Ring in 2013 in Good Health!

As the end of the holiday season often leaves us feeling exhausted and sick due to the ongoing festivities (which equate to lack of sleep and over eating and drinking), and time spent traveling in cars, trains and planes (where germs are known to fester), it is important for us to arm ourselves with tools that promote good health and habits. Check out Cold-EEZE’s Top 5 recommendations that help nurture a happy and healthy 2013 (and best of all, they’re all under $50!).

1. For the tea drinkers…
Poketo Tea-for-One Brewing Set: There are great health benefits when it comes to drinking tea. First, tea contains antioxidants which fight off a lot of common cold and flu germs, it has less caffeine than coffee, and that it is known to reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes!

The Poketo Tea-for-One brewing set is not only a mini kettle, but also comes with a mug – perfect for the tea drinkers who are on the go! ($29.00)

2. Moisturize Naturally…
Tay Shea Butter: Raw shea butter needs no processing to work its healing properties on the skin and hair. Shea butter restores elasticity to the skin, alleviates sunburns and reduces scarring! Why let the person you care about moisturize with a bunch of chemicals instead of something organic and natural?

Tay Shea Butter is an all natural pure, organic shea butter with organic rosemary essential oil. ($28.00)

3. A Little R&R…
Hot Toddy for the Body: Many of us associate a “hot toddy” with the seasons comforting and most holiday-spirited drink. Instead, apply a hot toddy to your body! Ward off the dull winter skin with a warming treatment, allowing your loved one’s body to relax and unwind.

Hot Toddy for the Body is a powerful, warming, two-part treatment of organic oranges, clove, cinnamon, calendula, and soy oil to stimulate circulation, ease fatigue, and even the skin tone. ($38.00).

4. Wipe away the winter blues…
Ashley’s Tissue Box Cover: Does your loved one have the sniffles or another sign of the common cold? While catering to their every need and want, give them Cold-EEZE whenever they start to feel cold symptoms and cheer them up with this elegant, bright and positive tissue box.

Tissue boxes always look so bland. This elegant tissue box cover is about 5″ wide by 5.5″ tall and fits nicely over a standard square tissue box. ($35.00)

5. Wash Away the Germs Naturally…
Lemongrass Eucalyptus Soap: The most effective and easiest way to stay healthy is to wash your hands constantly. Try a bar with Eucalyptus. Eucalyptus is essential for treating a number of respiratory problems including common cold symptoms, cough, running nose, sore throat, asthma, nasal congestion, bronchitis and sinusitis.

The Lemongrass Eucalyptus Soap is an all natural, handmade, moisturizing soap that is scented with pure essential oils. The ingredients include oils of organic coconut, organic palm oil, organic castor oil, water, Lemongrass essential oil, Eucalyptus essential oil. ($8.00)

Log on to the Cold-EEZE Facebook page or the Get Well Sooner Blog to let us know your recommendations for healthy must-haves for the new year, or to share feedback on the ones we’ve provided. We look forward to hearing from you! And don’t forget to take Cold-EEZE whenever you start to feel cold symptoms during the cold winter months.

December Fan Spotlight – Michelle S.

Tis the season for holiday get-togethers and gatherings with loved ones to create long-lasting memories. In the spirit of enjoying the moments both large and small, we wanted to spotlight photographer Michelle Smith of Grand Rapids, MI as our December Fan of the Month. Michelle is a photographer known for capturing her subjects during honest and memorable moments, which is likely where her blog’s name “True Light Images”, came from. We spoke with Michelle recently to get her take on favorite winter time activities, the impending holidays and of course, staying healthy enough to do it all. Learn all about Michelle’s routine for treating a cold and her common cold tips!

Name: Michelle S.

State: MI

Website / Twitter handle: http://www.truelightimages.net / Chellebelle416

When did you start your website? 2011

You have a lot of interests, what would you say is your favorite way to spend the winter months? Spend my time? Probably listening to good music curled up with a good book/magazine, or watching a good comedy.

How are you planning on celebrating the holidays this year? Holidays are usually spent with family and close friends, looking forward to getting together with everyone.

What is your stay-healthy philosophy? I think a balanced diet is very important. What we put in our bodies directly correlates with our health and longevity…

What is most comforting for you when you’re sick? My bed, a feel good movie, and my boyfriend.

