Monday, February 27, 2012

60 Seconds to a Better Relationship - Yes, 60 seconds!


During my life coaching sessions with clients, it has come to my attention that most people are overworked, overcommitted, and all-around overwhelmed in their relationships. Some feel neglected or resentful, while others simply feel something is missing. 

Though I may not have all the answers, however, I do learn from the best life and relationship experts to offer the right tools and guidance to help my clients achieve healthier, happier, more fulfilling relationships. Peter Fraenkel, PhD, has one piece of advice: "Don't try to schedule time together. Schedules are more work. And you don't need any more work."

Instead, Fraenkel, the director of the Center for Time, Work, and the Family at the Ackerman Institute for the Family, in New York City, tells couples to come up with a list of things they can enjoy together that can be done in less than a minute: telling a joke, one long kiss, etc. 

These 60-second pleasure points, don't all have to be face-to-face. He even suggests using the tools that make many individuals feel overextended—a BlackBerry or cell phone—for private matters. Couples are encouraged to send a quick text message or e-mail links to a funny website or a restaurant review (and a note: "Let's do takeout from here tonight?").

It's not the "big stuff" that can make a relationship healthier... it's the little things you do with conscious awareness each day to "give" to your relationship. 

So I suggest each of you initiate three (60-second) pleasure points a day. Couples report that this practice not only instills a better sense of connection throughout the week but, as Fraenkel says, "also greatly relieves each partner's concern that they could never find any time for the other." And it lowers the couple's expectations for a vacation—suddenly, they don't look at those two weeks in Bermuda as their only chance to connect, but rather as a chance to lengthen those pleasure points, stretching that 60-second kiss into something more.

Feel free to visit Relationship Advice From Penny.com from time to time and scroll away for more life and relationships insight and inspiration. You can also access it here by clicking the "Life & Relationships" link button above. :)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

10-Minute Home Workout Series 9: Mighty Threesome



Weight loss researchers coined the term "yo-yo dieting" to describe intermittent weight loss efforts that leave people heavier and heavier. 

And now there is yo-yo exercising: Repeatedly starting and stopping a workout routine makes weight loss more challenging and weight gain likely, according to data from the National Runners' Health Study. After a lapse, men had to run at least 16 miles a week before pounds started to come off; women had to log more than 29. 

If you can stick to a regular regimen, research suggests that you won't have to spend hours at the gym to gain many of exercise's benefits. With only a few hours or so a week—provided you're putting out maximum effort—you can protect your heart, strengthen your body and avoid adding pounds.

Learn to maximize your time at home. Commit to a 10-minute-a-day home workout and watch your body transform. Join the Wellness Movement! Start here, right now, with Mighty Threesome. No equipment needed! 

Here is the list of exercises and program description for this workout:

Set 1
3 Squats
3 Jump Squats
3 Burpees

Set 2
3 Push-ups
3 Jack Push-ups
3 Hit the Deck (with 4 mountain climbers)

Set 3
3 Wide Jump Squats (back and forth)
3 Dive Push-ups (Be sure to push hips back all the way toward the feet before diving down and forward)
3 Jack Knife

As you can see above, there are 3 sets of workouts. Each set consists of 3 exercises. Perform each exercise for 3 reps as you move down the line from Set 1 to 3. When you complete one round of the entire workout, that's considered 1 rep.

Then, repeat this entire sequence as many rounds as possible in 10 minutes. When you come back to do this workout on another day, be sure to try and do more than you did last time. Challenge yourself to do better each time.

Remember to take your time and practice the moves first and foremost. Get familiar with the exercises so you can execute with proper form. Once you can achieve this, you can slowly move in with speed and strength. As your performance improves, you can be sure your body is transforming as well. So focus on your performance! Have fun! :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Crock your way to deliciously healthy eating!


Italian style roast. See recipe below.

You don’t have to be a good cook or spend a lot of time in the kitchen to prepare an abundance of healthy, delicious meals. Just find a simple way on how and what to do. Let's take a crock pot, for example. It has become an integral appliance in today's kitchens.

As you probably already know, you simply place the ingredients in the crock pot, plug it in, and turn it on. This leaves you to spend the day as you like, knowing that you'll return to a delicious homemade meal ready and waiting for you.

Imagine entering your home and being greeted by the inviting smells wafting from a crock pot... It's like having your own private chef cooking away while you go about your day! How convenient! :)

You can prep in advance several kinds of dishes you want to have for the next few weeks, freeze them, and warm them up as you go.

If you like experimenting, go ahead and put in whatever you like. For example, you can make a jambalaya-style chili.

Jambalaya-style chili. Made by the
very fit and healthy Russell Steele. :)
Using some fresh and some canned ingredients, it’s a snap to throw together and will keep you craving it for days. Extra lean ground turkey, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, chopped garlic, onions, red, green and yellow bell peppers, kidney beans, pinto beans, fresh green onions, salt, pepper and even some chili powder to spice it up.

Eat with some brown rice, or heck, just throw the brown rice in the crock pot, too! Sprinkle a little cheddar cheese on top and ta-daa!! Buon appetito! :)

If you're not into playing around, no problem! Just click on the links below for some mouth-watering healthy, low-fat crock pot recipe ideas. All recipes even provide the nutritional information on calories, fat, sodium, etc. Let's get crocking!

Check out healthy crock pot recipes by Good Housekeeping.com and Eating Well.com.

Click here for the Italian Style Roast recipe as seen on the image at the top. Il cibo รจ la chiave del mio cuore! LOL :)  



Monday, February 6, 2012

Top 5 fruits rich in vitamin C (and orange is not one of them)


Vitamin C has received a great deal of attention, and for good reasons. The more we study it, the more we realize how diverse it is in protecting our health against immune system deficiencies, cardiovascular disease, prenatal health problems, eye disease, and even skin wrinkling.

So add more vitamin C to your life, but try to get it from natural foods like fresh vegetables and fruits; the body can better recognize nature's own creation and absorb the nutrients more effectively over man-made supplements. Here are the top 5 fruits rich in vitamin C (and orange is not one of them).

Top 5 fruits rich in vitamin C (based on 100g serving)
Guava — 218 mg of vitamin C, 17 g of sugar
Blackberry — 150 mg of vitamin C, 8 g of sugar
Red Bell Peppers — 80 mg of vitamin C, 6 g of sugar
Kiwi — 70 mg of vitamin C, 8.8 g of sugar
Strawberry — 60 mg of vitamin C, 5.1 g of sugar

Moving down the line, we have:
Kumquat — 55 mg of vitamin C, 16 g of sugar
Mango — 53 mg of vitamin C, 15 g of sugar
Orange — 49 mg of vitamin C, 10.6 g of sugar

I listed the sugar content as well because I want you to keep in mind that some fruits are really high in sugar and may not benefit your health if not eaten in moderation, or especially if you have diabetes or are trying to lose weight. If the latter were the case, you could get your vitamin C from red bell peppers or strawberries (which have a lot less sugar), rather than from guava or mango.

Check out this link to find out how much vitamins, minerals and sugar are in your favorite fruits and compare them to others. Learn to choose your fruits and portions wisely—especially if you have a goal to meet. Click here to see the Fruit Nutrition Facts Chart

Saturday, February 4, 2012

V-Day Special: 3 easy steps to turn the day of romantic expectations into a one-of-a-kind romantic interlude


With Valentine's Day fast approaching you can already feel the presence of the RED wave on our streets as florists are stocking up on all those red roses. Chocolate parlors are bringing out their best packaging and heart candies.

Many will be searching for new, creative date ideas and gifts to surprise their special someone, but what do you do when the choices are so many and the options so overwhelming? Here are a few tips on how to make the memory of this V-Day especially unique.

According to Elitsa Manolo, a recognized expert on romance and owner of The Perfect Date, one of the most important parts of your V-Night is the element of surprise. "Stay away from red colors, cinnamon heart candies and teddy bears as they’re completely overrated and played out,” she says.

Select white flowers with a hint of purple instead; or light purple/pink macaroons; and if you really want to add a cute toy, pick something corky and make it your V-Day mascot—like a cute penguin, or piglet from "Winnie the Pooh."

Flowers are a great introductory gift, but no matter how beautiful a bouquet is they always end up dying. How about a beautiful orchid or "anturium" plant (also known as flamingo flower) with a note that says "our love is meant to grow." May be a bit too sweet for some people’s tastes, but nevertheless, it’s interesting and unique.

If dinner at a restaurant is on your list of V-Day activities it might be worthwhile to do some research on all the new, cool and unique places in the city. Picking out a place that is trendy, funky, and different translates into fun, and will guarantee you a memorable experience.

Valentine's Day is a day you make an extra effort to show your love and gratitude for the time you’ve had together. So go ahead and treat each other to a nice time at a spa, go to a wine tasting, share a laughter at a comedy club.

If your schedule doesn’t permit enough time to plan a fun and romantic itinerary, confide in a romantic event planner. Visit The Perfect Date.biz for more details. No matter what, don't be afraid to put on your creative hats and turn this Valentine's Day into a memory that will be treasured for years to come.