Set The Tone For The Week

“Your Monday morning thoughts set the tone for your whole week. See yourself getting stronger, and living a fulfilling, happier & healthier life.”
― Germany Kent

  1. Wake up- (EARLY) Meditate 10 minutes – express gratitude for life, loved ones, and your health.
  2.  Stretch- 10 minutes to get the blood flowing and work on flexibility
  3.  Hydrate with water first and then coffee
  4.  Eat a healthy breakfast- fruit, organic oatmeal, eggs, yogurt, nuts
  5.  Tell your loved ones you love them
  6.  Listen to positive affirmations on your way to work. Tell yourself it’s going to be a great day 🙂
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The Million Dollar Question

“Everyone is driven by the need to fill their life with meaning. Sometimes this need is articulated clearly and then a purpose emerges and that leads to a sense of direction and a sense of mission. Most times it is not. So the void is filled with action. People have kids, gets mortgages, raise families, pay bills, go to work each day without asking why and then, some day, they die. Some times all this is enough. Many times it’s not. Action fills the void nicely. Makes each day feel tiring. But without a sense of purpose. Without a sense of vision, it leads to a pattern of behavior that doesn’t lead anywhere. Most times we die before we realize this of course.”
― David Amerland

Friday Motivation Barbell Workout

“You only get one body; it is the temple of your soul. Even God is willing to dwell there. If you truly treat your body like a temple, it will serve you well for decades. If you abuse it you must be prepared for poor health and a lack of energy.”
― Oli Hille, Creating the Perfect Lifestyle

 

 

Warmup: 7 to 10 minutes

Circuit One: (12 reps each) Repeat 3x

Barbell Deadlift

Pushup/Side Plank

Jump Squats

 

Circuit Two: (12 reps each) Repeat 3x

Clean and Press

Barbell Row with Bicep

Burpee Mountain Climbers

 

Circuit Three: (12 reps each) Repeat 3x

Barbell Squat

Barbell Chest Press 10 Reps/ Tricep Press 10 Reps

Walkover Plank/ Plank Jacks

 

Ab Circuit: (12 reps each) Repeat 3x

Reverse Crunch

Scissors

In and Outs

Plank One Minute

Cool down and Stretch

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The First Wealth Is Health

 

“The First Wealth Is Health”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Do you want to live a healthier lifestyle, but you just can’t seem to get started? New habits require you to alter your current routine. If you are like most of us, we don’t like change. Our weekend pizza or drinks with our friends is something we look forward to all week. I mean how can you give that up, right?? But some changes can be good for us especially when it relates to our health.

How many times in the past have you started a new diet and exercise program only to fall back into your old routine a week later? The key is to find a way to gradually incorporate healthier habits into your current lifestyle. If you try to make too many drastic changes at once, you are setting yourself up for failure. The key is to change your way of thinking from an all or nothing attitude to one step at a time and one day at a time attitude.

Once you examine your daily routine, it becomes easier to see what’s holding you back from living your best life. Most people don’t have a clue as to how good they can actually feel if they only made minor adjustments in their daily routine.

Look at some of your current habits that could be getting in the way of reaching your goals. Is it the calorie-laden iced coffee you drink every morning from Starbucks or could it be those mouthwatering doughnuts that call your name in the break room at work?

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What if you changed your routine and ordered a black coffee and brought a healthy snack to work instead of indulging in those break room doughnuts? Or what if you got up thirty minutes early for a workout before work? It all begins with an awareness of the problem and then changing the unhealthy habit with an alternative behavior.

Begin to look at ways to alter your current lifestyle? Sometimes we really want change but we aren’t really ready.  It’s imperative to get in the right mindset and become fully committed.  Developing new habits takes a strong level of desire, commitment, and motivation. The first two weeks of any new routine tends to be the most challenging. But often if you weather the storm, it becomes easier. What’s important is that you begin to create change, even if it’s something as simple as setting your alarm to get up an hour early. The goal is to just do something so that you don’t remain where you are, but instead, you move forward with better choices. It’s the small day to day changes that lead to BIG RESULTS. So learn to celebrate your success big or small each day. It all adds up to success in the long run.

As you begin to create a healthier lifestyle, you will begin to see improvements in your quality of life, self-image, and self-confidence. This new way of thinking will make you stronger mentally and improve your chances of success.

