Health

Boston Marathon Runner Samantha Poccia Runs For Great Cause

Our latest Virago Warrior, Samantha Poccia of @WellBySamantha, is running the Boston Marathon this year with the Brigham Women's Hospital Gillian Reny Foundation for Trauma Innovation. Gillian Reny was a victim of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing where her leg was severely injured. Because of the fantastic care she received at Brigham Women's Hospital Gillian is able to walk today. Samantha is committed to fundraising for this cause; help her reach her goal of 9k!

Beginning today until May 15th, 20% of all proceeds generated from the Virago Fitness website will be donated to Samantha's goal of $9K. Thank you for your support!

 Gillian Reny - Survivor of Boston Marathon Bombing

Gillian Reny - Survivor of Boston Marathon Bombing

Is Sports Fitness Hypnosis Right For You?

 

Demystifying hypnosis

Hypnosis is nothing new. It has been around for thousands of years. However, given Hollywood’s interpretation of hypnosis, it is very misunderstood. Hypnosis is a state of human consciousness involving focused attention and reduced peripheral awareness and an enhanced capacity to respond to suggestions. The term "hypnosis" comes from the Greek word hypnos meaning "sleep", and the suffix –osis: "put to sleep”. It has been used in many different capacities over the years. My role, as a sport hypnotist, is to use it strictly for enhancing athletic/fitness performance. To help in understanding the role hypnosis plays, it is best to understand what it is not, and talk about some of the myths that exist around it. Once the myths are taken care of then I can talk about how it can help.
 

MYTHS

1. WILL I FEEL HYPNOTIZED?

No you will not feel hypnotized, which can be confusing due to what people see at stage shows, where people are made to do many funny things. If you asked them they would say they didn’t feel hypnotized because they heard everything that was being said. There is a myth out there that while hypnotized you won’t hear anything. The reality is you will hear everything, but from time to time you may drift off and not be paying full attention to what is said, but this happens all the time anyway and is completely normal.

2. WILL I STILL BE IN CONTROL?

Yes, you will still be in control. When you are doing hypnosis for sports/fitness you will still be in full control. The hypnotist will not be able to make you do anything you truly do not want to do. You will only accept suggestions that you want to accept.

 

WHAT IS SPORTS/FITNESS HYPNOSIS?

Now that we have demystified hypnosis, let’s take a look at what sports/fitness hypnosis is all about and why it works so well. The reason sports/fitness hypnosis works so well is because the body responds to commands from the mind much like a robot responds to commands from the programmer. You are in charge. You tell your body what to do.

HERE IS AN EXAMPLE:

When you read a book, do you generate emotions inside your body? What is an emotion? An emotion is a biochemical change. Now, would you ever say that the words on the page created the biochemical change? No, but what did create the biochemical change was your interpretation of the words. You interpreted the words in such a way that it created a thought. That thought became so realistic that your body created a biochemical shift inside your body as if you were actually in the story line.

So the purpose of sports hypnosis is to create images and thoughts in the mind that are so realistic that they create a biochemical change in the body, that then makes the body feel like it is actually there.

The traits you need mentally, emotionally and physically for success you already possess within. With the assistance of sports/fitness hypnosis you can gain access to these abilities and experience the reality of your potential. You are capable of being the athlete you wish to be!

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF SPORTS HYPNOSIS?

One of sports/fitness hypnosis’s main benefits over some other forms of Psychology is its ability in accessing unconscious behaviors rapidly. It is often easy for an athlete to be aware of their ‘problem’ but solving it is another matter when they retain unconscious motivations to keep it alive.


SOME OF THE WAYS HYPNOSIS CAN HELP ARE:

  • Focusing on success, strategy (how to get into the success zone when you need to)
  • Overcoming mental blocks and barriers
  • Reinforcing self-belief, motivation and positive thinking
  • Revisit a previous good performance and set up anchors to trigger that resourceful state again when required.
  • Good nutrition instillation
  • Increase strength: Weight lifting - increase bench press by 30% through hypnosis.

If you want to find out if sports/fitness hypnosis could benefit you

please contact me at kate@qpathlete.com and I would be happy to set up a free 45 min consultation to discuss your needs and goals and if it is a right fit. Hypnosis does not have to be done in person to be beneficial, so even if you can’t make it to my office in San Diego hypnosis may still be right for you! 


KATE ALLGOOD - SPORTS PERFORMANCE PSYCHOLOGIST

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Kate Allgood, founder of Quantum Performance, is a sports psychology coach and the author of the #1 Amazon Bestseller Get Into the Zone: The Essential Guide to High Performance Through Mental Training. She has a BS in psychology from Brock University and a dual masters in general and sport psychology, with a concentration in family psychology, from Capella University. Allgood has been excelling at hockey since she was 6-years-old, was pegged as a potential candidate for the 2010 Winter Olympics, and was even recognized as one of the best female athletes in Canada where she was born. Kateʼs approach as a sports psychology coach comes from a combination of her experience as an elite athlete and different techniques that utilize her certifications in Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT), TAIS Testing, and sports hypnosis. Allgoodʼs passion is helping athletesenhance their mental skills and focus to achieve peak performances. Clients have included professional, semi-professional, high school, collegiate athletes, fitness enthusiasts, as well as Navy Seals.

 

Natural Remedies 3 Of Our Military Veterans Used to Combat PTSD

 

By Rachael Mynatt

It is a battle only the individual understands. A personal fight of post-traumatic stress is combatted and fulfilled differently in each case.

Medication may be prescribed and successfully suppress multiple symptoms, yet there is still a yearning of something more; something natural and fulfilling.

The adrenaline rush of working out; community involvement; the peace of nature; the presence of God; and the companionship with animals have proven to be therapeutic.

Our own Veterans and their family members tell their own stories of the natural ways in which they fought PTSD:


Fitness/Crossfit

Thomas Whiteway, United States Marine Corps Veteran

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“At 21 my dream of having a career in the Marine Corps was over. I was left with a brain injury, PTSD, and no direction for my life. I decided to try CrossFit and instantly found my drive. For the past 7 years I have set goals, worked hard and stayed dedicated to bettering myself through fitness. It has changed my life and helped me immensely with my PTSD. It gives me a place to let out frustrations, to find that adrenaline I crave, a place to relate to others and connect with people in my community. Most of all it gives me ambition to live life, to deal with my issues head on but not let them debilitate me and hinder me from enjoying everything life has to give.”

Outdoors/Faith

Sergeant First Class Bradley Lee, United States Army

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“After Afghanistan, I really struggled with learning how to balance the professional life with my family life. My head always hurt and as a result, I found myself constantly angry for no reason, stressed out, or just plain lost. I grew up hunting and fishing and loved being in the outdoors. So as my “therapy”, I went to the wilderness as much as I could. I learned to talk to God while sitting on a hill top, just staring into the wild. I found that the solitude of nature was good for my soul; it calmed me and gave me balance. The more I did it, the better I was able to manage myself when I returned to home and work. A few years later, I got my first horse. I didn’t even know how to ride. I quickly learned that he was more in tune to me, than I him. Many days, when those demons would start creeping up, I would just stand in pasture and let him rest his head on my shoulder. Those moments really crushed the demons. Still to this day, a trip to the woods or some time with a horse do more for my well-being than any medication the doctors ever tried on me. During my trials, I became a believer, and now I place all problems in God’s hands. Nothing is more holistic than a few prayers, a trip to the woods, a pond, or a horse ride.”

Horses/Animals

United States Army Veteran Spouse

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“He returned home with a lack of emotion; a sense of avoidance. Every day seemed like a fight of restlessness and anxiety that stemmed from an unknown source. He constantly stressed about where his life was going, what he wanted to do. He was an avid fitness junkie but that just never did it. He was never a man of routine; he needed spontaneity, a challenge. The moment he got on a horse, it just clicked. There was a spiritual connection that was lit that day, and has burned like mad ever since. When he is on that horse, he is alive. His horse allows him to be emotionally vulnerable. His horse gives him the rush he craves, yet calms him at the same time. They are an unbreakable team of mutual hard work and respect. My husband’s experience with horses has given him a purpose. It has brought out the life in him.”

 

What inspires and fulfills each of us is different.

Regardless- there is something to be said of the healing aspects of the natural life around us.

Fitness, nature, faith, animals, community- are all powerful. 


Rachael Mynatt

Rachael earned her BS in Health and Exercise Science from Colorado State University. She has a variety of experience in preventative health settings as well as rehabilitation clinics. She has worked as an Educator and Marketing Coordinator in Wellness Centers as well as assisting Physical Therapists with treatment programs and rehabilitation. Rachael is a yoga instructor of two extremes: Sculpt Yoga and Medical Yoga and Meditation. She is a firm believer in exercise as medicine. 

