About Me

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New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
This blog is dedicated to the low-carb menu challenge presented by Jimmy Moore. I'm living the Louisiana low carb lifestyle, where low-carb is the new way to go ! I live southwest of New Orleans, Louisiana....have three awesome kids. We are deep down in the heart of sweet Cajun Country, where we kick back and relax, go hunting, fishing, or make groceries! My doctor told me that my blood pressure numbers were getting too high, so I had to loose weight. She challenged me with ten pounds in three months. That was October 7, 2008. I lost 26 pounds !!! In February of 2011, I found that I had gained a few pounds more than I would have liked, weighing in at 170 pounds. I had to get back into the swing of living the low carb life again !! I am loving the 'low-carb' style and wish to contiue it . I exercise three times a week at the gym, and off the 'off' days, I learn to RELAX !! November 2011, finds me in different circumstances -- a new lifestyle, great community of friends and a challenge to keep that 45 pounds that I lost OFF. Feel free to read my blog, browse around, or just sit a spell!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas !


Merry Christmas from my blog post to yours :)

I am still very much around. Drop me a line if you still read this blog :)

Hope to post more in the New Year .

Monday, November 21, 2011

Best Way to Handle Sugar in your holiday diet



Turkey day is approaching. Here is a timely video to show ways to best handle sugar in your holiday diet. ENJOY !

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Loosing Weight: a Battle against Fat and Biology

Loosing Weight: a Battle against Fat and Biology

(One of NPR's most emailed stories)

Most people who lose weight end up gaining it back — and it's not just
 a matter of willpower. In fact, once we begin to shed those first few
pounds, says one expert, "the biology really kicks in and tries to resist
the weight loss."
 
If you're among the two-thirds of Americans who are overweight,

chances are you've had people tell you to just ease up on the eating and

 use a little self-control. It does, of course, boil down to "calories in,

calories out."


But there's a lot more to it than that, according to obesity specialist

Dr. Donna Ryan,

 associate director for clinical research at the Pennington Biomedical

Research Center in Baton Rouge, La.


It's a popular misconception, she says, that losing weight is "strictly a

matter of willpower." It's a gigantic task, she says, because not only do

we move through an incredible buffet of food spread before us every

day, but we also face a battle with our own biological responses.


It starts when we begin to shed those first few pounds. At that point,

"the biology really kicks in and tries to resist the weight loss," she says.


Take 56-year-old Mary Grant, who's faced a lifetime battling fat,

beginning in childhood, when her father humiliated her in front of the

 family by publicly weighing her every Saturday morning and insisted

 on her trying diet after diet.


In the end, Grant unsuccessfully tried "the grapefruit before every

meal diet, Weight Watchers in the early days, when you had to eat

chicken livers, the hard-boiled eggs and salad diet, the tomato soup

 diet, the cabbage soup diet, essentially anything," says Grant, "to get

that weight off me."

But the weight did not "come off." It wasn't until after nursing school

that Grant was successful in dropping 100 pounds after a medically

supervised fast. Dramatic as that success was, it didn't last. Grant

gained much of the weight back. Most people do, according to health

experts.

And here's why:

When you begin to lose pounds, levels of the hormone leptin, which is

produced by fat cells, begin to drop. That sends a message to the brain

that the body's "fat storage" is shrinking. The brain perceives

starvation is on the way and, in response, sends out messages to

conserve energy and preserve calories. So, metabolism drops.

And then other brain signals tell the body it's "hungry," and it sends

out hormones to stimulate the appetite. The combination of lowered

metabolism and stimulated appetite equals a "double whammy," says

Ryan. And that means the person who's lost weight can't consume as


much food as the person who hasn't lost weight.


For example, if you weigh 230 pounds and lose 30 pounds, you cannot

eat as much as an individual who has always weighed 200 pounds. You

 basically have a "caloric handicap," says Ryan. And depending on

how much weight people lose, they may face a 300-, 400- or even 500-

calorie a day handicap, meaning you have to consume that many fewer

calories a day in order to maintain your weight loss.


This means no more grapefruit or cabbage soup diets:

You u need a diet you can stay on forever. For most people, that means

high fiber, low fat and low sugar. But you can fight back against a

lowered metabolism. You can "kick" your metabolism back up by

exercising every day. One recent study found people were able to burn

up an extra 450 calories a day with one hour of moderate exercise.


It doesn't have to be vigorous jogging. You can walk briskly, bike or

swim. Health experts recommend 30 minutes of moderate physical

activity a day in order to reduce risk for heart disease. But obesity

experts say if you want to lose or maintain weight, you have to double

that and exercise at least one hour every day.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

My Low Carb TV Show... ok IF I really had one ! :)

This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days: http://bit.ly/vU0g9J

Wednesday November2 My TV Show. Your blog is being turned into a TV show! Congrats – you’ve earned it. In fact, you get to co-write it. Write about the TV show based on your life or blog.

BIG EASY ON LOW CARB CHANNEL


Why should living The Big Easy lifestyle of New Orleans hinder the way we eat ? Good Cajun food has always been and always will be a part of me. Every Cajun has the love of cooking. Come as we explore the heart of Cajun culture and cooking. Travel with us, as we access the wildlife of the area and the seafood of the Gulf.

You'll meet fun-loving, God-fearing, hard-working people who grow their own food and catch their own meals in these small Cajun towns. We will absorb the Cajun culture and speak the Cajun language. We'll cook over open hearths like many on plantations. We'll sip mint juleps on the veranda, and watch the setting sun over the levee.

Since many of the Cajun foods are rich in carbohydrates, we'll learn how to simply prepare those recipes for those on a diabetic diet, or just for those who want to eat healthy. Cajun cooking may be time consuming, but it is well worth what you put into it. It has to be. Cajuns love eating their food as much as they love preparing it.
If Justin Wilson we're alive he'd say "I Gar-on-tee".
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I think my cable channel would be different from what is out there because it specifically is geared toward travelling down the back roads of Louisiana and deep in the heart of the Dixie countryside.


Local chefs Emeril Lagasse, Paul Prudhomme, and John Besh will give us the low down on their favorite low carb recipes, fine dining tips, and what it was like growing up in New Orleans.
We'll have the return of Justin Wilson's cooking show -- listening to his Cajun comedy stories while showin' us how to cook real-like Deep Southern food and sip a little 'wine on the side'.


We'll travel the back bayous on an airboat exploring the marsh lands and the animals that live there -- hunt alligator, fish offshore in the Gulf of Mexico, and bow hunt some deer.
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The Big Easy on Low Carb Channel will also explore the present day Louisiana.
We'll revisit Hurricane Katrina survivors, and get their first-hand knowledge of what it was like to live in those desperate times. Did they bbq their food and tail gate ? Did they share what they had with others, or evacuate to other states ?
We'll find out what it was like for the seafood industry, seafood restaurants, and people who ate seafood when the Mobil Oil disaster occured. Travel to marshlands to see how the ecology is now a year later.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge Prompts (#HAWMC)

The Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge Prompts (#HAWMC)



This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days: http://bit.ly/vU0g9J

Titles of my future book. Say you’re writing a book about your life, community, condition, or Health Activism. Come up with 5 working titles and a quick book jacket synopsis.
Go Big Easy on Low Carb !  - Visiting New Orleans, LA ? Foods are high in carbs ! Join us as we seek out local restaurants offering foods that are richly decadent, but low on carbs. Pass the lips and onto the hips ? Not if you are traveling with this low carb gal :)

Low Carb Life for Dummies 101 -  Why count calories and fat grams when you can use this low carb book to get the low-down on easy carb counting !!  Is a carb REALLY   a sugar ? Are there good carbs vs. bad carbs ? We will explore just how to decipher food labels, and recipes for the low carb way of life !

