Welcome To Ready To Transform

This website has been set up by like minded people just like you who want to improve themselves and live a healthy lifestyle. At Ready To Transform you will find hints, tips and information on health and beauty, fitness, food and drink, healthy kitchen gadgets and much, more to help you start transforming your life one small step at a time.


The information you read here is written by real people who are taking steps to improve themselves and the way they live. We share our experiences to help motivate ourselves and each other.

Recent Posts From The Ready To Transform Community

Pasta salad and pork chop

3 Important Food Compounds For Building Muscle And General Fitness

Pasta salad and pork chop

Pasta salad and pork chop

There’s a saying “Garbage in, garbage out”, whose origins lie in the early days of computing. If you put faulty data in, you got faulty data out. Well the same principle applies to your diet. For long, enough I thought I could eat pretty much what I wanted in the way of junk food, and still build a lean, well-toned physique just by working out. How wrong I was. My diet and the portions I was eating were far more important than I realised.

I was wasting a lot of my workout time, because I wasn’t eating a diet that supported the gain and maintenance of the muscle tissue I was trying to build. Before I go any further, I wasn’t weightlifting and working out to look like a bodybuilder. For one thing, I couldn’t afford to buy the amount of food needed to get to that stage, and for another I didn’t want to spend my life in the gym working out. I just wanted to look good enough to take my t-shirt off in the summer. Now, besides not eating to support my muscle gains and maintenance, I wasn’t providing my body with enough quality food to fuel my workouts and keep my body functioning at its peak.

When it came to planning a diet to support my muscle gain, and improve the overall health of my body was simpler than I thought. Despite the overwhelming, and more often than not conflicting advice when it comes to choosing a diet and eating healthily, there were some simple tips that put me on the right path. There are three main food groups that are essential to getting and maintaining a healthy body. They are protein, carbohydrates and fat.

The Building Blocks

Protein, with the exception of water makes up more of the body than anything else does. Protein is responsible for repairing, maintaining and building muscle tissue. It also acts as an energy source after your body has burned up its carbohydrates. When it comes to the actual amount of protein, you need to eat every day, the debate swing between what the average person needs and as much as you can eat. The simplest recommendation is to eat 1 gram of protein for every pound of your bodyweight. So, for example if you weigh 170 lbs. you would eat 170 grams of protein a day. You don’t have to be religious about this; it’s no big deal if one day you only eat 130 grams one day.

For the women, because you naturally have less lean muscle mass than men do, you should aim for around 0.8 grams of protein for 1 lbs. bodyweight.

For anybody who is obese, it would be as well to lower your daily protein amount. And start from the sort of bodyweight you would like to be or were before you became too overweight.

Your best protein sources are from meats, dairy products, legumes and supplements. You can get a variety of protein powders, which you can mix with water or milk. And studies have shown that these types of supplement, in liquid form, your body absorbs more quickly and uses more efficiently.

Carbohydrates Are Not All Bad

Carbohydrates, contrary to popular belief are good for you. Although there are, plenty of fad diets that would have you believe you shouldn’t touch carbs with a barge pole. Mainly because they contain ‘fattening’ starch and sugar. Yes, carbs are fattening if you eat a lot of highly refined breads, cakes and sugary snacks. And most of us eat too many starch and sugary snacks; because once carbohydrates are refined and processed, they don’t ‘fill you up’. Once you take away the fibre, which nearly all unprocessed carbohydrates have in their natural state, you’ve taken away the ‘filling’ part, which would have satisfied your hunger.

In their natural, unrefined state, carbohydrates are you bodies first source of energy, because they are quick burning. You can get a fast boost for your workouts with a banana, apple or orange; you could even eat dried fruit for the same effect. The more complex versions like whole grains and rice can give you a slower and more sustained energy supply to fuel your workouts. If you don’t have enough complex carbs in your diet, then your body will turn to using your body’s protein supply for fuel during your workouts. It’s better to avoid this, because your body uses the protein, you eat to repair and maintain your muscles, and tissues in your body. Your muscles, your organs, and your immune system consist mostly of protein.

