Category Archives: Healthy Choices

Time to Unplug

When was the last time you unplugged? Think about it. When was the last time you just disconnected? I’m talking no TV, no internet, no social media, no smart phone (gasp! The horror!)

I live with Cuff Turtle (who is not a very chatty companion), so when I come home in the evenings, the first thing I do is turn on the TV. It is a completely mindless habit. I just push the button and behold, background noise. I wake up to the radio in the morning. I use my smart phone on the train be it for music, social media, or reading my emails. I sit in front of a computer all day so the internet is at my fingertips at a moments notice. Sadly, only time I am truly completely unplugged is the 90 minutes I am in the Bikram Yoga room. This is how things have become for not only adults but for children too. When Boo Bear was at my house, the TV was on and she was also watching a show on her ipad while waiting for her brother to face time her. When I was her age you had to pick up the phone and call your friends, on a phone, with a chord! (Gosh, I sound like an old fuddy duddy!)

downtime Continue reading Time to Unplug

Being Happy Makes You Beautiful

Jobin and I met on my first day of 4th grade, over 27 years ago. I was a new girl at a new school, living in a new place with a new baby sister so I was very excited to meet a nice girl who didn’t live far from my new house. Jobin is a beautiful person both inside and out, I love her dearly, no matter what shape, size, or color she is or should turn over the course of her life time. She will always be beautiful to me because I know her and how big her heart is. I actually know her so well that I am positive she squirming in her seat as she is reading these words right now because complements and praise make her uncomfortable. I will tell you, she is deserving of them all whether she believes it or not.

Schedules don’t allow Jobin and I to get together as often as we would like however, as luck would have it we did get together and she told me some very big news. Jobin’s eye turns in ever so slightly. As a friend with an eye phobia I can tell you, it was not weird or crazy in any way; you could however notice in an occasional picture. For an average person, this would not be a big deal however, since Jobin is in the entertainment industry (an actress, not exotic dancer) she felt this nuance of her appearance was a deterrent from getting roles. I think it had a slight impact on Jobin’s self-confidence on auditions as well.  As a result, Jobin made the very bold move to have her eye fixed. Of course, because of my phobia, I don’t know any of the details or science behind this, but the end result is going to make Jobin very happy, and that is what is important to me.

Jobin’s was NOTHING like this guy in Wayne’s World 2

In my younger days, I use to judge people who wanted/went through with plastic surgery or physical augmentations to improve their looks. I use to think it was vanity or shallowness. Now that I have gotten older and wiser, I understand that it isn’t the case. People make these changes to their image to feel better about themselves. They feel they look better, boosting their confidence and their perception of their world. Look at this “new” Renee Zellweger. Although she does not admit to having work done, she said in her statement “I’m glad folks think I look different! I’m living a different, happy, more fulfilling life, and I’m thrilled that perhaps it shows.” She’s happy, shouldn’t we be happy for her?

Meryl Streep in Death Becomes Her – constantly wanting to look better and younger to feel better about her life

My personal opinion… if you are doing it to make yourself happier, and to feel better about yourself, and you aren’t hurting anyone else, who am I to judge you for it. I have friends who have had breast implants, botox, lap band / gastric bypass surgeries, laser hair removal, and nose jobs. They have increased their self-esteem and feel better as a result. I color the grey out of my hair and no one judges me, so who am I to judge anyone else.

I hope that Jobin sees the world in a new way, thanks to this operation, but hope she knows that she was amazing to begin with.

Wake Up, September Is Over!

Well Ladies and Gents, we are one month down and 109 days to go till the Star Wars Rebel Challenge. Time to take a little inventory.

Since September the following has happened (to my plesant surprise!):

  • Weight – Down 3.4 lbs
  • Inches Lost – 3.5 inches (little bits here and there add up!)

Even with my theme park eating and my lack of gym attendance (I did my best but there were a few days I just couldn’t get there) I did see small progress.

For October, I am doing the following:

37310-Dear-October

  • Continue to track my low carb eating with the My Fitness Pal app – When I track what I eat, I tend to stay on track. When I do slide off track (I’m human!) at least I don’t go completely off the rails while tracking.
  • Lift weights at least three times a week – The human body burns more calories maintaining muscle than it does fat. I just had a great conversation with one of my coworkers about success with free weights. I need to get back to lifting, even if it is light weight, it will make a difference!
  • Attend Bikram Yoga at least twice a week – I ran the Bronx 10 Miler with one of the instructors from my yoga studio this weekend. Both of us had not done much training but had done a lot of yoga practice. Cross training my muscles with yoga will help both my mind and my body.
  • Remember to take my fish oils – I always forget and there is a lot of research regarding the effects of muscle growth and fat loss with the aid of fish oil
  • Pack my lunch – This saves both money and calories. A simple way to win!
  • Burpee Challenge – In addition to all of the above, SK2 and I have signed up to take the 30 Day Burpee Challenge from Eat Drink and Be Skinny. If you want to sign up, there is still time. You can check it out HERE
  • October Races – I’m signed up for the Sleepy Hollow 10K and the NYRR Dash to the Finish 5K races this month (technically the dash is November 1st, but I’m counting it as October) These should help make sure I get some cardio on the books.

There is still a long road ahead of me, and there will be lots of pitfalls with the upcoming holidays (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Festivus, ect) but I’m in this for the long haul. I’m going to be a completely different woman by the end of it all.

Who is inspired for October?

Getting It Done!

I work out!

It is important for me to make exercise a priority. This weekend was very busy and I skipped my work outs. As a result, I’ve been making a conscious effort to squish some exercise in where ever I can this week, so I don’t lose momentum towards my goals. Although I have lost 3.4 lbs since the first of the month (yes, I’m patting myself on the back), I’m not really feeling as strong as I have in the past and I have some worries about my upcoming races.

Sometimes we have to reframe our thinking about exercise. Exercise doesn’t have to be schlepping to the gym or attending a structured class. Exercise can be walking to the deli that is a bit farther at lunch time. It can be playing with your dog. It can be playing in the yard with your kids. Being active and keeping your body moving is the key. Many people tell me they want to work out but they can’t find the time; yet they tell me how they “did nothing last night”. Why wasn’t that time used to work out?

Monday night I had dinner plans after work but I had a two-hour gap between work ending and dinner beginning so I went to the gym. I got 3 miles in on the treadmill, as well as a good walk to the gym, and to and from the restaurant. According to my fitbit I hit 20,561 steps / 9.37 miles!

This morning, I went to the gym before work. I use to go before work all the time, but then I fell out of the habit. For me, going before work takes a lot more planning, since in order for me to pull this off, I have to pack my work clothes and get ready at the gym. This takes a little getting use to but once I get in to the swing of getting up a tad earlier and making sure I have packed all my necessities, it gets easier. I managed to get another 3 miles under my belt this morning. Go Me!

But like I said, maybe going to the gym isn’t right for you. Perhaps you don’t have access to a gym. Maybe you aren’t ready to tackle a class or are unsure what to do at the gym. Perhaps you don’t feel confident to try. Here is something I do, that might work for those of you having self doubts, aren’t ready for the gym, or feel like you “don’t have the time”

Rather than getting up at the commercial breaks to refill your water-glass or have a snack, why not work out? Do a few rounds of push ups, sit ups or the dreaded burpee. The average commercial break is between two and two and a half minutes. See how many sets you can do in the first commercial break, and then try to top that during the next break. There are tons of ways to work in high intensity intervals in to your favorite TV show commercial breaks. In fact, if you go to The Fitness Board on my Pinterest page (found HERE) I have pined a few commercial work outs that you may find me doing in the next few weeks as the new season of TV shows start. This may seem silly, but these two to three minute intervals will start to add up. Soon you will start to be able to do more, go for longer legnths of time and you may even see a few pounds drop off. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will the body of a goddess. A little bit every day, slow and steady will win the race.  Just ask Cuff Turtle:

Cuff Turtle  - Slow and Steady Wins the Race!
Slow and Steady Wins the Race!

Sweet Tooth Tamers

Goofy's Candy Machine at Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party (2012)
Goofy’s Candy Machine during the Halloween Parade at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (2012)

It has been a little over a week and I’ve been doing pretty well sticking to my diet and exercise. Bringing my lunches to work has been helping me not only to manage my intake, but my cash outflow as well. My biggest challenge, as always, is to find ways to curb my sweet tooth. As I’ve mentioned before, ice cream/frozen yogurt tend to be my kryptonite. Here are some things that have been working for me that might work for some of you who may be struggle with your sweet tooth as well.

  • Frozen Grapes
    • This little gem I discovered after a Bikram Yoga class one day. They had little cups of frozen grapes portioned out for all the students as a post class reward. They are both refreshing and delicious. Plus, because they are frozen, you can’t just chow down on a bunch at once. The coldness forces you to eat them slowly and really savor them as a treat.
  • Dole Dippers
    • I’ve mentioned my delight with this new product from Dole. I have seen both strawberry and banana in my local Stop & Shop’s freezer section. They are perfectly portioned to curb the craving for something sweet
  • Protein Shakes with LOTS of ice
    • I find adding ice to my shakes helps them to be more frothy and a little more milkshake like making it easier to pretend its a treat rather than protein. However, I really can’t complain. My protein tastes amazing, and not thick and chalky like others I have had
  • Quest Bars
    • Quest bars really help me get through a lot of things. I will have them as a mid morning snack to help me not get “hangry” before I get to lunch. I will have them pre-workout when I don’t have time/want to eat a full meal. I will have them post work out as my source of protein. I will also make treats from them. Quest Nutrition has a great youtube channel with all sorts of recipe uses for their bars.
  • Water
    • When the feeling for something sweet, or even just hunger in general, I have a glass of water first to see if I am really hungry, or if I am just shoving something in my mouth to make up for another issue (ie, stress, emotions, boredom, ect) This also helps me keep my hydration levels up on the days I do Bikram.
  • Gum & TicTacs
    • Sometimes I’m really just looking to clear my palate and not necessarily fill my belly. Reaching for gum or tictacs (orange are my favorite) will help the moment pass.

Next time the cravings start to call, try one of these and let me know how it works out for you.

The Creeps at the Gym – A Guest Post by Olivia Martin

Firends Talking at the gym

This is a guest post by Olivia Martin. Olivia is a frequent contributor to health and lifestyle blogs (whens she is not sweating it out at the gym). She lives in Tampa, Florida with her husband

I suppose you could say that I am a gym rat. I guess. If I’m not forward folding in hot yoga, I’m kettlebell swinging in the gym or push pressing in Crossfit. So yeah, ok gym rat.

Because of this, I’ve gotten a good survey on all of the gyms in my area and know which ones I like and which ones I don’t. I currently go to a major fitness chain in my area and have found that if I hit the one up near the mall, I will be surrounded by hot twenty-somethings (hey, that’s me!) covered head-to-toe in a $200 workout outfit (hey, that’s not me!). If I go to the one near the business parks, I will be surround by older men with superiority issues. And then there’s the one I go to. It’s smack dab in the middle of everything. It has some of the pricy outfits, some of the older dudes and then a whole lot of normal thrown about.

I skip the second gym because I don’t like being surrounded by higher ups who think they are entitled to their section of the gym at all times and I skip the first one because let’s face it, it’s a bone zone gym. People go there to hit on each other and look hot. I’m not into it. I don’t want to be talked to, let alone hit on while I’m in the middle of a 30 box jump set.

However, there’s something about pretty girls (like me and you!) who actually work out at the gym. It doesn’t really matter where you go, someone is going to bother you. They’ll come up to you right at that moment when your music is pounding and you’re about to vomit.

So for shigs, I thought I would compile a list of all the awful, weird and awkward things guys have said to me at the gym.
I wear Vibrams, you know those funky toe shoes (I know, the’yre weird, but great), so a lot of people approach me about them:

“Do those shoes make your toes smell weird?”

“Do you feel like a cave man wearing them?”
Sometimes, I do a little yoga before or after a strenuous workout to stretch out my muscles…

“I saw you doing that bendy thing awhile ago. It’d be cool if you and I did that together…”

“Wow, you’re sooo flexible” –insert creepy smile here.
I like to run on the treadmill before jumping into a workout.

“Are you ever afraid your boobs are going to hit you in your face?”
In the middle of a heavy deadlift

“Do you need a spot? You should really poke your butt out more when you get to bottom.”
Just plain odd…

“Didn’t I see you at Adam & Eve buying that sex swing the other day?”

“Wanna come get sweaty with me?”

