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The Smoothie Diet – Smoothies For Weight Loss And Incredible Health

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13 Exercises That Are Better than Burpees for Fat Loss – These moves are the ULT…

13 Exercises That Are Better than Burpees for Fat Loss – These moves are the ULTIMATE fat torchers for most people. … scotfin.com/… says, Lucky thirteen. Source by roderickgil75

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Teen sheds 50kg

Ariana Omipi – lost 100lbs in 7lbs on a low carb diet Source by allielivic

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Amanda's Secret to Losing Over 100 Pounds Wasn't a Diet

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Our next Before & After story comes from Amanda Fraijo-Tobin, who blogs about life after losing 130 pounds on her blog Friday Love Song, which is part of our POPSUGAR Select Fitness network. Below, she shares how she lost the weight and how she keeps it off.

Amanda: Before

Growing up, I wasn’t severely overweight — sure, I had a pudgy stage, but a lot of people did! My weight wasn’t something I thought much about being a kid (as it shouldn’t be). My parents had good intentions, like most, but we certainly did not grow up eating very healthy. Snacks, soda, meals prepared without nutritional aspects considered. Soda became a very bad habit for me, especially as I got into my teens and didn’t have anyone stopping me from drinking so many.

Fast-forward to high school — like most high school girls, I thought I was fat. Even though, in retrospect, I clearly wasn’t. I didn’t let it consume my life, though I was a little on the chubby side (so I thought) and I was OK with that. Looking back, I think senior year is when the trouble began for me. Stress, changes in my life, poor eating, and not exercising (hello, gym-class-not-required-after-ninth-grade!) led me to pack on some weight. Again, I already felt like a “fat girl,” so I kept going with the mind-set of “This is me — this is who I am.” I was married young, had my first child at 20, and of course, packed on more weight. Divorced, remarried, and two more babies later — more weight.

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My weight wasn’t something I paid attention to. I never weighed myself. The only time anyone took my weight was maybe once or twice a year when I had a doctor’s visit — and even then, I didn’t think much about it. This is me — this is who I am . . .

Amanda: Before

My husband is a type 2 diabetic. He had already been on tons of medications for several years to control his blood sugar and other problems associated with the disease. He got to the point of having to add insulin injections to his enormous list of meds. His doctor kept urging him to consider weight-loss surgery, telling him that, if he lost some weight, there was a possibility he may be able to stop taking some of his medications. This seemed like a great solution to my husband — I, on the other hand, disagreed. I told him repeatedly, this wasn’t the solution. If you don’t break bad habits that got you to a certain point, you could not possibly make a real change.

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Insert light bulb moment. Pot calling kettle black. Even though it wasn’t something I monitored, I was surely at the heaviest point of my life. I was waking up to get my son to school and collapsing on the couch for a nap once he was off. I was having random pains in my foot. I felt gross. I knew I needed to start making changes. I needed to make changes for myself, but also for my husband, for my kids. I needed to be a better example. This wasn’t about vanity. This was about life, making a better life for myself and my family.

I knew this wasn’t going to be easy. I had packed on the weight over the course of 10 years. I knew it was going to take some time to take it back off. I knew there would be times I would feel like quitting. But from the start, I adopted a “Today I will do what I can” kind of attitude. This went for exercise as well as eating habits. I knew all my bad eating habits were not going to disappear overnight. Slowly but surely, I made mental lists of things I was doing that were awful for my body and thought of ways to change them. Drink more water, read labels of items I was eating, etc. I had been having such severe pains in my heel that some days I could not even walk on it. Some days, I may not get through an entire workout like I wanted to — that’s OK. Today I will do what I can.

Amanda: After

I chose not to be vocal about my weight-loss journey from the start. I didn’t mention it to friends. My husband and my father were about the only people who knew what I was trying to accomplish. There were many days of whining on my part to my husband about aches and pains from making my body do things it wasn’t used to doing. I admit I have no idea for sure what my starting weight was. I have a general idea based on the last time I had been weighed at the doctors — but my journey began about six months, and what I’m guessing, may even be more pounds later. I did not start out with a goal weight in mind. I didn’t want one. I wanted to be healthier. Period. Healthy is not pounds on a scale. This is not a short fix; this is a change I will continue to make for the rest of my life.

