Spinning My Wheels

Journal Prompt: What motivates you in life? What makes you want to wake up each morning? What is your life’s purpose?


I have an inkling that I am not the only person who seriously struggles with these questions.

I have been pondering this question since I presented it to my group several days ago.  I truly don’t know my life’s purpose and it is something I struggle with.  If I knew I might actually have a goal to focus on.

The problem is…I want to do it all…and still have time to do nothing at all some days.  I am often spreading myself too thin and I crave my solitary moments.

  • My self-doubt and fear of failing often hinders me from pursuing my passion in both fitness and animals.  I am so independent that I don’t know how to take these risks because so much relies on my current income.
  • I want to be beautiful
  • I want to be a great mom, a great wife, and a great daughter
  • I want to love myself

I want to hear from you.  Have you figured out your life purpose?  When and how did you come to realize what your life’s purpose is?

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What You Think You Become

Journal Prompt: What are some behaviors, habits, and relationships you could choose to engage in that would give you energy and mental, spiritual, or physical health?


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I’m a Brickhead

The next journal prompt of this series makes me feel like such a brickhead.

Prompt: Are you really too busy to change your habits?Do you spend hours in front of the computer or television?  If you took a “media fast” how much time would you have to connect with friends, exercise, and find better foods?

The truth of it is yes, I often am too busy on the days that I work.  At least that’s what I tell myself.  I work 12 hour shifts but work will often consume 13-13.5 hours per day.  I also work for my trainer in exchange for lessons which takes 1 hour.  If I aim for 8 hours per night that puts me at 22 hours leaving under 2 hours for other things, including preparing for work.  On the days I work it is often very difficult to do anything else, and I often miss out on sleep.

What I will admit, however, is the way I spend my days off.  I often spend way too much time binging on Netflix.  Since I am on nightshift I find it difficult to do much else.  If I were to turn Netflix off for a week I might have a clean house and I would probably begin my workout DVDs again (or go use my new heavy bag).

I don’t know that a media fast would be beneficial for me in connecting with friends.  I tend to be in introvert so I’m not one to reach out to people whether I’m lonely or not.  I plan to eliminate some of my Netflix so that I have time for housecleaning and exercise.

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Catching Up

I’ve been naughty.

In my health support group I have posted journal entries and never actually journalled myself so I’m catching up now.

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Journal Prompt: What are the top 3 emotions or mental habits that keep you from your health goals? Continue reading

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Keeping a Journal….Dear Diary….

Seriously though….I’m beginning a journey to reclaim my health.  Only 3 years ago I was in the best shape of my life and now I’m at my worst.  I began a support group on Facebook and as we prepare for our diet changes I’ve begun us all on a journal challenge.  While some choose to keep private journals I am using this blog as one of my avenues.
Keeping a journal is an important and under-rated tool in achieving goals.  It helps us practice mindfulness and keep ourselves in check in addition to whatever support systems you might (or might not) already have.  Sometimes it can mean the difference between success and failure.

Whenever you have a craving or are struggling emotionally write about it.  Reach for pen and paper BEFORE you reach for food.  Write about how you’re feeling about your situation and what you’re doing about it.  You may find that it’s surprisingly effective.

So…JOIN ME.  Use my prompts for your own journal and write away!

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More Breakfast!

Did I mention that I LOVE breakfast foods?

So maybe I did.  Then it shouldn’t be a surprise that I have another delicious meal to share.

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Cucumber Mint Water

I already love to drink water, but I’ve been exploring various “detox waters” the past couple of days .  When I’m at work sitting at the desk  I can easily drink a gallon of water a day . On my days off however  I don’t usually drink a ton of water  simply because  I don’t think to .  My experimentation is helping me  actively  get more water  on those days off  while  getting some good nutrients out of it as well .

Today was a nice warm day, so it seemed appropriate to try the Cucumber mint water. I took a few slices of cucumber a sprig of mint and I even added some lime juice. Definitely cooling and refreshing.

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Welcome to the 21st Century

I feel so silly now because all this time I’ve wanted to continue blogging but didn’t have to time or patience to sit ar my computer to do it.  Last night I realized there’s an app for WordPress (duh).  With a super busy schedule I rarely go home, my downtime usually consists of giving my horse smoochies at the barn.

Today I’ve begun my detox waters.  I am trying several different kinds but today’s variety is cucumber, lemon, and grapefruit.  The cucumber aids with water weight, lemon with vitamin c, and grapefruit adds vitamin c aling with other enzymes aiding in digrstion and metabolism.

Do you have a detox water that you enjoy?

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New Job, New Routine

I recently began a new job so I’ve put writing on the back-burner.  The job is pretty great and I’m getting used to working nights (6pm – 6am).  Since I started the job my diet has been part time and my exercise hasn’t really been there.  I’m beginning my third week on night shift so it’s beginning to become routine and I’ve been thinking about how to work my schedule to my benefit.

One of the amazing benefits of my job is the onsite 24/7 fitness center.  It features an aerobics studio (that offers classes sometimes), free weights, TRX, cardio machines, ergs, and several other tools that I love using in my workouts.  I went down there last week during lunch and did 20 minutes of cardio.  Now I just need to develop a plan and actually execute it.  Remember failing to plan is planning to fail!

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Garnish Your Plate, Feel Fancy

I made a breakfast the other day that was out of this world!  Not only did it taste good but it looked great too.  I’m pretty sure that by taking the time to garnish the plate the omelette tasted better than it normally would have.  It’s nice to feel pampered, to feel fancy.

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Cauliflower Chowder

Chowderfest…..