How NOT to Low Carb Properly : My Life, My Struggle, My Story  Follow me, as I discuss my personal triumphs and tragedies with the world of low carb dieting.  What I thought as a success, caused more problems for me later on.  Discover what does NOT work in the world of low carb eating and what DOES.

Exercise and Me, a Low-Carb Love Story ... For most of my adult life, I thought a hard day's work was a substitute for exercise. If I felt mentally and physically exhausted at the end of the day, I thought it meant I was keeping myself fit enough.  I reflect on this today, because we all have to start somewhere. We have to work through the pain to GAIN insight. I exercise and continue to do it because I think clearer and faster. I'm a more patient person, and have more energy. I wonder how much I could have accomplished if I'd discovered all of this sooner ?? When it comes to food, I do not believe in counting calories or fat grams. I count CARBS. Counting calories and fat grams took the air out of the balloon for me. You have to find out what works for YOU. Once my brain realized that a carb = sugar. Everything clicked. I do believe in enjoying all things in moderation. .. Follow me as we experience my low-carb journey though Diet and Exercise...

How To Write a Success Blog -  Have an idea, or something happening in your life daily that you find interesting and don't mind sharing with the world ?  Gain confidence and knowledge by reading this short but inspirational book on just how to find success in writing a daily blog. Emotional ? Whimsical ?  Got something to say that is on your mind ? Why not blog it ? I'll give you all the tools, you run with it ! :)



Monday, October 31, 2011

Low-carbing Diabetes and You Virtual Magazine !!

November is National Diabetes Month !!




Diabetes and You Magazine (click on title)

Walgreens drug store puts out a virtual Diabetes magazine that is Wonderful.



You will be able to flip through the magazine, magnify pages, and more. See the tabs at the top for all of your options.

Eating low carb is like following a diabetic diet.  Check out this awesome magazine today !!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Only have 30 minutes ? We have the workout for you !




As yall know, I've never been a fan of the inside of a gym, or those HUGE exercise balls. What I am a big fan of is technique and timing. It's more important to do an exercise correctly because if you do not, then you could end up hurting other areas of your body AND using the wrong set of muscles for the intended technique !! Squats and lunges are very important, but if done incorrectly can put a major hurt on the lower back and butt.

Webmd.com has a good 30 minute workout !!

Most of these exercises shown here can be done at home. If you have the weights, you can modify the location. Then again, weights are NOT as important as technique.

Always remember to stay well-hydrated. If you have done 20 minutes successfully.. can you do 30 minutes ?


The 30–Minute Fitness Blitz

Think you don't have time to work out? You do. It's the intensity of your workout that's key. A short–burst, high–intensity workout boosts your metabolism and tones muscles. Get moving with this 30–minute "quickie" routine that includes cardio and resistance training.

If you're new to exercise, over 40, have a health problem, or take regular medication, check with your doctor before starting a fitness program.


Frequency of Workout

Perform this 30-minute workout routine every other day, or do it two days in a row if that better suits your schedule. These are not hardcore bodybuilding-style routines where the high degree of muscular overload requires full rest to recover. For a healthy body, work out regularly and eat a healthy diet.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Friday, June 10, 2011

Back in the Low Carb Saddle Again !


Hi ! I'm home, well-rested. Back and ready to attack the low-carb world out there.



Vacation was really nice. I went to the height of 14,000 ft. on Mt. Evans and got stuck at NASA Space Center in Houston because our tram was run on propane. Guess we NEVER know where we'll end up sometimes ??

Which brings me back to low-carbin and exercise. I exercised ever day while I was on vacation. The Hampton Inn has slogans in the gyms, to brighten up your workout :



One thing I found out while traveling is that you need to be prepared. Not every hotel gym comes with free weights. Out in the middle of nowhere (like I was when traveling half of the time) .. Les Mills programs were not offered at the local gyms, or the Anytime Fitness gyms. It makes me REALLY appreciate the programs my Anytime Fitness offers !

I only had two cheat days. One for pasta, and the other for chicken cheese quesadillas. My workout and persistence in eating low carb paid off ! I did not gain any weight !! Yeah for me !

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Back into the workout regimen. Had two great Bodypump classes and one RPM class this week. Since I kept up the strength training while traveling, I felt comfortable with that. What kicked my butt was the RPM (spinning) class. WOW, muscles I had not used suddenly and slowly started working again... and again...

I woke up Thursday morning feeling every muscle in my body aching... like I had the flu...took some Ibuprofen ... hours later only to realize that is HOW I am supposed to feel after a workout.. lol.

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Now, it's time to get back into the swing of things ! Eating correctly, exercising, and RECOVERING... (thanks Darrell for reminding me of that !).

Blast off fat (way) faster !

The healthy living section of Yahoo 'Shine has some great advice on how to Blast off fat (way) faster. ENJOY !


Blast off Fat (way) Faster !!



By Myatt Murphy

Tired of plugging away at the gym without seeing the pounds disappear? We found simple tricks that will transform your usual regimen into the ultimate fat-blasting routine. Whether you use just two of these strategies or all seven, our insider tips will help you get the calorie-burn you deserve.

1. Know this: “You’ll be able to comfortably work out longer and harder if you’re cool,” says Len Kravitz, PhD, coordinator of exercise science at the University of New Mexico. “Being too hot stresses your body out, so you don’t perform as well.” Translation: You burn less fat.

Do this: When exercising at home, put a fan in front of your workout area. Hitting the gym? Wait to use the treadmill that has a fan built into the console.


2. Know this: “Wearing a heart-rate monitor makes it easier to burn more body fat by showing just how hard you’re really working,” Kravitz says. “Keeping your heart rate in the right zone prevents you from slacking off, so you make the most of every minute.”

Do this: Invest in a heart-rate monitor and wear it every time you exercise. We love Life Fitness’s new Dual Watch and Heart Rate Monitor ($60; at CVS stores nationwide). It’s simple to program and use. It doesn’t require an uncomfortable chest strap—just touch the face with your fingertips. And it comes in a variety of sizes too.

3. Know this: “Warming up for five minutes before each workout helps you lose more weight,” says Heather Dillinger, an IDEA Health and Fitness Association elite-level personal-fitness trainer. “It not only makes your muscles more pliable but also increases their range of motion, so you end up using more muscle fibers as you exercise.”

Do this: Choose a warm-up routine that hits all of your muscles, not just your legs. The easiest option: Do three to five minutes of low-intensity walking while pumping your arms back and forth.



4. Know this: “Saving your energy for the end of your cardio workout may prevent you from losing as much weight as you can,” says metabolism expert Dixie Stanforth, of the department of kinesiology and health education at the University of Texas at Austin.

Do this: Instead of starting out slow and then finishing up strong, do your high-intensity cardio early in your workout. After doing your warm-up, try exercising at a high intensity for 15 minutes before slowing down to a more moderate pace for the last 15 minutes.



