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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Teach Children About Healthy Eating

Do your children know where their food comes from? Do they know the names of healthy fruits and vegetables?

A great way to get them excited to eat nutritious food is give them healthy role models and help them take ownership of their food. I was just sent a great children's book for review, Green is Good, which is written by a mother/daughter duo. The little girl, Liv, is a great role model for kids, as she shares all the veggies she loves and how she is trying to teach her dog, Bowie, to love different veggies. She discovers that the best way to grow her favorite veggies is organically. This book is not only a fun read for the kids, it also opens up a dialogue between young children and their parents on modern living, farming, healthy eating and organic food.

Author and mother Elizabeth Gorcey has been creating her entire life - with paint, film (starred in Footloose, Teen Wolf, Max Headroom), and words. Her new book series is inspired by her daughter, Olivia, who as a three-year-old, began to spontaneously deliver wisdom and advice to anyone who was listening. Elizabeth dubbed her daughters musings as "Liv-Isms" and each book in the series is based on these everyday insights. Sometimes kids are the best teachers, and in encouraging her own daughter to embrace and use her authentic voice, Elizabeth realized how much adults can, and must, learn from the purity and honesty of a child's perspective. Pretty cute, right? I can definitely relate, since my four children teach me important lessons daily.

My kids were so excited to see another child doing what they love to do - grow and eat healthy food! In the world of kids, I find way too often that people treat them as little garbage cans - stuffing them full of junk food and whatever they think will make them smile. Artificial junk food is NOT healthy for their wonderful growing bodies. It is time we start making a difference in our children's lives.

What do you do to teach your children about healthy eating and promote it in your home?

Friday, August 14, 2015

Favorite #Paleo Snacks for Road Trips

I was provided snacks to review. No other compensation was given. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

We are getting ready to go on our second big road trip of the summer. 10+ hours in the car with my four little ones, age 7 and under. One thing I learned the first time around is have plenty of food. Hungry kids are not happy kids.

So, what should a health conscious, paleo mom do?

Let me give you a few basic paleo foods that are great for road trips and anytime snacks.
  • hard boiled eggs
  • dried fruit - we love to get our organic dried fruit in big bags from Costco
  • cut up veggies - carrots, sugar snap peas, and celery are especially easy
  • DIY trail mix - pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cashews, almonds, walnuts, raisins, cranberries, goldenberries, coconut flakes, etc.
And here are two of my new favorite pre-packaged paleo snacks. These are so nice, because you just throw them in the car and go!
  • EPIC bars, bites and medleys - These are not your typical protein bar. Instead of just nuts and seeds, fruit and a little honey, these are full of delicious animal proteins. Bison Bacon Cranberry bar? YUM!!! Want some white meat? How about Chicken Sesame BBQ? Mouth-watering yet? Even better...EPIC uses only the best quality proteins! They really set the industry standards by sourcing their meat from ranchers that provide proof of certification that they really do treat their animals as well as they should. The animals EPIC uses are pastured, happy, and healthy. Remember, you are what you eat!
    If the thought of a protein bar with meat in it creeps you out, just hold on a second. I want you to think about jerky mixed with a handful of nuts and dried fruit with awesome flavor combinations. Besides their delicious bars, they also offer bites, which are like the best jerky you have ever had. These are easier to share in the car. And do not forget their mixes. I love their Mountain Medley, which is organic and grass-fed beef jerky mixed with organic dried apples, almonds, pecans, macadamia nuts, and spices - basically the best trail mix ever!
  •  If you are looking for a bit of a more traditional paleo snack bar, look no further than The Paleo Diet Bar. These gluten free, grain free, soy free, dairy free, fiber-rich, and protein-rich, preservative free bars are not only healthy, but they really stop all cravings in their track. Since they are powered by rich-protein sources containing all 9 essential amino acids, they make a great road trip snack or addition to an on-the-go meal. Instead of grabbing some sweet treat, full of junk, from the gas station, choose one of these bars instead. You will feel fuller and stop your cravings in their tracks with either their Cranberry Almond or Cinnamon Raisin bar. 

When I first saw The Paleo Diet Bar on the show, Shark Tank, I knew I wanted to try them. They did not disappoint! They are super chewy, full of flavor, and I love that they use egg protein which is a source of all nine amino acids that can only be derived from food. 

All of these snacks are delicious, healthy, paleo and make road trips that much more fun! What is your favorite paleo snack? Any tips for road-tripping with little kids?

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Tabata 12 - Total Body Inferno

It's our favorite day of the week again! Why? Well, because we are crazy about Tabata, and we give away FREE Tabata workouts right here. Yep, it's your lucky day! (If you haven't learned about why Tabata is one of the workouts I recommend most as a certified personal trainer, read all about it here.)

Today, we are going to work your entire body - yes, head to toes! I call this workout Total Body Inferno, because it is going to burn mega fat and your whole body had better be on fire by the time you are done. Have fun getting ripped and burning fat!

Work hard during each 20 second burst and enjoy the rests in between. Make sure you are giving it 100% to see the best results! Do this workout 3 times this week, every other day, and then I will give you a new workout soon to keep your body guessing and the fat flying off!

