Holiday baggage……week 3!

Hey there! It’s been two weeks, how are you doing? Just being mindful of what you eat and how you nourish your body can go a long way to being healthy. We have added fruits and veggies, increased our hydration, and how do you feel?

Often, increasing hydration results in sleeping better, having more even energy levels throughout the day, and fewer cravings. Keep drinking that water!! 

Week 3: This week is serious, because next week we may eat more sodium in one meal than we eat in a total week normally! So, let’s prepare for that!! It’s time for more veggies, this time greens…..spinach salad, kale, or more broccoli. You choose, but get another serving in each day. Also, let’s cut out some simple carbs……reduce crackers, bread, or pasta. We will flush our systems and prepare for the increased salt intake next week!

You can do this. A couple of pounds this week just by making good choices! You will feel great heading into Thanksgiving!

Muscles and bones and ligaments, oh my!

When we begin an exercise program it is often to improve heart health or for weight loss. These are commonly known results of a regular exercise program, along with building strength in our muscles. But, did you know there are many other benefits to a regular exercise program?

Back in gym class, most of us learned about muscles…they get sore when we workout, and bones…they break if we whack them hard. But, what about ligaments and tendons?

Within our structural frame, our skeleton is a series of bones, connected at joints. Each of those joints have ligaments and tendons wrapped around and through to hold them in place and to actually move them. Tendons attach the beginning and end point of muscles to the bones, transferring muscular energy through the body. 

These connectors are imperative to provide movement through lever action, joint stability and support, and alignment of bones, muscles, and organs.

Ligaments, tendons, cartilage and fascia are referred to as connective tissue. All are made of collagen–the most abundant protein in the body–providing strength to connective tissues and cushioning–as cartilage–to joints. And, as we know, our bodies reduce collagen production as we age. Therefore, if left to nature, our connective tissues would become less strong and supple, losing elasticity, and more prone to injury.

Injuries can be acute or chronic and include strains, overuse and inflammation (tendinitis and tendinosis), ruptures and tears, “she suffered a torn ACL” (anterior cruciate ligament of the knee). All of these can be extremely painful and require a variety of long term treatment, often including surgery and therapy.

The good news is, the best way to improve muscle and connective tissue health is EXERCISE!! These tissues also benefit from good nutrition and hydration. Consistent use of the connective tissues through a full range of motion will help maintain flexibility, agility and allow for good balance. 

Cartilage—the buffer that protects the ends of bones—depends heavily on joint movement to absorb nutrients and remove waste, which means that for every step that you take you are not only strengthening the muscle and tendons surrounding that joint, you are also helping the cartilage and making it less susceptible to Osteoarthritis. Think: wrists while doing planks (joint weight bearing)! See, we do everything for a purpose!

Listen to your body. Many of us experience a reminder of a past injury. This can be a dull ache or a sharp, debilitating pain. Regular, controlled and specific exercises can alleviate the issue or strengthen the muscles surrounding the injury, reducing the direct pain.

However, there are times, when we just need to stop doing what hurts! 🙂 I could be a doctor.

Let’s strive to be “better than yesterday’s self”!  

Holiday baggage…week 2!

How did you do with week 1? Was it a treat to get to eat an apple each day? I have mine late in the afternoon with a few raw almonds, when it would be SO easy to have a less healthy snack! But, as I leave the house, I slice an apple and pack it with me. I know it is there and will fill me up and satisfy a sweet craving.

I really believe in packing food with me. I always have an ice chest in the car full of snacks or a meal. I know myself well enough to know that I will make less healthy choices on a hungry stomach! And it is often hard to find an healthy choice in a restaurant or store.

Be prepared and take something yummy with you!

Week 2: It’s an addition again! This week we add 4 glasses of water with fresh squeezed lemon. The lemon really helps to manage the acid levels in our bodies and assist with healthy digestion. There is discussion out there about how much water a body really needs, but I know that most of my friends and clients DO NOT DRINK ENOUGH! A healthy, hydrated person needs to pee every hour or so……when was the last time you peed? See? Just sayin’. Drink more water!

Holiday Baggage……Excess Baggage.

So, each year we head into the holidays with a blend of excitement and hesitation. When was the last time you thought, “I can’t wait to wear this and this and see all of my relatives, because I look my VERY best and have such so much positive self love?”

Let’s change that! It’s early in November and we have weeks to deal with! Let’s do what we can to build confidence, stand taller and totally believe in ourselves. And, along the way, let’s take off 2 lbs each week through the holidays! Okay?

Just 2 lbs. That is 6 lbs by Thanksgiving (maybe more if you rock it!) and another 6-8 lbs by Christmas! That is crazy and only 2 lbs a week. Just by being aware and giving yourself some love through the holidays, we can do this.

For the first week, here is your assignment!

WEEK 1: Add an apple or pear EVERY DAY. Also, add one serving of veggies each day. This can be raw carrots, celery, peapods or it can be cooked broccoli or asparagus, or a small salad. The first week you get to ADD food! Yum!

See you next week!

Rest Days! Actually marked on the calendar.

I’ll start with the best news.  You need a couple of REST DAYS each week! And you will probably have better performance if you limit the frequency to no more than 3 workouts in a row. As you begin, 2-3 days/week is great. Then as you get some conditioning you can move to 3-5 days/week.  

So, for example–Monday/Wednesday/Friday/Sunday=4 days/week

Or–Monday/Tuesday/REST/Thursday/Friday/REST/[Sunday]=4 days/week [5 days/week with Sunday]

The TABATA high intensity workouts in this challenge can stand alone and do not require you to “add cardio” or “add weight lifting”. However, if you are training for a marathon (or other distance cardio activity) you can incorporate 2 or 3 days of TABATA into your training schedule.

Just remember the REST DAYS.  

Performing high intensity or continued steady state training with no REST DAYS increases fatigue, muscle breakdown, and possible repeated use injury. Did I mention the REST DAYS? I want you to get stronger and stronger through the weeks of the Challenge. Take care of yourself. Schedule REST DAYS. Allow your body to restore and strengthen for the next workout, you will be stronger for it.

I don’t know how to start.

We have all heard our clients say it has been so long since they have worked out they’d better start with just walking or riding the stationary bike to get back in the groove.  No you don’t.

I say just start.  We’ll talk about the workouts, we’ll learn the exercises, we’ll agree on a schedule.  And you will start.  I will be there with you, I will coach you and encourage you and you will start.  I’m pretty sure that you’ll sweat, I’m pretty sure that you’ll be sore, I’m pretty sure that you’ll hate me at some point, and I’m pretty sure it won’t kill you it shouldn’t kill you.

After your workout, your body will know that you have worked hard, but your heart and mind will be thrilled that you have started.  You’ll be so happy with today’s accomplishments!  You will continue to make confident and smart choices for yourself.

When you wake up tomorrow and that soreness creeps back in, pat yourself on the back, stand a little taller, pull your shoulders back and know that you did it.  You started and you are going to keep going feeling stronger and braver every day.  Let’s start today.

PS-I’m pretty sure there will be days that you aren’t sore and you’ll wonder if you worked hard enough!



The peaches are so sweet this year. I am loving them in everything. Lately, they have been my afternoon treat. I believe anything that you need to peel (i.e., bananas, pineapple, mango, etc) should be treated as a dessert. However, while I really don’t enjoy eating peach skins, they are edible. So therefore, it is just a great fruit for anytime of the day.

Today, an afternoon snack in the form of a caprese salad.

Sliced mozzarella, a drizzle of Spanish olive oil and balsamic glaze, a couple of crystals of Hiwa Kai–Black Lava Sea Salt, and of course topped with basil.

The sweetness of the peach carried the olive oil and the sea salt, intensifying the flavors.


Peach Caprese

F.B.I. fitness deadline looming

When I wrote this post back in April, the F.B.I had just published it’s plan and date for physical testing of all the field agents. Some of them had a long way to go and some of them were delaying their testing until they felt they could perform well.

Do those tendencies show up for you? You need to lose some weight BEFORE you can begin a workout regimen? Or you won’t buy any new clothes until something else happens? 

While I love that the F.B.I. is valuing health and physical exercise as a core value of the organization, I do hope that it becomes a daily value and not only a focus of annual testing. Balancing or countering high stress levels with physical exercise will help maintain healthy bodies and strong minds.

And if it works for the agents, just think what it can do for you! Just start where you are and do more today than you did yesterday. Give your body some healthy nutrients and push your cardio and muscular systems. Make some good choices for you and your body. Your body will love you for it and you will see results. 

I wonder how the F.B.I. agents are doing. Do they look like a healthy work group? Do they have more energy? Will they maintain their fitness levels and provide encouragement and inspiration to each other?

How about you? Could you pass the F.B.I. fitness test?

Let’s get strong and fit together! The September Fitness Challenge begins on August 31!

Registration is open!


Previously posted on April 20, 2015

“It’s really not that hard,” said Jennifer Schick, a public corruption agent at the F.B.I.’s Washington field office who also oversees fitness training and tests.–The New York Times, April 5, 2015

I’m sure several agents have a different answer.

Yes it is hard. It is terribly hard.

We all know that maintaining a fitness program and healthy lifestyle is extremely hard. Everyone struggles with scheduling both time and energy for a fitness program. Stress and daily life easily sabotage schedules, the first thing to go is usually the workout. That said, fitness is very important. Healthy lifestyles and healthy bodies are extremely important to our daily life, to our families and loved ones, and in the case of FBI agents, to those they have sworn to protect.

We need to be at our best at all times.

Perhaps she meant the testing is not excessive. They test only includes four areas—I won’t judge that as good or bad. Each test will require strength and endurance to pass. Training will be required to gain that strength and endurance. If you don’t run or haven’t in a long time, it will be a shock to your body. As we age, those natural muscle movements and coordination fall away. It will take time to retrain the muscles to respond to the messages from your brain.

But, believe it or not. We can improve and we can repeat what we train for. We need practice. 

Where do you start? Some weekend warriors are able to lace up their shoes and take off on a 5 mile run. Most of us can’t. Or even if we can once, it is probably not sustainable.  A different approach is to start building strength and flexibility. Then introduce running. Continue to build strength and increase the cardio activities.

My 6-week fitness challenge begins with lower intensity exercises to get you moving again. Each week I increase intensity and build on the strength we are building. Workouts are only 35 minutes long and can be done on your schedule. If you prefer to exercise morning versus night or outside instead of inside, it all works. You need an internet connection and a small area and you are good!

Six weeks flies by, but if you do the workouts, you will build strength and endurance. You will prepare your body for cardiovascular activities.

Check out my workouts here: Free video workouts

The next 6-week challenge begins May 4th!! Registration is open!

Oh ya, the workouts are hard. But, the program is easy. Just sign up and I send you videos. You complete them and get strong. That’s easy.

There is still time!

Summer has hit us. And in my region, it is going to hit even harder in a couple of days. Our weather reports are saying we are experiencing temperatures 30+ degrees above normal! That is a mere 100 in my city, but 109 is forecast where I am visiting this weekend. We will be warm!

But, I still love the summer days and warm summer evenings! It makes want to sit at outdoor cafes and have picnics along the river.

It also makes me want to be active in the early mornings! I love the morning air, when it is still cool, but you can feel the heat in the sun and know it’s going to be a hot one! I can really feel the energy of the summer sun through my body. I like not wearing a coat!

With July just around the corner, we can still kick in the next six weeks and improve our fitness while summer is upon us.  This is another season when it is easy to say- “I’ll just wait until….fall? until……it’s cold outside?” No, no, no. Let’s do this now, while the air is warm and our energy is high.

Let’s do this because we love the way we feel. And let’s shape up those arms while they are wearing sleeveless tops! Let’s make our hikes easier! Maybe enter a 5k run/walk and take advantage of your new fitness!

That’s all. Let’s do this!

Are you in?

My next workout challenge begins May 4th–are you in?

We’ll spend the next six weeks together. I’ll create workout videos for you and show how to do the exercises. I’ll ask you to try really hard. I’ll even ask you to try harder (cuz, I know you can)! I’ll be there for you. I’ll ask you how you feel and I’ll answer your questions. I’ll be your workout buddy, and you’ll be mine!

I love to have workout buddies! I love to hear that you are sore. That your legs, glutes or abs are killing you……in a good way! I can give you modifications if you have an injury you need to work around. But, I’ll always ask you to try harder. To push yourself. To set new limits.

Making a decision to do this is the hardest part. Once you do that, all you need are sneakers and an exercise mat. We spend 35 minutes together and you feel like a million bucks!!

I hope that you’ll join this fitness challenge!  We start May 4th!

Registration is open.

Don’t miss out—you need this. Your body needs this. And I need you to join me!