Monday, March 23, 2015

How to Stay Fit and Healthy This Spring

Happy Spring!!

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With the Spring season we often think of flowers blooming, beautiful sunny days and trees  in blossom; however, so me of you may be experience the dreaded spring allergies. I was hit by a pollen bus last week, and am now recovering from scratchy throat, plugged ears, constant sneezing, and bathing myself in antibacterial. Which found me pondering, "How can I stay healthy during this season," when it almost seems doomed that I'll be sniffing Flonase and carrying a box of Kleenex with me.

Here are some of my tips and tricks to make sure you won't be confined to your bedroom this Spring.

1. Drink Lots of Water. It's important to stay hydrated, it's one more thing tthat can cause you to stay strong against the cold and flu bugs. Nothing is worse than experiencing a double dose of allergies and cold/flu symptoms.

2. Stay  Moderately Active. It may not be the best idea to head out for a walk/run in the midst of pollen season, but staying moderately active can help fight against any major issues. Although Bikini Season is around the corner, choose activities that are low impact, but efficient (i.e, HIIT, Elliptical, Walking, strength training, yoga, barre, Pilates, etc.)

3. Schedule in 1-2 REST days each week. Moderately exercising is important for your health. Although many of us are looking to lose weight this season, over-exerciseing can deflate your immune system leaving it vulnerable or  catching a bug. Choose a few days to give your body rest.

4. Incorporate Honey into your Diet. Honey has antibacterial properties that can fight against both allergies and cold and flu bugs. I try to take a spoonful of honey each day ( I have an allergy blend that I got from Whole Foods). Allergy blends are a type of honey that is made from pollination of local flowers/flowering trees Also for colds you can combine a teaspoon of hone, juice from half a lemon and hot water into your coffee mug and have a soothing tea to clear throats and aid in feeling better.

Good luck this season!

Comment below of any tips or tricks you have to fight against Allergy season.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

How to Make Fitness a Lifestyle and Not Just a Routine

How to Make Fitness a Lifestyle and Not Just a Routine

I've walked the fine line of working out and healthy living, and working out to lose a few pounds and working out obsessively, that for over a year, I never took a rest day.

Extreme exercise was ever present after having a child. I typically ran 6 days a week, about 28 miles a week. I also included an additional 60-90minutes of strength training on top. Occasionally I'd add a hot yoga session in on days that I didn't strength train. I was the fittest I'd ever been. I had energy that allowed me to play with my daughter and went to work happy that I had exercised. However, on days that I woke up late, or didn't get lots of rest (this happens from time to time as a parent). I found myself grouchy and frustrated, thinking "I have to get a run in." Then 1-2 after a run, I'd be a happier person.

However, I knew this wasn't healthy, in the back of my mind I often put exercising over personal health, I devoted EVERYTHING to making sure that I was able to wake up in the morning an fit into my jeans (which is ironic, because I worked out so much that I usually just stayed in fitness clothes all day).

Eventually, I have come to let it go and be more moderate in my exercise. Instead of size being my motivator, it is more about endurance. Do I have enough endurance to run 3 miles? Am I getting stronger? Can I do the splits? Focusing on cardio, strength, and flexibility, seems to be a better overall achievement when it comes to fitness and healthy living.

I have read several books on myths of exercising, and I'm sure you have seen articles boasting about shorter jogs being better for you than long distance. Sure you will shead more pounds the more you work out, but are you compromising your health as you are doing it?

Here are a few tips on how to focus on staying and keeping fit, while making time for other things.

1. Create a morning routine: I usually wake up, get coffee, read my Bible, and then make time to workout. Occasionally, I will meet up some of my friends for a stroller run, so on those days I have time for cleaning, blogging, or other activities that need my attention in the morning. I enjoy working out in the morning because there are still quiet moments and then I've already exercised and can actually put on those jeans.

2. Make time for other activities in your life: This past Christmas I got a Kindle Fire, and was so excited to be able to read on the fly, without working about a giant book fitting in my purse.

3. Have REST days: REST is just as important as exercising. Not only is it physically healing, but also mentally rewarding. It becomes part of your routine more when you have the availability of have a few days off. If you need to schedule them do so. I operate the fact that I plan to workout everyday, os if something comes up and I'm not able to, then I have a rest day, and something ALWAYS comes up. :)

4. Have fun: Look for activities that are fun. Incorporate some thing new into your routine, whether it is a new workout, location, style of exercise, keeping it new and exciting will help your will power on those difficult mornings.

5. Find a friend to workout with you: As I mentioned I have friends who run with me on occasion. We strap up our kids in the stroller and head off on a 3-5 mile route. It is so much more fun having someone there to keep you entertain as you climb hills or burn those thighs.

6. Self-evaluate: Check in from time to time about how you are feeling while working out. Try to step back and look at the overall picture. Are you spending too much time? Are you not spending enough? Is a part of your life suffering due to this schedule? This helps keep fitness in perspective. and that it is a journey and not a finish line.

I hope you find this helpful. Share in the comments below ways that keep you motivated and in check about your fitness.

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Friday, March 13, 2015

Friday Favorites: Shades of Grey

Friday Favorite: Shades of Grey

1.Yoga Top with Inner Top by H & M at 24.95
2.adidas 'Run' Print Tight  by Stella McCartney at 100.00
3.Bungalow Hoodie in Heather Grey by Joah Brown for 72.00
4.'Yoga Sling 2" Sandal by Sanuk at 37.95
5.Summit Half-Zip, Zig Zag by Albion Fit at 74.00
6.All-Shirred Up Pullover by Zella at Nordstroms at 38.50

Favorite Posts

Caroline's Five Favorite Reads by Cup of Jo
Flybarre in Boston is Open for Shaking by Sarah Fit
5 Foods You Should be Eating in the Spring by Mommy, run fast!
Leprechaun-Approved Banana-Blueberry- and Spinach- Pancakes by FitSugar
13 Saint Patrick’s Day Recipes Under 200 Calories Each by Chocolate-Covered Katie
How to Make a Font out of Your Handwriting by College Prep

Linking Up With Jill and Heather

What is your favorite way to shake up your routine?

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Taste Test: Pressed Juicery

Taste Test: Pressed Juicery

I was able to attend an opening of Pressed Juicery. I have been following Pressed Juicery on Instagram for a while now and was so excited to be able to be attend. Pressed Juicery is very minimalist in their approach to a storefront, which completments When you walk in it is simply a bare room with three registers accompanied by three happy and friendyly workers, who are eager to help. Behind them is a large refrigerator similar to the ones you find in the grocery store, where you  will find a plethora of juice flavors. With prices ranging from 6.50-8 dollars a juice, although students get a 15% discount. The juices are made same day at a different location and shipped in.

Their juice descriptions are equally simplistic. Pressed has several categories (Greens, Roots, Fruits, Citrus, Signature, Water, Coffee, Classics, and Coconut). Each category has a few flavors and listed as Greens 1, Greens 1.5, Fruits 2, etc, followed by a list of ingredients that are in each juice.
This approach really allows the consumer to find exactly what they want easily. You can also sample any flavors when you get to the register to ensure you will have a successful experience.

I was able to try a Seasonal blend (green apple, guava, pear, red leaf lettuce, romaine, spinach), two Fruit Blends (Apple, Strawberry, Lime; and Apple Strawberry, Coconut), a Signature Blend called Brazil Nut (Brazil Nut, Dates, Kale, Romaine, Sea Salt, Spinach, and Vanilla Bean), and Roots 3 (Beet, Apple, Lemon, Ginger).

They were all extremely flavorful and delicious. The Brazil Nut is a must try, although it is green, it tastes like a yummy protein shake. The Apple, Strawberry, Lime is a sensory explosion and sure to delight the most hesitant when it comes to juicing.

Delicious flavors
Lots of choices
Opportunity to create a juice cleanse

Price point is steep
Not made fresh on the spot (which may impact nutrients lost during delivery)

Have you tried Pressed Juicery? Have you tried a cleanse?

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Friday, March 6, 2015

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Book Review: When You Eat At the Refrigerator, Pull Up A Chair

 Book Review: When You Eat At the Refrigerator, Pull Up A Chair

Though this book be small, it is packed with 50 short chapters of healing wisdom. Roth does a wonderful job of reshaping the reader's view of food and dieting. Her approach is both blunt and caring, it is obvious she is aware of the pain and hurt that comes with eating/dieting. Roth writes to inspire and help make the reader aware of their harmful or misleading ways of approaching food. Some of the titles you will find in this book give a great look as to what wisdom you will find:
Whatever You Do Don't Diet
Learn To Recognize a Fat-and-Ugly Attack
Learn the Difference Between Self-Indulgence and Self-Kindness
Carry a Chunk of Chocolate Everywhere
When You Are Not Hungry, Beauty is Better Than Bonbons

Roth would rather have the reader consume an entire box of chocolates than abstain from it because the effects of consuming that much will likely cause us to abstain from it longer, than just our sheer will power or guilt.

