Saturday, November 16, 2013

Save time - Stay Healthy

Our days are so busy.  It’s difficult enough just to get yourself (and perhaps your family) out the door in the morning and through the day.  Adding a desire to eat right and exercise on top of it – it can be nearly impossible to fit everything in your day.  That’s why I have a love-hate relationship with my lifestyle.  

I love:

  • Eating healthy foods that don’t make me feel sick
  • Lifting weights and walking/biking everywhere
  • Always having something to wear because clothes fit!
  • Feeling awesome 

 I hate:

  • Food prep
  • Getting bored with food (because I’m bad at food ideas/cooking!)
  • The “yes, I’m going” – “no, I’ll skip it” workout conversation in my head.
  • Doing more, but seeing less results
  • The time suck that is: planning 5+ meals for 7 days each week, grocery list/shopping (because you can’t get everything at just one store!), cooking, packing lunches/snacks, logging food intake, prepping workouts and actually getting my ass to the gym to execute them, etc.
  • Feeling guilty when I indulge or deprived when I don’t – where is the happy medium?

Are you with me?  I’m always looking for ways to keep changing my meals and workouts, while keeping the time suck to a minimum.  It’s the only way I’ll have a chance to stay motivated and stick to clean eating and activities.  Here are some time savers I’ve found and feel free to share yours!

--I quit the treadmill (for the most part) and the elliptical – If I’m on the treadmill, it’s because I’m training for a race and I can’t run outdoors.  Or, because I am doing a 15-20 minute HIIT workout.  But, going at a constant pace on either of these machines for a long period of time doesn’t burn nearly the calories you think it does and does nothing for your muscles.  This leads into:

--Short, high intensity workouts – this goes for both cardio and lifting weights.  Personally, I’m partial to the benefits and results of lifting versus cardio.  If you lift, lift heavy – meaning heavier than you think you can lift and limit rest periods.  Unless you’re training for an event, there’s no need to run at a constant pace.  Do hill sprints or an HIIT workout on the treadmill.  You’ll see much better results than if you were to lift or run for an hour at a comfy pace.  And, quit looking at your phone/book/TV.  Focus hard for 20-30 minutes and get it done!

--If you’re like me, you eat similar foods every day.  Take an hour on the weekend to prepare all of your meals and snacks for the upcoming week.  Bake chicken or fish, use your crockpot to cook turkey chili, boil eggs, wash and cut fruits and veggies, cook several servings of brown rice or quinoa, etc.  Get them into separate containers and have everything readily available for the whole week.  Then, you don’t have to spend the time and you don’t have an excuse to blow off eating healthy – it’s already cooked!

--Keep your calendar handy so you can mark appointments to complete your workouts and food logs.  I set reminders and appointments on my smartphone to help hold myself accountable to go to the gym, log food, weigh-in and take my measurements.  Staying organized helps to keep the time spend to a minimum and it helps to have your goals in writing.

What are your time-saving tips?

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Weight loss and toxicity

Yesterday I attended a wellness seminar led by former Ms. Fitness Bikini Minnesota.  She is very passionate speaker with a great story to share, so I really enjoyed it.  I wanted to share with you some random tidbits that she talked about.

The background is that she was always health-conscious and in shape.  But, she gained 25 pounds in two months with no explanation.  After going to several doctors, they discovered she was living in black mold.  Then, she began her research and promotion of cell detox to boost metabolism.

  • When you are ill, you are typically encouraged to find the treatment for symptoms.  Instead, find the cause of the symptoms and cure them through good health.
  • 1/3 of children born after 2000 will not live as long as their parents did due to preventable diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes.
  • She got her 9-year-old daughter to give up on succumbing to fast food marketing to kids by proving to her that real food molds quickly, while a McDonald's Happy Meal will never mold. (Gross!)
  • Eat foods that don't come with labels!  If they do come with labels, read what you are eating first.  
  • Eat anti-inflammatory foods like broccoli, sweet potatoes and green tea so you avoid insulin/glucose spikes.
  • Avoid hydrogenated oil (trans fats) and sugar.  
  • Cook with coconut oil.
  • Cooking food in the microwave can deplete nutrients. 
  • Living in Minnesota is more toxic than living in California smog because we rarely open windows, etc. Items in our home such as fragrances (ie: Glade plug-ins), cleaning products and beauty products expose us to hundreds of toxins.
  • Your body will only burn fat or only burn sugar - not both at the same time.  Avoid sugar (or things that turn to sugar immediately like white bread) to promote fat burning and reduce food cravings.

