You don’t have to workout for hours to get significant results, period.

Check out more of my favorite workout DVD’s here (click picture).

The title of this post says it all.  How do I know this is?  Because I’ve experienced it first hand after pulling back and chilling out a bit with my workouts while getting the same results.  You don’t have to run 6 miles, 3 is ok and actually better for you overall.  You don’t necessarily have to do a 45-minute cardio circuit workout, 20-minutes will suffice.  And you certainly don’t have to do a an hour long yoga practice, unless you want to of course.

Why?  Well, in addition to the research to prove it, you can still make a significant impact on your body working out less and in addition, you could also be saving yourself from potential harm in the long run with the overuse of joints, bones and muscles.  This is what happened to me.  I was working out hard and long at least 6 days per week when suddenly my left knee gave out. I had a torn miniscus that needed surgery and rehab; which took some time and gave me a new perspective, but not enough.

I started working on my upper body more as I was recovering with lots of “hard” pushups, planks and weights; then came the bicep tendonitis.  At first I thought that I was just sore from all of the exercise, but when the pain started to spread down my arm, over my shoulder and up my neck, I knew something was wrong.  First order of business with a diagnosis like this is to stop doing any sort of upper body exercises paired with high doses anti-inflammatory drugs then rehab again.

Within one year both my lower body and upper body were screaming out for mercy, but since I knew that exercise will always be a part of my life, I had to find workouts that gave me the same results while not overpowering my body.  I simply had been working out too hard for too long and finally came to the realization that there’s no need for that to look and feel my best.

Here are 4 of my short effective workouts that offer a mixture of cardio, strengthening and elongating exercises that make me feel wonderful without taking too much of my time. Whatever exercises you choose to do, remember that something is always better than nothing, move your body, stay healthy and eat wisely.

akickJillian Michaels Kickbox Fastfix is a workout DVD that offers three tough 20-minute workouts that I do every week.  They fit into any busy schedule while giving you a kick butt workout that will break a sweat and make you feel strong, mentally and physically.

aphysPhysique 57 Thigh & Seat Booster is one of the most impactful body sculpting 30-minutes you’ll ever experience.  This barre type workout will tone your lower body like no other; while also strengthening your center at the same time.

ajackiewarnerPersonal Circuit Training with Jackie Warner offers 5 powerful workout options with 4 of them being only 15-minutes long.  You have the option to pick and choose which workouts you’d like to do each day with each one focuses on a different area of the body.  These workouts offer serious body-changing results that don’t take a lot of time.

aampedThe Ballet Physique “Amped Up” should be in every workout DVD library because it offers short bursts of exercises categorized into sections that work on different areas of the body or you can choose to do the whole workout in its entirety.  I love the thigh, butt and ab exercise options the most and will do 1 or 2 of them per day.

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Lemon Turmeric Water; reasons why you should be drinking it

aturmDid you know turmeric is potentially the most healthful herb in existence?  A medicinal spice that has been used in India for thousands of years is finally getting the attention it deserves.  There are numerous brain and health benefits that come from eating and drinking turmeric, here’s just a few of them.

  1. Turmeric contains compounds called curcuminoids that have powerful anti-inflammatory effects that fight foreign invaders and repair damage.  It’s been shown to successfully treat arthritis more effectively than anti-inflammatory drugs.
  2. Turmeric can prevent brain diseases like Alzheimer’s.
  3. Turmeric has been shown to improve the function of blood vessels, regulates blood pressure and fight heart disease.
  4. Turmeric helps play a role in preventing cancer and potentially even treating it by reducing the growth of cells, particularly digestive cancers such as colon.
  5. Turmeric can alleviate symptoms of depression and has been shown to be as effective as prozac by boosting the brain’s serotonin and dopamine levels.

Now that you know all of the benefits of turmeric, one of the easiest ways to start including it in your diet is in drink form.  This particular simple drink includes another beneficial ingredient, lemon; which you can learn about here.  Just mix 1 1/2 cups of water, 1/3 cup of fresh lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of turmeric and a pinch of cinnamon and drink up!  It’s actually quite tasty and knowing all the good you are doing for your body only makes it taste that much better.

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New study says drinking 1 glass of wine is equivalent to exercising for 1 hour


Learn how red wine can also release body fat here (click picture).

Who wouldn’t rather drink wine than go to the gym? Well, it turns out, a new study is showing that one glass of red wine could be equivalent to exercising for one hour by offering the same benefits. How is that possible?

Let me first start by saying that I would never condone drinking alcohol as a sport over traditional exercise, but I do find research like this interesting. Understanding what a glass of wine does once it enters your body, good or bad, is educating and important information for health and wellness warriors like myself.

So here’s the lowdown. The University of Alberta in Canada conducted a study and discovered that resveratrol, a compound found in red wine, can provide similar benefits compared to an hour of cross-training type exercise. One glass of red wine, and only red wine, not white or any other type of alcohol, can positively affect physical strength and overall performance, in addition to heart function.

The study is also very specific in saying that only one glass of red wine should be consumed each day, any more than that will not count as another hour at the gym but counted as additional calories causing potential weight gain; the opposite affect.

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4 simple ways to reduce belly bloat

Read more from Skinny Healthy Girl here (click the picture).

Learn how to reduce sodium in your diet starting today (click picture).

Does it seem like your belly is always bloated?  With Spring is in the air, now more than ever, we all have a tendency to take a closer look in the mirror after a long Winter and almost always there seems to be an enlarged belly looking back at us.

It could be simply excess air trapped in our digestive tract.  It could be from drinking too much of anything.  Or it could be from specific foods that we’re eating that we had no idea would do this much damage.  Here are 4 simple ways to reduce belly bloat, things that you might be unknowingly doing that you can stop today and have a much flatter mid-section almost immediately.

  1. Soda is a no no!  So many of us are still drinking soda, a sugary, bubbly liquid that instantly bloats your belly in addition to making you gain unwanted pounds.  Believe it or not, diet soda is just as bad for your stomach because it’s full of artifical sweetners that are difficult to digest therefore swelling your center.  We’d all be better off eliminating soda from our diets for good.
  2. Processed foods should be reduced greatly.  Anything that is already made for you that comes in a can, box, package or bottle at the grocery store should be avoided because they are full of sodium.  Not only is excess salt causing belly bloat, it’s also bad for your overall health and can cause numerous diseases such as diabetes.  75% of your diet should be fresh foods, fruits, vegetables.  Learn how to reduce sodium in your diet today here.
  3. Eat more slowly because scarfing down a meal because you’re hungry or in a rush is doing damage to your gut.  Eating too fast increases the the size of your belly because you take in more air and it gets trapped, making you look and feel bloated.  In addition, this slows the digestion process; which only keeps you bloated longer.
  4. Don’t eat right before bedtime because the body hasn’t had the opportunity to digest and struggles to do so when you’re lying down.  If you do eat before sleep, you will find yourself waking up to a big bloated belly every morning.  Try to eat at least 3 hours before bedtime.

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How to eat red meat without increasing your cancer risk

How to eat red meat without increasing your cancer risk

abeefHad to share this information with you that I just learned on the Dr. Oz show.  Turns out, it doesn’t necessarily matter how your beef was bred, how much fat it contains or the way it’s cooked that increases your risk of getting cancer, it’s what’s contained within the meat that poses the problem.

Red meat contains a lot of sugar and the way that sugar is broken down in the body is what causes the cancer risk.  When you eat too much beef the immune system attacks; which then affects your lifetime risk of cancer.

So how can we still eat red meat without increasing our cancer risk?

  1. Don’t eat red meat everyday.
  2. Red meat shouldn’t be the main course.
  3. Eat 3 oz of red meat at one time; equal to the size of a deck of cards.
  4. Marinate your red meat in dark beer for 30 minutes to prevent charring.
  5. Always serve red meat with green as that will help clean your system while eating.
  6. FYI-Lamb contains less sugar so you can eat 4oz versus 3oz and poultry contains no sugar at all.

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How to stop worrying all of the time

cropped-cristinagreatcolor.jpgDid you know that most things that we worry about never actually happen?  What a waste of time.  Worry is not intentional; it’s actually a form of anxiety when your brain takes over your body causing you to think about the past and future rather than the present moment.

Worry steals your life.  I’ve also read that worry can be genetic and for me that makes sense since my mom is an extreme worrier.  Worry is negative, it’s always about something bad happening in the future or something that’s already happened that you can’t undo.

After over 40 years of worry, I finally realized that what I was concerning myself with was completely out of my control.  For instance, I’d worry about my husband getting in a car accident everyday when he left for work.  The worry about that one thing, lead to other future worries and so on and so forth.  The day was already in the negative and it hadn’t even started yet.

The mental exhaustion I felt each day was solely caused by worry, so I came to the conclusion that I somehow needed to get my mind to release the negative.  I knew that I could never get rid of my worry entirely, it’s part of who I am, but what I could do is think more positively, hope for the best and focus on what was in front of me at that very moment rather than what “could” happen in the near or distant future.

It’s normal to have regrets from the past and concerns about the future, but when you’re living on the edge of worry each day it’s not healthy.  Over the past couple of years, I’ve incorporated a few mental and physical exercises into my life that have not only helped control the worry, but has also enabled me to be better focused, more positive and appreciative of what I have right now, in front of me each day.

  1. Yoga requires you to breath and focus in order to be able to perform poses properly.  That type of continued practice keeps you in the present moment and enables you to release all of your worries, to-do lists and expectations from others for a short period of time, but then also stays with you throughout the day.  Check out my favorite yoga workouts here.
  2. Just because you think a thought doesn’t mean it’s true.  This is something to keep in mind because too often we think that we understand something entirely because we’ve thought about it but in reality it may not be true at all.  When you recognize this with worry, you’ll find that if you repeatedly quiet that voice kindly and gently, it will start to go away.  Remember, worry is in your mind and you have the ability to control it.
  3. Be mindful.  What does that mean?  If you are intentionally aware of your emotions, thoughts and sensations in the present moment, you are being mindful.  With this, you can consciously reduce your worry, anger, sadness and resentment you might be holding onto and be able to live a happier, healthier, more peaceful life.  Meditation or even just deep breathing for just 10 minutes a day will enable you to do this successfully.  Learn more about simple meditation here.

