The Fat Burning Margarita

The Fat Burning Margarita

This fat burning mocktail with apple cider vinegar will get your morning off to a great start and make your digestion system happy too.

I have been hearing a lot lately about apple cider vinegar (ACV) and how it can help with weight loss and gut health. I was just shooting it strait in a shot glass, until I went on Tosca Reno’s Wellness Retreat. That is where I learned about Wetter Water. The ACV contains potassium which is an electrolyte as well as the salt.  The lemon or lime juice makes it quite a bit more palatable and helps add some vitamin C into your diet.

I have been trying to drink this consistently for the past month along with eating pretty clean and it has help me shed about 5 pounds. My girlfriend and I are following a plan we are calling the Slow 30.  It is a program we made up that follows the Whole 30 way of eating with the addition of having a cocktail or wine on the weekend. I have also been lifting heavier weights using a program by Pancakes and Pushups.

Speaking of weights, wetter water is a great post workout recovery drink as it can replace the electrolytes lost during your work out as well as help rehydrate you. Instead of reaching for that Gatorade, make yourself some wetter water!

I have finally got my husband drinking it and he is dropping weight as well. He loves cocktails so I have named this drink the Wetter Water Margarita. Fresh lemons or limes are best when available but you could certainly use bottled juice. Just make sure there is no sugar in it.  I have a bottle of lemon juice in the fridge and throw a shot of that in the concotion when I am out of fruit. Be sure and buy the apple cider vinegar that says “with the mother” on the label. The amount of water in the recipe is just a recommended amount. I can drink it pretty strong and like to get down so I only use about a half cup of water. If that seems to strong for you, feel free to dilute it your liking by adding more water.

If you want to shed a few pounds adding a Wetter Water Margarita to your daily regimen of healthy eating and exercise will help.

Wetter Water Margarita
Prep Time
5 mins
Total Time
5 mins
 
Servings: 1
Ingredients
  • 1 whole fresh lemon or lime, juiced
  • 1/4 tsp course sea salt
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar with the mother
  • 1/2-1 cup water
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in glass of choice. Mix well and drink.

 

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Technology to Make Your Home Smarter and Life Easier

Technology to Make Your Home Smarter and Life Easier

I recently had the chance to try out some smart home products thanks to Verizon Wireless. I had a great time trying out these handy devices and loved how each one made life just a tad bit easier in its own way.

It is now time to send them back, but first I will give you a quick overview of these handy gadgets.

The Ring Doorbell This easy to install doorbell works with an app and can that notify you when there is motion at your door or when the doorbell buttons is pushed. With a built in camera and video recording service you are able to answer your door from your phone and talk to whomever my be visiting.

My favorite feature of this device was the ability to catch the video of what was happening when the doorbell was pushed. This allowed me to decide if I needed to answer the door or if it was just UPS ding dong ditching me a package.

The Nest Learning Thermostat This handy thermostat learns your habits. After adjusting the temperature consistently at certain times of the day, this thermostat learns what temperature you like and what time you want it. After a few days it will start doing it for you automatically. If you like to turn the temperature up or down before going to bed, this smart thermostat can do it for you. It also learns that when it is adjusted from heat to cool that the season has changed.

With the connected app it is easy for you to adjust the temperature from where ever you are. Energy saving features allow you to choose away options if you will be gone for sometime. When you are ready to return, just set the temperature desired from the app and the perfect temperature will welcome you home.

I travel quite a bit and will adjust the temperature before I leave to save some money. My favorite feature of this device is the ability to adjust the temperature via the app so my home is the perfect temperature the moment I walk in the door.

The Nest Protect This device detects both smoke and carbon monoxide. In addition to the different alarm signals, one for smoke and one for CO, this device also speaks and tells you what is wrong. If you have multiple Nest Protects installed throughout the house, the device can tell you which room the problem is in. This device connects to an app and will message your phone if something goes wrong. This Nest Protect uses a battery and instead of just beeping it will tell you when the battery is low or needs replaced.

Nest Protect continuously tests itself with the nightly promise feature. When you turn out the lights for the night, Nest Protect will glow green for a moment which means everything is working. If it glows yellow that can indicate the wifi is down, a battery is getting low or another issue. Just push the Nest Protect button or check the app to see what the issue is.

My favorite feature of the Nest Protect is that it tells you which alarm is having the issue or needs the battery replaced. I am ready to switch out our smoke alarms with these devices as the ones we have now are hardwired with a battery back up. When one alarm goes off they all do and it is always about 3 a.m. It gets very frustrating at times as it’s hard to tell which one is low. We had one alarm that would never stop beeping even though it had new batteries. My husband finally through it out in the street and ran over it with the truck! If only it could have told us what was wrong!

