Love this quote. It reminds us to honour our bodies.


Treat and feed your body with reverence – with clean and healthy nutrition, exercise, gentle stretching, sunshine, the fresh air and daily meditation and gratitude exercises.

3 Super-powerful Detox Drinks

cucumber-water-mason-jarDetoxification is the best process for the removal of toxic wastes being decomposed in the body. Here are three effective detox drinks that are simple and easy to have every day, which will help us to remove the excess toxins that are sitting in our bodies and can help to attain any weight loss goals or to simply aid in the maintenance of healthy weight and good health with ease.

Sliced cucumber with lemon and some mint too
The combination of lemon with sliced cucumber provides undeniable benefits. Consumption of this drink helps to boost metabolic activity, acts as a detox agent, weight loss aid and provides essential energy. *Add in some mint and you just added one of the highest antioxidant capacities of any food.
Nutritionists and health professional highly recommend sliced cucumber with lemon juice twice a day.

White Tea
Tea has been used as medicine for centuries. Tea is good for you. While green and black tea are very healthy, white tea is the least processed tea and has the highest antioxidant levels. White tea is a natural detox agent and acts as an effective weight loss ingredient among many other things. For more – see the link

f51b4093be05caf9d64f749ffb8d5251The human body consists of 55% to 78% water. To be precise 2/3′s of human body constitutes water. The best water to consume is distilled water, being the only pure form of water available on our planet. Regular intake of distilled water will cleanse the body, detoxifying and hydrating and flushing out toxins gradually. The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake for men is roughly 3 liters (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day. The adequate intake for women is 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day. So remember, al LEAST 8 cups of water a day.

The Secret to aging beautifully in your 40’s – STRENGTH TRAINING!

That’s what I’m talking about!  Dr. Oz is too! “STRENGTH TRAINING IS KEY IN YOUR 40’s”. I say it’s key in your 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s. I have an aunt who has gorgeous, ripped arms and who lifts weights in her late 60’s! !!


Strength training in your 40’s! I have been doing it since my late teens but truly focussed on weight training to build stronger, leaner muscles in my late 30’s with a major emphasis on defining and building stronger muscles just shy of my 40th birthday in 2013 as I trained for my 1st fitness figure competiton.

Check out ‘ Dr. Oz’s secrets to aging beautifully for every decade’, compliments of Chatelaine and BT Blog posted Tuesday, May 27th, 2014.

Check out the lovely, youthful arms of other celebrity ladies who lift weights: Jennifer Aniston (my favoriite arms), Felicity Huffman, Michelle Obama…. They are fit, fabulous and over 40.    


During  my off season (not training for a competition) I try to life weights for 1/2 hr, four days a week so that my arms stay lean, nicely cut and strong. Leg exercises are typically leg lifts, lunges and squates or leg raises on the floor while watching tv. Most of these exercises are done while watching tv in the comfort of my own home. For my ab work, same thing. I try to do about 100 crunches every night. It gets a lot easier with practice and doesn’t take long.

Keep note guys – you don’t have to do all of these exercises back to back. I incorporate what I can during any chance I get.

NOW is the time to make good fitness habits a part of everyday life. I for one always prefer standing instead of sitting (unless I am at home and its time to rest on my couch), taking stairs instead of elevators and ‘m constantly aware of HOW I sit and stand and walk down the street. I’m forever pulling in my tummy and sitting or standing upright. These invisible workouts are really important for a woman at any age. 

Healthy regards,




Buddy it up for fitness


A friend of mine recently asked for my help by providing her with some fitness tips and training to help her get back in shape. I of course was more than happy and up to the task. We decided to meet this morning for a bit of cardio and strength training exercises. Well, what I thought would be a one on one personal training kind of thing turned out to be so much more. We walked and talked for close to an hr this morning, enjoying the beautiful weather and our time together catching up and sharing some good laughs, all while we worked our legs, arms and heart. We ended up walking in the area for close to one hr! Where did the time go?! When we got back I showed her a few strength training routines that work for me and I believe will work for her. Well, aside from the satisfaction I could see in her eyes and smile as she enjoyed the exercises, I felt so happy to see my friend working hard and enjoying her time lifting weights, working her arms and doing her crunches with proper technigue. I also found working out with her to be a lot of fun. It was a very pleasant change from my days of training alone. Best of all, we plan to get together again in a few weeks so we can do it all over again… and in the meantime, she will be sticking to the routines I showed her today. She now knows ‘someone’ is watching too … so she knows she needs to stay in the game :-).

Working out with a friend is fantastic. Check out the ‘Top 3 reasons to work out with a friend’, compliments of SheKnows, authored by Jessica Padykula.





This is so true guys. SKIP the DIET. EAT CLEAN… for life.  Sinful pleasures are accepted, in moderation 🙂

Exercise is your gift to you. Exercise is not punishment

It’s Saturday morning, shy of 8:00 am. I’m laced up, and ready for a run. I am so excited!!! I always feel excited and happy when I decide to do this because I know what it does for me. Just like lifting weights,running is fun. Any form of exercise should be fun. When I run, it’s mariswicksmain FUN, CHALLENGING. I know it will BOOST my MOOD and keep me STRONG.

Exercise is NOT PUNISHMENT!! And you should not think of it at soley as a way to lose weight or to burn up those calories you consumed the night before. Don’t rely on it to allow you to over-eat at tonight’s dinner party. If you look at it that way you will always use it as a form of punishment or as the thing that will get you out of the quilt or fear you have from your late night binging or overeating. Don’t get up in the morning thinking you have to exercise today because you need to burn those calories. Get up today and look forward to exercising. Make it a desire, make it a want (not just a need).

Think of exercise as your GIFT to YOU!!! Make it fun, turn on your favorite tunes, lace up those cute sneakers, look at yourself in the mirror with your comfy workout gear and love what you see, NO MATTER what size you are because you should be loving yourself – you are in the moment now where its all about giving yourself this joy, this gift to good health, to have FUN and do your body some GOOD!!!!!

How to lose belly fat. Dr. Oz’s 5 tips to a flatter stomach

ImageOne of the most common questions I get asked is how did I get my abs and how can one lose belly fat. What works for me may not work for you but two things that I know will work for anyone (if they eat a healthy, balanced diet) are core exercises such as crunches and planks… and cardio. In my opinion, core alone or cardio alone won’t do it. I have always done both. Oh and drink a lot of green tea and 8 ounces of water.

I am certainly no expert but I know what has worked for me. Tucking in the tummy while standing all the time or clenching the tummy certainly made a different (I think) for me as I have been doing that for yrs. That said, I searched on line from some good articles. There were many – some good, some not too pleasing. There was one that I really liked and I would like to share it with you.

I hope this helps.

Happy crunching 🙂

Healthy regards,


Benefits of Lifting Weights

I recently read an article in Prevention’s August 2013 ‘Love your whole life’ edition that for women in their 40’s muscle mass can drop as much as 10% “torpedoeing” metabolism and boosting the odds of weight gain, especially a build up of deep and dangerous abdominal fat that can double your risks of diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke. In your 50’s you can lose up to 10% of bone density in the spine and hip over 5 years during menopause. Well the 40’s is my new decade (I turned 40 this past October so this Wonder Woman plans to increase the weight of her dumbbells!

I use to be afraid of increasing the weights, thinking I would get too big, too muscular and lose my femininity, that is until I started to train more seriously for my first physique competition and loved my new ‘guns’ and sculpted shoulders and quads. My fiance loves them too, as do my girlfriends who are all asking how I did it so they canImage too!! But after reading the article in Prevention and doing a little research on the subject of losing muscle mass and bone density as we age, I am more concerned on staying strong and healthy in my 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and beyond than winning another title or medal – although I can do with the latter too :-).

