Fitness By Victoria
Wellness Blog

Health & Wellness

Do you prevent fires or put them out? 10.12.16

These two different approaches in life can literally make or break you. If you want to learn how to prevent problems instead of fixing them, then read on.
We are all a little bit of both, proactive and reactive, and there is a time and a place for both. If you strive for success in life, relationships, and decision making, know this: you need to learn the habits of the proactive person.
So let’s get started. How do you know which reaction rules your life? Answer these questions to get a better idea of which category you fit into:
1. Do you speak before you think, or do you practice the pause?
2. Do you react poorly to criticism or do you find a way to view it constructively?
3. Do you ask before you assume?
4. How do you handle disrespectful people?
5. Have you ever considered fixing the process and not the problem?
Our reaction to a situation literally has the power to change the situation itself.
Habits of the Proactive Person: First and foremost the proactive have the mind set of being someone who prevents problems instead of having to fix them. They think ahead. They make action plans. They dialogue. They use logic V.S. emotion to problem solve. The proactive person doesn’t blame or make excuses. They take charge of their life by being responsible for their part in it.
Being proactive means being reactive ahead of time. You are simply being preventative. We all are preventative in ways. We brush our teeth to prevent nasty dentist visits. We fasten our seatbelts to be safer in our cars, etc. So why not use this proactive, preventative approach when it comes to other aspects of our lives such as relationships, family and workplace?
When you can’t control what’s happening around you, I challenge you to control the way you respond to what’s happening around you. That’s where your power is. That is the first step in becoming Proactive V.S. Reactive.

For example, if you are going to a family gathering where you know there might be conflict, plan out how you are going to NOT REACT EMOTIONALLY. You could also have a code word and if needed also have a smooth and courteous exit plan. Revisit the problem when emotions are in check. If you’re proactive you don’t wait for circumstances to get to an unhealthy, unpleasant, damaging and hostile place. Proactive people change the things that can be changed, rather than trying to treat the symptoms. Proactivity is the act of thinking ahead. Prevention. Follow through. We ultimately have the choice on how we respond to what happens to us in our lives and it is our reactions that determine how things affect us and the people around us. Start making action plans and follow through with them.

Now, On the other hand, an emotionally reactive person has no plan. They do not think before they speak. They just react. This is the #1 tell of the reactive personality type. It’s detrimental. Squash this habit now.
Because the reactive personality has no forethought or plan, it’s safe to say that emotions run their lives. These emotions create drama and a false sense of “victim”. The victim always operates from the defense. Defensive emotions always result in finger pointing and blame. It’s a vicious circle that snowballs into negative reactions such as anger, hatred, jealousy, embarrassment, disrespect, etc. Being an emotionally reactive person causes so much pain, bitterness and isolation in our lives. None of these emotions serve anyone or anything, so why not take a different approach?
Remember, your reaction to a situation literally has the power to change the situation itself. Your choice.
Choose Prevention. Plan ahead. Think logically not emotionally. Make an action plan.
Taking a proactive approach is positively life changing. It is the best way to take charge of your life, creating the best possible environment for the best possible outcomes.

Victoria LaBouff-Lanza


Think about this….breathing does not require conscious mind awareness. It, like many other bodily functions is controlled by the subconscious mind. Breathing, among other things, like blinking our eyes, or the beating of our hearts, etc. happens regardless of whether we focus on it or not.

Ahhhhh but when we consciously focus on the breath; that is when things begin to change.

We’ll get to that in a minute.

First you need to know that in addition to the duel minds, as mentioned above, there are also two nervous systems that control the automatic functions in the human body. They are the Sympathetic and the Parasympathetic Systems. 

The Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) is commonly known as the “fight-or-flight” system. Fight or Fight is a prehistoric response that causes stress hormones to kick into overdrive. It spikes blood pressure, shocks your internal systems, frazzles the nerves, etc. which in turn lay the groundwork for heart disease and many other stress related symptoms. When you are stressed and your mind is full of turmoil, the physical body too becomes stressed and tensed. As a result of all of this, the body releases high levels of stress hormones, and this is where the damage starts.

The Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS) is commonly known as the “rest-and-digest” system. This system does the exact opposite of the SNS. It actually lowers blood pressure and heart rate. It TURNS OFF destructive stress hormones and promotes a relaxation response. It stimulates the production of endorphins, which are the “feel good” hormones.

Studies show that focused, long, deep breathing encourages the actions of the PNS thus allowing relaxation and healing to occur.

Now back to consciously focusing on our breath.

Do this:

By sitting quietly with your eyes closed, simply focus on your breath. Listen to it. Feel it.  Concentrate only on it. Then start to control the pace of your inhale and your exhale, while still listening to your breath. That’s it.  This simple exercise will bring you into a natural state of calm and balance of the mind and body. You will completely and immediately feel its positive effects.

In closing……When we use our senses to focus only on the breath, the mind becomes anchored in the moment, away from any past or future concerns. Here is where the mind can rest and find peace. The body becomes at ease and in balance……simply by focusing on the breath.  It doesn’t cost you a cent. You are already breathing anyway. Try taking a couple of minutes, yes just a minute or two, and sit calmly and simply focus on your breath. The more you do it, the more you will understand its power. It will become your drug of choice.

Victoria LaBouff-Lanza

ADD FIBER. HERE'S WHY.     10.3.12

When I say FIBER, what is your first thought? Usually when I ask this question, I hear a lot of..."Boring, tasteless, cardboard textured-flavor type food that you should eat but don't really want to."

