Monday, June 23, 2014

Happy release day to us!!!!

It's finally here! PASSIONATE KISSES Boxed Set is now available at all major ebook stores. 

10 full-length contemporary romance novels 
by 10 different authors.

Just 99 cents for a limited time!



We are trying to hit one of the big best-seller lists with this set, so if you could buy the book this week, I will love you forever. :)

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Week 10--10 Weeks to a Slimmer Summer

by Rebecca J. Clark

NSCA & ISSA certified personal fitness trainer




Welcome to our last week of this summer slimdown! If you're new to the program or have been slacking, you can either jump right in with today's steps, or go back to the beginning. If you're new to exercise though, please start with Week One's program. Next week, I'll have a wrap up plus tips to keep your weight off.

This challenge is adapted from my new book, The Checklist Diet, available at most ebookstores now. 


This week, you’ll continue the steps from Weeks 1-9. Plus you’ll add this next step:

Stop eating when satisfied, not full. 

This one tip might be the most important for you in terms of weight loss. And this step is the absolutely most difficult one for me.

Most of us eat beyond satisfied. Most of us eat until full or beyond. And if you are in the habit of eating until full or beyond, you probably won’t lose weight, no matter what kind of food you are eating. 

Your stomach can only handle so much food at once. Think about this: your stomach is about the size of your closed fist. A couple of tips to help you stop over-eating:

Hara hachi bu. No, I didn’t just sneeze. It’s a Japanese saying that means, “Eat until you’re 80% full.” The Okinawans, who are known for their health and longevity, follow this cultural habit of calorie control. 

Three-Bite Rule. This means stop eating when the food stops tasting so good, which is usually after about three bites. 

 
Eating until over full on occasion won’t hurt you, but consistently eating this way will cause you to gain weight.

Simply wait until your stomach is empty before filling it again. If you do this, you’ll lose weight. You almost can’t help it.

EXERCISE

You're  going to add some time to your cardio workouts and another day of strength-training.

CARDIO: 
Four days this week, do 35-50 minutes of cardio/aerobic exercise. This means doing something that makes you breathe faster than you're breathing while you read this post. LOL. Push yourself to the point where you could talk if you want to, but would rather not. For 7 minutes in the middle, go a little bit faster.

STRENGTH-TRAINING: 
Three days this week, do the following strength moves (can be done on the same day as cardio). At least one day you'll need to double up your workouts because you need one day of rest each week (at least).

Pushups--until you can't do anymore (against a wall, counter, or on the floor)--make these harder than the version you've been doing. If you've been doing them against the wall, move to the counter. If you've been doing them against the counter, move to the floor on your knees. If you've been doing them on your knees, move to your toes.

20 Sit and Stands from a chair or bench--hold the dumbbells by your sides.

15 Dips (slide your hips off a chair or bench, fingers curled around edge. Bend and straighten your arms.) Straighten your legs to make them harder.

10 Step Ups Set one foot on a step that's about 8-12 inches tall. Step up, tap the step with the trailing leg, step back down. Do this 10x. Repeat with other leg.

15 Biceps Curls with Dumbbells Stand, holding weights in your hands, arms straight, palms facing away from body. Curl weights to shoulders, straighten.

60 Seconds of Elbow Planks Lie on your belly, propped on elbows. Lift your body up until you’re balancing on your elbows and toes. Hold.

20 Bicycle Crunches Lie on your back, hands behind the head (head resting in hands--you're not pulling on head). Pull knees into the chest. Alternate knees in and out, while the opposite elbow reaches for the knee.

20 Supermans Lie on your stomach, arms overhead like Superman. Lift and lower arms and legs at the same time.

Repeat this series 3 times.

Have a great week. Let me know if you have any questions. If you are enjoying this program, please tell your friends!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Week 9--10 Weeks to a Slimmer Summer!

by Rebecca J. Clark

NSCA & ISSA certified personal fitness trainer



Welcome back! We only have two more weeks left in this challenge. If you're new to the program or have been slacking, you can either jump right in with today's steps, or go back to the beginning. If you're new to exercise though, please start with
 Week One's program.

This challenge is adapted from my new book, The Checklist Diet, available at most ebookstores now. 


