The Importance of Drinking Water

The Importance of Drinking Water

Do I REALLY Have to Drink Water?

Yes.  You do.  We all know that drinking water is important, but the reasons why are not always so clear.  And with so many other beverages at your finger tips, it’s easy to bypass the plain, boring water unless you really have a buy in as to why it’s so necessary.


Reasons Why You Should Drink Water

  1. Weight loss– Drinking water is one of the best tools for weight loss!  First of all, it often replaces high-calorie drinks like soda and juice and alcohol with a drink that doesn’t have any calories. But it’s also a great appetite suppressant, and often when we think we’re hungry, we’re actually just thirsty. Water has no fat, no calories, no carbs, no sugar.
  2. Heart healthy -Drinking water, a good amount of water, could lower your risks of a heart attack. A six-year study published in the May 1, 2002 American Journal of Epidemiology found that those who drink more than 5 glasses of water a day were 41% less likely to die from a heart attack during the study period than those who drank less than two glasses.
  3. Energy – Being dehydrated can sap your energy and make you feel tired — even mild dehydration of as little as 1 or 2 percent of your body weight. If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated — and this can lead to fatigue, muscle weakness, dizziness and other symptoms.
  4. Headache cure– Another symptom of dehydration is headaches. In fact, often when we have headaches it’s simply a matter of not drinking water enough. There are lots of other causes of headaches of course, but dehydration is a common one.
  5. Healthy Skin– Drinking water can clear up your skin and people often report a healthy glow after drinking water. It won’t happen overnight, of course, but just a week of drinking a healthy amount of water can have good effects on your skin.
  6. Digestive problems- Our digestive systems need a good amount of water to digest food properly. Often water can help cure stomach acid problems, and water along with fiber can cure constipation (often a result of dehydration).
  7. Cleansing– Water is used by the body to help flush out toxins and waste products from the body.
  8. Cancer risk– Related to the digestive system item above, drinking water has also been found to reduce the risk of colon cancer by 45%. Drinking lots of water can also reduce the risk of bladder cancer by 50% and potentially reduce the risk of breast cancer.
  9. Better exercise– Being dehydrated can severely hamper your athletic activities, slowing you down and making it harder to lift weights. Exercise requires additional water, so be sure you are drinking water before, during and after exercise.

How Much Water is Enough?

waterglassTo figure out how much water you need to drink daily, simply divide your weight in half and the answer is the number of ounces you need.  So for me, that’s 114/2=57 oz. which is seven 8 oz glasses per day.  If you’ve never measured out your water, be sure you do!  Most people think a ‘glass’ of water is much more than it actually is.  🙂 (hint: it’s more like the short glass, not the tall one)

When Should I drink my Water?

The best time for drinking water may not be what you expect.  Most of us are in the habit of having a glass of water with our meals, but this is actually not the best time for water intake.  At meal time, your stomach is filled with digestive acids and enzymes who’s job it is to digest your food.  If you dilute those acids and enzymes, they will not be able to digest your food as efficiently, slowing or disrupting your digestion.  Cold water makes this problem even worse.  It is recommended that you avoid drinking water (or other fluids) 30 minutes before or after your meals.  A few sips of room temperature water to help wash down your bites is ok, just avoid large amounts.

My daily water intake schedule goes like this:

  • One warm glass of water with fresh lemon juice first thing in the morning, followed by my workout and additional glass of water throughout.  Wait 20 min while prepping breakfast….
  • BREAKFAST  Wait 30 min then…
  • Water, at least 16 oz.
  • Water, at least 16 oz.
  • Water, at least 8-10 oz (can’t drink too much before bed!!)
  • BED

What’s This I Hear About Lemon Water?

lemon--300x289Warm lemon water in the morning helps kickstart the digestion process for the day.  There are many health benefits of lemons that have been known for centuries. The two biggest are lemons’ strong antibacterial, antiviral, and immune-boosting powers and their use as a weight loss aid because lemon juice is a digestive aid and liver cleanser. Lemons contain many substances–notably citric acid, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, bioflavonoids, pectin, and limonene–that promote immunity and fight infection.

HOW TO DO IT: You should be using purified water and it should be warm-lukewarm not scalding hot. You want to avoid ice cold water, since that can be a lot for your body to process and it takes more energy to process ice cold water than the warm. Always use fresh lemons, organic if possible, never bottled lemon juice. I squeeze 1/2 a lemon with each glass and I drink it down first thing before I eat a single thing, or workout, etc.

