Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011: I'm Pooped

What a year! Wow, what a year. 365 days ago I was packing my metaphorical suitcase and dreaming of 2011, my best year ever. It's so nice to reflect back and realize that every single thing I wanted to accomplish in 2011 got done: I ran another half marathon, earned my Wellness Coach and PT certifications, quit my job, started my coaching business, had a baby, published my wellness calendar, and got full-hog back into running and strength training after giving birth. My business is chugging, my children are healthy and happy, and my husband gets cuter by the day. If I didn't know any better, I would hate me.

And now 2012 is sitting patiently waiting for me to state my intentions. Well, it will have to get comfortable because my big goal for 2012 is to slow down. 2011 was a roller coaster and frankly, I'm worn out. 2011 was the year of achievement, and 2012 will be the year of being choosy. Here are my goals:

1. Return to my 2009 level of fitness (which was before I started trying to get pregnant, had a miscarriage, and subsequently got pregnant, all of which put my fitness on the back burner).

2. Be a mommy first, business maven second. My sweet little man will only be a baby for a short while longer, and this year belongs to my boys. 

3. Get a new rug for the play room in my house. The one I have now is old and yucky and I hate it.

There you have it! 2012, I hope you are ready for me because I am ready for...zzzzzzzzz

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Healthy Stocking Stuffers (and what I want Santa to bring me)

$29.95 at
I drink about a gallon of water a day, and I love to add lemon, cucumber, mint, and ginger to it. You might know that recipe as Sassy Water from the Flat-Abs Diet. It really does wonders for bloating and water weight, plus it tastes really good! But, I get sick of steeping everything in cheesecloth so I only make it about once a week. 

Then this week, I stumbled across this awesome fruit-infusion pitcher!  I rarely buy anything for myself but I might have to cave on this little dandy. So, you know, if you haven't bought anything for me yet.... :)

Which brings me to the ultimate of last-minute shopping tasks: stocking stuffers, AKA stuff you get in the checkout lane because it's only a dollar and who doesn't love Santa-shaped Pez dispensers? Unless you're like my dad, who just saves up all of the post-it notes, lint removers, teeny tiny flashlights, and coin holders he picks up at random trade shows throughout the year, you might want to check out these healthy stocking stuffer ideas (and dad, if you're reading this, I do need some post-its).

Lemons. Yes I got fruit in my stocking as a kid and yes I thought it was lame. But now I know the incredible healing power of fruit so I would actually be excited about this. And hey, they're great for the fruit infusion pitcher!

Pedometer. If someone on your list is resolving to be more active in 2012, this just might shame them into actually doing it. I have this one from Omron and it's pretty cool (translation: easy for tech dummies like me to figure out).

Groove by
Water Bottle. I love a good water bottle and have the kitchen cabinet to prove it.  There are all sorts of fancy water bottles out there that measure how much you've consumed, claim to be green, or have brand names slapped on them, and that's cool too. This one helps you feel good about yourself when you buy it, but mostly, it just needs to hold water and be nearby.

Daily Inspiration to stay healthy. And, what do you know, I just happened to have finished the Healthiest Year Ever 2012 Wall Calendar. How convenient!

That's it. I mean, seriously, how much can you cram in a stocking anyway? I hope you're having a wonderful holiday and keeping it healthy. If you need help, check out my Healthy Holiday Headquarters for tips and tricks. And as always, get out there and get healthy!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Let me tell you 'bout my bessst friend...

This is my water bottle. Or, during the holidays, my best friend. It goes everywhere with me. It's quite banged up, scratched, dented, and generally covered in battle scars because, well, we've been through a lot together. Pancake breakfasts, cookie exchanges, office parties, bar-b-ques, and yep even a few cocktail parties (I'm not afraid to be tacky in the name of health). We're so close and such good pals that I've come to rely on it through thick and thin to keep me from getting too thick and help me get (and stay) thin.

Would you like some hot chocolate with whipped cream and a shot of irish? Water to the rescue!

A plate full of cookies? No, I can't eat and hold a plate AND my water bottle at the same time!

Just a few bites of these delicious {insert food here} that so-and-so only makes for Christmas so you better eat a whole bunch right now? Nah, maybe next year. I've got my water.

Okay I know water isn't much of a match for hot chocolate and cookies, but I can guarantee that getting the car afterwards feeling fresh, healthy, vibrant, and filled with the goodwill of time spent with friends (and not stuffing your face) is. Nothing tastes as good as being healthy feels. Nothing. I promise you 150%.

As a recovering candyholic, this is a rough time of year for me. Sometimes those #$*%ing little Hershey kisses still call to me, paying me compliments and making all sorts of promises I know they won't keep. But I've been fit and I've been fat. Fit is better, and if something as simple as keeping my water bottle nearby helps me remember that, then hand me a roll of velcro and strap that sucker to my hand!

When you encounter holiday parties over the next couple weeks, tote along a friend. A visual (and physical) reminder can go a long way towards making sure that you remember how you want to feel in January.

Now get out there and get healthy!

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Tomato Condo

Yesterday I was doing my food prep for the week (baking a turkey breast, peeling and chopping fruit, making my little egg white scrambles, etc.) and I had a clever little idea. My egg carton was just sitting there, sad and lonely since I had just used all of the eggs in my scrambles, and as I washed my tomatoes (I love plum tomatoes and eat one just about every day in a salad) I plunked them down in the little egg spots. And I thought, "well isn't that the cutest little tomato condo you ever did see."

