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WILLBOYWONDER's Recent Blog Entries

Sparkpeople.com Cardio Blast

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

In my quest to distance myself from my high-priced gym and do more workouts at home, I purchased the Cardio Blast DVD with Coach Nicole, and I took some time to work through the workouts. This is a great choice and would make a very good addition to anyoneís workout. Here is why I like it.

The first plus is the cost: I ordered it from the Spark Store www.sparkpeoplestore.com/prod

The DVD costs $15.50 (plus shipping). This is a very competitively priced workout DVD. In addition, the DVD has six tracks of varying degrees of intensity, and each one begins with a warm-up lasting approximately 3 1/2 minutes. As indicated on the DVD insert, you may do each workout individually in any order, or do them sequentially. A feature that I especially like is the ability to customize your workouts. If you choose the ďIntermediateĒ customizable workout for instance, you are taken through track 3 & 4 (a kickboxing routine and a high-impact jumping routine, respectively). The customizable workouts are made up of 2, 3, or 4 of the six tracks. No matter what your goal may be, whether you want a hard workout or something more at the beginner level, youíre bound to find this Cardio Blast DVD useful.

I looked at this DVD very objectively and had trouble finding any shortcomings. The only drawback I could find is the warm-up routine. Each of the six tracks begins with the same identical 3 1/2 minute warm-up. To break up the monotony, I would like to have seen a different warm-up for each track; however, that was just a minor downside. Overall, it is a great DVD and I highly recommend it for anyone looking to do more cardio at home.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BAREADER 9/4/2009 1:51PM

    That's good to know, I wasn't sure if I wanted to take the chance of ordering one but I now I think I would like to have it. Especially since you can different intensity workouts from the same video.

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BROWNSTUF 8/19/2009 5:34PM

    Thanks I was also wondering about the video Your input was good I will really consider purchasing one
Thanks again

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    Thanks a bunch! I'd wondered about this DVD.
Cathy emoticon

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MARYANNE4403 8/19/2009 12:20AM

    thanks for letting us know about this video, i'll have to check it out

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LIVINHEALTHY9 8/18/2009 9:49PM

    Good to know Will. Thanks!

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MSMAKEOVER 8/18/2009 7:33PM


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Baked Eggplant Salsa Recipe

Friday, August 14, 2009

I spend a lot of time experimenting in the kitchen. Just between you and me, I am working on a cookbook (Iím a little more than 50% complete), and in it I plan to include lots of tips and strategies along with recipes. Here is one of my recipes I recently made for a family gathering, and it was all gone fairly quickly. I thought I would share it here, and I hope you give it a try.

Baked Eggplant Salsa

1 1/2 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 large red onion, finely chopped
1 Roma tomato, chopped
1/4 cup of rice vinegar
1 large eggplant, cut into cubes
2 cloves of fresh garlic, chopped
1 small green and bell pepper, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium sized zucchini, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh parsley
1 teaspoon paprika
Pinch of allspice
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 375 F. Coat Baking dish with non-stick spray. Evenly spread eggplant in pan and bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until lightly brown, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven and set aside allowing to cool.

In a large bowl, combine other ingredients. After eggplant has cooled, add to mixture and toss well. Can be used either as a stand alone snack, to accompany chips, or as a side dish.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIVINHEALTHY9 8/14/2009 9:29PM

    Wow, Will
That's awesome you are putting together a cookbook. That's wonderful.
Keep us posted on how it's coming and when it's finished.
So neat!


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MARYANNE4403 8/14/2009 3:36PM

    that is awesome that you are working on a cookbook, i hope that you have lots of success with it, keep us posted on how things are coming along with it. i LOVE eggplant parm, it's so time consuming to make though, but i do try and make it at least once a month or so

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JUSTYNA7 8/14/2009 1:46PM

    This is my ratitouille recipe only without the oregano... and you only bake the eggplant? All mine gets baked.. interesting!

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    That sounds wonderful! Thanks for sharing!!
Cathy emoticon

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Healthy Nutrition Symbols in Stores

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Have you noticed them? Not all stores have them. One chain near me has them, another one does not. If you havenít noticed, I am talking about symbols on aisles, shelves, or on products (or groups of products) that let customers know what the healthier choices are. These symbols are similar to the ones you might see on a menu in a restaurant. Many stores use color-coded tags through out the store to point out nutrition content. Sometimes you might see a circle or square with a green checkmark, or other times you could see a picture of heart Ė such as the ones depicted below.

