Wednesday, January 30, 2013

just a thought....

“He who is and remains true to himself and to others has the most attractive quality of the greatest talent.”

The perfect workout for your body type

Join us every Wed. for a fit tip and come away revitalized!!

The perfect workout for your body type

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Just a Rule....

6 Diet Rules Meant to be Broken

Out with the Old, in with the New

Almost every time we turn on the television or glance at a magazine cover in the supermarket checkout line, we are bombarded with the new weight-loss rules and diet plans. We're constantly given suggestions to drink a special shake, cut out carbs, or choke down tasteless food combinations, but we as a nation aren't losing weight—we're getting heavier. What are you to believe when fad diets and false claims are flying at you from every direction? It's no wonder we're so confused about what to eat and how to manage our weight.

We've all been exposed to various "diet rules" over the years and, accurate or not, many of us still live by them. It's time to debunk six of these outdated and unhelpful rules once and for all and give you some NEW guidelines that will actually help you reach your goals!

Old rule: Don’t eat after 7 p.m. 
So what makes 7 (or 8 or 9) p.m. a magical cutoff time anyway? The original idea was that people should stop eating about 3 hours before bed, using 10 p.m. as an average bedtime. Although it is a good idea to stop eating a few hours before bed, the reasoning has nothing to do with weight gain; it’s basically an issue of digestion and personal comfort. Going to sleep on a full stomach may make sleeping uncomfortable, as the body is simultaneously shutting down to rest while still exerting energy to digest the food. This may lead to fitful sleep as well as gas and indigestion—but not weight gain. Your body is smart, but it doesn't know what time it is when you eat. It will metabolize calories eaten after 7 p.m. the same way as it does the calories you eat earlier in the day. They will NOT automatically be stored as fat.

New rule: Don’t mindlessly snack in the evening. 
What does cause weight gain for many people is eating a large amount of unhealthy food at night. Not eating after 7 p.m. is a good rule if you tend to mindlessly munch on food all evening long, whether to soothe the day's stress or relieve boredom. Your total caloric intake for the day is what matters—not the time at which you eat your calories. You can eat at night without gaining weight, as long as you are eating mindfully to satisfy real hunger rather than stress or boredom and don't go over your calorie needs for the day when doing so.

Old rule: Always choose fat-free foods.
These days, nearly every full-fat food, from cookies to ice cream, has a fat-free counterpart. It's the first instinct of many people to simply eat these reduced fat foods to control their weight; however, this tactic could actually derail your good intentions. Why? Because most of the fat-free foods you can buy are things you shouldn't be eating anyway: empty-calorie junk food and heavily processed sweets, crackers and cookies. These items have been available for over a decade, but people aren't getting any thinner by eating them. Remember, dietary fat isn't the sole culprit that has made us overweight, excess calories are. Sure most of us could stand to cut back on our fat intake to a more reasonable level, but calories count when it comes to weight loss. All the reduced-fat foods in the world will not help you lose weight if you're making poor food choices or eating too many calories in general.

New rule: Include a moderate amount of heart-healthy fats in your weight loss plan. 
Your body needs dietary fat for day-to-day organ protection, vitamin absorption, hormone production and more, so you won’t be doing yourself any favors by completely depriving yourself of this macronutrient. A sensible amount of fat can also aid in satiety, making you feel fuller longer. Try adding healthful fats such as nuts, avocado, or olive oil to your diet. Choose low-fat or fat-free products when it comes to dairy and meats to limit your intake of unhealthy fats and control calories, but leave the other fat-free foods on the supermarket shelf.

Old rule: You should burn every calorie you eat through exercise. 
To lose weight, it's true that you need to burn more calories than you consume. But some people misinterpret this weight-loss equation, thinking they must burn off every calorie they eat—and then some—by exercising. Besides being inaccurate, this practice can be unsafe and lead to exhaustion, overuse injuries, and stalled weight-loss among other problems. Remember, your body is constantly burning calories throughout the day, even when you're not physically active. This is known as a basal metabolic rate (BMR), and it accounts for more than 1,200-1,500 calories per day (on average). Add to that all the calories you burn by moving, walking, standing, and yes, exercising, and you can see how easy it is to "burn more calories than you consume" without spending your life in the gym.

