Thursday, January 12, 2012

For The Birds...

Bird Seed Bars:

In an attempt to use up some old food storage I decided to try my hand at making my very own energy bars. They turned out nice and chewy and they definitely give you a boost for that extra workout or hike. They store well and last forever.


6 cups of Muesli cereal (oats, raisins, sunflower seeds, flax seeds)
2 cups of puffed wheat or rice cereal
1/8 cup of shelled pumpkin seeds (you can use any sort of nut)
2 TBS sesame seeds
1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of corn syrup
1/2 cup of honey
3/4 cup of peanut or almond butter
1/2 tsp of vanilla


Grease a large baking sheet with Pam or non- fat cooking spray. Add sugar, corn syrup, honey, vanilla and peanut butter in a large pot. Place over medium heat. Bring to boil, stirring constantly. Boil mixture for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add in Muesli, puffed cereal, sesame seeds and nuts. Stir until mixture is well blended. Dump onto baking sheet and using fingers, press mixture across pan. (mixture will be I grease my fingers with a little Pam and pat into pan) Spread evenly across baking sheet. Cool and cut into bars. Wrap bars in plastic wrap or baggies. Will keep in cupboard for several weeks. Makes approximately 20 bars.

My kids love these and they will be perfect for taking on long hikes in the summer!

Monday, January 9, 2012

On The Rebound...

Last week as I was scrounging around my local thrift store, I happened upon a fold-up trampoline for $8. I normally wouldn't have given something like this a second glance, but as it happened to be in pristine condition and just the sort of colors that appeal to me (bright orange and silver), I paused and admired the cute little contraption. Then on a whim I placed it in my cart. After I returned home it sat in the box for a few more days before I finally put it together for my children to bounce on. The boys bounced for a few minutes before growing bored and Dakota gave it a try before she plopped off and returned to the toy room. Curious, I decided to give it a go. I bounced around clumsily for a while. Trying to get my nearly 6-foot-frame coordinated and balanced was quite a trick, but after several minutes I finally managed to get the hang of it. I jumped for about 5 minutes before I was utterly and completely winded, but I was laughing so hard I nearly cried. My kids came to see what all the commotion was about, gave me a disgruntled look, and then went about their business once again. Giggling, I jumped back on and bounced for several more moments. I loved it. I felt just like a kid again, and it suddenly dawned on me... I was sweating, I was winded and I was having FUN. The little trampoline is just the sort of thing I need to get my body in shape again after several months of terrible eating habits. I even Goggled "rebounding" and was surprised to discover a ton of benefits from this simple exercise. So this morning, I donned my tennis shoes, shut the blinds to hide my new obsession from the neighbors, cranked my music, and boUnCed and BoUncEd and bOuNceD. I am still laughing. I think I've just found my new best friend.
Benefits of Rebounding:

1. Rebounding provides an increased G-force (gravitational load), which benefits the body by strengthening the musculoskeletal systems.
2. Rebounding protects the joints from the chronic fatigue and impact delivered by exercising on hard surfaces.
3. Rebounding helps manage body composition and improves muscle-to-fat ratio. Rebound Exercise benefits you by giving you more control over these.
4. Rebounding benefits lymphatic circulation by stimulating the millions of one-way valves in the lymphatic system. This benefits the body's immune capacity for fighting current disease, destroying cancer cells, eliminating antigens and preventing future illness.
5. Rebounding circulates more oxygen to the tissues.
6. Rebounding establishes a better equilibrium between the oxygen required by the tissues and the oxygen made available.
7. Rebounding increases capacity for respiration.
8. Rebounding tends to reduce the height to which the arterial pressures rise during exertion.
9. Rebounding lessens the time during which blood pressure remains abnormal after severe activity.
10. Rebounding assists in the rehabilitation of existing heart problems. Rebound Exercise also benefits recovery from heart procedures, providing gentle, low impact circulation. (Case:Cardiac Rehabilitation Using A ReboundAIR)
11. Rebounding increases the functional activity of the red bone marrow in the production of red blood cells.
12. Rebounding gradually improves resting metabolic rate so that more calories are burned for hours after exercise. Related, Rebound Exercise benefits the post-exercise "Glycogen Replenishment" process.
13. Rebounding causes core muscles and large muscle groups to contract, resulting in the rhythmic compression of the veins and arteries, which more effectively moves fluids, both blood and lymphatic, through the body and back to the heart, lowering peripheral blood pressure and lightening the heart's load.
14. Rebounding decreases the volume of blood pooling in the veins of the cardiovascular system preventing chronic edema.
16. Rebounding strengthens the heart and other muscles in the body so that they work more efficiently.
15. Rebounding encourages collateral circulation by increasing the capillary count in the muscles and decreasing the distance between the capillaries and the target cells.
17. Rebounding gradually allows the resting heart to beat less often. Regular Rebound Exercise has been shown to benefit the heart rate, resulting in favorable decreases in resting heart rate.
18. Rebounding lowers circulating cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
19. Rebounding lowers low-density lipoprotein (bad) in the blood and increases high-density lipoprotein (good) holding off the incidence of coronary artery disease.
20. Rebounding promotes tissue repair.
21. Rebounding for longer than 20 minutes at a moderate intensity at least 3x per week increases the mitochondria count within the muscle cells, benefiting in total endurance. Perhaps you will easily skip those naps.
22. Rebounding benefits the alkaline reserve of the body, which may be of significance in an emergency requiring prolonged effort.
23. Rebounding improves coordination between the propreoceptors in the joints, the transmission of nerve impulses to and from the brain, transmission of nerve impulses and responsiveness of the muscle fibers.
24. Rebounding improves the brain’s responsiveness to the vestibular apparatus within the inner ear, thus improving balance.
25. Rebounding offers relief from neck and back pains, headaches, and other pain caused by lack of exercise. Rebound Exercise has been shown to benefit body alignment and posture.
26. Rebounding enhances digestion and elimination processes.
27. Rebounding allows for deeper and easier relaxation and sleep.
28. Rebounding results in better mental performance, with keener learning processes.
29. Rebounding curtails fatigue and menstrual discomfort for women.
30. Rebounding minimizes the number of colds, allergies, digestive disturbances, and abdominal problems.
31. Rebounding tends to slow down atrophy in the aging process.
32. Rebounding is an effective modality by which the user gains a sense of control and an improved self image.
33. Rebounding is enjoyable!