Tabata 12 - Total Body Inferno!

This is an interval workout that consists of hard work for 20 seconds and then 10 seconds of rest directly following that. You repeat that pattern for 8 sets. That is one round. You can choose to do as many or as few rounds as you would like. This workout contains 5 rounds. Do as many as you can and challenge yourself to finish them all!

Round 1 -  Total Body Burner - 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest - 8 X

 This total body burner is going to get your metabolism revving right from the get-go! Grab some dumbbells or something else weighted, keeping a flat back and belly pulled in, bend forward at your hips into a bent knee dead-lift. Then, stand back up as you bicep curl and press the weights overhead. 

Round 2 -  Tricep Pushups - 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest - 8 X

    Start in a plank position on toes or knees. Engaging your core, bend your elbows, keeping them right alongside your waist. Sink down as low as you can without touching the ground, and exhale to push back up into the plank position. Your arms and abs should be screaming by the time you are done! You can modify this to make it easier by doing it on your knees all the way through.

Round 3 -  Three-way Squat Jump - 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest - 8 X

  Start in a squat position with legs wider than hips. Staying low in the squat, jump feet in a bit closer, and then closer in one more time. Staying down in this squat position the entire time, jump your feet back out to the middle and wide squat position. You can also make this a bit easier by staying up higher in the squat or stepping your feet instead of jumping them.

Round 4 -  One Leg Down Dog to Knee-In Planks - 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest - 8 X
 Note: My legs should be straighter, if possible. Maybe my hamstrings were really tight that day. :-)

Talk about core power! This move is fantastic for your entire core and more! Start in a downward dog- pressing heels toward floor, lifting hips high toward ceiling, abs in, head between your arms. From there, inhale and lift your right leg towards the ceiling. Exhale and pull that right knee toward your right elbow. Then, inhale and lift same leg again. Exhale and bring right knee in again, this time to your chest. Repeat on the other side.

Round 5 -  Plie Squat and Back Row - 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest - 8 X

 Start in a plie squat, with feet wider than hips and pointed out to the corners. Place your weight into the outer part of your feet. Arms are hanging down straight. Then, exhale and pull elbows back behind you, squeezing shoulder blades together, and come halfway up out of the squat. Repeat.

That is it! Rock this workout, and you are going to feel amazing! Remember, do this 3 non-consecutive days a week to get in awesome shape and join me next time for another great Tabata workout!
*Feel free to ask any questions. Also, please remember to consult your doctor before beginning exercise. I am obviously not responsible for any injuries or accidents that happen during or after this workout. Be safe and be healthy!*

Thursday, August 6, 2015

What Is In My Gym Bag?

I was provided the yoga bag for review. No other compensation was given. All opinions are 100% my own.

Every day, I take great care to make sure I have everything I need before heading to work or workout at the gym where I am a trainer.

Want to know what is inside?

Before I give you a peek, let me talk about my new bag! It is the Yoga Multi Purpose Sport Sling Bag by Aurorae, and I just love it! You can take all the gym essentials you need, plus it will also very easily carry your yoga mat for you! I love how easy it is to carry, despite me loading it down with a ton of stuff, and it has been very durable so far. My last backpack went through serious wear and tear, so I need a durable, dependable bag.

 As you can see, it has one wide, easily adjustable reinforced shoulder strap that makes carrying it quite easy. It has two main large compartments, a small zippered front pocket, built in side water bottle pocket and I use the other pocket to hold my keys, since the string around the top pulls nice and tight. I think it is the perfect bag for your trips to the studio, gym, office, school, traveling, hiking, or beach.

Guess what? You are going to get a chance to win this bag right here!!! Enter the giveaway at the bottom of my post. Good luck!

So, what is inside? Well, in the back compartment, I keep all my clients folders, and I usually also have a deck of cards, for the impromptu card workout. 

In the front compartment, I carry my gym shoes and my protein shake. They fit nicely, and with my easy shaker, I have a portable way to easily, quickly get my muscles refueled right after my workouts.
In the front pocket, I carry notebooks full of class ideas, my windscreens so my classes do not have to listen to my heavy breathing, my headphones, pens, and my iPod (forget to get the iPod in the picture).

Sometimes I throw in a tube of organic lip balm. That is really it. No frills.

My question for you is, what is inside your gym bag?

Now, for the giveaway! (1) reader will win (1) Yoga Multi Purpose Sport Sling Bag for yourself!! Enter below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, July 31, 2015

4 Homemade Healthy Frozen Treats

I did receive products to try out for free. No other compensation was received. All opinions are my own.

It is getting really hot this summer! Who loves to cool off with a nice icy treat?

Put away the artificial Popsicles and unhealthy ice cream treats in favor of your own homemade icy treats! I have four ideas that you and your kids will love - and they are all healthy, no guilt treats too!

