“Toxic Guys”

Please read this post and make sure to take great caution when dealing with the men of the other end of the spectrum.

Peaceful Single Girl

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A woman asked me to do a post about “toxic guys” – how to avoid them and how to get over them.

Well, that is actually a lot more simple than it may seem.  Not easy if you are not currently living completely for Christ – but it is simple.

1. Seek God first!!!!

2. Ask God to change YOU to be the woman of His dreams!  Be a godly woman.  Be prepared to be a godly wife!  Learn what godly femininity is and ask God to regenerate your heart and soul and mind for His glory.

3. Seek only godly men.   Do NOT think you can change a guy.  Find a man who is already living boldly for Christ.

WHAT IS A “TOXIC GUY”? – Here is my definition!

Any guy who is friends with the world – who is living for himself and for pleasure and for…

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FITNESS TOGETHER ACHIEVES MAXIMUM RESULTS

This was something that I was meaning to write last year but, didn’t get the chance to do so; now its going to happen because this is one of two fitness centers that changed my life forever,  I did not enjoy being overweight and, I refuse to let myself get that big again if I have the power to make that possible.

My life is better after the dedication of what these kind people here offered and, I am 137.5 lbs and losing.   I trying to keep between 128 to 144.7 lbs.  I refuse to engage in relationships with those that ridicule me about my weight but, I am having an even harder time trying to find that man I dreamed for whom is a bodybuilder.

The familiar scenes take place hundreds of times each day throughout the Piedmont Triad— crowds of women lined up to participate in exercise classes 45 minutes before start time, hoping to grab a coveted spot in a “First Come, First Served” policy , or else go home empty-handed, with no workout for the day—steamy, big-box exercise gyms filled with members patiently waiting for treadmills or elliptical machines, many forced to alter their daily routines due to lack of available equipment—and group classes in which fitness levels may range from novice to advanced, and participants’ health conditions may include hypertension, diabetes, or osteoporosis, yet an all-encompassing general approach is taught by instructors without adequate training or certification.

Established in July 2007, Fitness Together has provided a unique alternative to group classes and crowded gyms. By offering exceptional training for nearly five years, Fitness Together has employed knowledgeable and experienced trainers who work with individuals to help them change their lives and live better. The results speak for themselves.

“I came to Fitness Together as the first part-time trainer,” recalls Manager Blair Meadows.

“I have stayed because our approach truly makes a difference. Our clients are individuals with unique fitness levels, needs and health histories. We formulate specialized plans with specific goals in mind. It takes dedication and commitment for our approach to exercise.”

Blair demonstrates a true passion for health and fitness. Though well-toned and energetic now, she knows firsthand what it is like to be healthy—and what it is like to be unhealthy. Spending the majority of her teenage years considerably overweight, she had to overcome her lack of fitness by herself, without a support system, professional instruction, or constant encouragement. After achieving her goals on her own, she changed her academic focus and her life’s purpose. She vowed to help others like herself who need an established plan and committed professionals to make an overall commitment to change.

“I have sympathy and empathy for our clients, many of whom come in here with a variety of chronic health conditions. Most of our clients, before they became clients, were disgusted at what they saw in the mirror, were sick and tired of being sick and tired; they were afraid of what their doctor was going to say to them, and they dreaded the thought of exercise. They now enjoy the exercise and the health benefits as a result of our program. I have been that person. I have experienced those feelings.”

Blair is joined in her efforts by four additional trainers and owners Wilda and David Young, who are also paying clients of Fitness Together.

The Youngs saw a need in the Piedmont Triad for a physical fitness facility that offered a high degree of specialized attention, in a private environment, in order to improve overall health and fitness. They found that “doing it on their own” through jogging, health clubs, and home gyms simply did not work. They needed the commitment and accountability offered by a professional Personal Trainer, and preferred the environment offered at a private studio.

“The medical profession can address specific medical conditions, but is not able to provide the ongoing attention necessary for making significant lifestyle changes,” accords Wilda, a physical therapist specializing in women’s health and urological issues. “A physician can write a prescription, but he can’t make sure you exercise, eat correctly, or get enough sleep. Our Personal Trainers address those issues, and help our clients achieve their fitness goals.”

David, a seasoned international business traveler, suffered many of the health challenges faced by business executives these days: lack of energy, unwanted weight gain, and high blood pressure. He became a client of Fitness Together and dramatically changed his life.

“The fitness industry sometimes has a sketchy reputation. At Fitness Together, all of our sessions are by appointment only. This saves valuable time. There is no waiting for equipment, no long-term contracts, and no parading around in front of a gym full of people.

“We’re not ‘The Biggest Loser’. We offer motivation and encouragement rather than intimidation and fear. We focus on providing outcomes, on setting and obtaining goals. No screaming, no crying, no drama,” says David.

A new client to Fitness Together receives a basic assessment upon first visiting the studio which includes cardio health, body composition, basic measurements, underlying chronic conditions, and health history, as well as general nutrition. Goals are also determined, and from this evaluation, an individual program is designed.

According to Blair, “Our clients have made three commitments. One is a commitment to change their life. Second is a time commitment. They realize they need to set aside time to improve their health which benefits them and their loved ones. Third, they make a financial commitment. They realize that they get what they pay for. The time commitment includes sessions of 3-4 visits a week, each lasting from 45-60 minutes. We have found that scheduling appointments in advance helps with accountability. We also perform follow-up assessments every 4-6 weeks.”

