Who says that the cold weather means you stay indoors?

There is no reason why the winter can’t be a fun time for family just like the summer. Here are 7 ideas for having fun in the winter air.

Sledding in Colorado Springs.Image via Wikipedia

1. Go sledding.
  • The big hill could be in your back yard or somewhere else in the neighborhood. Grab the sleds and head for the top. Sledding is one thing that adults can do and still feel like a kid. Everyone loves the feeling of their heart in their throat as they go speeding off towards the bottom of the hill. Hardware stores sell out of sleds so get yours early.
2. Have a snowball fight.
  • But, don’t just hide behind a tree. Take the time to build a snow fort. The family can divide into teams and each take an hour or two to construct the snow place of safety. Once the forts are finished and the flags are flying, let the snow fly!
3. Make snow angels.
  • Wear a warm coat, gloves, and hat before attempting this wonderful winter artwork. Find a clear clean place in the snow and allow yourself to fall backwards. The snow will break your fall. Once you’re down there start flapping those arms and legs.
4. That walkway isn’t going to get clean all by itself.
  • Each person can take a shovel or a bucket and work together to get it cleared. Why pay someone else to do it when the family can get some physical activity together? Afterwards, enjoy a cup of hot cocoa together and warm up.
5. Try a new sport.
  • The winter brings a new set of exercises to enjoy. Take up snowboarding, skiing, or ice skating. The point is not to become an expert but to have fun with your family.
6. Catch a snowflake on your tongue.
  • This is an activity that has to wait until the snow is actually falling but when you live far up north that could be an everyday occurrence. Stand out on the front lawn and throw your head back. After catching a few, take a break. No one wants to get a sore throat. Besides, the neighbors will wonder what is going on when they see everyone sticking their tongue out.
7. Build a snowman.
  • By this time, you’ve tried everything else so a snowman is the last best thing to do in the snow. It’ll take everyone’s help to roll a really big base and lift the other body parts on top of each other. A sturdy snowman will take longer to melt in the sun.
Don’t sit in the house longing for warmer weather. Get out and enjoy the possibilities of the winter season—together.

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4 Healthy Ideas for Winter Breakfasts...

Why is it that we eat more food in the winter? Maybe we decide that it’s okay to have a little more girth to keep us warm. Bears do it so why can’t we? Unfortunately, eating more and moving less doesn’t equal a healthy lifestyle.

Stay warm this winter with a few healthy breakfast items on the menu. We can eat and feel full without ruining our diet and adding to our waistline. We’ve worked hard to maintain or lose weight when the weather was warm. We don’t want to ruin it all during the winter chill.

1. Oatmeal – Oatmeal has changed from the pasty gray stuff that was served to us as kids. Now, oatmeal comes in instant flavors like strawberries and cream, maple and brown sugar, and cinnamon and apples. The oats provide soluble and insoluble fiber. Fiber helps to stabilize blood sugar so we don’t overeat during the day. The slow release of energy by our body keeps us going at a steady pace. Oatmeal can be made with water or milk. Using skim milk provides vitamin D as well as fiber.

2. Fruit filled breads – We are always in a hurry. This may mean leaving behind a warm breakfast but not a nutritious one. The same mix recipes that can be used for muffins can be used to make sweet breads like banana nut, cranberry-raisin, and blueberry bread. Fresh or dried fruits can be used in the bread. In combination with other whole grains, the bread is a healthy winter breakfast that can be fixed and eaten fast.

3. Eggs, cheese, and sausage – A good breakfast is a mixture of protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Eggs provide protein and some fat. Cheese provides the same. It is okay to use low fat cheeses. Fat free cheese doesn’t melt as well. Turkey sausage or bacon provides protein and that meat we so often crave. Weekend mornings are a perfect time for family to enjoy a hearty, healthy warm breakfast.

4. Unsweetened cereals – Cereal is still a part of a balanced breakfast. This doesn’t change in the winter time. Try a cereal that gets its sweetness from cinnamon or honey. It is better for you and fortified with vitamins and minerals we need every day. Supplement that bowl of cereal with a glass of orange juice or coffee and a slice of wheat toast for a quick and healthy breakfast before work or school.

During the winter, we naturally eat more food because we crave carbohydrates. It is the hibernation instinct in our bodies. To keep from looking oversized in the spring, continuing to watch what we eat in winter is essential. Try these breakfast alternatives to do just that.