This week, you’ll continue the steps from Weeks 1-8. Plus you’ll add this next step:

No Junk Food & Limit Your Alcohol

If you think it might be bad for you, it probably is. You know instinctively what food is “good” for you and what food is “bad” for you.

Am I saying you can never have junk food? No. You can actually have some sort of junk food every day — I didn’t say you had to have 100% compliance with this checklist. If you get 8 of 10 items checked every day, that leaves a little wiggle room.

Now, let’s talk alcohol consumption. I’m not telling you that you can’t drink. I’m just telling you to not drink too much. Alcohol contains 7 calories per gram and offers no nutritional value. Wouldn’t you rather spend your calories on healthier fare? Drinking may also lower your inhibitions as far as eating right goes — with a couple of beers or glasses of wine in you, you may be more inclined to overeat, or eat something you “shouldn’t.” In fact, alcohol has been proven to stimulate the appetite. Yikes.

If you drink too much, guess where it’ll go? Have you ever seen a guy who drinks too much beer? Have you seen his beer belly? It’s called that for a reason. Fat that is not burned is stored in your gut, your thighs, or wherever else you tend to store fat. Like your butt.

Oh. My. God. Not only could you get a beer belly, you could get a beer butt.

Yikes. 

Many experts say that consuming a single drink per day can have certain health benefits. However, if you’re having more than one drink daily, you could be sabotaging your health and weight loss goals.

EXERCISE


This week, you'll do the same program as last time, but try to push yourself a little harder with the cardio, and do 1-2 more reps of each strength exercise.

CARDIO:
4-5 days this week, do 30-45 minutes of cardio/aerobic exercise. This means doing something that makes you breathe faster than you're breathing while you read this post. LOL. Push yourself to the point where you could talk if you want to, but would rather not. For 5 minutes in the middle, go a little bit faster.

STRENGTH-TRAINING:

Two days this week, do the following strength moves (can be done on the same day as cardio).

Pushups--until you can't do anymore (against a wall, counter, or on the floor)--make these harder than the version you've been doing. If you've been doing them against the wall, move to the counter. If you've been doing them against the counter, move to the floor on your knees. If you've been doing them on your knees, move to your toes.

20 Sit and Stands from a chair or bench--hold the dumbbells by your sides.

15 Dips (slide your hips off a chair or bench, fingers curled around edge. Bend and straighten your arms.) Straighten your legs to make them harder.

10 Step Ups Set one foot on a step that's about 8-12 inches tall. Step up, tap the step with the trailing leg, step back down. Do this 10x. Repeat with other leg.

15 Biceps Curls with Dumbbells Stand, holding weights in your hands, arms straight, palms facing away from body. Curl weights to shoulders, straighten.

60 Seconds of Elbow Planks Lie on your belly, propped on elbows. Lift your body up until you’re balancing on your elbows and toes. Hold.

20 Bicycle Crunches Lie on your back, hands behind the head (head resting in hands--you're not pulling on head). Pull knees into the chest. Alternate knees in and out, while the opposite elbow reaches for the knee.

20 Supermans Lie on your stomach, arms overhead like Superman. Lift and lower arms and legs at the same time.

Repeat this series 3 times.

Have a great week. Let me know if you have any questions. If you are enjoying this program, please tell your friends!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Week 8--10 Weeks to a Slimmer Summer!

by Rebecca J. Clark

NSCA & ISSA certified personal fitness trainer



Welcome back! How's it going? Are your clothes getting a bit looser? If not, go through the steps in previous weeks and ask yourself if you're really following them all. If there is a step (or two or three...) you're not following, try focusing on that one this week.

If you're just joining us, be sure to read the previous weeks, starting with Week One

This challenge is adapted from my new book, The Checklist Diet, available at most ebookstores now. 


This week, you’ll continue the steps from Weeks 1-7. Plus you’ll add this next step:

Stop eating 2 hours before bedtime.

