Didn’t need no welfare state, just call me Cait…..


The other night, while trying to combat a bout of insomnia, I flipped through the channels and struck gold…..I came across a rerun of The 70’s hit T.V. show “All in the Family”- a show I hadn’t seen in years.

I couldn’t help but think two things:

  1. Archie Bunker sounds just like my 80 year old neighbor
  2. My, how this world has changed.

While I certainly miss the innocence and censorship of television as it used to play out back in the days when the words “Bitch” and “Ass” were still considered to be curse words, I realized just how far we’ve come when referring to the discipline of language. True, they no longer censor foul language or separate husband and wife into twin beds in a Ricky and Lucy manner, but there is a new form of editing that has developed over the years. Yup, the modern day version of censorship is simply referred to as: “Political Correctness” or “P. C.”

Political correctness has become so celebrated in today’s society that people go out of their way to ensure they don’t slip-up when addressing even the most obscure topics. We have become so accustomed to labeling things in a P.C. approach that people actually believe if they change the terminology it will change its definition.

Changing the label does not necessarily mean it changes the integrity of the underlying body. But apparently, it changes the way it is viewed by society.

If you haven’t guessed by now, I am referring to Bruce Jenner’s “the new normal”, or now better known as “Caitlyn”.

I have to admit, at first when I heard about his transgender status I was so gung ho and “inspired”- I immediately blogged about his courage. I really did believe him to be the bravest person –man or woman- for making such a bold and public statement about the importance of being true to yourself.

I thought; here is a man who has the power and influence to encourage those who are afraid to lead their lives in the manner in which they desire. I really believed that he truly was an inspiration to those that lead secret lives because they may be ashamed to be open about their own identity.

….Until I saw the promos for his new reality show, by which he is contracted to make hundreds of millions of dollars from.

Now all I can think about is, like the other female members of his family, she is a major sell out.

I still wish her well on her journey, I just wish she weren’t mocking all of us who rooted for her along the way.

Lesson Learned:

No matter how you label it, if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck- it’s still a reality TV star/whore.

Now for your listening pleasure click here:


Which Pro are you?….

proactive |prōˈaktiv|

The act or action of creating or controlling a situation by causing something to happen rather than responding to it after it has happened

procrastinate |prəˈkrastəˌnāt; prō-|

to delay or postpone action; put off doing something

Proactive and Procrastinate….two very similar sounding words yet could not be any more different in meaning.

What causes one person to procrastinate and another person to be proactive? Is it a personality trait we are born with? Does it develop over time? Is it something we learn in our upbringing? Perhaps the same person procrastinates doing one thing and is proactive in all other aspects of their life.

For example getting in a daily workout ….. if I didn’t need to get up early anyway, I would most likely be that person who procrastinates exercising. (one of the reasons I rarely show up at the gym on weekends). But since I have to get up to take kids to school and get ready for work anyway, I typically get my workouts in early in the day. That is not to say that those who prefer to work out late at night are procrastinating – perhaps they are being proactive by getting all other things done during the day and hold the best for last when they have more time.

Either way, it is all how you identify to it. For instance, if you dread exercising and associate it with the feeling of pain or agony, then you will most likely procrastinate and push it off altogether. BUT if you associate exercising with the feeling of pleasure and the natural “high” you get from releasing all those endorphins, then it doesn’t matter what time of the day you actually do it- you’ll just be more likely to be proactive about it.

Growing up, one of my favorite throw pillows on my friend’s grandma’s couch read:

“Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels

….such an old hackneyed phrase and yet oh, so true.

But that pillow begs the question- does feeling thin a better sensation than eating something that tastes delicious?

For that matter, what makes us associate pleasure to anything?

Most often it is the feeling we get subsequent to completing it.

I actually enjoy exercising. I love to lift weights. I love to bike. I love to row. I love to swim. I love it all (except running, I hate running). BUT I only love it AFTER I have done it! That feeling I get when my face is beet red and my eye makeup is smeared like Tammy Faye Baker and my hair looks like RoseanaDanaDana- it’s just the best feeling to be done!

