Monday, May 21, 2012

Rebounding: A Little Everyday


I am so excited to get this started again. My motivation for writing has been building up over the last couple of months. I started a ladies group called Swimsuit Sorority, which helps women make goals and offer a fun support system for achieving those goals. We talked about meditation, nutrition, cooking, fashion, and more. This blog will hopefully keep us all on track as we work toward more fulfilling lives.

The main purpose for starting this blog again is a little place called EUROPE! I've been dreaming of travelling all over that distant continent for years--and this fall, I am making the trip across the big blue pond. So, this blog is my accountability and motivation as I make my preparations. Today's post will highlight the workout routine that I'd adapted over the last few months--and it works!

The following is information found on


"It’s fun, it’s easy, and it’s safe for almost anybody of any age. It’s quoted by NASA as “the most efficient and effective exercise yet devised by man.”

"What Is Rebounding? Put simply – bouncing on a mini trampoline. Unlike regular trampolining, the aim isn’t to bounce high or perform gymnastic tricks, but to perform a series of small, controlled movements. A zero-impact exercise, rebounding provides many benefits for you and your body:

Improves circulation
Increases the capacity of heart and lungs
Lowers cholesterol levels
Improves co-ordination and balance
Reduces stress and tension
Improves muscle tone (particularly legs, thighs, hips, abdomen and arms)
Increases energy and vitality
Boosts the lymphatic and immune system
Fits in with your lifestyle

"Plus, unlike many other aerobic activities, rebounding places no strain on the joints of your body."

Let me explain how I do it--without a trampoline. I don't really have space for a small trampoline, plus I didn't want to spend $80 on one if I didn't really need it. I was taught this routine by my good friend, Arianne. She is the picture of health with toned muscles and beautiful skin and hair. I figured if she looked that great and rebounds every day--I should too!

I start by standing on a yoga mat with a wide stance. Then I turn on some upbeat music and start bouncing. Arianne and I call it the "shake and bounce." We simply bounce up and down as if we were on a trampoline. We loosen up our shoulders, neck, arms, and hands--and simply bounce. I rebound for three songs or 10-15 minutes.

Here is a quick 2-minute video that breaks it down really well. If you can access a trampoline--that is most likely the best way to go. But the yoga mat option works for me. :) Enjoy the video.

By the time I'm done, my body is tingling with energy and I feel 100% ready to tackle the day. Rebounding is something you do everyday to slowly work toward better health and fitness. You won't be tired, sore, or sweaty (sounds pretty ideal to me). But daily commitment is a must.

Good luck, let me know what rebounding does for you. I look forward to your comments and participation.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

What Not To Wear

Hello ladies!

I attended a fashion seminar a few weeks ago and the presenter shared a clip from TLC's "What Not To Wear." The clip discussed the different cuts and styles of jeans. I thought I would pass on the helpful info. Click here to view the video and decide for yourself what style works best for you.

Check it out and let me know what you think!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Stop the Cold from Freezing Your Health

By Erica M. Colvin

It is cold – everywhere. And the saddest part is the frozen icicles growing from my running shoes. I never meant to stop exercising, but the frigid air and icy sidewalks are just too uncomfortable. But the January thaw has arrived. And the promise of spring is making me a little antsy to get out there and get moving.

The first step to motivation is wanting to get out there—home is so warm and cozy. What we need to do is become uncomfortable in our warm environment.

Jog in Place
Start with a basic warm up. Jog in place for a few minutes. Move your arms. Start rotating your neck and ankles. Basically—get the blood flowing and heartbeat going.

Next, drop down and give me ten. Push-ups will activate your biceps, triceps, pectoral and abdominal muscles. Concentrate on breathing in when you push up, breathe out when you release down to the floor.

Now flip over to a sitting position. Try a variety of sit-ups that will warm up all your abdominal muscles.

1) Lie on your back with your legs in a 90 degree angle with your feet off the ground. Place your hands behind your head or along your sides. Do ten sit-ups by lifting your shoulders off the ground. Now do ten sit-ups going side to side.

2) Let your feet come back to the ground. Do ten sit-ups lifting your shoulder blades off the ground.

Jumping Jacks
Start with 15 jumping jacks to warm up your inner thighs and oblique muscles.
You should now be warm; you should even be hot—too hot to stay inside. You have now created the desire to go outside. Enjoy your jog.

