February Recipe:

This recipe is vegan, gluten-free, and great for Vata and Pitta doshas. It will
be featured in Chef Johnny’s forthcoming book, Vegetable Soup for the Spirit.

2 white young organic coconuts 1 cup goji berries
juice from 6-7 blood or navel oranges 2 tablespoons coconut butter
1 date 2 teaspoons molasses
12 finely chopped mint leaves

1 teaspoon cardamom, ground 1 teaspoon ginger powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground 1 teaspoon clove powder
Crunchy Topping Masala Mix:
1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped leek
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 teaspoons of fresh ginger
juice of half a lemon
1 tablespoon Chef Johnny’s Vata or Pitta Seasoning
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill or basil or parsley or marjoram or mix
¼ teaspoon black pepper
Salt to taste

Take out the coconut meat and cut into 4 pieces. Steam for 7 minutes. Warm orange juice in the pan and
add all ingredients except mint.
Gently cook and stir until it thickens about 15 minutes. Should be thick, like syrup. Blend everything in a
blender or magic bullet except for coconut meat, add mint leaves and stir.
Directions for Masala Mix Topping:
In a saucepan, heat the oil and add ginger, then leak and sesame seeds. Stir and sauté for 3-4 minutes.
Add the spices and keep stirring for another 5 minutes until crunchy and golden.Turn off the heat and add
lemon and herbs.
Serve coconut pieces on kitchari, rice, or mashed parsnip. Pour sauce over coconut pieces and sprinkle
with finely chopped parsley.

Makes 4 servings

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Budgeting: Fast Food vs. Wellness Services?

“It’s amazing how fast you can go through $7,000 with beer, pizza and The Gap.” –Ben Affleck

People groan at the words budget, exercise, and healthy food. Why? They relate sinking, depressed, deprived feelings to these words. Well, if you have these feelings you aren’t alone. To the vast majority of us, it denotes scarcity, deprivation and limitations; none of which seem pleasurable. Exercising usually means eliminating fun, pain, boredom, sweat, feelings of inadequacy, something we do when we are stressed out. This is not my idea.

My idea is designing a plan to achieve healthy (not magazine) bodies; reaching all those goals you would like to accomplish over time without the heroic effort. Movement should be an enjoyable process not a bitter, restrictive, fearful pill to swallow.

An action plan for fitness and healthy eating doesn’t have to be written in stone, it should be flexible, adjustable and one that reflects your values and your life. All of these decisions and commitments that you make give you the power to change so you don’t feel trapped.  You aren’t stuck.  It wouldn’t make sense to create a plan that made you feel stuck. You can change things if you are willing. 

The power of a plan is that you can decide at the beginning of every week or month how you will spend your calories burned/ your fuel you use, how much, when and how. Then when you add up your cumulative calories burnt for the week or month you see whether or not you want to change your decisions for the following month or design a plan that works for you.  Then, work your plan.

I happily move spending calories I burn in the wisest of ways!

Add up your last four week’s receipts of eating out. I would bet if you commit to eating just a portion of those meals at home, you could afford a Fitness Coach, yoga or Pilates very easily. Notice I didn’t suggest to stop eating out completely; just slow the pace a little bit so you can find some balance between eating and moving.

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Marathon Blog #3: We will get you off the couch and to the finish line!

Our program will be focusing on the basics. We
will build programs that are slow because slow and steady wins
every time. Our program increases your endurance and develops your
mental and physical strength. This is a process of stressing and
resting the body. You will need time to allow yourself to recover
from stress through active rest weeks. By giving this to your body,
you decrease your chances of injury and overtraining. The average
person needs a gradual training program that will incorporate:
flexibility, strength, cardio,
nutrition, active rest, cross training

