Guest Post – Caring for Your Health the Modern Way: Best Apps for Tracking Your Health

Hey NeverEver’s!

Its Tuesday and that means Guest Post Day!!! Today I am having a return poster Virigina! Originally she created the Essential Crossfit Gear To Give, which is a great post for the Holidays ^_^.  We are extremely lucky as today is all about apps!

Yup those things that we love on our phone, and the best ones for a Healthy and Active Lifestyle!

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We’re living in a miracle age—technology drives much of what we do every day: from the digital alarm clock that wakes us so much more gently than the clanging silver bells or out-of-tune clock radios of our youth, to the electronic sonic toothbrush that scrubs our teeth to previously-unheard of levels of cleanliness. And if it’s true that all this technology has made some of us more sedentary (how many hours a day do we spend sitting in front of our computers?), it’s also true that more and more of us are actively pursuing new ways to get healthy.
                                                     Image Courtesy of ShutterStock
And, of course, for many of us these days, the most important tool in our wellness arsenal isn’t a treadmill or a food scale, but our cell phones. There are apps out there that do all sorts of awesome things: Track your daily steps, count your calories, record your goals, etc.
Below are 5 of our favorite (mostly) free apps for helping you get healthy and stay strong:
Map my Fitness helps you to plan and track your workouts, using just the GPS on your phone.  You can create your own fitness route or find an existing one, join a group of workout buddies or log your speed and calories burned.
This app also allows you to track your nutrition, calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI) and keep on top of fitness events in your neighborhood as well as around the country.
Price: FREE
Run Keeper is a fitness app that allows you to track your progress as you train at the gym or when you go out into the world to do your running or biking. It will tell you the length of your workout, compare progress with previous workouts and log your heart rate. And you can set it to let you know when you’ve reached specific goals.
Price: FREE
Weight Watchers Mobile provides many of the benefits of the Weight Watchers program, right there in your pocket. The Weight Watchers app allows you to count your calories, track your activity levels, look up recipes and read success stories from fellow health-enthusiasts.
Price: FREE
Everest is a fun app, because it allows you to track any goal you like. Planning to quit smoking? Always dreamed of conquering your debt? Dying to lose 15 pounds? Everest helps you set small, achievable goals, all designed to lead you straight to your own personal mountain-top.
Price: FREE
5. FIG
Fig is more focused on overall wellness and holistic practices. It allows you to establish your own wellness guide with topics ranging over various categories (Eat, Move, Refresh, Connect, Feel, Go Further). You can connect with other people and measure your progress or create action plans to help you reach specific goals .
Price: FREE
Zombies Run! 2 is almost more a game than a running app. As you run for your life on the treadmill or through your local park, you feel more like a kid playing a fantastic game, than an out-of-shape adult trying desperately to get in shape. The app provides dozens of storylines, and lets you choose your own musical accompaniment to add to the mood.
Price: $3.99 (yeah, we know. This one’s not free. But. . . ZOMBIES!!!!!)
Who needs a personal trainer! With just your Smartphone and a selection of really great apps, you can easily take control of your fitness routine. And maybe, just maybe, enjoy yourself while you’re at it.

Virginia Cunninghamis a freelance health writer and fitness enthusiast living in the Los Angeles area. While personal health and wellness is her speciality, her writing, in correlation with HostPapa, also covers the tech industry, including apps reviews, social media and web hosting. 

December…Really?!?!?

Hey NeverEver’s!

Wow its December. Its seriously December 1st! What happened? Where has this year gone? I am not sure and if it wasn’t for this blog I am pretty sure my internal calendar would be way worse then it is. 
Anyways, it is December and I am happy to say that most of my Christmas gifts have been gotten. Its now just the odds and ends that I still need to get. I won’t be getting a tree until next weekend but I can’t wait! And I just got some old Christmas favorites of mine…finally! 
Yes I got them on Groupon but it was such a great deal and I love these Christmas Classics. Now I just need to get the rest of them ^_~. Plus as today is officially December I get to watch one of these badboys! Not sure which one though, and since the Hubby is feeling sick I am thinking about letting him pick! 
How was your Thanksgiving? Mine went pretty darn good. All the cooking went well, I timed the Turkey being done w/ the family coming over perfectly. However, my dessert was a little to sour for me. Cranberries and I just don’t get along. 
I would like to mention that the coke you see is not mine…I am still 5 months clean, that is my Father in Laws. We can’t get him to stop -_-. 