I was pleasantly surprised when I first saw them in my local market, and I didnít know what they were at first. One store even has an entire aisle with the health symbols. These are canned and boxed items that have low or no amounts of ingredients such as sodium, refined sugars, and other things that healthy eaters pay attention to.

According to this Safeway employee that I talked to, who only wanted to be identified as James, this relatively new industry-wide/nationwide system is designed to help make shopping easier for consumers who are concerned about improving their diets and making smarter food choices. Each store sets up its own system. In this store, one aisle had a wide variety of products, such as cereals, juices, canned soups, canned vegetables, and many other items.

Take a close look the next time you go shopping. If your store doesnít have them yet, they are probably on the way soon.

Examples of nutrition symbols:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIVINHEALTHY9 8/12/2009 7:35PM

    I have seen these in the stores where I shop. I do need to pay more attention to them next time I shop.
I think it's a great idea.


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JAVAJO47 8/12/2009 3:25PM

    Good to know. I'll be looking for this next time I go shopping at my local food mart. Thanks for sharing :)


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BLKTHNDR1080 8/12/2009 12:58PM

    Yeah, I have seen them in a couple of places recently. I thought that it was only specific to those locations, but now I see that this is not the case. They were two completely different set of sinage, but I have seen them. I think that this is a great effort to help people become aware of what they are putting in their bodies. It also makes it easier for us who are always reading the labels (guilty!). Now they will not look so weird. This is a good step in the right direction. This brings to the fore front what we are putting in our bodies. I really enjoy the effort and I hope it continues to spread and that it last for a long time.

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PLATINUM755 8/12/2009 10:55AM

    I hadn't notice, but I will check it out...If I don't see it I'll mention it to the store manager to make them aware that this is going on in other stores...that way they will start to realize that there is an interest in this type of info... emoticon emoticon

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MARYANNE4403 8/11/2009 11:28PM

    no, i haven't seen them in my area as of yet, but i'll keep an eye out for them, thanks so much for letting us know about them

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BEEJAYJR 8/11/2009 9:10PM

    I haven't seen this, but now that I've read your blog, I'm definitely going to look. My wife and I spend too much extra time in stores trying to find healthier choices. Any leg up will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for posting this, and for your comment on my blog.

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PROVERBS31JULIA 8/11/2009 5:27PM

    Hadn't thought about blogging but this is great information and I do run across stuff like that too. I've long been one to look for the "K" or "Kosher" symbol ...not necessarily an indicator of low-fat but at least only containing foods that were "clean" (no pig, shrimp etc stuff that coincidentally tends to be high cholesterol).

But recently, as I shop in the Asian and Middle Eastern ethnic stores, I'm seeing a new product symbol - usually a white square with green dot in center and outlined in green. I see them on vegetarian and vegan friendly prepared foods and I believe it means "Halal" which is the Moslem version of "clean" vs "unclean" . I haven't looked to see if they also show up in our regular American-style supermarkets so now I'm intrigued and will check it out and write more later!

By the way, my roasted veggies are "talkin'" right now in the oven and they sure do look and smell yummy! thanks again for pointing out that blog on Roasting Veggies!!


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EVERFAITHFUL 8/11/2009 1:28PM

    this is great information, thanks for sharing.

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Work Out On A Budget

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Increased physical activity is one of the best routines to add to your weight loss efforts. I try hard to avoid use of the word ďexerciseĒ because it just sounds too much like work. Becoming more mobile is an important part of the plan to lose weight. Unfortunately, the cost of a gym membership can be out of many peopleís budget, and some equipment can be expensive to purchase for home use even if you have the space for it. If you donít want to incur this expense, there are some simple yet effective things you can do that will give you little out-of-pocket cost. Here are three of my favorites.

This is something everyone can do regardless of their fitness level. You can walk quickly or slowly, vigorously or moderately, up or down a hill, across flat terrain, or up and down a flight of stairs. You can even walk up and down the hallway in your home. Swinging your arms helps to enhance the intensity of your workout. Obviously, the more briskly you walk, the more calories you are likely to burn. As your fitness level improves, the more walking you can do. If you really want to add a challenge to your routine, add a light set of dumbbells (perhaps a 2 pound weight for each hand approximately $12 to buy both of them). I work hard to increase the amount of walking I do. I seldom park in the closest space near my destination. I find a space that will give me extra steps. I also take the stairs as often as I can, avoiding the elevators. Try these techniques. This may not seem like much; however, each step you take is cumulative and adds to the number of calories you burn each day. Also, this can help you more easily reach the 10,000 recommended number of steps experts say we should get each day to maintain a healthy life.

