Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Jillian Michaels Body Revolution--It Works!

Image from
When Gaiam offered the chance to try out Jillian Michaels Body Revolution, a 90-day workout program, I immediately jumped at the chance. I have a big wedding to attend in the late summer, in Costa Rica, and I want to look good! I finish the program one week before the wedding bells ring.

This program offers:
  • Three-phase exercise system: You get a total of 15 DVDs -- three of the DVDs are the cardio components for each phase, and each phase has four DVDs that offer metabolic training
  • Customizable 90-day meal plan with recipes designed to help you burn fat, plus a seven-day "Kick Start Your Metabolism" plan for the first week
  • Resistance band
  • Combined food diary and workout tracker

My Take on the Program

I have to start off with a warning: Do not start this program if you are not serious about working hard and losing weight. Body Revolution is not for the meek. From Day 1, Jillian kicks your butt and pushes you to be strong. You can't be afraid to be sore, out of breath or sweaty...every day. This program is exactly what I needed.

My favorite thing about Body Revolution is that I am never bored. While I play each cardio workout 16 times (two times a week for four weeks), I only play each individual workout DVD four times (twice a week for two weeks). The workouts get progressively more difficult every two weeks, so your muscles never get bored. Furthermore, the longest a workout ever runs is 35 minutes. Everyone has 30 to 35 minutes to spare every day.

Right now, I am half-way through the Body Revolution program. I've lost 10 pounds and am discovering muscles I never knew I had. My arms are visibly toned, as are my calves and thighs. I am even seeing a bit of definition in my abs! My lungs take a beating every time I exercise, but they are stronger now compared to the day I started the program.

Do I recommend this program? Definitely! The money that you spend on it is a priceless investment in yourself and your health if you are willing to do the work.

Here's a video about Jillian Michaels Body Revolution (a little over 4 minutes):

This is an infomercial about the program (over 14 minutes):

Remember that "success story" results are generally not typical. The amount of weight that you will loose depends on your current health status, weight and eating habits. For example, I am loosing weight slower than a normal person would because of my hypo-thyroid (I had my thyroid removed several years ago), but my muscles are showing the results and progress. If you are not sure if this program is right for you, talk to your doctor.

I received the Jillian Michaels Body Revolution program in exchange for my review, courtesy of Gaiam. All opinions and views expressed are 100% mine.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Sponsor Love: Creative Bioscience

Creative Bioscience is sponsoring part of my current weight loss challenge by providing me with a 90-day supply of Raspberry Ketone 1234, a natural dietary supplement that helps regulate adiponectin (a protein that can help regulate your metabolism). My goal is to lose 70 pounds. So far, I've lost 10 pounds.

Raspberry ketone works by helping the fat within cells to breakup in a more effective manner; thus, helping your body burn fat at an increased rate. Studies showed that taking raspberry ketone can help increase the secretion of adiponectin.

Before making the decision to try Raspberry Keytone 1234, I researched the validity of the natural product. According to Dr. Oz
  • "Researchers observed that...raspberry ketone decreased the amount of fat in the liver and visceral adipose (abdominal fat) tissues... It also significantly increased norepinephrine-induced lipolysis (the decomposition of fat) in some... fat cells."
  • "Scientists speculate that raspberry ketone stimulates the energy metabolism via a mechanism similar to that of capsaicin. Capsaicin, a compound found in chili peppers, has been looked at in humans for weight loss."
  • "...The effect of raspberry ketone on energy metabolism was examined by measuring metabolic markers in brown fat tissue, a special kind of fat that generates heat in a process called thermogenesis. These results reportedly indicate that raspberry ketone activates the brown fat thermogenesis and enhances energy metabolism. In any case, more detailed studies are called for to determine a mechanism for raspberry ketone."
Watch this video of Dr. Oz talking about raspberry ketone. 

Stay tuned to learn how Raspberry Keytone 1234 helps me in my weight loss challenge.

If you're a blogger who is interested in doing a similar challenge, enter Creative Bioscience's contest

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Pyramid is Out, the Plate is In

One year ago, the USDA eliminated the food pyramid from our childhood and replaced it with a plate divided into portion sizes. The new guide is simpler to use than the pyramid, and eliminates the "fat" and "sugar" elements. Print or order (free of charge) MyPlate materials.