5. Know this: “Two smaller workouts can be more effective than one,” Stanforth reveals. That’s because every time you do high-intensity exercise, your metabolism stays revved for an hour or more afterward. Splitting up your workout boosts your metabolism twice, giving you additional calorie-burning time from the exact same routine.

Do this: Divide your workout into two smaller, high-intensity sessions—preferably, doing one in the morning and one at night.


6. Know this: If you’re convinced that you’re melting fat while exercising, you’ll make a mind-body connection that will actually help you lose fat faster, Dillinger explains. In a 2007 Harvard study, participants who believed they were getting a good workout showed greater reductions in body fat than subjects who performed the same activities but didn’t feel like they were really exercising.

Do this: The next time you do anything active, remind yourself every few minutes that you’re giving it your all. This little mental move may motivate you to push yourself harder, leading to even greater fat loss.


7. Know this: “The less time you rest between sets when strength training, the more calories you’re likely to burn,” Dillinger notes. “Keeping rest periods short keeps your heart rate at a higher rate, which naturally increases the number of calories you’re using.”

Do this: The best rule of thumb is to take only a 30-second break between sets (meaning you’ll need a watch with a second hand). .
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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Going on a Low Carb "Cruise" !!


(Blogging tonite from Abeline, TX)

I'm one of those "Type A" New Orleanian, whose life seems scheduled to the max ! I teach, run the kid to baseball, church, find time for Body Pump, Body Flow and RPM.. etc. I've learned, especially during this last month the irreplaceable value of quieting the body and mind. The question is : How can I fit relaxation into my everyday life ?

I got some great advice from talking to my friend, Darrell. He mentioned that I have to make a conscious choice to step back and RELAX... So, I decided to go on a 'low carb cruise !!"

My cruise does not happen on a ship. It can happen ANYWHERE !

Mine happens to be on my sofa. I take my favorite things : books, yoga magazine, and music, lie down and SINK for a while.. It readjusts ME, and allows ME to allocate the time that I truly deserve. I also like to call this my "Recovery Time."

This "low-carb cruise" restores the mind and body - releases the tension, thus allowing me to breathe deeper and develop a renewed awareness to my energy. It is a conscious effort, and therefore, renews my energy by creating an openness in my body and a calmness in my central nervous system. This way, you can create the conditions for TRUE relaxation to happen. This is what it's all about.. ME TIME. It is a powerful antidote to the state of stress many of us live with on a daily basis. I WAS that person !
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Just let it go ! Now you are on the cruise.. Give yourself some time to settle in and make the adjustments you need to get yourself in this state of harmony. It is so easy, yet So difficult. I am reminded often that it takes more effort to relax than it does to exercise ! Find contentment and think about what this low carb cruise can do for you. With the right mind and rested body (recovery stage), you will tend to feel and think So much better ! You will become aware of your breathing and learn how it truly feels to relax and the true value of self-care. I think that's what Darrell meant he recommended stepping back and making a conscious effort to RELAX. Hey .. I think I got this now :)


Sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves is to stop overextending, to stop being goal oriented, and thinking we have to take care of everything 'right now.' Like tonite, I let the laundry at the hotel do its own thing in the machine, while I put my feet in the hot tub and enjoyed myself. I looked UP at the beautiful crescent moon in the twilight of the evening sky. I am beginning to notice things around me, sights , like the electric generating wind turbines..

I find that once you have reached the point of finding the true value of your 'low carb cruise'.. you will reengage with life and be more efficient and happier too. It's never about attaining goals. It's about taking whatever life seems to be throwing at you and handling it without resistance.

After your 'low carb cruise' has ended, don't forget what you have experienced ! Remember how you felt and relaunch your relaxed state of mind whenever you need. =)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Low Carbin' In Colorado and New Mexico


After a nice breakfast at our hotel of eggs and ham omlette, wheat toast and a tablespoon of jelly... today's journey found us traveling to the Pueblo Weisbrod Aircraft Museum. Its a quaint place located at the Pueblo Municipal Airport.


SAVING AIR HISTORY: This is the motto of the Pueblo Historical Aircraft Society, which manages the Pueblo Weisbrod Aircraft Museum for the City of Pueblo. Located on Magnuson Avenue just south of the Pueblo Airport, the museum houses more than a dozen aircraft dating to World War II, including the huge B-29, "Peachy". Outside are thirteen additional planes, which will be moved into a second 30,000 square- foot museum hangar when its construction is completed this fall.
Very interesting an unique place to visit. We had our own personal tour guide, and was told that Saturday was a 'slow' day, so be sure to visit on that day !



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We planned on visiting Pike's Peak, but the roadway was closed due to snowfall in the higer peaks.

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We drove onward to a town called http://taoswebb.com/ Taos, NM. Lots of art and galleries.. Starving artists and hippies are supposed to make up the clientele here...
We decided to pass on because we were pressed for time, but it looked like a nice place to come back to visit.

Our final destination of the evening brought us to Santa Fe. Such a confusing place ! All of the store signs are limited to a height of 15 feet. All of the buildings are stucco like and a tanish-brown color.. Everything blends into everything else. No signs are visible to the eye.. unless you happen to spot it from road and by that time you've passed up the place ! We are in a nice hotel, but it is longer than wide and next to a trailer park.. The elevator is 85 yards from the hotel room. Go figure. Rule of thumb, next time drive on to Albuquerque !! This afternoon, I ended up finding a chicken salad at a little place near the motel..

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I was able to work out for one hour this morning at the hotel... tomorrow we'll drive onto Albuquerque so stay tuned !

Friday, June 3, 2011

Low Carbin' through Colorado !!


Today : we ventured to Rocky Mountain National Park - the road was blocked because of the snow in the higher elevation. Not to be thwarted by this onset of road conditions, we ventured to :
Idaho Springs - Mount Evans - the highest paved road in North America ! Mount Evans is the road into the sky. Drive from 8,700 feet at Idaho Spring where you turn off Interstate 70 to 14,240 feet to the summit, and you will pass through 3 life zones, passing ancient trees, lakes and forest to the land above timberline. It can be 90 degrees in Denver and 40 degrees at the top of Mount Evans. Mountain Goats and Bighorn Sheep will greet you as you climb to the top of the world.
Driving this stretch of road is like a scene from Ice Road Truckers in India ! It cost $10 to go up this road, (or as my 12 year old puts it : "The side of cliffs !). My husband said it was like $10 worth of pure hell. I saw his knuckles turn white as we ventured up the winding roads to the summit. It was breathtaking, beautiful and bewildering all at the same time. Like some insane joyride. Venture if you dare :)
I was a very hungry gal today ! I ate pasta at one of the roadside grills.. and in the evening we ended up driving to Colorado Springs, CO. We ate ate Buffalo Wild Wings. I ate the Chicken Quesadillas..

We are at a very nice hotel.. Weight room is great. I worked out for an hour lifting weights, and did cardio on the cross country elliptical.. for about 40 minutes.

I concluded the evening with a little down time for myself. I sat out on the veranda by the pool, noticing the ever changing colors of the sky and the landscape and just breathing the mountain air makes it ALL worthwhile !!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Low Carbin' through KS and Colorado !

Hi ! My hat lands in Firestone, Colorado, just outside of Pikes Peak. We plan to head up the mountain in our truck tomorrow.

