Friday, December 12, 2014

A Fix for Under Eyes Puffiness and Dark Circles

I have been having a horrible time getting any sleep lately so I have had under eye dark circles and bags. For about 2 ½ years now I have been using the M.A.C. Fast Response Eye Cream when I put on my makeup; but I don’t use it on an everyday basis.  Well recently I discovered the Garnier Skin Renew Anti-Dark Circle Eye Roller Medium/Deep; it’s tinted to cover up dark circles while it reduces puffiness, it says after one week of use you will see a difference. I haven’t had it that long to confirm or deny if that is true.  

I told my co-worker about the Garnier Skin Renew Anti-Dark Circle Eye Roller and she found Garnier Skin Renew Anti-Puff Eye Roller which is the same except it isn’t tinted so it doesn’t cover up dark circles. It is pretty much exactly what the M.A.C. version is.

I love M.A.C Cosmetics; always have, but I if I can find a product just as good or better that is less expensive, I am all for it. When it comes to Garnier I must say I have always loved their products, they used to have this foaming face wash that I loved and for some reason they stopped selling it. I swear my face stayed clear with that stuff and I’ve never been able to find another product that worked as well.

The M.A.C. Fast Response Eye Cream will run you about $31.00 while the Garnier Skin Renew Anti-Dark Circle Eye Roller and the Garnier Skin Renew Anti-Puff Eye Roller will run you anywhere from $5.99-$10.99 depending on where you buy it; I got mines from a Grocery Outlet for $5.99 while my co-worker got hers from a different Grocery Outlet for $6.99; but Target sells it for $10.39-$10.99.

What I like the most about the Garnier Skin Renew Anti-Dark Circle Eye Roller is of course the Anti-Dark Circle property, that’s less product that I have to put on during my makeup process and I can also wear it without wearing any other makeup.

In my opinion they all work about the same when it comes to handling your puffy eyes right on the spot since they all contain caffeine which is the main ingredient to combat puffiness. I will find out if it helps with the lightening dark circles but first I need to start getting a good nights rest.

If you really want to save a few bucks you can always try making your own. Just use a little caffeine. I will post more about how to make your own under eye cream later. I was in the works of doing this when I ran across the Garnier brand so I figured I would tell you how I liked it compared to the M.A.C. brand.

And…It Is What It!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Laser Hair Removal

A couple of years ago I had a full face wax for the first time ever after that my cheeks began to break out. Unfortunately when my cheeks break out I get dark marks but of course now I have to have my face waxed; it’s been a vicious cycle. 

In September I decided to try out laser hair removal; so far I've had my upper lip done twice and my chin once. We wanted to see how the lip would go before moving on to other parts of my face. My treatments are six weeks apart. Once my upper lip and chin are done I will move to my side burn/cheek area, I have no intention on having my eyebrows done, I’m too picky when it come to them and I literally only do a clean up on them so I will continue to wax them. However, I do intend on having my underarms, bikini area and legs done some time in the future, it would be nice to never have to shave ever again or at lease a few years.

One thing I have noticed is that the hair grows back a lot slower so the lower the hair is when you have the laser treatment the better, plus there’s a burnt hair smell that I can do without; my personal recommendation would be to use a hair removal cream instead of shaving right before your treatment, its gets rid of the hair a lot closer. Do not wax before the treatment the treatment won’t work since waxing removes the hair at the root and the laser needs the hair to be in existence in order to kill it. If you have light hair it has been suggested that you dye the hair darker so that the laser can detect it.

You will be happy to know that for me, it didn’t hurt and it only lasted about one minute per treatment, I actually asked for the nurse to go over my lip twice the second time around at a higher voltage.

The photos above are both taken about two weeks after the first and second treatments.

And…It Is What It Is!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Using a Fitness Log

During the time I was on the LiveFit program I tracked and logged my workouts. I found this to be very helpful, I would often go back to a previous day to see what my weight was for a certain workout to make sure I maintained that weight or increased my weight to ensure I was making progress.

