knee and toe nudeColon cleansing, detox, fasting–do they really work?  The answer is a resounding “maybe.”

There are many who swear by colon cleanses.  Arthritis to acne, belly aches to belly flab–many feel these cleanses are essential to maintaining well-being.

What does the medical community have to say? “Colon Cleansing:  Is it helpful or harmful?”

Colon cleanses are required for colonoscopies, or where bowel evacuation is needed as a prep for viewing or a procedure.  Other than this, your body rids excess by process of elimination–in the form of urine or stool.  So for most, the idea of detoxing or cleansing is already in place.  I tend to agree.

However, I have found giving the digestion process a break from normal complexity, can not only renew your body, but your perspective.  How?  We’ve covered a few “detox” issues in “Clean up you act,” “Detox 360,” and “Detox 360–are we there yet?”  We’ve taken our lives there, why not press the reset button for our bodies?


Unless you work where you can access your own private bathroom at a moment’s notice, your cleansing days may have to wait till the weekend.  Additionally, if you take medication which requires you eat within a specified time frame, fasting and detox may not be for you.  Just as you should check with a medical professional before beginning any exercise routine or diet, cleanses are no exception.  Why? You are disrupting the normal digestive as well as nutritive process, even if your intentions are good.


Intermittent Fasting—-This is something most can do.  It shouldn’t send you searching for the nearest restroom, armed with purse sized air freshener.  Fasting is one of the oldest methods of cleansing; for body and spirit.  It requires little investment; but treads that dangerous ground called commitment.  We discussed that last post.  You can choose your time frame, as well as your liquid of choice.  Your body thirsts before it hungers.  Hydration is key; especially if you are limiting food intake.

Your fast can last from the time you awaken till noon; or all day.  It’s your choice.  As stated before, your health status and medications, will dictate IF this is a possibility.

Fluids of choice?  I start with juice.  Although I enjoy cranberry, it can be quite dehydrating.  It may great for UTIs, but for fasting, best to skip this one.  If you enjoy V8 or blends, these are much better suited.  I begin with a heavier or opaque juice, progressing to an ever clearer choice, then finally H20.  In this manner, my blood sugar isn’t sent into a frenzy.

If I haven’t fasted in a while, I will do this till about noon; 2pm at the latest.  My first meal is usually a soup, one that is not creamed.  Most of the time, this will conclude my meal intake for the day.

Part of this process, is to decide what fasting and cleansing mean to youIt is not a “one size fits all” script; you make the changes, the necessary adjustments, and you decide the key players.

Need a little more info to decide if intermittent fasting is for you?  “What is the role of gut bacteria in calorie restriction?”  This article is laced ideology regarding chemicals and food as well.  As with anything, you make the call as to what fits your life, and lifestyle.

More picks for cleansing?  Next post.

All for now.  Keep up and keep at it.

Questions? Comments?  Contact me at

meditation in the nudeCleaning up your act.  Not for the faint of heart.

The real question is–are you ready?  Better yet–how ready are you?  Commitments are dangerous ground to tread The very nature of the word implies “something you have to stick to.”

Both in my career as a nurse, now as a nurse personal trainer, I now know what separates want from need.  Patients want to improve their outcomes.  Clients want to lose weight and exercise.  When “need” enters the equation, that’s where that dangerous ground is finally tread.  That need may prompt nutritional coaching after a cardiac event, and the required dedication which follows.  “Lose weight and stop smoking, or you could suffer another stroke.”  Not only does this statement necessitate commitment, it is an ultimatum.

Even if your health is not in question, is your lifestyle?  If so, time to cleanse.


If you read “Clean up your act,” as well as “Detox 360,” you realize for me, cleansing is more than a brief stint on herbal smoothies.  This detox takes time, a little introspection, and a lot of hootsba.

You should now understand that detox is a lifestyle, not a one week starvation or a jumpstart enema.  At this point, eradicating–or at least mitigating pollutants from your life, is a top priority.  It may have meant rethinking your social circle.  Perhaps now, you leave the scene of the latest workplace gossip, when previously you would have stayed.  Maybe there is a 2 second pause, before giving that intellectual, but snarky response.  Looking in the mirror may not be the fault-finding expedition it once was.

If this part of your detox is well underway, now its time to take your body there.

How?  Great question.  My take on what works, next post.

All for now.  Keep up and keep at it.

Questions? Comments?  Contact me at

hair out of H20My clients are those most personal trainers would not seek.  However, as a registered nurse, my background is helpful in meeting their unique challenges.

Few are interested in detox.  Yet when I explain “my take” on detox and “master cleanse,” interest is sparked.

As I wrote in my previous post, “Clean up your act..” detox to me is more than a 3-10 day enema.  It must begin with how you view yourself, and then may end with cleansing your body.

Eradicating negativity is an essential beginning.  You may not be able to rid yourself entirely of a toxic environment.  You can change your response to it.  You can also choose not to be a part of it.   Unlike a little cayenne pepper and lemon juice for your body, this is more than a brief stint.  It is a lifelong process; definitive in rerouting and re-wiring balance.

You want a better body?  Start with a balanced life.  How do you do this?  There is no “one size fits all” answer.  However, I believe awareness of need is the first step.  Have you ever considered your body is a reflection of that awareness, or lack thereof?  You’ve no doubt heard “you are what you eat.”  If it were only that simple.

Food and fluids are essential to life.  Equally so, is preparedness.  Being prepared to meet the stressors of everyday living requires “tools.”  What are yours?  Do you know when to use them?  As any apprentice can tell you, knowing which tool to use, is as important as having the right one to use.


1.  Eating should not be a recreational activity.  Food is a requirement; not a hobby or a pacifier.  Most of us outgrew pacifiers at the infant/toddler stage.  No need for a substitute now.

2.  Stress is a necessary part of life; and a teacher.  Stress is not always bad.  Unfortunately, it usually causes a cascade reaction, which ends up making us miserable.  It reverberates physiological and psychological changes, many of which we can control.  We choose to leave the situation if possible.  We remind ourselves of the impermanence of it.  We can solve.

3.  Response.  There is always a certain amount of trepidation when facing the unknown, hostile, or frustrating.  We all share these feelings, and few if any are totally immune.  The question becomes–now what?  Again, it’s the “then what” that intrigues me most.

Most of us have our own ways of dealing with stress.  The question becomes–how’s that working for you?  If not too well–time to cleanse.

As stated earlier, I don’t believe in a monochromatic remedy for balancing life’s circumstances.  We are all different–and while one may choose meditation and quiet time, another may choose a strenuous workout.

Me?  I need a combo plate.

Quiet time for me is a solo run.  It has and continues to help me keep sane on many an insane work day.  It is my balance between eastern style meditation and strenuous workouts.  However, running is not my only tool for handling stress.  Removing myself–whether physically or mentally (or both) from a situation, is tantamount to keeping my balance.  While it may not be easy, I have learned to empathize, yet de-materialize.  I am no service to anyone, if I can’t provide the best possible “me” to “you.”  This requires due diligence, just like caring for a client or a patient.

I have also found that understanding I am not “blotting paper” for the world is crucial.  Empathy? Yes.  Sympathy?  Yes.  Sounding Board–maybe.  Blotting paper–absolutely not.  Again you are of no use to anyone, if you inter and interpret their difficulties as your own.

Detox 360.  Yes, there’s a little more to this than herbal supplements inducing loose stools and flatulence.  If you were looking for the latest trend on a simple body cleanse; sorry to disappoint.  But as the title suggests–we are talking 360.

This is the second installment of my idea of a “master cleanse.”  More to follow.

All for now.  Keep up and keep at it.    Questions?  Comments?  Contact me at






healthy living waterfallHave you ever wondered if cleanses and detoxes are worth the bother?  Not to mention the unpredictability it may wreak during your work day?

If you haven’t exacted the less than warm and fuzzy effects of detox/cleanses on your body, should you?  Perhaps.  However, my idea is not limited to a little lemon juice and cayenne pepper.  Pricey supplements (some will run upwards of $200) and herbal concoctions may promise a sparkling clean colon and clear skin.  But what happens when you finish your 5-10 day stint?  It’s the “then what?” that interests me.

