An Alternative to Hanging Race Medals

By on May 13, 2014

An Alternative to Hanging Race Medals

I realized that my running and bike race medals have SO much ribbon on them. So, I trim the excess ribbon off, sew the ribbon back (that way I could hang my medal, just with a shorter ribbon), and use the extra ribbon I trimmed off to make a Diva Band. Holy moly is it cute! I finally get to use my medal (well, just the ribbon, but you know). I went back and took all my old race medals that were just hanging on a peg in the garage and made more headbands. I know, some races sell headbands but this is MY headband from MY medal that I EARNED. I think that’s so cool. If you ran the race and have a medal, I can probably make you a headband!

Here are some images so you can see how mine turned out.

Race Medal Gifts

I can easily make these as gifts for runners, to celebrate an Ironman or really anything that awards you a medal, as long as there is more than 17″ or more of ribbon. Some race medals have a bunch or ribbon, some are a little shorter, but I’ve had enough ribbon with all of my race medals to make a Diva Band. If you want me to make a no slip headband out of your race medal, click here: Race Medal Headbands

racemedals-headbands-after

 

Breast Cancer Awareness: The Pink Pack

By on May 2, 2014

Breast Cancer Awareness: The Pink Pack

There has recently been a release of several new Diva Bands headbands styles. Included in these styles were the Wild About A Cure Thin, the Keep Calm And Fight On Thin and the Go Pink! Thin.  Each of these new Diva Bands headbands are perfect for showing your support for breast cancer awareness. Do you know someone who is currently battling breast cancer? Well, what better way to show your support and spread the word than with these newly released Diva Bands headbands.

Many of us know someone who has had breast cancer or currently has breast cancer. Breast cancer can be a devastating disease, but most women can take active steps in order to help reduce their risk, say some of the nation’s leading breast cancer experts. It is believed that about 25% of all breast cancer cases in women of all ages could be avoided by maintaining a healthy body weight and doing regular physical activity. The greatest benefits for breast cancer reduction come from weight control and physical activity together, says cancer researcher Anne McTiernan. Her studies show that weight loss and exercising regularly combined have the most impact on improving the biomarkers, including estrogen and insulin, for breast cancer risk.

With these new Diva Bands headbands not only can you support the cause, but you can help to prevent yourself from being one of the many women each year who are diagnosed with breast cancer by staying active. There are a lot of runs and walks that are held each year across the country in support of breast cancer patients and survivors. These walks and runs provide you with the perfect opportunity to show support with one of these awesome new Diva Bands headbands. These non-slip workout headbands come in our thin (7/8”) size and our each individually $12. So, if you buy all 3 that would be only $36! However, if you buy one of our pink packs today you can get all three for only $30, that’s a savings of $6!

Embrace the Struggle….

By on Apr 29, 2014

Embrace the Struggle….

Divas — sorry it has been so long since my last post. I’ve had a few things going on, but I promise to get back at it over here at the Diva Blog on a more consistent basis.

Today I felt compelled to share something with you. I’m not sure if anyone will be able to relate to this or not, but this is a struggle for me, and in some way sharing it with you is therapeutic for me. It doesn’t have anything to do with fitness, but it’s candid, it’s real and it’s me. With that being said, here it goes…..

I’ve been divorced for three and a half years. You would think by now — little things wouldn’t bother me anymore, but there are still days/weeks I struggle. It’s funny how your emotions sneak up on you. This week marks a fun tradition in our city – the Kentucky Derby. It also marks a week of fun traditions in my former family — celebrations, time with family and friends, etc. Despite all the differences my ex-husband and I may have had, this week was always very fun and special for us. This year will be the 4th year in a row I missed out on the celebrations. At one point — I tried to convince myself — It’s not that important anyway. It’s not that big of a deal.   Then there were times — I held out hope that this may be the year I get to share that experience with someone else and create new memories. But alas….it is not. Honestly, I’m okay with that, but I’d be lying if I said this week isn’t hard for me. It’s so much more than a horse race or the Derby itself. It is the experience. The experience of creating traditions. Sharing them with family and friends. Reconnecting with people from across the miles that you only see once a year. I miss that. One of my biggest fears is never having that again with anyone.

Instead I get to have my little boy this weekend. We will have fun. We will go to his baseball games. I will cheer him on. We will work in the yard and plant flowers. I will make the most of my situation. I will appreciate where I am today. I will love those I currently have in my life. I will continue to allow myself time to heal and time to grow. I will embrace the struggle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Do I Wash Shiny Headbands?

By on Apr 4, 2014

Macy explains how to wash the glitz style Diva Bands after you have worn them and they have gotten all sweaty. Note, this technique is for glitz Diva Bands, not the regular styles.

How Do I Wash Workout Headbands?

By on Mar 24, 2014

Macy explains how to wash Diva Bands after they get all sweaty. Note, this technique is for regular Diva Bands, not the glitz styles. We’ll post another video on how to wash glitz Diva Bands.

 

Fight Against Cravings – More than Willpower

By on Jan 31, 2014

Fight Against Cravings – More than Willpower

Have you ever sat down and eaten a hamburger and fries and still felt hungry?? Have you ever found yourself finishing off your kids’ fries? Or better yet…..swiping your kids’ fries?? Well….I have!! Have you ever sat down at a Mexican restaurant and thought…I’m just going to eat a few chips while I wait on my food and before you know it you’ve eaten 3 baskets of chips?? Well….I have!!

I’m sure I’m not alone here. And…..what happens after you overindulge like that?? If you are like me — you BEAT yourself up!! Feel bad. Feel guilty. Feel like you have no willpower what-so-ever. Sometimes you get a stomach ache. Headache.

I recently heard somewhere that part of the reason this happens is because when you ingest food that is chemically enhanced – your body doesn’t recognize it as food. Your body does not immediately recognize it as food and therefore doesn’t know what to do with it. That’s why sometimes — when you eat junk food — you feel like a bottomless pit!! You are much more likely to binge on chips than you are carrots.

In regard to the famous sweet tooth — Sweet-tasting foods are undoubtedly one of life’s best simple pleasures. On both physical and emotional levels, sugar is often more satisfying than any of the other types of food. Sugar has the ability to lift energy levels and moods quickly; it even alters brain chemistry and increases your levels of serotonin and endorphins. Since sugar acts quickly, its sudden absence is felt acutely. The reason sugar elevates serotonin is more a side effect than a direct effect. When sugar is consumed, insulin is released and binds with amino acids. Together, they go to muscles. This leaves tryptophan, a small amino acid that normally has competition for transport, a clear path to get into the brain where it is used in the production of serotonin. You make the connection that sugar makes you feel good.

Salt cravings can be indicative of mineral deficiencies.

When you move to cleaner eating that includes less processed food and less chemically enhanced food…..your body starts to recognize these foods as exactly that — FOOD. The body immediately breaks down the food and uses it as fuel so your body can function to full capacity. It’s also no coincidence once you start to properly fuel your body — the cravings go down because your body actually has everything it needs.

Only you can control what food you put in your mouth — make healthy choices and everything else will fall into place. It’s a lifestyle. Not a diet.  

Loss, Pain, Healing and Growth

By on Jan 23, 2014

Loss, Pain, Healing and Growth

As a fitness blogger and wellness coach, I follow many like-minded individuals on Facebook. I, like you, am inspired daily by people I only know through this virtual world we communicate in. I read something very moving today. Something that almost brought me to tears. Something that made me feel the writer’s pain and heartache. Something that made me reflect on my own losses in life. Here it is….

grief

I wanted to share this with you because I think at some point or another all of us have experienced some kind of loss. We have felt this pain. Grief is a very POWERFUL thing. It can takes years to recover from some losses. Some losses take decades and some losses we simply cannot recover from. Mon’s loss is RUNNING. She is a RUNNER. It is part of who she is and the woman she has become. You feel her struggle with her identity now – who am I now if I CANNOT RUN?? She’s injured. She’s been injured for some time now. I think she’d probably admit — she was in denial for awhile about how serious her injury was/is. She probably pushed herself a bit too soon. She probably feels a little guilty. Did I push too hard too soon? Did I injury myself more? Did I cause a permanent injury?

