Sunday, January 29, 2012

Weekly Challenge #4

I hope everyone's been following the weekly challenges. I've been doing them all, of course and love the feeling of accomplishment.

This week I thought I'd do a challenge that was fitness related. Seeing as how the blog is called Amy Romero Fitness. :)

So, your challenge this week is to DO something that makes you sweat 6 days out of 7. I'll be lenient here...and saaaaay, 30 minutes each time. So, if you can only go for a walk, do it. Just take 1 minute out of every 3 minutes and power walk. Pump your arms and move it! Get a sweat going. Then those other 2 minutes, walk normally. Do these intervals for 30 minutes. If you're able, do more. Go run. Pull out an old workout DVD. Or just make an effort to do your current workout HARDER, really push yourself. And do it 6 days out of the week. If you're not sure what you can do, be honest with yourself. Have you TRIED before? How do you know what you're capable of until you try?

Got it? Good!

Now tell me, what workout will you be doing?

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Musings on Running

So running is what got me started on my fitness journey. My husband, my friend Amy and her hubby Troy were all runners and they were always after me to join them. I just didn't really want to. Didn't have that urge, you know? Then a year ago I realized I wasn't happy in my own skin. I'd put on a little weight and just wasn't happy. I knew that I needed to do something instead of ignoring it. So I put a date on it and just STARTED. I went and ran 2 weeks after sinus surgery. It's just the date I picked so I stuck with it. It wasn't easy. I didn't think it would be.

But running is what got my motivation up. I saw progress. I lost some weight, I felt better. And it was mostly due to running. (better diet, too of course). 

And it went on from there. Several races. Then a half marathon last November 2011. I was actually enjoying running all throughout the last year. I mixed in some other stuff. Physique 57 & Turbo Fire. Had even better results. Then that half marathon snuck up on me. The training was tough. On my body and my mind. I felt like everything was revolving around running. So the half came and went. And I was officially burned out. Not unusual, I knew. But still, today, January 28, 2 months after the half, I still didn't feel like running. Just didn't.

But I my hubby misses me running with him. And I miss being outdoors during my runs. So I went back and looked at the pictures from the half marathon. I had fun. So I went for a run today. 2 miles only. But it was nice to be out and at it again. Some of the pictures are below...

So there. I've laid it all out there. And I'm a big proponent of laying goals out there. So here's one. My goal is to get 2 runs in per week. 3 miles each. (ish). I have a 10k I've already signed up for that's in 6 weeks. So I'll have to get in some longer runs too, but I'll be happy with the average week at 2 days, 3 miles each. I won't be changing my schedule otherwise, though. I still have Chalean Extreme 5 days a week, 3 strength training and 2 cardio + yoga. Perfection. But I need those runs back.

Who will help hold me accountable?  Have you ever gotten burned out doing a particular workout?

~To Your Health~

Amy & Me - Richmond Half Marathon 2011
See? Super happy!
My hubby, Miguel, Me, Troy and Amy. The dream team. Sorta.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Jari Love's Get Extremely Ripped 1000 Hardcore - Review and GIVEAWAY

~ Note: My blog has moved, please also visit me there for my newest tips/reviews/giveaways! ~

I'm honored to have been given an opportunity to review Jari Love's "Get Extremely Ripped 1000 Hardcore". Collage Video sent me this video a couple of weeks ago (along with some others, so those reviews will be coming soon, too!).

Before I even opened the package, the very first thing I noticed was that the title was extremely long. That intrigued me for some reason, so I poked around online about Jari Love a little bit and found that she has received much acclaim for her "Get RIPPED" series. The newest one, "Get Extremely Ripped 1000 Hardcore"is the latest in that same series. Hence the longer name. She bases her workouts on science, and I can appreciate that. For more information about Jari Love, visit her site.

Okay, onto what I thought....

Get Extremely Ripped 1000 Hardcore, first of all, was a little sneaky. The set is unassuming. There's a step (platform) in front of most of the cast. I see that the video is only 30 minutes long. (yay!) But, it snuck up on me. Didn't look very hard. It was.

Jari starts out with a warm up, of course. And after the first set of cardio, I think, "oh, this isn't too bad". And it wasn't. But I didn't realize there was much more to come. I'm used to cardio intervals that are very short. These intervals were more like 5 minutes. And they increased in intensity. So yes, I was dying about halfway through the video. I was relieved that it was not easy. The weight intervals were quick and to the point. Nothing too fancy, and working upper and lower body at the same time, which is a very time-efficient way of working out. I was sweating up a storm before the end of the first interval of each.

