Thursday, November 14, 2013

My Top Ten to Live Healthy

It's been awhile since my last blog, and not to give an excuse, but I was just burnt out. Too much, too fast was happening and before I knew it I couldn't catch up. So, today's blog is light and FUN!

Here are my TOP ten to Live Healthy. These are not in any order. I don't love number 1 more than number 10, it's just what came to mind as I went along.

10. SQUATS - These are by far and wide the BEST exercise for the lower half of your body. Russia has the right idea. Check out the link below.

30 Squats for a free Subway ride

9. Veggies - All and any. Please eat your veggies in EVERY meal. It's makes your body happy and your Mom happy too.

8. Water - The Mayo clinic recommends 9-13 cups of water a day, or 72-104 ounces of water.

Functions of Water on the Body

7. Sleep - Is an exercise of control. Haha. You need plenty of sleep to make sure that muscles recover from all the hard work you put them through. Your brain also needs that down time to recharge.

6. Intense Cardio - 30 minutes a day…THAT'S IT! Do you hear me, I'm not saying, "hours on a bloody machine", I said, "30 minutes of Intense Cardio." That could be intervals on a ___________ (you fill in the machine you love). That could also mean a short run at an intensity where talking is difficult. Or, an energetic class taught by a rockin' instructor. But, notice I said, "INTENSE"!

 5. Training Heart Rate Zone - This is important when exercising so that you make sure you are working out efficiently. Get the most out of your time exercising as possible. The ideal zone to be training in is the orange areas listed below. You don't want to stay in one area but interval into all three throughout your workout.

4. Green Tea - There are many benefits to green tea my favorite being Catechins, love those antioxidants.

3. Cottage Cheese Pancakes - Just try them! Here's the recipe!

2. Kids - If you haven't noticed, kids are untapped energy. My kids can run circles around me. I always think I have good endurance until I try and keep up with them. If you don't have any of your own, or yours are grown up,  grab someone else's. You'll get a killer workout and make a friend for life (both the kids and the parents).

1. Humor - Life isn't as hard as we make it. Sometimes it sucks and other times it's beautiful. Find something that makes you laugh. (Mine is bloopers of The Big Bang theory.) Laugh till you pee your pants…okay, almost. Find humor in your day, don't be too serious and remember to share it with someone you love.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Spaghetti & Meatballs

Healthy Eating!

This recipe has been in my family for many years. My Grandmother made it with ground beef and so did my Mom. I chose to make it with ground turkey because of the health advantages and because my family likes turkey meat a little better.


1 package (20 oz.) Ground turkey
1/2 c Bread Crumbs
1 Egg
1/2 Onion finely chopped

2~15oz cans of Tomato Sauce
Bay Leaf
1 Garlic clove finely chopped

Box of Whole Wheat Angel Hair Pasta

Add the first 5 ingredients together in a bowl. 
Here are the ingredients for the meatballs, all ready to be mixed.

Now, mix the ingredients together until you see a mixture that resembles the picture above. 
Don't over mix, it makes the meatballs tough. 

I've formed the meatballs and put them in a stock pot with just a little bit of olive oil to brown them. The recipe will yield around 8-11 meatballs depending on the size you make them.

In the top picture the meatballs have browned and are ready for the sauce to be added. Don't brown the meatballs too quickly or they will burn. In the lower picture I've added the sauce and the spices. See how the sauce completely covers the meatballs. At this point turn the heat to medium and bring the sauce to an easy simmer.

Once the sauce is simmering, place the lid on the pot; set the timer for 30 minutes and sit back to enjoy the aroma. Check the sauce and meatballs occasionally, giving them a gentle stir. If the sauce is simmering too high turn the heat down just a touch.

Once the timer goes off fill a small stock pot with water, place it on the stove on high heat (the sauce will still be cooking at this time). While the water comes to a boil read the directions for cooking the pasta. Add the pasta to the boiling water and set the timer for the designated amount of time. When the pasta is done the sauce is done too.

Voila, ready to be served. This is one of my standby meals for my family. I always have the ingredients on hand. It is delicious the following day as leftovers.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

All Things PT

Does strength training help you lose weight?

That was the question in the latest article I read...the article came from The University of California, Berkeley's Wellness Letter. 

Now, maybe the author had a poor writing style, but I found many errors in the article. First and foremost even though the article was on strength training it didn't even touch on nutrition. It mentioned cardio, but not a thing about the foods we eat. Which, if you haven't read one of my blogs before counts for 80% of our bodies makeup. 

Second, for a person to lose weight 45 minutes of cardio four days a week could work, but more realistically I would recommend 3 days a week of intense cardio for 30 minutes. That means walking at a pace for the entire 30 minutes that challenges you to the point that you cannot keep a normal conversation going. Better yet, take one of my cycle classes and you won't have to think about a thing for an hour. (It burns roughly 560 calories an hour for a 125lb woman.) Add in, with that intense cardio, strength training for 45 minutes three times a week and you have a recipe for weight loss.

Let's get back to the article, it mentions you would have to train long and hard to "add a significant amount of muscle." That's the third error and it is False! Again, it's about intensity. Who wants to spend 2 hours a week in the gym pumping iron? Ok, I would, but I don't. I get in and out in an hour. This is where a Personal Trainer might come in. They could keep you moving, push you to lift a bit heavier then you might have, and make certain your form is spot on because you are moving faster and lifting heavier.

On a positive note, the article mentioned the benefits of strength training and there are many. A few that were mentioned, and a few more that weren't. For instance, improved self esteem, better posture, and a better sense of balance (which is important in older clients).

It kills me to read misleading articles. It's difficult enough to try and do the right thing (lifting weights, doing cardio, and eating right) but when the right thing isn't right...then everything is a mess. Don't believe everything you read, do your homework and back up that reading with a bit of research. This blog is a good start.

Remember, live healthy and Own it!

Friday, October 4, 2013

All Things PT

Photo Shoot

I want to share with you a few sneak peaks of my first ever photo shoot. The pictures I am having taken are for my marketing material, my Facebook page, and my website. 

I was very anxious about the whole thing. I do not like having pictures taken of myself. But, all in all I think it went very well. The photographer, Kathryn Rau, did a marvelous job of making me feel very comfortable. She was also very professional and thorough (she had more energy then me; I was done after about the first 500 shots). 

In preparation for the shoot I dialed in my eating and increased my workouts. I keep getting asked if I will continue to eat clean, and my answer, "of course, that's what healthy living is." I enjoy all aspects of a clean lifestyle. Is it hard work? Hell yeah! But worth all the effort.

Stay tuned for more shots to come. I am so excited to finally get my website launched and start on my life's path.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


LA County Fair, Pomona

It's coming to an end. Have you gone? A family tradition that is celebrating it's 91st year. It opened October 17, 1922 in a beet field in Pomona, CA. In 1922 highlights of the Fair were chariot racing and airplane wing walking exhibition, to name a few. Today, many people can't go to the Fair without it being synonymous with over eating or gorging.

Highlights today, 2013, are pigging out. Don't get me wrong, there is so much more to do and see at the Fair. Why do we have to associate a fun day with family and friends as a reason to overindulge in some of the highest calorie/fat foods on EARTH?

Let's break down a day at the Fair, Live Healthy style. That does not mean missing out on some seriously insane foods. It means put it into prospective, the Fair has been around for 91 years, it's coming back next year, so you don't have to eat at EVERY stand you pass.

We arrived at the Fair when it opened, 10:00AM. Hubby and I had 3 kids in tow and wanted to get the lay of the land first, so we headed over to information, grabbed a map and started walking.  We walked from one side of the Fair to the other and then back again. We saw everything first and then decided where we wanted to spend our time, money, and calories.

Now, as mentioned we had 3 kids with us so this changed how hubby and I might have gone to the Fair, but we first offered everyone one treat from all the goodies they saw, ONE! We also looked for healthy stops for lunch, there were so many; Tri tip sandwiches, baked corn, baked potatoes, turkey legs...the list goes on. With the goodie taken care of and let me tell you my kids are definitely my kids (one got corn as a treat, the other a soft serve cone, and the last cotton candy) we were ready to play.

  1. 1.
    allow oneself to enjoy the pleasure of.
    "we indulged in some hot fudge sundaes"
    synonyms:wallow in, give oneself up to, give way to, yield to, abandon oneself to, give free rein to; 

Joe enjoying his corn on the cob

By this time it was well past noon. We decided to see some of the entries for the Fair; we saw table settings and tons of baked goods entered, also mini Christmas trees decorated and canned 'everything you can imagine' and of course quilts. It was fun for everyone to see the work people have put into their entries into the Fair. We headed over to the games and rides and easily spent another 2 hours there. We were starting to tire just as we headed over to the animals. Had to see the animals! One day our kids may never see a cow in person or a pig. The pig was a BIG (no pun intended) success.

Let me tell you by the time lunch rolled around the whole family was exhausted. We left the Fair at 3:00 PM, that's 5 hours of walking time. At roughly 25 min/miles. That's roughly 900 calories AND 12 miles we covered. That's HUGE, now understand we were stopping and starting and we did stand a bit but I figured that into my 25 minute mile. Did I need to workout that day? No! Use the walking calculator to see how many calories you can burn! Walking Calorie Burn Calculator

  1. The day was fabulous, we didn't gorge ourselves but indulged in some family fun and good eats.

    Join us next year!

    1. 1.
      eat a large amount greedily; fill oneself with food.
      "the river comes alive during March when fish gorge on caddisworms"

Saturday, September 14, 2013

All Things PT

Is the Food Guide Pyramid Hurting Us?

After much reading and Internet searches I have discovered a fact that baffles my mind. The Food Guide Pyramid gives people a false sense of comfort in the foods we eat. That isn't what is so baffling. Something, like the Pyramid, was developed to 'help' Us and in fact it has false information offered on the way we should eat. The information for the Pyramid was gathered and presented by the federal government responsible for promoting American agriculture, it doesn't come from agencies protecting our health. WHHHHHAAAATTTT!

It's hard enough to determine what is good for us and what is not, but then to have a symbol embodied by the population as a 'truth', well, I'm very upset. Others realized the Pyramid was outdated so a 'new' model was introduced. So, let's look at the old Pyramid and the 'new' one.

Now, the new Pyramid...

Exercise is a key component in the 'new' Pyramid called MyPyramid. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states, 'a minimum of 150 minutes a week of moderate cardio and 2 or more days a week of muscle strengthening for adults.' That's more than realistic but less than half of the population (48%) meet that requirement.

Another improvement was making ALL foods equal in value but limiting the intake of some more than others. It doesn't stress on what kinds of foods. For instance grains should be 100% whole wheat (or an equivalent), and the fact that red meat isn't as nutrient dense as say chicken or eggs. And what about fats? Good fats, bad fats that's an entire article. 

Is the 'new' pyramid better? Yes, better than the old one. But, good? Not really, we need to educate on the types of foods to consume and how often. That would be a good starting point.

My point in sharing this information is don't believe everything you read. Chances are it is biased to benefit someone other than you. Educate yourself and read everything you can to protect your health.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

All Things PT

Is Spinning Making You Fat? 

That is the question in the latest article in a well known woman's fashion magazine. Well, is it? I am a spin instructor and ab-solutely not! Get it...ab??? Okay, moving on, I teach 4 classes a week; 2 spin, a weight training, and an aqua. The spin class by far torches the most calories. On average a woman my height and weight (5'4" and 125 lb.) burns 560 calories per hour. How can you gain weight with that amount of calories being used?

The article goes on to say that your appetite increases. Uh well yeah. You are increasing your metabolism therefore getting hungrier. It's not your spinning that is causing the weight gain it is excess calories. You could be doing Zumba and chow down on too many calories making you gain weight.

Further reading tells us that it builds glute and quad muscles. Well, one of the women quoted taught 10 classes a week. TEN!!!! Who on this Earth needs to teach that many classes. That is 2 or more classes on certain days. Spinning takes a lot out of you, that is counter productive to be putting your body through that strenuous of cardio. As mentioned before at 560 calories per hour I'd be burning 5600 calories per week. Seriously!!!!!

Let's recap, spinning does not make you fat, excess calories do. Does spinning make you hungrier? Sure. But does that mean fall face first into high calorie meals because you 'deserve it'. Spinning makes your glutes and quads larger. Yes it might, but it's building muscle and possibly there is a layer of fat overlaying said muscle that needs to be shed. In spinning class the building of muscle takes place while you climb. Toning comes in during high cadence songs and while sprinting and/or cycling at a low gear high RPM.

On a side note, take a look at that bike. It happens to be Chanel. Check her out, she's also turned backwards on the bike. Maybe if she got on the bike the correct way there would be less problems. Until next time...Live Healthy

Saturday, August 31, 2013


A few years back hubby and I were really going through a rough time. I hate to be a complainer but we had bought a house that was a fixer upper and boy did that just about do us in. The renovation and remodel weren't the problem. Below is said house.

We had so many other things going on at the time that we just no longer appreciated life. So, you ask, 'what does this have to do with Personal Training?' Let me tell you. As a trainer people think I always eat well, I always feel good, and I always have my game face on. NOT the case. A few years back I had hurt my back pretty bad, while I was recovering I wrote a short story to a few publications and well, here it is. It was published on Blue Shields home page.
Make a life plan
Most of the clan, missing two
Most of the clan, missing two
My husband and I have always been fit; we work out and try to eat healthy most of the time. As the years have gone by, and I'll tell you they have gone by fast, we have become busier and more stressed. We moved into a larger home, he changed jobs, we have 4 mouths to feed, and we were living for everyone else but ourselves and our kids. At the beginning of this year I was teaching my aerobics class, at the end of the class I could hardly stand and walking was out of the question, my husband carried me to the car. He took me to the doctors where I found out I had 3 herniated discs the worse being 4 centimeters. This was not good for the mother of a newborn. So, at this time while recovering I was scouring the internet for advice, information, anything that would help. I happened upon Blue Shield’s site and remembered their wellness program. I found lots of helpful easy to navigate information. But, back to my a healthy life and having something happen to my body I wasn't in control of really depressed me. I had to figure out why my body was fighting me. What was I doing that was further damaging my way of life? I realized I wasn't living as healthy as I thought. My husband and I were always stressed, he was gaining weight, and we were taking the kids out to eat more often. I had to make a change for my kids, it still frightens me thinking about the life plan my husband and I came up with. We put our house on the market, he's been applying for other jobs in his field, and we have created a simplified way of eating at home. I craft a grocery/food list that I make each Sunday. I figure out what we are eating on each day of the week for the entire week. The easier to make meals are on the days we have sports and less time, the weekends are for more elaborate meals. NO MATTER WHAT we always eat together as a family even if it is 8:00pm. I then make a grocery list of everything I need for the meals plus snacks. We head to the grocery store one time a week and maybe make one more run for fruit and veggies (we also have a garden, tons of fun). Just putting our plan in action has helped enormously. In the evening we have more time to ride bikes, play catch/Frisbee, or kick the soccer ball around. The kids are still in bed no later than 9:00pm and order has been restored. Was it easy? No. Is it any easier now? No. Do I feel better and look better? Oh Yeah! Are my kids healthier? Yes…My back is slowly healing but my sanity has completely been restored. I eat better when I’m not stressed and I handle issues with the kids better. My husband isn’t grumpy and tired all the time, which in itself is AWESOME!!! Come up with a life plan. You are in charge of your life. Set your course of action; don’t let it be pre-set for you. Stand up and make a change! You can do it! We did.

Saturday, August 24, 2013


In today's busy lifestyle if a meal takes me more than 30 minutes to put together it usually doesn't happen. One of my favorite go to sites for recipes is

I almost always can find a recipe that fits my calorie and nutrient requirements. One being, no more than 30% fat in the recipe. The other requirement, little to no added fats such as butters, creams, and/or mayonnaise. It takes some practice to figure out just how much protein, carbs, and fats are in a meal but when you are just starting out make the effort and before you know it, it won't be an effort. (We'll talk macronutrients in another post).

Here's is a full proof Chili recipe that you can add pretty much any veggie to and most forms of protein. Mix the beans up or use different ones. Change the meat to ground beef or mix both turkey and ground beef in it.

Bon Appétit

Friday, August 23, 2013

All things PT

PT is an abbreviation for Personal Training. It can also be short for Pythagorean theorem and Platinum, but in my case for this blog, Personal Training. Let's start with one of my favorite websites to visit for 'all things PT', 

If I need a training question answered, nutrition advice, or just plain old motivation I head there. Much like Facebook you set-up a profile and start adding friends. The cool thing about these friends are they all have the same interests as healthy. So, a good first place to start would be there if you are interested in Personal Training. Let's say you want to hire a trainer and can't figure out how to go about it.

  1. Check out bodies; fat, thin, skinny, muscular
  2. Set a 'Big' goal of; What, When, and Why. (We'll touch more on this later)
  3. Create smaller manageable goals to achieve your 'big' goal
  4. Hire a trainer to help you get there...Me

Your 'big' goal is to be healthy, that's the What. No more diets, starvation techniques, forays into the gym for a month to never set foot in it again. You are going to embrace a healthier lifestyle so you can enjoy the life you are living RIGHT NOW and for the future. A trainer will help you set a manageable realistic time frame to help you reach that 'big' goal, they will help you with the When. Now, think Why?! Dig deep on this one. Smaller goals are to hire a trainer to baby step you along the way. A trainer will set food and macronutrients goals, create a workout schedule with days and specific exercises and cardio options. Your job is to give the trainer very detailed accounts of what you want and expect out of your time with them. Make sure they know your medical history as well as your lifestyle history. And, show them pictures of what you want your body to achieve.