Cauliflower Pizza….

Cauliflower Chowder!

I made this recipe a long time ago but it seems timely to share with you now that I’m on a roll.  I love New England clam chowder but I hesitate to enjoy it because a good chowder is super thick and has a ton of calories and fat.  I’m from New England so I have picky taste.  I don’t like bacon in my clam chowder, I don’t like a chowder with too few clams, and I want my chowder so thick the spoon will stand up in it.

I am on a mission to find a healthier recipe so I can still enjoy my chowder.  This is a good start.

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Home-mmm,mmm,mmade Bars

Occasionally I like to make my own “power-bars” to munch on. They aren’t guilt-free but they are a healthy snack to enjoy periodically.  The bars are high in fat but they contain good fats and Omegas.  They are high sugar but mostly from natural sources.  I add chocolate to them to add to the delight but it isn’t necessary.
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Breakfast is the Best-est!

I could eat breakfast every meal every day, in fact I have had breakfast 19 meals in a row before.  Between eggs, oatmeal, pancakes, fruits, cereal, and ham I can devour a “breakfast” any time of day.

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Cheat Days are for Chowderfest!!!

Cheat days can be good if used the right way.  Periodically it is important to trick your body because if you’re constantly dieting you WILL adapt to the continued deficit of calories.  Cheat days rev up your system and help keep your metabolism up.

This week was a great beginning.  I wasn’t perfect but I gradually reined myself in from the indulgent lifestyle I’ve been leading the last couple of years.  I can’t wait to share some high protein foods with you but today takes precedent.  It may have been a little too soon for a cheat day but I REGRET NOTHING.

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Making the Plan

This is only day 2 of my latest journey back to my fitness but I feel upbeat.  Gaining control over one’s diet is the most difficult thing in obtaining a desired body.  It’s all too easy to reach for the things that provide immediate gratification.

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I weighed myself this morning and I am exactly where I expected to be, so my body awareness still seems to be pretty accurate; which is good.  I may not be satisfied with where I am but having awareness over myself and my abilities is critical to prevent injury, sickness, and ultimately failure.  My body hasn’t been out of shape that long relatively speaking so I believe the neurological pathways still exist to retrain and rebuild new muscle; shredding the fat that has become of the old muscle tissue.

Yesterday I under-ate by a couple hundred calories.  Not because I wanted to but because I simply didn’t feel the need to.  Since I’ve been here before I expected the uncontrolled cravings today as a result.  This is helping me increase my fluids because I have a tenancy toward chronic dehydration.  To fight the cravings I’ve actually starting to get the fluids my body needs.

My goal PLAN for this week is to gradually tame my diet and begin my routine.  I have designed an equestrian’s fitness program and I begin tomorrow.  In addition I am actually going to ride my horse more and get back to my yoga and pilates.

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Back in the Saddle

Fighting the Fat Kid Within began while I was in the best shape of my life.  As thin and fit as I might get I am always going to have a fat kid in my head that wants sweets.  Thing is, it is SO much easier to talk about wanting junk food when you’re at your best.  The past 2-3 years I have lacked the courage to continue writing as I slumped into yet another low.  So it would seem that this Fat Kid Within has reared her ugly head again and taken over, right?  Well the beautiful thing is that we can always turn it around.

Three years ago we suffered a shocking loss of a family member.  In the months to follow we had legal/family drama to deal with and fitness took the back burner. As we began to return to our routine I decided on a career change and I also welcomed a gorgeous off track thoroughbred into my life.  He is my first horse after 26 years of being in love with horses.  Then it all unraveled.

My new job?  I was a city carrier assistant with the United States Postal Service.  I was given ZERO benefits and I was expected to basically be available 24/7 to these people.  I had to cover days off, sick days, vacations.  At one point I worked 27 days straight sometimes up to 12 hours a day.  All while getting no time off of my own, no 401k, no health benefits. I just lost an uncle and I was approached with “We need you to understand that uncles are not acknowledged so no matter what you need to be at work.”  As a CCA I didn’t get bereavement anyway but it was astounding how truly heartless management was.  Nobody can truly understand the pressures of being a mailperson until they actually do it, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.  Management plays head games and in some offices are straight up abusive.  I was exhausted working so many days in a row in all weather that I just gave up my diet and exercise altogether.

My new horse?  Sure he was free but any good horseman knows getting the horse is the cheapest part of horse ownership.  Within 3 days of Blade being home he had an abscess on his hoof.  He was underweight, had a colic episode in the first 2 months, and he had ulcers.  BAD ulcers.   In addition to my new job I was putting my horse before myself.  I put weight on him and did extensive research to optimize his nutrition.  Within 3 months he was looking amazing.  We moved farms and in January the next year he fell on ice and was stall-bound for 2-3 months healing.Since we got him back to health I’ve been working with my trainer.  The work has been paying off.

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For almost 2 years I’ve neglected myself.  Other people, animals, and things have come first and I lost my will to fight the fat kid.  As I fell farther off board I became depressed and I simply gave up.

I just left my postal service job; accepting a job with benefits and days off.  I am looking forward to it and have a few weeks before I start.  I will have a regular schedule and my horse is no longer in need of intense attention.  I am finally feeling the wind back in my sails. It will be another long journey but I’m ready.

Are you ready?

 

 

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Chaga Chaga Chaga Chaga….MUSHROOM!

