Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Tips To Looking Ageless

Society is obsessed by youth and I think it’s highly overrated.  I’ve noticed that as we get older, some people will go to great lengths to try and hide their age, especially women.  In my opinion, age is defined by your spirit and not by the date on your driver’s license. 

No matter what my age, I’ll always be young at heart.  I don’t follow the trend telling me what I should look or dress like for my age.  If anything, I break just about every rule.  I don’t hide my age, but rather surprise people by looking younger because I stay fit and eat healthy.  With each year passing, I gain more wisdom, knowledge and success.  And I would never trade that for anything.

I’m not embarrassed telling anyone that I’m 38 years old.  I’m often asked how do I keep looking so young.  I stay young by being active and choosing healthier food.  I exercise any chance I get.  I would rather spend 2 hours at the gym than at a beauty or nail salon because being fit will make me look and feel naturally young and beautiful. 

I take pride being an all natural trainer and woman.  I would never have plastic surgery to look better nor would I ever inject Botox to make myself look young.  I embrace the wrinkles I have because it tells people that I’ve lived a full life. 

Besides being fit, having a nice complexion is the key to looking youthful.  There are foods that you can eat that are good for your skin to prevent cell structure damage that can lead to wrinkles, fine lines and loss of firmness.  I recommend half a cup of blueberries daily, as it will help smooth fine lines.  One of my favorite vegetables that also help me look younger is spinach.  Spinach contains beta-carotene and lutein nutrients that have been proven to improve elasticity to help firm your skin.  I suggest that you serve yourself three cups per week.

Just because you’re older doesn’t mean you should let yourself go.  I wake up everyday finding ways to challenge myself, mentally and physically.  Look youthful by eating the right food and staying active!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Overcoming Your Weaknesses

The one thing that builds your character the most is having the ability to overcome your weaknesses.  Everybody has qualities of all sorts, both strengths and weaknesses.  Only you know what they are.  Some people choose to shy away at the things they are not great at because they’re afraid to fail.  You only fail if you don’t try.  If you do it enough and work hard at anything, you will succeed.  You can turn your weakness into your strongest quality.

Doing things that you are great at may be enjoyable but you must challenge yourself by working on your weaknesses.  I choose to work on my weakness to challenge myself until that weakness becomes one my strongest qualities. 

Growing up, I watched my mom deal with the difficulty of having asthma and other health issues.  My mom was overweight and did very little exercise.  She often had to fight to catch her breath when she was just walking.  Lucky for me, I am the only one in the family who inherited asthma from my mom.  As a child, I knew I didn’t want to be unhealthy like her. 

I developed my own eating habits and exercise routine.  I didn’t make excuses for myself for not having perfect lungs and I make sure to stay active and jog often.  I jogged everyday to build up my endurance and my breathing.  Up to this day, I have no problem running 4 miles daily even with asthma.  However, if you’re just starting out, be sure to consult your physician before any new exercise program.

Don’t limit or make excuses for yourself.  Whatever your weaknesses are, you’ve got to fight to improve yourself.  It may not be easy but it’ll make you stronger and better.  I’m constantly trying to improve myself and I can never learn too much.  It doesn’t matter how long it takes, life is an evolution and I believe that we can always be better.  I’m truly confident that you can do anything if you put your mind into it.  I challenge you to challenge yourself by overcoming your weaknesses – mentally and physically.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Liquid Diets

Question from P.N. – “I am thinking of going on a liquid diet for a week to jump-start my weight loss program. What's your take on a liquid diet?”

It’s great to want to jump-start your weight loss plan.  However, there are advantages as well as disadvantage with liquid diets.  In my opinion, it’s fine to replace 1 meal a day with an all-natural fruit/vegetable juice or a smoothie.  But it has to be the kind you put in the blender or juicer and not the kind of juice you buy in the store.  You have to be careful, many fruit drinks are labeled “healthy” but there is fructose in a lot of them.

I’m not a big fan of supplements but a protein powder or shake can be another alternative if you want to replace a meal.

Although liquid diets will result in a faster weight loss, my main concern is protein deficiency.  Liquid diets are also less than 1000 calories per day, which will slow down your metabolism to conserve energy.  In turn, you will gain the weight back quickly when you’re off your liquid diet.

I don’t recommend a temporary full on liquid diet (3 or 4 times a day).  However, there’s nothing wrong with replacing 1 meal a day with liquids and eat 2 regular healthy meals.  You may not lose the weight as fast but your weight loss will be consistent and safe.  I don’t recommend any diets that I consider a temporary fix, it must to be a lifestyle change.

If you want to try a full week of liquid diet, please be aware of the nutritional content and it’s always best to be supervised by a physician to be safe.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Nutritional Plan That Will Help Break Through Your Fitness Plateau

Question from C.R. – “What are you eating? Do you have a set meal plan? I'm down 45 pounds, but hitting a plateau.”

Reaching a plateau can be frustrating especially if you have been doing so well trying to lose weight.  Your body goes through a lot of changes when you lose weight.  Therefore, when you reach a plateau, you need a new routine.  Change your diet or exercise routine, maybe both.

I personally don’t have a set meal plan.  I’m very active and burn a lot of calories throughout the day and find myself eating more to maintain my weight.  I’m not complaining, it’s a good problem to have.  Although I can eat anything I desire, I tend to eat fairly healthy and control my meal portions.  Your body is like a sports car, you have to give it the right fuel for the best performance.  Food is 80% responsible for your weight loss or gain.

I recommend following the menu below until you’ve reached your goal.  When you have reached your goal, then you can eat whatever you like but keep in mind the amount of calories you’re eating along with exercise.  The logic of losing weight is plain and simple.  Don’t consume more calories than you can burn off.  Until you are able to learn how to control your weight pound by pound, stick with this low calorie menu below.


Pick one main dish:
1) 2-4 egg whites
2) 1-2 eggs
3) Egg beater veggie omelet
5) Oatmeal mixed w/berries (instead of using any sugar)

Pick one side dish:
1) Rice cake
2) Low calorie wheat toast
3) Whole wheat English muffin
4) ½ Bagel


Pick one main dish:
1) 6-8 oz. broiled/grilled fish
2) 6-8 oz. broiled/grilled skinless chicken breast
3) 6-8 oz. turkey breast
4) Tofu
5) Salad w/fat free vinaigrette dressing

Pick one side dish:
1) Vegetable dish
2) Dry baked potatoes or yam
3) Rice


1) Water
2) All natural fruit juice (with no corn syrup or fructose)
3) Coffee black or with non-fat milk
4) Green tea

Snacks (small portion):
1) Fruits
2) Popsicle (Use all natural juice and make your own)
3) Yogurt (non-fat)
4) Beef jerky (all natural)
5) Nuts

Meal Substitutes:
1) 8-10oz. of non-fat cottage cheese
2) Fruit smoothie (made with all natural fruit, w/non fat yogurt, fruit juice with no corn syrup or fructose)

Only use this weight loss menu as a guideline.  This weight loss menu contains approximately 1500 calories.  I also recommend drinking 8 glasses of water a day. 

If you reach a plateau, give my weight loss menu a try.  Otherwise, cut your meal portions or perhaps change your work out routine by doing more cardio exercises.  I promise combining with exercise, this menu will work! 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sculpting The Perfect Abs

Questions from R.F. – “So is working out your abs a good idea to do everyday or every other day and how long is good for a work out?  Just wondering if they need time to rest like arms and legs do with weights.”

When it comes to abs, there’s no right or wrong way to work out.  It all depends on your goal.  Whether your goal is to have a runner’s lean abs or a muscular bodybuilder’s abs, it requires doing a lot of cardio exercises and a healthy diet.  Doing ab exercises alone may not be enough to give you the sexy abs you desire.  It requires work and consistency.

I enjoy running and I used to jog 4 miles daily for my choice of cardio exercise but I had to find a balance because I was losing too much weight.  Now, I jog 4 miles every other day to maintain my weight.  I eat fairly healthy and I don’t feel the need to eat more just so I can jog daily.

If you want a lean runner’s abs, you can do a shorter weightless ab workout everyday or every other day.  If you’re just starting out, start slowly and work your way up. My suggestion to start is 3 sets of 12 sit-ups (5 minutes).

But if you want a muscular abs like the bodybuilders, then it requires an intense 1 hour of ab workout with heavy weights once or twice a week.  Ab muscles are like any other muscles in your body, it needs time to rest.

I personally do 500 (5 different ab exercises @ 100 reps) weightless ab exercises daily at least 5 days a week.  My ab workout takes me about 45 minutes and is not for everybody.  When it comes to abs, as a woman, I think it’s more complicated than a man.  I like my abs to be somewhere in between a runner’s and a bodybuilder’s abs with some definitions, just enough ab muscles to find it sexy but not too much to considered masculine.

There’s no right or wrong way to sculpt your perfect abs.  The choice is yours.  Whatever time and effort you put in will be the result. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Losing The Last 10 lbs.

Questions from P.N. – “I've gained 10 lbs and I'm now chubby.  Is it best to work out when I wake up which is usually around 1pm or before I go to bed, which is around 6am.  How often do I need to do cardio per week?  Is it alright to just eat 1 big meal per day?”

Whether you just started to gain or are trying to loss the last 10lbs., 10 seems to be the ultimate number.  It may not sound like it’s a lot but I applaud anyone keeping track or staying conscious of their body.  If you’re like me, 10 pounds would be quite a dramatic physical change because of my height.  I think finding the time to work out anytime of the day is fantastic!  If you have a choice, I recommend working out in the in the morning. It’ll jump start your metabolism for the day and burn stored fat instead of the food you’ve just eaten.  Before bedtime might not be a good idea because it will raise your energy level and may make it harder for you to fall asleep.

Cardio exercises are best for losing weight.  I recommend 1 hour per day at least 5 days a week until you reached your fitness goal.  If you’re just starting out, I recommend walking because it’s low impact and you can do it practically anywhere.  As you get more comfortable with your choice of cardio exercises, pick up the pace to burn even more calories!

I say it often and I’ll say it again.  Food is 80% responsible for your weight loss or gain, therefore eating healthy and cutting your meal portion is best.  I don’t recommend eating 1 meal per day because you’ll end up eating more than what you need.  Your body will then store the extra fat, which will make you gain even more weight.  If you choose to skip a meal, replace it with a healthy smoothie but don’t starve yourself to loss weight.  I recommend eating a regular healthy meal 3 times a day and carry a healthy snack throughout the day if you’re still hungry.  That means no fast food, sodas or alcohol.  Drinks a lot of water (8 glasses per day is recommended).

The key is to break your daily routine and try something different.  You can’t expect to get results doing the same thing.  The concept to losing weight is quite simple, eat less and work out more!  Follow these guidelines and you’ll loss that 10lbs. in less time and effortlessly.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Gift Of Life

The holidays are here and no matter what traditions you celebrate, I hope you received everything you wished for.  For me, it’s not about the material things because I already have the greatest gift.  If you’re reading this, then you too, have the most precious gift of all.  It’s called life and many of us take it for granted.  Although it’s wonderful to have family, friends or loved ones to share the holidays with but not everybody is as fortunate. 

Recently, I lost a good friend to depression.  He took his own life because he thought that dying was a better alternative than the life he was living.  He had a troubled past and felt that he’s couldn’t start over.  Even for myself, I’ve made mistakes in the past but it never stopped me from creating my future.  In life, we all make mistakes but it’s the lessons we learn that define who we are.

Life is about balance.  It’s about learning how to balance our life and taking control of our mind and body.  I believe each and every one of us have a special gift and have a purpose in life.  No matter what you’ve been through, you can always start over.  Life is an evolution.  If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to reach out because there are many people who do care because life is sacred.

The holidays are supposed to be a time of celebration and the year is coming to an end.  It’s been a tough and challenging time for most and some of you may feel that you don’t have anything to celebrate.  We all have something to celebrate!  It’s called life.  It’s common to experience loneliness during this time of year and feel disconnected if you don’t have close family, friends or loved ones to share it with.  It’s important to put things in perspective.  There’s no need to be alone, you can always volunteer your time to those who are even less fortunate.

I try to live everyday like there’s no tomorrow and empower myself by the lessons I’ve learned from past mistakes.  Alone or not, holiday or no holiday, I focus on myself to become the best I can be.  We all go through difficult situations and may feel down at times but it’s important not sit around and feel sorry for yourself.  Work on how to improve your life and you’ll draw those special people into it whether it’s personal or professional.  Focus on yourself and don’t worry about what other people have. 

In the end, the material things are meaningless.  Be positive, keep focused and be grateful for the little things in life that money can’t buy.  Everyday is a new beginning.  A smile, the weather or the holiday spirit are some of the most precious gifts of life.