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“The key is not to prioritize what's on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”
-Stephen R. Covey

Friday, June 25, 2010

Interval Training

Lately I have been trying to get my workout in before my husband leaves for work. But on the days when he has to leave by 6:45am, my poor sleep deprived pregnant body can't/refuses to get up by 5:30am. Instead I will do some cardio and strength intervals at home in my front room while the little one is still asleep. Although I did do one the other day when she was awake and she found it very entertaining. She especially loved the jump rope which made things a little tricky for me. She was actually a great personal trainer because she never wanted me to stop jump roping.

Here is an interval you can do with minimal equipment. I really am a fan of this kind of workout because you can get both the cardio and strength going at the same time.

Knee Slaps Abdominal Exercise

I seem to get the most questions about what ab exercises are best. I don't claim to have the secret but I know there is much more beyond the basic crunch. Give these a try and see what you think...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

30 Day Fitness Challenge--Week 4

Week 4

anyone still with me?..

If not it is never too late to start over.

Your last and final week will look like your week 2 plan, except you will keep the cardio minutes at 60 min per session.

Click here for the week 2 plan-

I realize I didn't do a weekend workout for week 2 so here it is-

If possible do this outside. Create a walking/running course that is 3 miles long. If outside isn't a possibility you can do this on a treadmill. You are going to walk/run this course and time yourself from start to finish. Before you start do a 5 minute warm-up and be sure to cool-down adn stretch after you finish.

If 3 miles isn't a challenge for you then make it a 5 mile course.

Challenge yourself to do this course again in 6 weeks with the goal to do it in a faster time (Don't let this me the end of your own personal fitness challenge).

And don't forget to keep up with the nutrition challenges...
1. Fruits and Veggies- Get 9 servings in one day (click here for helpful tips)

2. Au Natural- Same as last week...no refined carbs or artificial sweeteners for 1 day (hopefully by now you are starting to do this more than one day a week)

3. Healthy Start- For 2 mornings this week be sure to get a breakfast that includes both whole grains and healthy protein. (if you haven't tried the whole grain waffle recipe I posted earlier you should definitely give it a try...delicious. Especially topped with all the fresh berries that are inseason right now).

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Exercise with the Kiddos...

I love this article about circuit training with children. This is a perfect way to make physical activity fun!
The kids will love the activities and they will love that Mom and/or Dad are doing them too.
Plus if you don't have time to squeeze in your workout this is a great way to get some exercise while playing with the kids.

Family Fun: Circuit Training #1
By kristen_deleo

Last week I wrote about the concept of circuit training and how simple it is to do at home with your family. (See Family Circuit Training [1].) From an exercise science point of view, the benefit of circuit training is the ability to get your cardiovascular and strength training done in one shot. But from the point of view of an experienced children's fitness instructor, the benefit of circuit training is the ability to keep kids entertained with an ever-changing array of equipment and activity at each station.All of the family circuits presented here will include stations simply labeled “Cardio,” “Muscle,” and “Fun.” The “Fun” stations will often focus on coordination and balance, but sometimes they may just be good, old-fashioned fun.Here’s what you’ll need for

Family Circuit #1:
Paper plates or orange cones
Jump ropes (one child size, one adult)
Canned food
Plastic Bouncy Ball
Beach Towel or exercise mat
Bubble wrap cut into a large square

Set up your circuit stations wherever you have the most space in your home. It may be the family room, the garage, or even the backyard. Warm-up together as a family for five minutes. This may be as simple as walking around the block. But if you have one of those kids who loves the spotlight, let him or her lead the family in a short warm-up to music. Next the family disperses to the stations.

Station #1 Cardio
Jump rope:
This station will need the most room.

Station #2 Muscle
Bicep curls: Use the canned food as hand weights for the kids. Parents may want to substitute the cans with heavier hand weights at this station. It’s important to emphasize proper form for the bicep curls. Older kids will invariably say the canned food is too light. The point is for them to learn proper form first (shoulders back, abs tight, knees slightly bent) to prepare them for heavier weights.

Station #3 Cardio/Muscle
Ball Hop
: Using your adductor muscles (inner thigh), squeeze a ball between your knees as you hop to the rhythm of the music.

Station #4 Cardio/Muscle
Boxing: Let the little ones get their aggression out with jabs and upper cuts (not on each other!). Keep your heart rate up by staying “light on your feet,” rocking side to side. Kids love to punch targets. Ideally there would be a parent available at this station to hold a pillow as a target. (For extra fun, you can purchase inflatable clowns that are weighted at the bottom. They make excellent targets.)

Station #5 Muscle
The Plank: Kids like this exercise because of its analogy to pirates “walking the plank.” Lie face down on a towel or mat, with your arms bent at the elbows, palms down. Curl your toes under and lift your entire body about one inch off the floor so that your toes and forearms are supporting your weight. This exercise engages a multitude of muscles in the body. Keep your body aligned, straight as a plank. (See photo.) For kids, I use the cue, “No stinkbugs!” to remind them to keep their rear from rising up. Also, you’d be surprised how easy it is to forget to breathe during this exercise. Both kids and adults need to be reminded to inhale and exhale.

