Mar
13
2012
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I can't tell you how many times I've answered the question about the safety or dangers of red meat.  And I'm not just referring to the difference between organic versus non-organic nor grass versus corn or grain fed.  Some people have serious concerns when it comes to consuming red meat. 

 

And to be quite honest, you should be concerned about what you put into your body.  With all of the chemicals that we read about being added to our food, you'd be foolish not to be more discriminating when it comes to your daily meals.

 

But sometimes marketing hoopla and research can go a bit overboard.

 

Check out this article:  All Red Meat Is Bad For You!

 

Now that's one powerful title.  And after reading the article it's enough to make anyone swear off red meat -- PERIOD!

 

But when you sit and think about the "study" they cite, I noticed they didn't discuss whether any of the participants exercised or not?  Did any of the participants consume alcohol or eat processed foods as regularly as they consumed red meat?  Did they have family histories of poor health? You can see where I'm going with this.

 

While you should limit the amount of red meat you consume, you should also be aware that other factors play a strong role in mortality rates -- not just red meat.

 

And because we live in such an information age we are fortunate enough to get articles like the one below, that help to put a little perspective into the mix.

 

Why Red Meat Is NOT Bad For You!

 

Whether you are a vegetarian, eat no red meat, or only consumed a limited amount per week, the bottom line is not to believe everything that comes across our hyped up media, just because it claims to be a study.

 

You're intelligent.  Think it through.  Do what makes sense to you, and don't be led around by your emotions and a few so-called research studies. 

 

 

 

Health comes in many varieties and can be achieved in many ways.  Make sure the one you choose is a decision made by you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don't know about you, but not too many years ago when this time of season would roll around I would be filled with dread.  It would take everything I had to maintain the quality of service for my clients (vacation workouts, updated workouts, nutrition modifications, special reminders regarding stretching and rolling to keep lose, etc.), begin my own Christmas shopping, make sure I was able to get my own workouts in, as well as get the all important necessary down time -- 'cause I'm a bear if I don't get my sleep.

Over the years this pattern became a pain.  I mean I would literally start to despise the coming holiday season right around Halloween.  I could almost hear the clock winding up to begin the countdown.  And believe me that is no way to enjoy the holiday season.  I like you had worked hard all year.  This should be a time you kind of slow down and appreciate all that you have accomplished.  A time to enjoy family and friends after a busy and productive year. But what was I missing in order to create that experience?

What I finally came to understand is it's all about the plan.  If I plan in advance, the gift purchasing is easy.  I just do a little each week, starting early in November.  Then it all goes smoothly.  My "to do" list doesn't seem so overwhelming and everyone feels appreciated -- including me (because I made time for myself).

The other interesting bit of knowledge I've picked up over the years is that this process of advanced planning pretty much works for anything.  If you just take a few moments each week to get clear on where you're headed, it all tends to go rather smoothly.  Just doing a little each week. Don't leave it to the last minute and try to cram it all in.

Keeping that thought in mind, I figured why not share some recipes with you so that you can stock up on all the options, and start the new year off ready to kick some butt.  No more wondering what should I eat that is healthy for me. No more waiting till the last minute because you can't think of any healthy choices.

Instead just be sure to create a folder in your filing system labeled "Recipes" and just place the ones I share with you in that file.

Now of course you may want to take the time to organize them in certain categories like breakfast, lunch and dinner, but other than that you should be pretty much set.  Just copy them and paste them in your file.  Then as you begin planning for your success in the coming year, you'll be all set with lots of options.  People will think you're some kind of super-human because you have so many delicious and easy to make meal options.  They'll watch your body transform and wonder how you had time over the holidays to become so prepared.  Just cut and paste.

Your success is that easy.  Just take a moment to do a little planning. 

Below are two breakfast options to get you up and running right each morning.  While everyone else is slowly waking up after getting to the office, you'll be fired up and ready to take on the day -- and transforming your body at the same time. A Win-Win. I like that.