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How Did I Do It?

This is common sense, things we have heard a million times again and again. Change the way you eat. Exercise. Repeat. It’s amazing to me when people want to know my “secret.” I have no secret. And I find it even funnier when people feel let down by my answer. There is no magic pill. I have not dieted. I have not counted calories. I knew from the start that was not the way I wanted to live my life. This is a lifestyle change. Know that it’s going to be challenging, but have faith that you can make the changes you want to.

Amanda: After

About two years later now and around 125 to 135 pounds down, here I am. Still chugging along. Still making it part of my life to make better decisions for my own as well as my family’s health. Honestly, I still feel a little silly writing this. I have had people tell me that they think I am an inspiration, which blows my mind. But I am here to tell you: if I can do this, you can do this. All it takes is a true commitment. Am I a superfit person? No, of course not. But every day, I strive to be a little better. I am a real person who did this. I am a mom to three children with a full-time job, a husband, two dogs, and a million other things going on. It takes work. It takes time. But you can do this. Start today, one small change at a time. This is me — this is who I am. Today I will do what I can. Will you?

Do you have an inspiring Before & After story to share? Message us on Facebook, and give us a few details about your journey. We might even profile you on the site, like Amanda!

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Lizzie Velasquez, Once Called the ‘World’s Ugliest Woman,’ Responds to Cruel Body Shaming Meme

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Before you share a meme, remember that there’s an actual person in that photo.

That’s the message motivational speaker Lizzie Velasquez shared on Instagram after discovering that she unwillingly became the face of a body shaming meme.

“I’ve seen a ton of memes like this all over @facebook recently. I’m writing this post not as someone who is a victim but as someone who is using their voice,” Velasquez, 27, writes. “Yes, it’s very late at night as I type this but I do so as a reminder that the innocent people that are being put in these memes are probably up just as late scrolling through Facebook and feeling something that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.”

Velasquez has neonatal progeroid syndrome, a rare disease that affects her eyes, heart and bones and prevents her from adding weight to her 63-lb. frame. At just 17 years old, she found herself the subject of a cruel YouTube video that called her the “ugliest woman in the world,” and used that experience to become a YouTube star and motivational speaker.

She’s spreading a message of body positivity again in her response.

“No matter what we look like or what size we are, at the end of the day we are all human,” Velasquez continues. “I ask that you keep that in mind the next time you see a viral meme of a random stranger. At the time you might find it hilarious but the human in the photo is probably feeling the exact opposite. Spread love not hurtful words via a screen.”

Velasquez, who was the focus of the 2015 documentary A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story, says her life goal is to spread kindness.

“I knew this is my purpose, this is what I’m meant to do for the rest of my life, because I like to think that I’m not only telling my story—I’m telling everyone’s story,” she said in the film.

 

This article originally appeared on People.com.

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Why You Should Be Putting Lemonade In Your Coffee

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As cooling caffeine-delivery systems go, your standard issue cold brew is pretty hard to beat. Hard… but, it turns out, not impossible. The evidence? Consider the Thunderbolt, an icy, tart, insanely refreshing drink that’s just a simple combo of espresso and lemonade. (And which I’ll be drinking every afternoon from now until November.)

I first encountered the Thunderbolt two years ago at Smith Canteen, a cafe in my Brooklyn neighborhood, and was immediately hooked. Since then, I’ve discovered that the formula, though inspired, is not wholly original—and actually has a devoted following among coffee geeks everywhere from Sweden to Mexico.

RELATED: 4 Genius Breakfast Ideas That Start With Avocado

The best part about this new breed of icy beverage? It really couldn’t be easier to make at home—no fancy gear required. Just grab yourself a glass, fill it with ice, and combine lemonade with a shot or two of chilled espresso or cold brew concentrate. Store-bought lemonade is fine (I’m partial to Newman’s Own) as long as it’s not too sweet.

Or, if you really want to play around, try swapping out the still stuff for some sparkling lemonade instead. Indeed, while its origins are hard to pin down, with its tart, citrusy edge, the Thunderbolt does have a lot in common with the espresso tonic, another (seemingly Swedish-derived) coffee trend that’s been the darling of craft coffee shops for a few summers now. (For the uninitiated, it is exactly what it sounds like: a glass of tonic water over ice, topped with a shot of espresso.)