I particularly liked the LiveFit log sheet because it didn’t just log your workout it also logs your mood, time you worked out, time you finish, the day of the week and the location. There was also a space for notes like supplement info and nutrition.

All of the log sheets pertain to the day and exercise you are working on during the LiveFit program; therefore, I have created a blank version of the form so that I can use them in the future and plug in my own routines.

I have attached a copy for you to use as well, enjoy. Here

And…It Is What It Is!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Carb Cycling

I wanted to touch on Carb Cycling, now that I am done with the LiveFit program it’s time for the next phase of my fitness journey. I decided I would focus more on my eating habits and find a suitable program to help me cut weight. The last phase of the LiveFit program included carb cycling and I have to say I paid it no attention and didn’t understand it. One thing I don’t like is feeling like something has gotten the best of me all because I don’t understand it, due to lack of research.

Now that I am on my own and no longer following the same program I decided to take some time this weekend and better understand what carb cycling is. I did a Google search and came across two blogs that caught my eye. The first one came from Chris Powell, the weight loss coach on the Biggest Loser; he talks about carb cycling, what it is how it works then gives you four different plans; Easy Carb Cycle, Classic Carb Cycle, Turbo Carb Cycle, Fit Carb Cycle. I chose the Turbo Cycle.

The Turbo Cycle is set up for faster weight loss by adding two Low Carb days and one Low Carb Day instead of every other day. See chart below:


Even though the Turbo Cycle provides you with faster weight loss you still eat the same amount of calories as you would if you were on any of the other cycles. No less than 1200 calories for women and 1500 calories for men on low carb days and a little more on high carb days.

The basis of the plan is to eat five times a day to keep your metabolism going, no more and no less.

The other site I checked out was Daily Burn; what I liked about their site is unlike Chris Powell who wouldn’t give you information without you purchasing his book, is that they break it down for you and give you the appropriate formula for your body weight and give you examples of what a low carb and high carb days looks like. See Below:

High-carb day
2–3 grams of carbs (x your body weight)
1–1.25 grams of protein (x your body weight)
As little fat as possible

Low-carb day
0.5–1.5 grams of carbs (x your body weight)
1.25–1.5 grams of protein (x your body weight)
0.15–0.35 grams of fat (x your body weight)

High-carb day
About 1 gram of carbs (x your body weight)
0.75 grams of protein (x your body weight)
As little fat as possible

Low-carb day
0.2–0.5 grams of carbs (x your body weight)
About 1 gram of protein (x your body weight)
0.1–0.2 grams of fat (x your body weight)

For both low- and high-carb days, be sure to eat breakfast as soon as possible when you wake up, then consume the rest of your calories across another four to six small meals throughout the day, advises Starnes. Here’s how you might schedule your meals:

A typical low-carb day:
7 a.m. two scrambled eggs with 1/2 red bell pepper
10 a.m. protein shake with berries
1 p.m. 3 ounces grilled chicken with 1 cup asparagus
4 p.m. 1/3 cup oatmeal with 10 almonds
7 p.m. 3 ounces steak with 2 cups steamed broccoli and cauliflower

A typical high-carb day:
7 a.m. 1/2 cup oatmeal with walnuts and berries
10 a.m. apple with 2 tablespoons peanut or almond butter
1 p.m. half turkey sandwich on whole-wheat bread
4 p.m. 1 cup three-bean salad with 1 cup quinoa
7 p.m. 3 ounces grilled chicken with 1 cup whole-wheat pasta and pesto

 By combining the two above I was able to come up with a formula and meal plan that I will for the next couple for months along with my fitness plan.

So what exactly is Carb Cycling? Carb cycling is a method of eating low amounts or carbs one day and high amounts of carbs another day, this tricks the body. On high carb days your body is building up calories and on low days it goes into a super fat burning mode.

For more information check out the two websites above and tailor a meal plan that’s right for you.

And…It Is What It Is!

Monday, November 10, 2014

I Have Completed the LiveFit Program

I am proud to say that I have completed the LiveFit 12 week program. It was a hard journey only because I wasn’t used to following such a strict workout regimen but the 3rd phase was the hardest for me, it required more of my time and took place during my busiest time; but I survived.

