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Join Gorton’s and Spark People’s 30 Day “Realistic Resolution” Challenge

 

2015

It’s a brand new year. Chances are you might have set some goals or resolutions for 2015. Most people set out to make positive changes in the new year.

I don’t believe in resolutions, but I do try and set realistic goals for myself. I also break my goals down into monthly goals rather than a big yearly goal because I think it’s more manageable that way.

Loosing weight, eating healthy and exercising more are popular goals/resolutions for many people. I’m one of them. Every year I say to myself “This is the year I FINALLY lose weight.”

I’ve been obese pretty much all my life. I’ve done every diet imaginable. I have found that most are just “quick fixes” and as soon as I go off them I gain the weight back – and more.

The ONLY way to lose weight and keep it off is to change the way you eat. There is no “magic pill” – only quick fixes. If you want the weight to come off – and stay off – you need to eat healthy, drink plenty of water, get your beauty sleep and of course exercise.

You DON’T have to give up all your favorite foods. Everything is “OK” in moderation and if you allot for it. For example, you can have your grandma’s chocolate chip cookies – just don’t eat five of them. One or two is sufficient. And if you opt for those cookies, make an effort to squeeze in a little more exercise to make up for it. That can be as simple as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator or parking your car in the back of the parking lot at the store instead of looking for a spot right in front of the door.

You don’t need diet pills, diet foods or $$$ gym memberships. You just need to approach weight loss realistically.

Have you heard of SparkPeople.com? Spark People is an online weight loss community that can provide you with support, inspiration, recipes and more. Best of all it’s free to join.

Spark People Challenge

To help kick off the new year, Spark People has created the 30 day Realistic Resolutions Challenge.  The challenge includes four weeks of meal plans, 30 mini challenges and even support on social media. Simply use or search for the official hashtag #RealisticResolution (Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest). You can learn and get inspiration from others, as well as share your tips and tricks with others. You can even get daily emails sent to you if you are interested in that option.

One food that is great to enjoy when you are on a healthy eating plan is fish. I love fish! I would eat fish every day if it was possible. My husband only likes canned tuna and my son will only eat canned tuna and fish sticks. My daughter, thankfully, enjoys a variety of fish. In fact she eats fish several times a week, mostly for lunch or if I made a dinner she doesn’t like. Her favorite is Gorton’s Salmon.

Gorton’s has a variety of better for you options including baked and grilled fish. The fish is quick and easy to make (either pop it in the oven or microwave). It also tastes great.

I have purchased other fish products and often the fish tastes less than palatable. We’ve even thrown away fish I’ve purchased because it either tastes like it’s been sitting in a freezer for years or it has no taste. With Gorton’s I know we’ll be enjoying fresh tasting, flavorful fish.

I grew up on Gorton’s. Like my son I loved (and still do) fish sticks. I only remember my mom buying Gorton’s.

Gorton’s sent me a wonderful package to help me start off the new  year eating right. The package included some product coupons, an exercise DVD, insulated bag (to carry home my Gorton’s products in) and two books – The Spark Story (an inspirational look behind Spark People) and an awesome Spark People cookbook.

My daughter was especially excited to have the product coupons, because like I mentioned earlier, she eats fish several times a week for lunch.

Salmon

Gorton’s offers consumers forteen perfectly portioned, protein packed products – three of which are Gluten free!

Check out some of their varieties including Simply Bake Tilapia, Haddock and Salmon.

Did you know that fish provides your body with heart healthy Omega-3.

If you are looking to start off the new year eating healthy and taking care of YOU, you should join the 30 Day Realistic Resolution Challenge. What’s more, Gorton’s fans can participate in the Gorton’s “Eat Smarter” Sweepstakes for a change to win a $500 weekly prize or the $5,000 grand prize.

For more information about Gorton’s visit Gortons.com. You can also find the brand on social media (all links are found on their home page).

For more information about Spark People visit SparkPeople.com. I am not sure if they have a social media presence.