Today was a much better day for me. I found out something very important.. I NEED and MUST exercise in order to burn off all of the extra sugars I consume. I was SO lazy yesterday, I did sleep in the truck part of the way.. I know I was not feeling well, but it hit me today just how important exercise is when low carbin it on the road.

I had a very nutritious breakfast at our hotel in Liberal, KS. Cheese omelet, and sausage. Quite delicious! Also had a very nice gym with free weights. I made use of it, worked out for an hour, and noticed how GREAT I felt after exercising. I keep wondering why nobody else exercises at 6 in the morning like I do LOL... I'm still on the 'mom' school time when getting the kid off to school. I have to keep MYSELF in shape, especially when on the road.

We journeyed through Kansas today. As my earlier post stated.. I was actually blogging it from my phone with an 'update'.. something I had never done before.. Expansive cattle everywhere as far the eyes could see. They fatten them up just to sell them... made a wonderful brownish color on the landscape. Kansas is a lot of wind, dust and well a lot of nothing lol.. The Liberal Air Museum was the highlight of the morning.

We traveled onward to Colorado. You kinda have to sneak into the Denver area to get the real feel of the Rockies, they poke out of the earth magnificently. From my hotel room, I could see the snow on top of the mountain ! Hope to have pictures tomorrow.

For supper tonite... I had grilled chicken AND some chili with beans.. hmm weird combination, I gather. The pork and beans in the chili was kinda on a downside as I was expecting red beans.. lol.

I think the weather will be cooler tomorrow. Will keep you posted !
Just left Liberal, KS... NICE visit to the Liberal Air Museum. 5th largest in the country. Stopped in Garden City to eat. Had a chef salad.. Some interesting chips..garden tomato and basil. Very unique blend indeed.. Passing through Garden City and Friend KS now. LOTS of stockyarda filled with cows... They become part of the landscape there are so many..thousand and thousands .. Miles of cattle as far as the eye could see... Keepin on Truckin IIII

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Low Carbin' through TX, OK, and KS



































Hi ~ I'm located in a region of the country that is over 2800 feet in elevation ! and Dorothy doesn't live here anymore ! Yep, you guessed it, Liberal Kansas. We are here to visit the Mid America Air Museum... The largest helium plant in the world is here - National Helium is also located here. Temperatures have been hot.. throughout Texas and OK.. nothing has changed since we arrived in Kansas !

This morning I awoke early, ready to go downstairs to the 'hotel breakfast' to see what they had.. The usual high carb, stuff. So, I settled on some fresh fruit and a slice of wheat toast with grape jelly.

We started the day 'antiquin' in Forney, TX. We visited the antique shops there. Deridder Antiques will take you an entire day to visit it. It's hard to miss from Hwy 80. The Blues Brothers life-sized statues greet you at the front door. This place is like a movie lot / antique store gone WILD.. There is over 40,000 square footage to devour. Once you are there for a while you eyes start to get criss crossed... There is THAT much stuff.

One word of warning though.. : If you are prone to nasal allergies, dust, allergens, etc.. I HIGHLY recommend you takin a Zyrtec BEORE going inside ! The place is NOT air conditioned, and the last time they probably dusted was well, what year was that ?? I suffered from allergies after we got out late in the afternoon... and suffered miserably for the reminder of the day. Good thing we were travelin a lot today... I got to sleep some of it off.




We visited Burns Flat and Altus, OK. My husband was born in Altus (Air Force Base), and raised in the area until he was in the 4th grade before moving to Louisiana. Lake Lugert was also nice...



We stopped to eat at a local Dairy Queen along the way out. I was searching for the chicken in my chicken salad. Highly over priced. Good thing I brought an extra hamburger patty to supplement the meal.



We drove and drove and drove... until just rolling into Liberal an hour or so ago. Made lots of tracks because along the route, No Where to stay.. Hotels are only in the BIG cities, excuse me ? lol.. Not much to see but the land was different... the winds are strong here. 80% chance of rain tonight.. BIG temp change as we rolled in. Kansas is flat... and breezy and HOT.. I'll let you know how things turn out tomorrow.



As far as exercise goes, I was only able to workout by riding on the stationary bike for 20 minutes before we headed out this morn.

Top 10 Road Trip Snacks


Top 10 Road Trip Snacks

Weightwatchers.com has an interesting article on the Top Ten Road trip Snacks that I thought you would enjoy reading !

Top 10 Road Trip Snacks


Article By: Jennifer S. Lazarus


Hitting the road? Keep your nosh healthy and light with our tips.



Summer means road trips to the cottage, the lake, and other vacation destinations. Don't let road-trip weight-loss anxiety get in the way of your summer fun. Instead, read our tips for the best road trip snacks suited for any kind of travel.

Whether you're traveling alone, with your significant other, or the kids, these snack ideas are designed for easy access, and most importantly, to steer you away from fast food stops along the way.

We suggest you bring along a small cooler to keep your healthy snacks fresher for longer.

If you're driving alone

Driving alone can be a cathartic experience, especially with the windows down, the wind blowing through your hair, and your favorite music blaring. To make the trip even better, come prepared with these easily accessible snacks that don't require help from someone in the passenger seat.
•Grape tomatoes: Actually a fruit, these miniature tomatoes, when ripe, make a delicious snack. This is a no-mess, grab-and-go snack, and one you can reach your hand in the bag for over and over.


•Quaker® Quakes: These delicious snacks come in a variety of flavours and can satisfy even the most stubborn sweet or salty craving.


•Summer berries are in abundance: Throw together blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, or any mix of berries in a plastic container. This snack can get messy, so unless you've got a bunch of napkins tucked away in your glove compartment, leave this one for the rest stop.

If you're with that special someone

Sometimes it can be hard when you're traveling with your significant other, and they are looking forward to all the high PointsPlus™ values foods they are going to indulge in on the road. Fear not! As your loved one dives into a bag of fries, you are armed with a bag of popcorn sprinkled with Parmesan cheese or chili pepper flakes. And when you inevitably end up at the drive-thru window, you can either sink your teeth into a delicious sandwich you made or make a smart choice from the menu. Whatever you do, remember to spin the situation positively, and when it's time for you to eat your healthy snacks, the extra pair of hands will help you open your yogurt or pull the plastic wrapper off your string cheese. Here are some ideas.

•Popcorn sprinkled with low-fat Parmesan cheese or hot chili peppers.


•Open the lid of your yogurt and toss in some crushed cereal or granola for a little extra crunch. This will give you a solid dose of calcium, and although a little more challenging to eat in the car, you can make it work by placing the yogurt in your cup holder.


•Cheese and crackers: Decorate some whole wheat crackers with your favorite low-fat cheese, and portion them out in plastic bags for easy access. You can use string cheese and snack on it by itself too!

If you're with the family

You can prepare these snacks in bulk to pass around the car and share with the whole family. These foods are sure to keep the kids happy so they don't start asking to visit the nearest fast food drive-thru window.
•Core an apple and cut it into pieces. Throw it in a plastic container. Bring along a jar of peanut butter, and a plastic knife. If you're not driving, spread peanut butter onto the apple pieces and enjoy! This is one for the whole family.


•Mini pita snackwiches. Hummus is full of protein and can help keep your hunger at bay until you reach your destination. Put some between mini pitas. These mini hummus sandwiches make the perfect portable snack that the kids will love too!

