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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The 5 WORST protein bar ingredients... Do YOUR bars have these?

My Review of Dales Raw Foods Protein Bars

These bars are so amazingly good! I was shocked!  I have tried other protein bars that claim to be loaded with proteins and healthy ingredients but they taste awful and upset my tummy. Dales Raw Foods Protein Bars are clean and delicious and VEGAN! 

Let's take a look at the ingredients in the average protein bar that is on our supermarket shelves right now:

#1 - Soy Protein Isolate (SPI)
This is, unfortunately, one of the most prevalent protein sources you'll find in protein bars, especially those marketed to women. This marketing would have you believe that soy is an excellent protein source for women because of the isoflavones found in it. In reality, studies have indicated that these soy isoflavones can actually be TOXIC because of how the soy is processed (fermented soy products such as tofu are fine, just fyi). In addition, SPI was actually considered a WASTE product in soy processing until recently, when it was discovered that money could be made by passing it off as a protein source. It's cheap and definitely NOT a high-quality protein. It should be avoided. 
And the final nail in the soy coffin: GMO. A very high percentage of the soy grown in the United States is from genetically modified organisms (GMO). They don't currently have to be labeled as such but if you're buying any sort of processed food, chances are very good you're getting a GMO-sourced product.

#2 - High Fructose Corn Syrup
This is an easy one to figure out...the adverse health effects of it are well documented (contrary to what the commercials from the Corn Growers Association claim - those are truly among the most annoying commercials in existence, trying to make people who question corn syrup look stupid). It's one of the WORST things you can eat and yet there are still bars that use it as a primary ingredient.

#3 - Fractionated Palm Kernel Oil
Palm kernel oil is a cheap, unhealthy fat. Unlike plain palm oil, palm kernel oil can't be obtained organically. Instead, the oil must be extracted from the pit with a gasoline-like hydrocarbon solvent. The fractioned form is the most processed...if you see that in the ingredients, you should definitely avoid it.

#4 - Sugar Alcohols
This includes ingredients like Maltitol Syrup, Xylitol, Sorbitol, Lactitol, Mannitol, and Erythritol. Sugar alcohols are included in bars for sweetness...especially in bars that are "carb controlled". Sugar alcohols don't impact blood sugar as much as regular sugar because they're not well absorbed in the digestive tract...and when things aren't well absorbed in the digestive tract, things happen (if you know what I mean). 
In small amounts, sugar alcohols aren't a big problem, but if you start getting into the double digits of grams of sugar alcohol (and many low-carb bars are in the 20 gram range), THEN you can start to see unpleasant digestive issues.

#5 - Artificial Sweeteners
I won't get into the whole debate about whether artificial sweeteners are bad for you or not and what they turn into in your body, etc. Personally, I'm of the mindset that if it's created by science, chances are good your body won't recognize it and won't be able to metabolize it into something actually good for you. Therefore, I stay away from artificial sweeteners. I find the actual natural flavor of real food to be pretty good :).

In Summary...
Those are the top 5 worst protein bar ingredients...and you will actually find bars that contain ALL of these ingredients in them.and they are like eating cardboard and chalk.

The main problem I have with the vast majority of protein bars today is that at their most base level, they're deceptive. The bars are put forward as convenient, healthy alternatives to food for "on the go" people. Yet when you take a close look at the ingredients, they're actually WORSE for you than most candy bars.

Obviously money is the biggest factor...companies that use high-quality ingredients in their bars have to charge more for them in order to stay in business. Hence the brick-like slop sold in bar form that you'll find in the grocery store aisles today.

A New Breed of Protein Bar...Raw and Natural~ Dales Raw Foods
Yep, that's right! A protein bar made from raw, natural ingredients that's actually GOOD for you and they pack in around 22g of protein. You can eat them after a workout, or as a meal if you are short on time. They're convenient and healthy.

They taste EXTREMELY good and the quality of the ingredients is outstanding. For example, here's what you'll find in the Raspberry Hazelnut bars:

Organic dates, pea protein, hemp protein, rice protein, almond butter,hazelnuts, coconut nectar, dried raspberries, raw cacao, coconut oil, stevia, water.

GREAT ingredients...GREAT taste...I am ordering more !  LOVE THESE

Happy Healthy Eating!


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Ischiogluteal Bursitis- A Real Pain In The Butt

I have been plagued by a very "awkward" injury. By awkward, I mean a pain in my butt.  I thought at first it was just a hamstring/ glute strain or pull from my Insanity workouts, but as the days past, it became more painful right at the bottom of my butt towards that lower bone. ( yes you have a bone in your butt cheek, It took an illustration for some to believe me).

For those that know me, well, you know that I continue to do things even when it hurts. So I ran the Dallas Rock and Roll Half with what I thought was a strained hamstring.  I had a great race and felt strong even through the middle miles which are usually tough for me. I did not have much pain while running.

It was a few days afterwards that it really started to hurt. And I mean a MAJOR PAIN IN THE BUTT!!
I debated whether or not to see the Doctor, but I hate them because they always tell me to "rest" and "don't run or workout"...blah blah blah  LOL  
So with some research I diagnosed myself ( It's not that hard to be a Doctor right? Everything is in Google LOL LOL)

I have most of the symptoms of: Ischiogluteal Bursitis, also know as Ischial Bursitis 
I like to refer to it as my BUTT BURSA.  

Treatment required rest, ice and anti inflammatories.  I rested for a few days. (Yes it was hard for me, but I sucked it up.) When my butt bursa was feeling better, I started back with very modified workouts. No jumping, no squats, and very minimal running. I have also done some physical therapy stretching and strengthening of the hamstrings and glutes.  Seems to be better! Slowly adjusting my workouts and should be OK to run my full marathon in 2 weeks.

Thank you for all who have said a prayer for my Butt Bursa!  

What is ischiogluteal bursitis?

Ischiogluteal bursitis is a condition that causes pain in the buttock and is characterized by tissue damage and inflammation to the ischiogluteal bursa. A bursa is a small sac filled with lubricating fluid and is designed to reduce friction between adjacent soft tissue layers. The ischiogluteal bursa is located at the base of the pelvis, at the level of the bony prominence known as the ischial tuberosity .
The hamstring muscles originate from the pelvis (ischial tuberosity) and insert into the top of the lower leg bones. The hamstring muscles attach to the pelvis via the hamstring tendon . The ischiogluteal bursa lies between the hamstring tendon and the pelvic bone (ischial tuberosity).
The hamstring muscles are responsible for bending the knee and straightening the hip during activity and are particularly active during running, jumping and kicking. During contraction of the hamstrings, tension is placed through the hamstring tendon which in turn places friction on the ischiogluteal bursa. Pressure may also be placed on the ischiogluteal bursa during sitting. When these forces are excessive due to too much repetition or high force, irritation and inflammation of the ischiogluteal bursa may occur. This condition is known as an ischiogluteal bursitis.

Causes of ischiogluteal bursitis

Ischiogluteal bursitis most commonly occurs due to repetitive or prolonged activities placing strain on the ischiogluteal bursa. This typically occurs due to prolonged sitting (particularly on hard surfaces) or due to repetitive running, jumping or kicking activities (placing strain on the ischiogluteal bursa via the hamstring tendon). Occasionally, patients may develop this condition suddenly following a direct blow to the ischiogluteal bursa. This may occur due to a fall onto a hard surface.

Signs and symptoms of ischiogluteal bursitis

Patients with ischiogluteal bursitis typically experience pain in the lower buttock. In less severe cases, patients may only experience an ache or stiffness in the buttock that increases with rest following activities placing strain on the ischiogluteal bursa. These activities typically include sitting excessively (especially on hard surfaces), walking, running, jumping, kicking or climbing stairs. The pain associated with ischiogluteal bursitis may also warm up with activity in the initial stages of the condition.
As the condition progresses, patients may experience sharper or more severe symptoms that increase during sport or activity, affecting performance. Patients frequently experience pain on firmly touching the ischiogluteal bursa and hamstring tendon . Occasionally, a feeling of lower limb weakness may also be present particularly when attempting to accelerate whilst running.

Diagnosis of ischiogluteal bursitis

A thorough subjective and objective examination from a physiotherapist may be sufficient to diagnose ischiogluteal bursitis. Further investigations such as an Ultrasound, X-ray, CT or MRI scan are often required to assist with diagnosis and assess the severity of the condition

Prognosis of ischiogluteal bursitis

Most patients with this condition heal well with appropriate physiotherapy and return to normal function in a number of weeks. Occasionally, rehabilitation can take significantly longer and may take many months in those who have had their condition for a long period of time. Early physiotherapy treatment is vital to hasten recovery in all patients with ischiogluteal bursitis.

Contributing factors to the development of ischiogluteal bursitis

There are several factors which can predispose patients to developing this condition. These need to be assessed and corrected with direction from a physiotherapist. Some of these factors include:
  • joint stiffness (particularly the hip)
  • muscle tightness (particularly the hamstrings and gluteals)
  • inappropriate or excessive training
  • muscle weakness (especially the hamstrings and gluteals)
  • inadequate warm up
  • poor biomechanics (e.g. excessive stride length)
  • poor core stability
  • neural tightness
  • leg length discrepancy
  • inadequate rehabilitation following a previous buttock injury

Has anyone else ever experienced this before? Or am I the only one with awkward injuries?

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Stretching, Do You Do It?

We all are supposed to stretch after we exercise, but how many times do we skip it?  I have to admit, I tend to skip this most important part of a routine.  I am getting better at it as I train more and understand how important it is and how it can help prevent injuries.  I ran across this article and thought I would share it to help fellow runners remember to get their "stretch on."  

Contributor: Luke Gullberg, REI Tukwila, Wash., sales specialist and adventure racer.

