Veggie Pizza Recipes You Can Make at Home

Veggie pizza recipes can be a lot of fun to create at home with your family, friends, or significant other. You can make easy veggie pizzas using premade, refrigerated pizza dough or you can create your own pizza from scratch using veggie pizza recipes that you find online or receive from someone you know. Most of the time it is fun to make your own veggie pizzas from scratch if you have the time and inclination. Here are some veggie pizza recipes, ideas, and tips to try at home.

First things first – the defining factors in just about any pizza are usually the dough and the sauce. You can get creative adding ingredients and cheeses to your heart’s content, but without a good base of pizza dough and sauce, you aren’t really going anywhere with your vegetarian pizza or vegetable pie. I am a firm believer that handmade dough makes the best pizza or Stromboli. In fact, I use the same dough recipe for my Stromboli as I do for my pizzas, when I have time. (If you simply don’t have time, you can find premade refrigerated pizza dough from Pillsbury and similar brands.)

Homemade Veggie Pizza Recipes from Scratch
Use these steps to create your own veggie pizza at home!

1.    First make the dough. I use this recipe from Fabulous Foods for my pizza and Stromboli. Knead the dough for 5-10 minutes and set aside to rise.

2.    I also make my own sauce from scratch (well, sort of), using my best friend’s dad’s recipe. Here it is:

Enhance your favorite jar sauce with these steps.

Put some olive oil on the bottom of a saucepan and warm to medium low. Mince or slice garlic to your liking and sauté lightly in oil until golden. Pour red jar sauce into pot and stir well. Bring to low boil. Add some sherry or Marsala cooking wine. Bring to low boil again. Add parsley, oregano, and fresh ground pepper to taste. Keep at a low boil until the sauce reduces and thickens. Set aside. (I do this all without measurements, but you will get the hang of it and find how it works best for your tastes.)

3.    After the dough has risen, roll it out to make a pizza in your favorite shape – round, rectangular, heart – whatever you like.

4.    Use a ladle to add as much sauce as you like.

5.    Sprinkle cheese on top using mozzarella, or a blend including provolone, parmesan, or whatever you like.

6.    Add a variety of vegetables to complete your veggie pizza recipe.

Try any of the following:

a.    Peppers
b.    Mushrooms
c.    Onions
d.    Olives
e.    Tomatoes
f.    Broccoli
g.    Cauliflower
h.    Zucchini
i.    Spinach

7.    Bake your pizza until dough is cooked all the way through and cheese is melted. I turn the oven to 375, but the timing depends on the size and thickness of your dough. The pizza dough should turn a little golden brown when it is about ready.

This is a simple veggie pizza to try at home. If you have other favorite veggie pizza recipes, share them or at least your favorite toppings in our comments below!

Alcon Eye Drops: Naphcon A Eye Allergy Relief Review

Alcon eye drops, particularly Alcon Naphcon A Eye Allergy Relief drops, are a true lifesaver when it comes to my spring allergies and hay fever.  My optometrist / ophthalmologist recommended these Alcon eye drops as a surefire way to alleviate the itchy, red, watery eyes that I experience every April and May during spring allergy season when all the pollen starts falling from the trees. I had never heard of Naphcon A or Alcon eye drops prior to this doctor’s visit, but I happily added these allergy relief eye drops to my list of spring allergy must-haves.

Alcon Naphcon A Eye Allergy Relief drops are a clean eye drop that works immediately to soothe and hydrate the eye. You can use these soothing Alcon eye drops to flush debris from the eye or simply to reduce eye redness or alleviate irritation. I use these religiously as my go-to “pollen eye drops” for my spring pollen allergies, but my husband’s friend is mildly allergic to our long-haired dog and still has amazing results with these drops. Whenever he comes to visit, he uses my Alcon eye drops (always Naphcon A) and still comments how impressed he is at the speed with which the drops take the itch out of his eyes.

The Alcon Eye Drop product is available as a single eye drop or as part of a two-pack at your favorite drugstore and online at Amazon. I highly recommend the two-pack so you can take one to work and leave one at home, or place one in your purse and keep it with you at all times, keeping the second one in your medicine cabinet. The bottles are a little small for my tastes, but they are well worth the price due to the instant relief these drops provide time and again.

Benefits of Alcon Eye Drops: Naphcon A (allergy eye drops)
•    Effectively eliminate itchy eye symptoms
•    Easily flush foreign particles from eyes
•    Excellent, very fast allergy relief
•    Great travel size
•    Convenient two-pack available
•    Contains an antihistamine as well as a redness reducer
•    Highly recommended by eye doctors
•    Works the first time, every time

If you are wondering about the disadvantages and advantages of Naphcon A, you can see above how I found many positive reasons to use this product. It really is my eye drop of choice, and others who’ve used it seem to agree. I thought long and hard to come up with some disadvantages as well, but the only thing I came up with is that the bottle is awfully small for the price. However, to me, the effective and immediate relief I experience from using these drops is well worth double the cost. (But don’t tell Alcon that!)

So anyway, I usually buy a two-pack to stretch it further. That seems to last me all allergy season and then some. Then I come back to the CVS or RiteAid and buy more whenever I run out – I am a very loyal customer.

Naphcon A drops used to be prescribed by doctors but now they are available over the counter. These Alcon allergy eye drops are backed by great reviews on Amazon and countless others throughout the Web. Those who use these drops agree that they work. I stand firmly behind this product and will continue purchasing it as often as my allergy symptoms persist. I include these with my allergy regimen of Chloraseptic Allergen Block and Allegra D 24-hour allergy medication. I have already purchased these Alcon drops on at least two occasions since I first learned about them. This style of Alcon eye drop is effective at relieving allergy symptoms from pollen, grass, ragweed, animal dander, and hair.

If you are wondering, “How long can you use Naphcon-A eye drops,” simply refer to the product packaging to ensure you don’t over-apply them to your eyes. According to the bottle I have right here, the directions say to put one to two drops in the affected eye or eyes up to four times a day. Check with your eye doctor or physician if you feel you may need more frequent relief.

Alcon eye drops for watery eyes – these drops are suitable for use with a variety of eye conditions, including itchy, watery eyes associated with allergies and irritation. You can use Alcon to flush your eye out when you are suffering from a foreign body or particle such as an eyelash or a piece of makeup or pet hair. The clean, cool Alcon eye drop soothes the afflicted eye and eases the discomfort you may be feeling.

You can buy Alcon Naphcon A allergy eye drops at CVS or your favorite pharmacy, and also conveniently online at Amazon.com. Don’t forget to get the two-pack so you always have these powerful and effective eye drops on hand.

 

Natural and Botanical Sleep Aids – Aromatherapy to Help You Sleep

SoBotanical SoBo Apothecary Headease Pure Essential Oil SynergySome people are luckier than others when it comes to getting some good shuteye. If you have issues sleeping, I can’t tell you that a botanical or natural sleep aid will do the trick and cure your issues, but it’s possible it might help. Aromatherapy is a popular concept and many experts in the industry firmly believe in its benefits and value. Essential oils, natural fragrances, and organic ingredients can contribute to better mental, spiritual, and emotional awareness. Before going too far into treatment for sleep problems, consider natural and botanical sleep aids through aromatherapy to help you catch your zzz’s.

I received a couple of aromatherapy products to review in relation to getting a more relaxed sleep. I received free samples of SoBo Apothecary Headease Pure Essential Oil Synergy by SoBotanical and Goodnight Essential Oil Roll-on Remedy by Tisserand for the purpose of this review. I’ll give you my thoughts on these products, which I feel are well suited for restless sleepers, especially when traveling on business and needing to get some sleep away from home.

Tisserand Goodnight (Sleep) Essential Oil Roll-on Remedy
Tisserand Goodnight Sleep Essential Oil Roll-on RemedyI have tried other products by Tisserand in the past and I’ve always been a fan of their aromatherapy products for beauty, health, and general wellness. Tisserand products are paraben free and contain no synthetic fragrances – important if you care about healthy aromatherapy! The Tisserand Goodnight (Sleep) Essential Oil Roll-on Remedy is a 10ml roll-on product that contains a handmade blend of essential oils including tranquil organic lavender oil, comforting organic bergamot oil, and serene organic ylang-ylang oil in a base of organic jojoba.

I believe my product is a previous generation of the Tisserand Aromatherapy product, Sleep, which is a roll-on for troubled sleepers as well, featuring the same ingredients. When you unscrew the cap on this aromatherapy roll-on, the fragrance is delightful and organic. To use, gently roll product onto your pulse points as needed. Tisserand Goodnight Essential Oil Roll-on Remedy (Sleep) is a Vegan product that is not tested on animals.

Tisserand Aromatherapy products contain only pure, naturally-occurring essential oils – nothing synthetic. You can buy Tisserand products like the Tisserand Goodnight Essential Oil Roll-on Remedy online at retailers like Amazon.com.

SoBo Apothecary Headease Pure Essential Oil Synergy by SoBotanical
SoBotanical SoBo Apothecary Headease Pure Essential Oil SynergySoBotanical offers countless luxurious aromatherapy products as well as bath and body goodies. I received a number of their great products for free for the purpose of review, and came to find out that Headease is one of their best sellers. A soothing and relaxing blend of Peppermint, Lavender, Chamomile, Eucalyptus, Marjoram, and Basil essential oils blend beautifully together to pull you away from the day and help you drift off to a comfortable sleep.

SoBotanical’s SoBo Apothecary Headease Pure Essential Oil Synergy comprises anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal properties to enhance the immune system and alleviate various symptoms of cold and flu, such as headache (thus the name), sinus problems, and achy joints. SoBo Apothecary Headease Pure Essential Oil Synergy is designed to assist easier breathing as well. The company recommends trying Headease as a room spray, too. SoBo Apothecary Headease Pure Essential Oil Synergy retails for $11 -$38. For more information, see http://sobotanical.com.