If you're with someone you don't know well

If you're grabbing a ride with a friend of a friend, or giving someone you don't know very well a lift to your destination, you might consider bringing along snacks that won't create crumbs (if it's the other person's car) and that you can easily share with them as a nice gesture (don't forget to pack a little extra). If you're worried the other person is going to stop at fast food restaurants along the way, you can pack yourself some portable main meals too. Also, packing foods with more neutral ingredients will minimize the possibility of strong smells filling up the car.

•Try our Hot Pepper Pretzels – a perfect snack to tote along with you wherever you go! You can bring several plastic baggies, each containing one portion size.


•Meringue cookies: These light cookies made from egg whites and sugar make a delicious low PointsPlus value sweet craving satisfier. You can get the store bought ones, or follow any recipe. Try our Chocolate Meringue Cookies recipe.

Happy snacking, and bon voyage!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

On the Road again : Low Carbin' It !



Sunset over Forney, Texas...


My travels this summer take me to a quaint little town in Texas called "Forney." Why here you may ask ? It 'antique' heaven ! Lots of little shops, makeshift antique barns, roadside antique thrift stores.. you name it, they have it. My twelve year old is an antique maven of some sort -- thanks to his crack knowledge (from his grandpa, of course !) he can tell you just about anything and everything he can about antique bottles and signs, glassware, etc. He is quite enthusiastic about it as well. I'd like to call this little town of Forney his 'honey hole' :)

I'm doing quite well low carbing. Ate a little something for breakfast and left my hometown for a little 8 hour or so drive up here. I am very thankful for my Glucerna bars.. as I call it 'protein on the go'. I also liked the fruit and walnut salads from MacDonald's'. I've learned in moderation for this product though.. it's high in 31 carbs, so I usually share it with Sean, or just eat 1/2 of it at one sitting, and then eat the other half. For lunch, I had a Mc Donald's chicken salad.. although I think they gave me crispy chicken (grilled is my fav), I was hungry enough not to let it bother me.. Ranch dressing to top it all off.

Tonight, I settled up front of my hotel, to a friendly little chicken place. One seasoned breast I exclaimed to the friendly cashier, who looked at me in bewilderment, only to acknowledge that 'all breasts tastes the same'.. HMMM I thought.. am I missing my Popeye's ALREADY lol... SO I devoured the chicken breast... and some unsweetened tea.. and tried a few of the okra on the side... not bad for country eatin.

I was able to get in a good one hour workout at the local gym.. Will probably ride the exercise bike tomorrow morn here at the hotel.. I'm an early bird.. always have been... great way to start off the day :)

How is your summer going ?

Three Workout Mistakes that Slow Metabolism



Three Workout Mistakes that Slow Metabolism




by the editors of Prevention Magazine

Exercise is the single best way to torch more calories all day long. Don’t let these mistakes rob you of your postworkout burn.



Mistake #1: You're in an exercise rut


When you do the same activity day after day, week after week, your mind isn't the only thing that gets bored—your muscles do, too. Whether you take the same daily 30-minute walk around the neighborhood loop, or do a few sets of the same old strength moves, after a while your body stops being challenged and your results plateau.

Correct it: Change things up. Go for a hike on the weekend instead of doing your usual power walk. Find new strength moves that work the same muscles. Try a new type of exercise by slipping in a workout DVD. Any little way to mix things up and challenge yourself with something new is a step in the right direction.

Give your routine an instant boost with these 13 new outdoor workouts.

Mistake #2: You're a slave to cardio

While aerobic exercise is good for your body and soul, if you don't balance those workouts with some strength exercises, you're not only compromising your results but missing a key component of health and fitness. Resistance training—weight lifting, or strength training—is the only way to increase lean muscle mass and lose stubborn bulges. That's important on many levels, especially as we start to get older. (Video: Strength-train at home without heavy weights.)

Starting in their 30s, women lose about 1/2 pound of muscle a year. (Men usually hold on to muscle longer, but the rate of muscle loss speeds up dramatically after age 60.) Because muscle burns calories even when at rest, losing it will noticeably slow metabolism. This is one big reason many of us see that "middle-age spread" beginning in our 40s.

A study from Skidmore College found that exercisers who combined cardio with a high-intensity, total-body resistance routine lost more than twice as much body fat—including twice as much belly fat—over 12 weeks as those who followed a moderate-intensity cardio plan. (Search: New fitness plans.)

Correct it: Substitute a couple of strength sessions for cardio days. Lift weights at least twice a week, hitting all your body's major muscle groups.

Mistake #3: You're stuck in a "fat-burning" zone

If you hop aboard a treadmill, elliptical trainer, stair climber, or other cardio machine at the gym, you may see a programming option that allows you to stay in a "fat-burning" zone. It's based on the fact that at lower intensities, the body uses a greater percentage of its fat stores for fuel. Sounds great! You don't have to work as hard and you're sucking some of that fat out of your belly, butt, and thighs.

But do the math and you'll see the problem. At a lower intensity level, your body will indeed burn a higher percentage of fat than carbs but still burn fewer calories overall. Here's an example. A 150-pound woman who walks on the treadmill at 3 mph (a 20-minute mile) burns about 112 calories in 30 minutes. At this moderate intensity, she burns about half of those calories from fat, or about 56 fat calories. If she were to take that workout into a brisk walk for 30 minutes at 4 mph (a 15-minute mile), only about 40 percent of her calorie burn might be from fat. But she'd be burning more calories overall—about 170 in those 30 minutes, or about 68 calories from fat. (More: Get the complete Turn Up Your Fat Burn Plan today!)

Correct it: Burn more calories and make more of those calories come from fat by increasing your overall effort. A great way to achieve that is by doing intervals—periods of higher intensity followed by a slower recovery pace.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Glorious Glutes for a Sunsational Summer











Best Butt Workout --
Look Better From Behind! (webmd.com)


With beach season upon us, do you like what you see in the full-length mirror?

This week, Pamela Peeke, MD, shares her secrets for gravity-defying glutes!



We’ve begun our Beach Mind Beach Body journey, but this time with a mental and physical twist.

Instead of obsessing about body parts, I’m asking you to engage your mind to see how your lifestyle behaviors are reflected in how you look and feel. If you do, you’ll experience a royal win win — by being more mindful of your body all day, your body will benefit by all of that attention. You’ll look great and feel so much better. This week we’ll use your beautiful behind as a case in point.

Hey, call it what you want — behind, booty, derriere — those soft pillows of feminine flesh serve you well all day. They power you out of chairs, up the stairs and straighten you up after tying your sneakers. I’ll bet you didn’t know that the gluteus maximus is the largest muscle in the body. Keep in mind, that, like all other muscles, if you don’t use it, you lose it. Simple routines that anyone can do will keep your rear end from sagging into those less than attractive rolls of bountiful butt straining your pant seams.

Many of you have a love-hate relationship with your butt. Well, that ends now. It’s time for you to express your own Glute Gratitude. Yep, let’s take what you’ve got and appreciate and optimize it.

