Healthy Feet are Happy Feet

Reflexology: the application of  appropriate pressure to specific points on the hands, feet or ears to create real benefits to a person’s health. Reflexologists believe there are certain points that are connected energetically to specific organs and body parts through energy channels in the body. I am not a reflexologist, but I am a huge believer in energy and why I find reflexology so fascinating.

It’s always nice to be given a massage but when that is not an option, there are ways to give yourself a DIY mini-reflexology foot massage. A simple reflexology routine that works on your feet that can help you relax and drift off into sweet dreams. There are nearly 15,000 nerves in your feet and one of many reasons foot reflexology is so calming, soothing and effective.

Below is a foot massage in four easy steps:

  1. Relax your feet with simple relaxation techniques: pressing and squeezing, lightly slapping, gently kneading; whatever feels good. Finish by pressing and holding your thumb on the solar plexus point located in the center of the foot, about half-way between the toes and the heel.  It is one of the most powerful points in foot and hand reflexology.
  2. On the bottom of each foot walk your thumb up from the base of the heel to each toe (imagine your thumb is an inch worm inching its way up your foot).
  3. Another thumb press on the solar plexus point on both feet.
  4. End your ritual with a soft feather motion, lightly running your fingertips up and down and side to side of your feet, barely touching the skin. Repeat this several times as it is very soothing.

If you prefer to follow a youtube video, click the link. It is less than five minutes and very effective! Our feet are an important part of our health so kick your feet up and begin the ritual!

 

Rebecca Louise | Realife Co

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Life Happens, Chocolate Helps

Sometimes you need something a little sweet. Here’s a quick and easy recipe and only about 100 calories…no guilt!

Chocolate Mug Cake:
2 TBSP Flour
1 1/2 TBSP Maple Syrup (you can use sugar, makes it about 175 calories)
2 tsp Cacao Powder (you can use cocoa powder)
1/4 tsp Baking Powder
2 TBSP Milk
1 tsp Canola Oil
1/8 tsp Vanilla Extract
pinch of salt

  1. Spray a mug or ramekin with cooking spray. Combine the flour, maple syrup, cacao powder, baking powder, and salt in the mug or ramekin. Whisk gently until there are no lumps. Stir in the milk, oil and vanilla until smooth.
  2. Microwave for 35 seconds. Don’t overcook! or it will be rubbery. The cake will continue cooking for the next minute as it sets.
  3. Cool for 3-5 minutes and top with whip cream or your favorite fruit. I LOVE Smucker’s Simple Delight Salted Caramel Topping or raspberries.
  4. Easy Peasy,  Enjoy!

Vacuum Your Way to A Flat Stomach

My family and friends joke that I’d eat dirt if it helped my health. When I was a younger I would run to my mom in a panic shouting, “I think I just swallowed a bug!” or “I just ate some mud pie! Am I going to die?” Her response to me would always be, “You need to eat a pound of dirt before you die, you’ll be fine.”  Sooooo, my family and friends just might be right.

I’m always trying new and interesting exercises so when I find one that is fairly simple and extremely affective, I just have to share it. If you haven’t heard of it yet, it’s called the stomach vacuum exercise. A simple abdominal move that targets your inner most abdominal muscles, the transverse abdominis. This technique involves contracting those internal abdominal muscles and is very effective in burning belly fat. Most fitness instructors believe that stomach vacuums are a fabulous way to reduce your midsection. It is said that incorporating this technique in your regular abdominal workout can help you burn off visceral fat in as little as three weeks. I’ll take that!

Excess body fat has serious consequences to our health but excess visceral fat is even more dangerous. It increases our risk of  heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and some cancers, regardless of your weight. Let’s give this exercise a try and report back in three weeks.

TIPS BEFORE STARTING:

1.  Make sure to inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth.
2.  Best if done on an empty stomach to create more space for contraction.
3.  DO NOT do this exercise if you have an inguinal hernia.

My preference is the stand up version:

  • Stand up straight with your feet shoulder length apart.
  • Place your hands on your hips.
  • Slowly inhale as much as possible, bringing in your stomach as much as you can.
  • Try to imagine a string pulling your navel towards your backbone.
  • Hold this position for 15 seconds, breathing normally.
  • After 15 seconds exhale slowly bringing your stomach back to starting position.
  • Repeat this sequence of moves  3-5 times.

If your confused on how to effectively do the stomach vacuum, check out youtube where you’ll find plenty of videos. This has to be the easiest breathing exercise to help you achieve a flat tummy. Give it a try….what do you have to lose but a few inches!

Rebecca Louise | Realife Co

An Ancient Beauty Powerhouse

My favorite succulent is the aloe vera plant. The picture above is an actual picture of two of my aloe plants. I have not one, not two, but three huge plants. It is and will always be my go-to beauty product. The benefits are amazing! Soothe sunburn, moisturize, skin tightener, accelerate wounding healing are a few of the reasons I use this awesome plant also used by the infamous Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt…talk about girl boss!