Fat Contains Essential Nutrients

Fat is an important part of your diet, and eating fat doesn’t necessarily make you fat and overweight. In fact eating high fat foods instead of low fat foods can be better for you. For one thing, you will feel full sooner with a high fat food and it’ll take longer for you to feel hungry again. I quite often have a small block of full fat cheese, sometimes with some peanuts and sometimes without, and I feel full for far longer than if I’d eaten some wholemeal bread.

Four important vitamins are fat-soluble; your body needs fat in order to use them. They are vitamins A, D, E and K. Lots of foods taste far better in their natural fat form, than their fat free counterparts. Your body needs some essential fatty acids that you can only get by eating foods that have… fat already in them! Fat also provides energy in its slowest burning form, protects your internal organs and aids in brain functioning. Just 1g provides nine calories – more than double the calories in 1g of protein or carbohydrate.

One easy way to eating these nutrients in the right amounts is to take your dinner plate and divide it into four imaginary segments. For two of the segments put your protein in one and your wholemeal carbohydrates in the other. Your other two segments fill both with vegetables and with fruit, except for potatoes. Potatoes are similar to bread when it comes to calories. This combination will give you a good base for a diet that will give you energy. Keep you feeling satisfied as opposed to hungry and tired, and will keep your body functioning so that you will actually gain and maintain the muscle you are working so hard to build.

 

Precor AMT100i Experience Series Adaptive Motion Trainer

Product Review – Precor AMT100i Review

Precor AMT100i Experience Series Adaptive Motion Trainer

Precor AMT100i Experience Series Adaptive Motion Trainer

I’ve based my review on the Precor AMT100i which is currently available to purchase at Amazon.com – see below for the best available price for this incredible fitness product.

How Much:

$4,299.99 – $6,497.

Be sure to head on over to Amazon, click here to make sure you find the best price for the Precor AMT100i – it’s an expensive product, so take a look at the Precor AMT100i for yourself over at Amazon. Once you’ve picked your jaw up off the floor, come back here to see exactly why you should definitely consider investing in the Precor AMT100i – it really will change the way you exercise, for the better!

Click here for Precor AMT100i Experience Series Adaptive Motion Trainer video.

Who Would Buy This:

If you’re really looking to revolutionise the way you carry out your exercise at home, then look no further than the Precor AMT100i. This state-of-the-art Motion Trainer can easily be described as the only home cardio machine that you’ll ever need, featuring adaptive motion technology which will give you, arguably, the best, complete work out possible from your home.

Just below I go into further detail and explain as to exactly why the Precor AMT100i is such a fantastic product, so be sure to keep reading.

Things We Liked About the Precor AMT100i:

Here I’ve picked up on some of the major positives with regards to the Precor AMT100i Adaptive Motion Trainer with the intention of guiding you towards the features which you should be looking out for anyway, aiding you in your decision making process and ideally making sure you make the right choice as to whether the Precor AMT100i is the right product for you, or not.

Revolutionary Technology

Knowing exactly what you’re going to get out of a cardio machine is vital and so doing your research up front is paramount. I, personally, was astounded when I heard what the Precor AMT100i is capable of – it essentially reacts to your own bodily movements and needs, to work for you. This is the total opposite of most conventional trainers, whereby you need to change a programme setting by pushing a button or touching the screen. Everything you do with the Precor AMT100i is done by your body, no button pressing needed!

If this technology isn’t enough on its own, how about if I mentioned that the Precor AMT100i provides on-the-fly feedback on how your muscles are operating during certain movements? I’m not sure I’ve ever heard of this until I came across the Precor AMT100i, but boy is that impressive.

So Easy To Use

Thanks to the technology of the Precor AMT100i, the need for a central console with multiple options and reporting variations is pretty much gone. As mentioned, everything you do is pretty much controlled by your body’s movements.

There is a quick start option and the SmartRate technology provides all the details with regards to calories burned and your heart rate – the usual stuff! The Precor AMT100i does go that little bit further, though, and your heart rate, for example, is indicated as to whether it’s in the right zone for fat burning or for enhancing your cardiovascular levels. Most regular trainers tend to just monitor your heart rate as opposed to actually telling you if it’s too high, too low or just right. Another positive tick in the box for the Precor AMT100i.

Things We Did Not Like About the Precor AMT100i:

In any review I do, I try to find anything negative that should be made obvious to really complete your decision making process, after all, nothing is perfect and whether there’s a small drawback to a product or a major flaw, it should at least be highlighted if it’s relevant.

The Precor AMT100i Can Be Difficult To Use

Whilst the technology of the Precor AMT100i is so impressive and highly advanced, it can also be rather complex to use with the inclusion of the user having to constantly think what they want to do. A lot of home fitness enthusiasts are used to getting on the elliptical trainer, hitting a button and off they go, rather than having to constantly adapt their body’s movements.

It would definitely take getting used to, I agree, however the initial learning curve should only last a matter of minutes, whereas the rewards will potentially last forever. The Precor AMT100i provides greater resistance than a generic elliptical trainer and ultimately is better for your body.

Guarantee:

There’s currently an extensive warranty available with the Precor AMT100i: 7 years for the frame, 2 on the parts and 1 years’ worth of labor.

Keep an eye out over at Amazon for some free shipping offers on the Precor AMT100i – it’s bulky, so might have a high delivery charge.

Is the Precor AMT100i Worth the Money?

Quite honestly, I gasped at the price when I first saw it, but after reading into the Precor AMT100i further, I can see why it carries the price tag it does. Merely for how it works and what it does, I give this product the thumbs up, for sure!

Where Can I Buy the Precor AMT100i?

As mentioned, Amazon currently hold the best price on the internet and quite honestly, I would never think twice about purchasing from the most respectable online retailer out there.

More Customer Reviews from Owners of the Precor AMT100i:

Feel free to head on over to Amazon, click here, to see exactly why the Precor AMT100i is raking in the rave reviews – it’s currently rated as 4.5 out of 5 – a near perfect score! I’m definitely not surprised that the Precor AMT100i is so popular.

Ready to Transform with Pool Exercise for Stress

Vigorous Pool Exercise to Reduce Stress

Utilizing water exercise as a way to alleviate stress is a tried and true method for facilitating relaxation and mental well-being.

In today’s Western world it is all too easy to get wound up and freaked out by all we have to do and contend with. Hydro exercise can help with that kind of urban stress.

Why Water

Pool water is warm and much like the cozy environment of the womb. When man is around water, cares just seem to melt away.

When was the last time you saw someone bummed out at the beach? Very rarely, if ever, I would guess!

Type of Water Activity

If you have the mental wherewithal to get into the plunge and be active without equipment, then more power to you.

Most of us need some kind of tool to trigger our brain to exercise. In the case of water, using webbed water mitts can be fantastic. Move your arms to and fro against the water, and you’ll almost immediately be able to feel your arm muscles getting tired from the rigor of doing that.

See The Speedo Aqua Fit Training Swim Gloves and price at Amazon.com

Water Swim Gloves

Speedo swim gloves can help tone your body in the pool.

They come in a variety of sizes (Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large) and in assorted colors (Gray, Yellow, and Blue).

When it comes to Olympic caliber swimwear, Speedo has been one of the names that swimmers have favored. That same reputation for quality carries over into their swim accessories like webbed swim hand gloves and protective eye goggles.

Why Not Just Relax

Now you might be asking yourself, why for goodness sakes, do I have to do any amount of notable exercise once in the water.

That’s simple.

You need to tire your physical body so that your racing mind slows down.

Exercise will do that for you.

Discover Stress Relief

How long you will need to be active in the water may depend on you. For me, the water gets me half the way to relaxation and stressor reduction, and the exercise takes me the rest of the way.