Ladies, in order to remain physically super powerful, we must exercise, eat well, rest and rebuild muscle mass with a few weekly strength-training sessions, and replace the safe 5 lb dumbbells with 10 lbs and up.

Below is a comprehensive article listing the top 7 reasons why women should lift heavy weights, compliments of Well+Good.
It really is worth your time.

With love and good health,
your Warrior Sister,
– Susana

Cantaloupe Breakfast Bowl

MelonBowl-300x200Mmm! Easy, delicious and packed with the good sugars, carbs and protein our brain needs in the morning.

By The Tribal Chef, Compliments of

My new favorite 20 MINUTE WORKOUT


In need of a quick yet high impact workout that will surely burn your muscles and calories? Here is a kick a** at anywhere/at home workout that only takes about 20 minutes. I tried it the other day and loooooved it! This is the one I am definitely going to add to those days with a crammed schedule.
This strength and cardio combo routine requires minimal equipment (a bench or chair, skipping rope, dumbbells) but it does require a lot of umph (maximum intensity and focus).

Compliments of STRONG Fitness Magazine, March / April 2014. In newsstands today. Written by Kirstyn Brown, Editor-in-Chief. Workout by Rita Catolino, Fitness Model, Coach and Trainer. Photography by Paul Buceta


My ‘Super-powerful You’ fitness and strength visuals

My 'Super-powerful You' fitness and strength visuals

This is my collage from my first fitness model competition (08-2013). Placed 4th (Athletic Category) out of a stacked group of of competitors and #1 Audience Favorite Ladies all levels, all categories overall. I triumphed as a 39 yr old first time competitor 🙂
That’s my Wonder Woman poster in the background.
With both visuals – I train from home and look at them everyday to remind me on those days where I feel weak or down that I AM a Wonder Woman and I am STRONG!

What is your favorite fitness visual?

Sometimes all o…

Sometimes all one needs is a little bit of ‘umph’ to move from TRY to TRIUMPH.

Believe in yourself and in what you want to have or achieve AND give it 100 % of your commitment to get there and you WILL. I did, and I accomplished a dream of mine with extra rewards because I believed in myself, worked hard every day to get better and closer to my goal and I did it with passion – the ‘umph’ factor. Try is only an attempt. Triumph is achievement. 


What at is it you want to achieve in your life, today? 

If you want it bad enough, you can get from try to triumph with your ‘umph’. Beautiful, isn’t it? 🙂 

Natural boosting energy

Our Body is a Temple: Fitness with Susana

Check out Kimberly Snyder’s tips for giving your energy a little pick-me-up by changing your skincare routine…you’ll be surprised how revitalized your body feels. ☺

View original post

Stage-ready body – with no gym membership! How this Fitness STAR transformed her body in two months for her first fitness model competition without stepping into a gym.

