|The season of giving is upon us, and it’s that time of year when you work all week then brave the crowds on the weekends. As you create your list of gifts to pass out on Christmas Day I want you to look and see who is missing. If you notice, the name that is missing most of the time is your own. I want you to change that this year, and put your name on top of that list. Then I want you to think about what gift you could give yourself that would make the biggest impact on your life. Now I know some of you are thinking about new clothes, a day at the spa, or maybe even a new car. All these things are fine, but I want you to think even bigger and deeper; more of an impact on your life. I’m sure by now you have guessed it….the gift of health! Now I’m not talking about a short term weight loss plan; I’m talking about health. Health is a lifestyle and a lifestyle is not short term. You may ask yourself, “Why do I want this as my gift?” I could fill up page after page of reasons why you should, but that won’t help. The reason lies within you already; you just have to find it. The reason may be in the mirror, or the reason maybe the in the little one’s eyes you tuck in at night. Where ever you find your reason just know once you have found it, you are worthy of this great gift. This gift is not for everyone, I wish it was. But, if you decide to take this gift, it will change your life forever! You will find a peace in yourself that you thought was gone. You will be better prepared to handle whatever life throws at you, and you will be in a position to help others with the same gift. No gift under the tree will have more impact than helping someone change their life for the better, and it all starts with the gift inside you first. Have a safe holiday season, and here’s to YOUR GIFT. I’m here to help in whatever way I can!
Yours in health,
Check out this what this everday mom had to say about Life Shotz.
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Tag Archives: healthy pregnancy
For those of you that were missing my blog last week, sorry but I took a few days off and went to New Mexico to visit family. If you get the chance I highly recommend it…gorgeous! The week before I left we talked about doing the small things to make big differences. Well I wanted to give you a glance at how I make these small decisions work for me when I travel, and how they can work for you too. First thing I did was do a little planning. I looked at my flight itinerary to see what time I was departing and landing. Armed with this information I was ready to plan my attack. My plane left around 12:30 so I knew I needed to start with my lunch. I packed some turkey and lettuce, wrapped it in a whole wheat wrap and cut up some cucumber slices (my chips) as a side. I arrived to the airport a little early and found a spot to sit and eat my lunch before going through security. The less you take through the better off you are. This a picture of my lunch(I know; only I would take a picture of my lunch).
Of course I packed some water for lunch, but they will not let you take water through security so only pack what you are going to drink before security. Now once past security you can purchase water at one of the stores, but be ready to pay more than usual (a lot more). It’s worth it though because one of the leading factors of jet lag is dehydration. Also if you’ve ever been stuck on the tar mat you know they don’t usually serve drinks; so be prepared! Also in my little bag of goodies were some almonds, apples, and snack bars. This keeps you from getting hungry during the flight, the dreaded layovers, or those delays I mentioned earlier. I also suggest packing a few more snacks than you think you need. You may end up needing them later, or your new best friend sitting next to you may not have planned as well as you, this way you can help them out (pay-it forward). Now I know there is nothing here you probably don’t know, and that is one of the points I’m trying to make. Most of us know what we should do, but sometimes it’s just easier not to do them. Now I’m not going to say that I went on vacation and did not indulge with some of my meals. But the time and place was up to me and not some someone else. To take care of those indulges I incorporated exercise into my vacation. I went for walks and runs through my father’s neighborhood, and for a my tough workout I went for a 7 mile hike up and down some mountains (felt like more up than down).
You’re on vacation so of course you are going to indulge and that’s part of vacation, but with a little planning and a little exercise while you’re there you can enjoy yourself and not fall short of your health goals.
Coaching Success Story:
I want to brag on my dad for a minute. Last year he lost over 20lbs and has KEPT it off for over a year. Don’t ever think you are too old to make healthy changes!! Go Dad…so proud of you!
We all are looking for THE secret to weight loss and good health. We see fit models on T.V. telling us about a new diet or revolutionary piece of equipment that is going to melt the fat away, or even worse the dreaded diet pill. So we buy it, in hopes that with little or no effort we will look just like the model. But in reality we use the product a few times and the fat doesn’t just melt away like they told you. Frustration sets in; you stop, and end up with a garage full of equipment you don’t use any more. What most of miss as we are running around looking for those magic solutions to our problems, is that the secret to our success lies within ourselves; not on T.V. or in a magazine. That’s right the answer has been there the whole time. We’ve been too busy looking for other people to come up with the solution we forgot to look in the mirror. You know the saying, “If you want to hide something put it in plain sight.” Drum Roll….the secret to your success lies in the decisions you make every day. Those little ones that you think don’t matter. Guess what they ALL matter! That coke you grab instead of water, the piece of cake at the office party, the fast food you pick up because it’s easier than cooking, or skipping a workout. Now these decisions by themselves may not seem like a big deal. Will they harm your health the next day, probably not. But one day in the future all these tiny decisions you made will catch up leaving you unhealthy and unhappy. You will look in the mirror and wonder what happened. There was not one big decision that led to where you are now. If it was that easy, of course you would have made the right BIG decision, this is your health and who would intentionally make a bad decision when it comes to your health? Fortunately all is not lost, there is still time to work on making the right choices and this is where education and some consistent good decision making will come in. Now I’m not going to sit here and say it will always be easy. Life just isn’t that way. But we are talking about your health; this is the most precious commodity you have. No matter how much money or fancy “things” you have, if your health goes you may not be around to enjoy them. Your life is not a sprint it is a marathon, but it’s a great marathon. I want to help you enjoy the journey. If I can help please let me know.
