Your Perfect Weight

CountingCaloriesThe following article is a small excerpt from one of my books.  I hope you’ll want to learn more and let me help you to get into the best shape of your life.

According to a 2012 Gallup Poll, the average American woman is heavier than she was 20 years ago-and her “ideal” weight is heavier, too.

Researchers asked a random sample of 1,015 American adults about their current weight and related attitudes. Then they compared the results to data collected from a different sample in 1990. On average, women weigh 14 pounds more than the women polled 22 years ago and their average ideal weight is now 11 pounds heavier than it was back then. One weight-gain culprit could be sleep deprivation, which can seriously slow your metabolism.

If you always see people who are overweight, you begin to think that’s normal and when you see someone at a normal weight, and you think they look thin.”

Which makes sense: 60 percent of the people polled said their weight is about right. That’s in spite of the fact that 60 percent of Americans are overweight or obese. Some people are content with being overweight but it’s also likely that many people don’t realize that their perceptions of normal-and healthy-are skewed.

So how can you be sure that your ideal weight is as ideal as you think? Surprisingly, Body Mass Index (BMI) isn’t a good predictor-BMI measures ignore factors such as body type, genetics, and muscle mass.

Your best bet is to think in terms of health and happiness, not numbers. Just think about the time that you felt your healthiest, when you were eating well without starving yourself. If you need a number to latch onto, make it your goal to return to what you weighed then. But be realistic: weighing what you did in high school or on your wedding day might not be attainable.

If you can’t recall a time when you felt healthy, begin with the standard formula for calculating the ideal weight for women: Allow 100 pounds for your first 5 feet, then add 5 pounds for every extra inch. To account for muscle mass, body shape, size, and genetics, add and subtract 10 percent. This is your healthy weight range. So, if you’re 5-feet 3-inches tall, your healthy range is between 103.5 to 126.5 pounds. It’s still a very generic number, but the range makes it a little more accurate and a good guideline. If you want more accurate calculations in my book,‘get fit stay fit’ and ‘the best you can be’ there are many calculations to help you analyze your physical features to achieve accurate weight and weight loss goals.

I know you want to get in shape and look great.  Whatever your fitness goal…to slim down…gain muscle…tone your arms or flatten your tummy…I’m here to help you accomplish your goals and to improve your fitness level. If you have enjoyed this article and the many other free features on my site, and would like some more comprehensive information such as fitness books and CD’s to aid you in achieving your health and fitness goals, please visit my ONLINE STORE where you will find innovative natural health and beauty products to help you become the BEST YOU CAN BE !


bannerWhat soap is to your body, laughter is to your soul.

Laughter may not be the best medicine, but it’s gaining status as one that’s too good to ignore. 

Don’t you feel good after you’ve laughed? A belly laugh increases the ability of your immune system to fight infections.
Laughter is also a major weapon against stress. Recent research shows that laughter causes the tissue that forms the inner lining of blood vessels to relax or expand, increasing blood flow. Mental stress causes the opposite, making vessel linings constrict, thus reducing blood flow. Another study, found that laughter at dinner cuts blood glucose levels in diabetics.

Many studies have found the stimulation of laughter increases circulation, because of its effect on blood pressure and your heart. It also increases respiratory exchange, with more oxygen coming in and more carbon dioxide going out. Cardiologists report that about 70% of the population are shallow breathers. When you laugh, you breathe better, anxiety is reduced, and relaxation results.

brainLaughter can ease pain. You use energy focusing on pain when you’re ill. When distracted by laughter, your focus shifts away from pain, you relax and your body gets a few minutes of relief. That doesn’t mean that therapeutic laughter has become mainstream medicine. It’s accepted as music is accepted.

Do you know that positive, optimistic people live longer and healthier lives? Laughter is the power of positive healing and you can fake laughter to stimulate the positive effects within your body.
Cardiologists believe that one minute of laughter is worth 40 minutes of deep relaxation; and that 100 laughs a day are equal to a 10-minute jog. A real belly laugh, exercises not only your heart and lungs, but also your shoulder muscles, arms, abdomen, diaphragm and legs. And exercising the major muscle groups is only the start. Studies have shown that laughing pumps pain-relieving, stress-freeing endorphins into your bloodstream. Five minutes of giggling could give you up to two hours of pain relief.

Though the process is not fully understood, the production of laughter involves various areas of your brain and by studying your brains activity in response to humor, researches are able to determine the following.

The way your brain processes Laughter is also different from how your brain processes emotional responses.

Click on the links beside this to get your daily giggles, and if you have a good belly buster you would like to share, please e-mail me and I would love to post it on my site and help others enjoy the laughter.

Nutrition Myths

fad-diets-1The following article is a small excerpt from one of my books.  I hope you’ll want to learn more and let me help you to get into the best shape of your life.

Is organic always healthier? Are oranges the best source of vitamin C?

The supermarket is rife with less-than-accurate reporting, and not just in the checkout-lane newspaper racks. Walk the aisles scanning food labelsand you’ll see the fallout from millions of lobbying and advertising dollars spent to post faulty claims about health and nutrition. You’ll find row upon endless row of foods that promise to improve your life, flatten your belly, and make you a happier person. The fact is many of these foods do just the opposite. When you learn how to separate fact from fiction you might finally shed the habits that are silently sabotaging your chances of losing weight.

MYTH #1: High fructose corn syrup is worse than table sugar

Whether or not added sugar is bad for you has never been in dispute. The less sugar you eat, the better. But whether HFCS is worse than plain table sugar has long been a matter for debate. Here’s what you need to know: Both HFCS and table sugar, or sucrose, are built with roughly a 50-50 blend of two sugars, fructose, and glucose. That means in all likelihood that your body can’t tell one from the other, they’re both just sugar. HFCS’s real sin is that it’s super cheap, and as a result, it’s added to everything from cereal to ketchup to salad dressing. Plus it may be affecting your health in ways not yet fully understood by the scientific community. Is it a good idea to minimize the HFCS in your diet? Absolutely! It’s best to cut out all unnecessary sugars. But HFCS’s role as nutritional enemy #1 has been exaggerated.

Bonus Tip: Eating fiber and protein-loaded snacks between meals can help you control hunger and avoid overeating at mealtime

MYTH #2: Sea salt is a healthier version of regular salt

Everyday table salt comes from a mine and contains roughly 2,300 milligrams of sodium per teaspoon. Sea salt comes from evaporated seawater, and it also contains roughly 2,300 milligrams of sodium. That makes them, well, roughly identical. Advocates point to the fact that sea salt also contains other compounds like magnesium and iron, but in truth, these minerals exist in trace amounts. To obtain a meaningful dose, you’d have to take in extremely high and potentially dangerous levels of sodium. What’s more, traditional table salt is regularly fortified with iodine, which plays an important role in regulating the hormones in your body. Sea salt, on the other hand, gives you virtually zero iodine. The bottom line is this: If switching from table salt to sea salt causes you to consume more salt, then you’ve just lost any health benefit you hope to receive. Plus you’ve wasted a few bucks. Be Careful, excess sodium in food can be surprisingly sneaky

MYTH #3: Energy drinks are less harmful than soda

Energy drinks attempt to boost your energy with a cache of B vitamins, herbal extracts, and amino acids. But what your body’s going to remember most (especially around your waistline) is the sugar in these drinks where a 16-ounce can delivers as much as 280 calories of pure sugar, which is about 80 calories more than you’d find in a 16-ounce cup of Pepsi. What’s more, a University of Maryland study found energy drinks to be 11 percent more corrosive to your teeth than regular soda. So here’s the secret that energy drink companies don’t want you to know: The only proven, significant energy boost comes from caffeine. If you want an energy boost, save yourself the sugar spike and drink a cup of coffee. Whatever you do, don’t confuse the dessert-in-glass offerings at coffee houses with real java.

MYTH #4: Diet soda is harmless

The obesity research community is becoming increasingly aware that the artificial sweeteners used in diet soda, aspartame and sucralose, for instance, lead to hard-to-control food urges later in the day. One study discovered that rats took in more calories if they’d been fed artificial sweeteners prior to mealtime, and another study found that people who consume just three diet sodas per week were more than 40 percent more likely to be obese. Try weaning yourself off by switching to carbonated water and flavoring with lemon, cucumber, and fresh herbs. If you must get your carbonated fix, make an educated choice that is less fattening and minimize your consumption.

MYTH #5: Low-fat foods are better for you

As it applies to food marketing, the term “low fat” is synonymous with “loaded with salt and cheap carbohydrates.” For instance, look at Smucker’s Reduced Fat Peanut Butter. To replace the fat it skimmed out, Smucker’s added a fast-digesting carbohydrate called maltodextrin. That’s not going to help you lose weight. A 2008 study found that over a 2-year span, people on low-carb diets lost 62 percent more body weight than those trying to cut fat. (Plus, the fat in peanut butter is heart-healthy monounsaturated fat—you’d be better off eating more of it, not less!)  The fact is, America’s restaurants and supermarket aisles are bursting with foods making false claims of benefits to your body

MYTH #6: “Trans-fat free” foods are actually trans-fat free

The FDA’s guidelines allow companies to claim 0 grams of trans fat, even broadcast it on the front of their packages as long as the food in question contains no more than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving. But here’s the deal: Due to an inextricable link to heart disease, the World Health Organization advises people to keep trans fat intake as low as possible, maxing out at about 1 gram per 2,000 calories consumed. If your cupboard’s full of foods with almost half a gram per serving, you might be blowing past that number every single day. Until the FDA rethinks its lax regulations, , you should avoid all foods with “partially hydrogenated oil” (meaning, trans fats) on their ingredients statements.

Bonus Tip: Keeping up with the latest scientific research and food industry shenanigans is a full-time job and who has time for that? That’s why my books ‘Get fit Stay FIT’ and ‘The best you can be’ as well as my audio cd’s are a great resource in helping you to become the best you can be.

MYTH #7: Foods labeled “natural” are healthier

The FDA makes no serious effort to control the use of the word “natural” on nutrition labels. Case in point: 7UP boasts that it’s made with “100% Natural Flavors” when, in fact, the soda is sweetened with a decidedly un-natural dose of high fructose corn syrup. “Corn” is natural, but “high fructose corn syrup” is produced using a centrifuge and a series of chemical reactions. Other “natural” abusers include Natural Cheetos, which are made with maltodextrin and disodium phosphate, and “natural advantage” Post Raisin Bran, which bathes its raisins in both sugar and corn syrup. The worst part is, you’re likely paying a premium price for common junk food.

