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This isn't just an ordinary "buzz word"

health nutrition Jan 30, 2018

There are some buzz words you probably hear so often, you end up tuning out when they come up. I’m going to guess that “inflammation” is likely one of those words.

Not only is it a buzz word, it’s also a bit ambiguous if you aren’t really familiar with it. 

Inflammation is part of your body’s immune response, and occurs when your body tries to heal damaged cells, and fight off irritants and pathogens. Your arteries dilate, blood flow increases, and white blood cells, hormones, and nutrients flow freely. The injured area is swarmed by white blood cells, along with fluid that causes the often-painful swelling.

It can be uncomfortable, but it’s usually a good sign, that your body is working to heal itself. 

For example, if you injure your toe, it gets red, swollen, and inflamed. If you get a bee sting, you experience inflammation in your skin. If you have a cold, you experience inflammation as your body heats up to fight the...

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What do sugar, heroin, and morphine have in common?

fitness nutrition Jan 22, 2018

I have a confession to make. I’ve had a problem with sugar addiction. Actually, it’s still something I struggle with. And I know I’m not alone.

In fact, I don’t know very many people who haven’t had a problem with sugar at some point.

Why is that? Why do people crave sugar?

If you remember good ‘ol health class, when you get a hit of dopamine - a chemical neurotransmitter - it stimulates the pleasure center of your brain. When you consume sugar, it releases dopamine. Since it feels good, you want more… and more… That’s how you develop an addiction. 

Here’s the answer to the question in the title: Heroin and morphine stimulate those same receptors in your brain. 

And even though you may try very hard to curb your addiction, willpower usually isn’t quite enough to help you lay off the sweets.

If you’re feeling tired, the thought of a quick energy boost may cause you to reach for that candy bar. The...

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Why this childhood habit is bad for you as an adult

Uncategorized Jan 15, 2018

You’ve heard of siblings like this, right? 

Three brothers, all within about 6 years of each other. Everything is a competition. Even eating. Whoever gets the food onto their plate first gets to eat it, but it had better be gone fast or it could get stolen. 

If the serving dish on the table only has one piece of chicken left, you can be sure someone will be stabbed with a fork as everyone grabs for it at the same time. Blood everywhere… Tears… Pointing fingers…Whining…

And that’s NOTHING compared to when they were kids! ;-)

Seriously, it’s not just males who eat quickly, without thinking. Many people have developed the habit of eating as fast as possible. Often it’s because you developed the habit while in elementary school, when lunch breaks were short.

And then you continued when you got home from school, wolfing down dinner in order to get to some rehearsal, or practice, or study session on time.

Then as an adult, you...

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How to create “more” time by finding “lost” time

fitness motivation Jan 02, 2018

Last week I encouraged you to look in the rearview mirror before planning goals for your new year. Did you have a chance to do that? If not, take another look at that message, because looking at LAST year is a critical first step to achieving your goals for NEXT year.

And based on many conversations I’ve had with many clients, here’s the problem my clients encounter: they run out of time.

They know they “should” be taking care of themselves… that when they feel healthy they feel better about themselves… that exercise and proper nutrition give them energy to do all the things they want to do… 

But finding time to get to their workout every day is challenging.

So let me help you “find time” in your schedule, so you don’t put off taking care of yourself.

If you’re thinking about something, especially something you need to do, write it down. Once it’s out of your head, you’re able to focus on the tasks...

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Why looking in the rearview mirror is the best way to go forward

fitness motivation Dec 26, 2017

Are you feeling inundated with offers to “create your best year yet”, or “goal-setting for 2018!” or any other way of saying the same thing? 

I know my email inbox is full of subject lines like that.

And I’m not knocking forward thinking or planning. Not by any means. There are a lot of different ways of doing it - the “90 day year” or the “getting things done” plans. They are definitely valuable, and you should pick a system and work it. 

But the real gold is in the rearview mirror. 

Before planning for NEXT year, start by looking at LAST year, so you can identify the lessons that will help you move forward.

First, did you have written goals for this past year? If so, pull them out and write them down on a new sheet.

If you didn’t have any written goals this past year, think back 6 to 12 months, and put yourself into that time frame. What were you talking about doing? What new initiatives did you start? Work...

