Archive for June, 2013

June 12, 2013

Nailing Down Common Health Concerns

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Happy nails equal healthy YOU!

I recall having coffee with a coworker senior to me, when she looked down at my hands around my mug and said, “no moons.” Excuse me?  Up to that point, I didn’t know that you could tell a person’s B-12 levels by whether or not they had half moons on their nail beds. Go ahead; take a look at your nails… I’ll wait…

I was surprised that my coworker looked past my uneven fresh-out-of-acrylics short nails to observe my half moons, but we were discussing my lack of energy, chronic fatigue, and loss of memory that had transpired that year. I was a historically active, fit, energetic person about three years into my corporate career when I started feeling less energetic, and becoming frequently fatigued throughout my day. I couldn’t put my finger on the issue, but she did!

ImageLooking back it makes perfect sense. In college, although I was committed to my running and indoor cycling workouts, a proud regular of Bodyworks gym in Lubbock, Texas where I got my body in competitive shape for both Miss San Antonio USA and Miss Lubbock USA, I did not eat well. I shiver looking back at the mounds of canned fruit and vegetables I ate. Hey, I was on a college-kid’s budget, and canned food kept well for a long time. (That should have been a hint it wasn’t nourishing.) I cringe when I think about the bowls of cereal I ate for dinner. After all, whole grain cereal promised sweet dreams at the end of a long day, and milk warms the soul right? It was the perfect “go-to, readily-available” meal. Reek! I’m certain that four years of college and three years of making a name for myself in the corporate world (and in the Dallas, Texas social scene) didn’t leave me nourished, and the lack of vitamins and minerals probably started taking its toll on my body.

This same coworker directed me past the inadequate and “cheaper” supplements on store shelves toward Advocare nutritional company, headquartered north of town. High-quality supplementation and a nutritionist that I still credit to this day for my healthy relationship with food have allowed me to reverse any past damage and to propel my health and wellness into a place where I can flourish. We should all set ourselves up to flourish in life!

So, how do your nails look? For my acrylic nail-wearing glamour sisters, don’t despair. Simply take a look the next time you’re in for your “soak off.” If you don’t see half moons, let’s chat about how to get that B-12. Healthy levels of vitamins and minerals exude beauty through your skin, hair, nails, and attitude. You’ll have folks stopping and gasping in no time saying, “WOW—look at the vitamins and minerals on that girl!”

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Internal beauty shines brightly!

What are your nails trying to tell you?

Pale Nails: This could be a sign of impending anemia, congestive heart failure, liver disease, or malnutrition

White Nails: If the nails are mostly white with darker rims, this can indicate liver problems, such as hepatitis.

Yellow Nails: Hello, fungal infection! This can also be an alert to a more serious condition such as severe thyroid disease, lung disease, diabetes or psoriasis.

Blue Nails: Breathe, my friend! This is a sign that the body isn’t getting enough oxygen. This could also indicate an infection in the lungs, such as pneumonia.

Rippled or Pitted Nails: This may be an early sign of psoriasis or inflammatory arthritis.

Dry, Brittle Nails: Check out your thyroid if you have nails that frequently crack or split; However, cracking or splitting combined with a yellowish hue is more likely due to a fungal infection.

Finally… one close to my heart as a former nail biter: Biting your nails could be a sign of persistent anxiety or obsessive-compulsive disorder. Alas, good things can come out of the not so good, and I learned about ways to relax and create calmness through guided meditation and breathing exercises. I hope to visit with you more about ways to nourish your mental and emotional wellness with future posts. If you simply cannot stop biting your nails (or cuticle skin), it’s worth discussing with your doctor or wellness practitioner.

