Author Archives: Carmen

About Carmen

A busy mom of six who's maintained an 80 pound weight loss, Carmen helps moms and families navigate a realistic healthy lifestyle. She's also training for a Muay Thai black belt.

Exercise Takes Nothing Away From Your Family

On this week’s episode of The Biggest Loser, Joe Messina left the ranch, claiming that he missed his family too much and needed to be home.

What many people don’t realize is that if they don’t take time to exercise and live their healthiest lives possible, they won’t need to worry about being there for their families. They simply won’t be there at all.

Harsh words, but true. Being overweight and out of shape can be a fast track to an earlier death.

Instead of focusing on how much time exercise takes away from the family, switch that mindset around and see how much time you can spend with your family in a productive, healthy way. Here are some of our staff’s favorite ways to include exercise and healthy living while spending time together with those you love most. (more…)

George Clooney Quitting Drinking Alcohol is a Great Choice

In a surprise announcement after last weekend’s Golden Globes, mega heartthrob George Clooney says he’s given up drinking.

The 50-year old movie star, who was awarded the Best Actor in a Motion Picture award, declared that he was not going to toast to his success with alcohol, saying that he’d like to give his liver a chance to catch up.

Clooney isn’t the only actor who has given up the sauce. He joins Daniel Radcliffe, Bradley Cooper, and Samuel L Jackson, all of whom have been teetotalers for impressive lengths of time, considering the field of employment that they enjoy.

Many people find that their lives are improved when they decide to give up drinking. It can be confusing, however, as the news frequently touts the benefits of enjoying a glass of red wine for heart health or other, similar reports. Many of us are conflicted as to if we should drink at all, and how much is too much. Are there health benefits to drinking alcohol?

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Joe Messina Walks Off Biggest Loser 13

In a surprise move that no one saw coming, Joe Messina has left the Biggest Loser ranch. With no warning and no hint of what he was thinking, the 38 year old truck driver from Auburn, NY simply packed up his bags, walked into the living space of the house, and announced that he was going home. His reason? His desire to be with his fiancee and kids trumps his weight loss goals.

Messina began his journey at The Biggest Loser weighing 342 pounds and lost just 23 pounds in his three weeks there. His actions infuriated his teammates on the black team and frustrated his team leader, Bob Harper. In a phone call after Messina left, Harper called Messina’s reason for leaving, “the biggest excuse ever.” Despite Harper’s repeated insistence, Messina stayed firm in his desire to remain at home with his family. This season has been nicknamed, “The Season of No Excuses,” and Messina used one of the oldest in the book – putting his family ahead of his health. (more…)

Former Marine Sets World Record for Holding Longest Plank

Sometimes, you think you’ve seen it all, and then, someone comes out of nowhere and amazes you. Someone goes above and beyond the normal and does something like, say, set a new world’s record for fitness.

Former Marine George Hood is that person.

Hood has recently set a new Guinness World’s Record for holding a plank  for 1 hour, 20 minutes and 5.01 seconds. The 53-year old also has set Guinness World Records in endurance for jumping rope and spin cycling. His planking record is officially notated as the Static Abdominal Hold and blew away the former record by almost 30 minutes.

I can’t even fathom those numbers. I’m super impressed by what he’s accomplished. Hood first added planks to his fitness regimen to strengthen himself in an effort to surpass his spin cycling record. In doing so, he set another record, although that wasn’t his original intent.

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New Chick-Fil-A Grilled Nuggets Kid’s Meal Boasts 60 Percent Fewer Calories

We’ve all been there – the kids are in the backseat, everyone is hungry, and you’ve got to be at a soccer game in twenty minutes. You have no choice; you’ll have to stop at a fast food restaurant and pick up dinner. Your fast food options historically have left much to be desired, but one company has listened to consumers and is working to change that.

Today, Chick-Fil-A unveiled a revamped kid’s meal. Focused on their newest entree, grilled chicken nuggets, this kid’s meal clocks in with fewer calories and lower sodium levels. This new kid’s meal is predicted to be one of the most nutritious fast food kid’s meals in the country. Chick-Fil-A is already known for having some of the healthier food choices at a fast food restauran, but they are by no means a saintly choice, boasting some of the worst choices as well.

Compared to a typical hamburger fast food meal, the four count grilled nugget meal (with a fruit cup and a low fat milk) contains 60% less calories and an estimated 85% less fat. In addition to the fruit cup side offering, Chick-Fil-A is adding Buddy Fruits Pure Blended Fruit To Go Applesauce into the options.