This was my plate and my ONLY plate. Not sure if it was because I cooked all day and just wasn’t that hungry or if I actually learned about portion control. Anyways, I filled my plate w/ my Spinach and Apple Salad, Roasted California Golden Potatoes w/ Pepper and Garlic, Roasted Carrots and Walnuts and my Turkey w/ Cinnamon Cranberry Sauce. 
I did have some of the dessert that was brought by my cousin. She brought home made flan and plain cheesecake. I did have 1 slice of each and they were delicious!
I hope that your Thanksgiving was guilt free, drama free, wonderful time w/ your family and friends!
Did anyone go shopping on Black Friday? Usually for me I don’t go out, well not for a few years, but this year we just decided to go. But it wasn’t for a gift for anyone else…it was for ourselves! 
Yup Hubby and I got ourselves a new T.V. This thing is a beauty and it is a wonder that it took us so long to get one! Its a Samsung 55 in 3D. Wonderful…I can’t wait to watch the Christmas specials on this thing!!
So what are you plans this Holiday? The healthy plans that is. Mine is pretty simple with only 2 challenges that I am doing this month. (what thats small compared to last year!)
I found #Elf4Health last year and it was amazing! Lindsay and Ellie are doing it again and you can still join! Today’s challenge is to do 100 burpees (yay -_-) but I will get it done. 
I am also doing a BeachBody Challenge Group as well. I have decided to take the Brazil Butt Lift Master Series for 30 Day challenge. And I am planning on doing the workout in the mornings…since my work schedule has changed and I don’t have to be into work until 8am. So since I am used to waking up a little earlier then I need to for a 8am schedule I am going to be using that time to work out. 
Okay NeverEver’s its time for me to take care of my sick hubby and enjoy my lazy Sunday! I hope you all have a wonderful one and may your Monday be light! 

Guest Post – How to Have a Happy & Healthy Holiday (Protein please, Hold the gluten!)

Hey NeverEver’s!

It is now officially 2 days away from T-Day or otherwise known as Turkey Day. So of course this Tuesday I had to have a special Thanksgiving Guest Post and I found one! A special thanks to Amber from Eats & Exercise Amber for coming up with this post about having a Healthy and Happy Thanksgiving!

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Thanksgiving.  The table is set, the turkey is cooling and everyone gathers together.  Around the table family and friends, one by one say what they are thankful for.  While everyone else is treasuring this moment, if you have Celiac Disease, food allergies, or intolerance’s, you’re more concerned if whether your host is going to unintentionally poison you.  It’s hard to give thanks when you’re worried about the serious complications accidentally ingesting gluten could do to your insides…

Dealing with a diagnosis of Celiac or other food limiting conditions/intolerance’s can be tough, especially when it comes to events that are revolved around food.  I was sure that my first gluten free Thanksgiving would be awful but it wasn’t!  Instead, I survived, thrived even, with not an ounce of gluten accidentally ingested AND I educated my whole family on cross contamination and why we couldn’t mix up the spoons for gravy and stuffing.
This year, I found out that I wouldn’t be able to go home for Thanksgiving.  So instead, I would be spending it with my boyfriend and his family.  While most girls would be excited, I was at first anxious and uncomfortable.  The whole idea made me feel sick as if I had already been glutened!  His family doesn’t know my dietary needs that well and often forget that in addition to gluten, I cannot have lactose.  So, after a few weeks of worrying and planning out possible what if scenarios, I decided that enough was enough and that it was time to take charge of the situation because if I wasn’t going to ensure my health and safety then who was?
So, if you are experiencing your first gluten free Thanksgiving or spending the holiday with those who may not be familiar with your needs, here are my five tips on how to have a healthy and happy holiday!
ABOVE ALL ELSE
Talk to your host about everything.  Whether you feel as if you are being annoying or not, you are your own best advocate and if you don’t speak up, it could result in you becoming sick.
1. Not all turkey’s are gluten free – tell your host this ASAP
Do your research and provide your host with a list of safe and unsafe turkeys.  For example, Butterball turkey is not gluten free, Wegmans’ brand is.  When broaching this subject, remember to be polite and courteous, do not demand they buy a certain brand, say something like, “I did a little research and found out that not all turkeys were gluten free.  This was something I wasn’t aware of, so I found a list of safe and unsafe brands for you to keep in mind when you’re shopping please”
2. Ask your host what the menu/meal plan is. 
Most families have a typical menu for every year, so it should not be too difficult to ask this in advance.  If your host is unsure, then go over what ingredients that you cannot have, such as breadcrumbs in the stuffing, specific broths that are not gluten free for basting the turkey, gravy mixes that use wheat flour, etc.  You may need to write this down for your host or send them an email list.  If you think that they will forget, then write it down or email it to them whether they want you to or not.  Also, remind them closer to the day of about specifics you talked about!  Depending on your host, they may be willing to make some changes to their meal menu so you can enjoy as many side dishes as possible. 
3. Provide ingredients for the host to cook with. 
Most “normal” people do not keep lactose free butter, gluten free bread crumbs, xatham gum, rice flour, etc. in their house nor do they need to!  If your host is willing to cook with your ingredient substitutions, provide them with the ingredients.  For example: gluten free croutons/bread crumbs for the stuffing, lactaid milk, and lactose free butter for the mashed potatoes
4.  Offer to help cook
If your host is using your “special ingredients” or says that they are using naturally gluten free items, offer to help them cook.  I know it always makes me feel better when I have prepared or helped prepare the food I plan on eating.  This ensures that there has been no contamination because I have watched it like a hawk.  Plus, your offering to cook helps lessen the burden on the hosting chef, who probably is just as nervous about serving you, as you are about eating their food!
5. Don’t let yourself be deprived! Bring your own sides AND dessert!
Your host should be able to provide you with a gluten free turkey (since there are plenty of brand options out there) but as for side dishes, well that could be a whole different story, especially if it’s great great great grandma’s recipe that is a tradition to be made, as is.  If this is the case, make your own sides!  If you are traveling, pack a cooler with your pre-cooked sides and when you arrive on location, politely ask where you can store your own prepared sides.  Just before dinner, pop your own options into the microwave.  If you feel embarrassed or silly doing this, don’t.  You are being smart and allowing yourself to enjoy what YOU want to eat on this holiday!  If you are staying on location, bring your own ingredients to prepare your own sides.  For my gluten free, dairy free Thanksgiving feast this year, I know that I am going to have to make my own sides.  After talking to my boyfriend’s mom, I realized that although there would be some gluten free items for me, there would not be lactose free items.  I am extremely sensitive to whole milk and butter, so instead of having a bare plate, I plan on making my own sides!  I will be replacing milky mashed potatoes with a sweet potato, gluten filled biscuits with a few slices of cornbread I made already made a batch of and froze, and cream of mushroom gluten-filled green bean casserole with green beans and mushrooms sautéed with a little olive oil.  While it may not be the easiest thing to have to cook for myself and travel with my food, it also isn’t easy to sit at a table and watch everyone else eat what I cannot have.  In addition to side dishes, don’t forget about dessert!  If you’re an avid baker, bake something for everyone.  If you don’t feel like making enough for everyone, make a single portion of a sweet treat you would like to have while everyone else is eating dessert!
I hope that these tips helped!
Stay happy & healthy





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Thanksgiving Food Prep

Hey NeverEver’s!

We are officially 3 days away from Thanksgiving which I just can’t believe that means we are that close to Christmas. Well I can but I would prefer if we could go back a few months ago ^_~. Time seems to be flying by with no stop.

But anyways, since this is Sunday and I usually do my Food Prep or at least Food Planning for the following week I thought I would tell you all about my plans for Thanksgiving. Because to tell the truth Monday – Wednesday is going to be left overs. All my cooking skills are going to be stored up for Thanksgiving.

So here is my Game Plan!

TurkeyFig Glazed Roast Turkey (Food Network pg 155) I have never done a glazed Turkey, I have done a Herb Rubbed, Brine and Salted. But never glazed so I am really looking forward to this one.

Stuffing – I am doing SkinnyTastes Mushroom Quinoa Stuffing. I have gotten my family to like Quinoa and I wanted something different then a bread stuffing.

SauceCranberry Orange Sauce (Food Network pg 155).

Vegetable – Carrots with Walnuts (Food Network pg 176)

SaladSpinach Apple Salad (Food Network pg 176)

DessertCranberry Pear Crisp (Food Network pg 94)

I was able to find most of the recipes in the magazine online of their page so I have included the links!

What is the best thing about this upcoming Holiday? It isn’t the food that I m cooking, although I am looking forward to it. It is the

The run I am doing that morning!

Yesterday I picked up my race gear and I got all of this! Look a T-Shirt, Hat, and Time Card! Plus we all get a finisher medal!!!

Really looking forward to this run!

Oh and before I leave for the night, heading to the Laugh Factory tonight w/ the Hubby, I wanted to share with you all my latest NSV!

I got boots to fit over my calf! Now this is a BIG BIG deal for me. I have always wanted to wear knee boots and high calf boots but my legs were just to big to fit into them. Well I got it! I lost a nail (well the length of it) getting one of them on but it doesn’t matter. It went on!

Woot!!!

Okay NeverEver’s, I am ready to call it a night. So how are your Thanksgiving plans going? Are you ready? Have you started on your Christmas list yet? I have but then I am a Christmas Freak so thats ok ^_~

Motivational Thursday + Update on Squat Challenge

Hey NeverEver’s!

Today was the first day that it felt like December. It was misting after raining all night. Which I missed as I had passed out by 9:30 my time, which is insanely early for me! I am going to put my early bed time on the fact that I woke up early on Wednesday and worked out in the morning. Just like I am putting my late raise today as to the fact that the bed was just more comfy then it has a right to be ^_^.

See why I wanted to stay in bed! This is why, it was sooo nice and toasty. But work called so I got out of bed and headed into work.

Anyways, it was time for work in which nothing happened because everyone is getting ready for vacation. Which has anyone gotten a turkey yet? Its on my list of things to do this Sunday is to get a Fresh Turkey!

However, I did look into my LIKE = 5 SQUAT Challenge. Here is the verdict!

Tonight when I get home from my 2 hour OT, I will be doing 120 squats. Now because there are so many I am not going weighted. But it will be done!

But I couldn’t forget about my Wall Sit Challenge that I am doing w/ Rhodes of Fitness from Facebook.

I did it during my break at work. 6 minutes and 10 seconds of fun. The first 3 minutes went by pretty fast since I was browsing FB. However, the 2nd 3 minutes…I felt every second. Still I never thought I could Wll Sit for so long when I first joined this challenge so that in itself is a victory!

Now its time for Motivational Thursday!

Ok NeverEver’s I will see you tonight for my Squat Challenge until then stay warm!! 

Guest Post – Tabata Workout Post

Hey NeverEver’s,

Sorry about not being here yesterday…my computer hates me. It was stuck doing those Windows updates for a day and a half and once I was ready to just get on the Hubby’s computer, well that one thought it was a good idea for updates as well. So therefore computers hate me.

But that wont stop me from posting this amazing workout today. Which I did this morning. And man did it kick my behind. It really did, but it was just enough kicking where I wanted to complete it.

Those Mule Kicks may be making it hard to sit today…maybe. Anyways, I am proud to present this workout to all of you. I can do it….you can do it! I just know it!

You can find more of these workouts from Julie Auler and her blog Grace. Lace and Iron be sure to check it out!

Guest Post – Boost Your Metabolism With These 5 Veggies

Hey NeverEver’s!

As you all know I have been sick the last couple of days with a head cold. Whats seriously bad with a head cold is that you can’t remember anything! Feels like your wrapped up in bubble wrap (without the pleasure of popping them). So I had missed my Guest Post Tuesday. However, I loved the post that I was to do so I am sharing it with all of you today!

So without further talking from me, I give you –

Boost Your Metabolism With These 5 Veggies

Anyone trying to lose weight or who just wants to improve their health knows they should eat lots of vegetables. If you’ve already been eating your veggies, here’s some good news for you: certain veggies can speed up your metabolism, causing you to burn calories at an even faster rate! Boost your metabolism by stocking up on these five veggies and enjoy the health benefits that come with increased consumption of vegetables while losing weight at the same time.


Jalapenos
Spicy vegetables such as jalapenos can cause your metabolism to skyrocket for hours! Jalapenos contain capsaicin, a substance that makes them spicy. Capsaicin also increases your metabolism. You might have noticed that your heart beats faster and you start to sweat when you’ve had spicy food. This spike in your metabolism can last for hours after eating.



Chilli
Like jalapenos, chillis contain high levels of capsaicin, which can cause a spike in your metabolism that can last for hours after eating. Chillis will not only make you perspire but will also boost your metabolism and oxidize fat. The spiciest part of the chilli is the seeds, and some types of chillis are spicier than others, so if you find yourself unable to handle the spiciness scrape out the seeds and slice thinly.


Broccoli

The more quickly and efficiently your body digests your food, the more calories can be burned and the less fat will be stored. Broccoli is rich in Vitamin C and calcium, both of which help to make calorie burning quick and efficient with minimal storage of fat. Calcium is essential for efficient metabolism, and Vitamin C enables your body to absorb more calcium.


Spinach
Dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach are low in calories and high in fibre. This means your body can expend even more calories digesting the vegetables than are actually contained in them, causing you to burn calories as you eat. There’s nothing quite like losing weight as you eat!


Bell peppers

Vegetables rich in Vitamin C, such as bell peppers, can boost your metabolism by helping your body to oxidise fat. Bell peppers aren’t spicy like chilli peppers and do not contain enough capsaicin to enable you to boost your metabolism in the same way chillis do. However, the high levels of Vitamin C in red bell peppers especially make them a suitable vegetable to add to your diet if you’re trying to lose weight.





If you’re trying to lose weight, you should already be adding more vegetables to your diet. When you’re hoping to boost your metabolism, it is useful to remember that spicy foods tend to cause a spike in your metabolism. Low calorie vegetables that are high in fibre tend to lead to calorie burning due to the effort required to digest them. Most importantly, many vegetables are rich in the vitamins and minerals needed for efficient calorie burning, such as calcium and Vitamin C. There has never been a better time to eat your veggies.

Romayne Warner is an international student coordinator at a local Melbourne university, and spends time advising international students about the importance of overseas students health cover and other ways to stay healthy whilst in Australia.