Regardless of how acne free your skin may become, or how many pounds you lose, this way of life is not sustainable.  Even if it were, do you really want to ingest only pureed food substances, or drink lemonade laced with hot peppers for any length of time?  Maybe add a little cabbage soup to the mix for variety?  If that’s what it takes to remain healthy, I’d rather be worm fodder.


While detox/cleansing can “jumpstart” your weight loss, you can expect it to slow, stall, and then stop.  The same holds for any other attribute you experience while performing your cleanse.  However, if you are feel you are in need of such a feat, choose wisely.  Every cleanse is not for every body; just like exercise routines.  Your body has its own ideas of how to assimilate and eliminate what it doesn’t need.


Want real change?  Not a temporary fix?  Then realize cleansing may not start with the latest herbal remedy inducing flatulence and runny stools.  Real detox starts with changing your mind.

Detox 360 understands your body may not be what requires cleansing first.  Your perspective, how you relate to the world, and how it in turn answers you, should be your starting point.  What does this have to do with fitness and health?  Time to find out.

How you view yourself is essential.  Do you allow others to dictate your self-worth because of a few pounds on the scale?  If so, time to cleanse.  Cleanse those people right out of your life.  I’m not advocating turning a deaf ear to medical professionals, or a diagnoses which insists on weight loss.  But to those “well-meaning” frienemies which subtly (or not so subtly) sabotage your esteem, offer them a polite “get lost.”

We often hear about how our world is suffering from environmental toxins.  Indeed.  Environmental toxins may be closer than you think.  Sure they’re out there.  More to the point, are they in there?  In your social circle?  Your household?  Time to cleanse.  You may not be able to totally eradicate that gossiping co-worker or nagging relative from your life.  But you can certainly change how you relate to them–or even if you relate to them.

The last piece in this detox puzzle is discernment.  How you discern your environment, is how your environment responds.  If you see this world as hostile, dog eat dog, and uncaring–guess what?  That is exactly what it will give to you in return.  If you see yourself as less than, the world has no problem in confirming your accusations.

Yes, detox and cleansing your body may have benefits–temporary as they may be.  There are many to choose from; touting cures from everything to acne to diabetes–even cancer.  Who am I to judge.   Yet for me, a cleanse for the body is a latter piece in the puzzle, of a much bigger picture.

My idea of a master cleanse?  You’ve just read the 1st part of it.  Second part next post.

Keep up and keep at it.  Questions?  Comments?  Contact me at

excuses dont runAs women, most of us realize we possess strength beyond our male counterparts.  However, it is different.  We are the only ones that can carry and bear children.  We have a higher pain tolerance (probably why we have the children), and we are better multi-taskers.  While men have their attributes; we have ours.  They also have their weaknesses (no one has to tell us this) and yes ladies, we have ours.

One process which is uniquely female is menses.  Few of us are willing to admit that some days, in many ways, it slows us down.  Most of us continue our daily routines without much thought throughout these 5-7 days.  Yet while we are busy being that superior multi-tasker, how does this once a month, physiological process figure in?  Specifically when we exercise, and its effect on our hydration requirements?

Unfortunately, I haven’t found much on this topic.  Therefore, I will give you my take on this.

It is true our bodies prepare each month for this natural phenomenon.  The body expects a certain amount of fluid loss.  However, let’s factor in a few variables.  Starting with exercise, we realize this is a demand on the body.  Let’s throw in a little high humidity, as well as elevated summer temperatures.  Now add in your “monthly gift.”  If you are exercising in extreme heat, especially running in heat, rethinking your hydration is key.

Why? Your body is starting at point of fluid deficit.  While it is expecting this, it doesn’t expect (or really desire) the further dehydration which occurs through sweating (aka insensible fluid loss), as well as the added pressure of moderate to intense workouts.  You may have never experienced the light headedness, nausea or cramping, many know during their cycle.  You may be among those whose menses never affects their exercise routine.  Chances are in one way or another, it has.