Since low Vitamin B-12 levels are common these days, here are other ways you can tell you may be low on this important vitamin:

Tingling hands and feet

Numbness

Memory problems

Feeling exhausted

Depression

Sensitivity to noise

Lots of brown spots

Bleeding gums

Burning sensation (possibly on thighs)

Legs hurt and “jump” at night

Pain, including bone pain in legs

Balance problems

Heavy menstrual bleeding or nose bleeds

P.S.: If you’re wondering why it was important that I mention my coffee shop friend was older than me, it’s because lately I’ve found those senior to me fascinating! I encourage everyone to get to know the senior citizens around them. They have the best stories and you could learn a thing or two from someone who’s been around the block a few times.

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My Grandma Lucy and I. She’s a hoot!

Joyfully and in health, Lacey

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June 10, 2013

25 Things….

So have you ever read those celebrity magazine like US weekly and Star that do the 25 things page. It’s basically 25 random facts about a celebrity that you may or may not know. So while I am certainly no celebrity, I thought it might be a fun way for you to get to know me better. So here goes:

1. I was born in New York

2. I grew up in Titusville, Florida where the space shuttle goes up

3. I have been dancing since I was 3

4. I played the violin all the way until college

5. I went to the University of Central Florida and worked in the library

6. My eyebrows used to be HUGE like Brooke Shields

7. My favorite snack is chips and salsa

8. My maiden last name was Katz

9. I have major time anxiety. I can’t be late to anything

10. I am addicted to NIKE 

11. I have 2 beautiful daughters, Adrianna and Bianca

12. I used to be an elementary school teacher

13. My favorite movie of all time is Rocky

14. I talk to my puppies like they are people…Milo and Misty

15. I never really liked soda

16. I love Staples…colorful paperclips make me happy

17. I love game shows! 

18. I hate getting gas for my car. 

19. I don’t try foods I don’t think I will like

20. I am an only child

21. I like to fold my toilet paper 4 times before using

22. I suck at putting the lids back on things

23. I don’t like confrontation

24. I truly believe in the zombie apopcalypse

25. I am not a good cook. Imagenay

June 10, 2013

Dimensions of Wellness

wellness

Hello, Friends! It’s Brooke, here. What does wellness mean to you? Does it mean that you are thriving and growing? Or does it simply mean that the nasty stomach bug going around the office managed to miss you . . . this time? According to the World Health Organization, wellness is not simply the absence of disease, but a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being.

Living a healthy lifestyle means making choices that support your overall well-being. This term “well-being” feels very broad to me. We often limit our perception of a healthy life to only the physical aspects, but we are so much more than just our bodies. The following dimensions of wellness allow us to examine various aspects of our lives and see what’s working and what needs more attention. Some of the ways to improve your personal wellness will be very familiar to you, whereas others may spark some new ideas.

Dimensions of Wellness

  • Physical
  • Intellectual
  • Spiritual
  • Emotional
  • Social
  • Vocational

Physical wellness means taking personal responsibility for your own health as well as striving to incorporate positive behaviors into your life each day.

  • Eat a variety of healthy foods
  • Exercise daily
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Drink lots of water
  • Practice safe sex
  • Stay current on health screenings
  • Stop smoking
  • Consume alcohol in moderation (if at all)

Intellectual wellness is thinking creatively and logically to understand yourself and others as well as expanding your knowledge and skills through activities and resources.

  • Learn a foreign language (and then travel abroad to practice!)
  • Visit a zoo or science museum
  • Learn to appreciate art
  • Read anything your heart desires
  • Challenge yourself by taking a class
  • Seek out people who stimulate your mind
  • Immerse yourself in a subject that fascinates you

Spiritual wellness involves finding meaning and purpose in your life. Spiritual wellness also encourages you to develop and examine ethics and personal values, which may or may not be based on religion.

  • Allow yourself and others the freedom to be themselves, without judgment or agenda
  • Engage fully in your life
  • Discover (and protect) the parts of yourself you value
  • Search your motivations and goals
  • Explore what spirituality means to you
  • Honor sacredness in nature and in your life

Emotional wellness is the ability to accept your feelings about yourself, assess your strengths and limitations, cope with stress, and function autonomously in the world.

  • Accept your strengths and improve on your weaknesses
  • Give and receive encouragement and support when you need it
  • Listen to your heart and your feelings
  • Manage and minimize the stress in your life
  • Learn the fine art of time management
  • Seek out the things that light your fire
  • Strive for peace and happiness

Social wellness involves the creation and maintenance of healthy relationships within your family, friends, and community.

  • Communicate directly when you need something
  • Spend time with your loved ones
  • Collect new friends and treasure your old friends
  • Find a group or activity that gives you purpose
  • Nurture your relationships, despite the busyness of everyday life
  • Contribute your time or gifts to the community
  • Expect positivity and love—I promise you’ll get it back

Vocational wellness involves discovering personal and occupational interests that are meaningful as well as setting goals and recognizing abilities that enrich your life.

  • Explore new interests or long-forgotten passions
  • Imagine yourself in a career(s) that makes you feel alive
  • Spend time brainstorming and setting goals
  • Ponder how you can best use your gifts and skills
  • Get acquainted with what makes you special and then figure out how to share those things
  • Strive to be of good cheer and consciously bring positivity to those you work with

These dimensions are interrelated in such a way that one affects the others, positively as well as negatively. Balance in all areas of wellness is the key to fulfilling personal potential. I know we focus on living a vital, healthy life by caring for our bodies, but you and I both know that we are the sum of all of our parts, beautiful and flawed, together or falling apart. When we care for our outsides as well as our insides, we will see wonderful things rippling through all parts of our life. I hope you will begin each day by choosing to own your health and taking steps each day to live radiantly well.

May you have a gloriously happy week,

Brooke

yoga

June 7, 2013

Booty Blast Workout

ImageWe all want to look and feel our best in our cute shorts and swimsuits this year. Even though summer has begun, it’s not too late to get your booty in gear.  As we get older, we tend to take on the mindset that because we are aging our booty must go down with gravity. Let’s defy gravity!

For me, I think the most important thing is to hit the weights!  I know that’s not what you want to hear and sometimes as women we get scared that weight lifting will make us too bulky. However, the more muscle mass you have, the more fat you’ll burn.  So don’t be afraid to hit the weights!  Adding muscle is the best way to add some curve to your body. I know that every body type is different but what helps me get me get my booty looking it’s best is a combination of things.

When I need to turn it around quickly, it’s important that I stick to this routine. I know this might seem like a lot, but for me it takes full commitment to get on track. First, of all cleaning up my diet is super important.  I have to truly write out my meal plan and commit myself to sticking to it.  I do allow myself a couple of cheat meals a week. However, as much as it stinks, if you’re really trying to commit to your summer body, omitting alcohol will really help you reach your goal faster.  Secondly, I add in sprints/ stadiums a couple of times a week.  Lastly, I add a twice a week leg day, as well as incorporating non-weighted booty lifts at home while I watch tv (example fire hydrant, floor bridge).

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Here is one of my favorite booty workouts:

        Booty Burn Weight Workout

1. Squats 12/15/20 with 3 second pause on last set

superset with jump squats for 3 x20

2. One-legged leg press 3×20 per side

superset with reverse-lunges (in place) 12 per side

  3. Step ups
3×20

 4. Dead lifts 3×12 

 5.Finish up with lunge jumps 3×20

 Remember, we are all different and what works for me might not work for you. I just try to get a solid plan, and stick to it. Then I constantly remind myself to just take it one day, one workout, one meal at a time.  It’s important to celebrate even the small successes. You can do it!

 Happy Weekend-

Loren Silas

June 6, 2013

Recipe – Raw Banana Cream Pie

I have been on a summer time dessert roll the past few weeks.  One of my all time favorite desserts was banana pudding.  When I was a kid I would literally sneak out of bed and eat the whole bowl of my mom’s famous banana pudding.  Now I don’t drink dairy milk, don’t eat pudding and I haven’t had a Nilla wafer in years but I still love bananas and the cool creamy texture of pudding!

Try my healthier substitute for banana pudding and let me know what you think!

Banana Cream Pie

Ingredients

Crust:

1/2 cup dates

1/2 cup almonds

1/2 cup cashews

1 cup dried, unsweetened coconut

Pinch sea salt

Banana Cream Filling

2-3 medium bananas

3/4 cup pecans

1/4 cup honey or maple syrup

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/3 cup coconut oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Coconut whipped cream

1 can of chilled coconut milk

2 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Topping of your choice or all!

  • Drizzled chocolate
  • Sliced bananas
  • Chopped Nuts

Directions for Banana Cream Pie Assembly

1. Place all crust ingredients in a blender or food processor until the mixture sticks together.

2. Empty the crust mixture into a 8 inch glass pie dish. Press the crust down firmly with your hands. Top with layer of sliced bananas

3. Add all banana cream filling ingredients to your blender. Blend until creamy and smooth.

4. Pour banana cream filling over the layer of bananas and crust. Smooth out with the back of a spoon or silicone spatula.

5. Top pie with coconut whipped cream, sliced bananas and drizzled chocolate or chopped nuts.

6. Cover the pie and place in freezer to set overnight.

7. Store leftovers (if any!) in the freezer.

Directions for Coconut whipped cream

1. Scoop out all of the coconut cream and place in mixing bowl (leave the coconut water).

2. Add the honey and vanilla to the coconut cream and blend with a hand mixer until light and fluffy.

3. Pour the whipped coconut cream on the top of the banana cream and smooth out to the edges.

Kathy

June 5, 2013

Life is a Beach Run

 

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The fishing pier at Port Aransas, Texas

The entire trip down to Port Aransas, Texas, I anxiously awaited running on the sand at the beach. I crave beach running, and every time I’m seaside, I wonder why it took me so long to get back here. As I started out on my morning run, Memorial Day weekend, I anticipated traffic on the beach; however, I found a nice, empty, clear path along the thickest part of the beach sand. Yay me! I’ll be getting a good leg workout today for sure

It’s always a struggle to cut coffee time short on the breezy patio and get my run in before enjoying the day lounging at the beach; however, in true runner-addict form, I had my one cup of coffee as I braided my hair, assembled my running outfit and tucked my toes in my low-profile sneakers. (I’ve gotten good at separating my toes to where they slide into the “web shoes” perfectly. Anyone who has a pair of “web shoes” appreciates this statement.)

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Necessities for the beach: plenty of water and sunglasses!

As suspected, the sand absorbs each step of my run, and my quads, hamstrings, and calves yell out a rally cry with each mile. As I look over to the water’s edge, I imagine the waves scooping up every worry from my mind and the tide carries all of them out into the ocean. Ahhh… breathing in salty air seasons my soul and it’s a feeling I crave. Deep breath in… big breath out… waves pull toward me to gather the stress on my shoulders, and the water leaves the shoreline peaceful and clear.

Four miles later, I return to the beach house and hang in ragdoll to pray. “Thank you Lord for reminding me how strong my body is even when I start to second-guess myself.”  Stretching is one of the best things you can do for your body post-workout. I find shade because now I am a dripping, salty mess and want to give my skin a chance to cool down and my breath to return to normal.  After a few yoga poses (especially for the hip flexors and hamstrings), I’m ready to take on the world.

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Now that I’ve shared one of my favorite summer workouts with you, I want to share the best part… shower and recovery meal! For my sun-kissed, salty and sweaty skin, I love lathering up with Dial soap. That’s right… good old-fashioned Dial anti-bacterial soap is safe for your entire body—even face! For my hair, it’s Wen brand hair care. The cleansing conditioner provides a no-nonsense, quick cleansing solution for my dry hair. No separate conditioner needed. Sometimes, I will even leave a small amount in my hair as a leave-in conditioner for the day.

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I moisturize my skin with a mixture of Kiss My Face brand sunscreen and Lubriderm lotion. This replenishes moisture to the skin and protects my skin from the sun.

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Finally, I apply Nars-brand tinted face moisturizer to my face. This, and a little bit of waterproof Maybelline mascara, acts as my only makeup for the day. (Did I mention how much I love the beach?)

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I create a cute braided up-do and it’s about time to refuel my muscles. My fuel of choice, post-run is either an Advocare Meal Replacement Shake with added wheat grass. (I promise it’s yummy.) Or I make veggie eggs and green juice. Check out the recipes and helpful tips below, and let me know your favorite beach hang out.

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Veggie Egg Muffins

  • 2 cups Eggbeaters (or four whole eggs)
  • 4 oz Mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup Mushrooms
  • 1 cup Spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup Red peppers

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Dice mushrooms, spinach leaves and red peppers. Mix Eggbeaters, cheese, all veggies (feel free to add more). Spray muffin tin with butter/oil then fill each muffin cup evenly with egg, cheese and veggie – I used a 1/2 cup measuring cup to evenly fill.  Each cup should be about 3/4 full.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes. Muffins will keep in the refrigerator for about a week within freezing. Egg muffins can be frozen and reheated in the microwave—they make a great, quick breakfast or morning snack!

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Sand Running Tips:

  1. Start slow—your muscles, tendons, and ligaments need to get used to running on sand, so shorter distances are best.
  2. Never run on sand twice in a row. Further, I hesitate running on back-to-back days. Give your leg muscles some breathing room, and reduce injury that could result from over-working a specific muscle group.
  3. Alternate the use of low profile shoes (web shoes) and regular running shoes. Most people’s feet are used to having padding and support.
  4. Keep high cadence and do not worry about stride length
  5. Alter the depth of the sand, if possible. Hop from the thick, loose sand to the patch of thinner, pact sand… and back to the tough stuff.
  6. Be sure to download some Beach Boys tunes for your run!
June 4, 2013

The Healthiest Meal of the Day

So, I am not sure if you are aware, but I am a Team Beachbody Coach. Beachbody is the company that produces great workout programs such as INSANITY and P90X. But, we also have Shakeology, the healthiest meal of the day. I know, you are thinking, its just another shake, and there are tons of those out there. WRONG! This is so much more than that. With over 72 vitamins and minerals, this is a source of dense, whole nutrition that will increase your energy, lower your blood pressure, and keep you regular! It’s backed by the American Diabetes Association and is a 24 on the Glycemic Index. I take no other vitamins or supplements, just my daily Shakeology which I drink for breakfast. My hair is longer, my skin is clearer, and I am NEVER sick! My kids even love it. In fact, my oldest daughter always asks for Shakeology on testing days…she says she just feels better after drinking it. Shakeology is one  hundred percent natural and doesn’t have any added sugars, or chemically engineered vitamin sources. Everyone I love and care about drinks Shakeology, not because I sell it, but because I want them to live longer and happier. The other great part for me is that it curbs my sweet tooth. I get my daily chocolate fix in the morning, and then I have no trouble passing by a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup or chocolate cheesecake. 

If you want to know more about Shakeology and what it can do for you, feel free to reach out to me at danielle@daniellehinson.com or visit my website http://teamfitandfunky.com. Not only do you get Shakeology but you get something even better, ME as your COACH! I am there to ensure your questions are answered and your goals are being met. 

I look forward to hearing from YOU! Image

June 3, 2013

Bedtime Snack

This could be you!

This could be you!

Good morning, friends! It’s Brooke, here. I know a bedtime snack is probably the last thing you’re thinking of right now, but sooner or later, the idea of a little nighttime nibble will cross your mind. And when it does, will you be prepared? A bedtime snack need not completely dismantle your whole day’s progress up to this point. In fact, you can harness the power of food for good and not evil—just choose wisely! Here are some tips to avoiding a complete meltdown in front of your open fridge.

fridge

 

1. Keep your snack light (under 200 calories): As you prepare for sleep, the last thing you need is something heavy sitting in your stomach. You want a snack that is small and easily digestible, that will usher you into dreamland. A cup of warm, fragrant herbal tea is a low-calorie way to help you relax and take the edge off of a late-night craving. If you’re like me, however, you may want something a bit more substantial to nibble on.

2. Include a complex carbohydrate and a low-fat protein: You’ve always heard that a cup of warm milk before bed helps you sleep, right? Turns out, it’s true! Milk contains tryptophan, an amino acid notoriously associated with turkey dinners and post-dinner naps. Tryptophan helps the body produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter that figures largely in the body’s ability to relax, regulate mood, and maintain a sleep cycle. All animal proteins contain varying amounts of tryptophan (turkey, chicken, seafood, eggs, animal milk, cheese, and yogurt), as do nuts, seeds, and legumes. Complex carbs, such as whole-grain bread or oats, help your body digest tryptophan more effectively. So, when you are choosing your snack, think complex carb (or maybe a simple carb, such as fruit) + low-fat protein. Some great snacks include:

  • Whole-grain cereal with milk
  • 1 c. yogurt topped with granola, berries, and/or fruit
  • Almond butter sandwich
  • Small apple or whole grain crackers with almond butter
  • 1 graham cracker sheet with milk
  • Small bunch of grapes with 1 oz. cheese
  • Handful of pistachios or pumpkin seeds with ¼ cantaloupe

weights

3. Eat a more substantial snack if you are building lean muscle: The nighttime snack is almost a given if you are on a muscle-building mission. As you know, if you are trying to sculpt sexy muscle, eating 5-6 small meals throughout the day is essential, and this snack may be part of your plan. The time between dinner and breakfast is a long time to go without nutrition, so this snack is an excellent way to promote anabolism, or the building of muscle tissue, while you sleep. Bodybuilders need to add more protein to their snack than the amount shown in the examples above. Lean protein like eggs, yogurt, milk, and protein powder are great additions. Research has shown that casein protein is even more effective than whey protein in providing slow-digesting nutrition as you sleep. Casein protein can be found in animal milk, cottage cheese, or in powder form. Here are several good options for you if you are interested in building lean muscle:

  • 1 cup cottage cheese with 2 sliced strawberries
  • Protein shake with milk
  • Scrambled eggs with veggies
  • Oatmeal with protein powder added

4. Avoid snacks that are spicy, sugary, and caffeinated: This advice seems pretty obvious, but we’ll run through it anyway. Hot and spicy foods can contribute to heartburn and reflux, which does not make for peaceful rest. If your bedtime snack is high in sugar, your blood sugar levels will be affected, which will also make catching those ZZZs a challenge. And if your snack of choice is hot tea, be sure it’s herbal (such as peppermint or chamomile) and not just decaffeinated black tea—there’s always a bit of caffeine lingering in those leaves, even those marked decaf.

Happiness!! (or My Favorite Yogurt Snack)

Here’s my favorite way to fix yogurt—this makes an excellent pre-workout snack, provided I’ve eaten enough complex carbs throughout the day, but as a bedtime snack, it’s wonderful! It always makes me feel full, relaxed, and happy.

  • 1 c. low-fat Greek yogurt
  • ½ c. low-fat cottage cheese
  • Small mix of berries (sliced strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries)
  • About 10 raw almonds or 5-7 walnut halves
  • 1 packet Truvia (stevia) for sweetness

Mix everything together in a bowl, and enjoy.

Yum!

Yum!

Friends, have a wonderful week, and happy (healthy) bedtime snacking!

Brooke