MYTH #8: Egg yolks raise your cholesterol

Egg yolks contain dietary cholesterol; this much is true. But research has proven that dietary cholesterol has almost nothing to do with serum cholesterol, the stuff in your blood. Researchers reviewed more than 30 egg studies and found no link between egg consumption and heart disease, and another study found that eating eggs for breakfast could decrease your calorie intake for the remainder of the day.  Check out my Audio cd and get the facts on cholesterol and how to best lower your risks.

MYTH #9: Eating junk food helps battle stress

You’ve been there: Stressed out and sprawled across your sofa with one arm elbow deep in a bag of cheese puffs. In the moment, it can be comforting, but a study in a recent study it was  found that people who consumed the most highly processed foods were 58 percent more likely to be depressed than those who ate the least. Your move: Find a healthy stress snack. Peanut butter and Triscuits do the trick.

MYTH #10: Chocolate is bad for you

Cocoa is a plant-based food with flavonoids that increase blood flow and release feel-good endorphins. Plus, it contains a healthy kind of saturated fat called stearic acid, which research has shown can increase your good HDL cholesterol. But here’s the rub: When most people think of chocolate, their minds jump immediately to milk chocolate, which contains far more sugar than actual cocoa. Instead, look for dark chocolate, specifically those versions that tell you exactly how much cocoa they contain. A bar with 60% cocoa is good, but the more cocoa it contains, the greater the health effects.

MYTH #11: Granola is good for you

Oats are good for you, and the same goes for oatmeal. But granola takes those good-for-you hunks of flattened oat, blankets them in sugar, and bakes them in oil to give them crunch. The amount of fat and sugar added to each oat is at the discretion of food processors, but you can bet it’s going to far sweeter and fattier than a bowl of regular cereal. Example: A single cup of Quaker Natural Granola, Nuts & Raisins has 420 calories, 30 grams of sugar, and 10 grams of fat. Switch to a cup of Kix and you drop down about 90 calories, 2.5 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of fat.

MYTH #12: Bananas are the best source of potassium

Your body uses potassium to keep your nerves and muscles firing efficiently, and an adequate intake can blunt sodium’s effect on blood pressure. One 2009 study found that a 2:1 ratio of potassium to sodium could halve your risk of heart disease, and since the average American consumes about 3,400 milligrams of sodium each day, your goal should be 6,800 milligrams of daily potassium. You’re extremely unlikely to ever reach that mark and never with bananas alone. One medium banana has 422 milligrams and 105 calories. Here are the sources that earn you roughly the same amount of potassium in fewer calories:

* Potato, half a medium spud, 80 calories
* Apricots, 5 whole fruit, 80 calories
* Cantaloupe, 1 cup cubes, 55 calories
* Broccoli, 1 full stalk, 50 calories
* Sun-dried tomatoes, a quarter cup, 35 calories

MYTH #13: Oranges are the best source of vitamin C

Far more than a simple immune booster, vitamin C is an antioxidant that plays a host of important roles in your body. It strengthens skin by helping to build collagen, improves mood by increasing the flow of norepinephrine, and bolsters metabolic efficiency by helping transport fat cells into your body’s energy-burning mitochondria. But since your body can neither store nor create the wonder vitamin, you need to provide a constant supply. An orange is the most famous vitamin-C food, and although it’s a good source, it’s by no means the best. For 70 calories, one orange gives you about 70 micrograms of vitamin C. Here are five sources with just as much vitamin C and even fewer calories:

* Papaya, ¾ cup, 50 calories
* Brussel’s sprouts, 1 cup, 40 calories
* Strawberries, 7 large fruit, 40 calories
* Broccoli, ½ stalk, 25 calories
* Red Bell Pepper, ½ medium pepper, 20 calories

MYTH #14: Organic is always better

Often, but not in every case, organic produce is almost nutritionally identical to its conventional counterpart. The issue is pesticide exposure.  Pesticides have been linked to an increased risk of obesity in some studies. But many conventionally grown fruits and vegetables are very low in pesticides. Take, for example, the conventional onion: It’s got the lowest pesticide load of 45 fruits and vegetables tested by the Environmental Working Group. Also in the safe-to-eat-conventional group are avocados, sweet corn, and pineapple. In general, fruits and vegetables with impermeable skins are safe to buy conventional, while produce like celery, peaches, apples, and blueberries are better purchased organic. The rise of organic products is one of many complex new developments in food.

MYTH #15: Meat is bad for you

Pork, beef, and lamb are among the world’s best sources of complete protein, and a study found that diets with 25 percent of calories from protein can help you lose twice as much weight as diets with 12 percent protein. Then there’s vitamin B12, which is prevalent only in animal-based foods. B12 is essential to your body’s ability to decode DNA and build red blood cells, and researchers found that adequate intakes protect against age-related brain shrinkage. Now, if you’re worried that meat will increase your risk for heart disease, don’t be. A Harvard review last year looked at 20 studies and found that meat’s link to heart disease exists only with processed meats like bacon, sausage, and deli cuts. Unprocessed meats, those that hadn’t been smoked, cured, or chemically preserved, presented absolutely zero risk.

Bonus Tip: You don’t need to make big changes to your diet to lose 10, 20, or even 30 pounds. You just need to make the right small tweaks. Change how you look and feel and get all the Tips and tricks from my books and Cd’s that will help you obtain your fitness goals and help you to become the best you can be.

I know you want to get in shape and look great.  Whatever your fitness goal…to slim down…gain muscle…tone your arms or flatten your tummy…I’m here to help you accomplish your goals and to improve your fitness level. If you have enjoyed this article and the many other free features on my site, and would like some more comprehensive information such as fitness books and CD’s to aid you in achieving your health and fitness goals, please visit my ONLINE STOREwhere you will find innovative natural health and beauty products to help you become the BEST YOU CAN BE !

Weight Loss Myths

Weight-Loss-MythsThe following article is a small excerpt from one of my books. I hope you’ll want to learn more and let me help you to get into the best shape of your life.


THE TRUTH: Most get-thin-fast plans revolve around the idea that restricting your intake of one particular nutrient, usually carbs or fat, is the best way to lose weight. But the results of recent studies suggest otherwise. For two years, participants followed one of four calorie-restricted diets with varying amounts of carbs, protein, and fat. After 2 years, all participants lost about the same amount of weight (just nine pounds).  This study proves that calories are the most important factor for weight loss.  To lose weight, you need to take in fewer calories than you burn regardless of what percentage of carbs, protein, or fat you’re eating.  Gimmicky diets just distract you from this simple truth. Here’s how you can learn to reduce your total calorie intake to kick start weight loss and still have energy.

To estimate the number of calories you use during daily living and exercise, go to my website and click on diet and fitness calculators and  than click on calories for men calformales or calories for women calsforfemales Plug in your sex, age, weight, height, lifestyle (meaning, you’re deskbound, or you’re always moving at work), and exercise regularity. This will give you the number of calories you need to eat daily to maintain your body weight.  There are also several metabolism formulas in my books.

Trim 10 to 15 percent off of that calorie total but don’t cut more than 500 calories per day.  This is conservative compared to most diets, but it’s realistic.   Record what you eat, and tally your calorie intake. You can use the food data base that is in my book ‘Get Fit Stay Fit’ or there are others available on line.

A recent study reported that subjects who cut calories or cut calories and exercised lost the same amount of weight. But the diet-and-exercise group improved their aerobic capacity, insulin sensitivity, cholesterol, and blood pressure without having to go into starvation mode.

A healthy weight-loss goal is one to two pounds a week. Trying to drop more than this can eat away at muscle, leave you fatigued, and slow your metabolism, making weight loss more difficult.

A smart weight-loss plan

CARBS: 50 to 55 percent of total calories
Why You Need It: Your body prefers carbs as your main fuel source, so they should be the cornerstone of your diet.

Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and lentils are rich in complex carbs and fiber (both slow digestion and supply a steady stream of energy), as well as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that speed recovery and protect against diseases.

FAT: 25 to 30 percent of total calories
Why You Need It: You need this nutrient to absorb fat-soluble vitamins; foods high in fat also keep you satisfied, so you eat less.
Nuts, seeds, and avocados are rich in heart-healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats. Olive oil contains oleic acid, and may help suppress your appetite. Other healthy choices include canola, grape seed, flaxseed, and hempseed oils.

PROTEIN: 15 to 25 percent of total calories
Why You Need It: Protein speeds muscle repair and recovery. High-protein foods are satisfying and take longer to digest.
Cuts of beef and pork labeled “loin” and skinless poultry have a healthy protein-to-fat ratio. Fatty fish are rich in omega-3s. Tofu is a lean protein source, while low-fat dairy like milk and yogurt provide calcium. Eggs are loaded with vitamins A, K, and D.


THE TRUTH: The “fat-burning zone” lies between 50 and 70 percent of your maximum heart rate. When you exercise at this low intensity, your body draws energy from fat. As your heart rate goes up, more energy comes from carbs. So it seems logical that to lose fat you should keep your heart rate low, but this is not the case.

Exercising at higher intensities causes you to burn a lower percentage of fat calories in favor of carbs, but you use more total calories, and that’s the key to slimming down. Plus, since you burn more total calories, the absolute amount of fat burned actually increases, too. So it pays to pick up the pace.

Of course, lower intensity exercise still has its place. Long, slow runs build aerobic fitness and endurance. But to kick start a slow metabolism, you need intensity. Interval training (condensed runs that mix in intense efforts with recovery) have found these workouts burn more calories during and after exercise.

High-intensity intervals will help you win the battle of the bulge.

ON THE TRACK: Warm up for 10 minutes. Run 800 meters, aiming to finish the interval at 90 to 95% of your max heart rate. After a two-minute recovery jog, repeat two more times, and then cool down for 10 minutes. Add an 800-meter interval every two weeks until you reach six.

ON A TREADMILL: Warm up for 10 minutes. Run for five minutes with treadmill at 1% incline at a speed that hits 90 to 95% of your max heart rate. After a two-minute recovery jog, repeat two more times. Cool down for 10 minutes. Add one interval every two weeks until you reach six.