If youíre like me, this is a word you probably hadnít heard since P.E. class in school, or if you were in the military, this word may have been circulated in boot camp or basic training. If you donít know what it is, well calisthenics is nothing more than a series of activities in which you use just your own body for a workout. Push-ups, sit-ups, jumping jacks, shadow boxing, and deep knee bends are all examples of calisthenics. There are also other things you can do, which you can easily find from a basic Google search. I recommend you do three sets of each one, doing as many as you can for 2 minutes and a 1 minute rest in between.

Jumping Rope
I like this one because itís something you can do practically any place. You can do this in a park, in your parking lot or driveway, in your back yard, or any place with a space big enough for you to maneuver the rope. This gives you a good workout of your arms, legs, back, shoulders, buttocks, and abs. A high end jump rope can cost $50 on up, particularly if it has an odometer and a heart rate monitor. But if all you want is a basic rope, you can expect to pay about $10-$12; however if you donít want to spend that, you can jump in place, simulating you have a rope in your hands.

It just takes a little imagination to get in a good workout. You can also look online an find a lot of things too. So, no more excuses. In the words from the Olivia Newton John song, letís get physical.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUSTYNA7 8/9/2009 7:58AM

    I remember the skipping clubs at school. Wish I could skip now but am grateful for being able to walk and canoe!

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BAREADER 8/6/2009 10:00PM

    This is me! I can't afford a gym membership and I don't really like having to go somewhere else to workout. Fortunately I live across the street from a beautiful park with a brand new 2 mile walking trail. I also have dumb bells, 3lb., 5lb., and I just added the 8 lb. I have a jump rope which I use periodically. I also like fitness videos which I feel are worth the cost because I can use them over and over again. I guess I am cheap but I love the idea of being able to get a good workout without having to leave home or pay extra money for a class or membership somewhere.

I also never park close to a store, I park at the end of the lot and hoof it! Yes, all it takes it a little imagination and a very small out lay of money to have a good home gym. Space is also a problem so I don't want any big equipment like a treadmill either, besides I hate treadmills.

And don't forget resistance bands, I took these on my vacation and was able to keep up my exercise in my hotel room!

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MARYANNE4403 8/5/2009 12:00AM

    AWESOME ideas, thanks so much for sharing them with us

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JAWILDMAN 8/4/2009 3:12PM

    You maybe able to use some of Vic's ideas over at Gym Junkies.. http://www.gymjunkies.com/home-work

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JCHOATEX2 8/4/2009 11:21AM

    Excellent ideas and I certainly appreciate them since I can't afford a gym membership or workout equipment. emoticon

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Just Be Yourself

Monday, August 03, 2009

I participated in an aerobics class at my gym the other day. It was a good class and I really enjoyed it. Just before the class started, two ladies greeted each other who were friends that hadnít seen one another in a long time. In a short time, it seemed very obvious to everyone in the class that those two ladies began competing with each other, trying doubly hard to keep up with the instructor and out do each other. They were really showing out. About halfway through the class, one lady fell down crumbled over in pain from a muscle cramp in her leg. Evidently she overdid it and suffered an injury.

What is your purpose in going to your gym? If itís to show off for others, then you may not reap the full benefit of your routine; but more than that, you may be putting yourself at risk. If you canít keep up with everyone else, thatís okay. Do what you can and workout at your own pace. If you are able to keep up, donít try to rub it in the face of others, as it could make them feel insecure causing them to feel bad.

Just be yourself and work at your own level. You arenít there for everyone else. Youíre there for you and only you.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PAPOOSE123 8/9/2009 11:32PM

    If i can work out once a week, then twice, then 3 times a week....that will be progress for me. That can jumpstart my routine. Thanks for the blog!! I may need to focus on working at my own pace rather than comparing it to others who have no problem exercising.

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LIVINHEALTHY9 8/3/2009 9:23PM

    Good advice, Will
It's a shame these two ladies felt the need to compete with each other. Hopefully, they had time to reflect on their behavior and learn something from it.


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JCHOATEX2 8/3/2009 11:30AM

    I agee 100%. Thanks Will. I just started attending an Intermediate Pilates class, and am not quite at the level with some of the others who have been going longer. I don't let that affect me, nor do I certainly try to compete with them. I know I'm out of my league and just go at my own pace, until I get stronger.

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PLATINUM755 8/3/2009 11:28AM

    "To thine ownself be true" can't be stressed enough...we are all different and unique, what works for one may not work for another in the same way; finding what is right for you is part of the journey and enjoyed. ...Great post and reminder for so many!

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