Thursday, June 21, 2012

How Many Calories Do You Burn On the Treadmill? Are You Sure?

Have you ever finished a work-out on the treadmill and felt really great  about the amount of calories burned but somewhere in the back of your mind you did not fully believe the number on the machine? I have. I have also used my GPS running watch to estimate the calories I burned on a run and been skeptical of the large amount expenditure I supposedly put out. I hate to be to bearer of bad news but if like me, you are distrustful of the gym machine’s calorie usage estimate it’s for a good reason. The calories burned on a machine are at best an estimate of the amount of calories an average person with the same weight would burn given your speed, distance, and elevation. The number does not take into account factors such as lean body mass, genetics, and efficiency of exercise that all play are role in one’s total energy expenditure.  In fact, one paper from the American College of Sports Medicine found that calorie counters on one brand of elliptical were about 26% higher than lab based estimates.  
                Calories are a unit of energy that represent the rate at which oxygen is used to breakdown our food products. In order to really measure calories one must measure the amount of oxygen used. The reason heart rate monitors estimate calorie expenditure more accurately than treadmills and other gym machines is because when the body needs more oxygen to fuel its organs the heart begins to beat faster which is detected via a heart rate monitor. The companies that develop heart rate monitors have used research to develop their own formulas that couple heart rate with variables such as age, weight, sex and body composition  to estimate calorie usage. Treadmills and gym machines use formulas as well but factor in less individual variables leaving more room for error. Overall, the number or calories burned reported by the gym machine should be taken with a grain of salt and definitely not a prescription to the amount of food one should eat in a day.
                The good news is that the calorie number on the machines at the gym can provide a means to set goals and measure your effort level. Think about it, if you repeatedly use the same machine at the gym and one day you burn 200 calories and the next day you burned 220 calories you worked harder on day two. Try letting go of calories numbers and focus on improving speed and performance and you begin to naturally burn more calories. If you must have a calorie guide to help plan you meal plan I recommend getting your metabolism tested at our office with our indirect calorimeter , Reevue. For more information visit our website


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Workplace Exercises

This year I had the amazing opportunity to attend the SCAN (sports and cardiovascular nutrition) conference . One of the most stimulating presentations was The Inactivity Physiology Revolution: The Story behind the New Physical Activity Recommendations by Marc Hamilton, PhD. During his presentation Dr. Hamilton proposed the theory that the amount of time we spend each day inactive can have a detrimental effect on our health despite one or two very active hours in our day. For many Americans this can be very disturbing research because many jobs demand long hours of inactivity behind a computer or a desk.
Clients at RBA have expressed that their long hours spent at work make finding time to exercise difficult. I decided to do some research and see if there were a tips or tricks to increase activity during the workday and here is what I found:
·         Stability Ball
-Trading in your office chair for a stability ball will help strengthen your core and increase your balance while sitting behind your desk during the day
·         Resistance Bands
-          Resistance bands are small and portable and enable you to stretch and strengthen your muscles between meetings or during lunch.
·         Grip Squeezes
-          Small balls or grips for your hand allow you strengthen and work the muscles in your hands and forearms increasing your overall activity during the day.
·         Walk at work
-          Use your lunch break to take a walk. Instead of working through lunch or hitting the vending machine take your lunch outside and then enjoy a walk around your building when you are done.
·         Use your commute
-          If you are lucky enough to be in walking or biking distance from you work take advantage of that opptunitiy to save money and get exercise. If you take public transportation set a goal to get off a stop or two early and walk the extra distance. Finally, if you have to drive park far away and increase your daily steps!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Lower Cholesterol Diet: Chicken Salad Healthy Style

In preparation for my dietetic internship beginning in late August I was given a set of assignments to complete in order to asses my current knowledge and get me ready for the intense 10-month track to becoming a dietitian. Since two of my goals this summer are to do an excellent job on all my homework assignments and keep up with blogging I decided to combine the two tasks and blog about my assignments. Don't worry I will try and make it interesting and I'll of course include food!

The frist assignment was on the topic of lower cholesterol diets.

The question:

"Your patient tells you they have tried fat-free mayo and reduced fat mayo and complains that both taste awful. What alternatives would you suggest for them to use in making tuna salad that is low in fat and cholesterol"

Here are my substitutions:

1. Non- Fat Greek Yogurt
2. Olive oil and sun-dried tomatoes

Time for a test run! Greek yogurt was the first thing that came to mind since it's creamy like mayo but without the fat and cholesterol. PLUS it's got a ton of protein. Since I know I'll be having tuna steak for dinner I decided to create a chicken salad recipe using greek yogurt! It was awesome so I'm definitely adding it to my recipe index!

