Posts Tagged fitness

How Exercise Can Change Your DNA | Healthland |

How Exercise Can Change Your DNA | Healthland |


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It’s ABOUT TIME! :) The Personal Fitness & Diet update…

Oh my goodness!  I have been a WP Slacker!  There is so much to post… It gets overwhelming when you have so much to say and don’t know where to begin!  So, if you want a full update go stalk my Tumblr or my Facebook (feel free to ‘friend’ me!) 

So- where to begin?!



Whew!  This is an INTENSE workout!  I thought I would be a PRO after doing Turbo Fire but OH NO… not even close!  The first time I couldn’t even get through the warmup!  (I really stopped like 4 times!  By the end of the first month I could USUALLY get through it but not every time.  I definitely saw improvement in my Fit Test at the end of month 1:

Switch Kicks: 107 v 113, Power Jacks: 44 v 47, Power Knees: 83 v 94, Power Jumps: 29 v 28, Globe Jumps: 5 v 7 (That is A LOT of Globe Jumps!  Those suckers are HARD!), Suicide Jumps: 15 v 18, Push-up Jacks: 20 v 26 (wow!), Low Plank Oblique: 46 v 60.  So yeah, definite improvement!! 🙂

But, I haven’t seen significant changes in weight or measurements… but I do suspect that I have greater muscle mass vs. fat.  I’m going to invest in a scale that does BF% or one of those hand-held devices that measures it.  I’d really like to be able to track that!  I believe it is one of the best ways to measure progress along w/ Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, Fitness ability and Heart Rate.


Sadly, I have not been tracking what I eat… which I know has worked against me!  Mostly I have been eating clean- not a ton of junk food.  Still using Shakeology almost every day and have come to the conclusion after much research (including reading Dr. Weil’s Books- which I highly recommend) that supplementation w/ superfoods, probiotics etc. is essential to establishing and maintaining optimum health.  


You just can’t POSSIBLY get all of these nutrients from your diet!  You can’t physically eat enough!  I can’t even FIND maitake mushrooms to cook for myself- and wouldn’t WANT to eat them every day…  If I didn’t use this supplement I would absolutely be using at the very least a probiotic, an adaptogen, a phytonutrient and an antioxidant blend.  I know these would cost me $$. So, I’ve come to the conclusion that Shakeo is worth it to me.  Also adding flax seed (see previous post). Let’s see… have been eating less: breads, rice, red meat, lunch meats, ice cream, cereal, milk, yogurt, cheese (learning that dairy is not so excellent for you and the good yogurts are actually really high in sugars….  Eating more: quinoa, kale (roasted- YUMMO), sauteed veggies (onions, snap peas, zucchini (love!), peppers, korean sweet potatoes, LOTS of fruit including berries, mangos, bananas, more TEA (excited about this new addition!!  Decaf Herbals at night mostly- so far really like STASH’s blueberry the best), and more oatmeal (trying out stone ground).  Also eating Clif Bars as a mid-afternoon “on-the-way-home” from work ‘meal’ – trying to get ready to workout & also prevent the craving when I get home – doesn’t always work..

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Buuuuutt… in between meals have not been as fabulous and have included such items as: PEANUT BUTTER (especially when I arrive home… and before bed… WHY? I add 1 Tbsp to my Shakeo in the AM which would be OK except then if I have 1 TBSP when I get home & then another before bed I am eating nearly 300 cal/day in PB..), jelly bellies (they were on sale…?), marshmallows (hungry at the store..), rice cakes (on sale.. why did I buy those yesterday?), dog biscuits (Just kidding!  Making sure you were reading!), skittles (lunch was gross that day- didn’t have a mint to cover up the taste..) and luigi’s italian ice.  Now, I don’t think these things would be so bad BUT I shouldn’t be having them every day… I fool myself into thinking that “This is my ‘treat’ today.” and I usually don’t have more than one (I don’t have skittles & jelly bellies on the same day- for instance.)  But, I still shouldn’t be eating a ‘treat’ every day of the week.