I like to think that I have fairly good intuition.  Before Zumba blew up the gym class scene it began as a simple VHS tape in the 90’s created by Alberto “Beto” Perez.  The VHS consisted of more traditional music and basic steps from a variety of latino dance styles.  That’s when I got hooked to it until it exploded into a craze and forgot its roots.  Similarly, when I purchase a new CD I typically hear my favorite songs aired on the radio within two months.  There have been several instances over the years where I saw a particular product pr program and within a year it was mainstream.  I’m never the first to get to it but it’s neat to see things I’m interested in develop over time.  I imagine and hope that Krav Maga will become more popular among the right crowd. Continue reading

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Getting Back Into A Routine

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As humans with lives and careers we can only expect to have things happen that get out routines out of whack.  I am going through this very thing at the moment and finally starting to turn it into a routine.

I’ve recently adopted a horse, left my job and started with a new career focus, lost my grandfather, and picked up more clients (fitness coaching).  More details to come as I am beginning back to my writings.

What are some of the things that have gotten you out of your routine?  What did you do to get around it?  Comment below or message me for discussion on how we can improve future routines!

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BOLD AND FIERCE!

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Beauty Is a Beast

Slide1Since when did we have to choose to be EITHER a beast OR a beauty?  A powerful and fierce individual can also be beautiful, stunning, GORGEOUS.

 Be SMART, be BEAUTIFUL, be a BEAST!

What are a few powerful adjectives that you aspire to?

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Eyes on the Prize!

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Do You

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How about some hump day motivation?  All too often we allow the people in our lives who mean the most to us talk us into failing.  The truth is that people, whether consciously or not, don’t want to see you succeed.  They may fear losing you or they don’t want to feel inferior; people just don’t like change.  I have allowed myself to fail several times from this.  The key is to push through and never give it until you reach THAT goal.  People are trying to feed you food you shouldn’t eat?  People are telling you “you’re fine the way you are.”  Let all of that fade to black and white as you persist to achieve what you really want from life. It doesn’t have to be all about diet and exercise; it can be about career goals, hobbies, etc.  Be yourself and you will find people who love you for it.

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Ten Reasons Why You Should Never Learn Krav Maga

Krav maga is a practical street defense designed to end a violent attack quickly and efficiently.  While it’s been around for many years few know what it truly is.  I’ve composed a few reasons below for why you should never learn krav maga.

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1.   It will never happen to you.

In 2013 there were 1,163,146 violent crimes reported in the United States.  Certainly it will never happen to you.  When you were 16 you said accidents will never happen to you when you start driving.  I bet you haven’t had one yet, right?

2.   You are peaceful

Well in that case, definitely do NOT learn krav.  The violent criminals out there will completely understand that you do not want any trouble and they will steer clear.

3.   You’re afraid and/or have low self confidence

Violent criminals choose to assault people who have confidence and look ready to fight. They like to “play the odds.”

4.   You don’t have time

In that case, don’t try krav maga.  You don’t need another thing on your plate even if it means preserving the life you’ve made for yourself.

5.   You train in a different martial art

Well then you must know everything there is to know about self defense, sensei. Krav maga is, after all, a blending of several disciplines and we all know that mixtures can never be quite as good. Who in their right mind would love a twist cone, sweet/salty, or chocolate/peanut butter?

6.   You can’t afford it

True, krav maga does have a price to it; therefore don’t learn it. Your Starbucks coffee, cigarettes, and fancy dinners take priority. After all, if you are hurt or killed you have health and life insurance.

7.   You’re out of shape, too young, too old, or have a medical condition

Just a reiteration that bad guys have hearts and won’t target you at all; they love risking their own safety going after people who CAN defend themselves.

8.   Because Martial Arts are all fake Hollywood crap

All that choreography is really well rehearsed, huh? I guess someone should tell that to the military personnel who use krav maga in the field. You’re right, krav maga must be fake since it never hurts when you get poked in the eye or hit in the groin.

9.   You don’t want to get hurt

Right on!  You don’t want to prepare yourself for a violent encounter; you are a soulful child who loves the element of surprise.

10.   I’m not a secret agent or active military

Statistics clearly show that 1,163,146 violent crimes were reported in 2013.  The U.S. must have a LOT of people working as secret agents.  Civilians NEVER get held up at gun or knife-point, robbed, and raped.

tumblr_inline_mx5zdr2RG61rfkellI hope I’ve properly warned you about some of the things you may encounter when attending a krav maga class.  You might gain self-worth, discipline, confidence, and you might make new friends.  It may be pricy in some areas but it is priceless when you can defend and save your own life; it may even save the life of a beloved family member.  If you come out of the land of rainbow unicorn farts and would like more information, please contact me anytime.  A brief background to Krav maga can be found in an earlier post from last October entitled Krav Maga! It’s a form of Yoga?  You can also check out Kelevra Krav Maga at http://kelevrakrav.com

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What Are You Waiting For?

Motivation

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My Exciting News

Hello my friends!

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I have been training hard and running mud runs for years now.  I have been teaching fitness classes for a year or two.  Someday soon I will even be taking on personal clients.  One thing that has made a huge difference in my training has been BCAAs (Branched chain amino acids).  I wrote briefly about them in FRIED-DAY from October 2014, and  I will also add some more in depth information in the coming days. When I was looking for BCAAs I had tried at least 5 different brands.  Most of them were disgusting, cheap (you get what you pay for), and left solids on the bottom.  It was difficult to drink; and then I found Cellucor.  These worked very well, tasted great, and didn’t leave settled solids on the bottom of the shaker bottle.  I swear by my BCAAs for my workouts; without them I would be too sore to move the day after a workout.

This week I finally made another step in the next direction.  I am excited to announce Cellucor has accepted me as an affiliate for their products.

What does this mean for you?

This means that you can now visit the Cellucor website and use “SCRIBNER” at checkout to receive 25% off your entire order.  Not 5%, not 15%….25%!  Click on the cellucor logo to check out what they have to offer.

I recently saved $95 off my latest order of BCAAs.  In addition. I am trying a new pre-workout to help me cut fat and power my workouts, C4 Ripped.

If you have any questions for me please don’t hesitate to reach out and ask.




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Mentors

Heroes, idols, role models, mentors.  It is natural for each one of us to look up to somebody.  We see a person and we strive to situate our lives in a similar way.  You may not know it but you could be someone’s hero/idol/mentor.

There are many reasons why we focus on certain individuals.  We see a successful person and we also want success…it’s only common sense to learn from the successful person.  We see someone that is popular or that is wise and we wish to absorb some of their brilliance.

I have my mentors; I say this plural because I have many.  I don’t wish to be identical to any one of them but I do admire specific qualities of each.  One of the most important lessons that I’ve learned from my mentors is that we are all human and have our flaws.  The closer I get to knowing my mentors the more flaws I see.  The realization is humbling; it brings a person back to Earth if you’ve had them on a pedestal.  The most important thing to remember is not to hold their faults against them; you wouldn’t want someone to hold yours against you.

As I step further into my passion and future career in fitness and nutrition I find new mentors to guide and enhance my skill set.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Mentor Me.”

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I Cruncha on Cruncha Ma-Me

Walking through the #1 grocery store (Wegman’s) I stumbled upon a product called Cruncha ma-me.  I looked at the package and the nutritional label and decided to give it a shot.  So let’s take a look!

Visit their website at http://crunchamame.com/content/about-cruncha-ma-me

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Nutritional Information

  • Calories: 90
  • Total Fat: 4g
    • Saturated Fat: 0.5g
    • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol:0mg
  • Sodium: 190mg
  • Total Carbohydrate: 7g
    • Fiber: 3g
    • Sugar: 1g
  • Protein: 8g

Ingredients: Edamame, onion & chive seasoning (sea salt, flavorings, all-natural yeast extract, garlic, green onion, chives, parsley, citric acid), safflower oil


HOW DOES IT FARE?

Company: 4/5

The company seeks to deliver healthy snacks that are gluten free, vegan, and non-GMO.  The company has also partnered with carbonfund.org to offset the energy required to freeze dry their snacks.  This helps with reforestation, renewable energy, and energy efficiency.

Appearance: 5/5

No words are necessary here…they look exactly as the should.

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Taste: 10/10

I tried the onion and chive as well as the naked varieties.  You can really taste the edamame with the naked variety.  The onion and chive gave reminded me of sour cream and onion chips.  The texture was much like a peanut, but if you eat a handful it forms a thick paste that is difficult to swallow.  Eat one at a time and you will enjoy this a lot!

Ingredients & Nutrition: 10/10

The ingredients are simple; my favorite thing is simplicity.  The snack is a single serving bag which helps prevent mindlessly overeating.  The whole bag is less than 100 calories, only adds 1g of sugar, and provides more protein than carbohydrate.

Variety: 5/5

You can get this product naked, jalapeno, onion & chive, sea salt & black pepper, or lightly seasoned.

Availability: 1/5

You can buy this online and at the Wegman’s in Burlington, MA.  Aside from that it’s uncertain where else you can find Cruncha Ma-me.  The company does not have a store locater.

My score: 35/40

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Live and Enjoy the Ride

Every day we watch the clock.  We can’t wait for the day to pass, can’t wait for the weekend, can’t wait for next month, summer, winter, next year, graduation, etc.  Do you find yourself rushing to work or rushing home?  Always in a rush?

We only get a short period of time to live our lives.  If you were to quantify the amount of time you spend in a rush would you be surprised?

These days, especially if you live in the northeastern United States, people get furious waiting and rushing around.  People get impatient and want to speed up time to get to another future event.  But what happens when that future doesn’t meet your expectations?  You’ve just wasted your history, hundreds and thousands of heartbeats waiting and rushing around…don’t you wish you had enjoyed that time?  When you’re stuck in traffic, turn up the music and sing.

I am overweight and have gained 25 pounds this winter in a short period of time.  I am miserable about it, yes, but I keep reminding myself to enjoy the ride.  I’d love to rush to getting thin again but if I don’t enjoy it what is that time worth?  I enjoy every minute I go to the gym, every minute of krav maga I take.

Think about the time you spend rushing around, getting upset, or anxiously waiting for the time to pass.  Learn how to make that experience go from a negative to a positive.  The more time you spend being happy and enjoying it the less time you spend releasing stress hormones that cause weight gain.

TRY IT and tell me how you’re doing!

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Zing, Might Not Call Them AmaZING But Pretty Good

I have been absolutely terrible about posting lately.  I have been under a lot of stress personally and professionally.  I have also been reading a wonderful new book (I can’t wait to share it with you!)

Today’s review features a bar I found at a grocery store called Zing!  Let’s begin:

Find them at: http://www.zingbars.com/

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Nutritional Information

  • Calories: 220
  • Total Fat: 12g
    • Saturated Fat: 4g
    • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol:0mg
  • Sodium: 100mg
  • Total Carbohydrate: 23g
    • Fiber: 5g
    • Sugar: 13g
  • Protein: 10g

Ingredients: Organic Dark Chocolate (organic sugar, organic cocoa liquor, organic cocoa butter, organic vanilla, sunflower lecithin, milk), rice protein concentrate, organic tapioca syrup, hazelnuts, organic agave syrup, almonds, chicory root fiber, pea protein crisps (pea protein, pea starch, rice flour, calcium carbonate), unsweetened coconut, rice bran, vanilla extract, sunflower lecithin, natural maple flavor, sea salt, mixed tocopherols (Natural vitamin E)


HOW DOES IT FARE?