Sweet and Creamy Chicken Salad
  • 4 oz canned chicken
  • 2.5 oz non-fat Chobani Greek Yogurt 
  • 1 celery stick 
  • 10 g raisins 
  • 1tsp honey 
  • 1 shake cinnamon 
  • Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate for one hour!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Swimming out of My Comfort Zone.

Last night before I went to bed I wrote down my aspired workout:

Run 5 miles, Swim 20 lengths of the pool and go to spin class. 

I wanted to do this because one of my summer  goals is to broaden my fitness routine to take it to the next level.

I tell myself that I love running so much that I tend to favor it and forget about other sports. The reality is that running is comfortable for me . This summer I am making an extra effort to step outside of my comfort zone and try new sports and gym classes. But I want to do more than just try them... I want to work them into a weekly routine so I can truly reap benefits of the exercises and maybe even begin to enjoy them the way I do running. When I started running I wasn't necessarily good at it but I became good doing repeatedly day in and day out...

The only problem with my summer goal is Swimming is way out of my comfort zone!!!  In fact I have been telling myself for two years I am going to start swimming and have been to the pool a total of three times that I can remember in those past two years. The whole process of swimming intimidates me. It's not that I can't swim, I can in fact I was life guard in high school. I think it's just doing something new and intimidating can be hard.

What did I actually do today? I went to spin class, ran 3 miles, and I swam 2 laps of the pool. Not quite what I wrote down this morning but I'm really proud I stepped out of my comfort zone and got in the pool. I would have swam more I think but a life guarding class came to use the pool and my insecurities got the best of me and I left resolving to redeem myself tomorrow morning!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Simple Protein Packed Breakfast

Protein in the morning helps you get through your day because it increases satiety and reduces hunger . It is the building block of all cells in the body so it is especially important on those mornings when you wake up sore from a hard work out the night before because it repairs your damaged tissues to help rebuild muscles. Which was exactly my motivation for making this protein packed deliciousness this morning! Last night I went to an intense boot camp class which consisted of ALOT of push ups, power jacks, and some unidentifiable exercises. This morning my entire body ached so I decided on creating a high protein breakfast:

  • 8 oz Chobani plain greek yogurt 
  • 1/2 oz pecans 
  • 1/2 Tbsp honey 
  • 4 large strawberries 
  • cinnamon to taste

The Nutrition: 

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Alexandria 1/2 Marathon Recap

As the weeks before the race approached I didn't think much about the Alexandria 1/2 marathon on my schedule. I was very excited for the race when I signed up but it was so far in the distance that I didn't take training seriously. I run all the time race or no race so I wasn't worried. But as the race grew nearer and it was time for me to hit long runs I would consistently run 10 miles even when I told myself to do 14 miles knowing instinctively 10 miles would get me through a 1/2 marathon race. If there's one thing I learned about training for a marathon it's "if you say your going to do something, DO IT" I never pushed myself to increase my speed on the 10 miles I was merely content with completing them. Well my lax attitude showed through as I went from a half marathon time of 1:32 to 1:43.  While nobody likes to do worse or slow down I was greatful that the race woke me up! I needed that to get back into the competitive mindset to train harder. Molly ran the 5 K at the Alexandria running festival and wasn't too pleased with her time either so we made a commitment to run a race each month this summer and to get better each time!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Reaching Goals.

Goals have been the topic of discussion around me lately. Which got me to thinking what it takes to reach your goals. Once you graduate college people always want to know what's next? What are your plans? Where are you going and how will you get there?

Well... If you're anything like me your always mentally setting goals without even realizing it. It didn't take my graduation day for me to realize I needed to figure out a plan. plan to be a dietitian began one night talking to one of best friends in our freshmen dorm. It's one of those vivid memories know the kind where you can remember exactly how you felt in a way that makes it seem as if it just happened yesterday. It was the first time I allowed myself to admit that I didn't know exactly what I wanted to do with my life. Ironic right? I develop my future by admitting to myself that I have no idea what the hell I want to do. All I knew was that I didn't want to continue studying government and philosophy. It just wasn't right for me. I remember being terrified to not have a plan. I know a lot of people feel this way on graduation day...but I went through this my freshman year. I knew in order for me to focus and work hard I needed to have a goal in mind.

