Sincerely Carolina

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Things I've Learned from a Six-Year-Old and Six Things I've Learned … From Women's Health Mag

by caroline

Happy Friday! Is it rainy poo-poo where you are? I know the saying: "April showers bring May flowers", but it doesn't make me any happier about the icky wetness going on outside.

On days like today, I always try to remind myself of a special moment I had with my cousin and godchild, Chloe, a few years ago where I was complaining about the rain and she said to me, "But if there wasn't any rain, then there wouldn't be any flowers."

Amazing what a 6-year-old can teach you, right? Love this gal (she's 8 years old now!) to pieces.

Which leads me to my next thought: I love to learn! Seriously, I am the grown adult who still gets excited when she sees back-to-school posters in Target. I find reasons just to pick up a new folder or package of ball point pens.

It's really kind of sick.

Match that with the fact that I am all about features this week, and you'll see I have decided to launch a fun Friday series called "Six Things I've Learned …"

I don't know about you, but I am constantly reading something, whether it be a new book, latest issue of a magazine, a blog, newspaper or Web magazine. Right now, I currently have all of these on my bedside table:

And I lo(ooo)ve having all of this information at my fingertips! But I always have this fear that in the midst of reading all of this information, I'm going to forget about a great tip I read in SELF magazine or a special ingredient I learned about in a particular cookbook.

Yeah, I have a fear of forgetting useful health/food information … [insert second geeky moment of this post here] … ;)

So, I'm launching this series to not only help you learn about, but me (!) remember some of the wonderful information that is out there. You'll never lose sleep over a forgotten tip you read in Fitness magazine again! Oh, wait, that's me …

Anyway, here's the first installment!

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Six Things I Learned … from the March 2011 Issue of Women's Health

1. From Lose Your Fear of Lifting: "You'll handle stress better. Break a sweat in the weight room and you'll stay cool under pressure. Scientists determined that the fittest people exhibited lower levels of stress hormones than those who were the least fit. Another study found that after a stressful situation, the blood pressure levels of people with the most muscle returned to normal faster than the levels of those with the least muscle."

2. From Fresh Air That Isn't: "Regular exposure to pollution may trigger asthma and ups your risk of lung cancer by 20 percent."

3. From the Scoop! section of the magazine: "164 is the average number of calories avoided per day by people who look at the calorie info on nutrition labels of packaged foods compared with those who ignore the labels."

4. From Crank Up Your Creativity!: "21 percent of U.S. workers would change their jobs to do something more creative — even if they earned less."

5. From Beyond Slicing and Dicing: Five Cool Things You Never Knew Your Food Processor Could Do: "Emulsify Salad Dressing. A DIY dressing takes seconds, costs pennies, and will entice you to up your vegetable intake. And Iowa State University researchers have found that eating veggies with an oil-based dressing helps your body absorb cancer-fighting carotenoids. Try this: Use the food procesor to chop parsley, chives, rosemary, or other fresh herbs. Drizzle in olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a three-to-one ration. Add Dijon mustard and honey to taste.

6. From Run Less/Lose More: "A 30-minute interval workout can burn 400 calories, whereas a slow and steady run burns only 300 calories in the same amount of time."

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The moral of the story? I'm never going to give up my long runs, — for a lot of reasons — but it's nice to know that my now-and-then interval workouts are good for me, too!

I am really thankful to have a creative lifestyle, and Crank Up the Creativity! taught me new ways to open up my brain to creative thinking.

Ah! And I never knew you could make salad dressing in a food processor. It makes sense, but I just always throw it in the blender. Neat-o!

The weight lifting article and pollution piece were important too because I spend a lot of time running outdoors and want to make sure I am protecting my lungs while I'm at it. And who doesn't want sexy, lean muscle? I love strength training for what it does for my boo-tay, but it's nice to know it also helps squish everyday stress.

Did you read the March 2011 issue of Women's Health? What was your favorite article or take-away point?