For men who suffer from erectile dysfunction (ED), the disorder itself can sway them into giving up on sex.  But what they need to realize is that sex is a healthy activity to take part in.  In fact, when practiced both daily and safely, sex brings about a wide array of benefits.

From both physical and mental health advantages, here’s a quick look at the top six reasons to never give up on sex:

1. Excellent Way to Sleep Better

Many people who suffer from insomnia often fail to think about the sleep benefits associated with sex.  Take for example a person who is relaxed and ready to go sleep but can’t close their eyes.  With a nice dose of sex, this often sends the person to a place where they can finally count sheep and fall asleep.  Also for men, ejaculating will cause him to become lethargic, thus helping him to fall asleep quicker.

2. Reduced Risk of Developing Cancer

A study conducted in Australia found that people who have sex at least 21 times a month are far less likely to develop cancer.  For men, regular sex also reduces the chances of developing prostate cancer.

3. Have a Healthy Heart

Men who have sex on a regular basis “are 45 percent less likely to experience cardiovascular diseases.”  Additionally, since sex burns calories, this is an added bonus for heart health.  For most men, a minute’s worth of sex will burn 4.2 calories.  For women, 3.1 calories.

4. Improved Immune System

When it comes to fighting the sniffles, sex is an excellent remedy.  The act of sex increases immunoglobulin A, which is an antibody against the flu and other flu-like symptoms.  The next time you feel a cold coming on, remember to hop in bed and get your ‘love’ on.

5. Look Younger

Studies have shown that people who have sex at least three times a week tend to look about 10 years younger than others of the same age who don’t have frequent sex.

6. Pain Reduction

When the body enjoys pleasure, it becomes difficult to experience pain.  For this very reason, sex serves as a great way to reduce pain in the body.

The Takeaway

If you’ve been searching for reasons to make your way to the bedroom, keep in mind the benefits mentioned above.  Don’t let ED deter you from your attempts for making love. There are many treatment options available. You can also sex supplement like Max Performer.

Research shows that women have stronger cravings than men, making them have excess fat storage.

The first step towards achieving a better body is doing away with sugar cravings. But, this is the most challenging thing to do among most women.

Fortunately, LeanBean weight loss pills works to suppress appetite by hindering cravings, reducing calorie intake and helping women to stick to a balanced diet.

LeanBean is a fat burning product, specially formulated for women. The LeanBean review shows that it contains scientifically proven ingredients for appetite control and increased metabolism to support fat loss.

This fat burner has gained massive popularity among women. Today, we focus on how to take LeanBean for the best results.

Let’s get started

Recommended dosage

The manufacturer recommends that you should take one capsule four times a day, preferably one before breakfast, one before lunch, one in the afternoon and one before evening meals.

Taking the capsules throughout the day helps to maximise the effect of LeanBean.

LeanBean should be taken consistently for 3 months to realise results.

How To Make LeanBean More Effective

Taking LeanBean will not magically make you lose fat; however, it can boost your weight loss journey if taken correctly. LeanBean will not offer maximum results if you do not make lifestyle changes.

Consider the following tips to get the best results from LeanBean

  • Have a fitness routine and check your nutrition

You can’t take LeanBean capsules and expect results if you have do not train and have a poor diet.

To maximise results, it is essential to check your diet; cut off calories and enrol in a fitness program. If you consume calories, you have to burn off the excess to prevent fat storage. LeanBean helps to accelerate this process.

LeanBean will help suppress your cravings, but you will not win if you consistently have your cravings at your disposal. You cannot fill your kitchen cabinets with your favourite chocolate bars or crackers. This increases appetite making it hard to resist the urge.

  • Take LeanBean dose in the right timing

LeanBean will increase your metabolism and hinder hunger cravings when taking throughout the day at the recommended time. This will help get the most results from this fat burner.

The best strategy to take this appetite suppressant is 30 minutes before your meals. This will help you to feel fuller.

Also, do not exceed the recommended dosage.

  • Eat sufficient protein

While looking to lose fat, ensure that you take sufficient protein to support lean muscle mass.

LeanBean works by suppressing your appetite, thus reducing your daily calorie intake. If you do not up your protein intake, you may experience muscle mass loss too.

Aim to take above 1 gram of protein per each pound you weigh.  Reduce your carbs and fat intake but increase your protein intake.

Protein will help to maximise your results, giving you a strong toned physique.

Always remember that not all your body weight is fat; hence, as you take fewer calories ensure that your protein intake is enough to maintain lean mass.

  • Keep hydrated

LeanBean contains caffeine, which has a diuretic effect and may make you visit the bathroom more often. Additionally, it increases your metabolism, which is likely to make you sweat more than usual. This may slow metabolism and cause dehydration.

Therefore, drinking enough water (6-8 glasses) in the day, preferably cold water will help LeanBean to give optimal results.

Also, take each dosage of LeanBean with a full glass of water each time for hydration support and proper absorption.

Increase your water intake during workouts to support increased metabolism.

Conclusion

Following the above tips will help you get the best results from LeanBean.

This appetite suppressant works best when taken in the right dosage accompanied by lifestyle changes.

Exercising and dieting are crucial parts of a weight loss journey. However, some people believe that they can only diet and lose those extra pounds. Well, it is possible to lower your calorie intake and loss weight. Studies show that dieting contributes to 80 percent while exercising contributes 20% of weight loss.

In this review of PhenQ, we see that this supplement helps to boost weight loss by supporting exercise and dieting. It suppresses appetite thus reducing the number of calories consumed while it boosts energy levels to increase stamina while exercising.

Basically, PhenQ boosts both dieting and exercise. It is not a magic pill; you need to put on some effort on your end in changing eating habits and engaging in physical activity.

PhenQ Role In Exercise

PhenQ is specially created to provide an extra boost in losing fat at the same time increasing muscle mass.

Let’s see how

PhenQ contains caffeine that increases adrenaline, which helps to break down fats faster in the body as you work out. Simply PhenQ boosts the production of adrenaline during workouts and provides a rich flow of energy to increase stamina.

It has chromium picolinate which provides glucose to be burned for energy. This energy is used during workouts to enhance burning more calories.

On the other hand, Capsimax has been proven to increase fat oxidation during exercise while a-Lacys RESET has been seen to increase muscle mass while lowering body fat.

Therefore, in order to achieve maximum weight loss with PhenQ, exercise is necessary because it contains ingredients that boost the workouts.

Importance Of Exercise While Taking Phenq

Following a strict diet may be hard to maintain, that’s why exercise is necessary when losing weight to keep off fat from accumulating.

Here are some benefits linked to exercising

Depletes glycogen stores

The body stores extra carbohydrates as fat when glycogen stores are full. Therefore exercise depletes these stores to create room for carbohydrates you consume for energy.

Turns white fat to brown fat

Brown fat is considered good fat.

Working out changes the white fat cells to start behaving like brown cells, which burn calories to produce heat.

Burn more calories

Combining dieting and working out leads to burning more calories than usual.

Increases basal metabolic rate

Working out builds muscle mass which increases the basal metabolic rate. This means that the body continues to burn calories even at rest because muscle is more metabolically active.

Maintains body weight

Consuming lesser calories sheds off extra weight but the moment you stop, weight accumulates again. But exercising helps to maintain a good physique.

Improves health

Exercising promotes proper functioning of the body. Additionally, it maintains blood pressure and lowers cholesterol levels.

Generally, working out is an essential step in losing weight. Make sure to incorporate small steps like taking yoga classes, walking your dog or jogging in the morning.

Final Verdict

There is no easy way towards weight loss. Consuming fewer calories is important and so is exercising to maintain the ideal weight.

PhenQ is a fat burner that provides the body with high-quality ingredients that help boost the body in weight loss by supporting dieting and exercising.

If you were able to track the course of size acceptance on the Internet, you’d see that Mopie was one of the pioneers of the movement with her blog Big Fat Deal, and hers was the first weight-loss blog I ever read. She’s also one of the people who inspires me and is probably the only person that I’d sing horrible duets with in public. —Weetabix

To some, we are mythical creatures, much like unicorns or hippogriffs: fat girls who work out. But we do exist—I’m living, breathing, huffing, puffing, sweating, hyperventilating proof. In my quest for size acceptance, I’ve been preaching the gospel of health at any size. In my own life I’d gotten the “any size” part down, but I was struggling with the “health” bit. Sure I eat my fruits and veggies, but the most exercise I got on any given day was multiple trips to Starbucks. And sex, which totally counts. But anyway, for long-term cardiovascular health and in an effort to stop feeling like kind of a hypocrite, I decided to give this exercise thing a shot.

mo pieI’ve been working out three days a week for a little over a month now. I figured I’d start small—see if I could stick to a workout schedule and slowly get used to the concept of myself as a Person Who Exercises. I started with 20–25 minutes on the elliptical trainer (a machine that doesn’t put strain on the knees, which is important if you’re me), and am now up to 30–40 minutes and the indoctrination is totally working, y’all. The other day at work I was stunned to realize that I fervently wished, at that moment, that I were on the elliptical trainer. (To be fair, I was sitting in perhaps the most boring meeting to have ever taken place in corporate America. I’m pretty sure even the slide projector was bored.)