ANAEROBIC CAPACITY: Warm up for 10 minutes. Do six 400-meter runs (or about 90 seconds on a treadmill) at your mile race pace or slightly faster. The interval should be considerably faster than the previous workouts. Between each interval, complete a two-minute recovery jog.

TO GAUGE MAX HEART RATE: Run four laps on a track with each lap getting faster. On last lap, sprint as hard as you can. Check your heart-rate monitor. The highest number will be close to your max.


THE TRUTH: Many dieters believe eating several small meals a day is a guaranteed way to quash hunger. But scientists have not turned up substantial evidence that eating frequency really matters. In fact, a 2009 study with more than 10,000 subjects reported that between-meal nibblers were 69 percent more likely to pack on pounds over five years. Frequent eating only works if you choose nutritious foods and control portion sizes, after all, it’s not hard to turn six small meals into six large ones. It all comes back to calories.  You can eat three times a day or 10, as long as you have the same calorie intake that will induce weight loss.

Eating something small pre workout followed by a post workout snack or meal can improve performance and recovery. If you workout at lunch, nibble on some dried fruit or yogurt before, and eat a mix of carbs and protein afterwards like a turkey sandwich. For the rest of the day, let your hunger be your guide when to eat.


THE TRUTH: Most think that to look lean and toned you have to skip heavy barbells in favor of lighter weights with lots of repetitions. But that won’t give you the physique you are looking for. To get toned, you need larger muscles and less fat and challenging your body through heavier lifting is a big part of this equation. Lifting 85 percent of your maximum ability for eight reps burns about twice as many calories in the two hours post workout compared with 15 reps at 45 percent your body max. Don’t worry, lifting heavy weights won’t transform you into a bodybuilder.  Achieving that look requires eating a high-calorie diet and a long-term power-lifting regimen. If you’re creating a calorie deficit, you simply won’t bulk up like a bodybuilder.

You don’t have to give up lighter weights with high reps because they do a better job at improving your muscular endurance. Your program should include both high and low reps. Doing higher reps (12 to 15) and lower weights for about four weeks and then switch to lifting heavier weights for fewer reps (8 to 10) for four weeks, will keep the stress on your body constantly changing.  Remember muscle responds to resistance, so if it’s too light, you won’t see good results.


THE TRUTH: The weekend represents about 30 percent of the week, and in a recent study dieters who dropped pounds during the week, but stopped losing weight by feasting on whatever they wanted on the weekend, would cancel out five days worth of healthy eating

When it comes to shedding pounds, consistency is the key.  Aim to consume a similar number of calories on Tuesday as you would Saturday. If you weigh yourself Friday and again Monday any weight gain is a sign you shouldn’t have eaten the extra slice of pizza.

Here are some tips to help you survive the weekend

When traveling to events bring your own healthy edibles like oatmeal and trail mix.

Keep a food journal which can help you lose almost double the weight of non writers.


Eat a hearty morning meal daily and you will eat fewer calories later in the day.

Have a few treats during the week so once Saturday comes, you won’t feel the desire to binge.


THE TRUTH: People trying to slim down often try to cut out all indulgent foods, but eventually, this approach usually backfires. If you’re following an overly restrictive diet, you’re more likely to go overboard on your vices. Flip-flopping between a diet that includes sweet treats and one that banishes them (in other words, yo-yo dieting) activates your brain’s stress system, making you want to gorge even more.

So before you cut out your favorite foods, ask yourself: Can I live without cheesecake (or potato chips) forever? The answer is probably no.  Losing pounds and keeping them off, depends on learning to balance your diet without depriving yourself, and eating in a way you can maintain.  Eat great 80 percent of the time, and allow room for small treats the other 20 percent. As long as you’re reducing your overall intake, you don’t need to stop eating any one food from your diet.

Here’s how to gauge what your diet should look like.

35 years old, 150 pounds
Lifestyle Sedentary desk job
Exercise Runs about 20 miles per week and strength trains about two hours per week
Maintenance Calorie Needs 2,387 calories per day
Goal Calorie Intake 2,029 calories (15 percent reduction)

2 slices whole-grain toast; 2 teaspoons almond butter; 1 kiwi; 1 hard-boiled egg
A breakfast containing a balanced mix of carbs, protein, and healthy fats prevents overeating during the day.

Morning Snack
1 cup plain low-fat yogurt; 1/2 cup raspberries; 1 ounce sunflower seeds
Have a midmorning snack to hold off hunger while providing energy for your lunchtime workout.

Lunch Workout
30- to 40-minute interval run

Post workout
1 cup low-fat chocolate milk
It provides an ideal mix of quick-digesting carbs and protein to promote recovery. Plus, the chocolate helps satisfy occasional sweet cravings.

1 serving (2 cups) Pasta Bean Toss; 1 medium apple
Make this no-fuss recipe (below) for dinner the night before and pack the leftovers for lunch.

4 ounces chicken breast; 1 cup cooked quinoa; 1 cup multicolored salad of an avocado; 1 tablespoon extra-virgin-olive-oil-and-vinegar dressing
The healthy fat in olive oil and avocado slows digestion (keeping you satisfied) and boosts the absorption of antioxidants in veggies.

Evening Snack
3 cups air-popped popcorn
When air-popped, it makes a tasty and healthy whole-grain, low-calorie snack for the evening.

TOTAL CALORIES: 1,991; CARBS: 252g; FIBER: 47g; PROTEIN: 113g; FAT: 67g

35 years old, 175 pounds
Lifestyle sedentary desk job
Exercise Runs about 20 miles per week; strength trains about two hours per week
Maintenance calorie needs 3,033 calories
Goal calorie intake 2,578 (15 percent reduction)

Pre workout Snack
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt; 1/3 cup blueberries; 1/4 cup raisins
To recharge your muscles following an overnight fast, have a small breakfast that’s easy to digest.

Morning Workout
45-minute run

Post workout Breakfast
2 hard-boiled eggs; 1 1/2 cups plain oatmeal mixed with: 1 medium banana (sliced), 1 ounce walnuts, 2 teaspoons maple syrup
Eggs are an easy way to get protein to speed recovery after a morning run. A bowl of oatmeal with a banana and maple syrup helps reload muscle glycogen stores.

Sandwich made with: 2 slices 100 percent whole-wheat bread, 2 ounces sliced turkey breast deli meat, 2 slices tomato, 1/2 cup baby spinach, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard; 1 apple; 1/2 cup sliced red pepper; 1/2 cup baby carrots
Make sure to include plenty of fruits and vegetables with lunch to make it more filling, which will prevent overeating later on. Also, choose higher fiber whole grain bread.

Afternoon Snack
1 cup grapes; 6 whole-grain crackers; 1 ounce low-fat cheddar cheese
An afternoon snack will keep your energy high during a post work out exercise session.

After work
45 minutes weight training
Split workouts can boost intensity, make exercise more fun, and help you fit it into a busy schedule.

Post workout Shake
1 cup skim milk; 1/2 cup plain yogurt; 1/2 cup frozen strawberries; 2 teaspoons natural peanut butter
Make the shake in the morning and bring it with you. And pass on “reduced-fat” peanut butter. Most have similar calories and more sugar than regular PB.

1 serving Lentils with Grilled Salmon; 2 cups multi-colored salad; 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil; 1 medium orange
Salmon is packed with anti-inflammatory omega-3s. An orange provides a healthy, sweet dessert.

Evening snack
1 ounce dark chocolate
Have treats, such as dark chocolate, once in a while to avoid feeling like you’re depriving yourself.

Total Calories 2,544; Carbs 336g; Fiber 50g; Protein 121g; Fat 93g


THE TRUTH: Many believe their metabolism plummets later in the day, which is when we often over eat nutritionally corrupt foods. But a calorie is a calorie no matter when you eat it.  As long as you don’t take in more calories than you burn in a day, you won’t gain weight. Overeating at 9 p.m. is essentially no worse than overeating at 9 a.m.  You may have a slightly higher metabolism earlier in the day, but the impact on weight loss is likely trivial.

And if you train in the evening, eating at night is a must:  You have to eat a well-balanced meal to encourage recovery no matter how late it is. As long as you don’t gorge, you’re not in danger of gaining weight. But if you routinely spend too much time with ice cream at night, you’re going to sabotage your efforts.

How to ward off night time over eating

A lot of people don’t eat enough after lunch, leaving them ravenous at night. Eat whole-grain crackers and low-fat cheese, or plain yogurt with fruit mid afternoon to avoid getting intimate with Haagen-Dazs later.


Try low-fat popcorn for nighttime finger food. It’s a high-fiber whole grain, and one cup has just 31 calories.

you are more likely to overindulge when parked in front of the boob tube, which distracts you from noticing how much you’re eating so eat at a kitchen table.

a 15-minute walk after eating weakened chocolate cravings in people who abstained for three days. Make an after dinner stroll routine.

Coming home famished after a workout without a dinner plan can lead to grabbing the nearest bag of Doritos. Having a meal made ahead of time you can easily heat up or a few quick go-to recipes can ensure you make healthy choices.


THE TRUTH: Eating low-fat foods has helped make the nation look more like the Pillsbury Doughboy. Reason being, a low-fat or reduced-fat item may have nearly as many calories as a higher-fat version because ingredients like sugar often replace the fat to make the product taste better, Low-fat foods can still contain unhealthy saturated or trans fats both of which may increase your risk of heart disease.

People also eat 28 percent more treats when they were portrayed as “low-fat” rather than “regular.” Low-fat labels (like those on cookies and fruit-flavored yogurts) cause people to underestimate calorie consumption, increase the amount they eat, and temper the guilt of polishing off a box of reduced-fat Oreos.  Some people see the term ‘fat-free’ and use it as a green light to eat as much of it as they want. This leads to over consuming calories and that, leads to weight gain.

Diet Busters

adults who drink diet sodas often are more likely to be overweight and develop diabetes.

It has health benefits, but also packs lots of calories. If you’re trying to slim down, keep it to one drink daily.

It’s low in fiber and nutrients. Choose whole-grain versions most often.

They contain added sugar (i.e., empty calories), so scale back.

A single ounce has about 160 calories. Limit yourself to that much (and choose dark varieties) per day.


