Wednesday, September 30, 2015

4 Weeks with Tosca Reno

So this will be my adventure for 4 weeks. I'm looking forward to it. A friend and my mom are also joining. I will blog about it here for you to see my/our progress. Here's to 4 weeks of digging deep inside, and gently cleansing mind, body and spirit.
Check me out on Facebook as well.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

5 Exercises to Stop Embarrassing Workout Leaks

Published Jun 1, 2015
5 Exercises to Stop Embarrassing Workout LeaksBy Jennifer Bayliss
If you find yourself leaking or wetting your pants when you exercise, you’re not alone.Incontinence doesn’t discriminate. It can happen to anyone — male, female, old, young, during and post-pregnancy. Any movement that puts pressure on the bladder can cause you to leak urine. It may be happening due to an imbalance in the deep abdominal muscles called the pelvic floor. First, you should check with your doctor to make sure there isn’t something more serious going on, but there are exercises that you can try right now to bring some relief.
Typically, Kegel exercises are prescribed for incontinence. These exercises can be performed by men or women to help strengthen the muscles you use to stop urine flow. To perform the exercise, simply imagine that you are in the middle of urinating and you have to stop midstream. If you’ve stopped the imaginary stream, you have successfully performed a Kegel exercise! They are convenient and can be done discreetly at any time throughout the day. Kegels are a good exercise to help strengthen some of the muscles involved with incontinence, but sometimes the muscles that work in opposition to the Kegel muscles are the ones in need of attention. Here are five simple exercises you can do at home or in the gym to target those muscles:

1. Dynamic Hip Flexor Stretch

Stand in a neutral position with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands hanging naturally by your side. Lift your right foot off of the ground and take a long step forward coming into a lunge. Hold for one second before carefully coming back to the starting position. Repeat with your left leg forward and then continue alternating legs. Complete this movement for 30 seconds.

2. Dynamic Side Lunge Stretch

Stand with your feet hip-width apart with your toes pointed directly forward. Bring your hands together in front of your chest. Take a step to the side with your right foot. Once it’s planted, push your hips backward and bend your right knee to 90 degrees. Your left knee should stay straight as you lower into the lunge. Come up out of the lunge and then bring your right foot back to the starting position. Go right into the next repetition, this time stepping to the side with your left foot. Complete this movement for 30 seconds.

3. Squat

With your feet shoulder-width apart, keep your back straight, spine neutral, chest up, and your shoulders square. As you squat down, focus on keeping your knees in line with your feet. Your knees should not move in close to one another nor should they fall out to the sides. Also, you want to make sure that your shins stay as vertical as possible as you lower yourself into the squat position. Try using a chair to help you as you learn the technique. As you get stronger, you can lose the chair and start to go deeper into the squat or start doing them quite a bit faster while maintaining that good posture. Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

4. Three-Way Lunge

With your feet shoulder-width apart, keep your back straight, spine neutral, chest up, and your shoulders square. Step forward with your right foot and bend at your knees until they both make a 90 degree angle and then step back to your starting position. Next, step to the side with your right foot. Once it’s planted, push your hips backward and bend your right knee to 90 degrees. Your left knee should stay straight as you lower into the lunge. Then return to the starting position. Finally, step backwards with your right leg so that your right knee is almost touching the floor and both knees are at a 90 degree angle. Return to the starting position and then repeat on the opposite side. Add speed to the movements in all three directions to advance the exercise. Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions on each side.

5. Plank

Lie face down on the floor. Place your forearms on the floor, elbows under your shoulders. Place your legs together with balls of your feet on the floor. Lift your body off of the floor maintaining a straight line from your head through your torso to your feet. You don’t want your lower back to drop down or sag, nor do you want your butt to be high up in the air. Remember, a nice straight line. If you notice that your form starts to falter and you aren’t able to maintain the straight line, stop the exercise and rest. Perform 3 sets of holding for 15-20 seconds. Once you are able to hold for 20 seconds without losing form, try to gradually add more time to the exercise.
Keep in mind that proper posture is important with these exercises. Keep your shoulders back, your back straight, and engage your abdominal muscles throughout the exercises by drawing your belly button in toward the spine. Notable changes can be seen when you perform pelvic floor exercises every day. As your symptoms improve, you can begin a maintenance program of three times per week.
Jennifer Bayliss is a fitness expert and coach at Everyday Health. She is a certified strength and conditioning specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association, a AFAA certified personal trainer, and holds both an undergraduate and a graduate degree in exercise science.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Struggle is REAL.