Aromatherapy can be a great sleep aid. It may not work for everyone, though. What is your experience?

20 Low-Carb Home Menu Ideas for Weight Loss and Good Health

Try these recipes for paleo diet, atkins diet, and just losing weight.My husband recently decided he wanted to try the Paleo diet. Now he didn’t decide to completely go with it – I mean how could we give up pizza and lasagna, for starters? Because the Paleo diet forbids just about all carbs as well as most if not all dairy, from what I understand, I have been really struggling to come up with meal ideas that are acceptable to his low-carb preferences as well as my own cravings for a wholesome (and not weird) meal. Don’t get me wrong, my guy isn’t about weird food in the least. He is just a busy man and wants to lose a few pounds with a simple change in diet. I guess I’ll go along for the ride.

Now again, I will emphasize, I love carbs – rice, pasta, cookies, rolls (SANDWICHES), and so forth. I am pretty close to my target weight, so while the few pounds I may lose will be welcome, they aren’t essential to my weight goals. But I know my hubby wants to lose a few more pounds and since I cook the meals, the least I can do is try to help the process rather than making it more difficult. THEN we can go back to carbs. At least that’s what I say.

So, after racking my brain, scouring the Web, and looking high and low on the shelves of several of my local grocery stores, I bring you this list of meal suggestions so you can create a weekly or biweekly menu to make your food preparation and grocery shopping easier than mine has been the past few weeks!

20 Low-Carb Meals for Atkins Diet, Paleo Diet, or Losing Weight in General
Finding main courses with side dishes to suit the requirements of various diets can be challenging. I honestly didn’t count the carbs and sugars per veggie or meat product, so you may have to tweak my suggestions here and there. This is just my stab at 20 meals you can rotate through if you are trying to lose a few pounds or if you plan on sticking to the Paleo diet or Atkins diet.

1.    Chicken Stir Fry – You can make so many variations of this. I use a little olive oil touch of butter (or your diet-approved substitute, like coconut oil, etc.), a touch of white cooking wine, some chopped garlic, and then toss in the chicken until done, and then add veggies at the end on top of the cooked chicken, steaming them so they are still nice and crisp! Delicious with broccoli or green beans, or your choice of veggies. I do miss the rice sometimes but it is still pretty yummy.
Try these recipes for paleo diet, atkins diet, and just losing weight.
2.    Beef Stir Fry – Same as above but with a simple variation – I just add beef (steak) instead of chicken and red cooking wine instead of white.

3.    Ham and Veggies – A simple ham steak and some mixed vegetables can make a wonderful meal for the whole family.

4.    Steak and Eggs – Why does everything have to have a veggie on the side? Double your protein with this cool combo that can be just as enjoyable at breakfast or dinner.

5.    Salmon with Broccoli – Salmon is one of our favorite fish. This tasty pink fish goes great with broccoli or green beans, asparagus, and so many others.

6.    Tilapia with Veggies – For another low-fat menu option, consider the delicate white fish of Tilapia. The mild flavor goes great with so many vegetables and plays nicely with fire – just kick up your seasonings a notch for a Cajun treat.

7.    Pork Chops with Apples – Whether you bake or grill, pork tastes great with apples or applesauce. Why stick to just meat and veggies for dinner? Get creative and add some fruit in the mix.

8.    Duck & Orange Stir Fry – We haven’t made this one yet but it is on my list to try. Duck is traditionally served roasted, much like turkey, but this could be a fun variation or an interesting way to use up your leftovers.

9.    Spicy Chicken with Celery – Instead of typical breaded buffalo wings or boneless buffalo wings, try a low-carb version where you baste the hot sauce directly on your boneless, skinless chicken breast or wings. Serve with celery and a side salad for a zesty, healthy meal.

10.    Grandpop’s Chicken – This is my special recipe from my late grandfather. It’s essentially garlic-rosemary chicken, a nice Italian flavor. I can never make it as delicious as he did, but here’s how it goes. Marinate your skinless chicken OR roaster chicken in extra virgin olive oil with lots of minced garlic and rosemary. Add parsley, salt, and pepper to taste. Allow it to marinate overnight if possible. Cook in the oven or in a crock pot and serve with green beans. Mashed potatoes have always been a staple with this meal, but if you are cutting out potatoes, you can always try mashed cauliflower or something like that. I’ve never tried it, so let us know how it is. I’ll just cheat and have the mashed potatoes once or twice a month.

10 More Low Carb Meal Ideas for Atkins, Paleo Diet, and Losing Weight

 


Review of The Biggest Loser’s Simply Sensible Meals

If you are trying to lose a little weight or just hoping to eat a little healthier, your grocer’s freezer or refrigerator may have more options for you than you’d think. Simply Sensible meals by The Biggest Loser offer consumers a healthy meal that is less than 300 calories per serving. Simply add a cup of fresh steamed vegetables and you can enjoy a delicious meal that is healthy and yummy.

