October- A Month of Awareness & Choice – Thermography

option - Thermography

My favorite month…

October, is the time of year where the leaves dance in the autumn sunlight in an array of beautiful colors.  As a child, fall was my favorite time of the year, and still is!  It was a time to visit all the fall festivals, craft shows, having fun jumping in the leaf piles and of course, Halloween.  Today, 35 years later, the month of October takes on a completely different meaning for a lot of people, especially women.  October is now “Breast Cancer Awareness” month and for good reason.   Breast Cancer will be the diagnosis for many women and men in 2016 according to the Susan G. Komen website.  We should be aware but I also think that we need to have a choice!  I found a choice in Thermography.  Today I will share with you information about this option we have.

My Dilemma 

I know it is important to stay on top of my breast health.  But I am not at peace with mammography as the choice in which for me to be tested with.   I read many articles on some of the issues with mammography.  Before you get all preachy at me about choosing not to have a mammogram, read further to see my concerns.  I am not against having awareness.   But, I am more concerned with how a test is done and how it can affect my body.

What is a Mammogram?

First of all let’s talk about what a mammogram is and the procedure itself.  As many of you can attest, the process itself is not fun. But did you know that it can actually be a cause of harm?  As a 20 something young adult I remember women talking about getting a mammogram and how they would dread it.  I would listen to them explain the process.  Hearing them talk certainly didn’t make the idea of getting one for myself very inviting!

At the time I was very small breasted and I couldn’t imagine how they would even have enough tissue to work with!  In my late 20’s, I decided to have breast augmentation. I have to admit that the idea of the combination of a mammogram and an implant sounded to me like a rupture waiting to happen!  My concern is valid and affects more than just someone like me that has had an augmentation.

The mammogram process puts the breast in between two plates and squeezes the breast flat in order to read the tissue. Now no wonder women feel so uncomfortable!  So what about the breast tissue….can this process have a damaging affect?  Studies show that if there is cancerous tissue in the breast,  the mammogram can possibly cause the tumor/tissue to burst and can cause the cancer cells to spread instead of remaining in that area. (Click HERE to read more.) That alone caused me to have concern about the mammogram process.  Another concern I have is the exposure to ionizing radiation.


Here is a quote from an Dr Mercola article:

Mammograms use ionizing radiation at a relatively high dose, which can contribute to the mutations that can lead to breast cancer. You can get as much radiation from one mammogram as you would from 1,000 chest X-rays. Mammography also compresses your breasts tightly, which can lead to a dangerous spread of cancerous cells, should they exist. Dr. Samuel Epstein, one of the world’s top cancer experts, has stated:

“The premenopausal breast is highly sensitive to radiation, each 1 rad exposure increasing breast cancer risk by about 1 percent, with a cumulative 10 percent increased risk for each breast over a decade’s screening.”

Click HERE to read the full article

Hawaiian Spirulina


In reading this information, I had to think about the recommendations for women to have mammograms on a regular basis beginning as early as age 40.  (Even this is not totally agreed upon by various cancer groups, read this article from the Mayo Clinic.)  But if I did chose to begin this routine screening at age 40 til later in life, how much would I be increasing my chance of cancer just from the exposure to ionized radiation?  It is something to consider.

Early Detection

Ok so we hear it over and over again about “early detection” for breast cancer and this is the main reason that mammograms are recommended.  So you can imagine my disappointment when I watched a medical documentary about breast cancer and the doctor saying that by the time a mammogram can even detect a breast cancer tumor or mass, the cancer will have been developing in the breast tissue for 5 to 8 years!  I have to say that to me that doesn’t really sound like “early detection” .

Thermography for breast exams

Picture from www.info.nihadc.com


Excitement filled me when I read an article about Thermography and how it is being used to detect breast cancer.  It works so differently than a mammogram!  First of all it is totally non-invasive. No smashing of the breast!  Second, no ionizing radiation!   It is best option to use to detect cancer early….just exactly what we are really looking for, right?  Here is a great article to help you learn more about Thermography for breast cancer detection.