In 2013, Rachael moved to Vicenza, Italy to be reunited with her husband stationed overseas.  Rachael began working in the Army Wellness Center performing health assessments, exercise testing, marketing campaigns, and was selected to instruct Medical Yoga and Meditation to physically and mentally broken soldiers and referrals of Behavioral Health. While instructing, she emphasized mind-body awareness and the utilization of low-intensity movement and postures. Medical Yoga and Meditation is meant to improve strength, flexibility, endurance, balance, and coordination, as well as develop mind-body integration and self-regulation skills.

"I believe mindset and self-regulation are powerful tools. There is nothing more fulfilling than the sound of a soldier suffering from insomnia and PTSD snoring throughout guided meditation. Instructing our broken military men and women has inspired me and motivated me to create an impact. It is our duty to create positive change."

 

DR EMILY POCCIA'S NATURE CURE SERIES : TIP #5 - Eat Whole Foods

 

DR EMILY POCCIA, ND, EXPLAINS IN THIS 5 PART VIRBLOGO SERIES HOW A LITTLE CONCIOUSNESS IN YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE CAN HAVE INTENSE HEALTH BENEFITS BY INCORPORATING THESE NATURE CURES INTO YOUR DAILY ROUTINES.

Nature cure is about getting back to the basics. It encompasses elements of life that make us thrive and heal. Many illnesses and diseases today are derived from our lifestyles and can be prevented with some attention to these basic, yet essential human needs. Here's #4.

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Eat Whole Foods From The Earth

Food is what fuels our bodies, our cells and is critical for our energy and health. Diet is perhaps one of the most talked about and controversial discussions in health today. You may ask yourself on a daily basis, “Should I eat Paleo or gluten free? Or maybe I should become a raw vegan!” Today we are not going to discuss a certain diet per se, but more about a way to choose your food.

Grocery stores have made it easier and easier to get all sorts of food into our home and into our mouths, but you may want to think about these simple guidelines before opening a package of Oreos.

Guideline #1- The most nutritious foods are whole foods that come from earth. These are foods that are not tampered with to get an end product and come directly from the earth. These would include fruits, vegetables, dried beans, nuts and seeds. They are high in fiber, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins essential for our health.

Guideline #2- There is only 1 ingredient- the food itself! No additives, preservative or chemicals.

Guideline #3- Eat the rainbow- and I’m not talking about skittles here, I’m talking about colorful, fruits and vegetables! If you think about getting in all your colors then you will be making sure to get a variety of foods that offer an array of vitamins and nutrients.

Guideline #4- Buy organic when possible. Unfortunately there are a lot of genetically modified crops circulating out there, which interfere with our hormones. Hopefully these guidelines help to boost your health and increase your vitality. I’m not saying you can’t add other things to your diet, but just try to add more of these whole foods.

When picking foods that have more than 1 ingredient make sure that all or most of the ingredients are whole foods themselves.

Most importantly make sure what you’re eating is tailored to you! If you have a sensitivity to a food then take it out!

References: 

http://www.nutritionmd.org/nutrition_tips/nutrition_tips_understand_foods/whole_advantages.html


Dr. Emily Poccia

Dr. Emily Poccia offers a Family Medicine practice at RestorMedicine in San Diego with a primary focus in the treatment and management of chronic Lyme disease. She graduated from Southwest Collage of Naturopathic Medicine in 2014 and moved to San Diego soon after. Originally from Connecticut she is no stranger to Lyme Disease and felt a need to support this population through their health journey. She was trained by Lyme literate doctor and author of, “The Beginner’s Guide to Lyme”, and “Lyme Brain”, Dr. Nicola Ducharme. 

Dr. Emily is highly committed to using Naturopathic principles that are centered around supporting the body’s innate ability to heal itself and treating the whole person. She does this by using diagnostic testing to find the root cause of illness then supports the body’s healing process using natural therapies like botanical medicine, nutrition, gemstone energy medicine, nutritional supplementation, homeopathy and nutritional IV’s. Her goal, whether you have a chronic illness or any health concern, is to support all dimensions of your health- physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and energetic. Dr. Emily believes strongly in doctor as teacher, a principle that allows her to empower her patients and their families so they can take an active role in their health and live healthier lives.

You can find out more about Dr. Emily, the practice, and schedule appointments at RestorMedicine.com. She also hosts lectures on different health topics, and be sure to check out her personal blog called High Five to Health.

Follow her on Instagram / @highfivetohealth and visit her blog / www.highfivetohealth.org

 

DR EMILY POCCIA'S NATURE CURE SERIES : TIP #4 - GET RESTFUL SLEEP

 

DR EMILY POCCIA, ND, EXPLAINS IN THIS 5 PART VIRBLOGO SERIES HOW A LITTLE CONCIOUSNESS IN YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE CAN HAVE INTENSE HEALTH BENEFITS BY INCORPORATING THESE NATURE CURES INTO YOUR DAILY ROUTINES.

Nature cure is about getting back to the basics. It encompasses elements of life that make us thrive and heal. Many illnesses and diseases today are derived from our lifestyles and can be prevented with some attention to these basic, yet essential human needs. Here's #4.

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GET RESTFUL SLEEP

Are you one of those people who only needs 4 or 5 hours of sleep to function? Although that may seem true lets take a closer look at how important restful sleep can be. When talking about sleep we normally hear about how getting 8 hours of sleep a night is ideal. While this is true it is also important to know that the time you go to sleep and the quality of that sleep plays a big role as well.

Ideally the best time to go to sleep is between 10 and 11pm and wake at 6 or 7 am. This time of night is when our cortisol levels (stress hormone) and temperature start to naturally drop and melatonin (our sleep hormone) is stimulated in the pineal gland in the brain.

Our sleep cycle is directly affected by light and darkness so as it become darker our brain knows to produce melatonin to go to sleep. When we miss this window of time to go to bed our circadian rhythms are thrown off and we may miss the most restful part of sleep! Everyone is different so find the timing that works best for you to go to sleep but try to stick to a schedule so your brain can pick up on that pattern.

When we are sleeping this is the time when the immune system reboots itself, thus increasing our immune functions and even our life span!

Memory is also improved. When sleeping the new things we are trying to learn during the day are laid down with more permanence in the brain leading to better memory and learning skills.

It also enhances our attention for the next day. Sleep is required for our nervous system to work properly and to balance our neurotransmitters. People with sleep deprivation or insomnia may have issues with mood, hallucinations, nervousness and more.

Sleep can help curve inflammatory markers that lead to heart disease, arthritis and even allergies.

It also helps regulate our weight by increasing metabolism and directing our body to break down more fat. The part of the brain that controls sleep also controls metabolism. So when there is sleep deprivation certain hormones increase in the blood that drive appetite.

References:

http://www.byrdie.com/best-time-to-sleep

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10608-014-9651-7#page-2

http://time.com/3183183/you-asked-whats-the-ideal-time-to-go-to-sleep/


Dr. Emily Poccia

Dr. Emily Poccia offers a Family Medicine practice at RestorMedicine in San Diego with a primary focus in the treatment and management of chronic Lyme disease. She graduated from Southwest Collage of Naturopathic Medicine in 2014 and moved to San Diego soon after. Originally from Connecticut she is no stranger to Lyme Disease and felt a need to support this population through their health journey. She was trained by Lyme literate doctor and author of, “The Beginner’s Guide to Lyme”, and “Lyme Brain”, Dr. Nicola Ducharme. 

Dr. Emily is highly committed to using Naturopathic principles that are centered around supporting the body’s innate ability to heal itself and treating the whole person. She does this by using diagnostic testing to find the root cause of illness then supports the body’s healing process using natural therapies like botanical medicine, nutrition, gemstone energy medicine, nutritional supplementation, homeopathy and nutritional IV’s. Her goal, whether you have a chronic illness or any health concern, is to support all dimensions of your health- physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and energetic. Dr. Emily believes strongly in doctor as teacher, a principle that allows her to empower her patients and their families so they can take an active role in their health and live healthier lives.

You can find out more about Dr. Emily, the practice, and schedule appointments at RestorMedicine.com. She also hosts lectures on different health topics, and be sure to check out her personal blog called High Five to Health.

Follow her on Instagram / @highfivetohealth and visit her blog / www.highfivetohealth.org

 

DR EMILY POCCIA'S NATURE CURE SERIES : TIP #3 - Get Adequate Sunlight

 

DR EMILY POCCIA, ND, EXPLAINS IN THIS 5 PART VIRBLOGO SERIES HOW A LITTLE CONCIOUSNESS IN YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE CAN HAVE INTENSE HEALTH BENEFITS BY INCORPORATING THESE NATURE CURES INTO YOUR DAILY ROUTINES.