Aspiring Olympic athletes spend an average of eight hours a day, seven days a week training their bodies. I doubt any Olympian is excited to wake up at 4:00am to begin the grueling 5 hour morning workout only to return to train again later in the day for another 5 hours. But the response  a well trained athlete’s body has AFTER a grueling workout is what they associate working out to….that feeling of PLEASURE derives from the change they see in their bodies.

Image result for olympic athlete jenner

Ok, that was a lay up that I could not resist  but you know how inspired I am by him so chill.

Lesson Learned:

Regardless of how much you DREAD putting on your LULU’s and recoil from the thought of yet another round of ‘Uptown Funk” in spin class……allow yourself to just go with it because no matter how you associate the BEFORE period of exercise to PAIN you will guaranteed to associate EUPHORIC PLEASURE to the AFTER burn.

If you write it, they will come…..

Once in a while I submit one of my articles to my friend who works in publishing. I’m not sure if he is humoring me or not but he always makes me feel good by telling me I have good writing skills despite the fact that my grammar is always off, and I often write in CAPS which is like screaming “F U” to an Editor.

His main critique is that instead of the normal Times New Roman font size 12, I prefer to write in Cambria at font size 20 –mainly because it’s a fun font that makes me smile, but more so because I refuse to wear reading glasses an that’s the only font size I can actually still read with out them.

So when I sent him one of my articles recently and asked him what he thought about the idea of me writing an “eBook” or several of them- his reply took me by surprise. He asked me; why limit myself to an “eBook” and reminded me that there are still tangible, paper, hard cover bound books – in print – which you can actually hold and turn the pages with your hands.

I had to stop and think about that for a minute.

I use technology for almost everything I do. I text myself ideas on my phone, transfer them to my computer, go online to spread them to the world. The only time I actually use a pen and paper is when I write up my grocery-shopping list.


It used to be that I would leave a notepad and pen on my night stand to write notes to myself in the middle of the night if I have a creative idea –but I could never read my own handwriting in the morning and would spend the remainder of the day frustrated at my lack of penmanship skills – so I nixed that long ago.

But it occurred to me that we truly are a digital world and everything we do depends on technology.

I kind of think there’s something so genuine and sincere about handwritten notes.

Longhand cartoons, Longhand cartoon, funny, Longhand picture, Longhand pictures, Longhand image, Longhand images, Longhand illustration, Longhand illustrations

When my kids were little, before they even knew how to write, I taught them the importance of sending handwritten thank you notes when they received gifts. They started with just a drawing and as they grew they did not need to be reminded to sit down and write beautiful handwritten thank you cards. Now they leave me notes all the time (probably because they think kissing up to me will soften me up enough to indulge them in something- it always works, I’m so easy).

So I asked myself why it threw me off when my friend suggested I write an actual hardcover 30,000 word book rather than a short 3000 word eBook.

I suppose the answer was simple: it meant I had to actually sit down and write it.

Lesson Learned:

Sometimes we procrastinate and end up missing out on life opportunities. All it takes is a little push from an outside source to get you to accomplish what you ultimately dream of doing.

Stay tuned for my hardcover/paper book!!!!

Deep thoughts and how to be happy…..

So, I’m giving a speech today on the topic: “How To Be Happy”. I have no idea why they asked me but I suppose someone overheard somewhere along the line that I am currently writing a book. Well, I guess you can say that I have been writing a book for 9 years- just online, with lot of pictures and caustic wit thrown in between the “lessons learned”.

So when they approached me to speak, the first thing I thought was – oh no- I suck at public speaking. I know, you’re probably shocked if you know me at all you know that I am quite loud and get very animated when I talk- but  I am just so much better at writing out what I think – it just comes easily to me. Whereas, when I speak in public I end up going way too fast, perhaps because I feel like I’m going to lose the audiences interest so I better hurry up and get out all points quickly- which always ends up getting scattered along the way.

So I decided to WRITE down in outline form the points I want to make. That’s today’s blog- I am sharing with you my secrets to living a healthy and happy life. It’s a little long so feel free to take all week to read.

You’re welcome!

Happiness comes naturally to me –I am a lucky gal- but don’t worry

  • Happiness can be learned!
  • Environment creates positive or negative Behavior…but that can be changed. Change your environment and change your behavior (When I lived in N.J. I was absolutely miserable. The people around me did not smile. The skies were often grey – and not in a cool way like they are in the Mamma’s and Pappa’s song . But the minute I moved to FL and surrounded myself with smiling people and the sun is out all the time – I’m happy again).
  • Appreciate everything you have. Sometimes I stop and make my kids look up at the blue sky. They get so annoyed because the sky is always blue and we are always stopping. Devote time to family and friends and appreciate them.
  • When all else fails go to the Beach -We are lucky enough to live in FL- 6 minutes from the ocean! No matter if you don’t live near water- go sit on a rock or swing on a swing! Take time to let nature be your therapy.
  • Be positive! Ok, Ok, it’s easy to say be Positive but to actually BE positive you have to do more than think it – you have to make the effort to actually say it out loud- even if don’t really think it. Makes a difference when you say something nice vs. something negative or complaining.
  • Promote yourself– always give yourself compliments- no negative speak! None of this: “I’m such an idiot!” instead – what I do since I’m such a big klutz- bumping into furniture that I placed- I say things like: “I’m such a dingy!” – meant affectionately about myself. I think this makes me so cute. It doesn’t matter if no one else agrees.
  • No complaining!! This is one of my favorites and I stick to it! Stay away from complainers or toxic people, weed them out don’t even respond when they complain- don’t indulge them! Complainers love to complain and love an audience even more! I tell my daughters all the time “don’t be a yenta”! Don’t take on other people’s drama. I avoid people who complain or gossip- I change the subject or walk away. Granted, I don’t have a lot of friends – but the few real friends that I do have – make me happy. Some acquaintances I know come up to me and say something negative- I just walk away. Especially if they try to approach me in the gym- that’s my happy place.
  • Have No shame– I really don’t care what others think of me- never have- I have high self esteem and that’s what makes me happy.
  • Surround yourself with happy people! Optimism is cultivated and contagious!!
  • Don’t try and get in the head of crazy! Just like there’s no room to negotiate with terrorists – same thing goes for crazy- there’s just no room for it! Stay away from crazy eyes!Image result for crazy eyes funny
  • Learn/ study/grow your mind. Learning leads to distraction from negative but also inspires the positive. Learn something new- then teach it…pay it forward!
  • Set goals – and write them down and most importantly, review them and modify/ change / update!!!
  • Contribute / volunteer. My weekly nursing home visits were initially because we thought we would help cheer up the old and sick but turns out it’s more for us!! I always feel like a million bucks (they dish out so many compliments – I’ll take it anyway I can!!)
  • Eat clean– no sugar. – Anyone who knows me knows I love to talk about health and fitness. Obsessed with clean eating and natural foods. But there’s real science behind how food affects your mood!!! Spike in blood sugar and insulin levels cause hormone imbalance- just ask my husband when I eat too many cookies- I always BLAME him! Some how it’s his fault – the spike in sugar causes hormonal imbalance- mood swing and even worse: skin issues. Wrinkles, blemishes…blame them on Junk Food =imbalances. Health food= happiness! Hormones lead to Happiness – hormones affect everything from our immune response and inflammation to cellular growth and tissue repair.
  • Exercise – for your brain and your body. <20 min. increase Heart Rate = pumps Oxygen to brain and stimulates growth of new connections between cells –neuronal connections reduce stress and increase cell growth! The Type of exercise is even more impactful: workouts that incorporate different parts of your brain – when forced to move and think- and use these 3 things: Coordination + rhythm +strategy= DANCE!! So go do the Salsa and eat it too!
  • Sleep– most important is to get rest but also –just before you go to sleep, listen to soft music or watch a comedy or something silly –read an entertaining light book – nothing sad or tragic- avoid the nightly news before bed – I watch my dumb Bravo network- the Real Housewives of anytown- my husband calls it the “dumbing down of Jordana”- I call it the best sleep aid in town! (But Xanax works well too!)
  • BREATHE! Take a breath- literally breathing reduces stress – releases the same chemicals that: lowers blood pressure/Heart Rate, reduces stress hormones, lactic acid build up in muscle tissue, levels of Oxygen and Carbon dioxide in blood improves immune system, physical energy = calm
  • Talk about it. Relieve stress by talking through something or write it down- my blog started as therapy when I moved to NJ back in 2008– to work through my issues with negative people around me- I just wrote about them- publicly. Best part about it is they all followed me and still read my blog to this day! I spread the happiness to miserable people and help them get happy.
  • Follow your gut-go with your instinct = GUT health – unhappy causes stomach issues- boy can I vouch for this one! I even ordered the Squatty Potty to help- but overall only happiness relieves gut issues.
  • Make a change– do something different – get out of your comfort zone- change up your routine – helps get you out of a rut. If something is not working for you – modify and improve it!!
  • Stop apologizing! Do what’s in your best interest. My Husband hates my leopard shoes!- I call them my happy shoes- too bad for him- leopard always makes me smile –I love color!! Brighter the better!
  • Hobby / volunteer/ find spirituality- do all these things!
  • Inspire others! Cheerful smile- fake it till you make it- even if you’re trying to pull a fast one on your brain it still triggers your brain to release endorphins, which are the chemicals responsible for making us feel happy and lower stress levels. = Contagious!
  • Have Deep thoughts –sounds like a bad SNL skit but even that makes you laugh which ultimately reduces stress!
  • LAUGH. Be jolly. Let it roll…. literally. Belly laugh so your stomach literally rolls- deep heavy BROO HA HA!!! Laugh until you cry! (Or pee- even better)
  • Change your state! Jump up and down/ like Taylor swift sings, “shake it off!”- Move! Express! Make funny faces!!!
  • Let it go! Forgive! It heals your heart and aids in cardiovascular activity- scientifically

Lesson Learned:
Happiness comes from your brain, your smile, your heart, your gut, your body and your soul. It’s not too late to make major changes and live a full, healthy and happy life! Enjoy your day and smile hard until it embarrasses someone.

And now for your viewing pleasure:

Live it up- but wait until you’re a 100….


We like to take the kids to visit the local nursing home on Fridays. It is kind of my way of ‘giving back’ to justify allowing myself to ‘throw some back’ later on at happy hour.

There is one lady in particular that I just adore, partly because she is sweet and grateful for the company, but mostly because she compliments me each and every time I see her and makes me feel like I’m a Hollywood star.

She is 100 years old – but I tell her she doesn’t look a day older than 90.

I asked her what she thought was her secret to longevity. I bet you think her answer was something like:

“eating clean” or “exercise daily”.


Nope, her simple reply was: “good sex and good scotch”.

At which point I tried to cover my kid’s ears with Vince Vaughn’s hand earmuffs – but they just rolled their eyes at me.


Got to hand it to the lady- she has it all figured out.

But her answer made me think….

I spend my days juggling and balancing all the normal activities that go along with being superwoman in my mid 40’s – from motherhood, career, husband- and just life as we know it.

  • I eat clean (except weekend cheat days of course- you hear all about those).
  • I exercise everyday.
  • I drink wine and not jagermeister shots.
  • I don’t do drugs (unless Xanax counts- Nah, don’t think so, let’s just say it doesn’t).

In other words, I am a good girl.

But when I’m old and grey (Who am I kidding? – I’m already grey- but I still bother to color it) will I change my ways?

Ethel made me stop and consider it.

Thankfully the sex part I have covered- maybe too much so- (my husband calls me as Mrs. Roper),


but what about the other stuff I have chosen to steer clear of because I knew they were no good – things that “bad girls” did??!

I can’t help but to wonder, if I’m still around to reach age 98 and have say, maybe another couple years left – Would I let loose and party like a rock star?

Hell ya I would! I would buy a souped up walker with a built in shelf to hold all my cocaine, ecstasy, heroin, opium and whatever new hallucigenic was available at the time.

I’d have the lower part of the walker designed with a full wet bar and walk around sloshed all day long.

My room in the nursing home will have an open door policy for whomever feels like swinging by. (before 6:00PM of course, girls still gotta get her sleep).

