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.
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.

First off I hope you're doing your part each day to fight SB Syndrome.  Check out my posts on Friday's this month to see how you can help yourself or someone you know fight SB Syndrome.

I know, I know.  People must think that sometimes I just make up the rants and info I share with you.  But I don't!  I actually do research on each and every bit of information I share with you.  How else will you be able to rely on me if I don't give you credible, useful info that you can live by, or share with your friends. 

1.)  That being said I've got to tell you this next bit of info even blew me away.  Who knew sitting for long periods of time could be so dangerous to your health? I mean honestly, I advocate exercise and modified nutrition to assist you in getting out of pain and to improve your quality of life; Who knew that sitting could actually do so much damage. Here's a quick synopsis of the article and the link below if you want to read it for yourself.

I wanted to be sure to provide you with the links so you can get the full story.

But the long and short of it is this:

"Over a 14-year period, women who spent six or more hours per day sitting had a 37% increased risk of dying compared with women who sat for 3 hours or less.  The excess risk was independent of other health factors, including the amount of exercise they got.  When overall activity was taken into account, the women who sat the longest and exercised the least were almost twice as likely to die as those who sat the least and exercised the most."

Exercise and Sports Science Review
American Journal of Epidemiology

Put quite simply, you have to get up and move every few hours!  Sitting for long periods of time is actually decreasing your life expectancy -- whether you exercise or not.  Take a moment, get up and walk around if you've been sitting for three hours or more.  In a sense, the length of your life depends on it.

2.)  And if that wasn't enough, there has been even more research done on the importance of nutrition.  Specifically, dieting by itself does not significantly create lasting weight loss. OK, I promise not to say "I told you so." Yet another study was done that demonstrated the 3 most important factors in losing weight and keeping it off:


       *  Diet coupled with exercise produces the best results for losing weight and keeping it off

       *  Having a formal or informal support group is key to losing weight

       *  Planning meals ahead of time on a consistent basis is essential to lasting weight loss

Diet is Not Enough

To make it quite plain and to the point, you've got to get up and move every 3 hours to maintain a long and healthy life and if you're serious about transforming your body, change your nutrition to healthy choices and add regular exercise to your daily and/or weekly schedule.

It's all about creating the habits that will create the life you want.  You now have the information, what kind of habits will you create?

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.
I was sitting listening to a conversation today. . . .okay so I was eavesdropping. The conversation between the group of individuals was about living to be 100 years old.  Not to be out done, one of the individuals brought up the importance of "making it". And from what I could, tell he was speaking of making it financially.

You all know me. Hearing that conversation got me thinking.  We all seem to be so consumed with being germ-free, drink gallons of anti-oxidants, are doing the latest fitness craze (whether it's a DVD set or the new and coolest class), drinking ion-free water, etc.. But has anyone considered the importance of the quality of life we are all leading? I mean, sure, my grandmother is 102 years old. It baffles my mind to think about the things she's witnessed in her lifetime. But equally important is that she is still able to laugh at my stupid jokes, pretty much get around on her own, appreciates a good sitcom and in general is still very much "present" to day to day activities of her life.

I wonder if I could ask you, "How present are you to your life"? Are you doing what's popular because you think it says something about you or are you doing a specific thing because it's what truly brings you joy? There is no manual on life, you know. There is no special prize at the end of the rainbow for having done what was popluar during your lifetime. However, what I can tell you is this. Life is what you make it. If you allow yourself to be led by marketing from one product to the next and join groups and participate in actions just because they are popular, at the end of your life, you won't have much to look back on.

If, however, you're brave enough to look at every situation as an opportunity for growth, and personally assess each marketing craze to see if it's right for you, and basically keep a sense of balance and personal accountability about yourself and the choices you make. Then, I believe the special prize at the end of the rainbow is called being at peace with yourself.

For me life is all about balance.  A balance between the aspects of life:

the spiritual
the physical
the social.

At any one time in my life, I call them chapters,  I may have to focus a bit more on one aspect more than the others, but some balance must be maintained in order for me to be productive and look back years from now and be able to smile and feel good about the quality of my life, not just the longevity.

Let me give you an example. I once knew a person (wink) that was a minimum of 75lbs overweight. The person was depressed, complained of not being able to get any dates and sincerely felt that they were being passed over for promotions at work. Then this individual got the idea that they would get rid of the 75lbs using liposuction. Guess what, I ran into this person several months later and they said to me "Nothing has changed". The person went on to explain that they were still not dating, hadn't moved forward at work, and obviously was still very depressed. I believe this person "hadn't changed" because they had skipped the journey that goes along with a body transformation. The difficult days when you have to dig deep to stay on track. Committing to making exercise a consistent part of your week. Going through the growing process that in fact, unveils/unearths that part of yourself once buried.

The journey, the learning to have balance, the focus on quality versus hype, are all part of transforming you into the person you want to be...having the body you want, the energy and vitality you need and the overall health you're trying to achieve. 

What aspects are important to you? I'd love to hear what you think.