Blog: FITGirl Training

Health is Wealth


Showing Love


U.S. Flag Food

4th of July is almost here! Looking for a fun, healthy food idea . . . Try this!


  1. Layer 1: Chop strawberries finely.  Put 1/2 TBL chopped strawberries in bottom of popsicle mold.  Add enough water to barely cover the berries (Just a few drops at a time). Freeze for a min. of one hour

  2. Layer 2: Spoon out 1/2 TBL plain or vanilla yogurt on top of strawberry layer.  Return to freezer for min. of one hour.

  3. Layer 3 and 4: Repeat steps one and two.  Don't forget the sticks!

  4. Layer 5:  Fill top of popsicle mold with blueberries.  Fill the rest of the mold with water to cover the blueberries. Return to freezer until popsicles are completely frozen.

I'll be taking an extended break this weekend to regroup and hang with my peeps. Look for a new blog post on Monday ;)

Happy 4th of July weekend!!

Define Yourself


Happy Women Take Breaks

“The Marriage Sabbatical: The Journey That Brings You Home” by Cheryl Jarvis is an intriguing read. The-Marriage-Sabbatical

“The Marriage Sabbatical is a journalistic exploration of married women leaving home to pursue a dream, conquer a challenge, nurture a talent, or find themselves.”

The concept of this book does NOT focus on unhappy women looking for a way out of their marriage, but rather discusses the idea that happy married women sometimes need a “break” from their daily routine of being a mother, wife, daughter, granddaughter, aunt, etc. Since these women are happy, they still work while away to maintain the commitment to their lifelong relationship with their partner. (A much different idea than the movie "Hall Pass!")

Jarvis discusses the psychological and physical “pull” men and women feel when caring for others. It drills down on how it feels to have that constant pressure of responsibility. Since Jarvis is a woman, mother, daughter, etc., it focuses mostly on women’s roles. However, it is painfully clear that many men have these same interpersonal conflicts.

I find this book interesting because it is written for people that are happy in their relationships and deeply love the people in their lives, but often forget (or blow off) personal desires in order to keep everyone else happy and moving forward.

What do YOU think about this controversial concept of women leaving home for weeks, months, and years to find themselves?

Learning to Dance

Intentions to Actions


Learn How to Be Happy


Dear Self

Food, Sex, and Dopamine


Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, FACP wrote an article for IDEA Health and Fitness Association, “Food and Addition: The Dopamine Made Me Do It.”

Peeke's article caught my attention. At times, most of us struggle with food cravings and sugar high's, so why not understand it at a deeper level, right?! Here's what she has to say:

To date, procreative activities have maintained their primal prerogative without too much deviation from nature’s blueprint. Food production and consumption, on the other hand, have fallen prey to psychosocial, cultural and environmental factors that increase our collective girth and make us more vulnerable to disease.

Researchers have recently uncovered a critical clue to help explain this problem—a link between food and addiction.

“I can’t get off the stuff.” “I need a hit.” “I’ve got to detox.” “Withdrawal is hell.” Fitness, nutrition and health professionals have heard this kind of addiction vernacular for years. However, we’re not talking about drugs, alcohol or cigarettes—this is about food. The big culprits are the hyperpalatables—sugary, starchy, fatty and salty foods. Is there a relationship between food and addiction? Can food products hijack the reward system in much the same way as drugs? Yes, according to newly published data and a growing chorus of scientists.

Central to this burgeoning research is the role of dopamine, the neurotransmitter that

  •     signals when rewards are present;

  •     motivates us to seek rewards;

  •     promotes exploring and learning about rewards; and

  •     maintains awareness about reward-related cues.
Cocaine and heroin target and hijack this reward system. So do appetite-controlling hormones, leading a growing number of researchers to consider obesity from the standpoint of addiction neuroscience (Dagher 2012).

Dopamine is actually dispersed throughout the brain. Ninety percent of the dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) become stimulated when we’re about to eat. The VTA reaches out to the rest of the brain via countless axons to stimulate dopamine secretion in several brain regions, including the mesolimbic and mesocortical dopamine systems. The mesolimbic system reaches into the nucleus accumbens (the site of reward, pleasure and addiction), the amygdala (where emotions are processed and remembered) and the hippocampus (a site that converts short-term memory to long-term memory) (Volkow & Wise 2005). In an effort to understand whether certain foods exert the same kind of addictive effect on the reward system as drugs, scientists have turned their attention to the reward centers in normal and overweight humans.

Leading the charge is Nora Volkow, MD, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. In 2001, Volkow and her team used PET scans and radioactive chemicals that bind to dopamine receptors (Wang et al. 2001). Their research revealed that obese people had far fewer dopamine receptors in the brain’s striatum, or reward center, and therefore had to eat more to experience the same reward, or “high,” as average-weighted individuals.

Did these people already have fewer receptors—predisposing them to weight gain—or did they once have a normal number of receptors, which through repeated exposure was down regulated? The answer is both.

There is far more to this article. It seems very well researched and explained, so please read the whole article it’s worth your time!