All of
which you can get at Mind / Body: Balance. Mind Body Balance does
not in any way support the mindset of
“no pain, no gain.” With that said, there will be some level
of soreness, fatigue and stiffness as the body is challenged. Mind
Body Balance has a program that is flexible and adaptable to each
individual. We strongly suggest that
you do NOT take short cuts, jump
ahead, or fall behind. You will be setting yourself up for failure,
increased risk of injury, increasing the chance of not reaching
your goal. We want you to be successful. We will have cross
training suggestions. For example, always running on a hard surface
will lead to sore legs… running downhill all the time is also
jarring to the legs. We will vary our group runs so that sometimes
we are running on dirt, softer or flat terrain and when we do
incorporate some hills we will be slow down the hill, we may
suggest rollerblading or water-running too. Accountability is huge
in preparing for this event. For those of you that use my Fitness
Coaching services, use your diaries to keep track of your progress
in your comment section. Start to keep track of aches/ pains,
distance, moods, stress levels, etc. If you don’t do Fitness
Coaching with me then get a journal and start writing down the
date, route, rate of perceived exertion, type of exercise, energy
level, injury, total distance, moods, stress levels and heart rate
information. Keeping track of this information will help you see
patterns, celebrate success, monitor progress, keep us honest and
motivate you. Let’s face it, there will be days you don’t want to
move. Looking through your journal and seeing your
accomplishments… how far you’ve come… will inspire you to get off
the couch when you arrive at the present and see a blank page.
Remember, our training schedule is flexible; you decide which days
you do what. Also remember it makes sense to space out
modalities throughout the week. I’m putting my training schedule
down and you can move the modalities around to the days that work
best for you. Try to get two short walk/jog/runs during the week
and the long run done on a half-day off or weekend. This will allow
you to gradually adapt to the physical and mental demands of the
sport. Make various running routes using your car’s odometer so you
aren’t over training. A gps foot pod hooked to your heart
rate monitor also works. I hear the grumbles pertaining to the long
run. This is why we are offering a Thank u so much for the extravagant gift unexpected & appreciated :)group run on Saturdays at
3p.m. If you are like me, you are going to need the group
support to make it happen. These long runs will help you have the
knowledge, confidence, peace of mind that you can accomplish your
event come race day. Warm ups and cool downs are
I will be posting something separate for
this. I will tell you, I’m not an advocate of
stretching first; a lot of injury happens here.
like the warm up of doing the 100 (gets your breath and body
moving and brings awareness to your powerhouse)and walking until
your heart rate gets to a certain beat that is right for you (I
will go over this with each one of you). For the cool down, I’ll be
asking you to lower your heart rate to a certain beat and then I
have a stretching routine for you to follow after your run. You’d
be annoyed if you got an injury (and doubly annoyed if the injury
resulted from doing something you thought would prevent injury) so
let’s be mindful about our warm ups and cool downs. Please read
chapters 1-3 in your chi running or walking book by months end.
Your next marathon blog will cover topics about nutrition. You are
burning a lot of fuel so let’s talk about what type of fuel you
need to refuel your body with. For our long runs we will be meeting
at the studio unless otherwise stated. Please remember that I won’t
personally be at all of them, so at times the group will need to
organize itself. You will learn the ropes from me on what to do for
the long runs and I’m sure there is more than one leader in our
group that can layout the day’s run. Also, Monique, Jenny or I
should be at just about every run but as you know, we do have to
attend trainings throughout the year so that we can keep you at the
top of your game. In order to respect everyone’s time we will
always leave our running start point at 10 minutes after. At our
first run we will go over some group running etiquette. As we get
going and you are sharing your successes with family and friends
they will want to join us. We can take new members up till May
15th or so. Any time after this point
they would need to train for a smaller event on the same day but
all are welcome. Depending on when
they join we will help them train safely and explain how their
training program may be slightly different than ours.

first Field Trip:
I will be going shoe
shopping at Running Fit on Liberty St. in Ann Arbor on a Sunday in
January (22nd ). I like this business
because they are a Michigan based company, they have several
quality brands to pick from, they will fit you properly and they
sponsor many runs within our communities. If more than ten of us
get together to shop on the same day, I may be able to negotiate a
studio discount for us. Please let me know your interest level. A
good pair of running shoes is an investment and worth
Our first event is March 13,
We will either run or walk a 5k depending on
what you pick. This event sells out quickly so you will want to get
your registration form in a.s.a.p. http://www.runshamrocks.com/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1
Follow this link for the Shamrocks &
web page. Online
registration starts January 2011 and this event does sell out so
don’t procrastinate!
This event is “Save a
Heart” (organization that raises funds
to benefit patients and their families who come to the Michigan
Congenital Heart Center at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. Highly
experienced cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, intensive care
specialists, nurses, social workers, anesthesiologists and
radiologists provide comprehensive care for infants, children and
young adults with congenital heart disease.) and starts by Conor
O’Neils. To enter the race is $25 5k run/walk, $12 kid’s Kilometer,
$7 Kid’s Dash. The start times on race day are 10:45 a.m. for the
kid’s dash, 11 a.m. for the kid’s kilometer, 11:30 a.m. for the 5k.
Packet pickups will be Saturday 3/12 from 2-5p at: Running Fit at
5700 Jackson Rd in Ann Arbor. Get your green race attire 🙂