RELATED: 14 Trader Joe’s Items That Will Basically Change Your Life

Coffee and soda hybrids of all stripes might just be the “it” drinks of the summer. During a recent swing through Charleston, SC, I stopped in at the Daily and sat in the sun sipping a delightful combination of grapefruit soda and espresso, garnished with a twist of orange peel. At Cocoa Cinnamon in Durham, NC, you can order a dark and sweet Kokytu, which consists of an espresso over an iced cane sugar Mexican Coke. And, at the new Stumptown cafe in New Orleans’ Ace Hotel, they’re serving the “Endless Summer,” a julep-inspired concoction made from cold brew laced with mint simple syrup and sparkling water.

But why stop there? We’re already dreaming of an amped-up espresso Dark and Stormy and a cherry cola cold brew.

This article originally appeared on RealSimple.com.

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Here’s What LSD Does To the Brain

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What exactly happens to the brain on psychedelic drugs? A small new study, published in the journal Current Biology, peeked inside the brains of 15 people during an acid trip and found brain-scan backup for a popular drug cliche: that the tripper feels at one with the universe.

Fifteen healthy people, who were experienced users of lysergic acid diethylamide, or LSD, came twice to a lab in London. (LSD is illegal in the UK, but it’s possible to use it in research with special permissions.) Once, they were injected with a small amount of LSD (75 micrograms); the other time they received a saline placebo. After an hour, to let the effects settle in, they got into an fMRI brain scanner, which captured images of what went on in their brains.

The researchers asked the people to rate their mood changes—getting answers like “I’m tripping like crazy” or “nothing is happening”—their visual distortions and their intensity of ego dissolution: a loss of self-identity and sense of connection to the environment outside of oneself that reportedly happens to people when they take LSD, which is illegal in the United States. “You don’t recognize yourself as a separate being from the universe,” says study co-author Enzo Tagliazucchi, a neuroscientist at the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in Amsterdam. “It feels, in a way, like transferring the consciousness from within your body to the outside world; the focus is in the objects that surround you rather than inside.” Tagliazucchi and the team wondered if they could find some changes in the brain related to this feeling of ego dissolution.

When they looked at the regions of the brain involved in introspection, or thinking about oneself, and sensory areas that perceive the outside world, they found that these networks were communicating more intensely than usual. “When we measured the brains of subjects who were really blown away by LSD, who had a really strong feeling of ego dissolution, they were also the ones who had the strongest increase in communication between the network of regions in charge of introspection and the network of regions in charge of perceiving the external world,” Tagliazucchi says.

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The Best Natural Remedies for PMS, Pain, Sleep, and More

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Two years into medical school, Laurie Steelsmith needed something for pain in her hands and arms. It wasnt clear what was wrong, but it was a struggle just to braid her hair, take notes in class, and even drive a car. When high doses of ibuprofen prescribed by her doctors only made her ears ring, Steelsmith turned elsewhere—to all-natural medicine. Using herbs and other supplements, she says, her pain slowly but surely disappeared.

Seventeen pain-free years later, Steelsmith, 44, a doctor of Chinese and naturopathic medicine and author of Natural Choices for Womens Health, is one of 90 million American women who regularly use supplements. “I really believe in this medicine,” she says. “Its what my body needs.”

Which all-natural remedies are best for you? Health asked Steelsmith and other natural-medicine experts to identify safe and effective choices for women. Of course, as the word implies, any supplement is an add-on to a healthy lifestyle, not a substitute for eating well, exercising, or keeping your doctors appointments. Supplements are not cure-alls.

Best for pain:

Bromelain

This enzyme, found in pineapple, helped Steelsmith resume her daily tasks with a lot less pain. Scientists think bromelain may actually break down protein in the blood, which explains its ability to curb pain-causing inflammation (and why its used as a meat tenderizer). Unlike over-the-counter and prescription pain drugs that come with stomach and heart risks, bromelain is considered safe. Take 200 to 400 milligrams a day when youre hurting.

Boswellia

An herb long used in traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine, boswellia may be more effective than drugs like ibuprofen for reducing inflammation. The acid in the herb seems to block an enzyme that generates inflammatory chemicals. Biochemist Holly Phaneuf, PhD, formerly of the University of Utah and author of Herbs Demystified, says the herb may be useful for pain associated with osteoarthritis, a common disorder among people over 40 that destroys the cushioning in joints. Another target: asthma, which is often linked to inflammation. A typical dose is 450 to 1,200 mg a day.

Best for PMS:

Chasteberry tree

Compounds in the fruit of this tall, blue-violet plant appear to increase the production (or block the breakdown) of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that helps to regulate the hormone prolactin. Elevated levels of prolactin can lead to irritability, painful periods, and breast soreness. Two German studies confirm the effectiveness of chasteberry tree supplements. “Its my favorite herb hands-down for PMS,” says Tieraona Low Dog, MD, director of education at the University of Arizonas Program in Integrative Medicine. She recommends that you take 250 to 500 mg daily for three months. If your next period approaches with a vengeance once you quit, start taking it again.

Best for “the blues”:

SAMe

A natural compound that your body makes by itself, SAMe (S-adenosyl-L-methionine) helps you produce feel-good brain chemicals. In supplement form, it works as well as antidepressants, according to a recent government report. “As soon as you get SAMe, your body just slurps it up,” says Hyla Cass, MD, author of Supplement Your Prescription: What Your Doctor Doesnt Know About Nutrition. Start with 400 mg a day, and build up to 800 to 1,200 mg until you start feeling better.

Best for tummy woes:

Peppermint

Dr. Low Dog highly recommends this age-old remedy for stomachaches and gas because it relaxes the muscles in your digestive tract, which reduces cramping and also helps expel gas. A research review found that peppermint-oil tablets may work as well as muscle-relaxing drugs in relieving the cramps and diarrhea linked to irritable bowel syndrome, a common problem for women. Take one tablet two to three times a day. Constipated? Dont use peppermint; it might make the problem worse. Try adding more fiber to your diet and drinking more water.

Ginger

When youre feeling green in the gills, this root-derived supplement can relieve nausea. Experts say it may block stomach-emptying signals and slow the production of a compound that makes you feel queasy. In several studies, ginger worked just as well on morning sickness as the motion sickness drug marketed as Dramamine—without the drowsiness. Take 1,000 mg daily for a few days.

Best for better sleep:

Valerian

Two-thirds of American women complain of frequent sleep problems; this herb may be just what many of them need. No one knows exactly how it works, but some studies show valerian helps to bring on sleep with no side effects. It isnt addictive, either. Take 400 to 600 mg 45 minutes before bedtime, and make sure you dont mix it with other sedatives like muscle relaxants or antihistamines.

Melatonin

Your body makes this hormone at nightfall—and makes less of it as you get older, which is one reason seniors often sleep less. Melatonin supplements are often suggested for re-establishing your sleep-wake cycle when you travel east across several time zones. And if you need to fall asleep faster, it may help; try taking 3 mg at bedtime.

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9 Health Editors Share How They Practice Self Care

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Between long hours at work, weekend chores, dinner plans with friends, and time for your family, your calendar is overflowing. But can you remember the last time you took an hour, maybe even two, for yourself? If you had to think longer than a few seconds, you may want to consider taking a step back and reevaluating your schedule. Prioritizing everyone else in your life may seem honorable, but the reality is, totally neglecting yourself isn’t good for anyone. In order to take care of others, you first need to take care of yourself. (It's kind of like the safety messages on airplanes: "In the event of an emergency, please put on your oxygen mask before assisting others.”) So whether you’re facing a rough patch or simply going through the day-to-day grind, self-care should always be on your agenda. Need some inspiration on how to spend your me-time? Here are some self-care practices the editors at Health swear by.

