December 19, 2014

To give is to get

1:10 pm - Posted by Gregg

This is one of my favorite ways to help the homeless or others in need during the holiday season — especially because you know that your gift or contribution will be used for food and drink. After all, it can be weird to hand over cash to a total stranger. No matter how ‘in need’ they seem, you’re never quite sure how they might use the money. So instead, why not try something I’ve been doing for years: pick up a couple of $5.00 Gift Cards from local coffee or snack shops (like Starbucks, etc.) and keep them handy for when someone on the street asks you for a handout.

By giving them the gift card, you’re giving them a gift of a warm drink or even a small meal or snack. This way you know your gift is truly being used to make someone in needs’ season a little more comfortable. And even though Starbucks gift cards are pictured here, I’m not saying it has to be Starbucks. (In other words, this is not a paid endorsement — LOL!) However, I do usually buy Starbucks gift cards for this purpose of holiday giving to the less fortunate, because there are lots of Starbucks around and, therefore, it’s easy for people to use the gift cards there without much travel.

If you have similar or different giving ideas for those in need, share them here. Together we can spread more JOY to the world! (Fa la la la la!)

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4:51 pm - Posted by Gregg

Time magazine has asked 5 experts if they think people should be drinking diet soda. And the results were thumbs down across the board. Along with sharing each expert’s opinion, the article adds “A recent study in Nature shows that zero-calorie artificial sweeteners might mess with gut bacteria in a way that predisposes mice to insulin resistance and glucose intolerance.”

As some of you may know, when I weighed over 450 pounds, I was drinking 6-12 cans of diet soda a day. Giving up that (and soda all together) and replacing it with water was one of the ways that I took off over 250 pounds of excess weight and one of the contributors to my keeping the excess weight off for well over a decade.

You can read the entire Time magazine article by clicking here. And, as always, you can add to the discussion by commenting below.

Photo Source: Time Magazine

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4:59 pm - Posted by Gregg

Those of you looking for something new to prepare for your healthy eating regime (along with any lucky family members or guests you decide to also cook for), might want to check out this healthy and clean recipe — Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Spicy Black Beans, Avocado & Lime Cream. According to Clean Eating Magazine, this satisfying and meatless dish combines sweet and tender sweet potato with spicy beans and creamy avocado and yogurt. For the full recipe (including a printable version), click here.

Photo Source: Clean Eating Magazine

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12:50 pm - Posted by Gregg

Although the weather outside is getting colder, wetter — or both – there’s no excuse for not staying dedicated to your workout routines…especially during the holiday season when we’re all likely eating a little more than usual! And that means continuing your exercise program during winter months. Thankfully, the onset of winter doesn’t have to mean giving up the healthy habits you developed during warmer months. Here are a few ideas to keep you moving:

Like walking around the park? When winter hits, try walking around the mall instead. And this doesn’t mean while shopping. This means proper posture, arms pumping, heart pounding and you walking steadily past your favorite shops – rounding the first, second and even third floors – then starting all over again. And bonus for you if you take stairs to the different floors of the mall, rather than the escalators. Call your local mall to find out if they offer “Walkers hours” (meaning you’re able to access the interior of the mall before the stores even open up).

Like riding your bike? Consider investing in an indoor stationary bicycle (or perhaps asking Santa for one). Indoor exercise bikes can be a great investment and offer a great way to watch TV (but again, mind your posture and your pace to keep burning those calories). But beware of “The Curse of the Indoor Bike,” which often results in them becoming ‘clothes hangers’ or ‘towel dryers’ rather than exercise machines.

Like your lunchtime workouts? Try walking the halls of your office building during lunch – all of them. Or perhaps walk up and down your building’s stairways – adding more and more reps as the winter months progress. By the time warmer weather rolls around, you just might be ready for a marathon.

Like running errands? All movement is good. This means vacuuming your house can burn a few calories. As can doing sit-ups during commercials or shoveling snow after a big meal.Any exercise is good exercise – even if you just have 10 minutes to spare. In other words: stay active!

The beauty of exercise (indoor or out) is that it not only turns us into super hot things of beauty, it also reduces our risks of heart disease, high blood pressure, certain cancers, diabetes and even osteoporosis. So remember: There’s no excuse for not working out – no matter what the thermometer says.

For more information, check out these helpful links:

30-Minute Indoor Workout: Click Here

Winter Exercise Tips: Click Here

Exercise Bike Product Reviews: Click Here

Photo Source: Fit With Denise

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November 22, 2014

Thank you therapy

10:01 am - Posted by Gregg

As dieters, we often get caught up in what we don’t have (a certain waist size, skinny jeans, self-acceptance – you name it). This is why the Thanksgiving season can be a good reminder to be thankful for what we do have.

In fact, more and more researchers are finding that “Thank You Therapy” (reminding ourselves of reasons to be grateful) can help increase our happiness quotient, our self esteem and out overall outlook on life.

It doesn’t take a self-help guru to realize that this kind of changed attitude will attract a lot more reasons to be thankful — not to mention likely bring more positive results to our weight loss and overall health efforts. Therefore, why not take a cue from this season of gratitude and begin a Thank You Journal?

Any blank notebook or pad of paper will do. Once a day, list 5 reasons you have to be happy. They can be small. They can be big. But list 5, every day (many people do this at night, just before bed).

I often make entries in my gratitude journal in the morning – after my morning workout, but before I begin my workday. Sometimes I’ll doodle in the journal. Sometimes I’ll write down an inspirational quote I don’t want to forget. And other times I’ll makes lists of reasons to be grateful. For myself, doing this in the morning certainly has a positive effect on the rest of my day – not to mention on my diet and healthy eating efforts. Try it yourself, every day for a month, and see how it affects your “attitude of gratitude” – and, perhaps, even your physical health.

Here’s more information that will make starting a gratitude journal easy:

For a quick primer on keeping a gratitude journal: Click Here

For 5 ways to amp up your attitude of gratitude: Click Here

To learn about more ways that gratitude affects your overall health: Click Here

By the way, I would love for you to add comments below, letting me know some of things you’re most grateful for this 2014 Thanksgiving season. And while we’re on the topic, please know I’m sincerely grateful to all of you for helping to inspire me – and this blog – on a daily basis.

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