Company: 5/5

The company was began by a group of registered dieticians.  Although I don’t always rely on the title (you see plenty of “fake” doctors etc. out there) this company seems to have a pretty solid foundation.

Appearance: 5/5

The bars look very appealing.  Shown here is the peanut.  The dark chocolate hazelnut is coated in real chocolate.

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Taste: 9/10

The peanut tasted a lot like a Quest bar…it had a similar texture to it.  It had a great flavor.  The Dark Chocolate Hazelnut bar was a bit different, it was sweet and very chocolatey.  It may be high in sugar but for a chocolate craving it did the job.

Ingredients & Nutrition: 8/10

I’ve seen bars with worse ingredients but I’ve also seen better.  It is extremely difficult to find a perfect bar.  In fact I don’t eat as many bars anymore fir that very reason.  The sugar content is high.

Variety: 5/5

The company offers bars with brown rice protein, pea protein, or whey protein.  I don’t see many companies that offer such a variety.  The company also offers ten flavors to choose from.

Availability: 3/5

The company has a long way to go if it wants to see more store shelves.  You might be able to find it in a store if you’re near a city.  As always you can find these online.

My score: 35/40

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Stop Eatin’ and Start Steppin’!

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The Caveman Bar, Not a Caveman Diet Food

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I forgot exactly where I found this bar but when I spotted them I couldn’t resist trying these out.  I purchased the wild blueberry nut, dark chocolate cherry nut, and dark chocolate almond coconut.

Check out the website at http://www.cavemanfoods.com/


Nutritional Information

  • Calories:200
  • Total Fat: 11g
    • Saturated Fat: 1g
    • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: mg
  • Sodium: 65mg
  • Total Carbohydrate: 19g
    • Fiber: 3g
    • Sugar: 11g
  • Protein: 5g

Ingredients: Sunflower seeds, almonds, brown rice syrup, currants, evaporated cane syrup, dried apples, cashews, sesame seeds, blueberry pieces (blueberry, sugar), natural flavor, sea salt


HOW DOES IT FARE?

Company: 3/5

 The first thought in my mind when I read the ingredients list was “false advertising.” While Cave Man bars don’t claim to be a paleo friendly food, the name can easily be mistaken.  The paleo diet is thought of as the “caveman diet” and a person on the go can easily mistake the Caveman Bar to be part of this trend.  Do not be fooled, brown rice syrup and cane sugar would make this bar NOT paleo friendly.  Despite my major qualm with the bar founder, Chris is an avid swimmer and athlete.

Appearance: 5/5

These bars looks delicious!

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Taste: 8/10

The blueberry bar delivers a delicious punch of flavor to the tastebuds.  The bar is very sweet, and I wonder why the decision was made to add so much unnecessary sugar. The bar might even be better with no sugar added; blueberries are often sweet enough on their own.

Ingredients & Nutrition: 6/10

 The bar is gluten free and contains a simple list of ingredients.  Unfortunately the makers felt the need to add brown rice syrup and evaporated cane sugar to make the product overly sweet.  The bar has 11g of sugar and only 5g of protein.  The good taste came at a price for this bar.

Variety: 5/5

 You have 8 delicious looking flavors to choose from here.

Availability: 3/5

 The bar has partners with several retailers like 7-eleven and Costco.  They do not offer a store locator on the website but you can purchase these online as well.  They also might provide you a sample for $1 shipping and handling.

 

My score: 30/40

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Quick Strength

This week I want to focus a bit on developing strength.  Choose 4-5 days this week and do 25 pushups, 50 crunches, and 25 squats.

Pushups:  Start on your toes.  If you can only get to one or two that’s fine.  Improve over time but make an effort to get there.  Lower yourself down to a couple of inches off the floor, your elbows at a 90 degree angle.  Don’t lower your head, keep your spine neutral.  If you find yourself looking down toward your feet you are lowering your head…pick it up to look at the spot of floor just in front of where your hands are.

Crunches:  Don’t rush these.  Exhale on each lift.  Imagine a string pulling your shoulders toward the ceiling….DON’T pull your head toward your knees.

Squats: Imagine you are sitting down into a chair…your butt comes backward.  Your knees don’t come over your toes.  Lower yourself nice and deep, knees should be at 90 degree angle.  Choose a fixed spot halfway up the wall in front of you and keep your eyes on it.  Exhale as you stand up.

If you keep this up 4-5 times a week you are going to notice a difference.

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NuGo Slim: High protein, Low sugar

My last few reviews of products (with the exception of Kind Bars) seem to have something in common that a great reader of mine pointed out: high sugar (Donna has a fantastic blog called Homemade Naturally, check it out sometime for some great chemical-free ideas).

To address this, I went out looking for a low sugar, high protein product.  One of the ones that I picked up might be familiar to some of you.  Nugo manufactures several lines of snack bars, but today I am focused on Nugo Slim.

