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.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Maintaining Healthy Teeth and Gums

Did you know that the health of your teeth and gum's can effect the health of your whole body? There is research that shows people who have gum disease, or decaying teeth, have a high risk of heart problems, respiratory infections, osteoporosis, strokes, diabetes, and risk in pregnancy.

Having good oral hygiene helps to keep you healthier, but also helps to keep your breath smelling nicer too. It is horrible to talk to someone who has bad breath, you don't want that to be you. In order to keep your teeth and gum's healthy, you have to brush and floss at least two times a day, preferable three times if you want to take extra precaution.

I was born with bad genetics for teeth. My tooth enamel was soft and chipped off my teeth regularly as I grew up. I was never monitored for how much sugar I was eating, or if I had brushed my teeth enough as a child, which baffles me now given the fact that my mother had dentures by the time she was thirty. That's what they did way back then when people had bad teeth, they would just pull all of them and give you dentures.

Thank God that is not what they do as standard practice today. I have spent more time in a dentists chair than most people. I have also spent more money on my teeth than most people. I would not be exaggerating by saying I have spent over 50 thousand dollars in the past twenty years on my mouth. Dentistry is very expensive.

Even though my teeth were not good genetically, had I taken better care of them when I was younger, I may not have had the huge expense and trauma of all the dental work that I have had to go through in my life.

It is so important to floss your teeth. Much of tooth decay happens from what is left by the brush in between your teeth. I have floss picks in my car, in my purse, and regular floss in my bathroom. Its never too late to begin a new habit. Floss your teeth!

Brushing your teeth with an electric tooth brush will clean better than a regular brush. Electric brushes remove more plaque and help to keep your teeth cleaner. We really should brush every time we eat something. I know that that is not always convenient, but it is the optimum thing to do for your dental health.

There are have been studies done on South American tribal people that had perfect teeth while they ate foods that were natural to their land and culture. These tribal people did not brush or floss their teeth, but still had strong healthy teeth and gum's with no decaying. As time went by, these tribes were introduced to foods that were processed with white flour and white sugar. It was only then that they found high incidence of tooth decay and gum disease rampant among them.

Once again, processed food gets that bad rap. When are we ever going to learn how destructive these foods are to all of us?

Having a bright healthy smile requires having healthy teeth. I have known people that have had bad teeth, and stop smiling as much. That is not good. Smiling is one of the best things to do and to lose that because of embarrassment is very sad. I feel for anyone that has gone through that.

So become a floss and brushing fool. Keep your teeth and gum's healthy and clean for your mouths sake, and the sake of your whole body. Make it a life long commitment.

Till Monday,

Monday, September 27, 2010

Taking Care of Yourself When Feeling Sick

I have been knocked down by a sinus infection this past five days. I ended up having to take some antibiotics so I could recover and get back to feeling good. I am rarely sick, and because of that, I find that I have little patience for it. I am so used to feeling good, that being sick is a very big contrast for me.

I am a big believer in doing all you can to naturally prevent illness, such as; eating healthy, exercising regularly, getting plenty of rest and sleep, drinking lots of clear water, and practicing your positive thoughts and actions. These things will help to keep you healthier, but if you catch a virus or infection, other steps need to be taken.

When your body is fighting something, some of the things you want to stay away from are usually the things your body won't want anyway, like sugar, coffee, rich food, and alcohol. That tells you a lot about those things....they aren't good for you.

I never want coffee when I am not feeling well. It is very acidic and most likely will make you feel worse. Sugar and alcohol are the same. They cause your body to become more acidic, and that will not help you when you are sick.

It is amazing how smart our bodies really are. When you get sick you most likely will want little to nothing to eat. Or you will want something that is bland or easily digestible. Your body needs a lot of energy to heal itself when you are sick, and digesting food requires a lot of energy, so your body will lose its appetite to focus on healing.

I also try to stay away from taking medications unless absolutely necessary. This last week it was absolutely necessary. It is difficult to get rid of an infection without the aid of antibiotics. If used occasionally, and not abused, they are miraculous. Too many people take antibiotics when they don't need them, and that can be a problem.

Listen to your body when you are not feeling well. Don't eat or drink things that will make you feel worse. Drink lots of fluids, get plenty of rest, and if you need a doctors care, get an appointment.

There is nothing like feeling your best. Whenever I find myself down with a sickness, I am so thankful that most of the time I feel fabulous. There is no truer saying than "without your health you have nothing". I have so much empathy for anyone that deals with chronic illness. It is a blessing to have good health, and I never take it for granted. I am truly blessed.

Till Thursday,

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Feeding the Race Horse

I live in a beautiful rural valley that is known for its grapevines and horse ranches. There is a clinic here that is renowned for being one of the best Thoroughbred horse clinics in the world. People send their million dollar race horses here to be treated and trained. When a race horse is being cared for here, it is fed only the highest quality and best nutrition that is available.

