What have I gotten myself into? Somehow I signed myself up to do fifty burpees every day for thirty days. So now I need your help. I’m looking for a support team to hold me (and you if you join!) accountable. Interested in joining me?
I know you’re wondering why would anyone in their right mind want to do this? Valid question. 50 burpees are no small feat. Exercise and fitness have always been a big part of my life, but this is taking things to a whole new level. For some reason, I was inspired by Anna Quinlan when she wrote about her experience doing 50 burpees every day for 30 days. No surprise that her entire body was sore for the entire first week and she sweat like a pig every single time throughout the month. Something about this really does sound appealing, doesn’t it?
For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, here’s what a burpee looks like.
When I shared the burpee challenge on my Facebook page a few eager, fit friends chimed in. Together we decided to give it a shot.
Kicking off on November 1st, we are going to do a burpee challenge: 50 burpees for 30 days.
If you want to start off with an easier version rather than doing the pushup, stick to a plank. I know that 50 pushups is a lot even without the added burpee. My goal is to do all 50 with the pushup. I really think I can do it. Over the summer I challenged myself to do 50 pushups and 50 situps every day. It wasn’t easy, but I did it most days. Burpees with pushups are an entirely different beast.
If you’re interested in joining in the fun but don’t want to do the pushup, here’s what a pushup-free burpee would look like.
So now that I’ve completely lost my mind, I’m hoping you’ll join me. I have no doubt that after the 30 days are over we’ll all feel fabulous. Too bad the short sleeves and swimsuits will be stashed away by then.
Are you ready to join me? Feel free to email or message me if you don’t want to publically commit. We can do this together!
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This post is brought to you by Goddess Garden. All opinions are my own.
When I was in my teens I worshipped the sun. That’s when the sunscreen mistakes began. Baby oil, reflectors and hours of free time left me in basking in the sun’s rays for far too long. Many vacations were spent with my grandparents in Florida. I would lay outside on a lounge chair with my grandmother acting as my timekeeper, yelling to me when it was time to turn over, all in the name of a golden tan.
Fast forward to the present. I am now an avid sun avoider. Slathered in safe sunscreen, I do my best to wear hats and seek out the shade. My annual dermatology appointment is a reminder that sun damage is real.
Over the years I’ve made my fair share of sunscreen blunders. Some of them are permanent and others are an easy fix.
How many of these sunscreen mistakes are you “guilty” of?
Now is the perfect time to repair the damage with an easy nighttime routine including intense hydration and replenishing necessary nutrients to boost the skin’s ability to heal itself. Goddess Garden’s evening skincare products do all of that—naturally.
Forgetting to apply sunscreen in the fall and winter
With summer days behind us, it’s time to pack away the swimsuits but not the sunscreen. Here in the Northern hemisphere, we’re closer to the sun in the winter. The protective ozone layer is thinner in the winter as well. UVA damage happens year-round, even if you aren’t getting a sunburn. When you also consider snow reflects as much as 80-percent of the UV rays back at us, sunscreen is more important than ever. As we gear up for the winter, now is the perfect time to get into good daily sunscreen habits!
I have to admit that I’m not very good about taking a multivitamin. I’ve tried on and off over the years, but I never seem to stick to it. Right now I’m taking a Vitamin D supplement and that’s it. As an aside, I found an amazing sugar-free Vitamin D gummy that I really like. Yes, it’s a gummy, but I rarely miss a day.
When it comes to multivitamins there are plenty to choose from. Just walk up and down the aisles of any supermarket or health food store. It can be overwhelming.
If you’re in the market for a multivitamin there are a few things to think about before investing in a particular brand.
1. Look for simple and few ingredients
When I’m buying any processed food, including a multivitamin, I look for a short ingredient list filled with ingredients I’m mostly familiar with and ingredient names I can pronounce.
2. Avoid Added Sweeteners
Read the ingredient list. Children’s vitamins are often the worst-all those gummy multivitamins are often loaded with sugar. Look for anything ending in -ose and steer clear. More often than not these are a form of sugar: sucrose, maltose, dextrose, fructose, glucose, galactose, lactose, glucose solids, cellulose and sucrose, Also, sugar, Xylitol, high fructose corn syrup and maltodextrin. There are plenty of multivitamins on the market without added sweeteners.
3. Watchout for GMOs
Genetically Modified Organisms (also called GM, GE or GMOs) refers to crop plants that are consumed by animals and/or humans that have been tweaked or modified in a lab to boost desired traits such as: the ability of the plant to produce its own pesticide, disease resistance and improved nutritional value. We want to avoid these in our food (including multivitamins) whenever possible. Watch for multivitamins with added soy, cotton, canola, corn, sugar beets, Hawaiian papaya, alfalfa, and squash (zucchini and yellow).
In America all food labels must spell out which artificial food dyes are used in a product. Read your labels very carefully so you can make an educated decision about the multivitamin you buy.
5. Natural Ingredients Not Synthetic
Finding a multivitamin with natural ingredients v. synthetic isn’t always easy to detect. Look for something on the label that says “whole food multivitamin or all ingredients derived from whole foods”. Also read the ingredient list to see where the ingredients come from-do they come from plants and other natural sources?
6. When Possible Look for Organic
There are a quite a few organic multivitamins on the market.
In a nutshell, products with an organic certification are made without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), or ionizing radiation.
USDA certified products cannot intentionally contain GMOs. The USDA does not require testing for GMOs, so accidental contamination may occur.
Do you take a multivitamin? What’s your favorite?
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I’ve become completely obsessed with this longevity test.
Can you get off the floor from a seated position without using your hands, arms or knees to help you?
Try it! It’s not as simple as it sounds.
I somehow stumbled upon a longevity study that was done a few years back and now I’m hooked.
In the study over 2,000 men and women ranging in age from 51-80 were told: “Without worrying about the speed of movement, try to sit and then to rise from the floor, using the minimum support that you believe is needed.”
Here’s a video showing how the subjects were scored in the longevity study and how you can test yourself and others:
The study found that middle-aged and elderly adults who needed to use their hands and their knees to get up and down were almost seven times more likely to die within six years, compared with those who could get up and down without support.
I’m not old enough to participate in this study, yet I still feel compelled to make sure I can do this not-so-simple task.
The investigators in the longevity study said that a high score in the sitting-rising test might “reflect the capacity to successfully perform a wide range of activities of daily living, such as bending over to pick up a newspaper or a pair of glasses from under a table”.
“It is well known that aerobic fitness is strongly related to survival, but our study also shows that maintaining high levels of body flexibility, muscle strength, power-to-body weight ratio and co-ordination are not only good for performing daily activities but have a favorable influence on life expectancy.”
So now do you see why I’m obsessed?
I’m so fixated that I just got out of my chair to make sure I can still do this!
Bringing longevity back to reality
Placing my obsession aside, I know that one simple test isn’t a tried and true indicator of longevity. I think what’s so fascinating is our ability to have some control over this small measure of how long we live. It’s not new news that what we place in and on our bodies along with functional fitness can all help gauge our long-term health.
So it’s time to get on the floor and let me know if you can do this. Hopefully you won’t become as obsessed as I am!
It’s not a fun day by any stretch of the imagination.
I know that many of you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Being in New England where the temps are pretty chilly, I was already cold when I arrived for my appointment. I was asked to change into once of those little cotton hospital tops that has about 15 hanging strings that somehow tie together. I didn’t have the patience or the energy so I just left the top wide open. There’s not a modest bone left in my body after birthing children.
When I was called into the exam room I was shivering. Nerves. Cold.
The lovely woman (she’s always so incredibly pleasant-right?) introduced herself. My chest became play dough as she spent time arranging it perfectly on the machine. She then let me know that I would hear a beep once the x-ray machine was where it needed to be. If I couldn’t stand the pressure on my chest she assured me that it would be OK to ask her to stop. But then she reminded me that if I made it to the beep the x-rays would probably turn out better. After hearing that, I knew that I had to suck it up and wait for the beep. I was willing to endure the pain if there was a lesser likelihood that I would have to come back for more x-rays.
When that beep finally came “STOP(or @#%^!)” was on the tip of my tongue. It was all I could stand. She asked me to hold my breath while she took the x-ray, but I already was.
She took two x-rays, one on each side, and then I managed to ask if most people make it to the beep. She laughed and said “No honey, they don’t. ” She then said “Personally, I’ve never made it to the beep.” I didn’t feel like Superwoman. I just wanted to get out of there.
Two more x-rays with the beep and I was sent on my way.
I’ve been to two different types of mammogram centers- those that give you the results that day and those that don’t. This was the latter.
Why I Get a Mammogram
Getting a mammogram is scary stuff. We all know someone who’s had breast cancer. Someone close.
It has saved the lives of many women in my life and for that I’m truly grateful.
That’s why I get a mammogram and you should too.
Beyond the Mammogram
Breast cancer prevention begins with making educated decisions about what goes in or on our bodies. Our cosmetics, personal care products and food are all places where toxic chemicals can be hiding. Taking the time to read labels and ask questions is so important. The burden is on us to find safe products. Together we need to help shape public policy so that it focuses on prevention for all.
There’s a lot that needs to happen before women, men and children no longer have to worry about cancer and other diseases. We’ve seen the power of our collective voices. I have no doubt that together we can make this happen.
When my friend Lindsay asked if I wanted to participate in a 30 Day Deep Breathing Challenge my first thought was I’m way too busy. Then I managed to take a step back only to realize the timing was perfect. This is a transitional time of year for many of us – school’s starting, the seasons are changing and life as we know it is being shaken up. I’m the first to admit that I don’t always handle change very well so a few deep breaths are much needed.
Over the years I’ve incorporated deep breathing or meditation into my life, but generally only on an as needed basis. Overall life seems to get so busy and my deep breathing gets shuffled to the end of the to-do list.
The quest for fresh breath has been around for ages. We flock to mints, mouthwash, gum and toothpaste all for temporary fresh breath. Take a stroll down the aisles at your local pharmacy and you’ll likely find an entire section of products dedicated to the promise of fresh breath.
Bad breath is big business.
Contrary to popular belief, your alcohol-laden mouthwash may actually be making your bad breath worse. Most mouthwash contains alcohol which can mask your bad breath disappear for a while, but the alcohol actually dries your mouth out. Gum and mints can contain nasty ingredients that are only a temporary fix. The sugar in some breath mints and gum can actually causes bacteria in the mouth to reproduce, which will keep the bad breath coming on strong.
If bad breath is a recurring problem you might want to rule out any serious health conditions. Once this is ruled out there are a few natural lines of defense for fresh breath.
Good Oral Hygiene. The best defense for bad breath is to brush twice a day and floss. Also, head to the dentist for regular cleanings.
Parsley. Parsley is commonly used as a garnish, but can also help to freshen your breath. Parsley contains chlorophyll which has anti-bacterial properties and when chewed neutralizes bad breath. Chew on parsley leaves anytime you need a quick breath freshening boost. Large amounts of parsley shouldn’t be consumed by pregnant women or anyone with liver disease.
Lemon Rinse. Lemons and other citrus have a high acidic content and help to prevent the growth of bacteria on the tongue and gums. Gargle with a cup of lemon juice when needed or suck on a lemon wedge.
Salt Rinse. Using a salt water rinse to freshen breath has been around for a long-time. Mix together salt and water in a glass and gargle for 15 seconds then spit it out. The salt kills bacteria in your mouth. You might want to add a drop of peppermint oil to make the breath smell minty.
Oil Pulling. Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic method for detox and rejuvenation. To oil pull, simply swish your choice of unrefined, high quality oil in your mouth for 5-20 minutes each day. Most people I know who do this use coconut oil because it has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and enzymatic properties which will have the added benefit of killing unwanted bacteria.
Cardamom, Fennel and Coriander Mixture. Make your own breath freshener mixture by mixing together fennel, coriander and cardamom seeds. Keep the mixture in a glass, airtight jar and chew on a small pinch when your breath needs a boost.
A healthy, balanced diet and drinking a lot of water also help to combat bad breath.
I recently went to an Erba Vita event in Boston and had a chance to check out some of their herbal and dietary supplements. Breath is a natural dietary supplement that supports fresher smelling breath. It contains many ingredients that combat bad breath including chlorophyll, licorice, cardamom and fennel. There are a few ingredients such as Maltodextrin (a processed food additive), gum arabic and natural flavor (a term that can be a catch all and is unregulated) that aren’t ideal, but overall this product seemed to work well as a breath freshener.
What’s your favorite natural remedy for fresh breath?
*If bad breath is a recurring problem you might want to rule out any serious health conditions.
Disclosure: I did receive a sample of Erba Vitta Breath Supplement to try. All opinions are my very own. Promise.