Nature cure is about getting back to the basics. It encompasses elements of life that make us thrive and heal. Many illnesses and diseases today are derived from our lifestyles and can be prevented with some attention to these basic, yet essential human needs. Here's #3.

Get Adequate Sunlight

Sunlight is extremely important to our health. Ever wonder why there is seasonal depression in some parts of the world? The places with the highest incidents are places with less sunlight!

Sunlight activates the Vitamin D in our body. Vitamin D plays a big role in our mood, in maintaining bone density and maintaining our immune system. Low levels of Vitamin D are associated with autoimmune disease. In order to get enough Vitamin D from the sun you must be out in the sun ideally when the sun is the strongest (noon) and allow for your bare skin to be exposed (ideally your chest or back or any large area of skin) for 10-15 minutes, or just long enough for the skin to start to turn pink.

Sunlight has a multitude of benefits. It was used to disinfect and heal wounds in World War I. It can heal skin disorders like psoriasis, eczema, fungal infections, and acne. The sun has the ability to convert cholesterol in the blood into steroid hormones and sex hormones needed for reproduction. It can help reduce blood pressure by dilating blood vessels and also increasing the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood-(it’s ability to deliver oxygen to the tissues).

The best way to get sunlight is to get exposure slowly. This will decrease the risk of sunburns. Another great way to reduce burning is to increase your antioxidant levels. Look for dark red, blue and purple foods and herbs like blueberries, blackberries, hawthorn berries, elderberries, and barberries to name a few.

See Emily's Nature Cure Tip #2 here.

READ MORE FROM DR. EMILY AT WWW.HIGHFIVETOHEALTH.ORG


Dr. Emily Poccia

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Dr. Emily Poccia offers a Family Medicine practice at RestorMedicine in San Diego with a primary focus in the treatment and management of chronic Lyme disease. She graduated from Southwest Collage of Naturopathic Medicine in 2014 and moved to San Diego soon after. Originally from Connecticut she is no stranger to Lyme Disease and felt a need to support this population through their health journey. She was trained by Lyme literate doctor and author of, “The Beginner’s Guide to Lyme”, and “Lyme Brain”, Dr. Nicola Ducharme. 

Dr. Emily is highly committed to using Naturopathic principles that are centered around supporting the body’s innate ability to heal itself and treating the whole person. She does this by using diagnostic testing to find the root cause of illness then supports the body’s healing process using natural therapies like botanical medicine, nutrition, gemstone energy medicine, nutritional supplementation, homeopathy and nutritional IV’s. Her goal, whether you have a chronic illness or any health concern, is to support all dimensions of your health- physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and energetic. Dr. Emily believes strongly in doctor as teacher, a principle that allows her to empower her patients and their families so they can take an active role in their health and live healthier lives.

You can find out more about Dr. Emily, the practice, and schedule appointments at RestorMedicine.com. She also hosts lectures on different health topics, and be sure to check out her personal blog called High Five to Health.

Follow her on Instagram / @highfivetohealth and visit her blog / www.highfivetohealth.org

 

20 Ways to Fit Exercise Into Your Vacation

 

When I first started my career as a Flight Attendant it seemed like keeping up my regular fitness routine was going to be impossible. As an avid travel junkie who’s job keeps them on the road and in the air for half the month maintaining an active lifestyle outside of the airplane cabin did not seem possible.

One day, as I was sitting in my jump seat taxing out for takeoff with the cold damp streets of Toronto disappearing behind the wings of the plane, I realized I just couldn't keep making up excuses. Something had to change. 

 Now that my job required me to both sit and stand in tight crowds for long periods of time during any and every city’s cold season, sticking to my health and fitness goals was going to be vital to my long term wellness. I had to find a way to continue to make my healthy lifestyle a top priority no matter where I was in the world.

We are all creatures of habit so when we are out of our routines generally our goals and plans just go straight out the window! But you don't have to lose the momentum with your workouts and just because you have an incurable case of wanderlust. 
To ensure that fitness is a significant part of a nomadic lifestyle you have to link Pleasure to movement. If exercising and working out is a giant pain for you then you need to look at what kind of exercising you are participating in. 

The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least five days a week to prevent heart disease, stoke and to improve the quality of your cardiovascular system. The following list is a compilation of travel-friendly activities that will burn off the careless calories that come with any family vacation or business trip. These fun physical activities will not only allow you to get your workouts and exercise in but will also allow you to discover the area in which you are visiting. No one likes feeling left out while on vacation so these exercises will be a sure hit for everyone!


 1.   Biking


 2.   Roller Skating


 3.   Rollerblading


 4.  Yoga (Go Zen out and meet some locals)


 5.   Dancing (Hit a local dance studio, bar or nightclub)


 6.   Hiking


7. Walking


 8.  SWIMMING


 9.  SEX! (MY FAVORITE!!!) 


10. Rock Climbing

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 11.  PILATES
 

12. HORSEBACK RIDING
 

13. SKATEBOARDING (GET IN TOUCH WITH YOUR INNER CHILD? ;)

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14. Surfing


15. Golf


16. Jogging/Running

17. USE THE STAIRS INSTEAD OF THE LIFT AT YOUR HOTEL


18. SKIING


19. SNOWBOARDING

 

20. Playing ball with the kids at a local park


   Finding out what traditional sport or perhaps dance that the locals enjoy is a great way to learn something new and is also a great way to link pleasure to movement.

    No matter how big or small your workouts may be, the key is to keep moving and to praise yourself for keeping up the great work!


Kerrie Mitchell - Women's Empowerment + Health Coach

Kerrie Mitchell is a Women’s Empowerment and Health Coach and has been inspiring women since moving to Toronto, Canada from Melbourne Australia in 2012. After coaching many women over the years on their health and fitness goals, Kerrie’s end goal is to work with women who are ready to feel energized, alive and connected with their mind, body and soul and those who want to start living a truly fulfilled life that they deserve. Working as a Flight Attendant and specializing in women’s Health Coaching, Kerrie has found the balance between staying fit and healthy while on the road and maintaining a lifestyle that still reaches her own personal health goals. After completing her personal training certification and Health Coach certification with the Become a Health Coach Institute, Kerrie works one-on-one with her clients so they receive a personalized and memorable experience. Kerrie Loves to travel, meet new amazing people, eat awesome food, swing a Kettlebell and dance to really awesome 90’s RnB.

Her true love is a good conversation over a perfect cup of coffee!

http://kerrieemitchell.com/

 

 

 

 

 

3 Secrets that will Extend New Year's Resolution Success

 

It has been a month since the calendar switched to 2017, and right about now is the time when many people who made those wonderful New Year’s Resolutions start to fall off from what they had wanted and intended to do this upcoming year. There are a number of reasons why this occurs, but there are also a number of things you can do to stay on track. Here are a few tips to ensure this year’s resolution sticks beyond the first month or two of 2017.

Tip #1: Don’t put too much on your plate

I see this all the time. One year ends and another begins and all of sudden this is the only time of year people feel they can think about what they want to change or how they would like to grow. This emphasis on the New Year being synonymous with big change can cause many people to put too much on their plate at one time. It is important to have goals and a desire to change things, and the New Year is a good time to reflect, but growth is a process.

While you may want to change a few things over the next year, start one at a time. If your goal is to get to the gym four times a week and eat healthier this year, first try to get to the gym 4 times a week for a month or two. Let it become a habit before you add something else. Once you feel getting to the gym is more of a habit than a chore, start making changes to your nutrition.

Tip #2: Don’t bite off more than you can chew

Much in line with the first tip, be realistic about how much change you can implement but don’t forget that your goals should be as realistic as your expectations. If you try to change too much too quickly you will fail. If your objective is to go to the gym five times a week for an hour after you have been avoiding your gym for the last decade, there is a good chance your commitment to this resolution with end before your 30-day trial does.

Instead, begin your journey to change with the intention of progressing in stages. If your gym attendance goal is first set at three times a week in January, then four times a week in February, then five times a week by March you are much more likely to maintain the five times a week for a longer period of time, then just jumping right into it.

When I have my clients start to meditate for the first time, I don’t have them start off with 20 minutes. They would never do it. I have them start with five minutes sessions with the target of practicing five times a week. With time, when they make that a habit, we start to increase the time.

