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Stress happens. No matter how organized you are, how good your systems are, or how friendly your work and living environments are, stress can find a way to poke its ugly head in from time to time. What can you do? Turn to a convenient Stress Buster – a small, simple activity that clears your head and calms you down. When you feel a stress attack coming on, it’s the perfect time to turn to one of these busters and kick that stress out the door.

Here are 7 of our favorite Stress Busters, but feel free to develop your own:

1. Take a walk
Want a break from the office? Does your house feel like an insane asylum? Slip out the door and let your feet take you somewhere. Not only will walking give you the opportunity to clear your head and take a break from that hectic situation, but it’s great aerobic exercise, too.

2. Call a friend
We all have someone whose voice alone perks us up. Give them a buzz, even for a few minutes. Whether with a joke or a funny story, or just by listening, they will likely put a smile on your face and calm you down. Besides, what are friends for?

3. Write in a journal
Expressing our feelings could be the best way to deal with stress. Keeping a journal is a way to capture those feelings at any moment. You don’t have to worry about what others think or say, just let your pen do the work. By the time you’re done, those feelings will be on their way out of your system.

4. Play a board game
Remember these? Maybe there are a dozen stashed in your closet, waiting to be dusted off. Monopoly probably should be saved until you have a few hours to spare, but quick kids’ games like Candy Land, Chutes & Ladders, Connect Four, or even Twister are always good for a smile.

5. Work up a sweat
Have some pent up frustrations? There’s no better way to get rid of them than by exercising. Pop in a workout tape, hop on your bike or grab your jump rope. You’ll be too busy working up a sweat to worry about what’s stressing you out. Picture the stress leaving your body through your pores.

6. Plan something fun
Is there a trip you want to take but never had time to get it together? Or a dinner you’ve always wanted to make? Now’s the time. Not only will you take your mind off things, but you’ll be spending time eagerly anticipating a great getaway or meal later. It’s a win-win situation.

7. Take a hot bath
A hot bath will initially give your body a kick, which in turn will give your mind a kick too – and then it’ll slow both down. Add bubbles and a few candles and you have the ultimate soothing atmosphere. A rubber ducky is optional.

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Monday, March 2, 2009

Cellulite and Stretch Mark busters

Hi Pregnant Mom,
As your pregnancy progresses, do you find yourself noticing some extra cellulite? What about stretch marks?

Unfortunately, if you think you had cellulite before, it will only get worse with pregnancy (especially IF you don't take any preventative measures). BUT don't panic, if you do get it, it IS temporary and it WILL get better post-pregnancy (I can vouch for this personally!). In the meantime do your best to decrease your chances with my tips below...

Why Do We Get MORE Cellulite?

During pregnancy, estrogen and progesterone levels are high. As a result, pregnant women have increased fatty deposits, water retention, and a weakened fiber structure.

And when the fats, fluids and toxins are trapped deep in the skin, the connective tissue thickens and hardens, giving the skin a lovely cottage cheese appearance.

BUT, don't despair, there ARE some things that you CAN do now to ensure "quick and easy removal" after delivery.

Here are 4 Proven Cellulite FIGHTERS:

1. Drink lots of water - water cleanses the digestive system and flushes toxins and waste out of the body (very important!).

2. Eat a moderately low-fat, low-sugar, high fiber diet with emphasis on fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

3. Avoid salty foods as much as possible. Salty foods increase water retention and make cellulite appear worse.

4. Be physically active (if you can!). Physical activity plays a HUGE role in circulation and flushing the toxins out of your body - do make time for this!

By the way, if you don't already know, the two most effective ways for women to get rid of their body fat and cellulite and get back to pre-pregnancy shape are breast-feeding and exercise, so make sure to check out my post-pregnancy weight loss program to fast track your way to an awesome body!


Stretch marks are probably one of the MOST common skin problems that pregnant women face.

During my pregnancy, I religiously massaged my body with cocoa butter cream every morning after my shower. I also inherited some good genes - my mother didn't have a stretch mark problem with any of her three pregnancies! So, I am happy to report that I got through my pregnancy completely stretch mark free.

So Was It The Cream Or The Genes?

Unfortunately for some, most research nowadays points directly to the genes.

Although I do believe our genes play a big role, I also STRONGLY believe in following a daily workout routine for your skin! And believe you me, even knowing that I have good genes and that I came through my pregnancy without a mark, I WILL absolutely keep up the same skin care routine with my next pregnancy!

To be on the safe side, here are my TOP 3 Tips to Prevent Stretch Marks:

1. Start a DAILY routine of gently massaging your body (breasts, abdomen, and buttocks) with a good cream.

The problem with creams is that it's hard to know WHICH cream to use. If you've ever wandered into a store to try to find the ultimate "stretch mark cream" - you might find yourself a little overwhelmed with the choices! I prefer the good old fashioned Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter or Vitamin E. 
2. Eat a well balanced diet - some studies show that nutritional deficiencies (especially deficiencies in Vitamin E, C, Zinc, and Silicon) play a role in creating stretch marks.

3. Drink LOTS of water - this will help to keep your skin soft and supple (add lemon if you don't like the taste - but DO drink it!).

Because of all the demands that pregnancy puts on your skin, do yourself a BIG favor and take care of yourself NOW! Do NOT wait until it's too late, you'll be filled with regret like so many other women out there! 
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Sunday, March 1, 2009

For Beginners : Get Back in Shape



Source :
What do you look for when you’re checking out the nutrition facts on that macaroni and cheese box? Whether you’re one to zoom in on total calories or total carbs, you might be missing the real picture. Nutrition facts should be a part of your decision in what to eat or even what to buy. But interpreting the facts requires a bit of know-how, so make sure you aren’t misleading yourself.

Understand the Power of "Serving Size"
The most important rule is to know your serving size and the number of servings in the package or can. If the label says "one cup" per serving size and "two servings per container," that means there are two cups in the whole package. If you know you’ll eat the whole package by yourself, you are going to consume two cups (1 cup x 2 servings/container = 2 cups). That means that you must double all the nutrition facts measurements to know your total intake of each nutrient – the good and the bad. Using the mac and cheese example, eating the whole package means you will have consumed 500 calories, 220 of which are from fat. You will have consumed 24 grams of fat, of which 6 grams are saturated fat.
The only time you can avoid doing the math is when you eat the exact serving size that is listed. Always compare the listed serving size to how much food you think you’ll eat and compute calories from there.

Crack the Code in "Percent Daily Value"
Confused by what all those percents really mean? The percents refer to "percent daily value" and they’re a bit trickier to interpret. The FDA bases these percents on a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet. Looking at cholesterol on the mac and cheese label, the FDA says that you are getting 30 milligrams per serving, or 10% of the recommended amount of cholesterol for a person eating about 2,000 calories per day. (Remember, you’re getting 20% if you eat the whole package.) So how do you know if 10% is a good or bad number?

For ease of explanation, let’s break this down into a guide that will help us look at a percent and immediately know if it is high or low for one food source. The magic numbers are 5 and 20%. Anything listed in the percent daily value column that is 5% or less is a low number for nutrients. This is a good range for things that you want to limit (fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium), but too low for things you want to eat plenty of (fiber, calcium, and vitamins). Anything listed as 20% or more is high. This is a bad range for things that you want to limit (fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium), but a good range for things you want to eat plenty of (fiber, calcium, and vitamins).
Look at "Total Fat" on the mac and cheese label. The 18% daily value is close to the high point, but if you ate the whole package, you actually ate 36% of the recommended daily amount of fat (well above our benchmark of 20%). That amount, coming from just one source of food in a day, contributes a lot of fat to your daily diet. It would leave you 64% (100% - 36% = 64%) of your fat allowance for all other meals, drinks, and snacks you would eat that day.

If your daily goal is well below 2,000 calories for your weight loss plan, then use the percents as a frame of reference (realizing you need to be below the percents shown, per serving). Or, you may find it simpler to keep track of grams and milligrams instead of the percents. The Nutrition Facts footnote gives a scale in grams and milligrams for recommended amounts of fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrates, and fiber based on 2,000- and 2,500- calorie diets. (This footnote does not appear on small packages where there is no room for it.)

The percent daily value also offers a great way to watch your diet without completely giving up your favorite foods. For example, if you ate one serving of macaroni and cheese but ensured you had a low fat intake for all other foods you ate that day, you made a successful trade off. When you really want a food that is high in fat, always balance it with healthy low-fat foods in the same day.
Quick Interpretation Guide
  • Start at the top with Serving Size and Servings Per Container. Adjust all measurements below this point according to the serving size you will eat.
  • Look at the number of calories per serving (including how many calories are from fat).
  • Limit these nutrients: total fat (including saturated and trans fat), cholesterol, and sodium.
  • Get plenty of these nutrients: fiber, vitamins, calcium, and iron
  • Use the % Daily Value to determine what is a high or low number for your daily diet. 5% or less is low; 20% or more is high.
Don’t just use the nutrition facts to track the nutrients you want to cut back on. Use it to track the nutrients you want to increase (like fiber, calcium and vitamins)! Whether you’re a stickler for tracking every fat gram and calorie per day or someone who just wants a rough estimate of her daily nutrient intake, the nutrition facts label is a handy tool. Learn how to use it for foods you eat frequently and anything new that you are tempted to incorporate into your regular meal plan.
Source: Solving the Ninth Mystery of the World -- By Laura Bofinger, Staff Writer

Chkout for more info regarding this @
31 Days to a Healthier Diet :

Lying Hamstring Curls with Ball

Starting Position
Lie on your stomach, squeezing a ball between your legs beneath your knees. Place arms and hands under your head.

EXHALE: Keep feet flexed and ball squeezed tightly. Curl your heels in towards your butt as far as possible. INHALE: Slowly lower to start without resting on the ground between reps.

Muscles Worked: Hamstrings, inner thighs Time Involved: 4 minutes

Body Benefit: Squeezing a ball works your inner thighs and hamstrings simultaneously. 

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