Healthy Habits to Try in 2014 {A post by me from Today’s Woman Now}

Today’s Woman Now.

 

Not really into the whole resolutions thing? Try picking up these small healthy habits and you’ll see some good changes come about in 2014!

Incorporate sunscreen into your daily routine.
Even though it’s winter and you’re not outside as much or even if you’re not outside intentionally sunning yourself, you should always have some amount of SPF on. Why? Whether you realize it or not, sunlight is constantly hitting your skin- especially your face. Think about the sun coming in while you’re driving, or you’re outside in the fall or spring watching your kid’s soccer game. Your skin is always exposed to harmful rays even if it doesn’t feel like it. Now days, so many products make it easy to get the SPF you need without feeling like you’re wearing heavy, oily or goopy sunscreen. Most daily moisturizers and even most make ups these days include SPF. Make sure whatever you’re using has at least 15 or higher. You’ll thank yourself one day for this habit!

Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
According to most studies, getting on a consistent sleep schedule is the single best thing you can do to affect your overall sleep quality. Getting on a schedule helps your circadian rhythms allowing your brain to know when it’s time to shut off and wake up, giving you a better night’s sleep. A better night’s sleep also helps to reduce the amount of stress hormones and helps to control your appetite-controlling hormones. Hint hint, it’s good for helping you stave off unwanted pounds.

Stop reading on the elliptical or treadmill.
Let’s be real ladies, if you’re able to follow along the lines of a book or a magazine, you’re not working out hard enough. Leaning on the handle bars or the arms of an elliptical to support your weight also means you’re not working intensely enough. Doing these things can reduce your calorie burn by 25 percent. Good form is key. Save the reading for your cool down stretch!

Swap one can of soda for water each day.
To start, a can of soda has approximately 40 grams of sugar. Most healthy diets suggest you try to keep your sugar levels under at least 15 grams. And if you haven’t noticed before, drinking lots of water will make you feel full- a can of soda won’t, meaning you’re more likely to snack while you drink it. You don’t have to quit your soda intake completely but by switching one soda per day with some quality, fresh water, you can drop more than a pound a month. Not bad right? If you are too bored with just plain water- add in some fresh lemon slices, cucumbers, mint leaves or other fruits to add some flavor.

Soak up fifteen minutes of sunlight a day (at least!).
It’s no wonder people feel more down and depressed in the winter. Getting a few minutes of sunlight each day helps to brighten your mood, relax your nerves and bring about good feelings. Not to mention, it helps to reset your body’s internal clock for the day which means that at night, you’ll rest better. If it is winter, just simply standing by a window while you have your morning coffee or sitting in the sun rays coming through the window while reading the paper is all it takes. Most importantly, your eyes needs to register the light- not necessarily your skin. So take a moment to soak it up and your days will be a little brighter and your nights more restful.

Limit drinking to only three days a week.
For most women (and even men) alcohol calories can be a major problem. By having a couple drinks a day, you can easily gain about a pound a week. Try to stick to only having a drink three days a week at most. Try just the weekends. If you need another reason, just think that an average glass of wine at a restaurant has around 250 calories and mixed drinks have even more calories plus generally lots of sugar. Having just one glass of wine four days a week can add up to 1,000 calories per week! Nixing all those calories (or at least half) can really save you some weight gain.

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Juice it up! Going green has never felt so good.

One of my favorite things is freshly pressed juice. It not only is good for you, but it makes you feel good too. Put good in, get good out. Since it’s hard to find a good juice bar depending on where you live, I now make my own and it’s become quite the habit for me. I like to mix it up every day too with what I put in it. Here’s how I go about it…

Choose a base- I use Zico coconut water or apple or orange juice (I strive to choose the ones with the least amount of sugar). Other juices like beet juice, carrot or tomato also work depending on your preference!

Add in the greens- I like to use kale, parsley, spinach, celery, and cucumbers.

Spice it up- I also use fresh ginger root in all of my juices. Ginger root has many good benefits such as anti-inflammatory purposes, helps to fight off cold viruses and sore throats, helps soothe an upset belly, and aids in healthy digestion. Lemon juice is also a main staple in my juices (lemon and ginger make a great combination!).

Throw it all in a blender or juicer to liquefy- I use my Vitamix juicer which is the best kitchen appliance I ever bought- and pour over ice. You’ll immediately feel and see the benefits.

Enjoy going green!

xxx SSG

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Pure Barre Buzz- Why the big deal??

