Archive for April, 2012

Jessica Smith-Gomez Cardio Abs Workout DVD Review

Posted in Health/Fitness, Motivation/Inspiration, Review of Product, Workout DVDs, Workout review on April 29, 2012 by mistransformation

I am absolute ecstatic and excited to finally be able to bring you a workout DVD review from one of my favorite people in the fitness industry – Jessica Smith-Gomez.  She just released a new workout DVD from her 10 Pounds Down series:  Cardio Abs.  Boy was I excited to get this one and I wasn’t disappointed in the least.

First a little about Jessica.  Besides working out with her on the old Exercise TV, my first experience with her was on the Women’s Health Train for Your Body Type workout DVD that I still enjoy doing down and again.  It’s a go-to workout DVD for when I go to my folks’ house. I also love her Boot Camp DVD from the 10 Minute Solution series.  I do the cardio segment on that frequently as a finisher to my gym workouts.  It is kick butt for sure!

Jessica is a girl’s girl.  She’s pretty but she’s not intimidating nor does she have an attitude or heir about her.  She’s down to earth and she also happens to be newly married to one of the hottest men in the fitness industry: Guillermo Gomez.  They have done some workout DVDs together as well.

You really should look Jessica up on Facebook.  I haven’t even begun to touch on the other things she is involved in.  She writes articles for various fitness magazines and websites, releases short exercise videos and gives tips on exercise, nutrition, etc.  She really is one of the best.

Cardio Abs (90 mins total) has three separate workouts and a short bonus workout.  It also has a downloadable meal plan in case you need some direction in that area.  You will need a set of dumbbells (for workout No. 2) and beginning on your level you really should try to push yourself in that area.  I used 10 pounds but I think I could have used 12 if I had a set of 12s.  I saw one page recommending 2 to 5 pounds and I really thought that was ridiculously low.

This is a solid upper intermediate workout that can keep even the most advanced exercisers happy.  With three solid workouts and the bonuses I really feel that you get your money’s worth with this one.

Cardio Abs (28 Minutes) – Is a fun kickboxing inspired routine. There are 5 separate segments and within those segments Jessica has a section to get the heart rate up.  She also offers power movements to keep advanced exercisers happy.  You also have the option to keep it low impact as well.  After completing the workout one time through and you become familiar with the moves you could just start off with the higher impact/power moves if you really want to kick it in the butt (I’m speaking to us advanced people).

Total Body Abs Transformer (28 Minutes) – In this workout you will use your dumbbells.  Remember ladies try to push yourself and go heavy.  I used 10s but wish I had a set of 12s.  I may try my 15s in the future.  This workout has 3 separate segments.  Each segment is repeated and also has a short cardio burst.  Jessica uses a 16 rep count for each of the moves and the movements are a bit dynamic.  You will feel the burn provided you are using heavy enough weights.  The workout is also done in a way that your heart rate is maintained throughout.

Concentrated Abs (26 Minutes) – This workout was probably the most challenging for me.  I definitely found where my weakness is.  I have a high cardio capacity and am very strong but my abs aren’t as strong as I thought.  I really felt it in the front of my abs the day after doing this routine.  It starts off with a balance challenge as the warm up which really is quite challenging for me.  I have terrible balance.  There is floor work that contains plank challenges, crunches, etc.  These aren’t your typical moves, however.  Jessica throws in some different techniques that may just kick your ab routine into gear.  She repeats each segment twice and uses the 16 rep count.  I can tell you that my abs burned after this.

Bonus Workout: Tabata Inspired workout (4 Minutes) – If you’ve been following my blog you know I’m a fan of Tabata.  A short four minute all out 20 seconds on 10 second rest protocol.  The movements that Jessica chose were fun and really get your heart rate up.  You will need to warm up and cool down on your own for this one.

I like stringing two (or three if I use the Tabata) of these workouts together or I use them as a finisher to my gym workout.

Sometimes Goodbye Is a Second Chance

Posted in Health/Fitness, Motivation/Inspiration on April 12, 2012 by mistransformation

When this song came out I was in a rocky relationship.  It wasn’t the one that started me on my fitness journey.  Fitness was actually a HUGE part of this relationship and is what brought us together in the first place (we were and still are both members of the local Y).  He was a seasoned bodybuilder and had muscles to die for.  I honestly used to walk behind him just so I could look at his perfect butt.  There is just something about more mature well developed muscles (he was nearing 50 at the time).  He actually did support me along the way of my fitness journey and was a great mentor and motivator to me but deep inside we were two completely different people and I had been blinded by his boyish grin and beautifully sculpted muscles.

When I told him of my writing aspirations he scoffed at me and almost belittled me.  I never did quite convince him just how serious I was about it.  In the end, when I knew things weren’t going to work out, this song motivated me with the thought that after this relationship was over I was going to have a second chance to live the way I hoped and dreamed to live.  As the song says:  “Here’s my chance – this is my chance.”  I have never looked back and I’ve never been happier.  Sometimes goodbye IS a second chance.