New rule: Move more and exercise moderately. 
Try to achieve an active lifestyle by adding more physical activity to your days. Not all of this activity needs to be planned exercise (although you should exercise 3-6 times per week for 30-60 minutes per session to help burn additional calories and enhance your health). Small things that get you moving more—taking the stairs, walking to a co-worker's desk instead of emailing, or playing an active video game instead of watching TV—add to your daily calorie burn and help you lose weight. There is no need to resort to exercise extremes; you only need to burn about 200-600 calories per day (not thousands) through actual exercise, in combination with your SparkDiet guidelines, to safely lose weight.

Old rule: Skip meals to lose weight faster. 
Many people believe that skipping meals like breakfast will help them eat fewer calories and therefore speed up weight loss. In theory, this idea seems to make sense, but skipping meals to save calories backfires more often than not. When you go several hours without food, you will be ravenous by the time your next meal comes along and this will make you more likely to throw your eating plans out the window and consume anything within reach. In addition to this, eating too infrequently may slow down your metabolism, sending your body into conservation (or "starvation") mode because it thinks calories are scarce.

New rule: Eat sensible portions at regular intervals throughout the day. 
Try to keep your body's metabolism running as efficiently as possible by fueling it at regular intervals. Try eatingsmall, balanced meals every 3 to 4 hours to properly nourish yourself and encourage weight loss, or at the very least, eat three meals (including breakfast) and a couple healthful snacks to curb hunger and keep your metabolic fire stoked.

Old rule: Eating low-carb is the way to win at weight loss. 
Over the past several years, low-carb diet fads have given carbohydrates a bad rap, but this reputation is unfounded. Carbohydates are an important fuel source for your body and they are necessary for safe, steady weight loss, too. Your body needs carbohydrates to efficiently burn fat, so skimping on the carbs could actually hurt your weight loss efforts and be detrimental to your health.

New rule: Cut back on processed carbs and choose whole foods instead. 
It is true that some carbs (whole grains, vegetables, legumes, etc) are better for you than others (white bread, sugary cereals, and sweets) are. Rather than omitting carbs from your diet plan, be more selective. Choose morewhole grains and unprocessed foods like brown rice, quinoa, whole-grain bread, and oats and limit your intake of unhealthy carbs that sneak into your diet via processed foods, sweets, caloric beverages and refined flours.

Old rule: Give up eating all of your favorite fattening foods. 
This is a common practice can backfire even on those with very high levels of willpower and motivation. It’s simply unrealistic to think that you can cut out all the foods that you love without ever rebelling. Chances are, if you keep yourself from eating your favorite “bad” foods all the time, you’ll eventually end up giving in and bingeing on those foods since you haven’t had them in so long. By categorizing foods into “good” and “bad” groups, you’re only setting yourself up to want what you can’t have. Good-for-you foods feel like punishment and "bad-for-you" foods are more alluring.

New rule: Eat anything you’d like within moderation. 
Instead, of giving up certain foods and forcing yourself to eat others, don’t make any food off-limits. With moderation and portion control, you can still eat your favorites without straying from your goals. Try sprinkling a few chocolate chips on your oatmeal in the morning instead of eating an entire chocolate bar, or have one tablespoon of peanut butter with some celery instead of slathering layers of it on a sandwich. By allowing yourself these little treats, you’ll still be able to eat what you love, gradually decrease the intensity of your cravings, and avoid binges that could derail your weight loss efforts.

When it comes down to it, the new rules for weight loss are common sense—and easier to stick with. The bottom line is to ultimately listen to your body’s signals and honor your cravings in a sensible way while incorporating regular exercise, portion control and healthy eating habits into your lifestyle for the long term. Incorporate these new “rules” into your repertoire and you’ll be amazed at what a difference such small changes can make!

This article has been reviewed and approved by SparkPeople nutritionist, Tanya Jolliffe.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

12 Way's To Spot A Fad Diet....

12 Ways to Spot a Fad Diet

Identifying Weight Loss Scams

-- By Becky Hand, Licensed & Registered Dietitian

7. "Lose weight with this miracle diet patch, cream or gel!" You’ve heard it all before—"Apply and watch the fat melt away!" But truthfully, all that melts away is your hard earned money.

8. "Scientifically Proven! Doctor Endorsed!" Where is the proof and how was the research conducted? Were people studied, or rodents? Were there 3 subjects in the study or 3,000? Has the research been published in a medical journal and reviewed by peers? A doctor of what profession? Or is the "professional" as purely fictitious as your weight loss will be? Be sure to check the details.

9. "Money-back guarantee!" It may make you feel safer to give the product a try, but realize that many companies do not follow through with this promise. You’re left holding an empty promise and an empty pocketbook.

10. "100% safe!" Just another attempt, trying to get you hooked with a meaningless phrase. Think of it this way – if there were no reason to doubt, why would they need to make this claim at all? Many products have been removed from the market due to safety issues, but not until too many lives were already destroyed or lost. Does ephedra ring a bell?

11. Those convincing testimonials: We can all look 10 pounds slimmer by: standing up straight, shoulders back, and stomach in; having a good hair day; applying the right make-up; and hiring a professional photographer. Remember, just because you recognize the actor or actress doesn’t make the product any more reliable. They are now just a little richer and you a little poorer.

12. "A miraculous breakthrough!" Turn and run the other direction when extravagant claims make the product sound to good to be true.

The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid them. To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues, visit or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Just a thought...

“If one thinks that one is happy, that is enough to be happy.”
-Madame de la Fayette

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


“No human face is exactly the same in its lines on each side, no leaf perfect in its lobes, no branch in its symmetry. All admit irregularity as they imply change; and to banish imperfection is to destroy expression, to check exertion, to paralyze vitality. All things are literally better, lovelier, and more beloved for the imperfections which have been divinely appointed, that the law of human life may be Effort, and the law of human judgment, Mercy.”
-John Ruskin

Pilates thought...for YOU!

Top 10 Interesting Facts About Pilates

Top Ten Interesting Facts About Pilates
© Sean Nel |
Although Pilates as a form of exercise was developed in the early 20th century, it is gaining momentum in the recent years. Its popularity has increased many folds and we’ve seen the rise of many contemporary Pilate instructors. Let’s bust some myths and get to know the real ‘Pilates’. Let’s experience it the way it was meant to be. Here are 10 facts you will love to know about Pilates.

1. Pilates is a physical fitness system– It is not a derivative of yoga

We are tired of such misleading advertisements on the internet about Pilates. If you didn’t know this already, let us tell you that Pilates is not a form of yoga. It is a system by itself developed by Joseph Pilates who was a physicist. He infused his belief that both mental and physical health is interrelated in Pilates. Did you know that only a very few were allowed to practice this form of exercise, that too confined in specialized studios?

2. Pilates is incomplete without method and apparatus

Pilates is all about achieving the right method in your exercise. Now you all must know that Pilates and mats go hand in hand. But did you also know that Pilates cannot be complete without apparatus? Traditionally there was a lot of use of chairs and tables. In the contemporary version of Pilates we’ve seen a lot of use of rollers, exercise balls, rotating disks and resistance bands. But mind you– a mat is must and it is your best friend while practicing Pilates.

3. Pilates requires maximum concentration

And you thought Pilates was all about moving the limbs around in different motion? Pilates is all about precise movements and it demands a lot of concentration. As funny as it sounds, Pilates is based on the belief that ‘the way exercises are done is more important than the exercises themselves’.

4. ‘Contrology’ is Pilates’ second name

When Joseph Pilates was working on developing Pilates as a system of physical fitness, he also termed it ‘Contrology’. Can you think of a reason why? It’s not rocket science. He believed that whoever is practicing Pilates should be in constant control of each and every movement. What’s the benefit? Experts say that it results in enhanced muscular control of the back, limbs and abdominal muscles.

5. Breathing is the key

We are not talking about just ‘breathing’. Pilates involves slow movement and a series of exercises along with attention to proper breathing techniques. If you didn’t know, a lot of stress is laid on exhaling by wriggling out all the air from your lungs, while practicing Pilates. It is said to be much like ‘squeezing out a wet towel’. Any form of Pilates will not be complete without conscious breathing in and breathing out.

6. Mat-based Pilates and Equipment based Pilates

Okay, here is the truth– there are basically two ways in which Pilates can be practised. Mat based Pilates involve a series of exercises done on the floor. The key here is to use the combination of gravity and your body weight to provide resistance to the muscles. Equipment based Pilates is exercise that incorporates the use of various equipments and weights for muscle training.

7. Quality is more important than quantity

If you are someone who likes to do everything the right way, Pilates is definitely for you. Right from the posture, the breathing, the movement, the number of repetitions, and the amount of energy that is spent– everything needs to be done in a precise manner. As you might know, there are thousands of books and videotapes out there in the market. We’d suggest that you avoid going down that path and learn from a qualified teacher or physiotherapist.