From what I know of Mon in my readings of her posts, she is an amazing woman. I have no doubt in time she will heal and she WILL run again. Until then — she is allowed to grieve the loss of something very dear to her heart.

 

Psychologists will tell you there are 5 Stages of Grief. This applies to ALL types of losses – death, divorce, unemployment, injury, etc.

Stage 1 – DENIAL – You just can’t believe or accept this is happening to you and/or your family. It’s perfectly normal to feel this way.

Stage 2 – ANGER – You are mad as HELL this is happening to you!! More likely than not — you are probably lashing out at those you love the most (those you know are going to love you regardless — those you feel most safe with).

Stage 3 – BARGAINING – This is when all the doubts and second guessing kick in — What if…… I wish I could have….I should have…..If only….. – Unfortunately none of that matters and doesn’t CHANGE your present situation and the loss you have to deal with.

Stage 4 – DEPRESSION – You are SAD!! The slightest little trigger may set you off into a crying spell. This is when sleeping and eating habits can change dramatically in either extreme. It’s common for people to not eat or eat everything in sight. Along with the extremes of not sleeping or staying in bed for days at a time.

Stage 5 – ACCEPTANCE – Finally you reach a point where you accept the loss. This doesn’t mean you are happy about it, but more of an understanding and a peace about your new life — whatever that new life may look like now depending on the type of loss you experienced.

 

It’s not uncommon to cycle through these stages as you heal. You may come out of depression and go straight back to anger. And you may stay in that angry stage for a long time — maybe even longer than you did the first time.

 

The best piece of advice I can offer to anyone experiencing loss is GIVE IT TIME. Allow yourself to grieve. Even in divorce. Even if you were the one who wanted the divorce. You still experienced a loss. Your life is forever changed – maybe for the better, but still you experienced a loss. In divorce you lose lots of relationships not just your marriage and it takes time to heal from that.

“That’s the thing about pain — it demands to be felt.” If you ignore it — it will always come back to haunt you. Deal with it. Confront it. Grieve, heal and grow.

Are You Getting Enough H2O?

By on Jan 15, 2014

Are You Getting Enough H2O?

How much water should you drink each day? It’s a simple question with no easy answers. Studies have produced varying recommendations over the years, but in truth, your water needs depend on many factors, including your health, how active you are and where you live.

Although no single formula fits everyone, knowing more about your body’s need for fluids will help you estimate how much water to drink each day.

Health benefits of water

Water is your body’s principal chemical component and makes up about 60 percent of your body weight. Every system in your body depends on water. For example, water flushes toxins out of vital organs, carries nutrients to your cells and provides a moist environment for ear, nose and throat tissues.

Lack of water can lead to dehydration, a condition that occurs when you don’t have enough water in your body to carry out normal functions. Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired.

How much water do you need?

Every day you lose water through your breath, perspiration, urine and bowel movements. For your body to function properly, you must replenish its water supply by consuming beverages and foods that contain water.

So how much fluid does the average, healthy adult living in a temperate climate need? The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake (AI) for men is roughly 3 liters (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day. The AI for women is 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day.

What about the advice to drink eight glasses a day?

Everyone has heard the advice, “Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day.” That’s about 1.9 liters, which isn’t that different from the Institute of Medicine recommendations. Although the “8 by 8” rule isn’t supported by hard evidence, it remains popular because it’s easy to remember. Just keep in mind that the rule should be reframed as: “Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of fluid a day,” because all fluids count toward the daily total.
Factors that Influence Water Needs

You may need to modify your total fluid intake depending on how active you are, the climate you live in, your health status and if you’re pregnant or breast-feeding.

  • Exercise. If you exercise or engage in any activity that makes you sweat, you need to drink extra water to compensate for the fluid loss. An extra 400 to 600 milliliters (about 1.5 to 2.5 cups) of water should suffice for short bouts of exercise, but intense exercise lasting more than an hour (for example, running a marathon) requires more fluid intake. How much additional fluid you need depends on how much you sweat during exercise, and the duration and type of exercise. During long bouts of intense exercise, it’s best to use a sports drink that contains sodium, as this will help replace sodium lost in sweat and reduce the chances of developing hyponatremia, which can be life-threatening. Also, continue to replace fluids after you’re finished exercising.
  • Environment. Hot or humid weather can make you sweat and requires additional intake of fluid. Heated indoor air also can cause your skin to lose moisture during wintertime. Further, altitudes greater than 8,200 feet (2,500 meters) may trigger increased urination and more rapid breathing, which use up more of your fluid reserves.
  • Illnesses or health conditions. When you have fever, vomiting or diarrhea, your body loses additional fluids. In these cases, you should drink more water. In some cases, your doctor may recommend oral rehydration solutions, such as Gatorade, Powerade or CeraLyte. Also, you may need increased fluid intake if you develop certain conditions, including bladder infections or urinary tract stones. On the other hand, some conditions such as heart failure and some types of kidney, liver and adrenal diseases may impair excretion of water and even require that you limit your fluid intake.
  • Pregnancy or breast-feeding. Women who are expecting or breast-feeding need additional fluids to stay hydrated. Large amounts of fluid are used especially when nursing. The Institute of Medicine recommends that pregnant women drink 2.3 liters (about 10 cups) of fluids daily and women who breast-feed consume 3.1 liters (about 13 cups) of fluids a day.

Source: http://www.mayoclinic.org/water/ART-20044256?pg=1

 

Those Dreadful Winter Blues

By on Dec 3, 2013

Those Dreadful Winter Blues

Winter is fast approaching. There is a constant chill in the air. The sky is grey. It’s dark by the time you get home from work. Do you find yourself in a funk and can’t get out of it no matter how great the holidays are?

There is a condition known as S.A.D. – Seasonal Affective Disorder. Now — I’m not one to go around diagnosing people, but during this time of year — I think people find themselves in this unexplainable funk and can’t understand what they are going through.  Even though you may not have a serious case of S.A.D — a minor case of the Winter Blues may be the culprit.

Remember — Summer is a couple seasons away!! Make yourself exercise even when you don’t feel like it!! The natural chemicals released in the brain during and after exercise can make you feel so much better.

10 Things You May Not Have Known About SAD (Source: http://psychcentral.com/lib/10-things-you-dont-know-about-seasonal-affective-disorder/0002)

1. Did you know that between 60% and 90% of people with SAD are women? It’s true. If you are a female between 15 and 55, you are more likely to develop SAD. Great, so not only do women have PMS, Menopause, and child labor to worry about, add SAD to the list, too.

2. Even though the harsh chill in the air might bring you down, SAD is believed to relate more to daylight, not the temperature. Some experts believe that a lack of sunlight increases the body’s production of a body chemical called melatonin. Melatonin is what helps regulate sleep and can cause symptoms of depression.

3. SAD can be treated. If your symptoms are mild, meaning, if they do not interfere in and completely ruin your daily life, light therapy may help you beat SAD. Using light therapy has shown highly effective. Studies prove that between 50% and 80% of light therapy users have complete remissions of symptoms. However, light therapy must be used for a certain amount of time daily and continue throughout the dark, winter months.

4. Some say that light therapy has no side effects, but others disagree. We think it simply depends on the person. Some people experience mild side effects, such as headaches, eyestrain, or nausea. However, these light therapy users say that the side effects are temporary and subside with time or reduced light exposure. Most scientists agree that there are no long-term side effects, but remember to consult your physician before any treatment decisions are made.

5. There are some things to consider if you want to try light therapy in your home, otherwise you will not receive all the benefits that this type of therapy offers.