Anyone who is caring for these amazing animals would never think of feeding it junk food, or any food that is not going to be of benefit to it. They know that if this horse is going to be at its best, and perform the way that it should, it must have quality nutrition to get the job done. Along with daily exercise, these horses get into the best shape and health that they can be.

We are all thoroughbred race horses when we are born, but so many of us do not care for ourselves as if we were. We feed ourselves processed food, junk food, white sugar, white flour, and chemical laden foods, on a regular bases. Some of us do not get the connection of "what we are is what we eat". If you are not eating healthy natures food, you are not going to be the best you can be.

Think about it....if you had a race horse and fed it junk food, do you think it would win the race? Of course not, how could it without the proper nutrition to perform at its peak. Even with human athletes that are at the top of their sport, nutrition is paramount for them to perform at their best.

It only makes sense if you think about it. Proper nutrition, vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, enzymes, and more are how our bodies rejuvenate and thrive. Processed and junk foods have little to no nutrition to assist our bodies in these vital functions. If you do not have the important nutrients, you will not be as healthy as you could be with a diet that is rich in them.

So remember that you are a race horse, and you should treat yourself as one and eat accordingly. If you want to be at your best, eat a diet that is full of fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, legumes, and lean proteins. You will feel better, think better, and look better for it.....and that's a promise!

Till Monday,

Monday, September 20, 2010

Vanity Run Amuck!

Last weekend I saw a news show that showed a story about Demi Moore taking a picture of herself in a bikini and then sending it out to Twitter-land for her millions of "personal" friends to see. She is forty-seven years old, and is so impressed with her body that she decided to gloat to the millions of strangers that follow her on Twitter.

When the actress Lisa Rinna saw Demi's post, she immediately followed with her picture of herself in a bikini, because she is also forty-seven years old, and thinks she looks pretty awesome too.

Now first of all let me start out by saying that Demi Moore has an incredible body and looks amazing for any age, let alone forty-seven. I agree with her about that, but what I have an issue with is that she and Lisa Rinna need too much attention and validation that they still look good. At forty seven you would hope that they realize how superficial that all is. They are very self absorbed and think the rest of us need to see them practically naked to reassure them that they still look good. Who really cares?

There is too much unnecessary vanity thrust at the public to satisfy celebrity's need of attention. It is unhealthy and does not do anything positive for the rest of us, particularly young women trying to make their way in this world not having the lifestyle that these celebrity's do.

Any of us could look fantastic if all we had to do was spend time taking care of ourselves. If you had access to the best trainers, equipment, chefs, counselors, and a endless supply of money to lesson your stress, it would be easy to look great. Not having the stress of doing housework, worrying about paying bills, or how you can make ends meet, allows one to have a lot of rest in their life. Taking luxury vacations and living in the best of accommodations also lends itself to being able to look fantastic.

I think Demi Moore deserves all of what she has, but why does she feel the need to want more and more from her fans. Good God, has she not had enough attention yet? What is it going to take to satisfy her need?

Unfortunately all this does is promote other women to follow suit and think that putting themselves out there in the Internet world half naked will get them the attention they want. We have become a society of people that want to be famous for the sake of being famous without any talent of reason for it. Just put your body out there for all to see, that's all it takes. It used to be that being famous meant that you had talent or did something extraordinary, now it is about how tacky or classless you can be.

Having a great body will happen if you eat healthy foods, exercise consistently, stretch regularly, and meditate for inner beauty. Focus on doing the things that make you healthy and feel good. Your body will look its best as a by-product of taking care of yourself in a healthy manner. Focusing on just your body looking good is shallow and will leave you empty.

Eventually if you live long enough, your body will age and change, at some point if you cannot except that, you will be very unhappy. Life is about stages. We looked and acted a certain way when we were children, then as teenagers we changed. When you get to be twenty, thirty, forty, and up, your body will change every decade as you go. It is all part of life's process. Taking care of yourself is a way of slowing down the aging process, but you will never stop it unless you die. It is unhealthy to just focus on how you look.

It is hard in our society to not focus on how we look. We are bombarded with the images of beautiful Hollywood people everywhere we go. I hope that you can see yourself as something more than just a body. I hope that you find deeper meanings in life than just how others look, or how you look. Life has so much more to offer you than that. You will be much happier as well if you can get off the "vanity" merry-go-round. Focus on your health, and look your best because of that.

Till Thursday,

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Our Thoughts Create Our Reality

I have become more and more aware of how our thoughts really do create how our lives unfold. It is particularly clear to me during these times of difficulty with the economy and political upheaval. Many people are having a tough time making ends meet, and are feeling scared of what is going to happen in the future.

