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Friday, December 27, 2013

Set Yourself Up for Failure: 7 New Years Resolutions Sure to Crash & Burn

Go with goals: They are specific, measurable, and have a deadline
“Don’t waste your money or my time,” I firmly told my would-be client, who replied with a Did you really just say that? look.

Yes, I did.

Immediately after our complimentary initial consultation, my client began rattling off excuses about why she could commit but that lots of stuff would get in her way.

You know the story. She has erratic work hours; she’s in a crazy on-again-off-again relationship; she may or may not be going to Maui in March. Altogether, I counted seven excuses within 15 minutes, and I wasn’t buying any of them.

If you’re not going to fully commit to fitness goals, spend your money and time

Friday, December 20, 2013

9 Budget-Friendly Gifts for the Impossible-to-Buy-For Fitness Fanatic

Great Last Minute Holiday Gifts
I have one and so do you. Mine is a coworker at my gym. Every time she concocts some Paleo recipe, she brings me samples. Brownies, granola, carrot cake… If the recipe contains Paleo-legal ingredients, she makes it and I become her guinea pig.

A few months ago, my car broke down across town, and I knew she would be that person who dropped everything to pick me up after I’d had it towed to the station. (Okay, it was her day off and she was in the area, but still: She’s consistently that always-there-for-you person.) 

I wouldn’t exactly call her a friend, though we’ve hung out a few times. She’s just a really great person who goes out of her way for others.

Naturally, I wanted to thank her during the holidays.

Except I ran into a problem:

Saturday, December 14, 2013

10 Secrets Gyms & Fitness Experts Don’t Want You to Know

It's 2014-Time to get serious!
“How do you know it’s early January in Los Angeles?” I asked my friend the other day as we waited in line at Starbucks.

He looked at me perplexed and replied, “Surely not the weather?”

Nope, we don’t get much snow or other winter weather here. What we do get in early January is an influx of gym newbies.

Look around at your gym on, say, January 5: Lots of new, determined, eager faces. As a personal trainer, I love that fierce, take-no-prisoners look. These folks have a mission. Maybe a killer beach body by June or to reduce their risk for diabetes.

But because they’re going at it on their own, you’ll

Friday, December 6, 2013

9 Strategies to Kick Your Hangover to the Curb

Hangovers: the perfect way to ruin your day!
“Don’t judge,” she said a little too loudly, sitting down and frantically flagging our server for coffee. I had seen my friend at her very worst during a particularly nasty flu where I brought over chicken soup, and she didn’t look half as bad as she looked this morning.
She didn’t need to give me the details. I knew her plans last night. Second date, bar hopping, texting me at 3 a.m.: All signs pointed to

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Do You Really WANT to be Healthy?

From time to time, I like to re-post some of most popular blogs. This one was very popular with my readers and I admit that it really resonated with me too-so enjoy:


Are you lying to yourself?
Any reader of Throwing a Fit knows, I am huge on education. I have not stayed on the "cutting edge" (an overused term but one I do not throw around lightly), in this industry for nothing. I go to seminars, workshops, get specialized certifications, read books, magazines, journals, blogs, etc. to really stay on top of what is happening. To that end, one of the experts whose work I "follow" is a doctor and physical therapist out of Canada named Dr. Andreo Spina. Dr. Spina is an amazing talent.  He understands functional anatomy and physiology in a way that few people I've followed does. He has taught me much. 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Minimize Thanksgiving Damage with these 10 Strategies

Indulgence doesn't have to equal utter dietary debauchery
I reached for a second helping of free-range, locally raised turkey while my friend discussed how she grew organic Swiss chard in her backyard. “We picked the Brussels sprouts and fresh berries yesterday at a nearby orchard,” she continued, and I replied how fragrant the quinoa stuffing smelled.
Then I woke up.
Pleasant as my dream was, reality is nowhere near that idyllic. Chaos reigns during Thanksgiving as family members bicker while the TV blares in the background. Second and third glasses of whatever alcoholic concoction they’ve created for the festive occasion only make them more obnoxious.
As for the food… Well,

Friday, November 15, 2013

These 10 Factors Can Help You Become Leaner, Stronger, and Younger - Part 2

You can't change your genetics but you can control how they're expressed.
Last week I discussed five determinants within your control to stay leaner, stronger, and healthier. You can’t turn back the clock, you can’t control your genetics, but you can make the best daily decisions to become your very best self.
While Biomarkers: 10 Determinants of Aging You Can Control is nearly 23 years old, its wisdom transcends time even if some of the research proves outdated today. While out of print, I couldn’t put down the copy my friend loaned me and had to share the book’s insights with you.