Sure, we all struggle with making the right food choices, finding time to exercise, and balancing family life.  But the key is to begin each day with a goal to make healthy food choices and increase your activity throughout your day.

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So start today by eliminating the guilt when you can’t find time for your workout, or if you slip up and eat the pizza or doughnuts. Life is a roller coaster ride- learn to find balance and peace by losing the “all or nothing” attitude and simply pick yourself back up and get back on track. Fuel your body with what it needs to stay healthy and active, but learn to enjoy, splurge and celebrate life’s special moments without the guilt.

No Coffee, No Dairy, No Meat – Day 10

 

Day 10 update on my Alkaline Diet Challenge. Although I haven’t been perfect in selecting all non-acidic foods, I’m pretty proud of myself. I’ve been able to cut out all meat, coffee, and processed foods. I’ve cheated a little when it comes to dairy; I’ve eaten cottage cheese due to the fact I had purchased a new container of it prior to starting the challenge.

I thought for sure that it would be rough coming off coffee but surprisingly it hasn’t been difficult. I haven’t had any headaches or crazy cravings for my morning brew. I’ve substituted hot tea with turmeric which is perfect for taking the place of my coffee.

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Results so far:

  1. Down 4 lbs
  2. Abs/Arms appear more defined
  3. Allergy symptoms gone: No more mild headaches/ eyes watering
  4. Cravings gone
  5. Energy increased
  6. Skin looks better

I’m very pleased with my results so far; I plan to definitely continue this for thirty days. After that, I plan to re-evaluate and decide if I want to continue with this new lifestyle.

 

 

 

 

 

Are You Too Acidic?

I’ve gradually cleaned up my diet over the past few years and also transitioned to more raw fruits and vegetables in my meals. However, I still suffer from mild headaches, sinus issues, and eye irritation. I recently stumbled across an article on the benefits of an alkaline diet and discovered I have many symptoms associated with being too acidic. That being said, I did some research and to my dismay, coffee is top on the list to cut out. I love coffee and look forward to it every morning to jump-start my day. Needless to say, cutting out my java is going to be a major challenge. Next on the list was chocolate. I love having a piece of dark cholate after dinner; of course two of my favorite things would have to be on the list.

Check out this picture below that details acidic symptoms:

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“You will know if you are too acidic if you get sick often, get urinary tract infections, suffer from headaches, and have bad breath and body odor (when you do not use antiperspirant). Acidosis is the medical term for a blood alkalinity of less than 7.35. A normal reading is called homeostasis. It is not considered a disease; although in and of itself it is recognized as an indicator of disease. Your blood feeds your organs and tissues; so if your blood is acidic, your organs will suffer and your body will have to compensate for this imbalance somehow. We need to do all we can to keep our blood alkalinity high. The way to do this is to dramatically increase our intake of alkaline-rich elements like fresh, clean air; fresh, clean water; raw vegetables (particularly their juices); and sunlight, while drastically reducing our intake of and exposure to acid-forming substances: pollution, cigarettes, hard alcohol, white flour, white sugar, red meat, and coffee. By tipping the scales in the direction of alkalinity through alkaline diet and removal of acid waste through cleansing, and acidic body can become an alkaline one.― Natalia Rose

A measure of acidity and alkalinity of a solution that is a number on a scale on which a value of 7 represents neutrality and lower numbers indicate increasing acidity and higher numbers increasing alkalinity.
Going on a more alkaline diet means I will need to also cut out meat and dairy. Although I’ve reduced my meat consumption, I love yogurt and cottage cheese. Therefore, it’s going to be a challenge to find optional protein sources. This picture shows some examples of acidic and alkaline foods.
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I’ve decided to experiment with an alkaline diet for the month of August. I’ll keep you updated on my meals and results.

An Unhealthy Vegetarian Lifestyle?

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The vegan lifestyle is becoming increasingly popular these days. A common reason people consider converting to a vegetarian or vegan diet is to lose weight, improve health, avoid contaminants in meat, and compassion for animals. However, it’s imperative to research the proper way to plan meatless meals to avoid serious nutritional deficiencies.

If you are considering a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, you may want to start by reducing your meat intake and incorporating more meatless dishes into your weekly meal plans. Further research and experimentation can help you determine if a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle is right for you.

