Overzealous Resolutions And Injury

If your resolutions are to lose fifty pounds and acquire a six-pack in two weeks, you could be headed for trouble. Or did you set lofty goals and decide to run a marathon or sign-up for a triathlon this year? That could be a problem if you don’t have a clue how to get started and expect to dive right in without a plan.

grayscale photography of man in short standiung
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It’s easy to have false expectations and become impatient when it comes to weight loss and fitness goals. Losing weight and building muscle takes time. Therefore, It’s imperative to set realistic goals and have a well thought out fitness plan.

Learn to avoid setbacks and injuries by following these four tips for success:

1. Hire a professional -If you’re a newbie to working out, it’s important to enlist the advise of a certified fitness professional. It’s vital to set a time frame, realistic goals, and write down specific steps to help you gain progress while avoiding injuries and setbacks. Your health is your greatest asset and well worth the investment.

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2. Make sure you always warm-up, cool-down, and stretch before workouts –The warm-up elevates your body temperature and increases blood flow to your joints and muscles to safely prepare your body for your workout. The cool-down and stretching will help your heart rate return to normal and helps prevent muscle soreness and injury.

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3. Learn the balance between overload and recovery -Over-training can occur when you don’t recover sufficiently from your workouts. Signs to look for can be an elevated resting heart rate, ongoing muscle soreness, irritability, weight loss, and decreased performance.

fitness power man person
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Per breakingmuscle.com Recovery Is About Creating Balance : Training is about creating enough of a stimulus to force the body out of its comfort zone, therefore making it get stronger, bigger, or more fit. This happens through a physiological process we call adaptation. As the body starts to adapt to the stimulus, the athlete or trainee has to keep pushing the body more and more in order to keep making progress. Many of those involved in the fitness industry understand this principle, but what gets lost in translation is that in order to create that adaptation to the exercise stress, athletes and trainees need to rest appropriately with proper recovery.

Therefore, always consult a fitness professional if you are unsure how to progress safely towards your goals

4. Have patience and enjoy the process– It’s easy to want to see results overnight or take shortcuts in your training, but patience is key. Your body needs to adapt safely to the overload in your workouts. Don’t be tempted to take shortcuts by increasing the weights, reps or intensity of your workouts before your body is ready. You can’t expect to run a marathon if you haven’t done the work. You need to start with short runs and slowly build your mileage each week. Follow a well designed program that is specifically designed to help you reach your goals. Take some time each week to keep a journal of your progress and accomplishments It will be well worth it when you start to see your body transform or run over that finish line.


Wednesday WOD

Came up with this workout on my way to the gym this morning and I absolutely loved the fact that I got my weights and cardio done in one workout. Try my Wednesday Total Body WOD and let me know what you think.



  1. Seated Leg Press – 15 reps

2. Incline Chest Press – 15 Reps

3. Pull-up- 5 Reps

  • TREADMILL RUN- 1 mile



  1. Cable Rope Tricep Overhead Extension- 15 Reps

2. Cable Rope Bicep Curl – 15 Reps

3. DB Alternating Lunge & Bicep Curl- 16 Reps

  • TREADMILL RUN- 1 mile



  1. DB Rear Delt Fly – 15 Reps

2. Barbell Hip Thrust – 15 Reps

3. Mountain Climbers – 1 minute

  • TREADMILL RUN- 1 mile



Three Reasons Your Workouts Aren’t Effective

You may be surprised that although you workout consistently and typically make good food choices, you may not be as healthy as you think.  Check out my blog post below to find out what may be affecting your “so called healthy lifestyle.

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  1. You Think “Organic “Always Means “Healthy”   I’ve seen many clients I train who claim they eat a healthy diet, but when I ask them to put it on paper it’s a different story.  Food products are plastered with deceptive advertising such as fat free, reduced sugar, organic, and all natural.   One of my clients swears she makes healthy meal choices, however,  she snacks all day on “organic snacks.”  It’s important to always read the ingredient list on packaged products even if they are labeled organic. You may be surprised that the ingredients are not really that healthy.

Per Danny Deza’s article, 16 Most Misleading Food Labels

A label that says made with organic ingredients must have a minimum of 70% all ingredients that meet the standard.

Keep in mid that organic is not synonymous with healthy. In fact, it may be anything but. Organic food can still be packed in fat, calories, and sugar. “Companies like to add magnetic words on products to make you think it’s healthy,” says Taub-Dix.

