In a previous post, I spoke to giving yourself a “break” from the news cycle.  Staying informed is different from donning the uniform of mental miasma resulting in fear.  Where do we go to find relief?  Regardless of where you travel, even if you left the country, it would still be there.  Trails I frequent are more crowded, where they once were sparsely populated.  Depending upon your living situation, you may not want more alone time.  However, sheltering in place with your family may mean to others TIME TO GET AWAY.  What does getting away look like?

We put a lot of emphasis on physical fitness.  What about mental fitness?

The reason for the name change for this blog, was that I wanted to be more than another fitness tip and staying well website.  You can find that anywhere & everywhere.  Now especially, many trainers have gone online or virtual.  If you are feeling not quite yourself and need someone to talk to,  you are not alone.  There are sites equipped to help with that too.

But when you finish your virtual workout, end your TALKSPACE session. and still aren’t feeling connected, where do you go?

You are still faced with yourself by yourself.  You can only feign interest in other’s lives or events for so long.  What about yours?  Would you be sacrificing connectedness if you went your own way?  Let others go theirs?  Yes you would.  But that isn’t such a bad thing.  Sometimes you have to be out on that proverbial limb by yourself for awhile.  You start discover your own niche, and that you can be your own best friend.  Few of us want to feel lonely.  But would it be so terrible to discover what it means to be alone?  With our own thoughts, understanding, as well as fears?  If this seems too much to bear, consider this:  companionship starts with being a companion.  How can you be a companion if it unnerves you to discover who you are?  Without the chatter of those around us defining our interests?

Is this subject a little deep?  I think not.  It’s one of the reasons why PERSONAL TRAINING WITH CRYSTAL is now LIFE TRAINING WITH CRYSTAL.  There’s more to this life than being defined by our mutual fears, tendencies, or capacities.  Discovering your uncommon ground I know is a little scary.  But it’s necessary if you want to come out from under the cloud cover blanketing many.

Whether air travel is frequent or infrequent for you, you are probably aware of cloud cover.  There are many passengers on a plane.  They range from very learned, to those who exercise their stupidity to the fullest.  If you haven’t had that experience in the air, count yourself lucky.  In any case, unless another pilot is traveling other than the ones flying the plane, no matter how learned or simple the passengers may be, no one else has the skill to elevate that plane.  No one else knows how to lift off, elevate the nose, ascend, and eventually transcend that cloud cover.   Few possess this skillset; it has to be developed.  Those that do have a great responsibility on their shoulders.  But for them it may appear as if effortless.

What skills could you hone to elevate?  Lift your nose, ascend and eventually transcend the cloud cover hovering in your life?  For each of us the answer is different.  And it may be a different answer than the year, month, or week before.

In my experience asking questions are just as, if not more important that immediate answers.

They help lift me above the prevailing appearance of darkness.  They raise my awareness and eventually elevate me from the ground.  Yes there are clouds.  And just above them is the sun.


All for now.  Keep up and keep at it.

Questions? Contact me at



Many of us believe we know what PREVENTION is.  I thought I did.  If you look it up, there are many different interpretations.

An interesting post came to me via a friend on FACEBOOK.  His brother is an exercise physiologist.  However he is a teacher at a community college as well.  I actually credit him with suggesting I sit for the ACSM personal trainer certification.  I haven’t really turned back since.

In part, he speaks from a perspective not unlike mine.

Physicians, nurses, as well as other health care professionals take on the task of caring for those in need.  Never mind that need or undoing came from their own negligence of their health.  We as health care professionals still care for them; even under extenuating circumstances.  My role is far different from the nursing career I once had in dialysis. I like to think of myself as working from the PREVENTATIVE side now, as opposed to the CHRONIC or ACUTE side.

Either way, his face book post struck a chord.  He spoke of a respiratory therapist giving breathing treatments to a current smoker.  Now, the therapist knew this patient had no intentions of quitting.  Yet here he was providing a breathing treatment.  We as health care professionals see the END USER effects, of highly preventable CAUSES.  Diabetes & hypertension; both in most cases highly preventable CAUSES of kidney failure, which puts one’s feet on the road to dialysis.

What about other diseases of man’s own making?  That being said, I will be the 1st to admonish those seeking to blame the poor & underserved communities for their plight.  Why?  I grew up in a poor underserved community.  My mother was a single parent which could not afford to keep both me & my sister.  I was raised by my godparents until the age of 11, when they moved to Michigan.  It is a kind of a  “riches to rags” sort of story.  But that’s not the focus of this post.

What is the focus is how much of disease is of man’s own making?  What can we as health care “preventionists’ do to help him out of this spiral?  Everything and nothing.  As a nurse in my former life, I could provide dialysis treatments to help remove some of the toxins that a normal kidney would.  Dialysis is not a cure, and it is not without side effects.  As a healthcare preventionist now, I can guide those through lifestyle modification to a different outcome.

Why do I say everything & nothing?  I can teach, modify, train, recommend, even dictate.  All to naught for those unwilling to avail themselves of my services.  Yet there seems to be money for a new purse, dress, shoes, or all you can eat buffets.  But the type of service I or someone similar provide?  This is what I hear.  “I can do that myself, I don’t need to pay her.  I’ve lost weight before I can do it again.  I don’t need to pay anyone for that.”  Perhaps.  In the words of a TV psych which I really don’t like ” HOW’S THAT WORKING OUT FOR YOU?”

For many, it simply is not.  So again I ask, what can we as health interventionists do?  What can you do especially now?  A lot.

How about starting with skipping the drive thru?  Maybe pick up some fruits and vegetables?  From what I’ve seen, they are rotting on the store shelves, while frozen fried chicken, pizzas, and similar food stuffs are depleted.

Online cooking shows and “how to” guides on preparation abound.  Perhaps start with a simple soup or pasta dish with vegetables if cooking isn’t your forte.   Yes the unfamiliar is intimidating.  But the alternative in the long run isn’t intimidating, it’s scary.

PREVENTION can have many meanings.  Now it has even more.  PPE(personal protective equipment), hand sanitizer, bactericidal cleaning agents all qualify now as PREVENTION.

What about a mindset?  Can that qualify?  More on that later.


All for now.  Keep up and keep at it.

Questions? Comments?  Contact me at


Get rid of this.  Eat more protein, less carbs.  Cut out soda.  Cut out soy.  Eat soy.  Cut out sugar, switch to a substitute.  No, sugar substitutes are worse for you than the sugar.  Is it any wonder why many just say FORGET IT, PEACE OUT.

I have to give credit where credit is due.  What I’m saying isn’t original, and will post where I derived this idea later.

What you give power to becomes a law unto yourself, your body, and your psyche.  

Consider the foods we eat for example.  Every bite of food we take (or don’t) carries the current conception regarding what we’ve been told.  And with that, what comes out reflects the trend.  We are being told currently that carbs are the enemy.  So for the most part we limit, avoid, or straight up not eat them whenever possible.  Or, we pay the price–fat gain, insulin resistance, etc.  This is essentially what we are being told, for now at least.

You can find a lot out there to support this ideology.  You can find just as much which states this is cherry-picked data and not credible.  Anyone, anywhere, at anytime can hand pick what supports her/his pet project,   Think about when you were in school–whether grammar, HS, or college.  Recall for a moment, that ominous overwhelming paper you had to complete.  I remember mine; it was on renal transplant.  KIDNEY TRANSPLANTS:  ARE THEY FOR EVERYONE?  Kidney transplants are the goal–especially if you are a CKD(chronic kidney disease) patient on dialysis.  After all, who wants to be hooked up to a machine 4-6 hours every other day to filter your blood of toxins (what your kidneys do) until you receive a kidney?  Post dialysis, many become fatigued and must rest for the day.  You certainly, if you are a CKD patient, must limit your fluid intake; from both foods as well as fluids.  So a day in the life of this person can become challenging, and quite jaded.

I recall when writing my paper, citing instances where kidney transplant may not be suitable for all in this predicament.  Why?  What about those who continuously abuse drugs?  Have not received help for their addiction?  If this is how they lost kidney function, why give them a transplant?  Especially with the lengthy waiting list? They would not take care of it I felt.  So why give it to someone who will just repeat the behavior which landed them on dialysis in the first place?  That was my logic, and I had the data and rationale to back it up.  I also posed the question whether age should be a qualifier or disqualifier.  Again, these were questions I raised in my paper designed to test whether transplants were for anyone and everyone on dialysis.  And of course, I could not submit my work without the resources, references, tables, and research to back up what I said.  The paper received high marks, partially because it was unique in questioning prevailing thinking.

And that’s what I’m doing now.  I’m questioning prevailing thought.  If I were to revisit that paper, I’d probably find mitigating factors which would qualify those I thought disqualified, awaiting or wanting a transplant.  The “I” in my ideas has evolved.

That is growth.

We all must come into that season of growth–not just allow mind and body to reflect and regurgitate what we’ve been told.  Do your homework, see what works for you, not a someone somewhere.  Question the data.  If you are not proactive, then you allow mind and body to become reactive.  That could be better today; but what will it be tomorrow?


All for now.  Keep up and keep at it.

Questions? Comments?  Contact me at