Tag Archive | Review

#ABXDVD Was not For Me

As per the FTC’s “Clear and Conspicuous Requirement” I received a copy of this DVD per a blogging review site. I was not compensated in any way other than the free DVD for this review.

I have been in the fitness industry for over a decade, run a successful Chicago area fitness studio and have been a paid presenter in the fitness industry. During this time I have blogged about fitness, health and wellness, reviewed DVDs and other fitness items, always honestly and without abash. I have read some of the reviews that were in the 1-2 star range for this product and was dismayed to see that the company took a negative stance against people honestly giving their feedback about a product; growth comes from honest critique not glowing praise even if your company’s philosophy is self-acceptance – probably more so because you shouldn’t need bloggers to affirm you.

Having put off this review so long that I keep receiving contact from the company I can no longer shirk the duty. The short and sweet, so as to not get into a debate with anyone representing ABX is, I personally did not like the DVD. I personally did not connect to the video. I personally did not like the routine. I personally did not like the video staging including the personalities. I would not personally recommend the DVD to any client I can think of; however, I personally believe that the DVD might have an appeal, as another reviewer on Amazon aptly pointed out, to males for viewing pleasure.

Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy

I absolutely love this book for its illustrations, give me an anatomy book hands down any day and I am glued to the pages.  This book is broken down into specific muscle categories with clearly verbalized to the point execution notes, a meter for level of difficulty, variations and specific muscles targeted (yes the category may be chest, but there is more than one muscle in there!).

image SO how will this book play out to the fitness neophyte?  Probably not too handy.  There are several brief tables in the back that breakdown some sample push-pull, split or whole body workouts, and if you aren’t sure what some of those mean…that is kind of my point. This is another great book for the fitness professional, someone working with a fitness professional, or anyone looking for more information on anatomy and how muscles work.

While Contreras believes all strength trainees should master their own bodyweight as a form of resistance training before moving on to free weights and other training systems, he is adamant that a person can maintain muscularity and fitness solely by performing bodyweight exercises. “As you progress to more difficult variations and increase the number of repetitions you perform with the various exercises, you will continuously challenge your neuromuscular system,” he explains. “Your body will respond by synthesizing more protein and laying down more muscle tissue. In essence, your body adapts by building a bigger engine.”

Featuring drawings, instructions, and descriptions of 156 innovative and unique exercises, along with a rating system to help you determine the level of difficulty of each exercise, Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy goes far beyond standard pull-ups, push-ups, and squats to work every muscle in the body. Contreras, who maintains a popular blog at BretContreras.com, also has instructions on creating a customized, equipment-free workout program for building a stronger, more toned physique.

I received a copy of this book for review, I was not compensated in any way and the opinions expressed are freely given and my own.

Tips for Soothing and Shrinking Your Belly with the 21 Day Tummy

I received a copy of this book for review.  I was not compensated in any way, all of the opinions expressed are given freely and are my own.

Health journalist Liz Vaccariello brings a third book to the market with 21-Day Tummy: The Revolutionary Diet That Soothes and Shrinks Any Belly Fast, the latest in a chain of books written about weight loss and digestion.  While the book held no help for me because of its reliance on meats, eggs and limited dairy, however; page 105 has a sidebar of Vegetarians Welcome Here stating that vegetarians are used to making substitutions. It did hold some interesting hypotheses on what causes bowel pain and digestion issues, including pregnancy.  Research regarding the gut conditions of pregnant women shows that they undergo dramatic changes which explains a great deal of the complaints mothers have during and after birth, the high need for modification of diet and even the high incidence of elimination diet in treating breastfed children.

There are some quick tips given regarding the “Belly Buddies” that should be included in meal plans such as:

  • fiber
  • magnesium
  • anti-inflammatory fats

Most of these may already be known, but the authors do go into greater detail into these categories, and they also include a quick reference list on page 95. At the end of the book there are “Belly Bully” tests which are propositioned as reverse elimination diets.  You add a certain amount of these foods to meals across a span of time and see if you have an adverse reaction.  Garlic and onions, my own nemeses are on this list.

There are recipes and meal plans given including make a head meals.  There are three phases, and a fairly lengthy bibliography referencing where some of the research for this book came from.  Convenient shopping lists are also provided and an index of recipes to make meal planning quicker.

Also present is a nice discussion of exercise and studies that conclude too much exercising not only impedes weight loss but it ruin the intestinal lining – a fascinating read and research but the test subjects were postmenopausal women, so it may not apply to all groups. Several studies are sighted that support the use of moderate exercise in maintaining a healthy weight and health GI tract.

This book definitely provide some interesting recipes and may be just what someone looking for an alternative way to manage their gut health is looking for.

Please read more about the book and its authors below:

Trim Tummy Fat – and Target Bloating, Gas and More – with 21-Day Tummy,

imageThe Revolutionary Diet That Shrinks and Soothes Any Belly Fast

Treat Common Digestive Disorders While Dropping Pounds and Inches in Three Weeks

NEW YORK October 28, 2013 From burps and groans to discomfort and moans, millions of Americans have stomach issues. One of the most common? Extra weight – which frequently brings indigestion, painful stomach cramps, uncomfortable bloating, and other tummy troubles. Research shows that foods that lead to gastrointestinal problems are often the same ones that pack on the pounds. Reader’s Digest editor-in-chief and New York Times best-selling author Liz Vaccariello suffered from these embarrassing symptoms, so she followed her own gut and teamed with Kate Scarlata, RD, LDN to distill the latest science and create 21-Day Tummy, a new healthy eating plan that shrinks and soothes any belly fast.

 

21-Day Tummy, available now at www.21daytummy.com and in stores nationwide December 26, does what no other diet plan can do: it trims tummies while tackling the “big five” most common digestive problems that no one wants to talk about: heartburn, gas and bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and irritable bowel syndrome. The easy-to-follow plan focuses on carb-light, anti-inflammatory foods scientifically proven to balance gut flora, reduce inflammation, soothe the digestive system and shrink fat cells (“Belly Buddies”), while avoiding pro-inflammatory fats and high-fructose foods (“Belly Bullies”).

“When I uncovered research linking two of my own challenges – weight gain and digestive slowdown – I knew I had a fresh solution to a common problem. I’m amazed at how great I feel eating this way – my digestion is regular and I don’t suffer cramps or feel bloated anymore,” said Vaccariello. “It’s possible to lose weight and improve digestion at the same time, and 21-Day Tummy will show you how, leaving you healthier, happier – and more comfortable!”

21-Day Tummy includes:

  • · Real-Life Success Stories & Advice Reader’s Digest recruited real men and women who tried out the 21-day plan. All lost weight – up to 19 pounds – and belly inches. The grand tally of weight loss in three weeks: 90 pounds! They each reported major improvements in their digestive issues and most found that their gas, bloating, nausea and bellyaches disappeared. The top tester dropped 19 pounds in 21 days and completely stopped taking medications for acid reflux.

  • · Recipes: 50 scrumptious recipes that incorporate Belly Buddies – foods that help shrink and soothe stomachs – such as Tomato-Ginger Flank Steak, Ratatouille Frittata and Strawberry Soufflé-lets.

  • · Workout Plan: An optional equipment-free workout plan created to soothe and sculpt your belly with a mix of core strengthening, walking, and yoga exercises.

  • · Belly Bully Tests: Guidelines on how to identify which Belly Bullies are problematic for your system and what you can reintroduce to your diet, so you can enjoy a variety of foods.

 

21-Day Tummy will help you target the foods and behaviors that challenge your personal digestive system and show you how to eat in a way that keeps you feeling great – and looking lean – for life.

 

21-Day Tummy

Pub date:  December 26, 2013

ISBN:  9781621451112

Hardcover/$25.99 

 

Available now at ReadersDigestStore.com and wherever books are sold.

 

About Liz Vaccariello

Liz Vaccariello is the editor-in-chief and chief content officer of Reader’s Digest, one of the world’s largest media brands, with 26 million readers. A journalist with 20+ years experience in health and nutrition, she’s also the coauthor of the New York Times bestsellers The Digest Diet, The 400-Calorie Fix and Flat Belly Diet!. Vaccariello regularly appears on national programs such as Good Morning America and The Doctors, and has been featured on The Biggest Loser, Today, Rachel Ray, and The View. Previously, Liz was the editor-in-chief of Prevention. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and twin daughters. Her blog, Losing it with Liz, lives on rd.com. She has over 3,000 followers on Twitter (@LizVacc).

 

About Kate Scarlata, RD, LDN

Kate Scarlata, RD, LDN, is a registered and licensed dietitian with over 25 years of experience in the nutrition and wellness field, specializing in digestive disorders. Kate completed her postgraduate training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a Harvard Medical School teaching affiliate. The author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Eating Well with IBS, she has been interviewed in many national publications, including Ladies Home Journal and Fitness magazine. She lives and practices in Boston, Massachusetts.

 

About Reader’s Digest Association

Reader’s Digest Association (RDA) is a family of iconic brands that celebrate reading, sharing and doing among consumers on print and digital platforms. Our portfolio of products includes our flagship magazine Reader’s Digest; Taste of Home, the world’s largest circulation food publication; The Family Handyman, America’s leading source for DIY; and a suite of Enthusiast titles including Birds & Blooms, Country, Country Woman, Farm & Ranch Living and Reminisce. For more than 90 years, we have simplified and enriched the lives of a passionate readership by discovering and expertly selecting the most interesting content in family, food, health, home improvement, finance, and humor. Reader’s Digest casts a global footprint by providing products and services around the world through owned and licensed operations. Further information about the company can be found at www.rda.com.

