Tag Archive for health

Healthy New Beginnings 2016 Style

The clock struck midnight and 2015 was behind us.

A bright, shiny and new 2016 stands before us.

Now what?

Each one of us must answer that question for ourselves. For some it is “Stay the course” for others it is “Abandon ship!” and for most it is somewhere in between.

For me, it is all about baby steps.

Making a Plan

planning for a healthy new year

Pen by Anna Langova

On January 1st I sat down with my youngest son and had a *brainstorming/planning/goal-setting/dreaming sit down meeting. Ok, maybe it was less formal than that. It was more like a sit in the recliners with our notepads and a couple of pens to chat about what we wanted to accomplish personally and professionally in 2016.

We started with a main theme and then separated it into different categories which then went into more detail as we worked on the first three months of the year. We called these our action steps. What good is a dream if you don’t take action to turn that dream into a reality?

We discussed each step as we went along. The sharing and discussion of our plans was helpful in many ways. Writing it down is one thing, but speaking it out loud and hearing it said gave us a sense of taking action. We were able to offer suggestions and new ideas were formed.

Taking Action

Why am I sharing this with the Health Fitness Beauty Quest readers? When I think of 2015, I think of it as a year of extremes. From cycling across deserts and mountains to months of sitting in hospital rooms while my youngest son battled a brain tumor. My personal health and fitness went from being at the peak adult shape of my life to back where I was in September of 2013 when the Health Fitness Beauty Quest began.

Being back where I started physically is a tough pill to swallow. Yet, while I may be in the shape I was in two years ago, my knowledge base of what it takes to be healthy, fit and beautiful is powerfully strong. I know exactly what it takes to get back to my prime physical shape. And you know what they say, “Knowing is half the battle”. (Thanks G.I. Joe cartoons for that gem.)

So, my theme for 2016 is: Getting Back to Basics

This means back to recording my meals, logging fitness activities and making myself responsible for my success or lack thereof. I know I’m not alone in my goal for a healthier and more fit 2016. There is a wave of energy towards making a positive healthy change at this time of the year. Let’s get together in person or virtually to encourage, challenge and cheer on one another toward reaching our health and fitness goals.

Let’s Get Healthy Together

Easiest way to connect is online:

MapMyRide | MyFitnessPal | FitBit 

Most impactful way to get connected is in person:

Send me a DM or @ message on Twitter or inbox message on Facebook with a day/time to meet for a walk in one of our fabulous city parks or a bike ride along the greenways.

I hope to get fit with you either through online workout challenges or on a group walk/ride. Here’s to a fabulously fit and healthy 2016.

*We modeled this idea from the Randall Carroll Family (Amazon Sellers) who shared their New Year Family Meeting model with the Educating for Success community. 

Health Fitness Beauty Quest Restart

NaPodPoMo 2015 Day 1 Show Notes:

Thank you for joining me for the National Podcast Post Month Version of the Health Fitness Beauty Quest Show which for the next 30 days will be more of a daily audio digest.

On today’s episode, I give the background of the Health Fitness Beauty Quest. It all began in September 2013. I was 44 years old at the time. That year, like many before, I was wider and less healthy than the year before. In my family we are long-lived and based on the way I was living things weren’t looking favorable on that front.

I wanted to transform my life into one of a healthy lifestyle, but that was also something I had thought every year. So, I knew I would need accountability. By blogging, podcasting, posting videos and sharing progress on social media I was able to take my size 16 179lbs into a size 8 148lbs in 16 months.

The next stage of my quest was to ride my bicycle across the country starting in San Diego, CA and ending in St. Augustine, FL. A distance of over 3,000 miles. On March 31st 2015 the Health Fitness Beauty Quest Bike Tour began. I was very please to have sponsors and individual donations to support the bike tour. Sponsors like: Team RISE UP! Global, Educating for Success, Tourism Currents, Ivita Botanicals, Ventana Media Group and more.

Many folks know about how the tour was cut short in Deming, NM due to my youngest son ill health. He was part of the Support Team and ,came down will what we thought was, severe altitude sickness. We soon discovered that his headaches and nausea were actually due to a brain tumor. Six months later and I am very happy to report that he is on the mend after receiving treatment.

So, what does all of this have to do with the Health Fitness Beauty Quest? Well from the time we discovered my youngest son’s diagnosis, I have led a life that was the opposite of health and fitness. I went from cycling mountains and traversing deserts to little to no movement at all sitting in the hospital at my son’s bedside. Talk about doing a fitness 180º turn! I also discovered I am what you might call a stress eater. Let me tell you that when life hits you something that life altering, it’s stressful.

I jumped on the scale recently and it turns out I am almost right back where I was in September 2013…..not quite…almost. It is a bit frustrating to see the current state of my health and fitness. Which tells me many things. First of all, I need to get back to what I know works. Cycling, walking, tracking my eating and fitness. I also know I need to share this setback and the state of things in my health and fitness in order to have you hold me accountable.

Which is why NaPodPoMo is a perfect time to restart the Health Fitness Beauty Quest. Tomorrow, I will share some of the strategies I plan on implement which includes allowing you daily access to my nutrition and fitness. What better way to stay on track than to share the good, the bad and the ugly?

They say it takes 30 days to create a new habit or break a bad one. By the time November 30th rolls around, I hope to have done both.

Reflections on 2014

On January 1st many of us set New Year’s Resolutions. We resolve to do better. Do more of the things that are good for us (health, fitness, financial) and less of the things that are not so good for us (poor food choices, sedentary living, frivolous spending). The model of success I have found through the Health Fitness Beauty Quest has been one of adding. The focus has never been about taking away, but one of incorporating more of the things that are better for me.

Health

By adding better food choices such as an apple before a breakfast taco or a salad before a burger, I found the cravings for poor food choices naturally minimize and were even deleted from my daily meal options. This does not mean I forgo pizza or burgers or tacos. What it does mean is that those types of food options have fallen into the few and far between meals. I simply do not care to eat them as often as I did in the past.

Fitness

In 2014, I added neighborhood walks, interval treadmill sessions, hiking and gym circuit training to my cycling and swimming. I was surprised to discover how quickly my body responded to mixing up my fitness routine. It took less time to loose inches and gain strength when I varied my workouts. By adding more movement and changing the types of exercise I was doing I saw bigger results.

Beauty

I went big when it came to beauty. I added monthly facials, had an abdominal awake lipo procedure, incorporated a morning and evening beauty regimen and learned more about how to care for myself than I had in all my adult life. I not only learned about beauty care, but I stuck to it day after day, month after month. It’s one thing to learn something, but it is an entirely different thing to see it through day in and day out.

Nutritional Supplements

Although nutritional supplements are not part of my blog title, they have played an important supporting role in each aspect of my health, fitness and beauty. In 2014, I became a part of the #1 nutritional supplement company in the world. Incorporating nutritional supplements to my daily routine was another I found to move my quest forward. By joining the company I also added another stream of income to my business.

As I look back on 2014, I see a year of transition and transformation. I took my life back from the unhealthy version of myself and staked a claim for the new healthy, fit and beautiful version of myself that will live out the rest of my adventure-filled days.

RESULTS: RESET Weight Loss Challenge

RESET Weight Loss ResultsOne week ago today, I started the RESET Weight Loss Challenge. As an Independent Distributor for USANA Health Sciences, I wanted to see how this particular product worked. I have been extremely pleased with the results I have seen after taking USANA’s nutritional supplements that I wondered how well their other products performed.

Here are the results from my 5 day challenge: -6 lbs. I began the morning of day 1 at 157lbs and wound up at 151lbs on the morning of day 6. The results have made me even more of a believer in the products that have now become a daily part of my family’s lives.

Here is my recap video:

 

If you would like to lose an average of *4 1/2-5lbs over 5 days, contact Jennifer via email or Twitter to join the RESET Weight Loss Challenge.

*Individual results may vary.
Disclosure: As of 7/31/2014 Jennifer Navarrete became a USANA Health Sciences Independent Distributor.
Disclaimer: Always consult a doctor before beginning any weight loss, diet or fitness program.

Diving into Discovery Mode: USANA

As part of my continuing discovery journey for the Health Fitness Beauty Quest, I am in Salt Lake City, UT to attend the USANA International Convention. I have used their nutritional supplements for almost a year. In that time I have shared my improved health and energy with you. Now I am putting my detective hat on so I can learn more about why these nutritional supplements have had such an impact to my health. I also want to get to the heart of what makes this company so different.

Join me for daily video interviews on my USTREAM channel and YouTube channel or follow me on Twitter and Facebook using the hashtags: #HFBQ and #USANA14.

Cha-Cha-Changes

Your Healthy Life SignSince beginning the Health Fitness Beauty Quest, there have been many changes in my life over the last 9 months. Some are big changes but most are small little nuances of change that have combined to leave quite the impression in my life. I am the first to admit that my life has not been the healthiest.

There were many times I knew there had to be a better way, but I always thought it would be too hard. I thought a healthy life meant a life of denial. A life without spice or flavor or fun. If I could go back in time and talk to that Jennifer from 20 years ago I would explain how empowering it is to be physically strong after a walk, run, cycling or gym workout. How liberating it can be to make knowledgable nutrition choices. How satisfying it is to be full from eating a delicious meal and not feel bloated afterwards. I call it clean simple living and it’s wonderful.

Over the last 9 months, my life has changed in so many ways. Some I will share with you here on the Health Fitness Beauty Quest. Let’s start with my outlook. Even though my family is long-lived. (90’s to 100’s) and I knew I had the potential to live to a ripe old age, I wasn’t living like I would get there. Each year as I got older, I could see my girth increasing, myself aging and my health dwindling. Now, after 9 months of focusing solely on the three things (health, fitness and beauty) I felt were of importance, my outlook has completely changed. I look back on my previous life and wonder why it took me so long to make the decision to choose a healthy and empowered lifestyle.

If you have been waiting for “some day” to get healthy. That someday is right now. Look yourself in the mirror and verbally claim your healthy, strong and empowered life. Believe me when I tell you, it is so much closer than you think.

Fitness: 100K Bike Tour Jalapeno100

As part of my ongoing fitness journey, I am working towards a 2015 cross-country bike tour. Yes, you read that correctly. I first became inspired after reading the journals from the crazyguyonabike site. The more I read, the more I could imagine taking such a journey. In order to be ready to embark on a ride that lasts for weeks on end means putting some serious miles in the saddle. So, part of my training is to go on longer rides. A fun way I have found to do so is by participating in bike tours. In the past, I have ridden 50 hilly miles and 54 flat miles. My goal on this bike tour was to hit the 100K aka Metric Century milestone. Which for those of us not on the metric system is 62.5 miles.

Jalapeno100 route

The Ride

My fellow cyclist, Penny Muckleroy also had a goal to complete 62.5 miles by April, so we signed up for the Jalapeno 100 Bike Tour in Harlingen, Texas. Originally she was only going to ride 50 miles which is still quite the feat for someone who has never done a bike tour. But once we got riding, Penny decided to go for the gusto and complete her goal a couple of months early.

Turns out where there are wind farms, there is a lot of wind. Did you know that we cycled through fields and fields of wind farms? So, while the route was flat, the wind was the real challenge we had to overcome. And overcome it we did.

Still smiling after 62.5 miles

Still smiling after 62.5 miles

Post Ride Surprise

As readers will recall, Penny Muckleroy is an Independent USANA Distributor who is providing me with supplements for the Health|Fitness|Beauty Quest. I already take my AM and PM nutritional supplements but, for this particular ride, Penny recommended I take some additional supplements to combat muscle fatigue. So I took them before the ride, during the ride and after the ride.

Here is where things got interesting. I have done quite a few bike tours over the last 2 1/2 years. After every long distance ride, I typically have muscle stiffness and achy legs for a couple of days. The fatigue was always especially noticeable after sitting for a while. Since our plan was to drive straight back to San Antonio after the ride I was expecting some serious muscle stiffness to make getting out of the car after a 4 1/2 hour drive a less than pleasant experience.

Imagine my surprise when I got out of the car and didn’t think twice about it. I felt normal. Which was so far from what I had come to expect as normal from my post-ride body. I was puzzled for a couple of seconds until I realized that this was the first long distance bike tour since I began taking the AM/PM pack supplements in September 2013.  That coupled with the extra supplements Penny gave me specifically to combat muscle fatigue for the bike tour made all the difference in my post-ride experience.

I Am A Believer

In previous posts I have written about the changes I have seen in my energy, skin and hair from taking the AM/PM packs. I have shared my story one-on-one and up in front of a crowd. If there was even the tiniest shred of doubt lingering in your mind that the USANA supplements will make a difference in your life, then let me challenge you to give your body the 30-day USANA AM/PM pack a try. I can’t tell you what benefits it will have for you specifically. I really believe each person’s experience is unique to them and their particular circumstances. What I can tell you is that for me each new discovery has been a wonderful surprise. I continue to be impressed by how well I feel and how well my body performs.  Yes, I am a believer. So much so that I now have family members on the AM/PM pack daily regimen. When you know something works, you share it with the people you love.

 

Health: Interesting Observations on the Health Fitness Beauty Quest

abstract treeWhen I started my Health Fitness Beauty Quest in early September, I wasn’t quite sure what I would discover. I was pretty sure whatever it was I would be more knowledgable and healthier. What exactly that would be had yet to be found. Well, here I am on December 10th and I have had many AHA! moments as well as some, Hmmm….interesting moments.

In this post, I will share those moments as it relates to taking the USANA nutritional supplements provided to me by Penny Muckelroy who is an Independent Distributor for the company. Penny gave me a bag full of nutritional items she felt I would need in order to move in a positive direction. The goal was to improve my nutritional health on a cellular level. Penny explained to me that if each individual cell was healthy, then my entire body would be healthy. Sounds simple enough. In order to do that I needed to take a handful of supplements twice a day. These were given to me in AM and PM packs. As in, take this handful of pills in the morning and this second handful of pills in the evening. Seemed like overkill to me, but I was on the quest and listening to my advisors and following their instructions towards better health was the entire point.

USANA AM/PM Pack Supplements

USANA AM/PM Pack Supplements

The Ride

So for a few weeks I took them and other than fluorescent bathroom breaks, nothing seemed to change. At least that was what I thought. About 3-4 weeks into the AM/PM packs, I went for one of my weekly bike rides with my bike group. We went for a normal weekday ride of 18 miles. No big deal, right? Well, actually it was a big deal. About 1/3 of the way I noticed I didn’t feel tired. Then at the halfway mark I still didn’t feel tired. Then we finished the 18 miles and I felt like I could have ridden 18 miles more. What was going on? Then it hit me. The only big thing I had changed was in adding the AM/PM packs to my day.

I thought about all those rides and bike tours I had done in the past (20-54 miles) where I had always felt the fatigue during the ride and pushed myself to complete the tours. All this time I thought that the fatigue was part of the ride. Little did I know I was pushing my cells to do so much on what apparently was an empty gas tank. When I started taking the AM/PM packs my cells began receiving the nutrition they were missing. They charged themselves up and then I really felt what it was like to ride at full power. What a difference!

A Glance In The Mirror

At about two months into taking the AM/PM packs I noticed something else entirely. I was fresh out of the shower, going from robe to my clothes for the day when I happened to glance at my full-length mirror. I was so surprised by what I saw…or should I say what I didn’t see that I stopped for a closer look. I am a 44 year old woman who has a couple of kids under her belt and has lived a bit on the frivolous side of life. So I am sure it is no surprise that I have cellulite and stretch marks on my body. What caused me to stop and stare at myself was what appeared to be smooth skin in places that hadn’t seen smooth skin in years. I went closer to the mirror and I could see the stretch marks, but they were very faint and my skin felt smooth and soft to the touch. I was amazed. Am I saying that if you take the AM/PM packs that this will happen to you? No. I have no idea what will happen to you. I am merely sharing what I am noticing is happening to me.

Shiny and Thick

It is no secret that as we ladies get older hair dye becomes an important part of our beauty routine. Hair dye is not the kindest thing we can do to our hair. In my case, it exasperated things by drying out my hair. So, I now had dry thin hair that on good days I could manage with lots of deep conditioners, leave-in treatments, mousse and hairspray. On bad days my hair resembled a dry haystack.  So, in the third month I was surprised to discover that my hair which has always been fine and in recent years thinning felt thicker to the touch. It also looked shiny. I mean healthy shiny. It was actually bouncy and soft to the touch. When the heck did this happen?!

My Thoughts

When I started taking the AM/PM packs, I had no idea that where I would see the biggest difference would be in the challenging areas of my body. My hair had become more and more of a problem the older I have gotten. I had long ago written off the stretch marks and cellulite as just part of getting older. I thought the energy levels I was experiencing when cycling were what they should be and had no idea how much I was missing.

I cannot say that anyone reading this will experience what I have in just the few short months of my Health Fitness Beauty Quest. In my opinion I am still in the infancy of what I will learn and experience as I move forward. What I can say is that I have found a whole lot of positive benefits to taking the USANA AM/PM nutritional supplement packs on a daily basis.

In the beginning I took the AM/PM packs with little expectation. Now I look forward to taking them. I wonder what the next AHA! moment will be and can’t wait to see how my body will improve as I nourish it on the cellular level. I now am beginning to understand what Penny meant when she explained the importance of doing so back in September. I am so much wiser now than I was then.

I do appreciate all of your encouragement here on the blog in the comments as well as your replies and tweets on Facebook and Twitter. Thank you for continuing to support me on my journey.

Health Assessment Part 3: The Bloodwork

In part three of the Health Assessment, Dr. Ho from Pinnacle Wellness draws some blood and explains what I will learn once the results are back from the lab.

 

 

Disclosure: Pinnacle Wellness is providing me with services for the health portion of my Health | Fitness | Beauty Quest. I will share my personal experiences of my weekly visits through audio posts and videos which will be posted on the site as well as on the Health|Fitness|Beauty Quest YouTube channel.

Health: The Background

After my interview with Dr. Ho and Dr. Q, I scheduled a health assessment at Pinnacle Wellness. I completed a double-sided two page form which was unlike any I had ever filled out at a doctor’s office. I knew right then and there this was no ordinary place. I was even more intrigued to learn more about how the Pinnacle Wellness philosophy would impact my journey.

 

When I sat down with Dr. Q, one of the first things he did during my Health Assessment was ask me questions related to my working habits, physical activity, drinking, eating habits and more. The part  I found rather interesting was when he asked me about the physical health and happiness during my childhood and teen years. There is a method to their system so I invite you to join me in part 1 of a 3 part Health Assessment Series.