August 2013, Susana Andres

August 2013, Susana Andres

What started out as a question – “Have you ever competed in a fitness competition?” – and a suggestion to consider competing from what was then a stranger to me from the fitness industry, ended up with me on a stage competing for the first time in my life at this summer’s Fitness STAR Model Search World Championships. With only ten weeks to prep and train, I knew that I would have to find smart ways to get from fit to ‘stage-ready’ fabulous fast, and find no excuses not to train on any given day. With my increasingly busy life, I knew I had to turn to methods that would give me the best results, in the most convenient and cost effective time. This is the story of how I got ‘stage ready ‘ for my first competition – from the comfort of my own home.
Weight training, sports, running and swimming has never been an option for me – it is me. Another part of who I am is my admiration for natural body builders and fitness models. My admiration goes back to when I was a little girl. I remember watching in awe as male and female bodybuilders posed and flexed on a stage, thinking to myself that they were beautiful, strong, and ‘super-human. I wanted to be like them. I wanted to compete “when I grow up” and bring home trophies and have my photos published in fitness magazines just like them – but as the years went by this dream was put on hold as life circumstances got in the way or took precedence. It was around the time of my daughter’s third birthday that I began to feel that desire to compete again. Suggestions from friends and colleagues to consider fitness modeling or competing re-ignited that voice within me saying ‘you have to try this’, but it just didn’t seem possible as I was not sure I could find the time to train or commit to such an endeavor as a single mom at the time with a full time job. Fast forward a number of years later with friends and loved ones encouraging me to compete this summer and my inner voice telling me “this is your time, it’s now or never” – I decided to register for the August 2013 Championship and give it my 100%
With only eight weeks to work on getting my body stage-ready, I had no time to waste. Knowing that I would need at least two hours of combined cardio and weight training each day, I had to figure out a way to train that wouldn’t take me away from my family all night during the week. You see, I already had limited time with them during the week due the time I get home from work. I had also committed this summer to being the assistant coach for my daughter’s soccer team, so I had to find time to fit everything and everyone into my life. I refused to find another excuse to not compete so I decided to hammer out my workouts in my home-gym and follow a program designed specifically for me.
I had no idea how to train for the FS model search competition, in fact I had no clue to prep and train for any fitness/figure competition so I signed up for a FS competitors workshop and secured four training sessions with a personal trainer. The trainer put together a program that I could do from home based on my body type and areas that I had to focus on. I was also provided with a 7-day nutritional plan that I would follow daily up until the last week before the show.
With my new diet and training program, I was ready to begin. I also picked up some new equipment for my home gym which at the start included only a yoga mat, a set of 5 lb weights, an elliptical, a resistance band, stepper and a disassembled Bow Flex machine (that remains disassembled). What I added to my gym were 8 and 10 lb dumbbells, a kettle bell, ankle weights, a medicine ball and mirrors. I also used other areas of my home for cardio and strength training workouts. I utilized my kitchen island as a stabilizer while I did calf exercises, a dining room chair for one legged squats, as well as the steep hill I live on for leg and glutes workouts. .
Early morning runs before work and intense weight training in the basement after 9:00 pm during the week was not easy at first (weekends were easier), but it become a routine after the first week and it also became positively addictive and fun once I got use to my program and took notice of how my body was transforming. I began to see changes weekly, sometimes daily. I also began to ‘multi-task’. On the nights that I would rather be with my family watching TV rather than working on my fitness, I would join them upstairs and exercise in the family room while we watched our favorite shows. Other than watching my family snack on munchies, it was easy. I had the room for squats, lunges, arms with free-weights, sit-ups, etc. I even found it useful when my Yorkshire terrier would lay himself beneath me as I stayed in the plank position for as long as I could.
I also trained at work. I used my breaks to put in some squats and lunges (behind closed doors) as well as work on my biceps/triceps/shoulders with the use of my resistance bands and/or an office chair.
I do have to say that although I trained hard, I could not have done as well as I did on stage without the help of a number of important people. I received tips, advice, encouragement and constructive criticism from pro athletes, my posing suit designer and from an incredibly professional and radiant posing coach who met with me for a one on one posing session the week before the big day. And it should go without saying that the training sessions with a certified personal trainer were extremely important as well, in fact they were integral to my physical transformation and health.
Training for the Fitness Star Model Search World Championship was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. It was also one of the most empowering as it showed me that when there is will there is a way. I ended up placing 4th out of a stacked fifteen Level-1 athletic competitors and was honored with the ‘Audience’s Favorite Female’ title. Not bad for a first time fitness competitor, just two months shy of my 40thbirthday, using nothing more than my home gym and office.
I plan to compete again. I also plan to train from home again. My home gym works best for me and my family, for now. That said, perhaps it’s time we assemble that Bow Flex machine too.
With kindness and good health,
~Susana Andres Fall 2013

p.s. Check out more at: pg 34 of



Natural boosting energy

Check out Kimberly Snyder’s tips for giving your energy a little pick-me-up by changing your skincare routine…you’ll be surprised how revitalized your body feels. ☺

%d bloggers like this: