Sunday, August 31, 2008

Ways To Be Happy

This is a little gem I found on the Steve Pavlina forums. It was written by a life coach and forum member named Tim Brownson. He calls it: Ways To Be Happy. Enjoy

Ask more questions, not the same questions more often
Recognize you can be whatever you desire to be
Know that performance does not equal identity
Realize that you are the equal of everybody
Realize that you are the better of nobody
Appreciate you did the best you could
Face the future, live for the moment
Understand suffering is part of life
Accept you will make mistakes
Breathe from your diaphragm
Smile when things get tough
Always be kind to yourself
Think before your answer
Visualize Your Success
Take time for yourself
Make time for others
Listen with interest
Suspend disbelief
Embrace change
Still Your Mind
Be curious

Friday, August 29, 2008

Interview: Jen & Erin of Fit Bottomed Girls

I found a great blog site called Fit Bottomed Girls. Below is an interview of the two co-founders:

Name – Jenn and Erin

Company – Fit Bottomed Girls

Position - Co-founders

How long have you been in the wellness field?

Jenn has been working as a fitness professional for the past seven years and has a lot of letters in her alphabet soup: certified personal trainer, lifestyle and weight management consultant, and group exercise instructor. Erin has years of workout experience and is well versed in fitness news and trends (aka she reads Fitness, Self and Shape religiously and through sheer osmosis has learned a lot during three years of carpooling with Jenn to their former Office Space-esque job), but vows to never take the step to fitness-instructorville.

What are your wellness staples?

Regular daily activity that we enjoy, stuffing our faces with loads of fruits and veggies, enjoying the occasional glass(es) of wine and always eating a piece of dark chocolate when the need arises (which, for the record, is often).

How to you keep fit?

Because we review an exercise DVD on every Thursday for Fit Bottomed Girls, we do A LOT of exercise DVDs, ranging from dance-based workouts to Pilates to hard-core weight lifting. Other than that, it's walking our beloved pups (Erin has a lovable/hyper pug and Jenn has a sweet/mad mutt), running outside, hiking, lifting free weights or the occasional gym workout. In addition, Jenn is a tennis fiend. We're your normal everyday girls--not Gladiators or Olympians.

Any wellness goals?

Jenn has self-diagnosed exercise ADD, so she's always switching up her wellness goals. But on the whole, she aims to workout most days of the week, always have the cardio endurance to run at least three miles, regularly spend time outdoors, keep stress at a minimum, follow intuitive eating principles and generally just enjoy life. Because Erin is a Jenn-twin, her goals are almost exactly the same. Except for the running. Erin hates running.

What is your wellness motto?

Keeping a lid on the junk in the trunk. We both live (and write!) by it.

Who are your wellness inspirations?

We both can't get Michael Phelps or Dara Torres out of brains following the Olympics, but Jenn is a huge fan of Angela Bassett (have you seen How Stella Got Her Groove Back?!) and Madonna (she's 50 now, which is just INSANE). Erin loves reading success stories about people who have made and maintained lifestyle changes to improve their health. And we both adore Bob Harper from the Biggest Loser, but that may be more eye candy than inspiration.

Piece of advice for those looking to get healthy/fit/well?

Don't strive for perfection. Make fitness fun. Laugh at yourself. Stress less. Eat according to your hunger. Try new things. Do what makes sense for you. Live! And lastly, and most importantly, love your fit bottom--no matter what size it is!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Ask ZenFitChick - Q&A

This is a question sent in yesterday by a ZenFitChick reader named Christie:

I was wondering...I'm 5'11 and 245 lbs and would like to lose 82 (I good weight for me is 163). What is a realistic time frame to lose that kind of weight? Does it solely depend on how much exercise I do and how clean I eat?

First off, thank you so much for reading ZenFitChick and I appreciate you taking the time to write in!

Okay, so for weight loss it will depend on the amount of cardio you do and what you're eating.
Weight training is great and good to do, but for fat loss cardio/diet is the most important.

If you stay diligent with your cardio and get your diet under control you'll probably lose 2lbs a week for a while, then 1lb a week and 1/2 lb a week thereafter. (the bigger we are, the more calories we burn through exercise)
Start doing cardio!!! Try to just get in the habit of doing cardio daily, before you start to make other changes. I recommend to people who want to lose: start cardio daily, keep your diet moderately the same but just switch out everything u drink with plain water (or water w/ lemon) this will slash crazy amounts of calories without you having to 'diet'
Just this one simple step for a month is a good beginning... the second month you can ramp up your cardio so u don't get bored, and start making diet changes.

Some people are diligent dieters though, if you're one of those people, I'd suggest getting a quality meal plan made. If you want to try both diet/exercise all at once (at times this is a recipe for disaster due to high expectations and high failure rate / burnout) then definitely do cardio daily for AT LEAST 30 mins, switch all drinks for water, and begin having big breakfasts, medium sized lunches and small dinners.

One of my clients has actual full "dinnertime" meals for breakfast, a typical "lunch" in the afternoon, and "breakfast" for dinner... We just did what worked well for her.

I hope this is a helpful response for you... I can't give you a definite timeframe for weight loss. If i were your trainer and was consistently working with you and monitoring your diet I could, but this is just general with the stats you gave me.

IF you take only one thing away from this: DO CARDIO DAILY for at least 30 mins and watch the weight go bye-bye.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals

Goal setting is an integral part of any wellness program and a big part of my life. I have short and long-term goals set in various areas of my life, as well as weekly and daily to-do lists to keep me on track. Before I picked up this helpful habit, I was all over the place, hopping from one thing to another and never finishing any of them.

Setting goals is more than simply stating what you want. “I want to be skinny” is a wish, not a goal. How do you know if the goals you have set are of good quality? Below is the S.M.A.R.T. technique for setting effective goals. Use this as your marker and you can’t go wrong.

Vague statements aren’t goals. Don’t just say, “I want to exercise more” or “I want to lose weight.” Instead, say “ I will lose 5 pounds in 5 weeks” or “I will run at the gym every other day for a month”

How will you know when you have reached your goal? If your ‘goal’ is “I want to be fit” then you’ll never truly know when you’ve attained it. However, if your goal is “I will decrease my body fat by 2%” or “I will lose 10 lbs.” you can accurately measure your progress and know when you’ve reached your mark.

This goes hand in hand with the next step, realistic. Your goals must be set in step-by-step increments. Saying you’re going to lose 100 lbs may be realistic for you, but making that goal attainable is breaking it down into losing 10 lbs at a time. This will help maintain your motivation.

Lofty goals are great, when you have stepping stone goals to reach them. If you’re 250lbs and 5’4” with a goal to be a size 2 in a month, you’ll be disappointed when your deadline comes. Goals must be reachable or we will sabotage our success.

I’m going to lose 5 pounds. That seems like a normal goal. But by when? A week? A month? A year? Setting a time limit on goals gives you a sense of urgency and accountability. With a deadline you’re more likely to stay on track and actually reach your goal.

Be sure to write down your goals and post them where you’ll see them each day. I keep some on my fridge, in my bedroom and in my purse at all times. I am positive you’ll notice a great difference in your productivity and success after implementing a written list of your SMART goals.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

5 Quick Ways to Increase Your Energy Level

Caffeine is the instinctual go-to item we reach towards when energy sags. Low energy also leads us to snack on unhealthy items. Keeping your energy up can be difficult with the increasing demands on us each day, but there are many easy lifestyle changes you can make to help keep your energy up or increase your current energy level So, put down the coffee and try one of these five helpful tips.

1. Turn on the lights: Immediately turn the lights on or open the blinds when you wake up. Bright light is instantly invigorating.

2. Always eat breakfast: Start your day with a bang. Healthy protein-rich breakfasts will give you energy for your day.

3. Don’t smoke: Or Quit Smoking. You need loads of oxygen for energy and smoking deprives you of this.

4. Do Morning Exercises: Exercising in the morning helps you wake up and say goodbye to grogginess

5. Eat Fiber Rich Foods: Foods containing lots of fiber will give you long lasting energy, you may actually make it to lunch without a cup of coffee!

Monday, August 25, 2008

INTERVIEW: Fayzah of DanceSpiral





How long have you been in the wellness field?

For about a decade, through DJing and Dancing: teaching & performing. Some concepts that I teach in classes include awakening different parts of the body, (which can release emotional blockages), training the muscles, stretching elasticity, letting go, & embodying natural & graceful movements of animals.

What are your wellness staples?