It is hard to "think" good thoughts when it looks like everything around you is negative. Mostly what I hear from people are their stories of woe and struggle. When this kind of thinking is dominant in ourselves and in the collective population, the harder it will be to turn it around.

I know how difficult it is to stay thinking positive when it all looks so bleak, but what does thinking negative do for anyone? Thinking fearful and negative thoughts will only create more of that. If you are able to believe and think positively during a time that looks opposite of that, you will feel better, and will be able to create a more positive situation for yourself.

I have experienced this many times in my life. Dwelling on fear or lack never made it better for me. Things only ever got better for me when I began to think positively, and took positive action. As long as I talked obsessively about the bad things that were going on, that is what kept happening.

We all have a story to tell, but when that story is always about what is wrong, or how you have been victimized, things will never change for the better. It is when you have thoughts and belief that something good is happening, and you know opportunity is coming your way, that you will be able to shift the negative to a positive.

This takes a lot of practice and discipline to do, especially if you have been a negative thinker and talker for a long time. Be mindful of your thoughts and feelings. Stop telling your friends and family how bad things are. Begin thinking and believing that good things are coming to you.

It doesn't matter when positive change happens. What matters is that you think and believe that it will, no matter the outside circumstance. When you are in a negative mind set, you will not feel good. When you are in a positive mind set, you will feel good. So thinking and feeling positive will always make you feel better right now, and that is all you really have is now.

So no matter what is going on in your life that is difficult, upsetting, or fearful, you can shift those thoughts to positive thinking, and feel better now. If you believe that your thoughts create, like I do, then it only makes sense to practice more positive thinking and believing. If you choose to keep thinking fearful, and negatively, feeling bad will be your only outcome. If you choose to think and believe better things are on their way to you, you can feel hopeful and good right now.

Which way of thinking will you choose?

Till Monday,

Monday, September 13, 2010

Prioritizing Your Time

There are many days that I wish there were more hours to the day, but then if I did, I would just fill them up, and wish for more. Prioritizing your time can make the difference in being productive or wasting your time.

When you are figuring out what you need to get done in a day, and don't forget to schedule in your exercise, meditation, and healthy meals, make sure you are prioritizing what is important. If you have goals such as going to college, finding a job, losing weight and getting into shape, you must schedule in the things that will help you to achieve those goals.

You can talk about what you want till the day you die, but if you do not prioritize your time with the actions that will secure success in your goals, they will never happen.

Have you ever said to yourself, "Oh, I will do it tomorrow", and then tomorrow comes and you push it into the next day or next week? We have all done that, and I hate to say it, but I have done that a lot in my life. I wish I could do a "do over" in much of my life. I would act more, and talk less.

As I have said many times, life goes by in a flash. One minute you think you have all the time in the world to do the things that you want, and the next minute you are staring out of the eyes of a fifty year old wondering how you got there so fast.

Procrastination is not prioritizing. That is about fear or laziness. Procrastination will never be a benefit to you, it will just slow you down and delay what ever it is that you are wanting to get done. Whenever I have procrastinated on doing something, once I got it done, I realized that it wasn't half the monster I had made it out to be.

So when you are planning your day, think about what it is that is the most important way to spend your time. What are the things that will get you to where you want to be. Now obviously there will be days, and there should be days, that you are not focused on a schedule. But, on the days that you need to focus and be productive, make sure you are prioritizing for success.

I am going to be writing my blog on Mondays and Thursdays as I go forward. I am prioritizing my time to include another writing project. I have written 187 blogs that are packed full of information on health for your mind, body, and spirit. I hope that you take some time to review all of this information on the days that I am not blogging. Happy reading!

Till Thursday,

Friday, September 10, 2010

More Talk on Cardio

I have written many blogs on the importance of doing cardiovascular exercise, and here I go again. If you want to lose fat, strengthen your heart, reverse your aging process, and feel your best, you must do cardiovascular exercise.

On January 3rd I wrote a blog called, "Why We Should do Cardio". It helps to strengthen your heart, reduces blood pressure and heart rate, builds healthy bones, and helps your lungs function better. It also is a great tool for burning the fat. When we engage in cardiovascular exercise, we not only become healthier physically, but it helps our mental outlook as well.

Cardio exercise is a wonderful tool for reducing stress, and can change a bad mood into a good one. I have experienced this myself too many times to mention them. If ever I am feeling down or in a funk, a run, hike, or bike ride, will put me back into a good thinking space.

February 13th I wrote a blog about Hiking. This is a perfect way to do your cardio. Hiking gets you outdoors which is always good, and it can be as challenging as you choose to make it. Some hikes can be flat, and others can involve more hilly and steep terrain. Its all good!