I got a little confused a few times, I think her cueing was a little short. And also the cast members were doing several different modifications. I'm used to having one person as a 'modifier' to watch in a workout video. But in this one, there were two people without steps. And those two people did things slightly differently. Then there were 3 people with steps, one being Jari. But Jari even did a modification on several moves. So you had to watch the other 2 cast members to try to follow what the moves should be if you were not modifying. I would prefer that Jari, as the instructor did the entire video as the 'goal' person to watch and then only had 1 other person in the background somewhere doing the modifications. I just found it too confusing to try to keep up with who was doing what when it was always changing.

Overall, I'd recommend this video for people who are looking to lose fat quickly and effectively. If you're new to exercise, definitely follow the folks in the video with no step, and there's also different 'levels' Jari points out during the cardio portions. You can always stick to level 1 and work your way up! The science is here, definitely, and you will get results if you stick with it. If you're used to a little more excitement, you may want to turn on a radio before you start the DVD. Jari is definitely 'to the point' and you won't see any cutting up. The length of the video was perfect, and my muscles were completely spent afterwards. Always a good sign of a great workout!  I will be doing it again.

Okay, so I know you're chomping at the bit....

Here's the GIVEAWAY details!! -- The giveaway is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who entered!


  • You must complete at least the mandatory entry, listed below. Additional entires are available as outlined below. The more entries you complete, the better your chances of winning!
  • You must reside in the U.S. to win
  • You must comment ON this blog post for EACH entry you qualify for. Your comments ARE your entries and that's what is used to draw the winner!
  • I will use a random number chooser to choose the winner from the entries (
  • The winner we be contacted via the email address they provided. Failure to respond will result in a new winner being drawn.
  • Enter by FEBRUARY 3. No more entries after 11:59 pm on 2/3/12 will be counted.
  • Winner will be drawn and notified on FEBRUARY 4.

To Enter:

Mandatory Entry:

Visit to and COMMENT below, telling me a DVD you find interesting

    EXTRA entires: (comment below for EACH entry you qualify for!)
    • TWO extra entries: SUBSCRIBE to my blog (click the "Join this Site" button in the box to the right where it shows my subscribers. (Leave 2 comments for this so that you get both entries!)
    • ONE extra entry: Follow me on Twitter
    • FIVE extra entries: Blog about this giveaway
    • ONE extra entry for EACH day you tweet the following
    #enter to #win Jari Love's Get Extremely Ripped Hardcore DVD 

    Good luck everyone! Now, ready, set, GO! :)

    Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy of this video to review. I received no other compensation and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under obligation to provide a positive review in return for the free workout. Giveaway retail value is $14.99.

    Tuesday, January 24, 2012

    Weekly Challenge #3

    Do you have goals?

    Well how do you keep them in mind? Do you plan tasks that will help you accomplish those goals or are they sort of just arbitrarily hanging out there?

    Your challenge this week is to really LIST and organize your goals.

    So take 10 minutes. Really sit and think about, say your top 10 goals. Make them wild and crazy. You don't have to show them to anyone...just really be creative and think "What would be the most AMAZING things I'd like to achieve?"

    Write them all down, and then on a separate sheet of paper, start brainstorming how they are connected. So maybe one of your goals was to quit work. And another goal was to start your own business. And another was to take more vacations. Take those and order them in the way in which they would need to occur. So if one would lead to another, for instance. So maybe you have to start your own business before you could quit work. Then your business would have to succeed for you to take more vacations, right?

    Now decide which one is the one that LEADS to all the rest. Chalene Johnson calls this your "Push" goal. In the example above, the push goal would probably be to start your own business. Because it makes the rest happen. Highlight that one. Put stars around it. Circle it. That's the one that is the KEY for the rest to happen. Now write that one everyone. Save it in your phone. Make it your screensaver.

    And start ACTING toward it TODAY. Tiny, baby steps each day. Do something every day that will help you reach that goal eventually. Even if it's just that you'll research one element of something that you'll need to know. Or perhaps it's one little phone call that you'll need to get the ball rolling. Just do something to move you toward your goal.

    I'd definitely recommend you pick up Chalene Johnson's book, "Push: 30 Days to Turbocharged Habits, a Bangin' Body, and the Life you Deserve!" She has a very specific, fabulous system to really dive into this and get your life organized and working toward your goals. Why wait, right? 