“I really like that motion you’re making right now.” –referencing a hammer curl.
People are weird. I don’t think the gym is a place for getting dates, but if you’re going to do it. Just wait until the person isn’t panting to death, say hey and don’t try to correct their form. But really, if you want to hit on a girl at the gym, skip over the girl who is actually working out. Put your sights on the chick who’s wearing a full face of make up, on her cell phone and sitting at the leg press machine with the pin in at 30lbs, anxiously looking around to see if anyone noticed she did a full set. She’s looking for your attention; we’re not. Try again.

What weird things have guys said to you while you were working out?

Taking It All In Stride

My new obsession… The Stride Box

For the past two months, I have been subscribed to the Stride Box service. I’m in love. Stride Box is a monthly service that sends a box of running related treats to your door step. I know I have written about subscription services in the past such as Klutch Club and Healthy Surprise, but the Stride Box is the first one that I really feel is worth the investment – especially for runners and fitiness enthusiaists.

First off, you really do get a large and varried assortment of items in the box. To give you an idea, here are the things that I have recieved in the past two shipments:

  • Clif Bar Mini Energy Bar (Chocolate Brownie – yum!)
  • Clif Shot Energy Gel (Razz – yum again!)
  • Hammer Nutrition Vegan Recovery Bar in Chocolate Peanut (This item was so new, it didn’t even have finalized packaging!!)
  • Hammer Lips – Wildberry lip balm
  • Nuun Hydration Tabs – Cherry Limeade & Lemonade flavors
  • ENERGYbits – Chlorella & Spirunlina Algae Tabs
  • Barnana Original Organic Chey Banana Bites
  • Actions Wipes Full Body Wet Wipe
  • Light up Night Braclet
  • Betty Lou’s Just Great Stuff Bar
  • VFuel Endurance Gel
  • Perfect Fit Protein by tone It Up – Vanilla
  • Sport Beans – Energizing Jelly Beans – Assorted (yum!)
  • Honey Stinger Energy Chews – Cherry Cola (yum!)
  • Bonk Breaker bites – Peanut Butter & Jelly
  • Pro-Tec Athletics Blister Bands
  • Clean Ethics Botle Bright Water bottle Cleaner Tablet
  • The Klitch – Foot Wear Clip (Can’t wait to test this one out!!)

As you can see it is quite the assortment of products, and not just food type items. The light up braclet is great to wear on night runs and I can not wait to test out the Klitch Clip on my gym bag this week.

The other nice feature of the Stride Box is the Stride Guide. The Stride Guide is a little flyer inside your stride box to tell you all about the items with in your box. It also gives you the retail pricing if you are interested in ordering more of a particular item.

The Stride Box subscription is only $15 a month. I highly reccomend all runners test it out. You might find your new favorite item in your next box! Sign up for your subscription here

Running-Motivation-Quote-6

It’s Almost Tiara Time!

That’s right boys and girls, its almost time for me to head down to Walt Disney World and run the Princess 1/2 Marathon!

Mickey & Minnie waiting for all the Princess at the 1/2 marathon finish line!
Mickey & Minnie waiting for all the Princess at the 1/2 marathon finish line!

I think I have been driving everyone I know crazy with my anxiety over this trip. With all the weather issues we’ve been having, I’ve been incredibly concerned over my flight and getting to Florida. However, it looks like there will be a little rain, but things should be pretty smooth tomorrow morning. Sadly I can’t say the same about my fellow princesses in the Midwestern states, they are getting hammered with snow. I hope their Fairy Godmothers can get them to the race on time!

The other day, Derek Jeter said in an interview with Steiner Sports CEO / Founder Brandon Stein,  “Everyone gets butterflies.  I get butterflies.  It’s a good thing.  It’s healthy.  If you don’t have them, you don’t really care about what you’re doing” My butterflies are enormous right now! I’ve trained so hard and put so much effort in to this event, now that its here my nerves are on edge. I’m going to go out there with my Tinkerbell shirt and skirt (pictures will come don’t you worry!) with my sister and our friends and do my best. I am not looking for a personal record (although it will be since it will be the first time I hit 13.1!) I know I’m not going to be first, and I really hope that I am not last! I just want to be able to say I did this. I finished, and finished strong!