Fitness Friday: Pour Me a Glass of Hydrogen + Oxygen

It is Friday. Only one more day until the new year remains. Friday also means a Fun, Fitness Fact.

Today, we will focus on the best beverage: WATER

Water is one of the most essential elements of life. You've heard all the stats: the percentage of water our body is composed of, the amount of water on the planet earth, and the number of glasses of water to drink a day. Water is all around us. We bathe with it, cook with it, wash with it, and the list goes on and on.


1. Drinking water helps maintain muscle tone.

2. Water prevents the sagging of skin as you lose weight. It plumps the skin cells, keeping it firm, young and healthy.

3. Water speeds up your metabolism, which burns more calories.

4. Water helps suppress hunger. Some people mistake hunger for thirst, so if you are trying to maintain or lose weight, water is the perfect addition to your diet.

5. Waters helps absorb nutrients and vitamins, which increases your digestion process and therefore, your energy level

6. Water helps purify your body from waste and toxins

I know water may be hard to drink for those who are so used to juices, sodas, and other flavored beverages, but you too can enjoy water in its purest form. I love to add lemon or lime to my bottled water. It is an additional 5 calories (maybe) and it gives me a little taste.

Additionally, our business has an incredible product called Twist Tubes. These babies are healthy and come in various flavors and have serious health benefits. We have Twist Tubes for immunity, joint health, and fruits & veggies.

One of my clients absolutely loves these. She purchases multiple boxes for her husband who "hates drinking water because it has no taste." So not only does he drink more water, which is an obvious benefit, but it is not as boring; he gets to spice it up!!

Visit the Rivers Empire website to view the products.

Happy Drinking (water)!! And Happy New Year!!

In Health,
~ Q. Olivia


Workout Wednesday: 100 Workout

I saw this weeks ago and I thought to myself... this is going to spread like a virus. Lo, and behold... it has!! I have seen this on every fitness blog, social media site, and even heard people talking about it.

This new workout craze is sweeping the nation, and I am excited to make it a part of my weekly regimen (I have not decided which day yet). I have heard nothing but great things about it. If you try it before I do, let me know what you think. Get ready to sweat, hurt, and breath hard. You can do it. Just take it one step at a time.

Enjoy... The 100 Workout:


In Health,
~ Q. Olivia


Tasty Tuesday: Chicken & Spinach Soup w/ Fresh Pesto

Introducing my recent addition to my blog called "Tasty Tuesday" which will feature healthy and tasty recipes that are hopefully easy to make and appealing to the taste buds. Anyone who knows me is well aware that my skills in the kitchen are very limited. I do not like cooking, I only do it, because I have to eat to live; however, since I have been eating healthy and preparing for a figure competition next year, I have learned to like (not love) cooking.

Since I am off every Monday, I selected that day as my grocery shopping and cooking day. I usually spend a few hours cooking up a few side dishes and meats that I can freeze or refrigerate to last me throughout the week for lunch and dinner. This prevents me from making excuses for not eating healthy and just grabbing something quick from a restaurant or store. When your meals are pre-cooked, time no longer becomes an excuse for not eating healthy.

Anyway, there are tons of awesome websites where viewers can share their recipes with other readers and health nuts. I promise you all that any recipe I post, I will attempt to cook it and let you know my honest opinion of it. I have yet to try today's recipe but I can definitely tell you it is up on my list.

Today's Tasty Tuesday recipe was found at Eating Well. With the weather being quite chilly, I decided to go with a soup recipe which stands alone as a meal, or is a great appetizer/side dish. Additionally, I really like the flavor of pesto. Check out today's tasty:

Chicken and Spinach Soup with Fresh Pesto

Serves: 5 (1 1/2 cups each)
Time: 30 minutes

2 tsp + 1 Tbs - EVOO, divided
1/2 cup - red bell pepper, diced
1 large - boneless, skinless chicken, quartered
1 large - garlic clove
5 cups - reduced sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 tsp - dried marjoram
6 ounces - baby spinach (fresh or bagged), chopped
1, 15-oz can - cannelloni beans or northern beans, rinsed
1/4 cup - Parmesan cheese (grated)
1/3 cup - fresh basil leaves
Fresh ground pepper
  1. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper and chicken; cook, turning the chicken and stirring frequently, until the chicken begins to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Stir in broth and marjoram; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  2. With a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken pieces to a clean cutting board to cool. Add spinach and beans to the pot and bring to a gentle boil. Cook for 5 minutes to blend the flavors.
  3. Combine the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, Parmesan and basil in a food processor. Process until a coarse paste forms, adding a little water and scraping down the sides as necessary.
  4. Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces. Stir the chicken and pesto into the pot. Season with pepper. Heat until hot.

