Monthly Archives: October 2013

Q-tober CHALLENGE: Week 4 – MORE Tricks or TREATS??

QM Pumpkin

Let’s get right to the business this week! ; )  ONLY 2 FULL DAYS left to reach my 10 lb.  weight loss goal in the Q-tober CHALLENGE.  Where do I stand now? Besides feeling the PRESSURE of the  hours and days winding down, I feel GOOD! As of today I’ve lost a total of 8 pounds.   I still have 2 more pounds to lose by Thursday midnight…LOL (I’m taking every minute I can get!)

I did change things up a bit last week.  Instead of consuming 1200 calories/day, I cut it down to 1, 000 calories/day.  This was a bit tough the first few days.  I really started feeling hungry at night before bed.  This hadn’t happen all month. So I made sure to increase my protein and water intake the rest of the week which really helped! I also increased my workouts by at least 30mins a day.  Basically I workout twice a day for about 45min each time.  Two things I learned – 1. I really liked breaking up my workouts.  I enjoyed working out for shorter period of time two times a day.  I felt more focused during each workout.  2.  I was pretty fatigued by the evening.  This is GOOD and also fairly logical  for couple reasons. I was taking in only 1,000 calories/day and increased my physical activity at the same time.   I am definitely getting more  SLEEP these days! It’s a WIN WIN WIN : )

QM Boo Fest

I did run in to a lil snag this weekend at the BOO FEST! The Boo Fest is an annual event held at my church. That’s my ZOMBIE nephew who had a blast going through the haunted house with his GLOW IN THE DARK shirt and hair!  As for me,  I ALREADY knew the food challenges that awaited.  So I PLANNED to eat before the event and also pick up a protein bar so I could have at the event so I wouldn’t be tempted.  Well there was a CHANGE in plans! LOL I wasn’t able to  pick up a protein bar and was left on my own to battle the sweet treats and festival foods.  I’m sure you can guess where I’m going with this now…..

TREAT of the WEEK: Nachos!!! 

QM Nachos

I have my WORK cut out for me over the next 48hrs.  Especially with HALLOWEEN in the mix.  I hope for more TRICKS than TREATS this year!! I’ll be back soon with the FINAL RESULTS of the Q-tober CHALLENGE. Let’s finish STRONG EVERYONE!  We ARE making MOVEMENTS towards a healthier, happier and balanced life!

 

Q-tober Challenge – WEEK 3

Tick Tock, Tick Tock… ONLY 10 days left in the Q-tober Challenge! Will I reach my goal in time??Before looking ahead to the next ten days, let’s go back for a minute.  As always, I like to start things off on a POSITIVE note.  Let’s see … I continue to stick to my daily caloric intake of 1200 calories.  Using the “My Fitness Pal” phone app has been really helpful!  I also mixed in a few new meals last week.  One of my favorites was a tomato garlic pizza.  I added my own “health” twist and jazzed it up by adding broccoli, mozzarella cheese and fresh tomatoes.  It was YUM YUM and less than 300 calories! As I’ve mentioned before, a SIGNIFICANT part of successful weight loss is eating the right and right amount of foods.

QM Tomato pizza

Another MAJOR component to successful weight loss is physical activity.  Physical activity can include walking, swimming, cleaning house – basically anything that gets your heart to go THUMP THUMP! Really it’s more about spending about 45-60min daily doing activities geared toward increasing and maintaining an elevated heart rate while strengthening your muscles.  Because my  goal is  to lose 10 lb. in 31 days, it does REQUIRE me to INCREASE my physical activity in order to reach my goal.  More specifically my main goal is to tone through building and strengthening muscle throughout my body.  Therefore, working out has been a BIG part of my daily routine.

QM Workout

I workout 6 out of 7 days a week.  I usually take Sunday off and give my mind & body a rest! I like to respect the Lord’s day and do as little “work” as possible on Sunday.  I average about 45-65min of a workout each day.  The first 10min is used for stretching.  MOST people overlook the importance of stretching.  I constantly encourage and actually stretch with my clients. It helps loosen the body and muscles which can prevent injury and decrease after workout muscle soreness.  I do about 30min of cardio either on the treadmill, elliptical, or recumbent bike.  Then I focus on weight training for about 30mins.  I wrap it all up with another 5-10min of stretching.  I  workout either at the gym, my house, or neighborhood park.  I like to keep my workouts FRESH and FUN! : )

OK OK down to the nitty gritty…Saturday was a tough day for me.  I was out and about running errands and it just felt like every restaurant was calling my name!  Well, I finally answered the call…..

SWEET TREAT of the WEEK:  Yup, I had a pumpkin pie donut with a great cup of coffee! 

QM-DD

The GOOD news is I’m really seeing and feeling changes in my body.  I’ve even noticed a little  muscle definition in my legs.  My total weight loss as of today is 5 lb.  I still have 5 lb. to go to reach my goal! I plan to make some tweaks in my food intake and increase my workouts.  I’ll let you know how it goes ; )  In the meantime, THANK YOU for sharing your Q-tober challenges and successes with me! It’s not over till it’s over. REMEMBER we are making MOVEMENTS towards a healthier, happier and balanced life!

Q – tober Challenge – Week 2

QM Watermelon cake

Week 2 of the Q-tober Challenge is behind me… WHEW!! I knew this was going to be a TOUGH week for me with my birthday in the mix.  It was the perfect EXCUSE for splurging and deviating from my  goal this month.  But I’m happy to share I resisted temptation…for the most part! LOL I’ll get to that a lil later ; )

Things are moving along with the weight loss challenge.  I am keeping my meals pretty consistent.  I know it may sound boring to some but it REALLY does help with weight loss.  It’s really about SELF CONTROL which is KEY to weight loss.  On the onset, I teach my clients to learn self control by taking control.  Setting up a meal plan together enables them to take ownership of  what, when and how much to eat.  The stress and guess work are out of the picture and replaced with  informed and educated healthier decisions.  This is what I usually have for lunch: Whole grain bread, smoked turkey half sandwich with mix veggies and fruit.

QM Lunch

I’m going to focus in a little on what I’m drinking daily.  First thing in the morning,  I have cup of warm lemon water before breakfast.  Then a cup of black coffee with breakfast.  (YES, black! I like my coffee sweetened up with half/half and SUGAR usually! But cutting the extra calories out for the Q-tober Challenge).  I started integrating organic apple cider vinegar (ACV) in my routine.  I mix 1 tablespoon of ACV in to about 8oz. of water.  I like to drink it cold.  The ACV is great for increasing energy, helps with digestion , lowers blood cholesterol and boosts metabolism! It took me a day or so to get used to the taste.  Now I’m used to it and appreciate the health benefits it provides me.  I’m also drinking a cup of warm decaffeinated green tea & sweet cinnamon tea before bed.  They are two separate tea bags I just steep in one cup.  Remember, all these drinks count towards my 3 liter daily water intake.  All these fluids help to flush out toxins and increase circulation which helps our body better absorb and use the nutrients we eat and drink! It’s a WIN WIN! : )

I did turn the BIG 40 last week! I am truly thankful God has bless me with health.  I enjoyed the day with friends and family.  I did have MY CHOICE of birthday treats! First, I  was “treated” to a HEALTHY Watermelon Birthday cake.  The topping was a pineapple/coconut yogurt with granola. It was DOUBLE layers as you can see from the picture above.  The cake was garnished with fresh raspberries, blackberries, grapes and strawberries.  IT was DELISH!!! I am truly thankful for the consideration and creativity.. THANK YOU, RDL : )

My toughest challenge this week – See below!

TREAT of the WEEK –  Carrot cake! 

QM Birthday Cake

The GOOD NEWS is I was able to still reach my 14 day goal and lost 1.5 lbs. this week which brings my total weight loss to 4lbs.  WELCOME to the newbies who just joined the Q-tober Challenge! It’s NEVER too late to start making MOVEMENTS towards a healthier, happier and balanced life!

Small business branding – What’s In a Name?

QM Branding LBT

Companies such as Nike and Apple have turned branding into a science—and you can too

Take a branding stroll with me down memory lane for a moment. Do you recall when it was popular to wear product brand names prominently across your chest or even your bottom? Companies like Ralph Lauren, Coca-Cola and Calvin Klein really took advantage of creating huge marketing opportunities with the concept of self-branding.

Well, not too much has changed since then. Branding is evolving into an even bigger marketing goldmine through social media.  Hardly a new marketing concept, personal branding was first introduced in a self-help book in 1937, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.  As a new entrepreneur, I knew branding would be a vital component to the overall success of my business.  Therefore, I didn’t’ take it lightly and dedicated my full attention to the process.

Branding is defined as the development in creating a unique name and image for a product or service in the consumers mind. My branding goal was aimed at establishing a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers.

I started the branding process for my health-coaching business at a local coffee shop with a friend. I soon realized I would need additional time and guidance to ensure my brand was a true representation of my business and myself. I’m sharing a few insights I learned along the way that helped me and might help you whether you’re developing a brand now or want to refresh your image.

Do Your Research

Conducting thorough research on the onset of the branding process can potentially save your business money, time and even embarrassment in some cases. At the coffee shop, the iPad and iPhones were buzzing with all sorts of web searches that included website domain names and popular logos. I scribbled out several ideas and key words I wanted my brand to represent on a napkin.

During this phase of branding, I discovered several valuable resources for guidance and assistance. I attended a few SEO (search engine optimization) classes provided by a local university small-business development center. I also took advantage of online courses on the Foundations of Logo Designs and Brand Building Basics through Lynda.com. These classes were extremely helpful in providing me a bigger picture of how my brand could make a greater impact in social media with key knowledge and proper planning.

As a health coach, I wanted my brand to portray a theme that was relevant and real to my trade. I made a connection with the word “movements” but still felt it lacked personalization. So after a few more creative sessions, “Q Movements, Go Further Today” was created.

Be Consistent

Once the brand is determined, your consistency will begin to play a major role on its reach. Because of the many social media marketing opportunities available for businesses, the main goal at this point is to be consistent throughout the outlets you decide to use. Your Facebook, You Tube, Vine or Google+ presence should all resemble the same theme and concept of your business, including logos, tag lines, colors and content.

Being consistent with your brand sounds easy and logical. However, given the speed at which technology and social media move, it can easily get away from you if you get complacent or lazy. I have a few logos designed for “Q Movements” for variety, but they all exhibit the same essence of the brand. My social media outlets are consistent with my website, which are in line with my print media and merchandise.

Consistency may sound boring but I assure you it’s fundamental to attracting your target market. As a result, I encourage continuous creativity within your brand so neither you nor your clients get bored and fade away.

Live It

Branding is an extension of your business and you. As a health coach, my life is centered on making healthy choices for myself with regard to fitness, nutrition and spirituality on the web as well as off.  Therefore you could say I am always working. I enjoy wearing my merchandise and sharing information about my services with potential clients at the grocery store, church or whenever the opportunity presents itself.

Authenticity is essential in creating a successful lasting brand. Consumers know they have many choices and understand the value their loyalty adds to a brand. Consequently, fully living and embodying your brand can yield high returns for your business.

Branding was a great overall personal and business learning experience for me.  I’m sure I’ll need to modify and tweak aspects of the brand as social media changes and my business evolves.  In the meantime, having an awareness of these simple tips can also get your business in the marketing game and on the same playing field with brands like Nike and Apple. And if I play the game right, a new generation may be begging their parents for “Q Movements” products and services.

Article published on Latin Business Today website:               http://latinbusinesstoday.com/2013/10/small-business-branding-whats-name/

Q – tober Challenge – WEEK 1

QM Breakfast    QM Breakfast Caloric Count

Week 1 of the Q-tober Challenge was an overall SUCCESS! There were a few bumps in the road and I’ll get to those shortly.  I like to start off with the HIGHLIGHTS for the first 7 days.  The biggest  accomplishment for ME was resisting homemade cupcakes my mother made a couple days ago. OMG… I LOVE CUPCAKES!! I was definitely tempted but resisted the temptation by simply staying away from them….out of sight, OUT of MIND! : )

I averaged 1200 calories per day by using the help of the My Fitness Pal app on my phone.  It’s a great application to help you keep track of calories but remember it’s NOT EXACT.  It’s more useful for giving you an estimate of calories.  I ate the same breakfast daily which is pictured above.  For me, it’s actually VERY filling and tasty.  Oh, before breakfast, I drank cup of warm lemon water!

Lunch was pretty basic for the most part.  I chose to eat half turkey sandwich with fresh spinach and side of mix veggies and fruit.  The objective with each meal is to include nutrient rich food to ensure that everything that is consumed will add nutritional value to your body such as vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates and water.

My favorite food find was snack time! I had greek vanilla yogurt, frozen cherries, few almonds with a sprinkle of cinnamon.  YUM YUM YUM!!! It’s almost liking eating cherry vanilla ice cream! I HIGHLY RECOMMEND anytime of day : )

QM Snack

WATER, WATER, WATER is key!!! I’m drinking at least 3 liters a day. It helps to flush out toxins and keep the body hydrated for optimal function.

My biggest challenge this week was attending a church event this weekend.  The event was GREAT! It was the burgers and hot dogs that were being grilled that REALLY tested my commitment.  IT WAS TOUGH!! I really enjoy cookouts and all the trimming.  The SCENT of grilling meat was wearing me DOWN! I’m happy to say I didn’t indulge THAT day.  Instead, I drank about 6 bottles of water. LOL It didn’t take away my desire to dig in but it did keep me filling full.  Plus, I did have a protein bar before the event.  This is what often happens to most of us.  We SEE but mostly SMELL food and it really makes us think we are hungry and need it even when we are full.  It’s our MIND playing games with us! LOL

TREAT OF THE WEEK – One glass of my mom’s EXTREME SWEET tea! ; )

The GOOD NEWS is I reached my 7 day goal and lost 2.5 lbs.  Thank you all who are sharing your goals with me.  WE are making MOVEMENTS towards a healthier, happier and balanced life!

 

 

JOIN the “Q-tober Challenge”

QM_F_SQ_BEFORE

October is a BIG month for me! I’ll be turning the BIG 40.  YUP YUP! As if that was NOT ENOUGH, I decided to challenge my mind and body by losing 10 lb. by the end of the month.  I got a little loose with my eating this summer so it’s time to get my weight back to where I feel most comfortable.  For those of you who don’t know, I had extensive back surgery about 5 years ago which makes it extrememly important for me to maintain my weight to avoid re-injuring my back.

I will track my progress on FB and my blog to help with my own accountability and to share with others.  My main goal is to tone through building and strengthening muscle throughout my body.  Like I say to my clients, healthy and lasting weight loss takes time to accomplish. Hence, I’m planning to average about a  2 lb. loss per week.  I won’t be taking extreme measures to lose the weight.  The key to most weight loss plans is your food intake.  Of course, physical activity is definitely important and a major component to losing weight.    The biggest modifications for ME this month will be my diet.  WAIT… I really, really dislike the word DIET.  It make me feel like I’m restricted and I don’t like thinking that way.  So let me rephrase, the biggest modification for me this month will be WHAT & WHEN I chose to eat…ahh, that sounds much better! ; )

I’m taking in about 2000 calories a day on average now.  I’m cutting my calories down to 1200-1500 per day starting today.  I’ll eat 3 meals and 2 snacks a day. So basically, each meal will average 400 calories and 100 calorie  snacks.  I’m keeping a food journal to help me on track along the way.  Did I mention I LOVE SWEETS?!?  Oh no, what about my Birthday cake????  Ok, ok…pull it together SQ! I need to remind myself of what I share with my clients all the time, MODERATION! So no worries for now!

QM_SQ_BEFORE

I took my measurements…. arm, waist, hips, and thighs! WOW, that was a reality check for me! LOL All kidding aside, this is part of the process I go through with most clients.  Weight loss is seen both on and off the scale.  I know the results of my efforts will also be evident on how my “skinny” jeans fit and overall energy level.   Speaking of the scale, I don’t usually keep a scale in my house.   So for this month, I’m borrowing my mom’s scale so I can ensure I am on track with my weekly goals.

I would love to invite you to join me on this 31 day challenge with anything you would like to accomplish.  Whether it’s doing volunteer work, cutting out sodas, daily prayer or something else, let’s do it together!   Inbox me your thoughts, challenges and successes!  God has bless me with 40 years of life and I want to continue to do my best to take care of it for many more years to come! Go FURTHER THIS MONTH : )