Strong is the New Skinny – Guest Post

Hey NeverEver’s!

Welcome to Tuesday! Yay we are one day closer to that lovely 3 day weekend, hoozah! However, before we can get to that glorious long weekend we have to get through with Tuesday and I have a way to help us get through that.

Its called a Guest Post! Yay! This one is by another Alicia (yup even spelled the same way) so you know it is going to be awesome!

Strong is the New Skinny (And That’s a Good Thing)

For a long time, most people just wanted to lose weight and be skinny. That desire was mainly due to the media’s portrayal of “beauty.” However, over the last few years, more attention has been brought to the fact that this perception of beauty isn’t truly universal. Additionally, more people than ever are realizing that many portrayals of skinniness aren’t realistic, sustainable or healthy.

It’s Time to Ditch “Skinny” and Focus on Strong

Even though most fitness “trends” are fads focused on shortcuts, embracing strength training is a very positive trend that needs to continue. A big reason why this is such a positive direction for fitness and our culture as a whole is increasing strength isn’t just about looks. While strength training will play a key role in adding tone and definition to your body, that’s just one of the many benefits that it provides.

The positive challenges that strength training creates lead to even greater mental strength. A study done at the University of British Columbia found that with just three resistance exercise sessions a week, participants experienced a 13% improvement in mental dexterity and stamina. Although this specific study was performed on older adults, it’s not difficult to see how strength training can improve mental toughness at any age.

In fact, because non-senior citizens aren’t battling with the standard decline that goes along with advanced age, it’s likely that a study done on young to middle-aged adults would find an even more significant improvement.

This type of training also increases self-esteem and confidence. This is because as you set goals and then reach them, it drives home the fact that you can do anything you set your mind to accomplishing. This effect is one of the reasons that many alcohol recovery centers make physical activity and exercise part of their recovery process.

Not only is working up a sweat good for the body, but because it has positive mental effects as well, it’s also ideal for someone who’s working on a daily basis to overcome a substance abuse problem or any addiction problem for that matter!

It’s Never Too Late to Get Started

Once people learn about all the benefits of strength training, there’s still one obstacle that holds many back. A lot of people think that because they don’t have the necessary athletic background, or because it’s been a long time since they’ve touched any weights, they’re not going to be able to get in the swing of things.

The good news is that’s not true at all. Regardless of your age or background, it’s never too late to begin strength training and start reaping all of the benefits it has to offer. Get yourself motivated by getting a work out buddy or put together a workout inspiration board on Pinterest. If you don’t know what kind of workout to do, pick up an active sport instead or join a workout class at your local gym.

BIO: Alicia is a freelance writer and health enthusiast. 
Connect with her on Twitter @Alicia_Lw and visit her blog about health, tech and communication.

Monday Weigh In

Hey NeverEver’s,

Welcome to Monday. It was the first Monday since I have been better and I had a plan to follow. So how did I do?

Well I didn’t go swimming like I said I would. I had a small coughing attack in the morning and just couldn’t get up in the morning. So swimming just wasn’t happening this morning.

However, I made up for it during my lunch. But before I get into that…lets get into the Weigh In!

Now to the current weight!!!
Yes I lost weight! I didn’t gain during my sodium filled days of soup and more soup! 
I am quite happy…no I am ecstatic with myself and that number! 
Now before I get into Today’s Workouts. I want to to do a little bit about my 5K yesterday! 
I was waiting for the sun to go down. This run was done by Helping Hands 4 Life. I just loved the idea of running for one of the original woman super heros. Plus it was only $30 and the medal was awesome so I couldn’t pass it up. 
I wasn’t able to run as much as I wanted to do. I did more power walk then anything else but I was able to do all 3 miles in 45:22 minutes. Which I am pretty darn satisfied with that. 
Cannot wait to show you guys the medal when it gets here!!!
Ok on to Today’s Workout. 
I did a lunch workout!!! Yes the first time in the LONGEST time and it felt awesome. I was also sweating buckets so that was tons of fun. 
Now as I did the Shakeology Cleanse before, I know for myself that I have to the salad for lunch or I just don’t make it through the day. So I switch that up (and it is allowed) and it works for me. 
Had my 2nd shakeology drink and the grapes for a snack before leaving for my rowing class! 

