January 30, 2011

One of the worst things you can do at the gym is workout “on the machines.”

When exercising on the machine what are you doing? Sitting down. What muscles are you NOT using when you sit down? Your abs.

You get a better workout by simply standing and lifting hand weights. While standing your muscles are holding up upright, even if you don’t feel it.

Want to work even harder? Do the same moves you would do standing up sitting on a stability ball instead.

Sitting on the ball makes your entire core work to keep you from falling off the ball. Just make sure you are sitting up straight.

Kitchen Must Have

January 28, 2011

Every time I cut up veggies I say to myself “I have to put this on the blog!”

Green Bags make my veggie dollars go really far. They actually work.

I’ve had several times where I avoid looking in the bag, knowing the vegetables are rotten and I don’t feel like dealing with it. So a few days later I actually get around to opening up the bag. To my surprise, the veggies look fresher than when I bought them and I make a salad.

I’ve put half an avacado in a bag and put it on the counter for 2 days. When I went to use the other half of the avacado only the exposed edges were brown – about as dark as if I left it on the counter for an hour after I cut it.

I tried the generic version of the bags and they don’t keep things as fresh as long.

You can find Green Bags at Walgreen and Fred Meyers, usually for around $12 – $15. Sometimes they end up on sale for $10.

Here’s a link below so you know what to look for.

If you are buying fresh fruit & vegetables – especially with Alaskan prices – you HAVE to get this. Reuse the bags about 10 times.

How will 2011 be Different?

December 31, 2010

Many people talk about New Years Resolutions. But typically those don’t last beyond mid February.

I like to ask myself “How will this year be different?” I like to have a theme and focus on that. A friend of mine, Holly, dedicated a whole year to herself. She called it The Year of Holly.

Of course she still took care of her family and all her responsibilities. The difference was that she took 2 whole days a month to do nothing except stuff she wanted to do. Her 2 days were filled with stuff like going to the spa, reading a book at the park, having a night away with her husband and other things she liked to do. The stuff that always seemed to get put on the back burner for “when she had time.”

I’m sure you have a whole stack of things on that burner. The problem is that the burner, stove, kitchen and living room are filled with stuff like that. And without those days to decompress, stress goes through the roof.

So what is your 2011 going to look like? Do you need to relax more or get moving so life doesn’t pass you by?

Share your answers below. I’d love to know how 2011 is going to be different for you.

Yummy Apple Dessert

December 14, 2010

While visiting my parents in Arizona I fell in love with all the fresh fruit & veggies. Not to mention the prices. Cucumbers were 6 for $1. That’s not a typo.

I decided to make an apple dessert for my parents. We bought some apples, visited Uncle Carroll’s backyard lemon tree and went to work.

It tasted great. Even dad loved it. Of course he put Low fat, sugar free Blue Bunny vanilla ice cream on it. He was being nice since mom doesn’t eat sugar. Normally he buys the real stuff.

Arizona Apple Lemon Dessert
Slice 2 green apples
Slice 2 red apples
Put in a 9 x 9 pan and mix the apples together.

Cut 2 lemons in half. Squeeze lemon juice over apple mixture and mix. Don’t worry about the seeds, they add fiber.

In a bowl combine
1.5 cups of whole oatmeal
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar (or Splenda Brown Sugar Blend)

Mix above. Cut in 1/2 stick of butter. I cut it in and then squish it with my hands. Sprinkle over apple mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees. Check at 30 minutes, it may take as much as 45 minutes. Apples should be cooked enough to be poked easily with a fork.

Blue Bunny ice cream optional. Smile

Back to the Dark Side

December 10, 2010


I was in Arizona for about a week and boy I miss that sun!

Vitamin-DOne of the days my husband called I was sitting out in the shade on my parent’s porch. I told him it was 65 F.

His reply was, “Well, it’s about 65 degrees less here (at home in Alaska).”

Coming back to all the darkness reminded me how important it is to take Vitamin D, especially in Alaska. It helps fight against seasonal depression in the winter months, reduces chances of heart disease, impacts insulin production, improves the immune system and more.

A nutritionist friend of mine recommends only taking D3 (not D2). Most D3 comes in tablets. She also recommends taking it with oil, like fish oil. The oil helps it be absorbed into the body. Without the extra fat, the body can reject it.