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There can be some confusion regarding the terms vegan and vegetarian. Vegetarians eliminate meat but some include dairy products and eggs in their diets.

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Vegans, on the other hand, eliminate all animal products, dairy, eggs, and often avoid any products made from animals.

Global Healing Center explains the

Differences Between Vegan and Vegetarian

A vegetarian excludes meat, poultry, and seafood from their diet. Some vegetarians also exclude dairy, some don’t, and some may consume eggs. Likewise, vegans avoid meat, poultry, and seafood, but they also take it a step further by eliminating all animal products from their diet. This includes any type of animal milk and eggs. Vegans avoid foods produced using animals or animal products in any way, including honey. Many vegans also avoid household products, clothing, or other items made from animal products or tested on animals.

Additionally, the terms vegan and vegetarian can be difficult for many to differentiate as some people think the words have the same meaning.

To add to the confusion, some vegetarians are called “lacto and or ovo” and include dairy/eggs in their diet.

So as you can see, the term “vegetarian” can mean different things to different people:

  • A true vegetarian eats no meat at all, including poultry and fish.

  • A lacto-ovo vegetarian eats dairy products and eggs, but excludes meat, fish, and poultry.

  • A lacto vegetarian eats dairy products but not eggs.

  • An ovo vegetarian eats eggs but not dairy products.

Therefore, when considering converting to a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle it’s imperative to do your research. Make sure you are clear on the differences between the diets and that you have a good understanding of what’s involved in the switch.  Making the change to a more restricted diet can be challenging to follow. Many restaurants don’t offer vegan options, so understand your choices for grabbing food on the go will be limited.  Also, making meals will require more preparation and pre-planning.

It’s important to make sure meals are well-balanced and include sources of vitamin b12, essential fatty acids, iron, calcium, and vitamin d.

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Per Dr. Josh Axe a wellness physician certified in clinical nutrition, popular radio show host, and sought-after national speaker points out some important issues when considering a vegan or vegetarian diet.

Switching to a vegan diet is considered a healthy move by many, but it may not be all it’s cracked up to be in some bases. Below are some of the downsides to eating a completely vegan diet long term (more than several months): (6)

  1. Protein deficiency (lack of amino acids). Amino acids are the building blocks of muscle and are important for cellular health and proper metabolism. Too little protein can call muscle wasting, cognitive changes, mood swings and weakness.

  2. Low levels of vitamin B12. You can only get vitamin B12 in substantial amounts by consuming meat, fish, eggs, and dairy, so vegans usually need to take supplements.

  3. Lower intake of other nutrients like zinc, sometimes calcium and omega-3 fatty acids.

  4. Higher intake of antinutrients like phytic acid. There are grains, beans and legumes, such as raw soybeans, lentils and mung beans, that may contain trypsin inhibitors. These inhibitors can block key digestive enzymes. Also, grains can contain phytic acid that can keep you from digesting calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc. However, soaking and sprouting your grains and legumes can greatly reduce phytic acid.

  5. Potential inability to put on muscle. This may be due to the lack of certain vitamins that we normally get from meat and fish.

  6. Overconsumption of carbohydrates. One of the most common trends I’ve found from working with hundreds of vegans and vegetarians is that they tend to overconsume carbohydrates and hidden sugar foods. Eating too many carbs can cause candida and yeast overgrowth along with weight grain. There are some vegans who have created a better balance, but this is far from the majority.

  7. Fatigue and feeling exhausted. Again, this is usually due to the lack of certain vitamins and minerals that we normally get from meat and fish, such as iron and B vitamins.

SOME ALARMING CONCERNS FOR KIDS:

The issue of children consuming vegetarian/ vegan diets is controversial. Some experts report it’s not safe for children while others state it can be perfectly healthy if followed properly.

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Per EurekAlert! an online, global news service operated by AAAS, the science society : reports that when:

parents pursue a vegan diet for their child, they must seek and strictly follow medical and dietary advice to make sure their infant receives adequate nutrition. Both mother and infant should follow advice regarding supplementation” advises Professor Mary Fewtrell, chairman of ESPGHAN’s nutrition committee comments:

The biggest risk to vegan children is that of vitamin B12 deficiency.

Foods derived from animals have been shown to be the only reliable source of vitamin B12 and a deficiency of the vitamin can have devastating effects. Vitamin B12 is essential to the creation of DNA, indispensable for the maintenance of the nervous system, and a lack of it can result in hematological and neurological disorders, causing damage in young children which can be irreversible.

Therefore problems can arise when parents are unaware of the associated risks of switching to a more restricted diet….

Per CBS news:

Stories of vegan parents being arrested for malnourished children pop up every few years in the U.S., and the cases in Italy have made international news.

In Arizona, Kimu Parker was arrested in April 2005 for nearly starving her three children with a diet she and the children’s father called vegan. She was sentenced to 30 years in prison; the father, Blair Parker, got 15 years.

In Florida in 2005, Joseph and Lamoy Andressohn got probation for neglect in the death of their 6-month-old son, who was fed only wheat grass, coconut water and almond milk.

In Georgia, Jade Sanders and Lamont Thomas were sentenced to life in prison for the 2004 death of their 6-week-old son, who starved to death after they fed him a too-limited diet of soy milk and apple juice.

Therefore, do your research! Know that if you make the decision to change to a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, you must make sure you and your family get the proper nutrients. It can be challenging with a busy schedule and eating out can be difficult with many restaurants offering limited or no meatless options. It can be easy to fall into the trap of relying on unhealthy choices such as junk food, pizza, fries, and desserts due to the lack of available choices. Meals should be well balanced with complete proteins and you may need to consider supplementation.

Be sure to consult your child’s pediatrician, family physician and or certified nutritionist to ensure you and your family are getting the proper nutrients in your diet.

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Converting to a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle can be a great way to help the environment, combat obesity, lower blood pressure, and cholesterol. However, make sure to consult with a nutritionist and your physician on proper guidelines.

Follow these tips to make sure your diet is healthy and provides the proper nutrients:

  1. Include a wide variety of fruits and vegetables with all your meals. Make smoothies and juices to make it more appealing for kids and picky eaters.
  2. If needed consider supplementation with a multivitamin that contains b12, iron, zinc, and vitamin d. Discuss this with a nutritionist or your family physician.
  3. Make sure you get enough protein in your diet- beans, nut butter, protein supplements, etc.
  4. Have regular family check-ups with complete blood workups to make sure you and your family are getting adequate nutrients on a daily basis.
  5. Plan your meals and snacks each week to make it easier to avoid eating processed foods loaded with sugar and unhealthy ingredients.

Friday Get Lean Circuit Training

“Some are born strong and others are made strong.”
― J.R. Rim

Check with your physician before beginning any exercise program.

Begin with a warm-up for 7-10 minutes:

 

Perform each exercise for 12 reps repeating each circuit three times before advancing to the next circuit. Don’t forget to warm-up and cool down. Hydrate before during and after your workout.

CIRCUIT ONE:

  • Pushback Push up- 12 reps
  • Barbell Row With Bicep Curl- 12 reps
  • Bench Side Squat With Abduction – 8 Reps each leg- Right leg 8 reps/ 12 mountain climbers– Left leg 8 reps/12 mountain climbers

CIRCUIT TWO:

  •  Barbell Squat- 12 reps
  •  Clean and Press- 12 reps
  •   Barbell Squat with Bicep Curl- 12 repsPlank Jacks 12 reps

 

 

CIRCUIT THREE:

 

  •  Barbell Chest Press- 12 reps
  • Barbell Tricep Press- 12 reps
  • DB Rear Delt/ Side Raise– 12 reps each- Abs In & Outs 12 reps

 

Cool down/ Stretch

 

 

 

What You Focus On Will Flourish

We all have goals in our lives. Some people write them down with details on how to achieve them, while others keep them stored away in the back of their mind on a mental “wish list.”  However, what if I told you the answer to achieving anything you want is in the title of this blog. Perhaps you want to change careers, go for your dream promotion, run a marathon, or simply improve a relationship with a loved one; the key is applying focus to the situation.