Good reminders, right?  At the end of the seminar, she was selling a shake system, which I did not purchase.  I can't tell you whether it's good or bad, so I won't comment either way.  It could be a good system, but personally I just prefer to buy fresh foods.  I am all for trying to reduce putting unhealthy foods in your body and cleaning up your environment to stay healthy.  But, I'm also of the mind that we all have a shelf life no matter what we do to try to slow that down - and we don't know what that shelf life is going to be.  We all have to make the decision for ourselves how much we want to work to preserve that.  Always remember to follow the system that works for you and your family.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Check out photos from my workout yesterday

I documented my workout yesterday here:

I've been doing a split workout and lifting heavy over the winter.  Now that spring is (eventually) coming to Minneapolis, I'll be running more (for enjoyment) and switching to a stamina workout:  less weight, more reps.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A love-hate relationship with sitting

There's nothing more I love doing after a busy day than sitting on the sofa with a cup of tea (or sometimes wine!) and indulging in some reality TV.  It's my "reward" for spending a long day at work, fitting in a workout, preparing healthy meals, and completing errands and chores.

But, during the day, I work at a computer and sit in meetings.  I do my best to get up from my desk often and try to fit in short walks during the day because I know how unhealthy it is to sit for such an extended time period.  I have this article hanging up at my desk so I remember to keep moving throughout the day.

I would like to do more during the day to keep moving and de-stress.  So, I made up the chart below with stretches I can do at my desk.  I'm going to do my best to go through the routine every morning and afternoon.

If you are stuck at a desk all day like me, give this a try.

  • Stretch often
  • Stand when you talk on the phone
  • Get up at least once per hour
  • Plan walking meetings if you can
  • Move move move!
Touch the sky
Reach your arms up to the sky and as far back as you can safely go.

Side stretch
While standing reach your one arm overhead and to the opposite side.  Keep the other hand on your hip.
Toe touch
Bend at the hip and reach for your toes.

Wrist/ankle circles
Make circles with your wrists and ankles. Rotate in both directions. Also with each hand alternate making fists and opening your hand wide. Do this back and forth a few times.

Neck circles
Slowly stretch forward and back, side to side, round in circles, and twist to look over each shoulder.
Arm stretch
Extend one arm out straight in front of you. With the other hand, grab the elbow of the outstretched arm and pull it across your chest, stretching your shoulder and upper back muscles.
Arm circles
While standing, rotate each arm around in big circles both forward and backward.

Seated twist
First sit up straight. Twist in your chair keeping your hips stationary. Twist all the way from lower back all the way up to your head looking over your shoulder.

Quad stretch
Stand on one leg and stretch out your quadricep muscle.  Bend your knee and pull your foot toward you.

Hip stretch
Sitting in your chair cross one leg over the other so that ankle rests just above the knee. Lean forward to feel a stretch in your hips.
Shoulder shrugs
1.      Inhale deeply and shrug your shoulders, lifting them high up to your ears. Hold. Release and drop. Repeat three times.
2.      Shake your head slowly, yes and no. 

Leg extensions
Grab the seat of your chair to brace yourself and extend your legs straight out in front of you so they are parallel to the floor.  Flex and point your toes five times.

Leg hug
Sit on the edge of your chair (if it has wheels, wedge the chair against the desk or wall to make sure it does not roll). Put your feet together, flat on the floor.  Lean over, chest to knees, letting your arms dangle loosely to the floor. Release your neck. Bring your hands behind your legs, right hand grasping left wrist, forearm, left hand grasping the right.  Release your hands to the floor again and repeat three times.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Don't Give Up...Don't Look Back

It seems like weight comes on quickly, but takes forever to get off.  It's even tougher for me than it used to be when I first started my weight loss "project" in 2005.  I'm not getting any younger!  ;)  The things that used to work to get the weight off don't work as well anymore.

Most of the time, I'm very motivated to eat healthy and keep working out, but as you know, some days are tougher than others.  Some days you feel like you are missing out on things.  Some days you get tired of calorie counting.  Some days you don't feel like worrying about health or weight anymore.

