How to make triceps kickbacks more effective in two seconds

We want our triceps to be firm; no flapping allowed! The trick is the two-second hold. I like to focus on one arm at a time. Stagger your feet, one foot in front and the other further back. With one dumbbell in the right hand, place your free arm (the left) on your left quad, bending over so that you are parallel to the floor. Keep your lower back tight. Pull the weight up and stop when your arm is bent at 90 degrees. Then press the weight back, towards the ceiling. At the top, hold for two seconds. You may need to start with a lighter weight than usual since it is much harder to hold the weight against gravity for two seconds. Try to do three sets of 10-12 reps, switching weights to the other hand with each set. You’ll have stronger, sexier triceps in no time!

Pea Protein

pea protein
I’ve been looking for a vegan protein powder that doesn’t have any flavoring or sweetener and I finally found it. This Pea Protein from Nutra is a lot less grainy than other green protein powders and no strong flavor. I like to use this when I don’t want to change the flavor of my fruit smoothie. When I make a mango fruit smoothie, it doesn’t need any sweetener since mangoes are sweet enough, so this protein powder is perfect. Sometimes I use half a scoop of this pea protein powder with half a scoop of a sweetened vanilla protein powder which works well when using fruit that could be sweeter, or if you add greens to your drink and want to cover up the taste of your bitter greens.

Vegan Mango Green Smoothie

I made this smoothie this morning. I thought it was really delicious and wanted to share it with you.

1 cup frozen mangoes

3/4 scoop MRM Veggie Protein

1 cup cold water

a handful of washed spinach

Mix in blender until smooth. That’s it. It will be a pretty green color and will have the fresh sweetness from the mangoes.

How to heat corn tortillas with less fat and calories

I love flour tortillas, not the whole wheat ones. I like the ones with no fiber and no nutrients. Why do we always enjoy stuff that’s bad for us?

Always trying to eat healthier, I now let my brain pick the groceries instead of my sweet tooth. The way to make the dry corn tortillas you buy at the store soft is to fry each side with oil, but then I’m just adding fat and calories. That’s not good either.

I’ve finally found a way to heat up corn tortillas so that they are soft and delicious with just the right texture. Turn on your oven to broil and place the corn tortillas on the rack, about 6 inches from the heat element. Spray the top of each tortilla generously with olive oil. Close oven and check every 15 seconds. When the oil bubbles on top, flip over and spray other side with olive oil. The second side should be done on about 10-15 seconds since the oven is already hot. That’s it and no mess!

Vegan, Gluten Free Snack

Vegan, Gluten Free Snack

This flavor, Cashew Caramel, of Go Macro Macrobar is delicious. It’s 260 calories. Eat half between breakfast and lunch and the other half between lunch and dinner. This way you get a treat without adding calories

Insanity Exercise Video Review

If you’re wondering if you should buy Shaun T’s Insanity exercise video series, don’t buy it if you are new to cardio or if you want to build muscle. The first DVD I tried, I had to pause half-way through because I was certain I was going to throw up. I was dry-heaving for about 30 seconds over my sink. I can run 3 miles at a time and am not unfamiliar with cardiovascular exercise so I was surprised at how hard this workout was. After I felt I could keep my breakfast down, I finished that video, albeit, with less intensity.

Each day I exercised to a different DVD until I finished the series. I have never been more bored by a DVD workout. There are slight variations in each video, but not enough to make it interesting. Since it’s mostly cardio and no weights are used, there is little muscle to be gained by this series.

These workouts are EXTREME. Unless you are a cardio king, or are an elite athlete, very few people can exercise to that level of intensity for a whole hour. It’s too bad he didn’t incorporate weights in his videos, and alternated between high and low cardio. I give these videos a thumbs down. The average person cannot finish these workouts; the DVDs are incredibly boring, and are no fun at all. Exercise should be fun!

Tick Bites Can Make You Allergic to Meat and Milk

I told my allergist that beef, pork and lamb make me feel sick. He did a standard allergy scratch test and sure enough, the results showed I was allergic to those three meats. I told him I could have small amounts of beef if overcooked, I can have stir-fried pork, but not pork chops and I can have lamb stew. Since I am allergic to dairy, the protein in these meats, just like the protein in milk, is causing my body to react. By cooking the meats longer, the protein breaks down, thus little to no reaction.

He then told me that some people who have been bitten by ticks now get severe allergic reactions to beef, lamb, pork and sometimes dairy. These people are reacting to the sugar found in the meat fat. The short name for this sugar is called alpha-gal. According to the August/September 2013 issue of Living Without’s article titled “Ticked Off,” it states on page pg 39, “The allergy may not last a lifetime. Alpha-gal antibody levels can eventually drop in patients who avoid additional tick bites…This does not seem to be a forever allergy…[but]if you get more tick bites…you may well develop this whole thing all over again.”

Who would have thought that anyone can now become allergic to milk and red meat? This is scary stuff, but now for those people who jokingly say they wish they were allergic to milk to stay thin, I can grant their wish by sending them into the woods in their shorts!

Vegan Meal to Go


I’m not a fan of Pro Bar except for this flavor, Koka Moka, which I love. It’s 100% vegan and yummy! It has nuts, oats and tiny chocolate chips. If I’m on a long flight or too busy to sit down for a meal, I’ll eat one of these. They are 370 calories so they’ll fill me up for a few hours. It tastes like an oatmeal cookie. Enjoy!

Trainer Tip – Calves in 8 minutes

If working your calves for eight minutes sounds easy, I have news for you. It’s hard! Grab two heavy weights, set your timer for 8 minutes, and do 25 calf raises without stopping. Rest for 15 to 30 seconds and repeat until the timer goes off. You should do at least four sets of twenty-five. If your calves are not screaming by rep number 20 on your last set, then your weights were too light and you need to start over.

When I began doing calf raises, all I could handle was a pair of 8 pound dumbbells. Today I used 20 pounds dumbbells for a total of forty pounds. Next time I’m grabbing the 25 pound weights.

The other day my mom came over and exclaimed, “Oh my gosh! You’ve got calves!” Best compliment of the day!

Apple Sauce and Rice, Are They Worth the Risk?

A few months ago after I heard that rice has arsenic in it due to the soil content, I stopped eating rice altogether. White rice is supposed to have less arsenic since the outer kernel is removed. Brown rice is supposed to be healthier because it has the outer kernel, making it more fibrous. The conundrum: less fiber and less arsenic, or more fiber and more arsenic.

Rice from California and Asia have lower arsenic levels. The latest is that apple sauce contains arsenic. Makes you want to have your own farm and grow your own fruits and vegetables, doesn’t it?

In regards to rice, I’m switching to quinoa. If you buy organic apple sauce, it should be arsenic free. Since organic apple sauce goes bad fairly quickly, I make my own chunky cinnamon apple sauce with organic apples. It’s really simple, here’s how I make it. This recipe serves 2-3.

Ingredients: 2 apples, 1 T cold water, 1 tsp cinnamon

Peel and chop up 1 apple. Put in food processor with water and cinnamon until smooth. Peel and dice the other apple, put in food processor on pulse. You want to keep it chunky so it still has texture. Put in refrigerator. Will keep for two days.


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