A Stretching Overview

No matter if you're a beginner or a veteran runner, it is important to warm-up and cool down with a brisk walk or light jog and/or stretching. Warming up helps your running performance and cooling down helps you recover from the workout.
Injuries can come from overtraining, doing too much too soon, being too intense and even over-stretching. But warm-up stretching can both help prevent and rehab injuries. If you do feel any aches or pains, don't ignore them. Listen to your body. Rest, ice and consult your physician.
Stretching is believed to:
  • Reduce muscle tension and increase flexibility.
  • Improve muscular coordination.
  • Increased joint range of movement.
  • Boost blood circulation and energy levels.
There are 2 basic types of stretching—dynamic and static.
Dynamic stretching is active stretching. It loosens tendons, muscles and joints and warms the body up with sport-specific movements that use more than just one muscle when doing the stretch. A dynamic stretch is usually repeated 8 to 12 times.
Static stretching is stretching with no movement. It is stretching individual muscles to the farthest point of resistance you can without pain, holding it for 15 to 30 seconds and repeating 10 to 15 times. These are the stretches you probably learned as a kid or ones a physical therapist prescribed to rehab an injury.

What Type of Stretching Is Best?

The primary purpose of stretching and warming up is to increase the body temperature. This increases blood flow so muscles can endure more force.
Several news articles in recent years have suggested that static stretching might be a waste of time and bad for you before an activity, and dynamic stretching is the right way to warm up. They cite studies that have shown dynamic stretching increases power, flexibility and range of motion, while static exercises did not give a performance boost.
Dr. Bob Adams, chair of the USA Track & Field Sports Medicine & Sports Committee and a member of the International Association of Athletics Federation's (IAAF) Sports Medicine & Anti-Doping Committee, states that most professional athletes use dynamic stretching, but he adds that none of the studies show that static stretching is counterproductive for athletes.
"If it feels better to do that (static stretching)," Adams says, "do that." He notes, however, "It is best to do a dynamic stretch for a warm-up".
Adams says the average athlete may warm up for 3 to 12 minutes while a professional athlete may warm up from 3 to 30 minutes with dynamic stretches. Post-workout stretching could be a walk, light jog or dynamic stretching for 5 to 20 minutes. It just depends on the athlete and the intensity of the workout.

Dynamic Stretching Techniques

Here are basic instructions for some of the most popular dynamic stretches.
Hand walks (for shoulders and hamstrings):
  1. Stand straight and keep your legs together.
  2. Bend forward and put both hands on the ground.
  3. Keep your legs straight and walk your hands forward until your back is nearly extended.
  4. Walk your feet to your hands.
  5. Repeat.
Backward running (glutes, calves and ankles):
  1. Jog backwards.
  2. Land on your toes.
  3. Keep the knee slightly bent, and don't lock your knee.
Side-to-side shuttle (groin, hamstring, glutes and ankles):
  1. Stand with a slight bend in the knee.
  2. Keep the hip, knee and ankle in a straight line.
  3. Move one foot and leg to the side while pushing off with the other.
  4. Repeat to the opposite side.
Leg kicks (glutes, calves, lower back and hamstrings):
  1. Stand straight and flex your hips upward.
  2. Kick one leg out, fully extended.
  3. Toes should be flexed upward.
  4. Lift the opposite arm to the extended toes.
  5. Alternate sides.
High knee lunges (glutes, hamstring, hip flexor and calves):
  1. Stand straight.
  2. Grasp one knee and pull it upward.
  3. Release it while moving it in an exaggerated step down and forward.
  4. Keep the front leg down and forward while the back leg is extended and down.
  5. Alternate sides.
Heel lifts:
  1. Stand straight with feet together.
  2. Extend leg and foot so that the foot hits the ground heel first.
  3. Next let the toes contact the ground.
  4. Keep repeating.
Scorpion (hip flexors, abdominals, quads, lower back and glutes):
  1. Lay on your stomach.
  2. Keep your chest on the ground and spread your arms out to the side.
  3. Kick your right foot toward your left arm.
  4. Kick your left foot toward the right arm.
Power skip (glutes and shoulders):
  1. Stand tall and straight.
  2. Start skipping using a high and exaggerated skip and knee lift.
  3. Do big arm swings.
Leg swing (quad, hip and glutes):
  1. Stand straight and place your hand on a wall for balance.
  2. Swing one leg forward, then swing it backwards.
  3. Continue swinging back and forth.
  4. Repeat with the opposite leg.
Backward kicks (quads and hip flexors):
  1. Get on the ground in the push-up position.
  2. Do not arch your back.
  3. Kick your foot toward your buttocks.
  4. Lift your knee as high as possible.
  5. Alternate legs.
Not pictured: Medicine ball twist (core and upper body):
  1. Use either a medicine ball or kettle bell.
  2. Start with the ball/bell at either your left or right hip.
  3. Using one fluid motion, swing the ball/bell up and angled to the opposite shoulder.
  4. Stop when the ball/bell is even with the opposite shoulder.
  5. Lower and repeat.
  6. Do each side 10 to 15 times.