What do you hate most about being sick? Not being active.

How did you discover Cold-EEZE? I do not remember, I have been a fan since you guys had the plastic bags… lol!! I think I saw it in CVS and was curious and decided to try it

What is your advice to others for staying healthy this cough / cold season? Wash your hands!

Log on to the Cold-EEZE Facebook page or the Get Well Sooner Blog to let us know what your favorite photograph is and why it means so much to you. And don’t forget, to preserve your health like you preserve your memories by taking Cold-EEZE at the first sign, or anytime, to shorten your cold during the holiday/winter months.

Healthy Holiday Travel Tips for Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving, it’s expected that more than 37 million Americans will take a trip of 50 miles or more from home according to AAA. With so many people on the road and in the sky, it’s important to make staying healthy a priority by taking the necessary steps to help protect against the transference of cough and common cold germs. Until our bodies have the chance to adapt to a new environment, we’re often at our most susceptible for illness which is why this year, Dr. Jennifer Collins, Cold-EEZE’s resident MD, is doling out her best tips for healthy, holiday travel:

1. Wipe it Down!

Who wants to eat stuffing when suffering from cold symptoms? That’s why I recommend carrying antibacterial wipes so that surfaces on planes or in cars can be wiped down. Pay extra attention to wiping down commonly-touched products and areas such as the belt buckle, food trays and latch, volume control, and armrests.

2. Keep it Clean!

I know that holidays are the perfect time for giving family and friends hugs and kisses but always remember to wash your hands especially before and after coming into contact with your own or a loved one’s eyes, nose or mouth. Keeping hands clean is a great way of avoiding the transference of common cold germs.

3. Shorten Your Cold!

Instead of suffering through the long holiday weekend, if you feel the onset of a cold coming, be sure to take Cold-EEZE at the first sign or anytime to shorten the duration of your cold, minimizing the amount of time you are sick to better enjoy Thanksgiving and the holiday season. Cold-EEZE zinc lozenges have been found to decrease the duration of colds by nearly half in studies by Dartmouth College and the Cleveland Clinic. * When you’re not sick with the common cold, you also can’t spread it to your loved ones!

4. Take Your Vitamins!

When taken correctly, immune-boosting complex vitamin formulations can help to counter stress, which is known to lower your resistance to common ailments like certain coughs and the common cold. As we all know, traveling with the family can be particularly stressful, it’s good to have all the extra help you can get!

5. Be Your Best Self!

Take steps to give your body a break this holiday by honing in on the basics. It’s not surprising what good hydration, good nutrition and exercise can do to offer the body the support it needs to stay healthy and at its best this Thanksgiving. To further help your system, try to load up on foods that are high in antioxidants and can help fend off the cold virus. Some seasonal favorites that do the trick include apples, raisins, asparagus, pumpkin, squash and spinach.

Log on to the Cold-EEZE Facebook Page or the Get Well Sooner Blog and let us know what healthy holiday travel tips you will be implementing to feel your best this Thanksgiving.

* Cleveland Clinic (1996) and Dartmouth College (1992) studies demonstrate that Cold-EEZE lozenges shorten the duration of the common cold by nearly half. Visit ColdEEZE.com for more information.

The Doctor Is In

Cough and cold season is officially here and Cold-EEZE Cold Remedy is here to help by offering its Doctor Is In online help service. Starting this week through March 1st, 2013, Dr. Jennifer Collins, MD, who specializes in allergy and immunology, is on-call and ready to help answer all of your medically-related cough and cold questions including how to shorten the duration of the common cold.

The Doctor is In is a free service that can be found on Cold-EEZE’s Facebook Page that allows users to ask questions relating to their common cold concerns by simply filling out the questionnaire form displayed. Every week, Dr. Collins will respond to your inquires in an effort to provide cold solutions and help you get well sooner.

Additionally, users can utilize various keywords such as “cold prevention” or “cold remedies” to search through the Doctor Is In knowledgebase section to view previous questions and answers from Dr. Collins to learn more about their cold symptoms and how to start getting healthy.

So this winter season, whether you’re feeling a tickle in your throat, suffering from endless sniffling or sneezing or just want to learn how to shorten a cold, log on to www.Facebook.com/ColdEEZE, click on the Doctor Is In tab and pay a quick visit to Dr. Collins for advice on how to kick your cold to the curb.

Meet Dr. Collins, MD
Dr. Jennifer Collins, MD practices allergy and immunology in New York City where she sees patients with recurrent colds, nasal congestion and sore throats on a daily basis. As a board certified internist and allergy and asthma specialist, Dr. Collins has a unique perspective on diagnosing and treating coughs and colds. She received her doctorate of medicine from Medical College of Virginia-Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. She went on to train in internal medicine with Beth Israel Medical Center in NY, NY and then received fellowship training in allergy and immunology and Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, NY. After graduation she joined the faculty at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary as an Assistant Professor.

Her interests include the allergic sinus disease, asthma, hives, skin allergy, and food allergies. She particularly is interested in identifying the cause of and finding the correct treatments of the common cold because she understands how the symptoms affect all aspects of a person’s life from personal relationships, sleep, work and school. She is a diplomate of the American Board of Allergy and Immunology and the American Board of Internal Medicine. She is an active member of the Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology and the College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. She maintains a professional blog, “Itchy and Scratchy,” http://www.jennifercollinsmd.blogspot.com where she provides information and advice on fighting allergies and asthma in New York City.

September Fan Spotlight: Erin

As we enter into our next peak cough / cold season, we would like to take the time to profile a few of our favorite Cold-EEZE cold remedy users with ongoing posts introducing our fans along with their common cold stories and how Cold-EEZE helps to shorten a cold so they can do what they do best. September’s Fan Spotlight belongs to Erin, a Tennessee-based wife, mother of two and cooking blogger. We first met Erin when she was coming down with cold symptoms and Tweeted how she was in need of Cold-EEZE. Just a few days later, we checked in to find that she was back to feeling 100%, which is a good thing because we need Erin to get back to giving us delicious recipe ideas on her wonderful blog “One Particular Kitchen” which covers everything from baking basics to the tools needed to do so. Here’s what Erin has to say about hunger, health and happiness!

Name:
Erin of “One Particular Kitchen”

Website / Twitter handle:
Oneparticularkitchen.com / @opkitchen

When did you start your website?
January of 2009

What was your motivation?
Honestly, I was just trying to be more organized about keeping all my favorite recipes in one place, and an easy way to share them when friends asked for a particular recipe. I was so pleasantly surprised when it grew from that!

How old were you when you started cooking?
Younger than I can even remember. My parents had us all in the kitchen as soon as possible, even if it was just for something as simple as stirring muffin batter.

Are you a believer in the philosophy that the “key to a man’s heart is through his stomach?”
I don’t know if it gets you to his heart, but it sure doesn’t hurt for keeping you there! I married a Detroit Yankee who would now be hard pressed to go without chicken and dumplings, biscuits and gravy, and cornbread. That’s no accident. ;)

Chicken Pot Pie

What would you say your family’s favorite dish of yours is and why?
Probably chicken pot pie. It’s something everyone likes, and it’s just such comfort food! I also love it because it’s an easy freezer meal; I can always make a few at a time and stash them in the freezer for busy nights later on.

What is your stay-healthy philosophy?
Eat real food! Don’t eat anything you can’t pronounce.

What is most comforting for you when you’re suffering from the common cold?
Blankets and sweatshirts. I’m always freezing when I’m sick!

What do you hate most about being sick?
I hate that I don’t have time to be sick. Ha! I homeschool my five year old while also entertaining my 9 month old, so, like a lot of folks, I have no such thing as a sick day.

How did you discover Cold-EEZE Cold Remedy?
When I was a nanny for twin girls and their older brother I got really sick and went to the doctor to make sure it wasn’t something terrible I was going to pass along to the kids. The doctor said it was a virus, so no need for antibiotics, but to “eat Cold-EEZE like it’s candy.” I did, it worked, and I’ve been a believer ever since!

What is your advice to other families for staying healthy this cough / cold season?
Eat good food, get good rest if you can, and wash your hands with plain old soap and water early and often. And, along with Cold-EEZE, don’t underestimate the magical power of hot sauce for stuffiness.