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8 healthy delicious lunch ideas to pack and take to work

Choose whole foods.

Learn how to make this delicious healthy chickpea salad here (click pic).

Let’s face it, eating healthy requires some thought and planning, otherwise you’ll consume whatever is around when you’re hungry and that usually leads to unhealthy choices.  Going out for lunch at work is not only costly, it also leads to weight gain since you’re unaware of ingredients and preparation.  Taking a moment to plan a list for the grocery store each week so that you can make healthy meals to bring to work for lunch; some even playing 2 parts as dinner the next before only leads to good things.

Here are 8 healthy delicious lunch ideas to to pack up for work.

Get our healthy low fat pita chip recipe here (click picture).

Learn how to make your own hummus here.

1. Hummus vegetable sandwich couldn’t be easier and when you make this chickpea sensation at home, you’ll know exactly what you’re eating, only goodness.  Choose a whole grain bread or pita and pack on the veges like leafy green, avocado, onions, cucumber, whatever you like.  Learn how to make your own hummus here.

I hope that you make this salad because you will love it!

Click pic to get recipe.

2. Greek chickpea salad is one of my FAVORITE healthy lunches, so easy to pack up, no prep needed before eating, learn more and how to make it here.

Learn how beans fight belly fat here.

Learn how to make this tasty black bean dip here.

3. Black bean dip with whole grain pita chips is also just another way of saying vegetarian chili in a way because it’s jam-packed with beans and vegetables that will not only keep you feeling fuller longer but will also nourish your body with endless vitamins.  Learn how to make it here.

avocadoguac4. Grilled chicken salad rollup with mixed greens and guacomole will not only keep you full until dinner, it’s absolutely delicious.  Each week buy a package of chicken tenders, salt and pepper them and grill them up, use in everything including this salad.  Just chop up 2 or 3 tenders, add a teaspoon of low fat mayo, a little celery, onion, whatever you like, lay out 1/2 avocado atop a handful of mixed green on a whole grain healthy rollup and you’ve got the best lunch ever.

20130602_1745075. Grilled chicken mixed green salad is just another way to use that chicken you made earlier in the week, full of low fat protein, so very healthy for you and when you add every vegetable you love with mixed greens, you couldn’t choose a better lunch choice.  Dressing?   Learn how to make a healthy dressing at home that you can pack up and bring with you to work here.

IMG_50486. Whole grain shrimp “fried” rice is another terrific leftover dinner choice to take for lunch the next day.  Use whole grain rice to feel fuller longer while also keeping your colon healthy.  Add all of your favorite vegetables, brocolli is one of mine, and mix together with a little extra virgin olive oil.

aquinoa7. Quinoa with vegetables is a perfect dinner choice that enables you to easily pack up the leftovers for lunch the next day.  You don’t even need to warm it up because it’s delicious cold too!  Quinoa has become available in almost every grocery store, buy a few boxes, cook them up, it only takes 14 minutes, then add in your favorite proteins like grilled shrimp or chicken, avocado and beans.  Stir in green veges, like asparagus, and it’s the perfect healthy meal!

Learn "How to Boil the Perfect Egg" here.

Learn “How to Boil the Perfect Egg” here.

8. Hard-boiled egg avacodo sandwich.  Yum!  Make a half dozen hard boiled eggs, learn how here, cut up a couple or all of them so that you have lunch for a few days, add a teaspoon of low fat mayo, salt, pepper, tomatoes, onion, celery, whatever you like.  Put the eggs and 1/2 avacodo on a whole grain healthy bread of your choice and you won’t be hungry again until dinner.

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Restaurant Inspired White Bean Dip

Restaurant Inspired White Bean Dip

“Beans beans, the magical fruit”, well, you know the rest of that little jingle.  Yes, it’s true, beans do keep things moving within your body; which is a good thing, staying regular not only helps keep your weight in check, it also keep your colon healthy.  Here are 3 more reasons to include low calorie nutritious beans within your diet.

1. Beans are so satisfying that they give you the feeling of being full; which prevents overeating and keeps your calories in check throughout the day.  Add them to soups, use them as a replacement in pasta dishes or make the best black bean dip ever, get the recipe here.

2. Beans are low in fat and contain protein so they can be a healthy replacement for meat. You don’t have to become a vegetarian, but reducing your meat intake a few days a week is wise.  Make a Greek chickpea salad instead of chicken salad and reduce your fat intake greatly.  Get the recipe here.

3. Beans give you extra energy so that you will have the drive to fit in one of the best workout DVD’s; which will help you lose weight even faster.  Beans also stablize your blood-sugar levels so they’ll prevent cravings for sugar.  If you get hungry between meals, choose beans over the famous celery or carrot sticks, you’ll stay full longer.

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