One of the great things about my friend Charlene and that night in my freshmen dorm was the dreams that came from it. If you don't have a friend you can tell crazy dreams and big plans to  you should go out and get one ASAP. Because when you start to say things out loud to another person they begin to become real.  Now that I graduated with my degree from UMD in dietetics and I received a dietetic internship I realize I owe a lot to that night. To allowing myself to change my mind. To allowing myself to dream. And to having a friend to dream with!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The RBA Team Enters The Kitchen

When Rebecca invited me and the rest of the RBA team over to her home in Annapolis for an interactive lunch I was not exactly sure what to expect. The e-vite  lead us to believe we would be doing some cooking and we were told to wear closed toed shoes but other than that we were left in the dark. Rebecca told us her friend and strategic business planning partner, Emma Fogt would be there to lead the lunch event. Finally, she promised it would be worth the drive to Annapolis and it absolutely was.

 We arrived at her warm welcoming home at 11:30 am and were  greeted to a table that was beautifully set up with a place set for each of us!

The menu was laid out on each plate and included: 

Once everyone arrived we all gathered on Rebecca's porch to discuss how we were going to work as a team to prepare the menu! Emma had created wonderful recipes with easy-to-follow steps that could be put together with the work of a team! 

....we also sipped on a  citrus mint cocktail made with fresh mint leaves and stevia sweetened lemonade.  YUM :) 
We were split up strategically  as the student/intern pairs we would be working with over the summer and each given a different portion of the menu to create! We also all worked together to create an apple crisp for dessert. 

Kait and I prepared the seasonal greens salad with lemon and goat cheese medallions! Kait got really crafty with the goat cheese balls and I zested the lemons! Rebecca and Emma had some great kitchen gadgets to help us get things done! 

We accomplished our challenge and prepared a beautiful summer lunch to enjoy in good time! We then sat down to enjoy good food and great company. It is always a treat for me to spend time with my co-workers. We all share a strong common passion for health & nutrition and our discussions always foster new motivation. 

It was an extra special experience to have Emma Fogt with us! She works with Rebecca and one other dietitian in a "Master Mind" group to share, plan, empower and strategize entrepreneurial and business plans. Emma's dedication and excitement about nutrition & wellness added a special glow to our group lunch! We learned about her new program called: Reignite for Wellness, a program designed for over stressed, over worked women regain control of their lives and improve their overall health an wellbeing. 

Thanks Rebecca, Emma, and the rest of the RBA team for a wonderful lunch filled with laughter, motivation and team building :)  

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day !!

My mom is definitely the one person I do not show nearly enough how much I appreciate. But i'm trying to make up for it today! I made my mom a CD filled with songs to express how wonderful she is :) While I was making it this song made me cry because it just fits the way I feel about my mom... I accidentally and maybe subconsciously on purpose put it on the CD twice!  

"for a heart I can rely on through anything"
Love you MOM!

Mother’s Day Mix
1.   Like My Mother Does -Lauren Alania
2.   I Turn to You Christina- Aguleria
3.   Someone Like You - Adele
4.   Fire and Rain James Taylor
5.   Who I am- Jessica Andrews
6.   One and Only -Adele
7.   Set Fire to the Rain -Adele
8.   I my Daughter’s Eyes- Martina Mcbride
9.   I Hope You Dance- Lee Ann Womack
10.       What Do You Say –Reba
11.       Just Another Day In Paradise- Phil Vasser
12.       I Turn To You Christine Aguleria (for emphasis)
13.       Landslide- Stevie Nicks
14.       Somebody’s Hero- Jamie O’Neal
15.       Jason Marz- Lucky
16.       Hey There Delliah – Plain White Tees
17.       The Best Day- Taylor Swift
18.       Angels –Randy Travis

Now it's time to enjoy a colorful brunch w/ Mom! 
Happy Mother's Day to all the Amazing Moms out there!   

Thursday, May 10, 2012

My Top 5 Reasons to Blog

I am not exactly sure why, but I always get surprised when someone tells me they have read my blog.  I guess blogging is kind of a strange concept.  It is weird to have conversation with yourself and other people at the same time. You don't know if you'll have an audience or who they'll be...but I guess that's the fun part.

