Saturday, July 7, 2012

Health & Fitness: Get swimsuit ready! Weight loss success story & How to workout on a budget.

Health & Fitness: A Weight loss story & how to workout on a budget! By Goodhealthdiva

It's summertime, most people want to have their beach body tight and be swimsuit ready. Are you swimsuit ready? Do you need some motivation? Do you know you can get swimsuit ready without a gym membership?

There's nothing like someones success to motivate and remind us that we too can succeed at a particular endeavor.
Today I wanted to share the story of a beautiful, focused and inspiring woman:Miss M or Missy,a high school math teacher from Lansing Michigan. She's a 35 years old mom of two gorgeous girls (ages 7 and 11)  who is well determined to live a healthy lifestyle. One of her way to do that is to work out from home. If you are new here please read my recent article

Some basic facts about Missy, in her own words:

Started my fitness journey in 2009
Starting weight: 140 lbs
Current weight: 137 lbs
Height: 5’ 5”
My journey has never been about weight loss, just toning and overall cardio-vascular fitness.

Since I wrote my article about the importance or benefits of working out from home,I asked Missy to kindly share her experience and motivate others to workout from home and stop making excuses for not taking control of their health.

Why was it important to you to have a home gym?   

I am a busy, working, divorced mom of two.After losing family and friends to preventable health related issues, I was convinced that it was important to live a fit and healthy life.Going to the gym can be an hour to two hour long ordeal and I just don’t have that type of extra time.A home gym was the best option for my lifestyle. 

What would you recommend to anyone who wants to have one? Any tips in shopping for equipments, any equipment more valuable than others?

Start small! Look for equipment at second hand stores and look for bargains.  You don’t have to have everything at once.My first “home gym” was in my living room with basic equipment.I had a yoga mat, some 2 lb, 3 lb, and 5 lb weights, a water bottle, and some workout DVDs.As time progressed, I added other things like 8 lb and 10 lb weights, resistance bands, and a pull-up bar.A mirror is also important so that you can check your form.I had a decorative mirror on the living room wall that I used, but eventually, I purchased four of those mirrors intended for the back of a closet door and mounted them really close together to give the effect of a larger mirror.They cost about $5 each. 

Because nutrition is also a vital part of a healthy lifestyle, I also purchased a Ninja Master Prep Pro system for about $40 for juicing and smoothies.    Eventually, I saved enough for a nice, but used treadmill to complete my

For people who have a very small space to spare what equipment would you recommend as a “must have”?

Must Haves:  yoga mat, dumb bells or resistance bands, water bottle, and something to view videos on.  This could be a television with DVDs or a computer with internet access to get workouts from YouTube.

For those with neither space nor money what small equipments do you think are totally necessary?

When I initially began this journey, I was in this situation.  Again, I just moved furniture aside and spread out my yoga mat in the living room.I had a few small weights and WILL POWER! 

What’s your fitness regimen? What activities do you do? How often?

I currently use Jillian Michael's Body Revolution to guide my workouts.  I am on stage 3…WHOOHOO and I love the length of the DVDs and the incremental increase in challenge.  I have not lost much weight, but that wasn’t my goal.  I just wanted something that would benefit my cardio-vascular system and help me to tone.  I do think, however, that this system would be wonderful for those trying to lose weight as well. 
Following each DVD, I’ve added an additional Cardio strength challenge that will last for 30 days.


Are there any video program or Youtube videos you would recommend?

I like Jillian Michael's Body Revolution, but have little to compare it to.The other DVDs that I purchased were hit or miss. 

How long have you been working out? What made you decide to take control of your health in that way?

I have been working out since 2009, which was initially prompted by my divorce.  During this period of my life, I was emotionally, spiritually, and physically drained and needed to turn things around.Couple this with the lose of family and friends due to preventable health related issues and I was doubly convinced that I needed to make a lifestyle change for myself and as a role model for my two daughters. 

What’s the most rewarding thing about exercising and striving for a better and healthy lifestyle?

The most rewarding aspect of this journey was completely unexpected.It has been in the connections and friendships that I’ve made in fitness communities on the Internet.I’ve met so many positive, supportive women that help me when I’m less motivated and I’ve built some wonderfully genuine relationships; true friends for life.Of course, I am loving the way that I look and feel.  I love to shop, but avoided it for some time because I didn’t like the way that clothes fit on me.That’s a moot point now.  

I love it when my daughters come and workout with me.It’s so much easier when you start young and make it a habit/lifestyle. 
I feel so much better, have more energy for work and family, and just enjoy life much more than I had.It doesn’t hurt that swimsuit shopping is much more fun now.

