Harley Pasternak’s Fitness Tips for Busy Parents #StreamTeam



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.


*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



*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



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.


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.


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.


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!



*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


*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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Celebrity Spokespeople vs. REAL People


Cherry red summer apple isolated on white

Do you ever watch television and see a celebrity pushing a product or service and wonder “Why him/her?” For example, Tommy Lee Jones promoting Ameriprise Financial and Catherine Zeta-Jones trying to get you to sign up for T-Mobile. I wouldn’t associate these people with the things they are trying to sell you. In fact, I am never swayed by celebrity endorsements. These people are getting paid millions to promote products and services that they have most likely never used themselves. They may get a ton of free products being a spokesperson, but do they really use these products and would they HONESTLY endorse them if a big, fat paycheck wasn’t being dangled in front of them?

One sector that really irks me are the weight loss companies. I am an obese person. I would love to lose weight.

I think it’s great that Jessica Simpson, Marie Osmond, Jennifer Hudson and Carrie Fisher lost weight. I truly do! And I’m NOT putting these beautiful ladies down or discrediting their weight loss. Especially Jennifer. WOW!

All of these celebrities have money. They can afford these programs as well as personal chefs and personal trainers. I think anyone could be successful with a weight loss program if they had someone preparing their meals for them and a trainer to help whip them into shape. Even someone who has never been successful in the past would probably do very well if they had a chef and trainer. I know I would.

What I would love to see if for the weight loss companies to have REAL people as their spokespersons. People like you and me. Someone who does not have the financial means to hire a chef or even afford to join a gym. For me that would be a true testament to how well something works.

Each year People magazine has their weight loss issue where real people share their weight loss stories. Often popular diet plans are mentioned. Those are the kinds of endorsements I want to see. These men and women are not paid to endorse the weight loss plans. No one is giving them millions of dollars to tell people to hurry up and join.


I would love to see someone like me promoting a weight loss program. A busy mom with a career and a home to take care of. Someone who has to scramble to make their family a healthy dinner every night and someone whose only current form of exercise is walking the dog. I would love to see how they incorporate a weight loss program into their busy lives, and how they can incorporate the program into their family life. It’s not always easy to microwave your dinner while cooking a different meal for your family. If you have ever been on a “diet” (I hate that word) you probably know what I mean. It’s hard to make your family chicken parmesan and pasta while you are eating a tiny piece of Salisbury steak and a dollop of mashed potatoes.

I wish I had a personal chef who could create healthy meals for not only me, but also my family. That would be wonderful.

I cannot afford a gym membership. I might be able to swing a few small pieces of equipment, but that is about it. My family would love to have a treadmill, but they are outside of our budget.

I know I could turn on my TV and pop in a DVD and follow along with a exercise video but it’s not the same as having someone next to you, encouraging you and pushing you to do more. Not someone like Jillian Michaels. She scares me. 🙂 I don’t want someone to yell and scream at me. I require a more gentle approach.

Sometimes I find exercise videos hard to follow along with. They move faster than I do and some of the moves I physically can’t do. If I had a personal trainer they could help me to exercise at my own speed and recommend other moves I can do based on my needs and limitations.

I wish these weight loss programs would ditch the celebrities and hire REAL people to share their weight loss journey. I would be more likely to use a program that show real people with real results – without outside help.

I’m sorry for my little rant. It just irks me. I’m NOT trying to discredit any of the weight loss plans. I have tried the three most popular and I have had success. They all work, you just have to stick with it and have the money to stay with it for as long as you can.

Do you feel the same way about celebrity endorsements? Have you ever purchased a product or service based on a celebrity endorsement?

Feel free to share your thoughts.



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Resolutions, Diets, Inspiration and Laughter… oh my!


Healthy lifestyle

Did you know that almost every day of the year has something special assigned to it? Most of these “holidays” and observances are unknown to most of us. For example, February 28, 2014 is National Pancake Day. This coming Saturday (January 4, 2014) is National Spaghetti Day.

There are also weekly and monthly observances. Bald Eagle Appreciation Day are January 18th & 19th this month. February is Adopt a Rescued Rabbit Month and March 25th through the 29th is Termite Awareness Week.

Raise your hand if you celebrate Termite Awareness Week?

It would be very interesting to learn about how these observances began and how others got on board with it. Is it easy to do? Can I declare May 1st as National Love a Blogger Day? LOL!

I did a little research and found some observances for this upcoming week.

New Year’s Resolutions Week is January 1st to January 4th. I think most people are on board with this one. After all, the New Year is when most people declare that they are going to eat healthier, stop smoking, get more organized and better their life.

I don’t make resolutions. I used to but I stopped doing that years ago. I felt like resolutions don’t life up to all the hype. Instead I set goals for myself for the New Year. I realize goals and resolutions are the same thing. I just find it easier to accept the term goals more so than resolutions. I see things differently when I label it a goal rather than a resolution. Resolutions to me are “fluff”. Goals are more “meaty” and have ore meaning behind them. At least in my opinion.