Yes I really do LOVE this view! It is amazing, the sea breeze, light, and just plain blissfulness! But then it was time to get down o business. 

Rowing class was brought to me by Elizabeth from Roworx. She is Awesome with a capital ‘A’. Really worked out my whole body, legs, arms, core and butt…nothing was missed! Which is why the rowing machine is one of my favorite machines EVER! 
If you are in the Long Beach area (or if you have a rowing class near you) you MUST check this place out! Awesome Fun!
So I just had my last shakeology drink for the night. I also had a cup of Blueberries right after the workout itself. 
And lookie what I am starting again. Yup I am wearing my body media again and I am tracking with it. Didn’t QUITE make it to my calorie burn goal but I am decently off. Tomorrow is another day. 
Okay NeverEver’s, it is time for be to get to bed. I am tired and I still need to take a shower. Soo have a wonderful night and I will see you all tomorrow for Guest Post Tuesday! I have an awesome one for you guys! 

A New Week – Back to Business!

Hey NeverEver’s!

Look who is done with coughing and feeling sick! This girl! Yay me. Ok in reality I still have a little bit of cough but I am not going to let that slow me down any more. It has been a week since my last workout…well almost a whole week and half really.

However, I am so backed up in laundry that it hurt just looking at it. Plus then it was Food Prep. I wanted it to be easy next week so I went to Fresh and Easy (favorite place) and got 4 of their 2 for $10 ready meals. Basically it has the chicken or meat already done with the flavor or herbs and you just cook it!

I also got some veggies sides that will be easy to make. Oh and I found a new bread that I can’t wait to try. It is a wheat bread with Chia and Flax seeds made in. I think it is going to be yummy but as I haven’t tried it yet I am not sure.

So at least my food is ready. Although for Monday – Wednesday I decided that I am going to be doing the Shakeology Cleanse.

I feel that since I have been sick and haven’t been watching what I have been eating. Plus those soups have TONS of sodium, even though I tried to water them down. It is time to just re-clean out my system.

So I got my Food Prep ready, My Cleanse ready to go for Monday – Wednesday, now it is time to go for my Workout Plan.

My Workout Plan is going to be adding something different. Since my foot is still giving me pains I have decided to add in…swimming to my routine. It is a low impact, high burning exercise that I kind of suck at. Yes I am bad at swimming so really I can only get better ^_~. Anyways, here is my routine for this week.

Sunday – Unlease Your Inner Wonder Woman 5K

Monday – Morning Swim, Work, Rowing

Tuesday – Morning Bootcamp, Work, Lunch Run

Wednesday – Morning Swim, Work, Rowing

Thursday – Morning Bootcamp, Work, Lunch Run

Friday – Morning Swim, Work, Rowing

Saturday – Off

I still can’t believe that I am going to be swimming. Haven’t done it in FOREVER but I even got myself a water cap so I don’t have to blow dry my hair to get to work.

Ok NeverEver’s, I am leaving you all with that. I am going to be getting ready for my Virtual 5K today and make sure that I don’t get sick again. It is good to be back and I don’t want to leave again.

Ready, Set Glow 5K – #8 of 13

Hey NeverEver’s!

First let me say that I feel horrible. Apparently, my little cough that I was feeling, and got from a co-worker that shall remain nameless, turned into something a little more sinister.

And that is why it was hurting to cough. Although I may or may not have made it worse by running yesterday’s 5K but that is neither here nor there. What is important is that I have medicine and a doctors note for work. Yup, I got all my duckies lined up in a row.

So, I am not sure how many posts, or workouts for that matter, you are going to be seeing this week. Apparently, my body feels like it just wants to rest, and sleep, and rest some more. I have no energy at times and other times I feel perfectly normal. Just wanted to give you all a nice heads up but I should be better soon, the doc only gave me 5 days of medicine so that should mean that I will be better in 5 days (right!!!).

Anyways, what I really want to talk about is my run last night! Yup my Ready, Set Glow 5K that was in Temecula, Ca and didn’t have the hill of death in it! Here is looking at you Love Mud Run and that evil hill!!

We started the night off right by stopping by the 99 cent store to get some glow sticks and some pins. Last race we were in they ran out of pins so we thought it best to keep a supply handy.