 A few lasting quotes to encourage you even more to pick of this gem and read:

 "The basic message for a diet is that if you let yourself go, you will devour the universe."
"The 4th law of the universe is that for every diet, there is an equal and opposite binge."
"Deprivation, fear, shame, and guilt do not have and never will lead to long-lasting change."
"Long lasting change can only come through kindness to yourself, curiosity about what you do, and a willingness to act on your own behalf."
"Keep an ongoing list of the instructions you obey or feel guilty about not obeying."
"Since fat is responsible for satiety, when you don't eat enough fat, you never feel full."

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Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday Favorites: Food Edition

Friday Favorites: Food Edition

1.Liberte Yogurt: A sweet and creamy treat. I've only tried the coconut and it was really delicious.
2.LaraBar: Healthy way to satisfy a craving. Full of whole ingredients and gluten free. Simply wonderful!
3.Nature's Path Love Crunch: Amazingly delicious. I have consumed a whole bag in a day... Really yummy.
4.GT's Kombucha: My go to drink! I love their Gingerade and Cranberry Cosmos. I wish restaurants had these on hand. Delicious and great for you!
5.Perfect Fit Protein: This protein is one of the only ones I can stomach. I've only had the Chocolate, but it also comes in Cinnamon Roll and Vanilla. Plenty of creative ways to use it on Tone It Up. Really delicious and minimal amount of ingredients.
6.Noosa Yoghurt: This is such a winner! I love Noosa! It is Austrialian yoghurt, which is a little tangy, but with their combinations, it is oh so sweet.

Favorite Posts of the Week

Four 30 minute workouts by Peanut Butter Fingers

Pear Granola by Pancake Warriors

Books I Can't Stop Recommending by Modern Mrs. Darcy

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Thursday, February 26, 2015

App Review: Under Armour Record

App Review: Under Armour Record

Under Armour is an up and coming brand. It seems like their presence is everywhere. They recently created a basketball shoe for Stephan Curry. You can find it here. Along with adding athletes to their brand, they have created great attention with their new app, Record. Under Armour recently acquired MapMyFitness, Endomodo, and My Fitness Pal. This is quite a large acquisition, I have used all three apps and found that Record has a similar structure to MapMyFitness.  A great aspect of Record allows you to connect a large variety of devices to enhance personal fitness tracking.

You can see that Under Armour allows for the user to connect a large variety of devices and apps, including MyFitnessPal.

You can also track and log workouts and view your workouts on a feed. The feed allows you to choose between your feed and viewing your friend's feed, allowing the user to comment and like a workout.

The app also allows you to log your weight, take/upload photos and videos, track and log workouts, create posts, and log sleep. It is a comprehensive app and allows for you to also choose and create challenges that may be personal or with friedns that you invite to join.

I used MapMyFitness for running and found that it often had the best GPS tracking than my other apps (Nike+ and Strava). Record seems to be just as accurate in their GPS tracking. I really like the options that Record has for tracking and logging workouts, you can log stroller, dog, race, and distance runs as well as adding a variety of classes too.

Easy to use
Connect a variety of devices
Accurate GPS tracking
Tracks Sleep, Weight, Exercise
Ability to create challenges to complete

Not all apps and devices are available to connect

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Monday, February 23, 2015

Book Review: Food Rules

Book Review: Food Rules

Pollan writes a short, concise book filled with tips and wisdom for anyone looking to improve their health. Though this book is little, it is filled with large wisdom, 68 rules that will transform your eating habits. Food Rules teaches yo to look at food through a 'whole' approach avoiding processed foods. One of my favorite rules is "only eat products that a th

Whether you are following a diet or just looking to clean up your eating, Pollan structures great rules that all can agree with. This book isn't a diet book and these rules aren't meant to be har

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Book Review: The Skinny Rules

Book Review: The Skinny Rules

This is a very easy and quick read. I picked up this book because of the celebrity appeal. I've watched The Biggest Loser on and off for years and wanted to read an inside view of one of the trainers. Being both a teacher and a first born girl in my family, rules are easy for me to understand and follow; however, not everyone likes rules. Although this book is an easy ans quick read following these rules may take along time. Harper is convinced that these rules are 'nonnegotiable'. 

The rules are practical and make sense. This is a book based on diet not exercise, so where you will be skinny, this isn't the book that discusses overall fitness. These 'rules' are a great place to start to begin becoming aware of what a healthy diet consists of. 