Then, there are excuses, like the fact that I'm living in this miserable climate...

...and after I spent the last month food journaling religiously, eating clean the majority of the time, working out regularly, and giving up alcohol, I GAINED four pounds.  Really?!

My goals seem more and more difficult to reach every day - and even when I do reach them, I'm not going to look like I did when I was 18, right?  So, what keeps you going during these bad plateaus and blue times?

I can't give up.  Yesterday, I really wanted to give up.  I wanted to eat a junk food lunch, skip the gym, then grab a pizza and a bottle of wine for dinner.  But, I didn't.  We ordered food for a lunch meeting at work, where I could've easily eaten something terrible, but I ate a clean 294 calorie lunch and fruit later.  I went to the gym, not the liquor store.  We made scallops and mashed cauliflower for dinner, not pizza.  

I pushed through a tough day because I'm looking forward.  This is backwards and I'm not going there again!

  • I used my support system: I vented my weight gain to two of my friends who are also trying to lose weight.  Then, my husband encouraged me to go to the gym and pushed me HARD when I was there.
  • I re-visited my goals:  This is what I want.  I'm not sure when I will get it all, but I have to keep working toward it.
  • I remembered: Every day is a new day!  

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Friend Makin’ Mon…er Tuesday

Copied from Renee's blog at  You should also follow her blog {run} {laugh} {eat pie} because it's good!

Here's how the game goes: Copy the questions below into your own blog and respond, then link back here.  Make some friends and learn a little ;)  Here are my answers!

Ten Questions:
1. Describe the kind of home you would live in if money were no object. On the ocean, lots of outdoor space, tons of floor-to-ceiling windows and my kitchen/dining would be built like a coffee house.
2. Are you more conservative in your actions or more rebellious? I would prefer to be more rebellious, but responsibilities result in conservative actions.
3. Would you go to Mars even if it meant you could never return to Earth? Nope
4. Name one song that makes you want to dance every time you hear it. Right now...Titanium
5. Share one thing that you wish you could go back and do differently in your life. I would've focused more on myself and less on relationships or advice from others.  I passed up a lot of things because I was too broke, or thought I wouldn't be able to make it on my own.  I was broke at age 20 anyway, so I should've just taken the chances when I had the opportunity - specifically I would've done more traveling, lived in more cities, moved (a lot) further away for college.  The window to be completely selfish is so short and you just don't realize it at the time. 
6. Share at least one accomplishment that people wouldn’t expect you to be proud of. This is tough. I'm proud of everything I've accomplished.  Why not?
7. Describe one delicious thing that you’ve eaten lately.  Hubby and I split a burger & fries on Friday night.  I usually use my cheat meals to eat pizza.  Haven't had a burger in so long and it was SO good!
8. If you had a theme song that would play every time you entered a room, which song would you choose? "Nothin' But A Good Time" - Poison
9. Had technology enhanced your life, or has it over complicated your life? Close call, but enhanced.  That said, I still think I was born in the wrong time.  Definitely should've been born in the first part of the 1900s.
10. If you could get paid to do any job, which job would you choose? If I could choose ANYTHING, I'd like to get paid to shop with an unlimited budget LOL.  More realistically, wellness coaching/fitness training/nutrition guru...I'm working on that ;)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Get Fit Where You Sit

I sit at a desk all day - and I can’t stand sitting all day – because sitting is the new smoking (read more about that here). I’m always looking for ways to move throughout the day without causing too much of a disruption.

Give this chair yoga routine a try at work at least three times per week and you should notice increased circulation, strength and flexibility over time. This workout is also great for seniors who might have a more difficult time staying mobile.

Important: push your body to a point where you feel the stretch – not pain! Check with your doctor if you are new to exercise.

Forward Bend
Targets: upper back and neck tension release
How-to: Breathe in and out as you bend forward. Let your head and arms hang over your knees. Relax into the position and hold for a few seconds. Breathe in as you slowly come back up to seated position.

Spinal Twist

Targets: spine circulation/flexibility
How-to: Face forward and place your left hand on the outside of your right knee. Put your right arm over the back of the chair and turn your head. Breathe in and out as you twist to the right, and then push against your right knee and hold. Release slowly, face forward and repeat on the opposite side.