Tropical Traditions – Virgin Coconut Oil – Review and Giveaway!!!

Posted in Health/Fitness, Review of Product on April 11, 2012 by mistransformation

Tropical Traditions was generous enough to send me a quart of their virgin coconut oil to try and to then write a review on.

I have had this for a little over a month now and I have used very little at this point.  1.  The portion they sent me was very generous; and 2. I had a reaction to the product that was not the fault of the product – – I will explain.

Upon receipt of the supply of Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil from Tropical Traditions I tasted a little directly out of the jar.  It had a pleasant light coconut flavor (this is what makes it in the “virgin” category).  I then proceeded to cook with it using it to coat my frying pan for a chicken stir fry.  All of those things were pleasant and positive about the product.  A few hours later, however, the product had produced a laxative effect on me and after doing some searches on the internet I found that it could be because I no longer have a gallbladder.  I haven’t had a gallbladder since I was 20 years old.  This was my first time ever consuming coconut oil and some of the articles I read suggest that those of us without gallbladders may have to build up a tolerance to it.

I will reiterate that I think the product itself is fine and I’m not just saying that because I was supplied with it.  I truly believe that it happen due to circumstances beyond my control.

Needless to say, I will continue to use the product.  There are a couple of recipes I want to try that call for it, like black bean fudge and chocolate chip cookie dough balls.  I also hear that it’s great for your skin.

Virgin Coconut Oil: America’s First Traditional Handcrafted Virgin Coconut Oil

How to Use Coconut oil: There are hundreds of uses for coconut oil!

Tropical Traditions’ YouTube Channel for Recipes

Now if you would like to try your own one person will be selected randomly (winner will be chosen on May 1st).  Here is what you need to do:

As a requirement to enter this giveaway, please subscribe to the Tropical Traditions’ email Sales Newsletter here: and come back and leave a comment saying that you did.

 Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil:

Tropical Traditions Home Page:


o    Follow Tropical Traditions on Twitter @troptraditions and @ttspecialdeals and comment back here saying you did – one entry per each @ follow (so come back and comment twice)
o    “Like” Tropical Traditions on Facebook (Please no, “I was sent by…” posts or posting a link to my or your own blog, they will be removed) and comment here saying you did.
o    Follow Tropical Traditions on Pinterest and come back here and comment saying you did.

o    How to Use Coconut Oil: There are hundreds of uses!
o    Where to Buy Coconut Oil?
o    What is Virgin Coconut Oil?

Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose.  Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

Special Guest Blogger, David Haas – How Physical Fitness Helps Create Cancer Survivors

Posted in Health/Fitness, Motivation/Inspiration on April 4, 2012 by mistransformation

Today I am honored to present an article by a guest blogger who wanted to share some important information on my blog.  David Haas is an Awareness Program Advocate for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog.  I am sure all of us have been touched one way or another by cancer, whether by a friend, relative or yourself.  Let’s create more survivors through fitness!

David’s Biography

Joining the organization in 2011, David Haas is a cancer support group and awareness program advocate at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. In addition to researching the many valuable programs available to our site’s visitors, David often blogs about programs and campaigns underway at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance, as well as creative fitness ideas for those dealing with cancer, while creating relationships with similar organizations.

Read more about this organization:

Follow David on Twitter: @haasblaag

How Physical Fitness Helps Create Cancer Survivors

Keeping yourself in shape is one of the best things you can do, and when you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, the benefits of physical fitness only increase. Many of the ailments we suffer from are less about what we come into contact with than how our bodies respond. Immunodeficiency-related disease sufferers are all too well aware of this, as normal sicknesses are made far worse by cancers.

When you get sick, your body responds by fighting back. This takes help from every organ, but most of all the liver, lymph system and blood vessels. These organs help create antibodies and t-cells that fight off foreign invaders. While this system is generally accurate and effective, it requires a lot of energy to work properly.

When cancer and mesothelioma patient’s diseases’ spread, or undergo metastasis, they cause problems all over. The asbestos fibers that cause mesothelioma often migrate through blood vessels and tissue membranes. Of course, the body isn’t slacking off during this entire hubbub. The immune system of a cancer patient recognizes the foreign antagonists and devotes resources to fighting them off. Unfortunately this takes many calories of energy, and with cancers that spread rapidly, there’s often far too much work for even healthy patients.

This is why exercise is vital to cancer survivors. Because staying fit boosts your energy levels and ensures your body has a higher metabolism, it helps the immune system. Fit patients have more resources at the ready and their bodies are more apt to flush out waste because of their higher rate of enzymatic processing. Patients diagnosed with cancer stay ahead of their disease by beginning fitness programs early on.

But wait, you ask, won’t exercising take away vital resources my body needs to fight infections and other diseases I encounter? Surprisingly, the answer is no. Unless you’re already very weak, your exercise program will help boost your health, as long as you make sure to take it easy. There’s no need to tire yourself out. Working your way up to a comfortable level of regular aerobics is sufficient. Start exercising soon and watch how an improved metabolic rate can make your cancer more manageable.