Tuesday, November 8, 2011

12 Steps to Wellness

I received this in an email from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and it's by Joshua Rosenthal, IIN Founder and Director.  He called them the 12 Steps to Wellness:

1.    Drink more water
2.    Practice cooking
3.    Increase whole grains
4.    Increase sweet vegetables
5.    Increase leafy green vegetables
6.    Experiment with protein
7.    Eat less meat, dairy, sugar and chemicalized, artificial junk foods; consume less coffee, alcohol and tobacco
8.    Develop easy and reliable habits to nurture your body
9.    Have healthy relationships that support you
10.  Find physical activity you enjoy and do it regularly
11.  Find work you love or a way to love the work you have
12.  Develop a spiritual practice

Do you agree or disagree?  Is there anything you would add to these steps?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Weight Loss Strategies

This is taken from my Unit 7 Seminar Post from NS220 Nutrition Planning and Management class at Kaplan University.  The question posed was "If you were educating an overweight client, what types of strategies would you provide for weight loss?"  Here is my reply: 



When it comes to educating a client on weight loss, I would have to say that I would start with a lot of what the Mayo Clinic has to say regarding the six main strategies of weight loss:

1.  Get them to make a commitment to their weight loss.  Some are not aware of the mental and physical aspects of losing weight, so I would want to make them fully aware that this is not an easy road ahead, but by committing themselves to the process, they can and will achieve success.

2.  Help them find their inner motivation.  What is motivating them to achieve this weight loss?  Better health?  Do they want to be around longer for their kids and family?  Maybe an event like a wedding, reunion or vacation is coming up and they want to look and feel their best.  Finding their inner motivation will not only help them focus to their commitment to weight loss, it will also help them weed out the negativity in their life.  It will surprise a lot how unsupportive some friends and family members will be.   With their inner motivation they will be able to shrug off those people and comments, and know that that's their own insecurities and to not let them affect their own goals.  Which brings me to #3.

3.  Help them make S.M.A.R.T. goals with their weight loss.  They will be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time oriented.  How much weight are they looking to lose?  How long will it take?  What changes will they be able to allow in their lives to make it possible?  Having long and short term goals, and even writing them down, will help them on their weight loss journey, and will help them change their lifestyle and not just "diet".

4.  Have them start eating and enjoying more healthier foods.  Honestly, a lot of times, there are foods that are healthy for them they've never even tried!  Healthy doesn't mean bland, boring food!  There is a wide varieties of things that can be prepared and enjoyed that I truly feel they would be surprised with.  I would add one more specific thing to this strategy - meal planning.  When you take a little bit of time just once a week to sit down and figure out what you will eat for your meals in the upcoming week, not only will it save on calories and get your eating the right foods, it can also be a money saver, and an extra bonus in changing your lifestyle.

5. Get moving, and stay moving!  When I personally hear the excuses of "no time" for exercise, I have to ask that person, what is so important in your life that you've put your own health at risk for it?  If you are not healthy and active, you won't be around for those things that you made more of priority than your own health and well-being.  Whether work, kids, functions, events, if you don't take time for yourself to improve on your health, you won't have the ability to keep up with it all, and your health, mental state and physical abilities to do all that you do will become less and less, and your quality of life will be poor.  There are a number of ways to keep active that don't involve going to the gym and working out for X-amount of time a day.  I would show my clients the possibilities that fit into their current lifestyle and responsibilities.

6.  Help them change their perspective on losing weight and getting healthy.  So many times people give up because they want to see instant results on the scale.  A lot of times they are gaining muscle mass, or maybe that week they are retaining water more than normal, and sometimes they just aren't being truthful with themselves about what they are doing.  Many of the changes can be seen in their bloodwork and lab results.  They have to remember that is something that is changing almost every aspect of their lives, so it's not easy, and it's not an instant change.  Celebrating your successes is KEY!  Maybe the stuck with their exercise plan that week, or maybe they planned their dinners and kept to it.  These are great successes in the long term goal of not only losing weight, but having the tools in place to keep it off.

When it comes to my client, I would try to stay actively involved with their weight loss as well.  Maybe suggest a website such as www.FitDay.com to help them keep track of their calories, exercise, moods and be able to keep a journal for themselves to vent or praise themselves, or have them email me and touch base with them directly.  I honestly feel that people can achieve great success in weight loss and maintenance when they have a great support system in place.


References;

Mayo Clinic Staff (December 18, 2010) Weight loss: 6 strategies for success.  Retrieved 10/10/2011 from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/weight-loss/HQ01625

Thursday, September 22, 2011

You Need to Watch This!