Static Stretching Techniques

As noted earlier, dynamic stretching is considered more beneficial than static stretching, but either can be used depending on the runner. General tips on static stretching:
  • Do it properly—improper stretching can do more damage than not stretching at all. Move smoothly and gently, remembering to breathe throughout.
  • You should never bounce during a stretch or move past the point of pain. Both of these can make muscles tighter and tear muscle tissues.
  • Move to the point of mild tension and relax as you hold the stretch.
  • The tension should diminish as you hold it. If not, ease off a bit until you're more comfortable.
  • Remember, "no pain, no gain" is simply not true.
  • Hold each stretch for 15 to 30 seconds and do each 1 to 3 times.
  • Do each stretch on both sides of your body.
Here are basic instructions for some of the most popular static stretches.
Calf stretches:
  1. Stand straight next to a wall, fence or back of a chair.
  2. Place both palms on a wall.
  3. Slide your right foot about 2 feet behind you.
  4. With your left leg bent in front of you, lean forward, pressing your right hip toward the wall.
  5. The right leg should be straight, but the knee should be just slightly bent so it is not hyperextended.
  6. Push down with your right heel, making sure the toes are pointed straight ahead. You should feel a gentle stretch in the upper portion of your right calf.
Calf stretch for soleus muscle:
  1. For the lower calf and Achilles tendon, take the same position as above:a. Stand straight next to a wall, fence or back of a chair.
    b. Place both palms on a wall.
    c. With your left leg bent in front of you, lean forward, pressing your right hip toward the wall.
  2. In this stretch, bend both legs and keep your weight over your feet instead of leaning forward. (For more of an Achilles stretch, stand on a curb or stair and place the ball of one foot on the edge.)
  3. Press the rear heel down and keep your toes pointing forward.
  4. Let gravity and your weight pull the heel downward until you feel a gentle stretch in your lower calf.
Runner's lunge:
  1. First stand with your feet and legs a shoulder's width apart.
  2. Then extend your right leg forward and left leg backwards.
  3. Put your hands on the thigh just above the knee.
  4. Lean forward on the right leg and keep the back leg straight, but with the knee just slightly bent so it is not hyperextended.
  5. Keep your back straight and don't extend the right knee past the toes.
  6. You should feel the stretch in front of the thigh.
  7. When you finish this side, switch leg positions and do it on the other side.
Hip flexor stretch:
  1. Stand with your feet shoulder's width apart.
  2. Bend your knees and place your hands on the floor beside each foot.
  3. Keep the forward leg bent at a 90° angle. (You may want to push up onto your fingertips to raise your torso above the knee and open your chest muscles.)
  4. Press through the heel of the extended leg to stretch the back of the knee.
  5. Press the hip of the extended leg toward the floor to stretch the hip flexor.
Quadriceps stretch:
  1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
  2. With one hand on a wall, fence or other object for support, bring one leg up behind you so you can grasp the ankle with the other hand.
  3. Keep your standing leg's quads taut and gently pull the heel of the raised foot in toward your buttocks.
  4. Try to keep the bent knee pointed straight down rather than out to the side. Pushing your hips forward slightly will help do this and increase the stretch in the quadriceps, the muscle group on the front of the thigh.
Knee/illiotibial band stretch #1:
This stretches the muscle that runs from the outside of your pelvic bone (the ilium) to the outside of your knee at the tibia.
  1. Cross one foot over the other and tighten your quadriceps.
  2. With hands on your hips lift your torso and inhale.
  3. As you exhale, bend from the hips and reach downward as far as you can.
  4. While in this position, try to push your feet closer together without actually moving them.
  5. You should feel the stretch along the outside of the leg.
  6. Come up at the hips, uncross your legs and repeat with the opposite leg crossed in front.
Knee/illiotibial band stretch #2:
  1. With rubber tubing or a band, tie a loop on each end. Attach one end to a sturdy object such as a chair leg, tree or post.
  2. Put your ankle that is closest to the object through the other loop end.
  3. Stand far enough away so that there is some tension, but not too much.
  4. Use the stationary object to steady yourself.
  5. The leg that has the tubing or band on it should be just slightly in front of the other leg.
  6. Extend that leg out past the other to create a pull and tension on the band. Movement should be slow and precise to gain strength.
  7. Do 3 sets of 10 and repeat on the opposite leg.
As an alternative to the above, do kicks instead of keeping the leg level.
Knee/illiotibial band stretch #3:
Once again use the tubing or bands as described above.
  1. This time put the band on your foot that is opposite of the stationary object.
  2. This time with the band on the outside leg, pull the leg away from the object.
  3. Do 3 sets of 10 and repeat on the opposite leg.
Hamstring stretch:
  1. Lie on your back.
  2. Next, bring one leg to your chest.
  3. Clasp your hands around the back of the knee (or use a strap or towel if this is too much of a stretch) and slowly raise your leg to vertical.
  4. Keep the leg extended on the floor, keep both thighs taut and feet flexed.
  5. Push up through the heel of the vertical leg to feel the stretch on the back of the thigh.
Hip/lower-back stretch:
  1. Sit cross-legged on the ground.
  2. Cross your left leg even farther over your right leg so that the left foot is flat on the ground.
  3. Grasp the left knee with the right arm and twist your torso toward the bent left knee.
  4. Reach back behind with the left arm and support your body as you look over your left shoulder.
  5. Move just far enough to feel a gentle stretch in your hip and back.
  6. Come back to the front and repeat to the other side.
Groin stretch:
  1. Sit with the soles of your feet flat against one another, knees out to the sides.
  2. Grasp your feet with both hands and try to push your knees into the floor.
  3. Keep your back straight and bend slightly at the hips. You'll feel a stretch in the insides of the upper thighs.
Shoulder/triceps stretch:
  1. Raise one arm and bend it at the elbow.
  2. Grasp the elbow with the opposite hand and pull toward the center of your head. Let the bent arm fall down your back as if you're reaching to scratch it.
  3. Keep your hand relaxed.
  4. Repeat on the other side.
Shin splints:
  1. Sit on the ground.
  2. Place one left foot over the right foot.
  3. Pull up with the right foot while pushing down with the left foot.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds.
  5. Rotate feet and repeat.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Team Athena Challenge Blog: Fall In Love With Running

Team Athena Challenge Blog: Fall In Love With Running: Hi everyone! My name is Pam and I want to talk "Running Love" February is the month of " LOVE" and while it is comin...

