Archive Monthly Archives: May 2017


Good morning. 

What are you striving for? How are you going to get there? Don’t wait for opportunity to come to you because it rarely does. Go after it and make it happen. Be proactive and not reactive. Control what you can, yourself. How can you get motivated to pursue your dreams today?

“A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.”

-Francis Bacon

Have a great day!

Succeed or survive? 

Good morning. Succeed or survive? It’s your choice. We are wired to survive. We don’t want to stretch or grow because that is uncomfortable. Success can only come through growth so we have to push ourselves beyond what comes natural. Start with consistency and discipline to rewire our brain to be the best we can be. What do you need to change today to get uncomfortable and move forward?

“Our brain is not programmed for success. It’s programmed for survival.”

-Rory Vaden

Have a great day!


The Best Nutrients for Bone Health

Leafy greens promote bone strength.

Do you know the best foods to eat to create a strong structure for your body? Here are some key nutrients that help support strong bones.

Ask most people what nutrients are needed to support bone health and they’ll likely say calcium and vitamin D. And they would be right, of course. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body (most of it is socked away in our bones and teeth), and vitamin D is critically important in helping the body absorb calcium. But many other nutrients play an important role in keeping bones strong and healthy.

Nutrients for Great Bone Health

Bone is a living, growing tissue. It’ made up of a collagen, a protein that forms a soft framework for bone, and a mineral component called hydroxyapatite, made primarily of calcium and phosphorus which are deposited in this framework to give bones strength and hardness. In addition to protein, calcium and phosphorus, there are other nutrients that help support bone health. Here are some key bone-building nutrients and where to find them.


Calcium makes up about 2% of your total body weight, and most of it is stored in your skeleton.
Where to find it: Milk and milk products (yogurt, cottage cheese, etc.), almonds, green leafy vegetables.


Phosphorus is the second most abundant mineral in the body, and it combines with calcium to form the crystalline structure of bone.
Where to find it: Phosphorus is in many different foods, and most people get plenty in the diet. Major sources include milk, fish, poultry, meat, beans, nuts, seeds and whole grains.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium from the digestive tract.
Where to find it: Fatty fish, liver, some fortified foods. Many people don’t consume enough vitamin D, however, and may benefit from taking supplements.


Magnesium stimulates the production of the hormone calcitonin, which helps to move calcium from the bloodstream into the bones. It’s also needed to convert vitamin D into its active form, which, in turn, supports calcium absorption.
Where to find it: Green leafy vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds and whole grains.


Potassium helps to maintain calcium balance in the body, and it helps to reduce the loss of calcium in urine.
Where to find it: Melons, tomatoes, bananas, peaches, oranges, leafy greens, sweet potatoes, beans.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is necessary for the formation of collagen, the protein matrix of bone tissue.
Where to find it: Citrus fruits, broccoli, tomatoes, strawberries, kiwifruit, peppers, green leafy veggies.


Boron is a mineral that supports the body’s use of other bone-building nutrients, including magnesium, phosphorus and vitamin D.
Where to find it: Dried fruits like prunes, raisins and apricots, also peanut butter and avocados.

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Forget the Rules and Get Active for the Fun of It

Exercise your inner child.

When you embrace a style of activity with free flowing movements, you just might experience benefits that go beyond the physical.

People have been engaging in free flowing movements for centuries. As a trainer and former athlete who’s been dedicated to helping people achieve a specific fitness goal, the idea of movement without structure is a new concept for me. I am often caught up in following a defined plan with structure and goals.

China: Where Mental Meets Physical

On a recent trip to China, I encountered this new concept by just being active outside and simply moving in a way that felt good. While there, I was running through a park in Xi’an, China. People of all ages were congregating in small groups, doing what looked to me like a combination of stress-relief therapy, family bonding time and friendship building. It was amazing to see such a variety of fun activities taking place so early in the morning.

I’m used to seeing people doing traditional exercises, such as running and cycling. But these activities were different, and I enjoyed trying a number of them out for myself. The outdoor activity trend throughout China takes place in local squares and parks. It’s a movement that’s supported by the government to encourage people to avoid living a sedentary lifestyle.

Sometimes Simple is Best

The physical gains that you get from doing simple activities is minimal––in terms of building cardiovascular fitness and muscular strength. However, the mental benefits of movement can sometimes far outweigh the physical. Being active is a great way to relieve stress and anxiety that goes hand in hand with living a busy life.

If you’re someone who has a new association with exercise, simply being active may be a perfect starting point for you. The joint and bone health benefits of being active makes the effort of getting started worthwhile. I believe that some movement is always better than doing nothing at all.

Here are some ways that you can become more active at home or outside.


All you need is some music. Let your body move to the beat in a way that feels good to you. Some of the groups in China had traditional flowing style movements, while others were just making it up as they danced. The aim is to move and be present in the moment, enjoying the music and surroundings.

Tai chi:

Tai chi is an art that needs instruction and practice, but once you know the basics you can do it anytime. I was surprised at just how much patience and muscle control it takes to move your body so slowly. It’s very low impact and perfect for seniors.

Simple stretches:

Find an area and start to stretch. You don’t have to do a specific stretch routine, just stretch the tight areas of your body in a way that feels natural to you.
Waist hoop: This playground classic is great for loosening up tight muscles, and it’s a lot of fun.

Foot-bag and simple ball games:

Working on your coordination with simple games is a great way to get your body moving.

Hiking and walking:

Enjoying your surroundings while walking is a great way to get active in a gentle way. Walking is an activity that you can make easy by taking a stroll, or increase the intensity by adding in a variety of terrains.

Following a structured exercise routine in order to achieve specific gains is wonderful. But every now and then taking a break from the competitive and progressive style of exercise can jump start a passion for a new activity––or even stop you from getting burnt out. Children on the playground have got the art of free flowing activity mastered. As we get older we tend to be a little more self-conscious about what activities we do, especially in public. So, I encourage you to step outside of your comfort zone and try something new.

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Easy Tips to Create a Natural Look

Go barefaced for beauty.

Mastering the natural beauty look is about using makeup sparingly and strategically, so that your natural skin and best features come forward.

Some of today’s most gorgeous celebrities are frequently caught on camera with little or no makeup—and they don’t care. These “barefaced beauties” have decided to emphasize clean, fresh skin and have adopted a natural beauty approach when it comes to cosmetics. It’s no coincidence that for the last few years runway models have been appearing deliberately barefaced. It’s a trend that’s here to stay. The latest look shows models with beautifully enhanced brows and an ethereal glow, but they’re certainly anything but plain. Ladies, wouldn’t we all love to capture that beauty that doesn’t seem to come from a bottle?

If you want to go for a natural look, start by taking a good look at yourself in the mirror. Take careful stock of your features. Think about the final look you want to achieve. Natural beauty techniques can highlight the areas you like and downplay the areas you don’t. It’s all about allowing your natural complexion to shine through.

Here are some ways you can achieve a luminous natural look.

Start with a clean pallet.

The first step towards a natural look is to start with a fresh, clean face. Choose a facial cleanser that is best for your skin type. Wash thoroughly using warm water. Pat your face dry with a clean towel and make sure you have removed all traces of makeup. Even the slightest makeup residue, especially around the eyes, can drag your look down. So if you need to use makeup remover please do.

Exfoliate and Moisturize

A good exfoliation is another sure-fire way to get started. By removing any excess dry skin from the surface your skin will not only have a more youthful glow but, your skin care products will be able to penetrate better as well. And, best of all makeup will go on smoother and look fresher throughout the day. When skin isn’t moisturized it looks dull and drab. Be sure to use a daytime moisturizer with SPF to keep skin hydrated and protected during the day and a rich replenishing night cream for bedtime.

Go light with coverage

Less is always more when you are capitalizing on your natural beauty. For a super sheer look, skip the foundation and opt for a tinted moisturizer. Use your fingertips to apply in small areas, starting with the center of the face and working your way to the edges. If you want to stick to solid or liquid foundation, apply it with a brush, stroking from the center of the face outwards and blending well.

Bronzer and blush

Use a bronzer and/or blush to emphasize features. Bronzers provide a warm sun-kissed tone to skin. They’re a great way to create a natural glow. You can either dust bronzer along the T-Zone and cheekbones, or you can add it to your entire face. Apply bronzer lightly to the areas that are most frequently in the sun’s glow, such as the bridge of your nose, cheeks and forehead. Bronzer can replace a blush, or you can apply a very fine layer of blush over the bronzer. The most important thing to remember with bronzers is that less is more.


Illuminators or highlighters contain reflective ingredients, such as mica or other minerals, to catch the light. Apply with a large Kabuki or stippling brush. Start with a very small amount and increase as needed. If you want to find your best features to highlight, step into the natural light to see what parts of your face capture the light. Maybe it’s your cheekbones, bridge of your nose or chin. Focus on those areas. I always add a little highlight to my cupids bow.


First, make sure your concealer matches your skin color. You may need a lighter shade for underneath the eyes, or use a concealer with blue undertones. It’s important to only . dab concealer on blemishes, spots and red areas, not around, to prevent a halo effect. Gently blend to achieve the natural look. Some people find fingertips work as well as a concealer brush when applying.

Eye makeup

Use eyeliner and mascara lightly. Bold liquid eyeliner does not belong in the natural beauty regimen. Instead, use an eye pencil in a velvety brown and do what’s called tight lining: apply your line directly in between your eyelashes and on the underside edge. Use a brush to gently lift your lid and draw the pencil across the underside edge. Remember my favorite tip: curl your lashes with an eyelash curler, and then apply mascara.


Pay careful attention to your eyebrows. First, get them in shape and clean up stray hairs. Using a soft eyebrow powder and small brush, carefully fill in the bare spots with subtle color that matches the natural color of your brows. Finish with a brush-on gel to keep your brows perfect all day long.


Avoid shiny gloss and chalky lipsticks. Instead, use a neutral or sheer gloss and skip the lip liner. Apply a lipstick that’s a few shades darker than your natural lip shade. Wait a few minutes then wipe it off. It leaves a bit of stain behind that really looks like your bare lips, only better. My favorite tip is to find a shade of lipstick that is the same color as my tongue. Sounds crazy but it looks totally natural with a bit of a punch.

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Good morning. It is much easier and much more enjoyable to do something when you know how to do it well. Excellence. To go along with that word is attitude because you can know how to do something well but if the attitude is negative then it is not fun. Learn how to do what you do well and have a positive attitude about it.  

“The secret of joy in work is contained in one word – excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it.”

-Pearl S. Buck

Have a great day!

Wedding Day Beauty Tips – How to Look and Feel Stunning

Plan ahead, but don’t forget to pamper yourself.

One of the most special days in any woman’s life has to be her wedding day. We choose our bridesmaids, pick our color scheme and we’ve even been fantasizing about Prince Charming from the time we could walk. For some of us, all roads lead to the most magical day of our lives—the day we say, “I do.”

A bride’s wedding day is the perfect occasion to shine. Of course, she wants to look gorgeous but she also wants to be radiant, confident, sexy and demure. Remember, all eyes are on the bride on this very special day, and it’s important for her to exude confidence without a worry in the world. This beauty will be captured in memories and photographs that will last a lifetime.

How to prepare for your wedding with as little stress as possible

Plan ahead

The morning of the wedding is not the best time to start experimenting with hair, makeup, nail polish—anything. Keep things simple and close to your personal comfort zone. Think classic, not trendy. By planning your look well in advance of the wedding, you will surely eliminate unnecessary stress and look fabulous as a result.

Practice makes perfect

Practice wearing different hair styles that complement your dress and your veil. Think about the photos you wish to have, and also think about looking back at your wedding album 20 years from now. Will you say, ‘Aww, look how cute we were’? Or will you say, ‘Oh, my gosh––what were we thinking?’

A few wedding day beauty tips

Get your hair trimmed to eliminate any split ends or frizzies, which will keep your hair looking polished and smooth. Do any trimming or cutting about 2-3 weeks before the wedding so it looks completely fresh and natural.

Wash your hair the day before—not on the morning of your wedding. The extra oils and product that are left lingering in your hair only help your style (especially your curls) stay put and last longer. When hair is freshly clean, it won’t hold a style as long.

If time and budget permit, hire a professional hair stylist for the day. Meet with the stylist a week or two prior to the wedding for a practice run, and don’t forget to bring your veil with you and even a photo of your gown. Take pictures of your hair during the practice run so you can see what you will look like from all angles. You may see an opportunity to add a hair accessory or quick change up for the reception.

Flawless skin for the big day

No matter what your skin care practices have been until now, as the wedding approaches you cannot go to bed without thoroughly cleansing your skin. All traces of makeup, especially mascara, must be removed at bedtime. One night of sleep with makeup on your face can leave your skin looking dull, dry and, well, just not healthy. So, get a good cleansing using warm water with a facial cleanser as your first step towards radiant skin.

Moisture, moisture and more moisture

Skin always looks best when it’s hydrated. Never go to bed without applying a nice, rich night cream that will hydrate your skin while you sleep. In the morning after cleansing again, be sure to apply a hydrating day lotion to keep your skin soft and supple. Apply, apply and reapply. And remember, if you’re going out into the sun, be sure to use a product containing SPF to keep your skin from burning and, dare I say it, aging.

The eyes have it

Tears, coupled with a nervous night’s sleep and a few glasses of champagne at the reception, can really make your eyes look tired and droopy. It’s important to get the skin around your eyes in tip-top shape well before the big day. Invest in a nice firming eye gel for daytime use that helps tighten the skin around the eyes, and look for a hydrating eye cream to wear at bedtime. And whatever you do, don’t forget the waterproof mascara.

Scrub ’til you shine

Exfoliating once a week leading up to the wedding is great for the skin, and it will also allow your makeup to stay on longer and look smoother and fresher.
But don’t stop there. All exposed areas need to be scrubbed. Arms, elbows, knees, feet, legs, you name it. With a good exfoliation followed by a great moisturizer, your skin will be soft, smooth and kissable well into the honeymoon.

Choose the right makeup

If a professional makeup artist isn’t in the budget, then just do a bit of investigating. Flip through bridal and fashion magazines, and look online for pictures.
Or, go to the makeup counter and get a free makeover. Look for softer, more natural color pallets and try to avoid the dark, bolder colors. The cosmetic counter consultants can demonstrate for you exactly how to apply the products for the best look. Be sure to bring along your bridesmaids and make a fun day out of it.

Some final quick beauty tips for your wedding day

Pack a “quick fix” bag for the reception. Be sure to bring along some touch-up makeup, nail polish in your shade of the day, deodorant, mints for quick breath freshening, and even a pair of comfy shoes or an extra pair of nylons in case you get a run. Pack anything you can think of that can help reduce any last minute worry or stress to help keep your perfect day on track.

Relax and enjoy

Leading up to the big day, bride and groom can engage in some couples activities to relax. Think about getting a couple’s massage, or just simply spend some quality time with each other over a quiet dinner at home, or take the time to watch and laugh at an old movie. Staying relaxed and calm during such a stressful time will increase the bond for a couple—and it can only make the entire experience, from start to finish, even more memorable.

At the end of the day, your wedding will be something that you’ll never, ever forget. You’ll be surrounded by family and friends, and you’ll be exchanging vows with the love of your life. By preparing in advance and anticipating any issues that may arise, the day will go as smoothly as possible.

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Wedding Fitness: Tips to Get in Shape and Get Rid of Stress

From dumbbells to wedding bells.

If you’re looking for an effective wedding workout, whether you’re a guest or the bride, I’m pretty sure you’re feeling pressure to look great on the big day. So, follow my six tips to help ease any pressure you’re feeling to look beautiful at your coming big event.

I get so excited to meet people who have a big event like a wedding on their calendar. I like to work with them, because they have a specific goal and a date to keep them motivated. Having a firm date is important, as goals without deadlines can sometimes feel like unattainable dreams. Finding the motivation and inspiration to start a new fitness plan can be a difficult task. This upcoming spring/summer wedding season provides the perfect reason to start a wedding workout plan.

Which group are you in?

In my years as a personal trainer, I’ve met two types of event-motivated individuals: positively motivated—and frantic. With the positively motivated people, an upcoming event gives them the gentle push they need to start and stay committed to a fitness and nutrition plan. Frantic people operate differently: they’re desperate for an overnight body miracle. Frantic people may have a lot of motivation, but they’re incredibly stressed and often set unrealistic targets.

You might not be surprised to know that most people tend to fall into the panicked group. If this sounds like you, don’t worry, you’re not alone. It’s understandable that you may feel under pressure to get in shape for the big day. Let’s face it—who doesn’t want to look and feel their best when all eyes are going to be on them?

Knowing you can’t work overnight miracles to solve a specific body area issue can make it easier to stay calm and work towards the body-positive goal of getting in better shape. You must also understand that spot-reducing fat is not a physical possibility. Let me share my tips to help you reduce stress, feel fit and radiate beauty on your big day.

Wedding workout plan: A no-stress, effective approach

Be consistent

Best fitness results come from being consistent. If you go too hard for a few days then you’ll have to stop while your body recovers, it will take longer overall for your body to adapt. Commit to exercising for 30-60 minutes on 4-5 days of the week, and train at an intensity level that leaves you feeling good and ready to commit to your workout the next day. Pushing yourself too hard so that you’re barely able to walk the next day is just going to slow down your overall progress. And remember, even pro athletes have recovery days. You need to give your body time between tough workouts.

Mix it up

It’s necessary to vary the mode, intensity and duration of your workout. Now is not the time to plod along on the treadmill while you read a bridal magazine. Instead, change your speed and incline throughout your workout to help burn a few extra calories. Thinking about how great you’ll look in your wedding outfit might be the best motivation for you. Getting fit in advance will also help give you stamina to get through a long day, without feeling exhausted long before the first dance.

Lift weights

Strength training is great for burning calories and toning your muscles. Try to lift weights or perform body weight resistance exercises on three days of the week. If you’re short on time, perform exercises like lunges or squats to work your glutes. The glutes are a large muscle group, so working them with intensity will burn more calories.

Try yoga

Weddings can be stressful, and exercising can place stress on your body, too. Try to dedicate a little extra time to mental fitness and calming your mind. Spend at least one day each week focused on simple stretches, breathing or yoga.

Get plenty of sleep

Start prioritizing sleep and making sure your body gets adequate rest. It’s while you’re resting that your body makes adjustments and adapts to the increased demands that you place on it. If you’re increasing your exercise routine and want that to transfer into results, you must get adequate rest and recovery.

Portion control

Don’t stress yourself out with a crazy diet right now, especially if you’re increasing your exercise routine. Your body needs energy to function, and you’ll need quality nutrition to get good results from your workout routine. Drastically changing your diet overnight is not healthy. Start by being a little more conscious of controlling your portion size, and focus on consuming lots of fresh fruits and veggies. With minor adjustments, you’ll be well on your way to achieving positive body changes that will last.

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6 Steps to Look Your Best On Your Wedding Day

Look beautiful on your wedding day.

Few things scream “it’s time to get in shape” more than getting engaged. Your wedding day is much more than just a regular day. It’s when every bride wants to look and feel her best.

But with the stress of everything that a wedding involves – finding an unforgettable venue, the best photographer, beautiful flower arrangements, delicious food, and good music – planning for this special day can easily become a tower of stressful events for the couple. Adding to the stress of wedding planning, for your “big day’ may also include dieting and losing weight so you can fit in that perfect dress you have been dreaming about.

Stress can slow you down, but having your wedding day as a deadline can help you find the motivation you need to find a nutrition plan that works for you. These six tips will help you start on your goal of looking and feeling beautiful on your special day:

1. Replace two meals a day with a protein shake

I suggest replacing breakfast and lunch with a protein shake that provides about 20 grams of protein and at least 200 calories to keep you full and satisfied until your next meal. The advantage to this approach is that well-balanced protein shake provides easy protein and calorie control, since you know exactly what goes into it. And, with enough protein to help keep you satisfied, you’ll be less likely to make poor choices when you go out with your girlfriends. Rather than giving up time with your friends, I suggest you have a shake before meeting up, then socializing over a green salad with a little dressing on the side or a broth-based soup.

2. Emphasize lean proteins and more vegetables at dinner

Cooking at home will give you a lot of control over what you eat and how much. If you do use the meal replacements for two meals a day, your third meal should place an emphasis on lean proteins and vegetables. Build your meal on proteins such as poultry breast or fish—and have both a vegetable salad and cooked vegetables alongside. Also, limit your starch to one small portion and, if you do have a starchy side, choose whole grains whenever possible.

3. Have a planned, healthy snack in the afternoon

A well-planned snack in the afternoon can help take the edge off hunger at dinner time. It’s also a great time to sneak in some extra fruits and vegetables. Rather than grazing on sweets or chips, try to eat a protein-based snack such as a small carton of yogurt, a protein snack bar, some raw veggies with hummus or a little bit of cottage cheese with fruit.

4. Add fruit to protein shakes

You need two or three servings of fruit a day. An easy way to meet your needs is to add fruit to your shakes, which will allow you to have your daily fruit needs more or less covered.

5. Start keeping a food diary

Logging your food intake is a good idea for a couple of reasons. For one thing, it will help you to keep your calories in check. And it can also help you with your emotional eating as well. When you get the urge to eat, I suggest you pull out your food diary and write down how you are feeling instead. If you can delay the urge to eat, even if only by a few minutes, the hunger for a snack is likely to pass.

6. Have fun exercising

It’s important to combine exercise with your healthy diet in order to meet your goals. But choose activities that you enjoy – if you don’t, it’s unlikely you’ll stick with your exercise plan. Ideally, your exercise program will include both cardio and strength training – but you can get your cardio by fast walking, swimming, bicycling or dancing, for example. Many people rely on food to cope with stressful situations; however, stress eating doesn’t usually take away stress – and often adds weight. Since exercise is a great stress-reducer, it can help you deal with the stress while losing pounds and toning your body – and will help ensure that you’ll look your best in that beautiful wedding dress.

Remember, years from today nobody will remember the food or the flowers, but they will remember you. So have fun planning your big day and take care of yourself as you prepare.

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