If you haven't seen this 2011 documentary, I highly encourage you to do so.  Forks Over Knives is an amazing documentary with wonderful studies and comparisons over the past 100 years on how the newly adapted "Western Diet" is linked to the increase in cancers, diabetes, heart disease and other chronic and life threatening diseases.

The hubs and I watched it on Netflix this past week, and it's a real eye opener on how what we put in our bodies can either have a positive or negative effect on our health and well-being.  To this day, it amazes me that there is all this information out there, yet people still live to eat instead of eating to LIVE!!

Why is it we don't change our diets until something happens to us.  So many people not only avoid the truth about foods, they are in denial themselves about what they put in their bodies, and how they themselves are partial responsible for the diseases being able to rule their life.  

This documentary, as well as a documentary I reviewed last year called Food Matters, are definitely something I feel every American needs to watch.  Both stress an d repeat Hippocrates quote - "Let Thy Food Be Thy Medicine".  Is yours?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Happy 1/2 Year to my Dylanbug!

6 months old <3
I cannot believe 6 months has already passed. Who would have thought that lively cute face you see before you was in the NICU for 5 weeks. Dylan was born on February 25th of this year by emergency c-section after I went into the hospital to check on him since I had not felt him move all day. If I would have went to bed that night, the smile you see before you would have never graced this earth. My placenta had detached from the womb and he was being asphyxiated.  He was delivered 3 1/2 weeks early, and was hooked up to a cooling bed, along with a nitric oxide/oxygen therapy to slow down his functions and help him breath, putting him into a state of suspension to minimize any brain damage.  5 weeks later, we were able to take him home, and he's been one of the biggest joys in his dad's and my life.

He's eating new foods, trying to crawl and learning to sit up.  He can babble nonstop, has the most contagious belly laugh and has the best facial expressions.  Plus, I just find him to be handsome as all get out!  He's truly made great strides over the weeks and months.

Happy 1/2 Year Birthday Buggy!!!
February 25, 2011



Sunday, August 7, 2011

Diabetic Ketoacidosis - Knowledge is Power

Diabetic Ketoacidosis is something that can occur when there is low or no insulin for the body to break down sugar for fuel and instead, the body will begin to break down body fat, and the results are severe.   Many of you that  know me, know I myself and diabetic, and there have been differences of opinions with physicians and medical professionals on whether I am a type 1 (no insulin production) or a type 2 (low insulin production due to weight/diet).  Either way, when I was pregnant this last winter/spring, I was hospitalized for gastroenteritis and ketoacidosis.  I was hospitalized and monitored for a few days in the hospital, and it wasn't pretty and something I hope I never suffer from again.

Symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis range from light to severe.  One is constant thirst and frequent urination. Another is fatigue, headaches, muscle stiffness, trouble breathing when lying down. These are common symptoms, also found in diabetics that goes undetected, as it's something that is shrugged off easily.  In my case I was pregnant!!  Why would I think anything was wrong?  Are these all things that most pregnant women complain about?

I finally went to the hospital because I was vomiting even after drinking water.  Nothing was held down, and even though I looked flushed, I really wasn't holding any type of fever.  At first we thought it might be food poisoning, but after blood and urine testing, it was clear ketoacidosis was the issue.  I was in there for 4 days as they pumped my body intravenously with fluids, as I continued to vomit the grey/black broken down body fat, because I hadn't eaten anything in days until my body finally reached a moment of homeostasis and I was able to keep food down and process it, instead of regurgitating it.  It was not a pretty picture, and you feel so helpless, because there is nothing you can do.  The scary thing about this too is, if not treated properly, the mental stupor it can put you in can lead into a coma.  I slept for almost the entire time I was hospitalized, but thankfully I never slipped into one.  Keep in mind, I was going through all this while 7 months pregnant, and less than a month later is when the placenta broke away from my uterine wall and caused Dylan to asphyxiate in the womb, leading to an emergency c-section and him being in the NICU for 5 weeks.

And, for the most part, I was doing everything right.  Taking my insulin, trying to watch what I ate, but treating diabetes isn't an exact science.  Sure there are things we are all told to do, how to do them, but there are days our bodies have their own plan that goes against everything we've been educated and trained to do in dealing with diabetes.

Read more on Diabetic Ketoacidosis on Yahoo Health.

For more information on the warning signs of diabetes, visit the American Diabetes Association.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Colorado - The "Thinnest" State

That's right!  Colorado has been named the "thinnest" state in the United States according to a survey done in 2010.  What are some of the factors that helped them achieve this status?  Let's take a look:

1. They implemented a physical activity and nutrition plan for their state, providing education and programming toward a healthy lifestyle.

2.  Advertising farmers markets over fast food.

3.  Help create a culture of hikers over video gamers.

4.  Encouraging local restaurants to provide healthy choice menu items.

Read about this state's determination to get their state healthy, through pushing people to use the resources around their breathtaking state in order to live and lead a more healthy, active lifestyle, and kick obesity in the tuckus!!!







Wednesday, August 3, 2011

How Do YOU Hydrate??


According to a new report from the CDC, nearly 6,000 people will go to the emergency room this summer for heat illnesses related to sports and exercise. Dehydration is a major culprit of these ER visits, and it's also easily preventable.

The Huffington Post spoke to top nutritionists to find out the best and worst ways to hydrate if you're planning on outdoor exercise. Of course, the number one choice is plain water -- their experts recommend aiming for 20 ounces two hours before a workout --but if you're looking to mix things up a bit, here are some good options, along with some ones to avoid.

Good Choices:
Coconut Water
Infused Water
Caffeinated Drinks (coffee/tea only)
Fruits
Chocolate Milk
Vegetables
Sports Drinks

Bad Choices:
Soda
Alcohol
Energy Drinks
Seltzer
Super Cold Drinks

So tell me, do you agree or disagree with their choices?  Why or why not?  I would love to hear your input.  Please be sure to read the article and go through the slides and see why they choose what they did for these lists before answering.

SUMMER SAFETY & HAPPY HYDRATION!!!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Motivation Monday - What if You Wore What You Weigh?

I finally had some time this morning to sit down and read some of the blogs of my favorite people.  July was a crazy busy month, so to have this first of the month to relax, have some coffee, and I as I scrolled through my reader, this post hit me hard.

What would your shirt say?
Over at Team Giles, my online friend Lauren posted What if you wore your weight?  As I read through it, my eyes starting tearing up, as they are now just telling all of you about it.  I cannot imagine wearing my weight over 10 years ago.  I was ashamed and self-loathing.  Even know, the postpartum depression of having to start over can get to me, but I'm still over 60 lbs less after having Dylan than I was after having Liam.

I truly believe from my own experiences that we cannot achieve unless we believe!  If we are stuck in a rut of beating ourselves up, and not allowing ourselves to love who we are, we will never achieve the level of health and weight we hope to accomplish.  It truly is mind over matter when it comes to ability to get where we want to be in life.

Yes, it's true we are more than just a number on a scale, but what does that number represent to you?  What hidden secrets, shameful practices, or untruths are you telling yourself to give an excuse to not being where you want to be?  Make sure to check out Lauren's post, and tell her Cher sent you!!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

When You're Ready - BODYROCK.tv

Courtesy of www.BODYROCK.tv

Looking for something that is going to challenge you like no other?  I was introduced to this site from Josie of YumYucky on one of her Facebook posts a while back, and after going through this website... all I have to say is OMG!!!

These workouts are INTENSE!!!  No wonder they all have amazing rock hard bodies!  Their focus is working out and exercising at home.  Not only is there great advice on their website, but they also have a YouTube channel with great videos showing you the moves.  There is diet and nutrition tips and they have unique workouts for equipment like the Dip Station and the Sandbag, that helps in weight training and resistance.

Here is their latest video with trainer Zuzana: "300 Reps of Brutality" - think the name says it all!!



I'm looking forward to exploring more on this site, as after trying to get back into a workout routine, these are just a tad too intense for my fitness level right now, but there are great posts on their page with different ideas for exercises and getting fit!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

New Website Name

So, after a few years, I finally decided to name my blog and put a domain name behind it.  I really want to focus on my interest in health and fitness, losing weight, dealing with diabetes, eating right, being in the right mindset and loving ourselves, as well as discussing the latest "fad" diets and crazy things people do that they actually think are healthy for them.  I'm a very open person, so comments, opinions and suggestions will never be deleted, unless of course the infamous online "drama" begins with name calling, pointing fingers, etc.  I want healthy, informative, educational comments if someone is in disagreement.  Add a link to an article on where you got your idea if it's something to be debated.

What I'm trying to get to is that it's all about being educated.  Educated in how to maintain HEALTH!  Whether through food, fitness, classes, professional help, etc., it all comes down to US!!

I'm open to any ideas in regards to how to design an appropriate header for my blog!  Any suggestions, resources, templates would be awesome!

Have a great day!!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Mid Summer Exhaustion

Well, my first born left this weekend to head back to his dad's for football.  It was a fast 5 weeks, but we had so much fun with going to Lagoon Amusement Park (video), going bowling, parties and get togethers, the Rockies Diner Food Challenge (video), the Boise Zoo, the Mayhem Festival and getting our fill of horror movies!!  It was great to see my 13 yr. old bond with his 4 month old brother.  Precious Mommy Memories! :)

Of course with having a teenager in the house, there were plenty of snacks that normally aren't in my home.  He can be a bottomless pit if I let him, and having those things in my home were a terrible temptation for me.  Although I've lost roughly 7 lbs since the birth of my youngest, it's a daily struggle, especially with school going on and starting my own business over at Just Jewelry by Cheryl.  (ha!  got my own plug in!)  Life has been a whirlwind of activities, and it never seems to end.