“We consider healthy living through Fitness Together to be an investment. By paying for health and fitness on the front end, you can hopefully avoid the costs associated with long-term chronic conditions and the resulting medications and hospitalizations that occur. Our clients receive the experience of a highly-trained trainer, in an upscale environment, with that personal attention that gets results,” David said.

According to David, however, the most important commitment is commitment to change. “We want our philosophy to become a part of your lifestyle, not for a 4-6 week period of time, but for a lifetime. When you leave Fitness Together after a session, we want you to carry your commitment to healthy living to your home, on the job, or as you travel.”

“Our personal trainers also have a commitment,” says Blair. “We have a commitment to constantly be acquiring knowledge in our field, as well as a commitment to our job and our clients. We have a responsibility to always be honest and direct and to ensure that our own lifestyles reflect what we teach others. We practice what we preach.”

In addition to specific workouts and customized cardiovascular plans, Fitness Together also offers nutrition advice. Since proper nutrition is a key to achieving and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, Fitness Together trainers spend time teaching clients how to read product labels while grocery shopping and will conduct refrigerator/cupboard evaluations upon request. Clients are encouraged to track what they eat and then assess their choices.

Blair Meadows also stakes claim to being Greensboro’s only female with the Titleist Performance Institute distinction. As a Certified Golf Fitness Instructor, she can customize a workout to improve areas specific to each individual golfer, no matter the skill level. She helps golfers improve not only their strength and endurance, but also their posture and flexibility, resulting in an improved swing and game, as well as a great feeling of overall well-being.

As Fitness Together approaches its fifth anniversary of serving the Piedmont Triad, the owners and staff remain committed to their clients, despite a challenging and uncertain economic environment. They are currently expanding their facility by one-third, allowing the trainers to provide small-group sessions to as many as four people. The sessions will be scaled to meet the individual needs within the group.

“We take pride in offering a proactive rather than reactive approach to healthy living and fitness,” says Blair. Citing a recent study from the journal Health Issues, it shows that if people aged 61-64 would commit to walking regularly, several billion dollars in Medicare costs could be saved in a lifetime. She believes that a focus on wellness is a priority worth keeping.

“People are going to have to assume more and more responsibility for their own health in the future. Working with the staff at Fitness Together is not a luxury, it’s an investment—an investment in a happier, healthier you and an improved quality of life. We all get to choose— we can choose to invest in health or invest in illness.”

The Battle Of Addiction

Consider these statistics: About 2.7 million American women abuse alcohol or drugs. Twenty-eight percent of adults admitting to Internet sexual addiction are women. And, according to the National Council on Problem Gambling, almost half of those seeking help for a gambling addiction are female.

It is no secret that addiction of many varieties runs rampant in our society. And while there are just as many varied reasons as to why someone may stay in the grips of addiction, I believe crossing the line into the recovery process begins with one simple question which must be answered by anyone who is seeking freedom: do you want to get well?

A picture of this reality is illustrated in the biblical account of a paralyzed man, whose story is found in the New Testament book of John, chapter 5. The reader witnesses Jesus conversing with this man who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. He had apparently been lying all those years by a pool which was said to have healing properties. Yet, this man had never experienced the freedom that this pool of water afforded him.

While paralysis and addiction are two completely separate issues, I believe there is a very powerful principle embedded in the short dialogue that took place between Jesus and the man. In a simple and straightforward manner, Jesus looked at the man and asked: “Do you want to get well?” The man’s reply is full of excuses: “Sir, I have no one to help me, and when I go down, someone gets in my way.” As I read this, I can’t help but wonder: Could it be that the man had adopted the identity of being paralyzed? Or perhaps even the identity of being a victim? In order to be healed, the man had to want to change before anything could change. And so it is with the addict.

With the disease of addiction–whether it is to food, alcohol, money, sex, relationship–there is a tendency for the addict to be split, or double-minded. On one hand, she desires to be free, yet on the other she desires to remain in addiction. Because although destructive, the addictive behavior has been her only way to cope, to survive, to get her deep soul needs met. Yes, the addict will often say that she wants to get well, if only God will take away the addiction quickly and easily. However, in reality, she doesn’t quite want to fully surrender her secret struggles and trust that life on the other side is indeed better.

Recovery from addiction, while not easy, is also not complicated.

Personal experience taught me that recovery–in my case, from alcoholism and bulimia–is a hard-work miracle experienced one day at a time. Yet the journey begins with only one word. Do you want to get well? YES!

Tranquilities

In your search for unique, one-of-akind, and memorable holiday gifts this season, don’t forget Tranquilities, the Piedmont Triad’s ideal location for those quirky, whimsical selections that are just not found in many of the area’s upscale department stores or neighborhood boutiques.

“We focus on gift items that your recipient will remember and treasure long after the holidays are over,” according to Beverly Henson, co-owner and chief buyer.

“A visit to Tranquilities is truly a shopping experience.”

Since 2003, Beverly and husband Frank have operated the gift shop from its location in an old PURE gas station from the 1940s. The whitewashed brick building in one of Greensboro’s storied historical neighborhoods lends a charm not often found in area shopping centers or strip malls. An arche d turquoise doorway and big bay windows, once the entry doors to the gas station garage, add to the ambiance and Hansel & Gretel cottage appeal.

Inside the 1,300 square foot gift shop is an eclectic collection of merchandise that matches the architectural character of the building—quality, wellpackaged, and unique.

“I try to find things that the big guys don’t have,” says Beverly. “Many of our regular customers make Tranquilities their first stop when looking for special items.

“I especially focus on jewelry. Our customers know they won’t see anyone else wearing the same things, and if they find something they like, they know they can’t wait to make a purchase, or their one-of-a-kind find might be gone.”

At Tranquilities, discriminating customers can find such high quality brands as Hobo handbags, Trapp candles, Pacifica bath products, Pre de Provence soaps and other items made by local artisans. The shop’s inventory also constantly includes new items to keep the store fresh and inviting.

“Our collection of bath and body products represents the finest aroma therapeutic oils, herbals, organic, and exotic blends available. Our jewelry and handbag selection illuminates a wide range of style, color, class, and mood. Candles and soaps are always packaged with distinction and regularly sought out by returning customers,” says Beverly.

Customer service is also a key component of the Tranquilities experience. The staff is well-versed in the product lines and can make recommendations for every budget. Free gift-wrap services are available for all purchases, and the Hensons take the time to really listen to their customers. Upon learning that a number of customers collect fairies, the couple has expanded an entire section of the store to include fairy-themed merchandise.

“We try to be as accommodating as we can,” says Beverly. “We believe in the merchandise we carry, and that is why we offer an unconditional, full refund for any item returned within 30 days.”

The 2013 holiday season will feature new and exciting items at Tranquilities. Antique silver Christmas ball ornaments from The Netherlands are sure to go quickly as will a new collection of sterling silver jewelry.

As a locally-owned and operated business, the Hensons believe in giving back to the community by donating a percentage of their sales to the local ASPCA. With a growing pampered pet section in Tranquilities that includes dog sweaters, dog beds, and pet shampoos; the cause is also a favorite of many customers.

“Tranquilities is doing its part to help to give all animals the respect and compassion due to them as conscious beings. By shopping at Tranquilities, you can also be proud by helping to support this outstanding organization.”

Make Tranquilities a part of your holiday shopping experience. Refreshments will be served throughout the season as the Hensons create a warm, inviting atmosphere for friends old and new.

“Tranquilities offers gifts and accessories to celebrate your mind, body, and spirit, and to soothe your soul,” adds Beverly. “It’s one of the Piedmont Triad’s most creative destinations and a hidden treasure. Customers will find that it’s always worthwhile to shop here.”

make your holidays special with these unique gift ideas from the staff at

• Trapp Private Garden Holiday Candles & Diffusers – “A Bottle of Perfume in Every Candle”.

• Hobo International Handbags, Slides or Clutches – “Designed by Women for Women”.

• Jewelry – Semi precious gems & Sterling Silver bracelets, Rings, Necklaces, Earrings, P endants.

• TS Pink Soap Rocks.

• Prisms, Friendship Balls, Solar Powered Rainbow Makers, Sun Catchers.

Ram Fitness

If anyone of you guys followed me from the beginning you would know that I had serious weight issues as a child but, now I am over it for almost seven long years but, there are still trials that I have to overcome because you still have idiots to deal with as the result of major weight loss.   When I discovered RAM Fitness its was a blessing because it was a place to work out along with Fitness together.

There was no way to understand true bodybuilding and the different types of bodybuilding until I started working out.  Here is Rae Anne Mullins on RAM  Fitness for those struggling with weight issues.

When Rae Anne Mullins opened RAM Fitness in November 2009, she fulfilled a lifelong personal and professional dream of providing a way for all women to live their healthiest and happiest lives.

Ever since I was 15, I’ve wanted to operate my own gym and create an environment for real women juggling real life commitments of work, home, and family.

From our class schedules to special events, RAM fitness is designed for busy women.”

Well-known in the Piedmont Triad as a personal trainer and fitness veteran, Rae Anne is a busy mother of two. She began her career at the age of 18 as an aerobic instructor while pursuing a degree in business administration from Roanoke College. Though she worked in the financial services industry for five years, her passion for fitness remained strong.

Realizing a need, and successfully starting a fitness program for employees in her workplace, Rae Anne soon realized that she was meant to work with people on their “bottoms” and not with their bottom lines. She returned to the fitness arena and hasn’t looked back.

“Taking care of yourself is very important and can be challenging.

I understand the conflicts and struggles that women have in trying to get healthy and stay healthy. I also relate to the setbacks.”

Rae Anne herself has lost more than 60 pounds and has kept the weight off for nearly four years. She ran her first marathon in 2007 and brings a plethora of credentials to RAM Fitness including Group Exercise Instructor from the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America, Personal Trainer from the American Council on Exercise, Spin certification from MAD DOGG Athletics, PiYo and Turbokick certifications from Powder Blue Productions, and CPR certification from the American Heart Association.

The result is RAM Fitness being able to offer a wide range of affordable classes taught in a small group setting without the inconvenience of contracts or joining fees. Personal training is also available, using an individualized approach to jump start a fitness program.

According to Rae Anne, reaching individual goals is the top priority. All the programs of RAM Fitness seek to decrease body fat, tone or build muscle, improve balance, increase coordination, and improve flexibility.

“We are committed to providing women of all ages and backgrounds an extraordinary fitness experience by giving exceptional service, respect, motivation, and compassion.

RAM Fitness provides a clean, safe, and friendly environment with a wide variety of classes led by qualified instructors and one-on-one fitness training by certified trainers.”

Rae Anne also regularly schedules special fitness camps and workshops for her students including evening fit camp, outdoor boot camp, 5k training camp, and an 8-week weight loss camp, Special events include hiking excursions, Friday night yoga sessions, and group participation in local 5ks. The web site features popular recipes for eating healthy as well.

“Fitness is not exercise. It is a total way of life. It involves taking your life and your circumstances and finding a way to live healthier.”

The most rewarding part of my job is seeing women make real changes in their lives–making fitness a priority and sticking with it. Not all changes are physical either; many are mental and emotional. It’s exciting to support women on their journeys to develop greater self-esteem and confidence.”

Rae Anne is particularly proud of her work with Sanctuary House, a non-profit organization located in downtown Greensboro. Bringing fitness to those men and women who face difficult challenges both emotionally and mentally has made a difference in their lives–and her own.

As RAM Fitness approaches its first full year of business in the Piedmont Triad, Rae Anne is more committed than ever to sharing her enthusiasm and unique approach to fitness with women of all ages and all fitness levels.

“It’s possible to achieve a healthy and balanced life without starving yourself or killing yourself in the gym.

Everyday presents a new opportunity to live better.”

Top Excuses Women Do Not Exercise

Too busy/no time.

Schedule your workout just like any other important meeting or appointment. It really is that important! Put it in your daily calendar. We all seem to find time to watch our favorite show, so there has to be time to exercise.

RAM Fitness has classes at 5:30am before the kids are up, before work starts. There are also classes in the evening too!

Too out of shape/embarrassed to start/too old.

That’s exactly WHY you should get exercising, to get in shape. It is NEVER too late to start exercising. No one is expected to be in shape right away. The great thing about RAM Fitness is that it is a very safe environment where all fitness levels are welcome. NO need to feel embarrassed or worried about your fitness level. Hiring a trainer to help you set realistic and attainable goals is one way to ensure your success.

Don’t know how to exercise or where to start.

It’s okay. That’s why it’s a great idea to get involved with group fitness or find a partner. Hiring a personal trainer is a great way to get an exercise program to follow. Also, the trainer can show you how to do the exercises correctly and safely. Group fitness is great because you have a trainer with you every single time and other participants to help encourage and push you through the workout.

Exercise is boring.

Exercise doesn’t have to be boring. If you don’t like to run, don’t run! You can dance, jump, cycle or twist your way fit! There are lots of options when it comes to fitness, you just have to find something you enjoy and stick with it. RAM Fitness has lots of classes and they are a lot of fun!

Not only will the workout be fun, but it’s a great way to meet new friends.

I don’t see any changes when I exercise.

Maybe you aren’t seeing the scale change drastically, but there are many benefits to starting and sticking with an exercise program. Your scale may not change much, but your waist and thighs may shrink. Changing your body composition is very important, be sure to get measured and have your body fat percentage checked when starting your program so that you have more than just the scale. It doesn’t show the whole story. Also, you are helping your organs, your bones and your brain. Some of the many benefits of exercise are not noticeable from the outside.

Your Body Through the Decades

In Your 20s – Bodies can take a lot – Need to focus on strengthening your body to help prevent premature aging.

20s bodies can take a lot of abuse and usually does in the form of staying up too late, eating the wrong foods and crash dieting. Cardio and strength training are very important now to lay the foundation for a strong body and mind as women begin to age. Also, this is the age to learn to accept yourself for who you are and learn to love your body no matter what shape you have.

In Your 30s – The 30s are a busy time. Kids and careers often take over a woman’s life. This is the time a woman’s body can really start to age due to a slowing metabolism and decrease in lean muscle mass. By strength training to build lean muscle and eating a healthy diet and doing plenty of cardio, you can prevent early aging. Strength training is very important for keeping our bones strong too. By 30, a woman has reached her peak bone mass, so keeping what we have is very important. Circuit training is a great option for busy 30- somethings. It includes cardio and strength training. This is a great way to get in a fun workout in a fast and effective way.

RAM 40/60 is an example.

In Your 40s – An even slower metabolism, hormone changes and life changes all lead to more stress, more anxiety. It’s important to continue or start a very serious weight training program to build lean muscle. Focus on posture and balance as well. Exercising not only helps prevent unwanted body fat, but it will also help ease an anxious mind.

In Your 50s and Beyond – At this point the metabolism is crawling and weight gain in the mid-section, back of arms and bra area is normal. Adding as much activity to your life as possible is very important. Strength training is still very important, but the pounds lifted may need to be lower, especially if there are any joint problems. Balance is another area to work on.

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

Ingredients:

• 1 teaspoon white sugar

• 1-1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)

• 1 tablespoon active dry yeast

• 1 tablespoon olive oil

• 1 teaspoon salt

• 2 cups whole wheat flour

• 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour Directions:

1. In a large bowl, dissolve sugar in warm water. Sprinkle yeast over the top, and let stand for about 10 minutes, until foamy.

2. Stir the olive oil and salt into the yeast mixture, then mix in the whole wheat flour and 1 cup of the all-purpose flour until dough starts to come together. Tip dough out onto a surface floured with the remaining all-purpose flour, and knead until all of the flour has been absorbed, and the ball of dough becomes smooth, about 10 minutes.

Place dough in an oiled bowl, and turn to coat the surface. Cover loosely with a towel, and let stand in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

3. When the dough is doubled, tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and divide into 2 pieces for 2 thin crust, or leave whole to make one thick crust. Form into a tight ball. Let rise for about 45 minutes, until doubled.

4. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Roll a ball of dough with a rolling pin until it will not stretch any further. Then, drape it over both of your fists, and gently pull the edges outward, while rotating the crust.

When the circle has reached the desired size, place on a well oiled pizza pan. Top pizza with your favorite toppings, such as sauce, cheese, meats, or vegetables.

5. Bake for 16 to 20 minutes (depending on thickness) in the preheated oven, until the crust is crisp and golden at the edges, and cheese is melted on the top.

