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.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Good News, Good Thoughts, Good Feelings

I thought that I would leave you this weekend with some ways to help you to feel good. As I have said before, most of the news that we see on television, or hear on the radio, is negative and scary. Our prime time media world loves to focus and fixate on all that is bad and horrible. If you were feeling good before you watched the news, you probably won't feel as good after wards.

I got onto Google and typed in "Good News Today", and numerous sights came up with uplifting, happy stories as their news. One such sight has a section on hero's. You can read about people who have done things like save someones life, or a dog that helped lead firefighters to a fire. These stories are heart warming and happen as often, if not more than the awful murdering, raping, war filled, stories that we hear about 24/7 on regular news.

Another thing that you can do is to watch an uplifting movie or documentary. There are some documentaries about people who are so amazing and inspiring such as "A Man Named Pearl", which I have talked about before. "Coach Carter", "The Hobart Shakespeareans", "In The Shadow of the Moon", and "The Cry of the Snow Lion" are just a few of the ones that I have found that lift me up.

Watching an uplifting movie is always good to do when you need to relax and feel good. Choose something that is happy, fun, light, and that helps to transport you into a good place. Watching a movie that has violence, anger, fear, or suspense, is not a good choice if you are trying to feel good. Your body does not know the difference between watching scary things in a movie, or having it really happen. You will experience it physically just as if it was really happening.

Practice positive thoughts. Sit for a while and think about all the "good" things that are in your life. Think about all the good things that have ever happened to you. Think about all the good things that will happen to you. Fill you mind with positive, wonderful, thoughts. Dwell in those instead of any negative thoughts that you might have. See how you feel after an hour or two of doing that. You are bound to feel great!

Take a walk and practice your active meditation. Notice the flowers, trees, and animals that you meet on your walk. Look at the sky and your surroundings. Take your mind off of anything that is not right there around you. This is being in active, mindful, meditation. It is a way of being present. You will feel good when you do this.

Go on a hike, or a bike ride, and you will also feel great. Remember that you will release sedative like endorphins when you do a cardiovascular exercise. This will help you to feel relaxed, calm, and stress free. Feeling good is always a goal for most of us. Cardio helps you with that process.

Feel good by uplifting someone else. That never fails to make me feel good. Even if it is just a hello to a stranger, or letting someone go before me at the grocery store, being kind to another person will always help you to feel good too. Remember that the person who is kind, or is the giver, receives more than the recipient does.

So if you are wanting to feel better, try some of these things to get you there. They always work for me, and I know they will work for you too!

Till Monday,

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Healthy To Do List for Today

Do you ever make a "to do" list for your day. It is a great way to get things done and have a feeling of accomplishment at the end of your day. I always love scratching off one of the "to do's" on my list that I have managed to get done. I get more things accomplished when I make a list, than when I don't.

I thought I would make a list of "Healthy To Do's" for you today. You can use this list for everyday if you are interested in staying healthy of Body, Mind, and Spirit. In the beginning, you may feel overwhelmed at completing the entire list, so finish what you can. If you add a task a week, you will begin to make these things part of your lifestyle, and that will get you a healthier life.

Task #1
When you wake in the morning, begin your day with a morning stretch right in your bed. (see blog on morning stretching February 8)

Task #2
Following your morning stretch, do a morning meditation. (see blogs January 11th, March 17th, July 20th)

Task #3
Eat a healthy breakfast to stop your night fast, and get your engines going! (see blog February 17th)

Task #4
Plan your day with a positive outlook. See the possibilities in your day, and avoid any negative thoughts. (See blog February 23rd, January 2nd, April 6th, July 16th)

Task #5
Find thirty to sixty (preferably sixty) minutes for some exercise. Doing cardiovascular exercise six to seven days a week is highly recommended for a lean and healthy body. Find at least three of those days to add in some strength training. (see blog January 3rd, January 8th)

Task #6
Eat a healthy lunch and dinner that is made from natures foods. Stay away from the processed food, white flour, white sugar, high fat foods. (see blog January 4th, January 13th, February 3rd, February 5th)

Task #7
Do a evening meditation and evening stretch.

Task #8
Get a good nights sleep of eight or nine hours. Make sure you are not watching television or on the computer while trying to go to sleep. (see blog January 29th, July 21st)

That is your getting healthy "to do" list. You can make this a lifestyle by practicing these task's on a daily bases. I promise you that you feel happier, healthier, and more in control of how your life unfolds.

Till Tomorrow,

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Alcohol and its Effects

Drinking alcohol is one thing that is practiced by many people who live on this planet. Americans are no different. We use alcohol to celebrate special occasions, to relax after a tough day, to enjoy with friends, and to party for what ever reason we choose.

Alcohol like most things, should be used in moderation, and when you are old enough to be responsible with it. Unfortunately, many people do not use it moderately or when they are old enough to be responsible with it.

The statistics on teen drinking are alarming. It is said that close to 30% of teens use alcohol on a regular bases. This thirty percent are those teens that admitted to it, perhaps there are many others who did not. 75% of all teens in high school nation wide admit to having had alcohol during their lifetime.

Nearly 29% of teens admit to riding in a car that was driven by another teen who had been drinking. Teens who have admitted to having their first drink before they were thirteen has been on the rise each year; 19.3 % of twelve graders; 20.5% of eleven graders: 26.2% of tenth graders; and 33.9% of ninth graders.

23.3% of high school students who were sexually active admit to having alcohol or drugs before their last sexual interaction. 10% of high school students admit to driving while under the influence of alcohol. 5.8% of high school students have needed treatment for their alcohol problem.

Obviously teen drinking seems to have escalated in recent years to younger ages. It is a problem for many kids, and may evolve to become a life long issue.

I have had personal and up close relationships with people where alcohol has deprived them of the life that they should have had. Its called alcoholism, and it can destroy families, careers, relationships, and lives. I believe it is one of the most harmful substances that an addict can be involved with.

Alcohol is legal, therefore it is not looked down on like illegal substances are, such as heroin, cocaine, crack, or meth. It is easy to get. All you need is an I.D. or a friend that is old enough to purchase it for you. Or as many teens do, they just open their parents alcohol cupboard and help themselves. It is also less expensive than many other substances.

The best thing you can do for yourself is to never start drinking. That is not a likely thing for most of us, given the society that we live in. Many people can have a drink or two and they are fine, but many people abuse it and can't have just one or two drinks.

I think that every drunk person would just be horrified if they saw a video of themselves while they were drunk. That would make many people think about getting drunk again. People become idiots and fools when they drink. Some become mean and belligerent. They say and do things that they never would do if they were sober. Try going out with people that are getting drunk when you are sober. You will be embarrassed for your friends, and glad you were not acting like them.

When you start drinking at a young age you are more likely to have it become a lifetime practice. Drinking abusively will never be a benefit to you. It will rob you of brain cells, destroy your liver, create upset in your home, and wreak havoc in every area of your life. It simply is not a choice to make if you want to live a happy, healthy life.

It is not cool to be drunk. It is not cool to let your life be taken over by drugs or alcohol. It is not cool to drink and drive. If you are someone who has decided to use alcohol on a regular bases, choose again. This choice will only help to destroy your life, I have seen it happen.

They say that kids who have parents who talk to them about the evils of alcohol, and who have regular communication are less likely to drink. If you are someone that does not have those type of parents, find a mentor in someone else. Look for someone you can tell your problems to that you can trust and feel safe with. Some of us are not as lucky in the parent department, and need to find someone else who can step into that role.

If you are drinking abusively and want to stop, find a local agency that deals with alcoholism like Alcoholics Anonymous. They can help you to find the help that you need.

Remember that choosing to drink is not a good choice. It will not benefit you in anyway. Occasional social drinking when you are old enough is a choice you can make that will not destroy you. Moderation is the key to most all things in life, especially when it comes to alcohol. Choose wisely!

Till Tomorrow,

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Do You Spend a lot of Time Worrying?

Are you a worrier? Do you spend a lot of your time in worry? For many of us, this is a detrimental habit. Worrying never has a positive effect on you, it only leads to being upset emotionally, and can cause physical problems as well.

A chronic worrier is at higher risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, headaches, and many other physical side effects. Many people who worry constantly may also have eating problems, as they might not eat enough, or they might be eating too much to numb there worries.

People who worry all the time may have difficulties sleeping a night. Worrier's tend to think about all of their worries at night, which will keep them from getting that important sleep that they need for good health.

Worrying can cause a person to use drugs or alcohol to get away from their problems. They also have a higher rate of depression than people who do not worry all of the time. This just exacerbates their problems, which leads to more worrying.

