Microsoft Band 2 Review

Microsoft Band 2 Review

One of my goals for 2016 was to purchase either a Microsoft Band 2 or the Fitbit Charge HR. I went with the Microsoft Band, and I was really excited because I have a Windows Phone, which means I could use the full functionality of the band including Cortana. But I ended up sending it back within two days.

The Microsoft Band 2 was a huge disappointment for me, for a few different reasons.

  1. Not easy to set up out of the box.
  2. It didn’t count my steps worth crap.
  3. It only tracks your heart rate every 10 minutes, not continuously (unless it’s in exercise mode).
  4. The information the app provides is pretty useless and not very in depth.
  5. For $250, there are a lot of “features” that are useless.
  6. It’s extremely uncomfortable, especially if you’re on a computer all day like I am.
  7. It has a lot of frivolous sensory information that you can’t even access.

Let’s look at each of these individually because I’ve got a few things to say… (more…)

How Much Water is Enough?

How Much Water Is Enough?

We’ve all heard the old saying:

Drink eight 8 oz glasses of water a day.

But recent research has shown that this is an arbitrary number and that eight glasses of water a day isn’t really necessary.

Or is it?

There are a lot of factors to consider when trying to figure out how much water or fluids you need to drink on a daily basis. (more…)

Working Out with Chronic Pain

Working Out with Chronic Pain

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen my post a couple weeks ago about how my workout didn’t go so well.

Most of you probably don’t know, but I suffer with chronic pain from a car accident 20 years ago. The accident left me with a neck injury and chronic migraines and also triggered degenerative disc disease and osteoarthritis in my neck and osteoarthritis throughout my body (my neck, hips and knees, particularly on my right side).

For the most part, my pain is managed made tolerable with pain killers and muscle relaxants. (more…)

2016 Reading Challenge

2016 Reading Challenge

I LOVE to read. One of my fitness goals this year is to make time to read, specifically two hours a day. So far, I haven’t had a chance to start with an hour! Let alone get two hours in!

But today, I picked 36 books (out of thousands saved to my Amazon Cloud ready to download) that I plan to read this year in an effort to encourage me to hit that two hour reading goal. My book goal is 40, so that gives me four “wild card” books.

There are two books on my list that I started last year but haven’t finished yet, which is probably cheating a bit. But, I’m less than 50% through both books (The Martian and LZR 1143 Infection) so most of the reading will be done this year. 😀 (more…)

Fitness Goals for 2016!

Fitnes Goals 2016

It’s that time of year again! Time to re-evaluate your life’s direction and set new goals and dream new dreams. I love this time of year. Who doesn’t love a fresh start?

This year, I’m being much more specific with my goals. I’m setting specific and detailed goals and including steps to reach those goals. So without further ado, here are my goals for 2016!

Fitness Goals

Work on getting more workouts in per week (be more consistent).

Instead of three to four times a week, try for five or six times. I also need to get back on schedule. so the plan is:

  • Go to bed at 9pm, which means starting my bedtime routine at 8pm so that I’m in bed with my eyes closed by 9pm.
  • Get up everyday at 04:45 am so that I have plenty of time for long workouts. If I’m doing a shorter workout that day (because of fatigue from a previous workout or bad night’s sleep) I’ll use the extra time to read.
  • No rest days on days I go into work. This will give me at least four workouts a week and then I can rest on Friday, workout on Saturday and rest on Sunday.

Although I do admit that I did better in December than I have all year. I actually burned over 7,000 calories. (more…)

How to Lose Weight During the Holidays

Holidays

 

If you’ve ever tried to lose weight during the holiday season, you know how hard it is to avoid overeating and splurging at the dessert table. I, personally, load up on carbs. I LOVE mashed potatoes, stuffing and red velvet cake, which is really bad for someone who is pre-diabetic!

So, is it even possible to lose weight during the holidays?

Yes, and here are a few tips to help you to lose weight this upcoming holiday season… or at least help you avoid gaining weight!

1. Don’t Combine Alcohol and Dessert

As much as you want to, don’t drink your alcohol with your pumpkin pie. Try to have one or the other, but if you feel you have to have both, space out alcohol and cake by a couple of hours. Eating both together will cause your body to go straight into fat storing mode.

2. Eat Slowly

Savor each bite. Really enjoy your meal. Studies have shown that people who are mindful while they are eating, not only eat less, but are also more satiated after a meal.

3. Start Your Day with Caffeine

AM Caffeine

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Let’s Do a 30 Day Ab Challenge!

30 Day Ab Challenge

I hate ab workouts!!

I really do.

I’ll do cardio all day long, hand me some weights we’ll do some fusion weight training, I’ll even happily work those trapezius muscles that give me migraines.

But don’t make me do ab exercises… please….

I have no idea why I have such an aversion to planks and crunches considering I so desperately want that beautiful flat stomach. But damn it, I avoid them like the plague. (more…)

Why Most People Don’t Reach Their Fitness Goals

Why most people don't reach their fitness goals

The past few weeks, I haven’t been able to get up and workout more than once during the week, twice if I was lucky.  Unfortunately, I’m not really sure why. My stress levels are much lower than they were back in August, although finances are tight. So I can’t blame stress.

But I also haven’t been able to stick to my diet. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen exactly what I mean. I’ve been eating Oreo cookies (which are full of high fructose corn syrup), 3 Musketeers bars and potato chips, despite me packing my lunches with snacks. Plus, there were those donuts that a coworker brought in…

The Donuts

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Vegan Tuna with Red Pepper

Vegan Tuna with Red Pepper

About a year ago, I posted a Vegan Tuna Salad recipe that I absolutely fell in love with. The only problem with it was that it called for vegan mayo, which we usually made from scratch using cashews. But you know what? Cashews are freakin’ expensive! So making homemade mayo doesn’t happen all that often on our currently excruciatingly tight budget.

But I was really craving something other than a burger for lunch. I wanted a sandwich. A yummy one.

Necessity being the mother of invention, I decided to make a another version of this vegan delicacy. I was surprised that it came out so well considering I really only had two of the ingredients the original recipe called for.

Vegan Tuna with Red Pepper Finished

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The Myth About Calories In vs Calories Out

The Myth About Calories In vs Calories Out

I’m am constantly asked how I’ve lost 52lbs. Aside from getting 10,000 steps daily (half of which come from my workouts), it’s about calorie allotment. But I constantly hear:

“What did you do? I can’t seem to budge the 20lbs I want to lose.”

For many people it’s a constant struggle to get in daily exercise or maintain a healthy diet, let alone lose a few pounds. I have found that there are two things most people don’t understand about weight loss:

  • Calories in vs calories out
  • Not all calories are created equal

Calories In vs Calories Out

This is probably the most misunderstood thing about weight loss. Most people know you have to have a caloric deficit in order to lose weight, but they don’t understand exactly what that means.

10,000 Steps

Ensuring that you take 10,000 steps a day will burn extra calories!

There are a number of apps and calculators out there to help you determine what your caloric deficit should be based on weight, height, how much weight you want to lose per week and BMR (basal metabolic rate). In fact, My Fitness Pal is a great tool for this.

BUT, just because MFP says you need to eat 1500 calories a day doesn’t mean that’s what you are supposed to eat. Let me explain. (more…)