Savor Every Time You Waiver
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My Tips for Beautiful Skin!
Start Early - Take care of your skin while you’re young and it still looks good! Preventative action is sometimes best!
Wear Sunblock - EVERYDAY! Who cares if your face isn’t that tan? You can add bronzer or use tanning face lotions to even up the skin with the rest of your body when summer rolls around. Not only does it protect your skin from cancer-causing UV rays, but it will also keep sun spots from happening!
Drink Water - Stay hydrated from the inside out. Your organs need water to function properly, and that includes your skin!
Don’t Pick - Leave those blemishes alone! Apply a dab of toothpaste or acne spot treatment to them at night if you want to treat them.. but don’t pick at them!
Don’t Smoke - It literally kills you from the inside out.. and wreaks HAVOC on your skin. If you smoke, you can almost guarantee your skin is going to look horrible a few years down the road. But what do you expect if you poison yourself on a daily basis?
Sleep - Get plenty of rest.. this is when your body restores and regenerates itself… this includes your skin!
Avoid Tanning Beds - Studies indicate that tanning beds are just as likely, if not more so, to cause skin cancer. AVOID AVOID AVOID. Use Jergens tanning lotion or other sunless tan products if you must tan.
Drink Tea - Tea is loaded with antioxidants which fight skin aging effects of free radicals!

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My Tips for Beautiful Skin!

  • Start Early - Take care of your skin while you’re young and it still looks good! Preventative action is sometimes best!
  • Wear Sunblock - EVERYDAY! Who cares if your face isn’t that tan? You can add bronzer or use tanning face lotions to even up the skin with the rest of your body when summer rolls around. Not only does it protect your skin from cancer-causing UV rays, but it will also keep sun spots from happening!
  • Drink Water - Stay hydrated from the inside out. Your organs need water to function properly, and that includes your skin!
  • Don’t Pick - Leave those blemishes alone! Apply a dab of toothpaste or acne spot treatment to them at night if you want to treat them.. but don’t pick at them!
  • Don’t Smoke - It literally kills you from the inside out.. and wreaks HAVOC on your skin. If you smoke, you can almost guarantee your skin is going to look horrible a few years down the road. But what do you expect if you poison yourself on a daily basis?
  • Sleep - Get plenty of rest.. this is when your body restores and regenerates itself… this includes your skin!
  • Avoid Tanning Beds - Studies indicate that tanning beds are just as likely, if not more so, to cause skin cancer. AVOID AVOID AVOID. Use Jergens tanning lotion or other sunless tan products if you must tan.
  • Drink Tea - Tea is loaded with antioxidants which fight skin aging effects of free radicals!
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Use these tips to keep stretching safe:
Don’t consider stretching a warm-up. You may hurt yourself if you stretch cold muscles. So before stretching, warm up with light walking, jogging or biking at low intensity for five to 10 minutes. Or better yet, stretch after you exercise when your muscles are warmed up. 
Focus on major muscle groups. When you’re stretching, focus on your calves, thighs, hips, lower back, neck and shoulders. Also stretch muscles and joints that you routinely use at work or play. 
Don’t bounce. Bouncing as you stretch can cause small tears in the muscle. 
Don’t aim for pain. Expect to feel tension while you’re stretching, not pain. If it hurts, you’ve pushed too far. Back off to the point where you don’t feel any pain, then hold the stretch.
Make stretches sport specific. Some evidence suggests that it’s helpful to do stretches tailored for your sport or activity. If you play soccer, for instance, you’re more vulnerable to hamstring strains. So opt for stretches that help your hamstrings.
Keep up with your stretching. Stretching can be time-consuming. But you can achieve the best benefits by stretching regularly, at least two to three times a week. 
Bring movement into your stretching. Gentle movement can help you be more flexible in specific movements. The gentle movements of tai chi, for instance, may be a good way to stretch. 
Read on here for more! =)http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/stretching/HQ01447 

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Use these tips to keep stretching safe:

