How often should I exercise?

Back when I was in high school I would go to the gym and jog on the treadmill every day. A senior male gym member told me that I shouldn’t exercise every day so I stopped going as often. I think back and wonder why I listed to him. He was overweight, didn’t work at the gym, and had no fitness-related certification that I was aware of. He was wrong! You should exercise EVERY day. The thing to realize is that what one person’s perception of exercise is, and what another’s person’s view of exercise is may be completely different. Someone may think of exercise as cleaning house or working in the garden, whereas an athlete may be thinking of a 3-hour hike.

What I’m referring to is movement. Everyone should move every day. You shouldn’t run every day or lift weights every day, but you definitely need to move for an hour every day. It’s not crazy or hard. If you have a dog, walk your canine 15 minutes, four times a day. Walk him in the morning, at lunch, midafternoon, and after dinner.

I wish I had a dog. I need to find a neighbor that will let me walk their dog, but then I’d want someone else to pick up the poop! Anyway, you can walk around the block, walk to the grocery store, garden, clean house…I don’t care…just make sure to move every day. Even on your days off from exercise, you want to be mobile. You’ll feel better and have more energy. Now move it!

How to lose 10 pounds in 30 minutes

Friday night I was watching 20/20 on TV and the topic of discussion was deception in weight-loss advertising which piqued my interest. Apparently, those before and after shots are taken the same day! How is it possible to look like you’ve lost weight in one day? The answer: lighting, a spray tan, and proper posture.

To replicate these results, the producers asked three men, who were fairly lean to begin with, to slouch and stick out their guts for the before photos. None of these men looked fat in the before photos, but they did look like they could lose a few pounds and tone up. Then the three men shaved their chests and got a professional spray tan. Next the men did sit ups and push ups to pump blood into their muscles to make them look more muscular. The men posed for the after shots, with perfect poses, stomachs sucked in, and arms flexed. It was amazing to see the transformation: from flabby to fit. Abdominal muscles were now apparent and strong biceps emerged.

This type of advertising is deceptive, but effective. To replicate these results, stand up straight with shoulders back and smile…you’ve now lost ten pounds!

Vegan Grape Icy Cooler

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I’ve been making this refreshing vegan fruit smoothie all week so I thought you might like to make it too. It tastes like chilled honeydew in a glass. Yum!

1 cup chilled, washed green organic grapes

1 cup coconut milk (or milk of choice)

3/4 scoop of sweetened vanilla protein powder

1/3 cup ice.

Mix all ingredients in blender except ice until blended. Add ice and mix again. That’s it!

Red Heads: what colors to wear

best clothing colors and make-up colors for red headsIf you’re a male or a female with red hair, you can make your skin look healthier and your eyes brighter by following the following clothing tips.

Don’t wear white, black, dark blue, red or pink shirts, scarves, glasses or hats (basically anything near your face and neck, since these colors clash with your completion). You can wear these colors as long as they are away from your face and hair; some examples are: pants, shoes, and belts.

Instead wear creams, browns, peaches (a perfect color for lipstick and shadow), turquoise, light blue, and magenta. You want to wear warm colors near your face since they will work with your skin color, instead of against it, and colors from the warm pallet will make your blue eyes pop!

Why you shouldn’t test your blood sugar during or right after exercise

I’ve found that blood sugars levels are inaccurate during exercise or right after exercise. The reason for this is if you are testing your blood sugar from drops of blood taken from your finger instead of from your arm (such as when a nurse draws your blood), there is a lag time when it comes to blood getting to your extremities. Because of this, for a diabetic, it’s important to check blood sugar BEFORE exercising. If you want to see what your blood sugar level is after your workout, give it an hour since it can take up to an hour for the blood sugar levels to normalize.

Cotton can make you sick. How to protect your skin.

The clothes we wear, the sheets on our bed and the towels we dry off with are made with cotton. In the fields, cotton is sprayed heavily with pesticides. I’ve heard of cases where people get horrible rashes or end up in the hospital from wearing new jeans! Whenever you buy new clothes, bedding, or anything that comes in contact with your skin, make sure to wash them in soap and water first. When using cotton balls on your face, spend the extra money for certified organic cotton balls. Just like washing your hands for health reasons, make sure to wash other items too!

To prevent weight gain, always check this first

The other night I went to Lazy Dog Restaurant planning to have the Ginger Soy Salmon with brown rice, but decided against it when I saw that this entree contains 1050 calories. Wow! Who would have thought such a healthy-sounding dish has that many calories. I’m so glad that I checked the nutritional information before ordering. I chose the Spicy Thai Chicken Salad that has only 440 calories instead. That salad was flavorful, spicy, and crisp. It was delicious and I plan to order it again the next time I eat there.

Thank goodness large chains are now required to list all calories, fat, salt, carbs, fiber and protein; and provide this information to customers when asked. At P.F. Chang’s, the Chicken Lettuce Wraps are 530 calories and that’s just an appetizer! I used to get the combo Lo Mein at P.F. Chang’s, but I had no idea it’s 880 calories and has a whopping 3400 mg of salt. No wonder I was stuffed and thirsty afterwards! Another dish I used to get every time at the Cheesecake Factory was the Luau Salad, but I’m not ordering the dinner portion anymore at 800 calories.

Remember to look over the nutritional information or ask how the dish is prepared the next time you go out to eat. Knowing this data can either help you gain or lose weight. At least now, the choice is yours!

Do you miss parmesan cheese? I found a great substitute!

Parma
If you are avoiding dairy, I have some good news. There’s a healthy vegan parmesan cheese you can buy at many heath food markets. It’s called Parma. My kitty likes cheese and wanted some too. You can sprinkle this on your pasta, or add it as a topping to any dish that you normally would add parmesan cheese. I used it in a vegan gluten-free mac and cheese dish which turned out creamy, zesty and delicious. My dairy-loving guests couldn’t believe it didn’t have any cheese!

How much protein & how many carbs should my pre & post-workout drink have?

Your pre-workout or post-workout drink should have twice the amount of carbs in comparison to the amount of protein. My smoothies typically have 30 or 45 grams of carbs, with half of those grams as protein. For instance, a banana has 30 grams of carbs, so I will put 15 grams of protein powder in my shake. Since a typical scoop of protein powder has 20 grams, I just use 3/4 of a scoop.

If I have a cup and a half of mangoes, which is about 45 grams of carbs, I’ll add a full scoop of protein powder that contains 20 grams of protein. Now that you’re fueled up with the right combination of protein and carbohydrates, start your workout!

How to get rid of those last stubborn pounds

You’ve done everything right but those last pounds just won’t come off. You eat clean: no fried foods, low-fat meats and dairy, whole grain, lots of vegetables. You exercise 4-6 days a week. You do a lot of cardio. You eat the right about of calories, but that extra fat just won’t budge. It’s so frustrating! Don’t give up though.

There’s only so much cardio a person can do. You want your body to be a fat burning machine and the best way to do that is by building muscle. For the women out there, don’t be afraid of getting too buff, you just don’t have the genetics to get big. I did three sets of 95 pound squats this week and my legs are lean.

Forget about the 3 or 5 pound weights, those aren’t going to do anything for you. Use those for your warm up. Be smart though, start small and build up. In time, you’ll be squatting your own weight and be a fat-burning machine!

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