Can I Add Anything to My Water?

orange-mint-waterThere are lots of great things that you are free to add to your water to give it some interest for fun or if you are having trouble with plain water.  Here’s some suggestions:

  • Give a Squeeze: Add fresh citrus juice, lemon, orange or lime
  • Infuse: Fill a large jug with water, add sliced fruit (try citrus, berries, melon or pineapple); refrigerate overnight.
  • Leaf It: Tear up some fresh mint or basil leaves and steep in water before drinking.
  • Cuke It: Add sliced cucumber!
  • Tea Time:  Any herbal tea is a great way to add flavor and can be served hot or cold.

What About Coffee and Caffeinated Teas?

coffeeHaving a small cup of coffee or caffeinated tea is acceptable while eating clean.  It’s the stuff you put IN your coffee that’s often the problem.  Too much caffeine however has some nasty side effects so limit your intake to about 200 mg (2 small cups max).  Remember that caffeinated coffee and teas like Green or White are ok once or twice, the teas are actually quite beneficial, but the caffeine acts as a diuretic, so you will need to add a little extra water to compensate.

Do I eat now or later?

Do I eat now or later?

I am constantly getting this question on my blog and on my Facebook page.  I figured it was time to give my opinion on this topic.  While my workouts are typically at night and I have to deal with whether or not to eat dinner before my workout (I do eat, btw)

But for those of you that prefer to workout in the morning I am determined to give you the information you need.

You need to remember that Food is fuel and therefore it is important to eat at least something prior to a workout.  Eating before exercise serves specific functions for your body:

  1. your muscles are fueled with the food eaten the day before as well as the hour before your workout
  2. your stomach is happier as it is settled and not playing hunger head games
  3. helps prevent low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)- a dangerous position to be in and the symptoms can include dizziness, nausea, and headaches
  4. helps mentally knowing that your body has what it needs to push yourself in your workout.

There really is no set amount of how much to eat as well as what to eat.  This really does vary from person to person and activity to activity.  There really is no wrong choice and my best advice to you is to experiment with what works well…If you feel full and feel like you are gonna barf, well then next time back off.  If something is too sweet, next time go for something like oatmeal.  But everyone is really different.

Not only fueling yourself in the morning is important to your success.  But really maintaining healthy nutrition is key to success.  You really won’t see the results you are looking for unless you fuel your muscles consistenly with the right food.  Good Wholesome Food and stay away from the fried food.  Vegetables and salads with no crappy dressing are a simple solution to putting the right things in your body.  If you hate fruits, vegetables and salads, then contact me and let me know.  I have a really great alternative for people just like you!

Many people choose NOT to eat before working out because they are worried about feeling sluggish, having cramps or diarrhea, and/or an upset stomach.

One more thing to think about, if you workout on an empty stomach you will be exercising on fumes, not fuel.  Like not putting gas in your car before driving to work.

Remember too that after your workout you should really fuel your body some more.  You have just burned through your “gasoline” and in order to get your engine moving you need to eat some protein and carbs, so this is where you would typically have your eggs, toast, and coffee.  Roughly 60% of these calories should be from Carbohydrates, this is in order to replace the Glycogen that you have lost in your workout, 25% of your meal should come from Protein, this will stop your body from breaking down the muscle to use for energy and will start to actually rebuild and repair the muscle you just worked on.   HERE is what I drink only after a REALLY REALLY tough workout as it has the perfect Carb to Protein Ration and replenishes what I just lost so that I can come back hard the next day.

Stay away from the processed foods my friends, now is not the time to say I can eat anything because I just worked out.

…for those that can’t get their workout in the morning and have to workout at night, the same holds true, fuel your body to get through your workout.  What I typically do these days is drink my Shakeology about 45 minutes before my workout.  This also keeps me from overindulging after my workout especially late at night.

So put something in your system and your body will perform to its maximum potential.


Is Skipping Meals a Good Idea?

Is Skipping Meals a Good Idea?

We’ve all been taught that in order to lose weight, we have to reduce our calories, and many people try to accomplish this by skipping meals.  It seems like a good idea up front…it’s easy to do, just rush out of the house and skip breakfast or work straight through lunch.  However, while you might see a few pounds fall off right at the start, by skipping meals you are setting yourself up for a tremendous problem in your near future.  So, to answer the question….skipping meals is definitely NOT a good idea.

What’s the Matter With Skipping Meals?

By skipping meals you may see some immediate improvement, but what you don’t see is the damage being done to your metabolism. Restricting your calories can plummet your calorie-burning capacity by up to 50%! When you do this, your body will burn approximately 500 less calories a day.

You see, your thyroid thinks your body is starving when you diet, and as a result your metabolism will slow down in order to conserve the little food you’re eating. Once your body has turned down the thermostat, it can take years to turn it back up.  For this reason, people who suffer from a thyroid imbalance need to pay particular attention to the timing and quality of their meals!

