Learn How to X-Factor Garden Space

7 03 2020

Updated: 7 March 2020, Marc Woodard

Although many people begin planting gardens as early as March in the great North West, it is not too late to begin within the month of May. It is well known gardening activity is good for wellbeing, increased fitness levels and overall health, not to mention the nutritional value of consuming farmed fresh foods. There is also an X-factor created when gardening space wraps around outdoor patios and decks.

As one of many Tigard residents who grew up planting and harvesting fruits and vegetables on large acreage home farms, it’s fascinating to see how today’s generation makes use of small space to produce high-yields of farmed fresh foods.

There’s no need to go full plow and bulk seed bananas if looking to grow an affordable and manageable garden on a deck or patio; and like the ideal of embellishing it with a multi-dimensional vine catching structure that engulfs an outdoor social gathering and dining space.

You can easily build a garden trellis structure made out of rope wire anchored to walls or poles that continue overhead within a 6’x4′ (24sf) to 8’x5′ (40 sqft) space, or larger. And able to handle the weight of favorite veggies and fruit hanging from the vine. Similar to the bean tunnel made out of old pipe parts as seen in the picture below. Inexpensive no-frills PVC pipe can also be easily attached in garden beds that look like a Quonset hut. However the wire rope trellis system has become a hipster gardening favorite. It looks great and can be installed affordably in a small space by anyone.

Vegetable and fruits above and at ground level.
Bean Tunnel made out of repurposed pipe.

To Build a simple and affordable wire rope lattice-trellis Structure – All you need are 2-3 long eye, or line-hooks, etc., to secure ½” to ¾” into walls or pole [siding]; wire rope, turnbuckle [used to apply tension to rope], S-hooks, and wire rope clamp-eyelet hardware. Installation: Measure the distance of desired siding and overhead rope runs to determine line length for project. Purchase enough line-hooks to install at 24 inch intervals up vertical siding. Add 6 inches extra rope length for each line set to install rope clamp-eyelet for connecting turn buckle and S-hook hardware at wall base hooks. Connect one turn buckle between S-hook [S-Hook is connected to wall base eyelet hook] and other end of turn buckle attaches to the clamped wire rope eyelet. Then on the other end install the rope wire anchor hardware without a turn buckle. Horizontal ski line anchors may or may not be needed depending on produce weight. If you choose not to run open sky overhead lines you likely don’t need a turn buckle.

As vines grow from soil – direct and lean them against both ends of lattice lines. Once vines are long enough, they’ll wrap themselves up the rope and continue overhead. Horizontal and vertical runs of snap peas, squash, beans, eggplant, zucchini, melons and grapes etc., can easily be grown and attached at any section of the structure from potted wall troughs, beds and shelved pots. [Local Home and Garden specialist, or Internet instruction can help with hardware installation and lattice-trellis wire rope design and hardware options]. Tools needed: drill, tape measure, wire cutter, crescent wrench, or socket set and screwdriver.

Green tomatoes hanging by the vine

To make full use of a garden trellis floor or ground space below: place staggered shelves, pots and trough beds at the parameter. If there is wall space available that sees sun – secure shelving at various heights. Or consider staggered ground shelving unit(s) that can be built at little cost using re-purposed planks, book shelves, etc., elevated on cinder blocks. Or create a stair like structure to reap the benefits of additional growing space that sees plenty of sunshine. Place lower profile garden produce like cherry tomatoes, peppers, strawberries and Kale at ground or mid-shelve level. Top shelves can be used for herbs like Basel, rosemary, parsley, oregano, cilantro, etc. And/or use top shelves to set and direct potted plant vines to make further use of mid garden overhead trellis space.

Garden path to patio area.

Lastly, to create a stupendous X-Factor garden… If you have large enough space to integrate patio furniture and barbecue you can create a very unique social-dining experience.

Farmed fresh to table…

Where farmed fresh foods can be harvested, prepared and cooked in front of guests while sharing green thumb stories over a favorite glass of wine.

If a deck, porch, patio or ample ground space is not an option but you’d like to grow a garden within a small plot, many cities like the one I live in offer 4′ x 8′ community garden boxes to plant seasonally at an affordable price. To learn more about community gardens in the city of Tigard, OR… use link: http://www.tigard-or.gov/communitygardens or call 503-718-2591.

Good health to you and your family.

Marc Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET., is a member of the Tigard City Council. He is a strong proponent of City involvement in providing recreational opportunities for its residents. 2018-20 Copy right. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Inc., “To learn more about MirrorAthlete Fit Healthy Lifestyle, City Recreation and free monthly newsletter, visit: http://www.mirrorathlete.com.





Top 7 Weight Loss Triggers

7 01 2020

by Marc Woodard, 9 January 2020

Which Weight Loss Trigger Will Defeat Your Weight Gain Nemesis?

As a fit healthy lifestyle consultant and author of Ageless MirrorAthlete “Overweight and Unfit No More,” I can tell you there are lifestyle changes you can make right now to trigger weight loss and stop weight gain. Below I list seven weight loss triggers through lifestyle change my clients have used to reverse an overweight and unfit condition.

New Year – New You. You Deserve it!

