Monday, February 21, 2011

Tap Water vs. Bottle Water - What is better for you?

Since water is a very important part of everyone's life, it is important to know the facts about the water you are drinking.  Water is important because it keeps you hydrated, it helps you lose weight and stay healthy, and your body is made up of about 50% to 75% of water depending on how much body fat you have!  Some experts say you should drink 8 - 8 oz glasses of water a day or 64 oz.  Other experts say you should drink half your body weight in ounces of water.  For example if you weigh 150 lbs., you should be drinking 75 oz. of water a day.  On there is a quiz, that will tell you how much water you should drink a day depending on where you live, the temperature, if your sick, how much you exercise, among other factors in your day.  Here is the link.  In addition, individuals can drink too much water (more than 32 oz within an hour).  It is important not to do this because it can have serious side effects, including death.  So, make sure to space out your water intake throughout the day.

Another important factor to the amount of water you drink, is what kind of foods you eat.  If you eat a lot of water-filled food, such as fruits, like watermelon, and vegetables, like broccoli, then you will not need to drink as much water in a day.  I found a great list of fruits and vegetables and their water content on the following website.  In addition to containing water, which is vital to everyone's health, fruits and vegetables are also great sources to help keep you full with lower calorie amounts than other snacks and side dishes.

So, back to the topic at hand, what type of water is better for you? - Tap Water or Bottled Water?  Tap water is very easily accessible and is fairly safe depending on where you live and whether you use a filter or not.  Bottled water on the other hand can be safe, but it can be harmful, just like tap water.

So, tap water can have toxins and harmful substances in it.  If you live in the city, then you should contact your local health department or water company to find out about the tests that have been done on the drinking water, and see what is in it.  If you have a well, you will need to pay to have your water tested, and some individuals in the city should also pay for this test, because toxins can be leaked into your water through the pipes that it flows through.

If you go through with the test, you will know more about what is in your tap water, so you can better decide what kind of filter you need for your house.  There are plenty of types of filters out there, including filtered pitchers and filters that can be screwed directly onto the faucet.  I believe these are the best two options, over buying bottled water.

Bottled water cost money, can have toxins in the plastic that the bottle is made up of, and most bottled water is just filtered tap water - read more hereThere are several types of plastic that contain toxins, including number 3, number 6, and number 7 plastics.  These plastics all contain toxins that are harmful - read more hereAnother link that list some toxins in plastic is here.

So, my suggestion is to filter your tap water, save money, and use a metal water bottle, which keeps water colder and is safer for you and the environment.  I bought one at Wal-Mart for $5, and it supported breast cancer research.  What could be better?  Know the facts about your water and stay healthy!

Here are some other links about this topic:

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

During your diet or weight loss program, if you slip, you don't have to fall!

Diets and weight loss programs can be especially hard to stick with, especially if you aren't seeing results immediately.  One of the most important things that I have learned is that when you slip, you don't have to fall completely.  What I mean is, if you have a day that you don't workout because you don't have the time or you eat something you shouldn't have, this slip does not mean that you have to give up completely and fall off the program or diet.  Just get right back to it the next day.

Resting or cheating with food for one day can be beneficial to your program.  I know from experience that resting for a day can allow your body to recuperate from the exercise that you have been doing, and for me, it helps me to feel even better the next day when I do exercise again.  In addition, cheating with food, which can include eating larger portions than you should, or eating something, like cake or candy, that is extremely high in calories.  When you eat like this, it does not mean that the diet is over or that you have completely failed with your program.  It just means that you need to get back on the grind the next day.

I cheat with meals and snacks at least one day a week, which is normally Sunday.  This has personally helped me lose more weight because I do not feel deprived from the foods that I love.  When I do cheat with high calorie foods, I do try to limit the portion size of the food that I eat.  In addition, I have heard that cheating can help trick your body, to help you lose more weight.  Also, if you want to cheat, measure the amount of calories that you are cheating by, and schedule extra exercises for the next week to burn those extra calories off.

