Archive for March, 2012

March 23, 2012

“Oh, I Get By With A Little Health From My Friends”

Hey everyone it’s Sandy and this time for my blog I wanted to share a letter one of my clients posted on her Facebook page. It explains the importance true friendships have on our well-being. Lately, I find this so true and I know I have read or studied  this at some point in my life, but we can all use friendly little reminders. So let your sisters, buddies and bestie’s know how grateful you are for their friendships and truly value the time you spend together. Here’s to a little  health from our friends!

To my girlfriends!!

One evening class at Stanford, the last lecture was on the mind-body connection the relationship between stress and disease. The speaker (head of Psychiatry at Stanford) said, “among other things, that one of the best things that a man could do for his heath is to be married to a woman whereas for a woman, one of the best things she could do for her health was to nurture her relationships with her girlfriends.” At first everyone laughed but he was serious.
Women connect with each other differently and provide support systems that help each other deal with difficult life experiences. Physically the quality of girlfriend time helps create more serotonin a neurotransmitter that helps combat depression and can create a general feeling of well-being. Women share feelings whereas men often form relationships based on activities. We share from our souls with our sisters/mothers and evidently that is very GOOD for our health. He said spending time with a friend is just as important to our general health as jogging or working out in a gym.
There is a tendency to think that when we are exercising we are doing something good for our bodies but when we are hanging out with friends we are wasting our time and should be more productively engaged. Not true. In fact, he said that failure to create and maintain quality personal relationships with other humans is as dangerous to our health as smoking!
So every time you hang out to schmooze with a gal pal, (and this included our “on-line” friends) just pat yourself on the back for doing something good for your health! We are indeed very, very lucky. SO lets toast to our friendship with our girlfriends. Apparently it is very good for our health!
Thanks to all the girls in my life who have helped me stay healthy, happy and feeling very loved!
Thanks Nicole for the memento! 
Here’s a link that I enjoyed and found interesting that also stresses the importance of friendships on our health and longevity.

http://www.seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/health/2002335724_healthwomenfriends15.html#.T2wAn7gk0nE.link

March 22, 2012

Tiny “green” home

Recently I was surfing the web for new ideas on ways to “green” my home and I came across a really cool website I wanted to share with everyone. It’s called Tumbleweed Tiny Houses and a guy named Jay Shafer created the company with the concept of building tiny homes. I mean really tiny- the homes range from 99 sq ft to almost 900 sq ft. Yes that’s right 99 sq ft! I was intrigued by the idea of  building a very small home to reduce it’s carbon footprint (and utility bills!) and also to drastically simplify life by downsizing to such a small home. My favorite of all his designs is the Harbinger, an adorable little cottage packed with clever design ideas. The studio version is 310 sq ft but seems much larger than that. If you want to check it out the website is http://www.tumbleweedhouses.com

Also if you are building a house, even a 310 sq ft house, here are some tips for building an environmentally friendly home you can be proud of:

  1. Choose eco-friendly materials when building your house. Materials that are locally produced, natural, sustainable, and require minimal processing when they are manufactured. Use non-toxic, safe materials and purchase only what you need. Plan your work so you don’t over buy materials.
  2. Install water saving devices in your home on the sinks, showers and the flush of the toilet. Reuse water by installing a rain water tank for flushing the toilet, doing laundry and watering the gardens.
  3. Use energy from the sun. Install large double panel windows on the northern side of the house. Consider installing solar panels for heating water.
  4. Insulate the house well for energy efficiency. Install double insulation in the ceilings to hold the heat from the sun.
  5. Purchase only energy efficient appliances and light bulbs. Get the most energy efficient household appliances that you can afford.
  6. Create healthy indoor air quality by only using only materials and paint which allow air to penetrate. Avoid carpets and other dust catching materials in the house by installing hard word floors.

March 21, 2012

My New Favorite Supplement

March 15, 2012

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!