Tip #3: Make your resolutions habits

When you start something new it requires a good deal of willpower. When you are first trying to go to the gym it takes effort, and if that effort and self-discipline is not changed into a habit within the first month or two, then you will stop. We only have so much resolve.

Think of the habits you have - both good and bad - and how easy it is to do them when you're on autopilot. Now think go trying to do something that is not a habit. It takes a whole lot more effort. One of the reasons I start my clients off with five minutes of meditation is that I want them to create a habit around finding the time to sit and meditate. Once they do, increasing their focused time is easy.


KATE ALLGOOD - SPORTS PERFORMANCE PSYCHOLOGIST

Kate Allgood, founder of Quantum Performance, is a sports psychology coach and the author of the #1 Amazon Bestseller Get Into the Zone: The Essential Guide to High Performance Through Mental Training. She has a BS in psychology from Brock University and a dual masters in general and sport psychology, with a concentration in family psychology, from Capella University. Allgood has been excelling at hockey since she was 6-years-old, was pegged as a potential candidate for the 2010 Winter Olympics, and was even recognized as one of the best female athletes in Canada where she was born. Kateʼs approach as a sports psychology coach comes from a combination of her experience as an elite athlete and different techniques that utilize her certifications in Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT), TAIS Testing, and sports hypnosis. Allgoodʼs passion is helping athletesenhance their mental skills and focus to achieve peak performances. Clients have included professional, semi-professional, high school, collegiate athletes, fitness enthusiasts, as well as Navy Seals.

 

The Benefits of Yoga and Meditation for Veterans Struggling with PTSD

By Rachael Mynatt

 Photo from YogaJournal

Photo from YogaJournal

I sat on my mat, looking at the blank faces of pain, of instability, of anxiety, of fear. The intimidation I felt sitting as a civilian instructor, attempting to relate and calm the physically and mentally broken veterans and soldiers of the Army, was immeasurable.

How could I relate?

I introduced myself, instructed them into Child’s Pose, and the class began. As I guided the class, I watched one man, then two, sit down in exhaustion and frustration. I felt an overwhelming sense of failure. But- I continued instructing. The men and women alternated taking breaks, wiping tears, and rocking back and forth.  

I cut the practice short, closed my eyes, and began guiding the soldiers into meditation. Just minutes in, I was interrupted - snoring. I was in disbelief. One of the men suffering an ongoing struggle with insomnia had fallen asleep. I guided this man into a deep sleep, each class, for the next year.

I moved to Vicenza, Italy in 2013 to reunite with my husband who was stationed at Caserma Ederle Army base. I had no previous experience working with the military upon arrival. Soon after working at the Army Wellness Center, I was selected to take over the Medical Yoga and Meditation program. The participants included soldiers and civilians referred by Behavioral Health and the Medical Command in hopes of gaining mental and physical strength and relief. Prior to teaching, I was informed by Behavioral Health the class would be difficult to instruct. My participants suffered from PTSD, insomnia, anxiety disorders, and physical injuries. Many had very limited movement, some extremely unsociable.

According to the National Center for PTSD, “Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault” (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 2016). Symptoms may include: flashbacks; avoiding reminders of events; trouble sleeping; anxiety; feelings of hopelessness, shame or despair; depression; drinking or drug problems; etc.

 

PTSD affects 2.2% of the population and 20% of veterans. At least 22 American Veterans take their lives every day (PTSD Foundation of America).

 

Although there are multiple recommended medications and means of treating PTSD- the root of the problem is a loss of mindfulness; a loss of the ability to self-regulate and control the mind- a specific struggle the practice of yoga is meant to teach.

Yoga is an ancient meditation and religious practice dating back to the third century BCE. In Western society today, yoga has adapted into a popular practice for health enthusiasts and has become one of the top ten complimentary alternative medicine programs in the United States (The Trauma Center, 2007). Each yoga practice is based on the philosophy that mind, body, and spirit are each connected.

I witnessed, first-hand, the power yoga has on the traumatically affected military men and women. Yoga and meditation allowed them a private, safe, space to practice regulating their breath; slowing their thoughts down. Meditation allowed them to block out distractions, flashbacks, and focus on finding calmness. These men and women developed a space on their mat in which they focused on finding their inner peace; their true self.

 

Of the 20% of veterans suffering from PTSD- less than 40% reach seek help (PTSD Foundation of America).

 

If you know of anyone, specifically veterans and/or soldiers, suffering from PTSD- reach out and inform. Self-regulation is an ongoing practice and devotion- help those who served us. 


Rachael Mynatt

Rachael earned her BS in Health and Exercise Science from Colorado State University. She has a variety of experience in preventative health settings as well as rehabilitation clinics. She has worked as an Educator and Marketing Coordinator in Wellness Centers as well as assisting Physical Therapists with treatment programs and rehabilitation. Rachael is a yoga instructor of two extremes: Sculpt Yoga and Medical Yoga and Meditation. She is a firm believer in exercise as medicine. 

In 2013, Rachael moved to Vicenza, Italy to be reunited with her husband stationed overseas.  Rachael began working in the Army Wellness Center performing health assessments, exercise testing, marketing campaigns, and was selected to instruct Medical Yoga and Meditation to physically and mentally broken soldiers and referrals of Behavioral Health. While instructing, she emphasized mind-body awareness and the utilization of low-intensity movement and postures. Medical Yoga and Meditation is meant to improve strength, flexibility, endurance, balance, and coordination, as well as develop mind-body integration and self-regulation skills.

"I believe mindset and self-regulation are powerful tools. There is nothing more fulfilling than the sound of a soldier suffering from insomnia and PTSD snoring throughout guided meditation. Instructing our broken military men and women has inspired me and motivated me to create an impact. It is our duty to create positive change."

9 Healthy Snacks to Pack For Your Next Trip

Kerrie Mitchell is a busy Flight Attendant and Women’s Health coach, which means she is always on the go. We all know that eating healthy while traveling can be quite challenging. Minimal access to a variety of food options and refrigerators between hotels means that knowing what types of snacks are good for us is key. If you are able to pack them ahead of time, that's even better! 

Here are 9 travel approved healthy snacks to keep your eye out for on the road, in the air, or to pack before you leave the house. 

First, what is important about healthy snacking? 

Healthy snacks are important for those in-between meal moments because they:

  • Sustain your energy from meal to meal
  • Stabilize your blood sugar
  • Keep your mood steady and focus sharp  

9 Healthy Snacks

1. NUTS

An excellent source of high protein:

Look for raw or dry roasted and stay away from nuts with additives like vegetable oil and salt, as these can turn rancid if they sit in a bag in a store. 

2. Fruit

Packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants:

Look for organic fruit like bananas packed with potassium, and oranges loaded with Vitamin C.

3. Yogurt

High in protein and good source of healthy fats:

Look for full-fat, organic yogurt or ones that do not contain artificial flavors or sweeteners like corn syrup. 

4. Hard Boiled Eggs

High source of protein and will keep your blood sugars level:

Boil them the night before and throw a couple in your bag. 

5. Energy Bars

A much healthier and nutritious alternative to chocolate bars:

Avoid brands with soy protein isolate and look for brands that contain over 10 grams of whey protein, hemp protein or pea protein. (Make sure they are not loaded with sugar or sugar alternatives).

6. Dark Chocolate

High in natural caffeine that can give you that energy boost you need: 

Look for brands that list cocoa as the first ingredient not sugar. 

7. Trail Mix

Packed with a combo of proteins and sugars to increase your energy:

Look for a mix that doesn’t contain added vegetable oil and salt or buy a variety of nuts, seeds, raisins and cranberries at the health store to mix yourself. 

8. Raw Veggies

Loaded with vitamins and minerals:

Choose organic veggies where possible and cut the morning of to maintain their maximum nutrients instead of buying pre-cut slices in a bag. 

pexels-photo-41123.jpg

9. Seeds

Pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds are high in sources of vegetable protein: 

Look for raw seeds wherever possible. You can find them in the bulk food section. 


What do I do now?

If you want to make sure that you’re eating healthy all the time, before traveling, I recommend that you schedule in your diary some time to plan and prepare what you are going to take with you or buy while away from home. 

Eating well starts by deciding that you are worth it and making a commitment to put in the extra effort. Decide, commit and succeed! Ever heard that old saying, "You are what you eat"? You better believe it! 

We cannot overwhelm ourselves by thinking we have to change everything about who we are! Start small, bite size chunks and lean into the healthiest action steps you can take to becoming a healthier version of who you want to be! In my next article, I will show you what meals are ideal for you to eat while on the road to optimize your energy levels, stamina and moods.

Healthy travels!


