Out of Shape? Get Off the Couch With These Tips

Nationally-Recognized Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Raj Shares Weekend Warrior Worthy Advice

While you don’t need Arnold Schwarzenegger’s arms to stay fit and healthy, there is no question that becoming a couch potato victim will negatively impact your health. According to Celebrity Fitness Expert Dr. Raj, a nationally recognized Double Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon at the Beverly Hills Orthopedic Institute, engaging in a few simple exercises can greatly prevent injury or the need for future surgery.

“It is a misnomer that joint replacement is primarily reserved for overworked athletes,” says Dr. Raj. “Many patients are in need of surgery down the road due to great lengths of inactivity, such as spending years behind a desk.”

Below are Dr. Raj’s simple exercise tips for staying fit:

–          Don’t Forget to Stretch: Each morning when you rise and shine, there is a reason why your first inclination is to stretch before rolling out of bed. “Stretching not only lengthens muscles, it improves circulation which helps to release toxins,” says Dr. Raj. “To prevent injury, stretch both before and after physical activity.”

–          Walk Whenever Possible: Believe it or not, walking each day will keep the doctor away. The 10,000 steps campaign suggests that a daily count of thousands of paces has various long-term health benefits. “While walking alone isn’t going to win any body building competitions, 20 minutes of daily walking is the single best thing you can do for your health,” adds Dr. Raj.

–          Take the Stairs: Rather than riding the escalator or elevator, climb up the stairs. Walking up a flight of stairs strengthens the heart and lungs and burns calories as well. Even as little as one flight of stairs is better than no movement at all.

–          Hit the Green: Weight bearing exercises (including golf) are the key to building bone mass which has been proved to postpone osteoporosis and arthritis. From swinging those clubs to walking between holes, a day out on the golf course is good for both body and mind.

–          Workout, From the Couch: Those who have weak knees and are prone to injury can avoid putting excess pressure on the knees by exercising from their seat. “Alternating leg lifts from a seated position provide a continuous range of motion,” says Dr. Raj. “Seated jacks, which are literally jumping jacks while sitting down, are another great way to get the body moving.”

What are the ways you get off the couch and get moving?  Remember, you can ALWAYS join one of my challenge groups!  I’d love to have you join me in getting healthy!

Eating Healthy on a Budget


8 Tips to Eat Healthy on a Budget

By Kim Kash

 Eating fresh, healthy, organic, local foods sounds great—but what if you’re on a budget? Maybe you dream of shopping at Whole Foods, but the cold, hard light of day finds you wheeling down the aisles at ShopRite®.

Woman Smelling the Tomatoes

We feel your pain. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to eat well and actually save money in the process. Your shopping list isn’t going to include vegetarian, brown rice sushi rolls from the macrobiotic deli case, but trust us, you’ll live.

1. Don’t shop hungry!

How often do you swing by the market on your way home from work, tired and starving? While this seems like grandmotherly advice, it’s firmly rooted in current research; a new Cornell study shows that people who shop while hungry are more inclined to buy more calorically dense food.1 Keep a piece of fruit or a small Ziploc® bag full of raw nuts in your bag to guard against filling your cart with foods you’re craving now but wouldn’t buy on a full stomach.

2. Buy flash-frozen fruits, vegetables, and fish.

While any processing takes away from a food’s maximum nutritional value, flash freezing is a great way to preserve vitamins and minerals when vegetables and seafood are at their freshest. And the convenience of a bag of veggies or a filet of fish in the freezer can’t be beat. The price? For seafood, there’s no comparison: fresh is much more expensive—when you can get it at all. (If you check at your local grocer’s fish counter, you’ll find that much of what is being sold in the case as fresh has in fact been previously frozen.) Produce is trickier: frozen is sometimes, but not always, cheaper than fresh, in-season, fruits and vegetables.

3. Shop at your local farmers market.

Farmer's Market Shopper  This may surprise you, but it’s cheaper to get your veggies—organic or not—at the local farmers’ market than at the local supermarket. A 2011 study by the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont is one of several around the country showing that farmers’ market prices are consistently lower than those of neighboring grocery stores.2 Who knew? So have a great time shopping with your neighbors and supporting local farmers, and be happy in the knowledge that you’re saving money too.

4. Stick to your list.

Don’t cave in to the snazzy packaging on the supermarket shelves. Make your meal plan and shopping list at home, and then stick to it. Here’s the exception: when you shop at the farmers’ market or local produce stand, sometimes a gorgeously fresh fruit or vegetable will stand out—one you hadn’t planned on. Build some flexibility into your list to account for these unanticipated treasures . . . just decide which meals you want to add them to before purchasing. A good rule of thumb is to stick absolutely to your list of pantry items, but give yourself some leeway with fresh, seasonal foods.

5. Eat lots of beans and always soak your own.

Bowl of Beans  Beans are a great source of protein and fiber, and form the cornerstone of many world cuisines. And they’re dead cheap—if you buy them dried. Soaking your own beans is easy, though it does take more planning than opening a can of them. But it’s no big deal. Just decide the night before what you’re going to eat the next day. If a meal includes beans, then put them in a pot of water to soak and leave them overnight. In the morning, let them cook as you’re getting ready for the day.