C25K Training

I have been coaching a C25K class for some local high school teachers.  We are preparing for an upcoming school 5k. We are almost through with week 3! Only 6 more weeks of training! Everyone is progressing and seem to be dedicated to finish.

We meet 3 times per week after school and run as a group. We have a few walkers that are dedicated too!  LOVE IT!

If you are interested in getting started here is a version of the program we are following:

   Couch to 5K


Week one

Begin with a brisk 5-minute walk, then alternate 60 seconds of running and 90 seconds of walking, for a total of 20 minutes.

Week two

Begin with a brisk 5-minute walk, then alternate 90 seconds of running with 2 minutes of walking, for a total of 20 minutes.

Week three

Begin with a brisk 5-minute walk, then two repetitions of 90 seconds of running, 90 seconds of walking, 3 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking.

Week four

Begin with a brisk 5-minute walk, then 3 minutes of running, 90 seconds of walking, 5 minutes of running, 2½ minutes of walking, 3 minutes of running, 90 seconds of walking, 5 minutes of running.

Week five

There are three different workouts for this week. They are as follows:
Workout 1: a brisk 5-minute walk, then 5 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking, 5 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking, 5 minutes of running.
Workout 2: a brisk 5-minute walk, then 8 minutes of running, 5 minutes of walking, 8 minutes of running.
Workout 3: a brisk 5-minute walk, then 20 minutes of running, with no walking.

Week six

There are three different workouts for this week. They are as follows:
Workout 1: a brisk 5-minute walk, then 5 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking, 8 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking, 5 minutes of running.
Workout 2: a brisk 5-minute walk, then 10 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking, 10 minutes of running.
Workout 3: a brisk 5-minute walk, then 25 minutes of running with no walking.

Week seven

Begin with a brisk 5-minute walk, then 25 minutes running.

Week eight

Begin with a brisk 5-minute walk, then 28 minutes of running.

Week nine

Begin with a brisk 5-minute walk, then 30 minutes of running.

Run Happy!


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Vegan Muffins and a case of Hide and Go Seek Doggie Style

As many of you know, I have a baby and her name is Yoshi.  She is a tiny Yorkie full of spunk and is only a little bit spoiled.

(OK, fine, she is totally spoiled.Why walk on a leash when you can get carried right?) She spends her days at my side or on my lap. I wonder how many times a day I say "NO YOSHI"?
I scrambled to get dinner started and on the table as we were running a bit late last night and everyone was starving. In the process my son was working on our electric gate out back so we were careful not to let Yoshi out.  In the hustle and bustle of preparing dinner and getting it on the table, I wasn't even aware that she was not at my feet or trying to get into the trash.

We  sat down to eat and started talking about our day, when suddenly I asked " Where's Yoshi?" "Have you seen the dog?"  Everyone replied "no" . So we got up and went through the house calling her name, checking closets, bathrooms, bedrooms, but nothing. I went outside to ask my son if had seen her and he said no. This prompted and all out search for the missing dog. How could she have gotten outside without us noticing?  My heart was full of panic as I walked though our yard and rounded the corner to where our pool is. It took all of the strength I had to look in the pool and the hot tub to make sure she didn't fall in. ( she fell into the hot tub once while we were in it). A sigh of relief, not in the pool.
We walked the entire neighborhood, alleys, and stopped everyone we seen along the way asking if they had seen her and if they do please bring her home.  My poor Yoshi is lost!!  I couldn't believe this was happening!! Darkness was setting in and still no Yoshi.....
Jim and I decided we would get in the car and drive around to see if we can find her.  I am in tears thinking she is lost out there in the real world or worse, someone has stolen her!  As we back out of the driveway we see my daughter running out of the garage with Yoshi in her arms yelling " I found her!"
We rush in and grab her and hug her. We asked my daughter where she found her and she said.......... wait for it....  

Yoshi had made her way into a small cabinet in the kitchen and could not get out.  She didn't bark or make any noise while we we calling for her in the house. Finally she whimpered and my daughter followed the sound.


She lavished us with doggies kisses and we hugged her tight.. My baby is safe! No more hide and go seek!!!

This called for a celebration!! Blueberry Vegan Muffins!
These are so easy and yummy ( especially fresh from the oven)


    • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract ( I used coconut because I was out of vanilla

    Mix cider with milk and set aside.  mix all dry ingredients and then add oil and milk. Mix well and stir in fresh blueberries. 
    Line muffin pan with paper cups and fill about half full 

    Bake at 350 for about 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean

    Monday, February 4, 2013

    Spring Shape up


    Mr. Ground Hog has seen his shadow and this means Spring is right around the corner! Are you ready for shorts and tanks tops? Do you need to drop a few pounds?