Always check the ingredient list on packaged foods and if you can’t pronounce it or don’t know what it is, don’t buy it. Try to journal your food intake for a couple of weeks and determine the amount of whole foods you are actually consuming. Set a goal to eliminate all packaged foods and stick with organic fruits, veggies, and healthy fats.  It’s also important to choose a quality protein source such as organic chicken, grass-fed beef, fish, raw nuts, cottage cheese, and yogurt.  If you choose occasional packaged snacks make sure to read the ingredient list to determine what is actually in the product.

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2. You perform killer workouts in the gym but sit the rest of the day.  New studies are pointing out that although we may be exercising 5-6 days a week, what we do afterwards may be even more important for our health. In the article, Sitting Will Kill You Even IF You Exercise

Our entire modern world is constructed to keep you sitting down. When we drive, we sit. When we work at an office, we sit. When we watch TV, well, you get the picture.  And yet, a new study that’s running in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that this kind of sedentary behavior increases our chances of getting a disease or a condition that will kill us prematurely, even if we exercise.
photo of woman jogging down stairs
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Therefore, it’s important to keep moving during the day.  Park further away from your destination or walk to lunch.   If you have a desk job, try getting up every hour and taking a short walk break or consider purchasing a “standing desk”.   Thomas B. Trafecanty with the Huffington Post reports,

Sitting too much can kill you. It sounds dramatic, but it’s true. An emerging base of research points to the detrimental effects of something that most Americans do without much thought on a daily basis (for nearly six hours per day, research finds).

Though experts are still trying to figure out exactly why, it’s commonly understood that sitting for prolonged periods comes with a host of negative health effects. Whenever possible, office workers are advised to get up and take movement breaks throughout the day. It’s not always easy to just walk away from the task at hand, though, so in some cases workers are combining the best of both worlds by installing standing desks.

The styles vary from stationary surface areas that look like raised tables to floating standing desks that transition from sitting to standing with a few swift movements. There are manufactured versions of standing desks, and those that workers have devised on their own. In all cases, the end goal is the same: reduce the amount of time spent sitting during the workday.

Some studies have concluded that standing desks can promote better posture and reduce the risk of obesity and diseases such as cancer.

In addition to a standing desk, pedometers are great gadgets to help you track your activity levels.   Setting a goal of 10,000 steps per day can be a great motivator to help you stay active and improve your health.

The pedometer, a small, inexpensive device that counts the number of steps walked per day, could be key to ramping up a person’s physical activity. An article from Stanford Medicine reports: 

Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have found that the use of a pedometer is associated with significant increases in physical activity and weight loss and improvements in blood pressure.

“Much to my surprise, these little devices were shown to increase physical activity by just over 2,000 steps, or about 1 mile of walking per day,” said the study’s lead author, Dena Bravata, MD, MS, a senior research scientist in medicine. “This goes a long way toward helping people meet the national guidelines for daily physical activity.”

3.  You Don’t incorporate a recovery day in your workout program – Exercise causes a breakdown of  the muscles and tiny tears in the muscle fibers.  Recovery time is needed to repair the muscles and replenish energy stores.  Therefore, recovery days are needed to help increase your muscle mass and get stronger.  It can be easy to fall into the trap of over-training especially for athletes and the novice exerciser. Some of the signs of over-training can include poor workout performance, decreased appetite, depressed mood, fatigue, increased resting heart rate, and insomnia.

man lying on rubber mat near barbell inside the gym
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You can ensure you are truly living a healthy lifestyle by eating whole foods and avoiding packaged and processed foods.  Don’t be fooled by deceptive advertising and eat mostly fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean protein.  Be sure to incorporate a rest day into your schedule each week and consider purchasing a pedometer to track your daily activity levels.

Dark Chocolate Chickpea Brownies

I’ve been wanting to try these since I found the recipe a couple of weeks ago on facebook

The thought of chickpeas in brownies did not sound appealing but definitely sounded like a healthier version for a higher protein snack.

To my surprise, they were delicious. Make sure you rinse and drain the chickpeas and process until smooth.