Side Stretch

Targets: spinal column flexibility
How-to: Face forward with feet slightly apart, breathe in, and raise your arms out to the sides. Breathe out and bend to the left, reaching toward the floor with your left hand and your right hand pointing toward the ceiling. Breathe in come back to starting position. Repeat with your right side.

Knee Squeeze

Targets: lower back
How-to: Breathe in and out, and then put both hands around the front of your knee pull your left knee to your chest while holding your breath. Lower your head to your knee, hold for a few seconds and release slowly while breathing out. Repeat on your right side.

Leg Lifts

Targets: lower back, improves circulation to legs and feet
How-to: Sit and hold each side of the chair for balance. Breathe in and out as you lift your straightened left leg and flex your foot. Hold for a few seconds and then slowly breathe out while lowering your leg. Repeat the same with your right leg.

Sun Pose

Targets: spine and hips, improves circulation to your head
How-to: Sit back in the chair with legs apart and arms by your side. Breathe out completely then breathe in and with a sweeping motion bring your arms up over your head. Look up and stretch. Breathe out while bending forward between your legs and if you can put your palms on the floor. Slowly breathe in while coming back to the starting position.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

New Video Blog!

Happy Spring, everyone!  I haven't done a video blog since 2011, but I have a new one to share with you!  I hope this helps get you motivated to set some goals and I hope the guest speaker is inspiring ;)  Check it out:

Sunday, March 17, 2013


I've been going to a certain vitamin store for quite some time - mostly out of convenience.  The location is good and I have a lot of rewards built up.  But, the service is so annoying.  I feel like I'm entering a den of hungry wolves going into that store.  The sales people hover and try to sell you everything in the store the entire time.  It's so annoying!

Yesterday we went to the grand opening at my new gym and The Vitamin Shoppe (also brand new in my 'hood) had a booth there.  After our workout, we went over to check out the new store and it was great!  I loved the products they had (even vitamins for your pets!)  Plus, the service was great - the staff was knowledgeable when we asked about products, but didn't follow us around the store the entire time pushing this month's spiff product.

The best thing I bought was a month's worth of vitamins in a single pack for only $37.  I spend so much time and money getting together my daily intake of fish oil, a multivitamin, vitamin D, etc.  Now, I just have to grab one pack and I don't have to deal with the organization any longer.  Check it out:

Monday, March 4, 2013

4 Easy Yoga Poses (a.k.a. my favorites)

For those of us following the March Madness challenge I posted on my Facebook page, today’s challenge is to do some yoga.  Personally, I’m not a huge fan of attending yoga classes.  I much prefer Pilates to yoga.  I know it’s wonderful for you, so I wish I liked it better, but I just don’t.  Perhaps I’m too intimidated by some of the poses?  I like the restful ones!

While I wouldn’t take a yoga class regularly, I still do yoga poses a few times a week because I enjoy the stretching aspect of it.  Posting my favorite poses for you below (really, the only poses I do!).  Give them a shot and let me know what you think.  Also, if you are a yoga-lover, I would love to hear your perspective about it!

1. Cobra I have lower back pain from time to time, and this pose really helps after a weightlifting workout where I’m focusing on my back. 


2. Hero - This one is great post-run or after working your legs doing squats and lunges.

3. Plank - In my opinion, this is the best core strengthener around.
4. Child's Pose - I think this is such a peaceful pose.  I end every post-workout stretching session with this pose.  It gives me 30 seconds to reflect on my workout, take some pride, and be happy it’s done!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Last September, I ran my first half marathon.  It was one of my finer moments mentally, but not physically, as you can see ;)

I trained for months, but I never lost any weight.  I trained my body to run long distances, but I wasn't training my body to change.  Overall, I was happy with my race time and my accomplishment, but I don't think it's something I want to do again.  I'm much more suited to weightlifting, so I'm going to focus more on that this year.

I still like running and I plan to do some 5K and 10K races this year.  So, I have been trying to walk more and stay active throughout the day in general.  And, I've incorporated two high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts into my routine each week.  My HIIT workouts last about 20 minutes plus a 5-minute warm-up and a 5-minute cool down.  During the 20 minutes I alternate short intense repetitions with short recovery periods.

I like this type of workout because I can tell it really helps improve my performance overall.  Plus, it increases your resting metabolic rate (RMR), which helps burn fat.  Here is a sample treadmill workout if you want to give it a try!  If you can't handle the speed or incline right away, just be patient and work up to it!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Sephora Online Shopping Trip - Product Reviews

As I mentioned, I made a Valentine's Day haul at Sephora.  Lots of products to recap, but I'll try to keep it concise for you!

Clinique Long Last Glosswear - $15 - First time buy and I would buy again.  It's sticky, hence the long-last part.  I bought it in Bonfire, which has a nice color that would suit anyone.  Flecks of glitter, but not in a juvenile way.  Love it!  I want some other colors!

Bobbi Brown Corrector - $23 - Third time buy.  I love this stuff - it cancels out the dark circles my grandmother passed onto me better than anything I've ever found.  I only have to buy this about once per year.

Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Kit - $33 - Third time buy.  It goes over the corrector and brightens.  Love love love!  Again - it lasts me about a year.

Clinique Lash Power Mascara Long Wearing Formula - $16 - Second time buy.  I love this mascara because it's the "tube" type that doesn't budge and the brush is tiny - easy to use.  I have oily lids and this doesn't cause raccoon eyes!  This is a darkening mascara, which I like for my light lashes.  If I want thickening, I add a Maybelline mascara.  Right now I'm using Stilletto.

Sephora Collection Instant Eye Makeup Remover - $8.50 - First time buy.  Where have you been all my life??!!  Not too oily, not too creamy and works wonders, even on my Clinique mascara.  With other makeup removers, I cannot get that mascara off without serious work.  Just buy this - seriously.

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion Tube Original - $20 - First time buy.  I have been using MAC's Paint Pot, but I love UD products, so I thought I'd try this.  I love how this goes on and works great to prevent creasing, etc.  I like the MAC coverage a bit better, but next time I will buy the UD again.

FREE SAMPLE - Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment - $85 for 2 oz.  I liked the scrub, but personally I wouldn't spend that on this product because it wasn't that much better than much more inexpensive stuff I've tried.  I am in love with the scent and results of this for only $7.  Love me some Target.

FREE SAMPLE - Marchesa Parfum D'Extase - $60 for 1 oz. - I like the name more than the scent.  It was way too floral for me.  But, if you love floral, it's a clean scent, so go for it.

FREE SAMPLE - Carolina Herrera 212 Men - $58 for 1.7 oz. - I liked it, but the scent didn't curl my toes or last long on my hubby.  He said he likes his CK1 much better.  I don't know if that dates him or if the ol' tried and true is still the best ;)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Guess what I bought myself for Valentine's Day?

Who needs chocolate and roses when you have Sephora? Here are the goodies I got today. I'll do a follow-up post with product reviews next week.

Have a happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Find the amount of calories you need each day

I get quite a few questions from people like, “what should I be eating” or “how many calories per day can I eat and still lose weight?” The process is different for everyone, especially when you start factoring in lifestyle, exercise, heredity and those nasty plateau periods. But, let me give you some baseline information to help you get a framework together. For starters, these are my general rules of thumb when anyone asks me how I lost weight:

--Eat foods with five ingredients or less most of the time

--Don’t eliminate food groups

--Be honest about what you are eating (meaning keep a journal and measure portions)

--Water, not soda

--Move more

When I first started out with Weight Watchers, my two main “ah-hah!” moments were 1) when I realized how little calories exercise actually burned, and 2) a big Joey Lawrence “WHOA!” in reference to the size of my portions. It was then that I quit rewarding workouts with food, I started reading labels and I invested in a food scale and measuring tools for my kitchen.

As for how much you should eat, there are two ways you can figure out your recommended caloric intake for the day. You can use your RMR or your LBW. Warning – there is math involved, but if I can do it, you can do it!

1) RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate) – This is the amount of energy you need to sustain your body at rest. Take your body weight x 10 to determine the amount. (IE: if you are 190 pounds, your RMR is 1,900 calories per day).

2) LBW (Lean Body Weight) – If you know your body fat percentage, you can use this calculation to determine a caloric range. First, to determine your lean body weight, take your weight and multiply your body fat percentage. (IE: 190lbs x 30% body fat = 57). Then, subtract this from your total weight. (IE: 190lbs – 57 = 133 LBW). This means your bones, muscles and soft tissue weigh 133 lbs.

To determine your low end of the range, take your LBW and multiply by 16. (IE: 133 x 16 = 2,128 minimum calories per day). To determine your high end of the range, add 500. (IE: 2,128 + 500 = 2,628 maximum calories per day).

An alternative to these calculations, you can record the amount of calories you typically eat in a day. (I would track this for a week and take the average.) If you are currently maintaining your weight or gaining weight, start by reducing your daily caloric intake by 100-200 calories from your original intake amount.

As I mentioned, this information just scratches the surface about caloric intake, but it gives you a baseline. From there, you continue to play with the numbers and your meals until you determine what is or isn’t working for you. The most important thing is that you continue to update these calculations when you lose another 10 pounds. If you lost 20 pounds, it’s important to recalculate the calories you actually need using the lower weight so you don’t gain the weight back.

OK, that’s enough math for today, don’t you think? As a reward, I will leave this for the ladies:

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Positive Jar

Unfortunately (or fortunately), I have reached the age where I'd rather stay in on New Year's Eve instead of going out to fight crowds of 20-somethings for a cocktail whilst screaming conversations over the techno version of Bieber tunes.  Instead, my husband usually makes a delicious steak and lobster dinner.  We reflect on the year over a nice bottle of wine.

Over the past few years the reflection part hasn't been that positive for us for various reasons.  Maybe it's easier to remember the bad things that happen or unfortunate circumstances?  This prompted us to start the Positive Jar:  

Our goals for the year include eating healthier, clean foods because we splurged in December and getting into better physical shape.  We joined a new (and better) fitness center and we want to run a couple of road races this summer.  A major component for losing weight is staying motivated and being consistent with good habits, especially through difficult struggles.  No giving up!  I think making conscious notes about positive things that happen in our lives supports motivation overall.  It reinforces why we want to make changes in the first place.

The jar has a few more notes in it since I took the picture (yay!)  I'm looking forward to filling it throughout the year and reading it at our 2013 New Year's Eve dinner.  Please steal this idea!  It's not too late to start it this year!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Small Changes - Big Benefits

I’m always looking for small improvements I can make to look and feel healthier. That’s how I reached my goals in the first place. I would make one small change and focus on that until it was a habit. Then, I’d move onto the next healthy change.

Now, I’m at the point where I have studied the main concepts for quite some time: clean eating + regular activity = healthy body. I aim to try one new clean eating idea each week and I revamp my exercise plans every four to six weeks. But, there is always more to learn!

If you want to try something new, give one of these a try this week:

Apple Cider Vinegar

Origin: Did you know the word vinegar originates from “sour wine”? See, we are off to a good start!

Health benefits: Known to strengthen the immune system and fight infection; known to boost metabolism and stamina.

How to: Be careful when using – it’s strong! One of my previous trainers used to mix it with water, but personally it tastes too awful for me. Instead, I put a tablespoon on salads, soups, sauces or crockpot dishes. Just it in small amounts and you won’t even taste it.

Chia Seeds

Origin: This one goes back to the Aztecs and comes from a plant that is a member of the mint family. It was a very important crop back in the day because it will sustain you for a good amount of time.

Health benefits: Make-up is typically 20% protein (building blocks for muscles and enzymes), 25% fiber (stay fuller longer) and 34% oil a.k.a. Omega-3 fatty acid (good fats that absorb essential vitamins); known to have even higher anti-oxidants than blueberries; gluten-free

How to: Add a tablespoon to cereal or smoothies.

Green Tea

Origin: Associated with many Asian cultures dating back to 4,000 years ago. Folks drank tea, but it was generally used for medicinal purposes.

Health benefits: I cannot say enough about the benefits of green tea! The disease-prevention benefits are countless. But, it’s a great metabolism booster and fat-burner. YAY!

How to: My favorite time to drink it is right before bed. I even make it old school in a kettle on the stove. Just be sure to get decaf! At least two servings a day is recommended, but you can drink up to 10 cups. For a more reasonable option, you can also take this in pill form.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

My Target Shopping Problem (a.k.a. product recommendations)

I live within a 5-minute walking distance of Target and work three blocks from Target Headquarters, which has a huge 2-story Target store.  I also have the awesome Target debit card, so I get five percent off all purchases.  You might say I have a bit of a Target obsession.

I also love great products and a good deal.  While I love certain spendy products from M.A.C. and Sephora, I don't believe that paying more always means a better product.  There are great products out there for less.  Here are my two finds this week!

1) Garnier BB Cream - SPF 15, $11.99
 If you are over 30, I recommend using a BB cream and this one works great.  I've been using it for five days (apply before makeup) and my skin feels so much better.  St. Paul weather in January is not forgiving to your skin and originally I set out to find a good moisturizer.  I came across this product and it's a winner!  The best thing is that this will last forever.  I over-applied the first time - you only need a small amount for great results.
 2) Sonia Kashuk Satin Luxe Lip Color in Plum Wine - SPF 16, $9.99
 I'm already a fan of the Sonia Kashuk line.  I love love love the travel eyelash curler (that I use every day) and the brush sets.  I haven't tried the lipsticks, so I thought it was about time I did.  When I saw the color in the store, I was a little cautious because it looked dark.  But, I love wearing a rich jewel-toned color in the winter to give my pale skin some life.  It's creamy, but not heavy and it stayed on well for a 'non-stay' lipstick.  I don't think it was too dark for me, but even if it is, I don't care.  I love it and I rocked it for my dinner date with hubby last night :)

Let me know what you think if you try the products.  Today is the perfect day for a Target run!  And, if you don't have the 5% off debit card yet, what are you waiting for?

Monday, January 7, 2013

What do you want to be in 2013?

I feel like this is going to be a really good year. I’m not exactly sure why, but I just have a good feeling. Is that a good enough reason?

The last couple of years have not been so great due to many factors, including my attitude. But, I feel like some things are aligning and my attitude has been adjusted appropriately. I really do believe that hard work and perseverance to prevail. And, if I’m being honest, the last couple of years have been filled with more excuses and laziness than I would’ve liked. So, moving on!

My health goals have been pretty consistent for the past several years, so my goals this year are more about “do more of __________”. The knowing what I want part is never difficult, but staying on track to get there and finding the motivation to do so is very difficult. So, for 2013, I will:

Do more learning. I found some writing classes I want to take, which can only benefit you if you are taking time to read what I write :)  I found classes for online/web writing, magazine writing and self-publishing. (Yes, my health & wellness book/guide/writings/whatever you want to call it made good progress in 2012. I’m almost done writing. Hoping to edit in a few months and start the self-publishing process. After all this time, it’s going to be a masterpiece. I promise.)

Do more playing. Do you ever feel guilty just sitting on the couch when you could be doing something productive? Typically, I’m not an advocate for just sitting around. But, the kids are finally self-sufficient, I work full-time, I’m active every day, and there’s the other multitude of responsibilities I have at home and to other people. Yet, I still feel guilty when I sit and watch The Bachelor with a glass of cabernet in hand. No more! I earned it and I deserve to live in the moment and enjoy some relaxation. No more guilt. When work is done, it’s time to play.

Do more for my health – both mentally and physically. This includes:

  • Lifting more weight than ever before. I document my weights/reps/rest for every workout and each week it’s going to change. I’m really going to push myself here!
  • Challenging myself with some new HIIT workouts during the winter to help my summer road race times. If you have a good routine, please share it!
  • Finding a new doctor and a new dentist (I really dislike both of them right now!)
  • Playing my piano more. I found several new songs I want to learn this year.
  • Write more. For something I really love to do, it’s odd that I don’t do it more often. I have been writing my book quite a bit, which has taken me away from freelancing, blogging and journaling. But, I’ve journaled four times this year already and, look at me now! I’m blogging! Now, who’s got a freelance topic for me?
  • Share more. I need to remember that I’m not alone in this journey of health and wellness. I hate to mention reality television twice in one post, but watching The Biggest Loser last night reminded me that there are so many people who need encouragement and education about this topic. We can all help each other lead happier, healthier lives.
  • Overall, feel better about myself. Like most people, I overindulged during the holidays and I have some extra weight to lose. I know this will come with the goals I’ve set above and documenting daily food intake.

I really encourage you to write down some goals for yourself this year along with documenting how you will achieve them. Revisit and revise often. Feel free to share them here! Happy New Year!