Spring into Fitness!

It’s the first week of April! Here's a workout I put together for myself to get my abs, arms, legs, and upper body in shape for shorts and tanks season. Please join me; we can keep each other accountable!

Let me know if you have questions about any of the exercises. I have photos, descriptions, etc. of the CORRECT way to do them.

This is a six day program, with alternating exercise days (A/B days), and one rest day.

A Days:

1. Start with 5 minutes of jumping jacks, high kicks, hula hooping or any aerobic exercise that you love.

2. Pilates 100’s - start wherever you can and build up to all 100 breaths.

3. Pilates Bicycles - work up to 25.

4. Side Plank – build up to 1 minute on each side.

5. Pilates Leg Pull Back, with or without leg lifts - work up to 6 reps each leg.

Repeat 3 - 5, then end with 5 more minutes of your favorite aerobic activity, and a 2 minute cool down.

B Days:

1. Five minutes Qi Qong, Yoga or any other meditative exercise that you enjoy.

2. Push-ups - as many as you can do of knee, wall, or military style push-ups. Work your way up to 20.

3. Super Squats- work your way up to 10, with a ten second hold.

4. Lunges - work up to 30 on each side.

5. Pilates Side Leg raises and circles - complete 10 raises and 5 circles in each direction adding more as you get stronger.

6. If you can still walk, try a 5 minute walk around your house or neighborhood.

Do all 6 days, then enjoy a day off!

Best of Health,

Kathi

How To Turn A Bad Day Around Fast!

Have you ever had one of those days where you got off to a really bad start? Perhaps your alarm didn't go off or you didn't hear it, then you proceeded to spill coffee on your new shirt, and then you got stuck behind a school bus... Your bad day picked up momentum as it continued and you felt like you had no control at all? We've all been there, done that and got the t-shirt. Today, I'd like to give you some simple tips for stopping that bad day in it's tracks and turning it around quickly so that you get the most enjoyment you can from each and every day.  

The first anti-stress tip to try is laughter - it truly is your best weapon against stress! Keep a disk in your car of funny stories or jokes and push the play button as soon as you start your drive! I find fast talking Robin Williams a quick antidote to a bad start. Here’s some silly fun to start you off.

polar bear on ice

What do Eskimos get from sitting on the ice too long?
Polaroids.    

What do you call four bull fighters in quicksand?
Quatro sinko.    

 

 

Crank up the tunes! Nothing changes your mood faster than music.  And let loose with some funky dance moves while you're at it. Even in the car, I have been seen dancing in my seat while driving in rush hour traffic. In fact, one day it was stand still traffic and I put the oldies on and was enjoying my best seated dance moves when a truck driver pulled into the lane next to me, gave me a thumbs up and joined in. It was great!

Best of Health,

Kathi

How About Some Couscous Pilaf ?

 I took an old Rice Pilaf recipe and made it with couscous instead - delish!

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large head of finely chopped cauliflower
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup home-made or reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup currants
2/3 cup whole-wheat couscous
1/2 cup sliced leaks
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. add cauliflower and salt; cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add broth, orange zest, juice and currants; bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in couscous and leaks. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, until the liquid is absorbed, about 5 min.

This yummy dish has only 163 calories per serving and a whopping 78% of our daily value of vitamin C. Enjoy!

Best of Health,

Kathi

Best Foods For Winter Skin Hydration

The weather in New England has been sooooooo cold this year. Winter is not my favorite season to begin with - and this one has been a monster!

We all know that winter heat can dry our skin and hair, so here's a list of hydrating foods for your winter table.

Cantaloupe
Honeydew melons
grapes
cucumbers
onions
celery
all lettuces/salad greens
strawberries
tomatoes
yellow and green squash
eggplant
lemons/limes/oranges/grapefruit, etc.
broccoli
peaches
apples
carrots
broth based soups

You can get lots of these ingredients, all in one dish, using a broth base with carrots, celery, onions, broccoli, squash, to make a fabulous, satisfying winter soup!

And HERE is a link to my bestselling eBook, Beautiful, Sexy Skin For Women Over 40 – What The Cosmetic Companies Don’t Want You To Know. Here's where you'll find all the information you need to make an informed decision about the soaps, exfoliants and moisturizers you bring into your home  - complete with links to recommended products!

Best of Health,

Kathi

What Is a Fascinoma?

Today, I have the great pleasure of interviewing Dr. Clifton Meador about his newest book Fascinomas.

fascinomas

A "fascinoma," as Dr. Meador defines it, is medical slang for an unusually interesting medical case. And Clifton K. Meador, MD has a gift for filtering through these cases and coming up with succinct but extremely entertaining stories. He has collected and curated 35 such cases from his own experience and the experiences of colleagues who have given permission to re-tell their own blockbusters. Each case is reads like a short story – the presentation of a strange set of symptoms, the initial response of the examining doctor(s), gradual revelation of further symptoms (sometimes via revealed secrets from the presenting patient), and the final diagnosis. Clifton's mantra is: “There is not a medical diagnosis or a defined disease behind every chronic symptom; but there is a demonstrable cause if you listen and search carefully.”

Yesterday Clifton visited Carl Bozeman's blog and spoke with Carl about advice doctors/healers can give when a patient has been diagnosed with chronic or acute symptoms but has determined they can "heal" themselves.

Here’s my interview with Clifton:

KATHI: I am constantly warning my clients about labeling their symptoms with a diagnosis, as this sometimes means that we treat only the symptoms and never discover what the true “cause” of our symptoms is, and are destined to repeat "groundhog day style," over and over. Can you explain what your research has shown regarding Western Medicine’s standard of diagnosing symptoms instead of attempting to learn their cause?

CLIFTON: I have not done systematic research, but from my experience I am in complete agreement with you. Of course with an acute illness, a correct diagnosis can lead to a specific treatment (consider all the infectious diseases for which there is a curative antibiotic). With chronic recurring symptoms then, focusing on the symptoms as a step to uncovering the cause is essential. In this case a diagnosis often brings a halt to further inquiry or observations. Consider these “diagnoses”- irritable bowel, chronic fatigue syndrome, hypoglycaemia, even fibromyalgia. These diagnoses often bring a halt to further inquiry. What in the life of the patient correlates with the intensity of the symptoms? Who in the life of the patient is a toxic stressor? What substances correlate with the symptoms? What is the patient doing or not doing that is producing the symptoms. Full awareness comes only from careful observation. Full awareness often leads to a cure or amelioration of the symptoms.

KATHI: Could you give an explanation of how disease labels can often be harmful to the patient diagnosed?

CLIFTON: If the diagnosis is false then the real cause is hidden. The patient is often satisfied to have a label, albeit wrong. The search for the real cause either ceases or it is delayed, thus missing the opportunity to prevent harm.

If the diagnosis is correct, it often stops all searches for aggravating or precipitating factors. Even if one has coronary artery disease with chest pains, one needs to dig deeper. What events trigger the pain? What circumstances bring on the pain? What stressors in the life of the patient should be identified and corrected? These questions require careful self examination to answer. A diagnosis sounds so final that it precludes these essential observations of the life of the patient.

KATHI: One of the first practices that I ask my clients to start is a journal or daily log of everything that they ingest, any exercise they complete, as well as how their symptoms manifest. I see that you also recommend keeping a diary of symptoms, can you explain why you feel this is important and do you recommend it as a daily practice?

CLIFTON: You are so on target. Memory is tricky and often false. Writing down the observations is essential to find important correlations with the symptoms. Of course the more recurring and chronic the symptom, the more important are the diary entries. Most stressor or triggers for symptoms are hidden from consciousness. The diary brings them into consciousness. I believe once something is made fully aware, it can then be addressed or eliminated. Awareness is so important. I find that personal or professional toxic relationships are common and often denied or suppressed. Those old dictums are so true: he gives me a headache; he is a pain in the ass; he makes me want to throw up, and on and on.

I hope you enjoyed this short interview with Dr. Clifton Meador. In Fascinomas, all of the clinical facts are completely true – the story of the illness, the lab work, the imaging studies, and the physical exam findings. If you are intrigued by the curative power of listening and engaging the patient and the family in searching for clues, especially when the symptoms are chronic and recurring – pick up Fascinomas HERE.

Easy Walking Meditation

Here's a walking meditation that was a favorite of mine during my Yoga training at Yogaville. The ashram is on top of the Blue Ridge Mountains, with an amazing view from just about anywhere on the site. When we meditated outdoors it was as if we could reach up and touch God.

Yogaville

You'll need a grassy area or sandy beach, as we'll be walking barefoot.

Start by standing tall and lengthening your spine all the way up through your neck. Keep your head up, but your gaze around the ground where your feet will touch.

Walk very slowly and softly. The idea is not to leave a footprint. I know that's not possible, but that's the intention, so walk softly enough to make that almost happen.

Really look at the blades of grass in your path, or the sand on the beach while you're walking. Notice what color they are, the length of the grass, the seaweed in the sand. Inhale the scent of fresh mowed lawn or sea and sand... 

Continue your slow, purposeful walking for at least ten minutes.

When you're done, you will feel refreshed and calm! Your mind will have taken a nice little break from it's constant "to do" list..

Best of Health,

Kathi

Heal Yourself With EFT!

Do you believe you have the ability to improve your life?Do you actually think things can be better for you, or are you just hoping they will be? Does your wellness toolbox include EFT? Would you like it to?

I have talked about EFT (tapping) before, especially about how it is helping thousands of returning vets reduce their PTSD. I use tapping both personally and in my coaching, and I know it works. It works whether you are skeptical or not.

The good news is that it’s almost time for the annual World Tapping Summit! It’s a no cost event where you can learn how EFT has helped others and how you can use it for your own health and well being.

Last year for my telesummit on Natural Options for Healing Chronic Pain, I interviewed Dr. Lissa Rankin, author of “Mind Over Medicine”. She is great at explaining how EFT works physiologically, and Nick Ortner, producer of the World Tapping Summit, has just released a video interview with Lissa that is wonderful. Check it out HERE and let me know what you think!

Best of Health,

Kathi

Do You Have Emotional Freedom?

What does the phrase "Emotional Freedom" mean to you? Have you ever thought about it? Just for a moment, close your eyes and see yesterday's routine. See yourself waking in the morning, brushing your teeth, eating breakfast, dressing, going off to work, etc. As you walk through your day, notice when your emotions took control of a situation. Did you get angry when that driver cut you off during rush hour traffic? Did your boss or coworkers do anything to irritate you? How about customers if you are in sales or own your own business? The customer is not always right...

Odds are there are times in any given day when you are not the calm, cheerful self you would like to be. Sometimes it's just a minor irritation, and others are full blown tirades or crying jags. You are not alone. As humans, we are emotional beings. This does not mean we have to let our emotions spoil a good day or cause us more stress, however. There is a tool that can help you reduce a strong emotion, from a 10, down to a mere 2, or even all the way down to zero. And - BONUS - this tool is easy to learn and can be done anywhere!

It's called Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) or "Tapping," and I can teach you how to use this simple tool to curb food cravings, stop smoking and much more.

STOP living the life you don't want. Click here to finally live the life you really want right now! 

Best of Health,

Kathi

Yummy Healthy Recipe With Quinoa

Forearm plank for book better

 

Today I want to share a yummy recipe for all of those who are taking me up on my 30 day fitness challenge. We'll be ready for bathing suit season without compromising on taste!

 

 

Quinoa "Chowder" with Spinach, Feta and Scallions

Ingredients

3/4 cup quinoa (any color)

8 cups water

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 lg garlic clove finely chopped

3/4 lb thin skinned potatoes, diced

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp Kosher salt

1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced

3 cups thinly sliced spinach leaves

4 oz feta cheese, diced

1/3 cup chopped parsley or cilantro 

lime juice 

black pepper

optional - 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped

1 hard boiled egg per bowl for garnish

Instructions

Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer under cold water until the water runs clear.

Bring quinoa and 8 cups water to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer till the outer casings on the quinoa have popped (10-15 min)

Strain the quinoa, reserving the liquid.

Heat olive oil. Add garlic and jalapeno and cook till fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add potatoes, cumin, salt and cook until potatoes begin to soften (3-5 minutes)

Add the reserved cooking liquid (and more water to make 6 cups), half of the scallions and simmer until potatoes are tender (15 min)

Add cooked quinoa, spinach and remaining scallions and simmer until spinach just begins to wilt. Remove pot from heat and stir in the feta and parsley or cilantro. Taste and season with salt, pepper and lime juice. Top with chopped egg and enjoy!

Calories165, Cholesterol 13mg, Fat 52g, Fiber 4.1g, Protein 6g, Calcium 116mg 

How To Fit Fitness Into Your Daily Routine

Here are a few more steps that you can take to start 2014 off on the right foot and keep it going!

couch potato toothbrushing1.  Brushing your teeth can be a fabulous time to plan a little aerobic exercise. You brush at least twice a day, and most of us also floss, so there's 3-4 minutes where you can do a little jig, or march in place, or do some squats. Simple, yet think of how much time you'll have worked out at the end of the month when you make this 4 minute routine a habit! 

2.  How often do you talk on the phone? I know that many people text instead of talking these days, but for those of us who prefer hearing a voice, use your speaker or a headset and do some wall push-ups, lunges or squats while you are on the phone. Making this a habit will take some effort for the first couple of months of the year, but it's well worth the effort! Before you know it, you'll be working another ten minutes or more into your daily routine, and your body will love it!

3.  Why not start a new family tradition? If your kids are grown and it's just the two of you now, you'll get a chance to talk about your day, discuss vacations, dreams, plans, etc. while walking through the neighborhood. Start with just 20 minutes every other day. It'll be the best 20 minutes of the day and you'll be delighted with your progress! 

If you have kids at home, have them put the smart phones down and walk with you or ride their bikes. It's only 20 minutes. They can handle that!

Use your own creativity and come up with more ideas where you can "fit fitness" into your daily routine. And let me know about them!

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