Category Archives: Reviews

The Fresh 20



If you’re like me, until yesterday, and you haven’t heard of the Fresh 20, then you are missing out.


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Review – Jillian Michaels – 6 Week Six-Pack

This is not a workout for beginners.  If you are not used to Jillian or some other form of concentrated workout, I suggest you start with 30 Day Shred or Ripped in 30.  I am currently doing level 1 and will update my review when I move to level 2.


Jillian strays from her typical 3-2-1 format (3 minutes cardio, 2 minutes strength, 1 minute abs), in the ab-centered workout.  She starts with a 4 minute dynamic warm-up, which moves quickly.  The “meat” of the workout is about 24 minutes long and consists of several sequences of exercises; each repeated once before moving on.  Her mix of crunches, planks, lunges, stretches and holds; combined with cardio, keeps you moving and helps hold your attention.  As with her other workouts, she has one team member doing more advanced modifications and one team member doing beginner modifications.  There are no “rests” in this workout, I suggest keeping water near you so you can take a sip between exercises.  Jillian wraps up with a few cool down stretches and you’re done.

I appreciate her “quick and dirty” routines, they have been very effective for me.  It’s nice to find a good workout that I can fit into my morning routine without an enormous time commitment.

Review – Bikram Yoga

I have been telling myself that I need to start building up my workouts in preparation for my races this summer, but I haven’t really added anything challenging up to this point.  This weekend, I decided that it was time and I took my first Bikram Yoga class.


Bikram Choudhury began studying Hatha yoga at the age of four.  His guru was Bishnu Ghosh.  At age 12, Bikram was the youngest national yoga champion of India, holding the title three consecutive years.  After his 3rd title, Bishnu encouraged Bikram to move on competitively.  Bikram went on to pursue an athletic career as a marathon runner and an Olympic style weight lifter.

At age of 20, a weight lifting accident crushed his knee, leaving Bikram severely crippled.  With the guidance of his guru, Bikram created his 26-posture series, which restored his health.  He quickly established himself as an expert yoga teacher around the globe, opening schools throughout the East.  Combining all that he learned from both Eastern and Western doctors and scientists at Tokyo University Hospital, Bikram perfected his comprehensive yoga system.

Bikram then tailored his technique for the Western person, specifically for the cultural problems of occupational stress, chronic overeating, poor posture, and a high stress lifestyle.

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Product Review – Mary’s Gone Crackers

Thanks to my wonderful, beautiful, generous, health-conscious Aunt Lisa I have been introduced to Mary’s Gone Crackers.  These organic, wheat-free, gluten-free crackers are fantastic.

I am a “seed” person.  I love seeds in my bread, crackers, recipes, etc. or as a snack on their own.  This is probably why I love these crackers, which are made from brown rice, quinoa, flax seeds and sesame seeds.  They come in many flavors:  Original, Onion, Caraway, Black Pepper and Herb.  I have tried the black pepper and herb.  They’re great.  I can’t wait to try their Sticks & Twigs Pretzel Sticks.  If you want to try any of their products, they have a store locator on their website to help you find a retailer near you.

One of the things that I really appreciate about the Mary’s Gone Crackers company is their commitment to Conscious Eating: (as described on their website)

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Review – Jillian Michaels – Ripped in 30

I have started Jillian Michaels “Ripped in 30”.  It’s definitely a step up from “30 Day Shred”.  The video is about 10 minutes longer and the exercises are more complex.  She also incorporates both light and heavier weights in the routine, which is based on her 3-2-1 method.  Three minutes of strength, followed by 2 minutes of cardio and one minute of ab work.  At one point in the workout, she says “When you finish these 30 days, you are going to be in the best shape of your life”.  For me at least, she is NOT kidding.

T-30 days until I am on Island Time, and I need to go bathing suit shopping before I leave.  DREAD…  I am thinking that I’ll be putting that off for as long as possible…

#OperationRockinIslandBody is in full force.

Review – Stack’d Bar – Milwaukee, WI

I had the pleasure of eating at Stack’d Bar this weekend and it was fabulous:

Stack’d Bar Milwaukee

Quoting directly from their website, “Combining quality local produce and grass-fed beef, Stack’d represents Milwaukee’s only destination for gourmet burgers. We’re a locally-owned burger bar using only Wisconsin raised and grown ingredients (where possible) from local brands and co-ops. With a menu of signature burgers made from high-quality proteins paired with hand-crafted sides, Stack’d offers ‘burgers for foodies’ in a city where bar food burger options are the norm.”

You can build your own burger or order one of their specialty burgers.  I had the BLACK STACK:  Turkey burger topped with avocado, pico de gallo, fresh tomato & lettuce.  I ordered it without the bun and chose the side salad with additional pico instead of salad dressing.  It was thoroughly enjoyable.  My sister had the BAHN MI:  Asian-style pulled pork with ginger/cilantro mayo, ham, jicama slaw & cucumbers on a baguette.  Which was equally delicious.  We split an order of the sweet potato fries and if you like spicy food, I recommend the Sriracha Ranch dipping sauce.  I can’t wait to go back and try something new….

Review – New Veggie Cuisine from Lean Cuisine

I am always on the lookout for good “Veggie” options and I really like the new products from Lean Cuisine.  They don’t have a ton of options yet, but I have enjoyed the ones they are currently offering:

Enchilada Rojo with Mexican-Style Rice

Indian-Style Masala

Roasted Red Pepper Fettuccini

Tuscan-Style Vegetable Lasagna

If you have other “veggie” suggestions, I would be thrilled to hear…


Check Out Skinny Ms.

Thanks to a friend, I came across a great website I would like to share:

Skinny Ms.

This site has TONS of helpful information.  Recipes, workouts, product reviews, forums, Meal Planning, etc.  Whether you are just getting started with a new plan, or looking for a fresh take on your current plan, I think we can all find something here…

Do you have sites that you find particularly helpful?  I would love to hear from you….

Have a great day 🙂

30 Day Shred

I started the 30 Day Shred this morning.  I am doing a 30 minute warm-up on the treadmill or the elliptical first.

The video is 24 minutes long…  3 minute warm-up and 3 minute cool-down…  Her system is called 3-2-1…  3 minutes of strength training, 2 minutes of cardio and 1 minute of ab work…  3 reps of the circuit…  IT WAS AWESOME!!!

She completely kicked my butt.  There are no breaks.  She says that if you want a video with breaks, then you need to do a longer workout.  I appreciate the condensed workout.  Work HARD and get it DONE.  I can tell that I will probably be sore tomorrow.

Hopefully a little yoga tonight will help…


What’s on Your Plate???

Admittedly, I had not been on the USDA website before today, so I do not know how helpful it was in the past.  However, I can tell you that I think the new “Choose My Plate” site is fantastic.  If you haven’t checked it out yet, here is the address:

I love the new graphic, I think it will be easy to remember and great for teaching kids.  The website itself has a wealth of information, both simple and complex.  I am consistently amazed by the number of people who have no idea what healthy food looks like and this will be a great resource for them.  Just a few of the new offerings are:

  • A food encyclopedia;
  • Interactive menu planners;
  • Interactive food and activity trackers;
  • Personalized diet and exercise analysis;
  • FAQ about food groups, nutritional values, serving sizes and activity;
  • Specific audience information (kids, pregnant/breastfeeding, adults);
  • Weight loss information; and
  • Links to other helpful websites

Additionally, I am posting a PDF of a few recipes they are suggesting.  I haven’t tried any of them yet, but several look good to me.  Please share your reviews if you try any of them.


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