Dark Chocolate Chickpea Blondies


  • 1 (15oz/425g) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • ⅓ cup almond butter
  • ⅓ maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • ⅓ cup dark chocolate chips + 2 tbsp for the top
  • Coarse salt


  1. Preheat the oven at 350℉/180℃.
  2. Line a 8in x 8in (20cm x 20cm) tin with parchment paper.
  3. Add the chickpeas, almond butter, maple syrup, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, vanilla and egg to a food processor container or a high-powered blender. Pulse 5-10 times to break down the chickpeas, and then process on high until smooth.
  4. Gently mix the dark chocolate chips into the batter with a spatula.
  5. Pour the the batter into the lined baking tin. Spread the batter with spatula so you have one even layer covering the bottom of the tin.
  6. Sprinkle the batter with the remaining chocolate chips and a pinch of coarse salt.
  7. Insert the tin into the oven, and bake for 20-25 minutes until the batter no longer jiggles. Your blondies should be golden brown around the edges of the tin.

Makes 9-12 squares.

Lower Body Fat-burning Circuit

Ready for a kick butt lower body circuit?  This workout it for you.  Start with a treadmill warm-up (7 minute fast paced walk followed by a 8 minute incline walk or run).  Then perform circuit 2-3 times and finish with a one mile run at your top pace.  Enjoy!



Intermittent Fasting 16/8



Have you tried intermittent fasting?  For many people the thought of going for days or hours with little to no food is inconceivable.  However, there is increasing research surfacing touting the amazing benefits of fasting.  Some recent studies suggest fasting can aid in weight loss, increased longevity of life, and even help fight diseases such as diabetes and Alzheimers. Per Dr. Joseph Mercola

Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting provides a number of health benefits that most people need, and you and your body are worthy of all of them:

  • Gets rid of stubborn weight and sugar cravings by activating your fat-burning mode
  • Builds muscle and promotes overall health and wellness
  • Enhances brain health and helps prevent neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s
  • Reduces oxidative stress and fights aging, diseases like cancer and stress
  • Delivers an array of physiologic benefits, including lowering triglycerides, reducing inflammation and lessening free-radical damage


These are the most popular methods Per Healthline.com

  • The 16/8 Method: Also called the Leangains protocol, it involves skipping breakfast and restricting your daily eating period to 8 hours, for example from 1 pm to 9 pm. Then you “fast” for 16 hours in between.
  • Eat-Stop-Eat: This involves fasting for 24 hours, once or twice a week, for example by not eating from dinner one day until dinner the next day.
  • The 5:2 Diet: On two non-consecutive days of the week, only eat 500-600 calories. Eat normally the other 5 days


I’ve found the 16/8 to be a very easy method of fasting for me.  Since I sometimes teach several fitness classes in a row, some of the longer fasts would be difficult without fuel for the workouts.


I typically try to consume my last meal around 6 pm and then fast until around 10:00 or 11:00 am. I allow myself to indulge in only black coffee or lemon water during my fast.



I then eat either a late breakfast or an early lunch.  Since you are asleep most of the fast; it’s pretty easy to do it on an ongoing basis.


Since I started the intermittent fasting, I’ve noticed I’m less hungry and have been able to maintain my weight although I’ve decreased my activity level.  It will be interesting to see possible changes once I get back to my regular teaching schedule.




No Excuses Thursday, Let’s Do It!!

“You can make excuses or you can achieve your goals, but you can’t do both.” 
― Andrea Gogelein

Ok I must confess, I’m on winter break and I have not been very strict with my eating or exercise routine.  I mean when you’re on vacation, it’s definitely a challenge to resist the temptation of going out to eat every week.


Also, as a fitness instructor, I normally teach 8 to 10 classes per week but since I’m on vacation my activity level has dramatically dropped.


To top that off, I bought a new pair of running shoes and after a short run on the treadmill last week, I woke up with a stiff and swollen knee.  I’ve never had knee problems so this is something new for me.  My new shoes felt very stiff and seemed to change my gait during the run.; I should have listened to the same advice I give my clients and stopped my run right away.  My new shoes were trail runners, perhaps that was a factor.  Nevertheless, now I’ll have to lay off my runs for a week or more until I recover.


But wait there’s more.…. I just found out  that they have closed our gym at the resort for renovations.  Therefore, I won’t have a place to workout for over three weeks.  I think I’m being tested 😦


I decided to look at the bright side and so far I’ve had a pretty good week.  I’m actually pretty proud of myself for easing off my usual routine and enjoying some different restaurants we don’t get a chance to try at home.  Now don’t get me wrong, even though it’s nice to take a break from exercise and clean eating; my body begins to feel sluggish and lethargic until I get back on track .

I came to the conclusion that even though my workouts and food choices won’t be perfect while on winter break, I’m determined to not go overboard.  Therefore, although the gym is closed and I’m still resting my knee, I took a long walk on the beach this morning. The weather and the view was awesome!!


