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My Journey Into The Martial Arts

13 Feb

It happened back in October when the boys competed in their first karate tournament. I decided that I would begin my journey into the martial arts.

Before attending that tournament it had never crossed my mind that there were adults who weren’t black belts. I just assumed that only kids had lower belt ranks. My eyes were opened as I saw adult competitors with all different colors around their waists.

martial arts journey

November first I put on my Do Bohk (uniform) for the first time and stepped out onto the mat. The past three months have not always been easy, there was more than one class that I came home and cried feeling like a complete loser. There have been many more classes that I’ve come home feeling proud and excited.

My journey into the martial arts is a commitment. A commitment that will last years, if not a lifetime. When I decided to start I also decided that I would commit to nothing less than a black belt.

martial arts journey

I broke this board…With my FOOT!

To celebrate three months as a karate student I had my first belt test, from white belt to orange belt. The first of many more belt tests to come. The test was hard, it was nerve wracking, it was exciting and after about an hour and a half I had moved up in the ranks. As my instructor tied my shinny new orange belt on me I couldn’t stop smiling. I had done it, I had achieved something that I wasn’t sure three months ago I’d be able to accomplish.

martial arts journey

Karate isn’t just for the kids. It is totally possible to teach an old dog new tricks, and it’s a killer workout. If your kids are active in the martial arts, and even if they’re not, you should seriously think about trying it out for yourself.¬†

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Smoothie Secret Weapons

12 Aug

berry smoothie

By now you should know that I’m a big fan of the smoothie. I have one just about every day to replace a meal.¬†Smoothies have helped me to eat more fruit and yes, vegetables too. They’ve helped me to add more quality to what I put in my body.

Over the years of creating smoothies of my own I’ve found a few smoothie secret weapons, ingredients that give my smoothie a boost.

Here at my top three smoothie secret weapons:

Matcha Powder:

Matcha

Matcha powder is something fairly new to my smoothie arsenal. Not only does it give my smoothies a boost but it gives me a boost too.

With more than 100 times the nutrients of brewed green tea, Matcha Powder packs a punch with vitamins A and C, Folic Acid and Manganese. Let’s not forget the caffeine, there’s plenty of it in Matcha Powder.

It’s great at detoxifying the body and full of antioxidants, again 10 times more than brewed green tea.

Matcha Powder also helps to boost the metabolism, which will help burn some calories, which can help drop some weight.

I know a lot of people who don’t like the taste of green tea and Matcha Powder is a great way to get some of the great benefits of green tea without the taste.

Spinach:

Spinach

Spinach has been a smoothie staple of mine for years. It packs a big nutritional punch with a low caloric price.

With about 20% of a day’s fiber in one cup it help keep you feeling fuller longer. It also aids in digestion.

Spinach is a nutritional powerhouse with Vitamins A and C, Iron, Folate and even a little bit of calcium. As a woman who is growing older, calcium is becoming more and more important for my bone health so it’s nice to know I’m getting a little more in each smoothie.

Finally, as I try to get five servings of fruits and vegetables, adding spinach to my smoothies helps me check one off and it doesn’t leave my smoothie tasting “green”.

Flax Oil:

flax oil

Flax oil is one of the ways I add healthy fats to my smoothies.

Omegas 3, 6 and 9 are all in flax oil. 3 and 6 are essential fats, with 3 being found primarily in seafood, something I don’t eat. Flax oil is a great way for me to get these healthy fats in my diet without having to swallow a fishy pill.

Flax oil has about 55% of the daily requirement of omega 3 fats.

Some studies show that flax oil is good for the heart and can reduce the risk for fatal heart attacks. Who wouldn’t want to avoid one of those?

Good for the hair, skin and nails, flax with have you looking better inside and out. And it also can aid in weight loss efforts, that’s why I like it.

Again, it’s not something that you can even taste when it’s in your smoothies but you can enjoy it’s benefits.

Those are my top three smoothie secret weapons, the things I add to my smoothies to make them work a little harder for me.

Do you have any smoothie secret weapons you’d like to share? Leave a comment and let me know about them.

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