But do me a favor; let your running shoes thaw first.

For more ideas click here.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sugar: Let's Win the Fight

By Erica M. Colvin

The first step to craving control is to understand your opponent. “A craving for sugar frequently dominates days and moods like a demanding, undisciplined, whiny toddler,” expert Carolyn Allen says. She teaches us to take control with these health habits of successful sugar stoppers.

 Find a substitute. We crave sugar after meals or in the late afternoon. Fruit – dried or fresh, can help curb a craving. Herbal tea, cheese and assorted nuts can have a helpful effect.

 Wait it out. The cravings will only last a couple of minutes. If you can wait it out, they will disappear. Find something to occupy your mind for a difficult 10 minutes. It will be worth it.

 Make goals and reward yourself for success. “The longer you can hold out, the easier it will become,” Allen encourages. She mentions rewarding yourself one dollar for every day you don’t indulge. At the end of the month treat yourself to something nice.

 Find a stout-hearted friend. “Clean out the cupboards and refrigerator of all bad foods and make the effort a team effort. Hold each other accountable and support one another through the tough times,” Allen suggests.

 Put yourself in helpful situations. Clean out loose change from your car and wallet to avoid a spontaneous treat. Shop at the grocery store only after you have eaten a meal.

 Find some cinnamon. Cinnamon is a natural alternative that is proven to kill cravings. Stick some flavored gum in your pocket and chew it throughout the day.

 Brush your teeth when a craving hits. The sweetness of the toothpaste will distract you from eating sugar. Not to mention that lovely clean feeling you experience after brushing. Who would want to replace that with the sugar coating on your teeth after dessert?

The holidays set everyone back. But you can be the one to defeat the sugar craving and establish successful habits for the future.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Ingredient Review

Garlic: The Pungent Healer

A metallic grating noise echoed against the walls of my 1950s white-walled kitchen and assaulted my ears as I sat reading in the living room. I glanced wide-eyed into the kitchen at the culprit. My roommate, Shannon, held a steak knife in one hand and a fork in the other, a sheepish, apologetic smile lit her face as she sliced something small and white on the cutting board.

Moments later, a familiar, pungent smell permeated the apartment. I placed my novel face-down on the coffee table and crossed onto the kitchen’s tiled floor. Before I could ask a single question, Shannon scooped the finely-chopped garlic into a glass, filled it with water, and downed it in one swig.

My shocked expression produced a quick explanation from Shannon and hours of research in the following weeks. This is what I learned.

Why would someone want to eat raw garlic?
Apparently the consumption of raw garlic on a regular basis is not a new idea. To my roommate’s credit, garlic has been used as a remedy for illnesses for thousands of years. According to iVillage, a United Kingdom health source, the Sanskrit records garlic remedies in India as far back as 5,000 years. Chinese medicine has incorporated garlic for more than 3,000 years.

Today it continually surfaces in health articles and research journals. In the article “The Health Benefits of Garlic,” Michele Simmons shared, “When cloves are chewed, crushed or cut, they release a sulphur-bearing compound called allicin—the chemical that gives garlic its pungent taste and smell. And it's the allicin that scientists have discovered is the magic ingredient thought to be responsible for garlic's therapeutic qualities.”

What are the health benefits of garlic?
Garlic is credited with lowering blood pressure; fighting heart disease and the common cold; improving intestinal disorders, respiratory infections, skin diseases, wounds, and aging; reducing cardiovascular disease and cancer; stimulating immune function; enhancing detoxification; and restoring physical strength.

Simmons also shared that taking daily garlic supplements can cut the likelihood of stroke by 30-40 percent. Heart disease can also be reduced by 20-25 percent. Recent studies also show that garlic supplements can reduce the risk of catching a cold by 50 percent. Garlic is also said to contain vitamins A, B and C, selenium, iodine, potassium, iron, calcium, zinc and magnesium.

How do I avoid the garlic odor?
Once I witnessed my roommate swigging garlic, I asked if her habit results in bad morning breath. I had never noticed any lingering odor associated with my friend. She shared her trick: if garlic is ingested at night, the herb is absorbed during the sleeping hours. By morning, no odor remains. Others may experience different results. If so, garlic supplements can be consumed in tablet form, found in a variety of health food stores. Chewing on fresh, not dried, parsley is also known for neutralizing any odors in the mouth.