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When my knife slipped and I cut my finger…

fitness Dec 19, 2017

I was chopping up some vegetables for dinner when the little “ding!” on my phone distracted me. With my attention diverted, just momentarily, I accidentally slipped, and took a little slice off my finger.

“Ouch! Jeez! I always do that sort of thing!” I said out loud, to no one in particular.

I stopped in my tracks, right there in the middle of the kitchen. I couldn’t believe it. Why had I just said that? I know better. I don’t always do that sort of thing. But I had put myself down anyway.

Now if someone had been standing there watching me slice vegetables, only to see me slice my finger instead, and had said, “Jeez! You always do that sort of thing!” I would have gotten angry at them. 

I would have said, “No, I don’t! It was just an accident.” 

So why did I speak so unkindly to myself? 

Unfortunately we all tend toward negative thoughts over positive thoughts. In fact, your “mental chatter”...

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December fitness survival guide

fitness holidays Dec 14, 2017

I remember surviving December last year. 

The kids’ teachers had just about given up trying to teach anything constructive before vacation.

The dog got into a whole batch of cookie dough (presumably left high enough on the counter to be out of reach) and needed to be rushed to the vet.

 

The relatives who were supposed to be coming for Christmas dinner were starting to argue about who would bring what to eat. 

Somehow I managed to keep my cool.

And people are often surprised to know that during a stressful time like this – even I have to remind myself to stay disciplined with my workout routine.

I know myself well enough to know that if I don’t get to work out, I get grumpy. Really grumpy. Considering all the other stuff going on, I figured I’d better make sure I fit it in.

So here are some of my strategies for “fitting fitness in”, even during the busiest times of the year.

Evaluate your fitness goals. What is absolutely necessary...

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How to feel great during the holidays (even if Aunt Mabel offers you too much food…)

fitness holidays nutrition Dec 07, 2017

It's such a challenge. At the very time of year when you want to look and feel your best, you are confronted with more food choices than the rest of the year combined.

Depending on where you are in the world, your calorie intake might be a little different, but this is still a pretty good reference point. According to the Calorie Control Council, a typical holiday dinner can include 3,000 calories. If you include appetizers and drinks, it’s very likely around 4,500 calories in one day.

So how do you enjoy the celebrations during the holidays, without feeling like you are depriving yourself of some of your favorite comfort foods?

And how do you deal with the social pressure of not disappointing Aunt Mabel or your mother-in-law, when they keep trying to get you to eat food you normally avoid?

The easiest thing to do is to manage your food intake all the rest of the month, AND make sure you do the other things you know will give you energy and help you feel good.

Let’s...

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A goal-setting strategy unlike any you’ve heard of before

fitness motivation Dec 01, 2017

What if I told you that “positive thinking” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be? 

Well it turns out that once you think positively, your brain believes the goal is already achieved, and it saps your energy to accomplish that goal. 

NYU and University of Hamburg professor, Gabriele Oettingen, is the author of Rethinking Positive Thinking. After 20 years of research, she has developed a totally different framework that actually helps people achieve their goals.

This framework is being taught in schools, where it improves effort, homework completion, attendance, and GPA. Outside of school, this framework reduces stress, increases engagement, improves time management, and promotes physical fitness.

Ah-ha! Now we’re talking. :-)

The framework is called WOOP, which stands for Wish - Outcome - Obstacle - Plan.

Wish 

Start by stating something you’d like. It should be specific, something you can do within a time frame, and challenging but...

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Here’s Why Any ‘Ol Diet Just Won’t Do

nutrition Nov 22, 2017

Hi again 

Do you remember that last week we revisited high school chem class and learned about acidic and alkaline blood? If you don’t remember what that’s about, you can go back and re-read that article here.

To recap: your blood MUST have a slightly alkaline pH in order to be balanced, and if it’s off, other body systems will sacrifice themselves - by donating essential nutrients - in order to get back to the balanced level of around 7.4.

If your blood pH is too acidic, it means you are suffering from acidosis, which has many side effects.

For example, many people tell me they have trouble sleeping.

Waking up frequently to go to the bathroom, being unable to fall back to sleep at 3 am because of a “racing mind”, yet still feeling tired by the time you drag yourself out of bed at 6:30 or 7 am…

These are signs your body is overly acidic, and is working hard to eliminate the acid (peeing, perspiring, poo-ing, breathing, and even retaining fat...

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