Monday, December 26, 2011

My heartfelt message for you going into the new year

Dearest Friends,

I've come to learn that no matter what kind of relationship you're in, a relationship is a place you go to give. It's not a place where you go to "deserve", or "owe". The latter two are not a thing of love but a thing of fear. If two people are in a relationship to give to one another, they would then have balanced their needs and wants, and given just a little more weight to the other's happiness.

In a true partnership, the kind worth striving for, the kind worth insisting on, and even, frankly, worth divorcing over, both people try to give as much, or even a little more than they get. "Deserves" is not the point. "Fair" is not the point. And "owes" is certainly not the point. The point is to make the other person as happy as we can, because their happiness adds to ours. The point is—in the right hands, everything that you give, you get. If both partners are in it to give to the other, then somehow life's inevitable challenges can become a much smoother, healthier, happier ride.

So for this holiday season, let's be reminded to not only give during the holidays, but to give all year... everyday. It doesn't have to be materialistic. A priceless gift of acknowledgment, understanding, compassion, even a smile, a hug... doesn't matter what it is or how you do it just as long as your intentions are truly to make the other person's day a little brighter without expecting anything in return. This unconditional way of being is the thing that makes you rich! Makes you feel alive! It can truly nurture your spirit and empower you like nothing else in this world can...

...I want to thank you for letting me into your homes and into your hearts through the videos, articles and news I share on Wellness With Penny.com. I'm grateful for your friendship and the inspiration it gives me to be able to do what I do. I hope that in some small way I've been able to nurture your mind, body and spirit through my work. Thank you for giving me the chance to do so.

Happy holidays to you and yours! I look forward to learning more and sharing more with you in the new year.

xoxo Penny

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

10-Minute Home Workout Series 7: Seriously Sexy Legs



Try this "Seriously Sexy Legs" workout I've put together to tear your legs up so they can build back stronger, leaner and meaner! J

Gentlemen, don't be fooled by the title of this workout — it's not designed just for the ladies. It's tougher than it looks! The best part? You can do it right where you are!

The many variations of squats combined with cardio intervals consisting of explosive plyometric-type moves is just the thing you need to challenge all your leg muscle fibers and target them from different angles; activate all your stability muscles and recruit other muscles you didn't even know you had!

Depending on the intensity you put into it, the cardio itself will get your heart racing for all the right reasons! So with all these methods combined, you'll burn a ton of calories while strengthening and sculpting some seriously sexy legs. :)

The list of leg exercises for this workout (in order from start to finish):

20 Squats 
10 Jump Squats
10 Burpees
20 Frog Squat (with Heel Raise)
10 Burpees (with 2 Forward Jump Squats and 2 Backwards Jump Squats)
20 Sumo Squats
10 Plie Jumps
20 Prisoner Squats
10 Burpee (with Wide Leg Jump Squats)
20 Reverse Lunge (with lean over and reach – 10 reps each leg)
10 Lunge Jumps
20 Snowboarders
20 Lateral Lunge Reach
20 Skater Glide Lunges

Make sure to perform an overall body warm up before going into this leg workout. Try running on the spot and jump jacks for a minute each. (To learn more, click here.) Then, introduce the exercises to the body by performing several reps of each move from the workout, moving through each one slowly, focusing on form, and allowing the body to warm up further and adapt to the moves. This can prevent injuries and help you move through the workout more effectively. 

For the next few weeks, you could try a 3-day-a-week plan. Example: do this workout on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. This is to allow enough rest time between the workout days so the legs can recuperate. However, in the first week, you may only be able to do this workout twice a week because you might feel really sore and will need extra rest days. So in that case, you could perform the workout on Monday and allow for full recovery and perform again on Friday. 

Please don't overdo the workout because the recovery days are very important as your legs will need those days to repair and come back even stronger and tighter. If you overdo it without giving it sufficient rest days, you might hinder the process. Saying this, however, if you're not hitting this workout hard, at high intensity, then by all means do it as often as you like. You could try doing it every other day, or try a two-days-on-and-one-day-off routine.

After some time doing the reps I suggested, you could try a different approach. Get creative so you don't hit a plateau. Try 50-second intervals with 10 seconds rest between each move. Change the time, sets and reps, and even add weights to add challenge. Don't be afraid to experiment!

Learn to challenge yourself and keep things exciting! You can repeat the entire workout for an extra set so to really challenge yourself and see results sooner. Yes, this workout will be more than 10 minutes depending on your fitness level. But I promise it will be worth every minute of sweet torture! :)

BONUS TIP:
Best thing to have after the workout is a protein shake. It can be plain old 100% iso whey protein powder mixed with water, or you can get fancier and make it a delicious smoothie. To find out more on why and how, just click here.


