It's About Time

If you have ever spent more that 5 minutes with me, it is fairly obvious that I love fitness. I have learned so much (sometimes the hard way) in the 30 years that I have been teaching. What better way to share my passion than to start a blog and pass on the information that I share with clients on a day-to-day basis.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Quinoa and Pear Breakfast cereal

1 C uncooked Quinoa (cook to specifications)
2 medium apples or pears diced
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 Truvia Packets or 3 TBSP Brown Sugar
1/4 C Skim Milk

This is a great protein-packed cereal or side dish.  You could probably try raisins, nuts and berries too.  It was very good and a great alternative to other hot cereals.  Yum Yum.

P.S.  Yes I am going to post other recipes without Quinoa as the main ingredient.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Don't Let the Joke Be On You

The fitness and exercise industry is always changing.  As a professional I need to stay up on the most current fitness findings and then pass on the information to you.  I just couldn't let one more day go by without covering a few topics..  If you have said, thought or event justified any of the information below, call me immediately.  We need to talk.  Enjoy

Common Misconceptions about diet/ fitness and weight loss.

  • At my gym they have free weights, so I took them. 
  • Every time I get the urge to exercise, I lie down till the feeling passes.
  • I want to get a six-pack and know exactly what to do, head straight to the grocery store and head down the drink aisle!
  • The older you get, the tougher it is to lose weight because by then, your body and your fat are really good friends.
  • Flexibility is overrated.  If God had wanted me to touch my toes He would have put them up higher on my body.
  • I'm in shape. Round is a shape.
  • Chocolate is a vegetable. How, you ask? Chocolate is derived from cacao beans. Bean = vegetable. Sugar is derived from either sugar CANE or sugar BEETS. Both are plants, which places them in the vegetable category. Thus, chocolate is a vegetable.
  • Whole Cookies are fattening.  Just have a piece of cookie -- the process of breaking causes fat leakage.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Flexibility is one of the major components of Fitness training but it is often overlooked and undervalued.  It is defined as the ROM (Range of Motion) of a given joint or group of joints or the level of tissue extensibility that a muscle group possesses.  Tight or strained muscles can be very frustrating and limiting but several studies show that flexibility can be improved at any age. 

What defines or limits Flexibility
  • Joint Capsule- The flexibility is broken down to 47% coming from the muscles and their facial sheaths, 41% coming from tendons, 10% from skin and 2% coming from other factors.
  • Age-With age there is a loss in elasticity in connective tissue but can be improved and maintained at any age.
  • Gender-Women tend to be more flexible than men.
  • Connective Tissue-Fascia and Tendons-Have some elastic properties. 
  • Ligaments-You don’t necessarily want to stretch these because they don’t stretch back and you compromise the integrity of the joint.
  • Muscle/Hypertrophy-Excess muscle mass may inhibit range of motion
  • Type of Joint-Each articulation has different ranges.  Ex: Hip joint (Ball and Socket) will have more range of motion than your elbow joint (Hinge Joint)
  • Temperature-The warmer the joint the better it moves
  • Pregnancy-Women produce a hormone called relaxin which allows more flexibility.
  • Exercise History-Sedentary people will tend to have less ROM than those who move with great ranges of motion.
  • Body Types-Some studies have shown longer levers (arms, legs, torsos) to have different ranges of motion but not limited to decreased movement.

Stretching Guidelines
  • Adequately Warm Up
  • Design Program-Do Daily
  • Stretch all major muscle groups-Some may need to be stretched in different directions and planes of movement
  • Focus on Alignment
  • Stretch after each major workout
  • If pain-Stop immediately
  • Breath-
  • Relax- don’t strain
  • Hold 15-60 seconds 3-4 times (Static, passive, PNF,and Myofascial)
Types of Stretching
  • Passive-Requires an outside force like a towel or person to help facilitate stretch.
  • Active-Moving with control through range of motion. Rehearsing movements to come later with greater force.
  • Static-Taken to the point of  gentle tension, 15-60 seconds, 3-4 times
  • Dynamic/Ballistic-More movement specific. Geared towards movements that require great ROM at great speeds.  Ex. Dancer jumps and leaps or Volleyball Player shoulder movement.
  • PNF (Proprioceptive Neuromuscular facilitation)-Proven very effective.  Some initial specific training involved but can eventually be done individually or with trainer.
  • Myofascial Release-Small continuous movements on foam roller or tennis ball covering 2-6 inches for 30-60 seconds to realign elastic muscle fibers from bundles position.
Benefits of Stretching
  • Increase ROM
  • Improved Posture
  • Improved Muscle Symmetry
  • Improved Muscle Efficiency
  • Improved Muscle Performance
  • Maintenance of muscle length
  • Decrease risk of Injury
  • Decreased incidence and severity of injury
  • Decrease in back pain
  • Decrease in DOMS (Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness)

Please try and incorporate stretches into your daily routine.  As you can see the benefits are worth it.  I not just saying this for you but I need a reminder myself.  I know I feel better when I stretch.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Mango Quinoa Salad

Is there a support group out there for people who can't stop eating Quinoa?  If there is, I need to join.  I just love it and its great nutritional value makes it that much more enjoyable to eat.  I volunteered to take dinner to a friend who has had surgery.  I thought this yummy salad would be perfect so I made a double batch.  Just one problem.  I'm not supposed to drop by her dinner until next Friday.  Oh well,  now there is twice as much Mango Quinoa salad for me to eat.  Not a bad thing if you are obssessed with the stuff.  Enjoy.

Mango Quinoa Salad
Recipe adapted from Ali Vincent
2 cups cooked quinoa* at room temperature, or chilled
1 14 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 medium mango, peeled and diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
6 green onions, thinly sliced
1 handful chopped cilantro (about 1/2 cup)
4 tablespoon red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1-2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
kosher salt
freshly cracked black pepper
*Quinoa can be cooked in water or broth.  I suggest using vegetable or chicken broth for enhanced flavor, but plain water works great too.
Place cooked quinoa in a large bowl.  Add mango, red pepper, green onion, black beans, and cilantro.  In a small bowl combine vinegar, olive oil, and lime juice.  Whisk until smooth and pour on top of salad.  Toss to combine and add salt and pepper to taste.  Chill for at least one hour before serving.

Thanks to OurBestBites.Com

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Weight Loss Simplified

I thought I had a pretty good handle on how to help people lose weight and then I read this.  I was way off.  Thanks for sharing Julie.
I just figured out why I'm overweight! The shampoo I use in the shower that runs down my body says "For extra volume and body."  I'm going to start using Dawn dish soap.  It says, "Dissolves fat that is otherwise difficult to remove." 

I think any color will work.  Giggle.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Laugh Yourself Skinny

Marcus and Caleb

Well our annual, Bear Lake family reunion  this past weekend was a huge success.  If I had to describe it in one word, it would be LAUGHTER.  We giggled so much and as I would be falling over with laughter, I realized there are many benefits to laughing your way to good health.  When you are happy, you tend to face things with a better attitude even if it is lunges.  A good belly laugh works your abdominal muscles and snickering, giggling, and laughing all burn calories.  There are even studies to prove it.
New research published in the International Journal of Obesity has discovered that laughter really is the best medicine for a weight problem.
The small study included 45 pairs of adult friends, who were shown either funny or serious film clips in a room that was set up with equipment to measure the amount of calories burnt and to monitor the rate, duration and type of laughter. The participants also wore heart monitors to measure their heart rate.
The researchers discovered that laughing increased both heart rate and calorie expenditure by up to 20 per cent – and the longer participants laughed for the greater the effects.
Using the results, the scientists then went on to calculate that just 15 minutes of laughter a day will burn 10 to 40 calories, depending on a person’s weight and the intensity of the laughter. That’s enough to shift between 1 and 4lb a year.
Emma and Sophia

I love my family and thoroughly enjoyed our time together.

Kurt and Katie

Sam, Landi, Vanessa, Sopia, Ryan and Jordan
Landi and Ryan

Help Is All Around You

You probably thought I was going to say "Your Trainer" is there to help you.  That is very true but I want to tell you about another aid that is a wonderful tool when your goal is to improve your eating and exercise habits.  I am constantly revamping my ways to inspire my clients to get healthy.  One thing that I am now recommending to all my clients is to use  You can get this download for your phone or your computer.  Here is a snipit of what this program offers.