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What am I doing to try to counter these poor choices?  Well…. I learned how to make Shakeology no-bake cookies & peanut butter cup candies!  & YUM – YES, YUM!!  Using PB2 instead of regular PB- 1/4 the calories, all natural, less sugar & fat, no preservatives & junk!  Trying to replace nighttime cravings w/ herbal tea (not quite working just yet…) I need something to ‘chew on’… Any suggestions what I could add to my tea?!?  Like… a chewable stick or something?!  lol

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And yes, I really did make those beautiful candies!  They were not nearly as difficult as I thought they would be- I’ve never made candy before. 🙂  I’ve also been carrying fruit with me (mostly apples but also peaches, bananas, cherries or blueberries)  Problem: when they are not ripe… 😦  I get very disappointed & discouraged… Hmm should try carrying pears too.. those are pretty tough suckers & not too sensitive to heat… (peaches & other soft fruits can be problematic.)




Ok- That’s enough for this post.  I won’t overwhelm you with everything all at once!! 🙂  

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50 Fitness Facts you Need to Know

50 Fitness Facts

  1. Carbohydrates, protein, fat, and alcohol have 4, 4, 9, and 7 calories per gram respectively.
  2. It takes a 3500 calorie deficit to lose 1 pound.
  3. Insulin and growth hormone have an inverse relationship.
  4. The average person can store 500 grams of glycogen.
  5. Only fat and protein are essential macronutrients – carbohydrates aren’t.
  6. Muscle glycogen is about 3 parts water to 1 part glucose.
  7. You burn more calories during the 23 hours you don’t exercise than the 1 hour you do.
  8. You don’t need to do cardio to lose weight.
  9. The fat burning zone does not burn more total fat calories – only a higher percentage of calories from fat.
  10. You’re never too old to do squats.
  11. Weight loss is not a physical challenge – it’s a mental one.
  12. The scale cannot measure body fat percentage.
  13. You can eat anything you want and still lose weight – but weight doesn’t always equal fat.
  14. You can’t target fat loss – fat loss is systemic.
  15. Muscle does not weigh more than fat – it’s just denser than it.
  16. 0 grams of fat on a label doesn’t always mean there’s no fat in the food product.
  17. Whole grain bread is still a processed food.
  18. Eating healthy is not more expensive than a junk food diet.
  19. You can’t calculate body fat percentage from height and weight alone – you need to physically measure it.
  20. You can get glucose from both protein and glycerol – not just carbohydrates.
  21. Just because a box says “whole grain” on it, it doesn’t make it healthy.
  22. You should never attempt weight loss at the expense of your health.
  23. Being vegetarian doesn’t just mean you don’t eat meat – it means you follow a plant-based diet.
  24. Workout times and negative side effects are positively correlated.
  25. Gym membership prices are negotiable.
  26. Cooking your food can both lower some nutrient content, and make some more bioavailable.
  27. There’s a high correlation between the fitness level of the people close to you, and your own physical fitness.
  28. It’s harder to put on 10 pounds of muscle than it is to lose 10 pounds of fat.
  29. Once an adult, fat cells can be created, but they cannot be lost – only shrunken.
  30. Eating at night does not make you fat – overeating does.
  31. You don’t need to do curls to get good biceps.
  32. Being skinny does not automatically mean you have a low body fat.
  33. The perimeter of the grocery store is where 90% of the healthy food is.
  34. If bad food is in the house, you’ll be more likely to eat it.
  35. Thyroid hormone output and exercise intensity are positively correlated.
  36. Healthy levels of testosterone are good for both men and women.
  37. You don’t need a gym membership to strength train.
  38. Unless you weigh less than 100 pounds, it’s unlikely you need less than 1000 calories to lose weight.
  39. Workout intensity is positively correlated with the degree of EPOC – the afterburn effect.
  40. There are 3 types of skeletal muscle fibers – type I, type II-A, and type II-B.
  41. 80% of people who begin an exercise program will quit.
  42. The body has 3 energy systems – ATP-PC, anaerobic glycolysis, and aerobic.
  43. Strength gains come from muscle hypertrophy and improved muscle fiber recruitment.
  44. Dehydrating a muscle by 3% can cause a 10% loss of strength.
  45. The thermic effect of food (TEF) is highest for protein.
  46. Lactic acid is not the cause of delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS).
  47. The more muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn at rest.
  48. Direct abdominal exercises are not necessary to get good abs.
  49. You can lose weight and still gain muscle; likewise, you can also gain weight while still losing fat.
  50. Consistency and patience are key to long term successful weight loss.

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Kathy lost 120 lb loss with P90X & Shakeology!

News interview w/ Kathy who lost 120 lbs with P90X and Shakeology! 🙂  One of the greatest things about being part of Team Beachbody is that we see these transformations every day!  They are so inspirational!  🙂


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Proof that I am not an Artist….


Let me tell you about my friend, Carissa.  She’s one of my best friends from undergrad- back in the days before pharmacy when my life consisted of conjugating French verbs and watching Italian films…  She has since found her way into a career in the music industry- working with artists of all sorts and organizing festivals and other exciting things like attending the Queen of England’s Diamond Jubilee..

So, she’s fabulous.  I truly admire her.  She works hard and I am so proud of all that she has accomplished.

Her birthday was this past Monday.  Fortunately, I was in town and was excited to be able to spend the evening with her and some friends.  We had a great time.  But… I did feel a little out of place.  Her friends are also in the entertainment industry.  The conversation topics were: music videos, music, photography (Oh yeah, Carissa is also an AMAZING photographer…), art, dance… My standy-by conversation starters “So, I saw a leg amputation last week…” and “I was working on a Medication Not Given report…” or even “I went to a Shaun T workout…” just didn’t seem appropriate…

There was dancing (I don’t know the last time I saw people dancing… My first thought was “Disinhibition” as a side effect of a paralytic agent…).  There was impromptu live music and there was fire spinning… All things that are outside of the realms of “pharma” and “fitness.”  I thought to myself, “Wow.  I am really dull.  I need more art in my life.  I’m not sure I even know what fun is anymore…”

So, you might have expected that the next day I would be searching the internet for creative inspiration- uncovering unique art and music and trying to learn bellydance…

But no, the next day, I was researching herbal medicine!  Scouring the internet for classes, resources and Continuing Education opportunities…  I had completely forgotten that I was supposed to be on an artistic quest as I excitedly texted my fellow pharmacist friend, “I just found some great CE’s on the NCCAM website!!” and spent a fascinating hour and a half on the phone with another pharmacist comparing notes about Medication Therapy Management.  And yes, these activities got my heart pumping, gave me goosebumps at times and I even experienced shortness of breath due to my excitement…

After a full day of pharmacy-related adventures I killed myself doing Insanity with my mom – went to bed, exhausted and happy… and didn’t bellydance once.

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Taking it Back!

I am and so should you, ladies! I am more than my body, more than my mind and more than my heart… Don’t box me in.

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“Ain’t No Fool” 90 Day Challenge!

First a quick wrap-up of the past month- I was supposed to be following the Turbo Fire schedule.  Well, I was and I wasn’t.  I was going to Fit Club twice a week and we did Turbo Jam, Turbo Fire, P90X, Brazil Butt Lift and others… I mainly did TF but didn’t follow the schedule and instead chose workouts that fit the time I had available.  Starting back to rotations after being gone for so long was challenging.  So, I still saw some results but it wasn’t dramatic.  I did start drinking shakeology daily but that’s a discussion for another day. 🙂  TODAY we will talk about my fabulous Challenge Group and plans for the next 90 days! 🙂

Monday, April 2nd marked the start of a new 90 day Challenge!  I and 4 other fabulous ladies made the commitment to ourselves and each other to stick to our workout programs (I’ll be doing P90X/ Turbo Fire Hybrid)  and to keep our diets clean.  We are motivating and encouraging each other through this.  It’s exciting to be starting something with a small group- we are getting to know one another- sharing our goals, our strengths and weaknesses, our achievements and our challenges.  I am so thankful to them for making the decision to join me in this journey!  I love hearing about their experiences and to being able to share my own.  (Not everyone wants to hear about how sore your thighs are or what you ate yesterday…)

I have only 4 weeks left until Graduation!!!  WHAT?  Yep… 4 weeks!  That means I’ve got to “Kick it up a notch!” Time to burn this bum!  (Let me tell you… after P90X’s Legs & Back on Friday and then Fire 45 yesterday my Tush is Mush!)

A few thoughts about P90X – So, I’ve had the program for about a year now.  I bought it because I thought my husband would want to do it.  (I was doing Chalean Extreme at the time.)  But, of course, he hasn’t… ANYHOO I thought it would still be too difficult- that I wouldn’t get a good workout in b/c I wouldn’t be able to do anything.   Well, I probably wouldn’t have been able to do it in 2009 but in 2012 I am kickin’ it!  Umm.. except for the pull-ups… BUT amazingly, on Monday I could do NONE and then on Friday I was able to do 1 at a time!  I could do a full, SOLID pull up and slowly lower and then if I waited about 2 minutes I could do another one!  Now… in the video they do about 15-20.  I am nowhere near that but I am getting better! 🙂  When I can’t do anymore I just use the bands so that I keep working instead of just standing around.  I’ve missed this kind of intense weight training and the incredible soreness that follows.  Doing cardio I don’t generally get sore so I’m excited to see what kind of changes will be happening.  And no, you don’t burn a ton of calories doing weight training if your heart rate doesn’t get high enough (my Polar monitor says I burned only 200 in an hour and a half!)  but you ARE re-shaping and building your muscles and THAT has an impact on form and on daily calorie burn!  (Both cardio & strength are important!)  Turbo Fire has some strength but it’s nowhere near as intense as this…

So, here are my “Before” photos this time around (These would also be “afters” of my 90 days of Turbo Fire but since the last month wasn’t totally consistent that’s a little sketchy..)

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Tumblr Took Over! – Update!

Tumblr!!  Oh I am ashamed… Well, not really.  But, yes, it’s true.  I have been tumbling!  “Micro-blogging” is so easy!  I’ve been very busy with my pharmacy school rotations and DRIVING to rotations (or taking the bus- which is the best thing that ever happened to my downtown commute.)  But, that means I have been neglecting my “main” blog here on WP – because I feel that this deserves more valuable posts… a little more thoughtful and a little lengthier.  And, they take a little more time.  So, if you want daily updates please follow me on Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook. 🙂

So, where am I with my fitness?

Well – looking back over my Beachbody SuperGym Workout Calendar I could be doing better.  I definitely had more time in January and so my workouts were much more consistent.  I am still exercising regularly- probably 3-4 days a week instead of 5-6.  But, my Turbo Fire schedule has been all thrown off.  😦  I started going to Fit Club- which is fun but we’ve done things besides Turbo Fire, of course.  And, I’ve been going to Boxing Class at the gym once in a while.

I have such early mornings- I have to leave the house at 5:40am!!!  There’s no way to workout before that!  I get home around 5:45-6:00 and have to do my workouts pretty much right when I get home or they don’t happen.  If I haven’t made plans for dinner or have something else going on it makes it very difficult to get them in.  So lesson?  Have dinner plans already made and ready to go!!


I’ve been having Shakeology once a day for around a month now. I usually have it in the morning for breakfast but sometimes for lunch or dinner or as a snack.  I have honestly been enjoying it and miss it if I don’t get it!  Yesterday, actually, I was planning to have it as a snack on my way home from work but left it in the fridge!  I was so sad!  All the way home… Plus, it messed up my evening routine because I was hungry when I got home and so had to delay my workout which is a problem because sometimes it doesn’t happen if I put it off…

So my current thoughts on Shakeo:

I enjoy the shakes- both chocolate & tropical.  My GI system LOVES it!  Evidently I didn’t know what ‘regularity’ was before this… and I wasn’t a horrible eater!  I ate plenty of fiber, fruits, veggies, roughage… so it shouldn’t have been an issue.  Just that makes me feel much better.  Since starting it I haven’t wanted soda or ‘needed’ caffeine.  I haven’t had Starbucks at all and used to have it nearly every day!  It’s $3-4/serving which seems expensive at $120 a month.  Well… I spend at least $5 on lunch everyday if I don’t pack something ahead of time (then I still spend $2-3 depending on what I pack.)  So, having it for lunch is more cost effective than having it for breakfast (I could have oatmeal or fruit w/ yogurt for $0.20..)

BUT – If it is truly giving me everything it says that it is… a full day’s worth of fruits & veggies, antioxidants, pro & prebiotics (there is a difference), digestive enzymes etc… then it is worth it to me.  Could you get these things in other ways with other supplements and a balanced diet?  Probably.  There are Fruit & Veg supplements and pre/probiotic supplements etc.  They can add up too and would probably cost between $1-3/day themselves.  And doing that you aren’t replacing a meal so you are still spending $ on food.  And, a balanced diet is kind of like the loch ness monster- I’m not sure it’s possible with this kind of hectic life!

The closest alternative I have found is Vega meal replacements.  I intend to try them just to compare- but they are still around $3/serving so you aren’t saving a ton of money.  The convenience factor of Shakes can’t be overstated!  This is SO EASY to do everyday- it makes a great to-go breakfast, lunch or snack.  I don’t have to THINK, PLAN, SHOP for what I am going to eat for that meal.  This saves me TIME in my schedule to worry about other pressing things.  I don’t have to buy multiple products to achieve the same effect.  What about the quality of the products?  I trust Beachbody.  I don’t necessarily have the same faith in GNC if you know what I mean… I know the story behind Shakeo and am thrilled that they support local farmers- helping communities around the world.  Okay, okay, enough about shakeo- I’ll write another post later.  I’m really not trying to sell it.  I am a resource if people are interested in it but right now I’m really just interested in finding out what it can do for me.  (And, I am making a lab rat of my husband- he has high cholesterol so I’m having him try it for 30 days to see if it will help bring it down!)  It’s not magic!  It’s not a weight-loss shake like Body by Vi or Medifast but it can help with weight loss.  It is a nutritional supplement intended to help your HEALTH not just your scale!

Other Meals- 

They haven’t been fantastic but haven’t been horrible.  Mostly this has to do with my lack of planning.  I’ve been eating lunch in the hospital cafeteria- usually a salad, sometimes chicken wings with veggies… I try to pick a protein and veggies with a small carb side.  Dinner has been challenging!  We had fish the other night but then burgers (I only had 1/2), chicken wings, chicken noodle soup.. It’s just kind of been all over the place!  Again- it’s not that I don’t WANT healthy food- I’ve just been lazy to plan for it!  😦  I will do better!!

Beachbody Coaching

This seems to be coming along, actually!  My mom signed up as a coach (I’m not sure if she’s really interested or just did it for me…)  But, she’s also doing Insanity and Shakeo!  I am SO EXCITED to see her results!  I will be just THRILLED if she is successful!  I love being her accountability partner- she texts me everyday when she’s finished her workout and logs them in the SuperGym.  I am SO PROUD of her!  So, with ‘Emerald’ status Beachbody gives me clients- they  all have different needs.  Some purchased programs and are not interested in the site while others are very involved in the message boards, use the meal planner etc.  I’ve been able to get several people started with various fitness programs and a few are trying Shakeology.  So far it’s a fun hobby.  I LOVE going to Coach events!  I love the atmosphere, excitement and enthusiasm everyone has for fitness!!

My weight loss/ results?  Well, I have continued to lose- slowly.  I believe if I am able to get my diet under better control and my workouts back up to 5 days/week I’ll see results more quickly.  Since January I’ve lost around 10 lbs, 1″ from my hips, 1″ from my thighs, 1 1/2″ from my waist, 1 1/2″ from my chest and some other inches… about 10″ all over… slowly shrinking. 🙂  I’ll post some photos probably next week.

“Ain’t No Fool” April 2nd Challenge Group! – 1 Spot Left!

This will be my first challenge group! 🙂  I’m excited!  We have 4 people so far so we have 1 spot left!  If you are interested let me know.  I am super excited because I will be doing a P90X/ Turbo Fire Hybrid!!!  I haven’t done P90X- have always been too intimidated but now I am READY to do this!  (Will probably have to skip out on Fit Club- cut back to once a week so I can keep on track!)  I promise to plan my meals!!