I received two varieties of The Biggest Loser’s Simply Sensible meals to try for the purpose of this review. First we had Mediterranean-Style Chicken, which features boneless chicken breast with rib meat in a white wine and rosemary sauce with bowtie pasta. The dish also includes peas, olive slices, and red peppers. The second meal we tried was Beef Tips with Gravy and Brown Rice. The meals are sold fully cooked and just need to be warmed up before eating.

My husband and I usually eat Chicken Voila meals since they are pretty healthy and fast and easy to make. We really enjoyed the Biggest Loser meals, but we felt the Voila meals had more flavor, perhaps more spices. On a separate note, I am beginning to wonder if the Voila meals have MSG in them, as I am never full after eating a serving of the meal. With the Biggest Loser meals, I felt more satisfied after finishing dinner.

I enjoyed The Biggest Loser’s Simply Sensible Mediterranean-Style Chicken more than I thought I would, since I do not care for peppers. They really weren’t noticeable, and I was able to push them aside if needed. The bowtie pasta is always a hit in our house. I liked the little bit of sauce, but felt there could have been a bit more flavor. This meal has 250 calories per serving, 36g Carbohydrate (12%), and 400mg sodium (17%).

The Beef Tips with Gravy and Brown Rice meal was yummy but again could have used something in the way of spices. We enjoyed it but found it just a bit bland. We would have made it for dinner sooner, but the first time or two we wanted to try it, we didn’t have any fresh vegetables in the house. We finally managed to get some fresh broccoli and it was the perfect complement to the beef, gravy, and brown rice. I imagine next time we try this we could probably spice it up with a little fresh ground pepper or maybe some Italian seasonings. Honestly, it was still very delicious!

Preparation for these meals was super fast and easy. We would absolutely try them again, or explore the other varieties of Biggest Loser meals. They are nice to add into our rotation of fast-cook meals for those lazy nights or when we just aren’t able to spend much time cooking. Has anyone else tried them?

Silversport™ Bamboo Silver Towel™ for Workouts

If you’ve never worked out with a handy fitness towel, you should try it. You might never go back. The reason is simple. A soft, clean, flexible towel can help you stay drier during your workouts and it is soothing as it whisks away any perspiration from your face and neck. You can also use your fitness towel to clean off exercise equipment before and after use. Made of ultra-soft and renewable bamboo, the Silversport™ Silver Towel™ is a smart choice for your favorite workouts and everything in between.

Eco-friendly products are all the rage these days, and products that perform are the ones flying off the shelves. The Silver Towel boasts both benefits and has anti-microbial properties to boot. The towel itself actually contains Terra-Silver ™, which is a revolutionary nanotechnology employing real, natural silver particles to reduce odors and provide anti-microbial protection to the entire product. In fact, all Silversport™ products contain this Terra-Silver component, which, if you can believe it, successfully eliminates 650+ kinds of surface-borne bacteria. The surface of the towel releases silver ions, activated when the towel picks up moisture, resulting in efficient odor-reduction.

I received my very own Silver Towel for the purpose of this review, and I couldn’t be happier. The towel is the perfect workout companion for all of my favorite workout videos and indoor exercises like the Elliptical machine. It can also help dry you off after a long run or during competitive sports. I really love the flexible bamboo fabric that is super soft and comfortable to the skin. The towel is the perfect size and shape to sling around your neck before, after, or even during workouts. Another smart feature, the back of the towel has several textured logos of Silversport that act as grippers when you toss your towel across the gym onto another piece of workout equipment.

For more information about Silversport™, please visit www.silversport.com.

Athleta Yoga Gear for High-Performance Workouts

If you’ve been noticing your workouts dwindling lately, it may be time to add a new element of excitement to your routine. Some new workout clothes ought to do the trick! Athleta offers countless style options and color choices for your yoga, Pilates, strength training, running, swimming, and exercise videos. A new workout outfit can go a long way in motivating you to work harder and get stronger over time. Stylish workouts also allow you to be comfortable and fashionable when running errands or lounging around the house.

I received a brand new Athleta yoga outfit for the purpose of evaluation and review, and I couldn’t be happier. The outfit I received included the Sleeveless Twist Top in Kauai Blue Simhah and Revelation Pant in black.

Athleta Sleeveless Twist Top in Kauai Blue Simhah
The Athleta Sleeveless Twist Top is made of a Nylon / Polyester / Spandex blend for a very comfortable fit that is flexible to meet the needs of your workout. The fabric features Q-Skin yarn that has anti-odor and antibacterial properties, relying on silver particles to maintain a biological balance and keep odors caused by sweating at bay. Perhaps more importantly, the fabric of this shirt is moisture-wicking to keep you dry for your entire workout. This workout top is fitted, making it ideal for running, yoga, Pilates, workout videos, tennis, and for so many other activities.