Being a stay at home, work at home, school at home mom and wife is challenging, but I wouldn't change it for the world.  Sure things get off track and things can get overlooked, but in the end, it's all worth it.  Shopping, order taking, phone calls, school work, exams, feedings, playtime, shipping jewelry, juggling the finances, there are certainly times I seem overwhelmed and exhausted.

Here's the thing though.  Sleep has not been my friend.  As tired as I get, when everyone is in bed, it finally feels like "me" time.  Times like this, where I can finally update my personal blog, instead of my business site and pages.  As much as I want to lie down and go to sleep, my mind is going in so many directions, it's hard to calm down and actually SLEEP!!!


All in all, I'm slowly making strides in providing myself a schedule.  Only working on business & school stuff while the baby sleeps, and doing my running around and playtime of course while he's awake.  Sometimes I feel bad for my hubby, because when he gets home after a 12 hr day on base (USAF), all I want to do is pass my son over and nap.  Sometimes, it happens without warning, and I've actually had days where after he gets home, my body just collapses into sleep mode from not being able to continue.  I know a lot has to do with my eating habits, as I have to start MAKING TIME TO EAT!  Funny how when life gets so busy, 2pm rolls up on you and you realize that all you've had all day was a couple cups of coffee.  Definitely not winning in the health and weight loss division of my life there.

Anyway, I have to find more "me time".  As I tweak my daily and weekly schedule, I have to put in my Outlook (along with seminars, appointments, outings,etc.) what times I'm going to work out.  Heck, even set reminders for myself.. EAT BREAKFAST!  LOL  It sounds sad, but I have to keep my body fueled to work for me and not against me like it has been doing lately.  And of course, get proper sleep (where I'm actually heading to attempt after posting this.)

Well, this has definitely been one of my longer personal posts in a while, but I had to get it all out.  Not only out of my head, but also as a reaffirmation of what my personal goals are:

  • Lose 30 lbs by November (reasonable)
  • Drink more water and slowly cut out soda
  • Quit smoking (this has been by far my hardest struggle with all the stress)
  • Maintain my "A" average in college
  • Have my business open house in August and go from just online sales and include home party sales to increase income for my family.
None of these are unattainable.  They are very reasonable goals, but my enemy has been my own self.  Time to stop wishing and start DOING!

Have a great week all!!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Losing the Baby Weight

No, those are not my feet!  LOL
It's been a struggle since Dylan came home, and after my surgery, to get back on track with eating right, working out, getting my "fit" on. Of course, those that know my life, probably feel I have valid reasons in not being able to find the time to do it. While the demands of motherhood, school work and starting up my own business, as well as all my other wifely duties, do tend to have a hold on my time, the time I haven't found in working out and eating right are nobody's fault but my own.

I could say that my baby boy distracts me, but then again, I have a gym membership where daycare is included, so that wipes that out.  I could say that I have all this homework to do, and can't find the time, but all that means is I suck at listing my priorities and keeping to time management of all that is needed to be done.

Lastly, I think a lot has to do with self image.  I struggled so hard to get down to a weight I was semi-happy with, and this pregnancy erased the last 3 years of that struggle to get the last 30 off.  Now I feel like back at square one, with no clothes that fit, and no desire to go out and buy "bigger" sizes to accommodate this new fuller figure.  Like the picture shows, I've always defined myself by what number I saw on the scale, and I need to remind myself over and over again that I am MORE than just that number.

Along with all the other priorities in my life, my weight and my health needs to be one of them.  I'm slipping back into the "do for everyone else" mode, where I cater to everyone BUT myself.  When it comes to my weight and health, I need to take charge of it again, and find the strength, happiness and confidence I once felt.

If there's any advice anyone would like to give, I'm more than willing to listen.  I need something to get me out of this mommy funk!!

Then I see these two boys, and it reminds me why I need to get back on track:


Monday, June 20, 2011

Reasons to Get Your "Run" On!

How many times have you been to the gym and watched people walking away their time on treadmills? True, walking can be a great start in building cardiovascular strength, weight loss, and overall health & fitness, but, after reaching weight loss plateaus or struggling with endurance with other moderate exercises, why aren't you running?

Running can burn up to 50% MORE than walking the same distance. This is because in walking, our legs don't bend as much, and we are at a low center of gravity. Meaning, your are basically staying ground level. When you run, you are in a sense "jumping" from one leg to another, and that raises our center of gravity, adding more weight resistance, thereby burning more calories.

