I'll make this quick as I'm sure most of you are already on your way out the door or in the process of preparing for the Thanksgiving celebration tomorrow.

Tomorrow is officially the beginning of the holiday season. This year there is no need to get stressed out and frantic from all of the things you have to accomplish in the next 4 weeks.  I've come up with this easy little 5 Step Holiday Survival Guide that I can guarantee, if followed consistently, will decrease your stress level in a big way!

Check out the video below for your Holiday Survival Guide:

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 won't bother you too long today.  After all it is one week before Thanksgiving.  But check out the video below if you want the almost perfect plan to being successful over the holidays. 

It really boils down to 3 simple principles.  I say close to the perfect plan, because of course like anything, they only work if you use them.  And Yes, you should use the old 1% information to 99% application with these 3 simple principles.

Do that and you'll have a fantastic holiday.


At work today I was approached by a gym member and asked about 2 specific issues: How to get rid of knee pain, and The most effective way to lose weight and keep it off.  Needless to say I loved the questions because it gave me an opportunity to help someone achieve their goals by sharing the experience I've had as to what works and what doesn't.  But what was really interesting about the whole conversation was the person's high level of knowledge.  This person already knew what they should be doing as well as how often they ought to be doing it.  But for some reason, even with all of that information, the person was still in pain and not getting the weight loss results they wanted.

By the end of the conversation I came to one of those light bulb moments.  Actually it was so powerful I kind of had to look up and make sure there wasn't actually a light bulb above my head.

Check out today's motivational video to see what I mean.  I think you'll agree with the conclusion.

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.
It's a new month.  And we are on the cusp of another holiday season.  What's your commitment to, comfort or success? So many people say they want success, but seem to miss this one point that would literally change their efforts from frustration to success.

Check out today's video blog and start being a success.


Happy November 1st.

Why, because this is usually the beginning of when people begin to lose their focus.  Feeling the pressure of the pending holiday rush of food, gifts, and crazed schedules, people often forget to put themselves in that list of important things to do today.

Don't leave yourself out.  You're ability to get through this holiday season has a lot to do with your willingness to commit to not leaving yourself off of the proverbial list. 

Let me make this plain and simple. No matter how much you get done in a day, paying for it by being miserable the whole time your doing it or completely trashing your system with horrible food choices and no physical activity doesn't serve anyone -- especially you.  You don't get a medal for getting your list done, but neglecting yourself.  And you and I both know, with a little planning you can get your list of "to-do's" done, as well as take good care of yourself.


Staying in line with those thoughts, one of the biggest complaints I hear about being able to keep on track with nutrition is that it "takes too long to cook a meal that tastes good and is good for you".  Well that's not completely true. Below are two more recipes for quick meals that take 20 minutes or less to make and are good for you.  Throw some veggies and a starchy carb in and you're set to go.  Leaving you plenty of time to still get that growing list of things -- done.  Stay on track.  You've worked way too hard to lose your momentum now.


But of course for those of you that are committed to feeling crappy, having low energy, and taking years off your life, you're welcome to continue to poison yourself with fast food. 


It's your choice. Make one that moves you forward and not backward.



Recipe #1 -- Lemon Chicken (Lemon_Chicken1.doc)



Recipe #2 -- Tilapia with Caponata (Tilapia_with_Caponata1.doc)


These recipes are courtesy of A Recipe for Life by the Doctor's Dietitian -- Susan Dopart, M.S., R.D.


Thanks Susan
It's time for Mid-Week Motivation.

The holidays are just around the corner. Are you going to be out of control or in control and on track? You know it's all about the choices you make.  Whether it's the holidays, getting out of pain, or getting fit, it's all about the choosing the things that work for you and avoiding the things that don't work (or take you further from your goal).

Click the video below and see what I mean.


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
Oct
20
2010
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Welcome back to another Mid-Week Motivation Post. 

I don't know if you're familiar with the term, but it seems that many people have been using this type of approach to fitness in order to achieve their results.  I must admit I have not heard any credible or lasting results from the process, but for some reason it hasn't stopped many from continuing on this path of frustration and angst.

If you're looking for a clear and to the point way to get out of pain, or make changes to your body, then I encourage you to check out today's video blog post.