    Now, you don't HAVE to share your push goal with anyone. But I think you SHOULD. People can help you. And when you say it out loud, you are much more willing to work toward it. Sooooo, don't be shy, tell us what your BIG GOAL is, below!!

    Saturday, January 21, 2012

    Rodney Yee Yoga Burn DVD Giveaway WINNER!

    Thank you SO much to everyone who entered the Rodney Yee Yoga Burn giveaway! I have several more videos to review and giveaway, and the next one will begin THIS weekend, so stay tuned!

    I drew the winner through The winner has been contacted. Congratulations, Andrea, you should get your package from Collage Video soon!

    Thanks again for everyone's participation!

    Next up, Jari Love's "Get Extremely Ripped 1000 Hardcore" (sneak peek to my review: "oh lawwwwd I'm sore!)

    Have a good weekend everyone!

    Tuesday, January 17, 2012

    What to do AFTER your workout

    So, most of us probably already consider what to do BEFORE our workout. You probably drink plenty of water, eat an hour or so beforehand, and you probably even warm up for a few minutes before your workout. And then you get your workout in, you give it all you have (right??!) and then what? Do you hit the shower and then go on about your day?

    Wait a second!

    Try adding in some post-workout rituals to see even more success.

    First, make sure you cool down. Alllll the way down. If your heart rate is still up, even a little, keep doing some light work until your heart rate is just about normal. This will help prevent injury, dizziness, and even help that metabolism to keep humming a little while longer.

    Second, stretch! Don't skip this part, please! Keep yourself limber and you'll feel better, walk taller, and also help prevent injury. Long, lean muscles don't hurt either, right? Stretch deeply, and hold each stretch for around 30 seconds. Stretch a variety of muscles, even those you don't think you 'worked out'. While you're still a little warm (after cooling down, your muscles are still warm...but definitely stretch BEFORE you hit the showers, before you sit down for a few minutes, etc.)

    And finally, make sure you refuel. Your body needs protein to repair the damage you just did. And yes, you did damage your muscles a little...that's how you build muscle, by breaking it down and rebuilding. So rebuild! Grab a high quality protein shake or a little lean protein such as a 3 bean salad, some skinless chicken breast on a salad, etc. Drink more water, too!

    So be kind to yourself, recover correctly after your workout, it'll only take a few more minutes and I think you'll like how you feel!

    What are your post-workout rituals like?

    Sunday, January 15, 2012

    Weekly Challenge #2

    I hope everyone joined me in the first weekly challenge - DECLUTTER. My husband and I almost completely decluttered the kitchen. We had 2 bags of garbage and one bag of things for donating. There's still a couple of drawers we haven't gotten to yet, but overall, it looks fabulous and I'm feeling good about continuing the momentum through the rest of the house.

    So it's time for Weekly Challenge #2 then, isn't it?

    For this whole next week, your challenge is to write everything down that you eat. Regardless if you're trying to lose any weight or not. Just write it all down in one little notebook or log it in a word document, or you can even use a website such as to log it easily.

    For everything you eat, write down the calories and the carbs listed for the serving size you ate. If you ate something from a package, this will be easy. Pay attention to the serving size though! If you eat something that wasn't packaged such as fruits and vegetables, you can find the nutrition information from a website like  or and log it that way.

    The point here is to be more mindful of what you're eating. I'd be willing to bet that even if you think you eat healthy foods, you may be surprised to see it all laid out on paper. I know every time I do this exercise, I discover there's areas I would like to improve on. So, I look forward to seeing what I'm REALLY eating this week. Some questions you'll get many fruits and veggies are you really eating every day? Do you have dessert more often than you realized? Are your serving sizes bigger than you realized? Do you eat more packaged foods than you wanted to?

    Okay, good luck all! Can't wait to hear how it goes!

    Have you ever logged your food before? What did you discover?

    Friday, January 13, 2012

    Review and GIVEAWAY - Rodney Yee "Yoga Burn"

    So I should start by saying, this wasn't my first yoga experience. But it was definitely unlike any other yoga class or DVD I've done.