What's the Burn? A Calorie Calculator
You can use the formulas below to determine your calorie-burn while running and walking. The "Net Calorie Burn" measures calories burned, minus basal metabolism. Scientists consider this the best way to evaluate the actual calorie-burn of any exercise. The walking formulas apply to speeds of 3 to 4 mph. At 5 mph and faster, walking burns more calories than running.
Your Total Calorie Burn/Mile
Your Net Calorie Burn/Mile
Running
.75 x your weight (in lbs.)
.63 x your weight
Walking
.53 x your weight

.30 x your weight

Adapted from "Energy Expenditure of Walking and Running," Medicine & Science in Sport & Exercise, Cameron et al, Dec. 2004.


The American College of Sports Medicine also reports that long distance runners have higher HDL (good cholestrol) levels and decreased triglycerides and over all body fat. Also, there was a 50% reduction in high blood pressure.

By all means, I'm not trying to tell you ONLY run! Because of health or physical problems, running might not be an option for some. I myself have a tendency to get shin splints if I push myself too much running, walking, or doing by cardio classes. I'm just offering up an option to those that continuously just walk on treadmills, not mixing it up, and complaining the scale isn't changing it's number!

References:
Runner's World
MedicineNet.com

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Get Nutty for June - National Nutrition Month


Just Jewelry is honored to partner with the Nobel Prize winning relief group Doctors Without Boarders in its mission to save children from malnutrition though the distribution of a revolutionary product called "Plumpy'nut". This ready-to-eat, vitamin enriched nutritional supplement can mean the difference between life and death for a young child.

Pick up the "Faith, Hope, Love" adjustable bangle bracelet today for just $15 (Item B-7056) .

Contact me today to order yours, and help provide nutrition to those in need!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Negativity Police

Is your inner voice a trash-talker? If you've tried and failed to reach your fitness goals in the past, negative thoughts might have been what held you back. Want to succeed this time? Get your journal (or log on to your online Fitness Diary). It's time to get some of those thoughts out of your head and onto paper. Ask yourself the following questions:

1. Do you have a negative self-image?

Do you constantly say things like "I'm fat" or "I'm ugly"? Do you pick yourself apart and beat yourself up when you look in the mirror?

2. Do you lack self-confidence?

Do you doubt your ability to achieve your goals, weight-related or otherwise? Do you dwell on your perceived limits or fears? Do you doubt your ability to accomplish the things you want to accomplish?

3. Do you feel powerless?

Do you feel as if you have no control over your life, or do you rely on excuses like "I'm genetically predisposed to being overweight"?

4. Do you label yourself in self-deprecating ways?

Do you think and talk about your failure to lose weight as a foregone conclusion? Do you refer to yourself mockingly (or not!) as a stereotype — the happy/funny fat person in the room? Is your e-mail address "fatso@blank.com"?

Now think about your responses. How would you describe the tone of your answers? Are they affirming and constructive, or downbeat and destructive? Want to turn your thinking around? The following question will help you understand why you have been propagating these destructive thoughts and behaviors so that we can cut them out at the root.

5. How is this negativity hurting you?

Is what you say about yourself really the truth? Or is it a defense mechanism? And if so, against what? Are you just making complicated excuses? How does this kind of negativity help you achieve your goals? The answers to these questions should help you start to see what's at the root of your negative thinking.

Now go back and answer the five questions again, and force yourself to use only positive terms. It can be hard to let go of these negative thought patterns. Often, they're the result of years of self-loathing and your internalizing of the negative opinions and judgments of others, but you can do it. Remember, knowledge is power. Next time one of those negative thoughts crops up, you'll have the awareness to cut it down.

JILLIAN'S TIP OF THE DAY
Having Fans Never Hurts
Once you turn your negatives into positives, you might just become your own biggest fan! But having a network of people who genuinely want to see you happy and successful is also essential. The key is to find people who are supportive without being asked. Whether it's your mom, one of your kids, or your best friend, the encouraging and steady presence in your life can bring strength and courage when you need it most.

-Original post from daily email sent 7/23/08 from www.jillianmichaels.com


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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Healthy BBQ - An Oxymoron?

When we think of summer BBQ's, most think of hamburgers and hot dogs or ribs lathered in thick tasty sauces. Picnic tables filled with pasta and potato salads, baked beans, and all the other yummy things that make your mouth just water thinking about it.

How can you keep that great BBQ feeling and taste throughout the summer without expanding your waistband? Here's a couple tips for your summer fun.

The great thing about cooking outdoors and having BBQ's with friends and family is that you can plan it out, and keep things low calorie, healthy, as well as delicious for everyone. The main key is staying away from the heavy sauces, which add a boatload of calories and sugar. Most people don't think of sugar when they think of BBQ sauce, but it's a main ingredient, especially those that are ketchup based, as well as sugar packed Worcestershire sauce. You can find a great free BBQ sauce recipe by clicking here. Again, planning and preparing your own foods and sauces can be the difference of thousands of calories consumed over summer.

Another great way to eat healthy is kebabs! When you create your own kebabs, not only can you choose that goes on them, they are a great food tool when it comes to portion control! Fresh meats, veggies, fish, even tofu and fruits can be added to any kebab. Click here for a couple great kebab ideas for your outing.

There are great recipes and information out there for planning healthy summertime meals for you and your guests. For more great ideas, visit the Integrative Nutrition Blog and their 100 Recipes for a Healthy Summer. It's all in the planning! That way, if you allow yourself that "free day" to indulge, you won't have to have the helping of guilt to go along with it!

I hope you and yours have a happy, healthy summer, and take time this weekend to honor and remember those that have fought and died for our nation.


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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Getting Green Tea into My Diet

One of my favorite bloggers, Josie, from Yum Yucky, made a post today regarding loving a new green tea she's tried and if it was possible to overdose! Ha! Love that woman! But, since I've heard so much about green tea, I decided to look up the health benefits from it, and came across the article, Green Tea Benefits - 16 Things That Make Miracles Possible. I urge you to check out the entire page for all the study information, as well as what other people have claimed what drinking green tea has done for them. Here's the breakdown of the 16 Benefits from the article:

- Act as antioxidants
- Burn fat, exercise longer
- Prolong life
- Prevent and treat cancers
- Soothe stress, boost brain power
- Rejuvenate body, protect it from heart attacks & strokes
- Improve heart health
- Reduce high blood pressure
- Prevent and treat diabetes
- Treat inflammation
- Protect lung from smoking
- Protect liver from alcohol
- Prevent tooth decay, cure bad breath
- Build bone
- Boost immunity, fight off flu & cold
- Rehydrate

This article is well put together, with TONS of links regarding every one of these topics and more. As a diabetic with plaque build up in my arteries, this is definitely something that I have to acquire a taste for!

Are YOU a green tea'er?? Let me know your favorite brands, and whether or not you like it hot or cold. There is one part in this article that says adding milk cuts all these wonderful benefits by 90%!!! Guess y'all better stay away from the milk! haha!

Well, I go in for my surgery tomorrow. Getting those pesky tubes tied, since having another child would basically be one step closer to death for me! Not good! HA! Hope everyone has a great week! *hugs*


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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Couponing Craze

Ever since TLC put out their new show "Extreme Couponing", people have jumped on the bandwagon full throttle, while others have been left in awe and confusion. For myself personally, it's great that these people are serious about their couponing, but when in fact, most coupons are for foods that have a long shelf-life, and in turn, are not very high on the list of healthy foods. For household products, toiletries and pet products, it can be great! All in all though, couponing can really save you money if you invest the time.

Many of you, like myself, may not have the room and storage space to be the couponing hoarders that the people on that show are, but here are a few tips and tricks I learned in my couponing that has helped me to coupon for myself and my family:

1. Find a Couponing Class - The hubby and I found a free couponing class that one of the local women puts on every month. The local newspaper actually pays her to give the class, and in turn, she sells subscriptions to the newspaper after the class is over. Take the time to look for these types of classes. You can get them FREE!! I've seen some advertisements where people charge up to $25 for you to attend a 2 hour class. For me, isn't that just counteracting the fact you are trying to SAVE money? Do some searches for local bloggers that coupon and you might find these classes as well.

2. Find Coupons for What You Need/Like - If you are a shopper that enjoys certain things, get coupons specifically for those items. A great way to do this is through Facebook or through the product's website. For instance, we go through Coffeemate creamer like crazy. Well, their website constantly has coupons for their product. Also, if the product has their own Facebook page, you can look down their left column list on their page and look for special offers. It's quick and easy, and you don't have to wait for the paper or an online couponing site to have what you like.

3. Be Patient - If you do clip coupons on Sundays, don't feel the need to use those coupons THAT weeks shopping trip. Sales usually have a 12 week cycle, so unless the coupon is going to expire that week, wait a little, and you might see a buy one, get one free sale on the product, or there might be a double or triple coupon sale coming up. You can get the most out of your coupons this way.

4. Use the Internet - There is a mountain of couponing information online. Not just for online coupons, but there are even bloggers like Coupon Divas or CouponMom.com that not only have links to coupons, they have posts and databases that will show you exactly what items at what stores are the best deals, and even how to get items for FREE! You don't have to be a mathematician to coupon, these types of websites do it all for you and freely give the information!