Verizon Wireless also sent me the Google Home to try out. I absolutely loved everything that handy device could do which you can read about here.

For more information on the Nest line of products or the Ring doorbell visit the Verizon Wireless website.

Disclosure: Although, I was compensated by Verizon Wireless to review these products, all opinions are my own.

Google Home Voice Activated Speaker Review

Google Home Voice Activated Speaker Review

The Google Home voice activated device has just become my best friend. I recently had the chance to spend some time with this personal assistant thanks to Verizon Wireless. They loaned this device out to me to test for a few weeks and now it is time to say goodbye and send it back.

It is definitely more sorrowful than sweet as we part as I have gotten quite used to all the amazing things this little gadget can do.

 

Below are a list of some of my favorite features of the Google Home.

The ability to play music mixes. Much like Pandora, you say, Okay Google play music by (insert favorite artist) and Google will play a radio mix of that artist along with similar ones right through the built in speaker without commercials. If the music seems to loud or to soft you can also ask it to increase or decrease the volume and when you are finished listening just tell it to turn the music off.

Built in dictionary. This became my husbands favorite feature as he is a terrible speller. As he is tapping out his emails and came across something he could not spell he would  ask, “Hey Google how do you spell ____________.”

Got a question? Google has the answer. I am currently following a fitness and nutrition program which you can read about here. One of the suggestions on this is to try and drink a gallon of water a day. Since my water bottle is marked in ounces I had to ask, “Hey Google, How many ounces are in a gallon?” Within seconds I get the response that one U.S. gallon equals 128 ounces.

We are fairly new to the city we live in and Google home was able to answer my questions about the closest library branch location, closest pharmacy, grocery store etc…  It will even tell you the hours of business. If you know the address where you are going or even the name of the business and city, it will tell you how long it will take you to get there or how many miles away the location is.

If you are headed out of town, Google can find hotel accommodations located in the area you will be traveling, tell you what the weather will be like and how long it will take to get there.

To keep track of my daily activities, Google can set timers and create shopping lists, If you set up a payment method and delivery address, Google can order items for you and have them shipped right to your door. Just say, Hey Google, order me some paper towels or whatever you may be needing.

The Google Home device is super smart and quite handy to have around. The device is quick to get you the answers you need and would be an amazing partner to have on your Trivial Pursuit team, if anyone even plays that anymore.  Maybe now with Google Home device the game will make a comeback since with the help it can provide people can actually answer those darn questions.

I wish to thank Verizon Wireless for loaning me out the Google Home device, but am disappointed I have to send it back. It will surely be missed.

For more information on the Google Home device visit the Verizon Wireless website.

Getting Fit After 40 with Pancakes and Pushups

Getting Fit After 40 with Pancakes and Pushups

Okay friends, so I have been invited by Sloane Davis of Pancakes and Pushups to try out her Kickstarter plan to get me fit after 40, which is actually 46 in my case….

This is way out of my comfort zone but I feel like sharing my journey of getting fit with you, will help keep me accountable. I have been wanting to get in shape for a long time.  And by shape I don’t really mean losing weight.  I am fairly happy with what I weigh as it is the normal range with my height of 5’10. At least that is what those doctors charts say. But as you can see by the pic, which I cannot believe I am sharing, there is not much muscle tone and I am looking pretty flabby!

My goal is to decrease my body fat percentage and gain muscle and definition.  I am going for a certain look not weight! With muscle weighing more than fat, it is possible my weight could go up and I am okay with that as long as I am seeing the changes in my body shape. One of my main goals is to get rid of these craters and dimples that have overtaken my thighs as you can see in the pics below, which I can’t believe I am sharing either!!  I’m thinking I also need to see a vein doctor because as you can see,  things are not looking good!

So this is where I get open and honest with you. I have had a little “work done” to help with some of the body changes. After having my kids in 1993 and 1994 and still being asked 5 years later if I was pregnant, was the last straw for me.  I was determined to lose the weight and did.

After the weight loss, there was a lot of loose skin just hanging around so I had a tummy tuck in June of 2000.  It was one of the best decisions I have ever made and if you are contemplating having one, do it! You will not be sorry. Now I’m not going to lie, the recovery is fairly intense but is short lived considering the long term benefit. Just make sure you have a good caregiver to help you for a week or so after.

Having the tummy tuck boosted my self confidence and motivated me to lose even a little more weight by working out and learning how to eat right using the Eat Clean Diet® by Tosca Reno whom I love and adore. I recently attended a wellness retreat she hosted that you can read about here. I am set to go to another one in October, you should come too! Get those details here.