I'm pretty proud. :) Get out there and get healthy today!  Hope you have a wonderful Monday!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I'm One Mean Mom (Childhood Obesity and How to Deal)

You may have seen this story recently about a 5 year old child who was taken away from her parents due to her weight. It broke my heart; while this story originates from the UK, childhood obesity is a huge problem here in the states as well. Kids tip the scales more than ever before, and there are several factors that receive the blame: too much screen time, a busy drive-through lifestyle, and parents who are overcome with guilt and overcompensate by using food as rewards. It's scary and sad and it's not an easy problem to solve.

But should children be taken away from their parents because they are overweight? Often, parents of overweight children are overweight themselves, so in my non-clinical opinion, it seems that the problem is likely lack of awareness, knowledge, or access to resources that would help them live a healthier life. In my Pollyanna perspective, I'd like to think that if these parents knew how to be a healthier example and set boundaries with their kids regarding food and activity, the problem would go away.  

What are the solutions? Well, the first step is determining whether your child has a weight problem and what to do if he does. You can read about that here. I believe the next step is modeling and rewarding healthy behaviors. 

Of course, this comes from a mom who is currently battling a child who has wanted to eat candy 24/7 since Halloween. I'm having to remind myself several times a day that I am the grown-up and I set the boundaries of what we eat. It's a slippery slope, and a crowded one. Telling my child no makes me feel bad and mean, but letting him eat candy also feels bad and mean. What's a mom to do?

Here's what I'm doing: I'm embracing my bad and mean side. We're getting outside and walking more, I'm gritting my teeth and standing my ground when he looks at me with those puppy dog eyes, and I'm pulling in the reins. Sweets and desserts have their place, but not every day and not candy!  

And when that all fails, there's always time out. For me. :)

Get out there and get healthy. And hey, bring the kids while you're at it!

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Healthiest Year Ever 2012 Calendar is HERE!

I am so excited! My very first Healthiest Year Ever 2012 Wall Calendar is here and ready to be stuffed into a stocking near you. I would roll it up before stuffing it in though, since, you know, it's a calendar.

This was so much fun to make and I owe a huge debt of gratitude to my ever patient husband, who had no idea that he was sacrificing every evening since the birth of our son six weeks ago to making it a reality. He is so awesome. 

This calendar is not like other fitness calendars. You'll find plenty of success stories from people who reached awesome goals, but you'll also find the journeys of people who are still on the way. Fitness is a journey, not a destination. I wanted to create something that reflects the many pit-stops on the way to that one "OMG look what I did" goal. I hope you find it to be as inspirational as I do.

Uber thanks go to the lovely ladies who made it possible. Thank you to Erika, Charlotte, Edie, Paula, Tera, Tiffany, and Tracie-Ann. You are all amazing and I so appreciate you sharing your story with me.

But what are we waiting for?  GO BUY IT!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Product Review: Arbonne Nutritional Supplements

A while back I received a beautiful package in the mail from an equally beautiful Arbonne Independent Consultant, asking me for my opinion on the products Arbonne now offers as nutritional supplements.  She also stuffed the box with oodles of skin care products, which were soooo nice to use. Thank you, Cara! I really did feel beautiful and pampered by finally taking better care of my skin than just plain old soap, water, and cocoa butter. My face felt and showed the difference!

Once I was all lathered up in eye cream and conditioners, the real task at hand was to take a look at the supplements, do some research, and determine whether I felt like they were a good investment. Arbonne products are all-natural, made with organic ingredients, are 100% vegan, gluten free, and are created to meet U.S. Pharmacopoeia (USP) standards. This is important because it shows that the company is proactive in its effort to create a safe product. Since supplements are not regulated by the FDA, the U.S. Pharmacopoeia provides a level of standardization for supplements and should be on the label of any supplement you buy.

The Chocolate Protein Shake, Immunity Booster, Energy Fizz Tabs, Daily Power Pack for Women, Digestion Plus, Herbal Detox Tea, and Protein Powder were mine to sample.  However, because the labels specified that pregnant or nursing women should not take them, I didn't sample the protein powder or shake. The lists of ingredients on the labels were long, but didn't show anything alarming. After some research and learning that Arbonne has discontinued the use of parabens, a potentially harmful preservative, I feel confident that Arbonne products are safe to use.

The Immunity Booster and Energy Fizz Tabs were super yummy!  They do contain caffeine naturally occurring in Green Tea, so be sure that you're ready for that before you drink it. The ingredients are all natural and include the juices of fruits and berries that are high in antioxidants.

The Digestion Plus powder is mixed into water to provide, well, better digestion! The main ingredient here is Bacillus Coagulan, which according to my reading, may increase immune system functioning and decrease harmful bacteria, which would in fact aid in digestion.

In all, Arbonne products are natural and safe. As for whether they are effective, that is up to you to decide. Supplements can take a while to prove themselves, and not every supplement is necessary or safe for everyone. Consult your doctor before taking anything, and refer to this guide for buying supplements to enhance your already clean eating nutrition plan.

There are many products out there designed to help you get out there and get healthy!  If you choose to supplement your diet, Arbonne is a safe bet!

Please note that I am not a registered dietician or nutritionist. The information provided in this report is based on my own experience and research and not intended to be medical advice.