That’s all I’ve got for now and sorry that it was so scattered!  I have many things on my mind and will try to write some more topic-specific posts soon! 🙂

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Water & 20 Tips For Getting Your 8 Glasses Daily

As I have discussed before… I REALLY struggle with getting enough water!  This article may have helped convince me that I MUST do better if I want to see the results I am looking for… It’s really sad- even when I exercise I don’t drink enough (partly because I really hate having to go pee in the middle of a workout…)  BUT I WILL DO THIS!  My poor, poor kidneys… I will be nicer to you, I promise!

Water & 20 Tips For Getting Your 8 Glasses Daily.

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Natasha – A Real Life Superhero

Meet my friend, Natasha Rusilko from New Mexico.  She’s 19 years old and pursuing a degree in culinary arts, practicing her craft in the Dairy Queen Bakery.  She is somewhat (or maybe a little more than somewhat) obsessed with Michael Jackson, Horror Movies, Star Wars, Christina Aguilera and Pirates of the Caribbean (roughly in that order.)   But, it’s not her love of the King of Pop that brings her story to my blog.  Natasha is a hero of mine. Over a period of 1 year she managed to shed more than 40 lbs off of her petite 5’1″ frame.  Her transformation is truly admirable.

At the beginning of her journey she created a Weight-Loss Blog on Tumblr called “Imgonnamakeachange.”  Her blog is no longer just about weight loss but has shifted focus and alongside the expected ‘fitspo’ you will find the Moonwalker, Star Wars, Aguilera, Gaga, Cake Decorating and thousands of answered questions.  What’s extraordinary about Natasha is that, having achieved success in her weight loss journey, she has not abandoned her Tumblr family.  She’s amassed a following of more than 6300 Tumblrs.  She continues to offer advice to her blog followers and to keep them motivated.  She responds to around 40 ‘Asks’ every day.  She’s become somewhat of a Tumblr celebrity- her before & after photos have been ‘reblogged’ thousands of times.

So, the burning question- HOW did she do it? The way it should be done- eating right & exercise!  She went from eating >3000 calories a day to around 1300 but didn’t count calories, per se.  She focuses on eating healthy foods and allows herself a ‘splurge’ day around once a month.  She did a variety of exercises- she has an elliptical in her house, does pilates, works out with her mom (Who happens to be a personal trainer) but the workout she swears by and continues to do is Shaun T’s Insanity.  

In her blog she says, “I also do Insanity, which I swear by.  I should be a walking billboard for them.  It is a workout DVD program that costs a lot, but it is WORTH it.  It is very intense and hard to do, but very worth it..”She really did turn into a Superhero!  Every time I visit her blog or Facebook page I am inspired.  She is a great motivator and has a fabulous story to share.  I am so proud of her.  Her story makes me anxious to try Insanity myself! Since achieving weight loss success she has also become passionate about fitness and wants to become a personal trainer.  In just 2 weeks she will be turning 20 and moving across the country to live with her boyfriend, Mitch.  (He’s almost as popular a topic on her blog as Michael Jackson…)  She’s been saving her money for moving expenses and, at the encouragement of her followers, set up a ‘Donation’ box.  When I met her I was blown away by her story.  I was surprised that she wasn’t already a Beachbody coach considering her obvious passion for Insanity and her motivation to raise funds for her cross-country move.

Much to her chagrin, other Beachbody Coaches with less integrity have already been using her photos to promote their businesses without her permission. She and I discussed Coaching and decided that it wasn’t the right time for her to sign up now but that her story should be told- that she would allow me to share it and split any proceeds with her- because she deserves it!  Every day she recommends Insanity to her followers.  Over the past year there is no telling how many of them have purchased it.  She worked very hard for her success and there is no reason that she should not also benefit from it financially as others seek to achieve similar results through her guidance.

Does Natasha inspire you?  Are you ready to take control of your life?  To push yourself?

Are YOU ready for INSANITY?  

Visit my Tumblr Site to sign up for a Free Team Beachbody account and to order INSANITY (go to “Store”.)  Want Natasha to be your coach?   Do you want to invest in your own fitness and help her reach her goal of moving across the country and becoming a personal trainer and culinary creator?  Send me an email with your order: with “Natasha” in the subject line and your name.

To learn more about Natasha or make a direct donation- visit her Tumblr Site.  You can also find her on Facebook.


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