To help meet your health goals, you can sign up for the USDA's SuperTracker, a free online tool that helps you:
  •  "Get your personalized nutrition and physical activity plan
  • "Track your foods and physical activities to see how they stack up
  • "Get tips and support to help you make healthier choices and plan ahead"
The SuperTracker also sends you motivational messages via text messages. If you don't want to signup for the program, you can also use the general plan. 

Regarding the new dietary guidelines, the USDA recommends the following:

"Balancing Calories

  • Enjoy your food, but eat less.
  • Avoid oversized portions.

"Foods to Increase

  • Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
  • Make at least half your grains whole grains.
  • Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk.

"Foods to Reduce

  • Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals and choose the foods with lower numbers.
  • Drink water instead of sugary drinks."
 Download the PDF version of these tips and post them on your refrigerator. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Homemade Bleach

Hate the strong smell of bleach? I do. I especially hate it when it makes my sinuses burn and eyes water. I recently came upon a Pinterest pin about making your own homemade bleach from the Crafty Little Gnome blog.While the homemade version doesn't have the same chemical compounds as traditional bleach, it cleans and disinfects. 

To make your own bleach, you need:
  • 1 cup Hydrogen Peroxide
  • 3 tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 15 cups Water
Yes, that's 15 cups of H2O (not 1.5 cups). Since the hydrogen peroxide loses its potency after a few weeks, I suggest that you make smaller batches of the "bleach" if you don't plan to use it quickly.

What homemade cleaning products do you make?

Natural Herbal Supplements

There are several places that you can buy vitamins and natural herbal supplements from, and is one of latest online options. is a natural supplement retailer that is focused on holistic wellness. It offers gluten-free products, pet supplements and items manufactured by well-known brands. One of the newest products that carries are Integrative Therapeutics supplements, which are supplements that manufactured in FDA-registered facilities and meet the USDA National Organic Program’s and Drug Good Manufacturing Practices’ standards.

As an added service, offers free nutrition counseling to its costumers regarding common symptoms and questions they may have about products. Before deciding to sell an item, the staff members conduct research to verify its quality and safety. Advice about the supplements sold and lifestyle concerns are also addressed in’s blog.

It is always a good idea to consult with your physician or licensed natural doctor about taking supplements to make sure that they will benefit you and do not counteract with medications you currently take.

Physical Therapy Supplies

When undergoing any type of physical therapy because of an injury or surgical procedure, your doctor or physical therapist may use muscle stimulators, TENS units or an ultrasound device. If you have discussed continuing your therapy at home with your practitioner, you may be curious about where to find such devices, especially since many pharmacies don’t supply them.

LGMedSupply offers many of the same items that your physical therapist uses, including an LG-TEC Dual Combo TENS Unit and Muscle Stimulator, massagers and electro conductive clothing. Visit LGMedSupply online to view their selection of products, and learn more on the online customer blog.

WARNING: You should only use the medical devices described in this post under the direction and supervision of a licensed and trained physical therapist or physician. Failing to use the medical devices appropriately can lead to serious injury or worse. 

This post is brought to you by All the views and opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Why It's Simple to Over-Eat

Image by Identity Photogr@phy
Gary Taubes writes:

"The problem then—as now, across America—was the prevalence of sugars, refined flour, and starches in their diets. These are the cheapest calories, and they can be plenty tasty without a lot of preparation and preservation. And the biology suggests that they are literally fattening—they make us fat, while other foods (fats, proteins, and green leafy vegetables) don’t...

"...If this hypothesis is right, then the reason the anti-obesity efforts championed by the IOM, the CDC, and the NIH haven’t worked and won’t work is not because we’re not listening, and not because we just can’t say no, but because these efforts are not addressing the fundamental cause of the problem. Like trying to prevent lung cancer by getting smokers to eat less and run more, it won’t work because the intervention is wrong."

As I browse through my local grocery stores, the cost of fresh produce and snack foods is unbalanced. What we should eat more of (fruits and vegetables) is expensive, and junk food is cheap. Depending on where you live, a pound of oranges, apples or grapes can be $1 or more, and maybe serves a couple of people. On the other hand, an eight-pack of snack cakes is about the same price (or cheaper), and has eight servings. If you're on a budget and want a quick snack, the junk food might seem like the obvious, cost-effective answer.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Flour-less Chocolate Cake

I can't eat wheat, so I was excited to find this recipe for a flour-less chocolate cake from the Diving Baking blog. The best part of this recipe is that you don't need to buy special ingredients (like you do for other gluten-free baked goods).