Friday, November 8, 2013

These 10 Factors Can Help You Become Leaner, Stronger, and Younger - Part 1

Optimal health leads to a younger you
As a researcher and science nerd, I always stay on top of the latest research. Early this year, a study showed DHEA combined with burst training could boost testosterone levels in middle-aged men. I use that kind of information to help my clients become stronger, leaner, and more powerful.
Recently another trainer at my gym showed me a fascinating book entitled Biomarkers: 10 Determinants of Aging You Can Control. “Why have I not heard about this book?” I asked.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Is the Glycemic Index an Effective Tool for Athletes (or Anyone)?

Low glycemic foods? 
A few years ago my aunt revealed some grim news at a family dinner: she had type 2 diabetes. Within her news was a silver lining: after delivering the news, her doctor asked her to follow a low-glycemic diet to control her blood sugar levels.

I consider that a silver lining because, contrary to what many health professionals recommend, many doctors still resort to low-fat diets to control diabetes, when sugar remains the culprit for high blood sugar and insulin levels. By default, a low-fat diet will be higher in sugar. It makes no sense.

Rather than resort to the “eat less/ exercise more” cliché, her doctor told my aunt to focus on lower-sugar foods and recommended Dr. Jennie Brand-Miller’s book The Low GI Diet Revolution, which was an astronomical step in the right direction.

Trouble was, my aunt carried this and several other books around everywhere she went. She consulted charts in restaurants and grocery stores to ensure she only had low-glycemic foods on her plate and cart. She once had the nerve to reprimand me for ordering a sweet potato, which has a glycemic index of – gasp! – 70. And some of her food choices, even though low on the glycemic index, were less-than-optimal.

In short, she became a pain in the ass. Everything became a number, which dissolved every ounce of joy my aunt once experienced with food. 

The glycemic index had overtaken her life.

What the Hell is the Glycemic Index Anyway!?

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Ultimate Workout Dilemma Solved (Sort of)

1 hour....nap, or workout?
My client was 20 minutes late and I wasn’t happy. I have a strict 15-minute no-show rule, and this was his fourth time violating that policy. Since he was my day’s last client, I began packing my bag when finally he rushed into my office, breathless and apologizing.
“I lay down to rest for a few minutes, and…” he began, though he didn’t need to finish the sentence. Trying my best not to sound like a prudish schoolmarm and reprimand him, I asked about his sleep patterns, fully aware how he’d answer.

Friday, October 18, 2013

All in Your Genes: Can Genetic Testing Determine Your Perfect Workout?

Genetic testing and exercise: find out your best workout
I’ve long proposed a combination of burst training and weight resistance provides the most efficient, effective exercise for most people. Earlier this year, I had a client who challenged that belief.

“You talk often about biochemical individuality and avoiding one-size-fits-all programs,” she said during her first session, “and yet you tell everyone to do the same exercise. Sure, you modify it for every individual, but it’s pretty much the same routine. What if I need something… different?

At first I felt enraged. How dare she question my over 20 years’ hard-earned fitness experience? I mentally categorized her in the PITA (pain in the ass) client category and hoped she would go away.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Crossfit: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Excessive workouts don't necessarily lead to better fitness
Recently I traveled to a rather remote area of Southern California to visit an old friend I hadn’t seen for several years. Living in Los Angeles, I’m always rather stunned to not see Starbucks along every corner.

Well, her small town didn’t have one Starbucks; just a local coffee house that didn’t open till 8 a.m. As an early-morning riser who likes a good cup of dark roast before my workout, all I could think was The horror!

We had dinner one night at the town’s only semi-upscale eatery. As I dove into my sirloin, my friend began telling me about a new workout her friends had passionately embraced akin to a Lululemon sample sale.