Dieting this way will destroy your metabolism.

There are three basic diet rules to follow to make sure you keep your metabolism fired up. (1) never skip a meal, (2) eat protein and complex carbs with each meal, and (3) eat at least 5-6 small meals a day (breakfast, lunch, dinner and two-three snacks).

eggs and oatmealNo doubt you’ve heard this before…breakfast is the most important meal of the day!  Why? Because you’ve literally been fasting from the night before your last meal (thus the name break-fast). So, if you don’t eat breakfast and you get up and-go in the morning without eating, your body will slow its metabolism to conserve energy because it doesn’t have an immediate source of energy (food).

So, eat breakfast!

This leads to rule number two. Eat protein with each meal. If you get up and eat a Danish with a cup of coffee, you’re just feeding your body sugar and stimulating your nervous system. This may give you the morning jolt you’re looking for, but ultimately your blood sugar will drop causing mood swings, cravings, and hunger.

This type of meal is a quick fix and will not sustain your energy. However, if you feed your body some protein such as eggs, meat, or fish along with some fibrous veggies or whole grains, it will keep you full and give you energy throughout the morning. Also, this type of food heats up the body because it takes a lot of energy to break it down. This is your metabolism at work – you’re burning calories. So the idea is to use the right kind of fuel to keep your metabolic rate up.

Lastly, don’t skip meals. Skipping meals like lunch or dinner is the same as skipping breakfast. If your body doesn’t know when the next meal will arrive, it will protect itself by conserving and slowing the metabolic rate. And guess what controls your metabolic rate…your thyroid.  People with thyroid issues are especially at risk of slowed metabolisms and must pay particular attention to when and what they are eating.

apple nut butterIt’s important to snack between meals. Choose snacks like almonds, hardboiled eggs, veggies and humus, combined with a piece of fruit or whole grain crackers. Also, you should make sure you eat every 2 1/2 -3 hours.  Don’t eat lunch at 11 a.m. and then wait until 7 p.m. to eat dinner. Having a regular food schedule is important because if your body doesn’t know when the next meal is coming, it will slow down. (It doesn’t have to be the exact same time every day, just start the clock when you get up, eating within the first hour of waking.)

These rules sound simple, but you’d be surprised how many people break them. It is very important to follow the diet rules of eating breakfast, eating protein and complex carbs with every meal, and not skipping meals!

Pre-Workout Eating

How much you should eat before your workout depends on the type of workout that you plan on doing: high, moderate, or low intensity. If you’re going to do a low-intensity workout, don’t eat before your workout because it will just make you feel sluggish. On the other hand, for moderate to high-intensity workouts, you’ll want to have some reserve carbs in your system to perform the best.

Here are some caloric guidelines:

  • If it’s 3 or 4 hours before your exercise, eating a large meal is OK (600 calories or more).
  • If it’s 2 or 3 hours beforehand, a smaller meal is better (400 to 500 calories).
  • If it’s 1 or 2 hours before, a liquid meal is a good choice (300 to 400 calories).
  • If it’s an hour beforehand, a small snack will do (200 to 300 calories).Try not to eat during the last hour before you begin a workout because it floods your system with too much blood sugar during those initial stages of your workout.

…information provided by Steve Edwards (Director of Results/Fitness Advisor at Beachbody)

Les Mills Pump Results Female | Day 1 to Day 30 Pictures

For the last 3 years I have taken on just about every Beachbody workout they have put out.  Beginning with P90x (you can see my original journey here).

The Beachbody Programs I have done in their entirety are:  P90x2, Insanity, and Insanity Asylum. You can see my Insanity Asylum here.

The Products I have gone 3/4 of the way through: Turbofire, P90x2, Tony Horton One on One Series

The Products I have done certain DVD’s out of the Packages are: Brazil Butt Lift, TurboJam, Slim in 6, and Chalean Extreme

I have loved all the workouts I have done but not all have captured my attention for the ENTIRE program. My last attempt to finish a program was a failure due to EXC– USE ALERT: Women’s National Hockey Tournament and lots of hockey.  I finished 6 weeks of P90x 2 and what I did love about it was all the BASE and CORE work which helped with prepping for the National Tournament.  But I was ready for MORE results.  I wanted to see those ABS and really see my AB FAT disappear.

I started seeing my friends with major results going through their 90 days of Les Mills.  People that I thought didnt need the improvements.  OH MY they Looked Amazing!!

What originally deterred me was the cost.  Even with a 25% COACH Discount (if you want more information on that its here).  For the Basic Set Retail it is $ $165.85 and the Deluxe set is $305.85.. Then I thought about it, well, this comes with equipment that I don’t have and I will end up ALWAYS having unlike a Gym Membership!

I had the pleasure of being invited to a private Facebook group that the participants were all doing Pump and they were all incorporating the Bonus Cardio DVDs with the STEP and the extra weights, instead of the suggested Walking or Hiking.

Since I am tied to working out at home, being a busy working mom I decided I NEEDED those Cardio DVDs.  So, I made the investment and ordered the Deluxe Set (Picture)

Les Mills Pump Kit

When the Package arrived it was like Christmas for me, so many boxes to open.  I felt like a KID!

I set my start date for after my Beachbody Reward TRIP and my trip to Nationals in Boston.  This gave me time to review the nutrition guide, because I know how important it is to follow and achieve results for the last 3 years.  I have eaten clean and worked out but havent followed a nutrition guide since my first round of P90x.  So this was the time for me to JUST DO IT!

I plugged the schedule in starting on a MONDAY but making sure my REST days fell on Tuesday night when I could spend quality time with my Husband.  I also substituted one day weekly for my weekly hockey game for CARDIO.

So my schedule was set and I decided to do the 7 day JUMP START NUTRITION GUIDE.  I was highly succesful getting through this first week, you can see why in my review here.

My first week I was down 6 lbs and felt so great.  Here are my thoughts about the workouts themselves.

Phase 1 Workouts


  • Combat
  • Sports Attack
  • Flow

**Bonus for buying through a coach: CORE DVD


  • Pump Challenge
  • Pump and Burn
  • Hardcore Abs

(there are more DVD’s just not introduced in this first Phase, those are PUMP AND SHRED, PUMP REVOLUTION, STEP, PUMP EXTREME)

Here is an example of WEEK #1:


Day 1Pump Challenge Day 2Sports Attack Day 3Pump Challenge Day 4Combat Day 5Pump Challenge Day 6Sports Attack & Hardcore Abs Day 7REST


This program has been in the last 30 days the 1st workout since my 1st round of P90x that I am EXCITED to do my next workout, like excited Beyond Belief!!

I love the International Accents, the motivation of the Trainers, and the Music Choices.  Best of all:  THE WORKOUTS go by so incredibly fast because of the blocks or tracks they are broken up into.  They are very easy to follow and most importantly easy to MODIFY!

This program is for Beginners, Intermediates and Advanced Exercisers and is definitely for Men and Women alike.

My 30 day results so far are that I am down 8 lbs and inches are gone off my thighs and hips and even MY WAIST.  The Belly Fat is finally disappearing.  My arms are showing way more definition and are thinning out which make them fun to look at when you are driving, HEE HEE.

I am on CLOUD 9.  Stay tuned for my next phase review!

Can’t wait for my 90 Day Results GET IT HERE!

Vanilla Shakeology is OUT!

I just returned from the Beachbody Coach Summit 2013, which was for me my 4th Summit.  I seriously can’t believe how much time has past.  I guess it follows the statement “time flies when you are having fun”.

I want to announce probably the biggest announcement in this company in 3 years.

Back in June of 2009 I made a decision to start P90X for the first time.  At that time I actually had a background in Exercise Physiology (almost 20 years earlier) but knew nothing about supplements.  I actually was afraid of them.   I knew that if I was going to be successful with P90x I was going to follow the plan to a T.  I trusted the P90X Nutrition Guide and got the supplements that were recommended, which were the P90X whey protein and the Recovery Formula, and I got outstanding results with them. About a 3 months later I had heard that Beachbody came out with this new supplement, this time a meal replacement, and that is was going to be called Shakeology.

Within the first month of using it I ended up losing about 10 lbs, and the only thing I did different was by adding in Shakeology into my plan! I then shared with my husband and kids (since they certainly were not eating all their vegetables.  Everyone was happy and felt fantastic.  At that point, I knew it was something that worked, so I started recommending it to all of my friends, family, and the people that I coach. One of my best friends ended up losing over 50 lbs combining TurboFire then Les Mills Pump and Shakeology, my mom gained a ton of energy, which helped being in her 60s.  My 90 year old grandma maintains her bloodsugar as a type 2 diabetic and keeps her meds in check by drinking it EVERY SINGLE DAY.

That is Vanilla Shakeology!!

vanilla shakeology 1

If you have no idea what I am talking about, then watch this video.

Click Here if you would like a Sample of the New Vanilla


Vanilla Shakeology has been 2 years in the Making!

shakeology vanilla recipes

Here are some great FAQ’s regarding Vanilla Shakeology:

I thought [heard] Shakeology would never be able to launch a vanilla version because of all of the chemicals used in Vanilla flavoring. How did they finally do it?

introducing vanilla shakeology

Because we absolutely refuse to compromise on quality, it took years of searching and testing to hunt down a pure, flavorful, and ethically sourced vanilla bean that would meet Shakeology’s standards. By using this particular vanilla we are able to achieve complete traceability of vanilla beans coming from a multitude of small Madagascar farms. Through our purchase of these premium beans, we are helping to invest in a wide variety of training for the indigenous Malagasy farmers as well as the building and ongoing maintenance of schools in Madagascar, enhancing the educational environment & resources for more than 3000 children.

Where can I find the nutritional information and ingredients for Vanilla?

You can download the PDF of the ingredients and supplement facts at bottom of my site,


What is the nutritional info for Vanilla Shakeology?

Vanilla Shakeology has 130 calories, 16g of protein, 14g of carbs, 7g of sugar, and 2g of fat. For more nutritional information and the list of ingredients, please view or download the PDF at bottom of

Does the Vanilla contain both whey and pea protein?

Yes, Vanilla Shakeology still has whey protein in it. We also added a small amount of natural pea protein to round out the amino acid profile.

vanilla shakeology nutritional label


Will you be coming out with a Vegan Vanilla Shakeology?

We are considering a vegan version of Vanilla for the future. Check back with us next year for an update.

Is Vanilla Shakeology gluten-free?

The Shakeology formula does not contain any gluten-based ingredients and we make every effort to prevent any ingredients with gluten from coming into direct or indirect contact with our products. However, because of our high standards we do not feel it is appropriate to make a gluten-free claim since Shakeology is produced in facilities that also handle gluten based ingredients. If you have a concern about gluten it is best to consult your doctor before making any dietary changes.

When will Shakeology be certified gluten-free?

There are no gluten-based ingredients in the Shakeology formula. Although we can apply for a gluten-free certification, the safety of our customers is extremely important to us and until we are satisfied that our high standards can be met we will not put a gluten-free certified statement on the package. To meet our internal standards, we are reviewing our entire supply chain of nearly 100 ingredients to ensure that there is no potential exposure to gluten-based grains from the farm to the Shakeology product being sealed in the final package. At this point we cannot say when that assessment will be complete.

Is Vanilla Shakeology free from allergens?

Shakeology is formulated to be free of the common 8 allergens, however, Shakeology is made in a manufacturing facility that also process allergens such as soy, wheat, milk and gluten. While our manufacturing procedures follows strict, required FDA Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs), which include cleaning and breaking down of equipment between production runs and proper air filtration systems as precautionary measures, the possibility of cross-contamination can never be 100% eliminated, therefore we include the warning statement as a precaution to make our customers aware that Shakeology is Manufactured in a facility that also processes soy, egg, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, and wheat (gluten) ingredients.” We feel this is a responsible approach to help those with extreme sensitivities to such ingredients make an informed decision about the use of Shakeology.

I had the chance to try Vanilla Shakeology last week in Las Vegas.  It is smooth, amazing and really really good!  I have to say that this is going to be another great addition to an already amazing line of Shakeology flavors.  If you are looking to add some nutrient density to your day then this is the way to go.  Beachbody believes in creating a product that stands up to its name.  They work to make sure that the ingredients are of optimum quality and that they do not compromise your health!!!  I truly believe that Shakeology is what keeps me and my family healthy.  We replace 1 meal a day with a shake and we are healthier than we have ever been.  I used to be a skeptic about meal replacements but not any more.  I truthfully believe in clean eating, Shakeology and Beachbody.  They have changed my life and the life of my family as well!!
You can actually try it now and get me as your coach!  I can also help you customize a meal plan to meet your needs!  80% of your weight loss comes from the foods that you eat.  If you put good quality foods in your body you will get a good quality body in return!  So while Shakeology is only 1 meal of the day, lets really get the rest of your health under control!!!!!

If you are nervous about trying Shakeology

because you are afraid that you won’t like it, then this is the perfect opportunity.  Starting on July 8th I will be doing a 30 day Shakeology and Clean Eating Group to aid you in finding the balance between diet and exercise.  We will focus on the principles of clean eating, preparing healthy meals, snacks, grocery shopping, temptations, emotional eating and more! Especially this time of the year when everyone is traveling, going to graduation parties and weddings. We have to be on the top of our game when it comes to our health!  Do you need that gentle little nudge, some encouragement and support along the way?  Then join my July 8th challenge group and I will guide you in the right direction!!!