I would list my goals in this post, but I’m still trying to hash them out and select my top five. Right now I have a lot of possible goals. Too many is not good. Having too many is only going to set me up to fail. Instead I need to pick out 3-5 realistic goals and stick with them.

Do YOU have any resolutions for the New Year? Feel free to share them with me in the comments section. Sometimes writing things down help you feel more obligated to see them through. It makes you accountable for your actions.

Healthy Food

It’s seems fitting that January 1st through January 7th is Diet Resolution Week. I HATE the word “diet”, don’t you?

I have been on almost every diet imaginable – Slim Fast, Nutrisystem, Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, Optifast, Cabbage Soup Diet, Atkins, Special K, laxatives, starvation, exercising like a crazy person, binging and purging… there is nothing I haven’t tried. I even have weight loss surgery (Roux En Y). I lost almost 200 pounds in two years but gained back weight when I got pregnant. I’ve been 100 pounds overweight for the past 17 years.

Don’t get me wrong, many of these diet plans (Slim Fast, Nutrisystem, Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, Atkins…) ARE GREAT. Most offer delicious foods and much needed support. The problem is that once you go off them chances are you’ll gain back some of the weight (if not all) that you lost. No one can live on pre-packaged foods for the rest of your life. You need to learn to eat in the “real world”.

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand the fundamentals of losing weight – Make healthier food choices, watch your portion size, drink plenty of water and exercise. That’s it! That is what you need to do.

I tell my kids all the time they CAN have Oreo cookies, but it’s better to have two and not six. They CAN have ice cream every day, just have a little bit and there is no need to drown the ice cream in candy, cookies and chocolate syrup.

I feel blessed that my kids will often opt for raw baby carrots instead of cookies or chips when they get home from school. Or grab a yogurt instead of candy. I’m not saying they don’t enjoy chips, cookies and candy. They do. They just know that they need to balance the “bad stuff” with the “good stuff”.

I’m obese. I don’t eat bag full of chips and a ton of candy and soda. I just make wrong choices, I don’t watch my portions and I hate to exercise. I would rather have a bowl of cheese tortellini with butter and black pepper than a cupcake or slice of cake. What I SHOULD make is a salad and grilled chicken or tuna. I’m just lazy. It’s easier for me to boil water and toss in some tortellini.

As for exercise – I hate it! Walking is fine but other than that I hate to exercise. We do have a gym in our condo complex that my teenagers use a few times per week. I SHOULD go with them, or go during the day when they are at school. Bu do I? No. I need to change that. “Moving” is one of my goals. I can’t sit at my desk all day long and no move.


An interesting observance this week (January 2nd to January 8th) is Someday We’ll Laugh About This Week. There is a Facebook page set up for this week (I’m sorry but I can’t find the link – I did see it earlier today).

My husband was just at the Cardiologist a few days ago. He sees one every six month because heart disease runs in his family. His father died of a heart attack, as did his older brother. His mom had heart disease and had many surgeries as a result (she died from Pancreatic Cancer, not a heart aliment).

The reason why my husband went in to see the Cardiologist before his six month check up is because he was having an argument with our 16 year old daughter (teenagers, as you know, can be such a “joy” at times – mean sarcastically of course). He actually broke out into a sweat and had a tight feeling in his chest. The Cardiologist examined him and found him to be in great health. He said the tightness he felt was his esophagus spasming due to the stress of the heated argument.

What it boiled down to is that my husband is overly stressed out between parenting teenagers, his job, money worries and a few other things. The Cardiologist and I discussed with my husband ways to de-stress and how he needs to not freak out over the littlest thing. I have seen vein pop out of his head when the cat pukes on the floor or if the dog needs to go out late at night. These are not things that he should stress about.

Stress is a response to things seen as a physical or psychological threat. The cat throwing up is not something that would be seen as a physical or psychological threat, but our body and minds are weird and some how my husband’s body feels it’s a threat and he reacts by getting stressed out. It’s also due to a feeling of not having control over the situation.


The doctor told him he needs to “find his happy place” (to quote the doctor and Finding Nemo). Some place where he can mentally travel to when he’s feeling stressed to help him to calm down. He’s still working on finding such a place in his mind.

I also told him to “be a duck“. Duck’s feathers are some what waterproof. Water just rolls off of them. I want the things that would normally stress my husband out to just “roll” off of him. I also told him he needs to pick and choose what to stress about. Getting stressed out because we have no money to hold us over to the next paycheck IS a reason to stress out – stressing out because someone spilled a glass of water on the floor is not.

It has been proven that laughter has health benefits too. Some experts say it can help you to live longer. Laughter improves both your physical and mental health.

Someday We’ll Laugh About This Week is meant to remind people that they need to find more laughter in their lives, even if it means finding laughter in situations might not seem funny when they are happening.

Have you ever been in a situation where at the time it was not funny, but days, weeks or years later when you look back on it you some how find humor in the situation? That is what is meant by Someday We’ll Laugh About This Week – find humor in every situation.

What do you think about these “weeks”? Now that you know about them do you think you’ll participate in them?

What is the weirdest observation week/day/month that you have ever heard of?

Feel free to share your thoughts.



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