Fitness & Wellness

Stay Committed

%image_alt%You can accomplish anything in life, including weight loss and fitness, but you have to stay committed. That’s not always easy to do. There’s so much to tug you away from the gym and take your time, it’s no wonder people often start a weight loss or exercise program but fail to see it through to success. If you’ve found that was a problem of yours in your past, I want to help you. I want to help get you see results fast to help motivate you to stay on track. I’ll support you on your journey to good health and a fabulous looking body.

You’ll never have to worry about your weight when you eat a healthy diet.

I never recommend dieting. Diets simply don’t work. They make you feel discouraged, deprived and always end–sometimes in success and sometimes in failure. Then you go back to old eating habits that put the weight on in the first place and the pounds start adding up again. When you’re on a diet, you often have to have special foods, so eating at a friend’s home, a restaurant or any special occasion is almost impossible. Rather than dieting, learning how to make smarter decisions about food is a better choice. It may involve simple substitutions such as brown rice instead of white rice or adding a healthy snack in the mid morning and afternoon so you aren’t ravenous at supper. All the minor changes add up to huge calorie savings and you can eat anything you want—just limit the frequency and amount of high calorie foods.

Don’t let the exhaustion or achy muscles stop you.

The first few days or weeks of exercise leave you exhausted and full of aches and pains. That won’t last long. I’ll help you get through those times and make sure that those aches and pains aren’t injuries, but just your muscles getting used to being worked harder. I’ll show you how to do each exercise correctly to help you avoid injury and maximize the results.

You won’t see the changes immediately, but you will feel them.

Your pants won’t immediately become too big, but you will feel energized rather quickly. I’ll help you through the toughest part, when you’re working hard and still not shedding pounds or inches. I may adjust your workout, help you with dietary needs or just supply loads of motivation to get you through the rough part.

Having a personal trainer is a huge benefit that might be just what you need. People who know they’re meeting with a trainer tend to show up at the gym even when they feel like skipping it, primarily because of the “appointment” with the trainer.

You’ll learn mental toughness and adapt it to other areas of your life. Mental toughness is the ability to continue long after others have given up. It’s a great attitude for all areas of your life.

Remember, even if you only accomplish part of a goal in the amount of time you allotted, you’re still further along than if you didn’t workout at all.

You’ll walk taller, have improved energy, better posture and a whole new attitude. Your outlook on life will improve as you workout each week, shedding pounds, stress hormones and sweating out the toxins in your body.

Do You?

%image_alt%You may think you’re maximizing every opportunity to get into shape and be healthy, but do you? Here are a few of the things you should be doing that will not only make you healthier, but boost your energy and your brainpower. Studies show there’s a huge connection between the body and the brain. When you exercise, you increase the number of neural connections and that improves your cognitive function. In fact, one study shows it can even delay dementia and Alzheimer’s. You’ll also be reducing the risk of serious conditions.

Are you eating healthy?

We’re all guilty of poor eating habits at one time or another. Sometimes, you just can’t wait for dinner and those pork rinds or candy bars look delicious. Rather than leave anything to chance, it’s good to plan ahead. Make sure you plan mid morning and mid afternoon snacks so you aren’t tempting to eat your way through the junk food counter at the gas station or load up on cookies that you immediately open and eat in the car after you leave the grocery. Learning to eat healthier doesn’t mean dieting.

Dieting doesn’t work and can be counterproductive.

Some people feel the need to constantly be on a diet, yet fail to shed pounds permanently. That’s because diets don’t work. Diets always end and then you go back to old eating habits. Even worse, extremely strict diets can put your body in starvation mode, which slows your metabolism and makes you regain the weight you lost faster—plus adding a few pounds. Eating healthier doesn’t mean you have to give up everything you love that you might consider being forbidden. Instead, you’ll simply eat less of it and less frequently.

Are you exercising regularly?

Regular exercise is so important to your overall health. It helps boost the immune system and stimulates the body to create antioxidants that protect your cells. It improves circulation that brings nutrients and oxygen rich blood to all parts of the body, so not only will you look better, you’ll actually be healthier. One study showed that for every minute you exercise, you’ll extend your life seven healthy minutes.

Are you getting adequate sleep? Sleep is important for a number of reasons. It allows the brain to rest and lets your body heal. Adequate sleep is important to heart health and mental functioning.

Do you drink enough water? I have yet to figure out why people don’t drink more water. Water flushes out the system and helps prevent dehydration. The older you are, the more prone you are to dehydration. In older people, it can lead to symptoms mimicking dementia or other serious conditions. Get in the habit now.

Get involved. People with a readily available social circle not only enjoy life more, they live longer.

Take time to give back and love. Showing love to another person or even loving a favorite furry friend enriches and extends your life. Doing good for others and having a pet project that gives you purpose also does. If you’re a parent, it’s probably the kids, but think beyond your family too.

Emphasize “Happy” Not “Perfect”

%image_alt%Your workout program should emphasize “happy” not “perfect.” Perfect simply doesn’t exist. It’s a matter of perspective exactly what perfect means. You see the obsession every day. Jocelyn Wildenstein, also know as “Cat Woman,” spent over $4 million having plastic surgery to make her look more like wild cats. To her, it’s a perfect look. Others strive for the Barbie doll look that’s both unrealistic and not attractive in real life. Being happy with your appearance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have fitness goals or strive to shed a few extra pounds, but to accept where you are and be happy regardless of how you look.

Self-loathing slows progress.

Happiness actually boosts your progress. You look forward to doing something nice for yourself because you like yourself. You don’t torture yourself with starvation diets that can be counterproductive by putting your body in starvation mode and slowing your metabolism. You’ll learn to eat healthier and the joy that treating yourself to healthy meals can bring. Actually, most people find that once they learn how to eat healthier, it’s far more enjoyable than stuffing themselves with junk food.

Exercise can burn of the hormones of stress.

No matter how hard you try, life has stresses. They’re not the same stresses that were faced by early man, such as wild animals or predators, which required fighting or flight. They’re traffic jams and angry bosses, where those actions are inappropriate. The hormones created by stress make changes in your body, that if not changed, cause damage and illness. Exercise impersonates the action of running or fighting, so you’ll burn them off and feel fantastic again. Best of all, you’ll also stimulate the brain to create hormones that make you feel fantastic.

Learn to workout the right way.

Be kind to yourself and work your body as hard as you can—safely. When you workout with a trainer, he or she knows how much to push you and shows you the right way to do each exercise to avoid injury and maximize results. You’ll work hard, but not beyond your capabilities. You’ll also see faster results. You’ll be amazed at how much fun working out can be and how rewarding it can be to give yourself the gift of a healthy body.

Regular exercise can help you enjoy life more. Not only does it help you sleep better at night, it also helps improve your digestion and elimination. If you suffer from menstrual cramps, it relieves those too.

Happiness comes from more than just a “perfect’ body. It comes from enjoying every moment in life. When you have extra energy and feel fantastic, you’ll be able to experience more.

No matter what your passion, perfection is illusive. Always be happy and enjoy the road to fitness, savoring every improvement.

Take time to use your extra energy to appreciate life. Walk in the park and admire Mother Nature or spend time walking through an art gallery, zoo or museum. You’ll be building more energy, while enjoying life at the same time.

Create A Great Relationship With Yourself

%image_alt%When you workout, you need to have the heart to put in your maximum. That means you need to create a great relationship with yourself so you can cheer yourself on to victory. Talking to yourself isn’t crazy, people do it all the time. Of course, much of it is mental, but occasionally you even talk out loud. A good relationship will help you follow through on those goals that you’ve set, respecting that inner voice.

You have to like yourself to be kind to yourself.

You might say that being pampered, laying on a lounge and eating peeled grapes is being kind to yourself, but deep down inside, you know it’s not true. First, you need someone to go along with that idea and second, your body tells you what it needs. When you workout, you feel fantastic after the workout. That’s because it burns of stress hormones and replaces them with ones that make you feel good. That good feeling is your body saying you’re doing great and letting you know that you make a good team.

Eating healthy not only tastes good, it’s good for you.

When you have a good relationship with yourself, you’re willing to give healthy living a chance. You take risks that you’ll not only get huge benefits, but also enjoy food more in the process. Healthy eating isn’t dieting, but instead making smarter choices when it comes to food. You’ll eat more whole foods and less processed ones that have dangerous chemicals and higher calories. You’ll also eat more! Some of the changes may include making substitutions, such as eating an apple instead of candy bars or even more subtle, using Greek yogurt on your baked potato instead of sour cream. You’ll won’t have to give up some of your high calorie foods you love, just eat them less often and use portion control. That means you never fall off the wagon when you eat healthy, unlike dieting. It also means a better relationship with yourself.

When you develop a good relationship with yourself, don’t forget a positive attitude.

If you listen to the voice in your head, you’re bound to hear things like, “you look terrible,” “you’re fat,” or “you’re stupid.” How many times have you said these things in your own mind? A good friend would never talk that way to you and you shouldn’t talk that way to yourself. Instead of saying, “I’ll never be able to do this right,” learn to give yourself kudos for what you accomplished by saying, “Hey, I’m getting better.” You’ll go further in every endeavor when you become your own cheerleader.

Find the best from every situation. Not only does negative self-talk harm you, but lamenting over everything does too. If your plans go awry, it may be an opportunity for something better and more fun. Learning to be positive makes you happier and happiness is essential to good health.

When you have aches and pains from working out, think of those as markers for progress. Of course, if they’re unbearable and last a long time, don’t hesitate to get professional help to find if you have a serious problem. Your body will tell you what’s normal and what’s not.

Drink plenty of water on the road to good health. Water not only flushes out toxins, it can help you have more energy and make you think clearer.

Get plenty of rest. You owe it to yourself to get a good night’s sleep for mental awareness and good health. Exercising helps you sleep sounder.



Depression is one of the biggest problems most people face during the holidays. It’s easy to understand why. Not only is it a time that brings a great deal of stress, running from one party to another, preparing meals and shopping for presents, it’s also a time when we often eat a lot of sugary foods that make your sugar levels rise and fall dramatically, bringing with those changes the jitters and then the mood swing downward. For those whose family is at a distance or gone, the holidays brings a feeling of loneliness, too. To avoid the problem, you need to create a new mantra. Add “Exercise & Holidays” to your phrases this time of year and you’ll notice a huge change in your attitude.

Too much holiday cheer can bring on the blues.

Whether you’re at an office Christmas party or at a family one, if there’s alcohol readily available, consider passing it up and instead going for a short walk with several friends to get your blood moving and eliminate stress. While there’s nothing wrong with the occasional glass of wine or drink, when you’re already in a depressed state, it only magnifies it. Rather than opting for a bit of spirits to lift your spirits, take a brisk walk, go caroling or go to a gym. The increased circulation will help you feel better almost immediately.

Sugar is not your friend.

Those wonderful cookies and cakes friends give you can double the holiday blues. They taste yummy but send your blood sugar spiking, which is followed by a huge drop that makes you feel worse than you did before you ate the treat. Limit the sweets over the holidays. Try some mood boosting foods instead. Cashews and walnuts are great mood lifters. Some whole food stores actually grind them for you on the spot to make butter. When you’re feeling down, a spoonful of cashew butter on a cracker provides protein and magnesium. Low magnesium levels are associated with depression. The high protein will give you energy without making your sugar spike. I normally don’t bother with the cracker, since I love cashews, and just eat a spoonful occasionally. Kale, chicken soup and yogurt also help elevate your mood.

Workout for a better mood.

There’s no doubt about it, a good workout will put a smile on your face. Not only does exercise help burn off the hormones that come from stress and can lead to depression, it also triggers the creation of ones that make you feel good. It helps circulate the blood, sending oxygen and nutrients to all parts of the body, too. In fact, everyone should exercise at least a half hour a day to feel good during holiday time. Walking through the stores may seem like exercise, but fighting the crowds adds to the stress.

Some depression comes from dehydration. Drink plenty of water. If the weather is cold, heat the water and add a pinch of lemon or a bouillon cube.

If you get loads of sugary gifts, freeze them in individual size packages. You can savor the flavor all year long by limiting yourself to one pack a day, plus you’ll have treats available when company comes. Change the mantra from “Food & Holidays” to “Exercise & Holidays.”

There’s always time to exercise. Do it the first thing in the morning or combine your normal chores with exercise. If you’re cleaning the house, put some zip into it. Don’t bend your knees when picking stuff up off the floor, as you might with toe touches. Time yourself and rush as fast as you can until you’re breathless. Make it a game.

Do something nice for someone else during the holidays. Do a random act of kindness for a stranger, visit a shut in or take a person who can’t drive shopping. You’ll feel good about yourself.

Favorite Cheat Meal

No matter who you are, if you’re trying to eat healthy, you probably still have a favorite cheat meal. You know, those foods that you love, but are filled with empty or almost empty calories. It may be a comfort food, such as mac n’cheese or mashed potatoes, a whole meal from a fast food place or just one special food. I can name a few that I love, some that I eat for comfort and some that are just plain rich and gooey that I have to taste a little. The good news is that these aren’t banned completely when you eat healthy. You aren’t on a diet, just trying to eat healthier.

The difference between healthy eating and a diet.

When you go on a diet, you’re limited to specific foods. Maybe you’re allowed a slice of toast without butter and a poached egg for breakfast, while lunch is a green salad. Eating healthy means you have a wide variety of foods from which to choose. You can eat as much as you want when it comes to healthy foods, but limit the amount of high calorie, unhealthy choices. A diet always ends, but eating healthy never does. Even if you eat your favorite cheat food one day, you can still eat healthy the next.

Cheat foods can slow your progress, but not by much if you eat them sparingly.

Some people tell me they absolutely can’t eat any cheat food because once they start, they don’t stop until the whole amount is gone. If it’s a potato chip, they eat the bag. There’s no “one donut” setting in their brain. That’s easy to solve. When you buy a box of donuts, call a friend. Freezer wrap all but one and stash them in their freezer….better yet, instead of grocery store donuts in a box, buy one bakery donut. Avoid buying cheat foods, but if you do, buy the smallest amount you can get….even if it is more expensive to do it that way. You’ll be limited by what you have on hand.

Don’t eat the cheat foods in the car.

I’ve had a great deal of experiences myself and with clients who bought the cheat food in the store and then ate it before leaving the parking lot, when they parked the car and went back for more. One woman was addicted to Nabisco Bisco Sugar Wafers. She said she bought an empty box of them and a filled box in the grocery. (The empty box came from her eating them while shopping.) When she got to the car, she opened her second box and ate them before she started the car. To make a long story short, by her count, she ate four boxes before leaving the parking lot. Now that’s a bad habit. Rule one, don’t eat any food before you check out. Rule two, wait until you get home to open the food. Rule three, if you think you’ll eat the whole box, don’t buy it or shop with a friend and have them divide it and take some of the cheat food home with them.

If the cheat food is homemade, learn how to make it with fewer calories or more nutrition. Pizza with a cauliflower crust and veggies is delicious.

Don’t quit just because you ate a cheat food. Tomorrow is a new day. One day of cheating should never throw out a lifetime of healthy eating. That’s why it’s not a diet but a healthy lifestyle.

Plan for a cheat. Over the holiday time, you know you’ll be cheating. Fill up on healthy foods first, so you have limited room for the cheat food. (No matter how much you love sugar cookies, you can’t eat four boxes if you’re already full.)

Keep healthy snacks available and eat them often.

Have A Guilt Free Thanksgiving

%image_alt%You don’t have to give up all the pleasures of the holidays just because you’re dieting. You can have a guilt free Thanksgiving and enjoy the bounty that this holiday is best known. Eating healthy doesn’t mean starving yourself. In fact, it’s far from that. Most people that opt for a program of healthy eating find they’re eating more, enjoying it more and feeling great when they see the pounds come off and their energy level rising. There are some things you can do to stay on track and still celebrate with the family, enjoying every minute of the holiday. You’ll be thankful you did.

Learn to eat some foods in moderation.

You can still have a slice of pie or a serving of mashed potatoes, but in moderation. Learning which foods spell trouble for your waistline can help you choose alternatives that are bound to be at the table and nobody will be the wiser. Be aware of the best choices if you have several selections. Pumpkin pie may be a better choice than pecan pie for calorie savings and choosing a small dab of whipped cream or none at all may be a better choice. Even though whipped cream is far higher in calories, whipped topping contains some dubious ingredients that have negative effects on the body. There’s approximately 75 extra calories for whipped cream, but it may end up worth the extra 75 calories.

Make your contribution lower in calories and higher in nutrition.

Most family get-togethers are potluck style, where everyone brings a dish. You can make a healthy contribution by using a recipe that’s good for you, lower in calories and tastes delicious. You may even end up being a trendsetter, helping your whole family to enjoy healthier food. Change the way you make your favorite dish, such as using a lower calorie crust for pies or adding less butter to the mashed potatoes and making it butter from grass fed cows.

Learn what to eat more of and what to barely sample.

Everyone notices when people shun the dish they brought, which may be the food you love the most! Rather than giving up your favorite marshmallow-topped sweet potato casserole that Aunt Meg makes, fill your plate with healthier options and put a spoonful prominently in view. Take fewer marshmallows and more sweet potatoes in the process. She’ll notice you took some but be way to busy to notice how much. You’ll have the pleasure of eating your favorite food, but in far more moderation.

Stick with the least processed foods and fill up on whole foods at the veggie tray. Bring a low calorie healthy dip as an extra dish for the family to sample. Let them know it’s a new recipe you just had to try, but not that it’s a lower calorie healthier version.

If you’ve tried your hardest, but still ended up gobbling everything in sight, it shouldn’t end your program of healthy eating. Even the fittest, trimmest people gorge themselves on high calorie foods, but then go back to old eating habits.

Make sure the turkey is roasted on a rack so the fat can drip down and if deep frying it is a new family tradition, you use the right oil and a high temperature that seals the skin to avoid absorption of fat.

Start your Thanksgiving off right. After you start the turkey, go for a walk or a run. Exercise inside if walking or running isn’t an option and get at least a half hour of it. Exercise helps relieve the stress and can make you feel less hungry.

Favorite Cheat Meal

cheat-mealEveryone has a favorite cheat meal that is loaded with calories and provides far less nutrients per calorie consumed. If you’re already familiar with the concept of eating healthy, you already know that you don’t have to give that food up entirely, just eat it far less frequently. Instead of once a day or once a week, wean yourself to less frequently and also choose smaller portions. Let’s face it, portion control is part of the whole healthy eating program so eating an entire pie, even once in a while, can be disastrous. However, a smaller slice occasionally will barely be noticed. One more thing, those small slices occasionally shouldn’t include a small slice at 10:00 am, then another at noon and finally two more later in the afternoon and evening.

Find a great alternative.

As you make your way into the world of healthy foods, you’re bound to find several foods you really like. Keep searching if you haven’t found it already. It can be a little less “dangerous” than your favorite cheat food, but that means you can eat a little more of it. The lower the calorie count and the higher in nutrition it is, the more you can consume. Learn to use this as your celebration food or comfort food. Texture counts, particularly when it comes to comfort food. If you’re a cruncher and eat food to eliminate anger, (remember exercise does that too!) find a crunchy food. If you love a smooth creamy comfort from dishes like mashed potatoes, find a smooth creamy alternative. Exercise also helps lift your spirits, so try that first.

Fill up before you eat it.

Savor the experience before you gobble up that cheat food and fill your belly with healthy food in the process. You won’t be as tempted to eat the whole bag of cookies if you’ve just filled up on a large meal and will be able to stop eating those chips quicker. You may even find you don’t really want them anymore once you’re full.

Learn to make your food differently.

Cheat foods can become part of your diet again if you learn to make them healthier. Love that pizza? You don’t have to give it up entirely, just learn to make it healthier and with fewer calories. A cauliflower crust is healthier and tastes extremely good, while healthy toppings add to the enjoyment. Modifying recipes for healthy eating can be fun and an adventure you’ll probably enjoy. It also allows you to stick to healthy eating and savor the foods that used to mean cheating.

Don’t throw in the towel if you cheat a little. Get back on the healthier path of eating as soon as possible. Even a week of eating unhealthy doesn’t mean you should forget the whole thing. It’s just a tiny detour.

Don’t forget to exercise. That stress you’re feeling can be helped far better by exercise rather than eating. Feeling blue, take a brisk walk, run or workout hard and you’ll soon find you’re spirits rising.

Experiment with new foods and make new associations. If you try something new every day for a while, you’re bound to find a recipe that you absolutely love or a food that fits perfectly in place of the cheat food.

Water is your best friend. When out for drinks with friends, a glass of water can take the place of the calorie laden alcohol selections. Find a lower calorie drink if you must and follow it with water chasers.

Halloween Havoc

Halloween Havoc

Don’t be subject to Halloween havoc on your weight loss program. Be prepared for the holiday and have healthy snacks on board. If you’re like me and most people I know, at one time or other, you’ve purchased Halloween candy only to have to repurchase more before it was time for trick-or-treaters to come to your door. Goblins didn’t take it and the dog didn’t steal it, you opened the bag for just one sampling and before you know it the whole thing was gone, one treat at a time. That’s a sure way to slow a weight loss program down, but you can do some things to change that right from the start.

Switch to healthy snacks for trick-or-treaters.

Who said you had to give out sugary treats? Sure, giving the trick-or-treaters rice cakes would end up getting a lot of grumbling and may”tricks,” too, but there are some great alternatives that are also healthy and yummy. Give out small individual bags of popcorn, fresh fruit or even small boxes of raisins. For a little more, individual sized roasted almonds are a good choice. Consider cutting out candy entirely and giving small novelty items like those packaged for Halloween party treats. That helps remove some of the temptation from the house and keeps the kids a bit healthier.

Burn more energy by dressing up and getting active.

Become a costumed Halloween trickster or throw a party and have active games. You’ll be getting exercise and have a lot of fun in the process. Don’t pass up any opportunities to be more active during this season. Walk with your kids if they’re trick or treating in the neighborhood. Join the kids by volunteering to help out the school’s or town’s Halloween party and take any job that keeps you active and moving.

Don’t despair if you couldn’t help eating some of the kids Halloween candy.

One of the nice things about choosing healthy eating over dieting is that it never ends, even if you ate a few or many of the kids’ treats. All it means is…well…you ate them, but not that everything is ruined. Get back on track the next day and eat smarter. Take the steps at work, walk from the furthest parking spot to the store or spend a few extra minutes exercising for a week or so and you’ll be back on track. Eating healthy and losing weight means changing your lifestyle and eating habits, one small slip shouldn’t change them back.

Halloween or not, always have healthy snacks ready. You can take them to work for mid-morning and afternoon snacks and have some in the fridge for those cravings in the evening.

Stay active. Plan some Halloween activities that are both fun and active. Going dancing, hiking to see the fall colors and even some outside activities with the children can keep you healthier while having fun.

Put joy into the season. Halloween is a fun semi-holiday, where everyone can have fun. If you hate the thought of trick-or-treaters, costumes and all the holiday glitz, try changing your attitude and get more involved. You may even look forward to it next year.

If you seriously worry about “falling off the wagon” and not being able to get back on track, talk to me or one of the other members of the team. We support you in your effort.