*** I am super excited to try this recipe. It is sure to be tasty and of course I will post pictures, and my husband's reaction! This soup is just over 200 calories and about 8 grams of fat, and includes a great balance of carbs and protein, so it can definitely stand alone as a meal.

Post pics and comments if you try the recipe yourself. Wish me luck... off to the kitchen I go :)

In Health,
~ Q. Olivia


Motivational Monday 2: Passing the Potatoes

The holidays are over, and all those that over ate are most likely still... on the couch.


Take advantage of the day after the holidays and hit up the gym or the running trails.

Just remember, you are always a step ahead of the people who refuse to take that first step.

In Health,
~ Q. Olivia


Workout Wednesday - Holiday Workouts

No, I did not forget to post. It is being posted rather late in the evening, so hopefully your workout is completed by now. It has just been one of those day... work, home, business, phone calls, email, distractions, and the list goes on and on. How do people with children do it? I am exhausted just trying to manage a household of two adults, let alone two adults with a couple of kids thrown in the mix and probably a dog. Hats off to the active and fit parents out there. Just thinking about your daily schedule makes me sleepy.

Well today, marks the first "Workout Wednesday." Originally the plan was to post one of my favorite workouts or a wellness tip or two; and honestly, I have not decided what I will do on this special hump day of the week, but in the spirit of the Christmas season let's look at simple (but super effective) workouts you can do without leaving the comforts of your home on holidays:

PUSH-UP: An oldie, but goodie. If you need to start with the modified version (knees resting on the ground), do so. Remember to keep your back and buttocks flat and parallel to the ground; don't let them sink down.

LUNGE: With weights, this workout is more intense. You can even use large canned goods if you do not have dumbbells. Your legs will love you after the holidays.

CRUNCH: Great for the abdominals. We love to hate crunches, but they are super effective, and there are many ways to modify them to work various stomach muscles. Summer will be here before you know... it is time to get that stomach slim and and firm.

Once again, enjoy your holidays to the fullest, and find some time to get a quick 5-minute workout in between 2nd and 3rd helpings of food.

In Health,
~ Q. Olivia


Surviving the Holidays

The holidays usually mean involve "The Three F's": family, fun (or football), and FOOD. The food part, in my humble opinion, is how New Year's Resolutions came into existence. The common thought is to eat all you can during Christmas and then make a vow starting January 1 to workout everyday, eat nothing but carrot sticks and celery, and ask for forgiveness for your glutinous ways.

That is the wrong mentality, and actually starts your year off on the wrong foot. Did you know that from now until the end of the year it is possible to gain 5 pounds, just by eating an additional 220 calories a day more than you should?

We generally use the holidays as an excuse to binge on high calorie, high fat, low nutrient foods, to skip out on exercise, and because the winter months usually mean less sun, and a drop in serotonin (a chemical in the brain that regulates appetite), it is important to be extra careful about what you put on your plate.

I too have been guilty of indulging during the holidays, so to help you and me, I have created a list of helpful tips to help us all make it through the holidays without extreme guilt... and additional pounds.

for the

1. Load up on veggies. It is common that the item on your plate that takes up the most room is usually the meats, the breads, and the sweets. Fill up on the vegetables first, and then top of your hunger with small slices of turkey or ham, and small portions of stuffing and sweets.

2. Don an apron. Cook as much as possible. It is obviously more convenient to purchase ready-made main dishes or sides at a speciality meat store or the local grocer, but by cooking as many meal items as possible, you control the ingredient; therefore, controlling the amount of fat, sugar, and grease you consume.

3. Choose wisely. Select white meat over dark meat. Pick a slice of pumpkin pie over a piece of cheesecake.

4. Drink Water. Cold weather normally doesn't make us race to the kitchen for a glass of H20, but it helps fight off dehydration from traveling or the (hopefully) small amounts of alcohol we have consumed. Remember, sometimes thirst is mistaken for hunger. Additionally, if you choose to drink alcohol, consume wisely and select a light beer, a wine, or a champagne spritzer.

5. Stay Active. Rather than plopping down in front of the TV right after dinner, go for a walk with a relative you have not seen in a while and catch up, or even a spouse. Plan your activity accordingly so you do not miss out on your favorite sports team :)

6. Portion Control. Do not deprive yourself or try to start a diet this week. Enjoy your favorites, just in small quantities and spread out at various meals. Do not feel like you have to dump every item on your first plate. Trust me, there will be leftovers and many opportunities to try every dish.

Some of the greatest words I have heard spoken are: "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail." Have a wonderful holiday season with your family, plan your meals accordingly and you will feel fantastic (rather than guilty) going into the New Year.

In Health,
~ Q. Olivia


Motivational Monday 1: Don't Quit

One of my favorite authors Zig Ziglar once wrote, "People often say motivation doesn't last. Well neither does bathing, that's why we recommend it daily." This makes me smile everytime I hear or read it, because it is simple, but so true.

Any goal that you have set for yourself requires motivation. Motivation is what drives you to get up in the morning and take action. Motivation is what pushes you when others don't believe you can. Motivation is the key component that determines if you succeed or quit.

Every Monday this blog will feature a picture, quote, story, or video that will inspire and motivate you to make Monday your new favorite day of the week -- at least when it comes to fitness :)


I saw this image a few weeks ago and fell in love. The words are basic and so powerful - DON'T QUIT. And then what makes the image speak to me even more is the bold red letters that read: DO IT.
Alone that is a perfect message that you can apply to any aspect in your life, but especially to fitness. Our lives are busy, this is known. There are literally hundreds of reasons that we can use for why we do not have time to workout or why we cannot do a certain exercise. Just do not quit. Do it. Over and over again; and before long... you will be able to do it perfectly and working out will be embedded in your lifestyle.

A perfect example for me is push-ups. I hate push-ups. I do them only because I know they are an excellent workout for your arms and shoulders. I had a 6am workout this morning with my favorite personal trainer, Rivers (my husband).  While doing an upper body workout of push ups, Rivers challenged me to go down lower on my push-up, in frustration I spoke the Forbidden Words: "I can't."

He looked at me and said, "Yes, you can. I don't want to hear can't. Just do it." And so I shut up and did them. For that reason I knew today was the perfect Monday to share the above image. And we definitely do not want to ignore the sentence in smaller print. "Every difficulty is an opportunity in disguise."

Be willing to challenge yourself, and go the extra mile. Go down a little bit lower in your push-ups, run just a bit further, push yourself a little more each day and you will be amazing. And if you cannot challenge yourself, find someone that will. Motivation from others is just as important as self-motivation.

Have a great Monday!!

In Health,
~ Q. Olivia


Taking Back Sundays

(No. The title of this post has nothing to with the music group. It is about the actual day, Sunday...)

Weekends. Everyone loves them. 
When the clock strikes 4 on a Friday, people race to their cars in the parking garage and drive into the sunset towards freedom and relaxation... at least until Monday morning.

Sundays are the perfect lazy day and usually consist of three things: 1) overeating at Sunday brunch, 2) napping and watching TV, and 3) worrying about work on Monday and everything else that needs to be accomplished that week.

It is time to TAKE BACK SUNDAYS!!!

Being active on Sundays is a great start your week off right. My dance crew rehearses every Sunday, so I know that unless it is a holiday, I will get an hour workout during dance practice, and I have fun! But because dancing is a lot of stopping and starting, sometimes I want a more intense workout, so my husband and I might go for a nice 5K run together, or I will go running by myself, if he wants to do a longer run that day (he is a marathon runner).

Your Sunday workout does not have to be intense, but doing something active can elevate your mood and help you get a good night sleep before tackling your weekly events.