My favorite rule is #1 Drink a Large Glass of Water Before Every Meal-No Excuses!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Workout Wear: Dr. Scholls Active Insoles

Workout Wear: Dr. Scholls Active Insoles

When I first became a part of the  Influenster community, I received these a pair of  The Active Series Insoles by Dr. Scholls. I had never had insoles before in any of my shoes, I didn't even think that I was one who qualified to have insoles. I have no foot, knee, or leg pain. My back has never been an issue when it comes to working out or performing daily activities, essentially my idea of insoles were for those who had a medical need for them. It's nice to sometimes be proven wrong. I was eager to try these insoles, just because I could make another excuse to go outside and hit the pavement. WOW! The cushion that these provided was incredible. I usually buy cushioned and supported running shoes due to my high arch and pronation. 

(My Moms Run This Town Buddies and Me (center)

The Active Series Insoles by Dr. Scholls couldn't have come at a better time. My shoes were close to being retired, which meant knee pain was near. These insoles allowed me to continue running, with ZERO knee pain. Despite my shoes being expired The Active Series Insoles by Dr. Scholls worked well, but didn't replace the notion that I needed new shoes. 

When you receive the insoles you will need to cut them to shape the insole of your running/workout shoe. This means that it is a one time use and suggest that you buy them when you receive a new pair of shoes to maximize use.

Great for all feet
Allows you to personally shape the insoles to your shoe
Provides Cushion
Added Support

Having to cut the insole to match your shoe
One time use after you have cut to match your shoe.
A new pair is needed for each additional pair

Have you had insoles before? What questions do you have about athletic insoles?

These are opinions are my own! I was not paid to give a review on this product.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Barre3 Review

Barre3 Review

I recently tried the trial version of Barre3 and absolutely loved it. As a barre instructor myself, I often have a hard time coordinating child care in hopes of making it to the gym. Most of my workout routines are at home or out on the street running. Barre3 is fabulous! They have a variety of workouts ranging from 10-60 minutes in length. It allows you to view from any device ( I used my Apple Computer, My iPhone, and my Kindle Fire). You will need to have a ball, weights, mat and chair for most videos, but there were a few videos that only required a few of these items or none at all. 

I tried quite a few of the videos ranging from 30-60 minutes. Barre3 has made it easy to do it anywhere. I mostly did the classes at home, but was able to take it with me when we went to my in-laws. One of the great features of the online Barre3 workouts are the modifications. All the workouts I watched featured 3 instructors, one taught the class, one modified the positions, and one increased the work load or did the exercises as taught. I liked this feature because it allows the viewer to find where their range and workload is. 

Barre3 also allows flexibility for those who wish to continue their membership. There are three options: monthly ($15/mo), 6 months ($70), or yearly ($120). The year membership comes with a Barre3 ball!! They also feature programs to keep you motivated (28 to Great, and 7 Day Slim Down).

Great flexibility for viewers
Advancements and modifications in each class
Programs to stay motivated
Easy to follow format
Can access from anywhere
Fun and energetic teachers

Viewers may not have access to ball or weights

Friday, February 13, 2015

Last Minute Valentine's Gift Guide

Friday Favorites

It's almost Valentine's Day. Here are a few of my favorites!

1.GU Chomps in Strawberry w/ Caffeine by GU Energy Labs ($
2.S'well Bottle in Cabana ($35)
3.Women's UA Shimmer Tote by Under Armour ($39.99)
4.Hidden Dry 2 in Pink by Balega ($11.00)
5.Garmin Forerunner 10 GPS Watch in Pink ($95)
6.Grid Foam Roller in Pink by TriggerPoint Therapy ($40)
7.Headband in Undersea Crystals  by Victoria's Secret ($12.50)
8.Be Mine by Sticky Be Socks ($15.00)
9.Plus Bar in Energy Chocolate by Greens Plus ($31.95/12 bars)
31.75/ box of 16)

Favorite Posts of the Week

When Intuitive Exercise Doesn't Feel Good by Nutrition Nut On The Run
12 minute workout to tone you up by Purely Twins
Write a Manifesto by Jill Conyers
Valentine's Day Total Body Partner Workout by Fitness and Feta

The Benefits of Coffee by Fitness On Toast
How Much Coffee Is Too Much by FitSugar
The Best Plant Based Proteins by FitSugar

What Do You Need To Run For Your First Marathon by NYCRunningMama

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