  • When purchasing a light box, do not skimp as far as money is concerned. Buy a larger one so that you will receive enough light to be beneficial.
  • The best time for light therapy is in the early morning. (If used late at night, it could cause insomnia.) So, even if it means waking up earlier, set aside some morning time to relax and use your light box.
  • Many people are not aware of this, but you must have your eyes open and face the light during therapy. Do not stare at the light. That would be silly. Simply face the light, eyes open.

6. It takes more than just one winter depression to be diagnosed with SAD. Individuals must meet certain criteria:

  • The symptoms and remission of the systems must have occurred during the last two consecutive years.
  • The seasonal depressive episodes must outnumber the non-seasonal depressive episodes in one’s lifetime.

7. SAD can be treated with certain medications that increase serotonin levels in the brain. Such medications include antidepressants, such as Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft.

8. There is actually a device that conducts light therapy and allows you to walk around while treated. The device is called a light visor. Just wear the light visor around your head and complete your daily chores and rituals. A light visor still can potentially have the same side effects as the standard forms of light therapy, so only simple activities, such as watching television, walking, or preparing meals is advised. We do not recommend you operate heavy machinery while wearing a light visor. (You would look pretty silly with it on out in public, anyway.)

9. If you have a friend or loved one who suffers from SAD, you can help them tremendously.

  • Try to spend more time with the person, even though they may not seem to want any company.
  • Help them with their treatment plan.
  • Remind them often that summer is only a season away. Tell them that their sad feelings are only temporary, and they will feel better in no time.
  • Go outside and do something together. Take a walk, or exercise. Get them to spend some time outside in the natural sunlight. Just remember to bundle up!

10. Although not as common, a second type of seasonal affective disorder known as summer depression can occur in individuals who live in warmer climates. Their depression is related to heat and humidity, rather than light. Winter depression does cause petulance in many cases, but summer depression is known to cause severe violence. So, it could be worse.

If you are seriously concerned about your mood, you should discuss options with your doctor.  Don’t ever be afraid or embarrassed to admit you need help.

 

Stuck in a Rut??? Frustrated? About to Give Up? DON’T!!

By on Nov 28, 2013

Stuck in a Rut??? Frustrated? About to Give Up? DON’T!!

Sometimes when you are trying to lose weight or achieve a particular fitness goal, after awhile — you may hit a rut. You feel like you are doing all the right things, but you are not seeing any improvements. What am I doing wrong? Why isn’t this working? What’s wrong with me?? Frustration may set in. You may begin to feel hopeless. Well….DON’T. Sometimes — you just gotta mix it up!! 

Here are some suggestions from Justine Holberg (source: http://www.teambeachbody.com/get-fit/fitness-tip/-/ftip/140026045/all/0/5):  

1. Zigzag your daily calorie intake.

In theory, you’ve got to eat less to lose more, but this isn’t always the case. Sometimes you just have to shake things up. Here’s one way to do it: If your average daily intake is 1,400 calories, try dropping to 1,200 one day, going up to 1,800 the next day, and then dropping back to 1,400. The idea is to keep your metabolism guessing. There’s no magic number that works for everyone, so you’ll have to experiment until you find the right calorie levels for you.

According to Beachbody Director of Results Steve Edwards, what happens when you zigzag is that you force your body to choose how many calories it needs to recover from the rigors of your exercise program. “Most people who hit a plateau are undereating. If you are indeed undereating, adding calories for a few days, then lowering them again, will help you force your body into a hormonal response that will not only help you break out of a plateau, but—as you learn to recognize the signals—will teach you how much food you should be eating.”

2. Switch up your exercise routine.
If you do the same workout each day, eventually it can start to become less challenging, and (unfortunately) less effective. If you push yourself to new levels of strength or exhaustion, you’ll almost certainly see a shift. Here are some ways you can challenge your body:

  • Swap your jog for a bike ride.
  • Try weights with your cardio routine. (ChaLEAN Extreme® or RevAbs® can help you do this.)
  • Add intervals of high intensity to really make you sweat. (INSANITY® is a great workout for this.)
  • Drop to the floor for 10 push-ups right now!

The idea is to try something different. According to Edwards, “The better you get at something, the easier it becomes. That’s why we’re always telling you to add more weight as you get stronger, and to move faster and jump higher as our programs progress. But it’s also why all of our programs have phases of training. As your body adapts to stimulus, you need to change that stimulus in order to keep results happening.”

3. Eat some almonds.
Almonds are a great snack, plus there’s some research that indicates that they can help you burn fat. That’s because they contain fiber and fatty acids—the good kind of fat that helps you lose weight. A study published in the International Journal of Obesity compared two groups of people who ate a 1,000-calorie-a-day diet. As part of their daily diet, one group ate 3 ounces of almonds every day. The other group ate a mix of complex carbs. What happened? The group that ate the almonds lost more weight.

So next time you grab a snack, try a small handful of almonds, or as Edwards says, “Any nut, really. While almonds are one of the better nuts, all of them have a similar nutritional profile and make excellent snacks. That research probably would have turned out similarly if they’d used walnuts or filberts or whatever.”

4. Get more sleep.
This may seem like the opposite of number 2, but the truth is is that you could be training too hard, which is about the quickest way to hit a weight loss plateau, because an over-trained body holds on to weight as if it were starving to death. There’s no better way to test this than to try and sleep more. The reason is that your body recovers much more quickly from exercise while it’s asleep, and if you’re burning the midnight oil while trying to do INSANITY, you could easily plateau from lack of recovery time.

In a recent study at the University of Chicago Medical School, researchers found that during a period when study participants were deprived of sleep, they metabolized glucose less effectively. Additionally, they had higher levels of the hormone cortisol, which has been shown to impair memory, increase insulin resistance, and slow recovery in athletes. “There’s a good reason why five-time Tour de France winner Eddy Merckx said, ‘The Tour is won in bed,'” says Edwards. Your body’s recovery response during deep sleep is only rivaled by performance-enhancing drugs. When you’re on the borderline of overtraining, getting more sleep is the first thing anyone should try.”

5. Relax.
Believe it or not, the one big thing besides diet and exercise that can cause you to plateau is stress. When you’re stressed, your body sends out higher levels of the hormone cortisol that, as stated in number 4, can encourage your body to hang on to fat. “Cortisol is actually a performance-enhancing hormone,” says Edwards. “But it’s gotten a bad rap because we’ve begun living our lives at too high a volume. Cortisol is released at times when the body is in an emergency state. It increases performance, but only over a short period of time. When cortisol is released and forced into action at regular intervals, it causes your body to wear down and switch to more drastic means of survival, like holding on to excess amounts of body fat. Your life shouldn’t feel like one big emergency. As a society, we need to learn to be more tranquilo, as the Spanish say.”

We get stressed for many reasons, almost all of which are influenced by the society around us. One of the best ways to combat stress is to get some alone time to chill. If you’re the type who can’t let go, try some forced relaxation techniques, of which yoga seems to be one of the most effective. There’s something special about the mind/body interaction of yoga that forces a relaxed state even from the most stressed of us.

If you feel you need a lot of help, dig into an intense course, like P90X Yoga X. For others, something lighter, like Yoga Booty Ballet® Pure and Simple Yoga, will do the trick. If you’re not into yoga, then consider at least adding some stretching into your schedule. Most of Beachbody’s programs have at least one stretching session. TurboFire® even has two!

More Winter Diva Outfits!

By on Nov 27, 2013

More Winter Diva Outfits!

I decided to create some more winter diva looks, because the last ones went over so well. I will once again be pairing Diva Bands headbands with other winter clothes in order to create some more winter diva outfits! Don’t forget that Diva BBlack_Cardiganands headbands are the perfect accessory all year round.

The first outfit I am pairing includes a cut throat black cardigan. In this picture it has been paired with a white shirt, purple leggings, and black heels. This outfit is simple on top which allows you to have a wilder bottom. This is the perfect opportunity to wear some of your crazier pants that often don’t match any of your tops! For this outfit I have paired it with Violet Shimmer Shower Skinny Diva Bands headband. This is the perfect choice because the purple headband will match the purple pants, and will help tie the top of your outfit to the bottom.