On April 5th I wrote a blog about spinning. This is such a great way to do cardio. This exercise is said to burn twice the amount of calories than other exercise machines. If you don't have a lot of time to dedicate to cycling, this is a great alternative. It is done in a class setting so you don't have to worry about he dangers on the road. It only takes 45 minutes to an hour to get the job done that is equal to two hours on the road. Fantastic for your legs and butt too!

April 20th I wrote about "Dancing for Health" as a way of getting your cardio in. Dancing can be a very vigorous exercise, and it has the added benefit of being a lot of fun. It doesn't matter what kind of dancing you are doing, as long as you are moving your body around the floor, you are doing cardio exercise. Most gyms offer different types of dance for their cardio classes. It is a perfect way to get it done.

On April 26th, I talked about how swimming is a good choice for cardio. Swimming is always a good choice for non impact and being weightless. If you have any injuries or structural issues, swimming is usually a good choice. When you are in the water your body feels lighter and is not hindered by gravity. Swimming is good.

If you are serious about getting into cardio exercise, I wrote a blog about doing triathlons on May 11th. You must be serious to take on this task, but if you are, you will probably get into the best shape of your life. Read this blog if you are thinking about taking on a triathlon.

June 25th there is a blog about riding bikes for fitness. This is my favorite way to get my cardio in. It is such a thrill to get on a bike, have the wind in your face, and feel like a kid again. It is a high calorie burning exercise too. A super way to get fit and stay that way, having fun is the bonus!

Of course walking is always a way to do cardio. On January 26th I wrote a blog about the benefits of walking. February 2oth, I wrote about it again. Walking can be done almost anywhere. You do not need anything but a good pair of walking shoes to do it. It is a no nonsense way to get fit and healthy. If you can walk, you can exercise. Simple as that!

Take a moment to re-read the cardiovascular blogs. If you are not doing cardio 3 to 7 times a week, you are not taking care of yourself correctly. It is vital for optimum health. There are so many ways to participate in a cardio exercise. Walking, running, hiking, biking, swimming, rollerblading, dancing, spinning, aerobic classes, exercise machines, and more. You will find a blog on each of those topics if you go back into the archives of my site.

Make sure it is part of your daily life to exercise your heart, lungs, and whole self. You will feel better, look better, and think better for it!

Till Monday,

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Relying on Yourself

Have you ever given thought to how many people in your life you rely on for things? You rely on your parents to give you food, clothing, emotional support, and a roof over your head. You rely on your friends for fun, emotional support, confidentiality, and to be there when you need them. You rely on your teachers for giving you an education, and so on and so on.

The truth of the matter is.....the only one you can truly rely on is yourself. Many times we put the burden on others for what we should be responsible for. Of course when you are young and living at home with your parents, they are the ones that are responsible for your material and emotional care.

However, many children come from homes where the parents are not always acting responsible for these things. There are children that do not get nurturing, loving, support. There are children that do not get the latest fashion, or high tech device's. Are these kids suppose to be totally at the mercy of parents who might be incapable of nurturing, or who can not afford to give their children new clothes and other material things?

In any dysfunctional family situation, you must rely on yourself to get through it. This can be done by using your mindfulness practice. You can choose to think about anything the way that you want to. For instance; if your parents do not say uplifting things to you, or abuse you verbally, you can choose to believe that what they say is not true. You can rely on yourself to understand that the truth is, You are a wonderful, unique, individual, that has much to offer to this world.

If your parents can not afford the things that you want, rely on yourself to get a part time job to earn the money for those things. Rely on your self to create the income for your material desires.

When you are in school, it is not just the teacher that you should rely on and who is solely responsible for your education. It is you who is the one who has the most responsibility to it. You must rely on yourself to do the work that gives you the education. The teacher is the facilitator, but you are the one that has to do the learning. You may not always get the best of teachers for every class, but you will always have "You" to do the learning. Take responsibility and "rely" on yourself to get the job done.

When we are in relationship with friends or an intimate partner, we usually rely on them to make us happy and have a good time. Save yourself a lot of heart ache and pain by understanding that "NO" one can make you happy. You must rely on yourself for that. True happiness comes from inside you, not anywhere else. People do not make us happy, they can however, accentuate and add to your happiness. Rely on yourself for real happiness.

When we rely on others for our needs, we only set ourselves up for disappointment. That does not mean to say that others will not be there for you, of course they will, but have it be something that will be a bonus in your life, and not an expectation.

Expect that you can always rely on yourself to get things done, to choose healthy thoughts, and to love yourself. Be the one you can count on who will always do their best. You can never be disappointed unless you decide to let yourself down, for you are the only person that you can truly control.

So start relying on yourself for creating the life that you want. You can do whatever it is that you desire if you have the belief, are persistent, take action, and do what it takes. If you rely on others to get your job done......you may always be disappointed....choose to be responsible and rely on "You".

Till Tomorrow,