Monday, December 25, 2017

Youphoria Yoga Towel Review

I received the Youphoria Yoga Towel for free in exchange for my honest review.  Unfortunately, I didn't get the chance to actually try it out before the deadline as the front room isn't ready yet from the IKEA shelving units being installed (this is week 6 of waiting for it to be complete).

When I shared the pictures on Instagram after opening the package, I asked a question that nobody answered...

How do you lightly dampen a yoga mat towel before use?  Do you carry a spray bottle with you?  Do you wet part of it at the sink or fountain?  I'm trying to figure out how best to use this.

The Youphoria Yoga Towel is 24" wide and 72" long.  It hangs a couple of inches longer than my mat.  The carpet has turned purple where my mat lays (not sure if Benny's ever noticed this) so I won't want to dampen the edges of the towel so I don't also accidentally turn the carpet black.

Microfiber towels are great for absorbing spills so I can only imagine how much the Youphoria Yoga Towel can handle!  Benny's towels are washed with the regular laundry on warm so I'm going to have to remember to switch to cold when I wash the yoga towel.  The Youphoria Yoga Towel clings to the mat when it's rolled up so you don't have to store it separately.

What I'm really curious about is whether or not my feet will slip and slide while doing such exercises as planking and mountain climbers.  Both normally result in my shoes trying to come off.  Has your yoga towel helped with this?

Hop on over to Amazon to pick out your favorite color combination (13 choices).


Saturday, December 9, 2017

The Healing Tree Natural Lip Balm Review

Every winter my skin gets super dry with my hands and lips suffering the worst.  Both my lips and hands sometimes end up cracking and bleeding.  With my hands it's no problem re-applying lotion every few hours (or when I wash them).  My lips are a different story.  Lip balm doesn't seem to do any good, having to apply so much more frequently.  So when the opportunity came along to try The Healing Tree Natural Lip Balm I jumped at the chance.  I received a tube for free in exchange for my honest review.

I noticed right away how smooth The Healing Tree Natural Lip Balm was to apply.  Other lip balms I've had to backtrack over the area to fully cover my lips but that wasn't the case with The Healing Tree!  One passs and you're good to go!  You can immediately see and feel the difference on my lips.

What do you look for in a lip balm?

The Healing Tree Natural Lip Balm is 100% natural, made with Carnauba Wax, Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter, Virgin Coconut Oil, Vitamin E, Castor Oil, Rice Bran Oil, Sunflower Oil, and Olive Oil.  It's non-toxic as well as free of Parabens, Phenol, Mineral Oil, Petroleum Jelly, and Artificial Flavors/Colors. 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Metabolic Renewal Phase 1

Since I reached my goal weight in 2015 I seem to have hit a brick wall on my journey. From the gallbladder attacks to increased menstrual issues my body is fighting me all the way. The scale keeps going up and I can't seem to find a way to turn things around.

Metabolic Renewal appeared in my email from a couple of people so I checked it out.  This program is designed to help women get their hormones in check through diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes, some components I hadn't heard about before.

I'd seen of some programs that focus on exercising LESS rather than MORE. Metabolic Renewal has 3 HIIT workouts per week (~2 min warmup, ~15 min workout, & ~5 min burnout).  The other days are filled with your choice of light activity (i.e. walking, yoga, Pilates, swimming, etc.), anything that doesn't get your heart rate up.  Metabolic Renewal a rest based training program where you do the exercise until you can't and rest until you can, picking back up wherever they are on the video workout.

The biggest challenge for me on this program is the nutritional piece.  According to the hormones quiz I'm estrogen dominant.  Following the Metabolic Renewal Meal Plan this means I'm to only have carbs at dinner.  This is a big change for me as I normally have carbs all day long!  Also, like the keto and paleo diets, there is no dairy (although butter is allowed as a healthy fat), because of the hormones that can be introduced from milk.  I do allow myself a little dairy with my salad dressing since I haven't found any without milk/cheese that I enjoy.

Along with the physical measurements, Metabolic Renewal has you monitoring your sleep, hunger, mood, energy, and cravings (SHMEC).  My period came the second week and on top of that there have been issues with Austin and at work.  So all of that compounded into a heightened emotional state, screwing up the improvements I'd made.

It's been a tough mental challenge for me to make these kinds of changes in both what I eat and my workouts.  It's forcing me to eat veggies with every meal so I may need to introduce more of them into my diet before burning out on the ones I'm currently eating.  I've started eating eggs (for many years I couldn't even stand their smell) loaded with veggies and spices. 

Includes some of the foods I eat
So what do my breakfasts look like without carbs?

