Make Your New Year Resolutions Count!

It's that time of year again, where we all make some kind of resolution. Is your resolution to lose weight? Get in charge of your finances? Get a better job? Get healthy?
If your resolutions are any or even ALL of the above, I have a simple solution for you! Impossible? Not at all...

Watch this video for inspiration on how you can find a rewarding business that not only supports your growing finances, but also supports your health and well being. USANA is a company that stands behind their business associates and provides all aspects of business support.

I started my new year with the USANA Reset program, which allows you to reset your glycemic index, meaning getting rid of the cravings for the bad carbohydrates (sugar, processed breads, pasta, potatoes, etc). I lost 5 pounds and my cravings. The Reset Kit provides all you need (except one or two servings per day of fruits or vegetables) in a 5 day program. You have 3 shakes per day, individually packaged in 3 flavors - vanilla, chocolate and strawberry, 2 nutrition bars a day in 2 flavors - oatmeal raisin and peanut butter chocolate, and essential vitamins packaged for your AM and PM doses.What better way to start a new year? I was amazed at how easy it is to follow. Many USANA Associates are currently following this program too, to follow their progress and / or get your own inspiration visit the USANA blog.

Cross Training & Healthy Diet to get ready for the Holiday Season!

After a busy summer of travel, visitors and lots of good food and wine... I decided I needed to make a change before the holiday season hit full force.

A good friend of mine is training for a full 26 mile marathon in December and while I am not quite that ambitious (yet) I thought getting out the running shoes might be a good idea. I asked her to set me up with a easy training schedule to follow to help me get on track with a running routine. She obliged by giving me a 5 week course to follow that really helped me "ease" into the running, or in my case "jogging" routine again.

As I followed her schedule for "training for a 5k run", I continued to cross train with my spin classes, three days a week and my swim workouts twice a week, along with longer workouts on my road bike two or three times a week. I noticed that not only was I less "bored" with my workouts now, but I was seeing results again. My muscles were being a challenged again as I added diversity to my routine.

Cross training is a great way to condition different muscle groups, develop a new set of skills, and reduce boredom that creeps in after months of the same exercise routines. Cross training also allows you the ability to vary the stress placed on specific muscles or even your cardiovascular system. After months of the same movements your body becomes extremely efficient performing those movements, and while that is great for competition, it limits the amount of overall fitness you possess and reduces the actual conditioning you get while training; rather than continuing to improve, you simply maintain a certain level of fitness. In addition, Cross training can reduce the risk of injury from repetitive strain or overuse.

The next element of my plan was to find an easy to follow diet to get ready for the holiday season and the yummy foods that will surely added unwanted inches to my waist. I have tried a few different diet shake plans, and have had various results, when I came across the Usana Reset kit. The meal-replacement shakes are low glycemic, meaning that the ingredients are formulated to produce only small fluctuations in blood glucose levels for sustained energy to keep you satisfied longer, and the plan is only five days long and very easy to follow. You get your 3 meals a day via your shakes, in a variety of flavors: chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. You also get 10 nutrition bars, 5 peanut butter and 5 oatmeal raisin (2 a day for your snacks), and 5 days worth of the "healthy pack" vitamins. The DVD that comes in the pack helps to educate and inspire you to do what you need to do to stay on track. The Reset kit boasts a 5 pound lose in 5 days, with no starvation. So far, I'm on day 3 and it is working great. I recommend drinking plenty of water to flush your system. I also incorporated the Usana  Rev3 surge pack drink mix in one water a day, to give me an added boost of energy.

I am now getting psyched to do a triathalon. Part of the motivation for me to continue to train, I have added a long term goal. I am planning on participating in the sprint tri in Santa Barbara next summer. But for now, I will be fitting into the cute party dresses for the holidays and loving it!

USANA Supplements - A Key Ingredient to a Healthy Lifestyle

I am really excited about a new Nutrition line called USANA. While visiting my relatives in Las Vegas, I was introduced to this "health science" line of products. I was given a few different items to try:

  • 5 days worth of vitamins from the "health pack" which is a very handy way to take vitamins. They come packed up in "morning" and "evening" packs and labeled as such, so you don't get confused whether you've taken them or not.
  • Several cans of the energy drink, Rev3 Energy. Love this energy drink! I do not take the standard energy drinks because of all the sugar and caffine, but this drink has none of that. It is very healthy, and gave me noticable energy without the jitters. 
  • Rev3 Energy Surge pack which is one of those small convenient packs you can pour directly into your bottle of water for a quick pick up. 
Every product I tried I LOVED! It led me to find out more about this company and ALL of their products. Now I have their skin-care line as well and more of the specialized Essentials to target particular parts of the body.

One product I am especially excited about is the Procosa II as it targets the skeleton / structural aspect of the body. It offers 2,000 mg of glucosamine sulfite, a dosage 33 percent higher than the indutry standard, for support and maintenance of healthy cartilage. This is especially of interest to me as I have recently gone back to a running program in hopes of doing a Triathalon next summer.

I will keep trying out the products and share my results. I am just happy I found them and look forward to enhancing my exercise routine with these powerful supplements! For more information click here.

Healthy Walking to Stay Fit

Walking, walking, walking... The great thing about it is that no matter what your fitness level is, most people can do it. But how can you get more out of your walking?

I get out to walk most days because I am motivated by my two little dogs who LOVE their morning jaunt around the neighborhood. I usually fit it after my other workouts, either spin class or swimming. However, if all you are doing is the walk, I recommend supercharging it to get the most out of your exercise. Adding Nordic walking sticks will allow you burn 33 percent more calories and get re-energized about your walking.