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Tennis Star Venus Williams Starts Raw Vegan Diet

Venus Williams, the seven time Grand Slam winner known for her colorful appearance both on and off the tennis courts, has decided to go vegan. Specifically, she has begun a raw foods vegan diet in a quest to manage her recent diagnosis of Sjogren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disease which has no cure in which the body attacks itself.

Williams has taken up her new dietary regimen to try to get a handle on her disease. She hopes that by swearing off of all animal products she can manage the symptoms of her disease, which include dry mouth, joint pain and often crushing fatigue. Sjogren’s presents in a  similar fashion to fibromyalgia, and studies have shown that those who suffer from fibromyalgia have found some relief by choosing a vegan diet. In some cases, people who suffer from Sjogren’s have experienced kidney disease.

Venus Williams was diagnosed with Sjogren’s a month before the U.S. Open began. She attempted to compete, although she was forced to pull out just before her second match. She’s visited multiple doctors to try to determine why she’s suffered from so much pain and a lack of energy over the years, reporting that at times, it’s been difficult to even lift her tennis racket.

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Jillian Michaels Leaves The Doctors Half Way Through Her First Season

In true “here today, gone tomorrow” fashion, Jillian Michaels has left the cast of The Doctors. She has been a part of the cast for less than half of a season and, as the only non-physician on the show, served as their fitness expert.

Michaels, who was well known as the “in your face” female trainer for many of the eleven seasons of The Biggest Loser, has decided that she will no longer be a series regular for the syndicated show, which focuses on health and wellbeing. She had previously announced a desire to start a family and given that as her reason for departing from The Biggest Loser. She released this statement concerning her time on The Doctors:

“This January I will be departing my role as a regular co-host on THE DOCTORS.  I have enjoyed my time on the show and the opportunity it provided me in my mission to help others improve their lives.  Although it wasn’t the fit both the show and I hoped for, it was a great experience and I wish the show nothing but success.”

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GLA Supplements Show Promise for Weight Loss

Mentioned on Dr. Oz recently in a discussion of long term weight loss in the midsection area, GLA is not an unknown to those in the weight loss arena. But many are unfamiliar with this supplement, which some have touted as the newest miracle weight loss drug. What, exactly, is GLA?

Gamma Linolenic Acid is a fatty substance, most commonly found in evening primrose oil. It is an Omega-6 fatty acid, or EFA. EFA’s are called essential because your body needs them for health but they cannot be manufactured by the body, they must be ingested. They are important for brain development, skin and hair growth and help keep the metabolism working. EFA’s come in Omega-3’s and Omega-6’s and both are vital for good health.

There are several different Omega-6 EFA’s, with the predominance of those being unhealthy as they show a tendency to promote inflammation. GLA appears to work differently, as it reduces inflammation.

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Can You Be Too Afraid to Lose Weight?

If you’ve ever watched an episode of The Biggest Loser, you know that there can be a real fear of losing weight. It’s almost hard to understand – why would anyone want to stay heavy, knowing all of the negative results that come from it?

For many, being heavy equals being invisible. You can be afraid of the new attention that comes with an improved figure, especially if the attention is sexual. There could also be a fear of losing self control in sexual situations if you feel more attractive. If you are one who has experienced sexual abuse, being heavy could be a way of keeping yourself invisible in order to avoid further abuse.

You may be afraid of succeeding at weight loss, and the increased pressure that comes with success. The excitement that comes from new opportunities in your life can be daunting, and some just don’t even try. You may be afraid of not succeeding. After all, it’s very easy to say, “I’m never going to be successful at anything,” and hide in your weight. You might fear losing your friends, especially if your relationships revolve around food. You may fear having to work incredibly hard for the rest of your entire life. Maybe, you don’t like to exercise and the thought that you will have to do so for the rest of your life is overwhelming.

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Amazing Swedish Diet Airs the Worst Diet Product Commercial of 2012 [VIDEO]

There are countless companies hocking easy ways to lose weight, and some of the greatest offenders in the diet industry can be found on television commercials that promise quick results with little to no effort.

I had to watch it twice to believe it was for real, but, truly, this commercial for the Amazing Swedish Diet is the worst thing I’ve ever seen.

Take a look for yourself.

Half-naked blonde women disguised to look Swedish donning happy face underpants, obscene hand gestures, and lyrics like Eat some yummy things like chicken, fish and veggies / Eliminate unwanted fat and ugly wedgies make us think this commercial surely must be a joke. Right?

Wrong. The Amazing Swedish Diet does, actually and horrifically, exist. (more…)