“It’s called

Friday, October 4, 2013

Muscle Testing: Science or Pseudo-Science?

My chiropractor suggested vitamin-B12 after pushing on my arm?
I meet two types of people at conferences. One includes those hard-boiled guys (and occasionally gals) who demand empirical evidence to support something. “Show me the science,” is their mantra.
If I say blueberries are brain food, they want to see three studies to support that claim. If I talk about how coenzyme Q10 benefits cellular energy, they want a textbook illustration to validate its role in the electron transport chain.
I like the second group better. They believe in science, but they’re open-minded to also accept empirical evidence. Don’t get me wrong. If an “expert” claimed she could talk to angels to cure cancer, these folks wouldn’t buy it for a millisecond.
But they also don’t need

Friday, September 27, 2013

Reduce Your Risk for Alzheimer’s an Astounding 50% with Exercise

Exercise brain AND body to enjoy older years
One of my closest friends has a genetic history of dementia. Both parents suffered Alzheimer’s, and I watched my friend witness the mental death of them both before they physically passed away.

Dementia is a cruel disease that shows no mercy, ultimately stealing a person’s dignity and self-worth.

My friend called me recently panicking. “I’ve been forgetting things more lately,” she told me. “First it was random moments, but lately they’ve become more frequent. I looked for my car keys yesterday morning for nearly an hour and eventually broke down crying.”

After I helped her calm down,

Friday, September 20, 2013

7 Myths Debunked about pH-Balanced Diets

Fruits and vegetables help neutralize acidity...so?
I have a reputation at my gym for being a myth-buster. Not a week goes by that a client doesn’t ask me whether a particular “muscle-enhancing” supplement is legit (usually not) or how many studies support creatine’s efficacy (a good many, actually).

I admit: sometimes I have to research these queries. Such was the case when a long-time client recently showed me her alkaline water.

A few months before, this client had begun one of those pH-balanced diets. You know, the ones that emphasize alkaline-forming foods and frequently include charts to differentiate alkaline and acidic foods. To boost her body’s alkalinity, my client was downing four or five bottle of alkaline water daily.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Can We Officially Declare Carbophobia Dead?

A small amount of healthy carb can help you lose weight
I have a friend who lost over 60 pounds on Atkins Induction. A year later, she’s kept off the weight and looks fantastic. Over that time she also became a carbophobe, evidenced recently at dinner when she asked our server to substitute her sweet potato for another green vegetable.

“Why the hate for sweet potatoes?” I asked her as our server walked away. “They’re loaded with fiber and beta-carotene. Add a little butter and… delicious.”

She looked at me like I had lost my mind. “A medium sweet baked potato has more net carbs than I’m allowed a day,” she replied, and then recounted how many green vegetables she could get for an equal amount of carb grams.

I admired her discipline even if I wondered why anyone would pass up such a delicious, healthy food.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Why I Don't Recommend (Most) Supplements

Can nutritional supplements be dangerous?
About a year ago, I received a call from my brother Tony concerning his recent physical. At 45, he was in excellent health: he had a decent diet, is naturally lean despite taking an extended break from exercise, and other than an occasional beer, doesn’t drink much alcohol, nor does he smoke or otherwise abuse his body.

Regardless, his doctor expressed concern about elevated liver enzymes.

“I’m not a medical professional,” I replied, careful not to overstep my boundaries. “Listen to your doctor and follow his instructions to the letter.”

Tony then dropped a bomb that he knew would provoke my wrath:

Friday, August 30, 2013

Master the Possibilities: Why A Mastermind Group Can Change Your Life

The power of many minds
I have them at my gym and you do too. They’re content doing the same machines, maybe thumbing through a few magazines on the treadmill, or just half-heartedly slogging though a workout. They look fine. Yet you’ve seen them at the gym for years and they don’t make progress.

You’ve also got those folks who push themselves harder. They challenge themselves with new workouts. They have demanding trainers who push their level of excellence.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Deep Sleep for Fat Loss & Muscle Building Begins with these Strategies

Sleep like a baby to get lean.
Last week I described my client who did everything correctly, yet struggled with fat loss and muscle gain. After a lot of trial and error, I eventually discovered she wasn’t sleeping soundly. Consequently, she couldn’t build muscle, suffered low libido, and struggled to ditch those last few frustrating pounds.