  • Don’t consider stretching a warm-up. You may hurt yourself if you stretch cold muscles. So before stretching, warm up with light walking, jogging or biking at low intensity for five to 10 minutes. Or better yet, stretch after you exercise when your muscles are warmed up. 
  • Focus on major muscle groups. When you’re stretching, focus on your calves, thighs, hips, lower back, neck and shoulders. Also stretch muscles and joints that you routinely use at work or play. 
  • Don’t bounce. Bouncing as you stretch can cause small tears in the muscle. 
  • Don’t aim for pain. Expect to feel tension while you’re stretching, not pain. If it hurts, you’ve pushed too far. Back off to the point where you don’t feel any pain, then hold the stretch.
  • Make stretches sport specific. Some evidence suggests that it’s helpful to do stretches tailored for your sport or activity. If you play soccer, for instance, you’re more vulnerable to hamstring strains. So opt for stretches that help your hamstrings.
  • Keep up with your stretching. Stretching can be time-consuming. But you can achieve the best benefits by stretching regularly, at least two to three times a week. 
  • Bring movement into your stretching. Gentle movement can help you be more flexible in specific movements. The gentle movements of tai chi, for instance, may be a good way to stretch. 

Read on here for more! =)
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/stretching/HQ01447 

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Some tips I have for keeping stress levels at bay!! =)
Write things down - Writing things down can get it off your mind.. if it’s down on paper, you don’t have to stress about remembering to get it done! It can also keep you organized.
Sleep! - Without enough sleep, our bodies and brains can’t function at their highest level. 
Shut off your technology - Sometimes being unreachable can be very relaxing. Shut off your phone and computer and go for a walk or to the mall. Spend some time disconnected.
Read - Read a book, a magazine, a newspaper… disappearing into literature can be soothing and take you away from the stress for awhile, while still exercising your mind!
Schedule “me time” - Put an hour or so aside for yourself… just to hang out with yourself. Take a bubble bath, paint your nails, watch a movie, do something you enjoy!
Wake up earlier - Waking up 15 minutes or more early can help you get a head start on your day. Rather than rushing around like a chicken with your head cut off, you can calmly move from one task to the next, rather than trying to

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Some tips I have for keeping stress levels at bay!! =)

  • Write things down - Writing things down can get it off your mind.. if it’s down on paper, you don’t have to stress about remembering to get it done! It can also keep you organized.
  • Sleep! - Without enough sleep, our bodies and brains can’t function at their highest level. 
  • Shut off your technology - Sometimes being unreachable can be very relaxing. Shut off your phone and computer and go for a walk or to the mall. Spend some time disconnected.
  • Read - Read a book, a magazine, a newspaper… disappearing into literature can be soothing and take you away from the stress for awhile, while still exercising your mind!
  • Schedule “me time” - Put an hour or so aside for yourself… just to hang out with yourself. Take a bubble bath, paint your nails, watch a movie, do something you enjoy!
  • Wake up earlier - Waking up 15 minutes or more early can help you get a head start on your day. Rather than rushing around like a chicken with your head cut off, you can calmly move from one task to the next, rather than trying to
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Excessive stress can cause an increase in the secretion of the hormone, cortisol.. which promotes fat storage.Some studies have shown that stress and elevated cortisol tend to cause fat deposition in the abdominal area rather than in the hips. This fat deposition has been referred to as “toxic fat” since abdominal fat deposition is strongly correlated with the development of cardiovascular disease including heart attacks and strokes. 

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Excessive stress can cause an increase in the secretion of the hormone, cortisol.. which promotes fat storage.
Some studies have shown that stress and elevated cortisol tend to cause fat deposition in the abdominal area rather than in the hips. This fat deposition has been referred to as “toxic fat” since abdominal fat deposition is strongly correlated with the development of cardiovascular disease including heart attacks and strokes. 