Great Sunday fitness activities can be walking, a game of tennis or racquetball, light weights, or a simple hike up some hills in your community.
The great thing about going to the gym on a Sunday, is that more than likely, you have it all to yourself. The machines, the weights, and the mirrors are all for you :)

Continue to enjoy your Sunday, sleep in a little, enjoy time with your family, and be active. You will not regret it.

In Health,
~ Q. Olivia


My Motto

"Fitness for life" has become my motto as I have taken the first of many steps, jumps, and leaps to reach my fitness goals. It is not a prolific or profound message by any means; yet, it is the simple idea that fitness is and should be a way of life.

Have you ever heard of the Slight Edge principle? First, if you have not read the book The Slight Edge  by Jeff Olson, I highly recommend it. Second, the principle summed up states: "Simple actions, repeated daily over a long period of time, lead to massive results. If you consistently do a little more than others, you will consistently have more than others."

Late night snacking
Small changes over time really do make a big difference. For example, how many of us eat a large meal before bed, or take the elevator up one floor, or even snack in front of the TV?
How many of us drive for several minutes around a lot looking for a parking space closer to the entry, or indulge with sugary treats when we have a sweet tooth?

On the surface those little things may not seem relevant or life-altering at the time, but over time they have an incredible impact on your health. The small efforts you put in now will result in a great reward later on down the road.

We all know what is involved in a "healthy lifestyle." We know what kinds of exercise are good for us, and we know what kinds of food are the best for nutrition. I know it. You know it. So why don't we just do it?

As Jeff Olson says in The Slight Edge, "Because it won't kill us. Not today." Basically, he writes how it is easy to eat well, and it is easy not to, because it is not the one junk food meal we had yesterday, it is the thousands we have over a period of time.

Imagine you are standing in line in a cafeteria; as you reach the end with the desserts lined up there are two options: fruit or cupcakes. How easy is it to pick up an apple for a healthy option? Really easy. How easy is it to indulge and go for the cupcake? Just as easy, right?

A simply, positive action. A simple error in judgement. Either way, the decisions we make either work for us, or against us. We must decide.

You cannot put a price on your health. Make fitness a part of your lifestyle everyday. Take the stairs. Park further away from your building. Go for a walk with a friend or significant other. Whatever you do, just go out and do it.

In Health,
Q. Olivia


Curves and Cuts

Curve (kurv), n. – a line that deviates from straightness in a smooth, continuous fashion; something characterized by such a line or surface, especially a rounded line or contour of the human body.
Cut (kut), v. n. – to grow, to perform, an abrupt change of image, transition; to ground to specific shape; to alter.
(The American Heritage Dictionary, Fourth Edition, Copyright © 2000)

The title of any blog is important. It gives the readers a glimpse of what will be portrayed in the posts to come; it is the first words readers take notice of and the words that essentially summarize your entire blog. Needless to say, choosing a title is quite stressful.

Why did I choose my title? For several reasons. First, fitness is fun and fabulous and it is something everyone can participate in: men and women, young and old, novice and professional. Second, as I chronicle my own personal journey intermingled with research, resources, and information from others, I know that my individual goals are to become more toned (cut), but still keep my “girlish” figure (curves). Finally, it is short, simple and to the point… similar to how I like my workouts :)

When people hear the term “cut,” an image of a chiseled and muscular man may come to mind; the word “curves,” on the other hand, usually produces visual images of a woman’s body. Is it possible to have both curves and cuts? Yes. And my fitness journey will get me there, and hopefully help others.

No, this blog is not just for women, but since the author is a woman, chances are the writing will possibly emulate the thoughts of a woman. This blog plans to celebrate every nook & cranny ; every curve & cut. The goal is to promote a healthy body image no matter your gender or fitness preferences.

Fitness means different things to different people. Our goals should not be to look like Barbie or Ken dolls, but to be a better, healthier, and happier you. Besides, without curves, we essentially would be walking rectangles (see the above definition of a curve).

I love research and reading articles, studies, and other blogs about fitness and health. During my reading I came across an interesting article & photo:

Photographer Matthew Molston, of "O" Magazine, caputured this photo of model Katie Halchishick depicting what she would have to do to her body to look like the iconic Barbie doll. Check out this photo online and the blog website "Healthy is the New Skinny."

So once again, welcome to my blog and happy reading.

In Health, 
~ Q. Olivia