Week # Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
1 Short run Yoga Yoga/Short run Pilates Pilates Breathing Class/Long Run with group Active Rest
2 Short run Yoga Yoga/Short run Pilates Pilates Breathing Class, Sherri’s Health Class Long Run
with group
3 Short run Yoga Yoga/Short run Pilates Pilates Breathing Class, long run with group Active Rest
4 Short run yoga Short Run/Holistic Healing Workshop Pilates Pilates Breathing ClassLong run with group Active Rest

For week one, the
short runs are 30 minutes long: 5 minute warm up /20 minutes of 1
minute shuffle-jog and 4 minutes walking /5 minute cool down. The
Long run is a distance of 3 miles. You have a 5 minute warm
up and 5 minute cool down. Repeat 1 minute shuffle-jog
and 4 minutes walking as many times as you need to complete the 3
mile distance. For week two short
runs are 35 minutes long 5 minute warm up /25 minutes of 2 minute
shuffle-jog and 3 minutes walking /5 minute cool down. The long run
is a distance of 4 miles. You have a 5 minute warm up and 5
minute cool down. Repeat 2 minute shuffle-jog and 3 minutes
walking as many times as you need to complete the 4 mile distance.
For week
short runs are 40 minutes long 5 minute warm up
/30 minutes of 3 minute shuffle-jog and 2 minutes walking /5 minute
cool down. The long run is a distance of 5 miles. You have a
5 minute warm up and a 5 minute cool down. Repeat 3 minute
shuffle-jog and 3 minutes walking as many times as you need to
complete the 5 mile distance. For week four short
runs are 35 minutes long 5 minute warm up /25 minutes of 3 minutes
shuffle-jog and 2 minutes walking /5 minute cool down. The long run
is a distance of 3 miles. You have a 5 minute warm up and a 5
minute cool down. Repeat 3 minute shuffle-jog and 3 minute
walk as many times as you need to complete the 3 mile distance.
This month’s workouts are interval workouts so if you can’t shuffle
or jog then just walk faster during that time slot until you build
endurance enough to shuffle or jog. If you aren’t sure what a
shuffle is, then re-read the previous 2 blogs to find out. Active
Rest for this month means just go out for a nice walk for 20
minutes or so and consider building in a mid-day nap.

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Marathon Blog #1:

This is an overview on:

  • How we will help support you
  • Dates to clear
  • Products to put into your toolbox

I had the pleasure of meeting Anne Zorran when she walked into my studio to become a Pilates client. Anne was a pleasant surprise to me. You see, every client at Mind Body Balance is a gift. We believe those that are ready for a life change will find us. We know that while each client is a new challenge, they will touch our lives in an unsuspected way and we will learn as much as they did. Anne shared her story with me and inspired me to take it to the next level.

We have helped several athletes over the past year accomplish their dreams of participating in Triathlons.  Nick and I (and then some of our clients joined us) volunteered at some local Triathlons and supported our clients who participated. The energy at these events is amazing and this has to be one of the best volunteer experiences we’ve ever helped with. We will continue to volunteer at these again this year and I hope that more of you will join me.

Now we, as a studio, will compete in our first Marathon. Together as a studio we are going to complete The Detroit Free Press Marathon on October 16, 2011.

We have chosen four races in total and the whole family could get involved with all but one of them. Now, I know participating in a Marathon seems overwhelming! Your eyes glaze over, your heart skips a beat, you immediately get tired and feelings of self-doubt come up.  However, somewhere in there a smile occurs.  The mind starts to think “What if…. you know… I’ve secretly wanted to say that I have completed one.” Well, you can participate in one. You will learn a lot about yourself as you prepare for this event. Usually a training schedule for a Marathon is 20 weeks.  Our training schedule will be about 38 weeks. Each training schedule will come out in 4 weeks blocks so that you can plan that month’s training.

  • Your Pilates schedule to help you with alignment, strength and flexibility.
  • Your yoga will add flexibility and to help you reduce your stress levels.
  • Your on-line nutrition program will help you keep your body fueled properly.