Water plus exercise is an excellent combination. Some places offer the added bonus of a super-warm heated pool. With warm temperatures your muscles relax, and the built up tightness they have had from the day, can just fade  away.

When to Start

Don’t put off this mode of exercise because you feel you are too busy or don’t have the time.

NOW is the time.

The pool is the place.

Don’t make up excuses such as that there is no pool access, or the times are not compatible with your schedule.

Make it happen.

Transform Yourself

Are you ready to transform from the person you are today into the person that you know you can be?

You deserve the life you envision.

Grab the swim gloves, find the pool, and dive in.

You’ll watch the difficulties of the day rise from the water’s surface, just like the steam in a warm pool.

What an easy way to become mellow, simply by using water and swim exercise gloves.

 

Ready to Transform - Fibromyalgia Pain

Understanding Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a complicated medical condition. It may also be called Fibrositis, Fibromyositis, or Fibromyalgia Syndrome.

A Chronic Pain Condition

Two of the most noteworthy hallmarks of the malady are profuse pain (which can vary, rotate, and migrate in location) and also fatigue.

There can be a myriad of other symptoms, including sleep difficulties. Diagnosis can take some time. By that I mean it can literally take years. This is because of the variability of the symptom presentations, and the lack of lab tests for confirmative diagnosis of the affliction.

Exercise

Trying to exercise with Fibromyalgia can be complicated. It can be impacted by the parts of a person’s body which are most painful.

Types of exercise which may be options include:

  • Gentle range of motion movements
  • Strength regimes
  • Endurance routines
  • Concentrated interval protocols, and
  • Water exercise

Info

A good source for further information and support, particularly if you are in Missouri, is the National Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & Fibromyalgia Association in Kansas City.

Ready to Transform Water Exercise for Fibromyalgia

Underwater Exercise for Fibromyalgia

If you have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, I already know that you have been through lots.

It is not the easiest diagnosis for physicians to make, nor the easiest medical condition to live with.

The good news is that therapeutic exercise can offer relief.

Skeptical about Water

You might be a little leery about water exercise. Aren’t pools for little kids, after all? No, they are not for children alone.

Water can be a great medium for exercise.

You float a bit.

It’s nice and warm.

Exercises that might otherwise be painful due to a difficult medical condition, can be many times easier when performed under water.

What to Wear

Therapeutic water activities are not much different than normal recreational swimming.

Besides your everyday swim wear, other things that can be helpful include:

  • Water walkers footwear (water shoes)
  • Swim goggles if you plan on putting your face in the water (or if you eyes are particularly sensitive to pool chemicals)

Underwater Exercising Equipment

Don’t worry if you have no aqua exercise gear. That’s fine to begin with.
However, if you are like most everyone else, you will absolutely LOVE aquacizing and will eventually want to have the right stuff for exercising under the surface of the pool:

  • Water gloves. These are great for adding resistance in the water… kind of like webbed feet for your hands!
  • Water dumbbells
  • Ankle weights
  • Paddle kick boards

Premium Equipment

If you find that physical routines under water agree with you, you might want to consider an under water treadmill.

True, this piece of equipment is not cheap, but it is way less expensive than having a custom built pool constructed with a recirculating current (like endless continuous pools).

What to Buy First

Begin with the most gentle pieces of equipment first. Maybe a few swim noodles, a foam paddle board, or foam swim gloves.

As time progresses, and you respond to water therapy, you can purchase more therapeutic swim accessories.

 

 

ICE-21 Ice Cream Maker

Should You Buy a Cuisinart ICE-21 Ice Cream Maker?

ICE-21 Ice Cream MakerHomemade ice cream is a wonderful treat, especially in the summer (and it’s pretty good in the winter, too!) Ice cream makers have come a long way, and the modern ones are super easy to use. The bestselling ice cream maker on the market today is the Cuisinart ICE-21. It makes 1.5 quarts per batch in only 20 minutes of churning, and the ice cream is ready to eat right away.