Have you heard of Acai? It has become a very popular berry, loaded with powerful antioxidants and healthy omegas. I love to use Sambazon Smoothie Packs, because they make smoothies and icy treats so easy to make! You can also just eat them straight out of the package for a refreshing treat! We love to simmer them with fresh rhubarb and refreeze for a fantastic healthy treat! They are available in Acai Berry + Guarana or Unsweetened Pure Acai Berry, and they are all USDA Organic, Non GMO Project Verified, Ecocert Fair Trade, vegan, and gluten free.

If you want to make a new kind of frozen pop, you have got to try beet juice! Beets are full of antioxidants, low in fat, and an excellent source of folic acid, and they are all the rage right now. It is easy to see why, since they have been shown to help reduce blood pressure, increase stamina, and can help fight the progression of Dementia. Don’t have time to peel and steam beets? Beet juice from Biotta Juice is what I have been using. I just pour some in my awesome BPA free molds, by itself or with a bit of another juice, and freeze. A frozen veggie treat that you will enjoy!

If you are in the mood for something a bit more creamy, try freezing kefir for a healthy kick! I love to use
Lifeway Foods organic kefir. Yes, that is right, organic! I did not even know they offered organic versions, but they do! Hurray!! Grass-fed and organic, full of probiotics, gluten-free, 99 percent lactose-free, and a great source of calcium and protein. And now you can try it frozen in a pop! They come in several flavors, but I personally like to use the plain and just add my own berries.

One more awesome recipe for you - the one ingredient homemade "ice cream"? Check out this gluten free, dairy free, Paleo version of "ice cream"! It is delicious, and you can make it so many ways! Be creative!

How do you like to cool down and stay healthy this summer?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Workouts To Get You a Stronger Core Now!

Have you heard? A shapely booty is the new It thing. Lucky for me, I have no problem attaining that one. But, after having four kids, I am trying to regain my core strength.

One of my favorite workouts that hits both of these areas is Butt and Abs on Fire - an awesome 20 minutes workout that will have you sweaty and feeling awesome by the end! I also love this Core Challenge - another 20 minutes workout that will have your core stronger in no time!
I was just sent a new DVD from Patricia Friberg: The Bottom Line & A Core Defined will also help you achieve both of these things: a strong core and a strong booty!

This program will help you learn to activate the core including the glute and ab muscles. Then the workout advances to provide the necessary challenges for a strong core and shapely booty. Getting your core strong is so important because the core is the powerhouse of the body! This program will help improve your posture and overall athletic performance.
The DVD is broken down into sections that include:
  • Explanation on how to use the program; An explanation from Physical Therapist, Rebecca Gunn, who gives an expert perspective on core work and why it’s important.
  • A section on alignment set up and proper position to get the most from the workout.
  • Bottom Activation 1 ~ Exercises for building endurance in the backside.
  • Bottom Activation 2
  • A Core Defined ~ Patricia demonstrates the entire workout as Adam and Trudy show variations with and without a band.
As a certified personal trainer, I have so many clients with complaints of back pain and weak core muscles. If you can relate, you will love this DVD. It is very gentle and easy to use, so anyone can feel comfortable following along. I personally like to supplement some of my regular workouts with this DVD.

What are your favorite exercises to tone and tighten your core and glutes?

My favorite core exercise and one that you HAVE to do as part of your program is...


Start the plank on knees and hands and move up to your feet and hands as you get stronger. Pull in your belly button towards your spine as you exhale, zipping up your entire abdominal area. Hold this pose until fatigued or mix it up by bringing the plank down onto your forearms, or lifting one foot or one hand at a time.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Have You Tried SlickyNotes?

I was provided with product to review. No other compensation was given. All opinions are my own.

I love sticky notes. I need tons of lists to keep my head straight.

Little did I know that now there is something even better out there - SlickyNotes! EcoStatic has come out with these cool slick notes that you can use anywhere!

I received the EcoStatic Inc. Beginner Kit Glue Free WhiteBoard Sheets and SlickyNote Note Pad, which are the big version. I also received the smaller EcoStatic Inc. Recycled Glue Free SlickyNotes Note Pad.

I love how these SlickyNotes solve a lot of problems. They are similar to sticky notes or magnetic whiteboards. They are reusable, rewritable, and 100% recyclable. You can use the SlickyWhiteboard with Slickynotes for brainstorming, writing down creative ideas, collaboration, coaching, planning and presentation. I like to use this for my homeschooling. Each set included 10 Slickyboard sheets, one large slickynote pad, and one slickynote pad.

I love the smaller SlickyNotes note pad for writing my husband little love notes. I can put them anywhere - from my computer to the bathroom mirror to the refrigerator and more. They can be used on both sides - the white side with a dry erase marker that you can reuse over again, and the other colorful side with any writing tool. They are a bit bigger than your typical sticky note, so you can write that much more!

You can see that I even stuck this note to my hubby on my computer screen. 

I will say that these are not perfect. They do slip off every now and again, and they are not sticky like glue. They are more staticky, if that is a word. However, they would be a great addition to your office supplies and helpful for brainstorming or leaving short notes at work or home.

You can shop Shoplet for lots of things you need including: cleaning supplies, medical supplies or even office furniture.