Happy Friday!

I do hope this month I did a good job at keeping things simple and to the point.  I realize we all have busy schedules and like to get the information we need quickly and effectively.

That being said, how is your fight against SB Syndrome going?  Are you helping yourself or someone you know that is in need?

I've given you some really great movements this month to help you get on track with not only fighting SB Syndrome, but also getting that all important core in shape as well. Remember what we discussed, it's not just about vanity when it come to the glutes/butt, it's also about keeping back pain away.  So the way I see it, it's a win/win situation. You not only get well shaped, effectively functioning glutes, you also ensure that you won't have back pain as a result of a weak core or glutes that just hang there and don't do anything.

Keep practicing your movements weekly and enjoy the results.

Check the video below for your final tool in fighting SB Syndrome.

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 can't say it enough.  If you're serious about making changes in your body there are 2 specific things you've got to do:

1.) Plan and if possible, prepare your meals ahead of time to make sure you stay on track with your nutrition, and

2.) You've got to get your daily exercise. And if you can't do it daily, start with 1 day a week and build to a minimum of 3 days per week.
That being said, I can't tell you how often I hear people complain about how hard it is to stay on track with food.  Now of course when questioned they readily admit that they are not sticking to any real food plan, they just kind of wing it all day.  And of course at the end of a few weeks they wonder why they don't see any changes in their body composition.

I know it's a worn out cliche, but if you don't plan for your success how do you think it will happen?

The 2 largest complaints I hear from people when it comes to sticking to a food plan, is that the food is tasteless and uninspiring, and they don't have time.  Well, here are two recipes below that are big on flavor and easy to prepare. They taste good and are darn good for you. Even better is that they don't take any longer to prepare than any other home cooked meal. 

As you know, this month is all about keeping it simple.  Here are two simple recipes to help you stay on track.

Salmon or Sole in Parchment on a bed of Greens & Julienne Root Vegetables

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  Problem is most people eat a cold cereal or worse.  Well here's an option that tastes great, takes almost no time to make and is packed with nutrients.

Leafy Green Protein Shake (Leafy_Green_Protein_Shake.doc)

These are courtesy of Elizabeth Brown, MS, RD "The Kitchen Vixen"

Thanks Elizabeth for keeping the daily grind full of nutrients and flavor.
Over the past couple of months we've gone through some pretty deep stuff; getting in The Zone, finding your Big Rocks, etc. This month let's keep it simple and to the point. 

Today I want to share with you some basic and to the point ideas to help you create a successful weight loss and keep it off program.  It's largely about the planning.  Funny thing is, so is gaining quality muscle -- it's all in the planning and consistency.

Check out the video below to get your 3 Critical, Ready to Apply Strategies to Transform Your Body.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if it helps you achieve your goals that much quicker and keep the great results, then I'll be the bad guy.

I can't tell you how many times I'm asked, "Well, I just want to lose weight right here". The person is pointing to their thighs, buttocks, hips, waist, etc.  It seems in this age of instant gratification everyone wants a quick fix to getting into shape.  The unfortunate truth is that you cannot spot reduce.  I know, I know, say it isn't so. But check out one of the many quick fixes that has been on the market for some time and see the truth of what this machine really does.

"According to a study published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, the answer is yes and no. The scientists electrically stimulated the abdominal regions of 24 adults 5 days per week for 8 weeks. The goal was to determine the extent of abdominal muscle activation and any resulting body composition changes affecting muscle definition.

Upon study completion, all subjects reported that their abdominals felt “toned” and “firmed,” and 54% “felt that their posture had improved....There were no differences in body weight, body mass index, or skin fold thickness over the course of the study.” stated the study authors. However, subjects experienced a 58% increase in abdominal strength and a 100% increase in abdominal endurance." (courtesy Idea Magazine)

So what this proves again is that you can in fact exercise an area of the body and feel more toned, gain more endurance and possibly strength, but you will not lose body fat in a specific region just because you exercise that region.