  • Smoothie: protein powder (15-25g protein, less than 6g carbs, 2g dietary fiber), chia seeds, hemp seeds, low to moderate glycemic fruit, and a green veggie.
  • 3 eggs with veggies, spices, and bee pollen.
  • Some other protein with veggies (if chicken it's half a breast).
Benny doesn't like this program because of the number of containers that have to be loaded into the dishwasher packing 10 meals for work! LOL

Have you ever done a program like this before?

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Never Before Shared Wisdom from Personal Growth and Business Leaders in New Bestseller

Best-Selling Publisher Viki Winterton is an author and publisher who has published hundreds of globally successful authors. As a joint venture with the authors she has published, Winterton has now released a dynamic journal that is full of advice and wisdom from over 180 authors and is an incredible wellspring for readers looking for daily support and encouragement to achieve business and personal success in today’s uncertain world.

Titled Are YOU The Missing Piece, the book challenges the reader to think and initiate a change not only in their personal life, but in their professional life also. Most recent in the series of #1 best-selling books published by Winterton’s publishing company Expert Insights Publishing, the journal is dubbed a must read for all young entrepreneurs.

"I was warned, ‘You’re not going to make money selling books. You’re going to make money by having a book and using it to close more deals.’ That has been my experience—an experience far exceeding my goals and my vision,” stated Winterton in an official statement for the press. She further added “When you do what you love, and you do it in the company of visionaries and household names, you become an instant expert in your field. You owe it to the world to get your story out in a book.”

The journal accumulates priceless advice and knowledge from people who broke the barriers and used their creativity in order to find immense success in their personal lives and professions. Taking the readers to a sacred and personal space, each of the experts in this book offers advice that is extremely intimate and exclusive. Throughout the years, these people have used their own hardships and experiences as a receptacle for inspiration and empowerment.

Are YOU The Missing Piece will urge the readers to find power and inspiration within themselves. Only by filling in the missing piece can one truly live a fulfilling life where no opportunity is missed. All advice in this cutting-edge journal will ultimately help the readers in facing personal/professional challenges with courage and resilience. 

The valuable nuggets of wisdom in this book come from a range of experts including:
“When you do something just to make money, it is almost always the wrong decision. There’s got to be something else driving you. It’s got to be fun. You’ve got to be giving back. You’ve got to be helping people. If you do that, then the money will follow.”  ~ Rick Frishman, Publisher, Best-Selling Author

“When you imagine your money as a real, flesh and blood person, worthy of your deepest admiration, you embark on an amazing love-at-first-sight affair of the heart.” ~ Morgana Rae, World’s Leading Relationship with Money Coach, Best-Selling Author.

Are YOU The Missing Piece? Journal is now available on

Sunday, October 8, 2017

To Save Time Let's Just Assume CASSANDRA Is Always Right

I chuckled when I saw this coffee mug review opportunity and HAD to get it.  When I applied I wasn't sure if I was going to use my name or someone else's (as a joke) but ended up going with mine when I was approved.  I received this mug from 5amily for free in exchange for my honest review.

The mug arrived quickly so it had to have been in stock with CASSANDRA on it.  I probably would've had to wait a little longer to get one with CASSI instead.  I was concerned when I opened the box and there wasn't any bubble wrap or stuffing, just the cardboard frame.  Had this shipped by UPS/FedEx instead of USPS it probably would've been shattered!

If I didn't put my name on the mug my other choices were:

  • My cousin as a part of her wedding present in December
  • My coworker who thinks she's the boss (even when the boss is there)
Who in your life IS or THINKS they are always right and you'd be willing to gift such a mug to them?  Or would you get this for yourself?

Click below to purchase one of these mugs from 5amily

To Save Time Let's Just Assume [NAME] Is Always Right

Monday, September 4, 2017

Sassy September Slimdown: Nutrition

A key factor to ensuring you build lean muscle on the Sassy September Slimdown is creating a daily calorie surplus i.e. you start eating more than your body needs.

Ideally this surplus should be as small as possible; to ensure your health and body fat remains intact over the course of this program. The goal is NOT to get fat, but to simply supply the body with just enough energy to help it recover and grow from your weight training sessions.

By taking some time now to use the information and calculator below to determine your ideal starting point, you’re creating an effective yet sustainable process over the coming months to your goals.

Do not skip this step – it is the critical component to personalizing this fitness challenge for your exact needs and goals. 

Please read all the information on the below website and use the built-in calculator to determine the ideal starting point for you.

Calorie and macronutrient calculator ->

It’s important to track your food intake for 1-3 days prior to changing anything. That’s so you can compare your existing calorie and macronutrient intake to your calculated one. 
If you are only a few hundred calories away from your recommended intake, then feel free to transition onto this when are ready to start.