Kerrie Mitchell - Women's Empowerment + Health Coach

Kerrie Mitchell is a Women’s Empowerment and Health Coach and has been inspiring women since moving to Toronto, Canada from Melbourne Australia in 2012.

After coaching many women over the years on their health and fitness goals, Kerrie’s end goal is to work with women who are ready to feel energized, alive and connected with their mind, body and soul and those who want to start living a truly fulfilled life that they deserve.

Working as a Flight Attendant and specializing in women’s Health Coaching, Kerrie has found the balance between staying fit and healthy while on the road and maintaining a lifestyle that still reaches her own personal health goals.

After completing her personal training certification and Health Coach certification with the Become a Health Coach Institute, Kerrie works one-on-one with her clients so they receive a personalized and memorable experience.

Kerrie Loves to travel, meet new amazing people, eat awesome food, swing a Kettlebell and dance to really awesome 90’s RnB.

Her true love is a good conversation over a perfect cup of coffee!

Want To Get Fit & Healthy This Year? Stop Setting Yourself Up For Failure

New Year-New You?  Let's get real.

Don't set yourself up for failure. Whether you are going carb free, gluten free, dairy free or wanting to be the best you can be, you can't do it cold turkey. If you cut out all sugar, carbs, wheat, dairy or do 200 sit ups on January 2nd, on January 3rd and 4th you will want to die. Ok, that might be a little dramatic, but drastically changing your eating habits will give you flu like symptoms because your body is detoxing, just like going off of a drug. Let's face it... sugar is a drug and most of America is addicted! You will think, "This isn't working. I feel worse". 

That is why when creating healthy habits this year, everything needs to be done in moderation.  No shakes, diet pills or gimmicks. Eat real whole foods, drink clean water, engage in moderate exercise and take small doses of supplements. Becoming a healthier you is life style change, not a 30 day plan. It is a lifetime plan. 

For best results slowly cut out all processed food, carbs, etc. If you eat three pieces of bread a day start eating two for a couple days. Then reduce your bread intake to one piece and then start slowly cutting out other forms of sugar. If you are drinking soda, slowly cut down. When you decide to start taking supplements, slowly introduce them to your body. 

I started taking a different form of magnesium a couple of weeks ago. It said to take four a day.  So I started taking one a day, then after a week starting taking two a day. I'm still not taking four yet, but as with anything do it slowly and in moderation. Even good things need to slowly be introduced to your system. So instead of joining a gym tomorrow, how about a walk or a run. 

Remember, this is a lifestyle change not a diet. You can do it! Just do it wisely.

For more sustainable health tips, visit www.littlemountainfarmco.org. IG: @littlemountainfarmco


KRISTIE RESTIVO - LITTLE MOUNTAIN FARM CO

Born and raised in Orange County, CA, her and her husband are unlikely farmers working toward sustainability, organic and low carbon footprint living. A free spirited entrepreneur with gypsy like qualities being married to a retired Gunnery Sergeant who is always on a "mission" makes for a very interesting life.   

"We have a strong passion for supporting our military, as we all should. That is why we give a portion of our proceeds to helping transitional/homeless veterans in our community."

Dr Emily Poccia's Nature Cure Series : Tip #2 - Drink CLEAN Water

Dr Emily Poccia, ND, explains in this 5 Part VirBLOGo Series how a little conciousness in your everyday life can have intense health benefits by incorporating these Nature Cures into your daily Routines.

Nature cure is about getting back to the basics. It encompasses elements of life that make us thrive and heal. Many illnesses and diseases today are derived from our lifestyles and can be prevented with some attention to these basic yet essential human needs. Here's #2.

Drink Clean Water (and enough of it!) 

We are made up of 75% water so essentially we are just big bags of H2O! It is critical that we drink enough clean water everyday. Ideally you should be drinking ½ your body weight in oz of water per day and more if you are detoxing, exercising, or live in a dry or hot place.

Make sure you are drinking clean water! Most tap water is not clean enough for drinking. It is processed and purified using chloride, which has been linked to some serious health issues. Distilled water and reverse osmosis water are depleted of all minerals, and deionized water has not been purified of bacteria and pathogens. You also want to be weary of bottled water as toxic chemicals from the plastic can leech into the water.

So what type of water should you drink?

Ideally you should choose from natural spring water, mineral water or alkaline water. These are all clean waters sources that include minerals which are needed for the body to function- in particular your heart, muscles and adrenal glands. 

You may also opt for a water filter in your home. Look for ones that have Absolute 1 micron filtration or Ozonation. I like Life Ionizers for alkaline filters.

You can find them at http://www.lifeionizers.com/

365 Days of Healthy Living

Derived from the famous Socrates quote: "The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new", Virago's #buildthenew campaign is about just that. New Year's Resolutions are sometimes unsuccessful for many people because they are too focused on fighting the old. Also, they expect the change to happen overnight. Don't forget my friends, that although symbolic of a new beginning, New Years day is just another day. Nothing is going to change or happen overnight. Thus, we must focus all of our energy on building the new. Living a healthy lifestyle takes dedication, but it can be achieved. Here are 365 ways that you can live a healthy life one day at a time. 

CHALLENGE: Do everything on this list, and when you do tag @ViragoFitness on Instagram and use the hashtags #BUILDTHENEW & #VIRAGOFITNESS

