About Me

I have been a teacher of fitness and health for thirty years. In 1989 I was certified for personal training with the National Acadamy of Sports Medicine. I had a gym in Santa Barbara for eight years. Co-owned and created a spinning bike company which manufactured bikes for five years. Also I have worked with nutrition companies for twenty years. Along with many wonderful non famous people I have trained many celebrities, and members of the Royal Family. My own athletic past consists of long distance running, long distance cycling, cross country skiing, down hill skiing, rollerblading, hiking, sand running, track work, and weight training. I have authored two fitness columns in local papers, and have been writing this blog since January 2010.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Staying Hydrated

The warm weather is upon us, and that makes it is even more important to stay hydrated. Many of us are more active in the summer months taking part in outdoor activities and more sun exposure. All of this adds up to a need for more fluid intake.

Dehydration occurs when we have more water loss through sweat and being active, than we are taking in. We may not drink enough water during these warmer days, as opposed to what we drink during cooler months, yet we will require more.

Dehydration symptoms can range from mild, to severe, to life threatening. Beginning signs of dehydration begin with a strong feeling of thirst. If you feel thirsty, you have begun the dehydration process.

You may also urinate less because the body will not want to let go of what fluids it has left. When dehydrated your urine will also become stronger in color and smell. This is a sign that you need to drink water immediately.

Dry mouth, dry eyes, muscle cramping, lightheadedness, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, and heart palpitations, are more sever signs that you have become dehydrated. At this point you need to get water in you before you suffer further damage to yourself.

Drinking water is the best way to keep hydrated. It is the only fluid that the kidneys do not have to filter. Water actually cleanses the body of toxins and keeps everything functioning properly. Things like soda, juice, alcohol, tea, and coffee, make the body have to work when you ingest them.

Studies have shown that people who eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables do not need as much water intake as those who do not eat fruits and vegetables. One group of people were told to drink 64 oz of water in a day, the other group was told to drink no water, but they were to eat fruits and vegetables. There was no difference in the hydration levels for these two groups. One more reason to eat "Fresh Fruits and Vegetables.

The recommended amount of water intake a day is 64 oz, plus 8 oz more for every fifteen minutes of exercise that you do. That may seem like a lot, but if you want your body to function properly you should follow those guidelines.

Keeping yourself hydrated will keep your energy up, your body strong, your skin clear and younger looking, your digestion working well, and help you to feel good overall. It is simply one of the most important things that we can do for ourselves.

Remember that you can live without food for up to weeks at a time, but you can not live without water for more than a few days. So grab a bottle of water and drink to your health....literally!

Till Tomorrow,

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Are You a Good Listener?

Ahhhhh, the art of listening....not very many people have this ability. Have you ever noticed that most people are not very good listeners? We are all guilty of it, including myself. Recently I had a session with a counselor that I taped, and after listening to it, I realized that it was "me" that talked through most of the session.

The strange thing about it was, I thought that she did most of the talking, until I played it back. There I was rambling on and on, not even realizing I was doing that.

In my work, I practice listening a great deal. It is my clients hour, so I want to hear what is going on with them, and what it is they want to talk about. If they want me to talk about my stuff, I will, but mostly it is a mutual exchange of conversation.

I had a phone call from someone recently that made me think about how we are so unaware of our own behavior. In this call this man was telling me that his daughter had made a comment to him that she didn't like to visit him because he always talked about himself and didn't really care about what she had to say. He was miffed by this statement from her, because as he told me, he did not do that.

Well I have known him all of my life, and I can tell you that it is true, he always just talks about his stuff and himself. During this hour conversation he and I had, I talked for maybe five or ten minutes, but was interrupted by him multiple times. He never asked anything about what was going on with me, but just talked all about him.

He is not a good listener. There are so many people just like him. When someone else is talking, they are thinking about what they are going to say next, and really aren't listening to what anyone else is saying.

Conversations should be a mutual exchange. Listen when someone else is talking. We all like to be heard, and we all like to have our chance to express ourselves as well. Listening can be a gift for anyone who is having trouble or needs someone to hear them.