Optimal sleep doesn’t happen overnight (pun fully intended!), but with the right strategies you can correct most problems even if you’ve struggled for weeks or months with poor-quality sleep.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

My #1 Secret to Getting Lean and Muscular… In the Bedroom

Sleep more; weigh less
Several months ago a top client began stumbling in 10 minutes late to our sessions with some lame excuses. Suddenly she wasn’t performing at peak capacity, she complained about gaining fat, and her sex life was virtually non-existent.

I had trained her for years so I knew this wasn’t like her. Upon closer inspection, I learned she was doing

Friday, August 9, 2013

Why Fitness Gadgets Can Change Your Workout… For Better or Worse

The fitbit One - to track or not to track?
One of my best friends eats a mostly organic Paleo diet, hits the weight room three or four times a week, always looks for a staircase in her airport or mall for burst training, and swears by eight hours’ deep sleep every night to keep her fit and toned.

In every endeavor, she likes to track her efforts. Some would call her diligent; I half-jokingly (but completely lovingly) call her obsessed.

You see, she’s all about the latest fitness gadgets, displaying her newest find to mesmerized locker room crowds and scouring fitness magazines for the next big thing.

Friday, August 2, 2013

7 Ways to Naturally Boost Energy without Energy Drinks

Not My Kinda Energy
Last year 19-year-old Alex Morris went into cardiac arrest and was immediately pronounced dead from a cardiac arrhythmia when he arrived at the hospital. His mom is now suing Monster Energy Drink, which she believes was a culprit in Morris’s death.
She’s not alone. Anais Fournier’s family also sued Monster after she drank two 24-ounce cans of this popular energy drink and died. Monster claims Fournier died of natural causes. However, a CBS report claims

Friday, July 26, 2013

The #1 Success Principle of Lean, Healthy People

Failing to plan, is planning to fail
I’ve done it and so have you. You arrive home from work after a day from hell and then sitting in traffic to open your fridge and, save for a pork roast that would demand an hour to cook (never mind the prep time), realize you have next to nothing for dinner.

Conveniently, a menu sits nearby from that new pizza place, so you decide on takeout. You choose something sensible but then remember your friend raved about their thin-crust gluten-free pizza. You don’t want to let her down. Besides, you’re starving and pizza just sounds so much better than a salad.

Two hours later, you’re guiltily starring at an empty pizza box, feeling gross from eating too much, and determining that tomorrow you’ll renew your diet commitment.

Why We Fall into These Hazardous Traps

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Sweat It Out: How Sweating Can Keep You Healthy, Happy, and Beautiful

Sweat it ALL out
Like with most of America, a heat wave engulfed Los Angeles during the past few months. Much as I love breaking a sweat working out, walking out of my house and instantly becoming a sticky mess exceeds my admittedly wide comfort zone.

Sweating isn’t sexy and it often gets a bad rep. You’ve heard someone say “Don’t sweat it,” for instance, and you remember like yesterday breaking into a miserable sweat before that make-or-break high school chemistry final.

First dates and job interviews are not the time to break into a sweat. During a workout or rigorous outdoor activity, however, you want to sweat, and the more the better. Here’s why:

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Is An Occasional Toke Really So Bad?

A few hits of weed never hurt anyone...
I have these friends and you do too. They’re smart, educated, healthy, and successful. They also recreationally smoke pot: they’ll light up a joint at a dinner party or have a few hits before a concert.

You wouldn’t dare saying anything, but if you did they would dismiss their casual use as just “an occasional thing” and then subtly imply you were being uptight for even mentioning their vice.

Smart as our friends are, they aren’t likely aware of

Friday, July 5, 2013

Your Chances of Winning the Lotto are Better than Finding Someone in Shape (Well, Almost…)

Only 1 in 5 people comply with government fitness guidelines 
Are you hustling to hit free weights or make that new burst training class at your gym? Congratulations: you’re among the 20% who stay on top of your fitness game.

You read that right. Only 1 in 5 people comply with governmental fitness regulations. That’s what a new study in The Journal of the American Medical Association (thankfully abbreviated JAMA) http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleID=1697982 concluded about people meeting federal recommendations for aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity.

Are you familiar with these physical activity guidelines?

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Fiber for Life

Fruits and vegetables will make you thin. But how?
If you’re hoping to accelerate your rate at which you burn off that fat, if you simply want to have better health and overall physical function on a daily basis, fiber is going to be your best friend. 
Far too many people get caught up in calorie counting and making sure that they have the “perfect” numerical intake that they completely overlook the role that dietary fiber plays. Since fiber can definitely help to push your results in the right direction, it’s something that you should be thinking about, no...taking. 

What are some of the real benefits of dietary fiber? How can you get more fiber in your daily diet plan?


Blood Glucose Control 

The secret to fat loss (I prefer the term “fat loss” to “weight loss)” is

Friday, June 21, 2013

8 Easy Ways To Get More Pedometer Steps

The goal? 10,000 steps a day
Looking to improve your health and fitness?  One of the simplest ways to go about it is to focus on taking more total steps all throughout your day. 

By increasing your total step count, you’ll naturally be burning more calories, you’ll increase your heart health, and you’ll take one giant step towards accelerated body fat loss.

Wearing a pedometer on a daily basis is one of the best ways to be aware of how many total steps you’re taking and make changes to gradually increase that number aiming eventually for a total of 10,000 steps a day. Wearing a pedometer is a great way to make yourself

Friday, June 14, 2013

Green Tea-The Miracle Drink

Green tea: burns fat and so much more
Whether you’re currently looking to enhance your fat loss progress or you simply want to optimize your health, one beverage that you’re going to start consuming regularly, is green tea. Yes, you are.

So, what makes green tea so special?  Why is it touted over and over again as being the healthiest beverage one can drink?

The primary active component in green tea that makes it such a powderful health beverage is a compound called epigallocatechin gallate (or EGCg), and it is the most abundant catechin found in this tea.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Gardening: Not Your Grandma’s Workout

Gardening can kick your butt!
If you’re someone who is looking to maintain their fitness but doesn’t really want to spend yet another hour in the gym doing the same old routine you’ve been doing for months, the great news is, fitness can come in many different, often unexpected, packages. One particular activity that gets  overlooked (in terms of the fitness benefits it has to offer) is gardening.
 
Gardening actually not only burns a lot more calories than most people would guess, it is also a great way to

Friday, May 31, 2013

What is Sugar Alcohol?

A little polyl goes a long way. Wait...what?
If you’ve recently put yourself on a low carb diet, or alternatively, you are just trying to cut sugar out of your diet entirely to promote better health and possibly lose some weight, one thing that you may have come across in some of the foods you’re eating are sugar alcohols.

But what exactly is sugar alcohol?  And, is it something you should be eating?

While you know very well what "regular" (ethyl) alcohol is,

Friday, May 24, 2013

What Prescription Drugs are Stealing From Your Body

Drugs deplete naturally occurring nutrients
You can’t turn on the T.V. without seeing commercials for some prescription medication and its long list of side-effects that are going to kill you.  Like reality T.V., we continue to watch it so they keep filming more of these (ludicrous) shows.  I think it’s the same with prescription medications, we’re told what the medicine can do, then we visit the doctor and demand that medication.  But watch and wait…here come the side-effects.  I don’t know about your doctor but my doctor would never simply prescribe something just because I said I wanted it.  Either we don’t have doctors that care about our health or, we have more influence on them than we thought.  The point is, if our demands were not met, the drug companies wouldn’t be making the commercials-so it must be working for them.

On the flip side, we are all familiar with the list of disclaimers from all the side effects.  Late night talk show hosts have no shortage of material thanks to “…may cause loss of hearing, anal leakage, or death.” Nice-and that’s just the condensed version. I’ve heard

Friday, May 17, 2013

The First Twenty Minutes: Surprising Science Reveals How We Can Exercise Better, Train Smarter, Live Longer– by Gretchen Reynolds


The First Twenty Minutes is a reference to the minimum length of time from which benefits can be derived from a given bout of exercise. If the exercise is of a high enough intensity, that’s all you may need to derive maximal physical benefits for general health and well-being.  This is excellent news as the vast majority of people who don’t regularly exercise abstain from physical activity because they claim that they “just don’t have time.” But trust me, those people will move on to some other excuse for not exercising believe me, they will.  Because if you don’t have the time to change clothes, drive to the gym, navigate a parking space, warm-up, train, cool down, make your way back home, shower, and then eat- to-win, a 20 minute in-home workout should seem like a cake walk by comparison. But that’s another issue…

Gretchen Reynolds is the author of The First Twenty Minutes and in this book she does examine how we can exercise better, train smarter, and live longer.  There are some fascinating

Friday, May 10, 2013

Snack Attack

An apple a day?

Let me just start by saying:  I don’t believe in snacking.  Snacking allows for a consistent release of insulin at regular intervals in response to each meal; regardless of the meal size.  Insulin must then modulate the blood sugar response with each of those meals. Insulin is a fat storing hormone and whatever calories from a meal are not utilized right away, will be stored as fat.
  
While some people can experience a drop in blood sugar that can drive them to crave carbohydrates/sugar if they go too long without eating, I believe that if your meals are properly balanced, you can eat every 4 to 6 hours without feeling “starved.”  Eating every 4 to 6 hours prevents repeated insulin responses which can lead to

Friday, May 3, 2013

What's Your Story?

Stories convey magic and inspiration

Storytelling is as old as humankind.  Human beings have been telling stories, well, since there were human beings.  Stories inspire others, instruct, and pass along traditions, values, and ideas that are important to a society.  

Storytelling has become a hot topic as of late-especially with marketers.  It seems like everyone is talking about telling “their story” in an effort to help sell this product or that service. I’m fine with that because the stories are usually legitimate and if that happens to sell a product, so be it.

On a smaller scale, families have their own mythology. Dads tell tales of

Friday, April 26, 2013

Do You WANT to be Healthy?

Are you lying to yourself?
Any reader of Throwing a Fit knows, I am huge on education. I have not stayed on the "cutting edge" (an overused term but one I do not throw around lightly), in this industry for nothing. I go to seminars, workshops, get specialized certifications, read books, magazines, journals, blogs, etc. to really stay on top of what is happening. To that end, one of the experts whose work I "follow" is a doctor and physical therapist out of Canada named Dr. Andreo Spina. Dr. Spina is an amazing talent.  He understands functional anatomy and physiology in a way that few people I've followed does. He has taught me much. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Why What Skincare Products You Use, Matters



Toxic skincare products add to an over-burdened liver
Mankind has been in existence roughly 250,000 years. It appears that the average life expectancy back then was about 25 (maybe I should count my blessings.) What caused early man to live such a short life?  While there are many theories including bad teeth (you can’t chew if your teeth are whittled down to the gums and protein shakes had not been invented.)  Add to that, infectious diseases and “accidents” which also contributed but one thing is clear about the way early man lived: he lived in a chemical-free environment-which is more than I can say for us! 
In addition to endogenous toxins (those produced by the body as a byproduct of biochemical processes), there are toxins we voluntarily consume like caffeine, alcohol, sugar, and artificial sweeteners that add to our “toxic burden.”  Perhaps the worst contributor includes 80 billion pounds of toxins that are released into the world’s atmosphere every year. I’m no anthropologist but I believe scientists will one day look back and determine that all this contributed to our demise.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Gourmet Nutrition-The Cookbook for the Fit Food Lover-by Dr. John Berardi



Finally! Easy, healthy and delicious recipes
Is it wrong to talk about how well an author’s intense blue eyes are set off by his dark brown hair when you’re about review his book?  Could that be considered a conflict of interest somehow?  Well, be that as it may, Dr. John Berardi is much more than a pretty face (besides; he’s married) (and there are a couple of other co-authors here as well but really, who cares?)

A veteran in the fitness field (which seems impossible since looks all of 25), Dr. Berardi knows what any of us who have ever trained with any degree of seriousness knows: “diet” is 75%.”  Translation: exercise has a myriad of benefits but if you want to be lean and more importantly; healthy, what you eat is going to “count” more than how many hours you put in the gym.  While that can make a few fitness trainers nervous, I’ve always believed that if diet got you there, exercise would keep you there so not to worry trainers.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Grain-free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Gluten-free chocolate chip cookies...there is a God!
By now, you pretty much know how I feel about chocolate. Then again, is there a person alive who doesn’t love it?  I suppose there is but seriously, what’s wrong with them?
 
You can also add homemade chocolate chip cookies to my list of obsessions-and probably yours too. But, they have to be homemade or I wouldn’t waste the calories/sugar poisoning/carb overload-it just wouldn’t be worth it.  So imagine my happiness when I came across this recipe for Grain-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies-even the chocolate chips are gluten free!  Now, I know that doesn’t address the calories/sugar poisoning/carb overload issue but it does address the gluten-free issue.  So, if you’re adhering to a gluten-free diet (and it really would behoove you to do so), here is a little slice of heaven.  Stick with the 3 polite bite rule and your indulgence will result in little damage.  Thank you Paleo Plan for creating this awesome cookie makeover.


Friday, March 22, 2013

10 Stupid Things That Are Keeping You from Having the Body You Want


Tired of spinning your wheels in the gym?
1)  Stupid Cardio-Are you still hanging all over the Stairmaster with your arms “rolled in” for 45? 60? minutes or more?  Even Shape magazine doesn’t still promote that kind of cardio. In case you haven’t noticed “we” don’t do cardio like that anymore. It’s a waste of time and may even be detrimental to your   fitness efforts (it raises stress hormones and breaks down muscle.) Moderate intensity, long-duration cardio is a thing of the past.  Frequent, short bursts of very high intensity cardio done either as a rest-based workout or, integrated with your resistance workout is the only way to go.  It builds muscle, boosts immune function, and burns more calories at rest. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Best of the Natural Products Expo


After eating my way through another trip to Anaheim and the Natural Products Expo, I finally got wise and took only a select few “healthy” food samples home with me. More than that, I’ve learned, and I just continue the binge indefinitely.  Healthy food samples are relatively few and far between as this show caters to every kind of manufacturer that wants to call him/herself “healthy" or "natural.”  Be that as it may, the show is a blast and new products are sprinkled throughout the expo hall-which is really saying something because there are upwards of 2,400 exhibitors at the show. Needless to say, I only saw a small portion of the total number of exhibitors that were present. Oh well. 

Here is a recap of my favorites:

Friday, March 8, 2013

Plank Power


Who needs crunches!?
The practice of yoga is 5,000 years old.  I knew that!  And as Wikipedia and the other internet info centers mentions, no one knows who created yoga because 5,000 years ago because human beings weren’t putting pen to paper quite yet to record that.  The traditional purpose of Yoga, I’ve found out, has always been to bring about a profound transformation in the person through the transcendence of the ego.

Hmm…then explain to me why, in recent months, I’ve noticed that

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Conscious Capitalism


A kinder, gentler, capitalism
“Capitalism is unquestionably the greatest system for innovation and social cooperation that has ever existed.” Those words, written by John Mackey and Raj Sisodia are powerful, thought provoking and incredibly important. It’s hard to believe they came from that long-haired, long-bearded hippie from the 70’s, John Mackey.  Or should I say former long-haired, long-bearded hippie since it's been about 40 years and Mackey's hair and clean shaven face were transformed a time long ago.

In their book, Conscious Capitalism, Mackey explains how he sold-out and abandoned his liberal progressive roots and became just another Bourgeois capitalist pig (shake head in shame.) The End. Well, that’s not exactly the way it happened nor is it the end by any stretch.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Guiltless Chicken Breast Tenders

Thank you Tana Amen, RN for this great recipe bringing chicken fingers out of junk food land and into the health food realm.  I chose to continue following the recipe to make these crispy (I had no regrets.)

Enjoy



Healthy chicken fingers? Yes, honestly!
Ingredients

1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon pepper, if desired
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup almond meal (or gluten-free flour), or you may grind almonds finely in the food processor
1 pound chicken tenders (free-range, hormone-free, antibiotic-free)
1 egg, lightly beaten (organic, Omega-3)



Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a bowl, mix sea salt, pepper, garlic powder, and almond meal and blend well with a fork.


Dip the chicken pieces in the egg, coating both sides. Immediately dredge in the almond meal mixture, covering both sides completely.


Friday, February 15, 2013

5 Cool Tools to Jumpstart Your Workout

Why did you join that gym (or get serious about your home-based training?) To get leaner, tighter, fitter and stronger, right?  So how’s that working out for you? For some, probably great! And for others…well,…maybe not so great.


If you’ve been working out for months or even years and your progress has been slow to undetectable or, you’re doing fine but your motivation could use a kick in the pants; listen up.

A piece of equipment alone will not likely transform your body. But, a new toy can get you charged up and motivated all over again and that can get you back on the road to transformation. Check out these 5 cool tools that can jumpstart your workout:

The Burn Machine
The Burn Machine: Created by martial artists to simulate punching a speed bag, the burn machine is a shiny chrome contraption that when held away from the body, at shoulder height-and while turning its rotating grips at high speed, will burn those shoulders into amazing shape. Vary arm placement to hit the muscles from all angles. Can be used sitting or standing. Available in several weights. Priced from $116.00-$150.00, it’s available at www.theburnmachine.com. Insert the code UGW at checkout for a 10% discount.

Friday, February 8, 2013

It Doesn't Get Better Than (Healthy) Chocolate


A reason for living
If you believe that the four major food groups are milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate, and chocolate truffle, we really understand each other. But believe it or not, chocolate can be good for you.

Dark chocolate containing 72% cocoa solids or more, is best enjoyed when it hasn’t been treated with alkali... a standard process called Dutching, which destroys most of cocoa's beneficial polyphenols and anti-oxidants. Then there’s milk chocolate, which should be avoided (if you got the guts.) It’s high in calories, saturated fat and sugar. Dark chocolate contains more cacao and less sugar.

A 2006 John Hopkins study showed that eating a little bit every day is good for your health. Here are some of the health benefits associated with eating chocolate.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Food-Labeling Voodoo: Serving Size Manipulation


My friend Dr. Jonny Bowden's got this all figured out.  Find out below in this guest post, just how manipulated us consumers are by big (food) business.  You won't believe this!





How to REALLY read a label
Suppose for the moment that you are a manufacturer of little yellow snack cakes with a creamy filling inside.  

The "recipe" calls for tons of hydrogenated oil or partially hydrogenated oil, both of which are trans-fats. In the past, this manufacturer could easily get away with using all the trans-fats he wanted. After all, there’s no listing for trans-fats on the label, and for a long time most people didn’t know that partially hydrogenated oil was the definition of trans-fats.

But now people are paying attention. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Turkey Apple Walnut Goodness


This recipe was given to me by my friend Evelyne Lambrecht of Health Coach San Diego (www.healthcoachsd.com.) Evelyne is a talented, educated, high-energy health coach based in the San Diego, CA area.  This is really a tasty and balanced breakfast creation that she passed along to us; thanks Evelyne! We love it.

Now for a REAL breakfast of champions

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Charlie Francis Training System


Old school training for TODAY'S sprinter
I first discovered The Charlie Francis Training System through Bret Contreras, someone whose work I admire and respect. Only available in Kindle edition, I wasn’t sure what to expect from an interview with a 1980’s track and field coach conducted by the coach’s wife; but it was excellent. Becoming acquainted with this coach and his athletes was more of an education than I anticipated.

Does anyone remember sprinter Ben Johnson for his incredible athletic talent and superiority as an athlete? Some do. but sadly, most people remember Ben Johnson for being the first athlete in the modern games to be stripped of his gold medals after testing positive for performance enhancing drugs. What a shame. Johnson was a dedicated athlete who gave his all to be one of the greatest athletes of his day.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Valslide Hamstring Curls

Valslide Hamstring Curls - before and after

Valslides are the invention of celebrity personal trainer Valerie Waters.  Val had the clever idea of taking two pieces of plastic and gluing a square of foam rubber to each of them, packaging them, selling them, and is now getting rich. Actually, I don’t know how rich she is or isn't but the Valslide is a clever idea and lots of trainers in the fitness industry now use her tool.
 
The idea is, on a carpeted surface, these little pieces of plastic allow you to slide around and perform both upper and lower body exercises that challenge your core while also challenging other muscle groups at the same time for a total body exercise.