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Sweat it out

"It’s the answer you always hear, but making time every day to exercise is my form of self-care. I’m a firm believer in that saying, ‘You’re only one workout away from a good mood.’ In particular, boxing is a huge physical and mental release for me, and barre classes take me back to my ballet days, which feels especially therapeutic. My other self-care move is curling up in my giant fuzzy blanket and watching Sex and the City reruns. It’s mindless and relaxing and just feels great sometimes." —Jacqueline Andriakos, associate editor

Tune in to YouTube

"When I’m feeling down, I typically turn to my favorite form of escapism: YouTube videos. Having a moment when I can just veg out, slap on a calming sheet mask, and watch a video by one of my favorite YouTubers (looking at you, Estée Lalonde and SoothingSista), allows me to momentarily get out of my own head. It might sound silly, but just like reading a good book, watching a good YouTube video takes me out of my own world and into someone else’s, even if just for 10 minutes. It’s enough time for me to put my thoughts and feelings into perspective and luckily, if I need more than 10 minutes of down time, there’s a whole YouTube world out there waiting for me to enjoy."—Julia Naftulin, editorial assistant

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Create a relaxing routine

"I’ve recently started a new nighttime self-care routine that I think has been helping me de-stress and fall asleep a little more easily. Step 1: Turn off the TV around 10 p.m. and force myself to stop refreshing my Facebook feed. Step 2: Make a cup of chamomile tea. Step 3: Turn off all lights in my bedroom, light a few candles, and set up my yoga mat. Step 4: Do the “Bedtime Yoga” sequence from Yoga by Adriene. It’s a 36-minute gentle yoga routine that includes moves to help you unwind and relax muscles, plus a short meditation to set your intentions for the following day." —Kathleen Mulpeeter, senior editor

Grab some knitting needles

"Lately I’ve been doing a lot of knitting. At first it was for practical reasons (I’m making my husband a scarf for Christmas), but I’ve found it has emotional benefits too. The repetitive motion is super soothing, almost meditative—it’s a great before-bed wind-down activity. I’m just bad enough a knitter that I have to concentrate a little on what I’m doing—I can’t knit on autopilot—so it’s very absorbing. I can be sitting on the couch or at the sidelines during my kids’ sports activities and find that 30 minutes has gone by without my even noticing. There’s the satisfaction of having something real and tactile to show for my time. Best of all, it keeps both hands busy so I stay off my phone!" —Jeannie Kim, executive deputy editor

"A few years ago I was going through a rough period in my life and I decided to take up knitting at night when I was having a hard time sleeping. My aunt had taught me the basic stitch when I was a teenager, so I went to my local Michael’s store and bought a bright chunky ball of yarn and got started. Since then, I’ve knit scarves for everyone I love, and this winter I’m planning on paying it forward with a knitting circle making scarves for homeless people in NYC." —MaryAnn Barone, social media editor

RELATED: A Meditation for Dealing With Conflict

Escape with Friends

"There is nothing better than coming home after a long day, lighting some great smelling candles, having a cup of tea and reading a good book in my bed. If I’m not in the mood to focus on a book, I’ll instead put on Friends or some other happy, funny TV show in the background and play games on my iPad. I could do that for days." —Chelsey Hamilton, editorial assistant

Pound the pavement

"If I can, I head out for a run. Especially in the cold weather, a run is very meditative for me—hearing each foot strike and a steady breath can be extremely grounding. And as someone who can’t sit still, classic meditation/breathing exercises do almost nothing for me to relax. Running is also a huge confidence boost—I feel powerful and in control of my body and mind. In training for races, I’ve forgotten how much a run can absolutely turn around my perspective. When you’re going out for a predetermined amount of miles, at a certain pace, on already tired legs, it can feel like such a chore. But last week, when I was feeling stressed and antsy, I decided to head out the door and run for however long I felt like. I came back feeling relaxed and re-centered." —Alison Mango, editorial producer

Pick up a good read

"I know it sounds cliché, but getting lost in a book is my favorite form of self-care. With a two-year-old at home, I don’t have that much time to read. But I sneak in 10 minutes here and there—on the bus, while my son naps, before bed. Right now I’m halfway through Amy Schumer’s The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo, and it is exactly the escape I need." —Catherine Di Benedetto, features director

RELATED: 7 Health Truths We Wish We Knew In Our 20s

Laugh at what you know

"For me, self-care is curling up on the couch and watching a TV show that makes me laugh. When I’m feeling stressed, my go-tos are reruns of Seinfeld, Parks & Recreation, 30 Rock, and The Office—I’ve seen all the episodes more times than I can count, but that’s the beauty of it. Watching them helps shut off the negative part of my brain for a while." —Christine Mattheis, deputy editor

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