Monday, December 5, 2016

Anxiety Stories





Anxiety: A mental health disorder characterized by feelings of worry, anxiety, or fear that are strong enough to interfere with one's daily activities.


Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Severe, ongoing anxiety that interferes with daily activities.


Social Anxiety Disorder: A chronic mental health condition in which social interactions cause irrational anxiety.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Must Have NOW Real Teas





Teas can have amazing health benefits and can be a great part of a weight loss or health routine. I wanted to highlight some of my most favorite teas from NOW that I have tried so far. Teas that have played such a crucial role in my weight loss, health and everyday routine. These are the teas that have earned my heart.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Spread Your Wings and Fly

For those of you that know my story or a portion of it and how my journey began, then you know that MAJOR health issues played a role in my decision to finally become serious in learning the right tools and applying them to transform my mind, body and life. It was a little over 4 year's ago that doctors told me after several severe episodes of neurological symptoms that hit me out of nowhere that I could possibly have Multiple Sclerosis (MS). 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

My First Half Marathon: Go Girl Run Half Marathon And Family Vacation 2016 Recap





I DID IT! I still can't believe it and it's been a little over two weeks since my first half marathon experience. I am definitely dealing with some post half marathon and vacation blues.

We decided to make a weekend family vacation out of it and it was THE BEST! We had so much fun. We only wished that we could have stayed longer. We debated staying another day, so that we didn't have to drive back the same day as the half marathon, but we decided to suck it up and get back home that night. Next time we will stay longer. I had such a good time that I am wanting to do the Go Girl Run Half again next year if the medals are just as awesome and make another weekend trip out of it with my family and some friends.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Product Spotlight: NOW SuperFruit Juices






Recently, I have come across a few interesting products that I just had to try. Superfruit juices are something that I knew nothing about, but as I began to read up on them I knew I had to try them out for myself. Superfruit juices can have many health benefits to them ranging from delivering antioxidants and anti inflammatory nutrients to the body to supporting healthy immune system function. It's a great way to make sure you reach your daily recommended serving of fruit - three to five servings. This month, I am giving the spotlight to the SuperFruit Juices from NOW Foods.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Life with Loose Skin After Losing 140+ lbs



































Loose skin is something that many fear when it comes to losing weight, especially if one has been overweight for many years. The longer your skin has been stretched, the harder it will be for your skin to bounce back, but it is not impossible. I feel that I need open up a bit about my recent struggles with it. Lately, I have been having numerous conversations with my followers, family and friends about my loose skin. I get asked all the time...

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Jergens Natural Glow Review






I've been getting summertime fine and working on my tan for the summer. Been especially preparing for the Fourth of July holiday weekend which has left us. Even though the sun was nowhere to be seen in my neck of the woods this Fourth of July weekend, I was still sporting a killer tan that looked like I got it from sun tanning. Everyone loves a great tan and an added benefit is it can make your muscles pop and give your muscles that noticeable definition! Well, who needs to take all the risks with tanning beds and sun tanning when you get a tan that looks this good from Jergens Natural Glow products. The Natural Glow line BLOWS ME AWAY!


Friday, June 24, 2016

Vanilla Protein Cookie Dough and Vanilla Protein Froyo Pops






Summer is officially here and I am elated! I have been making all sorts of summer treats that are not only easy to make, but is also high in protein, weight loss friendly, and a healthy and delicious summer snack on a hot summer day. Now, I'm a simple girl when it comes to cooking. I keep it simple and as amateur friendly as I can. Eventually, I would like to open up and be more open minded with complicated snacks and meals, but until I get a new kitchen, it won't happen. Ha! That being said, if you are looking for fun easy ways to get your protein, then these simple snacks are for you.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Polar Balance Scale + Me = Beautiful Harmony


















Disclosure: This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Polar US. I value authenticity and honesty, all thoughts and opinions are and will always be my own.