Since then even while restaurant and food blogging, I have been able to stay in fairly decent shape, that was until September of 2013. That is when my husbands job moved us from Kansas City, MO to Wichita, KS., which I thought I could handle but was wrong.

Not only did we move but, both of our kids went away to college and after being a stay at home mom for 19 years, I was quite thrown for a loop and did not adjust well to the changes. We moved in September of 2013. I could barley eat and was not in a good place emotionally.

I lost about 10 pounds of weight but it was from not eating so my lean mass disappeared. My husbands new job required quite a bit of travel and since I had no reason to stay in Wichita alone, I would tag along. Overtime my appetite came back. A lot of the travel included dinners and events that had plenty of cocktails and wine at arms length. I did continue to exercise but not enough to out train my bad diet of overindulging in the food and wine. I was also taking Zoloft which causes weight gain and I am sure some hormonal changed did not help either. By the spring of  2016, I was 20 pounds heavier than when we moved. Then factoring in the 10 pounds I had lost in the first few months after we moved that was 30 pounds I had gained over the course of 2 1/2 years.

By summer of 2016,  I was having to buy all new clothes because nothing fit! Enough was enough and it was time for a change.  Since September 2016, I have been working on losing the extra weight.  I did an extreme diet earlier this year. It was a supervised program through a doctor that is supposed to preserve muscle and burn fat. I have been doing body composition scans since September of 2016 to monitor my progress. The scan breaks down your body weight into how much is fat mass and how much is lean mass or muscle.

To really find out if the theory of this diet that claims to preserve the muscle while burning the fat was true, I did a scan before and after. My goal was to lose 10 pounds which I did in 19 days. Although I had lost weight, I was quite depressed as the results of my post diet scan showed only 3 pounds of it was fat and the other 7 lost was lean mass.

I found out about Sloane Davis of Pancakes and Pushups through an email that shared some tips on staying fit while traveling. I travel all the time and really liked what she had to say and shared that info here.

You can find out about Sloane’s programs here.

Wish me luck!

Airline Compliant Carry-On Travel Essentials

Airline Compliant Carry-On Travel Essentials

These travel essentials that are airline compliant can be put in your carry-on bag and will save the day should something go awry!

I have been traveling quite a bit over the past few years and am guilty of being an over-packer. After some trial and error have finally scaled down my bag but always include these travel essentials in my carry-on.

Whether I need to wipe down my tray table, my face, hands or take a spit bath when stranded in the airport.  I love these chemical free Waterpura wipes. I received these as a sample and have fallen in love with them.  I don’t see any sample packs available for sale on the website, so I will be investing in a travel wipe container as the next package I get will be way to large to carry-on

 

I am usually not a fan of the hotel soaps and shampoos and like to bring my own. I found these great containers at an IKEA store in Dallas.  I cannot find them online to give you a link.  They could be an in-store product only. The banded labels came from the Container Store.

IKEA Travel Containers

If your shoes start rubbing you the wrong way, the Fab Feet stick from target will help prevent blisters from forming. The tinted sunscreen from Chanel I found at Macy’s and that with a little tinted lip balm from Pacifica can help brighten up your complexion after a long day of travel. I also love the roll on perfume from Pacifica. It is lightly scented and easy to pack.

To freshen up my breath I love the Mouthwatchers travel toothbrush. MouthWatchers uses antimicrobial patented silver technology on its bristles which eliminate 99.9% of bacteria build up on the toothbrush bristles. The special designed bristles are thinner than that of other toothbrushes which clean in between teeth better and adds a flossing effect.

Mouthwatchers Toothbrush

I love having a pill box when traveling and fill it with prescriptions, pain relievers and any other medications or supplements I want to have on hand.

For a quick fluff of the hair, a travel brush and pony tail holders are a must. Tissues, mints, hand sanitizer, glasses, contacts, saline are a few of my other essentials. I always have a nail file and a little travel size of nail polish remover pads.

To put it all together,  the non liquids go in a zipper pouch from re-pac bags and for liquids we all know by now they must be in a TSA approved container.  Mine is a zipper package that some pillow shams came in.

Instead of spending money on those packaging cubes, save those clear zipper pouches that a lot of sheets or bedding comes packaged in. They make great packing cubes for items that will go inside your checked luggage. I love using them to organize my workout gear, swimsuits, accessories and anything else I want to keep from getting mixed into my other clothes.

Now that you have all of your carry-on items packed.  What is the best bag to use to put them in? I love a bag that has multiple storage areas like my Tumi bag.  It fits my laptop, carry-on essentials, sunglasses, snacks, chargers, headphones and pretty much whatever else I need while still being slim and compact.

