Tag Archive | "health"

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Sponsored: 5 Healthy Eating Habit Tips for Kids


farmers market

The tiny dancer at the farmer’s market – strawberry face says it all – she samples everything.

We’re already half-way through summer and before we know it, the kids will be back in school. Sometimes it’s hard to get your kids to eat healthy so if we can start the healthy habits now, they’ll be second nature once the kids are packing lunch. Here are quick five tips to get your kids to eat healthy…

1. Farmer’s Market
Take the little ones to the farmer’s market with you so they can see all the gorgeous fresh produce. Most vendors offer samples — let the kids try all the yummy fruit. I take my little one every week and she wants samples of everything.

2. Cook with the Kids
Let the kids see the process of cooking. Even better, let them help out in small ways. If they feel invested in what you’re making they’re more likely to eat it.

3. Lead by Example
You can’t expect your kids to eat healthy if you’re stuffing fast food and soda in your face. Most kids, especially when they’re really young, imitate their parents. So, if you eat healthy, chances are your kids will too.

4. Cut Out Processed Foods
Try to cut out processed foods as much as you can. They’re bad for you. Period.

5. Dessert = Fruit
I have a giant sweet tooth and if I could, I’d eat cupcakes, cookies and ice cream every day. But those are treats and they should be for special occasions. Instead, for daily desserts, opt for nature’s sweets – fruit!

Hope these simple tips help you get your little ones on track to eating healthy. Eating well will make your kids feel great, and will help them fight off all those germs they’ll encounter at school.

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L’il Critters™ are the #1 child gummy vitamin. We are the better tasting gummy vitamin that is preferred by Kids and trusted by Moms. “We Make Nutrition Taste Good.

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Church & Dwight via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Church & Dwight.

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CoreBody Reformer Challenge: Week 5 and Waist Trimmer Belt Review


empower waist trimmerLast week was week 5 of my six-week CoreBody Reformer challenge and I’ve been making good progress.  At this stage of the workout the sessions are about hour with one full body workout and then an ab workout or stretch session tacked on.  I definitely feel more strength in my arms, legs and glutes and exercises that were difficult are getting easier for me.  What’s great about the CBR is that once something starts getting easy, you can add more resistance which I will probably do this week.

I thought I’d talk about the Empower Waist Trimmer Belt that I was sent to review because I’ve been wearing them with all of my workouts – running and with the CoreBody Reformer.  The waist trimmer is made from neoprene and is designed to preserve body heat, promote water loss, and provide extra back support during exercise.

When I take my belt off it’s soaking wet each time.  Yes, the water loss is temporary so don’t think that you’re belly will be gone just by wearing the belt.  What I find most helpful is the support it gives me.  I feel like the belt helps me keep my core aligned so that I can do my workouts properly.  I used to have great posture (and a flat tummy) before the baby but with the pregnancy and carrying the tiny dancer I tend to hunch more than I would like.  The belt helps me keep my back straight and it also helps me keep my tummy pulled in and I don’t feel so jiggly.

Ok, one more week to go – wish me luck!

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CoreBody Reformer Challenge: Week 4

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CoreBody Reformer Challenge: Week 4


core body reformer review

If you’ve been following my review of the CoreBody Reformer then you may have noticed that last week – what was supposed to be week 4 of my challenge – I was silent.  I have a good reason though.  No, I haven’t given up.  I was out of town for work and I simply couldn’t bring the CBR with me to work out.  During the trip my little girl was sick and she was very clingy so I ended up carrying her a lot.  I was planning on running while I was away but carrying the Tiny Dancer aggravated my hip bursitis so I was stuck with no workouts.  On top of that I was in NY visiting family and eating my favorite NY treats – ah!  I’m happy to say I managed not to gain any weight and remained steady so it was not all for nothing.

This week I’m picking up where I left off and getting back to my normal routine.  Today I start week 4 and this week marks the beginning of the longest series of workouts which I’ll be doing for the next 3 weeks. If the next 3 weeks don’t give me results, I’m not sure what will!  I have definitely started to notice some changes in my body.  At the end of week three I noticed a bit more definition in my arms and my butt definitely looked higher (which my husband confirmed) :) So, I’m happy to say that the CBR is working.  I’m a little bummed I had a week of non-activity in the middle but at least I didn’t do any damage and managed to maintain the status quo.  Until next week… wishing you sweaty workouts!