Recipe #1 Maple Walnut Apple Oatmeal (Maple_Walnut_Apple_Oatmeal.doc)

Recipe #2 Raspberry Mocha Shake (Raspberry_Mocha_Shake.doc)

These easy to prepare and very tasty options are courtesy of Gourmet Nutrition by Dr. John Berardi, Michael Williams and Kristina Andrew
I just finished listening to a gym member rave about some new book they picked up that they just swear is the "BIG SECRET" to losing weight.  This person went on and on about how easy it is to prepare the food, how much they like the options for food, and probably most importantly -- how much they enjoy the taste of the food.

I've been in the Health, Fitness and Wellness Industry for over 25 years.  I've seen literally tons of fad diets come and go. I've seen just as many people rally behind these so called "big secrets" as if they were the fountain of youth. And though some stayed on the band wagon, many became disenchanted with diet "X" and moved on to the next fad.  Only to rally around that one as the new "big secret", etc.  I think you get the point.

What I'm trying to say is that the program that works, the "Biggest Kept Secret" is you finding a program, a structure that works for you. It's not the program, there are literally hundreds of diet books on the shelves of any bookstore.  The secret is you.  Are you willing to make the commitment to preparing your food in advance?  Are you willing to say no to the abundance of holiday treats that will be coming your way shortly.  And if you can't say no, only taste -- don't feast on dead calories.

There is nothing you can't accomplish if you truly put your mind to it.  This is just a matter of taking baby steps and getting your feet wet.  Plan one meal per day that you are committed to eating properly no matter what. In a week or so, make it two meals, etc. Next thing you know, you'll have your own Big Secret!

Here are two recipes to help you create your own "Big Secret".

1.)  Steamed Halibut (Steamed_Halibut.doc)

2.) Baked Chicken Strips (Baked_Chicken_Strips.doc)

These tasty and quick to prepare meals are courtesy of Gourmet Nutrition by Dr. John Berardi, Michael Williams, and Kristina Andrew
It's the second Monday of November and we are stepping closer and closer to that frantic time when the holiday schedules and long lists sometimes have each of us over extending ourselves.  And as you know, if you over extend yourself often enough, you can set yourself up for a battle with a winter cold or flu -- Yuck.

Did you know that if the cold or flu is not full blown often times a moderate workout will speed the healing process? Many times people avoid their workouts all together as soon as they feel a bit sneezy or congested.  When in fact, if you're just beginning to feel the effects of an oncoming cold or flu, moderate exercise can increase certain aspects of your natural immune system so that you fight off or significantly decrease the affects.

Jeffrey A. Woods, a professor of kinesiology and community health at the University of Illinois says, “It is okay to exercise if you have a simple head cold or congestion — in fact, it may improve the way you feel. I would avoid heavy, prolonged exercise with a head cold, though.”  In general, moderate exercise, such as a leisurely jog or walk, may prop up your immune response and lessen the duration and severity of a mild infection, but be honest about your condition.

On the other hand researchers caution, “If you don’t feel well, especially if you have fever or body aches, I would recommend stopping daily exercise until you are recovered.”

Exercise and Your Immune System


Remember that old saying, Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  Well it's true.  For one, you've been fasting all night long (called sleeping), your body needs some healthy calories to begin your day. Second, it kicks your metabolism on and starts the fat burn. Third, if you don't have breakfast you actually increase your chances of storing fat and gaining weight (due to the body's increased insulin response from skipping breakfast). And let's be honest, if you don't start your day with a nutritious breakfast you are more likely to grab something unhealthy later in the morning, to calm those screaming cravings for real food.

So here are some great ideas to keep you on track as we begin the hectic holiday schedule.  Remember to make you part of your daily list.  It will make getting through each day easier and make you easier to get along with.

Breakfast Ideas That Take 5 Minutes or Less


Plain and simple, exercise can help you fight off the initial affects of a pending cold or flu and yes, eating breakfast is as important as your mother used to tell you.  Only now there's research to prove it.
Well, I don't know how we got to the end of October so quickly, but here we are yet again. And if you've been to any shopping malls or large department stores, you know they are already playing Christmas music.  OUCH!  I mean c'mon, we haven't even gotten through Thanksgiving and they are already pushing us to Christmas.

What it does serve as, is a reminder that the holidays are coming.  That means small bowls of candy throughout the office, cookies and cakes being brought in to share (I can think of better gifts to share) with others, and the usual holidays gatherings like Christmas parties, Thanksgiving dinners with family and friends, and of course Christmas dinner. To put it simply, lots of extra calories in the form of candies, cookies, cakes, and other tempting delectable treats that will derail your efforts to stay on track.
                                                                                                                                                                                    
Are you ready?  I mean ready with habits and coping strategies in place to be sure you're not one of the people that gains the typical 7-15lbs over the holiday?

If you're like most of the people I've talked to, you probably haven't even really thought about it.  During this time of year it is critical that you have a plan and coping strategies to keep your habits under control; and you on track through the holidays.

I want you to succeed!

And part of that responsibility is that I provide you with info that is outstanding and ready to use right out of the box.  This is one of those instances.

I was recently emailed this article that really got my thinking cap working overtime. 

Don't let the title fool you.  There is some seriously good information, tips and strategies to help you get your habits in shape before the holidays.

Trust me, take a look over the quick tips here and then click on the link below. I want to give a Big Thanks to Precision Nutrition for posting this article.
___________________________________________________________________________________________

Tips for losing fat from naturally skinny people

How can you learn to think and act like a naturally skinny person in order to reap the benefits for fat loss? Here are some tips.

  • Understand that you have a lot of control over your eating behaviour, regardless of your physiology.
  • Food is just food. It should not be used as a reward or an emotional outlet.
  • Reprioritize food and put it in its proper place — as something that tastes good and sustains us, but should not dominate our thinking.
  • Pay attention to your physical cues. Start eating when you’re physically hungry and stop when you’re physically full.
  • Change your expectations of fullness. Stop before you feel stuffed, or even “full”.
  • Understand that cravings come and go. Ignore the cravings, distract yourself, and don’t keep problem foods in the house.
  • Keep moving, as much as possible.
  • It’s OK to say no to food in social situations. The more you assert yourself, the more people will get used to it.
  • In order for behaviour to change, your identity has to change. Skinny guys have to think of themselves as bigger and more muscular; heavier folks have to think of themselves as working towards being lean athletes.
  • Portion sizing is important. Your idea of the correct portion may be wrong.
  • Change requires practice. The more you practice eating smaller (or larger) meals, the more your body will get used to it.
  • Make your behaviours match your goals. If you’re constantly acting in ways that self-sabotage, you either need to change the behaviours or your goals. In any case, be realistic and honest about what you are doing.


Get the Full Story Here:  Ready For Some Cutting Edge, Useful Info
I'm feeling a little bit down today.  I don't know exactly why, but I guess I'm really seeing the other side when it comes to the advances in technology.  I mean don't get me wrong, I appreciate the multitude of features on my cell phone, the vast TV channel selections, the advances in medicine, and our ability to create more green technology.

The problem that has me down is, it unfortunately seems as though people think that fitness and body transformation should happen at the same speed as technological advances. And what really sucks about that is. . . . . . The Body Doesn't Work Like That ! I like to call it Spray Tan Fitness (more on that next week). It seems people believe you can just show up at the gym, talk most of the time they're there and expect to get results. Kind of like getting a spray tan (which is not a bad thing, since it keeps you away from ultraviolet rays, it just doesn't work when it comes to fitness).

Sure you can drop a few pounds quickly by cutting out certain food groups for a short period of time. But it's not a lifestyle you can maintain and so the weight comes back. Sure you can get certain surgeries done to get you to lose weight, but from what I read you risk your life by having the surgery. Sure you can even take certain pills to assist you. But low and behold, when you come off of them you have to do the work of proper nutrition consistently and daily exercise.

I want you to understand, if there was a quick fix to weight loss, or avoiding pain, an easy way, I'd have found the book or product, found out where they sold it and for how much, and sent you an email each day to tell you about it.  Sadly the truth is, it will take some level of work and effort on your part to change your body.  There are no quick fixes, no magic pills, no creams, no potions.

However, on a brighter note, the ways to lose weight, keep it off, get out of pain and stay that way, are all pretty simple. You commit to doing the simple tasks on a daily basis and you will get results, 9 times out of 10.

So in keeping with the theme this month, here are 3 More Easy Ways to Change Your Body. They are straight and to the point. And guess what?  If you apply them, they work like magic.

Check out the video below and let me know what you think.

A client asked me the other day why do I think it takes some people so long to get results while other people seem to have faster results. 


I think this is such an outstanding question.


It’s all about habits.  Some people will come in each week and do hours of cardio, but then leave the gym and pay little to no attention to what they eat. Likewise others will come in do all sorts of rehab exercises and then go and sit in their office chair with their legs crossed for 3-4 hours a day and wonder why their knee or hip is still bothering them.


It’s all about HABITS.  To me the whole idea of working out, exercising and training is so that it makes what we do in our day to day life easier and more enjoyable. If you spend 3-4 hours a week exercising, but spend 20-30 hours a week sitting improperly or not paying attention to what you eat, you’ve dismantled all the hard work you’ve done at the gym.


See, working out, training and exercising is like fluoride for the body.  It fortifies the body so it doesn’t break down while you’re going through your daily routine. Eating properly does much the same thing. It fortifies and encourages your body to burn fat, digest and eliminate properly and repair damaged tissues.

The curious thing is many people treat fitness like we do our car repair. We think if we just show up and do some exercise, that’s the end of the responsibility. Unfortunately you can’t just drop off your body and pick up a new one, without aches and pains, and the perfect shape you want.  You have to be aware of your habits outside the gym as well.

Simply put, health, fitness and wellness is a lifestyle.  It is something that should be made part of your everyday living if you are going to get results and reach your goals.

Here are some HABITS to assist you in reaching your goals.


1.)   Focus on the task at hand.  If you’re training, train, don’t make it a social outlet. Get what you came to get done, done.

2.)   Plan your meals in advance. Make food choices that assist you in reaching your goals. You deserve to see the results of all your hard work, and it will help you stay motivated.

3.)   Get body work/massage done regularly. Whether it’s going to a massage therapist or using a roller or tube for self massage, take care of your body. It’s as important as changing the oil in your car.

4.)   Be aware of your posture. How you sit in your chair, how you walk, how you stand. You spend WAY more hours doing these things each than you do training – Fortify!

5.)   Get your rest. At the pace most of us are working, none of us can afford to miss any sleep. It’s a necessary part of recuperation both mentally and physically.


Your habits, like it or not, decide your success in anything you do in life.  Don’t just go through the motions. You’re putting in the hard work, why not see the results? Whether it’s physical pain, a few extra pounds you want to get rid of, or a financial goal you have set for yourself, your habits will dictate your success.

As always, let me know what you think.  Was this information a helpful reminder?

I’ve had it!


I’ve sat quietly by and politely smiled when I’ve heard people speaking about the huge success of using this potion ‘X’ or make claims about this pill ‘Y’ or tonic ‘Z’. Commercials, magazine ads, and advertorials (when a company writes an article that appears to be informational or educational in content, when in fact it is an advertisement for their product) are making all sorts of claims about what we all NEED in order to be healthy.



I was watching TV the other day and noticed several ads came on about a product that was touting the health benefits of a certain drink. I remember yet another one that talked about the lack of nutrients in our soil, so people should start taking these pills to assure their health. Then of course there was the exercise DVD's that tell you how amazing your results will be by doing their 'special' program.



Needless to say I am all for health, fitness, and wellness. But is it just me, or has the marketing and snake oil selling gotten way out of hand?



I don’t deny that the quality of the soil is depleted, and that we probably all take in more toxins than is healthy for us. What gets under my skin is the shear outrageousness of the claims and the backwards thinking that is used to sell the products.



If you have the discipline to take product ‘X’ 4 times per day with meals and every other weekend, couldn’t you use that same discipline to prepare your “real food” meals prior to each day and receive even more benefits from consuming actual food instead of a pill or drink?



The same idea applies to your health. There is no magic exercise program out there, only the one that you commit to doing on a consistent basis.  If you’re consistent and improve the way you eat, you will get results. Now for some people that may be hiring a Fitness Coach, or purchasing a set of exercise DVD’s, but you have to utilize the information and motivation if you want to see a result from your investment.  Just showing up and going through the motions won't give you the results you want.



I don’t know about you, but it sounds like some old fashioned reality is what is needed to me.


1.)    Your body was built to move. Because we spend so much time inactive,  exercise is a way to give your body what IT NEEDS – challenging physical movement that gets the blood pumping and produces and some perspiration. Remember Not All Movement is Good Movement. First get proper instruction.

2.)    Watch what you put in your body. Garbage in, Garbage out. Take the time to prepare your meals ahead of time so you don't make poor food choices because your starving. NO amount of special antioxidant drinks or pills will cure inactivity and poor food choices!!

3.)    Make time for consistent fitness in your life, if not daily then 3x/week minimum. Many of us are stressed out beyond belief. How well you take care of your physical body, or fail to, will dictate how long and how well you live and enjoy your life.  Energy drinks won't fix the problem.


4.)   Make a Plan. If you really want to see a change in anything in your life, make a plan with 3-4 realistic short term goals and 1 long term goal, and get to work.


It is my intention to use these blog posts to assist you in achieving your health, fitness and wellness goals, by providing reliable, practical information that when you use it consistently, you will get the results you need.



Make a commitment to yourself Today to Get Out Of Pain, and Get In Your Best Shape.



Here’s a FREE BONUS to get you started.

WELLNESSTOFITNESSIN4EASYSTEPS.doc

As I discussed in part 1, we can all admit that when we are under a great deal of stress it is difficult for us to commit to our healthy eating plan.
 

I discussed the hormones Cortisol (the stress hormone) and Serotonin (the feel good hormone) and how they each play an important role in food cravings, and fat storage.  In part 2, let’s take a closer look at stress and ways to manage it so that it doesn’t sabotage your weight loss goals.

 

Stress is a part of life.  Whether it’s the baby crying, the irritability of a loved one, the endless deadlines at work, or the constant flow of bills, stress is a part of all of our daily lives.  But not all stress is bad.  In some cases stress actually assists us in being our best selves by increasing our awareness and attentiveness to a situation. As a practicing psychotherapist for 7 years, and a fitness coach for the past 14 years, it has been my experience that the main culprit when it comes to stress sabotaging weight loss goals is chronic stress.

 

 

 

Stress is defined as a mentally or emotionally disruptive or upsetting condition occurring in response to adverse external influences affecting physical health, usually by increased heart rate, a rise in blood pressure, muscular tension, irritability, and depression.

I want to be clear; a “stressor” is the precipitating event or situation which can cause a response of “stress”.  Thus, a stressor is only stressful if you deem it to be so.  How you handle, or fail to handle the stressors in your life is what determines your stress level and your ability to maintain your commitments to your weight loss goals. 

 

There are two types of stressors:

  • Acute stressors which are similar to the flight or fight response, where you have an immediate physical response to the event, situation, or request and
  • Chronic stressors which are directly related to long term exposure to situations in which you respond to in a stressful manner.   What we need to understand and remember is that stress is as individual as styles and tastes of clothes.  What one person finds intolerable, another person may not be bothered by at all. 

     

     

    The first thing to do to learn to manage your stress level better is to start taking notice of situations that cause you stress.  What type of unique response do you have and to what types of situations?  Begin to notice your internal dialogue.  What is it saying?  Is it encouraging you to move forward or is it negative and self-defeating?  This first step is important because once you effectively identify your stressors you are now empowered to change your reaction to them.

 

The second step is HUGELY important.  Because believing that you are capable of making the changes necessary to enjoy a better, less stressful life begins the process of healing.  Ask yourself, can you avoid the stressor altogether or at least minimize your contact and/or length of time with the person or situation that creates the stress? 