I would love to hear some of your ideas on packing for travel and what essentials you take in your carry-on.

Safe Travels!

Sharm

Tips For Staying Fit While Traveling

Tips For Staying Fit While Traveling

Staying fit while traveling can be tricky. Whether you are busy traveling due to summer and vacations or work takes you on the road, these handy tips from Sloane Davis of Pancakes and Push-Ups will help keep you on track.

HOW TO STAY FIT WHEN TRAVELING

By Sloane Davis

Trying to stay fit and healthy can be challenging when traveling. I always tell my clients that the goal should be to maintain, not gain while away. And while I am an advocate for living life and enjoying all that is has to offer, going on vacation shouldn’t become a free for all to throw in the towel when it comes to health and fitness.

A common question I receive from many prospective clients is “I am going on vacation soon. Should I wait to start the plan or start right away?” My answer is always this: There is never a “good” or “easy” time to start. You have to learn to live a healthy lifestyle which is what my plans aim to do. In other words, start the plan today. That way, when it does come time for vacation, you have the tools you need to maintain, not gain.

While you won’t track every food that goes into your mouth on vacation, subconsciously you are much more aware of how your meals should look and be balanced if you are following a plan prior to vacation. I can’t tell you how many clients come back to have not gained an ounce. THAT is WINNING!

Here are some tips to help you stay fit and healthy when traveling:

Drink a lot of water – Lots of walking, hours spent outside in the sun… traveling can be exhausting. The airplane ride alone will dehydrate you from the altitude. I love to take a reusable water bottle and fill it up after I pass through security to take on the plane with me. This ensures that I am drinking throughout the flight and don’t have to wait for the flight attendants to serve me. And when they do come to serve, take it! Drink all the water you can. You will feel so much better getting off the plane hydrated instead of tired, queasy, tight, and drained.

When you get to your destination, continue to drink water. Incorporate foods that also contain a lot of water such as lettuce, watermelon and cucumbers.

Stick to your normal routine as much as possible: Just because you are away doesn’t mean you have to throw in the towel and eat everything in sight. This goes especially for all inclusive resorts or a buffet. Just because you pay for something doesn’t mean you have to overdo it. Breakfast included in the hotel? Stick to an omelette, a piece of toast or oatmeal, some fresh fruit and one “treat.” You don’t need muffins, bacon, hash browns, pancakes AND french toast if you normally don’t eat that at home. That’s just being a glutton. Pick one savory food and enjoy it. Tomorrow is a new day and a few hours later you will be eating your next meal again.

Keep things in moderation: You don’t have to have everything in one day. Bread, alcohol, dessert all add up at one meal. All 3 along with your meal could mean your total daily allowance of calories or more. So pick one, and choose another the following day. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

If you tend to eat more at night, then keep your breakfast and lunch on the lighter side. If you know you are going to have a few cocktails for happy hour then moderate your intake during the day. It is all about balance.

Try to keep active: If you normally workout daily then try to go to the gym half the amount of days you are on vacation. Vacation is just that…a break, so don’t feel like you have to hit the gym at 7am each morning to feel good about yourself. Let go of some of the stress. Go for a walk, enjoy the outdoors and do something entirely different then you are used to.

If there is no gym and you do want to workout, pack resistance bands. They are super light and there are so many exercises that you can do with them (see my video on how here) . You could also incorporate some body weight exercises or plyometrics in your hotel room (see hotel room workout video here). Just 20 minutes a day will make you feel a whole lot better and most likely help you make better decisions throughout the day.

Have the willpower to stay on track: I know sometimes this is easier said then done, but I can guarantee that you will feel so much better coming home from a vacation knowing you enjoyed it yet didn’t gain a pound rather than coming home 5 pounds heavier only to have to work it back off. We all know how easy it is to put weight on and how difficult it is to take it off. Just a few minor tweaks each day while away can mean the world of difference.

You are stronger than you think. Choose your battles while you are away. Don’t cave into defeat. You can do it! Vacation is so much more than eating everything in sight. Take the time to enjoy those you spend it with, the scenery, and the culture it has to offer. The food is just a bonus, not the entire package.

Sloane Davis is a Certified Nutritionist and Personal Trainer who has helped thousands of people, both men and women, around the world get in to top shape both mentally and physically. Sloane has her undergraduate degree in Bachelor of Arts from Syracuse University and became accredited through ISSA with her degree in Sports Nutrition and Personal Training. She works personally and online with thousands of clients around the US and globally.

She has been featured in People, Fitness Magazine, New Beauty Magazine, Apple News, The Daily Mail, Yahoo News, Westchester Magazine and Fox 5 Good Day New York.