Meditation, creating & being around positive energy, listening to good music, partner synergy in dance, expressing music through dance movements, & living creatively. How do you keep fit (routine?) – dancing, teaching classes, rehearsing, climbing subway stairs in NYC, staying active, & eating well.

Do you have any wellness goals?

To maintain a relaxed & strong mind, that is happy to be in this world and have fun in it.

What is your wellness motto?

"There's nothing more attractive than a relaxed person"

Who are your wellness inspirations?

Several of my close friends, & sometimes people that I don't expect to be. It changes, but generally has to do with people in my life, and the way they are choosing to live their lives at the moment, or way they are responding to obstacles.

Do you have a piece of advice for those looking to get healthy/fit/well?

Come take my class! Or a dance class which resonates with you.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

REVIEW: Bodylastics

One of my long-time nutrition clients introduced me to something new. He asked me for a 1/2 session so I could help him design a workout using the new weight system he purchased. When I got to his apartment complex, I was surprised to see the weight system he mentioned was a set of bands. At first I was dubious, but we were able to create a total body workout routine with these bands and I was so impressed with them that I had to share it with you all.

I know gym memberships can be a costly expense, and this product may be a great alternative for those of you who want to stay at home and get a thorough allover workout. (A link to their website is on the right side of your screen) . There are different levels you can purchase but Jeff, my client, had the $49 set and it was all he needed. Bodylastics is a set of weighted elastic bands that you can set up to work any part of your body. I am seriously considering purchasing the $99 level so I can begin to train clients in their homes who have no home gym. The website shows a variety of workouts you can do for each body part.

I am not a Bodylastics employee. If you do purchase the Bodylastics email me and let me know how you like them.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

10 Quick Ways To Sneak Activity Into Your Workday

It's Tuesday, and we're in the swing of being back at work. Here are a few ways to be a bit more active during your day. Bonus: These small changes will boost your energy, and easily become habits.
  1. Stand and pace while making phone calls
  2. Walk files to colleagues instead of email or inter-officing them
  3. Park as far as possible from your office
  4. Take the stairs instead of the elevator
  5. Get water at the cooler in small cups vs a bottle (so you have to make more trips throughout the day)
  6. Walk to colleagues instead of calling
  7. Do a walking lap around the office every hour
  8. Do leg raises at your desk
  9. Stretch a few times a day at your desk
  10. Take a walk on your lunch hour

Monday, August 18, 2008

10 Ways To Stay Motivated

Whether you’re trying to stick to a clean eating diet, or be consistent with your fitness routine, at some point your motivation levels will start to slump. Whether it be a plateau, the looming holidays or just monthly hormones. Below are ten great ways to stay motivated.
  1. Log Your Progress – keeping a journal is of utmost importance when maintaining a fitness regimen. It needn’t be overly detailed, but specifics would help when looking back at your progress for motivation. Keep track of what matters most to you, and what you’ll stick to… whether it’s pounds lost or inches.
  2. Use Visual Aids – keep inspirational photos posted in highly visible areas. These can be celebs who’s bodies you admire, or photos of you at your healthiest. Conversely you could post up an undesirable body to spur you into action as well.
  3. Find Inspiration – read stories of people who lost great amounts of weight, or maybe speak to that person in the gym who’s body you admire. Inspiration may be that older person you see at the gym diligently working out or watching children run around playing excitedly with their boundless natural energy.
  4. Have a Sponsor – Is there a friend or family member you can talk to when feeling de-motivated? It’s great to have a go-to person who knows your fitness goals that will give you the encouragement you need when motivation is low.

  5. Update your goals – if you’ve reached a plateau, go over your goal list and see what you can alter to get started again. Making higher level goals will re-energize you and set you on your way again.
  6. Buy clothes in your goal size – This will help you get back on track. Hang up those ‘goal jeans’ to inspire you to get moving and go back to the gym.
  7. Jazz Up your routine – boredom is a motivation zapper. Change your routine every few months to keep you excited about your workouts. Try a new class or run a new route at the very least.
  8. Keep Good Company – Do you have a gym buddy? Are your friends active and into wellness? Finding like-minded pals will keep you motivated. Friendly competition never hurt anybody.
  9. Be a Mentor – It will be hard for you to lack motivation if it’s your job to motivate someone else! Recruit a friend to help get in shape, this will keep you accountable as well.
  10. Treat Yourself – You deserve a reward for your efforts! (in addition to the healthy and fit body you’re working towards) Treat yourself to a new outfit in your smaller size, or bargain with yourself… “If I go to the gym every day this week, I will give myself a ____.”
Hopefully one of these items resonates with you. Get off your butt! Get back in action! Stay motivated and stay healthy.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Quick Tip Sundays - The TV Workout

Sucked into 'Must See TV?' That doesn't mean you can't work out!

Today's quick tip:

Work Out While Watching Television!

You can get a total body workout during your favorite one-hour program!

- do as many crunches as you can during one commercial break
- do pushups during the next commercial break
- do standing lunges during the third break
- do jumping jacks during the fourth
- jog in place for the remaining commercial breaks and stretch out during the credits of the following show :)

You can also play a game with whatever show you're watching.

For example:
- do 10 pushups when a certain character comes on the screen
- do 10 crunches when a character says their 'catch phrase'

A good friend of mine marches in place while she watches Jeopardy with her husband. (She says it helps her think of the answers faster!) My personal technique is riding my stationary bike fast and furious during the commercial breaks of my favorite shows.

Remember, fitness should never be a chore. Make it fun!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

20 Quick & Easy Snacks

It’s been hours since lunch…. And it’s even longer ‘til dinner….. You’re tummy is talking to you…. What do you do? To your right….your coworker has M&Ms on her desk….to your left looms the dreaded vending machine!
Avoid that vending machine like the plague! Those Oreos won’t do anyone any good.
Here are some diet-friendly snacks that are quick, easy and will satiate you until dinnertime:
  1. yogurt – low fat/low sugar
  2. string cheese – it’s not just for kids
  3. an apple (with peanut butter if you’re feeling frisky)
  4. mini box of raisins
  5. a serving of crackers with nut butter
  6. crackers with cheese
  7. whole wheat toast with nut butter
  8. a cup of chocolate milk (yes!)
  9. a big handful of grapes
  10. a banana
  11. prepackaged 100 cal snack (sometimes)
  12. cottage cheese (snack-pack sized)
  13. fat free jello
  14. small serving of pretzels and handful of almonds
  15. handful of dried fruits (make sure your brand isn’t sugar laden)
  16. protein shake (made with water or fatfree milk)
  17. two nectarines
  18. prepackaged apple sauce
  19. sliced peppers and hummus (check the label of your favorite brand)
  20. big handful of baby carrots

Friday, August 15, 2008

10 Ways To Maintain Your Diet When Dining Out

I've seen it time and time again; a diligent dieter eating clean all week long, then friday night comes along and one restaurant meal throws all their efforts out the window. All the delicious sounding menu options, not to mention the yummy dishes your tablemates are ordering, can really tempt you and lead you astray. A bit of planning can help you avoid diet disasters at restaurants.

Here are ten ways to stay on track when eating out.

1 – Order ½ meals – you can either ask for ½ your meal to be wrapped before you even get it, or you can ask for a to-go container as soon as your meal comes and immediately pack up half your meal. (Bonus: you have lunch for the next day)

2 – Ask questions – speak up! Don’t be embarrassed or shy about asking for clarification about the menu. Your waiter will gladly answer any questions regarding ingredients or food preparation.

3 – Find the "good guys" – baked, grilled, steamed… search for the key words that let you know a dish is on the healthier side

4 – Avoid the "bad guys" – au gratin, (deep) fried, breaded, creamed, buttered …. Need I say more?

5 - Dressing on the side – a salad isn’t a ‘health food’ if it’s drenched in 800 calories of dressing. Have it on the side, dip your fork into your dressing then pick up some salad.

6 – Sauce on the side – this is a no brainer, even if you order grilled veggies, slathering it with butter sauce ruins everything. Use the same technique as you would with the salad.

7 – Don’t starve yourself – don’t go to the restaurant super hungry, you’ll be even more tempted to ‘cheat’ on your diet. Either eat a small snack before hand or order some tea with lemon when you first sit down at the table

8 – Share – this is another easy one. Split a meal with your table mates and you’ll split the calories as well! (bonus: you can also split the bill!)

9 РJust say no Рto bread before the meal. Ask the waiter not to bring it or to take it away. You may also ask to substitute crudit̩s (just be careful with the dip!)

10 – Be smart about dessert – pick a sorbet over an iced cream, or just have a coffee (with skim milk, not cream). You’ll likely be full from your meal, so ask the waiter early on not to bring the dessert menu or sample cart.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Diet Diaries: Do or Don’t?

I am often asked by friends interested in losing weight if they should keep food diaries. My answer is a definite and resounding… Maybe.

I’m sorry, I know that when asking a question, we never like getting the answer “it depends,” but for this question, it truly depends.

A food journal is a log of what you eat on a given day. This is a very personal log and can be altered to your liking. You can maintain it by hand in a mini notebook, create spreadsheets on excel, use online tools, or pay for high-end web-version services. You can list just the meal you ate, or break it down by food, break it down further by calorie, by food type, by nutrient type, fat content, weight, how you felt after eating, how you felt before eating, how long it took you to eat… so basically, it can be very simple or you can drive yourself insane with all the details.

Let’s take a look at the pro vs con list:

Food Diary Pros
- Can be easy to see what you have eaten
- May keep you accountable
- May keep you from eating something bad since you may not want to enter it in your log
- May give you a sense of control

Food Diary Cons
- Can easily become an obsession
- May not be feasible / may forget entries
- Can be a chore that frustrates you and you end up giving up on your diet
- May make you feel limited

Are you someone who keeps good records?
Is it feasible for you to make note of what goes in your mouth?
Will you be able to stick to a diary for a day? Week? Month? Longer?
And most importantly: Does it APPEAL to you?

When beginning a fitness/nutrition plan, I would suggest first keeping a ‘loose’ food diary for one week. You may simply enter the servings of meals and drinks you have each day. A quality nutritionist or dietician will be able to make general approximations as to calorie count. During this time, don’t diet. Eat as you normally do.
After that initial week, your nutritionist will be able to make suggestions to you or provide you with daily meal plans to help you achieve your dietary goals. At this point, I’d say continue with the journal only if you want to. If it doesn’t appeal to you, toss it.

Remember, wellness should never be a chore. Fitness can be fun and eating well can be easy. (I swear!)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Top 3 Diet Mistakes Beginners Make

Nutritional Planning (a.k.a. Dieting) is an integral part of the weight loss equation. Coupled with exercise, you have a wellness combo that can take you to your fitness goals in no time! In their haste to a smaller waist, many dieters make a few common mistakes that can be easily avoided. Are you guilty of any of the diet sins below?

#3 – Having No Plan

Failing to plan is planning to fail. Have you heard that before? Well it rings very true in the world of wellness. If you have no diet plan you’ll be less equipped to manage your weight loss attempt. You’ll be so free that you’ll eat anything at any time and make no progress, or will be so at sea with the many nutrition choices you can make that you stand still instead of making a decision to take action. Think about your goals and what’s realistic for you and make a loose plan of attack.

This may simply be: drink water instead of soda with dinner, or eat green veggies with every dinner, have a salad with lunch…. It needn’t be a detailed plan, but even a brief outline will help you along with your diet. Having the plan lets you see what works, tweak and try something new, or add-on to what’s already working for you.

#2 – Being Too Strict

The other side of the coin is the dieter who is so strict that they drive themselves to failure. Limiting calories is great, but strictly counting calories or limiting your calorie intake to too few calories is nerve-wracking and unhealthy, respectively. If you are to rigid in your diet, you’ll either get bored or feel so deprived that you’ll give up your diet entirely and hop into the first fast food joint you can find. There is a saying: Everything in moderation. That is key to creating a nutrition plan you can live with. No one desires to live on celery and wheatgrass juice alone, and no one wants to weigh each grape before they eat it and log it immediately into a spreadsheet. So don’t be so strict with yourself!

#1 – Being Impatient

The number one mistake dieters make is being impatient. You cannot expect to go from a size 10 to 2 after one week of clean eating! One pound contains 3600 calories so you must burn or deplete by that much in order to lose a pound. It is very possible (and healthy) to lose a pound or two a week with a clean diet and moderate exercise. Weighing yourself twice daily won’t help matters any, so try to do weekly weigh-ins instead to keep track. Make a plan, not too strict, and watch the pounds melt away! (Yes, it can be that easy)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

10 Tips on Choosing the Right Gym for You

For many, the gym is our mecca for fitness and home to all workouts. The gym is a great one-stop-shop for your cardio, strength and stretching needs. There are many options available to choose from when deciding on a gym; the mom-n-pop or boutique gym, the large chains, the health club, and others. When choosing a gym there are a myriad of factors to consider. Think about what’s important to you and be sure the gym you choose fits the bill. You may want to print this article to have on hand with you when you’re “interviewing” the gym’s sales consultant.

Here are ten factors to consider:

  1. Location – If a gym's location is inconvenient to get to, you won’t go. Period. Find a location that is close to home or work, or a chain facility that has various locations around your town. Be sure when you sign up that you have access to all the locations in a chain gym.

  2. Cleanliness/Maintenance – This is important. Take a sniff, is the gym smelly? Are machines covered in dust? Sweat? Grease? Is the floor clean? Go into the locker room. Are the towels freshly washed? Is the bathroom clean? Are the showers clean? Are the machines new/up to date? Are rooms well lit?

  3. Cost – What is the monthly cost and does it factor into your budget? What does it include? Are there any special promotions or discounts? How are dues paid? CAN YOU AFFORD IT? Be realistic in this, your gym membership should not put a strain on your financial wellness.

  4. Amenities – Do you require a steam room or sauna? Are the machines plentiful? Are there a sufficient amount of shower stalls? Are products provided in the showers? Are lockers provided? Is there towel service? Laundry? A babysitting service? Is there adequate parking?

  5. Demographics – Who do you see working out? Is it full of big buff meatheads only? Is there a good split of male/female? Are there others in your age range? Do you prefer a women-only facility? Make sure you feel comfortable with who's around you.

  6. Hours – Do you need a 24 hour facility? How early or late does the gym stay open? Are all amenities offered at all times? Be sure the gym will truly be convenient for you, the higher the convenience level, the more likely you will be to stick to your workouts. Is the gym busy during the times you’ll be working out? Be sure to visit the gym during prime times (early a.m. / after work / lunch-hour) to assess how busy it gets. Are there always machines available or is there a wait?

  7. Personal Trainers – Are trainers knowledgeable? Do they answer questions fully even if you’re not buying a session from them? Do they come by and correct your form? Do they intimidate you into a sale? Are they plentiful and visible on the gym floor? Are they approachable? What is the cost? Are packages or discounts available?

  8. Group Fitness Classes – Are they offered? What’s the schedule? What kinds are offered? Are beginners welcome? Be sure the type of classes you’re interested is offered at times you are available to work out. How many people are taken in each class? Do you have to sign up in advance?

  9. Cancellation Policy - Let’s be real. Life happens. You’ll want to know the policies for ending your membership, whether for health reasons, financial, moving, or if the gym just isn’t right for you. Be sure to find out any related cancellation fees and time periods.

  10. “Vibe” – Likely the most important factor to consider when choosing a gym is what I like to call the “vibe” of the place. How do you feel when you enter the gym, when you walk around. Do you feel self conscious? Comfortable? Relaxed? Cautious? Nervous? Excited? Welcome? Pressured? Ignored? These feelings shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Visit a few gyms with these ten factors in mind before you decide which one to give your hard earned money to.

Best of luck! Happy Choosing!

Monday, August 11, 2008

5 Healthy Breakfast Ideas

We’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it is. A quality breakfast can start our day off on the right foot with tons of energy. A poor quality breakfast will make us lethargic and leave us hungry shortly thereafter. Not eating breakfast at all will leave us ravenous and likely lead to poor food choices later in the day.
Below are five quick and easy breakfast options that will satiate us and fuel us with energy:

1. Oatmeal – whole grains fill you up and keep you even keeled for a while. And oatmeal is quick and easy. If you have 5 minutes, go for stovetop cooked oatmeal; add raisins and a dash of cinnamon to jazz it up. Microwaved instant oatmeal is an option as well, but is more sugar-laden. This leads to a quick spike of energy, then it fizzles.

2. Cold Cereals – be sure to pick one that is made with whole grains and is low in sugars. Mix in fresh berries for a healthy punch of vitamins and antioxidants

3. Egg Whites – low cal / high protein, egg whites are a great breakfast idea. You may hard-boil them or scramble them in a skillet with zero-calorie cooking spray. I prefer the latter. Mix in baby spinach and tomatoes for a healthy morning omelet

4. Yogurt & Granola – Be sure to find a low-fat yogurt that is low in sugar. Often, the non-fat yogurts have more fat so be sure to read the labels. If you would prefer not to add in granola, try a whole grain cereal, nuts or even berries

5. Fruit & Toast – This is often my go-to breakfast. Fruit is generally a good way to go in the mornings, quick, accessible and nothing to prepare! I often have a banana and apple with whole wheat toast topped with peanut butter. You may want to experiment with other nut butters such as almond butter as well.

Are your mornings too much of a rush? If you are so hurried that you don’t even have time to chew, and we all have those days, try a protein shake or meal replacement drink. Be sure to read the labels! Look for a moderate calorie, low fat, low sugar and high protein drink before you buy.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Drink Up!

I'm referring to drinking WATER, of course.

We've all heard many times that our body is mostly water. Well it's absolutely true. The average 150lb. adult body contains approx. 40 to 50 quarts of water!

The recommended amount of water we should drink each day continues to change. The most recent recommendation is one ounce per 1/2 pound you weigh. There's no need to do any calculations or make this difficult. Just drink. Start your day with a glass of water, have another with breakfast, one with midmorning snack, lunch and dinner. Carry a bottle of water with you throughout the day for intermittent sipping.

Staying hydrated is so important. By the time we feel thirsty, dehydration has already begun.

Drinking more water each day will help with weight loss too. It may fill you up, replace a calorie-filled drink, aid with digestion and help flow the removal of toxins from your body. Water also helps increase energy and maintain healthy skin.

If plain water doesn't do it for you, squeeze a bit of lime or lemon in your glass.

Bottoms up!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Flatter Abs Instantly?

The abs are a trouble spot for many. We know that cardio and ab exercises along with a healthy diet will lead to the coveted six pack, but do you know what to do right this very second to make abs appear flatter???

Sit Up Straight!

Stand Up Straight!

Shoulders back, Neck long, Chin up!

Straightening your back and un-hunching your shoulders increases your stature and engages your core while making your abs appear flatter in a nanosecond!

What Are You Grateful For?

This is one of the first questions I ask myself each day and likely one of the most important. I encourage my clients to make grateful lists or at least think about things their grateful for each day and have gotten great feedback from them.

Thinking about what you're grateful for immediately puts you in a positive frame of mind and lifts your mood. You may want to keep physical lists in a journal or on your computer so you may refer back to it when you're feeling down.

There's no right or wrong way to do this. There's no minimum amount of items to be grateful for. If it feels like a chore, don't do it. If it feels good to think about what you're grateful for and list them out...keep doing it!

So, what are you grateful for?

Rise And Shine!

The habit of waking early can create dramatic positive changes in your life. I was a night owl for most of my life and couldn't bear to wake before 11am on my own. Using an alarm to wake at 7am for work resulted in an evil demon posing as me, until noon when the real me would reappear. Now, I wake up easily at 6am with or without an alarm with energy to start my day. The extra hour in the morning has been one of the best changes I've ever made in my life.

Waking early gives you valuable personal time and allows you to be more productive. The peaceful early hours of the morning quietly offer to you nothing but opportunity. You may use this time to plan your day, meditate, exercise or do yoga, eat and relax, create your daily to-do list, or just get ready earlier to avoid rushing around before you leave for work. How you prefer to use this time is up to you, the blessing is that you have the time.

Becoming an early riser is a fairly easy process. The manner you go about creating the early rising habit depends on your personality. You can be aggressive and set your alarm a full hour earlier starting tomorrow morning and will yourself out of bed. Or, you can wake 10 minutes earlier every two days until you're comfortably waking up an hour earlier. No matter your choice, the key to early rising is actually removing your body from the bed once your alarm sounds.

I challenge you to begin tomorrow morning.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Hello And Welcome!!

This space on the web will be used to share about Total Wellness. It will be part blog and part info!

Fitness/Exercise/Meditation/Nutrition/Mental Health/Emotional Health and general well being will be discussed. I aim to make this a wonderful resource for you full of recipes, ideas, anecdotes, inspiration, motivation and entertainment.

I will update this blog several times a week so please check back often.

Yours in health,