 The other night my sister's  friend was over my house and told me she read my blog and it made her feel both inspired and jealous. I was really happy to hear my words were being read and inspiring others! However, I was a little confused on the jealous part. At first, I  didn't quite understand that emotion....but then she explained that she wished she could write a blog. I began to think of all the blogs I love to read and how I too was in sense jealous (not my term of choice but it fits) of their ability to put their thoughts into words and leave a trace of their days for them to always remember.

My little sister's friend inspired me to think of all the reasons why I write a blog and I came up with the top 5 reasons I keep carrying on this conversation with my computer and every and anyone else!

 So here they are:

1. Reflection- Have you ever had to review a book or a movie for a class and found that you think WAY more deeply about it than you would have if you just watched it for fun? That's what a blog does for me... it causes me to think consciously and critically  about my reactions and experiences in  ways I wouldn't have done otherwise. It helps me not only collect my thoughts on a topic but keep them organized.
2. Memory- Life goes by so fast and sometimes I forget about all the wonderful experiences I have had . Keeping a blog not only helps me remember things I have done but they way I felt after doing them. Sometimes looking back at my past memories and experiences gives me confidence to take on new challenges.
3. Purpose- Even if your not sure if anyone else will read it...if you have something to should say it. The reality is you have no idea who you might be helping by providing helpful + real information or responding to difficult/ controversial topics. Many people look to blogs for guidance and inspiration. Sometimes just a bit of humor can help people get through their day.
4. Accountability- Many of my favorite food blogs have begun with people that wanted to keep themselves accountable for what they ate. By taking pictures, recording what they ate, and reflecting on it they were able to get themselves to a healthier more balanced place. Their blogs have then blossomed into great resources for recipes, inspiration, and hope for others. One of my favorits is Kath Eats 
5. Creativity- Learning to blog, use the web, and writing has inspired me to learn technology and become creative. It's like keeping a digital scrap book filled with pictures, quotes, and tag lines!

If any of these reasons to blog sound appealing I encourage you to start one! Blogging can be a great tool for clarifying, organizing, and expressing thoughts!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Framers Market Meets UMD

Farmers Markets always excite the nutrition nerd in me but when they are on own my campus my smiles are taken to a whole new level! I love them because they provide a wonderful opportunity to interact with agricultural experts and  learn about new produce! I enjoy walking around trying creative homemade recipes and fresh fruit samples! One vendor I particularly enjoyed at the grand opening of the UMD farmers market was Picnic Gourmet Spreads , they had a display of wonderfully crafted homemade spreads including flavors like carmel and onion chive and gorgonzola...YUM!

  It is so easy for college student to find themselves in what is sometimes referred to as  a "toxic food environment", one filled with fast convient foods that are often times fried and highly processed. Luckily, the wellness coalition at the University of Maryland has been working to bring fresh produce and local famers to UMD for sometime now and I  glad to finally get a chance to buy fresh strawberries on my campus!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Sharkies: Clean Active Fuel

One question I often get asked as a nutrition student and a marathon runner is: "What  foods do you eat while you run?"and the truth is, with two marathons and three half marathons behind me, I still have not perfected the art of eating on the run.

With that said, I am always looking for new fuel sources to incorporate into my training regime. So it should be no surprise that I took full advantage of my admission to the 2012 Scan Symposium to meet different exhibitors and try the latest sports nutrition products.

 It was at SCAN that I first learned of Sharkies, gummy bear tasting energy sports chews that deliver electrolytes and glucose for a quick energy source! The best part about Sharkies is that they are USDA certified organic meaning they contain no dyes or flavors like most engineered sports products. They also have no fat which can be beneficial to athletes because fat can  slow you down if you consume too much before a workout.  I took home a couple Shakies Portable Snack Packs (super convenient) from the symposium and found them to be a great pre-work out fuel source that  was easy to tolerate early in the morning!

Another great thing about Sharkies is they sponsor the Tough Mudder competitions, a hardcore 10- 12 mile obstacle course that raises money for the the Wounded Warrior Project. The best part: I was lucky enough to win a drawing for a free entry into a Tough Mudder competition! I will definitely be using Sharkies all summer to help me train for the event!