Station #6 Cardio/Fun
The Pop!:
As you’re well aware, kids love to make noise. At this station you can jump, stomp, or dance on the square of bubble wrap to pop your way to a good workout. Yep, it’s fun. You might need a back-up piece.

A good length of time at each station is about 30 seconds. Family members can take turns being in charge of watching the clock and yelling “Next station!” If space permits you can increase your number of stations by adding a “free” station between each regular station. A free station doesn’t require any equipment and remains the same through out the circuit. For example, if the family chooses jogging in place as the free station, each participant would jog in place every time before moving on to the next established station. You can mark the free station with an orange cone or a paper plate. The kids can use markers to write “jog in place” on the plate. Other ideas for free stations include jumping jacks, and dances like The Twist or Macarena.

Repeat the circuit until you get in a good twenty minutes of activity. Fun music will help you and your kids to stay motivated. Finish with a five-minute cool down and stretch.

As a mom, I realize circumstances don’t always allow you to accomplish everything you have planned. In reality, you may not have the time, space, or energy to create the perfect family circuit. Remember that any activity is better than no activity. So leave out a couple stations or improvise if needed. The goal is to establish healthy habits for your family by allocating time to move and sweat together.
Check back in the coming weeks for Family Circuit #2.
Source URL: http://www.healthnews.com/blogs/kristen-deleo/fitness-exercise/family-fun-circuit-training-1-3816.html

Healthy Lemony Green Beans

I often forget to put much thought into the veggie side dishes I make. I will prepare the main dish and then just steam some beans and broccoli and throw them on the table. Lately my little one has become more picky and will leave the veggies on her plate (unless I give her some ketchup to dip them in...totally gross I know). I guess it is time for me to get more creative and teach her that veggies are yummy. My husband will probably appreciate it too. I like this twist on the green bean from CookingLight.com-

Here are some variations to make them even more kid and adult friendly-

Lemony Green Beans

This wonderfully adaptable recipe will become a go-to side dish that works alongside fish, chicken, poultry, and many other main dishes.

For Kids: Skip the lemon juice and sweeten the dish with a touch of honey or maple syrup. Serve on top of steamed white or brown rice along with a piece of grilled chicken for a complete meal.

For Adults: Try a spicy variation to the dish: add crushed red pepper, cumin, and slivered unsweetened coconut to the hot oil. Sauté for a minute or two, then add the lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Serve garnished with a mixture of mint and cilantro leaves. Complete the meal with brown rice and grilled chicken.

Grilled Chicken with Cucumber-Melon Salsa

I love a new twist on the classic grilled chicken recipe...


Click on the link for the recipe and a picture. Look delicious!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Delicious Whole Grain Waffles

This is a must try recipe...

I did add a little bit of white flour to the recipe to make it less heavy and I also added a little more oatmeal. I think next time I want to try a little cinamon too. The recipe does make a lot so if you don't have to feed a lot of mouths you can have these on hand for a quick and easy breakfast.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Week 3

Sorry for the lack of posts this last week. We were out of town a lot this week and I didn't have time to sit down and blog much. I promise to make up for it this week. As for the plan, week 3 will look just like week 1 except for the cardio minutes will be bumped up to 60 minutes.

I will do my best to focus on healthy recipes this week. I have been trying to find a muffin and bread recipe that are completely whole grain, but I have yet to have enough success to share any of them with you. I will keep experimenting and I promise to share once I find the magic one.

I really am on a mission to find foods that are healthy yet taste good enough that my husband won't know they are healthy for him. If he had it is his way we would eat hot dogs and hamburgers every night. One day I hope to convert him to the health nut life but I feel it will take a lifetime to accomplish this.

Good luck with week 3. We shall keep in touch!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Week 2---The Plan

The posts are out of order so click here to check out the plan for week 2.

Day 5-6-7

Hope the weekend went well for you and that you found a way to stay active.

Today (Day 7) is a 30 minute cardio day. The minutes increase with week 2!
Don't forget about your nutrition challenges-
1.meatless menu
2. Au natural (no refined carbs or articifial sweeteners for a day)
3. Omega-3s (fix one meal that incorporates this healthy fat)

I will have week 2 info posted shortly.

30 Day Fitness Challenge--Week 2

30 Day Fitness Challenge--Week 2


The Plan

Tues 6/8- Strength (see routine below for ideas)

Wed 6/9- 45 min cardio

Thurs 6/10- Strength

Fri 6/11- 45 min cardio

Sat 6/12- Weekend Workout (see description below)

Sun 6/13- REST!

Mon 6/14- Strength

Nutrition Challenges-

1. Fruits and Veggies- Get 9 servings in one day (click here for helpful tips)

2. Au Natural- Same as last week...no refined carbs or artificial sweeteners for 1 day

3. Healthy Start- For 2 mornings this week be sure to get a breakfast that includes both whole grains and healthy protein.

I will get some ideas posted soon to help you accomplish these challenges.

Strength Routine
If you need help modifying these exercises let me know. Most can be done with minimal equipment, but let me know if you don't have what it takes to execute the exercises effectively.

Step Ups and Push-ups-

Do one set of the step-ups followed by a set of 15 push-ups. Repeat this circuit 3 times.

