Fitness & Wellness

Nutrition For The Picky Eater

Nutrition For The Picky Eater

Parents that come to me for help with diet in Chino Hills, CA often ask about ways to ensure there’s adequate nutrition for the picky eater. Some are talking about how to get their kids to eat healthier, but others are either referring to themselves or their spouse. There’s two different approaches, depending on the age and preferences of the person who is picky. One focuses on the fun factor and eye-appeal of the food and the other focuses on flavor and texture.

Don’t force kids to eat food they hate.

Every parent has experienced it, you put a new food on your child’s plate and they roll their eyes, make an “EWW” sound and refuse to take a bite. You might not even know they hate the food, since it could be the first time you’ve served it. Of course, you want them to try it. It’s crazy to hate a food you’ve never tried, but kids—and sometimes adults—are funny that way. Instead, serve it with two foods you know they like and if they don’t eat it, wait. A week or two later, do the same thing. Studies show that after being served the same food several times, weeks apart, kids will often try it.

Make the plate a rainbow of colors.

Not only does creating a plate that has a rainbow of colorful fruits and vegetables ensure that your picky eater is getting adequate nutrition, it looks more inviting. The different colors of vegetables and fruits indicate the different nutrients it contains. Tell your child it’s a rainbow of colors and get them used to that phrase. You can even include there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, then serve a dessert of peaches or other gold colored fruit or dessert dish.

For picky adults and children, hiding the healthy food amidst pasta, potatoes or in soup works well.

Adults can be picky and even worse than children. While you might not feel as worried about the adult as you would a child, it doesn’t mean it isn’t frustrating. You can hide the fresh veggies or food the person doesn’t like by serving it in a pasta dish, with other ingredients they like. You can also make a potato dish with veggies in it or serve an entire meal in a soup. If texture is what they don’t like about the food, cut it in small pieces or put it in a blender when you put it in the dish to make it more palatable.

  • Picky eaters aren’t as picky when the food is fun. Veggie loaded muffins, veggie filled waffle sandwiches and even healthy burritos are far more fun to eat and extremely nutritious.
  • Make meals stress free. Don’t make it a battle of will over whether your child or spouse will eat the food. If they eat it, they eat it and if they don’t, they don’t. It not only may change some attitudes about food, it will help your meals digest better.
  • Start by serving only a small amount of a new food to the picky eater. Not only is it less threatening to them, it’s less wasteful if they don’t like it.
  • Change the way you serve the veggie or offending food. If they don’t like raw carrots, cook them on the grill. They not only have more eye-appeal, they often taste sweeter when grilled.

Do Some Spring Cleaning In Your Cupboards

It’s time to start fresh and get a healthier lifestyle. It can start with doing spring cleaning in your cupboards. Not only do you probably have some expired food, if you’re like me, but you also have food that doesn’t fit with your new lifestyle. When I say cupboard, I mean refrigerator and freezer, too. Getting rid of unhealthy food gives you room to store healthier options that fit with a new lifestyle. If you’re grappling with the cost of the food you’ll be pitching, just remember the savings in medical bills.

Start with the most obvious.

Junk food like candy, cookies, chips, soda and sugar-added fruit juice. When you do, make a list of healthy snacks and everything you’ll need to make them. It may not require extra work, like nuts and fresh fruit, or minimal preparation, such as fresh veggies and a healthy dip. You’ll be ready for those down times when you want something to tide you over and won’t be tempted to snack on junk.

Read the labels on the food you have left.

You’ll be surprised at how much added sugar there is in most foods and some of the hard to pronounce preservatives added. The ingredients are listed by volume, so those ingredients at the top are more plentiful in the food. Manufacturers are wise to consumers reading labels, so often they give sugar several names or use various types of sugar and list those individually. If dextrose is number three on the ingredients, sucrose number four and high fructose corn syrup number five, you can bet that sugar is the top ingredient. See what the serving size is and how many servings are in each container and whether it’s an unrealistically small amount. Check nutrients, carbs, protein and fat in the food.

Making those tough calls can be a struggle.

