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Accessible Fitness, more choices for more people

Fitness has always been a concern with regard to both mental and physical health regardless of age, gender, or any other variables that make each one of us unique. And for those in the blind community, fitness is every bit as much—if not more—important.

Exercise for the visually impaired is something that should be incorporated into a weekly, if not daily, routine for a variety of reasons that are both similar and different from people within the sighted community. For those with total loss of sight as well as for those who are low sighted, a lack of regular exercise can bring on a host of other issues, including weight gain, sluggishness, and perhaps worst of all for many, insomnia or a circadian rhythm that has been thrown completely off track.

A quality workout done at the right time of day and at the right pace to meet your unique physical and mental needs is just what the doctor may have forgotten to order. For many blind people, fitness has been a challenge: without someone to guide you and without the ability to drive yourself to the gym, it becomes obvious why so many visually impaired individuals give up—but with the BlindAlive line of Fitness Workouts for blind people, you’ll never have to depend on anyone else again.

Yoga and Strength Training with wieghts for blind people along with a variety of other cardiovascular exercises help our bodies stay toned, help us gain muscle mass and lose weight, but most of all, can help lead a blind person away from a sense of helplessness.

Are you ready to sweat? Come get healthy and leave all your notions of not being able to get fit due to your visual impairment behind with BlindAlive!

90 - Bone Broth

Mel welcomes listeners to Podcast 90 by talking about curiosity, rebounders, yoga, and pushing yourself that little bit extra.

She then interviews Kathy Strahan about bone broth, a healthy way to add flavor to and increase the health benefits of soup.

Below is an article by Kathy which outlines her process:

Soup: The First Fast Food

Everyone knows how wonderful a bowl of warm soup is on a cold winter day, right?

But most people don’t consider soup the fastest fast food on the planet.

Yes, with a little planning ahead, even homemade soup can provide an almost instant meal that is nourishing, and delicious.

I make it a point to prepare a batch of soup every week because my husband and I really love it, plus, we also know the health benefits of starting with homemade bone broth.

However, start the process of healthy meal preparation at your own pace. Any homemade food is better than a drive-through meal, and easier on the wallet too.

So, prepare the healthy make-ahead meals from where you are right now in life. For instance, you may want to make your own soup, but would prefer to buy the store-bought broth. That’s fine. Do that. Add your own veggies and other goodies.

If you’d like to try making your own broth, below is my version of homemade chicken bone broth, and the basics of how to build a soup. From the recipe below, any soup can evolve depending on taste and preference.

NOTE: Traditional bone broth is simmered for 24 hours or so. I used to prepare it this way, now I use a faster procedure which gives the same or even better results. This recipe can be used in a slow cooker, or on the stove. Broth can also be made with the use of a pressure cooker. At this writing, I have no experience with that yet. I plan to get a pressure cooker soon.

Slow Cooker Chicken Bone Broth

1.    First I start with a whole, pastured chicken I get from my farmers market. (The most organic chicken you can find is ideal)

2.    And the second most important ingredient, but it is still optional, is a pound or so of chicken feet from a farmers market, or your local butcher. Using chicken feet has finally given me the wonderful gelatin like consistency we all want. It also has all the beneficial collagen etc.

3.    A TBSP of apple sider vinegar is added to extract the minerals from the bones during cooking.

4.    I also throw in carrots and celery which I dispose after the cooking procedure. (veggies also contribute to the high mineral content of bone broth)

5.    You can use other veggies and then near the end of the cooking, (about 30 minutes) add onions and garlic if you wish.

6.    Now, cover all the contents with filtered water so that there is roughly a half to an inch of water above the contents.

7.    I set the slow cooker to high and after 5-7 hours, the broth is strained

8.    The bones are discarded, and the chicken is separated from the broth for use in other dishes, including the chicken soup I’m making.

9.    Then the broth is allowed to sit in mason jars in the fridge for about 24 hours. This seems to be a good amount of time for the liquid to gel.

10. (the result should ideally be dense and jiggly just like Jell-O.

11. I then remove the hard fat from the top and discard. What is left is a nourishing, Jell-O like substance called bone broth.

12. I usually get 3-4 jars of broth from this procedure, so I will freeze the extra broth to use in future cooking.

Now comes the fun, building the soup!

Basic guidelines:

1.    Start by sautéing onions. I use two large onions, usually red. (

2.    The onions are roughly cut and then coat the bottom of a heavy soup pot with a generous amount of oil like avocado, butter, or ghe...

3.    After the onions are soft and translucent, (about 15 minutes) then add fresh mushrooms. (we like tons of mushrooms so I use two packages of sliced mushrooms)

4.    After the mushrooms are soft, then I add 2-3 TBSP dried spices. I like basil, and oregano. I will also use garlic powder if I don’t have fresh.

5.    After the dried spices seem incorporated, I may add fresh garlic and let the garlic sauté for about 2 minutes.

Now here is where you can get creative.

1.    Add in other veggies (for a big batch, about 6 cups) like shredded cabbage, kale, squash if you like, a can of beans (Eden Foods brand is ideal because the beans are soaked and pressure cooked) and also this is a good time to add in a pinch of salt such as sea salt or kosher salt, as well as ground pepper.

2.    Now the final thing is add in the homemade broth and let the soup simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes.

3.    You can serve over rice, add in such protein sources as chicken, or even grass-fed sausage. You can add grated parmesan cheese, freshly chopped parsley -- the extras are up to you!

Final notes:

Soup preparation is almost impossible to mess up. In other words, please be encouraged to experiment. After a couple of tries, you will come up with your favorite soup.

The Jell-O like result we talked about will liquefy into soup during the cooking process. The broth when heated is quite thin and sippable. Some people heat small portions of the broth and drink it from a cup like tea. Here you can add spices, a little salt, etc.

I’m here to help if you have any questions or comments.

Kathy also suggests two authors whose writing about health is both humorous and easy to understand. They are Michael Pollan and Michael Moss.

To contact Kathy, you can email her or visit her website.

In this segment of BookIt, Lisa discusses a book by Andrew Weil Mind Over Meds: Know When Drugs are Necessary, When Alternatives are Better, and When to Let Your Body Heal On Its Own.

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