Do this circuit 3 times as well.

Upper Boday Interval-
The end of this video will explain how to execute these intervals.

Do 3 sets of these exercises.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

30 Day Challenge--Day 4

Time for another strength workout.
Day 4 is going to look just like Day 2.
Why Strength Train?
Muscle mass naturally diminishes with age.
"If you don't do anything to replace the lean muscle you lose, you'll increase the percentage of fat in your body," says Edward Laskowski, M.D., a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., and co-director of the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center. "But strength training can help you preserve and enhance your muscle mass — at any age."

Eating Healthy Carbs

I had a question about healthy carbs versus refined carbs so here are some tips and ideas.

Good Carbs-

Fruits and Veggies

100% Whole Grains- Breads, Pastas, Brown Rice, Wild Rice, Bulgar, Popcorn, Oatmeal are a few examples. Be sure to read the labels to make sure what you are eating is really made of whole grains. As a guideline try to choose foods that provide at least 3 grams of fiber per serving.
Carbs to Avoid-
White Bread
White Rice
White Pasta
White Tortillas
Basically anything that reads enriched wheat flour on the ingredient list.

On this day you should also avoid any sugar or artificial sweeteners. I don't want to act like you should never eat sugar, but most likely we all eat too much of it. Take this day to find other ways to snack

Check out this recipe-
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Whole-Grain-Waffles/Detail.aspx Read the comments from others to find ways to alter the recipe if you don't have all the ingredients. Top these waffles with some fresh fruit and pair with a side of scrambled eggs for a great start to your morning.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Run/Walk: The 20-Minute Treadmill Hill Workout

Click here for Day 3 info.

If you are wanting a little inspiration for your cardio workout today check out this workout-

Run/Walk: The 20-Minute Treadmill Hill Workout

I would say it is a beginner-intermediate workout. It starts out with a 5 minute warm-up and finishes off with a 3 minute cool-down. You could repeat the workout or finish with some steady walking or jogging.

Of course if you want something more intense just bump up the speed of the intervals or increase the time.

Keep up the good work!

30 Day Fitness Challenge--Day 3

Click here for Day 2 info.

~~~DAY 3~~~

It is not too late to start if you haven't yet!:)

Today we are going back to the cardio. All you have to do is 30 min. plus a warm-up and cool-down.

Oh, and don't forget to keep up on the nutrition challenges.

Yesterday I watched Losing It With Jillian. I am a fan. Maybe I just like Jillian. Anyway, she made a statement that I loved and will keep with me..."why choose failure when success is an option?" It doesn't get more clear than that right? I don't think this only applies to fitness and weight loss, but to any area in your life you want to be successful.

Don't be afraid to challenge yourself!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

30 Day Challenge--Day 2

Click here if you are looking for a full explanation of the challenge for the week.

~~~Day 2~~~

How did Day 1 go?

Did anyone incorporate any of the nutrition challenges yet? We had veggie quesadillas at our house and they were yummy.

Check out your workout for today-

You will do 2-3 sets of each exercise. Each set should include 15 reps. Alternate doing one set of the first exercise with one set of the second until you have completed your 2-3 sets. Keep the rest inbetween each set short as you will keep your heart rate up and get a cardiovascular workout as well. Complete each circuit before moving onto the next one.

Circuit 1-
Lunges (one set equals 15 reps on each side)

Push-ups (can be done on knees if not able to do it on toes) click here if you want some variation on the pushup.

Circuit 2-
Squat Thrusts

More Advanced Version-

Bicep Curls
Tricep Dips

Circuit 3-
Shoulder Press
Mtn. Climbers

Ab Routine (you only have to complete this one time, one should be plenty:))
this isn't the routine I originally had planned for you, but it is still a good one. I will get my personal routine up and running soon.

If you haven't been doing abs much in the recent past this routine may be a little too long for you. Do what you can.

True enjoyment comes from activity of the mind and exercise of the body; the two are united.

- Alexander von Humboldt

30 Day Challenge---Day 1

Make sure to click here for the full explanation of the challenge.

~~~DAY 1~~~

Fitness Challenge for today is 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise (plus a 5 min. warm-up and cool-down).
You can choose the exercise but if you want an idea try these kickbox routines-

In addition to the exercise I want you to complete these nutrition challenges sometime throughout this week-

1. Meatless Menu- One dinner this week needs to be completely meatless.

Here are some ideas if you need them-

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Avocado-Tacos/Detail.aspx (Jazz this one up with black beans and tomatoes)




2. Au Natural- For one whole day you need to refrain from any and ALL refined carbs (white flour, sugar, rice, etc.) and artificial sweeteners. Today is the day to focus on getting your fruits, veggies and fiber:).

3. Omega 3- Create a meal or snack that incorporates this healthy fat.

The benefits of omega-3s include reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke while helping to reduce symptoms of hypertension, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), joint pain and other rheumatoid problems, as well as certain skin ailments. Some research has even shown that omega-3s can boost the immune system and help protect us from an array of illnesses including Alzheimer's disease.

Food rich in Omega 3s-

Albacore tuna
Atlantic herring
Lake trout
Flaxseed and flaxseed oil
Soybeans and soybean oil
Soy nuts
Olive oil
Pumpkin seeds


Monday, May 31, 2010

Let the Games Begin!

My internet is being unreliable right now so I may have to post in pieces. I will let you know when changes or updates have been made. Thanks!
The 30 Day Challenge Starts tomorrow!

I was going to work through an outside website but I think it will be easiest just to post everything on the blog. For those who signed up, I will keep your emails and send you information on top of what I post. Plus those who sign up will be the ones who are eligible for the prize drawing in the end. Even if you didn't sign-up, please feel free to join us!

Are you ready for the plan?

Week 1 (6/1-6/7)

Day 1- 30 minutes cardio
Day 2- Strength routine #1 (see workout below)
Day 3- 30 minutes cardio
Day 4- Strength routine #1
Day 5- Weekend Workout (see below)
Day 6- Rest
Day 7- 30 minutes cardio

Cardio- You have the option to do any kind of cardio exercise as long as it elevates your heart rate and lasts for 30 minutes. This does not include a 5 minute warm-up and cool-down. I will provide some ideas along the way if you want the direction. If you are already doing more than 30 minutes of cardio than please keep it up! The amount of cardio time will increase as the challenge moves along.

Strength- I will provide a strength routine for you to follow. Again if you are already doing weights you can continue doing your own routine as long as you are at least doing as much work as the challenge requires. You do need to complete the ab routine. It is my special treat for you and I want to know what you think.

Here is the workout-

You will need some hand weights or elastic tubing to execute a few of the exercises. If you don't own any I suggest picking up an exercise tube. They are cheap and super effective. Check this blog entry if you need more info.

You will do 2-3 sets of each exercise. Each set should include 15 reps. Keep the rest inbetween each set short as you will keep your heart rate up and get a cardiovascular workout as well. Complete each circuit before moving onto the next one.

Circuit 1-
Lunges (one set equals 15 reps on each side)

Push-ups (can be done on knees if not able to do it on toes) click here if you want some variation on the pushup.

Circuit 2-
Squat Thrusts
More Advanced Version-

Bicep Curls
Tricep Dips

Circuit 3-
Shoulder Press
Mtn. Climbers

Ab Routine (you only have to complete this one time, one should be plenty:))
this isn't the routine I originally had planned for you, but it is still a good one. I will get my personal routine up and running soon.

If you haven't been doing abs much in the recent past this routine may be a little too long for you. Do what you can.

Weekend Routine- You can choose from any of the following activities- Hiking for at least 3 miles, Go on a bike ride with family or friends, Swim laps, Go dancing, Play an organized sport, take a yoga class, try a new group fitness class... basically anything that keeps you active while having fun at the same time!

Rest- I have set up the rest day to be on Sunday. If it works better with your schedule your rest day can be on Saturday and you can do your weekend workout on Sunday.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Take the 30 Day Challenge!...

Starting June 1st I will be hosting a 30 day Fitness Challenge. I want you to join me!
Here is a quick run-down of the program-
I will provide you with 30 days of fitness challenges. The guidelines will be basic, but I will provide you with creative ways to implement them along the way.
I will also be providing a weekly email with information to keep you on track and motivated to finish the challenge.
The program is for EVERYONE!!!
If you complete the program you will be entered into a drawing to win a fitness or nutrition book (I will give you a few choices).***
This is the perfect way to keep you motivated as you approach the SUMMER SEASON.
***Add a little extra bang for your buck...
I know you will be even more motivated to finish this challenge if you turn it into a little competition with your family, friends or co-workers. Why not gather the crew and throw a little money into the mix. Nothing like a little peer pressure to keep you on your toes.
Example: Everyone donates money (as much as you want) to the cause. Whoever finishes the challenge gets the money back. For those who don't finish, their money is divided between those who did.
I won't be making this a weight loss challenge but you and your crew can. Whoever loses the biggest percentage of weight gets the money.
Whatever the case, just do it!!!!
Please provide your email address in the comment section so that I can send you an invite to the challenge. Or if you don't feel comfortable leaving it in the comment section you can email me at pcfitness10@gmail.com