    Rodney Yee's Yoga Burn ( is a stand-out among Yoga DVDs. Collage Video was kind enough to allow me to review this DVD that I already owned - and they are sponsoring the giveaway. You can visit their site here: Collage Video - they've got TONS of workout DVDs from TONS of instructors

    First of all, Rodney Yee is possibly the best Yogi I'm aware of. At first, I wasn't too sure about him because, well, he wears very little clothes. But after a few minutes I realized that was very helpful. I'm not sure if it was his intention or not, but with him actually wearing very little, you can see exactly what the alignment of each move should be. It's much easier to know what you're supposed to be doing when you can see so much of him. The camera work was fabulous. There was never a time when they cut away at an inopportune moment. I was pleased they used close ups when needed and pulled back for full-body views often. The set was pleasant-looking and not distracting. Of course the music was typical to that of the 'good' yoga music in my opinion. The only downfall that I found with the video was that it was entirely voice-overed. It just seems a little disconnected in that regard.

    This video is called "yoga burn" because you're constantly moving and working. That is how it's different from most yoga practice. I knew within 10 minutes that I was going to be working up a sweat. And I did, and it was refreshing. Rodney stays true to yoga though, and doesn't slip into some weird hybrid to make you work harder and you end up forgetting you're supposed to be doing yoga. Yoga for me is usually slightly difficult, relaxing and definitely increases my stamina and flexibility. This workout was different in that I could feel muscles working much harder and quicker. I did not get bored at all and found the movements much more 'fun' than usual yoga practices. While I was constantly moving, it was not rushed, and I was still able to be very mindful of my movements and my breath. This would be a fabulous workout for people who want to have a faster paced yoga workout and also want to feel challenged and engaged. The video was 60 minutes long, which was the perfect amount of time. For more traditional yoga practices, I'd go longer, but since this was more challenging, I was definitely ready for the cool down when it came.

    I felt very strong and relaxed at the end and it made me realize I really need to work more of this type of workout into my schedule. I typically stick to strength training and a little cardio, but I'm committing now to work this workout in at least once per week...for myself. It's like dessert! :) So, yes, I would recommend this to a friend. But not a beginner.

    To make it a little more interesting, I have some pictures of me doing this video. Of course, they're still shots, so you can't tell that I'm moving, moving, moving, but I still thought you may like to see, especially if you're not already familiar with yoga at all. Or. Maybe you'd like to just marvel at how pale I am in the winter? Either way, here ya go - and yes that's my Christmas tree up. In the middle of January. Hey, at least it's not June and still up...! (And stay tuned thru the pictures for the GIVEAWAY details!) :)

    Okay, now onto the long awaited part...


    If you think you'd like to try this video, please enter the Giveaway. Collage Video has graciously agreed to sponsor the giveaway, and for that, I thank them immensely.

    Here are the rules:
    • You must complete at least the mandatory entry, listed below. Additional entires are available as outlined below.
    • You must reside in the U.S. to win the giveaway
    • You must comment ON this blog post for EACH entry you qualify for
    • I will use a random number chooser to choose the winner from the entries
    • Enter by JANUARY 20. No more entries after 11:59 pm on 1/20/12 will be counted.
    • Winner will be drawn and notified on JANUARY 21.

    To Enter: 
    • Mandatory Entry - Visit the Collage Video website and comment below with another of their videos you find interesting
    • Extra entries - 2 Entries for Subscribing to my blog (Amy Romero Fitness) (Comment below once you're subscribed telling me you did so (include the name you subscribed with!), or to tell me you're ALREADY a subscriber!)
    • Extra entry - 1 Entry "Like" Collage Video on Facebook (Collage Video ) (Comment below once you Like them on Facebook telling me you did so.)
    • Extra entry - 1 Entry EACH day that you share on your facebook wall: "Enter to win Rodney Yee's "Yoga Burn" DVD! Visit to enter today!"(Comment below each day you share that on your facebook page.)
    • Extra entry - 1 Entry for following ME on twitter - @AmyRomeroVA (Comment below once you are following me, or let me know you ALREADY follow me and include your twitter handle)
    • Extra entry - 1 Entry EACH day that you TWEET: "Enter to #win Rodney Yee's Yoga Burn! Enter at"(Comment below to let me know on the days you tweet this and include your twitter handle)

    All right, good luck everyone!

    *I did not receive this video at no-cost, and was not compensated for this review*
    This, and many other wonderful giveaways can be found at 

    Wednesday, January 11, 2012

    It's all about the choices

    So we all know that one of the ingredients to being healthier is "making better food choices", right? Until recently, I thought that sort of self-explanatory. Then, I heard a friend telling me about what she'd snacked on that day. Then I remembered several other similar conversations with her. And it hit me. She didn't really know what "better choices" meant, and she was thinking that eating small amount of stuff equaled "better choices". And to an extent, that's true. BUT, at some point you have to also consider the type of foods and the quality of them.

