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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Knocked Up Fitness Review

I received product to review. No other compensation was given. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

As a pregnant momma and personal trainer myself, I get asked a lot, "What exercises can I do during pregnancy safely?"

It is a great question, and I am so happy to see so many women interested in staying active during their pregnancies. It is one of my Top 5 Healthy Must-Dos for Pregnancy, after all.

Most doctors and fitness professionals would agree that you can do most of what you were doing physically before you were pregnant while you are pregnant. The key is to listen to your body.

But, what about core work? What if I have back pain? What can I do to get my body ready for labor?
These are other great fitness topics that we pregnant women have, and thanks to Knocked-Up Fitness, you can have all the guidance you need to answer these questions and more!

Knocked-Up Fitness is a fabulous company that offers you all the help and information you need to look and feel your best throughout pregnancy and afterward.

I love their Prenatal DVD Set led by Erica Ziel, Master Pilates Instructor, Personal Trainer and mother of three. She is coming from a lot of experience, and she does a great job of showing moms-to-be how to strengthen and tone key muscle groups while preparing the body for labor, delivery, and recovery.

This workout set includes 2 DVDs, which offer you 7 different workouts to mix and match. Plus this set also includes a handy exercise band. You will also need a pair of light dumbbells and an exercise ball. I love the variety of exercises and the modifications to amp up your workout out or keep it at a lower intensity.
Best of all, you know everything is safe and beneficial for pregnant women! I love the energy boost, while also feeling peaceful, at the end of these workouts - two things all pregnant mommas need!

I also recommend The Knocked-Up Fitness Guide to Pregnancy book to go along with you on your pregnancy journey. Not only does it have over 50 exercises you can do during pregnancy and beyond, it also answers all your questions from each trimester and includes an entire section on how to start getting your body back after baby.

I love how simple it is to understand, practical, and even though this is my fourth pregnancy, I still learned a thing or two. I will be taking this book along with me to do on-the-go workouts when I am traveling. It is a great reference that you will go back to over and over again throughout your pregnancy!

Have no fear, moms, Knocked-Up Fitness totally has you covered when it comes to guiding you through fitness on your pregnancy journey and beyond!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Questions About the Affordable Care Act

This is a sponsored post. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

The Affordable Care Act provides primary care access to millions of Americans who formerly could not afford a primary care doctor. Now, however, there is a shortage of general practitioners to meet the needs of this new flood of patients. 

According to the federal government, there are 6,100 areas of the United States that have more than 3,500 people per primary care doctor. Also, medical students are increasingly reluctant to choose the path to general practice, so the number of general practitioners is declining as the number of patients is increasing. Federal and state governments are now looking to nurse practitioners to fill the gap.

General Practitioners vs. Nurse Practitioners

The National Governor’s Association examined and reported on several studies that show nurse practitioners give at least equal quality of care when compared to physicians. From the patient’s point of view, seeing a nurse practitioner can be more satisfactory because the NPs are usually able to give more time to the patient. Extensive comparisons of patients seen by MDs to patients seen exclusively by NPs show that both sets of patients have similar levels of health and mortality rates, and the patients of the NPs actually had better overall lipid levels.

New-found Independence for Nurse Practitioners

The role of the nurse practitioner is moving in a new direction. 19 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws granting nurse practitioners the ability to practice independently, that is, without a supervising physician. 19 other states have expanded the nurse practitioner's powers to treat and prescribe semi-independently. They would still be required to partner with a physician for part of patient care, such as prescribing strong painkillers.

The Financial Implications

With a shortage of doctors and a new independence for nurse practitioners, the federal government is eager to increase the number of NPs. They have increased funding for grants and fellowships for postgraduate nursing students. Most who work towards postgraduate nursing degrees have already started working as RNs to fund the remainder of their schooling. These federal grants allow students working towards their nurse practitioner degree to attend full-time, bringing them out into the market more quickly. 

Some people hope an increased use of NPs will decrease health-care costs, but NPs are currently fighting to receive equal pay for equal work. That is, if they provide the same services as a general practitioner, they should be paid the same.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Have You Tried Tart Cherry Juice?

Tart Cherry Juice - have you heard of it?

I actually tried it several years ago and fell in love with all its amazing benefits.