THE TRUTH: Many people blow off weights for cardio, a bigger calorie burner. They’re also afraid of getting bulky while trying to slim down. But if who want to slim down you need to pump iron.  It makes you stronger and builds endurance, so you can run longer and harder, burning more calories for weight loss. Since muscle is denser than fat, you’ll also shave inches off your body and look leaner.

Plus, cutting calories can lead to losing lean body mass, and weight lifting helps preserve muscle, which is more metabolically active than fat.  It takes extra calories just to keep muscle.   Strength training may boost resting metabolic rate by as much as seven percent. And you don’t need to live at the gym to get results. Just 11 minutes of weight training three times a week will boost daily energy expenditure.


SPEED WEIGHT LOSS, build strength, and improve running performance with this workout.  Do the routine two to three times per week with at least one rest day in between. Begin with two to three sets of each exercise with 15 reps, using a challenging weight. After four weeks, switch to a heavier weight and complete three sets with 8 to 10 reps.  Every four to six weeks, alternate between less weight, more reps and more weight, fewer reps.  As you build up stamina, reduce the rest period between exercises to increase calorie burn.

Stand on one leg, holding a set of dumbbells by your side. Slightly bend knee with your back straight; bend forward, keeping weights by your sides. Slowly stand up, keeping a straight posture. Once completed, curl your arms into a shoulder press. Bring weights back to your sides. Repeat on the other side.

Stand in a lunge position holding one dumbbell overhead with both hands. Keeping your elbows shoulder-width apart, bend them and lower the weight behind your head as you lunge down. Lift the weight up as you straighten your legs. Do half the set with one leg in front and then switch sides.

Roll forward on a ball so that your arms are in a pushup position and the ball is under the tops of your shins. Then, lift your hips up and bring your knees into your chest. Ideally, your hips will be directly over your shoulders. Bring your legs back to the starting position, and then do a pushup. Keep alternating pushups and jackknifes

Place the stability ball in the curve of your lower back, then lean against a wall, holding dumbbells in both hands. With feet about hip-width apart, squat down (using the support of the ball and the wall behind you) and simultaneously do a biceps curl. When you squat down, your legs should form a 90-degree angle. Hold for a moment, and then return to the starting position.

Position yourself on a stability ball with your head and neck supported on the ball like a pillow and your body in a tabletop position. Your feet should be under your knees, hip-width apart. Keeping arms straight, as if you’ve just completed a chest press, lower arms behind you and over your head until your upper arms are even with your ears. Slowly bring them back to the starting position. Then, lower your hips toward the ground and back up. Keep alternating pullovers and hip raises. You can also balance a dumbbell on your hips for an extra challenge.

THE TRUTH: In theory, because your blood sugar and muscle carbohydrate levels are low after an overnight fast, running before breakfast forces your body to use fat as its main fuel.  But exercising on an empty stomach is like trying to run your car without gas.  You need carbs in your system to start your engine and to keep it going strong to burn more total calories.  Not only do muscles prefer to run on carbs, but so does your brain.  Exercising with brain fog reduces intensity and increases injury risk.  Fueling up with 100 to 200 calories (of easily digestible carbs like fruit juice, yogurt, or dried fruit) about 30 minutes before a morning workout will cut down on post exercise hunger and curbs overeating.


THE TRUTH: Many people spend too much of their gym time doing a bazillion crunches in pursuit of rock-solid abs or banging out hundreds of reps on the inner and outer thigh machines to melt away stubborn fat pockets. But the only way you can spot reduce is with liposuction.  When you exercise, your body taps into energy stores from everywhere, not just one place.  By over exercising one area of your body, you raise the risk of suffering an injury.  It’s good to have a strong core, but too many crunches can over tighten abdominals and lead to back problems. Targeting a particular body part no more than three times a week, and focusing on a balanced full-body program will help create a calorie deficit, and ultimately that’s the only thing that’s going to slim those thighs and trim your belly.

The Burning Question: Just how many calories did that workout burn?

Many people think running burns 100 calories per mile but this is only true if you weigh 139 pounds. To calculate your burn per mile, multiply your weight in pounds by .75. A 150 pound runner burns 112 calories per mile; a 120-pound runner burns just 90. And if you run faster, you don’t burn more calories per mile but you do burn more per minute.

The number this formula yields is your “gross” calorie burn. But it can be deceptive: Even if you didn’t run at all, you’d still burn calories. A 150-pound person burns about 68 calories an hour doing nothing. This is your basal metabolic rate, or BMR. When you subtract your BMR from your gross burn, you get your “net” burn. If you’re trying to maximize your burning efficiency, compare the net burn per minute of various activities. Walking burns far fewer calories per minute than running because it doesn’t require as much effort. But cyclists can go so fast that air resistance becomes a factor. Thus, cycling 24 mph burns much more than double the calories of cycling 12 mph. 150 pound runner burns 112 calories per mile. Now if he runs 5 miles in an hour his total burn would be 560 calories.  Minus his 86 calories BMR his net calorie loss is 474 calories.

You can use the formulas below to determine your calorie-burn while running and walking. The “Net Calorie Burn” measures calories burned, minus basal metabolism. Scientists consider this the best way to evaluate the actual calorie-burn of any exercise. The walking formulas apply to speeds of 3 to 4 mph. At 5 mph and faster, walking burns more calories than running.

              Your Total Calorie Burn/Mile   Your Net Calorie Burn/Mile

Running       .75 x your weight (in lbs.)           .63 x your weight
Walking        .53 x your weight                       .30 x your weight

On my site there is a calculator that suggests calories burned per activity.
THE TRUTH: Running for an hour straight is a great calorie burner and will undoubtedly help shed pounds. But you might actually accrue more fitness and fat loss by occasionally breaking that hour-long workout into two half-hour runs or three 20- minute sessions.   A person may run at a harder pace if tackling two shorter runs instead of a single longer one, so the cumulative calorie burn could be greater.  Those who performed two separate 30- minute aerobic sessions burned more calories post workout compared with a single 60-minute trial.

Same-day split sessions to help overcome time constraints and boredom, and accumulate the same training volume with less injury risk. Doing a steady-pace, moderate-intensity run for one session and a more intense calorie burner, like interval training or hill running, the second time. Conversely, try a high-intensity morning run followed by an after-work weight-training session.


THE TRUTH: some people are more predisposed to have a slower metabolism. Others put on weight more easily or carry extra pounds in certain areas. Staying slim is not a hopeless battle. You can outsmart your genes and maintain a healthy weight. Case in point, 16 same-sex twin pairs (chosen because they had the same genetic makeup) where studied for decades and found that the twin who had been more physically active over a 32-year period accumulated 50 percent less belly fat than the twin who didn’t exercise. By running and exercising regularly, you’re already a step ahead in winning the battle against the bulge.

In my book ‘Get fit Stay FIT’ I give many options for working out combinations.


THE TRUTH: Many people think maintaining weight loss is easier than losing it in the first place. But you have to be diligent. Researcher has discovered that overweight subjects who had slimmed down over two years required an average of 40 minutes of exercise per day just to sustain a loss of 10 percent or more of their initial body weight. And that was in addition to closely watching what they ate. Those who committed less time to sweating it out or none at all were more likely to be back where they started.  Weight loss is not something that happens and then you’re done with it, that’s why quick-fix programs hardly ever work long term.


THE TRUTH: High-fructose corn syrup (or HFCS) has been singled out as a main cause of America’s obesity crisis. But both HFCS and sucrose better known as table sugar are very close in chemical composition, and neither type of sweetener offers any nutritional value apart from empty waist-thickening calories.  You’d likely become just as pudgy from eating an excessive amount of foods that contain regular sugar as you would from eating foods that contain an excessive amount of high-fructose corn syrup.   You should read labels carefully and scale back your intake of highly sweetened foods, including sodas, energy drinks, baked goods, cereals, and even sports drinks.  If you need to satisfy a sweet tooth, you should do so shortly after a workout when your muscles quickly soak up the sugar to replace spent energy stores.


THE TRUTH: Both can be equally damaging to your weight-loss efforts.  People consistently underestimate the calorie content of foods served at restaurants they see as “healthier” and in doing so are more likely to order calorie bomb sides such as large sodas and cookies. But eating out in general not just at fast-food places can put a damper on your weight-loss efforts.  Dieters will often consumed up to 253 extra calories and 16 additional grams of fat on the days that they ate out. Trade in eating out for more home cooking.  Preparing your own meals gives you a better shot at controlling calorie intake, and it lets you choose more nutrient-rich ingredients.  Many chain restaurants put nutritional information on their Web sites, so if you do plan on eating out, check out their nutritional stats to find the healthiest choices.


THE TRUTH: Taking extra steps every day can have an important cumulative calorie-burning effect.  Adults ages 19 to 30 who were car-happy gained up to 15 pounds more over a 15-year period than those who used their own two feet more often to get around. To motivate yourself to walk more, invest in a pedometer.   Using a pedometer can lead to significant decreases in body-mass index and blood pressure.  Aim for 10,000 steps daily.  That’s two and half miles of walking, which means you’ll burn an extra 250 calories every day. You can boost your chances of reaching the 10,000-step goal by walking to a coworker’s cubicle instead of e-mailing, trading in the elevator for the stairs, and parking at the farthest corner of the mall lot.


THE TRUTH: If you run on a treadmill, sway on an elliptical, or pedal a stationary bike, the number of calories you actually burn can be 10 to 15 percent lower than what’s displayed on the screen. That’s because most machines don’t take into account percent body fat, height, sex, age, resting heart rate, or if someone is holding onto the handles, which reduces workload.  Also, the mechanical assistance of machines allows your body to do less work. That doesn’t mean you should totally ignore an exercise machine’s stats. Use the calorie readout as a barometer of your progress. If the number goes up from one session to the next for the same workout, you know you’re working harder toward your weight loss goals.

       The 10 Rules of Weight Loss

  1. To lose 10 pounds of body fat a year, you need to eat 100 calories less per day. Cutting too many calories from your daily intake will sap your energy level and increase your hunger, making you more susceptible to splurging on high-calorie foods.2. Don’t skip breakfast. Eat within two hours of waking.3. In fact, eat more breakfast than you think you should. Trade in some of your dinner calories for more calories at breakfast.4. Don’t allow yourself to get hungry. Eat at least every four hours, and split a meal in half to make sure you properly fuel up pre- and post workout For example, eat part of your breakfast before your morning run (a banana) and the rest of your breakfast afterward (a bagel with peanut butter).5. Eat at least three kinds of food each meal from these four categories: breads, cereals, and grains; fruits and vegetables; low-fat dairy and soy; and lean meats, fish, and nuts. Breads, cereals, and grains should be the foundation of each meal, with protein as an accompaniment.