You can learn a lot when you are a good listener. I have had one of the best educations I could ever have gotten from all of the years I have listened to my clients. Think about it, I have trained successful Actors, Musicians, Writers, Business people, Royal family members, and many other very interesting souls that have given me hours and hours of listening pleasure about their work and lives.

Listening is a great skill that will help you in whatever endeavor you decide to do. It is a skill that great leaders have. It is a skill that will always benefit you.

So think about how much you are listening, and how much you are talking. Being a good listener is also being a good friend. Sometimes we need to listen, and sometimes we need to be heard. Make sure you have a balance with these two, it will help you to be a better person.

Till Tomorrow,

Monday, June 28, 2010

A Reminder of the Power of Juicing

I have written about how powerful it is to drink your vegetables by juicing them. I have to remind everyone again of its healing strengths.

Last week I was beginning to feel a little low energy, and I had the beginnings of what felt like a sore throat. I do not have the luxury of not working right now, and being sick is just not an option for me. So I drove down to my local health food store and loaded my cart with organic carrots, cucumber, bell pepper, celery, tomatoes, beets, and garlic.

I hurried home and pulled my "Jack La Lanne" juicer out and began juicing my bag of vegies. I can tell you that within twelve hours I started to feel better and my sore throat was gone.

Now some might say that it could have gone away on its own, or that the juice acted as a placebo effect for me. I believe that it is the strength of the antioxidants that come from all of the vegetables in the juice. Remember that antioxidants kill the free radicals that are what disease us and age us.

There are many people with stories of healing sickness using juices. I am not saying that juice can fix everything, but if you understand that much of our sickness can be helped if not cured by nutrition, it only makes sense that juicing would be a powerful ally in helping to heal.

There are many books that have been written about juicing. Certain vegetables help different things. For instance garlic works like a natural antibiotic helping with fungus, virus's, and helps to stimulate ones immune system. It is also known to help with blood pressure, and cholesterol.

Cucumber is known to help reduce inflammation, and helps to prevent water retention. Cucumber also helps regulate blood pressure, and can help in reducing a fever by drinking cucumber water.

Celery has anti cancer compounds in it, and that alone makes it worth juicing. Celery helps with constipation, inflammation, water retention, blood pressure, cholesterol, kidney function, and weight loss. It is also great for your skin.

Carrots are great for regulating blood sugar, helps to detox the liver, protects the respiratory system from infections, reduces risk of cancer, lowers cholesterol, helps with constipation, helps to reduce mucus, great for your eyes and skin, and helps reduce water retention.

Bell Peppers help to lower cholesterol, blood pressure, prevents blood clots, helps to prevent certain cancers, works as an antibacterial anti-fungal agent, helps circulation, enhances metabolism, helps to reduce headaches, and helps to reduce sore throat. (well there you have it!)

Beets are a powerful blood cleanser and detox for your whole system. They also lower cancer risk, help with constipation, lower blood pressure, reduces anemia, helps with gall bladder and kidney ailments, helps to ward off varicose veins.

Tomatoes are great for hearth health, bones and teeth, your digestive track, anti cancer properties, better skin, reduces inflammation, and relieves tiredness and fatigue.

So those are all the things that I got out of a glass of juice. Powerful stuff, and I swear by it. Yes it does take some time to go to the store and buy the vegetables, and yes it takes about fifteen minutes to prepare and clean the juicer, but it is so worth it!

Jack La Lanne is now 95 years old and going strong. He has been juicing for many decades and I think it has certainly worked for him, as it works for me.

My juicer cost about $100. It is an investment in my health, and I think some of the best health insurance that I have ever had. If you can't get a juicer, most towns have health food stores where they make juice for you.

If you think you can get it out of V8 Juice, think again. That juice has a ton of sodium, and when juice sits for more than a day, it loses its strength and potency. It will not work the same as fresh, organic, produce will.

Give juicing a try, you will love it!

Till Tomorrow,

Friday, June 25, 2010

Bike Riding for Fitness and Fun

Summer is here and bike riders are every where. Cycling is one of the best ways to have fun and get into shape. It is fabulous for shaping up your butt and legs too.

It doesn't matter if you are on a mountain bike, road bike, or cross trainer, they all add up to great fun and are one of the most perfect ways to burn fat and strengthen your cardiovascular system.

Mountain bikes have a much fatter tire and easier gears to help you when you are off road and climbing steep terrain. The handle bars of a mountain bike are straight across and sit a little higher for better comfort on your back. You can ride a mountain bike in rough territory and not have a problem staying upright like you would on a road bike.

Road bikes have skinny tires and gears that are made for the road. In recent years road bike gears have now included a third front chain ring just like the mountain bikes have to make hill climbing a little easier for the rider. This gear is commonly referred to as a "granny gear" in the cycling world.

Many people are intimidated by a road bikes skinny tires and bent over handle bars. I have been riding road bikes for most of my life, and I can tell you that they are not as scary as they might seem. They are built that way for optimum performance when riding.

A cross trainer bike is sort of a cross between a mountain bike and a road bike. I always recommend this type of bike to anyone who wants to learn road biking, but has some fear around the skinny tires, and bent over position with the handle bars.

A cross trainer has mountain bike handle bars and three chain rings just like a mountain. Its tires are not fat or skinny, they are right in the middle of the two. It allows better speed on the road, yet gives you a little more security with a bit wider tire. It is a great place to start if you are thinking of getting into road bike riding.

If you are riding an average of 10 miles per hour on a bike, you will burn an average of 500 calories in a hour. Ten miles an hour is relatively easy. It is not a killer pace, unless you are a couch potato, then it might be challenging.

Picking up that pace to 12 or 15 miles an hour will obviously raise your caloric burn for that hour. Of course riding hills and mountains will raise that up even more. So you can see that you can burn a ton of calories riding a bike.

The best part about it is that it is so much fun. It makes me feel like a kid when I am on my bike. With the wind in my hair, riding through the country roads where I live, is just the best.

Hopefully you have access to a bike so you can get out there and have some fun while you get into shape. If you do not have a bike, there are bike rentals in most towns that you can rent for the day. Give it a try with some friends....you may just like it!

Till Monday,

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Feelilng Good by Doing for Others

This week CNN hosted by Larry King, a telethon to raise money for the Gulf Coast was held. Mr. King announced that, "You never feel so good as when you give to someone else." There is no truer statement than that.

I have written to you about "Uplifting" other people to make yourself feel better, several times, but we can always revisit this topic to remember its importance.

I never feel better than when I am helping someone else to feel better. In my work I have the honor of helping a lot of people, not only with their fitness and nutritional needs, but with their emotional self as well.

It is such a pleasure to do something for someone, or say something to them, that makes them feel better. The giver is really the biggest receiver in this transaction.

My G.P.S. for Total Health program has helped quite a few young women with nutritional, exercise, meditation, and mindfulness education and guidance. I raise money through donations and grants to fund their classes and equipment that they get to keep when they are finished with the course.

At the end of the course the girls are asked to write a thank you letter to the sponsors. These letters will make you cry when you read them. They are so grateful for what they have learned during the session. But, I can honestly say that it is "Me" who receives the most from teaching this course. I am filled with so much joy when I get to work with these wonderful young women. It almost feels selfish of me, but that is my point.

If we would stop thinking so much about what we need, or want, or have, and put a little of that attention and effort into doing for someone else, happiness would be easier to find.

You don't have to make a grand gesture to help someone, it could be as simple as holding the door open for a stranger, or saying something kind to someone you know. Giving someone a smile is also an uplifting thing to do. This world can always use a little more kindness from any of us.

So if you are feeling down, or bored, or just tired of always thinking about your own needs, try doing something uplifting to someone else. You will feel good when you do, and that is what it is all about!

Till Tomorrow,

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Remembering to be Grateful

I have written about gratitude several times in this blog, but wanted to give you a reminder about it today. We can not forget about gratitude if we want our lives to be fulfilling.

