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
Nov
19
2010
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Here we are at week 3 of November.  Time is certainly flying by.  But truth be told, it's just a reminder that the holiday season is upon us.  Right about now is when most of us begin to feel the time crunch of Thanksgiving quickly approaching us, hoping we don't over-indulge yet again this year.  It's also the time when the Christmas shopping countdown begins -- becoming more frantic with each passing week.

But I know all of you have self-control.  You aren't going to let the same thing happen this year that threw you off track last year.  This year you're going to make sure you keep yourself on that long list of "things to do".  This year you'll make sure to stop when your body says it's had enough.  You'll wait a few hours and then go back if you still want more. This year you're not going to wait till the last minute to get your shopping done.

And since you've made those commitments, here is your next exercise to keep you on track.  You use your core every single day of your life.  There really is no "time-off" from keeping this all important part of your body in shape and functional.  Besides, you already figured out back pain is really no fun.

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.


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
Nov
12
2010
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Sure you could just ignore this valuable bit of information.  I mean you're already in the best shape you ever been in. Why tamper with perfection?

On the other hand, if you're like me and still have tons you would like to accomplish in your life, then taking this valuable bit of information may be a good idea.  I mean why wait till late spring or early summer, like most people do, and then attempt to do some kind of crash abs program to get your abs/core in shape and ready for the warmer weather. 

You know, you do need your core to function properly just as much in the winter as you do the summer.  You're still sitting at a desk for much of the day or stuck in traffic behind the wheel on your commute. Remember that's how back pain starts, being stuck in awkward positions for extended periods of time. 

But then again, back pain is not such a big deal, right?  Yeah, keep telling yourself that . . . . . . or you could click on the video below and be ahead of the game.



Check back next week for another core movement to keep you on track and ahead of the rest of the pack.
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.
Nov
05
2010
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Last month I shared with you some exercises to help you fight SB Syndrome.  And if you've been practicing/using them regularly you know how well they work.

This month I want to share some exercises for the core.  I know many people, some of them even trainers, believe that the elusive 6-pack is all about how many crunches you do each week.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  While doing abdominal exercises will indeed tone the midsection, nutrition is the larger key in creating that all important 6-pack that so many people desire.  However, now here's the kicker, just because you have a 6-pack, doesn't mean that you have a strong core or that your abs work effectively.

The bottom line is that you have to do both: core/ab exercises as well as a proper nutrition program in order to get that "ripped" midsection look.  And you know me, it's not just about the vanity aspect of having a nice set of abs.  There is an all important functional aspect as well.  How well your core functions (as well as your glutes if you'll remember last months posts) often determines whether or not you'll have back pain. Want to get rid of back pain or just make sure you don't ever have to experience it, try the movements I'll share with you each Friday this month and I can almost guarantee you won't have to worry about pain in your lower back.

Here's the first movement I'd like to share to help you get your core in shape and looking good.

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.