Log on to the Cold-EEZE Facebook page or the Get Well Sooner Blog to let us know what recipes help you and your family to stay healthy or feel better when you’re under the weather and remember to take Cold-EEZE at the first sign, or anytime, to shorten your cold.

Walk This Way! Celebrating Women’s Health & Fitness Day

On Wednesday, September 26th, in honor of Women’s Health & Fitness Day, more than 1,000 groups across the United States are making women’s health a priority by hosting health and fitness events at senior centers, hospitals, health clubs, and other community locations. These events vary but will largely include noncompetitive walking events, exercise demonstrations, health screenings and health information workshops. The idea is to promote the importance of regular physical activity and overall health awareness.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, regular physical activity such as simply walking, not only helps with weight control but also provides many health benefits including the prevention of early death and chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, and certain types of cancer. Walking is also a proven form of cold prevention! Below, check out some of the fundamentals of everyone’s favorite basic (yet effective!) exercise to stay healthy; walking.

Get Started Now!

Gear Up! As if women didn’t already love an excuse to shop, it’s important to have comfortable footwear. Talk to a professional or a footwear sales representative about the proper arch support, a firm heel and soles that are thick enough to absorb some of the shock. Clothing should not only be weather-appropriate but also loose fitting, and breathable.

Warm Up! Before you start stepping, it’s important to warm up so that you increase the blood flow and reduce the risk of injury. Start simple by performing 6-8 rounds of ankle circles (per ankle); 15-20 leg swings (nice and easy!); and 10-12 arm circles (per arm).

Start Up! It doesn’t matter whether you’re just beginning or a seasoned walker, it’s always best to start slow and easy. Try just walking as far or as fast as you find comfortable. Be sure to set personal goals for yourself and your family whether it’s to walk a certain amount of days per week or a certain amount of miles. Keeping track of progress will also help you to stay motivated and will serve as a good reflection tool to track improvement.

Slow Up! Remember that cooling down after each walking session will help to reduce stress on your heart and muscles so it’s important to walk slowly for about 5 minutes and then repeat stretches.

Not only will walking help women maintain their overall long-term health but in one study reported in the American Journal of Medicine, women who walked for a half-hour every day for one year had half of the number of colds as women who did not exercise. So stay healthy, take Cold-EEZE at the whenever you start to feel cold symptoms to shorten your cold and try lacing up the sneaks, grabbing the kids, the gals, the family dog or WHOEVER to prevent colds this season!

Log on to the Cold-EEZE Facebook Page or the Get Well Sooner Blog and let us know what you and your friends have planned to celebrate Women’s Health & Fitness Day this September 26th.

Cold Tips: Do the Vampire Sneeze!!

Cold Tips:Back to School Healthy Habits to Teach the Kids

As we zip up the backpacks, double-check the shoelaces and make sure our little champs eat a healthy breakfast, every parent (and teacher!) worries about them coming to class with the dreaded common cold symptoms – sniffles, the throat tickles and the occasional ACHOO!

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are over 200 viruses that can cause the common cold and more than 22 million school days are lost each year due to cold symptoms alone. This is most apparent in schools, as they tend to “encourage” cold viruses to pass from person to person because many people are in close contact and share supplies and equipment (not to mention the occasional gummy bear or Oreo cookie).

Fortunately, there are some ways that educators and parents can make sure kids practice healthy habits, so the cold virus is contained and isn’t passed from one friend to another, to another…to another.

Do You Vampire Sneeze?
Since sneezing into your hands can actually help germs transfer to others, sneeze into the crook of your elbow (it’s the most fun when you pretend you’re Count Dracula each time you feel a sneeze coming on). By sneezing into your clothes, you can lower the chances of transferring germs to your friends or classmates. You can also use the crook of your elbow when you’re coughing!

What’s Your Hand Etiquette?
Not everyone may practice this, but one of the easiest ways to keep germs from spreading is to WASH YOUR HANDS! Keeping hands clean is one of the best ways to stay healthy and keep from spreading illnesses like the cold virus. Germs are everywhere, from your desk, to the pencil sharpener, to the monkey bars and jungle gym. With a simple wash of the hands (make sure to use soap; the more bubbles, the better!), we can STOP those germs from reaching our mouths, noses and eyes, which are the main entry points for germs. For school trips, teachers should carry a hand sanitizer or antimicrobial solution.

Make sure kids (and adults) are washing their hands for at least 20 seconds! Make it a game and let kids time their hand washing routine with a watch or stopwatch. Another fun idea that the Center for Disease Control recommends is for children to sing “Happy Birthday” twice to reach the suggested 20 seconds. The entire hand should be scrubbed, including the wrist, hands, between fingers and under the fingernails!

Show Me Your Nom Nom Style!
Gummy bears and Oreos are tasty, but they actually lower your immune system and make you more likely to catch a cold. To keep your system strong like Superman’s, eat healthy and well-balanced meals throughout the day. Foods such as oranges, avocadoes, tomatoes, yogurt and lean meats have all the nutrients and vitamins to keep common colds at bay!

If you follow these fun tips, you should catch less common colds but in the event that you still come down with a pesky cough, sore throat, stuffy nose, or sneezing, try Cold-EEZE Cold Remedy. Cold-EEZE throat lozenges are clinically proven to shorten a cold. And don’t forget, for students under 12 years of age, please consult a health professional prior to use.

Also, log on to the Cold-EEZE Facebook page or the Get Well Sooner Blog and let us know some of your favorite “Back to School Healthy Habits” that help you and your favorite students prevent the common cold or help shorten the common cold so that everyone can have a happy and healthy school year!

The Common Cold – Digital Diagnosis

If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably well-aware of the importance of social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter. We all know that Twitter can be a useful tool for breaking news, hot new songs and up-to-the-minute sports scores but did you also know that one of the hottest social media platforms now has the capability of predicting when breakouts of illnesses such as the common cold and flu are occurring? It’s true! According to Adam Sadilek, Postdoctoral Fellow and his research team at the University of Rochester in New York, now thanks to Twitter, it’s possible to predict when any given individual will come down with a pesky, old common cold (even eight days before they show symptoms!).

It’s not as farfetched as it sounds. In fact, what the Rochester team did was analyze geolocated Tweets for one month in 2010 that indicated when a person was showing signs of a cold. During this process, and faced with an overwhelming number of “sick” Tweets, the team was then obligated to come up with an algorithm to differentiate Tweets about being physically sick (like the common cold) as opposed to just “tired of” something like weather, politics, noise, etc.

Once the Tweets were separated into the correct categories, the team then tracked individuals who visited the same 100 by 100 meter cell within a given timeframe which led them to accurately predict (with a 90% accuracy rate!) if the person would be sick in eight days. Quite simply, the experiment was able to locate all of the common cold virus “hotspots.”

Like any groundbreaking experiment, there are of course flaws to this method. For example, people who don’t consistently Tweet about their common cold symptoms or just the notion that there are multiple reasons why people get sick in the first place.

If anything, this research does generate ideas about public health issues and might one day serve as a useful personal tool when debating whether or not to go to the mall or movie theater on a particular day, or head out of town. Unfortunately, as it seems now, some illnesses are just plain unavoidable but it is an interesting idea that one day, we might have the ability to control which ones we actually come into contact with at all.

Log on to the Cold-EEZE Facebook page or the Get Well Sooner Blog and let us know if you have ever written a Facebook status or Tweeted about getting sick or catching the common cold. You might be part of the solution! And remember, if you have come into contact with a cold virus “hotspot” and have any of the early signs or symptoms of the common cold, Cold-EEZE lozenges, Oral Spray and new Daytime/Nighttime QuickMelts will all shorten your cold, so you can get back to Tweeting what’s really important to you!

July Fan Spotlight: Lauren H.

This month, we’re turning the spotlight on Lauren H., a Florida-based blogger with an array of fitness-related passions: yoga, running, and CrossFit. A personal trainer, Lauren has her Level 2 teaching certification in yoga, and keeps a blog (laurenhaggett.com) to chronicle her healthy life. What do we love about her blog? Many things, like how Lauren fully admits that she is no angel when it comes to staying away from guilty pleasures. As many of us can relate, she’s experienced her share of struggling to stay consistent over the years—and she declares that she’ll never swear off her beloved pizza. But her lifelong love of staying active centers her and ultimately keeps her coming back to fitness.

When did you start your blog?

I just started my blog in February 2012, so not too long ago. I started it as an outlet to creatively write. At the time I was in a job where I was stuck to ‘news’ writing only and I needed more! I’ve always had a dream to own my own business one day, and my blog is a good way to start gaining a following. I love how I feel when I take care of my body, so I want to help other people take care of themselves and be healthy as well.

Tell us a little bit about CrossFit and Yoga

In March, I just finished my level 1 and 2 certifications in Yoga through YogaFit. I’m an ACE Certified Personal Trainer, so my desire to gain more knowledge in Yoga sparked from wanting to be able to pass along the practice of Yoga to more family, friends and clients. My sister is a Level 1 certified CrossFit trainer, so she definitely got me hooked back in 2007. I don’t only do CrossFit, as I like to vary my workouts a lot, but I love the competitive edge that comes with a good group CrossFit workout. Eventually, I would love to get my Level 1 certification as well. 

Lauren is participating in the Under Armour Challenge – a contest that challenges women to set a fitness goal for themselves, and then meet it. Can you tell us a little bit about the Under Armour Challenge? What made you want to participate? What has been the hardest, easiest and best part of participating?

I’m such a competitive person that I couldn’t resist the UA competition. It was such a fun way to push myself to reach a new goal! Watching how hard the other women pushed was so inspiring too. The hardest part was remembering to document as much as possible via photo or video. I’ve never been the picture taker in the group, but I’m trying, and the competition helped with that for sure. The easiest part of the challenge was deciding on my goal. It was a given for me to make a running goal to beat. I played soccer growing up and into high school, but running was never fun for me. I’d love for running to be enjoyable for me sometime in my life. Hopefully sooner rather than later! My goal was to break 5 miles by June 26 and I ran 6 miles that day. :) The best moment was feeling like I was a part of this awesome group of women from all over the country! It was amazing to log on and see all their different stories. It encouraged me to share my story and keep driving toward my goal.

Your stay-healthy philosophy?

My stay-healthy philosophy is pretty simple: Everything in moderation. I’m never going to be that person that doesn’t ever pick up a piece of pizza again. I LOVE PIZZA! I firmly believe there is a balance to being healthy. Smaller portions, a consistent work out schedule and lots of fruits, veggies and H2O are vital. The most successful healthy lifestyle is one that is sustainable for a lifetime.
 
What do you find most comforting when you’re sick?

A comfy couch, my hubby, my pups and some good snoozin’! Honestly, when I’m sick my body takes it pretty hard. I try to rest up and not burn the candle at both ends.
 
Something that makes you smile on a daily basis?

I’ve been married to my amazing husband, Cory, for nearly 4 years now and I seriously cannot think of a day that he doesn’t make me smile. When I’m around him, all is well… even if I am a little under the weather.
 
What do you do when you feel a cold coming on?

Ever since my mom told me about Cold-EEZE, it’s the first thing I take. I really felt a significant difference the last time I was sick and I attribute that to Cold-EEZE. The first day of my cold I felt really crappy, but I started taking Cold-EEZE right away and I was able to go to work the next day. I don’t like to take medications unless I absolutely have to, so Cold-EEZE is great for beating a cold early.
 
What do you hate most about being sick?

I hate not being able to be active and work out or run. When I’m sick I really like to relax and try to get better as soon as possible, so it really sets me back sometimes. But, you have to pick back up and get back on the bandwagon no matter what. Healthy bodies get sick less… in my experience. :)

Lauren signs off every post with the phrase, “Strong. Healthy. Balanced”—words that resonate with us at Cold-EEZE. We’ve always advocated health and moderation, so we’re going to echo her now. Till next week – be strong, be healthy, be balanced!

Tell us: what new workout goal is inspiring you lately?

July Wellness Guru – Meet Suzi!

Chances are, in the past few months you have heard your friends or coworkers raving about Zumba—and we think we have a pretty good idea as to why. Zumba turns working out into what it should be: an exhilarating and social way to get your heart rate up! With this form of exercise growing in popularity, we decided to jump on the bandwagon by featuring a Zumba instructor wellness guru this month. Suzy Fenton pens the popular Confessions of a Fitness Instructor blog. We believe she captures the spirited essence of Zumba (and fun workouts in general), and love her emphasis on living a life that’s full of passion for great workouts, Lululemon, cupcakes, and cats.

1. Tell us about your path to discovering that you wanted to be a fitness instructor.

I took business classes in college and have a very strong foundation in accounting which landed me working at a local insurance brokerage.  After 4 1/2 years I was ready to make a change.  I had seen what a difference exercise had made in my own life and wanted to help others find the same benefits.  I was actually diagnosed with Fibromyalgia approximately 10 years ago, and staying active is the most beneficial way to keep my symptoms under control.  I figured the best way to make sure I didn’t slack off on my exercise was to make it part of my job.  Now I don’t really have a choice, I have to do it whether I want to or not!

2. Your motto is “because being fit isn’t about being perfect.” Can you elaborate on that? 

I like eating really healthy clean food, but I also really like cupcakes and brownies.  I felt there was a need for someone to be honest about what they ate and did.  So many healthy living bloggers seem afraid to post when they’ve gone crazy and eaten 8 cookies straight out of the oven, or when they choose the French fries over the side salad when eating out.  Just because someone eats French fries now and again doesn’t mean you aren’t fit – or healthy.  I think we all need to cut ourselves a little slack.

3. What are your favorite ways of maintaining balance in your life?

Balance is a hard one for me.  I teach a lot of classes, and when I’m not teaching I’m usually doing paper/computer work for my business or working on my blog.  My husband and I work opposite times of the day (he goes to work early in the morning, I teach most of my classes in the late afternoon and evening) so we rarely see each other during the week.  On the weekends we like to just hang out, watch movies and TV.  I think if it wasn’t for him I’d work every waking moment!

4. How do you recommend easing your way into a fitness regimen, for those who are new to it? 

Someone who is truly a beginner should start slowly.  Begin by adding 1 or 2 workouts/week that are at least 30 minutes in length.  Once your body adapts or adjusts to being more active you can add a third day into the mix.  I find people who start off exercising 3 or 4 days/week right out of the gate often burn themselves out in a matter of weeks.  You are much better off to start slow and build your way up!  

I will admit I’m a bit of a sucker for Zumba.  It’s just so much fun!  You get to dance and listen to awesome music and burn mega calories in the process!

5. What is one lesson you’ve learned over your years of focusing on health and fitness? 

Listen to your body.  If it tells you something doesn’t feel right or that you shouldn’t do something listen to it!  I want my participants to modify and change any moves that don’t work for them.  I’m the first one to ask someone if they should be in class when I know they’ve been sick or are recovering from an injury and if I’m not convinced they are okay I will send them home.

6. What is one thing that makes you different from other fitness instructors?

I hate being in the spotlight.  Which is crazy for someone who chose a profession where I am in the spotlight all of the time.  I guess the difference is while I’m teaching classes I might be up on stage but everyone is too busy trying to keep up with the routines and choreography so I don’t feel like I’m in the spotlight.  Outside of work though, you’re much more likely to find me sitting by myself at an event than walking around chatting or dancing or something!

We hope that you all enjoyed getting to know Suzi and learning about her outlook on fitness and life! If you’re interested in hearing more of her thoughts, check out of her blog: www.confessionsofafitnessinstructor.com.

Tell us: what’s your favorite tip for easing your way into a fitness regimen?

5 Delicious, Healthy Smoothies to Try This Summer

This time of year, local farmers markets beckon with their array of sun-kissed cherries, ripe apples, and the true fruit of summer–juicy watermelon! It’s so difficult to choose which fruit to enjoy first; so why bother choosing one when you can enjoy all of them?

Nutrient and water-laced fruits can be used in almost infinite combinations to create a lip-smackingly good summer smoothie. We wanted to share a few of our favorite recipes for some smooth-spiration, that, dare we say it, will also help you stay healthy! Check out the variety of recipes that we’ve included that show off the true versatility of these ice-cold delights. 

1. Glowing Green Goddess Smoothie
 
This smoothie, from nutritionist Kimberly Snyder’s best selling The Beauty Detox Diet became well known after many celebrities endorsed it as their breakfast of choice. There’s a good reason for it: the smoothie is easy to make and provides a full serving of greens in one cold, tasty glass. And if you eat it for breakfast, it takes care of one meal a day—all of the nutrients, meanwhile, will give you a boost that will carry you over until lunchtime!  


 
Recipe:
1 ½- 2 cups very cold, filtered water
6 cups spinach, chopped
5 cups organic romaine lettuce, chopped
2 stalks of organic celery
1 organic apple, cored and chopped
1 organic pear, cored and chopped
1 organic banana
1–2 Tbs. fresh organic lemon juice

Optional Ingredients:
Ice cubes (the extra coldness can help newbies with the taste)
1/2 cup of organic cilantro
1/2 cup of organic parsley

Directions:
Add water, spinach and chopped romaine to the blender. Starting the blender on a low speed; mix until smooth. Gradually move to higher speeds and add the herbs, celery, pear, and apple. Add the banana and lemon juice last.

2. Chocolate Banana Protein Smoothie

This punch-packing smoothie is the perfect post-workout snack. You need protein after working out, as it provides the amino acids necessary for rebuilding muscle tissue, and also improves muscle hydration. So go ahead: feel the burn… and then cool it right back down with the refreshing flavors of cold chocolate and banana. Elvis would approve—and we do, too!

Recipe:
Two cups of 1% Milk
One small(6″-6 7/8″ long) Banana
Two scoops 100% chocolate soy protein powder
A few crushed ice cubes(optional)

Directions:
Take first 3 ingredients and put them in a blender. Break up the banana in pieces.
(Use crushed ice cubes as an option for a frosty shake!) Blend well.

3. White Tea Ginseng Smoothie

This smoothie’s complex and vibrant flavors make it delightfully versatile. It can serve as a breakfast or lunch replacement, a great snack, or the healthy ending to a meal. Better yet, the very flavor that makes this smoothie so healthy also provides its extra burst of flavor. Recent scientific studies have found that white tea has both high levels of anti-oxidants and anti-aging potential, both of which could help prevent cancer and heart disease. Now that’s what we call a win-win.

Recipe:
1 tsp. white tea leaves or 1 white tea bag
1 tsp. sliced ginseng root or ginseng powder
8 fl. oz water; very hot not boiling
1 small wedge of honeydew melon; peeled, seeded and chopped
2 pineapple rings; chopped
5 fl. oz freshly squeezed orange juice

Directions:
Place the tea leaves (or tea bag) in a heatproof jug, add ginseng and pour over the water. Let stand for 2-3 minutes, then strain if using tea leaves and ginseng root, or remove the tea bag. Let cool. Speed up the cooling process by adding 2-3 ice cubes to the jug. Place the melon and pineapple in your blender with the orange juice. Pour in tea and process until smooth. Pour into two glasses and serve immediately.

4. Healthy Dessert Smoothie

There’s a reason that health gurus everywhere extol the virtues of Greek yogurt. Super-high in protein, but low in fat and calories, Greek yogurt packs a punch by helping you stay full for longer. This delicious recipe helps you reap the yogurt’s benefits, counterbalancing its flavor by the sweet hint of strawberries (no slouch in the health department, either). Enjoy.

Recipe:
8 to 10 Strawberries
1/2 cup of non-fat Greek Yogurt (I like vanilla)
1 cup of ice
Water

Directions:
Put everything into a blender. Start with about a half a cup of water and add more if the smoothie is too thick. If you don’t like your smoothies frozen, you may omit the ice. You can also use frozen strawberries in which case the ice is also not needed.

5. Indulgent Dessert Smoothie

Of course, there are some times when a healthy fruit substitution simply won’t do. This smoothie is perfect for summer because it mimics the flavor of one of our favorite baked goods—key lime pie, mmmm!—without any slaving in front of a hot oven. And that sounds pretty darn unappealing during the peak of summer, anyway. Just throw together a few ingredients, and voila! Enjoy.

Recipe:
2 Tbsp. key lime juice (about 8 limes) OR you can use the juice of 1 regular lime
1 Tsp. key lime zest
1 Tbsp. coconut oil*
1 cup light coconut milk
1 ripe frozen banana
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. agave syrup (or other sweetener)
2 Tbsp. graham cracker crumbs
ice cubes

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth. Top with additional graham crackers, if desired.

There’s plenty of warm weather ahead, be sure to try out each of these fantastic and delicious smoothies – don’t forget to pass them along to your friends! Come back to the Cold-EEZE Facebook page or Get Well Sooner Blog and let us know which smoothie is your favorite.