Once again, it's all about your habits surrounding your nutrition as well as your exercise intensity -- be it cardio or using weights. If you need a little reminder on how to organize your meals to get rid of those few extra pounds click here.

We all want to enjoy what we see when we look in the mirror, but please understand there are no quick fixes.  If there were, everyone would be in shape.  Bottom line is that you have to create a plan and stick to it. No infomercial product is going to provide you with a short cut to discipline and consistency.

And the biggest secret is consistency!

I believe you can do it. I believe you have what it takes to create the body you want. You just have to make a plan and stick with it.

If you need some help, let me know, that's why I'm here.
I honestly believed, for some strange reason that everyone knew the truth about Cellulite. I was under some strange impression that the average person was clear on what was and what was not true about cellulite.  I was blown away, when today, someone came to me and asked me for an exercise to get rid of cellulite on their thighs.  So let's get to it.  Here are 7 facts about cellulite so you will know what it really is and how to get rid of it effectively and keep it off.

1.) Cellulite is a term that originated in France over 150 years ago. Widespread promotion of the term began in the United States in about 1973, following an piece done by Nicole Ronsard, a New York City beauty salon owner that specialized in skin and body care.

2.)  Cellulite is described as the dimpling of the skin, caused by the bulging or protrusion of subcutaneous fat into the dermis (upper layer of skin), thus creating a rippling (waffling, orange peel syndrome, cottage cheese) affect of the skin.  The culprit affects 85%-98% of post-pubescent females, though primarily targeting females over the age of 35.  It is rarely seen in men.

3.)  The reason it is seen in women more than men is because of the way a woman's skin attaches to muscle and how fat is effected by this type of connection.

4.)  There is NO RESEARCH that demonstrates cellulite is any different than "normal" fat stores.

5.)  Genetics are the largest indicator as to who will most likely have cellulite. It's in your DNA.

What you can do to decrease your chances of getting cellulite or decrease it?

6.)  Drink plenty of water, choose lean sources of protein, fiber and whole grain foods, fresh vegetables, unsaturated fats and of course, a rigorous and consistent exercise routine.

7.)  There is NO SUCH thing as spot reduction.

There you are. The basics of cellulite. It's not a mystery, it can be gotten rid of with healthy balanced food choices and exercise.

Remember, there is nothing you can't accomplish if you put your mind to it.  Set a long term goal with 3 short term goals in between.  Make them challenging, but achievable, and watch the magic happen.

If I can be of any service in helping you achieve your goals, don't hesitate to contact me.

Now you've got the facts, go out and get it done.
A relative asked me over the weekend what is the formula for lasting weight loss.  BINGO, I thought, this would be a good blog post.

So here it is in four easy steps, the formula to lasting weight loss:

1.)  Commit to taking excellent care of yourself both mentally and physically. Whether it's getting up a bit earlier to do a bit of yoga and meditation for 20-30 minutes before preparing to work or ending your day with this type of routine, each day needs to take into account the physical and mental aspect of the body that we rely on to carry out our daily tasks.

2.)  Set realistic short and long term goals.  From my experience most people set their initial goals much too high for the time period they've given themselves. And of course more often they not they don't meet their goal, get frustrated and abandon the whole process altogether. Initially, set easily accomplished goals, that still make you accountable, but allow you to build momentum to the long term goal. That way you ensure your success from the start.

3.)  Commit to a nutrition schedule (way of eating, diet if you will) that meets your lifestyle, tastes and budget constraints.  No matter what the promises someone else may make about their way of losing weight, if you can't commit to it or don't like the food, you won't get results. The nutrition schedule should suggest and encourage a variety of protein sources, large low-glycemic carbohydrate use and limited uses of high glycemic carbohydrates, and regular consumption of healthy fats (i.e. poly and monounsaturated).