When you do start a diet or weight loss program, you need to schedule your exercise time as if it is an appointment.  Many people show up early to their appointments & stick with them once they are scheduled.  This means that you write the time you want to exercise into your date book, calendar, set an alarm in your phone, or whatever you do when you create a schedule for yourself, and stick with it.  The indiviudals who schedule their exercise are more likely to stick with that schedule.

In addition, find a partner.  If you have an exercise buddy, you are more likely to stick with an exercise regimen, than if you are working out alone.  The exercise buddy can give you the motivation you need to keep going when you want to quit, and they can also help hold you accountable on days you are scheduled to workout.

The main goal is to create a workout plan, and don't give up!  If you need to change it up because your plan isn't working, that is fine.  Just get moving!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Chocolate-Pretzel Clusters

Another delicious recipe that I found & wanted to share.  These clusters have pretzels, dried cranberries, & almonds, all covered in chocolate.  They are sweet, salty, chocolaty, and they are less than 100 calories.  I found the recipe in a Family Circle magazine, so I looked it up online, so that I can share it with everyone.  You can find the recipe here.

Since I do not like almonds, but my brother does, I split the recipe up and used different types of nuts.  For the almonds and cashews, I used a 1/4 of what the recipe called for, and for the pistachios, I used a 1/2 of what the recipe called for.  So, when you look at the recipe, for the almonds and cashews, I divided every ingredient by 4, and for the pistachios, I divided every ingredient by 2.  My nutritional values are listed below for each type of cluster that I made, and I rounded each value up to the nearest whole number.

ALMONDS (14 clusters) (Nutritional Info per cluster)
*Calories - 66
*Fat - 4 g
*Carb - 8 g
*Sugar - 4 g
*Protein - 1 g

CASHEWS (12 clusters) (Nutritional Info per cluster)
*Calories - 73
*Fat - 4 g
*Carb - 9 g
*Sugar - 5 g
*Protein - 1 g

Pistachio (20 clusters) (Nutritional Info per cluster)
*Calories - 70
*Fat - 4 g
*Carb - 10 g
*Sugar - 6 g
*Protein - 1 g

So, if you have a sweet tooth, but you are trying to lose weight and stay on track, give these clusters a try.  One or two clusters can satisfy the sweet tooth, without breaking the calorie bank or throwing your weight loss of track.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Delicious Healthy Brownies!

Delicious brownies that are healthier for you than most other sweets.  These brownies have less than 100 calories per serving, and they are made from black beans.  Yes, I said black beans!  They were absolutely delicious!  My brother was not going to eat them, but he gave one of them to his one of his daughters, and she said that they were great and tasted fudgy.  So, he decided that he would try them.  He said that he preferred the box brownies, but that is because they are filled with preservatives.  He tried extremely hard to taste the black beans in the brownies, and he couldn't.  They were a great hit with both of my nieces, and I would definitely recommend them to anyone who has a sweet tooth and is trying to lose weight.

For the recipe, you can follow the link below:

This recipe calls for cutting the brownies into 12 equal squares, but I did 15 equal squares, so that the brownies were under 100 calories each.  The nutritional facts for my batch of brownies is per brownie:
* Calories - 97
* Fat - 0.7 g
* Carbs - 20.4 g
* Sugar - 12 g
* Protein - 3.3 g

In addition, I could not find the espresso powder that was called for in the recipe, so I just left it out.  They still tasted great!

Friday, February 4, 2011

National Wear Red Day – February 4, 2011

Since February is American Heart Month, today’s blog is going to be about how to decrease women’s risk for heart attacks and heart disease.  “Heart disease is the number 1 cause of death among women 20 and older, killing about one woman every minute,” (American Heart Association, Inc., 2011,  In addition, heart disease kills more women than any form of cancer.
The heart is a very important muscle in the body, so it is important that you stay heart healthy, including exercising, eating right, not smoking, and getting regular checkups with your doctor.  Another important item is to know your risk factors for heart disease and heart attacks.  On the Doctor Oz website (2011), the following factors are listed, including stress, smoking, and obesity.  For the full list, go to the following website:
You also need to know the major symptoms that happen prior to and during a heart attack.  Most symptoms that occur in men do not occur in women.  In fact, women are most of the time told that they have indigestion and are sent home from the hospital while they are having a heart attack.  Some of the major symptoms listed on (2011) are anxiety, fatigue, and indigestion.  For the complete list of symptoms, go to the following website:
Another great website is  This website includes exercise programs, nutrition and health information, and an action plan for women at risk for heart disease.  To see this action plan, go to the following website:
Doctor Oz also has a program that is 4 weeks or 28 days long.  It is the 28 days to prevent a heart attack.  This program can be found on the following website:
On the website, they have a tell 5 and save lives plan.  This includes telling five friends or family members about this website, and they will give you a free heart health kit.
I believe the most important thing anyone can do is become informed.  The more information you have readily available, the more you can do to prevent your risk for a heart attack and heart disease.  I hope that this blog helps at least 1 person become more informed about the deadly disease that is the number 1 killer in women.  I know that this information has helped me become better informed and make healthier decisions to keep my heart healthy, so that I can live a very long life for my family and friends.
In addition, since February is American Hearth Month, every pound that I lose during the month of February, I am going to donate a dollar to the American Heart Association.  For example, if I lose ten pounds during February, I will donate $10 to the AHA.  If anyone would like to join me in this challenge, please feel free to do so, and let me know that you are doing this!
If I get help from others for this challenge, I will create a page within the next week or so, on the following website:  This will allow me to create a team or join as an individual, and it will allow others to see my progress and donate to the cause.  Please, let me know if you would like to help me by donating some money, and it does not have to be much.  If 250 people donate $1 each, than that is $250.00, while if we all donate $10 each, that will be $2,500.00.  This money will help the AHA in distributing information and helping to reduce and prevent the risks of heart disease!
I am going to do my best to become healthier, starting by losing weight, so that I can reduce my risk for heart disease.  What will you do?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Workout for the day

My workout for the day:

Warm-up: March in place (5 mins with 3 lb dumbbells)

CIRCUIT (8 lb kettlebell)
- 1 Arm Swing (2 sets of 10 each arm)
- Kettlebell Clean & Press (2 sets of 10 each arm)
- 2 Arm Swing (2 sets of 10)
- 1 Arm Squat Press (2 sets of 10 each arm)
- 1 Arm Swing (2 sets of 10 each arm)
- Halos (2 sets of 10)
- 2 Arm Swing (2 sets of 10)

Cool down:  5 minute walk outside

Total workout - 20 minutes 36 seconds
336 calories burned

Post workout:
- 1 glass 2% milk with 1 scoop of whey protein
- 1 slice of bread with peanut butter

After working out for a week, I am going to increase the sets that I do my next workout.  In addition, I feel awesome that I am sticking with my goal of working out, and I plan to continue with it.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

3 workout sessions - 2 lbs gone!

On Tuesday, February 1, 2011, I completed the following workout:

Warm-up:  March in place (5 mins with 3 lb dumbbells)

CIRCUIT (8 lb kettlebell)
- 1 Arm Swing (2 sets of 10 each arm)
- Kettlebell Clean & Press (2 sets of 10 each arm)
- 2 Arm Swing (2 sets of 10)
- 1 Arm Squat Press (2 sets of 10 each arm)
- 1 Arm Swing (2 sets of 10 each arm)
- Halos (2 sets of 10)
- 2 Arm Swing (2 sets of 10)
- Tactical Lunges (2 sets of 10 each leg)

Cool Down:  Walk outside (5 mins)

29 Minutes - 474 Calories burned

Post Workout - 1 glass 2% milk with 1 scoop whey protein

Overall, I am excited that I have lost 2 lbs with only doing 3 workout sessions.  This exhilarates me and makes me want to continue on because I know I have it in me to lose so much more and reach my dreams and goals.  I am continuing with my workouts every other day, and I know that I will lose a whole lot more as the time goes by.