Hey! Happy St. Patrick’s Day this weekend! This is one  holiday I always enjoy celebrating. First of all  I always wear green! ( I don’t wanna take any chances of getting pinched by just anybody! 😉 and secondly I have been known to enjoy a green beverage or two! I’m talking about a shot of wheat grass and a green smoothie! LOL!   Anyway, since my kiddos are  Irish I like to get them involved in the celebration too. This is a perfect day to get your little leperchauns to EAT THEIR GREENS!. Make it a fun day and get the kids involved in planning  green meals for the day or surprise them with everything green to eat.  Another idea is to introduce or challenge your family to try new healthy  green vegetables!  This is your chance to try a new healthy green dish that you wouldn’t typically make. When getting kids to try new foods or other healthy behaviors I find two things that work best are making a game out of it or giving them  a challenge. Challenges work best at my house, especially with twins, nobody wants to be outdone!! But most importantly remember to lead by example, your not going to get anybody to try  a brussel sprout if you don’t eat  YOUR brussel sprouts!!

 So here are some menu ideas to make your plates full of green!      

Breakfast: Start the day off with something fun that almost every kid has heard of GREEN EGGS! These are easily made by finely chopping up some fresh spinach then  saute it to the consistancy that your kids like and mix in with scambled eggs or  into an omlette. Serve with my guys favorite fruit…  green kiwi slices 🙂

Lunch: A green spinach tortilla filled with Mashed avacados, chopped green peppers, fresh chives and chopped green cucumbers,    and fresh spinach or lettuce with a touch of green goddess dressing. Add any other green goodies your heart desires! 🙂  Serve with a handful of green grapes. And try a Shamrock smoothie made with spinach, spirulina, greek yogurt, and  bananas.

Dinner: Try a creative green pasta dish! You can use green pasta or a green brocolli pesto to give you the color! Here’s one that I think looks tasty!   http://blogs.babble.com/family-kitchen/2010/11/12/easy-healthy-kale-walnut-pesto

Or make the kids favorite a mean green Mac and Cheese!  http://foodwithkidappeal.blogspot.com/2010/03/green-food-st-patricks-day-recipe.html

So come Saturday Eat your Greens!     Have a Great Day!    And Luck of the Irish to Ya!   From Sandy C. 😉

March 14, 2012

Prenatal yoga does a body good

Hey everyone it’s Shanon G. I wanted to share with all of you pregnant women out there the benefits of prenatal yoga! Recently I found out that the girl who lives next door to me is pregnant like myself. Naturally we have bonded over pregnancy and she invited me to a six week prenatal yoga class with her and another girl who is pregnant that lives down the street from us (it must be something in the water!) I have always loved doing regular yoga classes or going to hot yoga classes with my girlfriend Marzia before I became pregnant, so this sounded perfect for me. I did however do a little research just to check out the benefits of prenatal yoga and there are a bunch! Check it out!
Much like other types of childbirth-preparation classes, prenatal yoga is a multifaceted approach to exercise that encourages stretching, mental centering and focused breathing. Research suggests that prenatal yoga is safe and can have many benefits for pregnant women and their babies. For example, studies have suggested that prenatal yoga can:
Improve sleep
Reduce stress and anxiety
Increase the strength, flexibility and endurance of muscles needed for childbirth
Decrease lower back pain, nausea, carpal tunnel syndrome, headaches and shortness of breath
Decrease the risk of preterm labor, pregnancy-induced hypertension and intrauterine growth restriction — a condition that slows a baby’s growth
Prenatal yoga can also help you meet and bond with other pregnant women and prepare for the stress of being a new parent
A typical prenatal yoga class will go like this:
First you will start with breathing-You’ll be encouraged to focus on breathing in and out slowly and deeply through the nose. You may also practice different breathing techniques and making deep sounds, such as humming or grunting. Prenatal yoga breathing techniques may help you reduce or manage shortness of breath during pregnancy and work through contractions during labor.
Then you move to gentle stretching-You’ll be encouraged to gently move different areas of your body, such as your neck and arms, through their full range of motion
Next you go in to postures-While standing, sitting or lying on the ground, you’ll gently move your body into different positions aimed at developing your strength, flexibility and balance. Props — such as blankets, cushions and belts — may be used to provide support and comfort. You’ll also continue to focus on your breathing
Cool down-At the end of each prenatal yoga class, you’ll relax your muscles and restore your resting heart rate and breathing rhythm. You’ll be encouraged to sit down and gently stretch different parts of your body.
Last is relaxation-You may be encouraged to listen to your own breathing, pay close attention to sensations, thoughts and emotions, or repeat a mantra or word to bring about a state of self-awareness and inner calm.