    6. Shoot for a gradual loss of body fat. You’re more likely to put the weight back on (and more) if you drop weight too quickly.

    7. Liquid calories add up fast and can lead to weight gain. Minimize the amount of sodas, juices, store-bought smoothies, sports drinks, coffee drinks, and alcohol you consume.

    8. Eat closer to the earth, enjoying fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Minimize the amount of processed foods you eat; they tend to offer less fiber and are less satiating.

    9. If you can’t resist fast food, ask for nutritional information before you make your choices (or check in advance via restaurant Web sites). Avoid any menu items with the words fried, crispy  and special sauce, which are guaranteed to be high calories.

    10. Remember that the calories in the energy bars, sports drinks, and gels you consume during a run add up, even though you’re running. Consume them only as needed.

I know you want to get in shape and look great.  Whatever your fitness goal…to slim down…gain muscle…tone your arms or flatten your tummy…I’m here to help you accomplish your goals and to improve your fitness level. If you have enjoyed this article and the many other free features on my site, and would like some more comprehensive information such as fitness books and CD’s to aid you in achieving your health and fitness goals, please visit my ONLINE STORE where you will find innovative natural health and beauty products to help you become the BEST YOU CAN BE !

Health Myths

mythsThe following article is a small excerpt from one of my books.  I hope you’ll want to learn more and let me help you to get into the best shape of your life.

Years ago, both true and false health information would spread slowly.  Not today. The Internet and social media has given people the ability to send everyone on their email lists wild stories that end up mushrooming around the world in a matter of hours.

Most of those health scares are a misreading of facts or a deliberate twisting of the truth.  The following are a few examples and their truths.

Drink eight glasses of water a day

In 1945, the U.S. Food and Nutrition Board told people to consume eight glasses of fluid daily. Before long, we believed we needed eight glasses of water, in addition to what we eat and drink, every day.

The Truth:  Water’s great, but you can also fulfill your daily needs with juice, tea, milk, fruits, and vegetables. Even coffee quenches your thirst, despite its reputation as a diuretic. The caffeine makes you lose some liquid, but you’re still getting plenty.

Stress will turn your hair gray

In today’s crazy world with stress and deadlines, who doesn’t believe that stress can shock your locks?

The Truth:  Too much stress does age you inside and out. It ups the number of free radicals, scavenger molecules that attack your healthy cells, and increases the spill of stress hormones in your body. So far, though, no scientific evidence proves a bad day turns your locks gray.

Reading in poor light ruins your eyes

It’s the commonsense refrain of parents everywhere that reading under the covers or by moonlight will ruin your eyesight.

The Truth:  Reading in dim light can strain your eyes. You tend to squint, and that can give you a headache. But you won’t do any permanent damage, except maybe cause crow’s-feet. Your overtired eyes can get dry and achy, and may even make your vision seem less clear, but a good night’s rest will help your eyes recover just fine.

Coffee’s really bad for you

108 million Americans crave coffee each morning. Could something so many crave possibly be good for you? Wrong.

The Truth:  Too much may give you the jitters, but your daily habit has a lot of positives. Coffee comes from plants, which have helpful phytochemicals that act as antioxidants. Drinking coffee gives your brain a boost, too. And, despite the jolt of energy it provides, coffee has no effect on heart disease.

Feed a cold, starve a fever

The old wives’ tale has been a staple since the 1500s when a dictionary master wrote, Fasting is a great remedy for a fever.

The Truth:  Colds and fevers are generally caused by viruses that tend to last seven to 10 days, no matter what you do. There is no proven evidence that diet has any effect on a cold or a fever. Even if you don’t feel like eating, you still need fluids, so put a priority on those.  If you’re congested, the fluids will keep mucus thinner and help loosen chest and nasal congestion.

Fresh is always better than frozen

Ever since scientists and health care professionals realized the benefits of antioxidants, they’ve stated “eat more fresh fruits and veggies” which implied that eating frozen fruits and vegetables was second rate.

The Truth:  Frozen can be just as good as fresh because the fruits and vegetables are harvested at the peak of their nutritional content, taken from a plant, and frozen on the spot, locking in nutrients. Unless it’s picked and sold the same day, produce at farmers’ markets, though still nutritious, may lose nutrients because of heat, air, and water.

Eggs raise your cholesterol

In the 1960s and 1970s, scientists linked blood cholesterol with heart disease and eggs (high in cholesterol) were carefully eliminated from most diets.

The Truth:  Newer studies have found that saturated and trans fats in a person’s diet, not dietary cholesterol, are more likely to raise heart disease risk. And, at 213 milligrams of cholesterol, one egg slips under the American Heart Association’s recommendation of no more than 300 milligrams a day.  Eggs offer lean protein and vitamins A and D, and they’re inexpensive and convenient.

Get cold, and you’ll catch a cold

It must be true because your mother always said so.

The Truth:  Mom was wrong.  Chilling doesn’t hurt your immunity, unless you’re so cold that your body defenses are destroyed and that only occurs during hypothermia. You can’t get a cold unless you’re exposed to a virus that causes a cold. The reason people get more colds in the winter isn’t because of the temperature, but it may be a result of being cooped up in closed spaces with more people and exposed to cold viruses.

Your lipstick could make you sick

In 2007, an environmentalist group, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, had 33 lipsticks tested for lead. Although there’s no lead limit for lipstick, one third of the tubes had more than the limit allowed for candy.

The Truth:  The reality is that lead is in almost everything.  It’s all around us. But the risk from lead in lipstick is extremely small. Lead poisoning is most commonly caused by other environmental factors like pipes and paint in older homes.

I lift weights, so osteoporosis isn’t a concern

Your twice-weekly weightlifting sessions contribute to bone health, but it’s not the whole bone-building picture. Weightlifting alone does not offer much protection if your diet lacks certain nutrients.  You also need to address nutritional factors, such as calcium and vitamin D intake, smoking cessation, individual bone health and other factors.  For strong bones, the National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends (in addition to weight training two to three times a week) that women under age 50 and men under age 71 take in 1,000 mg of calcium a day; women 50 and over and men 71 and over need 1,200 mg a day. Women and men under 50 require 400 IU of vitamin D a day, and those 50 and older need 800 to 1,000 mg.

I eat only 1,000 calories a day and still gain weight, so I must have a slow metabolism

If you track your calories and still can’t lose those last 10 pounds, your problem may lie more with your math than your metabolism.  It’s easy to underestimate calories, especially if you eat a lot of restaurant meals. Large amounts of hidden fats, mainly fats used in cooking the food, add hundreds of calories per dish. Added butter, milk or cream cannot be seen, which makes it harder to track calorie intake.  In addition, chronic dieting without exercising can slow metabolism, especially as you age. Women should eat between 1,600 to 2,000 calories a day, depending on activity level, and men should take in between 2,000 and 2,800 calories a day.

I eat only “natural” beef and chicken, so I’m safe from antibiotics and pesticides

Reading labels as a way to eat healthier only works if you know the lingo. Choosing foods with a “natural” label, for example, doesn’t mean you’re in the clear from added chemicals. ‘Natural’ has almost no legal meaning.  The USDA’s legal definition of ‘natural’ only means ‘minimally processed and without artificial preservatives.’ Virtually all conventional meat qualifies. To stay clear of pesticides, antibiotics and other chemicals, look for the green-and-white USDA organic label. It’s the gold standard of labeling for meat, dairy and eggs.

Longevity runs in my family, so I’m destined to be healthy to an old age

Just because grandma lived to age 95 doesn’t automatically mean you’ll also live to see your 90s. Various studies (involving identical twins) suggest that only about a third of the variation in longevity is accounted for by genes. The rest is lifestyle and chance. Many things that seem like chance are really not random; to a surprising extent you can make your own luck by getting on a healthy pathway.  Many people have the capacity to live well into old age, but most do not. Generally speaking, though, knowing how long your parents lived is not a very good indication of how long you will live.

I don’t need a second opinion; I trust my doctor completely

No matter how well you trust your doctor, seeking a second opinion when you’re diagnosed with a serious ailment or are considering surgery is simply smart. It helps you make an informed decision. The decision to have surgery is a serious one. Many nuances and subtle differences exist in surgical approaches, including technology and surgical procedures.  It’s always a good idea to understand the differences, and a second opinion may prove to be a meaningful investment.

I take vitamins, so I can eat what I want

It sounds like an easy fix, but popping vitamins does not give you dietary carte blanche to eat junk food and skip fresh fruits and vegetables. Taking vitamins can provide a false sense of security. Isolated nutrients found in a pill do not have the same effect on your body as when they are consumed as part of a whole food.  For example, taking a vitamin C supplement can’t compare with eating oranges or berries, which contain antioxidants, phytochemicals (natural chemicals which often act like antioxidants) and fiber, which all work together synergistically. Vitamins can be part of a healthy lifestyle, but they certainly do not counteract the negative effects of unhealthy foods.  Check with your physician before starting any new vitamins or supplements.

I don’t need to work out — I chase around my kids all day long

Running around taking care of kids can certainly burn calories and be physically exhausting. But all that activity is not specific enough to produce the results like weight loss, muscular definition and improved energy levels , you’d get from a structured exercise program.  However, those calories burned during daily activity (called NEAT for non-exercise activity thermo genesis), are an effective add-on to an exercise program. To get the best results from an exercise program include cardio respiratory exercise to improve function of your heart and lungs, resistance training to boost muscle strength and bone-mineral density and some flexibility exercises. At least two days a week of dedicated exercise can have a significant impact on managing body weight and experiencing other beneficial results from exercise.