    If you're finding yourself eating frozen dinners several times a week, you may consider some other choices. If you pay attention to what you're eating,  you may see some patterns developing. So maybe you only eat a few chicken tenders. But they are still breaded. And fried. And you eat them, or chicken nuggets or popcorn shrimp, etc several times a week...or maybe even more. Well, that's where you start to see the pattern. You may keep your serving size small (or so you think), but you're still eating fat-laden, fried, not-so-good-for-you food. I'm a proponent of indulging sometimes. But you must be honest with yourself. First, figure out what indulging really means. And then be honest with how often you ARE indulging.

    A good rule of thumb on what your diet *should* look like is that most of it should be clean foods. And whole foods. And by clean, I mean real. If you got it in a box, it's probably not clean. Look for FRESH or frozen (not canned) fruits and vegetables. Look for minimally processed meats, and even preferably organic and local. The fresher the better. Whole grains are great. Just make sure they REALLY are whole grain. And organic milk, low fat greek yogurt, etc are wonderful protein choices that are healthful and yummy. So, you see the things I left out are things like chicken nuggets. And lunch meat. And pre-packaged soup. Pre-packaged meal-in-a-box just add beef (you know what I'm talking about). The list goes on. So if you truly can't live without chicken nuggets. Great, eat them. Once a week. No more. And THAT'S your indulgence. Just because you eat that only once a week doesn't mean there's a free pass to then also eat frozen pizza twice a week. And ice cream twice a week. And so on. Before you know it, you're indulging every day and you have not changed your eating habits.

    If you're trying to make better choices about your diet, make sure you know what you're looking for. And keep a food journal. Every day for a month, at least. Write down every little thing you eat, including sauces, dressings, dips, etc. You may be surprised at what you find. And you can always find more info here on my blog, just click the 'diet' link above to find my older blog posts about calories, meal timing, snack ideas, etc.

    Comment below! Would love to hear your food choices, good and bad, obstacles you may have to eating healthier, questions you have....whatever you have for me!  I'm always here to help!

    ~To Your Health~

    Tuesday, January 10, 2012

    A Guest Blog - Feel Refreshed For the New Year

    My guest blogger last week was wonderful. So here's another article from her to you. Thank again Liz! Please leave any questions or comments for her below!

    Ways to Feel Refreshed for the New Year

    The New Year is symbolic of a fresh start. It's the perfect time for individuals to invite positive change into their lives. By rejuvenating oneself it makes it easier to let go of the past year and welcome new and exciting possibilities. Here are several ways to feel refreshed for the New Year.

    • Just Say Om
    Yoga links the breath with movement to cultivate mindfulness and the ability to live in the present moment. These qualities are helpful when striving for a truly fulfilling, satisfying year. Fitness buffs will thrive in a more intense style, such as Vinyasa, Ashtanga, or Bikram. Students tone up, increase flexibility, get a cardiovascular workout, and leave class feeling calm and ready to take on challenges. Different postures, as well as the heat in Bikram yoga, detoxify the body leaving one feeling renewed. Those who prefer a slower pace will benefit from Hatha or Gentle yoga.

    • Smile!
    The smile is one of the first things people notice. Yellow, stained teeth can be disheartening. Teeth whitening is truly refreshing and restores the beauty and sparkle to the smile. White teeth provide a boost in self-esteem which can have a positive impact on other areas of the life. While professional in-office whitening treatments have the most dramatic effects, home whitening kits have made huge strides. Strips, gels, and trays create long lasting, substantial results. MD, VA and DC dentist offices offer a variety of teeth whitening services so it is important to find the right one for the individual. Having white teeth is a quick and easy way to feel more confident and look several years younger.

    • Pack your Plate with Vegetables
    While this tip may seem obvious, most people do not eat the recommended amount of vegetables. Vegetables provide essential nutrients without adding excess calories to the diet. Vitamins and minerals are better absorbed by the body when acquired through food. This leaves individuals feeling invigorated and gives them more energy as well as a vast array of health benefits. Somewhere between 2 1/2 and 3 cups of vegetables per day is ideal. Try adding dark leafy greens and multi-colored vegetables to achieve superior health.