Click here for the cardigan.

Click here for the Diva Bands headband.

Lefty_LeopardThe second outfit I chose to pair with a Diva Bands headband includes a sweater that was made by Katie. Katie is a store owner in Lexington, Virginia who makes all the clothes she sales! She especially loves to makecheeta_sweater vintage clothes, like this cheetah sweater. This sweater would look great paired with skinny jeans and a pair of black flats. This outfit would then be a perfect match to go with the Lefty Leopard Diva Bands headband! This outfit would be perfect for going out with your friends, or even just shopping around your local mall. Diva Bands headbands are the perfect way to spice up any outfit and can be worn anytime throughout the year!

Click here for the sweater.

Click here for the Diva Bands headband.

Be a Winter Diva!

By on Nov 22, 2013

Be a Winter Diva!

Since we are right in the middle of winter, I thought I would pair some Diva Band headbands with some cute winter outfits! Not only are Diva Band headbands stylish all year round but they are also great at giving you a little extra warmth in the winter. Not to mention that they are great for keeping your hair out of your face in the wintery winds.

The first outfit I am going to pair together includes a Diva BandWinter_Grey_Sweater headband and an outfit that can be found on Etsy. This outfit comes from a seller named Penelope. She is a self-proclaimed fashionista and a complete diva! She is from Canada and sells lots of vintage clothes. This outfit she is selling contains a vintage soft grey and cream luxurious cashmere cardigan sweater paired with skinny jeans and black combat boots. This outfit would go perfectly with the Secret Chic Thin Diva Band headband! The grey and white from the cardigan along with the black from the boots match perfectly with the headband and the pink adds an extra pop of color to help spice up the outfit.

Click here for the sweater.

Click here for the Diva Bands headband.

2020RT-PNBK-TKThe second outfit I amgoing to pair together includes another Diva Band headband along with another outfit from Etsy. This outfit comes from a seller named Joan Lazar. She specializes in making beautiful one of a kind garments like the sweater shown here. ThisWinter_Pink_Sweater cute pink and grey cable knit 60’s retro knit sweater is paired with black leggings which are a great accessory to add to almost any outfit. I have matched this outfit with the Paris Amore Thick Diva Band headband.  I thick these two make a great pair, because the pink from the sweater helps to highlight the pink in the Diva Band headband and the black in the leggings help to highlight the black in the Diva Band headband.

Click here for the sweater.

Click here for the Diva Bands headband.

 

DIY Workout Headbands

By on Nov 21, 2013

DIY Workout Headbands

With the new year quickly approaching it’s time to start preparing yourself for next years fitness goals. A great way to motivate yourself to workout is to buy yourself a few new workout outfits with some matching Diva Bands headbands to put you in the mood to get to the gym and show off your new style. Let the year 2014 be your year to DIY workout and get your body back into great shape.

After the holidays are over people often get stuck in a rut. They are used to relaxing, being lazy, and stuffing their faces! While this is fun to do when you get a break from work and all your other commitments it’s important to get back into the swing of things quickly once the break is over. One of the most important things about DIY workout is the motivation. You need to stay motivated, and the best way to do that is to have a routine. If everyday you go straight from work to the gym then it will be easy to keep yourself on track. With DIY workouts it is also good to try and build rewards into your workout program that way you stay focused on your goals. You can set a goal number of pounds to lose, or even just a goal number of days to go to the gym. Once you reach your goal you should reward yourself! I like to reward myself with a new Diva Bands headband whenever I reach a goal.

Another very important part of DIY workouts is to make sure you are eating properly. Often when people use DIY workouts they try not to eat a lot. This is not always a good approach. When doing DIY workouts it is important that you are giving your body enough nutrients for it to be able to properly preform during your workouts.

Leap of Faith

By on Nov 19, 2013

Leap of Faith

It’s been a long time since my last post. A lot has happened since then…..

I completed my half marathon. My time was 2:08. I did not meet my goal, but I was under 2:10. I also tied my PR set at the Vegas Rock & Roll Half Marathon in 2011. Overall, I was very pleased with my effort. I trained hard. I was consistent. I felt stronger than I ever had in previous races. Nice weather. Nice temps. I kept my head high and took in all the sights. It was a beautiful autumn day.

I also took a GIANT leap of faith recently. After much thought, I am now an Independent Beachbody Coach and I launched my own Facebook Page — Fit Diva Mom. I have no idea where this opportunity is going to take me, but I am incredibly excited about the possibilities. I’m excited to help people in their fitness journey. I hope to empower women, fight childhood obesity, help people fall in love with exercise and push people to the next level (including myself). I hope to share my passion for fitness with others. The Beachbody community has been wonderful so far. Everyone is so encouraging and supportive of one another. It’s refreshing.  They say it’s good to surround yourself with like-minded people. Allow yourself to be around people who inspire you. Who believe in your dreams. It’s a wonderful feeling.

As scary as it is in life — sometimes you just gotta make the jump. I promise to be real and honest with you. I’ll share the good, the bad and the ugly. My fears. My successes. My failures. My wrong-turns. I hope you enjoy the journey. Fitness challenge groups are coming. Sunday RUNday. Vitrual Half Marathon training groups. These are just a few of things I have in store for us.  Stay tuned.

 

 

 

Shaun T says ….it’s not Fry-day, People!!

By on Nov 1, 2013

Shaun T says ….it’s not Fry-day, People!!

Ha!! I borrowed this from ShaunT. As I’ve talked about a lot on this blog, I have shifted from a gymaholic to an at-home fitness Beachbody buff.   It started with Body Beast then I did Insanity. Now…I’m waiting on Santa to bring me T25!! I follow ShaunT on Facebook and Instagram. Today he said something that really hit home and is related to my recent post about changing your mindset after running a marathon and not feeling like you are doing enough if you are not working out 2-3 hours a day.

Quite simply he said — “A lot of you ask if you can double on T25 each day…and my answer is this….you have to stop obsessing about the amount of time you workout. Put everything you have into that 25 minutes and you are DONE for the day. That’s it…that is all you need. It is about quality not quantity!” He then followed with another post saying — “Good Morning! EAT HEALTHY! (Period)”

The other day someone was talking to me about T25 and I think they were under the impression that it’s just 25 mins, it must be easy. Hmmmmm…….with ShaunT — I don’t think so. It’s like he said — you put EVERYTHING you have into that 25 minutes everyday and eat well and you will see the results you are looking for. Obviously, you can still do extra exercise and workouts, but you don’t have to beat yourself up over not putting in enough hours. You can actually exercise for FUN!! Imagine that!! Go for a run, play golf, play tennis, go for a bike ride — take it all in and ENJOY your fitness journey.

I can’t wait!! Santa — please bring me T25. I’ve been so good this year! Ha!!

More from ShaunT at www.facebook.com/shauntfitness

 

 

 

 

 

Workout Headbands: Ways to Avoid Common Running Mistakes

By on Oct 31, 2013

Workout Headbands: Ways to Avoid Common Running Mistakes

MISTAKE #1

You increase mileage too quickly.

Dr. Ben Kittredge, a marathon runner and orthopedic surgeon in Fairfax, Va., says stress fractures are “far and away” the most common injuries he sees in runners—and they’re almost always caused by a simple training mistake.

The culprit is running too much too soon. Kittredge recommends increasing mileage by no more than 10 percent per week and factoring walking and standing in your total. “If you walk 20 minutes, that counts as a mile. If you stand for 30 minutes, that counts as a mile,” he says.

Fast Fix: Keep a training log to track your runs, cross-training workouts (15 minutes equates to one mile), standing time and walking distance. Make sure not to increase your mileage by more than 10 percent each week.

MISTAKE #2

You don’t eat enough.