8. Be cautious– before and while practicing Pilates

Very few people are aware of this– the term ‘Pilates’ is generic and free for unrestricted use. Did you know that this means anyone can offer advice on Pilates to the society, whether trained or untrained? That’s massive and can be dangerous! Besides the general precautions that you’d take before doing any exercise, we suggest that if you are pregnant, or over 40, overweight or have any pre-existing medical condition, be very cautious and careful. Take advice from qualified medical professionals before starting Pilates because Pilates is very challenging – mentally and physically.

9. Pilates caters to everyone

There is a common misconception that Pilates is only for women. If even you think so, get with the times! Pilates was invented by a man and Pilates is for everyone and caters to the needs of beginners, and experts.

10. Pilates will challenge your body

We think this is the best advantage of practicing Pilates. Are you used to putting your mind through such extreme control, concentration, and focus? Top that with a strenuous physical workout. You have a deadly combination of mind and matter working towards a goal. Super challenging!
From improved flexibility to better posture, from enhanced muscular strength to stabilization of the spine and from rehabilitation to prevention of injuries– Pilates helps one and all. Believe us, even if you are the super woman who is always running around town to juggle work, family and the kids, Pilates is possible. 2-3 sittings a week is all it takes. Know these facts and use Pilates to stay healthy and achieve that super sexy figure.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Just a thought...

"There's a difference between fishing and standing on the shore like an idiot."Comedian, Steven Wright

Just a thought...

“What lies in our power to do, it lies in our power not to do.”

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Just a thought...

“Almost every wise saying has an opposite one, no less wise, to balance it.”

-George Santayana

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

So true....

"Plenty of people miss their share of happiness, not because they never found it, but because they didn't stop to enjoy it."
Writer and Publisher, William Feather

Just a thought....

“That which gives the strongest habitual pleasure, whether it be innate or acquired, will in the great majority of cases ultimately dominate.”
-The Map of Life, William Edward Hartpole Lecky

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Just a thought...

"All men should strive to learn before they die, what they are running from, and to and why."
Humorist, James Thurber

Oatmeal i love thee.........

I’ve always loved breakfast. I had one of those moms who cooked every morning, before school. Mom said that breakfast was the most important meal of the day and that you couldn’t run your engine, unless your tank was full. I distinctly remember her giving me a big bowl of Cream of Wheat and telling me that it would stick to my ribs. I’d walk to school, thinking about those thick clumps of Cream of Wheat, clinging to my ribs and gradually wearing away, as the day went on. I felt like I had protection, invisible breakfast armor. I still do. Audrey and I are the breakfast eaters in this family. We love it and we have to have it, every day. 

Today’s Creativity Journal assignment goes right along with the breakfast theme. Day 9: Make something with your breakfast before you eat it. 
Voila! Oatmeal Art 

For a double whammy, I wrote this heartwarming ode, while I was eating: 
Ode to Oatmeal (written during breakfast) 

Oatmeal, my oatmeal, how I love thee 
Thy 100% whole grain oats, rolled to perfection 
Give cause to rejoice and beget morning genuflection 
No wonder the Quaker Man worships you so 

Oatmeal, my oatmeal, thou art far superior 
To the Tiger, the Cap'n, the lowbred Leprechaun 
The sugar-drenched Toucan and the Rabbit, woebegone 
Your soluble fiber brings heart-healthy diets great delight 

Oatmeal, my oatmeal, thy wonders are ceaseless 
Thou reduceth cholesterol, with one mighty sweep 
Thy sodium-free power makes my heart weep 
To be filling, yet nutritious, is beyond human comprehension 

Oatmeal, my oatmeal, I will shower thee with gifts 
Of blueberries, strawberries, raisins and more 
The occasional cinnamon chip from the grocery store 
Your old-fashioned oats will be never be forgotten 

(No, I do NOT have too much time on my hands. I was just making creative use of my breakfast time. LOL) 

Eat your breakfast--my mom was smart!! :) 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

(1) Healing Crown 2 Toe

(1) Healing Crown 2 Toe

Just a thought....

The true spirit of conversation consists more in bringing out the cleverness of others than in showing a great deal of it yourself; he who goes away pleased with himself and his own wit is also greatly pleased with you."
— La Bruyere