Some of the food you may have in your cupboard aren’t exactly bad for you, but they aren’t good for you either. It’s a tough call and if you keep them, can prevent you from purchasing those with far more nutrition. If you have a few microwave meals, burritos or not healthy-yet not horrible food, it’s a tough call. You can throw them out or plan to use them spaced out over a period of time and use them to complement healthier dishes.

Maybe it’s time to throw a party. Make it a junk food clean out party. You can serve both healthy dishes and the unhealthy food you want to pitch. It’s easier to throw away left over junk than the actual junk food sometimes.

Most food banks no longer accept junk food, like candy and chips. Before you take the food you’re pitching, call ahead to find out what they accept.

Create a plan of action. You can start by planning weekly meals and making a grocery list. Do all your food prep on the weekend, making extra of each. Stock your freezer with these extras and before long, you’ll have enough to take a week away from cooking.

Don’t just look at food, look at what you drink, too. Soft drinks are huge offenders that can affect your overall health.


Work Hard And Reward Yourself

Work Hard And Reward Yourself

I always beam with pride when I see my clients in Chino Hills, CA make such great progress. I like to feel I’m part of it, but the biggest praise goes to them. They work hard. We believe that if you work hard, you also need to reward yourself with something tangible. It doesn’t have to be new clothing and really shouldn’t be a cheesecake. It can be anything you wouldn’t normally do for yourself, like giving yourself permission to take a day off for whatever is your favorite pastime, whether it’s something active like hiking or going to the movies.

A new clothing size requires new clothing.

Seriously, toning and losing weight can make your clothing far to big or are baggy, giving you a frumpy look. When you’ve lost weight, but haven’t quite reached your goals, you still want to show off your hard work. Don’t be tempted to wear those ill-fitting clothes. Instead, treat yourself to something special that looks great on you and fill in with clothing that costs less. They can come from online auctions, discount malls, or thrift shops and be temporary. You can also buy clothing that can be easily altered when you reach your final goal. Looking good and showing off your new body will make you feel better.

Create a bucket list and as you lose weight, cross off the items with each goal reached.

While a bucket list is often talked about as people get older, it can be done no matter what age you are. Even better, the fitter you get, the more potential you have to add more things to the bucket list, because you’re living longer. Consider things like riding a bike from one town to another or hiking a mountain trail. There are so many beautiful trails to take near Chino Hills. If you’ve always wanted to do something a little more physical, but didn’t think you had it in you, it could make a great addition to the list. Your trainer will even help you prepare for it.

Give yourself a reward of a get-away.

Schedule a time to get-away or take a vacation. Some people just want a little time to themselves, so their vacation could be a stay-cation, where they spend the whole day doing nothing, or even cleaning out a closet or drawer that they’ve always wanted to get accomplished. Cleaning may not sound like a treat, but it can be very rewarding if it’s something that bothers you. It just means, the reward isn’t something another can judge, only you can decide what you want.

  • Get a massage, pedicure or facial. Pampering yourself a bit sends a message to you that you’ve done something important and deserve something special.
  • Learn something new. Maybe you’ve always wanted to try your hand at woodworking or sewing. Make your reward the supplies you need for that endeavor and the time.
  • Get yourself a new gadget. Whether you love tools, beauty aids or kitchen appliances, they make a great reward. A spiralizer or air fryer could be good choices for people that love cooking.
  • Redo your do. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a man or woman, getting a new hairstyle makes a difference. For men, even changing from clean shaven to a little facial hair can give a new look and feel for the new person they are.

Is It Time For A Detox

Is It Time For A Detox

Giving your body a rest and cleaning it out isn’t a bad idea. In fact, some people feel it’s time for a detox when they have low energy levels. I tell clients in Chino Hills, CA that I have no problem with a detox, as long as it’s not radical or involves harsh chemicals. Those types of fads can cause harm. What I feel is best are some natural techniques that can be anything from clean eating to strict healthy eating. I personally have some favorite detox techniques that I find give an energy boost and make you feel great.

An intermittent fast is a detox that’s proven to be healthy.