Finally...Healthy Fast Food! '101 Fresh, Light and Quick Dinner Ideas' - and most can be on your table in 30 minutes!

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Presented By: EJ Cooksey | 11/30/2009 08:33:00 PM

This policy is valid from 01 Dec 2009

This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. For questions about this blog, please contact ejcooksey@ejcooksey.com.

You should assume that the Admin of this site has an affiliate connection to the products and/or services mentioned or reviewed on this site and may be compensated if you purchase a product from an affiliate link.

You should always perform due diligence before buying products or services from anyone via the Internet or offline.

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You have worked all year to get in shape. It could have been a New Year’s resolution that got you started. When winter hits, the weather gets cold and gloomy. Learn to ignore the gloom and doom and stay on track to better health.

During the warmer weather, it is easy to get physical activity. We work in the garden, go for walks in the evening, bike ride with the family, and spend lots of time outdoors. When someone wants to go, we jump up and go. There seems to be more energy in our steps.

The main motivation is looking good in great clothes. There’s nothing wrong with that. We all want to look our best for as long as we can. The by-product of looking good is that we can achieve great health benefits. Unfortunately, when winter rolls around, all we desire is to curl up on the couch in big sweaters and slippers. It’s not cute but it’s comfortable.

But, that big sweater gives us a false sense of security. We can’t see how much damage we could potentially be doing by eating and maintaining a sedentary lifestyle. It is okay to want to slack off a bit on the exercise but totally dropping things is a no-no.

Here are a few tips to help you stay motivated during the winter months. To start, set a regular time to work out and stick to it. You may not feel like meeting a friend at the gym for a class but you can pop in a DVD or VHS tape and sweat at home. Instead of cranking up the car and braving the cold, you stayed comfortable and worked out anyway.

Maybe the busyness of the holidays has you skipping workout sessions. Exercise is cumulative. Every little bit adds up. Fifteen minutes in the morning plus another fifteen minutes in the afternoon equals thirty minutes of physical activity that day.

Physical activity doesn’t have to be an hour of jumping up and down to a routine. It could be reading a magazine while walking on the treadmill. Dancing around the room, as you vacuum and clean, counts as exercise, also.

Talk to a friend or workout buddy even if you can’t get to the gym with them each day. Use the telephone to keep each other motivated. When the weather leads you to slouch on the couch, phone a friend and get a pep talk until you jump up on your feet and get going.

Listen—you’ve worked mighty hard all year. Why throw it all away during the season of frivolity and food? It won’t be easy to stay motivated, but friends can help. Stick to the routine as much as possible and you won’t feel the after effects of a long indulgent holiday season – you’ll be one step ahead when January rolls round too.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Presented By: EJ Cooksey | 11/26/2009 08:53:00 PM

Wishing everyone a 
wonderful Thanksgiving!

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When you have "convenience" food bombarding you from every direction, it can be difficult to choose options that give your body the nourishment it needs.

However, if you have daily reminders and effective tools at your disposal, you just may find that eating the right foods and feeding your body the best fuels becomes a lot easier.

Of course, there will always be temptation, but when you equip yourself with anti-temptation tools, you will be able to quickly re-focus your mind on your greater goal of getting healthy!

Using Affirmations to Make the Healthy Food and Nutrition Choices

When everyone around you at the office is indulging in burgers, fries, and sugary drinks, it's awfully tempting to join in, isn't it?

But what if you could stop that temptation in its tracks and actually choose to make a healthy choice? You don't need me to tell you that fatty and sugary choices are not the kinds of food that your body needs - you need to tell yourself!

It can be hard in moments of temptation to make the right choice, but with the help of positive affirmations, you can re-train your brain to replace the desire for junk food with healthy choices.

Affirmations can help you stick to your diet, say no to temptation, and eat nourishing and satisfying foods. How? By replacing the negative spiral of thoughts in your mind with powerful, positive ones.

But first you have to believe that it is possible to gain control over your thirsts, desires, and cravings. The first step in making a lasting change in your life is to make the commitment to success. Are you committed? Do you believe that you can overcome your cravings?

Once you've set your commitment in stone, you're ready to learn the top 10 affirmations to get you through moments of weakness.

Top 10 Food and Nutrition Affirmations

Before reading the list below, you should know that affirmations are most successful when you internalize the saying and repeat it frequently. Whether you're having a good or bad day, you need to be constantly repeating these positive statements in your mind. Temptation will strike when you least expect it, so it's better to be prepared!

  • I can neutralize bad habits with good food, exercise, and healthy living. 
  • I am proud to reach out to my support network instead of leaning on food for comfort.
  • I am losing weight for me because I love me.
  • I set aside time just for me.
  • My good health and productivity are the rewards for the nourishing foods I eat.
  • Weight gain happens over time, so my weight loss equally requires time, patience, and lifestyle changes.
  • I use self-care, not self-control. 
  • The more I take care of myself, the better I feel.
  • I am firmly committed to staying active and healthy.
  • I deserve a healthy body and mind.

When you look at these food and nutrition affirmations, they may seem like ideals - behaviors and thoughts that you only wish you could have - but each time you reaffirm them by saying them aloud, you're slowly changing your mindset. Over time, these ideals will become a reality through your thoughts and actions.

But remember, you must first believe you can change. Once you make the commitment to your success, you will change your attitudes about food and you'll be thankful you did!

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Making fat loss FUN over the holidays. All you need is a pair of Dumbbells and this Fast Fit Yummy Mummy style fat loss workout - costume is optional 

 Video by holidayjoi

For the full workout log and additional fat loss workouts, be sure to join ClubFYM.com too!

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What is the secret to a long and healthy life? It is in the food that we eat. As you well know, all foods are not created equal. Choosing and eating the right foods may help increase your life expectancy as well as the quality of your life.

Here are ten of the top power packed foods designed to give you energy, vitality and all around good health!

1. Beans – If they give you gas, take precautions before you eat them. Soaking them first can help. Beans of all kinds (kidney, navy, lentils, chickpeas, Northern) are high in protein. This is plant protein so it contains very little fat, carbs and calories. If fiber is a problem in your diet, eating a healthy portion of beans each day can keep your digestive system healthy.

A tablespoon of rolled oatsImage via Wikipedia
2. Oatmeal – Oatmeal is coming into popularity as a food that lowers blood cholesterol. You can make it yourself with rolled oats or eat the instant kind if you are in a hurry. Oatmeal is a filling grain that also provides much needed fiber to keep hunger at bay and your blood sugar constant.

3. Fruits – Fruits are filled with antioxidants such as Vitamin C and A. Antioxidants fight free radical damage in the body and reduce the risk of cancer. Berries such as blueberries and grapes have the highest amount of antioxidants. But choose an array of fruits in a wide variety of colors for maximum health. The antioxidants in fruit boost the immune system to fight the effects of aging in the body.

4. Allium foods – This class of foods includes garlic, onions, leeks and shallots. Garlic is known for lowering cholesterol. Allium vegetables help guard the body against the risk of cancer and many other ailments. They also help lower blood pressure and prevent blood clots. Eating these power packed vegetables in their natural state especially garlic increases their health benefits.

5. Salmon – Eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids reduces the risk of heart disease and other conditions like atherosclerosis. Wild salmon is a fatty fish but it contains good fats that has been proven to improve health in children and adults. Salmon is rich in protein which is of great use after an exercise session to build muscle tissue.

6. Flax seed – Like salmon it contains omega-3 fatty acids. These seeds also contain omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids. You get a lot of power to fight high cholesterol, heart disease and diabetes with this seed. Ground flax seed can be added to fruit smoothies, sprinkled in yogurt, eaten with cereal or added to pancake mix to name a few.

7. Peppers – Peppers are colorful. They contain antioxidants like beta-carotene and Vitamin C. Peppers range from mild and sweet to so hot you’ll be calling the fire department. All peppers contain a substance called capsaicin. Capsaicin has the properties of an anti-inflammatory, a pain reliever, lowers cancer risk and heart disease. They are good in salads, salsa and all sorts of dishes.

8. Nuts and seeds – Nuts are high in fat but those fats are the good kind. Peanuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, walnuts and pistachios are all providers of good fats and protein. Crush them into a fine powder and use as a coating instead of higher carb bread crumbs. Nuts help to lower cholesterol. Eat them right out of the shell with no additives.

9. Açai – This berry has been in the news lately. It is rich in antioxidants and increases energy. You can get more done and look better while doing it. You can get Acai juice and supplements in your health food store.

10. Yogurt – The fat free variety is good for you. Yogurt contains calcium, Vitamin B, and protein. If you don’t drink milk, yogurt is an alternative to get your calcium in to build strong bones and teeth. Live yogurt also contains friendly bacteria to help promote a healthy digestive system.

Building a better healthier body begins with what you eat. Try these super foods to get started on the right foot.

Finally...Healthy Fast Food! '101 Fresh, Light and Quick Dinner Ideas' - and most can be on your table in 30 minutes!
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Hamburger and fries served in an American dinn...Image via Wikipedia
Eating is a part of life. Your body gets its nutrients from food. Sometimes we can go overboard with our eating habits and it can result in gaining weight. One issue with food is emotional eating.

The problem with emotional eating may end with the scale but it begins in your mind. Stress takes its toll on your life. When your defenses are compromised your health takes a hit and so do your emotions.

Everyone has good days and bad days. How we deal with the bad ones brings emotional eating into play. You look for comfort for your hurts. People who turn to food for comfort find a coping mechanism that won’t judge them, hurt them or tell them “no” .  To complicate the issue, eating pleasurable foods can stimulate the release of endorphins just like exercise. So, after you eat, you feel better.

Emotional eaters use food to relieve stress. They hide behind the food instead of seeking solutions to the problems. This is not uncommon when the stressor is something horrible such as physical abuse or a death.

But, how do you know you are using food in this way? The first sign is obvious. You will gain weight if you eat too much. In light of the weight gain, examine other areas of your life:

* Have you been under stress lately at work or at home?
* Has anything traumatic happened in the last year?
* Are you dealing with a problem but haven’t found a solution?

Answering “yes” to any of these questions could mean that you are an emotional eater. You eat but you are not necessarily hungry at the time. The foods that you choose are what we term “comfort foods”:

* High fat foods like French fries, fried foods
* High carb foods like macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes
* Sugary foods like ice cream, donuts, cookies, cake

There is help for emotional eaters.

Step 1: Recognizing that you have a problem. You’ll experience feelings of helplessness and guilt. The guilt is over potentially ruining your health and the helplessness lies in the fact that you don’t see a way out.

Step 2: Have your family help you learn your triggers for stress and be on the lookout for changes in your eating habits. They can help you be aware of the foods you are eating, assist you in making healthy food choices and exercise along with you. Proper diet and exercise increases immunity, blood flow and positive thinking. Yoga enhances the mind/body connection so you don’t eat when you aren’t hungry.

Step 3: Seek counseling. There are many types of counselors out there that can meet your need. Emotional eating has nothing to do with dieting or changing your eating habits but gaining control over your emotions.

A counselor might suggest things like visualization, practicing problem solving skills, relaxation techniques and family support. Visualization helps you to see your problems in a realistic way and not blown out of proportion. You will also learn to see food as nutrition for the body and not an emotional crutch.

Finding new ways to solve your problems and deal with stress will push food out of the equation. You’ll feel good about finding solutions which will replace the dependence on food.

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By Holly Rigsby, CPT

Have you tried everything under the sun to get a flat stomach, only to come up disappointed? Have you fallen prey to all the gimmicks, fad diets and shameless infomercials promising you that elusive flat stomach that you desire?

Well fret no more, I'm going to let you in on the two ‘secrets' that will help you shed unwanted fat and reveal your toned, flat stomach once and for all.

The first secret for a flat stomach is eating supportively. While this doesn't seem like a secret at all, most women get this wrong in spite of their best – but misguided – efforts. Women have fallen prey to low-fat, low-carb, Hollywood, grapefruit, South Beach and every other over hyped diet that marketers can dream up, all in hopes of shedding those unwanted pounds. But eating supportively is isn't about dieting or deprivation; it's about moderation and balance. While cutting carbs or fats out of your nutrition plan might give you a temporary loss of a couple of pounds, it's typically followed by a drop in metabolism and a weight gain of more than you lost in the first place once you go back to your old eating habits.

So what is eating supportively? Eating supportively is having protein and carbohydrates at every meal. It's grazing on 4-6 meals or snack each day instead of missing meals and then gorging yourself. It's enjoying a healthy breakfast and not drinking your calories. But most of all, eating supportively is enjoying the foods you love in moderation instead of in excess.