So, what is so special about this juice?

Tart cherries offer many benefits for runners, climbers and other athletes, as well as those suffering from gout, arthritis and inflammatory disease.  Runners in particular find that tart cherry juice reduces pain and inflammation, and aids in muscle recovery.  Tart cherries also contain natural melatonin, which promotes more restful sleep.

If you have ever known anyone who has tried tart cherry juice, I am sure they will quickly rave to you about how it has helped them! I personally have had great results with fighting inflammation and pain from hard workouts.

I have been using Elite Gold's tart cherry juice, and I just love it! It is first certified organic tart cherry juice I have tried, and that is a big deal to me. They care about the quality of their product, and I appreciate that.

For Best Results:
- Try 1 serving for dinner or 2-3 hours before bedtime
- Perfect as a mixer, fruit smoothies, cocktails
- Add to your favorite dessert, ice cream, yogurt, fruit, or pastry and BEYOND!

If you or someone you know has suffered from sleep problems, inflammation, pain, or bad cholesterol, this is a great natural solution! Try it and love it!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Support Talented Artisans and Win a $50 Gift Certificate

I received product to review for this post. No other compensation was given. All opinions expressed are 100% her own.

Have you ever heard of Novica? It is a website helping bridge the gap between talented master artisans from throughout the world and all of us as they present their handcrafted treasures.

If you haven't checked out their site, it is a must! Every product is unique and hand-made, so you know exactly who you are supporting with your purchases. I love seeing all the unique talented artisans and checking out their profiles. I am amazed by all the talent and beauty in the gifts you find.

I had so much fun shopping for everything from jewelry to kitchen decor, and I finally chose this gorgeous long gray rayon tunic. I love the cap sleeves, scoop neck, and how it narrows and drapes around the hips. 

 The best part is that I know my gifts from Novica have been hand-crafted with love and exquisite quality. I know exactly who I am supporting, and the finished product is perfect. The artist that created this shirt is from Bali and is named Tomomi. She does beautiful work!

Whether you are looking to spend $30 or $150, whether you are looking for a gift for a co-worker or your spouse, no matter who you are shopping for or what occasion it is, Novica will have a unique gift that fits perfectly!

 We are giving away (1) $50 Gift Certificate to Novica for (1) lucky winner to choose lovely gifts and support these awesome artisans! (open to all)

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Questions About How To Fix Your Teeth?

 This is a sponsored post. My thoughts are my own.

The importance of good dental health is stressed more these days than ever before, and part of the reason is the emphasis that is placed on an attractive smile as a cosmetic feature. While many people have been blessed with very white teeth that are evenly spaced, some individuals need dental work to achieve the beautiful smile they desire. There are a number of procedures that dental professionals offer to correct dental imperfections and improve the smile their patients present to the world. People living in Miami, Florida area are fortunate they are able to find a dentist in Miami who is able to provide the best in professional dental health services to patients of every age.

Dental health experts recommend that parents take their children to their first dental screening at the age of three or before. The primary reason for early dental screenings for children is to make the visit enjoyable and help them relax at future appointments.

Dental cleanings are an important part of preventative dental care, and can help the dentist to identify the development of periodontal disease. During a thorough cleaning, the hygienist carefully removes tartar above and below the gum line and alerts the dentist if any cavities or other dental problems are developing. Additional X-rays may be needed to help the dentist determine if additional treatment is needed to treat the problem.

Good dental health is important for the whole body, but many people will go the extra mile to make sure their smile is as attractive as possible. Sometimes teeth whitening is all that is needed to make already attractive teeth really stand out. The whitening process is relatively inexpensive and can be done safely at the clinic. 

Uneven, chipped or broken teeth can also be improved through the use of porcelain crowns or veneers. A chipped or broken tooth can be replaced with a crown or cap that perfectly matches the surrounding teeth, or porcelain veneers can be used to cover several damaged, stained or uneven teeth. If all the teeth are healthy but crooked, Invisalign is a clear plastic tooth straightening system that gradually moves the teeth into the correct position. Although braces are most often used to straighten the teeth of children, this clear brace system is often used successfully for adults.

