Monthly Archives: December 2013

PRELIMINARY REVIEW OF P90X3

image_pdfimage_print


weight, Rebecca Lazar - PRELIMINARY REVIEW OF P90X3

As some of you know (in other words, friends, family and the 5 people who read this blog tongue ), I did P90X in 2009 and had great results….and also got pretty injured after the second round through the program. You can read more about that sob story HERE. This time, I’m back doing P90X3  – with some modifications and a lot more knowledge on how to protect myself from injury, thanks in part to my chiropractor/muscle pain guru (more about him and his back pain program in an upcoming post) – and definitely back to loving all that is Tony Horton.

For those of you who have never heard of P90X or the new P90X3 (this is for a friend of mine; let’s not embarrass her and just post her initials. In bold: K.G.), here is the official trailer:

The hubby and I started the program a week ago and we thought 30 minutes a day HAD to be easier than the one-hour-plus daily workouts of the original.  Said hubby actually never finished P90X because it simply took too much of his time, so this seemed like a good option.  What we both discovered though, is that less time does not mean less intense.   So today, on my 9th day since starting the program, I give you my preliminary review of P90X3 with a list of pros and cons:

PROS:

  • Shorter workouts: Seriously, who doesn’t have 30 minutes a day to workout?
  • Modifications: Anyone can do these workouts; with all the modifications that are provided you can work at your own pace up to the maximum intensity.
  • Minimal equipment required: A few dumbbells, a [easyazon_link asin=”B002YQUP7Q” locale=”CA” new_window=”default” tag=”reaheafit0c-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” nofollow=”default” popups=”default”]Chin-Up/Pull-Up Bar[/easyazon_link] or [easyazon_link asin=”7245456313″ locale=”CA” new_window=”default” tag=”reaheafit0c-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” nofollow=”default” popups=”default”]Resistance Bands[/easyazon_link], good crosstrainer shoes, a plyo and/or [easyazon_link asin=”B0007O1O68″ locale=”CA” new_window=”default” tag=”reaheafit0c-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” nofollow=”default” popups=”default”]Yoga Mat[/easyazon_link] and some tape for Agility X.  Note: many of these items are available directly from Beachbody – simply click the picture at the top of this post.
  • No more 90 minute Yoga X torture, P90X3 Yoga is actually enjoyable:  Coming from someone who is bored to tears by Yoga – sorry, yoga-lovers!
  • Tony and his corny sense of humor:  This may be a PRO or a CON, depending whether or not you like Tony Horton, but I do, and his silliness makes me laugh and keeps me working hard.
  • Easier nutrition guide and program: As a Nutritionist, I have to say I am very impressed with the time and effort that was put in to this program; it is similar to the way I teach my clients to eat and it is laid out in a simple, easy to understand format.  I’m happy to see,  unlike other so-called Nutrition programs, that absolutely NO artificial crap is allowed!

CONS:

  • Too many pushups for my liking:  Yes, pushups are a terrific overall body exercise.  However, for people with rounded shoulders/bad posture (ahem, that would me moi), pushups simply make this problem worse.   It shortens the muscles of the pec wall, thereby further rounding the shoulders, unless a LOT of stretching to counteract this issue is done on a daily basis.  I’ve personally had to swap out a lot of the pushups for my own upper body strengthening moves using the TRX or free weights.  For most people, however, this shouldn’t be an issue.  If you are 5’10”  with a giraffe-like neck like I am, then I feel your pain.  Literally.
  • Not enough stretching at the end of the workouts: You definitely need more recovery time to prevent injury and I find myself stretching for a good 10-15 minutes more after the workouts are done.
  • 2 minute warning at the start of EACH workout DVD:  This may not seem like a big deal, but when you can’t click on the menu button or fast forward the warning EVERY single day, it gets kind of annoying.  I mean, we get it, this program is not for people who just got off their couch yesterday and it may kill you and beachbody is not responsible, bla bla bla.  But every workout?