Join the Wellness Movement! Start here, right now, with this 10-Minute Home Workout Series 7: Seriously Sexy Legs.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Beauty surrounds us each moment. Have you noticed?

Take time out to notice the beauty that surrounds you. We live in a world that is truly abundant. Don't miss out simply because you don't believe that this is so.. Please read this heart-felt story...


"In Washington DC, at a Metro Station, on a cold January morning in 2007, a man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, approximately 2000 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

After about four minutes, a middle-aged man noticed that there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds, and then he hurried on to meet his schedule.

About four minutes later, the violinist received his first dollar. A woman threw money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.

At six minutes, a young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.

At ten minutes, a three-year old boy stopped, but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head the whole time. This action was repeated by several other children, but every parent - without exception - forced their children to move on quickly.

At forty-five minutes: The musician played continuously. Only six people stopped and listened for a short while. About twenty gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.

After one hour:
He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed and no one applauded. There was no recognition at all.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before, Joshua Bell sold-out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100 each to sit and listen to him play the same music.

This is a true story. Joshua Bell, playing incognito in the D.C. Metro Station, was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people’s priorities.

This experiment raised several questions:

In a common-place environment, at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty?

If so, do we stop to appreciate it?

Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this:
If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made…
How many other things are we missing as we rush through life?"


Friday, December 9, 2011

If you knew the benefits of krill oil, you would take it, too!


Two of the best ways to improve your overall health is to increase your intake of antioxidants and omega-3 oils. Antioxidants are your body's way to neutralize free radicals, those harmful metabolic byproducts that damage cells and tissues throughout your body.

Scientific evidence has repeatedly demonstrated that antioxidants are key in the promotion of heart health, memory support and immune system support. Antioxidants also appear to play a role in helping to slow your signs of aging.

Although many foods contain antioxidants, today's poor-quality diets are nearly always insufficient in the full range of these beneficial free radical scavengers. That's why it's important to increase your antioxidant intake — through natural foods or quality supplement — as a valuable way to optimize your health.

This brings us to the main reason why krill oil (which contains omega-3 fatty acids) is becoming popular as a nutritional supplement. It contains an antioxidant called astaxanthin. The algae that krill eat produces the bright red pigment (astaxanthin) that gives krill and other crustaceans such as lobster and shrimp their reddish-pink color. 

Unlike many other antioxidants, astaxanthin crosses the blood-brain barrier, where it could theoretically protect the eye, brain and central nervous system from free radical damage.

People use krill oil for the same reasons they use fish oil, flax oil or other omega-3 fatty acids. Unlike fish oil, krill oil doesn't cause fishy burps or an aftertaste, a common side effect of fish oil. Also, krill oil contains higher amounts of astaxanthin than fish oil.
                   
So… just what are krill anyway?

Krill are small shrimp or prawn-like creatures that feed the world's most mammoth animals — the great whales. Toothless great whales gulp down huge quantities of krill to provide the energy they need to fuel their massive bulk.

A blue whale eats up to 8,000 pounds of krill each day during feeding season. These highly intelligent great whales aren't the only animals that depend on krill for their nutritional needs. So do seals, penguins, sea birds, squid and fish.

The hardy krill harvested from harsh Antarctic waters are so important they are considered a "keystone species", an organism upon which many Antarctic predators depend. These semi-translucent crustaceans congregate in dense masses or swarms that can turn the ocean's surface pink or red.

Together with plankton, krill make up the largest biomass on earth... one of the most easily renewable food resources available, an excellent nutritional source from an environmental perspective.

Unlike fish oils, pure krill oil carries omega-3s in the form of phospholipids -- liposomes or little packages that deliver the fatty acids directly to your body's cells.

Scientific evidence to date has shown that the safest and most effective carriers of EPA and DHA (the good fats found in omega-3 oils) are these phospholipids. They are the building blocks for your cell membranes, regulating cellular transport by functioning as "gate-keepers." In this role, they protect cell membranes from free radical attack.

Unfortunately, standard fish oils (and inferior krill oil brands) lack this phospholipid complex. Instead they contain omega-3 fatty acids in the less-beneficial form of free triglycerides.

So be sure to do your research when purchasing krill oil supplements. Find out what works best for you. As for me, I've chosen the TwinLab brand of Krill Essentials Omega-3 Cardio Krill Oil in softgel form. You can find out more and purchase this at Popeye's supplements store and SupplementsCanada.com.