Spring Into March With Tower Garden!

I am so excited for spring!  The warmer weather that will start to move in, and the rain that will bring life and color are my favorite parts.  But this year I am most excited to plan my garden!  In the past, I have tried traditional gardening and raised bed gardening, but this year I’m taking my garden to new heights (pun intended ;) ) with a Tower Garden.

Tower Garden® is a state-of-the-art vertical aeroponic growing system. It’s perfect for rooftops, patios, balconies, terraces—just about any relatively sunny place outside. And with the brand new grow light system, it can even be used indoors and year round! This 2 minute video explains how the Tower Garden works.TG

Because of its unique aeroponic technology and vertical design, Tower Garden uses less than 10% of the water and land required by traditional, soil-based agriculture. And a recent study by the University of Mississippi found it also generates 30% more produce than soil-based growing methods.

I am so excited to save money AND have fresh, organic produce right outside my back door!  I think EVERYONE should spring into March with their very own Tower Garden!!

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Eat Like Crap, Feel Like Crap

Did you know that when you eat crap, you feel like crap? Do you ever feel tired, sluggish, bloated, grouchy or a little blah after a meal?  You know the feeling- those fast food fries that looked so good or that big greasy pizza you were so excited about, feel great going in, but then the sluggishness sets in. You may get a stomach ache or even a headache.

Something else happens too – you actually start craving those crappy foods. Have you noticed it? I certainly have! I love Chinese food, but immediately after I over indulge my stomach bloats and I feel crappy. Yet, I still want that same meal again, even crave it. And I actually feel hungry pretty soon after I’ve eaten! It creates a vicious circle that’s hard to break. But the exciting thing is that the opposite is also true! When I make that Chinese food at home instead of ordering out, I don’t get that bloat and sluggishness. That’s because I’m using fresh ingredients and leaving out the chemicals used in restaurants or prepackaged foods. My body is getting things it recognizes and needs! When we give our bodies empty calories that don’t contain nutrients (like sugary snacks, soft drinks and fast food), our bodies still need those essential nutrients we deprived it of – we become grouchy, HUNGRY, crave bad foods and get tired from lack of fuel.

When you eat good foods, you feel good. When you start giving your body proper nutrition, it craves those nutrients. Our body knows what to do with whole food nutrition – leaving us full, satisfied, and energetic from proper fuel. How exciting is that?! I have personally found this to be very true. When I am focused on giving my body good clean whole foods, I actually start looking forward to those foods- even craving things like fresh fruits and big salads.  But during those times that I am being more lax with my diet, allowing some of those not so good for me foods in more frequently, I immediately notice a spike in sugar and salt cravings! This is so eye opening for me. I make it my goal to put as many good foods in my body every single day as I can – not only because I know it’s fueling, repairing and replenishing my body, but because I know that I’m crowding out all that bad stuff, the empty calories that only hurt my body.
I am so excited to tell you about something that has helped me and my family with this goal of fueling our bodies with nutrients! By adding in Juice Plus, I can flood my body with nutrients every single day. Fruits and vegetables in a capsule or gummie give my family over 25 fruits and vegetables every single day, and that’s just a no brainier for me. Having these nutrients in our bodies every day makes us crave more nutritious foods (remember that eat good, feel good experiment). We make better food choices, and feel great – it’s a win win!
Since also adding in the Juice Plus Complete protein shake mix, I’ve really noticed my sugar cravings going away. During the holidays, I participated in a Transform 30 program using my Juice Plus products and I had SO much willpower! I drank 2 shakes a day and continued to take my trio capsules. I still very much enjoyed the holiday parties and get togethers, but I found that I was not craving dessert or over eating those things I used to fill my plate with at these events. And even now if I feel like I might want something sweet, I know that if I drink my Juice Plus Complete chocolate shake, that craving is satisfied. Plus I’ve given my body more whole foods in an organic, vegan, gluten free, non gmo DELICIOUS shake!
Juice Plus has been instrumental in helping my family stay on track with our clean eating lifestyle – helping us make those good food choices daily. Our immune systems are rock solid, our hair skin and nails are strong and healthy, our digestion is normal, we sleep soundly at night, and we have sustained energy throughout the day. I just can’t stop telling the people that I love and care about about Juice Plus!
Juice Plus is an easy #OneSmallChange that I also recommend to all of my clients. If you’d like to make Juice Plus a part of your daily routine, I would love to help you get started!

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Technology – The New Frontier in Health

The fitness industry has come a long way since Jack La Lanne opened the first health club in the US in 1936, and brought weight training into popularity in the 1950’s! Now, you can find a gym around most corners and health and fitness has become part of our American culture. But even with all the advancements in the popularity of the industry, a lot of us still struggle to make health and fitness part of OUR everyday lives. Even as a personal trainer, I find that I need tools to help hold me accountable for my own health and fitness goals. Luckily, with technology, we have so many tools at our disposal to help us in this journey!

One of the first things I have clients do when they begin on their health journey is start a food and exercise journal. I want them to record their physical activity, what they eat everyday and keep up with certain things like calories and sugar intake. In the past this has been a cumbersome task, needing a physical journal that they would need to keep with them all day.  The client would also need to be able to read labels and do some math to record the information accurately.  And if you didn’t record your meal right away, it was difficult to go back and track it.  But with some modern technology, this has become a much easier, and even fun, task!

My favorite app to recommend to clients to use as a journal is MyFitnessPal.  The reason I like this app so much is that it’s simple to record your meals because they have a database of foods already.  It can do the math for you based on serving size, and you can enter custom food items as well.  There is also a social media aspect with this app that can be very useful.  The client can decide to share their goals and daily entries with friends and then have  cheerleaders to keep up the good work, with me their trainer to help me design custom programming, or competitors if that’s what fuels them to try harder! Clients can also track their physical activity with MyFitnessPal as well, and it will even subtract your calories expended. MyFitnessPal is an overall great app, but especially for those wanting to lose weight. And it’s FREE!

One key element in health and fitness that a lot of people tend to neglect is sleep.  And for my clients that want to have all the same benefits of MyFitnessPal, and also track their sleep, I recommend purchasing a fitbit one or a fitbit charge.  Both of these have that sleep tracking benefit, along with tracking food and activity all throughout the day.  Another benefit of the fitbit is step counting. The client can sync the information with their smartphone and computers to help them see progress. Fitbit is a great tool for anyone wanting to keep track of their daily health and fitness!  The only downside is the upfront cost, which is actually pretty minimal.

I love to run, and I have several clients that train for various running events. My go-to recommendation is the NikePlus app!  It’s what I use when training for a race, and just for everyday running. I love the layout of this app, and the features are everything I am looking for to improve my runs – track your route, distance, pace, time, and calories.  You can also share photos, compare progress and get in-run cheers from friends to help motivate you even more! This is also a FREE app.

Interested in learning to run?  A great app for getting that first 5k under your belt is Couch to 5k.  This app is around $3, but it is worth it! Brought to you by Active.com, this app will help you spend just 20 to 30 minutes, three times a week, for nine weeks, and you’ll be confident and ready for your first 5k.

So what about overall health?  I was just introduced to a company called Oscar Insurance Corporation that offers health insurance in New Jersey and New York, and they provide each one of their members with a Misfit Band to track all their goals with the Oscar app with the ability to earn cash rewards each month! What a great incentive – I mean, who wouldn’t feel motivated with a little cash, right?!

Up until recently, all of my health data was stored in different places.  The doctor’s office has your medical records, the different health and fitness apps hold your physical activity record, a personal trainer might have your body measurements, but now, thanks to Apple Health, we can store all of our health and fitness data in one place! Heart rate, calories burned, blood sugar, cholesterol — your health and fitness apps are great at collecting all that data. “The new Health app puts that data in one place, accessible with a tap, giving you a clear and current overview of your health. You can also create an emergency card with important health information — for example, your blood type or allergies — that’s available right from your Lock screen.” – apple.com  And other apps, like the NikePlus app syncs directly to your Apple Healthkit. When your health and fitness apps work together, they become more powerful. And you might, too. I am just starting to use Apple Health myself, and I have to say, I recommend it!

So, in this world of constant technological advances, our health and fitness can be at our fingertips all day long.  This gives us powerful tools to help us reach those goals and stay on top of our health 365 days a year!  What are some of your favorite health and fitness tools that you would add to this list?