I also wanted to share some of my own tips for going to a yoga class
-wear comfy, form fitting, stretchy fabric, there is nothing worse than being uncomfortable when trying to get into poses and moving around!
-if you have long hair wear it securely out of your face, you will be moving all around and don’t want to have to stop to adjust your hair constantly (I wear my own hair in a bun!)
-do NOT worry about what other people in the class are doing! There are going to be beginners all the way to advanced in most yoga classes, so just try to enjoy the experience and focus on yourself
-get out there and do it! You will never say “gosh I wish I hadn’t gone to that yoga class”, but you could very well say “Gosh I wish I had gone to that yoga class!”
Namaste’

March 8, 2012

MY 2012 ARNOLD EXPERIENCE

Hey Everyone!

I wanted to share with you my amazing 2012 Arnold Sport Festival experience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First off I wanted to let you know that is was my 6th year to go to the Arnold Sports Festival with Team Gaspari. For those of you who don’t know, the Arnold Sports Festival is THE largest fitness and bodybuilding event in the world. I am sure you can guess who created this amazing event…yep, you guessed it, the most famous Arnold in the world, Arnold Schwarzenegger. To learn more about this event, check out their website. It is in Columbus, Ohio every March. This event kicks off the fitness and bodybuilding year.  If you have never been to this event before, you HAVE to go! I am serious. This is one of the most fascinating events. You will get hundreds of dollars in free samples, meet your favorite athletes, and watch the different fitness/bodybuilding/MMA competitions. A little side note-Rich Gaspari, owner of Gaspari Nutrition, won the very first Arnold Classic!!! www.arnoldsportsfestival.com

 

Six years ago, the VP of Marketing for Gaspari Nutrition, discovered my pictures online and flew me out to my very first Arnold to represent them. I had never heard of such a thing. This was the largest fitness and bodybuilding event in the world and I couldn’t believe I had never heard of this event before. (And I was a personal trainer!) So, every year, Gaspari would invite me to be a apart of the team and every year they get bigger and better. Oh, and the booth grows every year too!!! I always have a great time working the Gaspari. Check the out if you haven’t heard before. http://www.gasparinutrition.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Working the booth, I get to meet all the new Team Gaspari members and athletes. I also get to meet all the fans that keep up with my career through the years too.  So, thank you to all who came out to see me, it was so wonderful to meet you! I also want to thank you for all the wonderful comments about my Healthy Housewives brand. It has been a fun adventure! So keep up the with our HH blog or HH social media outlets to see when and where our reality show will air. Here is a link to an interview of me on the Gaspari Nutrition red carpet. http://www.gasparinutrition.com/gasparitv/Default.aspx?pVideo=376

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few highlights of this trip…On the second day of the Arnold, Arnold came to the Gaspari booth. A few Team Gaspari athletes and I had the honor to take a picture with him. I think we were all so starstruck! His presence was amazing! When he walked towards us, it was like the sea of people were parting as he made his way to us to say hi.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another highlight was spending time with IFBB figure pro and host of Gaspari TV Felicia Romero. I loved her! I have met her before and made small talk, but this show, I really got to know her and I have to say, she is one of the most genuine people you will ever meet! So sweet and down to earth. Love ya Felicia! And another IFBB pro I loved hanging out with was IFBB Bikini Pro Jaime Baird. She is a sponsored Gasapri athlete. I love her personality. She is so real. She reminds me of me. We are similar people. She placed 4th in the Arnold International! Congrats Jaime. I wish her much continued success in her IFBB bikini pro career. She has been kicking ass since day 1 and so proud of how far she has come! Love you too Jaime!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another amazing person I wanted to mention was that I got to meet was fitness superstar Rachel Elizabeth! She is part of the star studded celebrity Alive Foundation Charity Event that I am attending this June! She was at the Vitamin Shoppe booth. I got to see her twice that weekend! She is beautiful, sweet, and of course in amazing shape! Looking forward to hanging with her in June! To learn more about this event go to: http://www.alivenewyork.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And last but not least! The last person I wanted to mention was Debbie, the owner of Natural Muscle! Love her! We got to catch up twice at the Arnold. She is such an amazing person with a big heart! I feel grateful that she let me be a writer for her magazine. I have been writing for Natural Muscle magazine since Sept 2010. http://www.naturalmuscle.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you enjoyed my pics and blog! Until next time…

Marzia

March 5, 2012

WORK IT BY WEARING ECO-FRIENDLY FASHION

ECO-FRIENDLY COUTURE ON THE RED CARPET

Hey Everyone,

Sorry I am a week late and the Oscars are old news now but I wanted to share this with you.

Green fashion and sustainable fashion are different terms used to create and produce a product with consideration to the environmental and social impact for its carbon footprint.There are many factors when considering the sustainability of a material.  The renew ability and the source of a fiber-the process of how a raw fiber is turned into a textile and the working conditions of the people producing the materials-which leads to the materials total carbon footprint.  There are at least 8,000 chemicals used to turn raw material into textile and 25% of the world’s pesticides are used to grow non-organic cotton.  This process causes irreversible damage to people and our environment.There are some new facilities around the world that are using recycled or reclaimed fibers from scraps of fabrics collected from clothing factories,which are processed back into short fibers for spinning into new yarn.  I’m not saying you have to be a hemp wearing hippy, you just need to care about the impact of your style and try to make a difference in some way no matter how small.

Many designers now are using bamboo fibers which are grown without pesticides and organic cotton which uses no toxic pesticides and no chemical fertilizers.  Some of the designers are trying to incorporate this sustainable practices into modern clothing.  Designers such as Stella McCartney,Yotam Solomon, Rogan Gregory,Peter Ingwersen,Ali Hewson, Bono, Stewart+Brown and Summer Rayne Oakes have recently drawn attention to socially-conscious and environmentally friendly fashion.  An increasing number of Hollywood celebrities have been associated with sustainable fashion, including Natalie Portman,Cameron Diaz, Alicia Silverstone, Adrian Grenier, Jennifer Aniston and Salma Hayek. At the 2012 academy awards Natalie Portman was the only one who wore a 1954 vintage red Dior gown.  Meryl Streep wore a gold Lavin gown made from eco-certified fabric, and then their was the the Green Dress!  What was the Green Dress?  Suzy Amis Cameron (wife of James Cameron) started an annual contest that sets the challenge for creatives and designers across the globe to create a red carpet dress made from entirely sustainable fabrics. The winner was submitted by Vatentina Delfino.  It was made in Los Angeles by Birgit Muller and tailored by Angelo Santos.  What Suzy did with this green dress challenge is an amazing thing.  Like she said”itsabout choices that we make with all the products that we purchase”.  Actress Missi Pyle who won and accepted 2 Oscars for “The Artist” wore the stunning gown!  If we all make an effort to show more care for our environment and its precious resources we can all make a difference;because being healthy never goes out of style!

A few more recycled fashion ideas are wearing recycled jeans (re-usejeans.com), re-sale stores, vintage, thrift stores, and recycled markets are just a few ways you can make a huge contribution to our precious plane

Check out this great website! http://www.redcarpetgreendress.com/home/

Love,

Kalliope

March 4, 2012

HAPPY PILLS

Hey everyone it’s Shanon G. I have been doing alot of research lately about pregnancy and birth trying to get ready for the birth of my daughter in May. I came across a shocking concept (at least I was shocked!) that I wanted to share with everyone, It might sound a little strange to some of you but just hear me out, it could be something that will help you, or you will just learn something new! It’s called placenta encapsulation. Basically you take your placenta (after giving birth) and turn it into capsules that you can take orally in the weeks after you give birth. Yes you read that right-your placenta! You can either go thru the process yourself following strict instructions on dehydrating the placenta and using other ingredients to make the pills, or you can hire a certified placenta encapsulation specialist to do it for you (for around $150-300). And new mothers swear by the pills! The info that I’ve found on the capsules say they combat the “baby blues” (mood swings, sadness, anxiousness, crying spells, loss of appetite, trouble sleeping), contain your own natural hormones, balance your system, replenish depleted iron, give you more energy, lessen bleeding postnatally, been shown to increase milk production, and hasten return of uterus to pre-pregnancy state. Amazing, right?
If pills are not for you there is also another option-placentophagy, or the act of mammals eating the placenta of their young after childbirth. I have to admit that I was even more shocked by the thought of eating the placenta than turning it into pill form! If this is something you think you might be interested in here are two websites you should check out:

http://pregnancy.about.com/cs/placentas/a/placenta.htm

http://placentabenefits.info/