Halloween Candy Under 100 Calories [INFOGRAPHIC]

Happy Halloween! Enjoy your day without giving up a treat – just be smart about which one you choose. Click here before you dig into that trick or treat bag! Halloween Candy Under 100 Calories [INFOGRAPHIC].

All You Need to Know About Sports Nutrition


You can see the original and find out more about Now Foods and Now Fitness here.

Strong-Fit-Beautiful Turns 2!

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Today is an exciting day here at Strong-Fit-Beautiful … we are turning 2! I would have never imagined that, when I took my girl Helen’s advice and started writing about what I love, it would have turned into something so incredible. I’ve been blessed that, as a result, I’ve had a lot of great opportunities – and been able to share a lot of great stories and advice – along the way. I’ve “met” some great people from around the world who are here for the same reason I am – because health and fitness are my passion, my love, the one thing that I can always get excited to talk about.

One thing that a lot of people don’t know about me is that I’m not naturally as outgoing and enthusiastic as I am when fitness is involved. While there is no greater feeling than stepping in front of a class, and chatting with those who have, truly, become my friends week in and week out, I can be pretty shy. I have a hard time letting people in a lot of the time. Which is why I think that I love teaching – I have the opportunity to be someone else. To be the me I wish I was. To feel like, even if only for a short time, I’m not being criticized or judged. In a lot of ways, I get the same feeling when I’m sharing my posts and communicating with all of you – it’s incredibly rewarding. Makes me feel as if I’m making a difference. Having an impact. And at the end of the day, that is the one thing I want out of my life – to know that I have made someone’s life better.

When I first started Strong-Fit-Beautiful, I was in kind of a sad place. I’d recently  had my heart broken – again – and I often found myself wondering if I had wasted many of my “good” years, too focused on the things that didn’t mean as much to me, and not enough on the ones that really did. I felt like I’d done a lot of work, lived a lot of life, and maybe didn’t have too much to show for it. But the truth is, I have realized that it’s the lows that make the highs that much sweeter. And there really is something better just around the corner – and if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that when we feel we’ve been given all we can handle, the prize for surviving is within our reach (I can honestly say that in the last six months, I’ve had a lot more highs than lows … and everything kind of all hit at once … and yes, I wasn’t sure I could get any lower before that trend started a rapid climb upward). There have been many ups and downs since then, and though I don’t make a practice of sharing too much personal stuff too often, I’m glad to say that while life isn’t perfect right now, it is looking pretty good. I know that I have a lot of great people around me, supporting me, loving me and standing by me through those ups and downs. And I’m fortunate enough to do what I love part-time … even if it is only a few hours a week, teaching classes is truly the best food my soul could ever hunger for.

But enough of the sappy stuff, right? I’ve had a really great time writing Strong-Fit-Beautiful these last two years, and I’ve had some amazing opportunities come out of it. I’ve been fortunate to connect with some other incredible bloggers, both here in the U.S. and across the world. I’ve met a few of my readers here in the local area, and I’ve even enjoyed my five minutes of fame when one of my classes was featured on the morning local ABC news. I’ve had some great laughs from some of your comments (trust me, it makes me feel much more normal knowing that some of the same weird crap I see in my gym is not exclusive to my area … there are weirdos all over). More than anything, I’ve had FUN doing something I love (writing), and even more fun getting to discuss one of my favorite topics (fitness) on the regular.

So, to all of you who have helped Strong-Fit-Beautiful become what it is today … THANK YOU! You’re the best. As long as you’ll keep reading, I’ll keep sharing. I  know I haven’t been as good as of late about keeping up as I have in the past, but life has been crazy, so I’m trying my best (as my mom says, it’s tiring having a life, isn’t it? It’s something that’s kind of new to me). Here’s to another year of fun and fitness!


Back from My Hawaiian Adventure! (Part 1)

Hello again friends … long time no … uh, post? The last several weeks have been nothing short of insanity, and luckily, I was able to unplug, unwind, and take some time to just relax throughout the last week. But that certainly doesn’t mean that I spent my week in Hawaii sitting on my butt (although, truth be told, that is typically a big part of my beach vacations).

Last week, the boy headed to Honolulu for work for a few days, and with Valentines’ Day being last Friday and the Presidents’ Day holiday this past Monday, he invited me to join him out there for a little sand, surf and relaxation. We had both been working ourselves ragged lately, and it was a good excuse to get away from the winter that will never end (lucky for me, I flew out of D.C. about 12 hours before last Wednesday’s dumping of snow started falling).

One thing you have to know about both of us is that we are typically pretty active. I joke with him that his garage looks like a miniature REI. He’s an outdoor sports type. I’m more of a gym type, but I’ll try just about anything once. So needless to say, between the beaches, sites and fancy tropical drinks (in moderation, of course), we managed to stay pretty active. I tried a few new things. Saw some beautiful sites. Spent some time on former movie sites (we’ll get to that). And got a black eye.

So here’s Part 1 of the story:

I was informed going in that I would be learning to surf during our trip. Now, I’m typically a only as deep as my ankles kind of girl, so I was a little nervous as to how this would turn out. I was afraid I’d drown. Or get eaten by a shark. Or knock out my teeth. But I promised the boy I’d try. So I did … twice. Let’s say that while one instructor was not so great and left me unscathed (physically – emotionally may be a different story), the other was fantastic … and I came away with a story to tell.