Staying consistent with my MIND MOUTH MUSCLE template, you’re going to enter this third week with Power MIND. As I’ve noted in the previous blogs, you’ll fight any urge to default back to self-denigrating comments about your body. We’ll have none of that! Instead, this week you’ll say, “I’m smart, beautiful and fun and this week I’m going to practice body gratitude.” Every day, wake up and appreciate all of the body parts that work. Stop concentrating on what you can’t do, and pay attention to what you can do. This is especially true for as you age. Joints are creaking and there’s that recurring pain. Adapt and adjust and be happy you’re here today to rock and roll through another 24 hour life adventure.

Moving to the MOUTH, how about a few simple tricks to help you with the cravings that can destroy your best beach body intentions? Get over the urge to splurge by:

1) Medicating with Movement: Stop using food to anesthetize your stresses. Instead, get up and move. Research has shown that when that creepy craving starts to hit, you should hit the road. All it takes is 15 minutes of walking to increase levels of both the pleasure chemical dopamine as well as the mood modulator serotonin. In combination, they help you win the food fight.

2) Pound down the Protein: Got a craving? Grab lean protein all day long — for meals and snacks. Protein helps to curb the “I’m starving and I need to eat everything that’s not tacked down” hunger hormone, ghrelin. Avoid only eating protein at main meals. If you include protein in your snacks (low fat dairy, peanut butter on apple slices), you’ll keep this hunger hormone in check all through the day.

3) Substitute: Hey, it’s OK to have a treat every now and again. When you do, how about creating a tasty, healthy “cheat” by doing simple substitutions. Instead of grabbing something with boatloads of addictive refined sugar, make a fruit parfait with fresh berries and yogurt. Forget the potato chips and instead have hummus and carrots.

Now it’s time to honor that gluteal MUSCLE. I love these exercises because most are simple and easy to do throughout the day. Remember to always check with your medical team before you engage in any physical activities, especially if you have a medical and/or physical condition.

1) Stop Sitting So Much: Get up more often throughout the day. Walk while you talk on the phone. I always recommend standing and moving every 30 minutes. You’ll increase your fat burning metabolism as well as engage your muscles to keep them firm and fit.

2) Stay Mindful of Your Rearful: As many times as you can, become mentally aware of your behind and as you do, contract your glutes. You can be standing in line, walking up stairs or running to the bus. Pay attention to how they feel as you move. As I noted in a previous blog, engaging your core throughout the day keeps your posture upright and makes you appear taller and slimmer. The same is true for the glutes. Become glute aware!

3) Burn Your Butt Fat: As you proceed to do some of the glute exercises, just remember that in addition to strength training and good nutrition, you absolutely need to be doing regular cardio (goal is to burn 400 calories each session) with intensity intervals. That means when you hit the hills by increasing your treadmill’s incline, you’ll cook a ton of calories compared to simply walking on the flat. Crank up your treadmill’s incline to 5%, walking at a pace of around 3.5-4MPH and you’ll burn at least 350 calories per hour, which is a 64% increase over walking on a flat surface. Or ramp up the speed with which you walk. Intensity intervals simply mean adding hills and/or speed every now and again to your workout. Check out the WebMD resources on how to do interval training.

4) Butt Blasters:
Backward Leg Toe Touch and Lift: Stand behind a chair, toes facing forward, with both hands placed on top of the chair for stability. Keeping both knees straight, extend your left leg back pointing your toes with your big toe is touching the ground behind you. Gently lift your left leg about 30 degrees off the ground without bending your knee. Tighten your glutes and hold for a count of 10. Bring down and touch the ground with your pointed big toe and lift right back up for another count of 10. Repeat this 5 times and switch sides.

Donkey Kick Crossover: Grab a mat and get on all fours with your hands under your shoulders. Keep your left knee and ankle flexed as you lift your knee to hip level behind you. Hold for a count of 5 and bring down, touching the mat briefly and lift again. Repeat 5 times and switch sides.

Butt Bridge: Lie face up on a mat with knees bent and feet flat, arms by your side. Left hips slowly off the floor, forming a straight line from knees to shoulders. Tighten your glutes and maintain this bridge position for a count of 10. Bring your butt down for 10 seconds and lift back up again into bridge position for a count of 10. See if you can do it for a count of 20. Repeat 5 times.

Sizzling Squat: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Engage your core abdominal muscles. Place your hands behind your head, elbows out to the side. Squat down, never going beyond a 90 degree angle to your lower legs. For novices or anyone with knee issues, just squat down enough to feel your glutes engage well and hold for a count of 3. As you stand up, for an added twist, rotate your trunk to the left and lift your bent left knee in front of you. Return to squat again. Switch sides and repeat. Do this whole set 5 times.

Invisible Chair Wall Squat: You can do this anytime and anywhere there’s a wall. Standing straight, place your back on a wall. Squat down as previously described, and imagine you’re sitting on an invisible chair. Squeeze your glutes. Hold for a count of 5-10 (or 20 for the advanced), and stand up. Rest for 10 seconds and repeat 5 times.

Everything I’ve described is simple and doable. So, do it already! Summer’s around the corner. That’s your “bottom” line! Next week, we’ll move upstairs anatomically to help you with your right to bare strong and fit arms for a sensational season. Keep it going everyone!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Low Carb Recovery


I received an interesting email today. A friend from the gym wanted to know how I could take two classes and then go home to 'work' some more ?? I explained to her that it's all about RECOVERY...



In Sage Rountree's new book The Athlete's Guide to Recovery, Rest & Restore for Peak Performance, he explains how its harder to RECOVER than it is to Exercise.. it's about finding the balance between working enough and resting enough. You should treat recovery as an extension of your training.. Say if you are passionate about Bodypump, then you should be JUST as passionate about recovery ! "You have to go easy to be able to go HARD." Now it's starting to make sense.

Paying attention to recovery takes time and discipline. Of course our idea of recovery may be to kick back and relax, watch some television, while folding laundry AND checking the facebook account. NOT> The body needs to have quite a fine balance between work and recovery. "You can drive a car across the country, and then get in the car and drive the next day.. You can't do the same thing with the body. Use your energy where it is best spent. When you rest, REST.

I'm only on chapter 11 in the book, but I've learned SO much already. Rest involves planning workout days and REST days. He talks about the importance of breathing and work load. Each chapter is delegated to a section that stands alone. Hard work tears down the body, but REST allows the body to repair itself and come back stronger than before.

I found this book a valuable resource. In the back there are charts and such. Whatever you need to know about recovery, you can find it here... Definitely a good read, OR a gift to a person in your family... :)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

School is almost over.... Low Carb summer is HERE !





One more day of school left ! YEAH ! Had a great day today ! Was at my son's 6th grade achievement awards. He did extremely well. Finalized some papers with other students... Low carb summer is HERE. Are YOU ready for it ??

Chris and Darrell worked us hard at Bodypump. Afterwards, I did Bodyflow . I think I'm bodied out !! All my muscles feel lengthened until they feel like they are gonna pop .. FEELIN' THE BURN... defining that lean muscle tone... YEAH..

It's amazing how workouts make you feel... and the feeling lasts a very long TIME !

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Low Carb Container Planting !!



What do you do with 24 empty tubs of molasses ? Low carb container planting of course ! We started planting on May 13, 2011

What started out as a simple project to teach my 12 year son, Sean, how to garden, is turning out rather nicely ! My father in law is passing down his gardening tradtion, and teaching us how to container plant.




We started planting in smaller buckets...