Check the website out here: http://www.nugonutrition.com/products/slim/

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Nutritional Information

  • Calories:190
  • Total Fat: 6g
    • Saturated Fat: 2.5g
    • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Sodium: 160mg
  • Total Carbohydrate: 19g
    • Fiber: 7g
    • Sugar: 2g
  • Protein: 16g

Ingredients: Protein Mix [non-GMO soy crisp (non-gmo soy protein, tapioca, calcium carbonate), non-gmo whey protein isolate, calcium caseinate, non-gmo rice protein], chicory root, vegetable glycerine, bittersweet dark chocolate (chocolate liquor, cane sugar, cocoa butter, vanilla), almonds, chocolate liquor, cocoa powder, rice bran, natural flavors, peanuts, salt

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HOW DOES IT FARE?

Company: 5/5

While many of the companies I have been reviewing seem to highlight the founders and team that make up the company, this Pennsylvania based company is more focused on business.  They don’t have quite the community feel that the other companies create, but they still demonstrate a commitment to each other.  Some of the proceeds from NuGo go toward the Children’s Alopecia Project (CAP).

The company’s blog brings the community together much better, offering recipes and spotlighting a new athlete each month.

Appearance: 5/5

The bar is exactly as you’d expect, a bar coated in delicious dark chocolate.

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Taste: 9/10

I tried the brownie crunch bar and I really enjoyed it.  It had a unique taste but it was clear that real chocolate was used.  The bar was dipped in real chocolate and it certainly has the taste of a cripy chocolate brownie.

Ingredients & Nutrition: 9/10

The NuGo slim line boasts a high protein low sugar trend.  These bars contain around 15-17g of protein, 7g fiber, and only 2g of sugar.  This is fantastic!  Better yet, since this company has been a bit more established studies have been done on glycemic index.  These bars have a tested glycemic index of 24. In addition to low glycemic, the bars contain no sugar alcohols such as maltitol.  This is especially important and it reminds me that I should cover this topic in a future installment (more reason to follow along and keep in touch!)

These bars are gluten free and the slim line is waiting for verification for entry to the non-GMO project.

Variety: 5/5

If we are looking at the slim line alone we have 5 flavors to choose from: brownie crunch, roasted peanut, raspberry truffle, crunchy peanut butter, and espresso.  In addition we can also choose from NuGo’s other lines, Dark, Organic, Free, Stronger, Family, Fiber, and Smarte Carb!  You’ve got a lot of choices here.

Availability: 4/5

I purchased mine at a Whole Foods store in Rhode Island.  A quick search using the store locater indicate that other grocery chains, Office Mix, and Vitamin Shoppe will carry this product.  In order to make sure they have the flavor you want I would suggest ordering them online.  They offer variety packs to help you choose a favorite flavor.

My score: 37/40

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Ode To My Mixer Bottle

Sitting here in this kitchen drawer

My mixer bottle lays waiting for it’s chore.

This mixer positioned by my side

Awaiting and ready to provide

Through each session, for my reps every set

This elixir it offers grants my needs, they are met

My body and mind thanks you for this gain

Oh, mixer bottle, you’ve helped me again

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Pure Organic Bars

While I was driving home from my weekly business trip one week I stopped into a rest area.  Unfortunately I was hungry and hadn’t packed anything with me.  To my dismay my typical go-to was not offered at this location.  I typically look for Core Protein Pro Series or Eggs Asap!.  As I picked up a bottle of water and a few other items my eyes came across these bars at the register.  I picked a couple up (Banana Coconut and Chocolate Brownie).  Unfortunately I haven’t gotten around to eating them until now.  These bars contain nuts like almonds and walnuts; something I keep away from my home as there are severe allergies there.  Once I left for another trip I could then try them out.

Check out the website at http://thepurebar.com/

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Nutritional Information

  • Calories: 180
  • Total Fat: 7g
    • Saturated Fat: 1g
    • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol:0mg
  • Sodium: 0mg
  • Potassium: 270mg
  • Total Carbohydrate: 28g
    • Fiber: 4g
    • Sugar: 19g
  • Protein: 5g

Ingredients: Dates, agave nectar, cashew butter, cocoa, almonds, walnuts, brown rice protein, pea protein


HOW DOES IT FARE?

Company: 5/5

A loving mother named Veronica began the Pure Organic journey as a way to provide healthy snacks to the vegetarian/vegan community.  As it’s expended the company gives back to it’s community, donating to various charities all around the world.  The website also encourages community, holding recipe contests and various other ways to network with other people who enjoy a healthy lifestyle.

Appearance: 5/5

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When I think of a chocolate brownie this is what I would expect to see.  You can actually see pieces of the almonds and walnuts in the bar, delightful!

Taste: 9/10

This bar offered the right amount of sweetness.  While I could yap about the high sugar content I really think they found a good balance of flavor here.  I can definitely taste the chocolate and that’s exactly what I would go for.

Ingredients & Nutrition: 8/10

Have you read the ingredients list?  Fantastic!  You really can’t get too much simpler.  I really like that this company has left their product simple.  All of the products are certified organic, non-gmo, dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free, and kosher.

With that said I would continue eating this bar as a chocolate craving crusher.  The bar is very high in sugar (19g!).  This is a MUCH better choice than a KitKat or Snickers by a long shot since the sugars and fat sources are natural.  I’d also pick this up after a workout or even as a morning snack.

Variety: 5/5

This company has been well established and they have come out with a huge variety.  Not into bars?  They also offer snack sticks and fruit/veggie strips.  The website offers:

–>9 Flavors of Fruit and Nut Bars

–>3 Flavors of Ancient Grains Bars (with quinoa, amaranth, flax, and hemp)

–>2 Flavors of Fruit and Veggie Strips

–>2 Flavors of Fruit Sandwiches (multi-layered fruit puree bar)

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Availability: 5/5

Buy it online or go to the website to use their store locator.  You can even make an account and set up recurring shipments.  It seems that this bar has been pretty well established so you can find them in a lot of places.  I found mine at a service station on the New York state thruway (which saved me since they didn’t offer “Eggs Asap!” or Core Protein)

My score: 37/40

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Afternoon in the Park

Working Out in the Park

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Crying Over Spilled Gains

Many of the fitness fanatics out there will know the loss felt when protein powder, bcaas, or any other supplement has been fumbled.  This one is for you:
spilled1

My protein, lain across the rugged blacktop

Why, oh why, had your lid been ajar?

Today the gym windows will remain unfogged

For without you my training is hogged

 

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Just Another Ordinary Day At The Gym

KETTLEBELLPOEM

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Trust Your T.R.A.I.N.E.R.

Trust yourself to start, trust with your heart

Reap the rewards of your hard work, that’s quite a perk

Always do your best, for it’s you who you need to impress

Inspire yourself, others will follow your fire

Never give in to your inner villain

Energize yourself with exercise for your mental and physical strength

Remember from where you came and stay true to your aim

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A Little Lifting Limerick

As I was drinking my pre-workout shake

A nasty wet hiccup I did make

I tasted the powder

And then felt the power

As my muscles became more awake


Once I sipped my strength elixir

Of the tall shaker bottle mixer

I began with a getup

So I got all setup

With a weight that would crush a hipster


I really enjoy the training I do

As it makes me a person anew

Set after set

and rep after rep

I get stronger and fiercer than you


 

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Stay Thirsty, My Friends

Strong, fresh, pure, and calm

Protean like the water

Hydrate, stay healthy

 

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Health Warrior’s Chia Bar

I’ve got another installment of my reviews for you!

This time I’ve tried the Health Warrior’s Chia Bars. I was shopping around a grocery store in Buffalo, NY when I found these.  The shelf at the store offered coconut, mango, and acai flavors.

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Visit the website here:

http://www.healthwarrior.com/


Nutritional Information

  • Calories: 100
  • Total Fat: 5g
    • Saturated Fat: 0.5g
    • Trans Fat: 0g
    • Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g
    • Monounsaturated Fat: 1.5g
  • Cholesterol:0mg
  • Sodium: 45mg
  • Total Carbohydrate: 14g
    • Fiber: 4g
    • Sugar: 5g
  • Protein: 3g

Ingredients: White chia seeds, organic cashew butter, brown rice syrup, rolled oats, cranberries (cranberries, apple juice concentrate, sunflower oil), organic agave syrup, organic brown rice crisps (organic brown rice, organic brown rice syrup, sea salt), Arabic gum, strawberry powder (with rice flour and sunflower lecithin), freeze dried acai powder (with citric acid), rice syrup solid, vanilla extract, natural flavor, sea salt, mixed tocopherols (natural vitamin E).  


HOW DOES IT FARE?

Company: 5/5

The company was founded by a couple of hedge fund managers.  They based their ideas around the concept of chia seeds as used by Tarahumara Indians.  This group of natives rely on chia and are among the world’s best endurance athletes.

Appearance: 4/5

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This bar looks tasty.  Exactly as they should appear, they look like fruit and seeds mashed together.  They are not trying to add any additional “junk” to make them look any prettier.  What you see is what you get.  I prefer this.  You see so many companies worried about the appearance of their bars, let’s worry about what’s in them!

Taste: 9/10

I tried the acai berry bar as well as the coconut bar.  The taste was very good.  The chia seeds were crunchy and acai has a great natural flavor.

Ingredients & Nutrition: 8/10

In my opinion a good bar should need added sugar, especially when using mostly fruit.  With that said there is only 5g of sugar in the bar.  As long as these are kept in the “snack” category there isn’t a need to be concerned.  The chia seeds used are sourced well and traceable.  The bars are non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free, and soy-free.

Variety: 5/5

There are a total of eight flavors available: apple cinnamon, mango, chocolate peanut butter, banana nut, coconut, coffee, acai berry, and dark chocolate cherry.

Availability: 4/5

Fortunately we live in the era that allows us to get practically anything over the internet.  I typically only ever see three flavors in one store and I’m anxious to try out the others.  I’m very intrigued by the chocolate peanut butter and apple cinnamon varieties.  So far I have seen these in a few grocery stores, but you can use the store locator on their website to find stores near you.

 

My score: 35/40

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Quick and Dirty Workout Week III

Need to freshen up your quick fix?

Let’s try a new workout for this week.

To learn about the app and setup I recommend, check out Week I

You can also find week II here.

Again, I’m sticking with our 20/10 4 minute rounds and I’m alternating a couple of moves through each set.  This week let’s focus on quick feet.

tumblr_ll1yz62JBY1qjuuqbo1_500 Continue reading

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Something To Think About

Watch your thoughts,

                   for they become words.

Watch your words,

                     for they become actions.

Watch your actions,

                       for they become habits.

Watch your habits,

              for they become character.

Watch your character,

     for it becomes your destiny.

-Lao Tzu

Who you are and what you become starts with how you think.  Think, say, and be positive.  Think, say, and become success!

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I’ve Been Nominated!

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I have recently been nominated for the Liebster Award by lincahceria5.  Please visit the blog at https://masihbersambung.wordpress.com/

The Liebster award gets it’s roots from German as “Liebster” directly translates to “dearest.”  The award given from blogger to blogger; in the eye of the nominator the awarded blog fits this quality.   It seems that there are several sets of rules regarding this award circulating the internet.  To stay in line with lincahceria5 the rules state that if you are nominated you must:

  1. Attach the Liebster Award logo to your blog
  2. Thank and tag the blog that nominated you
  3. Answer the 10 questions given to you from the blog that nominated you
  4. Create 10 new questions for your new set of nominees
  5. Nominate 8 blogs, you cannot re-nominate the blog that tagged you.