So I don’t hate exercise now, and in fact, some days, I downright crave it. Not only that, I’ve successfully negotiated around many of the traps that are set for a fat girl going to the gym. I avoid the shower issue altogether by driving straight home after a workout and showering there. I put on the tight spandex outfit without blinking an eye. (Who wants to sweat in a T-shirt? Give me a spandex sports bra and tank top any day.) I’ve learned to put a lid on the negative self-talk when I catch a glimpse of my fat rolls bouncing in the mirror. (I just shift my gaze to my thunderously bouncing breasts and assume everyone who can see me is in fact hot for me.) I’ve perfected my workout playlist (featuring “Read My Mind,” “Accidentally In Love,” and “Flathead.” And, um, Constantine from American Idol. Don’t tell.) So my transition into the healthier new me has been, so far, pretty smooth. Mostly.

I’ve been experimenting lately with the elliptical trainers with arms. (When I strike it rich and can afford my own Precor elliptical trainer, it will be a kind with arms. Precor, call me. I would make an awesome spokespie.) They help me push my heart rate into my target zone (currently 72% of my maximum heart rate for my age, thank you, I did some math) more quickly and efficiently. So today I marched confidently up to one of the Precor machines with arms, put my water bottle in the cupholder and my towel over the arms and my iPod on the magazine stand and hopped on…

…only to have the machine make an incredibly loud, groaning, creaking, horrifying noise. Oh my God, irony alert. “Ned, get the camera! The fat girl just broke the exercise machine!” So of course I was mortified and I broke the code of silence of the gym and loudly and blithely said, “WELL THAT WAS NOT A GOOD NOISE! HA HA! I GUESS I WILL GO TO THIS MACHINE OVER HERE.  AND BY THE WAY THE MACHINE DOES NOT USUALLY MAKE THIS NOISE WHICH I KNOW BECAUSE I HAVE IN FACT HAULED MY FAT ASS ONTO AN ELLIPTICAL MACHINE ON NUMEROUS OCCASIONS BEFORE OH DEAR GOD WHY AM I STILL TALKING.”  The slender woman next to me took pity on me and said, “Oh, that machine makes that noise sometimes.”  By which she probably meant, “Oh God, shut up, I am trying to listen to Justin Timberlake over here.”

I did, in fact, shut up, mercifully for all concerned, and actually began my workout. However, 10 minutes into it I realized that in my frenzy to fling myself onto a machine that did not groan as if it had been possessed by Satan, I had left my water bottle in the cupholder of the machine of evil. I was thirsty and I was sweaty and I didn’t want to break my stride. Dilemma!  So I waited until a tiny, skinny, blonde Cameron Diaz type approached the machine. I removed my iPod earbud.

“I’m sorry to bother you, but could you hand me my water bottle?”

“Oh, sure.”

“Thanks.  Er, you know, I got on that machine, and it made a really horrible noise.”

Cammy—I swear to god this is true—looked me up and down. “Well, we’ll see.”

Oh, man.  Now that stung.

Luckily for me and you and the honor of fat chicks everywhere, she got on the machine and it immediately made a horrible, grinding, apocalyptical creaking noise. I was panting and suffering and producing a river of sweat, but man, was I suddenly in a great mood. “Oh,” I chirped. “Yes, that was the noise, alright! Yesirree!” And so Cammy got off the machine and headed to a different one. And I felt a surge of vindication course through my veins. See, that noise wasn’t because I was a hippogriff. Precor wouldn’t do that to me. The machine was just broken or from the underworld or whatever, and now I knew it for sure.

But still—it was something that wouldn’t have happened to me if I were a thin person. It was a moment of feeling the self-consciousness that I thought I’d gotten past. But that’s the thing with the fat girl traps—when you least expect it, you’ll step in one. But there are compensations, I guess. If I were super thin, I definitely wouldn’t have the giant beachball boobs bouncing in the gym mirror. And then, would everybody in the gym still be hot for me? I sincerely doubt it.

Okay, I’ve never watched this show, as I’ve mentioned before, but this season, I’m giving it a fair chance. However, after two episodes, I’m struck by a number of things that have really started to bug the hell out of me.

1. The Voting

Isn’t losing massive amounts of poundage enough excitement for the producers? The money shots of fatties sweating it out on treadmills and getting screamed at by Jillian while Bob shakes his head and hates his life, isn’t that enough manufactured drama? Why add the voting? Why put these people through that? And the rankings are only based on how you did THIS week, not total percentage of body weight lost, therefore if you’ve been doing awesome but then hit a plateau one week, you’re screwed. Niiiice.

2. The caloric intake montage

The contestants were ushered into a room and watch an interview where they talk about their favorite foods. Then a scary automaton voice tells them how many calories, fat and sugar they consume every year, based on eating their favorite guilty pleasure meals every single day. Come on, folks, an apple a day equals like 8 pounds of sugar in a year. Way to sensationalize those numbers and remind the viewing audience again that the contestants are fat and disgusting. Also, the set up for the contestants, standing in a dark room while surrounded by giant screens and scary voices? Totally A Clockwork Orange.

3. The auf Wiedersehen

Okay, officially the dumbest parting line ever. “I’m sorry, you are not the Biggest Loser.” What do you say to that? “Um, thanks”?

4. The weigh-in uniform

Girls wear just a sports bra but the guys get to have some modesty by wearing their Biggest Loser shirts until the moment they step on the scale. I understand the fear of a prolonged span across a crowd of man nipples, but the girls should get to wear a shirt too, damn it.

5. The temptations

So last night, there was a temptation challenge the night before weigh in, where the team that ate the most calories would win $5,000. A woman ate a cup of M&Ms for a total of 210 calories and then, at the next weigh in, gained a pound. Okay, first of all, if you don’t expend 3,500 calories, you will gain a pound, so clearly, a few M&Ms wasn’t to blame for her weight gain. I’m thinking that girlfriend was about to get her period or something, and yet, they made certain to show lots of guilty expressions and finger pointing for “giving in to temptation.” A healthy approach to eating allows you to eat something fun now and then and no one should be crying over 210 calories. No one. Oh yeah, she got voted off, while the guy who “gave in” to 900 calories got to stay. Lesson: guys are forgiven for gluttony, but women must be perfect.

6. The challenges

Okay, we get it. They’re fat. But must everything be ginormous? Giant balloons, giant see-saws made from industrial steel. Come on, people, they’re not elephants.

7. The commericals

Propel, Jenny Craig, Subway, Nabisco (the people who bring you Oreos and Nutter Butters), my god, make it stop. Anytime anything interesting is about to happen, they cut to 15 commercials and then we come back and have to rewatch a minute before finding out how much weight the black team lost. God help anyone who watches this show without the benefit of TiVo.

8. The unrealistic weight loss

Shock and dismay over only losing 3 pounds in a week? People are voted off for that? How does that make the viewer feel when they’re losing a healthy one or two pounds a week? Like a damned underachiever, that’s what. Why is no one concerned that the folks on the safe end of the weigh in roster are losing, like a pound a day?

9. The lack of real information

How many calories are these guys eating a day? What kinds of foods? How many hours are they spending at the gym? What kinds of exercises? How much water are they drinking?  Boy, if the viewer at home were feeling at all motivated by this show, it would be nice to use a few minutes to talk about that rather than showing people crying about missing their kids for ten solid minutes.

10. The lack of smart fitness

You know what I’m most struck by after watching the Losers sweat and be abused by Jillian and then work some more? The fact that man, does it look like it sucks! At one point, a contestant clearly looks like he’s in physical distress (um, heart attacks are not an unlikely outcome when an out-of-shape, unhealthy person goes from couch potato to marathon workouts in the span of a few weeks) and the message is that he’s just not motivated enough. There is no on-screen attention to safe, sane workouts. What about the strain on joints? What about these people with knee injuries? They have those awesome pools, yet nothing about water resistance training. It’s just a weight loss sweat shop, no pun intended. Also, man, way to impress upon America that fitness can be torture. Come on, it can be fun too, right? The see saw looked like fun. Why can’t we see these people laughing and having a good time as they drop the weight? Maybe that would inspire rather than make us feel like lazy jackasses for not doing enough.

In the interest of full disclosure, I must confess that I watched last night’s episode while eating a bag of Muscat Gummies. Clearly, I am a slow learner and require Jillian to ride me like a pony around the block until I repent.

Sarah: I can’t find anything about it online, but Weight Watchers has these new ads all over the New York subways that say things like “Diet is a Four Letter Word” and promoting themselves as the answer. Holy irony?!?! Holy pot calling kettle black?!?! Just wanted to tell you about that.

Weetabix: Wait, Weight Watchers is acting like they aren’t crazy themselves? Hello, I totally develop an eating disorder when I’m on Weight Watchers. I get obsessed with food, how much I can have, how many points are in things, etc. I eat beyond fullness just because something is low in points. I starve so that I can binge on a Big Mac the day after I weigh in. And every time I’ve been in Weight Watchers, I come off and gain more weight than when I started, like, it shoots back up incredibly quickly after I get off the program.

Sarah: Everything you said about WW is exactly my experience as well. It makes my relationship with food MORE fucked up, not better. And yeah, I lose, but it all comes back—and then some—when I go off. Ditto, ditto, ditto.

Weetabix: Here’s what their blurb says: “Weight Watchers isn’t a diet because it helps you eat right and live healthy. It works because you’ll learn how to lose weight and keep it off, in a way that fits your life.” Um, by counting “points” and focusing on what you can eat or can’t eat because you don’t have enough points left in your budget, or eating off of a list of “Core Foods” which means “legal foods,” thus making things like bacon totally illegal. How is that different than a diet?

Sarah: Also, isn’t it a diet if you can “go on it” and “go off it”? Isn’t it a diet if you have to cough up cash to buy materials, member fees, and have some crochety old lady ask you to step on a scale and then say, “good work”?

Weetabix: Yes, suffice to say, it’s a fucking diet. No matter what they say and how much they want to take away some of Jenny Craig’s numbers, it’s a fucking diet in another package. And if that works for you, awesome. But my life? I can’t deal with some old lady making a squinchy face if I only lose 0.2 pounds in a week, and tell me that I must be retaining water. I don’t ever want to feel like I have to explain to someone that I just forgot to change out of jeans or didn’t go to the bathroom before coming to weigh in. I am afraid of any mindset where I feel compelled to make excuses for not pooping!

Sarah: I went in a moment of desperation last year and the meetings actually kind of warmed my heart in an “Ooh, I’m part of a community!” way. But as soon as that community started clapping and saying “bravo” when a woman talked about going to a family party and not having a bite of her very favorite recipe that her mom makes, I just knew it wasn’t for me. Partaking in food is partaking in life, and for a group of people to be sitting in a church basement applauding each other for resistance and abstention, for basically ducking out and huddling together—I don’t know, that’s not the kind of life I want to live.

Weetabix: See, that’s exactly like the meetings I went to! Plus, they spent a lot of time talking about ways to fake your favorite foods with Low Point (TM) alternatives. I spent, like, the entire meeting focusing on what I could eat and what I couldn’t. While Weight Watchers does have one of the lowest recidivism rates among other commercial plans, I know so many people that fall off that wagon.

Sarah: They have a low rate of retention cause keeping up with your points is like a goddamn calculus problem! I was constantly adding, subtracting, dividing, projecting, making averages—enough already! Look, I can’t deny that it works. It works in the sense that you will lose weight on Weight Watchers and it’s a slightly less crazy, more life-friendly way to lose weight than say, eating only cabbage. But will it make you more obsessed with eating, with zero point food, with constantly weighing and keeping track? Yes, definitely, absolutely yes.

Weetabix: The best part on WW’s website is the part where they knock other diet plans by saying “Often, you must buy special foods from a specific diet company.” They’re all like “Ooooooh, Weight Watchers International Inc. doesn’t make a significant portion of its bottom line by selling little red boxed meals in the frozen foods department! Please just pretend that we’re in this for the sheer joy of helping people!” Oh, sorry, tangent. Anyway, Sarah, I applaud you for not putting up with that shit. In fact, I’ll make you a bookmark to commemorate the event.

Sarah: Oh, the bookmarks! And the keychains! And the stickers! It’s like, okay, yes I respond to a reward system, but I’d rather it be, like, a new top at Anthropologie or stickers that I give myself in private, you know what I mean? What do you think, Weet—is there any way to eat and live that doesn’t feel like deprivation?

Weetabix: I guess we have to stop looking to some big corporation to “teach” us the right way to eat. We know what to do. There’s not one of us who doesn’t know the secret to losing weight. Six words: “Move more, eat less, mostly plants.” Repeat it to yourself after you check your weight and you can save yourself an hour meeting wherein they tell you how to make a fake strawberry pie using sugar-free Jell-O that is almost but totally not as good as the real thing.

Sarah: Yeah, we don’t need anyone to teach us anything, like Victoria Moran said: We don’t need any more information about eating right and being healthy. We’re geniuses on this topic. We just have to figure out ways to implement what we know that don’t make us crazy. ‘Cause being crazy myopic about weight and body stuff, it’s really boring and makes you miss out on a lot of life.

Weetabix: Fuck it, I’m totally posting this whole convo on the blog because I’m betting that the commenters are going to nail it with their thoughts on this matter. Waisters, it’s all on you.

Is Weight Watchers just another diet? Or are they really different? Do you get obsessed and stay obsessed in a good way or in a bad way?  The comments are all ears.

Are you looking to shed off extra pounds naturally?

Lately, the market has all sorts of alluring pills that promise to support your weight loss goals. But it is important to learn how a product works and if it is going to offer any benefits.

Am sure by now you have come across Instant Knockout, an effective fat burner designed for pro boxers and MMA fighters. It is a rich combination of the best natural fat burners in the market that will help kick start your fat loss journey.

Check the full ingredients and how they work in this Instant Knockout review.

What does Instant Knockout offer?

We bring you the real benefits behind this powerful fat burner.

Increases the body’s metabolism

Generally, the body uses energy even when less active activities are involved.

Instant Knockout boosts metabolism to burn more calories than usual. This means that the body burns higher calories, even at rest.

A higher metabolism results in higher fat burning.

This fat burner contains rich ingredients that increase how fast food is broken for energy in the body and how effectively it is used.

Boosts energy levels

Instant Knockout is rich in stimulants that provide the body with energy for strength training, aerobic exercises and intense gym sessions.

It makes the body create a calorific deficit while providing nutrients that fuel energy levels to support normal body function and workouts.

Suppresses appetite

Most individuals who want to lose fat follow a strict diet and exercise regimen but find themselves with hunger cravings between meals. This becomes problematic because the body tends to consume more calories than it burns despite the efforts. This increases fat storage in the body.

Instant Knockout comes in to support your weight loss goals by suppressing your appetite and curbing the urge to snack between meals.

This prevents the body from storing excess fat.

Prevents the formation of new fat cells

Instant Knockout contains ingredients that will prevent the creation of new fat cells, supporting the growth of lean muscle mass.

Additionally, it increases thermogenesis, which boots fat oxidation.

Green coffee bean lowers fat absorption from food, which prevents the accumulation of fat in deposits, especially stubborn areas such as man boobs.

Gives you a shredded physique

Instant Knockout improves digestion, increases metabolic rate, and promotes fat oxidation to support weight loss.

At the same, it promotes the growth of lean muscle mass and provides energy for intense strength training.

It helps individuals to burn stubborn fat and achieve a toned body, ripped and defined arms, shredded and carved legs, sculptured shoulders and sexy six pack

Basically, this fat burner boosts your gym confidence and helps you achieve your fat burning goals

Bottom Line

instant knockout package

Instant Knockout is perfectly and professionally blended with 10 natural components that have been clinically proven to increase fat oxidation.

Users will get to enjoy these benefits in a short while if they follow the recommended guidelines on how to use Instant Knockout effectively.

It has a powerful combination: glucomannan, green tea, caffeine and cayenne that are well known in the fat loss industry.

The most impressive thing about Instant Knockout is that it burns fat and helps you to retain muscle and strength.

During a pregnancy, hunger is inevitable. It is extremely important to have some quick pregnancy snacks on hand during the entire process. Making these snacks healthy will satisfy the hunger needs without compromising the health of the individual. This will give your baby the nutrients needed to grow and develop into a healthy child.

When deciding on what pregnancy snacks to have around it is important to base them off of what nutrients are most drained by a pregnancy. There are some nutrients that a pregnancy will naturally deplete, as it takes a lot of nutrients to make another person.

The pregnancy snacks that you choose should be high in nutrients like vitamin C, folic acids, and B vitamins. Getting these nutrients can be a hassle unless you have them handy with some pregnancy snacks.

pregnancy snacks

For many years you would hear people telling pregnant women that they need to eat for two in order to allow their baby to grow. There is a lot of truth to this as your baby will need you to consume more calories than you did previously. However there are good and bad sources of ways to fill these calories.

Just because you should be consuming more doesn’t mean that it needs to be junk food. For instance choosing between whole fruit and a candy bar, which one will provide you with more nutrients? The following pregnancy snacks are put together to deliver the nutrients that your baby need:

Cheese and whole grain Crackers

This snack will provide you with a boost in fiber and protein. Try to pick a rough whole grain cracker and stay away from the soft cheeses in the off chance that they might contain harmful bacteria.

whole grain Crackers

Whole Wheat Bagel and Peanut Butter

Peanut butter has a high mono saturated fats. These are very in most people’s diet but are helpful for pregnancies. A whole wheat bagel has a lot of protein if you can find the right kind.

Hard Boiled Eggs

Hard boiled eggs are a great snack for pregnancies because they are absolutely packed with protein. They are also easy to make in a single batch and enjoy during the week. You might want to take precautions not to eat all of the yoke though.