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Mama’s Kitchen: One Ingredient Creamy Banana Ice Cream

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Mama’s Kitchen: One Ingredient Creamy Banana Ice Cream


one ingredient ice cream
Ever since doing the Whole Living cleanse earlier this year, I’m always on the hunt for healthy desserts. I have a sweet tooth and normally I just have fresh fruit or nuts as an after-dinner snack but sometimes fruit and nuts don’t cut it. Sometimes, I need ice cream. When I came across this one ingredient banana ice cream I had to try it. Of course, I made it a two-ingredient recipe by adding mini semi-sweet chocolate chips but you can skip them (or add other yummy add-ons like Nutella, honey, nuts or peanut butter) – whatever you want. There is no true substitute for cream and sugar, but this recipe comes really, really close.

Ingredients:
6 over-ripe bananas

Steps:
1. Peel bananas and cut into chunks. Lay banana pieces on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze for a minimum of two hours.

2. Process the bananas in a food processor until smooth – this process will take a few minutes. Every so often when the bananas rose above the blades or shifted to one side I would push the bananas down with a spatula and then continue pureeing. I repeated that a few times.

3. OPTIONAL, if not adding an ingredient, skip to step 4 – Once the bananas are a smooth, creamy consistency add in anything you like. I added almost half a bag of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips. Blend in the food processor until combined.

4. Put the banana mixture in a container and re-freeze for a minimum of two hours.

5. Scoop and serve.

Buon Appetito!

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CoreBody Reformer Challenge: Week 3

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CoreBody Reformer Challenge: Week 3


corebody reformer review

Today I began week three of my six-week CoreBody Reformer challenge. I’m following the workout schedule that came with the CBR and this week the workouts are getting a bit more intense.  The first week consisted of shorter workouts and week three introduces a longer workout with more circuits.  I like the way the workout plan is laid out because as soon as you start becoming a bit comfortable with the workout it gets tough all over again.

I feel like I’m getting stronger but I’m trying not to stare at my body everyday looking for more tone because I know it doesn’t come quickly.  I want to at least cross the halfway mark before I start doing that.  In the mean time, I’ll be doing my workouts on the CBR.  Until next week…

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The Great Cake Debate: Cake Mix or From Scratch?

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The Great Cake Debate: Cake Mix or From Scratch?


coconut cupcake

I posted about the coconut cupcake above a while back.  The extent of my baking consisted of opening up a box of Duncan Hines and adding flavorings like vanilla and almond extract.  The cupcakes always came out moist and tasty so I figured why make it from scratch and risk it not coming out right?

Earlier this year I did the Whole Living cleanse and part of the process was giving up sweets and processed foods.  Now that I’m done with the cleanse I only eat sweets on the weekends and I stay away from processed foods as much as I can.

Last weekend I was craving coconut cake so I went to the grocery store to buy cake mix but as is my habit now, I looked at the ingredients before I put the box in my cart.  Unfortunately, I didn’t know what most of the ingredients were.  I was thinking the ingredient list would look more like flour, sugar, etc… instead I felt like I was in chemistry class.  Needless to say, I put the box back on the shelf and I’m still craving coconut cake.

I’m not about to write off cake so that leaves only one option – I need to learn how to make cake from scratch.  Don’t get me wrong I love cooking, but baking is much more precise.  Cooking is more open to interpretation, little of this, a little of that, and it all ends up working together.  With baking if an ingredient measurement is not precise, the whole recipe is thrown off.  But, my craving for cake is too strong and I’m going to face this challenge!

I’m excited about finding the best recipe but I’ve settled on the first one I’m going to try – Ina Garten’s Coconut Cake.  I’m going to make it this weekend and I’ll let you know how it turns out. Wish me luck!

