Archive for June, 2012

Just found out that I have been nominated for the 40 under 40 by the Orlando Business Journal this year.  What an honor!  

Since HART incorporated is somewhat of a social hybrid organization, with half of our business coming from medical practice development consulting and half of our services devoted to workplace wellness, I know how hard it can be to make the work out on a regular basis.  The business community is one of the most challenging to improve one’s wellness and live a healthy lifestyle… Here are a few exercises to keep you well, even at work!!!

Some of these are completely unreasonable… some are attainable.  But the key is to simply stay aware of your health needs while in and out of the gym. It is imperative that a healthier more active lifestyle becomes a habit, NOT a hassle!

Here is one of my fave exercises that can be done at work (as long as you are not wearing a skirt! lol)


Chair Toe Touches: targets your abs, core muscles while sitting anywhere… work, home, gym!

Sit on the edge of a chair, holding sides of the seat for support, lean back and press upper back firmly against the chair.
Lift legs off floor and bend knees to 90 degrees with calves parallel to the floor.
Slowly lower toes to touch the floor, be sure to use your abs to keep back from arching and keep upper body in place throughout the move. Return to start position and repeat.

 For exercises like this and much more, check out Pace-Maker, Central Florida’s online wellness solution.


Running, weight lifting, and just about any exercise can get monotonous over time.  I often find that some awesome tunes can help me to get back into the game…. and if nothing else some good music can actually keep me in the gym longer!

More time in the gym=More time to work on your fitness=Better, healthier bodies!

Here are some songs to add to your workout playlist (if it is not already!):

Lady Gaga — ”Bad Romance”
The Black Eyed Peas — ”Let’s Get It Started”
Van Halen — ”Jump”
Jennifer Lopez — ”On The Floor”
Blondie — ”Call Me”
C+C Music Factory — ”Gonna Make You Sweat”
Pitbull — ”Give Me Everything”
Taio Cruz — ”Dynamite”
MC Hammer — ”U Can’t Touch This”
Duran Duran — ”Hungry Like The Wolf”
Madonna — ”4 Minutes”
Avril Lavigne — ”Girlfriend”
Far East Movement — ”Like A G6”
Slumdog Millionaire Theme — ”Jai Ho”
Neon Trees — ”Animal”
Britney Spears — ”Til The World Ends”
The Killers — ”Human”
Frankie Goes To Hollywood — ”Relax”

Some of the best ways to add songs is to keep a running list of songs you hear to download whenever you are able… This will keep your workout library building and your gym momentum growing 🙂

Check out one of my fave sources..

It’s no secret that there is a lot going on in the world… and in each and  every one of our lives.  It is also no surprise that stress leads to unhealthy habits and poor choices for our body.  Here are a few ways to increase the peace and keep momentum to be well, totally well:

Learn healthy ways to cope with stress, such as relying on a support system of friends or family.

Be sure to get plenty of rest and regular exercise… this will give you a sense of clarity & “workout high” that nothing else can!

Eat well… this encourages you to feel balanced, in control and physically well.  Some foods have even be proven to reduce stress!

Don’t smoke. Period.

Limit your alcohol consumption. I always used to say, “alcohol is a depressant.”  If you are sad it only brings you further down, and encourages bad decision making.

Most importantly, when things are tough you can only do so much… control the things you can control (diet, exercise, rest) and leave the rest to resolve over time.  We only have one life- why not make it the healthiest one you can?

 (One of my fave stress reducers… YOGA!)

Read more:

Ever had one of those moments that you dread?  You know you need to workout for the day, but you lack the drive, focus or simply just aren’t feeling up to it…. That’s okay!   Here are a few tips to keep you engaged and compliant.

These tips really work- just ask my amazing husband who lost over 100 lbs (and kept if off 2 years and counting!) on his own doing these very things 🙂

  • Make a workout playlist with some of your fave songs!
  • Utilize high-energy songs with 120 and up beats per min (bpm)… this will keep you moving and give you some needed momentum during cardio exercises especially
  • Take a group exercise class.. it doesn’t need to be at a gym- take a boxing class, dance class, or try a running club
  • Set an alarm clock to go off each day/time that you desire to workout… it’s an accountability source and great way to make working out a habit
  • Make it social- find a fitness friend, workout partner or personal trainer that you look forward to training with… make it your new “happy hour”

Here are a few tips for creating a music based workout experience (something I swear by in choreography my group classes!):

For most people, a power walk would involve 125-135 musical beats per minute

135-145 BPM works for an elliptical workout or an easy jog.

Above 150 BPM puts you in the running zone


What keeps you in the gym a little longer, working a little harder, or pumping heavier???

Did you know that sugar may be as addictive as cocaine? It may actually be a major cause of our obesity epidemic, not to mention contributing to a higher risk for certain diseases.  Over consumption of high-fructose corn syrup may even increase risk for heart attack and stroke.

Sugar consumption has only more recently had a spotlight shined on it. During the past few decades experts warned consumers to lower fat intake. Food manufacturers took notice and took the fat out of a lot of items but to help compensate for the loss of taste often associated with lower-fat foods, sugar was increased.

Unfortunately, many consumers are oblivious to the huge amount of sugar they are consuming. Ironically, many who think their sugar intake is low are actually eating pounds of it. Cutting sugar from your diet is quite trendy these days. Many dieters even go so far as to proudly proclaim that they have “stopped eating sugar” all together. Well, in reality that probably isn’t even possible. They naively think that cutting out cake, cookies and candy means that they are no longer eating sugar.