Easy Vegetarian Chili Ingredients:

• 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

• 1 cup chopped onions

• 3/4 cup chopped carrots

• 3 cloves garlic, minced

• 1 cup chopped green bell pepper

• 1 cup chopped red bell pepper

• 3/4 cup chopped celery

• 1 tablespoon chili powder

• 1-1/2 cups chopped fresh mushrooms

• 1 (28 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes with liquid, chopped

• 1 (19 ounce) can kidney beans with liquid

• 1 (11 ounce) can whole kernel corn, undrained

• 1 tablespoon ground cumin

• 1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

• 1-1/2 teaspoons dried basil Directions:

1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Saute onions, carrots, and garlic until tender. Stir in green pepper, red pepper, celery, and chili powder. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes.

2. Stir in mushrooms, and cook 4 minutes. Stir in toma-

Eating healthy does not have to be boring or bland. Try these tasty recipes from Rae Anne.

Toes, kidney beans, and corn. Season with cumin, oregano, and basil. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to medium. Cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Baked Crab Cups (12 Servings) Ingredients:

• 1 can (6 oz.) White crabmeat, drained, flaked

• 4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. Pkg.) Light Crean Cheese or Neufchatel Cheese, softened

• 2 green onions, thinly sliced

• 1/4 cup Reduced Fat Mayonnaise

• 12 won ton wrappers Directions: Heat oven to 350°F. Mix first 4 ingredients. Place 1 won ton wrapper in each of 12 muffin cups sprayed with cooking spray, extending edges of wrappers over sides of cups. Fill with crab mixture.

Bake 18 to 20 min. or until edges of cups are golden brown and filling is heated through.

Directions for dough: Mix flour, yeast and salt in a bowl. Gradually add 1/2 cup warm (110 degrees) water until a soft dough forms. Divide dough into 4 portions. Using hands, roll dough into balls, coat with cooking spray, cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rise 30 to 45 minutes.

When ready to cook, place each ball of dough on a piece of wax paper and flatten into a 4-inch circle. Coat grill with cooking spray and heat on high. Gently lift dough onto grill and cook until dough puffs and underside stiffens (about 30 seconds); flip and reduce heat to low.

Directions for topping: Mix topping ingredients, then divide among crusts; cover grill.

Grill until cheese melts, 5 to 6 minutes more. Slice and serve.

Directions: Heat oven to 350°. Heat oil on high in a 6-inch cast-iron skillet for 2 minutes. Add butter; when it foams, add mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and saute 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add onions and thyme; sauté 2 or 3 minutes. Stir in egg whites with a heatproof rubber spatula until eggs start to set. Transfer skillet to oven and bake 5 minutes, until golden. Sprinkle with remaining herbs and lemon juice. Cut into wedges and serve.

Directions: Coat a large skillet with cooking spray. Heat oil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, onion and garlic, stirring, until onion is tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Combine 1/4 cup water with wine, basil, bouillon, cornstarch and oregano in a bowl. Add tomatoes and shrimp to skillet. Cook until shrimp begins to turn pink, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Stir in wine mixture. Cover; simmer until shrimp is cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes more. Stir in parsley, cheese and pasta. Divide among 4 plates; serve immediately.

Baked Oatmeal Squares (Serves 4) Ingredients:

• 1 egg slightly beaten

• 1-1/2 cups rolled oats

• 1/4 cup honey

• 1/4 cup brown sugar

• 1/2 cup milk

• 1/4 canola oil

• 1/4 cup chopped nuts

• 1/4 cup dried cranberries or raisins

• 1 teaspoon baking soda

• pinch of salt

• 1 teaspoon cinnamon Directions: Combine all ingredients, spread into 8 inch baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Cut into squares.

Note: They tend to crumble, but taste delicious! I make it into granola when it crumbles too much.

Beef and Rice Stuffed Peppers (Serves 6) Ingredients:

• 6 medium bell peppers, tops removed and reserved, and seeds removed

• 1 tablespoon Olive Oil

• 1 yellow onion, diced

• 1 large carrot, diced

• 1 stalk celery, diced

• 2 cloves garlic, minced

• 16 oz. Lean (93 – 96% lean) beef (or lean turkey burger)

• 1 teaspoon salt

• 1 teaspoon pepper

• 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes

• 1 cup cooked brown rice

• 1 cup of 2% grated cheese (your choice) Directions: Preheat oven to 375 F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add peppers and tops and cook until tender 5 – 6 minutes.

Remove peppers and drain fully.

Make filling: warm olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until clear. Add carrot, celery and garlic and continue cooking until vegetables are just softened. Add beef, salt and pepper and cook, breaking up large chunks, until meat is no longer pink. Add tomatoes and rice and cook 5 minutes longer, stirring. Stir in 3/4 cup of cheese.

Fill peppers with meat mixture, dividing evenly. Sprinkle mixture with remaining cheese. Bake until cheese is melted and peppers are heated through, about 5 minutes. Serve hot

Winning the Dating Scene (Guest Post)

Quite often as bodybuilders and fitness athletes we spend a great deal of time in the gym honing our bodies to perfection and spending a king’s ransom onsupplements to fine tune our form. If we look back to our reasons behind stepping foot into the gym for the first time, many of us have credited the desire to look great for the opposite sex as their main source of motivation.

Go on and admit it, quite a great number of us give that little bit of extra in training those “trophy” muscles that look great in your tank top or skin-fitted shirts. I would even hazard a guess that some of us casually “forget” to train legs; what’s the point when they’re always covered up by your pants? After all, if you can’t flaunt it then why bother training it?

Okay, you get the picture… We all have different motivating factors invested in the iron game; some for health, some for sports or competition and some just to look trim and perhaps turn the odd head when strolling through the mall. Whatever your desire may be, it could all end up for not if you don’t invest in the “total package.”

Meaning, looking good stretches much farther beyond your time spent in the gym and in the kitchen preparing those countless containers of food and protein shakes. It’s time to get downright honest with ourselves and train those areas of our bodies that don’t necessarily involve the weights. How often have you tuned in your favorite dating television program to see some poor guy or gal who is definitely “socially challenged” or is evidently skilled in the “what not to do on a first date” department.

This article goes beyond the skills of the gym and the actual components of making your body and your muscles stand out in a crowd. This piece is geared towards the fellas that think they have a handle on their game but could perhaps take their “B” game to an “A+” game in a few simple steps.

Read this wisely and see if you actually subscribe to some of these areas or if you need to have this article crazy glued to your bathroom mirror for review before heading out to meet that buff fitness gal for the first time. After all, how many opportunities do you think you’ll have to make a first impression? We’re going to delve into the dating scene here to turn those of us who subscribe to the “Homer Simpson School of Aesthetics” into dating Romeos.

Ever wonder why your phone isn’t ringing off the hook or you just can’t seem to get in touch with your dream date after a lovely evening of dining and dancing? Do you honestly think it’s because she’s just been “way too busy to get back to you?” Amidst these humble suggestions, you might find a clue or two on how to maximize your chances at landing the very important second date.


Fire Your Present Fashion Consultant?

Okay, let’s get honest with ourselves again and reflect on how effective you’ve been thus far with the ladies. If your little black book looks like the Yellow Pages, read no further; in fact, you should consider writing an article about Winning that Important First Date. If you’re presently wearing your jeans with your favorite running shoes to impress that gym hottie that you’ve been ogling on the treadmill for the past four years, you might want to read on.

You need not have a six figure income to afford nice clothes that reflect current styles and trends. Take note: Hush Puppies along with the feathered blow dried look may not make the grade. If you presently have the same hair style that you had in your high school year book twelve years ago, reconsider your options. Pick up your latest copy of “GQ” magazine and leaf through some of the ads to see what these guys are pulling off.

Leave the sweats and your favorite “500lb Squat Club” T-Shirt with the stained underarms for the gym (or perhaps the incinerator in this particular case). If you want to spread fashion to your workout attire, try one of my faves, Faremon Sportwear www.faremon.com. Stylish, durable and very versatile. Let’s shotgun through this section as it’s very difficult to describe “current fashion.”

Okay, wrinkles are not cool unless the clothing is meant to be wrinkled (great for you guys who don’t own an iron; yes, it’s that thing that heats up that you make grilled cheese sandwiches with). It’s time to forage through your underwear drawer and throw away the “tighty whities” and replace them with something a little more current to reflect the new you as you never know where the date might lead and always remember what your mother told you about having an “accident.”

Pants should always accompany a belt and if your “six pack” is more of a “twelve pack,” then you may want to opt for a shirt that is best left untucked. The emphasis should be on accentuating your physique with current styles. If you don’t plan on running away at the midpoint of your date then replace those running shoes and track pants with dress shoes and casual pants.


Grooming Is Not Just For Horses

Let’s straighten out a few key points on how not to destroy your winning physique with poor grooming habits. Not being a woman (at least for the moment) I would lay stock on the fact that most fitness minded women love that chiseled hard body look that they would love to lay their hands upon.

Having a strong and defined physique will put you miles ahead of most of your “competition” in the dating scene but a few little “faux pas” can quickly extinguish that dating fire. Let’s briefly touch on a few of the biggies.


 Hair:

 

Great if it’s on your head (in a stylish quaff) but not so great when it’s covering your back and neck and/or protruding from your ears and nose. Although you may think that nose hair is ornamental, most gals fail to see the sex appeal. I definitely think that the “hairy chest” look works for some but you may find that removing the hair may serve you well.

Make sure you experiment with different hair removal methods well in advance of your big day as constant itching and scratching may give the wrong impression to that special someone. By the way, if you happen to be “follicly challenged,” please remember that you’re not fooling many with the dreaded comb-over.

Unless you’re Donald Trump, consider going with the shaved head or just have a seven figure portfolio that some women may consider charming. Don’t be afraid to try something new with your hair style such as highlights or a different look altogether. The mullet just won’t score.

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow!
I thought a new article for those people who are really bumming that their hair is falling out, want to make sure their hair does not start falling out, or are just real paranoid about their hair falling out, was in order.
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      This brings us to the eyebrows. The only person that looked great with one eyebrow is Animal from the Muppets. If you have a uni-brow or eyebrows that would impress Groucho Marx, don’t be afraid to have them waxed. Yes it hurts like the last rep of your 300lb bench but the parallel benefits are equally as important in your steps to proper grooming.

 

Recommended: Hair gel, Hair removal products, Hair wax, Hair Spray, nose hair trimmer, facial hair trimmers and not relying on your mother to fashion your next hair cut.


 Skin:

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Find out what you need to do to get the perfect contest tan! Learn how to color yourself, what products you need and how to do it!

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      Tanned, blemish-free and moisturized. Start getting into the habit of a daily moisturizing and exfoliating ritual. It may sound a little feminine to some of you but trust me, when your gal is rubbing your muscular “guns,” it’s not too cool if she scratches her hand on your callous elbows.

 

 Check out our skin care products!