If you are a worrier and want to stop this negative practice, you need to understand that it will take some time to reverse your "worry" thinking, but it can be done. I know it can because I used to worry all of the time, and now I am much better because of the mindfulness training I have had in the past ten years.

I have written about many of the tools that have helped me stop the chronic worrying. One of those tools has been the book "The Four Agreements". I have talked about this book multiple times, and this conversation leads me back to it once again.

In Don Miguel Ruiz's book, one of the four agreements is, "Do not Assume". When we assume what might happen, or what someone is saying or doing, we make up situations in our head that most of the time are not true. Most of our assumptions tend to be negative as well, which always amazes me. Why don't we assume in the positive vein instead of always fearing the worst?

Assuming the worst will happen, will always add to our worry list. When we worry, our bodies do not know the difference between what is going on in our minds, and what is real. If we worry that someone will break into our house, our bodies feel that fear as if someone really did break into our house. What a waste of emotion and time to put ourselves through something that hasn't happened.

Another tool for worrying is to meditate. Now if you have been reading my blog from the beginning, you know I have talked about the healing effects of meditation numerous times. As you know meditation is a way to calm and center ourselves. If you are a worrier, this is a great practice to get yourself into a better frame of mind.

Mindfulness training is another way to stop your worrying. Be "mindful" of your thoughts. Remember that you are the one that is in charge of what you are thinking at all times. If you are having worrying thoughts all day long, it is you that is having them, and that means it is you that can change them.

With approximately 60,000 thoughts going through your mind a day, wouldn't it be better if you were aware and in control of those thoughts? You can be by being conscious of them. When you find yourself in a worry thought, ask yourself if it is true. Most of the time it is not. Switch this worry thought to another thought that you know is true, a thought that feels good.

Why worry about things that have not happened? This kind of thinking never is beneficial to anyone. We all have things that happen in life that are difficult and hard, but worrying about them before they happen makes no sense. Deal with those life situations when they are actually there. Before that, they do not exist, and do not need to occupy your mind.

So if you worry too much, begin to use the tools I have spoken about in this blog. You can change this negative and bad habit, and begin to live life without all the worry. Worrying is normal from time to time, but if it is a constant thing that you do, choose to have it be a thing of your past. Choose to think positively and be healthy of mind, body, and spirit!

Till Tomorrow,

Monday, July 26, 2010

The "Scoop" on Ice Cream

Its summer, and for many of us that means having summer treats, and that means ice cream! On those hot days, nothing tastes better than an ice cream cone, or a bowl of the tasty treat. If you are wanting to lose weight, or not gain any, you want to be cautious of how much you indulge in this summer desert.

I am going to give you a fat and calorie count of some of the most popular types of ice cream that people eat. Its up to you after that to choose to eat it or not, but if you do, at least you will know the content of what you are eating.

Ice cream is obviously made from milk. This is why it has a high fat count. If you are lactose intolerant, you might want to stay away from ice cream, and choose to have sorbet or Popsicle's instead.

A cup of vanilla ice cream has an average of 300 calories, and 145 grams of fat....yikes, that is nearly half the calories of the ice cream. Remember that it is not good to have something that is more than 25% fat of what you are eating.

A cup of chocolate ice cream has an average of 250 calories, and 110 calories of fat. If you choose to indulge in "rich" vanilla or chocolate ice cream, just double the calories and fat content of these two ice creams.

A cup of strawberry ice cream has an average of 225 calories, and 90 of those calories are fat.

A Mc Donalds hot fudge sundae has 330 calories, and 90 calories of fat.

A cup of Breyer's Reese's Peanut Butter Cup ice cream has 360 calories, and 160 calories of that is fat.

A cup of Haagen-Dazs ice cream has a whopping 580 calories, with 306 of those calories as fat.

A Dove bar has 320 calories, with 189 calories as fat.

A cup of Ben and Jerry's ice cream has an average calorie count of 500, with 295 of those calories being fat.

So you can see that ice cream has quite a bit of fat and calories in it. Moderation is the key with this treat. Not something that you want to have in your diet on a regular bases. Here are some alternatives to ice cream that have less calories and fat.

Fudgsicle pops have 81 calories, and only 14 calories of fat.

Fruit Ice pops have 40 calories with no fat.

Juice Popsicle's have 50 calories with no fat.