Good morning Morning Oats

I'm starting to seriously get ready for my half marathon coming up in the end of may! After an intense for my interval work on the treadmill I was MORE than ready for some banana, oats, and PB. YUM :)
Then I just needed some inspiration for this rainy Tuesday morning :) 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

28th Annual Scan Symposium: Motivation for Education

This weekend I had an awesome opportunity to volunteer at the 28th annual SCAN Symposium in Baltimore, Maryland.  In exchange for volunteering as a student member of SCAN I was granted full admission to the symposium which I definitely took advantage of! I was lucky enough to attend the event with my bosses Rebecca Bitzer and kait Fortunato.

For those of you that do not know, SCAN stands for sports, cardiovascular, and wellness nutrition and is the largest dietetic practice group within the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Attending the symposium for me was like a 13 year old getting to go back stage at a Justin Bieber concert. I  had the amazing opportunity to walk around and interact with some of my greatest role models in sports nutrition including Nancy Clark, Nanna L. Meyer, and many more. As a nutrition student with a strong passion for sports and wellness the event gave me the to opportunity to network, learn about the history of SCAN, dine at an awards luncheon, and attend stimulating presentations on the hottest topics in sports, wellness, and cardiovascular nutrition.  I even learned a thing or two about social media and technology from the well-known media & self-care focused dietitian Rebecca Scritchfield.

Two of my favorite presentations I still haven’t stopped talking about include:

The Inactivity Physiology Revolution: The Story Behind the New Physical Activity Recommendations by Marc Hamilton, PhD

o   Marc Hamilton is a professor at Pennington Biomedical in Baton Rouge, LA where he runs a lab focused on researching the Physiology of Inactivity. I had heard a little about the inactivity revolution since the concept was presented in 2004 but did not pay much attention to the information. Dr. Hamilton's presentation convinced me the topic is worth paying attention to. The evidence of the harmful effects of sitting around on our butts too many hours in the day really hit home. As, a runner I always considered my hour or more of exercise a day a healthy bout of daily activity however, Dr. Hamilton made me realize that sitting around for too long despite my excise may have an unhealthy impact on my life. He presented the hypothesis that inactivity and too little exercise are two very different topics and speculated that part of the obesity epidemic is due to the cellular processes that occur during the 20 or so hours in a day when we are inactive despite how active we are in our  few hours of exercise and movement.

Exercise and Appetite the Double Edged Sword presented by Barry Braun, PhD

o   Barry Braun a professor from the University of Massachusetts gave my favorite presentation of the event discussing the regulatory mechanisms that link energy intake with energy expenditure.  In his presentation he stated there is so much we do not know and may never be able to know about the link between exercise, hormones, and appetite in determining  energy intake.  Dr Braun suggested that we many never be able to devise generalized rules and statements about exercise and appetite to manage weight. However he emphasized that Registered Dietitians and Health Professionals should play a critical role in making specific recommendations based on individual characteristics such as psychology, hormonal changes, and intake history.  I enjoyed this presentation so much because Dr. Braun was honest about how little we can infer on the subject of appetite, he had a great sense of humor in his presentation, and the way his presented the unknown mysteries relating to exercise and its impact on appetite made me really think about how exercise impacts one's eating habits! Additionally, he ended on a positive note including that some exercise is always better than none since being in-activity does not lead to eating fewer calories but does lead to an increased risk for cardiovascular diseases. It’s know wonder he received several awards for outstanding undergraduate teaching.

In addition to stimulating so many of my brain cells with dynamic presentations the SCAN Symposium provided me with great meals and snacks from exhibitors such as Chobani, Power bar, Gatorade, Kellogs, California Almonds, Sharkies, and many more! I even won a admission to a Tough Mudder event from the Sharkies table!

Overall, the SCAN Symposium was an amazing opportunity for me, as a student, to learn, network, and be inspired from leaders in the sports and nutrition field. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Life Long Commitment to physical Movement

A Life Long Commitment to Physical Movement

My favorite aspects of working at RBA is the environment. Every time I go into work I am surrounded by strong motivational professionals that devote themselves to helping others. The dietitians at my job continue to teach me through example that in order to truly help others you must first be helping yourself.

Shelley Alspaugh is a devoted registered dietitian who spends the majority of her day helping others improve the quality of their lives through nutrition. One of the most inspiring things about Shelley is that she truly believes in the healthy balanced lifestyle she encourages to her clients.

One morning Shelley came in to work lit up with a new energy and excitement. She confessed she just completed her first session of boot camp...yes boot camp! The fitness guru in me had to find out more. I set up an interview to learn all about Shelley's motivation for boot camp!