Tanned skin always looks much better than the pasty white look and it will advertise to others that you go outdoors every now and then. A lot of the tanning products that are available will assist in this area and keep your skin healthy, supple and moisturized.

If your date is of the “last minute” variety please don’t go for the $65 Caribbean Mega Tan unless your date has specified that she absolutely loves blistering red skin tones. Many commercial products available will give you a golden sunless tan without the risk of burning.

 Pro Tip:

 

        Skip the lighter shirt colors if you plan on dancing or working up a sweat of some sort as your tan should remain on your skin. If you’ve just harvested a crater-sized blemish in the center of your forehead, don’t be afraid to use a little cover-up for those trouble areas.

 Pro Tip:

 

        Try to match this to your skin tone as you don’t want to look like you’re recovering from a bout of the measles. This may mean that you have to shop in the cosmetics area but what the heck, attractive women usually shop in this area as well. It’s very important to take care of the most important organ of your body (okay…second most important organ for some of you guys…)

As a side note, you may not be able to see what’s going on inside your ears but your date certainly can. Q-Tips are not just for ladies. Ear wax – never cool, ever!


 How You Smell:

 

      Nothing wreaks havoc on the olfactory senses than an unsavory body odor. If you don’t have the luxury of owning some nice cologne, make sure you at least stop past a department store on your way to your date to splash on some of the sampler colognes. You can get quite a collection of those little tester bottles if you want to remain budget conscious and keep those dollars saved for your next bucket of

protein powder

      .

 Pro Tip:

 

        Apply the cologne to those “hot spots” of your body that produce the most heat (easy fellas) as the scent will project properly. You don’t want to smell like you’ve bathed in cologne either as making your date dizzy or nauseous with your overwhelming scent may not take things in the right direction. Having a few different scents will keep things varied as an element of unpredictability will work in your favor.

 

 Pro Tip:

 

      Apply cologne to the following areas: Wrists, neck, armpits and behind the ears (especially if you’re going to a club where it’s loud and your date needs to frequently lean in to speak in your ear…good one huh?) Avoid spraying the cologne directly on these areas and apply them by spraying them into your hand and rubbing them in these areas.


 The Pearly Whites:

 

      Teeth are quite often an overlooked part of the body that can turn around a conversation if your pearly whites are more yellow greys. You don’t need to spend thousands on expensive veneers or teeth whitening systems to maximize this area. Inexpensive teeth whitening systems are a great way to bring your smile to the forefront of the conversation and are available at most stores that carry oral care products.

The mouth, being a very intimate area, needs to project the impression of being cared for. Many women wouldn’t want to venture towards this area if it doesn’t look hygienic. If you’re one of those unlucky guys who suffer from the dreaded “camel breath” invest in some breath mints and keep them closely guarded at all times. In fact, this is always a good idea as some of us are unwilling to admit that we may have a breath disorder that requires clinical intervention.


 Mechanics & Laborers Take Note:

 

    Hands and especially fingernails are quite often an object of notice to the opposite sex. You don’t want to appear like you cleaned your barbeque with your bare hands before you head out to meet your date. Keep the claws trimmed, neat and clean. Most ladies don’t prefer to hold hands if it means that they may get grease on their clothing.


So Now What?

So far so good… You’ve cleaned and trimmed all your bits and pieces, you’ve got the new “do” going on and have replaced the loafers for some crazy dancing shoes and you’re set for the night of your life. Hold on tiger! You also need to prep your attitude before you venture on your date du jour.

If you’ve spent countless hours engaged in meaningful banter with your fitness cutie on Fit Connections.com, you don’t want to ruin the ambiance by spending the majority of your conversation focused on how great you are or how you should be idolized for your manhood and potential in the adult film business.

Find an element of conversation that your date is comfortable with and always appear interested (even though you might not always be). Even an acknowledging nod and a smile will go a long way in body semantics area as the majority of conversation is through unspoken body language (see the section on itching and scratching). This would be the time to ditch some common “man traits” that some of us have become all too comfortable with.

If you need to blow your nose, tissue is what you use and not any item of your (or even worse) her clothing. Flatulence and other gaseous displays are only funny when around the guys. Four letter words should be kept to a bare minimum. Hinting at sex every few sentences may not work well either. Adjusting your “manliest of manlihood” should be done as discreetly as possible.

Women often credit having a sense of humor as being one of the more important aspects of a relationship and you don’t necessarily need to reiterate a stand-up routine to bring an element of humor to your date. It’s okay to joke about your own short-comings (note: see the section about sex talk) and keep conversation away from potentially dangerous controversial topics.

How she’s going to vote in the next election or what her thoughts are on birth control should be pocketed for the time being; as is boasting about your Casa Nova lifestyle of leaving a trail of sexually satisfied women behind you.

Try to think of original ideas in planning your date as you can guarantee that “going out for a drink” or spending an evening dancing is something she’s likely experienced before.

Avoid the dreaded, “I don’t know, what do you want to do?” banter that often ensues in some relationships. Have a game plan or consult the internet on what to do locally that may be exciting and off the beaten path of typical dating rituals.

Poverty can be a great inspiration as it forces a certain element of creativity in getting out of the “dinner and a movie” rut. Finding events that stimulate conversation are often a great idea as it helps to relieve some of those first date jitters and it builds a common ground from which to build conversation around.

If you’re not much of a conversationalist and consider yourself somewhat of a bore, you definitely want to avoid the dinner type of setting as you can only talk about how great your meal is for so long. Attempt to establish some conversation topics along the way. If you are a cunning linguist, avoid the concerts or loud dance clubs that won’t allow your gift of the gab to shine.

I Spend Way Too Much Time in the Gym to Ever Meet Anyone…

If you find that you don’t often meet women with similar interests or have lacked the social luster in getting out to meet the fitness gal of your dreams I would suggest the very popular internet dating. My strong recommendation is Fit Connections.comas you have the comfort of remaining in your cave while you chat on line with attractive and fit members of the opposite (or same) sex who share similar interests and goals.

It’s a great ice breaker in getting to know someone while at the same time gauging your common interests. It also saves you a bundle on those sometimes pricey first dates/blind dates to find out that you probably would have rather invested the money in some creatine and glutamine.

Give it a try and see for yourself. I’m very confident that you’ll be pleased with the results. Even to the point that they’re giving you the first 30 days for free! Check them out and put some of these principles to practice. Go get ’em!

About The Author

Daryl Gazey is the Director/Judging Coordinator of The World Natural Sports Organization; producers of the world renowned FAME Fitness And Model Expo. Daryl is also the booking/talent director of the FAME Agency; assisting fitness models in their efforts in the entertainment industry.

You may recognize Daryl from his myriad of appearances on television, radio and his seminar series across the United States & Canada. To book Daryl for an upcoming speaking engagement or to learn more about The FAME World Event Series, visit www.FAMEworldevents.com.

A Place for Powder

Once upon a time there was a beautiful baby horse named Powder. This was his name because white was the only color on his small body, with the exception of his big blue eyes. Powder was so handsome. Everyone said that he belonged at the farm where he was born because they thought he was great. One day, the owner of the farm discovered that Powder was blind and he was told he could no longer live on the farm. Most people knew that the owner of the farm was wrong; everyone is exactly the same in God’s eyes. Some people don’t understand very important things about life; the owner didn’t understand.

Soon, in a faraway place where blind horses were loved, someone heard about Powder. “Oh my,” they said, “why would his owner make him leave his home because he cannot see?” They decided to invite Powder to come to live with them. It wasn’t very long before a nice man brought the beautiful white baby horse to live at the new place where everyone loved blind horses. When Powder stepped off the trailer, everyone said “Hello Powder! Welcome home!” Powder made lots of friends at the new place. They helped him learn a lot about his pasture. Powder thought his new place was great!

One day, a helper at the new farm saw that Powder wasn’t walking right. In fact, he was stumbling around. “Oh no,” she thought, “I wonder if something is wrong with Powder?”

Something was wrong. Terribly wrong. The vet came and checked him out. She told the farm helpers that Powder had a bad disease and he was going to die very soon. The helpers at the farm began to call other helpers and told them to come quickly. They were very sad. Powder was going to die. Everyone talked together and decided to make his last days really happy.

The helpers at the farm wanted Powder to live, but they also knew that Powder would love the special place where he was going once he died; Heaven. God lives in Heaven, and it is a place without tears and hurt. When people die we miss them on Earth but we know they are in a better place.

One night, the leader knew Powder was so sick and did not feel well at all. She hugged him very carefully and cried big tears. She was very sad that he was going away, but she knew he was going to Heaven where he could be whole again. In the middle of the night, Powder died in her arms and went right to Heaven.

The helpers cried and a special funeral was planned for Powder. To remember him, they planted flowers on his grave and went to see it often. But Powder wasn’t sad. He was right there in Heaven the moment he died. Powder loved Heaven! He had finally found the place he needed. Powder thought, “Heaven will always be my place. Forever and ever. No one will ever tell me to leave this place! No one ever leaves Heaven. I’m safe here!”

So it was that Powder lived forever and ever running in the beautiful pastures in Heaven where God lives. One by one Powder’s friends and family joined him there. And just like Powder, everyone thought that Heaven was truly a wonderful place; forever and ever.

It has been a while…

It has been a while since I have returned to my blogsite and, I does not seem much has changed on wordpress but, in the world outside has change dramatically.  There are some things that I want to get off my chest and, one of those things is people.   Let’s face it, I was bullied when I was in school and, I lost weight that no one really recognized me until I started dealing with those who were my friends in school.

People are full of crap and that is a fact jack; I find myself happier going to the gym seven days a week for three hours and then spending another 4 hours at home working out with my favorite DVD’s.    There is one thing that is common when a girl or guy loses a large amount of weight; there is negativity that follows behind them because there were people that felt pity for those that were overweight but, when they lose it, the matter turns into a problem that needs to be solved.

I noticed with men that they come up to you, all of a sudden asking you what you are doing to lose the weight.    A lot of these men are the same ones that treated me like garbage but, all of a sudden they want to flirt and possibly get to know me better.   Sorry! I rather to deal with some real and sincere people.

Now that I am almost at my goal of 122.4 pounds, I feel that there are going to be more things that needed to be said.  I am still not done with the skin part but, I will state that its going to be a process of toning my skin in order to better reveal my hidden hourglass figure.

I am sick and tired of dealing with a bunch of jerks that want to get close enough to me in order to ask workout questions and, eating tips; in order to keep telling me “you look good!”  I know it and I don’t need some (insert your choice words here) tell me that I look good.  I don’t look good, I look great.

I might for the next summer when my skin is tighten, I’ll post a picture of me in a bathing suit that I dreamed of wearing in my teenage years.

I hope to get my life back together and, live my life being a healthy fitness fanatic that I am today.

I might post a few videos and pictures of eating in order to help those going through the changes.

There are a lot of crappos out there but, punching them out to get the good ones takes a lot of training with the punching bag.

Until I leave the gym, see yeah!