How do I starting cooking with garlic?
Garlic is a common ingredient in many dishes, especially Italian and French cuisine. Garlic can be incorporated in any meal: breakfast, lunch or dinner. Try the following recipes to add a tasty and healthy twist to your diet.

Creamy Zucchini and Garlic

Ingredients list:
6 medium zucchini, grated.
6 garlic cloves, minced.
2 ½ tablespoons of butter.
2 ½ tablesspoons of garlic powder.
2 ½ tablespoons of sour cream.
1 teaspoon of thyme leaves, chopped.
Fresh pepper.


Melt the butter in a skillet. Add the minced garlic and saute over low heat for a short time. Add the grated zucchini, garlic power and thyme. Cook, stirring frequently until the zucchini is tender. Remove from the heat and stir in the sour cream. Season with the fresh pepper. Serve.

Spinach and Garlic Omelettes

Ingredient list:

2 egg whites
40 g spinach
1 teaspoon crushed fresh garlic
butter-flavored cooking spray

Mix egg whites with garlic and spinach in small bowl. Spray small pan or omelette maker with butter spray and place on medium heat. Pour mixture evenly into heated pan. Wait 2-3 minutes, flip, then serve.

I suppose now I can understand why someone would drink garlic and water every night. Since researching this common yet powerful ingredient, I have begun incorporating it into my cooking and—yes—I even started a weekly ritual of drinking chopped garlic before bed.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Finding Motivation

Let’s talk about motivation. I find that motivation can be the easiest and the most difficult to find. When it comes to planning a vacation, finding the perfect cocktail dress, or getting to know someone new, motivation is like air—easily accessible and instinctive. But when I find myself trying for the fifth time to break my sugar addiction, motivation is as dry as the Mojave Desert in August.

But I found something true, something that makes sense and is helping me to build motivation one attempt at a time.

Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D., author of Eight Weeks to Optimum Health, describes motivation in a very motivating way. Dr. Weil uses cigarettes as the analogy.

“Research into cigarette addiction indicates that making an attempt to quit is the best predictor of eventual success, even if the attempt itself is not successful…. Attempting to quit is commitment to changing behavior, a measure of motivation, and whether you succeed or fail is less important than making the attempt. Even if you resume smoking in a week, you lose no credit for the effort. In fact, the effort adds to a reservoir of motivation that one day will be full enough to initiate the sudden change that enables people to drop habits without struggling. Such is the power of motivation, but it must come from within.”

While I push forward toward my goal of a sugar-free lifestyle, I realize that the new me I am struggling to create is still deeply attached to the old me. Old addictions, old habits, old surroundings. I recently visited a place I used to live years ago. Within two days I found myself falling back into the habits that ruled my life then: big meals, rich desserts, and little exercise. The progress I had worked so hard to access dissipated rapidly.

But today I am starting again. Next week I will most likely begin once more. I will probably falter all over again in November. But each time I recommit, the water level in my growing reservoir rises another inch. Each time I take a fresh approach, I learn a little more about myself. And with knowledge comes freedom. So, start today. And freedom will seep into your life one day at a time, one inch at a time, until it defines your future and pervades your choices.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sugar Fast

It is simple. Quite simple. Sugar is not good for you. Described as gasoline on a fire, sugar gives you quick energy, but it does not last.

So, I have decided to do a very brave thing. I am quitting. Yes, you heard me right. Sugar isn't for me anymore. You would be surprised how easy it is. I will tell you how.

First, make a list of WHY you want to stop sugar intake. I will share my list, maybe you can agree with me on a few things:

1) I want to be comfortable in all situations
2) I want self-confidence
3) I want to accept my body and use it to its fullest
4) I want to make progress, I am addicted to progress
5) I want to throw off the baggage that I carry
6) Health insurance
7) I want to be an example to others
8) Heck, I want to look good!
9) I want to be happy
10) I want to master myself

But, let's think about this for a minute. Fasting is good for all parts of the self: body, spirit, mind. However, there are moments where I need to allow sugar. Special occasions like wedding receptions, birthday parties, and hot dates. I need to allow exceptions--without exceptions, binging could become a problem.

I invite everyone to join me. It doesn't have to be sugar. But I want you to think about something in your life that you know you don't need. Something that seems to control you, instead of you being in charge. Think about it. Make a decision. And then, we help each other do it! Who is with me? Let's make the decision to be better today. After all, today is all we have, forever is a series of todays.