I talk about weight loss on my blog a lot. But, to be honest, the topic of weight loss has become less and less interesting of a topic to me. I’m much more concerned with how my clients think, feel, move, and their general health. However, our weight is a really good barometer for our health, and for that reason, I still think that it’s important to discuss. If we are taking good care of our body, that means feeding it properly and in the proper amounts, exercising it, giving it enough rest, (and since our brain is inside our body) not stressing out, and having a healthy attitude towards our relationships and the world around us. Our weight is a symptom of our lifestyle. Many folks like to manage the symptoms without addressing the root cause. Knee hurts? Get an injection. Can’t sleep? Take a pill. Low energy? Take Read More . . .
My Friend, Anthony Chalas and I got together to make hummus. I know what you’re asking yourself: Why would I need to know how to make hummus when I can just go buy it? Here’s why: 1) to flavor it as you prefer (make it spicy, add roasted red peppers, more or less garlic) 2) to control the ingredients – on a diet? hummus is great, but can have a lot of fat in it. (yes – it’s good fat, but its still fat) 3) to reduce preservatives in your diet 4) because La Sirena – Puerto Morelos might be closed & you’re really really wanting hummus! … and I’m sure there’s more. Watch the video to learn about how to make hummus, and how to get supple cells! Read More . . .
It seems to happen without our even noticing it. Seemingly all of a sudden one day, your pants seem a little bit more snug around the waist although not in the hips and thighs. Huh. I wonder why? So, you set out to lose that belly fat: go low carb, and wake up earlier so that you can dedicate more time at the end of your workout for ab exercises. Running! That’ll do it! Move more & eat less! But it doesn’t seem to be working. Nothing you do seems to be working! As we age, the calories in versus calories out approach doesn’t work like it used to. Gone are the days of just working a little harder at the gym to drop a few lbs. Here are the top reasons why you might be having trouble getting that belly fat to budge. You’re getting older This is especially Read More . . .
Ever since I discovered spaghetti squash, regular pasta has little to no appeal to me. For me, plain pasta noodles don’t really taste like anything, and really are just a vehicle to deliver the good stuff: pasta sauce, cheese, and meat. I created this video because I think that seeing a spaghetti squash in the grocery store is pretty intimidating: How do you cook it? for how long? You can’t really screw this up unless you severely over cook it, or under cook it (but if you under cook it, you can just stick it in the microwave, and you’re good. General Directions: Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Carefully cut the squash in half, lengthwise. With a spoon or ice cream scoop, scoop out the seeds and other slimy muck. Place squash halves face down on a cookie sheet. Add water to the cookie sheet in the video I Read More . . .
We all work so hard during the week. And once Friday night rolls around, we just want to put on our sweatpants, sit on the couch, and be a vegetable – not eat vegetables. We are worn down from all the adulting that we do during the week, that all we want to do on the weekend is NOT be responsible. Weekends tend to be a bit more relaxed. We typically have more time, so we want to sleep in, hang out with friends, have fun & not have to think about our diet. Well, unless you have kiddos who are in soccer, baseball, basketball, go to birthday parties, and other activities. In that case, weekends aren’t such a relaxing time O.o When we finally get through the week, we feel like we deserve a treat – and one of those treats is to not think about it. So, there are a Read More . . .
So, here’s the scene: It’s after dinner, and you want something. A banana. But you don’t eat it. Because you heard that it’s got a lot of starch in it. And sugar. And they can also have a lot of calories! And all of that is bad to have before you go to bed. So you eat a handful of almonds. Because even though they can be higher in calories, at least they don’t have any starch or sugar. And that’s good because you’ve heard that at least it won’t raise your blood sugar before bed. But the almonds don’t really hit the spot. So you find some fat free Greek yogurt. And you put a touch of honey in it to sweeten it a little. But that’s okay because you read that you should always eat carbohydrates with protein – because protein slows down the spike in blood sugar. And Read More . . .
There are hundreds upon hundreds of personal trainers in your city – let alone the US or the world. Have you ever had one? How did you pick him/her? What do you look for when you hire a personal trainer? Certification? Years of experience? Did you stalk her, watch her train other clients to see how she interacted with them? Or did you select her because of her body? Choosing a trainer based on looks is a bad idea. Deciding on a trainer based solely on appearance is as bad of an idea as picking a life partner out of a magazine. I don’t need to explain that. Do I? Most people have a disconnect about what a trainer can do for them. They hire a trainer with the idea that they’re going to lose weight and look toned, and so they hire a trainer who has the body style that they, themselves, desire. There Read More . . .
Carbs! Such a controversial subject in today’s national conversation about nutrition and proper diet! It’s so confusing. Eat carbs or don’t eat carbs? Which carbs are good? Which carbs are bad? (hint: there are no bad foods. There may be more or less nutritious foods, but none are good or bad.) Okay so let’s break this whole carb thing down. What is a carb? We get our calories from Protein, Fat and Carbohydrates (these are called macronutrients). If we divide macronutrients into two vveeeerrrry broad groups, we have things that grow out of the ground (plants), and things that had a mother (animals). Carbohydrates come from plants, and protein mostly comes from animals. Fat can be found in both plants and animals. Good Carbs & Bad Carbs? First. Carbs really run the specturm in terms of nutrition (aka: nutrient density). Nutrient density is the term you want to think about Read More . . .
When clients come to me saying that they want to lose weight, I understand what they mean. If I were to be snarky, I could say, ‘oh, you want to lose 10 lbs? Let’s just chop off your right arm. Would that make you happy?’ …but that probably wouldn’t make a good first impression now, would it? When folks say that they want to lose weight, what they mean is that they want to lose body fat. We want to look ‘toned’ – like our muscles are flexing even when we’re sitting on the couch. The degree of muscularity desired, however is different depending on the individual, and what they perceive to be an ideal physique. What’s counter-intuitive, though is we say that we want to lose weight, even though we want to lose fat, but we’re measuring that success with a tool that only measures our gravitational pull to the earth – the scale. Read More . . .
I’ve been reading a lot of news stories lately about the accuracy of fitness trackers, which has been debate in the fitness community ever since I started in fitness over 10 years ago. The calorie readouts on the treadmills, ellipticals, and heart rate monitors were all that were available, back then. Soon after I started personal training, the bodybugg was introduced (and if you’re a long time reader, you know that I loved my bodybugg sooooo much that I became a reseller). It was expensive, but it was a great tool, and I finally felt like it offered the missing side of the equation to my food logging; you can log your food all you want, but unless you know how many calories you’re burning, you don’t have the full picture. Even if you are logging your food, how do you know if you’re consuming too many? Or not enough? I Read More . . .
I grew up learning that we should be eating 3 ‘square’ meals per day. I remember being taught in Home Economics class (6th grade) that a square meal consisted of Meat, Vegetables, Dairy, and Grain. So basically, a cheeseburger could be considered a ‘square meal’; it contains meat, lettuce & tomato make up the veg, cheese would check the dairy box, and the bun is a grain. Huh. As I entered my 30s, we started to get a little more sophisticated with our food. The low-fat craze was in full blown effect, vegetarianism was becoming more mainstream, and the new advice was to eat 6 smaller meals per day – so that you could keep your metabolism ‘revved up’ throughout the day. The thinking was that if you ate often enough, you could use the Thermic Effect of Food to help you burn calories for you (although that’s true, it doesn’t quite Read More . . .
Here’s the scene: You’re out to dinner with friends. It’s been a lovely dinner; you’ve really enjoyed the evening and have gotten completely swept up in the conversation. The server comes over to start clearing the plates & dishes. As he approaches you, and asks whether you’re finished, you look down at your plate. What do you see? What do you say? Is there food still on your plate? Are you finished eating? I am reading this great book called Mindless Eating. The author, Brian Wansink, a food researcher at Cornell, says that if you asked folks, “How do you know when you’re done eating?” or, “How do you know when to eat?” you’d think that most would answer these two questions with ‘I eat when I’m hungry; and I stop when I’m satisfied.’ But that’s not the case. Far too often we eat for other reasons. In the book, he exposes Read More . . .
When I meet with clients for the first time, one of my first questions is always, “Why are you hiring me? Why now?” The range of answers is as diverse as my clients: some want to be able to play with their grandkids, some just want to be around to see their grandkids grow up, some have more aesthetic goals, like wanting to lose baby weight, or its spring (i.e.: bathing suit season), and some have an active vacation planned, where being in shape is definitely going to enhance their experience. None of these answers are better than another, BUUUUT…. Some motivations may create more lasting results than others. See, there are two different types of motivation: external and internal. External motivators are defined as behaviors that earn us a reward, or allow us to avoid punishment. Internal motivators are typically performed for the sake of doing them, or a Read More . . .
One of the things I love about going on vacation (other than the obvious) is that I get to talk to people who I’ve never met before: people who are completely different from me, who have different life experiences, and know totally different things! Of course, when they hear that I’m a Health Coach, they either they tell me how much they know about health and fitness, or they start confessing their diet and exercise sins as if I’m a health-priest, with the ability to absolve them of their fitness sins. Ha! But the other thing that I get is a TON of questions. Which I LOVE! Because A) I could talk about health and fitness all day long (just ask Gary) and B) There is SO MUCH misinformation ‘out there’ that I get to clear up – or at least, give folks another perspective. As I was talking to Read More . . .
Last week, I met this woman, socially. I don’t remember how we got on to the conversation, but she said, “I don’t like vegetables. I don’t eat them. I don’t eat fruit or seafood. I like meat and potatoes. And dessert! ” It’s not the first time I’ve heard an adult say ‘I don’t like veggies’. And sadly, I don’t think it will be the last. I usually don’t know how to respond to this. What I wanted to say is, “You’re freakin’ 60 years old! You’re not 5! Grow up & eat a freakin’ carrot! Pshaw!” It drives me nuts! Because, One – There are so many awesome, delicious veggies out there & so many ways to prepare them that are fantastic! And Two – How does this happen? How does a person grow into an adult and choose not to eat vegetables? They say that kids need exposure Read More . . .
You’ve seen the memes on the Internet, or heard the phrases: “What’s your excuse?” Or heard the phrase, “if it’s important to you, you’ll find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.” I actually like this second quote – and not because of the judgement that’s implied with it, but rather the truth that it conveys. We all have priorities. A list from 1-100. And we can’t do everything. On our list of priorities, we all have the same things: family, partner relationship, travel, money, career, health, and self-care, to name a few. They’re just in different orders. My list is in a different order than your list. Only one thing can occupy that top spot. Only one thing can occupy the second, and so on. As a health coach, I would love for everyone’s list to have ‘health’ as their #1 priority. But the truth is that it Read More . . .
Do you have rules around your eating habits? They might be something like, “I can only eat sugar on the weekend.” Or “Bananas are loaded with calories and starch. So, I can’t eat bananas.” Whatever they are, do they help you? Or do they hinder you? I think most people create these rules because the grey area of our food can become so… GREY. H*ll! I don’t even know if there IS any black or white when it comes to food anymore! With all the media hype, and misinterpreted studies, something that you would think should be intuitive is now confusing. There’s so much fear and uncertainty when it comes to our food. What’s good for us? What’s not? And once we’re in that grey zone of ‘Eat these foods in moderation’, how do we know where we are in that moderation scale? How do we know when we’re slipping? If Read More . . .
One of the exercises that I have my Health Coaching clients do in their first habit is to describe their perfect day. I love hearing what folks love to do: spend time with their families (or not ;), pampering, what their favorite meal is, activities, what makes them feel good, and what their priorities are. And it got me thinking about what elements I would need to have a perfect day everyday. Sure! There are always things that we don’t want to do: chores, conflict, maybe errands, and things like that. But what key elements would be present in order for the day to be pretty close to perfect? How can you construct your life so that it’s pretty darn close to perfect? I came up with four elements that I can add in to any day to have a pretty awesome experience. I’ve tagged it #TAGY Treats – Everyday needs to have a treat in it. Read More . . .
In thinking about how the cancer had destroyed my mom’s body, it occurred to me that in order to avoid this disease, I needed to prepare my body so that it would be able to fight off any disease that it might encounter. Not only did I need to get down to a healthy weight, but I also needed to eat better quality of foods, become active, and well, become a responsible adult. Read More . . .
Anyone who says that the issue of obesity, weight management and fitness is all about knowing what is/is not good for you, or about willpower is over-simplifying the problem, and hasn’t fully grasped the gravity of the issue. It is a hugely complex issue because it all starts in the brain, and the brain is a hugely complex organism. We all do things that we know don’t serve us in our goals, and yet, we often find ourselves powerless to change. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about eating habits, spending money, smoking, or some other habit that we want to change. In Kelly McGonigal’s audio program, The Neuroscience of Change, she talks about our destructive habits. Destructive habits are things that we do that either don’t serve us any longer, or are getting in the way of things we do want in our lives. It could be smoking, eating Read More . . .