You’ve probably heard this rule before, too. There’s nothing magical about it. Digestion takes a lot of energy. If you eat too close to bedtime, you’ll expend so much energy digesting your food, you may have trouble sleeping and getting the rest you need.
But the main reason I put this down as a step is because the night time, after dinner, is many people’s weak time. It’s been a long day, we’re tired, we just want to sit in front of the TV and munch. A handful (or more) of chips would taste so good. Or some buttered popcorn. Or another serving from dinner. But by following this step, you’ll eliminate this problem.
It’s okay to go to bed a little bit hungry. I’ll repeat that last part: a little bit hungry. But if you’re absolutely starving and it’s less than 2 hours until bedtime, you need to eat. Maybe you get home from work or the gym at 8 and need to be in bed by 10. You don’t need to refrain from eating if that’s your situation. If you’re really hungry, please eat. Just make a healthy choice, okay? And make it a small serving.  

EXERCISE

CARDIO: 

4-5 days this week, do 30-45 minutes of cardio/aerobic exercise. This means doing something that makes you breathe faster than you're breathing while you read this post. LOL. Push yourself to the point where you could talk if you want to, but would rather not. For 5 minutes in the middle, go a little bit faster.


STRENGTH-TRAINING: 

Two days this week, do the following strength moves (can be done on the same day as cardio).  The exercises marked in RED are new.

Pushups--until you can't do anymore (against a wall, counter, or on the floor)--make these harder than the version you've been doing. If you've been doing them against the wall, move to the counter. If you've been doing them against the counter, move to the floor on your knees. If you've been doing them on your knees, move to your toes.

20 Sit and Stands from a chair or bench--hold the dumbbells by your sides. 

15 Dips (slide your hips off a chair or bench, fingers curled around edge. Bend and straighten your arms.) Straighten your legs to make them harder.

10 Step Ups  Set one foot on a step that's about 8-12 inches tall. Step up, tap the step with the trailing leg, step back down. Do this 10x. Repeat with other leg.

15 Biceps curls with dumbbells Stand, holding weights in your hands, arms straight, palms facing away from body. Curl weights to shoulders, straighten.

60 seconds of elbow planks Lie on  your belly, propped on elbows. Lift your body up until you’re balancing on your elbows and toes. Hold.

20 Bicycle crunches Lie on your back, hands behind the head (head resting in hands--you're not pulling on head). Pull knees into the chest. Alternate knees in and out, while the opposite elbow reaches for the knee.
20 Supermans Lie on your stomach, arms overhead like Superman. Lift and lower arms and legs at the same time.

Repeat this series 3 times.

Have a great week. Let me know if you have any questions. If you are enjoying this program, please tell your friends!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Friday Firsts with... Dominique Eastwick

The first five sentences of...
THE DUKE AND THE VIRGIN


“So you are really going through with it?”

Lady Elizabeth Hamilton looked at her lady’s maid in the mirror as if she had lost her marbles. “Anna, you told me I should do this.”

“Now, told might be a bit strong, my lady. I need to be convinced that you have your heart and head set. Because once you do this, there is no going back.”



Available now!

* * * * *


FUN FIRST FACTS ABOUT DOMINIQUE

What was the first romance you ever read?
I wish I could remember the name it was in the 80’s and was a Harlequin Presents. To say it had an effect on me would be an understatement. The heroine’s name was Dominique--it’s why I took Dominique as my pen name.

Tell me about the first novel you ever wrote? What ever happened to it? 
Okay the first I ever wrote or the first I completed. The first ones I wrote were done in a round robin between me and a friend of mine, she would write a paragraph I would write a paragraph. Those ended up in the dumpster…so wish I had kept them now. The first one I finished was a historical about a 1000 pages long, filled with every single rookie mistake one could make. Head hopping, telling, repetition…I think you get the drift; at the moment it sits on my hard drive waiting. Recently those characters have started screaming they want another chance. Might be time to dust them off and see if I can save them.

What’s the first thing you do when you sit down each day to write? 
I turn off the internet. I can’t write if the internet is on. I have a serious case of ADD so when I write I…oh look--shiny. I think you get the point.

Even more about Dominique
Dominique Eastwick grew up a US Navy Brat, so if there was a Naval base that was probably home. She currently resides in North Carolina with her husband, two children, crazy lab and lazy cat.

Dominique's love of reading started when she was told to read TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD in high school. A book that opened her eyes to the joys of reading and entering into the world of the author. To this day she ranks this book as her favorite.

Where you can find her online: 


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Week 7--10 Weeks to a Slimmer Summer

by Rebecca J. Clark

NSCA & ISSA certified personal fitness trainer



Welcome back! I hope all you moms out there had a great Mother's Day. Perhaps you ditched the healthy eating  for the day and indulged a bit more than you should have? I know I did. But that's okay. We're all just one meal or snack from being back on our program. So get back to it right now. Don't wait until tomorrow or next Monday. Do it now. Wait until you're hungry again, then make a healthy choice. Easy peasy.

If you're just joining us, be sure to read the previous weeks, starting with Week One. If you're not losing at least a pound a week (assuming you have weight to lose), then I suggest you read through the previous weeks and find out what step you need to work on. 

This challenge is adapted from my new book, The Checklist Diet, available at most ebookstores now. 


This week, you’ll continue the steps from Weeks 1-6. Plus you’ll add this next step:



Drink 8-10 glasses of water daily 

Our bodies are about 60% water, our brains are 75% water by weight, and muscle is about 80% water. It follows, then, that if we’re not hydrating enough and sufficiently, our entire body will suffer. All the systems in your body will function better if you’re well hydrated.

Don’t rely on your thirst signals to drink water, because once you actually feel thirsty, you’re probably already dehydrated. Look at the color of your urine. If it’s dark yellow, you’re dehydrated. If it’s light in color, you’re doing pretty well. Everyone’s dehydrated in the morning, so you should try to get into the habit of drinking a tall glass of plain water first thing when you wake up each morning.

Water also helps you lose weight by controlling calories. There’s nothing magical about this: if you drink plain water instead of a beverage containing calories, you’ll save those calories. And every little bit helps. 

Signs of mild to moderate dehydration:

· Dry mouth

· Thirst

· Sleepiness/tiredness

· Dark yellow or gold urine (all of us are dehydrated in the morning, so drink a cup of water first thing when you wake up)

· Dry skin

· Constipation

· Headache (when I get a headache, I immediately pound a tall glass of water. That usually takes care of it.)

· Dizziness or lightheadedness


So drink up! In fact, stop what you're doing right now and go pour yourself a tall glass of plain water. And drink it, of course. 

EXERCISE


CARDIO: This week, I want you to try something new for at least one of your cardio workouts. Try a new DVD, add in a bit of running to your walk, go for a hike. Do something different.

4-5 days this week, do 30-45 minutes of cardio/aerobic exercise. This means doing something that makes you breathe faster than you're breathing while you read this post. LOL. Push yourself to the point where you could talk if you want to, but would rather not.

STRENGTH-TRAINING: Two days this week, do the following strength moves (can be done on the same day as cardio).


Pushups--until you can't do anymore (against a wall, counter, or on the floor)--make these harder than the version you've been doing. If you've been doing them against the wall, move to the counter. If you've been doing them against the counter, move to the floor on your knees. If you've been doing them on your knees, move to your toes.

20 Sit and Stands from a chair or bench--hold the dumbbells by your sides.

15 Dips (slide your hips off a chair or bench, fingers curled around edge. Bend and straighten your arms.) Straighten your legs to make them harder.

15 Biceps curls with dumbbells Stand, holding weights in your hands, arms straight, palms facing away from body. Curl weights to shoulders, straighten.


60 seconds of elbow planks (lie on the floor on your belly, propped on elbows. Lift your body up until you’re balancing on your elbows and toes. Hold.)

20 Supermans (lie on your stomach, arms overhead like Superman. Lift and lower arms and legs at the same time)

Repeat this series 3 times.



Have a great week. Let me know if you have any questions. If you are enjoying this program, please tell your friends!

Friday, May 9, 2014

FRIDAY FIRSTS with... Morgan Henry

The First Five Sentences of... 
A NEW LIFE FOR CAILYNN


Cailynn James pulled her car into the parking lot at Three Pines Veterinary Clinic located just outside of Hardwick Bay, Ontario. There was no one else at the clinic yet, but that was fine with her. This was the first day of a new job, in a new town, and hopefully, part of a new life. She had planned to be a bit early. She wanted to show the clinic she was eager and reliable right from the start.

Available Now!

* * * * *

Fun First Facts About Morgan

What’s the first thing you do when you start writing a new story?

In my mind, I always start with a scene that pops into my head. Sometimes it has sex, sometimes not. Okay, a lot of the time it has sex in it. After all, I do write erotic romance. Then, I try to figure out who the person is in that scene, and why they are there. Once I have that going, I can figure out the rest of the character and their story.

I’m afraid I don’t have any bizarre ritual prior to starting to type. There is no sacrifice of chocolate to the erotica muse, or traditional purchase of a new sex toy or anything. Sorry to be so boring. Maybe next time I’ll try to make something entertaining up.

What was the first meal your significant other ever made for you?

His first attempt at a meal was less than a culinary success. He had decided to take me on a canoe trip with a picnic lunch. Well, the canoe trip was a total disaster, but that’s a whole other story.

The picnic meal was quite a curiosity. It had a conglomeration of items – head cheese, stinky old cheddar, crackers, pickled eggs and, the piece de resistance: smoked oysters in some sort of slime (oil).  I ate crackers. Normally, I’m actually not a picky person, but the oysters put me off food entirely. They were hands down the most disgusting things I have ever encountered.

Fortunately, cooking ability was not in my top 3 requirements in a husband. We have been together for almost 11 years now. Though he still loves oysters (and sardines), he does not ask me to eat them.

When standing in front of a buffet line, what’s the first food that catches your eye?


DESSERT. The quality of a buffet table is at least 40% based on dessert. I look for amount and quality of chocolate-based items, presence of cheesecake, and whether items appear made on the premises or not.

MORE ABOUT MORGAN
Morgan was able to realize a long unfulfilled dream when Siren accepted her manuscript for publication.  Though she had always loved reading and writing, she made the decision to pursue a career in science when she was still in high school.  It was a choice based in a need for stability and financial security.
            It wasn’t until much later in life that she returned to her love of writing.  Morgan wrote a manuscript, deciding that it was better to try and fail than to always wonder if she could have been a writer.  She was amazed and delighted to have her first book published.
            She now resides in Ontario, with her loving and supportive husband, cat and Boston terrorizer, oops I mean terrier.  When she’s not writing, she still has a full time “day job” that she loves, family to look after, friends to enjoy spending time with, and quilts to make.

You can find her online here:


Coming soon!



Sunday, May 4, 2014

Week 6--10 Weeks to a Slimmer Summer

by Rebecca J. Clark

NSCA & ISSA certified personal fitness trainer



Welcome back! We're more than halfway to the end already. How are you doing? Are your clothes fitting a little better? Have you lost a few pounds?

If you're just joining us, be sure to read the previous weeks, starting with Week One. If you're not losing at least a pound a week (assuming you have weight to lose), then I suggest you read through the previous weeks and find out what step you need to work on. 

This challenge is adapted from my new book, The Checklist Diet, available at most ebookstores now. 


This week, you’ll continue the steps from Weeks 1-5. Plus you’ll add this next step:

Eat 25 grams of fiber each day. 

You need fiber. Why? Because numerous studies have shown that getting enough fiber lowers your risk for coronary heart disease, obesity, and certain cancers. Fiber also will make you feel full faster, which could help you eat less. Pretty cool, eh?
Look how quickly your fiber intake could stack up:

· pear with skin: 5.5 g

· apple with skin: 5 g

· 1 c. raspberries: 8 g

· 1 c. whole wheat spaghetti: 6.3 g

· 1 c. pearl barley: 6 g

· 1 c. cooked lentils: 15.6 g

· 1 c. cooked black beans: 15 g

· 1 oz. raw almonds: 3.5 g

· 1 medium artichoke: 10.3 g

· 1 c. broccoli: 5.1 g

If you have a high-fiber food with every snack or meal, you’ll easily meet your fiber quota. But here’s a word of warning — if you haven’t been eating much fiber, please build up your intake slowly. Otherwise, your tummy will be yelling at you. Then you’ll be yelling at me. And that’ll make me very sad.
 

EXERCISE

This week, your cardio will stay the same duration, but strive to work out more intensely--faster speed, higher inclines/hills, faster song pace, etc.

CARDIO: Five days this week, choose one of the following cardio workouts. Feel free to mix and match, or do the same one each day:

--Walk out your door. Walk for 18 minutes. Turn around and come back. For 10 minutes in the middle, pick up the pace until you’re a bit winded.

--Get on a cardio machine of choice (treadmill, elliptical, bike, etc). Go slow for two minutes. Pick up the pace a bit for 25 minutes. Cool down at a slow pace for 2 minutes.

--Pick seven of your favorite fast-paced songs (for a total of about 30 minutes). Crank the speakers. Dance around your house until the songs are over.

STRENGTH-TRAINING: Two days this week, do the following strength moves (can be done on the same day as the above workouts).

Pushups--until you can't do anymore (against a wall, counter, or on the floor)--make these harder than the version you've been doing. If you've been doing them against the wall, move to the counter. If you've been doing them against the counter, move to the floor on your knees. If you've been doing them on your knees, move to your toes.

20 Sit and Stands from a chair or bench--hold the dumbbells by your sides.

15 Dips (slide your hips off a chair or bench, fingers curled around edge. Bend and straighten your arms.) Straighten your legs to make them harder.

15 Biceps curls with dumbbells Stand, holding weights in your hands, arms straight, palms facing away from body. Curl weights to shoulders, straighten.


60 seconds of elbow planks (lie on the floor on your belly, propped on elbows. Lift your body up until you’re balancing on your elbows and toes. Hold.)

20 Supermans (lie on your stomach, arms overhead like Superman. Lift and lower arms and legs at the same time)

Repeat this series 3 times.


Have a great week. Let me know if you have any questions. If you are enjoying this program, please tell your friends!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Week 5--10 Weeks to a Slimmer Summer

by Rebecca J. Clark
NSCA & ISSA certified personal fitness trainer




Welcome back! If you've been following the steps, you should have dropped about 5 lbs by now. If you're just joining us, be sure to read the previous weeks, starting with Week One. If you're not losing at least a pound a week (assuming you have weight to lose), then I suggest you read through the previous weeks and find out what step you need to work on. 

This challenge is adapted from my new book, The Checklist Diet, available at most ebookstores now. 


This week, you’ll continue the steps from Weeks 1-4. Plus you’ll add this next step: 


Eat a fruit or vegetable every time you eat. Aim for 5 total servings — 2 fruits and 3+ veggies a day.

The quickest and easiest way to improve your diet and to lose weight is to eat more produce and less junk food. When you’re hungry, reach for a piece of fruit instead of a candy bar. You’ll still get the sweetness you crave but for a fraction of the calories.
Fruits and vegetables are chock full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber that you just can’t get in a pill or any other food. They’ll fill you up, they’ll improve the look of your skin, and they’ll give you tons of energy. My goal is always to make half of my daily food intake produce. Do I always meet that goal? Oh, hell no. But when I do, my energy is boundless and my skin looks great!
Why am I limiting you to just two fruits a day? Isn’t fruit good for you? Yes, it’s really good for you. I’m pretty sure nobody ever got fat from eating too much fruit. However, fruit is sweet because it’s full of sugar. And too much sugar of any kind can pack on the calories and the pounds.

EXERCISE 

We're changing it up a bit this week by adding the use of dumbbells. You'll need one set of light to medium dumbbells. 

CARDIO: Five days this week, choose one of the following cardio workouts. Feel free to mix and match, or do the same one each day: 

--Walk out your door. Walk for 18 minutes. Turn around and come back. For 10 minutes in the middle, pick up the pace until you’re a bit winded. 

--Get on a cardio machine of choice (treadmill, elliptical, bike, etc). Go slow for two minutes. Pick up the pace a bit for 25 minutes. Cool down at a slow pace for 2 minutes. 

--Pick sevenof your favorite fast-paced songs (for a total of about 30 minutes). Crank the speakers. Dance around your house until the songs are over.

STRENGTH-TRAINING: Two days this week, do the following strength moves (can be done on the same day as the above workouts). 

Pushups--until you can't do anymore (against a wall, counter, or on the floor)--make these harder than the version you've been doing. If you've been doing them against the wall, move to the counter. If you've been doing them against the counter, move to the floor on your knees. If you've been doing them on your knees, move to your toes.

