Take the American Heart Association's 12-week Go Red BetterU Challenge today! Join Julie, Laura, Molly, Pamela, Paula, Renee and Ruthann in this journey to better health. BetterU is a free online tool that provides resources and tools for women who want to improve their health. Start! now so you can be on the path to becoming a BetterU!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


If you didn't attend the luncheon, you missed out! It was fabulous! It was a sea of red, and what a beautiful sight it was! It was so much fun. We did miss one of our fellow challengers, Laura, due to illness. My only complaint, the time went by too fast! I didn't get to do everything i wanted to. There was some fabulous art work on display, and time just didn't permit for me to browse and admire them all.

I got my makeup done! Sweet! There were hair stylists there as well. My friend, Jody Lee, accompanied me to the luncheon. We were sure to hit up the photo booth in the Love Your Heart Lounge, and we love our pics! I posted the pics and included a photo of all the free stuff we received! I got a foot thing done, not exactly a massage, but the exact term is escaping me, but it was fabulous. My friend got a neck massage that she loved! I saw a belly dancer giving a demonstration! How cool! What a fun way to do your heart some good! And free stuff! We got some amazing free stuff! Pacer tickets for one thing! Can you believe that I've never been to a Pacer game? Well that's about to change! I got a really cool exercise band that can give you quite a workout. I was freaking out because I left my house without my hair brush. And what do you know, they were giving hair brushs away! The hair Gods had my back!

I have to admit I was too nervous to eat my lunch, because we had to take the stage and strut our stuff on the catwalk. However, you best believe I ate the fabulous chocolate cake that I believe was only 250 calories and divine! Who says you can't have your cake and eat it too? lol Julie Schnieder of St. Vincent Center For Womens Health and Anne Marie Tiernon of WTHR did a fabulous job, and put us at ease. Though I felt very much out of my comfort zone being on stage in front of 1,000 people, but I made it thru without falling and even rocked a red feather boa with my Macys outfit and accessories. And I have to mention Brea Carlson, her story was so touching. And this my friend, is what it's all about. Saving lives, so that another young girl isn't left motherless due to a cardiovascular event that could possibly be prevented.

Tim Harms and Julie Petr of The American Heart Assocation were on hand, and they are always so supportive and full of encouragment. Tims wife was kind enough to help us backstage and make sure we didn't miss our cue.

I ran into one of my favorite people, Adrienne D'Angelo from St. Vincent Center For Womens Health. She is like a walking encyclopedia, full of knowledge I tell you! She explains things in a way that makes sense to even me! Now, if she could just explain one of my radiology classes to me, Radiation Physics, life would be good!

Love your heart,

Monday, February 27, 2012

Sharing Progress

I sure missed seeing all of my fellow challengers and attending the annual event!!!! I hope someone took some pictures so that I can see each of you decked out for the fashion show. I saw Renee on TV and the beautiful spread in the Sunday Indianapolis Star -- each of you looked fabulous!!

Well -- a little update on my progress in this challenge. I have really cleared out my kitchen and have wonderfully healthy choices of food available (although I know there is some emergency pasta still tucked in there somewhere!!). Some big news from me -- I visited my physician for an annual exam last week, and here are my lipid panel results!!!!!!!!!
2011 Cholesterol:  224    February 2012 Cholesterol:  129
2011 Triglycerides:  236      February 2012 Triglycerides:  79
2011 HDL:  45                 February 2012 HDL:  47
2011 LDL:  122               February 2012 LDL:  68

I am totally bowled over by the results!!!!! Just look at the difference in the triglycerides (that level can be deadly!!!), and the LDL!!!!  All I can say is -- this is living proof that simple changes in food choices absolutely can make a dramatic difference in these critical lipid levels AND prevent killer coronary artery disease!!! I hope that this will be convincing proof for any of you out there who are trying to make changes in your lifestyle to prevent heart disease (and other major artery disease).

So what made the big difference in my levels?? Well -- I am convinced that because I cut out pasta and bread from my diet (yes -- these were all I ate day after day for years!!) -- my triglyceride levels took a dive. Remember that extra empty carbohydrates are stored as FAT. Otherwise -- I have followed the sage advice from Adrienne -- she is at the top of my list of one of my all time favorite people in life -- I learned so much from her about diet!!! I have been limiting fat intake to about 25 grams per day, and replacing any empty carbohydrates with more complex carbohydrates! That is it! By the way -- just can't rave enough about the St. Vincent Heart Center and the American Heart Association!!!! They are going above and beyond to help women change the course and current sad statistics about killer heart disease in this country!!! If any of you readers following along would like to know how to contact and set up consultation with Adrienne -- just respond to my blog!! Or for any information about St. Vincent Women's Health center!!!

I am really finding that taking small steps in choosing lifestyle changes to promote health result in immediate changes in how one feels and looks -- and I can't emphasize enough that as you begin to make changes -- your results will end up producing exceeding motivation to stay on the course longterm!!!!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Ladies Shine

The BetterU ladies looked amazing Friday at the annual Go Red For Women Luncheon. They really flourished in the spotlight and made a huge impact on the 1,000 women in attendance.

The media have also taken notice.

Three challengers were included in Sunday's Indianapolis Star, and Renee Jones was part of a story on WRTV-6.

Saturday, February 18, 2012


Oh my goodness, what a fabulous time.  If you weren't a part of the 2012 Go Red for Women Luncheon at the J.W. Marriott yesterday, you missed out.  There were so many people giving out freebies!!  (I am a freebie junkie!)  Amazing people doing amazing things for women.  The luncheon was emceed by Anne Marie Tiernon who is a beautiful individual!   Six of the 7 challengers were there modeling (we missed poor Laura who was sick!) We modeled our fabulous clothes from Macys.

I'll share more details soon but thank you to all involved in the American Heart Association for treating us to that!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Meltdown Monday and Terrific Tuesday!

Well, I'm not exactly proud of it, but i had a complete meltdown two Mondays ago. I did the Power Circuit Class and Rock Hard Ab Class at my gym. It was so hard to keep up with the group. I couldn't hold a candle to these women, and some of them had a good 15 years on me! However, they could not have been kinder to me. They were very encouraging and supportive. They told me to not give up and it will get easier in time, and they were impressed that I stuck it out. I've never felt so inadequate in my life! This leads me to my emotional feelings, I am beyond angry right now. Before being in the car accident, I would have been able to at least hold my own, no problem. However now, that is not my reality. Everything i do feels ten times harder. I get so frustrated. But its ok. Sometimes you just have to have a meltdown and let it out, then you can move on.

Fast forward to today. I did 75 minutes on the treadmill walking at a good pace. Now for the fabulous part. I ran for 2 minutes of those 75 minutes! 2 whole minutes! I know you are probably thinking 2 minutes, what's the big freakin deal? As I've mentioned before, I was hit by a drunk driver. This is the first time since the accident, in nearly 14 years, that I have been able to run. Let me tell you, it felt like I won the lottery! If I ran 2 minutes today, then maybe I can run 3 tomorrow, and 4 the next. My back must be getting stronger, and hopefully the discs will hold up. I was advised by the back surgeon against running. But I am hopeful that things are taking a positive turn. I am taking steroids for my recent foot surgery, and it must be helping my back as well. I can't take much of the credit. I know God is right there pulling the strings. But what a great Valentines Day present to me!

Love your ♥,


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Plugging along

Just checking in to share my progress.  Over the last 4 weeks, I've lost about 8 pounds which I'm happy with.  I have been doing my twice a week personal training sessions and then 3 days a week of either elliptical, cycling class, or treadmill.  I also am doing an at home stability ball workout when I can work it in.  I'm tracking my food on an amazing site called My Fitness Pal as well as tracking my calories burned via my Bodybugg (as seen on The Biggest Loser)  I feel like a science experiment!

That's about all I know for now.  Other than I'm sore.  Really sore.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Slow and steady wins the race!

I admit there have been days I've just wanted to throw my hands up and give up but no matter what to vent and get myself refocused on the bigger picture, and for that I THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!! :0)

With all the walking and excercise of volunteering, enjoying the everything that Indy provided in Superbowl Village, I know MORE than walked 10,000 steps a day there and kept my water intake and even found healthy choices to eat there too!
My workout schedule was modified with the schedules but I still found time to rest and recover, well sort of lol.

I was so excited about meeting with Cheryl Kinsbury this past Monday!
We talked about what I wanted to get out of this whole experience and especially with my exercise plan. We did a all over body workout in 30 minutes! They were simple exercises and used stability ball and bands and a universal machine and its amazing how you can tweek a few positions and get more bang for your buck!

I don't have to go to the extreme and put myself in harms way to accomplish the goal just got to make sure my exercise is CHALLENGING for me and add the variety so it causes your muscles to respond accordingly.(Cheryl you were right!, the next day I was thinking of you when certain parts of my body achy but it was in a GOOD way THANKS!)

I'm looking forward to meeting Nancy @ Macy's this week to select clothes for the Fashion Show for the GoRedForWomenLuncheon coming up (gasp) NEXT WEEK!!!
(that should be fun, scary and exciting all in one for sure!)

Here's something to think about , How much SALT do you consume in a day?
I know I've got friends and family that LOVE that SALT, I don't cook with it, don't season with it, I use Ms.Dash love the stuff!
Watch what you are eating, read those labels, and if you are cooking DON'T season the food with it! Your HEART will thank you for it!

Here's link for more details on Salt... KNOWLEDGE is POWER!


Have a great week!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Semi-Controlled Cheat Meal

Well, I must say, Superbowl Sunday has been one of my biggest challenges!! I ate a WHOLE pizza! Not sure I should be publicizing that fact! We made homemade pizza -- rolled out the crust superthin and topped with lowfat mozarella and feta, and lots of cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms, chicken breast, carmelized onions, and homemade (no fat) pizza sauce. YUM! Oh, and sipped liberally on Bailey's. Okay, so that all probably falls right off the semi-controlled radar and into a totally uncontrolled cheat meal!

Okay -- well back on the path today! And here is some very positive news. When I saw Julie Schnieders and had my cholesterol checked on Jan. 13 -- I had a cholesterol of 220. I just donated blood last week on Feb. 1 -- when you donate blood, they automatically do a complementary cholesterol for you, and post it on their website. My cholesterol on Feb. 1 was 155!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Sit up and take notice! Following a heart healthy diet can make a significant difference in cholesterol levels (and likely all other components of the lipid panel). These are results I am seeing by following Adrienne's recommendations for weight loss -- sticking to 25 grams of fat a day. Love it, love it, love it!!!!!!!!! I am going to be off cholesterol lowering medication in no time!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, February 5, 2012


HAPPY SUPERBOWL DAY! No heart stoppin, artery cloggin, kill ya & put ya 6 feet under and add 6 inches to your waistline food here! Only heart healthy, low-fat and FABULOUS! I made Skinny Potato Skins, Oven Baked Boneless Spicy Buffalo Chicken "Wings", Buffalo Chicken Hot Wing Dip, Baked Zucchini Sticks, with lite ranch dressing, celery and red peppers...YUM!

Love your ♥,


Pampering, party of 1

One of the (many) benefits of being a Better U Challenger was that we all received a gift certificate for a facial with Davina and a massage with Pam at St. Vincent Women's Center in Fishers.   I had never had a facial in my life.  It was very different than what I expected.  I thought it would be a solid hour of mind numbing luxury.  And while there was some mind numbing luxury, there was also some pinching, scraping, and plucking.  HOWEVER, it wasn't bad and it when it was over, my skin was never more smooth or clean!  I must say I am not of the high maintenance skin care regimen mindset, instead usually just washing my face with water before I go to bed.  (I use cleanser when I'm feeling particularly decadent) But Davina definitely changed my mind about that.  She describes good skin care as prevention against skin cancer, wrinkles, and other issues in old age much like eating healthy and exercising as prevention against heart disease!!  Although I don't know if my budget can handle the once every 28 days visit that Davina suggests, I definitely don't think that facial will be my last!

After my facial, I moved on to my massage.  Wow.  Apparently, I carry a lot of tension in my back and shoulders and Pam found it and got rid of it.  She even told me to drink a lot of water afterwards because she was releasing so many toxins that I would need it.  She had to have been on to something too because later that day, after not getting to drink much water yet, I was starting to feel a little less than well.  I remembered what she said, got some water and within about 30 minutes, was feeling better!  My only complaint about the massage was it wasn't nearly long enough!!!  I could have stayed there all day.

After my morning of pampering, I headed to the Indianapolis Women's Center to meet with Cheryl Kingsbury for an exercise consultation.  She is amazing.  She had created an entire workout for me based on me telling her that I had a stability ball at my house.  I had a great workout and learned A TON of things I can use to workout on my own.  I don't even have to go anywhere to do it!  I can do it right from the comfort of my own living room...while watching TV!  How hard is that?!

Last but not least, I met with Kristen Welch, one of the amazing dieticians who had also taken us on a grocery store tour the night before.  My mind is swimming with new and fabulous information and things I had never heard of or knew to pay attention to.  Since this challenge began, I had been a little frustrated with how sloooooowly I was losing any real weight.  I am confident I'm getting healthier, but I wanted to lose some poundage too!!  Kristen said she knew the answer and gave me a plan of attack.  I am confident it will work and I'm excited to see the results!

What an amazing day I had!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

BetterU Story in Today's Indy Star

Today marks the start of American Heart Month. There's a special 8-page section in today's Indianapolis Star that includes a story about the BetterU Challenge. Be sure to pick up a copy to read that story and all of the other stories that will not only inspire you but give you tips and resources for better heart health.