If you don’t know me, I’ll tell you now that I lead a pretty active lifestyle. I am not a marathon runner however but I am no couch potato either. I fall somewhere in between the two, I’d guess. I like to work out a lot and I strive for at least 6-7 days per week for at least an hour per day.

Growing up, I was always active and always involved in some sport so I will admit that I’ve been in pretty good shape my whole life. However, just like everyone else, I sometimes get tired of the same workout routines, I get bored, I hit a plateau, it’s just not working for me, I gain a few unwanted pounds, you name it. I am a normal female who at many of times wishes her body was different or better, tighter, slimmer, whatever, as I am sure many of you can relate to- even you, Candice Swanepoel and Kathryn Webb!

Anyways, I am sure many of you have also heard about the new Pure Barre craze that has become increasingly popular all over the country within recent months. Well, as any girl wanting to better my body, I followed the buzz and jumped on the bandwagon. And am I glad I did! Here’s what it is and why….

First, what is it you may ask? To begin, we can all go ahead and thank the founder, Carrie Rezabek Dorr, dancer and choreographer, who first opened her studio in 2001. Pure Barre is a total body workout that is designed to lift your bum, tone your thighs and burn fat while using a ballet barre to preform isometric movements. Trust me when I say isometric. Watching a class, it would be hard to notice any major movements during most of the workout but the smaller the movement, the bigger the results!

According to their website, http://purebarre.com, which I suggest you take a look at, “The technique protects your joints as it does not involve any bouncing or jumping. Each strength section of the workout is followed by a stretching section in order to create long, lean muscle without bulk. The workout launches a full blown attack on the areas of the body all women struggle with: abs, hips, seat and arms. It defies gravity by tapering everything in and lifting it up.”

I would not really know what to compare this workout to, but it truly does target all of the major areas that 99% of women struggle with. The classes are only an hour long and even though you’re generally not dripping in sweat, you are definitely doing work. You’d be surprised how much you struggle at first with just two pound weights!

You do not need to bring anything with you to class other than yourself. You do not wear shoes but you will need socks. I suggest the super grippy socks that they sell at the studio though- it makes certain moves easier. I would also suggest to wear more form fitting clothes- nothing too blousy or anything that will get in your way. I like to wear long leggings and a tank-style top.

The instructors are all really great and they will help you with any questions you may have, which trust me, you’ll have some to ask! If you don’t know what you’re doing- which is pretty much everyone at first- they come around and help you to insure your form is correct. Also, the instructors throw out and remind you of cues throughout which is very helpful. You’ll begin with a warm up and then move to arms, legs, seat work and then abs. You will also stretch it all out after each targeted area which is great. During the class, you’ll use a ball, weights for arms, a mat and rubber tubing, which is all provided for you at the proper time of class.

Still can’t figure out what the big deal is? Take it from me, who would not be writing this if I did not fully believe this to be true, but I can definitely tell an improvement in my body. At first, you’ll realize just how weak your core is and you’ll find yourself working muscles in places you didn’t even know you had! I’ve been doing Pure Barre now for a few months and I strive to go everyday. They do say that to see improvements you should try to go at least 3-4 times per week and that the majority of the people see results in about 10 classes. I would support this theory. I am not looking to drop an excessive amount of weight but still some, and I would really like to tone everything up and Pure Barre has helped me with that thus far. My legs and abs have more muscle definition than they did when I was a competitive cheerleader. I feel tighter and leaner each day and I just absolutely love it!

Don’t let me fool you though- the classes are not easy and it’s pretty tough at first but you’ll be wanting to go back after just once class. However, the more you do it, the stronger you become and the easier the classes become. You’ll figure out what the hell you’re doing and if you keep at it, you will see big changes. In class, your instructor will tell you to “let it shake, let it burn” and I suggest you go with it, because that is where your muscles are changing (and you WILL be shaking and burning). I would also highly recommend this workout to new moms who want to shed that baby weight and tighten everything back up. I see women of all ages in class at all different levels with all different body types. It is a workout for everyone, including men if they are up for the challenge!

Visit your local studio or go online to find one near you. I go to classes at the Summit location in Louisville, KY which is owned by the very knowledgeable, Annie Locke. Classes are a bit more expensive but check with your location because they do offer different deals and sometimes discounts. I suggest that students be sure to ask because being a student myself, that is one good deal! (However, locations do vary so be sure to check.)

If you still aren’t convinced, check it out for yourself!

http://purebarre.com

Pure Barre Louisville- Summit location

4284 Summit Plaza Drive

Louisville Ky 40223

phone: 502.425.8300

email: summit@purebare.com

Get to shaking and burning, beauties!

xxx SSG

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My Fav Winter Skin Remedies

In my world, having a bad skin day is worse than having a bad hair day. I have super sensitive and usually pretty dry skin so when winter kicks in, my skin throws fits and let me tell you, it sucks! So if you’re like me, or just want better skin, I’m letting you in on my favorite products that help me keep my skin fresh and glowing all winter long.

First, because I wash my face twice a day- morning and night- and NEVER EVER sleep with make up on, soap and warm water usually is enough to dry out my skin some days. I love Neutrogena products and recently they have come out with an ultra gentle cleanser that I love. It takes my make up off, foams and cleanses, and doesn’t dry my skin out or irritate it. I highly recommend this product.

However, when washing my face, I always use my Clarisonic Mia (the Mia2 to be exact). This is by far my absolute favorite beauty product I own. The Clarisonic moves with your skin’s elasticity and really get down deep in your pores. My skin always looks noticeably clean, buffed and refreshed after using my Mia. They’re pretty pricey but definitely worth it.

After cleansing, since I have dry sensitive skin, I am really particular about which lotions and creams I use. I don’t usually use anything with oil in it as it tends to make my skin break out, and I don’t like anything too heavy either. I’ve tried dozens and dozens of face lotions but I can never find the right one. I usually try to find a good one with SPF in it as well as it’s also important to shield your face from damaging rays even in the winter. Unfortunately, the product I am going to recommend does not have any SPF in it, but it works wonders on sensitive and/ or dry skin. I recently starting using Bobbi Brown’s hydrating face cream. It’s light but very hydrating and it feels great on your skin. This cream hydrates well enough on dry skin that your makeup won’t flake or show your dryness after using this cream.

I personally use these products and highly recommend them if you have sensitive or dry skin. But even if you just want clear, glowing skin, I would recommend these products as well- especially the Clarisonic Mia!

Neutrogena ultra gentle daily cleanser- about $8 at a drug store (depending)

Clarisonic Mia 2- $149 at varying stores: Nordstrom, Ulta, planet beauty, etc. and of course http://www.clarisonic.com

Bobbi Brown hydrating face cream- $52 at varying stores: Nordstrom, Sephora, Macy’s, etc. and of course http://www.bobbibrowncosmetics.com

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Get glowing!

xxx SSG

Breakfast Boost Smoothie

I fully believe that if you put good in, you get good out. Thus, whenever I have super long days and have to be up and at em early, I like to start the day off right with an extra healthy breakfast boost. Like today, not something I’m looking forward to. However, I made myself a delicious, super green smoothie with fruit and protein to get me going.

Here’s what you’ll need:
1 fresh banana
Frozen strawberries
Coconut water
Almond or soy milk
Chia seeds
Maca powder
Ground flax seed
Splash of lemon juice
Handful of baby spinach leaves
Super food greens powder
Raw vegan vanilla protein powder

Blend desired amounts of ingredients until smooth and enjoy!

xxx SSG

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Fit Fajitas

For the past few months, I’ve been on a serious grilling kick! I like to try to have a dinner that involves meat or some type of protein and veggies- something that will keep me full and satisfied but not stuffed. I’ve found that grilling is a fun way to keep me eating healthy meals. Usually, I grill extra so that I have easy and delicious leftovers for the next day as well. The other night, I was cooking for more than just two and so I decided to get a little creative. My sister has found a recipe for fajitas that sounded good so I thought I would give it a try.

This is a seriously simple recipe!

What You’ll Need:

  • Lean, boneless, skinless, chicken breast meat (I used the ” chicken tender” size and then cut a breast peice into strips as well.
  • Red and Green bell peppers
  • Red Onion
  • 1 Lime
  • Cilantro
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Lettuce cups

Sprinkle the chicken breast with the cayenne pepper (to taste or desired spiciness). Squeeze the desired amount of lime juice over the chicken and add some zest from the lime as well. Let sit for about 30 minutes to soak up all of the flavor.

Cut up the bell peppers and onion into thin slices. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap in tin foil.

Place chicken and tin foil of peppers and onion on grill until well cooked!

I used lettuce cups to wrap the fajitas instead of tortillas to make it healthier! Top with salsa or cheese and cilantro and enjoy!!

xxx SSG

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