    Join my new group for a 6 week challenge starting February 11th. I will help you achieve  your weight loss and fitness goals.  In this new group, you will be working as a team with just a few other people, who like you, want to get healthy and fit.  You will get your body moving and learn to nourish your body with healthy foods. Don't let yourself down, jump in and lets get started!!!

    Here are the rules 

    1.  You must sign up as a member or be a member of Team Beachbody with me as your coach.  This is free!  (not a member?) Join .

    2.  You must have a Beachbody workout program to use for this challenge.  Any Beachbody program is fine.  (don't have one yet? click here Shop)

    3.  You must have a Facebook account.  You must be willing to check in every day.  And you must be capable of uploading pictures to the group.  ( This will be a private group. No one will see except the people in our group) We are all in this together! 

    Email me at to get signed up!  Looking forward to "shaping up" with you


    Friday, January 18, 2013

    Ultimate Reset Day 12 I want a BEER!

    As our journey through The Ultimate Reset continues, we have learned how to eat better, how to plan meals and how to remember to take supplements everyday. Together, we have consumed approximately 24 gallons of water.  ( Yes we now have a drinking problem along with a peeing problem)
    Our weight is down and our clothes are looser .  We are starting to feel good.  It's amazing how food can effect the way you feel.  By only eating "clean whole " foods and no meat or dairy, we have had a sense of "well being"  and happiness.  There were times it got a little rough and the daily stresses made us long for a nice cold beer but we didn't cave in!  We stuck to our guns even while bowling again this week.

    We have learned that just fruit for breakfast isn't quite enough for Jim most days,so I added 1 cup of oatmeal  and that seems to keep him satisfied until lunch

     I have enjoyed chickpeas and avocado with kale for breakfast and found I Love it!  Very satisfying and yummy.
    You should really try it !!! You can even mash the chickpeas and mix it with the avocado.

    I have been able to use my Ninja Blender for meal preps and have discovered how easy it is to make soups and bisque

    The Sweet Potato and Roasted Red Pepper Bisque was very good and satisfying. Served it with sauteed apparatus with almonds. We will definitely have this again!

    We will start back with our run training this weekend ( have to still go easy for a week or so as our bodies are still getting used to the new changes)  . We are hoping with this new way of eating and the weight loss, that we will gain more strength and endurance and who knows.. maybe some new PR's will come out of it!

    More to come as the days continue.. and yes...a cold Corona is still on my mind...


    Sweet Potato and Roasted Red Pepper Bisque

    Sweet Potato and Roasted Red Pepper Bisque
    • 1 sweet potato (aka garnet yam)
    • ¼ red bell pepper
    • 1 cup vegetable broth or water
    • 1 tsp. finely grated peeled ginger root
    • 1½ tsp. extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 tsp. miso paste, diluted in 1 tsp. hot water
    • Tamari or Bragg® Liquid Aminos, Himalayan salt, and herbal seasoning (to taste)

    Peel and cube sweet potatoes. Cook in boiling water until tender. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile, roast a whole red bell pepper on gas stovetop or grill, turning frequently until evenly charred on the outside OR in your oven at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, turning every 10 minutes or until skin is charred.
    Put pepper in bowl and cover with towel for 10 minutes to steam. Clean off skin and seeds by running under cool water. Remove seeds, cut in quarters, and chop one quarter into ½-inch cubes. (Set remainder of pepper aside for another use.)
    Place sweet potato, pepper, broth or water, ginger, oil, and miso in blender. (If you want chunky soup, set aside some chunks of pepper.) Blend thoroughly, adding more liquid to achieve desired soup consistency. Transfer to a pot and gently heat on low until hot. Add tamari or aminos, salt, and seasoning as desired. Serves 1.

    • 220 calories
    • 7 g fat
    • 1 g saturated fat
    • 0 mg cholesterol
    • 530 mg sodium
    • 35 g carbohydrate
    • 6 g fiber
    • 3 g protein
    • 509 mg potassium

    Sunday, January 13, 2013

    Ultimate Reset Phase 1 ~ I can go without meat!

    Today was our last day of Phase 1 of the Ultimate Reset -Reclaim.  We have changed the way we eat and have eliminated meat in this stage. There have been several new vegetables on our plates and we have really enjoyed trying them.  My kitchen looked a war zone at times, but I have really enjoyed preparing and serving our meals. We have eaten breakfast together all week, ( something we didn't use to do) and I love it!

    Overall, the week went pretty good. Only had a couple of days that were somewhat rough, but nothing bad. Just a feeling of tiredness and achey and was cold a lot.  Day 5 brought a feeling of euphoria and renewed energy.

    I am down 5 lbs and Jim is down 7. We feel really good and looking forward to the next 2 weeks. I am so glad we are doing this together and supporting each other. We even made it through bowling night and Karaoke night without a Corona!  GO US!