But, sugar is practically everywhere. Do you know how much you are consuming? If you are a typical American, you may be eating 156 pounds per year! That’s how much the USDA says Americans consume each year on a per capita basis. Sure, some of that comes from standard junk food but much of it comes from more “hidden” sources. To significantly reduce your sugar intake, it’s mandatory that you read labels and know where your sugar intake truly comes from. Here are some places where you may be ingesting loads of sugar without even realizing it.

Yogurt: Generally, this is a food that people consider “healthy”. However, unless you choose the Plain flavor, you’ll be getting a lot of sugar. Check the label and you’ll find on average about 20 to 25 grams of sugar in a measly 6 ounces.

Salad Dressings: Salads have always been considered good dieting choices. But, not only can they be laden with fats, but even the healthiest, veggie-packed salads can pack a sugar punch from the dressings that accompany them.

Soft Drinks: Here’s where a huge portion of consumer sugar intake is found. Studies show that soft drinks account for as much as 33% of all added sugars consumed. And if you think switching to sugar-free diet drinks is the answer, hold on. The risk of obesity appears to be higher among diet cola drinkers.

Cereal: Here’s a food that someone can easily overeat. A serving is often only ¾ cup which means most people tend to have at least two servings at breakfast. Plus, cereal is often eaten as a snack as well, and a few handfuls can quickly add up. Many cereals that tout themselves as being healthy have more sugar in them then a candy bar.

Protein Bars: These small little morsels disguise themselves as being packed with protein and all natural ingredients. However, the huge sugar content diminishes their nutritional value. In some cases, you might actually be better off grabbing a chocolate candy bar.

Low Fat and Fat Free Foods: When fat is eliminated from a food often the flavorful taste disappears too. To prevent a low fat food from being too bland, manufacturers regularly add extra sugar to ensure a good taste. So while the fat grams may be low, there are plenty of calories because of the extra sugar.Still think you are NOT one of the average individuals with sky-high sugar consumption? What may appear to be a very healthy diet often still contains very high amounts of SUGAR.

The Evidence…

For Breakfast: 8 ounces of low-fat fruit yogurt and 1 banana = 56 grams of sugar
For Lunch: Lettuce Salad with Lite Raspberry Vinaigrette; Ham sandwich whole wheat bread; 1 can Cola Drink = 35 grams of sugar
Late Afternoon snack: 1 slice of cheddar Cheese and 20 grapes = 16 grams of sugar
For Dinner: Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Sauce; Asparagus; 1 low-fat cookie = 31 grams of sugar
TOTAL sugar intake for just breakfast, lunch, dinner and one snack…. 138 grams of sugar

This is a pretty typical daily meal plan that would easily be presented and accepted as being healthy. Yet, the sugar content is sky high. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 26 grams of sugar in a 1,500 daily calorie intake.

The above is MORE THAN FIVE TIMES that recommended amount.

138 versus 26… and let’s face it, the above is not the typical daily intake for most people. The above represents fewer calories, less fat and less sugar than most people are consuming. It’s time to take a serious look at your sugar intake!!

Check out Pace-Maker for more information on how to change your health habits, improve your lifestyle and get sexy-back once and for all… introducing the first of it’s kind, online wellness coaching with YOU mind!

“You don’t have to be a master chef (like my sister Kathy) to create delicious meals.”  

The best news is, these days you don’t need to be a health and fitness fanatic (like me) to eat healthy and often!

I love to cook… but I don’t like to spend my entire day doing so!  Here are some tips to keep cooking productive, delicious, healthy and still quick!

1. Buy Meat in Bulk (ask my husband… I buy anything I can in bulk, especially if it is a good deal!)

2. Keep Produce Fresh Longer (using the fridge to keep certain produce fresher longer certainly works wonders, however some be sure that for ripeness and taste you are determining which need to in and which out)

3. Embrace Cubism (My sister lives by the idea that anything can be preserved and used for different meals… wine, juice, sauce, broth anything)

4. Rescue Leftovers (see my recipe for a quick brunch using leftovers… i use leftovers for everything!)

5. Shop Like a Chef (healthy living takes effort, make it easy on yourself by keeping the good stuff readily available)

Now get rid of your restaurant addiction and get into the kitchen!

Check out my sister’s blog for some F-A-B recipes:

Also, check out my friend Jen’s blog for her lastest creations:

Some other great recipe blogs on the web:

Aren’t chocolate cravings the thing you love to hate?!  There are a few reasons why we crave chocolate that way many do…. it’s down to science.  The good news is that cravings are totally manageable with a few tricks!  Here are some of my faves:

  • Try a chocolate flavored snack that is lower in fat and calories… Jello pudding snacks, Skinny Cow ice cream desserts, 100 calorie snacks
  • Sounds silly but eat your calcium!  I take the Viactiv calcium chews every morning as my little chocolate treat every day.
  • Try eating whatever you are craving in small amounts and adding them in with other, lower calorie snacks… smores with more marshmallow than chocolate, or low-fat devils food cookies are a yummy example of having your cake and eating it too… well, you know what I mean 🙂

Finally, check out these awesome tips to help uncover why we crave chocolate the way we do: