Sunday, August 28, 2011


Check out my video on the Altra youtube site.  If I get the most views, I win a free pair of shoes!!!


Thursday, August 25, 2011

'Is This On Your Back To School List?'

The back to school frenzy has officially started.  Folders, notebooks and pencils explode from store shelves.  Clothing racks are lined with the newest fall fashions so that your child can arrive at school on the first day with an outfit that is the envy of all the other kids.  In this mad rush to wind up summer and get the school year started, one important “back-to-school” aspect is forgotten…your child’s exercise and nutrition. 

In a recent study done by the Center For Disease Control (CDC), 17% (or 12.5 million) of children are obese.  That’s an alarming statistic.  Since 1980 Childhood Obesity has tripled.  Mayo Clinic lists Childhood Obesity as the number one concern for children and teens. Childhood Obesity leads to serious health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol – all once considered exclusively adult diseases. Considering the fact that kids spend a minimum of 33% of their day at school and 32 million kids eat school lunch every day, I’d say that activity, exercise and nutrition should be a top concern for parents as they send their kids back to school. 

There are many aspects that contribute to Childhood Obesity.  More and more, life is sedentary – kids spend more time playing with electronic devices or watching TV than they do being active. Virtually all of a child’s free time is spent in front of one screen or another.  The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends limiting the time children over two years of age spend in front of a screen to 1-2 hours a day. For children under two this time should be zero. The AAP also recommends that kids over two years of age get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day.  The fact that more and more schools are eliminating PE doesn’t help this scenario.  One study showed that on average PE classes offered 3rd graders only 25 minutes of activity a week! That’s a far cry from 60 minutes per day.

Another aspect that contributes to Childhood Obesity is nutrition. Or maybe a better way to say it is the lack there of.  High sugar and high fat foods are marketed to kids.  Families are typically busier during the school year as well and resort to prepackaged meals or fast food, which are both laden with excess sugar, fat, sodium, and many dangerous additives.  Kids consume about 30-50% of their calories from school meal programs. These usually consist of many prepackaged foods as well.  This means that most of what children eat is NOT fresh. It’s processed. 

One final contributor to Childhood Obesity is the amount of time children have to eat their lunch at school.  Elementary kids have about 25 minutes for lunch; middle school and high school students have about 30 minutes.  That includes the time it takes them to go to the restroom, wash their hands, walk to the cafeteria, and stand in line for their meals.  Many students have only 10-15 minutes to eat.  Research shows that when people eat quickly, they consume more calories, enjoy the meal less, and feel hungrier sooner.  It seems that healthier countries such as France may have a bit of wisdom to letting children have two hours for lunch.  In recent years food service workers have been trying to make it easier for children to eat healthy foods.  Many parents do the same when packing lunches for their kids.  The problem is that it takes longer to eat healthy foods.  It takes more time to chew a whole apple or eat an entire salad than it does to eat pudding, chicken nuggets, or French Fries. 

So what’s a parent to do? First, you must lead by example.  Make a healthy lifestyle a whole family endeavor.  Let your kids help you prepare healthy meals, take them with you when you are grocery shopping, and teach them how to make good food choices.  Do physical activities together as a family; play games, go for bike rides, or go swimming.  The possibilities here are endless.  Eliminate junk food from your house, and don’t ever use food as a reward.  By making these few simple changes you and your entire family will be healthier.  When packing lunches for your kids make healthy food easy to eat; cut up veggies into bite size pieces, slice apples, and cut sandwiches into pieces.  This will allow your child to eat more healthy foods in the amount of time they have to eat lunch at school.  If your child has after school activities pack them healthy snacks such as nuts, fruit, light string cheese, or Greek Yogurt.  That way they don’t resort to a candy bar or a bag of chips when they are hungry. 

Ok, NOW you’re ready to send your kids back to school!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Crash Course for the Race Course

The first race I ever ran felt like a junior high dance.  I wasn’t sure where to go or what to do.  I wished I had headphones and sunglasses like every other runner so I looked cool and confident. 50 plus races later I’ve learned that races aren’t all I hyped them up to be.  Anyone can race; it’s not for some elite crowd of people.

The Burn Your Lungs Run 5K, 10K and ½ Marathon is only 2 days away.  Here is your race day survival guide so that you don’t have to relive the awkwardness of a junior high dance. 

The day before the race is just as important as race day.  Plan and visualize how your race will go in the early afternoon of the day before you race. Don’t stay up late fretting about the next morning.  Lay out all your race day clothing, pin your bib number on the front of your shirt (if you have it), set out any special food or drink you may need for race day, and set multiple alarms.  The irony of life is that your alarm clock will malfunction on race day; it’s happened to many a runner.

You’ll want to eat a normal dinner the night before the race.  This is not the time to overeat or try sushi for the first time.  Stick to the foods and portions you normally eat.

On race morning take a hot shower.  It will help you wake up, warm up your muscles, and improve your flexibility.  Eat something light 2 hours before the race.  Once again, this is not the time to try something new. If you are a coffee drinker, drink coffee.  If you are not, this is not the time to start! Don’t drink too much though.  Over-hydrating the day of the race will leave you stopping at every porta-potty.  Instead drink a little extra for 2 to 3 days leading up to the race. 

Arrive at the race start at least 30 minutes early. Warm up with walking or a light jog. Vigorous stretching will wear your muscles out, save it for after the race.

The race start can be intense.  It’s easy to run too fast at the beginning and end up dragging yourself across the finish line.  Hold back a bit at the beginning so that you have enough steam at the end. 

When you come to an aid station along the course, don’t stop directly in front of it while you take a drink.  Others are coming behind you and they need room to grab some water as well.  Instead, grab your cup and continue past the aid station before you stop to drink.  It’s also courteous to thank the volunteers manning the aid stations. 

If your race is going to take longer than 1 hour you need to eat and drink while you run.  The goal is to consume 25 – 60 grams of carbohydrates and 8 – 16 ounces of fluid per hour.

There’s the scoop on surviving race day.  If you haven’t registered for the Burn Your Lungs Run, now is the time to do it.  Go to, or look for the registration booth at the Oyster Ridge Music Festival on Friday evening from 6:00-8:00 p.m.  Remember, racing is not for an elite group of people – it’s for everyone, which includes YOU!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Recover Better To Run Better

On Saturday I ran one of my favorite races, the Wild Iris 21K Trail Race, a challenging race that winds through the foothills of the Wind River Mountains. It’s full of steep climbs and descents which thoroughly trashes a runner’s legs.  After a race like that all I want to do is drink diet coke, eat cinnamon rolls, and lay around the house for days watching TV.  If I didn’t know any better I might end up doing that, however I do know better.  I’ve learned that recovering from a run is just as important as every other aspect of running. 

So what did I really do after the race? I sat in a bathtub full of ice water, drank coconut water, ate a turkey burger, and forced my sore body to get up and go for a walk. Later I pulled on compression tights and went to bed early. I know that doesn’t sound near as fun as lying in bed eating cinnamon rolls, but it was worth it.   

You may be thinking, “Awkward,” as you read about my “post-race” routine, but that’s ok.  After reading this you too may decide to sit in an ice bath or drink coconut water.

The act of running actually breaks your body down.  It depletes your energy, dehydrates your body, and inflames your muscles.  The benefits you get from running come as your body recovers from running. This is why doing the right things AFTER you run is so important. Here’s what your body needs after that hard run. 

You need to refuel and rehydrate within the first 30 minutes. Eating something with a 4:1 carbs to protein ratio is ideal. Drink water or something with electrolytes such as Propel or coconut water. Coconut water is loaded with potassium which will reduce muscle soreness and cramping. Within the first hour after your run try an ice bath. It constricts blood vessels and decreases metabolic activity, which reduces swelling and tissue breakdown.

Next, you need to keep moving. Laying around for the rest of the day will only make you more sore later, while walking forces oxygen rich blood to all those sore muscles aiding in their repair. Sleep is also vital to your body’s ability to repair itself, so go to bed a little early. 

Over the next few days you’ll want to massage and stretch your sore muscles.  Tools such as a foam roller or a massage stick can help with loosening up tight muscles and increasing flexibility.  Athletic stores carry these items, and they are worth investing in. Compression tights also speed your recovery time by increasing circulation and reducing inflammation.  A few brands to check out are CWX, 2XU, and SLS3. 

Beyond that, the most important thing is to listen to your body and treat it well.  If you’re extra tired and sore walk for a few days instead of running.  Eat nutrient dense foods, drink plenty of water, and get good rest. Well, those are all of the Personal Trainer’s orders for today. Enjoy that ice bath!

To Ask Or Not To Ask; That Is The Question

I believe there are two kinds of people; those who ask questions, and those who try and figure it all out on their own. I suppose each has their advantages and disadvantages, but for me I’m a “figure it out on your own” kind of person. Which is great when I’m able to actually “figure it out”, but it’s a real bummer when my own attempts fail.

I have a twin brother who is definitely a question person. I never quite understood his need to ask so many questions, but I do have to give props to the guy for being bold enough to ask anybody anything. Questions that would have left me cowering in a corner were boldly declared by my brother. 

When it comes to running there are “kosher” questions, and then there are questions that only my twin brother would dare ask. Both need answering though. The Burn Your Lungs Run 5K, 10K, and Half Marathon is only 9 days away so it’s time to tackle a few of those awkward questions. 

Question 1: Why does my GI tract act up when I’m running? 
When you run your intestines take a double hit. The jostling motion of running can irritate the intestines, and blood flow that's needed for digestion is diverted to your legs and vital organs which can result in cramping, gas, or diarrhea.

Question 2: Is it true that running can cause chaffed or bleeding nipples?
Yep, it’s true!  When men run, their nipples are constantly rubbing against their shirts which overtime can cause painful chaffing or even bleeding.  This shouldn’t keep you from running though! Band Aids, Vaseline or Body Glide, and moisture wicking shirts will all help prevent this painful situation.

Question 3: Why do my legs get itchy when I run?
The most common cause of itchy legs is caused by the millions of tiny capillaries and arteries inside our muscles expanding rapidly because of the demand for more blood. The brain often reads this sensation as an itch. The good news is that this problem should go away as you increase your fitness level.

Question 4: Am I supposed to wear my race t-shirt on race day?
No, your race t-shirt is a “been there, done that” t-shirt. So, until you’ve completed the race don’t wear it. Once you’ve completed the race you’re free to pull on that new technical t-shirt and flaunt your accomplishment. 

Question 5: Why does my nose run just as fast as my feet?
An exercise induced runny nose is most likely due to the increased air flow.  Cool or dry air causes an increase in nasal secretions. There is no need to feel self conscious about your snotty nose, its part of running just like sweat. Be a kid and either perfect your snot rocket technique or just let it run.

There you have it. The answers to questions you may have never even thought to have asked. And they weren’t even embarrassing because you didn’t have to ask them, you got to read them in the comfort of your own home!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Get Your Head in the Game!

My college soccer coach used to always yell, “Get your head in the game,” whenever things started to fall apart on the field.  In my head I always responded, “Stop being a psychologist and be my coach!” After some years of running I’ve realized that “having your head in the game” is just as important as the physical aspects of running.

Runner and author, George Sheenen writes, “It’s very hard to understand in the beginning that the whole idea is not to beat the other runners. Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice in your head that wants to quit.”  Running requires intrinsic motivation, or internal motivation.  You won’t last as a runner if you are only motivated by outside, superficial influences. Sometimes others will push you, but most of the time you will have to learn to push yourself.  It’s cold, raining, the grass needs mowed, you’re tired from work, it’s too early, and the question comes, “Will you still get out the door and run?”

In my last article I wrote about good running form.  I hope you’ve been out practicing it.  This week I want to focus on wrapping your head around running.  Here are some pointers to get your head in the right place so that you have longevity as a runner.

First, don’t waste time and mental energy staring out the window at horrible weather trying to decide if you are going to run or not. Just put on your shoes and get outside. Think positively prior to a workout. Think about how you will enjoy the run. When negative thoughts start to creep in, replace them with the opposite.

Be confident.  Don’t let other runners intimidate you.  Running is an individual sport as well as a process, and no one improves without practice.  You are on your own journey.  Author John Bingham writes, “Believe that you can run farther or faster. Believe that you're young enough, old enough, strong enough, and so on to accomplish everything you want to do.”  Remember that you are the center of your story. That includes running.

Create a “running mantra”; Something you can say to yourself when you want to quit.  Effective mantras address how you want to feel, not the adversity you are trying to overcome.  Olympic runner Deena Kastor’s mantra is, “Define yourself.”  Elite Ultra Marathon Runner Scott Jurek’s mantra is, “This is what you came for.” Give it some thought and come up with your own phrase to get you through the rough patches.
When running gets monotonous, it’s time to get creative in your goals.  Such as: run a certain distance, complete a distance in a certain time, run all the way up a hill, or take fewer walk breaks.  It’s also good to try running a new route or at a different time of day.

You only have 23 days till the Burn Your Lungs Run.  So it’s time to, “Get your head in the game!”

Thursday, June 23, 2011

running 101

  • my article that ran in the Kemmerer Gazette this week
Being someone who doesn’t like surprises unless they are in the form of money, running shoes, or a new hair color, I’m here to give you a little heads up. You have exactly 37 days till your first race – you’re welcome.

If this is news to you, go to or and find out more about the race you need to participate in.  I travel over 100 miles for most of the races I run, so trust me, it’s wise to take advantage of a race in your hometown.  The Burn Your Lungs Run is a 5K, 10K or ½ Marathon the morning of July 30th.  I assume you’ll be in town since it is Oyster Ridge Music Festival weekend. I’ll also assume you may have indulged on all the “festival food and drinks”, so a run on Saturday morning is just what you’re going to need. 

Briefly, here’s what you need to know.  A 5K is 3.1 miles, a 10K is 6.2 miles, and a ½ Marathon is 13.1 miles.  All distances can be either walked or ran. The race is open to all ages.  You’ll get a great workout in and a sweet technical t-shirt all before noon.  You can register online, making it super easy, and all proceeds of the race go to Dance For Life, a local non-profit cancer society.  There will be prizes after the race as well.  You’ll probably beat the “out of towners” because their lungs will be busy searching for oxygen while you power past them at 7,000 ft. 

Not only have I given you your head’s up; I’m here to give you a little running 101 so that you’re ready to go by July 30th. 

I’m going to start with what I believe is the foundation of good running but which is frequently overlooked – running form.  Phil Wharton, a physical therapist for many Olympic runners says, “Ours is one of the only sports where the technical aspect has been the skeleton in the closet.”  I believe he’s right.  Runners often focus on stretching, hydration, nutrition, and speed-work, but never once consider their running form. However taking the time to learn about correct running form, and then practicing it could save you tons of time recovering from an injury later. 

The author of “Born to Run”, Christopher McDougall, explains correct running form well.  He writes, “Running with good form means landing on the middle of the foot, near the body’s natural center of mass, maintaining an aligned straight posture, not landing on the heel with a straight knee and an outstretched leg, and avoiding excessive lateral motion (rotating the upper body or kicking the legs out to the side).”

I’ll break it down a little more:  Keep your upper body straight with a slight forward bend from your ankles not your hips or back. Your arms should be bent at a 90 degree angle and swing upward from your hips, not in or out across your body. Keep your upper body relaxed (drop your arms and shake them out periodically – this will keep your shoulders from creeping toward your ears, a sure sign of NOT being relaxed). Your knees should be slightly bent when you land, and your foot should land directly under your body, not out in front of you. Focus on having a light, rapid cadence.  To go faster increase your foot-turnover-rate DO NOT lengthen your stride.

Out of all of those aspects, the one I believe is the most crucial to master is the “mid-foot” strike.  Most runners have a tendency to over stride and land on their heel.  One of the major causes of that is actually running shoes.  Brian Beckstead, a co-creator of Altra Running Shoes says, “Our feet don’t have elevated heels, so it’s not natural to expect people to run long distances with a raised heel.”  Brian, along with some others created Altra Running Shoes with a “zero drop” heel in order to prevent a lot of common running injuries. This means that the forefoot of the shoe and the heel of the shoe are at the same height, unlike conventional running shoes where the heel is elevated.  Shoes with extra cushioning in the heel allow runners to have a long stride and heel strike.  The cushioning disrupts the sensory input in the foot and distorts your body’s natural form allowing you to land on your heel.  The ball of our foot was designed to be landed on, not our heels.

One sure sign that you are heel striking and over-striding is that you can see your feet when you run.  This is not a good thing.  You’re feet should be landing underneath your body where you can’t see them.

A good way to get the feel for a mid-foot strike is to run in place, this forces you to land on the ball of your foot (aka mid-foot).  As you work on running with a mid-foot strike you’ll notice that your hamstrings and calves have to work harder.  That’s good though because it means those muscles are taking the extra force instead of your knees, hips, or other joints or bones.  If you don’t run this way naturally, anticipate some sore tired legs and give your body time to adjust to a new stride.  Stretch well after your runs, and take some days off if you’re feeling overly sore or achy. 

I gotta admit I wish I had known these things when I first started running.  It would have saved me a lot of time and money dealing with running related injuries.  So take advantage of the lessons I’ve had to learn the hard way.

Well, that should give you enough information to get outside and start running.  I’ll have some more running tips and tricks to get you ready for the Burn Your Lungs Run in my next article.  Until then “FORM, FORM, FORM!” – Practice it, rest, and repeat. 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The USDA Went and Got a Makeover

I had a birthday this past week, I won’t tell you how old I am but I’ll give you a clue. I had the USDA Food Pyramid ground into my brain at almost every level of school. I remember having to draw out the Food Pyramid for tests in health class, and looking at it on the back of my milk cartoon at lunch. Well, this week along with turning a year older the USDA decided to completely revamp everything I learned in health class.
After nearly two decades it’s time to say goodbye to the food pyramid. On Thursday June 2nd, First Lady Michelle Obama helped the U.S. Department of Agriculture unveil a new symbol – a plate. The plate is divided into four wedges to represent the basic food groups – fruits, vegetables, grains and protein. Next to the plate there is a cup representing the dairy group. This new symbol is intended to be family-friendly and easy to understand, urging parents to provide healthier, more balanced meals for their families. Since MyPlate® has been unveiled there has been a lot of talk about it. Is it better than the food pyramid? Will it help curb the obesity epidemic in the U.S.? Was it worth it to invest over 2 million dollars in order to change the graphic?

Like everyone else out there I have my opinion on the MyPlate® too. I can see some real pros to the change as well as a few cons. I figure since you will be seeing the symbol on the back of every box of cereal, and tons of other products that want to claim they “fit on the plate”, I might as well tell you the good, the bad, and the ugly about it.

First, the good stuff. The USDA’s MyPlate® clearly shows that half of your plate should be filled with fruits and vegetables, and half of your grains should be whole grains. That’s great advice considering the fact that all fiber comes from fruits, vegetables, and grains. Americans typically only eat 12-15 grams of the recommended 25-30 grams of fiber per day. Less industrialized nations consume between 40 and 100 grams of fiber per day because the majority of their diet consists of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Another good change is that the USDA is now using the word “protein” instead of “meat”. Protein can be found in many other sources other than meat such as beans, grains, nuts, and dairy. Many Americans tend to assume that a meal is not a meal unless MEAT is center stage on the plate. As a whole Americans are “over-meated”, and so it’s a good thing to see that “protein” only takes up less than a quarter of the MyPlate®.

The USDA also specifies to drink more water and less sugary drinks within the new MyPlate® guidelines. I couldn’t agree with them more on this; in fact I would say to drink NO sugary drinks.

There are also a few problems I see with this new graphic. First, the size of plate is never specified. Plate sizes have grown right along with portion sizes over the past decades, and it would be safe to assume that eating the USDA suggested amounts on an oversized plate won’t solve the obesity problem in America or teach kids how to eat healthy. Remember those cute little plates your grandmother served food on? Ya, those are the plates you need to be using to follow the MyPlate® guidelines, not the platters your meal is served to you on at a restaurant. Those extra large plates hold enough for a family not just you alone.

Gripe #2 is that the “state” of the fruits and vegetables on your plate is not addressed. Eating half a plate full of fruits and veggies coated in oil, sugar, or some other syrup or sauce defeats the purpose of eating the fruits and veggies. Tip – when there are more calories in what coats a food than there are calories in the actual food it’s a good idea to ditch the spread/sauce/coating/dressing. Your fruits and vegetables should be as close to their natural state as possible. A few ideas of what NOT to have are canned fruits in heavy syrup, vegetables in cheese or cream, and salad drenched in dressing. An extra word of advice, consider it on the house; don’t you dare count French Fries or chips as your vegetable!

Another major problem I see is that a lot of food that is consumed is not on a plate. In fact I would dare to say that most of the food consumed in America skips the plate. Think of all the drive-thru meals, prepackaged frozen meal, snacks, candies, pops, beers, pizza, movie theater popcorn, nachos at the ball game, energy drinks, I could go on and on. The point is, the plate might not be very relevant for most people. Think about it, even school lunch is served on a tray not a plate. Does MyPlate® have a conversion for that?

Overall I would say that the USDA is taking a step in the right direction but this one symbol change is not going to undo our nations fast-food addiction, cure childhood obesity, or the fix the lack of physical activity.

So what should you do? Follow the MyPlate®? Scrap the whole thing and live on steak? Well, definitely don’t live on steak, but trying to follow the MyPlate® guidelines to a tee might prove to be impossible. I believe that everyone eats a little different based on their sense of taste, schedule, appetite, lifestyle, salary, and activity level. So following a one size fits all diet will not work. Each person has to figure out for themselves how to eat healthy. Take the time to learn a little bit about nutrition so that you know what is healthy and what isn’t and then tweak it to fit you.

I’ll even give you a head start. A few basics that everyone should know about nutrition are:

1. Whole grains are far better than refined grains. That means use whole wheat flour, eat brown rice, and limit your intake of cakes, pies, rolls, or other processed carbohydrates.

2. You can’t go wrong with plain fruits and vegetables. They are chock full of the vitamins and minerals your body needs, they are loaded with fiber, and they are low in calories.

3. Meat does not make a meal. Only 15 percent of your daily calories should come from protein so cut back on the meat, and learn to cook some meals without it.

4. The leaner the meat the better. Chicken, turkey, and fish are better choices than marbled steak. Buy lean ground meats and don’t add extra oil to cook them. Wild game is leaner than beef or pork with Antelope being the leanest.

5. You need fat in your diet; it just needs to be the right kind of fat. Animal fats such as butter, cream, egg yolks, or marbling in meat are loaded with cholesterol you don’t need – avoid these. The fats you do need are found in foods like nuts, seeds, avocados, and olive oil. These foods are high in calories so don’t eat them in bulk, however in moderation they are just what your body needs.

6. Your body needs water. Pop, coffee, juice, or any other drink won’t take the place of the water your body needs. If you need to “jazz” up your water in order to drink it add lemon, cucumber, or mint leaves.

7. Low fat dairy is better than full fat dairy. Once again the fat in dairy products is loaded with cholesterol, bad fat. So switch to skim milk and avoid high fat cheeses and creams.

So, your assignment for this week to look up the MyPlate® guidelines as well as other nutrition information. Once you’ve done a little research decide on at least two changes you are going to make to your summer eating style in order to improve your current diet. Cheers! - my glass is full of vegetables!

Sunday, May 29, 2011


I AM LEGIT!  That's right, as of May 26th I am a NCSF Certified Personal Trainer. Because of that, the vast majority of my time this week was spent studying to take my Certification Exam. Luckily I'm through with studying but ever since then I’ve had facts, numbers, stats, calories, exercises, etc… whirling around in my brain. It seems I overdosed on all the information and now I’m detoxing from it :-)
Actually it’s a good thing, because now I get to pass on some of that information. Here's a few facts that have been on the hamster wheel in my brain.

1. After the age of 35, females lose as much as 1% of bone mineral density a year. 40% of women over the age of 50 develop Osteoporosis because of that. The good news is that adequate nutrition and strength training can significantly reduce bone density loss and the risk of developing Osteoporosis.

2. It is estimated that a person’s genetics can determine up to 40% of uncontrolled factors that affect physical fitness. That being said there is 60% of controllable factors that can be manipulated or improved. That means you don’t have to “become your family” you can excel beyond that if you work at it.

3. When you are under constant stress, the hormone Cortisol is continually produced. This leads to significant muscle wasting in the body. High levels of Cortisol in the body can also suppress the immune system and make a person more susceptible to infection.

4. Adaptations to stress only take place when the stress is eliminated. That means that after a workout (which stresses the body) you need adequate rest so that your body can make the positive adaptations you are working towards.

5. If you don’t have time to fit in a 30 minute workout, exercising for 10 minutes 3x’s during the day will be equally beneficial.

6. When you hold onto a machine or lean on a machine while you are exercising you burn 30% fewer calories than if you didn’t hold on. So, let go and stand up – even if you have to slow your pace some.

7. If you gain 2 lbs of muscle and lose and equal amount of fat you will be smaller even though you weigh the same amount. So don’t fully rely on the scale, notice how your jeans fit or take some measurements.

8. You are more likely to become dehydrated when you exercise in high humidity rather than in dry climates. The reason is that the body cools itself by the evaporation of sweat. When the humidity is high the air around you is so moist that it makes it almost impossible for your sweat to evaporate. Therefore your body keeps producing sweat in an attempt to “cool you” and so you lose far more water.

9. The perfect ratio of nutrition is: 55% Carbohydrates (grains, beans, vegetables, fruits) 30% Fats (healthy fats: nuts, avocado, vegetable oils – NOT ANIMAL FATS OR PROCESSED FATS) 15% Protein (meat, beans, nuts).

10. Water plays a major role in fat metabolism so make sure and drink LOTS of water. Active males should drink at least 3 liters per day (100 ounces or 12 cups) and active females should drink at least 2.5 liters per day (84 ounces or 10 cups).

Sunday, May 15, 2011

You're on the SAME team!

Often the pursuit to loose weight turns into a “body-battle”. It’s easy to begin separating yourself from your body. This is especially evident when you step on the scale and the number you were hoping for does not pop up – you become frustrated with your body for not losing the weight, you plan to attack your body more the next week so that YOU win this battle with your body.

Even though you must struggle with your body in order to loose weight REMEMBER that your body is not the enemy. You and your body are on the same team. So berating your body or self-loathing are not the answer to loosing weight. If shame and self-loathing ever worked to promote weight-loss, we’d be a nation of thin people by now.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Call me Google, ‘cause I’ve got answers

*this week's article from my column in the local newspaper

Every once in awhile my husband finishes my sentences for me. I get halfway through my brilliant comment then he pipes in and blurts out the ending. I’m not gonna lie, it irritates me. Which I make very clear when it happens. Since my irritation has nothing to do with my well-meaning husband, and everything to do with the fact that I am female, I don’t feel too bad mentioning this area of contention in our marriage. Don’t worry, I’ll get over it and stop believing that when I’m interrupted halfway through my monologue I’m being slighted.

I’m convinced that Google must be male, because it has the audacity to finish my sentences for me as well. I type no more than two words and up pops three ways of saying exactly what I’m trying to say. Out of pure spite, I ignore all three correct options and finish typing out my search for myself. I realize the lack of efficiency involved with that. I could save myself five seconds and just click on what I’m wanting. Any normal person would be glad to see that Google guessed their “search” and saved them the time of typing the whole thing out.

With that in mind I’m going to assume that you are more normal than me, and that you’ll be pleasantly surprised as I attempt to “guess” your health & fitness questions/searches. So today I’m going to act like my husband and Google and answer what I think you might want to ask about exercise, nutrition, or overall health.

Google Guess #1 – “When is the best time of day to exercise?”

Answer #1 – There actually is no “magic hour”. The best time to exercise will be different for every person. It depends on your schedule, location, circadian rhythm, and temperament. There are pros and cons for every exercise time. If you workout first thing in the morning you get it done and over with. If you are a procrastinator morning workouts may be best for you. A morning workout also kick starts your metabolism and may make you burn more calories during the rest of the day. Exercise releases endorphins, so morning exercise often makes a person feel better about the rest of their day. On the flip side, in the morning your muscles are more rigid and tight and you’ll need to take time to adequately warm-up before you can really push yourself hard in a workout. You’re body is also low on fuel first thing in the morning and you could easily lack intensity in your workout without eating something first. Afternoon or evening exercise is often a great de-stressor. Your muscles are also warm which makes injury less likely. A con of evening exercise is that if you are working out too close to bedtime it may leave you amped up so you don’t get a good night's sleep. Also, as you go through your day and responsibilities pile up, working out is more likely to get pushed off of the to do list. So really the best time to workout is the time that works best for you.

Husband Hypothesis #2 – “Should I exercise if I am sick?”

Answer #2 – Here are the facts: Exercise, psychological stress, physiological stress, and immune function are all intertwined. The body can only handle so many demands at one time, and when it is laboring in response to exercise and stress it suppresses immune function. Likewise, when the body is fighting off illness, the physical effort of exercise is negatively impacted. Other stressors such as lack of sleep, poor nutrition, or mental stress can magnify this impact. My advice is that stressing the body in too many ways at once is unwise. Since you’re ability to exercise is greatly hindered by being sick and it may weaken you’re immune system by over stressing your body it’s best to take a few days off and fully recover before you workout again.

Google Gander #3 – “Do I really need to warm-up before exercise and cool-down after?”

Answer #3 – YES! - to both. Warming up greatly reduces the risk of injury and improves your athletic performance. A warm-up or cool-down typically involves doing your activity at a slower pace and reduced intensity for five to ten minutes. The main purpose of warming up is to increase your heart rate slowly which then raises your core body temperature and increases the blood flow to your muscles. This prepares your body for more vigorous physical activity. Some people equate stretching with warming up, but really stretching should be done at the end of a workout, not during a warm-up. A warm-up may include things like walking, light jogging, jumping jacks, jumping rope, or light aerobics. When you are finished with your workout it is important to cool down. Many people skip this phase, but cooling down is another way to prevent injury. The cool-down reduces your heart rate, and it helps the extra blood in your extremities return to your heart in order to rid the muscles of lactic acid. If you stop suddenly, the blood will pool in your legs instead of returning to your heart. Dizziness, nausea, and a "worn out" feeling are common symptoms of an improper cool-down. Slower walking is a great way to cool-down along with stretching at the end of your workout.

Husband Hunch #4 – “Why do I get a side-stitch, and how can I make it go away?”

Answer #4 – There isn’t one clear cut explanation as to why people get that painful burning sensation near the upper part of the abdomen or side. But, there are a few potential causes of a side-stitch. It could be caused by a jarring and pulling on the ligaments that attach the stomach to the diaphragm. It may also have something to do with your breathing. Taking deep full breaths during exercise typically helps in avoiding a side-stitch. Eating too soon before exercise can also cause a side-stitch. A few ways to relieve side-stitch pain are to reduce the exercise intensity level until the pain subsides, focus on taking deep full breaths, tightening the abdominal muscles while bending forward, always doing an adequate warm-up, and waiting at least two hours after eating to exercise.

I realize I’m not as proficient at the “sentence-finishing” as my husband or Google, but hopefully I did ok. If I didn’t answer a question you have, or if like me, you’re annoyed at having words put into you mouth; then email me at and tell me what health, fitness, or nutrition related questions you need answered. You may just get lucky and read your answer in my next article!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

physical follows mental

Lately I've been thinking a lot about how connected the physical and mental are.  They just can't be separated.  I notice this a lot with running.  When I'm not in a good place mentally then I'm not a very good runner.  I run slower, or shorter, or NOT AT ALL.  On the flip side when my mind is in the right place and I believe in myself, I do better than I even think I can. 

So many things affect our mental state - health, rest, achievements (or lack there of) others comments (or lack there of) family, friends, daily stress or struggles....the list could go on and on.  In every situation there is a chance for our mental status to be encouraged, or there is a chance that it could be wounded.  Whenever we are wounded mentally it transfers over to our physical body.  That means we could feel tired or sick, or do poorly at a workout, or lack self-restraint or motivation.

It's easy to immediately blame the physical without taking into account the metal stressors that may play into the physical problem. 

If you are feeling depleted physically consider that mental stressors in your life and work toward changing them.  Maybe you are doubting yourself, based on someones comment or the # on the scale.  Maybe you are mentally drained from work or family and so you don't have the physical energy to really push yourself. 

You're challenge this week is too concentrate on being in a good place mentally so that it transfers over to everything physical in your life. 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

invisible VICTORIES!

The world we live in is all about external success or achievement.  We are taught to look good, be good, achieve more, We measure our worth and others worth by their "external achievements"  These are the things you list on your resume...I graduated from college with a 4.0, I got a promotion at work, I pulled myself up by my own boot straps and get the idea.  All of those things are important, however there are also INVISIBLE VICTORIES that we would NEVER list on our resume and which often never get celebrated. 

In your journey to becoming healthier or  fitter there or make any positive change in your life there are many of these invisible victories.  You may even feel a pang of injustice when someone praises your new body size but never once recognizes all the hard work you've put into achieving it.  Every day that you choose to eat the right foods or the right amount of food or workout it is a victory.  Every time you make a healthy choice, no matter how small it is worth recognizing and celebrating!

This week, notice those INVISIBLE VICTORIES and share them with someone you love, or tell me about them (I'll get stoked for you) or treat yourself for them (not with food - you already know that)  Let the parties begin!

Friday, April 29, 2011

The No-Yo Diet

*my article for my column in the local paper from this week

Going into Alco and seeing lawn furniture, swimsuits, and flip-flops is very discombobulating. First, I’m unaware of a beach nearby. Second, it’s snowing outside as I write this. And third, I still let the car warm up for 15 minutes in the morning.

Despite the fact that buying a swimsuit and starting a diet to fit into that swimsuit is like a bear coming out of hibernation too early, many of us are doing it. Or maybe it’s not the swimsuit that has you thinking about shedding the winter weight. Perhaps it’s the fact that you’d like to be able to walk farther than a mile so you can do more than fish the “tourist fishing-holes”.

January is often touted as the “diet-crazed” month, but my guess is that April and May are in close competition. If I ever write a diet book (I never will, I don’t believe in diets, but go along with me anyway) I want it released at the end of April. I know I’d cash in!

If you’re one of those people who is searching for quick pre-summer weight loss, this article is for you. There are SO many diets out there. Which one should you choose? Is it better it subsist on steaks and protein shakes or eat only salads? Could you survive on only four meal replacement bars a day? What will make you drop the weight faster; no sugar or no fat? There are way too many choices, and each one claims to be the best.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

care FOR, not just ABOUT

COMPLETE HEALTH = caring FOR yourself, not just caring ABOUT yourself

There is a difference between caring FOR yourself and caring ABOUT yourself. Just caring ABOUT yourself usually leads to self-indulgence & instant gratification. In the long run it becomes the direct opposite of TRUE care. On the flip side, when you care FOR yourself, you recognize your value and treat yourself with respect. Things that have value are cared for, protected and prized. That what you need to do with yourself. That means food is not a reward or a friend, food is nutrition - a way to CARE for your body. It also means that exercise is not a duty or a punishment, instead it is CARE FOR your body.
So often the world around us tells us that self-care = self indulgence. But if that self-indulgence is destructive than it is not longer self=care. So when making healthy eating choices feels difficult remind yourself that by putting good food into your body you are caring for yourself. When working out sounds miserable and all you want to do is hit snooze and go back to sleep, remind yourself that you are caring for you physical health by getting up and getting moving.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Toast Topping Ideas

A good piece of bread calls for a great topping.  Here are few favorites.  I use gluten free bread but feel free to use any other kind of bread.  If you use light bread (50 calories or less per slice) subtract 40 calories from each recipe except the "Banana Almond Butter Sandwich - subtract 80 calories for that one. 

Peanut Butter Berry Toast:

1/2 cup berries

1 pkg. Truvia

1 slice gluten free bread

1 Tables spoon Peanut Butter

Pinch of Nutmeg

* Mash berries with a fork, and sprinkle with Truvia. Toast bread. Spread with Peanut Butter, top with crushed berries and sprinkle with nutmeg

* 225 calories

Apple Almond Butter Toast

½ c sliced apple

1 slice gluten free bread

1 Tablespoon Almond Butter

1 pkg. Truvia

Dash of cinnamon

* Toast bread, spread with Almond butter, top with apple slices, sprinkle top with Truvia and cinnamon

* 205 calories

Banana Almond Butter Breakfast Sandwich

½ banana sliced

¼ c Nonfat Greek Yogurt

1 T Almond Butter

2 pkgs. Truvia

2 slices gluten free bread

*Stir yogurt, Almond Butter, Banana Slices and Truvia together in a small bowl. Toast Bread. Spread one slice with yogurt mixture, top with 2nd slice of bread. Cut in ½ and EAT!

* 360 calories

No more Oatmeal, Spring calls for Smoothies & Parfaits

So it's actually not very "spring-like" but I'm gonna fake it and eat spring food anyhow.  Here are a few great smoothie recipes!

Blueberry Smoothie

1 c frozen blueberries

1 c Soy or Almond Milk

2 pkgs Truvia or Splenda

Pinch of nutmeg

* blend all ingredients together

* 150 calories

Chocolate Pear Smoothie

1 small pear, peeled and sliced

¼ c oats (instant or regular)

1 c Soy or Almond Milk

1 T Chocolate Chips

3 pkgs. Truvia or Splenda

¼ tsp ginger

* blend all ingredients together

* 295 calories

Banana Cottage Cheese Parfait

1 Banana, sliced

½ c fat free cottage cheese

¼ tsp cinnamon

2 pkgs, Truvia or Splenda

1/3 c Cinnamon Chex (slightly crushed)

* Stir the cinnamon and sweetener into the cottage cheese. Layer ingredients in a dish, alternating with the banana, cottage cheese and Chex.

* 220 calories

Grape Parfait

1 c grapes, sliced in ½

½ c Total, Bran Flakes, or Special K

1 container Honey or Vanilla Flavored Greek Yogurt

1 T Sliced Almonds

* Layer ingredients in a dish, alternating with the grapes, cereal and yogurt, top with almonds.

* 264 calories

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Change is never comfortable - NEVER!  So, thinking that changing your any aspect of your lifestyle (diet, activity level, routine, activities etc) is going to be one pleasant ride, is not realistic.  However, once a change has been implemented it can become COMFORTABLE!  It takes time though.

Because of the lack of comfort involved in changing your habits, it's easy to say, "I can't" when it comes to making that change.  It's easier to say I can't give up or change  _      _(you fill in the blank)_      _ than to actually go through the process of change in order to give up or change that thing. 

That being said: proves that, "I can't" isn't the real problem.  Instead, "I don't want to" is the real reason behind a lack of change. 

This week I challenge you to evaluate anything you've said, "I can't" to.  Ask yourself, is "I can't" really the truth or is it really, "I don't want to"?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Looking for Laughter

I typically detest things that are cliché, so I’m actually appalled at what I am about to write, but here it goes… Laughter is the best medicine. Gasp… Wheeze… Let my catch my breath. Ok, I’m good! Yes, it’s cliché, but oh so true. Laughter is amazing medicine. Here are just a few of the benefits of a good hearty laugh. Laughter reduces pain and allows us to tolerate discomfort. Laughter offsets the negative effects of stress. Laughter relaxes the whole body. Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being. And finally, laughter protects the heart.

With that in mind two things inspired me to focus on the laughter aspect of exercise this week. First, I ran a race this weekend (p.s. I finished!), and the man standing next to me at the starting line was wearing plaid dress shorts. I talked to him some, and he was a seasoned runner. Therefore, I can only assume that he finds dress shorts comfortable, and that the pleats in the front of the shorts don’t cause chaffing or waist-drifting (that’s when your shorts drift up your waist until it is impossible for them to go any farther). Anyhow, his attire made me chuckle.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Self-Absorption vs. Introspection

If you are on a journey to lose weight or become healthier or more fit; at some point you may have had a little voice in your head that told you that you were or are being selfish and self-absorbed to spend this sort of time and effort on yourself.

I want to tell you now that YOU ARE NOT BEING SELFISH OR SELF-ABSORBED. What you are doing is self-care and introspection, meaning you are taking the time to care for yourself and exam the areas in life you need to improve in. Self-absorption leads to a false reality, introspection and self-care leads to insight, truth and ultimately change.
We all have times in our lives when we must concentrate on ourselves in order to survive.

So, feel good about the times that you take the time to care for yourself, whether that be exercise, rest, good-eating, quietness, etc.

You are taking the time to improve yourself so that in turn you can be of greater benefit to those around you.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Oriental Lettuce Wraps

Craving PF Changs?  Well crave no longer, actually you may have to continue craving for 15 minutes put that's it because that's how long it takes to make these delicious lettuce wraps. If your trying a "Meatless Monday" or your Vegan or Vegetarian TVP or Tempeh makes a great substitute for the Turkey Burger. 
Lightly brown 4 oz. turkey burger (use cooking spray, no oil)
Add ½ c chopped celery ½ c chopped onion & ½ can water chestnuts. Continue cooking over low heat
Add in 1/3 c precooked rice
Season w/ soy sauce, ginger, and garlic
Spoon into 5 large lettuce leaves and eat!
Serves 1 – 5 lettuce leaves per person

270 calories per serving
Or… 1 lettuce leaf with 1/3 c filling = 52 calories
*TIP* Use reduced sodium soy sauce and be sparing with it. For good flavor with less sodium, add more ginger, garlic and even a little lemon juice.

DNF: Not an obstacle but an opportunity

There is a Scottish Proverb that says, “Open confession is good for the soul.” On that note, I have three confessions. First, I am a bit of a perfectionist (others may argue that “a bit” is an understatement). Second, I am insanely competitive, and that is not an understatement. And third, I got a DNF (Did Not Finish) at my last race. Whew… my soul feels better already.

I’ve run and finished 45 races in my lifetime. Being a perfectionist and very competitive I’ve always prided myself in not being a quitter. I’ve been injured at many races, sick at a few, but I always finished. That is until yesterday, at race #46, where I had to drop out at mile 11. It was an intense 25K (15.5 miles) trail run. The first 6 miles were delightful, and then the direct descendant of E. Coli and Montezuma’s Revenge stopped me dead in my tracks. My body and mind duked it out for the next 3 miles and after round 3, my body won. I still had 2 miles to go till the next aid station, which I swear they kept moving farther and farther away.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Skinny Poppers

In case you didn't get the memo, deep fried jalepeno poppers aren't very good for you no matter how delicious they taste.  Typically they range from 80 - 140 calories per popper and they are loaded with fat.  Not so great considering an order is typically 5 or more.  Ok, ready for some great news! I've redone the jalapeno popper and it is now "healthy" - only 40 calories a piece and insanely delicious!


2 bell peppers or 8 Jalapeño peppers

4 Laughing Cow Light Cheese Wedges (any flavor)

8 slices Center Cut Bacon

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Health Management: a twin to money management

I signed up to go through the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace Program and a lot of what I’ve learned in regard to smart money management can be applied to physical health as well as financial health. Here are 4 principles that stand out to me:

1st – It’s all about delayed gratification. Losing weight and becoming fit is a matter of having the patience to persevere when you are tired and not expecting instant results

2nd – It’s about investing in things that matter. We all know that “we need to take care of ourselves” however we often put everything else before our own health. Sometimes we feel selfish by taking the time to care for ourselves, or we diminish how important the investment our own health is. Well let me tell you, “Your physical health is AN INVESTMENT THAT MATTERS” It should be at the top of your priorities because without your health you no longer have the ability to invest in anyone else.

3rd – Now is the perfect time to start! In all actuality there is no “perfect time” to start eating healthy, or exercising. There will always be something standing in the way if you let it. It’s easy to put off making needed changes till everything in life is calm. Let me assure you, it will never be that way. That being said, there is no better time to improve your health than NOW!!!

4th – You won’t regret the hard work you put in now! I’ve never heard someone say, “If only I hadn’t exercised all those years.” Or “I just wish I’d hadn’t cared that my food choices were leading to a heart attack” It just doesn’t happen! I guarantee you will NEVER EVER regret all your efforts to lead a healthy lifestyle. However if you choose not too, you may always regret it.

Monday, March 21, 2011

PROCRASTINATION: a big step towards failure

Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task. ~William James

To think too long about doing a thing often becomes its undoing. ~Eva Young

A year from now you may wish you had started today. ~Karen Lamb

When it comes to daily exercise one of the biggest road blocks is PROCRASTINATION. Saying, "I'll do it later today" or "I'll workout tomorrow instead" is sure way to not workout today or exercise tommorrow.

Martin Luther said, "After adequately thinking over a matter, people should follow through with their intentions quickly and bring it to pass without delay." Bonaventure said, "Those who pass up great opportunities will be passed over themselves." Both statements are true. The longer you "consider" working out, pondering it, weighing the pros and cons, the more likely you are to not do it.

The brain is a powerful thing and it is a master at tricking us into believing we will have better resolve an few hours from now. The truth is however, that our resolve or determination does not grow over time when we do nothing, instead it weakens. The only way to strengthen your determination or resolve is to ACT NOW! Consistent immediate action is habit forming, and good habits are the key to battling procrastination.

So, don't procrastinate when it comes to exercise this week. Do it earlier rather than later. Don't let your brain trick you into beliving you'll squeeze it in at another time. Do it NOW! Enough time of doing that and I promise it will become a habit and you will no longer have to go through the daily internal battle of "should I or shouldn't I?"

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Over-Day French Toast

This is same concept as "Overnight French Toast" - where you prepare it the night before and then bake it in the morning.  However, being a cereal eater for breakfast, I prefer to eat this in the evening as dessert instead.  But suit yourself, it'll work morning or night - as long as it has at least 6 hours to SIT before you bake it.  This recipe works great with gluten free bread, as soaking it all day or night makes it much softer than it typically is. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

This is a test...only a test

Are you up for a quick test? There’s only 1 question and it’s multiple choice – you can handle it. Here goes. Pick the best scenario below:

A. It’s July 4th, you enjoyed a delicious BBQ about 2 hours ago, now it’s time to hit the gym for a hard workout to work off that huge burger and your neighbor’s wife’s famous cheesecake.

B. It’s 6:00 p.m. , you’re last meal was at noon, your starting to feel a little hungry but you know if you don’t get a workout in before you head home for dinner, it just won’t happen. You figure a good 45 minute workout will make dinner taste just that much better too.

C. It’s 5:00 a.m. which is too early for breakfast, but a little snack will give you the boost you need for that 5:30 a.m. run. You grab an apple and a mini snickers bar before you head out the door. A little fruit and sugar will get you going.

D. You’re only time to workout today is during your 12:00 lunch break. You opt to skip lunch, you’ll eat it at your desk later. Instead you have half a peanut butter and jelly sandwich at 10:30 to tide you over till your late lunch.

I considered putting the answer upside down at the bottom of the page, but since it’s a major pain to turn a whole newspaper upside down, I figured I’d cut you some slack and just tell you the correct answer. The best scenario is D. Did you get it right? If you did – way to go! If not….I’m sorry about the major gastrointestinal distress you’ve been having during your workouts, and I’m probably going to blame that smell in the room on you.
What to eat and when to eat is often overlooked when it comes to your workout routine. The focus is typically on other body systems such as the musculoskeletal system or the cardio respiratory system. However, the digestive system plays a major roll when it comes to the quality of your workouts as well as your recovery time and progress. So I’m going to break it down for you. What should you eat before and after you exercise? When should you eat? And how much?

Thursday, March 10, 2011


There is a starting point for anyone who embarks on journey to becoming healthier, fitter or leaner. That starting point is desire. There is something that they want. They may desire a smaller body. They may desire the ability to do more things without huffing and puffing. They may desire to be alive, healthy and well for their children, grandchildren and even great grandchildren.

At the starting point, that desire is so motivating. You know what you want and you are bound and determined to achieve it. However over time the hard work and time it takes to achieve something great can start to drown out the pull of that desire. Little by little you become "ok" with life as it was before. You become complacent and comfortable, but NOT SATISFIED.

I challenge you to remember what you desired when you started striving for a healthier life. Remember why it was SO important, why you were willing to make the initial changes. Don't become comfortable again. Keep that desire alive, keep striving, only then will you truly achieve great things and be truly satisfied with your own life, body and health.

Consistency Is Crucial!

In order to make any progress in your personal health and fitness you must be consistent.  Consistency is important in every area of life however it is often disregarded when it comes to eating right or exercising regularly. 

We all know that we must brush our teeth every day in order to avoid a mouthful of cavities.  We know that we must bathe daily in order to stay clean.  There are so many things that you must do every day; eat, sleep, bathe, brush your teeth. If you skip a few days on any one of those things, the results will be very unpleasant. 

The same is true of healthy eating & exercise.  It is something you must be consistent in.  The body NEEDS daily exercise. The body NEEDS to be fueled RIGHT every day.  Skipping a few days of exercise or a few days or healthy eating will yield BAD consequences. 

Start viewing care of your health and fitness as a daily routine.  BE CONSISTENT, NOTHING LESS WILL WORK!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Sans Allergies

Food allergies or food intolerance are common, nevertheless the can be very frustrating.  Discovering that you can't have your favorite foods can be quite a let down.  Some of the most common food allergies/intolerance are wheat, eggs, corn, peanuts, dairy, soy, and believe it or not...sugar.  My personal belief is that one reason so many people have allergies, and especially intolerance to these foods is that there is an excess of them in our diet.  For instance...corn or sugar is added to most processed foods in one form or another.  Despite the reason though, you still must learn to enjoy what you eat with whatever allergy or intolerance you have.  It's usually relatively easy to change what fruits, vegetables or protein sources you eat to accommodate food allergies and intolerance.  The hard part is find substitutes for sweets and treats...things we all crave but which are often made with "common - allergen" foods.  I know it's a little out of season, but I've created an "Allergy Free Pumpkin Pie" - it's healthy too.  So if you happen to be someone out there with lots of allergies or intolerance and you've been craving a delicious piece of pumpkin pie - today is your lucky day. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


March always seems like the endless month to me. It’s still the dead of winter, but it feels like it’s time for spring, or whatever they call it in Wyoming. Then there’s the fact that’s it’s almost 5 weeks long, which isn’t kind to my paycheck or my sanity. Once April comes, I can at least pretend that spring is about to arrive. I know it’s happening in other places, and that brings some consolation. By this point many New Year’s Resolutions have fallen by the way side, and the motivation that summer swimsuits bring hasn’t quite reached those of us in Wyoming.
If you’re someone who lives for March Madness, kindly disregard my objection for March and read on anyway.

So what to do with March? Well, I’ve decided it doesn’t have to be a wasted month for me or for anyone else. So I’ve come up with a way to tackle March and not let it get the best of any of us.
I want to challenge you to change ONE thing each week in March. Just ONE, I’m not asking for a complete lifestyle overhaul, just one little thing. I believe that making just one good change in your life can have great implications for your health, fitness, and overall well-being.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Now you'll wish you DID eat GLUTEN FREE!

Yesterday I went through some recipes I had and tweaked them "The Audrey Ross Way". I concocted about 20 new recipes that I'll be trying in the next few weeks.  After all the hard work I put into all my "recipe crunching" I was totally ready to go and try one of them.  So I decided to work with ingredients I already had in the house and I made a Gluten Free Banana Coffee Cake.  Let me just tell you now.  I was the most delicious dessert I've made to date since going Gluten Free.  I raved about it all evening and even some this morning. So now that I've built it all up here's the recipe in all it's glory. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Socially Acceptable Addiction

If you’ve ever tried a diet, or read a diet book or even stood in line at the grocery store and read the covers of magazines you’ve seen the focus on the importance of WHAT TO EAT! It is the focus of almost every diet. Is there a magic food? Are there bad foods? WHAT? WHAT? WHAT? As a personal trainer I often deal with the what to eat question, and honestly it’s a very important question to ask. However I think there is an equally important question that often gets overlooked, and that question is WHY DO I EAT?
Have you ever asked yourself that? If you haven’t, ask it now. Why do you eat? The quick easy answer that sounds right is, because I’m hungry. If that’s your answer, then I applaud you but I think most people have a slew of other answers to the why question.

It’s been a long week, you’re exhausted and a large meat lover’s pizza sounds like just the thing you need. You’re sad or lonely and a bowl of ice cream with a sappy movie is sure to fix things. Maybe you got a raise, a celebration feast should follow. Any of those ring a bell?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Cheesy Potato Soup & Beet Chips

I just finished reading the book "Power Foods" from the editors of "Whole Living Magazine".  I was inspired to try some new things.  I've never been a fan of beets.  As a kid, my only use for them was smearing the juice from them on my lips so I looked like I was wearing lipstick.  I certainly didn't want to eat them.  But after reading about what a healthy food they are I decided to give them another shot.  To quote the book, "Beets are low in calories, high in fiber and rich in iron - plus they are full of cancer-fighting beta carotene and folic acid."  Worth trying right? 

I also concocted a cheesy potato soup recipe that packs a lot more nutrition than most potato soups and is low fat and low calorie.  It was delicious!  So here are the recipes. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Brownies, Brownies, The Magical Fruit

...the more you eat, the more brownies....and POSSIBLY, the more you toot.  That's for you to decide.  I don't plan on being there to find out. 

Here is the recipe for these Magical Fruit Brownies - they are healthy, fiber packed, protein packed, sugar free, fat free, low calorie and DELICIOUS. Brace yourself, this is complete insanity

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Exercise: Fun or Pointless Torture?

* another article from my newspaper column: The Audrey Ross Way: A Balanced Perspective on Health and Nutrition: 2/10/11

I recently overheard a conversation between two friends. One person was lamenting the seemingly pointless torture of having to workout to lose weight. Lots of boring hours spent at the gym and no results. Their friend, attempting to console them said, “Stop thinking of your workouts as work, think of them as fun, and then you’ll start to like it and want to do it.”

Inside I did a half-cringe. It was the same feeling I get when I eat a bite of sauerkraut – “Do I like this, or is this the most repulsive thing I’ve ever put in my mouth?” My tongue can’t quite make up its mind. Likewise, something about that person’s comment just didn’t seem right, but at the same time, it wasn’t all bad. It got me to thinking. How would I have responded to friend #1’s tales of woe?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


I'm always looking for circuit workouts that are high intensity, and kick my butt. I read about a circuit called "Power of Five" - I liked the concept, but knew I was going to have to do a little tweaking to get it to the level I wanted it to be at. So... here is my new favorite circuit workout. We'll call it "Power of Five Remix" - in honor or my passion for hip-hop remixes. Try it out! Sweat & love every minute of it.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Bursting a Few Healthy Bubbles

- This is another article I wrote for my health and fitness colunm in our local paper -

Bursting a Few Healthy Bubbles

What comes to mind when you hear words like, salad, bagel, smoothie, bran muffin, and granola? I’m guessing you think something along the lines of, “health food”, or “diet”, or maybe the word “tree-hugger” or “vegetarian” pops into your head. Possibly it reminds you of your health-nut sister-in-law, Mrs. All-Natural.

Well, your sister-in-law may eat all those things, but if she does, I’m here to tell you she isn’t the “health-nut” you think she is. If those foods are your idea of healthy eating, brace yourself, because I’m about to burst a few “healthy” bubbles.