Read on, and let me not only change your mind about fiber and how it tastes, but also let this information improve your health along with extreme benefits to your well-being and weight management. I challenge you to give it a try.

First step: When making food choices, always pay mind to the fiber content.
WHY? A high-fiber diet lowers the risk of certain cancers, diabetes and heart disease. It helps lower cholesterol levels and helps slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. Slow glucose absorption promotes healthy blood sugar levels and is known to promote satiety, curb food cravings and normalize appetite and metabolism. Fiber helps you to feel fuller longer, and helps aid in weight loss. Also of course, fiber is crucial for digestion and colon health.

There are two different types of fiber:

INSOLUBLE FIBER, is fiber that does not dissolve in water, so it is roughage that passes undigested through the digestive tract, cleaning out your pipes, keeping them healthy, free of disease, and running smoothly.
SOURCES OF INSOLUBLE FIBER: Whole wheat, whole grains, wheat bran, corn bran, seeds, nuts, barley, couscous, brown rice, bulgur, zucchini, celery, broccoli, cabbage, onions, green beans, dark leafy vegetables, most fruits and root vegetable skins.

SOLUBLE FIBER, dissolves in water. Soluble fiber attracts water, and then together forms a gel-like substance which slows down digestion and among other functions, binds to cholesterol and fatty substances and pulls them out of the body. This helps to prevent heart disease and slows glucose absorption in the body, aiding in health and weight loss.
SOURCES OF SOLUBLE FIBER: Oatmeal, oat cereals, oat bran, lentils, apples, oranges, pears, flaxseeds, beans, dried peas, blueberries, strawberries, kiwi, psyllium, cucumbers and carrots.

When making food choices always check the fiber content, and make sure your food always contains some fiber. Most Americans get only about 15 grams of fiber per day in their diet, contributing to the high levels of disease, diabetes and obesity.
The recommended amount of fiber is 25-35 grams per day.

Here are my top TEN fiber choices:
1) BEANS; navy, kidney, black, garbanzo and pinto. A 1/2 cup of beans contains 10 to 15 grams of fiber. About 200 calories.
2)La Tortilla Factory WHOLE WHEAT TORTILLAS; 12 grams of fiber, only 80 calories. Very tasty.
3)POTATO W/SKIN; 10 grams per cup. 160 calories. Offers both soluble and insoluble fiber.
4)AVOCADO; Contains both soluble and insoluble fiber as well, and offers wonderful heart healthy monounsaturated fats. Contain a whopping 11-17 grams of fiber.
5)ARTICHOKES;10 grams of fiber, 120 calories, and has more potassium (for strong bones) than a banana, also a great source of magnesium and Vitamin C.
6)ACORN SQUASH; 10 grams per cup, 114 calories. Yum.
7)FRESH RASPBERRIES; 8 grams per cup, 60 calories, and all berries are disease-fighting superstars!
8)SUGAR SNAP PEAS; 5 grams per cup, 76 calories. Refreshing and satisfies that need for a crunch.
9)APPLES W/SKIN; 4 grams per cup, 81 calories.
10)Kellogs FIBER PLUS CHEWY BARS (dark chocolate almond are my favorite) 9 grams of fiber, and 130 calories. As close as we are going to get to a healthy 'good for you' candy bar.

I hope you will be inspired to make this small but mighty change in your lifestyle. Go now and do it!

Your friend in health,

Victoria LaBouff-Lanza


Water is the single most important nutrient for our bodies. Without enough of it, all of your systems have to work harder in every respect.  Water is involved in EVERY function of our bodies.  You can live five to seven weeks without food, but you could last no more than five days without water.  Your body is about 50-70% water; your muscles are about 75% water; your brain cells are about 85% water (one way to improve memory is to drink a lot of water; your brain loves water).  Your blood is approximately 82% water, and even your bones are about 25% water.

Your body loses about two quarts of water a day through perspiration, urination, and exhalation.  If you wait until you are thirsty to drink water, then you are most likely already dehydrated.  Dehydration slows your metabolism up to 3%.  A sluggish metabolism causes weight gain and lack of energy.  When you are dehydrated, your body temperature drops slightly and causes your body to store fat, as a way to raise or maintain body temperature. When you are dehydrated, your body secretes aldosterone, a hormone that CAUSES water retention.  Water plays a vital role in regulating body temperature and weight loss.

Did you know that three-quarters of the weight of your body is supported by the fluid inside the disks of your spine?  When the disks in your spine lack water, they begin to degenerate and herniate more quickly.  Water cushions joints, and protects organs and tissues.  Water transports nutrients and oxygen to your cells.  Water removes wastes and toxins, and best of all, water flushes fats from your body.

I believe that water is the single best beauty treatment on the planet...and it's free!  It keeps your skin supple and your eyes bright.  It keeps your body energetic and limber; it keeps your mind alert, not to mention that it slows down the aging process.  Remember the only difference between a grape and a raisin is the water content.

ACTION STEP #1: Increase your intake of not only water, but salads, fresh vegetables and fruits, since they all contain a high percentage of water.
ACTION STEP #2: The first thing you should put into your body upon awakening in the morning is a full glass of pure, fresh water.  Picture your body as a dried up sponge...and then picture what you want to fill your sponge with to set the tone of your day.  Water is the answer.

HOW MUCH WATER SHOULD YOU DRINK?  Simply take your weight in pounds and divide it by 2.  This number is how many ounces of water you should drink daily.  And remember, when exercising, increase your water intake!

Your friend in health,

Victoria LaBouff-Lanza

Victoria LaBouff-Lanza (949) 632-4836 
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