Below are my two favorite and simple beauty uses:

  1. On a clean face, simply cut a small piece of aloe vera, take out the gel and apply directly on your skin. It will dry quickly. Leave on overnight and wash your face with warm water in the morning.
  2. Skin tightener:  There are four ingredients that make up my toner and it’s so easy to make. It helps tighten pores, remove toxins, reduce redness and moisturize. Combine one cup rose water (you can use regular water if preferred), a tablespoon of aloe vera gel, 2 green tea bags (steep for a few minutes), and 1/4 cup alcohol free witch hazel.

Don’t cover it, care for it!

 

Rebecca Louise | Realife Co

Life has its Ups and Downs. We call them squats.

Yesterday, a girlfriend and I were swapping workout ideas and she mentioned one to me that I can’t believe I haven’t heard of. It really is a great way to start getting your “girl boss” booty, legs and core into shape and possibly lose that unwanted winter weight.

When it comes to losing weight and getting toned, this trick actually works. Take into consideration this little fact: the average woman pees six to eight times in a twenty-four hour period, so that’s about five to seven times while you’re awake. And if you drink a ton of water each day like I do, your visits might be more like 10-15 times a day. This is definitely a case of “the more the merrier” or should I say, “the more the derriere”!

This means you have six to ten plus opportunities to fit in a little fitness. Every time you hit the bathroom, whether it’s to pee or touch up your lipstick, do the workout below. If you have 5 minutes to scroll through your social media than you have a minute or two to think about your health and getting into shape. #noexcuses

10 SQUATS (Squats have been blamed for being destructive to your knees, but research shows that when done correctly, squats actually improve knee stability and strengthen connective tissue.)

  • Stand with your feet just over shoulder width apart.
  • Keep your back straight and your knees centered over your feet.
  • Be sure to keep your head up and chest out.
  • Slowly bend your knees lowering until you reach a 90-degree angle.
  • Imagine pushing your hips and butt back while keeping your weight loaded into the heels and outer foot.
  • Return to starting position using your heels to push into the floor.

And your done! Minimally, this adds up to 60 squats. That’s a pretty decent workout for not hitting the gym.

Hey Girl Boss…Slow Progress in Better than No Progress. Keep going.

 

Rebecca Louise | Realife Co

The 10 Commandments of Lipstick

Saturdays are for the girls. Who better to discuss makeup tips with than your girlfriends. So give them a call, pour a few mimosas, and make it a party! Below is a go-to chart I came across to help you create a flawless pout. I bet you’ll find a lipstick or two that suits you and have a lot of laughs while experimenting along the way.

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Attention Girl Boss…..Lipstick or not, the beholder of beauty is YOU and no one else. Remember that, always.

 

By: Rebecca Dubicki | Realife Co

Food for Thought

Weather this weekend along the New Jersey coastline is calling for wind and rain…yuck!  So my weekend activities will include drinking wine and cooking. I love to create new dishes with just what I have in my kitchen. My Italian grandmother, Grandma Lena, taught our family how to make delicious dishes with the bare minimums.  She was from Abruzzo, Italy where Italian cuisine, I believe, is at its purest. Why? Located in central Italy it stretches from the heart of the Apennines to the Adriatic Sea. On mostly mountainous and wild terrain and being surrounded by its famous nations parks between the North and South it has been protected from centuries of foreign cuisine influences.

A small town in Abruzzo called Villa Santa Maria is known as the “Home of Chefs”.
Some of the world’s best chefs have been learning to cook for royalty and renowned restaurants around the world in Villa Santa Maria. In October there is an Abruzzo food festival celebrating Italian cooks, which prominent chefs attend. I would love to celebrate my birthday in this small town one year. You guessed it…my birthday is in October! Abruzzo food is a mixture of different traditional tastes and even today, its variety mirrors its background from a large number of Abruzzo cooking customs from years of uninterrupted traditions – it’s where the cuisine from both the sea and the mountains comes alive!

Here is one of my favorite dishes:  Sagne e Fagioli or better know as Pasta e Fagioli, a pasta and bean soup.

Ingredients:
1 cup Ditalini pasta
6 thick sliced bacon, diced
2 cups onion, chopped
2 cups celery, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 cans (15 oz.) white beans, drained
3 cups chicken broth
1 can (15 ½ oz.) kidney beans
1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons dried oregano

Directions:
Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Rinse with cold water to cool quickly and drain well.

In 5 quart saucepan over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp. Add onion, celery, garlic; stirring occasionally.

In a large bowl, mash 1 can of white beans. Add chicken broth, remaining beans, cooked pasta, tomato with juice, bay leaf and oregano.

Add bean mixture to saucepan, heat to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered about 10 minutes.

Pour a glass of wine and buon appetito!

 

Rebecca Louise | Realife Co