Walking with Nordic walking sticks:

  • Origin: Created for cross-country skiers to train in the summer months.
  • Equipment: Nordic walking sticks are lightweight poles that have wrist straps and pointed ends. And of course, a good pair of walking / running shoes with good support.
  • How to: After donning your walking sticks (straps firmly around your wrists), with each stride swing the opposite arm forward and push against the ground with the pole, engaging the muscles in your arms, shoulders and core.
  • Benefits: Since you are targeting more muscles than you would on an ordinary walk, you will burn 20 to 46 percent more calories.
Click here to learn more about the benefits of walking with Nordic walking poles.

Get out there, find your rhythm and start burning calories!

Using Changing Routines to Re-Energize Your Workouts

I can't believe that summer is over and the kids are back in school! What the heck happened. For me, the days flew by in record speed.
It was a summer of small trips with family and entertaining guests too. How did I keep with my exercise program...? Let me tell you how I did it, and how I modified it when necessary.

On my June trip to Palm Springs, it was seasonally cool so I was able to fit in a 4 mile jog one morning and tennis on the other mornings, or evenings as the case may be. What I call "fun fitness".

In San Diego I was able to do one morning jog, while my boys slept in, and on the other day I walked and rented bikes for the boys and I to explore Coronado Island (see photo).

Then there was the Goat Herder hike up Refugio Mountain with a group of friends. This has proven to be a great workout that I have repeated several times throughout the summer with various friends (sans goats).

The trip to WA was amazing with a hike in Big Sur, tons of walking around San Francisco and a great hike up Mt. Scott at Crater Lake. See all you need to do is keep on moving!

Once I was in Seattle I have a great friend who kept me challenged when it came to workouts. We did sculpting classes or step classes every morning at the gym followed by a 20 - 35 mile cycling exursion. When we went up to the town of Leavenworth near Wenatchee WA, we rode 25 miles on road bikes one day and 16 on mountain bikes the next. Never a dull moment, and great workouts!

When I found myself in Carmel, CA without a car due to an unexpected event, I had to give up my plans to explore the coastal trails. Instead, I walked my dogs all around town including nice long beach walks everyday. Lucky for me the weather was perfect! Carmel is a very dog friendly town so it was easy to visit shops or even restaurants with my furry friends.

Staying fit was the challenge this summer. If you can be flexible and willing to change up your routine when the situation calls for it, you can still get your daily exercise and enjoy healthy fun. I found that when it came time to fall back in to the normal routine, that I was ready to give 100% again. Sometimes having that little break is what we need to become re-energized for our workouts.

AGE-PROOF Your Body by Boosting Your Bone Strength

Target Exercise
for strengthening your skeletal system is the key.

Exercise in general will improve many things, from balance, agility, and coordination to blood pressure, cholesterol and bone health. Almost all exercise helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure, but not all exercise will assist in strengthening the entire skeleton. That is why "target exercise" is necessary.

As you age, the risk of falling and fracturing increases, especially in the spine, wrists, and hips. One in two women older than 50 will break a bone because of osteoporosis, according to the NOF (National Osteoporosis Foundation).

What you can do: Don't give up your normal exercise routine, just add a few activities that create force or stress on the skeletal system. Try jumping rope or strength training. Those exercises stress on your skeletal system causing your body to respond by building more bone to tolerate the additional force or stress.

Do some form of exercise every day to maintain a healthy lifestyle and remember to feed your body only good healthy foods. The more organic fresh fruits and vegetables the better.

Staying Fit While Entertaining Summer Visitors

It's been a busy June with visitors from Norway, 8th grade graduation, family vacation and college touring. Wow, how to fill up a month! The challenge was to find a balance with staying fit, exercising and including a health menu to keep from gaining weight during the hectic month. It's so easy to fall into bad habits and grab the unhealthy food choices when we are on the go a lot. I was determined to keep my healthy lifestyle even while I traveled and entertained guests.

During the week my guests were with me we ate healthy meals every day, (I bought the required groceries before they arrived). I decided on the weeks meals before hand so I wouldn't be tempted to stop for fast food on a day we were particularly busy. I chose recipes that were either easy and quick to prepare, after a long day of playing tourist, or a crock pot meal that would be filling the house with mouth-watering aromas as we returned from a day out.

I have a wonderful cookbook, I have used over the years, called "Cookbook of the Year", by Don Collins. This cookbook plans your week of meals in advance (for the whole year) and even provides the grocery list for each week. I modify the meals and the shopping if I know I will have other plans for some of the days that week. He uses healthy alternatives like, chicken broth for sauteing and plain yogurt to replace sour cream.

As for the exercise, I did my early morning routine of spin class at 6:00 AM for a few of the days, that way I was home before my guests got going for the day, and on the other days, I planned sightseeing with lots of walking or a vigorous hike in the back country. (see hiking photo) I thought it was important to show my guests all aspects of our beautiful area. We all stayed healthy by eating healthy meals combined with daily exercise.

If you are expecting company this summer... it's a great idea to refresh yourself on tourist activities and kid friendly fun. As my Norwegian relatives brought along their daughters age 6 and 8 years, we needed to provide rests and full child related activities too. I incorporated a visit to the Ty Warner Sea Center and a boat ride harbor tour on Little Toot (where the girls each received authentic shipmate caps). They found out a lot about our coastal area and how important it is to be conscious about our environment.

I hope you find this information helpful if you have visitors coming for the summer months. Have a great summer... look for some healthy, quick and refreshing meals for the summer.