Yup, at that age, I would absolutely just allow myself to let it all go.

Lesson Learned:

Maybe we shouldn’t wait until it’s too late to truly enjoy living. But first, we need to live a full lifespan of clean eating and taking care of ourselves so that we get to that point to just let it all go!

Live! But not too much.



Remembering a generation with a work ethic….


Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day. To most people it’s just a regular Sunday. To some, it is a time to remember the atrocities and survival that their grandparents generation endured.

I am always amazed to hear about some of the holocaust survivors who made their way to America with nothing, having lost in the war their spouse, their children, their siblings, their lives as they knew it . As young survivors they had to start over again and rebuild a life for themselves. I can only imagine the loneliness, the loss, the nothingness that they felt when starting again. Yet they endured and with preservation they built themselves businesses and some amassed great wealth and experienced incredible success. They had nothing to lose, no excuses or reasons for procrastination and they just did what they had to do to survive.

We are the third generation from the holocaust period. Look how far we have come.

Or have we?

I am humbled when I listen to stories of children of the great depression who went without food for weeks at a time. I am saddened when I read about unemployment and how some people have just given up looking for jobs in lieu of being handed food stamps or unemployment checks. It is as though this generation has a sense of entitlement that they refuse to accept a position they consider “beneath them” on the rung of the corporate ladder. I ask myself, do people actually WANT to work? Where has the work ethic of the generation prior disappeared to ?

Which brings me to the obesity issue (yet again)….

In my opinion obesity is not an epidemic it is part of the lack of work ethic this generation has become accustomed to. Kids just don’t want to work at playtime. They have grown accustomed to sitting in front of their DS games. Even cars have dvd players because G-d forbid a child has to drive more than 20 minutes without TV .

We are an instant gratification nation. We send an email or a text and immediately get a response. We are addicted to devices and technology that perpetuates the immobility problem our kids experience.

While I understand that it is no longer safe to send your child out by themselves to ride their bikes to their friends house by themselves, I do think it is the parents responsibilities to provide a safe experience to just play outdoors.

You don’t need to spend money on private gymnastic lessons to provide your child with the opportunities to do flips. Take them outside. Take your kids to the playground. Take away their DS and their wii. Make them run circles in the backyard or kick the ball around.

And why do we feel we have to always pack snacks for them??? Are our kids really going to starve without a fruit roll up 30 minutes after lunch?

I pray that we never have to experience the loss or pain of war the way our grandparents did. But I think there is an important lesson to be learned from that generation that went without.

Coddling our kids and providing them whatever they desire may not always be a good thing. Give them chores even if you have someone else to do them, so they can feel the sense of accomplishment one gets from earning their allowance. Teach them to eat when hungry and to appreciate what is on the plate not take it for granted.

You are what you eat……

So here’s your first assignment of the day as soon as you wake up: WEIGH IN!!!!
Be accountable. It is so important to know your starting point.
When you aren’t in touch with your actual weight and you just guesstimate you don’t have control of the reality of the situation. I for one thought I was only a few pounds heavier. Little did I know until this morning that few was times two.
I know a guy who tried to quit smoking. “Tried” being the key word.
He would come into work each day and sound off like the Count on Sesame Street: “ Four!!!!!” as in Day 4 of no cigarettes. 11 years later he’s still smoking and still counting.
If you’re still counting days of how long its been since you’ve had one then you haven’t really quit.
No more counting !! This rule applies to everything. No counting calories or sets of repetitions at the gym. Eat until satiated. Lift until fatigue.
I will no longer say to myself: “Day 4 of not eating cookies”!
It just doesn’t work. Eat the damn cookie and move on!
If you’re counting then you haven’t really committed to change.If you truly believe you can change old habits for good then there is no need to count.  It is a lifestyle and every day leads to improvement.
Ask yourself what can I do to make this day special? What am  I going to do today to stick to this decision to change and enhance my life?
No counting calories. No counting days on this “diet”….Again this is the rememdy to the  “sticktoitism” condition.
You decide. Afterall it’s your life and no one else can make the decision on how you are going to to live it but you. However, we are on this journey for fitness together so you do have support.
So here are the basics once again…..
Remember the rules….each meal should be a combination of a Complex carbohydrate + Protein source + healthy fat and allow yourself a Light snack in between so that you never go more than  3 hours without eating.
I once worked with a woman who would stop in the middle of important business meetings with VIP clients and whip out a bag of almonds from her purse and begin munching in mid sentence. She would declare that she NEEDED to eat every 3 hours and no one even blinked. (Everyone just assumed it was because she was diabetic but I knew she was on a diet plan) Back then I rolled my eyes at her audacity but now I realize I hadn’t given her the credit she deserved . She knew how to fuel her body and I bet her productivity level was efficient because she had the cahoonahs to whip out a bag of nuts in the middle of a meeting.
Come on guys, its not like I’m asking you to open a candy wrapper in the midst of a Broadway show- where you will surely be stoned by the usher…..just take the time to fuel your body!
How many of you go to the gym early without eating breakfast?
 I bet if you took the time to eat you’d have a more powerful workout.
back to the basics…..
Breakfast, Lunch are the same combination of food groups;
Healthy fat + complex carbohydrates+ protein + vegetables unlimited.
Dinner is the same only limit the carbohydrates.
Snacks (2-3 a day spaced out between meals):
Dried Fruit, raw nuts (my favorite),Greek yogurt, skim cheese, Any vegetable with hummus or guacamole and salsa (healthy fats are good!!), graham crackers, hard boiled eggs…. you get the drift.
Shopping List:
Tomato sauce (no sugar added)
Balsamic vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil
Stevia / cinnamon
Seltzers (I indulge myself with Clear delight at night but only after I have consumed 100 oz water during the day). I actually combine the clear delight with my wine and make a delicious spritzer.
Fish / Turkey /chicken/ Eggs
Salad mixings (Tomatoes, cucumbers, baby carrots, jicama, sprouts etc)
Hearts of palm/ chickpeas / green beans / corn
Spaghetti squash
Frozen vegetables
Greek yogurt 0% plain
Raw unsalted almonds or any raw nuts and seeds
Natural peanut butter or almond butter (NOT Skippy –only natural kind)
Fruit of choice (mix it up and have plenty around!)
Sweet potatoes
Brown rice
Whole wheat matzoh ( I use matzoh with  lox and avocado and butter lettuce for lunch- its truly divine)
Meal Plan:
Breakfast: Fruit bowl (I prefer mixed berries such as blueberries, strawberries and blackberries) mixed with Greek yogurt (0% plain with added stevia and cinnamon) + 8 – 10 raw almonds
I follow up with a second breakfast an hour later of oatmeal (plain rolled oats no sugar added or flavors) + a handful of raw almonds.
Other options:
Fiber cereal  that is Non GMO+ skim milk + 10 unsalted cashews
Egg white omelet with whole wheat pita and tomato.
Blend peanut butter in your milk with ice and greek yogurt to make a smoothie
Be creative! Be sure to mix protein, healthy fat if possible (I use nuts) and complex carb
Lunch: Huge Salad (all the fixings such as hearts of palm, tomatoes, broccoli slaw etc) + 3 oz. salmon , 2 or 3 egg whites, 10 raw almonds . I use mushed up avocado for dressing but feel free to add no sugar added salsa.  ( If you prefer olive oil and vinegar that’s a great option.)
Mix up the protein source daily, one day use turkey or chicken etc. I prefer to eat fish so I mix it up with tuna fish, yellow tail, salmon croquets, egg whites or salmon. I always add approximately 10-15 almonds
Add a complex carbohydrate to your lunch such as sweet potato  or 1 cup brown rice or cup of chickpeas mixed into salad.
Snack options:
carrots and hummus
celery and natural peanut butter or almond butter
Dinner: I always eat Salmon its just my thing but feel free to mix it up with any lean protein source such as chicken, turkey or flounder. Make sure to eat A lot of vegetables (my favorites are spaghetti squash and cauliflower) I add “I can’t believe its not butter” and blend to make it like fake mashed potatoes
or I make a stew of mixed broccoli, cauliflower and big carrots in a crock pot the night before. Do not eat carbohydrates at dinner time.
Kitchen closes at 8:30pm (except wine and fruit)
Dessert :
Fruit or yogurt . I usually take a fruit to bed @ 9pm (Ok, ya got me- fruit being “Wine” but one glass (ok, 2) to watch my shows) sugar busters will attack this saying its too much sugar at night but it curbs my sweet tooth and it sure beats the feeling in the morning when you used to go to bed with a bowl of ice cream!
Take this list with you to the grocery store.
Get ready for a heart pumping 30 minute Workout plan tomorrow’s post!

team Angie or Team Jen?…..