I’ve worn my Twist Top at least three times and run it through the wash just as many. The performance during workouts and from the washer to the drying rack is flawless. I find it very comfortable, especially when paired with the Athleta Revelation Pant. The Athleta Twist Top retails for $49 and is available in a wide array of colors including purple, green, blue, black, and white.

Athleta Revelation Pant in Black
Perfect for yoga, Pilates, and looking cute in your workout gear, the Revelation Pant by Athleta is one piece of clothing you are going to want to wear again and again. Seriously, I have to keep an eye on my laundry pile to be sure I can wash these awesome yoga pants as soon as I am done wearing them. Athleta says these pants are one of their most popular items and it’s not surprising when you consider why.

The fit of the Revelation Pant is perfect – it hugs your curves without pulling or squishing. The fabric has a gusseted inseam for complete comfort whenever you wear these pants. The breathable, moisture-wicking fabric keeps you dry and comfortable during and after workouts. The styling and fit of the pants also make them appropriate for running to the gym, the post office, the grocery store, or any other errand you might have on your agenda. They are also super comfortable for just lounging around the house, doing housework, relaxing and watching movies, you name it. The pants also have a UPF of 50+, making them ideal for outdoor training and workouts as well. The Revelation Pant retails for $98. 

For more information about Athleta, please check out the Web site at http://athleta.gap.com.

Fabulous Yoga Workout Clothes from GothamGear

When you have the right kind of motivation, your workouts can be so much more productive. Gorgeous yoga workout clothing from GothamGear gives you confidence and style all in one, boosting your workout potential and offering you stylish duds to wear around the house, to the gym, or simply during your favorite workouts.

GothamGear’s collection of yoga and fitness clothes, Mortal by GothamGear, offers a number of styles and colors to give your workout wardrobe the variety you love and the performance you crave. The brand grew out of one woman’s frustration in being unable to find workout clothing that she could wear while running errands or grabbing a bite to eat. She founded GothamGear to solve that problem, especially with the city lifestyle and limited storage space in mind.

 

I received a generous package including two yoga outfits (two pair of yoga pants and two tanks) as well as two BPA-free water bottles from Jenny Goodman, the owner of GothamGear, and I couldn’t be more excited! The sleek, silky, stretchy fabric of the yoga pants and tops make them so comfortable that you won’t want to take them off. The styles of the yoga tops and pants are especially flattering to your figure, giving you even more confidence for your workout or simply casual comforts when wearing them around the house.

All four of the garments I received are made of comfortable, durable MortalTech, which is comprised of 88% nylon (100% recycled) and 12% Lycra® fabric. MortalTech delivers effective moisture wicking and four-way stretch for a comfortable stretch no matter what your activity. In case you missed it in the explanation of the fabric, GothamGear Mortal yoga garments are “green,” made from technical stretch fabric with 100% recycled nylon.

Fold-over Waist Yoga Pant
The Fold-over Waist Yoga Pant is one of my new favorite workout pants, and I love wearing them around the house before I work out. I really enjoy the flexibility of these pants, as well as how nicely they contour to the body. The fold-over band of fabric is double the waistband height so you can choose a height that is comfortable and flattering based on your own body type and shape.

These pants feature perfect, flat seams, a non-elastic, self-banded waistband, and a double-layer gusset for complete comfort along all your body’s curves. The Fold-over Waist Yoga Pants are fitted through the hips and thighs for a very attractive look. These pants also include a small inside pouch pocket on the back left hip where you can easily store a few dollars, your key, your ID, or other small necessities.

Five Pocket Jean Pant
Another comfortable and stylish offering from GothamGear, the Five Pocket Jean Pant is a fashionable way to get your yoga on, not to mention running your errands, walking the dog, chasing the kids around, and whatever else you do on a daily basis. Fitted through the hips and thighs, these ladies’ workout pants fit like jeans but perform like the ultimate fitness wear.

For anyone who loves having back pockets in their pants, these yoga pants with functional, usable back pockets are a great fit! They also feature a self-banded non-elastic waistband, a double-layer gusset, flat seams, belt loops, back yoke detail, and more. The faux front pockets and faux fly add to the look and style of these eco-friendly yoga pants. These pants and the fold-over style are available in sizes XS through L and are available in black, indigo, and charcoal.

Twist-front Cami
Who says you can’t look super cute when you work out? The Twist-front Cami in the Mortal collection has a flattering sweetheart neckline, a straight back, and a twisted bust. This yoga tank has a feminine style but don’t be surprised when it performs beyond your workout expectations. One of my favorite features in GothamGear’s yoga tanks is the shelf-bra with non-elastic support. It’s a comfortable alternative to the elastic style shelf-bras.

The straps are adjustable and the flat seams offer the most comfortable fit. The yoga top is fitted throughout and looks amazing with either style of the Mortal yoga pants. One thing to keep in mind when ordering is the sizing. Consider ordering a size medium or above if you are typically wearing a C cup or larger in bra size. The size small in the Twist-front Cami top seemed to be a bit of a squeeze for me.

Side-tie Cami
I absolutely adore the style of Jenny Goodman’s Side-tie Cami. The fit is very comfortable and the side-tie looks lovely with either style of her yoga pants. The scoop neckline is flattering and comfortable, making it ideal for your yoga and Pilates workouts. At first my side-tie came undone while working out, but I had forgotten to double-knot it. Simply add a double-knot and you are set to work out without any issues!

Fitted throughout for an attractive look, the Side-tie Cami also features a self-banded waistband (instead of elastic) and self-banded shelf-bra. The adjustable straps make it easy to find the right fit for your frame, and they don’t slip or come undone while your body is in motion. Both of these yoga tops are available in size XS through L and in colors of washed blue, indigo, charcoal, and black.

I have run my new yoga clothes from GothamGear through the wash several times already and they are flawless. They dry quickly enough that I can wear them the same day I wash them and I really do enjoy the comfort, the fit, and the style. Even on days when I don’t feel like working out, these women’s workout clothes from GothamGear really seem to help push me toward my goals.

GothamGear is an eco-friendly women’s fitness apparel company located in New York City. Each purchase also receives a complimentary BPA-free water bottle. To learn more about GothamGear, please visit https://www.shopgothamgear.com.

For a limited time, Life Love Beauty readers can take advantage of a special coupon code – LIFELOVEBEAUTY – good from today through 2/18/11 for 15% off online purchases at https://www.shopgothamgear.com. The entire line of Mortal workout clothing is available at Glittering Conscience, 96 West Houston Street, NY, NY as well. (The discount is valid only online, not at the store.)

Eastern Ideas for Human Wellness – Refreshing Sokenbicha™ Tea Blends

Time-honored Japanese traditions are sometimes based in the belief that nature is an important element of our well being. Drawing upon those beliefs, Sokenbicha™ offers a fine line of authentically brewed tea blends with natural botanicals.

Creating a modern taste laced with a generous helping of ancient wisdom, Sokenbicha™ provides five flavorful, natural tea blends without preservatives or sugar as ingredients. These flavorful teas are unsweetened so they contain no calories, a real benefit for women over 40 or those individuals who are simply trying to lose a bit of weight.

 

Drawing from the ancient wisdom embraced in the 5 Elements Theory, Sokenbicha™ strives to provide a refreshing beverage blended to offer proper balance for the body’s elements in an effort to restore good health and well-being.

The holistic approach of the Five Elements Theory follows the ancient belief that the interrelationship of the five elements (wood, fire, earth, metal, and water) is responsible for changes in the natural world. The ancient Japanese firmly held to the belief that the proper balance among these elements should lead to an individual’s well being.

Therefore, Sokenbicha™ designed its blend of teas and botanicals to bring about a balance within the human body. Five varieties have been created including Revive, Defend, Purify, Shape, and Skin.

Revive is crisp and cool. This oolong tea blend offers a delicate fruity flavor of pomegranate and raspberry blended with rose hips and black tea.

Defend is flavorful yet mild in taste. Defend is an oolong tea blend created with ginseng and guava leaves.

Purify is deliciously aromatic. This green tea blend offers the calming experience associated with chamomile and the healing effect of aloe.

Shape is bold. This barley tea blend features notes of the peach flower.

Skin is very bold. A delicious barley tea, Skin is blended with hints of ginger and cinnamon.

Sokenbicha’s tea blends are authentically brewed from natural teas and botanicals in an effort to provide women with an alternative beverage that brings the positive back into a woman’s life.

While I did receive these products free for the purposes of this review, I did enjoy their flavorful taste as well as the feeling of calmness I experienced while drinking them.

Jack Link’s Beef Jerky – Perfect Workout Snack or Beer Pairing Treat

If you are looking for a yummy snack that is satisfying and pretty healthy for you, beef jerky might not be the first thing to come to mind. Truth be told, this savory, flavorful snack goes great with beer, makes a perfect road trip snack, and is even a great pick-me-up to enjoy after a strenuous workout. Jack Link’s offers such a wide variety of jerky flavors you’d be hard pressed to get bored with this nutritious, meaty snack.

Jack Link’s products originally came to mind as a great pairing option for a variety of different beers. In my recent workout frenzy, I found the many benefits of eating beef jerky as a post-exercise snack. Jerky is traditionally low in calories and high in protein, a great combination for anyone looking to lose weight, burn fat, and satisfy their hunger in between meals.

I received a generous supply of many different flavors and varieties of Jack Link’s Jerky for the purpose of this review. I was astounded at the countless types of jerky, and found each to be as delicious as the next. Jack Link’s offers jerky nuggets as well as the standard style of beef jerky. Even if you aren’t a fan of red meat, don’t write off this company just yet! Jack Link’s also offers the innovative turkey jerky, ham jerky, and buffalo chicken jerky – three very satisfying snacks that are out of the norm but very worth the change in pace.

Here are a few notes on some of the flavors of Jack Link’s Jerky that my husband and I have enjoyed so far:

Teriyaki Beef Jerky and Nuggets
Jack Link’s Teriyaki jerky products are a refreshing change from the typical beef jerky flavors. This variety had a sweet and savory flavor that was a perfect snack during an Eagles tailgate earlier this season.
14g protein, 5g sugars, 1g fat, 25% DV sodium

Peppered Beef Jerky and Nuggets
A traditional favorite of ours, the peppered beef jerky offers a slightly spicy taste that leaves you craving more. It is a perfect complement to a tall beer or a snack on your road trip or anytime in between meals.
15g protein, 3g sugars, 1g fat, 25% DV sodium

Original Hickory Smokehouse Beef Jerky
This flavor of Jack Link’s may make you want to drive on over to your nearest steakhouse. This delicious type is rich in flavor and one of the classic Jack Link’s favorites. It’s a very satisfying snack or a great appetizer.
12g protein, 5g sugars, 1g fat, 23% DV sodium

Original Turkey Jerky Nuggets
For the jerky fan that is ready for a change, consider turkey jerky, which is a healthy and fun alternative to traditional jerky. This flavor is dangerously good – you might have to apply some self control once you open the package of this delicious turkey jerky. This type is low in sugars and sodium – enjoy!
11g protein, 2g sugars, 1g fat, 16% DV sodium

Maple & Brown Sugar Ham Jerky Nuggets
If you like the idea of turkey jerky, you are going to love ham jerky. These diverse flavors can’t be beat and they are some of my very favorites so far. This type of jerky is satisfying the same way stealing a few slices of pepperoni off a pizza would be. Enjoy this unusual snack anytime – it’s a great change from the usual routine. A great bonus, this one is lower in sodium!
9g protein, 6g sugars, 1g fat, 15% DV sodium

Flamin Buffalo Chicken Nuggets
If you like buffalo chicken dip, this flavor of Jack Link’s is a must-have! These delicious bites of spicy, seasoned chicken can’t be beat. Try them as a snack whenever you need a little kick in your day. Added bonus – very low in sugar!
9g protein, 2g sugars, 1g fat, 25% DV sodium

In addition to being a great weight loss snack, Jack Link’s jerky products also make a great addition to your Super Bowl spread. You can set out a few bags along with your chips and pretzels or simply pour your favorite Jack Link’s into a dish for all to enjoy. You can even get portion-controlled sizes so your family can take the jerky to school, to work, or on the go.

If you are interested in pairing jerky with beer, you will find this is a great combination to enjoy at home or on the go. You can mix and match your favorite beers with your favorite jerky products at random or you can actually coordinate special courses to test and enjoy. If you are interested in pairing beer with jerky, be sure to check out the Jack Link’s site and their beer pairing section!

 

Yoga and Weight Loss

With the NY Times writing an article (January 23, 2011) about a 29-year-old ex-dancer model who now teaches yoga and has penned a booked called “Slim, Calm, Sexy,” you might think yoga is the answer to all your weight loss goals. However, the operative words here are 29, dancer, and model. Having been in the modeling world myself, although it was way back in the (yikes!) 80’s and dabbled with a food disorder in college (one does not dabble actually, it is an emotional nightmare and a true call for help while others may be envying your thin-ness), I would suggest that yoga is a great way to stay physically and mentally fit and avoid the stereotypes of the ultra thin model who was either blessed to be born with thin genes or starves herself. The teacher featured in the article is undoubtedly a lovely young woman who is herself slim, calm, and sexy.

In the twenty-six years that I have been teaching tens of thousands of classes to women of all ages and shapes in various environments, I would say that the most important thing yoga can give us is self acceptance. The climate of yoga has become varied, which gives women a choice in why and how they practice yoga. At first women may attend a class as a great workout (A beautiful young woman said to me in class last week – “which yoga will help me lose this?” as she pulled up her yoga top to show a beautiful little tummy, no fat hanging over it, just a beautiful soft woman with, if I would label it, a slim build.) but then decide to add meditation and other helpful aspects.

If we take our yoga practice seriously, not too seriously (it should be fun too!), like any workout that will show results, we need to do it at least two to three times a week. It is important to find a type of yoga that you like, a teacher you like and someone you trust. Some people prefer to go to class where there is no inspiring talk; they want to do the physical poses only. Others like the encouragement and tidbits of yoga lifestyle / philosophy that may be woven into a class. It is all individual taste. Once you decide which type of practice you like – though Vinyasa, Ashtanga and Power yoga (and of course the hot yoga Bikram) can break a great sweat, Iyengar, Restorative and Kundalini can also give you a good sustainable workout – then you can see where the practice takes you.

Often a yoga practice will take you deep into one type of yoga or maybe it will cause you to explore, experimenting with other types and teachers, mixing it up. From there you might become aware of other aspects of your health, like what you are eating and how it affects your mood, your yoga practice, and your weight. Some yoga devotees eat only raw food, on the one extreme, to vegan, lacto-ovo vegetarian (includes dairy) or pescatarian, eating mostly vegetarian but including fish. Others still include meat in their diet. As food habits become more conscious and change in these directions, weight will change, if it’s meant to, or you will stay in your own healthy weight but feel better for the changes, which is the real goal.
“Can yoga help you lose weight?” Yes, if you are overweight, no, if you are at your healthy weight. I have seen big women do amazing yoga practice and thin ones not so strong and flexible. Yoga will help you feel more strong and flexible, no matter what your body type. And when you feel that way, you radiate health and beauty at any age and weight.

Donna Amrita Davidge / www.sewallhouse.com Yoga Retreat Island Falls, Maine/NYC

 

10 Ways to Help You Lose Weight in the New Year

Many people set New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, improve their figure, and eat healthier. Some have very specific weight goals or shape goals. Others may have very vague goals related to weight loss and an overall healthier lifestyle. Consider these tips to help you lose weight and change your appearance in the New Year.

A number of different factors play into a person’s ability to lose weight. As you plan your target weight loss goals for the New Year, keep in mind that you may have to seriously change your diet as well as your exercise routine. You might consider a balanced plan involving a healthier diet with smaller portions, strength training, cardio, and drinking more water to keep your body hydrated. If you stay focused on your goal you should be able to see results within the first few weeks of trying to lose weight and improve your shape.

Consider these different ways you can work out to lose weight and reach your ideal body. Be sure to speak with your doctor prior to beginning any new exercise routine.

•    Yoga – Yoga for weight loss is a popular style of this peaceful exercise application. Consider trying a variety of yoga workouts to find one that works best for you. You can try short and long yoga videos or find a yoga class local to your area.

•    Pilates – Pilates is well known for trimming and toning your core but giving you a beautiful body overall. Stick with your Pilates workout as you work toward your fitness goals and take note of your improved balance and flexibility. Mari Winsor’s Slimming Pilates Kit offers a wonderful workout with her signature piece of equipment, the accelerator, which combines the best of hand weights, resistance bands, and bars to help your body get a workout like no other. I received this kit by Mari Winsor and found the workout to be just challenging enough, with lasting results I could feel the next day.

•    Running – Running is a great way to burn calories and get your body in shape. Sometimes the weather doesn’t cooperate, so you can try to run on a treadmill if you can’t get outside for your running workouts. If you need to motivate yourself to stick to your running routine, consider picking out some new running clothes or running shoes to motivate you toward that finish line.

•    Strength Training – Weights and resistance bands can help you train your body and meet your fitness goals. Consider an excellent workout that combines strength training and cardio like the Lalofit workouts by Lalo Fuentes. You can also do a series of pushups, pull-ups, ab work, and other strength training exercises to help you reach your weight-loss goals.

•    P90X – The well-known P90X workout is a three-month regimen that allows exercisers to get lean, bulk up, or simply grow stronger with a variety of creative and diverse workouts and a highly effective nutrition plan.

•    Variety of Workout Videos – With a little research you can find the workout videos that work for you. Consider Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred for a motivational workout that keeps you moving until you’re done with three circuits that make the time fly. More than 2000 people have reviewed this workout video on Amazon with great remarks!

•    Belly Dancing – To tone and trim your middle, consider belly dancing as a fun way to shed some pounds and inches. You can also spice up your love life by learning some sexy moves to try at home. To get started, look for belly dancing classes near your home or check into instructional videos on belly dancing.

•    Ballet or Other Dance – Have you ever noticed how most dancers are in incredible shape? Try to find dance classes near your home or order some dance workout or instruction videos to try. You can also use the dance programs on video game systems like Just Dance and Dance Dance Revolution to help you lose some unwanted weight.

•    Video System Workouts – If you haven’t already, check out Wii Fit and other similar video game systems that encourage a healthier lifestyle and help you lose weight in the comfort of your home. Who wouldn’t love to lose weight playing video games with friends? The Wii Fit and other game systems also make a great gift idea for your loved ones.

•    Swim – If traditional exercise isn’t your style, or if you simply need a low-impact option for working out, consider swimming. You can take a class or sign up for a membership with your local YMCA or gym and take advantage of their pool and water workouts. Just don’t forget a lovely new swimsuit!

If you are looking to lose a relatively large amount of weight, say, 10 pounds, in a short amount of time (less than a week), you might consider the Amazing Weightloss Plan – “Lose 10lbs in Just 4 Days.” This program gives you a healthy meal plan with real food that you can use for four days only and see results pretty much immediately. It’s not a fad diet or anything unconventional, and numerous customers have provided testimonials stating they’ve lost 7 to 10 pounds in only 4 days and kept them off. You can use this diet only once a month and then you must wait until a month passes before using it again. You can read more about the Amazing Weightloss Plan Lose 10lbs in 4 Days or purchase it for only $14.95.

Remember, not every exercise routine works for everyone. The same goes for diets. Everyone’s body responds differently to exercise and diet, so you may have to experiment with a few different exercise types to find the one that works best for you. Share your successes and questions in our comments!