A cup of Sorbet can run anywhere from 220 calories to 600 calories, but does not have any fat. However, remember that sugar supports fat, and sorbet's have a lot of sugar in them.

Now that you are armed with the truth about your summer treats, you can choose to splurge and eat that decadent desert, or you can choose one that is lower in calories and fat so you won't blow your mission to lose the weight. Its all up to You, enjoy!

Till Tomorrow,

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friends Equal; a Longer, Happier, Life

Did you know that having a close friend will result in living longer? There are many studies that show friendship will extend your life and bring you happiness. An intimate partner does not extend these same benefits.

I have always considered my girlfriends the jewels of my life. The men in my life have come and gone, but my friends have been the ones to count on. I have such joy in spending time with my girlfriends, sharing and solving the problems that we have, or sharing the wonderful things that might be happening.

You are a lucky soul if you have a handful of true friends. Many of us have numerous acquaintances, but usually only have two or three really good friends that we can turn to. There are a few women that I know that would be there for me in a second if I needed them, and the feeling is mutual.

I have always had good friends, but know of women that have not had that experience. I can not even imagine what life would have been like without them. Because of situations, time, and geography, some of those friends have come and gone in my life, but they have never been forgotten. It seems like where ever my life has led me, I have never been without that close relationship with a good, true, friend.

A good friendship will actually increase your immune system, help you to relax, and help you to feel connected with another and not alone when troubled times are around you. It is the moral support that a friend can give you that will help you get through many tough times in life.

People who do not have close relationships with friends have a higher rate of illness, depression, and earlier death. It is our friends that help us stay in the positive when we are down. They help us through a death of a loved one, or help us when we are not feeling good about ourselves. A true friend will always point out the good things about you when you might be feeling bad about yourself.

I would not want to know a life without my friends. I can't even imagine it. How boring and empty it would have been. I am so lucky though, my life has always had these amazing friends in it. I am blessed and thankful for the friendships that have been bestowed on me. Without them, life would have been intolerable.

Till Monday,

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Making Choices to Match Your Desire's

It has been my experience working with people in fitness, that the choices they make every day about their health and well being, do not match up with the outcome that they want.

Many of them suffer from being over weight and out of shape, but are not able to overcome the power that bad food has over them, or do not like the feeling of being uncomfortable that is required in exercise.

The best way to approach these issues is to never begin an addiction to white flour, white sugar, high fat, processed foods, and keep your body moving from a young age so that it is part of your lifestyle. At 68% of our population over weight and obese, this is obviously not the choices that most Americans have been making.

If you are a teenager, you are young enough to not have had decades of bad eating habits, and years of being sedentary. You can achieve the level of fitness that you want by making the choice everyday to eat healthy, and get your exercise on a daily bases. Even if you have been eating badly your whole life, you can change these bad habits easier than someone who has been living an unhealthy existence for thirty or forty years.

Here are some basic healthy choices for achieving a fit and healthy body;

Do not choose processed foods as your main food source; this includes foods that come in a box, bag, or package of any kind, that is made with bleached white flour, white sugar, preservatives, and chemicals.

Stay away from foods that have more than 20 to 25% fat content, particularly animal fats.

Make sure the quality of the calories are good, not just the quantity of the calories. The average daily intake of calories should not exceed 2,000 for most females, and this will vary depending on the activity level and size of an individual.

Choose to eat the bulk of your diet from fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, nuts, legumes, whole grains, and lean proteins. These are natures foods, and that is what our body's are meant to be fed, not the processed foods that most people eat today.

Read all food labels to make sure you are not ingesting artificial chemicals, trans fats, pesticides, and preservatives. If you can not pronounce an ingredient, or would not have this ingredient in your pantry, it is probably not a good idea to eat it.

Drink lots of clear, clean, water to keep yourself hydrated. Water helps everything in our bodies to function properly. You will have a very difficult time losing weight if you are not hydrated, and you will not feel as strong and fit when you are dehydrated.

If you are wanting to be lean, fit, and feeling your best, but are choosing to eat badly and not exercise, your desires do not match your actions. It is not rocket science you know....it is common sense. I never will understand when someone asks me why they are not losing the weight they want, when they continue to make poor choices with their foods and choose not to exercise.

So make your choices match up with your desires. Stop being a victim of yourself. Remember, You are the only one in your head, and You are the only one that can control what you eat, and how you choose to move. Choose what will get you to where you want to be. Choose health!

Till Tomorrow,