This is a great way for you to get a host of macronutrients in a snack. You have carbohydrates in the rice patties, with protein in the cottage cheese. Throw some fruit on the top for some added tastes and nutrients.

Shauna Reid, aka DietGirl, is such a confident and sweet bubble of energy, it’s hard to imagine her ever being filled with self-loathing. But she was. Shauna was kind enough to share with us the story of how she just got over the scale and started living her life.

I’d been on a diet for 333 weeks when the pickled ginger stepped in and saved my sanity.

Earlier this year I was on a spring-cleaning rampage when I came across the long-forgotten package. Instead of the usual pale pink, my ginger had turned into a swampish, scummy brown from sitting on the pantry shelf for so long. I’d bought wasabi, rice and seaweed too, with the intention of making homemade sushi, but for a whole year I’d been putting it off.

I’ve got to lose those last ten pounds first, I kept telling myself. If I make sushi now I’ll get bloated and it’ll show up on the scales! I can’t ruin my diet with a carb fest!

But when I found that dust-covered package I sat down on the kitchen floor and actually said out loud, “ARE YOU INSANE?”

After a lifetime of angst-ing about my weight, I finally saw how ridiculous it had all become. I was almost 30 years old, and I’d been dieting on and off through my entire 20s. My weeks revolved around my Monday weigh-in—what to eat, when to eat it, how it would affect my date with the scale. And it wasn’t just the pickled ginger; I had a whole drawer of wacky ingredients and a shelf crammed with untouched cookbooks, waiting for the day I gave myself permission to cook from them. After 333 weeks I knew I had to move on—before it became 666 weeks.

* * *

Way back in January 2001, I weighed 351 pounds. My weight-loss journey began with very negative motivations—I was depressed, angry and so full of loathing that I wanted to hack off my belly rolls with a knife. Even as I made changes to my lifestyle I never believed they’d stick; I didn’t think I deserved any better.

But surprisingly, my self-perception swiftly changed. The more I treated my body kindly with good food and gentle exercise, the more I positive I felt. At first I could only manage a walk around the block or 10 minutes on the elliptical, but I began to appreciate my size 26 body for what it could do, instead of what it looked like. For the first time I looked in the mirror and saw a worthy human being, not just a collection of flaws.

By August 2006, after 291 long slow weeks, I’d lost 175.5 pounds and weighed 175.5 pounds; I’d shed precisely half my body weight. I had the healthy lifestyle down pat, too. I loved my exercise and instead of binging or dieting I finally had a balanced relationship with food. When I took some progress photos in my new size 12 jeans I loved what I saw. I felt confident, healthy, sexy and content. I felt done.

But how could I be done? I still had 10 pounds to lose before I stopped being fat in the eyes of the Body Mass Index overlords. Surely my happiness wasn’t really valid unless I reached that number?

So for the next year that package of pickled ginger rotted away in the pantry while I became obsessed with my goal weight. But the harder I tried the more the scale refused to budge. I grew panicky and impatient, and instead of keeping faith in my tried-and-true formula of sensible eating and exercise, I scoured my old diet books looking for answers.

Finally in Week 333, I stopped and asked myself, What the hell am I doing? Haven’t I learned anything? Why am I torturing myself?

For six years I’d battled to achieve a balanced approach but now I’d fallen back into my old, obsessive ways. And what for? I was fit and healthy. I liked my body. I finally liked being me. But my weight fixation was making me lose sight of all those positives.

So the moment I tossed that rotten ginger into the trash I tossed my diet mentality too. No more number crunching, no more ritual weigh-ins and no more Last Ten Pounds. I decided to just let go and decided to see where my instincts took me.

Part of me worried what would happen if I didn’t obsess about my weight. How would I stay healthy without all that angst? Without the fear of a weekly weigh-in, would I go wild and wake up in a sea of candy wrappers with chocolate smeared across my gob?

But I didn’t. Instead life got a helluva lot more interesting once I ditched the scales and dieting. I carried on being healthy. I started yoga classes, something I’d yearned to do for years but had put off in favor of workouts that burned more calories. I went for long hikes in the Scottish Highlands with my husband. He’d been asking me to join him for ages but I’d turned him down because he always took sandwiches to eat on the summits and I fretted that bread would screw up my weigh-ins.

These days I’m not afraid of a sandwich. And I exercise purely for the joy of it, not to make my body more pleasant to the masses. Instead of thinking, “These are things I must do to lose weight,” I now believe, “This is just how I live my life.”

I don’t know where the scale will end up, but after 333 weeks I’m not wasting another minute worrying about it. I always thought the prize would be seeing that magic number, but now I appreciate that it was never about the scales or the size of my jeans. The true reward was finding peace and acceptance and embracing my own skin, with all its lumps and bumps. It’s getting out there and diving into life, instead of sitting around getting old and moldy like that pickled ginger! —Shauna Reid

You should know right now that I love the taste sensation of salty sweet. Actually, I’m all about juxtapositions with flavor. Cold/hot, crispy/melty, sour/savory, it’s all beguiling as far as I’m concerned. I probably watch Food Network too much.

Thus, I was excited when I tried the peanut version of Nature Valley’s brand-spanking-new Roasted Nut Crunch bar. Packed with peanuts and sunflower seeds, it reminds me a lot of those old-lady, church bake sales where they sell the most perfect version of peanut brittle that you’ve ever tasted. I don’t know what they put into those things, but damn, delicious. The only difference is that these bars are far more peanuts and seedy goodness rather than all the sugar. The brittle part is just the glue holding everything together. A nut delivery device, so to speak.

The best part of this bar is that the ingredients list is totally wholesome and natural—just six ingredients that, when combined, taste a hell of a lot better than Larabar’s three ingredient mud pie. Apparently, deliciousness in a bar requires a few more ingredients than three. At 190 calories, with 12g of fat and 7g of protein (you can thank the peanuts and sunflower seeds for all of those grams), it’s probably more of a snack food rather than a meal replacement, but it satisfied my afternoon sweet tooth while preventing the 3 p.m. sugar crash. And really, that’s all I ask from a crunchy treat.

Regardless of your athletic experience or current workout regimen, you are likely seeking an edge to motivate you in your quest to achieve your ultimate health and fitness goals. Oftentimes, we focus solely on the physical aspects of our fitness, while neglecting the development of a mental connection and commitment to our efforts.

By sincerely incorporating the following seven “mindset” methods, you will not only unlock your true fitness potential, but undoubtedly experience related breakthroughs in confidence, perspective, and pride in all phases of your life.

Step 1: Know Thyself

Self-assessment is the first step to successfully establish the foundations for a positive “mindset.” You must honestly examine your personal strengths, weaknesses, values, as well as internal and external fitness barriers.

positive "mindset."

Step 2: Design Your Vision

After considering your self in its current state, form a limitless vision of the future “you.” Create a prioritized list of your specific short-term and long-term health, sport and fitness goals, in addition to your personal, spiritual, relational, and professional aspirations.

Step 3: Shape Your Mindset

Connecting your dreams with reality is the next critical step. Identify the values, attitude, and healthy habits necessary for defining your “mindset,” in order to achieve lasting change.

Step 4: Ready, Action!

Now it is time to practice what you preach. Inevitably, your goals are only worth the price of the paper they are written on until your plan is genuinely put into practice. Be proud of your newfound resolve, continue to educate yourself further in the latest health and fitness strategies, and enlist the support of other like-minded individuals or professionals to further unlock your “mindset” potential.

Step 5: Pre- and Post-Workout Mindset

Before and after your workouts is the ideal time for personal reflection. Prior to exercise, sharpen your focus on your specific goals to gear up for a great workout. During your post-workout stretching period, construct a “mindset-centered” plan for the day to follow and consciously recommit your energy towards progress. Lastly, make proper nutrition, rest, and recovery a priority.

Step 6: Workout Mindset

“Mindset to the Max” Strategies:

#1: Diversify your workout (environment, mode, workout structure) to increase enjoyment and avoid performance plateaus.

#2: Utilize the human element (partner fitness, group classes, personal training, competitive events, service projects) for natural performance enhancement.

#3: Identify and include the best motivational methods for your success (books, music, a trainer, personal rewards system, goal reflection, measurements, health tests, etc.).

Step 7: Mindset Maintenance

From this point forward, reflecting upon your ideal “mindset,” and honestly evaluating your progress towards the changes you envision, will continuously generate a cycle of success. Remember monitor, motivate, and maximize!

When buying whey protein, there are several factors that indicate how good it is. Some of the things I look for are sugar contents, amount of protein per serving, calories, and of course taste. One of the biggest names in whey protein vendors is Optimum Nutrition. I’m going to review their Gold Standard Whey Protein.

The first thing that attracted me to this whey protein was the brand name. I had previously bought my whey protein from a department store and it was not a brand name.

Nutrition Whey Protein

I don’t know if it’s in my head, but I believed that I received less results from that than the optimum nutrition brand. I bought a 2 pound tub from the Vitamin Shoppe on sale and only paid a little more than department store whey. Therefore, the first pro of this brand is the price.

I began looking at what made up the protein. Inside each serving, there are 24 grams of protein, 5.5 grams of BCAAs, and 4g of Glutamine and Precursors. All of these things help build muscle in various ways.

The amount of protein and other growth factors per serving was phenomenal compared to other brands of protein that I tried. Optimum Nutrition boasts that their protein is the standard by which other Whey Proteins are measured. I must say that I agree.

I then looked at the sugar content. My friend had told me that sometimes the best proteins have too much sugar, which can be detrimental. I was happy to see that Gold Standard had only 1 gram of sugar per serving. I looked at the caloric value and saw that it was well in my range, only 120 calories per serving.

Nutrition

To finish off this review, I’ll write about the taste. I got the Vanilla ice cream flavored tub and I must say that it’s pretty good. Even though it doesn’t taste exactly like vanilla ice cream, it doesn’t taste bad either.

The shake smells appetizing and even if it is lumpy, it still tastes good. All in all, if you’re looking for Whey protein to help your workouts, I highly recommend Gold Standard Whey Protein by Optimum Nutrition.

With all of the conflicting information about health available, it’s no wonder that most people have no idea where to start when trying to add healthy habits into their lives. Since science is always changing, even information we once thought was correct, is sometimes refuted later down the line. But here are four ways to promote health that will always work, be beneficial, and help create a happier, healthier you.

1.) Move each day. Our bodies were made to move and be physical. However, many of us sit for long periods each day, and the most movement we get is walking from our car to our front door. When your body doesn’t get enough exercise, it doesn’t function properly. Adding in spurts of exercise throughout your day will add up, and make a big difference in how you feel.

Park farther away from the door at the grocery store, mall, etc., so you need to take those extra steps to get where you’re going. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Go on a short walk during your lunch break. Walk to do errands instead of getting in your car to just drive down the street. Even if you can’t get structured exercise in, these little bits will add up!

break

2.) Eat real food. Food nowadays is hardly recognizable from what our ancestors ate. If you don’t already, start only eating food that is whole and real, or, if you rely on lots of convenience foods, add these items to supplement your meal. Keep cut up veggies in your fridge for an easy, fast snack. Aim for every color of the rainbow on your plate.

The more colorful the food, the more nutritious it is. Start to explore new foods like bulgur, baby bok choy, and star fruit. Add in a new piece of produce each week to your shopping list to try out new flavors and consistencies. Don’t restrict yourself to only a few food groups. All of them are needed for a healthy body. With proteins, fats and white starches just remember moderation is key.

3.) Practice a stress relieving activity. Whether you like to read to unwind after a long day, practice yoga, or you get your daily meditation through preparing your nightly dinner, find out what makes you happy and relaxed and make sure you include that into your daily routine. Stress puts your body in a constant flight or fight mode and can really cause overuse of your adrenals. Constantly having stress hormones in the body severely decreases your immune response and can cause depression and anxiety.

diet

4.) Work on your relationships. People with better connections with their family and friends live longer, healthier lives. They are there as a support system, and that bond is something both of your bodies can recognize, and interacting with these people in person, or over the phone causes the release of feel good hormones in your brain.

Little changes that you incorporate each day can make a huge difference in your life. There is no need for an overhaul of everything at once. Small, consistent steps towards a bigger goal will help you really ingrain these habits, and you will look and feel healthier and more vibrant.

Sources:

https://observer.com/2020/12/best-probiotic-supplements-for-a-happy-gut-microbiome/

If you have ever had a massage, you know how wonderful you feel afterward. They can be expensive. But can you afford not to splurge?

I broke some ribs a few years ago and they did not grow back straight. They will pop out occasionally if I move wrong when my muscles are extremely tight and tense. It is a painful experience to have them popped back into place, and I usually get a massage prior to having that done or they won’t stay in. Besides help with injuries, massages help to relieve stress. It can help relieve stress in our body by loosening up tense muscles and creating blood flow.

I also get huge knots in my shoulders and neck from sitting in front of the computer for many hours on end. These knots become a source of pain. Pain that radiates into my back and legs; headaches stem from these same problem areas. The worst part is when I have numbness in my fingers and hands due to these knots blocking the blood flow into my arms and hands.

Massage

When my children lived at home, I would bribe them to put their little bony elbows into my shoulders and lean in to relieve the pressure. Today my husband and I trade off massaging each other; this has other benefits as well. We are both more relaxed and less irritable, and it gives us an opportunity for intimacy that might otherwise go unrealized.

There are many types of massage ranging from light touch to deep tissue. Prices vary depending on the type you want and where you go to get it. You are probably going to pay more at an exclusive day spa.

Massages should not be exclusive to the wealthy. It can help you be healthier, according to the Mayo Clinic. Here are a few ways you can get yourself a much needed massage when you don’t have the money in your budget. Don’t neglect yourself. And don’t feel guilty, because you deserve a massage.

Insurance:

Some insurance companies do cover massages. Call your provider to see if it is covered under your plan. If not, some do offer discounts with service providers in your area.

Trade off:

Do a trade off with your partner or even a friend.

Group discounts:

Get together with a group of friends then call around and ask if you can get a group rate for x number of people all booking a massage.

Coupons:

Ask if there are any coupons or promotions running. I went for one and paid full price for the first one, but I received a coupon for $20 off the next massage for myself and $20 off for a friend

massage

First-time clients:

Some therapists offer a ridiculous rate for the first-time client, especially if they are just getting started and trying to establish a clientele.

School:

Contact a school for a massage, ask if they take patrons for training students. A lot of times they have very low rates or simply take tips or donations.

Barter:

If you have a skill, service or product to offer, ask for a trade.

Here is a link where you can check out the many health benefits of massage.

When it comes to building muscle, you have to take many factors into consideration. These include rest, nutrition and supplements, which complement what you actually do in your gym workout.

An appropriate balance is required with regards to what is being eaten, as well as getting enough sleep, Doing this will ensure that your body is adequately repaired for the next time you work out. With regards to rest, ensure that you train for no more than 4 sessions per week and also try to get 8 hours of sleep per night.

This downtime will allow your body to repair itself and grow stronger after each workout. Just remember that you tear your muscles during a workout, so that they grow back bigger when you rest. What you do when you rest (such as eating with good nutrition and sleeping well) is crucial to your results.

building muscle

Your diet is critically important. Ensure you get plenty of protein from high quality sources, such as chicken breasts, fish and eggs. Carbohydrates are also important, as they fuel your body during a workout. Insufficient intake of carbohydrates will result in your body using its own muscle as fuel. For further advice on the best foods to eat, refer to diets for building muscle.

There are plenty of exercises to build muscle, however if you are serious on building a stronger and bigger physique quickly, you have to focus on a few necessities in your muscle building workouts. These include training with high intensity, focusing on lifting with good form and selecting big exercises to achieve maximal stimulation of your muscles.

A good example of a big exercise is the bench press, where it works multiple body parts, whilst being a relatively easy exercise to master for beginners. Remember to start light to get your form right, before going heavy to rip your muscles. Be careful to avoid common errors, such as arching your back when lifting or bouncing the bar on your chest. These are dangerous practices and commonly result in injury.

exercise

So in conclusion, when working out to build muscle, it is important to train smart, which includes getting adequate rest and eating the right foods. A well structured workout, which includes big exercises and high intensity training will also certainly help your cause. For more hints and tips check out workout tips for muscle. Good luck in your training and remember to persist. Building muscle is a gradual process and it is very important to stick with it over a long period of time.

Although I was always an active person, it never occurred to me that people made a living out of all things fitness until I left the Navy back in 2004. Let’s rewind for a second to see how I found this out and how I fell in love with fitness and made it my career.
I am old enough that, in my neighborhood, there were not many youth sports teams when I was a kid. In fact, I never played a team sport until I got to high school.

Luckily, I went to an all-girls’ private school where I was able to explore lots of different sports for fun and for competition. I tried it all: basketball, field hockey, cross country, horseback riding, badminton, lacrosse, volleyball, soccer, and dance. I learned how to warm up, stretch, cool down, and pace myself. I learned to love running and weight training and I would take both of those with me as I graduated and entered the United States Naval Academy.

And at the Naval Academy I learned to love a few more sports: powerlifting, cheerleading, and swimming. My time in the navy seemed a little surreal, but I time I would not trade for anything.

lost weight

So, how did get to fitness? Well, not directly. You see I didn’t really know what I was good at doing or what I should have been doing when I left the navy. After all, the navy taught me how to do quite a number of things, but I really wasn’t sure what that all meant. So I had a number of jobs in retail and education. Some were “glamorous” and some, well, not so much. But that is not the point. The point is that I knew I could not continue on this path of uncertainty much longer.

As shows like “The Biggest Loser” became more popular and the number of American adults and children with obesity-related illnesses continued to rise, I saw the numbers on my own scale head in the wrong direction.

And as I lost weight and tried out different programs, I realized that this is something I was getting good at and a way I could help people and make a difference in their lives. But I wasn’t sure if that was enough. It’s not like being a lawyer or social worker or nurse, but fitness careers are a viable way to help people, make money, and have fun at the same time.