    I want to share my favorite recipes from our 1st week. These are for 1-2 servings so you can adjust them as needed. We will continue to make these after we have completed  our program.


    Stay tuned for Phase 2 !

    Roasted Root Medley

    • ¼ medium-sized yam, washed and cut into 1-inch chunks
    • ½ large carrot, washed and cut into 1-inch chunks
    • ½ large beet, washed and cut into 1-inch chunks
    • ¼ yellow onion, peeled and cut into large wedges
    • 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
    • Himalayan salt (to taste)

    Preheat oven to 400° F. In a bowl, toss all ingredients together. Spread on a cookie sheet and bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until tender, turning once or twice to prevent burning. Serves 1.

    Lentil-Lime Salad

    • 1 cup cooked green lentils
    • ½ cup grated raw carrot
    • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
    • 1½ tsp. sesame oil (or more, to taste)
    • 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice (or more, to taste)
    • Bragg® Liquid Aminos or Himalayan salt (to taste)
    • ¼ tsp. ground cumin (or more, to taste)
    • Herbal seasoning (to taste; optional)

    Cook lentils until tender, but don't overcook. (Or use low-sodium canned lentils.) Add carrots and stir. Stir oil, lime juice, salt, and spices together in a small bowl, then gently stir into the lentil mixture. Let sit, covered, in refrigerator for 2 hours. Adjust seasonings if needed. Even better the next day! Serves 1.

    • 320 calories
    • 8 g fat
    • 1 g saturated fat
    • 0 mg cholesterol
    • 50 mg sodium
    • 48 g carbohydrate
    • 17 g fiber
    • 19 g protein
    • 944 mg potassium

    Zucchini Cashew Soup


    • 1 large or 2 small zucchini, cut into chunks and steamed
    • ¼ cup raw cashews
    • Himalayan salt or Bragg® Liquid Aminos (to taste)
    • Herbal seasoning or fresh herbs, like basil or dill (optional; to taste)
    • Steamed vegetables (optional; for chunky soup)

    Soak cashews in enough water to cover for 1 hour; drain. Combine cashews, zucchini, salt or aminos, and seasonings in blender and mix until smooth, adding water as needed for desired consistency. Pour into saucepan and reheat gently, but do not boil. For chunky soup, add steamed chopped vegetables of your choice. Can also be served cold. Serves 1.

    • 250 calories
    • 17 g fat
    • 3.5 g saturated fat
    • 0 mg cholesterol
    • 30 mg sodium
    • 21 g carbohydrate
    • 4 g fiber
    • 9 g protein
    • 1,036 mg potassium

    Saturday, January 12, 2013

    Why do you ask?

    Over the last couple of years I have ran into people who want to know why I run or why I eat healthy. Some even pick on me or laugh at my food choices.  They have even tormented me by waving 'fast food" in front of me saying it wont kill you!  LOL  They are right,a cupcake or cookie or even a cheese burger every once in awhile isn't  that  bad and wont kill you , but a daily regimen and over eating can. Especially eating fast food or foods that are processed. I have watched several people in the last few years face health problems at a fairly early age.  Is it fair? No, but life isn't about fair. It's about living and that is what I intend to do!

    So in order to "live" I need to focus on me and what I can do to help prolong my life.  I am 48 years old ( I usually lie and say 37) and I have a teenage daughter that is 15.  I want to see her graduate high school, college and go into her career. I want to see her marry and start a family. I can't imagine her going through life without me or me not being physically able to help her or enjoy future grand kids. I lost my mother to breast cancer when I was 17 and I will do everything I can to keep myself healthy so my daughter hopefully does not have to endure that. My Dad was recently diagnosed with cancer in his intestinal tract. This has lead me to change the way I eat and what I eat. I am opting for a "cleaner" way of eating meaning less processed foods. Anything that can sit on a shelf for month is not good for you. It contains chemical that could possibly increase your cancer rate .

    I began running a few years ago with the help from a Girl Scout who set up a couch to 5k group in our community. I was instantly hooked! I loved it and have continued to run ever since!  I have set goals and reached them which in turn made me set higher ones. I personally believe everyone should run if they are able. ( if they cannot run do to physical disabilities then I run for them with my heart)  To be a runner does not mean you have to run far or fast. You just have to run !  I have a commitment to exercise and research shows it is vital to your health. You are never too old to start! My running goal for 2013 is a full marathon ( 26.2 miles) I have already registered for one so there is no backing out.

    Back in the spring of last year I worked out with a group of high school kids every morning at 5:45 am. We did INSANITY. What a great program! Those kids showed up every morning to face the intense cardio workouts like champs!  The INSANITY workout lead me to research the company that is behind the workout. That is how I discovered Beachbody.  I read about other companies that offered nutrition and supplements but only Beachbody offered  the complete package, workouts plus nutritional support. I immediately signed up as a coach!  I love all of the support of my team! I have learned so much about health and fitness which has lead me to pursue a certification as a Personal Trainer. I have a long way to go but I will get there. I want to help others start to become more active and take control of their health, not only for themselves but for their loved ones.