An intermittent fast is a short fast. It doesn’t last days, it lasts hours. It means eating all your meals within eight hours and fasting for sixteen. When I have clients that use an intermittent fast, some actually fast and combine it with a juice diet for a few days to hasten the cleanse. Flushing your system frequently with warm water speeds the cleansing process. Studies show that fasting may help improve your longevity and keep you younger looking longer.

Go with smoothies and cut out all processed foods, especially dairy and grains.

You might think that’s just too easy to be a detox, but think about it. No toast, no cheese, just fresh fruits and vegetables—they can be cooked by you—meat or a protein source and water, coffee or tea. Some people who eat meat insist on wild fish or grass-fed beef, since there are more health benefits. Cutting out dairy and grains can help you discover if you’re gluten or dairy intolerant. Dairy tends to be mucous forming, so if you consistently wake up with a cough, it may help.

A purge shouldn’t be part of your detox plan.

Seriously, I have a personal problem with people who take substances that cause diarrhea and are harsh on your colon. Laxative teas, pills and colon cleanses aren’t necessary or healthy. Eating plenty of fiber provides “scrubbing bubbles” for you colon that are actually healthy for you. Switch to a green or vegetarian diet for a few weeks as your detox and slowly add back mean.

  • Detox from sugar, milk, grain and meat. Cut out everything that contains sugar, including high glycemic index fruits and vegetables. Go a few days on vegetables and fruit only with water your drink of choice.
  • If you’re purging your body of toxic chemicals in the food, don’t forget to check your shampoo and hygiene products. Your body absorbs toxins through the skin, too.
  • Don’t forget to exercise while you’re detoxing. Exercise helps you sweat out toxins and cleanses your system through sweat. Drink plenty of water, too. Exercise will help you feel better.
  • Make sure you get adequate sleep, particularly if you’re fasting. If you’re just adjusting your diet, make sure it contains plenty of fiber to help move the toxins through your colon and out of your system.

Want To Increase Your Sex Drive?

Want To Increase Your Sex Drive?

People are living longer and healthier, which means they’re also enjoying all the pleasures of life longer, one of which is the closeness that can occur in the bedroom. Too often people just don’t feel sexy or have the desire. That can start to break down the bond between partners. There is a way to increase your sex drive and that’s by boosting your health with exercise. Exercise has been proven to improve the sex drive of both men and women, which is why it’s so important for both people in the relationship to get into shape.

You have to feel good to feel sexy.

Sex and sexual stimulation is a physical response, but your brain plays an important role. Working out not only makes you feel good, physically, it also boosts endorphins and other hormones that make you feel relaxed and good mentally. You’ll burn off the hormones of stress when you workout, too. Stress can slow any progress in the bedroom and keep your focus off the pleasures of sex. It simply ruins a romantic mood. Work out, feel great and enjoy.

It’s about your actual hormones and sex drive too.

When you workout, you give your libido a boost. When it builds muscle tissue, it also stimulates the creation of HGH—Human Growth Hormone. The more HGH that men have, the more potential they have or higher testosterone levels, since HGH is responsible for creating it. More testosterone means an increased sex drive and a super boost to the libido. Women benefit from exercise in a different way. Exercise improves their sensitivity to touch.

You’ll be able to become a marathon bedroom partner, rather than a sprinter when you workout.

Sex is tough exercise, but you don’t notice it because it also provides pleasure. The fitter you are, the more you’ll enjoy sex and so will your partner. Some sexual positions require more flexibility and you’ll be ready to perform without worrying about pulling a muscle. Endurance will increase, so you’ll not have to stop for a breath. Even an increase in strength can make you more of a star during sex. Exercise helps improve your circulation and that can even help prevent serious conditions like vascular disease and diabetes that can cause erectile dysfunction. Studies show boosting your circulation can help prevent erectile dysfunction.