A combination of running and mindful eating is the perfect recipe for weight loss, but don’t overdo it. Restricting calories too much causes bones to weaken and may result in stress fractures, says Nancy Clark, a Boston nutritionist and author ofNancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook. “If you undereat, you’re not able to build muscle. And muscle is what makes you a better athlete,” she says.

Fast Fix: Even if your goal is weight loss, never shed more than two pounds per week. Weigh yourself on a regular basis  to keep your body in check and always refuel after difficult workouts.

RELATED ARTICLE: BECOMING A RUNNER

MISTAKE #3

You never rest.

Once you’ve been bitten by the running bug, it’s hard to rein it in. But perpetual motion is unsustainable. If you keep going and going, your body’s bound to blow up.

Taking a rest day after a hard workout, like a long run or speed session, is crucial to your recovery, says Victor Runco, a San Diego-based chiropractor specializing in running injuries. Advanced runners must take at least one day off per week, while beginner runners should only hit the pavement every other day. He explains, “In order to progress, you have to do less.”

Fast Fix: Depending on your experience level, plan to take one to four days off from running every single week. Listen to your body and take additional time if needed. Remember, even Olympians have rest days!

RELATED ARTICLE: RECOVERING FROM A BAD RACE

MISTAKE #4

You never cross train.

Andrew Rosen, orthopedic surgeon and staff doctor for the New York City Road Runners, says he often sees injuries crop up in runners who do nothing but run. “They believe that’s the only form of exercise that’s necessary,” he says. “So they abandon everything else and only focus on running.”

The problem with this tactic is that running strengthens some muscle but not others. Runners who make this mistake end up with some areas of the body that are too tight or too weak, which leads to problems.

Fast Fix: Mix at least one cross-training (swimming, elliptical, yoga, cycling, etc.) and one strength-training (weight lifting, circuits) session per week into your schedule.

MISTAKE #5

Your running shoes are worn out—or were a bad fit to begin with.

Kittredge says running shoes have a lifespan of 300 to 400 miles. Putting more distance on the shoes than they were designed to withstand may lead to aches and pains.

Fast Fix: Before you hit the streets, hit up a running store to be properly fitted for the right pair. Make sure you retire your running shoes when they’ve reached their expiration date—a maximum of 400 miles.

MISTAKE #6

You live in flip-flops and flats.

You might think high heels are the main culprit for havoc wreaked on your feet. But while heels might give you bunions, they aren’t a common source of running injury, Kittredge says. Instead, he cautions that hard-soled shoes, like ballerina flats and sandals, often lead to plantar fasciitis.

Fast Fix: Kittredge recommends seeking out shoes with cushioned soles for everyday use. Opt for brands like Rockport, Merrell and Keen to find footwear designed to be kind to your feet. 

RELATED ARTICLE: RECOVERING FROM A BAD RACE

 

Source: http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2013/07/training-tips/our-favorites-mistakes-and-how-to-avoid-them_14100

 

Workout Headbands: Fitness Myths

By on Oct 30, 2013

Workout Headbands: Fitness Myths

Ten Fitness Myths (Source: http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/tips/strategy/top-10-fitness-myths/):

Myth 1: Drinking water can help you lose weight

Fact: Many sources tout drinking copious amounts of water to be the all-curing panacea of the Gods. If you’ve heard that drinking lots of water improves your skin tone, or that it flushes toxins from your body, you know what we’re talking about. But the fact of the matter is, the evidence for such catch-all health benefits is lacking.

Doctors at the University of Pennsylvania have found that both the aforementioned “benefits” simply aren’t true. Another myth is that drinking lots of water will make you less hungry. Sorry to tell you this — you may eat less because you’re too busy trucking back and forth between the bathroom and dinner table, but that’s about it.

Oh, and that whole “recommended eight glasses a day” thing? Also false. You should drink only when you’re thirsty, and this is done just to replace the amount of water a healthy adult loses every day — about four to six glasses.

Myth 2: Stretching before working out is crucial to preventing injury

Fact: Stretching after a workout can be beneficial, but stretching before a workout actually doesn’t increase your range of motion. In fact, some studies suggest that stretchingdestabilize muscles, making them less prepared for strenuous exercise, especially if you’re doing something like weight-lifting. Instead, do a warm-up, which gets your blood pumping.

 

Myth 3: Vegetarian diets are healthier than meat-inclusive ones

Fact: Sure, eating lots of veggies is healthy. But in general, cutting out an entire food group — even if it is one that can be high in saturated fat — is bad idea. Meat is a key source of iron, which keeps your energy levels up, allows you to think clearly, and produces enzymes that fight infection. Moreover, researchers at Pennsylvania State University have shown that iron deficiency increases a woman’s risk for postpartum depression.

Vegetarians often try to get their iron fix through lentils, beans, fortified cereals and tofu. However, you’re still missing protein. Make sure to eat eggs, dairy products, or soy at every meal to get your animal-friendly dose.

 

Myth 4: Lifting weights will make you look bulky

Fact: If you’ve been avoiding the free weights for fear of becoming the Incredible Hulk, no need to flee anymore. When it comes to increasing muscle size, testosterone is key. Men have 20 to 30 times the more testosterone than women, which is why they can bulk up so noticeably. But for you to reach Arnold Schwarzenegger proportions would require you to do far more weight-lifting than the average woman, plus have some sort of hormone imbalance (either genetic or synthetically induced, as with steroids).

In fact, “strength training will help you lose weight faster and keep it off in the long run,” notes Jeffrey Janot, PhD, an assistant professor of exercise physiology at South Dakota State University in Brookings. If you also do cardio, it’ll help you retain muscle as you drop fat, as well as prevent your metabolism from slowing. So don’t focus all your efforts on the elliptical machine — some bicep curls could actually help you reach your ultimate goal.

 

Myth 5: Sports bras are just to prevent painful bounce

Fact: Wrong — sports bras are to prevent painful bounce and permanent breast sag. That’s right — it’s not just old age and gravity that’ll weigh your chest down. High-impact activities, like jogging or aerobics, can stress your Cooper’s ligaments (the connective tissue that keeps breasts firm), causing your breasts to sag more quickly.

According to the American Council on Exercise, compression bras work best for smaller-busted women; the more well-endowed (typically a C cup or larger) should opt for an “encapsulation” bra that supports each breast separately. Replace workout bras every six months to a year.

Myth 6: A hot bath will prevent muscle soreness

Fact: Cold water is a better bet, says Marty Jaramillo, CEO of the I.C.E. Sports Health Group. “Immersing yourself in chilled water is like an ice pack for your entire body,” he says.

When you exercise, your blood vessels open wider and stay that way for at least an hour afterward. Soreness occurs when waste products like lactic acid settle in your muscles through these dilated vessels. Colder temps constrict vessels, limiting the amount of waste product that accumulates, explains Jaramillo.

 

Myth 7: Running is counterproductive to strength training

Fact: Sounds like you need to find a new trainer! “Running is definitely not counterproductive to building muscle, unless you’re looking to dramatically increase muscle mass,” says Gregory Florez, CEO of FitAdvisor.com. “In fact, as a weight-bearing exercise, running helps develop more lean muscle mass in the lower body — which also keeps your bones healthy.”

That doesn’t mean it’s a substitute for strength training, though. “Include lower-body strength moves like squats and lunges and upper-body moves like push-ups and pull-ups to reduce injury risk, increase stamina, and boost metabolism,” adds Florez.

 

Myth 8: Holding weights while doing cardio increases calorie burn

Fact: Yes, but not enough to make it worthwhile. The added intensity of holding weights while doing cardio does bump your calorie burn slightly, but it can also lead to elbow and shoulder injuries. “The risks outweigh the benefits,” says Douglas Brooks, an exercise physiologist in Mammoth Lakes, California. “You’ll expend more energy if you increase the weight you carry, but excessive or uncontrolled movements can damage the joints or cause muscle injury.”