Out of the 3 phases I must say I enjoyed the 2nd phase the most, it was more in line with what I feel comfortable with and the time restraints were better suited for my schedule. That is why I have decided to add a modified version of phase two to my regular workout routine.

What I have decided to do is work phase two and tweak it to better suit where I am today, by adding more reps and changing the cardio schedule to match with my current cardio schedule. I’ve also decided to add carb cycling for the next few months to see how that best suit me.

While on the LiveFit program I didn’t lose any weight as far as pounds go but I did lose inches and a pants size and gain lots of muscle. Overall, I am happy with my results but not as happy as I would have been if I would have followed the eating plan like I was supposed to.

I definitely recommend this plan to anyone looking to become more fit. It requires discipline and the desire to grow and be better than before; increasing your weight is crucial in order to see growth.

And…It Is What It Is!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken Breasts

I love making marinades and I wanted to marinate some chicken breasts for this week’s meal plan. I picked up a few boneless skinless chicken breasts from Safeway last week and to my surprise there were only three in the package so I sliced them into halves creating 6 pieces; which made them thinner which was ok for me because I am not much of a white meat person  so the thinner and the juicier the better.
I don’t care what anyone says, you should always enjoy your food. Being miserable just to eat healthy is ridiculous. So eat the foods you need to eat and eliminate the ones you don’t but at the same time prepare them in a manner where you can enjoy them by still keeping it healthy.
OK, now on to the recipe!
5-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 bunch chopped of cilantro
2 small limes or 1 large; juiced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/8 cup olive oil
1/8 cup cooking wine
1 cup water
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon of Fiesta Citrus seasoning
Rinse chicken thoroughly.
Place chicken and cilantro in a gallon sized Ziploc bag.
In a bowl, whisk remaining ingredients then pour into the Ziploc bag
Shake until everything is mixed well then let as much air as possible out of the bag.
Sit flat in the refrigerator for 2 or more hours
Preheat grill. Once it is nice and hot place chicken on the grill. Cook 5-10 minutes per side depending on the thickness of your meat.
And…It Is What It Is!

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Final Stretch of the LiveFit Program

Yeah, I know. I didn’t post a confession this past Saturday. I’ve been so busy lately it’s been hard to keep up, so I have decided to add my confession to this post.

So I have completed phase two of the LiveFit program and I am now in the final phase, phase three, I’m going to start by recapping phase two then I will go into my feelings about phase three.

I enjoyed phase two, in this phase my workout time was increased as well as my days. I had a couple of days where due to certain circumstances I was unable to do the workout that day and I had to combine it with another workout day but I made sure to get it in. This is a phase I would actually like to do over again as part of my normal routine after I have completed the entire series.

I will say however, my eating and my running fell off track so I found myself gaining some weight which I am not proud of. I pretty much stuck with my meal prep but I found myself giving into temptations for sweet treats, chips and other foods that don’t do me any good. In turn it caused my body to go into a state of exhaustion. What happens is when my eating habits fall off so does my energy levels, that combined with my knee tendonitis made getting up early in the mornings to complete my run even more difficult. Had it not been for my other obligations I may have fallen off with my LiveFit training as well. I usually workout in the evenings during my kids practices or right after work so it makes it easier for me.
I must say that my arms are looking really nice and even my legs have begun to shape up nicely, my mid-section however is not looking its best and I have to go to the kitchen to build these abs I’m looking for.

Now that I am into phase three, I can’t lie, I am wondering if I am going to be able to hang the first two weeks, these weeks seem to be the most time consuming. The workouts are a lot longer than the other two phases and I’m already pressed for time as it is so I may end up doing the routine a little later than usual but I am determined to complete this phase the right way.  I don’t mind the additional reps and I don’t mind the intervals I’m just concerned about having enough time to complete the workouts; on average the workouts are about an hour and twenty minutes not including the cardio session which I do in the mornings anyway I typically only have forty-five to sixty minutes per evening before I have to go grab my son so I will see how this all plays out.

And…It Is What It Is!