    So now when people ask me why, I just say.."I do it for the ones I love"


    Thursday, January 10, 2013

    Ultimate Reset Day 4 Craving things like CRAZY

    So today is day 4 of our Ultimate Reset journey.  Thought it was going to be a good day. Woke up refreshed and happy and then a few hours later started to feel tired and my muscles ached. They say this is part of the process and that the worst days are 3-5.  So seeing how I breezed through day 3, I guess it is to be expected.  I wont let this feeling get me down and I will see this to the end!

    Day 4 meals were REALLY good. Started the morning with oatmeal and blueberries along with a side of Greek yogurt topped with pure grade B maple syrup ( my fav)
    Morning went smooth, stayed full and satisfied. Around lunch time was when it hit me..... aches, pains and I was freezing! ( again this is part of the process)   So i prepared my lunch, which was huge, and i could barely eat it all!! Vegetable roll, lentil lime sale along with a micro salad.
    Holy cow that's a lot of food!! I did manage to eat the majority of it.

    My daily water intake has been a gallon a day. So yes...still making frequent trip to the bathroom. Getting used to it now though.
    Throughout the afternoon as I sat on the couch resting and studying, my mind started wondering to FOOD!  I wanted chocolate, coffee, cereal... oh the many things that went through my mind.. STOP THINKING ABOUT FOOD!!!
    Finally it was time for my daily "shot of Alkalinize" followed with a lime chaser.  Waited 30 minutes an had my snack of a boiled egg and saltines

     After snack time I had to pick my daughter up from school, so that helped get my mind off of food. ( She says I have joined a food cult) LOL  Crazy teenagers with super metabolisms...grrrrr  LOL

    Time to prepare for our dinner feast.. what a mess my kitchen was but the end result was a YUMMY vegetarian meal of Quinoa with veggie stir fry and a cucumber and tomato salad.  I will make this again!

    Here is the recipe for the cucumber and tomato salad

    Cucumber and Tomato Salad

    1 cucumber cut
    2 Roma tomatoes 
    1/4 cup chopped red onion 
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
    1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 
    1/2 tablespoon fresh basil
    1/2 teaspoon of fresh mint

    Toss together in bowl and serve
     ( serves 2)

    After dinner I really wanted a cup of coffee.  I never drink coffee at night so that was strange. Anyways  I put my kitchen back together and finished up my water. Looking forward to a new and hopefully a little more energy!

    Bring on Day 5!


    Tuesday, January 8, 2013

    Ultimate Reset : Day 2 Bye- Bye Meat

    I woke up today with a slight headache, but felt better soon after rising. ( wish i could say that about our poor little dog who coughed all night)

    We enjoyed a nice warm breakfast of oatmeal with blueberries and a side of Greek yogurt sweetened with pure grade b maple syrup. This was very satisfying on a cold rainy morning. ( sorry forgot to take pics)  We both agreed that the oatmeal kept us feeling fuller longer today than the eggs from yesterday. 

    I felt a little more organized today than yesterday.  Starting to get the hang of things and the timing of supplements.  I also prepared a few thing in advance so that REALLY helps. 

    Lunch was our last of our meat products. It consisted of a tossed salad with chicken and balsamic vinegar.  ( I really like Balsamic Vinegar as a dressing) I savored every bite of my chicken and chewed it as slow as I could to make it last as this is the last meal we have with meat for the next 19 days.

    WATER WATER WATER AGAIN=PEE   Although not as much as yesterday but still many trips. (probably TMI but hey it's part of my journey...LOL)

    So with the rainy day, I stayed home and started studying for my Personal Trainer certification. It's been awhile since I had to study so I really had to focus and go slow.  

    I set a reminder on my phone for my Alkalinize (aka "shot time" It really isn't that bad, sorta like salty spinach with grass. I chased it with a squeeze of lemon.

    Felt pretty good this afternoon, had a burst of energy and sort of a euphoric feeling so I wiped down counter tops and stone back splashes  with Mr Clean (Gain scented is the bomb!) along with door knobs and the trash can. Pretty productive I might say...

    Snack Time!!  woohoo!  I worked up an appetite . I had a boiled egg and 6 saltine crackers 

    I prepared our dinner and discovered I LOVE KALE!  I steamed it for 3 minutes and then squeezed fresh lemon juice and tossed it with a few pine nuts. OMG! I scarfed it down!   Just one serving of kale gives you more than your daily quota of immune-boosting vitamin A, bone-strengthening vitamin K and vitamin C.  YOU SHOULD BE EATING THIS!!!

    The rest of the meal was great because it was a bit Mexican. Black beans and rice with corn. This will make a great "meatless Monday " dish.

    1 can black beans
    1 cup fresh or frozen corn 
    1 cup cooked brown rice
    1/4 teas. cumin
    1/2 - 1 tea chili powder ( depends on your taste)
    salt and pepper

    Cook beans til hot and drain. Mix with rice, corn and add seasonings.  Cook on stove top until everything is warm . 
    Serve on corn tortillas and top with salsa, cilantro and guacamole or sliced avocado 
    Hard to see my food on my plates, but they are so pretty!! 

    Well day 2 has come to an end.. pretty good day!  ( except I am feeling a bit hungry now that it is bedtime, but I will drink some more water and sleep on it)

    See ya tomorrow!