Team Angie or Team Jen? ….

So you’ve heard me refer to interval training and praise the benefits of heart pumping workouts that last only 20 or 30 minutes.
I know what your’e thinking: This girl is nuts- there is no way I can really get away with working out for less than half an hour and obtain REAL results? Firstly, yes, I am nuts. But in a good way. And secondly, it depends what you put into it.
Let’s consider….
“Team Angelina” (we’ll refer to as Cardio because she’s so lanky and thin- not muscular but clearly does hours of cardio)  claims that straight cardiovascular activity for 60+ minutes at a pace where you can talk comfortably is best and “Team Jen”  (we’ll refer to as HIIT-Or High Intensity Interval Training- because, although nowhere near as beautiful as Angie, she’s muscular and defined) claims that raising your heart rate for 45 seconds to 1 minute intervals and then resting in between for a complete workout in just 20 -30 minutes is most effective.
My answer when asked which methodology is best?
BOTH strategies are excellent choices. I believe in mixing it up each day. I prefer to strength train on the same day as I add bursts of plyometrics  such as box jumps or Burpees  ( more on those super fun moves next week) and leave cardiovascular machines or aerobic classes for alternative days .
RULE of thumb: You MUST listen to your body!
For instance, When i take spinning classes i NEVER put the tension higher than a level 6 or 7 (simulated hills) regardless of how much the instructor yells at me to. (I have been in classes in NJ where the arrogant (and fat) instructor has gotten off her bike to turn my tension up at which point i punch her in the face for touching my bike- but thats another blog on anger management)
but the reason I don’t turn the tension too high is:
  1. I protect my lower back and
  2.   I get a better cardio workout when i can ride faster on a lower gear and i often get caught up in the music and push myself faster with a reduced amount of tension on the bike during the “climbing” phase so i can add in extra high intensity intervals by sprinting. Try this: Leave some of the tension off and go faster and faster- really challenge yourself and you’ll never go back to those ridiculous quick-sand hills that really do nothing but strain your back.
Yesterday I had no time to go to the gym (having missed it for past 4 days I was quite disappointed as I was looking forward to my arousing video production in spin class) so I went on the elliptical for 30 minutes – just about how much I can tolerate in a stagnant machine….I just get so bored. But 30 minutes of straight cardiovascular activity still yields results when combined with HIIT training during the week.
I’m a big fan of keeping my workouts short and efficient so that I am free to spend my day doing other things.
I love the idea of using the gym as a social atmosphere but if you ever really look around during prime time hours you will see a lot of people wasting a lot of time chatting. Now if time is not an issue for you and you really have nothing else to do the remainder of the day- well praise you!!! – than stop reading this post and return to your treadmill walk and ipod with downloads of Two and Half men (Charlie is SO winning now that Ashton ruined it) and enjoy the 3 hour workout. (she said with pure envy) But if you’re like me and take what you can get then this next week I will provide some very basic HIIT workouts that will get your juices flowing and get you in the best shape of your life!!!!
Now, repeat after me: “I am strong!!!” “ I am athletic!” “ I am powerful!” (just a little mid blog cheer to get your  blood pumping)
The basic premise behind HIIT is that you work really hard for a short burst and then have an active recovery period.  So for example, if you are on the treadmill- instead of running for an hour at 5 MPH while catching up on your downloaded TV shows (although that is hands down definitely a better way to watch TV ) but if you just want an effective workout and want to get even better results try this instead:
Run on treadmill for 5 minutes at 5.0 to warm up.
Then increase to 7.0 for 45 seconds.
Return back to 5.0 for 2 minutes and until heart rate returns to normal.
Then set treadmill to 8.0 for 45 seconds (is your heart racing?)
Return back to 5.0 for 2 minutes
Set treadmill to 8.5 for 30 seconds and return to 5.0 pace.
Challenge yourself and jump to a 9.0 or a 10.0 for a full minute then return back to 5.0 until your heart rate returns to normal.
Repeat this sequence for a total of 30 minutes. Work your way up to the point where your resting is 6.5 or 7.0 and your challenge is 9.0 or 10.0. Trust me this works!!!! And the BEST part is that you will be so drenched after half an hour that you will just crawl out of the gym and save the taped TV shows for bedtime.
Judge your own heart rate by how your breathing feels each time you sprint for 45 seconds. Does it feel like your heart is going to jump right out of your chest? When you recover to 5.0 do you feel your heart relaxing efficiently?
Ask yourself how long it takes for recovery once you are done with your sprint. If it takes the entire 2 minutes on 5.0 to recover and catch your breath than your sprint interval is too high initially. You need to gradually work up to intervals where recovery comes quickly- that’s how you know you’re reshaping your heart muscle.
The faster you recover- the lower your Resting heart rate (RHR) is- not the faster you sprint- is the key to fitness. Your recovery rate is essential to determining how your fitness level has improved. The key is to get your heart rate down faster- that is exercising your heart muscle. The better shape your heart muscle is in the more protection you have against cardiovascular disease and heart attacks.
Tomorrow we JUMP!!!! (plyometrics) so tie your sneakers tight !!!!!!!