Then my father in law suggested doing it on a bigger scale ! Soo just HOW is it done ? The secret to this low carb gardening is to use these huge molasses containers, they feed the cows with out here. Then get a good mixture of soil and manure... and you are on your way !@!

We are planting seeds.



I think one of the more interesting is the shallots (green onions)..


You know the containers that a package of 50 CD's or DVD'S come in ? Well, we turn it upside down, put some holes in the bottom, moss, then the fertilized soil and then the shallots.. and put it up on the fence.. wallah !! lol



We are planting shallots, potatos, bush beans, carrots, spinach, radishes and beets.. I'll have to take some current pictures for yall.. as the beans are starting to come up already. I've had these pictures in my camera , waiting for some TIME to write this article...

So what are YOU waiting for.. you can plant ANYTHING you like just use your imaginations and EMPTY CONATINERS...

In a later blog, I'll show you how to cook and store them in the freezer for year round fresh veggies.. !! Enjoy !

Today's Exercise and Low Carb Tally...




Cheese (2 Carbs), Wheat toast (16 carbs) strawberries (four carbs) 2 slices cheese (2carbs) Blueberries (4 carbs) banana (17 carbs)

For Lunch I had a grilled Chicken Salad from Mc Donald's.. 11 carbs

Ate a protein bar after RPM and Body pump tonite.

RECOVERY PLANNED FOR WEDNESDAY !!!

Have a great evening !!






Continuation of the other post...

Exercise with RPM and Bodypump...

Bodypump -- Pay CLOSER attention next time !!




It has been a great evening !! I rode with the pack for RPM (spinning ) class. Survived Darrell's class... Two bottles of water and a protein bar later, Bodypump (weightlifting class began)... I was doing FINE until the Cowboy Casanova song came on... then all hell broke loose.

If yall are regular readers of my blog, you'll know about five years ago I had a flu shot that went bad. I had an adverse reaction to the vaccine, and was injected into the nerve. Anywho.. to make a long story short, the result of this was 18 months of physical therapy, as my left arm hung like a stroke victim and refused to budge..

Well, I changed weights.. was casually talking to my workout partner and all of the sudden the song began... I was off centered when lifting the bar, like a drunk person ! I could not understand why the bar was leaning to one side more than the other, and apparently my left arm could not bare the load of the weight. My first thought was perhaps I came up TOO much on the weight for this set.. but then as I glazed in the mirror, I wondered what the heck was goin on ?

I was off centered.. the bar would not cooperate, nor would my left arm... so I stopped, readjusted myself.. tried to lift the bar and the same thing happened ! I thought perhaps my left arm was having spasms, reminscient of the old days when I could barely lift if past my navel...

Upon CLOSER INSPECTION.. I found out the culprit ! I had put different amounts of weights on the end of each bar. My LOAD WAS INCORRECT.. DOH !!! I was humiliated.. lol. I can laugh at it now .. but during the time it was happening, I thought I had lost all strength in that left arm. LESSON LEARNED : PAY ATTENTION ! LOL

Monday, May 23, 2011

Diet and Exercise Tally for Today

I did two Bodypump classes today. For Lunch I had Mc Donald's chicken salad. Some blackberries for a snack.. Protein bar after pump classes.

Going tomorrow for RPM and Bodypump.

Spent the weekend in Gulfport. It was very nice and relaxing... :)

Hope everyone had a really nice day !

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Recovery day, & Today's Carb totals...

Today was my recovery day.. Worked very hard yesterday...



Hi ! It's been a very busy day here in the Big Easy. Temps are 10 degrees hotter than they were yesterday. I walked earlier this morning for about 20 minutes around my town. For breakfast, I had a piece of wheat toast with cheese, and some mixed blueberries and blackberries. Totoal of about 18 carbs.

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For lunch I had a small portion of potato salad and some turkey stew. No ideas how many carbs.

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Was at the ballpark this evening. My son's team placed second in the American league baseball championship. (or so the trophy tells me so !)



Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Today's Diet and Exercise Tally...



Today's lunch consisted of one cup of tomato soup.. (20 carbs). Handfull of blackberries (8 carbs), Wheat toast (11 carbs) Cheese (one carb) total = 40 carbs

I had a really nice day today. Temperature outdoors were nice and cool. I walked around my hometown for about 40 minutes, slow and steady. I took a Bodyflowclass tonite for an hour at Anytime Fitness.

I started drinking Chamomile Herbal Tea before bedtime... to enchance my sleep.

Feeling good this evening. Everything is stretched out.. and ready for a nice long nap LOL... Have a great evening !!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

If The Shoe Fits !! -- Weight Loss and Shoe Size.. it DOES really matter !!





You may be asking.. what does one have to do with the other ? As pointed out to me by my instructor, Darrell.. when one is dieting, things shrink. I agreed somewhat, as my wedding ring no longer fits. My clothing does not fit.. Nothing fits anymore. He mentioned that I probably would need to have my feet measured again to get a correct shoe size. I was like WHAT ??

It's true. Along with choosing great low carb foods with our diet, comes wearing the correct shoe size. This is very important in exercising. I found this out when I started noticing that the width of my shoes we puffing up when I would go down to do squats in weight lifting class ! My feet started to hurt as well... Like riding a bicycle with a flat tire. The performance did not work well.

I asked my friend, Dr. Michael Hellemn just how this happens. He suggested that foot does not spread as wide because there is less weight pushing down. "Human bone also adapts to the pressure put on it. If the bones in the foot and leg are carrying less weight, they will grow smaller. Not sure if the reduction in size would be significant enough to notice."

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I know from experience in RPM and Bodypump that even if you're doing everything else right, your efforts can be undermined by improper (wrong sized) footwear. Working out with the wrong shoes increases pounding on the joints, and can lead to injuries like plantar fasciitis or tendinitis.

The key is to choose a shoe that is specific to your activity and that suits your particular foot. Shop at stores specializing in athletic shoes, where you can seek advice from a knowledgeable salesperson. There are specific shoes for biking (RPM)
that you can purchase from biking stores.


So there you have it. Time to try on shoes, get the correct size, and have that perfect work out !!

Thanks Mike and Darrell for your input on this important subject !!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

3 Essentials for a Beach-Ready Body


http://blogs.webmd.com/pamela-peeke-md/2011/05/beach-mind-beach-body.html





Webmd.com has a great article on how to create a Beach Ready Body. Enjoy !

Everyday Fitness

with Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, FACP


Living life to the fullest is all about striving for a mind-body balance every day. Achieve a mental, nutritional, and physical transformation for life with tips from wellness expert Pamela Peeke, MD.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Beach Mind, Beach Body


Photo: iStockphoto

Everyone take a deep breath. It’s May and this year we’re going to approach the BB (beach body) issue differently.

Instead of horrified cries of: “OMG I…

a) Should have stuck with my New Year’s resolutions, which were last New Year’s resolutions, which were the year before resolutions…

b) Can’t look in a full length mirror naked without conjuring up visions of the latest episode of Heavy;

c) Am facing another spring and summer wearing dark hide-it clothes;

d) Will withdraw from fun social events, skipping the pool or the beach;

e) Will spend another year hating my body and myself.”

You’re now going to hear: “Hey, OK I need to work on my body. But, I’m ready and willing to do the work. I love myself and want to take care of this precious body that I’m so grateful for. I know I can do this.