Recommendations on dosage varies greatly, so I’ll let your medical professional handle that question.

As a side note, if you aren’t taking fish oil and or Omega-3 supplements. It is one of the best things you can take. In fact, without it, your body can actually fight losing fat.

So take your vitamin D3, and fish oil or Omega-3 capsules and I’ll do the same.

Here’s a great place to get Quality Oil Supplements. It uses Krill Oil, which has been shown to be better than regular fish oil. My husband has high blood pressure and once he switched to krill oil, his BP is lower than ever.

Prograde has superior products so I know what I’m actually getting. Many supplement companies use inferior ingredients and fillers.

8 Minute Turkey Day Circuits

November 25, 2010

Okay, It’s Turkey Day and I’m lucky – I go to my brother’s wife’s parents house. We don’t know what to call them so we just call them Grandpa and Grandma.

So I knew I needed to get some exercise in today. But I had some other priorities too, in no particular order
1. Exercise
2. Make sugar cookies and decorate them for Thanksgiving Potluck
3. Sleep in
4. Not be late to party
5. Shower before party
Somehow I managed to sleep in and make cookies. I realized I wasn’t going to have time to workout before the party, so I did 8 minute circuits while the cookies baked.

Here’s what I did, just rotating randomly
– Crunches on the ottoman: regular crunches, lower abs, oblique crunches, etc
– Lunges: alternating, behind, and side
– Squats: regular, with a leg lift behind and wide stance
– Shadow boxing

So why 8 minutes, because that’s how long the cookies took to bake. Frosted sugar cookies are considered contraband in my house because I’ll eat them. So I told the girls we’d make them for Thanksgiving and take them to the pot luck.

Okay, I need to see if the cookies have cooled yet, decorate, shower and off to have a great time with loved ones.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

4 Smart Tips for Eating Healthy & Avoiding Weight Gain During the Holidays

November 16, 2010

  foodHalloween is long gone, but we are still dealing with its aftermath.  You know what I am talking about, that HUGE bowl of chocolate bars and other sweets that is on top of your refrigerator.  We all know that it belongs to the kids, but we still tend to sneak a piece here or there.  Well, we all better watch it, because the holiday season is about to be in full swing.

This time of year involves get togethers, parties, and other exciting and fun festivities to attend and with those gatherings comes the temptation of indulging in all those holiday goodies.  And we all know what that means – that the scale sometimes tends to go in that unfavorable direction. But the scale doesn’t necessarily have to go in that direction you know.  Here are just a few smart tips for eating healthy and avoiding weight gain during the holidays.

Before heading out to an event, eat something! Snack on veggies with hummus or a small bowl of garden vegetable soup.  Having a snack packed with fiber will leave you feeling full and less likely to over indulge at the party.  Drink that extra glass of water too!  Many of us don’t meet that recommended daily intake of water.  Drinking a glass right before heading out to a holiday party will also help us have that full feeling.

While at the party make smart food choices. Head over to sample the fresh fruit (minus the chocolate fondue), the veggies with the homemade roasted red pepper dip or even have a few pieces of shrimp cocktail.  All the food at holiday parties is not necessarily bad for you, you just have to make healthy food choices as you would at home. Be sure not to deprive yourself of your favorite holiday treats.  Just be sure to practice portion and self control!

Just because winter is here, doesn’t mean that we have to become inactive. Keeping up with your regular exercise regime, means you’ll be helping to keep those unwanted pounds away!  Find a partner who also wants to keep those unwanted pounds away and meet at the gym or set a meeting time to take a daily walk or jog together.  Enjoying your exerices time with someone will not only keep you committed to working out, but it helps pass the time much quicker.

Take time to plan meals. This time of year is hectic. We are running here and running there trying to get everything ready for our families to have that perfect holiday season.  But if we could make that extra time and slow down to plan meals for that busy time of year, that will help us not to resort to ordering in or picking up fast food for meal times.  You could even plan some healthy meals, cook them, and freeze them now, so they are ready for those busy holiday times.  All you would have to do is pull the meals out of the freezer and dinner is on the table.  Not only will you be eating healthy during the holidays, but will have more free time to enjoy the holiday season with family and friends.  Happy Holidays!