It’s All in Your Mind…..

It’s all in your mind….

Now is the perfect stage to address the most important muscle of all…..
MIND MUSCLE. The mind is a very funny muscle in and of itself as it can be weak one minute and strong the next! It’s illogical, irrational and emotional, which makes it the EASIEST muscle to strengthen because it’s the only muscle you can actually control development.
It is essential to understand and accept that our WILLPOWER and DISCIPLINE are just like any other muscles in our bodies – they need to be strengthened and worked on daily to develop muscle memory.
It is normal to digress into old habits and routine and lapse from time to time. Shit happens.
That’s why we need to strengthen our muscle memory for control and focus.
When people ask me – is fitness mostly exercise or mostly diet?
Again, I answer “YES”.
There is no question that ABS ARE MADE IN THE KITCHEN but the recipe is prepared in the MIND first.
My weakness: Digressing into old patterns of behavior and slipping into bad habits the minute a stressful situation hits me. Instead of hitting it right back- with my newly strengthened mind muscle- i am still weak- and allow myself to sabotage the entire week of strength training my cognizant muscle.
When starting a new routine or workout regimen  you need to understand that The SELF CONTROL “muscle” is still frail and needs to be reinforced with powerful daily mental workouts.
Once we stop working out that muscle – it becomes weaker and weaker. The MIND muscle is the fastest to go into atrophy if we don’t work it out CONSTANTLY.
TIPS to strengthen our CEREBRAL MUSCLE :
Change what you’re doing the minute you start to slip into bad behavior. For instance, if you are reaching for the cookies after you’ve already had your share- stop and do 10 jumping jacks!!! Sing a song out loud!!! Do the chicken dance!!! (I suppose you could just just walk out of the room but that’s not as fun)
DIVERT your focus from the bad behavior and CHANGE your action – THIS STRENGTHENS muscle memory!!!!
I am unsatisfied with my first week of mind workouts. I have been doing the right things in the gym and not quite exercising my diet routine…….this is why I need to stop focusing on the actual food portion of the diet  and reflect on the mind portion of it.
I have to analyze my thought process when selecting poor dietary choices. Ask myself:
What is going on in my head?
What am I thinking when preparing my meal?
What is my mood? Then…….
BAM! WHAM! Change it up!!!
So the remainder of this week I am going to focus my energy  on my mental workouts.
I am going to start today with “I am FOCUSED!” “I am in control of my actions!” If I repeat this ten times (until fatigue) then I have just strengthened my muscle memory where it counts.
Try it.