  • When couples workout together, it adds a dimension of emotional closeness to all the physical benefits exercise provides. Both receive a physical boost to their sexual drive, too.
  • You’ll feel better about how you look when you workout regularly and that can make you feel sexier. When you feel sexier, you’ll respond the same way.
  • Exercise can be a boost to your sex life, but your sex life can also be a boost to your health by providing exercise. It can provide all types of workouts, strength-building, flexibility and endurance and is something you’ll enjoy more than a jog.
  • Eating healthy and choosing healthy foods together, working out together and enjoying life together are all ways to increase the bond between partners. That bond is the biggest sexual stimulation.

Should You Start A Low Carb Diet

Should You Start A Low Carb Diet

If you’ve considered a low carb diet, I’ll tell you what I tell my clients in Chino Hills. There are some valid reasons for using this type of diet for weight loss, but if you use one of the stricter types of the diet, such as the keto diet, it’s not changing your lifestyle. Keto diets are super restrictive and extremely low in carbs. It cuts out many grain products and all but eliminates potatoes. Eating in restaurants becomes almost impossible. So just like other fad diets, I prefer to healthy eating, which can also be lower carb.

Low carbohydrate diets don’t mean no carbs.

There are healthy complex carbs you need to be at your best. These are vegetables and fruit and even some grain products. Learning to eat healthier, while cutting out junk food, sugary food and processed food is good, whether you adjust the intake of carbs, protein and fat or not. In a healthy low carb diet, the average percentage of calories from carbohydrates is about 40 percent, compared to approximately 50 percent in the average American diet. Protein is increased dramatically to approximately 15 percent in the average American diet to approximately 30 percent. The amount of fat diminishes from 35 percent down to 30 percent and changes to a healthier version of fat.

There’s a lot more room for versatility in a healthy low carb diet.

Just like healthy eating, it helps build lifestyle changes you can maintain. You need carbohydrates for energy, especially if you’re trying to build muscle tissue. Healthy fat helps burn body fat and aids in recovery after a workout. Protein is the building block for muscles, too. Eating a healthier balance of these foods can provide a life where weight loss isn’t a problem. There is evidence that a lower carbohydrate diet forces your body to get energy from body fat. That’s a boost to weight loss.

There are health benefits to a diet lower in carbohydrates.

Paleo diets and keto diets all but eliminate grains. That’s not true of milder forms of low carb diets. No matter what type you choose, they offer many of the same health benefits. It helps to balance your cholesterol by reducing the LDL—the bad cholesterol— and increasing the HDL—the good cholesterol. You’ll stabilize your blood sugar levels, which helps prevent insulin resistance and fat storage.

  • Choose the best types of carbs, proteins and fats for your health. Grass fed and free-range organic animal products, healthy fat from avocados and whole eggs, plus healthy carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables provide a healthier, well balanced diet.
  • If you eat too few calories from carbs, it can cause headaches, weakness, muscle cramping, constipation or diarrhea, skin rash and even bad breath. Sustainable moderation is always the key.
  • The difference between healthy complex carbs and carbs to avoid, simple carbohydrates, is that complex carbs don’t cause spikes in your blood sugar, since they take longer to digest.
  • You can start a lower carbohydrate diet without all the fuss. Begin by cutting out sugar and processed products, slowly eliminating other unhealthy foods or higher carb foods as you go.

Be More Energetic

Be More Energetic

If you want to lose weight or build muscle faster, don’t just depend on your time in the gym. You need to be more energetic and stay active even when you’re not working out. One benefit of working out is that it boosts your energy level. If you’re not going to use that extra energy for fun things or getting more done, then why would you want it? Your body was created to move. The more you move and get exercise, the stronger it becomes and the more energy you have.

Save the environment. Save money and get more exercise.

Ride a bike to work if possible. There’s a lot of reasons to do it and some commuter trains now allow bikes in a special car, so even if you live a distance from your office or work, you can still ride part of the way. Take the stairs and skip waiting for the elevator. You’ll probably get to your floor faster by doing that and boost the amount of exercise for the day.

Move at least five minutes out of every hour.

Several studies show that sitting for long periods is lethal. It can even wipe out the benefits of your regular exercise program. One study shows that the sitting for an hour can even cause negative results. That’s why it’s recommended that if you sit at a desk all day, at least once every fifty to fifty-five minutes you get up and move around, even if it’s just to go to the water cooler. It’s best if you move briskly or run up and down a flight of stairs.

