Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Nike Training Club App Review: A Butt-Kicking Virtual Trainer

Nike Training Club, Nike Training Club App, Nike Training App

The Nike Training Club App is the nuts. It's a booty kick and personal trainer all rolled into one downloadable package of workout brilliance.

A hair dresser introduced me to it when she told me she simply exercised at home. She had a phenomenal figure and was around 40. I took her advice and downloaded the app with extremely low expectations. 

It blew me away, literally and figuratively.

Is This The Week New Year's Resolutions Die?

2015 Goals, Write down to your goals

The third week of January is critical when it comes to New Year's resolutions. It is the week most of them die, according to the Wall Street Journal. Gym attendance declines, that commitment to eat better weakens, you know the routine.

The thing is, three weeks is barely enough time to give a resolution a chance to stick. A 2009 study by University College London found it takes about 66 days to develop a habit (Tweet this).

How can you stay committed to reaching your 2015 goals? 
  • Stay Focused. Being focused on a goal can help you reach it. How do you do that? Read blogs, websites, magazines and news articles about the particular area in which you're interesting in improving. Want to get in better shape? Read Shape or Women's Health. Want to cook healthier meals? Make Eating Well part of your regular reading. Shameless plug: sign up for The Real Skinny, a digest of diet and fitness tips for the real world, like this one. Or check out my blog every Monday for News To Help You Have A Healthier Week. Reading about it, helps you think about it and keep those goals present in your mind. 
  • Write It Down. Research repeatedly shows that writing down your goals helps you reach them. Failing to write your goals means you will forget them or won't focus on them. Put them somewhere you will see them every day. Here's a 2015 goals worksheet.
  • Be Specific. Don't be vague in your goals. For example: "I will wake up by 6am five days a week" is one of my goals for 2015. That's a better and more specific goal than "I will wake up earlier this year".  In fact, according to experts, being specific about when, where and how you will take action can set you up for success. 
  • Be Realistic. You probably won't lose 25 pounds in one month. Five pounds? That's doable. Don't set goals that are completely unattainable. Take it a step further and create that specific action plan (see above) for you to achieve this. 
So if you do abandon your 2015 goals this week. Don't stress it. You can always start again next week.

How You Doin'?
How are you doing with your 2015 goals? Are they too tough to attain or are you rolling along? Please share in the comments section.

Me? I am struggling with the wake up at 6am thing. I am getting up about 6:30am which is at least a step in the right direction.

Monday, January 19, 2015

News To Help You Have A Healthier Week

Intermittent fasting, fasting 12 hours a day
Image via Cell.com

I hope you had a great weekend. Full disclosure: I have been dieting like a mad bitch for a photo shoot today. The nice thing about the diet (which I will detail in an upcoming post) is that I really haven't craved anything. I have been a bit of recluse, though, and avoided going out to dinner all week. I am a night eater and didn't want to be tempted.

Here are a few things that caught my eye. Hope they help you have a healthier week!

Fasting 12 hours a day can help you lose weight. I try to do this most days of the week (think 5) and it is so much easier than you would think. Eat dinner before 7pm, have breakfast after 7am. That tends to be the most manageable window in the real world. If you need to eat a bit later, try to do it before 8pm and eat your breakfast after 8am.

Writer Andy Leeks tried 10 different diets in 50 days and lost 25 pounds. He lost the most weight on the 5:2 Diet and the Special K Diet.

Dr. Oz has a new diet plan: the Total 10 Rapid Weight Loss Plan. On it you ditch coffee for hot lemon water (the bitterness of the lemon stimulates bile flow which helps emulsify and remove fat-soluble toxins, according to Dr. Oz - Tweet this), eat protein in the morning (smart!) and two healthy snacks a day are allowed (think kale chips, lentils and almond butter quinoa balls).

Need more motivation to exercise? A sedentary lifestyle can be twice as deadly as being obese, according to a new study. 

Still not moving most days of the week. Here are three ways to find your exercise sweet spot.

Get The Real Skinny 
Looking for more diet and fitness news? Sign up for The Real Skinny. It's my email newsletter featuring diet and fitness tips for the real world, like this one.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Barrington Gifts St. Anne Tote: A Golden Globe Swag Bag Darling

Barrington Gifts St. Anne Tote bag, St Anne Tote, Golden Globes Swag bag, Barrington GIfts
St. Anne Tote Swag Bag Assembly

North Texas will be well-represented at the Golden Globes this Sunday night. Dallas-based Barrington Gifts' St. Anne Tote is THE swag bag for Golden Globe nominees. According to Barrington Gifts, they were delivered into the private hotel rooms of nominees on Friday.

 Click on any bag to learn more about it!

The likes of Julia Louis-Dreyfuss (I LOVE her...Veep is my favorite show), Emily Blunt, Helen Mirren, Viola Davis, Mark Ruffalo received the bag in various patterns: Checkerboard, Navajo Mesa, Glen Plaid, Black Watch Plaid, Reptile and Axis.

Best actress nominee Reese Witherspoon is the only celebrity gifted with the tote in the French Stripe pattern. It's personalized with her initials, LRW. That's the cool thing about Barrington's products: you can get virtually anything debossed with your initials.

I first met the Barrington Gifts team when I discovered their gameday line (click HERE to learn more about it), which allows you customize any of their bags in your alma mater's favorite colors. It's brilliant. They also have a slew of goodies for guys and great corporate gifts.

Get Your Own Golden Globes Bag
Barrington's St. Anne Tote may become a new celebrity favorite but it has an incredibly real world price. It's only $145. You order it online and get your initials on it for an additional $5.

Buy Barrington Gifts St. Anne Tote Bag

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Best Diets Of 2015

DASH Diet Eating Plan, The DASH Diet
DASH Diet meal planner/Image via www.nhlbi.nih.gov

When you're a former fat girl like me, you're always interested in diet news. U.S. News & World Report's diet rankings are out for 2015 and once again the DASH Diet tops the list. The DASH Diet which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, (Tweet this) was designed to combat high blood pressure but it gets high marks for its nutritional value and ability to prevent and/or control diabetes. Weight loss is a nice side effect.
Monday, January 5, 2015

Travel Resolutions To Make In 2015

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Tallin Estonia
Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Tallin, Estonia 
Are you making travel resolutions for 2015? So many people I know say "I will finally take that trip to ___________ (insert your dream destination here)". 

Wherever it is you want to go, do it. Don't wait. Save your money. Research and plan your trip and then GO. 

Parc de la Ciutadella, Barcelona, Spain
Taking a selfie before it was even a thing at Parc de la Ciutadella on my solo trip to Barcelona in 2008.

That's one thing I have always done. I wanted to go to Barcelona by myself a few years ago. I did it. Israel solo? Done. Travel is one thing in which I fully follow through on my intentions. Pretty much all the time. 

The New York Post lists 13 Travel Resolutions for 2015 and they're pretty good: 
  • Check that trip off your bucket list.
  • Invest in good luggage. This was a gamechanger for me. When I finally punted my hand-me-down suitcases, I bought a fabulous Bric's suitcase. One of my best investments, ever. 
  • Plan a solo trip. These are my favorite trips. No matter what your age, this is one of the best ways to learn more, not just about the world, but also yourself. 
  • Brush up on a language you learned in school and use it. Also try to learn a few key phrases in the language of the country you're visiting. I do this every time I visit a foreign country. You can't imagine how tough Turkish and Greek were for me. Simply attempting the language will endear you to locals in more ways that you can imagine.
  • Go to a new US city. This is something I try to do at least once a year. Discovering a new city is an absolute treat. We can get swept up in the romantic notions of Europe or South America but, don't forget, the United States has awesome towns, too. Go. Visit them. Get lost. Have fun. 
  • Explore your own city. Great advice. So many times we think our city is SO boring or SO lame. Taking time to be a tourist in your own city can lead you to discover parts of the city that are completely foreign to you...and fabulous. 
  • Set out on a road trip. I love a good road trip, complete with small town diners and fun local stores. A good road trip is a wonderful experience.
  • Unplug for a weekend or week. Digital detoxes are easier said than done. 
  • Use all of your vacation days.
  • Travel with a close companion. 
  • Check out a festival.
  • Take a walking, hiking or biking tour. 
  • Book a last minute trip. 

What Are Your Travel Resolutions?
Do you have any travel goals for 2015? Please share them in the comments section.

Travel resolutions for 2015, travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer
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Me? I have three:
  • I want to travel more for work. Yes, I am one of those crazy people who likes business trips. 
  • Take a road trip. I am due for a good one. I would really like to do the California coast again with plenty of time to spare. 
  • Spend more time in France. I'm an addict. Sorry. 
Whatever you decide to do, make this the year you plan a trip you love. 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

How To Own 2015...And Keep Your New Year's Goals

Make 2015 the year you make it happen. Whatever your "IT" is.

For many of my friends and family, gaining control of their weight and overall health is a priority. For me, staying the course is the goal but that's never easy. I am a recovering a fat girl and and am always a Golden Corral buffet away from my orca phase.

The thing is, whether you're at your ideal weight or fitness level or still trying to get there, your health should be one of your top priorities. If you do not have a healthy body and spirit, nothing else matters (Tweet this). Simply put:

If you don't have your health, you don't have anything.

Click HERE to download this worksheet.

We know that resolutions, many times, fail. I prefer not to think in terms of resolutions for a new year but in goals. It's scientifically proven that writing down goals helps you achieve them.

So to help you do just that, I have created a simple download that you can print and write down your goals to help you rock them. Click HERE to download your 2015 goals worksheet.

Be Realistic
Don't put too much pressure on yourself. We're all human. There will be days that we eat too much candy or miss a workout. We will yell at people we love and feel fat. We WILL get off track. The key is to jump right back on when we do get off track. Little missteps are a part of life. It's how we rebound from them that help define us.

Get Easy Diet & Fitness Tips In 2015
Looking for extra motivation this year? Sign up for The Real Skinny. You will receive smart, practical advice that you can use in the real world (like THIS ONE) to help you reach your diet and fitness goals.

Share Your Goals 
Please share some of your 2015 goals in the comments section. I would love to learn what you have in store this year. Check back on Monday. I will share my 2015 goals worksheet.

Happy 2015! 
Make it your best year yet! 

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