  1. Make a smoothie
  2. Sign up for a free exercise class
  3. Start a gratitude journal
  4. Listen to your favorite album
  5. Stargaze
  6. Take your favorite dessert and adjust the recipe to make it healthy
  7. Try yoga
  8. Write a letter to someone that inspires you
  9. Go to your local farmers market
  10. Print your favorite photos and hang them
  11. Start taking a multivitamin
  12. Take a bath
  13. Surprise someone you love with a gift
  14. Read your favorite inspirational book
  15. Eat a salad
  16. Try kickboxing
  17. Draw a picture
  18. Go on a walk around your block
  19. Go meatless for a day
  20. Watch a TED talk
  21. Give yourself a spa treatment
  22. Drink hot tea before you go to bed
  23. Wake up early and run
  24. Meditate
  25. Get a fancy dinner at a restaurant
  26. Watch your favorite movie
  27. Create a new recipe
  28. Write a positive review online
  29. Put on clean sheets
  30. Go to Trader Joe’s and buy something you’ve never tried before
  31. Learn a few sentences of a new language
  32. Meet a friend for a drink
  33. Go to a Zumba class
  34. Give a server a big tip
  35. Camp in your backyard
  36. Write down all of the things you like about yourself
  37. Make a budget
  38. Eat an avocado
  39. Go to an art gallery
  40. Invest in some good running shoes
  41. Follow an inspiring Instagram account
  42. Forgive someone
  43. Write a letter to your future self
  44. Have sex
  45. Give a stranger a compliment
  46. Sign up for a 5k
  47. Make your own hummus
  48. Buy a houseplant
  49. Try a spin class
  50. Wear your favorite outfit
  51. Watch the clouds
  52. Pay for someone else's coffee
  53. Turn your phone off for the day
  54. Infuse your water with fruit
  55. Go on a hike
  56. Plan a staycation
  57. Treat yourself to something tasty
  58. Look at old photo albums
  59. See a chiropractor
  60. Make homemade oatmeal
  61. Go outside and take photos of things that inspire you
  62. Give a homeless person a sandwich
  63. Take a nap outside
  64. Make chia seed pudding
  65. Listen to oldies
  66. Tell someone you love them
  67. Drink half of your body weight in oz of water
  68. Go indoor rock climbing
  69. Surprise someone at their work
  70. Buy flowers
  71. Get some fresh air
  72. Read your favorite book again
  73. Take a cooking class
  74. Buy some workout clothes
  75. Apply a face mask
  76. Visit your local flea market
  77. Get a massage
  78. Get yourself something special
  79. Subscribe to a health / fitness magazine
  80. Organize your pantry
  81. Do a detox
  82. Juice your fruits and veggies
  83. Go to the beach
  84. Sit in the sun for 15 minutes
  85. Get rid of something you don’t use
  86. Make a space in your home that is just for you to relax in
  87. Tell yourself you are beautiful
  88. Learn Karate
  89. Listen to a podcast that interests you
  90. Volunteer for a cause you care about
  91. Burn sage in your home
  92. Don’t check social media for a day
  93. Start a blog
  94. Stretch
  95. Go for a bike ride
  96. Write thank you cards
  97. Don’t worry
  98. Plant a garden
  99. Buy a fountain
  100. Go to a concert
  101. Sign up for a 10k
  102. Make an Acai bowl
  103. Learn how to skateboard
  104. Clean your house
  105. Look into hiring a meal prep service
  106. Make a playlist for working out
  107. Do yoga outdoors
  108. Go swimming
  109. Make a healthy recipe book
  110. Buy a new album
  111. Go to the library
  112. Take a dance class
  113. Go for a long walk
  114. Plan your meals for the week
  115. Watch a stand-up comedy show
  116. Learn how to build a fire
  117. Jot down positive affirmations and tape them to your mirror
  118. Collect shells on a beach
  119. Get inspired on Pinterest for an hour
  120. Host a party
  121. Go kayaking
  122. Exfoliate your face
  123. Go camping
  124. Learn to surf
  125. Hug someone
  126. Get a haircut
  127. Make an inspiration board
  128. Go roller skating
  129. Try hypnotherapy
  130. Get a facial
  131. Jump Rope
  132. Watch the sunrise
  133. Color a coloring book
  134. Plan a vacation
  135. Practice positive thinking
  136. Write a letter to your future self
  137. Window shop
  138. Go to Barnes N Noble
  139. Stretch before bedtime
  140. Meet a neighbor
  141. Ride a scooter
  142. Make your favorite drink at home and invite friends over to share
  143. Dance in your living room
  144. Do something you have been putting off
  145. Take deep breaths
  146. Drink green tea
  147. Practice good posture
  148. Play frisbee
  149. Buy a stand up desk
  150. Meal prep
  151. Set goals for the week
  152. Use essential oils
  153. Buy organic
  154. Kiss someone
  155. Join a fitness subscription box service
  156. Declutter your workspace
  157. Hike to a waterfall
  158. Cook a new cuisine
  159. Fix something that has been broken
  160. Watch your favorite sports game live
  161. Floss
  162. Go paddle boarding
  163. Get a full night sleep
  164. Eat more leafy greens
  165. Grill dinner on the BBQ
  166. Make your own butter
  167. Get friend’s recommendations for their favorite healthy restaurant
  168. Join a gym
  169. Sign up for a free week of Blue Apron
  170. Take Omega-3
  171. Drink herbal tea
  172. Step away from your desk at least every hour
  173. Prepare healthy snacks for the week
  174. Create a morning ritual you will look forward to every day
  175. Take the stairs
  176. Buy energy bars
  177. Recycle
  178. Don’t complain
  179. Do something you love
  180. Organize your email inbox
  181. Learn to say “no”
  182. Call your friends to see if they are doing okay and need to talk
  183. Write down your biggest dreams
  184. Try hot yoga
  185. Go grocery shopping for healthy food
  186. Light candles all over your home
  187. Relax in a sauna
  188. Diffuse essential oils
  189. Download a meditation app
  190. Replace store bought butter with olive oil or coconut oil
  191. Incorporate turmeric into your diet
  192. End your day with 10 minutes of reflection and self evaluation
  193. Drink a glass of red wine
  194. Learn how to knit
  195. Whiten your teeth
  196. Sign up for a 15k
  197. Try acupuncture
  198. Buy an inspirational tee or tank top
  199. Follow a health blog
  200. Drop a eucalyptus bar in your shower
  201. Try oil pulling
  202. Do something that scares you
  203. Make raw banana “ice cream”
  204. Try a vegetable that you hated as a kid
  205. Learn to make sushi
  206. Bring a candle to your desk at work and light it
  207. Try to get someone to join you in your workout
  208. Make a healthy recipe you find on Pinterest
  209. Try taking Melatonin before bed for a relaxing sleep
  210. Go on a boat ride
  211. Ask for a raise
  212. Go to brunch
  213. Check the fluids in your car
  214. Go to an inspirational talk
  215. Run somewhere you have not run before
  216. Go fishing
  217. Download a running app to track your progress
  218. Start a food diary
  219. Cut out added sugar
  220. Start a new workout program
  221. Go junk food free
  222. Aim for 10,000 steps
  223. Eat celery with peanut butter
  224. Thank a service member
  225. Build something
  226. Watch a youtube tutorial
  227. Make a savings plan
  228. Buy a BPA free water bottle
  229. Visit an oxygen bar
  230. Start a squat challenge
  231. Take a Mermaid fitness class - Trust me!
  232. Make sure your skin care routine is healthy and right for you
  233. Paint a picture
  234. Go on an adventure
  235. Incorporate ginger into your diet
  236. Go see a movie
  237. Buy massage blocks
  238. Bake your own kale chips
  239. Get to work early
  240. Try geocaching
  241. Give someone a massage
  242. Look at an old photo album
  243. Call a friend or family member
  244. Make your backyard a sanctuary
  245. Buy new workout pants
  246. Remember a low point in your life and figure out what you learned from it
  247. Look up the benefits of lemon water
  248. Play a board game with your family
  249. Learn about a different culture
  250. Sign up for a half-marathon
  251. Visit a spiritual shrine
  252. Reach out to someone that is having a hard time
  253. Donate blood
  254. Cook Salmon
  255. Start a new tradition
  256. Do yoga before bed
  257. Lift weights
  258. Visit a juice bar
  259. Try Pilates
  260. Make hibiscus tea
  261. Do a pushup challenge and tag #22kill
  262. Buy some local raw honey
  263. Learn how to make sushi
  264. Rent a convertible and drive it around your town
  265. Visit a farm
  266. Buy a stress ball
  267. Inspire others to get fit
  268. Clear your mind
  269. Be social
  270. Take a power nap
  271. Check your blood pressure
  272. Send someone a postcard
  273. Rearrange your room
  274. Get a breast/prostate exam
  275. Plant a tree
  276. Take a mud bath
  277. Go to the river
  278. Tell someone you are proud of them
  279. Get down to 1 cup of coffee a day
  280. Accept your flaws
  281. Buy a sleep mask
  282. See a therapist
  283. Listen to your gut
  284. Create your own personal success mantra
  285. Try aromatherapy
  286. Climb a tree
  287. Try Zero-waste for a whole day
  288. Look up the many benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
  289. Be more assertive
  290. Buy a zen garden box
  291. Try Aerial yoga
  292. Buy a shower pill for after workouts
  293. Make your own apple sauce
  294. Drink chamomile tea before bed
  295. Splash cold water on your face
  296. Look up local businesses and find out how you can support one
  297. Eat protein
  298. Look up progressive muscle relaxation
  299. Buy a houseplant that detoxifies the air in your home
  300. String some lights up in your home
  301. Try the 4-7-8 breathing exercise
  302. Work out a part of your body that you don’t typically work out
  303. Sleep in
  304. Meditate at a park
  305. Give yourself a foot massage
  306. Start a crunch challenge
  307. Try a headstand
  308. Watch the discovery channel
  309. Sign up for a marathon
  310. Buy a rain barrel
  311. Go on a trip and ask the locals what they do for fun
  312. Pop open a bottle of Champagne and celebrate yourself
  313. Climb to the top of a mountain and soak in the view
  314. Donate to a cause that speaks to you
  315. Go for a run through nature
  316. Paint a wall in your house your favorite color
  317. Take a survey about yourself (Myspace Style)
  318. Buy someone a gift that you don’t know that well
  319. Go for a barefoot run on the beach
  320. Purge negative people from your life
  321. Stay at an AirBnB
  322. Get a hot stone massage
  323. Stop eating when you feel full
  324. Go to a theme park
  325. Familiarize yourself with the dirty dozen and clean fifteen
  326. Dance in the rain
  327. Eat at a salad bar
  328. Stop smoking if you do, if not, encourage someone who does
  329. Go vegan for the day
  330. Pull weeds in your yard
  331. Send a text to a random friend and tell them to have a great day
  332. Bring baked goods to your neighbors (healthy of course)
  333. Get some cardio
  334. Look up ways to cook healthy for the holidays
  335. Buy reusable bags for the market
  336. Make a list of all of your accomplishments this year so far
  337. Make a list of the things you’d still like to accomplish
  338. Set goals to achieve them before the new year
  339. Take a gondola ride
  340. Go hunting
  341. Sign up for a turkey trot
  342. Sing
  343. Look up places to volunteer around the holidays
  344. Buy a new hat
  345. Make a list of everything you are thankful for
  346. Remember why you started
  347. Massage your scalp
  348. Be proud of yourself for how far you’ve come
  349. Indulge in some dark chocolate
  350. Try infrared yoga
  351. Buy a workout jacket
  352. Put cucumbers on your eyes
  353. Take a different road home
  354. Check your tires
  355. Smile at everyone you pass today
  356. Start a collection
  357. Sign up for a triathlon
  358. Go to a bootcamp class
  359. Rake leaves
  360. Clean your baseboards
  361. Drive around and look at Christmas lights
  362. Read a book in a genre you don’t normally read
  363. Learn a new word
  364. Take a self defense class
  365. Enjoy it

5 Benefits of Hiring a Meal Prep Company

It's Monday morning and you just got to work. Did you eat breakfast? Did you pack a lunch? Did you get your workout in before work? Do you know what you're eating for dinner? Did you have time to prep dinner so you're not spending your entire evening cooking when you should be relaxing? If you answered "no" to any of these questions, it may be time for you to hire a Meal Prep Service. 