Well, it's been a great time getting to know my new fitness tool! I feel like I have finally made it to the fun part, and it's been such joy being able to play around with the Polar Balance scale! First I'd like to say that we are getting along fantastically well so far! I have set my goals and I am well on my way to achieving them. I'm seeing and tracking all of my progress, and the scale seems to be moving again after a previous slow month. Finally, I have been able to learn more about the features and benefits of this scale and so far, I think it is pretty darn neat!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

My First Warrior Dash: Warrior Dash 2016 Race Review and Recap





On Saturday, June 11th I experienced and survived my first Warrior Dash in brutal 95°+ heat! I completed the Illinois Warrior Dash at Dollinger Family Farm in Channahon, IL. Get this.... Not only was this my first, but I went on to complete another lap and completed TWO Warrior Dash's because one just wasn't enough for me. My goals for this race was to be able to successfully finish my first Warrior Dash and if my body and time allowed... take on another challenge and go for 1-2 additional laps for fun.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Soldier Field 10 Mile 2016 Recap





FINALLY! This post was delayed for a bit, but I finally got it up. I did it!!! I finished my first 10 miler! My longest distance yet. All the training, pain, sweat, and tears were ABSOLUTELY worth this moment right here! This moment meant everything to me. I kicked off my Memorial Day Weekend at the Soldier Field 10 Miler on Saturday, May 28th.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Getting to Know the Polar Balance Scale and 20 Minute HIIT Cardio Workout




Disclosure: This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Polar US. I value authenticity and honesty, all thoughts and opinions are and will always be my own.


There is one item in nearly every household that everyone benefits from having, but some seem to never use. Yes people, I am talking about the scale. While a necessary fitness tool for most it can also be a source of frustration from time to time. Recently, I had the opportunity to try out the Polar Balance scale, and I must admit I was very excited. Now, if you're like me, you research everything you buy because you want something that not only has great reviews, but most importantly... works! Before I dive on in to my experience so far with the Polar Balance scale, let me just say that I have used my previous scale for a little over a year now. So, while I was excited to try this new scale I was still a little hesitant.

Getting to Know the Polar Balance Scale and 20 Minute HIIT Cardio Workout




Disclosure: This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Polar US. I value authenticity and honesty, all thoughts and opinions are and will always be my own.


There is one item in nearly every household that everyone benefits from having, but some seem to never use. Yes people, I am talking about the scale. While a necessary fitness tool for most it can also be a source of frustration from time to time. Recently, I had the opportunity to try out the Polar Balance scale, and I must admit I was very excited. Now, if you're like me, you research everything you buy because you want something that not only has great reviews, but most importantly... works! Before I dive on in to my experience so far with the Polar Balance scale, let me just say that I have used my previous scale for a little over a year now. So, while I was excited to try this new scale I was still a little hesitant.

Monday, May 23, 2016

12 Tips for a Healthy, Active and Safe Memorial Day Weekend and a Giveaway





Memorial Day weekend is coming up and that means summer activities, spending more time outside, and summer attractions opening up for the summer. It also means good food, temptations, and the extra push you may need to give yourself to stay on track with your nutrition for your health and fitness goals - whatever they may be. For some people fall and winter carry the greatest temptations with the vast amount of sweets and comfort foods, but for me it's the summer. Cool nights, warm days, awesome food...yes this is the time I am truly tested.

Friday, May 20, 2016

How To Loosen Those Tight Muscles: Live Infinitely Muscle Stick Review






If you've ever walked into a running store, or any kind of sports store for that matter, I'm sure that you have probably come across a few of these weird looking sticks...I know that I have. I was always curious as to what they were and what exactly it was that you use them for. I recently got an opportunity to test and find out not only that, but also what are the benefits to using one of these odd sticks. 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

5 Easy Glute And Thigh Exercises Using Resistance Bands






Resistance bands have been a well known fitness tool for quite some time. Alongside kettle bells, they are one of my favorite tools to work with, especially on glute and leg day. I get a lot of messages asking me what kind of exercises I do to work my thighs and glutes. I'm not quite as toned as I'd like to be yet, but I'm getting there! :)

Below I have included a set of exercises that I love to include on days I am working my glutes and legs. I also like to incorporate weight training, but today I will be focusing on resistance bands.


To do the following exercises you will need a resistance band. Choose a level of resistance that is comfortable to you. You'll want to make sure that you choose a level that will challenge you. I will be using the Live Infinitely loop resistance bands set.
One thing I love about this set is that it includes 5 loop resistance bands ranging from Light to XX Heavy (3-35 lbs). This set also comes with a convenient carry case, and so far it seems like a great set that will hold up. There are also non-looping resistance bands, so choose whichever bands you will feel most comfortable using. Depending on what exercises you're doing the looping bands may work better for you than the non looping ones.  I have a set of both so I mix them up depending on what it is I am doing and the range of motion that particular exercise requires. One thing that can be a bit bothersome is that the looping bands will sometimes have a tendency to want to roll up and not stay flat. This issue isn't isolated though and can happen with non-looping bands as well. You'll just have to play around with it and see.



Glute & Thigh Exercises





















Fire Hydrant - Place the band around your legs right above the knees. While you are on all fours, you will lift one leg up and to the side while keeping that leg bent and slowly bring it back down. I like to pause for a few seconds while at the top before I bring the leg down. It gives you a CRAZY burn!

10-15 reps | 3 sets
60 Second Rest Between Sets

































Squats - Place the band around your thighs with your feet spread a little more than shoulder width apart from each other. Slowly bend the knees and lower the legs so that your thighs are parallel to the floor. Some people are not able to squat down that far, and that is okay, but make sure you have great form everywhere else when performing a squat. Make sure your heels are continuously touching the floor. Use the heel of your feet to push yourself back up to the starting position.

15-20 reps | 3 sets
60 Second Rest Between Sets





























Glute Kickback - Place the band around your ankles. Slowly kick one leg back while keeping it extended and go as high as you can and then slowly bring it back down. Again... sometimes I like to pause for a few seconds before I bring that leg back down - it will wake and activate those glute muscles with a nice burn.

10-15 reps | 3 sets
60 Second Rest Between Sets































Front Raise (Leg Raise) - Place the band around your ankles. Hold onto something if you are having trouble balancing. Move one leg slightly out in front of you, and slowly raise the leg up without bending your knee and lower it back down. Repeat that 10-15 times before switching to the other.

10-15 reps | 3 sets
60 Second Rest Between Sets



































External Rotation - Place the band around your thighs slightly above the knees with your feet shoulder width apart from each other. Sit back into your heels in a squatting position. You'll want to keep your weight centered as you rotate onto the outside of your feet while opening your knees and then bringing them back to starting position.

10-15 reps | 3 sets
60 Second Rest Between Sets



Give these exercise moves a try and feel the burn! Enjoy!



Disclaimer & Disclosure: I'm not a doctor, registered dietitian, weight loss coach, or fitness expert. The purpose of Huff 'n Puff to Buff 'n Tough is to share my journey, experiences and personal knowledge with health, weight loss, fitness and everything in between. As such, the content of this website is in no way meant to replace professional advice. When it comes to your health and fitness, please do your own research and consult a medical or fitness professional before embarking on any diet or exercise plan. 

I received this product to review in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are and will always be my own.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Chi Town 10K 2016 Recap





Last Saturday was the Chi Town Half Marathon & 10K at Montrose Harbor. I ran the 10K. Well, more like skated! 20 degree temps, sloppy and icy trails, and gusty winds are not my ideal running conditions, but it's also no excuse in my book not to run. How silly was I to think that winter running was possibly over for Chicago in April. The day before the race, parts of Northern Illinois dealt with a variety of weather conditions. Rain, brief but heavy snow showers, cold and ice. Chicago got hit pretty hard with the brief intense snow showers making Saturday's course conditions very hazardous.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Bunny Rock 5K 2016 Recap





Last weekend I enjoyed an awesome 3 mile run along Chicago's lakefront at Montrose Harbor at the Bunny Rock 5K. It was a really great race for me. I accomplished a few goals that I have been working on since last year - actually for a couple of years if I wanted to include the year that I first started running, even though I wasn't doing it consistently because of my weight.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Easter Festivities





I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter! This year my daughter was able to run around and participate in activities which made this the best Easter so far!

The Easter festivities started Friday night. The family and I made some super yummy Easter treats! I usually don't bake, so this was my first rodeo when it came to baking the treats. And I must say... I didn't do too bad! We made delicious bunny and egg shaped brownies using NOW Foods Living NOW Gluten-Free Brownie Mix. They turned out better than I had expected! I tried decorating them, but got extremely frustrated with the icing, so I threw in the towel with the decorating idea. I can't swear and promise you all that I will get better with the baking, but I am going to keep trying. After all, practice makes perfect, right?

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

RunLites Running Gloves Review And Giveaway




Safety is extremely important and should be the number one thing on a runner's mind when it comes to running gear. There are many dangers a runner could face and come in contact with while out on a run, and even more so if they are running solo. The world is a scary place these days and you have to take every precaution possible to protect yourself and to make sure you are safe.

Monday, March 14, 2016

GoldBerg Hydration Belt Review






As I gain experience with running races and covering longer distances, the need for a hydration belt is becoming critical. I have been looking into hydration belts for quite some time, and when I was given the opportunity to review the GoldBerg Hydration Belt, I was beyond excited! I am very careful when it comes to a fitness purchase, which is why I have been in the market for a hydration belt for about five months now. I research everything extensively and I also have a very critical eye. That being said it is my hope that others who are uncertain or on the fence about this product get some meaningful insight.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Friday, February 26, 2016

Warrior Dash Here I Come: My First Warrior Dash & Giveaway






Since I entered the world of running and races, I have always been drawn to obstacle courses. I have heard a ton of great things about Warrior Dash. While I've had friends and family complete this race, and heard many fantastic stories, I have yet to complete my first Warrior Dash. Well, I am so thrilled and excited to announce that this year that will all change! 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

To Feel Good Physically, You Have To Feel Good Mentally: NOW Essential Oils & Valentine's Giveaway




To me, weight loss is not just about physical changes, but also about mental changes. I firmly believe that to feel good physically, you have to feel good mentally. You must be willing to change mentally if you are going to effectively change yourself physically, and have those changes stick with you for a lifetime. Exercise makes me feel amazing both physically and mentally, and seeing those results are always an added bonus. However, when I'm in a slump and exercise isn't quite doing the trick, I like to turn to aromatherapy.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Abominable Snow Race 2016 Recap





I got my yeti beast mode on at the inaugural Abominable Snow Race in Crystal Lake, IL this past Saturday. I had such a good time! This obstacle course race kicked off my 2016 season. 

After hubby and I arrived and parked, we waited around for the shuttle bus to take us to the race venue, which was located at Veteran Acres Park. It was a 3-5 minute bus ride to the location depending on traffic.

Monday, January 25, 2016

2XU Hyoptik Mid-Rise Thermal Compression Tights Review




Disclosure: I received a pair of 2XU Run Hyoptik Thermal Compression Tights to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!



As the colder winter temps have finally been hitting the Chicago area, I have been searching for the perfect cold weather gear to help me stay warm while I train in colder temps. It's not the first time that I have battled the cold weather when it comes to training, but recently I have been wanting to push my body to new heights. Lately there have been temps as low as -15 and I figured that now is as good a time as any to truly brave the frigged icy cold. I don't like to let the weather dictate my training, and I always leap at the chance work hand in hand with mother nature. Cold weather gear can make or break your outdoor training, so it's very important to find out what works for you and what doesn't.

Friday, January 22, 2016

My Must-Have Amino Acids - NOW SPORTS Bundle Giveaway




I am so excited to bring a new segment to the blog for 2016. One of my goals for the blog this year is to create new and exciting content for you along with some of the most popular content I focused on last year. Some of you may have already heard the good news through social media. I have been trying to keep it a secret since November. I have been throwing hints out there since, but no official announcement until two weeks ago.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

XX2i USA1 Pro Racing Sunglasses Review





Disclaimer: I received XX2i Optics USA1 Sunglasses to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador) and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!



I was able to test out the XX2i Optics USA1 Pro Racing Sunglasses. I have never worn sport sunglasses during a run or a race. I've always thought about it during runs that are so freaking bright and sunny, but I didn't feel like investing in a pair at that time. There are great benefits to running with sunglasses and especially if they have polarized lenses.