Some of you have your own ideas, formulas, as well as rationale for how you hydrate.  I know I have mine.  If you would like standard guidelines, as well as my hydration regimen see “Not Enough..Too much,” posted June 7th under Nutrition.

My experience has taught me hydration, as well as nutrition, is not a “one size fits all” undertaking.  However, if you continue a strenuous routine during your cycle, consider what you are losing–before you begin.  It is primarily blood and H20.  How much, how little, is highly individual.  You may find you are craving a little more protein, possibly reaching for electrolyte replacement, when plain H20 is your customary drink of choice.  Last but not least, consider the presence (or lack of) Iron rich foods in your diet.  Adequate Iron can make or break the fatigue factor.  Take a look at “Iron Rich Foods.”

The key here, as with workouts, is to pay attention to what your body is telling you–and be prepared.   You need not be warrior princess every single moment either.  Taking a day off, substituting a lighter alternate routine keeps overused muscles fresh, while making demands and developing ones to “support your habit.”

If you are an avid runner, try a 30 minute ballet inspired routine.  It will help elongate your muscles, as well as stretch tired hamstrings.  Yoga is also a great alternative.  Though hot yoga is my favorite, I realize this may not be for everyone.  However, 25 to 45 minutes of yoga can assist in alleviating cramps (I know this one from experience).

If are working on sculpting a body builder physique, this might be an opportune time to take a day off.  Strength training, as well as intense cardio can increase flow.  Once again, a good stretch through yoga or Pilates can release tightened muscles.

As stated earlier, I have not found much written on this subject.  Personal experience though, has taught me to be a little more considerate of my body.  While my mind may say “charge!” my body is still the one that actually has to charge.

All for now.  Keep up and keep at it.

Have your own experiences with this?  Found something you want to share?  Would love to hear it.  Contact me at

mecca & meadowGluten–another term we need to add to the “bad word” food vocabulary?  Let’s see–there’s sugar, in ever-increasing circles dairy, and now gluten.

Last post, I wanted to dispel the myths behind the big “O.” Organic only foodies have made the rest of us feel not only lacking in education, but find it necessary on some sites, to discuss the girth of our stomachs and backsides.  Of course, its only done in the name of non-organic heathens (such as myself) seeing the error of our ways, and improving our health.  Indeed.

For me, the jury is still out on this one–and maybe on an extended holiday.

Once again, like that proverbial dose of castor oil without the spoonful of sugar, I’m here to help.  At the very least, share another point of view. Is Gluten Bad for You?  Also, What the Heck are You Eating?

Both articles give solid information about gluten, who should be gluten-free, and if gluten-free living is really worth the hype.

Briefly, gluten is a protein found in barley, wheat, and rye.  While those diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity have cause for concern, the rest of us need not buy into its defamation.  You may also be surprised that food labeled “gluten-free,” may pack more calories.  Why?  Gluten adds not only texture, but in many cases, taste.  In order to keep your taste buds happy, a substitute must be found–probably in the form of some type of fat.

In our quest for healthier lifestyles, it is easy to pitfall.  Before you do, and especially before you lighten your wallet in the name of that quest, ask yourself:  Does this change make sense in my life?  Does it address my specific needs?  If you are trying to lose weight, will this change help or hinder you?  How?  Lastly, how attainable & sustainable is this change–especially once you’ve met your goals?

Theories come and go–decade by decade, year by year, often hour by hour.  Avail yourself of the prevailing knowledge; but understand this:  Its only relevance is how relevant it is to you.

All for now.  Keep up and keep at it.

Questions? Comments? Contact me at

happy applesRecently I posted “Judging me, judging you.”  This is a follow-up to that–breaking ground and dispelling myths surrounding the big “O.”  The big “O” here meaning–organic produce. “Stanford Scientists Cast Doubt on Advantages of Organic Meat and Produce.”   I’m sure there are those of you reading this that have reasons for buying strictly organic.  That is a choice you have made, and I am not judging.

