Archive | January, 2013

Hammer Time!

29 Jan

Introducing Hammer Curls: All-in-one arm exercise that will sculpt and strengthen your biceps, triceps, shoulders and forearms. Work smarter, not harder!

U1st tip: Men use 20 to 30lbs dumbbell, women use 5 to 20lbs dumbbell. 3 to 4 sets / 10 to 15 reps per set


Step 1: Hold dumbbells at sides of thighs with dumbbell facing forward, make sure back is straight and feet are centered, shoulder width apart with slight bend at the knees.

Step 2: Curl both dumbbells up toward your shoulders while keeping your elbows tucked to your hips.

Step 3: When the dumbbells are at top of shoulder press straight up in the air keeping dumbbells in same position. Be sure to follow dumbbells with the eye to maintain proper form and prevent injury. Return dumbbells to shoulder then back down to sides. Repeat 10-15 reps per set. Perform 3-4 sets.

U1st Challenge: Increase your weight each set and try one arm at a time.


Standing Abs: More fun & no more sore necks!

22 Jan

This is a great video by Jillian Michaels, perfect for the ladies. Everybody wants a toned & sculpted mid-section, but honestly who wants to do traditional crunches on the floor? They are uncomfortable and a lot of times create unnecessary neck and shoulder strains if performed improperly. Exercising your abs by standing up will prevent injuries and you can do so in a much smaller space needed.

U1st tips:

  1. Make sure to keep your core and butt tight while performing these exercises.
  2. Also, like Jillian mentioned, don’t go crazy on the dumbbell weights just because you can perform them. You want to trim and shape your obliques, not bulge them!
  3. For the high-knees demo, I would keep the arms straight out in front of you, same levels as your shoulders and make sure you are driving your knees high using your abs, instead of your legs.
  4. For women, it is not necessary to increase the weight, but more important to perform high repetitions, so gradually increase reps once you feel comfortable.

For the days you can’t make it to the gym, commit to doing this while you are watching TV or whenever you have the free 10 minutes to do this. There are 1,440 minutes in a day, I’m sure you can spare ten, especially they help improve your abs! 

Flat bread pocket for the win!

16 Jan

My clients and friends often ask me for recommendations on healthier carb options when it comes to making something quick, nutritious and delicious. I came across Arnold’s ‘Pocket Thins.” These flat bread pockets are 100% whole wheat and are great for a quick lunch fix.

The flat bread pocket is packed with:

  • 100 calories
  • 1.5 grams of fat (0 grams of saturated fat)
  • 20 grams of carbs
  • 5 grams of Dietary Fiber
  • 5 grams of protein
Arnold's 'Pocket Thins' flat bread stuffed with honey turkey, cheese, pesto spread, lettuce and tomatoes.

Quick lunch fix under 5 minutes using Arnold’s ‘Pocket Thins’ flat bread

This turkey pesto tomato flat bread, inspired by Arnold’s ‘Pocket Thins’ lunch is less than 200 calories and took less than five minutes to put together!

  • 1 ‘Pocket Thins’ flat bread
  • 3 slices of Board’s Head honey turkey 
  • 1 slice of American cheese
  • Diced tomatoes
  • shredded lettuce
  • 1/2 tablespoon of pesto

I toasted the bread, meat, cheese and pesto first then stuffed it all along with tomatoes and lettuce in the pocket.

16 Jan

Everybody be careful! Read the ‘Take 3’ action plan by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Remember, if you are sick, stay put and contaminate the situation before getting worse and/or passing it on to others.

CBS Philly

WILMINGTON, DELAWARE (CBS) – Delaware has confirmed its first flu fatality of the 2012-2013 flu season.

The victim is a reportedly a two-month-old baby from New Castle County.

“We are so sorry to hear this sad news,” said Dr. Karyl Rattay, DPH director. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family. This is an important reminder how serious the flu can be, particularly among vulnerable populations like the very young, people with multiple underlying conditions, and seniors.”

According to the CDC, 2,257 lab-confirmed flu hospitalizations have been reported since Oct. 1, 2012, and as of Jan. 5, 20 flu-associated pediatric deaths had been reported to CDC.

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What your motto should be

15 Jan

What your motto should be

I came across this picture today and wanted to share this with everyone. This is a motto that I live by and you should all too. Love your body, treat it well and always remember that it’s a sanctuary.

Make conscious food and exercise choices based on this motto when it comes to you, your family and loved ones!

Breakfast of Champions

10 Jan

We can all remember our moms saying “Eat your breakfast before school!” Well guess what, she was right! Now you’re way into your adults years with children of your own, it is more important than ever for you and your family to start the day right with a healthy breakfast. Some of make poor choices for breakfasts and some of us don’t eat breakfast at all. Do you honestly expect your body to run on empty until lunch time?

Eating a proper meal in the morning can attribute to many benefits for you and your family such as improved concentration level at work and at school and more strength and energy for physical activities. According to the American Dietetic Association, children who eat a healthy breakfast perform better in the classroom and in the playground, hand-eye coordination and also problem-solving skills.

Weight control: Studies show that breakfast skippers are more likely to gain weight than breakfast eaters. Why? First reason is that eating breakfast controls hunger levels, causing you to eat less at lunch and throughout the day; Therefore, by lunch time you won’t be wolfing down a super cheesy melt sub. If you think you are ‘saving calories’ by skipping breakfast, then you are clearly mistaken my friend! Also, by eating a healthy breakfast links to making smarter food choices in general. (P.S. Hunger causes mood swings. Do yourself and the people around you a favor by feeding your body properly in the A.M. before you unleash your wrath on those around you, yikes!)

Now that we’ve got the concept down you need to eat a healthy breakfast, let’s explore what kind of breakfast you should and should not be eating.

Here are some suggested breakfast ideas that you can make in less than 5 minutes:

Hard-boiled (You can save time and prepare the night before), scrambled, sunny-side up, or even on a piece of toasted whole-wheat toast. Add some lean protein such as turkey bacon. Pair that with a glass of water or 100% fruit juice.

Fruit Smoothies: In a blender, combine 1 cup of ice, 1 banana (perfect time to get rid of those bananas that might be a little too ripe), and 1 cup of fresh fruit (It can be any kind, or even the frozen ones from the store), 1/2 cup of milk and 1 cup of plain yogurt.

Oatmeal: Quaker’s instant packets are the best! You can store a stash at the office for convenience. Throw in some fresh fruit in there and a handful of granola for an extra kick and extra protein! Pair with a glass of water or 100% fruit juice.

Cereal: Now that was easy! But the good kind, I’m talking about Kashi Go Lean! Special K, Granola cereals. No lucky charms, frosted flakes, resees peanut butter, forget about it! Pair that with a piece of whole wheat toast.

Breakfast burrito: Scramble Eggs, prepare 2 slices of turkey bacon, dice a handful of tomatoes and sprinkle shredded cheese, all wrapped in a whole wheat flour tortilla.

The No No’s for the morning:


Soda: I never understood why people drank soda, especially in the AM! It will not only make you bloated and soft, and let’s cut to the chase, the nutrients just aren’t there. The human body is 75-80% water, stay thirsty my friend! With H20 that is.

High fat & cholesterol meats: Bacon, scarpple, ham and sausage. Choose turkey products instead, they are low in fat and higher in protein. And yes, you don’t have to sacrifice taste, turkey is just as delicious.

Dough: Eating dough and floury products will give you a doughboy body! Donuts, muffins, cakes should be avoided at all costs. These carbohydrates will spike your blood sugar temporarily and later on give you the ‘crash’ feeling. That is no way to start a day.

Sources: Web M.D., American Dietetic Association.

Plank Nation

3 Jan

Plank nation consists of a series of plank exercises that will constantly improve core strength and sculpt the upper body.


Running Man
1. Start out in a plank position (Make sure the core is tight, back & butt are in a straight line with hands directly underneath the shoulders).
2. Drive the left knee towards the chest in a steady motion.
3. Return left foot to starting position.
4. Repeat same movement with the alternate (right) knee.
5. Do 3 sets: 1st set for 30 seconds, 2nd set for 45 seconds and 3rd set for 60 seconds. Repeat 3x.
6. Gradually increase your speed each set.

Variation: Frog legs
1. Start out in plank position (Make sure the core is tight, back & butt are in a straight line with hands directly underneath the shoulders).
2. Drive left knee toward outside of left elbow.
3. Repeat with right knee towards outside of right elbow.
4. Visualize how frogs walk. This exercise is focused on core and especially obliques.
5. Maintain steady motion+speed, do 3 sets of 30 reps.

Challenge: Side plank

1. Start out in plank position (Make sure the core is tight, back & butt are in a straight line with hands directly underneath the shoulders).
2. Drop down to your forearms.
3. Swivel left arm and hip towards the ceiling while locking the right shoulder. Align the lower body in same position.
4. Extend left arm straight up, stacked over the opposite arm.
5. When you gain your balance, hold for 30 seconds.
6. Return to forearm plank and repeat with the other side. Try 3x.

U1st Challenge: Add 10 seconds to each set!