Saturday, April 14, 2018

Wendy's Southwest Avocado Chicken Salad Review

Wendy's has a new healthy item that debuted this week called Wendy's Southwest Avocado Chicken salad. I love Wendy's salads so I had to check it out even though I really don't like anything with avocado.

The Wendy's salad has lettuce topped with grilled chicken, Applewood smoked bacon, Pepper Jack cheese and a dollop of avocado.  The dressing that comes with the salad is a spicy Southwest ranch. I usually get a half size salad at Wendy's and The Southwest Avocado Chicken half salad has only 300 calories sans dressing. If you add the dressing to the total calories, add another 80 calories per pack. The full size salad has 600 calories.

Like I said above, I don't like avocado, I don't hate it like I hate melons. The taste and texture is something that doesn't make it my favorite type of food. When I got the salad I tried to figure out how I will eat the avocado. I decided to mix it with the dressing and spread it all over the salad. Before I go on, I  have to add that I swapped out the spicy Southwest ranch dressing with French dressing. Since the Southwest ranch contains buttermilk, it would not be great for my system because I have a slight milk allergy and I'm lactose intolerant. 

Did I like it?

I really liked it. Wendy's Apple Pecan salad is still my favorite but this one comes in second. When I mixed the French dressing and avocado it masked the taste of the avocado so I couldn't taste it. I definitely think you should try it. If you love avocado, then this salad is for you. If you can stomach avocado but it is not your favorite, mix it with the salad dressing and you will be okay. If you abhor avocado, then skip this one and go for my favorite Wendy's Apple Pecan salad.

Read my other review: Wendy's Apple Pecan Salad Review

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Etsy Mother's Day Gift Guide

Fitness gifts and more

Gift For First Time Mom
A great gift for the first time mom who loves to workout. This workout tee is from the shop strongconfidentYOU.  

Workout leggings
These full length yoga leggings have a Millefiori mosaic tile pattern. I have a pair of leggings from artbyjocelyn. Their leggings are of superior quality and your mom or sister won't be disappointed.

Do you have a mom, sister or friend who loves to lift or is a kettlebell fitness addict? Why not give them a gift they can display with their name. The kettlebell ornament comes in different colors and sizes.

Dark Chocolate From FranceChocoterie
I love dark chocolate and I found this French candy shop on Etsy. They offer a variety of luxury  chocolates, biscuits(cookies) and gift baskets. If you are ordering for Mother's day, do it soon because they have to ship from France.

Dog Mom Tank Top by SpunkyPineappleCo
A great tank to show off your muscles. Wear it at the gym or around town and let everyone know that you are a pround mom of the four leg variety.

Running Mug - PerfectPremiumGifts
A great gift for the mom, sister or friend who loves to run. Check out Perfect Premium Gifts shop for gifts for all occasions. 

Bath Tray with Wine. iPad, Candle Holder by MyBeachyFarmhouse
I'm not a bath person but I know people who love a good soak after hard workout. If your mom loves her bath time, this would make the perfect gift.

Macrame gemstone necklace by Macramental
My non fitness gift pick because I love her jewelry. She offers lovely pieces from rings, key chains, earrings to necklaces for both men and women. If you also like this necklace for a special mom, you have to order early because this beauty is coming from Greece.

Bangle Artemis For Fitbit Alta by fitjewelsSF
Does your mom wear her Fitbit Alta everywhere even to fancy events? She. could use a jeweled cover up for her FitBit. FitjewelsSF offers many jeweled pieces for many devices not only the Fitbit Alta. Check out their shop today.

Here are my picks for Mother's Day and check them out soon because Mother's Day is only a few weeks away. If you see this post after Mother's Day, these picks make great gifts for many occasions and holidays. *This post does contain affiliate links.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Sweating For The Wedding Workout

A workout for beginners

Are you getting married soon and you need get yourself in gear for the big day?  Let me help you with this eight week workout and nutrition plan. If you have more than eight weeks before the wedding day, you can stretch out the plans from five weeks, six weeks etc. It is based on how much time you have left before you get married.

The program is broken up into two four week segments and it doesn't matter which one you do first. You will need three sets of dumbbells. Let's say you have three pounds, you need to get five and eight pounds. If you can lift five pounds already, get eight and ten pound weights. The reason for the different weight levels, some body parts are stronger than other body parts so you will need a heavier or lighter weight.

How do you know you need to increase or decrease the amount of weight you're lifting?  This workout requires you to lift between 12-20 reps. If you do a 12 repetition biceps curl and you get to repetition 7 and you cannot lift anymore, the weight is too heavy. However, if you get to the twelfth rep with ease, the weight is too light. You must find that Goldilocks zone of just right. The last few reps should feel really heavy but you still can lift them without straining yourself.

How many days a week? You do these workouts three days a week with a days rest between the workouts. On your rest day from doing the strength exercises, you will do 20-30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise weeks one through four and 30 to 45 minutes weeks five through eight. So, you will be working out at least five or six days with one day of rest per week.

Workout Setup
Monday: Sweating for the wedding workout
Tuesday: Cardiovascular workout
Wednesday: Sweating for the wedding workout
Thursday: Cardiovascular workout
Friday: Sweating for the wedding workout
Saturday: Cardiovascular workout

*View each video to learn how to properly perform each exercise.

Workout Weeks (1 - 4)  3 days a week

Back Lunges 12-15 reps
Chest flyes on bench or on floor  10-12 reps
Walking lunges  12-15 reps going and returning
Back rows 10-12 reps
Crunches on the floor or stability ball 15-20 reps
Shoulder press 10-12 reps
Twist crunch on the floor or stability ball 15-20 reps each side
Lateral raises 10-12 reps
Squats 12-15 reps
Plank or modified plank 15 seconds to 1 minute
Hammer curls 10-15 reps
Tricep kickbacks 10-15 reps
Back raises 12-15 reps
Calf raises 15-25 reps
Clams 15-25 each side
Reverse sit-ups 15-20 reps
Bridge with inner thigh ball squeeze 15-20 reps
Repeat 2 or 3 times
Total body stretch

Workout Weeks (5 - 8)  3 days a week

Work for 45 seconds with 15-30 seconds rest between exercises
Jumping jacks holding the stability ball  45 seconds
Bicycles 45 seconds
Push-ups on the floor or on the kitchen counter 45 seconds
Side to side squat 45 seconds
Standing opposite elbow to knee 45 seconds
Squat, Bicep Curl, Overhead Press 45 seconds
Basic step on bench or stairs 45 seconds each leg
Run in place 45 seconds
Repeat two or three times 
Total body stretch


In order to fit in your dress, you must follow a low calorie eating plan. It is a must! You can choose a program that will fit into your lifestyle. You can do meal planning or a food delivery program, look at different programs and then stick to it.

Weight loss programs:
Weight Watchers
Jenny Craig
FA(Food Addicts in Recovery)

Weight loss programs in home and online
Mayo Clinic Diet
Six Day Meal Plan
Smoothie Jumpstart Diet
A Simple Diet
Fully Personalized Meal Plan

Food delivery programs:
South Beach Diet
Pete's Paleo

Here it is and congratulations on your future wedding and marriage. Do the Sweating For The Wedding Workout and look fierce on your big day.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Can You Lose Belly Fat By Riding A Stationary Bike?

Yes, you can lose belly fat by riding a stationary bike but you lose throughout your entire body. No one exercise or workout plan will target fat loss in your stomach region, the body doesn't work that way. Fat loss is actually your fat cells shrinking. The only way to get rid of fat cells is to do liposuction.

However, in order to see change, one must work out an intensity that will affect some change in the body. You must bike at a pace where sweating is taking place and you are slightly out of breath. If you are not doing this, you are not working out hard enough.

5 Tips That Will Help You Have An Effective Stationary Bike Workout

1. How to set up your bike
You want to set up your bike properly. If the seat is too high or too low, it could cause you to become injured. Watch this video below on adjusting your seat. The video talks about people with knee pain but the bike adjustment works for everyone. If you have a spin bike, click on this link. For recumbent bike owners, go here.

2.  Warm-up before your workout
You must warm-up on the bike, start pedaling at a slower pace and at a lower intensity for about three to five minutes. After that time period, you can crank up the speed and the intensity. The warm up prepares your body for a more vigorous workout.

3.  Avoid bike boredom 
If you find riding the bike boring, try working out to your favorite music, podcast or television program. However, you have to make sure you are working out at a moderate or hard intensity. You can track this by exercising at your target heart rate. Read my article on How Hard Should I Exercise

4. Cool-down and stretch 
Just don't jump of your bike at the end of your workout, bike at a slower pace and lighter intensity like in the warm up. It will help you bring body back to its resting state and help you from passing out due to the blood pooling in your legs after suddenly stopping your workout. After getting off your bike, you must stretch. Check out this video for the top five stretches to do after a ride.

5. Take your workout outdoors
There is nothing like biking on a bike trail. If you have a bicycle, try riding your bike outside but make sure you wear a bike helmet. I love the summer because that is the time I ride along the lakefront in Chicago. I also do organized bike rides in Illinois, Indiana and Michigan. Google bike rides near your town.

As you can see, you can lose you belly from riding your stationary bike, just make sure you follow the tips I advised above. I recommend you check out these two posts because you have made up your mind to start utilizing your stationary bike. 

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Oxtail Pot Roast Recipe Using Red Wine

Best Oxtail Recipe

I love a good pot roast and the best time to make it is on a cold winter's day. A few years ago, I discovered that oxtails make the perfect meat for this dish. It really gives the traditional pot roast recipe a big boost.

I have adapted the recipe from the Cooking Light site and made adjustments to my liking along the way. The first adjustment, I replaced 2 pounds of oxtails for the one pound of pot roast the recipe calls for. I actually boil and then simmer my oxtails for 45 minutes. Place the oxtails in a large pan with water and add salt, pepper, and garlic powder. The process of boiling helps to eliminate some of the fat. When it is almost at the end of the 45 minutes, I begin to follow the Cooking Light recipe. The recipe states to sauté onions first then add garlic, red wine, thyme, beef broth, a bay leaf and the meat into a dutch oven and cook for one hour and a half. One hour to one hour and 15 minutes is enough time because you boiled your oxtails at the beginning.

After one hour, you will add your vegetables. I like green peas in my pot roast so I either add fresh green peas with the other vegetables or I add a small can of green peas the last 10 minutes of cooking. After adding your fresh vegetables, you cook your dish for another hour. You want the meat to be very tender, so adding on some extra cooking time is fine.


Since I have made this recipe many times, I found the perfect wine for this oxtail pot roast. Barefoot's Sweet Red Blend is the perfect vino for this recipe. It is also great drink to go along with the meal so you might need another bottle. Go to their site to find a store that sells it near your location.

Et Voila, that is it. If you have never had oxtails, don't be afraid, it is just the tail of beef cattle. Red meat lovers should love oxtails. Try my recipe and let me know what you think or any changes you made to the recipe in the comments below.

I recommend you check out these two recipes because you like comfort food but with less fat. Go to the links in my blog post, How To Make Biscuits From Scratch.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

12 Minute Workout Using Resistance Tubes

A Workout For Busy People

You want to workout but you just don't have much time during the day. Your kids, your job and other hobbies take up too much of your time but you know, you need to exercise. If you have any resistance tubes or bands at home, check out my 12 minute workout using resistance tubes. 

What equipment you need

You will need several resistance tubes of different sizes, thicker the tube harder the resistance. If you use a tube that is too hard to lift over your head and etc, you could injure yourself. You will need more tubes and I recommend resistance tubes by Spri. They are color coded according to resistance. You also will need the Spri door attachment unless you will be using a basement beam.
Spri tubes

How to do the workout

Start the 12 minute resistance tubes workout with a warm-up for about one minute and end the workout with a few stretches. Do this workout three days a week and do a 12 minute cardio workout on your none resistance training days. 

Sample workout:
Monday - 12 minute resistance tubes workout
Tuesday - 12 minute cardio/aerobic workout
Wednesday - 12 minute resistance tubes workout
Thursday - 12 minute cardio/aerobic workout
Friday - 12 minute resistance tubes workout
Saturday - Rest day or cardio
Sunday - Rest day

The Workout 

Warm-up 1 minute
Chest press 15 - 25 reps
Rows with squats 15 - 25 reps
Abs 15 - 25 reps *beginner position shown also
Squats 10 - 20 reps
Plank 15 to 60 seconds
Bicep Curls 15 - 25 reps
Lunges 12 - 15 reps per leg
Tricep push downs 15 - 30 reps *use door attachment

You can do this and it will only take 12 - 15 minutes out of your day. With an exercise mat or large beach towel, resistance tubes and door attachment, you can get in better shape and health. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below.

I recommend that you read these posts too because you are interested in quick workouts.
Burn Fat With These Three Ten Minute Workouts
Halloween Cardio and Core Workout
Planet Fitness Circuit At Home

Saturday, February 24, 2018

5 Tips To Get A Black Panther Female Warrior Body

Black Panther Workout For Women


To get ready for his role in the Black Panther movie, Michael B. Jordan lifted heavy weights with a lot of repetitions. He also worked out several times a day. I decided to recreate his work out but more geared towards women. These are my 5 tips plus a workout to get that Black Panther Female Warrior body.

Tip 1  Workout Twice A Day

You must workout twice a day until you reach your goal. Workout number one is a basic weight training program. You must perform each exercise for one minute. When you near the end of each minute, it should feel like you cannot lift anymore. If you can get through the minute with ease, the weight is too light but if you get to 30 seconds and can't go any longer, the weight is too heavy. You have to find that sweet spot.

Workout number two is a high intensity training program. You will need a couple of dumbbells and  gliding discs or small hand towels. Each exercise is performed for 45 seconds with 15 seconds rest.

You can choose to do workout number one in the morning or evening and it is the same for workout number two, you have to see what fits into your schedule. You do workout number one and workout number two, three times a week with a day of rest between weight workouts. *See the workouts below

If you have any issues with your knees, back or shoulders do not attempt to do this workout plan. I can design a joint friendly program for a small fee. Please send me an email at

Tip 2  Do Cardio Two or Three Times A Week

On the days you are not weight training, do cardiovascular(aerobic exercise) for 20 minutes for beginners and 30 to 45 minutes for non-beginners. Cardio workouts are biking, running, walking, rowing, stair climbing, swimming, skating, the elliptical trainer and etc.

Tip 3  Stretch After Working Out

Because you will be working out a lot, it is imperative that you do a total body stretch on your weight training days after each workout. On the cardio days, you only need to stretch your lower body but if you want, you can do a total body stretch too.

Stretching is important because it helps to keep your muscles flexible so you can maintain full range of motion in your joints. With exercise, the muscles tend to shorten and become tight. By stretching after your workout, this process helps to bring your muscles back to their resting state. Look at these following videos if you do not know how to stretch your upper or lower body.

*You don't need to all of the stretches but do one for each body part        

Tip 4   Eat Clean or Eat Six Meals A Day     

A nutritious and lower calorie eating plan is a must and you CANNOT look like the women in the picture above if your diet is not on point. Michael B. Jordan ate six small meals a day in order to get ready for his movie role. I find some people do well with this plan while other do not, you have to choose a program that fits into your lifestyle. I found a program you can use if you want to try the six meal plan. Now Eat This! Diet: Lose Up to 10 Pounds in Just 2 Weeks Eating 6 Meals a Day!

I have a clean eating plan which is low in carbs 6 days a week and you have one day in which you can eat what you want, if you like. It is found on Etsy and is an instance download upon purchase. The Six Day Food Challenge. Here is a sample of the program:
1. 64 ounces(1.8L) of water daily
2. No soda
3. No bread
4. No pasta
5. No sugar except honey or agave
6. No sweets (candy, cookies, cake) unless it is a paleo dessert
7. No fried food
8. No rice except wild and brown rice and you can have 1/2 cooked rice      

Tip 5  Embrace Your Rest Day  

With this warrior program, you can workout five or six days a week but you MUST rest at least one day a week - that means no cardio, no weights, no yoga. If you feel tight, you can do a total body stretch but that is it. Your body needs days off too.

10 minute total body stretch by FitSugar

These are your tips and if you have any questions, you can comment below or send me an email at:

Workout One Morning or Evening

Gym Workout
Sit ups or crunches 1 minute
Lat pulldown 1 minute
Leg Press 1 minute
Bicycles 1 minute
Any ab machine 1 minute
Plank 1 minute
Leg extension 1 minute
Any ab machine 1 minute
Russian twist 1 minute
Leg curl machine seated or prone 1 minute
Back raise on stability ball or hyperextension machine 1 minute
Rest and repeat one time more time

Home Workout
 Chest press dumbbells 1 minute
Sit ups or crunches  1 minute
Back Rows 1 minute
Alternating Lunges with weights 1 minute
Bicycles 1 minute
Shoulder Press with plie squat with dumbbells 1 minute
Plank 1 minute
Bicep curls with  dumbbells 1 minute
Russian twist 1 minute
Dead Lift 1 minute
Tricep Kickbacks 1 minute per arm
Back raises on stability ball or on the floor 1 minute
Rest and repeat one time more time

Workout Two Morning or Evening
Squat jumps 45 seconds
Mountain climbers with discs or hand towels or no discs 45 seconds
Flutter kicks 45 seconds
Triceps Dips 45 seconds
Burpees 45 seconds
Rest and repeat two or three times