If eating supportively is the first secret to a flat stomach, then what's the second? The second flat stomach secret is resistance training. Unfortunately, just as fad diets have stood in the path of women achieving the flat stomachs they so desired, so have the myths of spot reduction and cardio being the best method for fat loss. Late night infomercials have long promoted gadgets that promised to spot reduce those trouble spots that women struggle with and sucked us in with testimonials from fitness models that undoubtedly picked up a nifty paycheck for endorsing their wares. But spot reduction is a myth. Think about it – have you ever met someone with a flat stomach and fat arms? Didn't think so. If spot reduction was possible then undoubtedly one of these happy customers would have toned and tightened their stomach, yet kept their flabby arms.

The other myth that has led women astray is the belief that cardio is the best solution for fat loss. Treadmill manufacturers have sold the virtues of the ‘fat burning zone' and led us to believe that we could plod along on a treadmill watching Oprah and before long a flat stomach would be ours. These two myths have diverted us from the path of what really does work – resistance training. Resistance training is a flat stomach's best friend because not only does an effective resistance training session burn plenty of calories while you're doing it, but it keeps you're metabolism revved long after you're done. One recent study showed that you're metabolism would stay elevated for over 36 hours after a resistance training session.

Try to get that out of an aerobics class.

And there's another benefit of resistance training when it comes to getting a flat stomach. The lean muscle that you gain will raise you're resting metabolic rate and help you burn more fat all day long, each and every day.

There you have it, two ‘secrets' that are guaranteed to boost your metabolism and give you that flat stomach you've been longing for. So ditch the diet books and the aerobics classes and start eating supportively and resistance training. Before long that flat stomach will finally be yours.

About the Author

Holly Rigsby is a nationally recognized womens fitness coach, certified personal trainer (CPT) and the author of the internationally popular e-book – Fit Yummy Mummy - Burn Your Baby Fat & Get Your Body Back.
Go to
http://www.fityummymummy.com to get your FREE copy of her special report: "The Five Ways To Boost Your Metabolism."

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Are you frustrated when you put on a bathing suit and see the belly fat around your middle?
Do you see a lumpy, bumpy silhouette when you put on a new dress?
When you look in the mirror, do you see a spare tire hanging over your belt?

If this sounds familiar, you may be ready to lose your belly fat.

Step 1: Are You Ready?

You need to ask yourself a few questions to decide if you’re ready to take the steps you need to lose belly fat.

First, how do you feel about your situation?
Are you frustrated by your body?
What are the reasons you want to lose belly fat?
Is it so you can wear a bikini this summer?
Is it to make your clothes feel better?

If you’ve been thinking about how to lose your belly fat for some time, it’s time to take the next step.

Step 2: Research and Plan

You’ll need to gather as much information as you can so that you can make a plan. There are many sources of information including books, the internet, weight loss centers, and information from friends and family members.

At this stage you need to put together all the information you can find, and then decide which pieces will work best for you to lose your belly fat. You’ll need to set a goal for yourself including how much you would like to lose in pounds or inches, how you will do it, and by what date you will accomplish your goal.

Step 3: Take Action and Reach Your Goal

Once you have all the information you need, it’s time to put your plan into action. This is the hardest part of your quest to lose belly fat. You’ll need to arrange your life so that you can begin losing your belly fat right away. That means you may need to make sure you have specific foods in your pantry, arrange your schedule so you can get enough sleep each night, and remove as much stress as possible. After following your plan for a while, you’ll find that you've reached your goals.

Step 4: Maintain Your Success

At this point, you have a critical step to make – maintaining your success. This part of your plan will allow you to continue keeping your body trim after you lose the belly fat. If you go back to your old habits, that belly fat will find its way back to your middle.

When you’re ready to lose your belly fat, you need to take action. Once you’ve achieved your goals it’s time to maintain them. You can have the body you’ve always wanted with these simple steps.

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Healthy Lasagna - Diet Recipe

Presented By: EJ Cooksey | 5/26/2009 12:50:00 AM

Who doesn’t love lasagna? The downside of this delicious dish is that all that cheese, meat and cream isn’t great for you (or your waistline).

This version is totally skinny, yet simply delicious.


1 teaspoon olive oil
1 onion, finely sliced

2 sticks of celery, finely sliced

1 carrot, grated

4 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed

1 pound of quality lean ground beef – organic if possible (alternatively you can use organic ground turkey)

1 can of plum tomatoes
½ teaspoon dried oregano

2 zucchinis, thinly sliced length ways

1 cup of already roasted red peppers (or you can make your own at home)

4 sheets of lasagna (whole wheat if possible)

Salt and pepper to taste

For the cheese sauce
8 ounces skimmed milk

3 tablespoons corn starch

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

8 ounces mature cheddar cheese

Dash of nutmeg

* By using an extra mature, strong cheddar you’ll need much, much less and still get a full flavor.


In a large saucepan add the olive oil , onion, celery and carrot and cook over low heat for approximately 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook a further one minute. Set aside.

In a frying pan, fry the meat until completely cooked through. Drain away the oil and add to your large pan of onion and vegetables. Turn up the heat and add the wine, stir continuously until all the wine has been absorbed. Then add the tomatoes and oregano. Season with salt and pepper and simmer for approximately 30 minutes, until the liquid has reduced.

Heat the frying pan again and add the zucchini. Char grill for approximately 2 minutes on each side. Remove from heat and set aside.

Do the same thing with the roasted peppers (drain if using jar peppers). Set aside.

Make the cheese sauce by heating up the milk and nutmeg gently over low heat. Mix the corn starch with a little milk in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Add this mixture to the milk and nutmeg. Whisk continuously over low heat for approximately 2 to 3 minutes until thickened. Then add the mustard and half of the cheese. Add salt and pepper if necessary.

Now put it all together. Take a lasagna dish and start with a layer of meat, then roasted peppers, then more meat, then roasted zucchini, then more meat, finally your four sheets of pasta. Now pour your cheese sauce over the top and top with the remaining cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 20 to 30 minutes until bubbly.

Serve immediately with a side salad.

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Exercise is an important part of our lives. Staying in shape is one way to increase your life expectancy. Weight bearing exercises are important also for increasing muscle mass and bone density as you age.

Most of us have learned what to do when it comes to exercising. The problem is where and when to get the job done. With a busy lifestyle, making time for exercise is a challenge.

Weight bearing exercises aren’t just for bodybuilders. As you age, especially once you hit the age of forty, you begin to lose muscle mass. For women especially, bone loss becomes a problem. When the body is in need of calcium it can rob it from your bones. Building muscle not only increases their mass but your strength.

Here are five easy toning exercises that can be done anywhere and whenever you have time. At home, at the office, or on vacation, you can do these easy yet extremely effective exercises.

1. The Bridge Butt Lift – Sounds like a plastic surgery technique but it is an easy way to tone your buttocks. Lay down with feet flat on the floor, legs shoulder width apart. Place your hands, palm side down, on either side of your body. Pushing with your feet, squeeze your gluteal muscles and lift your butt off the floor. Hold the position for a count of five to ten and release down to the floor.

2. Squats – Squats work the butt, the hamstring muscles and the quadriceps. If you aren’t sure of proper form, you can use a chair. Stand with feet shoulder width apart and feet firmly planted. Push your butt back as if you were preparing to sit in a chair. Keep your abs tight and your upper body straight. Once you reach chair level stop and hold the position for a count of two to five and release. At the lowest point, place all of your weight on your heels for balance and maximum toning.

3. Reverse Lunges – Lunges work the quadriceps muscles. They can be hard for people with knee problems. A reverse lunge still tones the right muscle groups but with less pressure on the knee. Stand with feet together and arms at your sides. Take one leg and move it backwards until you are in lunge position: front leg bent at a 90 degree angle and back leg extended until you are on the ball of your foot. From this position lower yourself down until the back knee almost touches the floor. Hold for a count of two and return to starting position.

4. Pushups – This is a classic toning exercise that works all areas of the arms plus the chest muscles. If you aren’t comfortable or strong enough to perform a pushup on your toes, lower your body to your knees. Be sure your arms are tucked into the body and your back straight as you lower and lift your body.

5. Crunches – Abdominal muscles can be worked every day to build strength and muscle tone. Lying on the floor in sit up position, lace your fingers behind your head. Squeezing your abdominal muscles, lift your upper body until your lower back is about to come off the floor. Hold for two to five counts and return to starting position.

These five exercise moves can be done whenever you have time. The best thing about exercise is that its effects are cumulative. Even five or ten minutes at a time will work to your advantage.

Recommended Product: Fit Yummy Mummy

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Congratulations on losing weight! Maybe you haven’t reached your goal yet, but you are getting there. Changing the way you cook your food can be a big help in the battle to keep the weight off and the fat out.

If you’ve started cooking more at home, that's good. The only way to know for sure what is in your food is to cook it yourself. Using fresh ingredients, there is no need for preservatives which can add unwanted sodium, fat, sugar and calories to your food.

Try these cooking methods as an alternative to frying with oil.

Marinating Your Meats – Marinating foods, especially meats, breaks down the muscle fibers and tenderizes the meat. As the meat sits, the marinade will work its way throughout so every bite is succulent and tender. This technique works well if you plan on grilling or baking your meat.

Broiling Fish – Many people fry fish on the stove top. There is an alternative to frying that leaves less fat on your food. Fatty fish is filled with good fats, but frying introduces extra fat that you can do without. Marinate your fish and then pop it under the broiler. Turn after five or ten minutes for even cooking. When the fish is flaky it’s done. By broiling there is no extra fatty oil added.

Sautéing – This technique is okay for cooking meats and vegetables quickly. Use about a tablespoon of canola or olive oil in your pan and let the oil heat up before adding the ingredients. Food cooks better and faster if it is cut into cubes or strips.

Steaming – Vegetables and rice respond well to steaming. You can buy a rice cooker or, if you like oriental food, invest in a bamboo steamer. Steaming preserves the nutrients and the original flavor of the food without overcooking it.

Stir-frying Meats and Vegetables – Stir frying is a wonderful way to create a meal using very little oil. A tablespoon of oil is heated in the wok and then swirled around so that it coats the bottom and the sides. When the oil is hot the meat can then be added. Not much oil is used so there is no need to drain the meat. Add the vegetables and cook until tender.

Grilling Your Food – This technique works outside in the summer and inside using a grill pan. Gas grills keep the temperature of the meat even and can prevent the charring of the meat that is typical with charcoal briquettes. A non-stick coated grill pan doesn’t need additional oil and you can drain away the fat before serving.

There are many ways to cook food that brings out the flavor without serving up the fat. Try one or all of these techniques for lower fat cooking.

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January's Top 10 Entrecard Droppers

Presented By: EJ Cooksey | 1/31/2009 03:45:00 PM

Today is the "First Official Entrecard Top Dropper Day".

In honor of that, here is some link love for my Top 10 Entrecard Droppers for January.

Thank you all for visiting and dropping your Entrecard!

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What do you see when you look in the mirror? Do you like what you see even if it isn’t perfect? You may not believe this, but even skinny people have some part of their body that they aren’t particularly fond of. A big part of losing weight is a mental challenge and learning to love yourself no matter what your size.

What you think about yourself can change how you feel about the rest of your life.
When we don’t look good, we don’t feel good. That goes for men and women both. Some believe that they won’t be accepted until they lose weight or have plastic surgery. Personally, the only thing I want cut is the high cost of living. But, that’s me and I realize that some people have a difficult time accepting themselves and who they are.

Self image plays a big role in weight loss.
Until you can accept who you are right now, permanent weight loss will elude you. The weight that you lose will be contingent on the acceptance of others. When they lose interest, you will stop losing the weight. In your disappointment you might regain those shed pounds or even more.

Say to yourself,
“I am worthy of love and acceptance.” It sounds like a mantra, but it is actually a way to reprogram your thinking. No one body is perfect. The goal of weight loss is to be healthy so we are not cutting our lives short. Looking like a million bucks is just a fabulous by-product. Your primary concern when it comes to weight loss should be your health.

How do you accept yourself?
Wear clothing that flatters your shape - whatever that may be. I guarantee that you will get compliments on the ensembles you put together. Another thing I can guarantee is that you’ll get a lot of stares if you put on an outfit that is too small or tight for you. A size fourteen body in a size ten pair of pants is not cute at all. How can you be happy with yourself if you can’t breathe because your clothes are cutting your oxygen off anyway?

Do yourself a favor. Dress your best and feel good.
As you lose weight and regain health celebrate your success by donating those bigger sizes to charity. Keeping them around is like a security blanket in case you regain the weight. We don’t want to regain the weight, so we don’t need to crowd our closet. Besides, you’ll need to make room for your new, smaller clothes!

Don’t be so hard on yourself.
The first thing a person sees is your body, but the thing they will remember is your attitude and personality. Take their mind, and yours, off of the outside and redirect it to what you have inside.
You are not defined by your size, but your attitude may be saying otherwise. For permanent weight loss, get your mind under control as well as your weight.

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How to survive when willpower and motivation just do not last!
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