    • Get to Bed
    Make a conscious effort to get at least seven hours of sleep per night. A lack of sleep is linked to weight gain, increased stress, a decline in cognitive functions, a decrease in immunity and more. Sleep is the best way to recharge, allowing for better focus and concentration, more energy, and a faster metabolism. As a bonus, mental, emotional, and physical health will greatly improve.

    Liz Davies is a recent college graduate and aspiring writer especially interested in beauty and fashion. She wants to make a difference in people’s lives by spreading positive messages. Liz also likes shopping, hanging out with friends, reading and playing with her dog, April.

    Thursday, January 5, 2012

    Weekly Challenge #1

    All right, it's a new year, I'll try a new THING!

    How about a weekly challenge?

    Are you up for it?

    I think it'll be a mixture of things, anything from a food challenge, to a fitness challenge, to a personal challenge. What do you think?

    So, it's the first week of 2012. Woo hoo! Happy new year! Let's try to make ourselves even better than we already are.

    So your challenge for this week: DECLUTTER

    * I challenge you to go into one room of your house. With two trash bags. One marked DONATE, and one not marked. That one will be for trash. Go through all the drawers, cabinets, shelves in that room before this time next week. You can do a couple of shelves in one night and then break until tomorrow. But your goal is to FILL BOTH BAGS! I know you can do it. Be real with yourself. Which items have you not touched in the last year? Which items do you hate? Which items have you forgotten you had? Chances are you can DO without them.  If something's broken, worn out, or useless, put it in the trash bag. If it's useful, but just not for YOU anymore, put it in the donate bag and then TAKE it to be donated the moment it's full. Don't let it sit around!

    When you declutter your home you're decluttering your life. So let's have a fresh start for the year and get one whole room clear of all clutter. One more rule. As you declutter, remember to also clean, wipe, dump any random bits, dust, grody-ness as you go. May as well be clean as well as clutter free since you're already touching it all! :)

    Would love to hear how it goes and if you ACCEPT my challenge this week. Comment below and let us know what room you'll be doing, or if you are choosing to declutter something else.

    If you're unable to comment please let me know via email!

    Now OFF you go! And don't worry. I'm doing it WITH you!

    ~To Your Health~

    Wednesday, January 4, 2012

    A GUEST BLOG! ~ Boost in Health for Cancer Patients ~

    By: Liz Davies

    Over the last year there has been a lot of research done that found how exercise affected cancer patients.

    There are many physical issues cancer patients encounter when going through treatment like pain, nausea, lessened bone density, and decreased appetite. Exercise has proven to lessen these side effects. Emotionally, exercise has been proven to increase patients’ self-esteem and decrease the likelihood of depression and anxiety that often invades cancer patients’ lives. At this time of their lives, cancer patients have a lot on their plates so any ways they can help themselves feel better both physically and emotionally should be taken advantage of.

    The recommended amount of exercise for Americans is about 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily. This will vary person to person and there are many other factors that will change the frequency, type and intensity of the exercise regimen. The stage and type of cancer, type of treatment, and any other health issues are examples of factors that will determine the appropriate exercise routine. An individual with Stage I Breast Cancer is going to have a completely different routine from someone undergoing chemotherapy for stage IV mesothelioma cancer. There are personal trainers who work specifically with cancer patients who along with oncologists can provide a patient with a fitting regimen.

    It is critical to be smart about the level and amounts of exercise. When signs such as dizziness, intense pain or blurred vision occur this is a sign to stop. It is very important to decided on the right amount of exercise because too little or too much will not show the results that are so helpful for cancer patients’ recovery.

    Liz Davies is a recent college graduate and aspiring writer especially interested in health and wellness. She wants to make a difference in people’s lives because she sees how cancer has devastated so many people in this world. Liz also likes running, playing lacrosse, reading and playing with her dog, April.

    Thank you Liz, for your guest blog, I'm honored to have you! Liz can be contacted at

    Tuesday, January 3, 2012

    Fitness Tips for the New Year

    So, since it's a new year, I know lots of people are planning to lose some weight. In fact, is doing a poll today; it simply asked if you are planning to lose weight this year. When I checked, 77% of the responders said yes. That's a big number. And I suspect some folks don't even know where to start or may feel overwhelmed. So I thought I'd try to break down some basics here.

