Eggcellent Weight Loss Secret!

A few weeks ago I was home scrolling through my Instagram when I saw my friend Tamara Mack holding a container and flexing her muscles.

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Intrigued, I clicked on her post and read about the product that sponsors her called, Egg Whites International (No, they do not sponsor me or have paid me for my opinion.)

I went to their website https://www.eggwhitesint.com and checked out the FAQ section. I couldn’t stop reading about “egg whites” and weight loss. I decided what the hell, I would order some and see how it goes.

For my first drink, I added a little of the egg whites to my juice and shook it up. I couldn’t taste the egg whites at all, but it still grossed me out a bit. It was just the thought of egg whites that I couldn’t wrap my head around. These are flavorless liquid egg whites that are 100% pure. There are no additives, preservatives, artificial ingredients, flavorings, or food colorings. They are gluten-free, lactose-free, odorless, tasteless, USDA inspected, and Kosher approved. It was just my mind playing tricks.

So I decided to blend the egg whites with a morning coffee drink and holy egg whites Batman!! This stuff is really good.

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Im only on day 2 but so far, I think I have met my weight loss prince!

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Different City. Different View. Different Machines. Same Mission!

There was a saying in the movie “Eat Pray Love” that stayed with me. It was the following:

In the end, I’ve come to believe in something I call “The Physics of the Quest.” A force in nature governed by laws as real as the laws of gravity. The rule of Quest Physics goes something like this: If you’re brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting, which can be anything from your house to bitter, old resentments, and set out on a truth-seeking journey, either externally or internally, and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher and if you are prepared, most of all, to face and forgive some very difficult realities about yourself, then the truth will not be withheld from you.

I have left behind all that is familiar to me and set out on an amazing journey where the canvass is blank. It’s been scary and challenging, but every day I’m learning more about myself and the possibilities to what I can achieve are endless.

So while I’m in a different city, using different machines and looking out at a different view, I’m still going after my weightloss goal. The woman asked if I wanted a trainer and I politely declined, because I have my trainer. Jeramy and Bob at Better Bodies have given me the tools that I needed to succeed. So as I am geographically in a different place for the moment, my heart is always with my Better Bodies family in Tucson. I’m excited to return home and to show them that their time and effort was not wasted on someone who didn’t believe, but instead achieved so much more than just weightloss but truly a life worth loving and living!

Stay tuned for more…

A Diet So Easy A Caveman Can Do It!

The DASH diet took the first place spot in U.S. News’ second-ever ranking of the best diet plans — for the second year in a row. The undefeated DASH, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, actually wasn’t developed with weight loss in mind; instead, it aims to lower blood pressure. But it earned high marks from a panel of experts for its safety, nutritional merit and usefulness for chronic disease sufferers.

The DASH diet was developed to help prevent and treat hypertension, but it was meant to work in conjunction with other healthful behaviors, such as getting at least 30 minutes of exercise each day and drinking alcohol in moderation. There’s no secret trick to the DASH eating plan — just an emphasis on low-salt, high-fiber fare, like eight to 10 daily servings of fruits and vegetables for a standard 2,000 calorie-per-day diet. It limits high-calorie sweets and meats that are high in saturated fat. Instead, in addition to fresh produce, the diet calls for fat-free or low-fat dairy, whole grains, fish, poultry, beans, seeds, and nuts. The DASH diet prescribes a lower sodium intake — either the recommended 2,300 mg in the standard version or 1,500 mg for people who are more susceptible to, or already diagnosed with, hypertension, according to The Mayo Clinic.

Its simple, sensible recommendations — developed in concert with The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) — earned it an endorsement from the National Institutes of Health. That involvement makes it cheap and readily accessible: the NIH provides free guides for the DASH diet — a 64-page version and a shorter, 6-page cheat sheet and there are no prepackaged foods to purchase.

The U.S. News diet rating system was developed by a panel of 22 weight loss and nutrition experts across the country. Each expert reviewed diets based on seven measures: short-term weight loss, long-term weight loss, easiness, nutrition, safety, ability to prevent or manage diabetes, and ability to prevent or manage heart disease. Each diet then received an overall composite score.

The DASH diet won best-overall and also ranked first in “best diets for healthy eating” and “best diabetes diets.” Its lowest score was a ninth rank for “best weight-loss diet.” Studies show that the diet can lead to weight loss, though research has focused on overweight and obese individuals who already suffer from high blood pressure (between 130 and 159 mm Hg). One 2010 study found that overweight and obese hypertension patients who followed the DASH diet in conjunction with exercise and weight loss classes lost more weight over four months (an average 9.5 pounds) than counterparts who simply followed DASH eating plans (8 pounds) — and both did better than a control group of participants who continued their typical diet and received basic weight loss advice (an average of 3 pounds).

Does that mean it will work for you? It depends. The panel suggested that a DASH diet planned with a “calorie deficit” — in which a dieter simply reduced their overall daily calories, but stuck to the diet guidelines — could help improve weight loss. And given its high score for ease of use, it may be a good option for many. After all, an effective diet is one that a person can stick to.

The DASH diet’s win is part of an overall trend among the ranking towards sensible eating plans that are free of gimmicks; the second best-rated diet, the Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) Diet was created by the NIH. The lowest ranking options that were reviewed, by contrast, used complex or restrictive eating plans to shed pounds. The bottom two? The Dukan Diet — popularized by Kate Middleton, who reportedly used it for her pre-wedding weight loss — and the Paleo Diet, which recommends returning to pre-agricultural revolution food sources and eating like a caveman.

2012 Horoscopes… What does yours say!?!?!?

2012 Horoscopes

Ready to see if your Sun sign will shine in 2012?

From your career path to your amorous adventures to just life in general, Astrology.com takes a good, long look at what the stars have in store for you this year! Click on your Sun sign below to get started with your 2012 Yearly Overview, and then check out the stellar insights into Your Career in 2012 and Your Romantic Life in 2012. Here’s to a cosmic time in the coming year!

6 Lamest Excuses for Not Losing Weight (Yeah, I’m guilty!)

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Losing weight isn’t as easy as pie–or even a piece of cake. We’ve all heard (and invented) plenty of reasons why slimming down just isn’t possible right now. We’re short on time to prep our own healthy meals, extra cash to spend on high-end “health foods,” and besides, it’s way too cold (or hot!) to work out. Sound familiar?

The reality is that healthy eating and regular exercise are not as labor-intensive–or wallet-busting–as we make them out to be. Here, six of the most common excuses that get you off track.

1. “I’m too busy.”

You have work deadlines this week, sick kids, and your husband is out of town on business–you eat what’s handy; you can barely bring home takeout, never mind gathering enough veggies for a decent salad, right?

Wrong. Sticking to healthy behaviors–like making time for meals and squeezing in exercise throughout the day, even when your life feels like it’s going 100 miles a minute, is actually the key to long-term success, says Keri Glassman, RD, author of The O2 Diet. Try Glassman’s eat-right strategies for when your day is crazed: Set an alarm to eat on your phone or computer so you don’t forget and overindulge later; keep certain foods in your freezer for go-to makeshift meals, like a frozen turkey burger you can microwave or grill and frozen veggies; and try to always keep healthy food on hand, like apples and a good-for-you bar containing fruit and nuts such as Kind.

Devin Alexander, a health food expert and the author of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Fattening!: Over 150 Ridiculously Easy Recipes for the Super Busy, says that creating healthy meals when you’re busy comes down to planning. Buy frozen lean meats so they don’t spoil and make a habit of taking something out of the freezer each night for dinner the next day. Alexander recommends that as soon as you return from the grocery store, clean and chop veggies with a ceramic knife, which helps prevent oxidation, making food last longer. If you have all of the fixings for a fast, healthy meal at your fingertips–be it a stir-fry, veggie-topped pizza, or salad–you won’t have to resort to greasy takeout.

We all have 24 hours to divide up, says fitness expert Chris Freytag, author of 2-Week Total Body Turnaround and Shortcuts to Big Weight Loss. Make exercise a priority–especially on your craziest days–and you’ll be able to handle tasks and stress better. Treat your workout like you would any other appointment–it has to be planned, specific, written down, and communicated to your family. “Don’t just say, ‘I’m going to exercise today,'” says Freytag. “Be clear about what you’re actually going to do, meet a friend, or sign up for a class.”

Easy Ways to Burn Fat and Calories in 60 Seconds

“Don’t just say, ‘I’m going to exercise today. Be clear about what you’re actually going to do, meet a friend, or sign up for a class.”

– Chris Freytag, fitness expert

2. “Healthy food is too expensive.”

Sure, it’s often cheaper to purchase three items for lunch off the Dollar Menu at McDonald’s than to buy a big salad with healthy add-ins, but new research shows that getting your daily recommended allowance of fruits and veggies may be less expensive than you think.

The Economic Research Service used 2008 Nielsen Homescan data and found that an adult on a 2,000-calorie diet could satisfy recommendations for vegetable and fruit consumption in the new 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans at an average price of $2 to $2.50 per day, or approximately 50 cents per cup equivalent. That’s probably less than your afternoon skinny latte!

There are plenty of ways to make healthy food–and your budget–go further, says Glassman. Frozen vegetables and fruits are cheaper and just as healthy as fresh because they’re picked at the peak of ripeness. She recommends buying seasonal produce from farmers’ markets, purchasing whole grains in bulk, and not buying food in individual packages.

Foods Worth Buying Organic

3. “Diets make me hungry.”

If your diet is making you hungry, it’s probably not a good diet–or sustainable in the long term. Cutting calories the healthy way–trimming portions from meals, skipping caloric beverages, and putting the brakes on mindless eating–should not leave your belly rumbling. Learn to listen to your body’s hunger signals to determine if you really need to eat or are just bored, and eat approximately every three to four hours so you never become ravenous, says Glassman.

Alexander recommends stocking your fridge with low-calorie healthy foods–like celery and light dips–for when you just want to munch.

4. “I don’t have time to cook.”

“When people say they don’t have time to cook, I tell them ‘You don’t have time not to cook,'” says Alexander. Twenty minutes of cooking healthy meals will save you excess calories you’d be taking in from oversized restaurant portions and time on the treadmill working that off.

Studies show that people who cook meals at home tend to eat more healthfully and weigh less than those who don’t. Use these healthy packaged foods to cut down on kitchen time and arm yourself with the proper resources, such as a healthy cookbook for fast meals or easy recipes from your favorite Web site.

5. “Exercise makes me too tired.”

No kidding–that’s why they call it a workout! “Jokes aside, exercise generates energy. The more energy you have, the more you’ll get done every day!” says Freytag.

“You recharge your body through food, sleep, and exercise. Movement creates energy. It gets your heart pumping, blood pumping, cleans out toxins, and gets your engine started. It also gets confidence levels up so you feel better about yourself,” she adds.

Squeeze in movement wherever you can to get an energy boost. Even light stretching throughout the day will help your body feel more energized.

17 Ways Exercise Makes You Healthier, Happier, and Smarter

6. “I always gain back the weight.”

Starting a new weight loss plan can be daunting when you’ve dieted before, only to gain back the weight. The reason your prior plan didn’t work was because it wasn’t a diet you could sustain and enjoy for life.

Only make the changes that you can stick with, says Alexander. “Really sit down and analyze your diet. Figure out, ‘What are my cravings, what do I really love, what am I not willing to give up?'” Then build your meals around that and cut calories from other places–like skipping butter on your bread at dinner so you can have a 100-calorie treat that you truly want. “Even if you give up only 200 calories a day, you’ll lose 20 pounds a year,” says Alexander.

“Keep track of the habits that make you successful and kick your weaknesses up a notch,” says Glassman. Be consistent with your strongest healthy habits, like always having a nutritious breakfast, and be prepared for your weaknesses, like having healthy foods at the ready for when you know you’ll want to pick in the afternoon.

Fatty, Party of One — Your Trough is Ready!

The one gift not under the tree this year is the gift that Jeramy, Bob and my Better Bodies family have given to me over the past several months. As most of you know by reading my entries on this blog (or the lack thereof) I have had several challenges along my journey of losing weight. This was something that Jeramy, the owner of Better Bodies, expected from the beginning. He was the first person to look me in the eye and tell me I would FAIL. This was coming from someone who didn’t know who I was or how determined I am at finishing something. So, naturally I was quick to meet his stare and tell him he was wrong. Well, little did I know how truly challenging this process would be. I thought that with some “creative scheduling” I would be able to maneuver around my job, take care of my emotional issues and walk off all of the weight within a few months. Piece of cake! Hmmmm Cake. Okay, so the joke is on me.

I believe that both Jeramy and I have been right. I’ve failed to lose the weight in a specific amount of time, but I haven’t given up. Just the opposite actually. This blog has gone dark for several weeks now, not because I was locked in a food pantry hogging down on pastries eating myself into a sugar induced coma.  I’ve actually started planning and preparing for some life changing decisions that I have made.

For so long I have taken care of others, and while I’ve settled for a life that I thought was “honorable”, it’s been physically killing me. We can only work so much and take care of others for so long before those actions take their toll. The first step in this process is admitting that we are number one to ourselves and no one else. While we all have our demons, mine were deeply rooted and needed a little more time to reach the surface. Which they did… finally.

I hope that Jeramy, Bob, and my friends will continue to support me as I continue down this path and share my adventure that I am about to embark on. I read a quote recently by Henry David Thoreau that said:

“Let go of the past and go for the future. Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you imagined.”

I’m headed in the right direction…

WANTED: GENERAL CONTRACTOR FOR MY LIFE!

Over the past several years I have often referred back to Randy Pausch’s “The Last Lecture” and one of the things he talks about are the brick walls in life. Over the past few days, weeks, and months, I have had my fair share of brick walls. Before starting my journey with Better Bodies I would often just cave in and give up when faced with obstacles.

As I continue each day down this path I have noticed that my way of thinking (along with my appearance) has changed. For example yesterday my car broke down. Old Heather would have cursed the automobile Gods and would have questioned why the bricks keep flying in my direction. This time as I sat in my car on the side of the road I found myself thinking how grateful and fortunate I am to have a car that would break down. I was grateful that I was able to move to the side of the road and not hurt myself or someone else. A sense of calm was making its way through my body. (Well that and I had to pee really bad too). 

I now welcome the brick walls in my life, because the higher and thicker the walls, the more successful I will be.