6. Buy in bulk.

Costco® and other warehouse stores sell fruits and vegetables at ridiculously low prices—if you’re willing to buy, say, 15 pounds of potatoes or 8 pounds of oranges at a time. You’re in for some work at home, but at those prices, who’s complaining? Also, in many regions it is possible to pair up with another family or two and buy a portion of either a cow or a pig directly from a local farmer. In exchange, you will receive many, many neatly wrapped and labeled packages of meat. An extra freezer is necessary for this, but well worth the investment if you live in a region where such arrangements exist. Another huge benefit of this is that you know the animal was not raised on a factory feedlot. Therefore, the meat will likely be free from the steroids and antibiotics that plague grocery store bargain meat cuts.

7. Join a CSA.

Basket Full of Vegetables  Community Supported Agriculture is another way to save money by cutting out the middleman. With a CSA, you pay a flat fee up front. On the East Coast it’s typically $400-$500—for a whole growing season of produce! Every week you get a box of whatever came out of the farmer’s field. Like buying in bulk at warehouse stores, this calls for some time and creativity in the kitchen. In late summer, we sometimes freak out trying to figure out what to do with all those perfect, ripe tomatoes. What a problem to have!

8. Cut your consumption.

Over the last few decades, restaurant portions have become gargantuan, and we somehow seem to think that a platter of food is actually a single serving. Most restaurant entrées can easily feed two or three. So when you’re out, either share a single entrée, or get half boxed for another meal. And at home, serve smaller portions on smaller plates. It won’t take long at all before you’re satisfied with sensible portions!

What tips do you follow to cut down on your food budget?

Good July!

It’s been another busy month.

There’s been some wonderful visits with my girls.  That ALWAYS makes my heart happy!

madelyn 52emma 52

I did the 3 Day Refresh and loved it.  So easy, and I lost 4 lbs and 1/2″ off my waist!  The vanilla refresh shake was tasty!!  I was hungry a couple of times, but satisfied with my results!

3 day refresh meals
I started my piyo challenge group. We are ALL loving the workouts and it is easy to take with you on trips!  So many of us are already seeing results.  I did the workout while we were traveling in our hotel room.  Other than Brian trying to watch tv around me, no worries!

piyo side plankWe had our bi-annual trip to Houston for Brian’s cancer checkup at MD Anderson.  It was a pretty good checkup.  No significant changes, which means we keep doing what we are doing!   Eating clean and healthy, doing our exercise (for Brian this means his walking) and just living life to the fullest and being so extremely grateful for another 6 months!

view on walkThis is the views on our walk.  Such a pretty place!

We got to spend a little time at the lake.  Brian was on hummingbird watch.

hummingbird watchemma 52There was a nest of babies (2) in the tree in front of our deck.  We loved getting to see them and watch the momma bird feed them.  They are so tiny!

I got to try out the kayak.  First time and I was pretty pleased with myself for not tipping it over!

kayaking dana

I also got in a little friend time!

friends selfie

Our best “Ellen”  selfie!

I’d say it’s been a pretty good July so far!  Can’t wait to see what the rest of the month brings!

Oh and btw – if you want in on the 3 Day Refresh or Piyo Challenge packs, you better act fast!  They are only on sale for the month of July.  I’d hate for you to miss out on the fun!

It’s July!

It’s JULY people!  Summer is here, are you ready for it?  I absolutely LOVE the hotter weather.  I freeze all the time, so hot weather does not bother me in the least!  Swimming, outdoor fun, cookouts, 4th of July, so many fun things going on this month!

I had a great June – Summit trip with my Beachbody friends, spent last week getting to see Emma and Madelyn AND my parents!  That doesn’t happen nearly enough!

Mads an parents in carnona and madsnona and emma

I am looking forward to this weekend when all the kids will be with us at the lake.  I’m sure we will be making good memories and having a blast!

July also means that there are new specials at Beachbody – SOME GREAT DEALS!

July 2014 challenge pack specials

Piyo Challenge Pack ( combination of pilates and yoga – low impact, no jumping, yet high intensity) is on sale for $140.

3 Day Refresh Challenge Pack  (3 day cleanse) is on sale for $140. So many people getting great results.

The Spanish version of the 21 Day Fix Challenge Pack is on sale for $140.  I don’t have the link to this one just yet.  I’ll update this post as soon as I get it, but if you are interested, just let me know and I’ll get it to you!

All of the above includes a bag of shakeology along with the workouts.  This gives you superfood nutrition and a rockstar workout or cleanse.  If you have any questions, please message me.  I’m more than happy to answer your questions and of course, you can get in my challenge group for even more support and motivation!

There are so many wonderful things to look forward to in July!  What is on your agenda for this month?  Anything you are really excited about?

I’m starting my 3 Day Refresh on Saturday ( oh no she did’n, yes, she is!)  and Piyo on Monday!  I’m so excited to see what kind of results I get with these programs!