other cooked grain
  • 1/2 cup cooked 100% whole-grain pasta
  • 1/2 cup cooked hot cereal, such as oatmeal
  • 1 ounce uncooked whole grain pasta, brown rice or other grain
  • 1 slice 100% whole grain bread
  • 1 very small (1 oz.) 100% whole grain muffin
  • 1 cup 100% whole grain ready-to-eat cereal

Some foods contain whole grains, as well as, refined grains. Crackers, pancake mixes, meal replacement bars, and products that contain a larger amount of whole grains, it is necessary to eat more of those foods. The recommended serving size for these foods is 16 grams.

Tammy’s Challenges

Growth does not come from one perspective. To achieve a healthy lifestyle, you must do more than concentrate on exercise alone. Diet changes will enhance your wellbeing, but it alone is not healthy. Let’s not forget the soul or spirit. It needs nurturing as well. So, here are a few mind (diet) – body (exercise) – soul (mental) challenges for you to try.

Mind: Try substituting a portion of the refined grains in recipes with whole grains.

Body: Try a new cardio machine (treadmill, elliptical, etc.) or change your workout route.

Soul: Write down 10 things that make you smile. Keep the list and refer to it whenever you need a pick-me-up.

I would love to hear from you.           Email: Tammy@TammYoga.com

Facebook: TammYoga

Twitter: @TammYoga

Namaste  (The spirit in me respects the spirit in you.)

Tammy





My Peaks at Enlightenment

22 04 2012

This is my article printed in the Weekly Record Herald on April 15, 2012.

Hi, my name is Tammy Shellhaas. I am a yoga instructor/personal trainer and I would like you to join me on a journey to challenge your mind, body, and soul. Every other week we will explore a new aspect of a healthy lifestyle. My hope is to offer new information, or a new perspective to what you already know, or reintroduce an idea that may have been forgotten. So, let’s get started…

In the Yoga Sutra, Patanjali, a second-century philosopher and yogi, summarizes the guidelines or eight limbs for ashtanga (asha=eight, anga=limb) yoga. The limbs are meant as guidelines on how to live a meaningful life with purpose. The limbs provide  help in relationships, interactions with the world, positive thought and actions, yoga postures, breathing practices, meditation and concentration, and, finally, lead to Samadhi, or enlightment. Wow, I want to practice and achieve all those things, but I really want to jump straight to becoming enlightened and find my True Self. Nice try. There is no short cut to achieving Samadhi. Samadhi cannot be taught or practiced. It is obtained.

So, I will be honest. I have not reached enlightment, but I do see glimpses of my True Self at times. I saw a peak at my True Self with each birth of my two beautiful children. My husband, John, reaches for my hand when taking a walk – another peak. I tear-up when I hear Somewhere Over the Rainbow. (I don’t know why, but I do. I love that song.) Peak. I practiced, practiced, and practiced the Crow yoga pose. (Crow is a balancing pose. Both hands are on the floor, bent knees are positioned on the backs of the upper arms, and toes lift off the floor to balance on the hands.) Then, one day, my body “gracefully” eased into Crow. Peak!

I have reduced the meaning of Samadhi to a very basic level. As you can see, I am in the early stages of my journey. A late bloomer, you might say. The exciting part of this journey is, as I practice all eight limbs of yoga, the glimpses of my True Self are peaking through more often. I am in wonder of how my life has changed since starting this path. Each day brings surprises. I need to share what I learn on this journey with others. I cannot keep it to myself. My hope is that you find a peak at your True Self.

Tammy’s Challenges

Growth does not come from one perspective. To achieve a healthy lifestyle, you must do more than concentrate on exercise alone. Diet changes will enhance your wellbeing, but it alone is not healthy. Let’s not forget the soul or spirit. It needs nurturing as well. So, here are a few mind (diet) – body (exercise) – soul (mental) challenges for you to try.

Mind: Try a new vegetable.

Body: Every stoplight/stop sign, contract your abs and hold, until you start moving again.

Soul: Stop saying, “I wish” and start saying, “I will”.

I would love to hear from you.          Email: Tammy@TammYoga.com

Facebook: TammYoga

Twitter: @TammYoga

Namaste  (The spirit in me respects the spirit in you.)

Tammy





2012

2 01 2012

2012 is going to be a great year!

I am sitting here, watching the snow flurries in the gray sky, thinking of Ben in Afghanistan. This was the first Christmas he has not spent with us. And Ben loves Christmas with all our traditions.

One of our traditions is to watch the Christmas Vacation movie on Christmas Eve. We know the script and even impersonate the characters during the scenes we think are especially funny. Somehow, we still love watching it together every year.

Once Ben was deployed we started gathering things to send him and searched for the Christmas Vacation DVD. Ironically, before we sent the box, Ben called and said he found a “copy”  of the Christmas Vacation DVD there in Afghanistan! He planned to watch it on Christmas Eve. It’s the little things.

We missed Ben during the holidays, terribly, but he was able to call on Christmas Day, another work day for him. (My cell is attached to me 24/7 these days, just in case he has a chance to call. 8 1/2 hours time difference can make it challenging.) Ben is doing well and that’s all I can ask. Each phone call or facebook picture is a gift.

Poor Betsy. I say, Poor Betsy, as I am sure she was ready to get back to school, since she was our sole focus without Ben home to absorb some of our attention. We baked, shopped, wrapped, decorated, ate, and talked. Some serious issues were resolved over the chocolate covered pretzels.

John and I have a hard time realizing Betsy knows how to take care of herself and does a great job of it while she is away. We are learning and slowing cutting strings. Time spent with her during her Christmas break was a gift!

Now, it’s back to John, me, and the girls. He has his hands full!

I wish you all the best in 2012! The 2012 New You Challenge starts today. It will be fun and challenging to your mind, body, and soul.

It is going to be a great year!