OVERALL:

Although I have had to modify some of the exercises in the program to make it safer for my personal neck/upper back issues, I still highly recommend this program…..so far.  Whether or not I continue to feel that way in the upcoming weeks remains to be seen, but I am pretty dedicated, as is my brother and sister-in-law who started the program the same time we did.  It’s nice to have a What’sApp group text going where we all bitch and complain about how hard a workout is or how much we crave a pizza.   As I write this, my forearms hurt, my lats hurt, my glutes hurt….but all in a good way, thank G-d.

I’ve also become a Beachbody Coach to help others who are doing any of the Beachbody fitness programs. Of course, I’m still available as a Personal Trainer if these type of home workouts are not your thing!

By the way, there is a P90X2 (in case you were wondering), but since I haven’t done it, I figured for the purpose of this blog post we can just pretend it doesn’t exist. winking

Wishing everyone a happy, Healthy and Fit New Year! happy

Read More

BENEFITS & HOW TO: THE CASTOR OIL PACK

image_pdfimage_print

castor oil packThe castor bean, also known as the Palma Christi due to its shape and healing properties, is a strong laxative if taken internally.  However, a more gentle use for the castor oil is in the form of a pack placed externally on the abdomen. The oil is absorbed into lymphatic circulation providing a soothing, cleansing, and nutritive treatment which aids the body’s detoxification and elimination functions, enhances liver metabolism, balances the immune system, and improves lymphatic circulation.

The castor oil pack can be used for numerous symptoms and disease states. It can be used for almost all digestive disorders (such as irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, liver diseases, and gallstones), male and female pelvic complaints (such as uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, premenstrual syndrome, and conditions of the prostate), conditions related to hormonal imbalance (such as infertility and menstrual disorders), almost all inflammatory conditions, stress management, and most importantly general detoxification.  Because of all these benefits, in addition to using it myself quite often, I recommend it to many of my clients as well. happy

Here’s what you will need:

  • Organic castor oil  – it is important to use organic castor oil which will not contain pesticide residues
  • Cotton or wool flannel large enough to cover your abdomen
  • Old towel or plastic wrap
  • [easyazon_link asin=”B000BHDLQM” locale=”CA” new_window=”default” tag=”reaheafit0c-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” nofollow=”default” popups=”default”]Hot water bottle[/easyazon_link]

How to make the pack:

  1. Drizzle approximately 1/4 cup of castor oil onto the flannel, and then fold it in half to saturate it.  (Some people recommend boiling the flannel first to remove any impurities).  During the first several weeks you will have to apply a tablespoon of oil about every 3-4 days. Eventually the pack will be saturated enough that reapplication of oil should only be needed every couple of weeks. The pack should not be dripping with oil. As an example, it should have just enough oil tomake a slight oil mark on furniture as if you were going to polish it.
  2. Lie on your back and place the saturated flannel onto your abdomen.
  3. Cover the flannel with an old towel or plastic wrap (saran wrap works well), as castor oil can stain other fabrics.
  4. Place a hot water bottle filled with hot water over the castor oil pack to aid the penetration of oil into the skin.
  5. Relax for 45-60 minutes.  This is an excellent time to practice visualization or meditation, do deep breathing exercises, listen to relaxing music or sleep. You can also wear the pack all night long, using an ace bandage to keep it in place.
  6. Afterwards, you can remove the oil with warm water and soap in the shower or you can allow any remaining oil to absorb into your skin.
  7. Store the pack in a large zip lock bag. Reuse it many times, adding more oil as needed to keep the pack saturated. Replace the pack after it begins to change color (usually several months). Do not wash the flannel.
  8. For maximum effectiveness it is necessary to apply the pack as often as possible. Try using the pack for at least 4 consecutive days per week. The more often you use it, the more beneficial the results.

Caution:

Do not use during pregancy.  May be used during menstruation if desired but only without heat.

If you have used the castor oil pack or would like to try it, I would love to hear your feedback!  If you have any questions on how to use the castor oil pack, feel free to post them here and I will be happy to reply.

Read More

THE BEST RICE COOKER

image_pdfimage_print

[easyazon_image add_to_cart=”default” align=”right” asin=”B000I5UEQM” cloaking=”default” height=”202″ localization=”default” locale=”CA” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/21f8LN%2BMHYL.jpg” popups=”default” tag=”reaheafit0c-20″ width=”250″] I’ve had a few rice cookers over the years and all have worked reasonably well. There was the [easyazon_link asin=”B002RWJN7A” locale=”CA” new_window=”default” tag=”reaheafit0c-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” nofollow=”default” popups=”default”]Cuisinart 7-Cup Rice Cooker[/easyazon_link], the [easyazon_link asin=”B007WQ9YNO” locale=”CA” new_window=”default” tag=”reaheafit0c-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” nofollow=”default” popups=”default”]Aroma 8-Cup Digital Rice Cooker and Food Steamer[/easyazon_link] and the [easyazon_link asin=”B0048BPWQO” locale=”CA” new_window=”default” tag=”reaheafit0c-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” nofollow=”default” popups=”default”]Sunbeam 16 Cup Rice Cooker[/easyazon_link]. The problem I found with the Aroma digital rice cooker is that you have to set it for the type of rice you are cooking and it doesn’t always turn out the way you want it to, especially if you add any other ingredients besides rice, as I often do. The Cuisinart and Sunbeam models have a button that you push down to cook and when the water is absorbed and the rice is done, the button pops up and automatically sets the rice cooker into warming mode.  I find the button style much easier to use because it doesn’t matter what type of rice or quinoa you are using and you can stir-fry onions or other vegetables directly in the rice cooker before adding the rice and water to the pot.

The issue with the above rice cookers and most other ones on the market today is that they are Teflon coated in order to make them non-stick. Whether or not you agree that heating Teflon can be hazardous to your health as well as the environment, the fact is that after some time the Teflon will flake off and bits of it will be going into your food. Do you really want to be ingesting that? Using Teflon coated pans at low heat temperatures with an exhaust fan and not using it at all once it begins to flake off is generally accepted as “proper use” by the manufacturers; however, rice cookers are boiling your rice so the temperature cannot be considered at a low setting.

Because of this I began searching for a rice cooker that was non-digital such as the Sunbeam and the Cuisinart, but not coated with Teflon. I also wanted the ability to steam vegetables in a basket on top, which most rice cookers have, but many are made of plastic and I didn’t want that leaching into my food either.

What I found is the [easyazon_link asin=”B000I5UEQM” locale=”CA” new_window=”default” tag=”reaheafit0c-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” nofollow=”default” popups=”default”]Stainless Steel Rice Cooker by Miracle Exclusives[/easyazon_link] which has all the components I was looking for – push button, stainless steel, no Teflon, and a large stainless steel steaming basket (not shown in the picture). I’ve had it for several months now and I am extremely happy with it. The only negatives I have to say is that I wish it came in black or silver in addition to white. That being said it actually looks a lot nicer in person than it does online. The other slight negative, depending on your expectations, is that because it is stainless steel it is not 100% non-stick. Sometimes rice does stick to the bottom a bit, but you just soak it for a few minutes and it comes off quite easily without any harsh scrubbing.

I’ve made quinoa, brown rice, white rice, sushi rice, and even steel cut oats in there and they all come out fluffy and delicious. For some recipes I’ve used my rice cooker with, check out:

COLORFUL QUINOA

STICKY SWEET BROWN RICE

MISO BROWN RICE

DELICIOUSLY SIMPLE RICE

I have used the steamer basket for all types of vegetables and even put raw eggs in the basket when cooking brown rice to make perfect “hard-boiled” eggs.

If you have this rice cooker or plan on buying one, I’d love to hear your comments below!

Read More