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My Tips for Beautiful Skin!
Start Early - Take care of your skin while you’re young and it still looks good! Preventative action is sometimes best!
Wear Sunblock - EVERYDAY! Who cares if your face isn’t that tan? You can add bronzer or use tanning face lotions to even up the skin with the rest of your body when summer rolls around. Not only does it protect your skin from cancer-causing UV rays, but it will also keep sun spots from happening!
Drink Water - Stay hydrated from the inside out. Your organs need water to function properly, and that includes your skin!
Don’t Pick - Leave those blemishes alone! Apply a dab of toothpaste or acne spot treatment to them at night if you want to treat them.. but don’t pick at them!
Don’t Smoke - It literally kills you from the inside out.. and wreaks HAVOC on your skin. If you smoke, you can almost guarantee your skin is going to look horrible a few years down the road. But what do you expect if you poison yourself on a daily basis?
Sleep - Get plenty of rest.. this is when your body restores and regenerates itself… this includes your skin!
Avoid Tanning Beds - Studies indicate that tanning beds are just as likely, if not more so, to cause skin cancer. AVOID AVOID AVOID. Use Jergens tanning lotion or other sunless tan products if you must tan.
Drink Tea - Tea is loaded with antioxidants which fight skin aging effects of free radicals!

muffintop-less:

My Tips for Beautiful Skin!

  • Start Early - Take care of your skin while you’re young and it still looks good! Preventative action is sometimes best!
  • Wear Sunblock - EVERYDAY! Who cares if your face isn’t that tan? You can add bronzer or use tanning face lotions to even up the skin with the rest of your body when summer rolls around. Not only does it protect your skin from cancer-causing UV rays, but it will also keep sun spots from happening!
  • Drink Water - Stay hydrated from the inside out. Your organs need water to function properly, and that includes your skin!
  • Don’t Pick - Leave those blemishes alone! Apply a dab of toothpaste or acne spot treatment to them at night if you want to treat them.. but don’t pick at them!
  • Don’t Smoke - It literally kills you from the inside out.. and wreaks HAVOC on your skin. If you smoke, you can almost guarantee your skin is going to look horrible a few years down the road. But what do you expect if you poison yourself on a daily basis?
  • Sleep - Get plenty of rest.. this is when your body restores and regenerates itself… this includes your skin!
  • Avoid Tanning Beds - Studies indicate that tanning beds are just as likely, if not more so, to cause skin cancer. AVOID AVOID AVOID. Use Jergens tanning lotion or other sunless tan products if you must tan.
  • Drink Tea - Tea is loaded with antioxidants which fight skin aging effects of free radicals!
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Just a reminder ;)
As most of you who have been following me for a while know, I post a VARIETY of things.. nutrition tips/facts, fitness tips/facts, health tips/facts, workouts, recipes, health & beauty tips and general motivation and positive quotes. I love hearing all the nice feedback from you girls and it makes me want to improve my blog THAT much more. I want to help each and every one of you reach your health and fitness related goals as much as I can =)So I’m curious… of the things I post, what are your favorites? What would you like to see more of?

muffintop-less:

Just a reminder ;)

As most of you who have been following me for a while know, I post a VARIETY of things.. nutrition tips/facts, fitness tips/facts, health tips/facts, workouts, recipes, health & beauty tips and general motivation and positive quotes. I love hearing all the nice feedback from you girls and it makes me want to improve my blog THAT much more. I want to help each and every one of you reach your health and fitness related goals as much as I can =)
So I’m curious… of the things I post, what are your favorites? What would you like to see more of?

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Get up and get moving girls!!!!
10 push ups
10 jump squats
10 burpees
10 jump lunges
10 jumping jacks
20 crunches 
Repeat 5 times (or more if you can)…. GO! =) 

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Get up and get moving girls!!!!