As the saying goes – everyone is talking about sugar, but what are they doing about it? It’s my fervent wish that they – and you – are working on quitting the stuff. Why? The short answer is that sugar is an extraordinarily destructive substance that most people eat far too much of. The longer answer is that virtually every day, more studies are proving what we in the optimal health community have always believed: that sugar plays a pivotal role in the development of many of the devastating illnesses we fear most, namely heart disease, cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s to name a few.
Granted the body does need trace amounts of sugar to function, but the average American is eating sugar by the pound, not the molecule. Some estimates put the average adult intake at close to 130 pounds of sugar a year – an astonishing amount of any substance, much less one which such disastrous health implications. So what do we do now? In a nutshell: kick sugar to the curb – your life absolutely depends on it.
Here are a few thoughts on how to break free and get sugar out of your life now – so you can live the sweet life for years to come:
1. Eat regularly. Eat three meals and two snacks or five small meals a day. For many people, if they don’t eat regularly, their blood sugar levels drop, they feel hungry and are more likely to crave sweet sugary snacks.
2. Choose whole foods. The closer a food is to its original form, the less processed sugar it will contain. Food in its natural form, including fruits and vegetables, usually presents no metabolic problems for a normal body, especially when consumed in variety.
3. Do a detoxMy experience has been that when people do a proper detox, not only does it reset their appetites but it often decreases their sugar cravings. After the initial sugar cravings, which can be overwhelming, our bodies adjust and we won’t even want the sugar anymore and the desire will disappear.
4. Have a breakfast of protein, fat and phytonutrients to start your day off rightBreakfast smoothies are ideal for this. The typical breakfast full of carbs and sugary or starchy foods is the worst option since you’ll have cravings all day. Eating a good breakfast is essential to prevent sugar cravings
5. Try incorporate protein and/or fat with each meal. This helps control blood sugar levels. Make sure they are healthy sources of each.
6. Add spices. Coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom will naturally sweeten your foods and reduce cravings.
7. Take a good quality multivitamin and mineral supplementomega 3 fatty acids and vitamin D3Nutrient deficiencies can make cravings worse and the fewer nutrient deficiencies, the fewer cravings. Certain nutrients seem to improve blood sugar control including chromium, vitamin B3 andmagnesium
8. Move your body. Exercise, dance or do some yoga. Whatever movement you enjoy will help reduce tension, boost your energy and decrease your need for a sugar lift.
9. Get enough sleepWhen we are tired we often use sugar for energy to counteract the exhaustion.
10. Be open to explore the emotional issues around your sugar addiction. Many times our craving for sugar is more for an emotional need that isn’t being met.
11. Keep sugary snacks out of your house and office. It’s difficult to snack on things that aren’t there!
12. Don’t substitute artificial sweeteners for sugar. This will do little to alter your desire for sweets. If you do need a sweetener, try Stevia, it’s the healthiest.
13. Learn to read labels. Although I would encourage you to eat as few foods as possible that have labels, educate yourself about what you’re putting into your body. The longer the list of ingredients, the more likely sugar is going to be included on that list. So check the grams of sugar, and choose products with the least sugar per serving (I teaspoon of sugar is roughly equivalent to about 4 grams).Become familiar with sugar terminology and recognize that all of these are sweeteners: agave, corn syrup, corn sugar, high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, dextrose, honey, cane sugar, cane crystals, fruit juice concentrates, molasses, turbinado sugar and brown sugar.
14. Sugar in disguise. Remember that most of the “complex” carbohydrates we consume like bread (including whole wheat), bagels and pasta aren’t really complex at all. They are usually highly refined or act just like sugars in the body and are to be avoided.
15. Scare yourself straight. While I won’t say our national love affair with sugar is all in the mind – there is a strong physical component to sugar addiction – one way to kick off your sugar-free journey is to re-frame the way you think about sugar. Treat it like an illicit drug, a kind of legal form of heroin, a dark force to be avoided, and a substance whose use leads to physical ruin. Next, take a look at CBS’s 60 Minutes “Is Sugar Toxic?” story – it’s a potentially life-changing report for anyone who needs just a bit more inspiration to help them kick sugar.

And if you have acute sugar cravings, try these:

16. Take L-Glutamine, 1000-2000 mg every couple of hours as necessary. It often relieves sugar cravings as the brain uses it for fuel.
17. Take a “breathing break”. Find a quiet spot, get comfortable and sit for a few minutes and focus on your breath. After a few minutes of this, the craving will pass.
18. Distract yourself. Go for a walk, if possible, in nature. Cravings usually last for 10-20 minutes maximum. If you can distract yourself with something else, it often passes. The more you do this, the easier it gets and the cravings get easier to deal with.
19. Drink lots of water. Sometimes drinking water or seltzer water can help with the sugar cravings. Also sometimes what we perceive as a food craving is really thirst.
20. Have a piece of fruit. If you give in to your cravings, have a piece of fruit, it should satisfy a sweet craving and is much healthier.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Hate Veggies?

This is how I get my husband and boys to eat all 9 servings of veggies and fruits every day. One very tasty glass. Real Food. No Gimmicks. No Chemicals. Just real Good for you.

You're worth it!

Monday, April 27, 2015

TOP PIC: What I wanted to make a run to town for...
1,560 cal, 72 g fat, 2,680 g sodium, 164 g carbs, 68 g protein. 250 cal for pop.

BOTTOM PIC: What I ran to my freezer for instead! 
(Mesquite grilled chicken, steamed quinoa/kale, steamed green beans drizzled with toasted sesame oil)
381 cal, 8.5 g fat, 35 g protein, 32 g carb, 781 g sodium.

Yes, those pizza deals were my "comfort" food while studying for nursing school, many times... it so embarrassing but real.