The founder of Meal Prep Sundays started this company because he found himself answering no to all of these questions as well. He did not have the time to meal prep, workout, and work. Most importantly, he didn't know how to cook. This can be a huge problem for someone trying to get healthy and fit. 

Here are 5 reasons why hiring a meal prep service may be just what you need.

1. It saves you time.

This is a no brainer. A meal prep company prepares your meals for you, prepackages them and delivers them right to your door. Look at all of the time you just saved by not planning your meals, going to the store, cooking at home, cleaning up the dishes, and packaging left overs.

2. It's less expensive than you think.

Meal Prep Sundays wanted to offer quality food options to their customers that didn't break the bank. When you add up the cumulative costs of shopping for fresh whole food ingredients and the time to prepare them, Meal Prep Sundays actually saves you money (about $60 per week). Check out their price options here

3. Portion Control & Creative Pairings

Another benefit of meal prep is that you won't over eat. Each meal comes perfectly portioned in its own separate container that is easily reheat-able in the microwave or oven. The meals are prepared by professional chefs, and the creative pairings they offer provides variety and insight into healthier choices you may not have known about. Check out their meals here.

4. It is healthier for you.

Meal Prep is all around healthier. Each meal is only 500 calories. There is no sugar, no preservatives or added flavoring. They use nothing but fresh, quality ingredients that are purchased locally. Their meals are high in fiber, each contain over 30g of protein, and are packed with healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. Oh, not to mention - they are DELICIOUS! 

5. Designed personally to meet your health goals

Each meal plan from Meal Prep Sundays is completely customizable. The plans are designed by the world's best trainers and industry experts, and are based off of your age, gender, body weight, fitness goals and activity level. 

What are you waiting for?

If you're ready to save money, save time, eat healthy and reach your health and wellness goals - get started today.

Not in the San Diego area? Google Meal Prep Services near you to find a list of the closest companies. They are popping up all over the Unites States because more and more people are realizing how convenient they are! 

Eating Your Vitamins vs. Taking Supplements

We have all grown up being told to take our vitamins. However, recent studies have shown that taking vitamin supplements may not be very good for our health in the long run. Here is the skinny:

Many people think that taking vitamins means that they are getting all of the nutrients they need. This is not true. "Supplements aren't intended to be a food substitute because they can't replicate all of the nutrients and benefits of whole foods" (Mayo Clinic, 2016). Nutritional needs should be met primarily through our diet, and if in the case our bodies can't absorb the nutrients, or we require more than what is found in foods, then supplements can be taken.

Benefits of Whole Foods - 

  • Whole foods are complex providing you with a variety of the micronutrients your body needs.
  • Whole foods provide dietary fiber that you won't find in supplements.
  • Whole foods contain protective substances like phytochemical that protect against cancer, heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.

Benefits of Supplements - 

  • Pregnant women need more vitamins and minerals than they can receive by eating vitamin rich whole foods.
  • Women and men over the age of 50 should take supplements, as their bodies are no longer able to completely absurd nutrients from certain foods. Therefore, they need to get it from other sources as well. 

Risks of Supplements - 

Recent studies have shown that the use of some vitamin supplements like calcium, vitamin A and beta-carotene increase the risk of "kidney stones, strokes and even a great risk of dying over periods of time" (Consumer Lab, 2016). 


Below we have put together a list of vitamins and minerals, which includes their benefits and what foods naturally contain them.


Calcium

  • Fortifies your teeth + bones
  • Naturally found in yogurt, dark leafy greens + fruit
  • One serving / day of any 3


Vitamin E

  • Protects cells from harmful molecules
  • Naturally found in sunflower seeds + almonds
  • 2-3 servings / week

Iron

  • Forms hemoglobin in red blood cells
  • Naturally found in red meat, lentils + beans
  • One serving / week of any 3

Folate

  • Aids in new tissue formation in the body + helps to prevent birth defects if pregnant
  • Naturally found in dark leafy green vegetables, fruits, nuts + dairy
  • One serving / week

Vitamin A

  • Helps with vision
  • Naturally found in sweet potatoes, carrots, dark leafy greens, winter squash, lettuce, dried apricots fish, liver
  • 2-3 times / week

Vitamin K

  • Clots your blood
  • Naturally found in green leafy vegetables
  • One serving / week

Vitamin B6

  • Helps with metabolism + fights infection
  • Naturally found in beans, fish or chicken
  • One serving / day of any of 3

Vitamin B12

  • Improves nervous system function + red blood cell formation
  • Naturally found in fish, chicken and red meat
  • One serving / day of any 3

 

For an extensive list of other healthy foods you should be eating, check out our FREE
OH! (Optimum Health) Wellness Plan

Dr Emily Poccia's Nature Cure Series : Tip #1 - BreathE Clean Air; The Air You're Breathing Might Not BE As Clean As You Think

Dr Emily Poccia, ND, explains in this 5 Part VirBLOGo Series how a little conciousness in your everyday life can have intense health benefits By incorporating these Nature Cures into your daily Routines.

Nature cure is about getting back to the basics! It encompasses elements of life that make us thrive and heal. Many illness and diseases today are derived from our lifestyles and can be prevented with some attention to these basic yet essential human needs. So here is the first one!

Emily Poccia Nature Cure Blog Series

BREATHE CLEAN AIR

I know this sounds like a duh moment but you’d be surprised just how dirty our air can really be. In fact, according to the Environmental Performance Index, a study ran by Yale researchers, “in the US alone air pollution accounts for 200,000 premature deaths per year. That’s 6 times the number of people killed in car accidents.”

There are 4 major pollutants that the study monitored including Ozone, Particulate Matter, Persistent Organic Pollutants, and Mercury. These may sound foreign but these pollutants are coming from everyday factors like factories, car emissions, airplane fuel, pesticides, solvents, household products and even pharmaceuticals! Think about it. Do you live in or close to a city or places where there may be a heavy amount of pollution?

Find out how dirty your air is and ways we can help keep the air clean by using sites like CARMA.org, and the Environmental Performance Index’s interactive site. 

Every cell is dependant on oxygen for cellular respiration- Our lungs may receive the air first but our brain is affected the most by poor air quality leading to all sorts of health issues including confusion, and cognitive decline. Our immune systems use oxygen in order to produce hydrogen peroxide to kill bacteria and our muscles use oxygen as a way of transporting iron to maintain energy.

Take some time away from the hustle and bustle and venture into the mountains or more rural areas so you can let your lungs breathe in clean, crisp air. You may also want to consider a filter for your house to help clean the air like a hempa filter. Remember to take full deep breaths of clean air to boost your brain function and health.

READ MORE FROM DR. EMILY AT WWW.HIGHFIVETOHEALTH.ORG

RESOURCES:http://epi.yale.edu/reports/2016-report


Dr. Emily Poccia

Dr. Emily Poccia offers a Family Medicine practice at RestorMedicine in San Diego with a primary focus in the treatment and management of chronic Lyme disease. She graduated from Southwest Collage of Naturopathic Medicine in 2014 and moved to San Diego soon after. Originally from Connecticut she is no stranger to Lyme Disease and felt a need to support this population through their health journey. She was trained by Lyme literate doctor and author of, “The Beginner’s Guide to Lyme”, and “Lyme Brain”, Dr. Nicola Ducharme. 

Dr. Emily is highly committed to using Naturopathic principles that are centered around supporting the body’s innate ability to heal itself and treating the whole person. She does this by using diagnostic testing to find the root cause of illness then supports the body’s healing process using natural therapies like botanical medicine, nutrition, gemstone energy medicine, nutritional supplementation, homeopathy and nutritional IV’s. Her goal, whether you have a chronic illness or any health concern, is to support all dimensions of your health- physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and energetic. Dr. Emily believes strongly in doctor as teacher, a principle that allows her to empower her patients and their families so they can take an active role in their health and live healthier lives.

You can find out more about Dr. Emily, the practice, and schedule appointments at RestorMedicine.com. She also hosts lectures on different health topics, and be sure to check out her personal blog called High Five to Health.

Follow her on Instagram / @highfivetohealth and visit her blog / www.highfivetohealth.org

Your Developement is in the Details - By Kate AllGood

Many people are overly focused on big goals, or big results but fail to pay attention to the small details of their lives.