Please have everyone who will be joining you provide their email.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

More on The Doctors- Sugar and Salt Cravings

Check out this quick video clip for some helpful tips on how to overcome your sugar and salt cravings.

I wasn't able to figure out how to download this video to put it directly on the blog, but you can click on this link to check it out-


Hormone Trifecta

Yesterday Jillian Michael's was a guest on the show The Doctors. She gave tons of info on how to take control of your body. I have really come to appreciate the kind of trainer that Jillian is. I know she is harsh but she tells it like it is, and sometimes that is what it takes to get things done.

Here is a little synopsis of what was on the show-

Hormone Trifecta

Three of the most important hormones are cortisol, estrogen and thyroid.


Cortisol is secreted by the adrenal glands and helps regulate blood pressure, insulin release, glucose metabolism, immune function and inflammatory response. Cortisol is often referred to as the stress hormone, due to the fact that its production increases sharply when a person is stressed, be it briefly, fight or flight mode, or chronically.

Elevated Levels of Cortisol Will:
• Increase blood pressure
• Increase cravings for high-fat, high-carb foods
• Increase visceral fat around the midsection

How to Balance Cortisol Levels:
• Get enough sleep
• Limit caffeine intake to less than 400mg per day
• Refrain from alcohol consumption
• Increase vitamin C intake
• Practice relaxation techniques


Estrogen is a class of steroid hormones that includes estrodial, estriol and estrone. Estrogen is produced in a woman’s ovaries, and functions as the primary female sex hormone. It affects many aspects of the female body, including skin, bone, mood, menstruation and fertility. “A lot of the chemicals in your immediate environment, whether it’s skincare, hair care [products] or even plastics that you’re drinking out of or eating out of can create something called xenoestrogens in the body,” Jillian says. “It’s essentially a chemical that mimics hormones, and this is where your estrogen levels get out of balance in dangerous ways.”

How to Balance Estrogen Levels:
• Use BPA-free plastic
• Don’t store food in plastic
• Don’t microwave food in plastic containers
• Avoid processed soy
• Try to use all-natural cleaning products and beauty products
• Eat foods high in flavonoids, such as black olives, apples and onions
• Eat foods high in soluble and insoluble fibers, such as apples, beans, oats and leafy greens


The thyroid gland produces and stores hormones that help regulate heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature and metabolism. Thyroid hormones are essential for proper cellular function throughout the body. “The thyroid is the master gland of metabolism, or energy, and if it’s not in balance, it literally can affect every part of your body,” plastic surgeon Dr. Drew Ordon says. When the thyroid is over-secreting hormones, it can cause weight loss, anxiety, depression, mood changes, high blood pressure and bulging eyes. If the thyroid gland is underperforming, a person can experience weight gain, fatigue, lethargy, depression, skin changes and thinning hair. “When it comes to thyroid, again, avoid soy,” Jillian says. “Soy has something in it called phytic acid, which can block mineral absorption, and minerals are critical to the function of your thyroid. Minerals [such as] selenium, iodine and zinc.”

How to Balance Thyroid Levels:
• Eat foods high in minerals, such as mixed nuts, cashews, sunflower seeds and yogurt
• Eat foods high in zinc such as beef, lamb, pork and salmon

Jillian’s Top Ten Power Foods

Master your metabolism with Jillian’s 10 power foods-

1. Blueberries: high in antioxidants, and help fight fat and reduce blood pressure.
2. Oats: high in antioxidants, and help fight fat and reduce blood pressure.
3. Yogurt: high in calcium, helps boost the immune system and maintains healthy bacteria and yeast levels in the body.
4. Black beans: high in protein and fiber and helps with weight loss.
5. Salmon: high in zinc, Omega-3 fatty acids and helps maintain heart health.
6. Spinach: high in vitamins B6 and B12 and helps maintain heart health.
7. Garlic: boosts the immune system and helps lower cholesterol levels.
8. Tomatoes: high in fiber, vitamin C and lycopene.
9. Broccoli: high in fiber and vitamins A and C.
10. Walnuts: high in protein, B vitamins, magnesium and fiber, and help lower cholesterol.

Click here for some of Jillian's favorite recipes-

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Have you ever considered how you would answer this question?
What about when it comes to your fitness goals?
What is stopping you?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Sugar Update...

For the most part it hasn't been too bad. I was a bit tempted by the s'mores we made around the camp fire Friday night, but I am happy to say that I didn't give in and it felt so good once the temptations was out of the way that I stayed strong.

I am learning I eat when I am bored. This challenge will be doing double duty for me as it will get me motivated to keep us moving and busy, and outside so that I don't want to grab for food just because.

I do like the Truvia. Add it too some plain yogurt with some fruit and granola. It is a super sweet treat.

It is empowering to be stronger than the temptation.

Anybody else having any success?

Dr. Oz’s Healthy Family Challenge

I am on a Dr. Oz kick right now. Here he gives an easy plan for families to implement to keep us healthy. If you don't have a family of your own it is definitely something you can do on your own. I just think it provides some great ideas to make it fun for kids to exercise.

We have the power to tackle the obesity epidemic in our country. Taking a few small steps together will bring your family closer, give you more energy, save you money, help you reach and maintain a healthy weight.

Join Dr. Oz and HealthCorps to change the health and happiness of you and your family.


Friday, May 21, 2010

Farewell My Friend...

...you will be missed.
It is true, as much as I am an advocate of healthy foods, I love sugar. I find it hard to pass up at least a taste of any delicious dessert (especially when I am pregnant). But it is time to take a break from the sweet little monster. As much as I love it, I don't love how it has been making me feel these days.