Since I don’t have access to the gym, I decided to exercise at the condo with dumbbells and worked up a really good sweat!!


Finished my workout and had a delicious  Sunwarrior Dark Chocolate Protein Smoothie



Chocolate Sun Warrior Protein Smoothie Recipe

The Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk (almond, coconut, hemp, raw milk)
  • 1 fresh or frozen medium banana
  • 1 tablespoon cacao powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon cacao nibs (optional)
  • 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 serving chocolate Sun Warrior protein powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • A little honey, maple syrup, or stevia to sweeten (optional)

The Add-ons

  • A handful of mint leaves
  • 1/2 tablespoon maca
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Show Time

Place the ingredients into your blender and blend away (usually 30-45 seconds) until the desired consistency is reached.



“You can make excuses or you can achieve your goals, but you can’t do both.” 
― Andrea Gogelein

When Vegan Becomes Unhealthy


The vegan lifestyle is becoming increasing popular these days. A common reason people consider converting to a vegetarian or vegan diet is to improve their health, avoid contaminants in meat, and  their compassion for animals.

Many people begin by reducing their meat intake and incorporating more meatless dishes into their daily meals. Further research and experimentation into a meatless lifestyle can quite often lead to the transition to a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle.


There can be some confusion regarding the terms vegan and vegetarian. Vegetarians eliminate meat but some include dairy products and eggs in their diets.


Vegans on the other hand eliminate all animal products, dairy, eggs, and often avoid any products made from animals.

Global Healing Center explains the

Differences Between Vegan and Vegetarian

A vegetarian excludes meat, poultry, and seafood from their diet. Some vegetarians also exclude dairy, some don’t, and some may consume eggs. Likewise, vegans avoid meat, poultry, and seafood, but they also take it a step further by eliminating all animal products from their diet. This includes any type of animal milk and eggs. Vegans avoid foods produced using animals or animal products in any way, including honey. Many vegans also avoid household products, clothing, or other items made from animal products or tested on animals.

Additionally, the terms vegan and vegetarian can be difficult for many to differentiate as some people think the words have the same meaning.

To add to the confusion, some vegetarians are called “lacto and or ovo” and include dairy/eggs in their diet.

So as you can see, the term “vegetarian” can mean different things to different people:

  • A true vegetarian eats no meat at all, including poultry and fish.

  • A lacto-ovo vegetarian eats dairy products and eggs, but excludes meat, fish, and poultry.

  • A lacto vegetarian eats dairy products but not eggs.

  • An ovo vegetarian eats eggs but not dairy products.

Therefore, when considering converting to a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle it’s imperative to do your research. Make sure you are clear on the differences between the diets and that you have a good understanding of what’s involved in the switch.  Making the change to a more restricted diet can be challenging to follow. Many restaurants don’t offer vegan options, so understand your choices for grabbing food on the go will be limited.  Also, making meals will require more planning than before.

It’s important to make sure meals are well-balanced and include sources of vitamin b12, essential fatty acids, iron, calcium, and vitamin d.


Per Dr. Josh Axe a wellness physician certified in clinical nutrition, popular radio show host, and sought-after national speaker points out some important issues when considering a vegan or vegetarian diet.

Switching to a vegan diet is considered a healthy move by many, but it may not be all it’s cracked up to be in some bases. Below are some of the downsides to eating a completely vegan diet long term (more than several months): (6)

  1. Protein deficiency (lack of amino acids). Amino acids are the building blocks of muscle and are important for cellular health and proper metabolism. Too little protein can call muscle wasting, cognitive changes, mood swings and weakness.

  2. Low levels of vitamin B12. You can only get vitamin B12 in substantial amounts by consuming meat, fish, eggs, and dairy, so vegans usually need to take supplements.

  3. Lower intake of other nutrients like zinc, sometimes calcium and omega-3 fatty acids.

  4. Higher intake of antinutrients like phytic acid. There are grains, beans and legumes, such as raw soybeans, lentils and mung beans, that may contain trypsin inhibitors. These inhibitors can block key digestive enzymes. Also, grains can contain phytic acid that can keep you from digesting calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc. However, soaking and sprouting your grains and legumes can greatly reduce phytic acid.

  5. Potential inability to put on muscle. This may be due to the lack of certain vitamins that we normally get from meat and fish.

  6. Overconsumption of carbohydrates. One of the most common trends I’ve found from working with hundreds of vegans and vegetarians is that they tend to overconsume carbohydrates and hidden sugar foods. Eating too many carbs can cause candida and yeast overgrowth along with weight grain. There are some vegans who have created a better balance, but this is far from the majority.