If you find you are already under eating well below (500+ kcals) the calorie recommendations from this calculation, then I’d typically recommend increasing overall calories by 100kcals at time, and assessing every 7-14 days before further changes. For muscle gain, the ideal weight increase is 1-2 pounds per month.

This same process can be applied every 7-14 days, with small adjustments being made when required. 

Your protein intake will likely stay the same throughout these adjustments; so adjust your daily fat or carbohydrate intake.

When I talk about adjusting your macronutrient numbers, I’m talking about your daily totals. It’s these that will deliver the results. Of course you can consider the exact breakdown of these for each meal too. You might find you do better with more carbohydrates in the morning, or perhaps less fat in certain meals. This is all about listening to your body and developing a nutrition set up that suits you.

Meal Plan

Breakfast Ideas (Meal 1): Ideally 30-60 min after waking e.g. 7-8 am


Lunch Ideas (Meal 2): Ideally 3-4 hours after meal 1 e.g. 12-1 pm

Snack Ideas (Meal 3): Ideally between lunch and dinner e.g. 4 pm

Green apple, berries or grapefruit
¼ cup pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds
20 almonds, pecans, or walnuts 
Gluten-free rice cakes with 2 TBSP almond butter and cinnamon
Celery and hummus
Carrot sticks and hummus 
Hardboiled egg
Green Juice
Coconut milk kefir smoothie
Almond milk unsweetened with hemp protein powder and cinnamon and stevia 

Workout Nutrition (if applicable)

During: Workout drink with 500ml of water
Post: Ripe banana with serving of protein powder 

Dinner Ideas (Meal 4): Ideally 3-4 hours after meal 3 e.g. 7:30-8:30 pm or 60-120 minutes post workout

At the end of the day if you have any macros leftover you can enjoy them as you see fit.

Supplement Guide

Whey Protein Powder – Health, Strength, Mass builder, Fat loss 

Whey protein makes up to 20% of the protein in milk. Whey is the most effective protein for increasing muscle protein synthesis, the process in muscle cells that results in muscle growth. There are numerous reasons why whey is so effective, such as its high content of branched-‐ chain amino acids (BCAAs) and its ability to boost blood flows to muscles. Suggested Amount: As required but limit to 1-2 servings per day

What is your favorite protein powder?

Vitamin D - Health, Strength, Mass builder, Fat loss

Vitamin D is important for bone health as it enhances the body’s ability to absorb calcium. Yet research shows that vitamin D is critical for so much more than just bone health. Vitamin D has been shown to improve mood, aid immune function, fight off cancers, and keep fat off. Plus, it’s now known to be critical for muscle strength and growth, as well as increasing testosterone levels in males. Most multivitamins don’t contain enough vitamin D so it’s a good idea to take vitamin D supplement in addition to a multi. Suggested Amount: Take 1,000-3,000 IU of vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol – the more potent for of D) 

Creatine - Mass Builder, Strength, Energy Production, Health 

Made from the three aminos arginine, glycine and methionine, creatine is technically an amino acid supplement, not an individual amino Creatine boosts lean muscle mass gains by about 10 pounds and strength by about 10% in just a few weeks, even in highly training lifters. Creatine helps bolster levels of creatine phosphate, which in turn boosts adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the ultimate energy source for muscles. Suggested Amount: Depending on the form of creatine you use, take about 5g of creatine with your post workout protein shake. 

Nitrates (Beetroot Extract) – Health, Strength, Performance, Mass Builder 

Nitrates are a compound found in leafy green vegetables and beetroot.
Nitrates break down into nitrites, which circulate in the body and are turned
into nitric oxide (NO) as needed. Elevated NO levels during exercise provide a
variety of benefits. Nitrate supplementation has been shown to improve anaerobic and aerobic endurance, blood flow, and work output, resulting in increased muscle recovery between bouts of exercise. Nitrates improve the body’s ability to produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP) from the food you eat. ATP is responsible for the energy transfer that powers your muscles. High levels of circulating nitrite help the mitochondria in cells produce ATP more efficiently. Suggested Amount: 500 mg of beetroot extract 60-120 minutes before


ZMA is a patented combination of zinc and magnesium aspartate plus vitamin B’s. It benefits are supported by strong clinical research. ZMA increases anabolic hormone levels, including testosterone and IGF-1, which may otherwise be suppressed in athletes and those who train intensely. ZMA also improves the quality of sleep. Better recovery due to enhanced sleep efficiency and increased anabolic hormone levels, as well as greater gains in muscle strength and power, are the ultimate benefits of ZMA supplementation. Suggested Amount: Take one dose of ZMA (ideally 30mg of zinc, 450mg of magnesium and 10.5mg of B6, on an empty stomach) 60 minutes before bedtime. 

Workout Nutrition 

Workout drink containing Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s) and lactic acid buffers such as beta alanine. Carbohydrates are optional. Suggested Amount: 1 serving per 30-60 minute workout. 


The information provided to participants of the Sassy September Slimdown is for informational purposes only.  I am not a personal trainer, nutritionist/dietitian, or mental health counselor.  The content of this challenge is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health provider with any questions regarding your medical condition.

Any exercise program can be strenuous and carries a risk of damage to property, personal injury, illness or death.  You participate in this challenge at your own risk.  Always obtain a physical examination from a doctor before starting any program and assume all risk if you fail to do so.  In consultation with your doctor, you acknowledge and agree that any suggestions for change in nutrition, including the use of any supplements, are entirely your responsibility.

Do not disregard your doctor’s advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in the information provided for the Sassy September Slimdown.  Reliance on any information provided by The Long and Winding Road to Wellness is solely at your own risk.  You acknowledge and agree that you are voluntarily participating in this challenge.  In consideration of me running this challenge you hereby here and forever release and discharge and hold harmless The Long and Winding Road to Wellness and its owner, contractors, successors, heirs, and assigns from any and all claims, demands, rights of action, present or future, out of or connected with any participation in the Sassy September Slimdown, including, without limitation, personal or real property damage, injury, illness or death.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Sassy September Slimdown: Introduction

If you are looking to add lean strong muscle to your body, as well as boosting your strength, then Sassy September Slimdown is for you! This challenge is ideal for women who would like a dedicated strength and muscle building program that delivers real results. Within this challenge, you will find the key information and resources that you will need for sustainable and effective muscle building. Apply this and stay consistent to it and you will achieve great results.

Below you will find some further details on what to consider during the challenge.


The primary goal of the Sassy September Slimdown is to ensure you gain lean muscle mass every month. This means you do not need to gain excessive body fat with this process. 

To ensure your body only adds lean muscle, your diet will play an important factor throughout this challenge. You can do all the training in the world to add muscle to your body, but if you don’t support it via nutrition optimally, you will see poor results. 

An important aspect to get right is to understand how much you are eating on a consistent basis. Therefore, our primary goal for this challenge is to calculate how many calories you need to consume daily. We also know the importance of how your daily protein, carbohydrate and fat intake are too, so that must be calculated before starting. You will find more info on how to do this soon.  

The meal planner provided is to give you a basic structure and an ideal template to follow. Use the suggested meals from it to create great tasting food every day. You don’t need to eat every meal suggested on this plan; it’s simply a template for you to use to guide your daily decisions and choices. 

Make sure you create great tasting, varied and nutritious meals. Don’t just eat a plain chicken breast with some boring veg, spice it up and get creative with it all. You know you have got this right when you actually look forward to your meals and enjoy eating.

So, without starting out too complicated, I want you to focus on the following: 
  1. Calculate your recommended calorie and macronutrient intake
  2. Aim to be within 5% of your recommended macronutrient intake daily
  3. Use a food tracker such as to record and track 


The Sassy September Slimdown has been created to optimize muscle building and strength. It is simple yet highly effective, and it’s recommended that you stick to it as closely as possible. A key component to it will be ensuring you are progressing on a weekly basis. Along with the addition of some advanced muscle building techniques, this creates the perfect muscle-building environment. 

Also to consider is your rest and recovery rate, as this is also critical to your results. You do have to train hard and heavy to add lean muscle mass, but you must also learn how to recover from this type of training too. When you can find the perfect balance between intense training and recovery, you will see the best progress. This means reducing or limiting any cardio or extra exercise as much as possible during this program. So be sure to train as hard as you can when required, and then get plenty of rest in-between. 

When it comes to the Sassy September Slimdown, quality over quantity is the motto. 

In this challenge you will also receive a training planner, which outlines an ideal template for the suggested workouts. Just like with the nutrition plan this doesn’t need to be set in stone for your success. It can and likely should be adjusted to suit your routine and schedule. 


We have already put into place the most important factors for your success. So, for the mean time, I simply want you to focus on the above and make those consistent changes to your current routine. But aiming for 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night and finding some time to unwind or relax daily will greatly improve your health and wellbeing too.


To participate in the Sassy September Slimdown you will need to be a member of the Brand New ME Community on Facebook.  Join today and get to know our little family ahead of the challenge.  Stick around afterwards and enjoy the support and community to help you continue on your journey to reach your health and fitness goals.