Sure this fat chocolate cake is calling my name...
...or how about a slice of this decadent tart?

But I am overcoming one of my biggest weaknesses and giving up sugar at least for a month. I need to to cleanse my taste buds of it. And I need my body to understand it doesn't need it everyday. Don't worry Mr. Sugar, I will eat you again, just not now.

Thank you Chelsy for being my inspiration.

I don't believe anyone should have to give up any kind of food forever, but we do need to eat in moderation and sometimes we must put our body through a little bootcamp nutrition training in order to achieve this.

I am admitting this outloud to all of you so that I have a crowd to keep me accountable.

Yesterday was my first day. It wasn't too bad. And I feel pretty good.

Good luck to me and to any of you who want to join me in the journey.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Feel the Burn!...

Click here if you have not read the first part of this article.
SPF will protect you from painful summer sunburns, but this F stands for fat-burning foods. Some of these foods will surprise you, but all 5 are guaranteed to please your palate.

Grapefruit The vitamin C contained in this super fruit helps the body process fat faster by stimulating the carnitine amino acid and consequently, the body’s fat-burning capacity. Vitamin C can dilute fat, helping the body get rid of it faster. Have a glass of grapefruit juice or half a fresh grapefruit with breakfast and kick start your day.

Chilies Studies are now showing that the chemical compound capsacin found in chili peppers speeds up your metabolism. It’s also a thermogenic food which means that your body will burn extra calories for 20 minutes after you’ve eaten them. Click here for more surprising foods that will boost your metabolism.

Bison Leaner than beef, but containing just as much protein, a bison burger (or bison hot dog!) is the perfect meal for your next summer barbecue. Eating lean protein helps to boost metabolism, lose fat and burn extra calories.

Berries The perfect summer dessert, berries are packed with fiber, which keeps you full and satisfied on virtually no calories. It also moves food through the digestive system faster, so less fat is absorbed. A 1 cup serving of raspberries contains 8 grams of fiber and only 60 calories!

Chilled Soup While soup might not be the first thing you think of when your stomach rumbles on a hot summer day, its satisfying combination of liquids and solids makes this meal choice an excellent appetite suppressant. Aim for broth-based soups stocked with vegetables for a low-calorie meal or appetizer. Two cups of this watermelon gazpacho contains just 85 fat-free, salt-free calories, and lycopene and phenolic compounds that help lower your risk for many cancers. And who doesn’t crave watermelon during the summer?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Dollar Tree...

Click here if you didn't read the first part of this article yesterday or check out Dr. Oz's Ultimate Summer Slim-Down http://www.doctoroz.com/.
Money may not grow on trees, but plenty inexpensive staples of a healthy diet do! Putting the P in SPF is price. You don’t have to spend a lot to get great payback on your health – so load up on these dietary stapes that you can’t afford NOT to eat.

Green tea Dr. Oz’s go-to beverage, green tea costs an average of 31¢ per bag. This polyphenol-packed tea is low in caffeine and offers countless health benefits. Enjoy over ice to beat the heat.

Plain yogurt This digestive health aid won’t break the bank at 75¢ per cup. Mix with fruit and granola for a high-calcium, fiber-rich snack or breakfast.

Quinoa Pronounced “keen-wah,” 1 serving of this grain, at 80¢ per cup, provides half your daily iron needs. Click
here for a deliciously creamy berry and quinoa parfait recipe.

Black beans At 42¢ per cup, drain and rinse for a whopping 15 grams of protein. Toss with some cooled quinoa and fresh mango for a surprisingly delicious summer salad.

Snap peas At 28¢ per cup, you can net nearly half your daily veggies for a little more than a quarter. Plant your own for less than $1 and pick, snap and enjoy all summer long.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Enjoying Seasonal Fruit

Dr. Oz's Ultimate Summer Slim-Down

Get the help you need to tighten your waistline and purse strings this summer with Dr. Oz’s Ultimate Summer Slim-Down. By Memorial Day, 80% of Americans have abandoned their New Year’s resolutions to lose weight and get healthier. However, it’s not too late to turn it all around.
Dr. Oz’s Ultimate Summer Slim Down begins with those 3 magic letters of summer: S.P.F. Right now, we’re not talking sun protection factor – we are talking about an easy way to remember 3 healthy eating secrets, the first of which is eating in Season. Summer is a season of produce aplenty, and here are 4 foods that are inexpensive, fresh, low in calories and packed with nutrients:

(Click on Bolded Words for fun recipes that incorporate lots of produce)

Apricots These juicy fruits can be eaten on the go, added to steel cut oats in the morning or salads at lunch. They contain only 20 calories each and provide 25% of your daily vitamin C needs.

Okra In most areas, okra is in season from May through October. One cup contains about 30 calories and is a rich source of vitamin B6, folic acid, and vitamins A and C.

Cucumbers Synonymous with summer, 1 cucumber contains only 15 calories and contains silica, which improves the health of your skin. Dip cucumber in a probiotic yogurt for a digestive health boost or serve in a fresh cucumber and tomato salad. After all, tomatoes are a summer favorite rich in vitamins C, A and K. Click here for another recipe.

Just in case I am not the only one who didn't know what farina was you can click here.

Peaches A good sources of carotenes, potassium and flavonoids, peaches contain only 70 calories and provide 2.6 grams of fiber. Flavonoids help strengthen blood vessels, prevent cells from oxygen damage and are a powerful anti-inflammatory.

Check back for the rest of the article tomorrow or check out Dr. Oz's Summer Slim-Down at www.doctoroz.com

Friday, May 14, 2010