Energetic people tend to exercise more.

Which came first, being energetic and doing exercise or doing exercise and getting energetic? That’t a tough question. However, if you think energetic and hustle into the gym, you can fake it until you make it. Once you start to workout, you’ll notice a surge in your energy level and even think better, since the more you move, the more you improve your cognitive functioning. Some studies show that exercising in the morning sets the energetic pace for the day.

  • Eat healthier to stay energetic. Cutting out sweets and processed foods can keep your blood sugar levels more steady. That avoids the super highs and deep dips—which rob your body of energy.
  • Take breaks and relax your mind. If you want to be more energetic, you need to clear your mind to avoid self-talk that can be defeating and tiring. Small periods of mental rest will recharge you.
  • Get adequate sleep. If you don’t get between 7 and 8 hours a night, you’ll find yourself dragging around, barely able to exude interest, let alone energy. Adequate sleep can help you boost your energy levels.
  • Develop a sense of curiosity. Remember when you were a child and looked at everything with wonder. Try doing more of that and don’t become jaded. Excitement over discovering something new renews energy.

Exercise At Home Without All The Fuss

Exercise At Home Without All The Fuss

There might be reasons you can’t make it to the Chino Hills, CA gym to exercise. Car problems, tight schedule and sick child are a few. Unless you’re sick, there’s no reason you can’t exercise at home. Even if you aren’t part of our gym community, you still can get a good workout. There’s no need for fancy equipment. You don’t need any.

Start with body weight workouts.

Body weight exercises require no equipment. If you have a personal trainer, he or she will help you with a workout you can do at home for those emergency days when you can’t make it into the gym. Circuit training or HIIT workouts are excellent ways to add more benefit to the workout. Use squats, lunges, planks and push-ups, for starters if you don’t have help. There’s a wide variety of each type from which to choose.

If equipment adds to your workout, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune or take a lot of space.

I have clients that like the idea of using exercise equipment or they’re used to the workouts that use equipment. If storage is limited, inexpensive strength building equipment like resistance bands can be stored in a drawer. A kettlebell is another easy to store item to build core strength and muscle. You do need space to move freely without hitting anything with it, however. A pull up bar is another easy store inexpensive item. If money is tight, make your own equipment. Plastic milk jugs and detergent bottles can be filled with sand, water or small stones and used for weights. Adjust the amount you put in to adjust the weight.

Sometimes, even working out at home is impossible.

For those busy days, when you leave at the crack of dawn and get home long after the sun sets, working out almost is impossible. That’s when you have to get creative. If you’re at the office, try simple chair exercises like a chair push up. Grab the edge of the chair and push yourself up off the seat keeping your legs either straight out or knees bent at a 90 degree angle. Take a five to ten minutes several times throughout the day to run up and down the stairs or run in place. If you have your own office or a cubicle, do a few jumping jacks to keep your body moving.

  • Try alternative workouts and get more work done in the process. Put elbow grease into household jobs, like washing windows or rearranging furniture. Move fast to get an endurance workout.
  • Add fun activities as part of your workout. Ride a bike or enjoy dancing the pounds away in the living room. It’s all about getting fitter and healthier so you can enjoy life more. Why not enjoy getting there, too?
  • If you do workout at home, make it an appointment. If you wait for the right time, it simply won’t happen. You need to make it a priority.
  • No matter where you workout, consistency is the key to success. You can’t workout once and see results. It takes weeks of regular exercise to do that.

Discover The Hidden You

Discover The Hidden You

People change and grow. If you’re older than 30, you probably aren’t the same person you were when you were 20. You can become whoever you want when you set goals to do it and put in the time and effort. Before you can discover the hidden you, you have to decide what you want, so you can create goals to achieve. While I am talking about getting fit and living a healthy lifestyle, the ability to change and grow exists in every area of life. You can start the process by getting fit and ready to tackle your goals.

When you want change, start with things you can change.