15 Sit and Stands from a chair or bench--hold the dumbbells by your sides. 

15 Dips (slide your hips off a chair or bench, fingers curled around edge. Bend and straighten your arms.) Straighten your legs to make them harder.

10 Biceps curls with dumbbells Stand, holding weights in your hands, arms straight, palms facing away from body. Curl weights to shoulders, straighten.

45 seconds of elbow planks (lie on the floor on your belly, propped on elbows. Lift your body up until you’re balancing on your elbows and toes. Hold.)

20 Supermans (lie on your stomach, arms overhead like Superman. Lift and lower arms and legs at the same time)
Repeat this series 3 times.


Have a great week. Let me know if you have any questions. If you are enjoying this program, please tell your friends!


Sunday, April 20, 2014

WEEK 4--10 Weeks to a Slimmer Summer

by Rebecca J. Clark
NSCA & ISSA certified personal fitness trainer

Welcome back! If you've been following the steps, you should be feeling a bit lighter, and the scale should be showing a bit of a loss. If you're just joining us, be sure to read the previous weeks, starting with Week One.

This challenge is adapted from my new book, The Checklist Diet, available at most ebookstores now. 


This week, you’ll continue the steps from Weeks 1-3. Plus you’ll add this next step: 


Combine a protein and a “good” carb every time you eat.

You’ll want to eat a lean protein every time you eat, because this will help fuel your body efficiently, support muscle growth, boost your metabolism, keep your energy levels on an even keel, and keep those cravings at bay.
What is a protein? Here are some examples:

·         Eggs
·         Lean meat (beef, chicken, turkey, pork)
·         Fish
·         Cottage cheese
·         Yogurt
·         Beans
·         Nuts & Seeds
·         Quinoa (a grain that’s also a complete protein)
·         Nut butter
·         Tofu or other soy products

Now, let’s talk about carbohydrates. 
Here is a good rule of thumb: when eating a starchy carb (like rice, pasta, grains, corn), keep your portion size no bigger than the size of your closed fist. And eat only one starchy carb per meal/snack. If you do those two things, it’ll be virtually impossible to overeat your starchy carbs.
If your starchy carb comes in a package (like rice or pasta or bread), you can also read the serving size on the label to figure out what one portion is.
This rule might sound complicated, but it’s not. A snack could be as simple as celery or apple with nut butter. Yogurt and berries. A hardboiled egg and a piece of fruit. Half of a tuna salad sandwich on whole grain bread. The possibilities are endless.


EXERCISE 

You’re going to continue with the exercises from last week, but I’m going to make them a bit harder. Next week, we'll be using light dumbbells, so make sure you have some ready.  

CARDIO: Five days this week, choose one of the following cardio workouts. Feel free to mix and match, or do the same one each day: 

--Walk out your door. Walk for 15 minutes. Turn around and come back. For 5 of those minutes, pick up the pace until you’re a bit winded. 


--Get on a cardio machine of choice (treadmill, elliptical, bike, etc). Go slow for two minutes. Pick up the pace a bit for 20 minutes. Cool down at a slow pace for 2 minutes. 


--Pick six of your favorite fast-paced songs (for a total of about 25 minutes). Crank the speakers. Dance around your house until the songs are over.


STRENGTH-TRAINING: Two days this week, do the following strength moves (can be done on the same day as the above workouts). 

20 Pushups (against a wall, counter, or on the floor)
20 Sit and Stands from a chair or bench 
10 Dips (slide your hips off a chair or bench, fingers curled around edge. Bend and straighten your arms.)
30 seconds of elbow planks (lie on the floor on your belly, propped on elbows. Lift your body up until you’re balancing on your elbows and toes. Hold.) 
15 Supermans (lie on your stomach, arms overhead like Superman. Lift and lower arms and legs at the same time) 
Repeat this series 3 times.

Have a great week. Let me know if you have any questions. If you are enjoying this program, please tell your friends!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Authors in Bloom Blog Hop!




Welcome to my corner of the 
Authors in Bloom Blog Hop!

April 7 – April 16 
10 Days of Giveaways--Gardening Tips--Recipes
Plus a GRAND PRIZE of a Kindle Fire or Nook
Almost 80 authors are participating. We will all post our giveaway, gardening tip, recipe or both on our blogs, beginning April 7 and leaving our contests open through the 16th.  You will have 10 days to enter each individual author contest and then submit your entry for the grand prize!!  To win the grand prize, you must visit each and every author on the hop.  Each site will post the links of participating authors but please feel free to visit the FIRST or LAST  stops of the blog hop to find the author link list at any point in time. 
**Be sure to leave your email addy with your comment so we know how to contact you.

My blog's prize: $15 gift certificate to Gardener's Supply Company (http://www.gardeners.com/).

* * *


The theme of this blog hop is gardening and recipes, so we are supposed to give you a gardening tip and/or recipe. You do not want a gardening tip from me. Trust me. This is what my garden looks like right now.

Yes, it's Spring and I haven't worked in it yet, but I doubt it'll look much different come warmer weather.


To go along with the yummy (and healthy!!!) baked apple recipe I’ll share below, I thought I’d share an apple-related story written by my grandmother, Dorothy P. Hyland (1912-1993).

How about them apples?
After the apples were ripe, Mother would peel and slice the them by the bushel. We put clean sheets on the shed roofs and had to lay those slices of apple closely together to dry. As we didn’t have too much rain, but did have hot sunny days (hot days AND nights) [this was in Wisconsin], the sun was depended upon to dry the apple slices. 

Sunny days would lengthen into weeks before it rained. At night we covered the slices with cheesecloth. The cheesecloth came off in the morning and it was our job to see that no birds or flies bothered those apple slices during the day. After two days all those slices had to be turned over, and what a boring job that was! It took hours to finish that job. All in all, it took the best part of a week before the dried apple slices could be gathered and placed in a tight container to be used for apple pies during the winter. If the orchard produced a lot of apples, the same job had to be repeated for several weeks more. That really cut into my play time.

I made sure the neighbors had lots of ripe apples for their cooking and canning needs and I, personally, ate them by the peck just to get rid of them so we wouldn’t have too many to dry. Apples were my favorite fruit, and Mother always said that if she peeled a potato and called it an apple, I would like it and not know the difference.




Baked Apples
(thanks to Courtney Milan for the yummy recipe)

1. Take one apple. I like Gala apples. Cut it in half, and use a paring knife to take out the seeds and make a little divot in the center of the apple. You now have two apple halves.

2. Get a small bowl. Put rolled oats in the middle--not a lot, maybe about a tablespoon and a half. Add some crushed pecans or walnuts--about three pecan halves will do you.

3. Drizzle a very small amount of olive oil over this. 1 teaspoon is plenty. Mix. Now scoop the oat mixture into the hole in the middle of your apple. If you have too much oat stuff, it's my fault, I never get it right. Put these into some kind of a baking dish. You might want to put it on parchment paper because the apple is going to get messy.

4. This is the point where I remember that I SHOULD have preheated the oven to 375, but who remembers to preheat the oven? Not me. Turn the oven on to 375 and pop those suckers in.

5. How long do you cook it? I HAVE NO IDEA, really, I just put them in and then hope I don't forget them. The thing is, these are really forgiving, as long as you don't undercook them. 45 minutes? An hour? That sounds about right. Do that! I would say that you cannot overcook these, but you can. I will say that *I* have not overcooked them, and that's impressive because I can overcook anything. They should be super-soft to the fork when you take them out.

6. Let them cool. Or don't, because I don't, either, but don't blame me when you burn your mouth.

7. If you want to be extravagant, you can add ice cream or regular cream. I never do this, but I just want to point out that you can dress these up so that you have a heavier more dessert feeling dessert for those who want, and a lighter less dessert feeling dessert for those who don't. If you want to be mildly extravagant, a single half-ounce cut of sharp cheddar cheese makes an awesome pair. But you don't have to be extravagant at all because they're ridiculously sweet and delicious all by themselves.

--Thanks, Courtney!!!!

Be sure to visit all the other blogs, commenting as you go with your email addy, for a chance to win a Kindle Fire or Nook.