I encourage you to find out if there is a doctor that provides Thermography in your local or surrounding areas.  I will throw caution to you that Thermography may not be covered by your insurance. It is considered my many plans to be experimental.  The cost can range from $175-$250, hence it will be an out-of-pocket expense for you but for me it is still worth it.  I cannot put a price on peace of mind.


Now even though this article is about Thermography for breast exams it is really to let you know you have a CHOICE.   Ultrasound is also an effective and safe way to examine the breast for cancer tumors. If you do not have the option of Thermography, this may be an option for you.

I finally feel like I have a choice, and I hope you do as well!  The quest for awareness for me is now a path that I feel I can go down without cause for concern.  I hope that you have found this information to be helpful and hope-filled!

Until next week, Stay Healthy!

Tips to becoming a lover of running….

From the sideline to the finish line

I must say that I was an avid walker for many, many years. Running for me just began about 3 or so years ago.  I had decided that I needed more of a challenge….something that would give my heart a good workout.  Heart disease/heart failure is in my family and knew that becoming a runner would help my heart stay strong.  Many of you that read this post may not even be on the “running” radar.  You may be one of many that just need to get walking and that is OK!  The tips I will give you today will get you from the couch, to walking and even to a marathon!

7 tips on becoming a runner


The Path to becoming a Runner…A “Challenging” Beginning……

I was challenged by a friend to run a 5k that she was going to participate in.  She had done many of them and knew what she was getting into….I, on the other hand, said yes but had no prior experience with a 5k.  Preparing for a 5k was something I had no idea of either.  My idea of training was putting on my running shoes on, walking out the door and running. LOL  That was probably not the best plan of action but I guess sometimes you just have to get moving.  

As I reflect on how I went about my new running adventure, I can see how I could have done things better.  After taking a break from running, I have decided get back into my routine.  These tips I am sharing with you today are what I plan on using for myself.

Figure out where you are now

You may not have thought of this but it would be a good idea to reflect on where you are physically now before you get started.  You need to know this so you can gauge how much you improve.  So time yourself and measure the distance. This is applicable whether you are walking or running.  You can do this with a smart phone using an app (I use Map My Run) or something like a FitBit device.  How can you know how much you have improved if you don’t know where you began?

Set a goal larger than what you can imagine ever accomplishing  

 I have always been a goal setter but I have to admit that my idea of goal setting in the past has been somewhat weak.  I would set a goal that was just a smidgen’ beyond what I thought I could do.  The downside to this thinking was, I would reach that goal, feel all good about it and then quit.  I reached the goal, so I would move on, right?  Being that I am ADD, moving forward to the next “shiny” goal seemed like the logical thing to do.  You may wonder what is wrong with this…..well I have found that in setting a goal just beyond my reach, it was not a big enough challenge and did not allow me to push myself and see what I was really capable of achieving.

Don’t set easy goals

Confession: I tend to make my goals too easy.   You probably subconsciously do this as well.  It helps us avoid the possibility of failing….right?  None of us like the feeling of failure. I have found though that within the failures of life will be where we will see the most growth, both emotionally, spiritually and physically.

So now instead of setting a goal of finishing a 5k, I have a new goal of competing in a marathon.  I may never actually achieve that goal but in the pursuit of it, I will be pushing myself to move beyond the barriers that I have set forth in my mind and will accomplish more than I ever imagined I could.

Health Ranger StoreTake your big goal and break it into smaller goals I believe that this will be especially helpful to those that are still sitting on the couch reading this post going “I can’t even walk a mile, let alone run in a 5k!”.   You always want to know what the “big” goal is but trying to reach it in one fail swoop can be overwhelming and probably keep you right where you are….on the couch.  I have heard it said that the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time!  This goal you have set for yourself is your “elephant”, so take it on one segment at a time.  

So here is an example

  • Goal:  Marathon
  • Steps to Achieving Goal: walk 15 minutes each day for the week #1….walk 20 minutes and jog 1 minute. Walk another 10 minutes on week #2, walking a total of 25 minutes, run for 1 minute.  Walk another 10 minutes on week #3 and so forth.  
  • This is just an idea of what you can do and you can create a routine however you want but the point is to build it up each week.  Depending on where you begin, will determine how you progress.  I do challenge you to not go too easy on yourself.  During this process you are reprogramming your mind (which is your biggest challenge in anything new) to realize that you can push through.  You are also retraining your body, muscles, lungs and getting them adapted as well.  If your goal is to become I runner, then the amount of time you run at the beginning should grow as you progress and the amount of time you would walk should lessen.  You should get to the point where you are just running.

Reward yourself as you reach the smaller goals 

We have a habit of neglecting to celebrate the small achievements.  If it wasn’t for reaching the “small” goals, we would never reach the “big” goal, would we??  So never allow yourself to poo-poo the smaller hurdles!  Now how you reward yourself can be anything.  Have a poster on your wall and using star stickers and marking the date and distance that you reached.  Celebrate by having a movie night out with friends.  Use your imagination and make it fun.  Just because we are adults doesn’t mean we can’t still have fun, right? 😉

Speaking of friends, why not bring them along for the adventure! 

They may not have the same overall goal as you but that shouldn’t keep you from having someone join you.    I will challenge you to remember that if you are reaching your goals and they are not, don’t feel bad but keep moving forward in your pursuit.  It takes a strong person to keep their eye on the prize!

You are your ONLY competition

This is something that should be said…I myself fell into the trap of measuring myself against my friends.  If they could run the 5k without stopping to walk and I couldn’t, I felt like I had failed.  If they had a quicker finish time than I did, I felt like I had failed.  I didn’t take into consideration that when I began I couldn’t run a city block without having to stop and walk part of it!  Or that I had shaved off 20 seconds off my last run time.  Learn to just focus on what you have done and what you want to achieve.  You know when you have not giving your best!


Health Ranger Store Enjoy the process and take time to journal it

This may seem a little strange to journal your “couch to becoming a runner” experience.  I feel that it is not only a great way to log your progress but another way to see how far you have come.  You can do this the traditional way, pen and paper or get really creative and do a video log and post it on YouTube!   It can be hard to really appreciate your achievement because over time we tend to forget where we began.  Don’t forget where you started.  Never be ashamed of your story, for within your story someone else will find inspiration!


Did these tips help?

I hope that these tips to becoming a runner will help motivate you.  Also to give you a starting point of reference and help you ultimately reach your goals!  By the way, have you decided on a goal?  If so, leave it in the message box below, I would love to hear it!  Enjoy the content on this blog?  Be sure to use the social media icons below and share with your friends and family.

Until next time, Stay Healthy!

Tips for Prevention of Aging Skin – Defy Your Age

Age gracefully, naturally

One of the things that is noticed by women by the time they reach the age of 40 is the way their skin is changing.

I know for me, mine has become more dry and the fine lines and wrinkles are appearing more as each year flies by.  Some of this change is due to the change in our hormones.  Other items effect the change we see as well, like our nutrition, water intake, and the skin care we use.

So what are some ways we can combat aging skin?

As with a lot of things that I have written about before, nutrition plays a huge part in this, as well as in your overall health.  You are what you eat and that includes your skin.  As many of you may already know, your skin is your largest organ.  But what you may not know is that the skin/body care you use on your skin does not get filtered by your liver prior to going into your bloodstream, like the foods you ingest.

How to Help Your Skin age grracefully

So taking great care as to what you put on your body is very important.  Many skincare products use chemicals that contain carcinogens that are very unhealthy for us. Be sure to read the labels of your products and understand that whatever you use is not getting filtered properly and could be causing more harm than good.

Have you ever thought about the soaps you use or the products used on your face?  When you get done washing your face is it tight and dry?  You may be helping your skin age prematurely just by using chemical laden products.  Here are some products I have found to have natural ingredients and are very healthy and provide moisture for the skin:

Anne Marie Gianni

The Spa Dr. by Dr. Trevor Cates

What foods can help hydrate you??

We have all heard that we should minimize our sun exposure, use sunblock, and not smoke.  So we will skip these (hint:  I really didn’t skip them! 😉 )  How about staying hydrated?  Yes, we have all probably heard of this one as well but I would like to focus on a different take on this.

Health Ranger Store

We know that drinking water is so important to the overall function of our bodies and how good it is for our skin but have we ever stopped and thought about other ways we can get water into our diet besides drinking a glass of water?  How about the foods we eat??  Here are some foods that are healthy and provide you another source for water consumption:

  • Cucumber – water content 96.7%
  • Iceberg Lettuce – water content 95.6%
  • Celery – water content 95.4%
  • Radishes – water content 95.3%
  • Tomatoes – water content 94.5%
  • Green pepper – water content 93.9%
  • Cauliflower -water content  92.1%
  • Watermelon – water content 91.5%
  • Spinach – water content 91.4%
  • Star Fruit – water content 91.4%
  • Strawberries – water content 91%
  • Broccoli – water content 90.7%
  • Grapefruit – water content 90.5%
  • Baby carrots – water content 90.4%
  • Cantaloupe – water content 90.2%

Now, take a good look at this list and if you are not already eating many of these foods on a daily basis, then begin now!  These are not only amazing for your nutrition but for your skin as well!

So leave me a message below and let me know which foods listed above are some of your favorites.  (Mine are strawberries, spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes, and green pepper!!)

Also, have you found all-natural skincare products that you would like to share with others?  I can’t wait to see what products you know about!!

Have a great week and stay healthy!!

How to get your kids to eat healthy, fun for them, less stress for you!

Childhood Nutrtion How to Get your Kids to Eat Healthy the Fun Way

It can be a challenge to make sure your children get proper nutrition.  

You could be like me when my children were young and just simply not realize that I didn’t know what I didn’t know!  The two subjects, “children” & “nutrition”, each on their own can be a lot to juggle. The two together are down right overwhelming!

The sweet potato fiasco….

She sat at the table for what seemed like an eternity…..but she was only around 7 years of age, so five minutes of idle time is an eternity.  The food on her plate was already cold and her mother had finished cleaning up all the dishes from dinner.  All she would do was sit there… looking at that weird smelling potato thingy on her plate.  She was told that she could not leave the table until she ate it.  Would her mother would change her mind??

Health Ranger Chlorella

The Challenge

As parents, it can be challenging to make sure our kids are eating healthy.

Insuring that they are getting in a variety of foods with excellent nutrition in them is a massive undertaking.  I have to admit that I failed terribly in this area when raising my kids and wish I realized the importance of childhood nutrition when they were young.

Yes, I knew that they needed veggies and fruit.  I also knew that they didn’t need junk food but there is so much more to nutrition than that.  

Here is what I didn’t know:  that variety in their food was important, what the affect of simple carbs and an overabundance of such carbs would be to my kids, that their the exposure to foods (or lack of) at a very young age would set the stage for their future health.

Childhood Nutrition…..it begins with education

Recently I read an interesting article about parents and their influence on kids and their eating habits.  It talked about childhood obesity and I found this comment to be of interest:  “Genes define the propensity to become overweight, and diet and physical activity can determine to what extent that propensity becomes a reality.”  You can read the entire article HERE.

There are many excellent takeaways from that article that talks about childhood nutrition….these are some that I liked most:

  • Start at a young age – the article mentioned that you could introduce them to a greater variety of foods after 6 months of age.  Now, I do remember introducing my firstborn to rice cereal at 6 months of age.  I wish now, I would have been brave enough to make homemade baby food.  There is so much more now that I know!  It would have been great to have known this information THEN!
  • Restriction vs Pressure vs Rewarding – In reading that section of the article, I reflected back on my youth and then on how I did things with my own children.  Never did I think of Rewarding!  I did however know about pressure and eating…..it didn’t work for me or my kids!  Try making it fun and remember to be a good model of healthy behaviors.
  • Repetition – This article mentions that kids will need several exposures to foods before kids will have an acceptable liking of them.  So, just because your child shrugs their nose at the stuff you are wanting them to try out, doesn’t mean that you should give up.  Maybe try preparing it a different way or marry up that food with something that they will eat and make it a fun experience for them.