Are you Looking to Dine Vegan Farm to Table in Chicago Burbs?

VeganOatmealandHash On our way home from one of our many museum outings I started scanning the area on my smartphone for vegan restaurants.  I was shocked to find one of off Harlem Ave in Palos Heights, IL called the Harvest Room Restaurant.  It is a farm to table run business that sources the majority of its ingredients from local producers.  They offer a wine list, which I wasn’t interested in, and a tea list with an in house tea-ologist who blends herbs and teas to create cup or pot fulls of elixirs and tea concoctions.

They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, all with vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options.  Although our first visit here ended with a mix up in the vegan meal, the staff and management were quick to rectify the problems and make amends (something you don’t often find these days when dining out).  With such great food and service we decided to give it another shot.

I had the vegan gluten free tomato soup – it was delicious, not too heavy and perfectly seasoned, nice and mild with the freshness of the tomatoes able to shine through.  I also have the Warm Eggplant Parcel, the Spaghetti Squash and the Tofu Torque over Quinoa.  Of the three my absolute favorite was the Spaghetti Squash in a mint olive oil with mushrooms, snow peas and petite onions (I skipped eating these because I wanted to be able to enjoy the aromatic garlic sautéed and my stomach can’t handle garlic alone). My husband had a burger (blah, I’m not writing about his carnivore experience – but it did look goodEggplantParcel and he did smile).

We both split the Sorbet Trio, green apple, blackberry and fruta de bosco.  OMG! That is all I can say.  The sorbet was light and airy, fruity but not cloyingly sugary which I can’t stand.  It tasted like you were eating whipped frozen fruit.  Served on a long tray with 2 small scoops per flavor it was great for sharing.  Of course hubby had to also have the Chocolate Lava Cake – it did look non-veganly delicious and was covered in berries to offset the chocolate.

Our first visit I had their oatmeal, home fries and the Eggplant Parcel Salad. My kids got organic wheat pasta and my husband had a biscuits and seitan gravy breakfast.  Both times we were pleased with our meals and the service was wonderful. Our first visit was a Sunday at 2pm, still in time for breakfast and it was quiet. Our second visit was a Friday night 8:30 pm and they were hopping! Even busy our water glasses never remained empty and we were asked several times if we would like more pretzel bread.

TwoSistersBrews I highly recommend you try this hidden gem of a restaurant

7164 West 127th Street
Palos Heights, Illinois 60463

Combat Free Radicals and Win @Bai5 Superfruit Drink CONTEST CLOSED

bai In just a couple weeks Bai 5-Calorie Antioxidant Infusions will be introducing its ninth adventurous flavor… Molokai Coconut. Don’t be confused, this is not a coconut water… it’s a coconut (un)water that has everything a coconut water lacks including rich, 100% natural coconut flavor with only one gram of sugar, while still offering the all-important electrolytes. By combining the antioxidant rich and often underappreciated superfruit, the coffee fruit, Bai5 has a new addition that all coconut lovers ought to try!

Sadly I am not included in the coconut fan club and neither is my husband who has a severe nut allergy.  I did however get a chance to try several of the classic flavors including: Brasilia Blueberry, Congo Pear, Panama Peach, Sumatra Dragonfruit and Limu Lemon.  I was a huge fan of the peach and pear flavors they were full and robust, the blueberry was a little artificial tasting but still good and the dragonfruit was quite powerful in tropical taste.  My least favorite was the lemon – it has an almost antiseptic taste and a very pungent aftertaste.  My children were in love with these as well.  I sipped on them to get a small dose of caffeine during our recent excursions to children’s museums so I could keep up with their youthful exuberance, a couple of times they snuck in sips from my bottle.  The caffeine is mild, natural caffeine (as much as a cup of green tea) and Bai has no preservatives.  You will find nothing artificial, OU Kosher, Vegan, Gluten and Soy Free. Every bottle of Bai contains 250% of the average daily antioxidant intake and bai5 has only 5 calories and is sweetened with  organic stevia.  One of Bai’s investors and marketing advisor is former Vitaminwater CMO Rohan Orza.  In 2012 Bai was named by Beverage World as the breakout drink of the season.

These are best served chilled.

Want to try some Bai? I have a 3 bottles to giveaway so be sure to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway below and you could be sipping some chilled coffee fruit soon! Retail Value $2.30 per bottle

a Rafflecopter giveaway
I received Bai5 samples for review, I was not compensated in any way for my review or my opinions, they are my own and given freely. Bai5 is not responsible for prize fullfillment and is not involved in this giveaway. Giveaway prizes are from unused samples received. Open to US residents only.

 

Thanks to all who entered.  Our random winner was Steph C.