Two years ago, after much debate and study, I became a certified personal trainer through ACE (American Council on Exercise). But that was just the beginning. I started coaching cheerleaders in Pop Warner (ages 5-15) and spent a season being an assistant coach for a girl’s swim team. At this point, I’ve been having a ball giving people the information I’ve learned and supporting them through all sorts of physical activities.

I started writing more and I really wanted to see where this fitness thing could take me. I didn’t want to be your average personal trainer. Nothing about me is average. I wanted to do more. I still want to do more. So, almost a year ago, I found a way to continue in fitness and be able to inspire and coach even more people (thanks to a Naval Academy classmate). That is through Team Beachbody.

Beachbody is the company that puts out at home workouts such as Turbo Jam, P90X, Insanity, and Hip Hop Abs. And it is through Beachbody that I have been able to transform my body more and finally begin to lose that excess weight that I first saw a few years ago (high weight of 198 pounds at only 5’3″ tall).

It was also through Beachbody that I came into contact with trainers like Chalene Johnson (the creator of Turbo Jam, Chalean Extreme, Turbo Kick, Hip Hop Hustle, and PiYo). I have also been fortunate enough to be in contact with her team at Powder Blue Productions and learn about how to become a fitness instructor.

Me? A fitness instructor? It had not occurred to me before, but I realized that I enjoyed the group format much more than the traditional one-to-one format as a personal trainer. This gave me a new goal for aspiration. Actually, a few new goals. It starts with my certification as a Hip Hop Hustle instructor. That is Chalene’s great dance workout.

Then I will get trained to teach Turbo Kick and PiYo (a great combination of Pilates and yoga like you’ve never seen). After all is said and done, I plan on becoming an Area Presentations Director (like Mindy in the Turbo Jam DVDs). Being an APD is the ultimate goal, but being able to bring fitness and health education to my community is the real benefit.

Throughout this whole process I’ve realized that it really is not about how much you know, but it is really about how much you care. I always thought I had to know more or lose a ton more weight before I could realize any success in the fitness industry. But the truth is that sometimes all people need to hear is that you were once where they are now.

Whether that was yesterday or 2 years ago. The point is my success, no matter how small it seems to me, may be the thing that gets someone thinking that now really is the time for them to live a healthier lifestyle. That’s what a fitness career is really about. It’s about the people I strive to help everyday. I also remember that it’s never about me!

Anyone who grew up in the latter half of the twentieth century knows the double-standard when it comes to sex. Good girls didn’t want it. Bad girls did. If a girl made a guy think about giving it to them, then it was the girl’s fault. Rape is about power. Rape is about wanting and taking. And the pretty girls? The beautiful girls? They have something the boys want so badly that they’d be willing to do unmentionable things to get it. But a line is drawn there, a judgment being made. If you’re cute, if you’re provocatively dressed, if you engage in dodgy behavior, then maybe, just maybe, you asked for it.

And one has only to look at the scores of rape victims who begin overeating, unconsciously or consciously, as an attempt to physically distance themselves from their attackers. If their appearance was to blame for the horror, then changing it would prevent that horrible thing from ever happening to them again. Except that now we learn that if it does happen, despite your fatness, then you should just be grateful.

I am very angry. Very angry. There are no words.

I think the thing that makes me the angriest is that this logic had seeped into my own brain for a very long time. When I was a college freshman, I went on a stringent program (which is a much nicer term than “eating disorder”) to lose weight, and one of the things mandated by this mindset was a lot of exercise. However, I couldn’t go to the gym or be seen in shorts or be in the very presence of the beautiful people. Instead, I went for long walks with my Sony (cassette) Walkman either cranking out late ’80s alternative dance hits (I made it to my first goal thanks entirely to The Cure’s “Hot Hot Hot” and Depeche Mode’s “Just Can’t Get Enough”) or listening to the punk hour on the college radio station. I would go for my walks after 9 p.m., just as half the college town was settling down and the other half was ramping up. I would walk past fraternity houses with long lines of giggling underage kids waiting to pay $3 to get into basement keg parties. All the while I was blissfully unconcerned for my safety, despite countless reports of violence against women in the area, numerous date rapes and misdemeanors at those very parties. My nutritional counselor, a grad student who needed a fat girl to round out her thesis study, warned me to be careful and asked me to take a friend with me, and I scoffed, saying that from far away, I looked like a linebacker. It didn’t matter that no one would ever have mistook me for a man with my DD cup rack, I honestly assumed that my size made me impervious to potential attacks. I figured the worst thing I had to deal with was a drunk guy shouting “hey, fat ass” and certainly not anything involving his penis.

When a sexual predator began showing up inside dorm rooms in the residence halls (including mine) in the middle of the night, the campus went on hyper alert. The pattern was quickly established: girls with dorm rooms right next to an exterior door (like mine) and who had a first floor room (like I did), girls who had only one name on the outer door showing that they did not have a roommate (guess who had her own room?). But it seriously never occurred to me that I should be worried about a pervert who, in retrospect, must have gotten access to the master list of the door combinations. I figured that I was completely and utterly safe, despite looking at the police sketch every day in our communal bathroom when I brushed my teeth, despite talking with my neighbors about their strategies if they should be shaken awake at night by a guy wearing a hoodie and a baseball cap. After all, I was a size 24.

If you’re waiting for me to tell you about being startled awake one night by some pervert, it’s not going to happen. They changed all of the combinations on the doors, had the police patrolling the female residence floors, and also had a few undercover police agents sleeping in random dorm rooms, but the attacks stopped. They never caught the guy.

And I was lucky that time.

But this crazy mentality—this unwanted, undesirable, un-fucking-touchable mentality that pervaded my thinking pattern—it didn’t materialize out of thin air. It came from out there. It came from this lawyer who thinks that the fat girl should really feel flattered that she was chosen to be violated. It came from the people who don’t worry about their ugly daughters getting knocked up, the people who look the other way when little chubby kids get teased because that’s just how kids are. It came from the guy who didn’t listen when Brandon Teena reported his rape. And everyone knows that the two worst things you can do to a woman is call her fat or threaten to rape her. The paradox is bewildering:

It seems to me that this is the flip side of the Catch-22 for rape victims: If you’re seen as “attractive” or dress “provocatively” then you can’t have been raped because you were asking for it. If you’re seen as unattractive or fat, then you can’t have been raped because you were obviously desperate for it.

An American woman has a one in four chance of being raped during her lifetime. This is not about what kind of underwear you had on or how big your ass is. One in four. This is not about the makeup you had on or whether or not you had bragged about your oral skills. One in four. This is not about wanting it or going on a date or the fact that he paid for dinner. One in four. This is not a statistic from the 1700s or a third world nation, this is here, today, our streets, our friends. One in four. This is about the power of the word “no” and about changing how we think as a society, one mind at a time, that women are not pieces of property. One in four. We are all in this together, we all have the right to say “no”—whether we are thick or thin, black or white, male or female, wearing fishnet stockings or mom jeans, party girls or virgins. One in four, and every one of us valuable, not matter what. One in four. And every one worthy of defending.

Behind the fitness crazy are hundreds or thousands of gyms around the country. Yes, they contain equipment that can help you put on some muscle or lose some weight, or a combination thereof. But there are also things that they would never let you know.

One:

Gyms are crawling with bacteria. For the most part, gyms do not sanitize things nearly as properly as they should. Sanitation is often undermanaged, and because of this, it’s much more likely that you’ll contract athlete’s foot, or, during flu season, something nastier.

Many gyms contain traces of MRSA (a highly resistant form of staph infection) on much of their equipment. When you touch a weight rack or get on a mat, there’s a good chance you’ve got a strain of something potentially deadly on your body. Be very careful to wash properly after working out, especially if you’ve been working out heavily–after working out heavily, your immune system is lowered slightly.

working out

Two:

Many gyms aren’t equipped to handle emergencies, such as if someone were to collapse of exhaustion, sustain some kind of severe injury due to lifting too much weight, burst a blood vessel, or worse. Deaths have occurred in poorly equipped gyms from lack of preparation for emergencies.

Three:

Many (and I mean a vast majority of) the trainers in gyms have very little or any idea of what they’re doing. Be sure that the trainer you’re getting is certified or at least is very reputable among people you know and trust. A bad trainer can cause serious harm to you, if they suggest you do something that your body is not able to handle. In some cases, people with degenerative diseases have sustained severe injury from unqualified “trainers” instructing them to perform certain exercise regimens. Lawsuits have been filed in the past, though a lawsuit cannot repair permanent damage done from bad training.

Four:

Sometimes, the equipment is (get ready now) actually dangerous. Most businesses in the United States require a special license to own and operate; gyms are the exceptions. A gym can operate without a license, and completely fail at maintaining their equipment, allowing it to degrade and become more and more hazardous to an individual.

gyms

Five:

Fitness clubs and gyms can be very sneaky about making sure that if you get hurt on their equipment, you can’t sue them and win; in most cases, you won’t be given a gym membership without waiving your ability to sue if you sustain some kind of injury on their premises.

Make sure you know exactly what you’re signing to, make sure the trainers are qualified, and make sure the equipment is safe for you to use.

Review:

The Curves Smart Program – During the 2008 presidential race, I was watching the news and saw a group of Governor Sarah Palin’s friends from a Curves Fitness Center in Alaska talking about the candidate with whom they shared a thrice-weekly workout schedule. While Governor Palin and I may not have much in common politically, we have a couple of major similarities-Namely, busy schedules and several children.

Since the birth of my youngest child last year, I have not gotten back to my normal, pre-baby figure as quickly as in the past. I was struck by the terrific shape Governor Palin appeared to be in, along with the terrific stamina she seemed to possess, and immediately sought to learn more about the Curves fitness program.

Curves fitness program

I figured if the schedule of a governor with five children could accommodate three, half-hour workouts each week, there was no good reason I could not do the same. I went, literally, down the street and met with the owner of my local Curves and signed up. I began working out that same day.

My first week at Curves was alright, but I did not feel as if I was getting much of a workout. The owner assured me that after a few workouts to make sure I had safely mastered the use of the equipment, she would put me on the Curves Smart program and that my workouts would definitely become more challenging. About a week later, we went through the equipment together and she explained how the system worked while testing me on my range of movement on each machine on the circuit.

Basically, the Curves Smart system was described to me as a computer-based measuring system that keeps track of one’s efforts and abilities as she works out on each machine in which she places a special card. The panel that the card is placed in has lights that indicate whether one is achieving her optimum level of fitness that day.

The computer program compiles the participant’s workout results, and via the card, advises her when she is working out as hard as she should be. Participants recognize the achievement of this optimum level by a green light, as they are encouraged to “Go for the Green”.

Curves Smart

The Curves Smart system is optional to Curves participants, and I have observed that the women there to gossip do not use it. Women who are at Curves with the actual goal of fitness and/or weight loss can expect better, faster results using this system.

The workout with Curves Smart is MUCH more challenging than a self-paced workout, and can be used by all fitness levels. This is a wonderful technology that women looking for substantial physical self-improvement would be well-served to take advantage of.

Your waist size may say a lot more about you than how good you look in clothes according to data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Although most people would like to have a small waist for beauty reasons, it may be even more important to have a small waist for health reasons. As it turns out, waist circumference measurement may be an independent risk factor for diabetes.

The National Health and Nutrition Survey looked at the waist sizes of 5,800 men and women and broke their waist circumference measurements down into three categories based on size. They also measured fasting blood sugar levels, blood pressure, cholesterol panels, and recorded any heart related problems experienced by the men and women.

The results showed that both men and women in the two highest categories of waist circumference had a two to five times increased risk of developing diabetes. For women, the risk started to rise above a waist circumference measurement of 33.7 inches and in men 35.8 inches. They also looked at the risk of heart disease in relation to waist measurement and found no association.

circumference measurements

From this data, it appears that waist circumference measurement may be an important predictor of a person’s risk of developing diabetes. It’s already been determined that being overweight with a high BMI is a risk factor for diabetes and waist size adds another measurement to be considered when determining risk of this disease. Previously, the waist to hip ratio had been thought to be an important predictor of diabetes, now it’s thought that the absolute waist circumference may be more important.

If your waist measurement falls into the higher risk category, you may want to consider making the healthy lifestyle changes necessary to reduce your risk of diabetes. The problem with a large waist measurement is that it suggests the presence of excess abdominal fat which has long been thought to be an important marker for diabetes.

Studies have shown that women who have fat deposits in their abdominal region are at higher risk of various chronic diseases such as diabetes than are women who carry fat predominantly in the hips, thigh, and buttocks. It appears that women who carry excess weight in their abdomen and waist are more likely to have metabolic syndrome, a group of abnormalities that increase the risk of developing diabetes and heart disease.

exercise

If you’re a woman whose waist measures greater than 34 inches or a man whose waist measures more than 36 inches, see your doctor for a physical, blood pressure check, and blood tests to check your glucose level. Your doctor can help you get started on a plan to eliminate those unwanted abdominal fat deposits and reduce your risk of developing diabetes.

Losing weight can be a battle in itself, and losing it quickly can be even harder. You have to set a lot of weight loss goals, and be willing and dedicated to sticking with them. Here are some tips to help you shed the pounds quickly and change your lifestyle to be healthier.

Drink lots of water in your diet and weight loss plan. Water flushes your system, and you should drink a minimum of eight glasses a day. If you are on the go frequently, carry a bottle of water with you. This will help you get your daily requirements of water even when you are not at home.

Eat smaller portions

Eat smaller portions. The next time you fix your plate at dinnertime, put a little less on your plate. Have a conversation with the people at the table, and take you time eating your meal. You will be amazed at how full you still feel, and you actually at less. This will help you consume less calories, with still eating some of the same foods.

Avoid drastic changes to your exercise plan. You do not want to exhaust yourself or even injure yourself when you are trying to lose weight. Start slowly, and work yourself up to a larger exercise plan. A slow way to work yourself up to a good exercise routine is gradually increase the amount of exercise you do.

Try to avoid alcohol. Alcohol has a lot of unnecessary calories that you need, and you can become easily dehydrated from it. Make drinking alcohol a rare occasion, as there is no way that it will help you lose any weight. Find other ways to occupy your time so that you are not tempted to drink.

avoid alcohol

Write out a plan and stick to it. Start with some small goals so that you will not be disappointed, and then increase your goals. Check off your goals as you obtain them so that it will motivate you to continue. It is also good to write your goals to show others how you are losing weight.

There are a lot of ways that you can lose weight rapidly, you just have to choose one that is healthy for your body. Be sure to consult your doctor before making any major changes in your diet or weight loss plan to make sure it is healthy for your body.

Almost everyone has tried some weight loss scheme, whether it be purchasing exercise equipment from a late night infomercial or purchasing some bogus diet pill. Granted, at least 90 percent of the so-called weight loss drugs on the market do not work at all. But there are some weight loss drugs that can be effective. They can be over-the-counter or prescription.

When I was a junior in high school (the days when Ephedra was legal), I began taking Metabolife, under the guidance of my parents and doctor of course. This medicine actually did work. Metabolife, along with working out on the treadmill at my home at least 4 days a week, helped me lose about 25 pounds.

I stopped taking this pill, and when I decided to take it again, I went and purchased some. But of course it wasn’t effective anymore because the ephedrine was removed from the product. So I went in search of another weight loss helper.

parents and doctor of course

I came across Phentermine. Phentermine was one half of the medication Fen-Phen, which was taken off the market in 1997 due to causing extreme heart problems in some people that took it. The other half, fenfluramine, was taken off the market for good. Phentermine remains available by prescription.

A lot of people can get Phentermine from their general family doctor and a lot of women get it prescribed by their OB/GYN. I get mine from a local weight loss clinic. The total for a months worth of Phentermine, plus the visit, is usually around $60.

I first started taking Phentermine in 2004 and I lost a whopping 50 pounds on it. It causes extreme energy, not just the jitters. When taking it, I actually wanted to get up and be active. Working out, enjoying the outdoors, whatever. I was just against sitting on my butt while taking this medication. Even while sitting at school or work I was constantly moving.

It also decreases my appetite to the point where I sometimes don’t want to eat all day. Some people may enjoy this but I am hypoglycemic. I actually did go a whole day without eating (not while on Phentermine though) and ended up passing out in someones kitchen, which resulted in a busted lip and black eyes. So while on Phentermine you may have to remind yourself that you MUST eat something, even if it is just some string cheese, some fruit, or a handful of nuts.

Weight Loss Pills

Some side effects I experienced while on Phentermine were dry mouth and occasional moodiness or mood swings. This drug can give you a major feeling of euphoria the first few hours of taking the pill, then rapidly change into grumpiness.

If you are obese and seriously looking to lose some major weight, this may be the thing you are looking for. This is NOT a drug for girls who think they are fat (the ones that weigh 150 and want to weigh 135). It is for people that NEED to lose weight for the sake of their health. If you think you qualify for this drug, consult your doctor.

Asthma is a chronic disease that affects the respiratory system. The airways constrict and become inflamed, making it difficult to breathe.[1] Asthma attacks can be caused by a number of different things such as cold and warm air, perfume, pet dander, and stress. They can also be induced by exercise. Even people that suffer with this chronic problem would like to be physically fit and lead a healthier life.

While it can be difficult to incorporate fitness into your life if you suffer from asthma, it is not impossible. The first step in designing your fitness routine should be a trip to see your doctor. They will go over different forms of exercise that you can do that are least likely to cause an attack. Swimming is an excellent choice since it works all of the muscles in your body and surrounds you with warm moist water.

Yoga is also a wonderful form of exercise for people that suffer from asthma. It is very relaxing for your mind and your body, reducing stress which may cause attacks. Brisk walking is another choice of exercise that your physician may recommend. Most medical professionals agree that exercise and activity that is done in short bursts with periods of rest are ideal for asthma sufferers.

relaxing for your mind

Preventing asthma attacks during your exercise is key. Use your inhaler before you begin to exercise. Make sure that you avoid excessive exercise.[2] It generally takes six minutes of exercise before an attack occurs. Know the warning signs of an attack before you begin. Do you feel tightening in your chest? Is it accompanied by wheezing or coughing? Stop the exercise you are doing and use your inhaler. Once the attack is over you may return to your exercise.

Having asthma does not mean that you will be sitting on the couch for the rest of your life watching the world go by. Team USA in the 1984 Summer Olympics had 67 athletes that suffered from asthma. They won forty one of the medals that year. Some of the athletes included Jackie Joyner the heptathlon champion, sprinter Jeanette Bolden, and basketball great Sam Perkins.

Children should be educated at an early age on different types of exercise and activities that are acceptable for asthmatics. They also need to be aware of their asthma and know what to do in the event of an attack. Ensure that your child always has their inhaler with them, attacks can occur anytime and they need to be prepared.

asthma inhaler

If they are having an attack, ensure that the child remains calm. Panic from them or the people around them tend to make the situation worse. Never lay someone down when they are experiencing an attack, this position only makes breathing more difficult. Once the attack has subsided return to what was going on before.

Never frighten your child about their asthma. You do not want them to fear regular activity. Finally, always check with your physician before you or your child begins any type of exercise. Based on your medical history they can help you to decide which ones are best.

Would you like to live longer and be healthier while doing it? Could a diet be the answer?

Author and M.D. Ralph Felder has come up with a diet called The Bonus Years Diet. By following this diet he claims we may all loose weight and live longer.

What are the bases of the diet? You drink red wine. You eat chocolate. You eat fish and you add garlic to your diet, to start.

First, off you drink red wine. To be direct, you drink five ounces of red wine a day.

You eat two ounces of chocolate a day. But not so fast. It has to be dark chocolate.

You add raw fruits and vegetables to your diet daily. You should eat 4 cups of these a day.

vegetables

Three times a week you need to eat a five-ounce serving of fish.

You add garlic to your foods. A clove a day is the perfect amount.

Finally, you eat nuts every day (2 ounces).

What does all of the above have in common; they are rich in antioxidants, flavonoids and phytocheemicals. The three of these are suppose to help reduce the risk of heart disease by 76% according to Dr. Fedlder. They are also supposed to help lower blood pressure, cholesterol and inflammation.

What can some of your choice menus? How about mixed greens with roasted garlic vinaigrette, pears poached in red wine, baked spinach and smoked salmon and don’t forget the chocolate.

What else are you suppose to eat? According to the diet, whatever you wish.

The pitfall of the diet is that you might get bored eating mainly these seven foods daily.

What can you do? Add a little bit of red wine (if you like), a piece of chocolate and some fish and garlic to do your diet as you can. But don’t make it a really strict diet.

chocolate

What about exercise? It doesn’t’ say a lot about it. But you could add at least a daily walk to your regimen, as well. We all know we should try to exercise on a regular basis for it is good for our body, as well as our mind and spirit.

If you would like to read The Bonus Years Diet for yourself and learn all of the ins and outs of it, it sells on Amazon.com for $12.44

We all know that too much fat in our diets is a road to health disaster and fat-free on a product label does not mean a product is also calorie free. Companies tend to replace the fat with sugar which of course can then later be stored as fat. Since too much fat can make your arteries clogged and cause heart attacks, strokes, and obesity, if not all three, it is imperative that you learn to reduce the amount you ingest.

It is a fact that most of us have too much fat in our diets. However, you still need some fat in your diet in order to remain healthy. You can safely ingest 5 to 8 teaspoons of fats and oils daily, and you will get most of these from your salad dressings, and spreads. So, the idea here is to cut back on fat not by buying expensive fat-free products that in the end may increase your problem, but to simply reduce the amount of fat in your diet with a common-sense approach.

Here is how to safely cut back the fat in your diet without buying fat-free products and, without getting rid of fat entirely.

1. Eat less red meat. Red meat tends to have more fat in it than most other meats, so eating less of it will reduce your intake.

2. Cut back on, or eliminate all together the amount of fast food that you eat. Fast food is riddled with fat, especially burgers and fries. If you make fast food a once in a while treat, or decide you simply aren’t going to eat it anymore, you will eliminate more fat from your diet.

Fast food

3. Don’t purchase frozen dinners, or only do so as a treat. Frozen dinners are often full of fat, and while there are some that do not have as much fat, they often have other issues like too much sodium for example.

4. Cook healthy meals at home instead of eating out. This way you can control what you are eating and how much fat is in your meals.

5. Avoid meals from a box. While meals like Hamburger Helper and Macaroni and Cheese are convenient, they do contain extra fats that you don’t need in your diet.

6. Make soups and then refrigerate them before eating them. Once they have cooled, any fat will rise to the top and solidify, then you’ll be able to skim it off before reheating.

7. Cut any fat off of red meat before cooking it, that way the fat never makes it into your food.

8. Remove the skin from poultry.

9. Drain the fat from meat after browning it.

10. Treat meat as a side dish rather than a main dish. Replace it with fruits, vegetables and whole grains instead. Decreasing your intake of meat will decrease your intake of fat.

11. Find and use recipes that require low-meat amounts and mix in vegetables, whole-wheat pasta and rice, or beans. This will also increase your fiber intake which most of us need to do anyway.

12. Replace your cooking methods that require fats such as butters, and oils in favor of ones that do not. You can roast, poach, stir-fry, broil, and bake your foods. You can use water, cooking sherry, wine, and broth to sauté your foods in as well.

mixed vegetables

13. When you need to grease a pan use non-stick cooking spray instead of butter.

14. Drink, and use when cooking, low-fat, or skim milk instead of whole milk.

15. Make broth-based soups instead of cream-based ones.

16. Use lean and low-fat deli meats for sandwiches instead of their high-fat varieties such as bologna and salami.

17. Replace mayonnaise with mustard on your sandwiches.

Reducing the fat in your diet using this common-sense approach will be a benefit in many ways. You will lose weight, reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and in some cases even certain types of cancer. You will also save money, because you won’t be purchasing expensive low-fat fast foods from your grocery store; fresh is always healthier and cheaper in the end as well.

When I began to work out and lose weight in 2007, I had two main goals that I desired to achieve. These two goals were to improve my health, and to remove the excess weight from my body. I was not overly concerned about how my workouts were going to help me function every day.

However, within my first week of doing daily exercise, I found that my lower back was hurting when I did simple things around the house, like moving wet clothes from the washer to the dryer. It was important for me to ensure that I worked on my functional fitness.

Functional fitness exercises mimic real-life activities. Instead of the traditional exercises that are found at the gym, functional fitness utilizes multiple muscles and focuses on balance, core stability, endurance, lifting, and twisting. Exercises can be done using individual body weight, or by using various tools like stability balls, kettle bells, and medicine balls.

Why are these types of exercises vital for women to incorporate into their fitness routine? First, women are very busy creatures who are always moving their bodies in various directions. Think about all of the activities that our mothers and grandmothers used to do in a typical day when we were children.

My mother stayed at home with me, and she did the cooking, washing, ironing, floor scrubbing, grocery shopping, plus she still found time to play and dance around with my active self! Also, women can be more susceptible to muscle strains and injuries.

muscle strains

Some great functional fitness exercises that are effective for women include:
1) Squats with bicep curls.

Think about reaching down into a cabinet under the sink to grab the dishwashing liquid or to get the shampoo and conditioner. To perform this exercise, place feet shoulder width apart. Hold a weight in both hands.

Bend knees and push the behind back as if taking a seat in a chair or on a sofa. As the knees bend, straighten the arms toward the floor. Slowly lift the body up while curling the arms toward the shoulders. Repeat this exercise at least 8 – 12 times.

2) Overhead press with side leg lift.

Think about lifting a baby over the head or pulling a box from a high shelf, while trying to hold a cabinet door open with the foot. (Yes, I know, it does not sound feasible, but believe me, this type of move does happen.) To perform this exercise, hold a dumbbell in each hand, fingers turned away from the body.

Move arms to a T position, then bend the elbows up to the sky. Slowly press the elbows up until weights are almost touching as the left leg slowly lifts from the ground to the side. Lower both the weights and the leg. Repeat exercise, using the opposite leg. Repeat the set at least 8 – 12 times.

3) Arm and Leg Raise.

Think about lifting and holding a young child, or carrying groceries from the car to the house. This exercise helps build a strong core and lower back.

To perform this exercise, lie on the stomach (it helps to lie on a mat or towel) and stretch arms over the head. Slowly lift the left arm and right leg off the ground. Hold for three counts, then lower. Repeat move with right arm and left leg. Repeat the entire set at least 8 – 12 times.

Arm and Leg Raise

4) Stability ball exercises.

Core stability is the purpose of this fitness tool. My personal favorite move with the stability ball is to lie across the ball and push the body back and forth slowly across the ball. This particular exercise provides an incredible massage for the lower back, plus the abdominals are receiving a good workout as well.

Every woman should consider adding functional fitness exercises to their routines in order to perform their daily functions even better!