 

Once you begin to believe that you can in fact change the way you respond to a stressor you can then begin to make the small adjustments towards experiencing less stress.  You can look at whether you are viewing your stressors in exaggerated terms. Are you trying to please everyone?  Are you being too rigid in your expectations?  Are you dealing with an all too familiar situation and expecting a different outcome? Then take some deep breaths to slow your heart rate and help clear your thoughts.  Look at these stressful situations as something you can cope with successfully.

 

Stress creates many different reactions on a hormonal level, mental level and emotional level.  I believe you are capable of sticking to and achieving your weight loss goals.  Here are a few tips to keep you on track in the face of stress and cravings:

 

By taking the time to read this valuable information, you have already demonstrated that you are ready to achieve your weight loss goals.  You have the information, now it’s time for action!  To change, one has to move.  You are now ready to handle stress, rather than it handling you.  Move to a place of power in your life. I know you can do it!  If you have any questions or have a unique situation let me you would like help with, please contact me.

Here's your FREE-- Checklist_to_Reduce_Stress.pdf

 

I usually like to spend these posts sharing ways for you to combat pain and discomfort. Because honestly, it seems like most everyone I speak to is experiencing some type of pain or discomfort in their body. But today I was approached by a couple that asked a very interesting question, “Does stress really affects a person’s ability to lose weight?”

 

By all means, YES, stress does play an important roll in how effectively you lose weight.

 

RING! RING! RING! The alarm clock sounds and jolts you out of your peaceful sleep. The day has begun.  If you’re like most of my clients you whiz through the day stressed out from the moment we wake up.  It’s no wonder over 60% of the population is considered overweight.  So what do you do in a world full of growing commitments, bills, challenging relationships, and constant temptations of processed food?  And why do you crave that processed food anyway?

 

Let’s keep this simple, when you are under stress it is difficult for anyone to commit to a healthy eating plan. You begin your day in a whirl-wind just to get on the road and on your way to work, not to mention all the stress of dealing with traffic.  Once you are at work having to deal with the stresses of deadlines, annoying co-workers and demanding bosses; this is on top of the responsibilities you already have at home.  It’s enough to make anyone just want to indulge.

 

When you are stressed your body releases a chemical called “Cortisol” (known as the “stress-hormone”) into the bloodstream.


  • Cortisol levels rise in response to a perceived stress; real or imagined.
  • An increase in Cortisol means a decrease in Serotonin (think of a see-saw).
  • Serotonin is the hormone responsible for relaxed and content feelings and, no surprise, is one of the significant hormones that assist in helping us fall asleep at night. 

     

    Eating can often be a distraction, because if you’re focused on food, for however long that lasts, you’re not dwelling on the problem that is causing you stress. 

     

    The funny thing is that when you’re stressed (remember the see saw)

 
  • you may typically crave carbohydrate-rich foods, which when consumed, create feelings of relaxation and contentedness. In fact;

  • when you stuff yourself or binge on large amounts of carbohydrates you may notice a “sugar high”;

  • In fact, this stressful lifestyle is encouraging you to eat high sugar foods to regain that pleasant feeling of calm.  Sound familiar?

 
I want to make it VERY clear here that including exercise as a part of changing your physique doesn’t mean you have to join a gym! 
 


What it does mean is that you need to include physical activity into your daily or at worst weekly schedule.  Unfortunately everyone seems to be looking for the quick fix.  In this age of almost immediate gratification, few seem willing to take on the challenge of giving their body what it needs. . . . .  EXERCISE!  A good weight loss plan is built around the client.  That’s why when I create programs for my clients I am sure to ask them what types of physical activities they enjoy doing and then include those types in their weight loss program to assure success – and that doesn’t always mean going to a gym.  (Please contact me so I can help you find out what works for you to be successful in your weight loss goals.)

 

“SO WHAT DO I DO?” YOU ASK.

Great question.  In Part 2, I discuss the different types of stress that affects us all, and ways to manage that stress so it doesn’t get the best of you or your waistline.