3 Ball Push-ups!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Pretty impressive, huh? I love the stability ball for all the training options it provides and for how awesome it is for core training.  However, I've seen many a client roll right off the ball on his or her first attempt at ball push-ups, so I think I may not need to invest in two more stability balls for my gym just yet!

Do you want ammonia with that?

Monday, October 11, 2010

At a meeting this morning, I heard a mom discussing the use of ammonia in beef to kill E.coli.  I was shocked and appalled to think of industrial cleaner being regularly used in food.  When I came home, I was compelled find out more.  Here's what I discovered:

With the U.S.D.A.’s stamp of approval, beef processed with ammonia has become a mainstay in America’s hamburgers. McDonald’s, Burger King and other fast-food giants use it as a component in ground beef, as do grocery chains. The federal school lunch program used an estimated 5.5 million pounds of the processed beef in 2008 alone.  Worse yet, beef processed with ammonia has been routinely exempted from testing for Salmonella and E.coli.  When testing has been done on the ammonia-processed meat, it has been found to actually have higher levels of both salmonella and e.Coli than traditionally processed meat. Yuck!  I'm so glad I'm a vegetarian.  

The total lack of concern for the health and wellbeing of consumers by farmers, people in the food industry and the American governement is both scary and terribly disappointing.  It's truly horrifying to think of all the toxins that we are consuming and being exposed to unknowingly.  

100 Days Left to Make 2010 Your Year!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

All day long, I've been excited and focused on the start of fall.  I love how the crisp autumn weather, at least here in the mid-Atlantic, affords us more opportunities to get outside to exercise!  I've been thinking about healthy fall foods . . . chilies, soups, pumpkins and apples.  But there's something else exciting about today too!

I was just reading a friend's blog and thought I would share! Christina, author of MY LAST WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY!, drew my attention to a great opportunity to re-evaluate and recommit to my fitness and health goals.  Did you know that from this day forward there are exactly 100 days left in 2010. One hundred days to make this your year. One hundred days to achieve your goals. One hundred days, each and every one of which can be a great day! What are your goals for the next 100 days?

I want to take tonight to think about it, but I am going to set some goals for the for myself for the next 100 days and post them here tomorrow.  I hope you will take the opportunity to do the same.

I challenge you to write your goals down and share them! Written goals have a way of transforming wishes into wants; cant's into cans; dreams into plans; and plans into reality. Don't just think it - ink it!

Soda is not your friend . . .

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

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How Do You Resist?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Sadly, I must confess that for me Sour Cream and Onion Potato Chips are like crack . . . one is too many and the whole bag isn't enough.  If there was a twelve step program for potato chip addicts, I would be a prime candidate.  

Being a personal trainer and health enthusiast, I obviously know that chips are full of fat, salt and empty calories, and yet I crave them.  Every time I pass them in the grocery store, I must resist the urge to take them home with me.  I never buy them, because I know that I will devour the entire bag (no matter the size).  At parties and other social gatherings, I usually won't touch them, because I don't want to be the greedy guest who ate the whole bowl of chips.  However, my willpower is only so strong.  Once the chips are in my house all bets are off, so if my husband or another guest brings them to a cook-out or a party, I usually end up on a "potato chip bender."

So my question to you is do you have food(s) that really test your willpower?  If so, what food is it and how do you resist?

Going for a Stroll . . .

Friday, July 30, 2010

Do you think she's on her way to the gym?

Jif Natural Disaster

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Jif Natural was on sale at Target this afternoon, so I thought we'd give it a try. The label clearly says, "No Need To Stir," which gave me the mistaken impression that it wouldn't separate. Imagine my irritation, when I peeled off the seal under the lid and out splashed the oil . . . all over my hand, the jar, the counter, and the floor. Another half inch of oil was still in the jar. As I tried to carefully mix the oil back in, it continued to slop up over the edge of the jar!!!!! Yuck! What a mess!!! Meanwhile, both my babies were in their high chairs waiting impatiently (translation: fussing and crying) for lunch! Needless to say, I was not impressed with the Jif Natural. We have tried Skippy Natural in the past, and it truly did not need to be stirred!  Next time, I will skip the Jif even if it is on sale and go for the Skippy.

Healthy Baby Bums!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

There's something so idyllic about cloth diapers hanging out to dry on a sunny day. It just seems so natural and pure. It almost makes me forget that those are the same cloth diapers that I have to squirt poop off of on a daily basis. I don't really love rinsing poop off of diapers. Then again, I don't love changing diapers at all, but since babies don't come potty trained, I guess I'm stuck doing it for now.

With a little more research, I learned that every single disposable diaper ever made is still in existence filling up our landfills and polluting our Earth. They don't biodegrade. They will still be here long after even our children's children. 

Right around this time, I got pregnant with baby number two and I realized that we would be spending double to diaper two babies. We were already spending about $70 a month on disposable diapers and wipes for one baby. The thought of spending $140 plus to diaper two babies was the kicker for me. 

I remembered the cloth diapers, pins, and plastic pants that my own mom used for my siblings, so I was pleasantly surprised to see just how far cloth diapers have come!  At first I was overwhelmed by all the cloth diapering options out there, but I was fortunate to meet a local mama and cloth diaper retailer. Christy with Gorgeous and Green helped me get started.  

Now, I'm proud to be a cloth-diapering mom!  I don't cloth diaper 100% of the time (Kudos to all those parents who do!!!), but every time I put a cloth diaper on one of my girls, I feel good knowing that it's one less disposable diaper I had to buy, one less diaper going in a landfill for eternity, and one less time that my baby was exposed to the toxins in disposable diapers.  Plus, babies look so adorable in cloth!

What's for dinner?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

My mom taught me to plan a menu each week before grocery shopping, and I've been passing that wisdom along to my clients for years. It takes a little bit of forethought, but it will save you money, headaches and stress and help your family eat better.
Recently, a friend of mine recommended The Six O'Clock Scramble. It's a great menu planning web site for quick healthy meals that makes it super simple to plan ahead! 

When you sign up for The Scramble (Subscriptions range in price from $19.50 for three months to $64.50 for two years.), you receive a weekly Scramble newsletter which includes five dinner recipes complete with side dishes and a corresponding grocery list. You can then choose to keep all the meals for the week or swap them out for any recipe in The Scramble's extensive recipe database to fit your family’s needs, tastes and/or schedule. Your grocery list is automatically updated with your choices and conveniently divided by section to make your shopping easier. Most recipes are under 500 calories for a hearty serving and provide enough left-overs for lunch the next day or you can freeze some for later. Since our children are still small and don't eat very much, we've been able to eat some for lunch the next day and freeze some for later with many of the meals.

We love The Scramble at our house! It's fun to try new recipes and new ingredients. Have you ever had parsnips? I hadn't until a few weeks ago! They're delicious! We feel good about the healthy, satisfying meals that we've been eating, and the shopping list is the best! No more missing ingredients!

If you'd like to sign up for The Scramble, please tell them Healthy Mommy (Shannon Brennan) sent you and use code GLSHA16117 to get a $3 discount off a 6 or 12 month subscription!

Here are two delicious Scramble sample recipes for you to try:

If you do decide to try it out, please leave me a comment and let me know what you think.  

Get Outside, Get Moving and Get Happy!

Friday, May 14, 2010

For years, I've been telling my clients to get outside and walk, even if it's just for five or ten minutes during a break at work or after dinner. Getting outside to exercise lifts your spirits and re-energizes you! You get fresh air and you get your heart and lungs pumping! Now there is scientific research to support that advice! From BBC News:
Just five minutes of exercise in a "green space" such as a park can boost mental health, researchers claim. There is growing evidence that combining activities such as walking or cycling with nature boosts well-being.
In the latest analysis, UK researchers looked at evidence from 1,250 people in 10 studies and found fast improvements in mood and self-esteem.The study in the Environmental Science and Technology journal suggested the strongest impact was on young people.
The research looked at many different outdoor activities including walking, gardening, cycling, fishing, boating, horse-riding and farming in locations such as a park, garden or nature trail. The biggest effect was seen within just five minutes [and an even] bigger effect was seen with exercise in an area that also contained water - such as a lake or river.

Save the Date: DC VegFest!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

After a little investigating, I discovered that there is a VegFest in D.C. on September 11, 2010. I already have plans for that day, so now I am going to be torn about which event to attend. Chef Tal Ronnen author of The Conscious Cook (I've got this book on my night stand right now!) will be at the D.C. VegFest!

The D.C. VegFest is a FREE outdoor festival celebrating the very best of everything vegetarian in and around the nation's capital. There are so many reasons to choose a vegetarian diet—for our health, the planet, and animals—and Washington, D.C. offers wonderful opportunities to explore meatless cuisine. The DC VegFest has something for everyone to enjoy, so be sure to bring along your friends and family!

WHERE: University Yard at 2000 blk H St.
             N.W., Washington, D.C. 20052
WHEN: Saturday, September 11, 2010 
            12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

I also came across two great vegetarian sites for those of you in the Baltimore/DC area:


NOLA Veggie Fest

I wish I was going to New Orleans for my birthday this weekend! I would love to attend the 2nd Annual NOLA Veggie Fest. Plus New Orleans is just a fun town!  I have never seen anything like this where I live near Baltimore, MD . I know Chicago, another one of my favorite cities, has a big Veggie Fest too!

The annual NOLA Veggie Fest promotes vegan and vegetarian food choices. The health benefits of a plant-based diet are well known. The Fest educates how these diet choices benefit the environment and about the cruelty of factory farms, the source of most animal products. Nola Veggie Fest will offer a variety of delicious food samples (Yum!) and also educational materials.  Bonus: One of my favorite organic and vegetarian companies, Amy's Kitchen is going to be there!

Today Only on Groupon: 29 Days of Unlimited MAC Access for only $29

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

For $29, you get 29 consecutive days of unlimited access to the Maryland Athletic Club, a $140 value. The MAC has three area locations in Harbor East,Timonium, and an Express location in Hunt Valley. Once your membership has begun, you can visit all three gyms interchangeably.

The state-of-the-art gyms offer experienced workouteers and more leisure-inclined visitors a fun and encouraging environment to blast body fat and tone tummies. The Hunt Valley Express location offers quick cardio and strength-training equipment for the unfussy athlete, while the Timonium and Harbor East locations will impress even the most distinguished gym designer. Both locations boast aquatic centers complete with a lap pool; two warm-water therapy pools for relaxing, float training, or injury rehabilitation; and a 104-degree coed whirlpool. The Harbor East locale offers more than 50 group classes each week, and Timonium offers more than 100 classes in everything from yoga, Pilates, and Zumba to kickboxing and spinning. Both gyms house more than 100 pieces of cardio and strength equipment, nearly all equipped with personal entertainment systems. The Harbor East location boasts four squash courts for fierce battles of paddling domination, and both locations offer Internet cafes and kids clubs where pre-Olympians participate in stimulating and creative activities under the watchful eye of the friendly MAC staff.

Tip #9 -- Cardio! Cardio! Cardio!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Cardiovascular exercise does more for the health and physical appearance of the human body than any other form of exercise. You will never be able to see your tight, toned muscles, if they are lying under a layer of fat. In general, people who want to lose weight should workout cardiovascular for 20-40 minutes 4-6 times each week. There are countless options for cardiovascular exercise including walking, hiking, jogging, running, biking, swimming, elliptical cross training, dancing, aerobics classes, step aerobics, cardio kickboxing, etc. Learn how much and what type of cardio is right for you. Then refer to Tip #1, and do it consistently and persistently!

Tip #8 -- Keep an Eye on Your Heart Rate

When doing aerobic or cardiovascular exercise, keeping your heart rate inside your target heart rate zone will help you burn calories most efficiently and optimize the benefits for your heart and lungs. Dropping below your target heart rate will not burn nearly as many fat calories, and going above your target heart rate may lead to muscle breakdown. Most modern treadmills, bikes, and elliptical cross trainers have heart rate monitors built in for easy tracking. Other options include purchasing a personal heart rate monitor (see www.polarusa.com or your local sporting goods store) or manually taking your pulse (count the number of beats for 6 seconds then multiply by 10 to get your heart rate).

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