  • 10 push ups
  • 10 jump squats
  • 10 burpees
  • 10 jump lunges
  • 10 jumping jacks
  • 20 crunches 

Repeat 5 times (or more if you can)…. GO! =) 

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 Myth 1: Spot Reduction
Let’s start off with the theory of burning fat or toning a certain area of the body. Toning involves two constituents: adipose tissue (the subcutaneous body fat) and muscle tissue. In order to appear more toned, a reduction in body fat and increase in muscle mass will have to occur.
The human body does not allow spot reducing, which would include losing fat exclusively in the abdominal area. If you were to lose weight, it would occur all over your entire body. Unfortunately, body fat is not necessarily reduced evenly.
People often have trouble areas where the fat is last to go. Women especially find this to be their stomach, legs or arms. There is not much that can be done about this aside from continuing to lean out.
A reduction in body fat occurs when a person is in a caloric deficit. This occurs with two variables: decreasing the amount of calories you consume, increasing the amount of exercise you participate in, or doing both. Resistance training is used to help build and maintain muscle tissue, while cardiovascular training is a tool used to help achieve a caloric deficit.
Here is a statement that many of you probably do not want to believe: There is no exercise out there that is going to burn fat off of your body in a specific area! No resistance training exercise will help tone or reduce fat on top of any muscle in your body. It is a reduction of calories and an increase in exercise that will take care of that.
There is a very big misconception regarding that “burn” you feel after performing many repetitions during an exercise. Some people actually believe that is the fat melting off the body right before our very eyes! That burn is actually caused by lactic acid, which is used by your muscles to form adenosine triphosphate (ATP) for immediate energy.
I often see a female lying on the ground at the gym performing sets of 100crunches. She probably assumes that burning sensation is actually helping her “toning her stomach”. If you are performing a set of 100 repetitions on any exercise, don’t you think it is time to
move on to something a little harder?
From an awesome Bodybuilding.com article I often sent my friends to to read about women & weight training myths!

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 Myth 1: Spot Reduction

Let’s start off with the theory of burning fat or toning a certain area of the body. Toning involves two constituents: adipose tissue (the subcutaneous body fat) and muscle tissue. In order to appear more toned, a reduction in body fat and increase in muscle mass will have to occur.

The human body does not allow spot reducing, which would include losing fat exclusively in the abdominal area. If you were to lose weight, it would occur all over your entire body. Unfortunately, body fat is not necessarily reduced evenly.

People often have trouble areas where the fat is last to go. Women especially find this to be their stomach, legs or arms. There is not much that can be done about this aside from continuing to lean out.

A reduction in body fat occurs when a person is in a caloric deficit. This occurs with two variables: decreasing the amount of calories you consume, increasing the amount of exercise you participate in, or doing both. Resistance training is used to help build and maintain muscle tissue, while cardiovascular training is a tool used to help achieve a caloric deficit.

Here is a statement that many of you probably do not want to believe: There is no exercise out there that is going to burn fat off of your body in a specific area! No resistance training exercise will help tone or reduce fat on top of any muscle in your body. It is a reduction of calories and an increase in exercise that will take care of that.

There is a very big misconception regarding that “burn” you feel after performing many repetitions during an exercise. Some people actually believe that is the fat melting off the body right before our very eyes! That burn is actually caused by lactic acid, which is used by your muscles to form adenosine triphosphate (ATP) for immediate energy.

I often see a female lying on the ground at the gym performing sets of 100crunches. She probably assumes that burning sensation is actually helping her “toning her stomach”. If you are performing a set of 100 repetitions on any exercise, don’t you think it is time to

move on to something a little harder?

From an awesome Bodybuilding.com article I often sent my friends to to read about women & weight training myths!

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Clean eating doesn’t have to be boring! Get creative with things like salad! 
I like to mix sweet and savory ingredients like strawberries with walnuts and beans. Random but it’s actually really good! I don’t have fruit that often, but when I do… I make sure it’s in a salad ;)
<3

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Clean eating doesn’t have to be boring! Get creative with things like salad! 