Alright, it’s official. We’re done with the negative and hopeless attitudes once and for all. I’ve got a better way to help you achieve a healthier, more fit mind and body. It’s finally time you got to enjoy the warm winds, sunny skies, sandy beaches and tons of pool time. So, let’s get started.

For the next six weeks, I’m going to use my trademark template — MIND MOUTH MUSCLE — to walk you through a new way to hit the deck running as the spring and summer months embrace us. Ready to get started? OK, here we go. Any journey always starts with the mind. You need to direct your mind into a powerful, positive and proactive place.

MIND

Take the BMBB commitment today: Remember this is a Beach Mind Beach Body experience. It’s high time to bag the toxic self-speak and replace it with endless self-support. Quit comparing yourself to every Tom, Dick, Tracy and Debbie in town. Pay attention to you. Commit to loving and supporting you. Repeat after me: “I commit to avoid negative self-speak. Instead of getting down on myself about my body, I’m going to celebrate what’s good about it. I will not engage in self-loathing, but practice self-love and appreciation. I will strive to stay focused on my goal — a healthier mental attitude about my body, and a fitter body.” Let’s get real. Of course you’ll have downer days when you’re tired and overwhelmed and you’ll default to feelings of helplessness, hopelessness and defeat. That’s completely understandable. Heck you’re human for crying out loud. The key is to regroup as fast as you can, and minimize any Toxic Speak and self-destruction. Get some sleep and turn it around. You can do this.

Know the Difference between Fantasy and Reality: Got an extra 50 on board? Newsflash: you’re not dropping it all in 6 weeks. However, you’ll remove some excess fat and build muscle, and keep it going long after this wonderful BMBB campaign. The goal is to lay down a foundation of healthy lifestyle habits that you’ll hone and sustain for a lifetime. So don’t believe all of the cheesy ads promising overnight success. Stay mindful of reality and the truth. Every journey begins with that first crucial step in the right direction. One of my favorite Peekisms is: The greatest stresses of life come from unmet expectations. Be careful to establish reasonable and attainable mini-goals. Huge success is always built on the achievement of these smaller milestones.

Know Your Numbers: To monitor your accomplishments as you go along, you need some kind of measureable outcomes. This may include blood sugars, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. Regarding your physical body, you can do this any way you want to. Freaked out by the scale? No problem. You can whip out a tape measure and record your tummy (across the belly button) circumference, along with hips, thighs and buttocks if you wish. Write it down as you’ll be coming back with future updates. As well, you can also use my infamous clothes-o-meter. Simply take a piece of clothing that you’ll fit into after removing 5-10 pounds (women — a pair of jeans, men your belt), pull it out and keep it front and center in your closet so that it greets you every day. Trust me. If the clothing is getting looser, you’re doing just great. Or, for you folks who want to, get a body fat scale and measure your total body fat along with weight and tape measurements. The bottom line is that you need something to compare in order to track progress over time.

Develop Stress Resilience: So you’re cruising along and doing pretty well with your program and kapow — stress smacks you right in the face. Here’s my golden rule: The key to survival is the ability to adapt and adjust to life’s stresses without resorting to self-destruction. Life presents endless opportunities to adapt and adjust. So many folks get derailed when they become paralyzed when something changes in their lives — a tough project deadline, your boyfriend/girlfriend drops you like a lead balloon, an ankle sprain. Create a New Normal and develop a strategy for surviving. Get help and support when you need it. As you regroup, continue to take care of yourself as best you can. You’ll get over the hurdle, I promise you. Use every single challenge in your life as a golden opportunity to refine your adapting and adjusting skills.

Reward Yourself: Every single action you do in your life is associated with some kind of reward or you wouldn’t be doing it. You brush your teeth to avoid another painful trip to the dentist. You dress to the nines in anticipation of an awesome date with someone you love. A tsunami of the brain chemical dopamine floods your mind and body with feelings of pleasure. You feel terrific. So, as you commit your 6 week plan to paper (or iPad, Excel spreadsheet or whatever works for you), make a list of mini-rewards that will accompany achievement of your mini-goals. It could be purchasing a cherished piece of clothing, a fun trip, or a joyful walk with your best friend. Or, it could be a fabulous sense of accomplishment. Your life’s work needs to be balanced by countless rewards.

OK, we’ve dealt with attitude, focus, numbers and resilience. As we’re starting out, I suggest keeping your first nutritional and activity steps simple and straightforward. I highly recommend that you track your progress on the WebMD Food and Fitness Planner. And make sure to use the Food-O-Meter to learn the calorie breakdown for your favorite foods, as well as the Fit-O-Meter which will show you how many calories you burn in over 600 different kinds of activities. Hey, this is a learning experience so take advantage of these terrific resources right there at your fingertips.

MOUTH

Eat every 3-4 hours. Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast. End your eating with dinner, preferably by 8PM. Eat smaller, balanced meals and snacks.

Get Rid of Refined Sugars. Refined or processed sugars will sabotage your best efforts to rein in runaway appetites. Get them out of your house and any space you live and work in. Stick with whole foods– fruits, veggies, grains and lean protein.

Vacuum in the Veggies. You can eat endless portions of non-starchy veggies. They’ll fill you up and not out. Eat them throughout the day. Add them to brown rice, as a side with beans, and in soups. There are countless way to incorporate these life giving plants into your daily meals and snacks.

Try This Trick to Feel Full. Throughout the day, combine lean protein with fiber. It takes the body much longer to digest carrots and hummus, or chicken and veggies, or peanut butter on an apple. You’ll feel full, your appetite will be controlled and you can carry on with your day’s activities.

Shake It Up. Try a protein shake for a meal or a mid-afternoon snack. One scoop or whey or soy protein powder delivers about 20 grams of protein (equivalent to a chicken breast). Add water, or skim milk, or plain yogurt along with fresh or frozen fruit and sip. It’s a simple and easy way to stay satisfied and well nourished.

Cut Out the Nocturnal Feasting. Too many calories consumed at night equal lots of extra body fat. Top that with eating too much too late and you’ve got bulging bellies and sagging saddlebags popping up everywhere. Make a commitment that during the work week, you’ll cut off your eating by 8PM (If you eat after 8 you’ll gain a lot of weight), or earlier. You can play a little later on Friday and Saturday, but don’t go whole hog. Get to bed earlier as well. You can’t overeat and sleep at the same time.

MUSCLE

Get Up More. Coupled with better nutritional habits, you’ve got to become more physically active. Your body’s screaming for more activity. Get up and walk as much as you can. Take the stairs, clean out the garage or your closets. Just move more every day. Your brain and heart will love it, along with all of your other organ systems. And man will you cook some excess body fat. Burn 400 calories worth per day doing a combination of different activities.

Add Intensity. If you really want to see some results, add Vitamin I, or intensity. In intervals, just incorporate faster speed or hill work and resistance when you can. It’s important to constantly change it up and challenge your body. The bonus is that you’ll cook calories faster.

Dance Yourself into a Beach Body. What a royal win win– having fun and burning calories. Crank up your boom box or iPod and let it rip. Try to take dancing recesses whenever you can throughout the day.

For Week Two, we’re going to get more specific about what to do for all of you WebMD members who are having “Two Piece Troubles”. Watch out for new mental and physical muscle toning and fat burning exercises coming your way so that you can achieve your Best Beach Body.

Posted by: Pamela Peeke, MD at 1:37 pm

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