However I do find it necessary to investigate, as well as mitigate beliefs whereby a large population is excluded.

Organically grown food, at least in my circle of friends and acquaintances–is a luxury.  It is one most cannot afford.  In a city divided by North & South (north side of Chicago–considered the upper crust), as well as some areas being labeled as “food deserts,” many are struggling to feed their families; and regular produce may be considered costly.  I realize in the greater scheme of things, this is not the case.  Yet if you are on a budget, live where produce is scant or a leftover from stores not wanting it, organics are certainly not an option.

As stated in “Judging me, judging you,” I shop at discount food chains, as well as other stores.  I’m happy they all carry fresh produce; only two carry a small section labeled “organic.”  What are the effects on a family of eating strictly non-organic?  Well let’s see.

My son runs cross-country and track.  His last report card had one “C,” the rest were “A’s & B’s”.  My husband is the same weight as when we were married, and able to outdo my son in reps of pull-ups.  Me?  My weight has always fluctuated; and never really stabilized until after I had my son, and started running.  My workout routine consists of hot yoga, ballet, INSANITY, running, as well as gym/strength training.  My weight has stabilized, and currently I wear a size 4 or 6 jean–depending upon who makes them.  Such are the effects of eating a healthy non-organic diet, all while shopping at ALDI, Straack & Van Til’s, as well as Pete’s Fresh Market.  One more thing; I am not part of the upper echelon known as the north side; I am a proud southsider–GO SOX!

By the way–we love our dairy too.

All for now.  Keep up and keep at it.

Need my tips for eating healthy on a budget?  Contact me at

healthy living waterfall No one is immune–we all have the occasional bout (some more frequent than others) of Comparitis.  We may even suffer from the none too evasive symptoms which complement it–Superior Fit-zures.  Not too worry–the signs and symptoms are blatant; and the disease very treatable.  Like a strong dose of castor oil without the teaspoon of sugar, I am here to help those plagued by this highly communicable disease.

The websites I use for information for my blog meet with scrutiny.  The information must be timely, reliable, and understandable to those outside of the medical profession.  Few meet with all three criteria.  Though I shouldn’t be surprised, I found myself taken aback by commentary under an article from a site I frequent.

The article itself was well-written and expressed thought-provoking ideas.  Some commenting–not so much.

Most extolled the virtues of organically grown fruit and vegetables.  Nothing wrong with that.  However, one went on to elaborate about the girth of backsides of those shopping at discount food chains.  Another chimed in about how she bought a mango for a child begging for one, only to have the mother throw it to the ground.  While I appreciate her sentiments, I can also understand how that mother must have felt.

Few of us who are mothers or fathers, would deny our children food.  Whether you are a married or single parent, if you are feeding more than three mouths excluding yourself, discount food chains may not be an option.  They are probably a staple.  Organically grown produce is a luxury.  One in which my family does not partake.

Yes–I am one of those discount food chain shoppers.  But more to the point–does my backside meet the commentator’s criteria?  Last time I bought workout capris and yoga pants (1 week ago) one was a size small, the other an x-small.  However, I forgot to mention his comment about the fat children in tow.  Well–here we go.  My son is 5′ 8″ and weighs a whopping 130 pounds.

The mango issue not withstanding, though I do understand the mother, who are we to judge?  Does this Comparitis empower you?  Or are you afraid that might be you one day–shopping a food chain with barely enough for TV dinners?

If you live in a community where obesity and fresh food is an issue–do something instead of judging someone.  If you are a trainer–volunteer some hours.  It’s how I started as a trainer; and still do.  Gave me great experience, and built my confidence transitioning to a new profession.  Even if you feel you don’t possess this expertise, mentor a child.  Teach him/her about nutrition.  My mom’s favorite saying was “give a child a fish, he’ll eat for a day.  Teach him how to fish, he’ll eat for a lifetime.”  If the child/and or family understands the importance of diet and exercise, your efforts will not be in vain–and more to the point; your mango will not end up on the floor.

All for now.  Keep up and keep at it.

Need my tips for shopping on a budget, but buying healthy?  Contact me at