Shelley joined Mirror Image Fitness for a four week commitment run by two fitness twins that left the corporate world to pursue their passion in fitness and help others reach their fitness goals. Shelley says the twins are excellent coaches that provide the perfect balance of challenge without adding intimidating pressure to working out...not mention they play great music that makes the non-morning person in Shelley come alive with laughter!

When I asked her what her motivation for joining boot camp was she said her GOAL was to recommit to exercise and not just for the four weeks of boot camp but for life. Not only does Shelley wake up at 5 something in the morning to go to boot camp two days a week but she also has taken up yoga on the weekends and is training for both a 5 k and mini triathlon. She will be competing in the triathlon with her father and a client who have made engaging in physical activity less intimidating, social and more fun.

Shelley is pushing herself to get out of her comfort zone and seek new, fun, and challenging ways to reconnect with physical activity. In my interview with Shelley she said physical activity had been her missing puzzle piece. She had been walking and jogging for years but was having a hard time recommitting. She stressed that the key to regular physical activity is finding something that works for you, that you enjoy and overall gives you a sense of peace and accomplishment.

Shelley's new commitment to fitness is not always simple the number one challenge she is facing now is finding the time for sleep. Waking up at 5:00 am means Shelley needs to be in bed by 9:00pm to get the 8 hours she needs in a night. With a busy work and life schedule, fitting in physical activity can be tough but again it all comes back to her commitment to taking excellent care of herself.

The take home message: If your not having fun with your physical activity or its not fitting into your lifestyle then don't give up, look for something that works for you. Shelley is grateful for each day to accept herself and improve. She stated that she is always learning from her clients, fellow RDs and students.

Thank you Shelley for being an inspiration and embodying the lifestyle of self care you inspire in others.

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Power of Music

I wanna be that feelin'
I wanna be that wind blowin' through your hair
When life was like your favorite song
And those summer days went on and on
And it felt like you could do no wrong
I wanna be that feelin'

Last night I was driving home on the high way when a new Bucky Covington song; “I Want to be That Feeling”, came on the radio. I turned up the volume , cracked the windows, and felt my mind drifting back to my freshmen year in college. For just a moment I was back in a more careless, crazy, but fun time in my life. Remembering my first college boyfriend,  southern tailgates in big trucks,  crazy nights, and my old friends brought a smile to my face.  It seems as soon as the song began it was over and I was back to the present time.

When the song ended I began to reflect on the power of music and its ability to allow you to escape to a different time and place. Melody, rhythm, and harmony can lift your mind and spirit and bring happiness in light of many situations.

This wasn’t the first time I reflected on the power of music, this past winter break when I was under a lot of stress filling out internship applications I remember using music as an escape from my worry and responsibilities.  Listening to “ I hope you Dance” by Lee Ann Womack  made me realize the exhausting process I was going through was temporary and “Super Woman” by Alicia Keys provided me with strength and confidence when I felt insecure. I decided that if music could help bring me happiness and motivation it could do the same for others. I took some of my favorite uplifting songs and made an Empowerment CD that could be as a tool for everyone when they just want to escape the mood they are in and find a happier, stronger moment in their mind.

The songs on the CD I made include:

1.     Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield
2.     I Hope You Dance Lee Ann Womack
3.     Lovely by Sara Haze
4.     Learning to Fly by Tom Petty and Stevie Nicks
5.     Beautiful Flower by India Arie
6.     It Stops Today by Colbie Caillat
7.     A Little Bit Stronger by Sara Evans
8.     Fighter by Christina Aguilera
9.     Get It Together by India Arie
10.  Happy by Leona Lewis
11.  What Means the Most to Me by Collbie Caillat
12.  Why Georgia by John Mayer
13.  Life Ain’t Always Beautiful by Gary Allen
14.  Super Woman by Alicia Keys
15.  Reflection by Christina Aguilera
16.  Lessons Learned by Carrie Underwood
17.  Little Miss by Sugarland
18.  Learn to Live by Darius Rucker
19.  Hero by Mariah Carey

Turning on music seems like such a simple thing to do but sometimes in our darker moments we forget we have so many beautiful tools around us that can help give us strength and remind us the sadness and troubles are temporary pieces of in the  much larger beautiful puzzle of life J  

What are some of your favorite mood lifting songs?!