Click Here For Best Price On Amazon And To Read Customer Reviews

I’m old enough to remember when making ice cream at home was a major project. My parents, who always had to have the latest gadget, bought one of those bucket type ice cream machines with the hand crank that needed rock salt to freeze the ice cream. It sounds quaint, but really it was just a pain in the neck. Times have changed, and today’s ice cream makers take all the work out of making ice cream except for mixing the batch and cleaning up afterward.

How to Make Ice Cream

The steps for making ice cream are simple:

  • Chill the ice cream freezer bowl in the freezer overnight
  • Use a hand mixer or whisk to mix up the ingredients – usually a combination of cream, milk, and sweetener
  • Put the ice cream mixer together and turn it on
  • Pour the mixture into the freezer bowl through the opening in the top and let it churn for 20 minutes
  • Enjoy!

Is There Such a Thing as Healthy Ice Cream?

Commercial ice cream is extremely sweet. When you make ice cream at home, you get to control the sugar and fat content yourself, depending on your individual approach to food and health. I find it easiest to maintain my weight by eating reasonable amounts of fat while limiting my sugar intake to less than 10 grams per day. For ice cream, that means using a sugar substitute, such as erythritol. About 1/4 cup of Truvia works great for this purpose.

If you prefer to limit your fat intake, you can tweak the ratio of whipping cream to milk, and even use 2% milk or skim milk in place of whole milk. I find that I get excellent results using a 2-to-1 ratio of milk to cream, which is 2 cups of whole milk and 1 cup of cream for the Cuisinart ICE-21’s 1.5-quart bowl. Keep in mind that the more milk you use, the more the ice cream will tend to form ice crystals and take on an undesirable texture.

The Cuisinart ICE-20 Ice Cream Maker

The previous model, the ICE-20, has been discontinued and replaced by the ICE-21. Cuisinart made some minor improvements in the product with the new model, but the two items are identical for all practical purposes.

If you make ice cream often, or need to make a large batch to feed a lot of people, then it’s worthwhile to buy a second freezer bowl so you can double your output. The bowls are available from the same dealers who sell the full product.

*Please note the link above directs to amazon as I have found they offer great deals on ice cream makers.

Alovera1

Aloe Vera – Is It Really A Wonder Plant?

The fact that aloe vera is to be found amongst the ingredients of so many products means that you may not give this amazing plant a second thought.

You might know that it’s in many skin care products and that it is good for burns, but that could be about it. If you are fortunate in having it growing in your yard, then you will know more about its properties than those of us in the chilly north.

Although the leaf is made up of mostly water, the other ingredients are numerous; they include vitamins A, C, B12 and E, minerals, mannans, anthroquinones, lignins – in other words some very complex molecules. Many of the beneficial ingredients are contained in the inner leaf gel. One method of obtaining the inner gel is a hand-filleting process which reduces contamination from the plant sap, containing anthraquinones which are powerful laxatives.

The plant has been known for its healing properties for more than three thousand years. It comes from northern Africa but nowadays it is grown commercially in the USA, Mexico, China, Australia and Japan.

What is aloe vera good for?

Well I don’t think anyone would argue that it is a great moisturiser, so it’s good for dry and flaking skin. It also stimulates collagen and elastin production, making the skin more elastic and so less wrinkled. It soothes itching skin.

It is used for treating skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and wounds. More dramatically, it is an excellent treatment for burns. And not just minor burns. It has been used in the treatment of major radiation burns, for example.

As well as applying lotions to the skin, extracts of aloe vera can be drunk or taken as a dried extract in a capsule.

Why do people drink aloe vera gel?

Here we enter the realms of anecdotal evidence rather than hard science. There are many medics who are convinced that aloe vera gel can play a major role in treating irritable bowel syndrome and illnesses such as Crohns disease. This seems logical in view of its anti inflammatory properties. Thousands of people around the world drink aloe vera juice to aid their digestive and immune systems and get an energy boost. It is a very big business indeed. The world’s largest producer boasts annual sales of over $2 billion.

How do I find the best aloe vera products?

This is not an easy one to answer. Laws about labelling of products vary greatly around the world. There is a huge temptation for producers to sell highly diluted aloe vera which will not be clear from the label. Extreme processing will destroy the active ingredients. A sub contractor may provide the leaves and then it is harder to monitor the use of pesticides.

One answer to this jungle of problems is to look for the International Aloe Science Council Seal of Approval (be aware it is used illegally by some.) The Council’s website lists the producers it approves.

If you are interested in digging deeper into this fascinating topic, a good place to start is to look up the work of two medics, Dr Lawrance G Plaskett in the UK and Dr Ivan E Danhoff in the USA, often referred to as the “Father of Aloe”.

The story of aloe vera is a fascinating one. It is a pity that in the past questionable business practises, poor quality products and even conspiracy theories have muddied the real facts about this amazing plant.

Seniors Chair Exercises

Stronger Seniors Chair Exercise Program – 2 Discs

Seniors Chair Exercises

Seniors Enjoying Chair Exercises

When I was a teenager, a dislocated knee cap meant that I was unable to get any exercise for many weeks. What shocked me was how rapidly my thigh muscle shrank through lack of use. Later on I had to do a lot of exercises with a weighted shoe to build it up again. This memory has stuck with me – if you don’t use it, you lose it.
It is all too easy to take less exercise as we get older. Hips and knees  are less and less able to take the shocks of jogging, and keeping our weight down gets harder. Many of us have spent time urging senior relatives to take more exercise because we know how much good it will do them.

I was really pleased to find two fitness DVDs called the Stronger Seniors Workout Program. Although aimed at older people, I was looking for something which would help a disabled friend who has problems with walking, and this was just the thing.

You can find them at a good price here on Amazon

About the Stronger Seniors Chair Exercise Program

This is a set of two DVDs of stretching and strength exercises developed by Anne  Burnell, who is a Certified instructor. The great thing about these exercises is that they really do provide an excellent workout without any risk of repetitive stress on joints. The slower pace is just right for seniors or anyone recovering from hip or knee replacement surgery.

Anne Burnell is a great motivator and explains each movement and why we are doing it. The videos show a group of older adults following along to Anne’s instructions, which helps to show that anyone can have a go.

What do customers say?

It’s no problem finding a bunch of reviews about these exercise routines. I found 57 on Amazon and 45 of those are Five Stars! Many older adults reported huge improvements in their stamina, strength and mobility. Even some much younger people with mobility problems say they do these exercises daily. Many of the reviewers urged others to buy the discs – definitely a “best buy”.

Senior Exercise

Some tips for Seniors Exercise

Senior Exercise

Exercise for Seniors

There is a big temptation to take less exercise as we get older; it all seems to take so much more effort.

I certainly noticed this as I turned 60 and it seems to be a mental thing rather than anything to do with waning strength.

In fact, seniors should be doing more suitable exercise than ever. Inactivity between the ages of 50 and 70 is more likely to have negative effects than at other ages.
Here are just a few tips that I wrote down for myself, but which I hope some will find useful.

  • First a reminder to be sensible; make sure your health care provider says you can exercise before you get started.
  • Start slowly and build up gradually – you don’t have to climb a big hill at the beginning.
  • Have a plan and do some exercise every day. A calendar on the wall is helpful. Put a big red cross on each day you exercise – you will soon notice the gaps.
  • Warm up at the start of your workout and cool down afterwards. Be kind to those ligaments and tendons.
  • Keep breathing! Don’t hold your breath. Breathe out when you lift a weight for example.
  • Many older people can still lift weights and benefit greatly from strength training.
  • If you are not very mobile, chair exercises give a great workout and there are exercise DVDs for seniors to help you.
  • Think of activities that will give your heart a workout; walking, swimming, dancing, cycling. Go for variety.

Regular exercise can reverse the effects of ageing, help you sleep better and lift your mood – go to it!