How do you stay motivated to live a healthier life and exercise?

The online fitness communities that I’ve joined have been key.They keep me motivated and give me helpful tips.Also, the smartphone app, My Fitness Pal,has helped keep me on track. 

What advices would you offer to people interested in being fit and healthy but are getting discouraged?

Start small.Use YouTube or something else to help develop a short 10-minute a day workout regimen and build from there.Go for walks, park further away from the door when going to stores or shopping malls,walk during your lunch period,increase your water and fruits and vegetable intake.All of these things will help and put you well on your way to creating a healthier you. 

What advices would you give to some who have absolutely no clue where to start?

When I had no equipment and no clue, I did what I knew how to do.I put on some shorts, a t-shirt, some tennis shoes and went for a walk/run.No equipment necessary.  Just  you and the world.It was therapeutic and did wonders for my stress level.I couldn’t cover much distance at first, but I did what I could.As time progressed and I was able to get some equipment,I lessened the amount of time that I walked/ran and now I do very little of it, but it was all I knew to do in the beginning and it put me well on my way to where I am today. 

I appreciate Missy for sharing her story. She reveals that living healthy is not a solo thing, we have to create a support system to fuel us to keep going but as you see she had to want it for herself, and she did. She is proving many of the point made here!

Missy is the perfect example of how important it is to start small, use what you got, maximize your chances for success by having basic workout equipments and make no excuses for what you are going through or what you can't afford.

Please take the time to check this site for more inspiring articles on Health & Fitness and weight loss.

What about you? What are your health and fitness goals? What home equipment are you currently using?

Thanks for stopping by,sharing your comments,joining the site, liking the FB page, subscribing by email,sharing with your friends and all these good stuffs...(smiles)

Until next time have a better and healthier life...

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Healthy meals & healthy snacks: How to make grilled Okra.

Grilled Okra.

How to make a quick & healthy snack with Okra
     by Goodhealthdiva


My ingredients of choice: Olive oil, homemade seasoning mix with salt,  and ground oregano.

 Mix and coat my Okra , warm the indoor grill, as I am grilling I am brushing more of the oil mix on my Okra.

10 minutes later....after snacking on some as I was grilling the rest, here's what's left...

The meal version:
That's the only grilling I did on the 4th of July.
                     Healthy eating: Grilled Okra
                                                  by Goodhealthdiva

My husband and I used to enjoy eating grilled Okra at a local restaurant known for their BBQ sauces. I started getting tired of  their grilled Okra because their Okra was sometime overcooked and not always attractive. It seemed like we were sometimes given leftovers and that the okras has been warmed over and over again.

I decided to make my own from now on and... boy oh boy... what a great idea.

1 pound fresh Okra from a local Indian store.

Washed and rinsed with white vinegar and water.
 Seasoned with homemade seasoning mix (Turmeric, salt, ground and dried Oregano) & Olive oil.

5 to 10 minutes of the grill

A healthy and inexpensive meal for 2...

Ready to chow and happy that...

I can now enjoy fresh Okra, seasoned with my favorite herbs, and for only $2 the pound versus $2.50 for a small serving.

Do you also like okra? How do you prefer yours? Do you have a favorite okra recipe?  Please share it here or on our Facebook page "Healthy can be done"

Thanks for stopping by, sharing your comments, Following on the site , Liking the Facebook page, subscribing by email, sharing with your friends and all these good stuffs...(smiles)
Until next time have a better and healthier life...

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Health and fitness tips: How to work out on a budget.

How to work out on a budget and turn your home into a gym by Goodhealthdiva.

We tend to create many excuses for not working out. The most common ones are: not having time to go to the gym or not having money for a membership, the weather is..."too hot"..."too cold"..."it's pouring down rain"..., "I don't have a lot of time", "I have to take care of".... "the kids, the errands",...

Well, we know what we like to come up with, and I know, I've been there done that! But seriously, we need to stop making them, get moving and learn to take care of ourselves. We need to work out to take care of ourselves. See your workouts and your health as a gift from you to you and from you to your loved ones. Working out is not a shore, it's a well deserved activity. True it's challenging but so what? We can handle it and deep inside we know we can!

The truth of the matter is, unlike all the common excuses we heard or made before...

It doesn't take a trip to the gym or even a gym membership to get an effective workout. 

Truly, rain or shine, summer or winter, there's no excuses for not working out AT HOME.

10-30 minutes every day is manageable. Ask me, I have 4 kids and one of the four is a newborn.

My suggestion for today: Turn an area in your home into your mini fitness studio.

I do have a room upstairs with a treadmill and other home equipments but I need to keep an eye on my kids when they are active or when the baby is sleeping in my room. The living room is my best spot. I can glance outside when they are playing with the neighbors and I can hear the baby when she wakes up.

So here is my mini fitness studio minutes ago


and one of my YTB trainer of the day was Jillian Michaels. I did a 30 minutes workout, then 3 small 10 minutes classes with FitSugar also on YTB.

This is ideal but most people don't have the space, the budget nor the motivation for that...

                    HOW TO WORK OUT ON A BUDGET...
  • Get your stretch/yoga mat if you have one.
  • Get your dumbbells ready if you have some.
  • Get some bottles of water ( you need to drink during and after your workout)
  • Keep your phone near by in case your spouse or immediate family need to reach you but ignore temporally phone calls if you know they can wait.
  • Get your small towel to clean your sweat! You plan on sweating right?
  • Pick some good videos on YouTube that you like. 10-30 mns if you are short on time,45 minutes and up if you have more time to spare. There are some short videos that are very effective.
I like to do a 30 minutes video first and 3 small 10-15 minutes videos. I figure that if I get interrupted while doing a 10 minutes video I can easily redo it or be satisfied that I have at least accomplished something!

For more ideas check...
Tips to keep and exercise routine

Please share your "home studio" pictures with us on facebook@ "Healthy can be done!"

 A short list of great workout videos available online
(My hubby just showed me these videos I haven't tried them yet but you go ahead...)

  • "Your Body is Your Gym: How to do a full body workout with no equipment" uploaded by MoTalks Sep 24, 2010
  • "No excuse workout" uploaded by GMuscleFitness Apr 13,2008

Do you have any favorite online workouts? Share the link with us on facebook @ "Healthy Can be done!"

How do you work out on a budget? Any tips?

Thanks for stopping by, sharing your comments, Following , Liking the FB page, "Healthy can be done", subscribing by email, sharing with your friends and spreading the word.(smiles)

Until next time, have a better and healthier life...

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Good Eat: Healthy smoothie recipe for weight loss

                              Homemade (protein) smoothie for weight loss
                                              by Goodhealthdiva

This recipe is the way I made my smoothie earlie today. I always play around with my ingredients but my staples are Flaxseed, Coconut oil, Turmeric and other herbs. I keep a variety of frozen fruits and have fun with my recipe. I sometimes use apple juice or homemade citrus juices instead of almond milk especially when adding veggies.
The benefits of this recipe
This recipe contains no sweeteners except for the natural sweetness of the fruits selected.
It will fill you up thanks to and ingredients like Flaxseed and coconut oil.

My Ingredients

1 cup of Almond Milk 
 ¼ cup of Flaxseed 
 1 large spoon Coconut oil (melted)*
Frozen fruits of choice. here I had (6) Strawberries & (3 pieces) banana.
I use the bananas as my natural sweetener. It keeps me from adding sugar or honey. I do limit the amount of bananas to just a few pieces because bananas are high in calories.

1 Yoplait Greek yogurt
Herbs:  1/8 tsp each of Oregano powder, Fennel powder and Turmeric powder.

Put all the ingredients in the blender starting with the Almond milk and blend for a few minutes.

Serve and sprinkle with cinnamon for additional weight loss benefits and natural sweetness.

Why Almond milk? Almond milk provides twice the calcium of dairy milk and almonds are healthy proteins with many health benefits.

Why Coconut oil? Coconut oil is a healthy fat, great for athlete, packed with health benefits and assist with weight loss.

Why Flaxseed? Flaxseed will over needed bulk to your smoothie and protein. Flaxseed contains omega 3 fats and Alpha Lipoic Acid known to help with weight loss reduction.

Why Greek yogurt? Greek Yogurt has twice the protein of regular yogurt. For more info on Greek yogurt ‘s benefits read:

Why frozen fruits? Your fruits do not have to be frozen. I freeze mine because they last longer and I can simply reach out for them at anytime for my smoothies. I also like the fact that the frozen texture will ‘bulk’ my smoothie and keep me from adding ice to my mixtures.  When I happen to have fresh fruits available I mix some frozen fruits with the fresh ones.
Why Oregano? Oregano has more antioxidant than most fruits and many health benefits.
Why Fennel? Fennel provides great fiber and bulk to your smoothie, good for digestion and offers weight loss benefits. Fennel has many other health benefits.
Why Turmeric? Turmeric is widely use in India for its health benefits to learn more check the link  and JOIN the site for additional health ideas.