Many of us focus solely on what it is in our lives that is wrong or bad. We can talk for days about our injustices and all that goes on in our lives that is negative. But, how often do you go on and on about the things in your life that you can be grateful for?

That conversation is usually short if it happens at all for most of us. No matter what is happening in your life that feels bad or traumatic, there is always something to be grateful for. I do not want to diminish anyone's situation that might be dealing with a horrible situation, I just want to point our that you can still find something to be grateful for.

For instance, if you live in a house with fresh running hot and cold water, you are better off than "millions" of people that live on this planet.

If you have a refrigerator that has food in it, you are better off than millions of people who live on this planet.

If you practice a religion of your own choosing without having your life threatened, you are better off than millions of people who life on this planet.

If you have a wallet that has some money in it, you are better off than millions of people who live on this planet.

If you have a job and are earning money, you are better off than millions of people who live on this planet.

If you are able to go into a grocery store where there is an endless choice of foods to buy, you are better off than millions of people who live on this planet.

If you are reading this blog, you are better off than millions of people who do not have access to a computer who live on this planet.

If you are healthy and are not subjected to malaria or the aids virus, you are better off than millions of people on this planet.

Those are just a few of the things that you can be grateful for no matter what it is you are going through in your life. It always feels better when we can dwell on what is good in our life, than focus on what it is that is not good.

There is never a day that goes by that I am not grateful for what I have. Even though I do not have much as far as assets and money goes, I have my health, a wonderful place to live, incredibly supportive loving friends and family, and I get to do what I love to do. I am extremely lucky, and I acknowledge that numerous times in a day.

So if you are having a hard time or going through something difficult, stop and take note of all that you do have that is good in your life. You will feel better for it, and that is always a good thing!

Till Tomorrow,

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Working on a Dream

I have a dream that I am able to develop my G.P.S. for Total Health program to a place where I can reach thousands of girls. Up until now I have only been able to teach six girls at time, due to my limited space and financial support.

My dream is to have a venue that makes the program available to many more teens than I could ever reach teaching it at the level that I do now. One day my daughter was visiting, and I casually said, "You know, I need a television show so that I could give this information to a bigger audience." I said we should look on the Oprah web site, and see what she was up to.

As I opened the site it said in big, bold, letters, "Do you want your own T.V. show?" Well that was interesting! Of course I logged in and began the process to audition for Oprah's new network immediately.

Anyone who wanted to audition had to make a video, no longer than three minutes. That sounded easy. Ha! When you are not used to talking to a camera, it is a little unnerving at first. My daughter helped me video, and a friends step son, helped me edit it.

This video talks about how I would like to have a show spot lighting my program and the teen girls who would be in the show with me. I have great ideas for all of the episodes.

So what I would like anyone to do that is reading this blog, is to go onto the Oprah "Own Network" website, and search the new show videos for "Queenie" in the health and wellness category. If you like it, please vote for it, and if you would like leave a comment about it, please feel free to do so.

It is a dream I am working on and this is just one thing I am doing to try and make it happen. I hope you like it, and thank you for taking the time to take a look at it.

Till Tomorrow,

Monday, June 21, 2010

Exercising Your Compassion

Last week in my teen class one of my students began a conversation about the relationship between her and her father. It has never been a good relationship, no communication, no understanding, and not much affection between them.

What I pointed out during this discussion was that how ever her father had been treating her, had nothing to do with her, but all to do with him. Remember in our "Four Agreements" book by Don Miguel Luis, one of the four agreements is to never take anything personal, because it never is.

Now I have never met this man, but I can tell you by the things that she shared with us about him that he is not living the life he wants to. Got married young, had children to be responsible for, and is working a job that is not his passion. Remember that Joseph Campbell says, "Follow Your Bliss", and you will find true happiness.

Well I would bet all that I own that this father did not follow his bliss, and is now taking it out on his family. He is most likely living a life that he did not want. I would also bet that he has no idea that all of it was his choice, and knowing that fact would probably make him even more angry, because then he would have to be responsible for everything that has happened to him.