Yours in health,
Slow traffic. Screaming children. A job interview. A crumbling marriage. Any of these could be a stressful situation. We all face stress in our lives, and some days are more stressful than others. Stress can take its toll on our physical and mental health. Learn more about stress and its effects by taking this multiple-choice quiz.
Now that you had a chance to gauge your stress level here are 4 easy ways to help reduce it.
1. Exercise: Surprise, surprise….yes I recommend exercise! Aerobic exercise or strength training can greatly reduce your stress level. Natural endorphins (feel-good hormones) are released when you exercise. It’s also a time where your brain can focus on something other than your worries. You can get in tune with the movements of your body, your breath, and your muscles.
2. Sleep: One of the most common reasons for stressful behaviors is lack of sleep. I know as moms this can be a great challenge! If you aren’t getting the proper amount of sleep, your body doesn’t have time to recover from the day and therefore can feel tired and sore. This tired and sore feeling can cause physical and mental stress throughout the day, making anxiety more prevalent.
3. Eat right: Another surprise, huh?! If you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed it’s easy to reach for the quickest (which tends to be the fattiest) food. Try to plan ahead by cutting up fresh fruits and vegetables and grilling extra chicken breasts on the weekend to have ready to throw on top of salad or into a wrap. Trust me you will feel so much better eating something healthy, than the greasy, to-go foods. I know personally if I eat badly when I’m stressed, then I feel fat AND stressed….not a good combo :-)!
4. Relax: Many people are so focused on work, family, and other responsibilities that they forget to relax. Relaxation techniques such as meditation and massage therapy have long been known to reduce stress levels. People often forget that relaxing is a part of a healthy lifestyle and by skipping this aspect, people often cause more stress and feel the effects of stress more profoundly. So just BREATHE!
Hope you find these tips helpful. I’m here for you, just let me know what I can do to help!
Yours in health,
If the rapidly approaching school year has you scrambling for tips on how to move your kids to the head of the class, or if you’re looking for ways to increase your own productivity, start by examining your diet. Studies have shown that certain foods act like fuel for our brains by increasing concentration and memory function. Some foods have even been shown to slow down the mind’s natural aging process. Combine these foods with other good habits, like working out and you’ll soon find yourself at the head of the class—at any age.
Spinach. At only 40 calories a cup, a serving of spinach contains almost half your daily requirement of folic acid, an essential nutrient for cell growth, blood production, and preventing memory loss. And spinach is one of the most nutrient-dense foods available—just 1 cup contains all your body’s daily requirements of vitamins A and K, plus most of the folate and manganese you need each day. These nutrients improve brain function and slow down the effects of premature aging by preventing the negative effects of oxidation on the brain.
Smart Tip: Try replacing iceberg lettuce with spinach leaves in your next dinner salad, or add fresh spinach to an omelet.
Oatmeal. As a strong source of insoluble fiber, oatmeal provides a stable energy that helps your brain maintain consistent focus and concentration. Eating oatmeal can also slow down the digestion of starch, reducing the frequent spikes in blood sugar that usually occur after a big meal.
Smart Tip: Avoid the instant flavored packets, which are loaded with sugar, and stick with the plain, slower-cooking kind—it still cooks up in the microwave in just 2 or 3 minutes.
Fish. Many studies have shown that eating oily fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids can boost memory, concentration, and mental acuity. Omega-3 acids also appear to strengthen the brain’s synapses that are directly related to learning and memorization.
Smart Tip: Watch mercury levels when choosing fish, and consider wild salmon, albacore tuna, and mackerel, which all contain omega-3s with minimal environmental contaminants.
Walnuts. Eating just a handful of these nuts every day can prevent the decline of cognitive and motor function, increase brain resiliency, and improve cell functioning. Walnuts are loaded with protein and omega-3 fatty acids that balance the unstable neurotransmitters that can cause depression and other mood swings.
Smart Tip: Sprinkle a handful of chopped walnuts on salads or fill a travel container for a healthy on-the-go snack. You’ll feel full longer, reducing the temptation to binge between meals.
Berries. Many types of berries, especially blueberries and strawberries, contain flavonoids, which have been linked to brain cell growth and improved memory. Berries with the darkest, richest colors offer the most nutritional value. The antioxidants, vitamin C, and anti-inflammatory properties in berries have been shown to preserve brain function and are a factor in the prevention of dementia.
Smart Tip: Sprinkle berries on salads, cereal, or yogurt, or make yourself a fresh berry fruit smoothie.
Yogurt. Widely known as a top calcium source for bone development and strength, yogurt also contains enough protein and carbohydrates in just one serving to keep both the body and the brain energized throughout the day. Yogurt also contains amino acids that encourage the production of neurotransmitters, and enough vitamin B to encourage—along with the protein—the growth of brain tissue while slowing down the aging process.
Smart Tip: Eat yogurt topped with berries for breakfast or lunch, or if you’re having a salad, nix the bottled dressing and make your own by mixing a quarter of a cup of plain nonfat or low-fat yogurt with fresh herbs.
Eggs. These low-calorie, nutrient-dense wonders are rich in protein as well as choline, an important nutrient that helps regulate the brain and nervous system by acting as a messenger between muscles and nerves. If you’ve been avoiding eggs because you’re worried about your cholesterol, take note: Numerous research studies have shown that eating eggs as part of a healthy diet is not a contributing factor to heart disease.
Smart Tip: Enjoy an egg and spinach omelet for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
By Suzy Buglewicz
Yours in health,
A study recently published in the American Society for Clinical Nutrition showed premature births and regular consumption of artificially sweetened soft drinks could be linked. The study, which was commissioned in Denmark, looked at 60,000 pregnant women births and their consumption of diet soft drinks. They discovered that women who had a higher intake of diet soda had a significantly higher risk of delivering their babies preterm. Women who consumed one diet soda a day had an increased risk of around 38%, than woman who had none at all. What’s even scarier is they found that women who had four or more diet sodas per day increased their risk by 80%.
Now this study only links premature births and artificially sweetened sodas, not regular sodas. This would suggest the link lies in the commonly used artificial sweeteners in soft drinks and not with sugar. Aspartame and saccharin are the artificial sweeteners that are typically used in soft drinks to make them taste sweet, but aspartame seems to be the most popular. I don’t think it would be much of a stretch to say foods that are sweetened with these artificial sweeteners can’t be much healthier. What do you think? Alarming is the ability aspartame has to break down in the body to other toxic compounds like formaldehyde (put into dead bodies) and formic acid. The recommendation has always been that consuming these artificial sweeteners in moderation during pregnancy was acceptable, but I think this new study may prove otherwise. So, if this study has you looking for a healthier alternative, you can’t go wrong with good old fashioned water sweetened with a splash of cranberry juice. And now for those of us who are saying, “I’m not pregnant, nor do I plan on getting pregnant,” you’re not out of the woods either. If these artificial sweeteners are actually causing premature births, what effects do you think they are having on your health? Something to think about!
Yours in health,
My First Tri
If you follow Colleen on FaceBook , you might already know that she competed and won her division in Eglin’s My First Tri this past weekend. I tell you for the most part because I’m very proud of her; not because she won, but because she again this year inspired other people to challenge themselves. Then she went a step further and showed them how with a little planning and some hard work (the two words no one likes) they could meet this challenge and complete it. I believe there is no greater gift than to help others reach their potential; this is where I feel Colleen excels at her job. I feel lucky, because I get an inside look at something most people don’t: Colleen’s dedication to herself and to her clients. She takes this responsibility very seriously and it shows. She is always reading her fitness journals or surfing the internet to make sure she knows the latest trends and studies in fitness. If you ever decide to take on a challenge such as improving your health, or maybe even a triathlon, you should consider yourself very lucky if you have a person like Colleen in your corner. I know I feel very lucky to have Colleen in my corner for life!
Something else I would like to touch on is taking the right message out of a tragedy. While in the running portion of My First Tri a women collapsed and ended up passing away. Emergency personnel were there almost immediately, and the hospital was right there on base. I’m sure when she got up that morning dying was the last thing on her mind. Now of course I feel for the family and friends, but then I saw her obituary picture in the paper. It was taken about 5 minutes before she collapsed, and she had a smile from ear to ear. Then you hear the naysayers in the “Spout Offs” in the newspaper saying that, “It’s safer to sit on the couch and do nothing,” and this may be true. But these people are missing the point to life. It’s not about sitting on the couch and being safe, it’s about doing your best and getting the most out of the limited time we all have here on earth. The real tragedy would have been if she had passed away not living, but just existing.
Tonight as your head hits the pillow I want you to do two things. First, say a prayer for the women that passed away, and second, ask yourself, “Am I living, or just existing?” The only person that can truly answer this question is you.
Yours in Health,
Colleen and I just released www.FreePreNatalVideos.com this week. It’s a series of 30 minute exercise videos designed for pregnant women. They were done in our home gym, unlike New Mommy Makeover, but they are free. Pass this invaluable information along to anyone you know that is pregnant!