Continue reading

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How Cookies Are Best Enjoyed

Traveling frequently I practically live on cold cuts and carrots.  Every now and then I really enjoy a salad or a “You Pick 2” from a chain restaurant, Panera.   My personal favorite is the Asian sesame chicken salad with chicken noodle soup.  When I get this the cashier asks if I would like a bakery item for only 99 cents extra and I say “yes.”  I am handed a ticket to redeem at the bakery that day so I can come back and choose what I’d like after I’ve eaten my lunch/dinner.  Instead, I hand back the ticket and ask that it be given to someone else that day.

This isn’t the kindest thing I’ve done by any means but it’s something that I love doing.  I’m obeying my diet and still enjoying my cookie…only better.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Nice Is as Nice Does.”

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Quick and Dirty Cardio Week II

It’s Sunday once again so let’s revise our quick workout for you.  Changing your workout is called progression.  P90X will tell you it’s muscle confusion and it essentially is.  You get used to a particular workout.  We recommend our KFX class at Kelevra 2-3 times per week and there are 3 completely different workouts designed every week.  Our twelve week program builds from week to week.tumblr_m6hzxkQsxX1ro6lcqLast week I had you try out two 4 minutes sets.  Since we’re keeping it short I will be giving you the same time but lets give you a few different things to try out this week.  In order to get the app I suggested last time, please return to last week’s post here.

For your first set, I’d like you to start with jumping jacks again.  I love how this simple exercise pumps the blood through the body.  Alternate these jumping jacks with skater hops.

Skater Hops:

Jump to your right, land on your right leg.  As you land get low enough to touch the floor with your left hand.   Now jump off of your right leg as far to the left as you can, landing on your left leg and touching the floor with your right hand.  When your doing this keep your eyes up.  Focus on something about halfway up the wall.  This will help you keep your back flat.

For set two I want you to alternate pushups with bicycle crunches.

Try this a few times this week and let me know how you do!

 

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Apple Cider Vinegar

I recently read an article by Homemade Naturally giving some great tips for using vinegar and baking soda as cleaning agents in the house as an alternative to bleach and chemicals.  I knew some of the tips but I’m looking forward to trying some of the ideas I learned from this blog.  For example, to disinfect my wooden cutting board I could use baking soda and vinegar!  So simple and so much better than anything else you could do!  I love it.

Pertaining to the health world I have heard of a few great claims for vinegar myself.  For one, you can soak a rag with vinegar and leave it on a sunburn.  The acidity draws heat away from the burn.  We didn’t believe it at first but tried it in Hawaii.  We were shocked when it actually worked!

The use of vinegar in the health industry is a huge slew of claims.  Some people believe that apple cider vinegar will help with cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, and other ailments.  While there isn’t a ton of information regarding the use of it the claims aren’t entirely incorrect.

  • Use Apple cider vinegar to cook food instead of butter and oil.  My favorite is an apple cider vinegar asparagus.  I cook it right in the pan with a nice portion of apple cider vinegar and a sprinkle of black pepper.  The result is healthier than using butter, it’s easy, and best of all, it’s delicious.
    • This will help reduce cholesterol….less butter!
  • Apple cider vinegar is acidic (duh).  The acidic properties help us absorb some important nutrients.  While the vinegar itself is low on nutrients it will help your body absorb calcium from your meal.  Take a shot of vinegar before you eat (or dilute in water a bit).
  • Apple cider vinegar has been said to aid in weight loss  and diabetes control.  There are some studies that suggest vinegar deactivates some digestive enzymes resulting in a slower release of sugar into the bloodstream.  This is especially useful for people with Type II diabetes.
  • We can also wash some of our fruits and veggies with a vinegar solution to remove harmful pesticides.  Just a 10% solution will do the trick (1 cup vinegar in 9 cups of water).  Some people use a 1:3 solution.
  • Vinegar also works with heartburn.  If you’re suffering from heartburn take a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, chase it with some water if you need to.  It’s amazing how quickly the burn goes away.

Further Reading:

http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/food-nutrition/facts/the-health-benefits-of-vinegar.htm

http://www.livestrong.com/article/89768-benefits-drinking-vinegar/

http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/clean-fruits-vegetables-vinegar-8777.html

http://healthwyze.org/index.php/component/content/article/221-why-you-should-use-apple-cider-vinegar-instead-of-antacids-and-baking-soda-for-indigestion.html

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Energy Metabolism: Part 1

Let’s get technical for a moment.  How much do you really know about your body?  Cardio good….sugar bad….etc.  Do you actually know how we get the energy we need to power our bodies?  When we go running or weight lifting, how does it affect you?  The truth is that your metabolism will be affected differently depending on the exercise you choose to do.

 

ATP Continue reading

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Quick and Dirty Cardio

Need to get a little something in and have no time?  Do you have 5 minutes?  10?  Then you have time for SOMETHING.  People who are serious about their health make time for exercise.  If you want to take your health seriously stop making excuses and try this out.

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High intensity interval training (HIIT) is my go-to exercise.  The concept is used throughout the industry and in many different ways but it revolves around the basic concept of efficiency.  To give you the short version, your body will have the ability to burn calories for up to 48 hours after you’ve performed high intensity intervals.  I will follow up with you later to tell you the scientific facts about the benefits of interval training.  Follow me to stay tuned. Continue reading

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