I like to mix sweet and savory ingredients like strawberries with walnuts and beans. Random but it’s actually really good! I don’t have fruit that often, but when I do… I make sure it’s in a salad ;)

<3

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K so I just took this picture… I wish I had taken one yesterday so I could better illustrate my point.. but basically I keep getting questions about abs “disappearing”.
Water retention is a powerful thing. Our bodies are composed of around 70% water!!! That means, depending on a variety of factors, we could be carrying around a lot more or less water than we realize. Sometimes what seems like a 5 pound fat gain is merely water retention from consuming too much sodium and a lot of carbohydrates. When I am water depleted or am just not puffy, you can see my abs a lot clearer than when I AM retaining water. This is my water retaining tummy.. notice no definition anywhere (in this picture I am 120 pounds, whereas I have been normally weighing in at 115)! It’s very common for fitness competitors to water deplete before shows and photoshoots to bring their best, most defined physique to the stage or the lights.
To avoid unnecessary water retention, make sure you are drinking enough water in a day and don’t overindulge in sodium! Consuming natural diuretics like spinach and asparagus can also help with water-related bloat. If you have some higher carb meals, expect that the next day, you might feel more bloated than usual. And for goodness sake, stay OFF The scale! If there was ever a time to avoid the scale, it is the day after a high-carb, high-sodium feast! 

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K so I just took this picture… I wish I had taken one yesterday so I could better illustrate my point.. but basically I keep getting questions about abs “disappearing”.

Water retention is a powerful thing. Our bodies are composed of around 70% water!!! That means, depending on a variety of factors, we could be carrying around a lot more or less water than we realize. Sometimes what seems like a 5 pound fat gain is merely water retention from consuming too much sodium and a lot of carbohydrates. 
When I am water depleted or am just not puffy, you can see my abs a lot clearer than when I AM retaining water. This is my water retaining tummy.. notice no definition anywhere (in this picture I am 120 pounds, whereas I have been normally weighing in at 115)! It’s very common for fitness competitors to water deplete before shows and photoshoots to bring their best, most defined physique to the stage or the lights.

To avoid unnecessary water retention, make sure you are drinking enough water in a day and don’t overindulge in sodium! Consuming natural diuretics like spinach and asparagus can also help with water-related bloat. If you have some higher carb meals, expect that the next day, you might feel more bloated than usual. And for goodness sake, stay OFF The scale! If there was ever a time to avoid the scale, it is the day after a high-carb, high-sodium feast! 

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EVERYTHING burns calories… even just sitting there being alive, breathing, burns calories. But who knew being ROMANTIC could burn so many calories in so short a time!? I just saw this article by womansday.com… 
Kissing - 68 calories burned an hour
Massaging - 80+ calories burned an hour
Sex - 144+ calories burned per half-hour
Dancing - 103+ calories burned per half-hour
Making out - 238 calories burned per half-hour
I guess those are some good options to burn off all the yummy chocolates ;)
http://www.womansday.com/sex-relationships/sex-tips/8-sexy-ways-to-burn-calories-110923

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EVERYTHING burns calories… even just sitting there being alive, breathing, burns calories. But who knew being ROMANTIC could burn so many calories in so short a time!? I just saw this article by womansday.com… 

  • Kissing - 68 calories burned an hour
  • Massaging - 80+ calories burned an hour
  • Sex - 144+ calories burned per half-hour
  • Dancing - 103+ calories burned per half-hour
  • Making out - 238 calories burned per half-hour

I guess those are some good options to burn off all the yummy chocolates ;)

http://www.womansday.com/sex-relationships/sex-tips/8-sexy-ways-to-burn-calories-110923

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I get this question a lot…. “I’m losing weight, but my boobs are shrinking.. is there anything I can do to stop it?”Unfortunately, no. Breast size is largely determined by genetics. In addition… breasts are made up primarily of fatty tissue and mammary glands.. so the lower your body fat percentage gets, the smaller your boobs will likely get. Doing chest exercises can help slightly by causing the pectoral muscle to grow, thus pushing the breasts out a bit… but that won’t keep them from shrinking in size as you lose weight. 

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I get this question a lot…. “I’m losing weight, but my boobs are shrinking.. is there anything I can do to stop it?”

Unfortunately, no. Breast size is largely determined by genetics. In addition… breasts are made up primarily of fatty tissue and mammary glands.. so the lower your body fat percentage gets, the smaller your boobs will likely get. Doing chest exercises can help slightly by causing the pectoral muscle to grow, thus pushing the breasts out a bit… but that won’t keep them from shrinking in size as you lose weight. 

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Here are some tips to make meal planning quick, easy and hassle free! =)
Grill outdoors to minimize clean-up. 
Use leftovers as a base for a second meal. 
Cook extra on weekends. Double or triple recipes and freeze for future meals. 
Cook brown rice more quickly by soaking it in water for four hours before cooking—this halves cooking time but keeps the high fiber. Use the appropriate ratio of water to raw rice. 
Use peas and lentils instead of dried beans. They don’t require soaking and cook quicker. 
“I always keep appliances like the food processor out on countertops,” says Linda Gassenheimer, author of Dinner in Minutes. “If you have to bend over to get it out, it won’t be used. I also like to keep the sink clear, so I can hit the kitchen on the run. That means you have to train your family not to leave everything in the sink. If you want to get dinner on the table in minutes, you need everything ready to go.” 
Before you can have fast food at home, some preparation is needed. Take the time to collect recipes and store them in a notebook, recipe box or on a recipe software program. This is where your meal-planning and shopping list begins.
M&amp;F Hers =)

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Here are some tips to make meal planning quick, easy and hassle free! =)

  • Grill outdoors to minimize clean-up. 
  • Use leftovers as a base for a second meal. 
  • Cook extra on weekends. Double or triple recipes and freeze for future meals. 
  • Cook brown rice more quickly by soaking it in water for four hours before cooking—this halves cooking time but keeps the high fiber. Use the appropriate ratio of water to raw rice. 
  • Use peas and lentils instead of dried beans. They don’t require soaking and cook quicker. 
  • “I always keep appliances like the food processor out on countertops,” says Linda Gassenheimer, author of Dinner in Minutes. “If you have to bend over to get it out, it won’t be used. I also like to keep the sink clear, so I can hit the kitchen on the run. That means you have to train your family not to leave everything in the sink. If you want to get dinner on the table in minutes, you need everything ready to go.” 
  • Before you can have fast food at home, some preparation is needed. Take the time to collect recipes and store them in a notebook, recipe box or on a recipe software program. This is where your meal-planning and shopping list begins.

M&F Hers =)

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Looking for a treat to make your special someone on Valentine’s Day? Check out this awesome clean chocolate chip cookie recipe! It obviously doesn’t have to be JUST for V-day though.. these would make a great pot-luck dish or a sweet treat for your family as well!
Clean Eating Chocolate Chip Cookies
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Ingredients
2/3 cup almonds
1/3 cup cooked oatmeal
1/2 cup Stevia
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 cup whole wheat pastry flour (almost any flour will do)
1/2 cup grain sweetened chocolate chips (or dark chocolate chips)
Note: If you don’t want to use the chocolate chips, they could be very easily substituted with nuts of any kind.
Directions
Step 1 – Mix everything except the chocolate chips in the food processor. You should have a nice wet, sticky dough when you’re done.
Step 2 – Using your spatula, scrape dough into your mixing bowl and mix in chocolate chips.
Step 3 – Spoon onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.
Step 4 – Bake for 20 minutes.
Eat and Enjoy!

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Looking for a treat to make your special someone on Valentine’s Day? Check out this awesome clean chocolate chip cookie recipe! It obviously doesn’t have to be JUST for V-day though.. these would make a great pot-luck dish or a sweet treat for your family as well!

Clean Eating Chocolate Chip Cookies

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup almonds
  • 1/3 cup cooked oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup Stevia
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 cup whole wheat pastry flour (almost any flour will do)
  • 1/2 cup grain sweetened chocolate chips (or dark chocolate chips)

Note: If you don’t want to use the chocolate chips, they could be very easily substituted with nuts of any kind.

Directions

  1. Step 1 – Mix everything except the chocolate chips in the food processor. You should have a nice wet, sticky dough when you’re done.
  2. Step 2 – Using your spatula, scrape dough into your mixing bowl and mix in chocolate chips.
  3. Step 3 – Spoon onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  4. Step 4 – Bake for 20 minutes.

Eat and Enjoy!