4.)  Commit to a regular resistance exercise program that periodically changes to keep you both motivated and challenged.  A reputable trainer or reference book should be able to provide you with a workout you can do on your own, that every 6-12 weeks, based on the individual, changes to challenge your skills and fitness level.  Based on your goals and lifestyle about 30-60 minutes, 4-5 days per week should allow you to challenge your body enough to get measurable changes.

There you go.  It's really that simple.  That challenge is to be consistent.  But I believe you can do it.

As always, let me know what you think.
It continues to amaze me how many people ask me for my advice about getting out of pain, weight loss or weight gain, but when given the answers, seem disbelieving. "How can I get rid of this little fluff around the middle?", the person will ask me. "I would really beware of how many starchy carbs you take in each day, and I would suggest intervals for cardio and/or circuits to really get the results you want quickly", I respond. They look at me as if I'm speaking Latin. "I have to do all that!", they retort. "Well", I reply "try either circuits or cardio and let's see the results.  Then we can make a better decision where to go from there". In desperation they ask, "Couldn't I do just maybe 10-15 extra sit-ups or skip breakfast?" "No", I respond, "skipping breakfast will actually make the problem worse, and you can't spot reduce."

Now, I'm not quite sure when it happened, but when did people start believing success at anything is easy and painless, and is almost instantaneous? I mean c'mon, if being in shape or being successful was that darn easy, everyone would be walking around looking like a cover model and driving an exotic sports car.  The fact of the matter is anything that's worth something generally takes some pretty serious effort and commitment.

And here's something that I just spoke about with my clients this morning -- within the seeds of greatness there is some level of pain and/or discomfort. Simply put, if you want to achieve something that is valuable to you, don't expect the process to be painless.  That's not living in reality.  Know that anything that is worth achieving or is a goal that you have set, is going to have some elements of pain and discomfort. Think about it, it wouldn't be a goal if it was easy to achieve. Setting a goal means, I'm not at such and such a point and I will change my habits and focus to assure that I get there in X amount of time. So you've set a goal, which means the point you've chosen to achieve requires that you break unproductive, perhaps destructive bad habits so that you can reach a higher level of satisfaction with yourself. Built into that aspiration is pain and discomfort. Why, you ask? Because it is requiring you to change the previous way you've been behaving.

And therein lies the frustration of setting goals and expecting them to be painless and instantaneous. If you aspire to do anything, know it will come with some level of discomfort. BUT also know that if you commit to the process of achieving that goal, you will evolve into something much greater than you were before. You become a better you by aspiring to be more.

You deserve to achieve your dreams. Dare to aspire to be something more than you are right now. Remember, success and accomplishment is not convenient, it's a commitment to your greatness. And by the way, success, greatness and accomplishment is not always convenient, but it sure feels good when you get there.

As always, Reasons or Results.  Which will you have at the end of 30, 60, or 90 days? Set the goal and go GET IT!
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I think it's safe to say that most of us believe that a veggie burger is a wholesome alternative to a meat patty, yes? 

Well, a new report from the Cornucopia Institute states that some of the most popular veggie patties are contaminated with hexane, a neurotoxic chemical solvent that’s classified as a hazardous air pollutant by the EPA.  It appears that hexane is used to separate soy protein from the rest of the bean (the resulting ingredient goes under names including “soy protein isolate” and “texturized soy protein”).  “If a product that isn’t certified organic contains soy protein, it’s 99 percent likely that hexane was used to process it,” says Charlotte Valleys, a farm and food policy analyst for the Cornucopia Institute. “And that includes not just veggie burgers, but energy bars, meat substitutes—anything containing soy protein.” Click the link below to find out if you're "healthy" choices are listed www.cornucopia.org/soysurvey. 

One easy solution is to stick with products that are labeled "made with organic ingredients" or “USDA Organic” label. But according to the article this doesn't even guarantee that hexane is not present at a toxic level.

As if all your friends needed more encouragement and information touting the benefits of exercise, Dr. Fred Gage and his colleagues at the Laboratory of Genetics at the Salk Institute in San Diego have demonstrated that exercise can actually make you smarter! 