*You want to make sure to melt your Coconut oil before blending otherwise it tends to harden creating small tiny white balls in your drink. Due to the summer heat I didn’t have to melt it but during the winter I put a little in a ramekin or small bowl and keep it next to the stove while I boil some water or cook some food.

Thanks for stopping by, sharing your comments, Following , Liking the FB page, subscribing by email, sharing with your friends and all those good stuffs...(smiles) Until next time have a better and healthier life... N'na

Healthy choices: What are the benefits of Greek Yogurt

  The benefits of Greek Yogurt. What's the big deal about Greek Yogurt?
                                     by goodhealthdiva

Hi there,

Thanks for stopping by, it's always a pleasure to have you around.
Do you like yogurts? Just curious! I have always had a weakness for yogurts and I would eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner and in between. I just love yogurts.

I love all kind of yogurts, even soy yogurts. But it's only recently that I started a serious love affair with Greek yogurts. One of my friend visited me at the hospital the day after I had my baby and brought me for breakfast Greek yogurts and bagels from Panera. It was my first time eating the rich and creamy yogurt and having seen many commercials on TV I was pretty curious to see how they taste.

I have diligently added them to my grocery list since then. Since I just returned from my late shopping at Target with some Yoplait Greek Yogurts, I figured it would be fun to share some facts about Greek yogurts with you all.
I wanted to share a little about Greek yogurts as a healthy smart choice for anyone conscious about their diet or just wondering " what's the big deal" about Greek yogurts?

For people watching their weight and interested in lean muscles, Greek yogurt is a great healthy choice for breakfast or as a snack. It's even a good ingredient for baking and cooking.

What makes Greek Yogurts better than regular yogurts?

Protein: Greek yogurt has double the protein of regular yogurt. For weight conscious people,it's high protein content makes it easier to ward of hunger.

Carbohydrate: Greek yogurt has fewer carbs than regular yogurt.

Sodium: Greek yogurt has about half the sodium of regular yogurt.

Texture: Greek yogurt has a thicker and creamier texture than regular yogurt because it's strained more. Regular yogurt is strained twice while Greek yogurt is strained three times.

Greek yogurt is also better than regula yogurt for cooking because it doesn't curdle when heated.

What are the similarities between Greek and regula yogurts?

Calories: There's little difference in calories between the two as long as you consistently select plain yogurt without extra sweetness/sugar.

What are other ways to use yogurts?

Yogurts, Greek yogurt or regular yogurt, are healthy substitute for mayonnaise, heavy creams and sour cream. When baking you can substitute the eggs and oil with yogurts as well.Both types can also be used in place of other high-calorie ingredients in dips, sauces, salad dressings, smoothies, and desserts. 

For example, you can top your baked potatoes with yogurt instead of sour cream.
Yogurt makes a great marinade for meat. Check here for my marinade for meat kabobs.

Greek yogurt cost more than regular yogurts and has less calcium but again, for a healthy choice to support your weight management endeavors the amount of proteins in Greek yogurt makes it a worthy contender.

Why is protein so important?

Proteins are the building blocks of life and the body needs it to maintain itself and repair itself. Every cell in your body contains proteins.

What are some good sources of proteins?

Animal sources of protein:
  • Fish or shellfish
  • Turkey or chicken with the skin removed.
  • Lean cuts of beef or pork, such as round, top sirloin, or tenderloin (trim away any visible 

Non animal sources of protein:
  • Nuts and seeds such as almonds, almond butter, almond milk, hazelnuts, mixed nuts, walnuts, peanuts, peanut butter, sunflower seeds, etc.
(Make sure to watch how much you eat, because nuts are high in fat)
  • Beans such as black beans, kidney beans, lentils, pinto beans etc
  • Tofu and other soy protein products
  • Low-fat dairy products 
  • Greek Yogurt!!!

 What else can you do with yogurt?

You can also use plain unsweeten yogurt as a deep conditioner for your hair.

You can use plain yogurt as a face mask because yogurt moisturize the skin.

Come back for future posts sharing deep conditioner or face mask recipes!

What do you prefer? Greek or natural yogurt? Why? If you like Greek yogurts which brand is your favorite? How do you cook with Greek yogurt?

Thanks for stopping by, sharing your comments, Following,Liking the FB page, subscribing by email, sharing with your friends and all those good stuffs...(smiles) Until next time, have a better and healthier life...