We spent a few days in Waikiki, and apparently the gentle waves are perfect for new surfers. The boy claimed the waves were super-gentle (in fact, I think he was a little bored with them). Thus he hired pro #1 to show me what to do.

I was a little terrified of “Uncle Gil” from the start. He was this tiny man who I’m fairly sure was missing a few teeth, and kept talking about how he’d been surfing for 50 years (oh, and that he’d been in Vietnam). I’m usually the type who has to try something a few times before I get it down … and Uncle Gil took that as me not listening to him (because of course it wasn’t that he wasn’t explaining what he wanted me to do). Long story short, he yelled at me a lot, but I was able to get up a few times. I walked away thinking I was much better suited for beach sitting. And that Uncle Gil was terrifying. Desire to become a surfer? Zero.

But the boy was persistent, and once we made our way up to the North Shore a couple days later, surfing lessons were once again on my agenda. I will admit – and he knows this – I was less than thrilled with the prospect. If the waves outside of our hotel were any indication, I may be risking death. But Mike, the instructor (who was about 40 years younger than Uncle Gil – and a WHOLE lot nicer) assured us we were in good hands. So we loaded up into a van and drove to another beach not too far away to get started.

I’ll admit to being a little cranky-pants on the trip over there. I’ll also admit to perking up considerably when the girl who took us over to the site informed us that we’d be surfing on the beach that Hunger Games: Catching Fire was filmed (yes, I got a little fan girl. So what). It was a long swim out to the waves – definitely longer out than I think I’ve ever been in the ocean before – but, thankfully, the area was relatively shallow thanks to a reef (though the reef brought additional challenges: Would I break something? Would something try to eat me? Were there jellyfish?). Mike took his time finding what he called the “perfect wave” before he pushed us out – taking the time to explain what we were looking for, why it was important, and really just putting us at ease before we were thrust out into the wave. Needless to say, I started to get a little more of the why behind the how – and for me, that made a big difference. I still don’t know that I’d say I have much surfing in my future, but yes, I can see how it could be fun when you know what you’re doing. The boy claimed Mike told him I had great form, so maybe it is just a matter of practice makes perfect?

However, I did walk away from the lesson with a memory that will take a few days to go away… yeah, I got hit in the eye with the surfboard. Talk about one heck of a souvenir…

More on my adventures coming tomorrow … now this girl’s gotta get to bed in the hopes of lessening the chances of severe jet lag…

Don’t Be a “Resolutioner” – Be a Lifer!

So, you’ve made the decision to get fit this year. You’ve told everyone about your resolution, bought some new workout gear, and you’re ready to go.

Or are you?

This is a good question to ponder as you go about starting your new routine. It’s easy to get excited, but for many, that enthusiasm  wears off as time goes on, and what was once your goal for 2014 is now your “eh, maybe next year.”

What can you do to make sure your commitment to get fit turns into a lifestyle, rather than just a passing phase? Here are a few tips to try on for size:

Make a plan. Know your schedule, know your body, and know what you want to accomplish. I’ll never be an early-morning, before work workout person – but I have the discipline to still get to the gym every night. Find the time and place that works for you. It can be a gym, a studio, or that old treadmill in your basement or DVD in your living room, whatever you know you’ll enjoy doing.

Hire a trainer. Or nutritionist. Or both. Depending on your goals, you may need to bring in the expert. Most people (myself included) don’t realize how much they don’t know until they hire a professional. I went to the gym for six years before I hired a trainer … and in six months I saw more results than I did in those six years going it alone.

Share your goal … and stick to it. Peer pressure doesn’t stop in high school. If you really want to change your life this year, don’t your food-pusher family talk you into a doughnut, or your social circle force you to skip a workout. It’s your life, and you decide what you make of it.

Have FUN! Remember when you were a kid and you used to run around the backyard? It was fun, right? It was also exercise. So whatever you choose to do, make it fun, and you’ll be more likely to stick with it.  Find a class, a running group, or a workout partner to look forward to seeing when it’s exercise time.

Diets don’t work. Sporadic exercise doesn’t work. What does? Keeping with your commitment, and embracing a healthy lifestyle. I’m not saying treats are forever off the table (I’ll admit to my own killer sweet tooth), or that you have to live in the gym – but like so many other areas of our lives, it’s a matter of maintaining balance. You get out what you put in. It will not be easy. Some days you may hurt. Some days that cake may not stop screaming your name. You will fall down. But you have to get back up. Hope to still be seeing you around the gym in March!

Halloween Candy Calorie Countdown

Happy Halloween (almost) everyone! Hope you are enjoying the day of tricks and treats. I came across this great graphic that shows exactly what you may be getting (calorie-wise) out of those treats – be aware that those candy calories add up fast! Some of your better options? Choose a “mini” or two – you’ll get the taste, without a huge hit to your hips (or wherever your extra pounds tend to add up).

That said … a little candy won’t hurt you. Just be aware of how much and what quality you choose – there’s a big difference between one ounce of quality dark chocolate and a king size Snickers (do they even still make those?) Enjoy your Halloween!
Candy Calories [infographic]
Via: DegreeSearch.org