I can still lose weight if I eat what I want on the weekends and diet all week

You eat healthy all week long, so you should be able to splurge on weekends and still lose weight, right? Not exactly. If you have been restricting calories during the week, you may find yourself extra hungry come Saturday morning. As a result, you may end up making up for the calories you limited during the week and then some.  By Sunday night you’re sluggish and bloated. A better bet is to eat healthfully throughout the week and allow yourself a little extra leeway on the weekends.  It is still important to eat mindfully even on the weekends. If you’re going out to dinner on Saturday night, eat a healthy, high-fiber breakfast (such as oatmeal and fruit) and lunch (such as salad and sandwich on whole-grain bread), and then allow yourself to indulge in an entree, a drink and a dessert in the evening.

I don’t need a primary care physician

Annual visits to your gynecologist or other specialist throughout the year are important, but they don’t make up for a primary care doctor. Specialists focus only on a particular body system. A primary care doctor is trained to view the whole person, which differs from a specialist’s focus. A primary care doctor treats the majority of all health conditions, from skin care to chest pain and everything in between. In addition, your primary care doctor acts as a health care advocate if you develop a serious illness, referring you to one or more specialists and acting as the coordinator of all the care you receive (e.g., making sure medications from one specialist doesn’t conflict with another). The better your care coordination, the better your long-term outcome.

I vent my anger, so I’m less likely to have a heart attack

Primal scream therapy and punching pillows as ways to vent anger are a thing of the past for a reason. They don’t work. In fact, this type of venting may actually worsen the health impact of anger. People who are chronically angry have more health problems than people who are less angry.  Anger is connected with surges in blood pressure, and venting anger may actually make it worse. It’s also not very effective in terms of solving life’s problems.  Instead, look at problems more realistically and develop a more forgiving and flexible outlook. Also you need to develop good communication skills so you can negotiate in a reasonable way that considers the other person’s perspective.

It’s over-the-counter medication, so taking a little extra can’t hurt me

If you’re of the mind that since two aspirin are good then three must be better, you may be gambling with your health. Taking more than the recommended amount of any medication can cause health issues.  Over-the-counter does not mean harmless. In fact, OTC drugs can and do cause significant side effects, often due to inappropriate use. For example, acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol) is one of the most common causes of acute liver failure, often due to unintentional overdose. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory agents (e.g., aspirin, ibuprofen) can cause stomach ulceration and bleeding, especially when used for prolonged periods or in high doses. . Your best bet is to follow the labeled dosing. If you need something more, check with your pharmacist or physician before increasing the dose.

I save up my one-drink-a-day allowance for the weekends and enjoy it all at once instead

Numerous studies show the health benefits of a glass of red wine a day. Abstaining fromalcohol all week and over-imbibing on weekends, however, is not advisable and could even prove dangerous. All things in moderation and that particularly means drinking alcohol.  Even studies that say one drink a day is good for your heart also mention that the one drink a day may also increase your risk of other conditions like cancer. The one-drink findings were based on the fact that some alcohol may thin your blood a bit and may reduce your risk of blood clots.  Drinking to excess is not good for your heart or any other part of your body and may even increase the risk of a cardiac event.

I know you want to get in shape and look great.  Whatever your fitness goal…to slim down…gain muscle…tone your arms or flatten your tummy…I’m here to help you accomplish your goals and to improve your fitness level. If you have enjoyed this article and the many other free features on my site, and would like some more comprehensive information such as fitness books and CD’s to aid you in achieving your health and fitness goals, please visit my ONLINE STORE where you will find innovative natural health and beauty products to help you become the BEST YOU CAN BE !

Cough Remedy

coughThe following article is a small excerpt from one of my books.  I hope you’ll want to learn more and let me help you to get into the best shape of your life.

Have a cough that just won’t go away? Try this Natural remedy!  It will work…and save you money.

1 cup grapes (with seeds)

2 tablespoons honey*

2 tablespoons lemon juice*

1 dash cayenne pepper*

*Adjust proportions to taste

Combine all ingredients and mix in a blender. Serve warm, as the warmth of the liquid will not only soothe the throat and lungs, but also help break down mucus buildup.

The ingredients in the cough remedy work in the following ways:


  • The seeds contain high levels of proanthocyanidins, natural chemicals packed with powerful antioxidant properties.
  • They fight against lung cancer and promote positive lung cell growth.


  • The texture can help soothe and protect the throat from irritation.
  • Naturally fights bacteria and is helpful in attacking germs that colonize in the nose, sinuses and lungs.
  • Infants under the age of 1 should never be given honey, as it can cause serious digestive complications or even death.


  • It is a natural cold expectorant.
  • Soothes inflamed throat membranes
  • Makes the throat less vulnerable to irritation, which can cause coughing.

Cayenne Pepper

  • Capsaicin, which makes the pepper spicy, exhibits antioxidant powers, which can prevent bacterial infections. It also makes mucus thinner, which helps move it out of the lungs.

I know you want to get in shape and look great.  Whatever your fitness goal…to slim down…gain muscle…tone your arms or flatten your tummy…I’m here to help you accomplish your goals and to improve your fitness level. If you have enjoyed this article and the many other free features on my site, and would like some more comprehensive information such as fitness books and CD’s to aid you in achieving your health and fitness goals, please visit my ONLINE STORE where you will find innovative natural health and beauty products to help you become the BEST YOU CAN BE !


image001The following article is a small excerpt from one of my books.  I hope you’ll want to learn more and let me help you to get into the best shape of your life.

Bloating is a common but annoying symptom with many causes.  You could be retaining fluids, especially right before that time of the month or have excess gas because of something you ate, or you could be constipated. Luckily, there are just as many ways to solve bloating as there are causes. Try one of these tricks to help.

Potassium-Rich Foods:  This mineral helps to regulate the fluid balance in your body, and keeps you from bloating. High-potassium foods include bananas,cantaloupe, mangoes, spinach, tomatoes, and nuts. Asparagus is also a potassium rich food but also contains an amino acid called asparagine, which acts as a diuretic to flush excess liquid out of your body.

Keep Your Mouth Shut:  Beware of habits that cause you to swallow excess air, like chewing gum, drinking through a straw, smoking, and talking while you eat.

Limit Carbohydrates:  Starches like bread and pasta may cause you to retain water. Avoid eating carbohydrates before bedtime to keep from waking up puffy.

Stop drinking soda pop: The bubbles in carbonated drinks will make your belly bloat. Drink plain water.

Limit Sugar Substitutes: Some people have difficulty digesting artificial sweeteners, especially sorbitol, which is in many sugar-free candies and gums. This makes gum doubly bloat inducing and may cause gas and diarrhea. If you suspect you’re one of them, choose real sugar instead.

Prep for PMS: If you tend to swell up before or during your period, be sure you’re getting enough calcium (1,200 mg a day) and magnesium (200 to 400 mg daily) in your diet. These nutrients have been found to help relieve PMS symptoms such as bloating. You can also take Midol, which contains two mild diuretics.

Apply Pressure: To help remove gas, try massaging your abdomen in the direction of your GI tract: Press your fingers near your right hip; slide up toward the ribs, across and down near your colon in a circular motion. Sounds weird but it works!

Nibble on Parsley: Add fresh, chopped parsley to your meals as this is a natural diuretic.

Take a Probiotic: These “good bacteria”, found in supplements and in cultured milk products such as yogurt, can keep you regular and bloat free. Women with irritable bowel syndrome, characterized by abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and/or diarrhea who took a probiotic strain B. infantis for four weeks noticed less bloating. Check labels for this strain (which can be found in the supplement Align), or find a similar strain in DANONE Activia yogurt.

Get Moving: Fight constipation by walking for at least 15 to 20 minutes each day to keep food moving through your digestive tract. Working up a sweat also releases fluids.

I know you want to get in shape and look great.  Whatever your fitness goal…to slim down…gain muscle…tone your arms or flatten your tummy…I’m here to help you accomplish your goals and to improve your fitness level. If you have enjoyed this article and the many other free features on my site, and would like some more comprehensive information such as fitness books and CD’s to aid you in achieving your health and fitness goals, please visit my ONLINE STORE where you will find innovative natural health and beauty products to help you become the BEST YOU CAN BE !

Slim Belly

no-belly-fat-girlThe following article is a small excerpt from one of my books.  I hope you’ll want to learn more and let me help you to get into the best shape of your life.

You may be weight to height proportional, but your body may contain a low percentage of muscle and a high percentage of body fat. You may have thin arms and legs, but are they soft? If so, that may be a sign that your body is losing muscle and accumulating fat, and the excess fat is gathering in areas where you’re genetically inclined to store it and that is around your middle.

Scale weight is a subject of great debate. Some people feel that it doesn’t matter at all such as serious weight lifters who weigh slightly heavier than what’s considered normal, but have very low amounts of body fat, and some people think that scale weight is the holy grail, judging what shape they are in solely by how much they weigh.

For example, a 50-year old woman might feel proud that she still weighs 120 pounds, just as she did at 20 years old. But if she didn’t exercise during those 30 years, her body composition will have shifted so that her body doesn’t look as good as it did at 20, despite the fact that the scale weight is the same. That’s because her muscle tissue declined and her body fat has grown.

Body weight does matter, depending on the individual. A person with 50 or 100 pounds to lose will need to lose body weight and body fat. Simply building muscle alone won’t cause the body composition shift that is required to become a lean and healthy weight.

On the other hand, for someone who doesn’t have much weight, if any, to lose, going by scale weight alone is misleading since it does not reflect how much body fat and muscle your body has.

So what’s the solution?

To decrease fat anywhere in your body, you need to burn more calories. But the way in which you do so matters.

Aiming for straight weight loss by dieting, can cause you to reduce some belly fat, but you may also get skinnier in areas you don’t want to, like your butt and face. Also, dieting alone leads to a significant loss of muscle mass, and you need more muscle, not less.  A better, more efficient approach would be to try to shift your body composition by building muscle and losing body fat through exercise. Ultimately the scale may stay about the same, or you may even gain a few pounds, but the scale weight is not very important.

So what kind of exercise will do the trick?

What you shouldn’t do is spend all your time doing abdominal exercises, or to buy an ab-exercise gizmo that you might see on an infomercial promising to slim you down quick and easy. Many people think that if they can pummel away at their abs long enough to feel a burning sensation, that they are making great strides towards a flatter belly. This is simply not true.

The burn is from muscles fatiguing, not fat burning off. And no research has shown that core exercises like crunches, sit-ups or those done on any abs machine will whittle fat off your belly. They can strengthen your muscles, but will not do anything about losing the fat around them. And when it comes to building more muscle, you need to build it all over, not just in your belly.

Your first step is to do more cardio (walk, run, bike, use any cardio machine at the gym, dance, etc.). If you’re a beginner, you should start slow and easy, building your way up gradually to longer, more intense and higher-impact sessions. If you haven’t been doing anything, simply trying to fit in 15 or 20 minutes of cardio on most days of the week (walking five or six days a week, for example), may even make a difference. The more cardio you do the more fat you lose, especially in your belly. So once you’ve built up your fitness level, aim for 60 minutes or more of cardio on most days of the week.

The importance of strength training

In addition, you should start strength training using resistance bands, dumbbells, or weight machines (if you have access to a health club). You don’t need to spend as much time on weights as you do on cardio as long as you are challenging your muscles each time. Aim for doing about one 12-repetition set of eight to 10 exercises that target all the major muscles in your upper and lower body two to three times a week. Each session may take you about 15 to 40 minutes depending upon how many sets you do of each exercise. As you get stronger, add another set until you are doing three sets of eight to 12 reps for each exercise. When this gets easier, increase the weight.

Keep in mind that any weight training at all will increase your strength if you’re new to it. But once you’ve been doing it for a few months, if you don’t increase the resistance, you won’t get stronger or build muscle. You will probably need to eat more healthful food to get in more calories per day to fuel your extra aerobic exercise and the muscle growth you are trying to achieve.

Give it a few months of this exercise regimen and you should start to see a firmer, stronger, thinner-bellied you.

10 Diet Mistakes to Avoid

  1. Not eating enough protein, especially early in the day.

The government’s recommendation for protein is 0.4 grams per pound of body weight.  This is barely half of what you need to build muscle, which in turn will help you, burn fat. You need protein!

  1. Skipping breakfast.

Breakfast doesn’t mean grabbing a soda or eating a doughnut.  You need to eat whole foods such as oatmeal, eggs, fruit, and yogurt. Your brain and body needs nutrients to function.

  1. Skipping other meals because you didn’t think ahead.

Maybe you’re in meetings all day and haven’t eaten for six hours. When you finally do, you may choose badly because you’re absolutely starved. What’s more, you eat too quickly when you’re hungry and you outrace your body’s “fullness” signal. Try to eat every three hours.

  1. Eating carbs only.

A plain bagel even with orange juice is one of the worst breakfasts you can eat. Your blood sugar will light up like fireworks on the Fourth of July. This stimulates the release of the hormone insulin, which signals your body to stop burning and start storing fat. It also triggers hunger, making you reach for something else that will skyrocket your blood sugar again. Better to start your day off with eggs, whites only if you’re concerned about your cholesterol, and a side of fruit.

  1. Thinking in terms of “snacks” packaged in boxes and bags.

Stop planning your meals around snacks. Just plan frequent meals. When you do the snack thing, you’re not saving yourself calories from a meal. Oftentimes you’re upping your calories.

  1. Consuming cheap, empty-calorie carbs.

Non-diet soda, potato chips, cookies, popcorn, and white bread have made America fat. The empty calories are bad enough, but the real damage comes from the havoc these wreak on your blood sugar.

  1. Falling for the fat-free gimmick.

Just because it says “fat free” doesn’t mean you can eat twice as much of it without gaining weight. You’ll still be consuming a bunch of calories. What’s worse, the phrase non-fat is usually code for more sugar.

  1. Not “fishing” for healthy protein.

Generally speaking, plant fats are healthier than animal fats. But the fats in fish are an exception, especially those from darker fleshed ones like salmon. Theomega-3 fatty acids they contain are just what the doctor ordered to keep your heart healthy. Substitute fish for another animal protein several times a week and supplement with omega-3s for good measure.

  1. Not drinking enough water.

By the time you crave water, you’re already dehydrated. That can short-circuit your workout and eventually cause health problems, which is a shame, since all you have to do is turn on a tap. Drink a minimum of 12 6-ounce glasses of non-caffeinated fluids per day, plus an additional 6 ounces for every 15 minutes your train.

  1. Shopping in the center aisles of the supermarket.

Not everything in the center aisles of your local supermarket is junk (like tuna) but the vast majority of what you’ll find there has been pumped full of chemicals and processed. Unless you need a greeting card, a magazine, or a can of shaving cream, stay on the store’s outer aisles, where all the fresh stuff lies.

10 Secrets of the Effortlessly Thin

The majority of thin people whether they have been lean all their life or managed to lose weight and keep it off, share several healthy strategies that help them stay thin and healthy with seemingly little effort.

  1. They don’t diet

Or at least not in the traditional, all-or-nothing, deprivation sense of the word. You need to get rid of that diet mentality and realize that what you are doing is making a permanent lifestyle change. You do have to cut back on calories if you want to stay thin, but it’s about reassessing what you eat and being more sensible in your choices, not about a quick-fix, crazy diet. Thin people tend to have a better quality diet than those who are overweight. They eat more fruits and vegetables and more fiber, and drink more water, all healthy things that provide more food volume for the number of calories.

  1. They keep track of their weight

Thin people know how much they weigh, and they monitor that number by stepping on the scale frequently. It’s not about a having an unhealthy fixation on that number on the scale, but it’s a way to catch a 5-pound gain before it suddenly turns into a 20-pound gain. Aim to keep your weight within a five-pound range, and if you see it go above that buffer zone, make sure you have an immediate plan of action for how to address it.

  1. They exercise regularly

9 out of 10 people who’ve lost weight and maintained it exercise regularly and make it a critical part of their lives. Even if you’ve never been a fitness fanatic, it’s not too late to get moving. Even taking a few 15-minute walks throughout the day will be a move in the right direction. Once you start to enjoy the mood-boosting and calorie-burning advantages of exercise, start looking for ways to keep your workouts interesting. Join a local gym and try a variety of classes and cardio machines, find friends to walk with, or experiment with at-home exercise DVDs.

  1. They don’t solve problems with food

Almost everyone is guilty of occasionally drowning their sorrows in a pint of ice cream or taking out frustration on a batch of brownies, but thin people definitely don’t make it a habit. They do not eat for emotional reasons. When you are upset, bored, lonely, frustrated or angry, ask yourself if food is really going to solve the problem, or will it just end up making you feel worse after you finish eating? Chances are, the food won’t fix what’s bothering you, so it’s important to come up with a list of other small pleasures you can turn to instead of food. Some ideas include going for a walk, watching a movie, calling a friend, playing with your kids, or taking a bubble bath. In my book “Get Fit Stay Fit” I address the emotional eating in more detail.

  1. They stop eating when they’re full

Most thin people pay attention to internal hunger cues. Thin people are tuned into noticing when they are full, and they stop eating even if there is food left on their plate.

  1. They don’t surround themselves with temptation

Rather than stocking the cupboards with junk food, thin people’s kitchens are filled with healthy foods. That doesn’t mean you can never have any indulgences in your house, just that you shouldn’t have so many that you’re likely to overeat them. For example, if you love to bake, give most of your sweets away to friends, or have your kids bring them to school or soccer practice, leaving just a few behind to enjoy yourself.

  1. They allow themselves treats

Thin people let themselves eat what they crave, sometimes even indulging in a treat every day. The difference is that they do it consciously, choosing exactly what they really want to eat and then eating slowly and enjoying it. So if it’s chocolate you want, don’t try to eat around the craving with an array of foods that don’t really satisfy you. Instead, allow yourself to have a small but really delicious chocolate bar and put the craving to rest. More on this in my book ‘The Best You can be’

  1. They eat breakfast

Nearly 80 percent of the successful weight loss losers and thin people eat breakfast every single day. Make sure that you eat within an hour of waking up. Breakfast is literally breaking the fast of the night and until you send food into your system, your metabolism doesn’t really start to kick in.

  1. They move, stand and fidget more

Thin people are rarely sitting. Beyond their regular fitness routines, they simply move around more which burns more calories throughout the day, potentially burning up to 350 more calories.

  1. They don’t skip meals

There are two problems with skipping meals. Going more than six hours without food will slow down your metabolism, plus you’ll likely get so desperately hungry that you’ll grab anything as opposed to something healthy and you will over eat. Thin people keep their stomachs between one-quarter and three-quarters full at all times. The best way to do this is to eat frequent mini-meals every three or four hours.

I know you want to get in shape and look great.  Whatever your fitness goal…to slim down…gain muscle…tone your arms or flatten your tummy…I’m here to help you accomplish your goals and to improve your fitness level. If you have enjoyed this article and the many other free features on my site, and would like some more comprehensive information such as fitness books and CD’s to aid you in achieving your health and fitness goals, please visit my ONLINE STORE where you will find innovative natural health and beauty products to help you become the BEST YOU CAN BE !

Food Guides

goodforyouThe following article is a small excerpt from one of my books.  I hope you’ll want to learn more and shopping boylet me help you to get into the best shape of your life.

By using Food Guides you can be one step closer to finding your own healthy lifestyle.

Food guides are basic nutritional education tools that are designed to help people make food choices that are healthy, and will prevent a number of diet-related diseases. They represent sophisticated dietary analysis, and merge national nutrition goals, data from food consumption surveys, and issues of food supply and production.  It organizes foods into categories or food groups that are similar in nutrient content. A food guide provides recommendations on what food groups to choose from and the number of servings of food from each group in order to get a nutritionally adequate and wholesome diet.

Although I talk about the CANADIAN FOOD GUIDE, there are food guides available from other countries as well, but the reality is people are people and I love the way the New Canada food guide is laid out and is the most up to date.

Canada’s first food guide, was introduced in July 1942. This guide acknowledged wartime food rationing, while trying to prevent nutritional deficiencies and to improve the health of Canadians. Since 1942, the food guide has been updated many times and it has adopted new names, new looks, and new messages, yet has never wavered from its original purpose of guiding food selection and promoting nutritional health.

The last major revision to Canada’s Food Guide came out in 1992 — long before there were concerns about Trans fats, omega-3 fatty acids and growing rates of obesity. There was a need to update the food guide based on a study that was released, which collected information from over 130,000 people aged 12 and older.

The results from this survey were not good.

The survey found that between 1994 and 2001, the number of obese Canadians aged 20 to 64 grew by 24 per cent to almost 2.8 million. Increases in obesity rates were greatest among men and women aged between 45 and 54, who accounted for a quarter of all obese adults in Canada. The same results were also found in other parts of North America. Among children, nine per cent were considered obese.Another 20 per cent were considered overweight.

The survey also found that children and adolescents who reported eating fruits and vegetables five or more times a day were substantially less likely to be overweight or obese than those who consumed them less frequently. Forty-one per cent of children and adolescents reported they ate at least five servings of fruit and vegetables a day.

Two years after that study was released, Health Canada announced that the Food Guide would receive a makeover to address changes in eating patterns, food supply and diets, as well as advances in nutritional science.  And the result of this overhaul is the NEW Canadian food guide.

It is becoming increasingly complex for people to understand what is healthy eating, so what the food Guide tries to do is define healthy eating. It contains information that is more targeted to specific groups — children, teens, women, men and the elderly. And, for the first time, serving sizes for preschoolers are included as well.

Also for the first time, adults over 50 are being advised to take a vitamin D supplement every day, to help reduce the risk of osteoporosis.  But guides are just guides and are not and should not be considered gospel. Case in point, new research into vitamin D makes the sunshine vitamin an even brighter light in cancer prevention. Two studies have found that increasing daily intake of vitamin D could prevent the development of breast cancer by as much as half and that of colorectal cancer by nearly two thirds.

Based on these findings, researchers recommend taking 2,000 IU of vitamin D daily, on top of spending between 10 and 15 minutes in the sun each day, weather permitting.
If you look at Canada’s revised Food Guide it recommends only 400 IU daily but there is really no downside to taking 2,000 IU of vitamin D.

Currently in North America the average person gets less than 200 IU of vitamin D a day. Therefore supplements are the only way to take in the studies recommended amounts especially where people must cover up during the cold winter months.

The guide doesn’t just say which foods are good and which are bad; it says how much food is enough and how much is too much.

The guide now recommends that you eat foods with little or no added salt, though it’s not clear whether a low-salt diet provides added benefits for healthy people. It also recommends that people strive to get their fruit and vegetable servings from fresh fruits and vegetables instead of juice, as much as possible. It also recommends that you include some fats and oils in your diet, with the focus on unsaturated fats such as olive and canola oils. The guide also recommends that you limit as much as possible the consumption of trans fats.

The guide contains more specific information on what constitutes a serving. An apple, for instance, equals one Vegetable and Fruits Food Guide serving. If you’re having a stir-fry for dinner, one cup of mixed broccoli, carrot and sweet red pepper would give you two Vegetables and Fruit Food Guide servings, and 75 grams of chicken (or game meats such as deer, moose, caribou or elk) would constitute a Meat and Alternatives serving.

One cup of milk or fortified soy beverage makes one Food Guide serving. If you’re between age nine and 18, you’ll need three to four servings every day to make up your Food Guide requirements.

Food guides are not a weight-loss tool or a diet system, but if you combine its use with physical activity, it may help you to reach your fitness goal.  It is important for everyone – young and old – to balance healthy eating and daily physical exercise. The key to reducing your risk of Type 2 diabetes is to move more and eat less.

The new food guide incorporates the best and the most current information that nutritional science has to offer. The overhauled guide advises you to focus on vegetables, fruits and whole grains and to limit foods that are high in calories, fat, sugar and salt.

The food guide also contains clear instructions to help users determine healthy portion sizes. It also advices you to:

  • Eat at least one dark green and one orange vegetable every day
  • Have vegetables and fruit more often than juice
  • Make at least half of your grain products whole grain each day
  • Drink fortified soy beverages if you do not drink milk
  • Eat beans, lentils and tofu often
  • Eat at least two food guide servings of fish every week
  • Satisfy your thirst with water
  • Adults should get 30 to 60 minutes of moderate physical activity every day and children 90 minutes

Most of what you eat these days in North America has little if any connection to your local environment. By one estimate, food consumed travels an average of 1,300 miles from point of production through processing to point of consumption.  Today, no region is self-sufficient in food production, and consumers have come to depend upon many imported products that can be produced only in climates and soils outside their regions.

Despite population growth the number of farms and total land area in farming has declined steadily since the turn of the century.

Most farms are now highly specialized, many producing only one or two commodities. Early in the century, most farms had diversified operations, and there were many more farms producing any given crop. For example, in 1910, over 85% of all New York farms grew potatoes and 79% grew vegetables. In 1992, fewer than 2% of New York farms grew potatoes and only 9% sold vegetables. Not only are fewer farms producing any given crop, but overall production of crops that are grown has declined. Similar trends can also be found in food processing.

The disappearance of local agriculture has severed the once strong links between farmers and consumers who at one time essentially were neighbors. Commodities grown anywhere in the world are now brought year-round by refrigeration and rapid transport to consumers anywhere in the world who can afford them.

Nearly half the fresh fruits and vegetables consumed domestically are produced in California.  Often, food products are imported into states where they also are locally produced.  For example, less than 4 % of all the apples produced in New York State go to the New York City fresh and processed apple market, which is now primarily served by other states and countries. Consumers participate more and more in the global food system and allow the local food system to decline.

You may wonder what this has to do with food guides but it does because sometimes when you buy fruits or vegetables in your local store, they have often traveled long distances to get there and the nutritional benefit you may think you are receiving has declined compared to what you could have gotten from your local farmers field.   Your goal should be to promote a diet that supports local agriculture and to minimize, not add to, the costs involved to maintain your food supply. While total self-sufficiency may not be a socially, economically or ecologically possible, it is perhaps useful to explore the best “mix” of global, regional and local foods when deciding what next to eat.

I know you want to get in shape and look great. Whatever your fitness goal…to slim down…gain muscle…tone your arms or flatten your tummy…I’m here to help you accomplish your goals and to improve your fitness level. You will learn how to select and combine your diet with exercise, so that you can be the best you can be.

Cholesterol Qiz

doctorThe following article is a small excerpt from one of my books.  I hope you’ll want to learn more and let me help you to get into the best shape of your life.

Only foods from animal sources contain cholesterol.

  1. a) True
  2. b) False


Which is most important for you to monitor to prevent or reduce high blood cholesterol?

  1. a) Calories
  2. b) Protein
  3. c) Saturated fat
  4. d) Simple carbohydrates
  5. e) Dietary cholesterol


If you replace high-saturated-fat foods, such as shortening, ground beef and butter, with the unsaturated fats found in vegetable oil, fish and soft margarine, how much will it lower your cholesterol?

  1. a) About 5 percent
  2. b) About 10 percent
  3. c) About 20 percent
  4. d) About 33 percent
  5. e) About 50 percent


You can eat almost unlimited amounts of olive and canola oils without raising your blood cholesterol.

  1. a) True
  2. b) False


Foods most likely to contain cholesterol-elevating trans fat include:

  1. a) Meats
  2. b) Dairy products
  3. c) Liquid vegetable oils
  4. d) Packaged baked goods
  5. e) Liquid margarine


To help prevent high blood cholesterol, how much of your daily energy intake (calories you eat each day) should come from fat?

  1. a) No more than 10 percent
  2. b) No more than 30 percent
  3. c) 35 percent
  4. d) No more than 50 percent
  5. e) Depends on the type of fat you eat


How much cholesterol does one egg contain?

  1. a) Less than 10 percent of the recommended daily limit for dietary cholesterol
  2. b) Less than one-third of the cholesterol limit
  3. c) Just over two-thirds of the cholesterol limit
  4. d) Just over three-fourths of the cholesterol limit
  5. e) Between 85 percent and 90 percent of the cholesterol limit


Which of the following plant-based substances can you eat to help lower your blood cholesterol?

  1. a) Cellulose
  2. b) Fructose
  3. c) Chlorophyll
  4. d) Insoluble fiber
  5. e) Soluble fiber


What food can you buy in an enriched form that helps reduce blood cholesterol?

  1. a) Butter
  2. b) Margarine
  3. c) Peanut butter
  4. d) Yogurt
  5. e) Ice cream


Starting at age 20, you should have your cholesterol checked at least every five years.

  1. a) True
  2. b) False


Your blood contains different types of cholesterol. Which type is most harmful to your heart and blood vessels?

  1. a) High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol
  2. b) Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol
  3. c) Neither type — they are equally harmful
  4. d) Neither type by itself — the problem is when they are out of balance
  5. e) Neither type — other blood lipids are more harmful


The blood test that provides the most complete information about your lipid levels is a:

  1. a) Total cholesterol test
  2. b) Test that calculates the ratio of LDL to HDL
  3. c) Complete blood count
  4. d) Lipoprotein profile
  5. e) Total and HDL cholesterol test


High triglycerides can result from:

  1. a) Excessive alcohol use, physical inactivity and certain drugs and diseases
  2. b) Poor nutrition, uncontrolled high blood pressure and short stature
  3. c) A combination of high HDL and high LDL
  4. d) Damage to the heart muscle
  5. e) No known cause


Therapy to lower cholesterol focuses mainly on:

  1. a) Achieving a healthy weight
  2. b) Reducing total cholesterol
  3. c) Reducing LDL cholesterol
  4. d) Reducing HDL cholesterol
  5. e) Reducing triglycerides


If you have heart disease or diabetes, your LDL target should be:

  1. a) About 25 percent lower than your total cholesterol
  2. b) Less than 160 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL)
  3. c) Less than 130 mg/dL
  4. d) Less than 100 mg/dL
  5. e) More than 40 mg/dL


On average, men’s levels of heart-protecting HDL cholesterol are:

  1. a) 10 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) higher than women’s
  2. b) 20 mg/dL higher than women’s
  3. c) About the same as women’s
  4. d) 10 mg/dL lower than women’s
  5. e) 20 mg/dL lower than women’s


If you take medication to lower your cholesterol, you no longer need to worry about a healthy diet and exercise.

  1. a) True
  2. b) False


I know you want to get in shape and look great.  Whatever your fitness goal…to slim down…gain muscle…tone your arms or flatten your tummy…I’m here to help you accomplish your goals and to improve your fitness level. If you have enjoyed this article and the many other free features on my site, and would like some more comprehensive information such as fitness books and CD’s to aid you in achieving your health and fitness goals, please visit my ONLINE STORE where you will find innovative natural health and beauty products to help you become the BEST YOU CAN BE !