Losing weight isn't easy - we know. But with a membership to, you'll get the tools you need to successfully take weight off - and keep it off. And best of all, everything on our site is 100% FREE. So put away your credit card - you'll never have to pay a cent.
Study after study has confirmed the benefits of keeping track of the food you eat and the activity you do. It's simple - the more consistently you track your food intake, the more likely you are to lose weight. That's why every successful weight management program suggests that you keep a food diary and/or an activity log. But recording everything you eat without the right tools can be tedious at best, or simply impossible at worst.
At, we focus on making sure you can log your meals as quickly and easily as possible. Because the easier we make it for you, the more likely you are to stay on track, and the more likely you are to succeed in your weight loss goals.
With a 100% FREE membership you get:

  • The easiest to use food diary on the web -
    Track what you eat with just a few clicks from anywhere with an internet connection - at home or at work
  • A searchable food database of over 1,036,000 items -
    and it's growing everyday!
  • Your own personal food database -
    add your own foods and recipes at any time and access them from anywhere with an internet connection
  • Free mobile apps for iPhone and Android -
    so you can log your meals and exercise even when you are on the go
  • Support and motivation 
    from people just like you - Our discussion forums let you learn from others, share your own tips, receive and give encouragement, and make friends.
  • A personalized diet profile
    - customized to your unique weight loss goals.
  • Flexibility
    - our system can support any diet like Atkins, the South Beach Diet, the Zone, and more. No matter what diet you're on, we can help.
I love this program and I can use it to become friends with all of my clients who join.  We can look at their profiles together to see if they are on the right track.  Let this program help and motivate a healthier you.  

P.S.  Nothing can replace your trainer.  Wow.  What a shameless plug but it is true.  

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Easy Healthy Pizza

Who doesn't love pizza.  As a child I didn't like the stuff but now I really do- 3-cheese or meat lovers or Hawaiian-oops I had better stop. Just try this healthy pizza.  I think you will really like it.  I know I do.

Healthy Pizza

  • 1 FlatOut Honey Wheat Bread  100 Calories
  • 1/4 C Pizza Sauce  (I usually don't use that much) 25 Calories
  • 1/4 C Mozzarella Cheese ( I usually  do use that much-yum) 80 Calories
  • Fresh Mushrooms, Zucchini, Tomatoes, Chopped Fresh Spinach
  • 7 Slices Turkey Pepperoni Slices 40 Cal (Optional)

Sauce first-Veggies second

His and Hers Pizza

Here is Kurt's with turkey pepperoni-He can't stand tomatoes.  Just ask his parents.

This is mine with tomatoes.  Should have thrown in a couple of pepperonis.
Spread pizza sauce on flatbread.  Add all the veggies you want and then sprinkle with cheese. I usually eat half now and save 1/2 for another meal.  I have taken some pictures.  Who knew that it would be so hard to make food look good.  At least you will get the idea.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Exercise On The Go

Yes, I am going on vacation (yippee), and yes, I have traveling on my mind and yes, many of my clients are in and out, jet-setting here and there. I guess that is why I have had a couple of traveling exercise posts.   Here is a workout out you can pretty much do anywhere.  That means there is no excuse on vacation.   If you don't have access to weights in your hotel gym, you can  pack some resistance bands, pick up some rocks if you are camping, use water bottles or even a towel for an isometric hold.  Good luck and keep exercising.

  • 10 Exercises
  • 60 Seconds per exercise
  • 15 second break between each exercise (You can eliminate if you are feeling studly)
  • Rest 2 minutes between each cycle of 10 exercises (More if you need it.)
  • Repeat each cycle 2-4X or work for an hour.  
  • Goblet Plie' Squats-Hold heavy dumbbell in front like a goblet and move down and up.
  • Mountain Climbers-Plank position-can be at an incline-Run with high knees.
  • Squats with alternating Front arm raises.
  • Plank to side plank back to Plank-Repeat side, center, side-can be done at an incline.
  • Flying lunges. (Everyone loves these)
  • Arm Rows in squat position.
  • Side-to-side lunge-adding rotation with torso and reaching dumbbell downward,same direction as lunge.
  • Plank with hands on dumbbells-Push Up then single arm row-repeat side row , push-up, side row.
  • Alternating lunges with torso rotation
  • Overhead arm presses with Plie' squat quickly
Send me your favorite travel workout.  Good Luck

Here are some pictures of the exercises.  Some are shown with more than one way to be done.  Thanks to my wonderful models.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Workout In Your Car

Chevy loves the idea of roadtrip exercises.

Faces after completing Glute squeezes for the entire song of "We Will Rock You."
What??  You are thinking I am desperate for a new post idea but I am serious.  I don't sit still very well so I have rightfully earned my reputation as a terrible traveler by car.   I go nuts.  Once my craziness sits in,  my family wishes they could give me the luxury box seat on top of the car.  Magazines, scooby snacks and music help for a while but then I just start squirming and pesting.  On my last trip I started to think of things that I could do-exercise wise-to keep me entertained.

Good music is a must.  Find a good beat.  These exercises can be done for time or until the song ends.  Make it a friendly competition and see who can last the longest.  (Drivers of the car must not be included in all of these exercises, specifically R Leg or arms)
  • Leg Extensions-If you don't have the space to straighten out your leg no worries.  Straighten out as far as you can or until you hit something (not a family member) and do an isometric hold.
  • Abdominal contractions-Find a good beat and contract.  Try and do it without changing your spine.  Just tighten.
  • Leg Abduction-Tie a shirt or something around your legs and then open outward and hold.
  • Leg Adduction-(Inner Thighs) Think Suzanne Summers.  Put something between your legs and squeeze away.  (Drinks not recommended)
  • Calf Raises-Put your heavy purse, books or whatever you have on your knees, lift your heels up and down. (Do not use children.  Everyone needs to stay seat belted in for all exercises)
  • Anterior Tibialis-Anterior whoobie whatie? The front part of your lower leg.  Tuck your toes under the seat or dash in front of you and do isometric toes raises.
  • Glute Squeezes-Contract away.  Squeeze, Squeeze, Squeeze. Try not to smile too much.
  • Shoulders-Over head Isometric Press-Push against the ceiling and hold.  Remember not to shrug your shoulders.
  • Shoulders-Posterior Isometric Press-Push your arms backward into your own seat and hold.  Sit very tall please.
  • Shoulders-Medial Isometric Press-Push arms out to side.  Better not do this one.  Tends to get people fighting.
These are just a few ideas.  Send me things that have worked for you.  I'm sure everyone would love to hear.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Bells Falls

This is what Bells Falls looks like when the water isn't so high.
Our Saturday hiking adventure took us to Bells Falls.  It was an amazing hike of 11.37 miles.  The sun was out, there was intermittent shade on the trail and cool spots from the mist of the river.  The ascent was up a rough trail that looked more like a dried up river bed.  Loved climbing over the rocks.  I usually enjoy the peace you find in the wilderness but that didn't happen.  Several people had the same idea for hiking as we did.  You know what,  I enjoyed the people.  All of them were so nice and friendly.  The trail was so narrow that one party had to stop to let the others pass.  Rarely was that done without an encouraging word or a friendly hello.  Here are some of the comments.

  • To Kurt and I from a couple twice our age:  "You can do it.  It is not that much farther."
  • To a mother trying to keep her kids with long faces going:  "You are going to love the falls.  It's just around the bend and it is worth it to keep going."  (Mom whispered "thank you.")
  • One party to a young boy much smaller than the rocks he was climbing over:  "Great walking stick.  There is no way you aren't going to make it all the way."
I know from experience that a little encouragement can go a long way.  A family member, a trainer or even a friend on a hard trail can give you the small boost you need to keep pushing or keep being active. Reinforcing comments help motivate us as well as a positive attitude.   Research suggests that exercise adherence is better in people who are active for positive reasons.  My husband and I want to be active and promote that quality of life for a very long time.  That's why we try and get in our hikes but the friendly people today just made it that much more satisfying.

At the trailhead

In front of the falls.  Couldn't even get close.  Too much water pouring over.

Most of the river was white and turbulent but beautiful

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Being Fit Was A Matter of Survival

Cliff Palace
You already know that I love fitness but what you may not know is that I am a closet archaeologist.  I've never traveled anywhere nor have I been on any digs but I do subscribe to Archaeology Magazine.  I just love history and ruins.  This weekend we visited Mesa Verde National Park in southern Colorado.  There the Ancestral Puebloans made this place their home for more than 750 years, from 550 AD to 1300 AD.  There are nearly 5,000 archaeological sites including 600 cliff dwellings.  Needless to say, I was in heaven.  You can't get to many of the ruins but can view them carved into the cliff faces.  To get to some of the larger sites you have to do some pretty strenuous climbing.  I always visualize what it might have been like to live there.  I couldn't help thinking about how fit the Puebloans must have been.  They didn't have railings to help them climb.  They used  hand and toes holds to navigate the cliff faces. They didn't have wide ladders affixed with metal and bolts and with landings to give you a rest every ten steps.  They made their own and precariously balanced them on boulders.  They had to grow their own food and make their own clothes.  All of that took a great amount of effort.  In order to survive you had to be able to move and have strength to do day-to-day chores like retrieve water which could be anywhere from a quarter mile to a mile and a half away.  That is after scaling down the rest of the cliff.  Also, I'm sure that looking lean and fit wasn't a priority for them but again a necessity because they wouldn't be able to get into their dwellings.  The doors were itsy bitsy.  I love technology but I am always worried about how much of our lives are now dominated by sedentary activities.  We should still have the mentality that in order to survive and live a healthy life, we need to choose activities that keep us fit and moving.

Cliff Palace in background

Kurt and Lisa above a Kiva.  Roof is long gone.

Grinding Stones built into the floor of one of the dwellings.

Toe and Hand holds from original trail.  This picture doesn't even come close to give you an idea how they would navigate around the cliffs like a spider.  

Friday, July 1, 2011

Sizzling Single Leg Workout

Sizzling as in FEEL THE BURN.  This workout is one I have done in my Chisel classes, with private clients, and with my boot camp ladies.  I love it and I think my clients will eventually grow to love it.  The goal is to fatigue your Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Medius and Gluteus Minimus or should I say Buns, Buns, Buns.  You are working on both stability strength and mobility strength in those muscles.  Your support or standing leg will get as much or even more work than your moving leg.  You will also get a nice upper body workout for your shoulders, biceps and triceps.  There are four different blocks of movements.  Each block needs to be repeated two times so each leg gets a chance to work.

You can choose to do 10, 15, or 20 reps of each bullet point.  My beginning boot camp ladies rocked 15 reps of each movement.  Correct form is crucial.  If you compromise form at 20 reps, bump it down to 15 reps, etc.   Choose weights that will help fatigue the muscle without creating a lot of stress in neck, hands or feet.  If you feel like you could do several more reps at the end of an arm segment you probably need to bump up the weights.  When muscles are tired and you start to compromise form, bump down the weights.   Remember Quality vs. Quantity (as in the number of lbs you are lifting).  Let you body give you feedback.  If you are only feeling it in your quads, you are probably overworking them.  Your target muscle group is your GLUTES.  Sit back and use them. :)

Block 1
  • Lunge back Right Leg (R)
  • Front Raise  Straight Leg (R)
  • Combo Lunge/Front Raise (R) Slow
  • Combo Lunge/Front Raise (R) Tempo
  • HOLD-Lunge back and pulse (R)-Sit Low
  • Upright rows
  • Lateral Raises
  • Combo Arms Upright Row/Lateral Raise
  • Super combo of legs and arms Lunge back with upright row then kick front with lateral raise
Block 2
  • Lunge side (R)
  • Curtsie Lunge (R)
  • Combo Side Lunge/Curtsie (R) Slow
  • Combo Side Lunge/Curtsie (R) Tempo
  • HOLD-Curtsie Lunge (R) and pulse-Sit Low
  • Lateral Flys
  • Bicep Curls
  • Combo Arms Lateral Flys and Bicep Curls
  • Super combo of legs and arms Side Lunge with Lateral Fly then Curtsie Squat with Bicep Curl
Block 3
  • Front Lunge (R)
  • Hip Extension (R) (Straight Leg Lift Behind)
  • Combo Front Lunge (R)/ Hip Extension (R) Slow
  • Combo Front Lunge (R)/ Hip Extension (R) Tempo
  • HOLD-Hip Extension and pulse leg lift (R)-Sit low in front leg
  • Row-Hinge forward
  • Front Raise Straight Arm
  • Combo Arms Rows and Front Raises
  • Super Combo of legs and arms Front Lunge with row then Hip Extension with Front Raise
Block 4
  • Narrow Stance Squats
  • Knee Lifts (R)
  • Combo Narrow Squats/Knee Lift (R) Slow
  • Combo Narrow Squats/Knee Lift (R) Tempo
  • HOLD-Narrow Squats and Pulse low
  • Tricep Kickback
  • Overhead Press
  • Combo Arms Tricep Kickbacks and Overhead Presses
  • Super Combo of Narrow Squats with Tricep Kickbacks then Knee Lift with Overhead Presses
Enjoy and let me know how you and your buns liked it.