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CoreBody Reformer Challenge: Week 2

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CoreBody Reformer Challenge: Week 2


CoreBody Reformer Challenge Week 2

Today I started week two of my CoreBody Reformer Challenge. I’m on the 3-day plan so I worked out on the CBR three days last week and I definitely felt the burn. On Tuesday and Wednesday my glutes were sore and after I did the core workout later in the week my abs were a little sore. I like feeling sore after a workout because I feel like I did something. If I don’t feel sore, then I feel like I didn’t work hard enough.

For all of my workouts last week I kept the resistance the same – I had one level of resistance added – and I’m keeping that level this week. There are definitely moments when I want to lower the resistance but then I feel like it will be too easy. Some of the workouts are only twenty minutes so I want to make sure I get the most out of them. I may start adjusting the resistance depending on the movement I’m doing. My legs are a lot stronger than my arms and I think I could bump up the resistance when my legs are using the resistance bands and keep the resistance lower for my arms. The main thing is whether I can keep proper form because without the right form there’s no point in upping the resistance.

Last week I was feeling a bit under the weather so I didn’t run as much as I usually do but I stayed committed to the CBR challenge. One of the great things about the CoreBody Reformer is that you can adjust the resistance and the workout level you choose to do depending on how you feel. It’s too early to see any major changes but I’m definitely feeling a bit stronger because some of the movements were harder for me to complete last week than they are this week. I’m excited for week two and I’ll check in with you next week!

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CoreBody Reformer Challenge: Week 1

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CoreBody Reformer Challenge: Week 1


This week I’m starting my CoreBody Reformer six-week challenge. I was lucky enough to receive a CoreBody reformer to try out and for the next six-weeks I’ll be doing the 3-day plan (3 workouts/week) and documenting my experiences and results.

The CoreBody reformer is a reformer machine modified for in-home use. There is a tube that you are meant to stand, balance or sit on and you exercise by moving pulleys with your arms or legs, depending on the workout. The pulleys have three levels of resistance which you can adjust by simply clicking a button.

The CoreBoy Reformer comes with lots of useful bonus products: a DVD with four workouts, a workout schedule calendar, recipe book, food journal and portable workout cards.

corebody reformer

I wanted to try the CoreBody reformer because I need help with getting toned. Since I have a dance and yoga background, I liked the combination of cardio dance, pilates and yoga movements that the CoreBody Reformer used. I tried the CBR two times before starting the challenge so that I could get familiar with the product. On my two trial workouts I used the basic level one resistance with no added weight to get acclimated with the CBR.

Each of the exercises focuses on a certain area (arms, legs, core) but since you are balancing for many of the exercises you are always using your core. There are also modifications for each exercise so you can work up to a higher level. The DVD shows the three levels: easy, intermediate and advanced. For my first challenge workout today I pressed one button on each pulley to add a bit more resistance and give myself a harder workout. I fluctuated between intermediate and advanced because I have pretty good balance and am able to stand on the CBR. I definitely broke a sweat and feel like my legs may be sore tomorrow.

If you’ve been reading the blog then you know that earlier this year I did a cleanse and finally got down to my pre-pregnancy weight of 96 pounds. Since then I’ve managed to keep most of those last nasty 5 pounds off and during the week I fluctuate between 96 and 98 pounds. This morning when I weighed myself I was 98 pounds. I’m happy with my weight but I want to be more toned. My stomach is totally stretched out after the baby and that is my main area of concern.

I hate pictures of myself – especially ones of me in fitness clothing but I’m doing this for you… This is what I look like.

I’ll show you what I look like at the end of the 6 weeks and I’m hoping that I’ll have more muscle tone and a tighter stomach – I want my waist back! In addition to the CBR workouts three-days a week, I’ll continue running 3-4 days/week and eating well. I’ll touch base with you each week to let you know how it’s going. Wish me luck!

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Whole Living Action Plan 2012 – Days 17, 18 & 19

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Whole Living Action Plan 2012 – Days 17, 18 & 19


green juice
Day 17
Breakfast: Smoothie (orange, celery, carrot and apple juice with frozen mango, strawberry, pineapple and peach)
Mid-morning snack: Raspberries and Blueberries
Lunch: Artichoke, Onion, Mushroom and Spinach Frittata
Snack: Almonds and Banana, Coffee*
Dinner: Grilled salmon, cilantro-lime rice, green bean salad with corn, tomato and red onion
After-dinner Snack: pistachio, blueberries, raspberries

Exercise:
None.