  7. Fatigue and feeling exhausted. Again, this is usually due to the lack of certain vitamins and minerals that we normally get from meat and fish, such as iron and B vitamins.


The issue of children consuming vegetarian/ vegan diets is controversial. Some experts report it’s not safe for children while others state it can be perfectly healthy if followed properly.


Per EurekAlert! an online, global news service operated by AAAS, the science society : reporta that when:

parents pursue a vegan diet for their child, they must seek and strictly follow medical and dietary advice to make sure their infant receives adequate nutrition. Both mother and infant should follow advice regarding supplementation” advises Professor Mary Fewtrell, chairman of ESPGHAN’s nutrition committee comments:

The biggest risk to vegan children is that of vitamin B12 deficiency. Foods derived from animals have been shown to be the only reliable source of vitamin B12 and a deficiency of the vitamin can have devastating effects. Vitamin B12 is essential to the creation of DNA, indispensable for the maintenance of the nervous system, and a lack of it can result in haematological and neurological disorders, causing damage in young children which can be irreversible.

Therefore problems can arise when parents are unaware of the associated risks of switching to a more restricted diet….

Per CBS news:

Stories of vegan parents being arrested for malnourished children pop up every few years in the U.S., and the cases in Italy have made international news.

In Arizona, Kimu Parker was arrested in April 2005 for nearly starving her three children with a diet she and the children’s father called vegan. She was sentenced to 30 years in prison; the father, Blair Parker, got 15 years.

In Florida in 2005, Joseph and Lamoy Andressohn got probation for neglect in the death of their 6-month-old son, who was fed only wheat grass, coconut water and almond milk.

In Georgia, Jade Sanders and Lamont Thomas were sentenced to life in prison for the 2004 death of their 6-week-old son, who starved to death after they fed him a too-limited diet of soy milk and apple juice.

Therefore, do your research! Know that if you make the decision to change to a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, you must make sure you and your family get the proper nutrients.  Meals should be well balanced with complete proteins and you may need to  use supplements.

Be sure to consult your child’s pediatrician, family physician and or certified nutritionist to ensure you and your family are getting the proper nutrients in your diets.


Follow these tips to make sure your diet is healthy and provides the proper nutrients:

  1. Include a wide variety of fruits and vegetables with all your meals. Make smoothies and juices to make it more appealing for kids and picky eaters.
  2. If needed consider supplementation with a multivitamin that contains b12, iron, zinc, and vitamin d. Discuss this with a nutritionist or your family physician.
  3. Make sure you get enough protein in your diet- beans, nut butters, protein supplements, etc.
  4. Have regular family check ups with complete blood work ups to make sure you and your family are getting adequate nutrients on a daily basis.
  5. Plan your meals and snacks each week to make it easier to avoid eating processed foods loaded with sugar and unhealthy ingredients.

Comparison, Happiness, Enlightenment


Life is too short to waste on things that aren’t important. Too much time is often wasted comparing our life to others. Why not try to work on gratitude and enlightenment. Our mindset is key to living a life of purpose and without regrets. The words COMPARISON, HAPPINESS, AND ENLIGHTENMENT – something we all need to think about.. NO REGRETS….


There is no point where we’re done growing, and all we will ever do is look down upon others who are behind us. No one is ever at the top. We are all growing at our own rates, and no matter how terrible or how enlightened we fancy ourselves to be today, the future will be sure to give us a different perspective.

There is really no use in comparing yourself to others. There will always be someone ahead and someone behind, and there will be dozens (if not hundreds) of different scales and gradients to be behind and ahead on.

To be number one is never final. It is and always will be a momentary, fleeting instant. But to be a growing version of yourself? That, you can be. You can be that every single day.”
Vironika Tugaleva


“True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing. The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not.”



“A person experiments in life and reflects upon those events in order to discover how to lead a meaningful life. We conduct a quest searching for the source our essential being. What we seek is inside us waiting for us to discover. Until we realize the vital inner source that provides direction for our life, all our efforts are in vain. The ego with its craving and fearful protection strategies is what prevents us from perceiving the transparency of the world in which we belong. When we cease clinging to the past and no longer daydream of the future and unreservedly accept whatever is occurring while sacrificing ourselves in service of other people our sense of self vanishes and we exist only as conscious and nonjudgmental witnesses of reality.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls