An Unprocessed Life – Simple Ways to Live & Eat Clean

Reducing the Complexity

Simplify: A term that means to reduce in complexity or difficulty. However, life is anything but uncomplicated. As individuals, we have certain responsibilities both in our personal and professional lives. We may have a business to run, a degree to complete, a trip to take, children to raise, or any combination of those or similar duties. As a result of the often chaotic nature of life, we look for simple ways to help us manage our time and resources in the most efficient ways possible. One way to “simplify” is by taking advantage of pre-packaged food items at the grocery store. Not only does this help reduce the preparation and cooking time of meals, but it also minimizes the element of meal planning. However, what we gain in time, we often lose in nutritional value and quality. The real question – are we really simplifying our lives by purchasing and consuming food items with a long list of complex ingredients? In other words, do we really know what’s in our food if we didn’t have a hand in its creation? The good news is there are very easy ways to simplify our meals and still keep up with a quick-paced lifestyle.  (more…)

To Warm Up before Exercise or Not? What’s the Point?

What is a pre-exercise warm-up?

Think about a warm-up in the context of starting your car in the middle of winter. It is unrealistic to expect that we can demand peak performance from an engine that has been sitting – cold and quiet for a period of hours. The engine of the human body is no different. Warming up is a crucial part of achieving peak performance in physical activity, exercise and training. Unfortunately, the warm-up segment of a workout, much like flexibility, is often not given the attention it truly deserves. A warm-up does not need to be long to be effective – it simply needs to be done right.  (more…)

Fall Fitness Fun

Fall into Fitness

Ahhh…fall; it’s my favorite color! There’s something magical about the changing colors, the crisp morning air, and the crunch of leaves under my feet that I find so beautifully refreshing. I feel motivated to make fun changes to my own workout routine as the seasons change. Autumn presents a beautiful time to “fall” in to a new fitness routine.

pexels-photo-27237Not only is now the time to shake up an old routine, it is also time to enjoy the beauty of nature and the outdoors before old man winter comes to visit.


Avoid Fatigue Fighting Follies

A new beginning can be exhaustingly exciting.

Although the beginning of a new academic year is exciting and brings with it promises for a fresh start, it also requires a lot of energy to both acclimate to and balance a new schedule. As we work to “get in to the groove”, our energy levels can suffer as a result of increased stress and decreased quality sleep. If left unmanaged, we will soon find ourselves not just experiencing transitory moments of low energy, but a chronic feeling of fatigue.

Fatigue. We are all familiar with it. We have all experienced it. We all try to apexels-photovoid it. Fatigue – it’s the nasty little gremlin that taunts us frequently throughout the week. What might differ for each of us is the specific cause of fatigue. Whether it is a lack of sleep, boredom, stress, poor activity and nutrition, hormonal imbalances, or other health-related triggers, experiencing fatigue has a significant impact on daily life. Feeling tired impacts one’s ability to remain focused, productive, alert, and engaged. As a result, our capacity to learn new information and retain that information is severely diminished.   (more…)

Smart Snacks – Healthy Ways to Power Up for Mental Performance

Fueling Up the Healthy Way

Ready or not, fall is here! Anyone else notice the leaves starting to change? For many of us, this means dusting off the backpack, stocking up on school supplies, packing lunches, and organizing multiple schedules. Getting back in the groove can be a challenge after a leisurely summer season; however, fueling our bodies and our minds with the right nutrients will allow us to successfully tackle this challenge. (more…)

Personal Training Services: Test Your Knowledge

Personal Trainers – Quality Matters

gym-warmup-1509325-640x480When it comes to our personal health and well-being, we have the right to  expect and receive high quality care and services. Whether it is a dental check-up, an eye-exam, or surgical procedure, the quality of care should never fall short of the expectation of excellence and professionalism. As the health-care consumer, we should all expect that the individual whose services we are seeking is educated, well-practiced, credentialed, and current in his or her professional field. Personal training services  should be no exception.

For individuals looking to improve overall health and reduce their risk profile, hiring a personal trainer or fitness coach is a worthy investment, however, knowing where to find quality services can be challenging and confusing at times. Finding an experienced and educated trainer is not always as easy as walking in to the nearest fitness center or gym. (more…)

Think Your Drink – When to Choose Water over A Sports Drink

Think Your Drink

When it comes to hydrating purposes, what’s better – water or sports drinks? This question often arises when it comes to choosing what to drink during practice or athletic competition. Sports drinks are extremely popular thirst quenchers and training aides. Depending on the brand, a sports drink typically contains a form of simple carbohydrates (sugars), potassium and sodium (electrolytes), and water – all necessary elements for sustained, high intensity activity. Water hydrates; electrolytes enhance the absorption of water and glucose and assist in maintaining blood volume; carbohydrates provide energy for activity. All great substances, but there’s a caveat.  (more…)

Beat Back to School Blues

Where did summer go?!

Wow – how is it August already? I feel like I missed a few months! As summer winds down, our kiddos (and even some of us) have to face to reality of heading back to school, can present serious challenges for many kids and parents.

As signs of autumn begin to appear, it is easy to think “good bye pexels-photosummer; hello tight schedules and stacks of homework.” But summer coming to a close doesn’t have to be a sorrowful event. Yes, the days are shorter and the morning air greets us with a cool crispness. However, this time of year is also a symbol of the start of something new and fresh. We can welcome its presence and still hold on to the joys of summer. As you prepare for the start of a new school year, consider the following ideas to help beat those back to school blues in healthy and creative ways.  (more…)

Wine Me Up! Is Alcohol Beneficial to Health?

wine-glass-1323719-640x960Sipping the Good stuff

As adult libations go, I reach immediately for the vino. I love a crisp, fruity Pinot Grigio on a hot day and crave the comfort of a dark velvety Cab when it’s cold. But, the question I often am asked is “how healthy is wine?” Let’s review what the body of literature tells us.

people-summer-garden-sittingGoodness Grapes!

Red wine contains something called resveratrol – a polyphenol compound found in certain plants that appears to have some antioxidant properties. Past research indicated resveratrol may be the key ingredient responsible for reducing inflammation and LDL cholesterol (the “bad” stuff) as well as preventing blood clots. A caveat – much of the research was on animals and animals have different reactions to different substances. A second caveat – resveratrol is found in the skins of grapes, which are the principal ingredient in most wines – including the whites. The difference is the grapes are fermented longer for red wines than white, so the levels of this polyphenol are greater in reds. This is not to say that white wines don’t have their benefits – they can and do!  (more…)

Age is just a Number – Kids & Strength Training

“Is weight training safe for kids?”

This is a question I am repeatedly asked by friends, parents, colleagues and students. Today, let’s take the time to “weigh” in on this topic.

The Criticism

Like most topics, youth strength training has its critics. Some naysayers theorized strength training in kids can cause stunted growth. Some also believe strength training is not appropriate for any child younger than 12. These claims are both unscientifically supported and far from the truth. As with any population and or novice group of exercises, there are considerations; however, when recommendations are followed and the appropriate supervision is provided, children – like adults – can achieve many healthful benefits from regular strength training. (more…)


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