Do you plan on joining the 30 Day Realistic Resolution Challenge?

What is YOUR favorite Gorton’s product?

What tips/tricks do you have for losing weight?

Feel free to share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.

Gortons-Logo

Kimberly

*I received a free “kit” in exchange for my participation. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Fed Up – A food documentary that the food industry doesn’t want you to see in theaters and on VOD today (May 9, 2014)

Fed Up Movie Poster

I have to admit that I enjoy watching documentaries. They are a wonderful way to learn about things you might not otherwise have the opportunity to learn about. I also find them very “eye opening”.

Many times when I watch a documentary I end up with strong feelings – angry, sad, scared or happy. Especially after watching ones that expose what goes on “behind the scenes” that many people don’t know about or are blissfully unaware of.

I recently had the opportunity to screen the documentary Fed Up. It will be shown in select theaters and on VOD (Video on Demand) TODAY (May 9, 2014).

For the past 30 years, everything we thought we knew about food and exercise is dead wrong. FED UP is the film the food industry doesn’t want you to see. From Katie Couric, Laurie David (Oscar winning producer of An Inconvenient Truth) and director Stephanie Soechtig, FED UP will change the way you eat forever.

Wow. Simply WOW! I learned A LOT from watching this film.

While it is important to eat healthy and exercise it is NOT the #1 thing you should be taking into consideration – it’s sugar.

The number of Type II Diabetes has skyrocketed over the past 30 years. More and more children are developing this diasese than every before. Type II Diabetes was mostly seen as something that effects adults. These days it’s almost effecting more children then adults.

Today’s generation could possibly live SHORTER lives than their parents.

Why is this happening? One word – sugar.

Today people around the world consume sugar more than ever before. It’s in almost everything we eat and drink (except all-natural products) and it comes in various forms.

Even foods that are supposedly “better for you” like low-fat products are actually WORSE then their regular counter parts. In order to make low fat or reduced fat products taste better they add sugar. So you might be saving a few grams of fat here and there you are actually consuming MORE sugar than your body can deal with.

When your body is fed to much sugar your liver has to work overtime to process it. The easiest thing for it to do is turn it into fat. If you eat so much sugar your pancreas has to release insulin to help deal with it. Insulin also turns the sugar into fat.

Fed Up

There are approximately 4.2 grams in every teaspoon of sugar. The World Health Organization recommends no more than 6-8 teaspoons of sugar per day (24-32 grams per day maximum). I believe the film said that is equal to 5% of your daily totals. Due to politics and government bullies that was changed to allowing you to have 25% of your daily dietary intake as being sugar. That is a HUGE difference.

Go to your pantry right now and grab any food product (soup, cereal, cookies…) and look at the nutrition facts. You’ll notice that there are NO PERCENTAGES listed next to sugar like there are other things (fat, cholesterol…). That is because the big companies and government people who regulate this kind of stuff DOESN’T want you to know the real percentage of sugar you are ingesting when you eat those products.

In the film they showed a typical diet for one day (pancakes, orange juice, PB&J sandwich, spaghetti with sauce…). The meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) were things that most people might eat during the day. The sugar came to well over 40+ teaspoons! Not the 6-8 that the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends. It’s no wonder their is an obesity and diabetes epidemic, not only in this country but around the world.

Processed foods (those with the most sugars) are cheap so people purchase them over healthy, natural foods. School budgets have been cut so much that all they can afford is junk foods to serve students. Some schools even rely on meals from Taco Bell and other fast food places to serve lunch to kids. What kid is going to pass up on a slice of Pappa John’s pizza and opt for a garden salad with grilled chicken instead?

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When I was in school the lunch people made the meals. Now they serve processed, pre-made, frozen meals. Yuck! I’m grateful my kids bring lunch.

The documentary highlights several teenagers with weight issues. They are doing the right thing (eating low fat foods, excercising…) but remain overweight. That is because those “reduced fat” foods and the foods they are served at school are loaded with sugars.