5. Food Co-ops - Look for food co-ops in your area that might have food deals. One program out here is called Bountiful Baskets. You can get a great mix of fruits and veggies for half of what it costs at the grocery store. Click here to see what I got in my basket one time for only $15!

Couponing can be fun and it definitely is a rush when you are at the register and watch your planning and couponing strategies lower that total due, but unless you want stock piles of items that take up your basement, garage, spare bedroom, or stuff crap under your kids beds, you CAN adjust couponing to meet your own family's needs. I know for me and my little family, even getting over $100 worth of meat for $60, or a couple months worth of toiletries for $20 is worth it. It may not be "extreme", but for our needs, it's still having us a lot of money each month, and those savings add up.

And to end this little couponing journey... remember that you don't need to throw away those unused and expired coupons. You can support your troops overseas by donating them!! The commissaries and BX's on bases abroad will take coupons up to 2 months past the expiration dates. You can visit the Overseas Coupon Program and adopt a base, and start mailing your coupons once a month to them! It's like sending cash overseas!!

Have a great day and happy couponing!!!


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Friday, May 13, 2011

SECRETS REVEALED!!!



DO YOU WANT TO LOSE WEIGHT?

DO YOU WANT TO BE ABLE TO MAINTAIN THAT WEIGHT LOSS?

You wanted it, so here it is!! The weight loss breakthrough we've all been waiting for! You can't find this information anywhere but right here, right now!! I'm about to reveal TWO very important secrets that will not only help you LOSE weight... but KEEP it OFF!!

Ready??

And the secrets are....

DIET and EXERCISE!!!!!!

Seriously folks. Since when are people going to wake up and realize that there is no quick fix to weight loss. There is no pill, no surgery that will help you lose weight, and KEEP it off, unless you learn a proper diet and exercise regimen that turns into a LIFESTYLE for you.

I'm so sick of seeing magazine covers claiming so-in-so-celeb reveals their secrets to weight loss, or for keeping their amazing bodies. Sure there's a plethora of food choices out there, and there's weights, yoga, pilates, dance, etc... but in the end, it's basic DIET AND EXERCISE.

I've seen ladies talk about how they are taking some droplet before meals, and eat only 500 calories a day! Are you serious?? Most nutritionists and doctors will tell you anything under 1200 a day is considered starvation, unless you are under 5 ft! What type of nutrients and fuel do you think your body is getting with only 500 calories?

Then there's surgery. For a quick fix, yeah, sure you can lose weight, but it's because you simply CANNOT eat what a normal person would. Once your stomach is back to normal, then what?

What have you learned about proper nutrition? Have you learned that in order to keep that weight off you will need to eat a balanced diet and exercise, or are you going to take all that money either you, the insurance company or the taxpayers paid for you to get the surgery, only to blow right back up? Or are you going to spend the rest of your life on that starvation diet, because I'm sorry, once you go back to eating "normal" will gain the weight as fast as it came off!

It's a lifestyle change. You don't need to tackle it all at once. Small changes over time will help you get into your grove for LIFE. Not just that Monday you decide to start your "diet" up. Maybe start one week by consciously drinking more water. Maybe sign up for one or two exercise classes at the local Y. Small steps can lead to large rewards. This isn't just about getting to a healthy weight, it's also about maintaining that weight for the rest of your life.

Everyone's different, so different things are going to work for different people. What you enjoy may not be what someone else enjoys in regards to food or how they workout. In the end, however, what they all have in common is that they started paying attention more to what they put into their bodies, and started moving more!

What changes will YOU make? How will/did you start your journey to a healthy lifestyle?

Have a great weekend everyone!!


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Monday, May 9, 2011

Jicama, Zumba & Being a Mama



Above is the offering by the Bountiful Baskets co-op this past Saturday. Every week, there are numerous locations in 12 states that participate in this program. It's only $15! You can upgrade your "basket" to all organic for $10 more, and they even have add-ons of fresh herbs, breads, and specialty items. With it just being me and the hubby right now, we probably only need to grab a basket every 2-3 weeks. This is a lot to go through for us, because you never know each week what you are going to get, but once I get more familiar with incorporating it into our meals, we may been to go every week! $60 a month on fresh fruits and veggies isn't bad at ALL!

Of course, in this basket is something I never had before, and never heard of! JICAMA!! It's part of the legume family, also called a Mexican turnip, and eaten as a vegetable either raw or boiled. Since I was new to this food, I looked up some recipes, and it seems it's very popular to use in salads, slaw or just cut up and eaten raw on it's own. I'm going to try this quick little 10 minute recipe I found, where you just cut it up into french fry type sticks and toss in red pepper and lime juice.