A better option for blasting extra calories: Increase your speed or resistance level on either the treadmill or the elliptical machine.

 

Myth 9: Fresh fruit is better than frozen fruit

Fact: Actually, no. “With shipping and storage, fresh fruit can often sit around for as long as two weeks before it hits your supermarket,” says Suzanne Henson, RD, director of the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s EatRight Weight Management Program. “During that time, it can lose a lot of its nutrients, especially vitamin C.”

In contrast, frozen fruit is often picked and frozen at the peak of freshness. It’s also a better choice for concocting smoothies. But watch out for frozen fruits in syrup — it packs extra calories.

 

Myth 10: Doing crunches and ab workouts will get rid of belly fat

Fact: You can do crunches till you pass out, and you still might not get a six-pack. Why? If you have a high percentage of body fat, your abs will be covered with — you guessed it — fat. And no, doing ab exercises won’t necessarily make you lose that belly fat, either. The truth is, you can’t spot-train (otherwise, wouldn’t we all be running around with flat stomachs and slim thighs?). In order to get visibly toned abs, you have to first reduce your overall body fat, which means plenty of cardio, coupled with strength training for faster results. After that, the fruits of your labor should start becoming apparent.

Originally published on FitnessMagazine.com, December 2008.

Workout Headbands: Beast Mode, Baby!!

By on Oct 24, 2013

Workout Headbands: Beast Mode, Baby!!
I love to lift weights. As you are aware, I’m currently doing the Beachbody Body Beast Training program. I love the strength I gain along with the increased metabolism.
Here is a list of reasons it’s good for women to lift weights (Source – http://www.teambeachbody.com/get-fit/fitness-tip/-/ftip/171525854/)
1. Burn more fat
Researchers at Tufts University found that when overweight women lifted heavy weights twice a week, they lost an average of 14.6 pounds of fat and gained 1.4 pounds of muscle. The control group, women who dieted but didn’t lift weights, lost only 9.2 pounds of fat and gained no muscle. When you do an intense weight-training program such as ChaLEAN Extreme®, your metabolism stays elevated and you continue to burn fat for several hours afterward. During regular cardio exercise, you stop burning fat shortly after the workout. 

2. Change your body shape
You may think your genes determine how you look. That’s not necessarily true. Weight training can slim you down, create new curves, and help avoid the “middle-age spread.” Just look at the amazing body transformations of the women who’ve completed P90X®. Dropping only 3 percent of your body fat could translate into a total loss of 3 inches off your hips and thighs. And no, you won’t bulk up—women don’t have enough muscle-building hormones to gain a lot of mass like men do. If you keep your diet clean and create a calorie deficit, you’ll burn fat.

3. Boost your metabolism
The less muscle you have, the slower your metabolism will be. As women age, they lose muscle at increasing rates, especially after the age of 40. When you diet without doing resistance training, up to 25 percent of the weight loss may be muscle loss. Weight training while dieting can help you preserve and even rebuild muscle fibers. The more lean mass you have, the higher your metabolism will be and the more calories you’ll burn all day long.

4. Get stronger and more confident
Lifting weights increases functional fitness, which makes everyday tasks such as carrying children, lifting grocery bags, and picking up heavy suitcases much easier. According to the Mayo Clinic, regular weight training can make you 50 percent stronger in 6 months. Being strong is also empowering. Not only does it improve your physical activities, it builds emotional strength by boosting self-esteem and confidence.

5. Build strong bones
It’s been well documented that women need to do weight-bearing exercise to build and maintain bone mass, and prevent osteoporosis. Just as muscles get stronger and bigger with use, so do bones when they’re made to bear weight. Stronger bones and increased muscle mass also lead to better flexibility and balance, which is especially important for women as they age.

6. Fight depression
You’ve probably heard that cardio and low-impact exercises such as yoga help alleviate depression, and weight lifting has the same effect. The endorphins that are released during aerobic activities are also present during resistance training. Many women find that regular strength training, in conjunction with psychological treatment, helps lessen their depression symptoms substantially.

7. Improve sports fitness
You don’t have to be an athlete to get the sports benefit of weight training. Improved muscle mass and strength will help you in all physical activities, whether it’s bicycling with the family, swimming, golfing, or skiing . . . whatever sport you enjoy.

8. Reduce injuries and arthritis
Weight lifting improves joint stability and builds stronger ligaments and tendons. Training safely and with proper form can help decrease the likelihood of injuries in your daily life. It can also improve physical function in people with arthritis. A study conducted at the University of Wales in Bangor, United Kingdom, found that mildly disabled participants who lifted weights for 12 weeks increased the frequency and intensity at which they could work, with less pain and increased range of movement.

9. Heart health
More than 480,000 women die from cardiovascular disease each year, making it the number-one killer of women over the age of 25. Most people don’t realize that pumping iron can also keep your heart pumping. Lifting weights increases your “good” (HDL) cholesterol and decreases your “bad” (LDL) cholesterol. It also lowers your blood pressure. The Journal of the American Medical Association reports that people who do 30 minutes of weight lifting each week have a 23 percent reduced risk of developing heart disease compared to those who don’t lift weights.

10. Defend against diabetes
In addition to keeping your ticker strong, weight training can improve glucose utilization (the way your body processes sugar) by as much as 23 percent. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16 weeks of strength training can improve glucose metabolism in a way that is comparable to taking diabetes medication. The more lean mass you have, the more efficient your body is at removing glucose from the blood, which can reduce complications from diabetes or even help prevent type 2 diabetes in the first place.

Workout Headbands: Taking Your Power Back

By on Oct 23, 2013

Workout Headbands: Taking Your Power Back

Last night I watched the Biggest Loser. I’ve seen bits and pieces of this show in the past, but I have never loyally watched the program. This season is about second chances. I was immediately hooked. Everyone has their own unique story in this life. Different childhoods, different parenting styles, different schooling, different experiences, different struggles. Luckily, I have never battled with my weight like the people on the show, but I’ve had my own battles. It’s easy to relate to the feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. Everyone’s rock bottom looks and feels different. It’s so encouraging to watch these individuals dig deep and find the strength to persist despite wanting to give up.  

The trainers are incredible motivators. They push, encourage, love and connect with these individuals. When you lose all of your hope it’s nice to see that in someone else’s eyes. The way they look at you. And….if you look close enough that’s a reflection of YOU in their eyes. They see you for you — all that you are capable of. Believe in that. Believe in YOU. Everyone has to start somewhere. It doesn’t matter if you are 462 lbs or 120 lbs — everyone deserves to be fit and healthy. Jillian is right — fitness isn’t about a crunch or a sit-up (and it isn’t about losing weight). It is about taking your power back. 
 
It takes courage to put all of your weaknesses out there for the world to see. I look forward to watching these individuals grow, transform and change their lives. It’s also a reminder to me — that anything is possible if you 1) have faith and 2) work your ARSE off!! 

Workout Headbands: Personal Expectations and One’s Legacy …

By on Oct 22, 2013

Workout Headbands: Personal Expectations and One’s Legacy …

I’ve spent the last couple years of my life in constant reflection. How did I get where I am? What do I need to change to better my life? What do I want for myself? What do I want and expect from others in my life? What will I tolerate and not tolerate? Am I pushing myself hard enough? Can I do more?

I think I have finally learned that this constant barrage of questioning and analysis is in fact what makes me feel like I’m not good enough at times. That somehow I’m not okay. Ironically, I think this is the root of a lot of problems in other areas of my life – from relationships to career choices to fitness goals. 

Don’t get me wrong – I think it is always a good thing to step back and reexamine where you are in life and what your goals are. It is also very important to confront unhealthy behavior and make needed changes accordingly. A lot of which I’m not sure I would have done if I hadn’t spent so much time these past two years in reflection. I definitely see its purpose. I’m not the same girl I was two years ago. I’m better. I’m improving everyday in all aspects of my life. I’ve decided I am going to make a conscious effort to live in the present and appreciate where I am TODAY. Yes — I will have moments I reflect on the past and days I’ll dream about the future, but I think I’ve been missing out on a true appreciation of the present. Your legacy is built upon what you today, and the next day and the next – NOT what you think you’ll be doing 10 years from now.