Even Michelle Obamas “Get Moving” campaign was discussed in the film and how she emphasizes moving over eating healthy. That is because she cannot risk ticking off the powerful food companies by emphasizing that kids need to eat natural foods and not processed foods.

I also learned from the documentary that you shouldn’t eat foods with more than five ingredients because it’s not healthy for you. I took that to heart and recently looked at the label on some chicken that I served my son for lunch one day. The chicken had only four ingredients – which I was thrilled about – BUT – the bread crumbs (coating) had about 20+ ingredients. And it was just bread crumbs! UGH!!!!

Now when I shop for foods I am cautious of the label. I read the grams of sugar and take them to heart. I am also looking to replace foods we normally buy with those that are made with less ingredietns, are more natural and contain less sugar.

If you would like to learn more look for Fed Up at a theater near you or on Video on Demand services. You can also visit www.FedUpMovie.com. The film can also be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Here is the film’s trailer.

 

Kimberly

*I viewed an online screener in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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Harley Pasternak’s Fitness Tips for Busy Parents #StreamTeam

 

Weights

Finding time to go to the gym is not always possible for most people. Our condo complex has a gym which is free for residents, so budget is not an issue for me. It’s the lack of time that keeps me from going. There are simply not enough time in the day. I’m also not a fan of going to the gym either (I feel too subconscious).

Aside from walking the only exercise I do is in the comfort of my own home. I have plenty of DVDs and books, as well as things like hand weights, a hula hoop and a few other small pieces of equipment to work with.

Netflix Stream Team celebrity fitness expert, Harley Pasternak, has some great REALISTIC fitness tips for busy people. Harley works out with some of Hollywood’s busiest parents like Jennifer Hudson and Megan Fox.

Did you know that research shows that working out while watching your favorite television shows helps you to exercise for longer period of times? I totally believe that. I find that when I am watching something enjoyable (a favorite show or movie) I lose myself in what I am watching and I don’t put as much emphasis on the exercise that I dread.

I wish we had a treadmill. That is what I am hoping to afford someday. I know if we had a treadmill I could walk for miles on it while watching TV.

Netflix has plenty of great series and awesome movies to keep me entertained while I exercise. Now if only I had a treadmill. :-)

Here are some tips from Harley Pasternak to help you get some exercise into your busy life.

1. Resist: Even the busiest mom or dad can carve out at least 5 minutes to do some resistance “sculpting” exercise. Pick one exercise
a day (i.e. lunge, squats, superman) and do 3-4 sets of 20 reps. Over time, add some weight and increase the sets.

2. Walk: You shouldn’t stop moving from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed. Use an activity monitor like a Fitbit to make sure you walk at least 10,000 steps a day. Make your phone calls as you walk around the block, park your car a little further away, take the stairs, and walk to your favorite cafe in the morning (instead of brewing your own).

3. Blend: Soups and smoothies are the perfect “on the go” meals that take only seconds to prepare. They’re a great way to get all your veggies, fruits, healthy fats and lean protein in one meal.

4. Be Entertained… But Not on the Couch: I tell all my busy parents to make sure they’re moving while watching their favorite show. Whether it be “Breaking Bad” or “House of Cards,” stream your show to your phone or tablet with Netflix and you may end up working out longer and harder!

5. Sleep: One of the most common complaints I get from parents is they are exhausted! It’s so important to get at least 7 hours of sleep a
night. Parents — make sure there is no light at all in your bedroom. That means no cell phones flickering, televisions blaring or alarm clocks flashing. Studies show even the smallest amount of light can disturb your sleep patterns. Other sleep tips include avoiding caffeine after noon, wearing an eye mask and avoiding surfing the web before you fall asleep.

Want more fitness inspiration? Take a peek at our list of shows to watch while you walk. The full list is available here.

Netflix

*I have partnered with Netflix who provided the information/sources.   The  opinions expressed are my own unless otherwise noted.

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Kids (and Adults) – Get Fit with Your Friends from Free Birds and TV’s Toughest Trainer Chris Powell #FreeBirds

 

Free Birds

Exercise is not always high on a child’s priority list. It falls somewhere behind pizza, video games, television and fuzzy slippers.

If you have seen the film Free Birds you’ll know that the character of Reggie was a bit on the “unfit” side, unlike his friend Jake who was big and strong.

Fox Home Entertainment asked trainer and host of ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition for some tips to help your child, or grandchild, how to get moving and eat healthier. Parents and grandparents can utilize these great tips too.

FYI… Free Birds will be available on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Download on February 4, 2014.

Tip #1: Eat Breakfast. 

Mom is right, it really IS the most important meal of the day!  Eat something hearty that’s going to give you a lot of energy, like
eggs and toast, or yogurt and granola. Start the day strong.

Tip#2: Get to school at least 15 minutes early for recess.

Run, jump, climb, and play your favorite sports. You’ll get some extra time with your friends, you’ll get stronger and faster, and you’ll supercharge your body and mind for learning.

Tip #3: Eat fruit every chance you get.

Fruit is nature’s dessert, and comes in all kinds of fun flavors. You can never go wrong with classics like apples, oranges, bananas, pears, grapes and pineapple. But also try exploring new and crazy fruits, like starfruit or kiwi, grapples or mangoes.

Tip#4: Cut the soda.

Any way you look at it, it’s just not good for you. If you crave sweet beverages, try naturally sweetened waters. There are all kinds of new flavorings for water coming out with natural sweeteners like stevia and monk fruit – find one that you love, and hydrate.

Tip #5: Be a lean and mean gamer. 

When you’re done with your homework, instead of vegging out on the couch with your PS4 or Xbox 1, get up and try playing one of their MANY active games. Get off the couch and LIVE the game. Run, jump, balance, shoot…get involved in your video games and get fit in the
process.

Chris

Kimberly

*I was not compensated for this post. I am sharing these great tips for the benefit of my site readers.

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Make Wellness a Part of Your 2014 Health Goals

 

2014

We’re more than half way through the first month of 2014. How are you doing with your resolutions or goals? Are you still sticking with them or are you finding that you are starting to wane a bit?

Did any of your 2014 goals involve your health? Most people strive to do better in the new year when it comes to eating right and exercising. I know that is always a goal of mine each and every year. I can usually do well until the Summer months. Then I tend to dive into unhealthy eating and lack of exercise. I would rather stay inside with the AC cranked at maximum levels rather than go outside.

Making better for you eating and snacking options doesn’t have to be bland and boring. You can find great snack options right in your neighborhood Rite Aid store.

Rite Aid has a product line called available in most stores called Wholesome Goodness. You can find the products in the grocery section of the Rite Aid store.

Rite Aid feels that great tasting foods can be a better-for-you choice without breaking your budget.

Wholesome Goodness products include snacks, beverages, sauces, soups and more. I’ve been snacking on Wholesome Goodness Apple Cinnamon Omega Granola Bars. They are also available in Cranberry. They are totally delicious! One bar is only 120 calories and contain both Omega- 3 & 6 and 6g of whole grains. They are also low in sodium and are Trans Fat & Cholesterol Free.

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My kids love granola bars, both for their school lunches and an afternoon snack. Unlike other granola bars the Wholesome Goodness Apple Cinnamon taste like they are homemade. I think that is what I enjoyed most about them.

Another snack treat I had the opportunity to try out is the Wholesome Goodness Mountain Trail Mix. The individually packaged trial mix is a good source of Fiber and Protein and makes a satisfying snack. It satisfied my desire for both sweet and salty. The mix contains raisins, peanuts, almonds, sunflower kernels and my favorite – Dark Chocolate!

Because they are individually packaged they make great on-the-go snacks. Keep one in your car, work desk, purse or backpack to fill you up until your next meal and to help keep you from heading off to the nearest vending machine. The next time I go to Rite Aid I’m getting a whole box for my husband to keep at work.

To learn more about Wholesome Goodness at Rite Aid visit www.Wholesome-Goodness.com/RiteAid.

Best of all the Wholesome Goodness branded products are affordable and budge friendly.

Speaking of budget friendly, Rite Aid have a product line available called Renewal. Their Renewal Makeup Removing Toilettes are awesome. My teenage daughter uses them to remove her mascara, eyeliner and facial makeup. They also have available calming toilettes and cleansing ones that detoxify your skin and removes oil.

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You can get a package of 10 Renewal Makeup Removing Toilettes for around $1.69. They come in a small package that is easy to toss into your purse or gym bag. My daughter keeps them in her backpack so she can remove her makeup before swimming or freshen up her face if she gets overheated and sweaty during gym.

Oh the gym. I remember gym classes at school. They used to be so boring. Personally I think schools should offer self defense classes in gym rather than silly things like jogging around the gym or puttering around on a scooter.

We have a gym in our condo complex. My kids use it a few times per week. Not me. I’m embarrassed to work out in front of other people due to my weight. I prefer to work out at home.

I wish we could have a treadmill but our condo is not big enough for one. Instead I have to rely on video tapes and small work out equipment.

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Rite Aid has several pieces of work out equipment and other health related products by Denise Austin. The line is called Forever Fit by Denise Austin. The line includes weights, fitness balls, resistance bands and balance board to name a few.

We have the Forever Fit by Denise Austin resistance tube (it’s more like a resistance band). Me, my daughter and my son all use them. Not only can you get a great workout with them but they take up very little room. Living in a condo we are limited in space. The resistance bands fold up and can be tucked into a drawer, under the bed or hang them up in the closet. They are also great for men and women, young and old.

You don’t have to go from store to store to find your wellness needs. A visit to your neighborhood Rite Aid can yield many of the products you need to stay healthy and happy, without “breaking the bank”.

Don’t forget to check out the Rite Aid Rewards Program too for additional savings and so much more!

Rite-Aid-Network

Kimberly

*As a Rite Aid Brand Ambassador I received free product samples. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

 

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Track every move you make with Sync Active Trackers

Sync HeaderDo you want to know what my daily fitness routine is? It’s simple. I go to/from the car in the morning to take my kids to the bus stop which includes walking up/down six flights of steps. In the afternoon I take the dog for a walk which involves another trip up/down the six flights of steps and maybe 1/4th of a mile walking the dog. Depending on the weather or if I have errands to run I might make another trip up/down the steps to pick up my kids from the bus stop or go to the store. The remainder of the day I am seated on my ever expanding behind at the desk working.

As you can see I’m not very active. I know I SHOULD be. I just need the motivation and “oomph” to get up and go.

I hear about people who wear pedometers to check the number of steps they take each day. I believe 10,000 is a great number to strive for. That is 10,000 steps PER DAY. I probably do 500 – 1,000 daily.

I need to make a conscious effort to monitor how much activity I do and how many steps I take. That way I can come up with my “game plan” on how I am going to make positive changes daily to improve myself. It’s my own personal “challenge”.

My husband needs to get back into walking too. He used to walk during his lunch break at work but he stopped doing it due to the cold weather. His Cardiologist told him to start walking again, even if it’s only a 15 minute brisk walk. He wants him to aim for 1 miles four times per week.

A month ago I received two great products to review from a company called Sync. They sent me their Elite activity tracker and their Burn fitness band.

First let me talk about the Elite activity tracker.

Sync EliteThe Elite activity tracker is a small device (about the size of a lip balm tube) that clips on to you person. The Elite tracks the following;

  • Steps
  • Distance
  • Calories Burned
  • Stride
  • Activity Time
  • Fat Burning
  • Pace Tracking
  • Speed

And it has a stop watch feature.

My husband is using the Elite tracker. He wanted something that was small and portable and wouldn’t interfere with his work.

I have not used the Elite, but I can share with you my husband’s thoughts.

My husband’s favorite features are the step tracker (it keeps track of the number of steps taken), distance and speed. He’s not worried about the calories burned since he’s mostly in shape. He’s walking for his heart health.

The reason why he likes the distance and speed features is because he uses them to challenge himself to walk further and faster. Each day he tries to beat the previous day’s stats. He tries to focus on both distance and speed, but he says if he can improve on either one of those stats he’s happy. Right now he’s trying to improve his distance. It’s a little hard for him because he walks around the parking lot at work. There is not many other places he can walk around close to work.

This is a lot like a typical pedometer, with the exception that this one offers the user a lot more “bells and whistles”.

I have been using the Burn fitness band from Sync.

Sync BurnThe Burn fitness band resembles a watch. Thankfully the band is big enough to use with my large wrist. It’s also easy to pop on and off. The band is black and red so it works with both men and women.

The Burn fitness band offers similar options to the Elite tracker – calories burned, distance tracking, step tracking and a stop watch. The Burn however offers even MORE “bells and whistles”;

  • Heart Rate Monitor
  • % of Maximum Heart Rate
  • Hourly Activity Chart
  • Daily Summery Chart
  • Workout Timer
  • It has a Backlight
  • It’s Water Resistant
  • It offers you the Date and Time

In addition the Burn also has Bluetooth technology and it can be synced to your smartphone.

Ideally you should wear the Burn all day long, including when you are sleeping. The only time you should remove it is when you are taking a shower. It’s water resistant, but I wouldn’t want to take any chances just to be on the safe side.

I like that it offers the same features as the Elite. It’s good to see how few steps I am taking on a daily basis. I know that I have A LOT of room for improvement and every day I strive to take a few more steps than the day before.

I like keeping check of my heart rate. I strive to increase my heart rate as often as I can because it’s the heart healthy thing to do. I also like to see what activities increase my heart rate. For example, walking up the six flights of steps increases my heart rate but taking the dog on a casual walk barely makes a difference. The only way to increase my heart rate when walking the dog is to do it at a quicker pace. I’m OK with that but my dog likes to stop every 2 feet to sniff and urinate on things (got to love male dogs). When the weather gets warmer I’ll have to take a brisk walk without him a few days a week.

The hourly and daily activity/summery charts are handy too. It’s been hard to make much of difference with the holiday season and the weather. I am sure I will be able to put this to great use when the weather is better and I can really get some heart pumping activity into my daily activities.

Map My Fitness

Both the Elite and Burn can sync up to your smartphone. There is a FREE app you can download called Map My Fitness. The Elite and Burn are suppose to sync up to the app so that you can see on your phone what you have accomplished on a daily basis.

My husband said he doesn’t feel the need to sync up the Elite to his phone. He said all the information he needs is right there on the unit.

As for my, I tried to sync up but my phone is not allowing me to do so. I have an iPhone 4S, which should work. When I click on the Bluetooth option the little thing swirls around and around but doesn’t open up to reveal the things that are Bluetooth enabled. It’s a PHONE issue, not a Burn issue. I keep trying. I’m probably going to have to take my phone into the nearest Sprint shop and have the help me with enabling the Bluetooth.

I have played around with the app. It’s really cool. You can track where you are walking via GPS and see it displayed on a map. That is pretty cool! I want to try that the next time we go to NYC. It would be fun to see our visit mapped out.

I feel that the Elite and Burn are both great ways to not only keep check of your activity, but they also both motivate you to improve your stats and work harder.

I know a lot of people are trying to lose weight, eat healthy and get moving as part of their New Year’s resolutions. If you are looking for an easy way to keep track of your activity, the Elite and/or Burn are great options.

For more information visit www.SyncActive.com. You can also find the brand on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest (links are found on their home page). There are also links to where you can buy the products on the website. Sync also offers other fitness products.

Sync Logo

Kimberly

*I received free product samples in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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