There are so many people who live lives like this. They make decisions when they are young and naive , not understanding the full consequence of their decisions. Falling in "love" at nineteen years old, and having several babies in a short period of time, then having to be responsible for them takes the fantasy of romance right down the drain!

If you take a look at most peoples childhood, you can usually see why they made the choices that they make. For instance, this man was ridiculed and beaten as a child and as a young man by his parents. Obviously it would be difficult to find your self worth in that situation. So he went out on his own and began a family before he dealt with any of his own dysfunctions.

All that can happen in those situations is a continuation of dysfunctional behavior on that persons part. If you have not dealt with your stuff, you will bring it with you into every relationship that you have. I would bet that this man feels a victim of his own life, and does not believe that he is responsible for any of it.

This is where we can exercise our compassion. Just like I did with my parents. They had little to no functional communication from their parents, so how could they parent well to their children. Unless you have a consciousness about it, you will just continue the cycle of how it was done to you.

I have compassion for my students father in the sense that he has no consciousness in how he is damaging his daughter the same way he was damaged. He does not realize that he has created his own existence, and it did not just randomly happen to him. He is like so many people, not being responsible for his own thoughts, choices, and actions. Just a victim of it all.

If he had been taught at a young age that his parents behavior was not about him, but their own stuff, he may have had a better chance at living a more functional life. If I had known at a young age the same thing, I might not have needed all the years of therapy that it took to make me realize that it had nothing to do with me personally.

I try and exercise my compassion every time I hear these stories of people abusing others because of their own stuff. I see them as lost and confused. They just don't understand that that abuse was not about them, yet that is how we always see it when we experience abuse.

So if you are dealing with a parent who is treating you badly, remember it is never about you. Try and exercise your compassion for what they have been through. Do not believe them when they ridicule or demean you. It is simply not true, not about you, and all about what they have gone through.

It does not make it right for them to do it, but it helps you to understand why they are doing it, and helps you to not take it on as your truth.

You are a special, wonderful, human being, that should be supported and loved by your parents, and if that is what you are experiencing, you are lucky. If it is not what you are experiencing, love yourself by being compassionate and understanding of where and why you are being treated in any other way. Abuse is only personal to the abuser, it is never the truth about you.

Till Tomorrow,

Friday, June 18, 2010

No Such Thing as Spot Reducing

Have you ever thought that you could reduce the fat on your stomach if you did crunches? Or maybe you thought that doing leg lifts reduce the fat on your thighs.

The good news is that those exercises will help you develop muscle, which in turn will help you to burn more calories, which will then help you to lose fat. However, the bad news is, those kind of exercises will never help you to "spot" reduce, or lose the fat in a particular area of your body.

Losing the fat on your body requires you to do cardiovascular exercise as a means to burn fat for fuel, and eat a diet of healthy food such as fresh fruits, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, and nuts and legumes to reduce your fat intake, and help you to lose the weight.

Also it is important to increase your muscle mass to energize your metabolism and create a better calorie burning system.

Working your abdominal muscles will work no matter how much fat you have on you, but you will not be able to see them if your body fat is covering them up. You could literally have a six pack hiding underneath a keg.

Obviously it is better for your health to be lean, but you can still build muscle if you are overweight. This muscle will help to speed up your metabolism and help you to burn more calories, which will help you to lose more fat.

When you put fat on your body, everyone does it differently, it will come off in the same way that you put it on. For instance, if you gain weight first in your stomach, that will be the last place it will come off.

That is why many of us have what we call problem areas that always seem to have fat on them. That is the place that you gain fat first, so if you have any fat on you, that area will always have it.

I gain weight in my stomach and waist first. So unless I am very lean, which I am not right now, I will have some fat right there on my gut and sides! Of course it is the part of my body that bothers me the most, because there is always some fat there unless I am at a low weight. This gets worse as you get older by the way.

So if you want to lose fat in a certain area of your body, you need to do cardio and make healthier choices when you are eating. That is the only way it will happen....except for liposuction, which I never recommend!

Till Monday,