A quick overview of the program: 

  • We will support you and your training schedule through our various services and partners in the community.
  • Your monthly training schedule will appear on Mind Body Balance’s blog along with other support materials.
    • We encourage you to be interactive on this blog. Ask questions, share your self-doubt and share your celebrations so that together as part of the Mind Body Balance community we can offer words of encouragement. Trust me.  If you have a question, others have the same question. 
    • We will also be posting some daily thoughts on Mind Body Balance’s Fan Page on Facebook.
      • There will be days that you don’t want to go out and do your training.  Post this on our Facebook page and maybe you’ll get some inspiration from your other Mind Body Balance community members and/ or find someone who is feeling the same way.  You can meet up to train together that day.
      • Feel free to say, “I train on ‘blank’ days in the ‘blank’ time of day.  Does this work for anyone else?  I’d love to have a partner.”  I’ll be posting mine.
      • The program is being set up so that during the week you can do your training schedule however it works best for you.  The longer training sessions will occur on Saturdays.
        • We will always have a “meet” at the studio (or a location that has been announced) for our group training.  You can choose to come if it works for you, but you are not required to come. As our training times get longer… as we increase our endurance… it is nice to have a group support.  Trust me, not all of us will hit walls at the same time and so someone in the group will be able to take the lead and push us through the hump.
          • Read Gung Ho! By Ken Blanchard and pay particular attention to the “goose” story.
          • We will also have various field trips, running shoes, clothing, and speaking seminars from people who have completed marathons on regular bases.  These field trips have been planned to correspond with our training schedule and to appear when we most need them.


I’m asking you to purchase some support materials.

  • Chi Running or Chi Walking by Danny Dreyer (about $11 on Amazon or order locally from the Book Nook)
  • Your Body Speaks Your Mind by Deb Shapiro (about $13 on Amazon or order locally from the Book Nook)
  • A journal that will record your training notes (about $10) and anything that comes up that you’d like to work on in Jane’s workshops,
  • A Polar RS300 heart rate monitor ($112 to $200)
  • We will have some clothing picked out for us to wear on race day.  You will be asked to cover the cost of this clothing.
  • All marathon training from me (and during our Saturday meet-ups) will be free of charge to all clients. 
    •  I think it is important for us to spend this year learning about ourselves and growing our bond as a community at Mind Body Balance (we have amazing individuals to meet),
    • We can set a good role model for our town.
    • It is time to take our training to the next level in a safe way. We are strong.  Let’s not cheat our body! Trust me, while I may be ahead of you in Yoga and Pilates, because of my hamstring injury (that I’ve now procrastinated with) I’ll be starting my cardio over (just as some of you are starting it for the first time).
    • Our overall goal is just to FINISH the race.
      • Our goal is to be done with the race in at least 6 hours.
        • Why?  After this length of time they start opening the streets.
        • This means that we are walking, shuffling, and/or jogging a 13: 45 minute mile or about 4.5 miles in an hour.
        • Please don’t think that we are asking you to flat out run 26.2 miles because we are not.
        • A shuffle is a cross between a fast walk and a slow jog. I think that each of you can participate in some way on this day. If you have concerns please speak to me on an individual bases and I will be candid with you on how I think you should approach this. I will give you a “play it safe” goal and a “stretch for the top” goal. I hope that each of you will pick a “stretch for the top” goal but the choice (as always) will be yours to make and we will respect that choice.


Here are some dates to clear on your calendar:

  • Saturdays at 3p.m. (unless you are going it alone for the long training days),
  • March1 3, 2011 –Shamrocks and Shenanigans 5K run and walk in Ann Arbor (5K run, 5K walk, kids run)
  • April 2, 2011 –Martian Invasion of Races Dearborn (5K Run, 10K Run, Kids Run, Half, Relay and Full)
  • June 5, 2011 –Dexter Ann Arbor (5K Run, 5K Walk, 10 K Run, 10K Walk, Kids Run, Half)

Then our main event!

  • The Detroit Free Press Marathon, October 16, 2011
    • Everyone can participate, including your friends and family if you wish. (5K walk, 5K run, 10K run, Half, Full, Kids Run). Don’t panic this sounds like a lot but I paired up these smaller events with our long training schedules to prepare us for what race day would feel like. We aren’t over training, we are just doing some of our longer sessions in an actual event form.

I will be printing out applications and rules for these events and have them at the studio for you.

Our next blog will cover topics like, What is a marathon? How do I choose my event? How do I decide to participate?

We are also adding more helpful components to our list this year to help you further your training experience.

  • Jane V. Lutz, MSN, RN will be here to guide us through some self-growth and interpersonal development. She has been involved in holistic study and healing since 1985. She has taught psychiatric nursing, a variety of holistic classes and meditation. She offers individual and group education sessions and her writings about spirituality have been published. She has been a Mind/Body: Balance client for over a year now.  As we go through this journey you will learn a lot about yourself physically and emotionally.
    • These classes will be held on the 4th Wednesday of every month at 7:30 p.m. for 90 minutes for $25 at Mind Body Balance.
    • Holly Cramner is a registered craniosacral therapist and creates a warm and open atmosphere in her office where you can really change your health and your life.  Holly is also a client of Mind Body Balance and is participating in the event with us.  Using a holistic healthcare approach, breathing/ visualization classes and homeopathic remedies along with craniosacral therapies, Holly has helped many people cure their ailments, relieve their pain and increase their emotional well-being. She will be holding some breathing classes. As you know, with any movement, breathing is paramount and we need to strengthen this area of our body in order to make it through our events with ease.
      • These classes will be held on Saturdays at noon at Mind Body Balance for $70 for a seven week series or a $12 drop in.
    • Sherri Eby is our Naturopath;  so if you start feeling run down or a little funky, Ask Sherri Eby for natural health information.  She is a Natural Health Educator and body worker, currently training as a Naturopath.  You can get insight on several natural health topics and understand how to apply them per your needs.  Information that she can help you with includes nutrition, herbal supplements, essential oils, body work and homeopathies.  Remember, Sherri is participating in the marathon training and will be encountering some of the same issues that you might be faced with. You can call her for a consultation and she will also be writing an article that you will see in our monthly newsletter “Balancing Act” to give us food for thought. Sherri is also a client and participating in our event with us.
      • Sherri is having natural health education sessions on the 2nd Monday of each month at 6:00 p.m. and the 3rd Saturday of each month at 1:00 p.m.  Please check the Mind/Body: Balance web site for specific dates and topics.  Each session is an hour long for $10 drop in or $35 dollars for a four session series. 
    • We have a list of five massage therapists each specializing in a different area so when you need body work (please be proactive with this) we have you covered Sherri Eby (Mindful Massage on Monroe St), Holly Cramner (The Resolution Center on Monroe Street) , Dawn Bellino (Divine Balance Therapeutic Massage on Telegraph Rd), Lisa Mannosco (located in Zinnen on Telegraph Rd), Rachael Gardner (Mindful Massage on Monroe St).


Our local Healthy Food Store “Health Matters,” is owned and operated by Maurine Sharp R.N. ~ Natural Nurse.  In 2004 Maurine’s vision of educating and helping people with health issues became a reality with the opening or her store:

Health Matters Herbs & More
17 E. Second St.

Located in the downtown district of Monroe, MI .

Maurine is a registered nurse, graduating in 1970 from Henry Ford Community College. She has worked in many facets of the nursing field including, hospitals, nursing homes, a doctor’s office and 14 years in mental health working with the developmentally disabled and those with mental illnesses.  Her passion for growing and using herbs began her journey into the field of natural health. Her accreditations include medicinal herbal education with Clayton College Of Natural Health, hands on herbal training with Linda Diane Feldt, a practicing herbalist in Ann Arbor, MI. and continued training.   

  Maurine’s services include personal health consultations, classes on vitamins and herbs, muscle testing, field trips and also a lending library that features a vast array of books on health issues including nutrition and disease.  She is also a great resource for us to pick up quality food for us to fuel our bodies.

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The Model Body Fantasy!

Many of us have a passion for the things that we would like to do or to create.  This passion fills us with joy but we sit in our living room thinking that will never happen. Who would want to pay me or finance me?

Many people share their health dreams with me, with friends, with co-workers, with family and some just keep the dream to themselves.  And you know, if we don’t act on these health dreams or passions we will go to our death bed with many regrets and wish I would’ve…….

How many of us wish for these health dreams and hope that one day we will just wake up and be in the body you wish for? How many of us wish we could just play with children with out getting out breath? How many of us want to go walk in the park or woods but are afraid you won’t make it back to your car? How many of us avoid physical activities that we are invited to because you are afraid of slowing down the group? Well, you can sit there worrying or you can get up and do something about it!

Start experimenting with an open mind. Try a Yoga class at a local studio. Try a couple (or five) gyms in your area. Talk with various personal trainers or Pilates Instructors. Join a couple of sport groups at your local YMCA. Look, not all gyms, studios or fitness professionals are made the same. We don’t all have similar philosophies either and we all have different specialties.  You won’t know what will work for you until you pick up the phone, drag yourself to the location or class and do it.

I understand that not all clients are right for me. My philosophies are different because I don’t believe what’s out there is working.  Take a look around.  Do you think its working? I teach self-efficacy and don’t believe in beating up or punishing my clients into good health or a smaller size. Sometimes I get a client that wants that (and yes I could do it for them) but it takes a lot out of me and I know they won’t be successful in the long run. I want my clients to be with me for twenty one months (this is how long it takes to change a lifestyle) and then I want them to only come to me because they want to, not because they need me any more. I want to fill their tool box and teach them self-care tools so that they don’t need me.

Judy Hudson said this “Your body prior to Pilates is like a clump of clay. Pilates sculpts your entire form one Pilates execution at a time. Like a true artist you are never done with your art. You refine, fix, contemplate, experience set backs and move on. Your workout is always a work in progress.” Let’s face it! You may not even know what Pilates is (or given it an honest try) so how do you not know that it will inspire you and change your life. Again, Pilates instructors are not all made the same.  Some are actually teaching it and some are promising to try to teach it.

Once you awaken your body to movement, to the muscle control, to the lengthening of your spine, to connecting your mind and body, you have a new-found awareness of movement throughout your life. You will find strength and energy you didn’t even think was possible.

There is magic in the movement and movement done well is a feast for the eyes to watch.  Sloppy, strained, constricted movement is not pretty to watch and can hurt you. Everyone deserves (and should start with) some private sessions instead of muscling your way through sloppy calisthenics on your own. Just like you wouldn’t think of designing a bridge, a car or a submarine, the human body is no exception.  You need a good design of movement and you need a professional to help you accomplished what that might look like for you. We all have a starting point.  Like the three previous examples, there is an idea in your head of where to start and what the end result might look like.  We all need help with the middle.

I’m not a therapist I can’t help you figure our your fear or your hang up, but I can tell you it is time to get over it and get moving!

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Are You Wishing or Doing?

I’ve discovered just recently that those clients that call up and say “Well, I can work out at 6 p.m. on Tuesday or 5 a.m. on Wednesday only” just aren’t ready to do what it takes to get healthy. I’ve learned that when I meet their narrow demand that they are surprised, plug along for a few sessions and then develop excuse after excuse until they have exhausted all of them. At that point, we either do some “thinking” work or we part ways and they are encouraged to come back when they are truly ready. Clients are always surprised that I don’t take everyone as a client or that I fire them if they don’t make an honest effort to keep consistency in their program. I don’t do this because I’m perfect or snobby; I do this because it doesn’t do either of us any good to waste each others time or their money if they aren’t ready. Deciding to become healthy is like deciding to go to AA.  You just aren’t ready until you (and only you) are ready to make that change. Your doctor, work schedule, personal trainer, slimming club etc. can’t do the work for you.  Ultimately it comes down to you doing the hard work with guidance and support from others.

Before this life as fitness professional I was a successful manger. With that success came some compromises, one of which was my health. I remember the first day that I was on my way to the gym to meet my personal trainer. It was a beautiful sunny day outside, so she suggested a run before my weight routine. On the way back from my grueling run, I said “I thought I’d only have to do this for 6 months but I’m going to have to do this for the rest of my life, aren’t I?” She smiled back and said “Yep!” Somehow, that task seemed overwhelming. I wasn’t prepared for heroic efforts daily, weekly, monthly, annually. So, I looked for a way that I could sustain a healthy lifestyle forever. For me it was accountability, quality of life and self-efficacy development. Yes, I still struggle. Yes, I still need a coach to make me see that I’m forgetting myself. But, I’m successful because slow and steady wins the race every time!

Are you sitting in your office chair wishing you were healthy? Are you changing your negative thinking to positive thinking by saying your affirmations but then not acting on them? Remember, you just can’t pull weight loss out of the air or find it in a magic pill. Use an affirmation to build positive energy and self esteem so that you feel as though you can start moving.  Create repetition with your workouts both physically and emotionally. The act of “doing movement” along with positive beliefs creates the magic in the movement!

Now I know you’re thinking “Well Sally doesn’t have to do anything and she’s beautiful, strong, thin, etc.” Well great for Sally! Call her up and ask her to be honest about her efforts because I’d love to know what she is really doing and how long it lasts for her.

It is time that you worried about you and only you and your self care. Are you really exercising consistently? Are you sitting down to a mindful meal that is balanced between carbs, protein and fat? Or are you wishing for something that will never come?

If people only knew how hard I worked to gain my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful at all.” — Michalangelo

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Building Self Efficacy for your Fitness Goals is in the Phone!

I believe that my clients are intelligent and that with the World Wide Web they have a pretty good base of knowledge on what they need to do to get healthy. However, I believe the gap in actually accomplishing these goals starts with knowing how to apply this vast world of information to their lives. This is why I believe in Fitness Coaching.  I know you are wondering, “How do I get fit over the phone?”  It sounds a bit gimmicky, right?

Well, have you ever heard of a business coach or a life coach? It is very similar to this; only we are talking about fitness and well-being goals. We develop a personal health plan for you (one that fits your individual life) and helps you overcome your obstacles. The number one reason people are not successful with exercise is because they quit.  This system is designed to keep you motivated and moving, even when your life is busy. The secret is accountability (which most personal trainers don’t share with you).  By holding you accountable to someone other than yourself, the likelihood of sticking to your exercise program increases by over 2200% (yes, that’s really two thousand two hundred percent). Lack of motivation and commitment are the two main reasons why people drop out of an exercise program.

Stanford University has been studying this concept for over 24 years. If you’d like to learn more… Google “Telephone-Assisted Counseling for Physical Activity Cynthia M. Castro and Abby C. King” (Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews, vol. 30(2), pp. 64-68, 2002).

Having a coach that holds you accountable to your goals is like gold. Your coach will guide you so that you don’t get distracted with life as easily. When you are healthy and fit you are energized, ready to lead life with vigor, you pay attention to your self-care. Currently, businesses are looking for ways to cut costs.  So do your part in keeping health care costs down. Start a conversation with your boss about low cost and no cost programs that can help inspire your co-workers to take better self-care steps. Who knows, you may just get healthy and secure your job all at once.

It is also not our doctor’s or healthcare provider’s responsibility to foot the bill to make us well. We need to be responsible for our own body and subsequent health. Did you know that 75% of diseases are preventable and are directly related to the lifestyle choices that we make? Here is a statistic that might be affecting your bottom line right now: obesity is associated with a 36% increase in healthcare spending (more than smoking or drinking). Private U.S. companies report that obesity costs them an estimated $45 billion annually in medical expenditures and work loss (Barrington & Rosen 2008).

Here is a link to a free e-book that I wrote.  Share it with the management at your place of employment:


I teach my clients self-efficacy because we need to understand that our health is a personal responsibility and healthcare is there to help us in prevention and treatment of disease that we can’t prevent.

Try this affirmation on for size:

I keep a weekly phone call with my fitness coach because it improves my quality of health. My friends, family and co-workers are ringing my phone off the hook just to learn my secret to success.

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Gratitude, Kindness, Happiness Lead to a Healthy Life

Spread love everywhere you go: first of all in your own house. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next door neighbor…let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile and kindness in your warm greeting.” — Mother Teresa


Our body was made to move. It wasn’t made to sit in front of a computer for hours on end or sit in front of the TV watching shows and playing games, and it certainly wasn’t made to sit in a car driving through a drive-through having food passed out through a window for us to sit there and eat it. (Really, if the food comes through a window is it really food?) We’ve become so lazy that we can’t even walk in for the instant gratification of food delivered to us in seconds across the counter. Stop and think about our behaviors a minute.  It is kind of funny when you think about it.

When you first start movement, start small. Consider just walking for 5-10 minutes after every meal (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and once you’ve mastered this then add in a 15-20 minute walk most days of the week.  As you take this walk, smile and be thankful that you’ve been given the gift to be mobile. Happiness is catchy! A gift of a smile to a loved one or stranger brings a smile to their face and day; and it didn’t cost you anything.  Instead, you are creating a link with yourself and others as a circle of abundance.

I thank God everyday for the abundant gifts he provides for me. He made us so that we could live an important plan of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual activity. If you can get the physical thing working, then the rest (mental, emotional and spiritual) will follow through. You only get one body, so feed it with healthy energizing food vs. junky, sluggish food. I say ALL FOODS FIT but there is a difference in the quality of your food so pay attention. Just as a little housekeeping goes a long way… well, so does a little movement. A little movement in your life goes a very long way.  A simple 10 minute walk after meals can help your body process the glucose in your system. Just a little weight loss of 5-10 pounds can significantly impact your blood panels.

This idea of health doesn’t have to be complicated if we don’t make it complicated.

“The doctor of the future will give no medicine but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease” –Thomas Edison

A wise Turkish saying is: “No matter how far you’ve gone down a wrong road, turn back and get on the right road!”

It isn’t too late to lead a healthy lifestyle.  You just need to find the right resources to help you along the journey.

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Put Fear Behind YOU and Drive Health and Prosperity YOUR Way!

What we do today will set us steps apart from others that led a sedentary lifestyle today and miles apart in the years to come. We have a choice. There are two sides to a coin. We can choose; “FEAR”, negative attitude and thoughts, or “FUTURE/ HOPE”, positive attitude and thoughts. We have the ability to choose. What do you choose? My motto lately has been to “Overcome Fear, Choose Hope and Discover Personal Victory for my health, even if it is by the skin of my teeth!”

I know you’ve heard someone say “Look, just change your thinking, change your behavior or get some backbone.” Right? Well, the equation to staying healthy is simple but actually living it is difficult. So, you might be thinking “There is no hope for me. I’m past the point of return.” Or, “These things you’ve been suggesting in this blog don’t work for me.” I have a question for you: ARE YOU DOING THEM? Consistently? Everyday?

Look, I know from personal experience and through my clients that you probably aren’t and that you are filling your head with negative, self sabotaging, limiting beliefs. Do you clench at the fact that you are going to have to put that dress or suit on that made its way back to the far reaches of the closet? Do you have anxiety attacks because you have to go clothes shopping for a special event and you don’t know what size you’ll be in? I know those mirrors at the department store don’t seem to work like the mirrors at home right J Do you get all  envious at co workers, friends and family when they are talking about their personal health success, the pounds they lost, the energy they have, their latest blood work was great, etc. Well, you need to start reprogramming yourself. Put a different record on in your head.

It is time to dream and build your best self based on your values and principals. Forget about the past, forget about the future.  Neither exists and we have no control over them.  One has already happened and the other hasn’t happened yet. Each morning, when you wake up, focus on the now, that day. Ask yourself, “What are five steps I could take today, contributions, achievements, and results?” Focus on what you can do for that 24 hour period. In doing this, you will be creating a bright future. Look for:

  • Opportunities to act on
  • Value you can create
  • Relationships you can build
  • Dream and build your “best self” based on your values and principles
  • Gratitude, Gratitude, Gratitude


“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity…it turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”


–New York Times Writer Melodie Beattie

 Identify what fears are stopping you from moving forward, chose hope and focus on the now. Affirmations are a very powerful tool. They help us stop that negative mind chatter and to stay positive and focused. Sometimes, when we first make an affirmation, it makes no sense to us. An Affirmation is a positive statement affirming or asserting something to manifest. Think about the “Law of Attraction.” You get what you think about.  Your thoughts determine your destiny. If you can dream it, it honors your values, and you develop an action plan.  You can put on a “new record” and conquer success. My affirmations work for me whether I believe they do or not.

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I Love To Get Healthy!

I’m amazed at how people talk and act when I’m in social settings. For one, whenever someone meets me at a networking event or something they immediately stop eating or start apologizing for eating certain food groups. Believe me!  If I want a dessert, I’m going to get one and not feel guilty about it. Especially since my motto is “All Foods Fit!”

Let’s think about this.  How much did you learn in school about nutrition and movement? What did you hear adults saying about nutrition and movement? What about your parents? These things that you heard, studied and read formed your opinion or perception about nutrition and movement.  How many of us have heard “No. You’ll spoil your appetite.”, “Your father will be home at 7 p.m. We’ll eat dinner then.” “There are children starving in Africa.  Clean your plate.” “You’re young.  Sit down and rest, you’ll have plenty of time to move later.” “Eat all the junk you want while your young.” The list goes on and on right!

What are you saying to yourself? How are you speaking to yourself? Are you saying “I hate my body, look at my face, I am fat.”?  When was the last time you said “I am beautiful and wonderful and my body just gets better as the days go by.”?  Remember.  If you think you are fat in your mind or that you’ll fail at being healthy, then, you know what?  Your mind will always win. You’ve got to make a choice to concentrate on the positive. “With every new day comes new strength and new thoughts.”

 ~Eleanor Roosevelt


FEAR stands for False Evidence Appearing Real.  Jackie Brandt puts it beautifully “Our thinking naturally moves us in the direction of our goals. If we do not consciously choose goals, then our thinking usually moves us in the direction of our fears. The one thing bigger than fear is intention or goal, we have now taken any fear that we might naturally drift toward and we have  replaced it with something far more powerful.” What is your choice today? Is it to be fearful that you will fail at your weight loss attempts once again? Or is it that you will make an intention to collect information and act on it; changing your lifestyle? For example, you could call a fitness coach or personal trainer and gather information on what steps you should take to best reach your goal. You could find out what a healthy, realistic time span would be to reach those goals (6 months, 12 months or 21 months etc.). You shouldn’t have to go to heroic efforts of punishing your body into a healthy lifestyle to make a change. Small steps go a long way, just like a little house keeping goes a long way. “You alone decide whether to reach a dead end or live a healthy lifestyle for a long, healthy, happy, active life.” ~Paul Bragg  So take all those excuses and use these three little words “UP UNTIL NOW!”  “I can’t lose weight… Up Until Now!”  “I don’t have time to eat healthy… Up Until Now!”  You get the picture. Begin NOW!

Change your belief system about nutrition, health and movement and you’ll change your experience with nutrition, health and movement! I inspire people to movement!

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