Whole Body Vibrations (WHAT?!)

Things to Do Thursday

 

 So I recently found out about this machine called the ProVibe. Have you ever heard of it? I first tried it at a local health food store, Gloria’s Good Health. Check out their page about the machine here. Then watch this video:

An excerpt from Gloria’s Good Health website:

“Movements performed on a Whole Body Vibration (WBV) oscillating platform have been shown to be four times more effective than equivalent exercises performed on a stationary surface.

Because the amplitude and intensity of the vibration can be controlled, WBV is intended for users of all types and all fitness levels.WBV activates an average of 97% of all muscle groups and produces up to 30 involuntary reflexes per second, all of which results in the burning of fat and the building of muscle.

There is no stress on the joints, ligaments or tendons compared to other resistance training. The result is more benefit in less time.”

I know that the response from many people is: “it is an excuse that you don’t have time to go to the gym.” But maybe that was your excuse in your lifestyle and priorities. I know me and my family life, and you know your own. That is pretty much the extent of how much anyone knows about another person’s “excuses”. For anyone curious enough, however, I don’t mind letting you in on how my days usually go:

Monday through Friday, I leave my house in the morning at 7:30 and once I am off work and pick up my daughter, we usually are not home until 6 p.m. That is on a night that we do not stop by the grocery store, visit with anyone, get gas or anything. Once we are home, we cook supper and spend time cleaning up and playing together with our daughter. A few nights a week we also do “preschool at home” type things. Then she needs a bath, teeth brushed, and bedtime story books. It is between 9:30-10 p.m. on a FLAWLESS night before she is finally asleep and snoring. Considering I am in grad school with homework; we mow our own lawn; and we occasionally like to have a social life and invite friends/family over for just an hour or two… It can be later than that before Trevor and I can sit down. Most nights I don’t even start my homework until 10 p.m. I’m also at the age and have enough demands on my life, that I sort of need a little bit of sleep. Otherwise mama begins to crash. So, yes, I have changed the way we eat (which is a major hurdle in fitness and weight loss), but my priorities and time are different than other peoples. I prefer time with my 3 year old over an hour in the gym. If that defines me as “making excuses”, I totally can respect your opinion; therefore, respect my opinion. 🙂

My point is, when I found out about Pro Vibe, and that 10 minutes on the machine is equivalent to an hour on the treadmill in the gym.. I was interested enough to check it out! It is a few miles from where I work, so I just drive over on my lunch hour.

I really enjoyed it! Not going to lie… it is weird and awkward at first, but now I just get on it without thinking twice! The second day I was on it, I used the straps you can pull tight to help tone your arms, and by the time I left work that evening my arms were sore! The soreness that you usually feel the next day after upper body workout in the gym.

Some stats from different days after my time on the machine:

Provibe2

313 Calories burned. Equivalent of running 6.26 Miles In Ten Minutes.

Provibe1

322 Calories burned. Equivalent of running 6.44 Miles. In Ten Minutes. (Distance/Calories vary because I vary my speeds)

There are so many benefits to using the machine. Here are a few of the benefits:

  • improved bloodflow
  • improved circulation
  • increased flexibility
  • reduces lower back pain
  • improves bone density
  • increases metabolism
  • accelerates weight loss
  • tones and strengthens muscles
  • massages and relaxes muscles

 

 

I’ve noticed a difference in the firmness of my skin. I feel more energetic, too. Who wouldn’t be happy about that and want to share the excitement with everyone??! Do you have a local health food store? Call around and find a store that has this machine and just check it out!

You will not regret it. 🙂

 

New Found Love for Bolthouse Farms

Over the last year I have struggled with an Iron and Vitamin B12 deficiency. I currently inject a monthly B12 shot just so that I can have the same level of energy that every one else naturally produces. Yay. Not. It has been almost a year now, so it doesn’t bother me as much as it did. I can always tell the difference in how I feel toward the end of the month when it is almost time for the next shot. I feel a lot more tired even after getting 8+ hours of sleep. I’ve also had 5 Iron treatments since May 2013 as well. Being iron deficient also can be a cause of the tiredness. Either way, I’ve been struggling with this for a year now and every chance I get I have searched out foods or drinks that naturally contain iron and B12. This is how I found Bolthouse Farms.

I knew that blueberries naturally contained B12, and one day while shopping in Wal-Mart I saw the Bolthouse Farms Blue Goodness drink and picked it up to check it out. The first thing I noticed was that on the side of the bottle it listed the amount of each fruit included in the bottle in addition to the fact that the drink is non-GMO and preservative free. I looked around at all of their different options and noticed that most all of their drinks are non-GMO and some are even gluten free! At my local Wal-Mart I can even get them for $2.68 for the single serving size!

I love drinking the Blue Goodness drink for breakfast. Usually one of the larger bottles is enough for two mornings. When I have drank Bolthouse Farms drinks a few days in a week, I can tell the difference in my energy and how I feel. I know it may be a combination of the B12 shots as well, but when you are OVER being so tired for no reason, you will get excited about anything extra that helps.

**SIDE NOTE: Bolthouse Farms does not only make fruit drinks. They have MANY, MANY vegetable drinks as well. They also sell carrots for snacking, cooking, etc. We love to get their baby carrots for snacks. 🙂 Those can be found in your local produce section. I tried out a few of the vegetable ones and well… I believe I will just have to stick with eating those on the table. I couldn’t do it in the drink form. I need it to be sweet apparently. I wish I would have had someone to share them with, because we just had to throw them away. Even my daughter wouldn’t drink them. Ha! Must run in the family.

 

Below are just a FEW of my favorite drinks from Bolthouse Farms:

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Mango Coconut Splash

Mango Coconut Splash2

I will add, that these drinks are not low calorie drinks. So, if you count calories you may want to incorporate these drinks in with a smoothie or shake instead of drinking the whole drink as a single serving. I am sure some of them would be great to make in a smoothie with some protein, plus almond milk or coconut water or water and then add ice, especially the strawberry banana drink.  May have to give that a shot and let you know how it turns out!!

If you decide to try out Bolthouse Farms, let me know which ones you love!

 

 

Bacon and Coconut Oil

I posted a while back about how I had joined the band wagon for Coconut Oil. Even though I have been using it over the last few months, I am still learning and finding new ways to supplement it for cooking oils, butter, etc.

This past weekend, our daughter spent the night with my mother. So, Saturday morning we were able to sleep late and get up to fix breakfast just when we wanted to. Not the moment the sun peeped through the blinds, which to our daughter translates as “time to get up!” (I have seriously considered black out panels on every window in the house.)

Once we finally rolled out of bed and decided to join the functioning world, I decided I had a good morning to cook us a big meal to enjoy together. What weekend breakfast would be complete without unhealthy bacon?? 😉

I opened the cabinet and was about to grab the olive oil (I know it is healthier than canola or vegetable oil), but it just hit me that I had never tried to fry much with coconut oil. Hm.. that’s EVEN healthier. I gave it a shot. It took about 3 tablespoons, but it cooked the bacon great! No turning brown once the grease was too hot. AND once it was removed from the skillet and placed in the plate, there was not excessive grease that would make your stomach turn for days. I have always loved bacon, grease and all! Now, however, I feel a lot better about eating it and will hopefully manage to live a little longer. 😀

 

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Here is what the coconut oil looked like cooking the bacon. Sorry, there’s no “after” picture. I’m still new at this blog-about-what-I-do-in-the-kitchen thing since there’s usually not much to blog about. Ha!

I always purchase our coconut oil at Wal-Mart for $5.98! It is 30 oz and usually lasts a month or two. Depends on what kind of cooking I’m up to lately. You can find out the look here.

Where do you find your coconut oil? Have new ways to cook with it? Share them with me!

Lexi Lee Walk for Hope at the Alabama Jubilee and Hot Air Balloon Festival

StJude

Over the last 8 months I have participated in various events for a 3 year old little girl in my community. Her mother and I were co-workers and then became friends as the recent events in Lexi’s life unfolded. Here is Lexi’s story directly from her mother:

Lexi’s Story
Within 2 weeks, Lexi had 20 to 30 unexplainable, thumb print size, dark bruises mainly on her legs but on the rest of her body as well. After noticing the excessive amount of bruising, with no explanation and no signs of going away, instead more were showing up, an appointment with her local Pediatrician was scheduled and blood work was done. Then, about four hours later while Lexi was playing outside on the swing set, the phone rang. Lexi’s blood-work came back abnormal and we were told to take her to Huntsville Hospital as a direct admit. Fear and confusion set in. Lexi was outside, playing like a normal 3 year old child and hours later she was being poked for more blood-work. Later that evening we got news that she might possibly have a blood disorder or leukemia. On September 24, 2013, the oncologist came in and told us the confirmed unfortunate news. Our beautiful daughter who we had bragged on since birth for being so healthy and never getting sick had the c word. She has cancer. She has Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, commonly known as ALL, or just simply, Leukemia. That was the day our lives changed forever. We did not know what to do other than pray. Doctors at Huntsville Hospital gave us options as to where to receive treatment for Lexi and when St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital was mentioned, we knew that was where we wanted Lexi to be. We knew there was no better place for Lexi to receive treatment. No family ever pays for anything at St. Jude. Because of events like, The Lexi Lee Walk for Hope, with the help of participants like YOU, my daughter is getting a second chance at life. Without the funding for research, Lexi and many other children would not be so lucky. People like you make this possible for our daughter and our family as well as so many other children and families. We will never be able to say “thank you” enough to all of the researchers who work to find the medicine and cures or the doctors and nurses who care for the children, so as a way of saying “thank you” and helping bring awareness to childhood cancer and it’s need for funding, our family is hosting The Lexi Lee Walk for Hope. Our goal in hosting The Lexi Lee Walk for Hope is to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Donations like yours allow research like this to happen!
YOU are helping St. Jude save lives by making a simple donation!
We, Lexi’s parents & family, want to say THANK YOU!
**100% MONEY RAISED WILL GO TO ST. JUDE CHILDREN’S RESEARCH HOSPITAL – MEMPHIS, TN.**

Update on Lexi
Lexi is doing amazing! She is in the last phase of her treatment which consists of 2 ½ – 3 years. The last phase consists of 120 weeks. As of today, May 21, 2014, she is on week 15. We have a long road ahead of us even after the 120 week mark. Currently, Lexi receives at home chemotherapy which we give to her at night time. She also has an appointment each week at the Huntsville Hospital St. Jude Clinic where she receives chemotherapy, physical therapy and musical therapy. Sometimes she needs blood and/or platelets, which she is able to receive at the affiliate. She also goes to St. Jude in Memphis for check-ups, intrathecal chemotherapy and more intense chemotherapy. Some of the chemotherapy Lexi receives causes the leg and hand muscles to weaken and some cause nausea but if you saw Lexi, you wouldn’t believe that’s true. She runs and plays all the time like nothing is wrong. Even on clinic days when she has received chemotherapy, she comes home and runs and plays like it’s a normal day. For that, we are thankful!

Pictures of Lexi Lee and her Family:

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Chase, Jenna, and Lexi Chase Lee at St. Jude

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Lexi in the early days at St. Jude

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Lexi getting to play video games and still be a kid!

The Lexi Lee Walk for Hope was held at the Alabama Jubilee and Hot Air Balloon Festival in Decatur, AL. The Jubilee is held every year around Memorial Day Weekend. The walk was at 9 a.m. on Saturday and was a great and upbeat way to start the weekend! I love doing positive things and being active on a long weekend because it makes my time feel more accomplished. I invited my Girl Scout troop and also took my daughter along. It turned out great!

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This was the flyer distributed for the event.

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My daughter, Khloe, and Lexi’s Mom, Jenna. Lexi did not get to be at the event, but everyone still came out in support!

Lexi Lee Walk for Hope

Sign up table at the walk (:

HERE IS A LITTLE FYI ABOUT ST. JUDE CHILDREN’S RESEARCH HOSPITAL:

In 1962, the survival rate for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (which is what Lexi is diagnosed with) was only 4%. Thanks to St. Jude & it’s research, the survival rate has reached 94%!!
• On average, 5,700 active patients visit the hospital each year, most of whom are treated on an outpatient basis.
• St. Jude is the first and only pediatric cancer center to be designated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute.
• St. Jude has treated children from all 50 states and from around the world.
• The daily operating costs for St. Jude are $1.6 million, which are primarily covered by public contributions.
• During the past five years, 81 cents of every dollar received has supported the research and treatment at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

If you would like to have updated information on Lexi’s progress or would like information on how to donate to the Lexi Lee Walk for Hope you can follow the pages on Facebook here and here. Also, Lexi’s mom blogs here.1240607_10202265096095892_106046578_n

My daughter and I didn’t get to stay long for the Jubilee after the walk, but we did get in a few hot air balloon sightings. (Next year it is my goal to go for the balloon glow and get to do a tethered ride. 😀 )

Lexi Lee Walk for Hope 2

We did get to see one balloon up while we were there and my daughter was SO EXCITED. She told everyone about it the rest of the day.

 

Asbestos Awareness in America

Asbestos is not banned in the US,

yet it’s the only known cause of mesothelioma.

This is a subject I have known about for many years, but like many Americans I’m sure, is a subject I’ve never dedicated much thought nor time. After “meeting” Heather Von St. James in early April when she contacted me about Asbestos Awareness week and sharing this valuable information with my readers, I was shocked at what I had learned!

 

  • Every year around 3,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma, a deadly cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.
  • On average, they are given 10 months to live.
  • That’s 300 days.
  • 7,200 hours.

And Asbestos is still not banned in the United States. WOW. I cannot believe that. I know that many manufacturing companies have chosen on their own to remove asbestos from their plants and locations, but if they choose not to, there is nothing a person can do about it. Why is this even a question? Because of a lack in legislation banning asbestos, our fellow Americans are suffering and some dying.

Please visit Heather and read her story and share it everywhere.

Asbestos and Mesothelioma are real and nothing has been done about them.

Also visit the Mesothelioma website and find out what you can do to help with the cause.

 

 

I Have Never Won Anything

I am not kidding when I say that I have never won anything in my entire 23 years. I enter drawings at times for the heck of it. Never win. Not even like a free drink. Sad, I know. (;

Well, I have exciting new for you: I finally won something! The first thing I have ever won was…

A Free Three Month Gym Membership.

Ha! I do not know if that is a joke or a sign. Either way, I am taking advantage of the opportunity.

The gym is a very upscale gym located in the city where I work. The family who owns the gym actually has opened multiple locations over the years in Decatur, Hartselle, Madison, Huntsville, Guntersville and Pell City. Maybe you’ve heard of them? Benders Gym. I have the opportunity of using their newest million dollar facility free of charge for three months. What a deal! Free Group Fit classes, tanning, child care, 2 complimentary sessions with a personal trainer, smoothie bar, secure access. Oh, and every piece of cardio equipment has a built in flat screen TV in it. WHAT? So, I guess everyone can scratch of the excuse about not missing their show is why they did not go to the gym… Ha!

Honestly, though, the place really is amazing. I wish they would build one in the town where I live. Now THAT would be convenient enough to make my cough up the extra for their memberships.

Wouldn’t you love to say you were a member of a health club that looked like this??

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So far I have worked cardio and legs on Day One, and the next day I worked cardio and upper body. I am hoping next week to start attending at least one class per week. Free means Free. Only have until July 24 so I am going to us the opportunity to my fullest advantage! (;

Because of the amazing opportunity at this elite gym is holding me more accountable. Which is a good thing!!

Have you won something unusual  from a drawing win? What all have you won in drawings?

 

 

Coconut Oil

With my recent life changes and trying to be healthier (and possibly living a little longer), I have found Coconut Oil. I think I may be somewhat behind on this craze, but I am so glad I found it! Coconut Oil has SO many uses it can be completely overwhelming. Even Man of the House says, “let me guess, Coconut Oil can help that, too?” Ha. He won’t admit it, but his heartburn went away the other night after I convinced/forced him to eat a spoonful of coconut oil.

A few of its uses apply to us as a family or individually. Man of the House is not altogether sold on the idea of it, but he goes along with certain things just to please me. Like eating a spoonful to see if it helped his heartburn. He didn’t complain any after that. (For the record, pure virgin, non-GMO coconut oil has zero taste. The consistency is like when butter melts in your mouth, but there is no taste. It is slightly strange at first. It is similar to eating a spoonful of water and butter at the same time.)

Here are some new ways we are using and substituting with Coconut Oil:

  1. Substituting butter. Perfect example: We grilled on Sunday, and I made sliced ranch potatoes. I placed the coconut oil in the aluminum foil wrapped around the potatoes instead of butter, and it cooked the same but with less fat.
  2. Energy Boost. I read to dip a tablespoon of coconut oil in Chia seeds for an energy boost and to NOT take this at night. I tried it one morning when I was dragging, definitely better than drinking coffee and ending up with stained teeth, etc. TRY IT! (:
  3. Healing Stretch Marks. Hey, when you have carried a child and you end up with stretch marks, no matter how minor they are, you’d like a little help making them a little more subtle. I have noticed a changed with only two uses! I will eventually do a separate post on extensive results over a period of time.
  4. Helping with weight loss when consumed on a regular basis. I don’t have results or proof of this theory yet, but I am testing it out.
  5. Reducing appearance of cellulite. I’m actually not using it for this purpose, but my sister-in-law is. She is a small framed woman who does not need to lose weight, but is uncomfortable with the appearance of cellulite on the back of her thighs. How many of you are in the same situation? Well, I will keep up with her and see how it turns out! In the mean time, it wouldn’t hurt to start trying as well. (;
  6. EXTREME FACIAL MOISTURIZER. Unless you have EXTREMELY dry skin, I suggest only using this two or three nights a week. And only at night. (:
  7. Helping with Heartburn. Well, this is a premature assumption since we only tried this once. Will be trying this again in the future just to find out.

There are many, MANY other uses for Coconut Oil, but these are the ones we are utilizing right now in our lives. I was given a listing for 101 uses for Coconut Oil! I am going to eventually try as many of them out as possible as long as they apply to our needs and life.

Do you use Coconut Oil? What is your favorite way to incorporate it into your routines?

Ways to use Kale: Lasagna Soup

Lately I have been trying to eat more greens and healthy foods. I have learned within the last year that I have a type of anemia where I do not absorb enough B12 from an every day diet, causing me to have a B12 deficiency. I do give myself a B12 shot monthly, but I am trying to make a point to eat more foods that naturally have B12 and other vitamins. So I have chosen Kale as a new green to begin adding to food and recipes.

I got the original version of this recipe from http://www.ohsweetbasil.com. I really am just starting out in my cooking adventures, so I do not have an arsenal of recipes already. Working on that, though. (:

Here is my modified version, and how I made it work for us.

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil (or more. I used more. Don’t have an exact measurement.)
  • 4 Small Cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 1 Green Pepper, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon parsley, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon basil, chopped
  • 1 Lb Ground Beef
  • Beef Broth (32 oz)
  • 1/2 Cup Ricotta
  • 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
  • 1 Can Diced Tomatoes, 28 oz
  • 2 Cups Broken Lasagna Noodles
  • 1 Cup Mozarella Cheese, shredded
  • Kale: just shred by hand an amount you prefer to be in the soup.

Instructions

  1. In a heavy bottomed pot, over medium high heat, add the olive oil until it just starts to shimmer. Add the garlic, stirring as you add it and cook for a few seconds. Turn the heat down to medium and stir occasionally, about 3-5 minutes. Add the green pepper, oregano, parsley and basil. Stir to combine and let cook for one minute.
  2. Add the ground beef and cook until browned and no longer raw. I started adding kale here. Add the beef broth and ricotta, whisking to break up the ricotta and help it to melt into the soup. Add the brown sugar, tomatoes, stirring to combine. I let it simmer for about 30 minutes.
  3. The last 15 minutes add the broken lasagna noodles and cook until tender.
  4. Place the soup in oven safe bowls or soup mugs and top with cheese. (I used my small Corning Ware bowls.)
  5. Heat the broiler to high heat and place the soup in the oven. Once the cheese is golden and melted remove from the oven and serve with warm bread.

kale

Here is after adding the beef broth, kale and ricotta cheese. I promise, it turns out better (;

lasagna soup

Here is the final product. I believe I could’ve left it in to brown a little longer on the cheese so that it would have looked more like lasagna, but I loved the cheese just like this. And I loved using the small serving bowls from our Corning Ware set because they came with lids and I could prepare a few additional individual servings to take to work for lunch.

This actually turned out amazing! If you would like to try the original recipe, you can find it at Oh Sweet Basil!

She has tons of amazing recipes available.

Do you already use Kale a lot? What are some ways you incorporate it into your daily diet?

Have any recipes you’d like to share? (;