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Do you feel like you deserve a promotion, or does a new career path seem out of reach? What will it take to get you closer to that goal? It may be as easy as signing up for continuing education to help you advance in your current position or, enrolling in courses that relate to your career of interest. When I was in my twenties, I wanted to go into nursing but felt overwhelmed at starting back to school with two young children. I decided to enroll in a chemistry course at my local college and that gave me the confidence to pursue my dreams. I went on to graduate with a BSN in nursing, became a certified personal trainer, and acquired fitness certifications to teach yoga, and group fitness. You may be surprised how quickly new opportunities arise once you prioritize the steps to help you reach your goals. The key is applying concentration, drive, and consistency. You have the choice to stay where you are and hope things magically fall into place, or go after your dreams with focus and a plan.

Maybe, you’ve dreamed of participating in a fitness competition, hiking the Appalachian trail, or running a marathon. Goals such as these may seem out of reach, but it simply requires focus, consistency, and a well thought out plan. In the past, one of the top items on my bucket list was to run a marathon. However, I was not a runner and I felt like a marathon was out of the question. I decided to research training programs and discovered all my preconceived ideas were nonsense. I didn’t have to be a runner, a certain age, or have an athletic lean body to run a marathon. All I needed was a beginner training plan and the drive and consistency to follow through. Once I signed up for the marathon, I focused on proper nutrition and consistently began to build endurance and mileage each week. I successfully completed my first marathon in 2012; It was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. I remember starting the race Running For The Bay, St. George Island at the break of dawn, seeing the amazing sunrise as I ran over the bridge in St. George Island- Apalachicola, FL. I knew this would forever be a high point in my life; the feeling was priceless!

All you need is the proper mindset, motivation, and consistency to make your dreams come true. I entered my first figure show at the age of 53. I never dreamed I could transform my body, build muscle, and reduce my body fat enough to consider entering a competition. I was slightly overweight in my teens and put on additional weight in my thirties after having children. However, once I became interested in a career in fitness, the goal of entering a figure competition didn’t seem so far fetched, even at the age of 53. My first marathon gave me the confidence to set new goals in life. As I became stronger and improved my fitness level, I began to dismiss age or body type as a barrier to my goals. I realized you can do anything you put your mind to, as long as you believe it, and put the work in to achieve it.

Here I am below at age 53 and I placed 3rd in my age group. I’ll admit, I could have done better, and I didn’t put enough work into posing and nutrition. But this still took hard work, and I was happy with my results. Proof that what you focus on will flourish.

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This concept also works with relationships. We all thrive on connections with family and friends. However, with our busy lives, it can be difficult to put the time and effort into building and nurturing relationships with loved ones. Perhaps you feel guilty about not connecting or spending enough time with your children, parents, siblings, or friends. All it takes is a little thought and focus on ways to increase communication. Consider weekly calls, planning weekend get-togethers, or reading nightly bedtime stories to your children.

Think about an area in your life that you want to improve and simply take the first step. Consider your health, career, and your relationships and start with a plan. Be consistent, focus on the work, and you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve.

Super Coffee Creamer

I love coffee and believe it or not, it’s actually a great incentive for me to hop out of bed early most mornings to get things done.  Also, if you’re like me and you drink a lot of coffee, you may want to read my article,  Is Your Coffee A Healthy Brew?

Therefore, needless to say, I’m always on the lookout for new brands and flavors of coffee and creamers. I recently found this coffee creamer in our local grocery store.

 

 

It contains MCT oil and monk fruit for a super boost of creamy flavor to your morning coffee. Per Healthline.com

Monk fruit, or lo han guo, is a small green melon native to southern China and named after the monks who first cultivated it centuries ago. The health benefits of the fruit have been well-known in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for decades, but its sweet little secret is finally making it into the wellness mainstream. It’s a sweetener that has zero calories and has anti-inflammatory properties.

Per Medical News Today

Medium-chain triglycerides are a type of fat that is found in certain oils and dairy products. MCT oil is a supplement made of these fats.

MCTs have many potential health benefits, and taking MCT oil supplements may also be beneficial.

While MCTs may not lead to dramatic weight loss, they may be able to play a role in overall weight management. They may also help boost energy and endurance, although more research is needed to prove this benefit.

A growing body of research also suggests that MCTs may improve a person’s ability to think and fight the effects of conditions such as Alzheimer’s.

I never add sweetener to my coffee and most creamers have unhealthy ingredients.  This creamer is a big hit with me, with natural ingredients that add a delicious, creamy- slightly sweet flavor. And best of all, I might be imagining this but I felt a boost of energy for my workout.

 

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