How a client approaches and performs the small things in life will tell me a lot about how they are doing with the bigger things. I have worked with many people who want to be seen as reliable, and may even have reliable performances in different aspects of their lives, whether it be work, school, or their time at the gym. However, they often are unreliable with themselves on the small seemingly insignificant day to day things. If you can't rely on yourself to do small things, how will you trust yourself to be reliable when it really counts?

Each small moment of your life prepares you for the big moment you are striving for. You don't know when that moment will come, and you won't know if the next big adversity is waiting for you around the corner. All you can control is how prepared you are when the time to perform presents itself. To prepare for these large moments I recommend that you ask yourself important questions in the seemingly uneventful moments in your life: What is the foundation that has been created that will allow you to thrive in a big moment? What is the motivation to keep moving forward when the world is pushing you down? By paying attention to the small inner workings of your everyday life you can build a foundation that can get you through any adversity.

These small things are so important because they are the foundation of trust and confidence. Using the example of reliability again; if you set your alarm with the intention of getting up and going to the gym, however, you hit snooze and end up not going, in that moment you weaken your internal trust. Do it enough times and it greatly degrades the overall trust you have towards yourself. This will then create a ripple effect and impact other areas of your life where you need a high level of trust. One small seemingly insignificant moment, often like a pebble in a pond, creates a ripple effect outwards and touches everything in our lives.

Today, try and think of how you approach the small details of your life. Reflect on something big that is not going the way you would hope, and see if there is a connection to any smaller detail and how it might not be getting taken care of.


KATE ALLGOOD - SPORTS PSYCHOLOGY COACH

Kate Allgood, founder of Quantum Performance, is a sports psychology coach and the author of the #1 Amazon Bestseller Get Into the Zone: The Essential Guide to High Performance Through Mental Training. She has a BS in psychology from Brock University and a dual masters in general and sport psychology, with a concentration in family psychology, from Capella University. Allgood has been excelling at hockey since she was 6-years-old, was pegged as a potential candidate for the 2010 Winter Olympics, and was even recognized as one of the best female athletes in Canada where she was born. Kateʼs approach as a sports psychology coach comes from a combination of her experience as an elite athlete and different techniques that utilize her certifications in Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT), TAIS Testing, and sports hypnosis. Allgoodʼs passion is helping athletesenhance their mental skills and focus to achieve peak performances. Clients have included professional, semi-professional, high school, collegiate athletes, fitness enthusiasts, as well as Navy Seals.

 

Top 5 Tips to Maximize Your Warrior Workout this Women's Health and Fitness Day

Good Morning Ladies and Happy #Women'sHeathandFitness day. As women we give a lot of ourselves to everyone else everyday. We fill every roll asked of us and we work hard to make sure that the people we love are healthy, so mark with occasion as an excuse to concentrate on your own wellness today. Yesterday #TeamVirago got to hang out with the #QueensofFitness from Bootique Fitness, Jaylin and Sabrina. Founder and trainer Jaylin Allen even shared her top 5 fitness tips with us and we cannot wait to share them with you! Keep these tips in mind as you plan your health and fitness day to maximize your experience!  Remember: You are Virago!

Jaylin Allen's Top 5 Fitness Tips

1. Set your mind. Exercise is a gift of movement. It's not a punishment for a meal you ate or for not liking your body. When you look at exercise as a punishment - the whole experience is less fun. Instead, frame your mind around appreciating your ability to move and the joy that comes from that.

2. To be a strong, powerful woman - engage your core muscles with every exercise. Your core is your foundation. Before taking on any movement, connect mind to muscle and turn on your core muscles to assist your chosen exercise.

3. To get the most bang for your buck - Focus on your larger muscles groups. Larger muscle groups like your chest, back, quads, glutes and hamstrings are going to give you the most impact in terms of creating lean muscle which helps you burn more calories and create definition in your body.

4. To target trouble areas like the back of your arms (triceps), your stomach and thighs - Use compound movements so you can benefit from using more muscle groups while also targeting a specific area. We will show 3 examples of this in the videos below.

5. Find movement you enjoy doing. That's the best and most realistic way to stay committed and consistent. Whether it's boot camp, dance, pilates, biking, running, yoga, kickboxing, etc... the most important aspect is that it brings you peace, joy and satisfaction. 

-Jaylin Allen Founder and Trainer, Bootique Fitness

Totally got a little #womencrushwednesday fever for Jaylin? Check out the amazing time we had with her on the Marina in Downtown San Diego when she took over our Month of Fitness Challenge for the day. Interested in getting fit in an all female zone with Amazon warrior level training? Check out Bootique Fitness' class schedule today!

 Sabrina & Jaylin of Boutique Fitness

Sabrina & Jaylin of Boutique Fitness

RE-BLOG: 11 Tweaks to Your Daily Routine Will Make Your Day More Productive

Routines take dedication to establish but once you lay them down they will stick. Building your perfect daily routine will reduce stress in your life and routines are a life hack to staying organized.

It can be as easy as writing down your schedule on a chalkboard to regulate time management, buying a planner or creating new fitness goal and plan to achieve it in the Toys for Tots Virago Fitness Virtual Race this September.

Routines are a vital part of being a productive person, and you can make your routine even more productive. Check out Entrepreneur.com's article on how 11 Tweaks to Your Daily Routine Will Make Your Day More Productive.

Why Eating What's In Season Is Vital To Your Health

Eat produce in the season when it naturally grows, when it is at its most nutritious; It's an aspect of nutrition that would be intuitive a few decades ago, but now with grocery stores on every block full of produce from every season available all the time, eating produce that flourishes in the current season takes forethought and strong will.

Eating seasonally always sounds like a great idea until you get to the grocery store. Suddenly the inexplicably ripe box of clementines that should only be available in the dead of winter seem irresistible at the end of August.  In that moment seasonal eating feels so trivial in a world where any food is seemingly available no matter what time of the year it is but eating seasonally is not only best for the nutritional level of your diet, it tastes better, is better for the environment and even costs less.

As you wade past the displays of artificially ripened produce remember these fun benefits of choosing food based on the season, and prepare to elevate your grocery list. 

1) Everything will taste better – There is no taste that is more satisfying than food fresh from the vine, but how many times during your busy week do you have time to go foraging for fruits and vegetables? Even if your local grocery store is the closest you can get to farm-to-table eating, the closer your produce is to the vine that bore it, the closer you can get to the flavor it was intended to have.

2) You can shrink your carbon footprint –Seasonal eating may seem like it is bound only by the constraints of time, but eating food when it is out of season is also a matter of distance. If you want cherries in November and there is already snow in the parking lot of your supermarket, this summer fruit could easily need to travel over 1000 miles just to make it to your local produce section. If it is winter in your home in the northern hemisphere, these summer berries may have to come from the other side of the equator. That means a lot of greenhouse gasses and a lot of fossil fuels just to make cherries jubilee in the winter.

3) Less chemicals in your food and in your body – Nobody wants to hear this but the tomato you are making spaghetti sauce with in January was mostly likely dyed red.  To get food that is out of season to your kitchen, it is plucked prematurely, pumped full of preservatives and ripening agents before it is loaded onto the truck for interstate or international immigration; basically the vegetable version of human trafficking. Think about how sad you would be after an experience like that. Your winter tomato might be just as sad. 

4) Budget – When the market is flooded, buy. When goods are scarce prices will rise. The stock market works in the same fashion as your supermarket.  When the produce is in season it is cheaper because it can be grown locally and in abundance. Insider trading tip for the season: carrots and broccoli prices are about go down as summer bows out for fall. Just don’t tell anyone I told you.

5) Variety - We all have our favorite fruits and vegetables and whether or not they are in season they always seem to be able to make an appearance at dinner multiple times a week (yes I am talking to you asparagus addicts). Variety is not just a luxury; it is a necessity to get all the different vitamins and minerals you want. Challenge yourself by cooking seasonally. The smaller list of produce will definitely include some items that you wouldn’t normally include in your shopping list since the staple items maybe out of season.

6) Harmony and Nutrition - As the season's change, so do we. Some of us shed as the temperature fluctuates or experience the ebb and flow of season allergies, and as we change so do our nutritional needs. Eating seasonally is a great to way to get the most out of your food when you need it. In the fall when gords are at their most ripe “the beta carotene in the orange pigment of pumpkins and other squash will help bolster your immune system just in time to help ward off winter colds.”  So many seasonal foods grow in the season you may need them most. 

Seasonal eating takes research and a commitment and all regions are no created seasonally equal. Check out this link to find out what your local season is producing today