While I personally had experience with braces when I was younger, these days I haven't had trouble with my teeth. I think a healthy diet, exercise, good sleep, and great habits of flossing and brushing can go a long way in preventing teeth issues.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

5 Healthy Must-Do's for Pregnancy

If there is ever a time to take care of yourself in life, it is most certainly before, during and after pregnancy. Now that I am pregnant with my fourth baby, I am getting a little more experience on what really feels good and nourishing for my body and my baby during these times. I hope that these tips help you along in some of the most important times in your life!

1. My first and probably most important tip is to get your vitamins and minerals. I personally take my Vitalizer strip of vitamins every single day. In fact I don't know that I have missed a day in years. As a personal trainer and nutrition consultant, I get asked a lot which vitamins or supplements I recommend. I always come back to Shaklee, because I did a LOT of research many years ago, when I started changing my health, and Shaklee was the one company that's purity and quality standards were optimal and met my standards. The reason I love my Vitalizer strip is because it has almost all the supplements I need in one little package. The strip contains probiotics, multivitamins, Vitamin B and C complex, all 7 Omega-3 fatty acids, the most potent form of Vitamin D, 26 antioxidants working together, and the full spectrum of vitamin E from all 8 natural forms. It helps with all these important aspects of health:
  • Bone health
  • Breast health
  • Heart health
  • Immune health
  • Physical energy
  • Reproductive health
  • Digestive health
  • Healthy hair, skin, and nails
2. Secondly, let me tell you something you may or may not want to hear. Exercise!!! I am not saying that you have to go hog wild and run a half marathon or start doing Crossfit. But I am saying that exercising on a regular basis - think 5 days a week or so for about an hour a day - will help you feel more energized, confident, stronger and more healthy. The benefits are nearly endless, but let me share a few.

Think about it this way. Let's say you were training for a marathon. You certainly wouldn't wait until race day to actually run your first steps of training. You would be training and running for months beforehand. The same thing applies to pregnancy. You have a huge athletic event coming up called labor and delivery. You don't want to go into it cold turkey. You want to strengthen and tone your body in preparation for this big event. Not only will it help labor go easier (if that's possible), but you will feel so much better during your pregnancy and you will recover much faster after you give birth. Yes, you will. Trust me. And when you have to resume all your responsibilities and all your parenting yourself just days after you give birth, you will NEED to recover as soon as possible.
This is two of my sisters and I running the Diva Dash 5K when I was about 12 weeks pregnant

I get questions all the time about what exercises you can and can't do during pregnancy. Listen to your body. Most likely, you will be able to do the same types of exercises you did before you were pregnant. I have always worked out through the very last days of my pregnancies, and it has been awesome! Not only has it helped me relieve stress, keep my body strong for birth, and given me energy for all the tired days, but it has also helped me lose baby weight fast and keep my core toned and able to bounce back fast. Just do it. :-) Feel free to check out all my Tabata workouts I have shared - they are only 20 minutes for a full body workout!

3. Drink tea - especially Nettle and Raspberry Leaf tea. Nettle leaf tea is a fabulous source of vitamins and minerals, including iron, vitamins A, C and K, and potassium. Raspberry leaf is helpful for toning the uterine muscles, which may help make contractions more efficient. It is also high in many nutrients, including vitamins C, E, A and B complex, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, and calcium.  I personally drink at least one cup every day. It gives me energy, relieves some of my nausea, and keeps me focused on putting healthy foods and drinks in my body.
I like to make a bit glass jar full of this tea, so I have a few days worth ready whenever I want some. I buy both teas in bulk from my local co-op, and use a couple tablespoon fulls of each in each batch I make. You can also add a little raw honey, if you want it sweetened.

4. "What you put into your body is what you get out." Have you heard that before? I'm sure you have. The thing is - it is true. When you add a baby into your body, this becomes even more of a truth. My next tip is about eating pure, organic, healthy food.
Words to live by!!! 
I cannot even begin to tell you how much of a difference this will have on you, your body and your baby. If you want more heartburn, constipation, weight gain, headaches, stomach upset, and swelling, then ignore me. However, if you want to feel your best, gain an appropriate amount of weight, deliver a happy and healthy baby, then please fuel your body and your baby's growth with good, wholesome food. Remember, packaged processed stuff isn't really food. If you are eating something that you could still eat after letting it sit in your cupboard a year, then that probably isn't a good choice. What I am talking about is the good stuff - fresh veggies, fruit, organic and grass fed meats, fish full of Omega-3's like Alaskan salmon, anchovies, sardines, safe herbs, coconut oil and other healthy fats, and lots of water. For more great information on what to eat, check out "Think You Know About Nutrition, Think Again!"

Don't forget about your baby. You are making a full person in there. Not getting enough calcium? Well, then baby is going to take it out of your bones. Not getting enough Omegas? Well, your baby's brain, eyes, skin and much more might suffer from that deficiency. If for no other reason, eat well for your baby. The choices you make right now are going to affect your child for the rest. of. their. life!

Often times, people don't know how good it feels to truly feel healthy. Try it and let me know what a difference it makes in you!

5. Give your mind a rest! Holy cow, do our minds work overtime or what? Does the word stress mean anything to you? The havoc that stress and a lack of rest takes on your body is huge! I never realized this until I started suffering from stress-related issues - neck aches, headaches, stomach pains...It is just no fun.

Here are a few ways you can curb that stress and give your mind a rest:
  • Take a nap! I try to get a nap almost every day. It is so refreshing to give my body time to rejuvenate, heal, and rest. Even a 15-20 minute nap makes a difference!
  • Sit in the peace and quiet for a few minutes and breathe deeply. Don't underestimate the power of a deep breath. It does wonders! Check out Proper Deep Breathing for great tips!
  • Try some yoga. I love prenatal yoga. It is so relaxing, while at the same time energizing your tired body. I enjoy still teaching yoga while I'm pregnant, as well as doing it at home. Check out What Yoga Can Do For You.
  • Read a daily devotion, take time to count your blessings and talk to friends and relatives. One of my favorite devotion books ever is Unglued by Lysa TerKeurst. It really keeps me focused on what's important when it is so easy to lose my cool. 
What do you like to do to pamper and take care of yourself while you are pregnant? Please share your tips and thoughts with us! I would love to learn from you as well.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Natural Breathspray Giveaway

I received product to review. No other compensation was given. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

How many times have you caught yourself wanting a stick of gum, a mint or something to get a bad taste out of your mouth. Since I've been pregnant with my fourth child, not only have I dealt with a lot of nausea, but I constantly feel like there is a bad taste in my mouth. Can anyone else relate?

The problem is, there is no way I want to put regular gum or breath mints in my mouth - not with all their artificial ingredients and chemicals.

Thank goodness for OraMD Breath - the newest product from one of my favorite companies - Trusted Health Products.

The biggest difference between OraMD Breath and other products is not the fact that their ingredients also kill the germs that cause bad breath, but the fact that they do it with 100% pure and natural ingredients – no chemicals of any kind. The 3 ingredients in OraMD Breath are a proprietary blend with special properties of almond oil, spearmint oil and peppermint oil. And this stuff works! In a clinical study OraMD Breath ingredients were found to kill all the types of periodontal bacteria which are the deadliest and worst types of mouth bacteria.

Here are a few more things to love about OraMD Breath:
  • One spray completely eliminates embarrassing bad breath
  • Kills the cause of bad breath
  • Ingredients also clinically proven to kill periodontal bacteria
  • Leaves a really fresh, clean feeling unlike anything you’ve experienced
  • 100% pure – no chemicals, sugar, alcohol or additives
  • Same formulation as OraMD Original
  • Each bottle contains about 60 sprays
  • The perfect companion to OraMD Original or Extra Strength 
I personally love this product! It is a perfect little bottle to have on hand with you at all times. Not only is it effective, but you can rest assured it is very safe. If you know someone suffering from bad breath, the OraMD products would be the perfect choice!

Great news! We are offering a great giveaway!   

We are giving away (3) bottles of Breath – 1 bottle to 3 separate winners – U.S., Canada, England and Australia only. Enter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 ***Also, for a limited time, the manufacturer is willing to offer my readers one FREE bottle. They said they would love to have our readers try out Breath and agreed to send one bottle FREE if our readers would pay a minimal shipping and handling charge. This is a one-time only offer! Click here to get your FREE bottle now!