You may want to be healthier and probably want to look fit. These are things that we specialize and will show you how to make changes to guide you to those goals. Not only does getting fitter by working out regularly and eating healthy make you look great, giving you confidence, the fact you achieved it boosts your confidence, too. Working out builds mental toughness and creating and achieving goals extends to all areas of your life.

Does that healthier, fitter you have a more commanding, calmer personality?

Working out and eating healthy does amazing things for your body, boosts your self-confidence and makes you feel good. It also burns off the hormones created by stress and replaces them with hormones that make you feel calmer and happier. If you don’t burn them off, the changes they make in your body can harm you physically and bring you mental discomfort. You’ll be amazed at how much more relaxed and focused you are after you workout. You’ll be ready tackle goals in other areas of your life.

Even if the inner you is screaming to achieve a mental goal, working out can help.

There’s a reason top executives workout regularly. Not only does it improve their posture and keep them looking confident, it boosts their thinking power. Working out improves memory, cognitive thinking and focus. It lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia as you age. Exercise boosts circulation, so you have nourishing oxygen and nutrient rich blood flowing to your brain. It stimulates the creation of BDNF—brain-derived neurotrophic factor. BDNF causes the building of neurons as it protects the cells of the brain or repairs them.

  • You become the master of your fate, but you must believe that’s true. Dedicate yourself to becoming the best you can be. When you control yourself, you control your future.
  • You may never achieve perfection as you see it, but you’ll definitely be further ahead of where you were when you strive to achieve it. It’s all about the journey.
  • You’ll love all the energy you have after you workout for a while. You’ll get work done faster than you ever did before and have time to achieve more, while also enjoying life.
  • People will notice the difference and treat you differently. How people treat you often reflects how you feel about yourself. Good posture makes you look more confident and people treat you like you’re confident.

Don't Quit

Don’t Quit

Getting out of shape didn’t happen overnight. It may have taken years to gain weight or lose muscle strength. It’s too easy to get discouraged and think there’s no hope if it looks like too much to handle. The key is to keep trying. Don’t quit! Your life depends on it. A few false starts doesn’t mean you should quit. Just pick up where you stumbled. Binging on unhealthy food one day doesn’t mean you have to throw away all healthy eating.

Workouts can be tough, but you can do them.

When you workout with a personal trainer, you’re never asked to do anything that’s beyond your capability. It definitely will be tough, but before long, you’ll be able to do it. You just have to keep trying. Once you accomplish that first goal, you’ll realize that you’re capable of doing anything you set your mind to doing. It will not only start to become easier, it will start to become exciting and even fun.

Eating healthy doesn’t have to mean giving up your favorite foods.

People often feel that if they eat healthy, they have to give up everything they love to eat. That’s just not true. What it does mean is that you start eating more healthy food and smaller, more infrequent portions of food you love. Don’t quit because you didn’t stop at a small serving of a favorite that doesn’t fit in the healthy list. Even the healthiest eater sometimes eats cake and all the goodies. Just go back to healthy eating the next day.

Healthy food can taste good.

Healthy food doesn’t have to taste like cardboard. In fact, there are hundreds of healthy dishes that are absolutely delicious. I had a client that gave up sugary treats and candy for an extended period. She began to notice how sweet other food was, like apples. She even noticed that there was a sweet taste to the crab Rangoon she ate and tasted the sugar in other foods in restaurants. Her taste buds had reset and she truly started tasting food. Don’t give up until you get the enjoyment of truly tasting what real food tastes like.

  • Don’t be discouraged by others in your effort to get healthier and fit. Sometimes people sabotage your efforts because they worry it will change your relationship with them.
  • Don’t give up if you ache after working out. It’s a good sore feeling.
  • Don’t give up if you get tired when you first start. Exercise does help improve sleep and you’ll understand how when you first start out. It won’t belong before you find you have twice as much energy as you did before you started.
  • Don’t give up because you think you’re too busy to workout or eat healthy. It boosts your energy and helps you think better, plus burns off stress and keeps you healthier so you aren’t spending time at the doctor.