    To lose a few pounds and get healthier, one must commit to themselves that they really want it. With a little hard work and dedication, you can lose the weight. No matter your perceived obstacle, it can be done.

    Here are some changes you can make starting today so that you can lose the weight you're hoping for.

    1) Eat enough. Yes, you read that right. You must feed your metabolism. If you're eating 2 meals a day, you're not eating enough. Even if they're big meals, its not enough. When you go more than a few hours without eating, your blood sugar crashes and your metabolism slows. Try eating every 2-3 hours. And DONT skip breakfast. None of these meals have to be big. You may feel like you just can't eat because you're not hungry. That's a sign that you've sloooowed your metabolism! If you don't feel hungry in the morning, try drinking a glass of water when you wake up, then about 30 minutes later, eat a scrambled egg. For me, that's not enough, but for getting yourself used to eating again, you may need to start there. Eventually, there's no reason why you shouldn't be eating a couple of eggs and a piece of whole wheat toast. Your snacks can be just as small. A handful of pistachios or a few wheat crackers with cheese, things of that sort.

    2) Eat at least one fruit per day, use it as one of your snacks. Eat vegetables with every meal. No excuses. Your body needs and craves it. AND it'll fill you up without excessive calories. And weight loss boils down to that....calories in vs. calories out.

    3) Drink water, cut out sodas. Yes, even diet sodas. Regular sodas are horrendous for you, with an insane amount of sugar. Truly. Insane. Diet sodas cut out the sugar and calories of course, but they've been shown to make your body crave sugar. So you're more likely to eat more later or indulge more with sugary sweets than you normally would. If you must have soda with something (For instance, I simply MUST have soda when I'm having a burger) then drink part of a diet soda. And make that all the soda for the day. Drink water all day long, starting when you first wake up.

    4) Walk for 30 minutes every day. Yes, every day. It's only a walk, not a run or weights, you can do this every day, and to get the calorie burn you need to lose some weight, you need to be consistent with this. If you truly do not have 30 minutes to walk each day, then split it up, 15 minutes in the morning before work and 15 minutes either on your lunch break or after work. Do not skip this step. It's key, and it will give you results. And, if you choose to push further later, it will set you up for success if you decide to start a more intense workout program.

    5) Sleep.  Do not underestimate the power of sleep. When you do not sleep enough hours, your metabolism will slow, and your stress hormones will signal your body to store fat.

    So those are the basics as I see it. If you already do all of these things and you're still wanting to lose some weight, you should consider a more intense workout. This does not mean you have to run marathons. There are fabulous, safe, fun workouts that will do the trick. Your body will get used to one activity. So after walking every day for a month, you very well may plateau, that's when you'll want to mix up your routine. Right now, I've stopped running and I'm doing resistance training, Chalean Extreme. I'm soooo excited I'm doing it, because I'm already seeing the results I was hoping for. Long, lean muscles! Hooray! Don't be afraid of weights, and don't be afraid to start an actual program. They're effective and people love them for a reason!

    As always, I'm here to help... comment below or email me if you'd like more specific advice on losing weight, getting fit, nutrition, or whatever!

    ~To Your Health~

    Sunday, January 1, 2012

    It's a NEW year, what will YOU do with it?

    It's a fresh start. Even if you don't like the work 'resolutions'. I personally think New Years Resolutions are a fabulous idea. Call them 'goals' if 'resolutions' bother you. And I think you SHOULD reach for the stars with them. Have you ever read the book "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill? You should. Basically the book explains, what you DECIDE you'll accomplish, you will. You must believe it, make it so in your head...and it WILL become. So why not reach for the stars? Don't be afraid of setting goals, that's how you grow.

    Having said that, it's also known to be beneficial to set your goals and tell others about them. They can help you keep accountable, even if they don't mean to. So go ahead, take out a sheet of paper RIGHT NOW. Think about the one thing...that if everything went perfectly, you'd just LOVE to accomplish. What's your perfect life like? Be specific. Don't just say, "I want to be rich". Instead, say, "I want to finish school and start my own business in my field, and help a thousand people with widgets this year". This may lead to you being rich, but that's not the goal. See the difference?

    So do it. List your one big goal. Now list 5 or 6 little goals that you'd need to do in order to reach that goal. Put it on your fridge. Or your bathroom mirror. Don't be afraid to look at it every day. And then WORK toward them all, starting today. No excuses.

    Would love to know some of your goals for 2012! Comment below if you'd like! :)

    ~To Your Health~