Day 18
Breakfast: Green juice (kale, green apple, cucumber, celery, orange, parsley)
Mid-morning snack: 1/2 Banana
Lunch: 1/2 cheese quesadilla with guacamole, avocado salad with tomato*
Snack: Kashi Go Lean Crunch cereal with soy milk*, Almonds
Dinner: Minestrone soup, kale salad with avocado, tomato, corn and red pepper, kale chips
After-dinner Snack:

Exercise:
CoreBody Reformer 40 minute workout.

Weight: dipped just below 96.5 (I’m a little bit in awe that the weight is still going down – I’m wondering if I lost fat or muscle?)

Day 19
Breakfast: Green Juice
Mid-morning snack: Banana
Lunch: Minestrone soup
Snack: Almonds
Dinner: Mexican! Garlic marinated grilled shrimp, rice and beans
After-dinner Snack: Raspberries

Exercise:
Ran 3 miles

How I felt:
I made it! I met my personal goal and I feel great. I’m down five pounds and I’ve managed to keep the weight off. The weekend was weird because I could finally eat but I made really smart, healthy decisions on Saturday. Sunday I made a big lapse but I’m blaming it on the Super Bowl. After not eating meat for 3 weeks I went and had a hot dog of all things! I paid for it with a tummy ache and a promise not to do that again. On Monday, to make up for it I didn’t eat any meat and as far as wheat I only had 1/4 of a whole wheat pita. I’m committed to eating better and I plan on doing this cleanse (maybe just the first week) about every 6 months – 1 year depending on how I’m feeling. I hope my experience may have inspired you to start out on a healthy new path – anything is possible if you just commit!

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PranaVayu Yoga with David Magone DVD Review

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PranaVayu Yoga with David Magone DVD Review


PranaVayu Yoga with David Magone

Before I had a baby I loved doing yoga. I’d go to the gym three times a week and take a class. Now that I have a baby I don’t get to the gym very often so if I want to do yoga, I have to do it at home. I don’t mind doing yoga at home but it’s hard to find good videos because many of the videos on the market are for beginners so I found them to be too easy. Not only that, but yoga video producers feel that they need to make the DVD completely “zen” so the videos always feature New Age music or nature sounds and are usually filmed in a natural setting. There’s nothing wrong with that, it just gets tired. And frankly, I don’t want to watch you do yoga on the beach when I’m stuck in my living room, ok?

I was offered the chance to try PranaVayu Yoga with David Magone and I jumped at the chance because I have a yoga dvd that I’ve been enjoying (I managed to find one) but it was getting repetitive and I wanted to add something new to the mix. The first thing that struck me about PranaVayu Yoga with David Magone is the way it’s filmed – it’s a yoga video for the 21st century. It’s filmed in black and white in a yoga studio in an urban setting and the music is relaxing without sounding like wind chimes. I found the visuals refreshing and a welcome change to many of the yoga DVDs out today.

PranaVayu is a unique style of Vinyasa yoga that is at once both physical and meditative in nature. Developed in 2001 by David Magone, PranaVayu yoga as a practice blends specialized vinyasa sequencing, a unique system of skeletal alignment principles, meditative practices, and a Buddhist philosophy to facilitate positive mind/body change. I enjoyed the flow, sequences and positions and found this practice challenging enough for me, while leaving me with much room for improvement. I definitely haven’t built up the strength yet for some of the lifts but I like having goals to work toward. If you’re looking for repetitive sun salutations (which I love don’t get me wrong) you will not find them here. Many of the poses originate from downward dog but the time saved from doing sun salutations is exploring poses that I was missing from my other yoga DVD.

I really enjoyed this yoga practice – I felt invigorated, strong and clear-headed afterward. I am definitely going to keep this in my rotation of at-home workouts. You can purchase the PranaVayu Yoga with David Magone DVD online can see the trailer for the video below:

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