Something strange happens to marathon runners. This may happen to other people as well, but I can only speak from my experience. For months and sometimes years — you have this huge goal in sight. Something that only a small fraction of human beings will ever do in their lifetime. Something so HUGE it will forever separate you from the majority of society. You log hours and hours and hours of time on the road. On your legs. You put your heart and soul into each mile you log. I’m talking hundreds of miles training for this one event. And let’s face it – this one moment in your lifetime will in fact become part of your legacy.  Then afterwards — you don’t really know what to do with yourself. All other training and fitness goals somehow seem minuscule now. As if you are not doing enough if you don’t log 3 hours of training a day. CRAZY!! Crazy, crazy, crazy thoughts.  It’s like you are on a search for the next high. I’ve been struggling with this concept this year. That combined with the belief that I always have to do more can sometimes be self-defeating.

For awhile – I had thought I was going to challenge myself to travel and run 6 half marathons this coming year. When I really started to look at the goal and my motivation behind it — I got real honest with myself. What would this prove??? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I have nothing to prove to myself or anyone else for that matter.

I am a healthy and fit person. It is part of my lifestyle. I don’t exercise to lose weight. I don’t lift to compete in a fitness competition. I workout because it makes me feel good. It makes me feel strong. I eat without guilt. I take rest days without guilt. And……………….that is good enough. I am good enough. I am okay.

Will I continue to set personal goals and expectations for myself?? Will I run races? Will I strive for PRs? Will I try to lift heavier? Of course, I will! Do I need to obsess and beat myself about it?? No. Absolutely not. This year — I am going to strive to be my most fit self. Continue exercising with purpose. Continue eating healthy. Continue to have sweet and tasty indulgences in moderation. Live in the moment. Release some expectations, so I’m free to enjoy things for what they are INSTEAD of what I think they should be. I’m pretty sure that positive attitude and outlook on life will also become part of my legacy.

 

Workout Headbands: The dreaded hills……..

By on Oct 11, 2013

Workout Headbands: The dreaded hills……..

I moved into my home 2 years ago. One of the first things I did when I was looking to buy my home was drive the entire neighborhood to plan my run route. How funny is that!?!? I did this for every house I looked at.

As soon as you approach my neighborhood, you are greeted by a very STEEP hill. Very steep. The kind of steep that makes you dizzy when you walk down it. No exaggeration. I immediately knew my legs would have some killer runs in this neighborhood. Hill after hill after hill. I dreaded them when I first moved in. Was I really up for this challenge??? I would debate driving to any flat surface for runs, especially long runs. Not anymore!! They still kill me, but I’ve grown to love them. There is nothing like the feeling of pure exhaustion and muscle fatigue when you reach the top of the hill. Then you push through — let your breathing catch up — then hit another hill. Thank goodness I normally run solo. I don’t know if many people could tolerate my loud panting! It’s kind of a mix between a 9 year old dog and a 3 year old child. Ha!! Quite comical!

I have no doubt the consistent hill work has made my legs and glutes stronger this training season. Hills hurt……but they won’t kill you.

Workout Headbands: How Do You Like Them Apples??

By on Oct 10, 2013

Workout Headbands: How Do You Like Them Apples??

Fall…….it’s the time of year everyone is talking about pumpkin. Pumpkin spice this, pumpkin spice that. Who knew there were so many pumpkin concoctions?? HA!! I also — am a pumpkin girl. I love the unique smell and flavor that comes with pumpkin and all the traditional seasonings of nutmeg, cinnamon and clove. But this year — I am OBSESSED with apples. Of course when I think of apples — I also think of Matt Damon, Good Will Hunting and “how do you like them apples??” – all very good things in my opinion.

In all seriousness though, apples are so good for you. I eat one before my afternoon workout. It gives me just enough fuel to get me through my workout without making me feel sluggish or too full.

According to Best Health Magazine, 15 Health Benefits of Eating Apples, include:

1. Get whiter, healthier teeth -An apple won’t replace your toothbrush, but biting and chewing an apple stimulates the production of saliva in your mouth, reducing tooth decay by lowering the levels of bacteria.

2. Avoid Alzheimer’s – A new study performed on mice shows that drinking apple juice could keep Alzheimer’s away and fight the effects of aging on the brain. Mice in the study that were fed an apple-enhanced diet showed higher levels of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and did better in maze tests than those on a regular diet.

3. Protect against Parkinson’s – Research has shown that people who eat fruits and other high-fiber foods gain a certain amount of protection against Parkinson’s, a disease characterized by a breakdown of the brain’s dopamine-producing nerve cells. Scientists have linked this to the free radical-fighting power of the antioxidants contained therein.

4. Curb all sorts of cancers – Scientists from the American Association for Cancer Research, among others, agree that the consumption of flavonol-rich apples could help reduce your risk of developing pancreatic cancer by up to 23 per cent. Researchers at Cornell University have identified several compounds—triterpenoids—in apple peel that have potent anti-growth activities against cancer cells in the liver, colon and breast. Their earlier research found that extracts from whole apples can reduce the number and size of mammary tumors in rats. Meanwhile, the National Cancer Institute in the U.S. has recommended a high fiber intake to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.

5. Decrease your risk of diabetes  – Women who eat at least one apple a day are 28 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who don’t eat apples. Apples are loaded with soluble fiber, the key to blunting blood sugar swings.

6. Reduce cholesterol – The soluble fiber found in apples binds with fats in the intestine, which translates into lower cholesterol levels and a healthier you.

7. Get a healthier heart – An extensive body of research has linked high soluble fiber intake with a slower buildup of cholesterol-rich plaque in your arteries. The phenolic compound found in apple skins also prevents the cholesterol that gets into your system from solidifying on your artery walls. When plaque builds inside your arteries, it reduces blood flow to your heart, leading to coronary artery disease.

8. Prevent gallstones – Gallstones form when there’s too much cholesterol in your bile for it to remain as a liquid, so it solidifies. They are particularly prevalent in the obese. To prevent gallstones, doctors recommend a diet high in fiber to help you control your weight and cholesterol levels.

9. Beat diarrhea and constipation – Whether you can’t go to the bathroom or you just can’t stop, fiber found in apples can help. Fiber can either pull water out of your colon to keep things moving along when you’re backed up, or absorb excess water from your stool to slow your bowels down.

10. Neutralize irritable bowel syndrome – Irritable bowel syndrome is characterized by constipation, diarrhea, and abdominal pain and bloating. To control these symptoms doctors recommend staying away from dairy and fatty foods while including a high intake of fiber in your diet.

11. Avert hemorrhoids – Hemorrhoids are a swollen vein in the anal canal and while not life threatening, these veins can be very painful. They are caused by too much pressure in the pelvic and rectal areas. Part and parcel with controlling constipation, fiber can prevent you from straining too much when going to the bathroom and thereby help alleviate hemorrhoids.

12. Control your weight – Many health problems are associated with being overweight, among them heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea. To manage your weight and improve your overall health, doctors recommend a diet rich in fiber. Foods high in fiber will fill you up without costing you too many calories.

13. Detoxify your liver – We’re constantly consuming toxins, whether it is from drinks or food, and your liver is responsible for clearing these toxins out of your body. Many doctors are skeptical of fad detox diets, saying they have the potential to do more harm than good. Luckily, one of the best—and easiest—things you can eat to help detoxify your liver is fruits—like apples.

14. Boost your immune system – Red apples contain an antioxidant called quercetin. Recent studies have found that quercetin can help boost and fortify your immune system, especially when you’re stressed out.

15. Prevent cataracts – Though past studies have been divided on the issue, recent long-term studies suggest that people who have a diet rich in fruits that contain antioxidants—like apples—are 10 to 15 per cent less likely to develop cataracts.

 

Whether it’s apples or pumpkins you crave, it’s about making healthy food choices and properly fueling your body. I have to remind myself not to overindulge this time of year because it is so easy to do so with all the tempting treats and goodies.

 

Workout Headbands: Working on a new me……

By on Oct 8, 2013

Workout Headbands: Working on a new me……

You better believe I’m working on a new me, and NOT because the OLD me was bad but because I want to improve. I want to be more. I want to be the best version of me possible. I want to run faster. Lift heavier. Not hit the snooze button a zillion times. Not be known for my tardiness.

The old me was good. 37 years in the making. Oh to see the highlight reel over those past 37 years. There would be lots of dancing and bad singing that’s for sure. Ha! But….I know I can be better. For once in my life, I feel grounded. I have a great job. I’m financially secure. I’m working to pay off debt. I have two wonderful kids. Fitness is part of my daily lifestyle. I’m healthy. I’m strong. I’m motivated. I’m not content just being me. I want more. I’m not 100% sure what all that entails yet. My goals and purpose seem to be evolving with time. I know I probably blog about this topic a lot, but I think it’s important to constantly move forward. Appreciate where you’ve been and what it took to get you to where you are, but your past is just that – your past. I’m trying really hard to live in the moment. Appreciate each day for what it brings.

There’s always room for improvement.

Workout Headbands: Running Against Myself….

By on Oct 4, 2013

Workout Headbands: Running Against Myself….

Have you ever done something many times before and this time around – things seem different?? You find yourself wondering….what makes this time different? What’s special this time around?

Well, I gotta say – I am really proud of myself this training season. I have consistently improved my running pace. My weekday runs have been less than 9 min/miles and my long runs have been less than 10 min/miles. So what’s different this time around?? Why all of a sudden to my legs feel like they want to move?

I think it is a combo of factors. Some of which include:

1)     Insanity Training – What an endurance builder! My lung capacity seems much greater than before.  

2)     Consistency – I’ve always been fairly consistent with my running schedule, but even more so this time. I have only missed a couple runs so far, and I try hard to make up the mileage during the week when this happens.

3)     Extra Slow Paced Runs – I am helping a friend get back into running. We meet 2-3 times a weeks and run between 2-3 miles.

4)     Strength Training – I have done Insanity and weightlifting (Body Beast) this training season. My legs and core feel stronger than ever.

5)     Stretching – This is an area that has been very neglected in the past. Every Insanity workout includes a stretching segment. This has helped in my weekly recovery, especially after long runs. Even though I’m technically done with Insanity I still try to do an Insanity workout once or twice a week to make sure I’m stretching my muscles properly to reduce risk of injury.

6)     Attitude – Running is 90% mental. It wasn’t until this training season that I realized all those other runs/races/trainings….I was sabotaging myself. I’d be out on a run and I would engage in negative self talk. Why am I doing this? No way I can keep up with them. It’s as if I would give up on myself halfway through a run. I wasn’t pushing myself nearly as hard as I could. Well…..that’s changed!! This for me is the biggest difference in my training. I push through the pain. I focus on the positive. I focus on the end goal. I set my goals high. I don’t beat myself up when I’m not there yet. I keep trying. I refuse to give in. I refuse to be mediocre.

 I’m still realistic – I don’t expect to win the Louisville Sports Commission 13.1, but I plan to beat my last race time. I’m running against MYSELF.

Workout Headbands: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

By on Oct 1, 2013

Workout Headbands: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

There has recently been a release of several new Diva Bands headbands styles. Included in these styles were the Pink Ribbon Thin and Pink Ribbon Thick.  These new Diva Bands headbands have been released just in time for breast cancer awareness month. The month of October is nationally recognized as breast cancer awareness month and what better way to show your support and spread the word than with these new Pink Ribbon Diva Bands headbands.

Many of us know someone who has had breast cancer or currently has breast cancer. Breast cancer can be a devastating disease, but most women can take active steps in order to help reduce their risk, say some of the nation’s leading breast cancer experts. It is believed that about 25% of all breast cancer cases in women of all ages could be avoided by maintaining a healthy body weight and doing regular physical activity. The greatest benefits for breast cancer reduction come from weight control and physical activity together, says cancer researcher Anne McTiernan. Her studies show that weight loss and exercising regularly combined have the most impact on improving the biomarkers, including estrogen and insulin, for breast cancer risk.

With these new Diva Bands headbands not only can you support the cause, but you can help to prevent yourself from being one of the many women each year who are diagnosed with breast cancer by staying active. There are a lot or runs and walks that are held each year across the country in support of breast cancer patients and survivors. These walks and runs provide you with the perfect opportunity to show support with one of these awesome new Diva Bands headbands. These non-slip workout headbands come in both of our sizes, thick (1 ½”) and thin (7/8”).

Workout Headbands: Find your passion

By on Sep 27, 2013

Workout Headbands: Find your passion

What do you do for fitness?

For me – it has to be something I find challenging and INTENSE! Over the years I have done a variety of exercises. Jazzercise, running, lifting weights, spinning, kickboxing, yoga, Pilates. And Shapenastics!! How could I forget that??? Does anyone remember Shapenastics?? It was very similar to Jazzercise, but no where near as intense as Jazz. Of course my latest fascination is with the Beachbody programs. I’ve only done Body Beast and Insanity so far. I plan to get T25 for Christmas and start in January. I’m very excited about that. Of course, I’m running too, but running itself is not enough for me to do. I try to get in a good 1.5-2 hours of working out 6 days a week.

If you don’t like and enjoy what fitness program you are doing — you will NOT stick with it! Sorry!! It’s just a fact!! If you don’t enjoy going to the gym or hitting the treadmill — you will not continue. If you get bored with something — you will quit. It’s inevitable.

I admit — I get bored easily so I have to mix up my routine. It’s also very good for your body. If you always do the same thing, lift the same weight, work the same body parts, run the same route – your body gets accustomed to it and therefore, you are less likely to see any changes with your body. It’s good to shock your muscles. Mix it up. Do something different. Increase the intensity. Try something new! Try something you never thought you could do and prove yourself wrong!!

Find your passion, find what you love to do and DO IT!! Make yourself sweat!!  You won’t regret it and your body will thank you for it! And — when you are finally doing it for YOU — you won’t want to stop!! Promise!

Workout Headbands: Become what inspires you….

By on Sep 25, 2013

Workout Headbands: Become what inspires you….

Where do you find your inspiration?

 

People inspire me. My children inspire me. Life events inspire me. Changes in the community inspire me. I try to keep my eyes and ears open at all times to things that can not only improve my physical health and well-being but also my overall attitude on life. I’ll be the first to admit — there have many times in my life that I needed what my Dad used to always call — “An attitude adjustment right on top of the head!”

 

I have found many health and fitness facebook pages that inspire me daily. Social media has become oversaturated with them for sure, but there are still some that standout to me. It’s crazy how a complete stranger can make you smile and challenge you in a workout. I think it’s true when they say — you become like the 5 people you associate with the most — so choose wisely.  It’s important to surround yourself with like-minded individuals. People who share your passion for fitness. People who do not make you feel crazy for wanting to run 10 miles on a Sunday morning. People that will say — you know I’ve never tried that, but I’m game — count me in!! Negative people can suck the life out of you. Emotional leeches!!

 

As I was running yesterday, I was thinking of someone who inspires me. Who challenges me to pick my legs up higher, run faster, hold my head high and to push through those 5 miles of hills!! Ironically, she probably doesn’t even know who she is. I ran 5 miles with an average pace of 8:40. Definitely my fastest to date. Of course, the self doubt kicked in and I thought there is no way I can do that again! What a fluke!! Maybe my watch is inaccurate!! Ha! Oh — the dreaded self doubt!! I will eventually tackle you like I do the hills.

 

Remember to smile, laugh, work hard and become what inspires you.