Change One or More Weight Loss Triggers Below to Lose Weight Now

This year set a new year’s goal. Plan to focus on a known bad habit and/or behavior triggering your weight gain and keeping you overweight. Then apply a lifestyle change to remove that trigger once and for all. You do not need to apply all seven weight loss trigger changes listed below. I recommend focusing on one at a time. As will power increases to sustain the course this will motivate you to include other healthier lifestyle changes that trigger weight loss at a more rapid rate.

Ageless MirrorAthlete – Overweight and Unfit No More by Marc Woodard
When You Have a Good New Year’s Resolution Plan, Hard to Change Habits… Change.

When mindful of daily stress triggers it’s easier to target then minimize or remove them.

Target, then minimize or remove environmental stress triggers, or factors causing an unhealthy habit(s) and/or behavior(s) keeping you overweight and unfit. Once you know the cause of your overeating, addiction and/or sedentary habits, then it’s easier to modify or remove them.

Once you become aware of an environmental stress that causes you to stay overweight and unfit, it’s easier to shift course. For example, if someone or something makes you feel uncomfortable, or causes anxiety, or obsessive behaviors, remove yourself from the situation, or minimize the exposure time. If a relationship makes you feel bad, remove yourself from it, or seek relational and behavioral therapy if your more inclined to make a relationship work. Or if the workplace presents undue stress within a hostile work environment, seek Human Resources help per company policy. Or if food addiction is the source of your stress and increasing health risk concern – seek medical treatment.

Pain Trigger Factor

All pain triggers are directly related to mental and physical illness, disease and/or injury. And with pain comes more sedentary habits that cause weight gain. It is for this reason you confide in a doctor and request a referral to see a pain management specialist [physiatrist]. Don’t let your pain keep you in a sedentary weight gain hurt locker.

Party On Triggers Weight Gain

Some carry the end of year festivities into the New Year. This behavior can last for months, or the entire year. This perpetual party habit will not help you lose weight. First and foremost, you must understand this is occurring and break the habit. A referral to see a behavioral therapist can help target and change unhealthy habits and behavioral triggers keeping you overweight and put your health at risk.

Weekly Calorie Excess Will Not Help You Achieve Your Weight Loss Goal.. Moderate food/drink splurges to once per month.

Fast foods after Holiday’s Trigger More Weight Gain

Too many Americans consume fast foods especially during the Holidays. Here lies the crux for much of Americas obesity and related diabetes and obesity problems. Processed foods are convenient, chemically addictive and cause unhealthy weight gain. Food ingredients on labels you can’t pronounce or recognize are generally unnecessary food chemical additives that cause weight gain and illness and disease. Now you can better differentiate between healthier foods and processed food triggers that increase health risk. Labels on decorative packages tell the unhealthy processed food story. Whereas whole foods in their organic form are: meat, poultry, fish, vegetables, grains, seeds, dairy, etc., Not tough to identify in their organic form.

Love of Baking Triggers Excess Weight Gain

I know the kids love your homemade cookies, cakes and pies. Remember moderation with deserts. Too much sugar, fat and salt is not good for anyone, even children with fast metabolisms. Try serving healthier desserts, i.e., fresh fruits, jello, pudding and peanut, oatmeal raisin and pumpkin cookie and cake treats, etc. Search on-line for low glycemic (GI) dessert recipe ideals. The GI has a foods list rating of low to high sugar foods. Learn how to bake delicious deserts without triggering more weight gain, and cause illness and disease.

Learn How to bake awesome deserts using low sugar ingredients that don’t spike blood sugar levels. Search the Internet using Glycemic Index (GI) to learn how.

Use Portion Control to Reduce Over Consumption Trigger

Regardless of season, there are many who continue to cook for an entire family after the children have left home. Modify home recipes for one or two to reduce left overs and temptations that trigger you to eat more than an average serving size. Use portion control to reduce calories. Simply fill your plat a 1/2 serving of a normal portion. No piling on. Take 20 minutes to consume your food. It takes the brain that long to determine if the stomachs been satisfied. If your still hungry, add another 1/4 serving. At this rate calorie intake is reduced and the over consumption is NOT turned on.

Low-Impact Aerobic Dance is a Good Fat Burning Exercise

Low-impact aerobic exercise is very important to perform – Especially throughout the Holidays.”

When you consume excess calories on “any day,” you will need to mobilize the body to remove the unspent fat fuel. I highly recommend at a minimum… a daily walking program, or other low-impact aerobic activity at least 30 minutes a day. It is low impact aerobic exercise that triggers the fat burning furnace. The large muscles in the legs and buttocks prefer body fat as it’s fuel source during low-impact aerobic exercise. In my opinion, daily brisk walking is the best low-impact fat burning exercise almost everyone can perform anytime and anywhere.

Once you target the cause of your weight gain nemesis and make healthier lifestyle choices – your fitness levels and health will improve while achieving your weight loss and fitness goals during and throughout the New Year. Live the lifestyle you need and want and deserve now. Get’er Done!

Good Health to You and Your Family!

Author: Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET2020 Copyright.  All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @: http://www.mirrorathlete.com,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.