Then it was packet pick-up. Now if you never been to California…its a big state (don’t fight me on this Texas). From Los Angeles to Temecula its about a 2ish hour drive. So we didn’t do the early packet pickup we just came early on the day of.

Then it was time for pictures. This was Evelyn who decided to join us on the race itself! Thank you Groupon for making racing affordable for those of us that are just starting!! 

Hubby was of course wearing one of his birthday gift outfits. I really thought the neon was the perfect touch lol. 

I am not sure how or when I started posing like this…but it seems like I now post like this for every picture. But we were really just fooling around while waiting for it to get dark!! 

And more fooling around. But this one I just had to show…for obvious reasons! 
What was really nice is that Evelyn invited some of her other friends so we had a pretty decent group of runners / walkers! Actually most of them said they would be walking this 5k but the spirit of the run got into them and most of them jogged or even ran it. 

Now the Hubby wanted to run it. On a side note he hasn’t ran since high school but apparently he got about a 7 minute mile back then and wanted to see if he still had it. He finished the race at 30 minutes even and he wasn’t even happy about it! His calf started hurting him after the first mile so he alternated between power walking and running the rest of the race…and yet he still gets a 30 minute PR. Amazing
And here is my time. 42:48 for 3 miles. It was dusty, there was soft sand every where (think beach running oy) I haven’t run in over 2 weeks, plus I was sick and I still did a decent time. Oh and I ran my first mile none stop. Which in hindsight I probably should have kept that one to a slower pace so I didn’t blow myself out at first. 
But all in all I am pretty darn proud of my time. I am pretty darn proud that I finished and I didn’t allow my sickness to stop me. 
Now it is time for some more tea, cough syrup and bed time…most likely in that order. I will see you all when I can but really soon! 

Monday Morning

Hey NeverEver’s!

Welcome to Monday and the knowledge that August is almost half done. I am not sure where this time is flying to but it really needs to stop. I can barely keep up. I can just picture the holidays now…oh boy.

Anyways, before I start off again on how we just don’t have enough time in the day. I would like to start out with my Monday Weigh In!

Which I was quite happy about. Even if it was a day late but I was under 200. That is what was really important. 
Now on to today!

For those of you that don’t have amazing eyesight (hey I took this first thing in the morning) the number shows
Which isn’t surprising. I didn’t work out last week. In fact I avoided it and was in a really big blah mood all week. So I am actually pretty damn surprised it wasn’t a bigger gain. 
So I am counting my calories, I have a workout schedule and I WILL see better results next Monday. I just know it. 
But I want to talk about my workout schedule. 

Yes its a home made calendar but it is something. Plus the main point is to keep me on track. So here is the plan.

Monday – Wednesday – Friday – I have a Rowing Class – Roworx in Long Beach from 6:30 – 7:30 pm. As I really LOVE rowing machines I feel like this is going to be verging on epic for a workout!

Tuesday – Thursday – I have Morning Boot Camp – Live in Fit also in Long Beach from 4:45 am – 5:45 am. This hasn’t been easy to get to. I am not a morning person, but when I do wake up and workout I feel great for the rest of the day. So I am getting my ass out of bed and doing this!!

So that is the plan. This Saturday I have the Ready Set Glow 5K and on Sunday Sep 1st I have my Belle 5K (that comes with an awesome medal) so I am ready to go.

Okay NeverEver’s, it is time for my lunch and I am ready to eat!

Motivational Thursday

Hey NeverEver’s!

Welcome to Thursday! Woot and week is almost done and the weekend is almost here. Best day ever!!! No really I have been in a super happy mood all day today. Must be to the fact that I have been dancing in my seat at work listening to techno! Is it time for EDC again?

Anyways, I wanted to get this Motivational Thursday started! So without further ado…here is the Motivation!!

Okay NeverEver’s, let this carry us onto the weekend. I do have to admit that I am taking it easy on the working out right now as my heel is just giving me so much pain…but I will have a doctors appt for that by the end of next week. I am still doing my run next Sat and I have a plan for the next 2 months. Which I will be showing on Sunday! 
So guys I will see you on Sunday. Have a good weekend!!! 

Heart Healthy Diet Choices – Guest Post

Hey NeverEver’s!

Welcome to Wednesday! Its Hump Day and I got my coffee, my computer and work…what more could I ask for? Oh and my shakeology but I already drank that. However, I do have a awesome guest post today. It is from HealthLine. I think of their page like WebMD just more friendly and less death notices. Anyways, they are going to be talking about the Heart so make sure to read up! The heart is an extremely important part of your body ^_^.

Heart Healthy Diet Choices

While many factors affect heart disease, the FDA recommends eating foods that are high in fiber and low in fat, sodium and cholesterol to reduce the risk of this disease. Although you might know that eating the right foods can decrease your heart disease risk, it’s often tough to change your eating habits. Whether you’ve been eating bad for years, or you simply want to fine-tune your diet, here are some heart-healthy diet tips. Once you know which foods to eat more or less of, you’ll be on your way toward a heart-healthy diet plan.
Eat Fruits and Vegetables, Avoid Fats
Vegetables and fruits are great sources of vitamins,dietary fiber and minerals. They contain substances found in plants that may help prevent cardiovascular disease, as well as temper those high-fat cravings. Fruits and vegetables don’t have any fat in them.  Limiting how much saturated and trans fats you eat is an important step to reduce your blood cholesterol and lower your risk of coronary artery disease. A high blood cholesterol level can lead to a buildup of plaques in your arteries, called atherosclerosis, which can increase your risk of heart attack and stroke.  Make sure you choose dishes that have vegetables or fruits as the main ingredient, such as salads and stir-fry. 
When you do use fats, choose monounsaturated fats, such as canola or olive oils. Polyunsaturated fats, found in nuts and seeds, also are good choices for a heart-healthy diet. When used in place of saturated fat, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats may help lower your total blood cholesterol. But moderation is essential. All types of fat are high in calories.
Protein and Sodium
Eating a lot of sodium can contribute to high blood pressure, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Reducing salt in the diet is a good heart-healthy choice. Healthy adults should have no more than 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium a day, which is about a teaspoon. Those 51 or older, African-Americans, and people who have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease should have no more than 1,500 mg of sodium a day.  Be wary of foods that claim to be lower in sodium because they are seasoned with sea salt instead of regular table salt. Sea salt has the same nutritional value as regular salt.
While you lower your sodium intake, beef up your protein intake.  Eggs, lean meat, low-fat dairy, poultry and fish are some of your best sources of protein. Certain types of fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids as well, which can lower blood fats called triglycerides. You’ll find the highest amounts of omega-3 fatty acids in cold-water fish, such as herring, mackerel and salmon, as well as walnuts, flaxseed and soybeans.
Whole Grains
Whole grains are fantastic sources of fiber and other nutrients that regulate blood pressure and heart health. Avoid refined grain products such as processed foods.  Rather, try some barley or quinoa in your diet. Another easy way to add whole grains to your diet is ground flaxseed. Flaxseeds are small brown seeds that are high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower your total blood cholesterol.
Eat Smaller, Plan Ahead and Occasionally Treat Yourself
Quantity is just as important as what you eat. Eating until you pop can lead to eating more calories, fat and cholesterol than you should. Portions served in restaurants are often more than anyone needs. Keep track of the number of servings you eat. Eating more of low-calorie, nutrient-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables, and less of high-calorie, high-sodium foods, such as refined, processed or fast foods, can shape up your diet as well as your heart and waistline.
Design daily menus for yourself.  Planning helps you stay on track, and when you are selecting foods for each meal and snack, emphasize fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Choose lean protein sources and limit high-fat and salty foods. Variety also makes your meals and snacks more interesting.
Finally, allow yourself the occasional treat. A handful of potato chips or a candy bar won’t ruin your heart-healthy diet. But don’t let it turn into a habit. What’s important is that you eat healthy foods most of the time.
Integrate these diet tips into your life, and you’ll continue to find that heart-healthy eating is both achievable and fun. With planning and a few simple substitutions, you can keep your heart healthy for a lifetime.

David Novak is a international syndicated newspaper columnist, appearing in newspapers, magazines, radio and TV around the world. His byline has appeared in GQ, National Geographic, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, Reader’s Digest, USA Today, among others, and he has appeared on The Today Show, the CBS Morning Show and Paul Harvey Radio. David is a specialist at consumer technology, health and fitness, and he also owns a PR firm and a consulting company where he and his staff focus on these industries. He is a regular contributing editor for Healthline. For more information, visit