Tips on How to make eating Healthy fun for kids

Here are some ideas to help get your children more likely to try and eat healthy foods:

You can create a garden with their help.  Start from seeds and let them help plant, water, pick the weeds out of the garden and pick the veggies when the are ready to be picked.  Let them make name stakes and put them where the plants will come up.   Let them help every step of the way allowing them to feel the ownership of it.

Let them help prepare the food.  Make this a fun activity and let them sample along the way .  Isn’t that one of the things we LOVE about being the cook….all the sampling! 😉  Make foods that are prepared with kids in mind.  Maybe make shapes or faces with green beans and carrot sticks…let your and their imagination go wild.

***What I love about both of the ideas above is that you are not only helping them get use to healthy variety of foods but you are teaching them that hard work can be fun.  I think I failed at making these types of activities fun.  They were never fun for me as a kid, so I never knew it could be different for my kids.  You can make gardening, cleaning, cooking, prep for the table and many other “chore” like activities fun and at the same time teach your kids work ethic and responsibility!

How “repeat tasting” and the “one taste” game can helpEach time you prepare a food they don’t really like, be sure to have them try at least one bite.  I would try to incorporate that item into your food routine more often, so they will have to try it out more frequently.  More exposure to that food will help them develop a taste for it.   Playing the One taste game can make it more fun and less stressful for everyone as well.  Say something like “it’s time for our One Taste Game….let’s see if your taste buds will like it!”


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Rewards for Healthy Choices – I have never met a child that did not like to be rewarded for doing something right.  This can also apply to making healthy food choices.  Make a food chart and put the foods that they have the most difficulty wanting to eat on there.  Each time they eat that food, reward them with a sticker and praise them for the healthy choice they made.

Did she ever eat that Sweet Potato?

The little girl at the beginning of this post was me!  When I was young, I hated sweet potatoes!  Neither was I one of those kids that would try new things.  That was definitely not a fun exercise and one that I loathed!  Still to this day remember that evening, sitting at the table trying to eat that stinkin’ sweet potato!  You know what I do not remember??  If I ever did eat it or if my mom finally relented and let me get up without eating it!  But, I am happy to report that I now eat sweet potatoes! 😉  I like them with just a dash of cinnamon and nothing else.  (I always was a plain Jane kinda girl!)

I hope you read some ideas today that will help you with your children and their nutrition.  My goal is to help educate as many people as I can to obtain better knowledge of nutrition and their health…one person at a time!  Did you enjoy the content of this post?  Be sure to use the social icons below and share with your family and friends!

Until next time, Stay Healthy!

The Pantry Overhaul…the beginning steps to a healthier YOU!

The Pantry Overhaul - the beginning steps to a healthier you

She opened the door to her pantry, took a look at everything.  She then shut the door, turned around and walked away…..

In today’s society, we are as a whole more unhealthy than ever!  Even with all the health advancements and “medicines” that the medical community has come up with.  I am a firm believer that if we change what is in our pantry and replace our current items with whole foods and foods that help our bodies operate the way they were created to, we would be a whole lot healthier!

Change can be overwhelming!

Sometimes changing our overall diet doesn’t happen because the process can be an overwhelming.  The thought of taking out the bad things that are lingering in our pantry and finding the right products to replace them is just more than we want to take on.

So today we are going to take a peek into a few items that should make their way into your pantry in order to replace some of the bad stuff.  The health reasons alone should get you motivated to find them and start using them in your everyday cooking.

The Pantry Overhaul 5 Items you Should keep in stock


Let’s start with basic staple items that are commonly found in paleo recipes.

  1. Tamari – a replacement option for soy sauce that is wheat free.  It does contain soy but it is a much better alternative to the highly processed versions of soy sauce you typically will see.

2. Ginger – This root can be added to recipes, teas and more.  Great anti-inflammatory properties and is thought to help in aiding digestion.  It is best to find fresh, organic ginger root. Ginger root

3. Turmeric – Also has amazing anti-inflammatory properties!  Studies have shown that it can help ward off cancer and the common cold.  Check out this recipe using Tumeric!

4. Natural Salt – Although I personally LOVE pink Himalayan salt (you can read more about the benefits HERE) there are a couple other healthy options to replace table salt.  You can support your local community by purchasing local sea salt and rock salt as well.

5. Ghee – Wanting to lower your intake of lactose?  Ghee is a clarified butter and is a great option for you!   Clarification removes the milk sugars from butter which in turn lower the lactose levels.

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Simple Changes

Today we touched on just a few staple items that should find their way in to your ongoing diet.  When tackling a project as big as overhauling your pantry, which really means you are overhauling your eating habits, take it slow.  Research for yourself the amazing options that nature has to provide for us.  Find foods that will help you in your overall health.

You don’t have to be like the lady I described at the beginning of this post!  That sense of overwhelm can be avoided.  Tasty, healthy options are available that will help you stay healthy and happy!  

Did you enjoy the content in today’s post?  Be sure to use the social media icons below to share with friends and family.

Until next week, stay healthy!!

5 Tips to Breaking Through A Plateau

Frustration and discouragement was setting in….to come so far and to now be experiencing a plateau! The “last 10 #’s”, you know the part of weight loss that everyone says is the most difficult to get rid of….What could she do to get past this point?

Changes had already been made to the nutrition. Water intake was up, carbonated drinks were gone, and sweet tea was no longer being consumed!  But those last sticky pounds just would not budge!  It was hard to even happy with the over 2 years of success already experienced……

Break through plateau pinnable


As a wellness coach, I have many that call me frustrated because they have hit a “plateau” in their weight loss journey.

We have all been there.  I can so relate because, I myself, experienced one this past summer.  It was a summer full of stress and challenges.  It is a no wonder that I hit a wall in my own journey.  I am sure this has been you as well, at one time or another.

We view a weight loss plateau as – the scale is stuck on a certain number or maybe it has been going up a few pounds and then back down a few but never breaking through to a lower number.  But what really is a plateau?

When you change your calorie intake, your body will try to adjust. Your body will begin to conserve the calories you are giving it.  At first when you begin this change you will see weight loss, and typically fast weight loss.  Once your body has adjusted to the change, you will see a great decrease in weight loss.  It will slow down and that is when you need to make changes.  This slow down or even halt in weight loss can last 3 weeks, which when you are on your weight loss journey, can seem like a lifetime.

Health Ranger Chlorella

So what kind of changes can you make to break through, to throw your body off, so it is confused and has to readjust to ultimately break through the plateau?


  1. Adjust your workout routine.  Now for some of you, this may mean implementing a workout routine!  I know that many will be on their journey, lose a significant amount of weight without implementing an exercise routine at first. So maybe now is a time to get moving!  Don’t forget that exercise is good for more than just weight loss.  For those of you that are already working out – change it up!  Don’t do the same old routine each day.  This is why I love HIIT workouts so much!  They are different each day and that keeps them fresh and effective.
  2. Implement food changes into your diet.  Do you find yourself eating the same things each day?  Well no wonder your body has become so use to things and has plateaued.  I am such a creature of habit myself.  Once I find things that I like, I sorta just stick with them, not realizing that I need to shake things up and so do you.  Introduce new vegetables and fruits to your routine.  Restrict the amount of carbs you are eating for few days….remember we are trying to confuse to body to throw it into a energy usage mode.  We don’t want it to store everything, we want it to burn it!
  3. Make sure you are drinking enough water…..I cannot express to you enough how important water is in the equation.  Once again, I will remind you that your body is made up of 65% water….not coffee, not sodas, not even sweet tea.  I know that this may be a huge bummer for a lot of you but your body needs…Demands water.  So give it what is it wanting...more water.
  4. Adjust your calorie intake.  If you have been consuming the same amount of calories each day since the beginning of your weight loss journey, then it may be time to re-adjust.  Learning more about what your new calorie needs may be is not difficult either.   Fitness Magazine has a BMR tool where you can easily put in your numbers and find out the calories you should be taking in.   **NOTE:  please keep in mind that these calculators are not an exact science.  They are to give you a general idea of where you should be.  To get a better idea, you should visit your physician or a nutritionist.
  5. Build Muscle Mass – this for some women can be a touchy subject.  When the word “muscle” gets dropped into the conversation, most envision bulky, bulgy arms and legs that are disproportionate to the rest of the body.  But, actually muscle can look elegant, sexy and is a great way to manage your weight.  Since muscle burns more calories and can burn those calories for hours after a good workout, they are definitely something you should be all about getting!

muscle can be sexy

I began this post with a snippet of a story, a personal story…..my story.

Like most women, I do not really like to share that struggle.  But, it is real..it is a part of life and a weight loss journey.  Did I succeed in breaking through?  I am happy to share that I did and I did it by doing the above 5 tips!  My biggest change was actually the one that I felt I had going right….my workout routine.  But, it had become just that, a routine.  I did a major shake up in August 2015 and was able to shed those last 10 #’s.

So, I encourage you to not give up and to make the changes that need to be changed….maybe even some that you don’t think need to be changed!

Did you enjoy the content of today’s post?  Be sure to use the social icons below and share with friends and family.

Until next time, Stay Healthy!!

Do You Make These 5 Workout Mistakes?

The mistakes I have made in the gym…OMG…..all this time I thought I had it going on….I thought that since I showed up, spent my allotted hour that BAM!  I was gonna be rocking seriously strong arms and legs that would make Tina Turner jealous…..boy, was I wrong!

Memories of Mistakes come flooding in….

I have to admit that when I thought about writing on this subject, I had memories (I try to forget these moments in my life) of myself at the gym doing these very mistakes!  Do you find yourself doing any of these?

Working Out Your Jaw??

How many of you have went to the gym and noticed people working out together and they were talking more than any thing else?  I have to raise my hand on this one and turn myself in to the gym police!

Time flies by and before you know it you have been at the gym an hour.  You are thinking that you  have had a great workout.  Unfortunately, the amount of time that you were actually working out was not even close to the hour that you were there.  So my advice to you is, hold off on the talking until your workout is done!

5 workout mistakes You are probably making

Are You Giving Your Best?

It is soooo easy to workout and leave thinking that since you showed up you should receive those little gold stars that the teachers use to give out in school.  But alas, unless you are actually giving it your best, then I would say nope, no gold start for you!

Taking it easy at your workout happens to all of us from time to time but really it should not be a consistent practice.  When you are working out, give it your best.  Leave it all there.  Try not to leave feeling like you have an ounce of energy left!

If you truly want results, like sculpted arms, fiercely toned legs or a tush that is defying gravity, then you are going to have to give it all you got.  Don’t halfway do it and expect  amazing results.

Change is good!

How many of you tend to do the same few exercises each time?  I am sooo guilty…..I have done that and it is a huge mistake!  First and foremost, the reason I say to change things up is so you do not get bored.  Once you get bored with your exercise routine, you are likely to quit and quitting will not get you to your overall goal, will it?

Health Ranger Store
Secondly, if you have been using 5 lb weights and the same amount of reps for months, do you really think that your are challenging your muscles?  I think not.  You need to up your weight and maybe even up your amount of reps.  Typically, if I up my weight, I will try one set at 15 reps, then my next round at 12 reps.  I usually do 3 rounds of reps.  For example, when I do my one arm rows, I will use 25 lb weight at 20 reps, then my next round I will use the same amount of weight and do 15 to 18 reps.  Now, keep in mind that I did not start at 25 lb weights!  Which brings me to my next point….

Too Much, Too Soon

If you are new to working out, be careful not to overdue it.  I know you may be super excited about your new exercise routine but overdoing it right off that bat can backfire on you real quick!  You can injure yourself, which could keep you away from your exercise for a period of time, which would defeat you right away!  When you are just starting out, you will be sore.  If you push too hard too fast, you will have an intense soreness, which may take a few days to get over.  You will get discouraged and perhaps even quit.

rope exercise

Form over Speed

I see this all the time, especially with newbies….They will try to be fast, speeding their way through their workout.  I’m not really sure if they feel that speed will burn more calories or what but they are much more likely to injure themselves doing their workouts in this manner.

It is much more important to take it slower and have your form right than to be speedy Gonzales!  I would strongly suggest that you find an experienced personal trainer and have them work with you one on one.  They can show you the best exercises to do to reach your goals and how to properly execute each one.

Which of these mistakes have you committed??

Now that I have talked about these 5 mistakes, how many of these have you done yourself?  I have to admit that I am guilty on all counts!  The best thing I did was hire a personal trainer.  He showed me how to properly do each exercise and gave me a new set of workouts to do each week.  He taught me how  and when to up my weight and reps.  I know that hiring a personal trainer may seem like an expense that you may not want to take on but I think it was money well spent.  Better to spend my money on how to exercise properly and effectively than for doctor bills because I injured myself!

I hope this post helps you to not make the same mistakes that so many others, including myself have made! 😉

Weight training =

TIP OF THE DAY:  If you are not currently adding in weight training to your routine, you need to!  Cardio is great but to get a sculpted look you are seeking, weight training is what you need! Here is an article on weight training for your arms.  Once again, please have a personal trainer show you how to do each of these properly so you can try to avoid injury.

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Until next week, stay strong & healthy!!

10 Benefits of a Food Diary

I remember when I was a child having a diary.  

It was filled with silly things mostly, considering I was about 8 years old but it reflected a lot about me at that time.   A food diary does the same thing….it reflects a lot about you and your habits.

“I don’t eat too much and I go walking 2 miles a day!  Isn’t that enough?”  Have you thought this to yourself?  Honestly, if you have never really written down everything for a period of time, then how do you really know?   I mean throughout the course of a day, we can forget things, right?

Keeping a food diary may be just what you need….

to help you overcome some poor habits that you may or may not even realize you have. Now before you begin giving yourself excuses for why you can not keep a food diary, let us talk about the benefits to you and your future health.

  • Point out poor eating patterns 
  • Identify emotional eating habits
  • Highlight poor food choices
  • Show where improvements can be made
  • Make you aware of your dietary habits
  • Where excess calories are being consumed
  • Help you decide what dietary changes you will need to made
  • Determine if your diet is balanced
  • Learn how to cope when you have emotional triggers 
  • Give you the breakthrough you need to finally have success in your eating

10 benefits of a food diarySo many ways to keep a food diary!

Mobile Apps

There are many ways to keep a food diary.  You can opt for the way I did my diary when I was a kid, simply a notebook or opt to use today’s technology either with an app or an online website.  Many of you have heard of the app MyFitnessPal.  It is a great way to log the food you are eating and will help you track your daily calorie consumption.  The ease and mobility for when you are out and about is one of the most convenient things about an app. I think the one draw back for me is there is no place to track your triggers.

I believe that tracking how you feel or what events are happening when you eat certain foods will help show you your triggers.  Many people are emotional eaters.  They live to eat and the stress of life can trigger eating binges or eating certain kinds of foods.

Online options

Another option is online diaries like My Food Diary (www.myfooddiary.com)  You can track your food, exercise and you body stats.  It has an online community to help give support as well.  Once again, it does not provide a way to log food triggers.

The old-fashioned way

Now, you may be like me, the pencil and paper type. 😉  There is just something about the handwritten word, right?  I feel more involved in what I am writing and to me, it feels more private.  The topic of our eating habits can make you feel a little exposed, so keeping your food log in your quite, safe place may be just what you need.

This option will allow you to write down how you are feeling that day, what events are happening.  This information could be just what you need to see.  It will reveal emotional patterns and triggers.

Pinterest Printables

Now, maybe you would like to have pretty paper that has it all ready for you to fill out.  Printables are a great option for this.  I found a bunch on Pinterest and here is a link to one that I really liked.  It has a note section that is perfect for writing down how you felt or what events happened that day. These are great, just print them off and fill them out!

Now keep in mind that keeping a food diary is not something you have to do for a long period of time.  To be exact, you probably only need to keep up with it for a week or two.  Just long enough for you to see what food and drinks you consume regularly.  To log your exercise habits.  Take note of what your emotional triggers may be.

Once you have this information, you will have a better idea of what changes you will need to make.

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Until next time, stay healthy!!