As we age stem cells in the brain become less responsive and sluggish, going into a sort of cellular sleep. Researchers at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago have demonstrated that exercise encourages and facilitates the production of adult stem cells in the brain through a process known as "neurogenesis".  And at least thus far in mice, exercise has demonstrated it is of extreme importance to this process because of the brain chemicals the body produces in response to exercise.  So NOW not only is exercise good for your body, it can make you smarter as well. 

Think I'll go do some lunges, squats and bicep curls and raise my IQ a few points today.

For those of you still wondering what the best way is to lose weight and keep it off, other than reading my blog posts each week, the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) states there are 4 major points:

Monitor Weight and Food Intake -- which basically means keep a record of your weight weekly and a keep a daily food journal.

Adopt an Effective Eating Frequency and Pattern -- as all my regular readers know, 3 regular meals and 2 snacks per day is key.

Control Portions -- as I shared in "the skinny on carbs" be aware of how you divide your plate so that you are aware of your portion sizes.

Fill Up on Less -- means eat your veggies and fruits.

And of course they do mention physical activity (also called exercise) at least 1hour a day.

Hope this info helps keep you informed, healthy and on the right track. As always, let me know what you think.
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As usual, I was taking in a little TV between client's while at the gym and I saw this advertisement come across: a sports drink rolls onto the screen and next to the bottle some print appears "contains 40 calories", followed by different sports drink rolling onto the screen and it shows print stating this sports drink "contains 25 calories", followed finally by the final sports drink, which we are told contains "zero calories".  Of course the implication is that you should pick a sports drink that has zero calories because calories are bad --- right?

Uh, did I miss something?  Aren’t calories something we consume every time we eat? Don’t we need calories to survive? How is consuming zero calories a good thing?

I have watched this marketing strategy of nutrition go from soup diets, to excluding complete food groups, to low fat, to non-fat, to low-carb, to the rage now, organic, natural and zero calories.


As I promised you in an earlier blog post, I will do my best to give you information that helps you succeed.  Sometimes that means I have to call it like I see it.  These marketing strategies may do wonders to sell products, but they do not assist you in reaching your goals.


As I mention in my “20 of the Most Frequently Asked Fitness Questions” (and yes, that was a plug for my audio), the main ingredient in sports drinks is sodium and sugar.  The truth of the matter is, most of us don’t sweat out enough sugar and sodium from our system during a workout to warrant the use of sports drinks.  Unless you are engaged in a high intensity sport or activity for a prolonged period of time (think triathlon or football practice in the hot sun for hours), most of us would do just fine drinking plain water.  I realize that’s not what some of you want to hear because so many of us define ourselves by the brands we purchase or consume.  But as I said I am here to give you accurate information to assure your success, not sell more units of brand X.


Let’s take this to the next step.  Have you ever read the label of a sports drink bottle? Besides, artificial sweeteners like High Fructose Corn Syrup (dangerous- read my article on artificial sweeteners), there are many other chemicals that make up a sports drink that I don’t think I can even pronounce correctly. Please explain to me how drinking dangerous artificial sweeteners and other chemicals is supposed to be good for your body and help you reach your goals.


The long and short of it is this:


1.)    Make good choices when fueling your body. Pick the highest quality you can. Avoid putting chemicals and artificial sweeteners in your body whenever you can.


2.)    Brand X won’t do more to help you reach your goals no matter what the advertisement claims. Remember marketing is meant to sell units, not necessarily help you reach your goals.


3.)    Choose water. Add lime, lemon, orange slices for flavor.  Most of us do not sweat out enough sodium and sugar to warrant the use of sports drinks.


This whole concept of zero calories is just another marketing ploy.  The easy way around this sabotage is to plan your meals in advance, kick butt during your workouts, and get your rest so you can function at your best both mentally and physically.


There are no short cuts.  Health, Fitness and Wellness are a lifestyle, not a sound bite.


This is just my opinion from 15+ years of experience.  As usual, let me know if this information was helpful.