Lower Body Strength Interval

I will be working on getting other videos together so you have a total body workout you can follow. Here is a 5 minute one for starters. I would suggest doing this without the bench to begin with until you feel comfortable doing the back lunges. To increase the intensity you could add some 5 or 8 lb handweights in each hand.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Almost Meatless Sloppy Joes

2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
6 ounces lean ground beef or turkey
1/2 cup (or more) grated carrots
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
1 (15.5 oz) can low-sodium red beans, rinsed, drained, and divided
4 (2 oz) whole-wheat sandwich rolls, split and toasted
4 (1/4 inch-thick) red onion slices, separated into rings
1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, salt black pepper, and beef to pan; cook 5 minutes or until meat is browned and vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally to crumble beef.
2. Add carrot, chili powder, sugar, oregano, and red pepper; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium ; cook 10 minutes or until thickened and carrot is tender, stirring occasionally.
3. Partially mash 1 cup beans with a fork or potato masher. Add mashed beans and remaining whole beans to pan; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Spoon 1 cup bean mixture onto bottom half of each roll; top each serving with 1 red onion slice and top half of roll.
Enjoy this sandwich with a bunch of yummy veggies and you have a delicious, healthy meal!
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 sandwich)
CALORIES 405; FAT 14.4g (sat 3.2g, mono 7.5g, poly 2.3g); PROTEIN 19.4g; CARB 53.3g; FIBER 10.4g; CHOL 28mg; IRON 5.1mg; SODIUM 781mg; CALC 148mg

Spring Vegetable Carbonara

If in need of a pasta salad on the lighter side, this is a great one to try. It went over very well in our home. If you are wanting to make it even more healthful, try using a whole wheat pasta.

SPRING VEGETABLE CARBONARA (found in Cooking Light magazine)

1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed (I added a whole lot more than 1/2 cup)
12 oz. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
8 oz. uncooked cavatappi pasta (or any spiral pasta)
1/2 cup (2 oz) grated pecorino Romano cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 slices center-cut bacon, chopped
1 cup chopped seeded red bell pepper (I used tomatoes instead, just because)

1. Cook peas and asparagus in boiling water for 3 minutes or until asparagus is crisp-tender; drain. Plunge into ice water; drain. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain pasta in colander over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Combine pasta and vegetables.

2. Combine cheese and the next 3 ingredients (through eggs) in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Gradually add hot cooking liquid to egg mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 1 TBSP drippings in pan. Add bacon to pasta mixture. Cook bell pepper in drippings for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add pasta mixture; cook 1 minute or until thoroughtly heated. Remove pan from heat, and stir in egg mixture. Return pan to low heat; cook for 2 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly, stirring constantly.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 3/4 cups)

The servings are set up to be a whole meal. If you want to use as a side dish you can go with a much smaller portion size which will cut back on the calories and fat a lot.

CALORIES 425; FAT 14.4g (sat 5.9g, mono 5.3g, poly 1.6g) PROTEIN 22.2 g; CARB 52 g; FIBER 5.4g; CHOL 183gmg; IRON 3.6mg; SODIUM 614mg; CALC 210mg

Pure Inspiration...

When Harriet Anderson crossed the finish line at Kona — the Ford Ironman World Championship — in October 2009, there were a few reasons she stood out. At 74 years of age, she was the oldest female competitor to complete the race. At 11:53 p.m. she finished, just seven minutes before the cutoff. And the reason she’d taken longer than usual? The arm taped to her side was a clue. She’d broken her clavicle at mile 80 of the bike ride when another cyclist bumped into her. Did that deter Harriet? No. She picked herself up, finished the next 32 miles on the bike, and promptly walked the entire 26.2 miles of the marathon.
Meet Harriet, the Women’s 70-74 Ironman World Champion.

Monday, May 10, 2010


I discovered Lululemon when on a girls' trip to Chicago.
I am in love.
Of course at full price I can't afford any of the clothes.
But I scored a fabulous deal on a pair of the shorts. So I gave them a try.
I wish I had 10 pairs!
They are cute, comfortable and high quality.
I am usually one who buys most of my workout clothes at wal-mart or target. I have a hard time spending money on clothes I am just going to sweat in. Problem is those clothes get ragged really quickly. I should just spend more money on fewer clothes and get nicer stuff.
I will be investing in more of the Lululemon. Go ahead and check it out!

Inspiration from What Not to Wear...

I am a huge fan of the show What Not to Wear on TLC. Probably because it would be a dream come true for me to have someone hand me $5000 to go shopping for a new wardrobe, and then make me beautiful with new hair and makeup. I also love watching the people go through such amazing transformations.

I know beauty really is about what is on the inside, but our outer appearance is often a reflection of how we feel about and value our body.

On the show you will often hear the person receiving the makeover say that they want to wait until they are a certain size or weight to buy cute clothes. Or that they don’t deserve the attention. In one of the episodes Clinton in his mighty wisdom expressed how important it is to take care of yourself in your current situation, and that as you come to love your body the way it is you will probably start to take better care of it. In the end you will be more successful at reaching that desired weight or clothing size you were hoping for.

From one of Jillian Michaels books she talks about what it took for her to finally make the changes she needed to in order to lose the weight she had gained when she was a teenager. She says, “It wasn't until I started to love and accept my body-and work with it rather than against it-that i got real results".

I completely believe these statements.
How often do we throw on the clothes that are comfy, yet ugly, because it supposedly hides all our trouble spots, and makes us blend into the background?

I am guilty.

On those days I find it so much harder to eat healthy and take care of my body. I begin to pick out all my flaws, and my ugliness is emphasized. From there it is a downward spiral.

Why even try, right?

Now I don’t want to give the message that we should all take hours each day to make us look pretty, and I understand that some days we are lucky to get a shower. Even more I know that most of us don’t have access to a $5000 shopping spree. But we can all find a few minutes to do those things that make us feel better about the way we look.

I guess what it comes down to is having an attitude change. What is it that is holding you back from reaching your fitness and health goals? Are you discouraged every time you look in the mirror? Do you feel pretty? I challenge you to find ways to feel beautiful, even if you are 60 lbs over what you think beautiful should look like.

It is time for us to all show our body a little LOVE!

You have to see your inner beauty and accept your body the way it is if you ever want to make any changes. It is what will get you through the hard times and temptations.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Quick Update...

If you are still a follower of this blog I want to say thank you. And then I want to say I am sorry for being such a slacker.

I know I have neglected this blog for the last few months. I had big plans to provide great things, and then I got pregnant and sick. My motivation to do anything went down the drain. But I am finally feeling good and ready to get back on track with my fitness goals. This includes being a better blogger.
The blogging updates won't start for a week or so because the husband will be out of town and taking the computer with him. In the meantime I will work on getting information organized so I can start blogging as soon as possible.
See you Next Week!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Do You Get Enough Fiber?

According to the Institute of Medicine it is recommended that MEN consume about 38 grams of fiber per day and WOMEN- 25 grams daily.
However, the average man and woman in the United States each currently consumes less than half that amount.
I like to think that I am better than the average American when it comes to my eating habits. I do my best to eat whole grains and lots of veggies.
I have been tracking my fiber intake the last few days and it turns out that although I may be slightly above the average, I am still falling short of getting the recommended amount of fiber in my diet on a daily basis.
Do you get enough FIBER?
I challenge you to do a fiber inventory.
Focusing on fiber intake will help you consume a much healthier diet. If you are filling yourself up with fiber rich foods you are going to feel more full and satisfied, and won't have room for all the extra calories that you don't need.

Cranberry, Pear, Pork Salad

PLEASE try this recipe!!!

It is healthy
It is budget friendly
and it is DELICIOUS!!!
If you aren't a fan of pork I am sure it would be great on chicken.
I did use a spring mix of greens in place of the spinach because I have been doing a lot of spinach lately. I liked the change.
Canned pears (without added sugar) work great if you don't have fresh.
Oh, and I used onions in place of the shallots because that is what I had on hand.
The cranberry mix used for the topping is to die for!!!

Click Here-
Budget Recipes: Pork Tenderloin, Pear, and Cranberry Salad - Budget Recipes: Feed 4 for $10 - Photos - CookingLight.com

Monday, April 12, 2010

Oatmeal with some Flavor!

I have to thank my cousin for this twist on oatmeal. Once you try it, you will be thanking her as well.

Steel-cut Oats (You can use regular Old Fashion oats too)

Cook oatmeal in all natural (not from concentrate) apple juice instead of water. Depending on how sweet you want your oatmeal you can dilute the juice with water.

Add coconut flakes and fresh berries after cooking the oatmeal. (I actually like cooking my oatmeal with the berries in it).

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Researching my Leafy Greens

I decided this week to challenge myself and learn more about all the different varieties of leafy greens. To be honest my knowledge and experience with them doesn't go much further than Spinach and Romaine Lettuce. I didn't grow up with much more than iceburg lettuce so I guess I have been a little scared to expand my horizons because it is like entering a whole new world. I like my spinach but I am ready to step outside my little comfort zone and find new ways to eat my veggies.
I am going to start my research with Endive. The first trick has been to find it at the grocery store. Wal-mart sure didn't have it and Kroger had signs for it but it was no where to be seen. I will have to check back tomorrow. I guess that is part of living in a smaller town.
Why try Endive?...
It is a good source of fiber, vitamin A, C, K, and E, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Folate, Pantothenic Acid, Calcium, Iron, Potassium, Zinc, Copper, Manganese, Magnesium, and Phosphorus.

I figure all this information isn't worth much if you don't know how to put Endive to use. So here is a yummy recipe to try.

Shrimp Salad with Endive

1 1/2 lb Shrimp

4 Large Endives, prepared

1 large Cucumber, sliced

1 Carrot, peeled and sliced

Layer Endive, Cucumbers, Carrots, and Shrimp and top with Cucumber Sauce just before serving.

Cucumber Sauce-

1 cup yogurt/sour cream (I am trying plain greek yogurt)

1 TBSP Horseradish

1 small Cucumber, pared and grated

Juice of Lemon/Lime to taste

2 TBSP dill, chopped

Salt and Pepper to taste


Monday, April 5, 2010

Toned Triceps

Something for the girls...
It seems that every girl wants to know how to reduce the underarm giggle. There is no miracle move, and you may need to drop a few pounds before you see any results, but these moves are great ways to target the tricep muscle.

Next we will focus on some shoulder exercises. If you notice in the pic of Cameron Diaz it is the shoulders that make her arms looks so fantastic!