I found out about the co-op through a couponing blog I frequent called CouponTeach. The hubby and I went to a free class last week, and learned a lot. I also "adopted" the Air Force base in Spangdahlem, Germany to send all my unused and expired coupons to through the Overseas Coupon Program. They are able to use expired coupons at their base BX/Commissaries. It's a great program! What is sad to me is that we received our complex newsletter this past weekend, and they are holding a coupon class with some chick that was featured on TLC's Extreme Couponing, but she is charging people $25 a person!! A PERSON!! That's crazy!! There are so many blogs, websites, and free classes out there. I feel sorry for anyone that doesn't do their homework and pays for this knowledge. Granted, it's a great way to learn out to use coupons, and cut your household budget in half, but there's so much information out there and free stuff, it's silly to pay for something when you are trying to save money!

On another note, I'm wanting to start group exercise again. I love my Zumba, but I miss the energy and excitement of a group class. So I found evening classes in Boise and Meridian that would fit into my schedule. Problem is, I emailed both instructors, and neither have gotten back to me on how to register! It's frustrating! I know in the upcoming years when I get my personal trainer license and get certified in Zumba, I will definitely want to be sure to get back to people requesting information about my services!

Lastly, Mother's Day was quiet relaxing. The weather was cold and rainy, so we spent a lazy day around the house. My husband bought me a beautiful sundress and crocheted vest, and I received a lot of cards. My eldest son called me, and I made calls to my mom and sister. It was very low-key and very enjoyable. I'm very blessed to have two of the most handsome and precious boys.

So to wrap things up... how did you spend your Mother's Day? Are there any foods that you were new to, and found great recipes for? How about things that people pay for things that can be found absolutely free? And finally, have you ever requested information on something, only to be ignored?

Well, hope you all have a great week, and thanks for stopping by! Ciao!


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Saturday, May 7, 2011

Getting Back on Track

Life can get crazy, and now that Dylan's been home a month, it has seemed like the entire month has been filled up with doctor's appointments between he and I. He went -for his 2 month immunizations, and I went for my postpartum check up. I also went to a cardiologist appointment, because when I had ketoacidosis and gastroenteritis complications in January and was hospitalized, they did an abdomen ultrasound, but in doing so, they found I had minimal plaque build-up in my arteries.

So now at the age of 37 (38 in August) I have coronary artery (heart) disease. It's common in diabetics. Having diabetes has aged my body about 15-20 years. It's a slow killer, and after years of it going untreated, because of no insurance and no money for insulin, it has taken it's toll and rearing it's ugly side effects all over the place.

My cardiologist put me on a baby aspirin regimen, and of course as always, to keep my blood sugars under control through diet, exercise and insulin. To make sure that I'm getting all the extras I need, including more omega-3 fatty acids, CoQ-10, iron, niacin, vitamins & minerals that support a healthy heart on a whole, I've supplemented my diet with GNC Women's Ultra Mega® Heart Vitapak® Program. Even though it may say it's for women over 50, keep in mind what I said about diabetes aging my body. I have to attack these issues head on and keep moving forward, helping my body out the best I know how. Some people think these packs are too expensive, but with the Gold Card price and my military discount, it averages out to less than $1 a day. If I can't spend $1 a day to help keep myself in the best possible health, then I have more problems than just my health.

Our diet at home has changed a lot, as the hubby and I are adding more fruits and vegetables into our diets. Sure, we still have the occasional lazy mean, like a beef/noodle concoction, but we've started eating smaller portions and adding a salad, or a side of fruit. Getting off the junk food and easy prep meals can be hard, but it's still a transition in progress. I'm starting to exercise when I can, and I know it will get easier, the more self-calming the baby gets. I've looked into some Zumba classes, as doing in my living room is getting a bit boring for me. I like the interaction and energy in a group setting. I can still do the basics at home, and our complex has a small gym with weights, treadmill and elliptical if I want to go that route. With the warmer weather, there is the Green Belt here in Boise that is a great trail to walk or run on. I love that this town has so many positives that promote a healthy lifestyle. Can't wait for the Whole Foods to finally open here! Never been near one before! Another added bonus.

I just have to "keep on, keeping on" and do this for myself, my family and be an inspiration for others. I need to get into great shape so that I can go for my personal trainer license and get certified to teach certain exercise classes. I can't wait for things to start coming together. These are my goals, and with school starting back up for me on June 8th, that's another goal that will be reached in time. My bachelors in nutrition science!! I've already been accepted into the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and I'm also a member of KUMSA. They are just extra boosts and motivation as I tackle my college courses.

Well, that's the latest. I have been trying to make it around to my friend's blogs and I have actually caught up, and so glad I did! There is such a plethora of information out there. You just have to go out there, grab it and absorb it!! Have a great weekend, and Happy Mother's Day tomorrow to all that mother and mentor this world! Cheers!!

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